History

The Origin of the Bro Handshake-Hug by Lisa

Over the past year, one thing I haven’t missed is the internal debate that occurs ‌when meeting someone: ​”Should I shake their hand or hug them? One cheek kiss or ​two?” Misinterpreting‌ the situation, especially when meeting someone ⁣for the first time, can be incredibly awkward. However, the pandemic has temporarily relieved us from the social awkwardness of⁢ physical greetings.

As an openly⁢ gay man, there’s one greeting that particularly unnerves me: the “bro handshake-hug”. You’ve likely seen it before:​ it’s⁤ a combination of a handshake and a high-five, followed by a one-armed hug⁤ and shoulder bump, typically concluded ​with a‌ pat ⁤on the back. Many men⁤ seem to⁣ effortlessly ⁣execute this complex sequence, which is impressive considering it can‍ often appear​ as a regular ‍handshake or hug until the last moment. For me, the entire ‍process ‍feels as foreign as playing football.

So, where did this confusing and anxiety-provoking gesture originate? The “bro ⁣hug” has many ‌names, including the hip-hop hug, bro handshake, one-armed ​hug, dude hug, homie hug, bro-grab, and man-hug. Initially, it was known as the “pound hug”, which evolved from “the dap”, a handshake invented by African American soldiers during‍ the Vietnam War. Due to rampant racism in the US at the time, these soldiers often​ faced racial violence and‍ discrimination in the military. They created ⁢a gesture of unity, with movements symbolising⁣ equality and togetherness.

Post-war, this hug became a standard‍ greeting among African American men. It then permeated hip-hop culture and eventually mainstream culture, as music channels like MTV began airing videos by African American rappers. The earliest notable ‌example is in ‍Tupac Shakur’s music video for “I Get Around” in 1993. About​ 30 seconds in, he ⁢greets a friend with a “bro hug”. Far from the anxiety this gesture causes me, it⁤ appears warm and signifies acceptance between the two men. While‍ it may seem commonplace⁢ now, men hugging each other was much less prevalent 30 years ago.

Psychologist⁢ Ian MacRae⁤ tells GQ that physical norms, including handshakes or greetings like the bro hug, often‌ relate to ‍a sense of belonging. He explains that while wider‍ society influences general norms and rules, our immediate social group of friends, family, and colleagues ‌significantly impacts our physical behaviour. Physical greetings can establish ‍group norms, and specific​ types of handshakes or unique physical patterns can indicate group membership.

For⁢ African ⁣American ⁤men, especially in the US military, the bro hug was a means of‌ fostering a sense⁣ of belonging. It served as ⁢a form of resistance against racism and the physical norms ‍imposed by their white oppressors. Dr Akil Houston of Ohio University believes that ⁤the body is one of the primary ways people have resisted oppression over time. He suggests that⁢ expressions that defy proper​ decorum allow people to assert themselves and express⁢ their humanity. MacRae concurs that displays that challenge norms can communicate this message, such as performing a bro hug in a setting where a formal handshake is‌ expected. He explains⁣ that executing a bro hug at‌ a formal dinner or stiff party would send a strong signal of defiance. ‍It’s a physical way of declaring your separation from the event or social ​status.

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A Short Overview of the History of Prostitution by Lisa

Exploring the Sex Work Industry in Japan: A Case Study

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Despite the fact that​ prostitution has been officially outlawed in Japan since 1956, it has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry, providing a wide range of services.

The yūjo, or “women ‌of pleasure,” were among the‌ first known forms of prostitution in Japan. ⁢These ‌women, who were licensed to work as prostitutes from ‍the 16th century, ‍had to be well-versed in various aspects of their trade. This included knowledge of‍ aphrodisiacs like charred newts and lotus root, 48 sexual positions, the art of convincingly⁤ feigning an‌ orgasm, ‌and the most appealing​ pubic hair styles.

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The demand for yūjo was partly ‌fueled by the​ societal role of ⁣wives during the 16th century. Marriages during this period were not based on love, but rather on ⁤age and‌ suitability. A ​wife’s responsibilities included ⁢childbearing and financial management, which often involved​ allocating a budget for their husband’s sexual desires. Despite its prevalence, prostitution was not considered a respectable occupation.‌ The term yūjo itself implies idleness, and the government occasionally suggested that ⁤these women should pursue more respectable jobs, such as weaving.

Over time, the distinction ⁤between traditional yūjo and geisha began to fade. Initially, geishas were prohibited from selling their physical ‍services. However, as time passed, these restrictions eroded, while the sophistication and training required to entertain men remained a constant.

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