It was that great poet laureate from Brooklyn, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, who once poetically avowed in the song, “Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)” that, Males shouldn’t be jealous that’s a female trait.
For some reason, it is an accepted belief that women, and women alone, succumb to the enticement of the green-eyed monster. If you ask most folks, be it woman or man, they will probably confirm that in general, women tend to be more catty and jealous than men and are more likely to act out of malice towards other women because of our envy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this sentiment casually roll off the tongue as if it were fact, and how many times, in turn, I have rolled my eyes as a response. I’m always amazed at how many people are willing to believe that women are the only gender capable of acting out badly based upon their inability to check their emotions.
Well I am here to tell you that unless he has been diagnosed with some sort of anti-social personality disorder, you can bet that men do indeed have emotions. I know, shocker right? Well let me blow your mind even further: that envy, which men might feel over an individual, can too be directed at other men. I’ll give you a second to process that point…
…got it together now? Okay good.
Show me a guy that is extremely gorgeous and happens to attract lots of attention from the opposite gender, and I’ll show you at least a dozen guys ready to pounce on him like Nino Brown did to the poor beautiful delicate flower Kareem Akbar in New Jack City (we know that was because he was light-skinned and pretty, right?). You might think I’m exaggerating, but if you want to witness true shade in action, pay close attention to how some men will speak of other men, whom they find threatening in some way. Men might not be as direct as women and attack a man over his physical appearance (i.e. shoes, body type, hair, etc…), but he will execute a well-aimed yet subtle hint about this man’s sexual preference and sit back as all his personal insecurities, fears and anxiety are transferred onto the back of the poor unsuspected schmuck.
Like for instance, I posted a promotional picture of the Kenyan Rugby “futbol” squad on my Facebook page. All the players in the picture were shirtless and were either in a pair of shorts or had a towel wrapped around the waist. And while all the men looked different, what was noticeable was how deliciously fit and toned their bodies were. I posted the picture a few months back so I can’t remember exactly how I captioned it (and I’m too lazy to search my timeline for the answer), however, I do recall writing something tongue and cheek and suggestive about orchestrating a real single ladies tour back to the Motherland (In my Beyoncé voice, singing, “If you like me than you should have put that thing on me…”). Anyway, the picture got lots of attention from the ladies in my network, who “liked,” shared and co-signed their newfound appreciation for international rugby. And the hens must have been having way too much fun because in the midst of us cackling about this fictitious voyage we were mentally embarking on, a male Facebook friend of mine decided he needed to offer his thoughts on why we were wasting our lustful time:
“I’m pretty sure that at least two of the guys in the picture are sweet.”
“Sweet” as in lacking in masculinity and/or bravery. Also used to describe a man with homosexual tendencies. And with that, all the chuckling and virtual hi-fiving had come to a screeching and uncomfortable halt. How my male Facebook friend was able to gauge individual sexuality just from looking at a single picture of men standing around pretty innocuous – with the exception of their missing shirts – is beyond my scope of understanding how “gaydar” actually works. Nevertheless, my Facebook friend was certain of this fact enough and felt compelled to cue us ladies in – just in case we were thinking of getting a little too carried away in our mid-day fantasies.
Although my Facebook friend may have felt that he was just poking fun at these brothers (and indirectly at us women), what I found very telling (and annoying), was how he felt that just putting out questions about these brothers’ sexuality would be enough to add insult in hopes of detracting away from the attention they were receiving because of their physical beauty. Nope. Sorry. For one, it’s a damn picture. I don’t even know any of these guys’ names, what positions they play or even how the hell rugby is played (I’m guessing there is a ball involved somewhere…). So why would I give two craps if these guys in this picture are gay or not? Matter of fact, when did being gay and being aesthetically pleasing to the eyes become mutually exclusive?
Anyway, this is what I told him in the comment section below the picture. And of course, this sparked an unnecessary debate in which he accused me of being sensitive and angry. But I swear I wasn’t angry, although I will admit to being a bit annoyed. I know how it goes when men want to make another guy look bad in front of the opposite sex. After all, jealousy and envy are emotions that both genders share. However, just as more women are becoming more conscious about how hurtful and counterproductive body-snarking is among women, I wish that more men would too stop the hate and understand that your insecurities and anxieties are no reason to be borderline homophobic.