My previous post suggests an idea of why we think and feel many of the things we do. You may be wondering why it matters, and more importantly what is the point? How many people care why they think, feel, or believe what they do?
Does taking on another’s belief really happen? Are some of our beliefs really given to us by others? If you are an average heterosexual male you may unwittingly contribute to a major heterosexual male fear belief: Homophobia.
An amazing number of Men in America are Homophobic. Some Men arrive at a high level paranoia. Men are terrified of being around a possibly gay man. Mortified if he is a ‘real’ Gay Man. Men are always publicly aware to not do or say anything that can vaguely be perceived as a Gay Man Behavior by people around them. Men are not always sure what those identifying behaviors are, so men stick to using a limited field of behaviors.
Typical male behavior in a public bathroom is a prime example. American Men’s behavior in public bathrooms is neither natural or sane. The younger the man, the more pronounced the scripted behavior is. Tunnel vision, no speaking to another man, exhibits of overly manly acts are typical examples. Straight Men are terrified another straight man will think they may secretly be gay by a misinterpreted public behavior.
In general Men talk, act, and perhaps think their sexual preference will be switched forever if they are in the close proximity of a Gay Man. Too many straight Men are terrified of talking to let alone being propositioned by a Gay Man. Though a man talking to or being propositioned by a Woman is a different matter.
Men waste a tremendous amount of energy holding onto this fear! Men’s public conversation generally revolves around sports, cars, the outdoors, and women. Conversation is generally about sports, preferably football. Football is huge testosterone territory. There is nothing effeminate in Football. Cars are talked about if they are fast or big. ‘Real’ Men hold these conversations to show the world they are straight. These are types of approved subjects for public conversations of ‘real men’.
If you are a Man and discovered your Brother is gay, you dropped this unfounded homophobic behavior. Your Father gave it up due to his love for his son. Other male family members mostly drop this behavior too. Everyone involved is forced to acknowledge sexual preference has nothing to do with the person.
The American Military overturned keeping sexual preference a secret almost a year ago. Today the American Military is proof of concept in this matter. Openly Gay Men and Women are pulling their own weight, accepted by their units, achieving and excelling at the same rate as their straight counterparts. Their straight counterparts have learned that homophobia is irrational. They dropped this belief because it took too much attention and energy away from what is important for them in the moment, staying alive and safe.
It is hard to admit some of our beliefs we so strongly defend are nothing more than implanted beliefs from Adults of our childhood. Your favorite teacher, Aunt, or Uncle played a major part in what you think is important. Much of what we think or believe about people, animals, politics, and places is a result of these people. Our Parents and others around us told or showed us what is important.
When any thought or belief pops up and you know it is not held by reasonable people, let it go. Irrational beliefs use up a lot of energy as you try to hold on to them. Rationalizing and justifying ideas that can not be justified or rationalized means important parts of your present life are being neglected.
Situations where you suddenly realize you have an emotional stake in the outcome are sometimes not all that important if you slow down and think about them. Is it really you taking this stance or someone from your past?
You may not have had time to examine where your thoughts and beliefs came from and why you have them. You should take a little time each day and examine why you think and believe what you do. Serious belief examination allows our everyday life to be more enjoyable.