[Discussion] Men talking to men about Feminism

This thread is for people who believe that when it comes to feminism it's important for men to listen to women and to talk to men.

In this thread we assume Feminism is something you wholeheartedly support or want to support. Questions about the validity of Feminism are for somewhere else.

Bfgp wrote:

I think if anything men have a greater responsibility than ever before to practice safe sex to protect not just themselves but their partner. I've already had the awkward discussion with the boy. But the idea would be to have our young men raised to understand that selfishly insisting on unprotected sex is a stupid and reckless in a risk assessment context. I mean sure we aren't in the US but unplanned pregnancies are still concerning wherever they happen.

I think men have always had that responsibility, but have refused to address it just like the numerous other sh*t we refuse to take responsibility for. Absolutely none of that is new.

Just hopping in to say that if you get a fundraising email from a democratic campaign don't give them a single dime. If you were so inclined, give that cash to an abortion fund instead.

My reaction to the news was one of anger, not just at those leading this assault on women's rights - I accept there will always be a certain percentage of narcissists, sociopaths and other scum who will always lean into gaining power for the sake of it. Don't get me wrong: I have nothing but disdain for these parasites. But these cretins can never gain or hold power without literally tens of millions of enablers, willing to believe the lies and propaganda so they can wallow in self-pity, feel superior or slightly less disenfranchised. This is a choice, and I feel nothing but contempt for them.

Another knee-jerk reaction: if this doesn't put out the vote come November... nothing ever will. Complicit through inaction the Dems may be...

Boys being allies in the classroom

“I did not ever think this would actually be used as evidence, but we always had it as if it was,” said the boy, who is now 15 and a student at North Kingstown High School. “So I’m glad that we did, even though it might have seemed like slightly stupid at times.”

ARISE!

Going to toss this one in this thread:

Sexual choking is now so common that many young people don’t think it even requires consent. That’s a problem

There's an interesting doc on HBO about online dating (it's from 2018, so I cannot even imagine how things have changed post-pandemic) but I think I believe I remember hearing in it (and in other places) was young women discussing how a pretty significant number young men have come to believe that a lot of stuff primarily seen in porn is completely normal sexual behavior.

Like, on the whole, I'm "sex work is real work," but I think I can do that while also having some concerns about the effects a non-stop deluge of easy-to-find porn online might have on the brains of teens and young adults.

WTH - as someone who almost died from drowning, any choking sensation freaks me the hell out. I can't think of trying to do that to someone else just cause.

I present to you W.A.P. lyrics: "I wanna gag, I wanna choke..." (not to mention the constant "there's some hoes* in this house" in the background)

I've got nothing against explicit or innuendo laced music. In fact, W.A.P. is a great song.

The problem is that it might give an impression every woman is after power fantasies / sadistic / degradation play.

Choking, apparently (because I wouldn't know personally) creates a higher high on climax. It seems to be a thing getting more mainstream traction through p0rnography and various media/social media. Previously asphyxiation play was the odd thing you read about in the news with a sex worker being charged with an offence (wasn't the most profile one in the last decade the US woman who was tried for murder I think in Italy? There was a case in the last 12 months here where a sex worker killed an older married man who if memory serves was likely to have gone in for a session after an exhausting work shift and ultimately the defendant was acquitted).

I guess I put it down to, different strokes for different folks. Like anything involving sexual interaction, surely this would be resolved with COMMUNICATION and CONSENT. Heck, I'd add EDUCATION but I know schools aren't teaching this kind of stuff in a plain English and forthright non-judgemental manner.

The older my boy gets, the more I think about how to have those constructive awkward discussions about sex. I've had a few talks already on safe sex (STI) but not on the point of kinks and more risky manoeuvres. If anyone has tips on how to do this I'd greatly appreciate you sharing them!

Bfgp wrote:

Like anything involving sexual interaction, surely this would be resolved with COMMUNICATION and CONSENT. Heck, I'd add EDUCATION but I know schools aren't teaching this kind of stuff in a plain English and forthright non-judgemental manner.

That's really the key. In many of the conversations/complaints I see about this, a lack of consent or people feeling pressured into giving consent was a repeating theme.

Consentacle
Got the physical version of this via Kickstarter a few years ago. Should really break it out again.

Do not choke people. Way too easy to die.

EDIT: Dammit, wrong threading my ass off recently.

NSMike wrote:

Do not choke people. Way too easy to die.

Needs to be printed on shirts in the style of Surgeon General warnings.

NSMike wrote:

Do not choke people. Way too easy to die.

Like any intrinsically risky physical activity, the dangers can be reduced with knowledge practice and experience. But yes, it's not something to be tried casually without significant research and informed consent.

When I looked into it years ago (uh for academic curiosity and scientific purposes) I formed the impression the "proper" technique involves applying controlled pressure to the carotid arteries to achieve the light headed oxygen deprivation effect. It also requires the person initiating the hold to pay close attention to the oxygen deprived person. Not only is it very much a kink only some might enjoy, to pull it off without bruising or otherwise injuring your partner requires an ability to (a) enjoy watching your partner being deprived of oxygen, (b) multitask with minute attention to detail and a level of physical self mastery - i.e. inattentiveness can quickly result in losing consciousness and from there is a narrow threshold to killing someone.

The problem however is that performed badly it will result in a crushed windpipe or excess pressure applied too long will kill someone.

Quite frankly it sounds like way too much effort and risk for the supposed payoff.

I mean, choking is just one part of it.

People can get down however they want, but I believe, in that doc I linked, they also bring up feeling like they're being pressured into having anal sex. And it's kind of telling that, in 2022, googling "pressured into anal" brings up this nearly decade-old story from Cosmo...

....under two links to searches for the phrase on porn sites.

And to be clear! I am absolutely not arguing that anything other than p-in-v sex is bad or immoral, or that there's anything whatsoever wrong with, ahem, "uphill gardening."

But, and it's late so I'm not going to do the digging right now, but I feel fairly safe saying that the proliferation of it in porn (and its frequently very aggressive presentation) has definitely had a trickle-down effect to what a not-insigificant number of young men expect in the bedroom. How many? I have zero clue, but it has definitely gotten mentioned in articles and quite a bit on Reddit.

I think i'm repeating myself though. At least, I think everyone would agree, there are upsides and downsides to the ease of access to porn on the internet.

Bfgp wrote:
NSMike wrote:

Do not choke people. Way too easy to die.

Like any intrinsically risky physical activity, the dangers can be reduced with knowledge practice and experience. But yes, it's not something to be tried casually without significant research and informed consent.

When I looked into it years ago (uh for academic curiosity and scientific purposes) I formed the impression the "proper" technique involves… [technical information]

For a lot people, it’s not actual asphyxiation that is the turn on, it’s mild dominance play. Nobody needs to have reduced oxygen, let alone be in danger of getting choked out. However, it’s not like most porn videos come with instruction manuals…

An always-online culture is going to influence what is happening IRL. We see it in nearly every other aspect of human relations, am not surprised that young people (especially young men whose brains are developing in this environment) would be absorbing things from their media consumption.

Porn will always be porn, and people will always seek it out and want it to push their boundaries for entertainment and fulfillment.

As others have discussed above, the problem here is our culture’s continued insistence on adhering to our absurd, puritanical squeamishness about sexuality, which perpetuates the dangerous and deleterious situation where people (especially those who are young and impressionable) for one reason or another turn to porn for education in addition to entertainment and fulfillment.

If you’re worried about porn’s effects on the interests and expectations of people in your life, then don’t make the same mistake as our broader culture. Make sure they have as much access to (good quality) sexual education as possible, and make sure they understand that it’s perfectly normal and natural to have a wide range of sexual interests and fantasies, but like every aspect of adult life it’s important to be educated, informed, and conscientious about the actions one takes in the real world, especially when other people are involved.

Teach them by word and example that good relationships (of any kind) are built on consent, communication, and empathy, and that the importance of these things grows by orders of magnitude as you increase the intensity of physical and emotional entanglement.

Remove shame, fear, and disgust from your social vocabulary around sexuality. Replace them with acceptance, education, and curiosity.

You don’t have to be personally interested in everything (or even most things), but allow for the fact that consenting adults with aligned interests and desires can find ways to enjoy an incredibly wide range of things together safely (or at least within well established and respected risk profiles) if they take the time to communicate and agree upon what they want to experience together, and where appropriate, take the time to learn and develop the knowledge and skills required to do so.

Relatedly, do your best to make sure people have access to the relevant education to make that possible.

At the very, very least support the ability of those who want to provide sexual education to do so without hindrance from government, economic, or social forces. Do NOT support regulations and policies from government or corporate bodies presented as efforts to protect people from sexually explicit content. These will rarely (never) actually stop people from creating, sharing, and finding the porn they are interested in. What they will do is make life hard or impossible for well meaning people with a desire to be part of the solution by creating and sharing good educational content effectively – and make it hard or impossible to find for people who have an interest in it, or as is often the case, a genuine need for it.

(Find any good sex educator and ask them to tell you about their efforts to do something as simple as promote their work on basic social media sites like Instagram. You will 100% hear a horror story, and you will start to see just the smallest tip of the iceberg of what I’m talking about here.)

Entertainment is an inherently capitalist enterprise.
Education is an inherently socialist one.

Both things are valid, desirable components of a healthy human society, but living in our rabid, unchecked capitalist hellscape means that we have to fight to make sure ACTUAL education happens even for the most mundane of subjects – and sexuality is far from mundane. Otherwise entertainment will always end up filling the void left behind, and (if you’ll pardon the innuendo) the void that exists in the world of sex is huge. And, of course, the parts of our culture that do the most hand wringing and moralizing over the dangers of porn also fight tooth and nail to exacerbate the issue and make that gap larger and larger.

So if you want to fix our broken cultural norms around sexuality, then you have to fight extra hard to make sure it’s possible for good education to exist. Find good people doing the work, and make it easier for them to do it however you can manage – whether that’s financially, politically, or simply by giving them your time. Or, more to the core point of the conversation, by being open and communicative with the people in your life, and endeavoring to help them find education relevant to their identity and interests whenever and wherever possible.

I’ve probably already rambled on far longer than I should, but it’s also worth at least a small mention of the large amount of intersectionality there is here with the fight for LGBTQ+ civil rights. If you want to solve the problem on a societal level, that’s a strong choice of avenues to pursue. Queer people have been out here doing the relevant work for decades – support our right to exist and flourish in our society, and you will also be supporting the work to fix our culture’s broken ideas about sex. And if you have a more specific, personal interest either for yourself or someone in your life, chances are you’ll be more likely to find the good information you need from quality educators if you start your search within the context of queer, kink, or better yet, queer kinky communities.

(And bringing it back to the origin of the conversation, the specific interest in any form of breath play provides a very good practical example here. As has been discussed above, most forms of breath play are some of the edgiest of “edge play” one can f*ck with, which is obviously a multiplying factor on the omni-present need for consent, communication, and education. As has also already been discussed, there are a lot of different things people might actually be looking to experience if they have an interest in it, and a lot of ways to achieve those ends, some MUCH safer than others.

So if you have an interest, it’s EXTREMELY important to take the time to learn about it from quality educational sources, discover what aspects you and your partner(s) are really looking for in the experience, and really be sure you’ve done the work to clarify the lines between reality and fantasy and found an approach consistent with that work and your mutually agreed upon risk tolerances.

So if you think it’s scary that porn might be awakening an interest in aggressive, high risk breath play, make sure you’re doing your part to build a culture where people understand the difference between education and entertainment and their respective purposes, and where relevant education can exist and be available to people who want to better understand whatever interest they have and how associated fantasies relate to reality).

Good stuff as usual, zero.

And of course sexual education and free contraception are also the best things we can do to lower the abortion rate. Yet the same people claiming to be against abortion or for the unborn or whatever are also again those things. The same puritanical assholes mentioned above. Just exposes their hypocrisy even more.

I justed wanted to chime in with a feel-good story to set off against the doom and gloom we're seeing all the time.

It was Chinese New Year this weekend. We went to my parents' farm for dinner together with my mother in law. Not only did my 13yo boy stay off his screens during the entire visit, he made sure to spend time 1 v 1 with both sets of grandmothers. Even though both of his grandmothers are in good health, he decided to accompany them on walks and generally kept an eye on them, making sure neither of them were alone (the bountiful rain has led to a lot of undergrowth/long grass which has in turn resulted in more fauna and snakes). We saw a small mob of kangaroos on our walk, which was pretty cool.

He also went out with his friends yesterday on an impromptu catchup before the school year starts in a week's time or so. There were only 3 of them, and to my surprise, one of them is a classmate girl who happens to be a gamer as well. He grabbed a train home as well without needing any guidance.

The years pass so quickly! He's already taller than me and has a deeper voice and he hasn't even started his second year of high school (grade 8 starts at the end of January).

Read the Powerful 'Barbie' Monologue About Being a Woman That America Ferrera Performed '30 to 50' Times

"It is literally impossible to be a woman. You are so beautiful, and so smart, and it kills me that you don't think you're good enough. Like, we have to always be extraordinary, but somehow we're always doing it wrong.

You have to be thin, but not too thin. And you can never say you want to be thin. You have to say you want to be healthy, but also you have to be thin. You have to have money, but you can't ask for money because that's crass. You have to be a boss, but you can't be mean. You have to lead, but you can't squash other people's ideas. You're supposed to love being a mother, but don't talk about your kids all the damn time. You have to be a career woman but also always be looking out for other people. You have to answer for men's bad behavior, which is insane, but if you point that out, you're accused of complaining. You're supposed to stay pretty for men, but not so pretty that you tempt them too much or that you threaten other women because you're supposed to be a part of the sisterhood.

But always stand out and always be grateful. But never forget that the system is rigged. So find a way to acknowledge that but also always be grateful. You have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line. It's too hard! It's too contradictory and nobody gives you a medal or says thank you! And it turns out in fact that not only are you doing everything wrong, but also everything is your fault.

I'm just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us. And if all of that is also true for a doll just representing women, then I don't even know."

I am afraid that if I actually watch video of that monologue I will start crying and never stop.

Also, I finally caught up on the FD Signifier video about the left leaving men behind and that was pretty fascinating.

I loved that movie, and yeah that monologue was powerful both as a piece of writing and as a part of the story at that moment.

Sure there's a lot of silly humor, but there were layers of depth to the film that impressed me even knowing what a great director Gerwig is. As an example, I thought the B-story (Ken's narrative path) was compelling and surprised me with its depth.

Just a tour de force all around. Best experience in a movie theater in years, though I was sad to see how few men and boys were in the audience, given how many women were there with children (mostly daughters).

@@jburnmurdoch wrote:

NEW: an ideological divide is emerging between young men and women in many countries around the world.

I think this one of the most important social trends unfolding today, and provides the answer to several puzzles.

(Financial Times paywall.)

IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GEw1o3PXEAA4FDZ?format=jpg&name=4096x4096)

One of the most well-established patterns in measuring public opinion is that every generation tends to move as one in terms of its politics and general ideology. Its members share the same formative experiences, reach life’s big milestones at the same time and intermingle in the same spaces. So how should we make sense of reports that Gen Z is hyper-progressive on certain issues, but surprisingly conservative on others?

The answer, in the words of Alice Evans, a visiting fellow at Stanford University and one of the leading researchers on the topic, is that today’s under-thirties are undergoing a great gender divergence, with young women in the former camp and young men the latter. Gen Z is two generations, not one.

In countries on every continent, an ideological gap has opened up between young men and women. Tens of millions of people who occupy the same cities, workplaces, classrooms and even homes no longer see eye-to-eye.

In the US, Gallup data shows that after decades where the sexes were each spread roughly equally across liberal and conservative world views, women aged 18 to 30 are now 30 percentage points more liberal than their male contemporaries. That gap took just six years to open up.

Germany also now shows a 30-point gap between increasingly conservative young men and progressive female contemporaries, and in the UK the gap is 25 points. In Poland last year, almost half of men aged 18-21 backed the hard-right Confederation party, compared to just a sixth of young women of the same age.

Outside the west, there are even more stark divisions. In South Korea there is now a yawning chasm between young men and women, and it’s a similar situation in China. In Africa, Tunisia shows the same pattern. Notably, in every country this dramatic split is either exclusive to the younger generation or far more pronounced there than among men and women in their thirties and upwards.

The #MeToo movement was the key trigger, giving rise to fiercely feminist values among young women who felt empowered to speak out against long-running injustices. That spark found especially dry tinder in South Korea, where gender inequality remains stark, and outright misogyny is common.

In the country’s 2022 presidential election, while older men and women voted in lockstep, young men swung heavily behind the right-wing People Power party, and young women backed the liberal Democratic party in almost equal and opposite numbers.

Korea’s is an extreme situation, but it serves as a warning to other countries of what can happen when young men and women part ways. Its society is riven in two. Its marriage rate has plummeted, and birth rate has fallen precipitously, dropping to 0.78 births per woman in 2022, the lowest of any country in the world.

Seven years on from the initial #MeToo explosion, the gender divergence in attitudes has become self-sustaining. Survey data show that in many countries the ideological differences now extend beyond this issue. The clear progressive-vs-conservative divide on sexual harassment appears to have caused — or at least is part of — a broader realignment of young men and women into conservative and liberal camps respectively on other issues.

In the US, UK and Germany, young women now take far more liberal positions on immigration and racial justice than young men, while older age groups remain evenly matched. The trend in most countries has been one of women shifting left while men stand still, but there are signs that young men are actively moving to the right in Germany, where today’s under-30s are more opposed to immigration than their elders, and have shifted towards the far-right AfD in recent years.

It would be easy to say this is all a phase that will pass, but the ideology gaps are only growing, and data shows that people’s formative political experiences are hard to shake off. All of this is exacerbated by the fact that the proliferation of smartphones and social media mean that young men and women now increasingly inhabit separate spaces and experience separate cultures.

Too often young people’s views are overlooked owing to their low rates of political participation, but this shift could leave ripples for generations to come, impacting far more than vote counts.

Interesting that despite the widening gap, young people in the three countries in the graph representing Western populations, most young people are still mostly liberal. That will change fast if the trends continue though.

Reads to me to like young men wanting nonsense BS, and young women getting tired of the nonsense.

This may be putting a square peg in a round hole, but I see that and I think of how so much of the Taliban project revolves entirely around women not having access to education.

Prederick wrote:
@@jburnmurdoch wrote:

NEW: an ideological divide is emerging between young men and women in many countries around the world.

I think this one of the most important social trends unfolding today, and provides the answer to several puzzles.

Kenya femicide: Why men fail to condemn deadly misogyny

Hours before a nationwide march in Kenya against the rising cases of femicide and other violence against women - a clip was posted on social media that captures how entrenched misogyny is in the East African nation.

At a site in the capital, Nairobi, where some young women were gathering for the protest last weekend, two men were filmed arguing about the need for such a demonstration.

"Men have suffered because of women," one of them complains going on to say that in his view women just use men for their money.

As the heated discussion continues, his companion butts in and they both start pointing towards the camera and shouting to the women: "We are going to kill you."

This snippet was shared by renowned Kenyan activist Boniface Mwangi along with the words: "As a man and father, these men don't speak for the men I know."

But the problem, as he notes, is that very few men in Kenya are openly coming out to speak out against such attitudes.

"We as Kenyan men should speak boldly, and loudly," he said about femicide, which is when a woman is killed because of her gender.

The decline in birth rates is not a political persuasion gap.

It's largely a socioeconomic issue - not enough support for women who have a child (or children) and adverse financial consequences which either they as an individual or their family members cannot afford. Further, quality of life (measured by recreation and material consumption) tends to fall when a substantial part of your free time and household budget is allocated to rearing children.

It's also partly what LarryC suggests - women are educated and don't need to take crap from trash men.