The Socialization of Boys into Masculinity and Heterosexuality

Boyhood for me was an endlessly masculinity boot camp. All my friends were probably not really machos, but as a boy, the whole thing was to be a man, to act like a man, to not act like a woman or a girl and especially not to be a faggot. So I was hardened up this way all through the toughening up process that frankly is what boyhood is all about.

Boyhood is not about being a pussy. If you’re a pussy in boyhood, you get your ass kicked. I figured that out real quick. So in boyhood, you have two choices. You are going to be a reject or a pussy who gets beat up or else you will avoid, that and in that case you will probably become one of the tormentors and bullies, picking on younger boys and the “neighborhood rejects” and of course the pussyboys. It’s not kill or be killed, but it’s hit or be hit, and it’s definitely bully or be bullied. Take your pick. You want to take it, or you want to dish it out? And no sitting on the sidelines, sorry. You need to pick one role or the other, or we will pick a role for you and you might not like that very much.

There was this one boy who later became my best friend who was a very sensitive boy. In the 5th grade, he was always bursting into tears. For some reason, we hated that. Every time we saw him crying, we would all get very angry, and the other boys would all yell, “Look! He’s crying again! Beat him up!” So we would all rush over there and beat his ass just because he was crying. Because you know, boys don’t cry. We also called him a fag because, you know, if you are boy who cries all the time, you are a faggot who needs to get his ass kicked, right?

So that message of boys don’t cry gets taught to you one way or another as a boy, and if you’re not paying attention to the lesson or catching on, the other boys are going to start berating you and even hitting you until you figure out that boys don’t cry. People wonder why men don’t cry. WE had the tears beaten out of as boys, that’s why.

We had absolutely no idea why he was doing that except that he was this very sensitive sort of pussyboy type boy. We had no idea why it made us so mad. We had no idea why we were beating him up. We had no idea why it was so much fun to kick his ass. Boys do things for very important reasons, but they usually have no idea what logic is behind their feelings and actions.

This all seems odd to me now, but boys don’t really think of the consequences of the mean stuff that they do. I am told that I used to torment and beat up someone I grew up with, and this person is not too happy about that. He wanted me to apologize and while, sure, I will apologize, I have to admit that at the time I saw absolutely nothing wrong with provoking him into hitting us so we could kick his ass.

I mean after all, he was smaller and younger, and you are supposed to beat up people who are weaker than you, right? Also he was very easy to provoke. Boys don’t seem to have much of a conscience. The whole time I was doing all this bad stuff, beating up other boys, bullying them, etc., I never for one second thought I was doing anything wrong. And I was not even much of a bully. I was probably less of a bully than most of the boys I grew up with.

There was this mean kid on crutches who everyone picked on. His name was Dickie. His older brother tormented him mercilessly, and even his own Mom ridiculed him horribly. He had some sort of genetic condition that made him a cripple, but boy could he run fast on those damn crutches. Well, we tormented this guy because he was mean. If he would have just laughed this stuff off, we might have made friends with him. He got beat up for being an oversensitive wuss.

We called him “Dogdoo Dickie,” which for some reason was hilarious. We would torment him, and then he would take off after us with those crutches of his using them like an accelerator to speed himself up. He would chase us all over Hell and high water, and we would just laugh and run away from him. We always had lots of rocks, dirt clods and berries, and we would just cream him with these objects as we ran away from him. We would run away and throw rocks and berries at him really hard! It was a blast!

The more we and his family tormented him, the meaner he got, so it was a vicious circle. We thought we were 100% morally correct in what we were doing. I hope he turned out ok, but I always worry he turned into a serial killer.

We used to play this game called “Kill the Man on the Hoppityhop.” It was also called “Smear the Queer.” There was this thing called a hoppityhop which was a great big blue ball with a handle on it that you could ride by bouncing it along. One guy would get on the hoppityhop and try to ride it for a while, and all the other guys would waste him and try to beat him up and throw him off the hoppityhop.

I actually think the main object was to throw him off the ball, but he usually got wasted in the process. The hoppityhop guy would try to get away. It was actually great fun. But the other name for it was “Smear the Queer.” The guy on the hoppityhop was automatically designated the “queer,” so of course everyone had to waste the queer because…because he was a queer, right?

I would like to apologize to my gay male readers for this, but this is all part of the socialization process of heterosexual boys. I don’t know if this process makes us straight or if we start out that way, but this is how it goes. Boys who are designated “queers” or “fags” either as a game role or due to sissy behavior as with the crying boy above are objects to attack verbally and physically. If it’s a fag or a queer, you yell at it and maybe you hit it if it is being too overtly and obnoxiously pussy.

There were two other boys, identical twins called the Hunts. These twins were both very effeminate. I have no idea what happened to them, if they turned out gay or what. They were also very intelligent, and I later become friends with one of them, D., in high school. He was still faggy as Hell in the 9th grade, but by that time, I didn’t care. We yelled at them and tormented them and called them faggots. We also called them the “Cunts” instead of the “Hunts.” Clever, huh? They were the “Cunt Brothers.” They ignored us and didn’t rise to the bait, so we never beat them up, but if they would have bit the bait and tried to attack us, we would have delightfully wasted them.

So when the boy gets on the hoppityhop, he’s the designated “Queer,” and now he’s Enemy #1. So our Number One Enemy was this thing called the “Queer.” If you want to know where straight guys get their homophobia and revulsion towards homosexuality, it all goes back to boyhood. The #1 enemy of all boys is this thing called the “queer” or the “fag,” and he needs teased or even get hit or get his ass kicked if he gets too out of line.

So Smear the Queer is a symbolic game in that it socializes boys into being straight and also probably masculine at the same time because the “Queer” object is hated not just because it’s gay but also, let’s  face it because it’s pussy, sissy, effeminate or not masculine. Or instead of turning boys straight maybe it solidifies boys who are already headed that way.

The boy designated “Queer” on the hoppityhop is of course just playing a role. He’s a stand-in for the hated concept of the homosexual or homosexuality. Nobody thinks he’s really gay. He’s just an actor in a play so to speak. All boys delight in taking turns being the Queer on the hoppityhop, and they all get wasted when they are all on the ball.T here’s no shame in playing the Queer role because you are playing the role of the Queer object that gets wasted, so you are part of the theatrical process, and you are playing a homophobic role yourself even as the Queer. When playing the Queer, you are not saying “I’m gay!” You are saying, “here I am, playing the role of a faggot, now everyone come kick my ass please!”  Get it?

But you can see the hatred of gays and gay behavior that gets hammered into your head with a sledgehammer as a straight boy. People always wonder where homophobia and gay-bashing comes from, and I hate to say it, but it may well stem from the natural masculinization process that straight boys go through that take a frail and tearful boy and run him through years of torture and torment in hopes of turning out a hardened man at the end.

I don’t know what to say to gay men about this, but gay boys or incipient gay boys probably ought to keep their sissiness discreet. That means no bursting into tears all the time like a wuss. And if they are sissies, which most of them are, they need to toughen up and not rise to the bait when catcalled. Boys who are getting teased usually get beat up not because of the teasing but because of the reaction to the teasing. As with the Cunt Brothers, if you don’t rise to the bait, usually nothing happens. And incipient gay boys might want to learn how to fight.

I wish I could say more on this, but I am afraid that any effort to make boys PC is not going to work. I also think that unfortunately the inculcating of hatred for homosexuality is useful in the process of forging a boy into a man. It helps turn him into a good, solid, more or less masculine straight man, which in my opinion is a good thing to be. I realize that some gay or sissy boys get hurt in the process, but the process still seems essential somehow. I am sorry for gay and sissy boys who get beat up as boys. I’ve been beat up myself quite a few times, and it’s not pleasant. I wish I had more to say on this, but I am at a loss for words.

20 Comments

Filed under Gender Studies, Heterosexuality, Homosexuality, Man World, Psychology, Sex

20 responses to “The Socialization of Boys into Masculinity and Heterosexuality

  1. Pingback: The Purpose of Macho Behavior: Macho as Masculine Code | Beyond Highbrow - Robert Lindsay

  2. Ultra Cool

    Sad but true, I don’t think there is anything good about the typical socialization of boys because it breeds homophobia, contempt for feelings and it glorifies agressive antisocial behavior.

    I think boys who are not very masculine, be they straight or gay, should be always kept separate from typical boys in school and play, because otherwise they are always abused socially, verbally, emotionally and physically.

    • Jason Y

      Music seems to be a good outlet for senstiivity and doesn’t get as much hate from peers. All sorts of senstive guitar players exist, get a lot of girls, and nobody accuses them of being a pussy.

  3. Jason Y

    I don’t agree much with what said. There were some white guys like that when I was in seventh grade, throwing pencils, spitwads, calling people names. The only way to deal with them is for the school to harshly punish them. Of course, if white guys were like that, imagine what black or latino boys would have been like (actually the girls are also like that to other girls and to teachers to some extent).

    What I don’t get is people bitch about ghetto blacks, demanding segregation, criticizing them for hyper-masculine behavior, then do a 360 and praise such behavior among white people, saying it makes boys tough. Really? Well, isn’t that the point of the behavior in other races also?.

    • I don’t agree much with what said. There were some white guys like that when I was in seventh grade, throwing pencils, spitwads, calling people names. The only way to deal with them is for the school to harshly punish them.

      You think that only SOME boys are like that? LOL. ALL boys act like this. If you were a boy and you did not go through this crap, I wonder what was wrong with you. If you didn’t go through this, then you were on the other end right? Boyhood is bully or be bullied! Take your pick! No fence-sitting, you need to choose sides. We weren’t even bad, and we weren’t even all that tough. Most of my friends were not macho boys at all, and we were not macho adults either. Not really anyway. We were just NORMAL.

      The bad boys you refer to where the boys who stood out from the crowd and were the worst bullies of all. Of course we had some of those, and some of them bullied me pretty badly. But it was more or less normal to get tormented by those assholes. Lots of people did. What was not acceptable was to be one of the designated victims who got nailed by everyone. Not ok!

      As I said, we were not even bad. That behavior in boys isn’t even bad. It’s NORMAL. Compared to us, the bad boys you refer to were flat out EVIL. They were basically scum and a lot of them were sort of petty criminals and juvenile delinquents.

      What I don’t get is people bitch about ghetto blacks, demanding segregation, criticizing them for hyper-masculine behavior, then do a 360 and praise such behavior among white people, saying it makes boys tough. Really? Well, isn’t that the point of the behavior in other races also?.

      Because it’s so much worse! Sure, White boys act bad, but all boys do. If you didn’t act, what’s wrong with you? Are you ok?

      Compared to the way White boys act, Black boys are FLAT OUT STONE FUCKING EVIL, ok? And ALL of the White boys get viciously tormented by the Blacks, all of them, 100%. It doesn’t toughen them up or make men out of them or anything as far as I can tell. Socializing with other White boys does that well enough. Getting bullied doesn’t make you tough. What makes you tough is making through boyhood by being tough enough or masculine enough that you don’t get bullied in the first place, see? And bullying sort of toughens up boys too because the objects of their contempt are idiots or assholes or hypersensitive wusses or boys who cry all the time or even effeminate boys.

      I realize I have gay readers and that bullying effeminate boys is not good for the boys getting hit by it, but it is beneficial in a sense because it hammers into your head that effeminate and faggoty behavior is absolutely not ok at all and you are never to act that way for any reason ever. It helps so that when boys grow up into straight men, they do not act effeminate because straight men should not act that way. It also keeps straight boys from straying off the straight path into experimental or opportunistic homosexuality, which is extremely common behavior in young straight men.

      • Jason Y

        Yeah but being effeminate is nobody’s business. People don’t go to school to be social. They go to learn something. If that means we have to lynch 50 bad boys, regardless of race, then we should do it.

        Nah, just kidding. 😆

        Well, in my situation, I was going to the library class all the time and these motherfuckers kept throwing paper-wads at me. So I finally I attacked one the library class. But then they went into hyper-drive. More people started hating me, as if the whole school was on me.

        This stuff didn’t really stop until about my junior year in high school though it became less during my freshman year after I strated taking karate classes and got a little better at all male socialization with some welding classes etc..

        • Jason Y

          Again black boys are just being boys, but these pussy ass WNs seem to think that being a boy isn’t normal for black boys, that they’re supposed to be girls. Only white boys can be boys, and of course, that means bullying weak boys etc…

        • Jason Y

          They’re kind of like a hive of bees. The white bullies or any for that matter bother you at first, then you throw a rock at the hive and they all come after you.

        • Jason Y

          WNs have a real complex with blacks, because they were bullied by them, and they can’t take it. But I was also bullied, but only by redneck cracker whites. But I don’t think there really is a difference, both are vicous, and they also resort to tribalism, so if you make one mad, your labeled a faggot and then everybody picks on you in the whole school, or at least it seems that way.

        • Another William Playfair Web

          “WN’s have a real complex with blacks because they were bullied by them, and they can’t take it. I was also bullied, but only by redneck cracker whites. But I don’t think there really is a difference, both are viscous, and they also resort to tribalism, so if you make one mad, your labeled a faggot and then everybody picks on you in the whole school, or at least it seems that way.”

          I was harassed but never really bullied by both White and Black (well there was one Mexican kid who thought he was Black) kids.

          Yes, I do believe that problems come from White kids as well, and the “4th class” behavior of (mainly Anglos) is pretty bad/animalistic, it’s basically like Ghetto Blacks on nearly all levels (excluding, as EPGAH correctly has stated, the outright gruesome violence – Ghetto Blacks have that, trailer trash doesn’t).

      • Jason Y

        And bullying sort of toughens up boys too because the objects of their contempt are idiots or assholes or hypersensitive wusses or boys who cry all the time or even effeminate boys.

        Are they? Being an asshole might justify bullying, but it’s kind of like two wrongs dont make a right. So they’re being assholes to punish an asshole.

      • Jason Y

        Sometimes this bullying is done to push conformity on people when it’s ridiculous. For instance, bullying mixed raced people or the handicapped etc..

      • Another William Playfair Web

        what if you are physically intimidating (I weighed 80 pound in Kintergarden- and I was at a height for that to be healthy…3’11”)?
        There’s no need to act like that then.

        • Jason Y

          Possibly working out some at that age would have made a difference, but I lived way out in the country and being a kid there was no car. I didn’t know much about working out back then as my, well, my dad just didn’t bother to teach me about anything.

    • Another William Playfair Web

      Jason- I empathize, with that.
      It’s certainly an interesting character study that you seem to hate Whites for the same reasons a lot of people (at least youth now adays) hate Blacks.
      Phil although he says he doesn’t have a problem with Blacks, seems to think he has more “Caucasian” friends,
      so in many ways you are similar in that you were rejected by certain branches of your respective races.
      I am in the unique position as an Ethnic Minority, but a White one, to see both sides.

  4. Jason Y

    What people don’t get though is the girls are as much assholes as the guys are. Pretty much all youth are brutal. If you get on their bad side they crucify you.

  5. Jason Y

    I wish I could laugh off the comments about me going to South Korea by some local boys, but I am a wuss and I cannot. If I got close to those kids again, I would kick thier ass, and then I’d get child abuse charges. All the papers would make it seem like I’m a monster, even though the reality is they are.

    • Jason Y

      Note if I was thier age I could beat them up or kill them and it wouldn’t be a big deal. The problem lies in that I’m an adult.

  6. Jason Y

    You could probably also say racism stems from gay bashing, as being anti-racist is generally anti-macho, so in real redneck places, or in the black or latino ghetto, boys are trying to prove how tough they are by being as racist as possible, or at least refusing to condemn racism.

  7. guy from Montréal

    Smear the queer is hilarious! Great article Robert, all the same stuff from my childhood, I knew a couple of real wussy kids at my grade school who I used to pick on, one of them was so unbelievably wussy & pussy that I just had this uncontrollable urge to torment him the the very first moment I had met him when I was either 7 or 8, thing is I was never a bully but I enjoyed getting on that poor kid’s case, I feel really bad about it now but back then it seemed so natural for most kids to act horribly to other kids. Wether we like it or not there may just be a social/biological purpose to this, it is childhood that will forge an adult for life, make or break I guess.

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