Page 275 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                 255
                In these photographs, Fritscher focuses on what he calls “homo-
                masculinity” — less the act of sex, itself, more a complete state
                of being. [These are] ritualized totems of the potent American
                Dream, taken from his own dream visions, as well as the dreams
                of the intense cult following whose tastes he has recorded and
                reflected for many years on page and screen . . . .  He believes that,
                just as some women now legitimately investigate their own gen-
                der, so too, many men have become increasingly curious about
                their own gender identification. In his view, true homomascu-
                linity, far from cancelling out the female principle, offers the
                valid gender balance of male animus that the female anima
                demands and deserves . . . . his images may be . . . threatening to a
                certain type of gay Puritan . . . . 8

                Frankly,  homomasculinity, which was coined as a “Platonic blank of
             self-reliant male archetype,” can be spun by biased misandry against the
             concept. American Men, which makes absolutely no reference to women
             was judged “misogynistic” by one very binary American gay reviewer.
             Sexist himself, his reactionary “key” did not fit the “lock” these iconoclas-
             tic images had on ur-masculinity. Because masculinity is as valid a unit of
             identity as femininity, it should not be vilified by anyone confusing the
             Platonic ideal of homomasculinity with the “sins of patriarchy” as defined
             by those who would be matriarchs: real or drag. This exact cultural fear of
             masculine-identified gay men led gays and straights alike into censorship
             of  Robert  Mapplethorpe’s  homomasculine  photography;  kept  Patricia
             Nell Warren’s homomasculine love story, The Front Runner (1974), from
             so far being filmed; and created “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” because gays may,
             in fact (shades of Adolf Brand), be more masculine than straights.
                Homomasculinity, especially when made to sound political with an
             ism as in homomasculinism (a term I have never used), can incite male
             and female politicos as dramatized in Some Dance to Remember when the
             “Masculinist Manifesto,” injected as a plot-pushing device to pinpoint
             the inflammatory sexual politics of the late 70s, causes curbside magazine
             racks selling the “Manifesto” to be set afire. One reviewer, who was not
             bilingual around “male stough” (stuff + tough), ranted under his headline,
             “The Rise and Fall of Butch,” reviewing his own gender issues but not
             the book. The fictional “Masculinist Manifesto,” with a facetious nod
             to Valerie Solanas’ SCUM Manifesto (Society for Cutting Up Men), is
             a simple “declaration of masculine independence” that in the course of
             the narrative becomes politicized by reactionaries the way masculinity
             was politicized by the anti-patriarchist Arthur Evans, the self-proclaimed
             “Red Queen,” whose broadside, pasted on Castro Street lampposts, I took

           ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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