link dump

just some links to stuff that’s relevant to what I’ve been writing about:

  • Example of non-voting democratic action, including the “the strident [insert minority here] are ruining it for everybody else!” canard.
  • An environmental website that deals excellently with the local vs. global dilemma :-)
  • A blogpost that demonstrates the crassly negative effects Toxic Masculinity can have on male-female interaction (AKA Toxic Masculinity ruins it for everyone)
  • An article about first steps towards finding an antidote to Toxic Masculinity, and about problems with defining a masculinity that isn’t toxic

and on a completely unrelated note, my blogpost on sex and toxic masculinity is on the 2nd page of google search for toxic masculinity. I’m so awesome :-p

12 comments on “link dump

  1. David Marjanović says:

    Argh, no, when will I find time to read all this! Maybe on Saturday… or the one after… :-(

    I hadn’t encountered the term “toxic masculinity” before your posts at all. :-)

  2. Jadehawk says:

    well, if you’re not going to read all of it right now, read the last article first. It’s the best one.

  3. David Marjanović says:

    Sounds like a good idea for relaxing tomorrow after the comité de thèse meeting.

  4. David Marjanović says:

    I finally read them all. The last one… well, I personally can’t really empathize, because I’m autistic enough that I don’t need to put myself into a box labeled “masculine”. Developing a new masculinity still presupposes that there’s some kind of serious, innate difference between the sexes when it comes to behavior that looks culturally conditioned to me, and… well… I don’t see the point.

    (And identifying as a man would first require that I identify as adult. That, too, has yet to come to pass. :-þ )

    The third gives me the usual “America must be a scary place” reaction. But it goes without saying that I, most likely, simply wouldn’t notice such things going on around me – I do know there are unsafe areas of town at certain times of the evening/night –; nor do I have any personal experience with approaching anyone as assumed in the blog post (and I intend to keep it that way).

    The second is great!

    The first: that’s how to do it. As pointed out by actions like this, DADT is so ridiculous I don’t think it’ll last much longer.

  5. Jadehawk says:

    “Developing a new masculinity still presupposes that there’s some kind of serious, innate difference between the sexes when it comes to behavior that looks culturally conditioned to me”

    well, no, it doesn’t really. it’s just that for most people, their personality is to a large degree created from their societal environment. belonging to social groups is important, and having group identities is, too. it’s one of the more annoying human instincts, but it does need to be catered to at some level, otherwise you end up with a bunch of people without a sense of identity with their own gender (unless they pick the toxic version). Losing this identity is similar to the effects of cultural genocide: when you’re part of a group, but you don’t know what it means to be part of a group, you become lost and miserable, and sometimes frustrated and angry, unless you can reconnect/find some meaning in it.

    And it’s decidedly better if men who need this would find a non-toxic masculinity to identify with.

  6. Paul says:

    belonging to social groups is important, and having group identities is, too. it’s one of the more annoying human instincts, but it does need to be catered to at some level, otherwise you end up with a bunch of people without a sense of identity with their own gender (unless they pick the toxic version).

    I’ve never really been able to identify with other males. Any suggestions, since you seem to be implying it’s of vital importance? Not to sound needy or anything :-)

    Losing this identity is similar to the effects of cultural genocide: when you’re part of a group, but you don’t know what it means to be part of a group, you become lost and miserable, and sometimes frustrated and angry, unless you can reconnect/find some meaning in it.

    But if you don’t have a sense of group identity, are you really part of the group? Couldn’t the “lost and miserable” feelings you mention just be a product of cultural conditioning telling you you’re supposed to feel like “part of the group”? Wouldn’t it be more constructive to not push group identity as a necessary feeling, and encourage people to simply be content with themselves as they are? I know the lack of “sense of group identity” caused me a lot of negative feelings when I was a religious type, where being part of the in-group is of eternal consequence. Shouldn’t we be discouraging (or at least not actively encouraging) people strongly identifying as part of a “group” instead of first and foremost identifying as individuals?

    I realize that sounds rather libertarian, and perhaps an emphasis on self instead of group membership might push some people that way. I just see encouraging group cohesion as leading to nationalism, ostracising those not in the group, etc, and as something that can be rather hurtful and a cause of conflicts.

  7. David Marjanović says:

    Thanks, Paul, for saying what I wanted to say, but putting it in better words. :-) I… don’t think I identify as male beyond having a body and a sexual orientation, and I don’t feel “lost and miserable” either.

    (Which isn’t to say I’m actually all-around happy, but that has different reasons.)

    And for the record, I haven’t ever tried or wanted to identify as female either. I’m not some kind of self-hating male or something. :-)

    I realize that sounds rather libertarian, and perhaps an emphasis on self instead of group membership might push some people that way.

    There’s nothing wrong with group membership, as long as such membership is actually self-sought. I’m fine with being a Pharyngulite, for instance, or a member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology…

    To hit closer to home and to the original example: I had two native languages when I was 2 years old and then forgot one because my dad wasn’t at home often enough anymore. So, no choice either way. I am to some degree sad about this language loss, but it’s just that it means I can’t talk directly to some members of my family (whom I didn’t even ever see till 2 years ago) and can’t seriously read a lot of (mostly boring) books we have at home. There’s nothing about my identity in this, no sense of a cultural loss. I’ve never tried or wanted to identify with the immigrant community here… The biggest problem for me is that I had to learn how to articulate a Spanish-style r from scratch, because I need it for other languages; I’m still not good at it.

    The Austrian bureaucracy and its underequipped computers have made me identify with my ć, though. ^_^

  8. Jadehawk says:

    No, I’m not saying that if you already don’t identify then you have to make yourself identify. But people in general create large swaths of their identity from the group they belong to, whether by choice or accident of birth. And to find yourself as part of a group already, but the group seems an empty set, then all sorts of problems arise from this. Native Americans find themselves in this group a lot. They are part of this group, but the culture that went with it has been killed off. Some solve the problem by dumping the cultural identification, but a much larger group simply ends up with a “lost” feeling.

    Sure, we could just tell everybody that they’re now part of the group “humanity”, but few can meaningfully create an identity from just that. It also doesn’t make sense to focus on the exceptions that build their identities all by themselves, when what we’re trying to do is to address an entire group.

    So to have something that guys who identify as such can have as their “male” identity that isn’t the toxic shit with which they grew up is a good thing. As long as it’s not mandatory the way toxic masculinity is, who cares?

  9. Paul says:

    Sure, we could just tell everybody that they’re now part of the group “humanity”, but few can meaningfully create an identity from just that. It also doesn’t make sense to focus on the exceptions that build their identities all by themselves, when what we’re trying to do is to address an entire group.

    Now you’re making me feel excluded from the group of people who build identities as parts of groups. I feel lost and miserable. Thanks a lot ;-)

    So to have something that guys who identify as such can have as their “male” identity that isn’t the toxic shit with which they grew up is a good thing. As long as it’s not mandatory the way toxic masculinity is, who cares?

    Definitely makes sense. We need to get some normal people reading this so they might learn something! I mean, no offense to present company, but we’re sort of dealing with things on a meta-level instead of talking directly to people that might have their behavior/outlook seriously affected. I guess when you draw your readership from a place with a lot of “exceptions”, they might have a little trouble empathizing with the “general” case :-).

  10. Jadehawk says:

    hah, you’re so right that these conversations are weird when the people in it are all exceptions to the vast majority of the rules :-p

    but the guys in the article this conversation is about aren’t; and they’re the ones who are having the really useful conversation of trying for find a masculinity that suits them :-)

  11. David Marjanović says:

    Some solve the problem by dumping the cultural identification

    …and then still not being accepted as members of the majority.

    Also, most of the cultures and languages in question are now almost extinct; when a few more people lose them, they’re indeed lost, and that would be sad indeed (or rather will be, and already is for many). That’s not going to happen to being male!

  12. David Marjanović says:

    Or let’s put it this way: you’re right, and I’ve found a definition of masculinity I’m happy to identify with and that won’t harm anyone. It’s biological. :-)

    (…Well, “won’t harm anyone” as long as it’s complicated enough. Sex determination is complicated development-genetics-wise, and sometimes it doesn’t quite work, giving us a whole spectrum between Superman and Wonder Woman. But I digress.)

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