Livin’ the Bro code
Bro code? It’s a relatively new term to me. One that I don’t think was around when I was younger, or perhaps I took no notice of it. Who knows? I’ve never really been one for these buzz words that come and go just as fast as my time at high school.
There were always these unrwitten rules for us guys; things you knew that were a boundary and you daren’t step over them for fear of looking like an utter dick to your inner circle of friends. Some of it was just decent human behaviour — like not flirting with your friend’s girlfriend or not talking nasty behind your best friend’s back.
As I write this I’m trying to think back, remembering a time where these rules were impregnated into our minds. They were the unspoken word and I can’t ever remember speaking about them outright with my friends. It has me wondering where the rules for decent behaviour for men and their circle of friends stemmed from. Could it have been TV? I recall countless instances on Hollyoaks where some dude has done the dirty on his mate (yeah, I was a big fan in my early twenties). Perhaps that’s it? I can’t remember.
To me, these rules are a good thing. It inhibits men, or a at least a lot of men, from being utter fuckheads, because let’s face it, when women are involved the game completely changes; we could all be having a quiet game of snooker until a few pretty ladies walk in and we all start to strut our stuff like peacocks. I’ve watched it unfold countless times.
What about intimacy though? There is zero in the Bro code, or these unwritten rules about male intimacy, just that you stay the hell away from it with each other. In my mind the perfectly balanced male is one that is awesomely in touch with his masculinity and equally his feminity. We have a lovely balance, us men, but we tend to shun it. I remember once upon a time when I tried to hug a male friend randomly on a night out because I liked him a lot. I spent the rest of the week protesting that I wasn’t homosexual, not that homosexuality is a bad thing, or even something to be ashamed of, only that it wasn’t me.
I’ve finally figured out why I love being around women so much. I figured it out the other day. Intimacy. Women are intimate with everyone they meet; not sexually, or relationship-wise of course, but they are way more intimate than men are. I miss intimacy with men. I would literally LOVE to sit down with some of my male friends and open up a bit more about my life, but I can’t, because it makes them feel uncomfortable. I’ve had to accept the status quo for now.
In male circles it often feels like a constant pissing contest, each trying to outperform the last until one is crowned the ultimate untouched dominator; it’s hard to compete when I really don’t believe in competition. I’m more of a progression by collaboration person. It’s why I like golf so much, I was never competing against anyone else, only myself, and I’d always cheer my friends on to do better than they previously were, even if at times, they are besting me.
Emotional intimacy is something men need to work on, and when I talk about that I don’t mean have a good cry, that’s usually the after effect of a heavy emotionally open conversation with someone else. It starts with just standing the hell up and saying, “shit, I’m a bit flawed,” it starts by opening up to your friend about the gigantic spot on your bum, and your friend not laughing but looking through google to see what it can be. It starts by hugging your mate because you feel a bit sad that your Mrs has gone out, again, and left you with the kids. It starts by acting the same way you would with your male friends as you would with your female ones. It starts by having a conversation.
I watched a YouTube video once from a die hard Feminist that dressed up as a man for a year and convinced all her new found friends that she was, in fact, a man. Once the test was over she had a lot to say. The most striking difference she noticed was that Men aren’t intimate with each other at all; she noted that as soon as she outed herself as a female (surprisingly no-one was mad) they began to be far more emotionally available to her, as in they were being more open and honest with her in those few moments than they had been with her (or him) in the entire year that she knew them.
I write a lot about having pent up emotions and not having anyone to talk to but this is by far one of the worst problems men have today. Fathers have passed onto Sons the stiff upper lip mentality where it is better to go down in a fiery ball of bravery than show a hint of, or any weakness, and that is a flawed mentality my friends and for one reason.
We all have our weaknesses.
Take me for example, I have my unorganisation, my obsessions, my addictions, my love for all things internet and a ton of other unhealthy weaknesses to my name. I’m not perfect and for as long as I live there will always be some issue, or problem that I’m trying to work through — but I’ll damn well talk about it. I’ll talk about it to my friends and family, and perhaps even to you, my audience. I won’t keep it in and let it fester in hopes that god forbid someone witnesses any weakness from me.
Yes, my friends, I am flawed and proud of it. I’m no pinnacle of perfection.
When people say talking helps they really mean it.
I’d absolutely love to start a trend somewhere. One where men stand up and talk; unjudged about some things they are afraid to talk about. Maybe let’s see a few in the comments. When it’s out there it never seems as bad as it was before.