on college drinking culture: alcoholism, toxic masculinity, sexual repression, homoeroticism, numbing, and more!

every 2-3 weeks(ish) i talk on the phone with my friend ambroise. over the past four or five years he’s become one of my closest friends, for sure. he lives in paris and even though the time difference could keep us from talking, we make it work. we have such good conversations and it’s just a really nice thing.

last sunday we got to talking about an experience he had and it linked so many things for me. without going into too much detail, he met up with some younger friends from undergrad and they had a classic american night of getting drunk. as he was explaining how awful the situation was, i began to see how excessive drinking, alcoholism, toxic masculinity, sexual repression, homophobia, homoeroticism, and numbling cultures all flow together.

i could probably write for a long time about this, i’ll try to keep it short.

the college culture of heteronormativity and whiteness encourage men to suppress their feelings. these could be romantic or platonic feelings, but they’re all suppressed because men aren’t supposed to have them. this creates a dearth of touch from male companions. this is a part of toxic masculinty and results in a lack of healthy, caring, mutually beneficial physical and emotional relationships with women. this reality, among other things, makes for massive voids. drinking is one way to numb the void feelings. when alcohol gets involved, though, somehow men’s shirts always end up coming off. the excuses are endless, but the fact that it happens is unavoidable. why? i think it’s because the repression can’t hide when inhibitions are lowered. guys tend to get more touchy with each other, too. alcohol is a needed factor for these men, who aren’t touched in healthy ways, to feel safe enough to do things like touch their male companions or even get a little honest with their feelings (i.e. the drunken “i love you, man!” and “you’re my best friend!”). and then, the next morning, everyone gets a pass because alcohol was involved.

fascinating. terrible, but fascinating.

ps - i’m sure someone has written about these things, but i’m just discovering it for myself now.

writing spell-check, link-finding, & formatting
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