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Shau
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30 Oct 2013, 2:28 am

Now after that, *ahem* debacle before, I've had plenty of time to think and organize my thoughts, and I want to address a major topic that's been brought up by Boo more than once, cause I'm pretty sure it's affected me quite a bit now.

To summarize, I started going out with this girl from Laos late July and by and large it's been a good relationship, however there has been no shortage of drama associated with differences in culture and communication difficulties, on top of all the normal pitfalls of relationships. The most recent drama came from her overly domineering personality. She had been really laying it down on me, trying to dictate this and that, complaining about things I did, and so on. Especially prominent were these comments about my masculinity (boys should/n't do this).

What I ended up doing was threatening to break up with her without actually being at that point (yet, but was getting there). A "mind game", as it were. It worked, but it's not exactly how I'd prefer to solve our relationship difficulties in the future. Normally I'd be inclined to just sit down and talk with her about it, but the way she had been railing on my masculinity made me feel that such an approach would be perceived as "weak".

Now the PUA guys were hardly the first people to introduce the notion that women are attracted to masculine men and men to feminine women. That s**t's been hammered into the psyche of Western civilization since long before the advent of the internet. The fear of being seen as "effiminate" and hence unattractive by women plays a pretty big part in guiding me toward masculine behaviors. Another thread on the topic by Dr. Nerdlove suggests that men are the primary perpetuating agents of masculine norms.

...however, I have a hard time buying it. I didn't try talking it out with my gf at first because I was afraid my male friends would see it as unmanly. I was afraid my girlfriend would see it as unmanly. The bros be damned, so long as I'm getting my piece of ace I could give a s**t what they think.

So that leads me to the question. To what extent are women responsible for perpetuating masculine behavior in men? At least in my case, they play a pretty big role.



jerry00
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30 Oct 2013, 2:48 am

dunno but I feel sorry for you putting all that effort into finding a woman only for her to tell you you're not man enough.

and you can't complain about a woman not being womanly enough because that's sexism. It's only ok for them to do it to us.



leafplant
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30 Oct 2013, 2:55 am

Shau wrote:
The bros be damned, so long as I'm getting my piece of ace I could give a sh** what they think.


You pink fuzzy fluffy romantic, you. :P

There is no one answer fits all question. For instance, I will regularly de-masculinise any man I come into contact with. Not on purpose or anything but I think it happens with people because we are all more or less wired to please and people pick up subconsciously that I want them to be softer so they change to suit.

In relationships it all comes down to what peoples beliefs are and these are taught so as you mentioned - sometimes can be cultural in nature.

Ultimately, the feminine / masculine thing is one of sex. Just as secondary sexual characteristics in body type attract the opposite gender, so do the behaviours play the part in the complex game that is the mating dance.

If your lady wants you to act a certain way it's because it turns her on on some level - it doesn't mean you have to adopt a wife-beating attitude in your whole life if she asks you to stand straight and not hunch your shoulders (for example from my personal experience ;))



The_Face_of_Boo
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30 Oct 2013, 3:03 am

Dr. Nerdlove's article is too full of sarcasm and hence can't be taken seriously, he for example he "disapproved" the existence of alpha male in nature by linking to a new finding about wolves; it may be true that wolves don't have alphas but what about some ape species, lions and other species?

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Another thread on the topic by Dr. Nerdlove suggests that men are the primary perpetuating agents of masculine norms.


Not only men are guilty in that, I would dare to say that women play a bigger role here - women in most societies are usually stronger "culture keepers", they care more about norms, cultural values, customs and even religion, yes religion, there are fewer female atheists than male atheists, and women are more likely to be practicing religion. Women are less likely to become religiously extremist but more likely to be moderate to devout religious.

A very old Christian Arab proverb: "Praying is for women" -because there was always a higher female attendance to church and all church activities, correct me if this is wrong for the US.

Another perfect example is the Femen-Muslims clash, it was the Muslim women, especially the veiled of them, who felt most offended by the Femen's topless parody protests and they were the most loud in attacking Femen on social media and also against the Tunisian Amina herself, most modern Muslim men I know had mixed feelings from being offended to pleased for seeing the femen pics lol - but overall they were less serious about it.

And among those customs/values that a lot of women try to keep, there's the gender roles and masculinity.



Solvejg
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30 Oct 2013, 3:49 am

As a very tall woman i notice this a lot. Usually the first comment a new girl will ask me is "isn't it hard to get a boyfriend?"

Women tend to want to have a set of rules in their minds that follow a certain pattern. Anyone or anything that deviates from this is seen not as a something differant and unique but as something that may prove them wrong and needs to be brought down.

There was a male member on here that was very vocal on the fact he thought that masculinity was the crux of being a man and that if a woman was taller then him, that he would be less manly. Then i managed to get him to think about it for a moment. why was it only height he was ashamed of and he actually realised that he was scared of other women judging him as ,less manly based on being with a tall woman.

Personally i don't feed into gender stereotypes and even though i am tall and it could be very easy for me to be negitively influenced by societal norms of over feminising myself to make up for my supposed feminine defect of height, i just do my own thing. I love paleontology and ecology. I love motocrosss and dirt biking. I ride a motorbike in the city. I am a handy mechanic and i am tall and i am a girl. I own who and what i am and refuse to conform.


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ValentineWiggin
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30 Oct 2013, 4:50 am

Solvejg wrote:
Women tend to want to have a set of rules in their minds that follow a certain pattern. Anyone or anything that deviates from this is seen not as a something differant and unique but as something that may prove them wrong and needs to be brought down.


I really do find the exact opposite- the posturing that occurs in all male spaces involves hypermasculine behavior that most men would never actually display around women, and that speaks to horizontal enforcement of gendered norms as induced by competition, either natural or culturally-created. The gendered nature of homophobia is another example.

It was already shared that women are less dogmatic religious believers, for instance, and their reputation as politically-progressive is unquestionable.

(As per their being more likely to be involved in religion in the first place, that's kind of expected- there are still consequences for opting out of religious practice, and wherein women possess less power and independence, they're far more vulnerable to backlash for leaving or just the lack of support system, which as primary caretakers can't be underestimated. You'll also find a dearth of women in even radically-leftist organizations, but not because women are such status quo stalwarts, but the same mechanism- the penalties for defying dominant paradigms are borne disproportionately by those most reliant on them).

As for the Femen protest backlash, there's an untold amount of personal gain to be had for women who break rank and fight for reactionary causes, for the same reasons they live under patriarchal norms in the first place. In America, there are many women, several nationally-prominent, who run around bashing abortion rights and advocating cuts to women's health care programs and access to day care, and they've been rewarded with stardom.

So I believe women more so than men reject rules for rules sake, especially under the guise of authoritarianism- they are progressives and Democrats, etc- whatever is the most progressive one can be without being considered "radical".

Of course, all this deals with interpersonal opportunity costs, not structural and institutional power inequalities- so in that sense, as well, it's a bit silly to assert that women police male presentation and behavior more so than the opposite, from an institutional POV.


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Last edited by ValentineWiggin on 30 Oct 2013, 5:13 am, edited 3 times in total.

octobertiger
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30 Oct 2013, 4:55 am

To what extent are women responsible for perpetuating masculine behavior in men?

Depends on the man. Depends on the women.

Naturally, some men are more feminine than other men would be, anyway - and not necessarily in terms of behaviour, but in terms of thinking and some values. Obviously this feeds into some masculine behaviour.

You've got to ask - if women totally disappeared off the planet, would 'masculine' behaviour still continue, and if so, to what extent? And what of men's prisons - without women, does that change masculine behaviour?

To some extent, but not entirely. It's difficult to quantify.



ValentineWiggin
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30 Oct 2013, 4:59 am

There's a fascinating novel my fiance's reading called "Herland", and the entire premise is a nation of only women who have been without male contact for 2,000 years. The major ongoing conflict and also humor (between the male narrator and his two buddies who have travelled there) is in attempting to explain to these women how they are "supposed to" act and look, and why. One of the men is a very hot-headed and quickly becomes enraged by a buildup all the little differences in their behavior which to an entitled person is an affront. He perceives them as overbearing simply because they don't hedge their sentences or stop speaking when interrupted, and they're societally-evolved to "habits of thinking and speaking with clarity and force". They also have short hair, and don't "paint their faces", so he perceives them as being masculine.

EDIT: Parthenogenesis. Because I know someone will ask.


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Last edited by ValentineWiggin on 30 Oct 2013, 5:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

Kjas
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30 Oct 2013, 5:05 am

I gotta ask shau - why are you with a woman who isn't going to deal with conflicts and misunderstandings in a mature, calm and direct manner? Apart from general compatibility and attraction, feelings etc the test of most relationships is a lack of conflict resolution skills. It's probably also the reason many of them, even good ones, fail.

Im asking because you seem like a pretty smart guy who wouldn't usually be the type to overlook this fact.


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The_Face_of_Boo
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30 Oct 2013, 5:05 am

octobertiger wrote:
To what extent are women responsible for perpetuating masculine behavior in men?

Depends on the man. Depends on the women.

Naturally, some men are more feminine than other men would be, anyway - and not necessarily in terms of behaviour, but in terms of thinking and some values. Obviously this feeds into some masculine behaviour.

You've got to ask - if women totally disappeared off the planet, would 'masculine' behaviour still continue, and if so, to what extent? And what of men's prisons - without women, does that change masculine behaviour?

To some extent, but not entirely. It's difficult to quantify.


It would definitely change everything drastically but no one can tell how.



The_Face_of_Boo
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30 Oct 2013, 5:07 am

Kjas wrote:
I gotta ask shau - why are you with a woman who isn't going to deal with conflicts and misunderstandings in a mature, calm and direct manner? Apart from general compatibility and attraction, feelings etc the test of most relationships is a lack of conflict resolution skills. It's probably also the reason many of them, even good ones, fail.

Im asking because you seem like a pretty smart guy who wouldn't usually be the type to overlook this fact.


[whispering] because, like a lot of aspie males, he had been single for too long, that's why he's trying best with this one, why else do you think?



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30 Oct 2013, 5:10 am

I dunno, someone who actually "lays it on" someone because "Boys shouldn't" (blah blah blah)... I would toss that one back in the sea.


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30 Oct 2013, 5:19 am

Shau wrote:
...on top of all the normal pitfalls of relationships.

Sorry, this is probably off-topic, but, what?



Ferrus91
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30 Oct 2013, 5:21 am

The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
[whispering] because, like a lot of aspie males, he had been single for too long, that's why he's trying best with this one, why else do you think?

It is kind of more interesting that the question was asked in the first place... I don't think it is obvious to many on the outside when it comes to this quite how it often feels there is a complete lack of choice for many aspies. That's kind of the crux of a lot of my issues with advice about this - a lot of it seems based on a myth of infinite plasticity of personality/neurology without a recognition of the basic limits of that person in question, because neurological disorders don't seem 'real'. Imagine a a blind person asking the same kind of questions - their limitations about the kind of relationships they could seek would be fairly evident to anyone who cared to look.



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30 Oct 2013, 5:33 am

Ferrus91 wrote:
Imagine a a blind person asking the same kind of questions - their limitations about the kind of relationships they could seek would be fairly evident to anyone who cared to look.


But there are advantages with that - for instance, the blind person wouldn't be as interested in appearances (I presume), and thus would concentrate more on who the person was, and the practicalities of such a relationship. Would life perhaps be 'better' if we were all selectively blind to appearances, and were thus forced to look deeper?

And, not saying that it's easy, but there must be some advantages in everyone's position. Perhaps an aspie male has more chance of finding something really special, given (sometimes a lot of) time, because he simply filters out/does not attract as many 'average' relationships, just by being who is is. Perhaps that's just overwhelmingly Pollyanna and I deserve to be hit with a Tefal non-stick.



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30 Oct 2013, 5:36 am

ValentineWiggin wrote:
Solvejg wrote:
Women tend to want to have a set of rules in their minds that follow a certain pattern. Anyone or anything that deviates from this is seen not as a something differant and unique but as something that may prove them wrong and needs to be brought down.


I really do find the exact opposite- the posturing that occurs in all male spaces involves hypermasculine behavior that most men would never actually display around women, and that speaks to horizontal enforcement of gendered norms as induced by competition, either natural or culturally-created. The gendered nature of homophobia is another example.


i have never seen this hypermasculine behaviour you talk of. I also think you can not fully weigh in on what i am saying until you are taller then men, display predominantly male hobbies and lifestyle choices and dress in a stereotypical male way like i do. I deliberate left out that i am generally in the cusp area of transman/ tomboy/ gender neutral territory as i don't see the relevance of sexuality and gender ideology in this conversation.

I have never ever had a negitive comment about my interests/ dress style/ height/ relationship philosophies from men except that i am cool. I however receive multiple negative comments from women every day about my lifestyle.

Anyone who has any qualm's about what i have said, go look at a few car/ weighlifting/ adult forums and compare with mothering/ childraising/ crafty forums and you will see a strong difference.

Also maybe shau's girlfriend has just never been exposed to a difference in cultural ways before and want's to learn. She deserves a chance.


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