On Being "Men"

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by KinkGuy, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. KinkGuy

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    Are we still men? When and why have we become so sensitive, shy, metro, pan, non-sexual? This is all IMHO and I would really like to open a truthful, meaningful dialogue. I don't think young men today are being emasculated, I feel it's more a matter of not being "masculinized", to make up a word. For the most part, everything in our lives now is coed, cross gender and incredibly "correct." The lack of "male" influences, environments, gym classes, education, paternal involvement and guidance (half of today’s youth are being raised in single parent households, most often the mother) are all elements which contribute to today’s pan sexuality. Fathers, grandfathers, coaches, teachers, preachers and family members, I guess society at large, is not doing their job.

    This may start a fire storm, but I think men have been far too feminized. It creates a fear of being male and masculine. Men are virtually ashamed of being male, having a cock and we spend a great deal of time and energy suppressing natural instincts, behavior and attitudes. I am NOT saying men should be anything but gentlemanly, gracious, well mannered, educated and thoughtful. Men can be masculine, male and not be Neanderthals, yet still be Men. Is all of this physical distaste and self consciousness I sense and read about from modern men be the result of a lack of camaraderie, fraternity, male rites, passages and bonding and yes, training?

    A female perspective here would be particularly informative.

    Just my stupid curiosity and observations, but could it be something worthy of discussion? If this is just too over to top, or I am misguided, I'll come back and delete it. Let me know everyone.
     
  2. jonb

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    I could blame those Queer Eye people, but I think part of it is that people don't even realize that being equal doesn't mean being the same. A couple years ago, these urban Indian women were making a big deal because they weren't allowed to drum five days out of the month. (Guess which days and earn a cookie.) The other part is the focus on the individual.
     
  3. KinkGuy

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    Very astute, as usual.
     
  4. dcwrestlefan

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    I agree with some of what you said.

    More boys are growing up with single moms. True. But if you take ones from the inner city that are raised in a poor, violent, scary environment, its hard to make an argument that these boys are somehow less masculine. Quite the contrary - they show the worst side of male culture at times.

    Boys on average do better when they have a strong male influence overall. No doubt.

    One thing that does sorta bother me. Males are not really allowed to have their own space anymore in alot of cases. No exclusive men's clubs. Its viewed as sexist. But the same cannot be said for women. Case in point - its considered ok for a female reporter to be in a mens pro sports locker room after a game talking to the players. But, its NOT ok for a male reporter to be in a female locker room after a game. Why? This is total hypocrisy.

    Hell, even in wrestling, females are starting to scream and yell that to participate, they have to wrestle boys. I dunno - put yourself in the place of a 16 year old high school kid having to wrestle a girl. The issues are obvious. Its one of the reasons the sport is in decline unfortunately, along with the uptight attitudes toward something that requires so much close contact and skin tight gear. I want girls to wrestle, but am squeamish about mixing the sexes in this sport.

    Women ARE equal to men. That does not mean they have to participate in everything men do. Or vice versa.

    I would like a happy medium here. You don't have to be a raging asshole to be a "man". But I don't want to see the day when all guys are plucking their eyebrows, wearing makeup, and shaving their pubes/legs either.
     
  5. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    But who still changes the light bulbs?
    Who still takes out the garbage?
    Who still trims the hedges?
    Who still washes the car(s)?
    Who still plays horsey with the kids?
    Who still makes mama happy between the sheets?

    The man does.

    Sure, he might do the dishes or cook the food (the kitchen was MINE in my 20 year marriage).
    Sure, he might go to a boutique to get a haircut (if you can afford it, what the hell).
    Sure, he might choose to wear the pink tie every once in a while.

    But he's still the man.

    There's no such thing as an over-qualified man.
     
  6. madame_zora

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    Well, I have a mixed bag of feelings on this issue. First, I agree that the sexes are becomming too blended, but not in the right ways. Women aren't encouraged to be feminine- we're encouraged to become boob-implanted blow-up dolls. Men are chastised for anything remotely "macho", while as Pecker points out, they are still expected to do the "manly" household chores. When there's a man in the house. Herein lies the problem.

    Many, many households are now headed by single women who are mothers. I am one of them. I managed a sales team for a fortune 500 company, raised my daughter, took out my own trash (thank you very much), got promotions, helped with homework, had maintainence done on my cars, fixed things around the house,
    so it pisses me off more than a little when men flex their muscles around me, or want an exhorbitant amount of respect paid to their every little accomplishment. I won't let them monopolise a conversation without giving equal time. I will argue to the death for equal pay, or pay based on merit instead of gender (grrr- why is this STILL an issue? I actually had one employer tell me he paid the men more because they had families to raise- knowing I was a single mom! Needless to say, I wiped up the floor with him).

    Another problem is that a lot of business is conducted in what were traditionally "male only" institutions, like golf courses and country clubs. If these were truly leisure only places, I'd say let them allow whomever they want, but excluding blacks and women from these places limits our ability to keep up in the workforce, which is completely uncool. If I can work like a man, and can swing a club at least well enough not to hold up the course, I can't see a compelling reason why I shouldn't be allowed in with my co-workers just because I have boobs.

    By a landslide, most men are not mature enough to be in a women's locker room without leering (the VAST majority of porn is made for men, as well as the entire adult entertainment industry. Female strippers outnumber male strippers by about 100 to 1!!). It's sad but true. Wishing for equality is not good enough, if you want to be treated equal, you need to ACT equal. By and large, women are not as lecherous as men, so being in a lockerroom is less of an issue. BTW, I'm not in favor of this, I don't think anyone needs to be in lockerrooms of either gender, let the poor bastards shower in peace!

    I love Queer Eye, and I love gay guys whether they're flaming or not. I think gay men add flavor to the blandness of the world, but most men are not gay. Much can be learned from gay men, but straight guys need to find role models elsewhere. Family members (if good ones are available), teachers, neighbors, friends. Equal is NOT the same. Men need not cower to women, nor emulate gays.
    In our changing society, our roles desperately need redefining for the clarity of us all. It's just not good enough to have a call for revisiting the "good old days when men were men" because our society just isn't like that now. Men still need to be men, but in a way that is culture current so we all have room to breathe and a place to feel at ease.

    FWIW in a realtionship, I like a guy who won't let me walk all over him. Oh, I'll do the walking, if I can get away with it, but I won't respect him much. I celebrate the differences in the genders, and while I like a guy who's capable of expressing feeling, I also like it when he's confidant in his "manliness", whatever that is. If I wanted to be with a girl, she'd be blonde, beautiful, and have big tits! LOL.

    Yeah, Kinkguy, the subject is worth bringing up, thanks.

    *Oh god, I'm going to add to an already obnixious post, but I just re-read the original query about lack of fathers, grandfathers, etc. This has been a choice of men- to shirk their responsibilites to their children. I've always said that men have choices that women do not, and one is to walk away from an unwanted pregnacy. (Let a woman try that!) It's long overdue that men in our society pull up their pull ups, stop whining about how their life will be ruined (as if they had nothing to do with it) and RAISE their children. I think that would solve the vast majority of the problems of male emasculation. Try PAYING child support instead of hiding your income from the judge. Maybe show up now and then in the kids' life so he knows what you look like. Not being married to your baby-mama doesn't absolve any man of his responsibility to his child. BTW, girls need fathers too, the absence of said is equally horrible for us. There are limits to what a mother CAN do, some things are just better handled by men.
     
  7. jeepwranglerboi

    jeepwranglerboi New Member

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    This is a very interesting subject and I am sure that I will not be able to express myself as eloquently as I would care to do but I agree wholeheartedly with the lovely and talented Mme. Z. I come form a line of very strong women. They were strong because they had to be. The men either died or could not get work so the women ran the house, raised the kids and brought home the pancetta as well. I am very proud of the women in my family and I have a great deal of gratitude and respect for them and any other person who has dealt with what they have.

    So, what is a man? What constitutes being a man? I suppose that most people would assume that it is machismo, dominance, a provider, lusty and a lack of communication skills are all symptoms that come to mind. To me a man is comfortable in is own skin, accepting, caring, willing, loving, nurturing, passionate, proud and sensitive among other things. Being from a Mediterranean family the men have that definite sense of machismo. However, they have no problem showing emotion. We aren't ashamed to cry. We are passionate and full of life. We know what matters most in this world is love. Men kiss and hug each other. Men say, "I love you" and aren't ashamed to say it. We respect people. We stand up for what we believe in but are willing to accept when we are wrong. We make mistakes but we accept them and allow them to better us as people. Men aren't afraid to express how they feel. I have always felt that I am more of a man because of this. I may not be able to fix a car or the sink or be the financial provider but I know who I am, I am willing to listen and learn and I will give every fibre of my being and be the best man that I can be.
     
  8. viking

    viking New Member

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    It seems to me that we are talking about AMERICAN CULTURE HERE, WHICH IS FINE.
    But I'm not sure that I am clear on whether or not we are moving in a clear direction of change or, maybe it's a fluctuation in attitudes that is an inevitably shifting scale. In the fifties, Men were men who worked, ate, bred and drove exceptionally sweet cars!

    Men were seperate, in control and very closed minded.

    Then comes an equalizing shift that for many reasons, changes that.

    How has that affected Men?

    Lack of control
    Lack of privacy/ autonomy
    Increase in openness
    Increase in family involvment

    Jeep ( :9 ) makes a good point that core values may not be changing that much.
    Honesty, love, dedication...

    "To me a man is comfortable in is own skin, accepting, caring, willing, loving, nurturing, passionate, proud and sensitive"

    Our Values may still be a part of our being even if the dynamic of how we relate to females and other men has changed.

    Masculinity?? Defined as "the trait of behaving in ways considered typical for men"

    Considered typical by whom?
    Your own experience of masculinity is created by those who surround you.

    After living in San Francisco for 10 years, Boy oh boy!
    Masculinity means something totally different to me than it did when I was growing up
    in rural Florida.

    I'm described by my peers as one of the most masculine men they know.
    I build things, I'm strong, I'm sexual.
    But I also have long hair, I wear ear rings and jewelry and I've recently taken to
    wearing a kilt. Oh yea, and I can sew and cook better than most women.

    So, how has my experience of Masculinity shaped my image of myself?
    I'm free to be whomever I want to be as long as it means that I am
    comfortable in is own skin, accepting, caring, willing, loving, nurturing, passionate, proud and sensitive"


    PS. I was also raised around very strong women.
     
  9. jonb

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    As usual, Jana says it well. Single parenthood is primarily because of men skipping town. Kinda hard for a woman to do that, at least until the child's weaned. Part of the problem, I think, is that in a lot of cases, the TV becomes father to them. That doesn't work well, since television is primarily a marketing tool, so it doesn't provide very good male role models. Part of this is in turn because Western society focuses on the individual, so men can easily forget about their kids and there's no support network in place.

    I have my own list of grievances against women, Jana; the worst thing is how women tend to be so possessive. Guys have friends too, so ladies, can the Yoko Ono shit.

    As for my crack at Queer Eye, I was mostly pointing out that now marketing seems to cross gender lines. Did you know I once saw nail polish for men at the mall? I was like WTF?
     
  10. jeepwranglerboi

    jeepwranglerboi New Member

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    Nail polish for men is actually very 'in' at the moment. It has gone from high fashion to the streets.
     
  11. viking

    viking New Member

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    Nail polish for men is actually very 'in' at the moment. It has gone from high fashion to the streets.
    [post=289271]Quoted post[/post]​
    [/b][/quote]

    I gotta get me some of that!
     
  12. jonb

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    Seems kinda silly to me. I guess black nail polish is cool, if you're going for a goth look.

    I may have grown up in a bright blue spot on a red wasteland, but I still wonder who got the bright idea of marketing makeup to men. Prior to that, the only rule for men was "If you wear track pants, concentrate on images of Margaret Thatcher naked."
     
  13. jeepwranglerboi

    jeepwranglerboi New Member

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    Seems kinda silly to me. I guess black nail polish is cool, if you're going for a goth look.

    I may have grown up in a bright blue spot on a red wasteland, but I still wonder who got the bright idea of marketing makeup to men. Prior to that, the only rule for men was "If you wear track pants, concentrate on images of Margaret Thatcher naked."
    [post=289281]Quoted post[/post]​
    [/b][/quote]
    LOL Try wearing track pants, no underwear and use the elliptical machine at the gym. Believe me, as I speak from experience, Margaret Thatcher won't do any good. :D

    As for men wearing make-up, I think it can be kinda hot. Then again, that could be from my theatrical background as I am pretty use to seeing men in make-up. I've been known to throw on a little black eye liner and smudge it for a smoky look from time to time when I go out. Bronzer and concealer also can do wonders. Now, I have seen some men who wear foundation, etc. That is not my thing. Cosmetics as an enhancement is fine by me though. I guess to each their own but then again, I do live in Manhattan which is fashion forward. What is hot here reaches the rest of the country months to a year later and normally by then it is out of vogue here in the city.

    Men wearing make-up has been around for hundreds of years. Ancient Egyptians, Ancient Greeks and Europeans during the Georgian all pop into mind. I certainly do not want to sound offensive but Native American war paint could also be considered make-up to a certain degree could it not?
     
  14. jonb

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    True, but face-painting isn't as simple as trying to impress. For example, a man who had killed an enemy honroably would have a red line above his eye, branching at both ends; it goes from just above the gap between eyebrows around the left eye to the cheek. Similar lines on the limbs indicate a heyoka.

    I was more thinking of the whole thing about marketing what's historically been a women's domain to men.
     
  15. jeepwranglerboi

    jeepwranglerboi New Member

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    That is very interesting jonb. I guess that society and the media are starting to place the same requirements on men as they have on women for hundreds of years. Everyone is looking for that perfect image. That universal epitome of beauty. I've actually read a really wonderful book called The Adonis Complex. I've lent it to a friend but as soon as I figure out who the author is I will post it here. I guess the title of the book is pretty self explanatory. Check it out sometime if you're interested.
     
  16. viking

    viking New Member

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    Do you really thik it's because of feeling required to achieve beauty?
    Or, is it because we can safely go out in public and admit to people that we want to be beautiful.

    No matter what that beauty is, we are free to express that because of a new attitude toward individualism. It's true that we have a lot more images of beautiful men to compare ourselves to and to emulate, but really, you wear eye liner because you think someone will notice it and think it's hot/ or you will catch a glimpse of it in the mirrored club wall and think you're hot.

    Nothing wrong with being admired or with admiring ones self!
     
  17. jeepwranglerboi

    jeepwranglerboi New Member

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    Do you really thik it's because of feeling required to achieve beauty?
    Or, is it because we can safely go out in public and admit to people that we want to be beautiful.

    No matter what that beauty is, we are free to express that because of a new attitude toward individualism. It's true that we have a lot more images of beautiful men to compare ourselves to and to emulate, but really, you wear eye liner because you think someone will notice it and think it's hot/ or you will catch a glimpse of it in the mirrored club wall and think you're hot.

    Nothing wrong with being admired or with admiring ones self!
    [post=289319]Quoted post[/post]​
    [/b][/quote]
    Well put. I think it is a litle bit of both. Especially being in the entertainment industry the pressure is there but like you said, who doesn't want to be beautiful and an individual.
     
  18. Pene_Negro_Grande

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    I agree w/Jeep...This a very interesting topic...For myself, I do feel I may not be the most masculine guy around because of being raised by my mum when my parents divorced...But I am not an emotional person due to the fact that my mum was not and she was very strong...I definitely feel that my personality comes directly from my mum and that makes her easy to talk to and easy to buy clothes for her because we have similar taste too...But most of the straight guys I hang out with do the whole manicure/pedicure, facials, massages, have more skin care products than women (eye cream, wrinkle reducers, moisturizers even though the majority of them are under 30), get their hair colored, and one or two who I just recently found out wear make-up...I think it is pretty cool now when straight guys actually get into really taking care of themselves and interested in improving what they already have...

    PS - well put Madame_Zora
     
  19. KinkGuy

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    But, are they trying to "improve" on what they are.......or trying to hide their inner being?

    What drives the desire to change, alter, improve or mask their outer selves?
     
  20. hungthick

    hungthick New Member

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    men have been feminized from the advertisers and marketing agencies in america. men are now considered objects and many men feel they have to match this stereotype and are learning to pamper themselves much like women have been doing. personally, i like a regular guy (one that has a belly and is mismatched in clothing and doesnt care about his hair). this is just my opinion.
     
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