Thursday, March 08, 2007

The "Harmless" Habit that Turns Men off to You

What is this harmless habit that Cosmo magazine is dishing about this month? Male bashing. Imagine my surprise when I saw that a cover story in Cosmo was very much pro-male. The tagline reads "Verbally bashing the male species is now a reflex for a lot of chicks. Problem is, the real thing getting trashed could be your relationship." Okay, so they phrase the problem with male bashing as one that is detrimental to females, but hey, at least there is a realization that it is wrong. The article has several good sections in it entitled, "How We Beat Up on Boys," "Why it Weakens Love," "Break your Bashing Habit," and "Start Male Boasting."

The advice is good and direct, such as telling women to stop telling their dates they are not like the jerks they usually date. "You're actually broadcasting for the most part, you think dudes suck." To break the habit, the author suggests when your girlfriends start guy trashing, you change the subject. Or, "if a girlfriend says that guys never commit, ger her to see how silly it is to make such broad statements by making one about women, like, 'I know, and women start shopping for a wedding dress after the third date.'" Cosmo gives suggestions (but should you really need this advice after the age of 12?) that women should ditch lines like "Men are dogs" or "Unless its football, it's too complicated for his brain." These tips should be a given, of course, especially given the propensity for the PC police to round up certain people and head them to the rehab center for similar sexist comments, but at least it's a step in the right direction.

And already, the word is spreading.

Labels:

223 Comments:

Blogger BlogDog said...

I wish we could see similar moderation in the "all men/husbands/boyfriends are idiots advertising.

5:03 PM, March 08, 2007  
Blogger BlogDog said...

Sorry - meant to close quotes after the word idiots above.

5:04 PM, March 08, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cosmo? You read Cosmo?

5:13 PM, March 08, 2007  
Anonymous SaltedSlug said...

I'm curious if the article used language that suggested that women not say the words, or if it suggested that they stop thinking the underlying ideas. If it was the former, I think I'd rather they keep saying them ... truth in advertising, fair warning and all that.

7:32 PM, March 08, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Hi SaltedSlug,

The article seemed to suggest to women that they stop the underlying ideas, for example, in the section on why man bashing weakens love, it states that the more a woman disses guys to make herself feel better if she is single etc., the more she may come to believe what she is saying and this is bad. The reason given is that it will lead to a damaged bond with a guy that you want to keep. The article also suggests that a woman speaks to her boyfriend respectfully so he will not retreat and shut down. If you are at the grocey store, you can check out the article yourself on page 142.

7:50 PM, March 08, 2007  
Anonymous SaltedSlug said...

I will, thanks.

8:19 PM, March 08, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

Can we get men to do the same for the ladies?

9:00 PM, March 08, 2007  
Blogger dadvocate said...

Last woman I dated talked long and often about her ex whom she had married twice. I kept thinking, "She'll talk about me like this if she decides I don't suit her." Too much talk and I decided to break off the relationship.

I find Cosmo's position quite encouraging. But some women (see above) won't get it.

Tell me, why does Cosmo italicize so many words, seemingly at random?

10:10 PM, March 08, 2007  
Anonymous Vicki Small said...

I hope, the next time I hear a woman bashing men, that I will remember the suggestion to respond with an equally outrageous reference to women.

I used to be a basher; I was also very unhappy. Working on my own stuff made it possible for me to attract and hold onto the kind of man I always wanted. Eighteen and a half years, now, and counting. And he really is outstanding!

12:09 AM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Jack said...

I suspect that a lot of women are tired of this sort of behavior, but don't feel comfortable calling other women on it.

1:40 AM, March 09, 2007  
Blogger jw said...

jack: I suspect you're right in that.

I should say that men have a bad habit of not saying anything about misandry. Not speaking is a habit which hurts innocents.


cham: Real misogyny is fairly rare these days and most men do call other men on it.

4:13 AM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, Helen thanks for reading that article for me. I saw that cover of Cosmo and almost cared enough to flip through and find it. It turns out it was more worthwhile than I would give Cosmo credit for.

I suspect that a lot of women are tired of this sort of behavior, but don't feel comfortable calling other women on it.

Probably. When the women I've worked with have complained about their significant others or exes, I just listened politely. If it devolved into generalized male bashing, I always politely countered it. You can almost see the gears stop abruptly like they cannot process my words. ;)

Amy K.

5:57 AM, March 09, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Amy K.,

I really do think women are so used to doing it, they don't even think about it. That is no excuse. It's destructive. It's stupid, it's mean and it's sexist. Women do it because they get away with it so easily as the society not only allows it but encourages it, but then these same women wonder why no self-respecting man wants to come near them. Who would?

6:02 AM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a very young woman, I did the same thing. I don't even remember how my views changed. But I look back at it now, and I just cringe at myself.

Amy K.

6:44 AM, March 09, 2007  
Blogger Viola said...

I think this is a very important topic. And I like the question, "should you even need this advice after the age of 12?"...putting men down when a group of women get together is like "female bonding" to them. I agree that changing the topic or politely counter is the right thing to do. Men do a lot for women and they deserve our respect.

9:35 AM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Ennuipundit said...

It's nice to see Cosmo actually getting that men do need positive reinforcement. Dr. Helen, do you have thoughts about Christina Hoff Somers' book regarding the War Against Boys? Hopefully Cosmo's stance will not be a one-off deal and the rhetoric of feminism will become more geared towards rapproachment with us menfolk.

9:36 AM, March 09, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Ennuipundit,

I read her book a few years ago when it first came out and like it very much. I do think our society tends to filter much of what happens through women and girl's eyes and seems to think that no amount of revenge is too much to hurl at boys and men for injustices that have happened to women in the past. Perhaps it is a backlash that is starting to change or it is just the beginning of a matriarchal society (I sure hope not) but only time will tell.

10:15 AM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Cousin Dave said...

News flash: When you insult people, it turns them off. Who'd a-thunk it?

The really bad thing is, I think that male-bashing and the underlying mentality does in fact harm women, because it leads them to accept lower standards in terms of what they expect from men. They may be complaining about their date's or mate's failure to be perfect, but meanwhile they are dating or marrying men from the bottom 10th percentile. The women get used, abused, and then dumped. Which just reinforces the attitude, even as they go out and find another man to do the same. Meanwhile, the good men who hold themselves to high standards are observing all this and trying to figure out what the heck they're doing wrong.

10:58 AM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've stopped trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong and look for women who think I'm doing something right. But I'm in my 30's, the shoe is on the other foot so to speak.

Interestingly the women I've known who are most prone to bashing men, tend to end up with meek effeminate men.

11:46 AM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Gottafang said...

My ex-mother-in-law was a male-basher, to the point where I never wanted to step foot in her house. I never felt comfortable around her. If she wasn't running down her daughter, she was saying vile things about men. That was odd because she raised three sons, two of whom served in Vietnam.

One time when we were at her house, I had a mild cold. She asked if I had made an appointment to see a doctor. I said no, and she lectured me on how horrible men were because they neglected their bodies and that leads to heart attacks and strokes and early death, and on and on. Finally, she demanded my wife take me to a doctor. She even called the next day to see if I went. I said no. She hung up on me.

To be fair, however, I think a large part of her male bashing was the result of her husband of nearly 40 years serving her with divorce papers two days after her daughter and I got married. That doesn't excuse what she did, though.

12:45 PM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Ennuipundit said...

Thanks for your comments. I think that filter you mention has influenced advertising as a few of your previous commenters mentioned. I'm hopeful that we are not at the dawn of a matriarchal society. The penultimate in my experiences when hearing repeated male bashing occurred more than 15 years ago when I was still in high school. All men were "pigs." The retort, which I do not believe any of my classmates had encountered previously, was that their statement was a "biased generalization about my gender, which does not necessarily reflect on all members, present company especially." That they altered to say some or most instead of all was a small victory, but a victory nonetheless.

Too many men are either cowed or combative when trashed. If men took the lead and were affirming in their dissent (oxymoron alert) the culture of bashing would have gone out of vogue long ago.

1:00 PM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Jim said...

"Can we get men to do the same for the ladies? "

For the ladies, yes. For other women, probably not, and quite properly.

I think what happens is that women grow up seing thier mothers order little boys around, make comments about them to other (grown) women (where it is probably appropriate conversaations between mothers) and then incorrectly assume they can do the same because they see it as part of being a grown woman. It's the same as dressing up in mommy's clothes and make-up. It doesn't help when men re-inforce all this by internalizing the same judgements and then acting them out as bad boys.

1:22 PM, March 09, 2007  
Blogger dadvocate said...

Jim - my sister sent this story below last Mother's Day. It amply shows why girls/women believe deprecating men is a way of life.

I was out walking with my 4 year old daughter. She picked up something off the ground and started to put it in her mouth. I took the item away from her and I asked her not to do that. "Why?" my daughter asked. "Because it's been laying outside, you don't know where it's been, it's dirty and probably has germs" I replied.

At this point, my daughter looked at me with total admiration and asked, "Wow! How do you know all this stuff?" "Uh," ...I was thinking quickly,"All moms know this stuff. It's on the Mommy Test. You have to know it, or they don't let you be a Mommy."

We walked along in silence for 2 or 3 minutes, but she was evidently pondering this new information. "OH...I get it!" she beamed, "So if you don't pass the test you have to be the daddy" "Exactly" I replied back with a big smile on my face and joy in my heart.


Message: You're only a Dad if you fail the Mommy Test.

At 4 years old this girl's mother well on her way teaching the girl to consider men inferior.

1:29 PM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Cousin Dave said...

ennuipundit: I've had discussions, more than once, that went a lot like this:

Her: "Men suck!"
Me: "Hey, I'm a man! I resent that!"
Her: "Well, I didn't mean you!"
Me: "So, you don't consider me a man, then?"
Her: "That's not fair! It was just a joke!"

1:59 PM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Ennuipundit said...

Had that one, too...in the college years it was common...hence high school being the penultimate...

2:32 PM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous amused reader said...

Let's see more ladylike behavior out there girls! No armpit hair, no fatties and certainly no male bashing! And don't even start whining about that date rape incident in college, because Dr. Smith knows that unless the act was committed in a dark alley at knifepoint it certainly wasn't rape! Now shape up, because I want to see good clean Republican doctors, lawyers and businesswomen out there in the dating game! Any thing less is unfit to reproduce!

3:20 PM, March 09, 2007  
Blogger knoxwhirled said...

I was definitely guilty as a younger woman of male-bashing. (A minor in women's studies was all it took to make me a male-basher!) Fortunately, I met a great guy in my early 20s (now my husband, in fact) who *did* call me on it, repeatedly. I clearly remember him finally saying something to the effect of, "how do you think it makes me feel when you make hostile comments about men?" Up until that point, I had never really thought of it as something he would take personally. Duh, I know. It had simply become a habit. I found that curbing the behavior eventually pre-empted that pattern of thinking as well. Now I'm an equal-opportunity basher. Yea!

3:54 PM, March 09, 2007  
Blogger knoxwhirled said...

* amused reader: we don't mind that you're fat.

3:55 PM, March 09, 2007  
Blogger Mercurior said...

Ennuipundit, the problem is if you do stand up for your rights, chances are you will be called sexist, men frequently dont say anything to have a slightly more peaceful life.

no wonder boys today are like they are, they have been told they are useless, no wonder boys fail education, they become the useless people they have always been told they are, so the next generation will say see proof your father is useless. and so on..

4:39 PM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helen, wouldn't it be easier to just adopt a son? It's really not so bad out here for boys that you might think. I suspect until you raise a boy yourself, you will simply continue to see the negatives.

Really, they're not all victimized yet, and society's messages really aren't all that important if you just don't listen. (A son could teach you that!) Good luck.

5:57 PM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous 5:57PM-

Really, they're not all victimized yet, and society's messages really aren't all that important if you just don't listen. (A son could teach you that!) Good luck.

The problem is "society" often isn't content with spewing nonsense. It often uses force to try to impose its nonsense on you, whether you ignore it or not.

6:55 PM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Vickisue said...

Anonymous 5:57: I disagree with your final statement about society's messages. For years, girls have been socialized to the male-bashing practice. Someone fairly close to me is raising three children in a home where the parents presumably love each other, but what they do is to cooperate with each other in deomonstrating that daddy's (a PhD in Applied Math) stupid, can't do anything right, deserves to be the scapegoat that he is when anything at all goes wrong. The daughter is the oldest, and she had learned the "right" attitudes by the time she was six or seven. Told by her mother to do something, she said in our presence, "Let Daddy do it!" And daddy did it.

If you think the two boys are learning much about being men, you are dead wrong. I foresee relationship problems for all three kids, and it breaks my heart. I know what I'm talking about, because I grew up hearing my grandmother and aunts putting down my granddad, and my mother's many statements about men and their untrustworthiness. And this was before the feminist movement kicked in. I learned well what I was taught.

6:56 PM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

amused reader-

And don't even start whining about that date rape incident in college, because Dr. Smith knows that unless the act was committed in a dark alley at knifepoint it certainly wasn't rape!

And we all know that a woman is justified if they falsely claim consensual sex was rape, especially if they want money, if they're upset from being rejected, if their family finds out and doesn't approve, etc. After all, consensual sex isn't an adult making a choice or anything, its supposed to be coupled with a lie and used as a weapon whenever a woman wants something.

7:01 PM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's difficult to ignore an educational system that fails to take into account that boys and girls are Not Alike, and tends to be weighted toward the girls' interests and learning styles and needs.

I moved my son -- yes, I HAVE raised a son -- to a private school where they were more sensitive to the fact that boys need more physical activity during the day, and weren't interested in reading about Anne Frank's period and deepest feelings of longing for what-his-face.

7:04 PM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And this was before the feminist movement kicked in. I learned well what I was taught.

Sounds like a personal problem to me. There are healthy families still out there, and schools too. Don't give up and believe it's a conspiracy. It's not.

7:50 PM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's difficult to ignore an educational system that fails to take into account that boys and girls are Not Alike

Not identical, but the healthier ones are somewhat alike.

7:53 PM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not identical, but the healthier ones are somewhat alike.

The healthier girls are more like boys?

Amy K.

8:48 PM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous jack said...

Well before these comments go to recriminations, I'd like to read the input of a few of the women who'd commented that they regret, or have gotten past, the male bashing that they'd done when younger.

Did some event precipitate this change, was it an aspect of maturing psychologically, was it primarily a rational act?

The reason that I'm asking is that in my experience, mature women are often much more sympathetic to men than younger women.

I'm still single, and the advice that I've gotten from these ladies would frankly be deemed chauvinistic were it to come from a man. Much of it can be summarized by the statement: 'don't take anything a young woman says too seriously'. They tend to promote the idea that young women often have expectations of men that are irreconcilable, self serving, and mutually contradictory. Interestingly many of these women are single themselves, either never married or divorced.

Another interesting observation one friend had made, that I hadn't consciously acknowledged before, is that part of the reason that I don't tend to confront women when they start bashing men is that I don't tend to hold women accountable. I think that the behavior tends to reinforce latent stereotypes of women as irrational, capricious, and vindictive.

8:56 PM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not identical, but the healthier ones are somewhat alike.

The healthier girls are more like boys?

Amy K.


Boys and girls that are raised by healthy parents in healthy environments are not identical in their needs/wants/skills/hopes, but are somewhat alike.

They all like to play, run, laugh, compete, build, break, communicate, learn, love.

When you get unhealthy parents involved, sometimes the children pick up on the parents fears and pet issues. These children tend to have more social problems than those raised in healthier environments. Some children don't need child psychologists, and aren't growing up being deprived or victimized. It's true. They turn out to be healthy men and women, regardless of what "society" says. Why listen to the unhealthy if you can avoid it?

10:02 PM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another interesting observation one friend had made, that I hadn't consciously acknowledged before, is that part of the reason that I don't tend to confront women when they start bashing men is ...

Maybe it would be healthier to just walk away and find a different set of friends? If this is a common problem where you are at, you need to change your environment. Get out of the safety cocoon, and cut ties with those types. Yes you can!

10:04 PM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous anonymom said...

Dadvocate,

That email you use as an example of a real child learning bad lessons...I have received it from men and from women and it is merely a joke. I don't for a minute believe that it is based on truth. It is as "true" as any of those blonde jokes making the rounds. Get upset about something real.

Most women I know have great respect for their husbands, brothers, fathers. If they tell a stupid joke that makes sport of men, I assume that they are telling a joke, not that they really think that of their husbands. If a group of women get together and complain about their foolish husbands who don't know anything about picking up their dirty socks or don't know how to load the dishwasher...I suppose it is possible that many men don't load the dishwasher or pick up their dirty socks. When men get together, do they make rueful jokes about how their wives forget to check the oil or how she complains about the toilet seat?

People are people.

10:28 PM, March 09, 2007  
Blogger dadvocate said...

Anon. 10:28 - I recognize that the story may not be true. But I recieved it as part of a much forwarded email from my sister. I counted 29 email addresses on the email I received.

Is this how women in their 50's and 40's celebrate Mother's Day, by telling deprecating stories regarding men?

do they make rueful jokes about how their wives forget to check the oil or how she complains about the toilet seat?

In my experience, no. I won't claim that men never tell a joke regarding women but the guys I know rarely mention their wives when it's just us guys. And, why is it that women think they own the toilet seat?

11:30 PM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:02 anonymous (if there's something else you'd prefer to be called, I'd be happy to oblige you)

They all like to play, run, laugh, compete, build, break, communicate, learn, love.

To greatly varying degrees. I generally take the 75/25 approach to gender while always allowing an open mind to each individual. 75% of men have the quintessentially "male" characteristics while another 25% fall somewhere in the "female" category. Likewise, 75% of women have the stereotypical "female" characteristics with the other 25% are more "male" in their personalities. And within each of those groups, the 75 and the 25, there is still more variation in how strongly each individual exhibits the various characteristics that make up "male" and "female."

I do not consider it better or worse to be either male or female, neither do I think there is anything wrong with those people who exhibit the minority characteristics for their gender.

So some boys and some girls will be fairly similar. But the majority will be looking at the world differently from one another. This has nothing to do with what they pick up at home or whether their parents are healthy or not. This is hardwired personality temperament.

When you get unhealthy parents involved, sometimes the children pick up on the parents fears and pet issues. These children tend to have more social problems than those raised in healthier environments.

Very true.

Some children don't need child psychologists, and aren't growing up being deprived or victimized. It's true. They turn out to be healthy men and women, regardless of what "society" says.

Also true. Don't see where anyone said differently, though.

Why listen to the unhealthy if you can avoid it?

When you're right you're right. But sometimes you can't avoid it. And from what I have observed in my life to this point, specifically in reference to this subject of male bashing, a great number of people are not recognizing that it's unhealthy and so therefore are not avoiding it. They are falling sick and have no idea what the cure is because they don't know they're being poisoned.

Amy K.

11:33 PM, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jack makes a pretty good point about more mature women being less likely to participate in the male bashing. Those of us who have been married a long time, and who have raised sons, have been able to recognize that some of those "bugs" that seem to go along with the y chromosome are actually "features" and can work quite well in a complimentary fashion with our feminine tendencies.

One thing I've learned as well is a real respect for a single mother who is able to raise a well adjusted son without losing her mind. On those frequent occasions when my son's behavior was a complete mystery to me, it was perfectly understandable to my husband. Sometimes he was able to explain him to me, and other times I just had to take his word for it. No doubt, on my own, I'd have made the kid neurotic.

12:08 AM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

I don't read Cosmo, or Playboy for that matter.
There are men who basically dislike women, and women who basically dislike men, for a million reasons.
And in my personal view, any of those reasons are unhealthy, say slanted, for the most part. Men and women are different in all sorts of ways. It is as clear as air that it is so. It confounds me that everyone does not acknowledge this simple (yet complicated) truth. The differences breed misunderstanding, anger, sadness at times. I also find them endlessly fascinating and filled with wonder.
As a single dad raising two daughters and a son, I have had to first understand , and then be understood, at almost every turn. As the adult in the crew, (regardless of gender) it is my responsibility to do that, I believe.
When my son approaches me with a problem, we talk it out and work it out together. Solve the problem (men!). My daughters, on the other hand, have wanted someone to only listen, sympathize, provide hugs, tell them they are loved, and that everything is going to be alright. The only problems they have wanted me to help them "solve" have had to do with grammar, mathematics, car trouble, and the boy friend at times. I have approached my sister on numerous ocassions having to do with female related problems I know nothing about, and am very uncomfortable discussing with my girls. My hands go over my ears, and I start singing La-la-la-la-la until they get the message. I just can't go there. So, I consult "the Oracle" in that department.
As one can easily tell, I spend a lot of time alone, and / or with my kids only. It is by choice. And it is also one of the main reasons I come here. I have found quite a few reasonable people (to me) posting on this site. And as the "keeper of the keys" of this site, I find Dr. Helen to be one of those. I come here for pointers. I throw out an opinion on a subject close to me, and await a response from someone who will "straighten me out" if necessary. If the response fits my needs, I'll take it into consideration. If it doesn't, I still thank the individual (female or male) for their response.
Sorry for the long winded blab, folks. Long and short, men and women are different. Thank God.

7:20 AM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger Sissy Willis said...

In my day the advice was to bone up on his interests and feign interest in same. The pendulum swings back . . .

11:33 AM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think if both parties in the relationship boned up on each other's interests, feigning interest when necessary, and avoided negativity -- things would work MUCH better.

-Mr. Shiney

Blog

11:49 AM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: BlogDog
RE: Patience....

"I wish we could see similar moderation in the "all men/husbands/boyfriends are idiots advertising." -- BlogDog

....my friend. In due time the good ones will realize that such activity is counter-productive.

In the meantime, key on those that are not continuing to wallow in the mire of feminist sado-masochism. They'll only lead to trouble.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Never lie down with a woman who has more troubles than you do.]

11:58 AM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger fred said...

Babes that do this are worthless to begin with....and naturally the comments protest about men doing this, and the ladies know this because.....?

12:01 PM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger CatoRenasci said...

Thanks for pointing me to an intersting article I would never have found otherwise.

It's interesting how many womens' attitudes towards men have changed for the worse over the past 40 odd years.

As a man who grew up with a strong mother who was as professionally accomplished as my father in the days before "in your face" femininism, I always liked women and girls, and it never occurred to me that they couldn't do almost anything a man could do (saving such things as combat in the armed forces) - my mother's women friends were doctors, lawyers, musicians, teachers, business owners and the like as well as those whose sphere was primarily social, charitable and civic.

Though college and into grad school, perhaps even more of my friends were women than men. It was in graduate school I first encountered the heavy anti-male feminism that's come to dominate many womens' consciousness, whether overtly as I found it then, or more subtly in the sort of male-bashing this article suggests (correctly, in my view) is so destructive.

In law school, it was even worse, as more and more women seemed to dislike men. I had a girlfriend who wore a t-shirt "The better I get to know men, the better I like my dog" -- needless to say, she didn't want children and the relationship went nowhere.

As I have grown older, in various church groups and other organizations and social groups in which I've been involved, more and more of the women I've met seem to make casually deprecating remarks about men. It's certainly been a turn off for me. Indeed, over the past decade, I've found my self unconsciously reacting to the attitudes by having less and less to do socially with women who used to be friends and circling around a view that I've never quite been comfortable with that most of the women I meet in their 40's and 50's have an edge to them, a bitterness, that I find off-putting. Perhaps this is the more direct basis for some of my unease.

Now, I hear some of this from my daughters - I'm the only guy (other than the -neutered- dog) in a house of 3 women - and I don't like it. My older daughter is getting a real dose of it in college (at a Christian school yet!) and it causes problems. I only hope I can confront it gently and not ruin relationships.

Someone remarked here we are moving into a matriarchal culture, and I suspect that is true. I've been concerned about the differences in the way men think and women think ever since I was in law school, and I saw vastly different approaches to such things as risk taking, individualism vs. community, and liberty vs. security: my observation was that (to grossly overgeneralize) women tend to seek consensus where men tend to be more comfortable with disagreement and tend to be more willing to follow their own ideas rather than go along with the group, men tend to be more willing to take risks, and women tend to be more risk-averse, and, men tend to seem more concerned with liberty and individual rights, and women tend to seem to be more concerned with group rights and being 'taken care of' by the state. Gross overgeneralizations, but they certain seemed borne out in my sample set of my law school class, and as I have observed men and women in the law and the professions over the past 30 years.

The down side of the 'female' approach is that one tends to the lowest common denominator, and process tends to be elevated in importance over results -- exactly the things we see occurring today.

12:06 PM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger gefillmore said...

Just as I read recently that the 'c' word should be used carefully and sparingly in order to save it as an effective cuss word (to whomever: I don't use it; so leave me alone)(some link thru instapundit or this blog, I believe), so should men be left as available for 'bashing'.

Who else is left? Especially the wasp male. I could care less; I'm inured to it, particularly being a conservative christian white male(note I did not say republican-I am no longer republican-I guess I wouldn't mind becoming a southern democrat, if there is such a thing anymore).

And probably except for conservative christians and republicans, the male is probably the last group the pc crowd allows to be denigrated without complaint.

So, I say, leave it alone. Let whomever have whatever 'fun' is left.

12:08 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous frank martin said...

Watch TV for a day and count the number of times that men are portrayed and slackjawed semi invalids in commercials.

Theres a commercial out by an insurance company where the punchline is "so easy a caveran could do it", but my wife likes to point that the existing subtext to nearly every commerical is "so easy a man could it"

when every even commercial is based on the premise of male incompetence and every odd commercial is an advertisement for erectile dysfunction, can we now attempt to make a case for large scale societal brainwashing?

12:12 PM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger gefillmore said...

ps-

that was my first post here-

I'm from east tennessee and am proud of the fact that both instapundit and dr. helen are from knoxville (does not mean I always agree with them)-

thanks-

12:14 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Miller said...

When I saw that title, I was certain the article would be about gum-chewing.

12:23 PM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

gefillmore,

Thanks for posting--it is always nice to hear from readers from east Tennessee--I love the independent-minded nature of the people here. I sure don't expect others to agree with me, I just expect that they will not make personal insults when they do so.

12:28 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Frank Marting
RE: TV???!?!

"Watch TV for a day and count the number of times that men are portrayed and slackjawed semi invalids in commercials." -- Frank Martin

I gave up on television a decade ago. And, based on what I see whenever I have occasion to see one, i.e., in hotel rooms, I'm ever so glad of my decision. There is little, if anything worth watching on the television anymore. Your mention of the brain-washing that occurs during commercial breaks only adds to my ascertion.

Save yourselves! Kill your television. It's more poison than it is cure.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Television is educational. Whenever someone turns one on, I go read a good book. -- Groucho Marx, c. 1950s]

12:56 PM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger Fried Lice said...

Gottafang, men really do have a problem with not seeking appropriate medical care. This type of behavior really does lead to heart attacks and early deaths. The fact that she urged your wife to take you to the doctor and followed up with a phone call shows that she cares. Lots of women really do treat men like crap, but this is not a good example.

1:07 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to get angry and offended by men bashing, but at some point decided to do something about it. So now when someone forwards an email of men bashing jokes to me I just reply by sending them women bashing jokes (Google "women bashing jokes" and you will find tons). Also when a women complains about the men she dates or was married to or men in general, I'll say something like "It's unfortunate that you are the sort of person that attracts crummy men." That turns it around and makes them just as responsible.

1:11 PM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger gefillmore said...

dr. helen-

thanks much for responding to my post-

I would never insult you; you're not a male wasp-

1:13 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I generally begin with the premise that women are bitches, and men are assholes, and proceed from there. It tends to even out the playing field somewhat.

I'm XX, btw.

1:16 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: anonymouse, the XX
RE: It's an Acronym

"I generally begin with the premise that women are bitches..." -- anonymouse, the XX

B - Boys
I - I'm
T - Taking
C - Charge
H - Here

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[If you can't laugh at yourself, you've no justification to laugh at anyone else. -- cbpelto

1:21 PM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger A.M. Mora y Leon said...

Malebashing is the most tiresome thing I know of. In the past, it´s been the habit of tired old bags who´ve let themselves be used as objects by their men and now blame them, when it should be their own behavior they should look at more closely. But I hate it when I see pretty young women doing it, too. I always ask ... so did they let themselves get used, too? Or is it too much pressure to be a pretty young woman, always wondering if the harassing attention one is getting is sincere or just based on one´s looks and not having the experience to tell. Young women need to learn the wiles their grandmas used in their youths to judge men ... otherwise they get as cynical as the old bags bitter about life. As for malebashing, I absolutely hate it. When I hear it, I tell people to knock it off because it´s so borrrring I could die and I say that I, for one, like men.

1:48 PM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger Kevin said...

Checking to see if hell has frozen over.... Cosmo and Dr Laura are giving the same advice....

Scary!

1:53 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon: 1:11 PM

I have to agree. I have no objection to male bashing, as long as there is no objection to female bashing coming back.

I don't see a need for yet another group to develop thinner skins.

1:56 PM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger A.M. Mora y Leon said...

By the way, CatoRenasci, the worst casual, brainless, mind'numbing male'bashing I have seen is in the Catholic Church. I attended a series of sessions for prospective members last year and the beautiful young woman giving the lessons was continuously malebashing. She went after the sexists among all the prophets of the bible, and didn´t seem to know how to read historical context, she just simply explained that bible societies were sexist nests full of dreadful men, who always wanted to keep women down. She was surrounded by obese old bags who did nothing with their looks and who thought it was their right to be priests and only the evil sexism of the church kept them out of it. I really wonder if much of the most virulent malebashing is coming out of the churches rather than the nutsy lairs of feminazi academia. The churches seem to be badly infected.

1:59 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Mister Snitch! said...

"Can we get men to do the same for the ladies?"

Here's the difference, Cham. When men bash women, they're woman-haters, misogynists, chauvinists, pigs, sexists, bashers, and stereotypers. When women do it, they're just 'telling it like it is', and 'letting off steam'. Disingenuous? You bet.

There were some women bashing men on an NPR show a month or two ago. 'If we only had female leadership', they claimed, 'we wouldn't have war'. A man who called in to protest this ridiculous stereotyping was quickly silenced by the thoroughly cowed male host, who like most liberals was eager to be seen as the virtuous exception to the rule. He wanted to present himself as the exceptional male, but I suspect many male listeners saw him as less than a shining example of the genre.

2:04 PM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger Greg said...

It's not just commercials. Look to your typical sitcom, and compare the portrayal of the husband and the wife. Who is portrayed as dumber? Prone to do foolish things? Prone to go overboard? Not understanding the needs of another family member?

2:30 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: The Fact of the Matter...

...is that it takes the both of them to work together properly.

Regardless of Hillary's heinous book claiming it takes a village to raise a child. It doesn't. Rather, contrary to the PC popular illusion, it takes a family to raise a child.

Children learn from their parents. If the parents are a loving heterosexual couple the child will learn how to be their part of a similarly loving couple when they come of age and have been educated well by the parents.

Unfortunately, for too many children these days, there are too few good examples about. We, as adults, tend to be selfish, narcissitic spoiled brats, as all too many of us were raised to be. And we pass this on to our children, who, in turn, will likely do the same to theirs.

It's a vicious cycle.

I can think of a way to break it, but most people wouldn't care to hear it, as it, in itself is not PC. See A.M. Mora y Leon's comment (above).

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[You know you were a good parent if your grandchildren turn out well.]

2:39 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Jay S II said...

For years, I never really noticed male bashing, I guess I accepted it without thinking. Then perhaps 15 years ago I discovered it while I read the Berenstain Bears to my daughters when they were very young.

At the time we had something like 600 children's books including perhaps 20 Berenstain Bears. Not one of those 20 ever put Mama Bear in a bad light or Papa Bear in a good light. She was always the brilliant, problem solver; he was always the idiot and the fool who never did anything right. These characterizations even extended to their boy and girl "child" bears to some extent.

Needless to say, those books all went in the garbage. On a good note, they did open my eyes enough that I pointed out their persistent male bashing to my daughters before I threw the books out. I've also pointed out to my daughters instances of male bashing we know of. So far, I've never heard it from them.

It's nice to see that Cosmo has caught on. I'll buy a copy next time I'm in the book store. Sure, I could read it on the magazine rack in the check out line; but why would I want to?

Every issue of Cosmo that I've ever looked at has a teaser headline on the front cover that says something like: "What men really want in bed," "The sex tricks men want more of," and so forth. Sex sells magazines. If I want them to publish another article on male bashing, I'll do my part to show that it can sell a few magazines. Reading just one page in the checkout line won't do that.

3:04 PM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger Mercurior said...

CatoRenasci, that woman you dated, by wearing that outfit, proved that she was more anti male, or it could be that if she tried to be pro male, she would have been blasted by the women there.

i have been told by certain women, that in public they "dislike" males, but in private they say, they arent that man hating, they just say that to fit in with the group.

but childless/childfree isnt a feminist issue, it has been co opted by them, i say feminist as in the more recent versions, the woman can do it all, who dont need men apart from sperm donors.

and yes the more kids see in the news, on tv, in the press, even by word of mouth, that men are scum, it will affect them, and turn men into the very things they are saying we are.

i have given up on tv, or i watch OLD films, where there isnt that feminised agenda, i automatically turn off films with the words, heartwarming, or family drama, as i know the majority of those are male bashing films.

3:14 PM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger IrishLad said...

I've actually broken a few women of that habit by saying something like, "Really? ALL men that way? Would you be OK with me painting ALL women with the same brush? Or should we take each person on a case by case basis?" Usually the response is something like, "Well... I didn't mean YOU." Or, "Well, I don't really mean ALL men, but SOME men..."

I do agree that it's a disturbing trend, and it IS bad for a relationship. In the back of my mind, I do note "Oh oh... she doesn't like men." But it works both ways. I've heard a lot of men throwing all women into the same soup too. The truth is you can't categorize people by sex any more than you can by skin color or ethnicity. Judge each case by the content of their character and don't be predjudiced against any group, because the truth is, no "group" is as homogeneous as the predjudice ascribes to it.

3:21 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, all advertising is narrowly targeted to very specific demographic groupings. Women do almost all of the shopping. The point of advertising is to generate sales. So I assume that they run these male bashing ads in focus groups and they elicit a good response. As long is women in these focus groups want this; this is what you'll be watching. I stopped watching network television a long time ago.

I got tired of hearing this whining years ago and stopped dating altogether. I concluded as a white guy, I was just born in the wrong era. Too bad, I guess.

3:53 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Anonymous, the Wight Guy in the Wong Era
RE: Do Not Despair

"I got tired of hearing this whining years ago and stopped dating altogether. I concluded as a white guy, I was just born in the wrong era. Too bad, I guess." -- Anonymous, the Wight Guy in the Wong Era

Take a look at the latter part of Proverbs 31. And go looking in the Wight places.

I found one. I'm married to her....and I have never been happier in my life.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Good hunting and good luck....]

P.S. As I alluded to (above) there is a way to break the cycle. It has to do with adopting a particular ethic....that she is more important than I am, and her feeling the obverse. Each of us setting our overweaned ego asside and focusing on each other more than we focus on our naturally selfish selves.

As I said, it's not a 'natural' thing for animals to do, but as was mentioned early in the classic SciFi novel, Dune, we're supposed to be more than animals.

Put your 'head' IN the box....err....Book.

4:06 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interestingly, this behavior leads to other things such as chronic unhappiness based upon "He Never does X" sorts of things.
Put him on a scale, measure him against every other guy you knew, who gave you the best presents, took you to the nicest places, best jewelery, etc.
Slice and dice him and in the end, no man measures up.
The group think / bashing just backfires, a little bit at a time. Every time he fails to live up to your expectations you embrace it further. Never mind you have your own problems (Not a hollywood model? Can't cook as good as his mom?), just focus on what a dog he is because all your girlfriends say so.
Eventually you'll feel justified to divorce him because "he just didn't understand you". Anyhow, you're entitled to it because he "didn't live up to your expectations".

4:07 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They all like to play, run, laugh, compete, build, break, communicate, learn, love.

To greatly varying degrees. I generally take the 75/25 approach to gender while always allowing an open mind to each individual. 75% of men have the quintessentially "male" characteristics while another 25% fall somewhere in the "female" category.


Amy-
Just trying to learn how others think. Can you tell me of those activities I listed (play, run, laugh, compete, build, break, communicate, learn, love) which fit male characteristics and which female by your percentage breakdown?

I suspect if you try to do that for me, you'll begin to see where many of these problems originate.

4:22 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So some boys and some girls will be fairly similar. But the majority will be looking at the world differently from one another. This has nothing to do with what they pick up at home or whether their parents are healthy or not. This is hardwired personality temperament.

I disagree. The good majority of it is learned. Compare boys and girls from different cultures. Much more expectations of girls in many, much machismo found in others. It's not so "hard wired" as you might think. Witness Chinese girls adopted and being raised American. Much less submissive and quite aggressive when raised as an only child in an American society. It's not all inborn, that's just too easy a claim.

4:26 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Anonymous
RE: Ahhh YEEEESSSS!

"The group think / bashing just backfires, a little bit at a time. Every time he fails to live up to your expectations you embrace it further....just focus on what a dog he is because all your girlfriends say so." -- Anonymous

Flashbacks to the results of her (first wifes) group therapy, a la early 80s, as 'orchestrated' by some man-hater 'facilitator'...now that I reflect upon it.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[You never know a woman until you've met her in court.]

4:27 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous John Maguire said...

On the matter of turning into a matriarchal society, with open disrespect for manhood rampant, take at look at my column today in the Lowell MA Sun. It's about our treatment of single dads.

http://www.lowellsun.com/opinion/ci_5406908

4:28 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Children learn from their parents. If the parents are a loving heterosexual couple the child will learn how to be their part of a similarly loving couple when they come of age and have been educated well by the parents.

Guess what?

If you drop the word homosexual above, the statement still holds true! For both loving homo- and hetero-sexual couples with children.

You heard it here first!!

4:31 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not just commercials. Look to your typical sitcom, and compare the portrayal of the husband and the wife. Who is portrayed as dumber? Prone to do foolish things? Prone to go overboard? Not understanding the needs of another family member?

I suspect you're watching the wrong shows. Remember: you have the power to stop the nonsense from entering your head. Walk away and find something more challenging, instead of watching and whining.

Yes you can!

4:32 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Anonymous
RE: [OT] I Disagree

"If you drop the word homosexual above, the statement still holds true!" -- Anonymous

The fact of the matter is that homosexuals are, by definition, a pairing of either male-and-male or female-and-female.

You seem to have overlooked the FACT that men and women have different attributes inherent in their make-up. [Note: See Tiger and Fox in their work The Imperial Animal. It's a study of sociological-biology, anthropology , the differences between the genders and how we work better as a two-gender team.]

These attributes naturally compliment each other to make a 'whole' that is greater than the sum of the parts. In business, this is called 'synergy'.

But I will not digress beyond this point. Maybe Dr. Helen [the InstaWife] will be so kind as to offer a topical thread along those lines, where we can discuss this in more depth.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Gay is a one-word oxymoron.]

4:39 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Steevo said...

Obviously it would be harmless if women weren't harmed.

4:47 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Amelia said...

In reference to TV shows bashing men... I used to enjoy Everybody Loves Raymond until the endlessly repeated plot of Ray=wrong, Debra=right, got old. Once I started noticing it, I've seen the same plot turn up in show after show: husband is wrong/stupid/lazy, wife is right/smart/hardworking and put-upon.

There is one show I've found that doesn't operate like that: Still Standing. In that show BOTH the husband and wife make mistakes, have bad judgment from time to time, get lazy, act vindictive and childish and sometimes are just generally not admirable people. But I find it amusing to watch a show where I can't predict from the first 5 minutes the entire episode's plot; I never know which spouse will be the "idiot."

4:59 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cousin Dave said:
The really bad thing is, I think that male-bashing and the underlying mentality does in fact harm women, because it leads them to accept lower standards in terms of what they expect from men. They may be complaining about their date's or mate's failure to be perfect, but meanwhile they are dating or marrying men from the bottom 10th percentile. The women get used, abused, and then dumped.

YES! Seeing as it's the liberal harpy females who are biggest into the man bashing, and it's the liberal men who treat women badly, I'm not sure which sex started the cycle though.

5:25 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, Cosmo The magazine that (usually) tells women that men are pigs....

and then tells them how to blow his mind with the orgasm of his dreams!

5:50 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember from a book I read about marriage. It said - "Say nothing bad about your spouse to your friends" (or anyone else)!

Eventally you will be known as the man or woman who has a truly wonderfull spouse -- Trust me -- I DO!

The book --- "Love life for every married couple" by Dr. Ed Wheat and Gloria Oakes Perkins.

Well worth a read. Timeless principles to build an outstanding marriage.

Jay

5:58 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous anonymom said...

It is interesting, to consider how tv shows and commercials portray men as hapless bumblers. The argument about how advertisers aim their message at women makes a certain amount of sense...until I see beer commercials. Beer commercials, aimed at young men, are full of idiot men--are those not considered men bashing? I'd also like to know how many of the writers for, for example, Everybody Loves Raymond are men. My guess is that plenty of men are writing those screenplays. In that show, isn't the real joke that a screw-up like Raymond has managed to stay married to a woman who is pretty and shapely?

Why is the move to a matriarchal society seen as a bad thing? Explaining that could be touchy; how do you do that without saying that men are better than women?

Could it be that women simply expect more from men than their mothers and grandmothers expected? Why not expect men to do half the housework? Why not think it funny when a guy can't figure out how to fold the towels? Why not crack up laughing when a dad talks about "babysitting" his own children? Now that men no longer have to do the heavy lifting as far as income goes, and they don't generally have to head out in the afternoon to bring home venison...why not expect them to carry their weight at home? Why isn't it funny to poke fun at guys who sit in the recliner while the wife cooks, cleans, and takes care of the kids? I'd bet that many of the guys on this thread are NOT that guy in the LaZBoy.

7:24 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: anonymom
RE: Why?....How?

"Why is the move to a matriarchal society seen as a bad thing? Explaining that could be touchy; how do you do that without saying that men are better than women?" -- anonymom

Maybe you should go back and read some comments that come across as "it takes two to tango"; as in a man and a woman.

If it were just one or the other, advanced sentient life on Earth would have died out a LONG time ago.

[Note: But then again, that's what some character would like to see happen. After all, he refused to recognize humans as being His greatest 'piece of work'. Please pardon my Christian ethic. However, with understanding comes a greater appreciation of what is going on around us. Especially these days....]

Regards,

Chuck(le)

7:34 PM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger Kelly said...

Not two hours after reading this post I received this forwarded email from a women I recently met (don't know if it was sent to me personally, or broadcast to her entire mailing list):

A man was sitting on the edge of the bed, observing his wife, looking at herself in the mirror. Since her birthday was not far off he asked what she'd like to have for her Birthday.

"I'd like to be six again", she replied, still looking in the mirror.

On the morning of her Birthday, he arose early, made her a nice big bowl of Lucky Charms, and then took her to Six Flags theme park. What a day!
He put her on every ride in the park; the Death Slide, the Wall of Fear, the Screaming Monster Roller Coaster, everything there was.
Five hours later they staggered out of the theme park. Her head wa s reeling and her stomach felt upside down.

He then took her to a McDonald's where he ordered her a Happy Meal with extra fries and a chocolate shake.

Then it was off to a movie, popcorn, a so da pop, and her favorite candy, M&M's. What a fabulous adventure! Finally she wobbled home with her husband and collapsed into bed exhausted. He leaned over his wife with a big smile and lovingly asked, "Well Dear, what was it like being six again??"

Her eyes slowly opened and her expression suddenly changed. "I meant my dress size, you dumb ass!"

The moral of the story: Even when a man is listening, he is gonna get it wrong.


Oh, sometimes we listen and get the message loud and clear.

And to continue the stereotyping, Yes, she's a blonde.

7:53 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous anonymom said...

Chuck(le),

Yep, I read the sensible comments that suggested that both men and women should treat each other as individuals. My question came up because there are some who specifically protest against the matriarchal society. Perhaps I misread them and they don't mean they would prefer a patriarchal society. Perhaps they really do mean something more even-handed.

7:56 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous TMink said...

anonymom asked: "Now that men no longer have to do the heavy lifting as far as income goes, and they don't generally have to head out in the afternoon to bring home venison...why not expect them to carry their weight at home?"

Hmmm, are you sure that men no longer do the heavy lifting? And have you talked to men who ask for time off to take care of a sick child?

From 2002 to 2003 men earned $10,000 more than women. In terms of work weeks, in 2000 data, men work longer hours at work than women do. Women average under 40 hours a week in this data, female professionals even! And I bet, but did not do the research, that men do more physically taxing work. And in 2000 20% of men held two jobs while 12% of women did.

Longer hours, more jobs, and more physically taxing work for more money, that is how it breaks down when you look at men's work.

Now, does that give us a pass at home? Nope. At home we also tend to do more physically taxing chores, but they spend less time doing them. It is difficult to ferret out how much, as some of the "research" is very ideological and contradicts the US census data.

So you decide if the data supports the lazy man hypothesis or if that has anything to do with male bashing. Sorry, I gotta go do the dishes.

Trey

8:03 PM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Anonymom:

How about a society where freedom is paramount, where individual rights flourish, and the state and government is limited and stays out of people's business, yet is strong on national defense? I don't care who makes that society possible, male or female, as long as those issues are at the forefront.

8:10 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: anonymom
RE: Think Again

"Yep, I read the sensible comments that suggested that both men and women should treat each other as individuals.

My question came up because there are some who specifically protest against the matriarchal society."-- anonymom

There would likely be serious problems with a matriarchal society. Look at who put Bill Clinton in office. Then again, there are the women on that murder trial jury that wanted to acquit the two young men who murdered their parents with a shotgun....because they were too cute to have committed such a heinous crime.

"Perhaps I misread them and they don't mean they would prefer a patriarchal society. Perhaps they really do mean something more even-handed." -- anonymom

it all depends. There would be, probably ARE, serious problems with a totally patriarchal society. Look at Islam....

As I've always said, it takes two to tangle.....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[I've studied abnormal behavior for years and I still don't understand women. -- Dr. Sigmund Freud]

8:21 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonyguy said...

Anonymom, the idea that women currently contribute evenly to the income of married households is a polite fiction. In the US only about 40% of married women work full time, those that do only contribute about 40% of household income. Additionally men tend to work more paid + domestic hours weekly than their wives, largely due to work hours.

Also the studies showing that men don't contribute proportionally to domestic work are notorious for limiting the definition of domestic work to traditionally female tasks (e.g. laundry). So lawn work, home repairs, fixing the car etc. don't count.

But beyond the facts, the behavior you endorse is petty. If you've married the type of guy that you describe, then I feel sorry for you, but that's what you get for dating from central casting.

8:26 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting discussion. As a guy in a humanities department at a state university I'm often surprised at how vehement and constant male-bashing has become. Some of my colleagues openly despise their male students; others who don't share this instinct hesitate to object since the wider culture seems to endorse such blind hostility. The result is that in a whole sections of the contemporary university good, smart, and caring male undergraduates see their life chances harmed, their choices reduced, and their self-confidence shaken. Thanks for speaking up - the next kid flattened by prejudice could be your own.

8:32 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: anonymous
RE: Cultural Issues

"Some of my colleagues openly despise their male students; others who don't share this instinct hesitate to object since the wider culture seems to endorse such blind hostility." -- anonymous

This reminds me of trying to find a 'moderate Muslim' in a culture bent on jihad.

It would make an interesting doctoral study for some budding young psychologist. Maybe someone who wanted to get into the CIA, even, if you want MY opinion.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[In the end more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free. -- Edward Gibbon]

8:49 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Occam said...

Occams razor suggests that women simply dislike men. We can look for contemporary justifications, but the persistence and increasing magnitude of their disdane indicates that the cause is more fundamental.

With the fruition of feminism, this enmity has been sanctioned and rewarded.

Feminism may simply be an elaborate justification for a natural tendency towards malice.

* Frankly women don't seem very fond of other women either, so men shouldn't take it too personally.

8:49 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: anonyguy
RE: Actually....

"...the idea that women currently contribute evenly to the income of married households is a polite fiction. In the US only about 40% of married women work full time, those that do only contribute about 40% of household income." -- anonyguy

...I think YOUR position is more of a fiction than what you claim.

What was that report I saw some years ago about the cost of having a full-time staff for upstairs-downstair maid, nanny, tutor [for home schooling] and cook staff? Something along the lines of a $40K?

Your report sounds to me to be more of an ego issue than I think you would care to recognize. And, as I stated earlier (above) ego is the bane of a loving-effective relationship.

If you've got ego issues, you'll be in perpetual contests with every woman, good or bad, you come across. Don't you think?

Personally....and I think psychologists will bear me out on this point....self-confidence, i.e., that which is borne of trial and error and learning, is what most attracts the opposite sex. And self-confidence is most manifest in those how do not have to challenge their 'partner' in order to prove themselves.

I guess that's why women seem to be attracted to older men. They're more self-confident.

RE: What IS 'Domestic' Work?

"Also the studies showing that men don't contribute proportionally to domestic work are notorious for limiting the definition of domestic work to traditionally female tasks (e.g. laundry). So lawn work, home repairs, fixing the car etc. don't count." -- anonyguy

As we would say in the Army, "It all depends."

In this case, it depends on who is doing the defining.

I guess I'm fortunate.

I LOVE to cook. It allows me to do something physically constructive that comes close to an art form. This, as opposed to working on a computer all day. And I don't mind cleaning up afterwards.

On the other hand, I don't care much for cleaning house or doing laundry. However, oddly enough, she tends to be attracted to that sort of activity.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[If A equals success, then the formula is A + X + Y + Z. X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut. -- Einstein's other formula]

8:52 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, all advertising is narrowly targeted to very specific demographic groupings. Women do almost all of the shopping. The point of advertising is to generate sales. So I assume that they run these male bashing ads in focus groups and they elicit a good response. As long is women in these focus groups want this; this is what you'll be watching. I stopped watching network television a long time ago.

I'm sorry, but bashing men is still wrong. If you saw a Christian ad, would it be OK if it bashed Jews?

That's an often repeated 'justification' of male-bashing on TV--it's geared at women. Sorry. Male bashing is just wrong, as would be women-bashing in ads aimed at men. Period

8:57 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Anonymous
RE: Television Advertising

"That's an often repeated 'justification' of male-bashing on TV--it's geared at women. Sorry. Male bashing is just wrong, as would be women-bashing in ads aimed at men. Period" -- Anonymous

I've noticed a LOT of people mentioning the proclivity of television advertising to bash men. The theory is that women do most of the buying and television advertising caters to the people who do the most buying, i.e., women.

Hence the male-bashing.

When I was reading your comment the thought struck me that the television advertising system, and those it panders to, are more interested in 'mammon' than they are in 'righteousness'.

I'll have to think more on this, but it seems like there is a correlation.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.]

9:08 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous anonyguy said...

Chuck I've forwarded your comment to the BLS, but they refused to modify their data. So I informed them that they have wounded egos and employed a bit of pithy army jargon ( Embrace The Suck!) - no wash. Perhaps you should give them a call to explain your reasoning as I'm at a loss.

9:12 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shoot, bash men all you want, as long as you and me hittin the hay later, I don't really care ;)

9:18 PM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger Barlycorn, John said...

Anonymom,
I left a 25 year marriage to a woman who thinks the way you do. Never been happier.

9:31 PM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger Barry said...

Occam said...

...Frankly women don't seem very fond of other women either, so men shouldn't take it too personally.


The viciousness of women towards their female peers/underlings in the workplace has to be seen to be believed. Men wish they could be as nasty...

9:38 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous anonymom said...

barleycorn,

Not sure how you know what I think about men or what I'd think about you. My point about tv shows and commercials was pretty narrow. As for my point about men and the heavy lifting, Trey's response pretty much covered it. Glad to hear that things worked out well for you.

9:51 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: anonyguy
RE: BLS' Data

"....I've forwarded your comment to the BLS, but they refused to modify their data." -- anonyguy

Who in Hades is BLS and why should I care?

RE: Wounded Egos

"So I informed them that they have wounded egos and employed a bit of pithy army jargon ( Embrace The Suck!) - no wash." -- anonyguy

Hmmm....

....seems to me that I was describing a problem YOUR ego was engaged in. Not BLS, whomever or whatever they are.

RE: Call Me....Don't Be Afraid....You Can Call Me....

"Perhaps you should give them a call to explain your reasoning as I'm at a loss." -- anonyguy

I seem to further recall that I described YOU as the individual with the problem. Not BLS nor myself.

By the by....I think I underestimated how much someone who is doing upstairs/downstairs cleaning, tutoring children, cooking, etc., etc., etc.....not to leave out the expense of all-night sex-on-demand.....

Probably more than $40K per annum. Don't you think?

RE: In Conclusion

So....if you would be so kind as to keep the matters straight in your mind and deal with (1) BLS and (2) your issues, we'll all be better off. Don't you think?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Really, sex and laughter do go very well together, and I wondered - and still do - which is the more important. - Hermione Gingold]

9:56 PM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger sirena said...

Men bashing or women bashing for that matter is a "weapon of the weak" meaning that when a group or individual feels threatened they will use a safe source to empower themselves somehow, on their own terms. It is a survival technique and allows the disenfranchised to save face. Both men and women do it.

10:31 PM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

Sorry Chuck, you left out full time mechanic, full time lawn maintenance, full time house repair, etc. Those citing those baloney "full time" activities fail to point out they're neither full time, nor are they unbalanced by the man's activities around the home.

11:23 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous 4:22 and 4:26 (I'm assuming you're the same, but unclear since you won't give yourself a handle)

They all like to play, run, laugh, compete, build, break, communicate, learn, love.

To greatly varying degrees. I generally take the 75/25 approach to gender while always allowing an open mind to each individual. 75% of men have the quintessentially "male" characteristics while another 25% fall somewhere in the "female" category.

Amy-
Just trying to learn how others think. Can you tell me of those activities I listed (play, run, laugh, compete, build, break, communicate, learn, love) which fit male characteristics and which female by your percentage breakdown?

I suspect if you try to do that for me, you'll begin to see where many of these problems originate.

4:22 PM

It's not all inborn, that's just too easy a claim.

I never said all behavior was inborn. I said basic personality temperaments are hardwired.

Can you tell me of those activities I listed (play, run, laugh, compete, build, break, communicate, learn, love) which fit male characteristics and which female by your percentage breakdown?

Let's take play, for instance. Generally speaking, boys play differently from girls. Playing is not something one gender does more than the other, it's how they do it that differs. Girls most of the time like playing things like house, dolls, work, etc. Most boys enjoy playing war, explorer, adventurer, etc.

Sometimes the girls like to play those things with the boys but will tire of it before their male friends and go off to have a kaffeklatch.

Your example of the Chinese girl adopted into an American family doesn't change her basic personality temperament. Her new culture might allow her to be more assertive than her old one would have, but it's not going to turn her into a boy with the desire to turn every stick she picks up into a gun and try to mock-kill her friends.

More than likely, she's going to want to play with her new capitalist-acquired toys of Barbie and My Little Pony with her next-door neighbor.

I suspect if you try to do that for me, you'll begin to see where many of these problems originate.

What problems are you talking about?

Amy K.

11:33 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first commenter mentioned those commericals where the man is a dunce and the family couldn't survive without the cool, calm, capable & savvy woman in the family.

I've always thought those commercials are an insult to women as well, even if that wasn't the intent.

After all, if she chose to date/marry this dunce of a man, how smart can she be?

11:37 PM, March 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Continuing with anon 4:22, 4:26

I also said, "And within each of those groups there is still more variation in how strongly each individual exhibits the various characteristics that make up "male" and "female."

To further my boys/girls play example: Some of the "75%" boys are less physically aggressive than others. They may prefer to read or write than go camping. But their reading material will still reflect an interest in things that may not interest most girls of the same age. Even reading the exact same material, a boy and girl, upon discussing it, may find they got something completely different from the material because they look at things differently.

An example, I was talking to my two nephews about Jesus when they were about 6-7. One's in the 75 group and the other is in the 25. I asked them why Jesus died for us. One said because we sinned and there needed to be a sacrifice in order for us to be able to have the chance to live. The other one said because he loves us. Both answers are correct. Neither answer is lacking. But they just look at things differently. However, they complement each other well and were best of friends at that time.

Amy K.

11:58 PM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger Laika's Last Woof said...

"Tell me, why does Cosmo italicize so many words, seemingly at random?"

That's just the author having another orgasm.

12:02 AM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In reference to TV shows bashing men... I used to enjoy Everybody Loves Raymond until the endlessly repeated plot of Ray=wrong, Debra=right, got old. Once I started noticing it, I've seen the same plot turn up in show after show: husband is wrong/stupid/lazy, wife is right/smart/hardworking and put-upon."

I grew to dislike that show too, but I don't see it as
Ray=wrong, Debra=right. To me, it's Ray=well-intentioned, slightly dopey, beaten-down mama's boy. But Debra=verbally abusive*, hateful, nagging shrew.

*How many times in that show has she yelled, "You are such an idiot!" I can't even imagine the circumstances where I would say such a thing to my husband, but it's routine on that show.

12:23 AM, March 11, 2007  
Blogger docweasel said...

'Or, "if a girlfriend says that guys never commit, ger her to see how silly it is to make such broad statements by making one about women, like, 'I know, and women start shopping for a wedding dress after the third date.'"'


Certainly. And the argument, uh, I mean, conversation would end right there, with her reasonably reflecting on how unfair her stereotype was.

The only real way to stop 'male bashing', which we guys usually just file under 'bitching about something' is to remain silent until she winds down. Responses of _any_ kind just feed the fire.

And yes, I know that silent thing pisses them off too, but that's the deal we make when we have relationships with women. They know we are going to tick them off, we deliver, they bitch. Its the cycle of life.

12:40 AM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous anonyguy said...

Chuck the BLS is the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It's not a person. When people reference labor statistics, it's appropriate to assume that they derive from a body that generates labor statistics.

But a quick check on your postings across the web suggests that you are the Dr. Bronners of weblog commenters - so we're through now.

12:43 AM, March 11, 2007  
Blogger jw said...

docweasel: I have to disagree on the staying silent ...

Firmly stating that YOU do not want to listen to such sexism works and works well. It is the only way to put an end to the gender problems we face. Men must speak up and do so firmly.

5:12 AM, March 11, 2007  
Blogger docweasel said...

eh, if you say so, but its my experience, you never convince your S.O. and you never win an argument. Much like "a painting is never finished, only abandoned", an argument is never over, only ...to be continued at a later date, and all previous arguments will figure in.

Myself, I don't date women who bandy about idiot notions like 'all men do this or that', but I certainly have had my share of arguments. If you enjoy arguing, or more politely, debating, by all means, speak up, long and loud and with much verve and conviction. But you'll never win, you'll never convince her, and most spirited women (whom I _do_ like) will go on and on and on forever.

I don't like to fight, I don't really care what ignorant women say, no more than what ignorant men say about women, so I pretty much laugh it off and let it slide.

My main point was the risible notion that saying a sexist remark in response to the first would hardly have the desired effect of chilling your spouse/gf out and educating them on their error.

Would be nice if the world worked like that in relationships, sex, politics, religion and etc. Instead, its the cause of most of the world's conflicts, a slight for a slight til we're all blind.

5:35 AM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Docweasel, I'm a woman who has been married longer than you've been alive, and let me say that you are wise beyond your years.

It's important for us not only to pick our battles, but also the timing of them.

10:47 AM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous TMink said...

One thing that always comes to me when this topic is discussed is how important we are to each other as genders, and how much we have been hurt by each other. No guy could hurt me like a woman could when I was dating and later married. I needed and craved a good relationship with a woman. When I had it, things were great, when I did not, I was at least lonely and possibly lost. I think our need to couple, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, is strong and thus a bit frightening.

In taking stock about my romantic failures, at least, at LEAST half were my fault. But being now more mature, finally well matched, and knowing enough to treat the relationship like the miracle it is, I am happy and productive. It is not that it is my wife's responsibility, but the good relationship with her is the catalyst to my health and sanity. It (my wellbeing) is not nearly so likely to occur without her.

So I think much or our distrust of each other can be traced to how powerful women are in men's lives and vice versa. That power is intimidating when you really think about it.

And maybe the bitterness comes from the hurt and the very human tendency to blame the other gender rather than searching for our own complicity and giving the other person who hurt us their share. Because when I blame my first wife for how bad I felt when we were married, I have to blame myself for marrying her, for participating in the misery, and in staying longer than I should have. "Women are bitches" is an easier out, as slogans usually are.

I guess the point is, when women bash men, it really hurts us. Some of you ladies may not realize that because you have been so hurt by us, and you feel more vulnerable than powerful. But you are SO important to us, you have power you may not realize. Thanks to all of you (my dear wife first and foremost) who use that power with grace and wisdom.

Trey (who is almost sorry for the Sunday sermon)

11:12 AM, March 11, 2007  
Blogger Laika's Last Woof said...

Sorry for the double-post, but I thought my joke needed serious improvement:

Q: Why does the typical Cosmo writer seem to italicize words at random?

A: Her pen wiggles whenever she has an orgasm.

11:52 AM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous CaptDMO said...

Jay S II said...
(in part)
It's nice to see that Cosmo has caught on. I'll buy a copy next time I'm in the book store. Sure, I could read it on the magazine rack in the check out line; but why would I want to?(snip)
If I want them to publish another article on male bashing, I'll do my part to show that it can sell a few magazines. Reading just one page in the checkout line won't do that."


This is 180 degrees from the position I've (snidely) suggested on a forum elsewhere. It makes PERFECT sense and is well taken. Now I have to go back and eat crow, before it's too late.
Oh goody. *sheesh*

Chuck(le)
[If A equals success, then the formula is A + X + Y + Z. X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut. -- Einstein's other formula]

Um...math is HARD!
(snicker)

12:17 PM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: CaptDMO
RE: Indeed

"Um...math is HARD!" -- CaptDMO

It sure is. Maybe that's why young women, for the most part, steer clear of it after sixth grade.

Guys, who are interested in girls, seem to do so as well.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Life is a bowl of merde and calculus is the spoon.]

3:14 PM, March 11, 2007  
Blogger Mark in Texas said...

It's been more than twenty years since I was out dating. If things are as grim as most posters seem to be suggesting, I wonder why any American male looks for a wife from any source other than overseas mail order bride services.

4:33 PM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Problems with matriarchy?

- Tendency to be clueless economically and therefore attracted to economic systems that are recipes for misery, despotism, and starvation but "sound good" like collectivism, communism, socialism, etc.

- The same problems with any group that thinks they are superior to another and think they have the right to tell others what to do. This leads to corruption, totalitarianism, abuse, etc.

- Tendency to be obsessed with "safety" and not realizing that the power to do something for someone is also the power to do something to someone. People obsessed with "safety" tend to be statists. They give the state all this power, this power corrupts the state, and then you're left with a corrupt, self-interested, abusive state and neither "safety" or freedom.

So the reason to be against a matriarchy is that it will likely result in corruption, abuse, ruin, and disaster. Which are the same reasons to be against a patriarchy or any other heavily totalitarian system.

And no, this isn't chauvinistic. I'm a male and I support gender equity. But a lot of the current female agenda is about as far from equitable as you can get.

5:00 PM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Her new culture might allow her to be more assertive than her old one would have, but it's not going to turn her into a boy with the desire to turn every stick she picks up into a gun and try to mock-kill her friends.

More than likely, she's going to want to play with her new capitalist-acquired toys of Barbie and My Little Pony with her next-door neighbor.

I suspect if you try to do that for me, you'll begin to see where many of these problems originate.

What problems are you talking about?

Amy K.


The problems that some folks keep telling us that your sons are having in society today. You define the roles, the percentages and the problems. The kids just pick up the sticks or toys and play.

"but it's not going to turn her into a boy with the desire to turn every stick she picks up into a gun and try to mock-kill her friends."

6:03 PM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wait until your kid gets hit by some Chinese-American stick-wielding girl on the playground, Amy. ;-) As the saying goes... Heh. My Pretty Pony Indeed.

I suspect you won't like it... ONE BIT and WONT STAND FOR THAT BEHAVIOR! (Hence, have the troubles kids have in society nowadays. Cut that cord, asap, and focus on your own "hardwired" problems? Let the kids be.)

6:06 PM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous Paul Parmenter said...

John Maguire: the fact that you virtually have to beg your fellow citizens to recognise that dads love their children, and that shared parenting makes sense, tells you just how firmly male-bashing has taken a grip. A few lines in Cosmo will do nothing to change it, because it is now endemic in your laws and culture.

As for the comments about a matriarchal society, you already have many examples of them. They flourish in inner-city areas where dads have been largely expelled from families and women are running the show. They are characterized overwhelmingly by welfare dependency, lawlessness, crime, drugs, violence, poverty, gang warfare, social breakdown and moral chaos.

6:26 PM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Oligonicella
RE: Full-Time Yobs

"Sorry Chuck, you left out full time mechanic, full time lawn maintenance, full time house repair, etc." -- Oligonicella

And YOU left out full time Airborne-Ranger and full time Submariner and full time fighter jet jockey and full time whathaveyou.

It was not an exhaustive list. But it was a list of things women, of the Proverbs 31 genre, do that many people like some around here don't appreciate.

You don't care for it? Tough nuggies, babe....

RE: Full Time Work

"Those citing those baloney "full time" activities fail to point out they're neither full time, nor are they unbalanced by the man's activities around the home." -- Oligonicella

Running a household, especially with children, IS full time. As in 24/7. Just like being a paratrooper in Tikrit, Iraq. Only a bit less dangerous....one would hope.

You don't want to appreciate what women do for you? Sounds like, what we in the military would call, "A personal problem."

All in all, it's all part of holding our society together. Theirs may not be as 'exciting', e.g., froth with the immediate threat of loss of life or limb, but it is equally important. Without BOTH of these jobs being accomplished successfully, there would be NO such thing as 'society'.

Hope you can cope.

Regards,

Chuck(le)

6:49 PM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: anonyguy
RE: Is There An Acronym Control Officer (ACO) In the House?

"...the BLS is the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It's not a person." -- anonyguy

Perhaps you should follow generally accepted communication practices and use the acronym AFTER using the full term. Would improve communication. Don't you think?

ACO...slap this character down.

RE: Labor Sadistics

"When people reference labor statistics, it's appropriate to assume that they derive from a body that generates labor statistics. -- anonyguy

Is that a government agency?

I've learned not to trust what government agencies generate in terms of sadisitics. I seem to recall the 70s where such an agency declared (1) eating eggs is bad for your heart. Come the late 90s and someone who ACTUALLY did what is called a 'study', proved that eating eggs didn't matter. And (2) same government agency suppressed evidence that drinking alcohol (in moderation) was GOOD for your health.

Please excuse me if I don't accept government agency evidence, especially 'sadistical' at face value. I've learned better in my 50+ years.


RE: Dr. Bonners?

"But a quick check on your postings across the web suggests that you are the Dr. Bronners of weblog commenters - so we're through now." -- anonyguy

Never heard of them.

But, do your Monty Python think, if that suits your purposes.

However, I will note that you managed to keep straight who said what about your ego issues.

Keep up the good work.

Regards,

Chuck(le)

6:58 PM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tmink, I agree completely with your post of 11:12.

Amy K.

9:05 PM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problems that some folks keep telling us that your sons are having in society today. You define the roles, the percentages and the problems. The kids just pick up the sticks or toys and play.

Obviously, you do not see a problem with the way men and women relate to one another nowadays. I disagree with you, but I'm not here to convince you of anything. I don't define the roles, I'm just describing the facts as they exist.

Just wait until your kid gets hit by some Chinese-American stick-wielding girl on the playground, Amy. ;-) As the saying goes... Heh. My Pretty Pony Indeed.

Actually, I've had to defend myself on the playground from little girls before. Her name was Precious if you're interested. I didn't say girls couldn't be bullies. I said that generally speaking, most prefer different kinds of play from boys.

Cut that cord, asap, and focus on your own "hardwired" problems? Let the kids be.

I don't think that the personality you're hardwired with presents a problem. How is accepting the differences in people interfering with the kids? It seems like you're arguing with someone else's posts.

Amy K.

9:16 PM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't say girls couldn't be bullies.

That is bullying, or a hard wired condition into some kids. It's called imagination. The stick becomes a weapon. Happens for boys and girls too. Check your percentages, Amy. No need to respond in revealing more of your way of thinking. I just come here to marvel at some of the problems people create. Luckily you make your own joy too. Good luck, and get in with a better crowd. Not everyone pigeonholes and then takes the depressing baggage that comes along with it. There's more healthy people than victims, any day. Check with local churches or sports groups if you want better examples of intact families where males and females love, play, learn and grow together every day. No matter what the psychologists, drug makers, divorce lawyers or unhappy persons out there would have you think...

Obviously, you do not see a problem with the way men and women relate to one another nowadays. I disagree with you, but I'm not here to convince you of anything. I don't define the roles, I'm just describing the facts as they exist.

9:24 PM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also,
I bet you don't have many male friends Amy. Because the majority of those I know of varied ages -- 30's to retired -- don't have a problem relating to women, and vice versa. I'm really not sure where these "gender wars" are being fueled, except maybe back to the percentage arguers, who find fault with who is chipping in where.

9:31 PM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't define the roles, I'm just describing the facts as they exist.

Maybe you'll have less trouble if you start at square A. Stop trying to define the roles via the "facts" that you think exist. Because if you're wrong there, it all falls apart down line. Like with families and healthy persons.

9:34 PM, March 11, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

So, are we getting anywhere?

10:00 PM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope. Just getting to the same old place we always get to here on this blog: lots and lots of crazy stuff, with some sensible posts sprinkled in.

10:10 PM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey.... Helen and Glenn are getting a free boat trip out of this social nonsense. The kids are NOT f'ed up! lol

10:13 PM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No need to respond in revealing more of your way of thinking.

Feel free to keep going, anonymous. But I'm going to honor your request above.

Amy K.

10:38 PM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous TMink said...

Thanks Amy. My friends call me Trey. God bless you.

Trey

11:41 PM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous Max said...

Nope. Just getting to the same old place we always get to here on this blog: lots and lots of crazy stuff, with some sensible posts sprinkled in.

LOL - that does seem to be the trend. Maybe it's because of Helen's background in psychology, or the general subject matter, but this blog does attract a pretty weird bunch.

I used to think that it just attracted a lot of trolls, but over time I've come to suspect that these people aren't actually trolls. Trolls often don't believe what they're stating, they just want to antagonize people.

These folks remind me of the sort that used to harrass Wendy McElroy on ifeminist.net. She eventually shut down her forum, it became like an online sanatorium.

11:49 PM, March 11, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

chuck pelto:

Baloney. I was a single parent from my daughter's age of two until eighteen. Doing the household chores is not, and I repeat not, a 24/7 job. That is fiction or mismanagement.

Husbands and wives provide equal effort. They just do different things.

I don't lack appreciation for someone doing those activities, after all, I did them. Having done them, I know for a fact that running kids to two or three soccer games a week does not qualify one for a full-time chauffeur's wage. Nor does preparing 21 meals a week net you a chef's wages.

Or, maybe you're using military procurement indexes?

12:28 AM, March 12, 2007  
Anonymous kazinski said...

It a pretty common in my household for my wife or children to denigrate my intelligence, looks, weight, taste, opinions, despite the fact I'm the families sole breadwinner and almost every bite they take, or thing they wear is from my industry.

But it dosen't bother me a bit, for one thing I've got a good idea of my own self worth, and it is internally driven not external. I also think it is a compensation mechanism for my family to try view me in a more human scale, sometimes someone can be too perfect to love, so by emphasizing my flaws it makes me more human and worthy of love.

My wife says my theory is a crock of shit. Damn I thought I had something.

1:06 AM, March 12, 2007  
Blogger jw said...

docweasel: Sorry to have confused you. I did not mean argument. I meant a simple statement of "I do not like that sexist ...."

An example may help. When my wife and I got together she had a collection of sweat shirts with male bashing slogans: She wore them around the farm.

I told her that they bothered me and why. About a week later, I saw that the offensive sweat shirts had been replaced by sweat shirts with cartoon characters.

End of story.

Simply stating that male bashing is wrong and that it is offensive is a good and worthwhile thing to do.

This goes to a point I've never understood: Too many men stay quiet when staying quiet is a REAL bad idea.

In the same way, too many women say things about men or their men which are offensive and degogatory: things they would never allow to be said about themselves or their female friends.

The two things are paired.

4:02 AM, March 12, 2007  
Blogger docweasel said...

uh, wait, you are a guy, right? You do own a pair of testicles? You were actually reduced to tears over some gag t-shirts and you spoke to her about your concerns, then you both shared some herbal tea and watched Bridget Jones2?

What exactly did these T-shirts say that upset you so? Boys Suck? I can't imagine it would be anything that would threaten your manhood, making a big deal over a tshirt is self-emasculating enough.

I guess really don't get this thread, I'd like to hear from another guy whose main (or even small) concern is that his girl bashes men in general. I get in plenty trouble, believe me, but its over what _I_ do, not what men in general do.

I wish she'd get on the entire sex instead of me. I'd bash 'em right along with her. I certainly don't get the "hey, you can't say that about my guys" attitude.

I'm sorry, I just don't get this. If my gf did that shirt thing I'd laugh. But then my gf would only do it as a goof and we'd both laugh. Are you seriously dating someone that angry at guys that she wears shirts bashing them?

Jeez, she must be a ball after a few red wines and some PMS.

5:12 AM, March 12, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

My question above was meant as humor, lame as it was. Not a springboard for another rash of comments by the regular anon o tude with inexplicable problems with Dr. Helen and the Instapundit. My apologies to all for accidently providing the opening.

5:35 AM, March 12, 2007  
Blogger Mercurior said...

ok, there is a point docweasel, that men have had enough, it could be the tshirt pushes someone over the edge, i get upset about all the man bashing, but i focus on fighting for my rights to be male.

you cant bash women anymore, becuase its termed abuse, theres stories about

http://www.uoregon.edu/~counsel/abuse.htm

Persistent put downs or statements that diminish one's worth or ability. Yelling, shouting, and intimidation.

and the idea that you should be silent when an obvious sexist thing happens, like wearing those t shirts that bash men (imagine if you can if a man wore a tshirt stating those same arguments but against women) only perpetuates the hatred, you have to stand up for your rights, or you will have no rights.

6:44 AM, March 12, 2007  
Blogger docweasel said...

What kind of shirts are you talking about that guy you poor souls so upset? The one about the fish needs a bicycle? My retort would be get out your bicycle to put up vertical blinds or squash a bug for you. I wouldn't accuse her of sexual harassment.

sheesh, fine be upset. I really would hate to be that fragile. We laugh at feminists for their stupid whining about what is "offensive".

Do some men or women say _really_ offensive things about women or men in a serious way? Sure. That's wrong. I just ignore ignorant people and put them out of my life, I sure wouldn't date or marry an idiot like that anymore than I would a racist.

But to put every joke about women (or men) out of bounds, to decry all gag t-shirts that poke fun as sexist terrorism, to whine about commercials that make fun of dad as some kind of plot to de-ball fathers in the eyes of their kids, jeezus, grow up, get a sense of humor. If your kid judges you by what they see about some TeeVee dad, you got major problems anyway buddy.

You guys have some serious issues if you get your widdle fee-fees hurt over some females bashing 'what guys do'. That's their fav sport, I don't begrudge them. Maybe it relieves stress. Maybe they'll get it off their chest and simmer down. "Ooo, women talk mean about us behind our backs."
Maybe some aromatherapy or a nice pedicure will calm you down after a severe taunting by your S.O., guys. I'd suggest butching up a bit instead, though.

We _are_ idiots sometimes, I don't deny it and I don't mind being called on it. I've never had to deal with these vicious harridans you guys seem to have that are really mean-spirited and hateful in a serious way about it.

Why the hell don't you just break up with them and get with someone who doesn't have mental problems? That would be a better solution. Then, maybe she'll get some therapy, get over "what Daddy did" or didn't do for her as a child and she can have a healthy relationship.

Whinging about something so senseless is just against my nature, when its about something as trivial as these examples. Isn't there enough to fight about in a relationship? Personally, I don't look for victimhood issues so I can start a confrontation about some crazy line I'm going to draw in the sand about "you're being mean to all men". I try to avoid fights myself. I don't really care if my gf bashes "all men". As long as she's not bashing me personally, I figure I'm ahead.

The main thing I would say kills feminists and why they get no sympathy from the public at large is that they have zero sense of humor. They are dead serious about their victimhood and they take it quite seriously.

The old line
Q: Why is a naked woman like a duck?
A: That's not funny
is true.

Please, let's not have all the guys get all humorless to where we start acting like "Loretta" in Life of Brian and taking offense at every little perceived slight and acting all humourless and artificial with each other. Lighten up, jesus.

And as a note, all the people above going on and on about gender, you really should use "sex" instead. Gender refers to a linguistic thing.

Just sayin'

7:13 AM, March 12, 2007  
Blogger Mary said...

Not a springboard for another rash of comments by the regular anon o tude with inexplicable problems with Dr. Helen and the Instapundit.

Did something get deleted? Abusive, offensive, or otherwise irrational?

Or is the typical bitching here because you just can't understand how someone could agree with your diagnosis? (To me, that's the whole of the problem right there -- defining who and perhaps most importantly WHY -- is fueling the boy v. girl gender wars in our country.)

8:57 AM, March 12, 2007  
Anonymous anonymom said...

docweasel,

Thanks for pointing out the sex/gender difference. You are correct, although the change in the way the word "gender" is used is firmly entrenched now and has probably even started appearing that way in dictionaries.

Also thanks for your get-a-grip post. You might have been a little hard on JW, though. He and his wife seem to have a decent relationship. If it works for him, I don't see the point in making fun of it.

I used to have a friend who liked to wear the old "I'm with stupid" t-shirt when she was with me. I don't remember asking her to stop wearing it--I wasn't too worried people would think I was stupid--but it did bug me. Why? I guess I believed my mom when she said it isn't nice to say someone is stupid and I didn't like being seen with someone who didn't know that. I think the cucumber-is-better-than-a-man t-shirt is the same kind of rudeness. The t-shirt says more about the wearer than about men. I wouldn't want my husband to wear anti-women t-shirts because they would make him look like a jerk--not because I think people would take the t-shirt seriously. I don't want my kids growing up thinking that it's funny to look like a jerk.

9:05 AM, March 12, 2007  
Blogger Laika's Last Woof said...

"I'd like to hear from another guy whose main (or even small) concern is that his girl bashes men in general."
I once knew a girl who insisted every other guy she met was stalking her or coming onto her inappropriately. The scary thing was her personality was so disarming that people seemed to believe her.
I used to believe her, too, until she attacked someone I knew to be innocent. It was only then I looked back and took stock of how many others she had savaged.
She was crazy-skilled; if you lacked the perspective of her history you'd swear she was telling the truth. It took me over a year to figure her out.
I noticed she actually had a deeper pattern, a modus operandi calculated to make her more believable. She knew how to pick her victims, like if some guy had an argument with a friend of hers he'd likely soon wind up getting a mention.
After seeing someone like her in action I've come to view "man bashing" as a red flag.

9:56 AM, March 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TO: docweasel
RE: lighten up

The points of many of the discussions above are not completely about whether someone is getting hurt or not but about whether a certain behavior is "right" and how we should encourage or discourage such behavior.

I could probably summarize your comments as "Male bashing doesn't hurt anybody and, if it does, it just means they are too thin skinned anyway and should learn how to be less sensitive. As long as it doesn't hurt you, don't worry about it and just lighten up. It's just a joke."

Human beings wouldn't have gotten as far as they have if each individual only thought about him/her self. In fact, we probably wouldn't have gotten far even if we only had thought about all of humanity itself. What makes us great, I think, is our ability to think in terms of universal principles such as "right" and "wrong" and our abilities to agree/disagree and coexist/fight on these principles.

Many of the posters above don't concern themselves with whether they or men in general are hurt by "male bashing" but with whether "male bashing" could be intrinsically "right" or "wrong." Of course, if you don't believe in such things as "intrinsically right" or "intrinsically wrong" you're going to think it's a moot point.

P.S. the cosmo article unfortunately doesn't deal with "right" and "wrong" in an universal sense but rather with the fact that "male bashing" hurts the women who do it and hurts their chances of having a satisfying relationship and, in turn, hurts the chances of having a satisfying relationship of the guy they're dating.

10:34 AM, March 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how much I can contribute to this thread, since my perspective is a bit unusual. I've been sleeping on the couch for many years now. I stick around mostly because I believe my kids need me, but I also have some lingering respect for my marriage vows, and the feelings for my wife that caused me to marry her haven't entirely died off. I suppose she sticks around for similar reasons.

She was a victim of sexual abuse as a child, and I think this is a big part of why she treats me the way she does. I was not aware of the sexual abuse when I married her, and I don't think she was planning on kicking me out of bed either, but I was clumsy enough as a new first-time husband that I think some old scars got reopened. C'est la vie.

That's by way of background. What do I think about male bashing? First, I think the drivers behind male bashing are few in number and represent a decidedly abnormal fringe. They are damaged women who act accordingly. The tragedy is that a much larger number of basically healthy women feel obligated to play along.

My widowed mother and my sisters are basically healthy women and do a lot to keep me from becoming a misogynist. They had or have fairly happy marriages, which is a useful reminder to me that the institution is not fundamentally flawed. I can't say they've never told jokes about men, but I think there can be a distinction between this and the mean-spirited male bashing that Cosmo correctly identified.

On the other hand, I have a sister-in-law who keeps a collection of really awful male-bashing greeting cards inside her kitchen pantry. She jokes that they are there to keep her husband (my brother) from overeating. Theirs appears to be a very happy marriage: I think what bothers me is that I can't figure out the inconsistency. It makes no sense to me.

I've watched exactly one episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond." One was enough. I agree with the remark that Raymond was depicted as well-meaning but bumbling while Debra was depicted as a mean-spirited shrew. That hits too close to home.

I really dislike Berenstain Bears for the reasons already given. Unfortunately, my kids loved the books, and my wife not only insisted on reading them to them, but insisted that I read them to them. An opportunity to bond with your children, and all that.

If I may be forgiven for venting a little bitterness: I'm a Ph.D. who brings home six figures, who added two new partition walls to the basement, who installed the kitchen sink (admittedly, the faucet tends to leak), who does all the yard work and painting (the decks need painting every year), who routinely unplugs the toilet and slays the trespassing invertebrate, and who takes the boys camping -- yet I still come up short. Yes, I am guilty of describing the (numerous) evenings when I am home with the kids, and she goes to ballet class or stamp club, as "babysitting." I never heard my father call it that, probably because my father never had occasion to. Yes, some traditions deserve to be discarded, but I can't help thinking I should score a few points for doing so. Instead, when she gets back, I get told how the house was cleam when she left.

I did my own laundry, my own housecleaning, and my own cooking for years before I met her. Very competently, too. I still cook a lot of fancy meals for the family, and it's not my fault the kids would rather have peanut butter and honey sandwiches. But I get mocked because I don't know which drawer she has chosen for which kind of clothing and because I can't tell the boy's socks apart and I can't tell which bra is hers and which is my daughter's. (I can see why that might hurt. My daughter is twelve. [/really cheap shot]).

I have plenty of weaknesses. It seems to be a not uncommon human trait. I have, however, conscientiously tried not to ever tell her what is wrong with her. In truth, not much -- except for a glaring blind spot in regards to her husband.

Her mother is scary. I've never seen someone more accomplished at the art of passive aggression. Sadly, as her parents have aged, the aggression has become a lot less passive. I've also seen some of the textbooks from the humanities classes she took at the University of [name your state]. Talk about male-bashing. A chapter or two of this stuff almost leaves me wanting to castrate myself, as penance for the sins of my half of the species.

Again, to get back to the point: There are some really screwed up women out there. Men, too. They oughtn't to be the ones driving our social discourse. Why do we let them?

10:38 AM, March 12, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

mary 8:57 AM - you must be a newer newbie than me.

There is a particular, and unmistakable anonymous poster who enters from time to time. No matter the subject, the person's comments are in one way or another, direct affronts to the two people mentioned. It is to that I was speaking.

I don't know what you thought I was referring to. Most in here did. But I am amazed at how you were able to assume wrongly and then take off with your assumption and assertions as you did.

By the way, what do you mean?

12:51 PM, March 12, 2007  
Blogger Aero! said...

So apparently calling a coworker a "faggot" is comparable to telling your date that men are dogs. Good to know!

2:16 PM, March 12, 2007  
Anonymous Cousin Dave said...

Mary, to try to answer your question: If you take a look back at feminism, you can see a time when the movement was a lot more sensible. Susan B. Anthony wasn't concerned with mandating an exact 50/50 split in housework; she was concerned with women's right to vote. Others were concerned with equal pay for equal work. Back in a time when women really were discriminated againt, and there were important matters that needed to be addressed.

But what happened to feminism is: it succeeded. That is, the major goals was accomplished. Legalized discrimination against women was pretty much eliminated. At that point, you would think that organizations like NOW, having accomplished all of its major goals, would say "Okay, that was a neat bit of work; let's call it a day". But unfortunately the natural instinct of organizations is to preserve their own existence, even long after the rationale for that existience is gone. As the right-to-vote fighters moved on to other things, the misandrists (who had been kept on the fringes back in the right-to-vote days) were able to move in and take control of the agenda. They then started using the organization's considerable political power to push their own nefarious ideas.

And here we are. The same thing has happened to the civil rights movement: the people who crusaded against segregation are long gone, their mission having been accomplished, and the movement is now run by the race hustlers.

2:19 PM, March 12, 2007  
Anonymous Richard Aubrey said...

Suppose we were to deal with man-bashing by inquiring, "Women? Why are they important enough that we should worry what they think? Who cares?"

3:39 PM, March 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not really much to add. But I thought I would relate this event that happened last night.

In the past, my boyfriend has made various remarks denigrating his own sex and painting them with a broad and unflattering brush. In essence, he says men are dogs. Now, at least on some occasions, the context for these remarks is in reference to my friendships with various males. And how he doesn't approve (no matter how much I say he has no worries).

Then last night, I'm explaining that part of the reason for some of my own (somewhat similar) insecurities is based on what I believe to be common habits among men. At this, he took umbrage at lumping men all together. Now, I certainly admit that what I REALLY meant was that SOME or maybe ALOT of men have this habit. Not all.

But I thought it was interesting that the shoe was on the other foot then. And when it serves him to lump all men together, he's happy to do it.

4:22 PM, March 12, 2007  
Anonymous B.P. said...

Incredibly important OT -- does anyone know how to disable the function that automatically refreshes the web page, thus shooting the page back to the top during mid-read? It's incredibly nerve-wracking.

5:22 PM, March 12, 2007  
Anonymous Jim said...

"My question came up because there are some who specifically protest against the matriarchal society. "

One more reason to go witht the others cited above: matriarchal societies have almost always been very wrlike.

If by matriarchal we mean a society where women own the real property and the means of production, and are dominant or at parity in government, then here are some real world examples:

Ancient Sparta
The Comanches
The Iroquois League (Six Nations)
The ancient Celts. (And to some extent still true)
The inner-city culture cited above is an excellent example of what happens when men are down-graded. Lynch mobs and welfare have given us that.

Te way this works is that with women running society, the men are free to spend all their time doing other things, and about the only thing left is war. In fact, this gicves these socieities a competive edge when ti comes to laying hold of resources.

The catch is that you have to raise the men to be willing to go off and risk death. What's a good mecahanism? They have to come out of the process feeling disposable and expendable. A steady diet of man-bashing from infancy will do the trick.

There is an equivalent style of woman-bashing, that refelcts the same sense that in this case women are inferior. The word is "p*ssy".
The difference is that it is only really derogatory when it is applied to a male. That's because it means in this context soft, weak, useless.

5:38 PM, March 12, 2007  
Blogger sirena said...

Jim ask any anthropologist and he or she will tell you that there has never EVER existed a matriarchal society --Matrilineal yes where property was distributed through the female line but never matriarchal all of those examples you gave are incorrect. So Dr. Helen probably does not have to worry about it ever happening

11:41 PM, March 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My aunt used to run my late uncle down all the time, but in a (faked exasperation) humorous way. Two of their three daughters married men well beneath them, and both marriages ended badly (one's in prison for shooting her date after they separated). I didn't make the connection til today, but I think there is one.

12:10 AM, March 13, 2007  
Blogger Bruce Hayden said...

I do still run from women who diss men. Indeed, if I hear a woman I meet put down every male that she has had a relationship with, I expect that she will do the same with me.

I think that there are a couple of dynamics involved here. First, a lot of this would seem to be coming from a basic insecurity, where the women need to put someone down to feel self worth, and their male partner is often the easiest target. Partly, that is because women are better verbally than men (just look at SAT scores). And partly, men are taught to persevere. And, if a man sees this in his parents, that is what he expects (luckily for me, I never saw my mother put my father down, even once, in the 53 years we were both alive together).

Secondly, there is some sort of self-fulfilling prophesy here. A woman expects her man to be a certain way, and so picks one who is. If she expects to be able to verbally put down her mate, she picks one she can do that to, and sometimes even deserves it.

1:31 AM, March 13, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

docweasel-

The problem is that it doesn't stop at advertising and badmouthing - in many cases they are trying to institutionalize these viewpoints - in the courts, in the law, in the schools, in medicine, etc. These things have real impact. I take it you're not going to like it when you, your son, your friend, - any male - can't get a fair hearing or an opportunity to be heard in any situation when they have a conflict or disagreement with a woman? Because that's where things are heading, and in some areas that is already here.

3:01 AM, March 13, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sirena-

So Dr. Helen probably does not have to worry about it ever happening

You realize that if you forced a society to be matriarchal you are implying gender supremacy, right? You realize this is just as wrong as a forced patriarchal society, right?

3:21 AM, March 13, 2007  
Blogger Mercurior said...

ok you want to see sample of tshirts,

http://www.davidandgoliathtees.com/

t shirts that state, boys are stupid throw rocks at them.

http://www.davidandgoliathtees.com/index.php?mode=DETAIL&parent=HWT&pid=6607&page=2&perpage=16

http://www.davidandgoliathtees.com/index.php?mode=DETAIL&parent=HWT&pid=7058&page=1&perpage=16

boys have feelings, but who cares

http://www.davidandgoliathtees.com/index.php?mode=DETAIL&parent=HWT&pid=6601&page=1&perpage=16

stupid factory where boys are made

these are just a few,

then theres the knife block

http://iwantoneofthose.com/knife-block/index.html;jsessionid=eVHIaDvrbhk+qCiAlGRz5Q**
called all men are bastards knife block with 5 knives you can put in the male knife block.

tell me that isnt sexist. that isnt dangerous

4:58 AM, March 13, 2007  
Blogger Laika's Last Woof said...

"I am home with the kids, and she goes to ballet class or stamp club ..."

She's cheating on you. She's using the "past history of abuse" as a convenient excuse to access your six-figure income with no strings attached.

"But ... but ... she was abused!"
If the two of you aren't in therapy at her insistence that's an excuse. If she cared she would be seeking a solution. Instead she's using her history as a conveniently insurmountable obstacle.

Listen carefully: SHE. IS. USING. YOU. Divorce her.

I have one last bit of advice for you: if guilt is all you have left in your relationship it isn't enough, even if you're truly guilty. If you two can't reset the dial back to love -- and she isn't even trying -- then you don't belong together, regardless of which of you is the "villian" who killed the relationship. It's just as dead either way. Move on.

6:46 AM, March 13, 2007  
Blogger sirena said...

Too anonymous,
I'm not sure what your talking about? When I said it probably won't ever happen in the future I meant since it has never happened in the past it's likely to not happen in the future --history repeats itself in various incarnations. What are you talking about with "gender supremacy"? That sounds very science fiction-y and jargon laden --gender supremacy like, "Girls Rule Boys Drool"???
And if you don't believe that there has never been a matriarchal society call your local anthropologist that is pretty much a basis anthrop 101 fact.

7:28 AM, March 13, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

Gotta go with laika's 6:46 AM post here.

Document everything you can. Then get it done. Stop dying a slow death. It's time to start thinking "what about me?". It's also OK to think that way. She may have the ability to make stuff up in her own mind and actually believe it, then convince you, or worse, others.

Been there and through that. I have been accused and convicted of things someone only dreamed, not real life happenings at all. I hope you don't one day have to try that one on for size.

Since you're anonymous, I'll also say this. You may have to take a cold hard look at yourself (as I had to) and figure out why you sit there and take this crap. It'll get worse before it gets better. But unless you get up and get moving, it never will get better. Do whatever you have to do to get the kids.

8:37 AM, March 13, 2007  
Anonymous Cousin Dave said...

br549: I think you're on the right track. Further, from this distance and without corroborating evidence, I wonder if the said abuse ever really happened at all.

10:16 AM, March 13, 2007  
Blogger BobH said...

Sirena

I HAVE take Anthropology 101 and several other anthropology courses as well. Your assertion that there has never been a matriarchal society is Just Plain Wrong. In fact, I watched a (male) anthropology professor assert that current American society probably qualifies as a matriarchy. (He was the only person I've ever met who is annoyed as me about current American paternity fraud laws.) In case you aren't aware, several anthropolgy departments, most notably Stanford's, have split into two, with the scientists on one side and the some (but not all) of the cultural and social anthropologists on the other.

In a matriarchy, the people in power don't have to be women if women's interests are being looked after, to the detriment of men's interests.

1:05 PM, March 13, 2007  
Anonymous Jim said...

"sirena said...
Jim ask any anthropologist and he or she will tell you that there has never EVER existed a matriarchal society --Matrilineal yes where property was distributed through the female line but never matriarchal all of those examples you gave are incorrect."

Sirena, judging by this, you sound like you may not have gotten much past Anthro 101.

1. The term matrilineal refers to how descent is reckoned in a society. it may or may not have anything to do wo\ith ownership of proeperty. "Matriarchal" and "patriarchal" refers to who holds power in a society. Ownership of property is the primary mechanism of power in a society, so if you find a society where property is held by women or is passed through the female line , even if it is administered by men, that is a matriarchal society.

2. There is hardly ever 100% agreement within an academic field on even core issues. There is a lively devbate in linguiitcs for instance as to whether the difference between nouns andverbs is fundamental, which you will agree, is pretty basic. There areeven some biologists till who don't accept the theory of evolution - genetics, yes; evolution, no. So I doubt that htere are absoultely no anthroplogists who think that matriarchal societies exist and have existed. And even if by chance that consensus existed among anthropologists, it wouls only be a statement about anthropologists. They don't own the word or the concept, and they don't decide the matter.

But let's say the term "matriarchal" is too controversial to use. Let's use a concrete term such as "female-dominated". There certainly are many social structures and settings that are female-dominated. Inner city communiites have already been mentioned. Schools are another example. In my courses to become a certificated teacher, we were told t identify the "Henrietta" in whatever school we went to; she and not the principla made all the real decisions in the building, usually by virtue of seniority. Whatever the reason, she was Momma, and what she said, went. Many churches are in fact controlled by the "Amen Corner" with a male puppet as a front man. This isspecially ture in Protestant churches where some council or othr of lay people make the hiring (and firing) decisions.

1:13 PM, March 13, 2007  
Anonymous sofasleeper said...

Laika, br549, Cousin Dave:

I have a sympathetic clergyman who helps me through the rougher times. It'd be better if my wife was involved, but one does what one can.

Perhaps she has no right to ask me to think about her first. But I still have, and always will have, a duty to think about the kids. At best, a divorce would leave them without a father in the home, not a very good best. Since I have no grounds for divorce that I'd care to bring up in court, there's not a snowball's chance I'd get custody of the kids -- anyway, that would leave them without a mother in the home, which objectively is even worse.

There is a presupposition in your posts that divorce would leave me free to pursue a happier life. I don't believe that. I'm a fat, middle-aged guy in somewhat poor health with a touch of Aspberger's -- and I'd be too frightened to try marriage again even if there was an opportunity. Spending my evenings in a small, empty apartment sounds a lot worse than spending my evenings in a household full of noisy, demanding, infuriating, loveable children, even if the wife is quite distant. Anyway, if I did divorce, and somehow remarry, I would still be me -- and I'm probably half of the problem.

I have no doubt the abuse happened. Though I was not personally present, a therapist was present when the abuser met with my wife to apologize and offer to pay some of the costs of therapy. I know, it's rare for an abuser to admit his crime, but it does sometimes happen. This particular therapist, who my wife liked, specialized in abuse resolution and not sex counseling, unfortunately.

I don't believe my wife has ever lied to me. (I can't claim the same, although I'm honest 99% of the time.) It's probably true that we withold things from each other that we figure the other one doesn't really need to know, but not often. If anything, the reason we don't talk as often as we could is because, once we get going, we get too honest with each other.

We have a heated argument about once a year, usually near our anniversary, where we let it all out. Not a deliberate tradition, but one that seems to have spontaneously grown up. That's the only time I think she may have lied to me: She told me she loved me and wanted me to stay. Perhaps I'm too cynical.

She is a dedicated mother and she's stayed with me in spite of hating the town we moved to. She is involved in the community in many positive ways. I'm her blind spot. Possibly she is mine as well.

I'm not good at boasting about my bad points. I suspect most of you, if you met me and spent some time with me, would not particularly like me and would probably find yourself identifying more with my wife. She's no saint and she has a serious problem; but I do believe she tries to do the right thing most of the time.

I hope no one gets frustrated at me for hijacking the thread. To get back on topic: WIth all my unhappy experiences, I nevertheless recognize that most marriages are happy most of the time, and man-haters (or woman-haters) are abnormal people, not representative of the bulk of humanity. They ought not to be allowed to set the agenda.

Since I've posted before, and may possibly post again in the future, I'm going to adopt a pseudonym.

3:50 PM, March 13, 2007  
Blogger AST said...

Funny, we had this lesson in Sunday School last week. It was about the Sermon on the Mount. Something about treating others as you would like to be treated.

5:20 PM, March 13, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

sofasleeper

This isn't easy to discuss. I've been in a similar situation (even worse) as yours. It is not my wish to inject more stress into your life.
For me, the hardest spot to see is the one you are standing on. Also very hard to move off of.

Any way, I do wish you the best. Having children, please think about them, and perhaps doing all that is possible to be sure they grow with as healthy an outlook as possible.
Not trying to be a poo poo head, but would you want your kids to live in a marriage situation such as you and your wife endure? Would she?
And it is about the kids. Both of you owe them the best shot you can help them attain.

Get up and get moving in some direction. Fight for happiness. Fight for sanity. Fight to improve your life, your kid's lives, your wife's life. ALL the good stuff is up stream. Anyone will tell you that, everyone knows it. No apologies from me.

6:22 PM, March 13, 2007  
Blogger sirena said...

Bob and Jim,

I was trying to find my anthrop 101 book I was supposed to use to teach the community college course I was signed up to teach that didn't make (my MA is in something else but I have an undergrad in and enough anth grad coursework to teach anthropology) that being noted --Yes Bob you are correct about anthropology being split btw bio and cultural that can be reflected in the AAA. But I'm not sure what that has to do with matriarchal societies. And the guy who said America being matriarchal and "the detriment of men" --that is a whole other issue --no response for that here from me.
Since I can't find that book and I'm sure you will dispute the validity of wikipedia but, look up "matriarchal societies" and you will both know what I am talking about in terms of there not being a matriarchy in prehistory or history --there have been myths but put to the test they were unfounded (the entry is well cited).
So, Jim what your really trying to talk about are areas within a greater society where there is female dominance not a matriarchal society.
Female dominance could also simply predominance in that there just happens to be more women in the school system just like construction workers are predominately more male. Problems arise in both cases.

7:17 PM, March 13, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

right, jim. so, say we give you that women dominate in education and church. are there no areas where you are willing to admit that men dominate?

7:26 PM, March 13, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sirena-

There is nothing "science fiction" about a matriarchy being gender supremacy. If you think that only one of the sexes is qualified to lead, make decisions, etc. then that is an inherent claim that you feel that gender is superior to the other. Those supporting a forced matriarchy are not promoting gender equity, they are promoting gender supremacy.

8:45 PM, March 13, 2007  
Anonymous sofasleeper said...

ast,

Hard to knock the Golden Rule: It's an excellent rule of thumb, applicable to 90% or more of situations.

It does, however, have the limitation that it is based on the assumption that what others want is what you would want.

Most of the time that works. A small percentage of the time, it doesn't.

I won't argue about whether gender differences are cultural or biological. They exist. They increase the need for one to apply of the Golden Rule intelligently. One challenge in dealing with my wife has been to recognize that she often doesn't want what I would want in a given situation.

I ache to have her put her arm around me and pull me close. She dislikes me to touch her. That takes some getting used to.

Of course, one can expand one's understanding of the Golden Rule: I'd like her to do for me what I like. So I try to do for her what she likes. (Whether nor not it's what I'd like.)

This requires a sensitivity that is lacking in folks who can casually bash the opposite sex.

10:18 PM, March 13, 2007  
Blogger BobH said...

Sirena

The male anthropologit's comment is germain in this way - several (well, both) of the female cultural anthropologists that I took courses from spouted propoganda instead of teaching. Both of them also taught courses in the Woman Studies departmemt and both told the same story, that historically and at present women are the powerless and innocent victims of male oppression. Claiming victimhood is time-tested way for women to acquire social allies and use them to manipulate other people's behavior.

Because of them, I am EXTREMELY skeptical of anything that a female cultural anthropologist says. Put more bluntly, I automatically assume that they/you are manipulative, hypocritical liers.

I've also taken several psychology courses and female teachers there aren't nearly so bad, primarily because psychology, or at least the part that interests me, is a scientific discipline.

10:21 PM, March 13, 2007  
Blogger Kent said...

Sirena,

Caveat utilis Wiki.

10:35 PM, March 13, 2007  
Blogger sirena said...

Bob,
don't you remember that saying when you assume you make an ass out of u and me?
So your assuming I'm a hypocritical lier? I told you guys to look it up --I really don't have some agenda about saying that there has never been a solid case of a true matriarchy. There really just has not been a total full on-scale female dominated society in pre/history. That is why it sounds science fiction-y to me because so many people make up stories about what it would be like. And for that reason, I'm not sure what ya'll are so worried about --a matriarchal society is really not in the realm of realistic possibilities --except in science fiction.
And I don't believe in "gender supremacy" --"gender" itself is entirely too dynamic and fluid to dichotomize it that easily.
I do believe in power though and that each individual has a relationship to power and that we use our inherent qualities (gender being one of those qualities)to express a relationship with power.
That is why if you read my very first entry I say that male and female bashing are both respectively "weapons of the weak" in that people lash out when they feel powerless and use whatever they have (verbal bashing)to feel better. Men and women both do it.
Chill out fellas!

11:00 PM, March 13, 2007  
Blogger sirena said...

and yes Kent, I know to be wary of Wikipedia which is why I looked for a basic text first, noted that I expected criticisms but used it for blogging purposes as a quick/easy reference to explain what I learned in grad school
your critique is justified but the entry works well for this sort of dialogue

11:08 PM, March 13, 2007  
Blogger Laika's Last Woof said...

"It'd be better if my wife was involved, but one does what one can."
Listen to yourself. "My wife won't help, but by gosh I can fix this relationship myself!" No, you can't. It is not and can never be a 1-man job.

Your kids are probably the only halfway-legitimate reason for you to remain in a loveless marriage, but they're not enough. Would you want them to grow up to be miserable adults just like Dad? Did your parents want you to grow up to be miserable? Committing slow suicide is a poor way to honor your parents and a bad example to set for the kids.

Now the last part, you're fat, balding, and socially awkward. You're overlooking your greatest advantage: you're loaded.

You can afford a gym, a personal trainer, a dating coach, fashionable age-appropriate clothes, art lessons, and travel, for starters. Outside of a lack of self-discipline there is no problem you have you can't mitigate with help, and help is easy to come by when you can afford it.

Lastly consider the type of woman who would be overjoyed to meet you. Keep realistic expectations and I guarantee you you can do way better than growing old on the couch.

4:01 AM, March 14, 2007  
Anonymous Jim said...

"right, jim. so, say we give you that women dominate in education and church. are there no areas where you are willing to admit that men dominate? "

Willing to admit? The list is huge: Finance, the military, manufacturing, police work, dangerous manual labor such as construction or fishing fleets, dirty manual labor such as garbage collection and sewage treament, the arts, other than performance, where it is about even; and there are many more.

1:11 PM, March 14, 2007  
Anonymous Jim said...

"I say that male and female bashing are both respectively "weapons of the weak" in that people lash out when they feel powerless and use whatever they have (verbal bashing)to feel better. Men and women both do it."

I agree with you there, Sirens. The differnece between the two is the degree of social approval: men who bash women often are scorned by men in particualrea dn considered weaklings, while women who do are often supported by other women. Then there is society in general, where man-bashing is quite fashionable. And it has real-world legal and political ramifications.

1:14 PM, March 14, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you're all too hard on sofasleeper. The way I see it is that wanting a different relationship does not mean you deserve to abandon the relationship you have committed to. Sometimes life gives you bad surprises--surely we all know that.

2:16 PM, March 14, 2007  
Anonymous sofasleeper said...

Anon 2:16,

You get it.

2:28 PM, March 14, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jim:

that's right. the list of areas wherein men dominate is huge. it is, in fact, greater than the list of areas wherein women dominate. so what was your point?

6:34 PM, March 14, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

Anon 2:16 and sofasleeper.

Look for and read a book entitled "Co-dependent No More".

I won't offer any more opinion on the subject. It's really none of my business, after all. Did not mean to offend, or stop anyone from enabling someone else to continue their bad behavior, so they could in turn continue to wallow in their own.

6:59 PM, March 14, 2007  
Anonymous anon2:16 said...

br549,

I did my time in Al-Anon, so I know about co-dependency and enabling. When we hear only one side of the story, a story told anonymously with nothing to measure it against...is it the whole story? Is it exactly as he says it is? Is she really that awful? Is he really that loving? My feeling is that sofasleeper is a decent guy doing the best he can--but I couldn't encourage him to take advice from strangers who want him to disrupt his family's life. The strangers don't know enough, and they won't be around to be part of or witness to what happens afterward. Perhaps your advice to read up on co-dependency will be helpful to sofasleeper.

9:59 PM, March 14, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

anon 2:16

I am no expert, which is why I apologized and shut up. I am sitting here wondering what the hell I was thinking, now. It is my view though, that something will eventually disrupt this family's life - whether they have a handle on it or not. Seems the only constant in life is change. One can instigate, and hopefully manage change. Or tie oneself to the hitching post and hang on. I did the latter for far too long, and it still blew up.
I am highly sensitized to what he has been speaking of, having been through a similar situation that progressed into something very destructive to my entire family.
It takes a lot of work to move from that to a better place. Over much time, many changes, much healing, one can eventually look back and say glad we moved away from that place. Things are better now. Certainly, I do not advocate tearing a family apart. At some time I am hoping they all stand up and say let's make the best of this.
Thanks for not ripping my head off. Even thoughI probably deserved it.

6:36 AM, March 15, 2007  
Anonymous Cousin Dave said...

sofasleeper: I hear where you are coming from, and I won't presume to offer any further advice. You obviously know your own sitaution. Let me just throw out this one bit, and I'll let it be my last word on the subject:

At least get yourself a nice comfortable sleeper sofa!

10:27 AM, March 15, 2007  
Anonymous Jim said...

Anonymous, , whoever you are and if there is any point in answeriung you, go back and read what my point was. You won't so here you go:

I was saying that there have been matriarchal socieites in history, so BTW asking whgwhich sex dominartes in what areas in the present is rahter beside the point, and that these matriarchal socieites were quite militaristic.

I also pointed out that there are areas in modern society where women dominate, and that these tend to be either dysfunctional with regard to the way their young men behave, or that they tend towards group-think and herd behavior, and the example I gave was eelmentary education.

Thosew were my points. Everyone else here seem to have been able to figure them out for themsleves.

1:56 PM, March 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jim:

Among the male-dominated areas you mentioned were the military and law enforcement. Those areas are, almost by definition, militaristic. Besides, saying that those societies you perceive as being matriarchal are also militaristic--is that supposed to be some kind of criticism? What's wrong with militaristic?

Finally, are you telling me that group-think and herd-mentality aren't a huge part of the military and law enforcement, male-dominated areas?

4:35 PM, March 15, 2007  
Anonymous Jim said...

OK. Snark off.

In those societies that were matriarchal the military was also male-dominated. Women handled the rest of the society's business and owned property because they had to; men were either away or likey to die, so women were the continuity. They were not as expendable as men. The miltiary did not and odes not exist in some vacuum. It is aprt of its society and is shaped by its society, so there is no inconsistncy in saying that a matriarchal society would have a very strong male-dominanted military.

You make a good poiont about group-think and herd mentality in the military. I have worked in both education and the miliatry, so i have first-hand experience of theor corporate cultures. This is the difference based on my own odservations: in the miltary there is a very great emphasis on good decision-making, and a recognition that it requires dissent during the stages of discussion leading up to the point when the decision is made. Then and only then, discussion is over and everyone moves out to execute it - and since the expectation is that they will in fact execute regardless of their opinion on the matter, they remain free to hold that opinion.

There are regulatory and social mechanisms in place to halt the formation of group think and mobs, such as the kind of group that carries out atrocities. These mecahnisms don't always work, but the wonder is how much they do prevent, not that they break down under intolerable stress.

Here is an example of a social mechanism that punished a case of servility. In a unit I belonged to, a certain captain was seen by other officers as behaving like the commander's (a lieutenant colonel) lapdog. His surname happened to be "Jack" and the officers (!) nicknamed him "Monterey Jack". Translation: "cheese" is a reference to smegma, and the nickname implied that this captain fellated the commander. That is severe disapproval.

In teaching, I didn't see the same kind of mechanisms in place. One reason for this has nothing to do with the sex of the teachers. It has to do with the bunker mentality teachers develop under the threats they face form litigious idiot parents, condescending and disrespecful adminsstrators and a few of the kids too. They simply close ranks. But something else comes into play - teachers tend to morph into Moms in the classroom, and they often become officious and consdescending even with adults. They spend their time enforcing non-negotiable rules - grammar, splling, behavior rules - and this filters inot the way the deal with everything.

I think this more about socializatin than biology, because women in the military function perfectly well in that system, and men in teaching tend to become officious and rigid in the way I described above.

This is long, but I have tried not to ramble. Does it make it any clearer?

6:09 PM, March 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jim:

No. It really sounds like you have a problem with women. I mean, "Moms" translate to "officious and condescending"? I mean, sure, MY mom is. But I don't think it's fair to extrapolate about the entire lot based on one or even a few examples.

Also, I have never thought of the military as being a place where there was alot of group discussion in preparing a decision. I thought of it as more like a totalitarian system than a democratic system. But I haven't served in the military. I will have to consult some others and get back.

However, extra points for using both the words "smegma" and "fellated" in one post. This feat alone has raised your stature in my eyes.

8:37 PM, March 15, 2007  
Blogger Laika's Last Woof said...

"Wanting a different relationship does not mean you deserve to abandon the relationship you have committed to."
There is no relationship.

It's true enough that without hearing both sides you can't say who's the "villian" and who's the "victim", but it is clear the relationship is, for whatever reason, dead.

There is no moral duty to perform CPR on a corpse, even if you're the one who killed the patient.
However, he still thinks he has a chance, so good luck with that. I hope I'm wrong.

11:44 PM, March 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no relationship.

Untrue. They will always have a relationship because of their children. They are parents to the same children. The relationship shared between them as husband and wife might be crappy, but it's still there.

I have no opinion about what he should do. I'm not there. But I don't agree that because something sucks, it's nonexistent.

Amy K.

1:59 AM, March 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and a woman I dated for a while recently told me that she wants to go back to her ex-husband (who physically and mentally abused her) because she "misses" him. Geeeezzzz. She won't get help.

1:51 PM, March 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Helen,

As a single divorced woman, I would agree with you that male bashing, or any bashing is not a good thing. However, there are times some women experience "private" things in their lives that lead to serious anger (divorce, domestic violence). While attempting to resolve the anger and get either answers or closure, male bashing may occur, but fortunately we live in a country that values the privacy of people's lives so that any "bashing" that may occur should be in private so nobody gets hurt during our temporary period of understandable bashing/dislike/hate.

http://myprivatekingdom.blogspot.com/

7:05 PM, March 19, 2007  

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