The Stupidity that is “Sympathetic” Manliness

There’s a new blog out there by Edward Keenan called “Act Like A Man” (I’m not linking because he doesn’t deserve traffic, frankly). It purports to be about finding new ways of defining manliness that cater more to equality and less to active aggression against women. Whatever.

I’m an old school feminist, and I don’t believe in manliness. Not ever, not at all. Manliness is what we call the bullshit that men want to get away with while prohibiting it to women. Manliness believes in inherent, immutable differences between the humanity of men and the humanity of women – it is the graveyard of biological determinists, asshats, and lazy dudebros.

So you can imagine my response to a male poster telling adult women to “be responsible for their choices and grow up” when a woman suggests that perhaps men need to get the fuck overthemselves already and act like goddamn adults instead of manipulative, lazy babies. He suggests that she simply picked a particularly bad seed.

Well, I’m here to tell you that where “manliness” is to be found, Giant Baby asshattery is endemic. I will not reproduce here the nonsense that “Colt” (seriously? is that meant to refer to the weapon or the adolesent horse?) deigned to submit, but I want to share my reply, because frankly I like it, and I don’t want my dear wombats to be subjected to “Colt” if they (you) suffer any longing to read my response.


You play semantics here by pretending there is a choice. One of the most salient points of this post is that men see themselves as the default for “human” and women as the deviation from that norm, yet even a man who admits that he is persuing an active definition of what it means to be a “man” cites a list of issues that essentially prove that men are not behaving as “humans”.
The default for “human” should be someone who does not rape, someone who maintains themselves (bodily and mentally), someone with a sense of responsibility to meet at least the bare minimum of subsistence needs (food, clothing, shelter)for both her or his self AND the persons in her or his basic family unit, and someone who respects the bodily and mental rights and needs of the other humans with whom she or he come into contact.

Men simply are not meeting these standards – or if they are, are asking to be rewarded for acting like human beings. They want a cookie for being such nice guys. And sadly, Mr. Keenan seems to be one of those “nice guys”. He wants a cookie for recognizing that men are not performing the bare minimum of requirements to qualify as autonomous humans, and is calling this blog an opportunity to define a “better” version of “manhood” (and god forbid you call it what it is – a blog about reminding men how to be humans, as caliope correctly does).

Therefore, women who a)are sexually and/or emotionally attracted to men, b)recognize that despite men’s inability to behave as functional humans, they are still monetarily rewarded for temporarily posing as humans in the workplace to a greater degree than women ACTUALLY behaving as humans ALL THETIME are, and c)who desire to have children and thus want a co-parent who will either provide money, sex, or a societally sanctioned figurehead to retain the legal appearance of a functional “family” are forced to cope with the giant babies of the world. You suggest that caliope grow up – I maintain that in correctly identifying and coping with the giant baby behavior that men consider an acceptable standard (despite the fact that it does not meet the requirements for “human” status) she has chosen the best path available to her. She is, in fact, the functional adult, resigned to the fact that men have chosen the path of the giant baby and are determined to stay the course even when it means making themselves redundant in social, economic, and theoretical life.

The moderation work I have to do for this post will determine whether I develop a new page entitled “Read this first, and don’t reply until you’re SURE that I’m not going to ban the bejesus out of you. Just FYI.


~ by heycarahe on April 21, 2008.

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