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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:48 AM
Original message
For all of you beautiful DU men--------->
(Of course, ladies and others are welcome as well, just thought it might get more attention this way ;).)

Okay, I have been reading all of the "sexism" threads the past few days right along with everyone else, and thought I had had enough and didn't have enough energy to keep saying the same things over and over and over again, but then I decided to do a little reading before bed, and I came across something significant. We've been going back and forth and back and forth, men v. women, for days about abortion, contraception, pornography, rape, etc, etc, etc, and I think we need to stop the madness.

For the past few days, while all of this discussion has been going on, I have been reading a book called Transforming A Rape Culture which discusses the socio-cultural causes of rape and offers solutions to ending rape altogether. The book is not a work by one individual, but a collection of relevant articles by a variety of authors, both male and female.

Tonight, the article I read was called "Conversations of Consent" and was written by a man named Joseph Weinberg who once served as president of the group Men Stopping Rape in Madison, WI. I won't post all of his points here, just the one paragraph that motivated me to jump out of bed at 3:30 in the morning because I couldn't wait overnight to share it (forgive any dated references, the article was written in 1993). The article deals with a lot of important gender-relations issues, but his points on this are particularly compelling, especially coming from a man:

Cultural Blocks to Consent

There's lots of discussion nowadays among the mythopoetic folk about initiation. It's the foundation upon which Robert Bly and other male essentialists and apologists build their edifice of anger-driven reaction. We are poorly initiated, they insist. To us it's not that we have been poorly initiated, but that we've been initiated too well--though certainly not the way we might be by some wise, caring, gentle, humorous father. We have grown to be the men that patriarchy needs and forces us to be, "real men," angry at and frightened of women, other men, and ourselves. We inflict rape and other violence; we are cannon fodder in war and compulsive consumers of worthless products, unquestioningly remaining within oppressive gender, racial, and economic systems. Oh, we are brilliantly, coldly, efficiently initiated! We are initiated by our fathers and brothers with the same scarring, humiliating rites that they experienced. We are calling for men to examine how the process by which each of us becomes a man can hurt all of us; we are calling for men to refuse to rape.


Basically, the rest of the article talks about the attitudes and responses he and his group have encountered when speaking to regular old guys like yourselves. His general thesis seems to be that because men in our culture (and of course many others) are not taught to be open with their partners, respectful of boundaries, and to communicate verbally, that many good men who would never dream of raping a woman have actually done so in their indifference.

He advocates verbal communication as an absolute necessity in any physical relationship--and stresses how uncommon it is for a man to learn this as he grows up.

The key difference in our society, between men and women (disregarding biology for the moment), is that while women are generally raised to communicate their wishes verbally, men are raised to hold everything in, and this causes intense confusion when it comes to intimacy.

For the record, Weinberg also talks about the negative effects of pornography on the male worldview (everything he said would basically just be reiterating what I and others have said already in other threads, so I won't recap unless you are curious).

Men are not intrinsically bad--the DU men I have seen posting here on various sexual issues are nothing less than wonderful--but it is absolutely necessary for all of us, as a collective, to analyze the problems facing all genders in our society and how we interact with one another if there is ever to be serious progress.

Food for thought...
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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:04 AM
Response to Original message
1. abortion, contraception, pornography, rape
Abortion. Bad, but should be legal.

Contraception. Necessary for any civilized society.

Pornography. Fine By Me.

Rape. Bad.
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Weinberg on pornographic sex---
Please keep in mind, this is from a progressively-minded man:

Can we be turned on by sex that is not violent? Is sex inevitably violent? Can power-with (instead of pornographic power-over) be erotic? We will not be able to break the addiction to aggressive, violating sexual behavior unless the new feelings of power-with are felt to carry the same sort of sexual rush and pleasure.


And for more depth and perspective, Gloria Steinem on pornography:

Look at or imagine images of people making love; really making love. Those images may be very diverse, but there is likely to be a mutual pleasure and touch and warmth, an empathy for each other's bodies and nerve endings, a shared sensuality and a spontaneous sense of two people who are there because they want to be.

Now look at or imagine images of sex in which there is force, violence, or symbols of unequal power. They may be very blatant: whips and chains of bondage, even torture and murder presented as sexually titillating, the clear evidence of wounds and bruises, or an adult's power being used sexually over a child. They may be more subtle: the use of class, race, authority, or just body poses to convey conqueror and victim; unequal nudity, with one person's body exposed and vulnerable while the other is armored with clothes; or even a woman by herself, exposed for an unseen but powerful viewer whom she is clearly trying to please... But blatant or subtle, there is no equal power or mutuality. In fact, much of the tension and drama comes from the idea that one person is dominating the other.

These two sorts of images are as different as love is from rape, as dignity is from humiliation, as partnership is from slavery, as pleasure is from pain. Yet they are confused and lumped together as "pornography" or "obscenity," "erotica" or "explicit sex," because sex and violence are so dangerously intertwined and confused.


The problem with "pornography: okay by me" and "rape: bad" is that the two cannot be separated.
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mongo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. What you like is "erotica" -- men want evil "smut"
There is this whole myth again, that porn is inherently violent, when the vast majority of the 1000 titles released per month are not violent at all. If anything, it is the men that are more demeaned, more "objectified", since they make less money for the same work, are filmed less (sometimes the are just a disembodied cock). I'm not complaining here, the purpose of porn is to create arousal, mostly directed at men, but "objectification" is inherent in the process, as well as much of TV and mainstream movies.

Are you aware that most of the BDSM titles have no sex in them? That the people who create these videos, and especially the submissive enjoy and are shown enjoying the activity?

How about the fact that there are just as many, if not more BDSM videos that show a male submissive being spanked, etc., by a woman.

But even so, BDSM is a small niche market. One that you just don't understand. And the article you are quoting takes a small segment of the market, mischaracterizes it, and then tries to pass it off as all porn.
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Men are more demeaned in porn bc they get paid less???
I don't this is a reasonable argument. The next time I see a man having someone ejaculate on his face in heterosexual pornography, I'll letcha know.
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #11
22. One more thing...
and then I am done debating the value of pornography to society (which I personally believe is nonexistent).

Erotica is not about control--this is the difference. And for the record, I never said I liked either (frankly, I am not a fan of watching other people have sex, rather do it myself).

The comments on pornography made in my posts were not written by me, so to claim that they are my precise opinions is intellectually dishonest--I simply saw information that I thought it would be positive for DUers to have, and passed it on.
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arcane1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #4
46. I can say that I enjoy porn, but I also hate 99.9% of it
if that makes any sense

power with vs power over, that pretty much sums it up
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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 02:21 AM
Response to Reply #4
120. more Dworkin/McKinnon nonsense
Pornography equals rape, and all heterosexual sex is inherently violent.

I'm not sure where I'd place such ideas on the political spectrum. It certainly isn't any form of liberalism or progressivism I'd want to be associated with.

It sounds like this stuff was concocted by some misanthrope with way too much time on their hands. Like Catherine McKinnon, or the late Andrea Dworkin -- two certified loony nutcases.
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frustrated_lefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:58 AM
Response to Original message
2. Tupence....
Thanks for the thoughtfulness of your post (from a guy). You're right, it is important for all of us, collectively and as individuals, to give careful consideration to these issues. I certainly don't have any answers, but want to add two thoughts.

Back in the early 90's, a young lady I was involved with and hoped to wed was raped for the second time in her life. There was all of the pain and suffering you might expect, but forget about that for a moment because that's not the point. As her significant other, I looked for support groups for "significant others of rape victims," checked with every women's organization in the area for information for significant others on how to best help and/or support rape victims. There was virtually nothing available. That suggests there was a tremendous lack of demand, and if that's going to change, the change will have to be initiated by men.

Is there a need for something of that sort? I think so. Given the frequency of rape in this country, it touches the lives of everyone. And, although any ape with an ounce of sensitivity can figure out some basic ways of being appropriately supportive, it's emotionally devastating to know your partner is suffering at exactly the moment you have to be strong and can't turn to that partner for support. Bleh, I'm not expressing this well. It's not something men discuss much, and ignorance and inexperience is counterproductive to best supporting your partner.

Second thought...a lot of the "men's books" written during the 80s and 90s really turned me off, failed to describe reality as I experienced it. Robert Bly can eat raw meat off the bone and pound his chest to his heart's content. Sam Keen's "Fire in the Belly" seemed constructive and is probably more relevant today than it was when it was originally written. Good stuff.

tupence,

-fl
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. You might want to check this one out---
It is nothing like I thought it would be (the book I am reading)--it is an honest look at the situation, of course with varying degrees of opinion (but all take it very seriously), a collaborative effort of men and women, looking at the issue from both perspectives.

I agree with you that there is a notable lack of demand among men for information and support--I think that this lack speaks to the seriousness of what we are all being forced into, living in personalities that fit into our social order, but don't fit us.
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NuttyFluffers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #2
115. what an intriguing insight into the male struggle
the male is torn between the expectations of strong protector (or, in some eyes, the embodiment of vengeance if they can get their hands on the suspect), the solid core others can rest their troubles, and the needs of the human inside to express the hurt, fear, anger and find a supportive core to rest their wearied soul. very fascinating how it speaks to the untenable situation men find themselves placed in by the expectations of those around them, and of themselves! somehow the human is expected to be smothered out for the expectation of the perfect, almost sublime (if not emotionally sublimated) hero. but even heroes need solace and haven and a friend (which explains, like, the vast majority of the world's literature). it is a cruel truth of society that a man is expected to carry his burden alone, never to find rest, except in extremis.
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
5. C'mon guys...
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. Unfortunately, most of them really don't want their power challenged.
Now shut up and get back in the kitchen, wench. :sarcasm:

:hi:
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. I wasn't trying to start a flamefest--rather, an open, honest discussion,
unlike most of what we've seen here recently...

(And I actually DO have to go do my dishes lol... if my hubby was here, I wouldn't have to :(.)
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RazzleDazzle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #14
50. Katherine, I'm not a betting woman, but
I'd bet just about everything I own that 99.99999% of the men reading this and a very large percentage of the women too, have no farking idea what you're talking about.

For example, they don't get it that pornography (as opposed to erotica) is inherently violence- and inequality-based. It's not something they can see. At all. They don't get it that the "unequal" states of nudity show inequality. KWIM? And especially those here who profit from and enjoy porn far too much and/or far too often don't /won't get it.

Many people of both sexes here are in desperate need of consciousness-raising so some of these things can be actually seen and grokk'd. Pity is, tho, they are as resistent to the idea of consciousness-raising as they are in need of it. Direct proportion and all that.

Gotta go, but I'll be back later.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #50
67. This is exactly the kind of post that exacerbates the problem.
Yes, the problem is all on me. I just "don't get it".

Thanks. Helps a lot. Really. Since reading your post, I've realized that I'm just too stupid to understand why I'm so wrong.

:puke:
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RazzleDazzle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #67
71. Well, you're the one who's made that determination, aren't you?
ARE you one of those who don't get it? ARE you one of those who don't care to get it, don't care to figure out and explore what SOMEONE ELSE has pointed to as a lack of understanding?

:shrug:

I dunno. Maybe you are. But don't try to pin your lack of interest in figuring it the hell out on me. That's YOUR problem. I'm not responsible for your current understanding or your motivation for gaining a better understanding.

If I've hurt your feelings, I'm sorry. But I'll tell you this: the very, very BEST "education" on racism I ever got was at the hands of several very opinionated black women who hurt my feelings bad. Real bad. But you know what? They were right. Oh, I fought them, sure. And I fought them after our "discussion," in my own mind. And I fought them by going to look for "evidence" to prove to myself that I wasn't as racist as they said I was (tho unintentionally).

And guess what: They were right.

Thank God they hurt me bad enough for me to go looking.

No one here wants to go looking. At least no one that I've seen. Maybe you'll be the exception. I dunno.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #71
72. No, in MY OPINION, I'm not.
See that word there? Opinion? Yes, I've explored all the stuff that's posted about how evil and bad it is... I do not agree. You can call it "my lack of motivation to get a better understanding" if you wish, but that does not make it so.

You have not hurt my feelers, you have INSULTED me. Get it?

No, I am not the exception. I am not swayed by your story about how you didn't get racism, so now you're on a quest to prove to everyone that your opinion about porn is the correct one.

No sale.
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RazzleDazzle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #72
77. Ah, the defense of porn
got it. Silly me, I thought the subject was bigger than that.

Oh, well. You can have it. It's not going anywhere anytime soon. Humans just aren't enlightened enough. :shrug: But I can still TRY to help people realize how damaging to everyone porn really is. And when they get snippy about it, that's okay too -- I know that I've hit that nerve, that they're defending their supply, and don't want to give it up (yes, sadly, even for some women). Someday they just might get uncomfortable enough to react enough to REALLY think it through.

Or not. Whatever. It's YOUR choice, redqueen.
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Scout Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #77
86. what are people afraid of?
that they will run out of new material for masturbation?

I bet if no new porn were produced starting tomorrow, it would still take a long, long, long, long time for all that is out there now to "wear out" through handling!
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #86
91. Exactly, you would think that it's as essential as food and shelter
for some people. I'm sorry, but with such an increase in the violations of human rights across the globe - including the sex trade, honor killings, and child pornography - the porn lovers will have to forgive me if I don't consider thier god-given right to jerk off to be on the top of my list of concerns.
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
6. I guess the lack of response just goes to show...
that a lot of men don't want to hear this stuff.

That's really unfortunate.
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Tyler Durden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Just don't feel like diving back into the "scrum" at the moment.
See, as a Neo-Socialist (my own concept of one, anyway) I believe VERY strongly that...

1.
If what you do in the privacy of your own bedroom hurts no one, then no one has a say in it, other than you and whatever parties or the lack thereof may be involved. INVOLUTARY involvement in some sort of perversion is what makes it perverted; not the act in and of itself.

2.
Raise boys and girls THE SAME. My daughter would say to a "temporary partner" who wanted a vote in her decision to raise or not raise a child, "Get stuffed." I asked her about abortion, birth control, and relationships, and her response was that if she didn't abort ("Yeah. Right.") and the male wanted to help, great, and if not, depart and do not darken the door ever again. Period. What a kid.


There's been a big broughaha about Child Support, casual sex, and responsibility; and my opinion is that it's all BS. Anyone stupid enough to practice unsafe/unprotected sex (male OR female) is not exactly my picture of "parent material." Just because you can ride a motorcycle without a helmet doesn't mean it's a great idea. I believe in ABSOLUTE EQUALITY, meaning if we are stupid enough to have hazardous sex, and you want the kid, you're making the second bad choice, not me. Then again, I forfeit ALL RIGHTS pertaining to said mistake. PERIOD. FOREVER.

And if I decide to watch movies of a guy having sex with a cow, or a woman doing her doberman, and it's in my bedroom with the shades drawn, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE AND BITCH, CARRIE NATION. (and that goes DOUBLE for CALVIN).

Really, people. It's supposed to be a free country. You want to start legislating morality and morals, I have an organization for you: IT'S CALLED THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, and I can get you an application from any one of a half dozen idiots where I work.

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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. The post is not about "legislating morality"--it's about having a serious
discussion about the state of gender relations in our country. Pornography is just an example, not the full extent of what the post is about.

It seems, however, that the essence of the thread has been lost.
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Tyler Durden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #15
23. Hey I tried that a couple of days back...
Sort of turned into "You're a guy, You're a dick," "Keep it in your pants bud"

Didn't much appreciate it.
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. I guess it's just useless then...
At least we tried I suppose...
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Tyler Durden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #26
31. I think it's more positive to dwell on what we have in common...
We are worse than the rePukes and the Fundies in that way...we're ready to skewer anyone who's 3 degrees off from what we think. Those guys voted for Bush the first time because they BELIEVED he was on their side, not from what he said.

"I'LL NEVER VOTE FOR A ______ BECAUSE THEY WOULDN'T/DID/SAID...."

How many times have we heard that? We are more doctrinal than the Right Wingers. As a rule anyway.

I say TRUCE! Don't throw any snakes in my "religion" and I won't "truth" you either.
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #31
35. Well...
I agree with you, but I don't think this is a matter of interpretation--for many women, it is a matter of life and death, every day.

The way that we relate to each other as human beings is the basis for everything else that happens in the world--if anything, this is the #1 most important thing we all need to work together on.

(Not porn, but gender relations issues.)
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
7. Kicked and recommended!
I sometimes wonder if the reason men react so strongly to this kind of inquiry is because on some level they realize that, as much as they say they are progressive and pro-women's rights, that women are seeing the truth about them.

Maybe they would never openly admit it, but most of us don't react strongly unless the accusations have a certain amount of truth in them. I think that many men recognize and enjoy their position of dominance, power and privilege and to have it challenged - even by suggesting that we take an honest look at the way sexism harms all of us - is extremely threatening.

I don't have a need to dominate, so I don't react strongly to accusations that white people are racist because I see the truth in it and can understand where the anger is coming from. Why is it that so many men immediately get defensive instead of trying to see where women might have a point? Is it because so many of them feel that if women get angry enough, we'll stop having sex with them? Are they threatened on more of a sexual level than anything else? I know a lot of straight women who have basically become celibate because they are so disgusted by what they see out there in the dating world. Maybe this is what men fear so much.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #7
48. So far I haven't seen the word, PATRIARCHY,
come up. Men have the power and they don't really want to share it, I guess. Of course, they must then stay in that very rigid gender role...shutting down their feelings except anger and violence which is totally acceptable. It makes for a very nasty world. Look how our culture admires the 'soldier.' The 'warrior.' So many of these soldiers return and are mentally ill from what they have seen and/or done during War. The American people have no idea what War is...

Look at the amount of money we spend on death and destruction....look at the budget of the Pentagon. It's simply out of control. The men of this world are going to blow up the planet and rape the environment....If our culture doesn't WAKE UP to what is happening and STAND UP to this insanity (and that means lots and lots of men standing with Cindy Sheehan), I think Earth is doomed.

Do you think if we lived in a Matriarchy, there would be so much killing and wars?

I applaud you, Katherine, for raising this subject again....as it was in the '60's and '70's....for some of us Boomers, it's deja vu and we didn't think we would have to fight this battle again. But starting in 1980, a Backlash against women, people of color, working people began. And the propaganda that ensued to manipulate the 'angry white male' into believing that women and minorities were his enemy....when it was the RICH, WHITE MALE that stole his standard of living....continues today.

But I think lots of men are starting to see that this Regime prays only to the Almighty Dollar.....and cares not a jot for this country nor the people in it. All people must unite....and agree that we all bring something to the table. Attempting to dominate others (women, people of color, people of less financially) is a waste of time....and we are doing exactly what the Wealthy White Males want us to do....fight with each other over scraps.

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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #48
79. I said it a few times, lol. But one point--
I don't believe that substituting a Matriarchy for the Patriarchy would fix things. It would merely be distributing power inequitably in a different way. That's not what we need.

What we need is a society that objectifies NO ONE, not women and not men and not children. We need to create a society in which no one is considered "less" than anyone else.

I think that the feminist movement of the the 60s and 70s was a beginning. Many think of it as history, a part of our past that we had to get through, fixed what needed fixing, and was rightfully left behind. What we don't take into account is the fact that the 60s-70s movement was borne out of the 1920s, and the 1920s out of the 1840s, etc, etc.

It is an ongoing cycle of discovery and recreation, which we can only hope will eventually lead to the ideal of a truly egalitarian society in which everyone is valued equally, where it is okay for men and women and everything in between and beyond to be different, so long as they have equal rights and opportunity and can live free of fear.

I'd write more, but I am pretty sure there are some other posts in here worth responding to--the last time I checked, this afternoon, there were only 30 or so replies lol.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #79
97. I, for one, am getting a bit tired of having to rediscover Equality &...
Justice. But yes, history is cyclical....what goes up, goes down. Hence this nasty backlash. But I really would like to see humans 'evolve.' Two steps forward and only one back.

Please....go respond to the other posts....didn't mean to hold you up.
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
9. my ears are tingling - is someone talkin about me?
:kick:
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mongo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
12. I had opened this thread hoping for some reconciliation
of the gender war. But then the tone and the quotes posted says it all -

Men are bad. We just can't help it. We are tools of the patricarcy too. Bad men, bad. So now you can feel sorry for us instead of being angry at us. How kind. Most be the fault of all the smut men watch -- now there's a convient scapegoat.

Look, for my part of the escalation of the recent gender war, I'm sorry. Yeah, I know most of you were just blowing off steam, but it isn't men that are the enemy -- it's the theocrats.

So, look -- next time you want to lash out at "the patriarcy", "the theocrats", sexism, etc., please try to look at what you're writing. The DU men bristle at the broad-brushed strokes against men in general just as much as the DU women take offense at slurs based at them.

What really needs to happen is for all of us to take our anger and direct it at our COMMON enemy.

Again, I apologize at my part of the escalation of the gender war. I reserve the right to counter these arguments against adult materials, of course, but I am sorry that international women's day wasn't met with more positive results.

And as far as other men not participating -- look at post #8. Is that an invitation to the discussion?




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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. I have come to the conclusion...
that you simply have no interest in discussing anything that contradicts your worldview.

The thread was not meant to start additional infighting--it was meant to help male DUers understand where some of us are coming from in our arguments in these other threads.

Pornography, as I said in another post in this thread, is not the sole factor upon which these arguments are based--but it is being treated as so here, and not by me.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Could it be because that's the only sticking point? The only point
you disagree on?


Just curious... mongo?
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. That is what occurs to me as well, and I think...
that's pretty sad, if it is indeed the case.

Spending all our time debating the one thing we disagree on rather than working together on common feelings is counter-productive.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. It's hard to work together when the differences are constantly discussed.
Perhaps instead of railing against the evils of pornography, you could just leave that out, since it's a known topic of wide disagreement.

I mean, if you really want to work together on common feelings, that is.

:shrug:
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #21
30. Agreed--
I'm done commenting on porn, unless it becomes glaringly necessary to do so--it's not what we need to talk about.

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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. Glad to hear it!
I wholeheartedly agree...
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #33
36. Amen! :) n/t
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RazzleDazzle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #36
58. But that's a mistake, Katherine
You cede territory there, and big time at that.

It's NOT as if porn is the ONLY sticking point. THere's plenty more, it's just one of the more salacious and hot points.

Look at the language. They'll give you the same arguments if you try to call them on their sexist language: bitch, whore, chick, etc., etc. Or anything else.

And even if porn WERE the "only" sticking point -- let's think this through. You/we agree to stop complaining about it and then what? What have we won? Equality? Hardly. It's not as if they can say, realistically, "Look, let us keep our porn and we'll give you equality otherwise. We'll let you be "equal" except where porn is concerned. And we absolutely promise that our use of porn won't affect our view and attitude about and respect (or lack of it) for all women everywhere -- except while we're using, of course."

Look, the issue is this, in a nutshell: THEY DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT SEXISM. They don't want to, and they don't have to. And their lives are just fine without worrying their pretty little heads about it.

For too many of them, the same can be said of their attitudes about homophobia, racism, classism, etc. Why should they worry? They've got all the white male privilege they can realistically use, thanks to the patriarchy. And they're DAMN SURE not going to give it up without a fight.

And you seem to be willing to give in WITHOUT fighting on something absolutely critical to the whole understanding -- the debasement of women, the enabling and facilitating of violence against women that is fomented by pornography. Don't do it. It's not a concession, it's ceding ground.
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #58
81. I had no intention of giving in on anything--
but I was trying, at the time that exchange was going on, to get other DUers to read beyond the information about pornography to see the other issues presented as well. If someone is getting stuck there, presenting him/her with other information could make accepting negative opinions of pornography easier in the long run.

Call it a strategic initiative...
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #58
92. Bravo.
I couldn't have said it better.
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mongo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #18
42. I think you hit the nail on the head there redqueen
It certainly is the only point I disagree on.

:yourock:
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #42
45. :o)
:oops:
:hi:
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #12
47. Why do men only hear "Men are bad" instead of being open to
the fact that the current status of the patriarchy (not each individual man) is harmful to women.

Why do you always have to personalize it?
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #47
56. I have no idea.
"I sometimes wonder if the reason men react so strongly to this kind of inquiry is because on some level they realize that, as much as they say they are progressive and pro-women's rights, that women are seeing the truth about them."

Why would anybody personalize that?
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #56
90. Why is it so diffucult to own up to the truth? If it doesn't apply to
you personally, it shouldn't upset you. If it does apply to you, then maybe it's something you need to take a look at.

Why would I not be offended by a person of color saying "I sometimes wonder if the reason white people react so strongly to this kind of inquiry is because on some level they realize that, as much as they say they are progressive and not racist, that minorities are seeing the truth about how truly racist white culture is."

I can hear it because I am not a flaming racist. If I was racist, I would react defensively because the statement had hit a nerve. Think about it.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #90
107. that is not the same statement at all
if you talk about "them", or if I talk about "you" then it is clearly personalized. If you talk about American culture or male culture or the patriarchy, then that would be something else, because then I can assume you realize that all men are not part of American culture or male culture or the patriarchy. Whereas, by definiton, all men belong to the category "men".

White male culture, or American, or western culture can be totally sexist and/or racist but if oppressed people start talking about how all white males are flaming racists, flaming sexists or members of the power elite, I react defensively because I know that is unwarranted.

So which truth am I supposed to own up to? The broadbrush smear or my own guilt?

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RazzleDazzle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #47
59. It's one of their canned and utterly predictable deflections
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 04:56 PM by RazzleDazzle
Really. There are just a handful of ways that men react to these discussions. Off the top of my head, some of them are:

* dismissiveness (With all that's wrong with the world, you're complaining about THIS? For shame!)

* trivialization (Eh, it ain't important anyway. There are children starving in _____. ) And of course, women and our concerns are ALWAYS expected to wait until such-and-such is fixed or taken care of or solved. Everything and everyone is always more important than our concerns.

* humor (or weak attempts at it - often using dismissiveness and trivialization to boot. The most infuriating of these to me are the "I was just joking" claims, along with "women have no sense of humor" or "you take yourselves too seriously.")

* ridicule -- a nasty version of the above. If they haven't been successful at dismissing and/or trivializing our concerns, the next step is quite often ridiculing us and/or our concerns.

* blaming the victim (I saw this one yesterday. Basically, the argument I saw was: there are more women in the world than men, why haven't women solved this problem themselves by raising boys who don't make them unahppy? But there are many, many variations on this theme.)

* DEFLECTION #1 - turning it around and making it about THEM (Look! Look! It's really about ME! I can't stand it when you're not talking about ME, or men which is about the same. Stop talking about women's problems, and let's talk about ME!)

* DEFLECTION #2 - feigned hurt feelings (really, kind of a version of the last one -- "Oh, my feelings are soooo hurt. You just don't want to allow that there are GOOD men out there, and I'm one of them. You don't look at the GOOD that's been done/I've done. You just want to focus on the negative.")

* DEFLECTION #3 - Temper tantrum -- I love this one. Big ole outburst of temper along with feigned hurt feelings or whatever else works. This one is a really desperate attempt to deflect blame and responsibility. When you see this one, you KNOW you've hit a nerve.

There are others. If any more occur, I'll list them. Or, more likely, one of more of our men will gift us with real life examples we can point to and analyze.


I thought of another. Actually, men do this all the time (and whites to blacks and other minorities):

* interpret their experience for them (or try to): tell us how we SHOULD think of or interpret something that happened to us, our very own experience, as if they know better than we do about these things or what we experienced. In general, telling us how we "should" see or think of things is part of this.
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VelmaD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #59
62. That was fucking awesome
:yourock:
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ismnotwasm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #62
64. I second that
Very cool
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #59
93. Thank you.
Posts like yours inspire me to keep going - DU has lost so many great women primarily due to the sexism and dismissiveness of men on this board.

Guess what guys - you don't have to understand it if you don't want to, but more and more women have had it with your inability to understand what we go through on a daily basis and how patriarchy hurts men, but destroys women. I know a lot of very attractive women, myself included, that basically consider ourselves straight, except that we are so dismayed by what kind of men we encounter out there that many of us have vowed to never be with a man who doesn't at least have feminist sympathies. I also know a lot of married women who are completely over their husbands and ready to leave for those very reasons.

I know there are decent men out there, they are just such a rare find. Why can't it be the norm, rather than the exception.
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #47
82. It's a cop-out, plain and simple. But, there is significance in it--
some men use it in order to avoid having to look deeper into the issues. It is understandable and simultaneously unconscionable.

I think that the men who use it know what they are doing, but that they immediately go on the defensive instead of opening themselves up to the possibility that they too have been swindled out of parts of themselves as human beings, simply because they are male.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 12:56 AM
Response to Reply #12
116. Making generalized comments is NOT THE SAME as using slurs
Edited on Sat Mar-11-06 01:02 AM by omega minimo
"The DU men bristle at the broad-brushed strokes against men in general just as much as the DU women take offense at slurs based at them."

"The DU men" (now there's a "broad-brushed stroke" for ya :evilgrin: ) need to LISTEN before they BRISTLE.

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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
17. GUYS, please read this:
I want to reiterate that this thread was not started as just another place for all of us to fight with one another.

I simply wanted to open the way for a serious, thoughtful, respectful conversation on the state of our social order, why it exists and how it thrives, the social diseases it causes, and how we can work together to change it.

I am sorry if some have taken offense to this, but I promise you, the intent was not to divide, but to encourage collaboration.
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mongo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #17
43. And my original reply to the OP was also meant to adress this
from my perspective on what created the tensions that in turn created a gender war of us just flinging poop at each other.

For my part in the escalation, and anyone who got poop on their clothes, I'm sorry -- I'll pay for the virtual dry cleaning if that helps.

We stand together on so much more than we disagree on. I hope that you can see that. And when I disagree with you on one point, it means I disagree on that point, that's all. It doesn't mean that I wouldn't be proud to stand with you at a march for abortion rights, would pay you less for the same work, or that I don't think that there's a glass ceiling, etc. etc. etc.

Truce. I think we have a great need for a white flag smiley.

I'm actually outta here for the weekend(soon) for a change, and don't have internet at home, so this will probably be the last you'll hear from me 'till Monday (unless I read the rest of this thread).

peace!
mongo
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #43
80. mongo--truce accepted--you are a-ok with me--
I really liked your post, and I too apologize if things felt antagonistic earlier. I am glad to get to see more of your opinions than those that were presented earlier--it paints a much clearer picture.
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Cats Against Frist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
19. Yay! A porn thread!
Where I have the opportunity to counterbalance my abortion opinions. ;)

I think pornography is degrading to people, both men and women. It perpetuates a constructed sexuality that is really quite ridiculous and boring.

That said (mongo ;)), I am not against depictions of sexual acts, over the "morality" of the acts, themselves, only the narratives and accoutraments, i.e. shaving, lingerie, woman as present, dominant man, gang rape, asiaphilia, "barely legal," etc.

And, that said, I still wouldn't vote to ban it. Just like abortion. Or smoking in private establishments. I'm nothing, if not consistent.
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. I don't think anyone wants to ban it--
including myself. Prior restraint is unconstitutional. The idea here is just to discuss the condition of our society, not the censorship of porn.

Also, the thread was not about porn until others made it so. It was about the social conditions of patriarchal society and how certain devices are used to keep women subservient (such as rape, which inspires fear in the general female population, and pornography, which objectifies women and sex in general, when these things should be celebrated).

I guess it's just a classic hijacking...
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #24
38. That's not fair.
It's not highjacking when porn is mentioned in the OP. You may not have meant for it to become the primary focus of the discussion, but knowing that that subject is the main point of contention and leaving in, you might have expected the responses.
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #38
41. I really didn't...
I think that rape is certainly more deserving of discussion than * is, but now I am also thinking that DUers don't want to discuss rape because it makes them uncomfortable--talking about * is easier... In this respect, I definitely expected more of DUers.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #41
44. No, I think it's because there's little if ANY disagreement about rape. nt
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #44
83. Everyone "agrees" on the surface that rape is "bad" but...
there is a whole hell of a lot more to it than that. If there weren't, I never would have posted the OP in the first place.
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
25. The vast majority of men "refuse rape"...
and grow into good husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles, sons etc. I'm usually not too impressed by analyses that generalize. Using a broad brush to tar the many for the actions of the few just doesn't do it for me.

Sid
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. If it were legal, I would post the entire article--I think you might...
view it differently if you had the benefit of seeing the entire thing.

Maybe I can find a link if it has ever been posted online (it was originally in a magazine).
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. Here is a link to the entire article--please take a few minutes to read it
I think it will help clarify: http://www.teachingsexualethics.org/writing/conversatio...

This article is almost identical to the one in the book--a few minor editorial changes are all I noticed.
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ieoeja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #28
53. Replying to the article.

You should probably have reproduced the intro to that piece. (And not gotten off onto the porn subtopic.) That would have gotten a better response. The problem with your OP is that you included one of the more inflammatory remarks, "we are calling for men to refuse to rape." Tossed out there like that it sounds remarkably idiotic.

But you have probably already figured that out.


Still, the real piece does fall into too much black-or-white thinking. Such as, "We are slowly moving with them to a new paradigm: if she/he feels assaulted, then they have been assaulted."

This denies the reality that some women, on some occasions, do later regret their own actions and subconsciously** shift that blame onto the partner in the form of "feeling" assaulted. In his outreach program, the author would do better to address this subject than to pretend it does not exist. For example, the women I have known to behave in this fashion typically start by fooling themselves that the two of them are in love. I know I'm not, and I won't let her pretend otherwise. I end up sleeping alone a lot. But jacking off is better than putting up with someone else's emotional issues when I don't care.

**I say subconsciously because I assume we can all agree women who do this on purpose deserve nothing but contempt.


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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #53
84. No one would have a chance to...
regret their actions if we all accepted the idea of committing to open verbal communication when it comes to matters of physical intimacy.

Both partners would bear equal responsibility, feelings of coercion and shame would be lifted, etc.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #25
51. I am not sure that is true
I attended a talk from "Men Stopping Rape" as a requirement for a sociology class. I expected it to be a waste of time. I went in thinking "I know all of this. Rape is bad. I have never been and never will be a rapist. Yada, yada, yada, and duh." But actually it was quite informative and eye opening. I believe that there is still all too much force, sexual assault, objectifying, dishonesty, and unkindness in our society's sexual relations, and that almost all of us, even the most intelligent, kind and decent among us have been a part of it, especially in our younger days.
Which is certainly not to say that every man is a rapist, but that sexual relations in this society have some serious problems. I think the article was germaine to that, although I have not yet read it.
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RazzleDazzle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #51
61. Thank you. What a glorious response.
I wish you would share some more from that talk, if you can remember...?
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #61
73. Well, it was about sixteen years ago.
I dug out an re-read the paper I wrote about it, and even though it is by one of my favorite "authors" it is kinda disjointed and does not lend itself to an easy summary. Doubtless the linked article will do a better job if it covers the same themes.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #51
69. Why don't you read it first, and then let us know?
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 05:16 PM by redqueen
Regarding dishonesty and unkindness, women do that as well.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #69
78. What, and do all that research?
Endorsing the author based on experience did not seem to be unwarranted.
As for what you said about what women do, I certainly did not mean to imply otherwise.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
29. This is a micro ism of our society on all levels,
we worship style over substance. The macho image created by the corporate owned MSM, is highly improbable or impossible to live up to, adds to these pressures, just as the "ideal feminine image" skin and bones models have contributed to anorexia and bulimia.

Carried further, it plays out in our political equations as well, we all know how important it is to be comfortable having a President that makes life and death decisions for our family, nation, and planet in our home for a beer.
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. Precisely--life becomes about image, instead of living--
instead of connecting with other human beings in an effort to enjoy the short time we have.
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #32
94. That's it exactly - it's the lack of connection that fuels our misery
and the culture fosters competition and alienation due to the absurd standards they create for us to aspire to.

Image is all about ego, and ego is what keeps us from having truly intimate friendships and relations with other human beings.

I also think a lot of women are resentful at men, because they feel that the "image" of what men expect them to be is totally unrealistic and tyrannical.
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #94
98. Absolutely, and simultaneously, men end up loathing women because
society tries to force MEN to fit a certain stereotype that may or may not be realistic for them as individuals.

This is the very essence of everything that is wrong with hierarchical, patriarchal social structures--no one actually ends up getting what they want or need.
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #98
121. However, is expecting them not to rape, discriminate or hate
things that are "unrealistic for them as individuals?" It is primarily due to the social construct of patriarchy, but individuals also have some responsibility for their behavior as well.
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
34. Actually, this video pretty much sums up the difference between
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 01:52 PM by Strong Atheist
many men and many women on the porn issue, Lol!

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=543034384122797...
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #34
37. For the last time, this thread is not about porn.
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 01:47 PM by Katherine Brengle
I'm beginning to think that people aren't even reading the OP before responding at this point. I actually make a point of saying that the post is not about pornography, but about gender relations and the need for an open, honest dialogue.
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. It is, according to you:
The problem with "pornography: okay by me" and "rape: bad" is that the two cannot be separated.
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. This is my personal belief, but it is not part of the OP, which was...
intended to begin a thoughtful debate. I merely responded to the comment of another DUer by offering my opinion.

Personally, I believe that * contributes to the idea of women as less than men, less than human, less than worthy of respect, less than equal, and therefore contributes to the strength of a patriarchal system. It is not the only factor--far from it--but it is not something that can be removed from the debate.

Of course, it does not need to be the central focus of all discussion of gender relations, which is why I did not dwell on it in the OP.
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patcox2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
49. What a bunch of stereotypes and sexist generalizations
How can an adult human make such unfair generalizations based on gender stereotyping, like "men don't know how to be open" and "men aren't raised to respect boundaries."

You don't know me.

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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #49
54. He's talking less about you than he is about our society
Although he leaves out needed qualifiers, but he is talking more about how men are raised by society than he is talking about how men act in various places. It was meant to be a statement which was generally, if not universally true.
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RazzleDazzle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #49
68. You're kidding, right?
RIGHT??

How can an adult human make such unfair generalizations based on gender stereotyping, like "men don't know how to be open" and "men aren't raised to respect boundaries."

Anyone who seriously wants to deny that most men in this culture and indeed probably the world fit this "generalization" and damn well, is either in denial, delusional, playing games, or living on another planet with a completely different species of human (angels, maybe).

The BEST of men I know -- people like my partner and son -- still fit what you want to think are "unfair generalizations."

I do have to give you some credit though: this is one of the more artful and creative dodges/distractions/deflections i've seen. It might, in fact, be a whole new category. On second thought...Nahhh, not new -- but kind of a nifty hybrid drawing from several different categories.

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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #49
85. Because it IS generally true--
No stereotype is ALWAYS true, about every individual that falls into the group being stereotyped, but I honestly find your response pretty typical of what has been said thus far in other threads of this type.

This post was supposed to help you and others open your minds to possibilities and concepts that might be uncomfortable and/or unfamiliar.

Try letting it in, just a little, even if it means you have to think about it as something that effects "other" men and not yourself.
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genie_weenie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
52. I guess I am confused by your post
What exactly do you want to talk about? Men's views on sex and women? How men are indoctrinated into the belief you must never show your feelings?

Here's my thought of the pico-second:
Since, I was raised sans father it was difficult for me to know how to interact with women as a MAN. Things that attract me in women conform to the usual biological standards. I do hold to the belief of 'men compete' and 'women choose', but I won't go so far as to say men are the way they are solely because of women.
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MamaBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
55. I'm reminded of my seminary days.
I atteneded a small, interfaith seminary with several small congregations attached. I attended and volunteered at one which focused on the teachings in A Course in Miracles.

This was back in the early nineties, and a group of women (the congretation was more than half female) asked the ministers (one male, one female; the partnership was advertised as equal but he clearly was dominant) if a few Sunday mornings throughout the year we could replace all the male-specific language in the prayers and readings with either female specific or gender neutral language. Many of us had been reading and researching in Goddess studies, and wanted to experience that energy in our community worship, and not necessarily have to partition ourselves off to a female only venue.

The male minister -- a good, moral and progressive man -- was horrified and absolutely forbade the practice within his congregation.

I was mystified until a few months later, when listening to some Goddess songs, and heard the words "Glory be to the Mother, and the Daughter, and the Holy Spirit ..." and felt all of a sudden what had been missing for me all my life. Just for once I didn't have to mentally say, "Oh, and me, too ..." when the deity was mentioned, or the messenger. The transmission of power was clear and specific and it was direct from the Source to ME.

No wonder the pastor had been so freaked out. Probably without even realizing it, he had taken AS HIS BIRTHRIGHT that idenification with the All Powerful, and he was not about to share it with us.

The problem is I've yet to meet a man who could recognize that they assimilate power and the right to power as their birthright, and theirs alone. It's not their fault, it's presented to them and becomes a societal introject in their personalities. One to which women have very little, if any access.

Small wonder that men in traditional and fundamentalist religions freak out at the mere thought of women teaching men, or leading prayers, or even calling out to a female creator. At some level, one which they cannot or refuse to acknowledge, they know.

I hope I'm not hijacking this thread -- it's not my intention to start a religious flame war here. I just thought this illustrative of the fact that power vesting to men is so deeply engrained in our society that men -- and women -- don't even realize.

Until you ask if maybe some Sunday you could recite the Our Mother ...

Peace.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #55
57. Awesome post - deserves it's own thread I think. nt
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #57
95. I'll second that.
Well put.
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #55
63. You hit the nail on the head...
This is but one reason why I left the Church, but I never understood why, even within the Catholic Church, the one I was raised in, where the Mother couldn't be venerated equally with the Father. Gender neutral is always problematic, for not many people in the world worship something they call IT, sounds to Stephen Kingish. :) But, objections to Goddess worship? I don't understand that, the Goddess I worship is a Goddess of Wisdom, Craftmanship, War and also a Mother.

I am She
that is the natural
mother of all things,
mistress and governess
of all the elements,
the initial progeny of worlds,
chief of the powers divine,
Queen of all that are in the otherworld,
the principal of them
that dwell above,
manifested alone
and under one form
of all the Gods and Goddesses.

Lucius Apuleius
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MamaBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #63
103. Gender-neutral language can be pretty awkward
I think the suggestion for gender neutrality was trying to get past the overwhelmingly male language in the otherwise gentle and lovely A Course in Miracles. Some of us found it a big stretch to identify with "sonship."

I'm not sure what I venerate any more: the Elements and the Directions, the Forces alive in the Earth ... reading a lot of scripture taught me that religions that produce scriptures are of, by and for men. It is really pretty sad.

I now avoid organized religion altogether; fortunately, I still can feel awe and even love, even though in my case "community" seems to have let me down.

Peace...
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #103
104. I'm a polytheist, that somewhat simplifies things for me...
Use the gender terms appropriate for who you are worshipping. For me, the Goddess Brigit and the God Ogma.
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #55
87. Thank you for sharing this story--I think this goes to the heart of what I
was trying to get out into the arena here--it isn't even about conscious domination in most cases. It's about a deeply ingrained sense of entitlement that many men don't even realize has effected them.
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
60. OK, I do and don't understand the article...
Let's see if I can, uh, verbalize this properly. OK, first, I'll disregard the generalizations as best as possible, but probably will be guilty of my own in this post, so bear that in mind. OK, for me, as a micro-culture, I'm from what could be called a Matriarchal society, NOT in the larger culture, I'm talking about family life, the one that has the most effect on my life, since I was raised in it. OK, I was raised around strong women, whether it was my Mother, Grandmother, or my Aunts, they either were/are career women, or, at least in the case of my mother, feminists who indoctrinated their kids in the philosophy. This has actually had consequences in my life, while, at first, most of my friends, as children were guys, we were a mixed group, it wasn't until around middle school that I fell out with most of my male friends due, mostly, to their attitudes to wards girls and women in general. I can see that as a double standard, the use of language that many guys use to describe relations with women could be considered, at the very least, crude and violent.

By high school, I was branded, by the guys at least, as gay, even though I was straight(painted on the front of my house!), as a "Momma's boy", and as a weakling, so to speak. I couldn't really repeat all that I have been branded as, for my crime was that most of my friends by this time were women. This soured my relations with guys in any way shape or form, usually the guys I hanged out with ended up being gay by default, for though I don't feel attraction to men, we think similarly in other ways. But, because gays are a small minority where I live, most of my friends were almost always female, and that is mostly because I'm much more verbal, I guess, than guys, and I'm more comfortable around women, if that makes sense. I guess it helps that I don't like sports or any of that other machismo crap. I really don't understand half the article, especially the parts about lack of communication and the objectification of women.

Its true that, for many guys, the fact that women are INDEPENDENTLY sexual scares the crap out of them. This is something that even I have a hard time grasping at how much the larger, misogynist, culture even influenced ME on this type of attitude. Of course, being who I hanged out with, it was, more or less, beaten out of me pretty quickly. :) I really hated it when I sometimes had to work in majority-male workplaces, that really gets on my nerves, I learned, pretty quickly, that when I'm in situations like that, if I speak up about misogynist attitudes I'm looked at as if I have two heads. To be honest, guys like that aren't worth my time.

As far as communication with women in romantic ways, I can be curious to a fault, and sometimes I just communicate my feelings without really thinking ahead at all. If I ask a woman out on a date, I don't really have any expectations beyond that, and I'm slow, on purpose, to a fault, which sometimes frustrates those very women I go out with. I'm not the type of person that just has sex for pleasure alone, more along the lines of whether the relationship will actually go somewhere, though I'm not a prude. However, one thing I found out is that women can be just as aggressive as men in this regard, and I have said NO more than once, because I wasn't ready. I'll flirt, with abandon, but I'm no crude asshole who will pinch bottoms or be aggressive about it. I don't know where I where I fit in the world, but I'll be myself, so to hell with it, and live the way you should.

OK, so from the article, I understand the observations that guys would view sex as being something they DO to women, as I said, I've witnessed the use of the language first hand, if not the acts themselves. When some guy says he "bangs" a woman for whatever reason, and BRAGS about it to co-workers, I can understand how that is perceived as a type of sexual violence. The parts I don't understand about the article is the confusion that guys have when they are faced with this point blank. I don't understand guys that well I guess.
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #60
88. Interesting perspective--
and though I am a woman, not a man, I am also confused as to why any man would not take the time to consider what Weinberg wrote and reflect on it in a meaningful way. As a woman, I found it eye-opening, so I imagined it would be absolutely enlightening for a man...

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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #88
100. It was a sort of...
doh! moment for me. Sort of like something sort of snapped into place for me, a puzzle piece, though only one, fits now.

Seems kind of ironic, for right now I'm watching a History Channel Special titled "Warrior Queen Boudica", very interesting history, to say the least, of someone that history used to forget.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boadicea
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #60
96. If only there were more men like you around!
You see it, you get it. Thank you.
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #96
99. Exactly what I thought when I read his post!!! n/t
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #99
101. Thanks to both of you...
:blush:
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:08 PM
Response to Original message
65. Becoming a man isn't a "process" as stated
The process is becoming an adult male. A man doesn't become a man just because he reaches a certain age or level of experience in life. No way. Becoming a man is sort of an enlightenment...an enlightenment that those alleged "scarring, humiliating rites (our fathers and brothers) experienced" is bullshit and is to be rejected.

"Transforming a Rape Culture" is probably an excellent work. To suggest that men should "refuse to rape" though alludes that men consider rape, but turn down the idea. I've never considered it. Sort of like saying men should refuse to molest or kill or smash kittens with hammers. It's not a "rape culture" at all. It's an ego culture. Snap the ego with a wet towel, and rape would largely be a thing of the past (as would just about every other evil).
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mikelewis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #65
70. I thought about molesting a...
kitten with a hammer once but luckily I don't have a hammer.
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RazzleDazzle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #65
75. If you'd read the article you'd underestand better
a little better, anyway.
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #75
76. Enlighten me, poster.
Please.
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #65
102. I think a better word would be...
Dominating, as in "Transforming a Dominating Culture". For rape is but one aspect of domination in general, such domination doesn't need to be overtly sexual, it could be as simple and subtle as a closed door, a word, a look in the eye, or the glass ceiling.
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OPERATIONMINDCRIME Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
66. I Care About Freedom, Individuality, Choice, Respect and Tolerance Of All
Regardless of race, gender, age etc...

I'm passionate about that (obviously LOL) and will generally defend whenever I see someone being discriminated against or attacked with broad brush unreasonably. It is about equal rights for everybody. I believe that wholeheartedly.

God bless ya Katherine. At the end of the day I would fight right beside you for those rights I've expressed above. :hug:
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #66
89. Amen to that, OpMC!
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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
74. Well Thank You!
for the compliment.

:blush:
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:22 PM
Response to Original message
105. AWESOME thread
:wow:
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 12:35 AM
Response to Reply #105
109. thanks lol--can't believe it got over 100, lol. n/t
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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
106. I was the "nice guy" for 20 years.
Didn't work.

Women WANT the aggressive guy. This guy sounds seriously....incorrect.
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 12:38 AM
Response to Reply #106
110. You are, quite frankly, absolutely wrong.
I don't like to make such a definitive statement, but I am really interested to know what kind of women you have been close to in your life that made you reach this conclusion.

No one wants an "aggressive" man. Most of us want an "assertive" man, who is strong in his own right, able to care for himself, who is empathetic and compassionate, who is committed, and above all, who respects us and our physical and emotional self-sovereignty.

I know NO women who desire a man to dominate and control them. That is what the word "aggressive" means to me in this context.

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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #110
112. Care to expand on the distinction you're making?
Edited on Sat Mar-11-06 12:44 AM by BullGooseLoony
What's the difference?

What it sounds like you're saying is that, for example, women want a man to "assert" sexual attraction to her, but not....act upon it? Would that be accurate?

Ask first, but do nothing?
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #112
122. I'd be glad to:
aggress (intr.v. aggressed, aggressing, aggresses): To initiate an attack, war, quarrel, or fight: America... guaranteed that no EC state would aggress against another (John J. Mearsheimer).

  • aggressive (adj.): (1)Characterized by aggression: aggressive behavior; (2)Inclined to behave in an actively hostile fashion: an aggressive regime.
  • hostile (adj.): (1)Of, relating to, or characteristic of an enemy: hostile forces; hostile acts; (2)Feeling or showing enmity or ill will; antagonistic: a hostile remark; (3)Unfavorable to health or well-being; inhospitable or adverse: a hostile climate. OR (n.): (1)An antagonistic person or thing; (2)An enemy in warfare.

assert (tr.v. asserted, asserting, asserts): (1)To state or express positively; affirm: asserted his innocence; (2)To defend or maintain (one's rights, for example).

  • positive (adj.): (1)Characterized by or displaying certainty, acceptance, or affirmation: a positive answer; positive criticism; (2)Measured or moving forward or in a direction of increase or progress; (3)Explicitly or openly expressed or laid down: a positive demand; (4)Admitting of no doubt; irrefutable: positive proof; (5)Very sure; confident.



We (women) want honesty and openness--if this means admitting to sexual attraction, then so be it. What we don't want is for our partners to demand reciprocation, to coerce reciprocation, or to force reciprocation.

Aggression inspires fear, and fear drives many women to do things they do not want to do--out of concern for personal safety, out of fear of future rejection, out of low self-esteem, etc.

An assertive man is one who is willing to say what he means and be honest with himself and his partner. This inspires feelings of safety in women, who are often (even if we don't like to admit it) cowed by the sheer size and strength of many men--we know that most of us can easily be overpowered by a man of average strength, and therefore, men who are open and honest and make an effort to assure us that we are safe allow us to make decisions based on choice, and not fear.
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frustrated_lefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
108. Having read the article in its entirety, I'm annoyed.
Just the very idea that the notion of "consent" might be new to anyone, whatever gender, pisses me off. "No" means "no." Jesus christ, any adult should realize some people, no matter what gender, have difficulty vocalizing. It's freaking polite to ask "are you ok with this," whether it be in regard to having a menage a tois or sharing a first kiss or drinking a goddammed freshly ground cup of coffee in public.

In regard to consent....it cuts both ways. Three times in my life, I've said "no" to women. I'm not a "stud," not particularly attractive or charismatic. They were all friends. One I gave a back massage and a hug, two I helped achieve climax without coitus. They all treated me like I had somehow "hurt" them, though. To them, my saying "no" meant I didn't value them enough, or appreciate them enough or think they were "pretty" enough. I was so sexually scarred, I could not talk about it. I cared about those friends and tried to express that in a way that didn't make my mind implode. They took a cup half full to be a cup half empty, and I ended up feeling guilty. Women, in my experience, treat consent as if it's their issue. When male consent enters the picture, something must be wrong.

The article asks: "Can men become empathetic to women and their experience of rape?" My response: the author is a dimwit. The threat of violence to women in our culture is so intrinsic, so pervasive, very few men are capable of really internalizing the sensation of a nightmare become real. The Tutsi (sp?) men in Ruwanda? Jews in Germany? I don't know. The threat to those men...I may be totally off here, and probably am projecting....I think those men feared what would happen to their families more than what would happen to themselves. That's a different kind of fear. It's just as strong (and before anyone calls bullshit on me, I am speaking from experience in this), but it's different.

This last point is trivial in some ways, but, hey, you posted the article. Weinberg and Biernbaum yack about male "essentialists and apologists," claiming that they say men have not been indoctrinated or initiated. Bullshit. Bly annoys the hell out of me, but this is a misrepresention of his efforts. There was a lot of crap published on "male-ness" in that era. Most of it claimed men had been initiated in a harmful way, starting with snipping off the foreskin in the hour of birth.

I appreciate your effort to do something constructive, but, as a guy, W&B piss me off.

-fl
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 12:46 AM
Response to Reply #108
113. My attempt at a response...
Nobody likes rejection--and I don't remember the author ever saying that your partner would be pleased by a refusal. The point is that you (male OR female) have no duty to please that person in any way that makes you uncomfortable.

I don't think he meant that men don't ever feel fear. His focus was specifically on fear of rape itself. The vast majority of women, who have not actually been direct victims of forcible rape, still have a very strong reaction to even hearing the word "rape" while most men do not have this reaction.

Of course men worry about their loved ones--everyone does. No one was trying to tell you guys (DU men) that you are not loving, empathetic, compassionate, caring, emotional human beings. I don't think you would be here if you were not all of these things.

The focus in the article is extremely narrow--it focuses on one type of fear, one major cultural issue.

All I wanted to do was open the minds of those who have no necessarily ever thought about this with any real seriousness, and I think some have. To me, that is a good thing.
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frustrated_lefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #113
117. We're talkin at cross-purposes here.
You are so mishearing everything I'm saying, or I am expressing myself that poorly.

What you're doing is a good thing.
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #117
123. I apologize--I just re-read your initial post...
and with the added clarification of your second response, I see that I completely misunderstood you.

The article should be "annoying" in the way that you meant it--no one should have to be talking about these things--they should be common sense.

Thank you for clarifying--I was completely off-base, lol.
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NuttyFluffers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 12:39 AM
Response to Original message
111. Ever read the beautiful book, "Real Boys"?
i really liked that book. it shows that men have serious issues stemming from a horrifying socialization structure. but it didn't really dwell on all these big words i'm using, it basically displayed a lot of comments from the interviewed boys themselves. the author just brought our attention to a fascinating pattern developed from all these interviews.

patriarchal socialization isn't good for men as it isn't good for women, and that was one of the most intriguing ideas i received from the book. it shed light on male alienation, stifling of options of acceptable expression, emotional abuse, etc. and how this system of abuse breeds itself into future generations along with spreading into all other facets of our society. it also showed how beautiful men can be inside -- gentle, caring, affectionate, nurturing, playful -- without having to compromise their masculine identity into a female model. too often people get into the dichotomy trap and see all these good inner traits as only belonging to women, or so ingrained with the concept of femininity that there's no conscious awareness that these virtuous traits have an analogous expression in the concept of masculinity. it basically expressed to me that men didn't have to wear a unitard, light votive candles, and commune with their inner vulva to find their good-hearted, nurturing center. it also noted how this good, chewy, caramel center, being just as good as female center, manifests itself in a distinctly male fashion, and it too is good. it talked about many things that i noticed, never really understood/decipher about men, and never gave much thought to, and shed light upon them.

a man doesn't have to compromise his identity to be a man to be an emotionally healthy and openly engaged person. but it requires the de-indoctrination of very poisonous, emotionally stifling strictures of male freedom and self-worth. it was a great book and i recommend it to all.
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 12:49 AM
Response to Reply #111
114. Nutty, you are absolutely correct---
Modern men are also victims of our patriarchal social structure--I am a pretty strong believer in the power of socialization over natural tendencies when it comes to gender roles (although some things don't fall into this category, imo, such as GLBT issues, which I believe are biological in nature, not sociological). I do not believe that men are the biggest losers in the game, but they too are exploited by the system and we should be sensitive to that.

I've read mixed reviews on that book, but perhaps on your rec I will check it out.
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NuttyFluffers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 01:47 AM
Response to Reply #114
118. i particularly recommend it because it's men/boys in their own voice
a lot of the argument made in between can probably be skipped. what i find so beautiful about the book is to hear the ... how to say... "truth afraid to be spoken, even to one's self." it's listening to the inner fears and hopes of men and boys -- in their own words. we don't always get to be priviledge to those quiet whispers, and for that alone it's kinda magical. the analysis is mere commentary to what i feel is that true treasure. and to really get anywhere, from any side, on these issues we have to be able to listen intently, especially for these often silent screams.
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 01:55 AM
Response to Reply #111
119. Sounds like a book I need to read...
I have always felt extremely alienated from other men, though, intellectually at least, I know I probably shouldn't be that way. But, I call it mask wearing, usually I do it when I have to "get through the day" with co-workers, that type of thing. Talk about superficial stuff, when they say something stupid or mean about women, grunt, just try to get along, basically. The only times I open up are through either the impersonality of the Internet or when I'm around my real friends, who, by and large, are all female. I can be myself, without real judgement or "cock measuring" going on, the "Alpha Male" syndrome run amok.
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NuttyFluffers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #119
124. from what i gathered from the book, you are very much not alone
Edited on Sat Mar-11-06 09:22 PM by NuttyFluffers
it was the trap of expectations, the "alpha male" syndrome run amok as you say, that made many men/boys that replied feel they *had* to be reduced to this lowest denominator. because otherwise they'd be ridiculed, ostracized, or worse. sounds scary. apparently men work off of a sort of strange gestalt or mob mentality when in any sort of group. there's this fascinating rapid heirarchy assessment and frighteningly efficient closing of the ranks in the face of even the slightest external challenge. it exists in women, i'm sure, but nothing as brutally efficient and of seemingly one mind as groups of men. i'm curious just how far the dissatisfication extends in the ranks. it is so hard to draw out men on just about any (edit: personal) subject, let alone the betrayal of secrets among their gender peers.
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