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Breaking down the brown BRO code culture

Breaking down the brown BRO code culture

Ammaar Butt
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They say that the devil was born in secrecy – the same can be said when spoken of toxic masculinity in South Asian circles and the men that wear the badge.

With privilege for men, comes predatory behavior and prejudice against people that are not one of them. In an all boys locker room, everything is discussed. Openly and bluntly. And in a society where the autonomy of women is often taken away from them, the bro-code turns into another weapon of misogyny.

I was raised among boys that wanted to be men but never wanted to be human beings. They talked a lot – about girls, other boys, the girls that they liked but who didn’t like them back. They would tell the guys how they ‘hooked up’ with A girl and create an entire story around it just to be cool. They would say, “Yeah we made out in the bathroom” and then say, “But she’s a s***, she said wants to get with everyone.”

There are boys in every school that are not the cool boys and are decidedly uncool. They make sense of whatever they think is good and acceptable. And then there are the tall boys, the ones with broad chest and heads held high. The head boys, or those on the sports team, who move in packs and do whatever they can get away with.

The one’s who mimic being lions or wolves.

And that’s where the problems start. Where we allow boys to do anything they can get away with. Because it then becomes a matter of survival, and a matter of how long they can survive being men and until they no longer can.

In my school, a girl once filed a sexual harassment case against a boy of the wolf kind. They said that when the principal summoned the boy and the girl, the boy had nine witnesses and the girl had none. And when they walked out the office the girl wept and the guys laughed at her and ridiculed of how she thought she could get them. That is locker room culture, which is compounded by age old norms that further the divide between both genders.

It’s part of what they call the bro-code. It comes into play whenever something is wanted and cannot be had, it is just taken. Torn from the perch of its comfort.

What is the brocode?

Toxic masculinity is a behemoth of an issue to tackle, especially in a few hundred word essay. So to pare back the issue, hopefully to a point where it’s easier to swallow, I’m going to mainly focus on one core concept that I believe is the rotted root of hyper-masculinty: the idea of “bro code”.

For those of you unaware of what bro code is, let me give you the urban dictionary definition of the term:

“A set of rules meant to be a guideline to live by between Bro’s. The rules began as unwritten rules to follow but because of the Pussification of America haven’t been followed properly and for some men they needed to be spelled out in bold print.”

That about hits the nail on its head. What bro code really boils down to is a philosophy of trite and childish aphorisms whose sole purpose is to “heighten” one’s masculinity… whatever that means.

It’s an ideology that tints their interpretation of women, sex, and appropriate behavior. And it’s the very same ideology that leads to the following situation that my friend experienced (printed with their permission of course):

Walking back to their apartment from studying at the library, two guys catcall them from their car. After my friends ignored them, one of the dudes yells at them, “Did you just come from the library, you flat ass b******?” before speeding off like a hit and run.

Where does this come from?

This patronisation, objectification, and defamation of women as a whole is entrenched in the very culture we grow up in. False stereotypes and behaviors are learned from the TV, movies, music, and even books we consume in our formative years.

In every romance movie, the male love interest just shoots a glance at the lead actress and, after playing hard to get for most of the second act, eventually falls for his perfectly manicured dialogue because he always knows exactly what to say. And I’ve yet to hear a pop country song that doesn’t revolve around wooing a woman with a beer in the back of a Pajero parked lakeside under the moon. While on its surface, the above seems somewhat benign in terms of influence, at least from our perspectives as grown adults, but the youthful mind is as pliable as Play-Doh. So when these kids eventually start exploring the modern-day wild west, a.k.a. the Internet, and begin discovering ideas like “bro code” and porn, they have the potential to radically skew a young person’s perception on what relationships and intimacy should look like.

Is bro code still a thing?

In many communities, yes. But in others, not so much. The bro code or locker room culture allows men to be supported by other men just to get their way with things. It exist amongst men that have been raised together and have not seen the very few righteous, culturally crafted men that also live and breathe in this society.

Ever since the third wave of feminism, men have started applying the call out culture within their locker rooms. Men have decided to be civil than to just be men. Being articulate has become a jewel instead of being muscular.

There is hope that we raise the boys as people and not men now. We allow then to do what they want. The problem with teaching your children freedom is that you can never teach them the consequence after.

To read more from ProperGaanda: Indian Minister wants a shoot at sight law for those who raise pro-Pakistani slogans

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