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March 07, 2006

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Creeping Jenny

Erg. That should be "tring to figure out how I feel".

Creeping Jenny

Or "trying to figure out how I'd feel", even.

The Gonzman

Of course, someone telling me that I lift/run/throw like a man would piss me off royally, but only because they'd be equating "like a man" with "competently".

And there you go. Telling me I "express emotions like a woman" denies that I, as a man, can even have emotions, let alone express them.

I'll try to make it short - A couple years back, one of my oldesty friends in the world contracted cancer, and died. In just a few months he went from hale and robust to an emaciated shadow of himself. First I started coming over to help, and then in the last month before he died I was his private nurse, with all that entials, including wiping his behind and changing his diapers.

We had gone through a lot - his divorce, my divorces, the death of his daughter in a car accident... A brother in every sense of the word. He had no family left.

On the morning he died, I picked him up and carried him out on his deck, where I held him - a man that used to be 250# down to 120 - in my arms on my lap as he breathed his last, just so he could watch his last sunrise.

I then had to arrange his services, tie up his affairs, dispose of his estate - all the "Things That Have To Be Done." When it was all over, I took his ashes, and went to our favorite hunting spot. I chiseled his name in Latin letters, and in Norse runes on the rock wall of the gorge, and scattered his ashes while reciting his favorite poem. (G.K. Chesterson's "The Last Hero" - he was the one who referred me to it originally)

THEN I had the leisure to weep for my friend. Not a lack of emotion, just private ones.

You speak of introversion and extroversion - those are scales. Stoicism? You know, there may be a problem with someone who thinks they are Mr. Spock from Star Trek, but there are a lot of us out here who just plain do not need a shoulder to cry on, and this is probably just incomprehensible to those who do. While I understand it - well, accept it - on a strictly academic level, I know of people who unless they have that shoulder feel like they have been denied their emotional release, and this is equally incomprehensible to me.

The thing is, when people make the "Brokeback Mountain" type comments, which, BTW, I have heard more out of women than men; what they are saying is that men are - "well, you know those men, they can't have love without there being sex involved. They're not quite emotionally complete, ya know? (wink, wink) When one says "emoting like a woman" what they are saying is that they are equating "womanish" with emotional competence.

So bringing it around:

Of course, someone telling me that I lift/run/throw like a man would piss me off royally, but only because they'd be equating "like a man" with "competently".

Yeah. Like that.

Mr. Bad

Arwen wrote: "Mr. Bad, from wikipedia:

"Patriarchy (from Greek: patria meaning father and arché meaning rule) is the anthropological term used to define the sociological condition where male members of a society tend to predominate in positions of power; with the more powerful the position, the more likely it is that a male will hold that position."

Exactly my point, and utterly supportable.

You're absolutely right: most men don't have such positions, either. And males of a lower class may even have a harder time in this day and age than females of the ruling class. You think it's irrelevant? Fine. You're not a feminist. But that's the definition patriarchy, and it's not untrue in our society even today."

I don't believe that the presence of men in positions of power equates to empowerinng ordinary men and disempowering ordinary women; it likely gives power and influence to well-connected men and women. In fact, for ordinary persons I would say that the current situation creates the opposite effect, i.e., that due to misplaced "chivalry," men are disempowered and women are privileged and protected. Therefore, while the current situation may be "patriarchy" as defined by Wikepedia, it (and the alleged discrimination resulting from patriarchy) in no way accounts for women's lack of presence and/or success in the workplace, politics, etc. So the basic feminist thesis that patriarchy negatively affects women is false; in fact, by all appearances women benefit from patriarchy and if anything, it is men who are negatively affected. That said, I do believe our present system is better than a feminist-inspired "matriarchy" because feminists have shown no inclination to remove the disadvantages that men endure and at the same time show every indication that they would bestow even more advantage and privilege onto women than they already enjoy.

And yes, this means I'm not a True Believer, so go ahead and burn me at the stake.

Hugo

There will be no stake-burnings, folks. This post is now closed.

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