TBD on Ning

Where have all the real men gone?
"Top American columnist Kathleen Parker is causing a furore with her new (n.b.the following article is dated Aug. 8/08) book Save the Males, in which she argues that feminism has neutered men and deprived them of their noble, protective role in society."

Do you think we have "neutered our men" in Western Society by our collective demands that they become more sensitive and sensitized to our way of thinking about things? Do men need saving? Are we weaning the characteristics of nobility, courage, protectiveness and more out of our young men? This is an interesting and provocative article, and I've been itching to discuss this issue for some time - without the male point of view (as much as I love and appreciate it ) getting in the way.

09/04/09: An addendum: As I mention in the discussion - this is just an example - Parker is not the issue - the subject is the issue. PLEASE address the issues more - and the Parker person less. Also - just so we are 100% clear - I'm not a fan of hers just because I posted this article. Objectivity, please! This is an issue that is being raised by men with ever increasing frequency. The question begs to be answered - why?


Tags: feminism, men, relationships, trends

Views: 34

Replies to This Discussion

I think that Ms Parker carries some baggage…I find her opinions a tad extreme. Perhaps she champions what she defines as traditional values because she didn’t have them growing up???
Most men I know are able to balance that line of retaining their masculinity while at the same time understanding what a woman wants and needs.
I have known a few "wimpy" men in my life, but it isn't because women have emasculated them throught the "feminist movement", it's just the way they were raised by their parents [or parent].
I have found that being kind and couteous and being treated with dignity and respect works for everyone.

O, and, I will agree with Ms. Parker about television… I do take exception to how most males are portrayed on television today. It’s why I don’t watch most sitcoms. When did it become okay to disrespect men in that fashion and make them the butt of every joke?
My reason d'tre for this discussion is food for thought, as there are many faces to feminism, esp. the "second & third wave - post feminism" views - and this is the direction and how I'd hope to see the discussion flow. Parker is just one voice. It's not about very right wing Parker and her personal faults - it's about an issue that is on the forefront of our ever evolving relationships with the opposite sex. Hence my questions.

There are many who decry the "Vagina Monologues" and Eve Ensler , pro-sex feminist Betty Dodson for example, who cites the monologues as having an "anti-male bias" and that the play is a "blast of hatred at men and heterosexuality."

Read almost any of the men's magazines and blogs and you will find articles by men for men complaining that we are "feminizing" them, and are turning the tables on them by emasculating them. This character is a case in point - and he has a strong voice. http://www.savethemales.ca/

I'll be posting a few links for reference. Men are speaking out - and as Quinn has pointed out, "when did it become okay to disrespect men in that fashion and make them the butt of every joke?" and Saasikatt - yes it seems at present men are the "flavour" of the sitcom swing as it were, but it is not helping matters!

We may not think we are demeaning men, but many men seem to think we are. Which may be in part why George has closed his "For Men Only" newly formed group. I can appreciate that he feels men will be much more forthcoming if we women are not reading along, even though many men have told me how much they appreciate the fact the "For Women Only" is open to view, as they "are learning a lot", as one man put it.
amen, Wanda!!!!!!!!
Thank you very much Wanda, I'm deeply grateful you accepted my invite to participate here. Your astute contributions make for very thoughtful and careful reading!
"Research shows the extent to which men have had to change within one or two generations, adapting to new rules and different expectations. Asked what it meant to be a man in the 21st century, more than half thought society was turning them into "waxed and coiffed metrosexuals", and 52 per cent say they had to live according to women's rules. What they apparently want is what some American academics have dubbed a "menaissance" - a return to manliness, where figures such as Sir Winston Churchill were models of manhood. The research also shows that just as women feel their work-life balance has been stretched to breaking point, men think they have too many roles to play."

There are so many articles and "studies" of this type out there, and again - it makes me wonder if this "trend' is something truly notable in our everyday lives, in our Western Society. Obviously Parker is on to something, regardless of who does or does not agree with her discourse on a personal level. Many men of my acquaintance say that the only place they feel safe to be totally themselves is on the sports field, with other men - out of sight and mind of women, (as in the private locker room) or behind closed doors of some sort; the reason being that they feel we women judge them too harshly when they just want to kick and punch and express their masculinity without being told that their behaviour is "inappropriate".
Why not agree that this is something of a proverbial elephant... that so much depends on the individual reader's point of view, their experience, where they live, how long they've lived...

I can see some of this, but I don't think one can generalize everyone into a theory. Nor does everyone, man or woman, have the same response to identical stimuli. I discovered at sixteen that my father was not the man who had adopted me at the age of one year. I have never followed up on that; in fact I refused to meet my father several years later when his sister called me. I am not saying that it is right or wrong; I am saying that everyone has different reactions.

I am an atypical person. I never wanted children. I married an atypical person. He never watched sports. Who is typical? Everyone has his theory.

I do not like stereotypes, new or old.
Chez, you stole my thought :-)
Growing up in different environments produces different personalities, different ways of life, different ways of thinking...
Sassikatt wrote: " Its differences in world views, as for you, the men in your world view say they only feel like themselves on the sports field whereas in my world view men feel they are men all over the place. What does it mean to say that men would like to kick and punch and express masculinity without judgement. Isn't that placing all men into a tight role?

Please do not make this discussion personal towards me Sassikatt. It is not " my world view" . I polled 10 men recently of my close acquaintance, and this was THEIR consensus. These men are rough and ready guys, in the construction business, and this was their united opinion, and their words, not mine. As a matter of fact - these men referred ( in the discussion ) to metro sexual males as "limp wrist-ed gimp she-males". There is a back lash amongst some men, about other men. As they were working on my house, I had a captive audience and they appreciated my interest in their thoughts. It was their view - however narrow one might deem it to be, that gave me the idea to pose the questions I did, using one woman's thoughts on the subject to get the ball rolling.

I too dislike stereotypes, but like it or not, there are new ones - and I'm endeavoring to find out why, and what we women think about men and men's issues collectively as a group.

Unfortunately, I think I may have to take this discussion down, as the deletion of former posts and a complete re-edit of those same former posts ( after the fact of my post of further explanation today) seems to have turned this discussion into a vehicle for dissension, and not open minded discourse. I'll hold off for now, but please, let's keep objectively to the issue to hand and my original questions.
Thanks for your clarification Sassikatt. There is so much fodder for this discussion, and it's intentionally open ended so that eventually we can collectively take it into a venue whereby men and women can share their opinion. I don't start a discussion I don't intend to nurture and develop towards a goal of collective intellectual input.

As I mentioned earlier, George Richards has started a group "For Men Only" and it is a closed shop group, the chaps are being either invited, or recommended by women such as myself and other female friends of George's by his request. I was at first not thrilled with a "closed from feminine prying eyes" group idea - considering how very open we women have been.
AND - considering how many many compliments I've received concerning our group from men

I can now understand upon reflection - that men really do need their privacy, as they do feel judged and uncomfortable discussing deeply personal issues and having same being aired for all to see. They have problems communicating deeply amongst themselves at the best of times, so I'm very supportive of this venture, and George and I hope we can do something collaboratory in the future based on what we both determine to be of interest - this subject perhaps being a jumping off point.

As far as links are concerned, I will be posting some more - each is indeed just a 'snapshot" as you say Sassikatt. It is simply fodder for further discussion, and not meant to be viewed as my personal opinions on this matter, unless I clearly state same, which I have yet to do. My opinion quite frankly does not matter. What does matter to me, is how men are feeling about their role in society today, and how do we feel about them and the changes that are taking place.
In response to Sassikatt's question: "I wonder where it comes from ... et al " the survey was as stated conducted by a subsidiary of the Discovery Channel. I'm still working on tracking it down. As to Prof. Harvey Mansfield ......
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Mansfield - He has an extensive CV and is quite well known in the halls of academia concerning feminism and gender issues. In the time honoured fashion, one could hardly call him a neophyte . His book "Manliness" is an excellent read, and would help to explain (yet again) why I have posed these questions as I have. Let's just say - I didn't just pull it all out of my hat based on Parker and nothing else to do yesterday morning. Pls. see:

Again - I will see if I can track the actual survey more diligently.
Sorry - the last link switches one to a wiki on masculinity - rather than the book wiki ditti - let me try it again -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manliness_(book) and if you have problems, just google Manliness
the book info pops up straight away. Grrrr ... link still fuff : Here is an '06 NYT review.
"Today the very word manliness seems quaint and obsolete. We are in the process of making the English language gender-neutral, and manliness, the quality of one gender, or rather, of one sex, seems to describe the essence of the enemy we are attacking, the evil we are eradicating.”
—Harvey Mansfield, Manliness
i've enjoyed reading this thread, thank you all for contributing to my education.
it seems obvious that our individual "beliefs" are a part of our upbringing and experiences; i've surely changed over the years from believing i was supposed to do what my parents did (mom raising kids, dad supplying funds), to becoming a self supporting single parent with a widely diverse set of RL and now online friends.
i want to add a different perspective here. the taking of sides, the "fixed" set of beliefs, about what roles men and women "ought" to play is every bit as ... dogmatic or opinionated [i hate to use the pejorative word, bigoted] ... as racial or cultural discrimination, it just wears a different disguise.
we can study it, we can survey it, we can analyze it, but in the end, it falls to our one-on-one human interactions to sort out for ourselves how we will deal with the individuals in our lives, and then to practice those beliefs in our lives.
broad brush descriptors can help us conceptually, theoretically, but imho, it always comes down to one's interpersonal connections.
thanks for considering what i say. i'll return to see your feedback.




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