Guy Code and Rape Culture

2 Dec

brosSometimes you’re multitasking, reading something online and watching something on TV simultaneously, and it all seems to line up perfectly. Here I am, reading about how the prosecution of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston for rape has been stalled, and I’m watching a program on MTV2 called Guy Code. The latter was due to curiosity after hearing a young male co-worker talk about the show; I figured if it resonated with him it would be interesting to see. Think of me as an anthropologist who wants to keep up with what the kids are watching. So I watched the half hour show of thoroughly unremarkable comedy, all unoriginal insights into being young, privileged and male. That old word from my undergrad days, heteronormativity, came to mind.

“Guy Code” assumes that the guys in the viewing audience are straight, and that women are satellites revolving around their sun. The few female commentators are highly made up, with big fake breasts, and the sexy baby tone of voice that is endemic to young girls nowadays. The dilemmas the bros face include hitting on chicks, getting chicks to sleep with you, dealing with your bro’s chick, bringing your chick home to bang, etc. Yes, this show probably makes twenty-something life seem idyllic to hormonal 13 year olds watching at home, and many of the situations dealt with are indeed a part of life for young men in their early to mid-twenties. But…is this it? Are women so foreign that they need to be decoded? Do these bros not have female friends, girlfriends, ex-girlfriends, sisters, coworkers, teammates, cousins…in short, women in their cohort with whom they are not sexual?

No, it is understood that a dude has to do what a dude has to do to get laid. And if he’s leading his team to a national championship? Hush hush and look the other way. Boys will be boys.


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