Men And Emotions

Facebook is a mixed bag, much of the time.  From time to time, there are awesome announcements about births or engagements, but sometimes there’s just a big old pile of stupid.

For example, take this one I came across this morning.

pout

<sings>Oh holy crap!</sings>

First, the song isn’t directed toward boys in any way, shape, or form.  It’s about misbehaving kids, who often cry when you call them on their misbehaving.  Every single parent has either seen it, or they’re never around to see it.  Period.

Now, let me unpack a few things for you.  First, men and emotions.

Yes, men have all the emotions women do.  We have sadness, joy, anger, jealousy, disgust…basically, we have the whole case of Inside Out stuck in our heads too.  Well, maybe not Bing Bong, but, you know…

Something else men often have are people who are depending on us for emotional support.  They need an emotional rock, and that’s what men do.

One thing an emotional rock can’t do is be a blubbering crybaby.  The moment a man starts crying while trying to give moral support, the other party tends to feel worse.  After all, they dropped all their problems on this man, and they’re not being sensitive to his needs, etc.

Either that or they think he’s a whiny twit and want nothing to do with him.  Yes, that happens more often than you think, especially if the guy does the crying thing a lot.

Men feel the emotions, but traditionally, they were selective with who they shared those feelings with.  Their best friend, their spouse, maybe their folks if they could, and that was about it.  Some argue that it’s macho BS, but it’s about trust.

Some might argue that men don’t share their feelings because they’re not trusting they won’t be mocked, and that may well be part of it.  It’s also the fact that my emotions are no one else’s business, and my emotions are a point that might be exploited by an enemy.

Yes, it sounds paranoid, but remember that we are the products of millions of years of evolution, and we’ve only been “civilized” for a few thousand, comparatively.  That paranoia has helped tribes grow and kept loved ones safe.

Even now that we’re supposedly civilized (and I’ve mentioned what I think about that term and how it’s used) we still have to deal with enemies.  Sure, the stakes are lower, but that may be why anything that can be exploited, will be.

As a result, men get burned for their emotions by the unscrupulous, and it’s not just other men who do the burning.

Contrary to what this meme may claim, it’s not just men–the supposed Patriarchy–that comes down on emotional men, but also women.  The female of the species can be especially ruthless when they see someone in their way.  Not all women, mind you, but some.  Enough so that it’s not just guys exploiting these other guys.

Lastly, let’s talk a bit about “The Patriarchy” for a bit.

Feminists love to decry The Patriarchy as keeping people down.  Yes, many even capitalize it like I have.  The problem is, it doesn’t exist.  There is no Patriarchy.

Patriarchy means “rule by the fathers” and yes, once upon a time, fathers ruled the home.  Once upon a time.

Today, every home I know tends to have both parents–assuming both parents are still in the picture–jointly making decisions.  Not just in household finances, but also in child rearing.

While I’m sure I can be presented numerous examples where this isn’t the case, there’s not any hard, legitimate data that proves men still rule the home to any significant degree.  They just don’t.

Crying about the Patriarchy is nothing more than a way to give modern feminists a boogyman to focus their rage on.  It gives them a nebulous concept of “The Man” to fight, an “other” to rage against.  This is especially important because women have achieve the long sought after equality they wanted, but too many supposed leaders were invested in the movement, so they had to find new so-called injustices to fight.

As a result, the present The Patriarchy as if it’s some monolithic organization with chapters throughout the world.  They treat it like Hydra from Marvel Comics or Spectre from James Bond, an evil organization that either wants to rule the world from behind the scenes or already is.

How powerful are they?

Apparently powerful enough to make a Christmas song espousing their most sacred beliefs and making it a holiday staple.

tricksy-patriarchy

 

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31 thoughts on “Men And Emotions”

  1. @Tom

    “First, the song isn’t directed toward boys in any way, shape, or form. It’s about misbehaving kids, […]

    *looks at the poster*… quotes from the poster:”The patriarchy discourages men from displaying emotions.”

    So, whatever argument you make next is arguing against the version of the poster in your head, not what the poster actually said.

    Constructing arguments based on a weaker or incorrect version of your opponents points is fallacious.

    “Yes, men have all the emotions women do.

    The point of the poster being that, given the set of social norms in society, men are not encouraged to display or express the emotions they feel. Essentially, you are agreeing here with the actual intent of the poster.

    “They need an emotional rock, and that’s what men do.”

    When stating generalizations such as the above, one is confirming the socially sanctioned gender specific roles for one sex or the other.

    “Women are more ‘intuitive’ and in touch with their emotions” and “men must be emotionally stable” are both gender stereotypes normalized by the prevailing social norms.

    The take away is that these social constructions are arbitrary and not necessarily in each individual or groups best interest.

    “One thing an emotional rock can’t do is be a blubbering crybaby.”

    You tacitly assert that men can’t express emotions – even make a pejorative comment “blubbering crybaby” – here you are reinforcing the very stereotype the poster is about.

    “Men feel the emotions, but traditionally, they were selective with who they shared those feelings with.”

    The reinforcement of social rewards and sanctions in society are part of learning about what ‘works’ for each sex in society.

    “That paranoia has helped tribes grow and kept loved ones safe.”

    Actually, it was cooperation and pursuit of common goals of safety and food security that helped tribes grow and prosper. Our pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer days were quite egalitarian in nature, as success lay within working withing a well coordinated group toward common goals.

    “As a result, men get burned for their emotions by the unscrupulous, and it’s not just other men who do the burning.”

    The agreed upon social norms are responsible for men being chastised for showing too much emotion – and the concomitant insult – of acting too much like a woman.

    “The problem is, it doesn’t exist. There is no Patriarchy.”

    I’ve been careful not to use the word patriarchy in my response till now. However, the social systems, the social norms and expectations I’ve mentioned are instances of patriarchy/patriarchal influence.

    The arbitrary patriarchal expectations placed on women and men are bad for both of them. Consider the stress we place on boys when we tell them to ‘man up’ or when we tell girls to be quiet an obsequious – both are done, ostensibly, to help them function in society, despite the fact that both notions are damaging to their psyche and sense of well-being.

    “Today, every home I know…”

    Your anecdotal evidence, while persuasive on an individual level, does not meant that it can be generalized to the societal level.

    Patriarchy, like racism, is a on a societal level. It is a systemic feature of society that transcends the level of the individual.

    “Crying about the Patriarchy is nothing more than a way to give modern feminists a boogyman to focus their rage on.”

    Second wave feminists rail against patriarchy because its societal effects hurt women and men. It must be nice not ‘seeing it’ or being aware of the fact that you being affected by it. A similar analog is being ‘colour-blind’ to racism.

    “This is especially important because women have achieve the long sought after equality they wanted,”

    Because it is up to you, as a man, to decide when the goals of feminism are achieved. 🙂 Anyhow, the nebulous goal of ‘equality’ is about as far off as the notion that a we are a non-racially biased society.

    “The Patriarchy as if it’s some monolithic organization with chapters throughout the world.”

    Male-dominated societies are, sadly, the most prevalent in the world. The fact that the men who lead and organize society mould it in their favour should hardly be surprising.

    Like

    1. You use a lot of words to utter complete nonsense.

      Good for you.

      Edited to add:

      When stating generalizations such as the above, one is confirming the socially sanctioned gender specific roles for one sex or the other.

      You’re right, I am. For a reason.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. @Arbourist “The point of the poster being that, given the set of social norms in society, men are not encouraged to display or express the emotions they feel. Essentially, you are agreeing here with the actual intent of the poster.” That is utter bullshit. The poster sets up a straw man to burn. “Patriarchy” is nothing more than a thinly veiled excuse used to attack men for not living up to the snowflakes, or maybe just flakes, ideal. Men display emotions DIFFERENTLY. That’s not the same as not displaying them at all. And when men do show emotions, like anger, hostility, cruelty, etc, they get lambasted by those special snowflakes who can’t handle men having emotions.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. @Dawn

      ““Patriarchy” is nothing more than a thinly veiled excuse used to attack men for not living up to the snowflakes, or maybe just flakes, ideal.”

      Patriarchy is a systemic feature of society. Its existence is not predicated on your opinion of what it is, or how you think it works.

      “Men display emotions DIFFERENTLY.

      Describe male anger and how it is different from female anger.

      Think carefully though, because how we are allowed to express anger and the reaction to that anger springs from the patriarchal social norms that we have been brought up with. Consider the difference in treatment assertive women and assertive men get – women, in many cases, are considered ‘bitchy’, while men performing the same way are said to exhibit ‘leadership’. This is the backdrop of the societal patriarchal norms that we exist in.

      There is no functional difference between female anger and male anger – just societal expectations of how they are expressed. One of the societal norms is that we take male anger more seriously than female anger – hysterical women anyone – that bias is patriarchal in nature.

      “And when men do show emotions, like anger, hostility, cruelty, etc, they get lambasted by those special snowflakes who can’t handle men having emotions.”

      So are you saying that we should condone inappropriate emotional expressions when made by men? Or is more closer to: men can’t handle appropriately expressing themselves?

      Either reading makes one think that you have a rather low opinion of the men-folk. 🙂

      Like

      1. Describe male anger and how it is different from female anger.

        She didn’t say they were different, only they were expressed differently. Try again.

        So are you saying that we should condone inappropriate emotional expressions when made by men? Or is more closer to: men can’t handle appropriately expressing themselves?

        Those aren’t the only two readings possible, however. Another reading can be “When men express non-approved emotions, they’re bashed for it.”

        Liked by 1 person

        1. @Tom

          “only they were expressed differently. Try again.”

          It is important to establish that there are not versions of anger. The larger notion is that the societal approved expressions of anger are arbitrary and not particularly fair to either sex.

          ” Another reading can be “When men express non-approved emotions, they’re bashed for it.”

          And that system that codifies and enforces the bashing of non-approved emotions; it is called patriarchy (well, a subset of patriarchy, as gender norms fall under the category).

          Glad to see that you agree that patriarchal stereotypes are harmful and that they should be abolished. 🙂

          Like

          1. Glad to see that you agree that patriarchal stereotypes are harmful and that they should be abolished. 🙂

            Putting words in my mouth not only isn’t amusing, but it can and will get you banned from commenting here. This is not your safe space, and your not a friend of mine that can get away with such nonsense.

            Do it again, and you’re gone.

            Especially since you know what the context of that quote is.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. “It is important to establish that there are not versions of anger. The larger notion is that the societal approved expressions of anger are arbitrary and not particularly fair to either sex.”

            So, you’re saying that it should be okay if either Tom or myself punches you in the nose, that expression of anger should be acceptable, because it’s prohibition is arbitrary? Interesting.

            Like

      2. Consider the difference in treatment assertive women and assertive men get – women, in many cases, are considered ‘bitchy’, while men performing the same way are said to exhibit ‘leadership’.

        This is one of the biggest misrepresentations that has been repeated over and over and over by feminists who want to redefine the notion of “assertive”. While there ARE, indeed, a few people who will refer to “assertive” women as “bitchy”, in MOST cases, women being referred to as “bitchy” are exhibiting mannerisms that would get men called “assholes” or “dickheads”. There is a huge difference between merely being “assertive” and being a hateful, insulting person, which is what most bitchiness is.

        I have worked for assertive women who did not have to resort to being bitchy to get their point across. The problem is, too many women learn from other women not how to be assertive, but how to be bitchy.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. @ The Arbourist

        “Patriarchy is a systemic feature of society. Its existence is not predicated on your opinion of what it is, or how you think it works.”

        With degrees in Sociology and Political Science, I’m well versed in power structures. “Patriarchy” was put in quotes to denote that the common use of the word by snowflakes has no resemblance at all to the correct definition and use of the term. The US (nor does Canada for that matter) does not have a patriarchal system currently in place. While culturally there are still some aspects of patriarchal systems due to immigrants from such cultures. Culturally and politically, the US has an egalitarian system in place, while not perfectly so, it certainly does not exclude women from participation as seen by the numerous women who not only ran for political office and/or voted in the recent election, but also by the fact that women can inherit property, own their own businesses, claim head of household status on taxes, choose not to take their husband’s last name, not have their husband chosen by their father, and not have to ask permission from anyone to do anything. Not so in patriarchal systems, which you would know, if you had any understanding of what the word means.

        “Describe male anger and how it is different from female anger.” [cut for length]

        Oh dear. That is so ignorant, where to to begin. First, reading comprehension is not a skill that everyone has, I guess. I clearly stated that they DISPLAY emotions differenly than women, not that the emotions are different. Please do keep up.

        In general, men and women exhibit emotions differently due more to hormones than “patriarchy”. While there is some societal acceptance that influences how emotions are displayed, such as criminalizing assault, biology is a much bigger influencer. Society has simply reinforced biological reactions to stimuli. A couple minutes of research time can save hours of humiliation from looking stupids. (psst…Google Scholar is your friend.)

        “So are you saying that we should condone inappropriate emotional expressions when made by men? Or is more closer to: men can’t handle appropriately expressing themselves?”

        Ah. That reading comprehension thing again. They really need to do a better job of teaching that in schools. Neither. Nice try at trying to trick me into defending myself against arguments I didn’t make. Better luck next time.

        “Either reading makes one think that you have a rather low opinion of the men-folk. 🙂”

        Are you assuming my gender? That’s rather sexist, don’t you think?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. @Dawn

          “With degrees in Sociology and Political Science, I’m well versed in power structures.”

          Cool. Then you know that females, as a class in society, are oppressed by males, as a class in a society. The name for this system of oppression is patriarchy. Glad we could get that definition out of the way.

          “The US (nor does Canada for that matter) does not have a patriarchal system currently in place.”

          The evidence would point to another conclusion as we see far from an equal distribution of rights, power, and justice in society.

          “Not so in patriarchal systems, which you would know, if you had any understanding of what the word means.”

          Oh, we’re still having arguments over definitions while ignoring the context of the argument.

          Great. 😉

          Certainly with two degrees one would hope that ascertaining that the definition in play is not the one found in the dictionary. So just to be extra concise when patriarchy is mentioned, it refers to the way in which second wave feminists use the term – a system of social structures, and practices in which men dominate, oppress and exploit women.

          I’m glad we can clear that up. Happy to dispel your ignorance on what is, at best, feminism 101. 🙂

          “In general, men and women exhibit emotions differently due more to hormones than “patriarchy”.”

          Most certainly there is a biological component, but it does not follow that it has been correct for society to reinforce these tendencies, especially when said societal categorization is harmful to both women and men.

          Just because it is natural, it does not make it ‘right’.

          “Nice try at trying to trick me into defending myself against arguments I didn’t make. Better luck next time.”

          Nice dodge, but those are some of the conclusions that can be drawn from your statement.

          Okay then – One point at time.

          ” D: Men display emotions DIFFERENTLY.”

          Why? And no, it isn’t all hormones. We can argue the mix of social constructivism/biological destiny pretty much forever – that thread runs through the social sciences.

          “And when men do show emotions, like anger, hostility, cruelty, etc, they get lambasted by those special snowflakes who can’t handle men having emotions.”

          So why are men ‘lambasted’ for showing emotion?

          Short answer: because showing emotion is associated in our society with being a woman/femininity. And to be a woman/feminine is to be inferior within the bounds of our patriarchal society. Objectively speaking, not so much.

          Could it perhaps be that showing emotion (or being emotional) in our society is correlated with being a woman? And since the feminine stereotypes are coded in our society as possessing inherently lesser worth, could it be that this set of codes is patriarchal in nature?

          It is.

          Or, convince me there is better argument for the situation described.

          “Are you assuming my gender?”

          Your opinion on the men-folk makes no assumption on my behalf of what gender you happen to be.

          Like

          1. I’m sorry, a lay definition contrived by people with an ax to grind is an unacceptable definition by any professional standards. Try again. Maybe try Google…it’s your friend.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. So why are men ‘lambasted’ for showing emotion?
            –The Arbourist

            Because females see a man’s show of emotion as a sign that he is not a reliable protector of females.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. These roles occur in all cultures. When men are twisted into acting like women, they suffer.

    If you WANT men to suffer in service of being what you want them to be, at least admit it. “Men, we want you to deny your natures and pretend to be women so we can be comfortable.” Worse, women are often trained by our counterculture to deny their natures and act like men.

    Somehow, it is only OK to be mannish if you are a woman. Why is that, do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. @Moira

    “These roles occur in all cultures.”

    And isn’t it fascinating that women, in most of these cultures, inhabit an inferior role/status versus men.

    Almost like most cultures are patriarchal. 🙂

    ” When men are twisted into acting like women, they suffer.”

    Really?

    Consider this, why is ‘acting like a woman’ considered to be a bad thing? Why, if we want to shame a male in our society, do we equate him with being a woman?

    Could it be that the stereotypical set of male traits has arbitrarily given preference in society. while the set of female traits are looked down on – this is patriarchy in action.

    “If you WANT men to suffer in service of being what you want them to be, at least admit it.”

    If acting like a decent responsible human being is causing suffering to men – so be it.

    ““Men, we want you to deny your natures […]”

    Using the naturalistic fallacy to argue will not get you very far. 🙂

    Pretty much any ‘natural trait’/behaviour that you can imagine (outside of the material realities of biological sex) is socially constructed – and that is to say completely arbitrary and dependent on the social context of the times.

    “Somehow, it is only OK to be mannish if you are a woman. Why is that, do you think?”

    Because, in patriarchal societies, men are considered the default normal. So, it is ‘natural’ to want to act like/be a man in said societies because they are treated the best and generally have their needs catered to in society.

    Consider the converse – Why is it not okay to act ‘woman-ish’ in society if you happen to be male? Men who disregard their gender roles are routinely accused of being weak, girly, and often pejoratively labelled homosexuals.

    Why does that happen in society?

    Like

    1. Consider this, why is ‘acting like a woman’ considered to be a bad thing?

      No one said it is…for a woman. Men and women being different should hardly be controversial, yet here you are taking issue with the mere suggestion. Additionally, why do you argue that “acting like a man” is a bad thing? Take this quote, for example:

      If acting like a decent responsible human being is causing suffering to men – so be it.

      And who is saying they don’t or shouldn’t? Acting masculine and being a decent, responsible person are not mutually exclusive, but the fact that you’re arguing they are is telling.

      Pretty much any ‘natural trait’/behaviour that you can imagine (outside of the material realities of biological sex) is socially constructed – and that is to say completely arbitrary and dependent on the social context of the times.

      I disagree. Look at how Dr. Money’s research claiming it was socially constructed has since been thoroughly discredited. After all, a boy with a botched circumcision had his penis completely removed and was raised as a girl child…yet still identified as a male. Funny that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. @Tom

        ” Men and women being different should hardly be controversial, yet here you are taking issue with the mere suggestion.”

        Of course it isn’t controversial – the frission comes when society treats people differently for acting in the *same* way or proscribes a way that certain people should act.

        For example – Both men and women have the capacity to cry when they are hurt or feeling bad. Neither should be shamed for doing so. Yet, arbitrarily, one of the sexes is.

        I am not arguing that there aren’t any differences between women and men, I take umbrage with the system that deferentially enforces the ‘correct’ standards for being a man and the ‘correct’ standards for being a woman.

        People cry when they feel sad. That should be the end of it.

        Like

        1. I am not arguing that there aren’t any differences between women and men,

          False. That’s all you’ve argued thus far.

          I take umbrage with the system that deferentially enforces the ‘correct’ standards for being a man and the ‘correct’ standards for being a woman.

          Unless you’re a male, I don’t care what you take umbrage over when it comes to masculinity. If you are a male, then…well, I still don’t care what you take umbrage over because you’ve given me no reason to care. You’ve resorted to nothing but feminist talking points, which makes me less inclined to take anything you say seriously.

          Like

      2. @Tom

        I said – “Pretty much any ‘natural trait’/behaviour that you can imagine (outside of the material realities of biological sex) is socially constructed – and that is to say completely arbitrary and dependent on the social context of the times.”

        :Tom said: “I disagree. Look at how Dr. Money’s research claiming it was socially constructed has since been thoroughly discredited. After all, a boy with a botched circumcision had his penis completely removed and was raised as a girl child…yet still identified as a male. Funny that.”

        What does “it” refer to?

        Err. Biological sex is an observable fact. A boy with XY chromosomes is still a boy. Biological sex is an immutable fact. How we are raised and socialized doesn’t change one’s sex.

        So, I’m not sure what you’re disagreeing with, as we share the same position.

        Like

    2. It sounds as though you have decided what men ought to be with no thought given to what they actually are. Men are disagreeing with you. Women are disagreeing with you. Labeling my responses has not coincided with coming up with anything even remotely persuasive.

      You can talk until the cows come home, and still men will be men and women will be women.

      Nobody is superior or inferior, but we are different. Oh yes we are. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I just wanted to point out that in all likelihood the reason that it’s okay for women to be mannish and exercise a great deal more freedom in self-expression is that society is actually woman dominated and has been for a long time, if not forever (with few exceptions). Men have less freedom to be outside of social norms.

      Of course this is the theory that nearly anything men do is to impress women, to show himself to be worthy of reproduction. Women control the possibility that your genome even exists into the future. If men are the ones out proving their prowess and conforming to a very narrow range of societal expectations and women are at home and not “doing the fun stuff”, that really isn’t proof that society is male dominated or “Patriarchial” in any meaningful sense.

      There are exceptions, of course. And they tend to be inefficient societies because if women aren’t running things just the way they prefer then men can’t go off and “do the fun stuff” like fighting and dying and ruling the world… nope, he’s got to be there making sure she doesn’t run off with someone who treats her better.

      Mostly, though, we choose to interpret social power in certain ways that have little objective worth but hold together in a mostly logical fashion. People have made it their life work, actually, to explain how every unfairness in a woman’s life is evidence of suppression while entirely ignoring the hardship of men. Men are the oppressors.

      And now when people are making it less possible to do that, the notion of “toxic masculinity” is invented, so it can continue to be the fault of men. It’s actually pretty brilliant, in an evil sort of way.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. @Dawn

    “So, you’re saying that it should be okay if either Tom or myself punches you in the nose, that expression of anger should be acceptable, because it’s prohibition is arbitrary? Interesting.”

    I said:

    “The larger notion is that the societal approved expressions of anger are arbitrary and not particularly fair to either sex.”

    Like all social constructs, the societal approved expressions/methods of male and female anger are arbitrary.

    So, no nose punching by whomever isn’t acceptable.

    Given our social norms it would be expected that Tom, if he’s male, would be more likely to be a nose puncher than Dawn, if you happen to be female.

    But of course, with a degree in sociology, the concept of normative social behaviour shouldn’t be a stretch.

    Is uncharitable reading of your debate opponents’ arguments your standard practice, or do you simply not know better?

    Like

    1. Consider what I warned you of earlier. Dawn at least asked it as a question, meaning she was seeking clarification. You did the exact same thing previously, only without any indication of a desire to clarify anything.

      Pot, kettle.

      Like

  6. Patriarchy is the normal abrasions and irritations that are part of the reality of living with other people, some of whom are assholes, when the people experiencing those irritations are women. “Some man complimented me today and I didn’t want him to… darn you Patriarchy!”

    When the person experiencing those irritations and abrasions and incidences of annoyance are male, if jobs are hard to find or the boss is a dick, the cause is “toxic masculinity.”

    Liked by 1 person

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