Masculinity, so fragile

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Painboy
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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by Painboy » 04 Jun 2019, 17:15

lunchstealer wrote:
04 Jun 2019, 16:12
Jasper wrote:
04 Jun 2019, 09:28
OK, yes. Makes sense; the 'other-ing' component of the incels' dysfunction makes them worse.

Like, murderers vs. suicides. In some cases, literally.
This is something I've been pondering WRT mass public shootings.

They're hugely self-destructive acts, often ending with suicide-by-cop or straight suicide. Even when they don't, there's pretty much an expectation that you'll pretty much never see the outside of a prison.

I kind of feel like they're often* a suicide alternative or a way of forcing the issue of self-destruction without taking on the burden of suicide.

So I feel that part of the solution to public mass shootings is to change our approach to suicide. Right now we try to avoid suicides at almost all costs. Suicide - even the possibility of suicide - is an outlet for hopelessness, despair, and anxiety. Knowing you have a way out if necessary makes it easier to cope with problems. Acknowledging this stuff often helps diffuse the crisis, so acknowledging suicidal ideation often ends or strongly mitigates that suicidal ideation. But right now, people tend to hear that you're thinking of suicide and freak right the fuck out, to the point of calling the cops who might shoot the potential suicide victim in order prevent the suicide victim from committing suicide.

People currently denounce suicide as the worst outcome and call people who commit suicide 'selfish' for reasons that are mostly foreign to me. Catholicism, of course, sees it as a mortal sin. All of this serves to make suffering people see suicide as not an option, which keeps them feeling trapped and frustrated and ultimately leads them to see homicide as not worse.

I'd prefer a different heirarchy. Getting treatment should still be top priority, but if treatment just does not work to alleviate suffering, and especially if you're starting to feel violently resentful to people around you, suicide is a better way to alleviate suffering than homicide. I feel like we should destigmatize suicide somewhat so that there's not a 'well why not go out in a blaze of anger if everything's fucked anyway' feeling that makes suicidal people more willing to incorporate a mass shooting or killing their domestic partner or family or coworkers into their final burn-it-all-to-the-ground blaze-of-glory exit.

*Not always the case - James Holmes for example was pretty much just a combination of psychopath and possible schizophrenic (which I think is a pretty rare combo, even among mass-shooters) and had been ideating homicide for years and built a weirdly psychotic** view of attaining value by killing multiple people.

**a term which should not be confused with psychopathy, the former meaning 'disconnected from reality' while the latter means incapable of empathy and with reduced capacity for impulse control.
That's an interesting take on it but I wonder if it's missing the impotence angle. Not clinical impotence, just the lack of power they have, and especially feel, in this world. They can post a thousand times all over the internet and Facebook and still feel like they are a drop in the ocean. Their lack of sexual conquest a constant reminder they are nobody. I think the violence might be an attempt to wield ultimate power, however briefly, over others. The suicide more of a way of not having to deal with the consequences of their actions than an expression of their despair.

The scenario that I'm familiar with for suicide by cop usually involves an attempt not to actually get others hurt while attempting to trick the cops into firing on the person trying to commit suicide. That doesn't really fit in with what I've seen about mass shooters.

Of course all this is a lot speculation as we can't contact the dead and ask what they were thinking at the time.

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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by Jennifer » 04 Jun 2019, 17:48

The fact that a lot of incel forums speak admiringly of "Saint Elliot" (Elliot Rodger the Isla Vista killer and IIRC the first person to make headlines specifically as an incel-motivated mass murderer) does much to make the rest of humanity look at them with a gimlet eye, too. Ultimately, their attitude is an extreme, exaggerated, hyper-toxic version of a (sadly) commonplace attitude in our society: if a man is attracted to a woman, the woman therefore incurs SOME type of obligation. From the incels' self-serving point of view, therefore, they're not killing anyone who doesn't deserve it. (For that matter, after Rodger's spree kill I remember certain reprehensible "news" outlets such as the Daily Mail running articles about the former classmate on whom Rodger had a crush when they were both ten years old*. Granted,the newspaper did not come out and explicitly SAY "These murders were her fault, because she did not return a classmate's affections back in fifth grade," but they sure as hell implied it.)

*EDIT: I remembered that detail wrong; just checked and it was actually "she was 10 and he was 12." Not that it makes any difference, in reprehensibility levels.
Last edited by Jennifer on 04 Jun 2019, 20:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by Eric the .5b » 04 Jun 2019, 19:49

Jennifer wrote:
04 Jun 2019, 17:48
The fact that a lot of incel forums speak admiringly of "Saint Elliot" (Elliot Rodger the Isla Vista killer and IIRC the first person to make headlines specifically as an incel-motivated mass murderer) does much to make the rest of humanity look at them with a gimlet eye, too.
Yeah, that particular aspect puts them in the social company of those neo-Nazis who wear t-shirts with the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter on them.
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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by Jasper » 06 Jun 2019, 11:17

Painboy wrote:
04 Jun 2019, 17:15
That's an interesting take on it but I wonder if it's missing the impotence angle. Not clinical impotence, just the lack of power they have, and especially feel, in this world. They can post a thousand times all over the internet and Facebook and still feel like they are a drop in the ocean. Their lack of sexual conquest a constant reminder they are nobody. I think the violence might be an attempt to wield ultimate power, however briefly, over others. The suicide more of a way of not having to deal with the consequences of their actions than an expression of their despair.

The scenario that I'm familiar with for suicide by cop usually involves an attempt not to actually get others hurt while attempting to trick the cops into firing on the person trying to commit suicide. That doesn't really fit in with what I've seen about mass shooters.

Of course all this is a lot speculation as we can't contact the dead and ask what they were thinking at the time.
Hmm. I wonder if the prevalence of social media now amplifies how insignificant everyone is.

Because yes, you can now connect with just about everyone on the planet that shares your interests and outrages, but the fact that everyone else is also screaming into the cacophony, it only magnifies how your input is a single pixel on an endless screen of static. Nobody fucking cares except the self-selected that share your warped views.

Decades ago, you vented to your friends and eventually sucked it up and moved on. Now it's a feedback loop that only reinforces how badly the special you is being mistreated.
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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by Eric the .5b » 06 Jun 2019, 15:11

Jasper wrote:
06 Jun 2019, 11:17
Painboy wrote:
04 Jun 2019, 17:15
That's an interesting take on it but I wonder if it's missing the impotence angle. Not clinical impotence, just the lack of power they have, and especially feel, in this world. They can post a thousand times all over the internet and Facebook and still feel like they are a drop in the ocean. Their lack of sexual conquest a constant reminder they are nobody. I think the violence might be an attempt to wield ultimate power, however briefly, over others. The suicide more of a way of not having to deal with the consequences of their actions than an expression of their despair.

The scenario that I'm familiar with for suicide by cop usually involves an attempt not to actually get others hurt while attempting to trick the cops into firing on the person trying to commit suicide. That doesn't really fit in with what I've seen about mass shooters.

Of course all this is a lot speculation as we can't contact the dead and ask what they were thinking at the time.
Hmm. I wonder if the prevalence of social media now amplifies how insignificant everyone is.

Because yes, you can now connect with just about everyone on the planet that shares your interests and outrages, but the fact that everyone else is also screaming into the cacophony, it only magnifies how your input is a single pixel on an endless screen of static. Nobody fucking cares except the self-selected that share your warped views.

Decades ago, you vented to your friends and eventually sucked it up and moved on. Now it's a feedback loop that only reinforces how badly the special you is being mistreated.
If course, we don't know how many pre-Internet spree killers and mass shooters were people we'd recognize as incels. If your friends get sick of your ranting about women and nobody wants to hang out, anymore, you're pretty isolated and have no outlets at all.
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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by JasonL » 06 Jun 2019, 16:27

Jasper wrote:
Painboy wrote:
04 Jun 2019, 17:15
That's an interesting take on it but I wonder if it's missing the impotence angle. Not clinical impotence, just the lack of power they have, and especially feel, in this world. They can post a thousand times all over the internet and Facebook and still feel like they are a drop in the ocean. Their lack of sexual conquest a constant reminder they are nobody. I think the violence might be an attempt to wield ultimate power, however briefly, over others. The suicide more of a way of not having to deal with the consequences of their actions than an expression of their despair.

The scenario that I'm familiar with for suicide by cop usually involves an attempt not to actually get others hurt while attempting to trick the cops into firing on the person trying to commit suicide. That doesn't really fit in with what I've seen about mass shooters.

Of course all this is a lot speculation as we can't contact the dead and ask what they were thinking at the time.
Hmm. I wonder if the prevalence of social media now amplifies how insignificant everyone is.

Because yes, you can now connect with just about everyone on the planet that shares your interests and outrages, but the fact that everyone else is also screaming into the cacophony, it only magnifies how your input is a single pixel on an endless screen of static. Nobody fucking cares except the self-selected that share your warped views.

Decades ago, you vented to your friends and eventually sucked it up and moved on. Now it's a feedback loop that only reinforces how badly the special you is being mistreated.
I do not know if it’s exactly this, but there is something that seems to amplify feelings of isolation. Maybe another thread topic.

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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by Aresen » 06 Jun 2019, 16:28

Eric the .5b wrote:
06 Jun 2019, 15:11
If course, we don't know how many pre-Internet spree killers and mass shooters were people we'd recognize as incels. If your friends get sick of your ranting about women and nobody wants to hang out, anymore, you're pretty isolated and have no outlets at all.
I think Marc Lépine (École Polytechnique, 1989) and Charles Stuart Whitman (Texas Tower, 1966) both fit the Incel profile.
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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by Shem » 06 Jun 2019, 16:55

Whitman had a glioblastoma multiforme against his amygdala. Between the known personality changes and the extreme discomfort they're known to cause, his rampage was almost certainly driven by the tumor.
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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by lunchstealer » 06 Jun 2019, 17:00

Whitman was married, and his notes before killing his mother and wife weren't the kind of invective you'd get from an incel or similarly disaffected person.

ETA and as Shem says, glioblastoma is a shitty shitty drug. It's what McCain had when he went wonky in ... I think it was Comey's hearing. A friend of mrs' lunch said her mom was acting oddly, and Holly told her she should get her mom to go to the doctor to get checked for a tumor that might cause a sudden change in behavior, and unfortunately it was also glioblastoma, and she only held on for a bit less than a year.
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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by Eric the .5b » 06 Jun 2019, 18:25

Agreed on Whitman. However, Lépine could probably fit in, aside from apparently having a much worse upbringing than incels generally describe.
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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by dead_elvis » 06 Jun 2019, 18:47

Jasper wrote:
06 Jun 2019, 11:17
Hmm. I wonder if the prevalence of social media now amplifies how insignificant everyone is.

Because yes, you can now connect with just about everyone on the planet that shares your interests and outrages, but the fact that everyone else is also screaming into the cacophony, it only magnifies how your input is a single pixel on an endless screen of static. Nobody fucking cares except the self-selected that share your warped views.
I think there is a lot to this.

Used to be even in a decent sized city, whatever your profession, hobbies and interests are, those will narrow down to small enough niche communities to feel like you are special, have a role to play in a community, that you might be missed, etc. Now not only are you not a big fish in a small pond, you aren't even a small fish in a big pond- everyone is brine shrimp in one big ocean. The incomprehensibility of our own insignificance was always masked by geography, and now that that is melting away I think we absolutely will see a cultural change in how we derive self-esteem.
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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by Jennifer » 06 Jun 2019, 19:07

dead_elvis wrote:
06 Jun 2019, 18:47
Jasper wrote:
06 Jun 2019, 11:17
Hmm. I wonder if the prevalence of social media now amplifies how insignificant everyone is.

Because yes, you can now connect with just about everyone on the planet that shares your interests and outrages, but the fact that everyone else is also screaming into the cacophony, it only magnifies how your input is a single pixel on an endless screen of static. Nobody fucking cares except the self-selected that share your warped views.
I think there is a lot to this.

Used to be even in a decent sized city, whatever your profession, hobbies and interests are, those will narrow down to small enough niche communities to feel like you are special, have a role to play in a community, that you might be missed, etc. Now not only are you not a big fish in a small pond, you aren't even a small fish in a big pond- everyone is brine shrimp in one big ocean. The incomprehensibility of our own insignificance was always masked by geography, and now that that is melting away I think we absolutely will see a cultural change in how we derive self-esteem.
I've actually been thinking about something similar lately -- this is NOT a matter of "toxic masculinity" or anything, more sociological sci-fi speculation on what future societies will be like when everybody alive was born and raised post-Internet -- in addition to driving home "you're but one person out of seven billion here today" bit, there's also the weirdness of making it far easier than ever before, to find people who are on the same page as you, more or less. Consider the couple dozen or so "active" posters here -- for all the things we disagree on, we can pretty much take for granted such things as "Capitalism is definitely better than Communism," "the war on drugs is a failure on every level, and a civil rights abomination," "the second amendment is generally a good thing," "equal rights for gay couples," etc., even though these things are considered controversial among many (even most) people today.

But if this were Ye Olden Days (pre-Internet) then, unless you actually lived in a big city like DC or LA or someplace where Reason or Cato or some similar organization has a presence, it would be difficult if not impossible for you to be in situations where you can talk to people who share these controversial views of yours -- especially the Gryll-members living in Bible-belt towns like East Jesushump or hippie cities like Commiesnowflakeville.

There have always (at least for the past ~150 years or so) been people who'd, like, have "pen pals" living in far-distant parts of the country or the world ... but we are at or approaching a time where, for the majority of people (at least adults) alive, the majority of your friends/conversation partners/whatever are geographically distant from you. Which of course is radically, mind-bogglingly different from what "socialization" or "socializing" meant for the majority of humans who've ever lived.
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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by Jennifer » 02 Sep 2019, 19:49

Bret Stephens, Donald Trump and the epidemic of male fragility

https://www.chicagotribune.com/columns/ ... 2TBZ3L311M

The world needs a safe space to house its growing population of extremely breakable men.

New York Times columnist Bret Stephens shattered to pieces because a university professor jokingly compared him to a bedbug. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said he won’t take millions of dollars the European Union has offered to help combat Amazon rainforest fires until French President Emmanuel Macron apologizes for past critical comments.

Male fragility seems rampant.

An editor at the New York Times was recently demoted in part because he responded to an author’s correct criticism of his racially insensitive tweets by demanding the author apologize to him.

A sitting member of Congress, Rep. Devin Nunes of California, is suing Twitter and two parody accounts that regularly make fun of him, saying in the lawsuit that their tweets are something “no human being should ever have to bear and suffer in their whole life.” One account pretends to be Nunes’ mom and the other pretends to be a cow from Nunes’ family farm. A cow!

And, of course, we have our super-not-at-all-insecure president, Donald Trump, who on Tuesday tweeted:

“They do stories so big on Elizabeth ‘Pocahontas’ Warren’s crowd sizes, adding many more people than are actually there, and yet my crowds, which are far bigger, get no coverage at all. Fake News!”

That tweet resulted in a WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAmbulance being dispatched to the White House.

The most remarkable thing about most of these men and their Fabergé-egg-like egos is they’re often the first to gripe about the ills of “political correctness.”

Take Mr. Stephens, a conservative columnist who has railed against “safe spaces,” saying in a 2017 commencement address at Hampden-Sydney College that worrying about hurting other’s feelings might lead to stifling all speech: “If we want to accommodate the sensitivities of our fellow students, shouldn’t that accommodation extend not only to what we say around them, but also to what we say anywhere — or what we allow to be said anywhere?”

He continued: “In the name of being ‘safe,’ the job security of professors and administrators has been put at increasing risk — lest they espouse, teach or merely fail to denounce a point of view that contradicts the political certitudes of the moment.”

Stephens apparently forgot those concerns when, following news there was an outbreak of bedbugs in the New York Times newsroom, David Karpf, an associate professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University, jokingly tweeted: “The bedbugs are a metaphor. The bedbugs are Bret Stephens.”

Hardly anyone saw the tweet, as the professor at that point had few Twitter followers. But Stephens saw it — and it hurt his feelings. So much so that he sent an email to Karpf and the university’s provost, writing: “I would welcome the opportunity for you to come to my home, meet my wife and kids, talk to us for a few minutes, and then call me a ‘bedbug’ to my face.”

Stephens was clearly trying to leverage his status as a Times columnist to get Karpf in trouble, all because he was mad the professor called him a bedbug. So much for Stephens’ worries about “the job security of professors.”

On Tuesday morning, I received an email from a reader calling me an “amoeba.” I sent a tweet noting that “I’m not going to report him to his boss because it’s only the 12th meanest thing someone has called me today. (It’s 9:10 a.m.).”

Does that make me a tough guy? No way. If you Google “macho antonym,” a picture of me should come up.

But male fragility isn’t about toughness or a lack thereof. It’s about insecurity.

I’m secure in the knowledge that I’m not an amoeba, so I don’t feel the need to track down the person calling me one and exact professional revenge. If someone calls me a bedbug, I’m not going to tell that person to come “say it to my face” like an aggrieved 10-year-old at recess. (My apologies to any 10-year-olds I may have insulted with that comparison.)

And if I’m the president of the United States of America (God help us), I’m definitely not going to whine about a presidential candidate’s crowd sizes getting too much attention. Why? BECAUSE I’M THE DAMN PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND I DON’T NEED TO DO THAT KIND OF THING!!

This isn’t hard, fellas. Don’t punch down, don’t overreact, admit when you’ve made a mistake, listen to other people and learn from them and stop acting like you’re the only one in the world whose feelings matter.

If someone is being threatening or repeatedly harassing you, take it seriously, of course. But a one-off insult? Or your own perception that people don’t laud you enough? Please.

Fragile men are doing serious damage to the world, whether they know it or not. (They definitely don’t know it, and if they did they wouldn’t admit it.) And they’re doing it while mocking others who, at the end of the day, just want to be treated fairly, regardless of their race, gender, faith or sexual orientation.

If you think being called a bedbug or getting mocked by a fake cow on Twitter or having your feelings hurt because people aren’t saying enough nice things about you is bad, talk to a few women or people of color who have Twitter accounts. Talk to a few female newspaper columnists or sports reporters. Ask how many times each day they’re called something many orders of magnitude worse than “a bedbug.”

They aren’t the ones demanding apologies for minor criticisms. They aren’t tending to their egos before putting out fires.

It’s men doing that. Fragile men. Men whose insecurities may be the death of us all.
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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by JasonL » 02 Sep 2019, 21:19

Those men are fragile. The people they are criticizing are also fragile. It’s fair to say haha you mocked the safe space thing but look at you, but it’s also fair to acknowledge demands for safe spaces tend toward considerably more than being treated fairly.

Fucking everyone should be eating doses of suck it up.

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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by JasonL » 02 Sep 2019, 21:21

Related - if “snowflake” is over-worn, so is “punching down”.

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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by Warren » 02 Sep 2019, 21:28

JasonL wrote:
02 Sep 2019, 21:21
Related - if “snowflake” is over-worn, so is “punching down”.
I'm getting twitchy over the whole identity politics movement. It's consuming everything.
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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by Jennifer » 02 Sep 2019, 21:54

JasonL wrote:
02 Sep 2019, 21:21
Related - if “snowflake” is over-worn, so is “punching down”.
"Punching down" describes an actual concept, though. What word or phrase would you like to see replace it?
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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by Warren » 02 Sep 2019, 22:49

Jennifer wrote:
02 Sep 2019, 21:54
JasonL wrote:
02 Sep 2019, 21:21
Related - if “snowflake” is over-worn, so is “punching down”.
"Punching down" describes an actual concept, though. What word or phrase would you like to see replace it?
That's a mugs game. Capricious and over use of actual concepts is a hallmark of the SJW crowd. You can't replace it with anything because that will just be abused as well.
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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by Jennifer » 02 Sep 2019, 22:58

Warren wrote:
02 Sep 2019, 22:49
Jennifer wrote:
02 Sep 2019, 21:54
JasonL wrote:
02 Sep 2019, 21:21
Related - if “snowflake” is over-worn, so is “punching down”.
"Punching down" describes an actual concept, though. What word or phrase would you like to see replace it?
That's a mugs game. Capricious and over use of actual concepts is a hallmark of the SJW crowd.
Surely, you're not suggesting that therefore we should ignore/dismiss the "actual concepts" altogether?
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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by Andrew » 02 Sep 2019, 23:04

JasonL wrote:
02 Sep 2019, 21:19
Those men are fragile. The people they are criticizing are also fragile. It’s fair to say haha you mocked the safe space thing but look at you, but it’s also fair to acknowledge demands for safe spaces tend toward considerably more than being treated fairly.

Fucking everyone should be eating doses of suck it up.
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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by Hugh Akston » 03 Sep 2019, 00:18

Andrew wrote:
02 Sep 2019, 23:04
JasonL wrote:
02 Sep 2019, 21:19
Those men are fragile. The people they are criticizing are also fragile. It’s fair to say haha you mocked the safe space thing but look at you, but it’s also fair to acknowledge demands for safe spaces tend toward considerably more than being treated fairly.

Fucking everyone should be eating doses of suck it up.
Once upon a time, these bedbugs could be called thin-skinned and we'd be done. But no, now it has to be "fragile masculinity" to drive clickbait eyeballs.
I dunno, I think fragile masculinity is a useful concept. There are a lot of ways to be thin-skinned, but fragile masculinity denotes a sort of boisterous aggression that (poorly) conceals some deep-seated insecurities. Trump and most other tinpot dictators share this quality, as do many people in law enforcement and other positions of power, as well as a large number of internet commenters.
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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by lunchstealer » 03 Sep 2019, 00:27

Hugh Akston wrote:
03 Sep 2019, 00:18
Andrew wrote:
02 Sep 2019, 23:04
JasonL wrote:
02 Sep 2019, 21:19
Those men are fragile. The people they are criticizing are also fragile. It’s fair to say haha you mocked the safe space thing but look at you, but it’s also fair to acknowledge demands for safe spaces tend toward considerably more than being treated fairly.

Fucking everyone should be eating doses of suck it up.
Once upon a time, these bedbugs could be called thin-skinned and we'd be done. But no, now it has to be "fragile masculinity" to drive clickbait eyeballs.
I dunno, I think fragile masculinity is a useful concept. There are a lot of ways to be thin-skinned, but fragile masculinity denotes a sort of boisterous aggression that (poorly) conceals some deep-seated insecurities. Trump and most other tinpot dictators share this quality, as do many people in law enforcement and other positions of power, as well as a large number of internet commenters.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT!
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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by JasonL » 03 Sep 2019, 04:00

Both snowflake and punching down are actual concepts. They are over worn through ludicrously broad application, or, in the latter case, through the implication that disadvantaged parties can say anything of any amount of stupid without being called on it ever.


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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by Mo » 03 Sep 2019, 05:46

Male fragility is the snowflake of the left as far as terms go. Can we universalize it with butt-hurt?

Also, punching down doesn't really work for the Stephens situation. He thought he was punching down, but it turned out he encountered someone who is a better communicator and whose job is more secure. Despite his effort to get the dude fired/reprimanded, he's more likely to suffer consequences.

Or in gif form:

Image
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Re: Masculinity, so fragile

Post by Warren » 03 Sep 2019, 10:40

JasonL wrote:
03 Sep 2019, 04:00
Both snowflake and punching down are actual concepts. They are over worn through ludicrously broad application, or, in the latter case, through the implication that disadvantaged parties can say anything of any amount of stupid without being called on it ever.
Punching down is useful when the difference between parties is one of authority/status. It's perverse when the difference is one of identity group.
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