23 May 2012

An Interesting Experiment

Some lesbian decided to live undercover as a man for a couple of months just to see what it was like.  Here are some of her observations:

Vincent said the dates were rarely fun and that the pressure of "Ned" having to prove himself was grueling. She was surprised that many women had no interest in a soft, vulnerable man.
"My prejudice was that the ideal man is a woman in a man's body. And I learned, no, that's really not. There are a lot of women out there who really want a manly man, and they want his stoicism," she said.

And:

Again, Vincent saw the men struggle with vulnerability. "They don't get to show the weakness, they don't get to show the affection, especially with each other. And so often all their emotions are shown in rage," she said.

And:

Vincent says she's healed now and glad to be rid of Ned. But her views about men have changed forever.
"Men are suffering. They have different problems than women have, but they don't have it better," she said. "They need our sympathy. They need our love, and maybe they need each other more than anything else. They need to be together."
Ironically, Vincent said, it took experiencing life as a man for her to appreciate being a woman. "I really like being a woman. ... I like it more now because I think it's more of a privilege."

That life is more difficult for men than for women isn’t exactly news.  Men were designed to handle hardships and adversity better than women—as evidenced by men’s general tendency to take more risks, and also by their physical strength and stature— whereas women were designed to support men’s endeavors but not take part in them.  Part of being a man is simply realizing that life will be nasty, brutish, and possibly short, relatively speaking, and adjusting one’s outlook and actions accordingly.

This doesn’t mean that men never need sympathy, or that they never need to blow off steam.  It simply means that men need to understand that at the end of the day, they’re the ones wearing the pants, whether they want to or not, and that they are the ones who have to handle all the difficult stuff, whether they want to or not.  Men who abdicate their masculinity and their male responsibilities are pathetic.

And women who envy men’s masculinity and responsibilities privileges are idiots.

3 comments:

  1. A couple of MONTHS? Most gals wouldn't last a couple of days! That chick's got guts. And brains, since she actually learned something.

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  2. Self-made man is surprisingly enough a very good book, and a quick read. Vincent does miss the point occasionally, and her conclusions are naturally based on her fundamentally feminine viewpoint, but she does a remarkable job of getting under the hood of sexual dynamics and the masculine challenges in a modern world. There are also some great one line insights such as "People see weakness in a woman and they want to help. They see weakness in a man and they want to stamp it out.".

    It's also a valuable handbook for argumentation in general. Vincent is a lesbian - therefore not exactly a man-friendly person by definition - and I'm in disagreement with her on some of the conclusions she draws in the book, but she does have genuine sympathy and understanding for my experience as a man, which makes me much more receptive to her viewpoints. She has walked the proverbial mile in my shoes, so her criticism when she occasionally presents it carries much more weight.

    The lesson in a nutshell: there is a time for polemics and there is a time for building bridges. If you want to do the latter, make sure you actually understand where your adversary is coming from.

    The undercover life took a huge toll on Vincent, and she was in psych treatment for a long time afterwards (wrote a book about that too).

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  3. @Suz- Agreed.

    @KK- I will have to give her book a read at some point, though I don't when. We need more people who are willing to build bridges, and it would be nice to see more people like Vincent.

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