May 5, 2019: Level Up 34

Talk about the comic
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DrCurry
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May 5, 2019: Level Up 34

Post by DrCurry » Sun May 05, 2019 11:26 am

Image

This sequence is not really resonating with me. "Better living through chemistry" has long been debunked, and most people recognize that the opioid crisis is devastating America, without any gender overtones.

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Z6IIAB
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Post by Z6IIAB » Sun May 05, 2019 6:41 pm

if it's not resonating well it you, then it sends a good message lol.
Call me Celina. I've been a fan since 2007, and tried to enjoy the old forum since then too. Now that we have a forum for radfems/people who actually enjoy the comic! Hell yes! I'll call up all my buddies here!! Armageddon is coming.

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ReidlosToof
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Post by ReidlosToof » Mon May 06, 2019 12:08 am

This... doesn't really make sense to me. Usually I follow along with Tat's intent but this seems like a very strange tangential direction.

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Foxgloves
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Makes sense to me

Post by Foxgloves » Mon May 06, 2019 5:30 am

It makes sense to me. Prostitution demands hyper-femininity of women, so being overtly sexual, ever available, but sweet and subserviant. Paying to sexually access women is the epitome of masculinity - the need to dominate, control and turn women into objects. Real life johns speak about feeling emasculated by their partners/non-prostituted women and say this is why they go into brothels. Because that's where men still are unquestionable kings. A brothel is like the ultimate man-cave. Last bastion of masculinity. See: https://dieunsichtbarenmaenner.wordpres ... sculinity/ for evidence (WARNING: contents contain descriptions of sexual violence!). This all makes perfect sense to me.

Btw, if any men here are grossed out by this understanding of masculinity - good. You should be. It's disgusting. Let's change it. Let men be men without standards of needing to assert power over others. Let women be human. Let men be human. Let's abolish femininity and masculinity.

Let me give you a brief example on how NOT to do this though: A former male friend of mine fancied himself gender-non-conforming. Why? Because he wore earings, called himself pansexual and would lament the burden of masculine expectations like having to hide emotions (in front of other men, cuz he sure didn't hide them from his female friends). Then he confided in me that he had celebrated his birthday with his best buds at a strip clup. I asked him why? He said: "Cuz I could." He saw no disconnect between complaining about masculinity and paying women whose circumstances he didn't know to dance for him naked (or worse). But gender is not gonna be destroyed through labels or men starting to wear pink tutus or something. The most gender non conforming thing a man can do is to consistently practice empathy with women and girls - like asking yourself: "What could be going on in the life of a woman who strips. Is she really here, because strip club guests are such pleasant gentlemen?" Chances are the answer is no.

GothHick
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Post by GothHick » Mon May 06, 2019 8:07 am

Foxgloves wrote:Paying to sexually access women is the epitome of masculinity - the need to dominate, control and turn women into objects. Real life johns speak about feeling emasculated by their partners/non-prostituted women and say this is why they go into brothels.
Hi Foxgloves! I've always noted your posts and I respect your message. I don't support prostitution and hope what I'm about to say doesn't seem like I do. I also don't question your sources and appreciate the work you do to share this information.

I question the statement "Paying to sexually access women is the epitome of masculinity." As a guy I feel obligated to say, "no, it's not an epitome." Anecdotal evidence doesn't really mean much but for what it's worth most guys I know (and myself) regard the masculinity of johns as a very peculiar - and dangerous - kind of pathetic.

Pointing out that real life johns talk about masculinity this way is a very useful way of finding out how that subset of people views masculinity. While johns are a cultural signifier, I think exclusively using their words to define a trait which is shared by a considerably larger group is maybe not the best way to define the problem.

I'll be honest - I was unsure if I should say anything and if this seems like an attack in any way, I apologize. I offer my comments only in the hopes of making your arguments stronger.

DrCurry
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Post by DrCurry » Mon May 06, 2019 8:54 am

Concurring with GothHick there.

But my confusion about the strip is not about protesting the hyper-sexualization that occurs in this society (heck, *that* starts when babies are still babies, with parents making a point of calling out their first girl-friends or boy-friends, when all they’ve really done is recognize that another baby is not a stuffed animal).

It’s Tat’s suggestion that binary gender is enforced through drugs. I’ve never seen (or heard of) anything like that.

jam3
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Post by jam3 » Mon May 06, 2019 2:16 pm

Since my understanding is that Tat writes out story arcs and even strips way ahead of time, I am blown away by this direction.

We have Semenya and the recent articles arguing that testosterone isn't the 'male' the hormone at all ( https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/03/opin ... menya.html ). As a male I get bombarded with less advertisements about 'female' hormones/etc.

I know that as a man I am bombarded with 'are you manly enough or feeling slower? testosterone!'. And as someone who doesn't always fulfill the man check marks (since childhood) there has been some push from that direction as well ('maybe you need more testosterone').

(Of course, as a man over the age of 30 with children I should be feeling slower...)

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Foxgloves
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All good

Post by Foxgloves » Mon May 06, 2019 2:35 pm

All good. Disagreement is not attacking.

Also I think we're on the same page. We just have a different understanding of what masculinity means, I think. To me masculinity just means the roles society expects of men - and from this perspective the john is an epitome of masculinity (and there are millions of johns all over the world - so not really anecdotal).
To me there's no such thing as "good/better/true masculinity", because it's always a role that's socially constructed and is defined by personality aspects and characteristics, that women can also have. There's no exclusively male personality type or exclusively female personality type and that's what I understand masculinity and femininity to be respectively.

A number of people have said we have to replace "aggressive masculinity" with "gentle/kind/empathetic masculinity" and the idea behind that is great. I just wouldn't call it "masculine" behaviour, I'd just call it "human" behaviour, cuz aggression and empathy are both characteristics any person can have. So in my eyes we gotta do away with it all together - the idea that there is a right way to be a man and a right way to be a woman (not denying the existance of biological sex, btw, just saying we all got the capacity to be decent and aweful people). Masculinity and femininity to me are terms we should hope to overcome.

At the end of the day though, I'm not wedded to a specific kind of language and if someone insists they're reforming "masculinity", I think that's a good thing and I got bigger fish to fry.

This is like 90% about language, not so much substance, I think...

Am I making sense?
GothHick wrote:
I question the statement "Paying to sexually access women is the epitome of masculinity." As a guy I feel obligated to say, "no, it's not an epitome." Anecdotal evidence doesn't really mean much but for what it's worth most guys I know (and myself) regard the masculinity of johns as a very peculiar - and dangerous - kind of pathetic.

Pointing out that real life johns talk about masculinity this way is a very useful way of finding out how that subset of people views masculinity. While johns are a cultural signifier, I think exclusively using their words to define a trait which is shared by a considerably larger group is maybe not the best way to define the problem.

I'll be honest - I was unsure if I should say anything and if this seems like an attack in any way, I apologize. I offer my comments only in the hopes of making your arguments stronger.

GothHick
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Re: All good

Post by GothHick » Tue May 07, 2019 8:06 am

Foxgloves wrote:(and there are millions of johns all over the world - so not really anecdotal).
I might have been unclear - when I wrote 'anecdotal' I was referring to my interactions with other guys. You have a reference to back up your claims and I don't and I felt I should admit this plainly.
Foxgloves wrote:To me masculinity just means the roles society expects of men - and from this perspective the john is an epitome of masculinity
"The roles society expects of men" - there is a lot to unpack there! I'd give a lot to be able to listen to you explain - typing is inefficient and I don't want to make demands on your time. I would contend society expects men to become grandfathers, not johns.

To me, an epitome is a goal and to me, masculinity is something one survives. Therefore, epitomes of masculinity are the ones who made it, who figured it out - hence grandfathers. Johns are stuck in a backwater, there's nothing to admire there.

To be clear, just because I'm suggesting grandfathers are the epitome of masculinity does NOT mean I think contemporary people should think like they do or did. :roll: Societial expectations seems like a life goals, so if you have to deal with masculinity, live long enough to be a grandfather.
Foxgloves wrote:This is like 90% about language, not so much substance, I think...
*sigh* ...yeah, probably. I tend to put more weight on language than may seem useful. Plus I've had caffeine and that shifts me into verbose mode.
Foxgloves wrote: Am I making sense?
Yes, you are making sense - likely more than I am.

Thank you for taking the time to respond and have a great day!

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Foxgloves
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Re: All good

Post by Foxgloves » Tue May 07, 2019 9:47 am

GothHick wrote:
"The roles society expects of men" - there is a lot to unpack there! I'd give a lot to be able to listen to you explain - typing is inefficient and I don't want to make demands on your time. I would contend society expects men to become grandfathers, not johns.

To me, an epitome is a goal and to me, masculinity is something one survives. Therefore, epitomes of masculinity are the ones who made it, who figured it out - hence grandfathers. Johns are stuck in a backwater, there's nothing to admire there.

To be clear, just because I'm suggesting grandfathers are the epitome of masculinity does NOT mean I think contemporary people should think like they do or did. :roll: Societial expectations seems like a life goals, so if you have to deal with masculinity, live long enough to be a grandfather.
Again I feel like raising a healthy competent next generation - whether they be our own biological kids or not - seems like an expectation we would have for all people - not just men. So it doesn't make sense to me to label that social expectation "masculinity".
And if the assumption of masculinity is that you have to become a father - well I would oppose that, because I don't consider men who don't father children somehow failed or unmasculine. Same with women who don't have kids. Let's just have no expectations except we all be responsible for own actions and respectful to each other. It might sound a bit Shangri-La, but I really mean getting rid of expectations that pertain to either sex, because they seem like needless burdens on the path to a fairer healthier society.

Masculinity and femininity only make sense as power tools of a system that wants to form men into soldiers and women into baby-factories. Prostituted women then are the spoils of war for the soldier/worker, because if there was no reward, men would fight this system just as much as women are.

Agreed, there's nothing to admire. Porn and prostitution make an empty promise of making a boy/man into a "real man" and they do this quite conciously, because it makes a ton of money and keeps male domination over women's bodies in place. So we gotta destroy the idea that there are "real men" and "failed men" and allow for three-dimensional humanity (without denying that of course abusive people exist and the majority of the powerfully abusive are male).

So again, I think we're on the same page. I just feel like masculinity should become a relic of old and you feel like the term has a place with an alternative healthier meaning.

GothHick
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Re: All good

Post by GothHick » Wed May 08, 2019 7:34 am

Foxgloves wrote:And if the assumption of masculinity is that you have to become a father - well I would oppose that, because I don't consider men who don't father children somehow failed or unmasculine. Same with women who don't have kids.
But that's not what I was... (*checks my last post*) Well poop. I hadn't meant to tie 'survival until old age' to 'survive to reproduce' but that is what I wrote, isn't it? I had intended to reference a familiar archetype that's not culturally specific. Touché.
Foxgloves wrote:So again, I think we're on the same page. I just feel like masculinity should become a relic of old and you feel like the term has a place with an alternative healthier meaning.
You're quite gracious, thank you. Yes.

While I feel the word has a place, I'd also readily concede that ditching the term because it is outdated wouldn't be a bad thing. I don't think we're there yet but if nothing else this exchange illustrates how its meaning is imprecise and open to interpretation.

GothHick
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Re: All good

Post by GothHick » Wed May 08, 2019 7:39 am

Foxgloves wrote:It might sound a bit Shangri-La, but I really mean getting rid of expectations that pertain to either sex, because they seem like needless burdens on the path to a fairer healthier society.
I also quite like this. I think that's where things are going and the world will be a better place for it.

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Post by vancho1 » Wed May 08, 2019 8:59 am

As a trans person this comic kiiiiiiiiinda sucks. Yes, gender roles are fed to us on a daily basis and are really terrible but the image of pills feels like an attack especially since HRT often comes in pill form...

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