Sane, Helpful, Progressive? The Wapo Oped

Today, a Professor Victoria Bissell Brown, 70 yrs old and married for 50 Years was accepted to the editorial page of Wapo.

Thanks for not raping us, all you ‘good men.’ But it’s not enough.

I yelled at my husband last night. Not pick-up-your-socks yell. Not how-could-you-ignore-that-red-light yell. This was real yelling. This was 30 minutes of from-the-gut yelling. Triggered by a small, thoughtless, dismissive, annoyed, patronizing comment. Really small. A micro-wave that triggered a hurricane.

snip

I announced that I hate all men and wish all men were dead.

I do not know what to make of this (with the exception of my title choice).

If you read, also look at the comments.

What was Wapo thinking? What was their purpose? Who is this supposed to help and how?

Offered for informational purposes.

UPDATE: For those thinking I am attempting to start a flame war, they are incorrect. I am asking for your thoughtful opinions as to what Wapo's intent and purpose was in publishing this Oped.

Share
up
7 users have voted.

Comments

Raggedy Ann's picture

this proverbial can of worms because.....???? Unknw

up
11 users have voted.

"If there is not justice for the people, let there be no peace for the government." Emiliano Zapata

EdMass's picture

@Raggedy Ann

should be addressed to Wapo.

You read the editorial then, yes?

Or are you suggesting that this is not a valid discussion (what was Wapo's intent) based on a published editorial to be had here?

up
5 users have voted.

"I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you"

Alvin Lee - Ten Years After

Stop the War!

Pricknick's picture

Don't do washington compost.
Hint for the day.

up
12 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

EdMass's picture

@Pricknick

What they say and try to influence doesn't matter.

Hmmm. where did I hear that before?

up
4 users have voted.

"I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you"

Alvin Lee - Ten Years After

Stop the War!

Pricknick's picture

@EdMass
But it's not a curse. My research for truthful geopolitical items became much easier once I started flat out banning the bullshit.
MSM has corrupted enough people. I need not apply.

up
8 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

Big Al's picture

Damn.

up
11 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

author's name and up came a number of conservative article links, including one from Rush Limbaugh, lambasting and making fun of the article and author and liberals of course. The author mentioned a gender war, perhaps that's the purpose, to inflame. They do it with many issues and situations to purposely divide the public and keep the focus off the criminal oligarchy. Make everything right vs left, conservative vs liberal, left vs right and man vs woman.

up
15 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@Big Al

I wondered how the fuck can that kind of rage be helpful. It’s way too loud and stabbing. I felt beaten up just reading it.

Sure these issues need much fuller addressing, but this is not true -

In the centuries of feminist movements that have washed up and away, good men have not once organized their own mass movement to change themselves and their sons or to attack the mean-spirited, teasing, punching thing that passes for male culture. Not once.

There are many small, but very meaningful attempts at exactly that kind of work, all over the place.

If every one of these women would instead dedicate the time toward achieving that goal, say one-on-one or in manageable groups, they might be more effective.

up
9 users have voted.

@Big Al Same as it ever was !

up
8 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

The gender war that has broken out in this country is flooding all our houses. It’s rising on the torrent of memories that every woman has. Those memories have come loose from the attic and the basement where we’ve stashed them. They are floating all around us and there is no place left to store them out of sight. Not just memories of sexual abuse. Memories of being dismissed, disdained, distrusted. Memories of having to endure put-downs at the office, catcalls in the parking lot, barked orders at a dinner party. And, for some reason, the most chilling memory of all, the one Christine Blasey Ford called up and that we all recognized: the laughter. The laughter of men who are bonding with each other by mocking us. When Ford testified under oath that the laughter is the sharpest memory of her high school assault, every woman within the sound of her voice could hear that laughter, had heard that laughter, somewhere, somehow.

No man right now understands the flood that is rushing through women’s brains, and only women in the deepest denial have evacuated their minds before the flood could reach them.

up
14 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

dkmich's picture

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg

No man right now understands the flood that is rushing through women’s brains, and only women in the deepest denial have evacuated their minds before the flood could reach them.

Who does she think she is to speak for women and men everywhere? This is the kind of over the top statement that loses any argument points in my book. I have no floods lurking, and my womanhood doesn't need rescuing. It is perfectly fine thank you very much.

up
10 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

Bisbonian's picture

@dkmich , for not wishing us all dead Wink

up
7 users have voted.

"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

dkmich's picture

@Bisbonian @Bisbonian

It does them no favors, and it turns allies into foes. Don't they realize that 1)this is how the word hysterical gets hung on women, and 2) they are talking about hanging our husbands, sons, and grandsons? I have a husband, three grandsons, and a daughter, and I want each of them to have opportunity and justice that is fair.

I judge case by case, and I want conclusive evidence. Women are no better than men and vice versa. Look at what happens to people who express views, not in lockstep with #MeToo. The woke people shame, shout and bully them into silence. All they can think and feel is their own povs, which may be valid for them but not necessarily conclusive or universal. Bring up the current economic injustice being experienced by white males as supported by their higher than normal suicide rates and watch the woke people sneer and laugh.

As a species, we could all benefit from being more caring and helpful to our fellow homo sapien.

up
7 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

Amanda Matthews's picture

@Bisbonian @Bisbonian
intended and generally got. Read the comments...

25 minutes ago
There are no nice guys. There are only men who speak-up when they see injustice no matter how slight towards any individual and then there are the remaining 99% of males who are useless human beings

My best friends except for 2 have always been males. I’ve known a few male assholes and I’ve known a bunch of duplicitous scheming women. I have a couple doozies in my own family.

We’re never going to get anywhere with attitudes like this. I have never been as disgusted with my own sex as I have been lately when the idea that you just need a woman’s word that she was assaulted. No proof necessary. Yeah, that’s going to make men receptive to what we say. About six months ago my son found out the girls he was seriously thinking of marrying had a tryst with her old boyfriend. When he confronted her about it on the phone all Hell broke loose. He ended up with her phone (complete with text message evidence) and he had to take it back to her. (Here I have to admit he took it from her when he first went to talk to her. I told him he had to give it back so he made me ride with him.) Well, the operation went as I figured it would as she scratched the hell out of his face. So, AGAINST my advice he didn’t just walk away, he called the police. By the time they showed up she miraculously had scratch marks on her neck. (Surprise surprise!) The cops didn’t want to deal with it so both of them went to jail for domestic abuse, They didn’t want to hear anything from me because being his mother they said they couldn’t take my word for what happened and a judge would sort it out. When my son went to court he was convicted of disorderly conduct. The judge wasn’t buying what she had to sell, which shocked the hell out of me. I just figured he was going to get screwed. When Felicia went she was convicted for assault and disorderly conduct. So I do not want to hear shit like “if a woman says something you HAVE to believe it”.

I won’t even go into the mess we had on our hands when my brother found out his youngest daughter wasn’t his. Now he WAS guilty of punching her in the face, no doubt about it. Ten days in the slammer and a domestic violence conviction on his criminal record. Not to mention the divorce.

I told someone here that I wasn’t going to touch this subject because there’s too much trouble and hard feelings involved but this old woman and the one who submitted that comment just pushed my buttons.

EDIT: explanation on how he got her phone and why I made him go back to her apartment.

up
4 users have voted.

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

dkmich's picture

@Amanda Matthews

#MeToo is getting to be as good as Trump voter for knowing who you don't want to be in a relationship with. Sorry about your son. Glad it wasn't worse.

up
3 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

Centaurea's picture

I don't have a clue what the WaPo's purpose was in publishing the piece. I don't trust any of the MSM, and I don't trust Jeff Bezos or his buddies, the CIA.

(Since the article is behind a paywall, I used my provider's VPN to read it.)

I don't agree with everything the op-ed's author wrote. What I do know, however, is that women are angry. Very angry. All geographic areas, all ages, all walks of life. Millennias' worth of anger coming up and being openly and directly expressed, and being validated on a societal level.

No matter what the WaPo's intent was, no matter what the Dems' purpose was during the Kavanaugh hearing, no matter how cynically the neoliberals use identity politics, the fact remains that women are angry.

If one wants to discount women's rage by questioning the motive of the venues where they're expressing it, your question may be valid, but it will not make women's anger go away.

We asked for la revolution. I suspect that many of us did not understand what we were asking for. We're at Point A, and we want to be at Point !. Complete paradigm shift. What it means to be human is changing.

EdMass, if I read you right (this essay and other comments you've posted), you believe that the attention to gender politics (male-female issues) is being used as a distraction by the establishment. I don't disagree.

However, I'd ask you to consider the possibility that what's going on with women now is an intrinsic, necessary part of the paradigm shift that we have to go through to get where we want to be.

I don't believe that the two things are mutually exclusive. Yes, "the powers that be" will use whatever they can to manipulate us and put us back to sleep. Yes, women's voices being raised now is part of the great awakening that's going on.

You know, if we automatically discount something because TPTB are using it, that means we're still not being pro-active. We're still reacting to what TPTB are doing. We're still allowing ourselves to be manipulated.

As a second wave feminist in the 1970s, I saw first-hand how the neocon-neolib establishment co-opted the women's rights movement for its own purposes. I really do not want that to happen again.

up
13 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

EdMass's picture

@Centaurea

as to my belief. You are also correct in stating

However, I'd ask you to consider the possibility that what's going on with women now is an intrinsic, necessary part of the paradigm shift that we have to go through to get where we want to be.

up
5 users have voted.

"I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you"

Alvin Lee - Ten Years After

Stop the War!

zoebear's picture

If you don't want to be accused of starting a flame war, don't post essays about the anger some women feel right now living in a deeply rooted patriarchal society and then ask incredulously if this kind of anger is "sane" or "helpful".

You wanna know what's not "helpful"? These kind of fucking essays.

up
6 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

EdMass's picture

@zoebear

We can't discuss it?

up
2 users have voted.

"I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you"

Alvin Lee - Ten Years After

Stop the War!

zoebear's picture

@EdMass

Good faith discussion happens when there is good faith on both sides. I've yet to see that happen here when "discussing" the raping, molesting, harrassing, and objectifying of women. Inevitably this "discussion" attracts the posters who have a predilection for saying whatever batshit crazy idea that comes in their head and they show up here dropping their excrement throughout the comment thread and the pie throwing begins. It's tediously unproductive. As is the above mentioned Op-Ed you felt compelled to refer to for the betterment of humankind I'm sure.

up
4 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

EdMass's picture

@zoebear

There is no doubt that women's complaints, their fears, are legitimate, but it is my opinion, my observation, that those complaints have been exaggerated and misapplied. The article writer's rage is common, but it is wrong, it is counterproductive, and that is intentional.

The article writer is Dr Brown, not me.

Thanks for that opinion, that's all I asked for.

up
1 user has voted.

"I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you"

Alvin Lee - Ten Years After

Stop the War!

zoebear's picture

@EdMass

As is your persistent declarations of the usefulness of "discussing" this op-Ed.

up
3 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

but first I'll preface with an illustration that will sound absurd.
I have a writers' group. I have great faith in my writing, but I have an artistic character flaw - I accept criticism, but sometimes I misinterpret it, trying to preserve my flaws (my identity) rather than improve. For example I went through a phase where I responded to criticism of my overuse of commas, not by tightening my sentence structure but by overusing semicolons.
Looking back on my youth I see a similar thing with gender relations. I was (and still am I swear) a "good man". I am not perfect, but I tried. Why do I use past tense? Why did I stop trying? Because no matter how I tried, no matter how innocuous my failures, the women around me refused to respond with anything but fear and anger. I have given up trying to convince them otherwise.
There is no doubt that women's complaints, their fears, are legitimate, but it is my opinion, my observation, that those complaints have been exaggerated and misapplied. The article writer's rage is common, but it is wrong, it is counterproductive, and that is intentional. For 50 years I have seen "feminists" who are actually demagogues and I have seen the rich and powerful feed that fear and anger to discredit feminism by turning women against men who would otherwise be allies. I see an indoctrination program.
This, however, will change. Indoctrination programs, when exposed, invariably crumble away. Rationality will eventually prevail. Misogyny will decline. (eventually essentially to zero) Good men will remain good, no matter how much pressure is applied to make them resentful and defensive, while misandry will become increasingly renounced, because you cannot continue to demonize people when you are constantly surrounded by people who are not demons.

up
5 users have voted.

A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

@doh1304
disappear, because it emerges from a few simple realities:

a. Men desperately want something that only women can give them.
b. A meaningful fraction of men aren't particularly deserving of it.
c. Even those who are deserving of it are often obliged to prostrate themselves in some way in order to obtain it.

What these 3 realities add up to is that, even given our current built-in social, economic and legal inequalities that give men unequal power and authority versus women, some women wield enormous power over some men. And those men resent it. Should we ever accomplish anything even approximating equality of social, economic and legal status, there will be a whole lot more women wielding enormous power over a whole lot more men. And those men will resent it.

There are some problems that simply have no perfect, permanent solution, and this is one of them.

up
2 users have voted.

Sigh

zoebear's picture

@UntimelyRippd

As in these are the "realities" according to your worldview. Which may or may not be colored by your own experiences with women, relegating them into more of the opinion criteria than actual reality.

up
3 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

@zoebear
points, you are welcome to offer your refutation. i assert that not only are all three, as i stated them, clearly true, prima facie, but they are relatively conservative in their breadth. for example, item "b", which speaks in terms of what is or is not deserved, doesn't address the existence of men whose basic moral character might be unimpeachable, but who for various other reasons are fundamentally unattractive to women -- or attractive in a fashion sufficiently rare as to make the finding of a mate effectively impossible.

i also find it interesting that you thought i ought perhaps to add qualifications having to do with my own experience of women, when what i was talking about -- what my three points are all about -- is the experience of men. and no, not all men are alike, but i did not assert that all men are and will always be misogynists either.

what i consider indisputable is that to the extent that a society manages to grant women the simple, fundamental right to autonomy with respect to their bodies, it correspondingly must be granting each individual woman power over any and all men who desire her physically. I have been occasionally subjected to condescending lectures from a handful of men projecting onto every extant Y chromosome their (self-perceived) capacity for virtue with respect to their interest in women. Regardless of the existence of a few such smug scolds, the reality for almost all men (as clearly expressed in ten thousand years of art and literature and politics and religion) is this: Male sexual desire is an unending and unforgiving hunger, and the pursuit of its satiation can/will lead the average man into violating almost any principle he imagined himself to hold (to say nothing of acting with outright stupidity). That is why it gives women extraordinary power over men.

The human sex drive (male and female) is not a cultural construct, it is basic to our behavior, ancient beyond our imaginations; its earliest biochemical manifestations probably predate anything that can be thought of as consciousness, even the marginal consciousness that some might ascribe to an earthworm. How to handle it is one of the primary concerns of any and every human "society" of which I have ever read. Most of those societies seem to have handled it by stripping women, to varying degrees, of their autonomy; one presumes this is because most societies emerge in a context where might makes right, and men have the physical power to impose a settlement that places most of the burdens and responsibilities on women.

up
6 users have voted.

Sigh

zoebear's picture

@UntimelyRippd

Male sexual desire is an unending and unforgiving hunger, and the pursuit of its satiation can/will lead the average man into violating almost any principle he imagined himself to hold (to say nothing of acting with outright stupidity). That is why it gives women extraordinary power over men.

Would this be the same "power" a woman supposedly has when fending off unwanted advances in the workplace, in the classroom, at the park, at the beach, waiting for the train, walking down the street, or just anywhere she goes?

Lordy! My mind is just bursting with the possibilities this "power" of mine will afford me...

up
5 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

@zoebear
In fact, it ignores what i am saying -- in particular, my final paragraph.

My whole point is exactly that men create -- largely by violence, implicit or explicit -- societies whose norms and institutions specifically thwart the power that women would otherwise exert over them. However, because most men are not complete pricks, such structures and institutions do not free most men from the reality of their situation -- which is, again, that they desperately want something that they cannot have unless they can persuade a woman (often a particular woman, often almost any woman at all) to supply it. Even for those who are reasonably successful at it, even for those who win to themselves a long-term, willing and adored partner, this reality does not change.

It cannot be news to you that in many/most/practically-all relationships, there are occasions when women use their sexual power either to obtain from their mates concessions, or to punish their mates for transgressions. They can do this because, even should the culture give men the explicit legal right to force the matter (as ours once did), most men don't want to do violence to the women they love. Indeed, most men aren't particularly thrilled to have sex with a partner who doesn't want it. Perhaps you suppose your own relationship(s) to have been free of this particular dynamic, and perhaps you are right, but that hardly matters, because there is nothing more epistemologically dangerous than projecting one's personal experience and psychology out onto the rest of humanity and using that as a basis for analysis of what has been, what is, and what might be, as regards human society.

In an impossible-to-achieve fully Utopian egalitarian society, one in which women had full legal autonomy over their persons (including, somehow, complete and inviolable physical security) as well as full economic security for themselves and their children, men would quickly become the (ineffectively resentful) slaves of women. In such a context, women would have all the power, and there would be men who would hate them for it, with a hatred that would dwarf the misogyny we see in our current society.

up
1 user has voted.

Sigh

zoebear's picture

@UntimelyRippd

there are conflicting theories. Unfortunately, I don't believe your premise has met the standards for what constitutes a legitimate contribution to either field.

You used a lot of words to essentially say it's all in the biology and men can't change. I reject that notion. If the human mind is capable of neuroplasticity, if stroke victims can redirect brain activity away from the damaged area to another area, surely we can raise boys into men who can manage their tortured preoccupation with erotic satisfaction.

We can go around and around with this. Or not. Entirely your choice.

up
5 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

janis b's picture

@zoebear

For me it fully encompasses the heart of the matter, with a lot of heart and promise.

up
4 users have voted.

@zoebear
being to not experience thirst while eating a salty pretzel every fifteen minutes and drinking nothing from 9 till 5, i'll begin to believe that our plasticity extends as far as your optimism implies.

I can't imagine what sort of "training" might be involved in somehow quashing in young men (or anyone) such a deep and fundamental drive as the sex drive, but i don't think it would be pretty. Talking about feelings and respect, role-playing, discussions of ethics, empathy training, and so on -- none of these are known to be effective for addressing instinctive responses. Aversive therapy might work -- administer an electric shock every time you detect (somehow) a response to the sight of a female, but I don't think this is what you have in mind.

In fact, I think that the difficulty we're encountering in this conversation is that you are talking about higher-order behaviors (e.g., harassing a woman on the street), and I'm talking about something much, much lower. i imagine we probably can train men not to harass women on the street (though even there, I suspect that for many individuals it's likely to be more a matter of active and coercive repression, than some sort of consciousness raising). What we can't do is make them not desire women, and it is their desire that is at the root of the conflict between men and women.

Sometime yesterday I realized that I hadn't properly addressed your specific examples of situations in which the notion of you having power over males was ridiculous. You are absolutely correct, in those contexts. The only context in which a woman's sexuality offers her real power over a man is when there's some possibility that they might actually have sex, and she has the autonomy to refuse. Of course, in our culture (and most cultures) that's also the context in which most sexualized interactions between a man and a woman happen. Here's something I don't think we see very often: A man directing overt, unsolicited sexual aggression at a random woman he knows he will never touch when he might be overheard by a non-random woman he has any hope of wooing.

Here's a thought experiment.
Imagine that you were only allowed to eat if you could persuade somebody else to eat with you.
Imagine further that the act of sharing a meal with someone was imbued, both biologically and culturally, with considerable emotional and social significance, such that most of the time you were obliged to demonstrate to the other person that you deserved to share that meal.
Imagine further that you belong to a biological subclass of people who could only share a meal with members of an entirely separate biological subclass of people.
Imagine further that in general (though not invariably), members of your subclass felt hungry more often and more acutely than members of the other subclass, so that even if you managed to find a long-term dining partner, you were nonetheless going to be hungry most of the time, unless you badgered that partner into dining frequently enough that you weren't hungry most of the time. It's worth noting that you would presumably like your dining partner, so that you wouldn't feel good about the badgering, and while the meal would take the edge off your hunger, it would also be unsatisfying in an important and meaningful way. (Meanwhile, unbeknownst to you, your partner, having been dragooned without enthusiasm into dining, might express delight at the delicious food while surreptitiously slipping bites from the plate into a napkin while thinking about, oh, I don't know, whether the kids have a dentist appointment next week. And resenting you for the whole business.)

That is the experience of the typical human male, the experience you hope to somehow train away, so that you have a population of males who somehow don't particularly care whether they have sex, except of course in the moments when a female, spontaneously and entirely of her own volition, expresses an explicit interest -- at which moment, we can hope, the men will be filled with a gentle yet overwhelming urgent passion.

This is simply not the reality of our biology, neither men's nor women's.

up
1 user has voted.

Sigh

zoebear's picture

@UntimelyRippd

Included recording the brain activity of Tibetan Buddhist monks who had been meditating for most of their lives. One such subject had begun his practice as a young boy under the instruction of his father. When he was only 13 years old he was inspired to begin a 3 year long meditation retreat.

During a meditation on compassion, neuroscientists recorded the neural activity of this monk in a key center of the brain's limbic system, also known as the area that deals with emotions. What they found was impressive. Neural activity in the area we could call the "sweet spot" where emotions of well being, happiness, and general lack of negativity and anxiety reside, jumped 700 to 800 percent. For ordinary subjects in the study, volunteers who had just begun to meditate, that same area increased its activity by a mere 10 to 15 percent.

I can't imagine what sort of "training" might be involved in somehow quashing in young men (or anyone) such a deep and fundamental drive as the sex drive, but i don't think it would be pretty.

I also think it's telling that the word you heard when I suggested raising our boys to better manage their sex drive, was to "quash" it when my imagination for their lives was so much more expansive than the one you imagined. Particularly all the other areas of their lives they could expand and master if they could master their mind instead of letting their mind master them.

As the Dharma teaches...

"By whom and how were the weapons of hell created?"

---Santideva, The Bodhicaryavatara

"Suffering follows a negative thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draw it"

---the Dhammapada

"A disciplined mind invites true joy"

---the Dhammapada

up
1 user has voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

@zoebear
how men manage their sex drive, and I'm talking about how they experience it. You refuse to comprehend. When I compare it to hunger, I'm not being cute and I'm not being hyperbolic -- it is a craving, and it never really goes away for long, especially in the presence of women. Do you not know that almost all of us (or certainly far more than half, especially young men) are "managing" our sex drive All. The. Fucking. Time? From a hundred to a thousand times a day, each of us must shake our heads and refocus our thoughts away from the one most urgent concern bubbling up out of our limbic system. If we're not heads down in our work, but in a mixed-gender social environment (including in the workplace), we are thinking about sex anywhere from a few times an hour to a few times a minute, depending on what else is going on around us. All. The. Fucking. Time. Every day of our lives, from the moment the testosterone kicks in for realz to, uh, well, I don't know really, some men seem to be there right to the bitter end. And what do you offer me? "Well, if you spend your entire childhood in rigorous training you can learn to " ... uh, what, exactly? You say you're not about quashing anything, but that is exactly what this child is supposedly able to do. I'm guessing he didn't get to spend a lot of time playing with Lego or chasing other kids around the monastery in games of freeze tag or chasing pop flies that the older monks hit for him, but hey -- at least he didn't suffer from being human. Regardless, your story says nothing about how that boy felt when he turned fifteen and somehow found himself in the company of young women wearing thong bikinis. Or for that matter how he felt if he hadn't eaten for a week, or drunk for a day, or peed since before he went to bed the previous night. But hey, maybe he was so damned cool that he could just chill out and meditate all of those urges away, not to mention the itch behind his shoulder blades and the tickle in his throat from that rhinovirus and the blinding headache from his migraines.

So, fine, dream your dream of a planet where 8 billion people are all raised to not give a fuck because they're so blissfully spaced out on Nirvana and whatnot. I'm going to continue to live in the real world, where people are mostly just people, and experience their humanity as the animals that they actually are. You say you're not about "quashing" anything, but for myself, I'm not big on philosophies that deny our nature, our perception, and our experience, setting us above and outside of our physical reality. (and no, i don't buy the new woo of physics that postulates, based on some mathematical this and that, that all of reality is an illusion -- as if that were actually a new idea anyway, rather than millennia old.)

I don't know if you've noticed, by the way, but parts of this response marked the first time in this whole conversation when I've said anything that could be construed as "defending" men. Until now, all I've been doing is saying something really simple: When somebody has something you want, they have power over you; and to the extent they exercise that power, you will resent them; and women have something men want. That's my whole argument. Your response has not been novel -- A denial of the essential nature of male sexual desire, coupled with a contempt for what you construe as their inability to manage that desire. Treating the desire men experience for sexual gratification as of a kind with the desire men experience for a really great cheeseburger or a set of Craftsman socket wrenches (not the new junk, but the old, classic Sears made-in-america guaranteed-for-life-no-questions-asked Craftsman socket wrenches that your grandfather gave your dad when he got his first new car) is just self-righteous condescension. So again, but now thrown down as a challenge: When you can eat a dry, salty pretzel every fifteen minutes of your workday, drink nothing, and not experience thirst; and when you can do that every single day of your life -- then you'll at least be in a position to argue that what you claim is possible might be possible. And let me be really clear about that italicized phrase: It is not enough that you are able to somehow work through the thirst, still getting your work done with your usual competence and efficiency. That is what men already do. What you must do is not feel thirsty. Not even if your coworker keeps a 1-gallon pitcher of lemonade and ice cubes on her desk, from which she occasionally pours an 8 oz glass (clink clinkety clink) and then guzzles it down (glug glug), then crunches her way through the ice cubes for the next five minutes. Because if you do feel thirsty, well, you're just an overgrown child who needs to learn to control her urges, and if -- god forbid -- you look up and gaze longingly as she fills that glass, you're worse, you're a thought criminal who needs to be sent back to a re-education camp.

So yeah. Good luck finding that Nirvana. Meanwhile, I'll be here in Samsara, feeling dissatisfied about nearly everything, because easily satisfied animals generally don't survive to reproduce, and all of my ancestors, going right back to the first squirmy things that had some nerve cells that could calculate the conditions of their environment well enough to get MORE MORE MORE, did survive, and I inherited their penchant for dissatisfaction.

up
0 users have voted.

Sigh

zoebear's picture

@UntimelyRippd

So there can be nothing of value I may add if you believe being dissatisfied about everything is an effective tool for survival.

As far as your challenge goes, I can in fact lay claim to having done some work wrestling with my own demons. Several years ago I was diagnosed with a bi-polar disorder and put on medication. After suffering for 3 years from the horrific side effects of the medication, I made the decision to use my practice to help me find a way off the pharmacological hamster wheel I was trapped in. I began with 3 hours of chanting and meditation every day for about six months. Eventually, I was able to keep my mood swings closer to a base line by consciously "watching" my brain patterns. Not unlike being an orchestra conductor inside your own head. It was very exacting that first year, but now the re-direction comes as second nature. I still have to chant and meditate everyday but I'm finally off the medication.

In addition to being diagnosed with a bi-polar disorder, came a surprisingly unintended "gift". Because I was forced to learn how to re-direct my brain patterns, I was able to use this skill in other areas of my life. At the age of 45 years old, I changed careers, moved across the country, and carved out a life that I would never have imagined for myself years before. I attribute that largely to being able to fight off the corrosively negative thoughts and fears that were keeping me in a city, in a job, and in a relationship that was killing me emotionally.

I was so convinced I would never be happy again, I even contemplated suicide. You might say my mind was living inside a cell with four stone walls and no trap door, but I like to compare it to the lens of a camera where only a pinhole of light is coming through. Since I couldn't see past the pinhole, I was convinced that nothing actually existed beyond the pinhole, and it was only after forcing myself to re-think my assumptions did I learn that I was wrong.

Maybe that experience resonates with you. Or maybe it doesn't. In either case, you will never convince me that we as a species are static.

up
2 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

janis b's picture

@zoebear

that we as a species are static".

Some unstatic pinhole photography.

up
1 user has voted.
zoebear's picture

@janis b

What is it? And where was it taken?

up
1 user has voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

janis b's picture

@zoebear

but here are some more of his gorgeous images.

up
1 user has voted.
janis b's picture

@janis b

up
1 user has voted.
zoebear's picture

@janis b

The "pinhole" technique gives the lighting a chiaroscuro effect, which I remember the both of us being great admirers of the Italian master of the original chiaroscuro Smile

(I also enjoyed you taking my camera metaphor and linking your comment to these photos)

up
1 user has voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

@zoebear
because for the first billion years of our lineage, the drives to satisfy those needs were absolutely necessary for survival, with the result that we are biologically constructed to experience those drives, whether or not they have any current value. This default condition of dissatisfaction is quite clearly not conducive to survival in a modern society where, for example, sugar calories are superabundant. I'm not advocating anything, I'm just observing.

up
0 users have voted.

Sigh

zoebear's picture

@UntimelyRippd

I gave you a thumbs up not because I agree with your premise, but because I feel you are making a respectful attempt at having a dialogue with me about it.

up
2 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

janis b's picture

@zoebear

up
1 user has voted.
zoebear's picture

up
1 user has voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

Deja's picture

@UntimelyRippd
Even did so on my desktop.

...doesn't address the existence of men whose basic moral character might be unimpeachable, but who for various other reasons are fundamentally unattractive to women -- or attractive in a fashion sufficiently rare as to make the finding of a mate effectively impossible.

Yesterday, I took the most wonderful man I've ever met (who isn't related to me) out for lunch, a movie, a cumquat scout, and back to his house for a romantic dance to a song I picked out, just for him. I'll link to the song below.

He's exactly what you describe. I saw the stares while we were out. I became used to stares after I hit puberty, but the stares he gets are the opposite of the ones I used to get. He's the opposite of every man I've ever dated (and one that I actually married) as far as aesthetics go. He's also, by far, the most intelligent human I've ever met in person -- without ever being condescending. I find intelligence an incredible aphrodisiac! Humor too, and he has a witty, sometimes wacky sense of humor, which I adore, even if I'm shaking my head and rolling my eyes.

I know that "nice guys" get ignored, or even worse, abused. He's been abused by hateful, empty shells of women in the past. He still doesn't hate women. He adored his mother, and I've learned over the years, a man who hates/hated his own mother (even if she deserved it) is damaged and some can even be dangerous. I feel safer with him than I ever have with anyone before. I feel more accepted and genuinely cared for than ever, and that's a hell of an aphrodisiac as well.

I know I'm just one person. I also know, that based on my history with men not related to me, I probably should hate all men, but I don't. I still pigeon-hole certain men into the group of "Nasty Bastard" when they do or say something that they'd never do or say to their grandmothers. (Fwiw, I do the same for women, but it's never been about behavior or comments based on gender or sex, because I can't recall ever seeing/hearing anything from a woman in that regard. No, they go into the Cunt From Hell category. Yes, I used "that" word, and stand by it.)

I don't know the answer to this whole "thing", that's been going on for centuries. I know there are conniving members of both genders, abusive ones too. I just wanted to let you know that I agree with you about some men never getting a chance because they're not considered attractive according to social norms, and that they get shit on. Fortunately, the one I met . . . the one I left my comfort zone to get to really know, didn't let past experiences cause him to resent us all. He's a gem, and I'm grateful to have found him!

And we danced . . .

up
4 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

I thought your intent was to discuss the efficacy of Wapo publishing it, not whether it was sane as to content.
Did I miss something?

up
6 users have voted.
EdMass's picture

@on the cusp

You're married for 50 years. You yell from your gut for 30 minutes because ur man made an innocuous comment?

But what about the children?

up
0 users have voted.

"I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you"

Alvin Lee - Ten Years After

Stop the War!

@EdMass question.
You wrote you wanted comments on whether the article being published help, hurt, etc...
You specifically wanted comment about procedure, not content.
So, according you your stated wish, I have no comment on the writer's sanity or the content.
I am glad the paper put it out there for you and I to think about.
The best response to content just might emanate from her 70 year old husband of 50 years.
The one who shares kids and grandkids with her.

up
1 user has voted.

having what we used to call a 'nutty'. Man Or woman, too much anger, under pressure, turned to whit hot Rage and just gotta let it out. Didn't read the op-ed,won't read the compost or the slimes.
I am getting tired of seeing trolls toss around 'good faith' like They have a lock on it when in reality they just wanna start a Shit Show.
Having been through That particular grinder, my counsel is to tell 'em to Fuck Off and move on, Ed. They don't deserve anything more.
Spank me if you must, JtC, ain't gonna change my ways. . .

up
2 users have voted.

Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

edg's picture

When I was 7, I was sexually molested by my teenage female babysitter. That left me pretty messed up, and I went from being an A-student teacher's pet to spending most of my time in the principal's office.

When I was 14 and a high school sophomore, I was bullied by a group of three 17 and 18 year old male seniors who, for some unknown reason, decided they didn't like me and made my life miserable because of their dislike.

When I was 22, I married a woman who decided that choking me and attacking me with a steak knife was great sport, and that being a man, I wasn't allowed to defend myself.

What I'm angry about is the one-sidedness of the #MeToo movement and editorials like the one cited in this essay. Yes, some men are pieces of shit. So are some women. In my view, it's time to set aside the gender bullshit and for all of us to focus on being better human beings.

up
7 users have voted.
Amanda Matthews's picture

@edg
“What I'm angry about is the one-sidedness of the #MeToo movement and editorials like the one cited in this essay. Yes, some men are pieces of shit. So are some women. In my view, it's time to set aside the gender bullshit and for all of us to focus on being better human beings.”

Kudos!

up
5 users have voted.

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

janis b's picture

I feel they contribute to our mutual understanding. I appreciate the varying perspectives expressed here because they seem genuine. There is at times a kind of maturity expressed here at c99 that I imagine is difficult to achieve in many other venues. I think what I appreciate most is a willingness to listen and consider; and because of that, the potential it generates.

From the fool's gold mouthpiece
The hollow horn plays wasted words
Proves to warn that he not busy being born
Is busy dying

As some warn victory, some downfall
Private reasons great or small
Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
To make all that should be killed to crawl
While others say don't hate nothing at all
Except hatred

up
7 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

There seems to be more leniency towards sexual crimes, “toxic masculinity,” and “rape culture” if accused figures have a non-white and/or migrant background.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7379576/telford-paedophile-gang-one-convic...

Maybe it’s unfair to connect the failure of U.K. society to deal with grooming gangs who prey on kids to the latter’s gang members’ ethnic background, but what other reason could there be?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year%27s_Eve_sexual_assaults_in_Germany

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Maria_Ladenburger
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Kandel_stabbing_attack
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_of_Susanna_Feldmann

Except for the far Right — for whom such stories are just more grist for the anti-immigrant mill — people just don’t seem to care about the abuse of hundreds of children in the U.K. as much as they do about the one case of Christine Blasey Ford v. Brett Kavenaugh.

I don’t know why, but they just don’t.

up
1 user has voted.