I clicked on this article because of the funny Anglophenia blog post headline: Idris Elba Creates a Global Man Panic. I was expecting it to be a satirical celebration of the many talents and admirable qualities of Idris Elba in traditional Fraser McAlpine fashion (I am a big fan or Fraser McAlpine’s posts) perhaps in something of the light-hearted Busy Benedict style (Example 1, 2, 3, 4 . . . I hope you find them as amusing as I do).
But instead of some witty amusement, it seems like all I got was tirade of men complaining about their ungrateful, unappreciative women who have had the audacity to express admiration for a global movie star and multi-talented man named Idris Elba— EVEN after their men have performed small acts of kindness and love that most of us probably just accept as the acts of kindness and love one gives in a healthy relationship without really expecting direct compensation. But these men seem to have somehow linked these things with their girlfriends wanting to cheat on them when Idris Elba inevitably shows up on their doorstep to have sex with them?
I do think Idris Elba gives us a great opportunity to discuss modern masculinity, and I do think it could have been done in a funny, light, and amusing way, but this conversation just seems disappointing, unoriginal, and a little frighteningly backwards.
I’m particularly disturbed the original ‘poem’ that started the trend, which strikes me as rather hostile (and not ‘in good fun’) and veering dangerously close for expecting sex(respect) for money(food, functional home/utilities). These men also seem to want to deny their women the same physical/sexual responses we are traditionally expected to shrug off as natural in men (replace Kate Upton, Victoria’s Secret models, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Sofia Vegara, other women in bikinis at the beach, or porn with Idris Elba; how well do you think that conversation would go?) Furthermore, it follows the age-old practice of blaming women for the issues of men: if Idris Elba’s fame and popularity somehow threaten regular men’s masculinity, that is something that can certainly be examined, but women have very little responsibility for the problem nor power to remedy the situation.
This kind of discussion could escalate very easily (especially because it is online) and I honestly don’t think Idris Elba would find that amusing or be proud that his ‘masculinity’/confidence/charisma/talent/fame/handsomeness would be used a platform for that kind of misogyny.
McAlpine does his best with the material he has but in the end, I’m still left feeling a little uncomfortable.
Is this just me?
P.S. When I typed some of the above-mentioned celebrities’ names into google to check spelling nearly all of them had an auto fill of “Actress Name Hot.”