Part Two of the Fucking Ridiculous Article

Article here. Part one here.

When Barry Schwartz started teaching at Swarthmore in the ’70s and would pose a question to a class, “Someone was always interrupting before the question was finished,” he recalls, “and it was always a male.” Now, he says, guys aren’t doing that.

Men aren’t acting like privileged douchebags anymore! OH GOD END OF MEN END OF MASCULINITY EVERYONE IS PUSSIES AND WIMPS NOW SOMEONE TURN ON THE DON DRAPER SIGNAL SO HIS GIANT COCK CAN SAVE US FROM OURSELVES.

…I’d just like to say that the people who claim men are all douchebags are the misogynists, not the feminists. Funny how that keeps happening. I can’t imagine why.

Half of all college students say video games keep them from studying “some” or “a lot.”

Notice the, uh, lack of gendering on that particular statistic. Just saying.

Also, this article would like us to return to the halcyon days in which people were distracted from studying by puking all over the bathroom floor after having five shots of vodka instead of by a hobby that harms no one, does not cause hangovers or liver damage, and actually improves one’s hand-eye coordination.

They’re not, especially, because we’ve painstakingly taught them never to be judgmental. When the authors of the book Lost in Transition: The Dark Side of Emerging Adulthood polled young adults, 47 percent agreed that “morals are relative, there are not definite rights and wrongs for everybody.”

Man, I believe that morality is essentially arbitrary AND I’m a judgmental bastard. Maaaaaaaagic. Unfortunately, while morals may be relative, math is not, and 47% is still not the majority.

If you want to lie in bed all day and beat up virtual hookers—dude, hey, that’s cool.

Yes. Yes it is. Saying true things in a funny tone of voice doesn’t make them less true. (Well, okay, beating up virtual hookers is whorephobic. Don’t do that shit. Somehow I don’t think that’s the article’s objection.)

As a practical matter, most people will need to have a job to pay the bills, although really you can complain about unemployed people when the unemployed-person-to-open-job rate isn’t fucking ridiculous. In addition, people tend to get bored of lying in bed playing mindless video games after a few hours. That’s why we have cosplayers, fanficers, and people who knit Tiny Chibi Link.

New rule: if you discuss the effect of video games on the population, you must show a sign of knowing that video games other than Grand Theft Auto exist.

Irvin Schorsch is the founder of Jenkintown’s Pennsylvania Capital Management, which provides investment advice for 160 wealthy families.

Therefore he has super-intelligent things to say about the 99% of the population who aren’t billionaires!

Leonard Sax offers a possible explanation for why three times as many young women as young men now say they’re gay: The guys they know are losers.

I, uh, don’t think that’s how sexual orientation works. I mean, I didn’t become asexual in high school despite being surrounded by people who thought quoting South Park is the height of humor.

But while they’re perfectly willing to rule the world, women still yearn to get married and have babies.

So they can get married to all the dudes living in their parents’ homes…? I really don’t see the problem here.

If boys see girls behaving in a certain way—working hard and excelling in school—they define masculinity in opposite terms: A real man doesn’t work hard at school or get good grades. The more that women try to set an example of responsible adult behavior, the more the guys shout along with the band Deer Tick: “We’re full-grown men but we act like kids!”

Okay, if you take that seriously, you ought to believe that men should withdraw from the field. Women can hack it and compete against not only men but also a sexist society bent on keeping it down. Men can barely stand equality. The women are clearly tougher, stronger, and more qualified here, and qualified people are the ones that should get a job.

Except that that’s not true. The whole “oh god, women are doing it, therefore it’s a feminine thing, therefore I can’t be good at it”? Misogyny and femmephobia. The funny thing about misogyny and femmephobia is that we can stop being misogynistic and we can stop being femmephobic. And then maybe our boys and girls will be equal.

Partly because of feminism, partly because of moral relativism, partly because of Clint Eastwood, 21st-century America has defined masculinity in negative ways: Real men don’t drink pumpkin lattes; real men don’t ask for directions; real men don’t cry.

Feminism and moral relativism did what now? I am sorry, I must have missed such classic feminist works as Gloria Steinem’s groundbreaking Men Who Buy Drinks At Starbucks Are Fags, bell hooks’s brilliant Asking For Directions: It’s Also For Fags, and Andrea Dworkin’s seminal Man Up And Stop Crying You Pussies.

But manhood can’t just be something you age into. It has to be seen as an achievement, and aspired to. In the absence of such a construct, young men will provide their own—via street gangs or college frats or the eternal guyland of plasma TVs and fantasy football pools.

So, wait, what’s the argument here? “If we had an aspirational definition of masculinity, marginalized men will stop facing systematic discrimination that leads them to organize in gangs for protection and money and respect, college students will stop wanting to live with their friends, people will stop wanting shiny things, and no one will have hobbies”?

Sax, meanwhile, offers a shorthand ­definition of masculinity that seems pretty bulletproof: Real men stand up for the weak and disempowered.

No. Good PEOPLE stand up for the weak and disempowered. Gender doesn’t have anything to do with it.

But he’s not holding his breath—and he’s ­helping his five-year-old daughter learn to speak Spanish. “I don’t fear for the human spirit,” he says, “but I’m not optimistic for American men.”

He is teaching his preschooler Spanish so she can grow up to fuck a real man. WHAT.

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About ozyfrantz

Ozy Frantz is a student at a well-respected Hippie College in the United States. Zie bases most of zir life decisions on Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and identifies more closely with Pinkie Pie than is probably necessary. Ozy can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter as @ozyfrantz. Writing is presently Ozy's primary means of support, so to tip the blogger, click here.

Comments

  1. I’m getting this comment in first, so I’m not tempted to read any more humourless deconstruction below the line….

    Nice piece, Ozy :)

  2. “If boys see girls behaving in a certain way—working hard and excelling in school—they define masculinity in opposite terms: A real man doesn’t work hard at school or get good grades. The more that women try to set an example of responsible adult behavior, the more the guys shout along with the band Deer Tick: “We’re full-grown men but we act like kids!”

    Partly because of feminism, partly because of moral relativism, partly because of Clint Eastwood, 21st-century America has defined masculinity in negative ways: Real men don’t drink pumpkin lattes; real men don’t ask for directions; real men don’t cry.”

    Wait a minute, this is actually true. Not that feminism has defined masculinity in this way, but patriarchal culture has defined it this way in unconscious reaction, and it’s a real problem for men.

    The real answer to this is for men to say “Real men don’t let anyone tell them what kind of man to be.” Women have been teaching this to other women ever since the Girl Scouts: “Forget what the TV says, forget what your teacher or your parents say, you can be whatever kind of girl you want to be. Just be a good person.” Women have taught each other that you don’t have to wear makeup, or skirts, and you don’t have to find a husband or have kids, in order to be a good woman. And we’ve taught each other that despite every cultural message saying the opposite, that “real women” are this or that. And we reinforce it for our friends all the time.

    Any time you hear “Real men don’t do that”, you have to call that out as bullshit. Every man is just as real as any other man, and there’s a hundred thousand different ways to be a man. You have to lose the rules and accept that anything men do is something that “real men” do, and support your friends in what will seem like unorthodox behavior.

  3. So because girls do well in school, boys have to stop doing well in school in order to define their manhood? I call B.S. on that.

    I live in the SF Bay Area where we have a very diverse population. There are cultures, believe it or it, where both boys and girls are expected to do well in school. I don’t want to start stereotyping here, but as a general rule, I’ve observed that the Asian and Asian-American parents that I know want both their sons and their daughters to get straight A’s and go to college and guess what, the boys (as a general rule) still manage to excel — while also playing a lot of video games, BTW.

    There is nothing that Asian parents do that is magic. They have high expectations. I also know white, African American and Hispanic parents who have high academic expectations and their sons seem to be doing great in school as well.

    Again, I don’t want to stereotype but I’m just irritated by the idea that it’s the fault of high achieving girls that boys are falling behind because “men need to achieve manhood and define themselves differently than girls” or some such. No, actually, it’s about expectations, mostly parental expectations. The greater culture can have an impact too – i.e. what does society expect of boys – but mostly it comes down to parenting, in my view. That’s not to say that there aren’t negative cultural forces dragging boys down but those forces have nothing to do with feminism and moral relativism, or video games.

  4. I took the last paragraph about teaching his daughter to speak Spanish to mean that he doesn’t feel like an American man will be manly enough for her to grow up and marry someday. Because of course the pinnacle of every woman’s life is when she is able to marry the first man’s man that comes along. And because of course speaking Spanish is a skill that only a non-American man can have. And finally, being from a country other than America obviously makes you much less prone to frivolities such as living with your parents for a bit after college, playing video games occasionally instead of studying, and wanting to spend time with other male friends.

  5. wellokaythen says:

    I really liked what you said here:

    “The real answer to this is for men to say “Real men don’t let anyone tell them what kind of man to be.” Women have been teaching this to other women ever since the Girl Scouts: “Forget what the TV says, forget what your teacher or your parents say, you can be whatever kind of girl you want to be. Just be a good person.” Women have taught each other that you don’t have to wear makeup, or skirts, and you don’t have to find a husband or have kids, in order to be a good woman. And we’ve taught each other that despite every cultural message saying the opposite, that “real women” are this or that. And we reinforce it for our friends all the time.”

    Hell, yes. I don’t know how many times on this site someone poses the question about whether X is manly enough, or what’s the manliest kind of Y, or for fuck’s sake, “What kind of nut is your dad’s favorite?”, presumably because your dad must be the model of masculinity. Every time I want to write back, “a real man doesn’t really care if what he’s doing is manly enough.”

    I would have to disagree somewhat with how far women have come telling other women not to believe the hype. When it comes to telling women that you can be a real woman without having children, women and society on the whole still have a LONG way to go on that front. More like there are new ways of disguising gender expectations by creating an image of being free of gender impressions. A lot of supposedly feminist writers still say “when you have children” instead of “if you have children.”

  6. …I’d just like to say that the people who claim men are all douchebags are the misogynists, not the feminists. Funny how that keeps happening. I can’t imagine why.

    Based on my previous comment about this sentence not coming through:

    Am I to assume that this sentence contains no mistypings and that it in fact are exactly what you meant to write Ozy? That people who says all men are douchebags are misogynists?

    • Yes. The people who hate women (as in this article) also hate men. Funny how that keeps happening.

      • Hmm, so it was your intention to write misogynists rather than misandrists. Do feminists often get accused for being misogynists I wonder then?

        I am asking as the sentence without at least an “also” put in place reads to me as an appropriation: People hating men, nah, they aren’t misandry, it’s misogyni.

    • I would imagine so Tamen. You know the drill if it harms men then it must be traced back to harming women. You weren’t expecting that sentence to actually call out the hatred of men primarily were you?

      • Well, I must admit I was expecting that people who are calling all men d****bags were doing so primarily out of misandry.

        • That’s not what she’s saying. She doesn’t deny that misandry is misandry. She’s just saying that when someone is misandris, it won’t be long before they turn out to be misogynist too. The two just go together.

          • Yes, the two often go together. I just don’t think it’s much of an acknowledgement of that when one mentions only one. In my view an “also” would be in it’s place in that sentence if it was meant as you state Gingko.

        • (Yeah the comment I have here that’s sitting in moderation is out of place. It can be killed.)

          I can understand feeling that way (hence that comment at August 13, 2012 at 11:10 am). It may have helped if the wording was a bit different. Something like:

          I’d just like to say that the people who claim men are all douchebags are people that also hate women. Those would be misogynists though, not the feminists.

    • QuantumInc says:

      Most people seem to believe in a gender binary, and buy into a worldview that depends on the idea that men and women are different. There are different versions, but as far as I know they are all severely limiting and very harmful to both men and women. Even when it uphold certain positive ideals for men and women, those ideals can be harmful, ex: Men should be stoic! Boys don’t cry! All women are required to have big boobs!

      Thus those gender binaries are guilty of misandry and misogyny in that they hurt both men and women. Personally I would word it differently, but I agree that anyone who buys into any of these gender binary based ideologies will end up MIStreating MEN and WOMEN.

  7. I think the article writer is an incredible sexist, but I do think there is an underlying thing he brings up:

    Schools are failing men. College attendance for men is dropping, boys are medicated into placidity starting in kindergarten, and studies have shown (while I don’t have them on hand) that after a few years of school, the majority of children, both boys and girls, will tell you that girls are smarter and better and boys are stupider and lesser. The current school system favors most women (but not all, I’ll tell you, as an ADD lady myself with an ENTP learning style and a STEM major).

    I won’t berate my guy friends for playing video games instead of studying, but I wonder why they make those choices? Do they feel that working hard wouldn’t be worth it? That education is a girl’s thing now? That they are doomed to failure from the get-go?

    We really need to take a good long think about how schools are harming boys and men. I can pull the statistic from my sociology book — a higher percentage of black women attend college than white men. Just slight, and of course there are still fewer black women at colleges than white men, but that’s because they’re a smaller group. And you don’t want to know the statistics for black and latino men.

    TBH, I think this “fall of mankind” is ridiculousness, but we absolutely NEED to talk about the failure of schools to help men. When my learning disabled and neurodiverse (dyslexia, dysgraphia, Asperger’s Syndrome) brother breaks down in sobbing fits that even though he has the brains and the ability to do the work, he can’t make the grades, I can only wish that things will get better. I have an absolute computer whiz for a brother, and he BARELY scraped a high school diploma because of biased testing and teaching. (Thanks again, NCLB, for nearly leaving him behind)

    • I think he comes close, but still manages to miss the problem entirely. He mentions the medication, but a huge chunk of the problem is biased teachers. Part of the problem is SCHOOLS TREATING BOYS DIFFERENTLY. Its subtle, but still big. The problem is sexism. Not schools being “designed” for girls, but schools treating boys differently than girls.

      • Yeah, I don’t really think any parent of a daughter would think schools were “designed for girls.” They are not doing a bang-up job for girls that much either. It’s just that they are failing boys even worse. and in the end that is just a matter of degree. It looks like schools are really designed for teachers.

        • Not so much designed for girls as lending girls a helping hand while denying the same for boys in the face of a clear need for such a hand.

  8. All these ‘what’s happened to young men today’ articles smack of moral panic. They all boil down to the observation that young men these days are not following the traditional life plan/role laid out for them by society–and they’re hyperventilating about how disastrous that must be.

    Funny; when women rejected their old roles and expectations to pursue new paths, it was called liberation. When men do it, they’re immature cowards and wimps… classing shaming language.

    • You know, when women STARTED rejecting their old roles and liberating themselves, they were called a lot of unpleasant things, from whore to communist. You’re right that the language here is shaming and it’s evidence that men need the same kind of liberation that women did.

      • I think Copyleft may be pointing out that even some of the very people that supported (and in some cases were a part of) the liberation of women are now turning around and doing some of the very same things to men.

  9. EVERYTHING.

    But particularly, ” In addition, people tend to get bored of lying in bed playing mindless video games after a few hours. That’s why we have cosplayers, fanficers, and people who knit Tiny Chibi Link.”

    You are the best.

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