How to Get And Keep a Good Man
November 22, 2009 3:20 PM   Subscribe


 
Photo of the author.
posted by stinkycheese at 3:26 PM on November 22, 2009


When I refer to a "good man," I don't mean a jerk. Rather, I mean that kind of man that would be "good husband material." I mean someone who would treat you like a master violinist would treat a Stradivarius violin--with honor, respect, and maybe at times even a bit of awe.

what
posted by winna at 3:26 PM on November 22, 2009 [12 favorites]


um, wut?
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:28 PM on November 22, 2009


See I just head on down to El Jefe's Henchman Emporium. I go through about 10 or 15 sidekicks a year so I don't waste too much time comparison shopping.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:28 PM on November 22, 2009 [11 favorites]


winna: "what"

He will hold you between his chin and shoulder and rub you vigorously with horsehair treated with amber rosin.
posted by idiopath at 3:29 PM on November 22, 2009 [101 favorites]


like toxic waste to Good Men
toxic waste does not bore good men to tears.
posted by krautland at 3:30 PM on November 22, 2009


I'm talking about something different here. When I refer to a "good man," I don't mean a jerk. Rather, I mean that kind of man that would be "good husband material." I mean someone who would treat you like a master violinist would treat a Stradivarius violin--with honor, respect, and maybe at times even a bit of awe.

I stopped reading at this point. A "good man" treats his partner like an independent human being with her own personality, desires, and foibles - not like a musical instrument.
posted by homuncula at 3:30 PM on November 22, 2009 [26 favorites]


Who are we picking on?
posted by Artw at 3:32 PM on November 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


A little oddly written but really not that bad. In summary, if you're trying to impress a guy you like break the ice by making small talk and not being an idiot.
posted by Damienmce at 3:33 PM on November 22, 2009


"As a man myself, I would say that a "good man" is one who acts basically in accordance with the Boy Scout Law."

Based on the ex-Scouts I've met, this sounds like a good way to end up with a guy who experiments sexually with his buddies on weekend campouts.
posted by hermitosis at 3:34 PM on November 22, 2009 [66 favorites]


If I pretended to not be interested in feminism, would I have gotten married by now?
posted by box at 3:35 PM on November 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


You know, I actually made an honest attempt to read this until I got to "nor will this article be of assistance to you if you prefer someone that beats you up" and I thought, yes, it is the fault of the woman for CHOOSING to be abused, and I had to go beat my wife for a bit to work off the tension and in the heat of the moment I forgot to read the rest of this potentially valuable advice. HAMBURGER
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:35 PM on November 22, 2009 [12 favorites]


A "good man" treats his partner like an independent human being with her own personality, desires, and foibles - not like a musical instrument.

I say meet him halfway. Allow yourself to be treated like an independent human whatsahoosit, but also allow yourself to be referred to as a flugelhorn and to have your spit-valve cleaned regularly. Years of sensual delight await you. You're welcome.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:36 PM on November 22, 2009 [40 favorites]


A "good man" treats his partner like an independent human being with her own personality, desires, and foibles - not like a musical instrument.

What if you're a jazz drummer?
posted by stinkycheese at 3:36 PM on November 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Trollish FPP headline ensures maximum snark, minimum analysis.
posted by PsychoKick at 3:39 PM on November 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


ohno, someone on the internets gave some well-meaning advice about how people should neither be, nor look for, a person who acts like a dick, but he used a couple awkward phrases so LET'S PULL QUOTES OUT OF HIS WEBSITE AND MOCK HIM TO INFINITY
posted by 23skidoo at 3:39 PM on November 22, 2009 [13 favorites]


OK, after reading more, I think I might have been a bit quick to judge. The article does have sort of a weird paternalistic vibe where the author seems to think that women around the world have been desperately awaiting his personal dating advice, but overall he seems to advocate for honest communication in relationships instead of weird-gender based head games. Seems like a pretty solid message to me.
posted by homuncula at 3:45 PM on November 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


Forget the Stradivarius comparison. I just want a man who doesn't pee in the sink.
posted by bibliowench at 3:46 PM on November 22, 2009 [22 favorites]


Sorry, my first comment was throwaway snark.

Here are his extended thoughts on feminism:

One thing that you should emphatically not do is start talking to him about anything smacking of feminism or any other anti-man subject. Don't do it. Good Men hear enough of that at work, in the news, at school, sometimes even at home from our sisters or mothers. Good Men will drop you like burning metal if you do this and will do whatever they can to--preferably tactfully--get away from you. If you persist, then they may well drop tact altogether and become quite direct. Either way, they will get themselves away from you.

Frankly, anyone who equates "feminism" with "anti-man" isn't worth taking any kind of romantic advice from, in my opinion. This isn't just awkwardly phrased. This exhibits serious ignorance about (if not actual hostility to) the concerns of the women he seems to eager to "help" with his advice. Bite me, dude.

And meanwhile, back at the farm....

Don't you want to feel that for a Good Man and have him feel that for you as well? Don't you want someone who would hack his way through a forest of huge, waist-thick vines full of thorns and face that dragon so that the two of you might live happily ever after? That's what Prince Phillip did for Sleeping Beauty. Pretty though Princess Aurora was, he nonetheless felt a lot more than mere desire for her; he loved her. He put his life on the line to save her.

Aw, sweet. And you know what? I get it. I had these fantasies when I was little. Of course, in my fantasies I was the one doing the kicking ass and the rescuing. I'm sure this guy would consider that just another sign of my anti-man feminism, though.
posted by Salieri at 3:46 PM on November 22, 2009 [50 favorites]


stinkycheese: "Photo of the author."

I like how the title of that photo is "Big Gringo Somewhere in Peru".

Also, this article has some pretty honest intentions, I suppose. Writing in an awkward way throughout doesn't invalidate his overall message.
posted by Askiba at 3:51 PM on November 22, 2009


Well, now, I have a man who encourages me in all my endeavors, has had women bosses and liked them, has plenty of women friends, treats women with respect, has no problem with the idea of women pastors (hint: I do) and yet, and yet, cannot abide talking about feminism.

So perhaps this dude was talking about guys like Ralph?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:52 PM on November 22, 2009


but also allow yourself to be referred to as a flugelhorn

A muted flugelhorn, surely!
posted by synaesthetichaze at 3:52 PM on November 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, after reading the whole article I'd say this guy really means well (and hey, "do unto others" isn't the worst advice). He's just got some rather awkward and antiquated notions about what it mens to be a female. I've seen and heard far, far worse. It's actually interesting--on the one hand, he seems to idealize women as precious objects to be cherished, yet on the other hand he seems to believe in full equality on the dating front, and encourages women to behave in stereotypically "male" fashion (making the first move, calling after a date to say thanks for a lovely time, etc.). In the full spectrum of (often really crappy) dating advice, I'd have to give the man something in between "meh" and "nice effort".
posted by Go Banana at 3:53 PM on November 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Woops, meant to link "muted" to this insane article.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 3:54 PM on November 22, 2009


ohno, someone on the internets gave some well-meaning advice about how people should neither be, nor look for, a person who acts like a dick,

I dunno, considering his fantasized language and false equivalency of feminism to anti-man and that "good men" avoid and is not interested in feminism, that everything will be alright as long as you find a man who puts you on a pedestal.... He may not be a "bad man" but he does seem a bit of a dick. That or he is a bit of a simpleton.
posted by edgeways at 3:55 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Eh, I wouldn't pick on the violin analogy too much. I once dated a virtuoso violinist. Once, while she was walking across the stage, she tripped and fell while holding her violin. She contorted her entire body to keep the violin away from the floor, basically doing a twisting flip while in the middle of tripping and falling. She looked like she was risking breaking every bone in her body by doing it. She managed to keep the violin safe, and at the end of the maneuver, still on the floor, she lifted it aloft triumphantly. The audience cheered.

If she had treated me with a tenth that much honor and respect, I might not have eventually walked out on her sorry abusive ass.

Anyway. The "don't talk about feminism" stuff, on the other hand? He can get stuffed.
posted by kyrademon at 3:55 PM on November 22, 2009 [22 favorites]


Since we're snarking on quotes here, I'm surprised I'm the first to pull the earnest use of "The Greatest Nation on Earth."
posted by Dysk at 3:56 PM on November 22, 2009


I like how the author thinks that the "Golden Rule" was invented by Jesus. Aside from the fact that it exists in pretty near every culture that's ever existed, he probably got it from Leviticus anyway.
posted by autoclavicle at 3:57 PM on November 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Forget the Stradivarius comparison. I just want a man who doesn't pee in the sink.

IT'S ALL PIPES!!!
posted by DU at 3:58 PM on November 22, 2009 [18 favorites]


Unfortunately, I don't think the author has any idea what feminism actually is.
posted by Go Banana at 4:00 PM on November 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


You guys seem to be taking this post very seriously. I'm fairly certain we were meant to laugh at his poor understanding of women, not praise his good intentions.
posted by shii at 4:00 PM on November 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


I think he just meant 'Ladies, don't use feminism as your opener' which is fairly sensible, there are much easier things to talk to a stranger about the first time you speak to them.
posted by Damienmce at 4:03 PM on November 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


"One thing that you should emphatically not do is start talking to him about anything smacking of feminism or any other anti-man subject. Don't do it. Good Men hear enough of that at work, in the news, at school, sometimes even at home from our sisters or mothers."

Feminism is anti-man? Don't talk about sexism? Ooohkay then! So much for that Golden Rule...
posted by autoclavicle at 4:04 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is actually quite good, folks. Read the damned thing.

And I frankly find the oddly vast breadth of his references mesmerizing. I was smirking a bit when he started talking about Boy Scouts, but any article that mentions Richard M. Stallman in glowing terms and references Donna Hathaway and Roberta Flack is a winner, in my book. Yes, he has a very wrong-headed two paragraphs regarding the feminist movement in there, but anyone who's been out and about should know that a confused dislike of feminism isn't always the same thing as actual sexism; given the fact that his general premise seems to be 'women should treat men the way they want to be treated, and men should treat women the way they want to be treated,' it seems as though he's firmly behind equality between the sexes.

I've gotta say, though, fantine: it's pretty damned disingenuous of you to put that very quote in the post header. Did you really want everybody to read this as though it was a sexist screed? Because it's not, even if that single out-of-context quote makes it sound like one.
posted by koeselitz at 4:05 PM on November 22, 2009 [9 favorites]


shii: “You guys seem to be taking this post very seriously. I'm fairly certain we were meant to laugh at his poor understanding of women, not praise his good intentions.”

There's not much to laugh at, then.
posted by koeselitz at 4:05 PM on November 22, 2009


"I just want a man who doesn't pee in the sink."

I'm willing to compromise. Kitchen sink: off-limits. Bathroom sink: fine.
posted by autoclavicle at 4:07 PM on November 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'm pretty sure this is nothing except a coded "what kind of woman I want" article of the type typically written by angsty teens. It's absurd to say that all men are similar, or all women are similar. This applies to the author, and to the type of women to which he is attracted, and no one else.
posted by Electrius at 4:09 PM on November 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Hey, koeselitz, it wasn't my goal to be disingenuous with the quote I chose. Yes, it was partly because of the "don't talk about feminism" bit, which he harped on, but it also included his encouragement to women for making the first move and his continual use of the phrase "Good Man."

For my part, I found his advice half-interesting and potentially useful, and half-hilariously out-of-date and misguided.
posted by fantine at 4:09 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think he just meant 'Ladies, don't use feminism as your opener' which is fairly sensible, there are much easier things to talk to a stranger about the first time you speak to them.

I genuinely don't think so; much of the essay reads like an anti-feminist screed in the guise of helpful advice.

nevertheless, I am uncomfortable with point and laugh type posts
posted by lalex at 4:11 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


He then told her, "well, that's one guy you won't be dating, then." And he proved to be right.

I think it is his solemness that cracks me up. I just picture him being very earnest and sincere and so positive he knows exactly what each and every woman should do, and what each and every man would want. People simply aren't that homogenized and a few personal experiences don't make him an expert.

Still, give him credit-- every woman in his anecdotes is "very attractive," "a hottie," "quite attractive." Either he runs with a very beautiful crowd or he really, really likes women in all colors, shapes and sizes.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:14 PM on November 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


...or he cherry picks his anecdotes.
posted by Dysk at 4:15 PM on November 22, 2009


Who the hell's Donna Hathaway?

Do you mean Donny Hathaway? Because that'd be okay. Or Donna Haraway? Because that'd be even better. Either way, you've persuaded me to actually read the thing.
posted by box at 4:15 PM on November 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Since we're snarking on quotes here, I'm surprised I'm the first to pull the earnest use of "The Greatest Nation on Earth."

Yo United States, I'm really happy for you, and imma let you finish, but the Mongolian Empire was the greatest of all time!
posted by mullingitover at 4:16 PM on November 22, 2009 [25 favorites]


Whether or not there are some common-sense nuggets in there, I'm not convinced that this falls into the "quite good" category. I find the language he uses for those in existing relationships a bit problematic:

If you just know for sure that he's doing something bad on purpose, and you believe that you love each other, then stop and check your assumptions right then and there. The man who loves you naturally has your best interests in mind. Therefore, it follows that he's very unlikely to be doing something bad on purpose. Even if you haven't yet hit the stage of love, but have become friends, he still has your best interests at heart. Remember what a friend is.

Talk to him. Find out what's going on. Maybe he's under a bunch of stress. Maybe he hasn't eaten (I've been guilty of that). Maybe he's feeling really down about something. Since you are at a minimum becoming friends, you might already know what's bothering him. Remind him that you're there for him. After he's settled down, and he will, then gently remind him that you need some Golden Rule affection, too, if you bore the brunt of his negative feelings. Since, as a Good Man, he generally does follow the Scout Law, he will likely feel so badly about any slight toward you by him that he will not just apologize, but he will make the most strenuous efforts to monitor himself better in the future. That's his way of making things right. You may even get a dinner date out of it as a thank-you for your understanding.


First there's the nice little circular bit of logic that insists that you must be mistaken if you think he's doing something bad (to you), because if he loves you then there's no way he'd deliberately do something to hurt you. It's all in your mind, you silly woman, and if you stopped nagging him you'd see that.

And after he's "settled down", maybe he'll take you out to dinner!

I'm sure this guy would deny it if called on it, but his language is eerily close to the justifications used in abusive relationships. 1) He's not really hurting you, because he loves you, and 2) if he does hurt you, he can make it up by being really sorry and buying you shiny things. Because he's a Good Man at heart.
posted by Salieri at 4:16 PM on November 22, 2009 [20 favorites]


(And if it was Donny Hathaway, here's a link for you.)
posted by box at 4:16 PM on November 22, 2009


The old rule of thumb is that when dealing with strangers and new acquaintances, to avoid topics of religion and politics. Chances are it won't end well. This includes issues that are politically and religiously charged. Feminism and overall gender relations happen to be charged with both.

/ Which is also the reason why this FPP and discussion fails so hard.
posted by PsychoKick at 4:22 PM on November 22, 2009


Maybe he meant Donna Haraway.

Oh, right... the feminism thing with him... never mind.
posted by el_lupino at 4:25 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


This whole thing is creepy: the guy, his ideas, and this as a FPP. Despite some people saying it's not a sexist screed, the whole premise is that women don't know how to behave in relationships or how to start them.

BTW, that "50% divorce rate" thing he mentions is a myth.
posted by autoclavicle at 4:28 PM on November 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


Wow the letter this guy wrote Ebony Magazine is just precious:
Last night I read the article entitled "Coping With the Acute Male Shortage" in the September 2004 issue. As a man who at one point was interested in Black American women, I would like to share some male insight ... I found myself attracted to several Black American women. I even "busted a move" in a polite, dignified manner, as I was raised to do by my Dad. Without exception, the Black American women looked at me with their lips curled in scorn, and several actually called me "White boy."

If the Black American women at these colleges want men, then I would suggest that they take their hands off of their hips, stop snapping their fingers in the "Z" formation, and be nice.
Way to slay the ladies Terrell!
posted by geoff. at 4:29 PM on November 22, 2009 [9 favorites]


"Wow the letter this guy wrote Ebony Magazine is just precious"

I was attracted to black women, but they weren't attracted to me! They should have been glad that someone like me was paying attention to them!
posted by autoclavicle at 4:33 PM on November 22, 2009 [13 favorites]


Okay, yeah: on further reading, it's really astounding how a guy who espouses pretty gosh-darned nice principles can still be completely clueless about certain things. The fact that he's a man writing a piece which purports to explain to women how they should live gradually dawned on me, but I probably should've seen that up-front.

Secret Life of Gravy: “Still, give him credit-- every woman in his anecdotes is "very attractive," "a hottie," "quite attractive." Either he runs with a very beautiful crowd or he really, really likes women in all colors, shapes and sizes.”

No, that's not actually true. The "good example #1" woman was "several years my senior and didn't have Halle Berry's physique."

Heh. That bit was even worse. I have a feeling he'd want to tell me that he doesn't view all women on the "GOOD LOOKING <> BAD LOOKING" continuum, but he's not doing much for his case on that point. All the women he meets seem to be either beautiful or not-beautiful, and that's a primary characteristic in his mind.
posted by koeselitz at 4:34 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm going to have to recommend bringing up sexism and racism as topics of conversation right away. It's a good way to screen out any potential Terrell Prudes out there.
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 4:35 PM on November 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


Oh, and by the way: I can't really pretend to be "a good catch" or "a Good Man" or whatever the fuck people use as terms of nobility or desirability now, but -

Talking about feminism first-thing, right after meeting me? Totally hot. I'm absolutely fucking serious.
posted by koeselitz at 4:36 PM on November 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


box: “Do you mean Donny Hathaway? Because that'd be okay. Or Donna Haraway? Because that'd be even better. Either way, you've persuaded me to actually read the thing.”

Urgh. Typo. Blech.

Thanks for the link.

posted by koeselitz at 4:38 PM on November 22, 2009


Personally, I don't see much wrong with this fellow's willingness to state his observation and opinion. What he has done is publish what is true for him. Anyone here have a problem with someone expressing an opinion? He's clearly restricted the applicable domain of his comments.

My own opinion is that relationship seeking is aided by being approachable and by learning how to approach. Success is about reasonable risk taking, coupled with the skills of discrimination and observation. There's some aspect that also involves space and time, in that no one finds mates where they are not present, any more than you can catch fish in the tub.

The part of this that's a bitch is this... (excepting the widowed/widower) if you are single, it's probably because you haven't figured out how not to be. If you are divorced/separated/newly single, it's either because you haven't figured out how to select a good mate, or that you and the ones you select aren't any good at relationships. If you can't find someone, either you aren't looking in the right places, you aren't attracting the kind of people that you want, you don't know what kind of people you want, or you can't tell the ones you want from the ones you don't. Maybe when and if you do, you aren't competitive. It's possible. You may just be one of those critters that Nature won't led breed. Sad, but it happens.

No one guarantees anyone that they will find Mr./Mrs. Right. Nature could give a rat's ass if you died tonight. If you do and you're single, guess what? You die single.

All the advice books and articles (and mefi posts like this one of mine) are worth no more than the obvious statement: if it ain't working, try something different. Read, study, guess, ask, try/fail, experiment, learn from success and failure, improve.

There's no magic mix. You either find someone or you don't. You succeed, fail or settle. Nature won't give you another lifetime to get it right.

Whose job is it to be attractive? Whose job is it to approach? Whose job to close? Whose to maintain? Whose to communicate? Assess? Risk? Try? Fail? Succeed?

It's my job. Your job. It matters to no one else.
posted by FauxScot at 4:41 PM on November 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


If you can't talk to your husband about feminism, he might be a Good Man™
, but he's not a good man.
posted by robcorr at 4:42 PM on November 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


Frankly, anyone who equates "feminism" with "anti-man" isn't worth taking any kind of romantic advice from

Looks like you won't be taking romantic advice from at least one radical feminist:

I feel that 'man-hating' is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them

Honestly, the textual footprint of feminism is probably larger than the Tripitaka at this point, and quite wide enough to admit batshitinsane misandry. You've just written someone off over a single bad line; is it really that surprising that someone might do the same with a body of criticism? Perhaps he took the wrong class, read the wrong critic, or met the wrong asshole.
posted by kid ichorous at 4:45 PM on November 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm fairly certain we were meant to laugh at his poor understanding of women, not praise his good intentions.

You know how an 11 year old child of your friends will sometimes tell you his opinions about politics to a group of adults? If he says something precocious but simple-minded, you give him a pat on the head for being on the right track and at least putting a little thought into it rather than laughing at him for being so naive.
posted by deanc at 4:45 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


The woman you really want (fiercely independent, bright, sexy, self-actualized) thinks boy scouts are bores.
posted by Zambrano at 4:47 PM on November 22, 2009


You know how an 11 year old child of your friends will sometimes tell you his opinions about politics to a group of adults? If he says something precocious but simple-minded, you give him a pat on the head for being on the right track and at least putting a little thought into it rather than laughing at him for being so naive.

That's because he's eleven.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:50 PM on November 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


Hello my Nubian princess. Are you looking for a strong man? Are you looking for a good man? Sure you be. Blow me up on my cell machine and I will bust a move in a manner that will leave you so breathless, you'll forget my pale skin and blue eyes, and see only my ample endowments, which include intelligence, compassion, and, of course, an industrial-sized package. The other sistas have rejected me, for some reason, but I know you're something special, my Nile goddess.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:50 PM on November 22, 2009 [24 favorites]


He's also got some great thoughts to share re: feminists and their apparent disdain for black people.

As a guy, I'd like a girl who would talk about feminism. It'd show that she's willing to think about the issues, and I'd also agree with her.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:55 PM on November 22, 2009


Looks like you won't be taking romantic advice from at least one radical feminist

Wow, I have to congratulate you. I didn't even see the haystack that strawman was constructed from. Well done, you!

I was actually interested in that one example of his - the older woman who didn't have Halle Berry's physique, the one who was (apparently) sending out signals that he didn't pick up on. Just as younger, attractive women are sexualized in our culture to such an extent that some (some!) men read signals of interest from them that aren't really there, there's also the flip side of that: the complete de-sexualization of older, less attractive women. The kind of guy who sees hot women hitting on him (whether or not they actually are) would be the same kind of guy who can't imagine a woman who doesn't fit that mold as a sexual creature - or would react with disbelief or disgust that such a person would deign to show interest in him.

Long way of saying that I wonder if he'd have been so oblivious if Ms. Not Halle Berry had been one of the hotties.
posted by Salieri at 5:01 PM on November 22, 2009


The woman you really want (fiercely independent, bright, sexy, self-actualized) thinks boy scouts are bores.

Then my girlfriend must think I am an absolute drag, knowing about both of our personalities.
posted by Askiba at 5:01 PM on November 22, 2009


Sorry, I just don't see it.

I am all for snarking, and he put it out there to be snarked at, but I'd rather mock someone's shitty crafts than someone being honest about what he thinks.

If you back the URL up a bit and start going through his whole site there's all kinds of stuff that can be made fun of. It's a laugh riot. One contextless link to a two year old article on a personal website. Bash away. But then I'm hitting the URL in your profiles, because you know you have some funny shit out there too.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:03 PM on November 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


>
The sad thing is that he's apparently part black and refers to himself as "mixed race" and a "person of color." Which adds a new layer to his anger at black women for not liking him, a GOOD MAN.

Relevent ED article. Also, Wikipedia has a more scholarly discussion of the issue, complete with links to "Involuntary Celebacy," "Sexual Frustration" (which is fun on it's own for pure [citation needed]), and "Friend Zone."

Apparently, Wikipedia has now joined a frat.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:07 PM on November 22, 2009


There should be an entire site dedicated to finding, cataloging, and (of course) mocking these "If you want a man, ladies, here's how you should act..." essays. Combined with the "Dear Woman Of My Dreams..." job openings and the "Advice to other guys on how to avoid shrews" pieces, I think this kind of clumsy male relationship advice constitutes a viable genre.

Regarding the now-beaten-to-death feminism comment he makes, I wonder what he imagines a conversation about feminism to be like. Is it some woman shouting "I'm a feminist! Are you?!" over the salad? Is it discussing a book by Naomi Wolf? Is it attempting to castrate a man? I mean, really.
posted by verb at 5:09 PM on November 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


I wonder what he imagines a conversation about feminism to be like.

"I am a feminist, which means I hate men, and will only date "men" who also hate men. Are you one of those?"

I know that's the opener I always used with new guys.
posted by emjaybee at 5:38 PM on November 22, 2009 [8 favorites]


Once, while she was walking across the stage, she tripped and fell while holding her violin. She contorted her entire body to keep the violin away from the floor, basically doing a twisting flip while in the middle of tripping and falling. She looked like she was risking breaking every bone in her body by doing it. She managed to keep the violin safe, and at the end of the maneuver, still on the floor, she lifted it aloft triumphantly.

I did this with a 16mm Bolex camera one time, after stepping off a curb.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:44 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, I have to congratulate you. I didn't even see the haystack that strawman was constructed from. Well done, you!

I'm sorry if I misrepresented you, but showing the lines of friction between direct quotes is not the same thing as making a rhetorical strawman.

I was actually interested in that one example of his - the older woman who didn't have Halle Berry's physique, the one who was (apparently) sending out signals that he didn't pick up on. Just as younger, attractive women are sexualized in our culture to such an extent that some (some!) men read signals of interest from them that aren't really there, there's also the flip side of that: the complete de-sexualization of older, less attractive women. [...] Long way of saying that I wonder if he'd have been so oblivious if Ms. Not Halle Berry had been one of the hotties.

Yeah, but 'not quite Halle Berry' is such an unusual litotes that I have to hand that one to him. Hot has the expiration date of a goddamn antiparticle, and I think it's kindof charming of him to gravitate to a 40/50something when there's so much 18-1/2 new-car boygirl cured-in-pheromones flesh being piped across the web. I'd rather see skeletor in neon legwarmers than another American Apparel banner.

posted by kid ichorous at 5:46 PM on November 22, 2009


We need to set him and this person up on a blind date and let the hilarious sitcom write itself.
posted by gjc at 5:52 PM on November 22, 2009


You can almost see where he is coming from with the advice about feminism, because nobody likes to be ranted at. But that he chose only to advise against feminism is telling. If a woman sat next to him at a bar and started lecturing him about Communism, or the environment, or how under appreciated Glenn Beck is, wouldn't that be equally off putting?

The fact is, if you are a feminist that conversation has to come up, preferably early in the relationship. You should talk to men about feminism because if he hates feminists, clearly the relationship is going nowhere fast. Who wants to marry someone who so fundamentally disagrees with your view on life?

Completely off topic, but I find it fascinating that the American Boy Scout law is almost identical to the Australian Scout Law, but our last line is 'cares for the environment', not 'reverent'.
posted by PercyByssheShelley at 5:57 PM on November 22, 2009


Oh, I think this fellow's article was really targeted toward a certain demographic (which I suspect is not widely represented among the MeFi membership). It would be the same demographic this book was aimed at, that is, those women who are told they are the least romantically desired in the world.

The guy is relatively tame as far as his type is concerned, i.e., Black men who aim to school Black women on what's wrong with them and what them gals should do to fix theyselves. There's a quite nasty subculture out there in the blogosphere and on YouTube based on some serious misogyny specifically directed at Black women by Black men. At least this writer has a reasonably decent command of grammatical English.

I imagine these sort of articles and books will eventually get big screen film treatment (a few of Tyler Perry's movies have already forged the path, similarly wrapped in a thin blanket of religious authority), marketed as sort of the new millennium response to "Waiting to Exhale."

He's also got some great thoughts to share re: feminists and their apparent disdain for black people.
I'd be loath to say that feminist = racist, but in my experience he's on target with his comments about Black women not being particularly welcomed or represented by the mainstream feminist movement. It's unknown how many Black women may have failed in their attempts to sidled up this guy, but I doubt that whatever anti-man chatter they may have thrown at him was feminist-based.
posted by fuse theorem at 6:07 PM on November 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


er, make that "...sidle up to this guy..."
posted by fuse theorem at 6:09 PM on November 22, 2009


Eh, I wouldn't pick on the violin analogy too much. I once dated a virtuoso violinist. Once, while she was walking across the stage, she tripped and fell while holding her violin. She contorted her entire body to keep the violin away from the floor, basically doing a twisting flip while in the middle of tripping and falling. She looked like she was risking breaking every bone in her body by doing it. She managed to keep the violin safe, and at the end of the maneuver, still on the floor, she lifted it aloft triumphantly. The audience cheered.

I once did that with a 15" CRT monitor. Busted the hell out of my hands, shoulder, hip, knee, shin and foot (with a bump on the head for good luck) but my friends cheered.

... but anyone who's been out and about should know that a confused dislike of feminism isn't always the same thing as actual sexism...

Eh, I'm pretty happy to judgey mcjudge folks who rant about feminists without any real understanding or knowledge about feminism or feminists. It's certainly been pretty good as far as a weeding maneuver goes in my personal life - not to shut them out (my best friend came out with the 'I'm not a feminist but...' last week) but to protect myself because it's part of a set of behaviours and beliefs that, when found in one person, spell danger to me. Or at least 'here be high blood pressure'.

Then again I'm married to a Bad Man because he not only loves women, respects them, works with them, is employed and supervised by them, doesn't give a fuck about female priests anymore than male priests AND will talk to me about feminism AND makes a conscious effort to raise our daughter in a feminist household. Not to mention this pesky 'treating me like a human being' thing - imagine being in awe of what I do rather than simply by virtue of my gender! Sheer nonsense.
posted by geek anachronism at 6:19 PM on November 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


Well, now, I have a man who encourages me in all my endeavors, has had women bosses and liked them, has plenty of women friends, treats women with respect, has no problem with the idea of women pastors (hint: I do) and yet, and yet, cannot abide talking about feminism.

So perhaps this dude was talking about guys like Ralph?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:52 PM on November 22


yeah i know so many women who are jealous that they can't get a man who hates the idea that women should have equal rights

it eats away at them

they call me in the middle of the night, sobbing, "where's my ralph"
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:26 PM on November 22, 2009 [28 favorites]


why should i listen to this dude's advice on how to pick up guys he doesn't successfully pick up one guy in the entire article
posted by kathrineg at 6:36 PM on November 22, 2009 [26 favorites]


Whatever else, I bet this guy is an absolute hoot at dinner parties.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:02 PM on November 22, 2009


I know that's the opener I always used with new guys.

that is totes sexay a/s/l?
posted by mightygodking at 7:15 PM on November 22, 2009


Well, now, I have a man who encourages me in all my endeavors, has had women bosses and liked them, has plenty of women friends, treats women with respect, has no problem with the idea of women pastors (hint: I do) and yet, and yet, cannot abide talking about feminism.

This got me to thinking about what subjects I truly cannot abide. The only things that I refuse to discuss are base hatreds: racism, sexism, homophobia and jingoism. I have no patience for someone's theories on the inferiority of certain races or how women are all "hysterical bitches." I don't want that kind of poison in my life.

I know some men put feminism into that category. I'd venture a guess that they know virtually nothing about what feminism actually is, its history or what it means for women and men.
posted by uri at 7:17 PM on November 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


yeah i know so many women who are jealous that they can't get a man who hates the idea that women should have equal rights

But that is what is so hysterically funny/weird about it. Ralph does believe in equal rights. He just doesn't want to talk about feminism. If I had to guess it would be that his impression of it is that it isn't about equal rights but about manbashing-but, this is just a guess.

I understand some of you not understanding guys like this, but they do exist. People are funny.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:29 PM on November 22, 2009


Talking about feminism first-thing, right after meeting me? Totally hot. I'm absolutely fucking serious.

*swoon*

Have I mentioned lately how much I love MetaFilter?

Anyone want to start a feminist dating service? If so, please sign me up. 'Cause, y'know, I've (unfortunately) had a good deal of dating and relationship experience with men who can't be bothered to learn even the most rudimentary tenets of feminism, yet are astonishingly quick to proclaim - with utter confidence - that it is "anti-man." Can't say I'm fond of celibacy, but it sure beats banging my head against brick walls, y'know?
posted by velvet winter at 7:30 PM on November 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


MetaDate - Snark is hawt!
posted by Talanvor at 7:48 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


My buddy has an interesting take on romantic advice. Never, ever take it from someone of the opposite sex who is the same age as you because they will be unable to see it from your position. This guy is a walking reason for that.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:51 PM on November 22, 2009


It's bad, but it's no Sex Tips for Geeks.
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 7:56 PM on November 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Never, ever take it from someone of the opposite sex who is the same age as you because they will be unable to see it from your position.

Is this romantic advice or sexual advice?
posted by grouse at 8:05 PM on November 22, 2009


"Guys are just obsessed with big boobs."

Nah man, it's all about the badonkadunk.
posted by bardic at 8:06 PM on November 22, 2009


The problem with learning the most rudimentary tenets of feminism is that nobody can seem to agree on what they are.

Also, knowing what the theory(s) is(are), and agreeing with it(them), are two different things. Despite the ridiculous arguments we have seen here lately.
posted by gjc at 8:10 PM on November 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Never, ever take [romantic advice] from someone of the opposite sex who is the same age as you because they will be unable to see it from your position.

But why is it all about them having to understand you?

Isn't it still instructive, to hear how a situation appears to somebody within your 'target market', even if if is different from your point of view?

To me, that seems like the very first step towards bridging whatever gaps in understanding might exist.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:31 PM on November 22, 2009


The sad thing is that he's apparently part black and refers to himself as "mixed race" and a "person of color."

Yeah, I assume this is the pianist father he talks about.

He is very 'white' in appearance, which apparently put him in a no-man's land with respect to some African American women. It has to be hard to be rejected by your own social group because of the color of your skin.
posted by eye of newt at 9:15 PM on November 22, 2009


Forget the Stradivarius comparison. I just want a man who doesn't pee in the sink.

Here I am, your knight in shining armor who doesn't pee in the sink!

I knew the day would come when I would meet someone loves me for who I am.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:40 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Jesus Christ, a pillar of Christianity,"

This is the best part for my money. Is it to distinguish between that one Jesus Christ who is important to Christianity and all the other famous Jesus Christs? Is it to remind us what Jesus Christ is famous for? "Hmm, I think I've heard that name before...what did that Jesus guy do again?" A little of both?
posted by Kwine at 9:43 PM on November 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Zambrano: “The woman you really want (fiercely independent, bright, sexy, self-actualized) thinks boy scouts are bores.”

That's not true. I personally know several such women who would be glad to have someone they could regularly consult on proper knot-tying procedures.
posted by koeselitz at 9:49 PM on November 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


I don't think the boy scouts learn that kind of knot-tying.

Hold on. I take that back.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:57 PM on November 22, 2009


I used to date a Viola. Awesome tailpiece.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:30 PM on November 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


The Golden Rule is all you need, really. If people would live by treating others the way they themselves would like to be treated, everything would be much better. Except for masochists.
posted by deusdiabolus at 10:32 PM on November 22, 2009


If a woman sat next to him at a bar and started lecturing him about Communism, or the environment, or how under appreciated Glenn Beck is, wouldn't that be equally off putting?

Sorry, not to derail but had to share how funny I found the mental picture of a pickup that begins with a rant about how under-appreciated Glen Beck is Someone should make that concept into a skit.
posted by bearwife at 10:59 PM on November 22, 2009


Man, I hate it when women just walk up to me and start talking about gender wage disparity.

Wait, what?
posted by Target Practice at 11:24 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I open with a slick one-liner, what's a nice guy like you doing in a male-centric non-monogamy zone like this? is my trademark. If he buys me a drink I complement his gender performance, he digs that and I know I'm gonna be in for some active consent. Ohhhhh yeah.
posted by kathrineg at 11:36 PM on November 22, 2009 [8 favorites]


He is very 'white' in appearance, which apparently put him in a no-man's land with respect to some African American women. It has to be hard to be rejected by your own social group because of the color of your skin.

I find that pretty hard to believe. His letter said he was put off by women "acting black", essentially, that they called him "white boy" Maybe they just didn't want to date him because he was an asshole. I don't think black women are opposed to dating white guys at all.

Also, isn't the problem for most women finding a guy they like? A woman can pretty much go up to any guy and strike up a conversation/hit on them. The problem is finding a guy they actually like.
posted by delmoi at 11:55 PM on November 22, 2009


It seems like we've reached the point where merely talking about women gets you called out as being a mysognist.
posted by faved at 12:01 AM on November 23, 2009


I'm willing to compromise. Kitchen sink: off-limits. Bathroom sink: fine.

Stop lying. If you're in the bathroom, you'd use the toilet. It's either the kitchen sink or an empty beer can.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:13 AM on November 23, 2009


I just want a man who doesn't pee in the sink.

Sure I pee in the sink...but that's only half the story.
posted by rhymer at 12:17 AM on November 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


I couldn't read it. I couldn't read it.

The words "Good Man" just made me feel all .... ewww-700Club-PromiseKeepers-eww.

I ended up chanting my favorite poem to shake off the chills - Objets D'Arte .
posted by Surfurrus at 12:24 AM on November 23, 2009


It's either the kitchen sink or an empty beer can.

You could always use a Fosters can & pop it back into the fridge for when guests show up; they won't know the difference.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:48 AM on November 23, 2009


Fosters: Australian for URINAL.
posted by koeselitz at 1:34 AM on November 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Surfurrus: “I couldn't read it. I couldn't read it. The words "Good Man" just made me feel all .... ewww-700Club-PromiseKeepers-eww.”

I had that reaction, too.

And then I suddenly started to feel very, very sad.
posted by koeselitz at 1:36 AM on November 23, 2009


Here's an example of this, from my own life. Several years ago at a previous job, there was a woman in another department that I found rather attractive...right up until she went off on some feminist diatribe about the executive "glass ceiling." What prompted her to do this, I do not know, since I was there to help her with a computer problem and hadn't myself broached any employment issues of any sort.

Maybe she was just trying to get the creepy IT guy to stop leering at her breasts and fix her god damn computer already.

One day when I was in college, I was going through the coursebook checking out math classes (I was a Chemistry major).

I AM SHOCKED
posted by granted at 1:36 AM on November 23, 2009


A woman can pretty much go up to any guy and strike up a conversation/hit on them

And some people who happen to be women don't like pursuing.
posted by flaterik at 1:39 AM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I held a door open for a woman today without looking at her (I think I was yawning, at the time) and got blasted for how-dare-I-pander-to-women. I shrugged - that didn't earn me any points, I'm sure - and kept the door open for the two guys behind her who rather than perceiving my gesture as a challenge to their personal power instead said 'thanks' and walked off.

Is feminism about ranting at strangers who happen to have done something polite? No, probably not - but there are people who think it is and who will act on that, often at volume.
posted by stelas at 2:15 AM on November 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm not reading the comments. They're literally putting me to sleep. More point and laugh please.

Instead, I will say this about the "feminism" - it's a philosophical viewpoint, and one I believe in. Go ahead and talk about it with me, please. And same with equality of the sexes. I'd love to have a considerate conversation about the glass ceiling or whatever else is bothering you, because I like to listen, I like to help, and social dynamics and justice in practice are two things that are very important to me. But if you make lazy generalizations about men or women, whether you're a man or a woman, fuck off to your hole in the ground where I hope you die alone.

:)
posted by saysthis at 5:10 AM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why should you trust me?
You shouldn't.


PHEW! Guess I don't need to read any more! THNX!

At the same time, this is no worse than a bunch of articles that have been floating around Google Reader/Facebook from some of my friends lately on "Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Him/Her Before Marrying" which is just awful tripe and I can't believe that my otherwise intelligent friends are perpetuating the idea that you should find out if she's a lazy golddigger before popping the question because you just NEVER KNOW. (And if she is a lazy golddigger, is she going to answer honestly when you ask her if she's going to call you every ten minutes while you're at work begging you to come home because her life is hard? Probably not. Also: life is hard. For everyone.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:57 AM on November 23, 2009


I held a door open for a woman today without looking at her (I think I was yawning, at the time) and got blasted for how-dare-I-pander-to-women.

So almost every time there's a "feminism conversation," a man among those sharing their opinions will relate an anecdote much like this, about getting some degree of hard time for holding the door, or letting a woman go ahead in line at the supermarket, etc.

It baffles me. I have lived for 20-some years in a highly-left-leaning university town brimming with strident people of all sorts, including feminists, and I have never once had something like this happen interacting with a woman in public. (Yes, I hold doors open and let seemingly-busier people go ahead all the time, too.) Maybe I am extraordinarily lucky? I'm not calling you a liar, stelas - I am honestly curious.
posted by aught at 6:02 AM on November 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's only happened to me twice ever and dramatically overshadows the amount of times I've gotten pleasant smiles and thankyous, so I'm not really trying to equate it to anything, it's just an interesting coincidence that it happened this morning. It's just a kind of sobering indication that sometimes I should be wary (or, y'know, keep on doing things exactly as I have been doing, because I'm not going to let outlier cases bother me.)

As a data point this was in Rugby, England. Locationally speaking I should have been tackled and had my balls kicked through a goalpost, or something, I guess.
posted by stelas at 6:12 AM on November 23, 2009


As a man myself, I would say that a "good man" is one who acts basically in accordance with the Boy Scout Law. For those, like me, who have been Boy Scouts, you know what I mean.

There's one episode of Beavis and Butt-Head in which Todd mows the two down in his car and growls, "What did I tell you little webelos about parking your bikes in my spot?" Since seeing that episode, I've started using "webelo" (sorry, BSA, I know the term is "Webelos Scout") as a substitute for "dork" or "wussy" or "son."

One thing that you should emphatically not do is start talking to him about anything smacking of feminism or any other anti-man subject. Don't do it. Good Men hear enough of that at work, in the news, at school, sometimes even at home from our sisters or mothers. Good Men will drop you like burning metal if you do this and will do whatever they can to--preferably tactfully--get away from you. If you persist, then they may well drop tact altogether and become quite direct. Either way, they will get themselves away from you.

A guy who identifies as anti-feminist is unfortunate enough. A guy who will run at the very intimation of feminism is the weebiest of the webelos.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:23 AM on November 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


First there's the nice little circular bit of logic that insists that you must be mistaken if you think he's doing something bad (to you), because if he loves you then there's no way he'd deliberately do something to hurt you. It's all in your mind, you silly woman, and if you stopped nagging him you'd see that.

Actually I resonated a bit with that quote and I personally read it differently than you did. I've been in a couple of relationships where the woman I was with assumed there was calculated reasoning behind everything I did, and therefore if something I did (not abuse, just saying something dumb or forgetting to do something) upset her, she assumed I did it in order to upset her. I think he's referring to the not uncommon phenomena of women ascribing meaning to men's words and actions.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:40 AM on November 23, 2009


And some people who happen to be women don't like pursuing.

That's fine, but their preference doesn't create a responsibility in others.

If someone doesn't like "pursuing", then that means that if they want to have relationships with people, they limit their options to only those who will pursue them.

But really, "pursue"? That seems like (it should be) an antiquated word or concept in a society where fairness and equality are valued. Are we comfortable with a societal structure that requires one gender to be the pursuer, and the other to be the chooser? It would seem so. And a structure that gives this privilege of choice to one gender and the duty of pursuit to the other only serves to make them both powerless. Women are taught that it is somehow less than proper to initiate contact with a man, and men are taught that such women should be avoided. Women lose the power of being able to initiate social contact with people they are attracted to, and men lose the power of being able to choose to reciprocate that contact. Unless either party wants to suffer the social consequences of messing with society's rules. When it is equally acceptable for men and women to be the initiators, we both gain power.

(Also. Freedoms, fairness, equality, suffering- all the various inequalities of life- are not additive. They don't cancel each other out. A society composed of a plurality of inequalities is not a fair one. And an imbalance of suffering between one group and another does not negate the suffering of either. If we were to take 10 average men and 10 average women, and told them (for science!) to hit the other as hard as they could, yeah, on average, the women probably would have suffered more injury. That doesn't mean the men's noses were any less broken. All 20 people would have an equally valid complaint against the researchers.)

(And power as a concept. Unless we are framing life as a competition, power isn't a zero sum concept. I look at power as freedom. The more powerful someone is, the freer they are. Having power, or freedom, isn't a license to infringe on the freedoms or power of others. And having less power or freedom than someone else isn't a license to try and take away theirs. If we are looking it as a "I got mine, screw you" versus "You got yours, now I'm going to try to take it for myself" game, we are all losers.)
posted by gjc at 6:45 AM on November 23, 2009


It seems like we've reached the point where merely talking about women gets you called out as being a mysognist.

No. You have to say stupid shit for that to happen. This dumb motherfucker in his little cargo shorts is writing letters to Ebony about black women "snapping their fingers in the "Z" formation" as if this were a real actual thing that happened to him. He's writing open letters to the whole world stating that feminism is an anti-man subject. Anyone who thinks that feminism is rabidly, uniformly anti-male is an ignorant cherry-picking dumbshit who learned everything they know about feminism from some bleary half-memory of a story their deadbeat father told them in a call from prison.

Boo-hoo, learning is hard! I know that there are plenty of men who can't be bothered to pick up a book that doesn't have barbarians and dragons and shit on the cover, but I wonder why they bother posting here and immortalizing their laziness.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:48 AM on November 23, 2009 [18 favorites]


faved: It seems like we've reached the point where merely talking about women gets you called out as being a mysognist.

No, you are confused. We've reached the point where talking like an asshole about women gets you called, correctly, a misogynist. It wasn't always this way. We call this 'progress.'
posted by shakespeherian at 6:54 AM on November 23, 2009 [6 favorites]


If you are divorced/separated/newly single, it's either because you haven't figured out how to select a good mate, or that you and the ones you select aren't any good at relationships.

No, for some it means that your relationship isn't healthy and you are both better off apart, and in those cases divorce is a good thing.

Or maybe it just means that you just haven't embraced apathy and laziness enough to realize that success in relationships is all about lowered expectations and keeping the bird in your hand because the ones in the bushes won't be attracted to you because you are over 30 and an unemployed grad student because you realize that he is really your best friend and the love of your life.
posted by jb at 7:11 AM on November 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I am all for snarking, and he put it out there to be snarked at, but I'd rather mock someone's shitty crafts than someone being honest about what he thinks.

Your "being honest about what he thinks" is my "Buster Brown is presuming to give advice to women on how to pick up men." and in my view his advice is pretty snark-worthy.

Having said that, I wouldn't start in on any contentious topic-- gender politics, American politics, religion, Mac vs. PC-- until I had gotten to know the person better. I have pretty strong opinions but I also know how to socialize.

Secret Life of Gravy: “Still, give him credit-- every woman in his anecdotes is "very attractive," "a hottie," "quite attractive." Either he runs with a very beautiful crowd or he really, really likes women in all colors, shapes and sizes.”

No, that's not actually true. The "good example #1" woman was "several years my senior and didn't have Halle Berry's physique."


"Didn't have Halle Barry's physique" is a pretty broad spectrum between almost as good looking as a movie star to the size of a barn. I guess I took it to mean "not quite as good looking as a movie star." I could be wrong.

I'm not reading the comments. They're literally putting me to sleep. More point and laugh please.

Thank you for sharing. It is really helpful of you to write and let us know that our comments are not up to your standards. We will try harder to amuse you because that is our primary agenda. [Hamburger]

It seems like we've reached the point where merely talking about women gets you called out as being a mysognist.

I would love to see an example of this. Tell me more about how "merely talking about women" got somebody labeled a misogynist. I suspect your "merely talking about X" does not equal mine.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:34 AM on November 23, 2009


Do not feed the two-day old troll whose username is a MeFi in-joke, people.
posted by mudpuppie at 8:38 AM on November 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


LOL...I went to high school with this guy and he was as bizarre back then as his essay is now.
posted by grefo at 9:10 AM on November 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


I held a door open for a woman today without looking at her (I think I was yawning, at the time) and got blasted for how-dare-I-pander-to-women.

Life's rough. Sometimes when I hold the door for men they simply refuse to walk through it since it's apparently too demeaning to have the door held by a woman. So there are just as many assumptions about gender attitudes at large to be made as there are about feminist attitudes, based on the actions of a few.

In other words, anyone who doesn't give it conscious attention is probably affected by stereotypes and misperceptions that perpetuate the problem.
posted by mdn at 9:14 AM on November 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


I feel like Do unto others ... is too generic. How about Don't use potential or actual mates to stroke your ego? I think most men & women have had dry spells caused largely by using prospects for ego fulfillment, and many have lost partners for similar reasons. Of course, playing hard to get does usually fall under ego stroking for women, but men engage in isomorphic behavior.

To score the mate, you should remember that human brains are ridiculously oversized display organs used to impress the opposite sex, and created by sexual selections, just like peacock tails. I think the easiest way to put this into practice is usually through your sense of humor, i.e. tell more jokes around your romantic interests, and observe who laughs at your jokes. Oh, human males and females are both equally intelligent, funny, etc., meaning this advice applies equally to both genders, unlike the peacock tail.

Conversational topics are also an incredibly good personality filter. In particular, talking about feminism will weed out all manor of guys you might find undesirable; just avoid letting your ego cost you real prospects while trying to make up for the disinterest of undesirables.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:45 AM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


My fiancee doesn't seem to believe it's possible for a man to be a feminist, let alone that I could be one. But I am one, and it's reflected in the way I treat her… and we're getting married… so I guess it all comes out in the wash. Labels don't really matter at the end of the day, as long as you treat each other well.

My fiancee doesn't have a university-level understanding of women's issues and Feminism-with-a-capital-F, she just wants to be fundamentally respected as an individual. You don't have to be an expert on gender politics to expect to be treated well by others. She doesn't want to become one either; she's cool with looking at the world through her current lens. Though I personally do have a *decent* grasp on that sort of thing, I'm cool with that for her too. Can't all the treatises and dissertations really be boiled down to Bill and Ted's "be excellent to each other," after all? I think maybe the author was coming from the same place as my fiancee, not getting into Feminism-with-a-capital-F (and in his case, finding it rather intimidating) and instead falling back on the trusty axiom of just being the best and kindest person he possibly can. I can't fault him for that.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 10:00 AM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think the problem I have with this guy is that he comes across as not actually knowing any women (at least in a non-romantic/sexual context), or ever bothering to figure out what they might actually think as individuals, which makes the notion of his giving advice to women suspect.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:16 AM on November 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Can't all the treatises and dissertations really be boiled down to Bill and Ted's "be excellent to each other," after all?

Unfortunately, no, they can't.
posted by kathrineg at 10:32 AM on November 23, 2009


Homuncula: I stopped reading at this point. A "good man" treats his partner like an independent human being with her own personality, desires, and foibles - not like a musical instrument.

I think it's fair to say that the harmonica is an exception to this principle.


Also, I'm gratified to hear that I can be both a playboy and a Good Man.
posted by khafra at 10:35 AM on November 23, 2009


Anyone who thinks that feminism is rabidly, uniformly anti-male is an ignorant cherry-picking dumbshit who learned everything they know about feminism from some bleary half-memory of a story their deadbeat father told them in a call from prison.

Awww, hell yeah!
posted by jfwlucy at 10:51 AM on November 23, 2009


I'm not reading the comments. They're literally putting me to sleep. More point and laugh please.

Thank you for sharing. It is really helpful of you to write and let us know that our comments are not up to your standards. We will try harder to amuse you because that is our primary agenda. [Hamburger]


Hamburger.
posted by saysthis at 11:05 AM on November 23, 2009


I see this ridiculous, stupid War Between the Sexes, and I'm tired of it!

Had to stop there. No war "between the sexes" actually exists. It's a war of domination which (some) men inflict onto women and then blame women for not surrendering. If he's tired of "the war" then he needs to advise men instead, not women.

An article listing the reasons "why women should love the sexist pigs" would fill a glaring niche, btw. That's one question I've never been able to figure out.
posted by bravelittletoaster at 2:29 PM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can't all the treatises and dissertations really be boiled down to Bill and Ted's "be excellent to each other," after all?

First Jesus, now Bill & Ted. Why do these laws always have to be laid down & embedded by men?
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:21 PM on November 23, 2009


Can't all the treatises and dissertations really be boiled down to Bill and Ted's "be excellent to each other," after all?

People misunderstand what other people consider "excellent." It's a necessary starting point but if you try to end there you'll blame everything that goes wrong on other people being jerks, when it really could be that you just don't get it.
posted by mdn at 3:32 PM on November 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


STATION!

I would suggest that a knowledge and understanding of feminism might have more influence on a person's ability to start and/or maintain a relationship with a 'good man'.

Alternatively she may become a lesbian when she realises the fish/bicycle interdependence theory, according to the prophecy of the feminist agenda. YES the feminists are working with the HOMOSEXUALs on the AGENDA as they have a shared goal! I read wrote it on the internet on proper website!!!

Now the truth is out they will probably hunt me down and turn me gay too!

They will have to prize this hamburger from my hot, sweaty fingers!
posted by asok at 4:40 AM on November 24, 2009


Had to stop there. No war "between the sexes" actually exists. It's a war of domination which (some) men inflict onto women and then blame women for not surrendering.

While I agree that there is a serious power disparity between men and women, it's also true that at least in regions of the world where women enjoy relative equality (i.e. they have all the same political, economic, civil and human rights and protections as men and enjoy similar levels of achievement and secuirty) one could argue that women engage in at least as much emotional and psychological manipulation of men. This is probably what he's talking about.

The recent thread on women's experiences of physical and sexual abuse and harassment was a real eye opener, but the truth is most men are unaware of this dynamic. So they may experience only the manipulation -- which, believe me, definitely takes place and on a fairly significant scale -- and not realize that there is this entirely other component of fear and domination that is also going on. In that context, they might experience what is going on as war with equal manpower (no pun intended).
posted by Deathalicious at 5:10 AM on November 24, 2009


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