Hoteps and Young Fogeys: A Match Made in Heaven?

A couple of months ago, there was a post on the Black Nonbelievers of Atlanta Facebook on Hoteps, those faux Afro-centric, faux black nationalist guys who have a severe addiction to inappropriate ankh usage and slamming “uppity” black women, black LGBTs, and anyone else who poses a threat to “black manhood” and they define it. Basically, they’re black MRAs, trying to justify their misogyny and homophobia with “consciousness” and an egregious misuse and misunderstanding of black history. The Visibility Project has a helpful field guide to identifying the Hotep on Twitter:

Reading the above link caused flashbacks, and I soon realized that the Hoteps have quite a lot in common with the “Young Fogey” types one often find in Catholic traditionalism. Like the Hoteps, the Young Fogeys have an intense desire to live in another place and in another age. With the former, it’s ancient Egypt, while the former dream of the glories of medieval Europe. Both groups dream of living in some “golden age” without the problems they ascribe to the modern age. For Hotefs, ancient Egypt was a time when black men could be kings, while the Young Fogeys love the idea of a unified Europe under Catholic domination (it goes without saying to women were subservient to men in both contexts, which is presumably also part of the appeal). Pharaonic Egypt lasted for more than 6,000 years and the medieval period for about a thousand, so it’s unclear what time or place they yearn for in particular. Life in Egypt under the Old Kingdom was quite different than Egypt under the Ptolemaic kings, to say nothing of the bizarre Amarna interlude, and the manner of living in an Anglo-Saxon village in 700 CE would have been nothing like living in twelfth century London. I guess we’re suppose to assume that it was just all good the whole time. Presumably, Hoteps and Young Fogeys envision themselves as being pharaohs, popes, priests, nobles, and other illustrious figures, and not the more likely possibility that they would have been peasents or lepers. But in a daydream, everyone can be a king, right?

Hotefs and Young Fogeys like to pay lip service to the idea of respecting women, but only if said women conform to their preconceived notions of what constitutes proper femininity. For Young Fogeys, the phenomenon of women wearing pants is a symbol for everything that is wrong with the modern world, which is why you see so many articles, blog entries, and forum threads about the evils of trouser-wearing females. While the Hotefs don’t seem to be as hung up on the “Theology of the Skirt” like the Young Fogeys, they spend a lot of time critiquing what women are or aren’t wearing, as if all of the ills suffered by the black community could be avoided by modest forms of dress. Curiously, the Hotefs don’t apply these dress standards to themselves, and would regard any suggestions that they change their clothing habits to be an attack on the black man.

Closely related to the distaste for independent-minded women is the dislike for LGBT people, since both involve the policing of gender roles and sexual expression. I’ve written about the obsession with gender essentialism in conservotrad Catholicism extensively, but the knee-jerk reaction to homosexuality among Young Fogeys and Hotefs seems to be rooted in anxiety over masculinity. Catholic traditionalism is draped in silk, lace, and incense, which doesn’t strike the modern observer as being particularly masculine. Add in the abuse crisis and the moral panic over gay clergy, and you have a sub-culture obsessed with appearing “butch” and macho, particularly when it comes to the priesthood (I guess trads don’t know about the bear subculture).

On the Hotef side, I get that black masculinity is usually regarded as a dangerous thing, but bullying the LGBT community into heteronormative compliance isn’t going to solve this problem. As with their counterparts in conservotrad land, the Hotefs seem not to know or care that there is an entire gay subculture based around hyper-masculine rap aesthetics, that same-sex relations have existed in Africa since antiquity (see, or that blacks make up the largest demographic of the American LGBT community (see Homophobia is wrong, whether you’re using natural law or “consciousness” to justify it.

For all of the similarities between the Hotefs and the Young Fogeys, an alliance is unlikely to occur, if only because the former are as Afro-centric as the latter are Euro-centric, which would lead to irreconcilable differences, so to speak. This can only be a positive thing, as I don’t think the world could survive if these two special brands of idiocy were to unite.