How to be a Man

SixteenBlue wrote:
Demyx wrote:
LarryC wrote:

That's the part where there is. It's NOT something I just thought about for myself, and few men are free to define masculinity the way we want, especially when men are constantly being bombarded by images of what "manning up" is supposed to be.

I realize that many men do not feel free to define masculinity however they want to, I'm saying that's how it should be.

If you want to discuss the various difficulties that men who don't conform to society face, that's a great topic, but you should probably state some specifics, I think.

Again, Demyx hits it out of the park. There's a big difference between "How to be a man" and "How to be what Western society has defined as a man."

Brings up the issue: is there a way to be gendered that *isn't* about the culture in which a person finds themselves?

Tanglebones wrote:

.

CheezePavilion wrote:
Hypatian wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
That's a damn good question. My guess is the answer lies somewhere in the direction of the other side of this: the different kinds of bisexuality and third sex individuals.

Or perhaps, just perhaps, gender identification is mostly independent from sexual preference. >_>

Perhaps.

but then, what *is* gender identification? That's what I'm brainstorming here, and why I ask later in this thread about whether gender even exists without a culture.

Multiple people have stated or agreed that gender definition ends at identification. Identify as a man? You're a man. Nothing else.

SixteenBlue:

Let's flip roles.

What do you mean by "Identify as a man?" What's "man" here? Anything anyone decides it is?

Demyx:


Some women find women sexy. Should you then, aspire, to be more feminine?

SixteenBlue asked me the same. Same answer.


I desire a man with glasses. And yet I've heard several women say that they can't stand glasses. Is the solution to compromise and wear a monocle?

That's just my way of saying that there is no one standard of what women find sexy, seriously. There are certain things that will attract more women than other things and I guess if that's your main goal, go for it. But wouldn't it be more productive to find out what sort of woman you would like and think about what things you might do to attract that sort of woman?

Well, the practical solution (and I'm not at all kidding here) is to wear glasses when I'm in the company of women who like that, and to not wear them when I'm in the company of women who don't. Faced with a mixed group, I prioritize and decide accordingly.

Given that I've defined masculinity as the thing that makes women desire me, and that women desire different things; it follows that I must alter my appearance and behavior to suit whichever women interest me as their desires dictate.


A plug is a physical object. Masculinity is an abstract concept, like love or honor. I think you know that very well.

A plug is a word that is used to refer to a physical object. It is a way to communicate. Masculinity is the same thing.


It is indeed true that a man wearing a pink dress or makeup will face social sanctions, and I do not think this should be the case. What you wear has nothing to do with whether or not you are a man.

Given my definitions, let me ask you this. Do you personally find pink dresses and make up on men sexually attractive?

Hypatian wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
That's a damn good question. My guess is the answer lies somewhere in the direction of the other side of this: the different kinds of bisexuality and third sex individuals.

Or perhaps, just perhaps, gender identification is mostly independent from sexual preference. >_>

Perhaps.

but then, what *is* gender identification? That's what I'm brainstorming here, and why I ask later in this thread about whether gender even exists without a culture.

edit: here's where I'm coming from--if being a man is just being what you, personally, define to be a man, then that means it's an identification that doesn't indicate any similarities with other people who are men, nor differences from people who are women. If that's the case, why not drop the label and just identify as ourselves?

LarryC wrote:

it follows that I must alter my appearance and behavior to suit whichever women interest me as their desires dictate.

I mean if that makes you happy, go for it, I guess. I don't see why you don't just find a woman who wants the man you are...


Given my definitions, let me ask you this. Do you personally find pink dresses and make up on men sexually attractive?

I don't see why this matters, but hey. Men in pink dresses aren't a thing I'd gravitate towards, but I'm sure there are some men who could pull it off well.

All of the men you see in the Top 100 list in that magazine are wearing makeup for their photo shoot :p

Anything anyone decides it is?

Why not?

SixteenBlue wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
Hypatian wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
That's a damn good question. My guess is the answer lies somewhere in the direction of the other side of this: the different kinds of bisexuality and third sex individuals.

Or perhaps, just perhaps, gender identification is mostly independent from sexual preference. >_>

Perhaps.

but then, what *is* gender identification? That's what I'm brainstorming here, and why I ask later in this thread about whether gender even exists without a culture.

Multiple people have stated or agreed that gender definition ends at identification. Identify as a man? You're a man. Nothing else.

But no one is thinking of what that entail. If identifying as a man is what makes you a man, why did you bother to identify as a man in the first place?

CheezePavilion wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
Hypatian wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
That's a damn good question. My guess is the answer lies somewhere in the direction of the other side of this: the different kinds of bisexuality and third sex individuals.

Or perhaps, just perhaps, gender identification is mostly independent from sexual preference. >_>

Perhaps.

but then, what *is* gender identification? That's what I'm brainstorming here, and why I ask later in this thread about whether gender even exists without a culture.

Multiple people have stated or agreed that gender definition ends at identification. Identify as a man? You're a man. Nothing else.

But no one is thinking of what that entail. If identifying as a man is what makes you a man, why did you bother to identify as a man in the first place?

Fair question. I don't have a good answer for it.

Demyx:


I mean if that makes you happy, go for it, I guess. I don't see why you don't just find a woman who wants the man you are...

Clarify. What does it mean for a woman to like the man that I am? FWIW, I'm married, and she wants me a lot.


I don't see why this matters, but hey. Men in pink dresses aren't a thing I'd gravitate towards, but I'm sure there are some men who could pull it off well.

All of the men you see in the Top 100 list in that magazine are wearing makeup for their photo shoot

I mean more like this:

IMAGE(http://tastythailand.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/thai-ladyboy-bell-nuntita.jpg)

Do you find that sexually attractive?

CheezePavilion wrote:

But no one is thinking of what that entail. If identifying as a man is what makes you a man, why did you bother to identify as a man in the first place?

Because we don't yet live in the sort of society where you can get away with not identifying as one or the other.

(Obviously I don't identify as a man, but the same thing applies to women IMO)

LarryC wrote:

Clarify. What does it mean for a woman to like the man that I am? FWIW, I'm married, and she wants me a lot.

It means you do what you want and you find a woman who is attracted to whatever that is.


I mean more like this:

IMAGE(http://tastythailand.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/thai-ladyboy-bell-nuntita.jpg)

Do you find that sexually attractive?

He is actually pretty attractive, but I have no problem with finding women attractive as well as men, so...

CheezePavilion wrote:
but then, what *is* gender identification? That's what I'm brainstorming here, and why I ask later in this thread about whether gender even exists without a culture.

edit: here's where I'm coming from--if being a man is just being what you, personally, define to be a man, then that means it's an identification that doesn't indicate any similarities with other people who are men, nor differences from people who are women. If that's the case, why not drop the label and just identify as ourselves?

Yeah. It's a hard thing. I can tell you, from experience, that there's something going on there that's not a free choice. There's something in me that says "you are a woman", despite all of the evidence to the contrary, and all attempts to ignore it. It's not about sexuality. It's not about traditional social roles. It's not about style of expression. All of this stuff is [em]connected[/em] to it, but the connection seems to be the cultural part. There's another part in there somewhere that somehow tells you what gender you are, and then all of the rest of that seems to follow on (to greater or lesser degrees, depending on the person) from social conditioning.

It's very confusing, even from the point of view of somebody who's already skewed well off the norm.

Hypatian wrote:
There's another part in there somewhere that somehow tells you what gender you are, and then all of the rest of that seems to follow on (to greater or lesser degrees, depending on the person) from social conditioning.

I think this probably varies from person to person as well, because I've never felt a particularly strong pull to be one gender or the other (internally -- of course on a societal level there was a great deal of pressure to act like a girl/woman).

I think gender probably operates on a Kinsey scale sort of continuum, though I've never seen any research like that.

Demyx:


He is actually pretty attractive, but I have no problem with finding women attractive as well as men, so...

Let's be explicit. If you find yourself deciding whether or not to bed someone, would this makeup:

IMAGE(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_x-9PyLOM0Q/TZcDgBmpRoI/AAAAAAAAAY8/BDsrpZlQlIk/s1600/190434_10150110754155728_649230727_6932542_1495917_n.jpg)

factor for or against?

Secondary question: why are you identifying the people in these photos as women?

Larry....who you are attracted to has nothing to do with your gender. That's fairly clear given that homosexuality exists. Where are you going with this?

LarryC wrote:
Well, the practical solution (and I'm not at all kidding here) is to wear glasses when I'm in the company of women who like that, and to not wear them when I'm in the company of women who don't. Faced with a mixed group, I prioritize and decide accordingly.

?? i'm confused. I thought one of the primary traits of being a 'man' was being true to (at the minimum) yourself. If you're changing things around to suit the situation you're a fake and definitely not a 'man'.

LarryC wrote:

Let's be explicit. If you find yourself deciding whether or not to bed someone, would this makeup:

IMAGE(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_x-9PyLOM0Q/TZcDgBmpRoI/AAAAAAAAAY8/BDsrpZlQlIk/s1600/190434_10150110754155728_649230727_6932542_1495917_n.jpg)

factor for or against?

I would have to see him without the makeup to make that determination. I think the makeup he is wearing in that picture looks quite nice on him.

Secondary question: why are you identifying the people in these photos as women?

I did not, I specifically called him "he" in the post you quoted.

I was pointing out that I find women attractive as well as men, which is relevant if you're going to ask me whether or not I find traditionally feminine traits attractive. Obviously, the man in your pictures has many traditionally feminine traits.

LarryC wrote:
ranalin wrote:
LarryC wrote:
Well, the practical solution (and I'm not at all kidding here) is to wear glasses when I'm in the company of women who like that, and to not wear them when I'm in the company of women who don't. Faced with a mixed group, I prioritize and decide accordingly.

?? i'm confused. I thought one of the primary traits of being a 'man' was being true to (at the minimum) yourself. If you're changing things around to suit the situation you're a fake and definitely not a man.

That's your definition, not mine. Feel free to champion it.

SixteenBlue wrote:
Larry....who you are attracted to has nothing to do with your gender. That's fairly clear given that homosexuality exists. Where are you going with this?

Who I am attracted to is fairly central to my gender identity. Homosexuality may exist, but I am not one. Have I not made it perfectly, abundantly clear that I am talking about how I deal with my masculinity? Me? Myself? Not other people?

Is a gay man not masculine? Does the definition of masculinity differ from person to person?

So, you identify homosexuality as a non-masculine trait?

ranalin wrote:
LarryC wrote:
Well, the practical solution (and I'm not at all kidding here) is to wear glasses when I'm in the company of women who like that, and to not wear them when I'm in the company of women who don't. Faced with a mixed group, I prioritize and decide accordingly.

?? i'm confused. I thought one of the primary traits of being a 'man' was being true to (at the minimum) yourself. If you're changing things around to suit the situation you're a fake and definitely not a man.

That's your definition, not mine. Feel free to champion it.

SixteenBlue wrote:
Larry....who you are attracted to has nothing to do with your gender. That's fairly clear given that homosexuality exists. Where are you going with this?

Who I am attracted to is fairly central to my gender identity. Homosexuality may exist, but I am not one. Have I not made it perfectly, abundantly clear that I am talking about how I deal with my masculinity? Me? Myself? Not other people?

Demyx:


I was pointing out that I find women attractive as well as men, which is relevant if you're going to ask me whether or not I find traditionally feminine traits attractive. Obviously, the man in your pictures has many traditionally feminine traits.

Please be specific. Which traits mark them out as feminine, not masculine? Are you saying that wearing make up will make me more feminine? How does this square with your insistence that I should be free to define whether or not traits I express make me masculine or feminine?

SixteenBlue:


Is a gay man not masculine? Does the definition of masculinity differ from person to person?

Homosexuality is not directed related to masculinity; and yes, self-evidently.

Hypatian:


So, you identify homosexuality as a non-masculine trait?

Nope. I said that I was not homosexual and how it relates to MY masculinity. I previously specified that I hold myself to my standards. How I see others is an entirely separate thing.

So. You have your masculinity, and you hold yourself to its standards, and it has nothing to do with anybody else at all. Gotcha.

LarryC wrote:
ranalin wrote:
LarryC wrote:
Well, the practical solution (and I'm not at all kidding here) is to wear glasses when I'm in the company of women who like that, and to not wear them when I'm in the company of women who don't. Faced with a mixed group, I prioritize and decide accordingly.

?? i'm confused. I thought one of the primary traits of being a 'man' was being true to (at the minimum) yourself. If you're changing things around to suit the situation you're a fake and definitely not a man.

That's your definition, not mine. Feel free to champion it.

Fair enough it is part of my definition for myself, but that's kind of the point isnt it? Dont you act accordingly to what you think being a man is?

Does it matter what others think in this regard? Do you think it should or were you posting to make fun of folks who you thought or others thought werent being one?

LarryC wrote:

Please be specific. Which traits mark them out as feminine, not masculine? Are you saying that wearing make up will make me more feminine? How does this square with your insistence that I should be free to define whether or not traits I express make me masculine or feminine?

I said traditionally feminine for a reason. Wearing makeup is considered traditionally feminine by most of society. I, personally, do not feel that masculinity or femininity has anything to do with wearing makeup or not.

I don't wear makeup usually, am I a man? (No.)

For someone who claims to not be interested in imposing their view of masculinity on anyone else, this thread sure does seem to keep coming around to what you, personally, think is masculine...

Hypatian:


So. You have your masculinity, and you hold yourself to its standards, and it has nothing to do with anybody else at all. Gotcha.

If you read how I defined my masculinity, you would see that this follows logically. Since I define it relating to my ability to attract women to myself, traits I consider relevant to that reality would be meaningless in relation to other people, since they are not me, and I am not interested in attracting women to them.

Liken it to food. I define the food I like, but it barely relates to what other people may like. I am fully aware that stuff I think vile, other people may love. If I'm aware of it, I'll recommend foods to them based on that standard, not on my standard. The I/World dichotomy is fairly central to things that relate to the self.

ranalin:


Fair enough it is part of my definition for myself, but that's kind of the point isnt it? Dont you act accordingly to what you think being a man is?

Regarding myself, yes. Regarding others, no. See above.


Does it matter what others think in this regard? Do you think it should or were you posting to make fun of folks who you thought or others thought werent being one?

Clarify. I don't get the question. Were any of my posts coming across as humorous? There was no intent.

Demyx:


I said traditionally feminine for a reason. Wearing makeup is considered traditionally feminine by most of society. I, personally, do not feel that masculinity or femininity has anything to do with wearing makeup or not.

I don't wear makeup usually, am I a man? (No.)

For someone who claims to not be interested in imposing their view of masculinity on anyone else, this thread sure does seem to keep coming around to what you, personally, think is masculine...

That's mainly because I posted what it's like for me, and multiple posters, including you, seemed curious to explore the topic. I'm talking about what it means for me. If you want to talk more about what it means to you, feel free to do so.

By the by, I did not get a definitive answer. It seems to me that you're saying that make up neither makes people more or less sexually attractive to you. That seems highly unusual, since their only purpose and design is to affect sexual attraction.

LarryC wrote:
I'm talking about what it means for me. If you want to talk more about what it means to you, feel free to do so.

So you created this thread so you could talk more about yourself? What's the point of this thread then? You can do that by looking in the mirror or writing in a journal.

LarryC wrote:

That's mainly because I posted what it's like for me, and multiple posters, including you, seemed curious to explore the topic. I'm talking about what it means for me. If you want to talk more about what it means to you, feel free to do so.

You're talking about what it means for you in direct response to people who are saying that everyone should define their own masculinity, though. Do you not agree that that is the case?

By the by, I did not get a definitive answer. It seems to me that you're saying that make up neither makes people more or less sexually attractive to you. That seems highly unusual, since their only purpose and design is to affect sexual attraction.

Well gee Larry, it's entirely possible that my tastes in what makes a person sexually attractive are highly unusual!

Or maybe whether or not makeup makes a person more or less sexually attractive depends on the person in question, the makeup in question, and how I happen to be feeling that day.

What I really don't understand is how my preferences figure into this discussion in the first place. What point are you trying to make?

garion333 wrote:
LarryC wrote:
I'm talking about what it means for me. If you want to talk more about what it means to you, feel free to do so.

So you created this thread so you could talk more about yourself? What's the point of this thread then? You can do that by looking in the mirror or writing in a journal.

Or maybe it should be called "What does being a man mean to you?"

Demyx wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

But no one is thinking of what that entail. If identifying as a man is what makes you a man, why did you bother to identify as a man in the first place?

Because we don't yet live in the sort of society where you can get away with not identifying as one or the other.

(Obviously I don't identify as a man, but the same thing applies to women IMO)

Hypatian wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
but then, what *is* gender identification? That's what I'm brainstorming here, and why I ask later in this thread about whether gender even exists without a culture.

edit: here's where I'm coming from--if being a man is just being what you, personally, define to be a man, then that means it's an identification that doesn't indicate any similarities with other people who are men, nor differences from people who are women. If that's the case, why not drop the label and just identify as ourselves?

Yeah. It's a hard thing. I can tell you, from experience, that there's something going on there that's not a free choice. There's something in me that says "you are a woman", despite all of the evidence to the contrary, and all attempts to ignore it. It's not about sexuality. It's not about traditional social roles. It's not about style of expression. All of this stuff is [em]connected[/em] to it, but the connection seems to be the cultural part. There's another part in there somewhere that somehow tells you what gender you are, and then all of the rest of that seems to follow on (to greater or lesser degrees, depending on the person) from social conditioning.

It's very confusing, even from the point of view of somebody who's already skewed well off the norm.

Yeah, like there's this other thread going on here I don't want to drag anything in from it without permission as it's kinda personal, but my mind goes immediately to that. Something that is a symbol of gendered oppression to one person is a symbol of gender liberation to another. Obviously there's nothing intrinsically gendered about, like, a piece of tartan cloth wrapped around your body. Sean Connery AND Rihanna can both rock that look. So where does the 'bad' in culture stop and the 'good' in culture begin? If someone aspires to a message about gender being sent by society as an expression of that gender and another person recoils from it as being stereotyped according to gender, and they both identify as the same gender, where does that leave us?

And we definitely don't live in a society where you can identify as third sex, let alone a-gendered. Of course, if we did live in that society, would we even bother with gender as a part--or even such an important part--of our identity anyway?