There are some words and terms I hate. I’m not talking about the ones that are racist, sexist, or so offensive that we only refer to them by letter- like the F-Bomb, The C-Bomb or the often forgotten Parenthetical-Bomb.
This time I am talking about one word in particular. One word that started out as a joke, but now… Now it is just something that really grinds my gears!
That word is this:
I know what you’re thinking – But Hey, Mr. The Page, a Bromance is a good thing! It’s so awesome for men to be able to share that kind of platonic love!
Sure it is. I mean that seriously.
But let’s take a moment here to see why I have a problem with it.
Urban Dictionary defines A Bromance as:
“Bromance is the combination of two words, “brother” and ” It describes the unique male bonding found between “brothers from another mother”. This is between heterosexual males and no matter what is never seen as a gay relationship, though it may be joked about.”
And Wikipedia defines it as:
“A bromance is a close but non-sexual relationship between two or more men.It is an exceptionally tight affectional, homosocial male bonding relationship exceeding that of usual friendship, and is distinguished by a particularly high level of emotional intimacy. The emergence of the concept since the beginning of the 21st century has been seen as reflecting a change in societal perception and interest in the theme, with an increasing openness of western society in the twenty-first century to reconsider gender, sexuality, and exclusivity constraints.”
Does that seem all fine and dandy to you?
It sure as hell doesn’t to me.
I have had a few good friendships in my life – I have gotten close to just a few male friends (Timm, I miss you! Pedro, my man. Sam, F Yeah! Hell, all the boyos in the band!
But this wasn’t called a “Bromance.” They were my friends, my best friends. That’s all there was to it. But, now, everywhere I turn, I hear people calling these friendships a “bromance.”
I had a friend come back into town, he came by the shop where I work to say hi and grab a cup of coffee. I came around from behind the counter to give him a hug and tell him it was good to see him. Someone I didn’t even know said, “wow, love the bromance atmosphere in here.” I wanted to glare at the random woman, but I was at work. I had a moment’s chat with my friend and resumed my duties.
From what my research tells me, Men have been around for a while. At least 100 years, maybe more, I don’t know for sure, I wasn’t there and I’m making up the research to be flippant. My point is this – I am sure that men have had serious, close, intimate, non-sexual relationships for a long time. I think that they were usually called “friends.” I hear so many people, people of every gender & lifestyle, both using this term and talking about “enlightened males.” I hear people talking about “vulnerability” and “acceptance.” When two people – men, women, non-binary, gender fluid, and so on – when two people are close enough friends to be emotionally intimate, to share parts of their hearts and souls without it being sexual – don’t fucking mock it.
I’m sure that most people don’t give it a thought, I’m sure most people don’t see it as mocking – but as recognizing something beautiful.
It doesn’t feel that way to me.
It makes me feel made fun of, defensive; it reminds me of being on the playground as a child and other children are calling you names.
Think about it.
Would you like it if people forced a term on you?
Or if people constantly talked about how brave you have to be in order to be vulnerable with someone else, to let them see you without the mask, to be courageous enough to be honest…
And when you were honest they called you a name.
Not your name, but something just insulting enough to get under your skin.
Left and right I see everyone (society) saying that men should be friends with men!
Guy films/Action movies.
I Love You, Man.
Men’s Groups – to be men with other men – to help and support each other.
Books on being men –
King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine
Documentaries on breaking down the barrier & stereotypes of being a man
(an incredible documentary, BTW)
None of these are bad, I’m not saying that.
But when we push these things so hard
THEN we say something that makes men uncomfortable for it
A real man would be comfortable enough with himself that he wouldn’t be offended by the use of that word?
Maybe He Woundn’t Care?
First off, I never had my Bar Mitzvah – so I guess I’m not a real man that way.
Second, I can think of quite a few words for different kinds of people… And those words can get offensive very quickly.
I won’t use them, and I hate to admit that I have used a lot of them in the past.
But, part of being a man – part of being a person – in today’s society is also just saying when something doesn’t jive with you.
There isn’t a Bromance Anthem for me to kneel to.
There isn’t the International League Of Bromanehood that I can boycott.
And I am no posterboy for poilitcal correctness…
All I am saying is this –
Be aware of the words you use and how they affect the people around you.
Someone once told me
“Be careful with your words. Your words are seeds, and they either poison everything around you or they make it beautiful – but remember that either way, they will grow.”