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Redefining Manhood.
October 23, 2006 12:42 PM   Subscribe

Angry men, searching men -- and what they can learn from girls and queers. Examinations of how feminist progress has left a lot of men adrift, and how the Left is falling down in offering help. "[Men have] had no reason to question whether a society that so perfectly suits them has created a definition of manhood that isn’t 'real,' and so attempts to change society are inextricably linked to attempts to change men in ways they believe they cannot be changed. And that makes a lot of men angry." The original essay that inspired the discussion at There's Something About Men, a follow-up at Shakespeare's Sister in Redefining Manhood, a response at Pandagon, a Christian male feminist youth leader's take by Hugo Schwyzer, and an updated list of further commentary at Obligitory Reading of the Day - Femiphobia.
posted by oliver (84 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ugh. Men have the same reasons to question society as do women; but then clean and simple rhetoric has no place in scholarship. Stepping off now.
posted by shownomercy at 12:49 PM on October 23, 2006


Damn you, The Left! Damn you to hell!
posted by Artw at 12:55 PM on October 23, 2006


Artw: not every criticism of the left is a condemnation. Relax.
posted by jonmc at 12:59 PM on October 23, 2006


I have to ask - is it exclusively MEN who are angry? That seems to be the fundamental assumption beneath all of this. Yet it seems to me that these are simply angry TIMES. Everyone is angry about something. Even most of those female bloggers talking about how angry men are... looking back in their archives reveals pretty constant intra-fem-blog blowups over various issues.

I'm not trying to point fingers back, I'm just suggesting well-meaning misdiagnosis. If the problem is that EVERYONE is angry (as I believe to be the case), then the question is why are men more likely to take out their aggressions in such destructive ways?

Blog flamewars may be annoying, but they're a lot better than blowing up schools.

But if you're focusing on "why are men angry?" you'll just go around in circles, because they're angry about the same things as everyone else.
posted by InnocentBystander at 1:06 PM on October 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


My main objection to this essay is the implication that this is the beginning of some argument. For better or worse, Robert Bly's Iron John was about this same male rage. Aspects of this were covered more eloquenty and pointedly in Christina Hoff Summers's The War Against Boys (which is excellent, the author's right-wing views on other subjects notwithstanding). Michael Gurian's The Wonder of Boys also examines the differences the existence of which this writer seems to think need "admitting". There's also a wealth of neuropsychology that is gaining entry into pop culture, and might one day come into this blogger's purview. She has a lot of catching up to do before her comments are relevant. Ditto the essay she's commenting on.

In fact, her own rather pedestrian points were made by Susan Faludi in her recent book. To sum up: oh, please.
posted by QuietDesperation at 1:08 PM on October 23, 2006


Men have the same reasons to question society as do women;

Right..for example, when will it be just as reasonable and completely socially acceptable for a man to decide he doesn't want to work but would rather stay home and raise the kids while the wife runs the rat race?
posted by spicynuts at 1:09 PM on October 23, 2006


Sorry, but if a sentence contains the words "The Left", and it's not actually about an object being physically to the left of something, then it's 99.99% sure to be a bunch of sweeping generalisations, category errors and outright bollocks.
posted by Artw at 1:09 PM on October 23, 2006


Meh. If men on the Left want to get to work to redefine manhood, I'll cheer them on. But it's up to them, not feminists (and I know I'm conflating 'feminists' with 'women' here, but whatever).
posted by jokeefe at 1:18 PM on October 23, 2006


I'm either clueless or well-adjusted, cuz I have no clue what the uproar is about.
posted by Doohickie at 1:19 PM on October 23, 2006


I'd hit me.
posted by ernie at 1:22 PM on October 23, 2006


I'm a man and I'm not angry... or at least not angry with women, or with men for that matter.. there are certian indivduals that I'm kinda ticked at and it's probably a good thing dynamite is hard to get or there would be a lot fewer billboards and empty condos, but buying into what is a "man" and what is a "woman" is a headache if you apply strict guidelines to a modern culture.
posted by edgeways at 1:25 PM on October 23, 2006


I'd agree with Artw, with the added observation that the great majority of everything ever written on the subject of contemporaneous sexual politics is piffle. It's one of those things that hardly anyone ever gets right* without the perspective of history. Though the fact that the writers of such material are more often than not rationalizing an agenda as big as the Ritz rather than attempting to be logically and academically rigorous never helps.

*With the notable exception of humorists. Which leads one to beleive that the only thing that will allow you to survive the sexual politics of your era is a sense of humor.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:27 PM on October 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


Cue the one person who sarcastically says, "Boo-hoo, poor men, they are so downtrodden."
posted by adipocere at 1:38 PM on October 23, 2006


spicynuts: I can meet for coffee and explain it to you anytime during the day before my kids get out of school.
posted by johngumbo at 1:44 PM on October 23, 2006


Right..for example, when will it be just as reasonable and completely socially acceptable for a man to decide he doesn't want to work but would rather stay home and raise the kids while the wife runs the rat race?

uh...soon? Maybe it's a post-slacker-generation thing, but I know a couple guys who plan want to stay home with the kids while the wife works. In fact, as an early-twenties recent college grad, everyone I know wants to stay home while someone else works...

I read an article in Cosmo (ugh) detailing all the things I have to do to make "my man" feel important and needed, since I make nearly twice as much money as he does. Most of them involved heavy lifting and saving me from flat tires or blown lightbulbs.
posted by muddgirl at 1:44 PM on October 23, 2006


Cue the one person who sarcastically says, "Boo-hoo, poor men, they are so downtrodden."

Boo-hoo, poor men, they are so downtrodden.
posted by MikeMc at 1:48 PM on October 23, 2006


I just don't know if the anecdotal evidence of male gun violence really necessitates a reexamination of "man and his role." Is (male) violence really such a new and noteworthy thing, showing that post-feminist men have a specific problem with their place in the world? I find that somewhat of a stretch.
posted by miss tea at 1:52 PM on October 23, 2006


In honor of National Domestic Violence Awareness month, I'll point out that one in four American women will be victims of domestic violence during their lifetimes. Someone's angry.

miss tea, i don't think any of the articles are arguing that male violence is caused by feminism, just that it's appropriated feminism as its current target. The question posed becomes how (and whether, I suppose) feminists fight against that, how to keep boys from deciding the choice is either "become emasculated" or "beat people to prove I'm a man."
posted by oliver at 2:01 PM on October 23, 2006


I have to ask - is it exclusively MEN who are angry? That seems to be the fundamental assumption beneath all of this. Yet it seems to me that these are simply angry TIMES. Everyone is angry about something.

This is also a huge assumption. Human beings have always been angry about things, as have (presumably) all other animals capable of these kind of feelings.

I suppose it's possible more people are angry now but it really doesn't stand to reason. Slavery, getting the black plague, or having a saber tooth tiger bite into your ass seem much better reasons for anger than what we've got nowadays.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:02 PM on October 23, 2006


Everyone is angry about something.

I'm not, you f*ckin' a**hole.

/kidding
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:05 PM on October 23, 2006


Most gender commentary misses the point. In hierarchal societies, men are rewarded for selling out to their own inequality with a cultural dominance or ownership of women. It's a fundamental piece of the puzzle in the divide and conquer strategy, creating a bunch of little-kings in their own home for becoming second-class in a wider context.

The division doesn't end there. Racism is the expression of bully insecurities among the lower class of a dominant race (who are "naturally" threatened by the upwardly mobile members of the non-domimant race), and their rage is pitted against the entire race. The left then becomes associated with defending the persecuted race (and women) because the left's optimal solution to the problem is unity and equality against the artificial hierarchy in order to allow a true meritocracy. But this solution actually threatens males who intuitively feel rewarded already and feel they risk losing ground in a relative equality. So the left gets their rage too, and the negative rap for not being sensitive to the irrational anger of those who want to to believe that the racial and gender hierarchy is natural.
posted by Brian B. at 2:06 PM on October 23, 2006 [5 favorites]


Yet it seems to me that these are simply angry TIMES. Everyone is angry about something.

Times? It seems to me that human beings are just angry in general half the time, life doesn't go the way they want it too and so they get pissed off about whatever they feel has gotten in the way the most.

Men, women, minorities, majorities, whatever, whenever.
posted by delmoi at 2:11 PM on October 23, 2006


I thought the Pandagon article actually spoke to a lot of that, Brian B.
posted by oliver at 2:13 PM on October 23, 2006


As far as violence though, I think men are always going to be more violent then women, there probably is a real genetic disposition toward violence in men that dosn't exist in very many women to the same extent. Men have "Shorter fuses". This isn't to say that there are not some women who have shorter fuses then some men, but in general, men are more likely to be physically aggressive.
posted by delmoi at 2:15 PM on October 23, 2006


Anyone read Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man by Susan Faludi? It covers this ground in a beautifully written, informative, sympathetic way. Quite remarkable stuff.
posted by HerArchitectLover at 2:16 PM on October 23, 2006


I can't help but to think that if Brian B. were to read his post aloud it would sound exactly like the adults in Charlie Brown cartoons to 95% of straight, white men.
posted by MikeMc at 2:21 PM on October 23, 2006 [2 favorites]


As far as violence though, I think men are always going to be more violent then women,

You're selling the female gender short delmoi.

Men have short fuses that rapidly burn out. No man can hold a grudge like a woman, those fuses never burn out....
posted by three blind mice at 2:22 PM on October 23, 2006


Cue the one person who sarcastically says, "Boo-hoo, poor men, they are so downtrodden."

Boo-hoo, poor men, they are so downtrodden.

Oh sorry, one person...
posted by ob at 2:23 PM on October 23, 2006


Oliver, I think you're right. Thanks for the pointer. I will be especially interested in seeing how guns and abortion and fear of successful women are discussed, as the surrogate masculinity.
posted by Brian B. at 2:24 PM on October 23, 2006


Oliver:

I like how "domestic violence" automatically indicates male on female violence. It's the other way around quite often too. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_violence_against_men
posted by enamon at 2:33 PM on October 23, 2006


I like how "domestic violence" automatically indicates male on female violence. It's the other way around quite often too.

Any article that starts out saying that all domestic violence against men is perpetrated by women can be dismissed out of hand, so I'm ignoring the wikipedia link.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence shows that 85% of DV victims are women.

Their factsheet on domestic violence against men shows much of the domestic violence directed against men is against children and gay men. The rest is often self defense ("One study found that when women commit acts of nonlethal violence against their male partners, 65% act in self-defense, and 30% react in response to previous abuse by their partners. The remaining 5% of female perpetrators act without the intent to assert power and control over their partners.")

Of course there are reporting issues with men, who may be more embarassed than women to seek help. But there's simply nothing indicating that women are equally as violent as men (not boys) in relationships.
posted by oliver at 2:44 PM on October 23, 2006


(Not that boys are violent or not, just meant to take child abuse out of the equation.)
posted by oliver at 2:45 PM on October 23, 2006


three blind mice, yeah cause that fellow who shot those Amish kids becasue of some slight from his childhood... or this (34 year old) cousin in law who kicked another realitive in the face becasue the other fellow broke a toy of his way back in 3rd grade...
damn some men do have a long fuse.
posted by edgeways at 2:49 PM on October 23, 2006



I saw a Dick Cavett interview with Robert Mitcham and he said that acting is no job for a man “We’re supposed to be building bridges, not getting paid for making faces.”

Now certainly it’s perfectly fine for men to be actors. But the social struggle is the same - one of relevence.

I’ve been noticing lately, when certain powerful members of society, or their representatives, are interviewed or talked to in any way other than a conciliatory tone, they tend to chuckle - nervously or derisively according to character and setting.
They’re not sure of anything but trying to win at whatever it is they’re pushing.
That which is substantial - building a bridge - has been devalued. Maybe it’s been the same in the past, certainly there has been that outward social componant to men’s work.
But, especially lately, there has been more of a heavy social control on that (whether it’s in response to feminism I have no idea - ebbs and flows I suspect).
F’rinstance - it doesn’t matter if you’re a combat vet, you can still be called a coward. It doesn’t matter if you built a bridge, if you’re not in favor of NAFTA you’re not really a builder. The reality of something has been robbed of it’s intrinsic value.
So, devoid of that substance - what indeed does it mean to be a common man?
We’re being told it’s more important to believe or be part of something than it is to BE something or DO something.
Which is how men define themselves socially.
So - John Wayne vs. Audie Murphy - the role vs. the substance -but for men they are more interrelated.

“Harrison Bergeron” comes to mind (it’s a Kurt Vonnegut story) the lowest common human denominator becomes the defining standard and from there your social alignment - your political position matters, not what you are. The assertion is that what you are can be eradicated from existance (which is followed through very poigniantly in the story)

I disagree that women connect so easily with the male experiance. We’re not women with a pair of testicles tacked on.
I’d be quite surprised if women pick up on the secret world of men anymore than men get what’s going on with women. But that’s basic gender.
The social difference is that men must matter - visibly. Women can get away with mattering invisibly as long as it’s foundational (the hand that rocks the cradle - all that) but for men it’s more of an outward trait.
Yes, we both have egos, yes, women want to outwardly matter as well, but it’s not how women intrinsically define themselves.
Not that women define themselves only through motherhood and so forth, but for men it’s a much more outwardly displayed thing. (Wish I was more
Which goes back to Mitcham’s comment - for men, bridge building IS theater.
And I think that’s something that the left, oddly, has not understood.
Stepping back from the left/right dichotomy - I think liberals and conservatives - the thinking ones anyway - understand the value of principles and core philosophies even though they differ.
The left has not translated those liberal principles (some of which I strongly agree with - some) into a display on the social stage. For those liberals of principle the argument is “But it’s a principal. It is correct.” and so forth. As though simply being right - that is - in the manner similar to a woman, being foundationally meaningful but hidden - was in and of itself enough to carry through. And for women this can well be.

The right has brought principle to the front of the social stage and (unfortunately) has done it so well they seem to have lost the conservative script the play was based on in the first place and now face the issues I raised above. The play’s the thing whether you’re a bridge builder or not and there is nothing on which one can lay one’s works in alignment with principle.
I work hard and support my family - showing good family values, I’m a veteran - showing my patriotism, and I’m involved in church and charity - showing my piety.
But I’m not pro-life, I’m opposed to the Iraq war and I support the separation of church and state so I am stripped of the social relevence of having those values and principles - despite the fact I embody them.
I am not playing my part in the social theater - and yet those who are need not have any connection to principle at all.

Foley comes to mind. An absolute parody of a man.
Not a “man” at all in any accepted sense of the term (gay men can have integrity and be ‘men’), but very much part of the theater - devoid of principle even to the point he will act contrary to his own interests.
Bit slippery in meaning there, but I hope it’s clear. Sorry for the length.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:56 PM on October 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


Oliver, I think you're forgetting some very common instances of domestic violence: father -> son, brother -> brother, and son -> father. And of course father -> daughter, brother -> sister, son -> mother. There is a reason the term "domestic violence" is used rather than "spousal violence".

On the broader topic, it is a simple fact that males and females behave differently in response to similar stimuli. We accept this without question in every other species we study. Why does it continue to be such a bone of contrived contention in our own? "Exclusively cultural sex differentiation"-ism is the same kind of error in sociology as "intelligent design" in biology and deserves the same disdain.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:59 PM on October 23, 2006


My point is more that men, overwhelmingly, are the perpetrators of this violence, and women, overwhelmingly, are the victims of this violence. But you're right, I argued that point badly.
posted by oliver at 3:08 PM on October 23, 2006


(that ‘wish I was more...’ clipped off bit there -I wish I was more versed in psychology and sociology and the terms and stuff)
posted by Smedleyman at 3:08 PM on October 23, 2006


I wish straight men were a little more secure in themselves as themselves--and not only in terms of filling a role or being a provider or standing at the top of a heap composed of the rest of us.

The rest of us are not going to jump to help these fools--we have our own way to make--a way made immeasurably harder and more dangerous by these insecure and angry straight men. If they can't deal with a more equal, more open, and more diverse society, let them die out, or move to a compound in the northwest.
posted by amberglow at 3:31 PM on October 23, 2006


But there's simply nothing indicating that women are equally as violent as men (not boys) in relationships

How about rates of domestic abuse in lesbian relationships? Or are all of them just blissfully nurturing each other?

Disclaimer: I have had a woman threaten me with a knife, and hit me with a omelette pan, for doing nothing more violent than raising my voice to argue with her. She also threw one of the kid's toys at me, sending me to the ER to get stitches over my eye.

I did not, and will not, report any of it (hence the unreliability of those statistics), as putting her in jail would not be good for anyone.
posted by bashos_frog at 3:34 PM on October 23, 2006


Sometimes I think mentioning Harrison Bergeron ought to be considered the Godwin of social-role discussions. Frankly, I never enjoy stories that Beat Me Over the Head With Their Points.

But I digress.

I don't believe there some sort of set "intrinsic nature" connected to gender. Human society has rewarded and punished behaviors based on gender for so long that they can certainly feel intrinsic, much as speaking your native language does. But if you'd been raised speaking a different tongue, that would feel intrinsic too.

Women have inherited from their mothers and older sisters many of the traits of an underclass; not showing aggression, not seeming too ambitious, smiling more, speaking softly, minimizing the self physically by taking up less room. Seeking to please, seeking not to alarm. These behaviors have been survival mechanisms for hundreds of years; it's not surprising that a mere 100 years of increasing freedom would not be able to root them all out.

Men likewise have been conditioned to see themselves in terms of "doing" ( as though, say, women who raised children and ran farms were not "doers") and action and whatever other attributes were fashionable or useful to that generation's idea of masculinity.

Both genders have been trapped by endless false dichotomies: action/passivity, strong/weak, gentle/violent, etc. But those only describe our lazy categorizations of people, and don't bear much relation to how those people would actually act absent constant coercive pressure.

If these behaviors were so innate, why were there so many rules and punishments for violating them? Why would we need to keep wringing our hands about masculinity and feminimity if either were truly "natural"?
posted by emjaybee at 3:45 PM on October 23, 2006


Wait, now I'm supposed to be angry?

Is it OK if I just continue to be mildly annoyed but mostly content?

I'd have more to say but I've got to cook dinner. Later, I'm taking my wife shopping for a new truck. For her.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:55 PM on October 23, 2006


If these behaviors were so innate, why were there so many rules and punishments for violating them?

Cultures have a long history of punishing behaviors that are innate to our species.
posted by knave at 4:10 PM on October 23, 2006



I wish straight men were a little more secure in themselves as themselves--and not only in terms of filling a role or being a provider or standing at the top of a heap composed of the rest of us.

The rest of us are not going to jump to help these fools--we have our own way to make--a way made immeasurably harder and more dangerous by these insecure and angry straight men. If they can't deal with a more equal, more open, and more diverse society, let them die out, or move to a compound in the northwest.


The problem with that is the same problem with saying screw off to Muslim populations that feel marginilized. The destructive power of a single person has grown incredibly, and so long as these groups do feel marginilized, every once in a while somebody is going to go stark raving mad and shoot up the joint.

To simply tell them to go to hell is to invite them to take us up on the offer.
posted by zabuni at 4:15 PM on October 23, 2006


Why would we need to keep wringing our hands about masculinity and feminimity if either were truly "natural"?

Exactly. Arbitrary standards of 'what it means to be a man' are irrelevent. Getting misty-eyed during stupid australian soaps and liking cuteoverload.com are very definitely aspects of masculinity because I do them and I am of the bloke.

"masculinity and femininity" is a false dichotomy. Masculine isn't a goal to be aimed it - it's something you are already (unless, you know, you're a chick).
posted by Sparx at 4:17 PM on October 23, 2006


...so long as these groups do feel marginilized, every once in a while somebody is going to go stark raving mad and shoot up the joint.

To simply tell them to go to hell is to invite them to take us up on the offer.


They do that now, all the time, and always have. Straight men are still on top of the heap, and especially straight white men. If they feel marginalized they need to get real, and to get over themselves. Every day somewhere in this country there are straight men beating someone who's not like them--whether it's a spouse, lover, stranger, gay person, person of a different color, or just because they're drunk, or just because they're mad, or just because. Those who do such things to others need to truly go to hell, and to stop making this world a hell for us. Make anger management classes mandatory for all, and we'll talk. Make guns less available. Punish instead of rewarding those who act violently at any age. ...
posted by amberglow at 4:24 PM on October 23, 2006


Also, thinking that you're marginalized and truly being marginalized are not at all the same thing, and nor should they be treated the same. Equating straight men in the US with specific Arab populations who truly are oppressed and marginalized and left with no future is ridiculous.
posted by amberglow at 4:27 PM on October 23, 2006


The social difference is that men must matter - visibly. Women can get away with mattering invisibly as long as it’s foundational (the hand that rocks the cradle - all that) but for men it’s more of an outward trait.
Yes, we both have egos, yes, women want to outwardly matter as well, but it’s not how women intrinsically define themselves.
Not that women define themselves only through motherhood and so forth, but for men it’s a much more outwardly displayed thing.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:56 PM EST on October 23
[+]
[!]


Politely, bollocks.

Anyway, I don't understand what men have to complain about. Post-feminism, they don't have to do stupid things like open doors for women, they don't have to marry to get sex, when they do marry they get spouses who bring home money instead of sitting around and eating bonbons, and instead of viewing 50% of humanity as inferior and mysterious, they can to actually get to know them as equals.
posted by footnote at 4:50 PM on October 23, 2006


Yeah, emjaybee, I figured the word ‘intrinsic’ would get me in trouble. Again wishing I spoke the lingo better.

“Men likewise have been conditioned to see themselves in terms of "doing" ( as though, say, women who raised children and ran farms were not "doers") and action and whatever other attributes were fashionable or useful to that generation's idea of masculinity.”

Well, in terms of basic physiology - men are physically stronger ergo men “do” more. But I think you’re right in terms of conditioning, which supports my point that there is a social theater component to what men ‘do’ as opposed to what women ‘do’ - and indeed how they do it even if those things are the same. And that theater can be perverted or co-opted or subjected to explosive coercive pressure - perhaps easier, but certainly more often, than women’s self-conceptions have been - for whatever reasons.
As a result you have a different kind of alienation there and a kind that can be useful and so, is used. There are innumberable examples of that.

And I think the Bergeron example is apt considering the piece in the first link brings up the points of similar not being equal etc. If you’re talking German history, it’s stupid to avoid 1933 to 1945 simply out of distaste. Using the French revolution’s emphasis on equality might have worked, but it’s a bit convoluted. I’m out of my element here and for me the simple ‘bludgeon over the head’ metaphor avoids going too far afield.

Male alienation is often used to support certain kinds of social order. Often enough that one wonders whether it’s artificially instilled as opposed to anything that would result from the natural course of events and/or interactions.
I’ve always supported feminism and homosexual rights, etc, but I’ve always been secure in who I am. Not to say I haven’t been wrong, lacked clarity, or needed an updated opinion, but my errors do not come from insecurity or fear.
Which leads me to believe that - as a completely heterosexual (and aggressive) male myself, there has to be a reason other than heterosexuality, aggression, etc - that a more equal, more open, and more diverse society is unacceptable to some people. (Not that I wouldn’t dig a compound in the Northwest).
posted by Smedleyman at 4:53 PM on October 23, 2006


“Politely, bollocks.”

Politely - argument?
I’m not here for someone to tell me I’m wrong - however nicely (and, in all honestly, good to see). Where am I wrong?
I think some primate behavior is at our core. Male gorillas tear up trees to show off they’re strong and are good mates. Seems, at heart, similar in some ways to human males.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:01 PM on October 23, 2006


(”simply to tell me only that I’m wrong”, should be. I’m curious about, and open to, how my opinion is wrong)
posted by Smedleyman at 5:02 PM on October 23, 2006


Also, thinking that you're marginalized and truly being marginalized are not at all the same thing, and nor should they be treated the same. Equating straight men in the US with specific Arab populations who truly are oppressed and marginalized and left with no future is ridiculous.

You really have no idea what you're talking about. Just because the select few men at the top of the heap exhibit those traits (even if the may not embody them,) that the great bulk of straight, white men are not getting a great big heaping slice of pie. Hell, you're probably closer to that great oppressor class than the vast majority of the country.

Every day somewhere in this country there are straight men beating someone who's not like them--whether it's a spouse, lover, stranger, gay person, person of a different color, or just because they're drunk, or just because they're mad, or just because.

Every day there are gays, women, and blacks, and all the other put upon powerless minorities who do all of the above. Are their reasons more real or worthy of attention? Or are straight white men simply a more violent breed? Maybe trying to protect their exalted status from those who just want to make a just and fair world? Or maybe something else? Who cares, right? They're not you!
posted by Snyder at 5:04 PM on October 23, 2006


"Men have had no reason to question whether a society that so perfectly suits them"

That's the assertion that needs examining. It may suit *some* quite well, but how about you or me? If you're good at The Game, got the right chops, got born right -- maybe it "perfectly suits you."

Manning the yoke for 30-year mortgages? and living a formula?

Blaming some men's anger on feminism may work out perfectly for those guys. But have a look way down inside there: did you REALLY want the roll you got?

You're breathing. The dice are still sitting right in front of you.
posted by Twang at 5:25 PM on October 23, 2006


Smedlyman - I guess it's a little irritating to hear about how women are intrinsically not interested in outward success, seeing as how I've put all my money and energy into my career for the past couple of years. Women are every bit as interested in public recognition for their work as the men are.
posted by footnote at 5:33 PM on October 23, 2006


that the great bulk of straight, white men are not getting a great big heaping slice of pie.
They get a bigger slice than others, by every single measure--even poor straight white men. They're also proportionately less likely to be punished when they do lash out, if our prison populations are anything to go by.

Just because there are violent angry people in all populations does not mean that they all have equally valid reasons for their violence or anger--or that any of them at all actually do. Bring someone up to believe they should be on top always and in all ways, and you bring that person up to be messed up in all ways. Their anger or violence because they're not always on top is not at all the same or comparable to members of other groups.
posted by amberglow at 5:36 PM on October 23, 2006


Foley comes to mind. An absolute parody of a man.

Do you know Foley personally? Or do you know a media image refracted into a thousand sharp fragments to serve a momentary insanity?

I'd like to hear what he's got to say before I condemn him. I've had a few phone conversations in my life I wouldn't want held up to represent what I am. How about you?
posted by Twang at 5:36 PM on October 23, 2006


Twang writes "Do you know Foley personally? Or do you know a media image refracted into a thousand sharp fragments to serve a momentary insanity?"

I think the original poster was pointing at the irony of someone being so publicly and actively involved in a fight to illegalize and demonize those very exact things that he could not restrain himself from doing once he was behind closed doors.
posted by clevershark at 6:13 PM on October 23, 2006


I'm not entirely sure how "violence" in general became the bogeyman here, when the problem is clearly senseless and/or misdirected violence. Weird how generalizations happen.
posted by nightchrome at 6:19 PM on October 23, 2006


"For every girl who takes a step toward her liberation, there is a boy who finds the way to freedom a little easier"
posted by wumpus at 6:20 PM on October 23, 2006


You know, I thought the articles pretty well addressed the feeling that a person cannot be fulfilled simply by being told they are a Straight White Man and on the top of the heap.

SWM do arguably hold an innate position of privilege over the rest of us. But that doesn't mean they automatically gain access to that privilige. What if they were bullied by girls in school? What if their dream was opening a wedding-cake bakery? What if they talk with a slight lisp, or don't do well in sports, or are too shy to talk to girls, or were sexually abused, or undergo one of the millions and millions of those things, big or little, that contradict what our culture tells them masculinity is supposed to be?

Women are still fighting in many ways for equality. We still have people who question our ability to be mothers if we have a career; we have people who question our femininity if we work on cars; but you know what? We have some support. We might not see it on advertisements and in the media that feeds us those unrealistic body-images, but there is a pro-feminism voice that will offer us support when we look at it. That will tell us it is OK to be us--yes, we may have to look for it, but it exists.

And frankly, that doesn't really exist for guys. You can find popular voices that say dammit, women should work on cars and we're going to fucking celebrate them--but where's the people saying dammit, men should make fantastic fruit pies and we're going to fucking celebrate them. Anyone espousing the views of untraditional masculinity in popular culture is not seen as an empowered male; they are usually seen as kind of fruity, New Age types who couldn't throw a baseball if their lives depended on it. Or you could join Promise Keepers--but what happens if you're not Christian or conservative? Someone tells men are told they need to communicate, they need to cook and help around the house, they need to let themselves cry, they need to be respectful to women, Someone who is a vague, slightly authority-like voice that speaks in high school health class or maybe from their church group or if they're lucky a mentor, but then there's an overwhelming voice from popular culture that says those things are all well and and good, but haha, check out that poor bastard wheeling a stroller, how small are his balls, eh? The idea of a smart, powerful, competent female CEO has been integrated into our cultural worldview (though she may dress entirely in miniskirts and low-cut blouses), but men don't even have that stereotypical equivalant.

All I'm saying, is men can't even choose between the "Empowered Career Woman Feminist" and "Miss Sally Homemaker" dichotomy that get almost equal positive reviews in our culture. Each female can find her own synthesis between those stereotypes. She can choose her path and still be viewed as female by someone. But there's no possibility for choice or synthesis for men, because there isn't anything for men to synthesize. They're just offered confusion. And I can see how that sucks, and to say that they have the world at their fingertips simplifies a far more complicated situation.
posted by schroedinger at 6:45 PM on October 23, 2006 [5 favorites]


Also, footnote--I don't know if Smedleyman meant women don't like public appreciation of their accomplishments, or if he meant the way our society works women are taught they are still women without public appreciation of their accomplishments.
posted by schroedinger at 6:47 PM on October 23, 2006


"Anyway, I don't understand what men have to complain about. Post-feminism, they don't have to do stupid things like open doors for women, they don't have to marry to get sex, when they do marry they get spouses who bring home money instead of sitting around and eating bonbons, and instead of viewing 50% of humanity as inferior and mysterious, they can to actually get to know them as equals."
posted by footnote

This is false. Many men are still stuck doing stupid empty gestures such as holding doors for women, buying them flowers to show love, in general displaying servitude in rewards for basic affection. It's just now they get to know they're a misogynist for doing it even if the alternative is being alone.

They may not have to marry to get sex, but imagine them being forthright about their intentions and desires and their unlikelihood of success as a result, not to mention a remote chance at legal prosecution. Hence you have a wealth of men that learn to lie, or fail in the socio-sexual marketplace. Just go into any bar, any concert, any large social setting and watch the modern man try in every way to spread his feathers like the peacock to find a mate, while most fail and find themselves degraded on the top of it. Yet while we deplore this outward expression of hyper-masculinity, those same women complaining afterwards do not go up to the reserved gentler men and offer the loving that he would seek. Thus rewarding bad behavior.

Some do get to marry into an equal contributing relationship, but it's a crap shoot since in the end, the state holds the man financially responsible by writ of law. Though I do give the most credit to the evening out in regards to this one.

And it's not the above short list...the gripes in the first article were about women's breasts being ogled when talked to by a man, or take the classic complaint of being hit on by every guy who sees them. But the parallel as a man is being hit on by no one, to be seen as ugly; one's sexual intentions hated and demonized despite the fact that he chooses them not, should he be one of the vast majority whom aren't the pretty boys.

And on and on.
posted by kigpig at 7:01 PM on October 23, 2006


They get a bigger slice than others, by every single measure--even poor straight white men. They're also proportionately less likely to be punished when they do lash out, if our prison populations are anything to go by.

Less likely to be punished than gay men, perhaps, but I'd be surprised if men had an easier time of prison than did women.
posted by Kwantsar at 7:10 PM on October 23, 2006


This perhaps may be the price of more equality. Whenever you try to fit a pattern on a population that isn't natural to them, a select will violently rebel. It doesn't matter if the pattern is increased equality of the sexes, racial integration, or increased technology in society. Most will adapt. The outliers who find such adaptation unacceptable will not, and burn churches/send pipebombs/shoot up places. The fire burns out, and those who follow do not have the fatal illusions of their place in society.

And amberglow, increasing punishments doesn't work for things like this. It might work for the everyday abuser, but these people see no value in themselves or society. So most of the time, the punishment that would be metted out is moot; can't punish the dead.
posted by zabuni at 7:13 PM on October 23, 2006


"Women are every bit as interested in public recognition for their work as the men are." posted by footnote

Ah, then we have a miscommunication. Yeah, my fault. I apologize for not being clear. Again, I'm on unfamiliar turf.
I think women do want public recognition for their work. In those terms I don't think there is any difference. Again - we all have egos, ambition, etc.
But I think there are different sets of rules for men and women and how they self-identify in society. And it's not really a 'work' or career thing.
More of, in the case of men, being set up to fail if they don't adhere to whatever the current social agenda might be (A REAL man is blond, blue-eyed, barrel-chested, fit, etc. - to godwin) despite any reality that might exist.
Above I use the example of Kerry - he was characterized as an effete snob during the campaign.
Now, I happen to agree with the 'snob' part - but there is a conflict in social messages there. Kerry was a warfighter, Bush wasn't.
And yet Bush was portrayed - successfully - as more masculine - on those 'masculine' terms.
Similarly - John Wayne was portrayed as a real man's man.
But he certainly didn't have the kind of - traditionally agreed upon in terms of courage - masculine experiance that say a 5'1" tunnel rat had in Vietnam. He was an actor.
And to some degree - given the earlier Mitcham quote - I think men are more theatrical in society.
And more subject to it.
Certainly this has effects on others. But I think men are often the first victims (willing or otherwise) of alienation before they start alienating others.
It's a theory similar to why there is (more) friction between ethnic groups than maybe there should be. There is a variety of reasons for it in the first place, but I think somewhere someone is playing divide and conquer and adding to whatever amount of fire might otherwise be there.
*1/2 sheet of tinfoil on head - just to cover the bases*
(All that doesn't refute amberglows point. Sucks to be a tool. But sucks to be on the end of a tool...no pun intended)

"Do you know Foley personally? Or do you know a media image refracted into a thousand sharp fragments to serve a momentary insanity?"

(clevershark nailed it)
Foley is a gay man. Actively working against gay rights, etc. focused on the outward trappings of morality instead of the substance.
He's devoted to the artificial social ideal - a shifting thing - rather than adhering to any sort of consistient ethos.
One needs no insight into his character to make that judgement. His acts are plain. When this first came out
I was confused by it and suspected it was politically motivated. After seeing the evidence (due to some hard working, cogent thinking members here) I changed my opinion.
And indeed, he's admitted much of what he's done anyway.
I have, for example, some disagreements with some of Barney Frank's political positions, but I can't levy the same criticism at him. Indeed I would go so far to say he is a man of principle. Again, not all that I agree with, but I accept his devotion to an ethical standard as opposed to using whatever means necessary to personally prosper.
(being a willing tool sucks the most)
posted by Smedleyman at 7:19 PM on October 23, 2006


Two paragraphs into the first link, I get this priceless bit:

"Like any member of a non-dominant group, I am more familiar with his experience than he is with mine."

Lesson #1 in Persuasive Writing: Don't be a smug dope right off the bat.
posted by paulsc at 7:42 PM on October 23, 2006


I disagree with the entire premise.

First, the big scandal right now is that per capita crime rates in the United States have been declining since the 1980s. Most of that violence is directed against other men. However, it's in the best interest of some groups to broadcast the message that violent crime is out of control and increasing. So it is not the case that we are inflicted with a scourge of suddenly angry young men uncertain of their place in this culture raising arms against feminism.

And men being left behind by the "androgynous left?" Please. Except on issues that directly touch women's rights, the left has been dominated by men since the 1900s. I know older feminists who note that their role in Vietnam protest groups was limited to serving coffee. And heck, even in the 1990s the only way women could get heard in some gay rights groups was to threaten to split.

There are some other problems with Mrs. Robinson's article. She says, "(Social psychologists now think the last two are actually a direct function of testosterone. In other words, men can't help acting that way: it's hormonal.) " and links to a research article. Of course, a single article is not the consensus of "social scientists" (among whom the question is not "Nature vs. Nurture?" but "How much variance is exprained by each?"). Concludes that test performance is a function of testosterone level and exposure to stereotypes. And the ranges for testosterone levels for males and females overlap.

Look, I've read tons and tons of primary research on this. The relationship between physical sex and behavior is notoriously complex and loaded with difficulty. One of the issues is that the human brain develops rapidly from birth to age 20, and continuously to a lesser degree. In most cases what you end up with is overlapping ranges. The ideal in education would be to treat each child as individual according to their personal abilities, skills, and preferences. It is not a slam-dunk as an example that changes in language and math scores in early adolescence are biological, or due to kids rising/lowering to social expectations.

What is termed the "androgynous left" is actually an appeal to treat individual person according to their interests, talents and skills rather than according to gender stereotypes.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:54 PM on October 23, 2006


They get a bigger slice than others, by every single measure--even poor straight white men. They're also proportionately less likely to be punished when they do lash out, if our prison populations are anything to go by.

That's true on the surface, but human beings are more than their group afilliations. And it dosen't mean much to somebody who's just been laid off from his low paying job that it could always be worse and that all the worlds problems are your fault, evil white man. (I'm exaggerating, but the right wing makes major hay with this stuff.)

I can't speak for all of us, but this particular straight white male welcomes an open diverse society, but he occasionally gets a bit irked that the only roles open to him are 'evil oppressor' or 'repentant confessor.' I've been too busy trying to survive to control the universe, thank you very much and the same applies to most of us. Just because the GW Bushes of the world share a sking color and genital configuration with some of us dosen't mean we were in on his planning sessions.

Most 'men's groups' are silly, but the issue still exists. In a changing world everybody's gotta carve out their own space while accomodating eachother, even straight white guys.
posted by jonmc at 7:02 AM on October 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


It's just like women to tell men what's wrong with them.

This whole conversation is bs. Crime is the problem, not anger.

Anger doesn't cause crime, either. Wackos who shoot people aren't "angry men". They are freakin' wackos.

jeesh. I remember when Feminism use to be about voting rights, equal work for equal pay, and eduction.

Now, it's about transmetrolesbians who conflate wackos with manliness.

I wasn't mad before I read the links, I'll tell you that much.
posted by ewkpates at 7:05 AM on October 24, 2006


So, jon, given what you've just said, why turn that around and blame it on us? Aren't you just perpetuating the blame and directing it elsewhere? It's a lie anyway, that the only options open are 'evil oppressor' or 'repentant confessor.' Why buy into that?

It's the violence and anger and outwards blame--it's not the being a straight white man. At least, it doesn't have to be unless you buy into it. How any and all of us express whatever resentments or anger or anything we have is what determines how well or badly we can all get along together. It's not our fault if you have resentment or anger towards the world because of your place in it (or lack thereof)---we're all just trying to survive and thrive too--we all of us have anger or resentment over things.

But we all don't turn that into blame towards whole groups of people. To quote stereotypical straight white men, we "grow a pair" and learn to negotiate and try harder and use what we have and avoid what's dangerous or unlikely to succeed. There's a reason there isn't a giant gay or black or female population in positions of power on Wall St.--it's a hostile environment. There's a reason there are large female and gay populations in many creative industries.

Our society as a whole fails many if not all groups--in all sorts of ways. But most groups don't lash out with blame, anger, or violence. They live their lives.
posted by amberglow at 7:22 AM on October 24, 2006


So, jon, given what you've just said, why turn that around and blame it on us?

I'm not. I'm saying that the real architects of power don't even hear you, so it's the relatively powerless of the straight white male population who get all the grief, is what I'm saying, and that can cause resentment, right or wrong.

Anger doesn't cause crime, either. Wackos who shoot people aren't "angry men". They are freakin' wackos.

This I agree with. But I'm talking about the larger scheme of things. To many men, it seems that in a feminist world there's only two kinds of men: brutish ogres and sensitive ponytail men (to use broad stereotypes). Believe it or not, I actually try to live my life as an example that you can be anti-racist, pro-feminist and pro-gay while still being a traditional sports-loving, porn-watching guy's guy.
posted by jonmc at 7:39 AM on October 24, 2006


This thread kind of went off track the moment anger became the focus. Is what you're talking about really not anomie?
posted by dreamsign at 7:46 AM on October 24, 2006


“Wackos who shoot people aren't "angry men". They are freakin' wackos.”
wakkos?
posted by Smedleyman at 8:11 AM on October 24, 2006


Helllloooooo Nurse!

That's the kinda derail I'm talkin' about!

Give it up Feminists! Lemme hear ya!
posted by ewkpates at 8:43 AM on October 24, 2006


But we all don't turn that into blame towards whole groups of people. To quote stereotypical straight white men, we "grow a pair" and learn to negotiate and try harder and use what we have and avoid what's dangerous or unlikely to succeed.

So males, particularly white straight ones, aren't being blamed? Did I misunderstand "we" here because I thought it was resoundingly clear that feminists blamed white males for many of the modern world's problems even if through how they have enforced social roles. And I'm not saying the blame is unfair as most of the complaints are legitimate. Just curious about this idea that 'blame' is the problem. Hell I blame conservativism as a whole for the modern debacle we're in in America. I blame fundamentalists for denials in basic human rights. You would not?
posted by kigpig at 9:34 AM on October 24, 2006


Sure they're blamed. They're blamed for creating--and/or profiting from--a culture that perpetuates their priviledge at the expense of everyone else--and they're blamed for the way they act out against the rest of us when things don't go their way. They're blamed for acting like violent babies about it.

We all blame--what don't all do is turn around and lash out at those who we perceive as keeping us down. That's the difference. If feminists and others blame straight white men for stuff, that doesn't mean angry straight white men should then blame feminists and others for keeping them down or for preventing them from living their "dream". Feminists don't stop with just blaming straight white men and the culture they created---they worked to get into the system and to change the system, and they've succeeded. They work to get into that closed system. They do things about it that don't hurt others, but in fact open up those systems (even if straight white men feel hurt and lost lately because of it--they're not, actually).

Most of us have learned that it's not okay to lash out violently, and that we have to fight to get anywhere. It's past time straight men learned that, and stopped turning around and blaming others. If they can't get ahead in a diverse society that's not our fault. If women would rather work and not be submissive housewives, that's not their fault. If businesses have learned diversity is important and good for businesses, it's not the fault of those who get promoted over a straight white man. Blame is good only if you can then set a program to identify and fix the problems--not if you use it simply as an excuse to lash out--or as some pity party thing.

It's sort of like how political pundits say that Dems have to bow down to Southern "bubba" men's culture to get votes--did you ever notice it's never the reverse that's advocated--ever? This is similar--when straight white men complain that things aren't easy and blame us for it, they're being spoiled babies. The world doesn't cater to them anymore, and nor should it--We're ensuring that it doesn't.
posted by amberglow at 10:44 AM on October 24, 2006


amberglow: It's sort of like how political pundits say that Dems have to bow down to Southern "bubba" men's culture to get votes--did you ever notice it's never the reverse that's advocated--ever?

Most frequently I've found that "bubba" is just code for a certain form of bigotry that makes sweeping assumptions about residents outside of a few select urban areas. I find the arch-conservative "bubba" to be almost as mythological as the Birkenstock-wearing liberal.

But yes, it's the Democratic party's job to get votes if refusing to play by the faux-populist frame-job created by the Republican party does that, why not? Discovering that many of the "Bubbas" I know are yellow-dog democrats really makes it difficult to accept that frame-job at face value.

Sure they're blamed. They're blamed for creating--and/or profiting from--a culture that perpetuates their priviledge at the expense of everyone else--and they're blamed for the way they act out against the rest of us when things don't go their way. They're blamed for acting like violent babies about it.

ZOMG! You've become, like radical all of a sudden.

But these are side points.

This discussion entire discussion is based on two claims that I find dubious:
1: There is a large and massive violent backlash against women and feminism in particular.
2: Men are not engaged in talking about sexism or mentoring other men against sexism.

Claim #1 makes sense when you look at Mrs. Robinson's home page and realize that they are journalists doing research into the radical right. If you read the radical right night and day, it's likely to give you a false impression of where the country really lies. (Just read a Scientific American article which suggests the violent political scism between pundits is not reflected in population demographics.)

Claim #2 again is belied by a growing number pro-feminist ministers, counselors, teachers and leaders across the country. There certainly are a lot of pro-feminist men talking about sexism and mentoring others in regards to sexism. But you are unlikely to see these if you are watching the BSA, militias or the KKK.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:44 AM on October 24, 2006


Running thru all the links is the idea that progressive and feminist and other organizations must do something for these men, which actually makes it all about them again, as usual. That's why i bring up the advice to cater to "bubbas" that's all over the place (along with the advice to cater to religious voters, etc)--all of them are telling people and groups to bend over for those who denigrate and speak and work against those very groups. There's something fundamentally wrong in people telling feminists they have to do things for anti-feminist men that don't include making them feminists, or advance equality. There's something wrong with telling those fighting the backlash against women that they must coddle and create structures for those men who are perpetuating that very backlash. There are millions of men who have adjusted to life in a diverse world--there are millions of men who aren't asking and wouldn't ask for this kind of coddling. Those are the ones feminist orgs need to be working with--they shouldn't be working for those who are angry and insecure and lashing out.
posted by amberglow at 2:26 PM on October 24, 2006


What Sparx said. Social issues are human, not male or female. People are first dehumanized, then they begin to analyze the world in terms of ideal class qualities, male or female, race, beliefs, etc. The fallacy of division takes hold. If white people rule, therefore to be white makes one a ruler. Males will try to prove their masculinity to themselves. They listen to male talk shows to cheer on their compulsive militant side, learning to persecute independent women, and to vote directly against any care-giving policies for themselves and their own elderly and children. This last self-defeat is no mere oversight. The surrogate male has subconsciously agreed to a social contract as an independent little-king. Now lacking his first-class humanity in an otherwise equal society, he has no other status as a human if he fails; and if he can't have it, then nobody else can.
posted by Brian B. at 2:34 PM on October 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


Been a lot of discussion around the MetaVerse about gender and class issues lately. ("Lately?") There seems to be a bit of head-butting over questions of white hetero male privilege. I have a few thoughts, based on nothing more relevant than personal observation:

Sweeping generalizations are poor tools for dissecting sweeping generalizations.

Accusations of white hetero male privilege perpetuate the very mindset they purport to decry. Truth, fairness, and damned statistics aside (in other words, granting the premise, if not the practice), raising the flag of white hetero male privilege not only misses the point, it turns the point back inward. The point is not that I am automatically privileged because I am a white hetero male; the point is that I am not denied opportunity simply on that basis, as I might be if I were not a white hetero male; and the point is that I am not forced to constantly filter my self-identity through those particular categorizations of otherness. This might seem like a minor semantic quibble, but I don't think it is. Potentially sympathetic minds become defensive very quickly when their personal circumstances are dismissed as irrelevant. Assumptions based on stereotype are double-edged swords no matter who wields them. In other words, "privilege" is the Godwin of gender and class politics.

Behavior is the enemy, not accidents of birth. Denying opportunity to all is the crime, not the fact that some might arguably have opportunity now. Similar repressive power dynamics exist in countries and communities not controlled by white hetero males. Concentrating on the gender/ethnicity/sexual identities of the empowered not only legitimizes that tautology, it can also derail the more important questions, such as whether we, as a species, can learn to wean ourselves from hierarchical thinking; whether we even should; if so, what replaces it; and if not, how do we combat the tyranny of the majority without compromising the value of the individual?

And no – I don't have any answers to those questions, either.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:48 PM on October 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


amberglow: That's why i bring up the advice to cater to "bubbas" that's all over the place (along with the advice to cater to religious voters, etc)--all of them are telling people and groups to bend over for those who denigrate and speak and work against those very groups.

Because after all, "bubbas" and religious voters are never feminist, gay, or gay positive. *yawn*
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:50 PM on October 24, 2006


Which ok, re-read that to see if I was missing it, but it seems like I didn't. "all of them are telling people and groups to bend over for those who denigrate and speak and work against those very groups."

That's all you need to say. If your point is just that feminists and lesbigays shouldn't cater to those that oppose them, that's cool. I go further and say that feminists shouldn't cater to a pro-feminist mens movement. Pro-feminist men need to do their own work.

But you feel the need to tack on "religious voters" even though it's plainly obvious that lesbigays and feminists are in every religious group. And "bubbas" even though it's plainly obvious that lesbigays and feminists are found in every socio-cultural demographic.

I live in a congressional district could be decided by hundreds of votes. So please, is it too much to ask that you refrain from taking a dump on your religious and "bubba" allies until after they've had a chance to vote in this most critical election? Thank you.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:04 PM on October 24, 2006


Angry men, searching men -- and what they can learn from girls and queers.

What I take from those pieces is that fevered overthinking of your role and your sex is not a hugely good idea. I mean, when men have insane episodes they tend to outward-directed violence more than do women; this has always been so, it is so in every human culture. If Andrew Kehoe had blown up the local school in September 2006 instead of September 1927, he would have been in the list of violent episodes that Robinson tries to link to social changes in the last few decades, and it would have had just as tenuous a relation as do the others.

Men everywhere seem to be furious.

Guess which sex has disproportionately fought in every war ever?
posted by Aidan Kehoe at 3:33 AM on October 25, 2006


> Men everywhere seem to be furious.

Guess which sex has disproportionately fought in every war ever?

Actually, that’s not super-relevant. It seems to me rather that this is a misunderstanding of temperament on the part of Robinson, much as I didn’t initially understand that, say, a content-free SMS to a girlfriend would brighten her mood for an hour.
posted by Aidan Kehoe at 3:45 AM on October 25, 2006


So please, is it too much to ask that you refrain from taking a dump on your religious and "bubba" allies until after they've had a chance to vote in this most critical election? Thank you.

When we're being asked to do the same thing in this situation as we are for those other groups, i will not refrain. I see a pattern of exactly the same thing being prescribed for us--and a connection between the men we're talking about and those groups, i speak of it.
posted by amberglow at 11:13 AM on October 27, 2006


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