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Old Yesterday, 10:29 AM
 
Location: SF/Mill Valley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamajane View Post
Men worry that that is a trick question.
We don’t worry it might be; we know it often is. ;-)
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Old Yesterday, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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LOL people never ask me what I'm thinking. I mean, you look at how I write when I post around here, you can probably see why. They are not gonna invite the ramble that will spill out of my mouth probably...heh...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitsguy2001 View Post
That is very much my experience, but it is not only women who expect men to repress emotions. It is done to boys by parents and teachers of both genders from an early age. As a child, if I would so much as express any preference, such as wanting mustard on a burger instead of ketchup, I'd be accused of "acting like a girl". I had a (male) teacher in high school who would frequently say "there is nothing worse than a whining man, but whining women are acceptable" (in my opinion, that was offensive to both genders). I had a (male) professor in college who allowed women to make up exams if they were absent for a legitimate reason, but gave 0's to men who were absent and missed an exam for any reason. Growing up, birthdays and other celebrations were women seemed to be treated as a bigger deal than similar celebrations for men.

I think a big part of this is because, whether intentionally or subconsciously, I think parents and teachers were raising boys with the possibility of being drafted into the military, where emotions would have to be suppressed and preferences cannot be met. Also, traditionally, men are / were the breadwinners, and you need to suppress emotions and preferences in the workplace more than you do at home.

I think another reason is because women, for whatever reason, tend to have closer friendships than men, and have friends they can comfortably confide in. Men's "friendships" tend to be people we work with, and it's not possible to confide in a coworker. If we want to keep our jobs, we need to act stoic, and pretend that our lives are perfect, and that we love our job more than anything else in the world.

I have female classmates from high school and college who post extremely personal things on Facebook. But they are all either stay at home mothers, tenured teachers, tenured professors, so they do not have to worry about their jobs. Whereas men often work in environments where any social media posts basically result in being fired.
I find it interesting that you mention the military as some kind of a reason why men might need to suppress their emotions. I have a lot of experience with soldiers and vets. The bonds (trauma-bonds) formed between men who are in the Service together are unlike most male friendships. These guys share their feelings with one another. It was a very good thing that after my divorce from my ex, he ended up living with an old Army buddy from his first hitch. Those two share everything. All sorts of emotional stuff. Mind you, they get drunk first, and I'm not sure that the way in which they share and wallow is necessarily healthy...but neither one has offed himself yet, so it's probably a lot better than nothing.

I believe that men are CAPABLE of forming intensely close and deep "brothers in a cause" bonds. And that when they do, the loyalty and closeness there can absolutely rival most female friendships. These men will never gossip about each other. They would lay down their lives for one another. Indeed, when it comes to soldierly camaraderie, that is kind of the point.

Interestingly I suppose from a sociological/psychological point of view, introducing women or a woman to the setting of these bonds can be pretty problematic. Straight men behave differently when they are ranking and posturing for the attention of women. I understood why a lot of the men had concerns, to say the least, when the US military started expanding opportunities for women to serve in the ranks. It wasn't that women could not train up and perform adequately...it was worrisome for the effect it could have on the men. A lot of them had a hard time articulating it, but I understood.

But to circle back...as I've pointed out before, I don't think that the issue just about anywhere is really men having or even expressing emotions, it is how and when and where they do it. Big difference between telling your buddy in the trench while you wait for your next patrol, that you are afraid or missing your family...as opposed to falling on the ground weeping in the middle of a mission. You don't have to surgically excise your feelings, or repress them utterly, in order to avoid inappropriate behavior. Though of course children do not always learn the lesson that others believe that they're teaching at the time. So trying to teach a child about context and appropriateness and self control, could be interpreted by the child mind as, "I'm not allowed to have my feelings or I'm not allowed to show them to anyone."

But again, as a woman who was once a little girl, I can tell you for fact that some of us were punished very harshly for emotional expression, too. And some of us learned more stoicism than you would think. And, too, some little boys are not corrected even when they are lashing out or behaving inappropriately. There's a whole range of experiences that people have in growing up...some get lucky and have healthier rearing than others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tamajane View Post
Most of the time the listener doesn't really have an effective solution. Furthermore it isn't even solution seeking, it's just talking about something. A "problem" is just another part of a story, not necessarily a request for any action on the part of the listener.

If I want help with something I will certainly ask.

It is particularly frustrating if people jump in to offer unsolicited solutions or advice when they don't know the fine details or complexities of the issue, and the advice is way off or so basic it comes across as condescending.

Sometimes I have to leave out important information with certain people because I know they will do this and it's too exhausting.
The thing that annoys me is not so much the offering of solutions or advice, it's when the giver of them invests their ego in it. I don't mind getting unwanted advice a lot of the time, because it helps me process my options and even if I probably already know more or less how I'm going to handle a situation, hearing other people's takes on it helps me make sure I'm seeing it from many angles and not missing anything. Advice I won't take, if at least I know why I reject it, then that reinforces to me that I understand the problem and why my own course of action is the correct one for me.

I will admit that at times I have also invested some ego into my advice to others, and wasted time fruitlessly arguing with someone who is never going to see eye to eye with my opinion, which is the root of the advice that I've given them...there are definitely times I have to check myself with that. Sometimes I give strongly worded advice to people that I care about, because I don't want them to have to learn a life lesson the hard way, with harsh consequences. Unfortunately though, I have to accept that to some extent it's in the nature of people to have to touch a hot stove themselves, rather than taking someone else's word for it.
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Old Yesterday, 12:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
LOL people never ask me what I'm thinking. I mean, you look at how I write when I post around here, you can probably see why. They are not gonna invite the ramble that will spill out of my mouth probably...heh...

I find it interesting that you mention the military as some kind of a reason why men might need to suppress their emotions. I have a lot of experience with soldiers and vets. The bonds (trauma-bonds) formed between men who are in the Service together are unlike most male friendships. These guys share their feelings with one another. It was a very good thing that after my divorce from my ex, he ended up living with an old Army buddy from his first hitch. Those two share everything. All sorts of emotional stuff. Mind you, they get drunk first, and I'm not sure that the way in which they share and wallow is necessarily healthy...but neither one has offed himself yet, so it's probably a lot better than nothing.
Keep in mind that none of the people who taught me to suppress emotions and preferences ever actually served in the military. Also, you have a good point about the bond between soldiers. But I do picture that in the military, on a day to day basis, you likely have to suppress your emotions and preferences, and may have to do tasks you don't want to do, or eat foods that aren't your first choice or with a condiment that is not your first choice.

Since you don't think that boys are taught to suppress emotions and preferences because of the possibility of being drafted: why do you think it was that I and other boys were taught that emotions and preferences are only for girls, and that I was "acting like a girl" if I would express a preference for something as mundane as what condiment to put on a burger? And why did my teachers go so far as to have a different set of polices for boys vs girls, and at least one teacher claim that all men serve in the military?

Quote:
I believe that men are CAPABLE of forming intensely close and deep "brothers in a cause" bonds. And that when they do, the loyalty and closeness there can absolutely rival most female friendships. These men will never gossip about each other. They would lay down their lives for one another. Indeed, when it comes to soldierly camaraderie, that is kind of the point.
Obviously men are capable of forming intensely deep and close friendships, but we tend to be discouraged from showing emotions and preferences from an early age.

Quote:
But to circle back...as I've pointed out before, I don't think that the issue just about anywhere is really men having or even expressing emotions, it is how and when and where they do it. Big difference between telling your buddy in the trench while you wait for your next patrol, that you are afraid or missing your family...as opposed to falling on the ground weeping in the middle of a mission. You don't have to surgically excise your feelings, or repress them utterly, in order to avoid inappropriate behavior. Though of course children do not always learn the lesson that others believe that they're teaching at the time. So trying to teach a child about context and appropriateness and self control, could be interpreted by the child mind as, "I'm not allowed to have my feelings or I'm not allowed to show them to anyone."
That is a valid point, but then why was I told that I was "acting like a girl" if I would express any emotions or preferences, regardless of context? And why did there appear to be no restrictions on where and when women could express emotions and preferences?

Quote:
But again, as a woman who was once a little girl, I can tell you for fact that some of us were punished very harshly for emotional expression, too. And some of us learned more stoicism than you would think. And, too, some little boys are not corrected even when they are lashing out or behaving inappropriately. There's a whole range of experiences that people have in growing up...some get lucky and have healthier rearing than others.
Very true.
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Old Yesterday, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitsguy2001 View Post
Keep in mind that none of the people who taught me to suppress emotions and preferences ever actually served in the military. Also, you have a good point about the bond between soldiers. But I do picture that in the military, on a day to day basis, you likely have to suppress your emotions and preferences, and may have to do tasks you don't want to do, or eat foods that aren't your first choice or with a condiment that is not your first choice.

Since you don't think that boys are taught to suppress emotions and preferences because of the possibility of being drafted: why do you think it was that I and other boys were taught that emotions and preferences are only for girls, and that I was "acting like a girl" if I would express a preference for something as mundane as what condiment to put on a burger? And why did my teachers go so far as to have a different set of polices for boys vs girls, and at least one teacher claim that all men serve in the military?
I feel you on the condiments! I am a lifelong picky eater, I guess they call it ARFID now and it's somehow connected to my ADHD or something...I dunno... But for some reason there are people who become filled with rage over the idea that anyone would not smile and consume whatever food is placed in front of them. And they are often terrible to children about it. And, too, a pernicious habit of some adults mostly of prior generations, was to insult boys by calling them girls. Good ol' misogyny there, calling you a supposedly inferior and undesirable thing to be...female. Heaven forbid, no one would want to be that! As a kid, I was made to sit at the table "until I cleaned my plate." Which was never going to happen with any food I disliked and meant I'd be there for hours, and no one cared if I cried or how I felt. My cold congealing disgusting food in front of me. My parents would turn out the lights and leave the stove light on and leave me alone in the dim kitchen with the food, until eventually they went to bed and I threw it away.

While those who tormented you made it a gendered thing in their presentation of conflict, in reality there are a lot of girls who got no better treatment. Only no one called me a boy, they just called me ugly or stupid or ungrateful or whatever. Is it worse to be insulted by being called the wrong gender, or to belong to the gender that is considered to be a de facto insult? I wonder.

Quote:
Obviously men are capable of forming intensely deep and close friendships, but we tend to be discouraged from showing emotions and preferences from an early age.

That is a valid point, but then why was I told that I was "acting like a girl" if I would express any emotions or preferences, regardless of context? And why did there appear to be no restrictions on where and when women could express emotions and preferences?

Very true.
I learned not to show emotion around other people as a kid because if it wasn't my father beating me after telling me he'd "give me something to cry about," it was my mother telling me not to bother her when I was happy and excited and wanted to show her something, or it was other kids at school bullying me the moment they were able to get me to show that I was upset.

It's just a fact that if you show emotion and make yourself vulnerable around people who mean you harm, then you paint a target on yourself. And children are, frankly, savages. They are not innocent angels in the slightest. Humans have a natural predisposition to bullying and cruelty, at least some of them, it seems. I saw far more of that, than I did kindness, among children.

You were told that you were "acting like a girl" because someone thought that it was an effective insult to shame you with. Not because they thought that it would be OK for you to show emotions if only you were female. Whatever you were doing, that they did not want to deal with, I promise they wouldn't have been any better about it if it had been a girl they didn't like. They would simply have used different words to try to hurt her with.
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Old Yesterday, 08:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
I feel you on the condiments! I am a lifelong picky eater,
I'm not an especially picky eater, but the few things that I dislike are all extremely common foods that seemingly everybody likes except me. And, many of them are common toppings for fast food, so I always have to request special orders (I like places that have kiosks), which annoys anybody that I'm with, and they almost always get the order wrong multiple times. The foods I don't like are eggs, mayonnaise (which basically eggs), American cheese, onions, potatoes (especially mashed), ketchup, and tomatoes (those are in no particular order).

Quote:
I guess they call it ARFID now and it's somehow connected to my ADHD or something...I dunno...
Never heard of ARFID, but I looked it up. It does not sound like me at all. Although it does sound a lot like my 6 year old son.

Quote:
But for some reason there are people who become filled with rage over the idea that anyone would not smile and consume whatever food is placed in front of them. And they are often terrible to children about it.
Yes, I think that is especially common with my parents' generation. And they (the generation in general, not unique to my parents) tried to push it on us too.

Quote:
And, too, a pernicious habit of some adults mostly of prior generations, was to insult boys by calling them girls. Good ol' misogyny there, calling you a supposedly inferior and undesirable thing to be...female. Heaven forbid, no one would want to be that! As a kid, I was made to sit at the table "until I cleaned my plate." Which was never going to happen with any food I disliked and meant I'd be there for hours, and no one cared if I cried or how I felt. My cold congealing disgusting food in front of me. My parents would turn out the lights and leave the stove light on and leave me alone in the dim kitchen with the food, until eventually they went to bed and I threw it away.

While those who tormented you made it a gendered thing in their presentation of conflict, in reality there are a lot of girls who got no better treatment.
I never thought of it that way before! Perhaps it wasn't that I was expected to suppress emotions and preferences because of my gender. But, rather, they used my gender as a way to insult me, and try to bully me into submission. I think you figured it out!

Quote:
Only no one called me a boy, they just called me ugly or stupid or ungrateful or whatever.
The word "ungrateful" was used a lot by my parents' generation.

Quote:
Is it worse to be insulted by being called the wrong gender, or to belong to the gender that is considered to be a de facto insult? I wonder.
Like I said, when my 11th grade physics teacher would say "there is nothing worse than a whining man, but whining women are acceptable", I always felt that he was equally offensive to both genders. So, to answer your question, I would say that both of what you mention is equally bad.

However, this does not answer the question: if you don't think it was because of the possibility of being drafted, why did I have a teacher say "there is nothing worse than a whining man, but whining women are acceptable"? That does not fit with what you say about that generation expecting both genders to suppress emotions and preferences, but using different insults depending on the gender? And why did some teachers de facto have different policies based on gender? I suspect that in some cases, it was male STEM teachers feeling pressured to favor girls / women to get them interested in STEM careers. But I think there has to be more to it than that, and your theory doesn't explain that part.

Quote:
I learned not to show emotion around other people as a kid because if it wasn't my father beating me after telling me he'd "give me something to cry about," it was my mother telling me not to bother her when I was happy and excited and wanted to show her something, or it was other kids at school bullying me the moment they were able to get me to show that I was upset.
Sorry to hear about how your parents, especially your father, treated you. That was far worse than anyting my parents ever did.

Quote:
It's just a fact that if you show emotion and make yourself vulnerable around people who mean you harm, then you paint a target on yourself. And children are, frankly, savages. They are not innocent angels in the slightest. Humans have a natural predisposition to bullying and cruelty, at least some of them, it seems. I saw far more of that, than I did kindness, among children.

You were told that you were "acting like a girl" because someone thought that it was an effective insult to shame you with. Not because they thought that it would be OK for you to show emotions if only you were female. Whatever you were doing, that they did not want to deal with, I promise they wouldn't have been any better about it if it had been a girl they didn't like. They would simply have used different words to try to hurt her with.
Again, I think you are right, and I never thought of it that way before. But as I said, it still does not explain my teacher who said "there is nothing worse than a whining man, but whining women are acceptable". As far as I know, he never served in the military. Nor does it explain why my 2nd grade teacher said that all men serve in the military. (although her husband did serve in the military)
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Old Today, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
20,473 posts, read 14,836,153 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitsguy2001 View Post
I'm not an especially picky eater, but the few things that I dislike are all extremely common foods that seemingly everybody likes except me. And, many of them are common toppings for fast food, so I always have to request special orders (I like places that have kiosks), which annoys anybody that I'm with, and they almost always get the order wrong multiple times. The foods I don't like are eggs, mayonnaise (which basically eggs), American cheese, onions, potatoes (especially mashed), ketchup, and tomatoes (those are in no particular order).

Never heard of ARFID, but I looked it up. It does not sound like me at all. Although it does sound a lot like my 6 year old son.
Like most women of my age range, no one thought that we might have ADHD or anything similar, it does tend to present differently in girls than it does in boys. The picky eating is one part, there are other things...but as an adult I can accommodate my brain's needs very, very easily. As a child I was at the mercy of others, and they seemed very determined to enforce their own idea of obedience and "good behavior" on me. Last year I was visiting family out of state and talking to my stepmom, and I was saying that if only very minimal steps had been made to accommodate the way that my brain operates, I would have been so much more successful in school. Just let me doodle on paper during a lecture, for instance, and I will absorb everything perfectly. Force me to sit and stare straight ahead, and my mind is going to check out and wander off into something more stimulating. She said, "but we can't do that! If you accommodate one kid, you'll end up having to accommodate them all and it will be chaos!" That is so lazy and such a cop out. It's not how any of this works at all. That's like saying that if you let the nearsighted kid wear glasses, then you'll have to get glasses for all the kids.

And picky eating of any kind really is not a big deal in a country like America where there is such abundance. It is no one's business if you or I were to order a burger without ketchup. It's absurd for grown adults to even have an opinion about such a thing as other people's food preferences. And there are very easy ways to teach kids how to accommodate their own needs while at the same time being respectful and considerate to others. It's just that older generations didn't really see things that way. But heck, my (Boomer) husband was once de-pants'ed, and beaten, and made to stand in a trash can, in front of an entire class of other kids. So yeah, things have changed.

Quote:
Yes, I think that is especially common with my parents' generation. And they (the generation in general, not unique to my parents) tried to push it on us too.

I never thought of it that way before! Perhaps it wasn't that I was expected to suppress emotions and preferences because of my gender. But, rather, they used my gender as a way to insult me, and try to bully me into submission. I think you figured it out!

The word "ungrateful" was used a lot by my parents' generation.

Like I said, when my 11th grade physics teacher would say "there is nothing worse than a whining man, but whining women are acceptable", I always felt that he was equally offensive to both genders. So, to answer your question, I would say that both of what you mention is equally bad.

However, this does not answer the question: if you don't think it was because of the possibility of being drafted, why did I have a teacher say "there is nothing worse than a whining man, but whining women are acceptable"? That does not fit with what you say about that generation expecting both genders to suppress emotions and preferences, but using different insults depending on the gender? And why did some teachers de facto have different policies based on gender? I suspect that in some cases, it was male STEM teachers feeling pressured to favor girls / women to get them interested in STEM careers. But I think there has to be more to it than that, and your theory doesn't explain that part.

Sorry to hear about how your parents, especially your father, treated you. That was far worse than anyting my parents ever did.

Again, I think you are right, and I never thought of it that way before. But as I said, it still does not explain my teacher who said "there is nothing worse than a whining man, but whining women are acceptable". As far as I know, he never served in the military. Nor does it explain why my 2nd grade teacher said that all men serve in the military. (although her husband did serve in the military)
One thing that I see here, is you kinda extrapolating the words of a couple of teachers as a "the world thinks this" sort of bigger thing. There was a time that I internalized a lot of really awful things that my ex husband said to me. Such as, "no man can respect an attractive woman as a person, or be a friend to one, always the only motivation really in their minds is getting into your pants. If they say otherwise, they're lying. Don't be naive." So there I was feeling like half of the population more or less did not see me as a human, but something more like a blow-up doll? A thing to try and use? I mean, how hurtful and how damaging to one's self esteem...especially when I meet men in the world I want to respect and befriend and know, smart and interesting men... Was it fair for me to take my ex's words and turn them into a belief that paints all men in this world? Eventually I realized that no one had elected or even voted for him to represent them. Not one man, anywhere, ever. His words were a reflection of his own views, only. While he isn't the only man to think or say such things, it's really unfair for me to judge all men by it.

Some percentage of men are killers. Are you a killer? I doubt it. Some percentage are accountants. Does this mean that all men have a predisposition to bean counting? No. We cannot take the sentiments spoken by any one person as a Message From Society. It is only our immature brains taking those kinds of comments and blowing them up large and making such a thing of them.

This is also why it is so hard to be a parent. At any moment, we might say something that a child may take out of our intended context, or it may lodge in their minds as some great and cosmic pronouncement and haunt them for decades! Even as I talk about the things my parents did...I have long since forgiven them. They did the best they knew how, and both were raised with far more trauma than they passed on to me. They are both often surprised at what I recall and what effect it had. No parent truly knows if we're doing it right, we can only do our best. Same with teachers, and anyone who might have any effect on the mind of a child.
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Old Today, 01:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
Like most women of my age range, no one thought that we might have ADHD or anything similar, it does tend to present differently in girls than it does in boys.
Very true. ADHD tended to be a label teachers used for any boys that they found difficult. On the other hand, the singers Kelly Clarkson and Katy Perry were both wrongly labeled with ADHD by their teachers. Not surprising given their age, but surprising given their gender, especially then. But my understanding is that both grew up in very conservative environments where there were likely strict expectations as to how a girl / woman was expected to behave, and they very likely did not fit the mold, thus the need to label them.

Quote:
The picky eating is one part, there are other things...but as an adult I can accommodate my brain's needs very, very easily. As a child I was at the mercy of others, and they seemed very determined to enforce their own idea of obedience and "good behavior" on me.
Yes, as adults, we know what works and what doesn't work for us individually. But as children, we are often forced to fit the mold.

Quote:
Last year I was visiting family out of state and talking to my stepmom, and I was saying that if only very minimal steps had been made to accommodate the way that my brain operates, I would have been so much more successful in school. Just let me doodle on paper during a lecture, for instance, and I will absorb everything perfectly. Force me to sit and stare straight ahead, and my mind is going to check out and wander off into something more stimulating. She said, "but we can't do that! If you accommodate one kid, you'll end up having to accommodate them all and it will be chaos!" That is so lazy and such a cop out. It's not how any of this works at all. That's like saying that if you let the nearsighted kid wear glasses, then you'll have to get glasses for all the kids.
Agree, very well said. It also reminds me of my 8th grade math teacher. She was very popular, but she hated me, for a variety of reasons. On nearly every exam, she would mark wrong a question that I got right. I'm not talking about a judgment call or poor handwriting or not showing work. A scenario where she said the correct answer was 44, and I clearly had 44 as my answer, but she would mark it wrong. I would complain, and she would say her policy is that she never changes grades, since she has no way of knowing that I didn't cheat by changing the answer, and that I need to learn that life isn't fair. Eventually, I told her that this is happening on every single exam, and I asked if she could perhaps photocopy my exams before grading, so I could prove that I am not cheating. Her response was that if she does that for me, then she has to do it for everybody. But if (according to her), life isn't supposed to be fair, then why would she have to do that for everybody? Whatever.

Quote:
And picky eating of any kind really is not a big deal in a country like America where there is such abundance. It is no one's business if you or I were to order a burger without ketchup. It's absurd for grown adults to even have an opinion about such a thing as other people's food preferences. And there are very easy ways to teach kids how to accommodate their own needs while at the same time being respectful and considerate to others. It's just that older generations didn't really see things that way.
I think a point can be missed is that there is a huge difference between a dinner with the president or a dinner where you are going to sign a multimillion dollar deal, vs a casual dinner with family or friends. In the former case, it may make sense to avoid special requests and to follow traditional norms as much as possible. In the later case, it makes sense to eat it as you enjoyed it.

Quote:
But heck, my (Boomer) husband was once de-pants'ed, and beaten, and made to stand in a trash can, in front of an entire class of other kids. So yeah, things have changed.
That was terrible.

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One thing that I see here, is you kinda extrapolating the words of a couple of teachers as a "the world thinks this" sort of bigger thing. There was a time that I internalized a lot of really awful things that my ex husband said to me. Such as, "no man can respect an attractive woman as a person, or be a friend to one, always the only motivation really in their minds is getting into your pants. If they say otherwise, they're lying. Don't be naive." So there I was feeling like half of the population more or less did not see me as a human, but something more like a blow-up doll? A thing to try and use? I mean, how hurtful and how damaging to one's self esteem...especially when I meet men in the world I want to respect and befriend and know, smart and interesting men... Was it fair for me to take my ex's words and turn them into a belief that paints all men in this world? Eventually I realized that no one had elected or even voted for him to represent them. Not one man, anywhere, ever. His words were a reflection of his own views, only. While he isn't the only man to think or say such things, it's really unfair for me to judge all men by it.
That is a very good point. One thing to keep in mind is that the teachers we get are not a random sample. They are people who were hired by a single school district over a fairly short period of time. Also, the people in one's social circle are not random. In my family's circle and my wife's family's circle, the general pattern is controlling wives married to submissive husbands, with the husband earning most of the income while doing close to 50% of the housework. I was surprised to learn that was not necessarily the norm in the greater population. But the people in our circle are not a truly random sample. This may explain a lot of the different treatment that my teachers gave to boys vs girls. Many of my high school teachers had a "no whining" sign in their classroom, and, as far as I know, most would enforce it for both genders. My physics teacher did not choose to have such a sign, since he encouraged girls / women to whine. But, now that I think of it, that was not the norm, since other than him, they either had a "no whining" sign and did not allow either gender to complain, or they had no such sign. In any case, I hate the term "whining", and especially the fact that my teachers would point to such signs in order to muzzle legitimate complaints.

As for my professor who allowed makeup exams for a woman but never for men: perhaps there was more to the story than we know. Perhaps that woman had some disability that we were not aware of. Perhaps the men just accepted the "I have tenure, there is nothing you can do about it" line, whereas perhaps the woman was more willing to escalate the situation until she got what she wanted. And then maybe the professor just felt that saying he only allows make up exams for women was just the easiest line that he could use, and he suspected that most of the men would just shut up and accept it.

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Some percentage of men are killers. Are you a killer? I doubt it. Some percentage are accountants. Does this mean that all men have a predisposition to bean counting? No. We cannot take the sentiments spoken by any one person as a Message From Society. It is only our immature brains taking those kinds of comments and blowing them up large and making such a thing of them.

This is also why it is so hard to be a parent. At any moment, we might say something that a child may take out of our intended context, or it may lodge in their minds as some great and cosmic pronouncement and haunt them for decades!
Very true. Young children do misunderstand things and/or take them out of context.

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Even as I talk about the things my parents did...I have long since forgiven them. They did the best they knew how, and both were raised with far more trauma than they passed on to me. They are both often surprised at what I recall and what effect it had. No parent truly knows if we're doing it right, we can only do our best. Same with teachers, and anyone who might have any effect on the mind of a child.
It's frustrating that my mother basically does not allow me to talk about the past at all. Even when I acknowledge that she had a difficult job and did her best, especially given the standards of the day.

This brings us back to the original question: why are men loath to expressing emotion, given that you debunked my theories?
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Old Today, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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Originally Posted by mitsguy2001 View Post
...

This brings us back to the original question: why are men loath to expressing emotion, given that you debunked my theories?
I don't believe that most men are, 100% of the time. I think that a very typical and average man, of the sort I have known hundreds or thousands of...he will probably have friendships with other men that are more centered on activities most of the time, compared to how women have friendships with one another (generally.) Imagine two women facing one another and talking about their other relationships and how they feel about everything...and two men facing a sports game on a TV together. Quality time means something different to each pair of people, but it is what they feel comfortable doing.

But if Jim's wife dies, his best friend of 30 years, Bob, is going to know he's hurting, probably without being told. He isn't going to think less of Jim for shedding tears. He will "hold space" for his friend's grief, to use the contemporary term.

And since I was a teenager and began...ahem...spending time with boys... I have always been the kind of person that others feel comfortable speaking openly with. And the boys who might not talk about their feelings to others, would do so readily with me. An uncountably high number of boys and men throughout my life have taken the first chance to speak one-on-one with me, to be very emotionally forthright. Even men I barely knew!

I don't know, maybe part of it is that I had to learn how to "mask" and so I can very easily know a mask when I see one. But I can't think of any man or boy I've ever met that I truly believed were in fact unemotional, or who truly experienced any less emotion than I do. And I've known many who express their emotions more than I typically do. Especially when we recall that anger does count as an "emotion."

I have a son who has serious mental health struggles. His emotions are so intense that they sometimes render him completely unable to function. He is openly anxious, depressed, afraid, at times. He isn't ashamed of weeping uncontrollably in front of others when overwhelmed. He's 22 years old. Some men I've run into online say that this sort of thing would be a recipe for contempt from women, yet my son has no trouble attracting female attention (though this has caused him other problems.) We have countless examples of men as lead singers pouring their hearts out on a stage to the enraptured sighs of women, and somehow men can look at all of this and think that they have to be stoic? Not for us, ya don't! Or at least not in the way that many think.

Men only need to control their tempers so as not to wind up in jail, have normal situational and contextual awareness...that's really about all that's being asked, but that applies to all of us. Now if we were by default in different gendered spaces all day...a man who works in an office may come home and his 50s housewife was crying over her soap opera and emotionally relating to her neighbor or sister or child...but we don't much live in that reality anymore, if we ever truly did.
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Old Today, 07:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
I don't believe that most men are, 100% of the time. I think that a very typical and average man, of the sort I have known hundreds or thousands of...he will probably have friendships with other men that are more centered on activities most of the time, compared to how women have friendships with one another (generally.) Imagine two women facing one another and talking about their other relationships and how they feel about everything...and two men facing a sports game on a TV together. Quality time means something different to each pair of people, but it is what they feel comfortable doing.

But if Jim's wife dies, his best friend of 30 years, Bob, is going to know he's hurting, probably without being told. He isn't going to think less of Jim for shedding tears. He will "hold space" for his friend's grief, to use the contemporary term.

And since I was a teenager and began...ahem...spending time with boys... I have always been the kind of person that others feel comfortable speaking openly with. And the boys who might not talk about their feelings to others, would do so readily with me. An uncountably high number of boys and men throughout my life have taken the first chance to speak one-on-one with me, to be very emotionally forthright. Even men I barely knew!

I don't know, maybe part of it is that I had to learn how to "mask" and so I can very easily know a mask when I see one. But I can't think of any man or boy I've ever met that I truly believed were in fact unemotional, or who truly experienced any less emotion than I do. And I've known many who express their emotions more than I typically do. Especially when we recall that anger does count as an "emotion."

I have a son who has serious mental health struggles. His emotions are so intense that they sometimes render him completely unable to function. He is openly anxious, depressed, afraid, at times. He isn't ashamed of weeping uncontrollably in front of others when overwhelmed. He's 22 years old. Some men I've run into online say that this sort of thing would be a recipe for contempt from women, yet my son has no trouble attracting female attention (though this has caused him other problems.) We have countless examples of men as lead singers pouring their hearts out on a stage to the enraptured sighs of women, and somehow men can look at all of this and think that they have to be stoic? Not for us, ya don't! Or at least not in the way that many think.

Men only need to control their tempers so as not to wind up in jail, have normal situational and contextual awareness...that's really about all that's being asked, but that applies to all of us. Now if we were by default in different gendered spaces all day...a man who works in an office may come home and his 50s housewife was crying over her soap opera and emotionally relating to her neighbor or sister or child...but we don't much live in that reality anymore, if we ever truly did.
All very good points. And, as I said before, the people in our circle are not a random sample, and it’s easy to assume what’s true in our circle is true of the population as a whole.
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