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The Term "Bromance"


shotinthehand
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I want to know what you folks think of the term "bromance." I have mixed feelings about it. I appreciate the word-play, but other than that, I feel negatively about it. The term is a reflection of how romantic relationships are the standard of emotionally intense relationships in our society, and the reason the term relies on gender appears to be heteronormative, that is, that two males can't be in a romantic relationship. 

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I've never thought about the heteronormative part before... I guess that's a way to see it...
Personally, I always thought of the "bro" part as gender neutral. To me it has more to do with the closeness of a brotherhood. As for the "romance" part, I just think that it emphasize the closeness of the two "bros" to equal the closeness in a romantic relationship in a different "bro(-ish)" way (just like a platonic relationship can be as strong as a romantic one).
But I get why this might be offensive

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I don't really like it. Whenever two male characters are very close platonically in media, it's always labelled as a bromance. As if two males can't possibly ever be that close together without some form of romance being involved. Why can't they just be really good friends?

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On June 6, 2016 at 8:47 PM, Dodgypotato said:

I don't really like it. Whenever two male characters are very close platonically in media, it's always labelled as a bromance. As if two males can't possibly ever be that close together without some form of romance being involved. Why can't they just be really good friends?

My understanding of the term bromance is that it is used to describe two males who are platonically very close, not romantically.

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17 minutes ago, shotinthehand said:

My understanding of the term bromance is that it is used to describe two male characters who are platonically very close, not romantically.

Indeed, however why even put the world 'romance' in it? It implies that any men that get close platonically is out of the norm, and deserves its own term.

 

You see women walking down the street together holding hands as friends. But if men do it? "Ooooh, they must be gay." It's stupid.

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2 hours ago, Dodgypotato said:

You see women walking down the street together holding hands as friends. But if men do it? "Ooooh, they must be gay." It's stupid.

 

It's an example of what could be called "everyday sexism"...

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I dislike the homophobia and sexism that stems from the word bromance (re: two guys can't be romantic, two guys can't be physically affectionate). I usually cringe when I see the word. 

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I don't really care for the word myself, but I don't worry too much about people using it. It is annoying how it implies a [Edit: innate] link between close relationships and romance, and it can get annoying when it leads to people fetishising male-male relationships, but I also can't be bothered to worry about how every other English speaker uses the language.

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15 hours ago, shotinthehand said:

Wait, how exactly is this sexist?

Because a lot of people believe that men are unable to be close friends to the point of showing physical affection for one another. If two men show physical affection for each other, they are often labeled as gay.

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2 hours ago, Dodgypotato said:

Because a lot of people believe that men are unable to be close friends to the point of showing physical affection for one another. If two men show physical affection for each other, they are often labeled as gay.

But the whole point of the word is to describe a physically affectionate platonic relationship between two guys. It exists because of sexism (and homophobia), but it isn't sexist in and of itself.

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6 hours ago, Zemaddog said:

But the whole point of the word is to describe a physically affectionate platonic relationship between two guys. It exists because of sexism (and homophobia), but it isn't sexist in and of itself.

Discrimination against men isn't sexism; it's misandry.

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25 minutes ago, Mark said:

The latter is a type of the former...

 

No, misandry is not a type of sexism. Sexism is discrimination against women, because sexism, like racism, is only possible with the combination of prejudice and power. Women do not have the power part to be sexist toward men.

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12 hours ago, Dodgypotato said:

Because a lot of people believe that men are unable to be close friends to the point of showing physical affection for one another. If two men show physical affection for each other, they are often labeled as gay.

I think it's because sapphic women are hypersexualized and our relationships with other women aren't seen as valid unless straight men find them sexy.

 

And because romantic relationships are usually prioritized over platonic relationships and it's more acceptable for men to prioritize one another than for women to do the same.

 

Also, I agree with @shotinthehand on sexism.

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12 minutes ago, morallygayro said:

I think it's because sapphic women are hypersexualized and our relationships with other women aren't seen as valid unless straight men find them sexy.

 

And because romantic relationships are usually prioritized over platonic relationships and it's more acceptable for men to prioritize one another than for women to do the same.

 

Also, I agree with @shotinthehand on sexism.

Thank you. That's an interesting point, about women in sexual and/or romantic relationships with women.

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45 minutes ago, morallygayro said:

I think it's because sapphic women are hypersexualized and our relationships with other women aren't seen as valid unless straight men find them sexy.

 

Nope, I don't think they see Sexy Lesbians tm as a valid romantic relationship. They find it objectifiable (is that a word?) as a masturbatory fantasy. Its all a show to them, they don't think these women are taken, just single and and teasing men. That's why they grope them on the dancefloor, harass them on dates, ask them if they could watch or if they want a threesome.

Surely, they don't do this crap to F/M or M/M pairs...

 

Quote

And because romantic relationships are usually prioritized over platonic relationships and it's more acceptable for men to prioritize one another than for women to do the same.

Exactly.

 

I think the term we are looking for here isn't sexism but toxic masculinity. The concept of bromance could be described as friendship+no homo tho. Friendship as intense as romance but, you know in case you did not know, We. Are. Not. Gay. Just you know. Bros being bros.

 

I guess Bromance is the inverse Gal Pals.

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11 hours ago, shotinthehand said:

No, misandry is not a type of sexism. Sexism is discrimination against women, because sexism, like racism, is only possible with the combination of prejudice and power. Women do not have the power part to be sexist toward men.

Yes it fucking is. Sexism is defined as discrimination based on physical sex. It doesn't matter what sex the victim is, if they are discriminated against because of their sex, that is sexism. Misandry is hating men because they are men. This is a form of discrimination, thus sexism. You remind me of those tumblr feminists who don't think that men can be discriminated against. Just because the majority of sexism is toward women, doesn't mean that all sexism is toward women. And with what @Cassiopeia said, toxic masculinity is sexism; it's just that is toward men by other men. Shock horror, you can be sexist towards your own sex.

 

Here's what I think of the term bromance: I think that this word is at least a step in the right direction. I realise that this stems from sexism and homophobia, but I think the idea that men can get into a physically affectionate relationship without being gay is good. There are plenty of straight guys who want to be physically affectionate, but can't due to fear of being labelled as gay. they will deny any inkling that they are gay. If we have a word that guys can use to show that, no they are not gay, then more guys would be more open about this kind of thing. Obviously, the best solution would be to completely get rid of homophobia. But let's face it, as far as gay rights have come in the past few decades, we still have a very long way to go.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Zemaddog said:

Yes it fucking is. Sexism is defined as discrimination based on physical sex. It doesn't matter what sex the victim is, if they are discriminated against because of their sex, that is sexism. Misandry is hating men because they are men. This is a form of discrimination, thus sexism. You remind me of those tumblr feminists who don't think that men can be discriminated against. Just because the majority of sexism is toward women, doesn't mean that all sexism is toward women. And with what @Cassiopeia said, toxic masculinity is sexism; it's just that is toward men by other men. Shock horror, you can be sexist towards your own sex.

 

Similarly "women" can be sexist towards "women". But there isn't a well known term equivalent to "toxic masculinity.


It seems a common naïve attitude to try and divide the entire population into a binary of "oppressed" and "oppressing". When in practice the actually oppressing group virtually always has some overlap with the "oppressed" and includes only a minority of the "unoppressed".


The group of misandrists turns out to be made up of both men and women. (No doubt including some who identify was MRAs). Ditto for misogynists, some of them will be women...

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Regardless of what term you coin it as, or your definition of it is, discrimination is still discrimination. There is no need or place for it. It doesn't matter what sex, gender, ethnicity, religion or otherwise, it's all the same.

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10 hours ago, Zemaddog said:

Yes it fucking is. Sexism is defined as discrimination based on physical sex. It doesn't matter what sex the victim is, if they are discriminated against because of their sex, that is sexism. Misandry is hating men because they are men. This is a form of discrimination, thus sexism. You remind me of those tumblr feminists who don't think that men can be discriminated against. Just because the majority of sexism is toward women, doesn't mean that all sexism is toward women. And with what @Cassiopeia said, toxic masculinity is sexism; it's just that is toward men by other men. Shock horror, you can be sexist towards your own sex.

 

Here's what I think of the term bromance: I think that this word is at least a step in the right direction. I realise that this stems from sexism and homophobia, but I think the idea that men can get into a physically affectionate relationship without being gay is good. There are plenty of straight guys who want to be physically affectionate, but can't due to fear of being labelled as gay. they will deny any inkling that they are gay. If we have a word that guys can use to show that, no they are not gay, then more guys would be more open about this kind of thing. Obviously, the best solution would be to completely get rid of homophobia. But let's face it, as far as gay rights have come in the past few decades, we still have a very long way to go.

 

 

Let's not devolve into cussing at each other and disrespecting each others' opinions. Sexism is NOT defined as discrimination based on sex. Sexism is defined as discrimination based on sex founded upon the combination of prejudice against a sex and power. If one is discriminated against because of nir sex, ne was not necessarily a victim of sexism. Ne was definitely a victim of misogyny, misandry, or intersexism (I'm not sure if the last one's a word--discrimination against intersex people). Men certainly can be discriminated against based on their sex, and yes, that is called misandry. The reason why misandry is not sexism is because men have traditionally held the power in the equation of sexism. All sexism is toward women, but not all discrimination based on sex is toward women. Toxic masculinity is not strictly sexism, but it intersects very much with sexism, as well as MOGAIphobia. One really cannot be sexist to one's own sex...unless you are referring to trans-men, but that sounds like a very nuanced point that I don't think we want to go into right now. Women can be misogynistic to women by holding prejudice against women, but not sexist, because they lack the power to be sexist. Men can be misandristic to men by holding prejudice against men, but not sexist, because men have not be oppressed in the same way women have based on sex.

 

I respect your opinion on the term bromance and I understand your viewpoint.

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10 minutes ago, shotinthehand said:

Let's not devolve into cussing at each other and disrespecting each others' opinions. Sexism is NOT defined as discrimination based on sex. Sexism is defined as discrimination based on sex founded upon the combination of prejudice against a sex and power. If one is discriminated against because of nir sex, ne was not necessarily a victim of sexism. Ne was definitely a victim of misogyny, misandry, or intersexism (I'm not sure if the last one's a word--discrimination against intersex people). Men certainly can be discriminated against based on their sex, and yes, that is called misandry. The reason why misandry is not sexism is because men have traditionally held the power in the equation of sexism. All sexism is toward women, but not all discrimination based on sex is toward women. Toxic masculinity is not strictly sexism, but it intersects very much with sexism, as well as MOGAIphobia. One really cannot be sexist to one's own sex...unless you are referring to trans-men, but that sounds like a very nuanced point that I don't think we want to go into right now. Women can be misogynistic to women by holding prejudice against women, but not sexist, because they lack the power to be sexist. Men can be misandristic to men by holding prejudice against men, but not sexist, because men have not be oppressed in the same way women have based on sex.

Sexism is discrimination based on sex? I don't know where this idea has come from that women can't be sexist, historically the demographic that has been the most likely to be against equality between the sexes has been other women, particularly older women. Misogyny and misandry refer to a hatred of women and men respectively. Women are the biggest victims of systematic sexism, and it can be even more so with trans women, but in a situational case systematic sexism might not be relevant.

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9 hours ago, Mark said:

 

Similarly "women" can be sexist towards "women". But there isn't a well known term equivalent to "toxic masculinity.


It seems a common naïve attitude to try and divide the entire population into a binary of "oppressed" and "oppressing". When in practice the actually oppressing group virtually always has some overlap with the "oppressed" and includes only a minority of the "unoppressed".


The group of misandrists turns out to be made up of both men and women. (No doubt including some who identify was MRAs). Ditto for misogynists, some of them will be women...

Why is "women" put in quotation marks?

I've already explained that women can't be sexist to women in my response to Zemaddog. I think Cassiopeia conveyed her point when she used the term "toxic masculinity." I think that we can agree that our culture creates a toxic standard for masculinity, that is, a standard that tries to tell people only straight cis-men are truly masculine. 

 

I agree that the world is not a simple binary of "oppressed" and "oppressing." However, the definition of sexism is discrimination against a sex based on prejudice against that sex and power over that sex. This is why only women are considered the victims of sexism.

 

I agree that there are men and women who are misandrists. I do not know what MRA stands for; will you please enlighten me?  I also agree that some misogynists are women.

7 minutes ago, RedNeko said:

Sexism is discrimination based on sex? I don't know where this idea has come from that women can't be sexist, historically the demographic that has been the most likely to be against equality between the sexes has been other women, particularly older women. Misogyny and misandry refer to a hatred of women and men respectively. Women are the biggest victims of systematic sexism, and it can be even more so with trans women, but in a situational case systematic sexism might not be relevant.

I just explained how sexism is defined. I've typed it a few too many times to want to type it again, so I'll just copy and paste from the post to which you were responding: Sexism is NOT defined as discrimination based on sex. Sexism is defined as discrimination based on sex founded upon the combination of prejudice against a sex and power. I know that many women have been against equality of the sexes and are misogynistic, but they cannot, by definition, be sexist. I agree with your other points.

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1 hour ago, RedNeko said:

Sexism is discrimination based on sex? I don't know where this idea has come from that women can't be sexist, historically the demographic that has been the most likely to be against equality between the sexes has been other women, particularly older women. Misogyny and misandry refer to a hatred of women and men respectively. Women are the biggest victims of systematic sexism, and it can be even more so with trans women, but in a situational case systematic sexism might not be relevant.

 

Very recently there was a report that half of misogynistic tweets are from women.
The idea that women can't be sexist (and, more generally, that no members of #oppressed_group can be part of the problem) comes from a combination of political dogma and wishful thinking.
This is also a way in which activists can easily shoot themselves in the foot. Especially in combination with another piece of dogma that EVERYONE not in #oppressed_group is responsible for every possible problem anyone in that group might encounter.

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