[LMB] OT: Gender Roles

Louann Miller domelouann at gmail.com
Thu Sep 30 20:10:35 BST 2021


On Thu, Sep 30, 2021 at 1:43 PM Matija Grabnar via Lois-Bujold <
lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk> wrote:

> On 30/09/2021 18:59, Harvey Fishman wrote:
> >  A man who feels badly about himself will lose his sexual desire. That
> > is mental.
> Yeah, but when I'm with a intelligent, strong woman, I feel great about
> myself, because she is with ME. Why would I feel badly about myself? I'm
> not competing with her, we're a TEAM.
>

Yes, backup is a lovely thing.  I'm seeing it from the female side, of
course, but a man who delights in having a helpful woman on his side is
tremendously attractive.
And we're back on topic, because Tien and Ekaterin had the dynamic that
Harvey (unless I'm misunderstanding him, which I may be) seems to think is
standard.
Ekaterin turned handsprings to always let Tien feel like he was the manly
man in the relationship, while she was a lowly subordinate who would never
go against his wishes. As she says somewhere, stooping and stooping so he
always felt taller, until she was all but squashed.
Or looking at it another way, in reality he was too weak and un-self-aware
to manage his own emotions, so she was compelled to manage them for him.
And completely apart from her own misery, it didn't help him either. He
continued to be weak and un-self-aware and lacking self-control. Some part
of him knew what a complete putz he was. Rather than changing his behavior
to make things better, they both kept trying to feed more and more into the
black hole in his ego. None of it was ever enough; it never could be. He
kept screwing up more and more, ignoring honor and reality itself to keep
feeding that black hole, until he made a mistake that mercifully earned an
instant Darwin award.
On the other hand Miles, like the Count-his-father before him, delights in
working with strong women. We saw how that turned out, too.
I would hope, in general and certainly on a personal level, Harvey is not
saying "manage my emotions for me, keep me happy because I don't know how
to do it myself. Also, never admit that's what you're doing because I can't
handle the truth." I am blessed with many male friends who are able to feel
like men and rely on women just fine without such unspoken devil's
bargains. As I say, he may come back and clarify what he meant.
As to the other half of the statement, speaking again from being female and
knowing lots of women, we normally experience our own desires as highly
conditional. I have known the extra oomph that can come with wanting to get
pregnant and therefore coupling with intent. But day to day, feeling
appreciated does a whole heck of a lot as well. I see women, especially
women younger than me (55) all the time weighing 'having a partner' or
'being sexually attracted to Mr. Y' versus 'how much crap do I have to put
up with to have Mr. Y in my life?' There's an entire social movement about
Men Going Their Own Way, renouncing the horrors of having to deal with
women and "Those Staceys won't have Mr. Y to kick around any more." Women
who decide the entire dating experience isn't worth it make a lot fewer
speeches, except to their best girl friends after a few glasses of wine.
Mostly they just delete all their dating apps and take up a hobby.


More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list