Dire warnings of how men are doomed because more chapesses are now in work than chaps, are more educated, and now earning more (in large cities), prompted a special ‘Man Up!’ issue of Newsweek a few weeks back on the ‘crisis of masculinity’. The centrepiece was an interesting, lengthy – and oddly-conflicted – essay titled ‘Men’s Lib’ which seems to identify America’s continuing love-affair with machismo as holding American men and America back from adapting to a changing world. It calls for a ‘reimagining’ of… Read More »America to Machismo: How Do I Quit You?
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
Way back in the last century, before the Interweb swallowed everything, my friend and accomplice in literary crime Steve Zeeland and I were visiting, as you do, Camp Pendleton, the giant US Marine Corps base in Southern California with some jarhead friends. We spent the afternoon watching the Marine Rodeo – scores of grinning fit Texan boys in tight Wranglers and high-and-tights bouncing up and down on broncos and slapping each other’s butts. Perhaps you’ll understand why, after having seen this, the Details fashion shoot that… Read More »Why Straight Soldiers Can’t Stop Acting Gay on Video
A decade ago the ban on lesbians and gays serving in the UK military was lifted. This summer Mark Simpson attended the first gay night on a UK garrison. For purely professional reasons. No, really. (Also published on Out.com) There isn’t at first glance much that appears terribly gay about Catterick Garrison. Home to the largest UK Army base in the world, with c. 15,000 men and women based here, Catterick Garrison as the name suggests, owes its existence entirely to the British Army — whose favourite colour is… Read More »Catterick Garrison Goes Gay
Mark Simpson on America’s weapons of mass sexual confusion (Guardian & Out magazine June 13, 2007) Look out! Take cover! Backs to the walls, boys! It’s the Gay Bomb! No, not a bomb with fashionably styled fins or one that can’t whistle, but rather a proposed “non-lethal” chemical bomb containing “strong aphrodisiacs” that would cause “homosexual behavior” among soldiers. Since the United States Air Force wanted $7.5 million of taxpayers’ money to develop it, it probably involved more than the traditional recipe of a few six-packs… Read More »Armed & Amorous – America’s ‘Gay Bomb’