Five Important Things Women Don’t Know About Men

 It’s true, men are complicated and confusing. Noah Brand clears up five common misconceptions.

The title is, to be fair, an overgeneralization. These things are not universally true of all men, and there definitely are women out there who know and understand some or all of them. By and large, though, these are five areas where communication between the two most popular genders tends to break down on grounds of incomprehension. Women, this might help explain a few things.

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1. We are starved for compliments.

There’s an old rule men learn about flirting with women: if a woman’s pretty, don’t expect to impress her by telling her so. People have been telling her that every single day since puberty, and it no longer even registers as anything other than background noise.

On the other hand, most men have never been told they’re pretty. Or attractive at all. We’re supposed to derive value from our success and careers, not our looks, and there is an overwhelming cultural narrative that we are the wanter, not the wanted, the pursuer, not the pursued, the desiring, not the desirable.

Tell a man (other than Ryan Gosling) that he’s pretty, and you will have his undivided attention. You may well be the first person ever to say that to him. Do not assume that an attractive man knows he’s attractive. The opposite is probably the case.

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2. We are not more shallow than women are.

Sure, some guys only go for women who look like magazine advertisements. Some women do the same thing with guys. But when most women get together with their trusted friends and talk about men, there’s a rich diversity of attraction that gets talked about. They’ll talk about a guy’s sexy voice, or the way he holds them in his sleep, or the look on his face when he’s passionate about something, or the lines of his hands. When they do talk about the face and the body, it’s not all sharp cheekbones and ripped abs, there’s all kinds of types that different women find attractive for their own reasons.

And yet there’s a stereotype that men don’t do the exact same thing. Believe me, we do. When actual grown-up men get together and talk girls, there’s an awful lot of “I love the way she tells the truth, just straight-out with no bullshit.” and “It’s the freckles. I cannot resist her freckles.” and “When she giggles a certain way I just want to jump her right there.”

Oh, we do dig the physical aspects, too, very much so, but again, it’s not about the women in magazines and commercials. Grown men can tell the difference between an airbrushed plastic image designed by a marketing department, and a real live woman. We have a very wide range of tastes and types in terms of what we find sexy in a woman, and anyone who tells you different is probably trying to sell you something.

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3. There’s a reason for that emotional repression.

I’m often surprised by how little most women know about the experience of being a teenage boy. It really shouldn’t be surprising; there’s almost no realistic depictions in media of teenagers of any gender. I mean, when was the last time you saw a teenage girl on TV or in a movie acting like teenage girls act in real life?

Short version: testosterone is a hell of a drug. Those who’ve taken it as adults as part of a gender transition tend to report intense cravings for physical catharsis, flashes of inexplicable rage, and similar effects. And that’s taking it on purpose, knowing that it’s a drug, with an adult level of brain development and emotional maturity. Now imagine that happening to you without warning when you’re thirteen and have no idea what’s going on.

Almost every adult man walking around spent at least part of his adolescence dealing with sourceless, purposeless anger and a desire for violent catharsis. It’s like having a little devil on your shoulder constantly making the same unhelpful suggestion.

“I don’t know how I’m going to deal with this test Friday, I can’t cope.”

“Have you considered… VIOLENCE?”

“Shut up, shoulder devil, nobody asked you. Hmmm, what do I want for lunch…”

“Have you considered… VIOLENCE?”

“Shoulder devil that is NOT EVEN A FOOD.”

And so on. We spend years learning that our immediate emotional responses to things are absolutely not to be trusted. The first response to an emotional impulse must be to ignore it and repress it, just for safety. The men who didn’t learn that reflex? They’re the ones with criminal records for assault.

Once we mature out of adolescence, the hormones calm down and we’re fine, but at that point the cultural conditioning has been drilled in beyond repair, a million repetitions of “man up” and “crying is for girls” and on and on and on. What was a safety precaution in high school becomes a socially mandated norm, and that’s why, over the course of my life, I’ve shed more tears over the “Marseillaise” scene in Casablanca than I have over my mother’s death. (Though to be fair, I’ve seen Casablanca probably twenty times, and my mother’s only died once.)

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4. We are sick of being success objects.

This is one of those things most men don’t even have the vocabulary to talk about. It’s a nameless pain, an unspoken discontent that eats away at far too many men. Just as women too often feel defined solely by their looks and their dress size, so too are men taught that our worth as human beings comes from our career, our bank balance, our success.

All those gold-digger jokes, all those lines about “So what if he’s short—he can stand on his wallet”… we know on a deep level that they’re not jokes. Those lines about how the job of a husband and father is keeping the bills paid—we understand those. We know that our attractiveness, our worth, our contribution to our families is all about how much money we can make. And it’s exhausting.

Some guys get resentful, thinking that even their loved ones just see them as a walking wallet. Some guys get tired, feeling like no matter what they make, it’ll never be good enough. Some guys spend their whole lives ashamed, having had it beaten into them that they’re only worth what they’ve got in the bank, and taking poverty or financial reversals as a deep personal failure. It eats away at us daily in a thousand little microaggressions, all the ways we’re made to feel Not Good Enough, when what they mean is Not Rich Enough.

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5. Yes, we actually do need to adjust ourselves like that.

This one’s less of a major emotional issue, but seriously, enough with the jokes about how weird and gross it is. The equipment shifts around, it changes shape and size, it chafes, and it is very very sensitive. When it gets uncomfortable, it gets very uncomfortable indeed, so cut us a little slack, could you?

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Photo—NeilsPhotography/Flickr

About Noah Brand

Noah Brand is a writer and editor, and quite possibly also a cartoon character from the 1930s. His life, when it is written, will read better than it lived. He is usually found in Portland, Oregon, directly underneath a very nice hat.

Comments

  1. Hi there. My first visit to this site. I’m glad there is a platform available for men to explore masculinity, identity and share their experiences. My only problem with this article is that it pits the genders against each other slightly. Even the title assumes female ignorance of male issues – I get it, lots of women are ignorant but jeez please don’t tar us all with the same brush. All genders have challenges to face. No one’s ride is easy. I love that you’re sharing these things but it doesn’t need to become a competition. Sexual objectification of girls in the guise of compliments is not always complimentary. These apparent privileges are double edged swords, as are, as you have quite rightly pointed out, men’s.

  2. So, why do women get flack for “being hormonal” but men don’t?!! I know that most men don’t have any idea about the melange of hormones (not just testosterone–but it gets all the attention because of the obvious physical manifestation) that control their thoughts, attitudes and behaviors, and that those hormones fluctuate with predictable influence and even some cyclicity. Disruptions cause major issues in men, too. BUT, because most men are blind that this is going on inside them, women are deemed the hormonal ones. We all are walking hormone soup with different flavors all the time!

  3. I think all men can be a bit more complicated. But who likes to be used ,accused and blamed for everything. What I think men really want is to be respected and loved and told that they are valued as a person. A place where they feel useful, and not just for money and sex.

  4. bellaboone says:

    Okay, you lost me right there in example two when you wrote “when men get together and talk GIRLS”. Dude, a GIRL is 17 and under. If you’re a man talking about GIRLS, I don’t want to know you. I’m sick of men condescending to grown WOMEN by referring to us as GIRLS. I avoid men who do this like the plague because it tells me where their emotional maturity level is at.

    • Because semantics define maturity? Now THATS shallow. I can refer to a bowl as a dish, a car as a ride, a kite as a wind catcher thingy, and not a single one of those has to do with maturity level.not everybody thinks it demeaning to say “girls”, nor does everyone think or talk exactly like you. May i suggest not completely dismissing human beings over their choice of wording?

    • And yet there are plenty of women that refer to men as boys.

    • Ok, first. Wemon are genetically girls, and men are genetically boys. If you say, ” that little girl, ” or , “that little boy,” I can see how it can be offensive. Lady is probably a better term, “this lady over here,” or ,” that lady is fine!”. I personally don’t mind being called girl.its what I am, so what.

  5. Allan 2000 says:

    Is it the shallowness of one gender or the shallowness of some of the commentators. Not very sophisticated, I would say. Just like any other internet forum. You know, I can tell the gender of the commentator without reading his/her name. it is not a war, people. We are trying to understand our relationships better.

  6. I run confidence and dating programs for guys. As a woman I love how much I’ve learnt to understand and appreciate men … watching them transform and believe in themselves.

    They teach me as much as I teach them sometimes.

  7. Bob Robertson says:

    Well said.

    In 10 years of a relationship and marriage, I only received one real complement from my ex. And it was after she filed for divorce.

    She makes twice as much as I do, and is suing me for child support.

    So yeah, spot on. Well said. Etc.

  8. Really interesting stuff and , quite bizarrely, I was saying as I read it that ‘I’ve never read anything like this!’

    If we’re truly in an era where everyone is – more or less – trying to be equal, which is how it should be, then these topics should be discussed and noticed. Cheers, I feel unexpectedly empowered!

  9. Robbie Knight says:

    I loved this article and it addressed one of my anxieties as a woman, because most of the statements I’ve heard from emen in my life concerning femala attractiveness made the search image of desireability sound very narrow. Singles ads, (which I haven’t read for decades, lucky me) are very narrow. There seems in our culture to be ONE kind of body type men like and if you aren’t one of the demi-goddess 5% who naturally HAVE it, you’re out of luck. You’ll always be treated like a side dish, when you do manage to get the attention of a guy you like at all. This was my complex for a long, long time and I carried a tremendous amount of anxiety and resentment around with it.

    I wish I had read and believed this at a much younger age, or been stronger in the face of all the criticisms and insults I was privy to. But EVEN SO, the truth you describe in this article won out. My boyfriend now genuinely likes the way I look; he never lets me forget the fact. And I never let him forget how hot HE is.

    This article, and some of the comments, led me to a better understanding of just how the pain we inflict on each other comes back at us. At some point in these arguments, somebody always has to “pull a Gandhi” and send up a white flag, end the blaming, end the hurt.

    Breaking the cycle is the toughest part. But articles like this one really help.

    • Suzana Alves says:

      But that is true; most men would want a kind and sweet woman… who is one of the demi-goddess 5% who naturally have it. They are their dream and most men would definitely want their women to be one of these. When they go for other types of women that is just because they know they could never get one of the 5% and is “settling for less”, because you know how all men deserve a woman who looks like a demi-godess and all. To most men, the more physically beautiful a woman is the more value she has as a partner or even as a person in general. And to be a beautiful woman you have to suffer – even naturally pretty women have to put that extra effort into making themselves desirable. The standard is too high.
      And then men still complain and try to say women are as shallow when women just want a taller men (while forgiving their hairy bodies, balding head, non-symmetrical faces, plain haircuts, stuck-up, boring body language, etc.) who looks decent enough (the standard of decent looks for men is much lower than the standards for women, too, so there’s that as well)… tsc tsc. Cry me a river.

      • Seriously Suzana; take a look around! Go to the grocery store, Wal-Mart, Target, where-ever. Look at the couples that are there shopping. Look at the married couples, the non-married couples, the young couples and the old couples. You will find that the majority of people stay within their own class when it comes to picking a partner! Attractive people are with attractive people. The not so attractive people are with the not so attractive people. You talk about women forgiving men for their hairy bodies, balding heads, non-symmetrical faces, (as though women don’t have non-symmetrical faces,) etc., What about women’s sagging breasts, wrinkled faces. large thighs, etc.? Guess what, the majority of these women are married or in a relationship with a man!!! I see couples where the woman is overweight, wrinkled, has a few grey hairs, and she’s happily married to a man that’s the same way. The way you make it sound, if a woman’s over 40, overweight and single she has no hope of ever finding a man because all the young men and the men that are her age or older are all clammering for the young thin women.

  10. oblomov7 says:

    The emotional repression isn’t always about violence. I recall being teased in junior high school that every time I put my hands in my pockets (an ordinary habit for an awkward teenager), I was “playing with myself,” as it were. Needless to say, this stopped me from putting my hands in my pockets, or talking about anything even remotely emotional, like my family problems or whatever.

    • ” I recall being teased in junior high school that every time I put my hands in my pockets (an ordinary habit for an awkward teenager), I was “playing with myself,” as it were.”
      Ahahahaha! 😀 Life was really hard, I see! 😛

      But really, you are being super totally sarcastic when you say that was such a big, BIG emotional repression that you even stopped talking about family problems, right? Right? Come on dude.

  11. You really did yourself a disservice by leading with this:

    “On the other hand, most men have never been told they’re pretty. Or attractive at all. We’re supposed to derive value from our success and careers, not our looks.”

    Cry me a river. I wish I was judged on something as meaningful and within my control.

    • Hey Kelly-

      I can tell you’re hurting- that’s what you’re trying to communicate. You need compassion for the pain you’ve been under for a long time, same as almost every woman. The ones who fail to give you that compassion fail to do so because they too are in pain.

      When you say “as meaningful and within my control”, there’s a little bit of misunderstanding of many men’s perspectives. Noah is proving right now that he doesn’t care about success so much- he wished it didn’t define him. That isn’t meaningful to him, and it may be partially under his control, but it requires so much work- why should love and acceptance need that much work? Just as how many women wished their looks didn’t define them, and that’s not meaningful to them. But the grass is always greener. I can relate to seeing a beautiful woman, or man, walking down the street and wishing so hard I could be like that. To have people fawning over me. Of course, it would get boring in a week and threatening after years, as you’ve probably experienced. But all this situation proves is that men crave acceptance and love. Women crave acceptance and love. We all do. I hope you get the acceptance and love you need too.

      Thanks for hearing me out.

    • Suzana Alves says:

      I know right. And sucess and carrer can go forever. Looks always fade.
      Not only that, sucess is relative. Be a doctor and you are a hero, as a man. Be a doctor… are you still pretty, as a woman?
      Women in general only want a guy who works and has ambition… men want the beautiful woman, and the beauty standards is high.

      • CooperBear says:

        Why aren’t you pretty when you’re a woman doctor? Those thick rimmed glasses are some of the sexiest MILF accessories on the planet. When you say “in general” and men as an encapsulation of all men, you are not speaking for all of us.

        That woman being a doctor, well she’s my hero. Why not? She’s gotta be there dealing with fluids, blood, disease, dying patients, grieving family members, a hectic schedule, sleep deprivation, and so on and so on. My job as a machine operator where heavy presses could chop my limbs off, is nothing compared to the stress and moral dilemmas she’d have to deal with on a daily basis. She has all the gall to deal with that. Why would that not be attractive?

        Tell me what else do you think she would need for ME to qualify her as beautiful, because to tell you the truth that’s all I’d need to hold her on a pedestal. Is my standard of beauty all that high? That bull you see on the front of magazines is just that, bull. Real women are real women and real beauty is real beauty. Don’t lump all men into a group that gives into the face value of paper on a display stand. My standard of beauty is not your standard of beauty. Don’t confuse the two.

    • Kelly, did you even read point #4, “Men are tired of being success objects.”? It’s funny, women want men to compliment them more of their accomplishments and not so much their appearance, while men want women to compliment them more on their appearance and not so much of their acomplisments all the time.

  12. Bluecat says:

    Yeah, testosterone, that’s the reason. All the guys that beat & abused their girlfriends or vandalized the neighbors’ houses & cars were just helplessly poisoned by the natural hormones every single male has. I’ve known some calm, trustworthy males that had the exact same hormones as the ones who were abusive, dangerous idiots. The thing that separates them, barring mental illness or substance problems, is a moral character with a respect for themselves & others & grow up to be responsible & worthy gentlemen. What a crock to blame all your problems & the trail of destruction you leave on natural body chemicals. Same goes for the lack of emotion. Some people just don’t have compassion/empathy for others, nor do they care about anyone but themselves. Those are the cheaters & ones that don’t ever commit to a relationship.

    • Hey dude, literally everything you do is based on horomones and stuff in your head, regardless, I tend to believe that every negative show is caused by an inner hurt or fear of hurt. it just gets twisted and distorted the more time it spends sick. And I’d much rather that everyone “bad” was just everyone “sick” because you can make sick well again, but you can’t turn a 0 into a 1.

  13. Well.. thank you!
    It seems weird that I truly din’t know all of the things written in this article, as in I felt I should have known them… Thank you for the honesty!

  14. Suzana Alves says:

    The “There’s a reason for that emotional repression” is scary. I do not think I want to live with someone that has so much urge to be violence. Someone 3x my strength and sexually attracted to me… and that violent. No. Never again. But I get that is the norm now. That breaks my heart though.

    The “We are sick of being success objects” is also weird. Most women are very open about how much their bfs/husbands matter to them, and it is most of the times not about his money at all. Most women work and want a man that will put emotional effort and will also take care of the house and the kids. So no, it is not all about how much money you make.

    I will be sure to compliment my male family members more from now on. And no, men in general are still much more shallow than women, sorry lol. And hypocritical as well – they do not want the hairy pits and legs while having it themselves.

    • You obviously came into this with your opinions pre-decided, unable (more importantly unWILLING) to modify them, or even see them challenged. You not only took the time to argue against this, but you used it as an excuse to strengthen your conviction that your misconceptions are correct and unassailable. That alone frightens me more than any of the pointless urges I was forced to repress. It breaks my heart that you would be unquestioningly trusted to raise any boy unlucky enough to share a home with you.

      Sleeping with the enemy? Try being raised by her.

      • Suzana Alves says:

        Let me see if I got your points.
        Yes, of course I came with many opinions. Everyone who is an adult have their formed opinions, that can change or not. Now about modifying them… sure I could, I just don’t see any reason to do so, at least not with this article or your comment.
        What opinions (“misconceptions” as you said) you believe “should” be modified – in your opinion? On the violence matter, he said it all. On the “value because of money” I see things differently in the real world. I am sorry if men will believe the lies they love to tell themselves, or take the minority as a majority, but they are wrong. And on the shallow part, that is also clear and obvious. I am still to see a guy who will accept a woman as hairy as him and who puts as little effort into her looks as he does. Maybe less than 1% will, but that is not the general rule.
        Now that you believe that makes me some kind of “enemy” of males, that is funny actually. But maybe you were just too sensitive that day, so I won’t judge. By the way, just out of curiosity: raising a girl would be fine, you believe? Because you only mentioned boys and all… I mean, just so if I ever get to adopt a child I know the best gender for me not to become their enemy or anything like that. 😉

        • On the “value because of money” I see things differently in the real world

          That’s because you’re blind to your privilege, Suzana. Why are so many women so disparaging of the lived experiences of men?

    • And most women don’t want men that are taller than them? I know a lot of women who refuse to date a man that’s shorter than she is. As for hairy legs and hairy arm pits. I don’t mind. I was with a woman that went weeks without shaving her armpits or legs during the winter. I didn’t care. She felt disgusted by it, when it got to be too long, so she would shave it then, That or if she had to dress up or wear a dress. So no, not all men demand that their woman be shaved all the time. As for men being success objects, it is true. Society tells men that they need to be successful. That our looks don’t matter as much. It’s what we’re able to provide. This isn’t just put on us by women, but by men as well. Fathers for example put this pressure on their sons. And there are still a lot of women out there, that still want the bread winning husband and father. My father worked nearly 60 hours a week to provide for us! I come from a large family of 6. My mom was mostly a stay at home mom. I know my mom had it rough, and I’m in no way discounting that, but my father slaved away for us, and was stressed about it not being enough. (And no we didn’t live in a huge house, or live above our means. We had a small ranch house, that barely fit all 8 of us, and two modest used cars for getting around in.) I’ve seen the stress he was put under, (all this while battling PTSD from Vietnam,) and I don’t want that for myself. Any woman I’m with, is going to be able to work and provide for herself and our future family, just like me.

  15. Noah, A friend of mine (woman) drew my attention to this. Generally a lot of favourable comment on the ensuing FB discussion, but dispute of Point 3. I joined late, and added this:

    “Regarding his 3rd para: “There’s a reason for that emotional repression.”

    My quibble is – and it’s a big one – Repression of ‘male energy’ starts a lot earlier than the teen years, and is learned from adults via direct messages (often enforced with violence) – mainly from dads or the nearest surrogate male role model.
    Either I was abnormal, or I experienced the norm: no sudden or even gradual buildup of desire-to-be-violent due to testoserone. NONE.
    What this guy was saying I was like: “Huh? *What*!?”

    Male violence, in my opinion, stems from a sense of being powerless – and that stems from a life-long disempowerment by parents and society – the suppression of our natural masculinity – and more importantly the suppression or more precisely the utter absence of any messages of happy self-acceptance of masculinity. Instead (and I generalise) we learn to feel ashamed both of our strengths (gusto, creativity, messiness, curiosity, etc) and our ‘weaknesses’ (empathy, sadness, delicacy, grace, love of kittens, vulnerability, tears).
    Any violence as teens might better be attributed to the desire to assert SOMETHING into this confusing social landscape. “Where’s the REAL me? I’m becoming a man – but fuck it I’ve no idea what that really is!!”

    The men I know who actively engage with this change, and ‘pay it forward’ to the next generation via initiation retreats and school talk – they do give teen boys a real sense of the answers they seek. Saves a lot of skinned knuckles and court appearances and occasionally funerals.

    I’d like to see him rewrite point 3.”

    (The men I refer to work here in South East Queensland (Brisbane, Australia) . I’ve attended dozens of events here over the years. They’re a good mob. LOT of respect for women and the feminine even as we reclaim and celebrate the masculine. Comfortably aligned with the equivalent women’s network.)

    Cheers, Ged.M

    • Yes! A voice of reason. That didn’t sit well with me either, but the rest of the article is fantastic. I really enjoyed this. Thanks:)

    • Ged, just wanted to say thank you for sharing your insights. I think puberty is an equally frustrating and confusing process for both genders. Perhaps, more so for boys/men as girls/women are “allowed” to express their feelings and thoughts more freely or openly than their male counterparts. Cheers, SMT

  16. Well if White Men (the ones in power) granted equal rights to minorities including women then it would be different wouldn’t it? If there are 124 million white women in this country then they should be the most represented and have the largest margin of opportunity by the current ideology. Men are just as superficial as women sometimes worse just about different things so that’s a case by case.

    • why did you just get so defensive? i don’t think there was any blame in this article at all. and your argument is kind of tough to follow

    • Mmm.. I guess you missed the point of the article. It talks about peer pressure and meeting standards but there’s no hint about any political POV. Your answer is full of it, tough.

    • White Man says:

      Done!
      As a white man, I grant women and minorites equal rights!

    • Greg Allan says:

      This has absolutely no relevance to this article.

    • Michael Heck says:

      Hold yer horses there…wha?? You realize this a human development article and not a social agenda on race and gender? Men in any culture have similar expectations and pressures, it materializes differently in different cultures. I don’t think his argument was completely focused on superficiality but on the male experience. Take a deep breathe…and relax!

  17. Dear Noah. I truly appreciate what you have written. Thank you for this insight into men. Made me really think and smile in appreciation of the men I have known and how shocked some were when I told them they were beautiful/handsome. I also smiled when I read the description of who you are. Nicely done. Shared on my Twitter and Facebook accounts and I am looking forward to my friends commenting on it.

  18. Please, resist titling your articles like they belong on the cover of Cosmo or Maxim. These blanket generalizations about all men and all women are troublesome from both sides of the aisle.

    I’m sorry someone told you to not compliment women. They were wrong. Women always appreciate compliments about their appearance, their personality, their spirit..whatever. YOU like compliments, so why wouldn’t women?

    You’re surprised by how little women know about being a teenage boy?!? How would women know, unless they grew up with brothers? Seriously.

    You’re not shallow, but if not for adjusting an “innate” impulse for violence you’d have a criminal record? Men and women both live in a bath of hormones when they are growing up. Just think how lucky you are you “escaped” it! Women get it all over again in our midlife.

    Here’s a clue: ‘success’ to many women and men has little to do with how much money you make. Are you passionate about offering your deepest gifts to the world? Do you have courage and confidence to take risks and put yourself out there, just to stand up for what you believe in? Do you step up to the plate in all of your relationships and your work? This is the kind of success that attracts people.

    Adjust away. Just don’t make excuses for poor manners or ungentlemanlike behavior.

  19. Great article.

    While the insights are good, it’s important to realize that the information doesn’t apply to all guys. To say that all guys like compliments is too general. Not all guys are impervious to their own attractiveness. Some guys are uncomfortable with compliments.

    Yes, guys do sometimes need to adjust themselves, however, it’s good manners, social courtesy to do it in the most discrete way. Go into a bathroom if one is available.
    My nipples (I’m a woman) are lage, they sometimes need to be adjusted. Making a show out of a guy adjusting their crotch is what is uncomfortable for ladies. If I need to adjust my nipples, I will wait until a ladies room is available.

  20. Again, great article to get me thinking about it from a man’s point of view. However, I would say that for those men out there who are convinced that ‘most’ women seek out someone who makes more money then them and judge the man on that, I would ask – is that really most women, or simply most women that YOU attract or are attracted to?
    Being in the field of self-help and in fact being aware of what we are ‘putting out there’ I think it depends on the two of you – what type of woman you end up dating depends on who gets past your first layer of radar. If you decided in your mind that the only women you wanted to date would be someone who wants to truly love you for you and doesn’t give a care what you make, that is what you would find.
    I myself have dated many men who make much less money than me and that has not been a factor in whether I stayed with them. What ended up being the breaking factor was that these men (I can think of 2 off the top of my head) didn’t have any drive, confidence, or belief in themselves. THIS was the deal breaker (and their unwillingness to change it), not how much they made in a year. It was their attitude about money, and their worth, that was the turn-off and that ultimately ended the relationship because they were not willing to change their attitude towards life and what they could create.

  21. A message to the author Noah Brand –

    1. Thank you for writing this.

    2. Suggestion: Bold the first sentence of this article. We humans tend to skip directly to the bold. Bolding the first sentence will get more people to read it and not make instant judgments.

    Happy New Year!

  22. Great points. Thank you for helping us understand you better.

    I used to be all about beautiful men (and would gush about it to them!), until I got really burned by the emotional immaturity behind most of them. Lesson learned. Now I am attracted to men with “three balls” (my term). Meaning, I am attracted to men who have confidence and power. Success is a part of it. A man who doesn’t feel successful will and does try to derive his sense of “manhood” from having hot women in his arm.

    A comedian once said, “There are guys and there are men. Snoop Dogg is a guy; Winston Churchill is a man”. I think he was talking about the “third ball”. My two cents…

  23. Thanks Noah for your article. Appreciate it.

    Checkout my article on Are We Raising Our Boys to Be Emotionally Literate?

    Again, Thanks, Sherri

  24. I really like this website and most of it’s articles. I was just thinking about this earlier today as I have met a new man just 9 days ago, we’ve been in constant contact since the moment we met and I’ve seen him three times since then. He is amazing, so far. Kind, thoughtful, family man. For some reason, I feel like he lacks a little self esteem. I want him to know that I think about him all the time, so against friends advice, I send him cutesie texts in the morning to wish him a good day, tell him he’s handsome and cute, and that I appreciate his hard work after a long day and not because he makes a ton of money, I have no idea what he makes and I have my own money so I don’t care. The times that we’ve hung out have been at his place with frozen pizzas in our comfy clothes. Anyhow, my point is, I’ve been reading the articles for a couple years now and I found a good man and now I feel like I know not only how to recognize a good man but also how to treat him. Thanks Good Men Project!!

  25. Witty Moniker says:

    #5 I don’t mind as long as guys don’t care if I adjust my bra because boobs do close to the same thing no matter how well the bra fits.

  26. I can relate not being valued or complimented. I work mostly form home so my social engagement is less that if I was working in an office. I need those compliments and have to ask my wife sometimes. I compliment her all the time affirming her as a wife, mother and woman. Men need the same as men, husbands and fathers.

  27. Darling, #3 is probably one we now grown up women have never thought of, we were pretty preoccupied with our own hormonal things and how we could hide them from our love objects…be nice if we all shared now, huh? We want to hear about your testosterone in the same measures that you want to hear about our periods…we’re homicidal, too AND too little to do too much about it…wonder what that does to a woman? And as far as being a walking wallet, try growing up with the fear of becoming a human incubator…you think women are weird? Ever wonder why? I was the littlest tomboy you ever saw…but lurking, in the back of my mind, was the idea of babies and pots and pans and some man who would never tell me what he was thinking running my life….it’s scary to be alive, it’s scary to achieve your gender, and yes…our genitalia are opposing but we don’t have to keep losing the battle of the sexes just because we don’t communicate well….tell us HOW to reassure you (not just that you need reassurring) tell us HOW you like to be nurtured (not just how your mothers failed you) and then APPRECIATE us for all of the things that we DO to make life worth living….Please…we’ll obviously work on bended knees for appreciation…tell us and we’ll help you ~ honest…

  28. I have to say I have a bit of an issue with no4. When you say, ‘We know that our attractiveness, our worth, our contribution to our families is all about how much money we can make’. It seems that you, yourself, are guilty there of casting aspersions on how women perceive men. The thought of only being interested in someone because of how much money they earn is certainly untrue of myself, and I would also say is quite an insulting accusation for many women… And if that is all someone can contribute to a family – I wouldn’t want a man like that! I have never been attracted to anyone because of their wealth…and most of the partners I’ve had have been skint like myself! For me the most important and ideal attributes are more along the lines of ‘loving, caring, funny and attentive’. I think that is much more worthy, and certainly more attractive than all the money in the world!

    • Except that its completely true. Don’t make a judgement based solely on your own experience. True, plenty of women WOULD be offended by this statement…the thing I have learned in life? even the offenders, the proprietors(if that’s the correct word to use here) of these stereotypes, the individuals who build these expectations into us, would be offended by this statement.

      Why? Because many people react with outrage when an uncomfortable truth is brought to light….Its sad, but believe me…I have seen others rejected for their lack of success. My own mother even, told me to get a good paying job so I could find a nice woman. My own MOTHER put the pressure of success on me, IMPLYING in the process I would be alone if I didn’t!

      And before anyone wields the self-righteous blade and scorns my mother for terrible parenting, she was actually a GOOD and LOVING mother, she just was victim to a social stigma many suffer, even if they don’t know it.

      • Zano Garcia says:

        My own dad also told me I would find plenty of men because I am super pretty. And I have seen many men only caring about a woman’s looks. So I guess that is completely true men are shallow as fuck.
        Thanks for letting me know.

  29. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for including the transgender experience in this article.

  30. #4 Is a good illustration on how people of both genders are always blaming people they are trying to please for their own insecurities. Just like feminists are blaming heterosexual males for the side effects of the fashion industry while not that many straight men are fashion designers, all the worries about attracting gold diggers I’ve ever heard come from men who are absolutely broke! Don’t flatter yourself that much, and don’t worry about others being attracted to assets you don’t have.

    • Common Sense says:

      OK, reread your own sentence “..all the worries about attracting gold diggers I’ve ever heard come from men who are absolutely broke!”
      You dismiss their concerns on the basis that they’re ‘broke’ in a derogatory sense. Irony much?

      I am not broke, paying off my own property on a modest wage. I’ve taken to just being upfront about what I earn with potential new partners very early on, as experience has shown that’s the make or break fact for a majority (not all) of women, so why waste any time on them until you check in on the main fact they want to know?
      It’s a great time saver, as they make polite excuses and fade straight away if they’re looking for more dough, which suits me fine. I don’t waste time on more dates, they don’t have to drag it out of me.
      Men like making money because it dramatically improves their potential mate pool, and women are shopping for a lifestyle that you can provide. Denying the obvious is such a waste of your time.

      • Zano Garcia says:

        Common Sense, your nick does not matches your words. I would be really angry with my parents if they ever gave me a name like that without acknowledging I could grow up to be the exact contrary to that. Really.

    • Zano Garcia says:

      But really: “Just like feminists are blaming heterosexual males for the side effects of the fashion industry”
      Uh? Feminists are blaming heterosexual males for the fashion industry? The fricking fashion industry? How, where? I have never seen that, in fact have never seen feminists or women in general complaining that much about the fashion industry.

  31. BellaDonna says:

    I’ve noticed that when I give certain compliments to guys (like ‘I think you have natural charisma and you’d make a great teacher/educator/leader’, or something in that realm), it always seems like their ego explodes and they think I’m patronizing them. They become dismissive and cocky. I only give compliments I genuinely mean or when it’s needed (like if my friend is having a rough day, I’ll compliment him/her on something nice s/he is wearing). I seem to get a more positive response if I say ‘Your muscles are really cut’. SMH.

  32. “Do not assume that an attractive man knows he’s attractive. The opposite is probably the case.” The same actually goes for women as well, don’t let the women who bite your head off when you compliment their looks scare you off.
    Good and interesting article on the whole.

  33. Women argue, women murder after an affair, but I do not think women can grasp (any more than men can grasp childbirth) that men murder men to show that they can. There are certainly few women who hope to appeal to men by showing that they can kill or enslave another woman at any time.

    Kudos for pointing out that Men innately crave violence, not a sports trophy, not a gym body, but a vanquished enemy. This carries over VERY much into how much men consider themselves either rich or a failure.

    • I understand, as a woman, that football is all about violence and man’s release of violent tension. But what I dont understand is why are there a lot of women who like to watch football? Are they also full of testosterone?

  34. This all important and frequently misunderstood things about men. And a good example of how sexism hurts men.
    But just a note on the last one, it is not that women don’t understand that “adjustments” are necessary. It is that men don’t understand women have similar issues. With sweat and underwear, labia, generally itching, women have all that too. We just excuse ourselves out of the public eye before putting hands to groin area, then wash our hands after. We just don’t understand why the social standard is looser, and grosser, for men. Just go to the restroom. And wash your hands after.

    • Valter Viglietti says:

      “Just go to the restroom. And wash your hands after.”

      Or, you relax and adjust your body parts whenever you feel like it.
      No problemo. We don’t mind. 🙂

      Life is already complex and hard and troublesome enough, to mind such silly details! :roll:

      And, why washing hands afterward? There’s no sewer down there.
      I know you’ve been taught that it’s “dirty” over there. It’s not; it’s beautiful.

      • No, it’s dirty. And speaking of dirty, my ex-boyfriend rarely washed his hands. After developing several UTIs, I realized that it was probably him; he wasn’t washing his hands before he touched me. I kept saying he needed to wash his hands, he would constantly “forget.” I had more UTIs with him than I’d ever had in my whole life. After we broke up, no more UTIs.

        And he also would “forget” to take showers.

        Some men are dirty–usually the ones I meet.

        • I’ve run across some pretty “fishy” women too. And I chose *not* to stay with them or touch them ever again. The author wants you to understand we don’t make much of a fuss and adjusting ourselves. I do it and then move on…no big deal really.

          • Gloria, what you’re speaking of is sexual contact. I had the same problem with an ex, and realized that it was when he would go (as they say) from “stink to pink.” I even tried to discuss this with him, but would realize that he was carelessly doing it anyway. However, unless a man has been rubbing his junk on an anus it shouldn’t contain UTI causing bacteria.

            Most people don’t engage in sexual contact with every person that they meet. If a man makes an adjustment, and then shakes my hand, I’m not going to immediately start touching myself, so it really isn’t a problem… I handle a whole bunch of money throughout the day as a cashier, and money is way more disgusting!

            Also, I don’t know about you, but I usually make my adjustments through my clothing. As do many men I “catch” doing so…

        • Common Sense says:

          Choose different men then Gloria, and waste less time here whining. I bathe regularly and wash my hands regularly, but not every time I need to adjust.
          Women don’t run to the bathroom after removing their underwear from their butts, or adjusting their bra’s. Your post tells us more about your feelings toward your male partner selections thus far in life than anything else.
          Don’t like it? stop dating guys who do it. Rocket science quotient = 0
          Not trying to be mean, just cutting the chaff from the discussion.

          • Suzana Alves says:

            Oh my goodness the sensitive dudes who can’t even take it when a woman innocently talks about a man she knew who were kinda dirty. That is whining, that is reprehensible, you should go out and meet men who are not like that and not waste 1 minute of your life talking about your experiences! That is misandry!
            Thanks for the common sense, dudebro. Common sense is the new lack of it.

  35. I’ve been aware of some of this to some degree (in particular, I found the episode of This American Life called “Testosterone” particularly enlightening), but this was especially eye-opening. Thank you for posting it.

    It was also interesting to hear what you wrote about mistrusting emotion. There is another post on Good Men Project called “Why Women Aren’t Crazy” which has gotten a lot of traffic in the comments. I am wondering if it is the fact that men have that particular experience of their own emotion (i.e. that it’s dangerous, unpredictable, will get them into trouble) that causes them first to suppress their own feelings, and then project the “crazy” part onto women — as women tend to express emotion more freely.

    If a man grows up making that unconscious connection between emotion and irrationality, I am wondering if that is subtly controlling his view of women.

    Joseph Campbell used to speak a lot about coming-of-age rituals in primitive cultures — where this level of aggression in teenage boys was expected and even embraced, as they men in the community would bring them through physically rigorous — and sometimes dangerous — experiences, which gave them a necessary catharsis, often leaving the boys scarred in some way. But this scarring was necessary, he said, as it would remind the boys — now men — of both the fragility and the potency of the human body. It also allowed them to experience the full force of their emotion without shame.

    What do you make of that? I have often wondered if gang initiations are an attempt to recreate what must be an archetypal impulse in young men.

    • Brilliant–never quite made that crazy/emotional connection before…now it seems so obvious.

    • If men knew it to be true that emotions are actually normal and expressing them is healthy, then maybe they wouldnt look down upon women and judge them for expressing their emotions. I believe this piece of information needs to be taught to men so they stop looking at women as second class citizens.

      • I agree with the first part of your statement that men need to understand that emotions are normal and expression is necessary. However, I have no idea why you make the jump from that to men looking down on women for being emotional. Personally, I am a man and I often openly express my emotions. I also don’t look down on women for being emotional. In fact, I prefer it when people are totally genuine with me. If anything, I would look down on people who are too afraid to be themselves and just be open, male or female. In my experience, everyone is at least somewhat awesome, but it is almost always something weird and unique that does it.

        • Anonymous says:

          I am very glad that you are the way you are. Unfortunately, and especially with the help of the media, a lot of women do feel that they are being looked down on by men for expressing emotions. Many feel that they are being dismissed as ‘irrational’ or ‘crazy’ any time they have a problem that upsets them.

  36. normally i don’t like articles that make generalisations like this one, but i found myself agreeing (broadly speaking) with the assertions it made

  37. gusano_amarillo, sometimes I disagree with the comments and posts on “The Good Men Project” too. In fact I do agree with you that a strip club is not the best place to get genuine sympathy (although strippers are people too, and are as capable of showing compassion as anyone else). It is important to remember however, that everyone here is either trying to be a good man, or to acknowledge or find good men I their own lives. Is that your purpose for being here? At this point, based on what I can glean from the two of you here, if I was looking for compassion and empathy, I would go to Madeira before I would go to you (although not at the strip club 🙂

    I were you, I would take some time to review some of my posts and comments here, and probably on other websites and forums as well – in order to determine whether or not these comments reflect the qualities of someone trying to be a good man, or to find good men in their life. Maybe you’ll find that they actually sound quite angry and judgmental. Usually when I feel a surge of testosterone, or that little devil that is spoken of in the article, and it tells me to post angry, hurtful and judgmental words – I take a moment to choose my words carefully. I would suggest that you do the same (even when you feel strongly about it – or think someone is being an idiot), so that you don’t run the risk of coming across as an angry and judgmental person, lashing out at complete strangers with hurtful and insulting words, while hiding behind a veil of anonymity. After all this is the “Good Men Project”, not the “Angry and Judgmental Men With No Sin or Problems in Their Own Life Project”. 🙂

  38. Men in general get a bad rap for how superficially we talk about women… and it’s true, for the most part. In numbers, men do treat women superficially (just like women treat men superficially). But in my intimate conversations with close male friends of mine (however few they are) the tone of our approach toward women takes on a deeper, more emotional, less superficial quality, because society is not there to say “you need to act like this”.

    Men and women are opposite, yet equal.

  39. Great list. No doubt that men are complicated and confusing (and often confused in my case); but no more so than women. Absolutely agree with #2. When real grown up men get together and converse about women, it goes way beyond the superficial B.S. and touches on the little things that make a woman beautiful.

  40. So, really, all he had to do to prevent a lot of the arguing in the comments was say “I” and “me” instead of “most men.”

  41. Gotta say, y’all, if the worst that can be said of white men in America is that ‘we’re starved for compliments’, (particularly relating to their appearance) then I have to say two things: First, you’ve nothing to complain about, and second, you’re essentially refuting the claim that ‘men aren’t shallow’ by proclaiming that men want nothing more than to be validated based on their physical appearance. That’s. Shallow.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can be the most complex person in the world and still appreciate a complement. Especially when your comment demonstrates #2. and #3 at the same time.

      Hold men to the _SAME_ standard as women please,

    • Well said!! And when they get together, they don’t only talk about what obviously makes women beautiful, they also talk about what surprisingly makes women beautiful – on the outside. Very shallow. Do you think that men cant think of anything, other than women, to talk about? I guess, given their emotional repression, it’s not surprising that they can’t care enough to talk about anything else.
      I don’t think men should willingly stand by this false advertisement of what real men are/aren’t.

  42. I’ve been screaming these points since my first university year, where I learned that people actually believe that men are oh-so shallow, and so forth. Yes, that includes #5. I’m sorry my fellow female-types slept through anatomy.

    I am utterly sick of hearing women complain about how men are so selfish and (especially) stupid because of [whatever]. I’ve flat out told women that I don’t want to stand around and listen to them insult my father, grandfather, brothers, uncles, cousins, and friends just because some man in their life has done something wrong. Admittedly, most of my friends are men, and it’s fun to watch them flounder when they momentarily forget what I am and try to tell the group that “women always [whatever]”. The difference between that and sitting in a group of women is that, when I try to correct the women, I’m told that I’m naive.

    The tragic part is, feminist as I am, I spend more time defending men than women while talking to my male friends, thanks to all this psychological abuse. I’m not saying that women haven’t endured plenty, but “an eye for an eye” only blinds everyone.

  43. Chris Mazzara says:

    I agree strongly with number 4…very true!

  44. When there’s a piece online about the hardships of being a male, must there ALWAYS be someone who says “SEE, SEE, IT’S THE *FEMALES* WHO HAVE IT EASY! IT’S ALL A RUSE! WE’VE ALL BEEN HOODWINKED!” ?

    The forces oppressing you are the forces oppressing us (and everyone else, but in this case we’re talking gender): the super strict heteronormative roles pushed upon everyone, which dehumanize people and try to make them into objects (“men must always! be big and strong to always! provide for their always! fragile and airheaded women”.)

    E.g. If people don’t break up women’s fights, it’s because they’re seen as ridiculous and not as a real threat (a lot of times they’re even laughed at and/or fetishized). This sucks big time. (Thusly, there’s also a stupid stigma put on men who suffer from domestic violence. This also sucks big time.)

    We’re all fighting for the same thing, here.

  45. sisheng says:

    Missed the most important reason for emotional repression. Because it’s a necessity to get things done. Not to stop every time someone is made to feel uncomfortable. Not to censor your honest opinions just because it’s terribly offensive. And to achieve objectives, even if the process is mean or unfair or hurts someone’s feels.

    Despite what childish western idealists tell you, those things just aren’t that important.

    • Patrick Gerard says:

      That is sortof covered in the article though. The provider complex. The idea that our worth is a function of what we get done and how we provide. Heck, right now, you’re assuming that it IS the measure of a person’s worth, demonstrating the author’s point.

  46. I love reading articles that give insight into the male perspective as I currently have two teen boys and very much want them to become their best selves as men.

    I’m curious about your opinion on the effects of testosterone. I have raised my boys teaching them emotional intelligence and conflict resolution since they could speak. We often discuss feelings openly and I encourage critical thinking and collaboration in problem-solving with them. Do you think that a boy who enters puberty with these skills in hand will still suffer the same effects? Will he still become emotionally repressed?

    I never wanted my boys to become men who suffered from an inability to deal with their emotions. I’ve worked hard to allow them their feelings as well as teach them the skills to manage and express their feelings. Do you think will make a difference for them?

    • Thomas Hobbes says:

      They’ll be ruthlessly cut down by their peers, teachers, & culture in general. Your efforts are in vain.

      • Bear Naff says:

        Thomas, don’t forget the women in their lives.

      • John Timmothy says:

        Thomas,
        I agree with you that there are challenges in today’s society for raising young boys into becoming their best selves as men. But her efforts are not in vain, and I think you should consider it from another perspective. It’s very easy to feel victimized as a man in today’s society, but it doesn’t get us anywhere to continue feeling that way. Sometimes feeling bad about yourself feels really good, so it’s hard to not dwell in that state of “society is working against men.”

        It’s easy to feel like a victim– to society, to the media, and as I’m sure you feel, to radical feminists whose sole prerogative seems to be just straight up hating on and shaming men. Feeling like a victim is easy because all you have to do is feel bad, and we’re all very good at that. On the other hand, what’s challenging is moving past all of that and not permitting yourself to feel victimized by it anymore.

  47. Neurotic Knight says:

    All i can say is thank you! well put article

  48. I posted a link to your excellent article about “5 Important Things Women Don’t Know About Men”
    and it’s created a bit of a buzz and some deepening of questions. So I’ve decided to write a note of
    clarification about Testosterone (a natural occurring hormone in both Men & Women’s bodies) Here it is:
    I have spoken many times about these subjects and even ran many men’s groups.
    First off, I would like to clear some confusion up and to do that I will also need to speak about women’s
    hormonal systems too. We (society) like to make fun of women and their moods during menstrual cycles.
    However, what very few people know is that men also go through “andro cycles” which are also monthly.
    (Meaning for a period of time each month men are “bitchy”/”aggressive”)
    Regarding women: During ovulation and peaking in PMS a woman’s body is producing more testosterone
    (yes women have it too) and most women’s mood (despite the ignorant beliefs) improves immediately her
    cycles starts. This is due to a flood of other hormones (I could go into that too) nonetheless, this results in
    the excess testosterone being canceled out. (even though she may still be suffering menstrual cramps
    and a myriad of other stuff no man would be able to cope with)
    So too with men, there is a spike in testosterone in a mans body every month.
    As I am sure you are aware, women can become peri-menopausal and then menopausal due to a change
    in hormones (lowering of estrogen and an increase in testosterone, thus drying up of vaginal fluids and
    increased facial hair, again testosterone)
    What your readers may not be aware of is that as men get older they to become peri-adro-pausal and then
    Andropausal. This result from a opposite reaction to what’s going on in women’s bodies, there is a
    lowering of testosterone and even an increase in estrogen, (female hoprmone (yes men have this too).
    In men this can look like them becoming lethargic, lost of sex drive, and general erectile dysfunction
    (hence Viagra) There is a softening of the body in general and many men begin to develop gynecomastia
    (also known as “moobs” or man boobs). This is one of the reasons intense compound weight training is
    so important for older men. (Guys talk to Maarten Van Nus for assistance search him out on facebook)
    I hope and trust that this has cleared somethings up and has been helpful and of value.
    With gratitude and respect to you and the excellent article above.

    P.S. Just because these things are happening in the body does not give someone a get out of jail free card. We are all responsible for our moods and behaviors even if they are a result of increased testosterone.

  49. I find that all these points ring true for the most part, at least for myself.

  50. HandsomeDude says:

    The angry impulse to violence doesn’t come from testosterone; it comes from being told in many different ways that you don’t fit into the world. Repressing that anger is just learning to give yourself the same message the world (i.e. your parents) has been giving you – which just makes you more angry, which just makes you more determined to repress that anger. “Maturity” isn’t about hormones calming down; it’s about the man having lost touch, perhaps permanently, which the natural impulses that once gave him spark and vitality, creativity and a unique place in the world.

    Sorry to get all serious on you, but it’s not nature. It’s just bad parenting, and we all pay an extremely high price for our belief that that destructive cycle is natural and inevitable.

    • Thanks for a sane response Dude. I think male frustration is repression, internalized fear of natural impulses. Its something I have dealt with it most of my life but am breaking free through conscious integration.

  51. Great post. If you send me an address, I’ll send you a pair of the best underwear ever with the patented pouch technology. “It’s like an angel is gently cupping the boys all day long!”

  52. Gosh, so many judgmental pricks here who’ve probably never written an article in their life outside of school. Violence, in this case, is an example, one form aggression can take. In some teens it manifests as self-hate or stupid prejudice (ever wonder why teen boys are so quick to hate gay people and defend their straightness to the death?).

    I don’t think this was written as a be-all-end-all guide to every man walking the planet. And just because a man wrote it doesn’t somehow make it less valid because some other guys would take hypothetical offense if a woman hypothetically wrote the article. Pick up any woman-centered magazine and you’ll see a ton of articles about men or even articles similar to this about women.

    People are so quick to dismiss stuff on a whim because it doesn’t happen to apply to them, or because they disagree with a point. I can’t speak for Brand here, but I’m sure he did research and/or relies on personal experience of himself and other guys he’s known.

    Personally, I thought the article was well written and true. Those who can write do write. Those who can’t critique.

  53. I hate to see all of this POINTLESS arguing! This man has a valid point. Though some of his points (i.e. the “little devil” and ” The men who didn’t learn that reflex? They’re the ones with criminal records for assault.”) are over-exaggerated, for what I see as LITERARY purposes, in general, throughout most of my relationships and the relationships of other men in my life, I have found many of these to ring true. Whether whole or pieces, almost every man I have met has these qualities. And you are COMPLETELY WRONG if you think women face the SAME problems. We may face some of these same types, but they MANIFEST in a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WAY. You cannot argue that it is socially accepted for women to EMOTIONAL. And the opposite can pretty much be said for men, except it IS NOT said. It is, like the author of the article mentioned, BRED INTO THEM! And, no, not all men had SERIOUS trouble with testosterone, BUT, MANY MEN has SLIGHT trouble in their pasts due to “boys will be boys” type actions. If you, as a man, have ever had THAT saying said about you, you can bet it was in LARGE part a credit to the flow of testosterone! And the men who do not learn to control it may become criminals and they may just become macho men who are incapable of behaving as adults. The point is, women don’t deal with the ANGER side of puberty. Now, there is a WHOLE side women deal with that men have NO IDEA about as well, but THAT is another story. But, that’s what I’m also saying about this being about MEN not WOMEN. We DON’T misbehave most of the time. We don’t get angry, really. We get EMOTIONALLY CRAZY. But anyways! I think he has some valid points. If women would take time to take this seriously, we might build some better relationships!

    Oh, it should also be noted that he CLEARLY STATES that these things are not true of ALL MEN, right there in the beginning. He also addresses how women deal with the same issues too!

    Wanna see it from the Wifey Side??
    Visit: http://www.wildwifeymc.wordpress.com

    • “The point is, women don’t deal with the ANGER side of puberty.”

      Never heard of PMT? For some poor women (and their poor consorts) it’s like Jekyll and Hyde. Oestrogen takes no prisoners.

      • I have a quick temper, my temper goes very wild, very very quick which scares me because if I ever got in a fight I may not stop in time to prevent doing serious damage to someone. A lot of my fathers side have that same temper (my father didn’t however since he took after his mothers side more, I am more like his fathers side). It’s not on a monthly cycle but a random one if I get someone giving me shit, it flares up, if someone threatens me, it flares up. I’ve been through abuse and that made it worse but I’ve done a lot to control it.

        Sadly too often women’s bad behaviour is excused because of PMT, and that her abusive actions are not given the right amount of disgust that they deserve. Next time I am in major pain, would it be ok to lash out and be a right royal prick about it? When I am hurt, I usually get very angry like a wild beast and it’s annoying as hell to deal with and try all my “woosah” meditation type techniques to bring me down. I think it’s sad to see some use their pain as an excuse. I can understand yelling in frustration, being generally cranky, but we can’t hit people ( I haven’t yet nor do I want to). People need to own up to their actions, PMT, previous abuse, testosterone are not excuses for bad behaviour but simply explanations of why someone may act a bit batshit insane at times. I’ve tunnel visioned hardcore and wanted to hit someone because they just did not stop, it’s scary to experience but one that can be controlled, redirected, etc. When I am angry now I usually clean, hit a boxing bag, or chill out somewhere if I am sore.

        But for these poor consorts, they don’t deserve the bad behaviour. I’ve got a friend who has make you cry style pain with her periods, gets all fucked up from it so I can definitely empathize but I would not take any shit from her like hitting, etc. I am use to angry women though in my life, that family anger also affects the females and quite frankly it’s funny to watch when it isn’t you but I still respect their anger like anyone elses. What saved us, this generation, was therapy whereas the previous generation had quite a bit of domestic violence going on sadly. Women with bad PMT would do well to learn coping strategies, yell it out, wear out your body, make yourself tired on a boxing bag if possible, do the woosah techniques and you’ll be far less likely to punch, slap, etc.

        Anger has the component of adrenaline, and that hormone needs to be burned off because your body is put into fight, flight, freeze and your muscles get extra energy for a while, everything is ready to run like crazy or lash out in a big ass fight for your life. In the modern world this gets triggered often for little stuff like work stress and stuff that we don’t need a violent response to (such as self-defense) but still that hormone needs to be burned off otherwise it lingers and you end up all anxious n angry n shitty feeling. Exercise is a great way to burn it off, boxing especially as we can imagine what is pissing us off and belt the shit out of it without harming anyone. When you burn off that energy, you’re breathing heavily cuz you’ve had a good workout then you’ll feel far better. Hell even angry sex will work, just wear out that energy and you’re far less likely to be a jerk to someone or hit them because your irrational thoughts under anger will be gone because you’re body will be calming itself down, the hormone has been used up and body goes back to normalcy.

        I do think however men use more HEAVY physical violence (like full power punchs) more in anger whereas women I’ve noticed use more passive aggressive methods, verbal bullying etc, light to medium slaps and punches especially against men where most men do not hit back. over 90% of the physical violence I’ve ever seen (mostly in public) was an angry woman hitting or slapping their male friend, or partner, I swear women hit men far far more than women hit women. Men tend to hit with a lot more force and get into a big fight when they do use violence that I’ve seen in public but it’s far more rare. I also think men tend to bottle their anger up more, women do seem to have far more ways to let out their emotions via close friends n social support structures which men mostly do not have and stoicism is harming us bigtime. Bottled up anger, no therapy to deal with abuse, impulse control issues = high chance of violence and probably jailtime for it.

        • Btw just to point out times I’ve been told to calm down are usually when I do an angry vocal rant. I know women get told to calm down n stop acting emotional n crazy, but us guys do too however the difference I have found (though this is a guess) is that when guys are told to calm down there is more fear for that man being violent. Male anger is seen as far more scary than female in what I’ve noticed, even I fear it more because of how we’re raised to assume men to be more violent but also assume men have far more strength which is a harder fight to defend against not to mention there are more male on male assaults than female on male or female on female. Get 2 men yelling at each other in a street with people watching and the cops will most likely be called, 2 women doing the same probably won’t get that response…..the funny yet sad thing is my parents were teachers and said the hardest fights to break up were female on female and they fought more viciously since they literally pulled chunks of hair out and DID NOT LET GO! But judging from hospitalizations I’d say the worst fights are male on male if they are really going for it and do not stop. Male violence is just feared far far more and so males get told to calm down by someone who is probably afraid of them. I know that when I’ve yelled angry I’ve put the fear of god into people because my voice booms bigtime, meanwhile I am just venting and have no desire to harm anyone. A woman doing the exact same probably won’t get that same fear response…although I am 6’6 and 300lbs so that does make it pretty intimidating, which is the other aspect…physical size makes people fear you more when you’re angry and men are generally bigger.

    • Problems with generalisations says:

      “The point is, women don’t deal with the ANGER side of puberty. […] We DON’T misbehave most of the time. We don’t get angry, really. We get EMOTIONALLY CRAZY.”

      You speak for yourself. When I was a teenage girl I was often, unaccountably, FURIOUS. I’d be going about my school day just fine and then one little thing, maybe not even consciously noticed, and I’d be so mad I could have destroyed things, and people. I used to grip the school desk and imagine pouring all of my anger and fury out into it. No one else ever noticed, because I didn’t take it out on anyone else. I repressed the anger, I conformed and did what was expected of me, but don’t you go telling me that you can speak for all women and say that “women don’t deal with anger side of puberty” because frankly, that’s nonsense.

      I still get angry, not the unexpected anger of puberty, but I still get angry. I don’t know how to deal with it very well, so I usually shut down, and wait until I can escape the angry-making situation and then let it all off by shouting and running and if necessarily hitting and kicking _things_ that I own, until I cry. And then de-brief at length with a good friend. But I doubt any of my friends or past lovers would ever say I get “emotionally crazy”.

      Maybe I have too much testosterone, certainly my endocrinologist is keeping an eye on my levels. But I’m a woman, I’ve even reproduced, and my experiences do not fit in the box you’ve placed me. Just as the original writer is not speaking for all men, you should be clear that you cannot speak for all women.

  54. Pardon my scrutiny. But no woman should or could assume (and this is even with intensive study) that she knows what a man is. I agree with a good four majorily because I am a man and experience this first hand. This, no matter how accurate to your degree of personal application, is knowledge for both sexes to consider.

    Thank you, comrade Brand.

  55. If a woman said, on the internet:
    “Almost every adult man walking around spent at least part of his adolescence dealing with sourceless, purposeless anger and a desire for violent catharsis. It’s like having a little devil on [his] shoulder constantly making the same unhelpful suggestion. … And so on. [He] spend years learning that [his] immediate emotional responses to things are absolutely not to be trusted. The first response to an emotional impulse must be to ignore it and repress it, just for safety [of whom?]. The men who didn’t learn that reflex? They’re the ones with criminal records for assault.”
    That woman would almost certainly receive threats of violence. YMMV. This article is extremely problematic in making assumptions about “most men” that a woman in today’s world would never be allowed to air even though she has the same legal right to her opinion.

    • That’s because it isn’t true, Alice. I’ve always had the markings of a testosterone laden kid/guy, and I’ve never had that “little devil” conversation with myself. The only time I’ve considered violence was exclusively in self-defense. This goes for most of the male friends I’ve had in my life.

      Of course, there are no news reports about “Football fans remained calm and caused no incidents during the match today” or “Thousands of young men performed no violent actions today”. Just like with religious freaks, the ones who are most prominent are the ones who are at one or another extreme of the spectrum.

      • Gorenzel says:

        You’re misinterpreting what the article said about violence. It didn’t mean you have the urge to kill or randomly assault people, although it can. Often times it can be in the form of an increased fascination with violent video games or movies. Several sports are a common outlet for those violent tendencies as well.

        • Patrick Gerard says:

          I think the larger point is this:

          Guys have those impulses when they’re thirteen. Maybe only for about thirty seconds in some cases.

          But just as women are pushed to be infantilized and perky and all those other things, guys are told, essentially, that they’re past their sexual prime if they don’t pretend to be in the grip of testosterone constantly, that they have to act like a hormonal teenager to be attractive.

      • Madeira says:

        Personally my husband is a martial artist, but he’s no desire for violence (he defends himself if the situation arises and has offered to beat the living daylights out of my abusive ex, but that’s the extent). Frankly I think I like violent movies more than he does.

        • But, as you say, violence is there as a potential option, always, even if it’s not desired.

        • Thomas Hobbes says:

          The #1 predictor of violent behavior is martial training.

          • some guy says:

            Can you explain? Because that sounds like you pulled that out of nowhere.

          • I work in security. The one demographic we almost never have to deal with is people with martial training, they’re the ones who walk out peacefully before it becomes a problem.

          • Mr Supertypo says:

            actually the lack of martial training is a even greater predictor of violence.

        • gusano_amarillo says:

          Comments like Madeira’s are so unintentionally comical, in how they reveal a woman’s macho revenge fantasies. Madeira seems to feel that her poor choice in an abusive ex is now vindicated in her choice of a husband. “Personally” he is a martial artist? OMG, what a laugh, as if he were some extension of her. What are the odds she owns a pitbull and drives a jacked-up pickup truck as well? What kind of imbecile goes through his adult life encountering “the situation” arising that necessitates him defending himself? He has “no desire for violence” but has “offered to beat the living daylights out of” her ex? Wow, can you get a bit more delusional and silly, please? “Frankly I think I like violent movies more than he does”? OK, we get it, you’re a stripper with a vicarious need to feel like a badass behind your hubby.

    • Bullsh. Women have a hundred thousand problematic articles on the net, and five hundred thousand problematic and false ones about men.

    • I think the difference here is speaking about it at least from one man’s perspective rather than someone who has never had the experience of growing up male. And men do have, as one of their few disadvantages, pressure NOT to talk about their emotions and inner problems, which leads to problems and frustrations for women too, so this is a valuable and pretty humane article.

      But yes, as a separate issue, women do get a disproportionately high rate of death/rape/violence threats for any similar, slightly disruptive articles. That’s something that needs changing. We can see at a glance how few people have hurled sexually aggressive crit at this author – all the crit has been directed at his argument and writing style, which is as it should be. Attack the message, if you don’t agree, not the messenger.

      • I love the way you described the pressure not to talk about emotions as one of men’s few disadvantages. I wonder if that isn’t a general ‘disadvantage’ common to “oppressor” or advantaged groups. The first example that comes to mind is upper class families are generally more emotionally distant than poor families.

    • Not Telling says:

      I agree, but not for the reasons you might think. Yes, this part offended me greatly. Why? Because it’s true and I’m ashamed of it. Seeing this online is like the world finding out that I’m only a nice gentle man on the outside. It’s giving women an extra reason to mistrust me. To think I’m a ticking time bomb that could go off at any minute. Who knows? Maybe I am. But I can only admit to that on a website where my identity is secret. If you met me in real life, you wouldn’t think me capable of hurting a fly.

      • some guy says:

        I feel you. I’ve had people not believe me when I tell them howi broke my hand, nose, ribs, eye socket…
        It’s always ‘no way. You’re too laid back. I can’t see you fighting at all’.
        My teenage years were shamefully violent and my air years are plagued with self doubt, feelings of being unattractive and internalised self worth problems about my lack of financial success. I’m probably the most outwardly confident abs self assured guy you’ve ever met and I’m always the one to talk my way out of situations.
        Reading this made me feel naked.

    • Well actually Alice, if a man where to make any sort of sweeping assumptions about females, not only would they be bombarded with hate-mail, but very likely lose thier jobs. So yeah again you females have it easy.

      • Tony, I’ve worked with guys who openly talked of wanting menstrual calendars on the walls “so they knew when to avoid women in the office”, loudly telling busty colleagues in appropriate work dress to “put it away” and making very transphobic and homophobic generalisations. But because they knew the (female) boss well, and she was afraid of looking reactionary, they were safe as houses. It varies job to job and boss to boss. The law may be the law but that doesn’t mean it’s put into action.

        • some guy says:

          That doesn’t apply to Internet articles.

          I’ll agree that situations like that are uncomfortably common in some workplaces, but it has zero bearing on this discussion about writing about gender on the Internet.

          • some guy: I was responding to Tony’s statement: “Well actually Alice, if a man where to make any sort of sweeping assumptions about females, not only would they be bombarded with hate-mail, but very likely lose thier jobs. So yeah again you females have it easy.”

            • some guy says:

              I know who you were replying to. I was replying to you. Your point has no bearing on this discussion. It’s not an apples to apples comparison.

      • all knowing deity says:

        females absolutely do not have it easy

    • Michael Rowe says:

      You’re kidding, right?

  56. Michael says:

    Personally, I don’t find this particularly relevant or entirely true explicitly to men. Replace a few words and the same could be said of women.

  57. So that’s your excuse for going to strip clubs? It’s not the titis, it’s the attention…?

    Good article though 🙂

    • it is 100% for the attention that we are giving in those places

    • Madeira says:

      With the number of men who paid for the champagne room so they’d have a safe space to cry in, yeah it’s the attention.
      I got guys who’s wives had just died, who’d just found out that their kid had cancer, etc etc etc.

      Strippers are just topless therapists

      • What do you do when you get guys like that?

        • Madeira says:

          You pat them on the back, and comfort them.
          “Your wife will always be with you in your heart, she sounds like she was a wonderful lady.”
          “Your kid can beat this, and you’re a great dad who will be there for them through the whole thing, I know you’re scared but you’ll get through this together”

          Also sometimes you put your top on and hug them….

          • Michael Rowe says:

            You sound like a very nice person, Madeira.

          • gusano_amarillo says:

            See how “nice” she is when the stack of $20s in your wallet empties out at her club. “Topless therapists”? Please. More like unskilled, uneducated and mostly unsympathetic young women who have any myriad of issues with “daddy”, abandonment, body image, drugs, low self-esteem, etc. Tipping Madeira for basic human decency is paying good money for insincere kindness. These men are pathetic if they need their reassurance to come from someone willing to take their clothes off and grind on complete strangers for a few bucks.

            • So if a doctor or customer service rep is “nice” to you it does not count because it is “insincere kindness” since they are only interested in the money in your wallet? Madeira may be working at the time of said therapy, but she is still a person with the power to DECIDE to create a positive interaction. She could DECIDE to be a total nasty piece of work too. If it makes the guy feel a little less lonely and a little less lost, what does it matter that he is paying her?

              • gusano_amarillo says:

                Is the utter ridiculousness of grieving for a deceased wife or a child’s cancer in a titty bar completely lost on you? If you are seeing a doctor who is a therapist, then that is her or his job, so there is one distinction for you. It is also a customer service rep’s job to create and maintain good will between the company and the customer, not to provide “therapy”, so there is another distinction. A stripper claiming that her role is not to be objectified, but to be a source of “therapy” and comfort”, is being delusional. Her job is to create a fantasy for men in exchange for money. Note, it is a “FANTASY”. You want to see a nasty piece of work? Go to a strip club, pour your heart out to the dancer for an hour or so, and then forget to tip her for her time.

            • Noah Brand says:

              Here’s a workable heuristic for you. If someone describes reaching out to their fellow human beings in an act of empathy, and your immediate impulse is to call them a worthless hypocrite, then you are not the good guy in this movie.

              • gusano_amarillo says:

                Does your “workable heuristic” exclude the reality that strippers are shallow, materialistic and manipulative? A stripper’s empathy only goes as far as you tip her. It is not necessarily an “act of empathy” (although in rare instances it certainly can be, but that is by far the exception than the rule: these are women who barely take care of their own children), it is more likely than not a technique to further extract more time and money out of the man who foolishly thinks he is receiving comfort and “therapy” from a dancer. It is immaterial whether that person is “the good guy” in the “movie” (although being “the good guy” can actually make your game suffer, but that is an entirely different discussion).

                • “strippers are shallow, materialistic and manipulative”
                  That’s just a parochial and stereotypical view of strippers and if your whole argument is based on that, then you should acknowledge that you are very wrong and should reconsider your view on people in your life.

                • James Becker says:

                  Despite your bad form in attempting to make the argument against strippers in response to an empathic comment from a stripper, I’m tempted to stand on your side of this argument, based on my experience with strippers and strip clubs. However: to generalize is to ensure we lose the battle. Strippers are not the only ones who are shallow, materialistic and manipulative. PEOPLE are shallow, materialistic, and manipulative.

                  Perhaps you should make your argument not against STRIPPERS, but against STRIPPING. There are a lot of strippers out there, who, deep down, are decent human beings. But stripping is what devalues them. I can appreciate and value a stripper for who she is beneath the stripping, but I can’t appreciate and value her stripping.

                  Stripping asks of the stripper to manipulate the shallow and materialistic side of men for money–that’s the point. The point of stripping is to manipulate men’s sex drive (and in the process, degrade their intimate relationships with their wives or girlfriends) for cash. If that’s not materialistic, what is? So you’re correct there. (Madeira? Would you like to step in and defend your industry?)

                  Like in the porn business, in the stripping business you will see real women with real lives and real hearts, who care about their families and friends.

                  In sum: strippers can be great people. Stripping tends to be shallow, manipulative and materialistic.

            • Wow, slut-shame much?

            • Mr Supertypo says:

              On the other hand, a professional therapist demands a higher bill….

              And yes even mercenary nice words from a stranger, may help you getting over whats pain you. So its all good.

          • You’ve changed my perception of strippers forever.

    • Yup
      Those girls hand out compliments like candy at a kids party

  58. Men, we sometime need to adjust ourselves too, I don’t mind you doing it, I enjoy the show.

    • Everytime I see a woman adjust her bra I think to myself “damn they must be uncomfy”, I’m sure they think the same of us!

      • Heather says:

        Yeah… bras are not the greatest. There are half a dozen ways they can dig into you, especially if you chose ’em for looks instead of comfort.

        • Apparently they don’t help stop sagging either! Although everytime I see a woman running with c cups or higher, I think how painful that mus be…because I have some b cupish manboobs THAT HURT when I run so I can definitely empathize on that one (the “BRO” bra looked interesting lol). A hard jolt feels like your damn skin is tearing! But I see women running and seemingly ok, I guess the bra’s must help enough.

          I had a friend that use to rollerblade and duct-taped her breasts down so she didn’t get thrown off balance and have the breasts annoy her during flips n stuff!

  59. marglindsey says:

    Not all women value men only for their earnings. Only women who need to be dependent and/or whores feel that way. Intelligent, capable women value a man for his character, his passion for life, the respect he shows for others. Sadly I was married to a man whose love of money convinced him that his earning capacity was his only worth – even though I worked two jobs for several years to allow him to go to school full time! He often said how much he hated his job and whenever I suggested he find something else, his reply was always: “Then I probably wouldn’t make as much money and YOU wouldn’t like that!”
    The problem that many men AND women have is that they are not completely honest about what they want, what their dreams are, and what truly makes them happy. People need to stop saying what they THINK someone else wants to hear and simply state the truth. “The truth will set you free.!”

  60. Felicia Smith says:

    Men are treated as success objects mostly because women aren’t. While also a disadvantage, it is a privelege to be treated as a success object.

  61. it’s not true, that first point about women and compliments. you can’t just assume that pretty women get told they’re pretty. furthermore, any woman likes a good compliment, even if they’ve heard it before.

    what women don’t like is being objectified. there are different ways of delivering compliments, you know? we know when we are being seen and not seen in the WAY people speak about how we look. the bottom line is, nobody, even a pretty woman, wants to be invisible. you can successfully give any kind of compliment as long as there is a recognition of someone’s wholeness, of his/her personhood.

    utilitarian compliments, that is, compliments that AIM to impress, are also objectifying. again, a compliment not given in a totally generous spirit does not arrive as a compliment, but as something creepy. it’s like an invitation to play a certain game that women may or may not decide to go along with. but that doesn’t mean they believe what’s being said. which is why it is so hard to successfully compliment women. in order for them to TRUST the compliment, you have to do it RIGHT.

    perhaps our culture doesn’t adequately teach us how to deliver compliments to anyone, male or female. it’s just a different set of problems, on either side.

  62. FYI, the adjusting has to take place in the position you are going to be in. As in, if im sitting down and my junk is stuck to my leg or God forbid under my leg, I need to fix it for that position. Getting up to be discreet doesn’t help, everything will just fall back to where its was. So if we are fiddling with our junk in public, its not because we don’t have manners or don’t care if anyone sees us. Its because we HAVE to adjust it before we can be comfortable. If you don’t think we listen now, try talking to a guy whos balls are stuck to his leg and can’t adjust because he doesnt want to make a scene. He wont hear a thing you say because all he can think about is how uncomfortable it is to sit like that. And the hotter the weather, the more adjusting we have to do. We hate to do it as much as you hate to see it.

  63. I’d like to compliment you on a very well-written, straight-forward piece that helped me understand men better, in general. It’s important to me, because I have two sons, and I wasn’t able to get along with their father. So I feel like we failed to give them a healthy example of love and marriage. It makes me cry to think of you guys in so much pain from the time you were little boys. I’m also an elementary school teacher, so I want to make sure I’m sensitive to boys needs. So thank you very much. You’re a great writer, and a good man.

    Peace, Love, Liberation

  64. I found this really interesting and thoughtfully written. I think it comes naturally to me to compliment the person I’m dating, but I will try to do it more with my male friends and other men I meet. #4 is a perfect example of why men need feminism as well. I could not give less of a f**k if someone I’m dating earns a lot or not – I care about whether he has ambitions and life goals.

  65. Great post! Compliments are always great to give and receive and you also make an excellent point about the emotional repression. As for the adjustments, I’ve never been bothered seeing a guy adjust unless it takes an inordinate amount of time or is really awkwardly obvious. A quick readjustment is no big deal. Then again, if I need to adjust straps/boobs/skirt I expect not to be judged 😉

  66. PS: I too like to tell my boyfriend he’s beautiful. He’s really striking in an unusual way but has hang-ups about his looks – looks that bowl me over. So it’s fun to tell him that after staring at him for ages.

  67. “Shoulder devil that is NOT EVEN A FOOD.”

    This was really well written, and the shoulder devils made my day.

    Lots of things that are common sense, and the disproportionately high suicide rate in men is testament to the success object/boys don’t cry observation.

    I think the compliment-cocktease-anger on both sides tipover can be avoided for the most part by observing the same rules for men and women. If you’re not really familiar with the complimentee (and you’re not in a swingers’ club) keep compliments away from ass, tits, legs etc, and more on clothing, style, personality, choices. Test the water. Complimenting someone’s clothes in a non-sleazy way, for example is an indirect compliment to their brain. As in, ‘you made a great decision and it makes you look great.’

    A good feminist considers fairness for all. Reasonable expectations, understanding on all sides and being excellent to one another. Keep talking about this!

  68. pikeamus says:

    I would add:
    #6: If we have stated admiration or shown respect for an attractive woman that you do not share it does not follow that said admiration is code for “I wish I could have sex with her”. I guess this is an extension of the more general principle “we’re thinking with our dicks less than society would have you believe”. Actually the more I think about it this is closely related to number 2 but it annoys me enough that I’m going to finish the comment anyway 🙂

    For example: I like Veronica Mars. It’s a well written show, with a good interesting lead character, portayed with skill by Kristen Bell. I am [b]not[/b] “just interested in the show because I think Kristen Bell is hot” and suggesting so demeans me and insults the people that worked on the show.

  69. i have a bf and we compliment each other and i don’t care about money i ain’t a “gold digger” we live at my mums and we haven’t had sex for 1 month n i still love him

  70. sure, shift your stuff… just find a place to do it where the WORLD doesn’t have to witness!!!

    the rest: Good Stuff!

    • AnZsDad says:

      First off, Tori, I’m not singling out your comment. You aren’t the only person to make a comment like this, and my reply is intended for all of them.

      This comment is a little like asking a child (NOT to compare men to children, just an analogy) why they didn’t go to the bathroom BEFORE leaving the restaurant, instead of waiting until in the car as far from a bathroom as possible. The answer, of course, is “because I didn’t need to go then.” If I’m uncomfortable NOW, I will need to adjust NOW. I may not be able to wait until I get somewhere private.

      For my part, I promise that I will try to be as discreet as possible, and to (once again, discreetly) adjust beforehand so I don’t get uncomfortable in the first place. All the author (and the rest of us) are asking is for you to assume the best of us rather than assuming we’re uncouth pigs.

      Thanks!

  71. Bornunderpunches says:

    The first point particularly hits home with me. The last woman I was in anything close to a relationship with told me “You are beautiful”. I was taken aback by this, no one had ever told me that before. It may have affected me more because I was quite a bit heavier than I am now. Things with her may have not worked out but going on from that made me feel that it was possible that women could find me attractive and I had never felt that before.

    • Your comment reminds me of my boyfriend. Sometimes I end up kinda staring at him just because I think he is so beautiful and it unnerves him and I think it makes him uncomfortable when I tell him I think he’s beautiful, as if he might not truly believe I mean it but I do. He’s not “perfect” and wouldn’t have the kind of looks that women would describe in a male beauty ideal if asked. For example, he’s short, has a little beer belly and has obvious grey hair blended with his natural color. His hair is curly and I know he doesn’t like it but I think it’s one of the things that makes him most attractive and I especially love his blue eyes. He’s mixed race and I think he has a beautiful skin color as well. Basically, what I mean to point out is that even if you’re not magazine-cover gorgeous with ripped abs and big “guns” that the person who loves you can and does see your beauty, even if others don’t, so if your girl says she thinks you’re handsome then believe she means it 🙂

  72. I always wondered why guys look a little taken aback when offered positive comments… I will certainly make a point of complimenting my male friends when I get the opportunity. Just because. XD

  73. I don’t consider myself particularly “starved for compliments,” in that I usually dress well, wear good cologne, etc. but there are probably men who are; one notable exception I can remember is a time when my wife and I were going thru a very rough patch, my career was in the toilet…you name it, it was going wrong. I went into a Walgreens to buy something (can’t remember what now) and the girl at the counter said, “I love that sweater you’re wearing.” She wasn’t flirting or coming on to me, (I was nearly old enough to be her father) and I didn’t take it as such. Just a simple compliment, and one that I desperately needed at the time. In fact I told her, “That’s the nicest thing anyone has said to me in a while.”
    That’s been 15 years ago, and I still remember it clearly. To this day I make an effort to compliment people, male or female. You just never know who needs it.

    • FlyingKal says:

      A few years ago I went into a new project at my work. There was this guy, he was very smart, good at what he was doing, could solve every problem. He was funny and kind, and always told me what good ideas I had and what smart solutions I provided. And after a while I started getting these … butterflies in my stomach when I talked to him!
      He was (still is) a couple of years younger than me, married with two small kids. And I am strict hetero.
      I realized what was happening, and never told anyone about it.
      But I guess this made me realize how starved for compliments I really am.

    • Genzale says:

      Oh my god, my career life is totally in the dumps and I’ve had the same experience. I am Italian, and I live in a mixed neighborhood, and when the Spanish and Italian men hit on me I feel good about it. Other women I guess feel disgusted. They complain. I just think, “At least I’m not a total pile of shit.” It is difficult for me to think of myself as anything but when my sense of accomplishment has gone as far into the toilet as it has. I’m also a recovering heroin addict, and it is a huge mental shift to build a life that has more to it than “Wake up dopesick, cop, get ‘well,’ pass out, rinse, repeat.”

  74. Great points. However, (you knew that was coming), regarding #5, both genders have “shifting equipment”, how about we make a deal and adjust it in private, or at least be as discreet as possible.

    • I mow the lawn on a ride-on mower (lil garden tractor I think the yanks call them?). When I sit down I usually have to adjust myself and it’s very visible because….I don’t want to sit on my nuts basically or get them caught in awkward positions in my clothing. Discreet isn’t always possible but I do try to be discreet but if people have to adjust then do it whereever…we’re all human, it’s not gonna kill us to see.

    • Right on! Men are allowed to adjust their crotches albeit with some remarks launched unfairly in their direction but women are strictly forbidden from doing the same (adjusting their own crotches). We have to suffer in silence until we are able to sneak away somewhere to quickly adjust our crotch. Yes. Women do possess a crotch. Contrary to popular believe it is not devoid of equipment.

      • Adjust away, won’t bother me. Underwear especially can be annoying if it rides high, etc. It’s just that adjusting a crotch for a man is more common in public so it reinforces itself.

    • Shiyana says:

      Agreed! LOL! I think #5 is actually the most believable (not that the others aren’t, but have you ever accidentally hit a guy in the nuts?! that shit hurts, just look at their face.). Adjust away ladies and gentlemen.

      • Have you ever get hit accidentally in your pussy? because I’m sure that shit hurts too. We just dont make a joke about it.

        • racati* says:

          @ John: does straddling a tree at ~15 mph while skiing count? Sure, it hurt at first, but no more than had any other part of my body made the impact–actually, a good deal less than many parts, probably. I was much more upset about tearing my brand new Lycra tights nearly in two. In other words, the joy of getting nailed in the crotch is something only fully felt by men, and we’ve just got to take your word on the “adjusting” part 😉

          • I’ve heard that being hit in the clitoris may be similar? Basically a nut shot you feel go up into your stomach area, the pain seems to transfer and it’s like a stubbed toe x 1000 but with the slightest hit. It’s strange but it’s so damn sensitive to pain for what it is. Weirdly enough you can hit the penis with as much force and not hurt anywhere near as much! Flick a testicle with your finger though and you’ll be sorry!

            • Genzale says:

              The analog would be the cervix. It sends a shitload of severe pain up into the uterus. Menstrual cramps are also analogous for some women. They can be worse than childbirth.

              Anyway, my husband explained to me that he wishes he were noticed and appreciated for his appearance, etc. So I make sure to do that. It’s interesting as well that I am sick of being a success object and have been dealing with severe rage (including the urge to kill, go to Fortune 500’s and shit in their lobbies, beat up people who piss me off, etc.) since adolescence. I had an ex who would annoy me so much that I would go up to the bathroom and spend up to an hour trying to put my fist through the glass. When speaking with male friends who had troubled adolescences, they relate similar experiences. I wonder if it is more dependent on the person and not the gender, and it’s just that women are urged to hide all their anger or turn it in on themselves as depression?? No idea.

              • Genzale says:

                p.s. I am not a psychopathic woman. I am actually depressed a good bit of the time since I have to turn all that rage inward, and in addition, being female, I face more social penalties for expressing anger in polite and respectful ways.

                The modern human condition is such a mystery to me. I don’t know that I will ever understand it. I feel most at home when I’m by myself.

              • I wonder if it is more dependent on the person and not the gender, and it’s just that women are urged to hide all their anger or turn it in on themselves as depression??
                Well not only are women urged to hide their rage they are offered plenty of support and outlets to work their way through it. I think its a matter of since women are supposed to be free of rage (so says the old gender roles) there needs to be ways for them to deal with it.

                On the other hand with men rage is supposed to be a part of us (so says the old gender roles) therefore its important to not only foster it but cut off any and all lines of support for dealing with it.

                That’s why I used to giggle a bit when women would go on about how men are so privileged because their anger was permitted. To which I would just mentally say, “Oh yeah? Try being a man that wants to seek help to deal with the rage.”

              • angelofsol says:

                Hi, just wanted to say that I too was one of those rage filled teenage females. There were days walking around my highschool, and later college campus and just have strong urges to randomly punch people in the face. I was very active during that time with sports and physical training… I don’t know if that had anything to do with the rage. I’ve just never heard another woman talk about it. I appreciate your candor and just wanted to let you know that you weren’t/aren’t alone.

                • Hmm, I have had similar rage responses, so I don’t think it is limited to one gender. In fact, I tended to express them outwardly when provoked to explosion, at the most inopportune times. I didn’t end up in jail and kept most of my friends, so perhaps others saw it as justified. Interestingly, though, I was athletic as well. It was a great outlet to get rid of that anger.

              • I’m going to make wild guesses but I don’t doubt many women want to hit others when angry, I’ve been hit more by women than men and women I have found in general are more likely to hit a guy than the reverse in public. It’s so common to see a woman slap or hit a man, even on breakfast tv they do it in a “joking” manner yet you rarely/probably never see the reverse. I also think that maybe women have more friendships that are quite open and allow them to open up more so they don’t bottle up rage as much as men do, men are expected to toughen up, hold it in, don’t cry etc which can bottle up a dangerous level of pain n anger. Most major breakdowns where someone hits something like a wall I’ve seen is from men, women I have seen tend to speak more openly about their pain and seem more likely to get help before it gets to the boiling point….men however tend to withdraw into their cave or just bury themselves in work to forget it.

                It’s probably why suicide kills far far more men as they choose to actually commit suicide to die because of so much pain, women tend to attempt suicide more as a cry for help and they get the help usually. Stoicism is very much a masculine trait rammed down our throats since birth, I remember my own mother would say shit like “I’ll give you something to cry about” when I was crying.

                • I hate when I see a woman hit a man. If it is not acceptable for a man to hit a woman, it is not the other way around.

                  And yes, I have gotten so mad that I DID want to hit someone – took much will power to walk away

  75. PuppySeesMuffin says:

    #1: I do think men are attractive, but unfortunately, I don’t feel like it’s safe to tell them that. If I tell a guy he’s handsome, it will inevitably make him think I *want* him, whether it’s for sex or a romantic relationship or whatever. I must a cock-hungry whore. And then when I clarify that I don’t actually want him, I’ve become a cock-teasing bitch.

    #2: I’m not going to argue with that. Women can be just as shallow about appearance as men are. It’s just that 1.) women are discouraged from expressing it because of the stereotype that they aren’t -or shouldn’t be- shallow, and 2.) men agree more easily on what attractive is. So men’s shallowness is just more obvious because it’s culturally encouraged and easier to understand.

    #3: I am absolutely in favor of boys and men being allowed to show emotion without being stigmatized as “feminine” (which kind of unfortunately implies that it’s bad to be feminine). I think the world would be a much better place if guys were allowed to take out their angst by simply crying instead of attacking people.

    #4: With the rise of feminism and many women now able to make their own living, the need for men to be the breadwinners has gone down. It’s still the “norm” for the guys to be the money-makers, but if we can continue working toward gender equality, eventually this shouldn’t matter so much anymore.

    The importance of material wealth may vary by area and local values. And sometimes material wealth is not even in the picture. There’s a small but vocal group of guys who love to fall back on the women as gold diggers trope as an excuse for other problems. Coincidentally (or maybe not), those specific guys tend to also love using the words alpha and beta.

    #5: Is it really so bad that you have to spread your legs and hog two seats on the train?

    • If it is hot then yeah we have to spread our legs to air the balls out and not overheat them, they need to be cooler by 2degrees than the body for fertility and also it’s damn uncomfy just as many women feel the need to air out the underside of the breast or stop a strap digging in too much. When it’s hot the scrotum can also “stick” to your leg a bit making it more difficult to shuffle it all around, and if the penis is hanging in a downward position with underwear or tight pants and you get an errection then omg painful if you don’t stop the “jack-knife”.

    • Maybe the most important point women dont know about men is this :

      1. Men don’t always assuming any women who approach them and tell them they are attractive want to have sex with them.

      Yes, we are humans, not pigs. We can receive compliments from women without assuming they want to have sex with us. Seriously, YOU DONT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT US if you think like that.

      Me for example. I have several times women say I’m handsome. From my own mother, my sister, my aunt, my neighbors, my friends. NEVER , EVEN ONCE I assume they want to have sex with me!!! Really, I’m not lying. But you probably wont believe me because in your eyes maybe all men are sex hungry pigs.

      Is it so hard for women to understand this?? They think we are all just sex hungry pigs that will assume all approach from women as an invitation for sex?

      Seriously????

      • honestly my 1st bf was like that but not all guys are like that 45% of males are behind bars because of that the other percentage are absolute gentlemen

      • OMG, yes, not ALL guys are like this! But Puppy makes a critical point here: safety.

        Not ALL guys are sex hungry pigs,and not ALL guys think that compliments mean we want to have sex with them, but we don’t always KNOW who is who, until we really get to know a man, individually. We don’t know. And we can’t always immediately judge based on initial appearances.

        And many of us have some some really horrible (and unsafe/threatening) situations with the men who ARE of the presumptuous and sex-focused sort. Not all men are like that. But there ARE really and truly many out there who ARE like that – and that we encounter/buffer ourselves against – every day out there in public. It’s an actual real circumstance, that exists. Sucks for everyone (unfair to the guys that are NOT like that).

      • Zano Garcia says:

        John, ha. The victims… the misandry… ouch, ouch.
        No, women know most guys will not think we are wanting you to violently enter our dry vaginas RIGHT NOW when complimenting you guys. And that most will not even “act accordingly” and then blame you when you say that is not what you want. We get it, come on.
        The problem is some guys do… and many of us have had really bad experiences with that… Really, I’m not lying. Some guys are really that crazy.
        So in general, many women just give up and just won’t do it, even more to strange men. That is understandable. Or at least it should be.

        And again, the problem isn’t really believing we want sex, but what many men will do when believeing so…

    • Way to miss the point about number one. Consider yourself part of the problem.

    • I have to ditto what Mikey says: Way to miss the point about number one.

    • racati* says:

      re: #1 try using the exact words guys typically use to compliment women back on them seems to be the best, “you have beautiful eyes/a beautiful smile” and the like- things that show that you’re actually paying attention to him as a person, and not just how long till you can jump his bones in the supply closet…

    • That is absolutely incredible.
      You have misunderstood every point the author makes.
      1) He says men are starved for compliments, you say you are afraid to compliment.
      2) He says men are not more shallow, you say men’s shallowness is more obvious.
      3) He says men repress emotion for a good reason, you say just have a good cry.
      4) He says men are tired of their value being dependent on their income, you say don’t worry women are making more money now.
      5) He says men need to adjust sometimes, you say hog two seats on the train.

      • I think possibly both of you girls are over evaluating what Noah is saying. He wasn’t trying to open a debate, but rather point out that “in general” this is how men feel and why they act the way they do. Take from it what you can and leave the rst if you choose, but to debate it is counter productive and negates the point.

        • “Over evaluating”?

          First, this is a comments area. It should be noted that people commenting and stating their point of view here is not the same as “evaluating” (much less “over evaluating”) the article author’s POV.

          Second, are you sure that Noah has no interest in opening a debate on these topics? He just wants to INFORM us of “how it is”. Really? (Why am I so skeptical of that claim…?)

          How do you know that his wish is to “point out” and not “open a debate”? What is your evidence that has lead you to think this, and make this claim to us here?

          Third, thanks for providing us with instructions of what we “should” do (“Take from it what you can and leave the rst if you choose, but to debate it is counter productive and negates the point.) Thankfully, to my knowledge, you’re not the moderator of this board, and it’s not for you determine what the rest of us do. 🙂

          Lastly, I, for one, completely disagree with your claim that “debate is counter-productive and negates the point”. I think that debate is what sometimes increases our understanding of what an author’s point is. It opens new doors and pathways to understanding, fills in gaps, allows people to work out their thoughts via discussion and reach new heights of understanding.

          Attempting to dismiss and silence others, on the other hand, is counterproductive, in my opinion.

          • Mr Supertypo says:

            I agree Sarah, but I am a bit more radical than you. I think that debate is always paramount in understanding the topic. Even if it comes down to insults and vulgarity.

            Debate expand the understanding and reinforce it. It doesn’t limit. Monologues on the other hands are pretty much useless….

            • I think we can potentially learn from monologues, too. Perhaps *I* am more radical than YOU!!! 🙂

              • Mr Supertypo says:

                Off course you can, but monologues are reductive, because its one interpretation one POV that comes forward. A debate its multiple POV’s…therefore they cover a topic better 🙂

                More radical than me? ha keep dreaming 😀

          • Amen to that.

    • Puppy – I’m on board with much of what you’ve said! I want to reply quickly to 2 of your points, however, for your consideration:

      RE: #3: I don’t think this one is a matter of merely “allowing” men to take out their angst by “simply crying instead of attacking people”. Socially “allowing” men to cry does not change male biology. Noah mentioned in this article the powerful effects of testosterone and how people transitioning from female to male have reported some of those effects. One effect that he didn’t mention, but that I’ve heard repeatedly from females who’ve begun to take testosterone during a transition from female to male is the intense experience of suddenly no longer being ABLE to cry after beginning to take testosterone. And the sense of loss they feel (no longer having that as an outlet for anger, and other difficult emotions). I think we should consider this, and factor it into the overall discussion. This isn’t just culture, powerful biology is involved here!

      #5: I don’t think Noah was saying that he thinks it’s really “so bad” to have to “adjust”. I think he point was one asking us to challenge our belief that men SHOULDN’T do it, and/or shouldn’t have to do it. And that it would be nice for us to not claim that it’s “weird’ or “gross” for them to do it.

  76. Awesome. Totally needed to be said..all of it. Especially #4 and what you mention about men not having the vocabulary to describe this phenomenon of being utilized, not humanized.

    Men don’t have the vocabulary to describe lots of things*…and maybe, actually that could be #6 on your updated version ;p

    *read also: without sounding whiny to anyone who subscribes to the “be a man” bravado–and we know that equates to talking to a wall. I believe if we have better vocabulary to describe things, not only would more men talk, but more men (and women) would listen.

    thanks again.

  77. Hi! I just wanted to say thanks for writing this; I didn’t realize how rare it is to find written work discussing the experience of being male directed at a female audience that doesn’t seem furiously angry… this was really nice! I’ll keep reading more from this site. 🙂

  78. David May says:

    When my daughter approached middle school I explained to her that the equipment will, espcially in warm weather relax, and that it’s not unusual to fall out of one’s underwear. So, when she notices that a boy in her class is squirming in his seat for no apparent reason, it’s not because he’s immature, but probably because he’s trying to rearrange himself without grabbing his junk. In truth, boys should always have the option to quietly excuse themselves for moment to put things back in order, but one doesn’t expect to see this happen unless the teacher is male and understands.

    • People should just do it where they are. I see ooooodles of women adjust their bra in front of others, why can’t men adjust themselves? Doesn’t make them a perv.

  79. Ha! i told a man recently that he was “beautiful” i really meant it, he is. His response? i dont remember his exact words, but something about a fear of being feminine! i referred to him as handsome after that.

  80. This article blew my mind. It has allowed me to make a huge leap in my understanding of being male… despite the fact that I’ve been a male for a few decades… So kudos to you. You’ve hit the nail right on the head for many of these issues. The effects of testosterone, the constant ingrained notions of being measured on “success” and careers and money, etc, these are all powerful and deeply seeded forces that have shaped me in a myriad of ways. And man, I have to say, I laughed out loud for quite a while at the line “Have you considered… VIOLENCE?”… so true…

    • Yeah I totally guffawed at that bit.
      Actually I just thought, it might be kinda cool to have this sorta thing done in an animated film for kids to watch in a -real- sex/gender education setting. It’d also be cool to have gals do a similar thing so that both sides are presented. It’d open up minds early on. I bet we could totally change the tide by that sort of thing alone, at least for the future generations.

  81. Wow, this article really struck a chord. I had a long-term relationship with my DREAM GIRL end because she finally listened to her Mom and best friend and dumped me. Apparently I was absolutely perfect in every way (and she was perfect for me, too), but I simply didn’t make enough money and she just couldn’t get past it. Both her divorced Mom and single best friend (and her best friend’s divorced Mom) had been telling her for years that she should marry the first time for money and the second time for love. She finally took their advice, shattered my heart into a million pieces, and it took me much of the past 10 years to process that properly. Now I know it wasn’t me, it was her and the terrible advice she got, but it took me a LONG time to finally understand that. My self esteem and confidence took a major hit and I just felt like a loser because 1 aspect of my life wasn’t good enough for somebody else. But the joke’s on her now, I make good money and have been very successful career-wise for a few years now and am in a job with a VERY high earning potential (7 figures). If she had believed in me, followed her heart and been patient then she truly could have had it all…true love AND money.

  82. I tell my husband that he is handsome ALL the time. And I MEAN it EVERY time. I also love to compliment his intelligence, the way that shirt looks on him, the job he just did, and those dishes that he did unasked. It is so easy to be negative, I make a point to try to compliment him when ever possible. Not in a patronizing way – I really *do* mean it. I mean I like when he tells me that I am looking nice – why shouldnt I tell him the same darn thing!

  83. William Volk says:

    This:

    “Some guys get tired, feeling like no matter what they make, it’ll never be good enough. Some guys spend their whole lives ashamed, having had it beaten into them that they’re only worth what they’ve got in the bank, and taking poverty or financial reversals as a deep personal failure. It eats away at us daily in a thousand little microaggressions, all the ways we’re made to feel Not Good Enough, when what they mean is Not Rich Enough.”

    Is truer than we would like to admit. i know in my personal history, it was a major factor in the end of a 20 year marriage.

  84. Good article, but one line stood out as a little creepy “When actual ‘grown-up men’ get together and talk ‘girls’…” Kinda made me cringe inside. Other than that, some good observations though really generalised and set to a certain ‘class lifestyle’ for sure. There are so many more things to consider – a guy may make a killing, but if it’s killing him, I find that unattractive. Personal hygiene, athletic or artistic pursuits, intelligence and a sense of humour is FAR more attractive than a dense dude with a thick pocket book. Women also get a huge flux of testosterone, paired with other hormones in a heady, violent cocktail, but men just joke about it, and call us crazy, when they have the opportunity to empathise. Face it, our brains are wired very differently, we all grew up in a sexually biased society. These things affect our actions and responses, ideal or not. Awareness is key, but so is adaptability, intelligent observation and a sense of humour.

    • You find it creepy they used girls, but went on to say guy a few lines later? Say whaaa.
      Newsflash women, girls does NOT always mean female children! Guys n girls go hand in hand together in many peoples vocab, interchangeable with man and woman and context matters a lot. A woman might say she had sex with a guy, a man might say he had sex with a girl, neither of them (in nearly every single case) mean they had sex with someone under age.

    • Michael Rowe says:

      God, how many times have I heard women tell men who comment on pieces about women’s lives, by women, to just shut up and LISTEN. Good advice. Sorry you find it “creepy” that Noah said “girls.” Maybe whether not you find it “creepy” isn’t the point. Maybe the point is to just learn something about men when men try to write about what it’s like to be them without censuring their language…?

      • Maybe it is about time that boys like you stop dismissing any sensible things Women experience? For real little boy, that is not the first time you do that. Some things are sensible to Women and hey have all the rights to speak up – that is not censuring.
        Next time you will believe we Women are censuring boys when they call us all whorish cunts, uh? Heck, that is boy’s language! How dare Women expect boys to be better little people who actually want to be sensible and mind Women’s issues? Nah, We Women are expecting too much from little boys, I see.

  85. Hi Noah

    Why do you spread lies or myths like this one:

    ” We know that our attractiveness, our worth, our
    contribution to our families is ALL about how much money we can make. And it’s exhausting”

    This may be your personal experience Noah,and that is all it is.

    I do not say that women are angels. Power can be aphrodisiac for women, and a man’s generosity is far more important than how much money he earns.

    And believe me Noah,some men are attractive no matter how much or how little money they bring to the household.

    .

  86. Please explain to me what I’m doing wrong. I have a guy friend that when I tell him how incredible or valuable or priceless he is he either ignores me or gets pissed and tells me to stop. I’m an encourager by nature and just want him to know I care and believe in him and that he matters. Help!

    • Does he want to date you? If so then it’s probably like hearing you are a supermodel yet your crush still doesn’t wanna date you.

    • FlyingKal says:

      @caverly:
      My guess is, it’s been ingrained in him (by family members, “society”, whoever…) that he is *not* all those things you say he is, but rather the polar opposite, so much so that he has taken it as the thruth.
      Hence, what you are saying clashes with his view of himself and it’s not in his power to believe you.
      It might be that he actually believes you, he just can’t quite wrap his head around it. But it might also be that he believes you’re pulling jokes at his expense

  87. wellokaythen says:

    I don’t HAVE to adjust myself like that every time I do it. Sometimes I just feel like it, and sometimes it’s just habit. Sometimes it’s just reassuring. Now I’ve said too much….

  88. Thank you for this article.
    This is everything that I’ve been striving to convey to my lecturers for years, but presented in a much more coherent manner than I have so far mustered. When I raise these issues, such as the culturally conditioned emotional repression of men, I generally recieve a raised eyebrow and a reminder that ‘things are still worse for women’. Perhaps they are, but why argue over which sex has it worse when you can choose to raise awareness about all unfairness that comes with the stupid (and yet solid) social construct that is the gender divide? Far too many assume that sexism or sex-related inequality is a burden beared only by women, and the education system needs to rebuke this more actively.

  89. Jennifer says:

    Nice piece – I wish that we were talking more openly about the adolescent rage which I suspect underlies a significant segment of the “rape culture” manifested most recently in Steubenville and Torrington. How to teach young men to cope with their simmering rage in ways that don’t make victims of women and others?

    • WillBest says:

      Not chaining them to a desk for 5.5 hours a day would be a good start.

    • Well, here’s the thing:

      Women tend to assume and promote that “rape culture” is all about violence and anger and dominance. Stuff that is stereotyped as being “intrinsically male”. It isn’t true.
      Most times it really boils down to:

      Gonads and Strife.

      I use this term to describe a plethora of feelings ranging from being hungover to just being perturbed–but always while having the sensation of: hornyness. Pent up. Dude needs to release. “Rape Culture”–which is a misnomer, because there is no “culture” of rape–its a psycho-social phenomenon– exists because, in my opinion, we’ve taught not just women but men to deal with sexuality in really dissonant ways.

  90. “Some guys get tired, feeling like no matter what they make, it’ll never be good enough. Some guys spend their whole lives ashamed, having had it beaten into them that they’re only worth what they’ve got in the bank, and taking poverty or financial reversals as a deep personal failure. It eats away at us daily in a thousand little microaggressions, all the ways we’re made to feel Not Good Enough, when what they mean is Not Rich Enough.”

    Funny, my boyfriend does that to me. I told him I would rather he do something that makes him happy because I won’t depend on him for money, and instead he throws it back in my face that I don’t make enough money to match him. Instead of ending this shameful way of valuing people, it now goes both ways.

    • I hear that Donna…
      I’m pretty sure though that your boyfriend needs to be assured. We aren’t really assured that this is true. Even though we know this is true, we have many experiences that oftentimes speak the opposite. Like, real-life-experiences with people in life and not on a message board or something. It’s a hard thing to take.
      Oftentimes the way we get wired is through people we really cared about and didn’t want to lose–I mean, that’d be the best way to do it. Personally for me, it got to the point that even my close (male) friends were doing it and it hurt–I felt I couldn’t have even decent friends who really respected me unless I was “on their level” (this is a sort of phrase used to shame men who aren’t successful and/or wealthy).

      And it really does rewire and re-focus what we feel is important. I’m struggling with that now.
      Actually, thanks to this site I’ve begun to try and re-focus again, on purpose.

      Have a little patience with your boyfriend. Try and make concerted efforts to show him he’s not right–or more like, the people who have become skipping records in his head aren’t right. It’ll start to sink in, trust me. But it really is a process…

  91. The first time a man told me I was beautiful, it floored me. I’d been waiting my whole life to hear it, and I was complete putty. I was also 26 years old, and had been out of the closet (and only partly) for a couple of months. I felt like a 13 year -old. Or the way I SHOULD have felt at 13 had I been afforded the opportunity to interact with someone I was actually attracted to without getting lynched. So yeah, telling me I’m beautiful or pretty or even handsome melts me to my socks. Glad to hear straight guys have that problem, too.

    • @Designer Daddy: “Glad to hear straight guys have that problem, too.”

      You bet we do! 😀
      (it’s so easy to think that others have it better, isn’t it? 😉 )

      I’m glad to know you got that kind of appreciation.
      Sure, some unusually handsome guy might have it as a given, but I think that most men do not, and when they get it, are as amazed and grateful as you were. I know I am. 🙂

      • “Unusually handsome guys”–don’t.

        And I think it’s an assumption that women make that men may get the same attention that beautiful women do–despite the fact that they really don’t freely offer compliments to men either from fear (of approaching), or fear (of inciting a bad reaction).

        Honestly, and I’m not trying to deflect from this article and it’s point, but I just thought about it:
        Though women are taking reigns in the world at large and in their own lives… they are still human and reluctant to take many that, well, are just plain [fucking] uncomfortable. And that kinda screws with everything, especially their movement to being totally considered “Independent, autonomous women”–because lots of them haven’t admitted they [still] don’t do certain things because they’re just plain, scared and inexperienced due to how we (as a society) tend to condition them.

        But there’s some help there…. society has conditioned them–so blame it. And move on. Explained like that, it makes sense and they aren’t at fault or weak–just hobbled. I personally would be cheering them on (as I have myself when I got over a social hurdle in the romance field). It’d be awesome to see gals make the awkward gestures I’ve made (or tried to make) throughout my life…and not for the sake of schadenfreude … it’d actually make me happy, genuinely. That may confuse some people…

  92. Re: #5, I don’t have that problem.

  93. Might I also suggest checning out a book called, “The Myth of Male Power” by Warren Farrell. He is an avowed feminist who sat on the board of National Organization for Women for three consecutive years. After a woman friend of his was asked by him to check out the manuscript for the book, she was initially coneemptuous of it; but when she’d read it, she returned it and said to him, “I’m so sorry, how can I help?”

  94. Thanks for the great article. Some new thoughts for me to take to heart.

  95. Autumn Kindelspire says:

    Great article, but I this line raised my eyebrow, “We know that our attractiveness, our worth, our contribution to our families is all about how much money we can make. And it’s exhausting.”
    Your attractiveness, worth, and contribution to your families can no more be simplified down to your financial status than a woman’s attractiveness, worth, and contribution to her relationship can be simplified down to her looks.
    The article opens with expelling this stereotype of men’s thinking. You care about a lot more than how we look. Well, we care about a lot more than how much money you make. At least, good women do.

    • Precisely. Well said. Unfortunately, they’re getting harder and harder to find.

    • Cajunmick says:

      I don’t assume all women see men as success objects. But am I sensitive to this? You bet!
      On two seperate occasions I was told I’m a great guy, hard-working, cute, honest, etc…but I just didn’t make enough money to be considered datable. To my face.
      On one hand, I appreciate the honesty. No guesswork. On the other, I’ve never told a woman, you’re a great person, but I find you physically unappealing. I’d never be that rude.

    • nobodobodon says:

      That’s a good point, and it needs to be said that women aren’t always shallow like that, but being a success symbol is not just about attracting and pleasing your soul mate. It’s also about how you fit in to society at large. I hear that women sometimes judge other women on their appearance and clothing. By that same token, men frequently judge one another on their income and job status.

  96. Woah Noah, another just brillant article! Kudos! 🙂
    So many articles about men and masculinity are somehow trivial and bland, but yours hits the nail on the head. Very true facts, so clearly spoken.

    It’s a pity that many of the comments follow the worn and oh-so-boring trend of the decrepit men-vs-women conflict. I can’t even read them anymore, they soon turn into just buzzing noise in my head.
    The article was about communication and understanding; but it looks like that has flown over the head of many readers. :-/

  97. Another great piece Noah, seems I missed this one last month.

    The violence you write about that young men learn to suppress really resonated with me. I see that in adult men all the time, men around me, men my friends are married to, even though they still do their best to suppress it it’s always simmering under the surface. Ranging from everything to do with hidden secrets they think they’ll be judged for to major discontent in work, relationships, family situations, political parties, the fucking world in general!!

    Someone above said it’s nothing 15 years won’t fix… Implying that blokes angry at the world do mellow with age. I hope that’s true 🙂

  98. Beautiful Delilah says:

    men are neither complicated nor confusing. what makes Mr. Brand think women don’t know this stuff? oh yeah……..showbiz………

    • Its what most women want to believe, that men are simple, only think about sex all the time. Women want to believe that because its makes them feel they are better gender. Women care only about personality, women don’t like handsome fit men, etc. Bullshit. Men are complex and women are much simpler then what you think you are.

  99. I remember working with a guy in his early 20’s who was VERY angry at the world. One of my colleagues asked our supervisor, a man in his 40’s, why the younger man was like that. He said “Don’t worry, it’s nothing 15 years won’t fix.”
    generalization, to be sure, but it turned out to be true in this case.
    Personally, I despise stereotypes, regardless of whom they’re about. The idea that men are simple, basic, shallow, etc. is so far from the truth, and does such a disservice to everyone.
    My husband and I are a team. We’re both responsible for the well-being of our kids, for our finances, for our home, etc. I hope I tell him often enough how wonderful he is, and what a great person he is, and how much I love him. I’m glad that he has close friends nearby whom he sees on a regular basis.
    We humans are complicated creatures. I think we’d all fare better if we kept that in mind.

  100. “two most popular genders”

    …Am…I missing something here?

  101. well, I think number 5 is spot on and something women can relate to if you compare it to an ill fitting bra.
    I think #1 is overstated. Men would like to be considered sexy more than attractive.
    #2 is probably the only real revelation here: the fact that men distinguish between actresses/models and real women. Women think they need to look like an actress when they don’t.

    But I take exception with #3. It’s wrong on so many levels. For one, my testosterone only made me horny, not violent. I never had images of violence or need to be violent. If you look at a general population of teen boys, you ARE going to see violent BULLIES but percentage of the sample is low. The shoulder devil example is DISTURBING. Anyone who thinks of violence that much is not a victim of their hormones but of some other deeper seated problems. Think serial killer, not normal guy.
    It’s also wrong because it gives a vastly distorted and SCARY image to women who read it, making them think that ALL men secretly think of violence, and further that they can’t help but think of violence.
    This could not be more wrong. Yes, men think constantly of SEX. but that’s it.
    I feel that number 3 does a disservice to men, in that it makes us seem like uncontrollable serial killers, and its a disservice to women because it makes us seem like uncontrollable serial killers.

    May I humbly suggest that if the author had (or maybe still has) these fantasies of violence, that they seek counseling or therapy.

    Now, if you’d said “anger” instead of violence, then maybe you might have a valid point, but that anger stems from frustration, your body wants sex, and sex is not always available. Anger is an emotion. Violence is a decision, and not one made by the majority of men.

    • perhaps different brains respond differently to testosterone.
      eg some male powerlifters and bodybuilders taken steroids report feeling only calm, while others report feeling ‘roid rage

    • Agreed, my violent thoughts came from years of bullying not testosterone. Testosterone just makes me horny and hairy lol. I have a quick temper but I suspect that’s largely due to a decade long depression + previous abuse vs testosterone.

    • Hmmm, Well, I was bullied, and I DID have lots of violent thoughts. I do think testosterone does have something to do with that. I agree with Ken Wilber from his book “A Brief History of Everything” when he says “Testosterone engenders two and only two emotions; fuck it or kill it.” Teenage males, in spite of all the surveys, usually are VERY sexually frustrated, and hence often VERY angry.

      • “Hmmm, Well, I was bullied, and I DID have lots of violent thoughts. I do think testosterone does have something to do with that.”

        Not getting helped, getting told it’s your own fault, not getting therapy of any kind to get through it. Couldn’t it have anything to do with how it turns to thinking about violence?

        Personally, it gave me high social anxiety and a very cynical outlook about humanity. So I’m a cynical idealist. I hope for a better world for everyone…but think humanity is stupid, evil, corrupt, vain, narcissistic in too high amounts to be redeemable. I have thought about violence a lot, but ultimately never have done anything about it. I’m a pacifist, I barely even defended myself when beaten up, and I can’t fathom hurting someone on purpose.

  102. I’ll speak for myself here and say I like #1 but I would rather have a woman say how much she respects me or how successful I am as opposed to saying I’m pretty.

  103. I enjoyed your article, I believe all of this and have for a long time. I wrote an article for elephant journal, last Summer, called, “The Secret I love About Men.” http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/08/the-secret-i-love-about-men/

    I received a lot of feedback from men, so I wasn’t too far from the point. We are all human and men are just as vulnerable as women. Even moreso sometimes. Thank you for sharing. : )

  104. I absolutely love this article. Thank you, Noah. I laughed at the violence bit several times (and then again sporadically in public places where I caused strangers to shift uncomfortably as a result of my outbursts). Thanks for being so honest and open.

  105. wellokaythen says:

    About being treated as an object, either sex object or success object:

    It’s sometimes unavoidable, and not always a bad thing, to be treated as an object in some circumstances. I want the people who manufacture my clothes to think of me primarily as a physical body, so they can make sure that the clothes actually fit me.(useful objectification) I expect the people selling me clothes to think of me primarily as someone with money to spend.(unavoidable objectification)

    What’s bad is when a person is reduced to being an object and nothing more. Or when someone feels like they are only an object when they want to feel more like a person. Objectification is a relative evil, not an absolute evil.

    • I think the other thing to keep in mind is that people get into relationships because they have needs and they are hoping you can fill those needs. If I want companionship, is my lover a “companionship object?” at some level, everyone is kind of selfish. I’m not going to get into a relationship with someone who has nothing to offer me in terms of the things that I think will make me happy. Obviously there’s a line where a person just uses others in a shallow and selfish way. Which is bad. But everyone uses others to some degree. It doesn’t preclude also being generous and caring. There are men who primarily value women for their physical appearance because that’s what’s most important to them. I might be pissed off about being rejected by a guy because he doesn’t think I’m hot enough, because I think that’s wrong, but it’s not about what I want, it’s about what he wants. What I want doesnt matter to him, it only matters to me. Similarly, there are women who primarily care about a guy’s money because their goal in life is to get married and live in a nice house and have nice stuff and have enough resources to help their kids do well in life. That may anger men who who feel rejected because of their lack of money, but the truth is, if a woman’s overriding goal is to have a financial secure life for her family, then a man without money can’t meet her needs. It sucks but it’s the way it is. The struggle is to find a person whose needs match what you are able to offer.

      • wellokaythen says:

        Good points all around. Fortunately or unfortunately, people are entitled to their preferences. The considerate, responsible thing to do is to be upfront about them. Fortunately, “modelizers” and gold-diggers tend to tip their hand pretty early. Usually you have some idea what you’re getting into. If all the red flags are saying “Danger: Sharks” and I jump in anyway, that’s on me for being an idiot.

  106. Mr Supertypo says:

    Good article 🙂

  107. wellokaythen says:

    Bravo, well done. Not universal to all men, but common enough to be a very useful generalization.

    I’d go a little further with #2, because I think it’s a symptom of a larger misconception about men. The misconception is that men are inherently simple. This applies a lot to the way that many women look at (hetero) male sexuality. The myth is that when it comes to sex men have totally simple programming, just a toggle switch programmed by mass media, while women have complicated sexualities. In reality, if men are simpler than women, the difference is much smaller than women think. Men are generally more complicated than women give us credit for.

    At the very least, we can be very malleable in what we find sexy. Have sex with a man, and he’ll come to find your unique body very sexy. What he sees when he wakes up with you after a night of passion may become what he’s looking for. You may actually become his type.

    Point #2 also highlights something that is illogical in the big stereotypes about men. On the one hand, men only go for a very specific kind of feminine body. We hold out for the supermodels and ignore all the others. On the other hand, men are indiscriminate and will have sex with anything with an average of 2.01 legs. So, which is it – are we looking to have sex with everyone, or are we only interested in a tiny minority?

    • “So, which is it – are we looking to have sex with everyone, or are we only interested in a tiny minority?”

      On another men’s lifestyle site I used to read, one of the male posters stated that men will have sex with anyone/everyone while they fantasize about the women they would prefer to have sex with. FWIW, no one disputed his claim.

  108. As a woman I actually feel a bit let down when I hear of girls (They’re not grown up enough to be called women) seeking out men based on their earning potential as it gives us a bad name each time. Personally I think a good relationship needs to be based on four primary factors: loyalty, availability to commit, humility and love. The concept that the man should pay and in turn the woman should “put out” in return is idealistic to say the least. We are living in a time in which men should be able to cry without being labelled with terms such as “mumma’s boy” and women should be able to wear pants and not be tagged as “unfeminine” Gender stereotyping seems to be a habit nowadays and an unfortunate one at that!

    • I’m usually the bread winner in a relationship but I still look for a man who is at least employed doing something. I don’t particularly care what. I know from past relationships that I really don’t like being the only wage earner in a relationship not because I want to have all that money flowing in but because I hate being solely responsible for the financial upkeep of everything (house etc.). It’s a lot of pressure to put on anyone. Plus my other issue was when I have been the sole wage earner is I’m tired when I get home in the evenings and I have someone there who hadn’t done anything all day all ready for me to entertain him as well. I imagine this can be a problem for men who are the sole wage earner in a relationship as well. I couldn’t help but resent my well rested partner who resented me as well because I was too tired to do everything they wanted to do. Especially when I had to work more to pay for all they wanted to do.

      • wellokaythen says:

        This has been my experience with women as well. When it comes to money and dating, most of the women I know are looking to avoid a negative more than they’re looking to cash in on a positive. Many of them want to be with a man who’s employed or seems to have some sort of direction, not just a couch potato. He has to be able to share in the bills, even if he doesn’t make more than she does.

        My impression is that a LOT of women are afraid of getting into a relationship with a man who becomes a dependent or who puts her into some sort of parent/child relationship with him. Not so much that they’re looking for a rich man as much as they’re looking to avoid a poor man. Not deep pockets, just not a moocher.

  109. Michael Rowe says:

    Noah Brand FTW.

  110. I like articles like these that are meant to talk to women about what men are truly thinking. So thanks for that Noah.

    Now that I am older, I do give my boyfriends compliments that go beyond their physical or financial compliments. But when I was younger, I was way too nervous and worried about how to act around men and what my boyfriends thoughts would be if I said x,y or z that I kept a lot to myself. Even the compliments. But now that I am older, I do feel more free to express those things and I have complimented past boyfriends’ eyes, hands, arms, chests, lips, shoulders, noses (I have a think about men with certain kind of noses) and legs. I’m not really a “butt” girl so I never told a guy he had a nice butt. But I think for me, the best compliments where the ones that complimented his tenderness or kindness more so than his physical or financial assets.

    (Quick side note to Noah’s first generalization about women in his first point: I am not the kind of girl that has been so flattered with compliments of my physical body that I am immune to them. I haven’t been told since the day I hit puberty that I am beautiful. And I long for a man to really think I’m beautiful. Truly beautiful. Not just someone he is with because he thinks I’m sweet and puts up with my physical imperfections. I want a man that LOVES my physical imperfections and just accepts me for me.)

    I don’t think men are more shallow than women but I do think men are more shallow about women’s physical looks then women are of men’s physical looks. Which might lead us back to point number one on why women don’t give men compliments about their physical bodies.

    But it’s really awesome and amazing to know that men do talk to each other about other things about women other then our bodies. I honestly really didn’t know men talked like this. Do other men agree with Noah on this point? What are some things you have loved about a woman that made her hotter to you?

    I will say that I am not so sure that men really can tell the difference between airbrushed women and natural women though. Maybe on an intellectual level men can, sure. Men are very smart. But not on a level of responding to said airbrushed images. Because lets be honest, alot of men respond to these images. It’s not really fair to ask women to deny that men don’t infact respond to airbrushed images.

    There are a lot of tricks women use that I don’t think men know of. I am reminded of an article I read about where they first asked men how much make-up they liked on a woman. Most men said a little to medium amount. But when shown a picture of the same woman in three stages of make-up, the first being a little, the second being medium and the last being a lot, most men picked the image where the woman had a lot of makeup.

    I also am part of another online community where a young woman of 21 posted a question to the forum about her saggy 21 year old breasts. Breasts are just fat and it’s not uncommon for there to be sag even in young women. Alot of the young men that responded didn’t seem to really even understand this. They basically said she needed to get it fixed some way because that wasn’t normal. They didn’t really understand that breasts can be saggy even when someone is 21 because they are very use to seeing breasts that are perfectly high and firm.

    I will totally take Noah’s point number 3 because I have no personal experience with that one and I can see that being true for men. Although I never knew that so much of a young teenage boy’s response rounded around violence sometimes. Go figure.

    I can also agree with number 4. Men are esteemed for their financial success. I can totally understand that it’s exhausting and a hardship. There is a reason a woman will say, “My husband is a doctor”, and not “My husband is the best little league coach.” So this is a good thing for women to discuss and recognize in themselves and what they may be falsely valuing in men.

    Although I will also say that I have heard of women that would be willing to forgo some of the money or a smaller house to have their husbands around more. But society does reinforce this message for men.

    This might make me sound strange but I always thought it was kind of strangely cute when I would catch a man adjusting himself. As long as he was trying to be as discreet as possible. And you can usually tell when men are vs when they don’t care at all. It was like catching a small glimpse into a very masculine vulnerability.

    • Erin, that last comment is excellent. I never thought about it, but it is has been my subtle reaction too. I kind of look away and let men discretely fix themselves knowing it’s a vulnerable place and natural for men to make adjustments. And yes, some friends are less discrete but only in ‘safe’ company.

      Saturday Night Live even had a skit about Schweddy Balls with Baldwin. Humor is relative, but it was funny to me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6R5xcydYKqU

    • “But it’s really awesome and amazing to know that men do talk to each other about other things about women other then our bodies. I honestly really didn’t know men talked like this. Do other men agree with Noah on this point? What are some things you have loved about a woman that made her hotter to you?”

      I’ve told you this before, so have others. Attraction is random, I LOVE redheads with freckles, I think they’re cute, dunno why but I do. I talk about how a woman makes me feel such as how awesome it is when someone is there for me, makes me laugh, how talkin to her feels like mere moments when it’s really hours that pass, that feeling of butterflies inside, etc. Men talk about all kinds of things with physical looks only being one aspect of attraction.

      Maybe the 6th bit of advice women need to hear is that NOT ALL MEN ARE THE SAME. Generalizing about what men want, are like, etc, is foolish just as the initial generalization of women hearing compliments all the time is foolish. Young people also need to learn a lot more in life so many may not understand breasts can sag by 21 (especially with weight gain and then loss, or childbirth) but young women also don’t understand much about the penis for instance where I’ve had women shocked to hear we aren’t in control of it, and really shocked to hear that it gets hard when we aren’t mentally arroused. I don’t think either gender as a whole has a really good grasp on the other gender but that’s largely due to not having those bits n bobs + a shitty education and especially photoshopped imagery.

      I don’t sit there thinking all day of how good a woman looks, I sit there thinking of how amazing she makes me feel, how I feel loved, cared for, how we laugh so much when we talk, how we just mesh so well together, how our interests team up, how I can talk to her for hours n hours and it feels like 5 minutes and I’m left craving more TALKING with her. Recently I heard a man talk about how he likes it that his partner lets him do his hobbies without bothering him heaps like some partners do (demanding attention).

    • Furious George says:

      You only used the word “I” a mere 38 times. It’s no coincidence. Think about it.

      • wellokaythen says:

        I for one much prefer “I” statements to the comments that claim to speak for half the world’s population. It’s good when an author is clear about her own stuff that she’s bringing, instead of speaking as a spokesperson for billions of other people.

  111. My first reaction to this was, “no this can’t be true”. Then I started to think about what I see currently in our society and sadly I’d have to agree with most of what you said (#5 is pretty much on the money). More evidence that the lines of Masculinity and Femininity are gradually being erased.

  112. Think the article says much that women could very well learn from. Thanks, Noah; I am always trying to figure out these things and appreciate a man’s viewpoint.

  113. Tom Matlack says:

    Great piece Noah. I am particularly fond of #5.

    • yeah agreed on no5.
      to expand, the meat and two can get trapped in a funny position. plus many men need to sit with their legs open to shoulder width cos:
      1. the narrow hips make sitting crossed legs or even with knees together uncomfortable
      2. if the man tries to cross his legs or sit with his knees together, the underwear and trousers can trap the meat and two veg in position so they dont move – causing pain

      • wellokaythen says:

        And sometimes we keep our legs apart to avoid the thigh sticking phenomenon known as batwings, which sometimes just feels icky. Women worry about camel toes and muffin tops, men worry about batwings.

  114. Thanks Noah!
    I think you pretty much nailed the 5 of them. I’m not saying there isn’t more issues to write about.
    But in my opinion it mostly tells it how it is.

    (Just a minor quip about #1. Compliments can be about more than just looks. But you got that covered in #4. Good comeback, and a great job!)

  115. 6. We care about a whole lot more than just sex. Being accused of “just wanting you use you for sex” actually really hurts.

    • wellokaythen says:

      Good point. I’d go one step further. When we want sex, the sex itself is not necessarily the ultimate goal. Sometimes we just want it for its own sake, but sometimes it’s a means to an end. Maybe it looks like all we care about is sex, but that’s because what we really want is what sex brings, which is _____. Men and women have very similar lists of reasons to have sex, it’s just that the mixture of reasons is different.

      • cxavierruck says:

        Very well said!

        The widespread notion that we only want sex for our own physical release and not for connection to our partners, I think, can make it difficult to express and engage in sexual intimacy in an open and vulnerable way.

        • wellokaythen says:

          Sometimes it is just for physical release, sometimes it’s for connection, sometimes it’s both, sometimes it’s something else entirely. (Speaking in the aggregate here, not necessarily on an individual level.)

          • Zano Garcia says:

            Everyone knows men want connection to their partners… they always want to connect their penises to our vaginas or butts. And of course most times it is just for realease (never physical fulfilment or anything like that, men only undertand “release” of their sperm)… the MEN’s release, nevermind women could be getting something out of it or wanted to orgasm as well. We all get that shit.. 😉

  116. John Smith says:

    On number one, I don’t think it’s just looks, but it seems that men are never complimented for anything. Yes, this is partly our own fault and we should be happier to say “good job” to each other. Perhaps if men started to compliment each other and take those with good grace (I’m taking about saying “thats some good work” or “You have a loverly family” not “My your ass looks hot in those new chinos”, unless you know the person very well…) we could be a bit more open with our emotions as well?

  117. thanks for the article, noah. i am always looking for helpful information on men, from men. i am a big fan of your gender. 🙂

    while no one’s opinion should be dismissed outright, i do feel that many of the comments by women on this article unfairly re-direct the focus onto women’s issues. neither is more important than the other, but this is ‘the good men project’ and this particular article is designed to provide insight into men. i appreciate that the content on this site provokes discussion from various perspectives and often takes new and interesting tangents. but it feels like an invalidation of the male experience (or just noah’s) to use this particular forum to rage about woman’s subjugation, patriarchal vs. matriarchal societies, rape, etc.

    sure, we are all human and as such may or may not relate to any or all of the five points, regardless of gender. however, i love getting a male perspective and was fascinated to see what noah had on his list. frankly, i was hoping some of the men would add other points in their comments (hint-hint). with more good information, i can be more compassionate, understanding and encouraging of all the good men in my life. 🙂

    • GREAT point Lucy. By putting the conversation back to women, we end up subjugating them in much the same way we accuse them of doing. Let this conversation be about them. Let us really read and learn with our great hearts and minds how amazing men really are.

      I’ve somehow known since I was in my early 20’s that men are just as insecure as women, and maybe even more so. Noah is right that men are not complimented on the same level that women are. We are all human and have basically the same emotional needs. Why wouldn’t men need to hear they’re attractive, and additionally, that they’re valued for so many other things as well. And NOT just their wallet. I love my husband and I have reasons to compliment him daily, and I DO.

    • wellokaythen says:

      I see your point about not making this all about women all of a sudden. But, to be fair, the article is sort of talking about women’s misperceptions and women’s ignorance and what women could do to show that they understand what men are like. It’s sort of addressed to women, in a way, so it’s understandable if there’s some discussion about WHY women come to such bizarre conclusions about men. One explanation: “women’s issues” themselves have warped society’s views of men.

    • Thanks Lucy & Roxanne. Your comments make we want to add a sixth thing (though it may just be a variation of #2).
      6. The media’s frequent depiction of men as shallow, overgrown, dependent children hurts. It can be real at times, and there are valid reasons to bring it up, but the steady and relentless spewing hurts. It’s so prevalent that male characters in a few sophisticated sit-coms have made sardonic reference to it. It hurts when it’s gratuitous, and it hurts when it’s woven into a story or commercial just for cheap laughs.

  118. Also, this article is about things women don’tknow about men, so it’s not JUST for men, it’s obviously for women, too, so it’s natural for us to have a response to it. I appreciate the point about the emotional repression. It states exactly what I was trying to explain just the other day, but couldn’t quite so easily. I was describing issues I had with my (ex)bf, but that I didn’t necessarily blame him because our culture kind of makes any other option incredibly difficult for men. And it is unfortunate and unfair, but it can be really difficult for a woman, too. For instance, abusive and psychopathic men will cry & be emotional and use their emotions to manipulate a woman. So, if a man is emotionally unavailable, we lose, and if he’s emotionally open, we have to be careful about whether or not we can trust it. Also, Tom B, for you to say that women use their emotions to be manipulative is exactly why many women (although you may not realize it) feel they have to suppress their emotional reactions to things…men & women assume women cannot be rational, are “too emotional,” “too sensitive,” and so on. Unfortunately, our culture doesn’t exactly make things easy for either sex.

  119. I thought this was lovely and it made me smile –

    “When actual grown-up men get together and talk girls, there’s an awful lot of “I love the way she tells the truth, just straight-out with no bullshit.” and “It’s the freckles. I cannot resist her freckles.” and “When she giggles a certain way I just want to jump her right there.”

  120. really? my comments disappeared…? I didn’t insult anyone or using bad words…

    I just hate it that we need to bring up women issues when we talk about men issues here ( And I know women also have it hard, if not more than men , far more than men)…

    I guess I’m too sentimental. After I read this article I hope I would read thoughtful and loving reaction from women lol.

    • Loving and thoughtful reaction? Why because we are women and it is our duty to nurture men? That is sexist. Write an article about the suffering of the white race for the black race and see if you get a thoughtful and loving reaction. Women are a minority. We are oppressed and objectified and under paid. The best you can hope for as the first poster said is that we recognize each other as human beings with feelings and treat each other accordingly.

      • I’m not a huge fan of using the term “minority,” in this sense. Political minority, yeah…but not quite a minority in the way race or sexuality would make one a minority.

        Oh but otherwise, yeah. 🙂

      • I was with you for the first two sentences. Then you dropped the ball.

        The imbalances between black/white are much much more one sided than the imbalances between male/female.

        Women are a minority. We are oppressed and objectified and under paid. The best you can hope for as the first poster said is that we recognize each other as human beings with feelings and treat each other accordingly.
        So in the realm of gender its make it only about women or make it about everyone? The ways in which women are harmed actually does justify limiting and silencing men’s voices? I asked a feminist that the other day and she told that it does because that’s the price of privilege.

        So no unique spaces for men then? We are going to fix the ways in which some people are silenced by silencing the voices of others? Let me know how that turns out….

        Its interesting that even when women correctly point out that men shouldn’t come into women’s spaces and discussions and try to make it about men (inch) they will then go on to say that men should not have spaces of their own (mile). The excuse is something about “the whole world being a space for men” or whatever. If the whole world is a men’s space then why are men having to carve out their own spaces in order to have their voices heard?

      • Women are the majority, more women than men….

        “Loving and thoughtful reaction? Why because we are women and it is our duty to nurture men? That is sexist.”
        So a guy writes that he HOPES to see a loving n warm reaction and you assume he thinks of it as a woman’s duty?

        Comparing women and men’s inequality to racial equality between black n white people is stupidly offensive, seriously people (especially feminists that should know better) STOP DOING IT. There are more women than men, more women voted in the last few US Elections, they have a lot of power as a group and absolutely OODLES more power than black people in the U.S do as a group.

        • wellokaythen says:

          Not just a majority of the population, but now a majority of the wage earners in the U.S., the majority of college students, part of the vast majority of purchasing decisions, etc.

      • Michael Rowe says:

        Women are not a minority. LGBTs are a minority.

  121. Lovely article. But I have to tell you —

    “Do not assume that an attractive (WO)man knows (S)he’s attractive. The opposite is probably the case…because, as you say, “There’s an old rule men learn about flirting with women: if a woman’s pretty, don’t expect to impress her by telling her so. People have been telling her that every single day since puberty, and it no longer even registers as anything other than background noise.

  122. This article was fabulous and well written. I want to add a quick addendum to point #1: This is probably a shallow admission, but I like to be told that I’m pretty. I’ve heard that quote before – about how beautiful women don’t want to be told they’re beautiful. Maybe because I’m not a classic beauty (for lack of a better term), a compliment like that is never lost on me. Of course, hearing “nice rack” or something similar is obnoxious. But when a man sincerely compliments me on my appearance, it’s pretty wonderful. The background noise I hear most often, particularly in relation to femininity (and apparently men understand this as well) boils down to this: you are not enough. Not curvy enough, not pretty enough, not engaging enough, not _____ enough. So I’m grateful anytime a guy takes the time to affirm something he likes about me. It reminds me that I don’t have to be “enough” in a stereotypical, media-defined way to be more than enough to one person. (Point #2 was my favorite.) Thanks for this article – it was informative, and encouraging.

    • PursuitAce says:

      I’ve got to comment on the “classic beauty” thing. Some classic beauties are actually that. But it’s always because they have some kind of imperfections that balance out the rest of them. In other words imperfections equal uniqueness which creates attractiveness. You couldn’t pay me to date the average supermodel. They just seem too physically unnatural. And natural is better. Any guys want to back me up on this one?

    • agreed, I can count in the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve been told I’m pretty. The truth is, I’m not pretty. I’m average looking. Even my current boyfriend of 3 years has never said I’m pretty, although he does tell me I’m sexy, which is nice.

      So, being starved for compliments – I can relate. With regard to women complimenting men, the truth is, I don’t think about what men look like generally. If I am attracted to a man, it’s usually a combination of factors. I’ve never dated a guy I would consider conventionally good looking in a Brad Pitt way. That’s not what interests me. But point taken, I will try to remember to compliment where I can! (though I can’t see myself ever calling a man “pretty” – what qualifies as “pretty” in a man, anyway? 🙂

      • you can call him sexy instead of pretty. I’m sure he would take that as a compliment. Or you can compliment his body part. I guess no men wouldn’t like being told that he has nice arms. Or shoulders, or ass 😀 .

        I have several times women and men call me pretty ( maybe because my face have smooth feminine feature ) and I think its not really flattering, especially because my friends used to call me “pretty like a woman” as a joke back in high school, and its really annoying and embarrassing back then. Not because I think look like a woman is insulting, I guess because I always look for “macho quarter back type” for an ideal men. And being compared to pretty guys like Justin Bieber is not something I look for.

    • Why is nice rack obnoxious to you but being called pretty isn’t? They’re referring to your entire body when they say pretty? Would it be obnoxious to say you have a pretty face or smile? If not then why is the rack compliment seen as obnoxious?

      • Seriously, it isn’t obvious?

        OK, try this. I’ll go with something other than the usual “‘nice rack’ means he’s seeing you just as a sex object” comment.

        Breasts are personal. Private. They belong to the woman alone and she gets to choose who to share them with. (Unlike a person’s face which, while it’s not touched without permission, is still the most public thing about them.) When a stranger bring a woman’s breasts up in conversation, even to compliment them, that’s violating her personal space. It’s assuming an intimacy that doesn’t exist, which is the essence of rudeness.

        Or maybe you were imagining not a stranger saying it, but a lover. I assume differently because I would think a lover could come up with a better term than “rack.”

        • I know the many ways people find it offensive, I’m asking for HER specific view of it, hence it’s not obvious.

          • “Nice rack” is (a) crude, (b) stupid, and (c) a violatiion of social boundaries/norms. We don’t have to argue about objectification, telling a woman “nice rack” is simply inappropriate and rude. I’ve had guys on the street say “nice tits” and it makes me feel disgusted. The essence of rudeness is being insensitive to other’s feelings. If you are saying something that you know will make another person uncomfortable, that’s just rude. We would all be a lot happier if everyone could work on having good manners and being considerate of others.

            • But telling a woman she is pretty could also be considered objectifying/focusing on her looks alone, which is that not seen as rude as well whereas breasts are? Just because breasts are seen as private? If that were really true wouldn’t breasts be fully covered? I find it a bit strange for people to get so bent out of shape over compliments of their breasts if cleavage is showing, whilst compliments about their face or overall looks are acceptable. A man calling a woman pretty is most likely talking about her being sexually attractive, a man saying nice rack is saying her breasts are sexually attractive in a crude but direct manner.

              To call a woman pretty without knowing her may backfire and wouldn’t that be insensitive to her feelings? It’s impossible to know if she would accept the compliment or not, only that it might be more rare to have a woman appreciate “nice rack” vs “you’re pretty”.

              If a guy says you are pretty, are you disgusted? Some are practically saying you’re beautiful, sexually attractive, and may be indicating they want to have sex with you so wouldn’t that be disgusting?

              • If you don’t understand the difference between “pretty” and “nice rack” then frankly I can’t explain it to you.

                Knowing that some random guy wants to have sex with me is not flattering. The only guys who have ever said “nice rack” are strangers. And by the way, I don’t dress to show off my breasts but I have largish breasts. I can’t hide them unless I wear a burka. And even if a woman has cleavage, why do you think she’s intentionally showing off? It’s almost impossible to buy clothes that don’t show cleavage these days. I have to wear tank tops under most shirts.

                • I understand social differences, but the thing is I think they’re pretty stupid. I can show interest in a woman’s general body, use a socially acceptable word such as pretty meanwhile I mean I find her sexy. If I say her face is pretty, it’ll probably be ok. If I say her breasts are attractive it crosses the line, yet the 2 previous compliments of her body and face could very well mean I find her sexually attractive yet it’s acceptable.

                  If a woman has cleavage showing I don’t think she intends it, but her face is showing, her cleavage is showing, a man complimenting either can be showing his interest in her sexually yet the cleavage is seen as degrading whilst the face compliment isn’t. A full body compliment is seen as ok but focusing down on the breasts isn’t, why is that? Would a compliment of her hips be ok? tummy? neck? shoulders? Legs? hair? eyes? Are women assuming the man thinks of her only as a sex object because he complimented her breasts? Men can say you have a pretty smile and think of you as a sex object, men can compliment your breasts and think you are a beautiful woman with nice breasts without seeing you as an object so I find it a lil bit odd really that some women get disgusted by a compliment to the breasts vs face. Is it because those type of guys ONLY compliment the breasts?

                  There are plenty of reasons I’ve heard but I like to hear specifically what someone finds offensive, I have an interest in social interactions, what people find offensive, WHY they find it offensive. I’ve known women that would probably thank you for complimenting their breasts and others who will hate you for it.

                  PERSONALLY I don’t compliment strangers because I can’t know if they’d be ok with it or not, and I don’t want them feeling uncomfy. I have often wanted to say “Wow, I love your..” necklace, dress, shoes, hairstyle, etc or say to them your smile really brightened my day but there is a chance it’ll make them uncomfy and I don’t want to do that. I compliment my friends at times but that’s after knowing I have a good solid foundation with them. I save body compliments for lovers or close friends that are complaining about their looks, I try to ensure I compliment female friends n lovers more for their abilities and not their looks. I like making people feel good so compliments to me are a positive thing to use, I’d love to hear someone compliment me even a random stranger.

                  What I find odd is this major hangup about people complimenting body parts, to feel disgusted by someone saying it looks sexy even in a crude manner.

                  “Knowing that some random guy wants to have sex with me is not flattering.”
                  Why is that? He is saying you’re attractive, what makes that non-flattering? Is it the forwardness, have you been raised to be offended by that? I do believe women are often raised to get offended by such forward attempts to some degree, I’ve never seen anywhere near as much disgust from men although men do get them far far less. Have you ever found it odd to be offended by a compliment?

                  • Things like “nice rack” are not intended as compliments. Don’t you get it? A guy who says that to a strange woman is trying to make her uncomfortable. He’s not genuinely thinking she’ll be flattered. I mean, 99% of guys MUST know that it’s offensive. Guys on the street say things like that to women because they enjoy the power trip, they like making women feel uncomfortable and perhaps scared. So, am I flattered that a guy who is threatening me wants to have sex with me? Absolutely not, it just makes me feel frightened and vulnerable, like I’ve been stripped naked in public.

                    A guy on a street corner once turned to me and said, “I want to fuck your pussy”. He looked deranged. I thought he might attack me. It upset me for the entire day. Later on the news that night, I saw the police were looking for a man fitting that description for a sexual assault. I don’t know if it was the same guy but I thought it might be.

                    Friendly compliments to people you know is a totally different story. Even so, would you want a woman looking at your crotch and saying “nice cock?” seriously? That would be okay, or would it creep you out?

                    • I wholeheartedly agree with this. Saying nice rack, nice ass, nice tits is not a compliment, its a threat, a horrible threat. And the fact is usually guys ( asshole mean guys or drunk ) saying that in a group ( cheering, jeering group ) to a woman. Its not a compliment really. I’m a guy and its so obvious to me.

                      And of course if a woman said nice cock to me it would creep me out. Heck even a woman ( stranger ) once said “nice arms” to me and its creep me out.

                      I don’t think we should compliment body part to strangers, men or women. I think the the point 1 written by Noah is for men and women in relationship, not strangers.

                    • Martin Nash says:

                      I know the question wasn’t asked of me, but I have had many unfamiliar women comment on my arse in public (20 years of cycling does it’s job). Didn’t find that insulting at all.

                      Personally I have never told an unknown woman she has a nice rack, but have often thought it, and never nastily.

                    • “Friendly compliments to people you know is a totally different story. Even so, would you want a woman looking at your crotch and saying “nice cock?” seriously? That would be okay, or would it creep you out?”

                      Depends upon intent. If they are just hitting on me I wouldn’t care, if it’s a friend trying to cheer me up with a compliment that’s ok too, if they are doing it as a group to threaten me or even solo but threatening it’d bother me as you say.

                      If a guy meant it solely in a non-threatening manner, “Hi, I just wanted to say you have a lovely set of breasts” or whatever without any threatening behaviour would you still be offended? I understand the threatening part is offensive but what about the compliment itself without a threat?

                    • Archy, it simply violates a cultural and social norm. The breasts, ass etc are considered more private areas thus people don’t usually feel comfortable commenting on it without some prior intimate relationship (or being commented upon). Just like there are social rules around space between people in elevators, or when to hug, or etc, there are norms that feel really uncool when pushed past.

                      If a complete stranger came up to me on the street and said, “I think you are gorgeous.” I might feel somewhat complimented but also like…what? Who are you, why? If I was in a yoga class two or three times with someone and at least had seen them and they said something like, “I like your hair cut” then it would feel more comfortable.

                      The less private the compliment (my hair my clothes, my briefcase) the less invasive it generally feels. The more formal, “excuse me I couldn’t help but notice how nice your hair was.” the less invasive, and the more private and more casual “Nice rack, babe.” the more invasive and “off” it feels.

                      This would be true for many interpersonal interactions not just sexualized ones.

                    • Also, social norms do vary by culture…some countries don’t have the same norms.

                    • Yes Archy, I would be offended. Why the hell would some strange guy come up to me and make a comment about my breasts, even “nicely”? Maybe in Australia that’s normal? In the U.S., it is definitely not normal, so my first thought would be that the guy was mentally unbalanced, no different than if he came up and started talking about aliens, I’d want to get away from him as quickly as possible.

                      My body parts are off limits as a topic for conversation with strange men. That’s the just the way it is. If you don’t like it, you are free to go around telling women they have nice breasts. Hope it works out for you

                    • I wonder if in nudist colonies or cultures who are more “open” would it be as offensive?

      • seriously, nice rack?

        guys who said “nice rack” to women who are not his partner is either :
        1. Drunk
        2. Stupid
        3. Asshole

        Its so obvious, and I never compliment body parts on women who are not currently my girlfriend. Because I know its creepy.

        But my favorite compliment to women is her clothes, shoes, or bags. I’m also interested in fashion, and using compliment like ” Nice bag, is it hermes? ” ” Or nice shoes, its really look good on you!” is really easy opening for conversation.

        And really, I dont live in USA ( I live in Asia ), and I don’t know normal sober guy here who said “Nice rack” or ” Nice Tits” to women. Really, are guys there really do that?

        • wellokaythen says:

          Or,

          4. Compensating for some self-perceived lack of hetero masculinity, e.g., trying to hide his homosexual desires. Sometimes a closet case.

    • wellokaythen says:

      I don’t know if this is widely known among women, but a lot of men see real differences among the following descriptors: pretty, cute, beautiful, sexy, attractive. There’s a lot of overlap, but we don’t necessarily mean these words to be interchangeable. A woman can be incredibly beautiful and be only mildly sexy, if at all. Pretty is not the same as beautiful, and cute is not the same as attractive. The models in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition may be very beautiful and attractive in an almost Platonic Ideal sort of way and still not be all that sexy. (I personally find them to be very beautiful and the edition quite pleasant to look at, but I don’t find those images very fantasy-inducing. Same thing with the old photos of Grace Kelly — captivatingly beautiful woman,can’t take my eyes away, but she doesn’t really do it for me.)

      Men are complex enough that the we may actually enjoy looking at women that we don’t have much desire to have sex with. (Unless I’m a total anomaly, in which case I’ll chalk it up to anecdotal evidence.)

  123. Regarding “success objects” – This one’s been bugging the heck out of me and I couldn’t figure out why…and then I realized, it’s the use of the term, “object.” Are men taught that they are only valued if they are successful and wealthy? You betcha. It’s capitalism, baby, and it’s really quite horrible. (Mind, I don’t know any women who ascribe to that…usually I see other men judging men in that way).

    But men aren’t objects in this paradigm; they’re subjects. Men are taught to go forth and do things, make decisions, forge their own paths – go be doctors, or lawyers, or businessmen, or politicians, or rock stars – go DO. Now, when some guy ends up flunking out of law school and starts working at the Starbucks (or whatever), society ends up looking down on him…and often deems him as unworthy. And that’s shit.

    And the comparison to “sex object” breaks down even further. Women are told to make themselves sexually available, but aren’t supposed to be sexual in themselves. Be the thing men want, they aren’t supposed to want it themselves. There is no policing of success – except to say that more is always deemed better.

    There’s this quote from A Handmaid’s Tale that I think sums it up nicely: “I want to be valued, in ways that I am not; I want to be more than valuable.” – and therein lies the difference. Men’s success is valued, women’s sexuality is valuable.

    • Men are taught to go forth and do things, make decisions, forge their own paths – go be doctors, or lawyers, or businessmen, or politicians, or rock stars – go DO.
      But why are they told to DO that stuff? They taught that doing that stuff is what they are supposed to do (as men) in order to be considered valuable to women and to others overall.

      • Danny, I said they are taught that they are meant to do that to be valued by society, but not to be valuable to society. And there is a difference, and that is what I am getting at. (And again I will point out, I think it is really crappy this use of success as a metric – I’ve said as much many times before).

        It’s about being a “valued member of society,” – part of the group – one of the people who helps create and maintain society. And yes, men are taught that being valued highly will mean more success in relationships – but the overall goal of being successful is not to get a woman. Success is a goal in itself, success so that you can contribute to the greater good. A successful man without a wife is chastised in many ways, but their success is not suddenly unvalued. A rich, single, man is still valued for being rich.

        Now conversely, a woman’s sexuality is valuable. Attractiveness in itself is not a goal; it is only worthwhile if it results in landing a husband/boyfriend/partner (or one night stand since it’s the 21st century). An attractive, single woman is only valuable as a potential husband/boyfriend/partner (or one night stand since it’s the 21st century). An attractive woman without a husband/partner/whatever is not merely chastised, but is considered wasting her attractiveness. There is no point to being attractive except as a means to obtain a romantic partner.

        And much in the same way I wasn’t saying one is worse than the other in my “man up” article months ago, I’m not saying one is worse than the other. I’m saying they are very, very different. And I am also not saying that any of this means all men have the potential to run the world or whatever…I mean obviously race, sexuality, class all play into whether any of this is actually achievable…I’m merely saying these are the ways in which the social narratives surrounding value of men and women go.

        • Its the same thing as trying to break down subject and object, desirer and desired. Those who are valued are the subject and those who are valuable are the object. Men become more and more valued throughout their lives as they achieve more (money or wisdom), but women lose value when their attractiveness fades and their ability to reproduce disappears. That kind of thing…

          For what it’s worth, and I realize my opinion won’t be worth much, I don’t believe Heather was trying to devalue the reality that men go through this, but that these all are human experiences.

          Common culture might have us believe that men don’t experience the weight of issues just like women on the same or similar topics thus articles like this are good to point out that it happens, and for me as a woman, it’s a reminder that we are so much less different because of it.

          I found this article on Testosterone very interesting because it gets a rap for, as Noah put it, violence, but that may not actually be the case.

          Physically? Yeah, Mentally and emotionally? Not so much. See here.

          • I’m really quite convinced a lot of research into anger is flawed in a similar way research into homosexuality is flawed…or rather, a lot of the popular discussions surrounding research of anger is similar to research of homosexuality. (Bear with me). – It’s viewed as something that needs to be explained away. It’s viewed as a negative we’ve got to justify with science. So we end up with narratives like “men can’t help being angry because testosterone!” and “people can’t help being gay because genetics!”

            So there isn’t any research being done to “justify” heterosexuality, or happiness. No one says “oh s/he can’t help being happy because *insert hormone here* – unless that happiness has taken on a negative turn (i.e. through the use of euphoria-inducing drugs).

            There are a crap on similar arguments made about a lot of other human behaviours, but these are the two that sprang to my mind.

            • It’s viewed as something that needs to be explained away. It’s viewed as a negative we’ve got to justify with science.
              That’s why I tend to lean towards personal testimonies on things like anger.

              • Anger is simply a human emotion…neither sex has a corner on the market on anger. The behavior that is spawned from anger is anyone’s guess. Anger, rage, happiness, sadness, sorrow, glee, delight…we all have emotions, but hormones do a wonderful job to amplify them. I think there are over 5000-6000 human emotions on record.

                I would like to hear more personal testimonies too, because I don’t hear too much about the ‘sourceless’ anger feeling in boys during the teenage years.

        • Look Heather I wasn’t trying to say that you were trying to cast one as worse than the other I was just that I was disagreeing with your premise that they are different.

          But truth be told as long as you agree that both situations are horrible and aren’t trying to cast one as worse than the other or that one should take priority over the other (and it doesn’t seem you are) I think we’re good.

          • Okay, but then what about my analysis would you say is wrong?

            • Success is a goal in itself, success so that you can contribute to the greater good.
              Even a man that is rich and powerful and has influence but does nothing to contribute to the greater good (he he could actually be profitting from something that actually harms the greater good) and he is still considered successful.

              So I don’t think its about what he does or how he gets there. But he better get there or he is less of a man and all that gender policing.

              But I still respect where you are coming from and like I say you agree its terrible on all sides and it needs to change. I’m good with that.

              • My use of the term “greater good,” was meant more as like…greater society. Like as in contributing to the whole, even if that contribution is a negative.

                “So I don’t think its about what he does or how he gets there. But he better get there or he is less of a man and all that gender policing.”

                Interestingly, this is my point. The concept of doing something, of getting to a place, of achieving things. A man needs to be successful, and continue to achieve success, and continue to ACT to contribute (negatively or positively) to society. To “carve out a place” for themselves. That’s all part of being a subject, the actor, the desirer, as Julie mentioned. – And the doing of these things will make men more attractive, but the POINT of doing these things isn’t to be attractive. The reason for doing things is to have done things…and in gendered terms to have become a man through the doing of things.

                And as for that first part, again yes, it is not about how he achieves success. There are multiple paths to success in our society…multiple ways to achieve things. Power, money, fame, influence…all through various careers and individual talents.

                It is active and variable…and thus men are not “success objects,” because in this paradigm they are not objects.

                • And the doing of these things will make men more attractive, but the POINT of doing these things isn’t to be attractive.
                  Of course that is the point. If he isn’t getting the money/power/influence then he is not attractive.

                • Until war comes around and the men are conscripted, that is when they become objects to be sacrificed to save women n children. “500 died today including 10 women and children”, men are objectified so much that news stories often treat them like routine death, not even worth mentioning that men died.

                  The way people can often be treated is; Men are utility objects, women are sex objects. Men’s success and what they can do can be valued far more than he as a man is valued, he’s valued for what he brings to the table with skills eg engineer, builder, etc whilst women’s value is her sexuality, beauty, motherhood.

                • But women do have sexual agency even if society claims they don’t. So while the ultimate controller of any woman’s sexuality is the woman herself, that doesn’t prevent them from being objectified, put upon by social standards etc.

                  Same for men then with careers.

                • Heather—

                  Did you ever watch RealSocialDynamics (RSD)/Tyler videos on youtube? It’s done by PUA’s (next generation)…anyway, Tyler & Co. talk constantly about projecting the image (real or imagined) of a “high status/high social value male” to women in bars/clubs/etc. in order to attract them….It is not clear to me what these guys do to qualify them as “high status” since it seems like all they do is try to pick up women (Tyler claims to be a “businessman” and is ” so busy all the time”)….

                  I suppose some guys just fake the high status illusion or just know how spill the palaver until they can hook the right girl….

      • Going to college and recieving a repression is NOT by any means something specific to men. Any person, should take it upon themselves to go to college, become educated, have self value through attaining knowledge, wisdom, experiences. Are you hinting that parents push their sons to go to college more than their daughters? Everyone has self value issues. Any normal caring husband, father, wife, mother, is going to look back at the day and wonder if they conrtibuted enough to their family, if they’d made a different decision if they would be able to provide a better life for their family. Men and women are capable of the same careers and responsibilities, and if all financial responsibility falls on you, and you don’t think your partner has sleepless nights wandering what she can do to help provide for your family you are dead wrong. And the fact that you say men go to college and get a career to become more appealing to women just totally insulted every college graduate male friend I have. If someone took away their personal achievements atteibuting them to wanting to be valued by the opposite sex, rather than themselves or their community, they would be dumbfounded and complety shocked.

        • Are you hinting that parents push their sons to go to college more than their daughters?
          No I’m saying that on the other side of the old gender roles where women were discouraged from going to college and/or getting a career going is where men encouraged to go to college and/or getting a career going because men have for quite the long time been told they need to be external provider (as in the one that goes outside the home to bring in resources like money, in contrast to women being expected to be the internal provider in terms of taking care of home and children).

          And the fact that you say men go to college and get a career to become more appealing to women just totally insulted every college graduate male friend I have.
          Well it’s a good thing I didn’t say that. What did say as a part of the old male gender role there was an expectation for men to go to college AS A PART of becoming a provider which would make them more appealing to women.

          Yes it’s great to see that men aren’t just starting careers and working certain jobs just to appeal to women (which is happening side by side with women going out and getting their own degrees and careers) but please don’t try to rewrite history and say that men never did things to make themselves more appealing to women.

    • If we’re going to argue about whether “objectification” is an appropriate description, I submit that denial of agency is a possible part of, but not synonymous with, objectification. If we go by the definition on Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectification ), denial of agency is only one of several possible conditions for objectification. Denial of agency may not apply to the situation of being a “success object”, but instrumentality, fungibility, violability, and denial of subjectivity certainly do.

  124. 1. We are starved for compliments. People in general like compliments but women appear to have more opportunity for compliments. A women wears new shoes and chances are her peers will say something about them. A compliment is a compliment and compliments are simply positive affirmations. Granted that women’s are more apt to get compliments for their appearance but that’s not to say that they don’t get affirmations in other ways. So my question to the women is … Why do so many women limit their compliments to other women for appearance only?

    2. We are not more shallow than women are. If a guy works with a lot of women, as I do, it’s amazing how so many of them try to drag me into conversations about other people. As a guy, I don’t care. Some women are shallow and superficial. Maybe some women don’t see it because they’re part of it. Can’t see the forest for the trees? There are countless times that I attempt to engage women in conversations related to issues in today’s society and it’s like pulling teeth. But my male counterparts always engage.

    3. There’s a reason for that emotional repression. I’ve already addressed this in another post

    4. We are sick of being success objects. Yup … you are so right with this one. Women can click their heels three times but the reality of this happening will still exist. I’m not sure it’s as much about “gold digging” as it is about status. A women who has taste for an Alinea type of restaurant in Chicago, where the average check is over $700, sure as heck isn’t interested in most men that can’t provide it. I would be curious as to how many checks at this place are picked up by men vs. women.

    5. Yes, we actually do need to adjust ourselves like that. I know this was a little tongue in cheek but it’s very real. Sitting, standing affect what that which at times has a mind of it’s own. Then there is the fact that if a man does adjust in front of the wrong person, he may very well have to answer for it …

  125. Number three …. Emotional repression is still alive and well in our society. The problem isn’t anger as much as it is what we do with anger. The other part of that is many men and more often boys use anger instead of other emotions. As we say, anger is often times a secondary emotion which means that they more then likely have another emotion that they haven’t allowed, for a variety of reasons, to surface.

    Last Friday, I had to counsel a 13 year old who had just found out his childhood friend was shot and killed. His first reaction after getting off the phone with his PO (probation officer) was anger, He hit the walls while pacing the hallway, all the time fighting back the tears he that were showing. It wasn’t until I got him into a private area that he was able to let it out and cried. This poor kid really hurt deep inside, but for whatever reason n(or for obvious reasons), he wouldn’t allow his real emotions surface.

  126. 1. I’m not starved for compliments. I don’t need recognition of my efforts to do the things I need to do as a husband and a father. Also, I don’t think I would like it very much if someone referred to me as pretty. It would seem insulting. I am not pretty or delicate. I’m wash and wear.

    2. I am just as shallow as the rest of the human race. I am attracted to a wide variety of physical attributes and in the long run, if those attributes don’t fit the bill, we’re never going to get past one of us gathering our clothes and leaving in the middle of the night. I will agree that my tastes and preference in types have absolutely nothing to do with the women in magazine ads.

    3. You nailed this one. I admit that, in my worst moments, I feel my fists clench and the need to restrain that violent impulse. But, at the same time, I sob every time Simba can’t understand why Dad won’t wake up or when Bambi realizes that Mom is dead or that moment when Molly realizes that Sam really is talking to Oda Mae. My mother’s passing? When my aunt grabbed my elbow and escorted me to the casket at the funeral, I was ok.

    4. Nailed it again. I can’t number the sleepless nights or the feelings of shame because I never feel good enough. The worst a woman can do to a man is comparing him to the successful male significant other of a friend or close relative.

    5. Yep, if those things dangling between my legs are uncomfortable, I’m going to adjust. I try to do surreptitiously and will sometimes excuse myself from polite company and do it out of sight, but sometimes I just gotta fiddle with it to settle it properly.

  127. BTW, while the formative surge in T(osterone) can be a hell of a ride, it’s been documented that men–later in life–with LOW T are much less stable, much more cranky and volatile.

    But there’s a lot of use for repression besides this point… it’s a handy tool for men. I’ve been fortunate to grow into knowing men well and getting pretty close. They’re alright… but it’s not an easy or accidental thing to get close to men… at least the type that don’t “circle” regularly.

  128. Based on the 3rd thing listed I must say that it proves that women really should run the world and that men who quote

    “I don’t know how I’m going to deal with this test Friday, I can’t cope.”

    “Have you considered… VIOLENCE?”

    “Shut up, shoulder devil, nobody asked you. Hmmm, what do I want for lunch…”

    “Have you considered… VIOLENCE?”

    “Shoulder devil that is NOT EVEN A FOOD.”

    And so on. We spend years learning that our immediate emotional responses to things are absolutely not to be trusted. The first response to an emotional impulse must be to ignore it and repress it, just for safety. The men who didn’t learn that reflex? They’re the ones with criminal records for assault.”

    And yet (even with the above admission) heaven forbid if anyone brings up the fact that the human race absolutely will not survive under the current patriarchal rule for much longer around a man omg he might do what you said above and look to use violence as his first response to the idea that strong women who go through extremely painful childbirth and put up with violent, sex crazed, woman hating men all day can, should and at one point did run the world. The idea of women who bond with others more intensely and therefore have more of a stake in keeping peace and harmony in the world has been proven.

    check out these articles

    http://www.sunherb.com/men_woman.htm

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304811304577365782995320366.html

    Men’s need for control and domination doesn’t just hurt women and children it hurts men as well and some might say it hurts men more than it hurts women and children.

    But to any man who hates the idea of women ruling the world the question becomes what then will men do to fix it (the world)? Anyways check out these articles as well.

    http://www.rudyh.org/dalai-lama-quotes-quotations.htm

    http://acelebrationofwomen.org/2012/05/why-women-should-rule-the-world-william-bond/

    http://wabond.hubpages.com/hub/Famous-Men-Who-Want-Women-To-Rule-Our-World

    • Lol@people that think a matriarchy would be any better. Do you honestly believe women have no desire for control n domination? There are both men and women that desire control, power, domination but in the past men’s superior physical strength allowed them to take control by force but these days we have more focus on intellectual power, politics, etc. You seem to be using the “women are wonderful” meme to think about women, don’t forget there have been oppressive FEMALE rulers in the past.

      • Zano Garcia says:

        Women should rule the world together with men. You thinking otherwise is bullshit. But at least you guys can laugh… women do not even have that privilege to just see male superiority as a joke, that is actually the most threatening thing to ever happen to us – you know what men do when no laws are there to protect us from their real motives and real thoughts about women.
        The oppressive female rulers were are psychopaths, though. Women by large have never, do not and will never be as violent and dominance-hungry as men.

    • nnn- Thanks I needed a good laugh today. I wonder if Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin L. King would get a chuckle from unilateral thinking too?

      Perfect example of a woman bonding with men by male-bashing. Too funny!

  129. 1. We are starved for compliments.
    I think it might be good to specify being starved for physical compliments (and probably even more specified to compliments on appearance). A lot of men are used to compliments on how useful they are (like being strong). But just saying he’s nice looking is a rare thing indeed.

    From point 2:
    And yet there’s a stereotype that men don’t do the exact same thing. Believe me, we do. When actual grown-up men get together and talk girls, there’s an awful lot of “I love the way she tells the truth, just straight-out with no bullshit.” and “It’s the freckles. I cannot resist her freckles.” and “When she giggles a certain way I just want to jump her right there.”
    Goodness. Can’t count how many times I’ve had to listen to women say they “know how men talk” and would rather believe the stereotypes than go with what men actually tell them (maybe they think all men lie as well?).

    3. I’m often surprised by how little most women know about the experience of being a teenage boy.
    Doesn’t stop them from telling us what our experiences as a teenage boy was like though.

    We are told that that purposeless anger is bad but it must be embraced as a part of being “real man”, even as embracing that anger leads us down a dark path.

    The first response to an emotional impulse must be to ignore it and repress it, just for safety. The men who didn’t learn that reflex? They’re the ones with criminal records for assault.
    Ideally we wouldn’t just learn a reflex to keep it at bay for all eternity. Instead we would be taught how to deal with it in a healthy way. For the ones that have criminal records for assault I wonder if they didn’t learn the reflex or did they reach a point where the reflex just stopped working.

    4. We are sick of being success objects.
    I’m wondering if that maybe can be expanded into utility objects. When it comes to what men are objectified as (yeah objectification comes in more flavors than sexual). I think to say that it’s for their money that might be too narrow of a focus. Think about that guy that’s “the annoying/mean computer guy” for 23 hours of the day but for the one hour your pc is down suddenly he’s the greatest guy in the world.

    Even when talking about the sexual objectication of women isn’t a part that being that they are reduced to what they are useful for? Whether they are deemed useful for their money, their skills, or what ever else I think that might be the more broad point. Reducing a full function person down to “They have ____. That’s what they are good for.”

    5. Yes, we actually do need to adjust ourselves like that.
    All I got to say to this is I’ll stop adjusting mine when they stop adjusting theirs. If someone were to say something about women adjusting their boobs (which I think may not quite be the same because I’ve never heard anyone say that it disgusting for a woman to adjust her boobs, unladylike but not disgusting) they’d be called everything from an oppressor to a misogynist.

  130. “We are starved for compliments” 

    I think somebody famous, maybe Einstein, once remarked: ‘Starvation is never a good political advisor…’

    I never really considered myself starved for compliments; I just have this voracious overwhelming appetite for them that knows no satiety. But I’m sure I can stop eating them up any time I want… Seriously, I think everyone likes compliments because the alternative is criticisms (even if they are unspoken or imagined criticisms)   

    “My point: Your list doesn’t strike me as actually all that gender specific…it’s mostly just ‘hey treat me like a person and have a bit of empathy,’ which is what we all want.”

    Ask and ye shall receive. 
    Better yet, one should proceed from a starting position of empathy, and go from there; you can always change course later if you’re on the wrong track. Between misplaced empathy and condemnation, it’s much easier to backtrack when one has forgiven too freely, than if one has condemned too freely.  

    I also agree with your point about the original article’s list being fairly gender-neutral; which, I think, is actually (probably) a good thing. Also, I think there are some generalizations there: some men -and women- are fine with being seen as ‘success objects.’ Some men (in fact most men I know, myself included) would reject the stereotype of being described as emotionally detached or repressed – maybe I’m wrong; I just happen to live in a moody city. I myself can’t relate to the whole devil/shoulder metaphor with violence. Anger yes- but violence is not quite the same as anger; I’m too tired to figure it out better right now, but I think there is a difference. In closing, like you said: Empathy.     

    • Opps – my above post was a reply to HeatherN’s initial comment – not sure if it linked to it. But thanks anyway HeatherN.

  131. As far as compliments go, I think women are socialized not to compliment a guy they may be interested in because we are taught that it sends mixed signals, or creates expectations. That you tell a guy you’re attracted to him and it immediately means you want to sleep with him. Not saying it’s fair, but it goes along with the guy being the “persuer”.

    • I’d say that mostly has to do with women not setting clear boundaries in friendship and also the rarity of compliments. Imagine never being complimented, then a woman calls you sexy….you may think she is interested.

      • I have not observed men accepting boundaries unless you are a cold, heartless, asshole, who is willing to completely destroy ant self-esteem he may have. If men think there is a 5% chance of sex, they will keep up the pursuit. I have a friend who met me WITH my bf 3 years ago, and even though I am with the same guy, I can’t hang out with this “friend” solo. Because he won’t accept the boundaries I’d like to have! I have seen this scenario repeated. It’s not that women never set boundaries, it’s also that some men don’t accept them.

        • “I have seen this scenario repeated. It’s not that women never set boundaries, it’s also that some men don’t accept them.”
          Not sure if I read it right but it’s a mix of both. Some men don’t accept boundaries, some men misunderstand them, some women don’t communicate them, some women do. Communication gets jumbled up because largely each gender has specific mannerisms of speaking, men tend to be more direct I find whilst women appear to be a bit more loose on meaning in my experience.

          Let them down decently, tell them there is zero chance, don’t let them think there is a 0.001% chance because many men probably grew up hearing the mantra “fight for your love”. I remember seeing many movies which basically were about persistence. At first she wasn’t into him, but he persisted and “WON” her affection. I think many men try to win their crush’s affection so hearing a not interested in anything less than specific direct words may lead em to think there is a chance later, that he has to try harder, or try differently, or just wait till she is ready.

          If he asks you out and you say “I’m not ready for a relationship RIGHT NOW” it will indicate the possibility of you being ready later on, and the persistent man will ask again later. Problem is for some couples it may take a few tries before the other accepts, then for some of those it blossoms into a beautiful love story told to others (I’ve heard this story a few times myself), thus indicating that to get the woman of your dreams you have to not give up hope.

    • Jenna, I think many of us have been socialized not to compliment others or at least be stingy with our compliments, but working in HR we’re always big on employee feedback, praise, and ensuring people receive credit for their work.

      I always caution people on how to praise on the workplace: comment on people’s performance or importance, but watch out when complimenting people’s physical appearance. That can lead to problems quickly. When it’s a romanitc relationship, that’s a different story, game-on. Men and women need to hear genuine compliments or positive feedback from their dearly beloved…especially to offset those days when we say something stupid to each other. Because saying something stupid is bound happen…we’re only human.

    • and thats add to the thing women dont know about men, that

      6. we don’t always assuming women who said us attractive they want to have sex with us

      I have several times told I’m attractive by women, and NEVER, NEVER, I assume they want to bang me, weird huh?? ( are you really a man?? )

      Because

      7. men don not only think with their penis all the time

  132. “1. We are starved for compliments”

    Damn straight, compliments feel amazing, I am only complimented for my abilities if anything. I’ve never really felt beautiful or sexy, had some people find me attractive but never really felt it.

    “2. We are not more shallow than women are.”
    Indeed. Men and women vary bigtime in what they like, who they like. I think peopel fall into a trap of thinking people are similar and like the same thing.

    “3. There’s a reason for that emotional repression.”

    The amount of times I got slapped by girls in highschool n saw other guys slapped by girls I’d say many women also face this devil too. Does society teach men how to handle their emotions? I feel shame when I cry EVEN AT A FUNERAL and try to hide it, last funeral I went to I noticed the men who cried were doing everything they could to hide it or stop it. Watching that internal battle of control for your emotions and trying to bury them is difficult, you feel like you can’t tell others because it’s not the manly thing to do and it feels WRONG. The amount of men I know who are depressed is staggering but I don’t think many women or men realize it….men can be good at hiding it or just appear to be an angry person, or an asshole, and people put it off to some other thing when really that man could be hurting bigtime on the inside. Hell in highschool I was in a suicidal depression but I had a female friend tell me they thought I was very confident, seriously….I was insecure as hell, hated myself, hated my life, miserable, but I guess I have a good poker face and can hide it well? Any confidence I had was bullshit, I admit I did feel more comfy with some people but confident? No way, I was scared and especially scared around females.

    “4. We are sick of being success objects.”
    Fuck yes. I am a guy without a job currently (major social anxiety that I am working on everyday) and feel deeply ashamed because I am at the lowest rung of success. It’s soulcrushing, I don’t hit on anyone atm because I have no job and know that most women will not like that. I am working to start a business and I do a lot of unpaid work as in fixing stuff, learning new things, etc, but it matters not because I don’t have that magic thing called a job. My health isn’t 100% yet but it would be nice to have a companion, it’d probably speed up my recovery as my confidence would rise but still no job = not a man in many peoples eyes here.

    I feel this urge to be productive every day, fix something, build something, learn something, relaxing is hard to do as I feel guilt for it because I have no job, feels like I haven’t earned the right to relax. But since I have very little money and no job, I feel like an extremely ugly man especially since I am also overweight. Personality can only get me so far but the most common thing I hear is wanting a man who is working. I don’t hear the same asked of women by men, some men do want an independant woman but it doesn’t appear to be vital to most like men working appears to be for women.

    “. Some guys spend their whole lives ashamed, having had it beaten into them that they’re only worth what they’ve got in the bank, and taking poverty or financial reversals as a deep personal failure.”
    Oh yes, I know that well. Illness stopped me from working for quite a while and money is hard to come by, being on welfare is a deep mark of shame too. One of the hardest questions people ask me is “What do you do for a living?”, I tell them I am sick and most seem to understand but it’s so dehumanizing to admit I don’t work and especially that I am on welfare whilst trying to get my mental n physical health back to the level of being able to work. The extremely difficult part was my illness onset before I did much work, only having been at a place of employment casually for 3 months and spending a decade with multiple illness to deal with was a huge struggle.

    Trying to overcome that and gain confidence is very hard and what’s worse is that confidence is part of why I don’t work, the outright phobia of new situations and people, not being confident in my abilities makes it so very difficult to get a job. In my country people on welfare are called dole bludgers, it’s a terrible stigma and it causes some to avoid getting welfare and making their situation worse because they are too proud to get help. Seems to be very little compassion for anyone that can’t work if they aren’t a parent. Waking up, wishing you had a job, but the thought of a job makes you scared as hell is a terribly frustrating thing.

    “5. Yes, we actually do need to adjust ourselves like that.”
    Indeed, ladies when your penis gets hard throught the day it can press against your pants/underwear and start to feel like it is jackknifing. Also for bigger men with boxers the scrotum can cause discomfort if it’s against the thigh and friction won’t let it slide when you are sitting. Some clothing puts a lot of pressure on your testicles n penis too in awkward positions, just imagine your bra is only half on and digging in. Our junk wasn’t designed to be in clothing.

    Time for me to build something so I can feel like I have done something productive and not feel like I am wasting space…

    • Funerals for Males 101.
      1. Cry before the funeral.
      2. During the funeral you completely focus on the care and nurturing of anyone else who might need your support.
      2a. Better yet make yourself integral to the planning, function, or operation of the funeral. (My military side is coming out here.)
      3. Cry after the funeral.
      4. Any questions?

      • 100% Agree with you PursuitAce. The reason men don’t cry (especially in front of people) is because usually when there’s something worth crying about there is also something that needs to be done – and you don’t usually get anything done while crying.

    • Ok, guys opinion…I sent this to my friend Carl and little reminders like this. Thumbs up? Thumbs down?

      > C is for caring
      >
      > A is for awesome
      >
      > R is for respectable
      >
      > L is for a loving, lovely, lusty, lover

  133. @ Noah …
    Enjoyed points 1,2,4 and 5, although once or twice my mother said she liked my hair because it was both wavy and curly. Course, that’s a mother so I am not stupid enough to buy that.

    Point 3 is an interesting overall concept, but I am really not sold on your proposed mechanism.

    “Short version: testosterone is a hell of a drug. Those who’ve taken it as adults as part of a gender transition tend to report intense cravings for physical catharsis, flashes of inexplicable rage, and similar effects. And that’s taking it on purpose, knowing that it’s a drug, with an adult level of brain development and emotional maturity. Now imagine that happening to you without warning when you’re thirteen and have no idea what’s going on.

    Almost every adult man walking around spent at least part of his adolescence dealing with sourceless, purposeless anger and a desire for violent catharsis. It’s like having a little devil on your shoulder constantly making the same unhelpful suggestion.”

    Forgive me, but I am unaware of your training in neurology, and the psychiatric impacts of neurotransmitters and hormones. Do you consider the therapeutic use of testosterone for those transitioning to be identical to those not transitioning? I refer to the reported higher sensitivity in females to fluctuation in testoterone levels. Are the receptor distributions for testosterone in the thalamus, hippocampus and cerebral cortex ( largely understudied) identical in the masculinized brains as in the non-masculinized brain? Do you know of any studies that analyzed the transcription of 5α-reductase in the generation of DHT as metabolized from testosterone( 5 times more potent that T) to ascertain any sex based protein generation differences?
    I am not certain that reports from one class of patients should be taken as equivalent to a different class of “patient”.

    As to the second quoted paragraph, could you clarify what you mean by “at least part of his adolescence”? Is this a question of several years, several months, 3 outbursts per year…..? Likewise, “sourceless, purposeless anger” – have studies been done in this area that have confirmed that there is no source for anger displays, no underlying neurotransmitter state other than the assumed testosterone? “Almost every adult man …a desire for violent catharsis [in adolescence]” ellipsis mine … Should I take this to mean that almost every adult man has a track record of violence in their adolescence? Is this confirmed by police reports?

    I ask, because this sounds an awful lot like the pejorative “testosterone poisoning” to me.

    • I think testosterone is getting an unfair hatred here too. Women I’ve known are just as aggressive as men but use more subtle ways, more emotional/verbal violence than men who use more physical violence. Ever seen women bully other women? It can be every bit as cruel as men fighting but even worse at times since it can destroy a self esteem. Outcasting someone, gossip, etc all done to harm a person can have significant impact on the victim just as fists can. I am friends with people I’ve had physical fights with, I found the emotional/verbal bullying harmed me far more. Having the opposite sex bully me as being ugly, ask me out as a joke really did a number on my self-esteem far more than the guys bullying me for being smart or fat did. It’s one thing to have assholes fuck with you but to have the opposite gender treat you as ugly, and not have any of them hitting on you to prove you aren’t ugly can be terrible. I was able to spot the bad guys far easier, they are more openly bullies but the bad girls were more subtle n acted friendly then bitchy and I found it far more deceptive n cruel.

      To be made to feel like you are very different hurts a lot, I would have preferred just getting into fights although for me personally that was easier because I was bigger than the bullies so I could hold my own. We’re all different, our vulnerabilities differ, as an overly sensitive kid I was more vulnerable to emotional n verbal abuse but so often I think society underplays the damages emotional/verbal abuse does but focuses mainly on the fist fights n bruises.

      Both genders are capable of inflicting abuse, testosterone in men isn’t the only thing that is violent. Not to mention testosterone probably affects each gender a lil differently, does a lil bit have more effect on aggression in women than men? We have different bodies, I would guess aggression is more to do with genetic predisposition (warrior gene, etc), a person’s impulse control, upbringing n life experience (abuse, etc) and how ALL of their hormones interact.

      • The fact that all of the “great” Matriarchial societies are pretty much non existent these days should suggest why this will never happen. They have no ability to persist in the face of a sometimes hostile and unforgiving world. Those socieities “progress” to the point where the citizens are living in huts with their livestock (like your Mosuo), and then they disappear into nothing. Say what you like about Patriarchy, but its successful in producing large, affluent and scientifically advanced socieities with an excellent quality of life for the majority of citizens. In fact the only reason you are able to sit in your comfortable electirically lighted home and complain about how awful and oppressive men are is because you are now benefiting from the wealth and scientific advances genereated by a Patriarchy. Maybe youd prefer to go sleep in a hut with the pigs and goats like your Mosuo though, at least there you wouldnt have to put up with evil men oppressing you…

        • Actually we have no idea what woman could have accomplished if not for the fact that having a baby every 2-3 years for your entire adult life kind of puts a damper on one’s ability to become a great inventor. Also, for most of history, women were not allowed to become architects, engineers, scientists, doctors etc.

          It is also important to keep in mind that women quite likely were instrumental in inventing agriculture (since in hunter gatherer societies, it is women who gather plants while men hunt, so they would have the knowledge about plants necessary to start growing them).. One could argue that without women’s contributions men would still be running around in the woods with pointy sticks.

          • And without men women would have died to bear attacks, etc, and without women we wouldn’t have babies, and without men we wouldn’t have had global exploration, etc. Hell there is no man without woman, nor woman without man, we need each other to survive and it should be an equal effort on each side to care n love each other. Society and major progress isn’t built by men alone, nor women alone, it’s built by people of both genders coming together. This us vs them mentality that some fall to thinking men did all the building, and women do all the goodwill n nurturing is toxic.

            • I was a little irked by another post regarding the concept of nurturing. Someone said it’s ‘sexist’ to call a woman nuturing…no, it’s a compliment to call a woman nurturing. It’s also a compliment to call a man nurturing or compassionate or caring. #1 of this article is about compliments. I’d rather be called nuturing or compassionate vs. a sexist. I can’t speak for all men or women, but I suspect most would agree.

              Yes, it’s a generaliztion to assume all women or all men are nurturing…some have lost that ability. For the most part, people have a nurturing and compasionate capacity, but we don’t always show that side to the public.

            • Thanks Archy.

              Reminds me of this old example, with a sentence and an assignment:
              “A woman without her man is nothing”
              Insert punctuation at will.

              • “A woman without, her man is nothing”

                A woman is outside, her man is NULL_POINTER_EXCEPTION

              • wellokaythen says:

                A woman — without her, man is nothing.

              • “A woman: without her, man is nothing. ”

                Although, I don’t really like the statement either way.

                • “Although, I don’t really like the statement either way.”
                  Indeed. A woman or man without a partner is fine. But only having women or men alive is a destiny for ending the human species is what I think people are trying to say.

                • What’s always nagged me about that statement is how its pretty much an exercise in “which one is better”.

                  Every time I’ve seen this presented it has always been in a manner that states women are better than men thus the correct use of the comma is “A woman: without her, man is nothing.”

                  Quite aggravating.

          • Michael Rowe says:

            It it absolutely impossible, for just five minutes, to just….LEARN something about men, without immediately rushing in with some version of, “Yeah,but without women, men would still be blah, blah, blah?”

          • Irrigation allowed agriculture. You don’t actually need to know how plants grow to collect them. You just need to know where and when they grow.

            We will never know the gender of Oobag the Great, first builder of wells and digger of channels. We will never know the gender of Umtar the Terrible, who first notices that drying sticks in the fire gave them the strength and rigidity needed for a proper throwing weapon. We do, however, know that both came long after the development of gender roles in the hunter/gatherer paradigm, which occurred several species back, probably even a genus or two.

        • Apollo, It seems you believe women aren’t nearly as competent as men. It’s a shame you feel that way. I hope you don’t have daughterse.

          Women and men may have their differences but women are just as intelligent and mentally capable as men. Women are just as capable of advancing societies and have greatly contributed to the advancement of society in more ways then you are giving them credit for.

          Like Sarah said, we actually don’t know what kind of society we would have if the world was matriarchal. Although my guess is that it would have it’s successes and failures, just like our patriarchal world has. My guess is that a matriarchal society would need improvements, just like our patriarchal world does. My guess is that a matriarchal societies would be just as capable of producing warm homes filled with heat and light as our patriarchal one has. Do you know why this is so? Because men and women need one another. And men are not superior beings with more capabilities to sustain life than women are.

          Please remember that.

        • wellokaythen says:

          It’s hard to turn the clock back at this point, but there are some real benefits to a forager lifestyle compared to an agricultural way of life. The development of farming was not an improvement in all ways over hunting and gathering. For one thing, forager societies have a lot more leisure time!

          We’re coming up on the centennial of World War I. I wonder how those young men felt about the great progress of patriarchal Western Civilization standing in the mud waiting to run into machine gun fire….

          • Foragers need a LOT of land just to sustain a small group. Once you pick all the berries and hunt all the dear in an area it takes a season for nature to replace them. The human population passed the point where the earth could sustain us naturally many many thousands of years ago.

            • wellokaythen says:

              “The human population passed the point where the earth could sustain us naturally many many thousands of years ago.”

              At the risk of getting us even further off topic, I think this sentence is obviously not true. Unless it defines “naturally” as foraging and therefore sees agriculture as something “unnatural.” But, agriculture is no more “outside of nature” than foraging is. It’s bound by all the same physical laws and ecological limits. It’s created by exactly the same human brain that organized hunting feasts, the same domesticating brain that domesticated fire.

              The obvious fact is that the earth is currently sustaining a very large population, because a large population exists. We aren’t getting supply ships from other planets. It’s all coming from here. It’s likely we won’t be able to keep this up much longer, and it’s not a good quality of life for a billion people, but the fact is that the earth IS sustaining us at the moment.

        • False. The best societies are ones with a Duality of Power and Equality see: Western Europe

        • You think this lifestyle is sustainable? What goes up comes down in time.

          • wellokaythen says:

            If the fossil record is any indication, sometimes when it comes down it goes back up again. If we could be like the chambered nautilus we’d be in great shape.

        • Zano Garcia says:

          You forgot about slavery. Most societies had them. So that works and we should not complain about it! By the way: why many patriarchal societies did not evolve the same way, though? Why in many of them they still live in huts?
          In fact, it’s been a while is is egalitarian in many Countries. patriarchy has only little remains… and these societies are THE most peaceful, less violent and most comfortable societies ever.
          And by the way, the fact many matriarchal societies do not exist is because violence is something that has always driven human beings. And guess what: men are stronger and do not get pregnant.

          You are just another ignorant character. You take Patriarchy, something that made women into property and with no agency, and just tells us to our faces we should enjoy it. You say women in control could never make that much. Fuck that and fuck you. You are the worst type of pseudo-man to ever exist.

      • Fascinating. Thanks for this refreshing viewpoint harry.

    • You won’t find that every man has a police report because the whole idea of our society is that “boys will be boys” aka “men are SUPPOSED to be violent” and as a result most men who commit violence get off the hook except for the few instances where they are actually reported and arrested and charged. I’m a woman and I cannot even remember all of the men in my life who have attacked me either verbally and/or physically (and I’m not even 30 yet) and most of them haven’t served a day in prison much less even been reported. In fact when I tried to report a “friend” aka “ex friend” of mine (white male) who broke into my (black female) house at 3am to have sex with me (mind you he woke me up in my room out of my sleep….at 3 am and he had not been given a key or told he could enter my house whenever he wanted and we never dated ) the (white male) cop told me that it WASN’T rape …….so let’s be really clear most men do not get reported for the violence they commit….and if they did almost or maybe all men would have criminal records. Even when men are reported for crimes they’re usually not arrested because we live in the world “boys will be boys”

      • Harry, are you serious? Have you looked at our prison population? We lead the world where it comes to incarceration! I was put in jail for having tags on a truck that I was working on (hadn’t driven it for a year) had expired and accordingly had not had emissions testing. My drivers license was suspended. 5 hours in jail, $300 bond and $250 impound fee because they impounded the car with valid tags, I was driving. Arrested = placed in hand cuffs and taken to the police station.

      • “so let’s be really clear most men do not get reported for the violence they commit….and if they did almost or maybe all men would have criminal records. Even when men are reported for crimes they’re usually not arrested because we live in the world “boys will be boys””
        All or most men? Would you say all or most women too? I’ve been physically assaulted by quite a few of each gender, didn’t report any of it though. A lot of violence get’s let off with a warning (especially school bullying) but I doubt most people commit that level of violence. The majority may slap each other as kids but I highly doubt most adults are violent in that manner, probably a good minority of them maybe 30-40%?

    • PursuitAce says:

      OK, well, it’s not testosterone. If you can solve the mystery then I’m sure there’s a Nobel in it for you. Why do you think we play sports all of the time growing up? It ain’t because we’re in love with sweat.

      • Ahhhh, neurotransmitters for $1,000 Alex
        the answer is : It makes playing sports rewarding to the brain.

        And the question is, What is dopamine !!!!
        ___________________________

        We have a chemical soup of hundreds of neurotransmitters, enzymes, hormones, ions each with their own receptor groups and channels, all cross-influencing each other, while set in a matrix of billions of neurons, whose ‘programming’ changes over time. Studying only a single transmitter with a correlation study and not a causation study is MORE than an exercise in futility, it is an exercise in delusion and self-deception.

        We do not have the tools yet to understand these processes properly. An outfit in Switzerland spent several years, with two super computers and 40 or 50 rendering slave computers to simulate a SINGLE neuronal column of perhaps 100 neurons. The pictures were pretty. Our math cannot handle such complexity, and our computers are far too primitive to simulate these systems.
        So we are to rely on the specious and fraudulent studies conducted by psychologists to assert that testosterone is the behaviour determinant, and men are evil.

        Ahhh, but then harry’s first little rant was ex-communicated by the moderators around noon or so, I see…

        • PursuitAce says:

          Way too simple an answer. But I will agree on a very small partial correct.

        • wellokaythen says:

          I agree and I sympathize. Testosterone is not a simple, magical potion that automatically makes a person more a, b, c and less x, y, z. The hormones that affect human behavior interact with each other and act in combination with each other in ways that are still getting figured out.

          To say that testosterone tends to have particular effects does not mean that it acts by itself or acts the same way in every case. For one thing, the levels of testosterone in the body are often the RESULT of a person’s behavior, not always a CAUSE of that behavior. (Root for the team that goes on to lose the game and your testosterone level declines after the game. Get into a fistfight and your testosterone will usually peak once the fight is over.)

          Consider the fact that medical science is still not sure how specifically targeted antidepressants work. They know that SSRI’s help many people with depression, there’s good evidence that they have big effects on the brain, and they _think_ it’s because they affect the absorption of seratonin, but they don’t really know for sure. And that’s just trying to understand the operations of one chemical and one kind of receptor in the brain. Now imagine trying to pin a whole complex behavior on one hormone.

          I’m a little sick of testosterone being treated like it’s a poison or some sort of dangerous drug a la Reefer Madness. For one thing, testosterone has been part of the creation of every single person on the planet. No human being reading this would be alive without the existence of testosterone.

          It is no more a poison than estrogen is. Or oxytocin.

  134. I should tell any date able girl these truths.

  135. Lol-at-Large says:

    Geez, Heather, it’s not always about women. Imagine of some dude had come to a woman-centered site and done that. He’d be tagged ten different ways from Sunday.

    I, for one, appreciated the info, so thanks.

    • As I said, my point is that the list isn’t really gendered, not that it should be about women.

      • Heather … It IS gendered in that this article was about men and what a men want women to know.

      • But Heather, it IS gendered, as evidenced by you having to change Noah’s language in order to make it apply to women. You proved that each of Noah’s points has a female corollary, that there was equivalence. Equivalence does not mean “non-gendered”.

        For example, take Noah’s “men are success objects” point. You correctly point out that women are sexual objects, that all people can be reduced to some sort of object. But Noah’s point isn’t merely “men are objectified too”, it was “men are objectified by SUCCESS”. That’s the gendering part. Because you had to change “success” to “sexual” for it to apply, it is a gendered argument.

      • wellokaythen says:

        Heather N,
        I see an obvious larger problem here that I’m surprised you didn’t mention. The article list and your counter-list seem to assume that men and women are the only two genders, which may not be a sustainable assumption. Even proving that something applies to both men and women does not prove that it’s gender-neutral, just that it applies to the two “main” genders. Something that is true for both lions and tigers may not be true for all cats.

  136. Nakia Jackson says:

    You’d be surprised: women often do know these things, for reasons that can sometimes be unsettling, and sometimes just because we care.

  137. Five Important Things Men Don’t Know About Women

    1. We are starved for compliments. – Rarely are we complimented for anything other than our appearance. Even when we are complimented for our intelligence, personality, etc., it is almost always done so in a way that relates to our suitability for a relationship. Either that, or the compliment is tempered with the phrase, “for a girl.” Tell a woman she’s interesting/successful (without even mentioning her appearance), and you’re golden.

    2. We are not more shallow than men are. – No, not all women are obsessed with their appearance, or the financial success of their partners. We aren’t all gold-diggers or shop-a-holics.

    3. There is a reason for that emotional repression. – I’m surprised by how many men actually believe the stereotype that women don’t actually get as angry as men do. We do, we’ve just been raised to shut it down and ignore it.

    4. We are sick of being sexual objects. – Speaks for itself.

    5. Yes, we do actually need to adjust ourselves like that. – If I am dancing, or running, or moving around much at all, my bra often shifts in unexpected ways. I’ve got wicked small shoulders, so my bra straps fall down constantly. (Yes, I’ve adjusted the straps). I’m sick of all the jokes about women whose breasts fall out of their tops and bras.

    – My point: Your list doesn’t strike me as actually all that gender specific…it’s mostly just “hey treat me like a person and have a bit of empathy,” which is what we all want.

    • Its gender specific because there are very few articles like this for men as opposed to women, due to the idea that men don’t have problems, they have failures, emotions are for the weak, ect.

      • Exactly. There are tons of articles and columns telling men how to relate to and understand women (usually along the lines of “Dr. Nerdlove” telling us how wrong and bad and stupid we are)…. but there’s precious few columns like this that clue women in to what men are REALL like.

        Too often, women assume that they already understand men, even as they demonstrate the opposite. It’s rare to meet a woman who doesn’t consider herself an expert in all things male. And she’s usually dead wrong.

    • It’s gender specific because the issues listed were specific to men, women have similar issues but it’s different (not worse or better). Men valued for what they do, women valued for their body: Men seen as shallow for wanting very physically attractive women, women seen as shallow for wanting very “successful” men: Men seen as emotionless heartless bastards repressing every emotion apart from humor, happiness, anger, women repressing anger but though of as too emotional: Men seen as walking wallets, women seen as walking vaginas: Men having a penis n balls to juggle, women having breasts n what not to juggle.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      I agree with Heather about the bra. What a pain in the ass.

      • ChundaMars says:

        If your bra is a pain in the ass, I think you’re wearing it wrong Joanna…

        • By my observations I have to disagree with that. From what I’ve seen there is a bit of a process to putting on a bra and if I had to go through that process every day for my entire adult life I’d probably be calling it a pain in the ass too.

          • ChundaMars says:

            Please don’t make me explain the joke Danny – it will suck all the humour out of it 🙂

            Sorry for the double-post too – damn browser timed out.

      • ChundaMars says:

        If your bra is a pain in the ass, I think you’re doing it wrong Joanna…

        • Joanna and Chundra ….. Joanna, you set yourself up for that one! As soon as I read it … Chundra, you beat me to it! Gave me good LOL this morning

    • Doesn’t strike YOU as a all that gender specific?

      Well, that’s like going to a Mexican restaurant, ordering a burrito, folding it in half and suggesting it’s just like a hamburger. Some choice and perspective here. Or was it too much to tolerate, to unsettling to let “man” have a moment of being heard?

      What are the chances… seriously. That I read this… scroll down and comment #1 is the female neutralization of it. God forbid man take a moment to reflect on the seeming challenges or presumed misunderstandings of men… and have that heard first….

      Well, this guy enjoyed that list. And while I let the comment awaken the devil on my shoulder, I still enjoyed it from top to bottom. Thanks for sharing.

      To Your Full Strength,
      Shawn

      • Thanks for the reply, Shawn- it was exactly what was on my mind.

      • What are the chances… seriously. That I read this… scroll down and comment #1 is the female neutralization of it. God forbid man take a moment to reflect on the seeming challenges or presumed misunderstandings of men… and have that heard first….
        Well in all fairness Shawn this does happen the other way around. Hell I’ve been guilty of doing it myself.

        I would like to see it stop on both sides but I guess the old wounds are just too deep for some people.

      • Amen. You could add point #6 Sometimes we just want someone to pay attention to our issues without marginalizing them. Please. Just once.

        Like you said the very first response is someone trying to say that all of this is irrelevant because it applies to women too.

        • Why didn’t you see it as a point of connection? If we have the same experiences, or similar experiences, why push the woman’s experience aside? We should work together to eliminate common negative experiences.

    • Heather … you made it about women. Your response was all about women as though the article was an insult toward women or minimized women’s issues. Make your own list of important things men should know about women? Oh wait, go to a news stand and you’ll find countless magazines and articles within them about women. It’s been done countless times.

      • Here’s another tip for women: sometimes, on a men’s site devoted to men’s issues, the conversation isn’t going to be all about you. Deal with it.

    • Heather you said “3. There is a reason for that emotional repression. – I’m surprised by how many men actually believe the stereotype that women don’t actually get as angry as men do. We do, we’ve just been raised to shut it down and ignore it.”

      I’ve never know women to be told to repress anything. But what I have seen is that women are taught to use those emotions to their advantage. Ask a police officer and how many women have put on a show to get out of a ticket?

      Also, you missed the point, it wasn’t about anger as it was about other emotions that are being concealed. The issue is also the situation that result in anger and learning to identify that which is worthy of anger. I’m angry because someone shot my dog for no reason…. Reasonable anger. I’m angry because I’m stuck in traffic … unreasonable anger. Men/boys are not educated as to what’s worth anger and what’s not … that coupled with the repression of other emotions, we end up with very troubled males.

    • Laurie Ditchburn says:

      I really appreciate this article. I wish I had been more aware and sensitive about these these things that have been addressed when my husband was still alive. I may have sensed that these things were the case of what troubled him but I was so in awe of him that I failed to understand what was really going on with him. I find this article to be very insightful and thought provoking.

    • Point of clarification: On the idea that I’m coming in here and can’t stand the idea of talking about men’s experiences….well, no, that’s not true. I used to comment here all the time and I’ve written a fair few articles here at GMP. – So no, I’m not some random comment-bomber.

    • lol, I agree.

    • Way to go, Heather! Nice take down. All I could think of while reading this piece was, “What a poor, unsuccessful, oversensitive, chafed whiner with nothing important to say”. Thanks for keeping us on track.
      But seriously #1. That’s what I was really thinking. Points made Noah…
      And seriously #2. Do we really have to wait for complete victory for women before an unblemished discussion is allowed for men, about men, in the hope for men? Because if that’s the case I’ll just keep real quiet over here and not waste my time.

      • And seriously #2. Do we really have to wait for complete victory for women before an unblemished discussion is allowed for men, about men, in the hope for men?
        The idea is that complete victory for women will automatically fix things for men.

        Even though they won’t say it for a lot of folks the way to fix everything in the realm of gender is to concentrate solely on on gender and one gender only and to so much as talk about the other is a distraction from the goal. In short talking about men hurts women, helping male victims hurts female victims, and teaching guys anything other than what they are doing wrong with it comes to women/girls is a waste of time.

        • Yup, that is indeed exactly what I am saying. I mean, it’s not like I am totally a fan of bell hooks’ discussions on patriarchy as it applies to men, or anything. It’s not as if I have critiqued patriarchal notions of masculinity on this very site. Nope. Women first is my motto. I’m a lesbian, after all.

          Oh and victory! Yes, let’s put it in terms of war! All out gender war! I am a big proponent of the zero-sum game approach to gender discussions. Clearly. I mean it’s not as if I’ve also written take-downs of that approach on this site, or anything.

          (And I am going to stop commenting for today, because I am getting snarky and sarcastic).

          • Yeah I’m sure you’re trying to be sarcastic but the thing is when feminists try to shut guys out of the conversation because they are guys, prioritize helping women because they are women, and so forth that does say that that is what the goal is.

            I’m glad that there are those that don’t engage in such mentality and tactics but of course I forgot that when it’s a positive generalization its actually okay to cast feminists as a monolith therefore since you don’t do it then that proves that no feminist anywhere or at any time ever have.

            I can see it now.

            Feminism: “Strive to be more like HeatherN! If she hasn’t experienced it or done then that means none of us have done it and none of use have experienced it.. But if you find any occurrences that can’t be explained away then it was just sarcasm and you’re taking it too personally.”

            Perfect way to explain away all the negativity of the movement. And one hell of a tag line.

            • wellokaythen says:

              I’m getting a little weary of the “stop silencing me!” rhetoric that I keep reading from all sides.

              No one can actually “shut out” anyone else on this site or “hijack discussion” or derail discussion or any other dozen metaphors people use when they feel like they’re not being listened to. No one can actually be silenced by another commenter on this site. Well, okay, maybe the moderators can, but you can’t actually be silenced on this site by other commenters unless you silence yourself.

              Let’s not forget that this is a pretty wide-open site viewable in perpetuity to everyone on the planet. My posting a message does not prevent someone else from posting a message. Someone else disagreeing with me, even calling me names, does not prevent me from speaking. If the reader has to “wade through” a bunch of messages that all have the same point of view before getting to my differing perspective, that’s hardly a hardship. Oh dear, the reader may have to scroll for a while, how awful. In this case, the reader would have to scroll for a few inches past HeatherN’s snark to get to the next message. Hardly a shut out.

              Hard to make the claim for being silenced on a website open to the entire world to read…..

              • Silencing online happens more when you get painted as a misogynist, a mansplainer, a bunch of other shaming words AND moderated so that it’s near impossible to defend against (since you can’t reply).

    • Never assume that a pretty girl knows she’s pretty, or is tired of hearing it. Personally, I am totally conflicted about my level of attractiveness. When I do get compliments about my appearance, I am always surprised, and so long as it’s respectful, I always appreciate it. My last boyfriend, though I did frequently let him know how handsome I thought he was, literally never complimented me on my looks. After several months, it really started to hurt me and become and big issue for me. Occasionally, he would try to compliment my art work or smarts, but I desperately wanted to hear him spontaneously announce how pretty he thought I was. It ate away at me, and whether it should or not is irrelevant.

      • @Kim: I know what you mean…

        My first S.O. always told me how beautiful I was…I can’t tell you how powerful that makes you feel…eventually you internalize it and truly believe it…it’s like walking around with a special force field…no one can hurt you with stupid comments about your looks ever again…

        My next BF, then fiancé, now hubby, never told me how beautiful I was….he would only admit that he thought I was “hot”….somehow he was taught by his guy friends that telling a woman how beautiful she was gave her too much power….(he is an ex-frat boy…so extrapolate from that what you will…)…

        Lucky for me, he plays piano and does photography….he is more nonverbal in his expression of love…otherwise I would be starved for any words of significance!

    • HeatherN,

      I think you missed the gentle, humorous way the author addressed some difficult subjects (especially the adjusting part) and made it “What about the womenz?”

      Regarding the article, I especially enjoyed the shoulder devil exchange. He is a persistent bugger at times.

    • @HeatherN
      5. Yes, we do actually need to adjust ourselves like that. – If I am dancing, or running, or moving around much at all, my bra often shifts in unexpected ways

      As an addition to the unexpected shifting, do you often in the bodily area that the bra’s supposed to contain, experience a sudden and unexpected growth? Like to 3-4 times its regular size and back again over a period of maybe just a couple of minutes…?

    • wellokaythen says:

      One point of difference. When a man sees a woman adjust her bra, is it all that common for him to look away disgustedly and think she’s way too obsessed with touching herself? I’d say that’s much rarer than women’s negative reaction to seeing a man adjust his genitals.

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