CNN on Bromance and on Men at Sea
CNN covers bromance yesterday as they cover the Maersk success
Posted April 16, 2009
The interest in bromance (men's close friendships with other men) continues. CNN featured it yesterday and interviewed me as part of the program. Men telling each other they love each other (but in a non-sexual way) continues to catch everyone's eye thanks to recent movies and tv shows. A bromance is usually thought of as a new relationship or putting an old friendship into a higher gear. Two men meet at work and become close --- that now has the nickname bro (for brother) and mance (for romance). On the same morning show and in back to back stories, CNN covered bromance and then the real bromance --- what developed between the Americans who were captured by the Somali pirates.
How comfortable are men with expressing feelings for each other? Look at the men from the Maersk who were temporarily held by pirates but then re-took their ship. Look at the way they hug and express their emotion for each other and their captain. Lionel Tiger, the great sociologist, wrote many years ago that men could only express love for each other in war and sports. This was war. It was macho. And most of these guys cannot wait to get back to sea with each other. Do we need to invent a new term for this re-visiting of the men in battle affection? Is it a group bromance? Is it similar to Aristotle's writing about men "sharing salt" as a way of establishing a strong bond/friendship (see Nichomachean Ethics)? Or is it just what men have been doing for centuries when they fight together, win a sporting event together, or survive some other ordeal? What ever it is called, it is unbridled, non-sexual affection - the kind of feeling that men have often expressed for each other in the past and the kind of feeling that men are not ashamed to feel. The more men feel comfortable expressing such feelings (though hopefully without having to put their life on the line), the better off communities will be.