I've wondered about this all my life, ever since I was a boy in a tough neighborhood of East Oakland. It was the men who were breaking into cars, shooting each other, and settling disputes with their fists.
In history classes, I always wondered why it was almost always men starting wars and plundering. As a father it was the boy toddlers who were drawn to toy tanks and guns.
When VICE did that amazing but scary short documentary on the Charlottesville demonstrations, I was amazed at the courage of Elle Reeve, the on-camera journalist who covered it. I listened to an interview with her after when she was asked how do straight white men get radicalized like that. She answered that it always starts with misogyny. They had frustrations with relationships with women.
Is that really it? Or is it that men evolved for thousands of years to kill enemies and hunt?
Perhaps it shold read is parenting and society breaking these boys? External influences can be a powerful motivator and behaviour change for many. Some always rise above. Manners and good will seem like lost arts to many which is deeply sad.
I read the article as well, and I do think that it is a valid point, it is about how we (US Society broad brush stroke) are raising people. The definition of "manliness" as Mr. Black points out needs to be redefined. The example I use is how often will we (yes all genders) not share what our level of frustration or discomfort in a public situation; we wait until we get to a "safe space". It starts with the kids who make fun of another kid who is crying and being made fun of; cause the person wants to be seen as powerful. Instead if we embrace those who show empathy, we could perhaps change the trend. I do also think society is enabling this sense of "entitlement" for males through subtle things that we have codified. I agree with reasonable dress codes for school and work. Yes,reasonable being no profanity laden shirts or no exposing swimsuit areas for example. Where I have a problem, and I am echoing, is the idea that young ladies/women/females are getting dress code violations and being sent home because of dress code violations and the message being "the boys get distracted while they are trying to learn because of the way the young lady is dressed." Instead we should be teaching that it is more appropriate for the boys to learn to not oggle girls. Yes, puberty can be a difficult thing, but that is when society need to be showing women are equal. If there is going to be a dress code that girl's skirts must come down to their knees, it should be that all students are covered to their knees so that shorts are included for boys. I don't have any kids, but the gentleman who used to work next to me does. he showed me a picture of what his daughter got sent home for. She wore a white shirt and her training bra was visible through the shirt. Rather than explaining to to boys don't stare, she had to go home. Not a friendly teacher explaining that next time she might want a lighter bra with a light shirt. She was being excluded to keep the boys comfortable, instead of teaching the boys to be respectful and polite. I can continue to rant, but I agree we aren't teaching the males/boys/young men/men to be respectful of others.
"Instead we should be teaching that it is more appropriate for the boys to learn to not oggle girls." What's your definition of Oggle?
In a school environment I think it's acceptable to have dress codes. I went to a (private) school with a dress code, with flexibility for those who didn't want to conform to just one look. it was reasonably effective. I think asking boys not to notice girls is going to be as effective as trying to teach people abstinence.
While sitting watching the Sharks game last night, two attractive young ladies seated next to me were having a conversation about relationships that involved ways to tease-like Snapchat or sexy texting. This was mostly for fun, not wanting anything from it. They were pretty loud and one kept apologizing to me about the volume.
It got me to thinking about the messages we send and wondering how subliminal messaging works in this context.
The interesting part was how the conversation that followed went. The bartender and I were chatting when they chimed in to talk about another restaurant owner and the sexy talk he would engage them in that they really didn’t like (him being too old and gross). One talked about filing complaints against the owner for the allegations.
That got me to wondering how you could exhibit seductive (or misleading) behavior on one hand and be repulsed by the response on the other.
Perhaps I should hve said stare and act inappropriately. I understand the challenges of hormones, but that does not excuse one from being respectful and courteous. If uncomfortable and inappropriate behavior is allowed to start by saying, it is the woman/girl/female’s fault she dressed that way. Nope, not appropriate response in my opinion. Fast forward 10 years, this sentence is said in court: “She was asking for it, look how she was dressed.” Why didn’t we (society) start earlier explaining why that is not acceptable?
I understand about dress codes and their impact, I went to a private boarding school for high school. I was able to have my style, still do as I own over 50 Star Wars ties. I believe in being dressed appropriately and I do not think either side is beyond reproach. I have seen a saleswoman wear a low cut top with the company logo on the top, in between her breasts. She had the shirt made, it was not a company item.
But these are my opions and experiences. Everyone’s can be different. My hope is that we can treat everyone respectfully no matter their gender identity.
The argument I've heard from feminists is that feminism works to fix the patriarchy, which according to them is the reason that these problematic standards for men exist. I can definitely see that side of the argument.
I think describing men as broken is not helpful though. There are plenty of men out there that grew up in the mold of toxic masculinity, and were pulled out purely by exposure to people who are comfortable with their masculine to feminine ratio.