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There’s no kissing in football!

14 May

There is a gentleman by the name of Michael Sam who, evidently plays Football for a living. Good for him. Evidently there is some television show that airs teams choosing players they want the most, called the “draft”. Just a side note here, I distinctly remember the kickball draft in 4th grade. It sucked. Moving on…he was drafted to a professional Football team and kissed the man with whom he is in a romantic relationship.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/12/us/michael-sam-nfl-kiss-reaction/

You can find articles and blogs all over the internet discussing the impact of two men kissing one another on television. It has happened in film. It has happened on narrative and reality television and by golly, we even have former congress humans who have kissed their same-sex partner and ended up spurring movie ideas.

http://onpolitics.usatoday.com/2014/04/22/barney-frank-movie-tribeca-film-festival/

Why then, has this gentleman Sam, become the national upset for so many? Are Christians suddenly offended by this man who is participating in a violent game that perpetuates culture of “sin” on multiple fronts? Yes. I suppose they draw the line, not at heterosexual men using their fists and heads to bash in their female lovers’ faces, but by a seemingly upstanding man, kissing another man.

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/chad-johnson-other-nfl-players-domestic-violence-arrests-035300138–nfl.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/ravens-rice-drags-fiance-casino-elevator-article-1.1619650

I think it is an excuse by people who wave their flag of religion when it suits them, and not a moment earlier. I’ve heard men who scream obscenities like monsters at television sets with empty beer cans surrounding them, having not risen from the couch once in three hours, give their Christian opinion on a kiss. I’m calling bullshit. I’m planting my flag of “Not Blind or Stupid” in the ground here.

 

These men aren’t offended. The women aren’t offended. They are frightened. Not frightened in the Pat Robertson, armageddon is upon us, your children will be afflicted with the “gay” if they see this, frightened. They are frightened because now all the very obvious eroticism of Football and sports games in general might be questioned now that homosexual men are among the straights. We have been fed a line of crap for so long that we can no longer observe reality, but through the lens of patriarchal control. Who in their right mind would argue that the best way to recognize a heterosexual club is if the men shower together? Who would say the best way to recognize heterosexual men is how often they smack one another on the rear end during televised games? In saying this though, I realize many people will throw themselves into defense mode, and violently.

Men will explain their best years full of heterosexual heterosexualness were spent being heterosexual in common showers because it offered a “bonding” experience that could NEVER be achieved under any other circumstances. Ever. Men will say there is absolutely no connection whatsoever in any way, shape or form, between sports and homo-eroticism. At all. Except, figure skating. It’s normal to place growing boys in shared showers, because it is heterosexually beneficial to their bonding experience of growing up to be men. Sure thing.

Women will lose their cool, demanding I retract my ridiculous statements. After all, THEIR  husbands and THEIR sons value their bonding experiences with other naked men and boys. In a heterosexual way. Men working, playing, relaxing and showering together does not a homosexual make.

With none of which, I could disagree. Except…that I kind of do disagree. Our perspective is built around the Spartan view of masculinity and that being better than femininity in every way that is not sexually arousing feats by women for men’s pleasure. Within this reality, whatever systems are put in place for the alpha men, by the alpha men are essentially, correct. No questions asked. I do have a question, though. It’s an easy one too. Why? Why do we not just give boys a curtain between their nude bodies? If boys aren’t socialized to bond in other ways I think we need to reevaluate our system. I know not all boys are comfortable with this communal shower idea. It’s about being shy, or skinny, or owner of a testicle that hasn’t fallen. I would like boys to feel their privacy and bodies are respected by the adults who build their showers. I think, as a feminist this will ultimately benefit girls and women as well, for obvious reasons. Respect for bodily autonomy…get it?

I think also, after knowing many women who are locked inside the world of football, many are there because there is no other choice. The men in their lives breathe sports. They forget family birthdays and remember stats of men they’ve never known, who’ve never washed their shitty underwear as if these men were…boyfriends. The women drink with the men, wear the jerseys, scream the excitement. Yet, it’s never been meant for them. Women have sort of, pushed their way into a world where men have obviously tried to be alone with other men. Sure, it has evolved because double the fans at games means double the money for the team. Double the jerseys means double the money for merchandising. Plus, let’s face it…the women still cook and clean before and after the “game” but the truth is, many women involve themselves because that is how the weekend is going to be spent by their male partner, so you can either join him or be alone. The problem is, this reality, while plain as day to all of us watching from the outside…brings about violent defense from those inside the bubble.

We live in sports towns, go to sports colleges, lower education schools embrace sports like no other extracurricular activity. We see sports on television every single day of the year. We watch sports figures get away with all kinds of indiscretions. So why not the simple act of a kiss? Why are we so afraid of a little kiss? We understand the violent nature of the game can make these athletes act violently off the field…but oddly enough…a kiss makes us nervous.

So what on Earth does all of my blabbering have to do with Sam giving a kiss to his boyfriend? Simple. You, your son and your husband have showered together, roamed around naked in locker rooms together, smacked one another’s rear ends, hugged one another, even kissed after a “big win”. Not in a general “cool beans man” way. Instead, in a life altering, universe changing, deeply in love kind of way. Your football game has been filled with men claiming to be 100% heterosexual while doing things lovers tend to do. Only now, it’s going to be more difficult to separate which butt smack is straight and which butt smack is gay.

To err is human. To write is human too.

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