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Sumerian

"Fragile" masculinity

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19 minutes ago, Sumerian said:

Why do people say and use this term? Is the point of it to normalise the emasculation of men? 

Could be used as a 'put down' because someone can't compete with you, BUT l take it as a result of a failed self-image. Underdeveloped personalities that have 'macho', 'cool' or 'l-gotta-show-off-for-myself' ideas in their heads.

When 'macho' got started in the US in the early 70s, l read a psychologist's study of men. In sum, if there was an accident, heart attack and such, he found that it was the average man that tried to do something, while the weightlifters, tough-guy dressed, cowboy dressed and all who did nothing --because, as he was able to determine, they were afraid of 'looking bad'.

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These are the appropriate contexts for both those terms 

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A real life example I remember in a Domestic Violence support group I was in was a man beating his wife for getting her 10 year old son to help her wash dishes, because he believed washing dishes was a woman's job. 

Edited by Lilly14

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1 hour ago, Sumerian said:

Why do people say and use this term? Is the point of it to normalise the emasculation of men? 

I don't think so. I think the term calls out men who put on a facade of "toughness" in order to appear "more masculine", while in reality being weak.

The term "toxic masculinity" is similar but refers more to the social phenomenon of acceptance of male lack of empathy or other social skills simply due to their maleness.

Everyone needs to just chill and be real. No need to pretend to meet some fake and inferior stereotype.

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6 minutes ago, hasanhh said:

No they ain't!

PLUS: "Andi Zeisler" rambles like a man-hating feminist.

I don't follow that person, so I can't comment on that. But that tweet is a true representation of the word. Did you read my example below the pic? 

Edited by Lilly14

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9 minutes ago, Lilly14 said:

I don't follow that person, so I can't comment on that. But that tweet is a true representation of the word. Did you read my example below the pic? 

Yes l did read it. I remember my mom laughing at one actor who had to stand on a soap box so he could kiss whomever actress that was in his movie. l forget his name, but read the same years later.

What to me is so laughable is when there is some crisis somewhere and l have to watch on the news these different guys playing l-am-the-toughest-guy-in-an-armchair. John McCain and Lindsay Graham come quickly to mind. Even a street punk knows you do your own 'work'.

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2 hours ago, Qa'im said:

It is interesting how feminists, on one side, are sympathetic to men who fail to meet gender norms of masculinity; but on the other side, mock sensitive men by using phrases like "masculinity so fragile" and "I drink male tears".

I think you've misunderstood.

The mockery is only toward men who pretend to be "more masculine" then they actually are, and that mainly because that false ideal of masculinity is insulting toward males.

It is possible to be both sensitive to others and to be strong.

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1 hour ago, notme said:

The mockery is only toward men who pretend to be "more masculine" then they actually are, and that mainly because that false ideal of masculinity is insulting toward males.

It is possible to be both sensitive to others and to be strong.

So the appropriate response to “toxic masculine” behaviour is to mock those who “pretend to be more masculine”? I’ve seen this male fragility insult used not just against those who are blatantly sexist, but against people with which they have mild disagreements with (like about a man’s personal preferences in a woman).

Im not at all a fan of gendered insults, as all toxic behaviour is simply rooted in hard-heartedness. It’s only a matter of time before people turn it around and start saying “toxic feminine” behaviour. The seeds are there — women manifest aggression differently than men, but they can still be aggressive. Abortion, paternity fraud, false allegations, gold digging, princess mentality, and gossip are just a few examples. But the root issue is not one's gender. Hard-heartedness and ego are the root, even if the physiological outcomes are different.

Unfortunately, I’ve noticed that simply many of these groups have been infiltrated by man-haters. They are legitimized and empowered by the rest, and there is a lack of self-assessment and critique from within the feminist movement. The root issue may simply be a bad ex or a bad father, but it manifests in these gendered insults and outbursts.

We should also assess *why* men supposedly pretend to be more masculine or less insecure than they are. Is it entirely because of socially-constructed patriarchy (as feminists would claim)? I would argue that the primary motivator for machismo are women themselves. Women simply do not tolerate harmless, "fragile" men, and we need to be honest about that.

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5 minutes ago, Qa'im said:

So the appropriate response to “toxic masculine” behaviour is to mock those who “pretend to be more masculine”? I’ve seen this male fragility insult used not just against those who are blatantly sexist, but against people with which they have mild disagreements with (like about a man’s personal preferences in a woman).

Im not at all a fan of gendered insults, as all toxic behaviour is simply rooted in hard-heartedness.

The misuse of a word or phrase doesn't change its meaning.

Certainly humans can be petty and cruel, and some man-haters will take every opportunity to bully men, just as some woman-haters will bully women. And our society is more tolerant of man bullying than of woman bullying because the perception that men are stronger than women (which I don't believe to be true).

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7 hours ago, notme said:

I don't think so. I think the term calls out men who put on a facade of "toughness" in order to appear "more masculine", while in reality being weak.

What do you mean a "facade" of toughness? 

I have seen it used in contexts where guys refused to partake in a certain activity or dress in a certain way because they percieved it as feminine or unmanly. I mean that is what a guy is supposed to do lol

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16 minutes ago, Sumerian said:

What do you mean a "facade" of toughness? 

I have seen it used in contexts where guys refused to partake in a certain activity or dress in a certain way because they percieved it as feminine or unmanly. I mean that is what a guy is supposed to do lol

It would only really apply if the man's reason for refusal to participate in something he might actually want to do is based on his fear of the perceptions of others. As mentioned before, bullying does happen, and that is unfortunate. It is a strong man who will stand by his own true values in the face of peer pressure. That would be "integrity", not "fragile masculinity".

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There is no such thing as toxic 'masculinity' or fragile 'masculinity'. There is only toxic behavior and fragile behavior.

From Zizek:

Quote

Perhaps the clearest example was provided by the recent debate on toxic masculinity. In the response to the recent Gillette ad about making men less violent, and better, we often heard the idea that the ad was not directed against men, just against the toxic excess of masculinity. In short, the ad just signalled that we have to throw out the dirty bath water of brutal masculinity.

But there are problems here. Let’s take a closer look at the list (proposed by the American Psychological Association) of features supposed to characterise “toxic masculinity”: suppressing emotions and masking distress; unwillingness to seek help; propensity to take risks even if this involves the danger of harming ourselves. I don’t see what is so specifically “masculine” about this list.

Does this not fit much more a simple act of courage in a difficult situation where, to do the right thing, one has to suppress emotions, where one cannot rely on any help but take the risk and act, even if this means exposing oneself to harm?

I know many women – as a matter of fact, more women than men – who, in difficult predicaments, have not succumbed to the pressure of their environment and instead set about acting in just this way. To take the example from Greek mythology: when Antigone decided to bury Polynices, did she not commit exactly an act which fits the basic features of “toxic masculinity”?

She definitely suppressed her emotions and masked her distress, she was unwilling to seek help, she took a risk which involved great danger of harm to herself. In our age of politically correct conformism, such a stance poses a danger.

 

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20 minutes ago, notme said:

It would only really apply if the man's reason for refusal to participate in something he might actually want to do is based on his fear of the perceptions of others. As mentioned before, bullying does happen, and that is unfortunate. It is a strong man who will stand by his own true values in the face of peer pressure. That would be "integrity", not "fragile masculinity".

Well if the man is going to do something clearly unmanly or feminine in nature, of course he will get a negative reaction from other males. It seems reasonable to me that men should set the standards of what is masculine and what isn't. 

I don't see why it should be a problem to tell another guy to man up. If I saw someone I know dressed in a fruity way, can't I tell him "yo brò this outfit is fruity, you should change it"?

Edited by Sumerian

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46 minutes ago, Sumerian said:

Well if the man is going to do something clearly unmanly or feminine in nature, of course he will get a negative reaction from other males.

Like what, for example? Just clothing? Empathy and compassion are not inherently feminine traits, and it's not effeminate for a man to listen to his friends and family when they talk about their feelings, and those are the ones that go against the social phenomenon of "toxic masculinity".

If your friend is wearing a ridiculous outfit, feel free to call him out, and if he says you're being fragile because you don't care to wear a lace blouse, ignore that clown.

I don't advise calling out strangers.

 

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10 minutes ago, notme said:

Like what, for example? Just clothing? 

Behaviour too. I'm not sure if you agree, but I've always seen heavy crying and wailing as unmanly - with the exception of some contexts. I've been raised that way. 

I mentioned clothing because it is in the news. Recently a celebrity said she doesn't care that her 4 or 5 year old son wears dresses, and she lets him wear what "he wants". To me this is a sickness. People who were against this were called fragile. 

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35 minutes ago, Sumerian said:

Recently a celebrity said she doesn't care that her 4 or 5 year old son wears dresses, and she lets him wear what "he wants".

My little boy likes to keep his hair pretty long... He won't be mistaken for a girl though. Why would her child even have dresses? Sounds like the parents encourage not just allow. But clothing is variable over time. A hundred and twenty years ago, little boys and little girls all dressed the same. Gendered children's clothing didn't exist before 1920.

But like I said before, those accusations of fragility sound like just normal peer pressure or even possibly bullying, and should be disregarded.

 

Crying for yourself might be unmanly, but crying for someone else probably isn't. Women cry when they are angry, and I have never seen a man do that. If I did see it, I would think it strange, but still preferable to the more typical violent acting out by throwing or hitting things.

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2 hours ago, Sumerian said:

This image is far-fetched and extreme, I would prefer more common examples of "fragile masculinity". Do you have any?

Did you see the example I wrote directly below the image? That's both toxic and fragile. 

Other more common examples of fragile masculinity alone, is those men would never do (or would admit that they do) ANYTHING that is traditionally associated with women/ isn't traditionally masculine, like housework, certain hobbies, a traditionally female career, watching certain media, etc. 

Edited by Lilly14

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5 hours ago, notme said:

The misuse of a word or phrase doesn't change its meaning.

Certainly humans can be petty and cruel, and some man-haters will take every opportunity to bully men, just as some woman-haters will bully women. And our society is more tolerant of man bullying than of woman bullying because the perception that men are stronger than women (which I don't believe to be true).

Men being physically stronger than women on average isnt a matter of belief though, its a fact. 

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1 minute ago, Jahangiram said:

Men being physically stronger than women on average isnt a matter of belief though, its a fact. 

Yes, but I believe the two genders have complementary strengths and neither is inherently stronger overall.

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3 minutes ago, notme said:

Yes, but I believe the two genders have complementary strengths and neither is inherently stronger overall.

Well women were seen as 'internally stronger' in traditional cosmology, and this view seems to be supplemented by modern studies that showcase a stronger immune system in women (although the traditional view of 'internal strength' was more focused on self-restraint wrt sexual issues and anger). Are these the 'complementary' strengths in a woman that your above comment speaks of? 

 

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2 hours ago, Lilly14 said:

Other more common examples of fragile masculinity alone, is those men would never do (or would admit that they do) ANYTHING that is traditionally associated with women/ isn't traditionally masculine, like housework, certain hobbies, a traditionally female career, watching certain media, etc. 

Lol how is this a bad thing? That's a good thing. Why should a man do a feminine thing or be into feminine stuff?

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1 hour ago, Sumerian said:

Lol how is this a bad thing? That's a good thing. Why should a man do a feminine thing or be into feminine stuff?

We should distinguish between which gendered behaviours are natural, and which are socially constructed; which are religious and which are cultural.

When it comes down to it, every man does some form of house work. I don’t have sisters and I’m not married, so I didn’t grow up in a house where women did the housework. But even in the house there are jobs that are culturally more associated with men (mowing, shoveling, roofing, taking out the trash, fixing), and in my experience, men have a physiological advantage at these physical jobs. As for aesthetics, generally women have a better eye for it. Again though these are just the general trend.

To reiterate though, I’ve seen my own feminist acquaintances call men “toxic masculine” for wearing SWAT or UFC shirts. Yet at the same time, these women absolutely hate harmless men and want to claw them apart. At least in my experience, so much of the machismo that feminists decry is just men trying (and sometimes failing) to be appealing to women. In my casual marriage counselling, I’ve met so many wives that simply cannot tolerate their husband’s insecurities and weaknesses, and yes I have advised those men to try to express those insecurities to others and to be more confident and reserved with their wives (who need them to be a strong pillar in the house). Maybe that’s toxic, but those couples are doing much better now. 

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9 hours ago, Jahangiram said:

Well women were seen as 'internally stronger' in traditional cosmology, and this view seems to be supplemented by modern studies that showcase a stronger immune system in women (although the traditional view of 'internal strength' was more focused on self-restraint wrt sexual issues and anger). Are these the 'complementary' strengths in a woman that your above comment speaks of?

I don't know. Maybe, but I haven't analyzed it. Each human being has strengths and weaknesses. I was thinking that women tend to be better at working with people than men usually are. A man might be the head of the household, but it's the woman who holds the family together.

If women have stronger immune systems, maybe "man flu" really is a thing.

Edited by notme

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6 hours ago, Qa'im said:

I’ve met so many wives that simply cannot tolerate their husband’s insecurities and weaknesses,

That could accurately be described as "toxic femininity", but that would be socially unacceptable.

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7 hours ago, Sumerian said:

Lol how is this a bad thing? That's a good thing. Why should a man do a feminine thing or be into feminine stuff?

Here let me clarify my comment for you better:

Fragile masculinity is when men would never be or do (or would admit that they do) ANYTHING that is traditionally associated with women/ isn't traditionally masculine ONLY because it is traditionally associated with women/ isn't traditionally masculine

Not helping your mom or wife with house work simply because women usually do it or not considering a pink collar career you would have otherwise been interested in, are some examples of what I mean. 

Edited by Lilly14

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6 minutes ago, Lilly14 said:

Here let me clarify my comment for you better:

Fragile masculinity is when men would never be or do (or would admit that they do) ANYTHING that is traditionally associated with women/ isn't traditionally masculine ONLY because it is traditionally associated with women/ isn't traditionally masculine

Not helping your mom or wife with house work simply because women usually do it or not considering a pink collar career you would have otherwise been interested in, are some examples of what I mean. 

Housework is okay, every man mows the lawn or fixes globes in the house or fixes leaks in the piping or cleans the pool or cleans the gutter/roof etc..

And even cooking and cleaning, it is not inherently feminine, it has just been seen as a "woman's thing" because women tend to be better at it and used to stay in the house because men were breadwinners. But there is no issue with a man cleaning or cooking every now and then, especially if his wife is sick or pregnant or unavailable.

But yes, a man should avoid anything that is clearly feminine in nature. Like wearing women's clothes, talking like a woman, walking like a woman, and yes, even pursuing a career that is feminine or being into girly movies and stuff like that. That's normal lol

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