30 votes

Where'd You Go?

34 comments

  1. [16]
    Loire
    (edited )
    Link
    This is one of those tread lightly topics so I'm going to try to be careful with what I say here. There has been a realignment in societal priorities and expectations in which traditional...

    This is one of those tread lightly topics so I'm going to try to be careful with what I say here.

    There has been a realignment in societal priorities and expectations in which traditional masculinity is no longer acceptable. In the ensuing transition we have done what we always do and gone overboard. This has culminated in the "all men are trash" concept.

    I don't identify with the author but the comic hit me in a different way.

    There has been a laundry list of bad females in my lifetime. My highschool long term girlfriend eventually cheated on me. My second long term girlfriend both mentally and physically abused me (nothing seriously scarring on the latter). During primary school I was horrifically bullied by girls. Never boys.

    My mother both emotionally and physically abused me (nothing horrific on the latter, the kind of stuff that would pass for "good parenting" in the '50's). When my parents divorced, despite her lack of a job, drug issues and simple inability to be a mother, the court was going to award her custody of me because she is the mother and that's how this works. My dad, who knew I couldnt be raised by her offered her whatever she wanted in exchange for custody. In the end she sold her child for the house, a BMW, 12 years child support lump sum, 6 years alimony lump sum and a further cash value I have never been privy to. For nearly 21 years following that moment she still insisted on making my life living hell, and demanding that both I and my father owed her when she blew through the money.

    The only reason I turned out a half decent member of society is because of a man. The only reason I don't allow my subconscious misgivings concerning women to surface is because my male role model taught me better. My dad taught me all the values that have made me successful today, and one of those values, despite both of us having good reason to mistrust women, was to care for the opposite sex.

    Perhaps we as a society need to pause and look closer at the "all men are trash" idea. Because, in the end, my situation is fairly unique. Most men are raised by their mothers. If this majority of men have become "trash", did the female role model in their life not play a part?

    So no, I don't feel inadequate because I am a man. I don't believe that all ill in the world is caused by men. I don't believe all ill caused to women is solely by men. I don't feel included on the "men are trash" comments because I haven't done anything to be trash. But sometimes, I do get a little triggered by this seemingly omnipresent idea that everything wrong with the world is men's fault and women play no part.

    22 votes
    1. [15]
      Atvelonis
      Link Parent
      I appreciate you offering your perspective. I'm sorry you've had those experiences, and I cannot say I've dealt with that. I also feel compelled to comment on some of the hyperbole (?) you're...

      I appreciate you offering your perspective. I'm sorry you've had those experiences, and I cannot say I've dealt with that. I also feel compelled to comment on some of the hyperbole (?) you're using to deliver your point.

      this seemingly omnipresent idea that everything wrong with the world is men's fault and women play no part.

      I am not under the impression that the attitude of "everything wrong with the world is men's fault and women play no part" exists in a meaningful capacity in our society, even among the "woke" crowd. (The perception that it does is perhaps a byproduct of the influence the "perpetually online" have over the digital conversation. I cannot comment on the legal system.) I also do not think it is exactly useful to consider it the precise meaning behind the phrase "men are trash." Whether the latter tagline is used academically and/or critically—moi, les hommes, je les déteste—or casually (that is, carelessly, such as in reference to individuals), I think there are relatively few members of the "woke" community who have truly convinced themselves that women are never the problem.

      It's not difficult for me to recall situations in which women aboard the "men are trash" train have been actively disrespectful to men in ways that did not serve the end goal of the broader movement toward gender egalitarianism. For instance, disgust at the male gaze (in the academic sense) paired with a proclivity to sexualize men (including myself) in decidedly socio-personal and non-academic contexts is almost surreal in its dehumanization, and deeply ironic. I would call this a misappropriation of the literally-offensive-yet-academically-critical phrase "men are trash," because there is nothing in particular about the phrase that suggests the opposite of what you're suggesting we should do as a society. It is more of a way to call attention to the persistent issue of misogyny originating from the masculine field than an explanation of what its root causes are. Said origin story is really an additional discussion that, fortunately, does not have to involve an inflammatory tagline.

      But it has been rare for me to encounter someone so firmly entrenched in the skewed worldview of those women I refer to above that they will not listen to criticism of particular female attitudes toward men, or otherwise seek to improve their own behavior. I know this because I have led several such conversations in the past. Some of them were even at a women's college, where any number of feminine misbehaviors within the community were correctly attributed to community members, who were all female-identifying. Trans-exclusionary radical feminism is perhaps the most striking example of this, and it is absolutely recognized by the "woke" crowd as a reinforcement mechanism of patriarchy, misandry, and misogyny all at once.

      There are always people on Twitter who are living in their own world, but the idea that women can do no wrong is not exactly an "omnipresent" societal belief or anything of the sort. I understand that you don't believe this concept yourself, but I don't think it's fair to suggest that it has the destructive inertia among others you are implying it does.

      There has been a realignment in societal priorities and expectations in which traditional masculinity is no longer acceptable.

      Is this the case? I'm reluctant to speculate on what precisely you mean when you refer to "traditional masculinity," but the qualities being "attacked" are generally in that position because they actively contribute to female disempowerment and/or damage society in a different way. One of the more long-standing feminist critiques is the suggestion that the class of men ought not to consider themselves the sole breadwinners of the nuclear family; not only because this implicitly excludes women from positions of economic influence (reinforcing a gender hierarchy that we can agree is not beneficial), but because the cultural pressure this places on men is in many cases extremely detrimental to their mental health, specifically their self-image. The latter is something that I believe can be and is being analyzed well through the "men's liberation" framework. The feminist critique of excessive male stoicism may be similarly applied to mental health and to communication more broadly. The feminist critique of the "ideal male body" is not so much a belief that such a body is undesirable, but rather a commentary on the often unattainable physical expectations set for men (by themselves or others). The list continues. I can think of male personas that the "woke" crowd may unfairly demonize (like the car/gun/beer-loving rural blue-collar worker), but I think a lot of these are rooted in contemporary classism, not misandry per se. We can and should consider such oppression intersectionally, but that is a somewhat different conversation.

      I was fortunate enough to grow up with a number of positive male role models in my life, most of whom I met through my Scout troop as an adolescent, and on my sports team in college. I feel that they embodied many of the principles that are commonly recognized within the men's liberation movement as positive elements of masculinity. One such person probably derived a great deal of his worldview from a number of his specific religious beliefs; that is about as traditional as you can get. The influence of the "woke" attitude on his ideology did not destroy his "traditional masculinity" so much as strip elements of misogyny from it, thereby giving it the pedagogical strength it had. And far from being demonized, these figures were recognized by men and women in my highly "woke" circles as valuable and nurturing. One of the comic's remarks is that there is a general lack of positive male role models in our society. I think this is true, particularly in media. But I am not so sure that the refactoring of what we recognize as "traditional masculinity" as "contemporary masculinity" has been so harmful as you seem to be making it out to have been.


      I realize after writing this that my remarks seem a little confrontational, and I apologize if there is any triggering material in here. I think I am mostly a little confused by some of your statements because I don't feel they correspond to the perceptions of gender I'm surrounded by or otherwise observe within our society at large. If you have additional clarifying comments, I would be interested in hearing them.

      12 votes
      1. [14]
        Loire
        Link Parent
        You don't need to apologize for experiences that neither actively effect me nor were caused by you, nor do I believe you have had to experience them to have an opinion. Your reply did not come...

        I appreciate you offering your perspective. I'm sorry you've had those experiences, and I cannot say I've dealt with that

        You don't need to apologize for experiences that neither actively effect me nor were caused by you, nor do I believe you have had to experience them to have an opinion. Your reply did not come across as confrontational either so no need to worry.

        Is this the case? I'm reluctant to speculate on what precisely you mean when you refer to "traditional masculinity".

        I meant it largely in the same sense that you use toxic masculinity. The reason I didn't use the same terminology is because there are links between masculine traits considered "toxic" and neutral or positive masculine traits. Aggression plays a part in drive, confidence, assertiveness and courage. Violence, or a willingness to use it, plays a part in being a "protector". Domineering plays a part in leadership. There is no such thing as purely toxic traits for men or women, just an over balance of some trait or another. We as a society have decided that certain masculine coded traits are unacceptable, and this isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, characteristics are not a grab bag you can pull select items from and leave the rest.

        To move onto your point, I was commenting purely on the linked comic, and the artist's experience presented within, not your own personal bubble, although I recognize adding my own anecdotal experience muddies those waters.

        We have a man made so utterly afraid of his own self, utterly afraid of his existence as a cis male, that he is having reoccurring nightmares involving his cancellation by society. He is having repeated nightmares about transgressions as a male that he hasn't even committed. A man that has gone well beyond being a feminist or an ally, terrified that he's a fake or a user. Terrified that he is a monster due to his gender.

        Where do you think this mental state derives from?

        You mention the "hyper-online" as some sort of rarified breed but these days we are all hyper-online. Twitter is omni present. Everyone is on Facebook. We are constantly on Reddit. The perceptions and ideas pushed by the "Uber-woke" crowd are amplified repeatedly and permeate the societal conscious.

        The author himself mentions how there are no male role models. He mentions that there are "no examples of men who have improved". These ideas are fundamentally untrue, but it is an impression created through the slow subconscious permeation of the "men are trash" school of thought. When a female (Lady Gaga) semi-ruins (limits?) his lifes work he turns around and blames it on her former boyfriend. He is so deep into his self-loathing that he can't even bring himself to criticize a single woman of extreme privilege. He wants to give away this amazing feminist project he created because he thinks he's dragging it down as a man.

        The author's mode of thinking is extreme, but it didn't occur in a vacuum. Other men aren't identifying with his experience for no reason. Their experiences and feelings aren't invalid. We have created the environment that is making these men feel ashamed of their own masculinity.

        8 votes
        1. [9]
          Grzmot
          Link Parent
          Not the person you replied to, but to cherry-pick this: There is a vast amount of people even in first world nations which simply ignore those social networks. Maybe they are on them, maybe not,...

          You mention the "hyper-online" as some sort of rarified breed but these days we are all hyper-online. Twitter is omni present. Everyone is on Facebook. We are constantly on Reddit. The perceptions and ideas pushed by the "Uber-woke" crowd are amplified repeatedly and permeate the societal conscious.

          Not the person you replied to, but to cherry-pick this: There is a vast amount of people even in first world nations which simply ignore those social networks. Maybe they are on them, maybe not, but they don't let influence their life this much.

          You can quit reddit without any consequence and a lot of drama will fade from your life because it simply has no bearing on it. Same with other social networks. The internet is important yes, but is possible live withhout social networks.

          Every single rabid feminist I have met has been on the internet. The women I know in real life are all pleasant and kind human beings, because here's the kicker, if I don't like a human being, male or female, I don't spend time with them. You have the choice to not expose yourself to these people, even if they get a platform on the internet because they cause drama and people flock to that.

          9 votes
          1. [7]
            Loire
            Link Parent
            I don't believe it's possible to be insulated from the ideas pushed on the massive social networks. I myself am not involved with any social networks but reddit, and haven't been for years and I...

            Not the person you replied to, but to cherry-pick this: There is a vast amount of people even in first world nations which simply ignore those social networks. Maybe they are on them, maybe not, but they don't let influence their life this much.

            I don't believe it's possible to be insulated from the ideas pushed on the massive social networks. I myself am not involved with any social networks but reddit, and haven't been for years and I am still exposed to the various narratives moving about twitter and Facebook. They are too pervasive at this point. But that's a debate for another thread.

            9 votes
            1. [6]
              Grzmot
              Link Parent
              Your experience may differ from mine, maybe it is because we live in different places. I'm not trying to invalidate your experiences and I hope it didn't come across this way. For me personally,...

              Your experience may differ from mine, maybe it is because we live in different places. I'm not trying to invalidate your experiences and I hope it didn't come across this way.

              For me personally, the only time I've even heard the term "toxic masculinity" be used was only ever online. If you're not into those types of discussions (and I'm usually not), I found it fairly simple to avoid. However I do not watch the news or TV in general, or the radio, so I might be isolated from the "mainstream" discussions.

              6 votes
              1. [3]
                Kuromantis
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                If I may jump in, I definitely agree with this, but I think a thing worth considering is that a lot of people want these ideas to become more popular, and since a lot of the opposition is some...

                If I may jump in, I definitely agree with this, but I think a thing worth considering is that a lot of people want these ideas to become more popular, and since a lot of the opposition is some variant of bigoted, they mostly have. I think it's worth considering looking at these people just as much canaries in the coal mine as the most extreme examples. If these ideas keep becoming more popular, I think it stands to reason to assume stories like this one will become more common too, and I think that's worth taking into account.

                3 votes
                1. [2]
                  Grzmot
                  (edited )
                  Link Parent
                  They already have, partially. My university has developed a program where no matter what degree you go for, you have to take a gender studies course. There is no way around that if you want a...

                  They already have, partially. My university has developed a program where no matter what degree you go for, you have to take a gender studies course. There is no way around that if you want a degree from that university. Since I'm currently doing my master's degree1, I opted to go for a second different gender studies course, as of course the curriculum states that even master's students are strongly expected to take a gender studies course. In reality there is a singular professor leading a specific faculty who is the only one who enforces this policy (a man, btw) and who has let women out of this policy in the past, because well, they are women, in his own words.

                  The two courses I took, the one in the bachelor's and the one in the master's, are equivalent to each other, however one is considerably easier at the cost of requiring phyiscal presence (now it's only presence via Zoom), as it does not feature a final exam and the workload consists of 2 1-2 page essays and a 15min presentation based on a total 3 publications and one documentary. The quality of that course is something to be debated about, but my point is already very long winded so I'll skip this (unless you care).

                  What I'm getting at is that the overwhelming majority of students really does not care for this field at all but is forced to take it, resulting in people trying to optimize it as much as they can, taking the easier course and in general this requirement feeding a distaste for the subject rather than increasing engagement with it. So in a way, the people who want these ideas to be more popular have already succeeded in academia, but also kind of didn't.

                  It's difficult to say if it will spread beyond the walls of the universities. My guess is not really, as there are plenty of ideas that have remained popular in academic circles and unpopular in the rest of the population and the whole gender is a social construct/a mix between social and biological thing/it being a spectrum discussion affects too small of a population for it to meaningfully spread.

                  I honestly don't entirely know what my original point was. Probably something about how just increasing exposure to those ideas might not make them more popular or might even make them less popular. Apologies for being a rambling idiot.


                  1 I think in American terms that's post graduate? Or is that a PhD? Bachelor's you get after 3 years and then Master's is 2 years, after that you'd be going for a doctorate.

                  3 votes
                  1. Loire
                    Link Parent
                    A Bachelor's degree in America is a four year program (or four years worth of classes at the very least). A Masters degree is typically the next step for a post graduate and typically takes 2-3...

                    1 I think in American terms that's post graduate? Or is that a PhD? Bachelor's you get after 3 years and then Master's is 2 years, after that you'd be going for a doctorate.

                    A Bachelor's degree in America is a four year program (or four years worth of classes at the very least). A Masters degree is typically the next step for a post graduate and typically takes 2-3 years. A PhD follows that and can take any number of years to complete. I have seen a few post graduates jump directly from their BSc to a PhD though.

                    5 votes
              2. [2]
                Loire
                Link Parent
                I didn't think my circle was particularly woke but I have indeed heard both toxic masculinity and white privilege used in person unironically. The latter more frequently than the former though....

                I didn't think my circle was particularly woke but I have indeed heard both toxic masculinity and white privilege used in person unironically. The latter more frequently than the former though.

                I didn't think my circle was particularly woke

                Actually I take that back. Two of my friends significant others are particularly woke so that's likely where the seeding comes from.

                3 votes
                1. Grzmot
                  Link Parent
                  A tale as old as time.

                  Two of my friends significant others are particularly woke so that's likely where the seeding comes from.

                  A tale as old as time.

                  3 votes
          2. kfwyre
            Link Parent
            This is a good point, and I think there's three ways we can take it even further. The first is that it's common online for the worst takes/examples of the opposing "side" get surfaced and dunked...

            Every single rabid feminist I have met has been on the internet. The women I know in real life are all pleasant and kind human beings, because here's the kicker, if I don't like a human being, male or female, I don't spend time with them. You have the choice to not expose yourself to these people, even if they get a platform on the internet because they cause drama and people flock to that.

            This is a good point, and I think there's three ways we can take it even further.

            The first is that it's common online for the worst takes/examples of the opposing "side" get surfaced and dunked on. This means that in spaces that are either overtly or passively anti-feminist, there's often a lot of the worst examples of feminism held up as characteristic of all feminism. If those are not counterbalanced or put in context, it creates the perception that all feminists or, currently, all "woke leftists" are like that, which is very far from the truth. This is also exacerbated by the "drama" element that you mentioned, where both people and platforms online promote conflict, and so more urbane examples of feminism propagate far less than shitty ones. I won't argue that there aren't awful examples of feminism out there (there are), but I will argue that feminism as a whole should not defined by those awful examples. Consider how, even here on Tildes, we see very little mention of feminism or women's issues unless they tend to be inflammatory, for example. Even we're not starting at neutral here.

            The second is that internet spaces pretty much default to being either overtly or passively anti-feminist. I've been online since the 90s, across dozens of forums and communities since then, and the easiest way to start a fight or cause people to fly off the handle in pretty much all of them would be to mention the "f-word". Explicit mentions of "feminism" would invariably start fights and almost never resulted in productive conversation. I don't mention "the f-word" by name even on Tildes as much as I could because I've been programmed by decades of internet discussion to know that it seemingly never goes well. And even this is to say nothing of simply being a woman online. I've talked before about the time I got mistaken for a woman on the front page of reddit and it was completely eye-opening to me as a guy. I didn't even say anything particularly controversial, nor did I mention the infamous "f-word", but I got dick pics, extremely paternalizing comments, and rape and death threats all the same.

            The third is a sort of synthesis of the first two: the idea that if someone has a drastically warped perception of feminism, then that's what they respond to rather than, well, actual feminism. Kate Beaton conveys it best (archive.org link because the original website wasn't loading for me), but it's the idea that many people can't even begin to have a conversation about feminism in the first place because they immediately leap to the worst possible interpretations and understandings of it and often respond from places of extremely uninformed hostility and fragility. I was around for the years-long shitstorm-into-Gamergate that was Anita Sarkeesian giving milquetoast and decidedly unpointed feminist critiques of videogames, for example. The people outright crucifying her will be the first to tell you that all feminists are rabid and all feminism is cancer, but if I look at the many men giving rape and death threats and say that all men are rabid on account of it, they'll also be the first to tell me that I'm being unfair. It's not that calling all men rabid isn't unfair (I believe that it is), it's that the sort of people that would heavily critique that comment are also often unwilling to examine their own generalizations.

            I think the best thing guys can do is take that kneejerk, shitty reaction they feel when they hear generalizations about men and realize that's how women feel when they and feminism get generalized about by pretty much the rest of the internet, as has been happening for decades. I'm a guy, and statements about men hit me too. This comic resonated with me a lot, in several different ways. But if it becomes simply more ammunition to hate on women or feminism, instead of a beautiful exercise in empathy for them (as I feel this comic is and should be), then that means I'm moving in the wrong direction and taking away the wrong lessons.

            8 votes
        2. [4]
          rosco
          Link Parent
          I share a number of your views but disagree that we can't separate out "toxic masculinity" from being a generally good dude or progressive male role model. It sounds like your dad didn't succumb...

          I meant it largely in the same sense that you use toxic masculinity. The reason I didn't use the same terminology is because there are links between masculine traits considered "toxic" and neutral or positive masculine traits. Aggression plays a part in drive, confidence, assertiveness and courage. Violence, or a willingness to use it, plays a part in being a "protector". Domineering plays a part in leadership. There is no such thing as purely toxic traits for men or women, just an over balance of some trait or another. We as a society have decided that certain masculine coded traits are unacceptable, and this isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, characteristics are not a grab bag you can pull select items from and leave the rest.

          I share a number of your views but disagree that we can't separate out "toxic masculinity" from being a generally good dude or progressive male role model. It sounds like your dad didn't succumb to toxic masculinity. I'm sure you've experienced "violence, or a willingness to use it" that has absolutely no connection to "being a protector". With aggressiveness, it is the same. There is a distinction between being confident and cocky. It feels like your conflating traits to justify the shitty stuff associated with men. Like, well you can't have a leader without a rapist. And that is just patently untrue. Toxic masculinity isn't about gutting all of the underlying "masculine" traits, it's identifying and calling them out when they become harmful. The common defense of negative male actions usually starts with "well apparently we can't do that anymore" or "geez where is the line, I just don't know anymore." You can be confident without being coercive, you can be firm without being threatening, you can be assertive without being domineering. I honestly think it's a pretty anti-male stance to say we aren't smart enough or empathetic enough to know the difference.

          I've been where you are now, and hopefully without this sounding condescending, I think it has a lot to do with being online a lot. For me it was specifically reddit. Go out and talk to some women about this stuff. Go talk with men. Sometimes you will hear some jarring opinions like "there should be no all male spaces outside of those exclusively held in support of women". But it following up about why someone feels that way you can hear about what personal experiences led them to that decision the same way your personal history has informed yours. The beautiful part about taking it offline is that I can disagree with that person without getting shouted down by the masses, because no one else is looking on. No one pulls up a chair or busts out the popcorn to watch the blood bath.

          3 votes
          1. [3]
            Loire
            Link Parent
            ? Where am I now? I think you may have completely misconstrued what I was saying. The argument wasn't anywhere near "where's the line?" and I reacted positively about society moving away from...

            I've ve been where you are now

            ?

            Where am I now? I think you may have completely misconstrued what I was saying. The argument wasn't anywhere near "where's the line?" and I reacted positively about society moving away from certain masculine encoded traits.

            The problem with opening up about things on tildes is there doesn't seem to be any nuance. I have a happy life with a long term female partner I respect and numerous female friends, but if I mention previous bad experiences people assume I've sworn off women. If I offhandedly mention that masculine traits considered toxic also play a part in "positive traits" someone assumes I am railing against diminishing toxic masculinity. If I mention the perpetually online nature of our modern society, implying that tweets and reddit posts are discussed in the morning and evening news and printed in newspapers, ideas and concepts from the "online" rapidly trickle offline, that 3 billion people have Facebook, and that we are all connected by a miniature internet connected computer in our pockets, someone makes the assumption that I am sitting in front of a computer 24/7.

            But worst of all we are way off on a tangent and not discussing the topic of the post. Arguably my writing is at fault here but I'd much prefer if we could discuss the author/artist's issue and not whip off into asking each poster to "go outside".

            Do you have an opinion on the artist's experience?

            8 votes
            1. [2]
              rosco
              Link Parent
              Sorry man, I have misconstrued your comments. I read it as you weren't supportive of movements trying to identify and call out toxic masculinity. I read that wrong and jumped on the dog pile,...

              Sorry man, I have misconstrued your comments. I read it as you weren't supportive of movements trying to identify and call out toxic masculinity. I read that wrong and jumped on the dog pile, that's on me. The same goes for the constantly online comment. I read "Everyone is on Facebook. We are constantly on Reddit." and made a leap. Your original post felt like it held ire for women, I misread that and I'm sorry. The "I've been where you are now" was feeling frustrated and in an echo chamber of men, particularly on reddit, that tend to remove nuance and reduce issues to be male centric. It sounds like I'm off the mark.

              I also appreciate you calling out that we're collectively on a tangent and something of a dog pile. I think my knee jerk reaction with content like this is to think of what kind of narratives this comic can incite or give credence to. It's something similar to listening to early Jordan Peterson interviews and feeling like his messaging could be used to justify some pretty negative, sexist beliefs. I don't think the artist is there, but it feels like it edges that way. There is a problem if typical, run of the mill white dudes are feeling suicidal from these discussions, but some of it feels like it's saying "hey these ideas are too radical and we need to cool it." I don't know if I agree with that sentiment.

              To your question of the artists experience: Like him, I'm in a pretty socially progressive bubble. Often conversations come up with assertions I had never considered or sometimes ones that really challenge my own perspective. Sometimes there is real ire behind the words and it makes me uncomfortable. The most common of these circle gender, race, and power dynamics. I think with all conversations that make me reflect on my own negative impacts they aren't necessarily fun to have in the moment but tend to lead to the most growth. I chew on them longer. Like the artist, fear of judgement can definitely make me hesitate to really engage in these conversations meaningfully. I think some of the questions the artist raises around "wokeness" and "allyship" are interesting, but I also think they can lead to or reinforce negative narratives like "nothing will be good enough". It leads to "what's the point" or "they're irrational" or worst of all "they are dangerous". That isn't to say men shouldn't have an outlet to discuss how hearing "all men are trash" or "all white men should die except my dad" makes them feel, but personally the artists version of it felt pretty shallow and self centered. It's like when Louis CK complains in his new comedy special that we all know his kink is jerking off in front of women. Like, yeah that's true dawg, but we know about it cause it's pretty fucked up and you finally got called out for it. Sure it's a bummer for you, but it's more of a bummer for the women who felt they had the sit there while you awkwardly jerked off at them. It just feels narcissistic. If you want to see a mature way to handle a similar situation watch Aziz Ansari's new stand up special. It feels like a man honestly grappling with his part in the metoo movement and his position in power/gender dynamics at large. I have a friend who will causally drop "it's tough to be a man" when we get into this territory in our discussions. I appreciate it. It makes me think about how much my opinions are colored by my own, selfish views.

              On the judgement front, I think one of the issues I run up against is something I call "ser vs estar". In Spanish Ser is a characteristic and Estar is a condition. In the context of this comic it could be used to say "if the artist writes a feminist comic that IS cool (estar) but if people find out some terrible secret like the ex thing, then he IS a man (ser) and as such, trash. It's the feeling that no matter how many estars you do you will always be compensating for the ser, you are always going to be a man. I do feel that way in real life sometimes, but it is so infrequent and only in the most extreme settings, I don't find it to be incredibly impactful on my life. At worst I feel temporary exclusion and at best I grow from trying to understand why those opinions get formed. That said, I'm not in the same space as this man and maybe it really does permeate all of his interactions. I can't speak to that.

              I'm not sure why but this comic leaves me with an "icky" feeling but it does. It feels like it plays into the really negative stereotypes of feminism. It feels a little like fear mongering, similar to the comics who complain that their careers were ruined because someone took their joke poorly when in actuality it was just racism veiled in humor, like Shane Gillis. The old friends I have that go down rabbit holes like the artist are the same ones who are into Real Social Dynamics.

              I think my issue with the comic is that it uses hyperbole and stereotype to drive a self centered narrative that doesn't feel true to real life. Like someone is taking online interactions and projecting them into a real world story. It's easy to get people aboard when your opponent is "men are trash". We all get riled up by that, but it undermines the valid complaints around gender dynamics behind that sentiment. The piece feels like fear mongering to me.

              5 votes
              1. Loire
                Link Parent
                I could also write more clearly and that's on me. It feels like you are attributing a negative connotation to this authors experience, despite him, attempting to avoid that. Presuming what's...

                It sounds like I'm off the mark

                I could also write more clearly and that's on me.

                I'm not sure why but this comic leaves me with an "icky" feeling but it does. It feels like it plays into the really negative stereotypes of feminism. It feels a little like fear mongering, similar to the comics who complain that their careers were ruined because someone took their joke poorly when in actuality it was just racism veiled in humor, like Shane Gillis. The old friends I have that go down rabbit holes like the artist are the same ones who are into Real Social Dynamics.

                It feels like you are attributing a negative connotation to this authors experience, despite him, attempting to avoid that. Presuming what's presented in the story is real, and not made up, he has explicitly stated that he doesn't want to feed the 4chan types with this story, he also explains that the actual women in his life would support him through this. He is not trying to fear monger. He is not trying to undermine a movement he fully supports.

                This doesn't hit me like a comedian moaning about not being able to joke about sexual harassment. This hits me like someone who has done more than required as an ally and a feminist and, perhaps partly because he is so predisposed towards that mindset, he has developed a form of extreme self-loathing.

                I think my issue with the comic is that it uses hyperbole and stereotype to drive a self centered narrative that doesn't feel true to real life. Like someone is taking online interactions and projecting them into a real world story. It's easy to get people aboard when your opponent is "men are trash". We all get riled up by that, but it undermines the valid complaints around gender dynamics behind that sentiment. The piece feels like fear mongering to me

                It may be hyperbole. I'm taking the artist's experience at face value because his prior work does not suggest an ulterior motive for faking these feelings. Nowhere did the artist suggest that he wants us to question feminism, even the online form of it. I believe, again based on their background, that the artist would be devastated if they were "undermining valid complaints about gender dynamics". I believe this is someone with a particular set of skills using those skills to explain what has happened to them over the last 4 years.

                We may be discussing it in that direction here, but I don't believe that was the author's intent or desire.

                8 votes
  2. kfwyre
    Link
    I think the comic is a really powerful example of "imposter syndrome". It often gets talked about (and, unfortunately, dismissed) as applied to women, but the author's story here is a textbook...
    • Exemplary

    I think the comic is a really powerful example of "imposter syndrome". It often gets talked about (and, unfortunately, dismissed) as applied to women, but the author's story here is a textbook case: a successful individual doubts the legitimacy of their achievements and worries they will be exposed as a fraud.

    There's also a lot of subtextual depth here that is particularly resonant. Notice that Jason doesn't speak for a long time in the comic. For the first eight pages he's shown alongside actions he's taken which are speaking for him (his book, the text of his introduction, his inbox with the RAINN donation, the dinner he made his date), but at no point does his character say anything himself. It is all him absorbing others' words or being directly spoken to. The first words he says are at the bottom of the ninth page, when speaking to his therapist. His mouth is even highlighted in the panel for emphasis.

    I think that's a particularly powerful comment on masculinity, which often prioritizes action and silence. I also think it conveys his doubt -- despite his myriad actions and him clearly wanting them to speak for themselves, he doesn't believe that they do. He notes this issue with his therapist, in context of his personal relationships: "I'd put in effort but never express needs. Just do dishes and keep quiet. Eventually I always burnt out and fell apart."

    Just do dishes (action) and keep quiet (silence).

    Powerful.

    I also thought the repeated questioning about his motives or reason for working on his project to be resonant. I think it captures a sad and disheartening comment about the status of gender relations and, in particular, societal expectations for men. His decision to do something as simple as empathizing with women and telling their stories is seen externally as novel or noteworthy. Furthermore, internally, he sees it as insufficient proof of his worth. Heartbreaking from all perspectives.

    Furthermore, the constructed threat that Jason feels is, again, resonant from all perspectives. Many men here have shared how anti-male rhetoric hurts them or hits at their core identity. As a male, I feel that too sometimes. I think this comic does a really good job of showing how that can cause a personal destabilization that can be debilitating. It creates fear and uncertainty, as well as a defensiveness that can't help but imagine and play out threats, even if those threats aren't necessarily real or haven't actually happened. It's not about what actually happened, but what could.

    I this aspect helps highlights not just something lateral -- how other men feel -- but I think it helps highlight for men how a lot of women feel as well. Women at large unfortunately have to also live with fear and defensiveness on account of their gender. The vigilance that the author of this comic feels and the layers of uncertainty of it that get explored in his therapy session mirror what a lot of women go through on account of sexism -- a doubting of self-worth, a questioning of the accuracy of one's own perceptions, a feeling that your life could be upended from a single event, particularly an unfair one applied to you by the "opposite" gender.

    There's so much more I want to say about this but don't have the words for, but ultimately, I just think this comic is an incredibly rich exercise in empathy on multiple fronts. Thank you for sharing it here, @PopeRigby.

    11 votes
  3. [11]
    Grzmot
    (edited )
    Link
    This comic sent me on somewhat of a downward spiral. Not to raise that as a criticism against OP, it's a good comic and a valuable contribution to Tildes, it was just a personal reaction to it. I...

    This comic sent me on somewhat of a downward spiral. Not to raise that as a criticism against OP, it's a good comic and a valuable contribution to Tildes, it was just a personal reaction to it.

    I suppose it resonated with me because it got me to think if I ever did anything like that. I have reacted negatively to the whole "all men are trash" shtick in the past and will continue to, but I get that the people saying it kind of have a point. I understand the meaning. I understand who they mean. I understand that it's a general expression of frustration and that it's not meant for me because I'm probably one of the good ones (ew, I hate writing this), even though I post shit like this or this and it wouldn't surprise me if I was a driving factor in the exodus of minorities from this site. But I try to do good. The internet, even a civil place like Tildes, isn't real life, and I would ultimately consider that my internet persona is different from my real persona.

    But it still hurts. Because ultimately no matter how many complex academic arguments someone builds up to support such statements, to me it only looks like a house of cards, because I have heard and read the arguments now and I just can't agree. And I don't really shut up and be a good ally like the author of this comic. There's a good chance you've read one of my comments in that clusterfuck of a thread on misandry.

    Again; I get the difference. I understand that they are not the same. But I'm sorry, I can't remove that label of being a man from myself. So I'm afraid that I'll always feel included in the men are trash statement, even though I know that know that it's not meant like that. And as long as I have a shred of empathy left for this discussion, it will continue to sting.

    The only way for it to stop stinging is to remove myself completely from it. At least on internet discussions like this.

    10 votes
    1. teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      The defense of that sentence honestly feels far too reminiscent of defenses of Trump’s 2016 campaign rally speeches. “They’re bringing rapists” he said about immigrants. This is 100% clearly meant...

      The defense of that sentence honestly feels far too reminiscent of defenses of Trump’s 2016 campaign rally speeches. “They’re bringing rapists” he said about immigrants. This is 100% clearly meant to appeal to a racist white audience, foaming at the mouth and ready to trample some minorities. But in the ensuing decompression they say “oh but he’s just making an offhand reference to this particular study”. Repeat for every single thing he said for 4 years.

      I’m less familiar with the energy in the audiences to those who say “All men are trash” (and I wish I hadn’t been forcibly educated about Trump’s). But it seems like the expected response is similar. They want blood. And in the ensuing long form discourse you can easily rewrite history to say what you really meant.

      The same goes for “defund the police”. I’m guilty here. I’ll be honest in that my support of the slogan comes from a place of privilege. The real solution is an incremental revision of how we handle law enforcement in this country. But I feel safe enough that dramatic anarchistic change will not affect me. I want to see change and I’m impatient. Of course when someone has questioned the slogan I have backed down, pivoting to the talking point about how it’s really just a small reallocation of budget to specialized social workers.

      I don’t feel threatened by an acknowledgment of the ever present shitty behavior of society’s more powerful people. Those are mostly men. In family units those are often men. In workplaces those are often men. In government those are way too often men. In a perfectly unbiased system men and women would share all blame for the bad in the world. They don’t and so I am sure women are getting screwed over at every level of society. We need to fix that. But by making men an enemy, even in a limited cognitively dissonant fashion, you’re damaging your ability to feel for, work with, and think about half of the population.

      13 votes
    2. [2]
      Atvelonis
      Link Parent
      I know I just wrote another comment on this thread ostensibly in line with the use of the phrase "men are trash," at least in an academic sense, but what you said also resonates with me. The...

      I know I just wrote another comment on this thread ostensibly in line with the use of the phrase "men are trash," at least in an academic sense, but what you said also resonates with me. The experience of the comic's author is something I think about a lot. I have trouble extricating myself as an individual from such concepts.

      I made this statement on one of the Tildes Discord servers last week in reference to a thread that implicitly touched on the feelings under discussion here:

      I feel a little bad reading this thread, because it is this exact type of article that makes me [feel extremely bad]. Regardless of who the audience is supposed to be, it does hurt … to hear something like "all those white allies were lying" because XYZ. And not just in an uncomfortable way, in a depressive existential way. I think of myself as an ally … and I really think that feeling is genuine, and when I'm in a position to I try to do actual work to help my community through these issues. But anytime I read an article like this I have a recurring insecurity that I am "lying to myself [and others]" about being "woke." The immediate corollary is that any social-oriented work I was doing, even if I genuinely thought it was useful then, was actually a waste of time and I should feel bad about trying to be anything other than "just the way white people always … are." I know that that isn't rational at all, that it is rooted in a sense of relative insecurity or instability in my community in this context, but it is still my reaction and drills deep a very nihilistic solution to just avoid absolutely everything because then I won't feel so hopelessly targeted. Which is obviously not good.

      That's a routine I seem to go through every time I encounter hostile progressive rhetoric. It definitely originates from the vicarious political climate we live in, specifically from the so-called "woke" crowd. Someone either here or in real life remarked to me once that the left has an unfortunate habit of dragging people down for not being good enough, when it would be more constructive to instead prop up those who are trying.

      I agree with this idea in principle, and for moral and religious reasons it's something I generally seek to embody pedagogically. However, I think it's hard to make serious progress here without complementing it with the unfortunately painful recognition of oneself as a constituent member of a problematic class (where that applies). Balancing these approaches is less a matter of one dominating the other and more introducing them both in appropriate contexts. I don't think that media outlets or most activist groups handle this very well.

      6 votes
      1. Grzmot
        Link Parent
        I find myself agreeing with lots of comments in this post, even those that apparently oppose each other (in argument), like the comment you replied to and your reply to it. I suppose I can see the...

        I find myself agreeing with lots of comments in this post, even those that apparently oppose each other (in argument), like the comment you replied to and your reply to it. I suppose I can see the nuance and where everyone is coming from.

        5 votes
    3. [7]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      How do you react to other similar sweeping statements? If someone says 'humans are cruel' or 'god I hate humanity' how does that make you feel? When people talk negatively about capitalism, how do...

      So I'm afraid that I'll always feel included in the men are trash statement, even though I know that know that it's not meant like that.

      How do you react to other similar sweeping statements? If someone says 'humans are cruel' or 'god I hate humanity' how does that make you feel? When people talk negatively about capitalism, how do you feel participating in a capitalistic society? Is there a level of specificity at which you take offense on behalf of your labels - if so, where is it?

      I think some deeper reflection to understand where and when something becomes a pain point would be useful to help understand what is the appropriate response and when and to separate any knee-jerk emotions from the words being spoken. Sometimes we parse messages in entirely different ways based on the use of a single word, phrase, or even a level of detail. Just a thought that might help the emotional reaction to a statement which it sounds like you don't want to take personally, but do.

      5 votes
      1. [5]
        Grzmot
        Link Parent
        That's actually a very good point. Neither comment would particularily offend me, as even though I most likely have a hand in the exploitation of this planet, animals or people through a couple of...

        How do you react to other similar sweeping statements? If someone says 'humans are cruel' or 'god I hate humanity' how does that make you feel? When people talk negatively about capitalism, how do you feel participating in a capitalistic society? Is there a level of specificity at which you take offense on behalf of your labels - if so, where is it?

        That's actually a very good point. Neither comment would particularily offend me, as even though I most likely have a hand in the exploitation of this planet, animals or people through a couple of corners, even though I try not that by trying to live in a way that does not exploit any further, there is no escaping that bar leaving society for good. And while I partake in capitalist society, I do not consider myself a capitalist, so I would not feel included in railings against capitalism eitherEAT THE RICH I say, being a member of the upper class in a rich European country, oh gods and would rail against it too, seeing the damage it has done, despite all the progress we have achieved with it.

        So as you ask, where the granularity lies and why, I don't know. It is one of my convictions that anger and rage come from two things: Attempting to do something earnestly and failing, or being treated unfairly, both of these can be linked, but don't have to. I like to think back on the study that was done if violent video games cause violence where the researchers found out that no, they don't, what causes people to be angry is being treated unfairly. They found this out by making the people play a particularly devious variation of Tetris, where instead of the piece-selection being random, it always gave you the worst piece possible. To say it bluntly: It's a game designed to treat you unfairly.

        I suppose this anger comes from the same place. I'm a '98 kid, so by the time I was really able to think about this topic without the hormones of puberty clouding my brain, outright hating them or saying grand sweeping statements about women has been shunned by the people around me. Making jokes that play off female stereotypes has been shunned as well (mostly, I won't say that I've never laughed at one of those, cause I have)1 and society in general seems to be moving in a better direction when it comes to these things, though it's doing it slowly, it's doing it.

        What I'm trying to say is that it feels unfair. Part of this idea of equality is that we treat everyone the same, so now it's unacceptable to say these things about women, but it's okay to say it about men, even going so far as that statement following a winding long intellectual essay about how it's okay to say it because it's somehow different. It is, if I am allowed to quote someone great on Tildes: it's wielded in a way that deliberately deals imprecise collateral damage while retreating to positions of precise interpretation as a way of maintaining moral authority. It feels deeply unfair because this idea of fighting for equality seems to have been contorted to allow those grand sweeping statements again, just this time the other way around. Instead of burying the hatchet, it feels like we're just handing it off to the "other side" to get butchered by it later on.

        The kicker is though, that I understand the difference, the power imbalance, the history. Okay I know about it, I won't claim that I understand it as if I have studied it my entire life. This is what I was trying to get at with the difference of feeling and knowing. I understand that my emotional reaction is kind of tribal and probably stupid. I know that those sweeping statements about men rarely come from a place of hate and more a place of frustration, like the humans are cruel comments. But it feels the same. I don't know how to resolve this dissonance. Should we just both sides this argument and say it's not okay for either side to do it? I don't know anymore. I've told myself to retreat from these discussions and all it took was one really good fucking comic to send me down here again. And ultimately my experience with these things is on the internet only. If I just stopped clicking on these threads, my experience with the ""radical feminists"" I wouldn't spend so long writing rambly comments that put me in mental places I'd prefer not to be and wouldn't be if I actually went outside. Oh wait there's a pandemic. Kill me.


        1 There are some great ones about men too. But I give humouristic language great leeway in such things.

        7 votes
        1. [3]
          Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          Fantastic self reflection, I'm glad to see you thinking so deeply about the subject on account of how important it is to the world and your own sense of self. I want to pick out this sentence in...

          Fantastic self reflection, I'm glad to see you thinking so deeply about the subject on account of how important it is to the world and your own sense of self.

          I understand that my emotional reaction is kind of tribal and probably stupid.

          I want to pick out this sentence in particular because there's a dismissal of your own feelings here. I don't know whether this is driven by the male narrative that @kfwyre beautifully talks about in this thread when it comes to silence and action or whether this is some sort of self censure... but I do know that recognizing emotions and the effect they have on you is no trivial matter.

          The feelings you get on behalf of language are absolutely important and no emotions are 'stupid'. They can be unhelpful or act in direct opposition of what we want to or know we should be doing. They can be disruptive and interfering and counterintuitive, but they are never stupid. The recognition of this emotion and the framing you are building where you compare this emotion to your reaction to other similar situations are important for you to manage your reaction to said emotions, but the emotions themselves are always valid and you always have a right to feel them.


          I don't know how to resolve this dissonance. Should we just both sides this argument and say it's not okay for either side to do it?

          I'm going to take a bit of a radical stance here and say that both narratives are both important and valid and both should exist at the same time. People have a right to vent their emotions at systems which oppress and hurt them and should not be required to manage the emotions of others when they do so. This is the cost of a system which is designed to be inequitable. Unfortunately, this also means that some of the people within the system who are benefiting from it but are working towards equity will be emotionally affected by the venting of those who are affected. We should accommodate this as well by providing them spaces, such as the one we are in currently, to vent and reflect on their own emotions in response.

          It is profoundly human to be emotional and all emotions are valid. It can be hard at times to reconcile this with the world because we often operate in a space which is seemingly logical. We describe the world with science which adheres fiercely to rules, yet we live in a space occupied with humans which are fickle and emotional. The best we can do in such a large, shared space is to understand, accommodate and recognize the powerful and conflicting effects that emotion can have on us. We need to allow other humans the space to be conflicted about an issue, to be of two minds, to be upset at each other, and for any emotion to be ultimately fleeting or something which is struggled with for an entire lifetime. This is no easy task, but I believe the more we talk about emotion and understand how it affects us, the better we can be at understanding and being forgiving about the powerful hold it has on our humanity. It is okay for me to feel deeply upset about how this author feels and on behalf of how you and other men in this thread feel while also deeply upset about the current state of affairs for women and gender minority individuals and to allow all individuals to emotionally express their own feelings about how the system causes them to be hurt.

          What I'm saying is that there is no simple answer - we need to have these discussions openly and to allow others a glimpse into how we are feeling in order to move forwards to a better state of being. Venting our emotions and having these discussions in an open and honest way can help us to better understand each other and to build trust and a sense of belonging. If we feel trapped by our conflicted emotions, it can help us to feel free when members on the other side of the fence recognize our state and resonate with it or show some level of understanding. Reflecting on our emotions can help train our minds to respond more appropriately when we feel them.

          In short, I think these discussions are healthy and helpful to have, so long as we are all coming to the table in earnest and respect when others share their vulnerabilities. Thank you for coming and doing precisely this. 💜

          8 votes
          1. [2]
            Grzmot
            Link Parent
            It was more self censoring than anything. That's a stance I can live with. I don't even think it's very radical to say that both sides are valid. I'm sorry I don't have a more in-depth reply for...

            or whether this is some sort of self censure...

            It was more self censoring than anything.

            I'm going to take a bit of a radical stance here and say that both narratives are both important and valid and both should exist at the same time.

            That's a stance I can live with. I don't even think it's very radical to say that both sides are valid.

            I'm sorry I don't have a more in-depth reply for you. But thank you, honestly, for understanding.

            7 votes
            1. Gaywallet
              Link Parent
              No worries, I'm glad to hear you found the post useful. 💜

              I'm sorry I don't have a more in-depth reply for you. But thank you, honestly, for understanding.

              No worries, I'm glad to hear you found the post useful. 💜

              3 votes
        2. moocow1452
          Link Parent
          The ritual of "generalizing about men" has been around a lot longer than either of us and is probably going to outlast us as well. It's probably best to accept it as an emotional requirement of...

          I don't know how to resolve this dissonance. Should we just both sides this argument and say it's not okay for either side to do it?

          The ritual of "generalizing about men" has been around a lot longer than either of us and is probably going to outlast us as well. It's probably best to accept it as an emotional requirement of living in a patriarchy, and try not to get hung up on the fact that as an individual, you can represent a societal problem that you can't really do anything about on your own.

          This video goes into some detail about it; (and is also a disco!) https://youtu.be/Oa_QtMf6alU

          4 votes
      2. teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        The difference is the people saying those statements are necessarily also humans, or also participants in capitalism. I don’t like capitalism, but if a real life communist says they don’t like it...

        The difference is the people saying those statements are necessarily also humans, or also participants in capitalism. I don’t like capitalism, but if a real life communist says they don’t like it my first reaction is that they may have been taught to think that artificially. If an AI says it hates humanity you might feel differently about the sentiment.

        Can a white person freely use the n word? Hard R or not there’s so much racist history that even a clueless use by a white person mimicking how black people might talk to each other will be at best tone deaf.

        You are granted extra leniency to generalize for the groups you are a part of.

        6 votes
  4. [2]
    Kuromantis
    Link
    Related r/menslib link, where I think OP found this given how long it's been since this comic was posted there. My main question is, how often does this happen? How many men out there fear and...

    Related r/menslib link, where I think OP found this given how long it's been since this comic was posted there.

    My main question is, how often does this happen? How many men out there fear and relate to the main character in this comic? The men in r/menslib relate and I think this kind of thing will become more common, but to what extent?

    6 votes
    1. PopeRigby
      Link Parent
      Yeah, I got it from there (: I can say as I cisgender man that I do sometimes feel these kinds of doubts, not to the extent of the author where it's causing him depression though. I think it can...

      Yeah, I got it from there (:

      I can say as I cisgender man that I do sometimes feel these kinds of doubts, not to the extent of the author where it's causing him depression though. I think it can be hard not to feel like an impostor or guilty as somebody from this kind of demographic.

      6 votes
  5. Gaywallet
    Link
    Wow, powerful stuff. Thank you for sharing. I think there's a great message in there. I resonated with a good deal of what's in there, and can see how this might be helpful for those that resonate...

    Wow, powerful stuff. Thank you for sharing. I think there's a great message in there. I resonated with a good deal of what's in there, and can see how this might be helpful for those that resonate stronger or frame their self worth issues in a different way.

    5 votes
  6. NoblePath
    (edited )
    Link
    Somewhat unrelated. There’s a documentary out there called The Red Pill and yeah i almost passed it by because I gagged when I first saw the title. But something drew me in and I was glad. It’s a...

    Somewhat unrelated. There’s a documentary out there called The Red Pill and yeah i almost passed it by because I gagged when I first saw the title. But something drew me in and I was glad. It’s a deep an nuanced look at related phenomena (full disclose i hate comics and did not read this but i get the gist maybe). It was not about the militant incels and thinly veiled in “sensitivity” mysoginists, but about the nuance of gender and power. An example : over half of all non-sexual intimate partner violence victims are men. And yet there are hardly any male shelters or victim services anywhere.

    It’s a wicked problem as the sociologists say.

    Related is the glennon doyle ( https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glennon_Doyle) phenomenon. Scrubbed from the internet is the story of how she thirteenth stepped (https://alcoholrehab.com/alcohol-recovery/aftercare/the-13th-step/ ) her current wife while still married to her husband, and fat shamed her daughter, who is apparently not doing well emotionally. And yet everyone from oprah to brene brown sings her praises.

    Edit: clarity

    5 votes
  7. [2]
    Shahriar
    Link
    That was a strong comic, thank you for sharing!

    That was a strong comic, thank you for sharing!

    4 votes