I Guess We’ll All Be Ashy

By:  H.T.

One thing that can’t be denied in modern society is that black men are often, well, ignored.  I myself didn’t vote for Trump nor Hillary, but I can understand why a small contingent of men did.  Black men today in the name of being “woke” or just not ashy are asked to jump through many a hoops.  Our masculinity cannot be toxic, fragile or hyper.  If we must build our masculinity around our relationship with women, it must be how we cater to them rather than provide.

The most notable one is the idea about masculinity.  The big demand is that men’s masculinity must not be “fragile” meaning we must be open to expanding the boundaries of what’s accepted in heterosexual society.  The belief being that heteronormativity has normalized black men yet simultaneously oppresses gay femme black men while also being vehemently against any activities that “look gay”.  While I can’t justify bigotry against someone for being feminine or the like and don’t, what must be addressed is the need to demand that black men at the very least “assexualize” themselves in the name of social justice.

As I’ve gathered, the logic is that by making men less aggressive, stoic, assertive and not falling within the bounds of hetero-presenting, we will make a more welcoming world for our LGBT brothers and sisters.  I have vested interest in this as one of my closest friends and someone I can truly say has loved me in a way few can say is a member of the LGBT community, along with one of my best friends who’s like family to me.  Still, I can’t see how making every man effeminate will solve discrimination.  I mean, isn’t acceptance being different but accepting that we’re different and getting along?

Perhaps the reason this persists is due to who keeps this narrative going.  Not black women on the whole, but a subset that is very vain, very beautiful, and incredibly narcissistic.  Honestly, look at the great majority of shea butter types on social media platforms; a great deal are not unattractive.  Which one could potentially conclude that the reason anyone bothers listening to these ideas is because the messenger is well, fuckable.  Even the Mormons know an attractive woman makes a good missionary.

“So you’re saying they’re wrong and just dumb hot chicks?”  Not really.  What I’m saying is that perhaps we need to take into account a few things.  First and foremost, the biggest reason this whole idea of getting rid of men’s “toxic” masculinity has been slow to take is very simple:  sex.  See, the reason I bring up the attractiveness of the women is because I notice that a great deal of the men who go along with the shedding of the problematic elements of masculinity fall into 2 categories:  either homosexual or very emasculated, and most notably sexually frustrated.

As problematic as some men can be, the fact is they’re still attractive to women (assuming they’re heterosexual) and can still live as they please.  It sounds selfish, but it’s just the truth.  The fact is that telling me to collectively change when many of us see that to change means potentially socially castrating oneself while many problematic men are still fawned over and praised.  This is a problem, not because of sex, but rather as a sign of the messengers fidelity to their message.  Quite simply, how can you convince heterosexual men to change when it at least appears that to change means that they’ll potentially be giving up a key part of their lives for social justice while the problematic lot are still living as they please?

It’s like when your parents tell you to stay away from selling drugs and stripping, but you get older and work a steady job but the D boy makes your yearly salary in a month and the stripper has no debts.  So do you strip or start selling drugs?

No, you get a better job, you work harder or smarter but you don’t take the popular choice just because it has favorable results.  As much as the idea of a more tolerant black community sounds good, this path is very misguided and run by people who seem to equate their popularity on social media as being valid in their opinion and not just surrounded by the idealistic, the like-minded and the thirsty.

Honestly, it sounds cool to have a community where we can be who we are not be persecuted, but acceptance cannot be taught through pressured conformity and be expected to take hold.  Furthermore, the response to the lack of any social progress should never be to talk down to the people you’re trying to convert.  Again, this goes to what I said about the kind of women that push this narrative; they’re very much insulated from the realities of not having likes or likability to rely on in making their point, no matter how much it needs work.

The point is simply this:  it’s very possible to teach the black community to be less homophobic, less bigoted and less ignorant.  But it can’t be done by forcing people to play ideological Simon Says and think people will still listen.  Maybe one day they’ll get this, but until then, I guess we’ll all be ashy.

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