Monday, June 2, 2008

the male race and superficial machismo

I have a tendency to use nights of heavy intoxication as an outlet in dealing with bigger societal oppressors such as racism and sexism.

I would intentionally find a way to start some sort of heated argument in a social setting (clubs, parties, bars), while heavily intoxicated. (My friends are very loyal as they stood by me for years through the instances in which I expressed my self while intoxicated) Some examples are things like hip hop and snoop dog, the concept of a tramp stamp, jokes about domestic violence ("your girl's going to get a beat down tonight! hahahha!!!" can you believe it? someone actually said that shit to my friends boyfriend) and whether women could be competent leaders (yes, some douche bag at a party actually told me he thought there was a reason why there are more male leaders than female leaders in this did we get to this topic? okay fine, I may have badgered him a bit to get that opnion out, but still.) etc.

And often times, while heavily inoxicated, I would intentionally search out a man in a social setting with the intention of confirming my own views about sexism.

For example:

me: "hey let me buy you a drink!!"

random guy at the club: "really? okay!!"

me: "Do you like Lil Wayne?!?!?!?!?"

random guy at the club: "yea... why?"

me: "You sexist bastard how can you support someone who says 'shut up bitch swallow.' ?"

With no academic background in sexism as a socially constructed oppressor, I had no way to transcend my own anger of some of the experiences I've had. There was a lot of anger boiling inside of me that I did not understand and the only way I felt I could provide an outlet was by getting heavily intoxicated and verbally attacking every man I saw in sight. Yeah, I know. My behavior was incredibily divisive, which came to my realization thanks to Obama, and I could have used my experience and passion in a more constructive manner.

Anyway, that was a long tangent of what this blog is really supposed to be.

But the truth is, I spent too long placing blame on the wrong person. It's not the individual man's fault for how male culture influences men to be the way they are.

While sexism undoubtedly puts the women of this country at a huge disadvantage, and one of the reason is due to the systematic ways this country gives power and privilege to the men of this country. However, men, as well as women but in a different way, have it pretty damn hard.

There's this societal expectation for men to live up to unrealistic standards of masculinity. Men are encouraged to participate in overly sexualized behavior, aggression and homophobia. And often when they exhibit such behavior they are praised by our culture. and this is different than you hanging with your homies and your pissed cause you got kicked out of your club cause your homie started a fight. This is a bigger societal issues where our society and culture is telling men that they should embrace their masculinity by living up to this machismo.

Why do men fall into this temptation of hyper masculinity so easily? What about our culture encourages and praises this type of behavior? I mean, why do men feel they have the authority to grab a women's ass at the club? Why do they feel they have the authority to continue to attempt to dance intimately (aka freak dance) with another woman in the club even when she given him the cold shoulder more than once.

There are probably many different things that cause the perpetuation of that sort of behavior. But one thing for sure is how the media sexualizes and objectifies women. (Source)

I went to see Jean Kilbourne speak a year ago about the images of women in the media and it has changed the way I've looked at the media forever.

that's only 6 minutes of her entire lecture.

but anyway, so basically our culture is oversaturated with these sexualized images of women, sending a message to the men of this country that the degradation of these women is a way to further satisfy your masculinity.

But this is only one aspect of the whole picture. I'll add more on later, because this is a pretty big issue. Especially when you start intersecting gender roles and race. For example, do men of color of this country have different expectations of masculinity that they are told to live up to? Which brings the conversation back to the blog about hip-hop. The documentary posted in that blog talks about the hypermasculine behavior in main stream hip-hop.

I guess the point of this blog is to say, men, you guys got it hard. Being encouraged to be sexually aggressive and demean women while living in a box of homophobic attitudes is incredibly unhealthy for the mental and emotional health. I'm not saying that all men are like that, but our culture tells men that that is what they should be like. And it's hard, to live so detached from your emotions in order to embrace the superficial machismo. But without it, can men get what they want in this society? Do they actually taste over the power and privilege this country was designed to give "masculine" men.

but this conversation isn't possible with out acknowledging the degradation that women have to experience when everything around them (I mean that is what the media is, everything around you) is telling you that you need to sexualize yourself without actually having sexual desire. Hmm.. so how do you get sexualized if you can't have sexual desire, cause according to this blog our culture does not encourage women to explore themselves sexually.

hmm.. things just don't line up quite well. I just think we live in a country that thrives on contradictions. I won't even get started with that..
<3 olives.

1 comment:

Christian "Ian" Paredes said...

to be honest, i also think female expectations on how men should look, act, etc. feeds into this problem as well. men are fed what the ideal woman should be, and the so-called ideal woman develops an ego so huge that she only accepts the men who are fit in many aspects of life. that is, the man that they want ought to not be "a pussy," shouldn't be too attached, ought to fit in the ideal man category in terms of looks, etc.

i personally reject this, though i also recognize that in order to actually fit into society, one has to adopt some of these attitudes.

my whole problem with the feminist movement, however, is that it seems that academicians involved in the feminist movement want these things to change, when it's doubtful that it WILL change with any deliberate action.

however tangential this might sound, i think you might want to look into the "anonymous" movement that has sprouted up against scientology. i think it's a great thing to look at in terms of how society operates as a whole.