My dear Dr. Boli: I keep wondering about that ugly-sounding hybrid word bromance. What is it implying? That men no longer have friendships unless they are somewhat romantic? Is there a sister word, too, like sistmance, or can women have friendships but men cannot? Is friendship a dying art? —Sincerely, D. King’s Daughter.
Dear Madam: “Bromance” is used to describe friendships only between creatures called “bros.” Though they can hybridize with Homo sapiens sapiens, they are not strictly speaking men. As Mr. Salvatore Magundi has explained elsewhere, the difference between a “bro” (or “guy”) and a “man” is that the masculinity of the former is conditional. Thus when a “bro” sees two others of his own kind forming a deep friendship (admittedly an unusual occurrence), he believes that they have lost their masculinity, and that only a vigorous response characterized by taunts and insulting names can prevent the infection from spreading to himself. This is more a religious belief than a pseudoscientific one: the “bro” sees the friendship as a kind of ritual uncleanness that can be contracted by contact or even proximity.
Men, on the other hand, seldom worry about their masculinity. Dr. Boli is of the opinion, in fact, that any man who worries excessively about his masculinity would be better off without it anyway. Men are as free to form friendships as women are, and there is therefore no similarly insulting term for friendships between members of the species Homo sapiens sapiens.