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The Feminine Man

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posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 02:02 AM
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Just a second ago, as I walked up the stairs from the family room, I had the thought "you know, you're kind of feminine". I, feminine? I have never attached that idea to myself. Sure, I'm short, and have a sort of unbridled sense of emotion, but only now did it occur to me that, unbeknownst to me - the owner of the thoughts I think and the feelings I feel - but I act very much like a girl in certain respects.

It's just in the way I move and perceive myself in my acting. Its sort of life.....my older sister. And there might also be other internalized identifications with my machismo - yet feminine - mother.

Because of this and other relational dynamics, my mind and body experienced itself very much in the mold of a feminine role model (my sister). Couldnt help enacting these effects. It was an unconscious, state-dependent construction of organism (with it's mental programs) and environment (other people, other minds). Each of us passes through this sieve in becoming who we become.

But the topic of this post is how it feels to be a man who experiences himself in some respects as feminine, in manner, in sensitivity to emotion and curiosity about the minds processes. Intersubjective, allocentrically focused minds - an intimate experience - tends to be avoided in guys. Whereas in girls, these moments are tolerated and even cultivated.

There's something about the presence of weakness in other people which seems to irritate the masculine mind. On a biological level, testosterone aggravates emotional processes, causing the masculine mind to act in needlessly aggressive ways.

It's important to make clear a distinction between allocentric and autocentric ways of perceiving. Allocentric means "other-centered", or focusing on the other persons experience to get a sense of the effects your having on the way they formulate their responses. Autocentric is normal, animal-organism consciousness of self and its needs. In our human world, other people and other 'things' take on an objectivity in autocentric response. In talking with people, one inevitably (and unconsciously) enacts relational strategies to maintain rapport, a sense of dominance, or even a sense of self while confronted by the mind of the other. For many people, this is the constant state of being for them. When they talk, they see the 'other' as really some 'play-object'. Take kids who bully weaker kids. In the group scene environment, interusbjective awareness tends to collapse into a narcissistic autocentric focus so that the reality of the other person (and his subjective experience of shame, humiliation, fear and anxiety) 'dissociates' from his awareness. Evolutionary psychology rightly identifies this behavior with the antics of male chimpanzee alpha males in keeping lesser males in line. The alpha male, presumably, needs to enter a dissociative "I am all that exists" mode of perceiving, where the world 'out there' collapses into a caricaturized projection of the subjects emotional state, so that he can truly 'dominate' and experience himself most fully in control of his environment.

But the experience is different for women because of child birth. It is child birth - reproduction - that all species manage to persist. Thus, with human beings, females constitute a different type of human being on account of having different survival strategies from men. Or, to be more precise, men have different survival strategies from women. Females who give birth are biased by their biology into the phenomenological experience of intersubjective awareness of the others mind. This would make sense as oxytocin, prolactin, and estrogen levels all go up post-birth. And all these chemicals are associated with feelings of tenderness and empathy.

I won't go into the phenomenology of this experience (I'm not a woman, just an imaginative male) but I will say that each of us, at some point in our early existence, experienced the intense, embodied and procedurally encoded vulnerability of needing an 'other'. Being a baby is not a time of nothingness. Far from it! So much right-brain procedurally-processed events at the non-verbal level, in perception of cues and ways of organizing self in preparation for response, this is learned, this is not there from the get-go. The infant brain takes in and absorbs relational data from every encounter it has with another mind. The Cerebellum organizes body movement with emotional response in the mid-brain, and nascent cortical impression in the frontal lobes. As the left brain develops in the 2nd year of life, more linguistic and perceptible impressions occur within the infant mind. Self takes on greater definition and gravity. The infant can organize himself more complexly, understand more, and so generate more mature responses.

Who someone becomes, whether very masculine, or very feminine, is largely structured by relational structures which our developing self-structure interacted with, with sparks flying and consequences unfurling, inching, with time, to greater self-awareness, or 'witness consciousness'.

The feminine man - like the female - is cast as weak because something very scary lies at the root of reality: our inherent vulnerability. Men are prone to hide these secrets by pretending they don't exist. Convert that phrase into cognitive science or psychoanalysis and you'll get "a self-system aggravated by testosterone and the masculine symbolic structures in the cultural system, instigating neurological programs that dissociate uncomfortable affects and feelings from conscious attention in most individual males".

I was once very 'dissociated' from the importance of helping females empower themselves. I remember a commercial once, about 3 or 4 years back, about helping girls around the world...blah blah, is how it came off to me. The meaning that was there - which could have been had had I been curious to know - was not merely ignored, but converted by my mind into something paranoid and unjustified by the evidence.

It's funny taht one little chemical plays the part in making humans male. Testosterone is produced by the Y chromosome, which masculinizes the human brain and leads to gonadal and structural changes in the skeleton. Testosterone gives men their extra height; an attribute, no doubt, that every tall man is thankful for, every average guy oblivious of, and every short man envious of. In school, it is only natural, given the ramifications of emotional systems into fantasies, that taller males be drawn to tease and abuse smaller males. It's what I mentioned earlier about autocentric response: motivations to impress and to showboat is built into our DNA. Thus, the doer of this thing, the big male, dissociates the experience of the short (and feminine) male. That's the laughing and pleasure of one mind can exist side-by-side with the pain and suffering in another mind.

Evolution also built in us allocentrism. We can imagine other minds and pick up the feelings of others experiences. By being being curious in this way, we can come to learn more about ourselves. Anthropologists, asking the question "how did intersubjectivity develop?' found 'airing grievances' as a major contender in developing awareness and sensitivity to the experiences of other minds.




posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 02:43 AM
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I tend to use the terms "relational" and "objective" often, instead of allocentric and autocentric, but my meanign remains the same.

The biological influences are there, but there is also "nurture" which has a big influence too.
I have noticed that males who started early life very close to their mother, with a physically or emotionally absent father, often develop more skills in the "allocentric" modes of thought and experience.

I think interaction with another male stimulates and confirms that biological tendency to be "object" oriented in thought.

My oldest son did not have a father for the first two years of his life, and we had what seemed to be a "psychic" connection- I never had to do much in the way of discipline, because he just could read what I wanted him to do or not without any effort on my part. Same for me- I relied on my intuition, I sensed what he needed and what he didn't, and we seemed to fall into a easy synchronicity.

If he had had a father figure present at that time, he would have someone to interact with who would not "sense" his needs and states and respond to them- all would have to be clearly expressed consciously otherwise it would not be picked up. "Words or it didn't happen" type of attitude would increase his sense of being an object, in which the stuff "inside" is irrelevant or inexistent, unless it becomes exteriorized.

This became a problem for him later, because he just thought he could go through the world and read everyones body language, sense their emotions, needs and desires, and they, in turn, will pick up on his, in that same effortless synchronicity we had. Unfortunately that is not the reality here and it leaves him sort of metaphorically "skinless", a problem of boundary, in which he is picking up on everyones states (whether they are conscious of it or not) and terribly confused as to why they seem oblivious to it, and to his.

If we bring up "ideals", I personally think it is best of a child of either sex can be exposed in early life to both ways of being. Even if their biology will pull them to have one side or the other more developed, having been exposed to the other leaves more potential for them to develop that other side later if they so wish.
Like speaking a second language to them as babies- even if you don't continue one of those languages, if they wish to learn it, the patterns are deeply ingrained and they can learn it faster.

In my case, up to the age of 7 or so, I had a father present, but then he took off. I developed more this same sort of intuitional relation with my mother, which confirmed and supported my feminine allocentric qualities.

But later, when I chose to develop more my masculine qualities, they seemed to come quite easily, as if they were a deeply buried but always present side of me. Took a test on Facebook the other day which said I was 60% percent "male brained, and 40% "female brained".


But still, funny you wrote about this today, because I woke up this morning and was thoughtful as I looked out over the valley, and was thinking that I have always had the impression that what is inside me is "me", and what others see or perceive is not. This is why speaking or writing my feelings is helpful- once they are "out" they are no longer "me". I am rid of them, change happens. What I have said or done is what I was- not what I am now.

Whereas I notice with the men in my life, they primarily identify with what is outside- what they do, or that which is perceived by others. Ones actions determine what they are.
Whereas from a feminine point of view, it is what one is that determines their actions.

Sorry to ramble. Now I guess I'll be changing, since this is out.

edit on 1-4-2015 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 04:32 AM
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Interesting post. It's strange, really, how testosterone plays into our systems.
Apparently much of it takes place early in the womb and then again at puberty.
I've considered the idea that breast feeding might well factor into it as well, but I have nothing to back that up.

For me, even though I'm a taller male, I'm very much not aggressive, downright hate sports, barely into competition(a little bit of strategy competition, but even that I give up on really easily), am not into things that can cause me pain and mostly consider myself to be asexual. At middle age, I can sorta grow a beard, but still patchy on the cheeks and my jaw/chin would be considered weak. While I don't have an outright feminine personality, it's certainly not very masculine by most men's standards.

The past few years, I've thought that it's likely that I've had a deficiency in testosterone for the better part of my life, but I've never been tested. I'm adopted and had a foster parent for a day. Not sure if I had breast milk that first week or not. I doubt a mother would breast feed a baby she was giving up for adoption and I can't imagine that would be advised by the doctors(at least back then) anyway. Also, I was on Ritalin between 5 and 10 (nothing enrages me more than that was done to me and is still done to this day).

I often wonder how I may have turned out without Ritalin, perhaps testosterone supplements and having that natural connection with my mother's milk. Nothing I can do about it now.



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 06:15 AM
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ooh! Another, secondary thought, along the lines of your biological approach!

Look at this-
Babies come out of women, if we did not have this internal identification (that which is inside is me therefore that which is inside other is who they are) then we wouldn't be able to allow our children to individualize. They'd just be extensions or representations of our self!

I have to interact with that which comes out of me, and have a sort of cooperation with it, but cannot identify with it, for risk of denying it it's own life and development.

That takes further some of my creative urges, in which the object of my creation needs some room for it's own growth and change, separate from my actions or influence.



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 07:10 AM
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Well we all began as females (hence men's nipples) it's kinda the default configuration for humans.



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 07:38 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

I'm a mix of everything--I'm only 5'5", but very strong and athletic, and a very good leader. Yet, I graduated with honors from the University of Empathy, so it is impossible for me not to consider how my actions affect the life experience of everyone else. I also am very capable of discussing my feelings, yet encounter the paradox that it's hard for me to express my affection in 'normal' ways.

I find that the attempt to generalize a men-v-women difference is a futile experiment. Yes, there are primal, often subconscious urges and needs that are different due to the Y chromosome, but I think the conscious and tangible differences vary greatly from person to person, and thus cannot really be quantified in any meaningful way--and I think as generations pass, the ability to quantify the differences becomes increasingly less possible.



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 09:37 AM
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Guten Morgen- This is fantastic because We entered 'Yin' a while ago. Mr. Yang took His balls and went home. All His patriarchal crap is following Him on His exit..


namaste

P.S. I sat down to pee last night and well, it just felt "right"...



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 09:41 AM
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I am not a male macho and I do support females in both the work place and in the home BUT what you are talking about ....... there is a name for it......it is called being "pussified". Many great men have fallen and been destroyed in politics, government, and the entertainment business because of women and their control over men. That's right CONTROL. It has very little to do with testosterone..... it has more to do with sex and how it wraps around the male reptilian brain. For every man who has married a woman that is close to his age I can name ten who have married elderly men and it is apparent why? If I was 30 year old female.....even 50 and was walking down the street with an 80 year old man and stepped into a Bentley and were seen kissing each other as they drove away I would not think that is his daughter, now would I? Of course not.... it is his wife, or his lover...... either way there can NOT be any sexual attraction...... HOWEVER what is attractive is his bank account .

There are way too many gold diggers out here and they seek out the "pussified men" with money that they can control. Most everyone knows a good man that is happily married frequently shows signs of "pussification" on a regular basis.



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 09:55 AM
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The feminine man - like the female - is cast as weak because something very scary lies at the root of reality: our inherent vulnerability. Men are prone to hide these secrets by pretending they don't exist. Convert that phrase into cognitive science or psychoanalysis and you'll get "a self-system aggravated by testosterone and the masculine symbolic structures in the cultural system, instigating neurological programs that dissociate uncomfortable affects and feelings from conscious attention in most individual males".


I could be wrong (my psychology and neuroscience readings are out of date) but I thought prenatal testosterone, and not so much, as you say, the "masculine symbolic structures in the cultural system", had much to do with sex-related behavior. As you show by your own claim to femininity, these symbolic structures had little to no effect on your own sexuality. I think the idea of the "blank slate", that people are like silly putty, is slowly falling out of favour. I don't know if you've read Steven Pinker's "The Blank Slate", but he goes into great deal on this very topic, and much of it has to do with gender.

I fear there is an unnecessary backlash occurring against masculinity, and masculine men, as evidenced by the negative and pejorative language used against it, both here and elsewhere. As you have hinted at in your post, is this mainly because of envy? Or is it an unconscious defence against one's own vulnerability in the face of masculinity?
edit on 1-4-2015 by Aphorism because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 09:57 AM
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a reply to: SlapMonkey

I feel you, being 5'5" myself. Short guys unite!

One good thing about being our size? If we put on 20lbs of muscle, it looks like we've put on 40lbs.




posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 10:07 AM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

True...but the same goes with fat, too :/



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 10:10 AM
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originally posted by: DeathSlayer
I am not a male macho and I do support females in both the work place and in the home BUT what you are talking about ....... there is a name for it......it is called being "pussified". Many great men have fallen and been destroyed in politics, government, and the entertainment business because of women and their control over men. That's right CONTROL. It has very little to do with testosterone..... it has more to do with sex and how it wraps around the male reptilian brain. For every man who has married a woman that is close to his age I can name ten who have married elderly men and it is apparent why? If I was 30 year old female.....even 50 and was walking down the street with an 80 year old man and stepped into a Bentley and were seen kissing each other as they drove away I would not think that is his daughter, now would I? Of course not.... it is his wife, or his lover...... either way there can NOT be any sexual attraction...... HOWEVER what is attractive is his bank account .

There are way too many gold diggers out here and they seek out the "pussified men" with money that they can control. Most everyone knows a good man that is happily married frequently shows signs of "pussification" on a regular basis.


I would almost laugh this off as great satire if I didn't think you're being sincere. If you are being sincere, I'm going to have to call this out as quite the ignorant comment to make. For every happily married "pussified" man you claim exists, I'll show you at least the same amount of happily married men who don't meet you ignorant criteria of a "pussified man."



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 08:31 AM
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For every man who has married a woman that is close to his age I can name ten who have married elderly men and it is apparent why? If I was 30 year old female.....even 50 and was walking down the street with an 80 year old man and stepped into a Bentley and were seen kissing each other as they drove away I would not think that is his daughter, now would I? Of course not.... it is his wife, or his lover...... either way there can NOT be any sexual attraction...... HOWEVER what is attractive is his bank account .



Though that may be true in some cases, it is not true in all. Some women are caretakers. My own father married a woman my age many years ago. She is a beautiful woman, with a successful career and amazing body.
But having had a handicapped brother, she grew up caring for him, and that sort of just became her thing. Before my dad, she was with a man who had terminal cancer, and she cared for him tenderly until his last breath (no, she got no money, they did not get married).

Not only was my dad a widower, struggling with a young son, he is a highly respected professor in his field, and she absolutely worships his wisdom. So she felt pulled to help and care for them, and was admirative of his brain. I think men often underestimate our ability to be turned on, even sexually, by a mans mind!

Even though now he is in a wheelchair, isn't working anymore, and their house looks like a hospital, they are still in love and I know they have sex.

I guess one could say care taking is a form of control- yet she does it with his own good in mind, and he is thankful for it. She sees it as her duty to help him live as long as possible, so that others can still benefit from his wisdom.

I often proclaim that the sexiest man i know of is an author who books I just love- and physically, I guess he isn't. But just knowing the mind behind those glasses, big nose and bald head, gets me all heated up!

Experience, intelligence, and emotional maturity is HOT! (and sometimes that just happens to be the kind of mind that creates a comfortable life for themselves, but that isn't the sexy part.)



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 09:45 AM
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The feminine man - like the female - is cast as weak because something very scary lies at the root of reality: our inherent vulnerability.





What is the worst thing you can think of to call a woman? Perhaps... bitch, whore, #?

What are the worst things you can call a guy? Fag, pussy, mangina?

The worst things that people call girls are... girls. The worst things they call men are.... girls.


Society itself is guilty of the "manhood construct" such a 'boys don't cry' and 'real men don't...' and 'man up' and all the other things we usually see boys and men get locked into. All of which are repressive and harmful to the individual psyche.

Behaviors that are considered 'un-masculine' can be anything from emotional expression to feminine mannerisms. But the truth is, many "feminine men" are not gay, some straight guys are very feminine. It just means that he's comfortable with his sexuality. And because of this he is attractive to both some females and some men.

Everyone has a personal "preference," of course.



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 12:43 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma

That does appear to be the case.

The psychoanalyst Philip Bromberg refers to this paradoxical tension - of seeing the other as 'external' to the self, and ones own self and its relation to the other as an 'object' - "standing in the spaces".

If one were to articulate psychoanalytically, this does appear to be the perfect formulation.

In order to appreciate the other, you have to see the other as 'different' - not you. In a sense, this is how our thoughts work, particularly when were more creative. Were not "holding" it in any conscious way, but letting it 'hold' its own 'otherness' within our psyche.



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 12:46 AM
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a reply to: SlapMonkey

Of course, were making generalized differences rooted in the effects the 'y chromosome' via testosterone seems to have on the male mind.

But due to the unique pathways each individual passes through, essentially all of us - both male and woman - are capable, if the conditions are right, to care about what other minds feel and experience.



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 01:00 AM
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a reply to: DeathSlayer




Many great men have fallen and been destroyed in politics, government, and the entertainment business because of women and their control over men.


You got your etiology confused. Not your fault - it's a highly confusing subject.

Though, I wonder, since you've essentially called me a 'pussy', a stupid term, mind you, although you insist that you're "not macho"...you should try to reflect on why you would employ such an urban term to describe what you're seeing.

In anycase, for people who read books, the etiology works like this:

Power, fundamentally, is inclined more on the side of males than on females, and it's simple: we have MUSCLE AND SIZE.

Of course, you will retort exactly what you have written throughout this thread: woman use sex against men.

And indeed! I agree! But consider the etiology. The power to RAPE, to ABUSE, is the province of the male. What is the capacity of "being able to seduce" compared to this far more violent ability to dehumanize and disempower? If you're in any sense honest, you will admit that it is secondary, that is, this manipulative prowess of woman is BORNE from the objectifying tendencies of the male mind.

To be bothered and discombobulated by emotion - a property of testosterone - renders us unable to properly recognize, or frankly, to care much, about whats happening in other minds. This tendency we can call "objectifying". It underlies all, fundamentally ALL, types of abuse.

On the other end of the spectrum we have the sense, or the curiosity, to care about whats happening in other minds. I termed this 'allocentricity'. We could also call this 'subjectifying' other minds, in that we understand and recognize that the body/object were interacting with is fundamentally another mind just like ours.

Since pregnancy and the attachment process augments this awareness in female minds, I really cannot for the hell of me understand - beside an unacknowledged chauvinism you refuse to own up to - how you understand (or claim to understand) male-female relationships as tilted, advantaged even, on the side of woman.

Any clearheaded analysis shows that the problem begins with males, then is passed on to females, who then play a part in fixating the objectifying tendencies in males. It's a feedback loop as all fractal systems - systems where parts exist within parts - are fundamentally non-linear.

What we really need to do is figure out a way to crack through the defenses i.e. narcissism, that prevents people like you from recognizing these basic facts about human psychology.



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 01:27 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism




prenatal testosterone, and not so much, as you say, the "masculine symbolic structures in the cultural system", had much to do with sex-related behavior.


I'm moving between spheres, i.e the biological process of ontogenesis, and the social processes of symbolic 'contagion'.

The masculine symbolic structures are basically those habits of thought which cling to male minds - because their repetitively practiced and given 'symbolic currency' i.e. meaning and value, in the larger social context we operate within.

This is stuff as disparate from how we speak, what we talk about, how we great one another, play with one another, tease one another, to how we talk to women. Spend some time at any local library and watch teenagers relate. It can be a highly educative experience!




As you show by your own claim to femininity, these symbolic structures had little to no effect on your own sexuality. I think the idea of the "blank slate", that people are like silly putty, is slowly falling out of favour. I don't know if you've read Steven Pinker's "The Blank Slate", but he goes into great deal on this very topic, and much of it has to do with gender.


You think I'm operating from the 'blank slate' perspective? Steven Pinkers book is on my book shelf, and its VERY out of date. His book was written before the 'epigenetic revoluton' - a subject I suggest you look into if you want to better understand the role social processes have on the the biochemical processes which intervene between experiences and genes.

In fact, the trend is moving in the opposite direction - towards a 'environment+Gene' picture that frankly favors the environment as the ultimate decider. Look up Michael Meaney - molecular biologist at Mcgill University - and his studies on the maternal behavior on rat pup gene expression. It's highly enlightening!

Genes are not the 'be all end all' as presented by Pinker. There's a reason why Pinker is spending his time nowadays writing books on style and not the subject of the 'blank slate', as his views are largely inconsistent with the trends in psychology and behavioral science which incorporates attachment theory as a governing model, and not the 'gene-centered' approach, which, since it never had knowledge of epigenetic processes, and relied upon highly misleading statistical methodologies, created a very different picture of development from the one being elucidated by modern day developmental neurobiologists.




I fear there is an unnecessary backlash occurring against masculinity, and masculine men, as evidenced by the negative and pejorative language used against it, both here and elsewhere


What do you mean? Am I against sports? Of course not. I play basketball every other day at the leisure center. The issue is conflict and how men handle conflict. To understand the fundamentally social nature of human experience - the fact that others 'scaffold' abilities into our growing psyches - necessitates self-reflection, necessitates that the vulnerabilities which come with being human NOT be dissociated, as 'masculine machismo' so easily obscures from awareness. If this is what you mean by 'masculine' - then I will also like to add the term 'evil', 'demented' 'illogical' 'irrational' to my repertoire of pejorative terms.

Denying what is there - what is a part of ones experience - not owning it and controlling it - is the paragon of immaturity, and frankly, the root of all social problems.

The real issue though, is cracking through the defenses that inhibit self-reflection. It's not that the phenomenology of the mind is entirely 'subjective' - clearly, it can be seen, and seen to have objective effects; what matters is allowing yourself to FEEL, to ACCEPT, and OWN, so that you breakdown the dissociative processes that impede and re-direct unconscious processes to support implicitly held biases.

As an example. Most people can recognize how other people have 'organized' their own subjective mental experience. Usually this is our primary caregiver. From stress hormones to preverbal, motor and sensual experiences (which carry affective meaning) the self is already being biased: by seeing the human mind as a 'system' organized from the bottom up early on, BY OTHER people, its not hard to see that the subjectivity of consciousness is not as subjective and 'black' as behavioral psychology made it out to be. Assuming the presence of 'motivational systems' is as logical for us as it is for any other animal. Understanding and inferring effects of other people on these motivations - withdrawing from painful experience or aggressing against it- these can be largely determined by 'how one learns' to deal with these experiences. For example, my mom learned to deal with experiences like shame by externalizing it against others as 'anger'. She learned this through her own mother - as well as her father.

If you are interested in this complex, though immensely interesting process, check out contemporary relational thinkers like Jessica Benjamin, Adrienne Harris, Philip Bromberg, Lewis Aron, Joseph Lichtenberg, or Stephen Mitchell.




As you have hinted at in your post, is this mainly because of envy? Or is it an unconscious defence against one's own vulnerability in the face of masculinity?


Moreso a healthy contempt for stupidity.

I'm not alone. Books like Melvin Konners "Woman After All", just recently published, goes so far as to suggest that future society will eliminate males from the genepool! He may be simply flirting with the idea - and I find the actually suggestion of such an idea grotesque - but it does point to a fundamental harmfulness in the male-psyche.

Its interesting that from a biological perspective, males exist only in 'tough' situations: evolution uses males, for example, as in the case of aphids, to deal with unpredictable environmental conditions.

Does that not suggest something about the times we live in? Trauma may have been 'the norm' in human history. But if we truly want a better world - more consciousness, less suffering, more happiness and wellbeing - we have to face up to he ways our minds work and not run away from it.



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 01:57 AM
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Let me also just say something about sociobiology - upon which Pinkers 2002 (old) thesis is based.

The problem with sociobiology and how it thinks of the mind is its utter simplistic naivety. It's a field, in my mind, which is on it's way out - going out, since Stephen Porges highly influential theory of the polyvagal system in the brain - a theory based in REAL PHYSIOLOGY - gives a lot of credibility to the psychoanalytical conception of the psyche.

In case you aren't acquainted with this idea, the polyvagal theory postulates that the vagal nerve and its connections serve as the physiological foundation for:

Emotions
Attachment
Communication &
Self Regulation

These concepts are integral to contemporary relational psychology.

The polyvagal system elucidates two different branches of the vagal system - physiologically distinct - the dorsal and the ventral branch, which serve two distinct types of parasympathetic activity:

The dorsal, unmyelinated portion, which means slower nerve conduction speeds, would of course correspond to the phenomenological experience of dissociation as well as sleep. This could be 'trancing' out, in any normal or usual way, or the lawful activation of dissociation as a response to intolerable (and overwhelming) sympathetic nervous system activation (not to mention the deleterious effect of cortisol on the hippocampus)

The ventral, myelinated portion, means quick nerve conduction. Its fibres extend, quite interestingly, to all those areas necessary for social communication: the face, larynx, and pharynx. Porges has also showed that during communication the ventral portion 'co-opts' the dorsal portion in the regulation of sinus-cardiac arrhythmia - that is, social communication requires both 'a relaxed engagement' (hence, the dorsal portion) but also a quick and alert engagement with other minds.

The polyvagal theory is essentially exactly what Freud was looking for when he imagined a scientific theory of the mind. It just took a hundred years of studying the brain to find it.

I mention this - and you've probably heard me mention this before - because it subserves everthing else: this system is a part of the AUTONOMIC i.e. AUTOMATIC and UNCONSCIOUS mind. That is, it is a social 'threat assessment system' that prepares our minds for certain ways of being. If you know anything about lower primates and apes, this system has a lot of plausibility going for it, as social-dominance is fundamental to most primate behavior (though noticeably and refreshingly absent in our closest relative, the bonobo).

To go from here, to the theories of psychoanalysis is no longer seen as 'unscientific', but as thoroughly plausible - as plausible as theories which explain tectonic shift of continents or any other theory which accumulates evidence about a particular phenomenon. To deny it - or to 'not like' what psychoanlytic insights have to say about the human condition, will increasingly be thought of as an issue of 'defense'. As silly - and irritating to deal with - as denying evolution.



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 02:01 AM
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One last thing. Yes, I can't help but be jealous about other mens 'tallness'; but although I admit to an experience, I am not bothered by the contradiction it poses: just cause I experience something - something more 'imposed' on me than anything I would willingly feel - doesn't mean I like it or accept it.

Power - the misuse of power - is thoroughly wrong, in whatever form it manifests itself.

Being tall, medium, or short, shouldn't influence the quality of ones life experience. Thus, although I have the 'remnant' insecurities of my younger years, I don't much let it affect me nowadays.

As for other male traits: I'm not that short (5'7); I'm athletic build, masculine face - and I did mention that I "didn't notice" my feminine tendencies, which is to say, being athletic and in to sports, I've often overlooked my other feminine traits.




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