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Lusty Lady

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Friday, February 13, 2009

On bromances and romantic friendships

Interesting perspectives, and so glad people are talking about the fact that, well, sex is not everything.

"Bromance: Drawing the lines of male relationships" by Stacie Foster, Daily Orange:

The real-life Joey and Chandler, Chace Crawford and Ed Westwick of "Gossip Girl," are also forced to dodge rumors about their alleged homosexuality. The two share an apartment and are often seen together publicly, but they've also both been romantically linked to A-list celebrities (A-list women celebrities). In Chace's case, he's dated country superstar Carrie Underwood, and Ed's been spotted kissing both Drew Barrymore and co-star Jessica Zhor. Obviously, Chace and Ed share a bromance, not a romance. Try to tell that to the media, though.

My question is, why haven't Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox Arquette or Jennifer Lopez and Leah Remini drawn the same criticism? It's not fair to question the pay disparity between actors and actresses, like many have, and ignore the social disparities.

I say kudos to Brody Jenner for trying to set the stereotype straight. Bromances aren't morally wrong, and they certainly aren't innately homosexual. Jenner may not be the most insightful Hollywood celebrity, and "Bromance" may be more about a paycheck than changing American culture, but Brody still made the leap. I respect him for that.

"Lustless love affairs: Girl crushes, bromance and other unsexy relationships" by Kate Carraway in Eye Weekly:

Romantic friendships require all of the focused care of a traditional romance, and related kinds of co-dependent intimacy and intensity. In a social context where fewer people get married, or get married young, and where more lose their relationship to divorce at some predictable point, the resulting emotional void demands the building and maintenance of magical pal-doms. I have maybe five romantic friendships among my first string. With them, my phone voice changes. They play with my hair. We are in love. Romantic friendships aren’t the same thing as regular, close friendships: my best ladyfriend and I aren’t at all romantic. We make fun of stuff on YouTube, play tennis and say goodbye by bumping fists, as detached and harmonious as adolescent next-door neighbours. My solid friendship with an ex-with-benefits isn’t romantic either, owing to our extreme competitiveness, mostly about our respective Jeopardy! prowess and the ongoing question of whether journalism or engineering is harder.

The collective, dreary absorption in getting laid means that the richness and radness of no-fucking friend-romances are usually undervalued, especially those between women. Girl crushes are often understood as precursors to lezzie stuff, even though most straight ladies grew up amid a close set of shrill, clutching girlfriends fed by a dramatic romance unfamiliar to most straight adult couples. Devotion to women-friends is a whole other thing when it’s felt by girls putting off babies and baby-daddies for a while longer. Although it’s sometimes maligned for its frattishness, bromance has of late gotten some kind of cred and been personified by reality douchemaster Brody Jenner, whose MTV show (yeah, Bromance) has men competing for his bud-ship. Outing man-love as a cool and appropriate thing is great, but I like bromance better when it’s about one unthreatened guy friend ironing the other one’s button-downs, just because, rather than glorifying wing-men.

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