I was reading my buddy Jason’s blog, Outnumbered, and came upon a rather interesting topic regarding which is the superior sex (no, not doggie compared to missionary). He was responding to a post by a blogger named Nic at My Bottle’s Up. Read her two posts Women are the Stronger Sex and Sex, Continued. Then you can read my response below. (You might want to prepare a stiff libations before moving forward on this one. Don’t yell at me. You’ve been duly warned).
First I’d like to say, genius post. This is my first time visiting your blog so it definitely did the job for which it was intended. I applaud you for, dare I say it, having the “balls” (or should I say “ovaries”?) to speak your mind no matter the consequences. I admire that in a person, man or woman. Creating controversy is a noble ambition but keep in mind that if you’re going to throw something like this out there for the simple reason to create a buzz, you might want to be prepared with an oft-forgotten concept known as facts.
After I read your posts, I started to write what I thought would be a short comment but the more I wrote the more I realized the importance and depth of this topic. At first I tried to draft a witty response like Jason but I realized I’m not as funny as he is and that I had a difficult time finding the humor in mocking and stereotyping an entire group of people, even if that group just happens to be MEN. (I’m afraid that simply acknowledging that there does exist “some” men, according to your definition, which apparently includes donning a “hot” uniform, doesn’t get you off the hook. I suppose in your mind you can’t be a man hater because you’re married to one? There’s little to no difference between that line of logic and the one so many use to excuse their racist views because they have friends of various colors.)
So where Jason took the high road, I’m taking a more nuts ‘n’ bolts approach. Forgive me if it’s inarticulate. After all, I’m just a weak man who puked this on a page. In any case, here’s my take:
1. Are there weak men? Absolutely, but no more so than there are weak women. Just because a man is quiet doesn’t mean he is weak just as a “loud” or “assertive” woman is not necessarily strong.
2. Perhaps you’re aware that your post actually sheds light on the broader issue related to the disparity of acceptability. What do I mean by that? Well, what a woman can say about a man, a man cannot say about a woman. Case in point. I was sitting in the Den of Yentas last week when there was a guest speaker. I arrived late but from what I could tell, she was a physician. The group was discussing teenagers and the issue of what to do to prevent these horny kids from having sex. Sharing with the group the advice she passed along to her own daughter, the physician said, “I told her, ‘Never trust someone who has a penis.'” Hilarity ensued. And then she looked at me and said, “Sorry but it’s true.” Can you just imagine the community outrage if one woman was sitting amongst a group of men and one of them says, “Never trust something that bleeds for five days and doesn’t die”? It would go over like a lead fart but for some reason this very derogatory comment was received by a group of women as acceptable.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m completely in favor of groups celebrating their achievements and “differences” but only under two conditions: A) The right to do so should be equally enjoyed by ALL groups, even those with whom you might disagree. This includes, but is not limited to, MEN and B) Don’t do so at the expense of other groups. Celebrating your womanhood by positing that one sex is stronger than the other, and then basing that argument on sweeping generalizations (based on what data I have no idea), is tantamount to arguing that one race is superior to another or that one religion is right and any opposing viewpoint is simply wrong. Perhaps you can equivocate explain as to how this “battle” of the sexes is somehow different in scope? Stop and think for a moment if I’d written a post like yours only I stated that men are the stronger sex. Let’s even say I went a step further than you and provided actual evidence based on historical record. For example, I won’t go so far as to say “every” but certainly a “signigicant number” of human advancement, from the genesis of modern mathematics and classical philosophy to the atom bomb, from vaccines to putting man on the moon, has come at the hands of men, not women. Am I suggesting that men are the stronger sex based on this analysis? Not at all. I’m simply illustrating the fact that the barometer you use to demonstrate women’s superiority is flawed.
Notwithstanding the evidence I prepared, I’d have the ACLU knocking on my door, Martha Burk would take a hit out on my life and I’d probably receive the ire of every mommy blogger in the entire blogosphere. Why? Because I said something untrue? No. I would be chastised because I said something that was contrary to the very fabric of their being regardless of its veracity. Why is it acceptable for you to write something like this but not for me? You won’t become the pariah of the woman’s movement. On the contrary, you will be hailed as a brave and heroic warrior (just read the comments on your blog left by other women). You’ll receive accolades and praise from your sisters. Me? I’d probably have my blog shut down.
Why is this caricature of men as the weaker sex not only acceptable but lauded and celebrated? One reason: men constitute the ONLY group of people NOT protected under the PC constitution. You can’t even comment on, much less be at all critical of women. Indeed, every race is off limits, religion is out and insulting someone for their sexual orientation will earn you epithets that make even me blush. So who’s left? MEN. No one ever gets blasted for hating on men. There is a double (heck, a quadruple) standard at play here. We’re not allowed to say anything that might be on our minds and we’re forbidden to fight for what we believe lest we be labeled misogynists, racists or “angry white men.” If I disagreed with a feminist I’d be called a fascist (perhaps the most misunderstood and misused word in the English language) simply for the fact that I disagreed. If I disagreed with a homosexual I’d be called homophobic. I’ve been called a racist not because I said anything remotely derogatory about Obama’s skin color but because I have contrarian viewpoints regarding his policies. I’ve been labeled a racist for demonstrating my First Amendment right to free speech and peaceful assembly because I attended a rally against the massive expansion of government The Family Tea Party. So ask yourself, who wants this kind of headache? Who needs it? Often it takes a stronger man to remain silent, to wear his guns on the inside.
What you might view as “weak” is an effort by many men to avoid the perception of weakness. Men are expected to simply take whatever abuse is dished to us. We’re taught that firing back makes us look too sensitive and sensitivity is a sign of weakness. Therfore, we keep silent. Believe it or not, keeping silent might also save us from litigation and prison time. You laugh but there is a bill that’s already passed one chamber of Congress which in essence allows anyone who “perceives” a threat or “perceives” harm to be able to civilly litigate the perpetrator of that “perceived” threat (see H.R. 1913). The perpetrator can also face criminal charges. What does this mean? If you feel threatened by what I have to say, you can sue me. I could also be incarcerated. No wonder we’ve been silenced and castrated through a systematic campaign by the courts. The media is certainly complicit in this effort as well. Cinema, television and other media always put men in an inferior, albeit inaccurate, light. The incapable dumb guy who so badly needs his wife lest he stop breathing has become an acceptable and popular characterization. We all know he’d be lost without her. Think what would happen if they switched these roles around. Such a show would never be produced and the “angry white fascist” who floated the suggestion would be looking for a new job cleaning sewers. The media suggestion is so overwhelmingly powerful that some (know of any?) can’t help but apply these false notions to real life men in real life situations. However, you are guilty of accepting (and now promoting) the very same stereotypes that you, as an admitted feminist, have, by definition, so vociferously fought against. Funny how that works, huh?
3. Your “woman are superior” concept raises many tangential topics that perhaps you can explain. For instance, why is it perfectly acceptable for the gym Curves to exclude men but it’s not OK for Augusta National to exclude women? Also, why is it that only men are required to register with the Selective Service (that’s the draft) and women are excused from the obligation? Why do women’s organizations like the NCWO only boycott events like the Master’s but are silent about businesses like Curves? Why do these organizations “fight for the equality of women in the workplace” but one never hears them lobbying Congress for a bill to include women in the draft? Sort of looks hypocritical don’t ya think?
4. I’m a stay-at-home dad (SAHD) and as such I am required to multi-task on a daily basis. My wife is completely incapable of multi-tasking. She will happily admit she cannot walk and chew gum. There are several studies that suggest multi-tasking is not a sign of strength or intelligence. Quite the contrary, the ability to multi-task has been linked to an inferior intellect. I don’t need studies to prove the point. I have my own empirical data on which to rely. What data might that be? Well, I’m not that smart and I’m certainly not as smart as my wife. I can multi-task, she can’t. ‘Nuff said.
As a stay-at-home dad, I don’t have a “hot” uniform but I do get to hang with a lot of women. I also enjoy chillin’ with my male associates. This provides me with a unique opportunity to observe both sexes from the “inside” if you will. Like an ethnographer, I can compare and contrast these subtle nuances between the sexes. I must be honest, Jason is definitely on to something. When women congregate in groups the topic of their lazy, incapable, good-for-nothing husbands will be invariably broached. In contrast, when guys get together, we drink beer, eat greasy food, watch sports, play cards and fart. That’s it. I pity the guy who comes to a bro bash and hopes to commiserate with his mates about how his ol’ lady isn’t being sensitive to his needs. That guy would be summarily excused and bets would be made as to when he sprouted the vagina. However, if a guy does in fact even mention his wife at all (and I’ve known guys for years and didn’t know they were married), it’s usually in the context that Jason mentioned, that of being demeaned, belittled, criticized and dismissed. For men, the topic of their superior partners is never a primary source of conversation but is more contextual in nature. The following is an excerpt from a real-life chat:
Dude A: “Bro, ya wanna go play some golf manana?”
Dude B: “I can’t, dude. My wife’s making me take her to the orchid show. She claims I never spend time with her.”
Dude A: “What the fuck? Are you gay or something?”
Dude B: “I didn’t think so.”
Dude A: “No, man, you’re definitely gay.”
5. Birthing a baby does not a woman make. Every “female” in the animal kingdom bears children, some of them by the millions. This alone does not make them a woman just as planting the seed does not make one a man. Would you say that the only requirement to being a man is to impregnate a woman because, as you so eloquently put it, “his body has fulfilled its purpose”? The metamorphosis to manhood and womanhood occurs when one is accountable and responsible for his or her actions. In the case of children, this happens when one LOVES, CARES and RAISES a child. Unfortunately, raising children, contrary to pop myth, is NOT the sole province of women. Men are equally capable of caring and raising our offspring. So, no, pushing out a baby does not equate with womanhood. Many “women” get that far only to abandon the baby in a trash dumpster. Is she still a woman in your eyes? I’m sure you didn’t intend to but I think you belittle the importance of “motherhood” compared to “womanhood.” I know many “strong” women who make very “weak” mothers.
6. Since in your post you use the value of child birth and procreation as the gold standard for “womanhood” let’s take emotion out of the equation for just a moment and look at this biologically. A woman produces a paltry fraction of eggs compared to the number of sperm a man generates. In one “load” a man produces a thousand times more primordial ooze than a woman does in her entire lifetime. He is also able to impregnate multiple partners at the same time and long after a woman of equal age is able to achieve, and maintain, a pregnancy. One can deduce that the male species is biologically wired to procreate with many women. Women, under most circumstances (there are, of course, the occasional anomaly) can only procreate with one man at one time. So, based on this fact, and using your measuring stick, which is the stronger sex?
You will, undoubtedly, curse my name, call me an unenlightened Neanderthal and hate me for it but am I really saying anything different than what you’ve posted on your blog (only in reverse)? I don’t think so although I welcome your input. If you’re offended by what I have to say then perhaps you should be equally insulted by what you posted. For the record, I’m not at all outraged by your opinion; I only ask for an equally open forum for us weak men to speak our minds. Bottom line, I don’t believe one sex is superior to the other. If you’ll permit me a broad generalization, I honestly believe that men and women both possess strengths and weaknesses. Ideally the strengths of one offset the weaknesses of the other. The role of men and women throughout history has been different. Not equal and not the same, just different. Anyways, why do you care if there is a dearth of strong men? You’re lucky to have captured a rare bird in an endangered species so feel blessed, kiss your kid and rock another bottle of wine for in vino veritas.