‘Bromances’ aren’t a threat to women

Image by: Stephanie Jiang

Just because something is good for men, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad for women. The rise of the so-called ‘bromance’ is no exception.

In a National Post article, a survey of 30 heterosexual undergraduate men was used to study the impact of the ‘bromance.’ The results of the survey claimed that close, affectionate friendships between heterosexual men are something that will negatively impact their romantic relationships with women.

Any relationship — platonic or romantic — between two people is a complex thing; no two are the same. No one person can give you all of the emotional support you need and any attempt to do so is draining and destructive.

The results of the survey attempt to construct a modern dating contract that doesn’t exist. The idea that men only want romantic relationships with women in order to have sex is one that ironically perpetuates toxic masculinity. The article believes the false narrative that men don’t need emotional connections from friends and partners and are incapable of emotional complexity.

The study assumes that as long as someone is getting one valuable emotional connection, they won’t want or need another. Not only is this untrue, but it’s an oversimplification of the diverse relationships human beings have always had.

The article suggests that homophobia and toxic masculinity are things of the past. Despite recent strides in reducing them, these destructive social forces are still very much alive. Young men aren’t yet “liberated from the stifling bigotries of homophobia” and to suggest otherwise is to ignore the issues that LGBTQIA+ people still face, twisting the findings of this survey to a pointed agenda.

Like homophobia, misogyny is a pervasive force that has yet to be eradicated. The fact that the young men interviewed claimed their female romantic partners were controlling isn’t a direct cause of their close relationships with male friends.

The article undermines the depth of a relationship that a man can have with a woman outside of a romantic relationship. Bromances don’t negate female-male friendships and perpetuating the idea that women can only exist in a sexual realm for heterosexual men is absurd.

Finally, the argument of the article hinges on the research done in a survey of 30 undergraduate men. The small number of participants alone is indicative of the lack of real basis for the claim that bromances threaten women. Thirty men can’t represent the whole of the male population and this survey doesn’t qualify their opinions as fact.

Friendships between men have always existed and the trend of showing open affection within these relationships is something to be encouraged and celebrated. It shouldn’t be knocked down for fear of an imagined disadvantage for women, where there’s no evidence of this being the case.

— Journal Editorial Board


bromance, Editorials, Relationships, sexism

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

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