We all hear about how princess movies make young girls think they need a man to become something.. blahh blahh. I think boys are equally, possibly more, pressured by the movies and tv to be manly, disconnected, unemotional, strong, ext. What do you guys think? Do any of you males actually feel pressured by this?
Yes definitely. I’m not really conscious of the media’s influence on me, other than movies, where I may want to emulate a character.
Let me explore my psyche for you.
Right.. So a couple years ago I was into this kind of PUA thing, which is basically HOW TO BE ATTRACTIVE TO GIRLS.
And it really did work but I was attracting girls that didn’t like me for me.
So, in that phase, I was really feeling like girls wanted a man who had everything together, who was super masculine, never had had a gay experience, had a huge penis, could give them multiple orgasms, was DOMINANT as fuck…
Never. ever, feminine.
I realised there was something wrong when I had 2 relationships that were like mirror images of each other.
Now, I feel like I am more able to express my flexible, receptive, female side.
I recently told a girl that I had had sexual contact with another dude (in a sort of effort to test her resolve and scare her off) and she was actually still attracted to me!
Then went on to have a really amazing night….. First one night stand of my life loool.
So now, I’m feeling like, from personal experience, that actually, I can just be myself.. Whoever that is.. Be it a young boy who is still exploring every inch of his personal psyche + body, to the young man with fire in his eyes looking for a chance to test his mettle… the girlie side who likes to caress and lick and touch and stare…. and whatever else. The female side is much harder to encapsulate since it’s so deep!
There you go.
Spilled my thoughts out for you, unadultered.
This is all quite a recent discovery by the way. :)
Tell me what you make of this.
All I would say is that if your not acting yourself, you might attract people, but their never gonna be the kind of people you’re looking for (cause they weren’t looking for you, their were looking for that false archetype you were impersonating). just adding my two cents :) thx for sharing your experience. (also girls fall into the “how to be attractive to guys” trap too, lol, as we all know I am sure. equally unwise.)
Hi Cerulean Swim. I can hear what you’re saying.
Yeah it’s true.
Well thanks for letting me know that girls have the same experience.
I wonder.. How viable it is as a woman for a man to be feminine and still be attractive.?
My friend posted something the other day about ‘genderless’ fashion being heavily biased towards females dressing up as men.
I said because I thought it was more accessible, and women can be sexy dressing up more manly.
Men dressing up as chicks isn’t as attractive.
Obviously I’m not a girl. But have you ever found a man dressing feminine to be attractive??
i love everything you had to say. Why does it sound so odd (to many people) for men to have spiritual personal, or sexual experiences??? Im happy for your recent discovery dude. Thats totally aweaome!! Trying to be attractive to the opposite gender is so hard NOT to do! You have to remind your self to be you, for YOU.
I dunno…. It’s just not so normal anymore..
Yeah, and I would say the same for girls is true. The more yourself you are, the more attractive you are too. Whether that means being strong sometimes, being weak sometimes, being hard sometimes, being soft.. All in all it’s all attractive as long as it’s coming from a place in you that is true and genuine.
Fakery is easy to spot.
You got a nice energy with your words, nice vibe in the way you made me feel good about what I said, I appreciate that. I’m gonna follow your lead on that in future.
Oh shit. When I read it like that, I can see how that’s potentially difficult to understand.
I guess I’m talking about kinda stereotypical male things to do, or probably more to the point, things that GENERALLY might be considered not ‘ladylike’
I think you have your own versions of these, so for me to say my own ideas might be wrong cos I’ll affect your answer..
I guess for me, as a dude, my tendencies, that I’d call more feminine that are hard-ish to not be a little self conscious about, are how I stand or sit sometimes, if my hands are flapping around a little gayish.. For instance something a little like this http://i.ytimg.com/vi/qVRL309DXY0/hqdefault.jpg
Do you get what I mean?
It might be even easier to imagine it by thinking about what lesbians do.. Like a stereotypical one that you might laugh about with your friends, and if you ever do any things that from your perspective remind you a little of that kinda behaviour.
I think that the media/ pop culture hurts boys as much as it does girls. Men are trained to feel “less than” when they have (not to mention express) (normal, healthy) human emotions, and are pressured into those sort of falsely “disconnected” roles. Every human has traits we (aka pop-culture) categorize as feminine (“sensitive” “emotional”) and masculine (“strong” “stoic” “assertive”). These are all valuable HUMAN traits, and we should celebrate them in everyone. Some ladies are stoic. Some men are sensitive to what’s going on. This is a good thing.
I too feel like we are subconsciously taught to be these “macho” men, thats its not cool to express genuine emotions (such as crying in front of others), that its cool to be violent, competitive, and seek power over others. To be honest, I feel like both genders are encouraged to be insane in their own way. If you listen to the music on the main radio outlets, especially here in America, the music mostly consists of ego, competition thinking, hate, arrogance, sex (in a way, I personally feel, takes away from its beauty), drugs, separation, fake love, etc.. You know, the kind of stuff that desensitizes us to our true human potential and further adds to the confusion that our human collective is currently experiencing.
Why those negative influences are praised and the teachings of our inherent connection with nature, compassion, unconditional love, real art, and other higher learnings is suppressed from the mainstream outlets is beyond me :)
What people these days call “manly” is just plain old human nature, being real, not obstructing your natural energy with society’s bullshit.
Humans are built to be strong and smart, if you let yourself be that way that’s all it takes to be a fucking powerhouse, a god (or goddess) among men.
Media’s effect on boys is worse than it is on girls, because it weakens the boys terribly. Good for society, bad for humanity and terrible for the individuals. As always.
Summer this is a great question. I think the pressure of being manly is manifested most clearly in homophobism and the fear of discovering that you might be gay.
All my life as a child and teenager, in school the worst insult you could give someone was calling someone “gay”, often in combination with a four letter word. Thinking back now it is obvious that almost all boys shared this fear. Basically making up for their own uncertainty and fear of being gay, everyone just kept nurturing each others fear by using those kind of insults and making fun of the guys suspected to be gay.
I can safely say that almost as far as I can remember, my worst fear has been discovering that I too might be gay. Not even because of gay thoughts, just because it was the worst imaginable thing to be. Your entire school would despise you if you turned out to be gay. At least the school I went to.
I have an enormous amount of respect for everyone who is strong enough to come out, especially knowing that parents or other people likely won’t approve.
I guess that is the male equivalent to the pressure girls feel to look pretty. In almost all of my relationships, girls have had so much anxiety and fear of not living up the ideal of models. It’s a tough fucking truth to accept, but accept it you must if you want to be able to live with yourself happily.
You have a great point!! The fear of being seen as gay is a man afraid of what other men will think of him. Like, a girl wants to be skinny, perfect, blah blah for other girls. There are social pressures from the opposite sex, yes but i guess i didnt think the pressure that your OWN gender puts on you. Its a vicious circle
Yup. Same gender or not, society builds up a lot of insecurities in all of us. There is a great article on HE about self love. It’s not until you face who you are deep down and accept yourself including all the things that might be regarded as deficiencies in the eyes of society that you can truly be at peace. I always return to this quote by Carl Jung:
“What if I should discover that the poorest of the beggars and the most impudent of offenders are all within me; and that I stand in need of the alms of my own kindness, that I, myself, am the enemy who must be loved — what then?
Then, as a rule, the whole truth of Christianity is reversed. There is then no more talk of love and long suffering. We say to the brother within us: Rocca, and condemn and rage against ourselves. We hide him from the world. We deny ever having met this least among the lowly in ourselves. And had it been God himself who drew near to us in this despicable form, we should have denied him a thousand times before a single cock had crowed.”
This quote is probably the most powerful quote I know of. Many crimes and suicides have been commited by people who would rather commit terrible things than accept their own inner rascal. This is the ultimate test of life.
Actually, most pressure on people tends to come from people of their own gender, even a lot of the stuff they think they is from the other gender. It’s because boys get their idea of what girls/women like from other boys/men, and girls get their idea of what boys/men like from other girls/women. And what they say is based on beliefs, fears, wishful thinking, fiction and personal preferences. They are, simply put, full of shit.
Most of the things you think men expect of you, are probably things most men don’t care much about at all. Even some things that we generally dislike, although girls are led to believe the opposite.
Brings back memories, those various “who’s the fag” games were awesome, made school bearable. It was all good fun, it wasn’t about fear or hatred. One of my friends back then was an actual faggot, he enjoyed those games as much as the rest of us, usually did not become “the fag” either. I can’t remember anyone calling him gay, other than himself.
These games weren’t really about shaming gay guys, it was all about determining strength and weakness, which is always crucial for males in social situations, especially teenage boys.
It doesn’t take strength or courage to admit who and what you are, and deal with people’s opinions about it. It’s no big deal, people are just fucking weak and stupid. There’s no witch hunt, only fear of standing out like bird shit on a white shoe.
I have never been personally affected by the image of a guy the media exults to be. But I have seen enough friends obsess over self image, insecurity towards strength, misconceptions on the appropriate way for a healthy way for a manly man to think feel and act. I also have dealt with being ostracized and rejected for not being “normal”. Although its not as blatant as the image and reputation being fed to young girls but unrealistic expectations and images that have been accepted in our society set forth by our media has had a negative effect on the development of many boys and young men.
wow summer, i get your point on that. totally makes sense. i’m not a man’s man tho. i don’t feel the pressure about these stuff. i am unemotional, i find it hard to communicate with the opposite sex, i might be too bold sometimes, most times i’m a jerk. but i’m pressured by the irony of the media against the idealism about a man in a relationship. we have to be understanding, considerate, patient. we try our best, but we’re always distracted. i wish girls would just stop the clues and mind games. i really appreciate people who speak their minds in the most frank way possible – honest and direct. we find it hard to express our feelings because the chemistry of our body is different. our hormones don’t perform well in emotion. but we know how to listen. and guys appreciate girls who tell what they really mean.
Somewhat, yes. One feels as if they have to live up to the expectations (or the norm) set by the media. I tell people “Frankly, my dear, I couldn’t give a damn” but the sad bit (that I never fail to mention) is that one must live in the current society and society demands certain things and thus I for one frequently feel pushed to be a certain type of person which I really cannot be. And my blatant disregard for society’s demand has led me to be ostracised on a few occasions. So what if I’d rather take a walk in the drizzle and be alone instead of … whatever I’m expected to do on Friday nights.
I have favorite fictional characters, but they’re usually just the ones that align with my opinion on discrimination and with more complex personalities than just ’emotional-unemotional’, ‘strong-weak’ just like everyone can be. What I mean is, every movie, show, video game or a book that shows the complexity of the human condition teaches us and that’s why it has significance in our lives. If an art depicts something unrealistic it’s going to be only your fault that it pressures you, but it is forgivable. As far as I’m concerned without art everyone would be a lot different. :) The question is what kind of art makes people feel pressured and what kind has a positive psychological impact?
Is anyone not a fan of Clint Eastwood?
FRANCESCA: (furiously) No, you’re not going to be made to feel anything, period …(she slaps his chest) … because you have carved out this little part for yourself in the world, where you get to be a voyeur and a hermit and a lover whenever you feel like it … and the rest of us are supposed to feel incredibly grateful for this brief moment that you’ve touched us … Go to hell! It isn’t human not to be lonely, and it isn’t human not to be afraid! You’re a hypocrite and you’re a phony!
ROBERT: (very quietly) I don’t want to need you …
ROBERT: Because I can’t have you.
The Bridges of Madison County (1995)