Don’t Tell Me To Smile; A Feminist Rant.

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6 thoughts on “Don’t Tell Me To Smile; A Feminist Rant.

  1. People openly showing concern for your emotional state is one of the many annoyances of living in a patriarchal society which cares more for women’s health, happiness and wellbeing than it does for men’s. This is epitomised by the practice of “women and children first”. It is also common for news headlines to say “Six people died in the crash, including two women”.

    There are obvious biological reasons why we are hardwired and socialised to care more about women’s needs than men’s. In terms of pure survival in harsh conditions (ie most of human history) it paid to raise boys to disregard their own emotions, comfort and safety and to value a woman’s emotions, comfort and safety – often above their own. This ensured men went out and gathered the right resources to keep his pregnant/ nursing/ child rearing mate and their children alive.

    Even today we raise boys to create a male identity based on their service to the family and community – literally their ‘job title’…. whereas we raise girls to create an identity based on their femininity (their biology).

    As a result we show no concern to men who have nothing to offer society in terms of resources and utility. And it is generally considered a slight on a man’s ‘manliness’ (his male identity) to show concern to a man in public. Men are *supposed* to suppress their emotions and suffer in silence in a patriarchal society. We call men who do this ‘heroes’ and ‘manly men’. Rugged, macho, emotionless, stoic men are a well established female fantasy, because these are the men which have the best chance of protecting and providing resources for women.

    Likewise the smiling, happy, youthful, clear skinned, glossy haired, curvy, slim woman is the best indication to a man that she is a good candidate to bear his children. And if they are already in a relationship it tells him he is providing the right resources for her and that she is not lacking anything.

    So I guess you could say that men are more concerned with making women happy than women are concerned with making men happy ;)

    A man will feel happy just looking at picture book full of smiling, youthful, healthy looking women. He does not need to know any more about them.

    But a woman looking at a picture book just full of smiling men will not feel so satisfied. To find them appealing she needs to know what they can do for HER, what their status is in the hierarchy, what resources they can provide. This is why male pin up calendars typically show men performing various tasks and gathering resources (firemen, construction worker, soldier etc). Women require this information to judge a man as attractive and appealing. They are not so concerned about the men’s emotional state.

    I think it’s a bit unfair to just blame men for showing concern towards your un-smiley face. Don’t forget all the millions of women out there who use their smile (and their not-smile) to cue men into doing stuff for them. They are the ones who have trained men to view your lack of a smile as a ‘distress signal’ and a cue for men to ‘do something’.

    “…If you want me to smile, give me a hundred dollar bill and I will smile…”

    Exactly :)

    • Thank you for your comment, however I will not blame women for the problems patriarchy has created – those you mention such as men caring more for women’s well-being than a man’s instead of caring equally for both men and women. Also, it is incorrect to say women are not concerned about men’s emotional well-being.

      Women did not create the so-called rugged macho man fantasy. It was constructed in a male-dominated society to fulfill their own power fantasy.

      • I did not mean to sound like I was blaming women – at least no more than men.

        The trouble with the ‘patriarchy theory’ which forms the basis of feminism is that it’s a theory which is entirely focussed on blaming men for everything. So when providing counter- arguments to patriarchy theory it’s easy to end up sounding like you’re saying that women are to blame for everything instead of men.

        But I don’t think it’s helpful – or even accurate – to discuss these issues in terms of ‘blame’ at all. At best ‘blaming’ men or ‘blaming’ women is far too simplistic to describe our complex male/ female relationships which have evolved over centuries, and even millennia.

        “.. I will not blame women for the problems patriarchy has created..”

        Then you are defining women as inert objects with no agency who are at the mercy of men. That’s pretty insulting to women, and totally disempowering.

        Also ‘patriarchy’ has benefited women in numerous ways over the centuries, so by your reasoning men are equally responsible for all the good stuff too…like ensuring men had to sign a contract agreeing to provide resources for a woman for life, before he even got to have sex with her….. going to fight wars and not demanding women ‘man up’ and fight them too…. doing all the hard manual labour and not demanding women pull their weight and help out …. allowing women to enjoy fine clothes and jewellery – as much as they could afford – while wearing much less fine clothes himself ….. making chivalry part of normal social etiquette….. making rape the most universally condemned crime, such that men will often murder other men who are convicted rapists…. inventing all sorts of cool gadgets, medicines, and other cool things which have benefitted women exclusively …… and so on.

        The fact is the so called ‘patriarchy’ (ie traditional gender roles and traditional gender identity) originated out of a need to SURVIVE as a species in a world without technology where starvation was common. Even in the ‘west’ whole communities regularly starved only a few generations ago.

        The traditional gender roles were not ideal for men or women but they ensured survival for both men and women – and especially for women! The so called ‘patriarchy’ has always placed a higher value on women’s health, safety, comfort and emotional wellbeing than it has on men’s.

        If 50 men and 50 women survived a plane crash on a remote island they would soon adopt traditional gender roles because they are the strategy for survival in harsh environments. Feminists who chose to NOT form partnerships of divided labour with men would die. Simple as that!

        You might think of being a housewife and primary caregiver to children as ‘oppressive’ today, but 200, 500 or 5000 years ago it was far more preferable than the jobs that most men did – like working down coal mines, fishing in wooden boats, ploughing fields, building stone roads by hand, or going off to fight in a war….

        This is why women did not try to join men in traditionally male jobs until AFTER new technology (invented mostly by men) made working conditions outside the home much more safe, pleasant and efficient – and much less labour intensive – and a largely indoor experience (ie the modern office or mechanised factory).

        But ‘patriarchy theory’ would have us believe that throughout history women campaigned to do what men did – like build roads by hand – but that men said “GO AWAY YOU WOMEN – BREAKING OUR BACKS BUILDING ROADS BY HAND IS OUR PRIVILEGE TO BE ENJOYED ONLY BY MEN!”

        When you think about patriarchy theory for a few minutes you realise just how silly it is.

        Feminism is a dishonest movement because it emphasises all of the disadvantages for women of traditional gender roles and ignores all of the advantages….. and it emphasises all of the advantages for men and ignores all of their disadvantages.

        And to make matters even worse feminism totally rejects the idea that women had any agency in society, and thus any active part in defining those gender roles. If, as a feminist, you refuse to acknowledge women’s active role (not least as mothers!) in defining future gender roles and gender identity then you are, by definition, defining women as inferior to men.

        This is why ‘patriarchy theory’ is absolutely insulting and disempowering to women because it defines women as inert objects, with no agency, no autonomy, no responsibility for their actions …. who for thousands of years have been acted upon by men like stupid, weak, helpless dolls.

        This is simply not true. Women have had *at least* an equal hand in defining gender roles, and probably have been more responsible than men, seeing as how women have always been the primary caregivers raising the children. And women have a much higher biological need to define gender roles because a women requires men to provide resources for her every time she gets pregnant and has a child.

        “…Women did not create the so-called rugged macho man fantasy. It was constructed in a male-dominated society to fulfill their own power fantasy….”

        If that was true then women would respect and find appealing men who behaved more like women….. men who were concerned with THEIR OWN safety, appearance, comfort, protection, individuality, self expression and health. Men who, like women, were seeking a partner who would offer them protection and resources. Men who, like women, generally avoided doing manual labour and dangerous jobs.

        But this is not the case at all. These kinds of men might be regarded as OK for the friend zone, but they are totally unattractive to most women and often ridiculed and shamed for being ‘unmanly’. In WWI women even gave pacifists who refused to go to war a white flower as a symbol of their disapproval and to make them feel ashamed. It basically meant “If you’re not prepared to go and die for us, don’t expect to ever get to have sex with us”.

        Women have ALWAYS shamed men who don’t ‘man up’. Studies have shown that men would choose to earn far less, and be far less aggressive in the workplace if they didn’t feel the constant pressure to be the ‘alpha male’ for their wives/ girlfriends.

        In other words, if it wasn’t for women’s desires and standards for boyfriends/ husbands, men would be a lot more like women and choose comfort and safety – rather than risk and aggression.

        Most women practically orgasm at the sight of a ‘man in uniform’. A man in uniform just means a man dressed up in the costume of a hired assassin. And these kinds of murderous men are a common female fantasy! If enough women decided to socially ostracise these hired killers (AKA ‘soldiers’) and refuse to have sex with any man in that occupation, all wars would end over night. No question.

        It might appear that men dominate, but to a very large extent they are acting under orders…. and these orders come from society at large, and from the parents who raised them, and form their (potential) wives / girlfriends …. that means the order come from women at least as much as they come from other men.

        “…You may be interested in learning about Men’s Right’s Activism. This seems to align with your opinions more-so than feminism…”

        The reason why I choose to stick up for men is because they are not guilty of oppressing women. At least no more so than women are guilty of oppressing men.

        If recognising how men can also be victims and sticking up for men’s rights is a problem for feminists then that is also a clear admission that feminism is not about equality after all.

        Equality has to be blind to gender, otherwise it is not equality.

        FWIW a lot of women are choosing to support men’s rights and/ or challenge feminist theory.

        Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the issues raised by feminists are valid, it’s just the feminist spin on it which is all wrong. Not all women are stupid, helpless, weak, inert, objects at the mercy of evil, clever, cunning, scheming, sociopathic men.

        It is feminism itself which promotes a male power fantasy!

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