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Thread: Be A Man - The Three Most Destructive Words For Boys (and Men)

  1. #31
    pathwise dependent Array FDG's Avatar
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    Aug 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Then you learn to equate positive traits like responsibility, persistence, and maturity with being male.
    That's culturally dependent.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  2. #32
    Alchemist of life Array Coriolis's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
    5w6 sp/sx


    Quote Originally Posted by Eruca View Post
    Agreed. I did say that our ideal person of either gender should draw from both masculine and feminine areas. The fault in the common use of such terms as "be a man", "grow a pair" or "don't be a pussy" is that they encourage exaggerated masculinity. Exaggerated masculinity being your 3 very reasonable and healthy rules of thumb taken to a unfortunate degree. Perhaps then I blame the process rather than the goal here. Who wouldn't want men to possess those three traits? It is the process that is clumsy because it shames a lack of masculinity, thus causing unhealthy exaggeration to compensate, as well as puts praise on masculinity in itself as good, rather than something dependent on context for its utility.
    There are two problems with these kinds of phrases:

    1) They can be used to encourage what you call exaggerated masculinity, taking virtues like independence too far; and

    2) They associate the healthy and appropriate expression of these qualities with masculinity/men, implying that women/feminine people don't or cannot have them.

    The first usage is easy to overcome by making sure you explain what you mean when you say it, like the member a couple pages ago who used these phrases to encourage his cousin to be honest and responsible. Fixing the first problem, however, almost exacerbates the second, because the excluded feminine/female is now contrasted with healthy, positive traits rather than with an exaggerated masculinity that is no good for anyone and almost a caricature.

    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    That's culturally dependent.
    I tend to agree, but cannot right now think of a (relatively modern) culture where it is otherwise. Can you?
    Hope is the denial of reality. It is the carrot dangled before the draft horse to keep him plodding along in a vain attempt to reach it. We should remove the carrot and walk forward with our eyes open. -- Raistlin Majere

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