Men, Masculinity, and Humanity

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Tiassa, Jul 6, 2014.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    The Everyday Spectacular

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    There is an episode we sometimes recall around here, an occasion when men were condemned as nothing more than mindless machines, and for some reason this didn't seem to bother the men in the area. Indeed, the claim that "we're literally animals" seems reasonable enough on certain occasions. And while the preceding sentence might sound just a bit outrageous at least, consider two specific episodes from recent weeks that seemingly reinforce this presumption:

    "Folks ... this is crazy," Rush Limbaugh said on the Friday edition of his successful radio talk show. "We're feminizing this game, and it's a man's game, and if we keep feminizing this game, we're going to ruin it; if we keep 'chickifying' this game, we're going to ruin it. It's going to become something that it was never intended to be."

    Limbaugh's worry came in response to the growing demands for introspection being directed toward the NFL in the wake of the public release of video showing Ray Rice assaulting his partner. "So many men — executive in the league, and sports [media] — are in a race to see who can be the most politically correct, feminized guy," Limbaugh said. "It's comical."

    As he continued his monologue, it became clear that it was CBS sports broadcaster James Brown, in particular, who'd annoyed Limbaugh with his "comical" attempt to be "the most politically correct." Before a Thursday night NFL game, Brown had delivered a short speech about masculinity, the NFL and how society often looks the other way when it comes to the crisis of widespread domestic violence. The speech was roundly praised; but Limbaugh, evidently, is not a fan.


    We can certainly bear in mind that this is the Biggest Little Man on Earth, after all; or, well, isn't that kind of the point? Limbaugh was responding to James Brown, whose allegedly "comical" and "politically correct" monologue earned widespread praise for its utter failure to mince words:

    "Two years ago I challenged the NFL community and all men to seriously confront the problem of domestic violence, especially coming on the heels of the murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs football player Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins. Yet, here we are again dealing with the same issue of violence against women.

    "Now let's be clear, this problem is bigger than football. There has been, appropriately so, intense and widespread outrage following the release of the video showing what happened inside the elevator at the casino. But wouldn't it be productive if this collective outrage, as my colleagues have said, could be channelled to truly hear and address the long-suffering cries for help by so many women? And as they said, do something about it? Like an on-going education of men about what healthy, respectful manhood is all about.

    "And it starts with how we view women. Our language is important. For instance, when a guy says, 'you throw the ball like a girl' or 'you're a little sissy,' it reflects an attitude that devalues women and attitudes will eventually manifest in some fashion. Women have been at the forefront in the domestic violence awareness and prevention arena. And whether Janay Rice considers herself a victim or not, millions of women in this country are.

    "Consider this: According to domestic violence experts, more than three women per day lose their lives at the hands of their partners. That means that since the night of February 15th in Atlantic City more than 600 women have died.

    "So this is yet another call to men to stand up and take responsibility for their thoughts, their words, their deeds, and as Deion [Sanders] says, to give help or to get help, because our silence is deafening and deadly.”

    There's nothing to boldface. Or else the whole thing needs screaming, flaming, forty foot high boldface, complete with ominous streaks of lightning to draw the wandering eye back to the point.

    Is it enough for men at large to simply ignore Rush Limbaugh? Or is it about time men, generally speaking, started making some noise about whether or not the merits of masculinity include beating wives and girlfriends, and even killing them. Is it really chickifying, politically correct, feminizing?


    To the other, perhaps some women would agree. Over at FOX News, well, maybe not the beating and outright raping, but certainly the sexual harassment seems to be par for masculinity, such as these gems:

    Stacey Dash: I'm from the south Bronx. I grew up with it. You hear it. You ignore it. Just as long as you don't come within arm's length, it's good. I don't care.

    Kirsten Powers: When I was younger I didn't like it. It used to bother me. Like, “Oh, this is so sexist.” Now I'm like, if it doesn't happen, I'm like, “Excuse me.” So now it's good.

    Kimberly Guilfoyle: Then you give a little extra shake ... Listen, let men be men. God bless them, I love them ... Men are going to be that way. What can you do? They mean it in a nice way, I think. Like they find you attractive or they want to just pay a compliment.

    (qtd. in Luciano)

    While the the menageries of blogosphere and punditocracy alike recoiled on behalf of women, and rightly so, I mean, well, come on, now, wait a minute. Really? Are men going to take this shit?

    This is the problem with masculinity being too hard to pin down: What the hell, guys?



    Is anyone there?

    But here's the tricky part: Of course we're not going to take this. But we're not really going to do much about identifying masculinity, are we?



    Isquith, Elias. "Rush Limbaugh on 'this domestic violence stuff' and the NFL: 'If we keep feminizing this game we're going to ruin it'". Salon. September 12, 2014. September 13, 2014.’re_going_to_ruin_it”/

    Brinson, Will. "CBS Sports' James Brown delivers anti-domestic violence message". CBS Sports. September 11, 2014. September 13, 2014.

    Luciano, Michael. "Fox News Host On Cat-Calling: 'Let Men Be Men'". The Daily Banter. August 29, 2014. September 13, 2014.
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  3. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

    It is hard to define masculinity, but it is easy to define the opposite of masculitnity - that would be doing violence against women. My dad told me when I was just a little kid, "boys don't hit girls". Really simple.
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  5. wellwisher Banned Banned

    The fact is some men hit women, but not all men hit women. I have never hit a woman nor did most of the men in these forums. The other side to the abuse coin, is how some women abuse men. The preferred female form of abuse is nagging, bitching and complaining, which is emotional and psychological hitting.

    If a male did this in the work place, using selective daggers to get under the skin of others (the N or C words) he would be fired. Yet there is no law to protect men from the small percent of women called the NAGS. Not all women do this and the ones that do, do not do this all the time, just like not all men hit women all the time. The social problem has a connection to only one side of the abuse coin is being looked at with the other side of abuse left unchecked to instigate abuse.

    How about if a woman nags a man and the male gets his feelings hurt, this is considered a crime, just like hitting? Men are expected to put up with the abuse to keep the relationship together. They are even supposed to justify and rationalize this as PMS. Maybe it is time to balance the abuse with laws for both forms of abuse.

    The war against women is irrational, because the war in reality, is against the men. Name me one law that has been placed on the books that favors men over women, and I will show you five that favor women over men, yet men are waging the war? The anti-nagging law will be the first law for the men in decades.

    Women like the bad boys and liberalism is full of con artists that lie without blinking an eye; men waging war is one of those lies. If it was true women would not be as attracted since the good guys finish last. Most women are not attracted to the good guy who does not lie enough. My honesty may not go over well.
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    One Way of Looking at It





    I'm not certain how such an honest depiction of your dysfunction is supposed to "go over well" with anyone. Generally speaking, it rather unsettles folks to think that people of your disposition exist within their communities.
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    My guess is that if trapped in an elevator with a woman who nags you for an hour, and then trapped in an elevator with a man who rapes you and beats you unconscious, you would find some other description than "two sides of the same coin".
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Crazy Little Thing Called ... Huh?

    This Thing Called 'Masculinity'

    "The only way to change professional football is at its foundation, transforming the culture in our schools and what defines masculinity—and what defines being a girl or a woman or gay or transgender—and, most importantly, that needs to happen within sports programs, not separate from them. That's likely to take a long time and may be utopian, since it could actually forever change, or even end, the game of football as we know it."

    What stands out most about Michelangelo Signorile's consideration of American masculinity in crisis is that like so many other considerations of sex and gender roles in our culture, it lacks any substantial definition of what this masculinity actually is. Certes, there are hints, but therein we also see the problem:

    Women are asserting themselves, roles are changing for men and women, and the gay and transgender movements are challenging sexuality and gender as well as challenging the definition, and even the idea, of masculinity. Is it really any wonder that many more straight men—as well as many women, judging by the statistics of who the newest fans are—may be confused and threatened about these changing roles, flocking to an institution that is a citadel of well-defined, old-fashioned masculinity, where the men are real men and women stand behind them, cheering them on? If masculinity were a religion, after all, the NFL would be its Wahhabism or Christian Dominionism.

    Two weeks ago I pointed to the virulent homophobia of the NFL, where Coach Mike Priefer of the Vikings was given a mere two-game suspension—now back in the game—for saying gays should be rounded up and put "on an island, and nuke it until it glows," while the first (and only) openly gay player was drafted much later than predicted in the rounds and then passed over for a roster, only picked up for a practice squad. And while Ray Rice was suspended indefinitely—only after a video surfaced showing more graphically what we knew before about his pummeling of his then-fiancée in an elevator—there are many other cases of domestic abuse of women and now child abuse, in which players see few if any ramifications from the NFL.

    Let's be honest: Professional football, perhaps more than any other male team sport, is based on misogyny and homophobia, built on it from the ground up. Entire generations of American men have been raised on the idea that if they don't participate in male team sports, they're maybe a little faggy, and football, as surely the most aggressive of male team sports, is the holy grail if you want to prove you're not. Entire generations have grown up—and, in many cases, still grow up—with it being routine for high-school and college football coaches to demean the players during training by calling them "girls" or "ladies" if they don't perform well, or even going further with "pussies" and "pansies." And what are these terms really all about? The idea that women are less than men, and that being less than a real man, and being a like a woman, is being like a homo, which is the worst thing you can possibly be.

    Women and LGBT people are challenging this demeaning behavior and have even successfully stopped it in many places. Masculine identity as defined for generations, however, is so culturally powerful that it cuts across class and race boundaries—bonding men of all kinds together—and seems to be only becoming stronger as the American crisis in masculinity escalates. I'll never forget when I went on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in the '90s for the first time—back when their was a trading "floor," before most trading became electronic. Everything crystalized for me when I looked down at this largely straight male world: blue-blood WASPS running the show mixed with the traders on the floor, the working-class guys from Staten Island and Brooklyn scrambling back and forth, all bonding on winning and making money.

    To the one, there is nothing unfamiliar about the litany, but look at how the identifications go. Masculinity is not feminine, not gay, not girly or pansy or pussy. And even to that point, while Signorile's thesis—

    Is it a coincidence that the NFL is more popular than ever, with the Super Bowl as the ultimate national event, at the same time that many American men are in the midst of a masculinity crisis—and that now we're seeing that crisis playing out literally within the NFL itself?"

    —is, shall we say, overly ambitious, it still occurs to wonder why a wellspring of our very lives, the ultimate prize of masculinity and manhood—a vagina—is the basis of an insult; the basic psychoanalysis only reinforces the negative aspects of masculinity insofar as that vagina, that pussy won or conquered is simply a prize, not something actually to be respected.

    But we know a lot about what masculinity isn't. Even setting aside the anti-identifications that otherwise seem to contradict one another: Two men who each have gained a lot of "notches in the bedpost", one through aggression while the other is denounced as being "pussy-whipped", itself a bizarrely andromorphized term, so which one is more masculine and manly? The thing is that the "whipped" guy need not be some "feminized" dude giving the bitches and hos and feminists whatever they want. He can be to some degree a pickup artist, pretending a caricature of respect.

    But, then, we also know that rape and violence aren't manly; while there are some at present who would argue otherwise, generations have been raised on the idea that boys are not supposed to hit girls.

    But look at the competing assertions: Real men don't hit their wives. Real men don't take shit from women.

    Here's a way to look at it:

    • Imagine a male in one of your social circles insisting on the validity of calling women bitches in an argument that sounds suspiciously similar to that bottom-shelf canard about how there are black people and then there are niggers, and come on, man, you know what I mean, nudge-nudge, wink-wink, a nod's as good as a wink to a blind bat.

    Those who have a hard time imagining need not; we've seen it before.

    The woman/bitch distinction, just like the black/nigger argument, depends on a functional proposition that certain groups of people have greater obligations prerequisite to basic human respect. And this is the problem with defining masculinity. Open cowardice? It's possible. Lack of cognitive faculties? Sure, you can find some cases. Neurotic produce? Well, there we find the most likely driver.​

    Defining masculinity would put upon men the same sorts of obligations various bigotries have visited upon others. Consider the idea that real men don't cry, or some such. How much damage to themselves and others have men accomplished by trying to divorce or strangle their more despairing emotions and fleeing to the refuge of righteous anger?

    Seriously, you can cry over spilt milk, or you can go hunt down the bastard the fucking spilled it. And if you happen to be the bastard that fucking spilled it, well, blaming other people is what ego defenses do.

    And if that doesn't work, well, there's always drugs.

    Want it all, but can't pay the bill. Just staring out my little windowsill. My companion? One colorful pill. Nobody cares about what they can't kill.



    Signorile, Michelangelo. "Misogyny and Homophobia in the NFL: Is America's Crisis of Masculinity Playing Out in Its Favorite Sport?" The Huffington Post. September 16, 2014. September 21, 2014.
  10. Mr. G reality.sys Valued Senior Member

    "...the Men's Rights movement"

  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    More commonly known as "the organization of human society since the Stone Age."
  12. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    (a figure of speech)
    Long--------long----------long ago
    I dated a pretty young ballerina. One fine night, after the ballet we dined then I took her home. She took me by the hand, and led me to her bedroom, saying : "Come with me and we"ll make love till the cock crows".


    couple little things
    A) I ain't got that kind of stamina, never had it and likely never will.
    B) Don't get me wrong, I really like my cock, and have admired it's seeming lack of introspection on more than one occasion. But "crow" I ain't never herd it do that, and wouldn't expect it in the future.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2014
  13. Le Repteux Registered Senior Member

    Hi everybody, nice approach to a huge problem Tiassa!

    As far as instincts are concerned, it is easy for us to point out a problem, but almost impossible to solve it. Prostitution is a good example: no way to regulate it. War is another one: no way to stop it. Men are the males of the herd, women the females, they both have to cooperate to reproduce, but not necessarily after. Males fight for females, which prevents the unfit ones to reproduce their malformation, but this behavior has an important byproduct, which is to create hierarchy within a group, thus cohesion, which is needed if the group has to hunt for prays, or if it has to defend itself from predators. This is where cooperation is useful to survival, not to raise the brood, unless it takes time for it to be able to move by its own means, like humans and birds for instance. Cooperation and competition, two different ways of survival: competition being useful to short term survival, thus to continuity, and cooperation being useful to long term survival, thus to change.

    There is a big difference between birds and humans though: birds cannot play with their instinctive behaviors, whereas humans can. When a man rapes a woman, he obeys to an instinct, but he also disobeys to the social rule that comes with that instinct, which is to cooperate raising the children. When he beats up his wife, he obeys to the byproduct of an instinct, hierarchy, but he also disobeys to a social rule about the way we need to treat each other. How to convince men that hierarchy and reproduction can be controlled by intelligence instead of by instinct, and how to protect women from the instinctive deviations of men? I think this is a long term process, one that uses chance to create possibilities, which are then selected by their environment, the same way mutations are. Meanwhile, I favor more restrictive rules for men and more services for women, accompanied by more information and more research about the link between our instinctive and our cognitive behaviors.
  14. Anew Life isn't a question. Banned

    very much aware of social plights having been a student of social work; addressing behavioral imbalance is a realistic matter.

    reasonably considering men and women as equal is easier when not stuck in the pocket of media and social history which often examples a man being inspiration of a woman or vice versa
    which does leave men and women fighting with themselves and others, and of often sexual preoccupation.

    a human is a human and that's pretty much the beginning and end of it
    fetishing about differences brings men and women farther from humanness.

    *instinctive behavior isn't primarily sensual it is primarily practical (considering materialism), same as cognitive behavior;;; cognition is ability to separate opinion from realism.
    opinion is related to desire; desire is emotions mixed with choice therefore often creating interpersonal or personal feelings and behaviorisms of debt, and subtle disappointment.
  15. Le Repteux Registered Senior Member

    Do you think that the law should get more restrictive for men harming women Anew?
  16. sculptor Valued Senior Member

  17. Le Repteux Registered Senior Member

    Nice song that says a lot about masculinity Sculptor, but not much about what its becoming.
  18. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    We live in an interesting age.
    Most women seem to both want their independence, and to have a man in charge.
    Much like dogs or horses, they seem to prefer a self confident firm hand at the tiller.

    : to carefully use or manage (something, such as a resource)
    transitive verb
    a : to manage prudently and economically
    b : to use sparingly : conserve

    Husband your wives as you would husband any valuable and finite resource.
  19. Le Repteux Registered Senior Member

    Its true that women put a less confident hand at men's tillers than men do, but its only because they are weaker. What about the way men and women develop their ideas? Are their specific instincts interfering with that development? Do they have specific instincts like animals have?
  20. elte Valued Senior Member

    I think instincts do interfere. Testosterone seems to have been responsible for distracting me from making progress in my field for a very long time.
  21. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    from psych studies long long ago:
    Women, on average, seem to have a much more active corpus callosum than do men, which may mean better connectivity between right and left brained thought processing.
    And, then we have the raging hormonal thing----one week per month, my wives would seem to want to pick fights. Much like tic tac toe, winning was problematic, so better to not respond in a manner the pugnacious attitude seemed to warrant.
    Much like dealing with a spooked horse or a frightened dog, responding in anger is/was pointless.
  22. Le Repteux Registered Senior Member

    Instincts sure interfere with our behavior, but do they interfere with the way we think, with the development of our ideas? In other words, when grown up, do men and women think the same way? Aren't women more inclined to trust their feelings than men for instance? And if so, what intellectual faculty are men trusting more than women?
  23. elte Valued Senior Member

    Those are some good questions. I recall a classical notion that men are better at reasoning. Maybe it's more that men are dominant due largely to their physical advantage, so women are afraid to assert themselves, giving them the appearance of being less smart. If they say that they feel something rather than figured it out, it might be because they don't want to appear mentally challenging and encourage conflict. However, the brain structure between the two sexes is a bit different since there is a time during fetal development when the presence of testosterone causes a divergence in the male brain wiring.

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