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Wiley Wandering

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I am curious as to….... women and men!

I have really enjoyed the conversations over the last month or so. We covered romance, sex, movies (all that was missing from those two was the popcorn), interracial dating, love as a social construct, weight, activism, and gang violence, I decided I wanted to go somewhere different with this blog. So I am hoping that respondents will opt to answer at least a few of my questions, if not all. Okay, drop it like it's hot!!!

1. I am curious about people’s perspectives on men whining. Why is it not okay for men to whine?

2. I am curious why women can share a bed on a sleep over, hold hands running across a street, or fall asleep on one another’s shoulders, while most men wouldn’t be comfortable doing any of the above, including crying in front of their friends, something many women wouldn’t give a second thought about doing.

3. I am curious who people may think are most vain, men or women?

4. I am curious what people think about the phenomenon of the keg at college parties that are thrown by Whites, in contrast to the usual occurrence of “no keg” at college parties thrown by Blacks.

5. I am curious as to why college women seldom if ever have keg parties when it is just women in attendance, but college men break out the kegs with no hesitation with or without women.

6. I am curious as to why in today’s society men are still cast as the initiators/instigators of romance when women know (as Chris Rock once said in a stand up routine) whether they want intimacy with a man upon their first meeting?

7. I am curious as to why men don’t get tattoos on the top of the back of their waistlines as opposed to many women who do.

8. I am curious as a matter of fact if women know if they want a man sexually upon first sighting.

9. I am curious why so many of us play the bystander role when our friends or associates are doing something socially unjust (like picking on someone that embarrasses us or them).

10. I am curious as to how many men actually ask themselves when they are kissing a woman if they are being too aggressive or not aggressive enough.

11. I am curious as to how many women ask themselves when they are kissing men if they should be more or less aggressive.

12. Lastly, I am curious as to why more women respond to my blogs than men. What is that about? I can’t wait to hear your answers!

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Comments

Shall I get the ball (Keg?) Rolling?

I can't stand whiny men, and, I don't think most women like them either. That's not to say I don't occasionally whine, but, I usually chalk it up to a weak moment indulding in self-pity and move on.

I think men wearing more of their emotions on our sleeves is becoming a little more acceptible, particularly when showing compasion for another (reference a male journalist being visibly moved while covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, for example). But I think the whole holding-hands thing, or, falling asleep next to each other - that's just not how men express platonic closeness. It doesn't mean we don't FEEL it, we just don't express it that way. We do hug, however, right JW?

Vanity, I think, is gender-blind. I believe vanity is more about insecurity.

Never really noticed the whole whites=keg party but blacks=nokeg thing. I'm sure you don't mean to say that blacks don't drink at their paries, do you? Are you confining your observations strictly to student groups? Maybe the more interesting question is, why do whites and blacks throw seperate parties? Self-segragation? Maybe it's because popular culture markets 40-oz bottles and harder liquor more to blacks? I'm serious - companies market to blacks and whites differently, so maybe that's it.

When I was at Syracuse, sorrorities couldn't have alcohol at their parties. It was a campus rule. Oddly, there was no such rule for fraternaties, and, I don't know why. Might that be the same at PSU? So, the sorrorites at Syracuse would actually hold their keggers (and they had plenty of them) at the Frat Houses. Or - again, marketing. Booze companies market beer to men, and wine/wine coolers to women. You ever try to buy a keg of Smirnof Ice? Can't be done.

I'm right with ya on the next one, JW. Sure would be a lot less rejection in the world if women would just be straight with us once in a while! Maybe the deeper question is, why do men look at intamacy as gaining something where women look at it as giving something up?

Ok, you're kidding, right? Women get tatoos there (and then ware the low-rider jeans so that you notice the tatoo) because they want you to notice them, and tease you a little about what comes next. Ladies, don't even TRY to deny it. You ever see a guy in low-riders?

I try not to stand by when my friends DO something socially unacceptable that impacts others. I will say that I'm probably guilty of not speaking up if they SAY something that I think might be "politically incorrect" as long as it's not directed AT someone.

I can't think and kiss at the same time. Hey, Yogi Bera used to say he couldn't think at HIT at the same time - same thing.

Can't help you on the last couple.

There - hope I generate some conversation!

*** CB, first, yes I do think it is okay for men to hug. However, the whole point behind me asking the question of why we don't do some of the things that women are more comfortable doing is to point out the fact that we all too often march down roads without considering why. If we do this in one regard, might we be doing it in others?

Your intimacy question is a great one. I may use it as a futre blog. Do I owe you anything more than a shout out when that happens? I probably already owe you a beer (since you are probably too macho to drink a Smirnoff Ice, like us real men). Oh, and yes, blacks do drink at parties, but just not as much from kegs as whites, at least not in my college days.

I have never noticed a man in low riders. While this could be an indication of my socialization, I don't look at men's clothing choices unless they are so extreme that they would capture my attention. Low riders on a man might do that, but up to this point I don't recall seeing anyone attired in them (shades of an Oliver North answer, don't you think?). And yes, I definitely notice women in low riders and try real hard not to stare at tatoos they may be showing as they walk away or bend over slightly. I lose that battle often, but win the one of not getting caught stealing a glimpse, I think! *** -- J.W.

J.W.,

First off it's not ok for men to whine cause it shows their weak side. They are supposed to be men and suck it up. No whining. Hahahaha. Everyone whines sometimes and has a every right to. Especially when it has to do with unfair practices such as racism, sexism, ageism, stereotypes, abuse etc. Or maybe you just want to whine about the cost of gas. Go ahead, supposedly it's a free country right? Why not express how you feel about something. Especially if you believe it's wrong. How else will anything change for the better. Then take action and be proactive.
Maybe that's the problem, The people are all whining no action. Hmmmm, something to contemplate. Also, the guy below even admitted he whines sometimes. So are you telling people it's ok for you to whine but not them. I love how that always goes around. Do as I say not as I do.

Women can hug, cry, hold hands etc and it is almost acceptable more than men cause we are supposed to be the nurturers. The ones that care. We can show our caring soft sides. But I also know people who would say "Oh look at the lesbians" Close minded mean people that they are. They don't say this in a nice way they mean it to put down the women holding hands.

I think both women and men are vain. How can you not be in this society. How you look even affects your job status, your family, the treatment you receive from other people. I think trying to be less vain helps you be more at peace with yourself but vanity is hard to beat.

Kegger parties that I have been to included everyone but I think the practice of white guys drinking is steeped in college society. It's normal and esteemed in white society by SOME people not all to be looked at as the Big Frat Guy who can pound a kegger in seconds flat. It's self-abuse. This is the way alot of people deal with stress. They slap each other on the back, "Hey buddy you downed that sucker in seconds. Cool" So did you get to nail that girl at the last kegger? Yea, she was hot. or No she was Cold Frigid Bitch. Let's go pound some more beer. Maybe we can shotgun some cans and get alcohol poisoning and take ourselves to the emergency room." OR get caught wtih DUI or DWI. Or worse. This is what I have been witness to and involved with at kegger parties. I no longer go to them. I think alcohol is something you have to be really careful with. Knowing what's safe and what's not. Just some stuff to think about.

As for why women don't have keg parties without guys is because they don't need it as much to be around each other. And vice versa. When the two sexes get together it is easier to lower your inhibitions about sex and talking with a man/woman with alcohol. When women get together they may still drink but sometimes do less of it.

Supposedly the "tramp stamp" or tattoo on the waistline is supposed to say something about the woman wearing it. She's maybe considered "loose" or "easy" but this is an over generalization. Some women just like the tattoo there and how it looks. But the use of wearing low-riders and the tattoo is supposedly an idea that the woman is easy to have sex with. No one should be going up to another person and thinking the person is going to have sex with someone just because of what they were wearing. If this is the case it would be considered rape. Rapists don't offend because of what the person is wearing, it is an act of violence and control over another person. But they may say that because the woman had the tattoo or was wearing low-riders that she wanted to have sex. This is wrong. That would also go for if a woman or man tried to rape another man beacuse of what he was wearing.

As for the aggression, sex at first site etc. I think it is possible for either gender to want sex at first site because of physical attraction. I think women and men may be more aggressive at times and less aggressive at other times. Some reasons for aggression may be alcohol use, hadn't had sex in a long time, mental health issues, and control over a person. Some reasons for no aggression would be don't want to be forward, don't want the person to think they are easy, insecurities arise (about body, act of sex etc.), and past abuse issues.

I think men traditionally have been the instigators because in society we are taught that men are stronger, the protector, they go out and find their mate. Women are supposed to be quiet and wait for the man to ask them. But this is old school women instigate the relationship way more often and can be straight forward. I think it is healthier for men and women to express what they both want in an open and safe atmosphere. Thiis makes for less violence, unhealthy relationships, and for healthier families.

I think men don't get waist tattoos cause this is not considered a sexy thing for a man. But whose to say some woman wouldn't find it attractive. Maybe some guys should try it.

I also wanted to respond to the question about not saying anything to a friend when they are making an unjust statement. I have been in this situation many times and sometimes I have had the courage to stand up for the other person to stop the racism, sexism, ageism, bigotry towards homosexual people but other times I didn't say anything. I regret that and feel angry at myself for not saying anything. After these experiences I have learned that not standing up for what I believe in just condones the others actions. I try my best to say something during these times now. If I continue to not say anything I am just as wrong as they are.

Also, I think more women reply to your blogs, J.W. cause women are taught to talk more and men are not. Men don't express themselves like women do. It's sad. I think men would be alot happier if they were able to say what is on their minds. Especially about these topics.

Hope you have a great day and that you keep the blogs coming. They are great and I love answering your questions. You are awesome!

1. It's not OK for anyone to whine. It's really annoying. However, it is probably less acceptable for men to whine because men are supposed to be aggressive-showing dismay by yelling or some other "strong" activity- whining is backing down from aggression as if there is conflict about being aggressive.

2. I don't know why- but I do think that it's OK for men to show other men affection in different ways than women show it to their same sex friends. Men do hug- it's just a different kind of hug. I think that men and women just have different ways of showing the close feelings they have for same sex friends. It doesn't have to be the same - and not being the same doesn't necessarily suggest oppression.

By the way, I'm not so sure women are so comfortable sharing a bed or holding hands crossing a street, etc- at least not beyond the 5th grade. This may also be culturally based.

3. Women are taught that their physical appearance is what makes them acceptable or not which leads to self-consciousness- if not vanity. That said, I've met a few men who
would definitely challenge anyone's notion that women are more vain than men. It usually goes along with some other ways in which the person is full of himself.

4.This phenomen was just recently brought to my attention and I have no idea what the history or the meaning of it is. I'd love to hear what the partiers have to say. Great material for a college conversation.

5. I think beer is masculine and associated in the media with men. It is somehow less refined, more coarse than wine, etc. This of course is my own value judgment- I also wonder how it plays out with women in other countries- especially in Europe.

6. Back to the aggressive thing. Women are not to be the aggressors- at least not directly. We also are not supposed to want sex as much or as early as our male counterparts. If we do- we are sluts, easy, loose- whatever. We're supposed to be convinced- as if it's something we need to submit to vs. seek. Old caveman/woman stuff I imagine. This has probably changed a lot over the past 25 years or so, but still....
By the way- just how aggressive do men want women to be?

7. RE: tatoos- I think that this is a little related to the last question. Tatoos on the back of the waist are a little bit of a tease. Making you wonder and want to get below the waist. Subtle, suggestive and sexy in a kind of seductive way. Coy- not "out there" the way the men are.

8. Now I'm getting annoyed at myself for even trying to answer a question about "all women". It depends, don't you think? I think that a woman- just like a man -will know whether she is sexually attracted to a man at first glance-What she does with that will depend on who she is, what her beliefs/values etc are and how much of an ass the man turns out to be once she gets to know him.

9.Because we are essentially chicken. And because when we are joined with the oppressor we don't have to be the oppressed.

10. I think that men have learned to do what they do and then- as an afterthought, to pay attention to the response. Women are raised from birth to guage themselves according to their surroundings and later- to what men want.

Men assume they should be aggressive. A sensitive man will check it out. Women assume they should hold back, and look to the man for encouragement to allow their more aggressive feelings to come through.

I am reminded of a somewhat awkward moment when kissing a man I was totally into, he made some comment (I don't remember what exactly because it made me feel ashamed) implying that I was kissing him aggressively. To this day I am not sure whether it was a complaint, an observation or something else- but it stopped me dead in my kissing tracks. As if I had done something wrong. So-

12. I do now.

13. It's your sexy picture.

*** AMW, where have you been woman? The conversation hasn't been as titilating without you. I had a candle all prepared for buring in the north window in memoriam of your absence. Don't tease!!!

My you said a lot, some of it quite philosophical, most of it appealing to my sense of logic, some of it quite sensual, all of it quite eloquent. I must say I agree with most of what you said, though some of it came across quite edgy, as though you actually wished you had slapped someone/thing when you had the chance, and frustrated now because you didn't. Don't let those opportunities get away from you. Slap when you need to slap as long as it doesn't hurt anyone or if there is any pain, that pain would be more akin to the sweetest taboo!

On your response to question #6, "how aggressive do men want women to be," you asked the same type of question that you said you didn't like answering. Before we over generalize, wouldn't it depend on the type of men? But my take on it is I want a woman who sees herself as an equal to me, believes it at the level where it doesn't have to be consciously in front of her because it resides so deeply in her subconscious that it can't avoid naturally showing. Translated: as aggressive as the flow of the relationship would suggest each partner needs to be in given moments. Do you feel me?

On the sexy picture, your timing was perfect. I was just about to request they put another photo up. Now I had to change my mind. Oh, and don't you know flattery will get you everywhere and is what writes the proverbial check in the phrase "don't let your mouth write a check that your [rear] can't cash!" Thanks for making me feel, if not hot, at least warm! *** -- J.W.

I tend to ignore or try my best to ignore anyone that whines. It's just not an effective way to communicate. I 've never looked at it as gender acceptable or not. I think men and women both do it and it's unacceptable and rude to whoever is within earshot. It's about tone of voice and choice of words, not always what you say, but how you say it.

While I don't see myself running hand in hand with a female friend of mine, and I wouldn't fall asleep on another woman's shoulder, I have shared a bed on an overnight trip with a female friend and not thought twice about it. Most men would probably not feel comfortable sleeping with another man, even if they did not come into contact with eachother.As you know, It's called homophobia. But WHY is it that men share showers, urinate together in a wide open space in public restrooms, gyms, etc. while women have private stalls and showers? That is what I can't figure out.

I think a good share of men hide their vanity. I believe men are concerned with the way they look, but they pretend they are not, in an effort to appear more confident, and hence, more desired. For some women, vanity seems like a hobby. Maybe one that was socially constructed for them? It isn't fair that women over a certain age (which I dare not even state) are considered "has beens" by society, while men are merely "distinguished."
I could go on and on, but enough said, for now.

To me, throwing a keg party as opposed to single served beverages(at the college level) is a subliminal market tool which suggests there will be a lot of people there (the more the merrier!) The keg party also has other implications that include heavy partying and potentially wild activities. The keg party is about longevity and commitment to finishing an important task, almost like a triathalon. Sounds silly, but this is what I believe the keg party has evolved into. I was unaware that black college students do not partake in keg parties. It seems economically sensible to have a keg, as opposed to single serve beverages. I think women tend not to host keg parties because they are smart enough to realize they will be stuck into the wee hours of the morning with the hardcore drinkers, acting unruly and obnoxious, potentially damaging their property,etc. They also know they don't need to be bothered with this as some other male fool will be more than happy to be the host.

Traditionally, men have been expected to court women, and while I think this is the most accepted form of behavior, women are, over time , becoming more forward with regards to persuing men. Isn't there a happy medium scenario where two people can just get to know eachother and let whatever happens happen? Sometimes I think people just seem so desperate in the way they persue the opposite sex.

In my opinion, the lower back tatoo is/was a fad that was defined as female because so many women were so quick to get them. Now that they have developed a negative connotation, I wonder if some women may have regrets about jumping on that bandwagon? This is an example of why one should exercise caution when it comes to sudden popular innovations of a permanent nature.

A Woman doesn't always know if she wants a man sexually at first sighting. Sometimes it takes more than a sighting to realize this. On the other hand she may think she wants a man sexually upon first sighting, but once the experience is over, she realizes it's not what she wanted at all. Then there's the love at first sight that turns out to be exaxtly as expected. (RARE) My point is I think it's variable.

People who play the bystander role in a case of social injustice will probably regret it later in life when they develop enough social sophistication to realize that if something seems offensive, it is offensive and it's really not that difficult, after all , to stand up for what is right.

Aggressive kissing????? With all due respect, I am conflicted with the word aggressive. Are you sure you didn't mean passionate?

Women respond to your blog more than men because men are too busy reading the sports blog.

Just wanted to respond to the whining questions again. It is ok for people to whine. It is an expression of self and I am sure that you whine just like the rest of us. You seem to be stating do as I say not as I do. That's not right and the people who said they can't stand whiners are probably whiners themselves. That's annoying.

1. I've whined at times, though I find it annoying. I try not to, as I don't see the sense in expending energy on situations I have no control over, at least at the moment.
At the same time, I think to judge or shut out somebody who whines is short-sighted and will cut one off from a large segment of the population. Heck, I took a communications class, and all the supposed proper ways to communicate I was taught were excellent and would likely improve conversations immensely if followed, but the world is not like that, nor does it have to be. Different people operate in life differently because of the circumstances they have been involved in and exposed to, and while I see nothing wrong with pointing out the annoyance of somebody's whining, I see cutting someone off or blocking them out because they don't communicate in the way you would prefer is extremely short-sighted and judgemental. People can change if they want, or not change, if you don't like it then don't listen, though I truly don't see the benefit of only associating with and listening to and surrounding myself with people who think and operate as I do, and communicate in a way I approve of.

2. There's no reason men can't do those things, though I think one would have to have been living in a cave for much of time to not understand why they do not share affection the same as women, and that is not necessarily a bad thing, nor is it a bad thing to show as much affection toward your male friend as you want.
I remember in the Army my therapist at the time recommended a book titled "Fire in the Belly" by Sam Keen I think. I was reading it in the motor pool and some of the guys asked what it was about and I explained that it was about men opening up, not being afraid to show emotions such as cuddling with their children, their fellow man. How it is okay for men to hug and bond in other ways women stereotypically do. The instant response from two of my fellow soldiers was, "What, is that some kind of fag book?"
How unfortunate.

3. I had a friend in high school who was extremely vain, spending hours in front of the mirror. He was a kind, good-hearted man, and was constantly chided for possibly being gay, and to this day I don't understand the insult in that.

4. Personally, I'm sometimes weary about huge crowds of drunken men and women. Such parties can be fun, but there is often a fight, a man being too agressive with a woman, alcohol poisoning and more.
I've been told what the centerpiece substitute for alcohol is at parties thrown by blacks and bet those events are much calmer, with an abundance of laughter, smiles, music and positive energy.

5. Maybe it's because I grew up in rural Vermont and many of the women had a lot of country in them, but the women I knew drank as much beer and threw as wild parties as the men.

6. Geez, I would have thought we had reached a time when such outdated and sexist social codes were abandoned and forgotten.

7 I never wanted one there and personally thought it would be too sensitive an area. But if I ever did I would get one.

8. N/A

9. I don't know why some do, but I know I don't.
I had a football player friend in high school who knocked the books out of the hands of a teenage boy with Downs Syndrome. He mocked the boy and I commenced to beat the crap out of my friend.
On another occasion, a group of followers and a bully convinced another teenage boy with Down Syndrome to masturbate on the bus, and he did. I stepped in quickly and somehow avoided getting my butt kicked by the much older, stronger and crazier bully.

10. I would hope I was told or at least the woman indicated it to me.

11. N/A

12. Because the men have worked hard all day and in the evening are stuffed from the dinners their wives prepared and are sitting in front of the television watching football and drinking a six pack of beer.

I'm baaaaaaaaaack, JW!

I was gone all last week last week attending the National Federation of Republican Women Convention in Palm Springs, California, ergo, am just catching up with your and Foxy's blogs. I'm still hung over from sleep deprivation.

I see men as lonely people - macho appearing, yet tell me how many men have close intimate friends. It's a hail fellow well met mentality, therefore the need for keggers and bars. Women, on the other hand, have many acquaintenances, some good friends and true friends we can count on one hand. We are our own therapists as we can tell our innermost secrets to a true friend and inspite of our foibles, they still approve of us.

Must say, you are too young to remember the wild women at the P-R back in the 70s. We had some amazing all women parties - no beer though - just vino and drag racing down Beekman Street. No fun in turning me in now JW, please, the statute of limitations ran out MANY years ago.

My husband is a sensitive guy, I catch him wiping tears away at a sad movie or golden oldie tune. You know something, there's something very special in a man who is tender and sensitive.

As for vanity, I feel more that self-
confidence is often mistaken for vanity, certainly in a business setting. Women are still judged differently and judged more harshly by other women. Men may act like jerks, but are less disparaging. Women are extremely protective of their position in the company pecking order and are less inclined to mentor another female.

I may be slightly off your topic - of course I am - I will be back in touch. Not writing to your blogs put me in total blog withdrawal! Not at all healthy. Like MacArthur ... I have returned.


Lynda

Such a nice welcome back!! You know just how to lure me. I can't help but take the bait.

Yes, my responses had some edge. Your blog touched on some nerves which I didn't realize were quite so exposed...

Just read the rest of the responses- and wow- this blog generated a lot. I think it's actually several blogs in one- you were really on a roll...

Some afterthoughts:

Didn't mean to be so judgmental about the "whining" thing- especially because I catch myself doing it more often than I'd like to. The thing is- that when I hear my own voice reach that particular pitch I recognize that there is something in the situation that is making me frustrated or powerless and that is what is difficult. The whining reflects that frustration as well as my conflict about expressing it with conviction. That, I think, is where the gender thing comes in. I wonder if women, in general, have more conflict about just putting it out there- with strength and commitment to the complaint.

On tatoos- this has nothing to do with your question, but I have always wondered if the people who are getting the tatoos are ever wondering just what those tatoos will look like 30, 40, 50 years hence when all that wrinkled skin is being tossed around in the nursing home....Now that I think about it, maybe just above the waist in the back is the safest place by that criteria.

I love EDR's question about aggressive kissing being passionate kissing. It really made me think about it. I like the passionate reframe. But I wonder if there might be a slight difference. Some urgency or insistence in the aggression. I'll have to try it out and check.

JW- you caught me in my own trap re: stereotyping. I think the question under my "how aggressive do men want women to be?"- may be more of a statement that - although women want to be "allowed" to express whatever they feel in whatever way they wish, I wonder whether men, underneath it all, still wish to be the aggressors or have a reaction to a woman who is aggressive sexually or romantically (as in my kissing partner's response to my enthusiasm). You, however, have clarified at least your position which seems to be "If it's on- bring it on!"- Good to know and yes, I feel you.

Just one last thing- all that talk about Smirnoff made me just have to pop a wine cooler to kick back with this blog.

1. To be completely honest, I don't mind if someone is voicing a complaint about something from time to time, but I do mind if their voices become excessively high-pitched while doing so. This is what I call whining, and there is a distinct difference. Whining is irritating at the very least, regardless of gender. I find that when I am listening to somone "whine", all I want to say is Waaaaaaaaaaaa, when the person is finished with their thought. Tell me how you feel about something, but please, don't make it sound like you are going to burst into tears or that you are 6 yrs. old and not getting your way. And this applies to men and women alike.

2. I think the answer to this one is that women accept these things from one another as part of being female. Women can hold hands, hug, sleep side-by-side, etc ... and accept that the acts are those of another caring female. Men, however, do not accept this behavior from one another. If one man suggests that a bed be shared with another man, even if the offer is made only so that the floor is avoided as the alternative, the man being offered the bed will just automatically wonder if there is some "sexual" implication in the offer. Why? CULTURING. Woman are allowed MANY ways to demonstrate emotion, and society accepts 99% of them .... but men are considered less "masculine", if they do the same things. I think its the nurturer-vs-protector roles that society has assigned to each gender that creates this.

3. Men and women are equally vain, in my opinion. And I think it has more to do about personal pride and self esteem, than it does insecurity. I brush my hair and teeth, and make sure my clothing is clean, regardless of whether someone will see me or not. I think we, as people, want to look good. I don't necessarily believe that we are motivated to look good by as many outside sources as many would like to blame. But then again, we are TAUGHT what "looking good" means, so perhaps the original source of motivation was external.... hmmmmm..... well, non-the-less, men and women seem to run this race stride for stride.

4. I really don't have enough knowledge on this topic to provide a rationale.

5. Again, my knowledge on this topic is far too limited to try to explain this.

6. Some things change, and some things stay the same, JW..... Men are simply considered the "lead", when it comes to making initial advances ... and I'm not sure that much will ever change this. Society assigns labels to women who are too aggressive in this area, and regardless of the passage of time, I seriously doubt much will change, in the perceptions of what is appropriate/acceptable for men - vs - women in this area.

7. Blame the women's fashion designers for this one, JW. Its completely acceptable for women to show skin, and particulary middrift nowadays .... and many want to decorate that skin with a tatoo. It used to be jewelry that embellished those areas (ears, necks, wrists) .... now its art. With hip huggers and "low rise" pants back with a vegence, so is the desire to decorate the area. A Fashion phenomenon, IMO.

8. I can't honestly say I know immediately if I want a person sexually upon first meeting.. but I can tell you that I know if I am with someone that I hope to spend time with again, particularly if I am able to spend time both talking with them and observing them with other.

9. I can laugh at a joke, or listen to someone perhaps use a term, without feeling the need to "judge" or "enlighten" or "critize" each time .... as long as the comment isn't blatantly directed toward anyone in particular .... however, if I find myself in a conversation that is particularly disrespectful to a very specific 'group", or if something is occuring that I feel is socially uncalled for or unjust .. I typically remove myself from the situation ... and state why.

10/11. Perhaps with the first kiss or two, some of those thoughts are running thru the minds of those kissing ..... and that seems normal enough to me. Moving to the "kissing' stage with a new partner is stepping into unknown territory... so its natural to wonder if the other person is enjoying the kiss and if you are doing 'your part" in a pleasing way, regardless of which gender you are. I think this stuff usually works itself out, if you decide that you want to keep kissing that person. ;-)

12. Must be that incredibly nice pic of you lures more females than males to your blog, JW ..... hahahhaha! I can only speak personally and say I totally enjoy the "intellectual stimulation" that your blog inspires, and that is why I post here.

Have a great long weekend!


As I previously stated, I have a tendancy to ignore or try my best to ignore whiners. It's an inclination I have as opposed to a strict policy. I recognize that as humans we will err. I have whined, but recognize that it is not the best form of communication. Some people just whine on a regular basis and think nothing of how the person on the other end is feeling. That IS wrong. I think there are times in life when, as a friend or family member, we need to tolerate eachother's weak moments and I have varied from my tendancy and risen to these occasions. Still , my tendancy is that I am averted from a whiner, especially one that does it repetitively. I agree that it is an expression of self, but so is anger and negativity. Should I embrace that? Should I also allow someone to shout at me? Should I be a facilitator/enabler? I definitely wouldn't go so far as to label someone a hypocrite without even knowing them.

1. It's not ok for anyone to whine.

2. Women aren't skeeved out about being accused of being lesbians.

3. Little or no difference.

4. Maybe Black men are more leery of getting busted if they're having a boisterous drinking party, or of being picked up while they're weaving their way home.

5. Why should they when they can get all the free beer they want at the men's expense? Women tend to have smaller drinking parties. It's more dangerous for a woman drunkenly lurching on the way home. With smaller parties, they can just pass out and leave when sober.

6. I dunno. Leftover tradition?

7. Such tattoos can be covered up when necessary.

8. Sure, but that doesn't mean anything will happen.

9. Cowardice. (Just one reason.)

10. ?

11. I never did. Don't know about other women, but I've never heard it discussed as a problem.

12. Women enjoy communicating more?

1. Men or women......it's all annoying!

2. It has always been socially acceptable for women to do all of the above. Not true for men.

3. I think this can only be based on the individual. I have met men and women who are excessively proud!

4. What? Where's the keg party? lol Seriously, college kids can afford kegs? I have been to a few kegger's (not sure the spelling on that one or if that's even a real word?) but never at a college. Not sure why this would be different for Blacks.

5. Have you ever lifted a keg? They're much too heavy for us females! Just kidding! I think that when women get together to "party" with other women that it is more about hanging out, talking and having a few beverages then it is about getting waisted. For men in college, party's and going out are usually about getting drunk.

6. I didn't realize that men were cast as the initiators of romance???

7. Not sure?

8. I would say yes, without a doubt.

9. I am also curious about this. Not sure. I have come to the defense of many people. I believe that if you are witnessing something like this that you should say something to the person. We are just as bad for not saying anything.

10. Can't say?

11. This is a weird question for me because I have been kissing the same person for the last 10 years but, as I dig deep into my memory I am not sure I ever thought about this. I just kissed the way I felt like kissing.

12. I have no idea. The only thing I can come up with is that women tend to be more open about feelings and a lot of the responses you have to your blogs are personal. Kudo's to the men who respond!

*** Shay, I asked the question about kissing from both perspectives (#10 & #11) because I don't think it would hurt for lovers to think about their love making (kissing being one of the many things lovers can do with one another). Not that all men kiss aggressively, nor all women passively, but if we are socialized to carry out certain behaviours (many unconsciouly) why would aggressive or assertive men not being carrying that into the bedroom with them as well, or even that momentum into a kiss with a woman. Think about it! So, realizing how confident I am in most things (not all) I do, why would I not want to be more modest here and there to perhaps discover that my lover may have been deferring to me in ways that I would have never noticed because she was comfortable letting me take the lead (perhaps also succumbing to her socialization).

Oh, it is complicated living inside my own head, but where else can I go?

I am thrilled that you are in this conversation, albeit somewhat on the back burner with the shelf life of a blog conversation averaging one week. But I might have to elevate this conversation to the level of my next blog. Stay tuned, Shay! *** -- J.W.

No doubt you enjoy engaging people in conversations related to race, class, and gender; clearly this is what you do. But I can't help but ask if you yourself are asking any of the important questions. Why do more whites have kegs at parties than blacks? Interesting to wonder, but I think these and other ponderings offer, in response, singularly opinionated diatribes on behalf of your readers, which while sometimes sounding meaningful, really add up to little more than a form of psuedo-intellectual entertainment.
In a time when our world, encompacing all facets of the human experience, from economics to politics to spirituality to freedom, etc etc, is in such a state of confusion and peril, when nationally our country is spiraling into dark days at present and darker still to come, when down in Loiusianna justice is clearly being served exclusively to whites (a national epidemic, actually), when women make a percentage of men's salaries for the same work, to name a fraction of our problems--it seems to me that there are more important and useful questions to ask than what people think of whiney men.
I have not read all of your posts; I'm sure you address some of these issues in ernest. However, of the few I have read, when I often feel that you are truly about to explore deep and meaningful territory, you seem to, in my opinion, go in a completely different direction, that frankly leaves me yearning for more provocative material.

*** NoName, the easiest thing in the world to do is "anonymously" leave it up to someone else to create the reality that you want. If the conversations that I create don't suit your fancy, why don't you elevate the dialogue, instead of criticizing it, or putting forth your own one dimensional "singlular opinionated diatribe". Oh, I know why, because it would be work! I don't need to concerned about my intellectual or political pedigree to someone who floats in and out of the discourse when the mood hits them, but then has the audacity to judge my ability at doing it. After you have read more of the blogs and realize that our conversations cover more provocative terrritory than you have taken the time to read, then enroll in one of my classes at SUNY Plattsburgh and accept the challenge you yourself offer me. I teach, and mentor many students, future political and business leaders, on an array of topics. I also accept the challenge of being mentored by anyone with the intellectual capital to take me on such a journey. At this point from your posting I am not sure you have those skills. You appear to be the type of person who would criticize Michael Jordan's game, but never played the game. Try playing the game before judging it.

I am curious how well you would excel in conversations that transcend race, class, and gender, when the suggestions that you made in your posting where along those very same lines. Oh, and next time, perhaps you will have the courage to provide your name, perhaps even your real name, and actually take the conversation in some of those directions you are anxious to visit. At present, if you are going to take someone to task for lacking depth, make sure you aren't treading water yourself! *** -- J.W.

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