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bleedingheartlibertarian 1
Might a simpler explanation be that gay and bi guys just get laid more (in the aggregate)?
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on January 31, 2013 at 1:03 PM · Report this
2
Oh, the humanity.
Posted by Chicago Fan on January 31, 2013 at 1:05 PM · Report this
3
As one of my friends (who is gay, poly, & married to a woman--yep, those aren't mutually exclusive) put it, "Once you're settled in a vanilla hetero marriage, your choices are now down to cream or no cream in your coffee. Freaks (sexual freaks) have to work out everything as we go along, and if it's not working, we change it." I believe that's when his wife commented, "That's why I finally married a gay man. The straight ones never worked out."
Gender policing hurts everyone.
Posted by usagi on January 31, 2013 at 1:06 PM · Report this
4
Finally, someone is focusing on the gender issues faced by heterosexual men. Women can be somewhat manly and be heterosexual, but heterosexual men wear pink, and we question it. Its sad, I am sure there are plenty of straight men who wanted a Barbie while growing up.
Posted by Ray Ceo Jr on January 31, 2013 at 1:07 PM · Report this
5
@1 Nope, although based on my recent observations, gay men primarily view sex as recreational. Straight men view sex as a competition (who can get the most notches on their bedpost). Which sounds like more fun?
Posted by usagi on January 31, 2013 at 1:10 PM · Report this
no8do 6
I know a few folk who concern about being read as queer. Nobody wants to be the only faggot in the room.
Posted by no8do on January 31, 2013 at 1:11 PM · Report this
8
who gives a fuck dan stop being a stressed out gay republican. ok. thats the real issue here. your a rob mckenna supporter, i sleep great..
Posted by tim koch on January 31, 2013 at 1:16 PM · Report this
Wandergeist 9
Dan, the mail you get is hardly a representative sample of the straight guys in the world. Not to downplay the problems of the straight guys you're talking about, but lots of straight guys go through life without questioning their straightness, or having it questioned by other guys or girls or anybody (at least, not after adolescence -- and adolescence, let's face it, is horrible and stressful for everybody). And yet some of those guys may be depressed and/or stressed, for other reasons altogether. Not everything is about sex or gender identity.

Though sex certainly can reduce stress and depression, and I think @1 may be on to something. I know when I was in my 20s, as a straight guy going home from a club depressed and alone, I envied my gay guy friends who rarely had that problem. Of course I could usually cure that by listening to Morrisey, who reminded me that no matter how I felt, there was a gay guy who apparently had it worse than I did.
Posted by Wandergeist on January 31, 2013 at 1:17 PM · Report this
10
I'm straight, and honestly, I don't really give a shit whether someone mistakes me for gay. Who might worry about that: homophobes, closet-cases, and homophobe-closet-cases.

Except for homophobes, I don't think people who are 100% straight really stress about being mistaken for gay too much. It doesn't even occur to a 100% straight dude that anyone would think any different. Plus, if Lindsey Graham and the Pope can live as presumptively straight, then anyone can.

My explanation? Some of the "straights" sampled in the study are really closet-cases which skews the average stress levels of the straight group off. I think what is really stressful is being in the closet.

If that explanation isn't right, then I think @1 might be right. Queer people have multiple partners more often and get laid more, both of which conceivably relieve stress. I know I feel more relaxed about my life since my wife and I opened up our relationship 5 years ago.
Posted by ohthetrees on January 31, 2013 at 1:19 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 11
as a straight man, whether or not i pass for straight never crosses my mind. and i'm pretty femme for a straight guy - as in, i actually think about grooming and clothes. i'm too busy trying not to stare at women's breasts.

you get letters from a small segment of the straight male populace.
Posted by Max Solomon on January 31, 2013 at 1:25 PM · Report this
12
Great post. I'd link to it on my facebook page, but I don't want anyone to think I'm gay . . .
Posted by mattchuck on January 31, 2013 at 1:27 PM · Report this
very bad homo 13
We have more sex & fewer children. That pretty much explains it.
Posted by very bad homo on January 31, 2013 at 1:30 PM · Report this
Posted by epunch on January 31, 2013 at 1:38 PM · Report this
15
Gender role issues may be stressful for some straight guys, but I think it's more a case of self-help. Gay men learn fairly early that they need to define happiness for themselves and that they must do the painful scary thing to achieve it. Straight guys might not face that until they're middle-aged or later, when the consequences of the painful self-identification are divorce or career change.
Posted by beccoid on January 31, 2013 at 1:44 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 16
It could be that straight men are stressed out because they have to date women, who are usually fucking crazy. I know, that sounds kind of sexist. I don't think much of men either, but at least I don't feel the urge to have sex with them.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings http://www.reddit.com/r/spaceclop on January 31, 2013 at 1:45 PM · Report this
Banna 17
The reason: Women! Gay and bi dudes don't have to deal with relationships with women. Can I get a what-what?!
Posted by Banna http://www.ucp.org on January 31, 2013 at 1:45 PM · Report this
Helix 21
"a sense of security in our sexual identities and the sense of freedom that comes along with it."

THIS. THIS. FUCKING THIS.
Posted by Helix on January 31, 2013 at 2:08 PM · Report this
Tim Horton 22
@1 has it.

Maybe you just caught me - Mr. Typical Straight Guy married to a low-sex drive housewife - in the middle of a sexless rut. But this lack of sex seriously causes stress. If you drank my cortisol right now you could fight Mike Tyson.

I have never heard of Gay bed death.
Posted by Tim Horton on January 31, 2013 at 2:16 PM · Report this
23
This study was made in Montreal, and having lived there for a number of years, I'd say it might have a lot to do with Quebec culture.

In the 90s, the term "homme rose" (literally: pink men) was coined to describe the (supposedly) typical Quebec male: sensitive, caring, who did his share of the housework and who took care of the kids, etc. Unfortunately, women had begun complaining, that seemingly-perfect man wasn't much of a stud in the bedroom. After decades of clamouring for less stereotypical gender roles, the women of Quebec apparently (and ironically) found themselves yearning for more macho types.

Now, If I were straight, I might find it stressful to have to go from one end of the spectrum to the other every day.
Posted by Ricardo on January 31, 2013 at 2:17 PM · Report this
Fortunate 24
I think its a bunch of factors.

While certainly not every straight guy worried about being perceived as gay, I have known a lot of straight guys who do.

But...

That doesn't account for all of it.

I think @1 may be onto something, but I don't think it is just the amount of sex. Even those of us who are monogamous and not going out and having purely recreational sex with multiple partners seem a bit more satisfied with our sex lives than it seems many straight guys are.

I think it is more about how we have sex, rather than how many people we have sex with or how often we have sex.

For one thing, while there is variation in every population, men and women tend to approach sex differently, and two guys are generally going to be more on the same page about it. Not always, but I think far more often.

But I think the biggie is something that Dan has mentioned before. It's that because gay people don't have automatic sex roles we do, or can, fall into we typically get into the habit of starting off sexual encounters with new people with those magic words, "What are you into?"

We negotiate sex. It's kind of inherent to the process when you are gay. Straight people, while they can negotiate, they have some pretty strong cultural sex roles they can fall into without a need to negotiate, and so a lot of straight guys probably do fall into them without feeling they can express their specific needs or wants.

Gay guys pretty much have to at some point. And I think that even when we settle down, and even if we choose to be monogamous, it just become habit. After years with the same person you certainly don't really have to ask "what are you into?", but there is always room for negotiating. This time person A may want to be the top. Next time person B may want to be the top. The time after that one may decide they just want to hold close and jerk off. Another time they may want to switch off, or opt for sticking with oral, or whatever.

It just seems to me that gay people simply have more opportunity to do this kind of negotiating because it is sort of built into the system for us, and becomes habit.

And on top of it, as someone else mentioned, we are less likely to have kids. I don't have anything against kids, but not having them, and having lots of siblings, relatives, and friends with kids it's easy to see that they are like constant stress creation machines.

I think it all works together.

We gay people have our own stressors. Legal issues due to not being able to marry. Social pressure in some parts of the country. More threats of violence and discrimination.

But I think that while these kinds of things actually have potentially greater risks to us in terms of how they effect our lives, the stress from them doesn't effect us as the kinds of stress that can be produced by more intimate interactions and relationships.

More...
Posted by Fortunate on January 31, 2013 at 2:19 PM · Report this
SoapMacTavish 26
Well if we're going on personal anecdotal experience, most of the gay dudes I see on TV shows like project runway and some of other reality shows are all bitchy, neurotic, self interested, mean dick bags. Don't seem that happy at all.
Except Tim Gunn, he is awesome!
Posted by SoapMacTavish on January 31, 2013 at 2:28 PM · Report this
27
Great post - deserves wider distribution. Put your people on it!
Posted by gloomy gus on January 31, 2013 at 2:38 PM · Report this
Tim Horton 28
@23 - Like @11 said, I have never given a thought as to whether someone thought I was gay. Granted, I don't have some marginalized kink, like cross-dressing, that was essential to my personal happiness. And while I don't want to minimize the experiences of cross-dressers or other men who have problems coming to terms versus gender expectations, I don't think that accounts for the majority.

Interestingly, Ricardo @23, what you describe - men trying to fit women's expectations - is done by men precisely because they are trying to impress women which we do because IT IS HARD TO GET LAID IF YOU ARE STRAIGHT.

I hate to typecast men as simple, but really - show me a man who has busted a good load and I will show you a stress free man.
Posted by Tim Horton on January 31, 2013 at 2:39 PM · Report this
GhostDog 29
@23 I would say that has less to do with anything gender related and more to do with wanting what people don't have right now.

Or, to use a cliche, "the grass is always greener".
Posted by GhostDog on January 31, 2013 at 2:54 PM · Report this
30
@ 28 - I agree with you on that - it is very hard to get laid for straight guys compared to gay guys, at least according to my straight friends' experience. And that would explain in great part the lower level of stress in out gay men in general (at least in countries where that's not punishable by death).

Obviously, straight guys will try to fit women's expectations because that's the key to getting laid. But what I'm describing goes deeper than that: it's the way Quebec men are brought up. And if you have been socialized one way, i.e. as a "pink man" - because anything else is frowned upon in your society - and you suddenly have to transform yourself into a man's man at your partner's whim, I'm quite convinced that this dichotomy is also a great source of stress for the heterosexual male.
Posted by Ricardo on January 31, 2013 at 3:03 PM · Report this
31
@ 29 - My point is not really about "anything gender related", but about the stress of having to respond to rather contradictory expectations.
Posted by Ricardo on January 31, 2013 at 3:07 PM · Report this
34
@ 32 - Bitching is an excellent stress-reliever.
Posted by Ricardo on January 31, 2013 at 3:13 PM · Report this
35
Perhaps I wouldn't go so far as to worry over being mislabeled, but I'm always interested on those rare occasions when I'm mistaken for straight why the person thinking so thought so. It's a good chance to learn what I'm doing wrong and correct it.

[But straight guys know they're constantly being scrutinized for evidence of gayness or not-real-man-ness—by themselves, by each other, by their girlfriends and wives—and that scrutiny can make a guy paranoid and insecure.]

Operative words - by each other. He who casts no stones himself shall be the first I declare as deserving no stones cast at him.

This post reads quite a bit like feminist posts defending Bridezillas on the grounds that women are conditioned in that direction from the cradle and before. This is true enough, I suppose, and I would sign on to help solve such a problem, but only once the First Do No Harm mechanism is securely in place. Otherwise, we end up inviting our homophobic uncles in the state legislature to our weddings.
Posted by vennominon on January 31, 2013 at 3:29 PM · Report this
37
This study's results don't surprise me in the least, and anxiety over sexual identity is not something I'd ever have thought of. I've been mistaken for gay, and while that was annoying to my vanity (because I was trying to project as straight), it wasn't a big deal. It may be an issue for a few guys, but it really seems to me like something gays and bis (e.g. #36) are projecting.

At least for me, the stress is about not getting laid. Getting laid reduces your stress, but NOT getting laid turns the stress up quite a few notches. It's not about women, per se, either. Women are fine when sex isn't in the picture. But women + sex = oy vey. As a bonus, I'll take much more stressful jobs if I think that'll increase my chances of getting laid (read: the stressful job pays better.)

If I were gay, I wouldn't have to worry about whether I was going to get laid or not, and that would make life a bunch less stressful.
Posted by Old Crow on January 31, 2013 at 4:04 PM · Report this
Posted by EricaP on January 31, 2013 at 5:14 PM · Report this
39
Well that's changing. The absolutely spectacular and apparently straight UK diver twin Chris Mears appears naked (but showing no genitals) on the cover of the Brit Gay Times, and then put the pic on his twitter photo. He's not worried. It's symptomatic of a lot less gay panic generally among young straight guys.
Posted by Abmindprof on January 31, 2013 at 5:35 PM · Report this
delirian 40
I'll believe it when I see the study. From the article, 87 people around the age of 25 were tested. I'd be curious to see how many people from each group (straight, closeted, and out) were sampled. I'd also like to see if they made any of the classical psychological study errors like studying only college students or studying people in only one specific area that has a less toxic culture. With such a small sample size, I'd be surprised if they got a decent cross section of society, including bigoted and less bigoted areas. And since this was a Canadian study, if it only studied Canadians, a country that has the same civil rights for gays and straights, I'd be surprised if it would be applicable to Americans.

I haven't been able to find an abstract. Does anyone have a link?
Posted by delirian on January 31, 2013 at 6:13 PM · Report this
41
@40

abstract: http://tinyurl.com/aeh4a9b
pdf: http://tinyurl.com/b6fa69z

Figure 1B shows gay & bi men and straight women have fewer depression symptoms than gay & bi women and straight men. The authors speculate this might be due to more exercise and better diet, since they have a lower body mass index and lower triglycerides.

The groups didn't differ much on having children.

The authors also note an Arizona study in 2005 that showed being out at work leading to more stress (reference 88).
Posted by cgd on January 31, 2013 at 8:51 PM · Report this
delirian 43
@41: Thanks a lot for the links!

I think my concerns were valid after reading through the abstract and selection criteria. They only selected people from the greater Montreal area, one of the most gay friendly places in the world. They advertised among university groups, which is a classical psychological study error (77% of gay men were students in this study). But that is even worse in this case because universities are one of the most gay friendly and supportive organizations in society. And they excluded anyone with a severe mental illness. This would apply to heterosexuals as well as gays, lesbians, and bis, but it is also a pretty big issue with the study. The suicide rate of young gay men is five times that of young straight men. Biasing out anyone with a severe mental illness is going to have a disproportionate impact on a measure of mental well-being of gays (I'm not sure what the stats are for lesbians). Finally, add in the small sample size, and I think it is obvious that the only real conclusion that can be found from this study is that if you come out of the closet, your mental health will generally improve. I don't think it supports the conclusion that straights are more depressed than gays and bi guys.

If they did the same study among blue collar workers in Montana which included people with severe mental illness, I'm sure they would get a different result. This study stands in contrast with our understanding of the suicide crisis that exists within the gay community. I'm convinced that the bigotry of society is still killing gays of all ages, especially kids. This study does nothing to dispel that.
Posted by delirian on January 31, 2013 at 9:38 PM · Report this
Josh Bis 44
Sure. It could be any of these psychological explanations. It could also be that the heterosexual men were a little bit older, more likely to be workers than students, more likely to be in a relationship, or any number of other characteristics. Further research required.
Posted by Josh Bis http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Author.html?oid=3815563 on January 31, 2013 at 11:49 PM · Report this
45
Colbert is closer than Savage.
It's not gay anxiety.
It is women, but only indirectly.

Straight men spend their lives in dominance hierarchies,
trying to claw their way far enough up the ladder to get laid.
These hierarchies are pyramid-shaped, so most men are towards the bottom,
and being on the bottom is stressful. This comes straight out of the chip studies:
stress hormones correlate directly with social status.

Gay men don't compete for women, so they can mostly opt out of this.
Posted by Kije on February 1, 2013 at 1:35 AM · Report this
46
OF COURSE GAY GUYS ARE LESS STRESSED!! They don't have to deal with pleasing a woman in their life!

JOKE ALERT! ;)
Posted by frankdawg on February 1, 2013 at 4:53 AM · Report this
47
Personally I think its more about straight guys not knowing who they really are an choosing the wrong females. I don't find it too hard to hard to find women to have good wild freaky fun nasty sex with. But then I don't go to typical tight collared straight bars either. Wanna have less stress have fun. Go to renfests an dress up, go to music fests go on a weekend long acid trip. An let the hell loose. Experience life to the fullest if your partner does not want to play dress up get a better partner. Duh. Get away from sterotypes people. Express yourself.
Posted by splitter67 on February 1, 2013 at 5:26 AM · Report this
Indighost 48
Everyone who says that this is about the stress of trying to attract women is right.

I am a perfectly normally intelligent, hard-working, middle class straight man, but if you asked me what the number 1 most difficult, painful, depressing, and infuriating problem in my life is, it is how the heck do I be the kind of man that women like. Be macho? Maybe, but they might be able to tell you're fake. Just be yourself and be confident? Maybe, but what if you're like me and you like reading romance novels and watching 'Girls'? Women assume you're gay and lose any attraction to you instantly. You have to tread a very fine line, especially on first dates.

I'm not saying it's impossible to attract women--it's definitely doable--mostly through economies of scale via online dating--but it's really, really difficult and takes a ton of thought, work, preparation, time, and energy.

Gay men really have it easier. They are all men, and they all know what they like, and generally speaking, they can be themselves
Posted by Indighost on February 1, 2013 at 6:42 AM · Report this
49
...Unfortunately, women had begun complaining, that seemingly-perfect man wasn't much of a stud in the bedroom. After decades of clamouring for less stereotypical gender roles, the women of Quebec apparently (and ironically) found themselves yearning for more macho types.
Helen Gurley Brown nailed it. She took her fellow straight women to task once, commenting [and I work from memory] "We women have finally crafted the sensitive, caring, contributing male. And now that we have them we're calling them wimps." This is why frankdawg @46 may be kidding, but he's kidding on the square. I've yet to meet a gay guy or a lesbian who is oblique about WTF they want out of their relationships, but trying to figure out when the average straight women wants what she says she wants and when she wants the dead opposite of what she says she wants is often an exercise that careens crazily from science to art to craft within a very short amount of time. And that's the average normal ones. ;) Wish it weren't so, but it is.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 1, 2013 at 7:12 AM · Report this
seandr 50
I'm just happy that someone out there sorta kinda gives a shit about straight guys.
Posted by seandr on February 1, 2013 at 8:00 AM · Report this
Tim Horton 51
The unregistered comment @42 also adds another important layer.

Looking around at the white collar world I live in, most of the straight men are sole providers for their families. Combine the stress of the job with the financial strain of providing for several mouths. And, most complain of a lack of sex. Some of the rest are having affairs which adds another layer of stress.

I refuse to believe Grindr exists. It can't be that easy for gay men to find partners, is it?

Posted by Tim Horton on February 1, 2013 at 8:26 AM · Report this
52
@50: Agreed. It's rather nice to see anything about straight guys that doesn't expressly or impliedly see us as a problem (indeed, often the problem) to be solved.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 1, 2013 at 8:27 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 53
This is not surprising in the least.

Feminist theory has always said patriarchy hurts the very men it privileges. This is why that backlash bs saying feminism=hating men is ignorant sometimes and other times calculated. Masculinity is defined mosly by what is not: feminine, vulnerable, sensitive, submissive (sexually, & otherwise) etc--basically, anything to do with women or girls, of which in patriarchy=weak.

Out gay and bi men subvert patriarchal norms and are therefore free to define themselves (or not, they don't necessarily need to) only by who and what they are, whether or not that involves traits and behaviors patriarchal norms dictate as "feminine". Gender play does not threaten these men's sense of identity.

Of course straight men, the ones invested heavily in traditional masculinity consciously or because they don't know they can do otherwise, are, what's the buzzword? 'Anxious,' I think. They can get off the ride, some don't want to, others don't think to get off. The answer, as progressive glbt and feminist minded people demonstrate, is more education about institutional societal systems and hierarchies and tolerance of differences. The non-anxious (straight) men are hip to these a-changin' times.

All of this is why misogyny I witness from gay men really pisses me off. Glbt issues are inexplicably linked to women's issues, all of which are human issues v the patriarchy (well, kyriarchy, actually, as race, class and even geographic location all tie in, but that's a bit broader than I'll go here).

Anyway, the answer to "what's going on with men" is never "women."
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 8:31 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 54
'Inexplicably?' I meant 'inextricably linked.' Phew, that was a good joint.
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 8:41 AM · Report this
55
Feminist theory has always said patriarchy hurts the very men it privileges.
Which is one of the biggest flaws in feminist theory, because a patriarchy privileges its apex predators (as it were) not the vast bulk of the rest of the male food chain. If you're a working or middle class male then feminism often seems to be more about getting an advantage over you, rather than over the men who really benefit. A good example? Canada's civil service. Women receive hiring preferences (even though they're represented at a rate above their percentage of the population), which means that a man is disadvantaged trying to get in. However, the top ranks of the civil service are disproportionately male. Why? Because the patriarchy ensures that the benefit of the patriarchy doesn't go to men per se, but the tiny group of men at the top. They're quite content to watch women eat the men of their own or lower classes ... it keeps them away from where the real problems lie.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 1, 2013 at 8:43 AM · Report this
56
All of this is why misogyny I witness from gay men really pisses me off.
I have seen two things related to this statement: (1) Gay men can often be misogynist. Sad, but true. (2) Gay men often get called misogynist (when they're not) by ideological feminists because gay men often love to call BS on some female or feminist realities that straight men are too afraid to say.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 1, 2013 at 8:50 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 57
@52 it's not personal.

It can be uncomfortable to recognize one's privilege, but understanding that the privileges one is institutionally bestowed based on appearance, race, socio-economic status, gender, etc, are bestowed unasked-for can give a bit of perspective. Basically, unless you are actively participating in discrimination, it's not about you: it's about the system.
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 8:52 AM · Report this
58
@57. Ah, but feminism correctly noted that the personal IS political, and therefore the political can be intensely personal. When a man loses a civil service job to a woman of equal qualifications because of gender preferences it is deeply personal to him, as it was personal to the woman in, say, 1970 who wouldn't get the job because she was a woman. The simple reality that most progressives I've ever met seem to fail to grasp is that you can't seek an egalitarian society by doing inegalitarian and prejudicial things, and then pat your own ass and say that you're fighting "privilege". "Privilege" is the new go-to word for progressives. It's a valuable concept, and should never be forgotten, but it's also a goddamned club is often used as such and grossly unfairly against people who can be designated (through group identity) as having privilege, but who actually, in their individual reality, have none. I don't want the bad old days of race and gender bias back. I don't think that we're any better off making the same mistakes with a different cast of characters who get fucked over. I think that's where progressives often fall down, truth be told: they talk an egalitarian game, but they're often more about replacing one privileged group with another that they feel is more deserving.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 1, 2013 at 9:04 AM · Report this
seandr 59
@femwanderluster: Feminist theory has always said patriarchy hurts the very men it privileges.

Do feminists consider competing with other straight men for an under-supply of willing sexual partners to be a privilege of patriarchy?

Do they recognize that masculinity is largely a strategy to attract women?

What do feminists make of the fact that women, by and large, reinforce this strategy when selecting sexual partners?

And finally, is feminism a suitable framework for understanding male psychology?

Whatever your answer to these questions, I guarantee you, if straight guys got laid with the ease that gay men do, you'd see a dramatic drop in the population of douchebags.
Posted by seandr on February 1, 2013 at 9:42 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 60
You occupy a privileged space in our society. As a man. Socio-economically, your status as a man might be different than other men. Your race then comes into play. Where do live? That matters, too. Are you older, younger?

All of that is involved in kyriarchy. Patriarchy is the root and trunk of the kyriarchy tree. The other social systems that privilege some people over other people are the branches of that tree, or the sub-hierarchies of the main patriarchal hierarchy, mainly: race, class, location. That's why I think you may want to do further research, at least based on this:

@55 "Because the patriarchy ensures that the benefit of the patriarchy doesn't go to men per se, but the tiny group of men at the top. They're quite content to watch women eat the men of their own or lower classes ... it keeps them away from where the real problems lie."

It seems that you may be experiencing less privilege based on econmic status.

The term "privilege(s)" sounds great, like it means you are automatically rich. In some ways it does, but that depends on the definition of "rich"--is it strictly re:money or does it mean you have a domicile secure from the elements with electricity, some form of convenient plumbing, easily accessible and abundant food, access to reliable care when sick, injured, pregnant etc. "Privilege(s)" though can be subtle, re: through social interactions with others.

Essentially, it goes as follows:
1. Man or woman? (Or other?)
2. Race?
3. How much money do you make/have/is your occupation respected and valued?
3a. What kind of people (aka where do they fit in the kyriarchy tree?) did you have the luck or misfortune to be born to?
4. Where do you live?
5. Are you differently-abled?
6. Do you fit cultural ideals of beauty?
7. Do you subvert any of the above?

And you can keep getting more specific but it all begins with: men privileged over women. Then race, then money and on.

You also say:

@55: "If you're a working or middle class male then feminism often seems to be more about getting an advantage over you, rather than over the men who really benefit."

I can understand this sense of, well, develocitization. A law professor of an ex of mine told a student in his class who asked a similar question about family law and how it seemed to give women more rights than men: "men are here," he said, holding a hand level with his chin, "and women have been here for all of history," now holding his other hand down by his hip, "and when we change these laws, what we're doing is this," he brings the hand by his hip up to his chin, both hands now level. "It can feel like we're privileging women over men, but we're actually just leveling the playing field. Men aren't being brought down, women are being brought up, to be equal, not better than." This same principle applies to affirmative action re:race, etc.

Not to discount your experience, everyone's is valid. Contextualize, I guess. Don't miss the forest for the trees.
More...
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 9:46 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 61
@ 58

The personal is political, of course, but the context matters is what I'm saying. See 60.
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 9:48 AM · Report this
62
Oh, femwanderluster, I do contextualize, and I'm pleased that you so carefully note a multiplicity of contexts. My problem lies in the fact that "context" seems to disappear entirely when the rubber of a given context hits the road of competing needs. To illustrate: it has been my professional experience that women are, outliers to the contrary, grossly privileged in Ontario's family court system: they retain a lot of their former privileges [eg: automatic favouritism in anything to do with child custody because, you know, mommies, even where mommy is a fucking nut, or near-automatic support rights, because, you know, a man's gotta make sure his woman has a good lifestyle but it's now dressed up in egalitarian language about lifestyles]. Yet there is zero, zero, zero feminist support for making sure that the loss of privilege and the gain of equality is a two-way street. (A good example is Abella JA on Canada's SCC and the recent decision on common-law spouses in Quebec: its essentially a feminist polemic divorced from the facts of the case, from the legislative history of the relevant legislation in Quebec, and from an individual's responsibility for their own life choices.)

So, when folks who understand this start hearing about "privilege" they recognize it for the code language that it so often is: it means that the person using the "privilege" argument wants you to give up your interests (even where you aren't privileged but can be deemed to be privileged) but the person making the argument won't even admit that they possess any privilege, let alone give up some of their own.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 1, 2013 at 10:00 AM · Report this
Indighost 63
@61: If you're a troll, then bravo. If you're serious, then wow, you completely missed my, seeker, and seandr's points. It looks like you didn't even read his posts.
Posted by Indighost on February 1, 2013 at 10:05 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 64
@58 also, what I mean to say and this all relates back to your comment:

@50: "It's rather nice to see anything about straight guys that doesn't expressly or impliedly see us as a problem (indeed, often the problem) to be solved."

Straight guys themselves are not the problem, it's the system that privileges them over others. They can be a problem if they actively support that system, by which I mean their exercising of their privilege causes problems for other people's rights, ie fighting gay marriage or reproductive rights or employment/pay/flexibility or closer to home, how they treat women.

So feminism isn't fighting YOU, it's fighting the system. Feminist criticism is about making people aware of how these systems play out in everyday, personal ways and in actions and thoughts you might not have been conscious of, but its not about personal attacks on you, specific dude, oh you are the worst feminism hates you castrate and kill castrate and kill!

Y'know?
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 10:05 AM · Report this
65
Put bluntly, femwanderluster, I believe strongly that considering privilege is immensely important, just as I consider morality and patriotism important. But when somebody starts running "morality" and "patriotism" up front in an argument I know damned well I'm almost always about to be on the receiving end of a conservative con job aimed at leaving me worse off than before. And when somebody starts running "privilege" up front in an argument I know damned well I'm almost always about to be on the receiving end of a progressive con job aimed at leaving me worse off than before. And in both cases I I know that the people screwing me over are oh-so-sure that A Better Society will result.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 1, 2013 at 10:08 AM · Report this
seandr 66
@femwanderluster: You occupy a privileged space in our society. As a man.

The space occupied by men in our society is somewhat more complicated than that. For every statistic showing that men earn more money, there are others that paint a much less rosy picture.

Men are 9 times as likely to be incarcerated as women, they are less likely to finish high school and college, their live-spans are shorter, they are more likely to be the victim of violent crime, suicide rates are much higher, and today we learn that they walk around with more cortisol coursing through their veins. (I should also point out, in case it's not obvious to you, that men are no more likely to be born into wealth than women.)

Things might have been different 60 years ago, but these days, being born male is a mixed bag at best.
Posted by seandr on February 1, 2013 at 10:10 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 67
@65 Ok, wow, not trying to screw you over, just have a discussion.

And "a better society" is always a good aim, in my book.

Then, again, I'm also Norwegian. *Bee boo bop* I come *bop* in peace *bee boo*
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 10:17 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 68
@66 I hear ya. That's kinda what i was trying to say up thread--yes, man/woman is a dichotomy of privilege, but it's just the first of many. Yes men are privileged over women, but that is then complicated by race and class and a guy won't necessarily FEEL his privilege as a man when his status in other categories is lower, by which lowering his place in the overall hierarchy of the kyriarchy tree.

Phew, sometimes gets a little wordy trying to make a point clearly while also trying not to conflate anything, offend someone, or seem to be condescending.
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 10:26 AM · Report this
69
FWIW, @63, thx for the support, but I don't see it as trolling. IMO It's a fairly reasoned advocacy of the parameters of privilege analysis, having only the flaws of not considering its inherent flaws, or the worse flaws in how it is applied. I see it as one of the least club-like uses of it that I've seen in a while.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 1, 2013 at 10:27 AM · Report this
70
@65 Ok, wow, not trying to screw you over, just have a discussion.
I know. We're having one.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 1, 2013 at 10:29 AM · Report this
71
Then, again, I'm also Norwegian.
We shall call you "The Swede".
Posted by seeker6079 on February 1, 2013 at 10:31 AM · Report this
72
@66 - Your stats actually remind me of a good example of the whole "I attack your privilege but I am blind to my own" thing I see so often. When was the last time you heard anybody giving a fuck about the fact that men are killed on the job at a rate about 20 times women's fatalities?
Posted by seeker6079 on February 1, 2013 at 10:40 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 73
@62 as a person who uses the word 'privilege' and discusses kyriarchy, you can rest assured that I recognize my own privileges as a young, blond, blue-eyed, reasonably fit, middle class, white woman. I actively and consciously try to catch moments of privilege, whether its happening socially or in my thoughts or my speech. I fail at times. I will fail again. But I'm open to learning from others' experience and I admit when I'm wrong.

All a part of that A Better Society shit.

Privilege is messy.

You have taken things I've said badly. Perhaps we misunderstand each other. I'm not competing with you or trying to win at SLOG. Jut trying to understand and make myself understood.

Not every discussion is a satisfying one, such is life, huh?
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 10:42 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 74
@72 no stats here! Totally forgot to staple my bibliography to my paper!

I think that is a fair question and I would support action to change that.
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 10:45 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 75
@71 my best friend is Swedish and that's what I call her, or, well Svenska, but same thing.
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 10:47 AM · Report this
76
@73. So noted. But I stand by my comments on folks asking other folks to be aware of their alleged privilege. Over the years I have noted that progressives often ask folks to consider their own "privilege" the same way that the Catholic Church asks its adherents to consider their own "sin": you are meant to feel shitty about who you are and what you may or may not have done so that the asker can get you to do what they want. I guess that a good way of balancing things would be twofold: (1) be aware of what may be your own privilege; (2) be intensely suspicious of somebody who asks the same of you because they usually have their own agendas and want your help in throwing you under the bus for their own personal or ideological betterment.

Of course, that leaves aside the issue of what we do when we are on the receiving end of privilege. How far must we go in trying to right things? Are we individually obliged to forsake our own advantages trying to make the society better?
Posted by seeker6079 on February 1, 2013 at 10:51 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 77
it'd be interesting to hear from straight guys about their experiences with depression and then later see where those experiences stem from on the kyriarchy tree.
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 10:54 AM · Report this
78
Straight guys don't talk about their depression, femW. We try and work it out with sex and when the women say no we just get more depressed. ;)

Posted by seeker6079 on February 1, 2013 at 11:00 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 79
@76 "Of course, that leaves aside the issue of what we do when we are on the receiving end of privilege. How far must we go in trying to right things? Are we individually obliged to forsake our own advantages trying to make the society better?"

These are interesting questions and lead to questions of ethics.

I think to be aware of one's privilege is a start. I don't think one needs to go out of one's way to disadvantage oneself--that would depend on one's sense of charity and one's ability to give. I think that treating others with equality and not purposely trying to disadvantage others or impede on others' rights as human beings--that old stand by 'treat others as you would be treated' is a good standard. I think it's not so difficult or too much to ask of each other.

Then again, I'm a socialist northern european.
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 11:07 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 80
@76 "you are meant to feel shitty about who you are and what you may or may not have done so that the asker can get you to do what they want."

I do not agree with this.

This is what I meant up thread when I was saying feminist criticism and pointing out privilege is not personal. It's also why I said privilege is messy. Recognizing privilege feels bad at first because it can feel like you, personally, are being held responsible for something you, personally, Mr Seeker6079, did not make happen. This is why it's so hard for the public debate in this country to discuss race--as a white person I feel horrible about slavery, but I was not personally responsible for slavery, nor have I ever nor would I ever 'own' another person. It's not fun and you're right, it makes you feel bad. That's why it's not about YOU but the system that supports race discrimination. Once that focus has switched from you to the system, it doesn't feel bad anymore.

I got my BA in South Africa. Hoo boy, did I ever confront my own privilege in my cultural criticism class as a foreign white girl talking about race and who can be called an 'African' in a class of 200 students, the majority of whom were black and from various African countries. But what was great was that, even as my face burned and I clumsily tried to articulate my point (something about how we say 'African American' in the states), my peers didn't attack me, but countered with their own thoughts. I learned SO MUCH that day. I basically smacked into a wall of glass I thought was open air.
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 11:29 AM · Report this
81
Gay males are heterosexual by nature,secretly remain heterosexual throughout their lives
and when around females easily become heterosexual inclined. What gay males fell to say is
as former heterosexual males we didn't reject the female,but they rejected us. Gay males
are always open to pleasure the female,because that's our nature.
Women love homosexuality,when a male turn to homosexuality,he often find success with
the woman. Did you know that gay male couples often invite females into the bedroom...
and they come,often.
Gay males are more heterosexual than the woman gender,that gay male that just like males
does'nt exist...its a myth. If a women want to have sex with us,we will yield,and the more attractive they are,the less we can resist.
Do you know the woman for centuries have been rejecting males,and at the same time would go behind his back and fornicate with her female friendaka"girlfriend". The woman
have been cheating on men with their female friends before the 1700's.
Men walking around everyday with those blindfolders on thinking its cute to not notice stuff.
The woman everyday is moving the government to pass laws & regulations to block males away.

Posted by mythofgaymales on February 1, 2013 at 11:34 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 82
@48 it ain't super easy for women either, but I hear you. In your description of yourself, you sound like an average great guy who is hung up on his personal performance of masculinity and whether or not it's the right kind of performance (as in expression of, not sexually) to attract women.

Any woman? Or a specific kind who also likes romance (novels or what have you) and watching 'Girls'?

I have felt similarly in regard to my performance of femininity and dating.

It seems the best idea I've found is to decide to what extent you want to perform masculinity or femininity and think about the kind of person you want to attract and then yourself be a person that kind of person would want to date. Easier said than done, right? .
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 11:46 AM · Report this
Tim Horton 83
This is a fascinating conversation with seeker and femwanderluster.

But I can't help but back up to fem's orignal post @53. She, Dan Savage (and other feminists) cite the patriarchy and it's supposed enforcement of rigid male constructs as the source of male stress. Yet, every straight guy who has written in has disagreed and cites to more simple explanation that the lack of available sex partners is the cause of stress. (Ever see two rams butt heads for the right to mate with the females?? Something like that).

SeanDr, I would answer your questions in @53 but we would be accused of Mansplaining....
Posted by Tim Horton on February 1, 2013 at 11:46 AM · Report this
84
Tim, I'm a straight guy and I'd say that I don't assert either/or, but both and more.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 1, 2013 at 11:51 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 85
@81 what the fu--huh?!
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 11:52 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 86
@84 on this we both agree. Just because A happens doesn't mean B-Z don't also happen. Down with zero-sum! Yes to intersectionality and dualities.
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 11:57 AM · Report this
87
Hang in there femwanderluster. Trying to get people to realize who they should really be directing their anger and resentment at has historically been very difficult in this country.

Anyway, I recommend "Self-Made Man" by Norah Vincent for a totally different perspective the pressures men face. It's sort of a "Black Like Me" for gender relations.
Posted by chi_type on February 1, 2013 at 12:00 PM · Report this
88
And even men who engage in homosexual sex are, in many cultures and sub-cultures, defined differently depending on what they do, and where terms equal to 'faggot' are reserved only for those who suck cock or take it in the ass. So there's a tension among straight men to not be the vulnerable partner in any sex act lest they be like a woman (a pussy) or a fag. And that's ultimately what's at the core of homophobia and misogyny: the fear of being sexually vulnerable and by extension, the hatred of those who are sexually vulnerable to men.
Posted by ignatz ratzkywatzky on February 1, 2013 at 12:04 PM · Report this
89
@ 81 - This is the most stupid thing I've read since... Well, for as long as I can remember.

And not only do you have poor reasoning and ridiculous ideas but your grammar is shit.
Posted by Ricardo on February 1, 2013 at 12:09 PM · Report this
90
@ femwanderluster and chi_type too, I suppose. It's disingenuous to say, "We're not attacking you personally, we're criticizing the system."

There is no seperately existing entity called "the system". There are just a whole bunch of men and women who interact. You are criticizing that interaction, particularly and specifically the men who interact; calling it "the system" is just an academic habit to avoid saying plainly what you mean. The problem with patriarchy is male behavior. Period.

That is why men get their backs up. When you say "patriarchy is a problem", if you break it down to day-to-day life, you're basically saying, "Men generally behave badly--but no offense meant."
Posted by LateBloomer on February 1, 2013 at 12:14 PM · Report this
91
@88 - I think that there is something in what you note there (also noted by DanS), which is the notion of fear of loss. What's that Savage comment? "Suck one cock and you're gay for life", iirc.
I've always found it hilarious listening to some straight girls complain, for example, that they want a MMF and why can't men be comfortable with other men, blah blah, but if there's even a hint of lavender [yes, I am using that dated pejoratively ironically] about a man they book and fast because they, in their turn, are scared. Part of it is, imho, because so many straight women buy into too-traditional notions of what a Man is, and part of it is that our cultural frames still accept (whether we realize it or not) that part of the deal in straight relationships is that the woman controls the sex. A woman with bi male knows that if she sets too thin a ration her man can easily get gay sex somewhere else; a straight woman knows how hard it is for many (most?) men to get laid, and so the control dynamics are very different, very much more in the woman's favour, and therefore very unwelcome. Personally I think that most of this operates at a culturally-programmed subconscious level, but it IS there.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 1, 2013 at 12:15 PM · Report this
femwanderluster 92
@83 yes, it's been fun!

This struck me in your comment:

"Supposed[ly] enforcement of rigid male constructs [is] the source of male stress. Yet, every straight guy who has written in has disagreed and cites to more simple explanation that the lack of available sex partners is the cause of stress."

What we are saying is that 'rigid male constructs' don't give men any margin for error, and failing to meet these constructs of 'what makes a man a real man' can lead to internal struggle and depression.

It relates to how a man performs his masculinity--he's been told the privileged story of the tall handsome wealthy guy with a flashy car and, more recently, looking effortlessly groomed with washboard abs gets all the pussy. Well, turns out different pussies like different kinds of dicks or even other pussies and while you can pay for sex, you really can't pay for a woman who meets all your 'datable' criteria, loves you deeply, and likes the same kind and frequency of sex you like. You have to find her, if you can. And there's the rub--no one is entitled to this kind of relationship. Nor is anyone entitled to sex.

And that's where we start to get into the issue of one person's privilege impeding on others' rights when another person is added to the mix. Not that that happens automatically, but it can.

So, I guess that's an issue with male sexuality that is worth exploring: the straight man's perceived lack of available and willing sexual partners, causes, solutions and context.

Someone do that study, please.
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 12:30 PM · Report this
femwanderluster 93
@87 I agree, that book was awesome!
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 12:31 PM · Report this
femwanderluster 94
@87 Stiffed by Susan Faludi is also a great look at masculinity.
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 12:33 PM · Report this
femwanderluster 95
@90 I don't agree.

I think it's disingenuous to say "the problem with patriarchy is men's behavior. Period." That isn't the ONLY problem--not all men consciously discriminate against women, just as not all white people CONSCIOUSLY discriminate against people of other races.

It is a system of IDEAS. Both ideas and behavior can be changed. If you think I've been sweeter than I should be or just less angry than I should be, you haven't read very many of my SLOG comments. Trust, I value feminist rage. I just don't always think throwing fire is best response. And that's the main idea, to change thoughts and behavior through using one if the oldest tools in the feminist toolbox: consciousness raising.
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 12:47 PM · Report this
femwanderluster 96
Further clarification:
Call someone a racist and see how well they take the rest of that conversation--one more lost opportunity for a constructive discussion.

If you call attention to racist language or racist behavior, that's calling out one instance to someone's attention, not attacking their character. They can correct that and still feel respected. Now they might think about moments of racism they find themselves unconsciously participating in, or evenly consciously, and maybe they'll stop. Better yet, they might recognize it in others and pay it the change forward. That's how you slowly and surely permeate progressive ideas of equality through the general public. It takes fuckin forever! It helps if those ideas permeate mainstream media and entertainment.
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 1:00 PM · Report this
femwanderluster 97
Even further:

Attack a person's character and you'll keep fighting each other.

When it's the system of ideas you're fighting, you can potentially win that person over and bam! Now you're both fighting the system, not each other.

Phew. Time for another joint.
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 1:05 PM · Report this
Tim Horton 98
@92 - I appreciate your perspective. Very thought provoking.

Regarding the inherent lack of available sex partners for straight men, I assume that problem is a simple supply/demand imblalance, i.e. men need sex more than women. (not that men want or enjoy sex more, just get need it more, on the aggregate). For some reason that proposition offends feminists, not sure why.

Happy Friday!
Posted by Tim Horton on February 1, 2013 at 1:09 PM · Report this
99
I think it's disingenuous to say "the problem with patriarchy is men's behavior. Period." That isn't the ONLY problem-
The problem, femW, is that the "Period" view is all men hear. One of the reasons I stopped calling myself a "feminist" and only know call myself an "egalitarian" is that, in the almost thirty years since I went into uni and then law school and then the workplace (both in the public and private sectors), and in the more than thirty years that I have worked in service or blue collar work (on and off) I have NEVER heard or seen a feminist (de jure or de facto) give a flying f* about correcting those parts of the patriarchy that benefit them. Do I see any feminists pissed off because the vast majority of judges automatically assume that the kids are better off with mommy? No. Do I see any feminists outraged that family care agencies will almost always choose the mother over the father, even where the mother is demonstrably mentally unstable and the father is provably fine? [Google "Elaine Campione"]. No. Do I hear any feminists complaining that support laws are very often unfairly applied? [There was a notorious case here in Ontario where the ex-husband fled the country when the courts upped his combined child/spousal support to over 90% of his pre-tax income.] No. Hell, even mention this stuff and out comes the "MRA" pejorative.

It has always been "it's a shared problem ... but all we're going to do is talk about how you have to change". This is where many men who'd otherwise be feminists are wary of "consciousness raising" because it's the same as dealing with a marital counsellor: if all he wants to talk about is how one spouse is wrong, then that spouse is going to -- and should -- walk away from a rigged game.
More...
Posted by seeker6079 on February 1, 2013 at 1:17 PM · Report this
100
@95: Woah. Bad use of grammar. Let me try again. "Calling it "the system" is just an academic habit to avoid saying plainly what you mean: that the problem with patriarchy is male behavior. Period."

"Disingenuous--Not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does." I'm saying that when someone criticizes "the patriarchy", all the while protesting that this isn't personally directed at men, they are being disingenuous. I'm not really interested in discussing the merits of feminism, I'm just objecting to your not owning what you say. I find it a common technique in social criticism, and feminist critiques especially, where we get to avoid saying that anyone *specifically* is at fault, and anyone *specifically* needs to change. It's the system. It's society. Not actual people. When really what you're saying, and what feminism has been saying all along, is that men need to change how they behave toward women. Sure, women may need to be part of that process, but only insofar as it helps to change men's behavior. If that weren't the basic, end-result problem, you wouldn't be involved in this discussion.

So yes, feminist critique is personal, and it is directed at men, because its whole purpose is to change ("privileged") male behavior--not some vaguely apprehended "system". Just say that clearly, and honest discussion can ensue. (This all began as a response to your comment @57, btw.)
Posted by LateBloomer on February 1, 2013 at 1:20 PM · Report this
101
I just want to take a minute to thank femwanderluster and everybody for approaching this in such a civil fashion and in the spirit of intellectual inquiry. The only ad hominems have been analyses of how things can turn ad hominem. This is amazingly welcome.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 1, 2013 at 1:22 PM · Report this
102
@92: so, what you are saying, is we should forget our experience of our own lives: here, you will helpfully tell us what our lives are actually like. How do women react when men tell you that your experiences don't tell you the truth about your lives, here, we will helpfully tell you the truth about your lives? So why doesn't a huge red flag wave when you try to do that to us? And haven't you noticed that your very convenient sophistry boils down to "here, I will dictate the social contract, I will get what I want to have, and you will get what I want you to have, too: that's just fair?"

Our "perceived" "lack of available and willing sexual partners"? I guess it's OK if abortion is banned then: we can just talk about women's "perceived" lack of control over their bodies.

And how convenient that "priviledge" isn't meaurable, but is all in the eye of the beholder. So you perceive men as more priviledged than you, which justifies you in treating us badly to your own advantage. And no matter how much your situation improves or "ours" worsens, you will ALWAYS perceive us as more "priviledged" than you, and you will always have a self-justification for continuing to treat us badly.

I read "Self-made man" and, as a straight male, thought it basically useless.
Posted by Old Crow on February 1, 2013 at 1:33 PM · Report this
103
@100: Wouldn't you agree that part of the problem is the fluidity of the definitions and application of the term "feminism"? I'd say (and I admit I'm oversimplifying) that we can fairly define feminism as:
1. A core philosophical view that women and men are equal and that society should be ordered around equality.
2. An often confusing multitude of ideologies of varying views and intensity (sometimes often in conflict or Venning) which analyze inequality and assert views regarding women's advancement.
3. A set of ideas that function de facto as a trade union or advocacy group for women, with all of the advantages and limitations of such a role: it's there for women's advancement, period, and that's its job.

The fluidity, I think, does create some backlash. One of the things I've noticed over the years is that men tune out "feminism" when they're getting the shaft from 3 while 3 is singing the song of 1.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 1, 2013 at 1:34 PM · Report this
104
@92: so, what you are saying, is we should forget our experience of our own lives: here, you will helpfully tell us what our lives are actually like. How do women react when men tell you that your experiences don't tell you the truth about your lives, here, we will helpfully tell you the truth about your lives? So why doesn't a huge red flag wave when you try to do that to us? And haven't you noticed that your analysis boils down to "here, I will dictate the social contract, I will get what I want to have, and you will get what I want you to have, too: that's just fair?"

Our "perceived" "lack of available and willing sexual partners"? I guess it's OK if abortion is banned then: we can just talk about women's "perceived" lack of control over their bodies.

And how convenient that "privilege" isn't measurable, but is all in the eye of the beholder. So you perceive men as more privileged than you, which justifies you in treating us badly to your own advantage. And no matter how much your situation improves or "ours" worsens, you will ALWAYS perceive us as more "privileged" than you, and you will always have a self-justification for continuing to treat us badly.

I read "Self-made man" and, as a straight male, thought it basically useless.
Posted by Old Crow on February 1, 2013 at 1:41 PM · Report this
105
Ack! Sorry about the double post.
Posted by Old Crow on February 1, 2013 at 1:45 PM · Report this
femwanderluster 106
@100 ok, I think I understand what you're saying. And I'm pretty sure we agree on most things, but i have to object to your objecting to my supposedly not owning what I say. I do own (what a weird phrase) everything I've written in this thread. I think you think I'm saying something I'm not, and you're objection is to that misunderstood statement. Seriously, click my username and read some of my old comments from other threads at random. Or don't, it's cool.

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you. I'm not saying NEVER to tell men their behavior is a problem and they need to change it because feminism. Also, radical feminist right here, hi, how ya doin? I just think that's one option of many. I did not go with that particular option today because I was enjoying actually engaging in a reasoned non-alienating discussion about gender performance with straight men on SLOG--doesn't happen too often.

Anyway, trying to understand.
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 1:46 PM · Report this
107
"I was enjoying actually engaging in a reasoned non-alienating discussion about gender performance with straight men on SLOG"

I'm hopin' that you don't realize that you essentially said that when we start talking gender roles the straight men here are usually not reasonable and are alienating. It's kinda like hearing, "wow, normally when I talk to negroes you get all excited and pushy, but you're different today, so thanks!" ;)
Posted by seeker6079 on February 1, 2013 at 1:58 PM · Report this
femwanderluster 108
@104 No, no that is not at all what I'm saying. What I wrote above, that? That is what I'm actually saying.
Though you certainly perceive a whole helluva lot of malice coming from me where there is none.

I think using the word "perceived" (which you will note does not mean obviously untrue or completely invalid) in the potential title for a study about men's own subjective experiences in regard to what they see as or experience as or gasp perceive as a lack of willing and available sex partners is simply much more succinct than that mouthful of a sentence I just wrote.

Perception is also a philosophical term in regard to how we use time, space, and our physical senses to interpret as much as we can (but never fully) of objective reality. We perceive only our subjective reality.

That's why I'd much rather hear about your own experience, you might prove me wrong and I'm open to that. My own subjective experience tells me that's not likely, but I can't know if you don't share.
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 2:05 PM · Report this
109
@108: In fairness, I don't think that malice is being ascribed to you. I think that people are saying "there is no way you can take position X without recognizing the human impact on us in general, or me personally, and it's an academic's verbal game to try and depersonalize the personal, to speak of actions whilst trying to be above inevitable impact".
Posted by seeker6079 on February 1, 2013 at 2:09 PM · Report this
femwanderluster 110
@107 I hear you. But, usually that is the case and why my patience isn't often in as good form as it is today.

I actually think its due to attacking characters and not specific language or behavior from both straight guys and us feminists who are also sometimes straight guys, and then the guys feel defensive and the discussion stops or gets off thread.

As a feminist, I get wrathful at attacks on women's rights to bodily autonomy so I start off defensive in those discussions of, say, the newest fetal personhood law or gang raped to death Indian women. In those cases, it is frustrating when men commenters, themselves defensive, derail the conversation so that it becomes about men in regard to feminism, or just about men in general, which happened in the thread about those Ohio sports players who made that awful video joking about how dead the girl they raped was: most of the commenters were guys and their comments were about sports and the guys were one-upping each other for most of the thread. In that instance, I commented about that. That wasn't the space to talk sports. The girl who was raped? Nowhere on their radar. Sure, sports culture and the institutions that support that culture and the privilege it fosters, in regard to the issue of those boys raping that girl? Fair game. But that's not what happened.

That's an example of male privilege on SLOG. I honestly don't think the guys were aware of what they were doing and I don't think they did so purposely or spitefully. And I wasn't very nice about telling them either. Oh feminist rage, always burning bright.

Sometimes it's a redux of intro to feminism 101, so I won't even bother commenting; the guys I would talk to don't have a context or knowledge of feminist theory and that shit gets repetitive and old so fast, not to mention insulting--they care so little about half of the population they don't bother to learn the basics of women's rights.

Then there are threads like this one that directly engage the idea of straight men and their place in kyriarchy and how that affects their quality of life. In which case, discussing men in regard to feminism is the topic du jour. I think that took the poison outta my fangs from the get go.

I agree with @101, btw ^_^

Ya win some, ya lose some, other times its a draw or a non-starter.
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Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 2:46 PM · Report this
femwanderluster 111
@109 ok that's a fair point. @104 attributed a justification to treat men badly to me, thus my perception that @104 thought my intentions malicious.

I don't think I'm trying to say its not personal. I'm saying it is personal, but it's also concurrently systemic and I think shifting the focus of the ideas from the personal to the abstract can be more effective. To take the personal and contextualize it in the system, in the abstract. I guess my point is that since these discussions can so easily get heated and side-tracked, it can be helpful to point things out in a way that doesn't make the other person defensive from the start and maybe give each other permission to say the wrong thing in hopes that we'll get things right.

Does that make sense?
Posted by femwanderluster on February 1, 2013 at 3:00 PM · Report this
112
It does make sense, but I would only add this: one must be careful when one "take[s] the personal and contextualize[s] it in the system" one must also take the system and contextualize it in the personal. It is a sad fact of social change that often those most in need of change insulate themselves from it, and force action on those who are lower on the power scale. I remember the nasty and often racist debates over busing in Boston in the 1970s. Frequently the moral values of "how do we make things better for black kids?" and "how do we integrate schools" and "how do we improve education as we do those things" turned into "hey! let's take white kids and put 'em in shitty, shitty schools in black neighbourhoods [that we don't actually want to pay to improve] and call that a win!" It made a lot of rich liberals with power feel good about themselves without actually doing much of anything to help black kids, and giving it to poor whites right in the neck. The moral imperative (the context) was in its response turned into the personal (the impact on those without power).
Posted by seeker6079 on February 1, 2013 at 3:25 PM · Report this
113
@femwanderluster: I definitely appreciate the reasonable tone here. But to quote you:

"It's not personal...it's the system." (@57)
"I don't think I'm trying to say it's not personal." (@111)

It *is* a messy debate, and it's very personal: people are bound to take offense because you're passing judgment and asking them to change into something you like better. Feminism is essentially saying to men: "Quit being a fucking chauvinist. And give me a slice of that pie." (Legitimately or not is another debate). I'm asking you to own that, rather than trying to soften it with jargon and contradiction. That's all.

And for what it's worth, I'm fucking outraged by gang rapes in India and bizarre abortion laws in the States too; but I stopped calling myself a feminist a number of years ago when I realized I was chopping my own legs off.

@103 Seeker: yes, could be. I can definitely get behind feminism #1, but the devil's in the details, and once it's examined more closely it evolves/degenerates into #2 and 3. Also, as Ricardo observes above somewhere, the goal posts keep getting moved. As far as supportive men were concerned, feminism used to be all about becoming sensitive, child-raising, chore-sharing males. Now those types aren't man enough, say the feminists. Remember the good old days when men used to be real men?

That's about the time I stopped paying attention.
Posted by LateBloomer on February 1, 2013 at 3:55 PM · Report this
114
@femwanderluster: No, I don't think you're malicious (though I can see where you got that). I do think you're being patronizing. Also, I was angry when I wrote that post, and that's likely part of what you're picking up on.

How shall I put this. There are two ways in which the type of argument that you are making can end up treating people on the receiving end badly. Sometimes, "you" want "us" to have what you want to have. But "we", collectively, on average, do not want exactly the same things as "you", collectively, on average, do. And so when you try to force on us exactly what you want, and are so sure that you know what we want that you stop listening to us, that is treating us badly. <- IMO, you are doing this, in this thread. Secondly, people sometimes use "you are privileged" as a rationalization for a power grab.

I'm sorry about those other threads: they sound terrible.

My post was a paraphrase of what I was hearing you say. But seriously:

Dan says (extremely paraphrased) "Study says straight guys are more stressed than gays. It must be because of having to enforcement of rigid male constructs." Because, for instance, Dan found pretending to be straight really stressful. (No doubt!)

A whole bunch of straight male commenters write in to say "No. [implied]assuming the study's results are valid[/implied]*, if we're more stressed than gays, based on [my] life experience it's because of our difficulties with getting sex as often as we like it." (Among other things, presenting as straight when you're straight isn't stressful in itself. If, for some reason, I had to pretend to be gay, or bi, for a period of years, THAT would be stressful.)

* Because #43 makes some really good points about this assumption.

Then you write in, quoting "every straight guy who has written in has disagreed and cites to more simple explanation that the lack of available sex partners is the cause of stress." and rebutting that with "What we are saying is that 'rigid male constructs'..." I know what you are saying. Dan is not a poor writer and I understood his case. I just don't think it matches our reality. And yes, you are telling us that our experience is wrong and you are trying to correct us.

As for heterosexual men's "perceived" lack of potential sexual partners, one needn't do a study, just go to your nearest public library and look up some census results. In Canada, and I expect in European-style societies in general, the proportion of adult men who are "single" is not strongly correlated with age: the proportion of 25-year-old men who are "single" is about the same as the proportion of 50-year old men who are "single". On the other hand, the proportion of adult women who are "single" is very strongly correlated with age indeed: the proportion of 25-30 year old women who are "single" is very, very low, while the proportion of 50-year old women who are "single" is much higher. Since people tend to "date" (for want of a better generic term) people of their own age group, a 25-30 year old single heterosexual man will have a very different dating experience than a 25-30 single heterosexual woman or a 60-year old man who's willing to date women in his own age group.
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Posted by Old Crow on February 1, 2013 at 4:19 PM · Report this
116
I used to think women could get away with a lot more (and we still can get away with more than straight guys in terms of interests, hobbies, etc), but I find a lot more freedom since I ID as a lesbian. I'm very butch, and when people thought I was straight, I'd get looks and comments for being so masculine, but now people are just like, "Oh, it's a dyke, whatever." It's VERY freeing.
Posted by ThetaSigma on February 1, 2013 at 7:23 PM · Report this
117
@113 I don't know about Femw, but in my personal feminism, patriarchy demonstrably is NOT just about men behaving badly, and fixing it demonstrably is NOT just about getting men to change their behaviour. I believe that among obvious male behaviours, patriarchy happens whenever women teach little boys to be meatheads and little girls to be wimps, it happens when we trade on looks or helplessness, when we succumb to irrational rape terror instead of questioning it, when we get to a certain point in our careers and cede the responsibility to form opinions or use authority because it's easier and comfier to sit in place and not take additional hits, when we give up on career altogether, when we judge and attack other women on measures of femininity, when we judge and attack men on measures of masculinity, when we continue to let men take care of all the 'hard' masculine stuff in our lives (technology, finances, etc) instead of developing our own skills, when we undermine men in their domestic efforts (either through fatuous criticism or fatuous praise), when we fuck ourselves and other women up about sex by buying into virgin/whore nonsense, when we so exhaust ourselves with trying to be 'good girls' so that sex is a drag, etc, etc.

Beyond men's behaviour and women's behaviour, patriarchy also happens through institutions, where responsibility for the total effect cannot be pinned to individual men or individual women. Unfair family court decisions that cast men as financial providers only and undermine their relational needs for time with their kids are, in my view, perfect examples of institutional patriarchy.

To me the labour (and pleasure) of my 20 years as a feminist has in bulk been in countering and dismantling the patriarchy as it happens INSIDE ME. I probably don't require a medal, but if you think feminism is really and truly only about making men fix it, maybe that's just because are not seeing the rest of the work that individual women do every day to evolve the gender mess we've all inherited.
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Posted by diner mo on February 1, 2013 at 7:52 PM · Report this
118
Diner mo, thanks for the concise and concrete overview. Your feminist goals and methods sound reasonable and laudable. Why would anyone not want to reduce the number of meatheads in the world. And yet...

I just can't get around the fact that, despite my earlier support for feminism, it has probably caused me more stress and confusion than the traditional gender role I'm supposed to resent. This could very well be the result of my misunderstanding feminism, I don't know. Basically, I grew tired of hearing that my sexuality and my gender were a problem, and right or wrong I ascribe that message to feminism. So when Femw tries to spin that message as, "It's not you that's the problem, it's the system," I find that disingenuous and unhelpful.

So, to bring things back to the issue at hand, feeling apologetic about my identity has definitely been one source of stress for this straight guy.

But mostly I just need to get laid more. :)
Posted by LateBloomer on February 1, 2013 at 9:29 PM · Report this
119
@118, yeah, I get it. (I think). Maybe it's better not to try to engage with 'feminism' as a sum total, same as it's usually better not to engage with 'men' as being a sum total of ideas/behaviours. You end up fighting ghosts. And righteous anger ends up missing its mark.

About needing to get laid more - @114 too: my stress in life would basically go away if I had about $3m. It's true. Soooo... where to from there?

Posted by diner mo on February 1, 2013 at 10:23 PM · Report this
120
Males are sexual beings,meaning if he can't lay with that which is natural,he will lay with that which is against nature. The women not only reject the man often,but also move the government to pass laws and regulations to block the male off.
Males did not reject the woman,but the woman rejected him,gay males are always open to have sex with the woman,and a little dirty secret is when a male turn to homosexuality,then they desire to sleep with him. Gay male couples often invite the woman into their bedroom,and they come right on in. The male that just like males don't exist,our heterosexual nature remains with us for life,when around women we easily become heterosexual inclined.
But the woman for ages have willfully rejected the male,then would secretly go behind his back and fornicate with her female friend. This has & is still going on,and women don't care if shes married or unmarried.

find me on twitter @WatersZeus
Posted by mythofgaymales on February 2, 2013 at 7:51 AM · Report this
121
BISEXUAL VS GAY MALE

I remember a gay male told me that as long as he act like he just like males they enjoy having sex with him,but when his hetero nature come to the surface,it turns them off...women causes confusion.

Again that gay male that just desire males don't exist...its a myth that you women & men are always forcing down our throats. All males are hetero by nature,if he turns to homosexuality,his nature still remains with him,and it easily comes to the surface when around women.We are more heterosexual than the woman gender,its not even close.
Homosexual male means that besides a woman,he will sleep with a man,not he just like men. I liken the woman to gay males,we both perfer women,but if a male is hot,we will sleep with him as well.
I liken women also to heterosexual males,they both will stick with the woman sexually...
......

When a man says he's bi-sexual,the woman from "sun up" to "sun down" search to hook him up with a man,when she realize he's more into her, than she quickly stop associating with him.
In time he decides to play the "myth gay male", you know the male that is supposedly only sexually attracted to males. *Gay males are sexually attracted to women just like women are sexually attracted to women. Anyway when he plays this male,then they allow him to get close to them,and the weird part is when he improve on his outward appearance,then they start desiring to sleep with him.What? We are heterosexual by nature,we yield to the woman...happily.

find me on twitter @WatersZeus
Posted by mythofgaymales on February 2, 2013 at 8:56 AM · Report this
122
TRANSGENDER MALE

The woman each and everyday is using the male to leave the natural use of the male,to be join with the woman. Women not only sexually reject the man,but push the government to pass laws & regulations to block the man away.The woman also for ages has willfully rejected the man,and went behind his back and fornicated with her female friend aka "girlfriend".
The man seeing this,change his form from male to female,can you imagine that? Once push away as a sexual predator,and a pervert,but now women can't keep their hands or lips off him.
find me on twitter @WatersZeus
Posted by mythofgaymales on February 2, 2013 at 9:09 AM · Report this
123
Straight guy is stressed,because the women gender is gay as a whole,they often reject him while at the same time go behind his back and fornicate with her female friend. Straight guy is stressed because the transgender male get more women than he does.The straight guy is stressed because he has to have the beauty of women to get a woman. Straight guy is stressed because the woman gender is more into straight guy if he turns to homosexuality. Straight guy is stressed because the woman pefer the woman more than him.
Straight guy is stressed,because he has to pay to have sex with the women,and if caught he's jailed while shes seen as the victim. Straight guy is stressed because he lack the outward appearance to compete against women for the woman. Straight guy is stressed because nomatter how the woman treat him,its seen as his fault.

The gay male are formerly straight males,the male are sexual being and if he's not able to have sex with that with is natural,he will have sex with that which is against nature.The male didn't reject the female sexually,but the female rejected him because of his outward appearance. The wo(man) then being a man also willfully goes behind the mans back and have sex with the woman. She acts like she's not sexual in front of the males face,but for ages has fornicated with her female friend behind his back.

I'm gay,straight by nature,the women love homosexuality and gay males being dominant heterosexual often invite the woman into their bedroom...and they come in.

find me on twitter @WatersZeus
Posted by mythofgaymales on February 2, 2013 at 10:58 AM · Report this
124
THE WOMAN GENDER

Men,woman is man,when GOD formed woman from man all his desires,likes(beauty) and dislikes(ugly) passed on to her. Man love beauty,but commonly lack beauty. Woman love beauty,and commonly is beautiful.The mystery about the wo(man) is that she is just like man towards the same thing.Woman love woman more because they are beautiful.

When you saw females skipping down the street holding hands,and calling one another girlfriend your intuition told you,thats not natural,but when you saw the whole town of females doing the same thing you encourage yourself with the lie "thats just what females do".
You didn't want to believe that all these females were homosexuals especially when you are there freely ready to be with them....your intuition was right. You know that "man" at the end of wo(man),stop ignoying it,its there for a reason. Woman is man,just the "weaker vessel man".
I'm gay,heterosexual by nature,I liken woman to me,we both pefer women,but if a man is hot,we will have sex with him as well. I liken women to heterosexual man,they both going to stick with the woman.

find me on twitter @WatersZeus

Posted by mythofgaymales on February 2, 2013 at 11:58 AM · Report this
125
It is funny that many posts admit the high level of difficulty for heterosexual men to acquire sex, yet almost always in media and punditry the issue is treated with mocking.

So a man is either a philanderer, or a pervert, or a pedophile or simply a buffoon, such as Al Bundy in Married With Children, because he seeks to satisfy what is obviously a very primal need. Meanwhile because he is seen as top dog in the social hierarchy he is not able to complain about it.

The number of pornography sites, strip clubs, illicit relationships and Internet scandals should be a clue that there is a huge unmet need for a large portion of society. Yet it is almost never talked about, or else it is presented as a pathology, as in the case here where Mr. Savage contrasts the "healthful" gay lifestyle versus the frustrations of a straight male.

Yes, I agree, turnabout is fair play since our society has demonized homosexuality as a disease, but once we end the game of "I got you back" then what is the answer other than saving up your money for the day that Samsung starts mass producing fembots?
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on February 2, 2013 at 1:36 PM · Report this
126
@125 What is the difference between your level of difficulty acquiring as much sex as you need and my level of difficulty acquiring as much money as I need? Why should the rest of society treat it with any more concern than 'big deal, life's tough'? Serious question.
Posted by diner mo on February 2, 2013 at 7:52 PM · Report this
127
Oh! There's still people here. Diner mo, I discussed your points with the charmingly feminist (and delightfully sexy) Mrs. Bloomer over breakfast this morning. We didn't come to any conclusions together, but it was productive. She shares your views as expressed in 117. Just thought I'd pass it on.

We did have a thorough look at my conviction that feminism, by definition, involves some baseline anti-male...something. Not necessarily agenda or bias but...flavor perhaps? It's feminism after all, not maninism, or peopleism even. It's not supposed to give a rat's ass about men (disingenuous protests to the contrary), because then there's not much femin left in your ism. If you do, then you're shifting your focus onto improving society in general, and that's great, but now you're a humanist.

We agreed to disagree.

Also, it doesn't help that I appear to have an allergic reaction to the terms "patriarchy", "privilege", "dominant discourse" etc. I start to twitch, not sure why. PTSD from my undergrad perhaps.

My reference to wanting more sex was (mostly) tongue in cheek. In regards your own lack: I understand there are several millionaires on seekingarrangements. Good luck!

For further discussion, I refer everyone to the wisdom of mythofgaymales above. Wow.
Posted by LateBloomer on February 2, 2013 at 9:34 PM · Report this
128
(disingenuous protests to the contrary notwithstanding)

Christ.
Posted by LateBloomer on February 2, 2013 at 9:42 PM · Report this
129
Mr Bloomer, I got that you were being at least a little tongue-in-cheek about not getting enough sex. Others, not so much, so I am curious about that. It's hard to know what kind of social response is wanted or expected about that. A voucher programme?

As for the femin in my ism - this means that I operate from the belief that women have been and continue to be most overtly disadvantaged by our inherited gender roles, and it's worth it for all of us to change this. Men get shortchanged too, but because the system puts them in positions of power and gives them other very tangible payoffs in exchange for limitations, they are less likely to notice or be motivated to change the system, or to want to critique their own role in it - hence the confused/lacklustre nature of various men's rights movements.

Anyway, back to tricking men into being gay so I can have my way with them before escaping to my sapphic love-den.
Posted by diner mo on February 2, 2013 at 11:26 PM · Report this
130
#126 and #129: Stating that you have an issue in your life doesn't mean you need to have the solution. Anyway, the question was what causes depression and stress to some men - seems like its worth it to listen to the answers.

#125 makes a good point. It seems that that male sexuality is both pathologized and pandered to by the media. Although you could say the same about women's, but in a different way.
Posted by BlueSparrow on February 3, 2013 at 12:44 AM · Report this
131
@130 - I get that for a lot of men a lack of sex is the most vivid and concrete answer to the question of what causes depression and stress. But I'm still listening for men's thoughts about what the background to that is and where to go with it. If it's being presented as a serious social-structure problem rather than a personal issue or universal given, then it's a symptom, not a cause. A symptom of what? If you're rejecting feminist or gender-role interpretations like Dan's, or femw's, then what do you see as the real problem? Because to say that the real problem is a lack of sex is like saying "the problem is not the carburettor, the problem is that the car doesn't go".

How do you want to see men's sexuality, or the issue of sexual deprivation, portrayed in the media? I'd say the most common representation we see is this: a man is alone, he acts heroically, he is rewarded with romantic connection/sex.
Posted by diner mo on February 3, 2013 at 1:31 AM · Report this
Paxlotl 132
The stress that straight men have getting laid or getting validated as a "real man" stems from a culture that privileges a small group that meets certain socially constructed standards. If women had more power other than withholding their sexuality, they would have the freedom to have more sex with men that don't meet bullshit requirements of masculinity.
Posted by Paxlotl on February 3, 2013 at 12:45 PM · Report this
133
Sorry, what? Now patriarchy is forcing women to withhold sex? And to not hook up with the men that they're attracted to? Good lord, is there anything this patriarchy is not capable of? It's super-patriarchy!
Posted by LateBloomer on February 3, 2013 at 3:47 PM · Report this
134
Diner mo, the average het joes of the world don't know how to address the lack of sex problem. That's what makes it a problem. If we did know, it wouldn't be a problem, and we'd all be more relaxed. But it's a nice start to just acknowledge it as a huge source of stress for a.h.j. apparently. Savage-Love-anecdotally.

The solution to the problem will not come from analyzing gender roles though. I'm almost certain of it.
Posted by LateBloomer on February 3, 2013 at 4:49 PM · Report this
135
Perhaps the most insightful comment came from the poster upthread who noted the "reward" element. Straight boys have been traditionally told "follow the rules and good things will result". Well, the times they are a-changin' and straight boys face a number of problems: (1) The rules are changing in society, and so you may be 'punished' for following them one day, and the get 'punished' for not following them the next day. (2) Ditto within individual relationships. (3) Straight boys are often held to the "work" part of the bargain, but denied the "reward" part. [Leave aside the fact that the dynamic is fucked up -- it is -- but as long as the dynamic persists in the metaculture you can't only hold one side to the bargain.] (4) Our culture both over-worships and over-criticizes straight male sexuality. (5) The therapy culture pathologizes straight male sexuality. (I have seen therapists write reports criticizing husbands for ... wanting sex with their wives!). (6) [and perhaps the most damaging part] Straight boys are the only ones not allowed to complain, and if they do complain they are dissed as whiners who have no right to complain because, hell, no-one has it as good as they do.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 4, 2013 at 7:42 AM · Report this
Chris in Vancouver WA 136
Wrong-a-mundo, Dan. Judy Garland fan here, going to see Soundgarden on Wednesday.
Posted by Chris in Vancouver WA on February 4, 2013 at 10:50 AM · Report this
137
@136: Straight guys can love musical theatre. Ask Seth MacFarlane.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 4, 2013 at 11:18 AM · Report this
138
Mr Seeker - Oh, you're allowed to complain. Anyone's allowed to complain. You just have no right to sympathy if the only possible solutions you'll entertain allow you to keep all your advantages. Complain away, but just be aware if you come off like Henry VIII when princesses all over Europe suddenly started wanting not to marry him.

As far as "punishment" goes, a large part of it could rest in whether one saw the changing of times as inevitable and necessary, however individually disadvantageous. Perhaps straight men who give off a flavour of kinda-sorta-partly wishing on some level that things didn't really have to change get punished more often, but it's just an idea.
Posted by vennominon on February 5, 2013 at 6:28 AM · Report this
139
vennominon @138 - And there's the rub whenever it's a man's issue, whether valid, or invalid, important or unimportant: Our heroic feminist allies look at us and say, "hey, nobody's getting in the way of your right to complain ... just as long as you realize that we think you're a spoiled asshole when you do". (And, btw, if you're going to diss H8 you might want to spend some time reading translations of the Spanish archives and gain some rudimentary insight into how Catherine of Aragon was working hand-in-glove to fuck over both Henry and England and serve Spanish interests. But that's for another day.)

Oh, and you aren't exactly the first to basically stain by passive-aggressive association: if a man brings up an issue then, well, it must be because he really don't want change. You're rather like the poster in the "war on men" thread who defined "ally" as being synonymous with somebody who followed and always sublimated their legitimate goals to your legitimate goals.
Posted by seeker6079 on February 5, 2013 at 7:53 AM · Report this
140
Mr Seeker - I was thinking mainly of Christina - was she from Denmark, or the Duchess of Milan? - who said that, if she had two heads, one would gladly be at Henry's disposal. I have relatively little interest in Catharine; if I feel sorry for anyone in the original triangle, it's poor Arthur.

As for the second part, I was speculating that those men who are punished are the ones who give off an air of only wanting their own issues settled. I'll stand by that. As I said in my initial post, my sympathies lie with the non-stone-casters themselves - if there aren't very many of them, it's not my fault.

You have legitimate concers, and I agree that there are those who pretend to acknowledge the legitimacy only to make them Item #14 on an agenda when only twelve items will be considered. But one thing I shall tell you, and of this I am quite certain - if we make straight men's lives wonderful and better than ever as Item #1, then the bad straight men (who are not the whole group, but whose actions will stain the whole group, and I can see it's unfair but I've no capital to spend in correcting that) will take the whole pie and not give anybody else a piece because that's what they've always done whenever they could. If there were a magic way to distinguish which straight men really were in for the whole agenda and which only wanted their own problems fixed... but is there? And, in the end, I do suspect that what would be BEST for straight men (and perhaps to a lesser extent for straight women) is essentially anti-gay. There may be no way to give everybody her or his ideal of the best possible life with all problems solved as far as possible, as sometimes one pie can perhaps be stretched to 1.25 pies, but not to the full two needed. What to do? I'm sure I don't know.

But, if it makes you feel any better, I don't think same-sexers either male or female would be much better off in a matriarchy, as Ms Wander made the usual point that same-sexer problems are entirely a subset of feminist problems, which, while our interests do overlap to a great extent, is so far from true that the 10% or so of disagreement outweighs the 90% of commonality.

Personally, I do feel some SM complaints are legitimate, but legitimacy does not equal automatic entitlement to the #1 spot on the agenda. Yes, you have every right to complain about that, but you have rather dominated that particular position, which removes a bit of the potential sting of the complaint.
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Posted by vennominon on February 5, 2013 at 3:22 PM · Report this

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