Is destroying things Manly? Is caring for our earth a sign of weakness?

Via elephant journal
on Aug 22, 2009
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hummers are gay

Hummers are “Gay.”

hummer envy

There’s nothing inherently manly about driving a Hummer, which consumes Middle Eastern oil and sends jobs out of the US…nor is it particularly tough to eat a restaurant-served or store-bought dead steak.

You want macho? Protect the earth!

An ironic contemplation of gender-biased, fundamentally-contradictory appelations.

Steaks aren’t manly. Vegans are hardcore. Tree-huggin’ hippies are tough—they’re fighting The Man. Gay is confident. Macho is insecure. Raw and open and vulnerable is brave—bigoted and prejudiced and closed is too easy.

It’s time for some new paradigms. It takes strength to nurture. It takes toughness to create. Destroying stuff is easy. If you’re insecure, the best thing you can do (and the most ineffective) is to overcompensate. Big car, small…

macho john waynevegan


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22 Responses to “Is destroying things Manly? Is caring for our earth a sign of weakness?”

  1. JayGaddis says:

    Once again I think there is mucho potential in this curious post. However, "Hummers are Gay." uses Gay folks as a way to belittle hummers as if "gay" is bad or weak or lame.

    I think you can do better bro.

    I realize the term "gay" is a pop culture term, but it perpetuates discrimination toward gay people, period. Even if gay people tell you otherwise. Talk to feminists and folks true to social justice thinking such as Robert Jensen.

  2. Broooo…once again there's intended irony in the title. There's nothing weak about being "gay." We've done posts on this before–how it's improper, mistaken to use "gay" as a synonym for "weak." Perhaps sarcasm isn't coming across on this Sunday morning. We've been passionate for years on the civil rights front re gay marriage, devoting articles, features, magazine cover, blogs to it. Without humor (which I think would be obvious, I was trying to go off play of Hummer as a double-entendre while making fun of both "Hummer" as name for planet-destroying cliche symbol for old paradigm macho masculinity, and making fun of use of "Gay" as synonym for weak, or dumb, or bad, or whatever.

    Yesterday I was at a big, mostly GLBTQ party with some of my dearest friends. Any of them coulda kicked my ass, intellectually, physically, or otherwise.

    Sorry for any confusion. Humor is a sword that cuts both ways, and must be sharp and precise.

  3. PS: Jayson, btw, please note I'd even linked word "Gay" in title to a post on ours with video talking about how using word "Gay" as synonym for dumb is passe.

  4. Tee says:

    How about, "Educated hippie shows Hummer advocate who's the better grammarian."

    An educated hippie 😉

  5. Andy says:

    I agree that the mainstream American concept of what is masculine is F'ing stupid. I know that the mass media is just successfully appealing to our inner ape, but I feel like the typical American male is missing out on a lot of stuff because he is too terrified of appearing "gay." Yoga being the perfect example. Hey I like eating wings and watching the NFL in HD too but there is more to life.

  6. You mean, "whose"?! I was wondering who was gonna point out that messed up Hummer ad headline.

  7. Yoga, ironically, is the toughest thing I've ever done, physically. Tougher than bball, climbing (which is purty tough), gym, cycling. Yoga kicks my ass.

  8. More from folks who read the headline on FB, but not the actual post. That's called skimming, and is not sufficient ground for making serious comments, folks.

    Samme S; Please do not use the word "gay" as a substitute for a word you want to use. I have seen your comments to somebody who said the same thing and I'd still say, please take it off. Please read again my first sentence.
    2 hours ago · Delete

    Coby L Yes, I agree with Samme, and honestly I am surprised that you used this phrase, Waylon. While you have a good point, I think there is a better way to say it with out propagating a pejorative stereotype.
    2 hours ago · Delete

    Brian A: While I'll admit it raised my eyebrows also.

    I think he's using the word satirically, not unconsciously. His intention isn't to perpetuate the pejorative misuse of the word. His intention is to expose the misuse of the word as another part of the epidemic of stupidity in our culture.

    You can understand (if not appreciate) his intent.
    24 minutes ago · Delete

    Samme S @ Brian, I understand but with respect, please read again the first sentence in my first comment. 🙂
    8 minutes ago · Delete

    Waylon Lewis: The word itself is linked to a video detailing that "gay" is not a proper synonym for "stupid," "dumb," etc.!!!

    You'd know that if you'd read the post carefully (you'll also note it's making fun of the name "Hummer" for a macho gas-eating car).

    elephant is making fun of the ignorant use of the word "gay," not condoning it. I'm with you all the way, Samme.

    Please read the post before making such serious comments, Samme. If you had, you'd have seen the link, and seen the context, which is making fun of ignorant, misplaced machismo.

  9. Samme S: Again I understand but your "not condoning it" by using it is condoning it. This is not for you to be all the way with me. I am not offended, I am advocating. Please see the discussion in my status or not that is okay, I have said my peace here.
    about an hour ago · Delete

    Samme S: Plain and simple, for whatever reasons please do not use the word "gay" as a substitute for a word you want to use.
    about an hour ago · Delete

    Samme S: You can use "Hummers are so elephant." LOL
    about an hour ago · Delete

    Waylon Lewis Coby, I'm surprised you'd make such a comment before reading the post. The reading you and Samme have is humorless. The post is sarcasticful, as you woulda gathered if you read more than the headline (which itself is a play on words) before making such serious-minded (and correct, if t'were not with a sense of humor) allegations 'gainst my progressive yet irreverent self. If our right-minded revolution doesn't include sarcasm, if it's all PC, then it's just another orthodoxy, and I don't want it.

  10. Samme SamaretaWaylon I read the whole thing and if you are reading my comments I even mentioned your "answer to the comments made in your link". My point is plain and simple again, with all due respect "Please do not use the word "gay" as a substitute for a word you want to use", for whatever reasons, I repeat, for whatever reasons.
    Yesterday at 5:54pm · Delete

    Leslie June MorganWaylon- sadly, most people do not read beyond the headline…I was shocked when i saw it too. Satire or not,the headline is offensive. I agree with Samme.
    Yesterday at 6:22pm · Delete

    Brian AdlerThe headline is not obviously satirical in and of itself. The more I think about it, I think it is reasonable to conclude that something needs to change.

    Waylon since you're not gay (I assume), perhaps it misses the mark for you to use the word in this way at all. There are certainly other words that refer to other groups where this is the case.

    Who are you to tell Samme he should not be humorless about this? It seems to me that you are getting feedback that the humor miscued regardless of whether it *should* have or not.
    Yesterday at 6:49pm · Delete

    Waylon LewisThat's like telling Stephen Colbert that, whatever his satirical intent, being a rightwing blowhard is offensive.

    I'm making fun of those who love Hummers (macho insecure men) by calling them something they don't like to be called—and, for the rest of us, linking that word to a video detailing how "gay" is not a euphemism for "uncool." Then, there's the (I thought) rather obvious double entendre of hummer. I have many gay friends, who I love, and would be psyched to be gay myself. I'm not. Whatever. If I showed this post at the party I was at Friday, they'd think it was pointed, sharp, witty. It's just that those of us commenting here, myself including, often mistake right view for PC. I'm not PC, and neither is elephant.
    2 seconds ago · Delete

    Waylon LewisIf this post engenders meaningful, introspective conversation and thought, in myself and others, then the title is far better than one that played it safe, and offended no one.

    Thanks, Leslie, for admitting that it's particularly offensive when all you do is read the Facebook headline, and comment on the Facebook post. You'll notice (if you read the comments on the actual article) that those who actually slowed down or cared enough to read the article before accusing me of being prejudiced have not had the same reaction as frequently as here on Facebook, where you haven't read it.
    2 seconds ago · Delete

    Waylon LewisSamme, humor is different. Stephen Colbert says things humorously that none of us would countenance if he meant it. He's making fun of those who would say it. There's a difference between "word" and "meaning of word"…just ask Naropa, the great Buddhist teacher who took things too literally, without getting into the sense behind the letter.

    But thanks for playing word police.

  11. leslie says:

    Great discussion here, Waylon. I know you are not prejudiced – I read you often, and I got the joke. It's just that too many others would not.
    I agree with all of it – the new paradigm, the entire article.
    I teach my children not to say that something is "gay" when they really mean something else. It only perpetuates the stereotype that that is something wrong with "gay." It is akin to repeating an ethnic joke. Funny or not, repeating the joke perpetuates a negative stereotype. I don't think that anyone expects PC from you, but your mindfulness is appreciated.

  12. […] hippie ways get me every time. I’m amazed at their commitment and also often amused at their delivery. It’s worth checking […]

  13. I agree, perpetuating a stereotype is bad. But using a stereotypical insult to insult the insulter (like calling a KKK a certain epithet for "black") in a clearly well-intentioned context is, I thought, more like Colbert than what's his name from All in the Family. That was the intention.

    Thanks for your comment.

  14. Sho them hoos thu bos! This reminds me of those "soshalism" and "youthinasia" signs from the teabaggers.

  15. Nick says:

    Seriously? Whose perpetuating myths about stereotypes with the Hummer-, non-vegan, "man"-bashing? Okay, starting with the corporate speak. Hummer vehicles are no less fuel efficient than Land Rovers, Toyota trucks and SUVs, Jeep Wranglers, Nissan (insert truck or suv name here), Ford F150, Dodge Rams, etc. However, Hummer sales account for less than .03 percent of global vehicle sales, compared to say, the F150, which is still today the number 1 selling vehicle in the US. So, it seems as the hatred/stereotype is a little misplaced.

    Part 2 to follow due to the sites comment length limit…

  16. Nick says:

    Now for reality-speak. I have a degree in biology w/ecology emphasis, hunt, fish, cook everynight for my wife and spend every waking hour with my three kids. My children can identify more wildlife species than most kids in their classes and understand the necessary balance between humans and the environment, and it is because I spend more time with them outside. And, I not only drive a Hummer, I drive them to get through terrain that most other vehicles could not. (BTW, the Ford trucks I drove when working with the Forest Service, Park Service and F&W Service when conducting field research provide worse fuel economy.)

    Part 3 to follow. Apparently only the admin can post more than 150 words at a time…

  17. Nick says:

    I realize that this is completely the wrong place for a Hummer discussion, and I will be publicly flogged for my comments, but I completely disagree with the stereotype. Most owners I've met and have spent time with out in the environment spend every possible opportunity to better the world around them, whether it is through OHV trail maintenance; by donating time and money to their community; or by simply taking their children out with them every weekend.

    Being a "man" has nothing to do with what you drive, or what you eat, but rather how you spend time with your family. Let the flogging begin in 5….4….3…2…1

    Nick Richards, HUMMER Communications Director

  18. But see, Nick, that's cool–you're using the Hummer, not as a fashion statement, but because you need it. Totally valid. Those who use it to drive around Boulder or wherever are just helping to fund those who fund terrorists…when they could be driving a more efficient, USA-made car…or riding a bike, etc.

  19. Great comments and context, Nick. Thanks for the info. Glad to hear Hummer drivers care about the earth.

  20. […] this year, real men (or women, it was just easier to use the male moniker because of the overplayed stereotype of what a “real man” is) should wear green to their Super Bowl parties.  Don’t worry about […]