Monday, December 08, 2008

Homophobia inherent in macho bullshit

Maybe it's because I've been writing alot about the issue of gay marriage over on the political blog (& elsewhere), but I was kinda struck by the nasty implications of an incident that happened yesterday at my job.

Due to illness (see below), I had to call in sick to work on Saturday. The kid who runs the place (22?, 23?) was busy, & I was feeling crappy, so the call was short & to the point. "I won't be in." "OK... Feel better."

Afterward, I realized I'd forgotten to let him know I had an appointment Wednesday, & couldn't be there then either, so I sent an e-mail to inform him. Because I had just called out sick & was now asking for MORE time, I titled the e-mail "That [repsac] has a lot of balls..." (We're a pretty informal company, & besides, we're closing soon anyway... Even if such a subject header is either in bad taste (yeah, I suppose it is) or a breech of the computer policy (perhaps not... They tend not to make/enforce too many rules), it's not likely they're gonna fire me for it, given the short time we have left...)

So yesterday, this kid asks me "What was up with that e-mail title? Are you friggin' gay, or something? I thought you were hittin' on me..."

I was quite taken aback, & couldn't at first figure out whether he was just too stupid to understand the phrase "a lot of balls," or just trying to puff up his own diminutive manhood, again. (He's about 5'3", & appears to have a raging case of Napoleon complex as a result of years of abuse about it. Far too many of his stories are testosterone-laden adventures involving women he's had, or men he's beaten, literally or figuratively.) After explaining the former (yes, he had heard the phrase before & knew what it meant, but seemingly chose to willfully misunderstand it anyway, for effect, I'd imagine), I pointed out that if the word "balls" made him think about gay men & being hit on, that spoke to where his mind was at, not mine...

It wasn't until later that I began to comprehend the homophobia inherent in what he'd said (& I confess, in my retort to him, as well...)

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