“Yeah I want you to empathize with my emotional needs, I want you to listen, and I enjoy loving, meaningful sex with you, but seriously, grow a pair of balls, bro”
see, that kind of thing is a real turn off to me. I associate it with confusion personally. confusion over roles and emotional wants and needs. If i’m trying to be emotional with a woman, the last thing i want her to do is to turn around and tell me to grow a pair of balls, esp if she has already given me permission to be that way with her.
each to their own. and we are derailing this thread haha
ODI: Believe it. :-)
Well I am delivering those lines out of context to the actual relationships themselves. And also you have to understand that most of my friends are, surprise of all surprises, less than politically correct about how they express themselves.
As someone who is raising a son, I don’t like the “grow a pair of balls” advice. It should have nothing to do with what is “manly.” Having “balls” is an extremely macho expression. Perhaps you are using it and they did not use it. I would never tell my son such a thing in all seriousness. It smacks of locker room smell to me.
The issue of relationships has a lot to do with confidence. That spans across genders, and is about being a human being, not being male or female. This improves with age for an introverted person. I may not be as introverted as some here but I have my reserved aspect, and certainly insecurities have stemmed from that because people who are all “hanging out” seem to get all the attention.
If either of my children grows up to be somewhat or more than somewhat introverted, one of them is a little like that, I won’t be telling them to grow a pair of balls. I WILL be telling them to relax, learn to make fun of people with big egos, and be confident that there are people out there in the world outside of their own family who will dig them and “get” them.
And btw, I’m married to someone who is much more introverted than I am. And I like him just the way he is. Because he’s a thinker, he has a great sense of humor, and he has no qualms about being who he is. Without telling other people to go fuck themselves, he tells the world to go fuck themselves if they have a problem with him. If that makes any sense.
i sincerely hope by the time your children are grown these issues of confusion over gender roles have been worked out satisfactorily for everyone. i have to admit i sympathize with some of the frustration of men who’ve grown up in the last 30 years. but men and women still find ways to get along on an individual level
You’re responding more to the connotation of the words from your perspective than the meaning they hold to people of my generation (or at least, to be fair, my specific peer group), which is going to make expressing our perspectives difficult, and that’s what I mean by bringing up the issue of generational transitions into alternative ways of thinking of “masculinity” and “feminism” (note I didn’t say “femininity” or “masculinism”). ‘Grow a pair of balls’ means ‘stand up for yourself’ in the same way you state ‘Without telling other people to go fuck themselves, he tells the world to go fuck themselves if they have a problem with him’, but that my buddies for better or for worse are more willing to just say ‘Go fuck yourself’, in those precise words.
Granted, there are better ways to express yourself than expletives, and expletives overused tend to lose their power to become, ultimately, inexpressive.
“i sincerely hope by the time your children are grown these issues of confusion over gender roles have been worked out satisfactorily for everyone.”
I want to state for the record that my mother and I have a lot of in-depth conversations about generational issues and this is one of her deepest wishes. She is the one who describes to me the dissonance her male peers went through as they sorted out the competing value systems of their fathers’ traditionalist patriarchal values and the feminist demands for transitioning away from those roles. She said it was painful to watch and that she feels quite confident with what she observes in ‘my generation’ (by which she is referring to my friends and me) that it’s getting better, but yes, like Odi she thinks we could use some work putting our perspectives into better words.
yes, there’s little doubt it’s getting better :) i think the worst is definitely over
when i saw drive i felt like it was addressing this issue to some degree. and also the extended adolescence that seems to go on forever now, in part because there are no real rites of passage in our culture (off topic, i know). like jazz said, a film about manliness. but i see hope for the future in this generation of young men, more so than the last one, when it comes to the gender ‘war’
Yeah, I get that, DiB.
There’s a generational disconnect. I think.
And yeah, using expletives to express everything has become very, very common during the time I’ve been alive. I’m not sure why. But I remember the first semester I came home from college, mind you, a woman’s school (although right across the street from a co-ed one), my dad was taken aback and said I was swearing like a sailor. Some of my female friends were like that (though “pussy” was not a word that was used), hence, I picked it up too.
I’m not sure about that trend because as you say, those words become kind of meaningless after a while…
Hmm, that’s interesting Ruby, about Drive — how so?
As for generational issues, I grew up during an era when many mothers were stay at home moms. Then I went to college, and it was all like, “get a career.”
The hardest thing I find, now having a job (but not a “career”) and being a mother is that somewhere along the way, families got entirely pushed out of the picture. Now during the summer, working parents have to pay for “day camps” to have their children taken care of if they have no family around to help, or money to have a nanny. You’re constantly stressing about the state of the public schools and how you are going to move to an area which has them, and keep moving from pre-school, to elementary, to middle school, to high school and keep trying to figure out how you’re going to get to work from that spot, spend more time with them than the 10 minutes a day that Dr. Spock said was sufficient (and by that I mean, just being around them not necessarily “quality time”), oh my GOD it’s so different from when I grew up. It’s so hard to coordinate and you have to have two jobs (mother and father working) and you’re on this stressful rollercoaster of worries constantly.
We gained something by getting to go to work, but we lost something in terms of getting to spend time with our families, slow ourselves down to children time, just for a little while.
I think women of my generation are conflicted about things too.
absolutely ^ it’s been a hell of a transition.
Well you know, it’s that feeling of being there. I like that kind of family time, when everyone’s doing their own thing but not necessarily communicating. It’s kind of quiet company…
Bringing this back to Tucker Max, one of the reasons his stuff is getting so much critical attention, especially negatively, is because that sort of frat boy Game dominance model is also a reactionary compulsion, in a sense, to those transitioning values. That’s the thing about social change and reactionary values in general: the change itself is so complicated and involving in internalized contradictions that it’s almost an emotional/stress release to just throw aside the whole conversation and revert back to what we know. After all, if it were the case that society was better organized with women devoted to the household and supplimentary to the man (which it isn’t), how much easier would it be to sort and organize these relationships?
In one sense, this is what the movie Fight Club is about as well. “We’re a generation of men raised on women…” is the actual quote, and the unstated ellipses is “…that is why we punch each other to raw meat now to release all this tension and stress.” I would put forth that that’s one of the reasons why young men who haven’t yet developed the expressive skills to state what they want and need in an emotional relationship find the movie so compelling, and the best part is that since the men take it out on each other consentually, the movie does not come across as necessarily misogynistic or self-destructive.
yes ^ i’m actually a fan of that film. it captured that zeitgeist moment very well
and i wonder about the popularity of something like mad men, which is almost shocking in showing how far we’ve come in a relatively short timeframe. it’s a good show of course. i just wonder how many men watch it somewhat wistfully lol. i certainly know some older men who would welcome a return to those days
I know how i can avoid these ‘generational problems’ between the sexes that annoy me, but unfortunately it involves winning the lottery and moving to either Columbia or the Ukraine.
Until then, i’m just going to nod in agreement with Odi and Pol and accept my lot.
And for the record, i see things getting worse. More men choosing to ‘opt out’, so to speak.
There will be consequences.
What have you people been doing?
I thought by the time I got back the differences between men and women would have been straightened out once and forever …..;-)
BTw, Tucker is very confident and clear about communicating his personal needs.
What I don’t understand is how this garbage could hit the NYt bestseller list twice.
I guess there is solace in knowing a few hundred thousand fans out of a population of 300 million isn’t worth getting concerned about.
I’ve never seen that film, but Ruby how can you not want to watch Salo and be a fan of Fight Club? I mean, they both sound like they’re about violence to the body and the spirit…
Opt out? Come on. Like what, become a monk? Cavort with the sheep?
No Joks, no.
LOL! well perhaps i’ll give it a try since bijoux is planning to watch it too. we can have our own girls discussion group. are u in, odi??
“What I don’t understand is how this garbage could hit the NYt bestseller list twice.
I guess there is solace in knowing a few hundred thousand fans out of a population of 300 million isn’t worth getting concerned about.”
Let me track down if I have time some editorials about the limitations and contradictions of the NYT bestseller list and why it may not be all that significant. Suffice to say controversy sells in enough numbers to create readers out of sheer morbid curiosity and his sale numbers is NOT indicative of people’s embrace or acceptance of his ideology.
“I’ve never seen that film, but Ruby how can you not want to watch Salo and be a fan of Fight Club? I mean, they both sound like they’re about violence to the body and the spirit…”
Whoa whoa whoa the mind boggles at where to begin to explain how these movies are two wholy different monsters altogether…
haha thanks DiB ^
Well yes I know that DiB, but once you go to people pummeling themselves into meat, you can always go further into degradation…
For the record, neither of those movies are on my “must see” list.
“Suffice to say controversy sells in enough numbers to create readers out of sheer morbid curiosity and his sale numbers is NOT indicative of people’s embrace or acceptance of his ideology.”
Also, I have a running theory on how this applies to the sale numbers of Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly et al. The most dedicated, close-reading, and massive amounts of readers I’ve ever found of authors like these are those looking for fodder to use against them.
Here’s one blog taking on the question
Here’s an amusing fallout based on this idea By the by, I still know people who are buying Machine of Death and I think that Beck book’s sales have essentially tapered off.
I’m thinking more of the ‘alpha female’ aggressively career minded women who can’t stand passive men. Like, the ‘Amazon’ archetype.
We have evolved a lot as a culture but paradoxically I think it’s led us more back to our natural instincts. We have different personal needs now but our base hormonal instincts are the same as they were thousands of years ago. It’s not ‘women like jerks’, it’s ‘women like assertiveness’ and ‘women like alpha-ness’.
Anyway, we need to stop worrying about ‘gender roles’ and worry a little more about ‘individual roles’. Don’t worry about how men or women are supposed to be, worry about how an individual person is best at being.
“Well yes I know that DiB, but once you go to people pummeling themselves into meat, you can always go further into degradation…”
Yes but pop nihilism is a world of different… juju… than the Nazi-inspired Sade adaptation of serious and sober exploration of evil. It’s almost a “First World Problem” sort of difference — pop nihilism is only understandable in the type of culture like our own where we have the privilege and comfort to conceive of such a thing. Fight Club is high school goths to Salo’s mass graves, and even the people who actually think opening their own fight clubs is a good idea would still drop that shit if anything as real as the complete fascist destruction of body and mind Salo portrays happened in front of them, even if they were not the victims, I think.
I mean, there are always sociopaths around to be inspired by even such honestly tongue-in-cheek narratives as Fight Club to decide to start blowing media outlets up or whatever, but you cannot account for those people. The worldview Fight Club portrays is inherently founded in American consumerism, either as a product of or reaction to, depending on your opinion on the matter, whereas Salo couldn’t be further removed from that social context.
“Anyway, we need to stop worrying about ‘gender roles’ and worry a little more about ‘individual roles’. Don’t worry about how men or women are supposed to be, worry about how an individual person is best at being.”
If only it were that easy!
Jirin — what DiB said:
That’s the thing about social change and reactionary values in general: the change itself is so complicated and involving in internalized contradictions that it’s almost an emotional/stress release to just throw aside the whole conversation and revert back to what we know.
It’s not ‘women like jerks’, it’s ‘women like assertiveness’ and ‘women like alpha-ness’.
I think it’s more like women like to feel secure. And men like to feel secure. And where that leads to, or came from, I have no idea… (i.e. a situation that calls for individual psychoanalysis)
Ok, DiB, I get where you are coming from (with Fight Club vs. the extreme world of Salo).
Well actually, I think that’s precisely the historical trend on just about every level. Sort of the Francis Fukuyama reader in me coming out, but as we’re continually clarifying self-representation and having broader access to fundamentally different perspectives, cultures, and needs, wider social rules are getting broken down into increasingly smaller units of individual compromises and communications. I mean, feminism is finding its equilibrium and we’re just fireblazing right on to human rights in alternative sexuality, while the reactionaries are still trying to claw away at basic wide social regulations of contraception and women’s health that honestly, the really real world of modern people couldn’t be fuckered to worry about anymore if these dying-generation asshats didn’t actually think they could reverse this trend (they may set it back decade by decade, but I cannot help but feel they’re fighting a losing battle and that in a large way explains their extremism in the matter, because they are correct in feeling like they’re ideologically cornered and the only way to get attention is to lash out and wail like fucking babies. We would in fact just blow them off any other way.)
Actually, a really good webcomic that deals with these issues of increasingly variegated and liminal issues of self-identity and representation, especially from a feminist perception, is Subnormality
A Saturday Evening in the Future