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"Begin at the beginning,and go on till you come to the end: then stop." (Lewis Carroll, 1832-1896)

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"All right," said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone. "Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!"

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Monday, June 04, 2007

"I Can Make You A Man" - or "What Is A Wimp?"

Click on image to enlarge - "I Can Make You A Man" - Charles Atlas
~*~
From: Dispatches from the Culture Wars -

The Worldnutdaily has a column up with the following headline:

Leave it to the ladies
Exclusive: Pat Boone honours women leaders who've stepped up due to male 'wimpiness'

(Pat Boone. Talking about male wimpiness. Pat Frickin Boone, who could only seem macho if he stood next to Andy Williams. Someone really needs to come up with some sort of irony transplant surgery.)

And what does someone mean by "male whimpiness?" I suggest that the term isn't meant to apply to when guys get sick and want to be mothered incessantly. Is "male whimpiness" the desire not to kill furry little animals with a sub-machine gun? I dunno. What IS "male whimpiness?"

In the 1940s, the word "weakling" or "wimp" was used before the word "nerd" was used widely.
wimp : –noun 1. a weak, ineffectual, timid person. 2. a person lacking in courage or confidence

What is it with gender stereotyping? Some cultures seem to gravitate between the idea that a male isn't a "real man" unless his balls are dragging in the dust, (and his knuckles probably as well), and a female isn't a "real woman" unless she can pull out of her vagina a freshly baked tray of chocolate chip cookies the instant guests arrive. Regardless of how one expresses it, the concept of gender and gender roles is a polarizing factor in many cultures. Why did this polarization occur? A hint to this question might be found in one of the other comments posted on the article.

"It comes from the idea, popular in fundamentalist circles, that in God's ideal world only men are to be in positions of leadership. The only excuse for a woman to lead is when the man has wimped out of his responsibility and the woman is forced to reluctantly take over. The perfect biblical illustration is the story of Deborah and Jael which I posted about a few weeks ago. There's a link to a whacked out fundamentalist website that goes into detail about this very issue."

I think that this comment may have hit the nail on the head. Religions seem to push the gender stereotype more than any other dynamic. Judaism, Christianity and Islam, from my understanding, are probably the biggest players when it comes to gender stereotyping. What do you think?

Of course Frankenfurter from "The Rocky Horror Show" was also a fan of Charles Atlas. I am not sure it was what Charles Atlas had in mind.



Link

30 Comments:

Blogger Lexcen said...

Asking me what I think? Well, it's obvious that GOD intended those of us with a penis to be superior to those of us with a vagina. Man is made in the image of GOD and so GOD must be male gender. Once you realize this then it becomes obvious why GOD's creation is so fucked up. GOD being a male archetype couldn't get things right when he created the world and man in it, and his creation continues to fuck things up in the same way as his creator,in GOD's image.

4/6/07 8:05 pm  
Blogger Blueberry said...

I'm baking some cookies now, and I want to tell you that it is quite painful.

Jehovah is male and also jealous. He does not share power like some other gods were willing to do. Also Adam blamed Eve for his mistakes and the events that followed, the downfall of humanity. Then women are cursed with painful childbirth, not to mention problems with the hot chocolate chip cookies.

5/6/07 1:49 am  
Blogger DiscordianStooge said...

It's one thing to believe we need to get rid of gender stereotyping. It's another to act like don't understand why it exists. It's been around for thousands of years, and I expect the progress made recently is pretty good considering.

Most men I know play the macho game and make fun of others in jest, but rarely is anyone called a "wuss" or "wimp" with any real meaning. As you said, all men like to coddled when we're sick. (Oops, I guess that's a stereotype too.)

World-Nut is fun to read for a laugh, but taking them seriously is ridiculous. Their idea of the frontiersman as the only real man doesn't exist anywhere I've ever been.

Also, those vagina cookies couldn't be white-chocolate/macadamia nut, could they?

5/6/07 1:50 am  
Blogger Plonka said...

Maybe I'm the exception that makes the rule, but I'm having difficulty with this "being coddled when I'm sick" thing. All I want when I'm sick is to be left alone. I hate it and I get seriously grumpy though, so no-one around here seems to find that a problem...:)

But I think this goes back a lot further than religion. Religion just latched on and ran with it.

On the one hand we have a body that is physically (and chemically) more suited to violence. On the other we have a body that is physically (and chemically) more suited to nurture.

Hence the fact that in times gone by, men hunted and defended and women nurtured and gathered. That isn't to say that each cannot perform the other's role, quite the contrary, but the constraint of time meant that before mechanisation, the two roles were kept separate by necessity.

When it comes to thinking however, not much separates the two. So it was probably during the first abusive relationship that a man first decided he could do all the thinking on his own and the derogatory idea of "woman's work" and the resulting stereotype was born.

Unfortunately, the church not only sanctioned the idea but practiced it itself on occasion with such things as inquisitions, crusades, witch hunts and words like "submit" and "obey" in the woman's part of wedding vows, thereby perpetuating the myth...

5/6/07 11:32 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

lexcen

RE: "Once you realize this then it becomes obvious why GOD's creation is so fucked up. GOD being a male archetype couldn't get things right when he created the world and man in it, and his creation continues to fuck things up in the same way as his creator,in GOD's image."

That's gold mate.

5/6/07 11:38 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

blueberry

Yeah, it's all insane. The best thing to do is to take the piss out of it.

discordian

RE: "Also, those vagina cookies couldn't be white-chocolate/macadamia nut, could they?"

As I have a "magical vagina" in the same way that men have "magical sperm" - those cookies can be whatever sort you want to believe they are.

5/6/07 11:40 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

plonka

I think you put it pretty well in historical terms.

However, I am not convinced that the hunter/gatherer dynamic was as gender specific as we might like to imagine it was.

There would have been many issues which would have decided who hunted and who gathered and at what times - and certainly one of these issues would have been about care of children.

With strongly patriarchial cultures this gender delineation of task and status became more obvious and allowed for less flexibility between the roles.

I think this short article summarizes the process:-

THE CREATION OF PATRIARCHY
http://w3.salemstate.edu/~hbenne/pdfs/patriarchy_creation.pdf

5/6/07 11:52 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

The ideas are also expressed here in point form.

The Creation of the Patriarchy
http://www.rit.edu/~tnlgsh/CreationofPatriarchy.htm

5/6/07 11:56 am  
Blogger Plonka said...

Beep: And what was being hunted/gathered. There's no doubt that duties will have crossed over quite a bit, but there were extremes. The more dangerous a task for instance, the more likely it was to be performed by men.

That was probably because women were viewed (as your links point out) as a valuable resource. Only they could give birth after all and children are the most important resource of all. The convenient excuse here is that resources need to be protected, which of course leads to freedoms being eroded.

I don't think that violence/nurture can be ignored here. Patriarchal societies tend to rise on violence and preoccupy themselves with it, and violence and subjugation go hand in hand. It's not so much the "hunter/gatherer" thing as the physical and biological "violence/nurture" thing that I meant.

5/6/07 1:02 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

plomka

I agree with your comments. They put it in perspective.

Also, the ancient male's preoccupation with seed (semen) may have been that they also viewed this as a resource - one which wasn't to be "wasted." Which may explain the laws against masturbation, homosexuality and bestiality.

The woman's womb, and consequently the woman, would also have been viewed as a resource for planting male seed.

5/6/07 1:47 pm  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

Wow, is that a Joe Weider ad? Holy Hosannas, Batman, don't THAT take me back!
I always did hate that 'real man' crap. Can't cry, eat quiche, wear pink, all that machismo nonsense.
& no, I absolutely loathe being 'coddled' when I'm ill (which is rarely).

5/6/07 2:00 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

The machismo crap annoys me as well. In fact, the whole sexual steroetyping BS annoys me.

5/6/07 9:09 pm  
Anonymous remy said...

I am wondering if it's the macho types who require the coddling since I HATE having people around when I'm ill and I would not be considered macho.

6/6/07 8:28 am  
Blogger Intergalactic Hussy said...

I hate gender stereotyping mainly because it's plain insulting. By saying a man is worth less for being feminine, WTF is wrong with being feminine? LOL

6/6/07 10:57 am  
Blogger Dikkii said...

I'm not sure if religion had much to do with this, Beep.

I think that this is a case where gender-related bias would have evolved first, and then the bits were filled in in religion to totally justify it.

In other words, a lot of religious dogma was invented to cement existing gender politics issues.

Religion certainly perpetuates it, but I think in this case the egg came before the chicken, if you know what I mean.

6/6/07 2:03 pm  
Blogger Plonka said...

Remy: I am wondering if it's the macho types who require the coddling...

I think you might be on to something there...

Blogger swallowed a comment too... Oh well...

Beep: As you say, seed and as we all know, seed is not to be wasted. But I think it was the woman, not her womb (they had no idea of such things, as you've pointed out in previous posts) that was seen as the resource. And as Dikkii says, once that happens, gender bias takes over and so begins a liturgy of subjugation. The church just runs with it and exploits it at every opportunity...

6/6/07 8:56 pm  
Blogger Blueberry said...

Seed wasn't supposed to be wasted because men were supposed to grow their tribes and fill the earth. It was better to do it with a whore than waste it (as long as it's a woman!), according to the old Bible.

I think we've all grown the size of our "tribes" enough now, thank you very much. The earth is full now, at capacity.

6/6/07 9:12 pm  
Blogger Dikkii said...

The church does, Plonka, although I could have picked my words more carefully.

The church is (and always has been) an inanimate entity. The people in charge, however...

Take Paul of Tarsus for instance. It's between him and Mohammed as to which one was the more disgraceful misogynist homophobe.

6/6/07 11:47 pm  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

Thank goodness we, at least some of us, have evolved. In the cave man days the men went out and killed whatever they ate. I guess he had to be big and strong to do that. But see, that was a long time ago. We have moved far away from those days. Now men are free to be whoever they feel they are. As for women, well, we're still working on our part.

Note to me, if I pop in on someone and they have fresh baked cookies, don't eat them. :)

7/6/07 1:07 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

lol Patricia


Blueberry

I would figure "the tribes" are big enough too especially as thousands of people starve to death on a weekly basis. (probably a daily basis..)

8/6/07 9:59 am  
Blogger Plonka said...

Beep: After reading your next post and the book it lead me to, I couldn't resist.

All societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children. All else is surplusage, excrescence, adornment, luxury, or folly which can - and must - be dumped in emergency to preserve this prime function. As racial survival is only universal morality, no other basic is possible. Attempts to formulate a "perfect society" on any foundation other than "Women and children first!" is not only witless, it is automatically genocidal. Nevertheless, starry-eyed idealists (all of them male) have tried endlessly - and no doubt will keep on trying. - Robert a Heinlein (well, Lazarus Long actually...)

8/6/07 8:30 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

plonka

Yeah, its an interesting quote.

Of course I would suggest that the reason that "all societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children" is because males of each tribe don't want males from another tribe to have access to their tribal commodity.

If women are soil and children are fruit then each tribe doesn't want their land or their crops stolen or interfered with by another group of tribal males.

I have to say that I object strongly to the use of the term "human resources" which has become so prevelant in our business communities, but perhaps the idea that females were a commodity or a resource, is an ancient one formalized in patriarchial systems.

9/6/07 10:33 am  
Blogger breakerslion said...

Once upon a time, there was a disciple of Shiva who grew increasingly restless and dissatisfied with the slow pace of the goddess' instruction. Eventually, she decided to go out into the world and learn its secrets for herself. After twenty years, she returned to show off to the goddess what she had learned. The goddess, being a goddess, recognized her immediately and said, "My daughter, where have you been?"

To which the wayward student replied, "I have been out in the world, and I have learned to bake cookies with my vagina! Here, have one."

The Godedess replied, "My daughter, you should have used an oven. It would have been much faster."

10/6/07 1:50 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

breaker

Once upon a time stories are always interesting. Frankly, I think all religious texts should begin that way.

10/6/07 10:10 am  
Blogger breakerslion said...

Just so. ;-)

10/6/07 10:21 pm  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

Plonka - lovely quote. A distinct keeper.

11/6/07 11:50 am  
Blogger Parge said...

Pat Boone. Talking about male wimpiness. Pat Frickin Boone, who could only seem macho if he stood next to Andy Williams.


Check out the guns.

12/6/07 7:30 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Parge

Not bad for an old dude. However, his lasting reputation will not be as the epitome of masculinity.

12/6/07 9:59 am  
Blogger Plonka said...

Thanks KA. He does have a wonderful turn of phrase doesn't he..

12/6/07 2:28 pm  
Blogger Plonka said...

Beep: Couldn't agree more. And I have to admit, I much preferred the old title. "HR" smacks of "Human Recycling" to me...

12/6/07 2:34 pm  

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