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I think my biggest “huh” moment with respect to gender roles is when it was pointed out to me that your typical “geek” is just as hypermasculine as your typical “jock” when you look at it from the right angle.

As male geeks, a great deal of our identity is built on the notion that male geeks are, in some sense, gender-nonconformant, insofar as we’re unwilling or unable to live up to certain physical ideals about what a man “should” be. Indeed, many of us take pride in how putatively unmanly we are.

Viewed from an historical perspective, however, the virtues of the ideal geek are essentially those of the ideal aristocrat: a cultured polymath with expertise in a vast array of subjects; rarefied or eccentric taste in food, clothing, music, etc.; identity politics that revolve around one’s hobbies or pastimes; open disdain for physical labour and those who perform it; a sense of natural entitlement to positions of authority (“you should be flipping my burgers!”); and so forth.

And the thing about that aristocratic ideal? It’s intensely masculine. It may seem more welcoming to women on the surface, but - as recent events will readily illustrate - this is a facade: we pretend to be egalitarian because it suits our refined self-image, but that affectation falls away in a heartbeat when challenged.

Basically, the whole “geeks versus jocks” thing that gets drilled into us by media and the educational system isn’t about degrees of masculinity at all. It’s just two different flavours of the same toxic bullshit: the ideal geek is the alpha-male-as-philosopher-king, as opposed to the ideal jock’s alpha-male-as-warrior-king. It’s still a big dick-measuring contest - we’re just using different rulers.

Oldie but goodie: As Twitter user @MrPooni points out, this is worth a reshare today.

The list of what 9-year-old boys don’t like about being boys:

  • Not being able to be a mother
  • Not supposed to cry
  • Not allowed to be a cheerleader
  • Supposed to do all the work
  • Supposed to like violence
  • Supposed to play football
  • Boys smell bad
  • Having “a automatic bad reputation”
  • "Grow hair everywhere"

Gender norms are the worst. So is growing hair everywhere, I guess. (h/t BuzzFeed)

I’m not scared of desperately uncool cultural reactionaries like Jack Thompson or anti-witchcraft Harry Potter burners. I’m scared of the people who do hold cultural power, who have the loud voice, who are, in fact, the cool kids, but think they’re embattled underdogs. I’m scared of the people who think that because disco was “taking over music” they had the right to “fight back” bullying and attacking disco performers and fans.

I’m scared of people who look at someone like Zoe Quinn, an individual who makes free indie games, or Anita Sarkeesian, an individual who makes free YouTube videos, and honestly think that these women are a powerful “corrupt” force taking away the freedom of the vast mob of angry young male gamers and the billion-dollar industry that endlessly caters to them, and that working to shut them up and drive them out somehow constitutes justice. The dominant demographic voice in some given fandom or scene feeling attacked by an influx of new, different fans and rallying the troops against “oppression” in reaction is not at all unique. It happens everywhere, all the time.

But let’s be honest: It’s usually guys doing it. Our various “culture wars” tend to boil down to one specific culture war, the one about men wanting to feel like Real Men and lashing out at the women who won’t let them. Whenever men feel like masculinity is under attack, men get dangerous. Because that’s exactly what masculinity teaches you to do, what masculinity is about. Defending yourself with disproportionate force against any loss of power? That’s what masculinity is.
The first act of violence that patriarchy demands of males is not violence toward women. Instead patriarchy demands of all males that they engage in acts of psychic self-mutilation, that they kill off the emotional parts of themselves. If an individual is not successful in emotionally crippling himself, he can count on patriarchal men to enact rituals of power that will assault his self-esteem.
—  bell hooks

A 9-year-old boy’s list captures the problem with “being a man” 

When we talk about the unreasonable expectations of gender roles, we’re normally talking about women. But a 9-year-old boy made a good point: Men face a lot of pressures too.

The boy made a list of all of the things that he doesn’t like about being a guy, and his answers are incredibly spot-on. While it’s originally from 2012, the list went viral on Twitter on Thursday as part of International Men’s Day

Masculinity problems that often go undiscussed | Follow micdotcom

In one survey, women and men were asked what they were most afraid of. Women responded that they were most afraid of being raped and murdered. Men responded that they were most afraid of being laughed at.
—  Michael Kimmel, “Masculinity as Homophobia: Fear, Shame, and Silence, in the Construction of Gender Identity,” Toward a New Psychology of Gender
  • Tumblr:Women should be able to do what they want without society judging them and making them feel insecure about it!
  • Men:*feel insecure about doing certain things because of societal pressure*
  • Tumblr:Haha, masculinity is so fragile!
  • Men:You're so beautiful ;)
  • Women:I know (:
  • What men reply:Ew nevermind you're not pretty anymore
  • What the reply really means:I can't handle it when a woman knows her own worth and isn't an object for me to project my faux validation onto. You're hurting my masculine savior complex and making me uncomfortable with your confidence stop making me realize that my "generous nice guy" opinion is unneeded you're oppressing me :(
10

16 stunning images shatter the emasculated stereotypes of Asian men

What makes a man handsome? 

Whatever your opinion, few can argue that these metrics are inclusive. The American beauty standard is undeniably a white standard, and people of color are bombarded with words and images that celebrate features they, as a matter of genetics, do not possess.

It’s part of why Idris + Tony, a Brooklyn, NY-based fashion photography duo, embarked on the Persuasian project earlier this year. 

"[Asian] masculinity wasn’t acknowledged," Tony Craig said. "It was stripped away … And the way Asian men are depicted in popular culture, [we’re] never the object of desire … we’re still very much ‘just a friend.’”

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There is only one emotion that patriarchy values when expressed by men; that emotion is anger. Real men get mad. And their mad-ness, no matter how violent or violating, is deemed natural—a positive expression of patriarchal masculinity. Anger is the best hiding place for anybody seeking to conceal pain or anguish of spirit
—  Bell Hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love p. 7

The male virginity myth is literally getting women killed 

Last week, grisly details emerged in the case of an 18-year-old in the United Kingdom who stabbed three women last summer in what he called “an act of revenge because of the life they gave me.” The case is terrifying because the teen, Portsmouth, Hampshire, resident Ben Moynihan, did not know any of the women and was simply seeking blind revenge for his continued virginity.

Moynihan left a plethora of evidence detailing the motive for his attacks: basically, rejection and misogyny. “I think every girl is a type of slut,” he said in a video recorded on his laptop. “They are fussy with men nowadays, they do not give boys like us a chance.”

But his trial is also highlighting an important issue that society still isn’t really dealing with: the pressure that men feel to lose their virginity, and how it can inflame their insecurities.

Oftentimes when I am in a place occupied by butches and men, masculinity becomes a kind of currency. Butches start talking about how they’ve “fucked more girls” than the men, “gotten more pussy,” and are “better in bed.” Their sexual partners become objects rather than humans.

If there are women in the room, their objectification seems to be a bonding mechanism for the butches and men, laughing about who has the best ass, the best tits, who they’d fuck or not fuck. I can show a picture of my girlfriend to a man and know I will get instant respect from him based on her attractiveness. I know that because I’ve done it in the past, and that respect felt good to me, like my masculinity was confirmed by “the source.”

And that, my friends, is unbelievably fucked up.
I always had a fucked-up view on masculinity. My father was a gun nut like Hemingway. He was also a junkie and a bully, mainly to prove he wasn’t effeminate, even though he was a painter and a poet, a mime and a storyteller. Every primitive culture has a puberty ceremony where children become men. Jews still have it, but it’s all religious nostalgia. For the most part, super-modern or industrialised societies don’t have them any more. We only have the harrowing journey – war in particular. If a man comes back from war, everyone agrees: ‘Here is a man.’ My dad told me that when he got back from Vietnam, his family agreed: ‘By golly – you look like a man, Jeff.’ I think the withholding of a puberty ceremony from young men in our society is a scheme which has been cunningly devised to make young men go to war. It creates an eagerness to fight; it’s an aggression that stems out 
of insecurity.

saltysamgirl asked:

1) I have one story I find interesting, kind of in response to all men who think that women/feminists should care more about discrimination against men. So my mother is a teacher in school, and she made a survey in her school, on kids 13-16 years old, about gender roles and gender discrimination in school. Some of the questions were about boys i.e. "Do you agree that boys should be taller and stronger than their girlfriends" or "Do you agree that boys shouldn't cry".

2) And guess which gender agreed more with statements like this? That’s right! Only 30% of girls agreed that boys shouldn’t be allowed to cry, against 70% of boys who thought that it’s true. So, men: it’s not women who limits you and set standards for masculinity. It’s patriarchy. If you’re really bothered by things like this, you should try to destroy this system, not feminist movement.