Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Applying the Dharma to social justice issues – race, religion, sexuality and identity
chownah
Posts: 500
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:08 am

Re: Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Post by chownah » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:13 pm

Google it.
chownah

justsit
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:19 pm

Re: Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Post by justsit » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:39 pm

chownah wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:13 pm
Google it.
chownah
Oh right, of course.

OK, done.
Now can we discuss it? Just a troll?

User avatar
DNS
Site Admin
Posts: 341
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:49 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Estados Unidos de América
Contact:

Re: Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Post by DNS » Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:46 pm

I think the clothes thread is fine and some might wonder what is appropriate attire when going to a temple or just for everyday use too.

The other thread is getting to sound like male locker room banter, so I haven't chimed in on that one (not yet anyway). And could lead to inflation of ego, one-upping etc. Lifting weights and getting muscular is good if done for health and fitness, but if done for inflating ego, then not so good.

Bundokji
Posts: 202
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:03 pm

Re: Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Post by Bundokji » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:00 pm

justsit wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:30 pm
Has anyone here heard the term "Muscular Buddhism" before? Do others here find these posts exemplary of toxic masculinity? Why, or why not?
I think it depends on the intention. It can be toxic, or it can be an attempt to counter what is perceived as unbalanced/biased system especially from western practitioners:
The news of the Buddha's Awakening sets the standards for judging the culture we were brought up in, and not the other way around. This is not a question of choosing Asian culture over American. The Buddha's Awakening challenged many of the presuppositions of Indian culture in his day; and even in so-called Buddhist countries, the true practice of the Buddha's teachings is always counter-cultural. It's a question of evaluating our normal concerns — conditioned by time, space, and the limitations of aging, illness, and death — against the possibility of a timeless, spaceless, limitless happiness. All cultures are tied up in the limited, conditioned side of things, while the Buddha's Awakening points beyond all cultures. It offers the challenge of the Deathless that his contemporaries found liberating and that we, if we are willing to accept the challenge, may find liberating ourselves.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... ening.html
'Too much knowledge leads to scepticism. Early devotees are the likeliest apostates, as early sinners are senile saints.' – Will Durant.

chownah
Posts: 500
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:08 am

Re: Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Post by chownah » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:16 am

justsit wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:39 pm
chownah wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:13 pm
Google it.
chownah
Oh right, of course.

OK, done.
Now can we discuss it? Just a troll?
I would say that it seems to me that the concept of muscular buddhism is brought up in some somewhat trollish situations. From what I have seen from the google search it seems to me that muscular buddhism is sort of like an internet meme....people take a cursory glance at the term and whatever comes to mind gets fabricated into some narrative. Muscular buddhism to me looks like a term looking for a meaning instead of a term imparting a meaning.....another example of this is the term sjw which does not impart any clear meaning but allows the biases of individuals to fabricate whatever meaning they want. I think that the phenomena of words looking for meanings is something which has become much more readily observed because of the internet where meanings of words has been "democratized" aka "bastardized".
chownah

Dan74
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:57 pm

Re: Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Post by Dan74 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:57 pm

chownah wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:16 am
justsit wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:39 pm
chownah wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:13 pm
Google it.
chownah
Oh right, of course.

OK, done.
Now can we discuss it? Just a troll?
I would say that it seems to me that the concept of muscular buddhism is brought up in some somewhat trollish situations. From what I have seen from the google search it seems to me that muscular buddhism is sort of like an internet meme....people take a cursory glance at the term and whatever comes to mind gets fabricated into some narrative. Muscular buddhism to me looks like a term looking for a meaning instead of a term imparting a meaning.....another example of this is the term sjw which does not impart any clear meaning but allows the biases of individuals to fabricate whatever meaning they want. I think that the phenomena of words looking for meanings is something which has become much more readily observed because of the internet where meanings of words has been "democratized" aka "bastardized".
chownah
Hmm... I think there are toxic elements to it, but there are also positive elements, associated with traditional 'masculine' virtues - strong, disciplined, steadfast, determined, dignified... are a few I can think of from Mnb's posts.


TBH, I suspect that Western men who for various reasons feel disempowered, fantasise of this 'muscular' whatever, rather than actual strong men who embody these qualities and recognise that men do not all have to be the same or embody some mythical ideal. That said, I think it is a good question to examine what makes a healthy masculine identity. This is basically what I wanted to do with this thread and thank you, Folks, for bringing it interesting perspectives.

Pseudobabble
Posts: 159
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:00 am

Re: Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Post by Pseudobabble » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:01 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:57 pm

Hmm... I think there are toxic elements to it, but there are also positive elements, associated with traditional 'masculine' virtues - strong, disciplined, steadfast, determined, dignified... are a few I can think of from Mnb's posts.


TBH, I suspect that Western men who for various reasons feel disempowered, fantasise of this 'muscular' whatever, rather than actual strong men who embody these qualities and recognise that men do not all have to be the same or embody some mythical ideal. That said, I think it is a good question to examine what makes a healthy masculine identity. This is basically what I wanted to do with this thread and thank you, Folks, for bringing it interesting perspectives.
You've grazed the truth here. Actual men don't fantasize about doing things, they find out whether those things are possible, by attempting them. Immature men, who lack confidence in themselves, fantasize, because their lack of confidence prevents them from attempting.

I've read this thread as it has progressed, but I wondered something, Dan: in the OP, you wrote this:
One that took a real form, when our friend Catherine, having cooked up a storm for us, sat me down and started the evening conversation by loudly proclaiming “Daniel, your sex is a disgrace!”
What was your response to this? I don't mean what you said, but what was your inner reaction. I ask because it seems like an incredibly rude way to begin a conversation over dinner. Specifically, she said it to you. As you said, her husband and three pubescent boys were within earshot. Why was this statement made to you specifically? Do you think that she had made this opinion clear to her husband previously? In any case, as you say, she 'sat you down', which to me means that she specifically spoke to you as opposed to making a general statement to the group (though you imply, it seems to me, this statement was meant to be heard by her husband and children). So I'm wondering, what do you think the purpose of this action was? It looks to me that the statement was made toward you specifically, but also meant to be heard by the others in the room.

Did you understand her to be asking for your response as a man, a representative of the category she says is a 'disgrace'? To me that would be interesting, because it would imply either that you are particularly well suited to answer, an exemplar of the category (ie, a disgrace, please don't take offence, I am exploring the possible intentions behind her words here), or that you are somehow exempt from the categorical judgement 'disgrace', despite being nominally a member of the category. Which do you think is the case?

I would be very interested to hear you on this.

Dan74
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:57 pm

Re: Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Post by Dan74 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:44 pm

Pseudobabble wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:01 pm
Dan74 wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:57 pm

Hmm... I think there are toxic elements to it, but there are also positive elements, associated with traditional 'masculine' virtues - strong, disciplined, steadfast, determined, dignified... are a few I can think of from Mnb's posts.


TBH, I suspect that Western men who for various reasons feel disempowered, fantasise of this 'muscular' whatever, rather than actual strong men who embody these qualities and recognise that men do not all have to be the same or embody some mythical ideal. That said, I think it is a good question to examine what makes a healthy masculine identity. This is basically what I wanted to do with this thread and thank you, Folks, for bringing it interesting perspectives.
You've grazed the truth here. Actual men don't fantasize about doing things, they find out whether those things are possible, by attempting them. Immature men, who lack confidence in themselves, fantasize, because their lack of confidence prevents them from attempting.

I've read this thread as it has progressed, but I wondered something, Dan: in the OP, you wrote this:
One that took a real form, when our friend Catherine, having cooked up a storm for us, sat me down and started the evening conversation by loudly proclaiming “Daniel, your sex is a disgrace!”
What was your response to this? I don't mean what you said, but what was your inner reaction. I ask because it seems like an incredibly rude way to begin a conversation over dinner. Specifically, she said it to you. As you said, her husband and three pubescent boys were within earshot. Why was this statement made to you specifically? Do you think that she had made this opinion clear to her husband previously? In any case, as you say, she 'sat you down', which to me means that she specifically spoke to you as opposed to making a general statement to the group (though you imply, it seems to me, this statement was meant to be heard by her husband and children). So I'm wondering, what do you think the purpose of this action was? It looks to me that the statement was made toward you specifically, but also meant to be heard by the others in the room.

Did you understand her to be asking for your response as a man, a representative of the category she says is a 'disgrace'? To me that would be interesting, because it would imply either that you are particularly well suited to answer, an exemplar of the category (ie, a disgrace, please don't take offence, I am exploring the possible intentions behind her words here), or that you are somehow exempt from the categorical judgement 'disgrace', despite being nominally a member of the category. Which do you think is the case?

I would be very interested to hear you on this.
Hi Pseudobabble

I guess as always there is a bit of history and context, but they would be a breach of privacy and also bore people with details. I will just say that Catherine and I have had some pretty lively debates and disagreements in the past and I daresay there was a part of her that enjoyed it. That said, I did feel that she was out of line and as the night progressed she walked her statement back somewhat. I don't think she had meant the statement in a sweeping way or to direct it at me, she almost immediately excluded her husband from its ambit and there was no actual negativity directed at me, just the overall anger at what men do (i.e. violence against women).

As to how I felt... I was not really shocked, but maybe dismayed and also sad for the men in her family. Ultimately though, I think our media is to blame and fundamentally the toxic culture of violence that leads to too many deaths of women, typically at the hands of their partners in Australia. Australian media, like the media in the US, is not too interested in analysis or actually solving anything, but whipping up emotions sells. So educated middle-class dinner parties where violence against women, I believe is very low, become a bit of a battle-ground with these conversations.. :)

Perhaps digging a bit deeper, I guess there is something of a distrust between the sexes in many cultures and the negative media coverage feeds it and stokes the flames of misandry.

Pseudobabble
Posts: 159
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:00 am

Re: Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Post by Pseudobabble » Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:57 pm

Hi Dan, many thanks for your answers, this is very informative. I have a few more questions if you don't mind:
Dan74 wrote:I did feel that she was out of line and as the night progressed she walked her statement back somewhat
- Why did you feel she was out of line?
- Why do you think she retreated from her initially vocal position?
- What do you think her male children made of this statement? Do you think they understood its implicit application to them?


Dan74 wrote:she almost immediately excluded her husband from its ambit
- Why do you think she excluded her husband?

Dan74 wrote:I don't think she had meant the statement in a sweeping way ... just the overall anger at what men do (i.e. violence against women).
- So, I'd like to get a little analytical here: you say she didn't mean the statement in a sweeping way, but that she also meant it 'overall', which to me means as a generalisation. I feel there is a bit of a contradiction here, in that if she was generalising, she was necessarily making a sweeping statement, which, without qualification, applies to all members of the category in question.
- I'd like to hear your view of her intention - does she think that men in general are disgraceful, or was it a case of inadvertant over-generalisation?
- Does she apply that generalisation to all men she does not know well enough to exclude (like you our her husband)?
- What do you think her criteria are for excluding certain men from that judgement?


Dan74 wrote:I was ... dismayed and also sad for the men in her family.
- Why were you dismayed and sad for the men in her family?


Dan74 wrote:educated middle-class dinner parties where violence against women, I believe is very low, become a bit of a battle-ground with these conversations
- I presume that the night we are discussing was a middle-class dinner party - do you think that your friend's personal experiences warrant her opening statement? I'm not asking whether her statement is warranted by external events (political, social) - I'm asking if her personal life experiences with men have been particularly bad, enough to cause her to make such a general judgement.



I am writing something in response to these questions, I just want to make sure I have understood before I post anything.

Dan74
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:57 pm

Re: Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Post by Dan74 » Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:18 pm

Hi Pseudobabble,

I only checked the forum now, but TBH, I am not really comfortable dissecting this further. The lady in question is a friend and going deeper into her personal history and my speculation as to her thought-processes and motivations, is not something I want to do. My bringing the anecdote in in the first place, was merely intended as an illustration of the anger directed at men in general, due to the social ills involving men as perpetrators and their portrayal in the media and current civic discourse in Australia.

Pseudobabble
Posts: 159
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:00 am

Re: Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Post by Pseudobabble » Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:33 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:18 pm
Hi Pseudobabble,

I only checked the forum now, but TBH, I am not really comfortable dissecting this further. The lady in question is a friend and going deeper into her personal history and my speculation as to her thought-processes and motivations, is not something I want to do. My bringing the anecdote in in the first place, was merely intended as an illustration of the anger directed at men in general, due to the social ills involving men as perpetrators and their portrayal in the media and current civic discourse in Australia.
Hi Dan,

Fair enough, though I think its a pity. The personal is political, after all, and it isn't possible to divorce people's political opinions from their personal opinions. Personal opinions are the result of individual experience, so I think that personal opinions and experience are extremely relevant when generalising on political and social matters.

You mention the anger directed at men, and the reason for that is exactly what I am trying to ascertain in this case: whether your friend's statement derived from some personal experiences which might explain the polemical generalisation, or whether it is simply a case of a bombastic challenge being used for conversation fuel. As I said, it seems like a rude thing to say - if someone said that to me at a dinner party I would think that they were deliberately trying to be annoying. But that may not be the case, and so I have been wondering about the surrounding circumstances.


Let me ask another question then, if you are not completely bored of this by now:

Do you think that the portrayal of men in the media and civic discourse accurately represents the reality?

Dan74
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:57 pm

Re: Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Post by Dan74 » Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:29 pm

Regarding your first comment, of course people's views are an interplay of their life experiences and the common discourse. Where do you live? In Australia, the educated middle class urbanites tend to be left leaning and buy into whatever discourse progressives dish out. Don't be misled by my sarcasm though - there's much there that's at least well intentioned and the conservatives are very dull in comparison (and often in 'the pocket of big business).

The media thrives on bad news, on the outrage culture and shallow sensationalism. We haven't quite got the pits of the mother country's The Sun, but we are not far off. So the sad statistics of female victims of domestic violence form a narrative that men or masculinity as it currently is, is toxic, needs to change, etc. I also know a mother of two boys, originally Swiss, who complains that girls get favored at their school and showered with praise when not deserving, generating resentment. There is a noble attempt to eradicate prejudice against women and empower girls rp succeed. But inevitably we do this in a lopsided ham- fisted way. Might take a generation or so to get it right..

Dan74
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:57 pm

Re: Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Post by Dan74 » Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:32 pm

Another point that seems to me rather obvious but rarely mentioned in regards to the so-called toxic masculinity is that men who are open about their issues and don't put up a brave face are seen to be less desirable (reference?). It is much more acceptable for women to show their feelings and struggles than for a man, IMO. Of course it depends on cultural assumptions, but damsel in distress is attractive, while a knight knocked off his steed, his speer broken, Don Quixote-like, is not.

justsit
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:19 pm

Re: Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Post by justsit » Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:38 pm

I think part of the problem with these types of conversations relates to language and its precise usage. "Men" and "Women" cover a whole lot of ground; neither can possibly express the vast differences that exist among individuals. When one says "Men," for example, which men are being referenced? Men I know personally? Men you know? Men I see in the media? Politicians? Priests? Disabled men? Gay men? Men in Borneo?

When each of us hear the word "Men," we have a mental concept arise, and each of us undoubtedly has a different image. Then we start trying to apply whatever we're discussing (and may have misconstrued) to our picture. It reminds me of having conversations about "God;" as soon as the word is said, the conversation is basically over, because we'll never agree on what "God" means.

So, just to clarify with Pseudobabble - when you ask, "Do you think that the portrayal of men in the media and civic discourse accurately represents the reality?," to which men are you referring? If you say, "men in general," then no, media coverage does not represent reality. The same applies to women - inaccurate representation in the media. Because, as Dan pointed out, "The media thrives on bad news, on the outrage culture and shallow sensationalism." Unless one does some deep digging, you're only going get sound bytes, certainly no well researched, well reasoned discussion, especially in the age of two or three second attention spans.

Re: Dan's statement - "...men who are open about their issues and don't put up a brave face are seen to be less desirable..."
Seen by whom? Personally, I find it refreshing to find a man who isn't afraid to express feelings of vulnerability or uncertainty; I see it a sign the person has some level of personal honesty and self-awareness. The big macho crap is just that - a facade. But that's just my opinion, and I'm certainly not the poster boy for typical anything.

Pseudobabble
Posts: 159
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:00 am

Re: Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Post by Pseudobabble » Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:35 pm

Dan74 wrote: Another point that seems to me rather obvious but rarely mentioned in regards to the so-called toxic masculinity is that men who are open about their issues and don't put up a brave face are seen to be less desirable (reference?). It is much more acceptable for women to show their feelings and struggles than for a man, IMO. Of course it depends on cultural assumptions, but damsel in distress is attractive, while a knight knocked off his steed, his speer broken, Don Quixote-like, is not.
This is rather interesting (to me), because I have made the same observation. There could be a variety of reasons which explain this (assuming we have observed an actual phenomenon, and are not subject to a perceptual bias), but my money is on a combination of cultural factors (how people are expected and socialised to behave) and biological factors (r/K selection, higher aggression in men being a survival-positive factor in a 'state of nature', etc), and everything that sits in-between (eg Hypergamy). There is certainly a long way to go before the sexes perceive each other as equals.

Dan74 wrote:There is a noble attempt to eradicate prejudice against women and empower girls to succeed. But inevitably we do this in a lopsided ham- fisted way.
Yes - the generalised version of this, combined with my pessimistic outlook is why (despite posting here), I am not an engaged buddhist.

justsit wrote:When one says "Men," for example, which men are being referenced?
My assumption is always that it is a combination of two things:
1) Those men the speaker has had experience with
2) Whatever second-hand information the speaker has with respect to men which does not conflict with 1 (and is therefore not unconsciously excluded from the analysis)
justsit wrote:So, just to clarify with Pseudobabble - when you ask, "Do you think that the portrayal of men in the media and civic discourse accurately represents the reality?," to which men are you referring?
I mean the men whom the media refer to when they say 'men' - I agree with you that this is a badly defined term as used generally. In my opinion, the media have a lot to answer for. I see them doing almost nothing except fomenting trouble in the world.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests