How to be a man

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NoPlaceCalledHome

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How to be a man

Post by NoPlaceCalledHome » Wed Sep 30, 6:02 2015

I'm a straight male and I have some burning questions. Please bear with me.

My phrasing for the question on my mind used to be "what is a good man?" Until I read this article: https://www.vpointnews.com/Article/6517 ... to-get-sex

This article infers that my desire to be a good man, and to support feminism, is really just a deeply veiled attempt to get laid. That's hurtful, for a lot of reasons. The first of which is I haven't done anything romance-related in over ten years and I don't try to. It's not a part of my life and it's hurtful that the author assumes that it must be so central to somebody's life just based on their gender. Second of which is, when I think of the downtrodden woman for whom I would like to see equality, the first one that comes to mind is my mother, who raised me and my brother on a single income (which itself was less than the men she worked for).

But I need to cast these terms aside and ask this question, which may seem selfish or boorish but is really driven only by a desire to transmogrify my birth-assigned identifying factors and the "groups" they without questioning my opinion on the matter "grouped" me into, into something that can benefit and support and strengthen the ideals I hold faith in and the bodies which represent them. In short, I wanna fight for the good guys, but everywhere I turn somebody is trying to draft me onto the bad guys' team. It's too late to stop my grandfather from forbidding my mother a college education because, "You're a girl, you'll never need it." What it's not too late to do?

So, I want to know, what is a good man? What traits of male-ness are not deleterious, or perhaps even helpful, to the feminist movement? And, why/in what ways, over and above the one-dimensional definitions that the article I linked above gives, is "a good man" different from "a good person?" How does one born into the unfortunate situation of being an heir to a culture of abuse and mistreatment, which he abhors, properly pay forward reparations, and lend himself to those who might be able to utilize his efforts?

At the risk of oversimplifying it, I could even shorten this whole question to: "How can I help?"

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Enigma
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Re: How to be a man

Post by Enigma » Wed Sep 30, 7:03 2015

That men are feminists just to get laid thing gets thrown around a fair amount. Its clearly bullshit as anyone who needs sexual motivation to consider women equal is definitely an ass. Mostly this seems to be said by guys who are asses who can't seem to believe decent guys exist.

Don't worry about fixing the past, that's impossible. (Anyone else just get a matrix flashback there) If you ask me a good man (and person) is aware of the ways society favours them and uses that to try and be kind and helpful wherever they can.
"Human beings are amazing... we might be horrible, horrible, but we're wonderful too. Otherwise, why go on?"

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Re: How to be a man

Post by Unvoiced_Apollo » Fri Oct 2, 8:34 2015

Enigma wrote:That men are feminists just to get laid thing gets thrown around a fair amount. Its clearly bullshit as anyone who needs sexual motivation to consider women equal is definitely an ass. Mostly this seems to be said by guys who are asses who can't seem to believe decent guys exist.

Don't worry about fixing the past, that's impossible. (Anyone else just get a matrix flashback there) If you ask me a good man (and person) is aware of the ways society favours them and uses that to try and be kind and helpful wherever they can.

This. I'd also add I don't think traits that have been seen as inherently male (assertuveness, competitiveness, etc.) aren't negative. The issue is that they're seen as inherently male and used as an excuse that women must maintain what are "inherently female" traits to complement men's traits. With that view, it really limits both men & women to certain roles and gives little choice to either. Hoever, men still get more out of the dynamic since what are traditionally seen as "masculine traits" hold more value in power than what are traditionally seen as "feminine traits".

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Re: How to be a man

Post by spacefem » Fri Oct 2, 16:58 2015

In my experience, a certain number of guys will accuse feminist men of just trying to get laid. this is because the accusers just cannot wrap their heads around any other reason why a man would want to be a feminist.

we need good feminist guys. we hear the stories... men standing around making sexist jokes about women, judging women like objects, rape jokes, victim blaming... and when women call them out on it, sometimes they listen? but when a fellow man calls them out on it, it's huge! suddenly we have a voice from the inside, a validation. no matter what, some guys will only listen to other guys. that's the way the world is.
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Sonic#
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Re: How to be a man

Post by Sonic# » Fri Oct 2, 17:22 2015

^ What they've said.
What traits of male-ness are not deleterious, or perhaps even helpful, to the feminist movement?
I have to admit I was flummoxed by this question when I first read it. I'm the kind of feminist who doesn't like thinking that much in terms of "male-ness" or "female-ness" - as if there's some essential chunk of something deep inside of me that's predisposed in ways I can explain through a list of qualities. I prefer to focus on what traits and qualities are encouraged and discouraged by our parents, our peers, our media, and by all of the culture around us. This focus acknowledges that what I've become as a man is connected to some of what I've chosen, some of what my circumstances have chosen for me, and some of how my wetware has shaped and been shaped by these processes. My particular relation to my own gender and sex may not be the same as yours.

I explain all of this not because your question was wrong, but to explain why I had trouble getting my head around the question. One thought: we should use our privileges to begin to open up privileges for other people. In a business context, this is the idea that having a good person in a role I don't necessarily like (working for, say, Wal-mart) can help over time to effect change from within. This means speaking to some issues of gender and feminism when they come up with friends.

I like that the question has another edge though. It's closer to my self, my identity. How can the gender I am help feminism? I don't think there's anything I am or can do that women can't do, and the traits I associate with my gender are not exclusive to men. No binary here. Still, I connect to my own, personal gender good listening skills, the bravery to be vulnerable to those I love, the capacity to recognize injustice, and my tendency to look out for people around me. I don't know if that's male-ness in general, but it's mine.

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Re: How to be a man

Post by Aum » Fri Oct 2, 17:58 2015

Being a good person comes from understanding your true nature. It's when you become so out of alignment with that, that things get chaotic or conflicted. I really believe that, and I don't think it needs to be delineated along sexed or gendered lines. Some men are naturally more aggressive, butch, loud mouthed, etc... just as some women are. It's how you decide to hone your true nature and how you use it which determines your goodness in the values sense.

It's the values that people hold on to, which they've been taught, that turn them into an opponent or ally of feminism, and those can be changed with free will. I'm hesitant to respond to the query about which "traits" make a good man, or a man who is useful to feminism. Those opinions are subjective. It's like asking, "What makes a good partner?" You'll get different answers from everyone.

Traits are also deeply ingrained, and what I'd consider to be part of true nature. I'm a softy and I've developed skills to assert myself and my boundaries, but telling me to change my traits which make me soft is no different than telling a guy with more aggressive traits to get rid of them. It can't be done. The distinction I'm trying to make here is between qualities and between values.

All we can ask people is to do is *understand* their nature. Asking them to change it is unfair.
The artist's job is not to succumb to despair, but to find an antidote to the emptiness of existence. -W.A.

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Re: How to be a man

Post by Nerd1987 » Fri Oct 2, 21:39 2015

Edit: post doesn't make sense I was drunk
Last edited by Nerd1987 on Sun Oct 4, 21:45 2015, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to be a man

Post by spacefem » Sun Oct 4, 6:37 2015

I re-read this article because it's sort of complicated... I was wondering if I could provide a summary for folks here.

Tell me if you think this is accurate. I think the author is saying that:

1) Women are so powerful that men will do anything to impress them
2) Feminism is this hot new trend, so some men are willing to be feminists in order to get laid
3) Men, if you think you're a feminist for another reason you're lying to yourself because all humans are only interested in sex so all feminist men are full of shit
4) Pretty soon men are going to wake up to this and all become red pillers and MGTOW so watch out feminists, you're destroying yourselves!

I don't know what world the author is living in that #1 is true but my husband and I had a good laugh over this whole thing. I stick by my original statement... a good man will stick up for women even in the company of other men, he will use his position in society for good, that's what makes a "good man" different from a "good woman" - he's got that position. If you deny that he's got that position, you are not reading the same news stories I am I guess. Refer to our FAQ topic, "What is male privilege": viewtopic.php?f=40&t=43735
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Re: How to be a man

Post by Nerd1987 » Sun Oct 4, 21:43 2015

Whatever good personality and character traits you have as well as skills and interests that can benefit society roll with them regardless of whether they are masculine or feminine.

Edit: Also explicitly talking about feminism when you are first talking to someone new (first impressions right) is not usually sexy. If you are a good person all around that might stand out, it does to me anyway. I don't see how being a feminist is a good pick-up strategy it doesn't make sense and I've never seen it happen in real life. If anything it would come across as try-hard unless you really staged it like pretended to be already talking about feminism when a woman approached you and your friend.

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Re: How to be a man

Post by Zeph » Mon Oct 5, 19:48 2015

How to be a man:

1. Inherit a Y chromosome from your father
2. Have someone note this on your birth certificate.
3. Survive puberty

Behavior is irrelevant.

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