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Issues of men
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Leohan



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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 12:57 am    Post subject: Issues of men Reply with quote

So, alright, when going around Facebook I found this particular post about feminism. It basically pointed out a number of double standards and ended up on the note that we all should just respect each other regardless of gender. A good plan if you ask me.

Still, I don't think it was a particularly good post. It spoke from the perspective of a male mentality and made some assumptions of what that mentality was like which I think are the exception rather than the rule. I also couldn't help but to think that some of those double standards weren't so one-sided, since men have their equivalent. Still, as always it'd be impolite to start talking about that in there. Feminism posts like that one are, after all, a space to talk about the issues that women have to face.

Got me thinking, though... Is there any sort of space or forum with any sort of credibility that discusses the double standards from a male perspective? I'm not particularly interested in joining it, but really the only thing that came to my mind was MRA and those are so infamously plagued by douches that MRA is almost a replacement word for misogynist as far as feminism is concerned.

Perhaps I just don't know about it, though. Do you? I personally think that sexism is better off tackled from both sides, so it'd be important to know.


PD: I considered writing this as a post in the feminism thread, but I figured that it'd be all kinds of ironic.
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Samsally



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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Midnight Tea



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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with talking about sexism against men is that oftentimes, even if the person introducing the topic is respectful and they disavow association from douchebags and pickup artists... well, it comes off a bit like someone complaining about how society doesn't make shoes that feel comfortable or are healthy for their posture at a clinic for amputees. I mean technically it's in the same area of medicine, and both need addressing, but talking about the issues in the same breath is almost demeaning. Socially active women in western society have to live with a veritable house of horrors, not just simple prejudice or inconvenience.

That said -- yes, society is horrible to both genders, especially in formative years. I'd be much more impressed with the MRA movement if they focused on things like little boys getting the shit beaten out of them by their peers. It pisses me off when adults turning a blind eye to bullying with excuses like "boys will be boys" or even blame the victim. Luckily it's a lot less of a thing than it was when I was growing up, but it still happens. That'd be a sensible and selfless thing to want to bring about change in, so of course I've never seen a self-identifying MRA talk on it and be heard.
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends on what issues you are wanting to discuss.

If I were to participate in discussions of men-specific problems, I'd prefer to talk about the excessively high rate of incarceration of black men in the USA. Incarceration in the US is a problem generally, but I think this is one of the most urgent parts of it that need addressing. (Some other problems are sexual assault and corporate ownership of prisons.)

If you're wanting to talk about how men can approach the patriarchy and gender-based nonsense, that could have some worth.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread's title is misleading.

I thought there would be more discussion about a certain gay magazine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men_(magazine)
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mouse



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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:

If you're wanting to talk about how men can approach the patriarchy and gender-based nonsense, that could have some worth.


i agree with that. i think a lot of feminists -do- realize that Society As It Is, while generally more beneficial to males, still does some things that really screw them over - but ultimately, one tends to be most sensitive to one's own situation, so female persons like me, while sympathetic, are not necessarily informed.
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Leohan



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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
It depends on what issues you are wanting to discuss.

If I were to participate in discussions of men-specific problems, I'd prefer to talk about the excessively high rate of incarceration of black men in the USA. Incarceration in the US is a problem generally, but I think this is one of the most urgent parts of it that need addressing. (Some other problems are sexual assault and corporate ownership of prisons.)

If you're wanting to talk about how men can approach the patriarchy and gender-based nonsense, that could have some worth.

Yeah, I know. I was actually thinking of something among the lines of what Midnight Tea said. The question is where...

Also, yes. Your last paragraph. That too.
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Midnight Tea



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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
If I were to participate in discussions of men-specific problems, I'd prefer to talk about the excessively high rate of incarceration of black men in the USA. Incarceration in the US is a problem generally, but I think this is one of the most urgent parts of it that need addressing. (Some other problems are sexual assault and corporate ownership of prisons.)

Rock on, Stripes. Sometimes when I'm especially bitter, I find myself wondering if the proportion of black inmates -- and labor programs -- are especially high in former confederate states. I find excessive incarceration just another symptom of a mental disease that pretty much the entire USA seems to be suffering, which I talked about in other thread. A culture that has a media that celebrates violence and vindicated individualism.

And yes. I feel like sometimes I'm trapped in the wrong era when I see prison rape jokes thrown about. It's not funny. It's never been funny. It's actually really scary -- the "prison bitch" is usually soft enough to not have been the kind of person to wage an ongoing war with society, but they sure as hell will be once they get out.

Quote:
If you're wanting to talk about how men can approach the patriarchy and gender-based nonsense, that could have some worth.

Also an excellent point. It really is striking to me that you'd think in theory a patriarchy would exist to benefit men, but that's clearly not the case. You don't get to benefit unless you can prove to the patriarchy that you're a "real man". That approval is capricious too.
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I came to the conclusion a few days ago that prison rape can actually be seen as a form of cruel and unusual punishment, since the majority of people talk about it like it's an expected part of prison life, something that is just part of what criminals have got coming to them.

http://greenwickpress.tumblr.com/post/86668187159/there-are-then-four-principles-by-which-we-may

It also seems to be entirely homophobic.

According to this post, most of the private prisons and prison labor factories are located in the south. http://smithearl8.wordpress.com/tag/mass-incarceration/

I'd also like to give a shout out to Angola prison, which is enormous. According to my bro roommate who had a relative that worked there, if you are a white person visiting Angola, they don't even card you - because Angola is for black and hispanic people.
Last I checked, there was an atheist imprisoned there who fought for his right to be an atheist. The warden told newspapers that he could actually get out of prison if he just converted to Christianity. (Literally for converting, not in the sense that he'd become a better person and then earn time off his sentence.)
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Leohan



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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Midnight Tea wrote:
Also an excellent point. It really is striking to me that you'd think in theory a patriarchy would exist to benefit men, but that's clearly not the case. You don't get to benefit unless you can prove to the patriarchy that you're a "real man". That approval is capricious too.

Woah! Way to nail it right down, MT!

Yeah, I think that a lot of what affects men in peculiar ways when compared to women is their perceived loss of their status as men.

If you are gay then you're not a man. If you get raped then you're not a man. If a woman beats you up then you're not a man. If you fail to defend the honor of your SO then you are not a man. List goes on.

Of course, it's not the only issue that might be worthy to be tackled (common sitcom representation of males as bumbling slaves of their strong wives comes to mind) but a lot of the harshest stuff that men have to face in relationship to the Patriarchy is being able to identify themselves as their gender, as it were.

Kudos to you for throwing that on the table.
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want to point out a really cool book called "Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality."

It talks about how the concept of the heterosexual is very recent, about mid-1800s. The word was coined by someone who was fighting for homosexual rights. Another word that was bantered about to mean heterosexual was 'normal' sexual.
The concept of the heterosexual became someone who did the accepted practices, and was within the bounds of normal. (Which included gems from Freud, like how all women imagine themselves as children when they are having sex.)

So then everybody was all, "Oh, hey! I'm a heterosexual! I wonder how I should do everything!" Self-help info manifested. Doctors and everybody were all, "Here's how you be heterosexual! And the more people tried to fit into heterosexuality, the more they hated anything that fell outside of it.


Then there was this book about queer American history that talked about how black people were used as a symbol for white people's sexuality, and I think it said that they were also used to experiment with queerness. (Because you can do that to a group of people when you don't think of them as people.)
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Midnight Tea



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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sincerely, thank you for the kind words Leohan. I've mentioned it in passing on another thread but as someone who grew up as a man in a regressive era and conservative location, then transitioned to identifying strongly with women (albeit out of my reach to do anything about it medically ) I'm actually one of those occasional people who have experienced gender discrimination from both sides.
As a young boy I couldn't cry, I couldn't pursue my interests, I couldn't be genuine without being physically assaulted and having adult authority figures silently condone it. This isn't an uncommon experience, practically worthy of a #YesAllBoys tag, but it's really tapered off a lot in the last decade or so. That's something I'm rather proud of culture-wise. 'Murica is getting better, slowly but surely.

As a young prospective transwoman in my 20's, I was basically thrown headfirst into a world where I was constantly judged by an invisible standard. If I didn't behave a certain way, then I was clearly a man. If I didn't think a certain way, I was clearly a man. If I showed any appreciation for the female form, or if I wasn't gay before hormones, then I was definitely a man. It was actually really frightening how paranoia-fueled and abusive trans communities were in the early 00's. I have no idea how they are now but once bitten twice shy. But I did find myself naturally censoring myself to be as close to what I was expected to be and should be and I even found myself resenting my own internal gender to some degree. Like "why couldn't I have been a normal male". Now that's a weird situation to be in, no?

But it's really scary how pervasive feminine social programming is compared to the kind I dealt with growing up. At least with being a little boy, it was direct and it wasn't that hard to at least to pretend to conform. For girls I think it's like being in a cult. A demand to suppress yourself or your opinions even in private , with the threat of your girlfriends turning on you in an instant if you fail even one invisible "friendship test". Or even somehow avoid it without knowing, such as not being able to come to an important meet-up. I am probably just extrapolating abusive experiences in an anecdotal sense and applying them too broadly, but I feel like I at least got a taste for what kind of abuse women get from their peers growing up. All the same I can't help but notice some of the worst "patriarchy" abuses that women suffer are often done to them by other women -- i.e. female circumcision is usually pushed by a family matriarch.


So yeah, long story short -- we all need to stop treating each other in such a shitty way and stomping all over individuals. Probably could have saved a few paragraphs if I just said that.
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Leohan



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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, no need to mention, having experienced both sides of the issue you might be way better equipped than I could be to judge the comparisons of the standards to being a man or a woman that society could expect of you.

I'm sure that becoming a trans-person (Always hated the term. For some reason the including of 'person' in there looks dehumanizing to me. Tell me if there's a better one.) requires quite a lot of courage, and it's sad that you might be ending up regretting the choice, even in the passing.

I am familiar with the cult-like female group dynamic only through film, really. I don't think it works so much so in my country plus I've never had to deal with it for other, more obvious reasons. It always made me wonder how much of that was accurate.


((Jeez, I'm really liking this thread! I honestly thought it was going to be just angry people telling me that non-feminist spaces were mostly focused on men and their issues, but some neat talk is coming out of this!))
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Heretical Rants



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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leohan wrote:

I'm sure that becoming a trans-person (Always hated the term. For some reason the including of 'person' in there looks dehumanizing to me. Tell me if there's a better one.)


the best way I've heard that feeling described is that it's like calling someone who stands out in a crowd due to stature a "tallman"



Quote:
I honestly thought it was going to be just angry people telling me that non-feminist spaces were mostly focused on men and their issues

hmmm

issues like prison rape and male genital mutilation? there isn't much in the way of positive public discourse on these things, no.
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Midnight Tea



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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I never actually did anything medically. I kinda resemble Jack Black too much to ever transition well and I'm both too old and without enough income to really make it work. I'm also not eager to throw away my public privilege or shoot myself in the foot for potential career advancement. The internet is the one place I can be myself with friends who understand. So I feel kind of weird speaking "for" trans-people but yet I know how my heart feels and I can't look away once I had already let that genie out of its lamp.

Sorry for making that so personal but... yeah.

I should probably back up and say that I wasn't strictly dealing with abusive female-dominated communities but abusive MtF trans communities, mostly on the early internet. It's very possible that they were doing the "only a real man" thing all over again, just with the ideal replaced with a stereotypical perfect woman and perfect lover. Ergo not really representative of gender prejudice from the other side. But then I see the cover of Cosmo and similar magazines... yeah.
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