August 30th, 2003

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12:41 pm - Confessions of a former gender apologist
A lot of my female friends lately have been expressing wonder (and disgust) about the alarming tendency towards male gender apologism. A girl can't set foot on the intarweb anymore without legions of men telling her how bad men suck, and how awful they are, and finally, shyly, setting forth the secret that "they're different." "What the hell is up with that?" women ask. Really, it's not hard to figure out. Look at the messages being constantly blasted into the social consciousness these days through mass media:

1. Expressing interest in a girl at work without her express permission is "Sexual Harassment" and can get you fired and/or sued. Whether or not you're her boss. Whether or not you're actually being a dick about it. The girl who thinks "I wish he'd just leave me alone" is a constantly promoted image; whereas the frustrated girl thinking "I wish he'd just take a chance" never gets any airplay at all. "No Means No" has wound up becoming "No Means You Already Went Too Far, Because She Should Never Have Had To Say No To You In The First Place, You Horrible Male Aggressor."

2. Damn near every movie we grew up with that had a central love interest theme featured the shy, sensitive nerd who originally had trouble getting the girl to notice him, but in the end rescues her from the horrible, aggressive alpha-male type that was using her terribly, thus winning her love forever. Watch enough of this pablum in your formative boyhood years, and you're going to almost inescapably wind up with the mistaken idea that girls all want men who are too shy to actually hit on them. Whoops!

3. The loudest feminine voices in media are generally the brashest feminist voices. Any random sample of mainstream media is far more likely to contain a line like "all sex is violence" than a line like "Dammit, I wish he'd just pin me down and fuck me hard." The very few female mainstream media voices that do promote any kind of dominant male behavior tend to be conservative christian nutjobs, which only hammers the nail in the coffin as far as the image of men acting like men as rational and acceptable behavior.

The net result? Most of the men who are sensitive enough to pay attention to their surroundings turn into gender-apologetic wimps because they think women hate their gender. Meanwhile, lots of women - most of whom do want some aggressive behavior from their men - wind up turning to total assholes to get their fix, because the assholes are the only ones insensitive enough to the constant media sandblasting to still act like men. This gets them even more irritated with the assholes, which in turn feeds yet more negative stereotyping towards non-passive-aggressive male behavior, which even more strongly feeds the more sensitive males' perception that they need to act like wimps, which... it's a nasty, vicious cycle.

Current Mood: thoughtful
Current Music: Tupac Shakur - Baby Don't Cry

(13 comments | Leave a comment)


From: babycola
Date: August 30th, 2003 - 03:12 pm
Thanks for this. :D

From: (Anonymous)
Date: August 30th, 2003 - 10:53 pm

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: August 30th, 2003 - 11:14 pm
I hate gender-apologetic wimps because they're disingenuous. It's just another sleazy, passive-agressive tactic to get into women's collective pants.
I dunno, Devi - I think that's maybe a little unfair. Sure, sometimes it's disingenuous, but I think more often it's just the result of socialization gone horribly awry.

"Passive-aggressive", I can't argue with.

[User Picture] From: fakie1080
Date: August 31st, 2003 - 05:55 am
I can't say I've ever apologised for being male. I do understand what you're getting at though. Many of the girls I know maon and bitch about not finding any "nice" guys then, in the same breath, bitch about this "really sleazy guy who told a rude joke..."

It really gets on my tits. Really. Cos they bitch and moan to me! And I would consider myself to be a nice guy. I have good manners and I am polite to people when I need to be polite to them. I treat (most) women with respect. But I never apologise for being me. Which is what I interpret your post as being an analysis of.

And you are dead right. "Friends" and "Will and Grace" have a lot to answer to I tell ya!

[User Picture] From: ravenword
Date: August 31st, 2003 - 06:23 am
Uh oh, don't insult "Will and Grace" in Jimbo's house!

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: August 31st, 2003 - 07:30 am


Yeah, don't be dissin' Will and Grace! Heh. Besides, I dunno if you can blame THAT particular show anyway - I mean, you have to watch ten episodes before you SEE a straight guy.

Hell, for that matter, Grace is always the one that takes the rap for why she never has a relationship, not the men themselves. (Damn you Laura, I wasn't actually PLANNING on defending the show... but now you got me thinking about it.)

[User Picture] From: buckylea
Date: August 31st, 2003 - 06:59 am
i can't remember anyone ever trying that tactic on me

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: August 31st, 2003 - 07:32 am
Australia isn't exactly known for gender-apologetic men.

But OTOH, I know for a fact you've seen that behavior plenty of times, because it's been around on the messageboards we've both been on over the past few years. =)

[User Picture] From: buckylea
Date: August 31st, 2003 - 07:35 am
really? who?
and wasn't all that kinda stuff a joke? i can't imagine anyone actually being like "ohhh, men are jerks, i'm sorry, give me a kiss". except for maybe blair. but he was more a sweet talker than an apologist.

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: August 31st, 2003 - 07:39 am
oh good GOD no, not Blair - he was no apologist. Hmm... it's actually more frequent on PenIs, but I know there were a few to wander in and out of WritingZ/UK back in the day. I can't remember names though. =(

Try checking out places like and the ladder theory website (can't be stuffed to look up the URL, google it) if you want to see massive infestations of it, though.

[User Picture] From: buckylea
Date: August 31st, 2003 - 07:41 am
oh i remember that technomule guy who was in love with me. yeah, he was a big sook.

[User Picture] From: lauracroft
Date: September 2nd, 2003 - 09:03 pm


Heh, no means no but you have to ask the question to get the answer!

Harrass me baby. Oh yeah! lol

[User Picture] From: paxbellator
Date: September 2nd, 2003 - 10:18 pm
I'm a referral from a referral...

This has much truth to it: I firmly fall into the category of a guy who acts like a wimp around women. This explains why I have a lot of success when I'm _trying_ to be an asshole, such as when my military buddies and I try and see who can get shot down the hardest.

Thanks for writing this.

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: September 3rd, 2003 - 05:17 am
This explains why I have a lot of success when I'm _trying_ to be an asshole, such as when my military buddies and I try and see who can get shot down the hardest.
That particular phenomenon got covered a while back, under Asshole Theory. =)

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