T Nation

Being Threatened?

Just a question here, that Char-Dawg touched a lil upon in a different thread. Now, don’t go and turn this into a Maureen debate. I just wanted to see if we could get a lil discussion from guys, and girls on why anytime a guy dislikes something a woman says, or does… it’s because he doesn’t like her being strong, or not demure or some crap like that. I know every time I see a guy, or a chick for that matter acting differently from my preconcieved notions, it doesn’t piss me off or make them like them, I actually give them a lil props, for being different, or being themself. However if I dislike what they do or say, it most likely has absolutely nothing to do with the fact how “strong” of a person they are.

"Second, why does it have to be that if a guy doesn’t like something that a woman writes, he automatically has to be “scared of” or “threatened by” it/her? Is this something that women just tell themselves to make themselves feel better? Believe me, there was nothing in there that was remotely frightening. We just didn’t like the damn article. End of story. " - Char-Dawg

I never feel threatened. It’s simply a case of stupid is stupid. If what one says is stupid, I don’t like it. And, IMO, Maureen’s article was stupid.

I’ve done my part. The debate is rigged at start. For additional details, check some of my answers in the Maureen thread, specially the link to the e-book dedicated to that subject. Food for thought.

Like you said, I hope this thread will be civilized, FACTUAL, and treated scientifically (big egos stay out).

 Sandra Bullock, or Nicole Bass?
 Sharon Stone or Janet Reno?
 
 Obviously Sandra Bullock and Sharon Stone are the top picks. Why? Because,

 a) They look feminine
 b) They ACT feminine

 The same way Janet Reno and Mrs Bass are physically repugnant to look at, a female who comes on too strong and dominant becomes less atractive to me. If I wanted someone who is 'one of the guys' I'd be gay. Or I'd hook up with a feminist - just as bad.

 Contrary to popular belief, men and women are not exactly equal. Men ARE more physical - its a fact of life. ANd woman ARE more sensitive. It's another fact of life, and one that has lasted throughout human history because a man plays the role of protector, and the female plays the role of mother and needs to be sensitive to the needs of the child, and needs to be able to inspire sympathy from potential enemies who might want to harm her and the child.

 I cannot stand a man who is weak - it outright pisses me off. A man should have a man's character, not be a pussy being pushed around and crying and whining.
 Likewise I cannot stand a girl who is too dominant, too loud, too egocentric, rude. A girl should have a girl's character, not try to be 'one of the guys'. Well, she can but thats what she'll become - one of the guys, and as such will instantly become less atractive to me.

 Just my take.

Well, I believe it to a certain extent because I catch myself thinking this way once in awhile. If I meet a man that is tough and aggressive, I don’t necessarily think he is an “asshole”, but sometimes I’m more likely to think a woman is bitchy for being that way. I try to push those thoughts out though and not judge people. The fact is, everyone on earth is prejudiced and we all need to work to overcome those thoughts.

Really, I think what makes someone an ahole or a bitch should be lack of empathy, e.g. not thinking before you act. I’m not fond of those types of people. But being aggressive and having goals should be good things.

But, from what my female friends tell me, they are WAY harder on each other than we ever are. Women that work hard on their careers and want to get ahead are treated bad by other women as though they have their priorities messed up. So… maybe it is not men so much, but rather, society’s idea of femininity?

I used to be really effeminate, to the point where, people thought i was gay, I got beat up, etc. That was when I was a kid. Now I am not, of course, but I have this “nice guy” image instead of the “tough, confident, aggressive” ideal of manliness. I don’t let people take advantage of me, but still… people often interpret kindness as weakness. It is not the stereotype of what a man should be, and I get crap about it from both men and women.

So… I think if you just don’t fit the “normal” standard you will get crap from other people.

diesel, actually Sandra Bullock has made a living off of acting like the tough girl, then showing her softer side, but I definitely get your point.

While I do give a wide definition to what is “feminine”, I also agree that I want a woman, not a man, and so that’s why some “manly” character traits often seem less attractive to me. On the other hand, I want to be very clear in that a strong woman (physically, emotionally, and mentally) can still be feminine and sexy (they usually are).

  Sandra Bullock has always acted very feminine. See, it's one thing to be a tough girl, and it's another thing to be a girl who wants to be 'one of the guys'.

  Sandra Bullock was just a tough girl, who always looked sensitive and acted very feminine. I do understand your point though, and perhaps I shouldve mentioned someone else - alas I dont have cable and I never watch TV and rarely pick up a new movie, so the names of well known atractive feminine females that everybody knows just...elude me. In all honesty, I could not think of any other names besides those of Sandra (and she is mmhmm good) and Sharon Stone. My point was made though.

Hmm…very interesting points.

So…diesel, let’s suppose that a woman is a CEO or CFO or something like that. Would you find her “masculine” per your definition cuz she’s not “feminie”? (You haven’t quite defined what you meant by “acting feminine”, so I’m going to assume that you’re talking about raising children and stuffs like that cuz that’s what you mentioned in your post)

I think the debate would be much better if we define what we meant by ‘acting feminine’ and ‘acting like you’re a guy’. Right now all I’m sensing from the people who responded is the Madonna/whore dichotomy, which is unfair.

Stella…would it be possible that this dichotomy was actually based on people’s experience and it is really no accident that this is polarized that much, specially when people behave under emotionally charged events?

Here diesel, let me help you out with some names. And since you’re using actors (or actresses, so we don’t hurt the fine sensibilities in this thread), I’ll list those here:

Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriquez, Angela Bassett, Carrie Ann Moss, Jenette Goldstein, Connie Nielson, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Parillaud, Peta Wilson, Eliza Dushku… need I go on. Now, of course, these are all “modern day” actors.
BTW: Sandra Bullock has mostly portrayed the women who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Early in her career she was mostly the “shy smart one” like in “Love Potion #9” and later in “While You Were Sleeping”. She only played “tough” in a couple of her movies, for instance, the very bad sequel to “Speed” and in the two not so good, “Murder by Numbers” and “Miss Congeniality” (which is a comedy). Sorry to digress this thread.

Now let’s talk athletes. Lucia Rijker, Jennifer Alcorn, Bridget Riley, Marion Jones, Jackie Joyner-Kersey, Lisa Aukland, Priscilla Ribic, Tony Norman, Valentina Chepiga, Heini Koivuniemi…and there are many others. Now, these women are tough - they just don’t “act” like one on TV or on the big screen.

And of course strong women can be sexy and still feminine. By the mere fact that they’re women, they’re feminine.

A woman shouldn’t have to even think about what “men want” in women when it comes to what that woman wants for herself. But often, it does. And that’s sad. Do men actually wonder what women will think when considering what they want? Nope.

Remember that thread, “What Makes A T-Vixen?”. There were several guys who made lists: and their idea of a “T-Vixen” was someone who took their needs (as T-Men, whatever), into consideration. Uh huh. I found that amusing.

 'So...diesel, let's suppose that a woman is a CEO or CFO or something like that. Would you find her "masculine" per your definition cuz she's not "feminie"? (You haven't quite defined what you meant by "acting feminine"'

  Being a CEO or not has nothing to do with being feminine. Your career has nothing to do with it, you car and your house has nothing to do with it, your money has nothing to do with it.

  It's your character. Trying to be one of the guys so to speak. That makes her masculine. Ive known quite a few girls who were abhorrant in this aspect, and tried their hardest to look masculine (although these were extreme cases - heck one of them even let a sort of moustache grow on her because she thought it was 'cool', again a very extreme case)

  Thank you Patricia, although none of those names bring a face in my mind. Like I said I dont know many celebrities, and the ones I do I dont know most of their names.

  I also agree with Patricia. Females dont think wether men like the way they are or not, or at least to some big extent. They act their own way. Its when these girls try to act masculine, that well, they stop being feminine.

Well this isn’t really what I had in mind. I was hoping more for a discussion of why, as soon as a guy dislikes something about a woman, he’s labelled as being threatened by her being strong. If a guy dislikes something about another guy, no one brings up the fact, hey you just dislike him because he’s strong.

To me it seems somewhat like a copout. I like, and prefer strong(stubborn) women. But as soon as I disagree with them, or think they’re wrong… it’s automatically that I’m threatened by them, or they’re not demure like the “idealistic” woman is.

Just as an example, I could very well enjoy Maureen’s company(I don’t know her, this is hypothetical) but see the paper she wrote, say, ok that’s crap. And I’m pretty sure some lady will jump on my case and say that I’m just threatened by her being so strong, and speaking her thoughts.

Where as, if it were a guy, and I said Hey TC, that article was crap.(Which I’ve never thought) I don’t think any guys would get on my case… except maybe to argue the strength of the article.

Anyone gettin my point here?

RD: I understand what you’re saying. I’m not sure if anyone else has answered your question. I hope I did.

It’s the whole convenience of the arguement. There’s really no way to DISprove that you’re threatened, so it is theoretically going to end the arguement (like getting in the last word).

Renegade-I tried to post this earlier, but it didn’t go through (damn technology!) and the thread has somewhat digressed from the original point. Let’s see if we can’t pull it back on track. My main concern with people isn’t whether they’re black/white, gay/straight, tall/short, liberal/conservative. It’s quite simply: are you an asshole? And when the answer has been “yes” I’ve been accused of: Racism, homophobia, having “little man syndrom”, and being a fascist. Now granted, this is all my own personal experience, but Ithink there may be something here. People who are confident in themselves and their opinions can accept the fact that you disagree with them, and not let it bother them. But some are either insecure or intolerant to the point of bigotry, so that if you don’t agree with them, you must therefore be evil, and one of many “isms” being spewed forth by victimization advocates. Just my thoughts. Good question, though.

I think CMC, brider and Paul have the issue pretty clear. Taking the gender out of it - If a person behaves/says something you find stupid(insert adjective), then you find that behaviour/train of thought to be stupid(or whatever). Some will go even further and make character assumptions based on that one interaction.

I think where the problem lies in regard to women using the “You’re threatened by me being a strong woman” argument and the man insisting he’s not threatened, he just dislikes what she has to say. Brider’s right. There is no way to prove male or female correct in this situation.

Why do women use it? Because by and large, it’s true. I could cite example after example ad nauseum of times when I have said “X” and been attacked/ridiculed only to have a man say the exact same thing and have him be applauded - both in work situations and social ones. I could cite example after example ad nauseum of times when I have behaved in “X” way and been attacked/ridiculed only to see men do the exact same thing and have no one think twice of it.

Why is this so? Is it because what I said or did was wrong/bad/stupid/whatever? No. Because if it was, then the guy should have been ripped apart too - AND HE WASN’T. So what am I to make of that? Am I to accept this double standard? Fuck no. Was I attacked because I don’t often conform to what society says a “nice, moral, demure” girl should do or say? Well, that would make sense, now wouldn’t it. What other conclusion is there to come to beside that because I AM a strong woman and KNOW my own mind and ACT accordingly, society be damned, that the reaction I get is because people are threatened by a strong woman?

It’d be such a welcome change to have someone attack me for something and then see them be consistant and attack a man for the same goddamn thing.

Someone brought up Maureen’s article. Well, you know, TC and Chris have had their share of “flamers” over some of the topics they’ve written about. Most recent was Chris’ thing about defending your home or whatever that some yahoos twisted into a statement on the Iraq deal. Even so, I don’t recall seeing so many PERSONAL character assasinations in that thread. Did they bash him on any personal level? Nope, don’t recall that happening. Arguing over ideology, yes. But personal stuff? Feel free to quote it and refresh my memory (which may be failing since I’m plagued by estrogen). Oh yeah, remind me also, was it just one or two threads or did four or five people springboard off into their own tangents on how bad a person he is? And did his name/article get injected demeaningly into around half of the other threads (in one form or fashion) regardless of topic? I don’t recall that happening either. I think it was one (maybe two) threads and I think they pretty much stuck to the issues.

Why bring this up for comparison? Because if people were not threatened by Maureen being a strong woman and stating in plain English what so many of us have experienced on one level or another - why the fuck did she get so many PERSONAL attacks? Don’t try to blame it on her writing style making her out to be this or that. Writing style is precisely that - STYLE. To their credit, there were a handful of posts on those threads that were relatively objective and did address things such as relevancy and content without degrading into a personal attack. But why were there only a handful of these posts compared to the hundered plus that were personal?

I didn’t gather even 1/100 of the negative context/connotations that a lot of people here on the board did. Why not? Because I dig a strong, vocal woman. Men have said the same fucking things about sex for eons and no one’s gotten up in arms over that. Why get all riled up over this? Why make it personal if not because it hit them in a very personal way? And how more personal can it get than to threaten someone’s ego?

There goes that Char Dawg causing trouble again.

Well I agree with most people, and thank everyone for not dropping this one into the sewer and calling names.

Karma, I guess it’s just hard for someone to understand where you’re coming from when they generally don’t do what you say has happened to you. For ex. a kid that has never been brought up around racism, it tends to be alien to them.

I’m new to the corporate world, the company I work for won the Athena award, so I just never see it. While I dislike the personal attacks and name calling, I thought some of the people on the other thread, who weren’t participating were being told that they were insecure, or afraid of a woman being so strong. To me it looked like a copout, like the kids running on Springer and when someone points out a fallacy, or how disillusioned one of them are, they just say “Ah, ya’ll are just jealous.”

Okay, sorry for getting off topic earlier in the thread; I was responding to other responses.

~karma~ hit it on the head. Some women get so used to seeing men act out their double-standards that they generalize that behavior to all men. This also helps them to deflect criticism, especially if they aren’t really skilled at taking it in the first place.

It’s real easy to say, as a woman to a man when he criticizes you, “Hey, you’re just saying that because I’m a girl.” You can then go off still believing that you didn’t cut him off in traffic, eat the last brownie, burp too loud, or whatever.

While many men need to rethink how they deal with women in this manner, some women also need to take a proactive stance and screen out the mounds of bullshit they hear every day.

As a non-minority in many ways, I get the other end of this. There are certain things I can’t say or do because I’m not female, non-caucasian, short, fat, or dirt poor. They just wouldn’t be accepted, regardless of merit.

As for Maureen, I’ve already let my feelings be known.

I wanted to address Karma’s point that Chris didn’t get personally attacked and Maureen did, and I think there could be more to it than her gender. Chris is a well established and respected T-Mag writer that has published many articles here that we all enjoyed and appreciated. He has also participated quite a bit on the forum with us in the past. So in a sense everyone probably has the impression that they kinda know the guy. We all have a pretty solid impression of what we think he is like according to the content of what he has written. For Maureen, it was her first article, alot of us thought it was crap. Through her article we got the impression that Maureen came accross as a bragging, egotistical bitch, or whatever. She may be a really cool person, but for her first article, our very first impression of her, she came off looking pretty bad. Then when she responded with a personalized attack on those of us that disliked her writing (even though I didn’t bother to post my negative review of her article), it caused her to look even worse and basically invited us to respond in kind. It’s the politics of writing and every writer is judged the same way. Everyone assumes that thier favorite author is probably pretty cool and interesting in person, and vice versa for the authors of things they thought were crap. As far as the assertion that I was “threatened” by her article because she is a strong woman, ha! I very much appreciate strong women that speak thier minds. I don’t like people that bragg about themselves and go into great detail about thier sex lives, butt love, and how horny they are. TC pulls it off as a comedic effect that is generally somewhat self deprecating or pokes fun at others in an exaggerated way so you know it’s a joke. If Maureen was trying to be funny, she needs to brush up on her delivery. As Char mentioned in the other thread, if a guy had written that article, we would have torn him to shreds too. The guys that are talking about effeminant, masculine, blah, blah, blah, are confusing the issue. They are somewhat affected by the negative stereotype that is associated with masculinity, it’s easy to do when you are barraged with it every day. Maureen was not coming accross as masculine at all, she was being an ASS! If I had observed that kind of behavior from a guy, I would think he was an ass too! If you ladies are trying to figure out how to be “strong” or if you admire some masculine traits and want to learn to exhibit them as well, then by all means do so, you’ll be more of a balanced healthy person. Just don’t think that just because some guys do things or act in a certain way that it makes it “masculine” or “strong” behavior because a lot of guys are total asses. So in short, I think the whole “threatened” statement is indeed a knee-jerk feminist reaction that alot of women have been conditioned to exhibit when they are criticised by men. Sorry I jumped around so much, I am in ketosis and lacking focus.