There are these men who make you angry and at the same time they make you feel empathic, sad or in some way even sorry for them as humans. These men trapped in macho masculinity behave and perform as expected. They show they are entitled, they tell you openly they are not really good in taking responsibility, how they are just playing games, that they are such men. They tell you how they expect their girls to be a challenge for them, like women should be instruments for satisfaction of their intellectual desire, in addition to being instruments for fulfillment of their sexual desire. They do not invest much in your relation actually, and they are ready to waste good terms and kind emotions for them, so they simply, for example, grab you in a dancing club, and push their body next to yours so that you can feel their dicks and they can rub themselves of you, they hold you and kiss you, and touch you. Then they just disappear and never say a word, or behave as nothing happened, and as it is understood that what they did will not have any consequences.
And it might be that you do not even want anything from them, and you embrace the momentary pleasure. It might be ok if you saw each other for the first time, and will probably never see each other again, but you know them for some time, and see them often, and still they do not feel like even asking and checking did you understood each other well, they do not ask “are we good?”. Of course, they do not show also any care for your eventual investment, simply, they just leave you. And even if you did feel ok with what they did, and you accepted the move they made, they make sure with this you start questioning your decision, and they actually make you feel cheep.
So, there are these men, while they are doing that and show remarkable sense of entitlement and lack of care in some way, somehow it actually makes you wonder do they not know what they are doing in some sense? It seems to you as rather unnecessary unpleasantness or even pain that they inflict, so you wonder is there anything behind simple feminist interpretation of men behaving as men. It might be just you not accepting objectification and trying to make some sense in it, but still, when you look at it logically it does not make sense.
I mean, you would expect them to be, as usually patriarchal men are, focused on getting some sex. Maybe its a wrong presumption, but, if we accept it, while there are men who are simply doing that, these ones are actually never really successful, even though they actually say to the other men that they would like to “get some girls for the nigh” . They often misjudge the situations and they play their cards as some very inexperienced players. At one point they invest everything, raising the stakes and your desire, and at the other, they retreat and behave as they are insecure, in some way like they are defeated, they get scared and not in control-and by the end of the evening they lose the opportunity, actually.
You can see that in their inability to regulate the level of distance. You would think that it is actually a manipulation of your emotions and desire, I mean, it can be they are simply satisfied with that, but I reckon its something else. Its strange how all the time they seem to be very tense, and somehow very sad. And I am aware of the usual women’s caring role, and their possible manipulation based on this, but what I see is that these men are not in control. I might be wrong, but they look as sad humans to me. I often see them simply as sad boys, even though I do not want to understate the harm they can do and their sense of entitlement.
It seems to me like they are trapped. I feel like they carry this masculinity with a lot of pain. They will never speak about this probably. But, it seems to me like they feel their masculinity as the armor they have to carry, and it grew on them with time. At some point I guess they might learn to enjoy it in the patriarchy. But the point is that it never leads them far. If they would play their cards a little bit better, if they would show small but consistent acts of care, of kindness, and be a little bit more attentive, have a better narrative – as some men learned to do, who also abuse their knowledge of feminist theories, for example- they would get much more sex and warm emotions from women. There are men who know how to do this, very successful predators.
But these men, they are so lousy in this game, and it hangs on them like oversize clothing. And its all in their eyes. I cannot escape that look resembling so much to the look of a child, abused and under enormous pressure. There might not be a trauma in their life, I do not know, but I could not escape noticing this look. You do not see this look often in the eyes of the other type of the patriarchal macho guys. This other type learned how to hide every emotion, to suppress it, since it was their surviving mechanism, I guess. And sometimes, when they are drunk, or in some special occasions they cannot control it, and you can suddenly see it, after which they quickly close. But not these guys, with them its always there. Its like seeing a person which cannot escape its surviving mechanism, like addiction, they seem to me like they cannot avoid the consequences of suffering and oppression. And I do not know what happened in their life, I attribute it more generally to the oppression over men by patriarchy which pushes them to live their existence in these roles, and I would say probably the culture from which they come from. They are vulnerable to all kinds of influences from the outside. And other men recognize this also.
They are not that good in communication with other men. You can feel how they are the ones who get pushed and nudged around, talked over, disregarded by other men. How they really struggle in the attempts to be heard. And you would not expect them, with their expressed masculinity, often very macho in presentation, to be in this situation. So you in a way see how their macho representation is a weak compensation, especially in the academic context.
And you understand why they often do not have other men as their best friends, but there are always some women. Some pretty women. They select them very carefully. They really feel strong need to be surrounded with pretty women. I would guess that these women are also part of their role, as they are add-ons to their representation, confirming masculinity. And it seems also they are ready to sacrifice a lot to sustain their relations with them, with those beautiful girls, even when they are real pain in the ass.
And while they would surely fck them, and there is some sexual tension between them, they show symbiotic and sometimes pathological care for them. They are simply highly vulnerable to prettiness. You see that how they immediately enter, or are better to say pushed into the role, trying to charm a pretty girl they just met. They are very prone to all kinds of abuses from these girl friends also. In general it occurs to me they must be often painfully unable to sustain complex equal relationships with other humans outside some roles which they know, which they see as desirable, safe, familiar, which they need to survive, and for which it seems they suffer, even though they tend to be accustomed to them.
Still, even when you feel completely objectified for no good reason and your relationship, which could have been warm, respectful and friendly is wasted, and without actually much benefit for them, you feel somehow sorry for them. It might not be a pity, but simply you can feel complex emotions in that multilayered relation with them. You can feel regret, you can feel objectified and unappreciated, disregarded, neglected, played, abused even, but at the same time when you realize what they did, and how their life must be full of these kind of things-highly risky, excessive, inefficient and damaging behavior, simply leaving them in the status of the unadapted and outcasted members of the group- you can have a certain distance. Of course, in some sense they benefit, and in macho culture its celebrated to behave like this, but in certain contexts they lose more than they gain, these men, trapped and torn between their humanity and masculinity.
While it is try they simply act obnoxiously entitled and simply satisfy some need and instrumentalize you in some way, you realize it does not have much or anything even with you personally. And you realize from some perspective that they objectified themselves also, for no good cause, and for a small price. For the role prescribed. I see it as an offering, personal sacrifice to the masterful ruler within, to patriarchy, though not necessarily fully conscious.
You do not have to restrain from judgment, from protecting yourself, distancing yourself from them, their erratic behavior, but you can also understand how their life must have been rather fcked up, and also painful. In all that you can see the pain, and how it must be that something there dispersed them so that they have no peace. How they must feel very chaotic and tense and probably lonesome. And you can feel uncomfortable, or sad about what happened to you, and at the same time angry and sad for them. Its possible, if you can humanize them.
It’s often hard, but humanization of this type of sexist men is possible I think if in some moments you can see their different sides.Sometimes their humanity appears in the simple acts of kindness to the waiters and waitresses and other people who serve, and in their sensitivity to the creatures patriarchal men who have much more successful predatorial behavior show often disdain. And it is not simple formality, you just feel it in their voice and in their body, they address these people with respect, courtesy and kindness with their whole being. It comes up in their relation to animals sometimes. Its rarely the case that patriarchal macho men would show much kindness and warmth to animals, and these one still can do that. They can show gratitude, politeness and some kind of timidness, and tameness even, in your communication also, even though they would not be able to invest that much to sustain friendly relation, they can show to be civil and kind. And often you could recognize in their reasoning about life some complex understanding of human relations, which often comes from the place of trauma, even though you might not know if it really happened in their case.
Still, it seems like they do not know how to make it work, how to hold on to the other humans with some stability and not to fck everything up. That they are barely able to hold to themselves with some stability and not to fck themselves up. Such a reckless and massive risky investment of their bodies and their social status and networks in the context unwelcoming this behavior is just one of the effects of it, with the consequences with which they cannot really deal with.
Probably that is why they stress so much that “their woman should be intellectually challenging for them” I reckon. Its not necessarily a bad thing, I find it in a way logical to have a partner who can follow you and challenge you, and I find it exciting, but it looks like that might be the only way they might be able to connect, through some games. Funny thing is when they even spell it out for you, that they are men who like power games. Everything is tense and everything is a debate, there is no resting place. Might be that this looks like a healthy intellectual drive, but to me it resonates with the trauma of violated women who so often end up in prostitution, patterns of abuse become our context of existence.
I believe many traumas define us in a similar way. It might not be trauma also but simply a pattern of behavior which was necessary for survival, which at the adult age in its misplaced necessity become simply damaging. We build our cognitive structures around them and explanatory narratives, we learn also to enjoy and sexualize them. I might be wrong, maybe its patologization of intellectual thirst and intellectual excitement, but it often showed as true in my encounter with these men.
Still, somehow its easy to see them as humans, much more than other patriarchal macho men. You can see them through the pain and brakes they make. Restless men, they cannot stand still on one place, they cannot stop their busy minds, wandering from place to place. From human to human. Restless men on the streets.
And I guess it would be difficult after some longer exposure to this treatment, but after these relatively short and superficial encounters, you can still have some kind emotions for them, even though you would maybe want to discipline them, maybe even make them suffer. It is not the hatred you would have towards men who intentionally use their power to hurt, emotionally empty, without any empathy. No. You can see them differently. Its possible since it seems their emotional life is still not under the seven walls of the icey macho ideology, but its there, very messy and they are there, entangled in their own messiness in which they entangle others, but not without humanity at the end. These fcked up and often predictable boys do not allow you to simply feel anger or resentment in some way, they still have not turned into the patriarchal macho men. Sometimes they just bring sadness for some reason. You move away and you have this image like they are fading away, floating in the outer space in silence, in vacuum, repeating some patterns without a voice, and you think with sadness about these puzzling humans turning into the terrifying products of patriarchy, violent men you know too well.
You realize how much they are these abandoned, lonely, restless men wandering around, just making a mess while they go, braking things, hurting others and themselves on the way.
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