Don’t bro me if you don’t know me.
Bros before hoes.
Like its older brother, “man,” bro is being portmanteau’d into everything, as slutty a syllable as you’ll ever encounter. You know you’ve done it, too, reader, just slipped that word into some sweet little consenting phrase.
Yeah, it’s everywhere. From the serious–brosplain, bromosexual, bromance–to the silly–Nabroleon, broner, brodacious–these three little letters both celebrate and mock younger men, unintentionally offering a glimpse into the tension surrounding modern masculinity.
The word and its uses also point to an interesting, ongoing evolution of our culture. Men have historically struggled to define themselves—except in relation to women. Straight or gay? Single or married? Good or bad?
When applied to guys these concepts reflect our connection to women. We have trouble standing on our own two feet, as it were, unless a woman is under one arm.
We’re finally struggling to evolve beyond this, and guess what? Now there’s an app for it.
Two apps, in fact, with two rather different points have popped up on the Badger’s brodar (woud you have resisted that pun?) in recent weeks.
These apps are tools in that struggle for self-sufficiency and self-definition, as well as the more concrete struggle for bro-time with your…well, bros.
The first, titled simply BRO (and sadly, not available on Android until later this year) allows men to seek each other out, without requiring any limiting labels…and without any female presence.
BRO allows users to meet each other for any purpose: from random chatting to serious friendship, from no-strings, no-labels sex to full-on life-partnership.
Men need men. This app is a way to for men—for bros—to connect, and the rest is up to us. But unlike past male-oriented social apps like Grindr, BRO is for all men: straight, gay, neither, closeted, bi, asexual, hyperpanpolyquasidemihemisexual or whatever the kids are calling it these days. Doesn’t matter. It’s a man’s space.
As such, you gotta wonder how long it will be before some attempt is made on this newest hideous citadel of vilest sexism: men fulfilling their need for human companionship of whatever sort outside of feminine oversight.
Their need for bro-time, in other words.
This is where the second app helps. The BroApp is lighter-hearted, an automatic system that allows users to create a stock of personalized messages to send to their wives or girlfriends at various intervals, an easy way of paying virtual attention to the old lady. BroApp will whisper sweet nothings into her phone while you crack that third cold one with the fellas.
While neither app is of earth-shaking significance, socioculturally speaking, it bears repeating what their existence points to: an attempt by men to create new spaces for themselves, to fulfill their social and emotional needs absent feminine supervision.
Such spaces used to exist in the form of clubs and pubs, but harping, carping feminists systematically stripped them away over the last fifty years, citing the boogeyman of ‘sexism.’
With their death something important to manhood died as well—the mentorship of an older man to a younger, the company of those who understood burdens mutually borne, and the opportunity to meet and share company with other men in a socially acceptable way.
These apps might not bring these spaces back entirely, but they’re a small shield against the forces that scream sexism anytime more than two men get together without a woman present.
The end result of such gimlet-eyed busy-bodying idiocy is that many a men’s bathroom is now unisex, while the local Boyscout troop must admit girls…a block away from the “Curves” gym that, of course, allows only women.
We need to recreate these men’s spaces. Online or offline, men need each other. Friendships among men are often socially undervalued, even ridiculed (see“bromance”), but they are every bit as fundamental as a woman’s need for gal-pals. Humans are social creatures, and it’s a sad state of affairs that so many routes to male-male bonding have been blocked because of feminism’s schizophrenic perception of “sexism.”
If these apps help, if they advance the creation of that space by a single inch, they’re worthy.
So check ‘em out. Do they help you carve out some independent space with your bros, your mates, your buddies? Do they help you reach out to other men for friendship, hanky-panky, even love?
Do they help you come fight the loneliness that is, in the province of art and literature, the natural state of men?
We all need human connection. For men, that need must not be entirely mediated nor dominated by women.
Oh, and I almost forgot:
…cool story, bro.
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