Archive for February, 2010

So if you follow me on twitter (I don’t recommend it, I’m banal and highly annoying), you might have seen me going back and forth with a number of other twitterers about gender, male privilege, and some other highfalooting concepts with which I’m sorely underqualified to deal with. I’m a very tactile person. I deal best with what I can touch, taste, smell, and feel. I like the feel of boobies, the sound of a Hemi exhaust, and the taste of bacon. The conceptual and theoretical, I sometimes have a hard time dealing with because I don’t necessarily see how it relates to the real world. That said, there are people far better than me at explaining the theoretical, especially in terms of race and gender politics. I present:

Saida

SisterToldja

R. L’Heureux Lewis: Who wrote this treatise for the existence of Black Male Privilege

Here’s Brother Lewis speaking at Morehouse’s Founder’s Day Symposium:

If you’ve been an unfortunate witness to my sloppy back and forths with the above folks, you’ll know I carry a certain amount of skepticism about the concept of “Black Male Privilege.” I’m not saying it doesn’t exist. I just haven’t necessarily been sold on the idea that there’s something particularly special about Male Privilege as it relates to Black men.

What’s more interesting, I think, is how we address these concepts in reality, and in particular, in relationships. What a lot of my intellectual friends have suggested is a pathway towards making men and women more equal. Reducing the negative effect of male privilege and patriarchy on women, so that they have greater opportunity, safety, and stature.

I fully support this. But one of the things that I think will make an interesting sideshow to this is the fact that:

women still want a man that’s more powerful than she is!

Even a couple of the women I’ve mentioned above have had conversations with me saying that they either want or expect either an Alpha Male, or for a man to contribute financially to a relationship on a higher level than she is. If that’s the case, isn’t that a huge disincentive for men to give up what privilege they have from a socioeconomic perspective? After all, if women typically want a man that has more power/money/status than they do, why would men want to dismantle the power structure that provides them with these traits? I ask this as a means to discussion, not to prejudge an argument. Seriusly, I really think this needs to be talked about. I find it especially interesting that even very feminist women who rail against patriarchy are often themselves still somewhat tied to gender roles in their personal lives. I was watching Millionaire Matchmaker the other day (which probably deserves its own slice of the gender/socioeconomics discussion as men who have some kind of male privilege basically get to pick and choose from throngs of young, attractive women) and saw this:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Ain’t it wild to see women pushing for what many consider to be antiquted gender roles which clearly label the man as the stronger, protective party and the woman as the person to be taken care of while the man argues against it? I mean, think about that for a minute. Who’s right? And where does buddy’s hesitance to engage in chivalry come from? Is it a legitimate attempt to treat women as equals as opposed to being patronizing, or is it just laziness and narcissism? And is Patty right? If gender roles HAVE worked for millions of years, what happens when those gender roles change? How do both men and women adapt successfully to these changing roles? Or is that impossible?

As women and men: how do you deal with these sometimes conflicting issues? Discuss.

Hello all. I know it’s been a while. It might be a while before I blog again.


So “Breathe it in, n****!

Bask in it!”

I’d actually been thinking about this for a while when a certain unnamed hyper-feminist female blogger asked:

What the hell happened to alpha males? This is a serious ass problem and I can’t address it but I need answers.

Ironically enough, this is the same blogger who felt that this wonderful commercial was somewhat sexist:

There is a problem with this commercial, I’ll admit. But it’s not that it’s misogynist. It’s that they showed the bitch ass 5.7L Charger R/T instead of a real man’s Charger: A 6.1L 425HP SRT-8. That’s how you do it, son!

Another friend recently asked me to help her move some stuff because I have a rather large Sports Utility Vehicle. She said I was the only one of her male friends in DC manly enough not to drive a Honda Accord coupe. I found this extremely funny, but I think she raised an interesting point. At what point did it become taboo to become a man’s man? When did the hairy chested, mustache sporting, V8 driving, man that tells his sons to “man up and take out the garbage” become an out of vogue dinosaur?

When men were men and women knew their place

At what point did a boy’s desire to become the man above fade into the desire to become, well, these douchebags:


The worst part is, some of these people might be straight

See the difference? The guy above (The legendary Steve McQueen), now he’s a man. You see how he has his arm around his dame?

That’s protection, loyalty and love.

You know, man qualities. You see what’s going on in the second picture? I don’t either. That shit just looks like some assclowns trying to be sassy so people will pay them attention.

Now, it’s just my opinion, but I think the difference illustrates a lot of what’s wrong with black relationships today, especially in that rarefied upper crust in which I pretend to be a member. The homette Belle had an interesting post today on what the “angry and bitter black woman” is doing wrong. Well, let’s not just throw stones at the women, let’s also examine what we’re doing as men to feed into this continual mess of relationship atrophy.

1. We treat women as equals

We’ve also given too much ground to the idea that because women may be equal as colleagues at work, they’re the same as partners in relationships. They’re not. You’re the man! You open that door for that woman! You pull out her chair and you walk on the outside of the street. And stop whining that women don’t appreciate these things. You do them because it’s your fucking job, not because you want kudos. Frankly, some women may be uncomfortable at first with chivalry. That’s fine, they’ll just have to deal with it. And fear not, the woman also has woman’s work to do. If we’re going to make this work, she’d better find something thoughtful, nurturing, or delicious to contribute to the relationship. This is why relationships work. It’s not two people who are equals doing the same shit. It’s two people who complement each other bringing their own unique strengths to share with the other.

2. We have allowed style to reign over substance

From a technical standpoint, the man’s man has never really left us. There are plenty of men on any given street corner who are tough-looking, moustached, and scowling. These attributes do not a man make. Being a man is really about the hard things no one gives you credit for, not the testosterone-laced shows of force. Being a man means that when you don’t want to get wet, you still hold the umbrella over the woman. When you wan to sleep in, you still wake up to go walk the dog so she can get a few more minutes rest. Even when you’re exhausted from a long week, you still show up at Junior’s game to cheer him on. In this image-is everything world we live in, too often the temptation is to do what is necessary to look the part, but not make the sacrifices to do what needs to be done. I’m looking your way here, John Edwards.

3. We have allowed Feminism to trump Masculism

Feminism, womanism, and other iterations of such are not a bad thing. Most of their loudest promoters are somewhat annoying, but such is life. Women’s lib is just an extension of opportunity for women to achieve their dreams and their goals. Unfortunately, we still haven’t really been able to reconcile the idea of an academically and careerishly powerful woman with traditional gender roles. In many ways, this is because we’ve given ground economically to women. It’s not unlikely that if you and your mate went to similar schools and took similar career paths, she’ll make just as much as you, if not more, maybe have more degrees than you, or even be smarter. The great thing about masculism is that it renders these seemingly man-threatening issues moot. Because if you’re the MAN, it doesn’t matter whether or not your woman makes more than you. You can survive perfectly well on your own and you do what it takes to save up, work a side gig, or be a gigolo so that if need be, you can provide for another person (or persons like children).Her income or education isn’t a threat to you because you have something valuable that she can’t contribute to the relationship: Being a Man

4. We have allowed women’s petty trifles to overtake manly endeavors

Too many of us spend too much time engaging in womanly foolishness and not enough time in manly creation. The creation of wealth, empires, buildings, and organizations has since the dawn of time been man’s work. It has been our mark on the world, what we proudly show off to friend and foe alike as our legacy. Imagine Henry Ford next to his Model T or the Maharaja next to the Taj Mahal. George Washington Carver next to peanut butter. These lofty achievements were the source of their self-worth, pride, and fame. But if you look at the gentlemen above, you’ll see that pride in achievement has been overcome by pride in such womanly trifles as fashion, social popularity, and other crap. Even for lowly men of a certain time, their pride came from providing for a family, protecting their children, and ensuring that their wife had  nice dress or two so she could feel retty. Nowadays, men let their children go hungry so they can buy bottles at the club to impress idiot women. And this is a shame.

So gentlemen: embrace your manhood! Be not ashamed or shy about it. Go forth and be the man your father’s father’s father would have wanted you to be. This man:

After all, something tells me this woman doesn’t really go for the guys in skinny jeans and ironic haircuts who can’t change a tire:

Disclaimer: This post doesn’t apply to gay people. They have their own rules. So if anyone’s gay and is all like, “BSR is saying I’m not a real man”, not the case at all. Just that you’re not a real straight man. Which is probably more than fine with you, so we’re still cool. Cool?