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  #51  
Old 05-13-2019, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
Well (ETA: as many others have now said already), what term should we use to describe traditional gender stereotypes that we think are bad for people? ...
“Harmful gender stereotypes” works fine. Even just stating that stereotypes are a common problem across identities and that we all should be aware of them as implicit biases and be aware of structural and institutional factors that promote these stereotypes.

That isn’t demonizing the identity.

And those phrases do. “Toxic masculinity” demonizes the identity.

Look, here’s a challenge. Without saying what it is NOT and without saying things that equally apply to women, what is “masculine” that is not “toxic”?
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  #52  
Old 05-13-2019, 02:25 PM
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The people that object to "toxic masculinity" because they refuse to believe it means "the set of masculine behaviors that are toxic" will object to "hypermasculinity" because it suggests that masculinity is a negative quality and that it's bad to be "too manly".
Maybe. But in that case I’d come up with a less objectionable term.
  #53  
Old 05-13-2019, 02:36 PM
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“Harmful gender stereotypes” works fine. Even just stating that stereotypes are a common problem across identities and that we all should be aware of them as implicit biases and be aware of structural and institutional factors that promote these stereotypes.

That isn’t demonizing the identity.

And those phrases do. “Toxic masculinity” demonizes the identity.

Look, here’s a challenge. Without saying what it is NOT and without saying things that equally apply to women, what is “masculine” that is not “toxic”?
I don't think "don't apply to women" is really a fair standard there, because lots of women display traits that are masculine.

Let me turn that back to you--what POSITIVE traits do you think are either necessary or sufficient for a person to be a man but are either not seen in women or are not positive when seen in women? What is this positive masculinity that you think is being unfairly slandered?

I, with Wollstonecraft, tend to think we've lumped a bunch of positive traits into the bucket of "masculine" because, historically, we've denied women access to qualities like being forthright, practical, protective, emotionally controlled, logical, and assertive; insofar as women have been "allowed" to have those traits, they've had to accept the label of "less feminine" than women who did not display those traits. On the other hand, we took a bunch of negative traits and lumped them under "feminine"--in order to be fully "feminine", women have had to adopt certain traits that are infantilizing.

So I guess, yeah, I don't believe that there's a non-Toxic masculinity that is the exclusive perview of men; I also don't think there's a non-toxic femininity. I think there are positive and negative traits, and when we say they are good or required if you are THIS gender, and neutral or even negative if you are THAT gender, it's a loss. We can say this or that trait is more common in this or that gender, and we can discuss if that's inherent or cultural in origin, but when you start down the path of "real men have this trait" or "real women are like this", it's bad.
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:38 PM
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Look, here’s a challenge. Without saying what it is NOT and without saying things that equally apply to women, what is “masculine” that is not “toxic”?
It's not clear here what you're asking for in terms of identifying something as "masculine". Do you mean, what sorts of things are conventionally associated with being male?

Because that's a huge list that ranges all the way from beards and chest hair to watching men's sports and singing bass. And none of these characteristics are intrinsically "toxic". The toxic part is stating or implying that only men are allowed to have such characteristics or that not having them makes a man inferior.

Phrases like "smooth-faced as a girl", "one of those sissy boys with a waxed chest", "No girls allowed when the game is on!", "a deep-voiced bull dyke", etc., are illustrations of toxic masculinity. Having a beard or chest hair or watching men's sports or singing bass, in themselves, are not.
  #55  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:16 PM
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Maybe. But in that case I’d come up with a less objectionable term.
There will never be a term that is non-objectionable to people who are looking for a reason to object.
  #56  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:48 PM
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There will never be a term that is non-objectionable to people who are looking for a reason to object.
Indeed. The implication, "I'm right there with you objecting to harmful gender stereotypes, BUT NOT UNTIL YOU COME UP WITH A BETTER TERM," is less than persuasive. If you want to fight shitty social structures, you'll put up with terminology that's not 100% to your liking. If you're quibbling over the terminology, it's almost always because you're not especially interested in doing anything about those social structures.
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Old 05-13-2019, 04:55 PM
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I don't think "don't apply to women" is really a fair standard there, because lots of women display traits that are masculine.


I wonder if women who work in certain predominately male environments are prone to "adaptive toxic masculinization". I once worked in a very "macho" workplace, where the conversations were frequently bawdy, sexist, and homophobic. A very "boys will be boys" culture. At first I just tried to fit in by being a "cool chick". You know, not be a schoolmarm over every non-PC joke, but not necessarily contributing my own. I would raise one eyebrow, but not both. I would chuckle over some stuff but not too loud.

But I do remember one time when I crossed the line from "kinda-sorta cool chick" over to "toxic". Someone was badmouthing a woman that didn't much care for. Rather than just laugh along, I chimed in with: "Yeah, she is a real See You Next Tuesday." The boys exchanged confused looks for a minute and then busted out laughing. I was proud of myself when they said "monstro, we didn't know you had it in you!" I was not only one of the guys, but I was also a "bad" guy. And I kinda liked it.

There are no doubt other toxic things I did just to fit in.

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  #58  
Old 05-13-2019, 05:37 PM
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They're new labels for old, obvious shit.
  #59  
Old 05-13-2019, 06:58 PM
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DSeid, before you talked about using the term "negative stereotypes". I think the problem with that is that "stereotypes" are about the buckets we put other people in--the concept is inherently one of ignoring or minimizing differences in others and replacing a more nuanced understanding of them as people with a generic "type". A stereotype is understood to be wrongly applied in haste.

The concept of toxic masculinity/femininity is different. It's internal--it's looking at how society compels individuals to adopt anti-social and self-destructive traits in order to live up to a perceived sexual character. I don't think I "stereotype" myself, but I can see how toxic ideas of femininity have warped my sense of self in certain ways, and with that knowledge I can push back against them. That is in no way rejecting my identity as a woman, nor does it make me feel like being woman is toxic.
  #60  
Old 05-13-2019, 07:03 PM
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The terms seem more "pop-psy" to me. Assholes who troll via sexism would be my take. These are individuals who have issues with control, stereotypes are just a convenient trope for them to exploit.
  #61  
Old 05-13-2019, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
I don't think "don't apply to women" is really a fair standard there, because lots of women display traits that are masculine.

Let me turn that back to you--what POSITIVE traits do you think are either necessary or sufficient for a person to be a man but are either not seen in women or are not positive when seen in women? What is this positive masculinity that you think is being unfairly slandered? .
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DSeid, before you talked about using the term "negative stereotypes". I think the problem with that is that "stereotypes" are about the buckets we put other people in--the concept is inherently one of ignoring or minimizing differences in others and replacing a more nuanced understanding of them as people with a generic "type". A stereotype is understood to be wrongly applied in haste.

The concept of toxic masculinity/femininity is different. It's internal--it's looking at how society compels individuals to adopt anti-social and self-destructive traits in order to live up to a perceived sexual character. I don't think I "stereotype" myself, but I can see how toxic ideas of femininity have warped my sense of self in certain ways, and with that knowledge I can push back against them. That is in no way rejecting my identity as a woman, nor does it make me feel like being woman is toxic.
Addressing a bit out of order ...

I do not consider any traits "necessary or sufficient for a person to be a man but are either not seen in women or are not positive when seen in women" other than being one or the other.

I reject your characterization of some women displaying "traits that are masculine" as a harmful sexist stereotype. What are they doing that they are acting more male (and therefore less female)? Standing up for themselves? Liking carpentry? Being a strong and decisive leader? Lifting weights? Being a bit aggressive?

Those things do not make them less female and more male. A woman who does those things is not manly ... or womanly ... because of she possesses those traits. She is a woman with those traits.

You are not to be faulted for having internalized sexist stereotypes of what is "masculine" or "feminine" but hopefully you can recognize how the terms "hyper" or "toxic" come out of holding those stereotypes. It accepts that "men are this and that" and being those "manly" traits is a problem.

What is "non-toxic masculinity"? And how is a man who is that different than a woman with "non-toxic femininity" other than superficial traits and self-identification?

My position is anyone who labels a trait or characteristic one or the other does so by having accepted the stereotypes.

Stereotypes are NOT exclusively buckets we place OTHERS in. They are expectations we impose upon ourselves as well. Stereotypes most certainly are commonly internalized, both positive ones and negative ones.

A man who is acting to an extreme of what he has been taught is the stereotype of "being a man" is responding to living up to the stereotype ... and may subconsciously do it most when he feels his being "enough of a man" is in question.

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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
It's not clear here what you're asking for in terms of identifying something as "masculine". Do you mean, what sorts of things are conventionally associated with being male?...

<snip>

...Phrases like "smooth-faced as a girl", "one of those sissy boys with a waxed chest", "No girls allowed when the game is on!", "a deep-voiced bull dyke", etc., are illustrations of toxic masculinity. Having a beard or chest hair or watching men's sports or singing bass, in themselves, are not.
I hope the above clarified for the first section.

As to the second ... are any of those things, like having chest hair, a positive specifically male trait?
  #62  
Old 05-13-2019, 09:00 PM
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Indeed. The implication, "I'm right there with you objecting to harmful gender stereotypes, BUT NOT UNTIL YOU COME UP WITH A BETTER TERM," is less than persuasive. If you want to fight shitty social structures, you'll put up with terminology that's not 100% to your liking. If you're quibbling over the terminology, it's almost always because you're not especially interested in doing anything about those social structures.
Terminology that validates the constructs it objects to is not worth putting up with.

THE BETTER TERM is the inclusive "sexist stereotypes" which tell us, from early ages that this or that is what is masculine or feminine (to be potentially too much or not enough of) and that result in features of society that perpetuate them.

A man is not less masculine because he is a nurse and knits and cries at romcoms or hypermasculine because he is an ass who lifts weights and brags about sexual "conquests". The problem is not that the latter is toxically male; the problem is the widely held stereotype of what male means that the phrases "toxic" and "hyper" accept, with their implication that they are just too big of a dose of it. And that the latter is an ass.
  #63  
Old 05-13-2019, 09:38 PM
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A man is not less masculine because he is a nurse and knits and cries at romcoms or hypermasculine because he is an ass who lifts weights and brags about sexual "conquests". The problem is not that the latter is toxically male; the problem is the widely held stereotype of what male means that the phrases "toxic" and "hyper" accept, with their implication that they are just too big of a dose of it. And that the latter is an ass.
“Toxically male” is not what “toxic masculinity” means. Male and masculinity don’t equate to the same thing. To make the inference you’re drawing, you have to ignore the context in which it’s used and the literal meaning of words.
  #64  
Old 05-13-2019, 10:05 PM
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Lets take a simple example, and then if people agree with that we can discuss whether it's a rare exception or part of a larger pattern.
...
Boys and men are told all the time that "boys don't cry", even if it is less pronounced now. This a cultural phenomenon, we don't have an instinct to say "Boys don't cry" to each other. It's one contributing factor to boys and men having issues with sharing emotions.

This is a real thing, and it's a problem to at least some degree.
I don't agree at all. I am a 35-year-old man. Previously I have been a boy. Nobody has ever told me that "boys don't cry".

This is a fairly common phenomenon: a progressive or a feminist makes a claim about something being true in our society or culture, offers no evidence, and simply proceeds forward as if the claim was proven true and universally agreed upon. In reality, the claim is false.

There is no trend in our culture saying that boys or men don't cry. Quite the opposite, in fact. It's easy to name countless examples of cultural products in which men do cry. Men cry in the plays of Shakespeare, the novels of Charles Dickens, and the poetry of John Keats. Men cry in popular music and blockbuster movies. So this claim is simply false.
  #65  
Old 05-13-2019, 10:23 PM
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I reject your characterization of some women displaying "traits that are masculine" as a harmful sexist stereotype. What are they doing that they are acting more male (and therefore less female)? Standing up for themselves? Liking carpentry? Being a strong and decisive leader? Lifting weights? Being a bit aggressive?
Did you see the example I provided of a woman (me) taking on the very worse characteristics of the guys around her? If I had been in a group of women, I probably would have never made a "See You Next Tuesday" reference because no one would have found it funny. But because I was with a group of guys who loved their misogynistic labels and expressions, I felt I had to stoop to such a low to get their respect.

You're distorting what Manda JO said, by the way. She didn't say women who display masculine traits act more "male". I'm pretty sure if that's what she had wanted to say, she would have said it. No, what she said is that there are women who have masculine traits. Are you now denying the existence of masculine traits, whether non-toxic or toxic?

I'm a woman who's comfortable in her identity who has no problem admitting to having masculine traits. I'm gonna guess that a significant number of women would have no problem identifying some aspect to their personality that doesn't fit with the traditional concept of "femininity" and leans more towards "masculine". Despite what Jared's would have you believe, maybe they DESPISE jewelry. Maybe they'd much rather watch an action or sci-fi movie over a rom-com any ole day. Maybe they don't particularly care for babies/kids or being a domestic goddess. Maybe they really like sex just for the sex and could give a flying fuck about the emotional stuff. Maybe they would rather tinker with something in the basement for hours rather than socialize. Maybe they are not especially in tune with other people's emotions and couldn't care less about pleasing anyone. Maybe they don't put a huge emphasis on clothing/cosmetics/grooming. Maybe they aren't especially verbally or emotionally expressive. Maybe they are very competitive, very assertive, and very self-assured. A woman may find herself checking one of these boxes or multiple ones and still be quite feminine in all other respects. While also never at any time resembling a "male".


I think it would be smart for a woman with any of the traits I just listed to be aware of certain tendencies. Like, it's OK for a woman to not care about her physical appearance (within reason, of course). But it's not OK for a woman to denigrate a woman who DOES care a lot. I know I've had to check myself (on multiple occasions) about judging a woman for being a "girly girl". I've been programmed to think that "girly girls" are dumb flibbertigibbets who always manage to get other people to do their work for them. Yeah, dumb flibbertigibbets exist, but I always have to remind myself that they don't look a certain way. A woman can be dumb and look like they just rolled out of bed, and she can be brilliant and resemble a Barbie doll. I don't judge the dapper man negatively, so it is unfair for me to negatively judge the stylish woman. It doesn't matter to me that I can't identify the source of this programming. I just know it exists in me and that I have the power to push back against it.

I think women who work in male-dominated professions are vulnerable to toxic masculinity-influenced thinking, since we've absorbed subtle messages about "who belongs" and "who doesn't belong". I'll never forget this SDMB thread, wherein the OP bashes women who bring stuffed animals to work while having absolutely no problem with the guys bringing in Legos and action figures. Notice how the OP seems to be arguing that if it weren't for their stupid stuffed animals, women would get more respect and be able to ascend the ranks of management. She might as well be saying, "If women could just act like guys, they wouldn't be such embarrassing losers!" This is such a shitty and harmful mindset. I really don't know a better word than "toxic" to describe it.

Last edited by monstro; 05-13-2019 at 10:24 PM.
  #66  
Old 05-14-2019, 01:35 AM
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I don't agree at all. I am a 35-year-old man. Previously I have been a boy. Nobody has ever told me that "boys don't cry".
Really.

You never got this message from family, peers, or the popular media?

If so, you're absolutely the exception. It's extremely hard to miss these messages.
  #67  
Old 05-14-2019, 03:01 AM
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Really.

You never got this message from family, peers, or the popular media?

If so, you're absolutely the exception. It's extremely hard to miss these messages.
Like, just so we're clear I'm not making this up...

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MenDontCry

Scroll down and you'll see pages upon pages of examples of the trope in popular media. Granted, at this point it's become so clichéd that most of it is lampshade hanging, but the point still stands - this is absolutely a thing people know about, a thing that is nigh-omnipresent in popular culture, and arguing that it isn't is pretty absurd.

In fact, TVTropes is an excellent resource when it comes to this kind of thing. Here's another example, with dozens and dozens of famous pop culture examples cited: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.p...nAreUncultured

In fact, it has a whole meta page of "masculinity tropes": https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.p...culinityTropes
Many cultures have certain expectations of what a man should and should not be. These qualities are deemed "masculine" and the men who embody them are called "real men." Common traits include bravery, diligence, endurance and strength. Failing to achieve this standard often meant rejection and mocking, while living up to it meant being stuck in a rigid role. Thankfully, these demands have loosened considerably in many parts of the world.

Some guys just never bothered to care, though.

Whether or not these tropes are positive or negative, they demonstrate what society considers masculine.
(Bolding mine.)

It is a long list. And a lot of the entries are things that either are or should be considered overwhelmingly negative. "Real Men Hate Affection", "Guys are Slobs", et cetera. And some of them are positive, too! "Papa Wolf", for example. But this is the kind of pop-culture influence everyone grows up with, and pretending that it doesn't exist is... well, it's just fucking silly, I'm sorry.
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Old 05-14-2019, 03:54 AM
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Really.

You never got this message from family, peers, or the popular media?

If so, you're absolutely the exception. It's extremely hard to miss these messages.
Another data point: I’ve never been told that either. Not by family, not by friends, not by anyone, far as I can remember. Literally the only place I’ve heard it is on TV.
  #69  
Old 05-14-2019, 03:55 AM
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There will never be a term that is non-objectionable to people who are looking for a reason to object.
Prove it.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:10 AM
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I don't agree at all. I am a 35-year-old man. Previously I have been a boy. Nobody has ever told me that "boys don't cry".

This is a fairly common phenomenon: a progressive or a feminist makes a claim about something being true in our society or culture, offers no evidence, and simply proceeds forward as if the claim was proven true and universally agreed upon. In reality, the claim is false.
No one has ever explicitly told me "Don't get fat because if you do, no one will like you because you'll be an ugly old cow."

But I know the message is out there and that it negatively affects the psyche of millions of women.

How steeped are you in the social sciences? Your statement strikes me as very ill-informed, but maybe you are an expert in feminist theory and actually have a good reason to believe what you do. Would you consider yourself to be someone who has been immersed in the discourse well enough to know how much intellectual rigor goes into feminist theory? Or are you just another person who is basing their opinion based on stereotypes and what they've "heard" from others? I mean, skepticism is fine, but requiring proof before you believe that men get told different things than women isn't just being skeptical. It's deliberate obtuseness.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:56 AM
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How steeped are you in the social sciences? Your statement strikes me as very ill-informed, but maybe you are an expert in feminist theory and actually have a good reason to believe what you do. Would you consider yourself to be someone who has been immersed in the discourse well enough to know how much intellectual rigor goes into feminist theory? Or are you just another person who is basing their opinion based on stereotypes and what they've "heard" from others? I mean, skepticism is fine, but requiring proof before you believe that men get told different things than women isn't just being skeptical. It's deliberate obtuseness.
Yeah, generally there are two groups of people who commonly comment on this kind of thing. The first group has often spent some time familiarizing themselves with the literature around the issue. The second group thinks that toxic masculinity is humbug. To speak extremely euphemistically, it's rather frustrating. I'm reminded of the folks who talk about "post-modern neo-marxists" as though that's a coherent concept, and ExistentialComics has the absolute correct response.

Nobody explicitly told me "boys don't cry" either (well, other than Kimberly Peirce and The Cure). But I did get told I was acting "girly" when I cried. I was called a wuss, a coward, a "pussy". The insults tended towards feminization, and the implication - "you're less manly because your show your feelings, and that's a bad thing" - was pretty fucking clear, even to an autistic 6-year-old. If you managed to avoid this kind of socialization, lucky you. But I kind of doubt both of you missed all of it by sheer happenstance.
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:18 AM
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“Toxically male” is not what “toxic masculinity” means. Male and masculinity don’t equate to the same thing. To make the inference you’re drawing, you have to ignore the context in which it’s used and the literal meaning of words.
The words don't mean the same thing, true. And the difference between their meanings is exactly the point I am making:

The literal meaning of the word "masculinity" is not what is actually "male" but what is accepted as the stereotype of being male, those things that we define are appropriate to being a man, that we expect a man to be.

One has to ignore the literal meaning of the word and the context to pretend that one is not accepting and affirming the stereotype that aggressiveness, toughness, strength, etc. are is appropriate and expected of a man to be "a man" and that conversely a male without those things is less of a man if not effeminate.

So monstro I do not deny that there are traits are the stereotype of what a man is and that society would define a male without those things as not much of a man as a a cultural construct.

I argue that the terms "toxic masculinity" and "hypermasculinity" reinforce those stereotypes as the cultural construct. Part of the problem is considering and messaging a women watching sci-fi, to use just one of your examples, as a man's thing (a masculine trait) and housework (domestic divinity, your other side) is a womanly thing (a feminine trait).

Saying that men should have and be comfortable with more feminine traits, and be less manly because that is toxic, and that women should have and be comfortable with more masculine traits, be less feminine ... is, IMHO, not useful or helpful in addressing the issue, which is the sexist stereotypes themselves.
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:25 AM
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Yeah, generally there are two groups of people who commonly comment on this kind of thing. The first group has often spent some time familiarizing themselves with the literature around the issue. The second group thinks that toxic masculinity is humbug. ...
Let's accept that crock you posted above as true, for the sake of discussion.

IF what you want to accomplish is to alter the behaviors and societal structures that are the problems being identified by the terms of the op, do you want to only be understood by those who have spent time familiarizing themselves with the literature around it? Preaching to the fairly small choir is not the most effective approach even if it allows for some smugness.

Since most people are not reading much of the literature, then by your post above most people will think "toxic masculinity" is humbug, and little progress will be made.

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  #74  
Old 05-14-2019, 08:12 AM
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Let's accept that crock you posted above as true, for the sake of discussion.

IF what you want to accomplish is to alter the behaviors and societal structures that are the problems being identified by the terms of the op, do you want to only be understood by those who have spent time familiarizing themselves with the literature around it? Preaching to the fairly small choir is not the most effective approach even if it allows for some smugness.

Since most people are not reading much of the literature, then by your post above most people will think "toxic masculinity" is humbug, and little progress will be made.
I phrased that poorly.

My point was that there is a near-perfect overlap between "people who know what the fuck they're talking about" and "people who understand that toxic masculinity is a thing". Corollary: the people claiming that it's humbug don't. While they by no means make up all the people who have never read a goddamn book on gender studies in their lives (that's "most people"), the people who have never read a goddamn book on gender studies in their lives are the only people who would say something so silly. Hence my comparison to "post-modern neo-marxism", a phrase that only makes sense if you have absolutely no idea what any of the words involved actually mean.

The problem is that past a certain point, if you want to understand something, you have to do one of two things:

1. Trust the experts
2. Put in the work and do the reading yourself

If you are willing to do neither... Well, that's how you end up on Mount Stupid.

And it's not like toxic masculinity is that hard of a hard concept, relatively speaking. It just takes a willingness to understand systemic issues (and the inadequacy of individual solutions to systemic issues). And yet some people still get it very wrong:

Quote:
One has to ignore the literal meaning of the word and the context to pretend that one is not accepting and affirming the stereotype that aggressiveness, toughness, strength, etc. are is appropriate and expected of a man to be "a man" and that conversely a male without those things is less of a man if not effeminate.

So monstro I do not deny that there are traits are the stereotype of what a man is and that society would define a male without those things as not much of a man as a a cultural construct.

I argue that the terms "toxic masculinity" and "hypermasculinity" reinforce those stereotypes as the cultural construct. Part of the problem is considering and messaging a women watching sci-fi, to use just one of your examples, as a man's thing (a masculine trait) and housework (domestic divinity, your other side) is a womanly thing (a feminine trait).
But... That's the stereotype of masculinity we're pushing back on. It's literally what we're both describing and decrying! We're pointing out that the stereotype is usually inaccurate, and should not be held up as aspirational. That masculinity is more than its most toxic forms.

This is a bit like if I say, "there is a stereotype about black people being big dumb brutes. This is a very bad stereotype that is neither accurate to reality nor should be considered something to aspire to", and you object to this by saying, "Hey, by bringing up that stereotype, you're reinforcing that stereotype!" Or is it just because we're putting a label to the stereotype that indicates what it is a stereotype of?
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:27 AM
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I phrased that poorly.

My point was that there is a near-perfect overlap between "people who know what the fuck they're talking about" and "people who understand that toxic masculinity is a thing". Corollary: the people claiming that it's humbug don't. While they by no means make up all the people who have never read a goddamn book on gender studies in their lives (that's "most people"), the people who have never read a goddamn book on gender studies in their lives are the only people who would say something so silly. Hence my comparison to "post-modern neo-marxism", a phrase that only makes sense if you have absolutely no idea what any of the words involved actually mean.

The problem is that past a certain point, if you want to understand something, you have to do one of two things:

1. Trust the experts
2. Put in the work and do the reading yourself

If you are willing to do neither... Well, that's how you end up on Mount Stupid.

And it's not like toxic masculinity is that hard of a hard concept, relatively speaking. It just takes a willingness to understand systemic issues (and the inadequacy of individual solutions to systemic issues). And yet some people still get it very wrong:



But... That's the stereotype of masculinity we're pushing back on. It's literally what we're both describing and decrying! We're pointing out that the stereotype is usually inaccurate, and should not be held up as aspirational. That masculinity is more than its most toxic forms.

This is a bit like if I say, "there is a stereotype about black people being big dumb brutes. This is a very bad stereotype that is neither accurate to reality nor should be considered something to aspire to", and you object to this by saying, "Hey, by bringing up that stereotype, you're reinforcing that stereotype!" Or is it just because we're putting a label to the stereotype that indicates what it is a stereotype of?
When it comes to social change taking the “trust the experts” is not going to be an effective approach.

I’m not seeing the stereotype being rejected when monstro characterizes certain of her traits as “masculine” ... I’m seeing, and I mean no offense here, a cluelessness that she holds the stereotypes as given facts.

Again I come to this from parenting and reacting to discussions about male role modeling as a parent.

We’ve raised four kids to adulthood now (last graduating HS). My take is not to teach what it means to be a man or to be a woman but as best I can what it means to be the best human you can be. My daughter is not masculine or embracing masculine traits because she is tough assertive and strong. My son is not embracing feminine traits by crying at movies and studying to become a social worker. He is a strong man and she is a strong woman. Period.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:14 AM
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I phrased that poorly.

My point was that there is a near-perfect overlap between "people who know what the fuck they're talking about" and "people who understand that toxic masculinity is a thing". Corollary: the people claiming that it's humbug don't. While they by no means make up all the people who have never read a goddamn book on gender studies in their lives (that's "most people"), the people who have never read a goddamn book on gender studies in their lives are the only people who would say something so silly. Hence my comparison to "post-modern neo-marxism", a phrase that only makes sense if you have absolutely no idea what any of the words involved actually mean.

The problem is that past a certain point, if you want to understand something, you have to do one of two things:

1. Trust the experts
2. Put in the work and do the reading yourself

If you are willing to do neither... Well, that's how you end up on Mount Stupid.

And it's not like toxic masculinity is that hard of a hard concept, relatively speaking. It just takes a willingness to understand systemic issues (and the inadequacy of individual solutions to systemic issues). And yet some people still get it very wrong:



But... That's the stereotype of masculinity we're pushing back on. It's literally what we're both describing and decrying! We're pointing out that the stereotype is usually inaccurate, and should not be held up as aspirational. That masculinity is more than its most toxic forms.

This is a bit like if I say, "there is a stereotype about black people being big dumb brutes. This is a very bad stereotype that is neither accurate to reality nor should be considered something to aspire to", and you object to this by saying, "Hey, by bringing up that stereotype, you're reinforcing that stereotype!" Or is it just because we're putting a label to the stereotype that indicates what it is a stereotype of?
But it really isn't all that inaccurate. I will give you that it is becoming less and less accurate as time goes on but stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason, they usually start out pretty damn true.
There were times in our not so distant past that women and men certainly had different duties in life. Without assigning a negative or positive virtue to either, it is simply true.

As we progress further along in this relatively new direction. New sterotypes will evolve.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:15 AM
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Years ago, there was a thread here titled "Men, who does the driving in your relationship?". In that thread, a poster said he was never comfortable as a passenger in a car, and to illustrate this, he told a story of a time where he drove himself to the ER with a knife in his leg and his wife in the passenger seat, because he couldn't bring himself to let his wife drive even in those circumstances. This was presented as a positive thing in an inherently masculine way: as a man, he was so stoic about pain and had such a strong compulsive need to be in control that his risked his life, his wife's life, and the lives of the people on the road rather than cede any agency to her. Clearly, he didn't think less of his wife for being a passenger: it was appropriate for a woman to be content to perpetually ride shot-gun. But as a man, he would be lessened if he accepted that status, even under extreme duress. And it was presented as a funny, flattering anecdote.

To me, that is "toxic masculinity". The poster had internalized the idea that certain traits are intrinsic and exclusive to men, and that because he was male, it was important that he exemplify those traits past the point of rationality. It was tied into his concept of what it means to be a man. To talk about this, we have to acknowledge the source of the programming: it's not enough to say "some people push stoicism and self-reliance too far"--that misses the point that people feel like they will lose their status as a member of their gender (turn in your man-card!) if they don't embrace and exaggerate those traits. We need to talk about how, as a society, we limit people's full range of expression with very narrow definitions of "masculinity" and "femininity".

I don't actually understand your objection to that. Do you feel like we need to leave the terms "masculinity" and "femininity" behind? If so, I can certainly get on board with that. But I don't think we get there by denying now that some traits that are considered "gendered" --in fact, as seen as essential to membership in one gender and negative in a member of another gender-- are actually positive and should be equally available to everyone, and that other traits--or some traits in some contexts/to some degree--that are considered essential to a particular gender identity are neither essential nor positive. They are toxic in anyone. What part of that do you disagree with?
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:37 AM
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It is a long list. And a lot of the entries are things that either are or should be considered overwhelmingly negative. "Real Men Hate Affection", "Guys are Slobs", et cetera. And some of them are positive, too! "Papa Wolf", for example. But this is the kind of pop-culture influence everyone grows up with, and pretending that it doesn't exist is... well, it's just fucking silly, I'm sorry.
Perhaps you are hearing pushback from people who don't live their lives based on what they see on TV?

Look at this guy: Joel Embiid Crying after losing to Raptors in Game 7, 2019 PLayoffs. You think he's less than a man? Do you think HE thinks he is less than a man for crying because some TV shows said "Men don't cry"?
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:54 AM
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I phrased that poorly.



My point was that there is a near-perfect overlap between "people who know what the fuck they're talking about" and "people who understand that toxic masculinity is a thing". Corollary: the people claiming that it's humbug don't. While they by no means make up all the people who have never read a goddamn book on gender studies in their lives (that's "most people"), the people who have never read a goddamn book on gender studies in their lives are the only people who would say something so silly. Hence my comparison to "post-modern neo-marxism", a phrase that only makes sense if you have absolutely no idea what any of the words involved actually mean.



The problem is that past a certain point, if you want to understand something, you have to do one of two things:



1. Trust the experts

2. Put in the work and do the reading yourself



If you are willing to do neither... Well, that's how you end up on Mount Stupid.



And it's not like toxic masculinity is that hard of a hard concept, relatively speaking. It just takes a willingness to understand systemic issues (and the inadequacy of individual solutions to systemic issues). And yet some people still get it very wrong:







But... That's the stereotype of masculinity we're pushing back on. It's literally what we're both describing and decrying! We're pointing out that the stereotype is usually inaccurate, and should not be held up as aspirational. That masculinity is more than its most toxic forms.



This is a bit like if I say, "there is a stereotype about black people being big dumb brutes. This is a very bad stereotype that is neither accurate to reality nor should be considered something to aspire to", and you object to this by saying, "Hey, by bringing up that stereotype, you're reinforcing that stereotype!" Or is it just because we're putting a label to the stereotype that indicates what it is a stereotype of?
I think the last paragraph nicely encapsulates what we are talking about.

The guys here who disagree that men are taught harmful things likely have no problem seeing the harmful things that people from other groups are taught..whether implicitly or explicit. They have probably thought to themselves: "It is no wonder black youth act like thugs and don't value education. Look at the kind of role models they have! Listen to the music they listen to! Look at the values they pick up from their parents! Their culture is toxic!"

Now, I find this kind of rhetoric disagreeble since only a subset of black youngsters are actual thugs and black youth are immersed in the same pop culture as white youth. Self-defeating behaviors perpetrated by black American vannot be divorced from intergenerational poverty and a legacy of oppression. But it is undeniable that black children are exposed to harmful ideas and messages that white children are not subjected to the same degree, and it is undeniable that they can perpetrate these ideas and messages out of a commitment to their identity. I wonder if the conservative white guy who denies men are taught not to cry have the same denial about black kids being taught that speaking "proper" English is "being white". It is funny that conservatives never demand proof for this claim, but any feminist concept must be backed by a mathematical equation for it to be taken seriously.



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Old 05-14-2019, 11:07 AM
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Perhaps you are hearing pushback from people who don't live their lives based on what they see on TV?

Look at this guy: Joel Embiid Crying after losing to Raptors in Game 7, 2019 PLayoffs. You think he's less than a man? Do you think HE thinks he is less than a man for crying because some TV shows said "Men don't cry"?
It's literally titled that, because it's being treated as an extraordinary event: something so dramatic, it's acceptable for a man to cry. It's not evidence that men are allowed to cry/express their emotions in the same way and to the same degree as women--it's evidence that they are not.

If he'd cried when he got thrown to the ground during the game, would people have had the same reaction?
  #81  
Old 05-14-2019, 12:18 PM
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The literal meaning of the word "masculinity" is not what is actually "male" but what is accepted as the stereotype of being male, those things that we define are appropriate to being a man, that we expect a man to be.

One has to ignore the literal meaning of the word and the context to pretend that one is not accepting and affirming the stereotype that aggressiveness, toughness, strength, etc. are is appropriate and expected of a man to be "a man" and that conversely a male without those things is less of a man if not effeminate.
I read this several times and it’s still not making sense.

Masculinity broadly refers to qualities we perceive to be associated with men and boys. It includes physical traits (facial hair, deep voice) and it also includes behaviors and personality traits . Some of these things are rooted in biological differences between the sexes and some of them are the result of socialization. With me so far? All of this is value neutral.

Believers in toxic masculinity aren’t saying it’s bad to be masculine. They are saying men are told in many insidious ways that to be a Real Man (and thus, of high social value), they have to behave in ways that ultimately hurt themselves and others. To put it another way, the pressure that men are under to embody masculinity has toxic consequences.

How does this affirm stereotypes?
  #82  
Old 05-14-2019, 12:26 PM
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Saying that men should have and be comfortable with more feminine traits, and be less manly because that is toxic, and that women should have and be comfortable with more masculine traits, be less feminine ... is, IMHO, not useful or helpful in addressing the issue, which is the sexist stereotypes themselves.
Nobody is saying that being manly or womanly is toxic: what we're saying is that requiring people to fit other people's idea of what one should be like is toxic (as in, damaging to the person who receives it), that this kind of toxic behavior is often linked to reducing one to one's apparent gender, and that it is also linked to gender-based stereotypes.




As for you and others who claim that you've never encountered anybody criticising you for ungenderly behavior, congratulations. I believe you. But you are refusing to believe those of us who have in fact been pressured and criticised for ungenderly behavior. Or, heck, had our existence denied because our gender can't be [whatever]: not "shouldn't be", but "can't be"!

I'm reasonably sure most people in these boards have never been raped. Neither have I. But that doesn't mean rape doesn't exist.
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  #83  
Old 05-14-2019, 12:54 PM
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Perhaps you are hearing pushback from people who don't live their lives based on what they see on TV?

Look at this guy: Joel Embiid Crying after losing to Raptors in Game 7, 2019 PLayoffs. You think he's less than a man? Do you think HE thinks he is less than a man for crying because some TV shows said "Men don't cry"?
I'm guessing you followed one of the best rules of life and didn't read the youtube comments.

So let me do it for you, and in return, you can pay for my next trip to the psych ward.

"Someone is gonna meme his face"
"I knew she was a diva 😂😂😂"
"Embid looks like a spoilt baby going to tell his Dad what mom did to hin"
"Dont ever let the cameras see u cry after a loss go cry in shower or something"
"NEW MEME NEW MEME YEA DATS YoUuU"
"Embiid crying baby"
"Big boys don’t Kawhi"
"Come on broham, all men cry at some point in your life but hold it together playa until you get in the locker room chief. I guess this is the new generation where men want to be women and women want to be men."

There are apparently quite a few people who think he's less of a man because of it - that he's either a child or a woman because he's emotional after a big loss.
  #84  
Old 05-14-2019, 02:18 PM
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There are apparently quite a few people who think he's less of a man because of it - that he's either a child or a woman because he's emotional after a big loss.
Big deal. There are quite a few people who think the Earth is flat, and that Bigfoot exists.

On a serious note, that first TVTropes link, almost all of the examples from movies show where they guy averted the trope. And the rest are old people from another time (Clint Eastwood) or old movies. Similarly, the TV shows are mostly old as well.

Can you think of a TV Show or Movie in the past 19 years that told society "Men Don't Cry"? How many TV Shows or Movies in the past 19 years showed a man openly crying?

Finally, if women think that men aren't supposed to cry, is that toxic masculinity?
  #85  
Old 05-14-2019, 02:30 PM
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There's a middle ground anyway between "only expressing emotion through anger or violence" and "crying."
  #86  
Old 05-14-2019, 02:51 PM
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I see a lot of people talking past each other here.

Sure, in the academic sense, Toxic Masculinity refers to some nuanced real issue, but the term itself is problematic because

1) While it may have been intended to refer to indoctrination of males into certain attitudes and behaviors, it has pretty much been coopted by popular usage to now mean bad behaviors of men.

2) Emphasis matters. The choice to pick a particular gender itself implies disparity, the opposite of its intended purpose.

3) The focus is backwards. Promoting ideals and solutions is more effective than targeting symptoms

4) The simplistic label limits awareness of many other related issues which have nothing to do with either toxicity or gender
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Old 05-14-2019, 03:00 PM
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Really.

You never got this message from family, peers, or the popular media?

If so, you're absolutely the exception. It's extremely hard to miss these messages.

Like, just so we're clear I'm not making this up...

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MenDontCry

Scroll down and you'll see pages upon pages of examples of the trope in popular media. Granted, at this point it's become so clichéd that most of it is lampshade hanging, but the point still stands - this is absolutely a thing people know about, a thing that is nigh-omnipresent in popular culture, and arguing that it isn't is pretty absurd.
...
Well, let's summarize where we are. I've provided a list of authors, music, and other cultural products that feature men or boys crying/expressing emotions. You've provide a list of cultural products in which men are told not to cry/express emotions. So what can we conclude from that? We can conclude that there's a large variety of cultural products out there and that they do not all deliver the same message on males crying, or on any other issue.

But then you go on to quote this from that page:

Quote:
Whether or not these tropes are positive or negative, they demonstrate what society considers masculine.
And to say this:
Quote:
It is a long list. And a lot of the entries are things that either are or should be considered overwhelmingly negative. "Real Men Hate Affection", "Guys are Slobs", et cetera. And some of them are positive, too! "Papa Wolf", for example. But this is the kind of pop-culture influence everyone grows up with, and pretending that it doesn't exist is... well, it's just fucking silly, I'm sorry.
This argument is wrong for several reasons. First, the tvtropes.org website doesn't prove anything. There are millions of TV shows, books, movies, comics, and so forth out there. So a website can list a small number of cases on which a particular trope occurs. That hardly proves that said trope dominates all pop culture everywhere. I can name a bunch of pop culture products featuring green characters (The Incredible Hulk, Guardians of the Galaxy, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, ...). Does this prove that green characters are omnipresent in pop culture? I think the fact remains that the large majority of characters are not green.

Second, no matter how much we talk about pop culture, it proves nothing about real life. In pop culture, there are a lot of evil overlords who aim to acquire a specific object and use it to rule the world (Sauron, Voldermort, Thanos, ...). This does not prove that society is full of evil overlords who rule the world with a magic ring, wand, or gauntlet. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever taken over the world with a piece of jewelry. It's almost as if reality and fiction are different.

Of course, the people who make pop culture do come out of our society and are influenced by it, but every individual artist puts their individual ideas into their work. Therefore one work of art, or even 100, does not tell us anything about society as whole.

Any claim that "Society says _____________" or "Society considers _____________" is false, if it claims to describe all of present-day society. Society is the sum total of the behaviors of everyone. There are 330,000,000 humans in the USA and billions more in other countries. They say different things. They believe different things. They consider different things to be a masculine ideal. To make a blanket statement about what "society considers masculine" is absurd. To do so based on a list of TV shows, manga, and the like is doubly absurd.
  #88  
Old 05-14-2019, 03:16 PM
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Would you guys agree with the statement:

There are no gendered expectations shaping how men and women may acceptably express emotions.


I feel like that is so self-evidently false that being asked to prove it is like being asked to prove "there is social pressure on people to be economically independent from their parents as adults" or "Eating together is an important part of social interactions".
  #89  
Old 05-14-2019, 03:41 PM
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Would you guys agree with the statement:

There are no gendered expectations shaping how men and women may acceptably express emotions.
But there are expectations shaping how everyone may acceptably do almost anything.

Some men think men shouldn't cry. Some men think it's okay for men to cry. Some women think men shouldn't cry. Some women think it's okay for men to cry.

Which one of those is "toxic masculinity"? Which ones are something else "toxic"?
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:45 PM
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But there are expectations shaping how everyone may acceptably do almost anything.

Some men think men shouldn't cry. Some men think it's okay for men to cry. Some women think men shouldn't cry. Some women think it's okay for men to cry.

Which one of those is "toxic masculinity"? Which ones are something else "toxic"?
Which would you say is the prevailing view?

Do you think these viewpoints are evenly represented in the population? Or do you think it's possible that one is much more prevalent than the other?
  #91  
Old 05-14-2019, 05:06 PM
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But there are expectations shaping how everyone may acceptably do almost anything.

Some men think men shouldn't cry. Some men think it's okay for men to cry. Some women think men shouldn't cry. Some women think it's okay for men to cry.

Which one of those is "toxic masculinity"? Which ones are something else "toxic"?
I'm still learning this myself, but my understanding is that "Some men think men shouldn't cry" and " Some women think men shouldn't cry" would be the viewpoints that perpetuate "toxic masculinity" - though this particular example is probably on the milder end of the "toxicity spectrum". "Some men think men should defend their honour with violence" and "some women think men should defend their honour with violence" might be further along the scale.

I think both men AND women's expectations as to "what makes a man manly" contribute to the culture of toxic masculinity, and hopefully people recognize this. Women being attracted to, and approving of violent assholes definitely perpetuates toxic masculinity, as does peer pressure from other men. If society is to change the idea that stoicism, domination, self reliance, defending honour, etc. are NOT concepts that epitomize manliness, it's something that people of all genders will have to work on. The thing is, many of these attributes that are seen as virtuous may not necessarily be that toxic in principle (and have some beneficial aspects to them, even) - but they can become toxic if they are taken to the extreme (Manda JO's story about the guy driving with a knife in his leg being a great example, IMO).

I think similar strides have already been made in society to dispel stereotypes about what epitomizes femininity - ie. the idea that being demure, helpless and chaste are desirable traits in a woman is probably much less mainstream than it may have been a century ago. The gradual evolution of social standards is likely how "toxic masculinity" will be fought as well.
  #92  
Old 05-14-2019, 05:52 PM
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As much as we talk about incels on this board and their warped views, you’d think it would be obvious that collectively men are pressured to live up to certain gendered ideals. Real Men are tall, sexually experienced, and make a lot of money. Okay, so what happens when you don’t have these things. You get a rope, that’s what you do. This Incel Logic 101, man.

Are we really supposed to entertain the idea that men and women get hit with the same shit in the exact same way?
  #93  
Old 05-14-2019, 06:02 PM
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Well, let's summarize where we are. I've provided a list of authors, music, and other cultural products that feature men or boys crying/expressing emotions. You've provide a list of cultural products in which men are told not to cry/express emotions. So what can we conclude from that? We can conclude that there's a large variety of cultural products out there and that they do not all deliver the same message on males crying, or on any other issue.
I honestly cannot believe this is a debate we're having. But okay, don't like TVTropes? How 'bout PubMed?

"The limitations of language: male participants, stoicism, and the qualitative research interview."
The semistructured, open-ended interview has become the gold standard for qualitative health research. Despite its strengths, the long interview is not well suited for studying topics that participants find difficult to discuss, or for working with those who have limited verbal communication skills. A lack of emotional expression among male research participants has repeatedly been described as a significant and pervasive challenge by health researchers in a variety of different fields. This article explores several prominent theories for men's emotional inexpression and relates them to qualitative health research. The authors argue that investigators studying emotionally sensitive topics with men should look beyond the long interview to methods that incorporate other modes of emotional expression. This article concludes with a discussion of several such photo-based methods, namely, Photovoice, Photo Elicitation, and Visual Storytelling.
"Boys don't cry": examination of the links between endorsement of masculine norms, self-stigma, and help-seeking attitudes for men from diverse backgrounds.
The role of conformity to dominant U.S. masculine norms as an antecedent to help-seeking attitudes in men has been established using convenience samples made up largely of college-age and European American males. However, the role of conformity to masculine norms on help-seeking attitudes for noncollege-age men or for men from diverse backgrounds is not well understood. To fill this gap in the literature, the present study examined the cross-cultural relevance of a mediational model of the relationships between conformity to dominant U.S. masculine norms and attitudes toward counseling through the mediator of self-stigma of seeking counseling for 4,773 men from both majority and nonmajority populations (race/ethnicity and sexual orientation). Structural equation modeling results showed that the model established using college males from majority groups (European American, heterosexual) may be applicable to a community sample of males from differing racial/ethnic groups and sexual orientations. However, some important differences in the presence and strengths of the relationships between conformity to dominant masculine norms and the other variables in the model were present across different racial/ethnic groups and sexual orientations. These findings suggest the need to pay specific theoretical and clinical attention to how conformity to dominant masculine norms and self-stigma are linked to unfavorable attitudes toward help seeking for these men, in order to encourage underserved men's help-seeking behavior.
Perspectives on perceived stigma and self-stigma in adult male patients with depression.
There are two principal types of stigma in mental illness, ie, "public stigma" and "self-stigma". Public stigma is the perception held by others that the mentally ill individual is socially undesirable. Stigmatized persons may internalize perceived prejudices and develop negative feelings about themselves. The result of this process is "self-stigma". Stigma has emerged as an important barrier to the treatment of depression and other mental illnesses. Gender and race are related to stigma. Among depressed patients, males and African-Americans have higher levels of self-stigma than females and Caucasians. Perceived stigma and self-stigma affect willingness to seek help in both genders and races. African-Americans demonstrate a less positive attitude towards mental health treatments than Caucasians. Religious beliefs play a role in their coping with mental illness. Certain prejudicial beliefs about mental illness are shared globally. Structural modeling indicates that conformity to dominant masculine gender norms ("boys don't cry") leads to self-stigmatization in depressed men who feel that they should be able to cope with their illness without professional help. These findings suggest that targeting men's feelings about their depression and other mental health problems could be a more successful approach to change help-seeking attitudes than trying to change those attitudes directly. Further, the inhibitory effect of traditional masculine gender norms on help-seeking can be overcome if depressed men feel that a genuine connection leading to mutual understanding has been established with a health care professional.
Here's the APA:
However, it is not unusual for some men to under-state mental health problems (Paulson & Bazemore, 2010). Normative male interpersonal behavior can, but does not always, involve an absence of strong affect, muted emotional displays, and minimal use of expressive language, making it dif-ficult for primary care physicians and other health professionals to determine when men are actually experiencing depressive disorders (Martin, Neighbor, & Griffith, 2013).
Here's a tweet from the APA talking about it:
APA has issued its first-ever guidelines for practice with men and boys. They draw on more than 40 years of research showing that traditional masculinity is psychologically harmful and that socializing boys to suppress their emotions causes damage https://on.apa.org/2GOqtzp
This shit is not that hard to find.

The position you have staked out is utterly foreign to anyone who's done any serious (or even cursory) work in this field. It's an astonishing argument to have and I hope this clarifies that you're not just a little wrong. You're way off in left field.
  #94  
Old 05-14-2019, 06:09 PM
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I'm still learning this myself, but my understanding is that "Some men think men shouldn't cry" and " Some women think men shouldn't cry" would be the viewpoints that perpetuate "toxic masculinity" - though this particular example is probably on the milder end of the "toxicity spectrum". "Some men think men should defend their honour with violence" and "some women think men should defend their honour with violence" might be further along the scale.
In my view, when we discuss TM, it’s helpful to show how a particular trope is damaging to the individual and others, because not all gender stereotypes are socially valued the same way or toxic in the same way.

“Men like fart jokes.” Is it a stereotype? Yup. Does it make men out to be crass juveniles? Yes, a little bit. Is a guy going feel pressured to live up to this stereotype? Eh, probably not. Ain’t no one going to revoke his man card if he admits to finding this humor stupid. Is liking fart jokes going to cause him to do self-destructive, life-threatening things? Nope.

“Men don’t cry.” Is it a stereotype? Yes, but even most importantly, it’s an instruction to men that they shouldn't cry. So guys will feel pressure to live up to it. And if they fail at that, will they same feel weak and unmanly? Yes, quite possibly because stoicism is a highly valued trait in men. Is denying himself the right to cry going to cause harm to him? Yes, at least in some subset of men. If he doesn’t have a healthy way of releasing negative feelings, he’s risking all kinds of psychological issues. Issues that affect his relationships with others.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:15 PM
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Why is there so much emphasis here on crying? Crying isn't something that's normal or ideal for anyone. If you're crying, it means something really bad happened. Really, really bad, not just "bad." It is not something that people should ideally be doing on a regular basis.

A woman who regularly starts crying is going to be looked at as emotionally fragile and possibly disturbed, just like a man. I don't know any women who DON'T find it embarrassing and undesirable to be seen crying.
  #96  
Old 05-14-2019, 06:21 PM
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Why is there so much emphasis here on crying? Crying isn't something that's normal or ideal for anyone. If you're crying, it means something really bad happened. Really, really bad, not just "bad." It is not something that people should ideally be doing on a regular basis.
But... this isn't actually true. At all. And what's more, the "boys don't cry" stoic mentality extends to things like diagnosing medical disorders and the ability for health emotional responses to tragedy. Check out some of the things I cite above.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:27 PM
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Why is there so much emphasis here on crying? Crying isn't something that's normal or ideal for anyone. If you're crying, it means something really bad happened. Really, really bad, not just "bad." It is not something that people should ideally be doing on a regular basis.

A woman who regularly starts crying is going to be looked at as emotionally fragile and possibly disturbed, just like a man. I don't know any women who DON'T find it embarrassing and undesirable to be seen crying.
There is much less pressure for women to not cry than men. I grant you that women also catch flak for crying, but the flak doesn’t threaten their gender the same way it does for men.

Let me ask you this. Do you think men are socialized to express their feelings and emotions the same way that women are? Because that’s really what we’re talking about; crying is just shorthand.

Last edited by you with the face; 05-14-2019 at 06:27 PM.
  #98  
Old 05-14-2019, 06:27 PM
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Why is there so much emphasis here on crying? Crying isn't something that's normal or ideal for anyone. If you're crying, it means something really bad happened. Really, really bad, not just "bad." It is not something that people should ideally be doing on a regular basis.

A woman who regularly starts crying is going to be looked at as emotionally fragile and possibly disturbed, just like a man. I don't know any women who DON'T find it embarrassing and undesirable to be seen crying.
...I think you've identified exactly why there is an emphasis on crying in this thread.
  #99  
Old 05-14-2019, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Lamoral View Post
Why is there so much emphasis here on crying? Crying isn't something that's normal or ideal for anyone. If you're crying, it means something really bad happened. Really, really bad, not just "bad." It is not something that people should ideally be doing on a regular basis.

A woman who regularly starts crying is going to be looked at as emotionally fragile and possibly disturbed, just like a man. I don't know any women who DON'T find it embarrassing and undesirable to be seen crying.
Crying is pretty normal for a lot of people. This article suggests the average woman cries 5 times a month; the average man, much less but still enough that I don't think it only happens when something "really, really bad happens"

Quote:
In the 1980s, biochemist William H. Frey, PhD, found that women cry an average of 5.3 times a month, while men cry an average of 1.3 times per month, with crying defined as anything from moist eyes to full-on sobbing. Those averages still appear to be about the same, suggests newer research, including work by Lauren Bylsma, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh (Journal of Research in Personality, 2011).
Interestingly, the next paragraph talks about how gender differences in crying "might" have a biological basis, but the weasel words have weasel words.

I am not a crier--and in all honesty, I think that's because my whole life I've worked really hard not to because I think of crying as feminine and weak, and okay for "normal" girls but I'm not "like normal girls", I'm tougher, like a man. That idea--that masculine is better than feminine, and that masculine involves extreme emotional control--is an example of internalized standards of toxic masculinity.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:57 PM
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There's only a stone's throw from "Men shouldn't cry" to "Men don't need to get help for their personal problems, and least not real men."

I hate to keep talking about black people, but I'm gonna do it again because I think it could be helpful. Many black people have internalized a message that we have to strong all the time. We don't "get" nervous breakdowns; that's white people mess. You have some shit you're going through? Work it out at church. Pray on it hard enough and the shit will be healed. But going to a therapist is what white people with too much time and money on their hands do. That's not what "real" black people do.

It's a toxic message for obvious reasons.

When the Sandra Bland story first broke, I talked to my mother about it because it was really upsetting for me. More upsetting than any other police brutality case. My mother was confident that Sandra had been killed by that police officer (or someone at the jail). But I told her straight-up that I thought Sandra probably did kill herself because I could see myself doing the same if I had been in her shoes.

You woulda thought that I had blasphemed, the way my mother reacted to that. "WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU KILL YOURSELF! DON'T YOU KNOW YOU CAN'T BE WEAK LIKE THAT! DON'T YOU KNOW THAT'S WHAT THE RACISTS WANT YOU TO DO! YOU HAVE TO BE STRONGER THAN THAT, GIRL!"

I wanted to hang up the phone. The conversation reminded me how "weird" I felt the first time I told my parents I was in therapy to get help with my depression. I felt like a failure for revealing my inability to be above the fray all the time. My parents didn't say so, but I could almost read their minds: "She's been hanging around white people too long."
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