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View Diary: Here's that story CNN doesn't want you to see about how ladies vote with their periods (186 comments)

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  •  Well now I feel bad. Because I have often told (14+ / 0-)

    my husband he thinks too much with his "little head" when he should be using his "big head."  

    Maybe it's been his hormones all the time!

    •  Semi-OT, but this is one thing I don't get. (10+ / 0-)

      Do you really say that?

      Why would you say that?

      I've always been a feminist. I was raised in a house with five  women and no other men. I never once thought gender or sex-related biological realities influenced ability, maturity, etc.

      But over the years, I've listened to a lot, and I mean a lot of stuff about men and penises and violence and competitiveness and testosterone and god knows what else, lobbed by supposedly highly educated, often highly liberal women, sometimes at me, sometimes at others, rarely with anything I'd imagine to be justification.

      I used to just grin and ignore it, and maybe sigh and let it go.

      But in recent years I've started responding by saying that I'm a feminist and to me this means that biological determinism in most areas of life is crap.

      Why do women—especially liberal, educated women—feel that it's okay to make comments about mens' genitals, hormones, and supposedly gender-intrinsic flaws, even in jest?

      I would not, likely even in jest, tell a woman to stop thinking with her uterus, clitoris, or estrogen, or chalk anything up to womens' flighty emotional instability or any other stereotypical nonsense in the ways that women routinely talk about "men" and violence, chauvinism, etc.

      Sure, there are the Aikins of the world, but there are also the Sarah Palins and Michelle Bachmanns. Yes, there are jocks that are all about their "testosterone," but this is a pose and gender performance just like the (equally common) identity of the female "drama queen" that's always going on about her PMS.

      If it's just "because the patriarchy was a thing," how many generations have to pass before we can move beyond this kind of speech?

      Because I think so long as people complain about men thinking with their penises in mixed company, others will be talking about women that "were asking for it." You can't eliminate one without also eliminating the other.

      -9.63, 0.00
      I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

      by nobody at all on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 07:33:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Men thinking with (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nobody at all, glorificus

        their little head hardly leaves the guy with a black eye, a broken arm or an appointment with the coroner.  Men thinking that women asked for it is a situation filled with hurt for the women.  I see no corallation between those two situations.  You recoil at the comment about your genitalia but women deal with that daily.  Comments about genitalia, breasts, hormones, hair, nails, clothing and on and on are part of our daily exixtance.   I would love to get past people joking or commenting on others in this manner but it will never happen.  I am more concerned with getting very many men to accept that women are not just breasts, uterus and a vagina.

        Everyone! Arms akimbo!

        by tobendaro on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 07:49:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not saying that the experience of women (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VictorLaszlo, biscobosco, not a cent

          has been or is equal to that of men—so I want to avoid that false equivalence immediately.

          I absolutely agree with you.

          And I also recoil at (and have always responded to) comments about women of the kind that you describe.

          But I think that we also ought to recoil at those sorts of comments about men—precisely because so many see exactly the false equivalence that you describe.

          If it is possible to say that "men are bad stereotype y" then we open the door to thinking that sloppy sex and gender thinking is legitimate, and it's only one tiny step farther to "women are bad stereotype x" a moment later, and it's that sort of thinking that gives idiots tacit permission to ignore the humanity of fellow humans.

          Surely it is possible to say that women have historically been oppressed in almost all societies and that we want to end this without turning around and seeming to suggest at the same time that people can be characterized by their biology?

          It seems to me that it's important to do so, because it's entirely this line of thinking (that people can be characterized by their reproductive organs) that leads many wrongheaded men to think in the ways that they do about women in the first place.

          Only when we convince everyone that we oughtn't make decisions about our interactions with people (and what's okay and what's not in those interactions) based on what's in their pants will we also get everyone to some other criterium (say, the fact that they are a fellow human being) to decide how to treat them.

          At least that's always been my view, and I think it extends even into areas like race. So long as it's okay to use an unrelated biological property to characterize and decide how to treat anyone at all, we open the door to using this kind of thinking in general.

          We can't get past "Women Deserve X" until we can also eliminate "Men Deserve Y," and we can't get past "Blacks Deserve A' until we also eliminate "Whites Deserve B."

          They are two sides of the same conceptual coin.

          -9.63, 0.00
          I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

          by nobody at all on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 07:59:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, I think I'm being too wordy. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Batya the Toon, TheDuckManCometh

            Let me try to express myself more clearly.

            Letting people decide how to treat other people based on what's in their pants has been much, much worse for women than it has been for men across human history.

            So it baffles me that I've met so many women with the same desire that I have for justice burning in their souls continue to think it's a good idea to set an example precisely by engaging in the thought practice that has effectively done women so much harm for so long.

            We need to make it not okay to decide what we can do and say to people just by guessing what's in their pants. And I think as long as we say it's okay to do that to men, for whatever reason, more men than would otherwise have will think it's an equivalent thing to do that to women.

            In short, it's a bad deal in the long run, even if it seems justified in the short term.

            -9.63, 0.00
            I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

            by nobody at all on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 08:12:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  While I agree with (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              what you are saying I just am amazed at the angst.  People commenting on others sexuality in any way is uncouth and wrong.   However, all of this has much more impact on a woman than a it has on a man.  You are just upset.  We are subjected to articals like the one this diary cites.  We are denied oppportunity.  We get pregnant from rape.  We are murdered far more frequently.  And truly, power doesn't care.  So your beef just doesn't resonate for me.  I don't want to be rude to you and your concerns but I get mad with the weak comparisons.

              Everyone! Arms akimbo!

              by tobendaro on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 08:33:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No intention to be antagonistic here. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                No angst, and let's just say that I agree with the vast majority of what you say—I merely worry that we head down the road to worse times once again (after all of the progress that's been made over the last century) so long as we fail to rectify the kinds of thinking that made such injustices possible in the first place.

                -9.63, 0.00
                I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

                by nobody at all on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 08:43:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Oh, and (wish we had an edit button) (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  my use of past tense is in no way meant to divert eyes from the forms of violence (emotional, verbal, physical, structural) that continue.

                  Only to acknowledge that as a matter of sheer numbers, we have made some progress—which we now see shockingly slipping away once again with today's right wing (for reasons, to my eye at least, that I've outlined).

                  -9.63, 0.00
                  I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

                  by nobody at all on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 08:46:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  True but men are not monolithic (4+ / 0-)

          Many of them are committed dads, loving partners, and are struggling with the fact that everyone thinks they are simple-minded and have only 'sex' or 'hulk-smash' type feelings.

          I am a mom of a very sensitive boy and I would love it if we could get beyond this stereotyping which can either insult or perpetuate the myth that males need to fit a certain mold.

          Let's just get rid of gender straight-jackets all together, hmmm?

          •  I so agree. And I've been close to people (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            coigue, internationaljock, tobendaro

            that struggled with finding a place in a world of "men" and "women" when they were clearly neither, and their hurt and the danger that they live with (emotional and physical) is also forgotten in these kinds of discussions.

            It's just not okay to assume that we can treat anyone poorly simply as a matter of sex or gender (or any other nominal physical or emotional trait).

            And absolutely some people end up with much, much worse treatment than others as a result of this kind of thinking. As a male that cannot be mistaken for an African American, I'll likely never experience much, if any, long-term physical or emotional distress as a result of my sex and gender (or race) identities.

            But I'm sensitive to the damage done by the thought process that says we break humanity down into categories (male, female, white, black) and then use a list other than a list of basic human rights to decide how we treat people in each category.

            Because so long as people think there's a different list of acceptable behaviors for each category, some people are going to have rotten lists for some of the categories than others. And sanctioning the use of any list of acceptable behavior other than basic human rights and the granting of dignity for any category of people should be seen as a Very Bad Thing and a slippery slope in my book.

            -9.63, 0.00
            I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

            by nobody at all on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 08:23:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  It IS all about bodies (4+ / 0-)

          A friend and I walked into a gay bar once by mistake -- too dark and smoky to see much at first, just a bar -- but I had a weird feeling. Somewhat antsy. After a while I could see it was all guys, some making out -- And almost all of them checking me out. I could tell by their eyes, their expressions-- "hmmm, nice piece of meat". We left in a few minutes, but I had the keen sense that what I felt in that bar was what women in public feel all the time -- eyes going over their bodies, that sense of being evaluated by strangers and passer-bys. Checking out your sexual parts.
          I think this is the basis of men's homophobia -- the fear, the anger that THEY  are being looked at and thought of by gay men the way the straight men look at and think of women. And it frightens them to death.
          I'm not bothered by gay men nor sexually aroused by lesbians making out. Guess I'm a weirdo.

          Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizzam!

          by fourthcornerman on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 09:07:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know you, but . . . (0+ / 0-)

            you might want to rethink this comment.  You walk into a gay bar, and you think "almost all" of the men are checking you out.  Don't you think you might be flattering yourself just a bit?  Straight guys always have this idea that every gay man is just dying to get into their pants.  But the truth is, most of you just aren't that desirable.  Nor are we as sexually omniverous as you seem to think.

            I'm sure you didn't mean anything by this, so I don't want to make a big deal of it, but I hear this from straight guys all the time when they somehow wander into a gay environment.  You all seem to think you're just irresistible to gay men and that when you're in a crowd of gay guys, all eyes are on you.  Take it from me, that's your discomfort and insecurity talking.

            As someone who's been walking into gay bars -- on purpose -- for decades, I can pretty much guarantee you that most of the guys in that bar didn't so much as notice you.

            "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

            by FogCityJohn on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 11:04:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wrong choice of words (0+ / 0-)

              I didn't mean "sexually" checking me out, just that i was looked over -- to see who I was, whether it was someone they recognized or knew, or just curious -- but the point was I don't get looked at -- even cursorily-- by every male when I walk into a bar, store, restuarant, gas station, etc, which is what I KNOW happens to almost every woman who does. Just watch the men in a place when a woman comes into view. It's that universal and unceasing scrutiny, even if only a quick glance, that would certainly make me feel uncomfortable in public.
              As for myself -- does having a guy come on to me while we're both naked (and alone) in a YMCA shower mean that I AM attractive? I have no homophobia nor fear nor  insecurity that men want to use me sexually. Nor do I think gay men  are continuously on the prowl.

              Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizzam!

              by fourthcornerman on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 08:24:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I first heard the "little head / big head" thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      decades ago from my Mom as she ripped into some of her male counterparts at the company she worked at.

      It was was one of those "you'll know what I'm talking about in a few years" moments that I thankfully never forgot :)

      The GOP: more ways to say "Colored Boy" than Carter has pills.

      by here4tehbeer on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 08:05:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  For me, I think John Hiatt. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        His song "Little Head" is where I first heard the term.

        Catch it on YouTube here...

        My favorite bit:

        Forgive me when my instincts
        start stinking,
        I'm just so easily led
        When my little head
        does the thinking!

        If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. - Bishop Desmond Tutu

        by AnnieJo on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 03:22:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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