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

Post by Bundokji » Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:31 am

Dan74 wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:37 pm
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:06 am
I will just throw this in here to shift, as it says, the emphasis from women's actions to men's behaviour -


passive-voice.jpg


:namaste:
Kim
Let's pause for a moment to consider what the import of this statement is. What do we want to focus on, the suffering of women, how to help the victims, compassionate action, or vilification of men?

If I say 'last year 55 million men committed violent acts against women', what would be the typical reaction? "Those bastards! We need higher sentences. Castrate the rapists and child molesters! Etc..." I don't think the world needs more anger. And no, let's not kid ourselves, everyone knows that most of the perpetrators of violence are men. The real question is what this means.
If we also take into consideration how males sexuality has manifested itself as acts of kindness and compassion towards females (and we wont find statistics to support that) and how it contributed to their safety and well being. What does that mean? Does it mean that we have a natural tendency to overlook the positive or take for granted, and focus only on the negative? Does it mean that our existence has been reduced to solving problems?

On this forum, can anyone direct me to a thread where positives have been discussed?
'Too much knowledge leads to scepticism. Early devotees are the likeliest apostates, as early sinners are senile saints.' – Will Durant.

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

Post by justsit » Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:19 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:37 pm
...
Let's pause for a moment to consider what the import of this statement is. What do we want to focus on, the suffering of women, how to help the victims, compassionate action, or vilification of men?

If I say 'last year 55 million men committed violent acts against women', what would be the typical reaction? "Those bastards! We need higher sentences. Castrate the rapists and child molesters! Etc..." I don't think the world needs more anger. And no, let's not kid ourselves, everyone knows that most of the perpetrators of violence are men. The real question is what this means.
IMO what we should focus on is holding men responsible for their actions. In particular, this includes holding fathers responsible for teaching their sons to respect women and not treat them like objects or pieces of meat or F-toys. It also includes holding men in power responsible for acting like adults and not randy teenagers, and holding politicians and the judicial system responsible for actually taking women seriously and enforcing the laws and not just tut-tutting and slapping wrists winkwink. It includes holding religious and spiritual leaders to their own standards and holding them accountable when they don't. It includes challenging those in the public eye - sports figures and actors and and musicians, etc. - to grow up and act like something other than overgrown frat boys.

Ultimately, it includes men treating women as equals - different, yes, but equal as human beings.

Dan74
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Re: Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Post by Dan74 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:57 pm

justsit wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:19 pm
Dan74 wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:37 pm
...
Let's pause for a moment to consider what the import of this statement is. What do we want to focus on, the suffering of women, how to help the victims, compassionate action, or vilification of men?

If I say 'last year 55 million men committed violent acts against women', what would be the typical reaction? "Those bastards! We need higher sentences. Castrate the rapists and child molesters! Etc..." I don't think the world needs more anger. And no, let's not kid ourselves, everyone knows that most of the perpetrators of violence are men. The real question is what this means.
IMO what we should focus on is holding men responsible for their actions. In particular, this includes holding fathers responsible for teaching their sons to respect women and not treat them like objects or pieces of meat or F-toys. It also includes holding men in power responsible for acting like adults and not randy teenagers, and holding politicians and the judicial system responsible for actually taking women seriously and enforcing the laws and not just tut-tutting and slapping wrists winkwink. It includes holding religious and spiritual leaders to their own standards and holding them accountable when they don't. It includes challenging those in the public eye - sports figures and actors and and musicians, etc. - to grow up and act like something other than overgrown frat boys.

Ultimately, it includes men treating women as equals - different, yes, but equal as human beings.
I guess the best teaching is by example - how parents treat each other.

As regards the men in power, recent history in the US has not been great. Trump is certainly a shocking role-model, in this regard especially. Other places are less accepting of such behaviour.

Judicial system, at least in Australia, seems to have swung the other way - I know of several cases where it was very easy for a woman to get an Apprehended Violence Order and ultimately to have a man convicted, even on very flimsy evidence. By contrast, if a man is a victim of domestic violence from his female partner (about a third of reported cases by some estimates), there are no services and the police tend not to take it seriously.

So if I understand you correctly, you think there isn't enough accountability? We don't hold the perpetrators responsible? Cosby and Weinberg, Rolf Haris in the UK, are a few high profile cases, but millions of course, got to jail for rape every year in the US. What change do you suggest?

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

Post by justsit » Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:04 pm

Came across this Tumblr post on a website today:

Image
" I had to go look up the picture of new father Daniel Craig that useless penile support system Piers Morgan made fun of. There it is. It’s a funny-looking picture: A middle-aged dad in a baseball cap, with an unshaven face, squinting through his glasses as he cradles his baby protectively (even though the baby is quite secure in the papoose). Hahaha, James Bond reduced to carrying a baby.

But that’s not James Bond. That’s Daniel Craig. James Bond is a fictional character. Daniel Craig is a real person. James Bond is a fantasy of hypermasculinity. Daniel Craig is a husband and father whose work life happens to include pretending to be a fantasy of hypermasculinity.

I think Piers Morgan’s root problem here is being unable to tell the difference between a fictional character and a Real Man. Masculinity doesn’t look like James Bond; it looks like Daniel Craig schlepping his baby."

I certainly don't have all the answers to the problem, but role models other than comic book superheroes might be a good start.

Dan74
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Re: Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Post by Dan74 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:22 pm

This is a stupid comment by Piers Morgan, that I'm sure he is ashamed of by now. I carried my kids like this plenty of times. There are also ones for your back.

And yes, I agree - fictional characters that are most popular aren't great on kindness, gentleness and compassion. They are mostly about power, sex-appeal and cool. And that goes for female characters too. There is also the perennial Western theme of good versus evil, with the baddies, so thoroughly bad, they have no redeeming features and slicing through them with a sword, Lord-of-the-Ring style or a light-sabre, Star-Wars style is not given any second thought.


We can decry popular culture until the cows come home and then some young person will come, tell us to lighten up and not take it all so seriously. After all - "it's only entertainment!"

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

Post by Dorje Shedrub » Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:14 pm

Many women consider a man who demonstrates caring, compassion, or willingness to do domestic chores as having sex appeal.

DS
"As far as social economic theory is concerned, I am Marxist. " ~ HHDL

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

Post by Kim O'Hara » Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:20 am

An unusual perspective on the subject, from a world-class writer who hangs out with the surfie kids -
About the boys: Tim Winton on how toxic masculinity is shackling men to misogyny

In an excerpt from a speech about his new book The Shepherd’s Hut, the author says it is men who need to step up and liberate boys from the race, the game, the fight ...
:reading: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/ ... o-misogyny

:coffee:
Kim

Dan74
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Re: Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Post by Dan74 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:19 am

Thank you for posting this, Kim. It's a very good piece, multifaceted. It raises many questions though. What should we do? What can we do??

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

Post by Kim O'Hara » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:37 am

Dan74 wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:19 am
Thank you for posting this, Kim. It's a very good piece, multifaceted. It raises many questions though. What should we do? What can we do??
"Be the change you want to see" is over-used but applies here, I think.
Model the behaviour you want to see, for immediate benefits to women you deal with and larger future benefits to women your boys (if you're a Dad or a teacher) will deal with.
But accept that it won't change quickly. I'm old enough to have seem several clearcut changes work their way through our society and they do seem to take a generation: what children learn in their first ten years is what's normal to them as adults, but what they learn as teens is always something "learned", something added on to an existing set of behaviours and more likely to be shucked off under stress.

:namaste:
Kim

Dan74
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Re: Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Post by Dan74 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:55 am

Yes.

But Winton talks about more than a good example. He talks about a lack of the right rites of passage, aculturation and instead of a cultural erosion, of young men having to cobble together their personalities by themselves from cheap 'spare parts'..

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

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:21 am

Yes - particularly -
Winton wrote:We’ve scraped our culture bare of ritual pathways to adulthood. There are lots of reasons for having clear-felled and burnt our own traditions since the 1960s, and some of them are very good reasons. But I’m not sure what we’ve replaced them with. We’ve left our young people to fend for themselves. We retain a kind of indulgent, patronising, approval of rites of passage in other cultures, including those of our first peoples, but the poverty of mainstream modern Australian rituals is astounding. ...

In the absence of explicit, widely-shared and enriching rites of passage, young men in particular are forced to make themselves up as they go along. Which usually means they put themselves together from spare parts, and the stuff closest to hand tends to be cheap and defective. And that’s dangerous. ...
But his analysis is, I think, correct. I don't see him spending much time on the reasons that we have no decent rites of passage or models of manhood, but they are not hard to find: our culture has gone through so many radical transitions in the last 60-odd years that the fathers of the current crop of boys and teens grew up through times when there was no consistent model. How, then, could they be sure enough of anything to pass it on to their kids?
So who and where are the kids' role models?
Male teachers in primary schools? Nope, they're a rare and dying breed.
Dads at home? Nearly as rare, sadly, it sometimes seems - and many of them, as I said, without a good framework themselves.
Sporting heroes - sure, but there are no relationships with women to be seen there.
The "stars" of popular music? Foul-mouthed rappers, a lot of them.
The "heroes" of action movies? Violent by design, and often casually misogynistic.
:toilet:

I would like to be more positive, but I can't. We're living in a post-Christian world. We demolished a strong (although not perfect) framework) and we're living in an ethical wasteland, with a few good people wandering through the debris wondering which bits might be useable when we come to rebuild.

:namaste:
Kim

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

Post by Cinnabar » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:22 pm

Masculinity and femininity are dual, dependent, and co-arising. Working with distorted masculinity really requires working with distorted femininity at the same time.

Dan74
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Re: Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Post by Dan74 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:45 am

As much as I am loathe to fan the flames of the "Cultural Marxists" Alarmists, just came across this article:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/man ... 8010413033

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

Post by justsit » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:48 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:45 am
As much as I am loathe to fan the flames of the "Cultural Marxists" Alarmists, just came across this article:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/man ... 8010413033
Interesting, I've been a nurse for 30 years and never heard of this. So I clicked on the "new study" link on the Harvard page and it goes to a BMJ article (partly behind a pay wall) and a podcast. Here's a list of some other articles included there for reference; again, behind paywall.

" Man flu is related to health communication rather than symptoms and suffering
John Axelsson et al., The BMJ
Man flu: less inflammation but more consequences in men than women
Lucas T van Eijk et al., The BMJ
Evolutionary benefit of “man flu”? Try rephrasing the question
Catherine M Morgan et al., The BMJ
Proportionate response to “man flu”
Karsten J Jørgesen et al., The BMJ"

From the discussion it appears that testosterone levels seem to have some influence on severity of flu symptoms in men. Also flu does affect men and women differently, which is not an uncommon situation with some other diseases as well. Conclusion in the article is that there is some evidence that gender biology plays a part in severity of symptoms, but more research is needed.

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

Post by Cinnabar » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:33 pm

I just saw Dorje Shedrub's post: TOS Reminder: Applying the Dharma/Dhamma to Threads and Posts.

For me, bringing practice into "toxic masculinity" is really just a matter identifying and calling out inappropriate conduct and speech. In particular in my peer group and classroom. I think that's a practice of right speech. The practice of right speech is what comes out of my mouth, but also how I hold a space open for right speech. How I cultivate right speech around me.

It need not be drastic. And it doesn't have to be dramatic. Like sending up a flare. Generally just pointing out problematic speech and conduct without judgement is enough to stop it, and in time, with repeated application, turn it around. Something like: So that's how we talk about people? Did you actually touch a coworker's body? What about the word bitch seems appropriate? And so on.

This can be identified as pushing a feminist agenda of identity politics, or an abridgment of freedom of speech. I don't think so. It's really just talking and acting like my grandparents did in public. How my dharma teachers talk and act. How my closest colleagues talk and act. There seems to be little in dharma that defends speech and conduct as a general matter of freedom. To make a point of freedom re freedom.

I said in a different comment that toxic masculinity is dual to equally distorted notions of femininity. And so I think it's important to address those as well. As an example, I had a male student sort of rushing and bullying a female student to end our consultation. So there it was important to articulate that the male student needed to back off, but in the context of reinforcing the message to the female student that she was the boss as it was her scheduled instructional time.

Sort of like that.

Dan74
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Re: Toxic Masculinity? Or how to be a real man but not an ***hole (or at least try)

Post by Dan74 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:08 pm

justsit wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:48 pm
Dan74 wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:45 am
As much as I am loathe to fan the flames of the "Cultural Marxists" Alarmists, just came across this article:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/man ... 8010413033
Interesting, I've been a nurse for 30 years and never heard of this. So I clicked on the "new study" link on the Harvard page and it goes to a BMJ article (partly behind a pay wall) and a podcast. Here's a list of some other articles included there for reference; again, behind paywall.

" Man flu is related to health communication rather than symptoms and suffering
John Axelsson et al., The BMJ
Man flu: less inflammation but more consequences in men than women
Lucas T van Eijk et al., The BMJ
Evolutionary benefit of “man flu”? Try rephrasing the question
Catherine M Morgan et al., The BMJ
Proportionate response to “man flu”
Karsten J Jørgesen et al., The BMJ"

From the discussion it appears that testosterone levels seem to have some influence on severity of flu symptoms in men. Also flu does affect men and women differently, which is not an uncommon situation with some other diseases as well. Conclusion in the article is that there is some evidence that gender biology plays a part in severity of symptoms, but more research is needed.
I guess it is a fairly common term in Australia where making fun of men is considered quite cute. Men join in too and this is seen as quite enlightened and self-aware. Most of the time, it is time good-naturedly, like with the 'man-flu', to paint a funny picture of men being drama-queens over a tiny cold, basically.


TBH, I find it healthy to laugh at ourselves and each other, but when there is an imbalance and a repetitive pattern to the jokes, then it stopped being funny.

justsit
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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 2:22 am

There are several threads on DWT recently that caught my attention. I'm wondering what others here think of them, particularly the posts about Muscular Buddhism and Muscular Christianity.

https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=33699
https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=33701

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

Post by Kim O'Hara » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:09 am

justsit wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:22 am
There are several threads on DWT recently that caught my attention. I'm wondering what others here think of them, particularly the posts about Muscular Buddhism and Muscular Christianity.

https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=33699
https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=33701
I liked this elephant -

elephant-06.jpg
elephant-06.jpg (133.04 KiB) Viewed 1897 times

- but not much else in those threads.

:namaste:
Kim

Bundokji
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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 11:28 am

justsit wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:22 am
There are several threads on DWT recently that caught my attention. I'm wondering what others here think of them, particularly the posts about Muscular Buddhism and Muscular Christianity.

https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=33699
https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=33701
The first link is not about Muscular Buddhism, but about how should a Buddhist dress. Raising this issue on a different forum in a thread titled "toxic masculinity" could imply that you find them toxic or disagreeable?

If so, and if you are a member in both forums, you have the choice to raise your opinion there if you want to. I am saying this not as being intrusive regarding your choices, but it would be more beneficial to both you and them if you raise your disagreement or point of view directly to them.

Peace :anjali:
'Too much knowledge leads to scepticism. Early devotees are the likeliest apostates, as early sinners are senile saints.' – Will Durant.

justsit
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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 2:30 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:28 am
...The first link is not about Muscular Buddhism, but about how should a Buddhist dress. Raising this issue on a different forum in a thread titled "toxic masculinity" could imply that you find them toxic or disagreeable?

If so, and if you are a member in both forums, you have the choice to raise your opinion there if you want to. I am saying this not as being intrusive regarding your choices, but it would be more beneficial to both you and them if you raise your disagreement or point of view directly to them.
The first link is the only place I have ever heard the term "Muscular Buddhism," or peripherally, Muscular Christianity. I am curious if this term found in other Buddhist discussions. My point is not to express my agreement or disagreement, either here or with the posters on the other forum directly, but to elicit opinions from DWE members.

Has anyone here heard the term "Muscular Buddhism" before? Do others here find these posts exemplary of toxic masculinity? Why, or why not?

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