Curiosity Over Pride (FYI: To comment, send an e-mail to

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Men : an endangered species

A few things prompt me to go back to this subject which I have already treated at least once :

Thai and Dink's apologetic comment about liking to look at pictures (no nude ones either...) of pretty blonds, a defensive comment if ever there was one.

A recently struck up friendship with an American man met in a semi-professional context over here.

Thoughts on my relationship with long gone Daddy (they appear every once in a while).

Rereading Philip Slater's 1970's book, "The Pursuit of Loneliness". (I do not agree 100% with Slater, but I never agree 100% with anyone, even myself, as I have already said here.)

Last night's viewing of "The Taming of the Shrew", the Mary Pickford/Douglas Fairbanks version which is not totally faithful to Shakespeare (it's hard to be totally faithful to Shakespeare in this play, I may get back to this...) but has some excellent points about the sempiternel battle of the sexes.

What hit me hardest, while listening to my new friend, (and it hits me pretty hard when I read the American press while we're at it...) was the constant browbeating he experienced for being a man, and thinking like a man.

Memories... I can remember being 36 and walking down the street in a nice outfit, looking and feeling pretty, and turning heads and getting whistled at.
So.. what ? What's wrong with getting whistled at ? Since when is getting whistled at the equivalent of.. RAPE, for example ?
So... WHAT if getting whistled at means that I was an.. OBJECT for those men ?
What else was I going to be for them, unless we spent our lives getting to know each other (and even then...) ?
What is so great about being a... SUBJECT, for example ?
Why must we ALL be subjects, 100% of the time ? (Which means CONSTANTLY gabbing, and staring into each other's eyes, and empathizing, etc etc...)
My God, a world of 6 billion SUBJECTS !!! (translate to 6 billion orangoutangs, please...)
I have learned to recognize in militant feminism another form of... puritanism that is designed to make us (particularly men..) feel guilty about sex. (And gets women off the hook for STILL feeling queasy about it, the result of years of indoctrination about the evil of the sexual act, passed on from one generation to the next in subtle, not easily identifiable ways.)
I don't know if this is the intent of militant feminism (perhaps not...) but this is certainly the EFFECT of it.
That plus unfeminine, hard, entitlement feeling women who are quick to trample a man as soon as they feel some form of moral outrage.

Now... that doesn't mean acting like Stanley Kowalski in "Streetcar named Desire" (look it up, but maybe I'm being too hard on Stanley from memory, after all I read the play when I was STILL a militant feminist), but it means doing a little "return to sender" act the next time a woman, whoever she is, tries to make you feel guilty for being a man.
After all, as I told someone recently : NO ONE can deprive you of your dignity WITHOUT YOUR OWN CONSENT in the matter. That's the way it works.


Dink said...

I'm commenting belatedly on yesterday's post

Welcome Jean; feel free to comment or send an e-mail to post!

I have not read Mein Kampf, but I have watched and read "Boys From Brazil". Knowing that nature and nuture play a part, the Nazis not only made Adolf clones, but then placed them with specific parents. An only child with an abusive older father and a young defenseless mother.

So some social engineering rules that I like could also prevent future Adolfs (no one can reproduce until they're 30, you have to get a license which includes a background check and psych eval). Maybe Thai's FB lawyer friend wouldn't have any neglected children to protect if my rules resulted in only capable, decent parents.

Experience is the ultimate educator and most humans don't have enough at 20 to be stable (IMO, I know).

And regarding feminism, its always seemed reasonable to me. Fairness, equality. Sure "the chase" or "the game" can be fun, but every human should have the right to "opt out". How do I word this better? Take a female who wants to join the Army because she thinks tanks are cool. Her coworkers are attracted and want to flirt (ie "the chase", "the game"). She really justs wants to play with the tanks. She should have the right to opt out and not be punished socially.

I cringe when other caucasians start asking people of other races questions about "does your mom speak english" or what-have-you. They likely have no ill intent, but they are treating them different than they would another caucasian.

Disclaimer: I was raised under the "treat differences as invisible" philosophy. I understand later philosophies centered around "lets celebrate and embrace the differences". I like the invisible way better.

Thai said...

I think I am with Deb on disagreeing even with myself on this issue.

I agree with your general thoughts on this issue however Dink.

There is no way for everyone to be happy on this issue until a more common set of rules emerge and I am not sure they will ever emerge.

Debra said...

Geez, you guys, you are INCREDIBLY naive...
There's no way everybody is EVER going to be happy.
As far as your little eugenics plan goes, dinky...
Other people have had this plan.
You don't want to know who they were, do you ?...
Differences are NOT invisible.
This rejoins the entire trouble around the American way of "pretending" they don't exist.
This, in turn, just leads to OTHER nasty problems...

Thai said...

Deb, society will never get rid of "the white lie" for many reasons.

You are correct, differences are not invisible but exposing all of them leads to...

Debra said...

I will finish your sentence, Thai...
I already told you that my FUNCTION in this world is to be a prophet.
It is not a question of exposing differences.
The "democratic" ideology AS WE NOW UNDERSTAND IT maintains that differences are BAD, and that we should NOT see them.
The problem being that... we DO see them.
So... being told that we SHOULD NOT see them makes for... NEUROSIS or something worse.
I bet the guy who got crucified a while ago could SEE differences.
It's what happens when and after you see the difference that counts : do you WELCOME the different person, and his/her difference ?
Or do you do that exclusion thing, and put him/her in a cage to protect yourself from questions about your OWN identity ?
Over here in Europe people wax poetic about just how multicultural the U.S. is.
Multicultural when it has almost the largest prison population in the world, and a lot of that multiculture is behind bars ?
Gimme a break.

Debra said...

As an illustration of this difference question, here is a little story.
In 2001 when I went to that international death penalty congress in Strasbourg there was an anglo saxon big whig belonging to one of the major human rights outfits, I think, the League of Human Rights.
He was going on about discrimination.
And I asked him if he knew what the not so long ago meaning of discrimination WAS.
That is a rather precious capacity, I think.
It is a capacity that renders THOUGHT, analytical thought, POSSIBLE.
He got all huffy on me. He really couldn't understand why I didn't think that "discrimination" was ALWAYS, ALWAYS a TOTALLY EVIL thing...
Maybe anarchy is what you get when you INSIST on ALWAYS trying to separate good/evil, as though you can... have your cake and eat it too.

Thai said...

Dink, Deb has finally called us out on the truth. I know it's a real bummer but it looks like our number is up.

Bummer I can't chat any more with you you any more tonight as my wife demanded I put up the following posters for her women's book group tonight.

I'll ask her when I can get back to blogging with you again.

Debra said...

Aw, Thai... I wonder what would happen if you took your Tarzan costume out from behind the plastic cover you have stored it in the very recesses of your garage closet, and... put it on, grabbed her by the hair, and dragged her around the kitchen table one or two times, while noisily vociferating ??
In front of your boys, of course. ;-)

Thai said...

I'll let you know.

Debra said...

Who is "flipper", Thai ?
Been meaning to ask you that for a while...

Thai said...


Debra said...

No good, Thai.
You've sent me a link which is only available from the U.S.
Damned imperialistic country...

Dink said...

"I'll ask her when I can get back to blogging with you again."

Hush now and watch your Olympic Figure Skating! Worse things have happened to better people!

"Damned imperialistic country..."

Easy now, the cyber revolution will fix it all soon enough ;) Nature finds a way.

I knew who Flipper the Dolphin was, but I hadn't seen the show. I watched about 3 minutes. I don't think those count as "severe lacerations". And why the the guy all sweaty? Weird.

Thai said...

Dink ;-)

The Most Fabulous Objects In The World

  • Hitchhiker's Guide To The Universe trilogy
  • Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • Flight of the Conchords
  • Time Bandits