Monday, July 2, 2007

Demasculinization: BE A MAN!

Dammit... they got Mr. Clean too

*lowers head in shame*

If you have watched TV in the last few days you have likely gotten
at least another dose of programming that tries to persuade men,
indirectly or directly, not to follow their natural desires as men.

If you saw a Hollywood movie recently, especially a romance movie,
you probably got another dose.

If you watched the news recently, you probably got another dose.

If you read the newspaper, you got a little more.

Just about wherever you go and whatever media you see in our
society, there is a subtle message that if you are too overt about
directly following your desires as a man, the consequences will be
bad or at least embarrassing.

I saw a TV commercial yesterday that was a good example. It was
one of those commercials where they parody adult life by having
kids acting like adults in a business setting. I don't remember
what was being advertised or even fully what happened but since I
am attuned to trying to catch examples of what I call
"demasculinization" I did catch that it was another example
discouraging men from hitting on women, another example trying to
tell you that women have all the power when it comes to selecting
men--never vice versa.

Basically there was a girl receptionist/secretary for a company,
and a boy and a girl (each about 8 years old but acting like
adults, each dressed in business clothing) standing in front of her
desk. The girl was trying to set up a schedule for the week, and
she mentioned having a dinner appointment. The secretary tells her
that appointment has been canceled and the boy coworker volunteers
that he is available for dinner with her. Suddenly everything goes
quiet except for the sound of the creaky wheels of a FedEx delivery
dolly being wheeled across the floor in the background and there is
an uncomfortable look on the girl's face. Then a similar thing
happens where later he again tries to make a pass at the girl, and
this time she ignores him again and you hear crickets.

Granted his approach wasn't so smooth, but regardless the message
guys get at least on some level is that if they follow their
natural desires they are likely to be ignored and or seen as dogs. This is just one
example, but I see countless examples every day.

As men, society tells us not to act on natural desires we have for women. If you find a woman attractive, you have to learn to pursue her instead of hoping she
will let you know she thinks you are attractive. It almost never
happens that way, right ladies?

I have a lot of friends (and I used to be guilty of it too) that will go out to a club and stand around and watch the women dance all night. Even though some women are truly out to just express themselves through the art of dance with their friends (so they say...even though they dress othewise), most women are actually out to dance with guys.'s true! After the club, guys complain that ALL the women in the club were stuck up, yet they only tried to dance with a few, only to be rejected. And when I say tried, I mean literally walking on a crowded floor and literally asking "Would you like to dance?" Sometimes you have to man up and just dance with her. If you're not confident about it, she will most likely walk away or decline.

Let me give you an extreme example of what life might be like if
men did act on their desires.

I was in the Maryland area a couple months ago, and I have a friend who is a natural when it comes to women. We were at a The LoveJoy Bar in downtown Baltimore. I remember he wasn't even drinking yet but he immediately told a young bartender "I really like your ass!" I was pretty shocked because to some degree, I've been
pretty well brain washed myself not to ever be so overt. I was embarrassed because I thought his approach was rude. I was getting ready to apologize for him or to get thrown out of the spot, but instead she smiled at him. A little later he told her "You have really great tits!" When she passed by again later he said "I
really love your legs!"

Just as I was getting ready for her to go off in a tirade, she
instead comes over and leans in to him and says "I like a man who
isn't afraid to express himself like that. I have a boyfriend,
really I do, but if I didn't, I'd be leaving here with you tonight."

OK, I am NOT suggesting saying these kinds of things to women or that it is common for women to respond positively to such comments--it is likely to backfire if this isn't in your true character. I tell you this story just to illustrate that some part of a woman's psyche is actually programmed to respond to a man who
follows his sincere desires and isn't trying to excuse himself for liking women (note: Not the guy who tries to get with every woman indiscriminately--there's a difference between honesty and desperation). As sophisticated/intelligent as we are as human beings, we overlook the fact that we are sexual beings, and that in order to find a mate, we have to simply let whoever we're interested in know that we're interested.

All to often, we get so caught up in trying to play manipulative games that we miss the honest aspect of just following our desires and saying "Hey... I want you."

Will it work all the time? No. But it will work better than saying nothing?...



Gene said...

Man, I'm TRYING to read this book right now about men reclaiming their masculinity. It is a Christian book and is written on the premise that God made men a specific way and that if he wanted us to be "less masculine" - whatever that manes - than that's how he would have made us.

I said TRYING because I've tried to get into it nearly 10 times, but can't. I think the author has a very limited scope of manliness - as most of us do. Maybe I'm just "soooo demasculinized" that I don't see what he's trying to say, but I seriously doubt that as I've become even more "masculinized" with each birthday. I think what's really going on is that we label some truly out of order behavior and lack of self-control "manliness" and we fail to take into consideration the diversity of manhood. Surely there has to be a middle ground between "just being a man" and "being demasculinized."

Anointed1ne said...

You are right Brandon. Not every women is going to respond the same way the girl at the bar responded to your boy. I do agree with gene though. There has to be a middle ground because everyone responds differently. I haven't noticed the commercials you are pertaining to, but I do see where you are going. There are times when a man has to "be a man" and let a women know exactly what he wants. Some women are attracted to that confidence a man has. Others may disagree. I believe, as men, we have to know what works for ourselves. What works for one guy, doesn't necessarily mean its going to work work for the next.

A Beautiful Life said...

"As men, society tells us not to act on natural desires we have for women. If you find a woman attractive, you have to learn to pursue her instead of hoping she
will let you know she thinks you are attractive. It almost never
happens that way, right ladies?"

I think a man who takes the time to pursue and plan dates is more attractive than a man who is interested, but waiting for the woman to make the move. If the woman rejects him, it means she probably isn't the one for him anyway.

A Beautiful Life said...

Gene, we do fail to consider the diversity of manhood. Manhood is more than being rough, tough, and on the hunt for women.

Gene said...

A Beautiful Life, dude that wrote the book I'm reading keeps talking about fishing by yourself in the rural streams of Wyoming in the winter and building barns with his bare hands on farms in Texas and what not! WTH?! I'm a black dude, born and bred in an east coast major city in the 20th century! Hell, even Harpo would've had someone else build his juke joint if he had the option. If my desire not to do those things means I've been "demasculinized," then he really needs to change his one-sided - and ironically, ungodly - perception of manhood. It's crazy how we attempt to "free" people, yet further oppress them.

Ticia said...

Great Post Brandon---

Its nothing like a man, being a MAN-- ya know!

erin.davis said...

gene, are you reading "wild at heart" by john elredge?

Gene said...

ERIN DAVIS, YES!!! Carmen gave it to me and she said she read the women's version after YOU and Nicole recommended it to her!!!

*shakes fist at Erin and makes mental note to tell Nicole's fiance not to read the book!!*

Brandon said...

@Gene... I feel you. I think the guy from the book may be trying to take it to that Paul Bunyan model of masculinity and strength. I'm not even trying to be that deep. I just seems like that society makes us check ourselves in persuing what we want through subtle messages and socialization (being "politically correct"). Then as men we repress our desires to the point where we may be missing out on persuing new ventures and relationships. I don't think you've ever had that problem Gene

@anointed1ne... I hear you man. Different strokes for different folks. However, if you want something, I think you have an obligation to yourself to go after it one way or another. Life is too short for what ifs.

@life... exactly! For every guy that has tried to persue you, there were probably 5 more that didn't say anything because they are socialized to think you will reject them. I mean you probably would have (lol), but that shouldn't have stopped them from trying.

@Ticia... damn right!

Brandon said...

@edavis... thanks for stopping through. 'I c you be readin' books n' stuff.' I might have to check that one out.

Ivy said...

Gene, you mentioned you're reading a book about Christian masculinity. I listen to a lot of Christian radio talk shows and have heard about a book called "No More Mr. Christian Nice Guy". From the reviews I've heard, I think this book may be what you're looking for. It talks specifically about how society and church culture have tried to emasculate men and claiming that masculinity back, while remaining a true Christian.

Brandon, I've never seen the commerical you referred to, but I have seen commericals that paint men as idiots or incompetent. I am sure that there is a feminist agenda afoot in mainstream media. I personally love a man who is assertive without being rude and who can be aggressive without being mean. It's all about balance and self-control, as someone pointed out.

I think I'd have a problem with a man "hollerin'" at me, like your man did to that bartender. And I can admit that I put an attitudinal mask when I go out. Part of it is for self-protection. But it pains me when men don't speak to me - I feel unattractive (she frowns). So, Brandon I see your point.

Sojourner G said...

It never ceases to amaze me the things women will respond to. I read once about a guy who stood at the door to his high school and asked every woman that passed by if they wanted to f**k. He said he got his face slapped a lot, but that he also got a lot of

Hey, different strokes for different folks.

erin.davis said...

hahaha- sorry gene! the female's version is really good. i gave the male version to a friend last christmas...i'll have to ask him what he thought about it.

but for real, it took me a little bit to get into the female's version...she was talking about some wilderness trip or something too. LOL. maybe it will get better :-)

hottnikz said...

I love a man that's confident, but I think your friend was a little extra. A little too Neanderthal for me, but the female liked it so who am I to complain. Be masculine, but don't take it too far fellas.

Gene said...

Thanks Ivy. I'm about to look up that book now.

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