Masculinity State

The fem-nets have been all a-buzz lately about three Syracuse grad students who have launched a site called MasculinityU.

MasculinityU is a new national initiative geared toward engaging young men in redefining masculinity and encouraging them in taking an equal role in ending gender violence.

Here is a list of the topics they say they will discuss:

  • Gender Violence
  • Sexual Assault
  • Rape
  • Relationship Violence
  • Redefining Masculinity & Gender Roles
  • Peer Pressure
  • Help-Seeking/Depression Isn’t Masculine
  • Holding Men Accountable
  • Violence in Popular Culture
  • Capitalism and Media’s Influence on Rape Culture
  • LGBTIQ issues
  • Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard. In high school, college or workplace.
  • Intersectionality

MasculinityU has taken the question “What should it mean to be a man?” and answered that it should be defining yourself first and foremost by violence and sexism towards women, and to a lesser extent being namby pamby girly men, if that’s what you want.

WHAT?!

Yes, violence towards women is bad. Rape is bad. Beating the shit out of kids for being gay is bad. But, these are not the issues that are at the core of masculinity, nor should they be.  This is not a redefining of masculinity, or a reconstruction of it.  This is the deconstruction of masculinity as its own concept, and converting it into nothing more than another shiny bauble in the Gender Studies trophy case. (In fact, two of the creators are pursuing advanced degrees in gender studies. The third has a degree in psych and child family studies.)

It would be perfectly fine for these three men to create a website aimed at fighting violence against women.  But, it’s pretty damn insulting to start an organization designed towards defining masculinity in terms of violent crime, sexism and homophobia, even if the purported purpose is to then fight that definition.

Of course, it would be even better to fight violence against all people, especially since women are only one third of violent crime victims, and about a fifth of murder victims. [Source]  But, crimes against women count more than crimes against men because… you know, we value them more I guess. [Source]

Now, it would be pretty weak for me to criticize what MasculinityU thinks is the core element of masculinity without providing a different choice.  I haven’t thought long enough on this to say I’m 100% satisfied with my answer.  Odds are there is something that’s even more to the point, but this is good enough for right now, and certainly more important to masculinity than this MasculinityU shite:

Craftsmanship.

At our core, men have an innate desire to build things (and to a lesser extent, maintain and repair them).  What do we like to build?  Anything. If it takes skill and can be improved through time and effort, men will build it.  We build buildings, cars, spaceships, art, literature, mathematics, electronics, barbecue pits, cheeseburgers, whiskeys, SEC championship football teams, farms, factories, tools, universities, medicines, roads, walls, ditches, armies, governments, and civilizations, and after that, we build monuments to all the shit we built and the fine men who made them.

Of course, being a man is about a lot more than just this.  It’s also about honor, and courage, and sucking the marrow out of the bones of life.  It’s about standing up to the evils in the world, but also about knowing life is meant to be enjoyed, and that means making time for Manhattans, Mario Kart, football, and fucking.

So, why do the creators of MasculinityU have such a myopic view of what it means to be a man?  Probably because that’s the exact same view that’s held by feminist academia, and these three young men aren’t just advocates, they’re looking to make a buck at letting women of the ivory tower hear their views repeated back to them from someone with an Adam’s Apple.  That’s right, MasculinityU isn’t just an advocacy group, they are professional gender studies speakers.

And on that note, I leave you with this, Penn and Teller’s Bullshit episode where they discuss college and the crushing wave of political correctness.  Make sure you watch the part with the cultural auditor.  Also, at the end the kinda ditzy girl says pretty much the most intelligent thing about diversity ever.

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27 Responses to “Masculinity State”

  1. Bad Monkey Says:

    Actually Noam may have been 100% honest. It might only be 2% who are left-wing group-think brain washers.

    It just so happens those 2% are in positions to write these diversity policies. They have microphones and a compliant press who will carry their accusations of racism or bigotry to the airwaves and the press. Where the President of U of X is called sexist on the front page in 72 point print, and the retraction (if ever printed) is on page seven.

    Diversity as measured and enforced by such policies is the most shallow type of diversity possible. Diversity of opinion is not allowed, diverse thought must be struck down; that is unless it agrees with the stated policy and sound bites. The only diversity it encourages is one of skin color, gender, and sometimes a few other factors. None of which, except religion of course, involve any choice of the individual.

    That is unless they think these things are a matter of choice: sexual orientation, gender, nationality, race, etc.

    Okay, back to drinking.

  2. J-Dogged Says:

    “a 4-year beer commercial run by the politeness police.”

    Great line. And if you go to law school, you get a 3-year bullshit infomercial run by the politeness police’s hypocritical capitalist cousins.

  3. Bryce Says:

    Some guys will go to any length to get laid, or just a blow job from the ladies.

    By starting a website that is politically correct, these guys can bamboozle a lot of dumb girls into spreading their legs, or at least opening their mouths to accommodate these guys dicks.

    I say do what you gotta do, but be honest about it!

  4. skeptic Says:

    I have a simpler definition of masculinity: it means never EVER using the phrase “sucking the marrow out of the bones of life.” Jesus Christ, that is fucking lame. Do not call yourself a man.

  5. bl1y Says:

    “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.”

    CHECK YOU WALDEN

  6. Rold Says:

    This is amazing. If I go to school to be a cultural auditor, I will be financially set for life.

  7. H.D. Thoreau Says:

    “….these guys can bamboozle a lot of dumb girls into spreading their legs, or at least opening their mouths to accommodate these guys dicks.”

    At least those dumb ladies won’t have to open their mouths very wide to provide that accommodation. No one packing any heat takes gender studies.

  8. bl1y Says:

    Not true. Gender studies tends to have a very high attrition rate do to MRS students dropping out. To counter this, they practice extreme grade inflation, enticing current students to stay, and students from outside the department to take a few classes. One of the more common people taking gender studies for an easy A are football players and other jocks. Many schools hire students to visit gender studies classes just to make sure the athletes are showing up every day, so that their grades won’t be in jeopardy.

  9. Bryce Says:

    I agree with Thoreau.

    BL1Y, what makes you think that jocks have the biggest dicks? The little wormy douchebags on campus are the one’s packing underutilized wieners that have never entered twat, so when given the chance for sex or a BJ from a woman, they get bigger than a breadbox.

    Take a look at the movie “Revenge of the Nerds” At the end of the day, one of the weasels got the hot blond who used to bone the football jocks.

  10. Bryce Says:

    This joke was something that is appropriate for the women who attend these politically correct classes. Often these women think more highly of themselves than they should. I say a dog is a dog, even if they are taking socially relevant courses. See if you agree, BL1Y:

    ——————————
    Three women die together in an accident and go to heaven. When they get there, St. Peter says, “We only have one rule here in heaven: don’t step on the ducks!”

    So they enter heaven, and sure enough, there are ducks all over the place. It is almost impossible not to step on a duck, and although they try their best to avoid them, the first woman accidentally steps on one.

    Along comes St. Peter with the ugliest man she ever saw.

    St. Peter chains them together and says, “Your punishment for stepping on a duck is to spend eternity chained to this ugly man!” The next day, the second woman steps accidentally on a duck and along comes St. Peter, who doesn’t miss a thing. With him is another extremely ugly man. He chains them together with the same admonishment as for the first woman.

    The third woman has observed all this and, not wanting to be chained for all eternity to an ugly man, is very, VERY careful where she steps.

    She manages to go months without stepping on any ducks, but one day St. Peter comes up to her with the most handsome man she has ever laid eyes on … very tall, long eyelashes, muscular, and thin. St. Peter chains them together without saying a word.

    The happy woman says, “I wonder what I did to deserve being chained to you for all of eternity?”

    The guy says, “I don’t know about you, but I stepped on a duck!”

  11. lulz Says:

    Good god this has to be the most facile analysis of masculinity I have ever seen. Your definition of “craftsmanship” seems to extend to everything there ever was. Building government is craftsmanship? Literature is craftsmanship? I didn’t realize government and literature were specifically male characteristics but I guess I should burn my copy of To the Lighthouse because it must not exist if a woman wrote it (or maybe Virginia Woolf was a man in disguise!). And shit, I didn’t realize that it took a penis to build a barbecue. Fucking women can’t do anything amiright?

    It’s this kind of analysis which exactly proves MasculinityU’s point. This post wants to box in everyone with a penis into exactly one category and box everyone who has a vagina (or other genitalia) as the things that can’t do manly things. Oh, you’ll say, women can do things that men can’t too like knitting or nurturing or other bullshit that doesn’t get noticed as much as building rocketships. Isn’t it a huge coincidence that your list of things men build are considered universal goods while the women who try and succeed at the exact same things are called bitches and bulldykes by assholes like you. And men who just happen to not build barbecues get called namby-pambys because god forbid men show any sort of resemblance to women (btw the men who “build” literature are usually proud namby pambys).

    But what does this have to do with violence? Because it’s the essentializing of “male” characteristics as good and “female” characteristics as not as good which lead to men’s devaluing of women. If we as men are told that women’s only uses are for domestic chores and fucking, then it makes it that much easier to not respect them on any subject, especially their consent for sexual activities. And shit, we’re not the ones who think men are inherently violent. It’s the “men’s rights” folks who are always excusing violence against women and violence in general as “boys being boys” or writing off violence as some kind of natural male impulse. Shit, excuse me if I think 25% percent of the female college population getting sexually assaulted by the time they graduate shows a massive problem with how men are taught to think of women. I must be some namby pamby who doesn’t get enough pussy. Now why don’t you give me a fucking wedgie and take my lunch money.

    PS Violence in all forms is overwhelmingly committed by men. If we get at that cause of violence, then there are less women AND men having to face violence. Shit, it seems I care more about men than you do. And that’s the biggest lulz of all.

  12. bl1y Says:

    Guess what, dumbass, literature is a craft, and thus falls under the category of craftsmanship. And tons of great classic works of literature have been written by whiskey-drinkin’, deer-huntin’ guys’ guys.

    But, to get to your point, your logic is flawed. Identifying something a central tenet of masculinity does not mean it cannot also be an important part of femininity. Democracy and liberty are at the core of the American spirit, but when I say that, does it mean I think the British must lack democracy and liberty? Of course not. If I admire the American spirit, does that mean the British spirit is bad? Nope.

    Masculinity and femininity are complementary, not polar opposites.

    And, if you’ve followed this blog at all, you’ll know that I was a huge fan of the Ansari X prize which helped pave the way for private space flight (those rocket ships I love so much), and you know what’s neat about Anousheh Ansari? She’s a woman! I know, I’ve met her. (I also got a congratulatory e-mail from a rocketship drivin’ lady astronaut that lives here in Huntsville when I graduated from law school, so I am well aware that women can do these things too.)

    As for the 1 in 4 college women are sexually assaulted statistics, a little over 70% of the women counted in those surveys don’t consider themselves sexual assault victims. Another 40-something percent subsequently dated and had consensual sex with the person the survey would consider their attacker. Those surveys count you as a victim if you had a couple drinks and then had sex, even if you were sober enough to consent, and even if you got drunk with the intent of having sex later. The way these surveys are constructed, if you and your significant other get drunk together with the intent of having drunk sex, and then do the dirty, the man just raped the woman. Of course, the drunk woman is never accused of raping the drunk man. Why? Because we don’t make up bogus statistics about men being raped.

  13. Larry Says:

    I also prefer hot pussy, but am not willing to compromise my ideals like some on this site.

    If the woman is interested in good sex, she can come and get it. Otherwise, she can just rub herself off without my assistance.

    You guys should get some cohones before you approach the pussy and just say MEOW!

  14. Ben Says:

    It’s funny how you accuse these creators of MasculinityU of sitting in an Ivory Tower, when it is plain to see that you wrote this blog in about 15 minutes while sitting on top of a high horse because you got pissed off that some men considered for a second trying to think about what it means to really be a man, and not just what we are instructed to do to be a man. But no, let’s not let that happen at all, so to counterbalance their ideas, lets jam pack a blog full of ideas of building things, drinking beer, cars, barbeques, and fucking women. Cuz thats what we do right, we are men. Phew, now I feel safe again.

    Your points and logic are poor examples of the “craftsmanship” you claim all men have. I love how you were basically downplaying effects of violence against women with the weak argument of ” hey lets decrease all violence.” No. Violence against women needs to be highlighted because it is so prevalent yet men rarely talk about or acknowledge it, and because 95%+ of violence against women is committed by men. Your points are incredibly immature and short sighted. I don’t know why you have such a deep-seeded antagonism towards women’s/gender studies, but its clear you have it out for them, and it makes you look like maybe one time a feminist disagreed with you or in some way called you out, and now you have to take it out on all of them to get your manhood back.

    It is men like you who make me sad. It is just the rigidity of your mindset, your unwillingness to truthfully look at gender or masculinity or anything along those lines from any different viewpoint because there is a chance that it might make you feel just a little bit uncomfortable; might make you have to rethink yourself in some slight way. I know you will read this an immediately put a wall up, or throw down some wise crack about feminists or how the creators of MasculinityU are just doing this to get some pussy or some money. But you speak of courage as being a foundation of what being a man is about. So maybe for a second be courageous enough to think beyond norms, and try to find something more inherent, more truthful, and based on freedom, not boundaries. Peace.

  15. bl1y Says:

    Actually, this post took about 25 minutes, spread across two whole days.

    Sure, men don’t talk a whole lot about violence against women. You know what else they don’t talk a whole lot about? Violence against men. But, when we do talk about violence, we’re more likely to pay attention to crimes against women. If there’s a shooting somewhere and only men are killed, it will just say “X people were killed.” If a woman was killed, it will specify there were female victims, because somehow that’s worse, that makes the crime especially heinous.

    And you think that site really thought about what it means to be a man? Is there one positive thing about masculinity in their list of topics? Their site is entirely dedicated to sexism, homophobia, and violence. They define manhood in entirely negative terms. To them manhood should be only about how men can hurt women less.

    Yes, men (and women) should hurt others less, but that’s not what manhood is about, just like how Islam isn’t about blowing people up. Just because some Muslims do it and there should be less about it doesn’t justify creating a website called IslamU that’s dedicated to “redefining Islam,” but focuses solely on suicide bombings. Yes, you can advocate for less suicide bombings, but it’s insulting to define Islam only in such terms. That’s as thoughtful a re-conception of Islam as MasculinityU’s re-conception of masculinity.

    Gender Studies is the most myopic place on any college campus. It would be like an English department that required every work be given a Freudian interpretation, and a History department that only interpreted the events in history as parallels to the Roman Empire (or, for some intersectionality, you can compare them to the Roman Republic too).

    Try finding an academic gender studies journal that has a single article offering an opposing point of view.

  16. Drek Says:

    The author and his arguments sound like the most ignorant students at the beginning of a dialogue circle class. Somebody please educate this emotional cripple.

    It doesn’t help that he enters the argument with the confidence that he’s right. But moreover, he insists on focusing on and (intentionally, it seems) misconstruing the points that the other blog attempts to make. Their paragraph about what today’s masculinity is represents what they find problematic with today’s concept of masculinity. If you were being honest with yourself and your readership, you’d recognize that they were making a point about what we need to change about our concept of masculinity. Instead, you set up a straw man and lash it with your stilted views.

    “To them, manhood should be only about how men can hurt women less.” No. Their point is that masculinity is not something to be confined, restricted. That there is no recipe for it, but certainly that there are ingredients we need to make sure we don’t include.

    Gender Studies is the most myopic place? Let’s proceed as if this is true. I’ve certainly felt like in dialogues with professors of the topic that there really was only one way to think. But do you really know enough about Gender Studies to be able to make any meaningful analogy for comparison? You can name Freud, which almost anyone can when it comes to psychology. You can name Rome; easy. Where was your easily-named feminist scholar? What well-known gender activist’s name did you drop?

    Ha, let that question mark hang like a noose. Cool.

    What would you consider an opposing point of view toward the views that you believe the field holds? I’ll venture that since it’s not a popular stance to take that one is AGAINST the improvement of equality between majority/minority or privileged/underprivileged, that’s why you don’t see a whole lot of anti-feminist scholars. Anti-feminism isn’t a pro-andrism stance. It’s just a resistance to advancing the dialogue on equality.

    But you seem to be an ideal candidate for such a task. I’d challenge you to do the work that these men have done. Learn about the concepts that they’ve learned to reach the place they are now. Learn about your opponent, so that you might actually put forth an argument that hasn’t been tread and retread by your fellow assholes before you. Clearly the papier-mache field of gender studies will just blow away before your wind, why not, in one well-informed stroke, devastate the field?

    Look. On the one hand I just want to tell you where to shove your single-minded vehemence. On the other hand, I know that people with an open mind can approach the subject and come away with a different perspective. I honestly hope that you choose to open your mind.

  17. bl1y Says:

    Drek: If you read their site, their premise isn’t “Here’s what’s wrong with masculinity that we want to change.” It’s “Here’s what we conceive of masculinity to be…” Those are very different. If they took the first approach, then focusing on the negatives would make sense. But, they took the second approach, and haven’t provided any positive aspects of masculinity in their definition.

    Feminism isn’t about only the advancement of equality, there’s a lot more wrapped up in it, which is what most people object to. For instance, mainstream feminism outright rejects the theory of evolutionary psychology (oddly one area where the far right and far left agree). You won’t find any feminist journals publishing articles advancing ev. psych; you’re only allowed to believe that everything is 100% socialization.

    You’re also not allowed to question the “1 in 4 college women will be raped” statistic, even though Koss report, which is generally the source cited for the number, provides evidence refuting that claim. Seriously, I tried bringing up the rest of the report in one of my classes and was told we just accept it as true. We were also told we could not debate basic premises accepted by Andrea Dworkin, Catharine MacKinnon, or Carol Gilligan.

    I also was a research assistant my 1L summer and was editing a paper for a professor that claimed at one point that men’s “tough aloofness” causes them to shut off the part of their brains that would other care for their families. When I suggested that this claim needed a citation backing it up (because it’s entirely plausible that the toughness is developed for the very purpose of protecting ones family, which could of course be seen as just a different way of caring for them) I was told that the premise was widely accepted in the community and didn’t need any evidence.

    My problem isn’t with feminism at its essential level, that of equity. My problem is with the establishment that has built up around it. Feminist scholars, just like scholars of anything else, are susceptible to becoming power hungry tyrants. If someone’s entire livelihood is based around the acceptance of certain ideas, how willing do you think they will be to allow those ideas to be debated in a fair and open forum?

  18. Drek Says:

    bl1y,

    Thank you for your measured response. I appreciate that you took the time to stretch out the nuances of a complicated issue.

    Having taken classes similar to what the guys at MasculinityU have taken, I think I come to a different understanding than you do of what their statement means. I suppose since they and I have become accustomed to talking about these issues, the statement is already framed for us, rather than taking on a more pernicious frame. Given a certain reading, I can see how you’d arrive at your conclusion, but I think it requires a certain degree of bias to do so. Obviously I don’t say bias to attack your viewpoint, as I just described mine and their own biases to demonstrate this point. But let’s also remember that this is their first post. I’d imagine it leads to an ongoing discussion.

    I think the field has moved on past evolutionary psych? Regarding MasculinityU though, as far as I can tell, they seek to educate people in just the basic understandings that can help advance their cause.

    As for the power hungry feminists, I know you’re not saying that they’re all power hungry, but that some are. It does sound like you’re arguing from the position that most are, or at least the ones that count, though. It seems like you’re saying that feminism as a whole is not a worthwhile cause because of a number of feminists in particular. But then you say that scholars of any subject are similarly susceptible. Do you have a bone to pick with any other dogmatic practices in fields other than feminism?

    Well, I just want to apologize for my earlier post, because I wasn’t as civil as I could’ve been. I did get fairly riled up by the statements that you were making, but maybe that was exacerbated by the truly ignorant comments that followed (not by you). I hope that you can continue to assess your position toward gender studies, as well as what the guys at MasculinityU are doing. I think its productive if you continue to challenge them on their ideas, as I no longer think you’re an intractable moron. But like I said before, I think an open mind would help. Maybe they can also recommend some reading for you, if you have specific points you’d like to target.

  19. bl1y Says:

    I don’t really have a bone to pick with many scholars of other fields, because I just don’t really care about those fields a whole lot. I know that English PhD programs tend to steer their students away from the writings of older critics, because those critics are no longer teaching, and so citing to them in a paper doesn’t give a current professor any prestige points (if you’re unaware, citations in published papers is basically the coin of the academic realm). And, given the number of economists who have received the Nobel Prize after their theories were disproven, I’d imagine there’s a lot of hanky panky going on there too.

    I’m not saying that feminism is not a worthwhile cause, the same way I wouldn’t say Christianity is not a worthwhile cause. But, the vatican, televangelists, and the preachers at mega churches are certainly screwing things up, the same way the academic elites in feminism are.

  20. Karl Says:

    The idea of ‘masculinity’ as a social construct separate and apart from the biological attributes of the male sex is in itself, a feminist construct. It is an idea that rests on the assumption the sexual differences between the sexes are the result of culturally conditioning, and not biology.

    Anyone with any basic knowledge of biology knows this is untrue. Men and women are biologically different on many levels, chemical and physical. Contemporary feminists refuse to acknowledge this key point in their drive for perfect ‘equality’ of outcome in all spheres of life.

    Violence and masculinity are not the same thing. Violence is a means to an end, used by all sorts of people with all sorts of different motivations, including women. While men have been the greatest perpetrators of violence throughout history, they have and continue to be its greatest victims in war, genocide, and crime. This is a consequence of men’s biological prerogative to be defenders as well of aggressors.

    As with all ideologues, feminists will accuse anyone who questions the central assumptions of feminist ideology of having self-serving motivations. After all, its not like feminists could be self-interested; no they are selflessly fighting for TruTh and JuSticE. You’re wasting your time discussing issues intelligently with people so invested in such a ossified system of thought. Its better to let them know in front of other people that they are neither entitled to a soap box nor to shoving their ‘ideas’ down other people’s throats.

  21. bl1y Says:

    I think most reasonable people would recognize that biology and society both play their roles. Biology provides our basic drives, like safety, food, and making babies. Society has more to do with how those particular instincts play out.

    What’s most surprising (okay…not really that surprising) is that the feminist camp readily accepts that homosexuals have certain innate desires, but no one else does. It’s scripture that gay men are just naturally attracted to men, but heresy that straight men are naturally attracted to women with a nice rack.

  22. Drek Says:

    It’s such a copout to say that biology defines who we are. You say that the position that homosexuality is biological enables us to embrace our biological urges without bound.

    Straight men being attracted to a nice rack? What’s to say that’s not a social construct? Society’s perceptions of beauty has changed over the ages; has our biology?

    Society is predicated on the idea that we as intelligent beings can control and manipulate our biological urges. With that in mind, both pro- and anti-gay agendas have a weapon to use. But in that case it boils down to this: if being gay is biological, is it an urge that society needs to demand that people suppress or reform, in the way that it asks us to avoid violence or promiscuity?

    Studies that provide a theory why we do things through biological terms don’t mean we have carte blanche to follow our biological drives. Karl, you say that there are physical differences between men and women. Nobody will argue that point. Men are generally larger and stronger than women, on average. Nobody will argue that point. But essentially if we want to embrace the biological sides of our differences, and play the roles that you say our biology demands of us, how is that a different argument than “might makes right?” By definition, women do not deserve equality; they are smaller and weaker. Whatever power they have is their privilege to have. Our might dictates that.

    No. Once again, whatever you believe your biological mandate is, clearly we as a society can strive to suppress or support whatever “mandates” we find most beneficial. You say that men have a biological prerogative to be defenders and aggressors. Should we embrace the aggressive part of our nature? Rapists as aggressors are cool, as long as we have policemen as defenders to balance things out? And what do you deign to give women in such a dynamic?

    Clearly the point of gender studies is to shape society in a way that benefits both sexes. All the advantages you have as a male are a PRIVILEGE that society bestows on you, because of the system we have in place. MasculinityU and other activists seek to find these biases and discuss why they are in place, and if/how we can change them.

  23. bl1y Says:

    No one said that biology defines who we are, in fact I said just the opposite: “I think most reasonable people would recognize that biology and society both play their roles.” The argument that we can, and often should control biological urges is not an argument that they do not exist and influence us.

    And society’s concepts of beauty have changed very little. The preference for a 0.7 waist to hip ratio spans space and time, as does clear skin and a symmetrical face. Youth is also almost universally associated with beauty, as are indicators of youth, such as perky tits.

    Also, no, gender studies doesn’t exist to shape society for the benefit of both sexes. Simply look at the literature taught and produced by gender studies departments, somewhere between 95-99% of it is aimed at improving things for women without regard to the effects on men.

  24. Drek Says:

    “Perky tits.” Really?

    Also, no. I don’t think the 0.7 preference spans space and time. Even in this time, you can find many cultures that have different expectations of beauty. Find me the study that makes half as bold as claim as yours that beauty is predicated on a 0.7 ratio ACROSS SPACE AND TIME.

    I certainly didn’t deny that biological urges exist and influence us. I’m saying it’s up to us to decide which ones we let influence us, and to what degree. Gender studies seeks to do that. I thought I was pretty clear on that point.

    And lastly, improving things for women without regard to its effects on men? Men have privilege, just like white folks have privilege, just as folks born rich have privilege. Just take rape, for example. A man by himself does not have to worry about getting raped at night. That’s a privilege. It seems to me that your views that advancement of women’s rights is detrimental to men’s rights doesn’t acknowledge that we have a head start already. If you and a woman were in the wilderness, and you had 10 cookies and the woman had 2, it’s detrimental to you if she asks to have an equal amount of cookies. It’s impossible for either of you to create 8 more cookies, so that you’re equal. Something has to give, obviously.

    And where do you get these statistics, anyway? A supposed preference for a 0.7 ratio that spans across 100% of space and time? 95-99% of literature taught/produced by gender studies departments?

  25. bl1y Says:

    If you look at the women considered very attractive by the general populations of various cultures around the world, you will find a 0.7 waist to hip ratio. You can even go back to the paintings where chubbier women were the norm (which feminists always like to point to as evidence of changing norms of beauty) and yet, there it is, the same ratio.

    There is biological evidence that women with this ratio are more fertile, and so it makes sense that men would have evolved an instinct to be more attracted to more fertile women.

    And really, show me one man who prefer saggy, droopy breasts, and I will show you one man who can’t find anyone to agree with him.

    As for the skewed number of articles on women’s issues in gender studies, simply look at a gender studies text book, or a gender journal. Each year the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender generally has a theme to the articles. Of the 14 issues available on their website, male issues were the subject of only 1 issue, about 7%. The last 8 issues of the Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy contained only 2 articles out of 66 that addressed men’s issues, 3%.

    As for whether or not men have to worry about being raped at night. No one “has to worry” about anything. Are men less likely to be raped, yes. Is it worth their effort to be worried about being raped. Probably not. Is this a privilege? Not really. I don’t see you claiming that women are privileged because they’re less likely to be robbed or murdered, and thus “don’t have to worry” about it.

  26. Drek Says:

    So now you’re reducing your claim to if you look at any culture in the world in this current time, you’ll find that waist/hip ratio. Then, when it comes to the past, societies that painted found women with the same ratio to be beautiful.

    Why the fixation on breasts? Taste in breasts varies. Your claim that all men love the same breasts reflects the construct.

    Women DO need to worry about getting raped, are you kidding? It’s not a 55/45 split of who’s more likely to get raped. And what about the fact that 95% or more of violent crimes against women are perpetrated by men? Do you really think that the disparity in rape/violent crimes against men/women really compares to the disparity between robbery/murder of men/women? That’s such a facile argument. I know you can’t actually believe it. They don’t let you get away with such insipid arguments in law school, do they?

    Whatever the reason for these disparities, why don’t we let the people who dedicate their lives to rooting out the reasons decide, rather than be armchair quarterbacks and act like we know better?

    Until you actually try to read some of the key material out there on the subject, you’re just going to cling to the beliefs you have. It’s easy to. It benefits you. Men absolutely need all the help we can get. I was on the other side of the argument before too, when I thought it was stupid that people wanted to change the way things were. There’s not really a point in discussing the issue if you’re just going to deflect what I say with unsubtle and untrue statements.

  27. bl1y Says:

    Find me one culture where the 0.7 waist to hip ratio isn’t considered attractive.

    And, I only to continue to discuss breasts because you continue to reply on the topic. That’s not a fixation, that’s a conversation. Also, I never said all men like the exact same thing, all I said was that this one trait is widely considered attractive. Same with symmetrical faces. Do all men have the exact same tastes in faces? Nope. Do all men prefer symmetrical faces? Pretty close, yeah.

    So why would you say that men do not need to worry about being raped? Because they’re only a small percentage of rape victims? Well, if you compare women now to women 10 years, they’re only a tiny percentage of rape victims. At what number of annual incidence per 1000 people would you say that one can stop worrying about the threat of a specific crime? You can just ball park it if you want, just trying to understand where you draw the line on this.

    “Why don’t we let the people who dedicate their lives to rooting out the reasons decide” Seriously? That’s like saying we should only let environmentalists decide our environmental policy, or only allow politicians to have a say in campaign finance.

    Just what would you define as the “key material?” I mean seriously, like a list of 5-10 books or articles which you believe are the key material.

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