Ladies and Gentlemen…
I need your help.
Especially yours, ladies.
For quite some time I’ve lent my support to body positivity.
I’ve opened my mind about women’s weight, hair, breast size, makeup waist size and choice to shave or not to shave.
Even BEFORE this began there would be men who either didn’t mind or found non-traditional beauty…well… beautiful. Even then, there was external pressure for him to choose someone who fit the societal mold.
With the advent of body positivity, we may curb body dimorphism, and become more puristic and less aesthetically imperialistic.
As it should always have been, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, regardless of what popular culture tells us it is…
Now more types of women are embracing their sexual agency.
It is wonderful to be accepted for who you are…
…first by your self.
…and then by others.
Men are said attracted to beauty, first and foremost.
While women are attracted to strength.
Unfortunately in our society…
We don’t readily say “strength is in the eye of the beholder.”
Unfortunately, what we consider to be signs of strength are not often examined closely.
Especially not in feminist/MRA/Gender-Discussion and whatnot, at least not in the context of attraction.
And as such… we’re at a disconnect.
Left by itself, our notions of what strength are will be shaped by incoherent cultural forces.
Unfortunately, these indicators of strength not only deny the male full emotional maturity/expression… they often leave the ones who do not fill that mold lonely, rejected and abused.
They’re damaging to forcibly adhere to.
But what is extra insidious about this.. is that even when resisted, the other sex is still ruled, on a very deep level, about what she is to find attractive in a male.
What she recognizes as “strength,” and even if she’s intellectually free of male domination, traditionally masculine traits are still disproportionally more valued, and with it, will (more than likely) come with OTHER “traditional” things. And it will earn him respect from his male peers.
(Nothing wrong with wanting to be passive… but the systematic, overarching preference for a very specific type of of behavior(s) reflective of a cultural attitude, rather than anything reflected on and chosen.)
Failure to live up to the standard… however…
“All women are beautiful” says the man who only dates Victoria Secret models…
And this isn’t too different.
Nothing wrong with want a strong man or a beautiful woman…
But we have to take to heart how much out culture shapes what we see as “beauty,” “ugliness”, “weakness”, or “strength.”
I have been supporting body positivity in all its forms, because once, I never wanted any woman to feel as inadequate is I did.
I wanted them to see themselves through my eyes.
However… myself. Not functioning well in large crowds, sensitive, shy, but not afraid to walk up to someone and let them know how shy them make me, emotionally expressive (especially in regard to fear and vulnerability), I highly suspect I have Aspergers, I have a liver condition that is not conducive to bar situations… and I am very amorous. (Not necessarily physically amorous.)
I am a Philosopher, I am a humanist, I love humanity, I love comic books and superheroes, they are our modern myths, and I love many aspects of myself that so many people find… off. Or off turning. (Off turning in the sense of not inducing lady boners. Things I do come off as weak, not strong, not confident, indicative of need, etc.)
I love myself, but… at times it seems no one else does. At least not for my personality.
And if so, never in that way.
The advice I get is “be yourself,” “be confident,” “you’ll find SOMEONE.”
All valid, possibly true.
But not applicable to this situation.
A beautiful heterosexual woman, regardless of her character, will be more readily granted access to sex than beautiful man would. (assuming he’s not “strong.”)
And a strong heterosexual man, regardless of his character, will be granted access to sex more readily than an strong woman would. (assuming she’s not “beautiful.”)
In this regard, women is privileged.
But Western men are screwed beyond recognition.
Many weak/feminine traits are necessary for emotionally edifying interpersonal relationships. And men may not engage in them with each other as readily as females would.
At the same time, when in the only moment society grants him full emotional expression, with a woman… his “strength” is being assessed on a very patriarchal basis.
Quite frankly, the advice to “be myself,” “just be confident,” or “someone will come along”… ignore the possibility that there’s something fundamentally wrong with how our culture measures these things.
Lack of confidence befall us all sometimes, and they can be expressed differently.
And so can confidence.
Not everyone can fit this mold, and quite frankly, no one should have to just to gain companionship.
I AM being myself.
I AM confident.
But it doesn’t usually register as such.
I’ve read about pickup artistry, and with practice, I could become what people would want.
I can’t count the number of men I’ve heard “I used to be a nice guy who would listen to her problems, try to make her happy, buy her flowers, etc. etc.”
…until some experience caused them to change their behavior, keeping them in a state of emotional distance with women, while allowing them the powers of seduction.
I remember in X-Men 2… the shape-shifter Mystique was asked why she didn’t just blend in with the rest of humanity.
She answered: “Because I shouldn’t have to.”
And neither should I.
I want to add that this isn’t an indictment of anything resembling traditional masculinity… men who perform well in groups, like suits, play sports, have bass in voice, etc.
The problem is when my very personality, that I am very proud of… is being asked to change be hidden just to be seen as sexy by the opposite gender.
But as Captain America once said…
“This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — “No, you move.” Amazing Spider-Man #537
But what IS “strength”?
My dictionary app gives a few definitions, but I’ll condense them into something universal:
“The emotional, physical, or mental qualities necessary in dealing with certain difficult situation(s) or task(s).”
I may be lacking in some areas. But I am not weak.
No one can tell me otherwise. I won’t let society or culture tell me otherwise.
Not men. And not women, by implication.
I want to help create a culture where all of men’s (and women’s) strengths will be valued and seen as valid, depending on the needs of the individuals in question. And not some vague measure of charisma, entertainment value, aloofness, sexual options, money, etc. (All fine and good on their own, but…)
You are all strong in your own way. It’s not my business to tell you otherwise.
And we need to encourage and embrace one another’s strengths..
It will be similar to “body positivity,” but what shall we call it?
“Personality Positive” is too clunky.
“Nero-Positive” is too specific to the Autism Spectrum.
But I wanted to roll right off the tongue right next to “Body Positive”
So I chose… SPIRIT POSITIVE.
One may have a kind spirit, a gentle spirit, a joyous spirit, a stoic spirit, an ambitions spirit, an abundant spirit…. or a combination therof…. All strong in their own way.
I am beautiful and strong, and I demand to be recognized as such.
And you should too.
You are strong and beautiful.
Do you think this is worth promoting?
If so, won’t you reblog the hell out of this?
/sob REALLY GOOD, i totally agree, it’s more accepted now for women to break out of their little boxes and be body positive or spirit positive and be proud of who they are etc but there are so many guys who just don’t have that confidence, they have feigned confidence because they can be stereotypically what women want them to be, rather than being confident with who they are, and i really love seeing guys who are happy with themselves even if they aren’t particularly masculine or whatever, guys who recognise that they don’t need to be typically “what women want” are really amazing. the same goes for women though, it’s good to see all people who think this way, it’s just that sadly, men are still in the dark ages when it comes to this stuff.
thank you for this post <3