Like the word “stallion” the word “man” is a compliment.
Like the word “stallion” the word “man” refers to a prison.
Stallion literally means a horse in a box. And man means a person in a box.
The man box does not teach men to behave badly, no. The man box teaches men to be useful. Instead the man box _induces_ bad behaviour.
Just like the isolation of the stall induces bad behaviour in the “stalled one”, the stallion.
Stallions are lucky there isn’t a movement blaming their bad behaviour on some sort of stallionarchy in which stallions get together to teach each other how to be assholes.
Instead people are waking up to the fact that if you put a horse in a box that horse will go nuts. But if you instead raise that horse in a herd, that horse will be well adjusted.
That’s such a deep insight! Not obvious in the slightest.
Let’s extend this to human men. When you put human men in psychological boxes that isolate them from humanity using the conditional word “man”, some of them will behave badly.
The abusive behaviour of the stallion is a result of being locked in a cage; likewise with men. And just like stallions, they most often direct their aggression at other men.
Macho behaviour, so decried by feminists, can be likened to a stallion pounding his stall with his hoof. It’s an attempt to be assertive in a position of extreme submission.
Male disposability is induced by placing men in the man box. Male disposability makes men useful because when a man learns he’s disposable, he also learns that his positive social identity exists only insofar as he benefits others. As soon as he stops he’s a “bad man”, “not a real man”, “what kind of man are you.”
Male disposability is what makes elaborate hierarchies like armies, governments and companies possible. Without millions of men willing to sacrifice themselves bodily either violently or bit by bit through the loss of time, there are no armies, governments or companies. Similarly there are no CEOs, politicians or generals.
And CEOs, politicians and generals are often as disposable or more disposable then the disposable men whose sacrifice created the possibility of them existing in the first place.
So when feminists point to the fact that 99% of all leaders are men, remind them that those men couldn’t be there if men weren’t disposable. If men weren’t disposable men who treat other men as disposable wouldn’t rise in prominence.
The entire foundation of “patriarchy” is based on male marginalization; It’s based on the inherent weakness of the male identity, the willingness for men to box themselves just so they can feel wanted.
Not only is the homeless man, the maimed man, the suicide an illustration of male disposability. So is the male CEO, the male politician and the male general.
Since they’re the best at disposing of other men, they benefit from being disposable just a little bit more.
That is as long as they’re more useful alive than glue, of course.
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I really like this.
I’ve noticed “man” being used as a conditional term in ways that have made me uncomfortable.
“I’ve noticed “man” being used as a conditional term in ways that have made me uncomfortable.”
It is kept conditional so it can be proffered and withdrawn as a control measure. It works on gender anxiety to manipulate men.
“Man” always is used conditionally. The term doesn’t mean “male-bodied person.” It means “male-bodied person who has proven themselves mature/socially-useful/gender-normative” (social usefulness, gender normativity and ‘maturity’ are all interconnected notions… ever notice how men are frequently verbally emasculated with the use of “boy” as a slur? “Boy” revokes BOTH maturity AND manhood).
The difference is that women’s “social use” (as conceptualized by the gender system) is to be pregnant and bear children. A man’s social use (according to the gender system) is to care for and defend women and children. The difference is that (barring a few exceptions due to infertility) women can serve their social use by virtue of biological maturation.
But a male’s ability to hunt down wild oxen, beat other men in a fight, or provide money to fund his family, is hardly as biologically guaranteed (plus there are wide levels of variance in each male’s capability to do so).
Thus, females “become” women but manhood is earned by actions… women are, men do. Thus agency is superfluous to womanhood, but necessary to manhood.
Ginkgo is right… it is a social control mechanism. It makes a portion of someone’s inherent identity contingent on social approval. When a transgender person’s sense of gender identity is denied or contradicted, they feel anxiety/offense – cisgender men feel the same way about social emasculation. And society in general is absolutely casual about socially emasculating cisgender men… it is seen as a totally okay thing to do in order to make them do what you want.
I agree that it is used as a social control mechanism (to be proffered and withdrawn).
In Season 1, Episode 2 of Girls, Marnie says to Charlie, “You should be able to go about your business, piss me off and not give a fuck. It’s what men do.” Then says: “No, I don’t want to suck on your nuts… Have you seen your nuts? Ew.”
It’s not a perfect example. It shows how Charlie is seen as having a role–maybe as a disposable utility–where being sensitive isn’t important. “It’s what men do” is a reprimand that diminishes his masculine identity. Saying his nuts are gross let’s Charlie know he doesn’t have sexual value. Marnie is defining the “man box” for Charlie.
Personally, I don’t hold these kinds of views, but I think some cis guys accept the arrangement as “the way things are” and would defend it if challenged.