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Yes. For men, "career" is NOT a choice. Male comicbook heroes MUST be strong, as much as female ones must be sexy.

Personally I'm skeptical about inborn behavior; not that I think it doesn't exist, but I believe it's very likely not what we think it is. Same as we're finding out about sex;


Once again your piece is problematic. On the one I feel I ought to credit you with trying, and on the other it seems patronising to say "well done" when I mean "for a feminist".

Incidentally when I commented on your last similar piece I didn't know you were in a lesbian marriage. I don't know if you'd call yourself a lesbian, but it has been my observation over the years that lesbian feminists tend to be less anti-male than other women feminists. I have always thought that perhaps this is because the anti-male vitriol many women are encouraged to feel by the movement, is energised by the usual back and forth and the grit and angst of the heterosexual relationship or dating scene. In contrast lesbians are often able to see some pretty bad things about other women.

As I said last time you need to read up on stuff by actual men's rights advocates if you want to know about sexism against men. You didn't do that. I think you are biasing your male friends' responses towards answers they think you want to hear because these issues you've mentioned, all of them essentially emotional based gender roles issues, are hardly ever the issues of sexism raised by men's groups. And they would be considered very much less important than the "real" issues men face.

Frankly you could also do with asking some men who don't have a stake in avoiding offending you.

The issue about money for example is not chiefly an emotional one as you present it here. It's not that men feel pressure to make money it's that they fucking well HAVE TO make money. As in "go to jail / get locked up / get anally raped" if you don't in many cases.

It really wouldn't take much effort at all on your part to begin to educate yourself about all of this stuff. There are plenty of books and web sites out there. I would recommend Warren Farrell's "The Myth of Male Power" as a relatively easy entry into what is bound to be something you will want to mentally reject -- hearing from men, I mean -- hearing the other side of the story.

It's quite an arrogance don't you think? You're a woman, and you're a feminist and you are presuming to tell men what their problems are? As if no man ever thought about that. I mean even if you limit issues to emotional ones you've missed one of the biggest -- which is gender profiling. Your methodology is at best naive. Most men have their gender roles slammed tight on from birth and the feminist movement only makes it even worse. Men know they aren't supposed to talk about this stuff, and especially not to a feminist so what do you expect?

You're still very much at the level where I feel like patronisingly saying "well done -- for a feminist".

Greta Christina

Thank you for sharing, David.


DavidByron, as a straight male who does not have a stake in avoiding offending Greta, I'd like to say that you pretty spectacularly missed the point of both of these articles.


Thanks for writing this.

Being physically strong is the one that bothers me most. I'm not. It took a long time to come to terms with that. Being sub helps.

The getting it up bit is fine for now, but I can sense it getting less so the older I get. Such is life!

The general point of male-female solidarity is important. Thank you.


Being physically strong is the one that bothers me most. I'm not. It took a long time to come to terms with that. Being sub helps.

It's sad that so many men has to worry about this. Of course for many people big and strong equals sexy, but for many people it doesn't. For me, personally, big and strong, big muscles, is a turn-off. I can't control or help it, it just turns me cold as a fish. Slight men are the sexiest in the world for me!

But that's just me, individual men and women have different tastes, but both men and women are still mostly expected to fit into just two basic set of tastes (thin woman, strong man) out of a much larger variety of tastes. Something does not compute!

It's quite an arrogance don't you think? You're a woman, and you're a feminist and you are presuming to tell men what their problems are? As if no man ever thought about that
I disagree, David. Believe it or not, having an outsider's perspective can often let you see things you may not have even considered before. I do think she missed many things (some important), and included some that are relatively trivial, but that is to be expected. So instead of berating her, why not say what you think is important? How do we go about solving specific problems like women being granted custody of children by default during divorces? How do we bring down male suicide rates? I don't have any easy answers.
Most men have their gender roles slammed tight on from birth and the feminist movement only makes it even worse.
You do realize that the feminist movement isn't defined by soundbites from people like Andrea Dworkin, right? Just because idiots who parrot her lines are the ones shown on the news, that doesn't mean that they represent feminists. It's like assuming that Greenpeace and the even more extremist environmental groups are representative of environmentalism.

David: first let me establish that I am a man, and I have a penis that I grew myself, satrting a few weeks after being conceived, and I am completely hetterosexual (not like Ted Haggard, but for real).

That said: you are talking out of your ass.

If you think Greta missed the mark by so much, perhaps you would like to educate us, not just the lesbian feminists, but also the men who see the gender roles she has mentioned and yet don't see whatever it is that you imagine are talking about.

Bruce Gorton

As in "go to jail / get locked up / get anally raped" if you don't in many cases.

There is bullshit, there is utter bullshit, and then there is this.

Anyway, one of our journalists got arrested last week pretty much for annoying the ruling party.

The official charge is "uttering" a document, in a story that was never published.

Funnily enough it was not "Earning a journalist's commonly low salary."


Thank you for sharing, Rob, ckitching, Valhar2000, Bruce Gorton.


Oh to address the comment about men having to earn money or be jailed, I was specifically thinking of CS payments which for men are assessed on the basis of past earning potential and then not re-assessed eg if they are made unemployed, or otherwise incapable of paying. Failure to pay is a jailable offense. This is true Bruce, and if it hasn't happened to you or someone you know then be grateful, but please don't call something "bullshit" when you don't even know what you are discussing, OK?

Recently there were a few articles about bringing back debtors prison because women were being locked away sometimes for debts by the trick of justices setting bail equal to the amount of the debt. But men have been subject to prison for debts on CS for a long time. It's an example of how the law treats men much worse than it treats women in the US. Of course the gender ratio in jails in the US far exceeds the much better known race ratio, showing far more sexism in the justice system than racism.

As for others saying I am "talking out my ass" and otherwise insulting the very idea of discrimination against men, of course I am used to that, especially from feminists, but it really just illustrates the points I was making. Clearly this is a hostile environment for discussing gender issues but I would re-iterate that all this information on men's rights is all out there on the net, very easily available to those very very few feminists who would actually dare to question their ideology.

I would not put Greta's essays in that classification though. They come across as safely within the feminist / anti-male fold at the moment. I do see them as a step in the right direction, but only a step.


DavidByron, if there's some particular information on the net you want us to see, then link it. Mentioning webpages online without an <a> tag makes Tim Berners-Lee cry!

Vague references to it being "all out there" seem, at least to me, like a way of taking on plausible deniability: if we don't actually see your references, then you can claim we're simply close-minded instead of risking the possibility that we might, you know, have reasons for disagreeing with your arguments.



Your statements strike me as a little cryptic, and I'm having a hard time figuring out what you're talking about.

I have a strong suspicion, though, that what you're talking about is discrimination against men, which is not what this article is about. If I'm wrong, please correct me.

I have to say, as a man, I've felt a number of these pressures in my life. They've never been things explicitly forced on me, but they're something at the back of my head, asking if I'm acting the way a man should. It's strange that I still feel it, even though my circle of friends places very little stock in traditional gender roles.

I would not put Greta's essays in that classification though. They come across as safely within the feminist / anti-male fold at the moment.

I'm starting to think that you're unable to perceive anything a feminist says except in the light of your own biases. What has been said that is anti-male anywhere here? I can't even see any anti-male sentiment in these comments.

Yes, there are problems with child support (in your original hyperbolic post, there was no mention to this, so how is anyone supposed to know what you were talking about?) There are problems with custody, suicide and cancer detection/prevention rates, too. Is there anyone here denying this?


I think these are interesting, and frankly I'm grateful that the plight of men even gets a sliver of articulation. The gender literature on men is incredibly thin and what is there is not very good (Michael Kimmel tries, but I'm not a fan).

I think one of the more interesting things to consider is, what would stop functioning when someone drops the ball in terms of gender expectations.

The single most striking thing for me is dating. An average guy who wants to be asked out rather than initiate, will simply stop canonical dating.

Dating behavior is highly gendered. There literally is no gender equality in dating.

And at the same token it's virtually unarticulated, because it's not even perceived. Guys kind of learn the ropes (they have to) and then the machine works.

But that alone predicates so much of gender relationships that it is really startling how little people talk about it.

And yes I mean primarily North American dating patterns here.

Being passive or shy can be rather devastating for a guy.

There is lots of mundane things too. Dress variety is more restricted for men. It's easier for a woman to wear pants (thanks to actual work in that direction) than for guys to wear a dress.

And there is lots of mythology about what guys want, which is in reality a caricature version of what a (small?) subset of stereotypical guys proclaim they want, or are propagated in pop culture. ("guys just want the one thing")

I'd argue that the needs of both sexes are very similar overall, and the variation is more individual than gendered (modulo some caveats). But just think what needs a man can not meet given that it would not be socially acceptable... it's a long list.

For example envision a guy who likes flowers. What are the chances that in a dating relationship he will get any? Virtually zero. It's not normative to consider that case.

I guess it might fall into the "guys cannot be gay" category, but it really doesn't do it justice.

Expectations for guys are enforced by both sexes, very much like expectations of women are also.


I have so much to say about this. It's so refreshing to read any articles about this subject especially from a woman's perspective.

I have never been threatened or pressured to conform to traditional masculinity but the need to conform has been a constant oppressive presence in my life.

My friends have always prized traditional masculinity (I grew up surrounded by the street fighting man ethic) and most of the women I have ever fancied are only attracted to the traditional confident assertive masculine guys.

And ultimately because the need to be masculine just seems to be naturally coded into my DNA despite being born a short bisexual, submissive crossdressing guy for as far back as I can remember a big part of me has always wanted to be more like Rambo than Ru-Paul, so in a way even my psyche is working against me. Talk about screwed up lol

My role models have always been the tough guys even though my physical stature and sexual nature are both small and passive I still find the reality of what I am tough to come to terms with and admit to others.

I want women to like me and most women only fancy guys who are traditionally masculine, as Hitch says "An average guy who wants to be asked out rather than initiate, will simply stop canonical dating"

As a sexually passive submissive guy the universal expectation that men must initiate and masterfully satisfy in bed has practically written me out of the heterosexual dating game.

I'm just not built to perform in the heterosexual world.

If you met me you would think I was a traditionally masculine guy unless you scratched the surface.

I really break all the rules of masculinity and then some.

I am short and fancy tall physically strong mature women.

I have never earned more than minimum wage.

I'm scared of fighting.

I can't fix things.

I'm not competitive.

I'm unathletic.

I'm shy around women I'm attracted to.

I can't 'get it up' unless the woman is mentally and physically dominating me.

I like wearing womens clothes

I'm not interested in monogamy

I love to be dominated by transvestites and transsexuals and don't think I could ever suppress that part of me.

So I'm 36, in the closet and set to be single for the rest of my days.

This subject is so relevant to me. Thank you to Greta for writing articles like this

Chronos Tachyon

I recently came across a blog, Not Another Aiden, about the author's experiences as an effeminate gay transman, and he had some pretty strong opinions on how he was looked at differently after he started to transition. I thought dovetailed nicely with your original list of 5.

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