Entitlement and liberation

First, thank you to everyone who has reached out to me in the last couple days.  I’m alright, we were at home when the shooting happened, all of my family and friends are alright.

I received this comment on my last post.

Thanks for this excellent reply.

I think many men -myself included- thought: “So women got the right to vote, the right to have a career, even the right to join the military. And what did we get?

I honestly feel jealous at women for being able to behave both feminine and masculine and being accepted both ways, while men aren’t.

And that’s the reason why many men have chosen toxic hypermasculinity. For women there was a clear idea or direction, what they should become i.e. pursuing the same career paths and hobbies as men did. Men on the other hand lacked a new direction and felt confused and insecure about their identity, so they chose the path of “masculinity at all costs” which gave them a clear cut direction or ideal, even though it had some pretty negative consequences.

Feminists have made a mistake, when they believed, they could just improve womens position completely isolated from men and then neglect mens issues within the patriarchy.

So this begs the question: “What’s the alternative for men?”

I thought maybe it’s time for some sort of “mens liberation” from the outdated ideas of what it means to be a men.

But as for the “How?”, I can only think of two things, where men and society as a whole could work on:

1. Working on mens ability to express and deal with their emotions.

This would be one of the most important points and ease a lot of mens issues, like suicide and violent crime.

2. Improving mens ability to be a father.

However currently the laws on paternity and divorce, as well as the working conditions in many parts of the western world aren’t exactly encouraging men to be a father and spend more time with their children.

What do you think?

Sincerely,

Ambidexter.

I can totally understand where you’re coming from, and agree with most of what you’ve said. But quick thing…

I think many men -myself included- thought: “So women got the right to vote, the right to have a career, even the right to join the military. And what did we get?”

Um, literally all of that?

Why do you think you’re entitled to something for finally treating other human beings as huiman beings?  You don’t deserve a cookie for allowing other humans to be equal to you.

You say we got those rights like we should be grateful.  Like it’s something special to be allowed to vote or serve our country.

… even the right to join the military.

Ho… ly… shit, dude.  That is so not the way to endear yourself to women.

No, we are not grateful for these rights that should have been ours from the dawn of time.  We’re resentful that men of past generations denied them to us for so long.  And we’re pissed that we’re still having to fight for it.

And here’s the thing about men being accepted for expressing themselves in both ways.  I get that you resent that women can do it.  I’d resent it too, if I was a guy.

I mentioned Bill Burr, how he resented women for it.

But ask yourself what’s stopping you from feminine or sensitive behaviors?  Think about that for a minute.  Honestly, what’s stopping you from having the same freedom women do?

Literally nothing but your fear of being made fun of.  That’s fucking it.

No I’m serious, I want you to take a minute and let that sink in.  The only thing stopping Bill Burr in his routine was he was worried about what his friends would think.  He was literally saying that his friends’ opinions were more important than his own mental and physical health.  That the reason men drop dead at 55 is because they’re that worried about what other people think of them.

I’m serious, take a minute and just let that sink in.

Women don’t and didn’t have that same fear.  When women were ridiculed and ostracized, by both men and other women, for things like wearing pants, getting a job, or divorcing an abusive husband, they didn’t care.  Their position of powerlessness conditioned them with the strength to stand up for themselves, despite what society thought of them.

Men as a whole have never had that same struggle.  They’ve never had to fight to be heard, they’ve never had to work to be seen as human.  So they’ve never developed that specific kind of courage.

And you’re right, feminists don’t focus on men’s issues often (although it’s interesting to see reactions on social media when stories of men or boys being raped by women break.  It’s primarily feminists who speak out in support of the victim, while the majority of male commenters say he should’ve enjoyed it. Also, when I posted about female on male abuse, it was exclusively men who argued with me, saying that female on male abuse is impossible, and I’m trivializing female abuse victims).

But here’s the thing: it’s feminism. You don’t get angry at the ASPCA for not doing enough to end world hunger.  You don’t blame the Salvation Army for not doing anything about global warming.

Feminism focuses on feminist issues.  Just like Black Lives Matter focuses on issues that black people face in this country.  And Pinktober, as fucking stupid as it is, focuses on breast cancer.

Does that mean that men have no problems?  Of course not, and I’ve detailed on this blog a number of problems men face that I could never imagine.  Toxic masculinity, lack of resources and support available to male abuse and sexual assault victims, and general attitudes toward men, and the steps they have to take to avoid being seen as a threat are specific examples I’ve spoken about in the last year or so.

That’s a significant problem with the masculinist and feminist crowds.  They’re locked in this battle of who has it worse, and resent each other to the point that trying to make any kind of forward progress on either side is almost impossible.

But they are not mutually exclusive.  I’m a feminist and a masculinist.  Lots of people are.  I think most sane people are.

But expecting feminists to work on men’s issues is unrealistic.  That means I need to bombard Men’s Movement and the National Coalition for Men with hate mail because they’ve done nothing to help women gain affordable access to birth control.

This entitlement that some people feel is genuinely harmful.  I would like to reiterate: women owe men nothing for the rights we have as human beings and as American citizens.  Literally nothing.

We should have always had them.  The fact that we had to fight for them at all really doesn’t paint the male gender in a fantastic light.

Men of the past were fucking idiots and small-minded assholes with tiny egos and were intimidated by women.  You don’t get an award for not being a dick.  It’s just kind of expected.

Just like white people didn’t deserve an award for freeing slaves.  And the fact that so many white people were so against freeing them, they started a war and  were willing to kill American citizens for it, really doesn’t paint us in a fantastic light.

The ones who owned slaves were straight up assholes.  No one gets a cookie for not being an asshole.  My mom’s family is from the south.  My ancestors owned slaves (and on my dad’s side, my grandmother’s first husband was a Nazi.  Fabulous family history).  Do I deserve a medal because I’m not a racist fucktard like my direct ancestors?

No.  It’s just kind of expected of me as a human being.

Also, why does improving women’s position within society (you know, to the point that they are seen as human) threaten men?  Why do we need to compensate men for having basic human rights?  I’m honestly asking, I want to know.  What is it, exactly, that you think we owe you?

As for your question about men’s liberation and encouraging positive relationships with their emotions, I 100% agree with you.  Luckily, things are slowly changing, but it’s still widely looked down on for a man to show any emotion outside of anger.  Men aren’t encouraged to experience and process their emotions.  They’re not encouraged to seek professional help when they need it.

Which is why things like depression go undiagnosed and untreated, and result in men committing suicide three times more than women.

It’s tragic, but the more we talk about it, the more we pound it into people’s heads that men are human, with human brains and human emotions, and they need healthy emotional outlets, because that’s how human brains work, the more society will continue to shift to be more accepting of that.

And ugh, don’t get me started on how badly fathers are shafted when it comes to parental law.  We had our own little minor run-in with that when the spawn was born.

Kazander and I weren’t married.  In the state of Nevada, if the parents are not married, the father must waive his right to a paternity test in order to be acknowledged as the father on the birth certificate.

Naturally, when I found this out, I lost my shit.

Like, are you fucking serious?

So in order for a father to get his parental rights, he has to sign away one of his parental rights.

Kazander actually wasn’t as pissed about it as I was.  He signed the paper, he was put on her birth certificate as her father, and life went on.  And in the big scheme of things, it doesn’t matter.  She’s his kid, beyond a shadow of a doubt.  It was just the principle of the thing, you know?  If I was a guy, and a father, I’d be furious.

That’s a much harder thing to fix than men’s acceptable range of gender expression.  All a guy has to do for gender expression is tell his friends to fuck off.  Fathers’ rights and the way they’re fucked by the legal system doesn’t have a simple answer like that.

Because the reason it got this way in the first place is because child-rearing was traditionally seen as a mother’s job, and men didn’t (and often still don’t) participate much in their kids’ lives.

To quote my daughter when she was… 4, I think, “Daddies don’t keep babies company.  Daddies go to work.  It’s the mommy’s job to keep the baby company.”

Naturally, after this, Kazander and I had a long conversation about how he needs to act once he gets home, and how he needs to play a bigger role in her life.  Because I’ll be damned if she’s going to grow up thinking that’s what a father is.

For the longest time, though, that was the norm.  Fathers just didn’t participate in kids’ lives.

So when the parents split, is the court going to give the kids to an absentee parent who supports them financially, or are they going to give the kids to the more present parent and demand that the father still support them financially?

The answer is an obvious one, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right one.  We need to continue changing the way men see fatherhood.  And it’s slowly happening.  Go on Facebook or YouTube and you see tons of adorable viral videos of fathers and their young children.  There’s some good momentum there, but we need to keep it going for a long time before we start seeing changes in the legal system.

Because as men’s rights groups and society as a whole continue to encourage men to take a more active role as fathers, I think it will begin to change the way courts see fathers, as well.

So I think that men are going to continue gaining more and more freedom as time goes on, but we can’t be afraid of talking about it.  And we can’t allow resentment or an “us versus them” mentality to take root.  Men and women are not enemies; feminists and masculinists are not enemies.  We’re simply attacking the same problem from different angles.  And the sooner we can stop competing with one another and start working together, the faster progress will be.

I think the best thing men can do right now, something they can implement in their lives today, that will help combat toxic masculinity, is to simply push themselves to show just a little sensitivity or vulnerability every day.  It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, just step a toe out of that comfort zone.

Just one thing a day.  Say the puppy on the street is adorable.  When your coworker gets flowers from her boyfriend, say they look nice.  Tell people that you loved that new sappy romantic movie that came out.  Acknowledge a cloud that looks like a bunny.  I don’t care, something.

And what’ll happen is that, over time, it’ll condition men to develop a better relationship with their own masculinity.  They won’t feel their masculinity threatened by femininity or vulnerability or emotion.

And as a side effect, things like sensitivity and vulnerability will stop being gender-specific traits (they never should have been gender-specific traits in the first place, because again, humans literally don’t work that way).  So men will begin to feel more comfortable and secure in their masculinity, and won’t constantly feel the need to prove how manly they are.

Which will make them happier and healthier all the way around.

Sexism and forced feminization

I received this comment on my Why Idiots are Idiots post:

Dear Jen,

I would really like to know your opinion regarding forced feminization.

You see, forced feminization means that a male submissive is being degraded and humiliated by training and transforming him into a more feminine role and body. Does this imply that the femininity is somehow inferior to masculinity? I’m honestly confused about this.

Also, I find it interesting that there is no counterpart “forced masculinization”, where a maledom for example cuts his subs hair short, binds her breasts back and makes her fix his car.

Alright, I’ll be honest, this isn’t the first time I’ve been asked this question, and of course I’ve seen all the articles and angry blog posts talking about how forced feminization is sexist because it reinforces the idea that feminizing a man makes him less, because femininity is less.  Usually, I just roll my eyes, shake my head, and ignore it.  For many reasons, and I’ll get into a couple here.  However, since you were polite in your comment, I’ll take the time to answer.

But before I get into all that, there’s one thing I want to point out, because this mindset pervades many different kinks and fetishes.

The BBW fetish demeans plus size women. Femdom porn demeans women because it’s unrealistic and puts women in overly sexual outfits.  Being into blondes or Asians or petite women is demeaning because it fetishizes their appearance.  With basically every fetish out there, you have people who say it’s demeaning.

Here’s the thing, though.

I don’t fucking care.

I don’t care whether my fetishes are politically correct or not.  I’m not watching porn or feminizing Jessie for social commentary.  I’m literally just trying to get off.

It’s what I do, in private, with consenting adults, that doesn’t affect anyone else outside of the people right there with me.  It affects literally no one else.

It’s just a fetish.  People have some pretty fucked up ones.  As long as mentally sound adults consent to the fetish and it doesn’t cause unreasonable damage (No, I’m not castrating a man in my living room because he has a castration fetish), who cares?  It’s literally just a fetish.

It’s not like a sexual fetish is going to determine one’s vote.

And sure, maybe the BBW fetish is demeaning.  Maybe the only reason some men have been into me was because they fetishized my body.

But quick, guess who still got off on those guys.  So why do I care?

So that’s the quick answer.  But as far as forced feminization goes, it’s not the right answer.

The seemingly popular idea that forced feminization is sexist or implies that femininity is inferior is just plain wrong.

Why?

The answer is laughably complicated, and yeah, some of it has origins in toxic masculinity, but mostly it has to do with one’s identity.  My last post touched on the subject of identity, and the brain’s habit of desperately clinging to that identity.

For most men today, masculinity has been put up on this pedestal and heralded as the end-all, be-all of manhood, to the point that anything feminine, any show of sensitivity or softness or vulnerability leaves a man open to ridicule.

It is a massive part of what it means to be a man.  It’s a huge part of manhood as an identity.

And it’s sad, it really is, because it cheapens manhood as a whole.  It makes manhood shallow, nothing more than a collection of behaviors and attitudes current society has deemed masculine.

Back in the day, the epitome of manhood was being considered a gentleman.  And culturally, what was a gentleman?  He was kind, polite, responsible, and protective of those around him, quick to sacrifice his own comfort for the comfort of others.  He took care of his responsibilities, he did what was best for those who depended on him, he had the balls to admit when he needed help, and vulnerability or sensitivity were part of his identity.

A gentleman was not an unfeeling dudebro who could outdrink his buddies.  His identity as a man was not wrapped up in how masculine he was.

Of course, society back then was very, very far from perfect, so don’t think I’m putting that type of man on a pedestal.  I’m simply pointing out that society had a better relationship with masculinity back then.

This hyper masculinity is a relatively recent thing.  I’ve read it speculated that it has to do with the rise of women’s rights and feminism being seen as threatening to men of that time, who in turn clung to their masculinity and created the toxic relationship with it that they then pounded into their sons and grandsons and so on until it became a societal norm, something expected from all men.

Whether that’s true or not isn’t the point.  The point is that we as a culture have developed an extremely unhealthy relationship with masculinity and masculine behaviors.

Obviously that’s the problem with toxic masculinity, and one of the many effects it has had on many men is that it influences their identity greatly.  Masculinity is a huge part of the average guy’s identity.  Whether or not that’s a good or bad thing is a different conversation, trust me, this will be long enough.  The result is still the same.  It’s a big part of who they are.

And what happens when you force someone to give up such a big part of their identity?

It’s uncomfortable, even painful, and, depending on the context, deeply humiliating.

Just as with pretty much anything else, there is a group of people who have fetishized that discomfort and pain, and when performed in a consensual relationship with clearly-defined boundaries and limitations, those people can enjoy the discomfort the same way physical masochists enjoy the pain of being hit.

And it’s true not just with masculinity and femininity, but with anything an individual holds as a major part of their identity.

For example, Kazander and I used to switch for his birthday.  My longtime readers are very much aware of how much I dreaded and disliked it, how unnatural and uncomfortable it was for me, how it took days to literally shut off portions of my personality, and even that wasn’t enough to make me a “good” sub.  And yes, it was often humiliating.  Unfortunately for him (and me), I don’t fetishize receiving that humiliation, and it annoyed me more than anything else.

It was humiliating because my Dominance is such an integral part of who I am, and switching runs so deeply counter to that, it was a constant struggle for me.

But does the fact that I found it humiliating mean that I see submission as inferior to Dominance?  No.

For example, you don’t have to be a longtime reader to know how much I respect and admire Jessie.  And as it happens, I asked him how he would feel about switching.

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Needless to say, he was not a fan of the idea.  It would be so deeply uncomfortable for him, he wouldn’t be able to enjoy it.  Because that is far outside the boundaries and limitations of what becomes fetishized in his brain.

Because that’s just not who he is.  That’s not how he relates to someone in a sexual capacity.  That’s not how he and I relate to each other.

Trying to force him to be my Dominant in a session would be far more uncomfortable than putting him in a dress, or even forcing him to take a man’s cock in his ass.  The fact that it would create so much nervousness and anxiety in him would absolutely manifest as humiliation.

Does that mean that Dominance is inferior to submission, because he would find it humiliating?  No.  It’s just counter to who he is.

Have you noticed how effeminate men, or men who don’t have masculinity as such a big part of their identity, don’t feel the same discomfort or humiliation at being feminized?  Forced feminization as a tool to humiliate and degrade only works if masculinity plays a central role in who a man is.

As it happens, it’s a societal norm for masculinity to play that big a role in a man’s identity, so it is humiliating and degrading for most men in today’s society.

And yes, toxic masculinity is responsible for the sheer number of men who hold their masculinity as such a big part of who they are.  But it’s not any more sexist to fetishize that than it is to fetishize a skin color or hair color or height or weight or literally anything else.

You don’t see forced masculinization because women don’t have that same problem.  We don’t hold our femininity as such a huge part of our identity.  We have more cultural freedom, so we’re all over the gender expression spectrum.  We aren’t particularly attached to one or the other the way men are.

So we don’t feel the humiliation, but we can still feel that discomfort.

Like me, for example.  I don’t like sliding too far to either side of that spectrum.  Sure, I can dress up and be uber ultra feminine, but I have to be able to move back to the masculine side.  You mention a Dom forcing a female sub to fix his car.  I can change my body language and speech patterns and be just as masculine as any guy, and talk cars with the best of them, but I have to be able to move back to the feminine side.

Too far in either direction doesn’t cause the same humiliation that it causes in most men, because gender is not as big a part of my identity, but it’s not pleasant, because it’s not who I am.

So I mean, this idea that forced feminization is sexist or implies that femininity is inferior to masculinity just doesn’t hold up under close scrutiny.  It doesn’t work.

Can we talk about how amazing Cosmo Magazine is?

First, a side note:

I’ve been sick the past few days and completely fell off the face of the planet.  I’m finally starting to feel a bit better but now, because I’ve slept like 18 hours a day for the past 2 days, I can’t sleep for shit.

To the internets!

About a week ago (maybe a week?  I don’t know, my sense of time is all fucked up.  Sleeping for two days straight will do that to you), I was perusing through Twitter and saw something Steel had retweeted, a Cosmopolitan article entitled, “5 Perfect Sex Positions for Pegging Your Man.”

holy-motherfucking-shitballs-thumb

I immediately want to read all the words

M’kay so, if you have a penis and are not interested in things like, “How to Tell if He Likes You,” you may not be super familiar with the cultural phenomenon that is Cosmo.  I feel like it’s lost some of its popularity in the last couple decades, because it’s become more and more sexual, and some people are just prudes and don’t like it.

Which, I mean, come on.  For eons and eons, sex was taboo, and no one could talk about it.  Even the majority of spouses weren’t comfortable talking to each other about it.  Now here’s a massively popular media with over a hundred years of success, and they decide to bust right through that taboo wall and put it right there on the headlines.

And of course, everybody loses their fucking shit.  There are all kinds of petitions to shield the covers of the magazine in stores, because the sexual headlines are offensive to their delicate sensibilities.

“But the children, Jen!  Think of the children!”

I have a child, thank you.  You think I give two shits about her seeing anything sexual?  I’d rather her watch a movie scene depicting two people having sex than a scene depicting something graphic and violent and disturbing.  Sex is normal.  Torturing another human being (or animal, for that matter) is not.

And I find it hilarious that so many people are so against kids seeing anything even remotely sexual, anytime, ever.  Y’all do realize that there are tons of high school (and middle school) kids becoming parents, right?  Maybe some frank, open, honest discussion might do some good.  The rate of teen pregnancy is dropping, but the U.S. still leads the rest of the industrialized world in teen pregnancies.

Here’s the thing.  Kids are stupid (no, I’m not a kid person.  How did you guess?).  Add puberty and hormones, and they get extra stupid.

There’s just so much they don’t know, and rely on us to teach them.  And their brains are like sponges, soaking up everything they see, good and bad.  And they’re stupid, but they’re not stupid.  They’re figuring this shit out on their own.  But without guidance, they’re really just winging something which they most definitely should not wing.

If we can open up about sex and talk about it like a natural, normal part of a relationship (you know, like it says in the Bible… Song of Songs?…  Ring any bells?…  Anyone?…  Bueller?), then maybe we can help kids learn to figure some of this shit out without accidentally reproducing.  Or getting an STD.

Enter Cosmopolitan.  It’s found that unique niche that straddles mainstream media and those dark, perverted things mainstream media doesn’t like to talk about.

Like pegging!

Which (finally) brings me to the topic of discussion.  I saw an article Steel retweeted and followed the link.

And it was all kinds of awesome.  I was so stoked that a huge mainstream media outlet had something like that out there.  That tons of young women are reading this and learning that it’s not some bad, evil thing.  I wish there was an equivalent for young men, so they could read it, too, but I’ll take what I can get.

So after scrolling through the article, I noticed other links, and followed those.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear, five more articles about pegging!!!

Like, holyfuckingshit, how awesome is that?

You’ve got the sequel to the positions article, 5 More Sex Positions Perfect for Pegging Your Man.

Then you’ve got 9 Porn Star-Approved Pegging Tips.

And then, because it can still be an intimidating thought for a woman who has never done it before and may not have that super-adventurous spirit, you’ve got 14 Women on Why They Love Pegging, and What Women Think About Pegging.

And because some men may struggle with the idea that wanting to be pegged is “unmanly,” there’s I’m a Straight Guy Who Loves Pegging and What Men Think About Pegging.

But that’s not all.  It’s no secret that I’m not a supporter of the concept of “The Patriarchy” (insert suspenseful, dramatic, foreboding music here… for some reason whenever I see or hear that, all I can hear in my head is this dramatic “dun, dun, duuuuun,” tune.  Yes, I have embraced my neuroses) as it pertains to current feminist trends.

However, there’s a somewhat-controversial concept within such current feminist trends that, while it is often taken to almost-laughable extremes in the articles I’ve read, I whole-heartedly agree with.

And that’s the concept of toxic masculinity.

It’s not a new concept.  Sounder told me about a comedian who did a bit about it, years before it was this big cultural thing.  The comedian talked about how men can’t cry, can’t express any emotion whatsoever, can’t enjoy things current gender roles have determined to be feminine, can’t acknowledge that puppies are cute, at the risk of being considered less of a man by his friends.

So no, it’s not a new concept.  Feminists simply put a name to it, organized what it is, and explained, in pretty clear terms, why this is a bad thing.

It’s a bit controversial because, in my own personal experience, feminists are not always the most tactful of people.  And I get it.  They’re passionate.  They’re frustrated that certain issues are still issues in today’s world.  They want change.  I get it.

Still, “tactful” and “diplomatic” are not words I would readily use to describe the majority of women who call themselves feminists (no, they’re not feminists.  They’re feminazis).

For clarification, I’ll explain my opinion of the difference between feminists and feminazis.   Feminists are intelligent and tolerant people who understand that men are not our enemies, and that we need to work together to resolve the issues women still face.

A feminazi is someone who believes men are “evil,” and any woman who dares to want a lifestyle other than one that is profoundly “feminist,” (ie, stay-at-home moms like me, and submissive women, and vanilla women who just prefer their husbands to lead) is single-handedly setting women back 50 years.  These people are psychotic.  I once had a woman tell me that a man can’t be a feminist because he could never understand the trials a woman goes through.  No, I will never call her a feminist.  She is a feminazi.

So anyway, there’s passion.  Frustration.  Desire for change.  Restlessness regarding the slowness of said change.  I get it.

The problem is they’re often coming across kind of dick-ish, and some people may interpret their message to mean that all masculinity is toxic, and bad, and whatever.  And it doesn’t help that there are some very vocal feminazis who further that misinformation.

Even intelligent, well-written, well-thought-out, remarkably accurate and thought-provoking articles like this one can put off male readers with the very first sentence, and thereby not sharing the information they’re wanting to share.

Hell, even I almost stopped reading after the first sentence.

Toxic masculinity is one of the ways in which Patriarchy is harmful to men.

I groaned when I read that, and thought, “Oh, so it’s going to be that kind of article.”

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A well-known masculinity/men’s rights movement that is not mostly anti-feminist has yet to appear.

M’kay, just fuck right off, thanks.

I can name two.  Off the top of my head.  And I’m sure a Google search would reveal more.

The first is the National Coalition for Men, a website I’ve looked through quite a bit of and couldn’t find anything that would lead me, a non-psycho feminist, to believe that the group is “mostly anti-feminist.”

The second is Men’s Movement, a site I only recently discovered when they found and followed me on Twitter.  I haven’t looked through quite as much as the NCFM site yet, but with what I’ve seen of the recent blog entries, resources, and mission statement, there’s nothing there that could be even remotely considered “anti-feminist.”

I mean, Evel Kneivel couldn’t make that leap.

My point is that there’s this incredible article, detailing specific examples of what toxic masculinity is and why it’s a problem, but it loses 80% of the people it really needs to reach in the first three sentences.

Because yes, it’s a feminist website, and it deals with feminist issues, but toxic masculinity is a men’s issue, and while women should obviously be aware of how their own actions are working to perpetuate the problem, as well as helping to spread awareness (you know, the way men should do for women’s issues… cooperation, working together, and all that) the ones who really need to see it are men.

I don’t know many men who wouldn’t be annoyed by those sentences, particularly the second one, and stop reading, assuming the rest of the article is a bunch of misandric bullshit.

But I urge all my readers to push past that first part and read the rest of it.  The rest of it is definitely worth reading.

So toxic masculinity sucks.  And there’s this notion that anything our current societal trends has deemed as feminine…. no, not even feminine, anything deemed as not overtly masculine makes someone “less of a man,” or somehow inferior.

And, understandably, this annoys a great number of men.  Like the military man who applied for leave to go to his unborn child’s baby shower, and was denied on the grounds that “Men don’t go to baby showers.”

His response makes me want to hunt him down and buy him a drink.

K2SqodY

There, that’s better.  Manly Man is super manly.

So it’s a problem.  And a nice chunk of the problem revolves around sexuality.  There’s this notion that there’s only a handful of things men are allowed to do sexually.  They’re supposed to “smash that pussy.”  They’re not supposed to be emotional or overly sensual during it.  They’re not supposed to want their partner to take charge.  And holy hell, they’re definitely not supposed to like anything in their ass.

Because that’s gay, and gay supposedly isn’t super-ultra-macho-manly, and for some reason it’s considered an insult for straight men to call each other gay, because you’re somehow seen as “inferior” if you’re gay.

And that’s distinctly male problem.  Women don’t sneer and call each other lesbians as an insult.  I literally cannot fathom that.  I cannot understand why being called gay would be an insult, because I’m a woman.  Because women don’t have that problem.  There’s no toxic femininity.  Women are freer to explore sexually, to find out what they like and what they don’t, without embarrassment or shame.

So that’s a massive tangent.  I said allllll that to bring up another article Cosmo published, shortly after an incident where Kanye West’s ex tweeted that he liked butt stuff.  He freaked out and insisted that it wasn’t true.

The author of the article touches on the concept of toxic masculinity, on the very limited spectrum of sexual activities men are “allowed to enjoy,” and that it’s okay to be into butt stuff.  It’s just as okay for men as it is for women.

And I love the fact that Cosmo is using its massive influence to do this, to spread awareness that sexuality is meant to be explored, that pegging is an awesome thing, and that it doesn’t make a man “less of a man” to enjoy it, and that it really is worth a try, whether there’s a power dynamic involved or not.

Change comes slow, but big media outlets like Cosmo bringing it into the light and talking openly about it is a pretty big step in the right direction.