Tuesday, July 27, 2010

5 Stupid, Unfair and Sexist things expected of men - redux

In Greta Christina's article for AlterNet, she posits 5 things she views as sexism men have to put up with, and the unfairness of it all. Which, of course, SOUNDS good, until you read the article, whereupon the reader discovers yet another, tired rehash of the Patriarchy Hurts Men Too argument, or PHMT.

This tired old trope gets brought out every once in a while, when the Feminist du Jour feels a bit too much pressure from the outside world regarding her man-hating, Female-supremacist movement, and needs to show Feminists "Like Men Too". Of course, any man reading this crap will know just how many ways she's got her head up her ass. But it's occurred to me in the past that the reasons for this might not be quite as painfully obvious to her (and her Feminist male friends) as they would be to someone who is not only comfortable with being male, but feels absolutely NO guilt or shame for it at all..

See, unlike the eunuchs in Mens Studies courses everywhere, I see nothing "hegemonic', or nefarious, in Masculinity at all. To an MRA, there's nothing at all 'wrong' with being male, or masculin. No, the 'wrong' is in the social expectations and treatment of the Masculine in our society. In this aspect, and likely ONLY in this aspect, does the MRA and Feminist analysis of Masculinity converge.

In order to effectively address the arguments presented, I will refer in order to Greta's points. Rather than the traditional Fisk, I will attempt to summarize her point, then continue. I say this only to illustrate the spirit in which this article was written, namely in the hopes of clearing up some serious Feminist misconception when it comes to mens issues (assuming, of course, the 'misconceptions' aren't simply deliberate misrepresentation).

Point 1: Fight, fight, fight!

In this section, Greta outlines the masculine imperative to be physically ready and capable of fighting, at a moments notice. She contends that men's 'need' to be ready for aggression is 'weird':

"Even if conflicts never get that far -- even if you never actually have to pound anyone with your fists -- being both willing and able to do so is a weirdly high priority in the Penis Club."

And I do not, in any way, disagree with the assessment that men must be, at all times, ready and willing to fight. Sometimes, simply because another dude decided it was time for you to fight. But there's another aspect of this that Greta quotes a friend outlining in the very next sentence:

"And Damion told me this story: "I'm in the passenger seat when my (relatively butch) sister-in-law flips off some guy in Baltimore traffic. He jumps out of the car, enraged, and my first thought is 'Great, now I've got to beat the shit out of this guy.'"

Which brings to mind, exactly how much of this aggression is actually men being aggressive, and how much is forced upon them by the female next to him? It's pretty common knowledge that women get off on aggressive guys. The whole 'Bad Boy' thing has been discussed to death, it's neither a secret, nor a small influence on female behaviour. There's a couple of ways in which male violence could simply be female violence by proxy. I find it interesting that Feminists have very little to say on this topic, including in this article, where the section is closed off with this:

"So men are expected -- indeed required -- to avoid and deflect confrontation, and to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence.

And when they do, they get called pussies.


Which leaves one with the impression that it's masculine society, or other men doing the name-calling. But another possibility is that it is women, not men, passing negative judgement. Indeed, given the sexual selection criteria, and preferred method of violence, of the vast majority of women, it is highly likely that the name calling and sexual shaming language is almost exclusively doled out either by women themselves, or for their benefit (as means of eliminating male sexual competition via drop in status).

But, rather than rant, let's move on, shall we?

Point 2. Be a good husband/partner/lover -- but don't care too much what women think.

Here, Greta curiously tosses out this line:

"Being a good husband and father -- a good provider who cares for his family and treats women with respect -- is central to the male mythos."

then completely drops that line of inquiry by sliding into a quite accurate description of the pressure put on men to perform in bed. Not only does a man have to be a sexual dynamo, but he has to be so with every woman he is with, AND he has to have a lot of women. As a 'double standard' she presents 'not caring too much what a woman thinks' as the impossible situation...then goes off on a tirade that men are supposed to (er, not supposed to) care what they look like, making the assertion that this whole thing smacks of homophobia....


Here's a public service to all you Feminist types...

Men DO view being a 'good provider' as central to the male ethos. But it is not the sexual proclivities of women, nor is it any kind of pressure to 'look good' that makes this impossible. It's pretty easy to see why Greta dropped that as quick as she did, considering it's the Family Law system, and the "Feminist Utopia" types, that have created the inability for men to realize this role.

Should a man actually be able to secure employment well-paid enough to 'provide', it's still next to impossible to find a woman who would view this as anything more than 'normal entitlement', and more than likely he would be viewed as an 'oppressor'. And when she gets bored with him, she can take it all away and continue to make him pay. Men cannot have this role without the woman's permission, and should she rescind his 'headship' of the family, he will quickly find the power of the State forcing him into indentured servitude.

This fact is behind MGTOW's and the Marriage Strike. Which is exactly what was intended (and openly stated as such) when Feminists lobbied for No Fault Divorce.

The rest of her assertions in this section all amount to men trying to appeal to women, and women changing their minds repeatedly. See, unlike women (according to them anyway), men don't dress up to feel good, or impress his friends. We dress up almost exclusively to gain the attention of women. So when you see men flopping around fashion-wise, that's 100% the fault of women voting with their feet (in the air), and their reliance on gay men to determine what's "hot".

Point 3: Be hot to trot. Always. With anybody.

Her initial point, about men not wanting to introduce 'fat chicks' to their friends, is quite accurate in my estimation. It's true, no one wants to be a 'chubby chaser' since dating a bigger woman pretty much screams to the world "I can't get a hottie, this is the best I can do!". The unending pressure to 'perform' pops it's head up here too, in that men are expected to be up for it, no matter when, and no matter with who (provided they're female).

Of course, this is a wild exaggeration at best. I don't think I can recall a time where I have either been, or heard of a guy, talking about some fat troll who made a pass at him, and had another guy demand I should have had sex with her. No, I'm afraid Greta is betraying a fair bit of sexism of her own here, buying into a stereotype any guy out of high school would laugh at...

But here's a question...

How many rich women proudly introduce the convenience store clerk they're dating, and are so in love with? How many women go to the bar hoping to snag an unemployed dude? How many short women insist on men over 6 feet tall?

Greta, it's not just men that are 'superficial'. Hell, our 'list' tends to be WAY shorter than yours...

Point 4: Stiff upper lip.

Here, Greta details with several quotes, the need for men to 'man up', to never complain, to bear the pain silently, etc... She says:

"I, personally, might be able to manage a life where I always had to be willing to fight or fuck; where I had to walk an impossible tightrope between caring what my partner thought without caring too much; where I had to twist myself into knots to avoid any hint that I might be attracted to people of the same sex. (See below.) But a life where I had to deny my most basic animal emotions -- love and fear, passion and grief -- just to not get treated as a gender freak? That would send me screaming 'round the bend."

I want to give you a kewpie doll for that one Greta, I really do. Problem is, you are still outright avoiding admitting one, small thing: it is WOMEN doing that to men, not 'society'. It is the very act of trying to please both Feminist dictates and Female sexuality that men find themselves twisted up into knots, both socially AND legally. Moreover, it's getting worse by the year, not better.

Point 5: Fear of being perceived as Gay.

Again, right on the edge of 'getting it', close enough that it begins to look more like misinformation than analysis, if truth be told.. But here, she posits that straight men must walk a fine line between being a hairy bush man and a creamed- and manicured- metroman. Somehow the Murse became acceptable, and here, Greta argues that men shouldn't be perceived as 'Gay' simply for using such accessories.

She then goes on to detail the social taboo for most men to experience anal sex as recipient (which, apparently, Greta is a fan of), and finally, to lament the fact that male sexuality isn't as 'fluid' as women's.

And you know what, I can't argue with this all that much. No, I've never had the desire to shove an object in my anus, but if someone else wants to put something in his, more power to them. Frankly, I don't know a whole lot of guys that care one way or another if a guy is gay (aside from the change room type stuff, and considering the sexuality, it's a valid concern...sort of like allowing straight men to change in the women's locker room).

But you know who I do see using the word "Gay" as perjorative? Women. More specifically, Feminists. In this day and age, as Greta has pointed out, homosexuality has very little stigma attached (returning us to the level of acceptance of 200 years ago)...except one main area. Shaming language.

And you can't shame a homosexual by calling him a 'fag'. Ask Scott Thompson.

In the final section, greta writes:

"I've skipped some of the biggest and most important gender expectations of men: the expectations of competition, of status consciousness, of financial success, strength and athleticism, leadership skills, mechanical skills, easy erectile functionality, a dehumanizing attitude towards women, giving a crap about sports. Heck, men get a clear social message that, in order to be manly, they have to be tall. What the heck are you supposed to do about that?"

Read that list again Greta... Every last single one of those pressures is instilled by women, not men. They are all among the criteria women look for in a 'real man'...at least, they SAY they do... And the height thing? 100% completely, utterly, and without any division of guilt the fault of women's sexual preference.

So really, what's the point of the article if you're going to get it all so wrong?

A clue:

"Admittedly, because of my own personality and proclivities, the men in my life tend to be -- how shall we put this? -- outside the mainstream of conventional American society. ("Big nerdy pinko freaks" would be another way to put it.) And a lot of them are gay or bi, which skews the sampling even more. But just like lots of feminist women are able to laugh off the sitcoms and billboards and women's magazines and live however the frack we want, lots of feminist men are able to unload the John Wayne/Cary Grant/"What kind of man reads Playboy" crap they got loaded with -- or, depending on their generation, the Rambo/Tom Cruise/Maxim magazine crap -- and just get on with their lives."

Lemme see, most/all of her friends that are male are social outcasts (either by choice, or not), many are gay or bi, and there's a conspicuous lack of mention of marriage / parenthood...

While there is definitely a good percentage of people like this in the world, I hardly think it's even close to representative of most of society - a fact Greta herself admits readily. Given this skew in her close relationships, I can see where some of the divergence from reality in her article came from...

But that's the PHMT argument in a nutshell. Largley consistent of 'issues' which only Feminists and certain interest groups care about, along with the inevitable lack of analysis of cause.

While I appreciate the attempts of Feminists to 'understand' the plight of men (while, of course, minimizing it in the process), I think the days of men being told what to care about are over....

So, hang on to your panties, ladies, you chose a pretty wild ride.


  1. I HATE this kitschy, feminist way of speaking:

    "however the frack we want"

    'The frack'? Do you actually talk like that in real life? In that cutesy, patronising, intensely irritating way? Do you call people 'douchenozzles' and say 'douchery' and just attach other words to the word 'douche' as if the frequent references to vaginal irrigation make you sound sophisticated or intellectual?

    'The frack'. Seriously?

  2. Oh, and these five 'examples of sexism that men face' are largely irrelevant.

    She should have gone for:

    1. Institutional and systematic legal bias against men, from arresting to charging to conviction rate to length of sentencing to prison conditions - all of which are worse for men, because we are men and for no other reason.

    2. False rape accusations and the power which has been given to women to destroy a man's life by telling a lie, of which there is no defence or equivalent power on the part of men.

    3. Systematic and institutional destruction of men's relationship with their children in family courts, which has no parallel to speak of when it comes to women.

    4. Alimony, still paid after divorce from men to women, in an age where women are actually out-earning men.

    5. Four out of five suicides being male.

    I could go on and on; I'm sure I could get to twenty before I had to stop and think.

    And in case any wandering feminists hadn't twigged yet, THIS IS THE KIND OF THING THAT MRAS ARE ANGRY ABOUT, and it's very serious shit.