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Fri Dec 26, 2014, 09:50 PM

One topic in gender issues that I rarely see discussed

Women have the power/privilege of sexual attractiveness and being desired.

This IS a power. Furthermore, it is a power that men by and large do not have. Can it also be a curse? Yes, sure. People DO talk about the curse of beauty, about how they just want to be left alone. Women also like to talk about how they are "invisible" when they reach middle age. Some are quite happy to become invisible, others less so. But most of them can look back on a time when they felt beautiful, attractive and desired. Do men have many other powers that women do not have? Yes, sure. But that does not mean this does not deserve to be talked about.

It seems this is verboten to talk about and doing so carries the risk of being labelled everything from an MRA to a misogynist.

Most women, at some point in their life, have experienced the power to influence or even manipulate men (or other women) with their sexual attractiveness. Most men do not have that experience. And with that power comes also the naturally good feelings that come with being desired; self-confidence, pride, whatever. All humans enjoy such feelings however superficial or narcissistic they may be. Is this not true? Do women think that men are so different that the feeling of "being beautiful" is not needed by them despite the powerful need that so many women have to do so?

If you think that women DO NOT need to "feel beautiful", consider all the "Yes you ARE beautiful" messages aimed at women.Naturally you could say men don't need these because they have so much power in society, but I think that answer is too facile.

To rephrase this conversation: Are men and women so different that men's need to feel beautiful/attractive/desired is not worthy of even discussion?

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 10:12 PM

1. It's easier to criticise the other end of that dynamic rather than trying to solve any problems

Men have the power of initiation, in that they get to choose who they attempt to initiate a potential relationship with. For this they are criticized, because women don't have this power. The problem is it never really works this way. Certainly some men will choose to initiate unsolicited, and will generally face a high rejection rate. Most men will simply wait for a que to initiate to lessen their chances of rejection, while women who offer those ques retain the real power of initiation without any fear of rejection.

Internet dating seems to have solved some of these problems. You'd think men would be the ones complaining about internet dating because it robs them of pretty much all of their perceived power, yet I don't know any who have.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Sat Dec 27, 2014, 03:08 PM

2. Harry Belafonte had some wise words on the matter, I think.

That's right.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 28, 2014, 03:42 PM

5. Daylight come and I wanna go home?

 

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 28, 2014, 05:21 PM

6. ...

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 01:21 PM

10. The calypso version




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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Sun Dec 28, 2014, 12:39 PM

3. What makes a man desirable as a husband isn't primarily about appearance.

 

Male attraction is almost entirely about power and influence (and this is often measured in money). Physical appearance only helps to pave the way.

Straight men risk their health in dangerous jobs, spend their lives working long hours and take crazy risks to appeal to women. It drives most things we do.

I suspect a somewhat different general dynamic is at work with same sex relationships, but others are better qualified to say.



Crazy risks to get the girl? This guy poked the Ayatollah with a stick.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Sun Dec 28, 2014, 03:39 PM

4. That cuts both ways however

 

My profession (college professor) is pretty gender neutral, opportunity-wise. Our faculty is about 50-50, and we all get paid the same shitty salaries. However, there are some of my male colleagues who don't cut their hair, don't shave, don't shower regularly, and show up for work dressed like homeless people. This doesn't seem to have any effect on how their students rate their performance. Whereas the women are not allowed that "luxury".

So, as it pertains to this thread, while we are less likely to get complemented on our looks or appearance, at least in my realm we are also less likely to get criticized. Personally I am above-average looks-wise for my age, with excellent mediterranean skin, good head of salt & pepper wavy hair, and no deformities. I also shower and shave every day and wear clean clothes. Would it be nice to get complemented on my looks by my pretty co-eds or female peers? Sure. Everyone would like to have their looks acknowledged, especially if they've made some effort on the issue. But once you've brought physical appearance into the discussion on the complementary end, you've opened up the other end as well.

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 29, 2014, 01:09 AM

7. "you've opened up the other end"...

That "end" is generally the ONLY one that is open. There is no end to the discussions about women's lack of power and the curse of having unknown men approach them.

Furthermore, in response to the comments here so far, I think much of my point has been missed so I will try to distill it:

-Humans are humans are humans. They have the same emotional content and needs. One of them, I believe, is the need to feel attractive. Yes, men have power of a different kind as Lumberjack pointed out. This is commonly recognized as is the burden of being attractive (catcalls, etc.). But what is NOT discussed (not as far as I have seen) is that men lack A) the pleasure (generally) of being pursued, complimented and sought after (yes, yes, it IS done I know on a smaller scale and quite subtle but that is my point) and B) The ability to influence and manipulate (e.g. POWER) without the power of economic influence.

In other words, poor women can still have power. Perhaps even poor, unattractive women with a little makeup. Yes, it is limited power but then again all power has its limitations. Men, OTOH, if lacking money AND looks will find themselves up a brown creek without an oar.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 30, 2014, 05:27 PM

8. My wife is frequently complementary of my looks.

 

I attribute it to the normal effect of aging on her visual acuity.

I'm not without virtues, but any list of my attributes would rank "looks" somewhere below "winning personality" and "emotional intelligence".

I guess I'd say that appearance has never been a huge consideration for me. I worry about as much about what people think of my appearance as my opinion... It is what it is.

I'm pretty much like the coworkers that DrJ describes... but with suspenders.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 30, 2014, 09:51 PM

9. Personal anecdotes are nice but don't exactly address the issue I am describing.

I seem to have done a poor job in making my point for some reason.

Perhaps men ARE different or I am different from most men, but I would like to be pursued more than I think most men are. I would like to be the object of desire in the way that I think most women get to be at some point in their lives. I am happy with my looks and am complimented a fair bit, and I do understand as well that it is superficial to care about such things, but I think it is a common human trait.

My point is why is this common desire so accepted in women ("You ARE beautiful on the inside and outside, etc!" but not in men?

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Sat Jan 3, 2015, 04:06 PM

11. I define this a little differently as to accommodate a broader cross section

 

Everyone has a need to be wanted. That can come in numerous forms, ranging from sexual desire to being integral to a project or a work environment.

Men often achieve this through having resources and means... IE: A great job, nice car, beautiful house and lots of money... or by being extremely capable and skilled in being able to build and construct through various crafts, or having significant physical prowess. Essentially, being able to provide and or protect a significant other/family is the dominant way men derive attractiveness to women.

This largely hails back to the caveman days where men were, in fact, the hunters and providers, as well as protectors, of the family. Its a sort of genetic memory that has been handed down through the ages. Now, we have the joy of dealing with ingrained Neolithic genetic mandates.

I could cover the female side of the equation too, but in this case, its not particularly relevant.

People need to be needed/wanted. Its an intrinsic part of our psychological makeup.
Talking about it should never be verboten, regardless of gender.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Sun Jan 4, 2015, 09:20 PM

12. This was alerted on when first posted.

I've been busy, but here are the results. I was #3:

On Sat Dec 27, 2014, 10:10 AM an alert was sent on the following post:

One topic in gender issues that I rarely see discussed
http://www.democraticunderground.com/111414660

REASON FOR ALERT

This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate.

ALERTER'S COMMENTS

"risk of being labelled everything from an MRA to a misogynist."

If you don't want to be labeled an MRA or misogynist, don't make comments like: "Most women, at some point in their life, have experienced the power to influence or even manipulate men (or other women) with their sexual attractiveness." It comes off as very Elliot Rogers and I don't think DU should cater to those who push these MRA talking points.

You served on a randomly-selected Jury of DU members which reviewed this post. The review was completed at Sat Dec 27, 2014, 10:21 AM, and the Jury voted 1-6 to LEAVE IT.

Juror #1 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: Though the poster is obviously sexist, and the post is ludicrous, I don't think it crosses the line into hurtful and insensitive territory (and definitely not Rodger-level creepiness). I recommend trashing the Men's group; I have, so I never have to read this type of b.s.
Juror #2 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: No explanation given
Juror #3 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: Alerter, you deserve a 7-0 Leave.
Juror #4 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: I'm very torn here. I personally think the op is some pretty nonsensical, mra type mix of cluelessness and self pity. And if it was in GD, I might agree that it needs to find a home elsewhere. But it's in the men's group which sadly is the home for mra mewling.
Juror #5 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: No explanation given
Juror #6 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: This entire post boils down to the old joke 'women can have sex whenever they want, men can only have sex when women let them'. It's sexist and bullshit, and belongs on the scrapheap, not posited as a serious topic on DU.
Juror #7 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: I didn't find the post offensive enough to hide. Why not debate the point rather than hide such opinions (and it is just an opinion)?

Thank you very much for participating in our Jury system, and we hope you will be able to participate again in the future.

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Response to RiffRandell (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 4, 2015, 09:25 PM

13. Glad to see those results. Thanks for posting them. nt

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Sat Jan 17, 2015, 01:17 PM

14. One advantage to being born ugly is that I've never

 

felt 'visible', hence there is no sense of loss of desirability as I've aged. You can't miss something you never had.

Of course, since I'm a white male, I've obviously been handed everything in life on a silver platter. The fact that my dad was an alcoholic janitor who could barely feed us, and that I had to work for every cent to put myself through college, doesn't count for anything.

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