My favorite thing to do over the past few weeks has been to half-jokingly invite my guy friends to see Eat, Pray, Love. The responses have ranged from the mild “My wife is begging me to see that” to the uncomfortable “I’m a heterosexual” to the alarmingly homophobic “You *&#ass yoga freak!” I’m a heterosexual male; and I’ve met a lot of resistance in having a mature conversation with other men about how much I enjoyed the book Eat, Pray, Love. I’m gonna go so far as to say that Eat, Pray, Love is the defining moment for homophobia in the modern day. To be a man and say you loved the book and invite a homophobic man to go see the movie is more offensive than trying to hold his hand or telling him you love his “outfit,” or worst of all, inviting him to “grab some fro-yo after the game.” (fro-yo is short for frozen yogurt)
According to a recent NY Times article, there is a growing body of research supporting the notion “that homophobia in some men could be a reaction to their own homosexual impulses.” The article goes on to say “many heterosexual men see this, and they don’t want to be associated with it. It’s like being antigay is becoming the old gay. Not cool.” Hey, maybe Eat, Pray, Love isn’t so bad after all? Of course, it’s not just “chick” books that some men are adverse to. While a growing population of men now practice yoga, let’s be honest, many still think it’s wuss and something for women, effeminate men, and “stretchy homos.” I’ve got some advice for the tough, single guys out there. Go on a YOGA RETREAT. Research shows that attendees of yoga retreats are 84% women, 72% of whom would love to meet a man. Actually, better than going on a yoga retreat, grab a copy of Eat, Pray, Love; a rolled up yoga mat; a puppy; and a journal. Go sit in your nearby Starbucks, and watch what happens. You’ll undoubtedly be a magnet. Just who will you attract? Homophobes, you might be in for a surprise.