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.