Ben Kawaller desperately wanted to be liked by guys seeking “masc” men on Grindr. So he changed his appearance to better cater to their desires.
“Well, I did it: I’m masc now,” Kawaller writes, triumphantly, in a new think-piece. “The men who once ignored me now treat me like a queen.”
How did he do it?
It all started last Halloween, when he dressed up as a Mets player. After seeing a picture of himself wearing a backwards baseball hat, he realized “throw a baseball cap on this thirsty theater queen and voila: She’s masc!”
Since then, Kawaller says he’s been wearing a backwards baseball hat nearly every day. He says it lends him “an air of heterosexuality” and provides him with “an acute awareness of my patriarchal privilege.”
While many LGBTQ people are working hard to combat things like straight white male privilege, Kawaller, it seems, would rather embrace it… At least, until he gets his rocks off.
When I’m in a baseball cap my aura is less “Please, God, someone love me” and more “I’m a guy and I like guy things, like the people who play on the sports team on my head.” It’s not important that in reality I have as much allegiance to the Mets as I do to, say, Rite Aid; what’s important is that when you look at me, you see a man. It’s a fantastic illusion.
We can’t help but think back to an op-ed published last summer by the Washington Post. Writer Jack Rushall argued that modern gay men have become obsessed with projecting a false image of heterosexuality.
“For a lot of modern gay men, a big part of being gay is still seeming straight,” Rushall opined. “It’s likely that we entertain this demeanor in the hopes of attracting it, as if we’re part-time actors waiting for our big break: meeting a masculine dude who will accept our effeminate properties.”
Kawaller implies that, for him, wearing the hat has done just that. All those guys looking for “masc” men suddenly want to hookup with him.
Many of the people explicitly seeking “masc” partners are really just looking for a little role-play — more specifically, a chance to enact the fantasy of landing one of the normal, sporty boys from our formative years. If you can only look the part, that can be enough to get your foot in the door.
Of course, this begs the question: Is that really a door you want to step through?
Kawaller concludes by writing:
The way I see it, if the prizing of “masc” men is enough to make you feel unworthy — as it has surely made me feel unworthy — the solution may very well be to take a cue from Grease: Make yourself appear to be the thing they think they want, and do your very best impression of the man you might have been. You’ll still be the man you always were.
Will you really, though?
h/t: The Advocate
This dude could don a hundred backward ball caps, but rest assured that air of self-bestowed “masculinity” will evaporate the moment he opens his mouth and a bouquet of flowers comes springing out.
Lol agreed. But it’s actually quite amusing to see guys like Ben truly feeling like they’re pulling it off while everyone around them is thinking “No. Just No.”
I wonder why so many fem guys stay so focused on the masc bros (particularly masc Grindr bros). Why not just date another fem that gets and appreciates all their faaaaaabuloussssth femness? It’s like they hate “bros”…but very much need to be liked by them as well. Very unhealthy. Lots of rejection junkies in this community.
I am not convinced that you are right. I have literally only ever met ONE “masc4masc” who actually sounded “masc” when he spoke and wasn’t a hungry bottom boy* Even then he was a submissive thing who wanted to be completely and utterly dominated by yours truly.
*Being a hungry bottom boy is not a bad thing, in fact it can be quite a delightful thing to come across. And cum across. 😀
The fact that you see that as a bad thing just confirms your status as an anti-lgbt troll screename.
Funny how you’re fine attacking him for that, but will hysterically defend any GOP Congressman trying to pass anti-lgbt rights.
lol,,,lol well said Mo Bro, he can crossdress as masculine but anyone can see/hear/watch the sissy come out with every word/movement/look.
amen…. I see DCGurl, the grande duchess of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, is back on the attack….
Those of us who came out in the 70s dressed like the men we admired in movies, the cowboys and blue collar workers. We didn’t do it to get laid. We did it because we were the first gay men who weren’t ashamed of who we were and said, “I’m gay.” loud and proud. Why not be the men we wanted to be? If I learned anything in my sexually active career it’s being true to myself that’s the most appealing to other men. We’re born naked, everything else is drag.
So true!!! I’m disappointed that so many young gay men seem to be hooked on the fake concept of masculinity…the whole insistence on declaring oneself as a bottom or a top is part of this. I have always liked all types of men and I have had a hot time with all of them!!!
THIS IS THE BEST AND MOST HONEST RESPONSE:
It is just amazing how true his words are, then and now! Agree, the best and most honest response.
Masc. Yes! All it takes is the cap, a cute beard and an ability to perform as a top. (Viagra/Cialis if required.)
That, and just keep quiet so they don’t hear the “gay accent”!
“straight white male privilege”
Collective guilt/blame works so well historically. It’s typical of the post-modernist left to want to tear down everything.
Against free speech and open dialogue.
If you are pointing out a broken system that works for a select few, so you’re saying that is wrong? For a society to openly and blatantly discriminate against people because of their sex, race, creed, nationality, etc (general difference from the norm)… that’s okay?
So if society is built by and around the ideals and beliefs of heterosexual white males, and those same heterosexual white males, set the standards for masculinity, gender roles, appropriate sexual orientation, beauty and sexual norms. That’s also okay too? So when people point out the problem of that sociey’s views on the minority, and that those minorities should have a say in how they live their own lives, that’s wrong in your view? And if that society created by heterosexual white males perpetuated all over the world, that gay white males still exert a great amount of privilege from perpetuate those same societal norms created by their heterosexual counterparts, in your eyes that’s okay too? (that’s where this particular problem comes from)
this isn’t a left or right issue, because life isn’t just binary choices, where you only have two choices. Life is complex, and generally the decisions that have to be made are complex too. But what can’t be argued is that if your right to believe whatever you like to believe or how you choose to live your life, should infringe on others and how they choose to live theirs. That’s wrong, and in America that’s against the constitution which the country was founded on. If you choose to follow those belief and cash in on that straight white male privilege, fine that’s your right to do that. But don’t expect people not to call you on it.
There is no straight white male privilege. It’s nonsense made up by neo-Marxist/post-modernist loons.
And who the hell said anything about infringing the rights of others?
How is white privilege not racist? Look up the actual definition of racism, not the social justice on made up by neo-Marxists.
How is male privilege not sexist? Again, look up the real definition of sexism.
How is straight privilege not discriminatory to heterosexuals?
How did “white” get dragged into this.
Like there aren’t a lot of black guys, and especially Latino guys who make a big deal out of acting “masc”! Latino guys are the stereotype, they are the best (worst) at all of that macho stuff.
Charlie in Charge
Ooh, get her.
I pulled out a dictionary. The -isms are all based in the belief that someone is superior to someone who is inferior. No one is arguing that masc gays are inferior to fem gays. The argument is that society gives masc people too much power when no one is inherently superior or inferior to others. Masc privilege, white male privilege, straight passing privilege exist, because these people gain power in a world where they shouldn’t.
You’re not attracting masculine men, you’re attracting macho ones. Machismo is fear based.
The most femme man I know was married and had a (dykish) wife and a batch of kids, so I know they got it on more than once. knew this man well – no covert looks at other guys in public, no sly references… straight femme
When I was training as an Infantry officer, I observed one of the training officers leaving a “gay friendly” bar. over time, we started to talk, until we both found it safe to identify. One of the most macho men I met.
Who the hell am I to judge when some guy wants to play with his visual “metrics”? more power to him as he explores the texture and nuance of his gender and his gender focus.
As I noted below, there are many studies on this, and they all show that effeminacy only manifests in a minority of straight and gay males. While effeminacy is more common in gays than in straights, because the straight male population is much larger than the gay male population, there are actually more effeminate straight men than gay men. So it isn’t surprising that you would come across a straight fem guy in your life.
I must live in some alternate universe from most of the guys posting under this article, because I have *never* in my life save for ONE time run into a gay or bi man who ACTUALLY carried himself in a butch manner who cared if his target of interest was butch or feminine (and he was a total submissive and wanted a man who would dominate the hell out of him).
EVERY “masc4masc” that I have met has either seriously lacked self awareness about their own speech patterns and mannerisms or was a serious slavering b*tch boy in the bed room. I have certainly never met a dominant butch guy that was just aching for another butch guy. Absolutely never. I only ever see that in porn. Authentically butch men where its not forced and just comes naturally don’t care one way or the other. That has been my LONG personal experience. Reading the comments above I guess I should count myself as blessed. Because that
sh*t is annoying as f*ck and is a straight up boner killer to me. I think its because I see it as a ridiculous “put on” that is even more pathetic than putting on a baseball cap backwards.
“EVERY “masc4masc” that I have met has either seriously lacked self awareness about their own speech patterns and mannerisms or was a serious slavering b*tch boy in the bed room”
YES!!!! This. I would disagree on your earlier point in that I’ve met a ton of butch queens who you almost wouldn’t even know were gay unless they told you, but I totally agree with your main point here.
Yeah I’ve noticed about the speech patterns, a lot of these self-described “masc” guys are delusional about their own speech patterns. They seem totally unaware of how stereotypically GAY they sound and have apparently never heard a recording of their own voice, or at least not one longer than a voice mail greeting. It’s a peculiar delusion!
On the subject of ‘lacking self awareness’:
I can’t seem to find it.. but there is/was a Youtube vid of some Young Republican type being interviewed at some event (perhaps semi drunk) disparaging gay men as ‘effeminate’ and all that.
He did this all while having a noticeable lisp and very limp and gesturing wrists. His mannerisms are even the descriptor of the vid. Seriously self-unaware.
All those self-identified “Masc” guys are only masculine until they get angry, then it’s “sweetie” “honey” “I don’t know her” queens. LOL
Oh well, we all have our fantasies! Some are never realized!
It’s all costuming anyways. Articles like this one, based on some offshoot of cultural studies, are — in the words of the bard — much ado about nothing, since the goal is to end up wearing that much.
Graham Gremore only writes about 2 things: gender deviance and promiscuity. And it is his life’s mission to normalize both. Don’t fall for it. They are tickets to a shorter, sadder, less healthy life.
As for this piece, it’s ridiculous. There are 4 decades’ worth of research on this question of the relationship b/t sexual orientation and gender deviance (or what some call “gender nonconformity”). Every single study on this has shown that, while gender deviance is more common among gay males than straight, it only manifests in a minority of each group. The large majority of gay men fall in the middle of the bell curve, just as their straight counterparts do. And this is true whether they are studied in early childhood, late childhood, adolescence or adulthood. In other words, most gay men really are normal. We aren’t pretending or performing like the clown featured in this piece. Graham Gremore wishes other gay men were effeminate like he is, because as the saying goes, misery loves company. But the truth is, poor Graham is a minority within a minority and he will have to find some way to cope with his manhood failure which does not involve smearing other gay men.
Oops, I meant “stay” with me…
It’s like the fat girl complaining about not getting a dude because she’s fat. Not realizing that plenty of fat girls get the dude – she’s not getting the dude because in fact she’s annoying but needs to blame it on being fat since she can’t handle that it’s her personality that’s failing to seal the deal. Man up if you can’t handle that some guys are masc and sleep with other masc guys. Some sleep with fem guys. But most avoid sleeping with b*tchy queens regardless. And many find drag a complete turn-off.
I’m disappointed to see so many ignorant comments under this article. First of all, masculinity is subjective and somewhat arbitrary. I can understand why closet cases are concerned with it; hell, they’re still coming to grips with their own orientation. But for out and proud gay men to be worried about their machismo is almost absurd. Not because masculinity is absurd, or that gay men can’t be masculine, but because most evolved gay men should be able to recognize that it is superficial. The guy who wrote this article proves it is just another form of drag. Frankly, I think “masc4masc” gays are most often bottoms who are looking for a more dominant top.
Or the answer could be much more simple.
Maybe he has a stupid haircut or just looks better with a cap on.
Or he’s balding.
Whenever I see someone older than college age wearing a backwards cap (or a winter beanie not in winter) as a style-choice, I think they just might be balding.
Can’t we please come up with some new topic on Queerty? We have covered all of this territory SO many times. I would never be so banal as to write “masc4masc” on a hook-up site, and honestly my partner isn’t really all that “masc”, but honestly WHO CARES? Do what you have to do to be happy. Have sex with whoever you like. Don’t waste energy fretting over this or that ‘privilege’ or anyone’s perception of what it means to be gay. I was kept in the closet for many years partially by the perception that to be openly was to be a caricature. We can all be whoever we want to be, and date whoever we want to date – no hand-wringing or self-doubt required.
Why is my comment still awaiting moderation?
Let’s just ignore the fact that Black, Latino and Asian men are all “guilty” of false masculinity and make the backwards wearing of a baseball cap a “White Male Privilege” thing. Also, as a not-so-masculine guy myself who really doesn’t care, there are gay guys out there that are just naturally masculine. They seem to be getting more common and have no problem with their feminine guy friends.
I wonder how long it will take for some of the blog writers to realize just how dramatically out of touch they are with the gay community today. Perhaps they already know and are trying to shape reality to fit the way they think the world should be?
Now, false masculinity in Black, Latino, and Asian culture is a good point. Hence the need to the Down-Low. Another branch of the same topic, but good point.
What next ? A plaid flannel shirt , jeans and work Boots ? Change your name to Butch ? Stop trying so hard. Sometimes the one you want isn’t the one you really wanted all along …
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