Author Topic: Today’s Masculinity Is Stifling  (Read 411 times)

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Offline RandyL

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Today’s Masculinity Is Stifling
« on: August 29, 2018, 11:14:25 am »
I couldn't find a good forum for general cultural/childraising/parenting topics. Maybe I missed it. Feel free to move it.

Jamie on my local Facebook gender group posted this great article from June's Atlantic:

Today’s Masculinity Is Stifling by Sarah Rich

https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2018/06/imagining-a-better-boyhood/562232/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=the-atlantic&utm_content=cm&utm_term=2018-07

As boys grow up, the process of becoming men encourages them to shed the sort of intimate connections and emotional intelligence that add meaning to life.

There’s a word for what’s happening here: misogyny. When school officials and parents send a message to children that “boyish” girls are badass but “girlish” boys are embarrassing, they are telling kids that society values and rewards masculinity, but not femininity. They are not just keeping individual boys from free self-expression, but they are keeping women down too.
If so, then why not?

Offline Lucca

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Re: Today’s Masculinity Is Stifling
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2018, 12:28:54 pm »
Yeah, that's a really good article. My only real concern with it is that people will look at it and say "trans people are just gender-nonconforming and they aren't actually a different gender than their assigned one," which is something I've already ran up against in my very limited experience coming out to anyone.

Offline Virginia

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Re: Today’s Masculinity Is Stifling
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2018, 12:40:47 pm »
I am wondering if Ms Rich is planning a companion article entitled, "Today’s Femininity Is Stifling"...
~VA (pronounced Vee- Aye, the abbreviation for the State of Virginia where I live)

Offline Lucca

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Re: Today’s Masculinity Is Stifling
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2018, 12:56:25 pm »
Today's feminity is certainly stifling in many ways, but one of the main points of this article is that a lot of people are already discussing how women are or aren't free to express themselves, while barely any of the same attention is given to men.

I mean, I've brought up these concerns to people before and explained in detail all the ways that I've been limited as an AMAB, and they've just told me "I don't think there's a problem with men being stifled, just do whatever you want and it's probably fine," despite having just told them how it hasn't been fine for me. Then a woman will raise the same concerns, and the whole room nods their head in agreement.

Offline confusedfairy

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Re: Today’s Masculinity Is Stifling
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2018, 10:56:18 pm »
Having an almost two year old son myself (tomorrow!), I get the impression that nobody will ever be happy with what one does with one's child.  Some people will chase after more liberal trends, some people will chase after more conservative trends, and hopefully some will be ok with my plan to actually see what my kid has to say about the matter.  I do love that she's actually trying to pay attention to her son's feelings. 


Thus far, my son seems to favor trucks, Moana, and Octonauts. 

Offline confusedfairy

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Re: Today’s Masculinity Is Stifling
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2018, 11:18:15 pm »
Oh and I should add this because maybe some will feel encouraged:  I teach sixth grade science and the little boys apparently have no problem with choosing the color pink as their favorite, and the other kids don't seem to have much problem with it either.  It's a very, very small thing, but I don't think this occurred when I was their age. 

Also- when the guidance counselors had an LGBT event, they were expecting very little support, and apparently got swarmed by kids, and ran out of rainbow stickers.  Hopefully it was for more than just the heart shaped rainbow stickers.

The kids also responded wonderfully to my explanation of what it meant to be intersex, and expressed legitimate interest in transgender topics (i.e., what is that all about?)   

So while some places may be choking on their old fashioned hangups, some progress is being made, even if it is small. 

Offline RandyL

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Re: Today’s Masculinity Is Stifling
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2018, 11:40:44 pm »
Thank you for the thoughtful discussion, Lucca and Fairy. I think it will take generations for gender to become a less sensitive issue, but the Millennials and younger kids are making progress on it.

I was out and about on a busy shopping street downtown today, dressed femme and with painted toenails, but no makeup or close shaving -- clearly male. I definitely got some looks, much more than when I go fully femme with makeup. I think this is all because a male "shouldn't" be dressing this way. No, AMAB's are not yet free to do whatever they want.
If so, then why not?

Offline Kiera

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Re: Today’s Masculinity Is Stifling
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2018, 09:53:36 am »
. . . . despite having just told them how it hasn't been fine for me. Then a woman  . . .

        Great (coming out?) article but absolutely no mention of 'a dad' role model? What are boys to think these days coming from predominately single mother households? Apparently "Father doesn't Knows Best"? as divorce and remarriage has become the norm rather than the exception.

         Are there any original "two parent" families left at all? Have I become the primary "trans-parent" because "sig-other" couldn't have handled it without me? My mother never worked, 'ex' never worked and while feel I came from a "single parent home" my father was always there when it counted . . .

And funny how he turned out to be one of the most "accepting"!  ;D
"But it's no use now," thought poor Alice, "to pretend be two people!
"Why, there's hardly enough of me left to make one respectable person!"

Offline Julia1996

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Re: Today’s Masculinity Is Stifling
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2018, 11:19:41 am »
I totally believe males are valued much more than females. It's interesting how young males are rewarded for masculine behavior. Growing up Tyler was a stereo typical boy. Played sports, played football in high school and had the typical male interests. He was treated far better than I was by all my relatives except my dad. Tyler was treated as something special. Everyone was always so proud of his accomplishments in sports and other guy stuff. I on the other hand was scorned and thought of as an embarrassment by everyone except my dad and brother. My dad endured a LOT of criticism for allowing my feminine behavior and androgynous appearance. It's totally sad how feminine boys are treated by society. My dad was always explaining that I was the way I was and nothing he did was going to change it. Everyone told him he wasn't a good father if he didn't at least try to "fix" me. The things suggested were awful and cruel. When my dad stated that doing that stuff to me would cause me severe emotional damage, the consensus was " it's better to cause some emotional damage than let me grow up to be a "fag". It's heartbreaking that people actually feel that way. I'm extremely lucky that my dad and brother are so loving and accepting but I had a lot of ugly things said to me growing up by all my other relatives, including my mom.
Julia


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Offline RandyL

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Re: Today’s Masculinity Is Stifling
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2018, 11:55:12 am »
My wife can't believe I would want to give up my white male privilege in order to be seen as a woman. She always strived to excel in male-dominated fields like math and computer programming until she reached around 50 years old and was finally able to follow her true inclination into counseling.

This connects to the concern about single parent (mothers) families. There's a slow change, but rarely does the father become the single parent. I guess testosterone plays a part, but as little boys are allowed to express their more loving and nurturing sides, then grow up to be parents -- will we see more fathers taking on the primary caregiver role? Especially as women are allowed more free rein (and more pay/advancement) to be the primary wage earners? I hope so.
If so, then why not?

Offline Julia1996

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Re: Today’s Masculinity Is Stifling
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2018, 01:08:05 pm »
My wife can't believe I would want to give up my white male privilege in order to be seen as a woman. She always strived to excel in male-dominated fields like math and computer programming until she reached around 50 years old and was finally able to follow her true inclination into counseling.

This connects to the concern about single parent (mothers) families. There's a slow change, but rarely does the father become the single parent. I guess testosterone plays a part, but as little boys are allowed to express their more loving and nurturing sides, then grow up to be parents -- will we see more fathers taking on the primary caregiver role? Especially as women are allowed more free rein (and more pay/advancement) to be the primary wage earners? I hope so.

My dad was the primary care giver for myself and my brother. My mom simply had no interest in being a mom after I was born. My poor dad was a single dad even though he had a wife. Knowing my grandpa I'm totally sure my dad wasn't raised to be loving nor encouraged to express any real emotions. Despite that my dad has always been a very loving father to both Tyler and myself.
Julia


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Started hrt 2015
SRS done 5/21/2018

Offline RandyL

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Re: Today’s Masculinity Is Stifling
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2018, 01:18:00 pm »
My dad was the primary care giver for myself and my brother. My mom simply had no interest in being a mom after I was born. My poor dad was a single dad even though he had a wife. Knowing my grandpa I'm totally sure my dad wasn't raised to be loving nor encouraged to express any real emotions. Despite that my dad has always been a very loving father to both Tyler and myself.
Your dad has been so loving and supportive, and I like to think that most dads would do the same if the mom stepped away. But in a more equal split of parents, when either one is available and able to take the primary caregiver role, it's still pretty unusual for the dad to take it on. We just weren't raised to think of ourselves that way, while the women were. The default is for the female to take that role. I hope it will change to come closer to 50-50.
If so, then why not?

Offline Kiera

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Re: Today’s Masculinity Is Stifling
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2018, 09:55:12 am »
The default is for the female to take that role. I hope it will change to come closer to 50-50.

           Randy it already has but judicial attitudes don't reflect that fact, it just works out that way. The year my Georgia divorce was final in 2010 more dads had custody than so-called "mothers" although, in my case at least, not initially for sure. Courts 'error' on the side of women but apparently that doesn't last very long. I had to wait another 4-5 years until my youngest child turned 14 and then it becomes a no-brainer, kids are allowed to choose which parent they want to be with.

          Gotta admit don't think I ever met a single mom I truly liked and respected . . . surely most are, for the same reason as marriage, 'in it for the money'! lol I was lucky to be semi-retired, unemployed at the time so support damages weren't bad and of course, once I was awarded custody/support, have yet to collect a dime. Oh well! Point is at some point "maternal bonds" for women tend to break down and Thank God I'm 'trans' and not looking for another piece of arse, a potential step-parent, to "spoon & sponge" with!

ps: Found a great article on the XY, XX, Intersex debate it's good to see people are starting to realize it's much more than just 'standard equipment', mere chromosomes that define us! (Trans Express
Quote
      If we start looking at psychology and personality traits, there is not one trait found in men that cannot be found in women and the other way round. The only differences seen between men and women only make sense on an aggregate level and they are very small, indeed.
"But it's no use now," thought poor Alice, "to pretend be two people!
"Why, there's hardly enough of me left to make one respectable person!"

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