Jawdropping velvet and gold leather button boots.
I’m not the one getting angry buddy
Sexism is a two way street. Men are raised the same exact way you know. They’re constantly told that they must be muscular, but not over the top muscular get a 6 pack and have a big piece of genitalia. Appearance is important in our culture. Do I agree with it being held to such a damn high regard? No, because it’s toxic. But we can’t just flat out ignore half of the victims of it either and literally spit in their face. Those jokes aren’t harmless, sexist jokes are never harmless.
If you want to promote body positivity, that’s fantastic! But pushing down half of the population while doing it makes your entire point moot. If the inverted post makes you upset, you should imagine that a male probably thought the same way of the original post- because trust me it happens.
Not every man is body conscious, but a good number of us are: we just aren’t encouraged to express our low self-esteem as much as women are, instead told to keep our problems to ourselves. Society holds up a female beauty ideal, that a women’s body should be a work of art, and this leads to low self-esteem in women who can’t live up to these impossible standards. Men, on the other hand, have traditionally been told that our bodies are ugly, fat, hairy, sweaty, utilitarian lumps just there to do women’s heavy lifting and definitely not to look at. Image-conscious men have a lot to be upset about.
But men are getting more and more objectified recently, to the extent where we now have almost as much as women to live up to. Every man you ever see topless, in adverts or films, is a muscular hulk. If “skinny” is unrealistic for women, these degree of devoted body sculpting is unrealistic for men. Accordingly, men are getting more and more body-conscious, with a decent number of them developing eating disorders (I’m also convinced that living in the gym to stop hating your body is a disorder in itself).
As it is, for whichever reason, men have body image issues. Jokes aren’t harmless, any more than they would be the other way around. You might be somehow immune to social pressures, which is great for you, but please don’t assume that everybody else shares that privilege. Show some respect to the people who don’t.
By the logic of pointyearedbastard we should not be allowed to insult a woman’s appearance, but we should be allowed to make jokes about her accomplishments!?
I mean, we live in a society where men are taught to value accomplishments and success over everything else, this is what they are primarily judged on, and they are judged harshly if they do not ‘succeed’. Women are raised to be valued first for their looks, accomplishments are secondary. So then making ‘harmless’ jokes about women’s lack of accomplishments in order to point out this ridiculous power structure is fine. Right?
I agree. In terms of the way society views these things I would definitely agree. In fact I would go so far as to say that of a woman goes for a traditionally male position she is actively encouraged. She gets a pat on the back for empowering herself. If a man goes for a traditionally female position he is looked down on.
I do think this is the achievement of feminism. And I think it is both a positive and a negative thing. It is positive because it is of course a good thing to see women able to break away from their gender roles and make their own choices. It is negative because in a way I think it is feminism which as enforced this idea of feminine traits being ‘lesser’ on society.
Feminism has taught us that men have always had choices, whereas women have not. So looking at the ‘choices’ men have made throughout the centuries we would automatically think they would take the ‘better’ choices, wouldn’t we. Of course this is bullcrap. Men had no more choice than women. While women may have had to stay at home and look after the children, men had to go to work. They had no choice.
So what we have is two sets of gender roles. But because one group has supposedly ‘chosen’ their role we have almost been duped into believing that role is therefore ‘better’. And it is not men who have taught us this. To a large degree it is feminism.
In reality ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ traits both have their relative merits and are both important and needed. And this is one of the most important things we need to talk about. We need to dispel this myth that men chose their place in society and make people understand that the gender binary has restricted all of us.
I very much appreciate the calm, reasoned manner by which you’ve written this. To a large extent I agree with much of what you’ve said.
Men certainly are targeted and belittled for moving out of the traditionally “masculine” stereotype and exploring, well, anything else at all. Men are supposed to act in very specific ways and deviating from the norm is good way to become something of a social pariah.
Where I disagree is how you’ve attributed this to feminism, specifically by saying that feminism has somehow made acting what is traditionally known as “feminine” to be weak or otherwise undesirable. Feminism is, in part, a fight to give women the right to choose how they live their lives, whether it’s moving into a new space like or staying in the old one.
Misogyny is a far more likely culprit since the gender roles within its structure are rigid and uncompromising and very much reflect the supposed norm that we see today. Women must be women and men must be men, anything else is not acceptable.
Feminism has not taught us that men have always had a choice, just that their position is the better of the two. Men still suffer horribly under misogyny.
Firstly - I am lost with what you are saying about the ‘structure’ of misogyny. In fact I have no idea what you mean by that - could you explain? Are you talking about ‘patriarchy’?
You say feminism is in part ‘a fight to give women the right to choose how they live their lives’.
You also say feminism has taught us that men’s position is ‘the better of the two’.
In those two statements you basically confirm what I am saying. If women need to fight for the right to choose then, whether intentionally or not, that implies that men do not need to fight for the right to choose. Or more specifically, if we need a movement like feminism to allow women to break free from gender roles, but no such movement for men, then what does this imply? It implies that men do not need to fight for the freedom to choose because they have it already. And if this is not the case then why a female specific movement- why not one that fights for everyone? That is the implication and that is the message given to society. To then say that feminism teaches that men’s position is better wholly confirms the idea that feminism has taught us that women’s position is lesser. That is exactly what I was saying in my first post.
I’m not saying feminism is entirely to blame for these ideas, but I do think it has played its part in reaffirming them. What feminism has done is it has portrayed the male gender role as the better of the two - automatically meaning that the female role is the lesser. Essentially, feminism has presumed that the female role is lesser, that femininity is undesirable. And of course, when looking at gender equality from one viewpoint only it is easy to see all the negatives on that side of the fence, and not notice the ones on the other. That is what feminism has done, and that is why I think it is now critical to look at these issues from a wider perspective instead of only including one gender. These ideas have permeated society through the efforts of feminism. That is what I mean when I say that a lot of these ideas come from feminism.
Actually now what we are seeing from feminism is this trend continuing and being pushed to the extreme. #yesallwomen are victims, is the clear example. Feminism is pushing this idea. And what next? #yesallmen are aggressors? Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me. Those are the ideas coming out of feminism today, and those are the exact ideas that are going to perpetuate the gender binary, rather than change the way we think about these issues. And in my opinion this is simply a continuation of some of what feminism has done in the past.
“In those two statements you basically confirm what I am saying. If women need to fight for the right to choose then, whether intentionally or not, that implies that men do not need to fight for the right to choose.”
That’s not what I said, though. What I said was:
“Men certainly are targeted and belittled for moving out of the traditionally “masculine” stereotype and exploring, well, anything else at all. Men are supposed to act in very specific ways and deviating from the norm is good way to become something of a social pariah.”
My central point there was that feminism’s push to give women choice also benefits men by challenging traditional gender roles. If it’s okay for women to do things that are traditionally reserved for men then it will become less taboo for men to do things that are traditionally reserved for women.
“What feminism has done is it has portrayed the male gender role as the better of the two - automatically meaning that the female role is the lesser. Essentially, feminism has presumed that the female role is lesser, that femininity is undesirable. And of course, when looking at gender equality from one viewpoint only it is easy to see all the negatives on that side of the fence, and not notice the ones on the other. ”
Again, feminism is the push for choice, to choose to be feminine or not. It’s not that being feminine is somehow worse, it’s that being feminine is all women are expected to be in far too many areas of society.
I can’t stress this part enough: men suffer under misogyny as well as women exactly because the gender roles are so rigid.
“Actually now what we are seeing from feminism is this trend continuing and being pushed to the extreme. #yesallwomen are victims, is the clear example. Feminism is pushing this idea. And what next? #yesallmen are aggressors? Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me. Those are the ideas coming out of feminism today, and those are the exact ideas that are going to perpetuate the gender binary, rather than change the way we think about these issues. And in my opinion this is simply a continuation of some of what feminism has done in the past.”
That’s a slippery slope argument. The idea behind #YesAllWomen is to reveal how often women are targeted for harassment and violence, not to somehow perpetuate. It’s supposed to be a wake up call, a means to show people what’s going on where they can’t see it. This isn’t feminism “pushing” the idea it’s revealing an ugly truth about how the world works at present.
But what I am saying is that while feminisms goal might be to push for choice, and to challenge traditional gender roles, in my opinion it is sometimes having the opposite effect. I don’t see how you can effectively challenge traditional gender roles and hope that this will benefit everyone by only challenging one half of the binary. What we are left with is a situation where every portrayal of women, every magazine, every toy for girls is scrutinised carefully, but there is little such scrutiny for men. So we are left thinking that everything must be OK for men. And no, you and I are not left thinking that because we have taken the time to consider it further - but what of the general population? If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, people say - and that is the over all impression given to society for men’s issues because there is nothing to show we are trying to fix it and therefore people assume it ain’t broke in the first place. I am not saying that this was feminisms plan. I am saying that the methods feminism has used have been poor and have partly led to this. I am not saying that being feminine is worse, and I am not saying that feminism outright says that. But it is often implicit in the way feminism discusses these issues, and again I am simply saying that feminism has used poorly thought through methods.
The idea behind #yesallwomen might be to reveal how often women are the victims of harassment and violence, but it completely ignores how often men are the victims of harassment and violence. How on earth can we talk about non gendered crimes in a gendered manner? So I’m sorry but I am going to disagree - feminism is certainly pushing the idea of women’s victimhood by always talking about violence as if it only happens to women, by always talking about rape as if it only happens to women. By focusing on these issues from the point of view of one gender only it is implied that nobody else has these problems - whether it is feminisms intention or not, that is the message it is sending. And it erases victims by doing so.
The point where I will strongly disagree - please please stop saying men suffer under misogyny. Misogyny is contempt for or prejudice against women. Saying ‘men suffer under misogyny’ is basically saying that men’s issues are merely the fallout of sexism against women. It is fair enough to say men suffer in the gender binary, or misandry exists alongside misogyny. Misogyny is a word that only refers to attitudes towards women, not men. Saying men suffer under misogyny as well as women exactly because the gender roles are so rigid is implying that gender roles are sexist or harmful specifically to women and that men merely have problems as a consequence. Again that seems to place men as less important. Or at least that is the way I read it. It also erases mens problems and makes them all about women - another thing I find common in the feminist narrative.
Really we agree on a lot I think, just you have a more positive view of feminism than I do. But we both agree that the gender binary needs to be challenged for the benefit of everyone, and to me that is the main thing - whether you choose to call yourself a feminist or not is inconsequential. But I think our main difference can be summed up like this:
You say - If it’s okay for women to do things that are traditionally reserved for men then it will become less taboo for men to do things that are traditionally reserved for women.
I say - Why should men’s issues only be fixed as a by-product of women’s issues being fixed? Why should we not be focusing on both genders at the same time, rather than focusing on women’s issues and hoping for a knock on effect that may never come?
30 day coloring challenge: Create a color porn coloring
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fig. 9 - The earth is a sphere because that is the most perfect mathematical shape and all heavenly bodies are perfect. (Pythagoras, Ancient Greek)
The Outer Sun is an ongoing series illustrating human ideas about the cosmos.
Happiness is a belt fed weapon
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