Young South Korean Men Revolt Against Feminism in South Korea

Silvanus

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Sadly though, it doesn't work that way. The problems with men are too widespread to be attributable to special type of toxic masculinity, or a minority of "terrible people." All masculinity is toxic. Abuse is so baked into the fabric of what masculinity is that it cannot simply be removed. There is no type of man who is automatically safe, or who can be trusted not to rape someone or turn into a monster given the opportunity.
Wait, what?

I can understand that taking precautions around men in general is an appropriate response. I can see that men in general, even if they aren't personally abusers, share some responsibility to ensure that abuse doesn't happen.

But taking that statement as it's written, it's saying that even those who actually do take responsibility, and who do not act improperly, are toxic nonetheless, and would be rapists if given the opportunity. Taking that statement as it's written, it's saying that I'm toxic, and would be a rapist if given the opportunity.

Think you might want to reword that.
 

Thaluikhain

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But taking that statement as it's written, it's saying that even those who actually do take responsibility, and who do not act improperly, are toxic nonetheless, and would be rapists if given the opportunity. Taking that statement as it's written, it's saying that I'm toxic, and would be a rapist if given the opportunity.
Not how I'm reading that, I'm interpreting that as any man/you might be a rapist and there's no way of telling, that is, there's no checklist of A, B and C that if a man does you know for sure he's not a rapist, or X, Y and Z that all rapists do and that's how you spot them.
 

Silvanus

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Not how I'm reading that, I'm interpreting that as any man/you might be a rapist and there's no way of telling, that is, there's no checklist of A, B and C that if a man does you know for sure he's not a rapist, or X, Y and Z that all rapists do and that's how you spot them.
I don't think that squares with how the paragraph is written. Statements like "all masculinity is toxic", and "there is no type of man who can be trusted not to rape someone", are not about perception, or precautions, or whether it's possible to delineate the safe from the unsafe. They seem to quite explicitly say all are toxic, all are unsafe.

I'm hoping it just needs a rewrite, and that this isn't Terminal Blue's intent.
 

McElroy

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I'm hoping it just needs a rewrite, and that this isn't Terminal Blue's intent.
It could be purposefully provocative. Feminists have probably found ways to attach +1 to rape into anything considered masculine or belonging to the patriarchy. Go far enough radfem in these matters and rape as a term becomes extremely diluted and starts to mean very little on its own. Like should that sort of feminism get mainstream traction, one could even support a "revolt" against it. But hopefully it's too crazy to do that.
 

Terminal Blue

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Most men never rape anybody. Rapists are a minority of terrible people.
That's not really the point I was making.

Rapists are indeed a minority. However, my point was that there isn't a distinct cultural "type" of man who is prone to rape.

My problem with the idea of "toxic masculinity" is that it assumes that there is one specific, static cultural form that is the bad masculinity, and that other forms of masculinity are thus benign. It's an attempt to link the social harms of masculinity with a particular kind of stereotypical cultural expression, which I find very suspicious.

Back in the 80s, a lot of radical feminists used to have this idea that male dominance over women was primarily based on the fear of violence, which I suspect is what you think I'm saying. Sure, most men don't rape, but there was this idea that most men liked women to be afraid of rape, because being afraid kept women in line. Sure, you're not going to force your date to have sex with you, but she still knows you could if you wanted to, and that thought is going to be in her head when she's deciding whether to put out. There's always going to be that power dynamic, because even if you think you never would do it, you always could, right? What could she do to stop you?

But this is not actually what I'm saying. I think that was a bit more of a convincing argument back when rape was more present in media culture (back when men were renting I Spit on Your Grave at the video store, picking up a box of tissues for the first half and then watching the second half to soothe their consciences) but I think today we recognize that it's a bit more complicated. Men who would be genuinely repulsed and disgusted by the violence and overt sexism that was so prevalent in culture during the 80s can and often do turn out to be predators, they just fill a different niche in the ecosystem.

Rapists can be violent aggressive jocks driven by hostility and contempt towards women. They can be suave conniving social manipulators who know the right things to say to get people to let their guard down and who dress what they do up as open-mindedness or sexual adventurism. They can be traditionalist family men who seem like they just want to settle down and find a nice tradwife who shares their values. They can be guys who just seem really pathetic and lonely and who seem like they just need that special someone to come along and kiss it all better. These are all different forms of masculinity, they're all different stereotypes, and they're all capable of camouflaging the behaviour of rapists.

The problem isn't the "type" of masculinity, it's a fundamental feature of masculinity itself. Namely, that social acceptance and social status for men is in large part based on control over women's sexuality. Masculinity is ultimately a set of strategies to achieve that. Most men aren't rapists. Most men have varying levels of squeamishness about the violation of consent and various degrees of behaviour they're able to rationalize. But most men have the same objective, and some of them will cross the line to pursue it.
 
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Dirty Hipsters

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That's not really the point I was making.

Rapists are indeed a minority. However, my point was that there isn't a distinct cultural "type" of man who is prone to rape.

My problem with the idea of "toxic masculinity" is that it assumes that there is one specific, static cultural form that is the bad masculinity, and that other forms of masculinity are thus benign. It's an attempt to link the social harms of masculinity with a particular kind of stereotypical cultural expression, which I find very suspicious.

Back in the 80s, a lot of radical feminists used to have this idea that male dominance over women was primarily based on the fear of violence, which I suspect is what you think I'm saying. Sure, most men don't rape, but there was this idea that most men liked women to be afraid of rape, because being afraid kept women in line. Sure, you're not going to force your date to have sex with you, but she still knows you could if you wanted to, and that thought is going to be in her head when she's deciding whether to put out. There's always going to be that power dynamic, because even if you think you never would do it, you always could, right? What could she do to stop you?

But this is not actually what I'm saying. I think that was a bit more of a convincing argument back when rape was more present in media culture (back when men were renting I Spit on Your Grave at the video store, picking up a box of tissues for the first half and then watching the second half to soothe their consciences) but I think today we recognize that it's a bit more complicated. Men who would be genuinely repulsed and disgusted by the violence and overt sexism that was so prevalent in culture during the 80s can and often do turn out to be predators, they just fill a different niche in the ecosystem.

Rapists can be violent aggressive jocks driven by hostility and contempt towards women. They can be suave conniving social manipulators who know the right things to say to get people to let their guard down and who dress what they do up as open-mindedness or sexual adventurism. They can be traditionalist family men who seem like they just want to settle down and find a nice tradwife who shares their values. They can be guys who just seem really pathetic and lonely and who seem like they just need that special someone to come along and kiss it all better. These are all different forms of masculinity, they're all different stereotypes, and they're all capable of camouflaging the behaviour of rapists.

The problem isn't the "type" of masculinity, it's a fundamental feature of masculinity itself. Namely, that social acceptance and social status for men is in large part based on control over women's sexuality. Masculinity is really just a set of strategies to achieve that.
Is it also "masculinity" at fault when a woman rapes another woman?
 
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Terminal Blue

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Is it also "masculinity" at fault when a woman rapes another woman?
Potentially.

That's introducing a lot of complexity to a deliberately simple point though. Masculinity in women is a little different because it generally isn't a route to social acceptance, and also because by acknowledging it we kind of start to run up against the more fundamental problem of whether masculinity can be defined outside of a political structure that gives it meaning. That's actually what my work is about, and for that reason I don't want to talk about it.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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Potentially.

That's introducing a lot of complexity to a deliberately simple point though. Masculinity in women is a little different because it generally isn't a route to social acceptance, and also because by acknowledging it we kind of start to run up against the more fundamental problem of whether masculinity can be defined outside of a political structure that gives it meaning. That's actually what my work is about, but for that reason I don't want to talk about it.
It sounds to me like you're using an over-broad definition of "masculinity" in order to make your point, though to be fair I'm not sure I would be able to create a concise definition of masculinity of femininity.
 
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Terminal Blue

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It sounds to me like you're using an over-broad definition of "masculinity" in order to make your point, though to be fair I'm not sure I would be able to create a concise definition of masculinity of femininity.
Well, you're not alone. Noone can.

Masculinity isn't actually a thing that exists. It's an inherently political concept, and it has been ever since someone made a joke about Latin grammar and ended up inventing a new term. Trying to define masculinity as if it were a real thing which could actually be described is just a doomed project.
 

AnxietyProne

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People, don't engage with Terminal. Just report them for their disgusting accusations and move on.

It sounds to me like you're using an over-broad definition of "masculinity" in order to make your point, though to be fair I'm not sure I would be able to create a concise definition of masculinity of femininity.
Sounds to me like they're a bigot. I thought insulting users wasn't tolerated on this site?
 
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TheMysteriousGX

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If I'm understanding the gist of the argument correctly, "Toxic Masculinity" is taking a fantastically large number of hugely disparate culturally dependent behaviors and sorting them into a "good" box and a "bad" box, which is functionally useless at best and actively harmful at worst as bad actors can use superficial actions in the good box as a smokescreen.

But I'm not an academic so it could just be that the level of discussion is above me.

Personally speaking, I don't see the point of masculinity or femininity at all, as I've never found a decent argument for why one behavior is good for a man but bad for a woman or bad for a man but good for a woman, but that's not a majority view in most cultures.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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Personally speaking, I don't see the point of masculinity or femininity at all, as I've never found a decent argument for why one behavior is good for a man but bad for a woman or bad for a man but good for a woman, but that's not a majority view in most cultures.
I think masculinity and femininity are less that something is "good" or "bad" for a certain sex/gender to do and more that a certain gender or sex is more predisposed to a certain type of action or behavior, even cross culturally. The problem is that there are actually way less "masculine" and "feminine" behaviors than people think and they end up ascribing masculine and feminine characterists to behaviors that are actually neutral.
 
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McElroy

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People, don't engage with Terminal. Just report them for their disgusting accusations and move on.
Oh no, words on a web forum! No need to take things so personally.
But I'm not an academic so it could just be that the level of discussion is above me.
The context is subversion. We can point terrible instances of sex being about power, usually in cases of rape. But a lot of consensual sex is about power as well, thus we have a reason to subvert the expectation that there are uniquely terrible people that we call rapists. Sure, there is a countable bunch of convicted or confirmed rapists, but hey as mentioned already Polanski is one and he seems to be a decent person, so even that hard line isn't hard after all.

When it comes to feminism and equality, radical feminism sees equality as a total pipe dream in our society no matter how things are spelled out on paper, because power as we know it doesn't go towards that. The average person both benefits and suffers from sexism so it's not a radical issue but a balancing one.
 

Terminal Blue

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What's the objective?
Achieving social acceptance or recognition, primarily from other men.

Relationships between men tend to involve very intense power dynamics. The male social world is just a lot more hierarchical and competitive, because historically men had more to compete for, as well as greater access to institutions where competition was encouraged. This structures all kinds of things about men's lives. For example, men tend to form friendships around shared interests rather than acknowledging any emotional connection to one another. Men tend to struggle more with being single for prolonged periods, because sexual relationships are their only source of genuine emotional intimacy.

If there's a positive effect to the toxic masculinity discourse, I think it's been the positive celebration of intimate male friendship. I mean, for those of us who aren't heterosexual it can look kind of pathetic. Congratulations, you told a friend you loved them without needing to punch them afterwards. What an incredible feat. But then I have to remind myself that I tried to kill myself once because straight men made my life so miserable. I remember what it was like to be in that headspace of actually caring what other men think, and I imagine what it must be like to never grow out of that. Now that is horror. That is actual genuine horror.

The problem is, part of what determines that hierarchy between men is control over women. There's room for all kinds of men and in that hierarchy, and there's room for all kinds of control over women, from aggressive to the tender, but if you want to be accepted as a man you need to demonstrate some kind of power to make women do what you want.

And I think we underestimate how adaptive that power can be, and how easily it can shift to accommodate different sensibilities, including profeminist sensibilities. There absolutely are men out there who pretend to be feminist allies, who have figured out the words they need to say to position themselves as "non-toxic", but who will nonetheless leave a string of (usually very young) shell-shocked exes trying to figure out what the fuck happened to them. I know, I've met some of their exes. If I'm really, excessively honest with myself, I could very easily have been one of those men (well, people in my case I guess). I think I was very lucky that I didn't develop the social skills to do that until I already had the self-awareness to see how fucked up it was, but I know how easy it would have been to deceive myself into thinking that was okay.

Being brought up as a boy really sucks. Of course you don't know how to recognize abuse, abuse is normal to you. Abuse is just how men interact with each other.

I think people have been reading my point as accusatory. It's not, it's just a fucking downer. There's nothing inherently wrong with men, but there is something very wrong with the way men are brought up, and I say that as much from the perspective of someone who has lived it as someone who has studied it.
 
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Satinavian

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The problem is, part of what determines that hierarchy between men is control over women. There's room for all kinds of men and in that hierarchy, and there's room for all kinds of control over women, from aggressive to the tender, but if you want to be accepted as a man you need to demonstrate some kind of power to make women do what you want.
I would call that utter nonsense.

Most men are not/barely aware of what relationships with women other men have if those women are not aquaintances as well. You can't build a hierachy on this.
 
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Generals

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Achieving social acceptance or recognition, primarily from other men.

Relationships between men tend to involve very intense power dynamics. The male social world is just a lot more hierarchical and competitive, because historically men had more to compete for, as well as greater access to institutions where competition was encouraged. This structures all kinds of things about men's lives. For example, men tend to form friendships around shared interests rather than acknowledging any emotional connection to one another. Men tend to struggle more with being single for prolonged periods, because sexual relationships are their only source of genuine emotional intimacy.

If there's a positive effect to the toxic masculinity discourse, I think it's been the positive celebration of intimate male friendship. I mean, for those of us who aren't heterosexual it can look kind of pathetic. Congratulations, you told a friend you loved them without needing to punch them afterwards. What an incredible feat. But then I have to remind myself that I tried to kill myself once because straight men made my life so miserable. I remember what it was like to be in that headspace of actually caring what other men think, and I imagine what it must be like to never grow out of that. Now that is horror. That is actual genuine horror.

The problem is, part of what determines that hierarchy between men is control over women. There's room for all kinds of men and in that hierarchy, and there's room for all kinds of control over women, from aggressive to the tender, but if you want to be accepted as a man you need to demonstrate some kind of power to make women do what you want.

And I think we underestimate how adaptive that power can be, and how easily it can shift to accommodate different sensibilities, including profeminist sensibilities. There absolutely are men out there who pretend to be feminist allies, who have figured out the words they need to say to position themselves as "non-toxic", but who will nonetheless leave a string of (usually very young) shell-shocked exes trying to figure out what the fuck happened to them. I know, I've met some of their exes. If I'm really, excessively honest with myself, I could very easily have been one of those men (well, people in my case I guess). I think I was very lucky that I didn't develop the social skills to do that until I already had the self-awareness to see how fucked up it was, but I know how easy it would have been to deceive myself into thinking that was okay.

Being brought up as a boy really sucks. Of course you don't know how to recognize abuse, abuse is normal to you. Abuse is just how men interact with each other.

I think people have been reading my point as accusatory. It's not, it's just a fucking downer. There's nothing inherently wrong with men, but there is something very wrong with the way men are brought up, and I say that as much from the perspective of someone who has lived it as someone who has studied it.
What In the name of all that is unholy...

The worst part is that you probably believe everything you have just written.

I particularly love the "I know I have met some of their exes". Ah yes, because "exes" (whether men or women) are known to never lie, exaggerate or shift blame on their ex. Knowing one of those "exes" who continuously claims to have been in abusive relationships (despite evidence showing she was the lying and abusive one) I can assure you you should never take an ex's word for it.

And I can assure you most of us aren't stereotypical fratboys continuously looking for ways to assert our dominance and extreme masculinity. It's just that you have decided to interpret everything as evidence of such behavior. It's a typical bias and mistake that has poisoned social sciences.
 

Terminal Blue

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Most men are not/barely aware of what relationships with women other men have if those women are not aquaintances as well.
How is that relevant?

I'm not talking about men actually behave in their relationships with women. That has nothing to do with it. There's a very good reason most men don't like to let other men see that.

And I can assure you most of us aren't stereotypical fratboys continuously looking for ways to assert our dominance and extreme masculinity.
Firstly, didn't say you were. Go project on your own time.

Secondly, I don't really trust you to know what you are, because I don't think you've ever been anything else.
 
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Kwak

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Achieving social acceptance or recognition, primarily from other men.
As social animals, that is the drive of every human on some level, excluding the 'from other men' part.
....
And hang on. How does raping women achieve that?
 
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