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  1. #1

    Default Posturing and Machismo

    Inspired by Mempy's thread on "Damsels", I started this thread.

    The same visceral dislike that Mempy seemed to have towards damsels, I have of machismo and posturing.

    By Posturing, I more specifically mean:
    1. To assume an exaggerated or unnatural pose or mental attitude; attitudinize.
    Not sure what questions I have about this, so feel free to comment about whatever tangent pops into your minds.

    I'll give some background on why I have such visceral, negative feelings towards machismo.

    I associate being "macho" with acting like a drug-dealing kid.

    I went to middle school and high school during the nineties. To me, it seemed like drug and gang violence among kids was at its peek during these times (at least it seemed a lot less prevalent in the news since then). The drug-dealing kids in particular went about school posturing, openly wearing their beepers and cell-phones (at the time only drug-dealing kids had them). They would pick fights regularly. Several kids were hospitalized. One was sent to ICU. As far as I know, none were killed. I also noticed, at the time, the closer you acted like these kids the more "cool" you were. They were predominantly boys (no girls I knew of dealt drugs, though there were users). You were seen as somehow more "manly" if were part of some gang. I stayed as far away from this scene as possible. I didn't even want to know the gang names. But it was clear, in school, that there were people wearing similar colors all the time and hung out together. (I was glad to be pulled out of this environment to a "special" high-school. Very little of this original element was left inside my high-school.)
    Since this time, I have always associated machismo and posturing with this atmosphere. I generally don't have strong political opinions, but every-time I see the "macho swagger," even in the likes of George W. Bush, I have a visceral urge to kick the person in the face. I realize, in the 10 years since, the gang-banger "style" has become mainstream. My family has since moved to much more privileged neighborhood. I still get the same visceral urge when I see my brother dressing in a similar style or hear him using similar verbiage. I know him to be a good kid, but I wonder if he realizes what gangs actually do/did.

    I'll also give some starter questions:
    1) Do you feel pressure to act macho, or overtly masculine?
    2) Are you attracted/repulsed by a macho man?

    Any comments, really.

    Just wanted to start a discussion going. I believe I have exposed one of my deepest biases. I can't say it is even a bit rational. But there it is.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  2. #2
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    I am attracted to quietly reserved confident men, who act in a natural, sincere and secure manner.

    I am absolutely repelled by loud and obnoxious "macho type" guys who are so very obviously trying to compensate for their deeply rooted insecurities.

  3. #3
    Senior Member alcea rosea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChick View Post
    I am attracted to quietly reserved confident men, who act in a natural, sincere and secure manner.
    Well said. I am too.
    Last edited by alcea rosea; 01-16-2008 at 04:25 AM.

  4. #4
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    I work with macho types. I want compensation!!!

    Oddly enough I got stick for "trying to be cool" but most often it was because I wasn't having anything o do with the cool types or what they considered the in thing. Most confusing.

    The macho types at our school were more like your stereotypical football lads (minus the ultra violence version now romanticised). Now I work with a load of rugby guys, racists, ex"martial artists" (read 'fat old guys who used to be handy and are now just impotent and irritable as hell') and other such wannabes.

    Mind you though personally I find the whole posturing of macho types to be a whole lot easier to deal with than the intellectual posturing that many practice. How do you point out the flaw in their logic when they are convinced their logic is perfect?
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  5. #5
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    I'm in the Marines... Need I say more?

  6. #6
    ~dangerous curves ahead~
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    If by macho you mean a guy who takes care of his physique via regular exercise, outdoorsy stuff, a nice tan, then yes, I could find that person physically attractive: Someone who's out doing things is less likely to be depressed, so that's a good foil for me - I sometimes spend too long in thoughts and rarely take action. So someone who's more action-oriented would give me the kick I sometimes need.

    Macho guys can be easier to understand too. And on a positive note, they will look out for you / take care of you.

    But if the personality is off-putting (abrasive, abusive, swaggering as you put it), then no matter how attractive the face/body is, any physical attraction will die quickly. But having said that, there're also non-macho guys who could have turn-off personalities too.

    So yeps... there's a difference between masculinity and swagger. If by macho you mean the former, then yes, I'm attracted to good, clean, strong guys.

  7. #7
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Hmm...do I fine 'masculinity' attractive? We could split hairs and try to confine and define what constitutes 'masculinity' but uh, yeah for now I will say a little goes a long way and yes certain aspects of it are attractive, even very attractive. And 'masculinity' for me can be exhibited by any gender or sex.

    Cockiness is also attractive me, which is generally associated with 'masculinity'. Or rather, I find manly cockiness both amusing and attractive. And real confidence. Which is considered a part of the 'masculine' pacakage.

    But machismo?

    Machismo is 'masculinity' in the extreme. Almost a caricature. And I like my cartoons to remain on the flat screen.

    Dear lord, I have encountered real machismo before. Guys who publicly state how 'dominant' they are and alpha-dog.



    Very off-putting. Not only do they come across as insecure and an asshole, but frankly, if you really are that awesome, you don't need to publicly state and assert that fact to everyone around you every 10 minutes. I'm going to borrow Edahn's catch phrase here: BOOOORRRRIIIINNNG.

    Confidence is knowing something, machismo is needing to prove it.

    And Xander, where do you work?

  8. #8

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    CaptainChick, Alcearos, aelan, CzeCze:
    It seems like you are saying there is a threshold. A little bit is good, a lot is bad. That's a tough game to play.

    Perhaps there is a difference in kind? Masculinity vs. machismo?

    Maybe that is what you are saying. But it still reads like a difference in degree instead of a degree in kind.

    True?

    Do you see machismo as masculinity + insecurity, with the insecurity as being off-putting? I know these things are hard to verbalize.

    For me, as a guy, its something visceral. I can't put my finger on it. I can only call it "swagger." When I see it, I have a strong urge to knock the swagger out of the person (I don't do it, of course).

    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Mind you though personally I find the whole posturing of macho types to be a whole lot easier to deal with than the intellectual posturing that many practice. How do you point out the flaw in their logic when they are convinced their logic is perfect?
    I have heard a lot about intellectual posturing, from a lot of people. But I encounter it in real life either very infrequently or everywhere depending on the interpretation.

    In general, I think people act on the belief that their reasoning is sound. They are generally hard to convince of something new (religion, politics, personal opinions, etc.). I've met few people who believe they have perfect reasoning abilities, but plenty who believe they have better reasoning abilities than me (I don't believe myself to be that bad).

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBeatGoesOn View Post
    I'm in the Marines... Need I say more?
    Probably. I've known people in the military. I haven't seen much of the swagger in the ones I've met.

    They usually feel little need to "prove themselves," as mentioned above.

    Another thought though...When young, maybe a little bit of a "need to prove oneself" can be a motivating factor, however. Good, bad? What do you think?

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  9. #9
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Not sure what questions I have about this, so feel free to comment about whatever tangent pops into your minds.

    I'll give some background on why I have such visceral, negative feelings towards machismo.

    I associate being "macho" with acting like a drug-dealing kid.


    I'll also give some starter questions:
    1) Do you feel pressure to act macho, or overtly masculine?
    2) Are you attracted/repulsed by a macho man?
    I dislike machismo or posturing for the sake of posturing (aka purposeless posturing). *chuckles* Being a female, I obviously don't act that way.

    Why do I dislike it? It's fake! Who you are as a person will show through no matter what you do. Your underlying self confidence and competence will show through your actions... how you respond to given situations. Acting macho-like is just bad taste in my opinion. Emphasis on the word "acting". For that's all machismo is... an act.

    Is machismo masculinity + insecurity?
    I think of it as an act... a possible explanation of the act would be insecurity. Insecurity with the concept of self that lead to an over exaggeration of what he perceived masculinity should be (false notions)... or just the plain dumb option of monkey see monkey do from bad examples. -_-;; In the second case, it could have very little to do with insecurity and more to do with confusion in self role, or the proper way one should behave in society.

  10. #10
    Senior Member alcea rosea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Perhaps there is a difference in kind? Masculinity vs. machismo?
    Masculinity: yes, Yes, YES!
    Machismo: NO, NO, NO!

    As CaptainChick said: quietly reserved confident men, who act in a natural, sincere and secure manner. They can be (and should be in my opinion) masculine! They are MEN without underlining it.

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