Manifestations of toxic masculinity and what we should do about it

This discussion was created from comments split from: Gee D, nit-picking pedant.
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  • asher wrote: »
    ... I find myself wondering about a couple of points:

    - Is GeeD a reasonable target for the anger that many people understandably feel as a result of the abuse they have experienced?
    - Is it reasonable, helpful or kind to diminish GeeD’s experience?
    - Is it reasonable or kind to reduce him to a gender label, and fairly directly associate him with the worst behaviour of others with that gender label.

    I grew up in the North East of England in the 70s/80s, very near to the Medomsley Detention Centre. Medomsley is now the focus of the largest historic abuse / sexual abuse investigation in UK history. 1600 victims is an oft quoted figure. Lives ruined in exactly the ways you know. It is fresh in my mind as there were convictions just the other week. Reporting of Medomsley has most often been ‘regional’ rather than ‘national’. This is very different to (say) Rochdale. I have wondered why this might have been. None of the ideas that come to mind are pleasant or comfortable.

    Best wishes

    Asher

    warning tl;dr

    First of all I am grief stricken and appalled to hear of the abuses that took place in that center. I earnestly hope that all the affected parties can experience complete healing and recovery, preferably in their present incarnation, and sooner rather than later.

    As to your three points, it seems to me that the neurology of trauma sets up a cycle. I have often observed it: the abused becomes the abuser. And here in this thread it seems to have played out just so.

    Many women are mocked, ridiculed, diminished and silenced when they voice a complaint of this type of treatment. And so it seems to me that Gee has come in for the entire spectrum of the experience, from initial trauma to the post-trauma reactions of those to whom he has related his pain. The ones who should "know better" actually do, but it isn't their first impulse, and I think it's because of the deep wiring that this type of experience seems to solidify.

    None of this behaviour is reasonable, and using reason after the fact comes across as rationalizing and insincere, as is shown in the feelings of insufficiency for the apology offered.

    Is it reasonable or kind to reduce anyone to a gender label? Of course not.

    But here's the thing that keeps sticking in my craw. Men own and run this planet. They have done so for millennia.

    And if my own experience is any indication of human experience at large, I would venture to say that we all have had a turn to live a life in a man-shaped testosterone powered suit, and so just saying "I'm a woman, you own this shit you clean it up" isn't fair to half the current population who are currently taking their turn in the configuration of "man-suit". We are ALL responsible for this reality, there are no innocents.

    So where do we begin to change the aspects of experience that are so undesirable about inhabiting male- and female-suits?

    On the one hand, women have to say "enough is enough". But so do men.

    I think that men need to understand how, when their daughters, sisters, mothers and wives come in for that kind of treatment, the culture of permission damages their relationships. Good men all over the world are surprised and offended that they are lumped in with others. They think that women should be reasonable and say "Not ALL men".

    The way I understand it, trauma does not have its roots in, nor can it be discharged through the neural pathways of the mammalian brain. Reason is like a cop at the scene of the crime, he can tell you what happened and possibly why, but couldn't prevent it. We have to go deeper.

    I think what many men fail to understand is that if they don't hold one another to account for their actions, if they don't participate in the divestiture of the social power and privilege that supports and winks at certain kinds of behaviour, then their relationships with their women will suffer because the energy mobilized by the trauma will have its release. Nobody likes to be a whipping boy, but the cycle will perpetuate itself.

    If men want reasonable solutions, then they must do what is reasonable. And I think that's a fairly tall order.

    If we want different results we have to do things differently. How and where do we start? I don't think that answer is here right now, but I do think that if a critical mass of both men and women decide that this is enough, then things will change organically on their own.

    AFF




    What's your view of those men who do hold other men to account - who both speak out and get involved practically?

  • What's your view of those men who do hold other men to account - who both speak out and get involved practically?

    Wonderful! I wish it were contagious.

    AFF

  • A Feminine ForceA Feminine Force Shipmate
    edited April 13
    Gee D wrote: »
    Many women are mocked, ridiculed, diminished and silenced when they voice a complaint of this type of treatment. And so it seems to me that Gee has come in for the entire spectrum of the experience, from initial trauma to the post-trauma reactions of those to whom he has related his pain. The ones who should "know better" actually do, but it isn't their first impulse, and I think it's because of the deep wiring that this type of experience seems to solidify.

    None of this behaviour is reasonable, and using reason after the fact comes across as rationalizing and insincere, as is shown in the feelings of insufficiency for the apology offered.

    AFF

    I appreciate that this is much truncated from your post,but I just do not understand it - nor how you can psychoanalyse me from a distance.

    I'm sorry if I came across as psychoanalysing you. I'm simply observing what happened and how it conforms to a neuromechanical pattern that I've observed in the cycle of abuse, bully/victim dynamics..

    You shared your pain. You were mocked and ridiculed. The one who mocked you apologized. It didn't appear to me that you thought it was sufficient because of your comment about it being a deeply held belief.

    I was trying to confirm that IMO you are correct, it probably is a deeply held belief because it is the expression of an undischarged trauma, and because of this, it is not behaviour that originates from the mammalian brain with its rational processes.

    I was simply observing that the abused very often becomes the abuser, and that your own experience, based on the information you shared here, seems to conform to the entire cycle of experience that is suffered by many women in a similar position.

    Too many words. I've spent far too long in my own head parsing the conundrum of my own experience to my own satisfaction and I apologize if I've made you feel I'm trying to frame your experience for you.

    AFF







  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    I can see why this should be split off, but wouldn’t this topic be better in Purgatory? (I wonder if that question should be in Styx.)
  • Haven't followed the Hell thread. Thought though to mention something I pretty much always do with the women I consult and work with. When an opening occurs very early in working together. About like this:

    "I'd like to say something directly. I'm an older man which means people automatically take me seriously. Have you found at all that you don't get taken seriously and have to try harder and work harder to get taken seriously?"

    Then I listen. If the conversation is open, I say something like "please tell me off if I drift into well practiced sexism, say anything to me, I'm wanting to be called in and preferably not called
    out when I'm stupid about it, I'm not going to be offended". I reference being a father of daughters, and a few others things. Also saying that the empowerment of women is one of the most important social issues in the world.

    I employ 12 people. Don't seem to be retiring. Consult in other companies and gov't. It seems to be on the right track. (I'm far more interpersonally sensitive than I am in writing)
  • Haven't followed the Hell thread. Thought though to mention something I pretty much always do with the women I consult and work with. When an opening occurs very early in working together. About like this:

    "I'd like to say something directly. I'm an older man which means people automatically take me seriously. Have you found at all that you don't get taken seriously and have to try harder and work harder to get taken seriously?"

    Then I listen. If the conversation is open, I say something like "please tell me off if I drift into well practiced sexism, say anything to me, I'm wanting to be called in and preferably not called
    out when I'm stupid about it, I'm not going to be offended". I reference being a father of daughters, and a few others things. Also saying that the empowerment of women is one of the most important social issues in the world.

    I employ 12 people. Don't seem to be retiring. Consult in other companies and gov't. It seems to be on the right track. (I'm far more interpersonally sensitive than I am in writing)

    Wow what a great example you set.

    Kinda makes me go teary.

    AFF
  • This is one of the issues I think gay men of my generation have got most wrong, in ways that affect everyone. I think we've taken refuge in a caricature of masculinity that has much toxic about it, and been very defensive if ever called on it. As far as I know, I'm very careful, and am certainly among the gay men who will grab a women's breasts at any excuse or none (mind you that seems to be less of a thing than it used to be, unless I've just stopped going to places where it happens), but I'm not sure how typical I am. I believe the origins of this to be in the AIDS crisis, and the fact that I an my cohort came of age as it peaked and light dawned with the arrival of anti-retroviral drugs, only for us to find our older brothers, as it were, were far to many of them dead.
  • Haven't followed the Hell thread. Thought though to mention something I pretty much always do with the women I consult and work with. When an opening occurs very early in working together. About like this:

    "I'd like to say something directly. I'm an older man which means people automatically take me seriously. Have you found at all that you don't get taken seriously and have to try harder and work harder to get taken seriously?"

    Then I listen. If the conversation is open, I say something like "please tell me off if I drift into well practiced sexism, say anything to me, I'm wanting to be called in and preferably not called
    out when I'm stupid about it, I'm not going to be offended". I reference being a father of daughters, and a few others things. Also saying that the empowerment of women is one of the most important social issues in the world.

    I employ 12 people. Don't seem to be retiring. Consult in other companies and gov't. It seems to be on the right track. (I'm far more interpersonally sensitive than I am in writing)

    Wow what a great example you set.

    Kinda makes me go teary.

    AFF

    Don't worry. I get told off periodically. It's kind of fun actually. I want to see the ability to take charge and take no sh** developec in people. One of the happiest things for me is watching women's careers develop and sometimes get to review a little our time working together. It's not deadly serious, lots of humor. My internal thoughts are about all the sister and daughter like relationships I have. Very rewarding.
  • GalilitGalilit Shipmate
    My (male) partner was in a conversation the other day.
    The topic turned to a Well Known Person in a High Political Position who had been convicted of rape(s) and is currently in prison. The other person had said "You don't believe he really did all that, do you?" To which my partner replied "There is nothing that I would not believe about men and sex".
    I thought that was a good answer. It didn't escalate the tones of the chat. It made a sincere and personal point in an informal style that was neither aggressive nor assertive.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    The reason this is in Hell is so we don't have to move it here from Purgatory. I have considerable and well-founded confidence that at some point, this thread will go south, pretty much straight after the words "Well, actually..."

    (Any other queries regarding this thread, please direct to Styx, k thx.)

    DT
    HH
  • Galilit wrote: »
    My (male) partner was in a conversation the other day.
    The topic turned to a Well Known Person in a High Political Position who had been convicted of rape(s) and is currently in prison. The other person had said "You don't believe he really did all that, do you?" To which my partner replied "There is nothing that I would not believe about men and sex".
    I thought that was a good answer. It didn't escalate the tones of the chat. It made a sincere and personal point in an informal style that was neither aggressive nor assertive.

    This seems to me to be a great response that can only be delivered by a man to another man.

    It seems to me that a woman could think it but not say it.

    Your partner has wit, tact and timing.

    AFF

  • hello
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Galilit wrote: »
    My (male) partner was in a conversation the other day.

    This makes me wonder how many you have? Though that's certainly none of my business.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    This is one of the issues I think gay men of my generation have got most wrong, in ways that affect everyone. I think we've taken refuge in a caricature of masculinity that has much toxic about it, and been very defensive if ever called on it. As far as I know, I'm very careful, and am certainly among the gay men who will grab a women's breasts at any excuse or none (mind you that seems to be less of a thing than it used to be, unless I've just stopped going to places where it happens), but I'm not sure how typical I am. I believe the origins of this to be in the AIDS crisis, and the fact that I an my cohort came of age as it peaked and light dawned with the arrival of anti-retroviral drugs, only for us to find our older brothers, as it were, were far to many of them dead.

    I'm not sure what you mean here thunderbunk. Do you mean that some gay men are in the habit of groping women and then saying 'it's OK I'm gay', but that you are not one of them? I wasn't aware that was a thing, but I'm a bit like that.

    I think you and I must be of a similar age. I was just starting Uni when AIDS hit. I don't know anyone who died.
  • GalilitGalilit Shipmate
    Yes, AFF - I also thought that is something only a man can say to another man.

    And it is better than what I usually say which is "There is no "lower limit" when it comes to men and sex", Which I don't know if I have ever said to a man or men - though I may have said it in "mixed company". And lived to tell the tale!
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    Last week a group of us met, as we do every month, to help put together 'rape comfort packs' to be delivered to local day hospitals and clinics. These are given to rape survivors after examination by district surgeons and police interviews and initial treatment or hospitalisation. We make up packs for small children that include toys and soft face cloths, salves, antiseptic lotions, hair clips, pens and colouring books. The comfort packs for elderly women include notebooks, scented body lotions and soaps, cards with positive affirmations, sanitary towels for discharges, plasters, panties and small hand towels. Several of those in the group are men, some of whom have had daughters and sisters or partners raped or who have experienced sexual violence themselves. Once or twice, they have emergd froma shamefaced silence to speak of the horror they felt on realising the magnitude of trauma and what what it is like for women living in rape culture.
  • asherasher Shipmate
    MaryLouise wrote: »
    Last week a group of us met, as we do every month, to help put together 'rape comfort packs' to be delivered to local day hospitals and clinics. These are given to rape survivors after examination by district surgeons and police interviews and initial treatment or hospitalisation. We make up packs for small children that include toys and soft face cloths, salves, antiseptic lotions, hair clips, pens and colouring books. The comfort packs for elderly women include notebooks, scented body lotions and soaps, cards with positive affirmations, sanitary towels for discharges, plasters, panties and small hand towels. Several of those in the group are men, some of whom have had daughters and sisters or partners raped or who have experienced sexual violence themselves. Once or twice, they have emergd froma shamefaced silence to speak of the horror they felt on realising the magnitude of trauma and what what it is like for women living in rape culture.

    What an amazing thing to be involved in. Really good to read that the group provides a space for women and men who have experienced sexual violence, and to do so purposefully. In my home county the services for women who have experienced abuse have been cut due to 'austerity'; and there have never been any services for men who have experienced abuse.

    I'd not come across the term 'rape culture' before, and so I did the inevitable google search...

    'a society or environment whose prevailing social attitudes have the effect of normalizing or trivializing sexual assault and abuse'.

    For me at least that describes how GeeD was treated earlier on the other thread.

    I guess that AFF might have things right when she bravely suggested upthread that those who have been abused are at risk of becoming abusive.

    Asher
  • Simon Toad wrote: »
    This is one of the issues I think gay men of my generation have got most wrong, in ways that affect everyone. I think we've taken refuge in a caricature of masculinity that has much toxic about it, and been very defensive if ever called on it. As far as I know, I'm very careful, and am certainly among the gay men who will grab a women's breasts at any excuse or none (mind you that seems to be less of a thing than it used to be, unless I've just stopped going to places where it happens), but I'm not sure how typical I am. I believe the origins of this to be in the AIDS crisis, and the fact that I an my cohort came of age as it peaked and light dawned with the arrival of anti-retroviral drugs, only for us to find our older brothers, as it were, were far to many of them dead.

    I'm not sure what you mean here thunderbunk. Do you mean that some gay men are in the habit of groping women and then saying 'it's OK I'm gay', but that you are not one of them? I wasn't aware that was a thing, but I'm a bit like that.

    I think you and I must be of a similar age. I was just starting Uni when AIDS hit. I don't know anyone who died.

    Yes, I do mean that, but I also mean more than that. I mean that, at least at the time I'm thinking of, there was a lot that we could have done to oppose the laddish culture that was growing at the time, given that the then still pretty widespread and blatant homophobia meant that we were likely to suffer from it. That homophobia was starting to die down, and the opportunity was there to try and make more general a rather more subtle, multi-faceted version of masculinity, rather than the essentially cartoonish "lad". Instead, we kind of adopted a "lite" version of it, or at least snickered along with it, and thus became part of the problem rather than the solution.
  • Simon Toad wrote: »
    This is one of the issues I think gay men of my generation have got most wrong, in ways that affect everyone. I think we've taken refuge in a caricature of masculinity that has much toxic about it, and been very defensive if ever called on it. As far as I know, I'm very careful, and am certainly among the gay men who will grab a women's breasts at any excuse or none (mind you that seems to be less of a thing than it used to be, unless I've just stopped going to places where it happens), but I'm not sure how typical I am. I believe the origins of this to be in the AIDS crisis, and the fact that I an my cohort came of age as it peaked and light dawned with the arrival of anti-retroviral drugs, only for us to find our older brothers, as it were, were far to many of them dead.

    I'm not sure what you mean here thunderbunk. Do you mean that some gay men are in the habit of groping women and then saying 'it's OK I'm gay', but that you are not one of them? I wasn't aware that was a thing, but I'm a bit like that.

    I think you and I must be of a similar age. I was just starting Uni when AIDS hit. I don't know anyone who died.

    Yes, I do mean that, but I also mean more than that. I mean that, at least at the time I'm thinking of, there was a lot that we could have done to oppose the laddish culture that was growing at the time, given that the then still pretty widespread and blatant homophobia meant that we were likely to suffer from it. That homophobia was starting to die down, and the opportunity was there to try and make more general a rather more subtle, multi-faceted version of masculinity, rather than the essentially cartoonish "lad". Instead, we kind of adopted a "lite" version of it, or at least snickered along with it, and thus became part of the problem rather than the solution.

    Wow this is such a brave admission. So you noticed the shift too? Because I was living in the States in the early 90s and saw it begin to take root in advertising that was aimed at men about ten years younger than me.

    Specifically the anti-intellectual "jack-ass" stunting-against-social-mores kind of masculinity for white men, and the hijacking of the socially uplifting message of rap and hip-hop into "thug-gangsta" masculinity for black men.

    Thank you for being so truthful. I really appreciate it.

    AFF







  • MaryLouise wrote: »
    Last week a group of us met, as we do every month, to help put together 'rape comfort packs' to be delivered to local day hospitals and clinics. These are given to rape survivors after examination by district surgeons and police interviews and initial treatment or hospitalisation. We make up packs for small children that include toys and soft face cloths, salves, antiseptic lotions, hair clips, pens and colouring books. The comfort packs for elderly women include notebooks, scented body lotions and soaps, cards with positive affirmations, sanitary towels for discharges, plasters, panties and small hand towels. Several of those in the group are men, some of whom have had daughters and sisters or partners raped or who have experienced sexual violence themselves. Once or twice, they have emergd froma shamefaced silence to speak of the horror they felt on realising the magnitude of trauma and what what it is like for women living in rape culture.

    What a great mission.

    I (thank God so far) have never had the necessity to go as far as police interviews and physical exams but what I have heard of that part of the experience is that it can be almost as traumatizing as the assault itself. It rips my guts out that you have to put together kits for children. Well, for anyone for that matter, but especially the little ones.

    I wonder what a comfort kit for a man would look like? If rape is under reported in general, then surely male-on-male aggression must be the most under reported.

    Many hugs to you and your group.

    AFF

  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    God bless you, @MaryLouise.
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host

    What a great mission.

    I (thank God so far) have never had the necessity to go as far as police interviews and physical exams but what I have heard of that part of the experience is that it can be almost as traumatizing as the assault itself. It rips my guts out that you have to put together kits for children. Well, for anyone for that matter, but especially the little ones.

    I wonder what a comfort kit for a man would look like? If rape is under reported in general, then surely male-on-male aggression must be the most under reported.

    Many hugs to you and your group.

    AFF

    AFF, we try to keep the comfort packs gender-neutral (soft toys such as teddy bears rather than dolls, preference for colours other than pink or blue, etc) because, of course, boy children are increasingly likely to be targeted, along with transgender youngsters, trans sex workers, queer or gay men, as well as heterosexual men -- notably those who may have suffered assault in South Africa's notorious holding cells or prison incarceration while awaiting trial.

    You're right though that male rape is probably the most under-reported. Boys and men are routinely shamed or punished in most societies for 'under-performing' as a man or showing 'weakness' in terms of toxic masculinity.
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    asher wrote: »

    What an amazing thing to be involved in. Really good to read that the group provides a space for women and men who have experienced sexual violence, and to do so purposefully. In my home county the services for women who have experienced abuse have been cut due to 'austerity'; and there have never been any services for men who have experienced abuse.



    Asher

    Asher, we have no funding for services either, but we fund them ourselves as volunteers because this kind of service is so important. South Africa has one of the highest rape rates in the world. We get donations from local shops, community organisations and churches, make time to meet and work together. It isn't enough --- so much more is needed -- but it is something and the participation of men is a valuable learning curve for them.
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    edited April 16
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    God bless you, @MaryLouise.

    Thank you @Rossweisse.

    I must also mention the incredible work done by [url="ttps://rapecrisis.org.za"]Rape Crisis in Cape Town[/url] to advocate for better support services for victims of rape, both prior to entering, and within, the Criminal Justice System. By minimising secondary victimisation and improving conviction rates, more children, LGBTIQ people, women and men are encouraged to report rape.

    Rape Crisis has specially trained court supporters at five local courts who give pre-trial support, show survivors around the court room, explain complex processes and describe the role players in the court. Court supporters make sure that survivors understand the role they will play, and offer emotional support on the day. Secondary victimisation and the trauma of a court appearance remains a key reason why rape survivors don't report or lay charges against their attackers, especially when those are adult male relatives, community leaders or church leaders, gangsters in the community.


    In December 2007 the Sexual Offences Act was amended to include a new legal definition of rape and an expanded list of types of sexual offences, including human trafficking for sexual exploitation and compelling others to commit offences. Rape Crisis, together with active members of the Shukumisa Campaign, has embarked on a campaign to educate all South Africans about this new legislation and implications for communities. There is peer education at schools and with youth groups.

    The most significant advocacy work, though, and one studied or adopted by many international advocacy bodies, is the Rape Survivors' Justice Campaign for the planned and funded rollout of sexual offences courts. These involve specially trained prosecutors and magistrates (many of whom are male) as well as a special court room, a separate waiting room for adult witnesses/survivors, a separate waiting room for child witnesses/survivors, and a special testifying room with CCTV equipment.

    In terms of this thread, what all this highly visible and internationally acknowledged work means is that it is harder for local men to remain oblivious of the impact of rape on their communities and it helps men realise they too have a role to play in countering the prevalence of rape in society and changing the 'myths' about rape and attitudes towards women or transgender people once so prevalent..
  • McMaverickMcMaverick Shipmate
    MaryLouise wrote: »
    Last week a group of us met, as we do every month, to help put together 'rape comfort packs' to be delivered to local day hospitals and clinics. These are given to rape survivors after examination by district surgeons and police interviews and initial treatment or hospitalisation. We make up packs for small children that include toys and soft face cloths, salves, antiseptic lotions, hair clips, pens and colouring books. The comfort packs for elderly women include notebooks, scented body lotions and soaps, cards with positive affirmations, sanitary towels for discharges, plasters, panties and small hand towels. Several of those in the group are men, some of whom have had daughters and sisters or partners raped or who have experienced sexual violence themselves. Once or twice, they have emergd froma shamefaced silence to speak of the horror they felt on realising the magnitude of trauma and what what it is like for women living in rape culture.
    This just makes me want to weep; both because of the awful nature of the crimes and their impact, and because of the tenderness of your ministry and courage in looking the atrocity full in the face.
    I will be remembering this humbling ministry in prayer.
  • I think it's worth noting that rape is a war crime.

    It is used to subjugate both women and men in armed conflict zones and in prisons.

    Why do we assign shame to the victim instead of to the perp?

    Why are we wired this way? How do we invert the mirror?

    AFF
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    ...Why do we assign shame to the victim instead of to the perp?

    Why are we wired this way? How do we invert the mirror?
    Powerful men seem always to write the rules. How we change that, I'm not sure.


  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    RooK wrote: »
    That's the plan; that's the hope.

  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    RooK wrote: »

    Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May?
  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    Gee D wrote: »
    RooK wrote: »

    Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May?

    Are you stupid or an asshole?
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    RooK wrote: »
    Gee D wrote: »
    RooK wrote: »

    Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May?

    Are you stupid or an asshole?

    Just pointing out two obvious flaws in your theory.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    asher wrote: »
    MaryLouise wrote: »
    Last week a group of us met, as we do every month, to help put together 'rape comfort packs' to be delivered to local day hospitals and clinics. These are given to rape survivors after examination by district surgeons and police interviews and initial treatment or hospitalisation. We make up packs for small children that include toys and soft face cloths, salves, antiseptic lotions, hair clips, pens and colouring books. The comfort packs for elderly women include notebooks, scented body lotions and soaps, cards with positive affirmations, sanitary towels for discharges, plasters, panties and small hand towels. Several of those in the group are men, some of whom have had daughters and sisters or partners raped or who have experienced sexual violence themselves. Once or twice, they have emergd froma shamefaced silence to speak of the horror they felt on realising the magnitude of trauma and what what it is like for women living in rape culture.

    What an amazing thing to be involved in. Really good to read that the group provides a space for women and men who have experienced sexual violence, and to do so purposefully. In my home county the services for women who have experienced abuse have been cut due to 'austerity'; and there have never been any services for men who have experienced abuse.

    I'd not come across the term 'rape culture' before, and so I did the inevitable google search...

    'a society or environment whose prevailing social attitudes have the effect of normalizing or trivializing sexual assault and abuse'.

    For me at least that describes how GeeD was treated earlier on the other thread.

    I'm not sure about that last sentence. I don't think what Ck said was an example of trivialisation of sexual assault. The opposite in fact. More an example of women feeling fed up and angry about rape culture being the norm, and having their reactions to frequent experiences of being groped belittled and mocked by men, even being told by men that they should be flattered at the attention, or being blamed for inviting it. And then, after a lifetime of experiencing this attitude from men, a woman might understandably feel frustration when a man then mentions having being groped once himself, and what a terrible traumatic thing it was, but with no added acknowledgement along the lines of: 'Bloody hell, now I see how shitty it must really be for women, where this is normalised as an everyday experience, and how privileged I am that this is not the norm for me, and I've been able to work through the one-off trauma and move on, without the expectation of it being a regular occurrence.'
  • It's hard, because the emotional temptation to say "You only figured it out NOW?" is so overwhelming. Though it's totally unfair, of course. It's not a requirement for any individual single man to publicly pronounce a "woke" statement validating the pain of others whenever he tells a story about coming to share in that pain himself. It would be a nice extra, sure; but he gets to have his own pain and express it without being required to minister to the pain of us as well.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    edited April 24
    mousethief wrote: »
    RooK wrote: »
    Gee D wrote: »
    RooK wrote: »

    Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May?

    Are you stupid or an asshole?

    Just pointing out two obvious flaws in your theory.

    Indeed - 2 women in the highest political position in the UK. I could have added Julia (the Backstabber) Gillard as well. And if you're not limiting yourself to a government role, you could add Lee Rhiannon.
  • I asked for this thread to be split so that we could move away from specific discussions of individuals, having apologised for so doing within half an hour of the original rant.

    Toxic masculinity is an issue in a patriarchal society where the advertising industry sells everything with sex. It means women being objectified and seen as lesser so they should accept if not enjoy abuse. But it also means men suffer from being treated as wusses or girls if they aren't aggressively masculine enough. The number of phrases that add to the bringing up of men in this atmosphere are legion: "Don't be such a girl!", "Big boys don't cry", "You run/throw like a girl"

    From the linked article
    Key findings from our Gender Report 2016 highlighted the powerful impact gender has on our experiences:
    • 35% of teenage girls believe their gender will have a negative effect on their career prospects versus 4% of boys.
    • 44% of respondents (43% male, 45% female, those who identify as trans 79%) have been treated unfairly for not conforming to gender stereotypes.
    • A high 59% of respondents felt men were better at a career in sport than women, while only 1% of respondents felt that women were better than men.

    Or this quotation:
    “What’s the worst possible thing you can call a woman? Don’t hold back, now.
    You’re probably thinking of words like slut, whore, bitch, cunt (I told you not to hold back!), skank.
    Okay, now, what are the worst things you can call a guy? Fag, girl, bitch, pussy. I’ve even heard the term “mangina.”
    Notice anything? The worst thing you can call a girl is a girl. The worst thing you can call a guy is a girl. Being a woman is the ultimate insult. Now tell me that’s not royally fucked up.”
    Jessica Valenti, Full Frontal Feminism

    So how is that not toxic masculinity
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    fineline wrote: »
    asher wrote: »
    MaryLouise wrote: »
    Last week a group of us met, as we do every month, to help put together 'rape comfort packs' to be delivered to local day hospitals and clinics. These are given to rape survivors after examination by district surgeons and police interviews and initial treatment or hospitalisation. We make up packs for small children that include toys and soft face cloths, salves, antiseptic lotions, hair clips, pens and colouring books. The comfort packs for elderly women include notebooks, scented body lotions and soaps, cards with positive affirmations, sanitary towels for discharges, plasters, panties and small hand towels. Several of those in the group are men, some of whom have had daughters and sisters or partners raped or who have experienced sexual violence themselves. Once or twice, they have emergd froma shamefaced silence to speak of the horror they felt on realising the magnitude of trauma and what what it is like for women living in rape culture.

    What an amazing thing to be involved in. Really good to read that the group provides a space for women and men who have experienced sexual violence, and to do so purposefully. In my home county the services for women who have experienced abuse have been cut due to 'austerity'; and there have never been any services for men who have experienced abuse.

    I'd not come across the term 'rape culture' before, and so I did the inevitable google search...

    'a society or environment whose prevailing social attitudes have the effect of normalizing or trivializing sexual assault and abuse'.

    For me at least that describes how GeeD was treated earlier on the other thread.

    I'm not sure about that last sentence. I don't think what Ck said was an example of trivialisation of sexual assault. The opposite in fact. More an example of women feeling fed up and angry about rape culture being the norm, and having their reactions to frequent experiences of being groped belittled and mocked by men, even being told by men that they should be flattered at the attention, or being blamed for inviting it. And then, after a lifetime of experiencing this attitude from men, a woman might understandably feel frustration when a man then mentions having being groped once himself, and what a terrible traumatic thing it was, but with no added acknowledgement along the lines of: 'Bloody hell, now I see how shitty it must really be for women, where this is normalised as an everyday experience, and how privileged I am that this is not the norm for me, and I've been able to work through the one-off trauma and move on, without the expectation of it being a regular occurrence.'

    Why should I have added that? It would not have been at all relevant to my post.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    Well, Ck has said she wants the conversation moved away from individuals, and my point was not to target you specifically, Gee D, but because I felt Asher had missed the point, using you as an example, and this is a wider issue. It's about sensitivity to audience and expressing greater awareness of the big picture. But as the answer to your question is something that can be extended to many issues of privilege, not just male privilege, and I would answer by using such issues as illustrations, it is perhaps not relevant to pursue on a thread specifically about toxic masculinity. My point was more that within such a rape culture, the kind of reaction expressed and being criticised is actually quite understandable.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    Regarding electing women, let's say Obama had been considered by those here to be a bad president. If we were discussing the fact that white people have always had power in America, and questioning how to change that, and someone said 'Elect black people,' would mentioning Obama really be evidence that actually electing black people isn't going to help shift power and move towards more equality.

    Plenty of male leaders have been shitty. Should not women also have opportunity to be leaders, whether shitty or not? Or is the idea that only good, likeable women leaders will justify the idea that women should be leaders too?
  • One of the problems has been that the way some women have become electable was modelling themselves on men, mirroring the toxic masculine behaviours. Which is unhelpful and not the way to improve society.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Let's look at some other women elected. What would you say about Indira Gandhi, Mrs Bandaranaike or Golda Meir?
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    fineline wrote: »
    Well, Ck has said she wants the conversation moved away from individuals, and my point was not to target you specifically, Gee D, but because I felt Asher had missed the point, using you as an example, and this is a wider issue.

    But why use me as an example when what you say has nothing at all to do with my post? You say that you did not want to target me specifically but you did so. And without any basis.

  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    *cough*

    This thread was deliberately split so that we could discuss the non GeeD parts of the issue here.

    If you want to rehash that, GeeD's threat is still open.

    DT
    HH
  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    One of the problems has been that the way some women have become electable was modelling themselves on men, mirroring the toxic masculine behaviours. Which is unhelpful and not the way to improve society.

    The fact that this wasn't implicitly obvious is what drove my question of stupidity or assholery. Anyone who can't see how toxic masculinity is fundamentally woven into the fabric of our power structures, regardless of the individuals. The suggestion is to try to change the power structures by electing a more representative proportion of women - somewhat more than 50% would be great.

    In no way is electing a single female a solution, and only an idiot or an asshole would spin it that way.
  • The word tokenism comes to mind.

    I personally am appalled that I entered the workforce ten years after the feminist demonstrations of the late sixties and early seventies and here we are fifty years after those demonstrations and nothing has changed. In fact it seems to me things have gotten worse.

    It occurs to me that of course women can't win - Gee D disparages women who come across with masculine affect when they have only been allowed to get where they are because of some kind of bizarre cultural Stockholm syndrome. They forfeit respect because they have rejected a script that calls for certain kinds of behaviour in certain situations. They are a bizarre hybrid that is worthy of contempt.

    But it wouldn't matter anyway. As CK pointed out above, women are held in universal contempt. It wouldn't matter what women do or how they behave they would still be the world's bitch.

    AFF
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    .

    It occurs to me that of course women can't win - Gee D disparages women who come across with masculine affect when they have only been allowed to get where they are because of some kind of bizarre cultural Stockholm syndrome.
    AFF

    ?

    All I did was point out the fallacy in Rook's post.
  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    You pointed out that you're an idiotic asshole.
  • A Feminine ForceA Feminine Force Shipmate
    edited April 25
    Gee D wrote: »
    .

    It occurs to me that of course women can't win - Gee D disparages women who come across with masculine affect when they have only been allowed to get where they are because of some kind of bizarre cultural Stockholm syndrome.
    AFF

    ?

    All I did was point out the fallacy in Rook's post.

    I don't think it was a fallacy. Tokenism is the word that springs to mind.

    If you think that those women you mentioned have anything to do with mobilizing social, economic and political resources away from maintenance of the masculine status quo I think you need to take another look.

    They have attained their position explicitly because they are NOT a threat to masculine privilege.

    And it remains to be seen whether the new blood in the American legislature can muster a critical mass of support. My opinion of politicians in general is lower than my opinion of lawyers and bankers, so talk is cheap. It's the walk. It's the walk.

    AFF
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate

    I don't think it was a fallacy. Tokenism is the word that springs to mind.

    If you think that those women you mentioned have anything to do with mobilizing social, economic and political resources away from maintenance of the masculine status quo I think you need to take another look.

    They have attained their position explicitly because they are NOT a threat to masculine privilege.
    AFF

    Gawd.
  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    A stirring rebuttal from the idiot asshole.
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