How to be a Man

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I say this, because without shouting reverse sexism or defending, but because I grew up in an era very antagonistic to men and boys. You look at what it took to diagnose ADD, your grandparents called it being a boy. To quote Tyler Durden, "We are a generation of men raised by women." In my case, a woman who told me to not be like my father or uncles a lot of the time.
Aggression, physicality are verboten. The schools I went to for primary and junior high were very antagonistic towards boys. I had to teach myself to be a man. As I said to my fiancee, it took me a long time to realize that I can take control without being controlling, I can be interested without objectifying, etc. And then you get into puberty, and apparently pornography led to becoming a serial killer. So finding women sexually appealing is a bad thing.

I and most men I know did not get this as kids, as teenagers. I was raised in an environment not just to respect women, but that a lot of masculinity is bad.

Flash forward today, so many of my peers are already so docile, so demure, beta or whipped (you pick), they have no idea how to be a man for a woman other than being a welcome mat.

Actually, this is apparently a common dating problem for guys.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nKwDxjEqr4&list=UUDeGE2H_TzBVcrZ9iGjmFpQ&index=12&feature=plcp

Step 1: Identify as a man
Step 2 (Optional): Have a penis

SixteenBlue wrote:

Step 1: Identify as a man
Step 2 (Optional): Have a penis

Step 3: Profit

There are themes in the Feminist thread about how confusing it can be to fulfill social and self-expectations of what a "man" is supposed to be. KingGorilla posted this:

Chivalry is sexist.

LarryC wrote:

There are themes in the Feminist thread about how confusing it can be to fulfill social and self-expectations of what a "man" is supposed to be. KingGorilla posted this:

Chivalry is sexist.

Not being sexist has nothing to do with being a man. Nor does chivalry.

There's no such thing as "being a man" beyond my original post.

This is the [em]last[/em] thread I belong in, so I will simply sit here watching and munch *popcorn*.

LarryC wrote:

SixteenBlue:

I'm not really making that point. I'm just quoting KingGorilla. There seemed to be interest in this topic, so I made this thread to accommodate it.

I know, and I'm discussing it.

SixteenBlue:

I'm not really making that point. I'm just quoting KingGorilla. There seemed to be interest in this topic, so I made this thread to accommodate it.

Demyx answers this way:

Demyx wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:

Chivalry is sexist.

All that article says is that the study had some women list experiences they thought were sexist, and some of them listed "chivalrous" things like door holding.

What's the issue?

If that is not calling a boy's behavior dysfunction, I do not know what is.

Why are those male traits?

Every study on violent media-movies, TV, comics, games ties media to aggression in boys. We evolved as bubbling walking tanks of testosterone and aggression. Most of us channel it into a career, sports, etc.

Why is aggression a male trait?

And circling back around. No one helped me with any of this, save one area. My parents were wise enough to not have me medicated, and put into a more challenging school as a kid.

I think you missed this from earlier: Were you ever told that you should not pursue your chosen field or area of interest because you are male? Serious question here.

It is more me saying let people make the choices.

Is it okay for men to choose to be less dominant if they want to?

I can and have taken a lot of control in our lives, mostly because it works better if only one of us handles the bills, etc. Before this we were tearing hair out trying to make everything absolutely equal/quid pro quo.

Do you have a problem with a relationship where everything is equal and it works, or a relationship where the woman handles all the finances and important decisions and both parties seem happy with that?

LarryC wrote:

There are themes in the Feminist thread about how confusing it can be to fulfill social and self-expectations of what a "man" is supposed to be. KingGorilla posted this:

Chivalry is sexist.

I like articles like that. I enjoy the sound they make as I dismiss them and let them fall into my mental trashbin. Anyone of any stripe that tells everyone else what they should and shouldn't be thinking, or tells you that they represent what everyone else is thinking on the inside is kinda bonkers.

This isn't a "man problem" any more than a take charge woman is seen as either "a bitch" or "a go getter" depending on who you are (the male equivalent is there as "***hole" or "a go getter"). This is a problem just around the fact that some people take things differently than other things.

I was actually discussing this last night (with my ex, of all people), and my take on it is this: anyone who is hung up on how a man should be acting "as a man" or a woman should be acting "as a woman" really just does not get it in the gender equity sense. There's some identity issues at work, sure, but trying to hang that into the whole equality struggle is a bad, bad idea.

IMAGE(http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3jhwzWpN21qeve54o1_500.gif)

Tanglebones wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:

I say this, because without shouting reverse sexism or defending, but because I grew up in an era very antagonistic to men and boys.

Not so sure that this time has ever existed. What you're seeing is the balance being shifted from supreme male dominance over society to merely overwhelming male dominance over society.

It's not a zero-sum game. It's possible for society to be sh*tty for both men AND women, yet still way less sh*tty for men. Not every bad thing that happens to men means a good thing is happening for women. Not every loss of a thing beneficial for men is the balance being shifted towards greater equality.

Demyx wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:

Isn't it the point of education and parenting to grow and nurture the best from all fronts? Women in college get a lecture in how to not get raped. Why don't men get a talk on appropriate ways to be around women when alcohol and drugs are flowing? We get told no means no, but no one ever showed us the proper way to pose the question. So much of the focus is on no and don't, rarely if ever on what you can and should.

I have heard many feminists propose basically this very same thing, actually.

That's the thing--I don't think this has anything to do with feminism, like 'feminism is bad and made the world antagonistic for men and boys.' He said "I was raised in an environment not just to respect women, but that a lot of masculinity is bad."

If you want to put a feminist theory spin on this, it's that misused authority tends to resemble patriarchy--it feminizes the subordinate, whether male or female. That patriarchy invades and corrupts all human relationships, *especially* that of adult to child, irrespective of the gender of the individuals involved.

Bloo Driver wrote:

I like articles like that. I enjoy the sound they make as I dismiss them and let them fall into my mental trashbin.

"I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by." -- were you channeling Douglas Adams there?

On topic -- I read the article and was actually pretty impressed that they conflated completely plausible items (the man/woman vs boy/girl linguistic thing -- exacerbated especially here in the midwest by our tendency to use "guys" as a gender neutral term) with hilariously silly items (being nice to a member of the opposite sex = sexism)

anyone who is hung up on how a man should be acting "as a man" or a woman should be acting "as a woman" really just does not get it in the gender equity sense. There's some identity issues at work, sure, but trying to hang that into the whole equality struggle is a bad, bad idea.

I've known you for the better half of a decade now, and I'm fairly convinced that's the best thing you've said.

LarryC wrote:

What's meant by the idioms, "Be a man!" or "Man up?" I've never really glommed on to what they're supposed to mean.

Toughen up, be brave, stop hesitating/complaining/crying, etc. Generally used to encourage and/or humiliate someone who isn't currently embodying the rugged manly man stereotype.

LarryC wrote:

What's meant by the idioms, "Be a man!" or "Man up?" I've never really glommed on to what they're supposed to mean.

It means stop whining about discomfort and do whatever it is your supposed to be doing. Usually around me it involves some kind of drinking, but the attitude is best expressed in the western miniseries (and novel) "Lonesome Dove" or anything by Ernest Hemingway.

MCCRAE: I'll say a word.... just a word. He was a good, brave boy, he had a fine tenor voice and we'll all miss him. There's accidents in life, and he met with a bad one. We may all do the same if we ain't careful. Dust to dust. Now, let's the rest of us go on to Montana.

CALL: He's right, boys. The best thing you can do with death is ride off from it.

Later, one of the main characters make writes an epitaph for a fallen comrade:

Josh Deets. Served with me 30 years. Fought 21 engagements with the Comanche and the Kiowa. Cheerful in all weathers. Never shirked a task. Splendid behavior."

Now that is manning the f*ck up.

What's meant by the idioms, "Be a man!" or "Man up?" I've never really glommed on to what they're supposed to mean.

I found this quote interesting:

Valmorian wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:

I am not saying there is a one size fits all man, woman, or personality type. But I have noticed a lot of consensus on the bad crap.

The issue, I think, comes from your perceived claim that such behaviours constitute "being a man". As if those traits are somehow inherently tied to masculine identity. It is exactly that kind of assumption that feminism fights.

I'm not an American; I'm not even sure I'm very Westernized, though I'm, er, less "weird" than most Japanese. I think.

As far as I can tell, the local culture where I live doesn't polarize gender very dramatically in this manner. There are men who like machismo, and women who like men who pursue machismo; but that's generally considered its own thing and somewhat its own subculture.

For the most part, women who are aggressive are not universally viewed negatively; being aggressive is not viewed as expressly a masculine trait. Likewise, being passive is also not viewed expressly negatively, and it's not necessarily uniquely feminine.

It's a little weird to me that aggressiveness is related to maleness; like how a bridge is also supposed to be male. Those associations just don't occur to me normally.

muttonchop wrote:
LarryC wrote:

What's meant by the idioms, "Be a man!" or "Man up?" I've never really glommed on to what they're supposed to mean.

Toughen up, be brave, stop hesitating/complaining/crying, etc. Generally used to encourage and/or humiliate someone who isn't currently embodying the rugged manly man stereotype.

Interesting. In the sense that men are counterparts and conceivably opposites to women, do these phrases subtly imply that women are complaining, cowardly, and weak?

LarryC wrote:
muttonchop wrote:
LarryC wrote:

What's meant by the idioms, "Be a man!" or "Man up?" I've never really glommed on to what they're supposed to mean.

Toughen up, be brave, stop hesitating/complaining/crying, etc. Generally used to encourage and/or humiliate someone who isn't currently embodying the rugged manly man stereotype.

Interesting. In the sense that men are counterparts and conceivably opposites to women, do these phrases subtly imply that women are complaining, cowardly, and weak?

Pretty much, yeah.

1. Hold the door open for anyone.
2. Behave the opposite of what Spike TV suggests.

LarryC wrote:
muttonchop wrote:
LarryC wrote:

What's meant by the idioms, "Be a man!" or "Man up?" I've never really glommed on to what they're supposed to mean.

Toughen up, be brave, stop hesitating/complaining/crying, etc. Generally used to encourage and/or humiliate someone who isn't currently embodying the rugged manly man stereotype.

Interesting. In the sense that men are counterparts and conceivably opposites to women, do these phrases subtly imply that women are complaining, cowardly, and weak?

Yes. That is why, linguistically, they are subtly insulting to half of the population.

I couch it mentally in the same way I think of our dating system -- When you say "I was born in 1999 AD," you are saying you were born in the year 1999 Anno Domini, "in the year of our Lord." It is subtly insulting to the billions of people for whom "Our Lord" is not the Judeo Christian God. So swap for "Common Era" and you're good to go.

muttonchop wrote:
LarryC wrote:
muttonchop wrote:
LarryC wrote:

What's meant by the idioms, "Be a man!" or "Man up?" I've never really glommed on to what they're supposed to mean.

Toughen up, be brave, stop hesitating/complaining/crying, etc. Generally used to encourage and/or humiliate someone who isn't currently embodying the rugged manly man stereotype.

Interesting. In the sense that men are counterparts and conceivably opposites to women, do these phrases subtly imply that women are complaining, cowardly, and weak?

Pretty much, yeah.

Don't forget irrational.

LarryC wrote:
muttonchop wrote:
LarryC wrote:

What's meant by the idioms, "Be a man!" or "Man up?" I've never really glommed on to what they're supposed to mean.

Toughen up, be brave, stop hesitating/complaining/crying, etc. Generally used to encourage and/or humiliate someone who isn't currently embodying the rugged manly man stereotype.

Interesting. In the sense that men are counterparts and conceivably opposites to women, do these phrases subtly imply that women are complaining, cowardly, and weak?

On some level, yes. Being male in a patriarchal culture is in some sense a pair of golden handcuffs. You have privileges, but you are not free to refuse them--you will be punished for rejecting your higher status. If people are not free to dismiss you as a complainer, a coward, a weakling, you must then never complain or have fear or show weakness. You only get to be half a person. Granted, you get the way better half, but you still only get to be half a human being.

Huh. I must be gay, then. I'm attracted to people who are logical, brave, decisive, courteous, and strong. And who happen to have vaginas, though I suppose the latter is somewhat incidental.

Are there guys who like weak, complaining, irrational, and rude companions? That's really weird.

Well I intended it as a statement that I had to self create, largely, the man I am today. And being heterosexual, to determine what kind of man I wanted to be for my wife or girlfriend. I never got any higher guidance on that. But you get a lot of misinformation along the way. And as I stated in the feminism thread, often at the expense of self sure nature. I was routinely referred to as a sexist, selfish bastard or son of a bitch, BY MY OWN MOTHER growing up! I was not given a full deck of cards to play with, cut me some slack.

As I stated, women in college are warned about rape. But the boys do not get a companion lecture on approaching women and sexual activity when drugs and alcohol are in play.

Activities exhibited largely by boys are on the diagnostic list for ADD, and boys are diagnosed ADD three times as often as girls.

As I just stated in the feminism thread. Men and women, boys and girls are different. This is not about equality, this is about body chemistry, hormones, etc. We develop at different rates, leading to different behaviors. Girls enter puberty before males. Not a better, a different.

As I have fuddled around, largely on my own, for going on 30 years I have grasped that I want to be who I want to be, and I sought to find a partner who also wanted who I have become. While I can agree that there is no blanket on what is a man or a good man, I grew up with a decent consensus on what is not desirable. And then you get a healthy dose of media attention or "news" like what I linked. Holding the door open is sexist, great. And here I thought I was being polite. As a pubescent boy I got to find out about all of the terrible crimes against humanity I was more likely to exact when I began looking at porn (objectifying women) and masturbating-spousal abuse, child molestation, divorce, child abuse, masochistic fetishes, serial killing, etc. No one was there to let 13 year old KG know this was sh*t. And so far as I can find from my male peers, we all got the same sink or swim education growing into manhood.

Given some outside factors I illustrated in the feminist thread I have been seriously questioning that man I have become. And I was in serious doubt the past few weeks that it truly is the match my fiancee needs/wants. The man I want to be, is the person I have made myself. So far as I can tell objectively, he is a pretty damn fine individual. And by most outward feedback, people agree.

As Bloo said, it is personal. But I disagree that you reach an end point. We are mostly making it up as we go along. Ask any parent, and they realize that their own parents were just as lost/clueless as they are- but we thought they knew everything.

LarryC wrote:

Are there guys who like weak, complaining, irrational, and rude companions? That's really weird.

In general, no. They're seen as negative qualities in women as well. But these traits still often considered to be more feminine than masculine. Sort of like how cowardly men are often called "pussies" or "girls", and "bitching" is synonymous with complaining.

So both men and women want partners who are masculine?!? I confess that I'm not getting how that's supposed to make sense. It's very confusing.

LarryC wrote:

So both men and women want partners who are masculine?!? I confess that I'm not getting how that's supposed to make sense. It's very confusing.

It doesn't make sense. That's the point we're trying to get across. People make throwaway statements about gender, place, and sex without really stopping to think about what they're saying.

I was beaten to the Mulan video

How to be a man:
1. Identify as a man, if you wish.
2. Be yourself.

LarryC wrote:

Just as focusing on the concerns of men in the Feminist thread could be insulting to the plight of women, making maleness out to be nothing more than self-identifying as a man is also insulting to men.

Why? What other qualifications would you add?

Under what circumstances would you say to someone who identifies as a man, "No, you are not a man"?

Finding your gender identity and finding your peace with it is not always easy.

Indeed, and we should be focused on making it easier. Or maybe be less focused on gender identity in society as a whole.

It's notable that at the end of the Mulan video, Mulan was the "manliest" man of her entire regiment.

And that's a topic that belongs back in the feminism thread :p

Demyx:

It's not that simple, I'm afraid. Just as focusing on the concerns of men in the Feminist thread could be insulting to the plight of women, making maleness out to be nothing more than self-identifying as a man is also insulting to men. It's unfortunately NOT just being yourself. Social mores determine what's appropriate for manly behavior in all societies; and men have to ask themselves whether or not they want to change themselves to suit, assuming that they're not normally that way and want to be seen as men.

Finding your gender identity and finding your peace with it is not always easy.

It's notable that at the end of the Mulan video, Mulan was the "manliest" man of her entire regiment.

It's interesting to me that in the Mulan video, "mysterious" and "tranquil" were described as manly traits, where I often see them described as feminine in English written works.

Going off on that, I'm not sure why "passive, emotional, and sensitive" are viewed negatively. I'm aware of the classic Western focus on stoicism, but there's a point where that can be taken way too far. Moreover, I don't see why expressiveness, caution, and empathy are seen as negative, or even as unmasculine. Are not these essential leader qualites?

Demyx wrote:
LarryC wrote:

Just as focusing on the concerns of men in the Feminist thread could be insulting to the plight of women, making maleness out to be nothing more than self-identifying as a man is also insulting to men.

Why? What other qualifications would you add?

Under what circumstances would you say to someone who identifies as a man, "No, you are not a man"?

Finding your gender identity and finding your peace with it is not always easy.

Indeed, and we should be focused on making it easier. Or maybe be less focused on gender identity in society as a whole.

It's notable that at the end of the Mulan video, Mulan was the "manliest" man of her entire regiment.

And that's a topic that belongs back in the feminism thread :p

Seriously. I was serious earlier, there's nothing more to discuss. Anything else is placing requirements that should not be there.

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