Women, ‘Toxic Masculinity,’ and Gay Bars

Welcome. And feel free to not be groped against your will.

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Centuries before #MeToo, Pietro da Cartona depicted “toxic masculinity” in “The Rape of the Sabine Women”

New guy, new dynamic

Our party of five gained another member when a good-looking guy who’d later introduce himself as Liam crashed it and zoomed in on one of the women in our group, clearly unaware she wasn’t single. He made perfunctory small talk with the rest of us, but it was obvious where his interests lay. Soon she had his undivided attention. For Liam, everyone else at the large table ceased to exist.

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Boys, boys, boys — and a few scattered girls (Photo: flickr/David Shankbone)

I can relate… sort of

Her words immediately made me think of my own experiences as a gay black man in gay scenes dominated by white men. Guys sometimes hit on me in the most aggressive and racially charged ways, and if I don’t respond positively, they sometimes angrily hurl the N-word and other racially charged insults at me.

Too blind to see it?

I felt like I’d just woken up from a 20-year coma. How did I not know this? How could I have missed it? I knew women couldn’t avoid tacky men, but I wasn’t aware of how regularly they had to fend them off, sometimes in the most strategic ways. I had no idea how confronting and exhausting alcohol-fueled social situations could be for women.

Written by

Brother Son Husband Friend Loner Minimalist World Traveler. Author of “Is It True What They Say About Black Men?” and “Storms in Africa” https://rb.gy/3mthoj

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