Giggly Guys (was Re: SI Swimsuit issue: Holy Cow!)

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Fri Mar 19 20:33:48 PST 1999


>>No way, not in this context, when we're talking about that giggly pudeur
>>promoted by mass market magazines.
>well let's see here, i thought for sure you were comparing it to art. even
>so, why use the giggly, embarassed words of childhood. be grown up about
>it. aside from that, on another list, we determined that the stupid
>childish words are for when you're talking about it with other guys.
>'cock' is for when you're talking about doing something with it that you
>perceive as important & powerful. i read you two as disingenuously framing
>it as if it was a childish embarassment, when in fact you were objectifying
>women's bodies, pornographically, and not eroticizing them--all the while
>deriding your own bodies somehow just not fit for such 'giggly pudeur'

Guys go giggly to have his cake and eat it too, as you note. In other words, they giggle so they can enjoy sexism while trying to look like they are above it. A way of preempting feminist critiques by saying, "Hey, who can take this seriously? Certainly not you, a sex-positive post-feminist! Anyone who takes this seriously is just being uptight!" (Of course, the act doesn't convince anyone but themselves.) Giggles especially help leftist guys who have more reasons than other guys to be embarassed about the enjoyment of sexism.

Also, more generally speaking, jokes are about allaying anxieties. Guys joke about sex, porn, etc. to manage many kinds of anxieties: anxieties about gender, sexuality, race, class, knowledge, etc.

Nowadays, some guys go to a great length to look like "they have already dealt with IT" (whatever IT is). Quentin Tarantino has the Wolf (played by Harvey Keitel) say to Jimmy (played by Tarantino himself), who just expressed amazement at how Jules (played by Samuel Jackson) and Vincent (played by John Travolta) cleaned their car of splattered blood and brains: "Well, let's not start suckin' each other's dicks quite yet." Then he commands Jules and Vincent to strip. When they change into Jimmy's T-shirts, Jimmy laughs at them for looking like 'dorks,' while Jules counters by reminding Jimmy that the 'dorky' T-shirts belong to him. Jokes and laughter here provide comic relief to defuse the threat of homoeroticism inherent in men stripping in front of other men, while the Keitel character and Tarantino the director emerge from the scene looking like bigger men for having the 'balls' to raise the hint of the homoerotic at all. (This in a film whose plot is driven by homophobia and the making of straight manhood, though carefully wrapped in Irony so noone will accuse Tarantino of taking any of it seriously and thus being homophobic himself.)


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