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.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


One drop
in a sea of human faces
was my drink for a day..
ran through my body,
pulsed in my skin,
impressed an image upon my mind,
and then became a tear
touching my face
leaving me
with only the salt on my lips
to taste.


Unaware of your approaching embrace
I hang in your arms
drunk with love,

unable to lift my head from the tie that binds me
to your neck,

like shackles on a chain,
like armor wrapped tight around the body,
weighing me down,

drowning me in a wreckless sea,
effortlessly pulling me down
beneath the undertow.


I came to you
like scissors to a knife
expecting an embrace.

I came to you
looking for an answer to my disgrace
and found
a puddle at the bottom of an empty barrel, reflecting my face.

I feel the crease of your presence
though you have left me behind;
haunting you with my mind, I find
your vacant place.

Feminism 101: Teaching Men How to Respect Women

My Story

I was raised in the typical female sub-culture that most women were raised in, which involved concerning myself with other people’s comfort and happiness over my own, empathizing with others, being gentle and kind and generous, and being able to enjoy other people’s happiness and pleasure vicariously. Of course, vicarious enjoyment was necessary to develop as a psychic skill, as there was a severe lack of my own enjoyment, since no males and almost no females contributed to my need for this kind of interpersonal affection and attention to my wants or needs as I continued to pour out concern and altruistic effort for others because I was expected to. This social conditioning was accomplished fairly easily by my family and the surrounding community, as ever since I was a child my concern for my own needs or iteration of my desires was consistently met by adults around me with a denial of my request and the correction that I was being “selfish”. I was told to ponder how other people in the room felt less important because I was not paying attention to them, that I should be grateful with what I was already given, and that my lack of a sense of obligation to worry about others made me “unkind”. This was an amazing sense of responsibility for me and quite a revelation to find out that, even as a six year old, my effect on everyone around me was so profound that denying them my services would ruin their sense of self worth and their will to go on. Needless to say, for years I lived my life nurturing others, some who needed it, but mostly catering to the whims and whining of those who were the most demanding of the group, who also all happened to be men.

I felt conflicted about this for many years, usually taking my anger and frustration out on major cleaning projects or impossible dieting schemes, as well as depression and other types of self -abuse. But I didn’t know where all this rage and anger came from, and had gotten the clear message from my social conditioning that my anger for any reason was inappropriate and expressing it made me a “mean person”. But, alas, my subconscious intuition and perception won out and I came to the realization that my anger would come out one way or another regardless of what I wanted to feel or be, that the only thing I could control about it was whether it came out in a productive form or a reckless and destructive form, and that there was a reason for my anger: I had a lot to be angry about when it came to how the majority of men and women treated me. The majority of men throughout my life had disregarded or disrespected my emotional comfort, my physical safety, and my accurate intellectual and instinctual perceptions for helping myself as well as solving problems in academic and professional matters. The majority of women passively agreed with these men and encouraged me to just comply to keep peace between the sexes.

The most important thing I realized about my anger was that it also came from how I had allowed myself to be treated and that I had more power over my social experiences and my life than I originally realized. I came to understand that I have the power to please myself, rather than waiting on others to provide what I want for me while I focus on pleasing them. Expecting others, especially men, to do the caretaking thing for me like I do for them is unrealistic, and I have no control over what they choose to do, or to change them. So I decided to learn how to get what I want and what I need on my own, and how to not waste my energy fighting people who don’t want to cooperate with that.

The Process

First of all, I had to get over the culturally contrived shame over focusing my concern on what I want rather than what others want. Taking care of my needs and wants is not the same as being “selfish” because (1.) Being selfish is taking what I want at the expense of what another person already has, or not sharing what I can afford to share with others who are in need of it for their survival and safety, (in other words, people can take care of themselves just like I can take care of myself, unless circumstances are dire), (2.) When I take care of my needs first before others I preserve my life and functionality so that I can continue to help others in need and share my assets with friends and family and not neglect myself into catatonia, (it’s the old airline safety procedure of putting the oxygen mask over your own face so you don’t pass out before being able to put one on your child), and (3.) when I take care of getting what I want, to the best of my ability without being destructive to myself or others, I am a happier person with more generosity of spirit towards others around me, since I have been generous and loving towards myself. It has been proven to me time and time again that people can’t give what they haven’t received for themselves yet, and I am human in the same way.

Next, I had to find out what I want and what pleases me. That was a journey, and it took deliberate focus on this mission from me and lots of journaling and talking with supportive others to get in touch with all the wants and needs that were forbidden to me by others for years. It was like having to get to know someone for the first time, because I had never let the part of me that stood for self care, self respect, and self esteem out of the proverbial “closet”, due to the unspoken and spoken threats from others that they would withdraw their emotional, social, and even material support from me if I did.

While still exploring what I wanted for myself in lifestyle and life circumstances, I realized I had to acknowledge what I wanted for myself in social company. Many people in my past had either not responded to my requests for helping me get what I needed or wanted, and some had downright actively obstructed me from it. It occurred to me that I can afford to forgive people like that, because I also have the power to avoid the aggravation of fighting a person with a bad attitude and instead go around them to meet new people who will cooperate and support me, after stating my peace, of course. This prevented me from wasting precious energy that I could spend on accomplishing my goal for myself and focusing on people who made me feel good, and it prevented me from being defensively attacking and hurtful to others, so I felt innocent of contributing to their lack of love for me and they soon felt like an ass.

I also had to realize that, just because I feel the old female obligation to fix other people’s unhappiness with me or the female false responsibility to save relationships, I am not obligated to leave myself in a situation where someone is yelling and abusive, or disrespecting my efforts at working with them. It is self-neglectful to subject myself to their temper-tantrum and lack of acceptance of the reality about me. So, I began to remove myself from people who came at me with what I call a “bad attitude”, and in this way I have become my own provider of justice: I do the just thing to myself by not leaving myself under the influence of destructive and unpleasant people, and they lose the benefits of my presence, personality and company. Anti-social behavior deserves the absence of social company. People hate being alone.

Once I knew what I wanted, I learned how to get it. I have found that I do not need to manipulate others into giving me what I want- that’s codependent- and I do not need to twist people’s arm by withdrawing from them in silent scorn and sulking until they guess what’s on my mind. I simply find people who have something helpful to offer, especially advice and experience from their own success, and then I go out and do it myself. (Financial self-sufficiency has been very helpful to this process, but I began this process when I was not on my own yet and just supported myself financially to the degree that I could with the opportunities I had at that point.) And most importantly, when working with people in a relationship I now ask explicitly for what I want, after I get in touch with exactly what that is and decide that I am right about this being what I want. This gives others the opportunity to know what I want from them and to choose whether or not they are willing to give some or all of it. Someone giving some of what I want is also helpful and indicative of honesty and good-heartedness towards me. Then it becomes clear who my real friends are.

Besides stating explicitly what I want or need when dealing with others, and moving on if they are unwilling to cooperate or help me in any way, I also find that I have to be able to tell people “No” in order to keep what I want and protect what I have: Saying “No” to people who ask for something I really need and can’t afford to give, saying “No” when someone asks for my resources and I know they will be irresponsible and exploitive with them, saying “No” when men assume that my body is public property and that they are entitled to put their hands on me without waiting for my permission or cue, saying “No” when I don’t know or trust someone and could be in danger, saying “No” to socializing with men who act arrogantly towards me in the public and say insulting or unpleasant things or complain about me…

The Results

It takes a lot of practice, but only four years of concentrating on saying “No” in these situations and figuring out what I want has resulted in a completely new life, completely new social confidence, and a completely new reaction from other people. People in my family now know that they will look like a foolish hothead and become unpopular if they try to pick fights with me, and they like the benefits of my friendship more than my absence, so they are now kind and considerate to me and are concerned with not insulting or offending me. We have great relationships now. Women feel secure around me that I am not being fake with them and that I mean what I say, and they look up to me and start to flock around me in social gatherings. Dirty old men who put a hand on me have it blocked or promptly removed by me with the correction that they don’t need to touch me to communicate verbally. They get offended and start to sulk like they’ve just been victimized by me not letting them handle my body, and that’s fine by me because I want them to get and stay away from me. Men of my own age (in their 30’s) and men younger than me are taken by surprise when I correct them after they call me a “girl” and I politely say “I’m a woman”, or when I point out to them that they are complaining about me not doing something for them and that they should be grateful I’m even there, or when I simply get up and walk away in disgust from men who talk about women as sexual conquests and cheap entertainment. Some stop the behavior and correct themselves in reaction to me pointing out their error in how to treat me and speak about women in general. Some just never get it, and that’s fine with me because I don’t want them around anyway. But they all hear me loud and clear, that women like me, who take care of themselves and are attractive for it, aren’t going to be around for them to flirt with and women like me aren’t going to give them any of the attention they crave when they don’t get humble and considerate in the presence of a woman.

The Philosophy

I treat men like adults, even when they act like children, and don’t care-take or insult them by compromising what I expect from them. If I’m capable of showing respect for others bodies and feelings, and considering them, and being nurturing and protective of women and their dignity, then adult and young adult men are capable of no less. But why, then, don’t they naturally do these things? Because society has not conditioned them to, and has even conditioned them to avoid doing this. It is not men, but women who are conditioned by society to develop these useful and socially beneficial interpersonal and social skills. Men in Western culture have been patronized from childhood to adulthood by their caretakers and by society with the notion that people should not expect any social discipline, character strength, nobleness or altruism from them towards women, as if they are morally inferior.

I don’t believe that men are morally inferior at all. They are capable of much more honorable behavior than their buddies hold them accountable for. But their potential is undeveloped.

Unless I as a woman state the standards of behavior that I expect from them, which are the same standards of behavior and social kindnesses that I learned as a female, men will not know what will get a woman to pay attention to them.

Men want women’s attention, and ideally their approval. This is embedded in their sex drive and obsession with getting women to want them as much as they want women. If they get their attention from women, whether they get it through positive attention or negative attention, or a mixture of both, they are happy and rest from all self-exertion. What this means is that women greatly influence men’s behavior with their choices about what male behavior they will reward a man for with their attention and flirting or their expression of disapproval. By making the rewards of my company obvious, with being sexually appealing and fun, and by letting a man know what will keep my attention and what behaviors I will ignore him for, I demonstrate that he is subject to social consequences for his behavior. It is a way of saying that the universal law of cause and effect applies to him, rewarding respectful social behavior with the privilege of a woman’s presence and natural feminine appeal and punishing inconsiderate or insulting behavior with the loss of this privilege. All a woman has to do is be decisive and consistent about what treatment she will tolerate from men and what treatment she will not subject herself to. Then she can deal with him as she would deal with any uncooperative person by removing herself, going around him, and moving on to the next man. There is always a next man. If you know this, men will realize this.

I do not stay around and fight to let a man provoke or upset me. Trying to change him by fighting only gives him the negative attention he craves and reinforces his pride and laziness. Why does he have to work for your attention when you bring it to him? He will only work for something when you give him some space and a chance to move out of his comfort zone to come over to yours. This is not to say you don’t comfort him back. But if he gets that comfort from you after having to please and impress you first, then he will begin to learn how to be considerate, empathetic, gentle, respectful, and nurturing-all the skills he missed out on. Men are motivated by other people’s high standards that they also feel are within their reach to do, and by discipline- the structured and consistent discipline they get from athletic coaches and military training. Men who don’t have altruistic social skills towards the opposite gender will only get this training from the women who have already learned those skills and know the social rewards of them, like vicarious pleasure in the life and happiness and well-being of another. Unless a nurturing and self-disciplined woman extends this discipline to a man, in a way that is very focused and makes sense to men based on what helps them focus on a goal, it is very rare that a man who has been conditioned to be self-centered will ever be led outside of himself enough to realize his potential for nurturing others lives and attaining the self-esteem that can only come from altruism.

Many couples work out different styles of communication to attain this male-female dynamic in the relationship. This includes decisions on their own definition of the term “discipline”. Discipline can take the form of not enabling, establishing interpersonal boundaries, and “detaching with love” or “tough love” strategies that self-help programs teach; it can also include a woman setting down rules and setting up recreational consequences for breaking them, like those practiced in alternative sexual lifestyles like fem-dom.

Why Men Want to Respect and Honor Women

Yes, there are actually many couples where the man wants to get humble and honor his woman above himself, to act in serviceable ways towards her and make her feel like a queen. Usually these men are not masochistic, but at some point have actually tasted the rewards of becoming more self-less and focusing on the needs of others, specifically inspired by the wisdom of women in their lives. They either experience this sense of altruistic masculine identity from an unusual situation that puts them in a self-sacrificial role with a stranger or friend, or through a series of encounters with playing a self-sacrificing role in the pursuit of an assertive or self-confident woman, if not through their own family experiences. These men especially focus on pleasing their woman, and honoring women in general, because they perceive nobility and honor in being the kind of man that acknowledges women’s importance. They perceive honor in being the kind of man that has the character and wisdom to respect the lives and the will of women for their immense social and personal value to them, rather than only respecting people for being more physically threatening than them and because they have to for their own safety. They perceive honor in attaining mastery over their selfish urges and their physical strength and size, demonstrating the precision of gentleness and the social usefulness of being serviceable to others, especially others who they admire for these abilities (women).

Men’s Service of Women is not Sexist- It is Symbiosis

Men’s self-sacrifice and self-discipline for attending to what pleases and interests a woman is not sexist.

Firstly, women practice self-sacrificial behaviors all the time with people out of habit, and so it is men who have the proving to do when it comes to serving women. We all know women can serve men, but we have yet to see if men will serve women to the same degree that women can, and so this role-reversal is actually beneficial to men’s and women’s ability to conceive of gender equality. Holding a man accountable to serve the woman in a relationship is necessary for the sake of demonstrating to society that men can make up for a lot of lost time in honoring women back, and that women can be equal to men in the ability to receive and feel entitled to enjoy themselves without giving back. In this way, male habitual self-sacrificial giving in acknowledgement of women's entitlement to well-being and pleasure counters the false impressions we get from misleading examples of gender behavior in human history. People can be equal in social value and assets without having identical assets or the same role in their relationship. This is demonstrated in symbiotic relationships in society and in the ecosystem: seller and buyer, oxygen-generating trees and carbon-dioxide-generating mammals, etc. Physiological differences in men and women aren’t limited to the body but are now known to include brain construction and patterns of activity in mental focus. Acknowledging people’s differences physically or culturally does not cause racism, sexism, and bigotry; only blame and accusation of others accomplishes that, so there is no need to keep denying gender differences as if it will be the precursor to discrimination.

Secondly, men's efforts at serving women's interests is a means of sharing the benefits of their masculine-derived assets with the rest of us, and so it is an act of social unification, as it equalizes each other's welfare. It is a matter of men having an asset and sharing it with a friend who doesn’t have as much of it. Women have other assets, like holistically-inclined decision-making and long-term thinking, as well as strong diplomacy skills, that they can benefit men with; thus women have a lot of insight to share with men, which can only be received when men are giving women their full attention. Therefore, when women teach their men how to focus on women’s needs and interests it is a way of getting them to listen to women and benefit from their assets. In this way the welfare of both sexes is equalized.

Thirdly, giving men a chance to demonstrate their virtues through service that honors women's interests is simply expecting them to do the same thing that women are expected to do, and so when women receive their acts of kindness it is an acknowledgment of their moral equality with women. A man opening a door for a woman or doing any 'favor' for her is demonstrating his ability to be as considerate and useful to others as anyone else. But the fact that he is doing this specifically for women also makes his gesture a way for him to show off his extra physiological energy and strength to be admired for an asset that he feels makes him special. And his asset of extra energy and strength does make him special to society and to women, not because we don't have any of it, but because men have more of it and can be extra beneficial to us in that way. They are special for those 'masculine' traits, and it is socially productive to acknowledge this, as it encourages them to invest in other people's comfort and happiness by beginning with pleasing the women around them, motivated by their sexual desire for female attention. They discover the joys of social altruism from the more exciting use of altruism to serve women. Proof of equality with men in potential or ability is not accomplished by not-needing anything from anyone. It comes from knowing you can find other people to get it from. If a man has the opportunity to be useful to a woman and succeeds at doing so, then he earns her trust and gives her a reason to interact with him again in the future instead of moving on to find someone else to be supportive of her interests. If a man opening a door for me is convenient or effort-saving for me, then it's something I find useful for my own interests, regardless of who it is coming from, and so I accept it and acknowledge that the man has benefited me.

Encouraging men in self-mastery and protecting the honor of other people is essential in presenting them with an alternative to using their masculine assets for 'mastering' others and protecting their own honor at other's expense. The statistics are that 95-98% of all the violent crime committed by guns in the world today is committed by young men, as well as 80-90% of homicides, (Kimmel, M. 2005, see 1; UNECE, 2006, see 2.). A similar proportion of all rapes, which are a form of violent crime, are also committed by men. This is indicative of a social problem. It indicates that men in our modern societies have trouble controlling their emotions, as well as their selfish impulses. Notice the percentage of women committing these crimes is rather low. The genders are apparently not equal -in their attitude and practice of social responsibility, even if they may be equal in potential for developing this attitude and discipline. If women have the social conditioning and perception for nurturing and protecting others, and men are behind in developing these because society neglects to challenge them to reach their full potential as givers and protectors, then equality is facilitated by women directing men on how to develop these virtues for lack of this direction in masculine social honor from any other facet of society. (Note: Now, with the Pro-Feminist Movement which is rising among the male population, there are men who are leading other men in developing these new attitudes and skills- Jackson Katz, Michael Kimmel, and many others. Although, if you read their work you will notice that they attribute their knowledge to female mentors (Katz, J., 2006, see 3).

If men were conditioned more by social rewards to do away with, or be discouraged from, antagonistic and belittling attitudes towards women in word and action, then they would not be as prone to act out on those attitudes in the form of violence and emotional cruelty towards women. And women provide men's most coveted social rewards, so they are in a position to deter men from indulging in these ego-gratifying and emotionally isolating behaviors, to assist them in not succumbing to foolishness and instead discovering their true potential for altruism. Many women can be role models for men in many ways, according to their areas of personal or public success. If men were to mentor under them, they would benefit themselves and free themselves to identify with and relate to women more successfully.

In addition I will echo Jackson Katz by saying that many men are blind to their social privileges and power, and discount their physical advantages, usually feeling sorry for themselves that they don’t have more of it. This is due to the fact that these privileges have always been there for them and they take them entirely for granted, expecting society to treat them as more important than women and deserving of power by default. People are blind to what they have unless they live without it for a while. In the context of a loving relationship, it is safe for a man to temporarily surrender his privileges and perceived “rights” by taking direction from a woman, who has a lot to teach him anyway, and submitting his physical strengths to benefiting her for a change. It makes men aware and grateful for the invisible forms of power and social privilege they have so that they can consider sharing what they have with others. Men’s unjust social advantages can be neutralized somewhat as they become more grateful for them and convicted that they are hoarding them, which inspires men to become more generous in attitude towards others rights to the same social opportunities. Taking on nurturing and serviceable roles towards a woman in relationships also gives men the ability to identify with women more and respect the strength and self control that it takes to be a nurturer and a peaceful and generous person. These are roles that society has taught men to look down on as being socially weak or cowardly. By men relating their masculinity to these roles this conditioning is reversed.


So, the point of my story and this explanation of newly evolving gender dynamics is that if a woman doesn’t like the way men treat her on the street, the way men treat her at home, and the way men treat her in the media, then she has the right to change the way she interacts with men and to start rejecting them when they don’t make themselves useful. If having a man around produces a lesser quality of life for you than you would have if you lived on your own, going out with friends, flirting with new male acquaintances, controlling your own time, and being only responsible for yourself and your own interests, than why have him around?

A woman has the right to find a man who submits his selfishness to concern for her first before himself. (When you’re looking for something, it eventually comes looking for you). She has the right to find what makes her happy and not give it up for anyone. She has the right to stick up for her womanhood by sticking up for her instinctive values, insights, and sensuality to others who don’t get why she is so important to society, and in so doing she will also be honoring women as a social group by not letting them be slandered.

My experience has been that by finding emotional support through other women, community groups, and the development of my spiritual faith, I have developed emotional independence from men, which frees me to set an example for them on how to treat me and other women. I teach people how to treat me by treating myself that way first. I don’t tolerate unpleasant people or treatment, because I want to enjoy myself. I speak my mind and release my confident opinion knowing it has an impact on people who will remember what I say and think about it. I correct people who don’t know how to address me or that my perspective is not to be interrupted, countered, brushed off, or mocked, because it is mine and my life experience and success speak for themselves. And I don’t let anyone touch my body without waiting for and receiving my permission, on penalty of a big slap in the face as an embarrassment for the embarrassment and physical discomfort he caused me. And I avoid saying “I’m sorry” unless I actually damaged someone’s body or social life or belongings, which is very rare,- in other words, unless I really mean it. I do not say “I’m sorry” for existing, for winning, for acknowledging a man's failure to please me, or for other people's bad attitudes towards me. And, I no longer feel ashamed for being assertive, and liking it.

1. Kimmel, M. (2005). Accessed on 5/12/07 from:

2. UNECE, (2006). Gender Issues: Crime and Violence. Accessed on 5/12/07 from:

3. Katz, J. (2006).The Macho Paradox: why some men hurt women and how all men can help.

For a clearer vision of the type of masculinity that is female honoring and sacrificial in service towards women without being a masochist, see the story of Rafael Perez in Diane Whiteside's erotic novel "Bond of Blood".

More on Michael Kimmel

More on Pro-feminist Men's Groups
Also see the NOMAS website, (Nat.Org. For Men Against Sexism, Racism, and Homophobia), and

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Men Serve Women who Lead, and Benefit from it

Men, by instinct, follow women. The incredible sexuality of men and drive to pursue sex is a mental fascination with the feminine aspect of a woman, and a drive to please her in order to gain her attention and approval, to be able to influence and please her the same way she naturally, without trying, influences and pleases them. This is the phenomenon that makes the world go around, that drives men to pursue women, and that motivates women to pick the most pleasing men for their lovers out of those following them around.

Men and women are equal in intelligence and in ability, but their emotional and psychological needs and strengths are quite different.

Men seem to need ego deflation and structured guidance through discipline to be happy and at peace with themselves.

The most satisfied and contented men I have ever met are the ones who have put their abilities to work in service to others in the community, and in particular in service to a woman or women in general. They seem to equate the altruism of this serviceability with ‘selflessness’, although they still take care of themselves; but the difference is they consider what other people think and want more than they would when not in ‘service’ mode, and they consider others to be either as important or more important than themselves. Their discipline of ego by thinking of others first benefits themselves in many ways, one being increasing their discipline regarding care for their own health and grooming. Their feeling of usefulness increases and their self-esteem seems to increase as they see themselves as beneficial to others.

Men I have known, as well as those I have read about, claim they thrive on discipline and structure, needing firm or stern direction from someone to deflate their ego and train them to develop a sense of respect for others. Men often seem to gain a sense of group identity or belonging from structure and discipline that women would perceive as harsh and unaffectionate, such as athletic coaching or military submission training.

Women are the best at teaching men the benefits and wisdom of respect for others, empathy, and the quality of life gained from taking vicarious pleasure in other people’s benefit even while suffering from self-sacrifice. Women achieve these things naturally, as they have experienced the benefits of these from the psychological transformation of giving birth to children and the drive to protect them at all costs, or they have been socially conditioned to practice these social behaviors with others by women who have experienced motherhood.

But it is only when women are not afraid to acknowledge and embrace their social influence over men and the intimidating responsibility of giving direction and structure to another human being that women can apply their abilities to helping men gain this epiphany while teaching men how to please them.

Men want to please women. Most times men say they are happy if the woman is happy, and they aren’t happy if she is not. Their happiness revolves around her approval. The best way for men to learn how to please women is for women to tell them specifically how, and discipline them with forewarned consequences in a structured and consistent way when they fall short of specific goals set for them. This gives men the direction and practice in attaining for themselves the inner experiences of group identity and altruism that their nobler selves are looking for, and enables them to make themselves more useful, and valuable, to the women they love.

Men benefit from the discipline and structure of serving another person’s needs and wants before their own, by their own admission. Yes, there are the men in denial of this, but they don’t look or sound too happy as they shoot their mouths off, going to great lengths to insult women and trying repeatedly to provoke them. Methinks they doth protest too much. They resist the work of the self discipline that serving women’s interests requires, even though it’s what their sex drive drives them to do, but they still want/lust for the attention from women, so they resort to trying to provoke negative attention from them. It’s the lazy person’s way out. The results are short-term and inefficient with their energies, as pleasing one woman would keep her around them and attentive to them from an accumulative effect, while pissing off a bunch of women necessitates a repeat of the offensive actions to continue to generate negative attention. Again, the problem of shortsighted, instant-gratification thinking.

The Instincts of Women are Socially Advanced

"Women are natural visionaries of 'the big picture', long term goals, and spiritual principles of wisdom and quality of life, -even of successful mystical union with God; so they are productive leaders, and men instinctively follow them.”

I say this because the age-old complaints about the differences between men and women involve men being competitive and ego-driven, and women being forgiving, self-sacrificial, and more committed to relationships. Usually, this is attributed to women having their maternal instincts going awry, becoming foolish codependent caretakers and doormats for selfish dolts. It seems, however, that when women apply their traditional sense of social values for cooperation, appeasement, compromise, cooperation, helpfulness, tolerance, generosity, and peace to relationships with people of similar values, such as other women socialized to behave in this way, they don't have problems with being victims of verbal abuse, physical violence, or emotional disrespect. Maybe these traditional ways of 'feminine' socialization are actually wise and based on the wisdom of long-term benefits, like having friends, rather than the shortsighted immediate gratification that seems to drive selfish and violent behaviors.

Actually, there are whole societies, usually tribal, that have based their entire cultures on these "feminine" social styles and values, creating some pretty cool social lifestyles and political results. Examples of societies running on what we think of as "feminine" social behavior include the Arapesh from New Guinea, studied by Margaret Mead (Sex and Temperment); the Lovedu in South Africa, studied by Ann Jones (Looking for Lovedu); the Vanatinai of New Guinea, studied by Maria Lepowsky (Beyond the Second Sex); and the Minangkabau from West Sumatra, Indonesia, studied by Peggy Sanday (Women at the Center: Life in a Modern Matriarchy). Except for Western imperialists driving these people out of their own land and trying to ruin their good thing, these societies seem to have hit upon Utopia.

I also say this because research has shown that there are physiological differences between the female brain and the male brain due to hormones effecting physical development, the difference being that women's brains have more synapses between the lobes, enabling thought in multiple areas of the brain in a small amount of time, where men's brains have less synapses between the lobes and their brain activity remains concentrated in one area for a long amount of time,(Christine de Lacoste-Utamsing, 1982). This indicates an ability in women to consider the effects of their decisions on everyone and everything involved, considering the consequences in the long term on themselves and others. This has been confirmed by studies on the learning styles of female high-school students, where it was found that women relate to information when it is presented in the context of the big picture, when it is shown to be useful in human relationships and beneficial to society, and when it is taught in a calm and cooperative classroom environment, in stark contrast to male students' learning styles, (National Coalition of Girls' Schools, 1993), (Pierce, 1998), (Zohar, 2005).

So, it seems to be a tendency towards social and spiritual values and long-term insight that sets female culture apart from male culture, a difference which might be partially innate but greatly enhanced by lopsided social conditioning of these behaviors in girls.

For more information on female-style thinking, see Girls' Education in Mathematics and Science

Attraction is More Powerful than Intimidation

I believe the life-purpose of men is to be 'caretakers' of the creation, (ecosystems and its life forms), along with women, but that in the context of human relationships men are designed to serve women's needs and happiness, or their pleasure. Women are not designed to serve men's pleasure, but to be their 'helper', because women are natural visionaries of 'the big picture', long term goals, and spiritual principles of wisdom and quality of life, -even of successful mystical union with God; so they are productive leaders, and men instinctively follow them.

Women's sensual desirability is the physical power that women are equipped with to evoke men's submission of will to a woman, hopefully one who provides trustworthy and demonstrative spiritual and social leadership for them and the community.

Extra muscle mass is the physical power that men are equipped with for serving women's interests and needs physically, and accompanying them as caretakers of the earth. Men's brawn is usually used by this culture to intimidate others through fear, with threat of physical destruction, into submitting to their will. That is a physical power that can be used for good or for 'evil'.

Women's sensual and physical desirability demonstrates the other principle of spiritual power over others, which is the evocation of desire, and ironically overpowers the physical mass of the male physique by disarming their will to harm, and evoking from them the will to please, and nurture, and gain approval from the one who carries this physical force that impresses them so much.

Thus, attraction eventually overpowers intimidation, giving rise to the saying "make love not war".

Patriarchy Evolved from Lack of Birth Control

In the last 40 years, women in many cultures have been successfully transferring their work efforts to the realm of business, where they get paid for their skills as opposed to bartering for a husband's income, in order to survive financially and protect their children.

Not only in wealthy countries, but women in Africa, who do 80% of the farming for their households, and on average 60% for their country's national exports, are creating small businesses to supplement their income, (without any training in business, mind you), from the extra produce they have and a wide range of other skills, many making a living in trading and transferring goods to other businesswomen from urban areas. These women usually don't have income coming in from their husbands and have to survive through their own ingenuity. As a result, 60% of West Africa's businesses are businesses run by women.

In India you have NGO's providing equipment and facilities to women, who then collaborate with other women in their village to film news and documentaries for broadcast. Networking with other women in the region through these broadcasts, and by posting political efforts on the web, enables them to change government policies and socio-economic situations for themselves through solidarity.

In Bolivia, NGO's operate as women's centers to network women and teach classes on their legal rights, which they promptly put to use by changing the rules of the house for their domestic-abusing husbands, or simply by kicking them out.

But the fact that many industries and institutions have evolved out of social networks of men and have been dominated by them is no surprise given women's physical vulnerability to pregnancy and the lack of birth control throughout history. The public arena of society has been dominated by men through much of history not because of their mental savvy, but because of all the free time on their hands from dodging the time-consuming work of raising their own children. 

Apparently, this left the entire job up for grabs, and the female parents of these children didn't have the heart to leave it undone. So many women chose to labor at supplying the needs of the children they birthed, even at the expense of neglecting social opportunities for gaining prestige and notoriety, when they could have invested themselves in the public arena along with men from 3500 B.C. onwards, establishing income for themselves through trade, creating fields of paid work where women were commonplace and welcome, and expanding upon them to build industries and institutions around women in power.

It actually is to women's credit that a predominant number did not leave their children to fend for themselves to advance their careers, in the fashion of their male counterparts, and instead chose the altruistic option of applying their wits to farming for an extra person, or two, or twelve, (as the case usually is in a country without birth control, or man control), until such children are physically independent. This of course resulted in the absence of women and accumulation of men in schools and social positions, in turn resulting in an accumulation of wealth and social networks by men, reinforcing their economic independence and ability to fund institutions or governments to their interests and favor. The many women who did avoid pregnancy to achieve discoveries and great contributions to science, medicine, philosophy, exploration, literature, and political relations, (that's another blog), were frequently ignored by established fields, which neglected to mention where their new developments originated from, due to the human tendency to often ignore the existence and influence of the social outsider in the group. 

Evidence that this was the case in history, besides historical accounts of women's lives, is that this scenario is still going on in countries in Africa and rural areas of India where women have no access to birth control and are impregnated young, forcing them out of schools and job opportunities and resulting in them working often 18-20 hour days, farming to supply their children with food on top of all their other work and efforts to generate income through small business on the side. They have no time to rub elbows with administrators to change the fact that they aren't legally allowed to own the land they farm, (having to pay rent for it on top of all their other expenses), -the needs of these extra people in their lives keeps them too busy.

Whereas, in countries with birth control, (which has become available to women only in the last 60 years -think about that for a minute), women have advanced their careers all over the place, a few even becoming multi-millionaires (Oprah and the like) and CEO's, etc., many becoming independently wealthy -this only in one generation of women's access to birth control.

So, that is why women's solidarity and widespread economic advancement is only now occurring, and why women contributors to civilization have been written out of history books, and why women should not internalize any of their past or present exclusion from business or politics as any shame of their own. Rather, it is indicative of their moral conscience and character in societies where birth control and abstinence are prevented from being options for them.

For more on the dynamics behind women's poverty and their isolation from the work-force and government, and what birth control has to do with it, read the literature review Women in Developing Countries.