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The Strange, Homophobic Reason Guys Like Wiz Khalifa Won’t Eat Bananas in Public

Despite society’s queer acceptance, some dudes haven’t relaxed enough to eat phallic food. Is there a deeper issue at play?

Fellas, is it gay to eat bananas? I mean, it’s basically like putting a big yellow dick in your mouth, right?

Let’s face the facts: Bananas are great for you, but they’re simply too phallic for straight men to eat.

That’s why Wiz Khalifa has a solution: “Break the banana in half,” he told Charlamagne tha God on Hot 97’s The Breakfast Club radio show July 17.

“What do you mean?” Charlamagne said. “You just peel it and bite it!”

Khalifa, unfazed, explained again: “I’m just trying to help you out, bro. If you in public … and you eating a banana, just break it into pieces instead.”

I tried to ask some male acquaintances whether they too avoided this phallic-fruit-in-mouth practice in public, but none of them would answer directly. “Come to think of it, I’ve never seen a man eating a banana in public,” one did point out. “I always feel like dudes that are super worked up about not ‘looking gay’ probably might actually be gay,” another said.

Online, people pointed out how stupid and homophobic it is.

In a world hyper-obsessed with performing masculinity, it seems that just being thought of as effeminate or gay is still bad enough.

Maybe it’s proof that at least some men understand what it’s like to be sexualized in a way that they don’t want, didn’t ask for and isn’t fun. Either way, policing your own eating to avoid even the potential reactions of anyone else must be exhausting.

To which women would reply: Welcome to our world.

Nearly everything women do is oversexualized to a fault, especially the consumption of phallic foods. In 1990, comedian George Carlin asked men, “Are you ever able to watch a woman eating a banana and not think of a blowjob?”

Ice cream, hot dogs, popsicles and, yes, bananas — anything you lick or take into your mouth in whole form has a pornified depiction.

Slo-mo deep-throating an already dick-shaped item is a highly prized act in a woman. Women learn this early on and typically just go out there bravely and live their lives, one polish sausage at a time. A girl’s gotta eat, after all.

But some women pull a Khalifa and avoid it entirely. As one woman wrote online of her revelation with this fact:

When I was 12 I had an experience that changed my life. I ate an icy pole on the tram. As I happily licked the delicious lemony goodness off a stick two elderly men sat opposite me with odd looks on their faces. I suddenly felt self-conscious. I looked at my icy pole and then back at these two hideous hairy men having a Lolita moment. I was confused. Needless to say, I didn’t want to eat the icy pole anymore. … I was left with a phobia of eating phallic-shaped foods in public.

Of course, there’s a difference here between the woman above and Khalifa’s bananaphobia, and it’s important.

Women are conscious of being objectified — so objectified that it’s as if our mouths don’t exist for any other purpose than to take a dick in it. Women change their entire lives to avoid being sexualized in scenarios they don’t want, whether it’s a literal change of route, covering up their bodies or minimizing themselves to take up less space and avoid unwanted attention.

Even still, they endure catcalls, comments and endless reminders that they are phallic-object adjacent, which ends up making us feel perpetually on guard, on sometimes even fearing for our lives.

Even when we’re just trying to get some potassium.

Contrast this with Khalifa, whose worst-case scenario is being embarrassed. Khalifa could swallow a banana whole and it’d result in nothing more than a dumb jeer.

It’s clear our society’s increased acceptance of homosexuality, as well as the acknowledgement that sexuality exists on a spectrum, have not necessarily given all men permission to relax the sphincter. There are still men with “homosexual OCD” who live in fear that they walk a fraught line of gayness. There are still, apparently, men who live in fear of looking capable of fitting a penis in their mouths.

As cognitive behavioral therapist Avy Joseph explains to Esquire:

“The more you insist that you mustn’t have a particular thought, guess what happens? You’re going to have hundreds of them,” he tells me. “That causes anxiety, and then you start to think more unrealistically. The ability to think in a probabilistic way goes out the window. Then you ask yourself: ‘How can I be absolutely sure that these thoughts won’t come back?’ And then of course you start demanding certainty…”

No one can trust men at large not to turn everything into a dick situation. But the correct response to that fact of life is not to cower in fear and alter ourselves, least of all our fruit consumption. It’s to remind ourselves that it’s okay to take a banana — a bratwurst, a breadstick — deep into our mouths, gay or straight, male or female, whatever way you prefer, so long as it’s our way.

Khalifa deserves your roasts on Twitter, but dudes, don’t just be all talk. Remember that women can’t eat a single Slim Jim without concern that someone will store that in a spank bank. So eat that banana with reckless abandon, and maybe even sexy solidarity. Take that banana to the face. You’ll be clearing the throat path for future generations.