SPEAKING FROM IGNORANCE – You Know How all Men Are Just Weirded Out By Tampons, Right? They Just Crumple, Right? Cause They’re So Immature, Right?

Elizabeth Kissling notes some surprising progress in popular culture on this front, but as she points out, it is surprising.  Daring is the word she uses. Good catch on her part. But it still confirms that the stereotype is that men will be all flustered about tampons and all that.

There seems to be a general sense among some women, generally young and college-educated and not really very familiar with men women, that men are “squicked out” by all thing vaginal and especially menstrual. Who knows, maybe they are just projecting their own body-acceptance issues.

But it is so not true:

“Panties size 20…

 Tampons (A TRUE STORY) 

  Tampons to the rescue in Iraq!!    Don’t worry, it’s a good story, and worth reading. It’s even humorous in parts.  It’s from the mother of a Marine in Iraq.

 My son told me how wonderful the care packages we had sent them from the ladies auxiliary were and wanted me to tell everyone thank you. 

 He said that one guy we’ll call Marine X, got a female care package and  everyone was giving him a hard time.  My son said, ‘Marine X got some really nice smelling lotion and everyone really likes it, so every time he goes to sleep they steal it from him.’ 

 He said he wasn’t sure who it was supposed to go to, but the panties were size 20, and he said one of the guys got on top of the Humvee and jumped off with the panties over his head and yelled, ‘Look at me, I’m an Airborne Ranger!!!!’

 One of the guys connected the panties to an antenna and it blew in the wind like a windsock.  He said it entertained them for quite a while.  Then of course. . . they had those tampons.  When he brought this up, my imagination just went running, but he continued.

  My son said they had to go on a mission and Marine X wanted the Chap-Stick and lotion for the trip.  He grabbed a bunch of the items from his care package and got in the Humvee.  As luck would have it, he grabbed the tampons too, and my son said everyone was teasing him about ‘not forgetting his feminine hygiene products.’

 He said things went well for a while, then the convoy was ambushed and a Marine was shot.  He said the wound was pretty clean, but it was deep.  He said they were administering first aid but couldn’t get the bleeding to slow down, and someone said, ‘Hey! Use Marine X’s tampons!’  My son said they put the tampon in the wound.  At this point my son profoundly told me, ‘Mom, did you know that tampons expand?’  (‘Well….yeah!’)

  They successfully slowed the bleeding until the guy got better medical attention.  When they went to check on him later, the surgeon told them, ‘You guys saved his life. If you hadn’t stopped that bleeding he would have bled to death.’  My Son said, ‘Mom, the tampons sent by the Marine Moms by mistake saved a Marine’s life.’

  At this point I asked him, ‘Well, what did you do with the rest of the tampons?’

  He said, “Oh, we divided them up and we all have them in our flak jackets, and I kept two for our first aid kit.”

 I am absolutely amazed by the ingenuity of our Marines.  I can’t believe that something that started out as a mistake then turned into a joke, ended up saving someone’s life.  My sister said she doesn’t believe in mistakes.  She believes God had a plan all along.  She believes that ‘female care package’ was sent to Marine X to save our Marine.  

And I believe God loves a good crude joke.

Anyway, this reminds me of another use for tampons. Back in the day when we had .50 caliber machine guns – I don’t know if they are still in the inventory; they have been around since before WWI – someone noticed that a new Kotex was exactly the right caliber to clean the bore of the barrel. The wire bore brush was good but insufficient to get the bore really gleaming clean, and working a cotton rag down that length of barrel was a real challenge, so the Kotex finsished the job like nothing else could. And the PX already stocked them anyway! This reminds me – hint to our Canadian readers – do you know what the most efficient kind of long underwear is? Panty hose! The Rangers figured that out years ago. But then, they can get away with that kind of thing.

115 thoughts on “SPEAKING FROM IGNORANCE – You Know How all Men Are Just Weirded Out By Tampons, Right? They Just Crumple, Right? Cause They’re So Immature, Right?

  1. First off: HOO-AH!

    Second off: As a male of nearly 46 years of age, I have never had the slightest hesitation about walking all by my lonesome into a drug or grocery store and asking in clear, unashamed language, “Hey, where do I find the tampons?” and finding my lady’s brand and walking up to the counter with them and buying them for her.

    I understand that there are some men who are creeped out by this sort of thing but honestly, I haven’t encountered it. YMMV and all that.

  2. I know. And I imagine it would be the same for a 14 y/o. Now condoms – condoms are the giggle fodder.

    Welcome, Dean, you honor us by your presence.

    There may somewhere be men who are creeped out by this, but it’s a cultural thing probably and it doesn’t apply in this culture. How many Americans, even Fundies, get those references in the OT about a “woman in her time of uncleanness”. I mean of course they get the menstruation part, but not the uncleanness part.

  3. Someone I once met told me that if you do not have any cigarette papers a wrapper from the tampon would do the trick.

    I was on a thread just the other day, there was a post about how all guys supposedly cannot handle a bit of blood, funny thing was it was in an area where the regulars talk and joke often about how gross and awful their periods are. I suggested that telling everyone how awful and gross it supposedly is might have something to do with other people believing it as gross and awful.

  4. “there was a post about how all guys supposedly cannot handle a bit of blood,”

    The number of women who are 1) pig-ignorant about men and 2) quite convinced they know all about us, just astounds me. Thank God for the women who do care to get to know us.

  5. Repeat viewings of select South Park episodes and the movie Superbad, as well as many a locker room conversation, has taught me that there are some guys out there who are definitely grossed out by menstruation. So yeah YMMV. Hell the one sure place you can point to and find outright fear of period blood, vaginas and most things involving the human body is probably horror films. Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers is pretty good on this.

    “There may somewhere be men who are creeped out by this, but it’s a cultural thing probably and it doesn’t apply in this culture.”

    This I don’t get though, as if not being scared of a little period blood is something American.

  6. “This I don’t get though, as if not being scared of a little period blood is something American.”

    Embroil, what’s a little period blood compared to all the rivers of gang shooting blood? This is the country that gave the world Columbine. Come on, now…..

    Dead Ringers didn’t strike me as being about Americans. Jeremy Irons? And I never was able to figure out where it was set.

    Locker room conversations – now we are gettng somewhere. I mean it. Which part of the country? If it’s the NE, then I can see what you’re saying. But also, it doesn’t really contradict what I’m saying.

    “Yoko is wearing a kotex wrapped around her head. What does it mean?
    I guess that would be a whole nother thread, but I just wondered what you guys thought. :D”

    I have finally come to the conclusion that Yoko was always just very meta. A gesture like that looks to me like she is mocking ponderous symbolic philosophical getsures. that’s just my reading, but I have finally come to really appreciate her whole schtick. She go there before anone else did.

  7. I dunno. Maybe it’s just because I ran as an EMT for a few years, but it really doesn’t bother me a bit. And after having worked as a cashier several times, I can honestly say that cashiers dont give a shit what people are buying. The only thing that ever made me raise an eyebrow was a guy buying cigarettes and nicorette gum at the same time.

  8. Gingko: Dead Ringers didn’t strike me as being about Americans. Jeremy Irons? And I never was able to figure out where it was set.

    Cronenberg is Canadian, so I assume his movies are set in Canada. It snowed like hell all through “The Brood”–and “Rabid” had Canadian cops trying to stop the rabies-ridden zombies. Somebody needed to give them some serious weaponry or some drones! You can’t stop them with some damn Riot-Mounties, these are zombies with rabies!!!!!

    I heartily recommend “They Came From Within” (Roger Corman’s US title, far better than the original). Last scene with the mass “baptism” is freaking awesome. According to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shivers_(film) it even cost him the lease on his apartment. Suffering for art, this is the kind of man I can get behind!

    I love all his movies on a subconscious, hard-to-explain level.

  9. Come on now, this is silly. What do gang shootings and Columbine have to do with the reactions some men have to the idea of menstruation?

    I recall the twins in Dead Ringers attended Harvard so there’s still some American grounding there. Regardless, Cronenberg isn’t really talking about stuff on a national level but a psychological one. He’s an obviously Canadian director (which comes across especially in stuff like Videodrome) but I don’t really see that here.

    I’m from the New England area but I don’t really think it matters (unless you’re making some crack about sissy liberals or something). I’m trying not to make this anecdotal but I don’t really see how I can (which is why I sorta tried to tie this into films–and South Park, I guess–because what better cultural barometer). Like I could say that the topic of menstruation never came up in my lower class, Black and Latino surroundings whereas it came up much more frequently when I started attending a predominantly white college except that doesn’t really say anything to me. I’m thinking of gross-out humor and how it all comes down to this idea of the human body and all its fluids as a source of disgust. Can’t really conclude anything on my part.

    Now cunnilingus on the other hand… (although views on it have improved in recent years, even if the MPAA is still afraid of it)

    My favorite Yoko story is the one of her meeting Lennon and a piece of hers entitled ‘Ceiling Painting’, I believe. It isn’t my favorite because that’s when they met but because it was the first time I even heard about that piece. I became a fan pretty much right there.

  10. “I’m from the New England area but I don’t really think it matters (unless you’re making some crack about sissy liberals or something).”

    No, and it’s a shame that that’s a natural wariness. I am saying that your cultural setting is not Anglo – New “England’ or not. Mediterranean cultures are all spastic about anything sexual – the OT is frantic about menstruation, sex seems to be like the dirtiest hing evah in italian culture – not sensuality, but actual sex – in away that really isn;t the same further north. Further north people snicker about sex because sexual desire is a form of weakness – but not dirt. That’s all.

    Tha’s all I meant.

    And the Columbine remark was just me riffing on your referenece to blood, because that’s how I misread your comment.

    Dead Ringer – funny; we watched diffenrent movies. I didn’t get any of the uneasiness around menstruation. It was about childbirth mostly, I thought. I’ll watch it again but this time looking for what else is there, and thanks for tipping me on that. For me it was all about the arrogance of doctors towards their patients and about their ego ambitions – those horrible instruments and the way the asshole brother brushes aside his patients’ complaints of pain, and the conflict between him always running to speak at conferences and the brother who just wants to see patients.

  11. Ah gotcha.

    Childbirth does play into Dead Ringers in a return-to-the-womb sorta way but a big aspect of the film is this idea of the monstrous-feminine, the female body as this source of fear and (castration) anxiety. It’s why the film begins with those 16th-century anatomical sketches. The female protag has a double-vagina or whatever they call it and her very existence threatens to split the twins apart (literalised in the dream sequence where she chews through the umbilical cord connecting the two; it’s a visual metaphor working on a bunch of different levels). The arrogance of the doctors and their treatment of the patients is important but the film doesn’t divorce that from their positions as male gynecologists.

  12. Ginkgo: The number of women who are 1) pig-ignorant about men and 2) quite convinced they know all about us, just astounds me.

    This.

    I wish I had a nickel for every woman I’ve met who would 1) lecture me about what I was ACTUALLY thinking and 2) get it wrong by a country mile.

    Ladies? Do you want to know what a man is really thinking? ASK him, don’t TELL him. Also, you might want to honestly ask yourself whether you even want to know the answer. This is especially important if you’re prone to losing your cool whenever the truth displeases you.

    What is it that Chris Rock once said? “Women don’t want to hear your opinions. They want to hear THEIR OWN opinions in a deeper voice.”

  13. A tampon is also military slang for a reservist – they go in once a month and come out bloody. I know it’s a cute story and everything from a military mom, but I’m not surprised at all. I wonder how she would react if she ever found out that before women ever started inserting them into their vaginas, they tampons were actually the field dressings used to plug bullet holes?

    I’ve heard about using them to stop bleeding in a first aid class. There are female Marines, they frequently posses tampons and pads, so someone sooner or later was going to look through a woman’s pack and ask, what else can this stuff be used for? Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome is a mantra in the Marine Corps. Tampons are sterile medical-grade cotton bandages in a waterproof sleeve. There’s a ton of uses. You can use them as a water filter, to start a fire, etc. You could even borrow a bloody one from a girl and use it as bait…

  14. Honestly, I have only ever been put off by tampons once or twice in my life. One was the first time I saw my girlfriend walking around the house naked with a little white string hanging from between her legs. It was just weird. I get nudism, yes, and I get tampons, it’s true, but I haven’t come to terms with the combination yet. Plus she kept asking me to tell her if I thought her vagina smelled because of a little issue she had going on called a yeast infection. So… obviously she got in bed and pressed herself against my body and all I kept thinking about was that little yeast infected bloody thing dangling against my leg… I’m sorry but that was not romantic.

    Another time when I was riding with this redheaded friend of mine who was prone to severe bouts of road rage. Well, one time flicking the other driver off just wasn’t cutting it. She reached under her skirt, yanked out a bloody one, and tossed it out the window. I really just thought… really now… that was uncalled for. She got road rage with a vengeance. She ended up driving her car into a tree while trying to give some guy the finger.

    So, I have a box full of ex-girlfriend tampons right here. I had asked another friend of mine what she thought I should do with them. She said keep them and be some girl’s hero someday. I’m holding out for a miracle.

  15. dungone:
    Well, one time flicking the other driver off just wasn’t cutting it. She reached under her skirt, yanked out a bloody one, and tossed it out the window. I really just thought… really now… that was uncalled for.
    So she used it to make the other driver feel uncomfortable? Gee I wonder why people feel uncomfortable about/around them then…..?

    To me tampons by themselves are no trouble and for the people that do get weirded out by them it makes me wonder why. But I can understand people being freaked out by the thought or sight of used ones (I don’t care how sacred a woman thinks she and her body are blood is blood and the fact that it’s menstrual doesn’t suddenly make everything okay.).

    But me personally…..let me just say that they are not a problem, even ones that are “in use”.

  16. In case Ginko wants to know, I grew up in Massachusetts, just outside of Boston and my family is half-Armenian, half-Italian (I definitely see more discomfort about sex from my mother than my father. She had a Catholic school upbringing and when I was little I used to think sex must be something bad because she was so uncomfortable talking about it). I’m currently spending a year on the West coast of Japan in a dorm building with a bunch of Northern-Europeans and I definitely see a lot more willingness to talk about sex and sexuality on all sides (although, by their own admission, most Japanese people don’t like to really talk freely unless they’re drinking).

    I’ve never been weirded out by tampons or menstruation (having a sister about the same age probably helps) and most of the people I’ve ever heard talk about how gross they are are women. The few guys I’ve heard say anything negative are either over-acting so much it has to be for show or people who really can’t stand blood under any circumstances. The only time a tampon has bothered me is when my little sister would forget to clean up the bathroom and leave bloody tampons and bits of hair lying around everywhere. Even then, it was more annoyance at having to deal with someone else’s mess than anything else.

    I do see a lot of women describing their periods and tampons as being disgusting or horrible and using, or trying to use, them as a kind of passive-aggressive tactic to unnerve or drive away men (for instance, two girls who start discussing their periods because they want a guy they’re with to leave). Honestly, I’ve often thought that it seems more like women are the ones who express much more disgust and negativity towards menstruation. A lot of them even make a show of it. Women do a lot of things to create the impression that men SHOULD be disgusted or frightened by menstruation, childbirth, and their other bodily processes.

    Embroil:
    What’s this about cunnilingus? The only men I’ve ever heard complain about it, even on anonymous forums, have just been complaining about the way their girlfriends smell, rather than the act itself (which seems pretty similar to what I’ve heard women say or write about blowjobs). The only thing I’ve seen any real argument about is performing cunnilingus on a woman during her period, and even that seemed like close to a 50/50 split.

    Aych:
    Tell me about it. I used to think there must be something seriously unusual going on in my head (more than there actually is, I mean) until a year or so ago because all the information on what men are, and should be, like that I was getting was coming from women. I felt incredibly self-conscious about my thoughts not fitting that image, even though I disliked it, and it took me a long time to realize that I wasn’t that strange and the people telling me what I was were just wrong. That played a big part in my making a break with feminism because I had to leave their spaces in order to articulate anything about who I am and start trying to figure out my own identity. It was a rough change, but I would definitely have ended up dead if I’d kept on repressing myself as much as I had been.

  17. Daisy:

    If you like suffering for art, go watch “Hobo With a Shotgun”, if you haven’t already. The director put so much of his own money into improving the production he couldn’t afford clothes or heating oil and nearly froze to death at least once (it was filmed in Nova Scotia in the winter). The titular character was also inspired by a real homeless man the creators knew and Rutger Hauer’s performance did a lot to emulate his speech and mannerisms. It’s also the first movie in years to have a proper poster (none of this ‘floating heads arranged in Photoshop’ nonsense). The whole thing is surprisingly sincere.

  18. Hiding: I think perspectives on cunnilingus have changed on recent years but I can recall talking with other guys who said they would never put their mouths down there. It’s hard to tell if they were just keeping up appearances because they thought that by admitting that they like to go down on women might result in them being perceived as less masculine, I dunno. But back to that films as cultural barometer thing, I remember reading a top ten best films of 2010 list by this film criticism website I frequent. One of the critics pointed out the huge number of films released that year that featured cunnilingus. Off the top of my head, there was Dogtooth, Greenberg, Somewhere, The American, Blue Valentine, Black Swan (okay maybe that’s a cheat). Anyways it might sound like hyperbole but I can’t imagine all this lower-region action being able to make it to the screen a decade earlier. It’s a slow relaxation by the MPAA that itself reflects a sort of more relaxed view by American society towards “non-traditional” (in the missionary, and straight, sense) sex. As far as I know, the only one of the films I mentioned that had to fight for a re-rating was Blue Valentine and even that was more on account of the sexual violence.

  19. HidingFromtheDinosaurs: all the information on what men are, and should be, like that I was getting was coming from women.

    Heh.

    When the man says: Stop punching me. That hurts. Stop it.

    The woman thinks it means: Punch me more. I’m a lying bastard. You are correct in punching me.

    Come on now, a woman knows what’s truly going-on inside your head. She’s never stood-up to pee, but she can spell her name in yellow in the snow way better than you can.

    Thanks to the magic of vagino-based wisdom.

  20. Aych: Ladies? Do you want to know what a man is really thinking? ASK him, don’t TELL him.

    Um, you mean, the way I have asked you a dozen times in that thread, whether you are anti-abortion and you patently refuse to answer?

    Uh-huh.

  21. Hiding, that’s interesting inofmration. i do think there are diffenret cultural scripts around sexual shame, diffenrnet drivers. In northern europe it’s more about contempt for weakness -, with sexual or any other kind of desire or need seen as a weakness. In the Mediterranean it’s more disgust, and I really think that comes out of a rejection of the sexual/fertility religions of the slave states like Egypt or various Syrian states that collapsed in the Bronze Age Collapse. The snake in the Garden of Eden story was a clear symbol of those religions to the original audience; the Satan part came at least 1,000 years later. As for the Japanese; I think that was just the inherent weirdness and effort of dealing with foreigners on any kind of non-superficial level. I think this is worth a post.

    Embroil, now that you point that out, I do remember some of that being there. The Monstrous Female Body thing never realy resonates with me so I can look right past it when it is plain sight. And on this one I do have a post gestating but this was the piece it was missing. The post is on the Sheila-na-Gig figures from Britain and Irleand. I had recognized the womb/tomb death imagery in them, but not that other bit.

    Going to be gone the rest of the day – play nice and surprise me with wonders when I get back.

  22. I recently watched Dead Ringers as a double feature with Alien so I’m clearly all about the crazy psychosexual imagery.

    I was doing the wiki thing and reading the article on Sheila-na-Gig when I clicked on a link to anasyrma, which “is the gesture of lifting the skirt or kilt.” Look at this: “There are many historical references to anasyrma having dramatic or supernatural effect. Pliny the Elder wrote that a menstruating woman who uncovers her body can scare away hailstorms, whirlwinds and lightning. If she strips naked and walks around the field, caterpillars, worms and beetles fall off the ears of corn. Even when not menstruating, she can lull a storm out at sea by stripping.”

  23. Embroil, did you like “The Brood”? Cronenberg was going through a custody battle when he made it, he said, and it really shows. ;) (Lots of overtly psychosexual stuff in “Videodrome”– of course, and I quote Bianca O’Blivion regularly on my blog.)

    “Crash” upset everybody, but it was written by my favorite author (JG Ballard), so I was fangirlishly dizzy when Cronenberg decided to make it.

  24. The Brood owns. The divorce aspect really does come across in the film and it’s pretty humorless as a result. Cronenberg’s movies are very funny, see: James Woods trying on glasses in Videodrome but The Brood doesn’t really have anything like that or even any jokes I can recall. None of this takes away from how great the movie is though. The newborn licking scene is still pretty damn arresting.

    Love Crash as well. Once made the mistake of thinking that it was a suitable date night movie.

  25. I have often said, I wish I could hatch out some mean monster-kids to take care of my enemies. What a cool trick! (No belly-buttons, so I wondered if they even had fingerprints?)

    Once made the mistake of thinking that it was a suitable date night movie.

    LOL! Lots of people confuse it with the Oscar-winning CRASH (movie of the same name) and one local video store guy I know, had to take it off the shelves after the Oscars because people kept getting them confused and then coming back to the store all irate. Hee hee!

  26. One or both (I’m not sure of both) of my brothers do NOT like to talk about or think about menstrual blood.

    Don’t ask me why, I don’t know. As for me, I’m ok with buying tampons and “going down” there when she is clean and/or not on her period. Other than that, though, I don’t want to clean up any blood or bloody things unless she is sick.Plus, blood SMELLS and for whatever reason many women seem to smell somewhat fish like (not ALL women..I think it’s diet or body chemistry or maybe both) when they are “on the rag”. So I can see why it grosses some people out. But there’s nothing inherently disgusting about the process itself, it is merely a cleaning cycle the female body goes through to help make things hospitable for a baby.

  27. Daisy: I hadn’t read through that thread in a while (there’s been a lot of things going on irl for me). It was rude of me for not getting back to you.

    I may have indicated elsewhere in the past, in other posts, that I am pro-choice. I also object when dumb rhetoric and maudlin emotional appeals get used in support of the pro-choice side of the issue to propagandize and manipulate people.

    So I suppose I am a pro-choicer who is also anti-propaganda. The more zealous pro-choicers seem to find this suspicious because they’re fighting a political battle for public opinion and are, therefore, PRO-propaganda. (Additionally, having a penis is another strike against me since abortion is a woman’s holy issue and men ought to hold their tongues as they have no right to speak about it whatsoever… unless they’re going to loyally repeat verbatim whatever it is that a pro-choice woman has said elsewhere. God help the poor sap who suggests that a woman has no right to speak her mind on any issue of the day unless she’s willing to follow a man’s opinions. Gotta love that yummy hypocrisy.)

    So that’s what I think and I don’t know how to say it more clearly: I regard myself as pro-choice and anti-propaganda. Which, I suppose, puts me one step above the anti-choicers but a thousand steps beneath the pro-choice feminists.

    Incidentally: It was rude for me to have not attended to your question, sure. Had the question been posed to me in a face-to-face situation, I still would not have owed you an answer but I would have provided it nonetheless.

  28. anyways some of the comments above made me think of those feministe articles where Jill said that a man who won’t perform cunnilingus is a misogynist and that other article–in defense of period sex….

    After they get done shaming the Nice Guys ™ looks like the next step will be to say any man that doesn’t have his “blood wings” isn’t a real man ™….

  29. Stoner: some of the comments above made me think of those feministe articles where Jill said that a man who won’t perform cunnilingus is a misogynist

    Hurling the charge of ‘misogyny’ is such an over-played routine for that crowd, if a man did manage to evade the charge by performing cunnilingus, Jill would charge him with misogyny for doing (or failing to do) something else 3 minutes later. Like misogynistic blinking, misogynistic breathing and maintaining a misogynistic level of silence. In fact, every second a man stays silent is a second in which he is failing to condemn his own misogyny and the misogyny of others.

  30. hehe,

    well, I heard Amanda Marcotte doesn’t like facial hair and I’ve grown a beard just to protect myself from misandry….

    oh, and yeah, abortion is murder–there might be reasons for it but it’s still murder….

    no I don’t have a womb….

  31. Wow, I’ve just had a brilliant breakthrough idea which will provide literally infinite amounts of ammunition for online feminists: Every second that a man fails to denounce misogyny… is misogyny! I’m a genius!

    So… an infant boy emerging out of his mom’s uterus? Misogyny. While he’s being born, he’s crying so he’s failing to denounce misogyny. So he’s born a misogynist.

    A baby boy sucking on thumb? Misogyny.

    A man dying and moldering in the grave? Misogyny. After he’s dead, he’s not denouncing his lifetime of misogyny… misogyny times infinity!

    I have GOT to share this idea with Manboobz! They will totally lap it up over there.

  32. hahaha the fatuitous Futrelle and his Minions of Misandry! Put FLASHING SARCASM BUTTON HERE!!!

    They misrepresent things people have actually said and then mock them not on what was honestly said but what the misrepresentation was—

    I got in trouble over there- y’know what I said:

    “Mr. Futrelle, I don’t think that someone who is truly interested in social justice (TM) would take part of something someone said, then put their own words behind it to change the meaning then put a flashing button for plausible deniability. To quote Ms. Rebecca Watson-”Guys, don’t do that.”

    of course the comments disappeared within minutes. Funny how those people who are sooooo about truth and justice (TM) enforce moderation policies far from freedom of speech and are so intolerant of a divergent view…..

    in my view he is just a bully- or to make this cutesy wootsey a Bully (TM). Look how they harp on guys with poor social skills. I did a write up on that one…

    https://stonerwithaboner.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/arguing-with-david-futrelle/

  33. SWaB:
    so, if we apply their own definitions equally, all the people at Feministe support rape. Good to know. I think I’ll just go see if I can find pictures of them so that I can be sure never to eat or drink anything one of them has been close to.

    That put me in mind of some articles I saw a little while back in which several female activists explained that they gave up on dating male activists because the male activists did all the things they always say men should do (asked before doing anything sexual, respected their responses, never forced the issue, etc.) and it turned out they actually didn’t like any of those things in their relationships and decided to look elsewhere. The irony of the situation escaped them completely, of course. And they still wonder why it’s getting harder and harder for them to find men who will listen to their version of “sex positive”. It may be a result of my mental condition, but I honestly view people who send those kinds of deliberate mixed-messages as somewhere between gnats and pond-scum (although of course they do not fulfill anywhere near as significant an ecological role).

    As for the Nice Guy(TM) thing, what really confuses the whole issue is that there are two entirely distinct uses of the term. Besides the version you see on feminist blogs, the term has been adopted by entirely non-affiliated people (mostly around my age, some a bit older). They use it to describe a person who feels that performing services or displaying affection for another person entitles them to a sexual relationship with said person (regardless of whether the favors in question were requested or desired). Honestly, that describes something that some people really do and it really is dysfunctional and often invasive, so I don’t see any particular reason to criticize it. What really sets this usage apart is that they don’t just say “women can be Nice Guys(TM) too”, they actually do use the term to criticize women for these behaviors. It happens less often, but I have seen it happen and be accepted several times and I am willing to believe that social norms lead women to engage in this particular behavior less frequently.

    On the other hand, the usage of Nice Guy(TM) in vogue on feminist blogs is effectively proof that the main thrust of the politicized third wave is actively working to support and enforce the traditional gender roles and stereotypes they claim to be fighting (I suppose that in addition to its political expediency, this ensures they will always have something to complain about). Most of it essentially amounts to shaming and berating men for not conforming to the confident, assertive, sexually dominant social ideal they so often claim they want to make, or have made, a thing of the past. The thing that really confuses me about it is that the whole narrative makes no allowance for the concept that a man might come to have romantic feelings for a woman after getting to know her as a friend first, which is essentially an injunction against liking a woman for anything other than her looks and the first impression she makes introducing herself.

    Aych:
    I’ve always thought it strange that the people who say no man should ever say anything about their side of childbirth don’t think to apply the same reasoning to themselves (I imagine this would win them a lot more friends than the current model). I can only conclude that they are either dishonest or mentally incompetent. Either would be a compelling reason to remove them from public life (the former because it makes them a danger to others as well as to the public debate as a whole, the latter because it makes them a serious danger to themselves as well).

    Daisy:
    I’ve never seen the (apparently) better known Crash. Does this work out like when people confuse the two Drives or accidentally pick up Chocolate instead of Chocolat?

  34. “That put me in mind of some articles I saw a little while back in which several female activists explained that they gave up on dating male activists because the male activists did all the things they always say men should do (asked before doing anything sexual, respected their responses, never forced the issue, etc.) and it turned out they actually didn’t like any of those things in their relationships and decided to look elsewhere.”

    Isn’t this the whole stereotype of women wanting to have “pink and sensitive men”, either outright or getting a bad boy to reform into one…and then are uninterested, because they are “boring nice guys”?

    Hooking up smart blog talks about it sometimes, though I don’t subscribe to the mentality (of some of the commenters) that this is how the world should be (men being dominant and being shit-tested* about being aloof about their female partners, lest they be considered meek, un-dominant and thus have the women divorce/leave them for more apparently-dominant men).

    *When a woman makes an unreasonable demand, the man should tell her to fuck off more or less literally, so he asserts his dominance…he shouldn’t do what she asked, because its supplication…hence a shit-test. I call it the “you’re an asshole, thus a real man” test, whereas non-asshole men are passed off as feminine non-men who don’t deserve to get the time of day.

  35. Aych: thank you for your polite reply. I appreciate that.

    Stoner: oh, and yeah, abortion is murder–there might be reasons for it but it’s still murder….

    What prison terms for women do you propose?

    If the answer is “none”… and you are not actively voting for anti-abortion politicians and supporting their causes, nobody cares if you think its murder. I don’t anyway. Its all about the law, and if you accept the law as it is, that’s all I care about.

    After all, meat is murder too.

  36. “What prison terms for women do you propose? ”

    well, I did say abortion is murder and I do believe that….

    If someone comes at me with a knife and in preserving my life, they wind up dead–it was murder in self defense… even So. Cons state there are times when abortion is understandable–ie the mother’s life is at risk, rape, incest….

    I’m not gonna advocate prison terms for women but I’m not going to support their “right” to it. You can say that is weaseling out….

    I’m probably not going to vote but if I do, it will be a f*ck you vote. I don’t like Romney or O’Bamma….

    if I was part of the Vietnam generation and I wasn’t a senator’s son–

    I would’ve expatriated to Canada or Mexico

    –or–

    said I was gay and moved to Haight Ashbury

    or maybe if it was 65/66 and I was 18- I might have volunteered for the Marines–but not with what I now know….

    Why am I bringing this up?

    Because, it is a lead in that I don’t feel obligation to a society, women or world that has pretty much sh*t on me my whole life….

    I guess the Grass Eaters and MGTOW have come to similar conclusions even if by a different road….

    “After all, meat is murder too.”

    I’m drinking an IPA and am about to grill me some chicken….

  37. “On the other hand, the usage of Nice Guy(TM) in vogue on feminist blogs is effectively proof that the main thrust of the politicized third wave is actively working to support and enforce the traditional gender roles and stereotypes they claim to be fighting”

    That’s basically the conclusion many of us are coming to…

    It also seems to answer why not PUA’s but MGTOW are the most hated group because they are basically saying, you want equality–you got it, if you fall flat on your face, it’s your problem, I’m too busy fending for myself–that’s the world y’all created for me….

  38. Additionally, I should mention that the anti-choice crowd’s flagrantly misleading arguments and misrepresentations are part of what makes them especially objectionable to me, so I don’t wish to give the impression that I haven’t noticed that particular aspect to their side of the issue. (They’re all “pro-life” and all, but when it comes to low-income people who can’t afford health insurance, it’s fine to let the undeserving parasites die die die.)

    I’ve been to countries where they don’t allow abortions and I couldn’t see how the restriction was beneficial. To argue that abortions should not be permitted with the aftermath of the birth being financed by a shotgun wedding… there are tons of problems which predictably result from that.

    Really, with such obvious, glaring problems in the positions of the opposition camp, pro-choicers should be having a far easier time. But they seem to prefer ideological purity over effectiveness.

  39. that bigot Futrelle is at it again…

    http://manboobz.com/2012/06/01/mras-would-rather-complain-about-male-disposibility-than-work-to-enable-women-to-serve-in-combat/

    “Men’s Rights Activists regularly complain that it is mostly men who serve in the armed forces, and that it is mostly male soldiers who are killed and injured in service to their country in wartime. MRAs also complain that, in the United States, only men have to sign up for the draft – though this is more of a formality than anything else, as the draft has been dead for decades and there is virtually no chance of it being resurrected any time soon.”

    Look at that-only men have to sign up for the draft–but it’s irrelevant because there hasn’t been one since, oh Vietnam….

    But if I ever said, ladies stop your whining, you’ve been able to vote for over a hundred years–I’d be called all kinds of misogynist ™

    These bigots can’t even see my basic human right to not be canon fodder….

    Yeah, I understand about the complaint that women aren’t allowed in frotnline combat roles-take that up with the DoD.

  40. “The bottom line is that mandatory service is anathema to a free society. It strips away the fundamental liberties—and in many cases the lives—of the same Americans that the government’s wars ostensibly defend.

    The Selective Service has no purpose if the draft will never come back, and the draft has no place in the land of the free. To defend American freedom, one of the first things we should do is honor the noble promise Ronald Reagan was unable to keep, and abolish the Selective Service, destroy the agency’s records, and never let the draft rear its barbaric head again.”

    http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1317

  41. Stoner: You can say that is weaseling out….

    Yes, it is. Next time you get mad at somebody else for weaseling out, we will revisit this discussion. Just so you know.

    Stoner: Because, it is a lead in that I don’t feel obligation to a society, women or world that has pretty much sh*t on me my whole life….

    In that case, consider not compounding the error and shitting on the poor chicken (or eating it and thereby collaborating); an innocent being who did nothing to deserve its awful life, either… all so you could stick it in your mouth for a moment of pleasure, soon forgotten.

    Just seriously consider it, if you would. Chickens are far more developed than zygotes.

  42. On the zygote vs. chicken thing, I have some thoughts.

    The carbon cycle is the carbon cycle. In what way is a human that kills and eats a chicken in any way more culpable than a colony of tubercle bacilli that kills a human (or armadillo; they are susceptible too)?

    You may argue that sentinece is the difference. I have to ask why that is relevant. i want to know how sentinece is not just another effect of the carbon cycle, just the interaction of chemicals. I already know the answer; all of it is an aggregation and not permanent.

    On the pratical level…we are talking about humans being born – the biggest threat the planet and everyone else on it faces. And if a woman wants to abort her pregnanacy, that child is probably better off dead anyway. And if were my child, so would she be.

  43. I don’t know how old Futrelle is, but is he at all aware of just how close the draft came to being reinstated back in 2001? I mean, if he’s anywhere near my age, he’d have to be consaidering I would have been among the first draftees. (well, maybe not the first, I was still in High School when the towers went down, after all)

    Regardless, despite the fact that that “registration” is still a formality, not doing so still carries very real and very severe consequences.

  44. Wow, Ginko, self-hate, much?

    “The carbon cycle is the carbon cycle” – well, that presupposes there is no point to it all, doesn’t it?

    And humans being born are the “biggest threat” to the planet?

    Do you mean the biosphere? The planet, after all, could care less about life or anything else.
    Regardless, it seems to me the “biggest threat” to the biosphere is the Sun and the fact it will be busily sterilizing the Earth in a few billion years, even if it doesn’t outright gobble it up. That is, unless some sentient life decides to move the Earth or otherwise intervene, which I guess proves that sentient life need not be worthless.

  45. Stoner: Look at that-only men have to sign up for the draft–but it’s irrelevant because there hasn’t been one since, oh Vietnam….

    Right, because there have been no wars with conscription fought anywhere on the planet since Vietnam, man.

    Sweet Jaysus, shoot me.

    Really, you can shoot me. I’m done with this life. It’s gotten boring and predictable.

    Oh, by the way, men are evil bastards and are no different from women. Except that women aren’t evil and men are evil. Except, they’re no different. And men are evil.

    And men are no different from women. Except, women aren’t evil and men are.

    Infinity.

    Jesus, shoot me.

  46. Oh, by the way, here’s a funny thing about Selective Service…

    For feminists to submit e-mailed applications to sign-up for Selective Service en masse, together, on the same day– that would be a hell of a nonviolent protest wouldn’t it? The kind of ironic, non-violent protest that feminists seem to think is way cool and awesome and super-neato-riffic and totally in agreement with all of their stated principles, isn’t it?

    Except… such a thing would involve filling-out an online form and clicking ‘Send’ so it’s too much trouble. Right, Daisy?

    Hey, remember that one scene in the movie ‘Glory’ where the troops are protesting their pay and Colonel Shaw stands up on the platform and rips his paycheck saying “If you men will not receive your pay, than neither shall we!”

    Remember that? That’s what’s called ‘principled behavior.’

    Right? I have yet to see a critical mass of feminists acting in this way wrt Selective Service. That’s right. The #1 example of codified sex discrimination in the U.S. Something which is reasonably interpreted as the government’s way of saying WOMEN ARE POOR SOLDIERS. And yet, despite the ease of feminist protest against it… not a peep.

    Oh well. But I’ve been assured that feminists are ALL ABOUT EQUALITY, and making women pay their own way, so I am sure they will do that kind of principled protest ANY FUCKING DAY NOW. God knows they’ve had a few decades in which to do so. I guess they’ve been saving-up their energy for such a thing. RIGHT?!

    ~Whistles and twiddles thumbs~

    Yuppers, that anti-Selective Service feminist protest will surely come around… ANY FUCKING DAY NOW because of equality and all. And their principles. And their honesty.

    Because, if it didn’t happen, I might reach the obviously-wrong conclusion that feminists are a pack of fucking liars and hypocrites. And that would be wrong of me.

  47. Schala:

    Sorry I’m writing this three days after you responded to my comment. I missed seeing it.

    Anyone who “tests” their partner is creepy and dysfunctional, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve told several PUAs and other people who accept things like that as normal in relationships that if they ever succeeded in proving to me that the systems they describe represent how relationships inherently are or must be, I would murder every human being on the planet personally, individually and in alphabetical order.

    One thing I frequently see attached to discourse on relationships and Nige Guy(TM)s is an emphasis on nonverbal cues and a shaming of men who fail to read and respond to them correctly which is, from my perspective, ableist in a much more real sense than any of the linguistic phantasms which so concern Noah Brand and his posse.

  48. “Because, if it didn’t happen, I might reach the obviously-wrong conclusion that feminists are a pack of fucking liars and hypocrites. And that would be wrong of me.”

    I believe that many of the current day feminists are demanding privilege 2.0-not equality….

    Did you ever go onto the Feminist Critics thread where Clarisse Thorn is talking really condescendingly to guys. She’s saying that pick up artists are shady but it’s still the man’s job to take all the risky initiative but women still work harder because of “emotional escalation.”

    As mentioned above, Jill from Feministe wrote about how the universe and all men owe it to her that she is orally pleasured, lest they be hateful misogynists ™ … Oh, and if they’re scared of blood, they’re not real men ™ …

    Then, Hugo Schwyzer-where do we even start with this trainwreck– he talks about how awful ALL men are, but he is the one who almost murdered an ex girlfriend in a drug filled rage. Most MRA’s would find such acts horrifying but somehow he elected himself to be Mr. Prominent Feminist who Never Mansplains ™–and then that bragging about how another man is raising his child. Yeah, I though he was gonna stop over at Chateau Heartiste and brag how Alpha he is with that. But it gets worse– if you are a man and you dare question the paternity of your kid–you are a monster. For donch’ya know only teh womynz and Alpha’s have that human right. Your job is to work to the bone-be a walking ATM machine. Don’t you dare question feminism-you small, bitter man with a micropenis who couldn’t get laid in a sex positive whorehouse with a hand full of $50′s that you slaved at your minimum wage job for.

    –yes, Aych we must be awful for questioning the matriarchy….

  49. HidingfromtheDinosaurs:

    Here’s a secret.
    You can’t avoid “testing” your partner, any more than you can avoid “objectifying” them.
    The argument with ‘shit tests’ is that they are subconscious and not done deliberately; however even if that were not the case the fact is a lot of this stuff is in the eye of the beholder. Thus, I wouldn’t worry about it.

  50. Stoner:

    Clarisse can’t talk. She partly supports Thomas and Thomas as this thread shows has a bit of Grand Inquisitor in his soul:

    http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/theres-a-war-on-part-6-anti-sunshine-league/

    If you go through the “There’s a war on ” series, you will find some good advice on measures that people might take to communicate better and protect themselves from abuse or being inadvertant abusers. This is done within a context of the BDSM community, but I trust you can see that many of the ideas have wider applicability.

    However, any positive good that could come from this series is totally demolished by just a few things:
    A. Thomas believes that false accusations are exceedingly rare and do little to no damage to people. Thus to him, they are a “non-issue” and any victims of them are basically Non -Persons as far as this asshole is concerned.
    B. Thomas is in favor of trying to set up a system wherein anonymous alleged victims can “name” their alleged abusers with basic impunity. He wants this set up at FETLIFE (which right now is the largest single BDSM “community” portal), or somehow in the social context of the BDSM community but overall he does not want to stop there – he wants to start setting this up legally as well, as any perusal of his “false rape” and “rape” posts over the years will show. We just haven’t done enough to protect the victims doncha know.

    Clarisse, whilst a bit more moderate on most things is his friend and fully supports him in all these contentions.Thus people like me – victims of false accusations -well, we don’t count.

  51. Clarence,

    I read through that article-honestly a bit lost…

    I really don’t know why he thinks publishing an IP is soooo threatening…

    aren’t most of us dynamic IP’s anyways….

    I never really trusted Clarisse….

    She was analogous to the HBD crowd in the manosphere-they might never say racial slurs but at least the full on bigots let you know what they were thinking. I’m not accusing her of being racist with this statement, just saying I never really trusted her “pro male” view. At least the Marcotte’s tell you what they are thinking and just like the Inmalafide bigots-you can take it or leave it.

    If a woman in real life asks me to slap her, bite her or flog her–I’m running out of the room…..

    I understand everyone has their “kinks” but I’ve never understood BDSM-probably one of the reasons I’ve been kind of lost in these discussions is they have a different lingo and worldview. Not judging people with that kink but emphatically saying it ain’t for me.

    Jill at feministe even wrote in one article that men know when to go for the kiss but not boys. (Are men mindreaders and not boys?) Wouldn’t enthusiastic consent mean saying “I’d like to kiss you now, may we proceed to this step.” My personal experience with women has been, there is already some touching, playfulness, I lean in-she either presents her cheek, puckers up her lips and it’s a quick smooch or we start french kissing….

  52. “Wow, Ginko, self-hate, much?”

    Oh, Clarence, I see how you could misread that. I don’t hate myself, I hate my competition – other humans that can crowd my family and friends out. That’s all. You don’t imagine that I or anybody puts the two on the same level. I know on the spiritual level the only reality is univeral love, and when you ask about “purpose” that is my answer, but on the practical level we have to “take care of our own.”

    And you caught me using shorthand about “the planet” I meant the planet as a place to live. it’s a little arbitrary to separate “the planet” from the “biosphere”, but either way you are correct that the demise the sun is the real threat. But in the meantime the burden of so much humanity is harming the biosphere. But only in the short term – we are a keystone species at the center of a really large number of symbiotoc relationships and next the crucila to a lot of other species. The extinctions we are seeing now are the first phase of a new radiation of new species. Etc.

  53. *snort* I had the threat of a rape accusation used to control my behavior when I was twelve years old (by girls who were, at the time, bigger than I was btw) Don’t tell me they’re rare, or that “women don’t do that”

  54. SWAB:

    For a period of a few years in the late 90′s early 2000′s I was active in the then-existing BDSM community. And I’m a bit kinky though mostly into spanking stuff, so the stuff that a girl would have you running from would have me saying “Come here!” .

    But my personal history isn’t my point. My basic point is that Clarisse is a member of the so-called “Sex Positive” and Yes-Means-Yes movements and that while those movements have the potential to do alot of good if the positive ideas can be made more mainstream, there is a large strand of feminist orthodoxy and authoritarianism that goes along with them to the extent that people that she hangs out with like Thomas basically want to finish the feminist re-writing of rape laws to make it even harder for those accused of rape and sexual assaults to defend themselves. Yes-Means-Yes isn’t just about the BDSMer’s , it is a philosophy based on feminist principles that aims to replace the dominant sexual paradigms in terms of society as a whole.

    And despite the fact that implications are vast for everyone involved in a sexual relationship, those like Thomas want to shut down debate about it. And Clarisse is just fine with that.

  55. “And I’m a bit kinky though mostly into spanking stuff, so the stuff that a girl would have you running from would have me saying “Come here!” .”

    Different strokes for different folks as they say….

    there did seem to be a fascism with allot of these social justice ™ types. They want the world run their way. I’m not commenting too much on Thomas cause I don’t know the details. I do want those who’ve been hurt to get justice, I also want the innocent protected from false accusations. Anything that interferres with innocent proven guilty is potentially totalitarian and fascist. (Not a Poly Sci guy-maybe there are better terms than what I’m using.) Just a general observation- “sex positive” seems to mean let the ladies make their choice, support them even when it turns out bad but guys are just walking hard-ons and shouldn’t be trusted. How else can someone like Futrelle make fun of guys for using sex toys but not the ladies for their vibrators. After all sex positive says they are empowered-but your (society at large/feminists/manosphere) still giving guys the script that he’s not a real man ™ cause he can’t get a piece of ass ™

    I tried to articulate that observation here previously–

    http://stonerwithaboner.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/more-manboobz-misandry/

  56. SWAB:

    Jill at feministe even wrote in one article that men know when to go for the kiss but not boys. (Are men mindreaders and not boys?) Wouldn’t enthusiastic consent mean saying “I’d like to kiss you now, may we proceed to this step.”

    Jill and several other feminists (for instance Cliff (former Holly) Pervocracy) have stated that they find the “enthusiastic consent” concept problematic. Citing among other things sex works and other situation where one wants sex without being literally enthusiastic about it. In my more cynical moments I think to myself that that withdrawal/distancing from the “enthusiastic consent” concept stems from the realization if one is to strictly apply that standard to both genders then they too would be rapists in some situations (and raped in others) and rather than changing their ways they would rather dismiss the concept. A failure to walk the talk so to speak.

  57. Tamen:

    Good post and good points. Enthusiastic consent is how sex ideally would be all of the time, but in sex, as in real life, things just don’t work like that, which is why I’m against the idea of making most “enthusiastic consent” concepts the legal framework when it comes to rape and sexual assault, although I WOULD like to see them part of the culture and part of good sex education practices both in schools and/or at home.

  58. It seems to me that “enthusiastic consent”/ “yes means yes” works well as a social standard, it’s what we should “strive for” However, it’s completely unworkable as a *legal* standard

  59. Okay, so what IS “enthusiastic consent” exactly? I hear a lot of shouts and slogans in support of it, but I have yet to read an actual, rational explanation of what it actually entails. The only concrete thing I’ve ever heard out of that crowd is an injunction to keep up a running dialog during sex, which is something I would like, although for different reasons (I can’t read nonverbal cues, so for me it would be the equivalent of what ramps at building entrances do for people in wheelchairs).

    Do none of these people see the problem with definitions that allow a person to commit rape or abuse by accident? It’s completely out of line with the way we treat any other crime (e.g. murder as opposed to manslaughter). I hear them claim that these crimes are “special” or “worse” and thus need different standards, but I have yet to see any real argument in support of that position. The only thing anyone ever seems to have been able to produce is a juvenile obsession with sex.

    Honestly, all of these policies just kill my interest in sex and relationships with women. Feeling safe is a really big deal for me and the web of biased laws and bigoted attitudes surrounding it all go a long way towards making me feel the opposite, even just being around them. Stuff like that kissing comment and the way all the discourse around this stuff seems to center on meeting people in bars isn’t doing anything to counteract the social message of “you can never have the kind of relationship you would like and you are wrong for wanting it”, either. These days, when I hear that kind of “men and boys” rhetoric, I’ve taken to just stopping, leaving and never looking back.

    You know, I used to think that the idea of a “patriarchal reaction against feminism” was just a cheap scare tactic with no possible basis in fact, but the more I see, the more I start to think that maybe that’s what the third wave itself is.

  60. What if a woman gives consent while she’s overcome with lust?

    That’s not very different from being drunk or high, right? When a woman is out of her mind with horniness, she’s not in the right state of mind to give consent.

    I can only conclude that sex with a woman who gives extremely enthusiastic consent is being raped.

  61. @Stoner

    I’ll answer your question to Daisy for her. I’m no vegan. I can’t stand they hypocrisy of animal rights activists. I’ve done my part for the species by rendering myself sterile (I think. I have heard of the occasional case where a swimmer survived Exogenous Endocrine Intervention), which does far more to reduce carbon footprint than anything else I could think of.

  62. Valerie:

    Wait, is that a description of you, or of Daisy? The language makes it really unclear.

    Also, I was not aware EEI was so dangerous for swimmers. Does it have something to with Chlorine exposure or something?

    Anyway, that old Jainist king in ancient India has pretty much everyone beat as far as reducing carbon footprint goes. His way requires starving to death, though. Most people see that as a serious drawback.

    I basically agree with you on animal rights activists, although I think the way meat is handled and consumed in the US is seriously problematic and needs to change (it’s only since coming to Japan that I’ve realized just how unnecessarily enormous American portions really are, especially when it comes to meat).

  63. “Also, I was not aware EEI was so dangerous for swimmers. Does it have something to with Chlorine exposure or something?”

    Swimmers = spermatozoa

  64. Ain’t just guys! Read this, a (female) TV critic thinks it is child abuse to show Sally Draper (MAD MEN) getting her first period on the show:

    http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/tv/hands_off_sally_7BVSqUqC1kRBCufb7TrjSI#ixzz1x1jax3SN

    “That is a violation of a child’s private moment that no man, let alone an entire nation, should see.”

    ITS A MYSTICAL PRECIOUS MOMENT! How dare you show it on TV!

    Notable aside: She called Glen creepy, and I don’t think he is creepy at all. Why is he creepy?

    Damn, starting to sound like you guys. ;)

  65. Daisy:

    Where do they get stuff like that? I know there are cultures that place spiritual and social significance on menstruation, but this isn’t really one of them (actually, it’s one that nearly or entirely wiped out several of them) and I really don’t think the secrecy and embarrassment surrounding the subject are doing women any favors.

    Also, of course you aren’t a Vegan. Duke Fleed killed them all when he retook his home planet.

  66. Hiding, I am stealing that, next time somebody asks me why… :D Love it.

    And they think its naughty that Sally masturbated too… Yo, Gingko! The sweet innocent princess routine, you are always critical of it… if this was a boy character nobody would care if he had masturbated, in fact, they would expect him to.

    SWEET PRINCESS SALLY can’t be shown to be like regular girls!!! Oh wait, maybe she is implying regular girls don’t masturbate?

    Infuriating sexist bullshit, and she thinks she is helping.

  67. I’m not familiar with the show or the scene in particular (so why the hell am I commenting?), but I would imagine if they showed a boy masturbating on TV it would be considered “gross”.

    Of course I can only think of two examples of male masturbation on television. One was in an episode of Trueblood where the character had taken an overdose of an aphrodisiac and had a painful erection that wouldn’t go away (I found the concept to be disturbing and scary but I’m guessing it was supposed to be funny). The other example is in a music video to a song called, “Stacy’s Mom” which is a counter-example against my own point since the literal “girl next door” catches the boy masturbating and thinks it’s to thoughts of her when in fact he’s thinking about her mom.

    Of course, demonizing female masturbation *is* ridiculous sexist bullshit. I’m not denying that. Totally on board with you, until you say that it wouldn’t have gotten demonized if it were a boy. It would have been demonized differently, but no less. Actually unwanted sexual attention by males towards females is pretty hard-wired into us as “dangerous” because of evolution so if it had been a boy masturbating to a picture of a girl he personally knew, I’d bet dollars to doughnuts it would have been demonized significantly more.

    All that said, Daisy, I think you and I are on the same side on this issue (and probably most others. I’m pro-choice, for instance. If I believed LPS should be legal and wasn’t pro-choice I’d be a huge dildo). Just asking you to be careful with the “If it were men” comments.

  68. I didn’t say it wouldn’t be demonized, said it would be expected from a boy. It is more or less a given, so that is why they don’t dramatize it. No need. Its understood. (Yes, I do agree it would be considered gross though, another reason they don’t dramatize it.) Boys masturbating is a recurrent dirty joke, girls masturbating is not mentioned at all.

    I think Weiner believes he is covering new ground and stuff.. and actually, he is. These two subjects have never been covered in a TV show before that I can recall, re: a young female character.

    There was an old Aerosmith video that portrayed a teenaged boy masturbating to phone sex, forget which song it was… she turns out to be a fat, stereotypically-unattractive housewife smoking, holding a baby and ironing. Very funny!

  69. Daisy, good one on the woman getting all squicked out. I betcha that comes down to a specific cultural background. I cannot imagine my mother coming out of that kind of background; does not compute. As I said in the OP, I think a lot of this quickiness is women’s squickiness being attributed to men. “Well if we find women’s stuff so appaliing, what must the menz be thinking???”

    You said:
    “if this was a boy character nobody would care if he had masturbated, in fact, they would expect him to. ”

    Half right. It is expected. Half wrong – this is why you so often miss things – you are too goddamed healthy. You seem tot hink that if peope expect something of someone, if they think it’s natural to that person, they are going to accept it. that’s how a healthy person thinks, and you have it in spades. But what’s oyur life experience with other people treating oyu, for instance like that?

    People get way more bent out of shape over male masturnation, and for a number of reasons.

    One is that they expect it. They don’t expect it in girls and just go into deial when it happens. Little boys boys get this “Don’t touch yourself!” slut-shaming years before they start in on girlds, like from about three years old.

    “Wanker” – male masturbation is seen as a failure to get a woman ot fuck, a failure, and in this time when there are so few other tests or marks of manhood, getting the girl is huge.

    And then another is really backward – if a woman prefers to jill off, it’s no big deal because her desire or lack of it does not determine when she gets fucked and gets pregnant, in cultures that run on those rules.

  70. Daisy:

    I remember a formal discussion of sex that happened in my British Literature class in high school (god knows why, but I sure as hell would have rather gotten sex ed from my British Lit teacher than the woman who actually taught health class, so I’m not complaining). The class was divided into boys and girls and the two groups took turns posing questions to each other.

    Both sides asked “do you masturbate”. Most of the boys said yes, and it was assumed the ones who didn’t were just too embarrassed to say anything. After conferring with each other, none of the girls raised their hands and their spokesperson said “girls don’t masturbate”. Even at sixteen, I knew that this was so far from the truth it was laughable. I’m not really sure what consequences they were expecting if they admitted to it, but I suspect they were more afraid of reactions from their peer-group than from boys. As you say, it’s comparatively rare to see female masturbation in the mainstream media, and I suspect that many of them may have felt deeply insecure about the whole thing and afraid to be the first to speak up, lest they be the only one to do so.

    Openly talking about this sort of thing is one of the few things I see third wave feminists doing right, but then most of them had to go and fuck it up by continuing to shame and deride male masturbation. I think that the shaming of masturbation in boys and men probably has a significant impact on the way girls (and women, but especially girls) view the practice in themselves because it comprises the overwhelming majority of speech about masturbation they are likely to hear in a public setting or over public channels. Besides which, the frequent complaint that male sexuality is seen as more “real” is tied directly to the fact that it is far more tightly policed and controlled, and ceasing to display that kind of censure would do much to further their stated goals in that regard. Have I mentioned that I hate incompetence? Because I do; not the way you might hate a food or a religion or a political stance, but the way you might hate being stabbed in the face.

    It really sickens me how many people are passing off that sort of antiquated pontification on the sacred dignity and honor of the pure, chaste flower of womanhood as a progressive stance. Your comment reminds me of a great list that a friend of mine, who happens to be gay, wrote up about a year ago. It was called “People I Want to Stop ‘Helping’ Me”. The “helping” was very sarcastic.

  71. “It was called “People I Want to Stop ‘Helping’ Me”. The “helping” was very sarcastic.”

    There used to be a saying “Do me a favor and don’t do em any favors.” Everyone in any social justice movement should have it tattooed on the inside of their eyelids.

  72. Hiding:
    Besides which, the frequent complaint that male sexuality is seen as more “real” is tied directly to the fact that it is far more tightly policed and controlled, and ceasing to display that kind of censure would do much to further their stated goals in that regard.
    The people that make that complaint are either woefully ignorant or actively dismissive of those tight controls you speak of. This is why I laugh on the inside everytime I hear someone chirp, “Men are allowed to be more sexual than women.” and then try to drop it at that. What they don’t realize (or refuse to acknowledge) is that that “freedom” is just a different sexuality cage.

    I don’t see too much of women being told that they are no longer women if they don’t have sex. Oh they are classified as a different type of woman (prude, frigid, etc…) but her womanhood is still intact. On the other hand a guy that is not out banging all the woman he can is not a man. No he is not “regarded as a woman”. He is simply not a man anymore.

    Daisy from the Female Callousness thread:
    Ain’t just guys! Read this, a (female) TV critic thinks it is child abuse to show Sally Draper (MAD MEN) getting her first period on the show:

    http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/tv/hands_off_sally_7BVSqUqC1kRBCufb7TrjSI#ixzz1x1jax3SN

    “That is a violation of a child’s private moment that no man, let alone an entire nation, should see.”

    ITS A MYSTICAL PRECIOUS MOMENT! How dare you show it on TV!

    Notable aside: She called Glen creepy, and I don’t think he is creepy at all. Why is he creepy?

    Damn, starting to sound like you guys. ;)
    Hold on. I thought the problem was that people tried to shut down any decent portrayal or conversation about mensturation. Now that its showing up in TV culture its suddenly considered “all up in her business”?

    People need to make up their minds.

  73. I should point out that masturbation by boys has been considered sufficiently awful that people will cut bits off their sons genitals to prevent it.

  74. Gwallan:

    Didn’t the whole campaign that popularized non-religious circumcision in the US start with the idea that it would stop young boys from masturbating and thus going to Hell?

    The way I see it, the whole religious taboo against male masturbation is just a tool for maintaining social control. If you take away all other options, it leaves men with no choice but to establish a relationship with a woman to deal with those physical urges and, because social structures presided over by the political and economic elite determine access to women, it turns those primal urges into energy expended in the service of the established order. Such a system also encourages men to value women primarily for their bodies and as status symbols, so the only people who actually benefit are the ruling elite. This also means that all those people claiming to support women’s rights while simultaneously producing shaming and derogatory pieces about men who masturbate or use sex toys are actually actively supporting and reinforcing the systems they describe as the oppression of women. If they really wanted women to be viewed in terms of their intelligence and individual personality rather than their looks, they would be actively encouraging behaviors which offer men an alternative method of satisfying their sexual needs and thus undermine the need to find “a woman” (emphasis on the generic).

  75. Hiding: The way I see it, the whole religious taboo against male masturbation is just a tool for maintaining social control.

    A rabbi once told me it was originally a really logical reason: Before modern hygiene and penicillin, people used to drop like flies, and you **could not waste** important sperm. Every single one really was crucial, once upon a time, and they couldn’t have you guys FRITTERING IT AWAY… that is why I think there was no religious rule against FEMALE masturbation. We were not seen as “wasting” a valuable resource.

    Now, of course, we have sperm banks, and enough to last us a good long while. But that was only after they invented the deep-freeze.

    After the initial populating of the earth was complete, though, I think you are right. This religious rule was then used to control people and encourage monogamy.

  76. “This also means that all those people claiming to support women’s rights while simultaneously producing shaming and derogatory pieces about men who masturbate or use sex toys are actually actively supporting and reinforcing the systems they describe as the oppression of women.”

    http://manboobz.com/2012/01/27/theres-an-app-for-that-by-that-i-mean-penis-and-by-app-i-mean-a-doohickey-to-attach-a-fleshlight-to-your-ipad/

    hahaha, so he is also a misogynist as well as misandrist?

  77. A rabbi once told me it was originally a really logical reason: Before modern hygiene and penicillin, people used to drop like flies, and you **could not waste** important sperm. Every single one really was crucial, once upon a time, and they couldn’t have you guys FRITTERING IT AWAY… that is why I think there was no religious rule against FEMALE masturbation. We were not seen as “wasting” a valuable resource.
    Interesting. Amazing what you learn when you don’t start off from the presumption that everything is a tool to control women. Thanks for sharing Daisy.

    This would also make sense because even in the the days of people dropping like flies its not like there was knowledge about ejaculate and just how many sperm cells are in an ejaculation.

    @SWB:
    Probably so. But more than likely its a matter of his misandry gives him a free pass on the misogyny.

  78. “@SWB:
    Probably so. But more than likely its a matter of his misandry gives him a free pass on the misogyny.”

    these arguments get so polarized sometimes but I’m starting to see that one can be misandrist and misogynist-case in point Roissy/Heartiste-I’ll let the feminists point out the misogyny but I’ll point out the misandry–

    he has a ranking system where a man’s only value is how much vagina he has access to. The ranking hierarchy seems to be alpha, beta, omega…

    and as to why I used the term vagina instead of women or sex-his whole worldview seems to be based on dehumanization….

  79. @Sandy,

    What a terrible story, and you are right, the comments are also terrible. This one, however, stood out for its truth.

    “Sigh, this is exactly how society is.
    So what if the husband rose up?
    Whoever will be raped will still be raped.
    It’s just that one more man will be beaten.
    Too weak. Sigh.”

  80. Daisy:
    It was always a tool of control, the difference is that the behavior it encouraged ceased to be of mutual benefit to all parties involved once there was no danger of a society going extinct.

    SWaB:
    I think I would go a step farther and suggest that misogyny and misandry necessitate each other. Nothing can be one without being the other as well, even if it is not always immediately apparent.

    So I suppose Heartiste really idolizes the leader of those body-smuggling assassins from Mardock Scramble? Oh well, I guess I’ll have the last laugh when I’m Charlton Heston and he’s already dead (if I were Jamaican, I could have a robot wolf’s head for an arm, too).

  81. Ginkgo: Thanks for your patience with my past posts, by the way. I’d sincerely like to ask something relating to the original topic of this thread, I was recently on reddit and read the following, which was done in the midst of a long post relating to the origins of ‘patriarchy’ and men’s oppressive attitudes and so on:

    “There’s also the fact that people tend to fear what they don’t understand. Pregnancy and childbirth were not well-understood, and until the 1800s all knowledge belonged to midwives who were almost exclusively women, and that can make women scary to men.”

    I read this and I thought “WTF?”

    Truthfully, this statement disoriented me. Where, on earth, is this coming from? I can think of many things which are a hell of a lot scarier than childbirth. I would have to imagine that, for most of history, childbirth was more scary to women because they could die from it.

    For some reason, this reminded me of some past party in college I was at where this extreeeemely pro-feminist young man was in this small crowd getting all of these laughs by talking about how men were so gosh-darned terrified of women’s ‘bloody moon-juice’ every month, and men just always freaked-out about it and couldn’t handle it and so on and so forth. At the time, I imagined he was just trying to get a lot of laughs and head-pats from the females in attendance. But… really, where on earth does this come from?

    This desire to say that men have been historically scared of women’s bodily functions? I’m willing to bet that, in most cases 300 years ago, there was probably more filth in public spaces. More blood, more guts, more shit, more disease, more garbage piling-up, more animals in the streets, more bad smells (i.e.: London’s Great Stink of 1858) Why would childbirth and women’s periods be especially scary to men in the past?

    These claims about men being so horrified by women’s bodily functions are disorienting to me. I spent a while living in a third-world country a few years back, and I had a girlfriend who didn’t use tampons. She stuffed in little bits of tissue paper instead. That didn’t petrify the living bejeezus out of me, you know. It made me feel bad for her and want to buy her proper sanitary napkins. Where do these people get-off saying men are scared of women’s menstrual blood and childbirth and vaginas and whatnot?

    Never in my life have I ever had a nightmare about vaginas with teeth. Never.

    So where does this stuff come from? Is it simply a desire to paint men as idiots? A projection of women’s body-issues onto men? A gag to get a cheap laugh? What?

  82. Pregnancy is pretty terrifying. You get some parasite pumped into you through a tube, it fucks with your body and then it pops out in a bloody mess. We’re talking about the movie Alien right*?

    There is a cultural basis for shit like vagina dentata (if I recall, it was something to do with a belief that there was a connection between the vagina and the mouth and from thereon we got even more shit like women needing a good screw to cure hysteria). Just because you’ve never had nightmares about it doesn’t make it any less of a thing. Nobody actually believes all this stuff because they come from outdated ideas about the human body but that hasn’t stopped remnants of those ideas from becoming staples or whatever.

    *Really looking forward to Prometheus. Phallic and yonic symbolism as far as the eye can see.

  83. @Aych
    “Ginkgo: Thanks for your patience with my past posts, by the way.”

    I am not being patient. Those posts were interesting and they added to the discussion.

    “I’d sincerely like to ask something relating to the original topic of this thread, I was recently on reddit and read the following, which was done in the midst of a long post relating to the origins of ‘patriarchy’ and men’s oppressive attitudes and so on:
    “There’s also the fact that people tend to fear what they don’t understand. Pregnancy and childbirth were not well-understood, and until the 1800s all knowledge belonged to midwives who were almost exclusively women, and that can make women scary to men.”

    One of the probellms that bedevil discussions in the femmisphere and the gender sphere in general is the rank ignorance of history that has been some kind of badge of honor at least in the US. That statement does does not accord with any kind of fact. It is fabricated out of thin air, and it is accpeted by people too ignrant to see how false it is. It’s the same with the “rule of thumb” and women as chattel” and all the rest.

    “These claims about men being so horrified by women’s bodily functions are disorienting to me. I spent a while living in a third-world country a few years back, and I had a girlfriend who didn’t use tampons.”
    “She stuffed in little bits of tissue paper instead.”

    Have you ever wondered what people did for all those millenia before tampons were invented, or even before there were little bits of paper to stuff? People really did get by.

    @embroil

    “Pregnancy is pretty terrifying. You get some parasite pumped into you through a tube, it fucks with your body and then it pops out in a bloody mess. We’re talking about the movie Alien right*? ”

    Good point. (I am assuming oyu are speaking tongue in cheek, because that characterization of pregnancy is so OTT.) It is the logical result of the toxic individualism that is the root and fruit of our consumerist culture. What started as a political ideology of liberation and growth has infected the entire culture and transformed the economy inot a consumer-driven marketplace, all pandering to the invented needs of the God-almighty individual, who must continually be told how wonderful she/he is and how she/he “deserves” all these glittery toys and clothes and cars and a wonderful, fulfilling, glamorous life.

    And all that requires rigid ego boundaries. Pregnancy fucks those boundaries all up. But then so does love and really any kind of reral relationship between people. Look around you – does out society have any kind of problem in that area?

  84. “*Really looking forward to Prometheus. Phallic and yonic symbolism as far as the eye can see.”

    Excellent movie, saw it over the weekend. Run don\’t walk.

    “Phallic and yonic…”

    This caught my linguist\’s eye. Interesting that we use a Greek root for the male side but a Sanskrit for the other. \”Yonic\” has such a nice, positive set of associations? I wonder why we don\’t have a word \”lingic\” to correspond to \”yonic\”. just wondering.

  85. I’m exaggerating obviously but:

    “O’Bannon himself later described the sexual imagery in Alien as overt and intentional: “One thing that people are all disturbed about is sex… I said ‘That’s how I’m going to attack the audience; I’m going to attack them sexually. And I’m not going to go after the women in the audience, I’m going to attack the men. I am going to put in every image I can think of to make the men in the audience cross their legs. Homosexual oral rape, birth. The thing lays its eggs down your throat, the whole number.’”

    Yonic is one of my favorite words, I always love introducing it to people. Vaginal just doesn’t cut it. Your point about lingic is an interesting one but I’m no linguist so I can hardly come up with an adequate theory. In my experience, I’ve seen yonic used less often and I can only attribute this to it not being of Greek/Latin origin.

  86. Yonic – it just feels nice, while “vaginal’ just feels clinical or simply physical. “Yonic” is indeed a better correspondent to “phallic”. I guess “penile” would correspond to “vaginal”.

    That’s interesting about the parasite symbolism in Alien. I saw exactly that point made when the movie came out, but that article didn’t point out that those images were aimed at men.

    I remember some pulpy SciFi novel from a couple three decades ago that dealt with some humans coming to a planet where a higher insectoid species kept a humanoid species as slave livestock, and used them as hosts to lay eggs in and for the larvae to mature in. Of course the humans intervened and tried to liberate the humanoids, and the results were diastrous. The moral was that the insectoid species and humans were the ones that had the real similarities, despite the superficial resemblance with the humanoid species.

  87. Stoner With a Boner:
    Please remember that Roissy’s “ranking system” (and I don’t 100 percent agree with it, but its useful enough) is only about a man or a woman’s “sexual market” value. His whole blog is pretty much entirely about sexuality and that is what he ranks men on, though I’ve seen enough from him over the years to know that he is not totally basing his own worth on the women he gets. He knows of MGTOW and gay men, but he hardly ever mentions them on his blog.
    Don’t get me wrong: there’s plenty to hate about Roissy’s blog but there’s plenty of useful stuff buried in there as well, and he’s not quite as bad on this issue -or at least not quite as superficial- as you seem to think he is. No one should get all their “man-cred” from Roissy.

  88. Ginkgo: Have you ever wondered what people did for all those millenia before tampons were invented, or even before there were little bits of paper to stuff?

    Before even rags were invented? I always assumed people generally had their hands full trying to survive past the age of 40.

    The author I alluded to earlier said he’d learned that stuff in a class he called ‘the medical history of women’ or somesuch. Well, then! With a title like that, the class surely wouldn’t have an axe to grind against men, eh?

  89. Aych:
    Where do these people get-off saying men are scared of women’s menstrual blood and childbirth and vaginas and whatnot?
    Honestly I think it’s something that is real but is a bit overblown. I’ve known guys that were squeaked out by it but its nowhere near the proportion that I’ve heard. To go by some folks you’d think there were actual seminars teaching men how to hate menstrual blood or something.

    embroil:
    Pregnancy is pretty terrifying. You get some parasite pumped into you through a tube, it fucks with your body and then it pops out in a bloody mess. We’re talking about the movie Alien right*?
    Pumped into you? A bit tongue in cheek I see. The story I hear is that pregnancy is some grand act of creation.

  90. I figured embroil was being tongue-in-cheek.

    Danny: Oh, I wouldn’t be surprised if certain men were grossed-out by blood. ‘Overblown’ is the right word for it. Are we really supposed to buy the idea that male farm hands and male veterinarians have been capable of delivering millions of calves and lambs and foals and piglets throughout history but they couldn’t handle a human female doing the same thing?

  91. “Yonic”… I like it. I think I will use it from now on.

    As far as monstrous sexuality in Alien: H.R. Giger was involved, so I’m surprised the spaceships and buildings weren’t all shaped like people fucking (no, seriously, have you seen the man’s work? They have threads about him on /d/, for crying out loud). I definitely do think it is important that the pregnancy and birth imagery in that film involved and targeted men (all the sequels went in the opposite direction on that). Given how powerful Alien is considered as a horror film, I think that these are fears which really should be discussed and explored at greater length.

    As for fear of menstrual blood, has anyone noticed that no one ever makes allowances for the possibility that a lot of these men may just be freaked out by blood, regardless of where it comes from? It’s more and more common in our culture as more and more people are raised without any personal exposure to this sort of thing. For men who grew up without any women of comparable ages in their lives, it can also be a strange, new thing to be confronted by (sure, they’ve heard about it in health class, but how many of them have actually seen it?), and that makes a lot of people nervous and uncomfortable at first. Also note that our culture’s religious background included a lot of competition with and (literal) demonization of several social and religious groups which placed a lot of significance on menstruation and in many cases celebrated it in their religious ceremonies.

    As for fear of pregnancy, I can see a lot of reasons why men might have been nervous around it over the course of history, and many of those reasons still hold true today. First of all, it represents a major life change over which a man has no direct control. Even if he wants to be a father, the feeling of having to sit on the sidelines can be nerve-wracking, especially when it goes against so much of the socialized male gender role. Maybe even more important than that, pregnancy leaves women incredibly vulnerable and birth used to be, and sometimes still is, incredibly dangerous for both mother and child. It’s fairly easy to imagine a man who doesn’t know if the baby growing inside his mate is going to end up killing her seeing a monstrous or destructive aspect in pregnancy. Of course, all of this requires one to admit that men throughout history have actually been capable of caring about what happened to the women in their lives.

    When it comes to vagina dentata and other monstrous representations of female sexuality, I think it is entirely misguided to read them as being misogynist, or even gynophobic. Sex can be scary or confusing for men just as much as for women, and, in the case of heterosexual men, embodiments of that anxiety will naturally take on a female form and/or involve female sexual organs. These symbols also throw into sharp relief just how subjective and arbitrary the framing of sex as penetration really is. It is equally valid to speak of a woman enveloping or swallowing a man, but I really don’t hear things being described this way in feminist discourse (or any other discourse, for that matter, unless you count some sub-genres of pornography). I single out feminist discourse because that seems like the kind of shift in terminology they would normally be interested in.

    Oh, on an unrelated note, this is a thread I made on a reasonably respectable gaming forum about the portrayal of male characters in video games. I thought some of you might like a look at the responses it got (if any of you have accounts on that site and want to contribute to it, please be mindful of the rules I set down in the first post. I know it would require some of you to modify your usual style, but they are there for a very good reason):
    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.378512-The-Portrayal-of-Men-and-Masculinity-in-Video-Games

    I’ll probably write up something longer on portrayals of female monsters and female monstrosity and post it here later on.

  92. “Of course, all of this requires one to admit that men throughout history have actually been capable of caring about what happened to the women in their lives.”

    Perish the thought!

  93. I wonder if some men cringe at the thought of menstruation because of a sort of misfiring protective instinct? I\\\’m not bothered or disgusted by blood in itself- I was once soaked in my own after some surgical gauze was removed from my sinuses after a childhood surgery, and my first thought was that now I could use my shirt to freak out my friends who were coming over later- but seeing it coming out of someone I care about is certainly not pleasant.

    Men are typically brought up to be protective of women and think of harm to them as especially bad. The thing about human blood is that, in the great majority of situations where a man might encounter it, its presence means something bad has just happened, maybe something really bad, and is possibly still happening. Blood comes out of people when they\\\’re sick or injured or dead. Menstruation is an exception, of course, but I wonder if some men find being reminded of menstruation uncomfortable because their subconscious chain of thought goes \\\”Menstruation = Woman bleeding = Woman harmed = HORROR,\\\” or something along those lines.

    Which also makes me wonder: In an alternate universe where men typically LIKE the thought of menstruation, would feminists have declared that a demonstration of their misogyny? Would Bizarro Jill at Bizarro Feministe be saying that men who ARE into \\\”period sex\\\” are sexists?

  94. John: I wonder if some men cringe at the thought of menstruation because of a sort of misfiring protective instinct?

    My understanding is that some women find their own menstruation to be gross because… blood can be gross sometimes and the experience can be somewhat unpleasant, ranging from a minor inconvenience to several days off work. If the process is irritating and inconvenient I can understand having some umbrage, but I’m not sure why stuff needs to be projected onto men in the process.

    In Bizarro World, women would earn 1 Bizarrodollar for every 77 Bizarrocents a man earned. This would be spun as men oppressing women because men would characterized as forcing women to produce a disproportionate amount of economic output. Women would still be the victims in Bizarro World, of course. That wouldn’t change.

    Furthermore, if men were enthusiastic for sex during periods, the gender-studies crowd would claim that men were holding women to unrealistic standards of bloodiness, that men were forcing women to bleed, that men are bigoted against women who have irregular periods and that women should be able to bleed freely in public as much as they wanted to. Furthermore, there’d be spectacles like MenseWalks to raise awareness of sexual violence, sanitary napkins would be scorned as hateful attempts to oppress women’s sexuality, crimson-crotched white capris would be standard fashion for a night out, porn stars would have monikers like ‘Scarlett Flo’ and I don’t even want to speculate how the ketchup commercials would look.

  95. Ketchup? Catsup?
    My favorite seasoning. Aych, Sir, you have besmirched the very concept of good ketchup with your idea for menstrual ketchup commercials. Thanks to evil YOU I have now associated the lovely red color of this delicious sauce of the Gods with blood. Such hideous impudence should not be tolerated, esp to one like me, who loves it with a passion, and now will find my love somewhat wilted.
    I challenge you to a duel. Pretzel sticks at 20 paces. You choose the time and place.

    Disrespectfully yours,
    Clarence, Defender of Catsup

  96. So, as promised, I have more to say on the subject of female monsters. I assume you all know about the classic examples and symbolism, so I thought I’d give some more unusual examples from the world of Japanese popular culture. As far as theory goes, I think that the accepted reading of female monstrosity as misogynist is mistaken, and often routed in a denial of even the potential for female power and male vulnerability. I also note that I never see male monsters discussed as such in the way the female monsters are. This is a clear case of seeing the male as the default in terms of analysis and viewing the female as a deviation from that standard. I believe this to be a highly problematic approach.

    I’d like to start with some examples from Devilman, partly because I’m a huge Devilman fan and partly because it played a very significant role in introducing the grotesque to Japanese comic books. It was written and drawn beginning in 1972 by Go Nagai, sometimes called the “father of comics” and second in influence only to “king of comics” Shotarou Ishinomori and “God of Comics” Osamu Tezuka. Nagai began his career at a very young age and was responsible for pushing a lot of boundaries as far as the level of violence and sexual content in Japanese comics. His work was highly controversial at the time (and I mean death threats and book-burnings controversial), and a lot of it is still pretty extreme by today’s standards. Devilman is a bleak, violent and grotesque cold-war analogy filled with a variety of monsters. Nagai got the classic vagina dentata stuff out of the way before the end of the first chapter with a female demon who had angry, fanged faces on her vagina and both breasts, so he had to get more creative from that point on.

    The most significant and best remembered of the female demons in Devilman is Silene, an entirely naked bird woman who stands out in a lot of ways. First, while she is naked at all times, this is never acknowledged either by her or by anyone else. Neither is she framed from angles designed to present her as an object of desire. She represents a serious threat and is framed as such. While her torso adheres to idealized human female proportions, both her hands and feet are scaly bird-like talons significantly larger than human hands or feet and her mouth is a wide gash across her face, lined with rows of fangs. Her wings are attached to her head. She is obsessed with beauty, particularly her own, but clearly defines “beauty” quite differently from the way we are used. More specifically, she seems to define it in a much more active way. Her “beauty” is about victory in battle and a strict code of conduct, rather than passive physical appearance. The only part of her body she specifically links with beauty in her dialog are her wings (attached to her head), which represent ability and action, rather than a passive feature to be admired by others. Her fight with Devilman is the longest single fight scene in the entire series (you can see a faithful animated adaptation of it in the second of the two Devilman OAVs released in the US), and is generally remembered as THE fight in Devilman, over later conflicts with more significant villains. Devilman ultimately wins the battle only by a narrow margin, and Silene’s standing death facing the sunrise is presented as tragic, making her the first demon in the series to be presented at all sympathetically (the other is Satan, humanized and rendered a tragic figure by his unrequited homosexual love) and standing in stark contrast to the bloody demises of earlier antagonists. She remains one of the most popular and iconic characters to come out of Devilman and makes prominent appearances in all of its sequels.

    The second notable example I would point out in the original Devilman is a bit of body horror aimed squarely at women. One of several interludes towards the middle of the series’ run features Miiko, a Catholic schoolgirl confused and terrified by the transformation her body undergoes as the result of demonic possession. The front of her torso, including her breasts and vagina, become a twisted monstrosity with two glaring eyes on her stomach and three orifices which occasionally spray acid (can you guess where those are?). The changes are not visible when she is fully dressed, so she goes about her daily routine plagued by fear and guilt (she believes it to be a punishment from God for some unidentifiable offence) until she is eventually caught up in demon hunts that mark the beginning of the third act, as human society begins to tear itself apart.

    You will of course find many more examples in Devilman Lady (which you can now read illegally in English on your computer because I finished translating and typesetting the remaining 14 volumes earlier this year).

    One other example I would like to bring up which deviates from the archetypes I commonly hear discussed comes from the novels of Hideyuki Kikuchi, a successful scifi/horror/fantasy/action author whose work mainly targets young adult readers. His female villains (and there are more than a few of them) are all portrayed as beautiful women, with nothing in their appearance to mark them as inhuman (although they always are: death goddesses, living puppets, vampire ghosts, etc.). What strikes me as unusual is that being beautiful women has absolutely know relation to what makes them evil or dangerous: They aren’t ‘bad woman’ archetypes, they’re fairly archetypical villains who happen to be women. They actively go around (sometimes at the head of an army, sometimes alone) and murder people in their way without any appearance of effort or remorse, and Kikuchi generally goes to great lengths to make them appear invulnerable. I include them hear because Kikuchi invariably presents them and their actions as object of horror.

    If I have time and no one objects, I might add a follow-up on female monsters in pornography (a topic I don’t think I’ve ever seen explored by people who specialize in either subject).

  97. Very good post, Hiding from the Dinosaurs. Though I’m quite familiar with Japanese anime, most of the stuff I’ve seen hasn’t been very sexually explicit with a few exceptions. Thus while I’ve heard tons of things about Devilman, I’ve never seen it, and I certainly never thought to examine it for female archetypes. Please feel free to add more thoughts if you want, I certainly have no objection.

  98. Clarence:
    Read Devilman, rather than watching it. The only faithful adaptation is the two episode OAV that stops partway through because the director died. Unfortunately, unless you speak Japanese you cannot read the wonderful new anniversary editions for which Go Nagai redrew significant portions of the artwork (he has improved significantly in the past forty years). If you\’re looking at it for its portrayal of women, pay special attention to all the ways Miki differs from other love interest characters at the time. Also, read Devilman Lady afterwards (the TV series changed everything and is not nearly as good. It could also be argued that certain changes, like making the protagonist a model instead of a school teacher and former Olympic athlete, were less than progressive).

    Now, as promised, female monsters in pornography:
    This is the kind of thing I\’m thinking of when I say that the public and academic discourse on porn focuses on too narrow a range of material to be meaningful. This will be more of a general overview because I have never seen anyone write about it outside the circles in which it is popular. For obvious reasons, this will be about illustrated and written pornography, rather than pieces involving live actors. Most of the art in question comes from Japan, but that\’s mostly because they have the world market for pornographic art fairly well cornered.

    There are basically two types of female monsters (usually called \”monster girls\”) in porn: \”cute\” monster girls which retain a full human torso (or more) and add parts onto that (a human torso and a snake tail gives you a lamia, for example), and more grotesque and horrific-looking creatures (xenomorph porn is probably the easiest example to produce for this). The former is by far more common, but the latter is not nearly as rare as you might think. Vampires, succubi, etc. are sometimes nearly indistinguishable from humans at a glance, but they are still included in the category of \”monster girls\”. However grotesque a monster girl appears, it is very rare for human female secondary sex characteristics to be wholly absent and they are actually often exaggerated (multiple rows of breasts, etc.). There are many different varieties of monster girl, but most are sexually dominant and all are capable of overpowering an ordinary human in some way (usually physically). They often \”feed\” through the act of sexual intercourse, either by consuming their partner, consuming the emotional energy attached to the act, or feeding on human semen. As with male monsters in pornography, monster girls are usually heterosexual. Those which pursue females are generally either hermaphroditic or capable of becoming so.

    When it comes to how monster girls treat their sexual partners, there is a wide variety of common scenarios. Some eat them, some exhaust them to death as a result of sexual intercourse, some keep them as slaves, some hold them prisoner in order to continue feeding indefinitely, some just let them go, some marry them, some turn them into monsters themselves, and so on. As far as the initial approach goes, there are really only two categories: those that forcibly rape humans and those that seduce them (either normally or through magic, etc.). Many are able to induce a state of uncontrollable arousal in their partners (common methods include magic, pheromones, aphrodisiac bodily fluids, chemical toxins in teeth or claws, etc.).

    Monster girls primarily represent submissive heterosexual male fantasy, although a persistent minority of female fans demonstrated to my mind that they can function as dominant female fantasy as well. I would estimate that fewer women are interested in monster girls than in images or stories depicting male monsters with human women (although there are more than a few women into that sort of thing, so that isn\’t saying too much). I think one thing which can give them an appeal over more realistic submissive male fantasies involving dominatrices, BDSM, etc. is that monster girls are usually physically much stronger than their partners and can be larger as well, which removes the play-acting element. They can also represent an avenue for submissive men who are not particularly masochistic or otherwise dislike the trappings of more commonplace fantasies.

    To give some examples for the curious, some popular games available in English which deal with monster girls are Monster Girl Quest (the story of a boy who sets out to become a hero and encounters a long string of female monsters on his journey. If you lose to them in battle, they rape you and you get a game over screen. It actually has some surprisingly thoughtful dialog and characterization), Village of Nightmare (a game in which you play a succubus who enters a small village in disguise and must turn all the villagers into succubi as well), and a text-based game called Corruption of Champions (which includes quite a lot of other bizarre fetish material as well). The first two were fan-translated from Japanese and are squarely on the \”cute\”, human-looking side of things, while CoC was originally created in English (and is still frequently updated) and contains slightly more variety (although it never really makes it into Giger territory). If you just want to see a bunch of random examples of this kind of art, go lurk /d/ and wait for a thread to show up (their are usually separate threads for the more seriously monstrous stuff. They\’ve been quite popular recently).

    I think that makes a decent primer. Ask me if you want me to go into anything in more detail.

  99. Oh, I should add:
    As with pornography depicting male monsters and human women, most monster girl porn is rape fantasy (yes, men have those too; no matter how much female-dominated gender discourse tries to project an image of monolithic male sexuality, the real world doesn’t work that way). Entirely consensual and romantic monster girl porn does exist, but it is much rarer and I can think of only one artist who regularly goes all the way into lovey-dovey territory.

  100. Ginkgo said…
    Yonic – it just feels nice, while “vaginal’ just feels clinical or simply physical. “Yonic” is indeed a better correspondent to “phallic”. I guess “penile” would correspond to “vaginal”.

    I recall the word \”yoni\” as representing female genitalia when I was a kid in the sixties.

  101. Danny: “The story I hear is that pregnancy is some grand act of creation.”

    I’m reminded of Futurama:
    Leela: There goes my DNA. What a disgusting and beautiful process.
    Fry: That’s birth for you.

    Ginkgo: “I remember some pulpy SciFi novel from a couple three decades ago that dealt with some humans coming to a planet where a higher insectoid species kept a humanoid species as slave livestock…”

    It’s probably a sci-fi trope so there’s probably tons of stories like that but it reminds me of Octavia Butler’s Bloodchild, a nice little bit of Afrofuturism although I’m sure that one doesn’t involve human intervention.

  102. Hiding: “I also note that I never see male monsters discussed as such in the way the female monsters are.”

    I can’t say much about Japanese pop culture but there have been tons of texts written about male monsters at least concerning American pop culture. Carol Clover’s “Men, Women and Chain Saws” is a pretty popular one on slasher films of the ’80s.

  103. Embroil:
    Duly noted. I know there’s a lot of stuff on slasher films, but I never get around to reading it because I just don’t care for the genre myself (much more a cosmic horror kind of person). I usually read about monsters in the context of mythology and anthropology.

  104. Soul Kiss (Level 9) – Soul Kiss is the attack you use when a character
    is low on health. Furthermore, he has a 50% chance of firing
    an additional shot against an enemy every time he hits that
    enemy. Every turn he regenerates and reduces the duration of bleeding
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