Are You A Mangina?
April 6, 2007
Every now and then you’ll see the word “Mangina’ pop up in one of our posts. For those who do not know what one is. Fred X has done a great job on his blog defining what the Mangina is.
Sometimes referred to as pro-feminist, sell-out or traitor, this pathetic excuse would rather ruin his fellow man’s lives with falsehoods and misinformation.
Often spawned from feminist mothers and raised alongside ‘empowered’ females, the Mangina will often sell his soul in order to attain one-night stands.
In other cases, the Mangina will suffer from a deep self-loathing, which manifests itself into campaigning for all things that will hinder his ‘oppressive’ gender.
The Mangina is not a friend of the Men’s Movement and must be treated with contempt at all times.
Sue: My husband received a 1st in his thesis yesterday.
Gina: What was the subject?
Sue: A Feminist Perspective on Patriarchal Western Civilization: The Role of The Trans-gendered ‘Other’ in a Male-Dominated Environment.
Gina: Mangina Studies then.
Many women are not fans of the Mangina either. According to Cinnamon Stillwell:
There are some it seems who would like to do away with the notion of masculinity altogether. Robert Jensen, a journalism professor at the University of Texas, wrote as much in an October 2006 column, “Men Being Men Is a Bad Deal: Guys Should Evolve Beyond Masculinity.” Jensen’s column provoked an avalanche of laughter and scorn on talk radio and the blogosphere. Not only did Jensen come across as, well, a wimp, but his demonizing of manhood missed the mark. In equating masculinity with all things violent, Jensen underestimates his own s*x. For masculinity is not only about being a warrior. The manly virtues include character, confidence, honor, inner strength, pride, responsibility, loyalty, generosity, industry and dignity. To eliminate masculinity would be to eliminate the positive along with the negative.
Similarly, the natural and instinctive traits that constitute womanhood need not be exclusive of adaptations to modern life. Women should not have to apologize for their femininity, just as men should not have to apologize for their masculinity.”
Now if you want to read the words written by Mangina Jensen, here’s a sampling (The Dump Your Wife Now! Staff does not post entire works from Manginas). If you feel compelled, just copy and paste the link into your browser below:
Men being men is a bad deal: Guys should evolve beyond masculinity by Robert Jensen – Sunday, October 8, 2006
It’s hard to be a man; hard to live up to the demands that come with the dominant conception of masculinity, of the tough guy.
So, guys, I have an idea — maybe it’s time we stop trying. Maybe this masculinity thing is a bad deal, not just for women, but for us.
We need to get rid of the whole idea of masculinity. It’s time to abandon the claim that there are certain psychological or social traits that inherently come with being biologically male. If we can get past that, we have a chance to create a better world for men and women.
That dominant conception of masculinity in U.S. culture is easily summarized: Men are assumed to be naturally competitive and aggressive, and being a real man is therefore marked by the struggle for control, conquest and domination. A man looks at the world, sees what he wants and takes it. Men who don’t measure up are wimps, sissies, girls. The worst insult one man can h at another — whether it’s boys on the playground or CEOs in the boardroom — is the accusation that a man is like a woman. Although the culture acknowledges that men can in some situations have traits traditionally associated with women (caring, compassion, tenderness), in the end it is men’s strength-expressed-as-toughness that defines us and must trump any female-like softness. Those aspects of masculinity must prevail for a man to be a “real man.”
That’s not to suggest, of course, that every man adopts that view of masculinity. But it is endorsed in key institutions and activities — most notably in business, the military and athletics — and is reinforced through the mass media. It is particularly expressed in the way men — straight and g*y alike — talk about sexuality and act sexually. And our culture’s male heroes reflect those characteristics: They most often are men who take charge rather than seek consensus, seize power rather than look for ways to share it, and are willing to be violent to achieve their goals.
That view of masculinity is dangerous for women. It leads men to seek to control “their” women and define their own pleasure in that control, which leads to epidemic levels of r**e and battery. But this view of masculinity is toxic for men as well.
If masculinity is defined as conquest, it means that men will always struggle with each other for dominance. In a system premised on hierarchy and power, there can be only one king of the hill. Every other man must in some way be subordinated to the king, and the king has to always be nervous about who is coming up that hill to get him. A friend who once worked on Wall Street — one of the pre-eminent sites of masculine competition — described coming to work as like walking into a knife fight when all the good spots along the wall were taken. Masculinity like this is life lived as endless competition and threat.
No one man created this system, and perhaps none of us, if given a choice, would choose it. But we live our lives in that system, and it deforms men, narrowing our emotional range and depth. It keeps us from the rich connections with others — not just with women and children, but other men — that make life meaningful but require vulnerability.
This doesn’t mean that the negative consequences of this toxic masculinity are equally dangerous for men and women. As feminists have long pointed out, there’s a big difference between women dealing with the possibility of being r***d, beaten and k*lled by the men in their lives, and men not being able to cry. But we can see that the short-term material gains that men get are not adequate compensation for what we men give up in the long haul — which is to surrender part of our humanity to the project of dominance.
Of course there are obvious physical differences between men and women — average body size, hormones, reproductive organs. There may be other differences rooted in our biology that we don’t understand. Yet it’s also true that men and women are more similar than we are different, and that given the pernicious effects of centuries of patriarchy and its relentless devaluing of things female, we should be skeptical of the perceived differences.
What we know is simple: In any human population, there is wide individual variation. While there’s no doubt that a large part of our behavior is rooted in our DNA, there’s also no doubt that our genetic endowment is highly influenced by culture. Beyond that, it’s difficult to say much with any certainty. It’s true that only women can bear children and breast-feed. That fact likely has some bearing on aspects of men’s and women’s personalities. But we don’t know much about what the effect is, and given the limits of our tools to understand human behavior, it’s possible we may never know much.
At the moment, the culture seems obsessed with gender differences, in the context of a recurring intellectual fad (called “evolutionary psychology” this time around, and “sociobiology” in a previous incarnation) that wants to explain all complex behaviors as simple evolutionary adaptations — if a pattern of human behavior exists, it must be because it’s adaptive in some ways. In the long run, that’s true by definition. But in the short-term it’s hardly a convincing argument to say, “Look at how men and women behave so differently; it must be because men and women are fundamentally different” when a political system has been creating differences between men and women.
From there, the argument that we need to scr@p masculinity is fairly simple. To illustrate it, remember back to right after 9/11. A number of commentators argued that criticisms of masculinity should be rethought. Cannot we now see — recognizing that male firefighters raced into burning buildings, risking and sometimes sacrificing their lives to save others — that masculinity can encompass a kind of strength that is rooted in caring and sacrifice? Of course men often exhibit such strength, just as do women. So, the obvious question arises: What makes these distinctly masculine characteristics? Are they not simply human characteristics?
We identify masculine tendencies toward competition, domination and violence because we see patterns of differential behavior; men are more prone to such behavior in our culture. We can go on to observe and analyze the ways in which men are socialized to behave in those ways, toward the goal of changing those destructive behaviors. That analysis is different from saying that admirable human qualities present in both men and women are somehow primarily the domain of one gender. To assign them to a gender is misguided and demeaning to the gender that is then assumed to not possess them to the same degree. Once we start saying “strength and courage are masculine traits,” it leads to the conclusion that woman are not as strong or courageous.
Of course, if we are going to jettison masculinity, we have to scr@p femininity along with it. We have to stop trying to define what men and women are going to be in the world based on extrapolations from physical s*x differences. That doesn’t mean we ignore those differences when they matter, but we have to stop assuming they matter everywhere.
I don’t think the planet can long survive if the current conception of masculinity endures. We face political and ecological challenges that can’t be met with this old model of what it means to be a man. At the more intimate level, the stakes are just as high. For those of us who are biologically male, we have a simple choice: We men can settle for being men, or we can strive to be human beings.
Robert Jensen is a professor of journalism at the University of Texas. His most recent book was “Writing Dissent: Taking Radical Ideas From the Margins to the Mainstream (2001).” This piece appeared on Alternet.com. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In response, Cinammon Stillwell serves it up nicely to him:
Experts Discover Men And Women Are Different! by Cinnamon Stillwell – Friday, December 29, 2006
When it was revealed that scientific studies published in the new book “The Female Brain” demonstrate that women talk more than men, many of us responded with a collective shrug. Anyone who has ever been in a relationship with a member of the opposite s*x — whether romantic, familial or friendly — knows that women talk more than men. A lot more.
“The Female Brain” indicates that not only do women talk three times as much as men, but they also get a chemical rush in their brains from hearing their own voices. This may explain why women describe “feeling better” after talking about problems or issues in their lives, beyond the mere relief of getting it off their chest.
But what is most fascinating about the book is the background of its author. A neuropsychiatrist at the University of California, San Francisco, and the head of a female mood and hormone clinic in San Francisco, Dr. Louann Brizendine is also a self-described feminist. In putting forward the results of clinical work and scientific analysis, Brizendine was forced to concede that everything she had been taught about gender was wrong. That is, men and women really are different. As she put it, “I know it is not politically correct to say this but I’ve been torn for years between my politics and what science is telling us. I believe women actually perceive the world differently from men.”
None of this will come as a surprise to those already attuned to the politically incorrect reality of gender differentiation, but for those indoctrinated in the feminist school of gender uniformity, Brizendine’s words are heresy. While correctly focusing on egalitarianism between the sexes, the post-1960s feminist movement has all too often confused gender equality with gender sameness. Consequently, at a time when college students can graduate with degrees in Gender Studies, there seems to be a marked lack of acknowledgment about the differences between men and women.
The attempts by the burgeoning transgender movement to prove that gender itself is meaningless add to the confusion. Rather than a fixed notion, they see gender as something fluid. This works well to the advantage of those who do feel, whether for medical or psychological reasons, that they inhabit some gender nether zone. The problem is, with the exception of cases of physically hermaphroditic children, one’s s*x is biologically determined at birth.
Granted, we all have feminine and masculine traits and there are always exceptions to the rule. But any parent who has given dolls to little boys only to see their heads torn off or fire trucks to little girls only to see the vehicles tucked into bed at night knows that gender uniformity can’t be enforced. These differences come naturally.
Gender variance exists even among same-s*x couples. It’s not uncommon to see one partner taking on a more feminine role and the other a more masculine one. Whether it be “butch-femme” L*****n couples or a “bear” with a “nelly” on the male side of the equation, male and female roles often come into play. It seems that even when gender differences are not a factor, human beings find a way to adopt them.
The entertainment industry is big on pushing the gender envelope. Whether consciously or not, the progenitors of pop culture help to perpetuate a kind of gender role reversal. Women have become tough and controlling, while men are seen as weak and indecisive.
Since the influence of martial arts films on U.S. markets began, audiences have been treated to countless film and television scenes of petite lasses duking it out with big bruisers. The TV show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” was a case in point. But at least Buffy’s bad-guy butt-kicking was explained through her having supernatural powers. It has now become far more commonplace to see mere mortal female characters punching people in the face on a moment’s notice, beating up or overpowering men and taking the romantic or s****l lead. Far from empowering women in reality, these fantasy scenarios put forward unrealistic expectations and a false sense of security.
The gravity-defying female fighters of the “Charlie’s Angels” films, the demure Southern belle Daisy Duke whose high heel ends up lodged in a man’s throat in “The Dukes of Hazzard,” the cold, cruel Taser-wielding blonde on the TV show “Smith” and the perennially bed-hopping Samantha character in “s*x and the City” are all examples of this trend. Even Hermione, the smart young heroine of the “Harry Potter” film series, slugs the annoying Malfoy in the face in the third installment.
In other words, the leading lady has become the leading man, and a not terribly charming one at that.
In contrast, too many of today’s leading men — if they can be called that — are content to let women take the reins. TV shows are populated with male characters — usually police officers or detectives — who stand meekly by as their much more confident and assured female counterparts (who often happen to be their bosses) lead them by the hand. An episode from the first season of “Heroes” featured one such male character, with superpowers no less. Still, he was content to tag along in the rear as his aggressive female partner charged into a violent suspect’s home instead of calling for backup. The fact that she and other such female characters typically weigh only 90 pounds and have more intimidating hairdos than they do physical prowess seems to make little difference.
When male characters do exhibit masculine traits on TV, they are often made to look like fools in the process. Sitcoms such as “According to Jim” and “King of Queens” — featuring overweight, average-looking husbands married to gorgeous, skinny wives — are a prime culprit. The man is usually portrayed as a complete schlub who couldn’t find his ear from his elbow without the guidance of his far intellectually superior wife.
The emergence of metrosexuality, or straight men exhibiting the traits of g*y men, can be blamed in part for the decline of masculinity. All around San Francisco, one can see evidence of the trend. From men getting manicures, pedicures and waxings to wearing outfits that are just a touch too matching to fawning over small fluffy dogs, the metros appear to be taking over. And TV shows such as “q***r Eye for the Straight Guy” are not helping. While no one can deny that many straight men need assistance in the fashion department, it has traditionally been a woman’s role to provide it. But now we have g*y men doing the honors and, if you ask me, overdoing it. Even a makeover must acknowledge the reality of male clothing and toiletry habits. The stylish fellows on “q***r Eye” may school allegedly clueless straight men in the joys of astringent and pink ties, but any woman knows those items will be dispensed with at the first opportunity.
While g*y men are welcome to be as in touch with their feminine side as they like, straight men would do well to ignore it. For what woman would want a man who cannot go a week without buying beauty products, let alone guard hearth and home? Those who acknowledge the reality of gender differences know this instinctively, while those who pretend they are meaningless are affronted when one dares speak the truth. But most women, on a biological and often conscious level, are looking for a provider and protector in a man, among other things. Yet the metrosexual revolution would have us believe that women are yearning for nothing more in a man than another girlfriend.
Another disturbing offshoot of this trend is the public preponderance of men hugging, telling other men they “love” them and crying on a moment’s notice. Anyone who has witnessed the unseemly weeping of certain male politicians in recent years (former President George Bush and Ohio Sen. George Voinovich come to mind) knows that men crying in public is not a good thing. Wh@t#ver happened to the strong silent type? The male movie stars of yesteryear provided some good examples. Men with the quiet strength of Gary Cooper, the warmth and humility of Jimmy Stewart or the laconic toughness of Robert Mitchum were the real deal. Hold the tears.
As a society, we would do better to accept our differences instead of turning men and women into bland imitations of each other. For it is the very dissimilarities between the genders that make them complementary — the veritable yin and yang. Not only do we balance each other out, in the best of circumstances, but learning to adapt to our more challenging variations strengthens us as human beings. And it certainly makes life a lot more interesting.
Vive la différence!