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nofemmesTwo gorillas walked into a café. No seriously. There I was, polishing glassware and two gorillas walked right in off the street. Big beefy shoulders with thick, lumbering arms swaying wildly over massive, waddling thighs and tiny heads stuck back into the muscle bulges around their necks. While my boss tried to pick his jaw up off the ground, I went to call Taronga Zoo to come and collect them. Then they just took a seat.

They had sweat stains seeping through their t-shirts and slouched back against the wall. Their legs were wide apart, airing the balls that were stuffed into footy shorts so tight that they must have restricted blood flow. When their sandwiches arrived it was like watching two starved buffalos ravage the carcass of a gazelle. Aioli oozing down their thick fingers…


After such a fine display of manhood and the constant barrage of Grindr profiles looking for ‘masc only,’ I decided it must be time to make myself ‘masc’. So I went shopping for some of this highly sought-after ‘masculinity’.

Firstly I bought a v-neck tee and some footy shorts, both two sizes too small. Then I got myself a huge tub of protein powder and a membership at Fitness First. I threw out my Grey Goose and limes and replaced them with a slab of beer. I discarded my overpriced cosmetic range in favour of a bar of ‘mansoap’.

I took the black and white portraits off my wall and replaced them with fitness mag liftouts. I took Madonna off my iTunes and started listening to Cazwell. I even practised my grunting to ensure I sounded more like Johnny Cash and less like Maria Sharapova.

“As a community we are increasingly trying to emulate a culture that is inherently intolerant.”

Despite all of these attempts, I still couldn’t face leaving my legs unshaven. The best I could come up with was a camp rendition of ‘macho, macho man, I want to be a macho man’. I was stopped at the door of Masculinity, asked for my ID and miserably faced up to the fact that ever since I cried on the first day of AusKick, I was doomed never to be ‘masc’.

Jokes aside. My opposition to ‘masc’ culture is not just based on the fact that I would even kick Ryan Gosling out of bed for farting. My concern is that as a community we are increasingly trying to emulate a culture that is inherently intolerant. Not only is alpha-male culture traditionally homophobic but its obsession with power and dominance perpetuates an attitude of disrespect towards others.

In everything from men’s mags to Robin Thicke lyrics, alpha-masculine popular culture espouses a philosophy of dominance and superiority. Such attitudes result in the devaluation of those who are not ‘masc’. This is alarmingly present in the all too familiar ‘no femmes’ tagline.

These attitudes are occurring increasingly in the form of dismissing more effeminate gay men as ‘bottom boys’ or ‘girly gays’. This kind of devaluation of effeminacy and receptive partners sounds too much like the outdated sexist rhetoric of heterosexual male culture. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with being naturally masculine or that it, by default, makes any of us discriminatory. I simply want to draw attention to the more damaging aspects of the idealisation of the alpha-male that is increasingly present in our community. Does drinking beer and having the body of a Greek God really necessitate such intolerance? Can we not foster a culture of gentlemanly alpha-Gods?

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