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May. 18th, 2006


Universal Manhood?

Over at feminist a debate over "universal womanhood" is raging. One of the threads turned into a discussion over whether or not universal manhood was an unchallenged concept or not.

My argument is that it is indeed challenged, and carries with it the same problems as universal womanhood (that it's a privileged narrative that erases intersections and leaves all men who don't fit into it out in the cold). I used specific examples of minority narratives (in this case the Asian American men stereotypes seemed appropriate), transmen, and then mentioned the narrative of REAL men (as expressed by the BK commercial).

What do y'all thing? Is the idea of a universal manhood unchallenged in your society? Do you believe that the idea holds water, do you agree with me that it's a privileged narrative, or do you think something completely different?

May. 16th, 2006

Cross, Duo Maxwell


Progress in England! :D


At least Great Britain is makeing some progress. I say the guy deserves exactly what he got!

May. 10th, 2006


Masculinity in the BK Commercial

There has been a good bit of discussion on the Burger King commercial that has been played in the States. Since it's recently hit the internet, I was able to see it. Although I'd like to go wash my eyeballs now, I'm glad I did. It actually says a lot about the state of masculinities in the US, and other Western nations I would argue.

I actually did an in-depth analysis of it on my blog, which is too long to post here. For those interested, I'm going to post my introduction and then a link to where it can be read.

No, Burger King (BK) does not have the monopoly on awful advertising. Not by a long shot. But this new commercial combines sexism, racism, and probably a whole lot of other -isms that my mind wants to blank out into one nasty little package. I just… yeah. Didn’t Carl’s Jr. try this one before? And Jack in the Box? And, like, didn’t it fail? Miserably?

Shame on me for trying to apply Earth Logic to Marketing! I should know better, really. But, in all seriousness, this commercial is just plain bad. I don’t mean to pick on Burger King (well, I sort of do), but it’s making the rounds on ther internet (elsewise I never would have seen it, me being in Japan and all), and I can’t help but put my two cents in.

Read more and see the commercial here.

Aug. 12th, 2005



These Days: On male desire

There's an interesting post over at These Days about (heterosexual) male attraction, in response to the Dove ad campaign. The idea, which seems to play into the concept of "homosociality," is that there's a significant amount of peer pressure to put one's personal sense of attraction aside and express attraction toward "conventionally beautiful" women (i.e., skinny, young, usually white, usually blonde):

long excerpt from the postCollapse )

As one of the commenters, "a cornellian," put it:

this is a sample of a generic conversation that the post is talking about

A: "she is hot"
B: "no, not really"
A: "whats wrong with you ect ect..."

I definitely remember being person B in that conversation.

I think that this pressure to conform to the "standard" for attraction hurts a lot of men, for several reasons:

  • If all men are trying to pursue the same minority of women, there's going to be a lot more competition and a lot more men who become dissatisfied (or misogynistic) when they can't find anyone "attractive."

  • Men who internalize this beauty standard may be more likely to be dissatisfied with their partners.

  • Men who don't internalize this beauty standard are still pressured to keep their personal preferences hidden, or are told that their preferences are abnormal or "fetishistic."

Jun. 22nd, 2005

Yoda with lightsaber


Undressing Infidelity, Atlantic Monthly book review.

"Women need more than security to thrive, it seems. In fact, they often court the square opposite of security, as Diane Shader Smith learned when she began interviewing women for Undressing Infidelity. They court risk; they court intensity, variety, novelty, and disaster -- very much like men. It is a peculiarity of our age to portray one sex as nature's safe and law-abiding partner -- to cast it as the erotically muted, risk-averse nanny to man." -- Undressing Infidelity, Atlantic Monthly book review.

Please accept my apology if this was already mentioned elsewhere. FYIO

Jun. 17th, 2005



How did this happen for so long?

I don't understand why this story is not front page on CNN. They have multiple stories on the frigging Michael Jackson trial (AFTER IT IS ALREADY OVER!) but I only found this because I was doing a bit of very brief research at lunch. 63 year old man apparently has been an abuser for many, many years

Read more...Collapse )

Jun. 16th, 2005



Combating sexism internally

I was raised in an immensely sexist family environment. It was also racist, homophobic, and filled with more kinds of bigotry than I care to name here. I have done a lot of work to combat these messages, both in therapy and in other ways. I personally think that my being gay gave me a leg up in this process, as it gave me a self-serving interest to begin the process of breaking these messages. In all honesty, at the age of 33 and having been in therapy for most of my life, I still have thoughts that are biased that I have to examine and dismantle. I would imagine that for Christian straight white males the process must be more difficult as there is less initial incentive at a young age to begin question the crap one is fed. Granted, most people are not fed quite the level of bias that my son-of-southern-Baptist preacher stepfather spouted, but it is there in our society nevertheless to some degree. My questions are:

1) (This question edited for greater inclusiveness.) What methods do other men or other majorities use to break down their own biases and/or what method should men or other majorities use to break down their biases?

2) What incentives do individuals who are not members of a minority group have (Other than a sense of what is right) to challenge these beliefs? In particular what precipitates the process?

Jun. 15th, 2005

Yoda with lightsaber


Equal as parents

Let me start over with this.

1 - So to cut to the chase; why should men not be allowed to equally share parenting roles, with the same amount of physical time with children and the same amount of decision making power?

2 - Patriarchy may have hurt men in this regard, but why does that make it okay to allow men to be judged as lesser parents?

3 - What is wrong with recognizing from the start that all parents entering a hearing for custody are considered equal.

Jun. 14th, 2005



A man's job

My husband said something to me today that made me think about the concepts of 'men's work' and 'women's work'. I'd gone for an interview for an office manager position, and mentioned that the person leaving the job was quitting so he could attend med school. "You don't see many male office managers," commented my husband, "and when I've been out of work I've thought my gender would be a disadvantage when applying for office admin positions."

This is related, in my mind, to the ways in which devalued work (organising, administrating, cleaning) is seen as 'women's work'. Obviously this is more harmful to women, because it has trapped them in roles of drudgery, but it also hurts men who enjoy that work because they're put under social pressure to be 'more manly'. I think that a lot of employers will without a doubt hire someone that fits their preconception of an office manager - a woman - over someone who doesn't.

The solution, in my mind, is to elevate the value of that work, as well as elevating the value of women. By no means do I want to see a situation where that work is elevated and now only men are fit to do it (as it was in the past when a 'secretary' or 'clerk' was a male position), nor do I want to see men devalued and fit only to do what's seen as useless work. It would be best if we recognise the need for that work, along with housekeeping and childrearing and that society would be worse off without it. The problem now is that men who do 'women's work' are seen as effeminate, and rather than improving the standing of the work in the eyes of those who judge, the men who do it are seen as being lowered to the level of women.

Have any of you had experience of (being or seeing) men doing women's work? What reactions did that produce?

Finally, how can I pursuade my husband to learn to knit? I want to share my hobby! (Joking. Mostly.)
Yoda with lightsaber


Understanding the Goals of Modern Feminism

I have posted a couple of topics in the feminist community and considered moving or copying them to this forum. Some questions came to mind as I reviewed comments from the other site and maybe the best place to open this very broad question would be here, so that there space is not taken up with elementary questions.

I have long been familiar with the goals of feminism of the early and near later 20th century. While I am well aware of what modern feminism detests, I have no clue when it comes to identifying their near future tangible goals. Misogyny in all forms is detested by me as well and I would like to see fewer gender stereotypes on television, but unfortunately a large portion of the population affirms these stereotypes.
I am not listing what I perceive as the other issues cause I know they are many ;) and someone else would offer a better list.

How would modern feminism address current issues and what are some of their other goals?

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