“Men need to modernize more and yet be more like they were before. Clear as mud?”

These are comments by wellokaythen and Joe on the post “Breaking News from Fox columnist: Women aren’t Women Anymore“.

wellokaythen said:

I confess I’m totally confused by the whole “end of men” debate. When I put it all together, I hear really mixed messages:

Men haven’t changed enough, but they also need to keep in touch with older ideals. Men are being left behind, and the best way to fight this is to be more like they used to be. Men need to modernize more and at the same time be more like they were before. Change forwards and change backwards. Gender ideals are really unrealistic, exploitative mindgames, and we need to question every single one of them, except when it comes to what women want in a husband, which is sacrosanct and not subject to any criticism. If a woman is not good enough for a man, he needs to change. If a man is not good enough for a woman, he needs to change then, too.

“Where have all the good men gone?” is not a question about the need for men to catch up with women. It’s a question that looks backwards in time, not forwards. Yet, men also face criticism that they haven’t updated masculinity enough. So, the solution for men is simple: go forward in time and backward in time at the same time.

Clear as mud?

Joe responded:

wellokaythen, I think about this a lot. There are some interesting dynamics but for me it mostly boils down to, do you prefer the ideas you have of what a man is supposed to be or an actual, emotionally and intellectually complex, living, breathing man. Because you can’t have both (and the same goes for men when it comes to women, or men to men, women to women, etc. … )

I had an ex who got terribly upset when I explained that I didn’t worship the ground she walked on and it was a good thing. Needless to say it didn’t work out, and she wasn’t a saint (but didn’t understand that was certainly part of the reason I did love her). 

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  1. Peter Houlihan says:

    The original article in the atlantic was all about men’s rights issues. I didn’t read it so much as “men need to change more” as “men’s issues need to be addressed in order to allow that change.” Address the issues and no more problem:
    Q. Not enough men are doing housework and childcare
    A. Make the home an equally safe and acceptable environment for men

    Q. Not enough men are tooling up in college
    A. Make the education system equally welcoming to men


    • But Peter – your responses and ideas mean that the whole “Men are benefiting due to patriarchy” ideal has to end – and no-one is willing to take their favourite pet “patriarchy” to the veterinarian and have it euthanasied. P^)

      Make things equal – even if to allow equality you may have to treat one group differently to another? Hell that’s in the treaty of Rome which comes from the Truman Doctrine – and that was all about American Values ending up in Europe and preventing war. Don’t you hate it when the best laid plans of mice and men just bugger up?

      • The patriarchy *is* beneficial to men. It’s also a straight jacket and a hammer to the head. I suspect that we, as a society, are going to have to let go of both aspects to move to the next level.

  2. I think the only answer is to just not give a shit … until I’m supposed to.

  3. wellokaythen says:

    My response to Joe’s response to me:

    Good riddance to her. If a woman wants unconditional worship and obedience, she should get a dog, not treat a man like a dog. (Or she should find a man who enjoys being treated that way and negotiate that with him. Some rare types of men appear to enjoy it, but I’m guessing you were not one of them.)

    A lot of the idealized messages to men in our society treat men like they are not really human. We’re either superhuman or we’re far less than human. Not much in the middle.

  4. QuantumInc says:

    Part of it is the fact that different people are saying very different things. There’s a lot of different viewpoints when it comes to gender roles. Social conservatives who believe 1950s gender roles are the most natural and the best. Women who want to be able to get jobs, vote, and express opinions, but simply don’t feel anything for a man who is too emotional. Women who don’t feel anything for men who aren’t emotional enough. Men who are frustrated hiding their sensitive side. Men who take pride in their toughness. The overall message is a mess because there isn’t an overall message, there’s a variety of different messages with nothing approaching a consensus.

    Even within a particular person there can be conflicting beliefs. If you feel unsure how to feel, and utterly conflicted, you’re in good company.

    • Your post frames what I’m about to say, and I don’t mean to imply that you do or don’t hold an opposing view to mine.

      The messages are confusing, at least when you forget that different sources will provide different answers to the same question. Add to that predictable confusion the psychic pain that comes from trying to be something you’re not, (she looks like she’d appreciate the traditional type—where are my never opened Marlboros) and you end up a confused, inauthentic mess. Mostly self inflicted.

  5. It all makes sense when you realize society’s view on what a man should be is based on how beneficial he is to woman and the people around him.

  6. Richard Aubrey says:

    It’s actually a trifurcation.
    Advanced men–you can tell who they are because they tell you who they are–want to drop the old stereotypes and become….something or other. Just not the old thing.
    Women say they want the same only different.
    And women go for the old type.
    On the ‘net, guys say from their own hard experience, and advice columnists say, and the PUA say, and musers (those who muse) say the best way to invol cel is to do and be what women say they want men to do and be. Except for those who say, “effing eff me already”, whom you can usually take on their word except when you can’t.

    • ‘Cuz women are all the same.

      Amused at what seems to be a guy putting all women in a very small box to express his frustration with being put in a very small box….

  7. Wellokaythen, do you write articles? Because seriously, I love your shit.

    • Not so sure about the shit, but I do love the Irony! P^)

    • wellokaythen says:

      Before you go all groupie and shit, you should know that I am merely a complex computer program impersonating a human being. Don’t try to stalk me, okay? I’m just an AI.

      • Well I need to find SOME use for these night vision cameras…

        • wellokaythen says:

          I was afraid of that. Green is terribly unflattering with my skin tones. (Night-vision green is a summer color, and I’m more of an autumn.) And when my pupils are dilated, you really miss out on the sparkle in my eyes.

      • @wellokaythen – So really your just a clone of Watson over at IBM. We will all have to figure out soon what to do with language when Watson gets promiscuous. A chip off the old block just isn’t right when it’s the micro chips at it. … just like Daddy, a transistor off the old chip..?

        • wellokaythen says:

          Watson? A toaster by comparison. He’s Pong, and I’m Halo 6. I’ve been known to get Jeopardy answers wrong by overthinking the prompts, so that means I’m smarter than Watson, right?

          (Oooh, now _there’s_ a philosophical question for the 21st century – is it an ad hominem attack to insult the intelligence of an artificial intelligence?)

      • FlyingKal says:

        Before you go all groupie and shit, you should know that I am merely a complex computer program impersonating a human being. Don’t try to stalk me, okay? I’m just an AI.

        And I bet it gives you a headache just trying to think down to our level… 😉

        Anyway, very well put.

      • wello, 3 cotd’s in 7days. youve never done before, thats amazing. youre ‘seeing the ball really big’

        • wellokaythen says:

          It’s mostly volume and luck. I throw a lot of words onto the screen day after day, so many that some of them are bound to be quotable at some point. It’s the whole “hundred monkeys typing” kind of thing.

          I’m the Samuel L. Jackson of GMP blogging. I’ll take on everything anyone offers me, whether I’m the best person for the job or not, and eventually I’m bound to get recognized through sheer numbers of entries. Usually it’s a _Snakes on a Plane_, but once in a while it’s a _Pulp Fiction_.

          Also, I’ve offered the editors sexual favors in exchange for Quote of the Day status, and it worked! They give me regular honors in exchange for my not offering them sexual favors anymore….

          • There is way more “51st State” in here than meets the eye!

            MDMA utilizes Serotonin. Opiates, like heroin, utilize dopamine. Sort of like the same sensation you get after sex. Amphetamines increase adrenaline. And cocaine gets those synapses in the brains firing really fast. My product is 51 times stronger than cocaine, 51 times more hallucinogenic than acid, and 51 times more explosive than ecstasy. It’s like getting a personal visit… from God!

            Should I pass the offertory plate round now?

  8. “do you prefer the ideas you have of what a man is supposed to be or an actual, emotionally and intellectually complex, living, breathing man. Because you can’t have both (and the same goes for men when it comes to women, or men to men, women to women, etc. … )”

    Amen! The sooner we dump the stereotypes and make the effort to know individuals as they are, the better.

    Why is it that people who would cringe at blanket statements about various races and religions are perfectly happy to make blanket statements about the sexes? As my favorite quote from Bones says, “‘Women’ is an unacceptable generalization.”

  9. Why does reading this leave me with flash backs to misspent time – serious conversations with plates of pasta, bottles of wine, bread sticks and a waiter called Mario?

    If is appeared anywhere it would be The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy – and it sounds very much like Bistromathics to me. It’s that or the Infinite Improbability Drive has just been made redundant with a Finite Infinite Probability Drive, and you get two for the price of one!

    Not only do you get the joy of passing through all points in the universe in a single moment – you get driven round the bend and to distraction at the same time.

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