Our Shared Shelf discussion

2761 views
Intersectional Feminism > Reviewing Toxic Masculinity and Female Privledge

Comments Showing 1-50 of 77 (77 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Pam (last edited Apr 03, 2018 06:37PM) (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
Equality is a big part of my feminism. I believe that women are as amazing and as corruptable as men. That the problems we face aren't because a gender is born with sex traits but rather because certain dogmatic beliefs are taught, reinforced, and exploited.

I'm also a big believer that the next generation can make a difference as they begin to see that certain things don't make sense. (Like what we're seeing with the March for our Lives work)

So the things I rally against:
- Unnecessarily Gendered products:
Color coded products that say pink and purple are for girls, brights are for boys. As well as girl crackers, women's ear plugs, scent killer etc.
- Favoritism in the court system specifically in the custody rights
- Gendered professions or stigmatism toward traditional female roles. Murses for an example. They are nurses! Not male-nurses. Female basketball player. She is a basketball player. Get over the need to add a gender.
- Lack of clothing choices. Why can't men were dresses?
- etc etc.

You'll notice these things aren't just for the binary genders. By removing these problems we're also supporting LGBQT rights as well. Because "traditional" values is akin to saying only a man can do this and only a woman can do that. Completely cutting out the idea that two men can raise a child well, that a transwoman can be a stable parent, and that as intersex you are free to identify aa you want.


message 2: by Pam (last edited Mar 31, 2018 08:28AM) (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
So first topic:

Friend Zone.

A situation in which a friendship exists between two people, one of whom has an unreciprocated romantic or sexual interest in the other.

Now. Before we roll our eyes. Let's look closer. I'm not siding with anyone here.

According to communication theory: there are multiple forms of friend ship. Link for various types of friendship: https://prezi.com/p/yfzp4vgmumir/type...

Most females are taught to participate in communal friendship: friendship in which friends gather often to provide encouragement and emotional support in times of great need

Most males however are taught to participate in agentic friendships that say you do things together but you don't open up emotionally.

Where does society tell boys it's okay to open up? Once they come of age, relationships that deal with emotions are traditionally only with intimate relationships.

That's right. When girls open up their feelings this means to a traditional Western male that the girl is seeking something more serious than hanging out. But to a girl is just means they are sharing.

You want to stop the ridiculous idea of friendzoning? Allow for young boys to express themselves emotionally. Don't say things like "be a man" "suck it up" or "why don't you cry about it pussy"

Show them as an adult, two men can deal with anger as much as they can with grief. Give examples of how you can work through depression.That it's okay to be happy! Joyful and jubilant

And that if two men share this sort of friendship that it's not IMMEDIATELY:
- a Bromance. Because again, were applying a gender here for what should be just considered a healthy friendship.
- Gay! Part of the stigma attached to showing emotions is the idea that if you do your sexuality is called into question. This is a problem for men's emotional development as well as the stereotypes against gay men. Plus! And this is big, don't immediately "ship" them or put them into a relationship...because that's exactly what we're trying to stop- that you only share emotional details with someone you're in a relationship with.

Two men or boys can have an emotional conversation without it being seen as gay, a potential intimate relationship, or without silly names to desexualize a normal healthy relationship.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm agree with your whole idea @Pam. : )

It makes me remember when I looked for a flatshare / houseshare, there were written in a lot of ads "For female only."

It upsetted me as it was already enough hard to find a flatshare where I looked for.

I said myself "If I can't find a flatshare accepting me as a man, I have to be ready do disguise myself as a woman and we will see..." : )

I think we really need to remove all the prejutices from the head of people and stop saying things like woman behavior must be like that to be viewed as a woman and man behavior must be like that to be viewed as a man. It's a real burden in life to always control his behavior to avoid certain person to be nasty with us.

There is no behavior's pattern at all and we should be free to act as we want to feel completely good about ourself... without the fear of others' judgment.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Hey! Hello!

I have the feeling that this first topic (of a long series hopefully :D) is mainly about flow of emotions, their recognitions and sharing them. Am I wrong?

I prefer to ask before going further and to post something about it ;)

Have a nice one!


message 5: by Pam (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
Not wrong at all Florian. I welcome you to post more.


message 6: by Michaela (new)

Michaela (yuvilee) | 124 comments I'm always a bit jealous of the english language when it comes to equality. In german, words have a genus, a gender. There are few neutral forms, if you use a word to describe a persons job, you take the male version (and maybe add the female version). It's so great that in english you could just use one word that is neutral and encompasses all genders. So i never understood why then to add a male/female to these great neutral forms.


message 7: by Jas (new)

Jas (thependlebtch) I must admit that I haven't given much thought about the lack of neutral terms in other languages. I can only imagine the barrier this creates when talking about gender equality; it's hard to argue with a language that people have spoken for centuries, which doesn't back up the idea that everyone is equal. As if it wasn't hard enough already!


message 8: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 01, 2018 01:58PM) (new)

Michaela wrote: "I'm always a bit jealous of the english language when it comes to equality. In german, words have a genus, a gender. There are few neutral forms, if you use a word to describe a persons job, you ta..."

Same thing in French, words are gendered. To complicate a little bit more, we have also the formal you "vous" and informal you "tu" I really dislike when I speak French.

So I'm very jealous of English tongue too. ; )


message 9: by Krystal (new)

Krystal (crazylittlebookpage) | 55 comments Pam this is a great topic and I think that the way to break these barriers we can start with ourselves. By teaching our boys and girls that toys have no binary, I don't submit to this discourse because it is harmful in today's society where we have trans women and men as well as genderfluidity. I also don't submit to the construct that this idea that a man and a woman cannot be friends because the man will only want to have sex with you or the woman is "friendzoning" you. It is our duty as a society to start to break these ridiculous gender barriers down so they encompass everyone and not just one gender or the other.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Pam wrote: "Not wrong at all Florian. I welcome you to post more."

Ok, I am taking time to think about it since it is a complex topic which imply complex answer. So I need to clarify my own though first :)


message 11: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 02, 2018 06:42PM) (new)

Good evening everyone... well it depends on where you are I guess!

I think that emotions are taboo in many societies. As a result, showing/sharing our feeling is seen as a weakness "this person is not controling his/her emotions." well, actually we cannot control our emotions. Trying to do so is as easy as controling the flow of a river with our bare hands. We either fooling ourselves by reproving them or we throw them right away without understanding them. We are afraid to be judged because of showing or sharing an emotion and of course we are afraid to be hurt.
For example, anger is seen as a bad emotion since we wrongly associate it with violence. Moreover because of our lack of knowledge about communication of emotions we tend to reproach someone for something or we do not listen to the emotion of the other. How many of us have said "You shoud not have done that this was offensive/ not respectful /dangerous!" rather than "I felt not respected/ hurt/ not safe by the situation!" This is just an example but it is meaningful I guess so I will not go further.

I'll continue to write later about the other points of the topic. I hope I am not drifting too much, usually I tend to see global and I may drift a little bit in that ocean of thought :)


message 12: by Lynn (new)

Lynn Lovegreen (lynn_lovegreen) I agree that we need to take down the barriers that keep men from expressing emotions. Feminism should involve all people living free to be themselves without fear of sexist prejudices.


message 13: by Winston (new)

Winston | 180 comments I also want to give credit to the idea of having Good Masculine traits.

And these aren't limited to men, these are just "masculine" as a category. Women should cultivate the same traits.

Physical Strength - It correlates with health, but also with general competence. Be able to take care of yourself, so you can also take care of others.

Dependability/Leadership - In situations that need leadership, do not be afraid to step up and take command

Discipline/Overcoming Obstacles/Pushing through pain - To achieve a better situation, sometimes it means working through pain and being dedicated to a task/accomplishment/goal even as it becomes extremely difficult.

Again, not saying these are traits limited to men, but they would be ya know, categorized and "masculine"

Importantly, many men/boys will need ways to have these traits addressed with recognition.


message 14: by Gerd (new)

Gerd | 428 comments "Pushing through pain"
Now that sounds def feminin - if it was up to men to push through pain we would of have died out aeons ago. :D


message 15: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 07, 2018 09:28AM) (new)

Hey there!

I mentioned that I think we do not really know our emotions or at least how to embrace them.

It is true that boys and men are not encouraged to share their emotions because somehow, for many people (probably mainly for men) sharing our emotions, like pain and sadness is seen as a weakness. I thought a lot about why men are less likely to share the previously cited feelings and why it is seen as a weakness while it is actually a strenght!

I think I came up with something which is plausible and I'll be really grateful if some you challenge my idea.

In our collective memory, usually being strong means to face issues and struggles without bending. I could even say strenght is sometime perceived as a rock or a solid wall that endures tempests over and over again but does not move! Let me ask you a few questions before going further.

Is being strong means being static and endure? Or does it arise from adaptability and evolution?

I know it looks to be far away from the initial topic but it is actually closer than it seems :)

Have a nice day either it is sunny or rainy! :)


message 16: by James (new)

James Corprew Pam wrote: "So first topic:

Friend Zone.

A situation in which a friendship exists between two people, one of whom has an unreciprocated romantic or sexual interest in the other.

Now. Before we roll our eyes..."


I remembered seeing your post about this topic so i thought i would share this article about "Friend Zones". It was a pretty interesting read.

http://www.fashionbeans.com/content/t...

Some snippets from the article,

"That's sort of why cross-sex friendships are so important; we get something from them that we might not get from same-sex friendships. Still, there's a significant social stigma, which seems perplexing in a society that claims to value gender equality.

We decided to dig into some of the science to see what makes male-female friendships so different—and, in some cases, more difficult.

Physical attraction affects male-female friendships, but probably not in the way that you'd think.

One of the barriers to successful male-female friendships seems fairly obvious: Straight men and women often become romantically attached to one another. As it turns out, however, attraction is a pretty complex concept."

""It's so strange, because we think of attraction as this on-or-off thing," Heidi Reeder, PhD, tells FashionBeans.

In 2000, Reeder published "I Like You...As a Friend: The Role of Attraction in Cross-Sex Friendship," a study that surveyed 40 participants who were involved in cross-sex friendships."

""What [my study] showed is there's actually some variety to very legitimate forms of attraction," she says. "Maybe you might say, 'I really do find this person physically attractive, but I think they'd be terrible in a relationship,' ... so you might be able to just turn off those feelings, because you don't want to go there."

Reeder noticed that participants were able to separate objective and subjective physical attraction. In other words, you might know that your female friend is pretty cute, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you find her desirable. In long-term cross-sex friendships, maintaining that separation is key."

"A fairly surprising statistic from Reeder's study: Among individuals who were physically attracted to their friends, fewer than half were romantically attracted. Men were more likely than women to experience sexual physical attraction (or, at least, they were more likely to admit to it).

"That shouldn't surprise anyone, right? But [physical and romantic attraction] don't always go together," Reeder says. "I mean, we should know that by now. But they don't go together, and that can certainly be the case in friendship."

In fact, Reeder found attraction playing surprising—and unexpected—roles in friendship development."

"Jealousy can also play a role, although there's no hard science to support that assumption yet. Currently, one of Reeder's graduate students is studying jealousy in relationships.

"That's certainly one of the barriers to friendships between men and women, is a jealous partner," Reeder says. "Whether there's a reason [for that] or not, either way, it can be problematic.

Especially if it's not warranted, of course. So I think that's going to be an interesting study."

"Most men and women will say that they get something out of a male/female friendship that they don't get out of a same-sex friendship," Reeder says.

"So, for example, sometimes women just want to let it all hang out and just be blunt and be gross...like the stereotype of a guy. Being around a male friend, they feel like they can just access that part of themselves."

"Most men and women will say that they get something out of a male/female friendship that they don't get out of a same-sex friendship," Reeder says. "So, for example, sometimes women just want to let it all hang out and just be blunt and be gross...like the stereotype of a guy. Being around a male friend, they feel like they can just access that part of themselves."


message 17: by Gerd (last edited Apr 07, 2018 10:19AM) (new)

Gerd | 428 comments James wrote: "Reeder noticed that participants were able to separate objective and subjective physical attraction. In other words, you might know that your female friend is pretty cute, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you find her desirable. In long-term cross-sex friendships, maintaining that separation is key.
..."


A bit off-topic. That's how I always thought about how human relationships work between men and women, but every damn time I crack open a book I have to question that, because this seems never to be the case in novels. In other words, there desire always, always, always follows right on the heel of attraction... must be exhausting to live as a book character (not to mention bound to drive you stark raving mad :D).


message 18: by Gerd (last edited Apr 07, 2018 10:18AM) (new)

Gerd | 428 comments Florian wrote: "In our collective memory, usually being strong means to face issues and struggles without bending. I could even say strenght is sometime perceived as a rock or a solid wall that endures tempests over and over again but does not move!.
..."


I agree with this perception of strength. I would say it holds up, the error boys/men possibly make is that they erroneously assume that allowing emotions is weakening this concept.
When actually, when we look at it, girls/women do exactly that, they endure the tempests of life, just as everyone has to, but they perhaps move with more grace through them because they more seldom load themselves with unshed emotions along the way.

Men, it seems, need longer before they grow up enough to learn to share their emotions more freely.


message 19: by James (new)

James Corprew Gerd wrote: "James wrote: "Reeder noticed that participants were able to separate objective and subjective physical attraction. In other words, you might know that your female friend is pretty cute, but that do..."

Agreed.


message 20: by Pam (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
Gerd wrote: "Men, it seems, need longer before they grow up enough to learn to share their emotions more freely.."

Is there anyway to help speed up that process?


message 21: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 07, 2018 03:59PM) (new)

@Florian :

Hello @Florian, : )

I'm agree with you that, in this harsh reality, showing his emotions as a man is viewed as a weakness and can make our life really really hard.

If we stay objective without creating an "ideal" world, being strong is be static and endure from the outside and adapt inside. I think we can show our emotions to some trusted friends and hide them to untrusted people.

@Pam :

Foremost, I think the first thing to change is the definition of the manhood in every man's and woman's mind. Once this will be done, man won't have the fear to share their emotions even at a young age.


message 22: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 13, 2018 02:32PM) (new)

Pam wrote: "Gerd wrote: "Men, it seems, need longer before they grow up enough to learn to share their emotions more freely.."

Is there anyway to help speed up that process?"


Hey there! Quick answer since I am quite busy those days.

Men who are able to share should do so with other men. Personnaly, I partially worked on that for more than 6 years maybe 7 through a therapy. It was tough but ok if I compare to what other people experience. Anyway, I discovered I should share more and understand how to do so. I realized that my friends or acquaintances saw me as a trustworthy person and some of my female friends started to entrust sadness, pain and worries to me. I listened and learnt in the same time.
Then I started to share with specific persons not many just to unconsciously try I guess and I made mistakes that haunted me for a while. I won't tell the entire story because well I just do not know you enough ^^ but the main point is that one day a male friend was feeling bad, I felt it (yes I feel emotions of other people sometimes), and I do not know how it happened if it was me who proposed him to talk or his initiative but he talked to me for 1h.
The thing I realized is the more I share with my friends the more they share with me. At the beginning, it is difficult because of the "I am strong, sharing and showing emotions is a weakness." But little by little things get easier and people communicate more.

So to sum up, I would say that the example is a solution in that case.

Sorry if there more grammatical mistakes than usual I must go and I did not read again what I wrote! ;)

Have a wonderful day!


message 23: by Pam (last edited Apr 13, 2018 11:16AM) (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
Great article share Keith.

I like this passage "In the absence of explicit, widely-shared and enriching rites of passage, young men in particular are forced to make themselves up as they go along. Which usually means they put themselves together from spare parts, and the stuff closest to hand tends to be cheap and defective. And that’s dangerous."

That plays back to what you mentioned Florian. That if you want people to change a behavior you must be the first to show how it's done. Leading through demonstratration.


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Pam wrote: "Great article share Keith.

I like this passage "In the absence of explicit, widely-shared and enriching rites of passage, young men in particular are forced to make themselves up as they go along...."


Yes, maybe there are other ways but for now that the best one I have heard.


message 25: by Pam (last edited Apr 20, 2018 01:33PM) (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
Great stuff everyone.

Already we are seeing:
- How our language forces gender on everything, specifically those with Romantic languages (el, la, le etc)
- How much the older generations and culture shape how the younger generation learn and react to social norms. And that the only way to halt toxic masculinity is to be a different example. Call yourself and others out on their actions.
https://www.themarysue.com/terry-crew...
- How sharing emotions can be seen as a different level of friendships depending on your gender and or culture. Boys share only in romantic situations, girls share with friends.

Great start and thank you for all those who shared articles and ideas.
-------------

I want to touch next on emotional manipulation

For while we can talk about men sharing their emotions, there is the darker flip side to this when they manipulate through emotions for personal gain.

In today's connected world there is no shortage of confrontations between the genders.
- Gamers loosing a match and shouting "I'm going to rape you." or "I'm going to rape your mother." This isn't structured for age only audiences, but children as young as 11 shouting this out. First because it's taboo, but then ingrained as it becomes the "normal" way to react.
- Beyond dating apps, online communities where as soon as your anonymous avatar is "outed" as being female your in-box will be spammed with unwanted dick pics.
- Coercion to get a date or a woman's number. Not accepting a no or multiple nos, pretty much forcing her to come up with an answer that suits the man's request. This force normally works best in real world. But in a connected world, an emotional manipulator will appeal to a woman's rationality. Holding a knife up to your wrist and saying "If you don't date me, I will kill myself" or other such stuff.

What's fascinating to me about this is that by playing on the emotions (fear, safety, sanity, and kindness) these instances are changing how women react.

No longer do women let this stuff go. We are no longer timid creatures who allow ourselves to get pulled into this mess. We are no longer interested in helping. We no longer feed their drama by responding when they threaten themselves. We no longer care what they do when we say no.

In short: we are becoming crasser, more assertive, and more aggressive.

- If emotion is typically a female trait, and females are no longer letting themselves be played or letting emotions be used against them, are we exhibiting more stereotypical masculine traits? Does this mean we are getting closer to equality?

- As more and more culture happens online, does the danger of real life violence lesson or increase?

- Is stalking less a crime in the digital age? We can have tributes to individuals, celebrities, ideas, but is there a line between being a fan and stalking?

- What structures can we put in place that will put an end to violence against women online?


message 26: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 20, 2018 09:52PM) (new)

Hello everyone!

Just wanted to add or reinforce one point. Usually, when you are a man who is overall kind, gentle and express his emotions you may be perceived as homosexual.

I know what I am talking about since one day an acquaintance asked me "Are you gay?" I replied "No, why?" she just replied "Because you are kind, you listen to people, and you also have a unusual body language." I must admit I was quite surprised that someone assumed my sexual preference just because I am gentle and listen to people's feelings. I just wondered "Is kindness and listen to people part of feminity?" I suppose that according to many people, it is. I guess that everyone here, heard those sentences "Every man has a feminity part." and "Every woman has a masculanity part." maybe I am wrong, but I have the feeling that thinking those sentences right is actually contributing to the toxicities we are talking about. Expressing emotions and listen to them are not female things just like other behaviours are not male things.

It is the same for gestures but I do not really find words to express it, maybe "flowing, graceful, harmonious" vs something else. Cannot find the good words (even in my mother tongue) yet, I will need to edit that part, but maybe some of you will get the meaning.

Sorry about this late post, I just did not know how to write it especially about the body language thing.

Emotional manipulation. I am realizing I just jumped into one of the question you wrote Pam while I was writing something about the previous topic but everything is connected so I am not really surprised.

I have always been fascinated and so afraid about emotional manipulation probably becausevI was subjected to it. I think this next topic will definitely be interesting!

Edit: Also, I have the intuition that psychological manipulation and emotional manipulation are the same.

Have a good weekend everyone!


message 27: by Michaela (last edited Apr 22, 2018 01:42AM) (new)

Michaela (yuvilee) | 124 comments Well, i was thinking about it, but i wouldn't call emotional manipulation a male thing. Maybe because i do not see the things you mentioned @Pam as real emotional manipulation. Manipulation yes, but coercion or shouting you would rape someone are pretty direct, while i see emotional as more subtle, not only using fear.
When thinking about emotional manipulation i think about threatening suicide, being rude and then nice again, helping without being asked to provoke guilt in the other person etc. So using an emotional act to play on complicated emotions. What you described has more to do with power or force, than emotions. And using subtle emotions would rather be described as a female trait, i see women more often accused of manipulation than men. Men's agression is more direct, because it can be without consequences.

And the question about equality... I would like to think that getting closer to equality does not mean getting closer to a male culture. Because i do not see that work out longterm. So i can't see how it would be equality for women to express more stereotypical male behaviors if men do not start go show stereotypical female behaviors. If one person is pushing for power, another person must yield it. And if you act dominant in a relationship (not romantic relationship, any kind of, even with your boss) the other person will experience a pull to act submissive (they can choose to ignore that if it goes against learned behavior, but they will experience the pull). If women start to be more dominant either men must start to be more submissive. Otherwise it will just dnd up with women dominating over other women and men dominating over them all.


message 28: by Zachary (last edited Apr 22, 2018 01:12AM) (new)

Zachary (inwordstruth) | 22 comments Michaela wrote: "Well, i was thinking abou it, but i wouldn't call emotional manipulation a male thing. Maybe because i do not see the things you mentioned @Pam as real emotional manipulation. Manipulation yes, but..."

Michaela,

You bring up some really excellent points.

"And using suvtle emotions would rather be described as a female trait, i see women more often accused of manipulstion than men. Men's agression is more direct, because it can be without consequences." - With this statement do you see a time when women will be able to be more direct with their emotions, and/or do you think men's directness without consequence is a bigger issue?

To that point you also say "I would like to think that gettinh closer to equaluty does not mean getting closer to a male culture." I firmly agree with this. I think the inequality still felt by women comes two fold. One it comes from men saying "here is the path we forged, if you want equality follow that path to the "top". Secondly I think that in order for there to be true equality women must take it. I think the future for women, as equals, will be so dramatically different that it will not just be women standing side by side to men.

In all honesty the role men play in society is so terribly destructive that I don't think women should be equal to that. What I mean by this is that toxic masculinity is very much destroying the world we live in. I truly believe women will and should surpass men in order to forge a better way of life, and then at that point men may have to fight for our own equality in a new order. It's the idea of a pendulum. It will eventually have to swing all the way the other way in order to ever find a true middle ground. I think this point goes with your dominance discussion. With that do you ever see a truly symbiotic/equal relationship happening in the world between men and women, or do you foresee a future where women merely overtake the dominant role completely? A never ending back and forth, if you will.

Really good post.


message 29: by Michaela (new)

Michaela (yuvilee) | 124 comments Zachary wrote: "With this statement do you see a time when women will be able to be more direct with their emotions, and/or do you think men's directness without consequence is a bigger issue? "

That's a very tough question. I would like to think that meeting on a middle ground would be an option. But it's so difficult to imagine a world where these things are different, because i'm socialized in this world and can see how both aspects are needed to keep our current society running.

But this leads me to your second question. "With that do you ever see a truly symbiotic/equal relationship happening in the world between men and women, or do you foresee a future where women merely overtake the dominant role completely?" I on my part would like to see a world, where gender isn't the category that you use to differentiate between people. So it would not be a reversal of power, but humans are categorized by their character, their behavior, interest and abilities instead of something that is impressed on them since birth. So if someone is born, socialization wouldn't depend on the genitals, but instead on how the baby acts, it's temperament and how the parents choose to educate it. (I dream about a world without hierarchies, but this does not seem realistic to me in the next centuries, so i'd settle for hierarchies that do not depend on one's genitals, race or sexual orientation, but on what you do with your life).


message 30: by Zachary (new)

Zachary (inwordstruth) | 22 comments Michaela wrote: "Zachary wrote: "With this statement do you see a time when women will be able to be more direct with their emotions, and/or do you think men's directness without consequence is a bigger issue? "

T..."


Michaela,

Again fantastic response, because honestly I was so caught up in this idea of binary gender that I didn't really consider equality based on character or need. This is one area where I am not well versed, and am truly only coming into a true understanding of feminism. I think that at times I get so caught up in the mistreatment and inequality based on gender that I only ever think about it in those terms, even in solutions. Like I said I think the future will be so different from the current breakdown of society that it won't even be recognizable; and it may not even be conceivable. We may be destined for a slow progression to equality in which gender is not even a factor. As we historically have more and more "firsts" I think people will look back at our time period and be surprised at how much we truly delineated life based on how we are different. Thank you for your response. One of the reasons I joined this group was for education, and I feel like I learned a really obvious lesson today.


message 31: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 22, 2018 04:54AM) (new)

Hello there!

So about manipulation, I believe that what Pam pointed out is indeed a form of manipulation both psychological and emotional.


Is manipulation a woman thing?
I agree that manipulation is usually seen as a woman "weapon" just like poison. Possibly it is because of history, less direct but as destructive as raw strenght. What I am wondering right now is that because of the sexism of many societies another weapon had to be developed, emotions rather than muscles. However, I am quite sure that manipulation is not a woman thing. I think here we are missing that emotions and feelings are not always subtles and they can be quite crude/brute. If you tell me "setting carefully a plan in the shadows while being patient" but this is not manipulation.
All of the totalitarian regimes are based on the manipulation just like the middle age monarchies or the empires. They use fear, anger, feeling of unsafety, this is manipulation. A psychopath like the joker (fiction but excellent example) is a really good manipulator. In those example, you will find a lot of man. So manipulation is not a woman weapon.
People I know and I were manipulated both psychologically and emotionally and it was by a man.


What about one of the other main point brought in that second topic? Online culture and stalking, how to deal with that?


message 32: by Susan (new)

Susan Edelman (beyourownbrandofsexy) Men and women are just as capable of manipulation. Women are accused of it more often because there is still cultural pressure on us not to be assertive. We’ve come a long way in the area of standing up for ourselves, but we still have a very long way to go. Women still make less money than men and generally aren’t as confident. It’s entirely possible to be equal to men without taking on masculine traits. There are many ways men and women can express themselves. I’m fascinated by this topic.


message 33: by Pam (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
Domestic abuse for example. Yes, it has a violent component to it, but the real issue is the manipulation involved in keeping a relationship after beating your partner.

The above examples, were specifically when online in a connected world. You cannot rape a person because you probably don't live next to each other or even know the person irl, but can you still emotionally molest someone?


message 34: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 24, 2018 04:45AM) (new)

Hello!

There is no need to live next to someone to be molested. A connection or way of communication is just enough. The idea to feel unsafe even in our home does not need a physical contact, the fact the person wants to do something bad to you is enough to emotionally feel unsafe. You feel hunted like a prey, tracked by danger and all of your senses are on alert to act as quickly as possible, and no place feel safe anymore until you realize you have some strength in you.
So yes, it is possible to be molested without physical contacts and connections.

Then if we talk about someone who is being insisting it is both different and similar. The motivation are not to do something bad (ar least at the beginning and as long as it is not an obsession) but the strategies are the same. I prefer to let other people bring their point of view about that before I share mine.

Have a good day!


message 35: by Pam (last edited Apr 25, 2018 04:49AM) (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
We're jumping alot and I think we're still trying to define what we mean so I want to bring us back in to look at the topic at thread

We created a culture that says men should not share emotions. Individuals of this group push to make sure that anyone emoting is denied male hood. Right? (Simplistic view)
Man= Don't share emotions
If you share emotions ≠ man

Toxic Masculinity is then taking that to the extremes. Pushing it's representatives to strive for more and more extreme measures to show how much of a male they are by denying more and more of their emotions. Save for traditionally acceptable ones like anger or lust.

If you share your feelings, if you share your thoughts, if you are kind and compassionate than;
- Your maleness is questioned
- Your sexuality is questioned (gay)

As simple as I've explained it in this post above, it's not a simple thing to correct as the concept of Friendzoning shows. Just sharing emotions carries with it cultural norms that are taught to one gender.

Man= Don't share emotions
Unless man is in a relationship, then he can share emotions.

Woman = Shares emotions
Woman = Shares deeper emotions with anyone she trusts

This is the generally accepted belief in the Western world, right?

I would add a few more descriptors to these concepts. Once again, keeping it to the restriction of emotional context

Man= Don't share emotions
Unless man is in a relationship, then he can share emotions.
Descriptors: Stoic. Reserved. Strong

Woman = Shares emotions
Woman = Shares deeper emotions with anyone she trusts
Descriptors: Compassionate, Giving, Nurturer

This of course doesn't touch on power. Doesn't touch on force. Just emotional expectations.

I think we, as feminists, get a lot of push back for acknowledging that women are more than just those emotional archtypes. We are more than mothers and givers. More than nurturers.

So does that mean.... that the standard of what applies to men is also... limited. Does that mean to the traditonalists who believe in upholding maleness as being "Man= Don't share emotions
Unless man is in a relationship, then he can share emotions.
Descriptors: Stoic. Reserved. Strong" that this is also... not the complete picture.


message 36: by Michaela (new)

Michaela (yuvilee) | 124 comments I think the standard for men is definitely limited. I have realized multiple times, that the people around me think the mother is more important for a small child. That mothers do have a stronger bond, that the child cannot form that bond with the father or other persons in their lifes. And i think this puts limits on men. Because if they themselves believe it, they may therefore spend less time with their infants. Tgey may not learn to handle their infants right, because the mother will assume that she's better in doing it. And i think that's sad for father and child.


message 37: by Zachary (new)

Zachary (inwordstruth) | 22 comments @Pam
Men are also not taught how to deal with their emotions properly. Not only are we told to be stoic, which is a nice way of saying closed off even in relationships, but men are looked at weird if we share any form of emotion. I can admit that I am not very in touch with my emotions. I do cry on occasion, but I feel more often that I must conceal emotion unless it is frustration or anger.

When I was a children I remember my sexuality constantly being questioned for my emotions, like you mentioned. This coupled with the fact I played flute in band.

I wonder though how women feel with men who are more emotional. Even in relationships.


message 38: by Zachary (new)

Zachary (inwordstruth) | 22 comments @Emma
I gave it up after middle school for that reason, but I have been considering buying a new one.

And as Keith pointed out Jethro Tull was a pretty big band with a male flute player.


message 39: by Anastasia (last edited Apr 24, 2018 02:52PM) (new)

Anastasia | 8 comments I enjoyed reading your post Susan.


message 40: by Pam (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
Such great examples! Thank you!

Zachary wrote: "@Pam
I wonder though how women feel with men who are more emotional. Even in relationships.."


I'll admit, I don't know. The first time my SO had an emotional moment, a deeply emotional moment which sent him sobbing, was 7 years into our relationship. So I very much agree with you that there is so much pressure to bottle emotions up and then people don't know what to do with them. (Even writing this out feels like an invasion of his privacy)

I was honored that he opened up like that and also very remorseful that it didn't happen sooner. His expression is actually one of the reasons why I care so much about this topic. He is the most important person to me. And knowing that the world at large doesn't / can't handle that side of him is horrible.

Feminism teaches us that it's ok for women to dress whatever way she wants. To wear makeup or go bare faced if she wants. To work or stay at home if she wants. It's up to her to decide her life, not socialital expectations.

I really hope that feminism also says that it's ok for all people to express emotions; to decide for themselves if they want to share feelings or not. To make music playing whatever instrument they want without feeling like their gender is being questioned.


message 41: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 24, 2018 04:28PM) (new)

Hello again!

@Pam: I do not think that what you described is specific to the western world. I have the feeling it is, sadly, worldwide.

@Zachary: yes we are not taught about emotions but I do not think anyone is fully taught about emotions :(

Aren't we looking for something stable or sometime someone we can rely on, like a rock? By doing so aren't we contributing to this viscious cycle by thinking that being a rock is to be strong because we hold on? Usually we see our leaders or guides as strong people who do not bend (our parents being our first leaders), people who know what is the right way/things to do and nothing can influence them no emotions, no feelings, they know what is right! Are logic, rationality and facts what we are looking for since we understand them better than emotions, and in a certain extent they hinder feelings and emotions?

I am just writing questions I have in my head and I have the intuition it is closely related to what we are talking about because indeed @Pam we, humanity, created that.


message 42: by Zachary (last edited Apr 25, 2018 12:57AM) (new)

Zachary (inwordstruth) | 22 comments Pam wrote: "Such great examples! Thank you!

Zachary wrote: "@Pam
I wonder though how women feel with men who are more emotional. Even in relationships.."

I'll admit, I don't know. The first time my SO had an..."


One of the things I am beginning to realize as I get older is that the way I feel, is separate from the way my feelings make others feel. Men use anger or frustration in order to control a situation or a person or event themselves. I remember in middle school and high school after having a confrontation with a bully, and the teacher would pull me aside and I would get so worked up I would have to fight back tears. My guttural response at that time was crying, not because I was sad or hurt but because my body could not handle the anger. As an adult I have fought those feelings for years, and just recently I have begun to allow myself to really cry. With that I have noticed that my happiness, my joy is directly effected by the amount of other emotions I allow myself to experience.

If men are only ever allowed to be stoic or mad or contemplative that is all we will ever be.

@Pam I understand the vulnerability you feel by sharing your SO's story. I just recently sat on my living room floor and bawled because of an episode of This Is Us, not sure if you are familiar with it, but that was a huge turning point for me.

One of the reasons I am such a supporter of feminism is because I know once society begins to accept women for who they are the toxic masculinity will have no choice but to change. It is not acceptable the way women are treated on a day to day basis, and there are millions of factors, but a lot of it comes down to how men are raised, how we are told to act, and what has been deemed acceptable.


message 43: by Michaela (new)

Michaela (yuvilee) | 124 comments @Florian

I stumbled about one of your questions. The one about parents knowing the right way, not bending because of emotions.
Would you say parents do not bend to emotions? Because i think good parents do bend to emotions, just not to every emotion. Parents should react to those emotions that help the child, comfort it when it's sad, laugh with it, when it's happy. Even react to healthy anger by explaining why something is this or that way. Parents can do so much to help a child develop a healthy relationship with their emotions. But of course not all parents do that, but i think the problem then is how they understand parenting. An authoritary style of parenting will come with a repression of emotions. An authoritative (i hope that's the right translation) style would help regulate emotion, repressing only those that are unhealthy (like shouting and throwing oneself on the ground because of some sweets, or envy because another kid gets more of sth). So i do not think that there is a problem per se, just where this old and outdated idea of authoritary parenting comes into play. And this is where campaigns for young parents could be so helpful.


message 44: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 25, 2018 05:34AM) (new)

Hello!

@ Michaela: I think my question was not written correctly. What I tried to say was that of course parents and everyone bend to emotions but we do not show them. I totally agree with you that parents have a major role when it comes to explain to their children that this is sadness, this is joy etc... But what I regret, and this is just my feeling and I am probably wrong, is that parents do not express some emotion in front of their children such as pain and sadness unless they cannot hold it. What I am trying to point out is that by doing so we may think, as a child, that those emotions affect us but that we should not show to people even people close to us. Is it more clear? :)

However I am happy that you talked about repressive parents or authoritative parents (not sure if it is the good word but I got what you meant :))

Edit: the point I am trying to think about is: we are taught from what we are told but also from what we see. If people tell me "you have to express your sadness and cry it is good to do so" or "you can be angry at someone and tell the person as long as there is no violence" but if I do not observe the people who adviced me doing so then I guess I will feel something is wrong. Maybe what I am trying to say is "we need to be told but also we need to see and feel examples". That is just my point of view for now and I am still questionning it :)

Have a good one!


message 45: by Zachary (new)

Zachary (inwordstruth) | 22 comments Florian wrote: "Hello!

@ Michaela: I think my question was not written correctly. What I tried to say was that of course parents and everyone bend to emotions but we do not show them. I totally agree with you tha..."


I think this is a very good point, and as a parent of two young children I constantly try to remind myself not to hide my emotions from my kids. My children have seen both my wife and I cry separately and together, we also constantly laugh and even show our frustration. It, along with manners, is our number one priority. Mostly because my wife and I did not grow up in very emotionally constructive homes. Or have very emotionally constructive teenage years. I learned young to be angry, and my wife learned young to hide all emotions because "no one takes a crying woman seriously," her words of what she experienced.

With that I remember distinctively as a teenager my wife crying a lot, which is one of the reasons I think we have been together so long is because for some reason I made her feel comfortable enough to drop her learned repression very quickly. It has taken much longer for me to relearn and unlearn.


message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

Hey there!

@Zachary: you are providing a good example. I hope I will be able to do the same when I will have wife and probably children.

In general, I feel that someone who is crying or expressing an emotion is someone strong because he/she is able to feel emotions and is not afraid by it. I always admire people who do that!


message 47: by Susan (new)

Susan Edelman (beyourownbrandofsexy) Gloria Steinem said, “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” So feminism isn’t just for women. The problem is, many women don’t identify as feminists, even when they support gender equality. And I’ve read some posts from men online who believe feminism is a hate group out to harm men. It’s very sad. Feminism is so misunderstood.


message 48: by Zachary (new)

Zachary (inwordstruth) | 22 comments Susan wrote: "Gloria Steinem said, “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” So feminism isn’t just for women. The problem is, many women don’t identify as feminists,..."

I think, at times, feminism is intentionally misunderstood from individuals in order to argue against it. Like you, I have heard women say that they aren't feminist, or that women are equal, or that the injustice felt by women will never change (women should just be satisfied). I am under the opinion, just like you, that men will get just as much from a world with women as equals as women will. It is a mutual relationship where if women can feel safe, and necessary in the greater society we could advance so much further so much faster. Really good response.


message 49: by James (last edited Apr 26, 2018 03:18AM) (new)

James Corprew Susan wrote: "The problem is, many women don’t identify as feminists, even when they support gender equality.."

Why is that a problem? I never understood this stance. For instance, both my wife and i are for gender equality yet neither of us identify as feminists. Are you implying that the label is more important than the actual belief system?

"I’ve read some posts from men online who believe feminism is a hate group out to harm men. It’s very sad. Feminism is so misunderstood. "

Yes and no.

I think for the most part feminism and feminists mean well but i have seen female feminists use anti-male rhetoric within their agendas and messages. In fact, ive seen a couple of feminists even in this book club over the last few months promoting such things. So i can understand how some of those who see situations like that could get that idea.


message 50: by Susan (last edited Apr 26, 2018 07:31PM) (new)

Susan Edelman (beyourownbrandofsexy) I understand why people don't identify as feminists. It's unfortunate that some feminists sound anti-male. I know they're angry, but I don't think it advances their cause. I think it's a problem because when the true nature of feminism is misunderstood, it's less clear what it stands for. How do you support true equality when it's all so confusing? Which side are you on? Who is your leader? I didn't like what Gloria Steinem said about people who wouldn't vote for a woman, but I still respect her as a leader. I'd like to hear your thoughts.


« previous 1
back to top