1724 Mad Love.

There are storms and flooding here that have knocked out the power, so I have to post this now in case it’s down for a while.

Rather than do the normal thing of denying irrational behavior Thomas self assesses in a few seconds and admits to what he feels. This is a wildly uncommon ability. Men are typically trained to deny emotion as a sign of weakness and Thomas actively tries to break that training. We’ve already seen part of the reason for that.

Emotional honesty is generally seen as a weakness, although people outwardly tout it as good. In actual social situations they will fall right back in to the societally accepted ways to act. Women may say they like it when a man is emotionally vulnerable, but that is not true in my experience. While the idea of that kind of man is theoretically popular in practice women react to male emotion generally with the same scorn people always have. As if it’s programmed in to them and they are powerless to change that.

Thomas is skirting the line. In reality you have to strike a very careful balance between accepted male strength and vulnerability. Women may say they respect a man who can cry, but in reality there’s a little voice deep down inside everyone that quietly and cruelly whispers “Pussy…”

23 Comments

The vulnerable, sensitive male that women fawn over only exists in harlequin romance novels and other feminine fiction like 50 Shades of Grey. Every man knows that exposing yourself like that to any but your closest friends and confidants is a disaster waiting to happen because it will only end in a fight or with somebody dead if alcohol is involved.

There are some men who are able to showcase more vulnerability than the accepted norm, but that only happens because everyone around them knows they’ll get broken in two if they start mocking him.

“Every man knows that exposing yourself like that to any but your closest friends and confidants is a disaster waiting to happen…”

Exactly. That’s the point. I can’t speak for every woman, but for myself the goal is to be one of your closest friends and confidants. If you don’t trust me enough to show me your emotions, what’s the fucking point?

Jesus, is that seriously your experience? Anyone mocking anyone for emotional vulnerability is nasty in my book, and imo if someone actually tells me what’s happening it’s easier to fix it/communicate so it doesn’t happen again/offer comfort if none of the above is possible or within my control.

That seems strange to me because my experience differs. I have seen it viewed mostly as a sign of trust and caring, although i suppose that might be because of the potential to be mocked. I think the scorn you are seeing may be a show in the same way hiding emotions are, because it is normal to make fun of male vulnerability but there is a deeper respect for it because it is hard to do.

My experiences seeing how women relate to male vulnerability varies. My girlfriend has trouble holding back her own tears when she sees men cry, while my sister laughed at my dad for crying at the end of My Dog Skip. I think your experiences say less about women in general and more about the specific women you’ve dealt with, but I’m guessing from the fact that you put “in my experience” in bold, you suspect that may be the case.

Wow, your Dad must really love dogs…I hope he did NOT invite your sister for the viewing of “A Dog’s Purpose”. I know that most of the deaths within the film are natural–albeit still sad–but the story of Ellie (the German Shepherd K-9 unit) was the most tragic in my book. In other words, your dad will create a miniature Niagara Falls upon the end of that story (not mocking your father, by the way. Just warning you about that possibility.)

Most people don’t know what they really want, because they don’t take the time to understand themselves.

I think women are just like men in that a lot of them don’t know what to do when someone genuinely opens up to them emotionally. Supposedly, women are more open with their emotions, but in reality, we’re just more willing to talk about CERTAIN emotions. Things that make us feel vulnerable are just as uncomfortable for us to talk about, so we avoid them too, even with each other.

The reality is that vulnerability is an intimacy that not a lot of us have experienced with another person. There are exceptions, of course, some people exude a sort of protective/nurturing “aura” that makes people more likely to open up to them, and those people might handle those situations a little better just because they have more experience at it. But for the majority of us, emotions are hard, no matter your gender. Don’t ever fool yourself into thinking it’s easy for anybody.

Times like this I’m happy that neither of the women I’m with are neurotypical, and that they’ve accepted that I’m genderless because I don’t have very many masculine (or feminine) traits.

I keep forgetting how weird the average person is, since I don’t often deal directly with them…

The sensitive, emotionally open male is a double standard because we don’t value it for itself. We only seem to like it in men who have first established “man cred” by some means. So first manly, then emotional. OK, so there was a bit of a sensitive man fad in the 1970’s and some few women wanted a Cat Stevens lookalike as their man, but that was a just a fad.

Yep, at least that’s the cliche that is pushed by movies and TV. Action hero is emotional = hot. Side character is emotional = comic relief. A man being emotional is the icing, not the cake.

Women want emotionalness and sensitivity – with them, not necessarily in social contexts. They want to see you get misty eyed watching a movie the two of you, to pay nice sentimental compliments to them, and be romantic by remembering things they like. They want you to tell them your feelings and be vulnerable with them.

But in a social context, they want a guy who is right in the middle of the herd and doesn’t alienate himself in that way. That sensitivity and vulnerability is something that they want in the relationship. Because the reality is that sensitivity in the world is a liability for guys. A guy can be nice without being labeled a “nice guy.” It’s those “nice guys” who tend to also be seen as less dominant, less assertive, and ultimately, less able to provide.

Well I have a meme for that. It’s called the culture of bullying and don’t tell me America isn’t just that. The interesting thing is because everybody is a bully the bully is the good guy. (I’m not talking the preying on the weak type bully, at least not in the obvious way). Something like that.

Don’t forget the ingrained anti-intellectualism.
It is still the scientist/Engineer that is the bad or facilitates the big bad guy in media. Oh yeah, it is always, always a guy.
The jock is still the big guy on campus. Heck, football is still the number one part of high-school culture. Look at who gets the most accolades/$$ and 99/100 it is some MBA or Business Type. Heck mediocre intellects with no scruples but lots of money and connections get more respect, recognition and dollars than any science or engineering major. [Gates is a good horrible example]

I got to thinking about women and sexuality after watching the new Ready Player One trailer, because I’m completely geeking out over all the nerdiness and references the movie is built on, but also the non-stereotype female characters in the books, I know it’s Hollywood and all, but I feel like how the female characters are represented is pretty important to the plot.

P.S been reading this comic for a while, gets me through the week. Thanks J!

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