So I’m flipping through Cosmo, per usual, and I chance upon this gem: “Are you turning your boyfriend into a girly man?” by Molly Treffin. Intrigued, I read on – and discovered how women are accidentally turning their lovers into queers, and what they can do to reverse this insidious homosexualization.
Treffin starts by pointing to a worrying trend of women treating men like lovers and friends: “A growing number of women are behaving as though their guy is one of their girlfriends, and more men are agreeing to partake in traditionally feminine activities,” says Christopher Bazina, PhD, whose only claim to fame seems to be his book The Secret Lives of Men.
Acting like your boyfriend is a gurlfriend initiates him in feminine activities and interests like watching The Hills, using skin-care products, and emotional intimacy. According to a study cited by Cosmo that I couldn’t find on the Internet, people with friendship-like romantic relationships are unhappier than those in more traditional unions. Thus, friendship with your fuck-buddy is a doubly dangerous phenomenon: not only do they make you unhappy, but they also “chick-ify” men. The consequence? Your man’s “testosterone level nose-dives.” (No studies cited, of course.)
Cosmo’s solution is elegant. Don’t share your interests with your boyfriend; don’t be emotionally intimate with him; increase distance in order to magnify your “mystique” – men love mystery. Bottom line: don’t get close to men.
If you do, it’s at your own peril. “Sure, some guys will appreciate going shopping with a girlfriend who will help [them] pick out nice clothes and legitimately enjoy listening to your Cat Power album in the car,” the article states. But these men are homosexuals.
So watch out – you might want to invite your boy to body-pump class or eat vegetarian food with him, but if you do, you’ll soon find him singing along to Lady Gaga and exchanging blowjobs with his bros. One too many girltalks and your man’ll be an invert.
This is pretty bad advice to start with. But when you notice that the science here seems pretty weak – according to what statistics are women treating men like girlfriends? By what mechanism does testosterone decrease when men perform “feminine activities? – the real problem here becomes clear.
Maybe it’s nitpicky to quibble with Cosmo over statistics, but an advice magazine that cloaks itself in the power of science is pretty dangerous. How many women will read this and fear that their boyfriends are secretly gay? How many will fear they’ve contaminated their men with homosexual pollution? How many will disengage and cause irreparable harm to their relationships in order to keep their men testosterone-fueled and phallocratic?
But whatever, I guess. It’s just a magazine, right?
My fun fearless miseducation, 4/1/10
CUP: The changing nature of gay, 3/6/10
I love you, man, 10/6/08