10 things society unfairly expects of men

Greta Christina’s pieces are always spot-on, and these are no exception. She has two articles on stupid, unfair, and sexist things society expects of men, which can be found here and here. She has wonderful explanations for each item, but here’s the short version of the list:

  1. Fight, fight, fight!
  2. Be a good husband/partner/lover — but don’t care too much what women think.
  3. Be hot to trot. Always. With anybody.
  4. Stiff upper lip.
  5. Fear of being perceived as gay.
  6. Make money.
  7. Win, win, win!
  8. Be physically strong.
  9. Fix stuff.
  10. Get it up.

I’ve stated many times before that sexist stereotypes hurt men as well as women (though some of my readers like to pretend I haven’t). I think one of the reasons so many men are turned off by feminism is because they have the misconception that feminists are only trying to solve woman’s issues and are ignoring those of men. That couldn’t be anything farther from the truth. Feminists are concerned with equality between the sexes. To achieve that, we have to reduce sexism against men as well.

I suppose sometimes that’s not obvious because as a woman, I feel more comfortable and informed blogging about woman’s issues. That doesn’t mean I’m disregarding the other side. As an analogy, I don’t frequently blog about the issues of racial minorities – not because I don’t think they’re important, but because as a white person 1) I don’t feel informed enough to do the issue justice and 2) I’m in a position of privilege so I don’t have to think about racial issues all the time. But areas I’m not privileged in, namely gender and religion, are frequently on my mind, so they get turned into blog posts.

So, don’t worry, guys. Not all feminists are castration fantasizing man-haters. …You may want to avoid Thailand, though.


  1. says

    Just start with #1… I was terrorized as a child, because I was always smaller than everyone else(and still am, for the most part). I have very few memories of childhood, but one of them is being chased home for weeks by kids, boys and girls, who wanted to cause me all kinds of pain. One girl caught me and scratched me badly enough that I still carry a scar to this day. I remember little from my childhood, but most of the fights seem to stand out. Every school year. Until I was old enough and mean enough and driven crazy enough to be able to hurt people back… and THEN I was respected, for being able to hurt people worse than they could hurt me. We talk all day and night about assaults against females, as we should. Not to cheapen that at all, but as a culture we completely ignore assaults against males by other males, as though that’s perfectly normal and acceptable, and can’t cause any real harm. And frankly, most of the other 9 things on the list really come down to being able to hold your own and not be beaten by other males. When you figure out how to stop boys from beating up other boys, I’ll bet you solve many if not most problems of violence against women too.

  2. says

    What many men don’t understand is that women’s liberation is the doorway to our own. As women opt out of the traditional societal contract that allows men to do so also.Me? I don’t have any issues with ignoring numbers 1-9. Number 10 is a simple matter of health/physiology.http://laughinginpurgatory.blo

  3. LS says

    A friend of mine linked me to a post remarkably similar to Greta’s about two weeks ago…wish I could find it now.

  4. says

    I was once at a function for political liberals and the hosts had set up several large hunks of cheese, some bread and a few knives for a group of over 100 people who hadn’t eaten for several hours. It was nice cheese, but I couldn’t see how this would work as people were hungry. I quietly exerted a little leadership and got people to cut the cheese into pieces and set things up so that people could more efficiently get their food in the small amount of time dedicated to “lunch.”As I did this the hosts commented that they hadn’t thought through the logistics and were impressed that I had – it wasn’t directly stated that my gender was the source of their surprise. They also pointed out that good cheese should normally only be cut just before serving. That would be my lower middle-class upbringing privilege – Velveeta tastes the same no matter when you slice it!Afterwards I helped wash up and another person (who was female) commented that I’d make a wonderful wife – and she sincerely meant that as a compliment.

  5. LS says

    Succinctly put, sir!Several of those haven’t been problems in my life, but more due to the truth of #4 than anything else. I’m pretty well programmed to fight against becoming emotionally affected.

  6. Roki_B says

    Why call it feminism if its centered around gender equality? Its a PR thing sure, but feminism is, well, feminine centered – or at least thats the connotation of the word. Its got to be difficult to have to qualify the statement to mean both sexes to those not informed.I like ‘egalitarian’ better.

  7. Livingonsteak says

    Hit the nail on the head with this one. With numbers 7 and 8 initially I said “Bah, I’m not like that. I hate sports and I’m only as strong as I need to be to carry my computer around.”But as I thought about it I realized I was merely substituting mental strength for physical and intellectual competition for sports, and once again all 10 points were applicable.

  8. hkdharmon says

    The lists are pretty good. I can certainly agree with them. I am a guy who hates sports. If I meet a new guy, he immediately asks me if I saw “the game”. I say something like “I don’t watch sports.” and they get a confused look on their face, and might not talk to me again.There were some missing. As a man:1. I am supposed to hate kids. It’s OK to love my own kids, but not too much, and wanting to care for children is seen as weird. Imagine a guy applying for a job at a day care. He is going to get looks, and his application might just go straight into the trash because he must be a child molester.2. Sports. That is covered under the competition thing, I think.3. I am supposed to be an asshole. Being polite is seen as unmanly.4. I am supposed to be apathetic about my health. Dieting and exercising (except to be more athletic and competitive) is unmanly. If my wife and I are at dinner and I order a salad and she orders a hamburger. Guess who the server puts the salad and burger in front of, even if the server is the same person who took the order and knows better. If I bitch about how none of the food on the menu works on my diet, I will likely get ribbed by any man around.However, being able to easily pee standing up is a plus in the woods. So I guess you take the good with the bad.

  9. LS says

    If I mention my girlfriend in a group of men, I am immediately expected to enter into a “girlfriend hottness” competition.

  10. hkdharmon says

    Just now on the radio, the DJ mentioned that a male political candidate was trying to get lead out of toys because he loves children. The other DJ responded with “He loves children? That sounds creepy.” And male nurses. The “Meet the Parents” films got lots of laughs over that one.

  11. hkdharmon says

    I am big. 6’4″. In school, often a boy of small stature would pick on me because I had a reputation of not picking fights. Here is a secret; I don’t like to hurt people. Unmanly, eh? Anyway, I would always be the target of some small guy who was trying to get over the small guy thing by picking on a passive big guy. I always figured it was a no-win for me. If he beat me, I was a wimp. If I beat him, I was seen as a bully for picking on a smaller guy.I finally just started fighting back, and the problem went away, but I did not want to.

  12. LS says

    Oh, oh! And caring about something which isn’t patently manly? Abhorrent. Caring about social issues like feminism and gay rights divorces you from the rest of mankind. You’re just not very manly if you give a shit about other people.

  13. ckitching says

    It’s probably mostly historical. It’s from when feminism simply meant getting women the rights to vote, own property and other simple things that are taken for granted today. At that time, it was completely female orientated because it only required that the laws be changed to obtain these rights. Today, the problems are more subtle, and are more centred in interactions between men and women.

  14. hkdharmon says

    Here is another one. Men are supposed to really enjoy violence and the pain of others. I suppose that might fit under the fighting category, but guys are supposed to like being cruel. I hate the idea of someone being hurt.

  15. Dmolsen says

    Simply put, thank you for sharing this! And thank you for sharing that not all feminists want to “castrate males”. We want equality, and ridding ourselves (or at least addressing, for starters) the stereotypes of both sexes is a great place to start.

  16. Andrew says

    I was the same at school – around 11-12 years of age I started to be noticebly bigger and stronger than most of the other guys, and so stopped playing contact sports at breaks because I was starting to hurt people. Simply because I did not like hurting other people. Ended up being rather passive and avoided conflict, resulting in being picked on.

  17. LS says

    On closer inspection, this is the piece I was linked to a few weeks back. I’m officially retarded. D=

  18. Trevor says

    The big one that I’ve personally noticed? The fact that it’s much more acceptable for a given group to deny membership to men.Consider my local soccer league. There’s two subdivisions, the female league and the other league. Or consider the local gyms. Either universal or women only.Yet, if someone were to create a male only gym, or a male only sports team (outside of professional sports), there would be a huge uproar.Then, when you get into looking at the reasons behind these women only institutions, they’re often just as sexist towards women in their reasoning as they are towards men in their denial of service. For the sports groups, the reasons I’ve often heard are “if there’s no girls’ league, then the girls won’t play since the boys will make it less fun as the boys are better”. As for the gyms, the reason is often “women don’t want men to look at them while they work out”. That’s a bit better, but the same reasoning applied to a male only gym would be ignored or even derided.

  19. says

    That would have been so nice. I’m 5’7″, and I just had to be mean and ruthless and work out more than everyone else just to not get picked on too often, and had to learn to be violent to nip things in the bud. I thought it was super-cool that I could fight back, until I got old enough to realize how sad and pathetic it is for people to fight each other over nothing. These days, I’ll fight to protect myself, and the safety of others. I’m willing to be called any and every name in the book before I’ll fight over anything else.

  20. hkdharmon says

    I just had a thought. The income difference between men and women. Some have commented that women are not as willing to work the overtime and do the really dangerous or unpleasant jobs that primarily men do. And they may be correct, but can’t that fall under #6. If you don’t work 14 hours days or kill yourself working, you are not manly.

  21. Timyang19 says

    As somebody who studies arnis (Filipino stick/knife-fighting) I found it ironic that it was our masters – those most capable of gutting people alive – were among the most peaceful men I know, and were strongly against picking fights, unless in self defense. I’ve always wondered if picking fights is some form of insecurity – most of the other guys in the black belt group were very nice guys too. Most of the hot-heads I’ve met lately were usually the guys who never studied a martial art in depth.

  22. ckitching says

    As for the gyms, the reason is often “women don’t want men to look at them while they work out”. That’s a bit better

    I disagree. It’s just a variation on the idea that all men are horndogs, thinking about sex 24/7. This stupid stereotype, of course, has become a self-fulfilling prophecy, as people play their parts.

  23. says

    This is a great list, but I feel like a lot of times the feminist movement is put forth as “women should go to work just like men.” That is of course inaccurate, it’s really about choice, and women having the options to do what they would like to do. In the same way, many Men are often pushed to soften their edges and avoid the items on this lists. I am 6’4″ and enjoy martial arts, rock climbing, weight lifting and have worked off and on in construction for years. I have never felt pressured to be more “manly” on the contrary I often feel a societal judgement that doing the stereotypically manly things is somehow archaic or unacceptable. Society should allow men to be who and do what they enjoy being and doing. I would never give a man a hard time for having stereotypically “feminine” likes, yet I’m seen as a dinosaur for liking sports.Societal pressures come in from every direction and act on every individual.

  24. Blitzgal says

    Well, you kind of answered your own question there when you mentioned professional sports. It took a law like Title IX to force institutions to provide any kind of parity between men and women when it comes to sports. And let’s face it — men’s sports is still supreme in this country. It gets the most attention, coverage, and money. So that’s one of the biggest differences in your example regarding women’s only athletic groups. Men are and always have been the privileged group when it comes to sports.

  25. Georgia Sam says

    One word: Neckties. Well, OK, high-heeled shoes may be worse, but neckties are pretty damn bad.

  26. says

    #10 is where women have it easy! Sometimes nerves causes #10 to not happen, which can be nerve-wracking on its own. To put it quite bluntly, women have far less to do in the bed than men have. :)I’d like to add a #11: Like sports!

  27. says

    I don’t get that either actually. Just because I box doesn’t mean I’d thoroughly enjoy beating somebody to death when given the chance.And I do care about my opponent – if he can’t spar or continue because he’s really too exhausted, I don’t see the point of egging him on because he’s being a “wimp.” It’s exactly when the injuries are more likely to happen, when somebody gets careless.

  28. Rollingforest says

    Title IX implementation can be a difficult issue, though, because on the one hand you want to give women a chance to play sports if they want to. On the other hand, there are times when there just are more men interested in playing sports than women. Recently I heard about a college that got in trouble for trying to treat cheerleading as a sport so that they could let more men play sports that they wanted to and still satisfy Title IX. If you knew exactly how many people of each gender wanted to play in a sport, you could just create enough teams of each gender to accomodate them. The trouble comes because that is difficult to figure out.

  29. says

    As a man and a feminist I think I can speak to this, yes the Patriarchy hurts men too, and that’s why its good to read someone’s thoughts on it once a month or so, there’s no reason for trolls to derail every blog entry I’ve ever read on every blog with their bullshit.

  30. Rollingforest says

    Yeah, I’m a guy and I love evolution, history, and politics because it really matters who wins in those battles. But I don’t care about sports because at the end of the season, they’re back to square one.Also, I kind of like the way my car looks, but mainly it’s just a tool to get from point A to point B. I don’t worship it like guys are supposed to.This list reminded me of Red from That 70s Show.Jen obviously A. understands the demographics of her readership and B. knows how to build coalitions. If she had more time aside from being a leader in the Atheist movement, her skills would be useful for the local Democratic Party.

  31. Azkyroth says

    I think one of the reasons so many men are turned off by feminism is because they have the misconception that feminists are only trying to solve woman’s issues and are ignoring those of men. That couldn’t be anything farther from the truth. Feminists are concerned with equality between the sexes.

    I suppose I’m turning into a broken record, but I think the specific label “feminist” has a LOT to do with that, as far as popular awareness goes. Any thoughts on the idea of replacing it with something broader (how about Personist?)

  32. LS says

    Simply because these are harmful sexist stereotypes, does not mean they aren’t true of some of us. Many women enjoy being homemakers, that doesn’t make it any less of a sexist stereotype to say that all women want to be homemakers. I, personally, have a virulent lust for combat. I spent 6 years training and assistant teaching Sabre Fencing, and two years training in Tae Kwon Do, 2 hours sessions, 3 days a week. In both environments I was often disliked as a sparring partner because I wasn’t afraid to hurt people. (this isn’t to say that I sought to cause others pain, or that I didn’t go easy on people who weren’t as good as I was. But if you and I are evenly matched, or you’re better than me, I’m not going to pretend like we’re not trying to hit each other with fucking swords.) And I took what I could dish out, too. I took pride in my injuries, and honestly wished people would stop being so afraid of hurting me that they pulled their punches. It’s difficult to cause actual harm when protective gear is used properly, and pain is fleeting. So I don’t think I’ve really suffered at all from #1. If anything, I’ve probably contributed to people’s perceptions that #1 is true. But just because I adhere to #1 personally, doesn’t make it right for people to extrapolate from their experiences with me, and believe that all men are spoiling for a fight.

  33. LS says

    In many ways, I feel like the battle for choice has been won by feminists. If I’m wrong, please correct me, but it seems like feminism these days focuses more on issues like male privilege. If a woman wants to do “man’s work,” then in a broad social context it’s generally considered okay. Individuals may express sexist beliefs about what women can and cannot do, but as a society we are–at least–afraid enough of being PC that we don’t label any job exclusively “Man’s Work” anymore (Again, correct me if I’m wrong on this.)There are still many career choices for men which we openly mock without wit, however. Nurses are an example which comes up often. Consider, from a broad social perspective, how it would look if a man was adamantly in favor of his wife being a homemaker, despite her desire to work. We’d all regard him as an ass. Now consider, again from a broad social perspective, how it would look if a man was adamantly in favor of being a homemaker himself, despite his wife’s desire to be a homemaker. We’d all regard him as a wimp. There are some logical arguments which can be made for this case (the abominable state of maternity leave in this country means that if a woman is the primary breadwinner for the household, money will probably be extremely tight if the couple have another child.) but I think those logical arguments–however reasonable–are ultimately justifications for a prejudice we would hold regardless of any logical support. The moral here is that the sooner we make women are our social equals, the sooner half of us can start staying at home to play with kids!

  34. jimmyboy99 says

    “It’s just a variation on the idea that all men are horndogs, thinking about sex 24/7.”Aren’t we?

  35. DES says

    I don’t mind wearing a tie… the trick is to wear a shirt that’s actually your size and not one or two sizes smaller, so the collar doesn’t strangle you. You also need a nice tie pin or clip (I use a clip, and when that’s not enough, I tuck my tie inside my shirt between the 2nd and 3rd buttons). Finally, use a half or full Windsor knot; they’re not that hard once you’ve practiced a bit, and unlike the simpler and more common four-in-hand, they’re symmetrical and self-releasing.Oh, and I’ll let you in on a secret: ties pull chicks :)

  36. James W says

    How about no label at all? The civil rights movement managed it. And the fight for LGBT rights manages it too. (As far as I’m aware; please let me know if there is an appropriate -ism for either of these movements, so I can avoid it). See, as passionate as I am about women’s rights and equality, and as much as I have learned from the feminist movement (especially from people like Jen)… I’d never describe myself as a feminist. The thing about “feminism” as a word – aside from associating a struggle for rights and equality with a mis-descriptive and divisive label – is that it is not just a descriptive label of a social movement; it also refers to schools of academic thought, even philosophy; it is (in some circles) associated with orthodoxies or dogmas. The label is even associated with those god-awful moral-relativist lit-crit po-mo assholes that Ophelia Benson (herself a feminist) satirises so well in the Dictionary of Fashionable Nonsense (e.g. E=mc^2 is a sexed equation because it privileges c over other, more feminine speeds… gmafb). Seems to me that any attempt to claim that such crap is not “real” feminism falls into the no true scotsman problem… and surely when two camps with views so utterly in opposition both self-identify with the same label, the label itself has become useless. But then what do I know? So I’ll just stay away from the word.

  37. says

    The thing is we’re both talking organized bouts in a ring occupied by two willing combatants who are both wearing protective gear, and are willing to abide by set rules of combat.I think #1 pertains more to the stereotype that men should solve ALL of their problems with violence and threats of force, no matter how minor the conflict. There’s a world of difference between that and politely asking a buddy or the new guy for a spar so you can both polish up your skills. And let’s just say that I had an upperclassman just like you. He was real aggressive had a take-no-prisoners mindset, and knew exactly how to taunt us in combat to goad us to take the initiative for me and the younger trainees. His sessions hurt like hell, but I learned a lot from those exchanges :)

  38. says

    I live in the Philippines, a South-east Asian country with some very strong latino undertones embedded in our culture, particularly machismo.The last time I mentioned to my other friends that I was reading on women’s reproductive rights and a big supporter of the LGBT movement, they looked at me funny and one humorously asked “Is there something you’re not telling us?”If I tried to say that to a total stranger elsewhere, they’d probably assume I’m gay or effeminate, both being considered repulsive here. It never fails to piss me off, not because people think I’m gay, but that people think being gay is somehow a lesser lifestyle. So in short, LS, bulls-eye!About the only reason nobody ever thought I was gay anymore is because I can outhit most of the guys at the gym…and I have a vicious jab XD

  39. says

    In North America, perhaps.But in other parts of the world, I’m afraid you’re off the mark. Women in my country are still subject to serious sexual harrasment issues, and they’re still tied down to a very submissive mindset when it comes to relationships.

  40. Blitzgal says

    Feminists don’t claim that it isn’t “real” feminism. The trap you’re falling into is that you’ve decided that every feminist is the exactly the same, when obviously that is not the case with any social, racial, or religious group. You’re giving yourself an “out” by getting hung up on the semantics just like so many young women who are afraid of the word.Also, feminism started out as a movement focused on women because society at large treated men as the norm. So every general group and institution was already male-oriented. Men didn’t need a special group, because they had every group. In fact, we were first called suffragettes because our first order of business was getting the right to vote, which only took us eighty years.Civil Rights is a label. So is LGBT. In general they are called activists within that descriptive label. I guess you can try humanist, but that one tends to be used in a more politically progressive way that has nothing to do with gender issues.

  41. says

    This may be a bit late in the discussion but an advert that has been making me smile recently is also incredibly sexist (although very much for the sake of humour). Thoughts please? http://www.oldspice.com/As to ‘maleness’ I think the most annoying stereotype in the UK is the men _MUST_ love football. I think this may be even more pronounced than in the US, I actively avoid talking about football because I don’t enjoy it but it is assumed that as a male I must follow it obsessively.

  42. says

    I suppose sometimes that’s not obvious because as a woman, I feel more comfortable and informed blogging about woman’s issues. That doesn’t mean I’m disregarding the other side.This is part of the problem (not that I’m suggesting it’s your fault). In fact, I suppose it’s more illustrative of a part of a problem… the problem being with the fact that there’s far more made of women’s issues, to the exclusion of male issues, to the point that many men feel that feminism is all about, for example, castration fantasies ;)Of course one of the reasons that more is made of women’s issues is that there are frankly more of them. However, it’s also because no-one feels that comfortable talking about them. Women don’t know about them first-hand and are more comfortable talking about women’s issues, obviously. Men don’t talk about them because of some experience, and certainly an expectation, that they will be seen by some, and thus called by some, to be claiming that men have it worse than women. This has actually happened to me in discussion groups that weren’t even primarily about gender issues or equality issues, but where such things are often discussed, that by suggesting that men suffer from their stereotypes and societal expectation I was claimed to have been claiming this was comparable to, or worse than, what women suffer (never mind my initial disclaiming of this point in the original post).The net result is that men’s issues are under-discussed. It’s no-one’s fault, per se, although the people who do jump up and down on guys heads for talking about it are contributing.

  43. says

    I largely disagree with you, but I won’t harp on that because others have gone over it many times (not just here). What is worth focussing on more, and I worry might get lost among the other points you make, is the fact that ‘feminist’ does have far more specific, narrow, and varied meanings within academic subjects, particularly humanities and some social scientists. People can approach literature on the basis of feminist theory in a way that places the term on roughly the same level as (post-)structuralist, (post-)modernist, freudian, and a host of other such terms. Similarly, in social sciences people can approach their subject with a feminist ontological approach – and precisely what this means depends on the social science!So, what I am getting at is that the term ‘feminism’ should be used with caution, and understood with caution, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be used.

  44. James W says

    “you’ve decided that every feminist is the exactly the same”…Not exactly. In fact I rather thought I went to some pains to avoid giving that impression. What I was trying to get across was that I recognise that many people with wildly different world views and agendas accept the label feminism, and I dislike the label for exactly that reason.”You’re giving yourself an “out” by getting hung up on the semantics just like so many young women who are afraid of the word.”Again – in fairness, I just find words genuinely fascinating which is why I responded to Azkyroth’s comment about the word itself, rather than the general thread (on which, much though I found it engaging, I had little substantive to add).I do hope I didn’t come across as negative about feminism as a movement (I am not), but merely on “feminism” as a word.”Civil Rights is a label. So is LGBT.” Good point – I was thinking this as I typed my original comment. I guess you could say that all words are labels on one way or another. So what makes the label “feminism” different?… Good question. I think its a combination of things, but at base, I think that that my issue with the word comes from the fact that it’s not just a descriptor of a social movement, but also a school of academic thought (one that I have not studied). Anyway – I’m not here to tell anyone else what words they may or may not use. I just thought it might be an interesting challenge: given that the word can scare people away… could we live without it?

  45. Pablo says

    A couple of days ago, the latest issue of “Parents” magazine showed up in our mailbox (I am trying to understand why – they keep threatening that “YOUR SUBSCRIPTION IS ABOUT TO EXPIRE! RENEW NOW!” and I don’t, but they keep coming). As I always do with Parents magazine, the first thing I check is whether, this month, “Parents” includes dads. Not really. There are dozens of pictures of moms with their kids. There are probably a half a dozen pictures of moms on their own (although I always concede that pregnant moms are a separate category). There are maybe 5 pictures of fathers with their kids in the issue (not including advertisements – there are a couple more there), but in all but one, those dads are accompanied by the moms (so it is mom, dad, and kids). In the whole fucking magazine, there is ONE picture of a father by himself with his children. And that is in a collage of a bunch of pictures of one family for an article written by the mom (and there is a matching picture of mom alone with the kids). There is as many pictures of a grandfather alone with their grandkid!The message from Parents magazine is clear: as a father, I’m not expected to be a parent. At least, not without mom.I hate that fucking piece of shit rag.

  46. says

    In the not so immortal words of scroobius pip – “Thou shalt not think that any man over the age of 30 who plays with a child that is not their own is a pedophile. Some people are just nice.”

  47. says

    Yeah, because of cancer treatment (bone marrow transplant) I can’t father children (Ladies, I’m sterile <nudge, nudge=””>! No? hmm…) . I want kids. I am not in the position to adopt or foster. But if I am too friendly to others little kids, I look like a perv.</nudge,>

  48. says

    And a gay guy or a woman can’t have a vicious jab? How do you think you would do against Chevelle “Fist of Steel” Hallback? She would kick my ass, I am pretty damn sure.I am laughing at them, not you.

  49. LS says

    You’re right. I was talking primarily about North America. I’m sorry, I should have clarified that.Obviously the worldwide plight of women is rather atrocious.

  50. Georgia Sam says

    I work in a city where (1) prescribed business dress for men is very conservative & (2) it gets very hot & humid in the summer. Even in a shirt with a comfortably fitting collar, wearing a tie (& jacket–even worse) in July & August is torture. Oh, & tie pins or clips are considered gauche here. But the worst thing is the hundreds of dollars worth of ties I’ve had to throw out after getting indelible stains on them. I agree about the Windsor knot; that’s what I use when I wear a tie (fortunately, in my current job it isn’t required every day).

  51. Azkyroth says

    The issue with the No True Scotsman label is the introduction of irrelevant criteria. There’s nothing fallacious about saying that “no true Scotsman neither lives in Scotland nor descends from those who did,” for instance, and similarly the field of “feminism” can be narrowed a bit by observing that “feminism” may be reasonably defined as being based on the premise that men and women are, generally speaking, morally and mentally equal, and that this removes a broad swath of the “unquestioningly accept gender stereotypes but try to reverse the value judgment” brand (also called “difference feminism”) and the unrepresentative but vocal and annoying pockets of so-called “feminists” whose views are intelligible only under the assumption that all men are undiagnosed psychopaths and all women who don’t agree with them on absolutely everything are gullible morons.The overbroad use of the term “feminist” and in particular its adoption by straw refineries such as you describe is another good reason to replace it. Having a label seems to be necessary to give people a sense of shared identity and direction, though I’m not thrilled about this…

  52. ckitching says

    Maybe. But “all X are Y” has a well deserved tendency for being wrong almost all the time. How many men think about sex obsessively because they are really that into it, and how many men think about sex obsessively because that is what is expected of them. People often play the roles they are given without ever realizing they are playing them. The Stanford Prison Experiment showed this frighteningly well.

  53. Pablo says

    I disagree that this is “a variation on the idea that all men are horndogs.” It’s actually a problem of the lowest common denominator. If there are enough men who go to the gym to leer at women, and there are enough women who are bothered by it, then there will be sufficient justification for segregating them. It’s a question of where you draw the line, and, most importantly, that line doesn’t have to be where ALL men are horndogs. In fact, given the nature of the offense, it doesn’t need to be large at all. So long as the number is large enough such that there are enough men ogling to make those women uncomfortable, then that’s all it takes. Heck, one could make the counter-argument that it is paternalist and sexist against women, because it presumes that a large fraction of women don’t like being ogled at the gym. But then again, it doesn’t, because it doesn’t insist or expect that all women will be there, and it only provides an option to those that prefer not to be ogled.And in terms of men’s options, if there is a sufficient market demand by men to have a gym that does not allow women for similar reasons, someone would open one.in the end, this practice does not assume _all_ men are drooling horndogs, but only that some of them are.

  54. chicagodyke says

    i’m so in love with Greta Christina… but i can’t believe we’re not talking more about penis size. sorry to be so blunt, but you know, isn’t that really at the heart of the patriarchy’s abuse of men? everything is advertised to men as a way to make their penises bigger, harder, longer, etc. some are substitutes (your dick is small so buy this big truck!) and sometimes it’s more subtle, but it seems to me that at the heart of everything that is supposed to indicate “manliness” is the definition of manliness = “he has a large, hard penis.” what is really interesting to me is the way that penis size is most important… to other men, straight men even. homoeroticism among straight men fascinates me. it’s like how sociologists have identified that women don’t really dress to impress other men, they do it to impress other women, and achieve a higher status among women’s groups. similarly, it seems to me men are constantly measuring their dicks, in order to prove something to each other. as a lesbian, i’ve had the opportunity to explore the many ways size does and doesn’t matter to women and their vaginas. and it’s nothing like what most men think. i have never been able to understand why so many men fail to grasp that penis size is irrelevant to most women, if their partner learns just a little bit about how women are truly satisfied.maybe that’s what i’m really talking about: penis size vs satisfying women. men seem to confuse one with the other, and i can’t understand why, because women almost always are willing to tell a male partner what she likes or doesn’t like. or at least, the women in my life never have a problem telling me. :-)

  55. Rollingforest says

    Well, I meant more as in helping a campaign. It is almost impossible nowadays to be openly atheist and win an election. I’m sure that many congressmen are secretly atheist, even Republicans. We have seen many Republicans with anti-gay voting records, such as Mark Foley and Larry Craig, be caught soliciting gay sex later. It is harder to catch someone being secretly atheist, but I’m sure that there are many Republicans who hate the Religious Right and simply pander to them to get votes.

  56. Roki_B says

    Being a male nurse(ing student, one more semesterfuckfdusklfda) is actually pretty awesome. Most of the time. I get some friendly banter from the women in my class, and the nurses I work with. One nurse in a family birthing center, was an bit of a bitch. I was hanging out at the nurses station being the regular badass that I am and she started talking about her late husband. The gist of the conversation was that men will never change, that you should make sure you have a large insurance policy on them, “feed them biscuts and gravy, and massage their feet every night” until they die from their inevitable heart attack and then “cry all the way to the bank”. Why try to change your man’s health habits? The level of bigotry present in this one woman was incredible. My face actually got flushed (rare for me) trying to defend my sex as more subtle and complex than just animals who fuck and eat, but to no avail, none of the other women present were willing to stick up for men as a whole. I felt like their silence was tacit approval. This really *really* disappointed me because I take every opportunity to attack irrational views of women and their current social norms with both friends and strangers. It does not feel, to me, like it is being reciprocated. I’ll still do it though, because its right.When I brought it up to my supervisor, she said “Oh thats just B. she’s like that”. What do you think the response would have been like if I had been the one telling them “just buy women shit until they’re placated and silent, then fuck them every night cause thats all you can do – they never change”. I suspect a shitstorm of epic proportions would have gone down.Oh, and getting asked by my professor “why do men always refuse to think that fertility problems are their fault?”. Or having her stare at me as she talks about how incorrect condom application causes so many pregnancies. Fuck you bitch, I know how to wrap my dick in latex :(. I sure do love being singled out as one of two dudes in a classroom of forty women. That was cathartic.

  57. jimmyboy99 says

    I maybe missing something here (I’m a Brit and don’t understand allthe lingo – so maybe Horndog has some pejorative connotations?): but I definitely fit the stereotype of being pretty into sex. Doesn’t take much to get me going either. Doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate that women don’t like being oggled (so I try hard not to and have real difficulties not doing so when they wear not a lot for eg). But there is a steroetype – and I don’t think I’ve been forced into it. I suspect that the Stanford Prison experiment (a repeat if I understand it, of one that was conducted years ago I think) does not really inform this debate much, right? What would not surprise me would be to find that men in particular are prepared to commit sexual violence fairly easily when the normal societal constraints are removed (as occurred in the Republika Srpska during the Balkans war in the 90s for eg).The key point about stereotypes though is that they don’t apply to everyone – and we shouldn’t expect them too! But they can be useful to get an expectation about how a group might behave: and then we have to allow some members of the group to be different. Like camp straight blokes for eg.

  58. says

    The pervasive presence of certain stereotypes across society creates pressure, even pressure that people aren’t aware of. When you’re a child it encourages you in certain directions, and during your formative years applies gentle (or not so gentle) pressures towards certain behaviours, and away from others.It also allows men to think it’s okay to behave in the way you describe, or worse. Why should men (noting here that I am a heterosexual male, also British) have difficulty not ogling a socionormally attractive female, whether or not she’s wearing lots of clothes? I feel it likely that it’s because we’ve been indoctrinated that it’s normal to do so, and normal to feel the urge to, so there’s no deep-seated guilt or discomfort at doing so. Personally, I rarely if every have any difficulty refraining from such ogling, and tend to engage in such behaviour only where the woman is definitely, and literally, intending to be ogled (which does happen, but not as often as a lot of men seem to think, IMO).

  59. says

    It seems as though, as the men’s human rights movement achieves ‘mainstream status,’ certain ‘progressive’ organizations are beginning to eschew men’s issues. This latest piece lists 5 sexist things that beleaguer men. Having read through the list, I have to say that it is a piece that casts men in a peculiarly outmoded, limiting, 2-dimensional light. Below are my personal feelings on the message thereabouts. Granted, I am somewhat ‘reconstructed…’

    1. Men are expected to dispense violence on behalf of others.

    Not me.

    If you have atavistic notions about manliness, this may apply. However, the need to be a white knight has diminished in the information environment. Intellectual prowess is the key these days. Also, the above does not address the fact that many many men do not have the physical bearing to champion others in this way; many men accept these shortcomings and are terrified by violence. Essentially, men are an octave and not a singular alpha note.

    2. Be a good partner/lover – but don’t care too much about what women think.

    Not me.

    Oh, the ‘treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen’ dictum? I will let you into a secret: men care very deeply about what women think; female sexual agency means that they have many suitors vying for access to their reproductive capability. The mantle of the stoic individualist is an attempt to disguise vulnerability.

    3. Be hot to trot. Always. With anybody.

    Not me.

    Really? Men are sexually motivated by physical markers that indicate youth and good childbearing capabilities. Some women just do not cut the mustard, in this respect. A man can chose not to have sex with just anyone. This notion of the ‘man-slut’ is just another outmoded myth of maleness.

    4. Stiff upper lip.

    Not me.

    I am English and I know all about this protuberance. However, men are very emotional beings – you only have to look at the way that little boys are so permeable to the feelings and moods of others. Men process things differently than women, sure, but a large number of us do not subscribe that we are suppressing our emotions. Our emotions are alive within us – they are just not projectiles (save for when they are not being dealt with effectively.) We traditionally express emotions through artistry and great deeds. I concede that the ‘boy’s don’t cry’ refrain was (and is) operative, but it is often handed down to us from our mothers. It is something that comes from without. Saying that men, as a gender, repress their emotions is not very nuanced.

    5. Men have a fear of being gay.

    Not me – or my gay friends. Just yesterday, at the gym, there was this Adonis there and I was like a deer in the headlamps. Facebook is not the place to outline my sexual proclivities, but it is suffice to say that I think that male sexuality is a beautiful thing. Male homophobia is due to lack of information of how men can be authentically intimate with one another.

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