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The Sopranos And The Decline Of Masculinity

Andy Selsberg writes on

Slinking into a shrink’s office is a big, flashing no-no, but the world of the Sopranos is saturated with landmines of vulnerability. In the first season, Junior has a crisis because word gets out that he performs cunnilingus. As he explains to his girlfriend, “They think if you suck pussy you’ll suck anything. It’s a sign of weakness, and possibly a sign that you’re a fanook.”

Clearly, any value system that bans cunnilingus does not have a good shot at being naturally selected. Even hyper-masculine hip-hop celebrates the act in song. It doesn’t matter that a taboo on eating snatch is as ludicrous as a taboo against eating quiche. Junior, even as a capo emeritus, so fears emasculation-by-ridicule that he lets it poison the one sweet relationship he has. Then, as though trying to take back all the oral pleasure he’s given away, he ends up smashing a cream pie in his lover’s face; trying to be a man turns him into a clown.

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