"Bromances are bad for women" - National Post

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"Bromances are bad for women" - National Post

Post by K-J on Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:07 am

An article, a couple of months old, caught my attention.
Rise of the bromance
...and I think it poses a really weird argument.

Young men developing stronger friendships with each other supposedly spells doom to heterosexual relationships.

I'm thinking this is one of those faux feminist(actually social conservative) pieces, or is there anything in there at all which is valid?

I doubt that interviewing 30 undergrads provides any representative data at all, but if it were true to some extent I still fail to see the actual problem.
If it would cause increased sexism, granted that would be a problem, but there's probably nothing to substantiate that these "bromances" actually do that.
That they found sexist attitudes in undergrad men isn't a big shocker after all.

But beyond that
Men won't be inclined to get into relationships out of desperation for intimacy and emotional support?  Uh, that's a good thing.
Stronger friendships and a lot of those relationships which shouldn't even have happened won't. Awesome.
Men will have actual criteria before dating a woman seriously or their friendships will have precedence. Again, that's only positive.
Why should anyone date anyone with whom they can't fully be themselves with anyway?

IDK, perhaps this somewhat adds to making LTR straight relationships a bit more difficult to come by, but there's many many social changes that contribute to that, and I suppose the answer is well, guess you have to whine a little less and concentrate your self improvement and effort then if you want to land one eh?
Again, I see this as progress. Fewer crappy relationships may be founded, while those that still happen will be of a higher quality.

Another thing I see is that the study failed to see completely that there's nothing all that significant about these bromances (between straight guys) next to say, having platonic friendships with girls, or the type of friendships straight men may have with bi/gay men (or whatever combination you can imagine). Those exist all over the place nowadays aswell.

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Re: "Bromances are bad for women" - National Post

Post by Enail on Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:51 pm

Ugh, there's always some new thinkpiece wringing hands at the idea that kids these days aren't going to feel forced into relationships as the only way to get some need met(usually it's something about casual sex, but I think "oh no, men can have close friendships with men!" is still the same general concept). They always seem to feel this is bad for whatever group they think those people would otherwise be forced into relationships with - even if, the relationships based on being the sole way a person can get that need are often pretty harmful to the person who's just there to meet some need of their partner's - and for society in general.

In my more cynical moments, I sometimes think they're intentionally designed to try and scare people who would be better off not being in those relationships into accepting crappy relationships and to scare people who are against sexism to put their energies into maintaining societal structures that generally have pretty sexist effects Wink. I don't think they have much of interest to say to people who think that it's a good thing if people can more freely choose to be in a relationship or not and if single people are able to have more happiness in their lives through mutually beneficial connections.
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Re: "Bromances are bad for women" - National Post

Post by Datelessman on Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:18 pm

Pieces like this pop up every few months or every other year. I always see it as people suspecting a change in gender norms and resisting it. There is always a push back when people try to shake the status quo or upset gender stereotypes. I also would not be surprised if part of it is a long term con to pit women vs. homosexuals. "Your men are hanging out with other men too much and getting their feels! Be afraid ladies!"

It's along a long line of articles and think pieces advocating complacency, fear, and competition among women. Lovers should share feelings, but should not be unpaid sexual surrogates. If some men are starting to form close bonds so their girlfriends don't share the bulk of their angst, more power to them. I also don't think the "crisis" is nearly as bad as the article suggests. Most men I know may have plenty of guy friends, but rarely get vulnerable without the aid of alcohol to anyone beyond their girlfriend and/or their mom.
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Re: "Bromances are bad for women" - National Post

Post by Werel on Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:15 pm

Enail wrote:Ugh, there's always some new thinkpiece wringing hands at the idea that kids these days aren't going to feel forced into relationships as the only way to get some need met
Laughing Yeah. The idea that more choice and less coercion in romantic relationships is bad is hilarious.

K-J wrote:I doubt that interviewing 30 undergrads provides any representative data at all
Death to the convenience sample in all cases, but this convenience sample is also a demographic that's especially likely to see "their female romantic partners as judgmental, and as 'the primary regulators of their behaviour.'" College-age people are having some of their first romantic relationships, and still struggling to figure out how to balance autonomy vs. compromise with partners, but they've probably had platonic friends most of their lives and know how to work that system. So no shit, they find romantic relationships more difficult and feel like they have to posture and front to be successful. If they interviewed 30 college-age women they'd probably say very similar things (gotta posture for boyfriend, can be earnest with platonic friends).

Also... stuff like this...
“What happens in 50 years, say, if these bromantic relationships really take off and men decide, ‘Hang on, we really enjoy these. These are much better. We can gain more emotionality from it. We’re less regulated, we’re less policed,’” White said. “And therefore women actually just become the sexual fulfillers of men and nothing else. That’s the worrying aspect.”
I... don't see how he got from "men learn to expect more emotionally fulfilling/less strictly policed relationships" to "men don't want anything but sex from women", that's a pretty huge leap of logic. Oh wait, yes I do. Why wouldn't healthy male friendships mean that men develop higher standards of mutuality and compromise in relationships, or learn to articulate their need for autonomy and only stay with partners who respect that? Because women are fundamentally controlling and regulatory of their partners so it's impossible to have a healthy hetero romance, and now that men are liberated from gay panic, they can finally find true emotional reciprocity with the only humans who don't want to police their behavior. Cool theory bro.

(Also unnecessary academic snark but the lead researcher on this brilliant piece is a doctor of sports rofl)
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Re: "Bromances are bad for women" - National Post

Post by K-J on Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:15 pm

I'm glad you all seem to see it the same way.

Enail wrote:In my more cynical moments, I sometimes think they're intentionally designed to try and scare people who would be better off not being in those relationships into accepting crappy relationships and to scare people who are against sexism to put their energies into maintaining societal structures that generally have pretty sexist effects

I don't know if it was just done by someone not cognizant of his own normative beliefs (though well intended), or if this was deliberate manipulation, but I also started to suspect the latter. A lot of fake concern going on.
What's tragicomic is that if you glance in the comment section (Warning, may cause headache and decreased faith in humanity), there's a little Mgtow parade crying about feminism again, but I see only fake feminism in the article, some borrowed phrases and a little "these guys and their sexist views" put in there to make it sound credible.

Datelessman wrote:Pieces like this pop up every few months or every other year. I always see it as people suspecting a change in gender norms and resisting it. There is always a push back when people try to shake the status quo or upset gender stereotypes. I also would not be surprised if part of it is a long term con to pit women vs. homosexuals. "Your men are hanging out with other men too much and getting their feels! Be afraid ladies!"

I don't exactly recall any examples, but I'm sure I've seen exactly the same thing play out before yes.
You're probably onto something that there's some anti-gay sentiment in there as well. I noted how it almost sounded like they were saying "With homophobia practically gone, here's what happening.."

Werel wrote:College-age people are having some of their first romantic relationships, and still struggling to figure out how to balance autonomy vs. compromise with partners, but they've probably had platonic friends most of their lives and know how to work that system. So no shit, they find romantic relationships more difficult and feel like they have to posture and front to be successful.
 
I think you nailed it here.
This might be a bit more tangential but I thought of something else which might've raised the "sexist alarm". What happens if you give a survey to a teenager who either finds it dumb, condescending or he doesn't particularly like the interviewer? Monkey business of course. If it were me, at that age, I'd probably also have responded something along the lines of "chicks ruin everything" even if it bore no reflection on my actual opinions.

Werel wrote:(Also unnecessary academic snark but the lead researcher on this brilliant piece is a doctor of sports rofl)

Snark greatly appreciated cheers and I agree.
It would have been so easy to simply ask women what they thought to debunk all of this.
"So, what would you think about a guy who has really strong male friendships? He's not desperate to get a girlfriend to alleviate his loneliness. He's not obsessed with finding girls to have sex with to bolster his self esteem. He's not clamming up on his issues and problems until he can unload it all at once on the first sympathetic female ear.
On the minus account(?), he may be a bit less inclined to get into a relationship with you unless you develop the same level of trust he already has with his friends and you know, you guys actually fit together well enough. Might take a little additional effort.

I think an overwhelming majority of young women had voted in favor of that, but what do I know? Shrug


Last edited by K-J on Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:18 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: "Bromances are bad for women" - National Post

Post by waxingjaney on Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:17 pm

"Stand aside, harridans! My man needs comfort and affection!"
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Re: "Bromances are bad for women" - National Post

Post by nearly_takuan on Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:08 am

So, if men can get support and encouragement from other men, then that means men are providing support and encouragement to other men, at least sometimes, i.e. men performing emotional labor.

What's next -- women earning money?

(We can hope!)
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Re: "Bromances are bad for women" - National Post

Post by K-J on Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:11 am

nearly_taukan wrote:So, if men can get support and encouragement from other men, then that means men are providing support and encouragement to other men, at least sometimes, i.e. men performing emotional labor.

I know right! What's the world coming to? Smile

Granted, there's always a slight risk in one gendered congregations that it may veer too much into the conspiratorical, where the gender not present is stereotyped and othered. That would be a valid discussion to have maybe, but no, the guy behind this enquiry named "guys giving other guys emotional support" as a key problem, which is Headsmack .

I'm sure I've seen it once or twice that various mysogynist enclaves have co-opted the idea, suddenly speaks very highly about supporting your guy friends in this way, while pretending they didn't get it from feminism(obviously). Nah, they were pros at this all along, duh.
It was always there, of course. So make sure as fuck not to thank anyone.

Same thing with other things which progressives have fought for and partially won, where you start to see the effect. As a guy to be able to dress more feminime and colorful(prevalent among hipster and many other groups), to be able to explore where your sexuality lands on the Kinsey scale without fear of reprecussions(even in many heteronormative groupings nowadays), for grown men to be able to like My little pony...

"Nah, we could always do this. Screw those whiny progressives, always asking too much."

Okay I admit, I'm going OT and kicking the thread a bit, hoping it will keep going, maybe. Grin

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Re: "Bromances are bad for women" - National Post

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