The boys are not all right

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Re: The boys are not all right

Postby crfriend » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:07 am

Darryl wrote:A competent and female Sherlock Holmes is not impossible. Nor a female Spock. Then again, I see no reason at all why crfriend's attributes should not be applied to both male and female, aside from gender-related roles: father/mother, and family roles: brother, sister, cousin, father, mother, aunt, uncle, grand-parent...family elders; then perhaps community-related roles, work-related roles, &c.

Indeed, and in the modern world it's entirely necessary for women to possess those traits. Evolutionarily it was absolutely necessary for the males to possess those traits, and as a species we are still hide-bound by our evolutionary past. It's only really been within the past few decades that it's become vital for women to hold their own in the workplace because of the collapse of a stable economy; gone are the days where a man could support a family -- nowadays it's one salary, one adult

However, with that in mind, evolutionarily, women typically "spoke to" the softer side of the scale. This does not diminish what it means to be a human being, but rather to evolutionary roles of the sexes (and, in this sense, we can dispense with "gender"). Men "spoke to" the harder side of the matter because if they screwed up badly enough they'd wind up dead -- hence the absolute need to be able to think and adapt extremely quickly. Note that this does NOT make one sex "superior" or "inferior" to the other.

The major beef I have with (what tries to pass for) modern society is that it has masculinity and machismo confused, and, as I've alluded to, this may be by (nefarious?) design.

Let's have a short look at machismo as a bullet list:

  • Bravado
  • Aggressiveness
  • Insensitivity
  • Sexist attitude
  • Bellicoseness

Now, bravado can be easily confused with bravery, which is a sometimes misplaced notion of confidence. Don't confuse those, they're not equivalent. Aggressiveness is not on the list of masculine traits; aggressiveness is sometimes necessary in the pursuit of something, but it's not omnipresent. Insensitivity is simply idiotic and a direct violation of the need to be empathetic. A "sexist attitude" should be considered reprehensible, but how, then, does one explain radical "feminism"? Bellicoseness is simply inexcusable in any civilised environment.

Why is society pushing this warped notion of masculinity on men? Why? Why is it pushing it on women?
Perhaps time to prime the pump with a wee draft.....

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Re: The boys are not all right

Postby moonshadow » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:27 am

crfriend wrote:Why is society pushing this warped notion of masculinity on men? Why? Why is it pushing it on women?


Good question... it's basically what this thread is about!

See I knew you "got it"!

I realize and understand your pointing out the difference between masculinity and machoism. However to the public at large there is no difference. Much of this may indeed the the byproduct of radical feminism, however it seems too many men are all too willing to play the part.

How do we stop it?
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Re: The boys are not all right

Postby crfriend » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:40 am

moonshadow wrote:[... T]o the public at large there is no difference [between masculinity and machismo]. Much of this may indeed the the byproduct of radical feminism, however it seems too many men are all too willing to play the part.

Are too many men really willing to "play the part"? This may represent a significant part of the problem. I am not convinced that the emotionally and mentally healthy male is all that willing to get shoved into that "box", and it's the weaker ones that succumb and commit horrendous deeds.
How do we stop it?

I've got a few opinions on the matter, but, needless to say, they'll never even remotely be considered by the Ones In Power.
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Re: The boys are not all right

Postby moonshadow » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:46 am

crfriend wrote:Are too many men really willing to "play the part"? This may represent a significant part of the problem. I am not convinced that the emotionally and mentally healthy male is all that willing to get shoved into that "box", and it's the weaker ones that succumb and commit horrendous deeds.


True, but then again the prisons aren't filled with emotionally and mentally healthy men, and their numbers are increasing. There in lies the problem.

I've got a few opinions on the matter, but, needless to say, they'll never even remotely be considered by the Ones In Power.


Maybe not but then again they have their own interest and agendas, and I imagine emotionally and mentally healthy men doesn't rank high on their priorities.

At any rate I'm curious as to your ideas.
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Re: The boys are not all right

Postby Ralph » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:58 pm

[*]Empathy

I'd have to argue against that one, and suggest that the lack of empathy is exactly why boys are more likely to have other antisocial traits like violence and mass murder. We (with numerous exceptions, obviously, but on the average) just don't have that part of our brain working that lets us see the world from another's point of view, walk a mile in someone else's stilettos, whatever.

My son and I both run into this with my wife on a regular basis. We'll do or say something to her that seems perfectly OK because we know it would be perfectly OK for someone else to do it to us (hey, at least we've managed to learn the "golden rule"). She'll be upset because it is not OK with her... and we'll have no idea that she's upset. We don't notice the sudden drop in room temperature, the stony silence, the minimal curt responses required to end a conversation. And if/when she finally does explain what we did to hurt her, we still can't understand why she found it hurtful.

I have this problem a lot, and I know from conversations with my male friends and their wives that I'm actually more empathetic than they are in most cases. I'm at least upset once I do realize that she's upset; as often as not they find it hilarious and are likely do the same thing deliberately to provoke a reaction.

Yeah, if only boys (men) could find that empathy switch and turn it on.
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Re: The boys are not all right

Postby crfriend » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:35 pm

Ralph wrote:[*]Empathy

I'd have to argue against that one, and suggest that the lack of empathy is exactly why boys are more likely to have other antisocial traits like violence and mass murder. We (with numerous exceptions, obviously, but on the average) just don't have that part of our brain working that lets us see the world from another's point of view, walk a mile in someone else's stilettos, whatever.

This is a classic problem with adolescents and men in general who are, well, "developmentally-challenged". Cultivated, civilised, wise men possess this trait and are not afraid to use it. This can be somewhat forgiven in adolescents who haven't grown up yet, but for it to be lacking in mature men is unforgivable. Contrast with "machismo" where it's expected to not exist.
Yeah, if only boys (men) could find that empathy switch and turn it on.

It's there; one just needs to find it. The problem is that in a macho culture men are actively discouraged from employing it in day-to-day settings -- or even admitting to having the capability! That's one of the reasons that things are as bad as they are today.

I'd like to see a breakdown of personalities of the incarcerated to see where they rate on empathy; I suspect it's pretty darned low. We can do better. We need to do better.
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Re: The boys are not all right

Postby Darryl » Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:02 am

crfriend wrote:...
Let's have a short look at machismo as a bullet list:

  • Bravado
  • Aggressiveness
  • Insensitivity
  • Sexist attitude
  • Bellicoseness
...
Why is society pushing this warped notion of masculinity on men? Why? Why is it pushing it on women?


That, I think, is the $10B question...

I have some friends who are...to put it mildly...violence professionals. They've been there, done that, seen the elephant, and so on. Respect is, I think, the key word. Mutual respect, certainly. They run towards the sound of the gunfire, they go IN to the burning World Trade Center.... Exhibit those 'macho' characteristics around them and you might not get invited the next time, or maybe dis-invited, or the 'puppy and the rolled up newspaper' treatment, and so on. If you show any signs of being able to learn they'll try to help. If you can't learn, stay away.

Some of us were talking today about one guy we like: a real bad###. But...1) he found G-d and 2) he found a beautiful woman who loves him...he's now a preacher, feeding the poor, helping the sick, setting an example. This is awesome, by the way.

Which leads me to another Heinlein Quote:
An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. -- Beyond This Horizon


Machismo - fear-driven.

Machismo, Exaggerated pride in masculinity, perceived as power, often coupled with a minimal sense of responsibility and disregard of consequences. In machismo there is supreme valuation of characteristics culturally associated with the masculine and a denigration of characteristics associated with the feminine. -- Brittanica
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Re: The boys are not all right

Postby denimini » Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:11 am

I think we just need to decide what our own personal model of a man is and then live it. Doing this may cause some flack from the unfortunate that don't realise they have that freedom.
I am happy with the sex and gender I was born with and believe it does not have to dictate how I behave.
People need to know there are options, whether that take them up or not.


Statement: "(real) Men don't do that"

Response: "You are correct ..... but they can"
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Re: The boys are not all right

Postby Darryl » Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:18 am

moonshadow wrote:
crfriend wrote:Why is society pushing this warped notion of masculinity on men? Why? Why is it pushing it on women?

...
I realize and understand your pointing out the difference between masculinity and machoism. However to the public at large there is no difference. Much of this may indeed the the byproduct of radical feminism, however it seems too many men are all too willing to play the part.

How do we stop it?


Change the programming.

Pink was a boy's color, it got changed.
Boys and girls wore hand-me-down dresses up until age 6 or so, it got changed.
Women couldn't wear pants, it got changed.
Men can't wear skirts.......

Three times now I've worn a turtleneck top over a black skirt with a gray jacket to a gig at Humana. But that's easy...they have unisex restrooms AND regular ones. Like the ladies...just do it!

Some of it....I'll blame on Hollywood for espousing those traits that they probably should not have....like the newspapers: if it bleeds, it leads.

Makes more sense than blaming it on the aliens who came here decades ago along with their book: To Serve Man because they want docile herds...... :shock:
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Re: The boys are not all right

Postby pelmut » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:01 am

Ralph wrote:[*]Empathy
... we'll have no idea that she's upset. We don't notice the sudden drop in room temperature, the stony silence, the minimal curt responses required to end a conversation. And if/when she finally does explain what we did to hurt her, we still can't understand why she found it hurtful.
[...]
Yeah, if only boys (men) could find that empathy switch and turn it on.

It isn't just men who trigger that reaction without realising they have done it. A female friend often confides in me how another woman has upset her by a remark that seems to have been made perfectly innocently with no malicious intent whatsoever. If I try to delve into the underlying causes, it usually comes down to "She should have known ::: would upset me", when there was no possible way the person, or anybody else could have known.
There is no such thing as a normal person, only someone you don't know very well yet.
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Re: The boys are not all right

Postby Freedomforall » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:47 pm

Carl I think you are on to something with empathy and the incarcerated. I incarcerated over 3000 people in my 22 years as a police officer. I noticed several common themes among them all. One of these was the absence of a father figure. It seems this contributed to a mentality of them believing they had to take care of there family since the father was absent. Trying to act tough was another thing I noticed.

Second, most had a serious machismo attitude around there peers. All that would change the instant they were alone with you. I sat with a man as he cried and told me stories of becoming an alcoholic at age 11 because his dad beat him. Things like this happened many times to me. There were very few who would not open up and talk to me. The ones that didn't seem to have succumbed to hiding there feelings forever.
I may add more to this as it comes to mind. I have been out of that field now for a few years. I am very thankful to be gone from it. There were some really nice folks and some that were not ao nice. It is definitively a place where you find lots of over inflated egos.

DJ
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Re: The boys are not all right

Postby Stu » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:09 pm

Freedomforall wrote:I incarcerated over 3000 people in my 22 years as a police officer. I noticed several common themes among them all. One of these was the absence of a father figure. It seems this contributed to a mentality of them believing they had to take care of there family since the father was absent. Trying to act tough was another thing I noticed.


I noticed the same thing during my time. In the early days, young men were incentivised towards violence by violent fathers who taught them that it was normal for men to act that way. However, that shifted over the decades and I started to notice an increasing number of offenders of all kinds were boys from single-parent homes, i.e. they were raised by their mothers pretty much alone, or maybe she had a new guy who had no interest in the boy.

That said, I don't think we should allow feminists to get away with misandric expressions like "toxic masculinity". The vast majority of men are not violent and don't abuse women.

Freedomforall wrote:I am very thankful to be gone from it.


Me too. 30-years was more than enough. Now I have a different career and i have to say I don't miss it.
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Re: The boys are not all right

Postby crfriend » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:28 am

Stu wrote:I don't think we should allow feminists to get away with misandric expressions like "toxic masculinity". The vast majority of men are not violent and don't abuse women.

Indeed. I don't particularly like the term either, which is why I'm converging on the concept of "machismo" which I consider a parody of masculinity.

Anybody can be violent, and that includes men, but most men resort to overt violence as a fall-back when every other option has failed. In other words, if you need to get violent, then you've lost control of the situation and the ability to act rationally.

Stu wrote:
Freedomforall wrote:I am very thankful to be gone from it.
Me too. 30-years was more than enough. Now I have a different career and i have to say I don't miss it.

These are two very good inputs into the analysis. Here we have two individuals involved in law-enforcement, from two distinct countries (if I'm not mistaken), and both tell the same tale.

There's a wide and deep morass in play here regarding what's regarded as "acceptable behaviour" for men, and sadly, most of what seems "acceptable" really and ultimately isn't. Men get ridiculed for being sensitive. No wonder so few of them dare to show empathy -- and when one does, in all sincerity, it's written off or laughed off. The overall effect being to deter the man from showing it again. Even intelligence in men and boys receives ridicule or, worse, scorn.

Why don't we -- as a society -- decide that machismo is funny? Laugh at it. Poke fun at it. Ridicule it. It'd disappear pretty quickly I suspect. But we won't, because it seems that's all that men have left.

Why don't we damn the producers of hyper-violent media for what they're normalising? Why don't we question the military-grade tactics of modern "police"? Why won't we support the real men who make the wheels actually turn, and who try their level best to finish the day knowing they've made the place a little bit better through their efforts? Why don't we celebrate that vast unseen and unnoticed majority? Because, as Darryl pointed up, "If it bleeds, it leads." (Or, "... is the head dead yet // Get the widow on the set // We need dirty laundry".)

There are times I really hate the modern world I dwell in. Because it doesn't feel like home. Or at least like any home I've ever known.
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Re: The boys are not all right

Postby Jim » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:49 am

crfriend wrote:
moonshadow wrote:So then what are the official defining characteristics of masculinity?

I'll offer a few in no particular order.

  • Adaptability
  • Competence
  • Wit
  • intelligence
  • Wisdom
  • Dignity
  • Confidence
  • Empathy
  • The ability to use all of the above either singularly or in combination

....

How do you see these as defining characteristics of masculinity? Aren't all of these also virtues in women?
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Re: The boys are not all right

Postby crfriend » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:58 pm

Jim wrote:How do you see these as defining characteristics of masculinity? Aren't all of these also virtues in women?

Actually, they are virtues of human beings. Note how few of them are actually celebrated, though, in men. Worse, note how many of them are actively ridiculed in men.

The point was that real men are more than macho idiots. Yes, I was being redundant in "macho idiot"; I could just have written "idiot".
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