Monday, October 18, 2010

A Message to Men

So, this is on Postsecret this week:

First of all, if a woman with Barbie's proportions existed in real life, she would snap in half at the waist. A real life Ken would not. Just wanted to get that out there.

But that's besides the point.



The point is - why the resentment? Does the postcard writer think women should be bitching about Ken too? Because Ken doesn't distort our body image the way Barbie does. It's men's job to bitch about Ken (and G.I. Joe et. al.). Does the postcard writer think that because men in general don't bitch about Ken that women should suck it up when it comes to Barbie? Because, no, nuh-uh, ain't gonna happen.

This postcard is representative of a certain attitude towards feminism found among a certain segment of men. I have a message for these men:

Please, go on and bitch about Ken! Bitch about G.I. Joe! These fellows do you no favours! Please, bitch about unattainable standards of masculinity! Feminists aren't stopping you. In fact, you may find some good theoretical background for your bitching from feminist writers!

Linkage! XY Online, And you think feminists hate men?, Micheal Kimmel, there's more, but if you're reading this you clearly have access to the internet and probably know how to use Google!

You can bitch about Ken, we can bitch about Barbie, and then we can join forces to bitch about how patriarchy hurts everybody together.

22 comments:

  1. I had EXACTLY the same reaciont to this PostSecret! Thanks for putting this out there!
    Though I would also point out the multitudes of overweight men in sitcoms who have perfectly proportioned wives (who frequently look at least a decade younger), According to Jim and King of Queens are prime examples, with no gender-reversed counterpoint I can come up with.

    Roseanne breaks the sitcom wife mold, but her husband was no Ken, so no points there.

    ReplyDelete
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  2. And how many Roseannes have there been since Roseanne?

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  3. Thanks, nice one...

    I read Michael Kimmel's Guyland a few months ago. Highly recommended for all men :)

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  4. I don't get the objection. How does the fact that gender roles for men are also constricting and unattainable make it any better that gender roles for women are constricting and unattainable? They don't cancel each other out. They just make a double helping of oppression.

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  5. Aydan, once men feel the sting of patriarchy then women might actually catch a break from it.

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  6. Sorry-- I meant the postcard's objection, the point its submitter was trying to make. I understand the objection to the postcard.

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  7. Yep. Let's all just sit around and do a bunch of bitching.

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  8. It's called being "tongue-in-cheek".

    Look it up. Or troll harder.

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  9. Its not so much about women not bitching about mens issues...we actually get tired of you trying to engage in our issues...it's that feminists don't point out how women respond and create these ideals. Twilight for ex is all about female consumership and selling a sexual idea to women and is creating a unreal body image for about 99% of the guys out there. Not long ago Jezebel even drooled over all the cut and bulky Athletes of the world cup.

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  10. @Troll

    Its not so much about women not bitching about mens issues...we actually get tired of you trying to engage in our issues

    Word of advice: don't speak for people other than yourself and maybe those you specifically know. Acting like you speak for your entire sex makes you look like an arrogant a$$.

    As for the rest of your comment... so your problem essentially is that women are attracted to hot men? Well, now that I know how hurtful my appreciation of male beauty is to you I will certainly curb it... in a "not at all" kind of way.

    Just to clarify: I am against the media creating unattainable body standards for men and women. I am against body shaming of men and women. But it's the height of narcissism to expect men or women to stop expressing attraction towards attractive people.

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  11. To reiterate:

    Please, bitch about unattainable standards of masculinity! Feminists aren't stopping you. In fact, you may find some good theoretical background for your bitching from feminist writers!

    Linkage! XY Online, And you think feminists hate men?, Hugo Schwyzer, Micheal Kimmel, there's more, but if you're reading this you clearly have access to the internet and probably know how to use Google!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am the creator and writer of this PostSecret. I found your blog after googling my own words. I will start by telling you that your facts about Ken are wrong: he is not more accurately proportioned that Barbie. In fact, he too would snap in half if he were a real person - but not at the waist. His arms and legs and chest's muscles would be too strong for his bones to support. In order to achieve the body of Ken (or other action figures) a man would have to take steroids, exercise incessantly...well, nevermind. There is no way to obtain the body of Ken.

    So, when finding your rant online it's disappointing that right off the bat you belittle men's insecurities and downgrade the unattainable expectations society puts on men by highlighting what you consider to be the more pertinent struggle: women's body issues. This is the reason that I resent women who complain about Barbie: they - like you - do not do it in conjunction with complaining about Ken. These kinds of women do not want to "join forces" and talk about how social norms are damaging for everyone. If they did, then they wouldn't feel a need to open up blog postings championing that women have a harder time than men.

    The reason my PostSecret was chosen for the blog is simple: it's a voice that is not heard very often. If this kind of voice had been accepted into mainstream society, folks would be better educated on the body proportions of Ken. You are aware of Barbie's poor representation of a woman's body because we have all been told of the objectification of women in schools, in Dove Beauty advertisements, on Oprah, etc. Where is the voice for men? Where is the voice that says all men shouldn't have to look like the dudes in 300 or in Twilight or on magazine covers for Men's Health? There a far fewer voices for this. Perhaps the voices that do exist for men are drowned out by the likes of your blog.

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  13. In fact, he too would snap in half if he were a real person

    Thank you for that information.

    I fully acknowledged in the post that standards of masculinity are unattainable and worth bitching over. I just thought that Ken was not a very fitting example, apparently I was wrong on that point.

    Where in my post do I say anything about women's struggles with body image being more important than men's? I don't. I don't "highlight" that at all. The focal point of this post is, why do you resent women for caring about issues that affect them?

    There is feminist writing about how standards of masculinity adversely affect men. But people tend to talk about their own experience of oppression. And, newsflash, women are, structurally, in a worse position than men. In an aristocracy, aristocrats might feel lonely, or unfulfilled, or have crushing burdens of responsibility, or unrealistic expectations to live up to. These are all problems that are structurally endemic to aristocrats. But you what? That doesn't make their position as bad as the peasants.

    Where is the voice of men? Did you read my post? You are the voice of men! Women, by definition, cannot be the voice of men.

    Plus, I provided you with a whole bunch of links where masculinity is analyzed from a feminist perspective.

    Perhaps the voices that do exist for men are drowned out by the likes of your blog.

    Um, no. Does not work that way. The relative success of one social movement does not preclude the success of all others.

    The "voices of men" are not heard, because the majority of those who are aware of the problems that standards of masculinity create for them, are more focused on shutting down and silencing feminists, rather than doing anything to improve men's lives. Kinda like what you're doing here.

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    1. if the success of one movement does not
      preclude the success of all others"

      then why do so many feminists get away with so many civil rights violations and continue to threaten legislation with additional privileges

      the voices of men are not heard because men are strong enough not to piss and moan over the least significant things, or in your case, act like a flabby cunt

      Delete
  14. I agree with all of the above, but there is also this point - feminists are not obligated to bring up men's issues. Are men hurt by the patriarchy? Yes. Should they stand up for it? Absolutely. Is it good if a woman stands up for it? Yes. But is she bad if she doesn't? No! That's like saying someone concerned with race issues is wrong if they don't consider white people too, or someone concerned with LGBT rights is bad if they don't worry about cisgendered or heterosexual people.

    Men face inequality too, because of gender roles. But this does not negate concerns that primarily focus on women, and this does not mean that a movement concerned with -the rights of women- are obligated to also protect the rights of men.

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    Replies
    1. isnt feminism supposed to protect the rights of "everyone"

      well, at least your not hypocritical enough to say that and then advocate a holocaust for anything with a penis immediately after

      but i somewhat agree - if women are permitted to overlook men's rights, i am certainly allowed to overlook women's in return

      Delete
  15. You're never getting married or having children. Ha, thee end.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'd written this long comment about men's rights and things, but then I realized all I was asking you do to was to feel sorry for us and have some compassion because men don't really speak up for ourselves. We need help. We oppress ourselves, so we don't have some force to work against. And I'm not saying that everything women say is speaking out against men, because it's not. But women's rights did start out from that, right? Men rule, they oppressed women, so women spoke out. And now they continue to speak out. Men still rule, but no men speak out because we're taught to suck it up and "be a man," and no one would think our problems are worth speaking up about. I'm not saying that's an excuse, though, because women and black people and gay people (and others) have gotten over that and spoken up. Men will have to do it, too, but we haven't really started yet. So men don't have a voice, at least not like women do. It'll be a while. I understand that the picture was like an attack on women as much as it was a plea for help, but I'm just asking for some understanding. Would you not resent someone if they were encouraged to stand up for themselves while you pressured taught to keep your mouth shut?

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  17. a message to feminists:

    stop breathing

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  18. And it's because of the psychological grip on your feminine insecurities why I find your feminist movement to be silly and pointless.

    ReplyDelete

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