I cannot imagine what gays, minorities and women must feel like on a daily basis.  And I certainly don’t try to pretend like I do.  I suppose some common stereotypes we imagine are “women are objects” or “gay guys are fairies.”  However I am sick and tired of being stereotyped or generalized…and I have been generalized BY Gays, Women, Men, Minorities, etc.  And what am I?  You’re thinking… “Joe, what the hell are you talking about?  How could YOU be generalized!?”

I get tired of defending my individualism.  People ask me questions and I answer honestly.  Let’s take a few days ago.  I went to the Britney Spears concert.  In fact I bought tickets the second they came out, got the VIP package complete with backstage tour and Pre-party, and took off work months in advance.  I made a day out of it by driving from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh!  I own every album, including bonus ones and have been to every concert tour she has ever done.  Do you honestly think I’d spend that kind of cash…just because I think she is “hot?” 

I have taken it all of my life!  YES I like gardening, poetry and Britney Spears.  I can’t be a straight male in the 21st century and enjoy those things?  I mean, the main culprits are my male co-workers or friends who basically sit there with their jaws dropped.  Once I told everyone what concert I was going to…they were like “Oh, I guess your girl likes her?”  Then I explain that I am the fan.  The next response is usually like “you think she is that hot, huh?”  WTF?  I’m gonna spend 1,100 on tickets to see her on stage?  I can pay 10 bucks to go down to Club Risque in Philly if I wanted to pay to see a hot girl!  Or even better, tear my girlfriend’s shirt off at night for free (may get slapped). 

It goes on the opposite end as well though; one of my favorite places to eat is Hooters.  I have been to dozens of them around the country.  They have some of the best wings, curly fries and quesadillas I know of.  When I tell people I go to Hooters they automatically think I am some sexist pig that enjoys ogling girls.  Look, I like staring at cleavage as much as the next guy…but I am not going to a frickin’ restaurant just to see a girl in a tight shirt!  You think I’d pay for bad food over and over?  Give me a break!  Yeah, the waitresses are attractive girls in short orange shorts…but it’s a job.  I am not naïve to not know some of them know how to work it for tips by bending over and giving you a nice shot…but they are not whores!  I am not giving them a twenty for a BJ.  They bring my food out, have a bubbly personality and then give me a check.  That’s it.  I go because it’s a fun atmosphere and I like the food.  Not to mention its 4 minutes from my house and a great place to watch a game.  I get tired of defending myself.

We live in a world where I am persecuted for going to Hooters because I am a stereotypical male.  But because I like Britney I am “gay.”  The best was when a gay co-worker of mine even had a good laugh at me going to see Britney!  Gah!

When I first started dating Michelle I had a friendly debate with her sister over my “manliness.”  She did not seem to think a guy who majored in Creative Writing was a real man.  You had to work in a factory or be a lumberjack to get the “MAN” title.  I laughed it off because I love Betha, but instead I wrote her a little poem about me.  I mean, what better way to show how much of a man I am then by writing a poem:

Grease on my shirt; Ink in my Pen

By Joe McDonald

Dedicated to Betha!


Oh Betha, a real man does not have to paint or clean.

In fact they don’t even have to be loud or mean!


No, real men aren’t afraid to think or write,

And I think I kick ass; you know I’m right!


I used to grease brakes and race cars,

I even threw down and gave out scars.


Every sport I play I come in first,

And I hate guys who wear pink shirts.


 A real man can drink, dance and fight,

And I have done all three in one night!


Still not convinced?  Let me list more!

I like playing games, but I love to score!


I can use tools and know how to change tires,

Plus I like pyrotechnics and causing big fires!


I hope this changes your mind about men being puppets,

Because I like English, but I am no Muppet!


So I may not be a mechanic or work in a zoo,

But I still think real men can write poetry for you!


The point is…why do I have to defend myself for being my own person?  We are all hypocrites in one way or another.  I like the things I like because…I like them.  I hate conformists who constantly must be the latest trend setters.  BUT I hate NON-conformists just as much if they avoid those very trends to be their own person…yet they all basically group themselves together, sit in dark rooms and learn to play bass (haha, that would be me being a hypocrite and generalizing). 

I am the type of person who likes and dislikes things because of my own personal reasons.  When Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” came out I fell in love with the song.  Because thirty million other people did at the same time, does that mean I did it because it’s “cool?”  Hell no!  I just liked the song!  Sometimes we confuse being conformists and…liking things because they are good.  An individual is a guy that wears a pink shirt because he likes the color pink.  A conformist is a guy who wears a pink shirt because he saw ten other guys do it. 

This is a ridiculous subject to write about because everyone generalizes, stereotypes and is a hypocrite.  I am no exception to the rule and I am one of the most accepting people I know.  I have close friends that are gay, black, latino, white, etc.  I look at them all as people.  Someone at work thought I didn’t like blacks because I didn’t look at them right away!  I was a bit miffed and had a stern talk with that person.  Some of my closer friends in High School and College were black, and I took great offense to that.  I cannot stand racism and was hurt because a black girl thought I had a problem with blacks.  After our talk we are closer than ever!  If people just talked they would understand so much more. 

I rather not have this cover race, gender or creed, etc. because I am a white male and I constantly get stereotyped.  Hell I get stereotyped for being a white male!  I was born that way my peeps.  Love it or leave it.  But my point in this blog was more on the individuality of a person.  I couldn’t give a damn what color your skin is because its 2009 and I feel we should be so far beyond that.  I think it’s laughable some people didn’t vote for our President solely on skin color.  It’s a shame we as a country still act so ridiculous after so many years.

But anyway, I got off topic.  The point is…be yourself.  I may not get totally accepted at times…but I do get respect.  I am real.  Classic Joey Mac is allowed to love Britney Spears, gardening, cooking, big boobs, coconut rum and cars…at the same time.  I don’t have to be a greaser or a fairy.  I don’t have to be Rambo or Napoleon Dynamite.  I can be both!  I read comic books and great works of literature.  I can stare at the Mona Lisa and Miss July in Playboy.  I can listen to Eminem and Duran Duran.  That is who I am, albeit a small sample.  I am a complicated person who treats everyone equal.  I do not assume things about people because I think of myself and how I hate when people think things about me without ever asking me!

Some may feel I am whining.  Be my guest.  But it hurts just as much when people assume things about me.  Group stereotypes get so much attention because large groups of people get generalized.  I am fighting the fight for the individual and how people get crucified for being themselves!  The peer pressure at College and High School is insane.  Every girl has to be stick thin with curves.  Every guy has to be well built with gel in their hair.  Everyone must get drunk to be cool.  The End.  I never got drunk once in College and High School.  And I suffered.  I never had a one night stand in my life.  In fact I never had a girlfriend until I was 20.  But you know what…I wouldn’t change any of my decisions.  I didn’t need a six pack to get friends.  I was happy being me.

You don’t need to bend to society to be happy or cool.  If you enjoy wearing low cut shirts, go for it!  If you enjoy drawing crazy cartoons, keep it up.  If you are male and enjoy the color pink, who cares?  Do not compromise who you are for anyone…because you can’t change how you feel when you are alone, no matter how fake you are.  And don’t worry about what others think…happiness comes from within.  I may get tired of defending my interests or who I am…but I much rather go through that then be someone other than me.

“Nobody's telling me just what what what I wanna do, do
I'm so fed up with people telling me to be
Someone else but me” ~ Britney Spears; Overprotected

Leave a Reply.