Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Zugzwang
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    10 Apr '18 01:082 edits
    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/apr/09/about-the-boys-tim-winton-on-how-toxic-masculinity-is-shackling-men-to-misogyny

    "About the boys: Tim Winton on how toxic masculinity is shackling men to misogyny"
    --Tim Winton

    "There’s a constant pressure to enlist, to pull on the uniform of misogyny
    and join the Sh..head Army that enforces and polices sexism. And it
    grieves me to say it’s not just men pressing those kids into service."

    "Toxic masculinity is a burden to men. I’m not for a moment suggesting
    men and women suffer equally from misogyny, because that’s clearly and
    fundamentally not true. And nobody needs to hear me mansplaining on
    the subject of the patriarchy. But I think we forget or simply don’t notice
    the ways in which men, too, are shackled by misogyny. It narrows their lives.
    Distorts them."

    "A man in manacles doesn’t fully understand the threat he poses to others.
    Even as he’s raging against his bonds. Especially as he’s raging against his bonds.
    When you’re bred for mastery, when you’re trained to endure and fight and
    suppress empathy, how do you find your way in a world that cannot be mastered?
    How do you live a life in which all of us must eventually surrender and come to terms?
    Too many men are blunt instruments. Otherwise known, I guess, as tools.
    Because of poor training, they’re simply not fit for purpose. Because life
    is not a race, it’s not a game, and it’s not a fight.
    Can we wean boys off machismo and misogyny?"
    --Tim Winton

    Men have the responsibility for 'weaning boys off machismo and misogyny'
    if for no other reason than boys will listen more seriously to men than to women.
    Of course, many men find it easier to blame women than to examine themselves critically.
    The sexist men here who need most to listen to Tim Winton will not do so.

    Now, in this male-dominated forum full of machismo and misogyny, let the obsessive
    hatred resume toward me for QUOTING a man writing about men and masculinity.
  2. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    10 Apr '18 01:29
    "A man in manacles doesn’t fully understand the threat he poses to others.
    Even as he’s raging against his bonds. Especially as he’s raging against his bonds.
    When you’re bred for mastery, when you’re trained to endure and fight and
    suppress empathy, how do you find your way in a world that cannot be mastered?
    How do you live a life in which all of us must eventually surrender and come to terms?
    Too many men are blunt instruments. Otherwise known, I guess, as tools.
    Because of poor training, they’re simply not fit for purpose. Because life
    is not a race, it’s not a game, and it’s not a fight.
    Can we wean boys off machismo and misogyny?"
    --Tim Winton


    That is honestly a very interesting quotation. It implies that men are basically designed to rule, to dominate, and to compete, and that they have some inclination for suppressing a certain amount of empathy. That doesn’t seem inaccurate.

    If we fully embrace the idea that mankind is an evolved species that largely adapted to subdual of the earth around it, and that the social organizations were highly competitive… these seem like pretty natural conclusions. Likewise, it is natural to conclude that some of the traditionally feminine behaviors are also rooted in a similar evolutionary psychology. I think one of the issues about this, though, is that iti s hard to speak extensively about it without it sounding something like a pseudo-science. I do not think it is, but that is the way that it often goes.
    It is commonly said that many atheists are very bad atheists, mostly because they are not materialists that take the ramifications of materialism to their proper conclusions. I find this to be true.
    I am interested how the materialist people of science would respond to this.
  3. Zugzwang
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    10 Apr '18 01:46
    Originally posted by @philokalia
    [quote] "A man in manacles doesn’t fully understand the threat he poses to others.
    Even as he’s raging against his bonds. Especially as he’s raging against his bonds.
    When you’re bred for mastery, when you’re trained to endure and fight and
    suppress empathy, how do you find your way in a world that cannot be mastered?
    How do you live a life in wh ...[text shortened]... this to be true.
    I am interested how the materialist people of science would respond to this.
    "It implies that men are basically designed to rule, to dominate, and to compete ..."
    --Philokalia (commenting on Tim Winton)

    My impression is that Tim Winton believes that men are *culturally* programmed for this,
    while Philokalia assumes that men are *biologically* designed for this.

    What, if anything, does Philokalia understand about the concept of 'toxic masculinity'?
  4. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    10 Apr '18 02:55
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    "It implies that men are basically designed to rule, to dominate, and to compete ..."
    --Philokalia (commenting on Tim Winton)

    My impression is that Tim Winton believes that men are *culturally* programmed for this,
    while Philokalia assumes that men are *biologically* designed for this.

    What, if anything, does Philokalia understand about the concept of 'toxic masculinity'?
    If the desire to rule and dominate is present in diverse cultures, and has also been seen in now outdated cultures, what would make us think that there is not a biological element to it?

    It would also seem that much of culture has attempted in Europe & North America to change the way that men behave, and Winton is saying that this has not been the case, correct? Why is it, then, that it persists? There is still a "toxic masculine culture" that is going on?

    It'd be helpful if you explained your perspective further.

    And what do I know about toxic masculinity? Not much. I know what it is supposed to refer to. I do not buy it as necessarily true. Of course, there can be negative behaviors that are culturally reinforced, and even some very natural behaviors that transcend culture which have negative consequences, but I am not sure that they deserve to be called "toxic masculinity" in all cases.
  5. Zugzwang
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    10 Apr '18 04:43
    Originally posted by @philokalia
    If the desire to rule and dominate is present in diverse cultures, and has also been seen in now outdated cultures, what would make us think that there is not a biological element to it?

    It would also seem that much of culture has attempted in Europe & North America to change the way that men behave, and Winton is saying that this has not been the ca ...[text shortened]... consequences, but I am not sure that they deserve to be called "toxic masculinity" in all cases.
    Philokalia apparently believes that if something's found in many
    diverse cultures, then it must have a biological origin.

    A belief in God (or gods) is found in many diverse cultures.
    But there's no evidence that this belief has a biological origin.
    Children learn this belief as part of their cultural conditioning.
  6. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    10 Apr '18 05:211 edit
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    Philokalia apparently believes that if something's found in many
    diverse cultures, then it must have a biological origin.

    A belief in God (or gods) is found in many diverse cultures.
    But there's no evidence that this belief has a biological origin.
    Children learn this belief as part of their cultural conditioning.
    So there is no biological basis to gender? It is just a coincidence that we take on different roles?

    I think it's got a biological basis and thus it is found in all of these cultures. The average testosterone levels of males and females are radically different. Height and muscle development and fat distribution, bone density, etc., are all very different. And these are things that manifest in every major cultural group because they are immutable truths about gender.

    Male behavior in different cultures, and even male "interests" tend to have lots of overlap... The model of masculinity is pretty universal.

    Of course, ethnologists & anthropologists try to bring up anomalies, but guys like Stephen Pinker have even pointed out why these were misleading.

    I subscribe to a really classical & material idea of gender... How about you tell me about gender from your perspective. I am curious what that looks like.
  7. Zugzwang
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    10 Apr '18 21:201 edit
    Originally posted by @philokalia
    So there is no biological basis to gender? It is just a coincidence that we take on different roles?

    I think it's got a biological basis and thus it is found in all of these cultures. The average testosterone levels of males and females are radically different. Height and muscle development and fat distribution, bone density, etc., are all very diffe ...[text shortened]... ... How about you tell me about gender from your perspective. I am curious what that looks like.
    Philokalia keeps showing his poor reading comprehension or dishonestly distorts what I wrote.
    I note that Philokalia (a Christian) completely ignored what I wrote about a belief in God
    being culturally based rather than biologically determined.

    "So there is no biological basis to gender?"
    --Philokalia

    Where did I allegedly write that? Tim Winton's point (with which I concur) is that 'toxic masculinity'
    (which is a small part of gender identity and not the whole thing, as Philokalia pretends)
    has cultural rather than biological origins, as Philokalia prefers to believe.

    I would submit that the men with 'toxic masculinity' cannot rightly excuse their misogyny
    or their violence against women by smugly claiming: "Biology made me do it!"

    "I subscribe to a really classical & material idea of gender..."
    --Philokalia

    This means that Philokalia embraces traditional sexist beliefs and wrongly claims that they are scientifically justified.
  8. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    10 Apr '18 21:49
    I dropped the initial point about God as biological because it wasn't what I was saying. It was also fuzzy, unclear, and irrelevant.

    So you so believe that gender is biological. You do accept that there is a radically different chemical composition of men versus women.

    Do you accept that some of our behaviors, and even our cultural norms, are rooted in these differences?
  9. Zugzwang
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    10 Apr '18 21:58
    Originally posted by @philokalia
    I dropped the initial point about God as biological because it wasn't what I was saying. It was also fuzzy, unclear, and irrelevant.

    So you so believe that gender is biological. You do accept that there is a radically different chemical composition of men versus women.

    Do you accept that some of our behaviors, and even our cultural norms, are rooted in these differences?
    "So you so believe that gender is biological."
    --Philokalia

    When will Philokalia (who never QUOTES me in context) stop putting words into my mouth?
    It's well-known that I support transgender rights and don't believe that gender's only biologically determined.

    As usual, Philokalia's only purpose is to ignore evidence and rationalize his fanatical prejudices.
  10. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    11 Apr '18 00:02
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    "So you so believe that gender is biological."
    --Philokalia

    When will Philokalia (who never QUOTES me in context) stop putting words into my mouth?
    It's well-known that I support transgender rights and don't believe that gender's only biologically determined.

    As usual, Philokalia's only purpose is to ignore evidence and rationalize his fanatical prejudices.
    Alright, do you accept the idea that there is a radically different chemical composition between men and women that affects the way that they develop, etc.? That there is an essentially different character to the physicality of men that also affects the mental life, and has thus also affected human culture universally?

    I asked that question, which is directly pertinent to the topic, and you haven't bothered answering it. You've also clearly assented to this line of questioning with prior responses and now I think you're just evading it.

    I could be like you and make some comment about how this reflects on you but that is just silly.

    Let's have the debate.
  11. Joined
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    11 Apr '18 00:02
    Originally posted by @philokalia
    [quote] "A man in manacles doesn’t fully understand the threat he poses to others.
    Even as he’s raging against his bonds. Especially as he’s raging against his bonds.
    When you’re bred for mastery, when you’re trained to endure and fight and
    suppress empathy, how do you find your way in a world that cannot be mastered?
    How do you live a life in wh ...[text shortened]... this to be true.
    I am interested how the materialist people of science would respond to this.
    "It implies that men are basically designed to rule, to dominate, and to compete, and that they have some inclination for suppressing a certain amount of empathy. "
    it implies no such thing. it says that society has been educating boys that empathy, emotion is weakness. that to be a "man" means to repress emotion and be insensitive. that men are required to do X but never Y.

    "I am interested how the materialist people of science would respond to this."
    You started this post by completely misunderstanding the point. Then you made a word soup out of several points, none having anything to do with the topic or each other.
  12. Joined
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    11 Apr '18 00:11
    Originally posted by @philokalia
    So there is no biological basis to gender? It is just a coincidence that we take on different roles?

    I think it's got a biological basis and thus it is found in all of these cultures. The average testosterone levels of males and females are radically different. Height and muscle development and fat distribution, bone density, etc., are all very diffe ...[text shortened]... ... How about you tell me about gender from your perspective. I am curious what that looks like.
    "So there is no biological basis to gender? It is just a coincidence that we take on different roles? "
    we took different roles because when we lacked technology men were better suited to hunt mammoths and women were better suited to have and raise children. Today there is no job that cannot be performed by both men and women.


    "The average testosterone levels of males and females are radically different. Height and muscle development and fat distribution, bone density, etc., are all very different."
    And that is an issue if you ever need to swing a sledgehammer.


    "The model of masculinity is pretty universal. "
    And the point of the article is that it needs to change.

    "I subscribe to a really classical & material idea of gender"
    A surprise to nobody here.

    "How about you tell me about gender from your perspective. I am curious what that looks like"
    Individuals, not genders. One man might stay at home and raise children while his wife is the sole earner. A couple deciding children is not something they want ever or at that moment. A man becoming a tailor, a woman working in construction or joining the army. Boys being told that there is nothing wrong to play with dolls, girls being told there is nothing wrong to play with cars, or learning to code.

    Individuals being told to do whatever they feel they like and can, not what an old fart somewhere envisions how a human ought to behave.
  13. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    11 Apr '18 00:32
    Originally posted by @zahlanzi
    "It implies that men are basically designed to rule, to dominate, and to compete, and that they have some inclination for suppressing a certain amount of empathy. "
    it implies no such thing. it says that society has been educating boys that empathy, emotion is weakness. that to be a "man" means to repress emotion and be insensitive. that men are required ...[text shortened]... made a word soup out of several points, none having anything to do with the topic or each other.
    It'd certainly be bad for people to repress their feelings if those feelings were useful for them. For instance, it is good to be open about one's grief or one's anger in many situations where it may prove to be beneficial. Particularly, children should be expected to express themselves positively and eventually they will be more happy and positive, right.

    I think this is what a lot of people do hint at when they hint at "toxic masculinity." The image at the wikipeida implies as much. I understand why telling a young boy not to weep is perhaps silly.

    Crying is quite cathartic and natural... but it has its own time and place, and we should never forget that self-discipline has a purpose.

    ... I think the left here is running into something of a strawman. They are going back to reconstruct masculinity in a way that can be easily attacked. I have never known this kind of masculinity. But it is certainly a convenient target for some unremarkable "intellectual" teaching gender studies at Ball State universiity or something.
  14. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    11 Apr '18 00:40
    Originally posted by @zahlanzi
    "So there is no biological basis to gender? It is just a coincidence that we take on different roles? "
    we took different roles because when we lacked technology men were better suited to hunt mammoths and women were better suited to have and raise children. Today there is no job that cannot be performed by both men and women.


    "The average testoster ...[text shortened]... ey feel they like and can, not what an old fart somewhere envisions how a human ought to behave.
    "we took different roles because when we lacked technology men were better suited to hunt mammoths and women were better suited to have and raise children. Today there is no job that cannot be performed by both men and women. "

    Theoretically, with machines, that is the case, right. But at the end of the day, a man is still far better suited for lugging around giant pieces of pipe and welding them together, and women are probably more inherently sensitive to the needs and nurturing of a baby.

    There is also what is called the "Gender Equality paradox" where Nordic nations which have the highest ratings of gender equity in the world actively demonstrate even greater divergences in interests between men and women and there is little sign of certain jobs ceasing to be domains of masculinity. There is a terrific documentary on this.

    Our inclination towards certain behaviors is certainly rooted in our gender.

    "And that is an issue if you ever need to swing a sledgehammer. "

    And because men have been inclined to this kind of activity for millennia, it also affects the hobbies they are interested in and the ways they interact. Adult men will even sometimes play wrestle. Many actively seek out very active hobbies like going out to wrestle or train in boxing part time.

    "Individuals, not genders. One man might stay at home and raise children while his wife is the sole earner. A couple deciding children is not something they want ever or at that moment. A man becoming a tailor, a woman working in construction or joining the army. Boys being told that there is nothing wrong to play with dolls, girls being told there is nothing wrong to play with cars, or learning to code. "

    There's always exceptions to the behaviors that people engage in.

    Have you ever taught children? Children generally reflect their genders very accurately. Tom boys are fairly common, though. But kids, without having any agenda, gravitate towards behaviors that reflect their gender usually.

    "Individuals being told to do whatever they feel they like and can, not what an old fart somewhere envisions how a human ought to behave."

    I haven't suggested otherwise. If someone wants to do something that is uncharacteristic, so what. You are strawmanning me because it furthers your position to portray me as foolish old crank that is not interested in recognizing differences.

    I am interested in the elements of our humanity that tend to be biologically determined. Maybe not in all cases, as there are always exceptions, but the bulk of men in all cultures tend to behave in a certain way, as do the bulk of women.

    That is certainly relevant.

    I think that some people pretend it is unscientific because it crushes these sacred cows that they have about men and women being all fundamentally the same.

    But we're not.

    Why isn't it OK for us to be naturally different?
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    11 Apr '18 06:58
    Originally posted by @philokalia
    It'd certainly be bad for people to repress their feelings if those feelings were useful for them. For instance, it is good to be open about one's grief or one's anger in many situations where it may prove to be beneficial. Particularly, children should be expected to express themselves positively and eventually they will be more happy and positive, righ ...[text shortened]... some unremarkable "intellectual" teaching gender studies at Ball State universiity or something.
    "I have never known this kind of masculinity."
    Debates aren't run on your personal experience.
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