Men and Feelings

  • PaMedic

    Posts: 65

    Sep 29, 2008 12:46 AM GMT

    So many time I have heard the statement: "why are all the good looking, sensitive, mannered men gay? If they would just get with a good woman they would change their lifestyle." Maybe they should come up with what a "good woman" is before the give such a profound insight and try to understand our lifestyle and that we are happy with being gay.

    While women do not exclusively own the rights to insight men and their feelings, men, as a group, have a more difficult experience with understanding and dealing with feelings. Stereotypes aside that gay men are more sensitive, etc, we are still men socialized in a society in which big boys don't cry. We are apt to be less aware of what we feel, and more ready to charge into action than sit back and try to figure out what is going on. As gay couples made up of two men this can be a volatile situation as each man refuses to be the first to blink.

    Men often don't take kindly to the expression of feelings, and a fear exists, sometimes quite correctly, that serious consequences may occur if we let our feelings be known.

    I feel it is sad when there is a chance that a gay relationship would break up if one partner spoke up, if he said what he was feeling it could cost the relationship. Instead of letting something like this eat away at ones partnership being open with your feelings from the start does not allow things to fester. It is not a good idea at this point to relay to your partner all the items that has made him a jerk. If feelings are open from the start it lowers the anger factor in the issue. Which could be another forum for another day.

    I hope that this forum helps someone that is having problems expressing their feelings. Oh, just so you know "big boys do and should cry."

    Have A Wonderful Week!!
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    Sep 29, 2008 1:07 AM GMT
    Hear hear.

    we need more of this

    (Edited because Caslon is a bitch)
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    Sep 29, 2008 1:24 AM GMT
    hear hear (alternatively and wrongly thought to be 'here here') - an expression of agreement at a meeting - the expression is 'hear hear' (not 'here here' as some believe), and is derived from 'hear him, hear him' first used by a members of the British Parliament in attempting to draw attention and provide support to a speaker. The use of 'hear him, hear him' dated from the late 1500s according to Random House and the OED; the shortened 'hear hear' parliamentary expression seems to have developed in the late 1700s, since when its use has been more widely adopted, notably in recent times in local government and council meetings, committee meetings, formal debates, etc. Today the 'hear hear' expression could arguably be used by anyone in a meeting wanting to show support for a speaker or viewpoint expressed, although it will be perceived by many these days as a strange or stuffy way of simply saying 'I agree'. Let's face it, the House of Commons, home of the expression, is not the greatest example of modern constructive civilised debate and communications.

    http://www.businessballs.com/clichesorigins.htm

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    Sep 29, 2008 1:30 AM GMT
    Clearly a heartfelt post, which I respect. Still, I fall into the school of thought that says:

    "A man, is a man, is a man."

    I dislike a lot of self-reflection, because it is, after all, not manly. Too much self-reflection undermines the very thing that a man is.

    Just as we wear black tuxedos, so we men should be disinterested in drawing attention to ourselves, whether by outward appearance or inward emotion.

    Emotion is the domain of women. The focus of men is practicality, the solving of problems, the seeking of results.

    And this tenet applies to all men, whether gay or straight. The great mistake in our gay world is believing that gay men must be pseudo-women, poor parodies of the real thing.

    The reality is that a man is a man. The only difference is with our sexual attraction. I'm attracted to men, but gawd help the straight man who thinks I'm not as masculine as any other man who ever lived.

    I was raised to be well-mannered, but this is unrelated to my being gay. It's simply a function of my socio-economic class, not my sexual orientation.

    Most of these perceptions of gays are erroneous, and I'm annoyed when we ourselves perpetuate them.
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    Sep 29, 2008 1:39 AM GMT
    Red_Vespa I always enjoy reading your comments, and I agree with most of what you say. I have to say though, this is the exception.

    Could you give me a reason why men need to behave the way you describe? I find these views arbitrary and antiquated, but I'm curious to know why you feel that way.
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    Sep 29, 2008 1:42 AM GMT
    [quote][cite]Red_Vespa said[/cite]

    Emotion is the domain of women. The focus of men is practicality, the solving of problems, the seeking of results.

    And this tenet applies to all men, whether gay or straight. The great mistake in our gay world is believing that gay men must be pseudo-women, poor parodies of the real thing.


    I have to disagree with the first part. I don't think that showing emotion or feeling emotion is exclusively for women. I think it is perfectly fine for a guy to show emotion but not up to the point where he becomes a parody of himself. I don't believe that solving problems and seeking results and feeling emotion are mutually exclusive.

    I do agree with that many gay men believe that they must act and behave like women. I think that that is one of the things that makes us look bad in general and why many straight people see us as outcasts and pariahs.
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    Sep 29, 2008 2:12 AM GMT
    Red_Vespa saidClearly a heartfelt post, which I respect. Still, I fall into the school of thought that says:

    "A man, is a man, is a man."

    I dislike a lot of self-reflection, because it is, after all, not manly. Too much self-reflection undermines the very thing that a man is.

    Just as we wear black tuxedos, so we men should be disinterested in drawing attention to ourselves, whether by outward appearance or inward emotion.

    Emotion is the domain of women. The focus of men is practicality, the solving of problems, the seeking of results.

    And this tenet applies to all men, whether gay or straight. The great mistake in our gay world is believing that gay men must be pseudo-women, poor parodies of the real thing.

    The reality is that a man is a man. The only difference is with our sexual attraction. I'm attracted to men, but gawd help the straight man who thinks I'm not as masculine as any other man who ever lived.

    I was raised to be well-mannered, but this is unrelated to my being gay. It's simply a function of my socio-economic class, not my sexual orientation.

    Most of these perceptions of gays are erroneous, and I'm annoyed when we ourselves perpetuate them.


    This idea that you have to do this or that to be a man is ludicrous, if a guy wants to draw attention to him self by behaving in a certain way, I'd never think hes some how less of a man because of it, neither would I because he cried.

    A real man, in my eyes is not someone who try's to adhere to this arbitrary idea that you have to do this to be a man, to me, a real man, doesn't give a shit what anyone else thinks and is happy just being him self.

    and eh, I also understand where your coming from your generation was brought up that man must be tough and detached, he doesn't cry, he doesn't hurt, hes eternally strong and never shows any outward signs of weakness.. thats a hard thing to place aside when you've had a life time of that being ingrained into you by society.
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    Sep 29, 2008 2:51 AM GMT
    The idea that men must have no feelings, and that being introspective is tantamount to being weak can have grave consequences. There are many veterans who commit suicide because they are too proud to get counseling after returning from service.

    Having these romanticized images of what a men should be like serves no purpose other than to fuel men's paranoia that they must show the world how manly they are.
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    Sep 29, 2008 3:20 AM GMT
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ucda/20080928/lf_ucda/husbandconsumedbyregretafterdeathofbelovedwife;_ylt=AliIJetxa.PLa87dG.IeIglxFb8C

    Check it out..hopefully it will be an eye opener for the "macho" types.
  • Sayrnas

    Posts: 847

    Sep 29, 2008 12:08 PM GMT
    ...All I'm going to say is I've seen some dudes bleed some heart out like no other. (Yes! Accept the broken English!)

    But I do know what your talking about and I do think people in general need to communicate better.
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    Sep 29, 2008 1:17 PM GMT
    Bottling up your feelings and emotions just isn't healthy emotionally or psychologically.
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    Sep 29, 2008 1:27 PM GMT
    PaMedic saidSo many time I have heard the statement: "why are all the good looking, sensitive, mannered men gay? If they would just get with a good woman they would change their lifestyle." Maybe they should come up with what a "good woman" is before the give such a profound insight and try to understand our lifestyle and that we are happy with being gay.


    Men are dogs.

    The only reason some women might think we are sensitive and well mannered is because are are not trying to get up in their cooch.

    But, I find this 'men don't have feelings 'cause we are men damn it!' notion a quaint little trope of the 20th century.
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    Sep 29, 2008 1:52 PM GMT
    As a Myers-Briggs INFP -- and one who expresses a strong NFP preference -- I am one of the rare breed of men who thinks with his heart, not his head. INFPs represent approx. 4% of the male population. So, while I don't necessarily agree with Red_Vespa that men are purely analytical machines, I do concede that men are more typically wired for logic vs emotion. While growing up, I'd often hear the cliche that I "wear my heart on my sleeve," which was probably true. Implicit, though, was the underlying sentiment that I needed to "cowboy up" and become a "real man."

    That said, I do think that all men need to be in touch with their emotions, from time to time. Everyone has feelings, and men who bottle them up are mixing up a recipe for emotional and psychological breakdowns.

    As for crying, there was an old song lyric that described tears as washing the windows of the soul. That sentiment really resonates with me. I'm not saying that we should all become emotional basket cases, but there is a time and a season for tears. We should embrace those moments, as they are gifts and not curses.
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    Sep 29, 2008 2:21 PM GMT
    To build on Ruck_us's comment, I think that what passes for male and female ways of being have to do with the Thinking-Feeling dichotomy of the MBTI.

    • Thinkers tend to be logical and fair, and see obvious answers with the data presented to them. Thinkers tend to make quick decisions and reconsider them later.
    • Feelers tend to consider what will be best for the group and how decisions will play out in the long run. Feelers tend to take more time in making decisions as they are considering all options, but tend to not change them as readily.

    Thinking judgment works well with things. Feeling judgment works well with people. You need to use both, and the problems come with using Thinking judgment with people (We're moving the company to Thailand. Good luck finding a job.) and using Feeling judgement with things (Chocolate or Vanilla? Turning head to friend: "What are you having?")

    In US culture, 65% of men are Thinkers, and 65% of women are Feelers, but that leaves a large minority of those of us who are outside the cultural norm and don't comply to what's standard for the gender.

    As a dominant Extroverted Feeler (ENFJ), my mode tends to be to make sure that everyone is one the same page and we move forward. That tends to go against the "full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes" approach of many (including many politicians) in our country.

    My experience is while Feelers can see the benefit of Thinking judgment, many Thinkers can't value Feeling judgment, as it's too "girly", and they usually get themselves into troubles that Feelers could see coming a mile away.


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    Sep 29, 2008 3:44 PM GMT
    Good points, Matt45710. It's also worth pointing out that, of all the dichotomies between MBTI types, the J/P dichotomy is probably the one most responsible for interpersonal conflicts.

    "In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)."
    http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/

    Js prefer order, structure and decisiveness, whereas Ps prefer ambiguity, flexibility and abstraction. I would venture a guess that a majority of men fall into the J category. In my own experience, I've often been accused of being wishy-washy or indecisive. In my mind, nothing could be further from the truth; it's just that the pathway I take towards decision making is significantly different from the average Joe. I will resist a firm commitment until I am completely at peace with a given decision -- which sometimes is never.
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    Sep 29, 2008 4:06 PM GMT
    My experiences with men, gay or straight, is that men DO express their feelings......all the time. But men do it differently than women.

    I don't like to sit and talk a lot about feelings. A few honest words are enough to convey my feelings, and vica versa.

    First off, joking around, being sarcastic in a good way, and lively banter is a favorite way to express feelings. Especially with straight men. Gay men tend to be more sensitive and defensive, but straight men respect another guy who can dish it out without getting bitchy, resentful and holding a grudge.

    Second, most guys especially straight, can understand and even prefer that a guy get angry(not violent) and blow off steam.....raise his voice etc. Usually, after a few minutes, he is fine and calm. This is the nature of men. You can't change it. Unfortunately, I think in today's PC world, anyone who gets angry is considered a nut and unstable.

    Third, a guy will let himself cry in the privacy of a friend or two. The freinds are totally supportive. But the next day, the friends won't even mention the crying. Men like it that way.
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    Sep 29, 2008 4:20 PM GMT
    dowal saidRed_Vespa I always enjoy reading your comments, and I agree with most of what you say. I have to say though, this is the exception.

    Could you give me a reason why men need to behave the way you describe? I find these views arbitrary and antiquated, but I'm curious to know why you feel that way.


    Sure! And thanks for the compliment, and also the critique, delivered in a well-mannered, gentlemanly way. LOL!

    Actually I'm quite serious, not being sarcastic for once, although also looking for a lighter topic after all the grim political stuff I've been writing in other threads. Your polite question is a perfect demonstration of how a man should behave, in my view (and which I don't always practice myself in the politics wars).

    But there's also this issue of emotions, and I see some other comments here that likewise take me to task on this. "Brokeback Mountain" has been mentioned, and when I saw it with my BF, he broke into tears in the theatre, first time I'd ever seen him cry like that. And the largely gay audience was crying loudly, too, almost like at a funeral.

    And I was like: "It's just a SHIRT, for gawd's sakes!"

    So I honestly can't tell you if my disdain for tender emotions in men is because of logical reasons, or just projecting my own personality into the debate, or a little of both.

    I do know that during my 25 years in the Army any "soft" emotions were unwelcome, while emotions of a harsher nature were encouraged at times. Emotions that might interfere with the mission or reduce a soldier's combat effectiveness were not tolerated, and even expressing them when "off-duty" might mean they'd inappropriately surface in combat.

    Better to purge them completely, not have them at all. This idea of emotional "weakness" is also one of the arguments that's been used to oppose women being allowed in combat.

    I also wonder (and it's just speculation I've read and thought about) how much human evolution is a factor. The theory is that early men had to face great dangers in hunting and to survive a hostile world, where steely, direct action was more crucial than reflective behavior.

    Whereas for women, in a domestic role, tender and empathetic behavior contributed to infant survival. Each gender cultivated the emotions that best fit their respective roles over hundreds of thousands of years. Both genders had the same range of emotions, but favored those most useful for each.

    Well these days, when not confronting sabre-toothed tigers in my back yard, or leading a bayonet charge against one of my more annoying neighbors, why can't I be more like my weepy BF watching Brokeback? It comes back to my concept of what's "fitting."

    And before you yell "cop-out!" consider this: if men don't have a certain role and image in society, then why don't we all wear pretty dresses instead of business suits, with lots of makeup? Lord knows a few of us want to.

    I mentioned "black tux" in my first post here for that very reason, as a reminder that we all have some kind of male & female images, lines that we don't cross, or like seeing crossed. For me it's excessive emotionalism.

    Not that I can't cry. I became absolutely hysterical when my late partner literally died in my arms of AIDS, no "tough guy" that time. And for nearly a year afterwards I'd suddenly, without warning, collapse into fits of crying, irrationally yelling "I want my Craig back!" over and over.

    I admit my earlier essay relied on hyperbole too much, a fault I'll blame on my heated exchanges in the political threads for influencing my other posts. And also on my pet peeve about stereotypical images of gay men, which I dragged into the topic without much good effect.

    Thanks again for your comment, dowal!
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    Sep 29, 2008 5:04 PM GMT
    Caslon7000 saidhear hear (alternatively and wrongly thought to be 'here here') - an expression of agreement at a meeting - the expression is 'hear hear' (not 'here here' as some believe), and is derived from 'hear him, hear him' first used by a members of the British Parliament in attempting to draw attention and provide support to a speaker.



    Isn't it originally 'hear ye, hear ye?' as in 'listen to what I say?' icon_razz.gif

    *shrugs* oh well, that's my own theory at least. ;P

    As to the topic, here's a paraphrase from a recent movie I watched, Love And Other Disasters (which is awesome, I recommend it! XD)

    Jacks: At the the end of the day, all straight men want one thing, and you know what that is?

    Paolo: Sex?

    Jacks: Control.

    Haha. icon_biggrin.gif
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Sep 29, 2008 5:04 PM GMT
    Many a man has been F**ked up because they have been told

    ... Keep everything inside and Bigboys don't cry

    Men feel every emotion that women do
    We don't express them in the same way
    but we defintiely feel them
    Love
    hate
    lust
    longing
    despair.. sadness
    men are alot less verbal than women
    and many men don't like to TALK problems out
    but would much rather DO something instead
    we're the doers instead of the sayers
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    Sep 29, 2008 7:35 PM GMT
    I think it's largely socialization. I was raised under the concept of crying=weakness. Now, although I know that isn't true, it has been ingrained in me. I rarely cry in 'real life' situations. In the past decade, I've cried 3 times. (breakup with ex of 14 years, at the wake of my father, when one of my dogs was euthanized.) The only other time I would 'well up' at best would be watching a sad movie alone, or being put in a totally helpless position.
    I think it is a great thing to be able to let it out occasionally and I envy those that can.
    As for the difference between men and women, men tend to accept their feelings as is or ignore them, whereas women tend to analyze them to death. Women are not 'more in-touch' with their feelings, they are more emotional because society promotes that. Being sensitive, doesn't have to be automatically correlated to being overly emotional. It is being aware, and empathetic. The stereotype correlates them. Flaming queen = sensitive man. I know quite a few extraordinarily masculine men (both gay and straight) who are extremely sensitive. For those men, there is no connection between masculinity and sensitivity for they are both at the same time. If you believe that one is mutually exclusive of the other, then you have (or will have) other problems to solve. Consider the stereotype of 'tops' and 'bottoms'. It's usually top=masculine and bottom=feminine. I have found that this to be counter to the majority of men I know who identify with as exclusively top or exclusively bottom. The stereotype persists though because it uses a flawed inductive argument (e.g. receiver=feminine in anatomical sense).
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    Sep 30, 2008 6:45 PM GMT
    sn0dawg saidHey guys just here wondering if you guys are interested in joining manhunt.net its $20.00 For 90 day trial. Since gay.com is down.
    You're soon to be toast buddy...better run now before they zap you.
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    Sep 30, 2008 8:11 PM GMT
    eb925guy said
    sn0dawg saidHey guys just here wondering if you guys are interested in joining manhunt.net its $20.00 For 90 day trial. Since gay.com is down.
    You're soon to be toast buddy...better run now before they zap you.


    They hunted dat bitch down and shes been taken care of!
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    Sep 30, 2008 8:28 PM GMT
    I'm not on the sensitive end of the spectrum! I tend to be one not to really express myself in regards to being 'hurt' or what have you. However, if you piss me off, I'm quick with the verbal assault/slashing; just never was taught to really share my feelings/emotions, however I feel that I am doing MUCH better as I get older, I can ONLY hope!
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    Sep 30, 2008 8:51 PM GMT
    I think it is so telling that we as a culture have deemed masculinity as attainable rather than innate. Men must prove their masculinity, fight for it, work for it, defend it, even kill for it or in the name of it. They need to be raised "into a man" or "become a man" they aren't men simply by birthright, but needing a "strong father" to "set them right." I feel the wounds of those that are driven to prove their masculinity, because (to paraphrase Terrence Real), as they were taught to grow a pair of balls like their father rather than being loved by their father. We weren't reminded that we already have them to begin with, and that our hearts instantaneously matter more to our survival than what's between our legs.
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    Sep 30, 2008 9:06 PM GMT
    I've been known to wear my heart on my sleeve. You'll always know how I feel even if I tell you the following day. It usually takes me a day to internalize what it is that's going on through my head before I express it.