Tuesday, August 24, 2010



Many times I find myself drawn to a certain topic and I will start it off here and not finish the discussion, because I do use this as the same kind of journal that you hide underneath your mattress or lock and stuff in a closet. To me, that means that I am getting thoughts worked through my mind and once I have done that, the goal is to not recirculate the thought(s) any more.

One of the reasons that certain subjects get the 'air time' that they do owe to my being still 'here', still in Detroit. I am not good with being 'connected' with people however indirectly, that did me harm and did not wish me well in my life. So, admitting to a smidgen of bitterness, I find that some topics come back around for discussion in my mind.

Now the article that I have been referencing in the Atlantic (sorry, can't find the link for the 'End of Men' story) hit me in the mental breadbasket. Not that it 'hurt' but because it caught my attention and once again reminded me of an area that I knew I had to work on, but neglected.


I have never read the book in its entirety and prolly am no more familiar with the work of Betty Friedan than I am with the work of Tom Brady. As a steady observer of her writing and television appearances from afar, I think that she is where the first seed of the power of women was planted in my mind.

Sexism, as understood by a child, was an awareness of why people ostracize other groups of people is out of a lack of understanding and fear. Women, for example, are seen as this incredibly mysterious and unfathomably complex creature, while men are simpletons. But if that is how it is, the why is it that men are supposedly the superior sex??

Like with most prejudices, it is the fear aspect that captured my attention the most. Men hated the feminity that biologically is a part of everyone. Not that you have to celebrate it, but the emotions that are associated with the feminine that occur in men, will get a cat beat into a pulp but the 'brute' that identify the masculine in men.

Well, after I started to wonder about that, I begin to think about this: in nature, the least impactful participant in the actual reproduction is the male. Spritz, and that is it. For however long it takes, it is between the female and creation, the men are not even invited in the birth. That made me think that the roles are all wrong and it was made so by design.


And move back into the things that concern me directly, like why certain people can't show me any 'Facebook love' but want me to hump for them (I got my measurements for the tux I am wearing in November... it is WHITE!! What the --! You SO don't want me to go there on that!!) but at the Subway today, I saw something that struck me as so out of order that it put this thread of thought back into my stream of consciousness.

There were two teenage girls and a boy in line ahead of me. The conversation they had with each other wasn't explict or anything. It just was not one I even could have IMAGINED at that age. See, the girls had money and the boy did not. But they could 'buy him' some cookies and he would walk with them.

It seemed to me that they walked around together with the upshot of one of them buying him some food. Then one of the girls left and the one still in the shop and the boy had a conversation that in short, spoke to his motivation for being in their company and what really was glaring was the econmics of the situation.

The girls had money. The boy did not. I could have never imagined a conversation like the ones they had in my youth. I could not imagine going somewhere with a woman and not being ready to at least cover my share and having it understood prior to going out, that it was 'dutch' (which is a reality in itself a result of the empowerment of women in the workplace) before we left for the date.

Thinking back to the Erin-Michelle conversation I used in a recent post, I was going to say that the dynamic is slower to change on the low end of the class scale, where it is still hoped for that the male would not only be the primary wage earner, but that like the 'traditional' roles in a family, the female would be the caregiver and handle the domestic function of a household (and as ill prepared as men are, women nowadays SAY that is what they want but how MANY are ready for the task? I have a particular bone to pick with women who have that ideal). The resentment and bitterness of the broken dream that were first visited upon the Mother, resurfaces in the daughter, who does not alter her demand and expectation of primary wage earning husband. But that does not mesh with the economic realities and the growing power of women in society.

Using Erin and Michelle to contrast how Mookie Dee and her unrealistic hopes, is that in the former, the new social contract is understood. They accept that as driven, highly motivated women, that in piecing together a workable future that there is an understanding that their best shot at attaining certain goals may be with a 'beta' male. In lower socio-econmic classes, still labouring with outdated ideals about what a marriage is about, women still long for that 'Fred Flintstone/Ralph Kramden husband. A little on the doltish side, essentially harmless and whose simplicity is limited to his comprehension of how to do his job and not tripping up too badly when following his wifes' instruction.


The main reason that women lag behind men in certain fields has more to do with social conditioning than any lack of innate ability. Going back to 'fearing what you don't understand', it isn't that women don't understand men as it is that men cannot comprehend women. Since men have controlled how culture is intergrated into practical applications, I wonder if that is the reason that women don't fear men on levels outside of physical, and even there, compete with a tenacity that outstrips males?

I am starting to wind down with the obtuse part of my observation and will be moving into a 'theory and practice' implementation, or should I have said 'what was to have been a hoped for' launch in my own life. Maybe there are some things about me that are clearer and maybe there are things that only make a reader shake their head. But I will start tightening up and personalizing things shortly.

Eventually. Might do some short stories or something in between time and in the mean time, to keep my mind light and agile. Later toots!


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Sometimes, I think it is the fact that not as many women have the same killer instinct that men do. In the dog-eat-dog corporate world, the killer instinct and lack of compassion for the loser, has skewed things toward men.

Aurora said...

Fear and ignorance drive most if not all incomprehensible acts of unkindness, be they from females or males.

I do not see EITHER sex as incomprehensible or mysterious.

Instead, look at the layers of behavior from all involved.

Those girls had to 'buy' some moments of that boy's time.
Food in exchange for company.
There is so much going on under that dynanmic.

Their ability to give, loneliness, fear, sense of power, hope, desire to connect.
His willingness to use, his own needs for connection, his hunger, the trade-off between pride and manipulation, the ego status.

The social contract is based on what each find acceptable, what reflects their self-esteem and self-respect and self-image at that moment.

And it is ALWYS useful to go over and over something until you figure it out.
Because when you find the core answer, something shifts inside you, and the subject is clear instead of confusing. Until then, you keep at it from different angles.
Never apologize for wanting to learn effectively.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

You have some interesting thoughts to consider here, Mark.

I'm like my friend Ms. Moon, the older I get, the less I feel like I know for sure. Or, I don't know shit, as Ms. Moon would say.

Sending love,


Jonthy, Alice the uppity white cat's babysitter said...

Mark, I agree with Aurora's comments. Social contracts are a two-way street. As an observer we don't always understand why two people do the things they do (i.e. taking a submissive or dominating stance) but there is always a reason behind that. It's like the masochist who begs the sadist to beat them and the sadist responds by saying "no."