Musclehunk Dance Videos Help Destroy Gender Stereotypes
Just like the “Cop grabs his boner” dude, the web went ablaze with Australian Crossfitter Khan Porter’s video of him dancing to Beyonce while performing a clean and jerk (that’s a weightlifting term, ya dirty buggers).
Porter’s video (below) reminds of of Channing Tatum’s recent lip-sync performance of Beyoncé’s “Run the World (Girls)” and New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.’s shirtless dancing video. But while Porter’s and Tatum’s videos got them lots of love, Beckham’s video ignited an outing campaign against him, even though he might not even be gay. So what gives?
Let’s start by taking a look at Porter’s video:
Shirtless and tattooed, Porter struts up to the 264-pound bar, performs a good clean and jerk and does a small victory dance, nearly dropping the bar right through his femur, but whatever — he’s a personal trainer, he knows what he’s doing! Don’t try this at home.
The video itself woulda been merely okay on its own (gaining 1.5 million views in barely a day), but Porter also wrote a long screed saying that he was inspired by Channing Tatum’s lip-sync drag battle with his wife. Let’s take a look at that:
First off, Jenna Dewan-Tatum’s male drag performance of Ginuwine’s “Pony” is off the hook! Seriously, check out her brash moves. She’s basically doing a gender-fuck of dick slang — the incredibly homoerotic dance where performers wag their dongs in show of masculinity. She wags her dick in Tatum’s face — he’s an action hero for Christ’s sake! And then she ends it by making it rain dollar bills all over her — sick! Love it!
Then there’s Channing Tatum’s lip sync. His moves are nowhere near as athletic as his wife’s, but it’s still over-the-top and glorious. Lots of people loved it, including Porter who made his own Beyoncé video and then used its popularity to raise awareness male mental illness. He wrote on his Facebook wall:
There’s still so many stigmatic ideas around masculinity and blokes face very real issues in terms of dealing with what society has deemed as appropriate behaviour for their sex…
As someone who has personal experience with mental health issues, I know how difficult it can be for a man to seek help for something that is often brushed off as “just being a pussy” or a “soft cock”.
If society can have a good laugh and accept a man dressing up and/or dancing like a woman these days [in a 25-second video], how hard is it to have a chat to your mates about something like mental illness.
He raises a good point, also mentioning that suicide is the leading cause of death for Australian males aged between 15 to 44. But what caught my attention was something my friend said after seeing Tatum’s performance:
“Channing Tatum getting praise and his sexuality NOT be questioned WHILE in drag performing Beyoncé’s “‘Run the World” is a prime example of how black and white masculinity is different. Let Odell Beckham Jr. dance around in his gym tights and dab too hard then he’s gay.”
For those who don’t know what he’s talking about, here’s a video posted two weeks ago of the NFL wide receiver dancing with a male friend:
Unlike Porter and Tatum, Beckham’s dance made folks speculate even more whether Beckham is gay, something that’s especially scary considering that Beckham has long been the the target of anti-gay slurs (and even intimations of violence) from fellow footballers on-field.
In an article entitled, “The outing campaign against Odell Beckham Jr. shows limitations of black masculinity” (aka “Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Toxic Black Masculinity”), writer Rafi D’Angelo notes that:
“White men are allowed a greater range of expression before they are automatically considered gay. The boys in Marvel movies are always flirting and nobody cares. Matt McGorry can say his male co-star has a pretty mouth and nobody cares. Channing Tatum “vogued” and nobody cares.”
Meanwhile, D’Angelo implies, that as a black man Beckham isn’t given a pass for dancing. Dancing makes him gay and subject to an endless witchhunt and threats on-field. D’Angelo concludes by saying:
“We need more gay visibility in professional sports, especially hypermasculine ones like football. But more important, we need more black men who aren’t afraid to live outside of the box of black masculinity built for us by society and reinforced by our own community.”
We agree. In fact, more pro-athletes should don drag and dance however the hell they want if it helps destroy gender stereotypes more quickly. Bring on more videos, folks — do your part to help crush the bullshit gender binary.