Popklassieker du jour: Real Men

Real Men is een commentaar op de homoscene van de vroege jaren ’80 in New York. Terwijl ‘mannelijk” gedrag elders in de maatschappij steeds meer ter discussie kwam te staan, was de homoscene in New York expliciet en schaamteloos macho (All the gays are macho/Can’t you see the leather shine?). Voor Joe Jackson aanleiding te reflecteren op de traditionele rolverdeling tussen mannen en vrouwen en de vraag wat een man nu tot een ‘echte’ man maakt. Of misschien moeten we dat hele begrip maar gewoon dumpen omdat het hopeloos achterhaald is (‘Cause there’s women running past you now/And you just drag your feet).

Take your mind back, I don’t know when
Some time when it always seemed to be just us and them
Girls that wore pink and boys that wore blue
Boys that always grew up better men than me and you

What’s a man now? What’s a man mean?
Is he rough or is he rugged?
Is he cultural and clean?
Now it’s all changed, it’s got to change more
‘Cause we think it’s getting better
But nobody’s really sure

And so it goes, go ‘round again
But now and then we wonder who the real men are

See the nice boys, dancing in pairs
Golden earring, golden tan, blow wave in their hair
Sure, they’re all straight, straight as a line
All the gays are macho
Can’t you see the leather shine?

You don’t want to sound dumb, don’t want to offend
So don’t call me a faggot
Not unless you are a friend
Then if you’re tall and handsome and strong
You can wear the uniform and I could play along

And so it goes, go ‘round again
But now and then we wonder who the real men are

Time to get scared, time to change plan
Don’t know how to treat a lady
Don’t know how to be a man
Time to admit what you call defeat
‘Cause there’s women running past you now
And you just drag your feet

Man makes a gun, man goes to war
Man can kill and man can drink
And man can take a whore
Kill all the blacks, kill all the reds
And if there’s war between the sexes
Then there’ll be no people left

And so it goes, go ‘round again
But now and then we wonder who the r
eal men are

Uitgelichte afbeelding: By Jason Regan – _DSC1276, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2613869