Men: how would you describe being a "modern" man today? | Page 2 | INFJ Forum

Men: how would you describe being a "modern" man today?

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Gaze, Oct 13, 2010.

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  1. invisible

    On Holiday

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    i don't mind if everyone becomes a nancy boy or a butch, i think it's hot. actually i might make it my mission.
     
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  2. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    Though what's really wrong with traditionalism? I agree with @mf that people should be free to be who they are without cultural restraints, but traditional expectations for male and female behavior have had their positive influences on society too. For one thing, I think a lot of people form their identities around how much they conform to (or oppose) social stereotypes, and having an identity (a stable ego) is probably important to one's mental health, and to social cohesion in general. Racism for instance has the reverse positive effect of uniting those who feel oppressed... it's probably similar with other stereotypes. So in a round about way, the prevalence of traditional beliefs about how to behave is probably helping people somewhat. *shrugs* Just an idea.
     
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    #22 TinyBubbles, Oct 15, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2010
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  3. invisible

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    my problem with tradition is that it tends to insist on a particular identity as appropriate for a person born into a particular circumstance and to educate that person to conform to that identity and create difficulties in their escape from it. you are a girl, you like pink, you have children. in some countries, you are a girl, your genitals will be mutilated and you will be proud of your womanhood; in other countries, you are a boy and you will be circumcised, and you will be a sissy for complaining about the self-determination you were denied, so shut up about your faggy emotions. these sorts of things do damage before identities have had a chance to be formed in opposition to them, and are highly resistant to change. maybe in our developed nations people are able to identify more and more in opposition to tradition, but that hasn't always been possible in the past, as tradition has actively condemned aberrations to it, resulting in things like witch burning. i can't deny the positive effects of reactions to it, but i don't credit it with these things either. it doesn't respect diversity.
     
  4. Praefect

    Praefect Sparkles

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    Submissive, feminized, castrated. I say castrated because a lot of the men that act submissive don't do so because it is who they are, they do so because assertion of will towards the weaker sex is seen with contempt, while the assertion of will towards men is seen as something to be celebrated. There is nothing equal about it. This is a mindset that has deeply saturated western culture and is now only reflected in the male role models of the new generation. That is the image of the modern man I see in the contemporary Zeitgeist, and it really rubs me the wrong way.
     
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  5. frozen_water

    frozen_water Community Member

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    I don't actually think that will solve the problem like you think it will. I'm sure the stereotypes exist at least in part because there are a fairly significant percentage of men and women who fit them naturally. If the stereotype became that everyone acted the same, then you can bet that the current gender stereotypes will be looked down upon as something we 'overcame'. So the people who don't fall "somewhere in the middle" will be outcasted instead.

    This kind of sounds like a classic case of "if we were just in power, things would be better/fair for everyone." History shows that it just never seems to work that way.
     
  6. Blind Bandit

    Blind Bandit Blind Man Being Lead to Nowhere
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    This is also my fear as well. As much as I hate to admit it. People need to have some definition of what is is to be a male /female even if they working against such a definition. Its already hard enough trying to be a man. But with nothing at all to guide one what it is to be a certain gender. I can only see that causing more hardship.
     
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  7. bamf

    bamf Is Watching You
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    There is evidence to believe that gender constructs are something that we learn just like stereotypes for these man-made things. Obviously man and female roles will exist, and are needed to continue the survival of mankind. Of course I'm being extremely optimistic in describing my desired outcome, but if I wasn't what would be the point in even trying to work for change?

    Notice that I said everyone would be free to be the way they wanted, and the situation you described is not everyone being free. Your situation would be no more desirable of any outcome than what is going on today. What I want to see is a society where people can be who they wish, and largely be accepted for it. It's not about power, it's about gender/genderless equality, and I do believe it's possible. There have been native tribes around the world that had 3, 4, and occasionally more, recognized genders, and those in these "other" genders were often times highly prized and praised.

    It is definitely possible to have a more accepting society to gender differences, and if we go into it thinking that nothing will really change, why bother trying to change it in the first place?
     
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  8. Billy

    Billy Contents Under Pressure
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    I largely agree with you, and the over-kill in protecting females from the atrocities of male dominance has permeated our culture in fundamental ways, bullshit like reviving Ophelia, and the myth of the fragile diminishing woman has led to a battering of males in our culture, especially young boys, especially in school. Schools have changed so much into a pro-female way of teaching that the gender achievement gap for males is dire, males are being left behind scholastically with programs specifically designed to make learning for them harder, and competing for them harder.

    A great book on this subject is "The war against boys" by C. Hoff Sommers. A VERY fantastic read for anyone who has a young son, or wants to see how misguided anti male feminism has crushed boys in our society.

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/War-Against-Boys-Misguided-Feminism/dp/0684849569"]Amazon.com: The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men (9780684849560): Christina Hoff Sommers: Books[/ame]

    for you kindle readers.
     
    #28 Billy, Oct 15, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2010
  9. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    I probably would not attempt to describe a "modern man" because I have found this to be less important pursuit than viewing the matter from a very broad perspective. The long view tends to provide more clarity, at least for me. I suppose it's that INFJ mode of finding obscure, but extremely relevant connections and working with those, but it has worked for me and helped provide some grounding and prespective in the murky and ever-changing present.
     
  10. 1whitehorse1

    1whitehorse1 Regular Poster

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    Being a 'modern' man today?

    Knowing the consequences of your actions.

    Nice story: In the evenings, my mom tutors a 5 year old chinese fresh-off-the-boat kid in English and math. He got in trouble at school for hitting a kid who talked badly about him. Shortly after, my mom presented him with counting blocks. He wasn't sure what to do with it, and my mom clarified it was for counting and learning math. He understood, and then lifted one up, saying, 'But you can't hit people with them'.

    LOL.
     
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  11. 1whitehorse1

    1whitehorse1 Regular Poster

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    Sorry but it takes a weak man to pick on someone not his own siZe to make himself feel bigger. Celebrating bullying or oppression is not cool. For example, If an orange body slams an orange, that's fine. If an orange body slams a lemon, well, we've got a problem here. Go watch UFC, go to the gun range and fire off a couple rounds (it's quite fun), play tackle football, war video games, paintball, all these lovely western distractions to address this problem. If you were in Iraq though, you'd probably be a terrorist, cause they don't have hockey, or any other forms of legal organised violence. And your wife would wear a burkha.
     
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    #31 1whitehorse1, Oct 16, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  12. Blind Bandit

    Blind Bandit Blind Man Being Lead to Nowhere
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    I don't agree with you often billy. But its ones of those times I do.
     
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  13. aeon

    aeon Ooh, a bunny!
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    In some sense, what it is to be a modern man in this culture is to be not needed.

    There is no role we have to play for anyone, except those we wish for ourselves.

    To that end, there is a feeling of loss that there is nothing special about us, and there is no standard by which we have to live.

    At the same time, with that comes an incredible freedom. We can be who we want to be without the self-negation necessary to meet someone else's expectations.

    ---

    In some ways, being a modern man is witnessing the media stereotypes of men being stupid, unobservant, condescended to, patronized, and so on, in ways such that if it were presented in reverse, there would be outrage.

    ---

    My sense is that pure displays of dominance and power, expecially those mixed with male sexuality, are for the most part forbidden. To the end that such forms of expression have always existed, and always will, they have by necessity moved to the underground. The internet has made this possible on a large scale.

    ---

    I have some sense that the changing roles of men and women, and the expectations of men (or lack thereof) mean that men can (and do) choose an extended adolescence.

    ---

    In some ways, being a modern man is no different than being a man has ever been. The situation changes, but the essence of what it is to be a man never has, and never will.


    cheers,
    Ian
     
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  14. aeon

    aeon Ooh, a bunny!
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    My neighbor has a 2nd-grade boy who has had some behavior issues in school. Well, my sense is the issue is the school, but anyway...

    His mother investigated the numbers as it concerned her son's disciplinary marks, and with a little legal help, was able to find out other students marks, albeit without identities.

    No girl in that 2nd grade class had ever received a disciplinary mark, whereas 13 of the 14 boys had, with 11 of the 13 having 10 or more marks since the beginning of school ~5 weeks ago, and 5 of those 13 having over 30 marks, which means they were sent to the principal nearly daily.

    Yea, this will end badly.


    cheers,
    Ian
     
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  15. Jonathan

    Jonathan Community Member

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    I agree.
    I was thinking about this a week ago when I was visiting family for the Thanksgiving weekend. The conversation came up at both gatherings- about the differences between men and women. You probably know the drill, about how men are like waffles, women are like spaghetti (if not, then you've heard of one of the few variants), how men are... and women are....

    What I found interesting was, while they were asserting that there are clear differences between men and women, I was regarded as an exception. This came from both sides of the family.
    Here's why:
    One family member observed, fairly enough, that as an educator, she noticed that many all-boys schools in the area lacked chairs and desks because boys tend to be more interested in movement and hands-on activites than sitting down and reading at a desk all day. All the men agreed that this sounded logical, until they remembered that as a child, I was content to sit a desk for hours, writing, drawing, daydreaming, humming to myself; while all the boys went outside to wrestle, or play some sport, or talk about rock climbing or cars or something similar.

    I've grown up with many stereotypical males. Actually, I thought at times that I must be the only boy in the entire world that didn't fit the mould. It's not that any of them felt pressured to fit into that stereotype, it's just the way they are. A lot of the time, I would be more content to sit and talk with the adult women as a young boy, or join in with the girls making cookies or crafts. Nobody outright criticized me for it, thank goodness, but I remember often being encouraged to spend more time with the guys, which I just dismissed- Not as a rebellion against being stereotypically male- but as a simple choice between making a collage or learning how to throw a football.

    I think it's that kind of innocent objectivity that can change the preception of gender in our society, but i think it's very unlikely to come into being within the near future. Why? Because the stereotypical males who fit perfectly into the mould (i.e. my dad, who could have easily been the Old Spice guy), would feel alienated, and would likely pull the resources to prevent such a progression. These macho men are the ones that still have the most influence and prominence in society. Statistically, they are more common, and behaviourally, they are most likely to uphold their image of manliness, as it symbolizes power, achievement, and competence; three things the developed world holds central to its existence.

    Now, whether or not there is a gender role revolution, I think the best thing to do to be progressive is to realize and understand the stereotypes, but to also try not to pass judgment on those whose interests and temperaments are naturally differing from these stereotypes. In otherwords, to objectify these characteristics. If John is interested in things like fashion, dance, or interior decorating, because he identifies them as personal interests, they should not be pointed out as girly- but just fashion, dance, and interior decorating. The important thing is to make sure John isn't confused by the stereotypes in the media, or what the kids at school say, or what their uncle so-and-so says, and that his identity is supported and clear. The whole perception of manhood, regardless of the times, is mostly formed in childhood. If they get mixed messages, they're likely, and almost certain to be confused about their perception of manhood.

    All I know is that it worked for me. I don't really think about what being a modern man is. What's important to me is what being a man means to me. If I feel that I'm not living up to that, then and only then do I see a problem. If someone else's perception differs, so be it, it's for them to decide for themselves.

    Actually, the most pressing issue for finding what masculinity means, for me, has been the fact that I'm a Christian, and there are a select few fellow Christians that are beginning a wave of cultural anti-feminism that uses people's deeply held spiritual beliefs to "redefine the image of a real man." with specific examples of how men should be, especially Godly Christian men. I wrote about that in my blog, I think.

    I guess that modern manhood is in a confused state, because people are stuck between tradition, radical social progression, and the feminist movement. The biggest problem is, everybody wants to impose their idea of what a man should or shouldn't be, as if gender is the most important part of identity, when really, gender is merely one of the factors that have to do with life and how it's lived. Its relevence and definition differs from person to person.
     
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    #35 Jonathan, Oct 17, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2010
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  16. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    Being a man in modern times isn't any harder than it ever has been. In fact, it's easier in a lot of ways.

    Man Script:
    Find a career, get married, start a family, go to church.

    Same script 100 years ago.

    Same script 500 years ago.

    Same script 1000 years ago.

    Most men have just gotten soft in modern times with the absence of real hardship (pestilence, famine, poverty, war).
     
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    #36 Pin, Mar 22, 2019
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  17. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    Ha! I open doors for people all the time, don't give a fuck.
     
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  18. Will

    Will Wintertime

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    Same (mostly)

    - Beer
    - Eat
    - Work
    - Beer
    - Sports
     
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  19. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    Boring.

    Let's become astronauts.
     
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  20. Will

    Will Wintertime

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    Do we get Corvettes?
     
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