You Can Touch My Junk, but Nothing Else
By: Selwyn Duke
Now that â€œDonâ€™t touch my junk!â€ has become a rallying cry, I must ask a question: Whatâ€™s with this youth-culture tendency to refer to male genitalia as â€œjunkâ€?
Since I keep my nose to the ground, I noticed this slang innovation long before John Tyner drew his line in the sand; it seems to be a phenomenon of the last five years or so.Â And itâ€™s one Iâ€™d like to put on the junk heap.
If I have any junk, it wonâ€™t be on my body and probably will end up in the trash bin.Â And if the TSA wants to rummage through it, hey, be my guest.Â Itâ€™s said that you can tell a lot about a person by examining his refuse.Â So you can touch my junk â€” but letâ€™s be a bit more careful when we lay our hands on the language, shall we?
When complaining about this, I must admit Iâ€™m a little self-conscious.Â I really donâ€™t want to sound like the Ã¼ber-sensitive professional complainers who say that the term â€œblack holeâ€ (density-approaching-infinity-so-not-even-light-can-escape-it hole is a little clumsy, dontcha think?) is insensitive to blacks or, God forbid, like the harridan feminists who would have us supplant â€œsnowmanâ€ with â€œsnowpersonâ€ (Frosty the snowperson was a San Francisco soulâ€¦.).Â But something needs to be said about this, and if I donâ€™t say it, perhaps no one will.
Does it strike anyone else as strange that weâ€™re now referring to male genitalia with a word that means â€œgarbageâ€? Â Oh, I know dictionaries indicate that this usage of â€œjunkâ€ can refer to female genitalia as well, but in the real world it seems to be used almost exclusively for the male variety.
Some may roll their eyes and say I have to be hung-up to be focusing on this.Â If thatâ€™s your attitude, then I hope your interest in reading further will at least be piqued by the idea that youâ€™re viewing the musings of a very strange man.
But, look, whatâ€™s truly strange is that we live in an age of intense anti-male sentiment.Â This shouldnâ€™t require illustration in 2010, but as evidence I can cite Christina Hoff Sommersâ€™ book The War Against Boys; the continual portrayals of men as dolts in movies, on shows and in commercials; the pieces Iâ€™ve written on the subject; 11-year-old student Sam Bessermanâ€™s firsthand account; the acceptance of anti-male t-shirts sporting sentiments such as â€œBoys are stupid; throw rocks at them!â€; or products such as the â€œAll Men are Bastardsâ€ knife block, which gives the happy housewife the opportunity to keep her kitchen knives handy by sticking them in the body of a male figurine.Â And these are just a handful of examples.
Given the above, is it mere coincidence that this anti-male age sees a phenomenon whereby that which symbolizes manhood, at least physically, has come to be called â€œjunkâ€?Â And what might we conclude about this anti-male environmentâ€™s psychological effect on recent generations of boys and young men when they will readily refer to that symbol of their manhood (in fact, a fellowâ€™s privates are sometimes called â€œhis manhoodâ€) with a demeaning term?Â My self-image has never been so bad that I wanted to characterize part of my body as garbage.
Having said this, I wonâ€™t fall into the feminist trap of taking my own psychological analyses as gospel.Â Perhaps this phenomenon is driven by nothing more than the notorious adolescent desire to be â€œcoolâ€ (it doesnâ€™t seem likely, however, although it certainly is a contributing factor).Â You also shouldnâ€™t think Iâ€™m offended by it; Iâ€™ve always echoed the apocryphal saying, â€œOffense cannot be given, it can only be taken.â€Â I just think itâ€™s stupid beyond words.Â And it certainly doesnâ€™t represent healthy social change.
Moreover, given that feminist women donâ€™t even like being called â€œgirlsâ€ â€” when thatâ€™s just the equivalent of â€œguysâ€ â€” I can just imagine how the â€œwomynâ€ at NOW would react if the word â€œjunkâ€ was widely used to describe a female body part.Â Oh, not that I blame this on them, or on normal women.Â While the Online Etymology Dictionary doesnâ€™t yet have an entry for this junky usage of â€œjunk,â€ Iâ€™m guessing it was originated by a young man.Â And men are certainly the ones who most use it.
I also donâ€™t expect men to do much about it.Â You could say that my sex rolls with the punches, that we really will take these things â€œlike a man.â€Â Then again, you could also say that many of us have been feminized to the point where weâ€™re ineffectual doormats.Â This is why weâ€™ll listen to blather about â€œracial profilingâ€ without ever pointing out that men are profiled six ways to Sunday and that whatâ€™s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.Â And nothing will change until we junk the politically correct junk and stop acting like capons.
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