Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by The Wisp on Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:52 pm

@enail, I guess maybe I am using "deferential" differently. I'm using it to mean lacking boundaries, not being assertive, "going with the flow", not rocking the boat, and so on. I would call the guys in Izmuth's story who watched the porn, even though they didn't want to, deferential.
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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by Enail on Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:23 pm

Oh, okay, that makes sense, though I still have a hard time imagining how that works separate from ideas about who should/is allowed to speak up in what ways and contexts. I think homosocial deference might be pretty different from cross-gender deference in ways that make it hard to compare, based on things like the study that shows men interrupt women more than vice versa or same-gender conversation?

I also suspect there might be fairly complex "rules" that go into what kinds of assertion are encouraged/discouraged in what contexts.  In Izmuth's story, the woman who spoke up about not wanting to watch porn was being assertive, but in a way that aligns with gendered messages; it's considered normal or even right that a woman should differ from male peers in her preferences about porn. Whereas, for the men in the group to speak up, they would have not only had to challenge the group harmony but also to speak counter to gender norms (which I think is one area in which women receive messages both for and against being assertive about, while men are more likely to receive mostly messages encouraging group cohesion).
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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by nearly_takuan on Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:59 pm

Barretts_Salt wrote:
I think that the fact that I had to ask is relevant to the discussion.

Maybe. But anecdote for an anecdote, I've seen many a middle-aged woman set her purse down on a seat on a bus or train, continue looking around often enough that she would've had to have noticed when the place got crowded, and still not move her bag.

In one case, almost everyone around her (including myself) had to at one point or another stand to offer their seat to an older person, and she just made an annoyed expression and scooted her bag a little closer to herself when a larger woman sat next to her (the seats are narrow enough that anyone of more than average width can't really help taking up slightly extra space).

July 4 this year, the train was so full the people waiting to board the train were deciding to just wait for the next one (which almost never happens; people in this city are willing to physically push to get what they want). And there's this woman in an aisle seat in front of where I'm standing, and the woman next to her (window seat) has a stop coming up so she starts standing to get out. Aisle seat woman is fully awake and not reading or whatever, but makes window seat woman climb over her legs to leave. For the next three stops I stand on a crowded train and watch aisle seat woman continue to be aisle seat woman. The window seat stays empty.

"Excuse me, I have to get back to work," said a woman blatantly cutting in front of me in the pay line for a restaurant where I'd been eating lunch with my coworkers. (I suspect there's a race/class factor in this one too.)

I'm a biased observer so it probably doesn't count for much that I've seen it generally be the men at my friend-gatherings who ask after the well-being of people who are moving toward the less-fun stages of drunkenness and go around insisting that people drink water. But there is that.
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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by reboot on Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:05 pm

I wonder if the middle aged woman thing you have seen is a "prerogative of age" situation? I know many women, some of whom were/are meeker, start being more aggressively assertive after 40. Sort of the "I am too old to have to worry about being nice" thing?
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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by nearly_takuan on Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:31 pm

Aggressively assertive? I'd have characterized those first four behaviors as outright inconsiderate. Blatant disregard for anyone else's needs.
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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by reboot on Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:53 pm

nearly_takuan wrote:Aggressively assertive? I'd have characterized those first four behaviors as outright inconsiderate. Blatant disregard for anyone else's needs.

Yeah, that was a bad word choice.

It is something I seeing older women, especially those who spent a lot of their lives catering to the needs of others. Had someone asked those women to move their bag or asked to sit in the window seat, they would have moved. But doing something unasked to meet the needs of others? Some older women are not on board with that. It is almost like, with age, they think they earned the right to do what they want and to stop being "nice"
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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by nearly_takuan on Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:56 pm

reboot wrote:
nearly_takuan wrote:Aggressively assertive? I'd have characterized those first four behaviors as outright inconsiderate. Blatant disregard for anyone else's needs.

Yeah, that was a bad word choice.

It is something I seeing older women, especially those who spent a lot of their lives catering to the needs of others. Had someone asked those women to move their bag or asked to sit in the window seat, they would have moved. But doing something unasked to meet the needs of others? Some older women are not on board with that. It is almost like, with age, they think tgey earned the right to do what they want and to stop always thinking about others?

I don't mean this as a rhetorical/leading question, but d'you think the previously-discussed PUA "founders" had the same mindset? Decades of feeling relentlessly stepped on, and now it's time to try getting at least some part of what they've been wanting regardless of cost to others? Or is that something different?
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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by reboot on Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:12 pm

I do not much know about the PUA founders since that whole scene was after my time.

I am not condoning or excusing anything, just musing about whether aging out of your attractive period allows women to be less "nice" and people pleasing.

I am also bemused that no one on your public transit asks people to move their bag or let people into the seats. I always ask. Or just start sitting, bag be damned Smile
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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by nearly_takuan on Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:22 pm

Heh. I would say in general people here are kinda bad at asking for things, but some have no issues with just taking them. I am kinda surprised nobody climbed over Aisle Woman to get into the seat next to her, but maybe that happened after I got off the train. (That night I didn't have to, but I've previously had to climb/crawl under people to make my exit, because it also seems most people haven't heard of getting off a train to make room even if it's not your stop, and then getting back on.)
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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by BiSian on Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:39 pm

Interestingly, middle aged and older women in Korea RULE the streets and public transit. They will shove your ass, steal your seat, stab you in the eye with an umbrella (because they're like 4'11" and not caring about you} And woe to you if you're talking too loud or being "rude" in front of them--they will hush your ass.
There's definitely an element of "women who are no longer youthful/super attractive are allowed to be assertive" in it.
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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by reboot on Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:49 pm

BiSian wrote:Interestingly, middle aged and older women in Korea RULE the streets and public transit. They will shove your ass, steal your seat, stab you in the eye with an umbrella (because they're like 4'11" and not caring about you} And woe to you if you're talking too loud or being "rude" in front of them--they will hush your ass.
There's definitely an element of "women who are no longer youthful/super attractive are allowed to be assertive" in it.

Older Arab ladies, especially if they have grandkids, are the same. If you are doing something wrong, they will physically stop you, including slapping your wrist. And, for the love of all you love, do not get in their way in the market! If you see an Arabian Tanker Squadron (a line of hijab wearing older women who are about as wide as they are tall walking shoulder to shoulder), move out of the way or prepare to be run over. Man, woman, child, those ladies stop for no one.
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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by Barretts_Salt on Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:49 am

Maybe it's a combination of (probably) having bossed kids around and kept a household running for many years plus fighting back against the much-discussed invisibility of older women?

Loved the Arabian Tanker Squadron -- it made my morning:)
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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by reboot on Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:39 pm

Barretts_Salt wrote:Maybe it's a combination of (probably) having bossed kids around and kept a household running for many years plus fighting back against the much-discussed invisibility of older women?

Loved the Arabian Tanker Squadron -- it made my morning:)

I so wish I could claim coining that phrase, but alas it was a friend.

It could be pushing back against invisibility or (given the culture where young women are supposed to be invisible-literally) finally being to bust out of decorum. Usually these ladies are of an age where they would have had kids and married them off, so they did their duty and can now be themselves. Which ties into the people pleasing thing
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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by Barretts_Salt on Sun Aug 02, 2015 1:14 pm

reboot wrote: Usually these ladies are of an age where they would have had kids and married them off, so they did their duty and can now be themselves. Which ties into the people pleasing thing

ISTR reading that menopausal/post-menopausal women in traditional societies are frequently free to be outspoken in public, which would certainly be the precursor to first-world, urban practice.

But I have no doubt that you would know more about the actual day-to-day village practices.

And I suspect that this is a bit far from the original post, so I will stop now, wishing you and your houseguest in the other thread all the best:)
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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by Perlandra on Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:07 pm

Some men are socialized to be deferential and have poor boundaries, though it does seem like there's even more pressure in those areas on women in general. I agree with Gentleman Johnny that some of the PUA stuff is geared at trying to get the men who are more passive and deferential and who are nervous about making the first move to build confidence and fit the male stereotype better. Some men do shape their relationships and are successful that way, some are submissive, some are vanilla men who just are comfortable with being more laid-back. Until they can gain confidence and security, either in a more aggressive/"alpha" stereotypical way, or in a gentle/respectful way, a lot of men feel invisible and want to be the one to be wooed and chased, while women *generally* aren't as interested in that role.

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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by BasedBuzzed on Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:55 am

Thread hop: if you've done the wrong cultural absorption, you'll overreact to the trope of toxic masculinity by seeing all assertivity on your part as dangerous and threatening. You take up too much space, talk too loud, monopolize the conversation, are ready to snap at any time so you better never get feelings of anger about anything, etcetera. The solution is to find whatever source is making you feel that way and cut it off, and consistently apply the psychological abuse wheel to that type of thinking.

Is something making you feel on your toes as if every little act you do can set off some nebulous person looking over your shoulder? Then it is at best someone who tries to improve your behaviour in a totally shite manner. You can gauge your convo time or how much space you take up on public transport just fine yourself without said badgering.

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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by 8bitGreyscale on Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:56 am

Interestingly, The Wisp, I think there's a pretty good example of why people feel that way (aka the thread title) in your post here:

The Wisp wrote:
reboot wrote:Because people are talking about population level characteristics. As a group, men are socialized to be less people pleasing than women, but that does not mean that individuals within the population match the group.

This is a hard concept for people who do not have a solid background in statistics to grasp. Best example to clarify I can think of is smoking and lug cancer. As a GROUP smokers are more likely to get lung cancer. However not all smokers get lung cancer. The group statement does not apply to every individual. It is a population level characteristic.

Don't insult my intelligence, I understand statistics just fine. Where's the evidence that men are more assertive?.
To me, some evidence that answers your question is literally the sentence immediately preceding it! To me, your reply there is something that reads as deeply, deeply male. Like, when I read that, I (figuratively) leaned back away from the screen and thought, "WHOA! Holy shit!" It reads as extremely aggressive and challenging in a way I've seen countless men write when debating/disagreeing online, but I can count on one hand the number of women I've seen(read) do the same.*

If I pretend that I'm you in the above exchange with reboot, just the idea of replying with those words is making me feel incredibly anxious. No lie. I honestly feel my heart rate increasing and some adrenaline making me feel jumpy like I wanna bolt. At just the thought of replying like you did.

* and yes, those women, by and large, are considered to be "huge bitches" by a lot of guys they argue with, even though other guys aren't automatically considered assholes for the same behavior.
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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by reboot on Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:59 am

8bitGreyscale wrote:Interestingly, The Wisp, I think there's a pretty good example of why people feel that way (aka the thread title) in your post here:

The Wisp wrote:
reboot wrote:Because people are talking about population level characteristics. As a group, men are socialized to be less people pleasing than women, but that does not mean that individuals within the population match the group.

This is a hard concept for people who do not have a solid background in statistics to grasp. Best example to clarify I can think of is smoking and lug cancer. As a GROUP smokers are more likely to get lung cancer. However not all smokers get lung cancer. The group statement does not apply to every individual. It is a population level characteristic.

Don't insult my intelligence, I understand statistics just fine. Where's the evidence that men are more assertive?.
To me, some evidence that answers your question is literally the sentence immediately preceding it! To me, your reply there is something that reads as deeply, deeply male. Like, when I read that, I (figuratively) leaned back away from the screen and thought, "WHOA! Holy shit!" It reads as extremely aggressive and challenging in a way I've seen countless men write when debating/disagreeing online, but I can count on one hand the number of women I've seen(read) do the same.*

If I pretend that I'm you in the above exchange with reboot, just the idea of replying with those words is making me feel incredibly anxious. No lie. I honestly feel my heart rate increasing and some adrenaline making me feel jumpy like I wanna bolt. At just the thought of replying like you did.

* and yes, those women, by and large, are considered to be "huge bitches" by a lot of guys they argue with, even though other guys aren't automatically considered assholes for the same behavior.

I totally missed that, but you are very right. His reply is very male and very assertive. I am a very assertive woman and I only feel comfortable throwing down with "Don't insult my intelligence!" or something similar when we are knee deep in a hostile debate and I do not give two shits (or even one) for the future of the relationship. Even if I feel someone is insulting my intelligence, that statement feels very nuclear to me. Hearing it from a man, though, it gets filed into, "Man yelling again. Men yell to win fights and shout you down. Ignore."
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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by Caffeinated on Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:22 am

reboot wrote:
8bitGreyscale wrote:Interestingly, The Wisp, I think there's a pretty good example of why people feel that way (aka the thread title) in your post here:

The Wisp wrote:
reboot wrote:Because people are talking about population level characteristics. As a group, men are socialized to be less people pleasing than women, but that does not mean that individuals within the population match the group.

This is a hard concept for people who do not have a solid background in statistics to grasp. Best example to clarify I can think of is smoking and lug cancer. As a GROUP smokers are more likely to get lung cancer. However not all smokers get lung cancer. The group statement does not apply to every individual. It is a population level characteristic.

Don't insult my intelligence, I understand statistics just fine. Where's the evidence that men are more assertive?.
To me, some evidence that answers your question is literally the sentence immediately preceding it! To me, your reply there is something that reads as deeply, deeply male. Like, when I read that, I (figuratively) leaned back away from the screen and thought, "WHOA! Holy shit!" It reads as extremely aggressive and challenging in a way I've seen countless men write when debating/disagreeing online, but I can count on one hand the number of women I've seen(read) do the same.*

If I pretend that I'm you in the above exchange with reboot, just the idea of replying with those words is making me feel incredibly anxious. No lie. I honestly feel my heart rate increasing and some adrenaline making me feel jumpy like I wanna bolt. At just the thought of replying like you did.

* and yes, those women, by and large, are considered to be "huge bitches" by a lot of guys they argue with, even though other guys aren't automatically considered assholes for the same behavior.

I totally missed that, but you are very right. His reply is very male and very assertive. I am a very assertive woman and I only feel comfortable throwing down with "Don't insult my intelligence!" or something similar when we are knee deep in a hostile debate and I do not give two shits (or even one) for the future of the relationship. Even if I feel someone is insulting my intelligence, that statement feels very nuclear to me. Hearing it from a man, though, it gets filed into, "Man yelling again. Men yell to win fights and shout you down. Ignore."

Wow, yeah. It is interesting how the programming runs so deep that we didn't even notice it until 8bitGreyscale pointed it out.
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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by nearly_takuan on Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:42 am

The idea of being that patronizing doesn't make me feel anxious, but the idea of being able to do it by accident almost doesn't occur to me.

Since that's the sort of thing that tends to go entirely unnoticed by third-party observers, though, sometimes the way through is to call it as you see it. If you stick to just returning snark of your own, that gives the other person the chance to pin the blame for obtuseness and veiled hostility on you. Though like we're seeing here, even directly addressing what's going on is counterable by Tone Argument.
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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by Wondering on Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:35 pm

Caffeinated wrote:
reboot wrote:
8bitGreyscale wrote:Interestingly, The Wisp, I think there's a pretty good example of why people feel that way (aka the thread title) in your post here:

The Wisp wrote:
reboot wrote:Because people are talking about population level characteristics. As a group, men are socialized to be less people pleasing than women, but that does not mean that individuals within the population match the group.

This is a hard concept for people who do not have a solid background in statistics to grasp. Best example to clarify I can think of is smoking and lug cancer. As a GROUP smokers are more likely to get lung cancer. However not all smokers get lung cancer. The group statement does not apply to every individual. It is a population level characteristic.

Don't insult my intelligence, I understand statistics just fine. Where's the evidence that men are more assertive?.
To me, some evidence that answers your question is literally the sentence immediately preceding it! To me, your reply there is something that reads as deeply, deeply male. Like, when I read that, I (figuratively) leaned back away from the screen and thought, "WHOA! Holy shit!" It reads as extremely aggressive and challenging in a way I've seen countless men write when debating/disagreeing online, but I can count on one hand the number of women I've seen(read) do the same.*

If I pretend that I'm you in the above exchange with reboot, just the idea of replying with those words is making me feel incredibly anxious. No lie. I honestly feel my heart rate increasing and some adrenaline making me feel jumpy like I wanna bolt. At just the thought of replying like you did.

* and yes, those women, by and large, are considered to be "huge bitches" by a lot of guys they argue with, even though other guys aren't automatically considered assholes for the same behavior.

I totally missed that, but you are very right. His reply is very male and very assertive. I am a very assertive woman and I only feel comfortable throwing down with "Don't insult my intelligence!" or something similar when we are knee deep in a hostile debate and I do not give two shits (or even one) for the future of the relationship. Even if I feel someone is insulting my intelligence, that statement feels very nuclear to me. Hearing it from a man, though, it gets filed into, "Man yelling again. Men yell to win fights and shout you down. Ignore."

Wow, yeah. It is interesting how the programming runs so deep that we didn't even notice it until 8bitGreyscale pointed it out.

I noticed it. I thought it was super rude and hostile. I didn't say anything about it, though, because I read the thread a bit late and didn't see anyone else call it out so thought no one else cared. Wink

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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by The Wisp on Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:23 pm

That's an interesting point, but to me there's a big difference between internet communication and the real world. It's easier to be aggressive on the internet, and I don't think that's gendered (Jezebel, anybody?). I never am even half that aggressive in real life, and I've never seen anybody else be that way, either. And, for the record, I do feel anxious when I posted that, it was by means an offhand thing (and also, I worked very hard not to talk that way here for a long time until recently, and felt a great deal of anxiety about every little thing I wrote, but I think lately I just don't care as much about how people here view me anymore).

But offline, people just are never assertive or forceful in general. Everybody of both genders tries very hard to be "nice" even to their self-detriment.
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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by litterature on Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:25 pm

I did notice as well but I didn't think it was my role to call others out on their rudeness, and then again I wasn't even part of the conversation.


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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by lonelyoffices on Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:32 pm

Wondering wrote:
Caffeinated wrote:
reboot wrote:
8bitGreyscale wrote:Interestingly, The Wisp, I think there's a pretty good example of why people feel that way (aka the thread title) in your post here:

The Wisp wrote:
reboot wrote:Because people are talking about population level characteristics. As a group, men are socialized to be less people pleasing than women, but that does not mean that individuals within the population match the group.

This is a hard concept for people who do not have a solid background in statistics to grasp. Best example to clarify I can think of is smoking and lug cancer. As a GROUP smokers are more likely to get lung cancer. However not all smokers get lung cancer. The group statement does not apply to every individual. It is a population level characteristic.

Don't insult my intelligence, I understand statistics just fine. Where's the evidence that men are more assertive?.
To me, some evidence that answers your question is literally the sentence immediately preceding it! To me, your reply there is something that reads as deeply, deeply male. Like, when I read that, I (figuratively) leaned back away from the screen and thought, "WHOA! Holy shit!" It reads as extremely aggressive and challenging in a way I've seen countless men write when debating/disagreeing online, but I can count on one hand the number of women I've seen(read) do the same.*

If I pretend that I'm you in the above exchange with reboot, just the idea of replying with those words is making me feel incredibly anxious. No lie. I honestly feel my heart rate increasing and some adrenaline making me feel jumpy like I wanna bolt. At just the thought of replying like you did.

* and yes, those women, by and large, are considered to be "huge bitches" by a lot of guys they argue with, even though other guys aren't automatically considered assholes for the same behavior.

I totally missed that, but you are very right. His reply is very male and very assertive. I am a very assertive woman and I only feel comfortable throwing down with "Don't insult my intelligence!" or something similar when we are knee deep in a hostile debate and I do not give two shits (or even one) for the future of the relationship. Even if I feel someone is insulting my intelligence, that statement feels very nuclear to me. Hearing it from a man, though, it gets filed into, "Man yelling again. Men yell to win fights and shout you down. Ignore."

Wow, yeah. It is interesting how the programming runs so deep that we didn't even notice it until 8bitGreyscale pointed it out.

I noticed it. I thought it was super rude and hostile. I didn't say anything about it, though, because I read the thread a bit late and didn't see anyone else call it out so thought no one else cared. Wink

I had the same reaction, though I thought reboot had seen it and chosen to ignore it.

The Wisp, this is another example of you getting reactive and acting out toward someone who's trying to help you.  You'd be well served to learn to count as high as you need to before responding in order to avoid that.  Not responding, or writing something like, "I considered that aspect, but........." would have gone over so much better.  In my opinion, everyone, but reboot in particular deserves that respect here.

As to this being essentially male behavior, or assertive, or effective, I don't clearly see it.  I'm talking about stereotypically powerful male behavior.  This is what men (and women at times) who don't feel powerful do.  Petulance doesn't come from a place of strength, does it?

I frequent a couple of sports oriented sites on line, and this sort of thing happens there too,  mostly perpetrated by young men who have invested too much in their need to be right or validated by strangers behind a screen. As a result, they spout rather than argue when they're challenged.  They tend to get hammered, but no worse really than the way this behavior get's hammered on DNL. I kind of like that they don't typically get shouted down here, but rather get spoken to.  I think it's commendable that people do that when it really would be easier to go exclusively snarky and dismissive.

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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

Post by litterature on Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:55 pm

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Re: Why do people act like men aren't socialized to be as deferential and lacking of boundaries as women?

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