Tag Archives: men

Cat-Calling: Don’t be Sexist

One of the issues and daily harassments that women have to deal with is cat-calling. This is when men yell what are usually superficial, sexist and derogatory remarks at random women passing by. Some of the worst ones involve blatant and disgusting sexual acts or innuendos, while others objectify women and focus on one specific aspect of their body. You would think it would be common knowledge not to harass someone, especially a random stranger. Yet, it happens far too often.

cat calling
“Yelling at a woman to tell her she has a nice backside is, again, objectifying her and making her an object for your pleasure.” Photo from: http://az616578.vo.msecnd.net/files/2015/07/05/635717311775156065-116091019_attractive-woman-men-staring.imgopt1000x70.jpg

The thought process behind cat-calling is the cat-caller tends to have a skewed perspective on what a compliment is. Telling a woman that you’d like to have intercourse with her (usually said in more crude terms) is not a compliment. It’s objectifying her and reducing her from a real person to a thing for sex. Yelling at a woman to tell her she has a nice backside is, again, objectifying her and making her an object for your pleasure. Contrary to popular belief (or so it would seem), women are real people, actual human beings, and they are not there for the purpose of pleasing men. Hearing that they would be a good sexual partner does not make them feel good. It makes them feel uncomfortable and possibly worry they may be sexually assaulted.

Women like to be complimented; in fact, everyone does  it’s a normal part of being human. We like to hear nice things about ourselves. But being reduced to a single, sexualized body part or sexual act is not a compliment. It’s demeaning and dehumanizing. Women are more than just their bodies and they are not there to make men want them. A good general rule of thumb is that if you would say it to your mother, then it’s probably okay to say to another woman. If you wouldn’t say it to your mother then you probably shouldn’t say it to a random woman walking down the street.

Boys can Wear Skirts and Look Cute as Fuck

My boyfriend wears skirts. Not tunics, not man-skirts, and for sure not kilts. He wears skirts and he looks damn good doing it. Unfortunately, it took years for him to build up the courage to wear skirts as much as he wanted to. He suffered because of the male standards in our culture. I want to challenge these male standards and claim that continuing to follow them will be a detriment to our society as a whole.

Since around the 1920’s, it has become increasingly culturally acceptable for women to dress in pants. Today, women have access to blazers and suits that look great. Women have the choice to dress in a feminine or masculine way because they fought and earned that choice. Men have no choices at all. They must either dress in a masculine way or face ridicule. In our broader culture it is acceptable for women to want to be more like men, but for a man to give up his masculine power is a disgrace.

man skirt
“I want to challenge these male standards and claim that continuing to follow them will be a detriment to our society as a whole.” Photo from: https://i.ytimg.com

Men are culturally trained to reject feminine clothing in our society. This is because if a man wears feminine clothes, it implies the clothing and the people wearing it are as good as men. My boyfriend has been called sissy, fag, and other terrible names for wearing skirts. All these names come from other men. The idea of another man being happy and comfortable in a skirt is such a shock to them they feel the urge to tear down what they no longer consider a real man to preserve their own masculinity and their power.

Men need feminism just as much as women do. The core idea of feminism is that men and women are equal in society. True acceptance of this elevates women to the power of men, but it also unlocks the full breadth of the human experience to men. Feminist culture invites men to feel beautiful and powerful through makeup and clothing forbidden to them in a patriarchal culture. Feminism gives men a choice to be as masculine or as feminine as they wish, and it is not a mandate to become more feminine.

Even worse, modern masculinity standards are a parody of authentic manhood. We tell our boys to restrict their emotional expression, power through their pain, and never act like a girl. In order to preserve some idealized masculine fantasy, men are encouraging themselves to be less than full human beings. This unrealizable standard that men hold themselves to leads to corrupt and toxic masculinity characterized by external violence, hate, and internal self-loathing. Men, if you consider yourself a real man, call out your male friends when you hear them talking negatively about others in any form. A simple, “Hey man, that’s not cool,” is sufficient self-policing and is a start to changing minds. This is important if we want to work towards making our culture a more just and verdant society.

Nice guys don’t always finish last

You’ve heard of the expression “nice guys finish last.” And if you’re a guy, you may feel that term to be true. “Bad boys” are exciting, right? Being treated like garbage, ignored, but still able to go out to parties and be seen with the most mysterious hot guy there? It’s thrilling to have your heart torn into pieces and thrown into the fire. Right? Wrong.

Forget that overused, utterly long, unfortunate phrase. A new study by scientists for the University of Worcester and the University of Sunderland, both in the United Kingdom, discovered that men who are attentive to the happiness and prosperity of others rather than themselves may be more attractive to women in comparison to men who are just good-looking.

Image from parentmap.com
Selfless men are seen as more desirable, if women want a long term relationship. Image from parentmap.com

Altruism is the term for when someone acts in a way that is beneficial to others and not themselves. In the new study, the researchers analyzed what happened when two desirable characteristics, physical attractiveness and altruism, were investigated together, and whether women preferred one quality over the other.

In the study, 202 women were shown pictures of 24 men of varying degrees of attractiveness. Alongside the photos were descriptions of the men doing something like saving a child from a river or buying coffee for a homeless person. Other photos were accompanied with rude or unappealing situations, such as the man refusing to help in either of the previous scenarios.

The researchers found that being selfless gave men a better chance with a woman if she was looking for something long term.

In contrast, the new study found that selfish men were seen as more desirable among women who were looking for a fling. Farrelly said he found this result interesting, and he said one possible explanation is that it relates to other characteristics that women prefer in short-term partners. For instance, it might be that if a woman is looking for something short term, her choice of a partner might be one with less socially desirable traits such as narcissism, the researchers said.

If you want a fling, continue on your “bad boy” path, if you’re looking for something a little more serious, try finding someone who thinks of others than themselves..

Yoga for men?

This is for all you guys out there looking for exercise in all the wrong places. If you’re looking for a type of exercise that is focused on strength training, stretching, and improving the body, then “broga” is the place for you.

Broga is a type of exercise designed for men that combines the basis of yoga but specifically targets strength training, avoiding traditional yoga poses.

Basically, it is a type of yoga that allows men to get stronger without the intimidation of having a woman out do them. “Broga celebrates the physical over the spiritual, and strength over flexibility. Experts say it sets men free to flex tight hamstrings without hearing invocations to Hindu deities or feeling inept next to a woman twisted like a pretzel.”

Broga classes allow for men to have their “guy time” by being able to “set their yoga mats down and talk about upcoming NFL games.”

Men typically have tighter muscles than females because of their ability to gain muscle faster, making it more important to obtain flexibility and stretch out muscles. Broga allows for the focus on the male form, doing exercises that are particular issues in physicality that men face.

warrior pose
“Broga is a type of exercise designed for men that combines the basis of yoga but specifically targets strength training, avoiding traditional yoga poses.”

One man stated “that he had tried [traditional yoga], as part of a rigorous workout program marketed on TV, but didn’t like it.”

It was a common theme among the men that traditional yoga was too hard for them saying “That’s a rough introduction to yoga.” Along with the consensus that traditional yoga is too hard, most men feel uncomfortable practicing Hindu rituals, chanting, spirituality, and exercising around candles. They would rather focus on the physicality of the practice rather than the spiritual side of it.

Broga was created for many reasons but one of the most important reasons it was created was to ensure men felt comfortable and not threatened while practicing yoga. “I like yoga, but I hate taking it with women because it’s so intimidating. They’re so good at it.”

No one likes to feel embarrassed while exercising, especially if it’s something that you like to do. Feeling discouraged while doing something you love is a terrible feeling, even more so when it could threaten someone’s masculinity.

Overall, Broga is a cultural phenomenon that is expanding all over the United States. They even have their own websites and studios making it easier for men to get in shape in a way that is nontraditional to masculine culture. Broga is also changing the way society views masculinity and is a new opportunity for men to get in shape.

Does male privilege hurt male domestic violence victims?

October was Domestic Violence Awareness month, and with it, many stories of survival and awareness became public. Most of these stories were from women explaining the struggle they faced at the hands of their abusers. Although these stories are very harrowing, men seem to be missing from the victims demographic.

On almost all big posts about domestic violence against women, there’s bound to be a few comments from men asking, “what about men who are abused? Why aren’t they taken seriously?” One of the issues with domestic violence against men is that these instances often go unreported. Women are much more likely to report domestic violence and get help, although many women still don’t report these crimes.

Why is it that men don’t report violent crimes committed against them at the hands of their spouses or partners? The answer is simple, really. Male privilege has backfired on men in many ways, but the worst is that there is little support or sympathy for men who are victims of domestic violence. There’s not as many organizations that reach out to men who are victims because men have always been told to “toughen up” and “suck it up” when they’re frightened.

black-eye-close-up
“On almost all big posts about domestic violence against women, there’s bound to be a few comments from men asking, “what about men who are abused? Why aren’t they taken seriously?”

When men report crimes committed against them, they’re often written off and even laughed at. Although I will admit that men have a physical advantage over women, domestic violence towards men is still very possible. Men have been taught that it’s not okay to hit a woman, and in many cases, men are scared to try to defend themselves and be mistaken for the instigator.

Many men would openly laugh at another man if he admitted that his partner hit him. Growing up, we all heard boys laugh at others, saying, “you got hit by a girl!” Inevitably, the boy will hang his head in shame and run away. Boys are taught to be tough and to hide their emotions, especially fear and sadness. This can be a huge disadvantage to men who do try to seek help.

As humans, we need to stand up against violence in any form and take these reports seriously. Violence is never okay, no matter who it’s being committed against. This male-dominant culture we live in which once served men well is no longer helping them. More men need to realize that feminism isn’t trying to tear them down, it’s trying to even the playing fields for both sexes. Men are just as likely to be victims of domestic violence, so it’s time we reach out to male victims and offer the support that is so readily available for women.

How is a man supposed to be feminist?

To men, feminism can sometimes be a scary word. It sometimes brings up the imagery of bra-burning, man-hating, all-around terrifying display of female dominance. In a male society where being girly is social suicide, it can be hard for a man to actually consider himself a feminist, but it happens.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Aziz Ansari, and John Legend have all recently come out as feminists despite being men. While this isn’t evidence of a trend that men are starting to understand the importance of feminism, it has sparked a lot of discussion about the need for men in the feminism movement.

In a recent article posted in mic.com , and shared via Huffington Post, writer Derrick Clifton lists 11 simple rules to follow if you want to be a male feminist. By the end of the article, any male would come out of it thinking the entire purpose of that article was to tell men to shut up and keep quiet while the women are talking. It says that men don’t decide if they are “allies” to the feminist movement, women do.

I am an ally of the feminist movement. I don’t do it to get “ally cookies” as the article suggests, and I don’t do it so women will like me. I consider myself a feminist because treating women as equals is the human thing to do. No one, male or female, gets to tell a person they have to be accepted into this role of supporting equality for women. Similarly, if you’re greatly outnumbered in war and you have allies that want to help you, you don’t tell them that they have to be accepted first. That’s a good way to lose the feminism battle.

Feminism isn’t the same as man-hating, but it seems like the loudest feminist voices in media are out to shame all men because of the sexist pigs among us. It isn’t fair to the people who genuinely want to help. True, I’ll never know what it’s like to go through a pregnancy, a period, or a paycheck that’s less than a male of the same job, but that doesn’t mean I can’t add my voice to the feminist cause. It’s time to do away with the concept of male privilege and start working together to make real progress on gender equality.

It would be nice to think that women can win equality without the help of men. It would also be unrealistic, seeing as men equal about half of the population. Feminism wouldn’t survive without the help of men telling other men why sexism is wrong. It’s an unfortunate truth that some men will only listen to men, but it’s the truth nonetheless. It doesn’t make men inherently bad because of it, but it’s a system that will take time to break down.

Unfortunately, as long as feminism has the reputation of man-hating and shaming, it won’t get far. No minds can ever be changed when the entire demographic of ‘oppressors’ is antagonized the way they’ve been. Men have a real stake in feminism, and shutting up and listening isn’t the right way to make progress happen.

Highlanders Anonymous: Men are confusing, and so are women

This guy I’m currently talking to is really confusing. He and I have been talking for about a month now, and he’s showing quite a bit of interest in me; however, I’m a little afraid he’s only doing it because I put out! What’s worse is that I really like him and could get really hurt if things progress. Help me?

Step one: calm your crazy.

This means you should quiet the voice in your head telling you this is too good to be true. It’s not. Sometimes you meet really nice guys who turn you on. Relationship progression isn’t set in stone; perhaps some guys will view you as being worthless than you are because you “put out,” but if he were like that, he would have probably stopped talking to you. Continue reading Highlanders Anonymous: Men are confusing, and so are women

The friend zone: You’re there for a reason

I am so tired of guys complaining about being put in the friend zone.

As a woman with … let’s call it ambiguous sexuality, it makes me mad to hear guys complain about how they’re “too nice” to find someone. It’s not true. The thing is, many women will tell a guy he’s “too nice” in order to avoid hurting his feelings when she’s not interested in him. Yes, it sucks, but it makes a lot of sense.

Continue reading The friend zone: You’re there for a reason

Spring TV preview

While the network television schedule is beginning to wind down, that doesn’t mean that there will be a lack of quality shows in the weeks to come.

Thanks to the upgrade of great original programming by cable and premium cable networks over the last decade, people are no long stranded in the dry spell of horrible summer programing. Continue reading Spring TV preview