I often have wondered recently if I am unique in my respect and amazement at the Power of Men.

I suppose first I should state my position as an Atheist. A Feminist. A Mother. A Woman. The most feminine, and proud of it!

I do believe there are many men who perhaps feel threatened, de-masculinated (if that is even a word. If not I just made it up) or even abused by strong women and/or other men. After all, there are women and men out there who ARE abusive towards men. And many men in that position feel just as helpless, just as hopeless, and just as hurt as a woman in a domestically violent relationship. I feel that the help available to men who are abused by their partners is hard to come by, and despite its availability in some cases, there is a lot of sociological reasons why men do not generally feel safe even talking about it. So they suffer in silence. Sometimes for years...or even decades. Just as the battered woman fears, so does the battered man. And who would hear them? Sometimes....no one.

Isn't that sad?

On the other hand there is another type of man. The man who seeks power and control. The cultural constraints by which he can do so vary across the globe, but this type of man is found everywhere. Perhaps YOU (reading this right now) are one of them. You may not know that you are because your reality has never been any different. Something....a long time ago....made you this way. You may not know what it is. Or....you might know and simply not care. Or....you might care but wonder how on Earth you can change! Perhaps you've been told you are abusive. But perhaps you yourself were abused.

That is very sad too, isn't it?

Then there are strong men out there. They are amazing. Those men who have risen above it all and become larger than life. The heroes of their loved ones, friends and family, a role model for many to look up to, able to handle anything that comes their way, strong in their responsibilities, amazing, amazing, amazing men.......who rarely (if ever) get recognized. Who never ask to be recognized. Who never brag, but have all the reason to. Who deserve 10,000 virgins....no wait....no....but you get the idea :-) JOKE!!!! Ok don't get your feathers ruffled people!

We hear a lot about the empowerment of women now a days. That is good. Yaay!!! GO WOMEN!! But....I think we need to hear more about the amazing influences of men. I have seen in many instances in my life how the mere presence of a man in certain circumstances....makes everything all better. Makes things brighter, and makes life happier.

I see it when my son plays with a random dad on the playground who is willing to roll around with his own son...and mine, and my son latches on with yearning for more.

I saw it in my neighbor who while he had his flaws, he watched out for me, and protected me under volatile circumstances.

I've seen it in the way my son looks at his own father in the eyes.

I've felt the relief when I served alongside many men in the line of duty, and felt thankful they were there to control the situation, because they are (and will always be) so strong...physically.

I've felt more like a woman when a man randomly smiles at me, it lifts me up and reminds me I'm beautiful.

I've felt it on TA the way so many men voice their belief that I am a human being worth fighting for to remain in control of my body and freedoms, and I've seen it the way men all over the world uplift women....

I could go on....but I want to end with this:

Men: you are more powerful than you realize. Here's to all the men.

Salud!

Thank you for being Atheist men.

You ROCK!!!

Men: Do you ever feel under appreciated?

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It can be funny. The problem regarding those and other minority groups is that they are typically underrepresented (likely less so for black Americans these days than other minorities, but they are probably still not proportionally represented in popular media). When already limited representation is further reduced with unflattering portrayals just to get a laugh, the blow dealt is proportionately bigger. Well, it probably is proportionately bigger. It's a matter of percentages.

So you don't think negative portrayals contribute to prejudicial opinions and stereotypes.

My post indicates the contrary.

It seems like you are excusing false and unflattering stereotypes when they are about the majority or those in power.

No, it doesn't. I am stating that the damage caused is proportionate the saturation of the negative stereotype. 

Imagine you have two populations: a majority population called 'greens' and a minority population called 'taupes. When polled, studies showed that 67% of greens love volleyball and the rest hate it, while 68% of taupes love cricket and the rest hate it.

Now you have a sitcom with a cast of four greens and one taupe. We all shrug and say there are less taupes in the population so there are less in the show. Not great, perhaps, but it is what it is.

In this show, the writers have three of the greens represent the volley-ball loving stereotype while the fourth hates it. The taupe? Well, there's just one taupe so he represents the majority of taupes and loves cricket.

Both groups are inaccurately represented weighed against the general population, but the taupes are disproportionately misrepresented.

Thing is, it's a sitcom. While the situation isn't ideal, we don't expect it to reflect reality exactly, so it's cool, yeah? We watch it distractedly and smile here and there at the canned humour. We see some jokes playing off of green stereotypes and some playing off of taupe stereotypes, but it's just one show and it's just jokes. Even with some of the less flattering stereotypes, we weigh it against the lighthearted intent and humorous presentation. It's not the end of the world to have some deprecating humour.

Well, what if almost every show repeats the same formula? There is always a token taupe and that taupe is always painted as a cricket-lover? What was a minor issue before is now a deeper problem. Now you have multiple sources perpetuating taupes as one-dimension while the greens -- also a bit misrepresented by the volleyball loving stereotype -- are at least shown with some diversity.

While it's possible that things don't play out that way in practice between the taupes and the greens, in our world it's a problem we've already seen happen more than once. It results in making a joke in good fun*, to taking that joke way too far. Men get less consideration because, in being overrepresented, we're shown with more diversity overall and while some stereotypes are abusive, we just haven't been taken as far down that road as others. That's why others get priority complaining ground.

*Obviously not all jokes are in good fun.

Asymmetrical Culturalism. (I made that up.)

I was trying to be funny (in a way probably unique to my brain circuits), but maybe instead should say there's a bit of retrospective motivation for the "activistic" response in entertainment and other media. That is, there's still cultural inertia on the side of the patriarchy, imo, and so I take the over-dufusizing of males with a grain of salt. It's been going on since All In The Family (at least).

Some historical perspective (in comedy):

*over-dufus-izing

I'm glad you clarified or else I'd have misread. I've always felt that dufu sizing has been pretty on target, and people only think it's overdone due to asymmetrical culturalism.

Unseen: you've been watching too much Roseanne, lol

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aNlHIHuqnzk

I don't think I've ever seen one full episode of Roseanne. I don't watch sitcoms as a rule.

Do you ever feel under appreciated?

Not where my gender is concerned. At times -- and this is not related to your post here -- I feel over-generalized. Generalization is natural -- there is a time and place for statistical measures, and there is a time and place to challenge one's ingrained perspective --, but some people don't know where to draw boundaries. Mostly, I don't like being told who I am or what my life is like on the basis of my chromosomal arrangement. But really, that's not something men endure; that's something people endure. For some reason, it bothers me most when people do it based on my gender though, more so than ethnicity, religious status, sexual identity or anything else.

Hi Belle,

    I think you actually get it... Thanks for posting this. There is so much pro-woman rhetoric around now-a-days that I think people are forgetting about men entirely. Just last week I saw an article comparing magazine covers (I think it was Time), showing covers with men consisting of head shots and covers of women consisting of full body shots and scant, if any, clothing. The article went of to whinge about the objectification of women in our culture but no one even brought up how men might feel about this...

So I thought about it. And this same article that is "objectifying" women is also de-valueing men's bodies. It's saying that women have personality, intelligence, AND their bodies are nice, translating that analysis to men, it's saying that men CAN'T/DON'T have bodies worth "objectifying".

That's probably not the clearest explaination of how I feel but I'm at work and need to get back to it.

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