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Is Equal, Is Not Equal - A little less than a happy high — LiveJournal
komos
komos
Is Equal, Is Not Equal
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komos From: komos Date: November 12th, 2003 05:49 am (UTC) (Link)
If we run with the idea that men gather according to interests, passions, et al, we still often find that such gatherings are sneered at. Gamers are "socially maladjusted." Sports fans are inexplicably "obsessed." Here, instead of letting the men go do their thing, they're placed in daycare and that idea is found amusing.

Consider, for a moment The Lord of the Rings. It's a story that is (in part) about the close bonds that can develop between men as they face common dangers. The popular response? Talk of the homo-eroticism between Sam and Frodo and slash fiction about "pervy hobbit fanciers." Why is it that men can't be close without being perceived as a either dangerous or as closeted gays?

I've no illusions about the artifice that existed behind the gentlemen's club, and yes, the men who have gone to mannergarten have done so willingly. My issue lies more in the fact that the two are very much the same except that the social controls have altered. Men are not children, though I think that there is an strong move to stereotype them as such.


I very much like your ideas on industrialization and mechanization. More on this later.
wisdom_seeker From: wisdom_seeker Date: November 12th, 2003 05:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I must think on this more to truly respond, but here are some thoughts:
I think it is just plain wrong that men and boys are expected to be totally closed off from intimate bonds with other men unless they are homosexuals. I have known some men who managed to get past this social structure and I believe they were better for it. It's a social disconnect that women want men to respect their feelings and to be intimate with them, but boys are not taught how to do this and wind up very confused when they first start interacting with the opposite sex (and I don't know that that confusion is ever entirely dispelled). You're right, too, about Sam and Frodo. Theirs is not a homosexual bond, but one of respect and love for each other's talents and nobilities. I know that there was a time when relationships like this between men were not so frowned upon; I don't know what happened to shift society to seeing them in the negative.

A question for you: I have often heard you say that you appreciate the presence of women at gaming places because they have a "civilizing influence." Has your saying this been s true expression of your wanting women there (at least on occassion), or is it the societal brain-washing at work in you that leads you to feel there is something socially-backward in gamers?

I had not heard of the Mangarten prior to reading this post. I, too, am disturbed by its implications. If the men don't want to go shopping, why do they accompany their wives to the shopping centers in the first place? Why don't they get together on their own, without the artificiality of Adult Day-Care? Men are not children. Infantalising them like this is no different than what was done by men to women prior to the 20th century (and still occurs in many nations around the world). Adults, male and female, should be treated as just that: adults.

I wish there was a way that people could "rise above" the negative expectations that they have felt placed upon them without belittling the former belittlers. It's a vicious, vicious circle, with backlash begetting backlash (or as someone else said, another penjulum I'm having trouble spelling swing).

komos From: komos Date: November 12th, 2003 06:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I've said that women can have a civilizing influence on a room of gamers, but I think that it's largely because they just seem to be on "better behavior." Sometimes. I'll be honest... that itself may be another stereotype at work.

Do I think there are poorly adjusted gamers? Sure. I've also met my share of poorly adjusted students, and poorly adjusted attorneys, and poorly adjusted health care professionals, etc. Is there a greater concentration amonst gamers? I can't say, though I think it depends a great deal on your perspective.
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