Rumble, not rumba, in jungle

2011-03-18 09:25

My light-skinned friend with wavy hair and a pet rottweiler had a stint at ballroom ­dancing when we were kids. But go easy: you remind him of this at your peril. The guy has ­developed a penchant for fisticuffs and hard living, you see.

His days of tight, shiny pants and silky shirts are long gone. And he’s quick with his tongue too, saying to those who’d dare talk about it: “My left hook will be just as memorable.” Unless there are girls around and he thinks dancing will score him some sensitivity points.

But apparently there are girls who like their men macho and rough, so there’ll be no ballroom reminiscing around these types. A man’s got to play tough!

My friend’s behaviour got me thinking recently that ours is a world run on the cult of ­machismo.

This is a tough guy’s world and in a culture obsessed with “keeping it real”, it shouldn’t be surprising that our boys grow up into ­chauvinist homophobes.

The truth is that I actually think society secretly hopes we turn out that way.

No father – or mother – wants a sissy for a son. So we learn to play-fight for pleasure, as girls are taught to keep to their dolls.

I recently observed a mother caution her young son against ­playing with girls. She said: “You won’t grow into a clever man if you keep playing with girls.”

Is this perhaps where, as boys, we first learn misogyny? Is it fair to suggest that here lay the roots of violence against lesbian women who fall victim to “corrective rape”?

After all, the logic given for such assaults is that these women are disobeying some gender code and must be put back into the realm of dolls.

In my neighbourhood, if you came home crying after receiving a good thrashing from a tougher counterpart on the streets, you were likely to be sent back packing by a father who’d demand that you go and regain your ­honour.

And what could you do? You made a plan using sticks and stones if you thought they were necessary to help you win, and you’d be celebrated for it.

The motivation was simple: ­People like a man who can fight. Think of our beloved boxing or martial arts heroes.

It’s in our language, too, where phrases like “be a man” or its edgy alternative “grow some balls”, are thrown at the first sign of ­“malleability” in male behaviour.

So, I think it’s time we came off our PC pretensions. Ours is a ­society that actually celebrates homophobes, and we cherish a chauvinist brand of masculinity.

That’s our style. Otherwise, why would my friend be embarrassed to admit that while we got into boxing and karate, he chose the cha-cha? ­Rumba in the jungle doesn’t sell as hard as rumble in the jungle.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.