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!