Author Topic: Why do so few men "follow/fanboy/support" women, when the reverse is not true?  (Read 17988 times)

Nick_Miller

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 763
Sorry if this is a weird thought. I get them from time to time. Basically, I look at American entertainment (movies, sports, music) and I see a lot of this...

Men follow...Male sports teams. Male actors. Male singers/bands. Etc. We hardly ever "fanboy" for a female. Our favorite movies, tv shows, music acts, sports teams, are almost always male-dominated.

Women follow...Male and female sport teams. Male actors and female actors. Male and female singers/bands. They seem to "fangirl" for both genders.

I could give lots of examples, but I wonder why this is true? Are men socialized not to "look up" to women? Do we view their music/stories/sports as "too girly?"

Why do women so readily support entertainers of all genders? Is it just because options for all-female entertainment are more limited? Or are they just more open-minded?

Any thoughts?


mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6056
Quote
Are men socialized not to "look up" to women?

Probably.  With the whole "me too" thing, a lot of stuff coming out of the wood work, and so many men saying they don't know how to talk to women, and "boy am I glad I'm not dating anymore, that would be hard!"

Here's my husband, who fanboys both men and women (though generally, not sports!)  But he's baffled at how men would be afraid to talk to women, or not know how to - because his parents taught him how to respect people.

Nick_Miller

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 763
I'm just as baffled as is your husband about why men would be afraid or unsure how to talk to women. I just find that really weird.

But I'm guilty of not following women's sports. I mean, I watched the women's basketball final four last year, and it was pretty entertaining, but that's pretty much it.

I like some female actors, but honestly I'm not sure I like any of them enough to see a movie because she is in it.

I like some female singers, but the last female singer I saw in concert was Jewel like five years ago.

Kris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3452
Yup. Sexism. Men are seen as the default. Women are a "specialized" thing.

Also, institutionalized homophobia. Women aren't looked at as (lesbian) for following, say, a men's football team. But many men would feel "gay" liking a "chick" thing.

PoutineLover

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1010
I've noticed this as well, and I've read that the phenomenon is very pronounced in which authors people choose to read as well. I think it's due to a few different factors
-the fact that there are probably more male idols to choose from, since women are typically underrepresented in movies, sports and books
-the fact that female traits are not viewed as favourably as male traits, especially when choosing who to emulate and look up to
-women get far less screen time, funding and sponsorships in movies and sports
-the screen time they do get is focused on their value as sexual objects, and not for their accomplishments
-a lot of gender conditioning is changing, but often only in one direction. Girls can wear pants, but boys can't wear skirts. Girls can be anything now, but boys are made fun of for wanting to do "girly" jobs
-women aren't as strictly conditioned to only like stereotypical girl things, so they are more open to also looking up to male figures, and the selection of male figures to look up to is so much wider so it's harder to just have female role models.
Hoping that more men start to see that women can and should be role models as well, not just in entertainment but in politics and business as well.

Nick_Miller

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 763
Yes to @Kris. You phrased that much better than did I, especially the "specialized thing" part. I would point out that "women's" is treated as an actual genre in publishing, which I guess supports your "specialized thing" statement pretty well.

And I am mindful of viewing men as "default." I am guilty of it. But I'm trying to improve myself. When I write a story, my brain almost always "defaults" to a male main character. But I am getting better at overriding my default instincts. I'm currently working on a project with a female main character and she is super fun to write.

@PoutineLover, Yup, men really limit ourselves with our own toxic masculinity approach. My favorite TV show these days is "This Is Us" and I got SOOOOO much grief from my buddies when I said that. You wouldn't f'ing believe how they rode me out. (and it has a very balanced cast)
« Last Edit: November 19, 2018, 10:57:13 AM by Nick_Miller »

Adam Zapple

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 284
Really interesting topic.  I am guilty of this.  The only distinction I would make is that with certain sports, like basketball, the professional male teams provide a much more entertaining product due to the fact that the men are faster/able to jump higher etc.  This is not true in other sports, like tennis, where men and women are more evenly matched in skill.  That being said, I don't think too many boys are hanging Serena Williams posters on their walls.

When I was a teenager, I liked the Irish rock band The Cranberries enough to go see them in concert.  When I admit this to people now, I am made fun of.  The only reason for this, I assume, is because the lead singer was female.  If the same exact songs were sung by a male I don't think this would be the case.  When it comes to music, wrapped up in here somewhere is a cultural norm of what is or is not an acceptable amount of emotion that men are supposed to feel or express.  I can't really articulate my point on that though.

I completely agree with @PoutineLover that women's screen time is directly related to their "value" as sex objects.  You see this where lead women hit their late thirties or forties and no longer get leading roles.  This does not happen to men.

My observation on books is that men tend to read books written by men and women read books written by women.  This rule is broken more by women who will occasionally read male authors.  This is just my observation of friends and family so may not be the norm.

Dollar Slice

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3968
  • Age: 41
  • Location: New York City
Exactly what Kris said. Women are treated as a specialized minority thing in the arts/sports/etc.

I remember a female musician telling a story about how her manager told her she might get rejected from playing at a big festival because, even though the promoters really liked her, they already had booked another female-fronted band who played the same lead instrument as her (keyboard/piano). So basically they already had their token gender diversity taken care of and didn't want to overdo the whole "woman" thing. They didn't have a problem booking literally a dozen "men playing the guitar" bands.

It's also a huge problem in classical music where female composers are hugely underrepresented. Many major orchestras play entire seasons with no female composers at all, or maybe one short piece by one woman. (I'm not talking so much about, e.g., Baroque/Romantic music where women didn't generally work as composers much back then, but orchestras who include 20th/21st century music.)

A few music festivals (including my favorite one) have committed to booking at least 50% non-men (women, trans, nonbinary, etc.) going forward. And I do see a lot of my male friends following female musicians. But I definitely don't hang out with a "toxic masculinity" crowd...

Hula Hoop

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 789
  • Location: Italy
I was talking to some mom friends the other day and I recommended a particular book that my younger daughter just loves (Dory Fantasmagory - a great book for anyone with a 6-7 year old).  The other mother told me that her daughter loved it to and then recommended it to the mother of a boy who was standing with us by saying "the main character is a girl, but I think [her kid] would still like it as she's a real rebel and very funny and not girly at all."  So already in second grade, it's assumed that boys won't want to read about female characters.  But of course this never happens with the millions of books that my girls read with male main characters.

Still Being

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 670
Femininity viewed as weaker. Women are associated with femininity. Many things associated with femininity are seen as way to please men.  These are not my thoughts, just observances.

As a gender nonconforming ("Drag" etc) male, I enjoy many things women are stereotyped to enjoy. At the cost of having sexuality and gender questioned by each new person I meet. People are so confused as to why you would associate yourself with feminine things, and really want the explanation to be sexuality or some other LGBT identity they can slap on. Because enjoying these things that are stereotyped with women must mean you either want to have sex with other males or change your body?

At the end of the day, most of my life is within the boundaries of stereotyped male activities, but that small percentage of my time demands a 100% identity label, when really I just want to do these things the same as someone would with different reproductive parts.

The reason I tell you this is to show how participation in activities that aren't traditionally within the realm of males leads to questions. Being seen as someone who indulges in "feminine" activities leads to questioning, even if the activities aren't even inherently feminine, but rather just "things women have traditionally done." The policing of these gender roles is very strict. Not saying it's anywhere near what it was in the past, but we still have some way to go.

Hope this is helpful. Brief summary of years of thoughts. Hard to condense like this.

Kris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3452
Femininity viewed as weaker. Women are associated with femininity. Many things associated with femininity are seen as way to please men.  These are not my thoughts, just observances.

As a gender nonconforming ("Drag" etc) male, I enjoy many things women are stereotyped to enjoy. At the cost of having sexuality and gender questioned by each new person I meet. People are so confused as to why you would associate yourself with feminine things, and really want the explanation to be sexuality or some other LGBT identity they can slap on. Because enjoying these things that are stereotyped with women must mean you either want to have sex with other males or change your body?


Agreed. My husband enjoys many pursuits deemed "feminine." When I first met him and was describing my new boyfriend to people who had not yet met him, I lost count how many times casual acquaintances and even friends jokingly or not-so-jokingly asked me whether he was gay.

foghorn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
The MGTOW Movement may have something to do with it.

If you are not familiar, look it up.  Explains a lot.

Also, a great book may help provide some guidance.

Men On Strike

https://www.amazon.com/Men-Strike-Boycotting-Marriage-Fatherhood/dp/1594037620

Slee_stack

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 853
Most (all?) men's sports are more physical...faster throws, higher jumps, quicker turns, larger impacts, whatever.

Not that extremes have to make a sport more entertaining, but I suspect many prefer that.

For instance, Women's tennis tends to have longer points/rallies.  Men's tennis tends to be quicker points (aces, serve/volley).  Actually, in this way, I prefer women's tennis.

On a flip side....there is no women's baseball or football, so one doesn't even have a choice.  I really don't like football or basketball personally.


I never thought about actors/actresses though I have recently liked a couple TV directors..(Sam Esmail, Noah Hawley, Vince Gilligan) and they are all male so there's that. Typically, I just like weirder/mind F/deeper shows. I don't really care who produces them as long as they just keep doing it!

Music, I'm pretty even keeled.  I enjoy all sorts of male, female, and mixed groups.  I think the last album I purchased was Goldfrapp. 

Maybe I am influenced, but I just follow what looks or sounds interesting or fun.  Who's behind the camera or writing or starring, or whatever is truly secondary.  Except for Keanu Reeves and Tom Cruise.  Sorry, I just despise those guys.  Apologies to any fans.  I can;t think of an actress that I dislike in such a way.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2018, 01:08:43 PM by Slee_stack »

Sailor Sam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4145
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Steel Beach
  • Semper...something
The MGTOW Movement may have something to do with it.

If you are not familiar, look it up.  Explains a lot.

Also, a great book may help provide some guidance.

Men On Strike

https://www.amazon.com/Men-Strike-Boycotting-Marriage-Fatherhood/dp/1594037620

I seek a point of clarification. Are you saying that you view the MGTOW movement as a potential reason some men won't follow women-created entertainment, -or- are you personally ascribing to the MGTOW movement?

foghorn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
I am simply pointing out that many men feel that they are no longer valued in society and that interactions with women (particularly the workplace) can have severe (negative) consequences. 

With that in mind, the MGTOW movement seems to be gaining steam.  I am not specifically involved the movement, but do find it a fascinating and rational reaction for some men. 

I also read the book - "Men On Strike" and the author also makes a great case for men acting rationally and stepping aside from parts of society.

 

Philociraptor

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 849
  • Age: 29
  • Location: DFW, TX
  • FIRE class of 2029
Not sure why women tend to be more equal in their fandom, but I imaging men not looking up to women comes from sexism and a general sense of how anything feminine is seen as inferior. In many respects I like to think that I value men and women in a field equally, but I have my biases as well.

A few examples from my own life:
 - I listen to male vocalists almost exclusively because I like to sing along; I tend to have a harder time hitting the notes on songs with a female lead. Women don't have as much an issue with this because the majority of popular male artists sing in the tenor range.
 - I don't really follow team sports, but I do like watching impressive feats of strength (weightlifting, powerlifting, strongman); however, I imagine my wife wouldn't be too happy with me following female stars of the sports on Instagram, so I don't.
 - Same thing with female actors, showing an interest in them would probably make my wife jealous, so I only follow men.

Sailor Sam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4145
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Steel Beach
  • Semper...something
I am simply pointing out that many men feel that they are no longer valued in society and that interactions with women (particularly the workplace) can have severe (negative) consequences. 

With that in mind, the MGTOW movement seems to be gaining steam.  I am not specifically involved the movement, but do find it a fascinating and rational reaction for some men. 

I also read the book - "Men On Strike" and the author also makes a great case for men acting rationally and stepping aside from parts of society.

Thanks for clarifying.

Cromacster

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1627
  • Location: Minnesnowta
An interesting community to look into would be the Crossfit community.

At the competitive level the female stars are bigger than many of the top men and the fans are both male and female.

RyanAtTanagra

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 986
  • Location: SF Bay, CA
I've noticed this in myself but have never heard anyone else mention it before, thank you for bringing it up.

I don't watch sports, and most of my favorite bands/singers are female, so I'm not too guilty there, but I have noticed pretty much all my favorite actors/actresses are male.  I don't know if this is sexism on my part, or just more strong male leads, but there are definitely actors where I'll watch a movie just because they're in it, but don't know if I have any actresses where I'd do the same.  I'm aware of it, but not sure what to do about it, or if I even should do something.

My favorite authors are male as well, so same issue there too, for possibly same reasons.

calimom

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 769
  • Location: Northern California
I was talking to some mom friends the other day and I recommended a particular book that my younger daughter just loves (Dory Fantasmagory - a great book for anyone with a 6-7 year old).  The other mother told me that her daughter loved it to and then recommended it to the mother of a boy who was standing with us by saying "the main character is a girl, but I think [her kid] would still like it as she's a real rebel and very funny and not girly at all."  So already in second grade, it's assumed that boys won't want to read about female characters.  But of course this never happens with the millions of books that my girls read with male main characters.

Right? Like Harry Potter for example. No one tells little girls they might like the books - even though the main character is a boy. The conditioning, the conditioning.

One of my own favorite books, made into one of my favorite movies is The Hours by Michael Cunningham. Sure, he's a gay man, but he totally nails the perspectives of all the female characters. IMO it's truly a masterpiece.

Interesting topic and discussion, Nick Miller.

Paul der Krake

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4394
  • Age: 10
  • Location: USA
Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

marble_faun

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 253
In so many forms of media, men are just the default "person." 

We (women) grow up reading books or seeing TV shows about characters like Huck Finn, Harry Potter, Christopher Robin, Frodo Baggins, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles... etc. etc.  There are girl heroes too, of course, but many fewer.  So if we want to enjoy the widest range of stories, including some of the absolute most-popular, we have to identify with male characters. After a while it just seems normal. 

As a little kid I remember reading an old book called "Adventure Stories for Boys." I thought it was weird and sexist even then, before I had a word for that. I read it anyway, because I wanted to experience the stories and just had to ignore the fact that they weren't "for" girls.

Boys don't experience the same type of socialization with girl characters, I don't think (though maybe things are different now).  Girl stories remain niche.  It's easy to just ignore girl stories, because even ruling those out, boys still have access to a wide range of popular narratives.

Essentially women learn from an early age to relate to both girl and boy characters, while the reverse is not necessarily true.  As adults, we don't consider "movies about men" as niche "man movies," but just... movies.  Meanwhile just having female leads in one version of Ghostbusters seems to melt some viewers' minds.

But just to turn this around and offer a sign of change... I present this story of manly men (Marines!) crossing over to the girly side, from This American Life: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/606/just-what-i-wanted/prologue

EricL

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 872
For years I didn’t give a fuck about any sports whether played by men or women.  I only recently began following professional football.  Really no other sport seems worth following.

However, in 2008 I was watching YouTube and chanced on a vid about one of our nuclear aircraft carriers in a Pacific storm.  Waves were crashing over the flight deck. If you’ve ever seen a nuclear aircraft carrier you know the flight deck is absurdly high over the water line.  The next video was of Roz Savage rowing across the Pacific in a 23 foot long row boat.  Roz Savage quit a life as a business consultant to row across the Atlantic Ocean for environmental awareness. Then she rowed the Pacific. Then the Indian ocean. She’s the first woman to do all three, essentially rowing around the world.

I seriously fan boyed.  It wasn’t long before I was sending serious money to help her along plus military gear I bought at clothing and sales. She’s done rowing oceans now but still active in environmental causes. I had the privilege to attend one of her speaking events recently.  A phenomenal woman.  Look her up!

Nick_Miller

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 763
The more I think about it, and at the risk of sounding boorish, I think men are just so focused on sex that we struggle to view women through a non-sexual lens.

It's easier when a woman is much older/not attractive (yes, RBG is a good example) because then the focus is on her other qualities. But as long as she's at least borderline sexy, men's minds go just one place.

I think when many men "dig" a female celeb, what it means is that the guy wants to have sex with her, date her, marry her (i.e." claim her"), NOT "cheer her on from afar with her other adoring masses, hooting 'Yayyyyy Taylor, I love you!!'" There may be an element of affection or admiration, but it's all wrapped up in this ball of sexual energy.

Even a fairly progressive guy like President Obama felt the need to (publicly) comment on Kamala Harris's looks. Considering that he said that, does anyone really think he hadn't already pictured having sex with her? And Obama is like 100 times better than we mere mortal men.

(again, sorry if this is boorish. I was in the mood to be very honest. I know this doesn't exactly make me or other men look great. And I'm sure many guys will disagree with all of this)
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 07:18:22 AM by Nick_Miller »

Still Being

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 670
(again, sorry if this is boorish. I was in the mood to be very honest. I know this doesn't exactly make me or other men look great. And I'm sure many guys will disagree with all of this)

Good qualifier haha.

Milkshake

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 160
Slightly off topic, but in a similar vein, why is there a separate tournament for women's chess? I would think everyone would want to make it an even playing field. You just go play chess. There is even a separate title for "woman grandmaster", which is distinct from a "grandmaster".

The whole thing seems dumb to me. I would think men and women alike would want one, open-to-all chess style.

OtherJen

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 860
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Slightly off topic, but in a similar vein, why is there a separate tournament for women's chess? I would think everyone would want to make it an even playing field. You just go play chess. There is even a separate title for "woman grandmaster", which is distinct from a "grandmaster".

The whole thing seems dumb to me. I would think men and women alike would want one, open-to-all chess style.

I wonder if it started as a way to give women an opportunity after being excluded (explicitly or tacitly) from male clubs and tournaments.

OtherJen

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 860
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Dollar Slice mentioned the paucity of female composers in classical music. I’ve been a choral singer for 25 years. Most of my directors have been men, and they rarely (if ever) selected pieces by women. In my current group, one of the other women pointed this out to our (male) director who was initially shocked and defensive, but acknowledged the issue once he spent some time reflecting. His default was “male composer,” and he gravitated toward those works without ever considering that he might be excluding a lot of repertoire. We now have two very well-written pieces by female composers on this year’s holiday program, and they seem to be favorites of everyone in the group.

RetiredAt63

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9830
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Dollar Slice mentioned the paucity of female composers in classical music. I’ve been a choral singer for 25 years. Most of my directors have been men, and they rarely (if ever) selected pieces by women. In my current group, one of the other women pointed this out to our (male) director who was initially shocked and defensive, but acknowledged the issue once he spent some time reflecting. His default was “male composer,” and he gravitated toward those works without ever considering that he might be excluding a lot of repertoire. We now have two very well-written pieces by female composers on this year’s holiday program, and they seem to be favorites of everyone in the group.

What songs?  I joined a choir this year, and most of our songs are by men (including Henry VIII) or traditional.

Dabnasty

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1287
The more I think about it, and at the risk of sounding boorish, I think men are just so focused on sex that we struggle to view women through a non-sexual lens.

It's easier when a woman is much older/not attractive (yes, RBG is a good example) because then the focus is on her other qualities. But as long as she's at least borderline sexy, men's minds go just one place.

I think when many men "dig" a female celeb, what it means is that the guy wants to have sex with her, date her, marry her (i.e." claim her"), NOT "cheer her on from afar with her other adoring masses, hooting 'Yayyyyy Taylor, I love you!!'" There may be an element of affection or admiration, but it's all wrapped up in this ball of sexual energy.

Even a fairly progressive guy like President Obama felt the need to (publicly) comment on Kamala Harris's looks. Considering that he said that, does anyone really think he hadn't already pictured having sex with her? And Obama is like 100 times better than we mere mortal men.

(again, sorry if this is boorish. I was in the mood to be very honest. I know this doesn't exactly make me or other men look great. And I'm sure many guys will disagree with all of this)

Boorish perhaps, but honest and an important part of the sexism conversation that rarely gets brought up. Sometimes I wonder if it's just me, but I think the truth is a majority of men have difficulty not seeing women this way. Some would blame it on toxic masculinity, and maybe that's a part of it, but I think most of it is biology. After all, survival of the horniest is what got us here.

To be clear, I'm not suggesting that this makes it ok to objectify women. If your actions harm someone else, it doesn't matter how hard it is to control them, it's your responsibility. But I am saying it takes real effort to look past our base desires when they tap you on the shoulder to remind you to preserve your genes every time you see a woman. It's exhausting.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 09:07:54 AM by Dabnasty »

driftwood

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 271
I can't speak to the trend, but I'd say I'm the opposite (straight male, because it's pertinent to the convo).

I follow two people on Instagram that aren't real people I know:

Jessica Graff - she's a stuntwoman who is constantly posting pictures of her playing and climbing and doing various fun things. I follow her because I like being reminded to 'play' as an adult instead of being sedentary. She's also a badass.

The Rock - The more I see of his personality (which I recognize is filtered for social media), the more I like the guy. It's nice to see the other side of actors.  For most actors all I know of them is the characters they play. In fact, I won't stream movies anymore because of how following him made me think about the whole thing. I feel better paying for entertainment because I recognize that people are working their asses off to create it and deserve to be paid.

I used to follow Jessica Biel as well, I always thought she was a cool actress. I probably unfollowed because she doesn't post things I find interesting anymore.

Sport teams and athletes... never really got into watching others play sport, and I don't like organized sports anyways, so that whole category is out for me. I'd rather go play outside on a mountain than watch people on a field.

Now that Wonder Woman has come out as a good movie I'd add Gal Gadot to someone I'm a 'fan' of.

It's already recognized that there is a lack of women role models and heroes in popular American culture. As we see more in movies and real life they may attract more men. Growing up I all my action hero options were men.

driftwood

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 271
An interesting community to look into would be the Crossfit community.

At the competitive level the female stars are bigger than many of the top men and the fans are both male and female.

Straight Male again... if I fanboy out on anyone in the CF community, it's usually the women. I think I've seen muscular men for years. So seeing fit women that can destroy these challenges is more exciting to me.

I don't know if that makes it more or less sexist if I am more of a fan of women in Crossfit because I'm attracted to them. As opposed to being a fan of the guys because I could identify with them or see them as role models? It's hard to figure out how my brain works. I respect both genders when I see them out perform me, but I think I'm more amazed when the women do it.

Philociraptor

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 849
  • Age: 29
  • Location: DFW, TX
  • FIRE class of 2029
The more I think about it, and at the risk of sounding boorish, I think men are just so focused on sex that we struggle to view women through a non-sexual lens.

It's easier when a woman is much older/not attractive (yes, RBG is a good example) because then the focus is on her other qualities. But as long as she's at least borderline sexy, men's minds go just one place.

I think this hits the nail on the head.

ketchup

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3670
  • Age: 27
This is a fascinating topic.
I was talking to some mom friends the other day and I recommended a particular book that my younger daughter just loves (Dory Fantasmagory - a great book for anyone with a 6-7 year old).  The other mother told me that her daughter loved it to and then recommended it to the mother of a boy who was standing with us by saying "the main character is a girl, but I think [her kid] would still like it as she's a real rebel and very funny and not girly at all."  So already in second grade, it's assumed that boys won't want to read about female characters.  But of course this never happens with the millions of books that my girls read with male main characters.

Right? Like Harry Potter for example. No one tells little girls they might like the books - even though the main character is a boy. The conditioning, the conditioning.
This specifically I would wholeheartedly disagree with.  As someone that lived through the Harry Potter phenomenon at the exact right age (I read the first three at age 8, and the last came out when I was 16), it was absolutely both boys and girls that were into those books.  It was everyone.

However, Joanne Rowling definitely deliberately chose to publish as "J. K. Rowling" without it being clear she was a woman, and that's definitely a sign of what we're talking about here.  She's since published as "Robert Galbraith" for presumably the same reason.

Kris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3452
This is a fascinating topic.
I was talking to some mom friends the other day and I recommended a particular book that my younger daughter just loves (Dory Fantasmagory - a great book for anyone with a 6-7 year old).  The other mother told me that her daughter loved it to and then recommended it to the mother of a boy who was standing with us by saying "the main character is a girl, but I think [her kid] would still like it as she's a real rebel and very funny and not girly at all."  So already in second grade, it's assumed that boys won't want to read about female characters.  But of course this never happens with the millions of books that my girls read with male main characters.

Right? Like Harry Potter for example. No one tells little girls they might like the books - even though the main character is a boy. The conditioning, the conditioning.
This specifically I would wholeheartedly disagree with.  As someone that lived through the Harry Potter phenomenon at the exact right age (I read the first three at age 8, and the last came out when I was 16), it was absolutely both boys and girls that were into those books.  It was everyone.

However, Joanne Rowling definitely deliberately chose to publish as "J. K. Rowling" without it being clear she was a woman, and that's definitely a sign of what we're talking about here.  She's since published as "Robert Galbraith" for presumably the same reason.

I think that's the point that Calimom was trying to make. Both girls and boys read those books because the main character was a boy. No one had to try to convince girls that the books would be any good even though there was a male protagonist.

Imagine if the book had been Hermione Potter. And Harry was her secondary character friend. Pretty sure that would have been a book lots of boys wouldn't want to read because it was a "girl" book.

ketchup

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3670
  • Age: 27
This is a fascinating topic.
I was talking to some mom friends the other day and I recommended a particular book that my younger daughter just loves (Dory Fantasmagory - a great book for anyone with a 6-7 year old).  The other mother told me that her daughter loved it to and then recommended it to the mother of a boy who was standing with us by saying "the main character is a girl, but I think [her kid] would still like it as she's a real rebel and very funny and not girly at all."  So already in second grade, it's assumed that boys won't want to read about female characters.  But of course this never happens with the millions of books that my girls read with male main characters.

Right? Like Harry Potter for example. No one tells little girls they might like the books - even though the main character is a boy. The conditioning, the conditioning.
This specifically I would wholeheartedly disagree with.  As someone that lived through the Harry Potter phenomenon at the exact right age (I read the first three at age 8, and the last came out when I was 16), it was absolutely both boys and girls that were into those books.  It was everyone.

However, Joanne Rowling definitely deliberately chose to publish as "J. K. Rowling" without it being clear she was a woman, and that's definitely a sign of what we're talking about here.  She's since published as "Robert Galbraith" for presumably the same reason.

I think that's the point that Calimom was trying to make. Both girls and boys read those books because the main character was a boy. No one had to try to convince girls that the books would be any good even though there was a male protagonist.

Imagine if the book had been Hermione Potter. And Harry was her secondary character friend. Pretty sure that would have been a book lots of boys wouldn't want to read because it was a "girl" book.
Oh crap, you're right.  I completely misread that.

J Boogie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 768
For thousands of years, it's been mostly men that have been the ones tasked with (or viewed another way, have had the opportunity to go out and do) activities such as hunting, fighting, building and many other forms of work. Often these activities are dangerous, exciting, or interesting.

Women, on the other hand, have largely been tasked with domestic activities for millennia. Often these activities are repetitive, mindless, and in comparison, boring. Any Moms out there received snarky or underwhelming reactions when they shared that they are *just* a stay at home mom? As if being an account manager or an insurance broker or a data analyst is like being Sinbad the Sailor.

Roughly 60 years now we've been transitioning into an era where women are regularly engaging outside of the domestic arena. And now that we are more advanced in the developed world, with washing machines and industrial agriculture and daycare, women have more options.

But this is the very beginning. Massive, longstanding cultural norms have idiosyncrasies that can linger.









OtherJen

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 860
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Dollar Slice mentioned the paucity of female composers in classical music. I’ve been a choral singer for 25 years. Most of my directors have been men, and they rarely (if ever) selected pieces by women. In my current group, one of the other women pointed this out to our (male) director who was initially shocked and defensive, but acknowledged the issue once he spent some time reflecting. His default was “male composer,” and he gravitated toward those works without ever considering that he might be excluding a lot of repertoire. We now have two very well-written pieces by female composers on this year’s holiday program, and they seem to be favorites of everyone in the group.

What songs?  I joined a choir this year, and most of our songs are by men (including Henry VIII) or traditional.

I don’t have the music handy, but one of them is “The Snow Is Deep on the Ground” by Katie Kring. A cappella, 8-part splits, absolutely gorgeous.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6056
Most (all?) men's sports are more physical...faster throws, higher jumps, quicker turns, larger impacts, whatever.

Not that extremes have to make a sport more entertaining, but I suspect many prefer that.

For instance, Women's tennis tends to have longer points/rallies.  Men's tennis tends to be quicker points (aces, serve/volley).  Actually, in this way, I prefer women's tennis.

On a flip side....there is no women's baseball or football, so one doesn't even have a choice.  I really don't like football or basketball personally.


I never thought about actors/actresses though I have recently liked a couple TV directors..(Sam Esmail, Noah Hawley, Vince Gilligan) and they are all male so there's that. Typically, I just like weirder/mind F/deeper shows. I don't really care who produces them as long as they just keep doing it!

Music, I'm pretty even keeled.  I enjoy all sorts of male, female, and mixed groups.  I think the last album I purchased was Goldfrapp. 

Maybe I am influenced, but I just follow what looks or sounds interesting or fun.  Who's behind the camera or writing or starring, or whatever is truly secondary.  Except for Keanu Reeves and Tom Cruise.  Sorry, I just despise those guys.  Apologies to any fans.  I can;t think of an actress that I dislike in such a way.
Funny, though my husband and I aren't really "into" sports, this is exactly why we prefer women's sports.

Back in the day (pre-kids), we played a lot of volleyball.  It's our sport.  When he was in grad school and could get into the games for free (I had to pay), we went to a lot of games.  We MUCH preferred women's games because of the longer rallies.  We did recently have a date night to a men's game.  It was good.  Just not as exciting.

Likewise, tennis.  He played tennis in HS, and we much prefer watching women's tennis.  (We don't have cable or over-the-air TV, so it's not a common thing.)

At one point, years ago, I tried to watch a few NBA games, and the TRAVELING drove me effing bonkers after watching HS games with real refs.  I had to stop.

RetiredAt63

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9830
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Dollar Slice mentioned the paucity of female composers in classical music. I’ve been a choral singer for 25 years. Most of my directors have been men, and they rarely (if ever) selected pieces by women. In my current group, one of the other women pointed this out to our (male) director who was initially shocked and defensive, but acknowledged the issue once he spent some time reflecting. His default was “male composer,” and he gravitated toward those works without ever considering that he might be excluding a lot of repertoire. We now have two very well-written pieces by female composers on this year’s holiday program, and they seem to be favorites of everyone in the group.

What songs?  I joined a choir this year, and most of our songs are by men (including Henry VIII) or traditional.

I don’t have the music handy, but one of them is “The Snow Is Deep on the Ground” by Katie Kring. A cappella, 8-part splits, absolutely gorgeous.

Thanks.  We are all women, so we do up to 4 part harmony.  Must find it on Youtube and listen.

koshtra

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 592
  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
  • massage therapist, database guy, worder
    • Mole
Dunno. I'm a huge fan of women's soccer, and a total fanboy of Tobin Heath.

Men's soccer is okay, but it feels like a different game -- they can cover so much more of the field, and move across it so fast, that it feels (to someone used to women's soccer) like they're playing on a cramped little field with no real surge and flow. The women's games feel a little more raw and ragged and open.

Plus the women are all playing it just because they love the game, since there isn't a huge pro salary dangling in front of them. And there's a lot less of the injury histrionics. They get knocked down, they just get back up and keep playing.

At this point I'd guess a lot of the disparity is just legacy. There's a huge infrastructure already in place supporting men's sports. It takes decades, generations, to work up a real sports culture. The men's teams and their fans are already there taking up most of the space.

Kris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3452
Dunno. I'm a huge fan of women's soccer, and a total fanboy of Tobin Heath.

Men's soccer is okay, but it feels like a different game -- they can cover so much more of the field, and move across it so fast, that it feels (to someone used to women's soccer) like they're playing on a cramped little field with no real surge and flow. The women's games feel a little more raw and ragged and open.

Plus the women are all playing it just because they love the game, since there isn't a huge pro salary dangling in front of them. And there's a lot less of the injury histrionics. They get knocked down, they just get back up and keep playing.

At this point I'd guess a lot of the disparity is just legacy. There's a huge infrastructure already in place supporting men's sports. It takes decades, generations, to work up a real sports culture. The men's teams and their fans are already there taking up most of the space.

Omg yes. Men’s soccer is freaking ridiculous about this. Any other player gets near someone, and the guy instantly drops to the ground and clutches a random body part like he’s being murdered. You don’t see that kind of histrionic behavior in women’s soccer.

use2betrix

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1292
The anatomy of men and women is very different. A lot of it has nothing to do with social norms.

It is proven that testosterone is one of the primary hormones responsibility for intensity, aggression, and muscle mass. A woman’s testosterone levels average about 15-70 ng/DL, while men’s average around 380-1000 ng/DL.

This is a huge part of the reason that men are faster, more athletic, play with more aggression, etc.

This is why men’s roles in movies are often way different than women’s, and, of course, why men would be more attracted to these roles.

I honestly believe that these exact biological reasons are responsible for a lot of other male issues in our society.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 07:38:50 PM by use2betrix »

acepedro45

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 108
Very thought-provoking topic and discussion!

I (a hetero middle-aged male) was struggling to come up with women artists/performers/authors that I dig who aren't also trafficking in at least some degree of sex appeal.

I did come up with two examples where my fanboyism cannot be linked to appearance (since I have no idea what either one looks like): Denise Mueller-Korenek, owner of the world's fastest recorded time on a bicycle at just under 184 mph and and the MMM forum's own Laura33.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 12348
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
A certain part of the reason that people watch sport is because they want to see some of the best athletes in the world competing against each other.  In the vast majority of sports, women aren't as good as men.  Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that a female pro-anything player will run rings around your average Joe . . . but at the upper levels of nearly every sport, women tend to not be as good.  That's the reason that we have separate men's and women's sports to begin with.  If they were mixed the men will dominate.

I think that there's a valid reason why some people wouldn't want to watch women competing in sport for this reason.

big_owl

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 555
A certain part of the reason that people watch sport is because they want to see some of the best athletes in the world competing against each other.  In the vast majority of sports, women aren't as good as men.  Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that a female pro-anything player will run rings around your average Joe . . . but at the upper levels of nearly every sport, women tend to not be as good.  That's the reason that we have separate men's and women's sports to begin with.  If they were mixed the men will dominate.

I think that there's a valid reason why some people wouldn't want to watch women competing in sport for this reason.

I was hesitant to respond to this thread for fear of getting flamed, but since you went first...yes that explains my lack of interest in female sports.  I'm into track and field and bodybuilding.  Female bodybuilding...well no.  But track and field...if I look at the 2016 Olympics in the events I'm interested in, as a highschooler my PR times were not far off from the top three Olympic times for women.  It's hard to get excited about female athletes who really aren't any better than I was when I was 17yo.  I'm not much into professional sports like NFL and so on, but for things like WNBA vs NBA, the WNBA are just way more boring than NBA.

The other thing that gets me is that as a almost 40yo male, if I was getting excited about 20-something females I'd be almost universally labeled as a creeper. 

RetiredAt63

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9830
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
So those of you who only want to watch the top levels in sports - I trust you do not watch junior hockey, high school football, or any other sport where level of play is not world class?

I have heard people go for the opposite viewpoint, that because women do not have the sheer strength to muscle through in a sport, they go for planning, finesse, and strategy, which can make the game (whatever game it is) equally interesting in its own way. 

Women's curling is just as interesting as men's, and so is mixed.  Each requires different technique.  (Curling is much more interesting than baseball, it is just most people have no clue about what is going on in the game).

Anecdote - I forget where I saw this, in show jumping, when there are multiple people in a tie, sometimes they have the riders trade horses.  Riding someone else's horse, it is usually a woman who wins - because she knows it is the team of the horse and her, not just her, that needs to complete the round.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 12348
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
So those of you who only want to watch the top levels in sports - I trust you do not watch junior hockey, high school football, or any other sport where level of play is not world class?

I have heard people go for the opposite viewpoint, that because women do not have the sheer strength to muscle through in a sport, they go for planning, finesse, and strategy, which can make the game (whatever game it is) equally interesting in its own way. 

Women's curling is just as interesting as men's, and so is mixed.  Each requires different technique.  (Curling is much more interesting than baseball, it is just most people have no clue about what is going on in the game).

Anecdote - I forget where I saw this, in show jumping, when there are multiple people in a tie, sometimes they have the riders trade horses.  Riding someone else's horse, it is usually a woman who wins - because she knows it is the team of the horse and her, not just her, that needs to complete the round.

Some sports I believe that you can certainly make that argument.

I like to watch judo, BJJ, boxing, Muay Thai, and the occasional MMA fight.  It's hard to find this stuff televised, and I've watched (and participated in) many local amateur matches.  I'll take what I can get.  :P  The caliber and skill of high level men vs high level women in combat sports that I have seen is not even close though.  It's phenomenally higher for men (maybe because far fewer women take up competitive combat sports?  I don't know.)  Because of this I'd opt for watching men rather than women every time that a pro match is on.

EricL

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 872
One mental question I toy with sometimes is how to make a team sport everyone can play. Something men, women, and people with tall and stocky physiques can play together as a team with each making equal contributions. 

Bonus if you can add people in wheelchairs.

koshtra

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 592
  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
  • massage therapist, database guy, worder
    • Mole
Huh. It doesn't occur to me to compare the female to the male athletes. (I mean, I can do it now, as a thought exercise, but it's not something that springs naturally to my mind.) Any more than I'd see a greyhound race and think, "well, a cheetah could outrun any of them, so no point in watching this."

Which is maybe the crudest gender essentialism, on my part...? I dunno.

I'm not aware of anything creepy about my engagement with it. (For that matter, it's not clear to me why watching 20-something young men run about is automatically non-creepy. I think we're just used to it.)

Not sure how much the fact that we have a bunch of world-cup-contending women playing here in Portland has to do with my being a fan. In the universe of women's soccer Portland is an important place, and there aren't all that many universes in which it even appears on the map. (Brewing? Zines? Tiny houses?)