Author Topic: Confusion about Manliness  (Read 1196 times)

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Offline kindred

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Confusion about Manliness
« on: March 27, 2013, 09:45:36 AM »
I want to discuss the male standard.

If you are a dude, you know what standards I mean. The words "man up" is a social institution worldwide. The standards men are given are unrealistic and most males fall flat and never achieve them. Why? Because no human , male or female, can live up to them. The standards are too damn high. Yet, I like it that way. Should this really be how it is? Maybe these standards are wrong and the only reason I agree to them is because I was indoctrinated into them and that the world might be a better place without them?
 
Most every human male has had a low point in their life. By the unrealistic standards of what a "true" man is, most of us are disqualified from the honor of being called "men." Yet, its this unrealistic standard that has given birth to the likes of Dr. Jose Rizal, Miyamoto Musashi and other "men" who have achieved that unrealistic standard in their cultural context. Granted, these unrealistic standards also drive men who have seen horrors that they cannot face in a suitably dignified manner into suicide. These same standards also allow most of us to look at a homeless man or a raped man and scoff at them for not being "man enough. "

When I try to look at it from an outside perspective, the male standard seems stupid. Men are not born superior to women yet men are expected to outperform them due to arbitrary shite. I am a dude myself and I know that it is irrational to think of myself as inferior to a woman if she is my equal yet I still do. I know that sounds stupid but I honestly believe that. Yet it doesn't make sense. Guess I'm just rambling now. Any thoughts on the matter?
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Offline Dante

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Re: Confusion about Manliness
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2013, 09:53:53 AM »
I want to discuss the male standard.

Interesting topic, but could you define what you mean a little more clearly? I myself am male, but I'm not sure to which standard you are referring. I mean, I get your general context, I think, but I don't completely understand where your coming from, or going with it.
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline One Above All

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Re: Confusion about Manliness
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2013, 09:58:20 AM »
BM
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Offline kindred

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Re: Confusion about Manliness
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2013, 10:03:41 AM »
You know, the general "you are a man." The whole you MUST achieve something noteworthy in your life(as if we could all be nobel laurates or cum laudes), the whole attitude that if you ever get raped/assaulted/killed its because you weren't strong enough to defend yourself and that you are less of a man for having those shortcomings. Its the unrealistic standard that most cultures have. Its the cultural idea that if you ever come back from a war as veteran that you shame your very self by being traumatized and not having the balls to be okay after seeing all the horrors you just went through.
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Online ParkingPlaces

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Re: Confusion about Manliness
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2013, 10:11:50 AM »
"Manliness" is apparently one of those things that varies a lot from family to family, town to town, etc. I was never raised with such strange expectations, but my neighbor was. If he didn't do the right thing as a male child, he got the crap beat out of him. And as an adult, I have known men who play the role with gusto, and others, such as myself, who kinda forget we're supposed to be all testosterony and stuff.

The level of manliness kindred is referring to is probably, for the most part, something left over from about 50 years ago that refuses to die. Not that it had no redeeming features (taking responsibility for ones actions comes to mind), but the power-tripping/husband as master/find a mate with a club stereotypes should have disappeared by now. Again, there were things about the overall attitude that were just fine, but the male-superiority thing has got to come to a grinding halt. We're good, but we're not that good.
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Offline Astreja

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Re: Confusion about Manliness
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2013, 10:15:58 AM »
There's a website I occasionally like to visit, "The Art of Manliness."  Interesting thing is that the skills that they promote as essential would be beneficial for anyone, male or female.

The "manliness" standard does need to be challenged, particularly the proscription on males daring to show emotions, and the implicit suggestion that men are somehow obligated to do the heavy lifting in life even if their partner is equally capable.  I'd like to see a universally practical standard rather than a gender-dependent one.
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Online Jag

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Re: Confusion about Manliness
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2013, 10:28:22 AM »
Oh, what the hell. I'm just wrapping up a superficial review of this topic for my Psychology and the Media class, so I'll add my 2 cents.

Advertising and television are prime sources for the perpetuation of this standard (though not the only ones). In fact, skip tv shows and just look at print ads or commercials. Men are routinely shown as powerful, women are routinely shown as passive - not even talking about sex or sexual suggestion, just the physical positions compared between the genders. Intellectually, it's easy to understand how much that's just crap, but the constant reinforcement of the crap, while subtle, is real.

Cultural influence is extremely difficult to counter, but recognizing it helps. Now I'm going to wander off to the website Astreja mentioned...
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Offline kindred

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Re: Confusion about Manliness
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2013, 10:31:02 AM »
@astreja

I've actually been to that site and you're right that it promotes betterment of oneself rather than male specific betterment(as if there's such a thing).

But I do, honestly, subscribe to the whole "men need to shoulder the burden" idea. I don't know why. I can't logically justify it. All I know is that I'm a man and though women are allowed to be whiny and useless, I can't be. I have far lower standards for women than men. Part of me thinks this is stupid and unfair to both men and women and another part tells me I'm a whiny p*ssy that can't live up to what a man should be.

Heck, even my parents think the same way. My mother is the "man" of the house. She brings home the bacon and generally acts like a man because as she would put it "she's got the man's job and should act like it." She tells me that women are generally bad business partners or costumers because in her line of work you can't expect them to keep their end of the bargain without contracts. In her line of work there are alot of small-scale orders that are far too small to write up a water tight contract to, forcing you to rely on verbal contracts. She tells me that you can't guilt women out of cheating you through technicalities by saying they have shamed their honor as "men" making them very bad business, indeed.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Confusion about Manliness
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2013, 09:25:00 PM »
Interesting question. Here in Australia I think the idea of 'being a man' has changed a lot in a short period of time, and in my opinion this has been driven by the great advertising machine. The whole 'metrosexual' marketing campaign really went into overdrive a few years ago, affecting the type of clothes men buy, the way they do their hair and even the bag they carry around.

Even so, I still here frequent references to 'manning up' and to 'be a real man'. Just yesterday my colleague was telling me that her daughter had finally split from a bad relationship. As she was struggling to get furniture into her car, her elderly male neighbour came limoing out to give assistance. My colleague later told her daughter "I hope you paid attention to what he looked like, because you were seeing a real man"

Yes, interesting. By many standards I'm a terrible 'man' - I can't reverse a trailer very well, don't know how to tie knots properly and if I was asked to build a cubby house I wouldn't know where to start. But my wife tells me she wouldn't swap me for all the 'man' types in the world, so....whatever.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Confusion about Manliness
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2013, 08:35:57 AM »
But my wife tells me she wouldn't swap me for all the 'man' types in the world, so....whatever.

She's probably a lesbian.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Confusion about Manliness
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2013, 02:56:40 PM »
Is that a worthwhile or necessary comment? Why would you say that?
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Confusion about Manliness
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2013, 03:45:06 PM »
Is that a worthwhile or necessary comment? Why would you say that?

come on, mm, that was pretty funny.  You set yourself so completely I could not resist. 
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Offline Dante

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Re: Confusion about Manliness
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2013, 03:49:27 PM »
Pretty funny my ass.

It was fuckin' hilarious.
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: Confusion about Manliness
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2013, 03:53:14 PM »
Well, alright then.

For the record, I don't think she is. She's at her job right now (changeroom attendant at a lingerie store), but I'll ask her when she gets home.
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Offline kindred

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Re: Confusion about Manliness
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2013, 10:58:41 PM »
Have you guys ever read "feminine" literature?

I've read some thanks to a few college courses and they come of as uninteresting and stupid to me. All the talk of emotions and inner struggles is incredibly boring and stupid for me.

Instead of having a hero whether male or female overcoming their limitations and self-doubt to become something more, something we are meant to aspire to and will never be able to empathize with, they focus on normal humans. "Feminine" stories show a normal human dealing with normal human drama and being very trivial and banal. There is no achieving of greatness, fighting for a cause at incredible loss to oneself or anything that shows humans rising above mediocrity. In fact, there is almost a celebration of mediocrity, as though somehow, a woman stressing about how well she cooked her food or her normal 9-5 workjob is on par with a president creating country wide radical change or an inventor breaking new ground or a war hero achieving an important objective at terrible personal cost etc.

The most offputting thing about this type of literature is that the internal turmoil is somehow just as important as the actions one ultimately arrives to. Its weird to and comes off as wrong to me.
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Re: Confusion about Manliness
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2013, 04:33:26 AM »
Its the cultural idea that if you ever come back from a war as veteran that you shame your very self by being traumatized and not having the balls to be okay after seeing all the horrors you just went through.

I don't know whether it is a cultural difference between countries but I do have to admit here in the US our Veteran's Administration does attempt to reach out to soldiers who suffer from PTSD. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)  I have firsthand knowledge as a combat veteran.  I am always getting flyers in the mail and there are signs posted at the clinics and VA Hospitals I go to.  Although I am female I know the males have access to the same resources as I do.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Confusion about Manliness
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2013, 07:17:40 AM »
Have you guys ever read "feminine" literature?

I've read some thanks to a few college courses and they come of as uninteresting and stupid to me. All the talk of emotions and inner struggles is incredibly boring and stupid for me.

Interview with a Vampire.  One of the worst pieces of shit excuses for a book I've ever had the misfortune of reading.  Get fangs, lose your penis.  Ann Rice should be blacklisted by the publishing industry.  Thank goodness she's not published anything in ages.

The only other contender in the "Terrible Literature" genre would be Last of the Mohicans.  The only book I've never finished.  Mark Twain hated him (Fennimore Cooper) too.
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