Monday, May 14, 2007

Tough Love and the Popular Woman

In my experience, I have found the majority of men in my life to appreciate the directness and “tough love” attitude I give them when they are not aware that they are whining, feeling sorry for themselves or looking for mothering from me. Some men can laugh at themselves once they see it, while others are embarrassed at first, then see the truth of it a little later and respect me more for being real with them and expecting more character from them than that.

I guess I learned the value of that kind of “tough love” from a favorite teacher I had growing up who was a mentor for me. He was direct and blunt with his students, even when it bruised their ego, but it was apparent that it was for the sake of pushing us to expect more from ourselves and to put the self-discipline of our work before our self-consciousness. He never talked down to us like we were incapable of understanding him, and automatically expected us to get up after a failure and try again, without complaining. His challenges to our fears and attitudes toughened us up, made us more determined to win, and generated a form of self-esteem in our abilities that I have taken with me all my life.

So I know the rewards of the “tough love” approach for myself and treat all my friends with that level of honesty and confidence when they are being weak in character towards themselves and others. We all have bad attitudes at times that push people away, and we all need each other to point out what we’re doing so that we can see it and overcome it.

Men in Western society tend to not be held accountable by others for their anti-social behavior as much or as often as women are. As a result, men are somewhat more prone to moods of laziness, self-pity (expecting mothering from women for life’s inconveniences), pride (obstinacy and close-mindedness to sympathizing with and relating to others), and competition with women out of a drive for physical and social power trips. Men’s assets can be used to intimidate others physically, which gives them more opportunity to indulge in these attitudes, and then society does them no favors by not calling them on it. So, one of the most respectful and loving things a man’s friend can do is to point out when they are falling into these self-sabotaging reactions to others.

However, men tend not to be as practiced at listening to the words of others as women are. Women have been encouraged to be active communicators and listeners from childhood, so of course practice has made them more prone to take others words or correction to heart without much difficulty. Most men have not been encouraged to practice communication and listening. Those men that have can be good listeners, but this is the rare exception in our culture, and most male social conditioning encourages them to slack at it. Therefore, men usually need re-conditioning to listen to women, as well as a firmer or more physical way of getting their attention and breaking them out of their ‘tunnel vision’ style of thinking. Physically or socially negative consequences, from losing company and lack of sex to a slap in the face, seem to work at calling men’s attention to the way they are effecting the feelings of the women around them and that their reactions to others have consequences on their social life in the long run.

It is a sign of love and respect when a woman recognizes a man’s mistake in attitude and confidently and directly points out to them that it is their own responsibility to change it. Men appreciate it after the fact because it increases their confidence in their abilities, potential strength, and goodness, motivating them through challenge to strive for a higher degree of self-control.

Being a friend and helper to men may take a different form than women need or benefit from for their own growth, such as a firmer tone or a physical consequence, mainly because of the cultural differences between the genders. However, men appreciate and respond well to this method of discipline from teachers, coaches, fathers, sergeants, and bosses. They also need the women in their life to show them enough care and respect to call them on their “bullshit” and clarify for them what women want from them instead.


A man's ego may get bruised from being corrected by a female friend, and part of that may also be a fear that her disapproval indicates her abandonment of him. But when a man sees that she also acknowledges him when he is pleasing to her, that his behavior change can make him more desirable to her, he can see the correction as part of a larger system of respect, one where success is rewarded and falling short has negative consequences. It's the context of commitment, consistency in standards, and honesty about his successes as well as his failures that makes tough love meaningful and impressive to a man. He will admire and want the woman who exercises this kind of correction, and become increasingly willing to please her, because it becomes a noble cause for him to do so.

Women raising their standards for men’s social attitudes and behavior will improve how women themselves are viewed and treated by men while also supporting men’s growth spiritually. The only thing that tends to inhibit people from telling the truth to men about their bad attitude and unappealing tendency to complain is the desire to win men’s attention through flattery of their ego.


Actually, it is the confident woman who knows what she wants who wins the most attention from men in the end because she is the one whose words are taken seriously by men, who men want to work hard for to please, and who men can't easily forget. Women who break free from the temptation to patronize and coddle men will benefit themselves, their relationships, and the men they love.

12 comments:

nEthing4Her said...

Mistress;
(And yes, i feel bound to respectfully address You as such - though not, perhaps, as You might initially receive - 'Mistress' - as in 'Master' - as in 'Teacher'. Because i am learning so very much!)
Or, rather/in addition, Your words are giving shape, focus, substance & cadence to that core 'seed' within myself and other (dare i say - enlightened) males such as i: the unapologetic, mind-, heart- & soul-driven Gynosupremacist. So thank You... Mistress.

My question, however, is this: Throughout what i have digested thus far of this... Planet-Saving Scripture, (so cleverly disguised as a weblog *s*), You seem to be clearly targeting we males of the West. Now, whilst i understand that a full addressing of the loathsome train-wreck that is the plight of Womankind in the Eastern hemisphere, could You perhaps.. address it in any, small way? Just to lighten our hearts that You haven't forgotten those of the Sisterhood Whom are - yet - no better off socially, domestically & legally than They were 3,000 years ago?

All You must say, Mistress, to soothe my heartache for Them, is that You have not forgotten them, and that Your plans - though perhaps delayed - include the taming, enlightening & eventual training of Their' 'men', as well. You will not leave Them to those backwards, misogynistic... 'manimals'... will You??

nEthing4Her said...

Oh... my bad, Mistress (*BLUSH!*)

i seem to have missed:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/92460/Women-in-Developing-Countries

Doh! Never mind.. :*)

Blanche Black said...

Nice to hear from you, and I’m glad you brought the topic of women in other cultures up. It’s an important one.

Yes, I am definitely mindful of women in non-Western cultures and interested in contributing to their social and psychological empowerment. However, what’s important to note is that my blog articles are written primarily for women, and they are designed to encourage women (and women-loving men), rather than reprimand men directly. This is because only women can discipline the men in their lives by enforcing their personal boundaries and the stipulations for sharing their company. I believe it is through support and encouragement from those in solidarity with them that women will gain the inspiration to reprimand the men in their lives directly and develop female solidarity on a community level, where they can change public affairs.

If women in one culture can eliminate male behavior problems from affecting their own lives, it is only a matter of time before women in other cultures adopt similarly effective solutions for their own benefit, if they haven’t already. For example, I have read about women in Bolivia who went through a public program to learn about their legal rights under national and local law. In direct response to this information regarding their legal leverage, some began enforcing their desired boundaries at home with husbands, carrying out living arrangement consequences to enforce them. In short order, their husbands changed. Some stopped beating their wives, sobered up, and starting helping around the house, while others were simply forced to leave altogether.

In addition to strategy development, these articles address the essential differences between the natures of women and men universally in order for women’s and men’s expectations of themselves and each other to change. I hope these changes are contagious also. The conclusions I come to are supported by the work of researchers whose direct experience and expertise includes both non-Western and Western cultures.

You might be interested in reading a literary review I wrote on the interests of Women In Developing Countries and how they can be facilitated with creative information systems, which you can find a link to on the bottom of my blog page. There are also several articles here which discuss women in non-Western cultures: Patriarchy Evolved from Lack of Birth Control, Matriarchy: The Power of Collective Female Leadership, The Power of Female Autonomy: The !Kung, and The Power of Female Solidarity: the Tchambuli.

Anonymous said...

Hello Ms. Black,

You write a lot about how men should serve women, but you don't really give any details. I agree totally with you.
It would be a pleasure and challenge to win and keep the approval and affection of a beautiful and intelligent woman like yourself. I know I could never possess your intellect, self-discipline, and creative talents, but it would be a privilege to help you attain great success. I believe that a man should do the mundane household chores and errands which provides the woman time to pursue the intellectual, managerial, and creative success she is so much more capable of attaining. Many men in our society have already done this. They have become the wind under their wife's wings, so to speak. In addition to serving a woman, a man should give financial and emotional support to her. He should take her on romantic dates and vacations and always put her pleasure and desires before his, in and out of the bedroom. It would be great if you could detail in your blog some of the ways you expect your man to serve you, Ms. Black. It is just a suggestion. You know best and I defer to your decisions.
I'm sure your artistic endeavors are just as beautiful as your writing. Your blog is a creative masterpiece. It would be a wonderful basis for a much needed and perhaps controversial book. I also think it would be lucrative for you. Your writing is creative, logical, direct, and easy for men to understand. I could envision many women buying your book and giving it to their boyfriends and husbands to read. Not only would it train men to please women and have long lasting relationships with them, but it would also empower women to demand the respect and service they deserve.
Have you ever thought about writing such a book, Ms. Black?

Sincerely,

Frank

Blanche Black said...

Frank,

Well, I enjoy your compliments, and I'm happy to know that my writing is so accessible for you and perhaps for other men as well.

Although I derive a great deal of personal pleasure writing on this topic, there are a few reasons why I stay away from offering too many details.

One main reason is because the people I write for practice a variety of sexual and relationship lifestyles; nevertheless, they all seem to demonstrate the common denominator of matrifocality in their thinking on relationships. Some couples have discovered this dynamic through sexual games and experimentation. However, for other couples, matrifocal behavior might show itself in more practical ways. For example, the couples I know with the longest lasting and most successful relationships are ones where the husband takes an active interest in supporting the public work and personal vision of their wives, becoming their best friend and loyal advocate, and their wives respond by openly appreciating and enjoying them. This may be just as much of a matrifocal relationship as a Femdom one.

Also, I would like to disintegrate all cultural assumptions and stereotypes regarding what a dominant woman is and what male chivalry looks like. There is no porn that represents female centered sex. Sorry. It would consist of men being featured as eye candy with the only woman in it being behind the camera; or a woman orgasming from a man giving her oral sex while another guy in the background does her laundry. I do not believe that one has ever been made. However, there is nothing more exciting to me than developing a unique relationship with a man- one where we create our own playful solutions to trust development, and other interpersonal obstacles. And, yes, I have a few kinks too.

I have been told by a number of people that this would make a good book. I appreciate the suggestion and will continue to think about it.

Ms. Black

Anonymous said...

I enjoy pleasing and encouraging you Ms. Black. It must be frustrating for you at times to hear from men who are not receptive to female led households and female led institutions. You are a natural leader and your opinions and ideas need to be heard by women and men. I can see that you get a lot of support from male readers and I am glad for that. I can understand why you don't want to give specific suggestions on how men should serve and please women, but I want to support you in any I can. I hope you will continue to teach me about the benefits of female leadership. You are not afraid to put a man in his place if he is disrespectful to you. I like your strength, beauty, wisdom, and gentleness.
The problem with porn, besides being degrading to women, is that it is so one dimensional. Porn only cares about a woman's ability to give a man sexual pleasure. It doesn't care about all her other amazing qualities. It doesn't care about her beauty, intelligence, creativity, emotions, love, gentleness, strength, discipline, moral character, and talents. It doesn't care about the love, support, wisdom, and inspiration a woman can give to a man.

Blanche Black said...

Well said. There are some who have turned to Femdom porn for guidance on developing a more fulfilling sexual lifestyle; however those producing it similarly betray the assumption that sex is about men doing the desiring and women responding to that desire out of androcentrism. It's just another commodity designed (by men) to control and manipulate a male audience for financial reasons and to the detriment of people's ability to respond sexually to actual human beings.

Additionally, it propagates the myth that women do not have sexual or sensual desires towards men that require male receptivity to female action or male seductive visual appeal to arouse women's interest. I am proof to the contrary.

The most interesting romantic and sexual relationships for me come from a man's psychological complexity as well as the multi-layered communication dynamics going on between me and a man. "One dimensional" gender roles and culturally-derived sexual expectations are just boring.

As for dealing with close-minded, disgruntled men, it can be distracting but it's nothing that scholarly, activist women haven't been dealing with in this country for the last two centuries. I am greatly encouraged by the example of the many women who historically bore the brunt of it to effectuate changes in public policy and law for women's protection; I am also greatly comforted and inspired by the intelligent men who recognize and support my efforts in expressing these ideas, such as yourself.

I enjoy your comments and perspective.

Anonymous said...

Do you enjoy disciplining a man, Ms. Black? Do you think it is sometimes necessary to train him? What about humiliation?

Blanche Black said...

Anonymous,

Only if they are bullying myself or others, in which case humiliation is definitely in order. However, that does not constitute sexual pleasure for me. I would never date the kind of man that wasn't able to discipline himself and save me the time.

Ms. Black

Frank said...

You should be honored and obeyed by all men, Ms. Christina. You teach us to serve and obey women, so that we may enjoy the rewards and benefits of their leadership. Women are leaders in relationships, business, education, and government. Society is better off with women in these leadership roles. Women are more honest and benevolent than men. You have taught me that women are superior to men in just about every facet of life. I hope you will continue to teach me, Ms. Christina. Thank you.

Frank said...

You should be honored and obeyed by all men, Ms. Christina. You teach us to serve and obey women, so that we may enjoy the rewards and benefits of their leadership. Women are leaders in relationships, business, education, and government. Society is better off with women in these leadership roles. Women are more honest and benevolent than men. You have taught me that women are superior to men in just about every facet of life. I hope you will continue to teach me, Ms. Christina. Thank you.

Blanche Black said...

Your welcome, Frank. I enjoy teaching enlightened men.

Ms. Christina