Emasculation - Is that a real thing?

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The last 2 are from the male friend I have to have a talk with now. He was a perfectly normal confident man when I met him. Actually, he was extremely cocky. Now he alternates between rude comments and sulking because I won't act like other girls who come over and file his nails and such. I honestly can't see how these men's perceptions of women can be real. I don't know women who are as dumb, easy, and uncultured as they insist other ladies are. I don't want to argue with them so I just walk away. But if they are in my social circle, we always end up having to have the talk about me being 'kinder' to them. And I refuse to humor them.

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Originally Posted by Xyz
And these are just friends? That's kind of odd. I have a friend like this (female) that often has talks with her close friends about how they are not good friends or need to do things differently in the relationship. She's quite needy and obviously wants everything her way(sounds like your friends as well). Needless to say, the friends are not as close and they keep a distance/different type of friendship. Some relationships/friendships are not meant to be nor are they compatible. It really shouldn't be that hard.
I don't know that many women who are that dumb, but I do know a LOT of women who act...not dumb, exactly, but they do tone themselves down when they're around men. They don't talk about the same things, or they don't talk about things in the same way that they usually do--less detail, less intense, less acerbic, etc.
Originally Posted by legends
Yes in the case of this particular guy I've noticed that he has plenty of women who cook and buy him clothing or other gifts and giggle and tell him how stellar he is. Shakes head.

When he talked to me about 'helping him with his nails,' I said, 'Oh no, you have to pay to get a manicure.' He started telling me about his female friends who invite him over and do his hair and his nails for him. Again, I just shook my head. I understand that these type of women exist. I don't understand why some men would try to push all women to be like that. They should hold on to those generous types like they're gold but instead they harass others. And I'm the b-word?

My ex and I went through this when we first became friends. He said it hurt his feelings that I didn't like him the way he liked me, so he started criticizing everything I did. I guess he thought that would make me realize I needed a man - ie, him. Or else he was trying to convince himself that I was trash and verbalizing it helped.

I'm trying to figure out if there is a way to head off the emasculation so I don't have to hear about it. Marah, what are you doing that works? My female friends will sometimes berate my male friends who act very needy or bosy. But they do it by being very loud and getting in the guy's faces, which leads my male friends to just laugh later and claim that women are emotional. I go more for the talk rationally approach, but it's tedious and I'd love something quick and painless.

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And these are just friends? That's kind of odd. I have a friend like this (female) that often has talks with her close friends about how they are not good friends or need to do things differently in the relationship. She's quite needy and obviously wants everything her way(sounds like your friends as well). Needless to say, the friends are not as close and they keep a distance/different type of friendship. Some relationships/friendships are not meant to be nor are they compatible. It really shouldn't be that hard.
Originally Posted by Josephine
Most of the men, I don't become close friends with. I shake the comments off as I know it's about them.

This last guy, I actually like and am trying to get to a place where he doesn't read my level of friendship by gifts and ego boosts. As I mentioned, he was normal at first. Since we've known each other awhile, he's started nervousing - (tm) Miss New York. He's really nervous when we talk in person, tells my friends I don't like him, sulky, lost his charisma so to speak. That's really more what I made the thread for. Some men are fools, they are easy to ignore. This kid is pretty sweet but has machismo issues. I would just like to ask him to be himself with me without making it more awkward.



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I say find different people. Not all men are like this but a lot of them are. I don't entertain these type of people at all. It's straight up chauvinist.

I also find it odd that a guy would want you to do stuff for him like that. The women I know that 'dumb it down' and are the more traditional type have it the other way, where the guy does more stuff for them all the time, even just friends. I'm not gonna lie, I'm like that too to a certain extent but only with a bf. But then again I'm a spoiled type and tend to be attracted to men that want to spoil me and would never ask me to do stuff for them at least initially. I do eventually once they have proven themselves. I would never expect a man however to do my nails, cook for me, etc.
Yes, he is a lot like that, but he's like that with everyone. Every weekend helping somebody move. Anticipating needs so the person doesn't have to ask. In the winter, if he noticed I was getting cold, he would get me coffee without having to ask. We were at a reading and my hands were cold and I wore my gloves, so he sat beside me and turned the pages of my book. Tries to take care of me when I'm sick. There's more I'm not telling but I'm not letting him go!

Possibly the reason the other women are doing all those things is because they pay back in kind. But I don't do those things. I would work on his resume for him though but I think he would find it emasculating. I don't usually do happy homemaker things for people I'm not in a relationship with. We will work something out, eventually.

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Well, there are two separate questions here, the question of "Are you making these men feel emasculated?" and the question of "Should you care?" I feel like it sounds like the answer to the former is yes and the answer to the latter is no; I kind of feel like your friend should get over it. When men whine about women "acting like men" or similar I get annoyed.
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RME. All the men I know seem to be obsessed with "manly" activities. These are "manly" things, etc. And I think it's so ridiculous. Why do you have to keep proving to yourself and others how "manly" you are?

As for myself, I am extremely feminine, but I am very assertive and confident. Everyone that is a good friend of mine has told me they initially thought I was stuck up or they were intimidated by me (both male and females) and how they were surprised to find out that I'm a good person.

It's like a disease. Women are expected to bow down to men, flirt with them, hang on to their every word, do what they say, slave in the kitchen for them, etc. The list goes ON.

All because I'm confident and assertive, I'm "stuck up" or intimidating. But if it was a man, he would be rewarded for this behavior. There is nothing wrong with a woman being comfortable with herself and sexuality. I'm comfortable and happy with myself. I believe that I put my best foot forward everyday, I am proud of the things that I've accomplished and I'm a hardworker. If that makes me "manly", then that's too bad! It just proves most men are not worth my time. I don't want to be around someone who constantly needs to prove how manly they are. I want a man to be as confident as I am, as proud of himself as I am, as happy as I am with life, and just be overall comfortable. I do not want to be a man's constant cheerleader and dumb myself down for a man. It's ridiculous that in this day and age, we're seen as intimidating for having a voice and opinions.
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I've never had a male friend or friend-of-a-friend say anything like that to me. Personally, I wouldn't stay friends with someone that. And I'd make sure to tell them just how nonsensical and offensive their comment was.
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Last edited by Eilonwy; 05-03-2012 at 01:03 PM.
I've never had a male friend or friend-of-a-friend say anything like that to me. Personally, I wouldn't stay friends with someone that. And I'd make sure to tell them just how nonsensical and offensive their comment was.
Originally Posted by Eilonwy
Yep.


There were examples of being mean to men given - insulting their manhood, or other attempts to cut them down. I suppose if it's belittling which attempts to make a man seem less masculine that's when emasculating fits. However, being myself instead of some image a dude has of what he wants women to be is in no way emasculating.

I've had men I've met who were rude jerks, but not who said the things above. I just didn't bother with them, because it's not worth the energy.

As far as intimidating? Oh, I get that plenty. I also have had men tell me that they never hit on me because they knew as soon as they met me I wasn't the type of woman with whom to have a fling. All are fine with me - usually when men tell me I'm intimidating it's in a nice way, and tied to the second statement.

I don't have much need for people of either gender who only have interest in those who throw themselves at others, either in friendship or romantic interest. This guy sounds like his "language of love" is in doing things for others, so he wants others to do for him. That's ok, but it sounds like he's being whiny in what he's asking of you. If anything, dude's making himself seem less masculine! I think he's probably interested in you and hoping you'll do something so he can convince himself the interest is mutual based on your description of his behavior. But then again, it kind of sounds to me from your description like he's the type who would string along multiple women at once, and wants you to be one of those women.
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Yes, he is a lot like that, but he's like that with everyone. Every weekend helping somebody move. Anticipating needs so the person doesn't have to ask. In the winter, if he noticed I was getting cold, he would get me coffee without having to ask. We were at a reading and my hands were cold and I wore my gloves, so he sat beside me and turned the pages of my book. Tries to take care of me when I'm sick. There's more I'm not telling but I'm not letting him go!

Possibly the reason the other women are doing all those things is because they pay back in kind. But I don't do those things. I would work on his resume for him though but I think he would find it emasculating. I don't usually do happy homemaker things for people I'm not in a relationship with. We will work something out, eventually.

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Originally Posted by Xyz
Yea I'm not the stereotypical female nurturer type at all either. Thing is if he's expecting something from you that is not realistic, it can be difficult for him to change those expectations. I also would not be happy with someone who didn't like the way I am or told me I'm like a man because I don't do this or not. A lot of men these days are not so archaeic anymore and don't blink an eye when I tell them I don't cook, hate cleaning and liked to nurtured myself. And some men still do..I run from those types! Well, we just stay friends if possible, but the attraction automatically goes away for me, it's that simple.
"Emasculate" is a term Conservative Republicans use often...it's code for: we're going to take rights away from women.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Huh?? Who says this?

I really don't think this is a Republican vs Democrat issue.
When he talked to me about 'helping him with his nails,' I said, 'Oh no, you have to pay to get a manicure.' He started telling me about his female friends who invite him over and do his hair and his nails for him. Again, I just shook my head. I understand that these type of women exist. I don't understand why some men would try to push all women to be like that. They should hold on to those generous types like they're gold but instead they harass others. And I'm the b-word?
Originally Posted by Xyz
I'd do the bolded alright and break out some VERY pretty nail polish to boot. Bet he doesn't ask again. But I'm just mean sometimes. :P
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Emasculation is such a stupid and sexist concept. Let me get this straight...a man can be forced to feel a certain way about himself based on someone else's actions? He is who he is, regardless of how someone else acts. If his self-concept is that fragile, he needs therapy. Any self-concept where you have to continually prove yourself and have to always be better than some perceived "inferior status" person is a dysfunctional way of life that is going to lead to depression and unhealthy self-defeating habits. It also implies that he thinks you are inferior. What is the point in hanging out with someone who wants to change you to feel better about himself? Get up to speed, man, I dont have the time or patience for your b.s.!
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Last edited by Boomygrrl; 05-04-2012 at 01:59 PM.
Thanks for all the replies. A few things:
I'm actually the smilely type which I think may contribute to why men say I am hard to read. Sometimes if I smile, this leads men to believe I am interested in them. Then, when I am clearly not interested, I think they are confused or assume I'm confused. I will have to figure out the smiley thing.

I also am a bringer of goodies when we, as friends, hang out as a group, which may lead some of the men to think that I will be the nurturing happy homemaker type for them only. So when I'm like, "No way, Jose," they try to convince me that "other women do it." I think I'll just keep telling them I don't like greedy people.

Also, the guy I mentioned would love to have his finger nails painted with "girl" colors (or totally wouldn't care). I've seen kids play in his hair and "girly" him (he's a curly with somewhat long hair) and he loves that. I've noticed that the so called macho men often do love to be pampered.

I don't have much need for people of either gender who only have interest in those who throw themselves at others, either in friendship or romantic interest. This guy sounds like his "language of love" is in doing things for others, so he wants others to do for him. That's ok, but it sounds like he's being whiny in what he's asking of you. If anything, dude's making himself seem less masculine! I think he's probably interested in you and hoping you'll do something so he can convince himself the interest is mutual based on your description of his behavior. But then again, it kind of sounds to me from your description like he's the type who would string along multiple women at once, and wants you to be one of those women.
Originally Posted by NetG
Ok, this post was really helpful. I'm extremely verbal and I always say that we are opposites because in the time I take to talk about what we are going to do he's already done it. His lack of communication bothers me sometimes, but you've helped me see that to him he IS communicating.

This reminds me of one time he took me aside and told me his 5 year plan, and what parts of his personality he needs to work on, and asked me how I felt about kids and whether I'd like to move to where he's from. My face was like: . I don't really understand whats in his head sometimes. I know we have fun when we hang out so I usually just shake off stuff I don't understand. Anyway, we'll see each other this weekend so we'll talk (hopefully without me being verbose and making it awkward) and try to get to a level where we spend less time together so that we don't annoy each other.

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