a lighthearted look at traumatic abuse and its aftermath

big fat trauma queen

big fat trauma queen
Undercover in the Bay Area, California, U.S.A.
November 08
Defying Gravity
I, like millions of others, am a refugee from some fairly gruesome childhood happenings. I entered adulthood as a selectively mute, unwashed, suicidal, friendless, uneducated, delusional, and sick-fat (as opposed to healthy-fat) young woman. I have been homeless in the Tenderloin (I am prouder of that than I am of my master's degree), and I have spent years in self-imposed solitary confinement. No more. I have morphed over the years into an irritatingly chipper and hyper-friendly Trauma Queen. If you're having a bad day, don't even look at me; my happy little face will just piss you off. This blog is dedicated to all the other Trauma Queens and Kings out there - we of the shrunken hippocampus and the hair-trigger amygdala. We who, in D.H. Lawrence's words, have "passed through the waters of oblivion." But let's not just pass through. Let's make a TSUNAMI...


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Editor’s Pick
APRIL 8, 2010 2:51PM

Let's Hear It For Male Liberation!

Rate: 55 Flag

The older I get, the more compassion I feel for men.

When I was younger - in my twenties - I was the queen of  Victim Feminism. Men were all rapists and vermin and the cause of every evil in the world. I, however, was Good. I was a vegan, for chrissakes. And I recycled.

While I was so busy hating men, I failed to notice that their lives were actually much more restricted than mine. 

Men remain locked in a cultural chador that women broke free from years ago. ( I am referring specifically to mainstream American culture, the one in which I live and was raised).

We feminists used to believe Liberation meant "having it all." Presumably, like men. But somehow we forgot to notice that men didn't "have it all." Men have never "had it all." Men, throughout history, have  had only what their culture permitted  them to have.  

Clearly, we women didn't listen closely enough to the lyrics of "Cats In The Cradle," by Harry Chapin (..."there were planes to catch, and bills to pay; he learned to walk while I was away"). Tragically, that song has become as relevant to many mothers today as it was to fathers in the early seventies.

Corporate America needed more women to leave their homes and enter the workplace.

Human America needed more men to leave the workplace and enter their homes.

Guess who won that propaganda war?

Today, men are told they are no longer needed in their old protector-provider roles, but that they are wimps and losers (at best) if they take on nurturing, caregiving "female" roles. 

If a  heterosexual man were to tell you that his greatest ambition in life was  to work in a preschool, what's the first thought that would pop into your mind?

I'm guessing "how sweet" would not be the first thought.

I'm also guessing that "Great! I'd love for you to babysit my kids!" would not be the first sentence out of your mouth.

Men who express an interest in nurturing small children are perceived as perverts.  This is not a recipe for easing women's burden of responsibility for childcare.

Men are encouraged (quite AGGRESSIVELY)  to suppress their desire to nurture, to be nurtured, to ask for help, and to express fear, pain, loneliness, or uncertainty. And that's tragic.

It's also tragic that men are so limited in their socially acceptable self-expression. 

I've heard women complain that female newscasters, politicians - any woman in the public eye - is subject to so much criticism and scrutiny based on the way she dresses or wears her hair.

I think this is a small price to pay for the fact that women (unlike men) have so many choices about how we present ourselves to the world.

Rachel Maddow is a beloved newscaster on MSNBC. She wears her hair very short, wears minimal make-up, and  dresses conservatively. As a woman, she has the option of wearing her hair long or short, curled or straight, permed, teased, whatever. She also has the option of wearing eye shadow, eye liner, and pink or red lipstick. She could wear dresses if she wanted to or a range of colorful blouses.But Ms. Maddow's  personal style is more subdued than that, and  is generally accepted and respected.

Can you imagine what would happen if Keith Olberman showed up on the air wearing pink lipstick and eye shadow? Or a silky pink blouse? And what if he decided to grow his hair long, or wear a dress? Both his sanity and sobriety would be questioned, and he would almost certainly lose his job.

 Masculinity is a tightrope that men are forced to walk at the point of a cultural gun. In exchange for infibulating their feminine side, they are granted the illusion of power.

Thankfully, this illusion has been wearing thin for decades. It fails to sustain either life or love, and it is faaaaaaar from cost effective.

Come on Men! Fight for your right to  be  soft! Flush your Viagra down the toilet! (Your erections do not define you). Fight for your right to be colorful! Burn your ties! Grow your hair! Kick off your army boots, paint your toe nails, and dance like nobody's watching!

You have as much right as your wife does to stay home with your children. You're not a wimp for preferring to be a low-earning secretary with livable hours, rather than a high-earning computer programmer with no time for your kids. You have as much right to choose the Daddy Track  as women have to choose the Mommy Track. You're not a loser for caring more about your Love life (in all its forms) than you do about your career.

 Women won't be free until Men are free. As the  prophet Baha'ullah said (I'm paraphrasing) Humanity is a bird with two wings - male and female - and we need two free wings to fly.

So go ahead and spread that wing boys. It's your turn now.



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You get it. You really, really get it.
Bravo ! Thank you for posting this. Truthful insights, indeed.
Wow! I love the intellect, logic and civilized thought. Men don't have to wear makeup, but I get this point too; men can dress elegantly and beautifully, match their colors, and may be even learn how to effin dance. Your argument is sound, strong and has merit both in nature and nuture.

Soaring insight; excellent piece, rated.
That's nurture.
This was excellent. A man would be fried if he wrote this. We would be accused of being Anti-Women. But boys are not being raised to be wussies. The boys will be boys days are over. Lets give them some Ritilin, to calm them down and break their spirit. It's better for them to walk around like Zombies, along as they don't disrupt the status qou! I feel sorry for the next generation of men!
Will has every right to his opinion and I respect that right. But I can't help but think that he sounds just like all of the men around me (dare I mention that they are all self-proclaimed rednecks?).

I happen to prefer men that aren't afraid to cross that line.
Great post.
I totally agree. I say these things all the time. You are so smart and I love reading you. r
i bet i guess who won the propaganda war
You're right in your realization that men are not the enemy. They too are trapped and constrained by policies that discourage family friendly workplaces, early childhood education and relate to other "women's issues", like Choice. And there's no logical argument for the idea that men can't be sensitive and powerful, at the same time.
An excellent post. I've lived my life fighting aginst the constraints and I finally feel like I'm just now getting it.
BFT Queen - there was a post, back in the day. I'm a little fuzzy, but more so right now, on the precise details. (Beta members, please help.) If I recall correctly, the mere title was like the release of the harpies. Your post is full of satirical tension, between the two modes of intent. That is a cleverness that most of us fail at finding. One of those rates up top is mine.
you're right we all need to be free to choose, but cindy's right. change takes time. and will is right too, some men are perfectly content in their 'traditional' roles and should be embraced equally. its a big ole world theres room for all.
Trauma Queen is spot-on, and so is Will A. These two views are NOT mutually exclusive, or mutually antagonistic. Demanding women or no, men should be tough and emotionally independent at least some of the time, because sometimes it's necessary.

Boys don’t need to be beaten down, but they do need to be challenged. A few well placed tough expectations are good for us.

I totally agree, with the caveat that the same can be true for girls.
I fight for ALL my feelings, but I do realize that's a total dealbreaker for a large segment of the female population. And yes it's true, both genders are expected to live a lie and those that do are really, really boring.
Bravo. I feel particularly strongly about the vital importance of men no only being welcomed, but recruited to work with babies and young children.
Have you heard Christine Lavin's 1990 song Sensitive New Age Guys?

There are so many choices for all of us - we have to decide which ones matter.
The Revolution of Evolution! You Go Girl! Outstanding Post...and I love the honest telling. I am just a big old teddy bear. There I said it, and pretty damn proud of being in touch with my sensitive side.

Come on board guys.

Oh... what a relief it is!

Besides, lovemaking is even better when you role-play!

Ahhhhhh; "want me to make you a sandwich, Baby?
Yes, I agree. We are both pushed into societal situations and both genders need to break free of that to really have things be better. :)
I appreciate many of the sentiments expressed in this post, but the male/female binary is not the key to freedom. Women do not become free when they become more like men, and men do not become free when they become more like women.

We become free when we base our actions not on sex roles but on what comes from the heart, the soul, the spirit. The key to freedom is not hidden somewhere in the camp of the opposite sex. The key to freedom is within you.
When I was doing my doctoral work I "minored" in feminism - what I learned was that "feminism" isn't just about equality for women. It's about equality for ALL. Once again, bftq, you hit a home run with this article! ~r!
Trauma queen,

When our kids were babies and preschoolers, I worked and my husband stayed home. I made twice what he did, I loved my job, he hated his. It made sense at the time.

--he got a lot of "stinkeye" at the playground for being a guy hanging around kids (nevermind that two of them were his). Hardly anyone would even talk to him.

--his grandfather said (when we told him what we were doing) "But why would you want to stay home and do women's work?"

--During that time, I lost my job. It was terrifying to be the sole breadwinner and out of work. Yet I had well-meaning friends say "Maybe it's time for him to go to work now so you can stay home." Implying that he's a lazy bum and I'm working my ass off to support him. Like he can just manufacture a great-paying career out of thin air and four years out of work. No one would EVER say that to a man who had a wife and two kids at home if he just lost his job. "Gee, Bob, guess it's time for you to stay home and send that lazy Marsha back to work."

--The guys at my work (many of them had at-home wives and kids) who said "Wow! Where can I get a sweet deal like that?" in a snarky tone that implied he was lazy and I was put-upon.

--The women in our neighborhood who pretended for five years that he didn't exist. They didn't invite him for play dates, they'd go back in their houses when he came out. But when I got laid off and was home for six weeks, they came out of the woodwork.

I wouldn't change it, it was what we needed at the time, and it was good for the kids to be home with a parent. But it's a lonely, frustrating game for men. It's a women's world, being home with kids.

Now that the kids are older, we both work part time (about 3/4 time). Yet he gets the raised eyebrows for part time work. I don't. It's acceptable for women to work part time. Not men.
I think this is a really keen insight from a woman who could make a compelling case for hating men. Thank you.
so many truths here. it's definitely a tightrope walk for men in many ways.
Nurturing? I don't even nurse drinks.
"Be a man!" My son's father said that to him from the time he began to walk. It was said to mean "stop crying," "put that doll down," "catch this football," "don't throw like a girl," "pay your bills," "don't let that girl push you around," " provide for your family," "earn a good living," "you don't have to know how to cook," and on and on. By the time a boy child reaches adulthood he almost needs a yellow brick road to follow to avoid NOT being "a man." Great piece, bftq.

As a man who has played Mr. Mom at times (and enjoyed it), thanks!
It would be so wonderful for young boys (and girls, frankly) to have more men involved in early childhood education. SO wonderful. Excellent post, highly rated.
"We feminists used to believe Liberation meant "having it all.""

No. Not then, not now.

Equality (of any ilk - gender, LGBQ, racial, etc.) isn't "having it all" it's having the same.

BTW, Keith Oberman CAN wear lipstick if he wants. He chooses not to.

P.S. Interesting use of "We". Based on your prior posts you don't sound like any of the "We" feminists I ever met.
And vice versa ... Men won't be free until Women are Free. It's all a balance. Yin & Yang and all that stuff. And on ... the pendulum swings. Let the party begin ...
I agree with the sheepdog, very compassionate from someone who could justifiably feel otherwise. Rated, mama. :)
oh yeah, Im gonna really spread my wings by wearing some really colorful red lipstick.
ok, ok, I see you have good intentions here, but you're still seeing men through the lens of femininity.... which I thought you were trying to avoid....
Excellent again, BFTQ. Though I can't help but think that many women still find the manly man to be attractive and this too hampers any radical change. I must admit I find the too soft man to not be appealing, as a whole. I like testicularity in women and men. A matter of preference, probably.
Rated a thousand times(in my head) for the use of the word infibulating. sizzle.
Wow, a vegan? That's SERIOUS.
BFTQ I think I love you, and froggy. I do love/hate that song.

Back with the last wife, I had a good gig where I would buy a restaurant for a song and a dance, turn it around and sell it. I made more money in a couple months than she did all year.

Flush with cash, and tired, I would do the stay at home thing I caught more crap from my ex, and her mother, than anyone else.
Excellent! The Men's Movement is still there! Thanks to my brother, I have been a part of it for some years...xox
"So go ahead and spread that wing boys. It's your turn now."

Thanks for the permission, but I like who I am just fine. That includes me wearing my old army boots, sans nail polish sadly enough. Forgive me; I'm obviously not progressive enough:(
True Dat-True Dat, Mon Chariot: however, we are who we are!

I have a very sensual, warm O-la-la Femme Fatale sexy lady. She is
who she is. Silky smooth soft & very laid back spirit with a good punch.
I am physically a big& tall dude with big hands, big feet, and I pump big-time iron & work out everyday. I have a deep baritone voice. I am a touch-guy-kick-yo-ass-in-a-heartbeat kind of trigger. I am all man, wired from a different time (and glad of it). I am the protector, knight in shining armor type.

I don't like sitting in the kitchen with a lot of women. I'd rather go to the garage, my man-cave, or out on the deck & chill, when all of her friends are over. However, I have some guy friends that love sittin all up under a bunch of women. That's how shit gets started.

Like I said I am from a whole different time. However, it took the love of an amazing women to get me to chill out from all of "whose yo daddy" nonsense (just kidding sisters).

She did leave me my balls& she recognizes that there a certain things that I am going to do for her, cause I'm real like that and it's a guy thing. There are some women who really-truly want some of the perps of being with a MAN that's still true to his old-school-ways.

My lady tells me that she has plenty girlfriends that can give her some fluff, when she needs it. And I didn't want a unisex'd one-size-fits-all clone. I wanted a woman, who both looks & feels like a woman.

We role play because it's a lot of fun, especially in bed.

She is on top more than me (when we are playing cowboys & indians/you youngsters may not now what I am talking about -guess who the indian love getting caught).

I am 6'5"/215 lbs, so she likes me to be real m.a.n and pick her up & make love (I'll call it that for tender ears) to her in mid air. I 'm the horsey & she's my saddle. WE have some other games but that shits personal (and she would kill me if I told). Some women love this & I am glad that I have one of them. She knows who she is and I know who I am.

She loves being a woman (all dimensions of that) and I love being the man that I am. I am not in to unisex know the perfume that is for men & women, etc. I cook - she cooks! I love to fish & so does she. I love sports & so does she. She is one tough cookie, petite, size 6, 5'5", tender-tough.

My grandma says that there is a lid for every pot. Different strokes for different folks...sometimes you feel like a nut/sometimes you don't.

Women and men are wired somewhat differently and that is the beauty of two halves become a whole lot of whatever the two of you make. Certain women have a gift and the abilities of inspiring change in a man, just by loving them and accepting them as they are & for who they are. They don't have to preach to them or bitch or nag.

These women are the true movers & shakers who have skills. I have been blessed with one of those women. For this man...I ain't too proud to beg...please-baby-please...can I have my remote back! Believe me...that may be "one small leap for mankind" but for some women who knows what time it is...a little goes a long way.

It's about having fun with each other, keeping it light & easy, being creative & exploring (we play rocket ship & astronaut too), being there for each other...without having to be asked to do so, and lot's of loving-shown in many ways.

I am not trying to institute a social program by loving a woman or become someone's idea of a test dummy, nor am I attempting some great-magical social experiment. I also don't want to deal with picket signs in our bed.

Like I said, there are women who want a man (and all that comes with that), there are women that want women (I ain't mad at-cha/get it get it - can I watch,oops/old habits take longer to die)...then there are women that want their men to be more w-o-m-a-n than MAN!

I love my sensitive side! I have done the ballroom & salsa dancing classes, and I am doing the birthing classes (even though I would rather be in the waiting room & hire a videographer to film it for me).

Be patient with us ladies (or gents) it takes some of us longer than others. But remember, even here on OS; it's tailor made to fit a particular woman.

Most women don't like men to lump them in a category. They are the first to say.." I am not like most women," however I have noticed that
when a group of women get together, they tend to agree with each other (Yeah-Girl/Sho-You-Right/UM HUM/ NO_HE_DID'nn/WhaTTTT?/
with all of the high fives/hand slapping/ in agreement. What's up with that ladies? Which is it? Do you really know what you want & need? If so than get it/get it/get it.

Do whatever sets you free. Again work with your man a patient...and remember just because he may not complain as much as you doesn't mean that your shit's pure gold. We both have to work together, understand each other, and love will find a way. That's all I'm saying...ease up a little! I love you Sisters!
Thanks Drama Queen, I'm glad to know there are folks out there that understand. We make more money they say, but we pay a price, and our choices are much more limited than people think. Thanks again. Rated.
Wonderful, thank you for a great post. Have you read the book Self Made Man by Norah Vincent, she lived as a man for a year? I was really fascinated to see the constraints men put on themselves. I'll take the moods and the cramps any day. My hats are off to men for not going crazy.
I got here late again I see...why doesn't someone call a girl or something.




(great post by the way, I just wish I had arrived home sooner),
Insightful, intelligent and articulate. Another excellent, thought provoking post, Trauma Queen. Highly *rated*.
I like this post BFTQ, for the discussion that inspired, though, I am not sure what a "victim/feminist is. There is no such animal. I will post something or get back with you to explain further, or PM you.

Sister. I haven't heard so much stereotyping of what a feminist is, since the 60's & 70's. Feminism was not a popular occupation to pursue then or even now. It was viewed as a good part-time sport for women that wanted to prove that they had some balls; or for abused women that couldn't deal with men for a period of time (at least until their wounds healed), or when women started seeing that the girls that were climbimg up the workplace/military ladders, were wearing ties to the j.o.b, going beyond many a glass ceiling. Other women both saw & wanted that for themselves, so they packed up their covered wagons and followed the feminist-yellow-brick road to better jobs, and better earning potential. As with the suffrage movement of the turn of the 20th century, women were very complacent until a few boot-wearing/go fuck yourself femms started asking questions, challenging status-quo, and demanding essentials life voting rights, and if they became widowed-the assets built up with a deceased husband , did not go to the son (who then gave his mother an allowance & proceeded to control everything,,,including his father's wife).

Women were using feminists like handy yo-yos with inter-changable parts that were also retractable. When women wanted to be more asserted, they claimed feminism. When they had just completed a karate class or self-defense class; they claimed to be feminist. However, when it was "take a feminist home day" or "dress-casual-fem-day at work" then it became PC to be associated with a feminist. Then the Dark Ages came; and several things began to occur: Men were becoming threatened by the strong/assertive-aggressive women. Once that occurred, the PR campaign began where it wasn't avant-guard to be seen in public with a feminist, for fear of male-backlash. Feminist were viewed as a threat to the good old nuclear family (and still are...don't get it twisted sisters..I am a card-carrying-been nailed to the cross-paid all of my dues feminist), Regardless of where men stood on the feminism issue: there was tremendous division among women to concern ourselves with. Good old fashioned-home spun girls began to disconnect from a feminist. There was much caddy behavior, competition, & back-stabbing in the work place, and I have been the military; with the L word being thrown out and placed on many women like the scarlet letter--to discredit them. Then there were the Black women , Black Christian women, & black feminist had great difficulty with the so-called "white" feminist movement. A resentment began between the three, regarding what was perceived as an inability for white women to understand the needs of the black family. Ironically this condescension occurred at the same time that black men were having relationships with white women, far less penalties then before.


I could go on and on, but I will stop here. SB-AMY touched on it. Feminism was always about equality, parity, and freedom of identitl. "A womens' place was anywhere she damn where wanted & determined it to be. There were no victim/feminist. If you felt victimized, then you had not your advent into feminism. Feminism was about empowerment & a proactive platform & agenda...not a powerless position of reactive fear. Sure there was many of feminist that was nailed to the crosses for standing up for the beliefs...but they were dragged kicking and screaming. There were not willing victims or complacent surrenders. There is still that great divide among women. It's evident everywhere...even her at OS. Okay, am I too real up in here. Let me be quiet,den...ah....I'm just saying.

I happen to think that women are not in a position to criticize men or tell them what they should be doing. We have enough work to do, in our own sisterhood. We have lots to do in ourselves. I will post something on feminism on day.
Thank you for a great post. .

One of the great blind spots of heterosexual culture is the implicit assumption that masculinity exists primarily in opposition to femininity. In practice, masculinity is defined primarily by relationships between men. If you ignore what they say and watch what they do, men clearly value male camaraderie over anything women have to offer. Just say the phrases "a man among women" and "a man among men" aloud and listen the cultural echoes.

Men typically find sexual attraction extraordinarily compelling but not necessarily sustaining. Men can and do live without women, but almost never voluntarily choose to be without other men.

It was essential and right for women that feminism divorce the opportunities available to any individual woman from biology. However, to ignore the fact that in the aggregate a large part of destiny is in fact biology is to ignore - among other things - that natural selection has inclined half the human race to be pack animals obsessed with sex, dominance, and loyalty.

The stereotype of a woman complaining that "men are only after one thing" embodies both narcissism and optimism. In practice, much of what men are after has little or nothing to do with women.

Ironically, the great hope for the future of masculinity lies not in the example of feminism, but in that of gay liberation. Not until being gay has entirely ceased to be something most heterosexual men fear and despise will men be free to embrace not their "feminine sides," but a truly expansive, unlimited notion of what it might mean to be a man.

Even today, the common conception of gay men is that they are somehow not "real men." This is oppressive to all men in the same way that all women are oppressed by the notion that no woman is "real" until she's given birth to a baby.
I "corrected" one paragraph:

"Can you imagine what would happen if Keith Olberman showed up on the air wearing pink lipstick and eye shadow? Or a silky pink blouse? And what if he decided to grow his hair long, or wear a dress? Both his sanity and sobriety would be questioned, and he would almost certainly be hired by fox noisework."

I will join the pile on of accolades. I am always skeptical of anything in the realm of "Male Liberation" because it is usually some regressive b. s. but you get it, you really get it!
@Incandescent: Hopefully you will return to this well written & insightful post that has inspired much discussion. I loved your responses, filled with candor, passion, and honesty. Come over to my blog sometime, read my bio, and take a ride on the Underground Railroad - LGBT Travel Edition. You can find rest there, be a peace, and surround yourself with a caring nurturing community of wonderful OS bloggers.

Re: Uppercase Text...don't take that so personally my brother. It is easier for me to sometimes type in all uppercase, rather than switching between the two. I had a few points to make here, before I retired for the evening and did not want my time hampered with the time it takes to switch back & forth...from lower to upper. If your eyes were hurting from the simple UPPERCASE, then you may need glasses, you may need to adjust your contrast on your screen, or you may need to reduce the time that you are spending on the computer (overuse & staring at the screen excessively is harmful to one's eyes). I like using my option of typing in UPPERCASE. It is as simple as that so please, darling, there is no need to bite back. However, if you need to vent, or have some things to get off your chest; or maybe you have some anger that needs to be expressed then BRING IT! I am always wearing my full armor (except with my partner and family); & I am quick to recognize when someone is witnessing a great deal of frustration. I am not thin-skinned, nor am I easily moved by angry rants. What moves me is love and suffering. I respond to both...immediately and compassionately.

Re: Are You African-American: there is a prevailing, very compelling degree of suffering in the African-American it's very heated debate that it perpetuated by extreme homophobia and the conflict of the church. Many in that particular community (who are LGBT and eith Christian/Muslim/Jewish) witness are great deal of resentment, often times being driven out of there homes, jobs, and places of worship. My questions to you were just that...QUESTIONS! When I ask a question to someone...and their response (or the lack of) is filled with defensiveness, it provides even more answers, beyond the original question. I work with and speak to all communities, from all over the world. Each carries with it, it's own set of conditions, dominant factors, and weight. Geography, history, ethnicity, family dynamics, religion and politics will contribute to the suffering of those within the LGBT world community.

Re: Bisexuality: If you are living a fulfilling life of authenticity and truth that reflects your identity; and you have been blessed with lovers, partners who accept you where you are/as you are; then that says a lot about you and about them. BE AT PEACE, STAY STRONG, STAY FOCUSED & STAY ENCOURAGED...REST IN THE PEACE OF IT ALL. The LGBT community is witnessing warfare on every front, and it manifest in many ways. You kissing your lover in public places where homophobia is rampant, is common. May I suggest that you frequent more GAY FRIENDLY establishments. Change is an often times slow process. Businesses are free to have the type of patronage and flavor that it chooses. You have the freedom to go elsewhere...somewhere that you & your lover feel more comfortable, less inhibited, and are free to be affectionate. There are many places that LGBT cannot go. That's life. It is what it is. There are many places that whites can't go. There are many places that African-Americans, Asians, Jews, Arab, or others cannot go. We know where to go and where not to, and if we don' will be revealed immediately when we show up. Don't like that anger you, frustrate you, or cause you to lose your joy, peace, and/or happiness.

When women are bi-sexual, it is not more acceptable. The root determinate is choosing to be with a same-gendered person, and that will always carry it's own set of external/public hardships, challenges, and persecutions. However, you will learn to adapt, choose places that are less offensive, live in communities that are more accepting, and choose your friends and company accordingly.

What is most important is that you live a life that is rewarding, fruitful, productive and authentic. Enjoy your life and the love that surrounds you. Plant seeds of love with those that can assist you in the nurturing of those seeds. Stay away from negative, resentful, and harmful energy. Be at peace. If you meditate, eat right, live right, and are preserving the good thought in your do the good work that is ahead of you...then that is all that you can do. Keep lifting up the message of love, peace, fairness, equality, truth, respect, dignity, and freedom. Be happy & at peace!
If Keith Olbermann were to do that, it would probably boost his ratings. For a few days at least.

I do agree with you though.
To Big Fat Trauma Queen: you are one of my most favored & adored bloggers here on Open Salon. Thank you for writing this feature. The discussions well awesome! If only we could be free enough, outside of the virtual world, to have the same degree of interaction. Hopefully, readers of these insightful post (like yours) will be inspired to carry the messages into their lives.

I love everything that you have written, and so dos my family (who are also Open Salon bloggers). We love you and your caring, sensitive, and brilliance. Your family is blessed to have you in their presence. So are we.

This post has inspired me to write something on feminism. I have been wanting to do so for quite some time. How wonderful it is to read a literary work, that has arms to hold, hands to touch others, and legs within it's words...legs that will carry the message forth. Thank you for that, my Sister.


Karla (a.k.a. The Gandy Dancer)
It's not easy trying to figure out how to be masculine without perpetuating the patriarchy.
The most interesting thing about the piece is the observation that the rise of women in the workplace came about by corporations deciding they needed to have women on the job. Who decided THAT? Where was THAT memo?

It has been corporations that have undermined the role of men in the working world, dispensing propaganda about how much BETTER women are than men in any number of corporate jobs.

I am a guy, and I interviewed with a MALE manager for a management position. The first thing this GUY said to me in the interview was that it was his view that women are "much better in that kind of role." So there was an opportunity for advancement for ME, gone, blown away by what amounts to sexual discrimination against me--by another GUY!!

Oh, and this manager was an award-winning manager.

It is a tragedy what has happened to men in the United States over the last 20 years. Men are reviled as perverts, rapists, creeps, misogynists, misanthropes, molesters, sexual harrassers, enemies to be defeated by women in the workplace. Boys are arrested for drawing pictures of guns in school--in the 4th grade. Boys are labeled sex offenders at the age of 6 if they are accused of touching a girl. Men are labeled sex offenders for life if they are caught peeing behind a tree by the side of the road or in a park.
Men in Sweden are not permitted to pee at a urinal, which have been removed from rest rooms, because they can not be permitted to enjoy the convenience that their anatomy provides because it insults women; and so men must behave as though they have the female anatomy for urination, by order of the state, and by offended women.
Wonderful post! We as a society teach our daughters to be kind and gentle and we teach our sons to suck it up when they are hurt. I was a single parent for many years and my son did not have a positive male role model. He is gentle and caring a really sweet child. I hate it when people think men are weak because they are caring, wants to help others or wants to stay home with there kids. My nephew stayed home with their daughter while his wife worked. There is nothing wrong with this. Bravo!!For Posting. Rated
Thanks for your writing, and thanks to the commenter's as well, a worthwhile conversation. For every injustice cited about the way men are treated in this culture, I can cite an equal number of injustices against women. I think the real offense here is the willingness of people to stereotype others, and then take action based upon those stereotypes.

As I see it, there is a continuum of gender based behaviors and views from total testosterone, to absolute estrogen. While a few individuals represent each extreme, the majority of us fall somewhere along a middle balance with some skewed one direction, and some the other.

As a male, I have been told by many female friends that I am not like most males they know. I am sensitive, caring, empathetic, nurturing, and I enjoy cooking, gardening, and children. I am also 100% heterosexual. So what does this make me?

I also know women who express very few of the above qualities mentioned above, so what does that make her? Stereotyping is an attempt to categorize, define, and ultimately control who it is that we are. While it serves some useful purpose in defining roles in general, it is also capable of doing great damage.

Ultimately, for me, it is imperative that we all learn to accept each other for who we are truly are. When we can do that, we can evolve as a society.
You should check on the health of the writers at Broadsheet. If they've seen this piece they have either keeled over or you now have a fatwah placed on your head.

Thank God for another thoughtful, reality-based woman.
Maybe I'm different because of geography, but I feel men are accepted for being "nurturing". I know this isn't true where I was raised, Texas, but it is here in Washington. I think men are taking this right back, if only in small steps. And, some men are perverts. I still hold my kids close. I think your version of feminism is also skewed.
A rare voice from the other side of the sexual divide. Kudos, and thanks for even thinking about it. We're not used to that. May I also add that, anthropologically speaking, men the creation of women.
Thanks for the remarks on eighties feminism. I really do think that feminism went wrong then by ceding leadership to its most inhumane wing. I was teaching eighteen-year-olds in 1986, and could see that by then the younger generation of women was mostly lost to the movement while retaining some basic ideas (like equal pay for equal work).

I'm not at all sure about the emphasis on appearance in this article. I don't think there's really a way for men to change their minds or other people's through appearance. For women, attention to appearance cuts deep into identity and their entire social role. For me, and I think for lots of other men, it's instrumental. It's a way of getting the kind of attention from women that we want. I think we would go around in clown makeup if we thought it would get us the right kind of attention from women. We don't build a self by paying attention to appearance. We build a self based on achievement above all.

Naturally, there are problems with basing your sense of self on achievement. You're only as good as your last achievement. Failure, which should be just a normal part of life, is devastating. The same model gets extended where it makes no sense (cf. the way some men value themselves according to the number of women they've slept with). I think Alice Miller got it right in The Drama of the Gifted Child, but there's a gender skewing to that drama that she doesn't capture, and the same dynamic affects men who are not noticeably gifted.
Tried to encourage my hubby to wear sexy silk boxers to bed years ago and he wasn't haven' it! Now he uses my face cream, hair spray, get his nails done, goes to his hair dresser more than I do and on and on! Sheesh!
I'm so "right on" about this post, BFTQ, especially that part about how "women won't be free until men are free." To me that could also work vica-versa. Until we realize that as people, our gender fates are tied, ain't no real progress gonna be made.

So the final question remains: What exactly is it that's stopping us?
"So go ahead and spread that wing boys. It's your turn now." OK !!! how the hell do i do that let me give you a brief list of the barriers i have to spreadding my wings mind you this is coming from a 25 year ols young man that is fed up with the shit life has all readdy throw my way please bear with me while i express what hinderes my me

aside form my horrable spelling and grammer . I have been reading books by a man named Warren Farrell he has changed my view of life and made it . a view that hates this world my life experinces have cause me to all but lose hope in humans. and if your wondering why let me tell you my story i told you this was going to be short but i think i would be doing my self and all men who have ever wanted to express there feelings a disearvice so he i go this is my story

born march 1985 i was raised by a mother who desided to use drugs a child born of rape. i was unwanted and treated like crap one day the child protective services came and took me away only to move me into homes that treated me like hell for years i was exploring my sexuality and threw the prosess was told that sex was dirty that is was shameful that i was a bad shameful pervert mind you i was 9 years old when most of this started happening and no one had sat me down and explained what the birds and bees was. at arround the same age i was put up for a failed adoption i say failed because thats what had happend the women that wanted to adopted me also wanted to beat me but growing up being taught to "BE A MAN " "TAKE IT LIKE A MAN " i was a little boy being beaten. soon in my life came stupid lables such as Reactive Attachment Disorder

and oppositional defiant disorder BOTH A LOAD OF SHIT !!!! in spite of the sercumstances of being beaten !!!!!!!!!!!

if some one was beating you you whould have diffaculty boding to them and you would oppose them and defie them too! ok enough said there . so the adoption failed and i was removed form the home being vied as the BAD BOY WITH PROBLEMS WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP I WAS THE BEING USED AND ABUSED.
but anyway they ( the state) put me into a number of behaviour homes and mential wards that followed the next 9 years of my life i went threw all sorts OF INHUMAIN HELL !!!!!!!!!!!! want just a view go to that site will only give you a glimps of what i went threw.

they treat you like a beast in there they let me out at the age of 18 and said here have a nice life !!!!!!!!!!!

for me the experince of going threw what i have gone threw having NO MOMMIE OR DADDY!!!!!!!!!!!! NO FAMLY!!!!!!!!! NO FRIENDS!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO ONE SPECIAL I COULD HOLD IN MY ARMS AND LOVE AND LOVE ME BACK THAT HAS BEEN HELL FOR ME !!!!!!!!!!! and you know what hurts the most is wheni try to talk to people they couldnt give a dame less they dont want to hear what i have been threw i am not asking for them to slove my problem i want some one to just listen and allow me to get it out . well go see a threpist NO THANK you i have seen too many of them as a child. if you read Warren Farrell you will understadn what i feel like if you read THE WAR AGAINST BOYS: HOW MISGUIDED FEMINSM IS HARMING OUR YOUNG MEN by Christina Hoff Sommers that can some what help. its just when you add up all the detials this whole world is agianst me i cant seem to win i cant find a job have been homeless for 5 years have tryed school failed. and am considering suaside more and more every day mean really give me some good reasons in realty why i should not just go kill my self and ill listen.

OH heavens i think this boy has gone off the deep end now !!! call the cops no!! call mentail health NO UH!!!! UH!!!

PS i am sorry to say this but my view of you saying that we (BOYS)
can now spread our wings sounds to me like another thing i have to do on my to do list inorder to be excepted in this socity read warren farrell men a reduced down to nothing but human-doings not human beings

question when the fuck is it going to be my turn

one last thing

Are men the oppressors of women, or are women the oppressors of men?

A woman wakes up in the morning, in a house built by men. She starts the water to boil on a stove built by men, and sits at a chair and table, put there by men, to read a newspaper written, in part, by women…but printed and delivered by men…She nibbles some toast, made from grains, grown and harvested by men….whoops…Time to take a shower. She turns a faucet handle installed by a man, and lo and behold…out comes HOT water, delivered by a vastly complicated water system, built by men. She drives to work in a car built by men, on roads built by men, powered by petroleum, drilled and refined and delivered by men. She arrives at an office building built by men. Walks to her desk, fires up her computer, and glances out her window at a city… built by men…full of potential customers for her service business… Out of the corner of her eye, a table in the conference room, that seems awkwardly out of place, snags her attention. She strokes her ear lobe. At that moment, the janitor scoots by in the hallway.

“Bob! Oh Bob. Could you PLEASE move that table, further into the corner. You’re such a dear.” She pins him, with a delectable, and utterly phony smile. Bob, oblivious to the cheapness of the words, and falseness of the smile…thrilled to get any attention at all, from such an attractive person…pitches right in. And as he lugs one corner of the heavy table, across the carpet, she EXhales a comfortable sigh. Her day, has begun.

She will spend the next 8 to 10 hours telling OTHER people, what to do. That’s HER understanding of work. This creature, who has NO idea WHERE things come from, HOW they are made, and has not the slightest knowledge, about HOW the world works, has been put in CHARGE of it…because there is really nothing else, of any specific value, she COULD be doing.

If she lived in a world built by women, she would be sitting in a tent, watching her breath in front of her face, stitching animal hides. But…she lives in a world BUILT, almost ENTIRELY, by men…and, AMAZINGLY, she has NOT the SLIGHTEST appreciation, or GRATITUDE for that fact. She never even stops to THINK about it. Never stops to think, that if all the things men make and do, were MAGICALLY removed, right now she would plodding through a MUDDY SWAMP, looking for red-wing blackbird eggs.

She thinks the world is made out of proper grammar, and attractive clothing, and polite conversation, and correct opinions…instead of rivets and concrete and copper and petroleum. From the day she picked up her first teaspoon, she has been learning how to manipulate the things men provide, as if they were put in front of her by God or Mother Nature. She has NO IDEA what men actually do. Yet, according to her, and the media she consumes, men are assholes.

How long do you think this is gonna last?

When I think of the men…the lumberjacks, and truck drivers, and paper mill workers, and printers, and deliverymen… the men who have to get up early, every morning, and do VERY hard jobs, so that Ellen Goodman, and Maureen Dowd, and other feminist blowhards, can sit in their climate controlled offices, shitting out editorials about what assholes, men are…when I think of those women, walking on the backs of all those men, I want to start BOMBING things. Let’s bomb them all the way back to the unheated tent, and the muddy swamp, and see what they complain about THEN. MAYBE they’ll start writing editorials, about how women should start doing, REAL work. Not just OFFICE WORK.


Here are the facts:

19 out of 20 people who die on the job, are men.
4 out of 5 suicides, are men.
85% of the homeless, are men.
Women live seven years longer, than men.
65% of American’s wealth, is owned by women, says Forbes Magazine.
Men are not regarded as equal parents to their children.
Men are drafted in time of war, and women are not.

Given these facts, how could anyone with half a brain, possibly believe that men are the oppressors of women.

Now hear this… Men are now, and always have been, the protectors and providers for women… men are NOT NOW, and NEVER HAVE been, the OPPressors of women. The simple proof of that being, that women are not now, and never have been, OPPRESSED. It’s all uh preposterous lie.

Nowhere in history do the oppressed, live longer, and have more money, than their oppressors. If 19 out of 20 people who died on the job were women, if four out of five suicides were women, if 85% of the homeless were women, we would have a FEDERAL task force investigating the outrage. But they’re just men…so no one cares.

The bottom line is, we have the whole gender/power thing completely backwards.

Let’s hear what Leo Tolstoy said about it, in the late 1800s:

(quote) “I have wondered why so many intelligent and good men live so blindly and badly. The reason lies in the POWER, women have, OVER them. They let themselves be carried along by the current, because that is what their wives and mistresses want. The WHOLE story is told in BED.”(unquote)

Any guy knows, it’s no different today.
Gomen Asai, no bunny points here. There've FAR too many families destroyed, FAR too many childrens lives forever ruined, FAR too many loving Fathers live left devastated... etc... by this social experiment run amok called Feminism.

Look up False Accusations/Sexual Allegations In Divorce.

Look up False Rape Accusations.

Look up Male Victim Domestic Violence (as opposed to female victims where battered women have a multi-billion dollar a year shelter industry to turn to for help... battered men have NOTHING).

Look up the Suicide Rate of divorced, separated and estranged fathers.

Nuh uh... no bunny points from me. You're a DAY LATE AND A DOLLAR SHORT.

Gunner Retired
Falsely Accused Father & Disenfranchised Parent
MrGunnerRetired on YouTube
Georgia Fathers 4 Justice Coordinator
National Parents Rights Assoc Research Consultant
Family Court Reform Alliance Archivist & Armorer
American Family Rights Assoc Armorer
Battered Husbands Support Armorer
and bestest of all: Kittens loving... and FIT... Daddy!!!
Why do men have to register for Selective Service ("The Draft") and women don't? Why have feminists not worked to change this glaring inequality?

Rachel Maddow is tastefully dressed. Imagine what the reaction would be if she leathered up, spiked her hair. Olberman is similarly tastefully dressed. In both cases it's not about the clothes.
Thanks for your nice post. (you might get some nutty comments and also some good ones coming from the link where I found it.)

I'm a guy also in the bay area. A few weeks ago I went to lunch with a friend of several years. This subject came up, and I gave appreciation for Warren Farrell and echoed some things you said, and included my own experience with homelessness. All of a sudden he exploded, compared me to the KKK, stormed out of the place, called me a woman hater to people he knew and sent trash talk emails until I had to block his account. I never said a thing about "all women are..." and support liberal views on things. I had never had a fight with this supposedly liberal man but after that instant reversal we will never speak again.

That's not just individual behavior, it's culturally ingrained hatred. In the future, it won't be acceptable any more but until then, thanks for helping.
Also, BFTQ, fabulous name. The points about clothing seem much less important than the piles of other pressures against men- prison, homelessness, court disparities and all kinds of other injustice. But I have to say that wearing fluffy pink clothing is both fun and eye opening. You should have seen what happened when I went bowling with a girlfriend wearing a pink shirt with rainbows on it. Simply a shirt i happened to enjoy while minding my own business. Do women ever get stuff thrown at them simply for wearing a piece of clothing?
Yes, I've thought this for years, how repressive the two dimensional male role is, and how it directly relates to feminism. The receptive quality in males isn't valued (as a culture although there are many exceptions to this quietly existing) simply because women are still undervalued. People are practically rigid from a lack of love and nurturance in their lives and men have the capability to provide love and care as seen in their archetypes: the shepherd and the farmer. Thank you for your post.
For the guys who are gritting their teeth, the point of this article is not to wear dresses and be the girl you aren't. The point is you couldn't if you wanted to, because your box is designed to be narrow. Your powers of expression are castrated by the internal and external demands to "grow a pair," and "be the man." Work, play, but don't show care and concern for yourself, don't be vulnerable, and don't give in.

I went to a huge family picnic recently and one guy grabbed his brother-in-law and said "I love this guy." The next response was, "do you two rub weenies on the weekend." Personal expression vs. repression and control. Get it?
Oh this is so rare, thank you for this.

"Fight for your right to be soft! Flush your Viagra down the toilet! (Your erections do not define you). Fight for your right to be colorful! " YES! "Burn your ties! Grow your hair!" YES! "Kick off your army boots," YES! "paint your toe nails," NO! "and dance like nobody's watching!" YES!

I could not agree more. I've experienced it in the real world.

Woman are free to expound on their love for kids and small children, but like you illustrated here if a man says the same things a dark and ugly beast leaps into many peoples minds.

I would not have a problem with it myself: being a stay-at-home dad I mean. But I'm a poet, a writer and the "sensitive" man that gets stereotyped as gay often just because I talked about emotions. I'm not gay, but that would probably help my hits if I was comfortable about fibbin' on that one!

More and more are waking up to us in American Culture. The Gender Pendulum has swung too far the wrong direction on this one.