Bro’s Don’t Cuddle Essay Examples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Men, Women, Society, Homosexuality, Perception, Touch, Sociology, Affection

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/10/26

‘Bro’s don’t cuddle’ simply means men do not cuddle or express intimate physical needs or contacts with other men.. This ‘bro code’ can be categorized under the ‘code of homo-social panic. It is a theory that states that men who engage in physical contact such as hugging, holding hands or cuddling fear to be perceived as homo-sexual or effeminate. To be seen as nothing other than a normative male, would expel them from the fraternal order. It means indulging in anything to take away the manhood of a man.
Although there is a lot of talk about ‘bromance’, popular media is yet to show shots of two men cuddling. If it were to be shown, questions immediately arise over the sexuality of the men that are being shown or the nature of the content that is being displayed. Sociologist Mark McCormack, of Durham University says that “The social taboo against cuddling has been because for two men to get close was traditionally seen as 'gay'. Men wanted to avoid being the target of homophobic abuse, so they would be macho to distance themselves from any perception of homosexuality (Thomas par.7-8). This has largely been the effect of a homophobic culture. Although homosexuality finds mention in ancient texts and even in the bible, homosexual relations and heterosexual friendships between have had a pretty complex and rocky history. It is something that is also marred by societal stigmas, rejection, aggression and myths.
A cuddle also has a lot of sexual connotations. It is a commonly accepted thought that a cuddle follows or precedes sexual intercourse. The rampant sexism has also ensured that it is a woman who craves for a cuddle while a man wants to be left alone. A cuddle then becomes a sexualized action that is associated with a woman more than a man. Bro’s cuddling would then not only imply that a sexual act has taken place but that by indulging in such an act, the man is also considered effeminate. The social stigmas associated with homosexuality, real and imagined cases of sexual abuse and a hypocritical society that supports a huge porn industry but still has a puritanical aversion to pleasures of the body has ensured that men go without physical tough for long periods of time, especially when they do not have much contact with women. As babies boys are treated pretty much the same way as girls are. They are held, cuddled, kissed and shown a lot of physical affection that is not frowned upon or looked at any differently. But as they grow into toddler, the physical contact slows down. And as they grow older, they are asked to be tough and not cry. An injury does not get them a kiss or a cuddle from the parent but an order to shake it off and continue playing. A wish for a cuddle or a need to be mollified on the part of the boy would see him being branded as a cry baby. In an effort to make them tough and tow the expected line of male behavior, the parents restrict their physical touch and as the years progress it becomes quite rare.
at the turn of the 20th century, Thinking of men as either “homosexual” or “heterosexual” became common. And this new category of identity was at the same time pathologized — decried by psychiatrists as a mental illness, by ministers as a perversion, and by politicians as something to be legislated against (Greene, par.8). As this though took over the men and women in the society men became more careful about showing physical affection towards one another. Since even an innocent gesture could be construed otherwise, men not only stopped showing physical affection to other men but they also showed reluctance to come out as openly gay. In many societies, a man would risk a serious homophobic assault or backlash if he were to try even a platonic physical contact with another man. It could be a simple act as holding hands or putting the hand over the shoulder. This can also get pretty confusing as it is accepted behavior in some societies. The man not only risks a homophobic attack by the man he touched but also by someone who watched the episode. The pace where a man gets to display his masculinity is quite restrictive in modern times. There also is the prevalent idea that a man is a highly sexual being unless proven otherwise. In this scenario any physical contact by a man will only be perceived as a sexual act. With the additional rampant homophobia in the world, a cuddle becomes a dirty act between two men, something straight or heterosexual men would not do to each other. ‘Dirty’ is not in the act but how men and women have been indoctrinated into seeing it.
Eve Sedgwick, literary theorist and an author of repute in gay studies writes that the western society is largely patriarchal and that it is built on the foundation of a “male dominated kinship system (Sedgwick, 1686).” A consequence of this society says Sedgwick, is that men right from their formative years are imbued with a homophobic attitude. There is also the expectation of an obligatory heterosexuality as a proof of being a ‘man’. It is ironic that men in a patriarchal society are constrained in their freedom to touch other men and express themselves physically. Any craving for a physical contact is seen as a sign of weakness. Bro’s don’t Cuddle can also be categorized under the ‘code of silence’ (secrets) to some extent. It is a theory in which it is suggested that the universal male fraternity or mind is constantly keeping itself in check to uphold the illusion of the supremacy they adhere. It is a common and a popular perception that a lot of secrets come out in the bed, right after or during a cuddle with a woman. It could also be that men do not cuddle and are not supposed to cuddle in order to maintain their secret and also their illusion of supremacy over men. Bro’s don’t cuddle so they could be men; different from women and the homosexuals.

Works Cited

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. “Between Men.” Ed. David H. Richter. The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s 2007. 1683-1691.
Thomas, Emily. “93 Percent Of Straight Men In This Study Said They've Cuddled With Another Guy.” 5 Jan. 2014. Web. 2 Feb. 2015.
Greene, Mark. “Touch Isolation: How Homophobia Has Robbed All Men of Touch.” 11 Nov. 2013. Web. 2 Feb. 2015.

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