Soy: the equivalent of the boogeyman
The Internet is a deep, hilarious, dark and hideously bizarre place. Spending one hour on the Web can either restore one’s faith in humanity or make one want to revert back to the Stone Age, where the only form of worldly communication was by bird-mail.
This particular case of “What the heck was this idiot smoking?” is the reoccurring statement that drinking too much soy milk will make young boys and men “turn gay.”
In a 2006 article by World News Daily, author Jim Rutz embarks on a six-part story of how soy is a “slow poison out there that’s severely damaging our children and threatening to tear apart our culture.”
In addition to Rutz’s dramatics, he makes bigoted claims such as, “If you’re a man, you’re suppressing your masculinity and stimulating your ‘female side,’ physically and mentally.”
Not to mention, Rutz presented the Internet with a goldmine of stupidity by stating that “soy is feminizing and commonly leads to a decrease in the size of the penis, sexual confusion and homosexuality.”
Surprisingly, this is not the first time that this ridiculous idea has reared its head on the internet.
Men’s Health Magazine published an article in 2009 talking about soy called “Is This the Most Dangerous Food for Men?”
The article states how soy can affect the hormones of a man — which is true — but the extent to which the article reaches is a bit ridiculous. The article continues with a novella-worthy tale of a man who drank too much soy, couldn’t get an erection, grew breasts and the doctor who solved this mystery.
According to The Huffington Post, fermented soy is good for health, but excess unfermented soy — as well as many other processed foods — may cause health risks.
The point is not even truly the processed and unprocessed ways to digest soy; it is the ludicrous idea that increased estrogen levels changes sexual orientation. In addition, it is the idea that higher estrogen levels make a man less of a man.
There are even rabbis who have forbidden their students from consuming soy-based products because of this myth.
Heebmagazine.com reported in October 2013 that officials of the Gur Hasidic Yeshiva ordered students to say away from soy-based products with the fear of soy causing “unwanted arousal.”
Before this incident, another rabbi from the same sect allegedly restricted handshakes between men because it “could lead to sin,” according to failedmessiah.typepad.com.
An October 2013 article by care2.com tried to dissolve this absurd idea by insisting that there is no correlation between soy products and homosexuality. Just because some studies have stated that purely soy-based baby formulas could harm development and tinker with hormones, it does not make the children gay, the article said.
Being society’s vision of masculine does not automatically make one a man, and being seen as more feminine does not keep one from being a man.
Men are so concerned with keeping society’s “masculine” gender roles that they’re afraid of being the least bit feminine for fear of being seen as homosexual.
This is shown by ridiculous statements like the subhead for the article “Is This the Most Dangerous Food for Men?” that says “there may be a hidden dark side to soy, one that has the power to undermine everything it means to be male.”
Let’s evaluate all the things wrong with that statement.
“Everything it means to be male” is not decided by body image. I have met plenty of “men” who fell way below the standard I would place a man into.
Men, don’t fear soy. I’m sure some boys will find a way to prove they are not a man — and it won’t be determined by what they put in their cereal.
Senior staff columnist Kelly Schafler is a print journalism junior and may be reached at [email protected]