Author Topic: 0013: Response to Reclaiming Natural Manhood  (Read 19997 times)

andkon

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0013: Response to Reclaiming Natural Manhood
« on: May 04, 2013, 08:59:01 PM »



(Apologies for the crackling/loud sound issue, turn volume down, quality will surely improve.)

The author of Reclaiming Natural Manhood responded to my initial email:

Quote
Thank you very much for your mail.
I actually had seen your site a few days before you sent your mail, while searching the net, and have been wanting to get in touch. I'd keep my mail short for this one, and would write more in my next mail.
Basically, I was really glad to see someone who thinks so much like me, and if you hadn't started your work after viewing my site, then its even more rare to see such work.
There have been quite a few western endeavours in the past, by masculine gendered males to talk about man-man love, however, none ever would touch the issue of 'gay' as a separate (third) gender -- and to my mind, understanding and taking into account the third gender factor is primary in understanding the oppression of men and man-man bonds. I see some acknowledgement of this gender, and, to me, its a good start.
I'm in a hurry now, but will write more, soon.
Till then, congratulations on your work, keep up the good work, and hope we can join hands on this!

Quote
First of all my apologies for writing so late. I have been very busy, plus, I've not been keeping well. Add to it the fact that I've been actively doing internet activism for years -- and now I'm mentally tired and dread writing, and would rather work.
As I promised in my last mail, I'd like to give you some feedback about the issues you've written on.
first of all, let me tell you that your book seems to be the work of great scholarly quality, which means that you're not only talented to do this stuff, you've done your homework well. Add to it, that you write in an interesting manner, which keeps the interest of the reader live.
I'm amazed at the knowledge that you've collected and the depth to which you've done so. Your work is going to be of great use to me (as well as others), and I do hope that you can start a movement of sort in the west -- which badly needs it.
But, the most important is this -- that you have pinpointed the problem correctly (well, nearly). And, identifying the problem is half-solving it. You've great clarity about the issue, and you've dealt with it in a very professional manner.
And, now for some constructive analysis.
1. While I greatly appreciate that you talk about (a) universality of male desire for men, and (b) the problem of associating man-man desire with the 'gay gender,' you're still one step away from recognizing the 'gay' gender as a distinct human gender of effeminate and transgendered males --- which should ideally include all males with a female gender orientation, whether they desire men, women, other third genders or any combination of them. And, while I think that recognizing the "third gender" is crucial to understanding and addressing the problem of man-man love (and other manhood issues), I don't think that this is necessarily your drawback. I understand that the western society is not really conducive, at this juncture, to acknowledge or understand a third gender, and thus, your approach is totally appropriate to your culture (i.e. the west), and that is more important than calling a spade a spade, to the 'T.' Hopefully, one day you can take your society to that ideal point.
2. I have some concern about the solution that you're proposing to the issue of man-man love. While acknowledging and proving universal male desire for men, you're at the sametime (to my mind) making the mistake of creating another 'category' for man-man love -- the "Greros." The very idea of separation is the root of the problem. While, I understand that you live in a society where labels and categories are very important, at the sametime, the goal should be to end isolation/ separation -- not to create another category, even if 'masculine.'
I am sure you know about other such attempts in the west -- that of the "G0ys" who also recognize that a majority have sexual feelings for men, however, end up creating a separate space within the LGBT for 'masculine gays.' I don't see this as something that is going to attract a number of masculine gendered males into proudly accepting their desire for another man. I've worked with males with manhood a lot, and my experience says that men detest anything that separates them from the manhood category. And, there is only one manhood category in the west, and its defined as 'straight.' Now unless "Greros" are going to be counted toegether with the 'straights' rather than the LGBT, I don't know how this is going to solve your problem. "G0ys" at best attract the masculine gendered males that are already sexually active with men, apart from the 'straight-acting' gays (i.e. non-men). The only difference in their approach and yours seem to be that you're not coming down on 'anal sex' like the "G0ys."
However, if you sincerely believe in the universality of male desire for men (which cannot really come unless you experience it -- and I don't mean by personally having sex with men, there are other ways ... and you probably have experienced it), then there is no reason why you shouldn't strive for the ideal situation -- where the definition of 'straight' itself is changed from 'heterosexual' to include all kinds of desires and relationships between men. That is the only way, regular guys can ever feel comfortable in large numbers to own up their own need for men. Of course, that would mean first to fight to end all the anti-man pressures and mechanisms built to forcefully heterosexualize boys, as part of their social masculinzation. It's going to be a lifetime's task, but we need people who are willing to devote a lifetime, rather than those who expect some quick results, however minor.
In fact, your goal should be to do away with all 'sexual orientation' categories, and instead revert back to the ancient (that still operates in the non-west) 'gender orientation' categories of:
i. Men: i.e. males with manhood, of whatever sexual orientation
ii. Women: i.e. females who are non transgendered.
iii. Third genders: males who have feminine gender orientation, and transgendered females of whatever sexual orientation.
In fact, the word 'sexual orientatoin' should be made obsolete. It never existed before.
3. It may be better to work upon the issues of 'manhood' for men and their overall rights (and include man-man love as part of the overall agenda), rather than to work specifically upon 'man-man love' issues, firstly because, eventually, the issue is not 'sexuality' but 'gender' (manhood ... and the need to avoid 'queerhood'). All of men's issues, problems and oppression originate from politicizing and manipulation of social manhood. Secondly, because, men are EXTREMELY wary of talking about 'sexuality' upfront, because, for long it has been associated with 'lack of manhood,' at least, in the west. Talking about sexuality upfront will only scare and alienate most men, and that is not what you want. Besides, many men will feel comfortable talking about sexual issues, if it is suitably camouflaged.
I don't think you can remove the stigma of 'lack of manhood' associated with 'man-man love' just through talking about the facts. Because, even when men know the facts, they rarely feel empowered or safe enough to act on that information. It is one thing to know the truth, but to take that knowledge into action takes much more. Many men are already aware of the reality -- yet, they would rather conform, rather than confront the society. As long as the individual man is isolated he would not feel empowered to act. And, you cannot organise men unless you camouflage the issue of man-man love. Afterall, you're living in a society where men are prevented even from holding hands with each other.
Remember, for many men -- probably most (if they've killed their sexuality), sexuality is not the most important thing in life. Manhood and conforming to social standards, etc. are more important to men, than being able to indulge in sex with men (or women/ third genders) freely. This could keep your reach restricted to the few sexually active men, or for whom sex is everything.
Having said that, you're of course free to experiment and reach at your own conclusions. It is no doubt, possible, that if some males with manhood, fighting all odds, create a small space for man-man love, called 'Grero' -- and maybe very, very slowly, perhaps after our lifetimes, things will change, and others will join in.
In the end, once again my best wishes are with you for the success of this movement, and you're welcome to discuss anything that you wish to.

My points as rambled about in the video, okay:
-third gender: political correctness prevents much gender talk as it is, classifying by gender may be limiting, just like sexual orientation.
-grero does not create entirely new sexual orientation paradigm per se, but rather grero is a small piece of a new broader whole
-grero as a new category: grero is not necessarily a collective noun but rather a property or essence of men, also marketing demands a shorthand to describe a complicated concept.
-grero is not LGBT: LGBT itself a dumpster for individuals who are not part of the artificial, biased heterosexual construct
-g0ys: g0ys say gays are too anal-focused and anal=feminine, but converting gay men will not work as gays are effeminate naturally not because of anal sex
-focus on gay vs third gender category: gay is the main attraction, cross-dressers and other third genders not important to main point
-change definition of straight, instead of new category: straight conflation of sexuality and gender, straight = masculine & likes only feminine women, probably easier to have new term, grero supersedes sexual orientation
-sexual orientation obsolete, gender-based orientation may be too simple and limiting
-third gender: like LGBT, it's a dumpster for a wide variety of people
-down-low, discrete: subtle has not worked for centuries, maybe bold openness can change that
-down-low: ironically only about sex, maybe openness can create a space for more than just sex
-grero strategy: grero not for everyone, people conform, not confront; most men will not be greros in current era, attract small percentage of those willing to confront, meet up with others, form social circle, attract others (take over world, etc)


david_j_stewart

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Re: 0013: Response to Reclaiming Natural Manhood
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2013, 08:35:54 PM »
Uh, did you just say "take over the world"? Wouldn't that be sweet!

Seriously, it may take generations to undo the damage created by the christer-dominated sexual paradigm. In the meantime I suppose there are things that could be done to promote the grero concept, to get the term (or something equivalent) into common currency. I'm thinking for example of an on-line supplier for sports clothing, underwear, ball caps, etc all with the grero logo on them. People who purchase the product would be presented with the explanation, and once the image becomes commonplace it would become the symbol for a community of like-minded men, men who are proud of achieving their full potential.

Another way might be to encourage the male-male interactions that are commonly associated with greco-roman culture, such as naked sports. Swim teams traditionally practiced )and competed?) without suits; I'm not sure when that changed or why, but it may be time to put some effort into reversing the trend.

These are just some loose ideas that float to the surface at 3am when i can't sleep. Because I identify as male-only gay (although masculine) my thoughts consistently veer off into sex so I have to leave it to others to determine how these things fit within the grero mindset.

andkon

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Re: 0013: Response to Reclaiming Natural Manhood
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2013, 04:15:52 PM »
Uh, did you just say "take over the world"? Wouldn't that be sweet!

Seriously, it may take generations to undo the damage created by the christer-dominated sexual paradigm. In the meantime I suppose there are things that could be done to promote the grero concept, to get the term (or something equivalent) into common currency. I'm thinking for example of an on-line supplier for sports clothing, underwear, ball caps, etc all with the grero logo on them. People who purchase the product would be presented with the explanation, and once the image becomes commonplace it would become the symbol for a community of like-minded men, men who are proud of achieving their full potential.

I thought of spray painting my sports bag with GRERO using stencils but that'll have to wait until grero is #1 in Google's results. Right now, some Sri Lankan politician is there.

Another way might be to encourage the male-male interactions that are commonly associated with greco-roman culture, such as naked sports. Swim teams traditionally practiced )and competed?) without suits; I'm not sure when that changed or why, but it may be time to put some effort into reversing the trend.

These are just some loose ideas that float to the surface at 3am when i can't sleep. Because I identify as male-only gay (although masculine) my thoughts consistently veer off into sex so I have to leave it to others to determine how these things fit within the grero mindset.

There is actually a site on historical nude swimming, which was common before the Victorian era: https://sites.google.com/site/historicarchives4maleswimming/

Quote
With the onset of the Internet, new generations are beginning to learn about this controversial subject and the related heated debates as to what previous generations experienced.   We provide evidence that generations back to the early 18th century were often part of a culture that encouraged, if not required, boys and men to be nude while swimming or sea-bathing, sometimes even in the presence of females, although females invariably remained fully clothed in bathing costumes or conservative dress of their era.

JimF

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Re: 0013: Response to Reclaiming Natural Manhood
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2013, 05:49:31 PM »
Re the notion of gay men being a "different gender" (manifested by their
shift towards "effeminacy" as well as their sexual attraction toward
other men).

You know, there's another phenomenon that complicates any attempt
to draw categorical boundaries among "masculine" and "feminine"
men and correlate those boundaries with gender-preference
in sexual partners.  Back in the 80's, a book called _The 'Sissy Boy Syndrome'_
( http://www.amazon.com/The-Sissy-Boy-Syndrome-Homosexuality/dp/0300042396/ )
noted that most (but not all) homosexual men did indeed display signs
of gender-atypicality during their childhood, but that at the
same time **most** gender-atypical little boys still grew up into
"normal" heterosexual adult men.

Also back in the 80's, there was a psychologist named Brian G. Gilmartin
(a somewhat controversial figure because he apparently took things
like astrology and Kirlian photography of "auras" seriously, but when
he sticks to psychology he's plausible) who wrote a book (published
in 1985) called _Love-Shyness: Shyness & Love: Causes,
Consequences, and Treatment_.  It's out of print, but it has
apparently been scanned and OCRed (or transcribed) and put on
the Web as a PDF file, downloadable from
http://www.love-shy.com/resources#shynessandlove

Gilmartin's point is that little boys growing up in U.S. culture who happen
to have been born with certain temperamental characteristics --
he refers to them as being in the "melancholic quadrant" of the
"Eysenck Cross of personality"; they'd also presumably likely score high
on the Neurotic factor of a contemporary "Big Five" personality inventory --
are at great risk of life-long emotional damage being wrought
by cultural biases, educational biases, and parental biases
that are completely at odds with such temperaments in male children
(but **not** in female children).

He's talking about the little boys who are easily startled or
frightened, who have a lower pain threshold than is typical,
and who therefore grow up trying to avoid noisy mobs of shouting
boys pushing each other around, and who would rather stay indoors during
recess and read a book.  If such kids are born into cultures
more sympathetic to them (Asian cultures, lets say) they can
flourish, but in West (and in the U.S. in particular) these
kids can suffer lasting psychological damage.  These are kids for whom gym
class, or forced participation in contact sports like football,
is likely to be a nightmare, and who as a result suffer
harassment and bullying both by other kids and by adults (**including**
being disparaged by epithets implying they are homosexual --
"faggot", etc.)

Gilmartin focuses on the (substantial) fraction of these little
boys who grow up to be heterosexually-oriented, but who are
chronically unable to form sexual or romantic relationships
with women (and who are not at all interested in having sexual
or romantic relationships with other men).  Gilmartin does,
these days, acknowledge that **some** fraction of the men he studied would
today probably also be characterized as being somewhere on
the autistic spectrum (Asperger's Syndrome, etc.); he did
not distinguish such a category when he wrote the book.

It's an interesting read.

andkon

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Re: 0013: Response to Reclaiming Natural Manhood
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2013, 09:19:04 PM »
Re the notion of gay men being a "different gender" (manifested by their
shift towards "effeminacy" as well as their sexual attraction toward
other men).

You know, there's another phenomenon that complicates any attempt
to draw categorical boundaries among "masculine" and "feminine"
men and correlate those boundaries with gender-preference
in sexual partners.  Back in the 80's, a book called _The 'Sissy Boy Syndrome'_
( http://www.amazon.com/The-Sissy-Boy-Syndrome-Homosexuality/dp/0300042396/ )
noted that most (but not all) homosexual men did indeed display signs
of gender-atypicality during their childhood, but that at the
same time **most** gender-atypical little boys still grew up into
"normal" heterosexual adult men.

The stats I have for now is 75% turn out gay. So... are we turning such boys gay now or were they covering up their sexual orientations then?

Also back in the 80's, there was a psychologist named Brian G. Gilmartin
(a somewhat controversial figure because he apparently took things
like astrology and Kirlian photography of "auras" seriously, but when
he sticks to psychology he's plausible) who wrote a book (published
in 1985) called _Love-Shyness: Shyness & Love: Causes,
Consequences, and Treatment_.  It's out of print, but it has
apparently been scanned and OCRed (or transcribed) and put on
the Web as a PDF file, downloadable from
http://www.love-shy.com/resources#shynessandlove

Gilmartin's point is that little boys growing up in U.S. culture who happen
to have been born with certain temperamental characteristics --
he refers to them as being in the "melancholic quadrant" of the
"Eysenck Cross of personality"; they'd also presumably likely score high
on the Neurotic factor of a contemporary "Big Five" personality inventory --
are at great risk of life-long emotional damage being wrought
by cultural biases, educational biases, and parental biases
that are completely at odds with such temperaments in male children
(but **not** in female children).

He's talking about the little boys who are easily startled or
frightened, who have a lower pain threshold than is typical,
and who therefore grow up trying to avoid noisy mobs of shouting
boys pushing each other around, and who would rather stay indoors during
recess and read a book.  If such kids are born into cultures
more sympathetic to them (Asian cultures, lets say) they can
flourish, but in West (and in the U.S. in particular) these
kids can suffer lasting psychological damage.  These are kids for whom gym
class, or forced participation in contact sports like football,
is likely to be a nightmare, and who as a result suffer
harassment and bullying both by other kids and by adults (**including**
being disparaged by epithets implying they are homosexual --
"faggot", etc.)

Gilmartin focuses on the (substantial) fraction of these little
boys who grow up to be heterosexually-oriented, but who are
chronically unable to form sexual or romantic relationships
with women (and who are not at all interested in having sexual
or romantic relationships with other men).  Gilmartin does,
these days, acknowledge that **some** fraction of the men he studied would
today probably also be characterized as being somewhere on
the autistic spectrum (Asperger's Syndrome, etc.); he did
not distinguish such a category when he wrote the book.

It's an interesting read.

Do you remember which chapters are particularly noteworthy?

JimF

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Re: 0013: Response to Reclaiming Natural Manhood
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2013, 10:04:22 PM »
> Do you remember which chapters are particularly noteworthy?

Well, here are some passages I excerpted a few years ago on another
blog, together with some comments that I made.

--------------------
book p. 40 PDF p. 71
Chapter 2, "Love-Shyness and the Nature Versus Nurture Debate"

It is no accident that people who suffer from chronic,
intractable cases of love-shyness ALL (with no exceptions)
possess native temperaments which place them high up in
the. . . (melancholic quadrant) of the [Eysenck cross of
inborn temperament; see
http://cnx.org/content/m40704/latest/figure3.jpg ].

Hans J. Eysenck has concluded that inborn introversion is a
natural byproduct of high native arousal levels in the cerebral
cortex, and that these high arousal levels are caused by an
overactive ascending reticular formation (lower brain) which
bombards the higher brain and central nervous system when
social or other stimuli (perceived as threatening) are presented.
This inborn hyperarousability of introverts accounts (1) for
their forming conditioned patterns of anxiety and other inappropriate
emotional responses all too easily; and (2) for the much
greater difficulty in extinguishing maladaptive conditioned
responses in introverts as compared to extroverts and ambiverts.
(Ambiverts include the large majority of the population who
are "in between" the extrovert and introvert extremes.) These
facts partially account for the high prevalence of introverts
among the ranks of neurotics and the love-shy. However, as I
shall attempt to demonstrate shortly, even an extreme introvert
need not develop chronic, intractable love-shyness or any
other form of neurosis.

In stark contrast to the foregoing, Eysenck found that highly
extroverted people tend to have underaroused brains and
nervous systems. Simply put, they are stimulus hungry. This is
why they are always craving and seeking excitement of one kind
or another, and why they must constantly have people around them.

Emotionality (high versus low anxiety threshold) is also a
byproduct of inborn differences in human physiology, and particularly
in the autonomic nervous system and lymbic system. Simply put,
various reactions of the body such as heartbeat, rapid breathing,
the cessation of digestion to make blood flow away from the stomach
and to prepare the organism for flight or fight, tend to be
significantly more labile and easily aroused (and less easily
stopped) in highly emotional (low anxiety threshold) people.
Emotional reactions are regulated by the visceral brain, and
herein lies the locus of the inborn personality dimension of
emotionality.

book p. 48 PDF p. 79
Chapter 2, "Love-Shyness and the Nature Versus Nurture Debate"

In his book entitled TEMPERAMENT AND BEHAVIOR DISORDERS IN CHILDREN,
Dr. [Alexander] Thomas talks at considerable length about what
he calls the "slow-to-warm-up child". And he presents an impressive
amount of research evidence showing how this type of seemingly
"difficult" child can eventually become indistinguishable in
adjustment from the other seemingly "easy", naturally sociable
children when (1) copious opportunity is accorded for informal
play amidst an accepting peer group that is engaged in enjoyable,
non-anxiety-provoking activities, and (2) when patient, kindly
and accepting attitudes are held by parents and teachers.

Simply put, when a child is accepted as he is he becomes free
to grow, to mature, to change in a positive direction, and to
become his true self. When a child is accorded caring and respect
for his feelings and emotional needs, he inevitably becomes a
caring and respecting person who gradually comes to "fit in"
remarkably well. But when that same "slow-to-warm-up" child is
forced to conform to parental or teacher expectations and to play
amidst a physically aggressive, highly competitive peer group
which he finds frightening and anxiety-provoking, he tends to
withdraw. Indeed, he tends to regress and to become progressively
less mature by comparison with the other children in his age cohort.

In essence, the more rigid and uncompromising the parental
expectations are, the more time the "slow-to-warm-up" child will
take to adjust, to mature, and to "fit in". Simply put, it is
counterproductive to try to standardize human personality because
the raw materials (including native temperament) differ for each
child within each of the two sexes.

As Thomas has argued, there is a long-standing tradition in
American society of trying to force square pegs into round holes --
of endeavoring to do whatever seems feasible to make the
behavior, feelings and interests of a child fit prevailing norms
and expectations. Thomas' findings show that there is a costly
price to be paid for our callous insistence upon trying to standardize
human personalities. A far more socially beneficial approach,
as Thomas' research data have shown, is to modify the expectations
of parents, peers and teachers to fit the native temperament of
the child. When this tack is followed, the child flourishes,
grows, matures, and is ultimately as normal in his behavior
patterns as the bulk of his peers.

Modifying parental and peer expectations can be effectively
accomplished through (1) education of the parents and teachers
as to the nature and limits posed by native temperament; (2) the
creation of support groups for parents of shy, inhibited,
"slow-to-warm-up" children; and (3) providing the seemingly
"difficult" child with a choice of peer groups and of peer
group activities. In regard to this last point, one child's
medicine is another child's poison. The typical male child
flourishes in the all-boy peer group that is engaged in
"rough and tumble" play. In contrast, the introverted, inhibited,
"slow-to-warm-up" child flourishes best in the small sized,
coeducational peer group that engages in more gently competitive
activities such as volleyball, bowling, hide and seek,
miniature golf, swimming, shuffle board, horseshoes, croquet,
ping pong, etc.

To be sure, militant physical education enthusiasts have quibbled
that these more gentle sports and games do not provide the
exercise that male children need. (This objection is ludicrous
inasmuch as the "gentle" sport of swimming, for example, exercises
more bodily muscles than does football, basketball and baseball.
Moreover, all male children are not alike in their exercise
needs!) As Thomas' research data have shown, the traditional
tack of insisting that all male children take part in the same
"rough and tumble" activity has eventuated in two consequences
that are very deleterious from the standpoint of both the individual
and the wider society: (1) The melancholic child. . . withdraws
from play and consequently does not get any outdoor physical
exercise at all. In short, very few melancholic male children
subordinate themselves to the rigid requirement they they
must play "rough and tumble" games. They simply withdraw;
and as a result they get little or nothing of the physical
exercise which the physical education enthusiasts deem so
extremely important. The point here is that something is
always better than nothing! (2) The melancholic child fails
to develop the interpersonal skills and the social self-confidence
that are so necessary for success, happiness and adjustment
in this or in any other society. Since he is mistreated,
bullied, abused, and/or ignored by the peers society tells him
he must play with, he quickly develops a "people-phobia".
In essence, he learns to associate being around age-mates with
feelings of anxiety, pain, and strong displeasure. More succinctly,
whereas most people learn to associate feelings of pleasure
and happiness with the idea of "friends", the melancholic boy
learns to associate feelings of pain and anxiety with the idea
of "friends". For him peers cause pain, NOT pleasure!

This latter point is of enormous importance. Active involvement
in enjoyable childhood play has long been known to be an indispensable
prerequisite (in both humans and monkeys) to competent, effective
adulthood. Indeed, social and psychoemotional adjustment in adulthood
absolutely requires and necessitates a long-term history of happy
involvement in play throughout the years of childhood. Play is not
the sort of frivolous activity some people think it is. Play represents
an indispensable component of the classroom of life—much more
indispensable, in fact, than the "3 Rs" that are learned in the
indoor classroom. Research has shown that people can pick up the
"3 Rs" and other intellectual/technical skills at any age.
Unfortunately, socioemotional and interpersonal skills that
are not picked up at the normal times during the course of childhood
play cannot normally be picked up for the first time in later life.
More succinctly, it is vastly more difficult for an adult to
pick up interpersonal skills and social self-confidence for the
first time, than it is for him to pick up intellectual/technical
skills or knowledge for the first time.

People can cultivate and expand their intellects at any age.
Unfortunately, the nature of man is such that deficits in the
interpersonal/socioemotional areas cannot easily be rectified in
adulthood or late adolescence. This is why education in these
areas is so important throughout the years of early and middle
childhood. And it is the peer group, NOT parents or teachers,
who provide this indispensable education. And this is why we
shall never successfully prevent chronic love-shyness in males
unless and until we make sure that ALL little boys have ready
access at all times throughout their formative years to a peer
group and to play activities which they can truly enjoy and to
which they can always look forward with positive emotional feelings
of happiness and enthusiasm.

JimF

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Re: 0013: Response to Reclaiming Natural Manhood
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2013, 10:05:18 PM »
book p. 98 PDF p. 129
Chapter 3, "Societal Reactions and Elastic Limits"

Dark Crayons and Drab Drawings

Here is another example of the often very serious consequences that
befall a child as a result of being enmeshed in a role from which he/she
cannot extricate himself/herself. The story concerns a little boy
in a fourth grade classroom comprised of about forty pupils. Several
times each week all the children were encouraged to draw pictures with
the crayons that the teacher provided. And after each picture-drawing
session the boy would hand in a drawing that invariably was composed
exclusively of dark, drab colors. All of this little boy's drawings
were consistently limited to blacks, grays, dark greens, and other
very drab shades. And after several months of such drawings the teacher
began to become worried. She finally decided to take a large number
of the boy's drawings to the school psychologist.

A few days later the psychologist called the child into his office
and simply asked him why he drew all these dark, drab pictures.
The child's response was that he really didn't have any choice in
the matter. He didn't want to draw such dreary pictures. But the
teacher always started the crayon box at the front of the room.
And by the time the crayon box got back to him in the final seat
of the rear row, the only crayons left were the blacks, the grays,
the dark greens, the browns, and other less than "happy" colors.

The moral to this story is that society often creates pathology
as a result of the situations in which it places people. Some situations
are especially conducive to pathology whereas others are conducive
to health, happiness and adjustment. In essence, boys with high
inborn introversion and fearfulness are often required to adapt
to situations which simply do not "fit" these native attributes.
And because they are forced to remain in these situations they simply
do not thrive; and indeed they regress as per the "wishbone effect"
discussed earlier. Were society to place these boys in school situations
that comfortably fit their native temperaments, they would no
longer be bullied, hazed, harassed or belittled for inborn attributes
over which they have no control or choice. And they would begin
to thrive.

book p. 234 PDF p. 265
Chapter 10, "Love Shyness and the All-Male Peer Group"

[T]here is mounting evidence that society **creates** neurotics
as a result of into a certain interest and activity mold. I believe
that to the extent that we create options for children -- to the
extent that we afford them a choice of more than just one type of
peer group, to that extent we are likely to begin observing a
sharp dropping off in the incidence of incipient neuroticism. . .

book p. 244 PDF p. 275
Chapter 10, "Love Shyness and the All-Male Peer Group"

We must put a stop to the multitudinous shyness-generating situations
to which our male children are exposed every day throughout the
entirety of their formative years. I believe that this can be
accomplished without imposing any strain upon cramped school budgets,
and without inconveniencing boys who truly prefer to select
"rough and tumble" forms of play. All children should be expected
to take an active part in some sports activities. But all children
must be accorded a choice as to which sports activities they wish
to involve themselves in. The available choices for children of
all age levels must be made sufficiently varied to accommodate people
of inhibited and melancholic temperament. School districts are
already required by law to accommodate the blind, the deaf, and
children of all intelligence levels who are slow in learning how to
read. Similar accommodations must also be made for children who
are exceptional in the extremely important area of native temperament.
American education quite fallaciously assumes that making friends
"comes natural" to all children, and that relaxed, easy-going
sociability is therefore something which need not be taught.
For the naturally reserved, making friends and learning "small talk"
does not "come natural". Just as slow readers are given a set
of learning experiences that is different from that which is
accorded the majority of children, a "different" set of classroom
experiences must similarly be developed for shy and withdrawn,
socially handicapped children.

Towards this end I believe that a recreation and physical education
program that is in harmony with the psychoemotional needs of ALL
children represents one of the most promising means for the
prevention of chronic and intractable love-shyness. Such a program
of recreation and physical education must incorporate three basic
ingredients: (1) children must be permitted a choice of activities;
options other than "rough and tumble" play must be readily available;
(2) coeducational sports and games must always be available for
those children who want it; and (3) inhibited, melancholic,
low anxiety threshold boys must never be required to play among
a group of children containing bullies or rugged, "rough and tumble"
oriented individuals.

This third point is of especial importance. For even if the game
were tiddleywinks, if an inhibited boy were assigned to play alongside
a "rough and tumble" oriented boy, you can rest assured that the
inhibited boy would very soon be bullied, and would soon learn to
withdraw from tiddleywinks! Boys of diametrically opposite native
temperaments must never be made to play together. Lambs must never
be made to play with lion cubs! Just as the mentally retarded are
never educated in the same classroom as the intellectually gifted,
the highly inhibited must never be thrown in with the highly exuberant,
aggressive extrovert. This is true no matter what sport or game
might be involved.

book p. 248 PDF p. 279

Some of my critics have charged that the above twenty-four activities
do not provide the competition that boys allegedly need to a greater
extent than girls. Critics have also insisted that with the exception
of volleyball these are not team sports; and that team sports are
somehow necessary for teaching boys how to cooperate. The usual
contention is that a cooperative spirit is picked up from active
participation in baseball, basketball, and football; and that this
cooperative and competitive spirit somehow transfers to the business
world and to life in general. I would suggest that competitive drive
is essentially a function of native temperament. Boys with an aggressive
temperament are highly likely to gravitate naturally towards baseball,
basketball and football. And they are similarly quite likely to
display this aggressive drive vis-a-vis the business world. Simply put,
it is not competitive sports that causes competitive business drive.
Every Sunday afternoon the bars are loaded with rather noncompetitive
blue-collar men who have a great love of competitive sports. Instead,
active participation in competitive sports AND active competition
in the business world both reflect an inborn temperament that is
fundamentally aggressive and characterized by a high anxiety threshold.

As for cooperation, girls have long grown up without being required
to partake in "rough and tumble" athletics. Yet it seems to me
that females display far more of a cooperative spirit vis-a-vis
each other than males typically do. Quite clearly, women do not enter
adulthood less capable than men of cooperating effectively with
others. The notion that participation in "rough and tumble" sports
is a necessary condition for inspiring a spirit of cooperation and
of friendly competition appears nothing short of ludicrous.

Of course, the available research evidence has documented what is
actually a far more important point. When shy and withdrawn boys
are required to participate in "rough and tumble" activities they
withdraw into their private shells all the more completely. By
encouraging shy and withdrawn boys to participate, away from the
company of bullies and other aggressive individuals, in the twenty-four
activities I have suggested (in lieu of rugged calesthenics and
contact sports), the shy will be accorded the opportunity to
(1) make friends, and (2) to develop the interpersonal skills and
social self-confidence that are crucial to success and happiness
throughout life.

book p. 570 PDF p. 601
Chapter 24 "Some Recommendations Concerning Prevention"

In criminology today there is an increasing and much welcomed trend towards
the assuring and protecting of the victim's rights. Bullies cause emotional
scars and ruin lives by creating "people-phobes" and social isolates.
Moreover, in not being swiftly, consistently, and severely punished for
their mindless cruelty, bullies' tendencies to treat their fellow human
beings as things (without feelings, or with feelings that do not count)
rather than as people, are strongly reinforced and rewarded. . .

I strongly oppose all forms of racial and sexual segregation. But as
an educator I very strongly support segregation of elementary-school-aged
children on the basis of native temperament. Highly aggressive,
bullying-prone male children must not take classes in the same
classroom or play on the same playgrounds as naturally inhibited,
low anxiety threshold male children. Wolves are not kept in the
same pen as lambs, and chihuahuas and miniature poodles are not
housed with dobermans. Most shy children do not need to be educated
exclusively with other shy children. But they certainly must not be
made to regularly interface with those whose native temperaments are
poles apart from their own, and whose very presence represents
noxious stimuli.
======

Here's an astonishing passage
("Some Final Thoughts", p. 662 of the PDF, p. 631 of the book):

Elementary School Children

For the present moment, I strongly recommend that all conspicuously
shy, timid, socially inhibited elementary school boys be singled out
for experimentation with the monoamine oxidase inhibitors and/or
the tricyclic antidepressant drugs. At the very least, these drugs
will operate (most probably in 75 to 85 percent of all cases)
to take away the anxiety and fears. Once the social anxieties and
"rough and tumble" fears are removed, the child is free to learn
interpersonal skills and at least normal levels of social self-confidence.
It should always be remembered that the peer group is one of the two
most powerfully important socializing agents. With a mind-state that
is free from social fears and timidity, interpersonal interaction
in the full range of children's activities becomes permitted.
Once a child is accorded full participation in the mainstream of
childish play, he can be assured (as this book has demonstrated)
full access to the pleasures of dating, courtship and heterosexual
interaction -- once his fellow same-sexed buddies become involved
in such activities.

Among high school and university students the MAO Inhibitors and
tricyclics may also prove helpful as an accompanyment to
practice-dating therapy. But for a smooth sail, high school (and
especially college) age is far too late for such psychopharmacological
medication. At such advanced ages the young person (1) must be
helped to overcome long-established habits of social inertia,
and (2) must be put through often very difficult interpersonal
skills/social self-confidence training -- training to arrive at
a level of performance and affect that his age-mates (competitors)
had arrived at years before. I think that drug treatment should
be used as an accompanyment to therapy for high school and
college males; but such treatment may now represent a real boon
to boys in the age 3 through 12 age bracket.
======

Wow, this guy was ahead of his time, in 1985. Can you imagine?
Antidepressants for 3-year-olds! (And to think -- Iproniazid,
the first MAO inhibitor, went on the market as an antidepressant
in 1958. I started first grade that September. I wonder if **any**
5-year-old, anywhere in the world, got that stuff. Hm. Maybe
if the 5-year-old had tuberculosis.)

Gilmartin spends most of the book recommending public policies
(like segregating elementary-school students by temperament) that
certainly haven't happened anywhere since the book was written
and don't look like happening anytime soon, and **some** policies
(like outlawing football) that will happen when hell freezes over.
Then, at the end, he says "**For the present moment**,
I strongly recommend. . . experimentation with. . . antidepressant drugs. . ."
which does kind of reverse his whole program and put the onus
back on the kid to take a pill to be "fixed". Apart from the fact
that no one, then or now, would sanction giving an antidepressant
to a 3-year-old, I can't help but fantasize about what I would do
if given the choice to wave a magic wand and have the 5-year-old
that I was in 1958 be put on an MAO inhibitor before being
forced to attend public school for the first time. Would I do
it, or not? I might be quite a different person now. Would I be
better off? I find it a fascinating thing to daydream about.

Another interesting thing that Gilmartin points out is that
homosexual orientation is **orthogonal** to what he calls
"love shyness" (social phobia -- which turns into a lifelong
inability to form an emotionally-intimate [and sexually-intimate,
of course, but Gilmartin calls sex merely "frosting on the cake"]
relationship with a life partner -- stemming from a cruel mismatch
between a boy's native temperament and contemporary child-rearing
practices). This is particularly interesting in light of some
"reparative therapists'" views on the etiology of male
homosexuality (e.g., Joseph Nicolosi of NARTH) -- putting aside
the reparative therapists' usual religious agenda. The NARTHians
and other reparative "theoreticians" postulate that male homosexuality
is caused when a boy with a "sensitive" temperament is
**permitted** to "run away" from masculinizing activities
(like sports) and who, as a result, doesn't get enough "male bonding"
(with his father and with male peers) as a child, and so who
goes looking for it as an adolescent and an adult (at which time
it also becomes eroticized). But the embarrassing thing for the
reparatives is that while this pattern may be true of **some**
homosexuals (it's certainly true of me), it fails to account
for them all (homosexual **athletes** are obvious exceptions --
how do you account for Billy Bean or Ed Gallagher?). And, of course,
Gilmartin explicitly focuses on the other segment of men who
don't fit the NARTHian model -- the men who experienced the
etiological conditions they postulate as the "cause" of
homosexuality, but who turned out **heterosexual** (at least
in orientation). Gilmartin, though he took pains to **exclude**
homosexuals from his own studies (just so he could control
the variable) nevertheless acknowledges that there are gay men
who are "love shy" (and who are therefore, at least in that way,
about as far from the popular stereotype of gay men as you
can get).

JimF

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Re: 0013: Response to Reclaiming Natural Manhood
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2013, 04:59:02 AM »
Gilmartin wrote:

> Hans J. Eysenck has concluded that inborn introversion is a
> natural byproduct of high native arousal levels in the cerebral
> cortex, and that these high arousal levels are caused by an
> overactive ascending reticular formation (lower brain) which
> bombards the higher brain and central nervous system when
> social or other stimuli (perceived as threatening) are presented.
> This inborn hyperarousability of introverts accounts (1) for
> their forming conditioned patterns of anxiety and other inappropriate
> emotional responses all too easily; and (2) for the much
> greater difficulty in extinguishing maladaptive conditioned
> responses in introverts as compared to extroverts

A more recent analysis of this sort of thing (at any rate, one
that ended up being marketed as a trade book) came from psychologist
Elaine N. Aron, in the late 90s:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Highly_Sensitive_Person_%28book%29

There's a YouTube video of an interview with a clinical psychologist
named Ted Zeff that discusses Aron's notion of the Highly Sensitive
Person (HSP) as it relates specifically to boys and men in U.S.
culture.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn6pTpJytgU

He's also the author of a book (which I haven't read) entitled
_The Strong, Sensitive Boy_
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004P5NVHA/
http://highlysensitive.org/371/ted-zeff-on-highly-sensitive-boys-and-men/

Zeff also asserts that this phenomenon of "sensitivity" is
orthogonal to sexual orientation.  In the conventional view
of gender roles, though, it seems likely that "sensitivity"
in a man would be interpreted by most people as a "feminine"
trait.

In fact, I wonder if an "HSP" who self-identifies as heterosexual
might be **more** homophobic than a non-HSP heterosexual,
just because of his awareness that a lot of people might misinterpret
his personality as being somehow "gay".  (I wonder if the straight
erstwhile work friend I developed feelings for and then fell
afoul of some years ago might have been like that.)

JimF

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Re: 0013: Response to Reclaiming Natural Manhood
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2013, 10:36:50 AM »
Nothing changes.  Except in this case, with 21st-century
technology, the brother documented everything for the
whole world to see.

Trying to force a square peg into a round hole:

"Dad, gay son, swimmingpool an[d] gay brother with cam"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOotrvIYB78

(Notice that some of the comments ignore the father's
behavior and squawk along the lines of "This is what's
wrong with our society.  I'd **never** let a kid of
mine talk to me that way.")

andkon

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Re: 0013: Response to Reclaiming Natural Manhood
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2013, 01:10:35 PM »
The father is a terrible, sadistic bully. The parents will then complain in five years, "Why don't the kids ever come home from Thanksgiving? We gave them everything!"

Get out of the pool! Just get back in! Wow, I'm so glad this video exists. In my childhood, I was not able to record the insane, contradictory directions.

"What's wrong with you boy!" Yes, how dare you use aggression to get your way! :-)

Speaking of bad parents, have you read any of Alice Miller's books, especially The Drama of the Gifted Child and For Your Own Good.

JimF

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Re: 0013: Response to Reclaiming Natural Manhood
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2013, 09:43:28 PM »
> Speaking of bad parents, have you read any of Alice Miller's
> books, especially The Drama of the Gifted Child and
> For Your Own Good.

Yes, I read _The Drama of the Gifted Child_ many years ago
on the recommendation of a (female) friend who thought that
it encapsulated her own childhood experience, and thought
that it might apply to mine as well.  I've since had other
people recommend it to me.  I'm afraid I disappointed (and
maybe even offended) my friend when I found the book a little
offputting -- I wasn't prepared to accept Miller's categorization
of such children as necessarily "gifted" (with the usual
connotations of "high-IQ", intellectually superior, what certain
modern folks might call an "Indigo child" [ugh!], etc.)

I found that Gilmartin's characterization of the "love-shy" male
captured my own experience in a visceral way -- but then of
course Gilmartin is a man talking specifically about the experiences
of boys; Miller is a woman who includes girls in her
analysis, and both people who have recommended Miller to me in
the past were also women.

I found myself getting both angry and sad to the point of tears
when I first read Gilmartin's book.  But, you know, it's not really
anybody's **fault**.  Calling people "bad parents" can miss the point
just as much as calling the children "bad kids".  It's the
**mismatch** between the parenting styles (itself partly a function
of the parents' inborn temperaments, and partly a function of
the cultural milieu), and the child's temperament, that can lead
to grief.

And of course all such analyses are terrifically politically-
charged.  I can't imagine public-school phys-ed classes being
segregated not just by gender but by "temperament" -- the
Republicans would scream that it's "coddling" (Or worse.
"It's the homosexual agenda!  They want to turn our boys into
fags!").  There's a high school in New York specifically
intended to be a safe haven for LGBTQ kids:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Milk_High_School
And of course it garnered the expected reactions from the
expected quarters:

"State Conservative Party chairman Michael Long
criticized the creation of the school as social engineering,
asking, 'Is there a different way to teach homosexuals?
Is there gay math? This is wrong... There’s no
reason these children should be treated separately.

Supporters contend that this school is a pragmatic solution,
providing an alternative path to a diploma for students
who are unable to succeed in a mainstream high school due
to intolerance. Not all arguments against the school are
divided along partisan lines. Independent mayor
Michael Bloomberg supported the renovation of the school
while Democratic N.Y. State Senator Rubén Díaz opposed it."

Yadda yadda yadda.  It would be the same for "temperamentally
sensitive" boys being excused from playing touch football in
high-school gym classes.

Speaking of which.  Some time in late elementary school or
early junior high school, I had to do the touch football thing
in gym class, and my strategy in such situations was to stay as far
from the action as possible without literally leaving the game.
I did the same thing with softball.  Just try to get through
the damn period by pretending to be invisible, or at least as
inconspicuous as possible, and staying as far away from the
ball as possible.  It didn't always work -- sometimes gym teachers
know perfectly well what's going on, and let it slide;
and sometimes they know perfectly well what's going on, and try
to force the kid to "participate".  Anyway, one afternoon I was trying to fade into
the grass, but there was this kid who decided to teach me a lesson --
he decided he'd had enough of my shirking my "responsibility"
to put myself at risk of being mowed down.  He was a **big**
kid, and he went way out of his way to come after me and
**tackle** me.  I landed on my arm.  I didn't break it,
as it turned out, but I had to go to the doctor and have it
X-rayed.  Of course there were no consequences for the other
kid.  He wasn't all bad, though.  I remember one day
walking home from school he gave me a piece of advice for
dealing with women.  "If you don't have any muscles," he
said, "just wear bulky sweaters."  I can't say I've ever
actually made any use of that, but it's stuck with me.  ;->

By the way, "temperamentally sensitive" males (such as myself) --
**whatever** their sexual orientation, and even if they otherwise
would have had no desire to adopt female clothes or a female
role in society -- would not, from my understanding of history,
have fit Greek or Roman ideals of masculinity.  The Greeks
idealized athleticism (and the beauty of the male form
of the athletic youth); and both the warlike Greeks (the Spartans)
and the Romans (or at least the Roman aristocracy) idealized
the "manly virtues" -- strength at arms, fierceness in battle,
and so on.  In other words, the football players who **don't**
run away from the ball.  ;->

Speaking of football, though -- do you know the story of this
poor soul?  Ed Gallagher:
http://www.bentvoices.org/pix/gallagher.jpg
College football hero -- big, macho dude.
Succumbed to his homosexual urges, then panicked,
and in a fit of self-hatred tried to commit suicide by
pitching himself down the face of a dam, and **survived**,
but spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
http://www.outsports.com/2011/7/29/4051618/moment-69-ed-gallagher-survives-suicide-attempt


JimF

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Re: 0013: Response to Reclaiming Natural Manhood
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2013, 03:25:07 PM »
> > "Dad, gay son, swimmingpool an[d] gay brother with cam"
> > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOotrvIYB78
>
> The father is a terrible, sadistic bully. . .
> Wow, I'm so glad this video exists.

You know, it crossed my mind later to wonder how
that video came to be on YouTube.  It's on a channel of
heterogeneous content called "PiP media", and with
122,056 views it's the second-most-frequently viewed clip
on the channel, far ahead of nearly all of the other
clips.

I suspect it wasn't actually posted by the brother
who cammed the incident.  Maybe he shared it with
friend(s) or relative(s), who may in turn have shared it
with others, so that finally it escaped control
altogether and ended up as one of YouTube's miscellaneous
clips.

The title's characterization of the two boys as
"gay son" and "gay brother" may also have been chosen by
the poster simply as a kind of disparagement of their
behavior (the one boy's cowardice at the pool, and the
other boy's presumed lack of respect for privacy in
filming an unflattering family scene without anybody
else's knowledge or permission) rather than based on
any accurate information about their sexual orientation.
As in, they're both acting "so gay".

But I too regard at as a fascinating documentary fragment,
whatever its provenance.

I have some very early memories of being a "sensitive" (easily
upset, cowardly, "scaredy-cat") kid.  Some kids,
for example, **love** being picked up, tossed
in the air, or being turned upside-down.
I **hated** that sort of thing, and I have a very early
memory of being terrorized by somebody (an uncle, maybe;
my father probably realized early on that was a no-go)
who tried to do that to me, and only succeeded in making
me afraid of him.  One of the things I remember
we had to do in first-grade gym class (along with
square dancing, which didn't bother me so much ;-> )
was "tumbling".  The mats would come out, and we were
supposed to do things like forward rolls, backward rolls,
and handstands.  I could **barely** manage a forward
roll, but I never learned to do a backward roll properly,
and as far as a handstand is concerned -- forget it.
I could not deal with the disorientation of being
upside down -- it terrified me.  I also have very clear
memories of the gym teacher (who was the same one in first grade
as I later had in sixth grade) -- the only female gym teacher I ever had.
She was married (Mrs. W.), but she was short, and stocky
(her posterior stuck way out in her tight shorts), and very mannish.
I couldn't help but wonder much later if she was a lesbian.  In sixth
grade, I was summoned one afternoon to Mrs. W.'s
office for criticism on my posture (I already walked
with a characteristic round-shouldered slump, with
head down, which was probably as much a reflection
of my social status by then as anything inherently to
do with the articulation of my body).  on the way back to class
after receiving Mrs. W.'s critique, I passed knots
of teachers gathered open-mouthed around radios.
It seems that President Kennedy had been shot.

I also, as a 3-year-old, was afraid of the upright
vacuum cleaner my mother used in the house.
I reacted to the noise it made the way cats do to
such things.  Later on, I sometimes accompanied my father to
the barber shop in the local suburban shopping center
that served our neighborhood.  That barber was
outfitted in a way I don't think I've ever seen
since.  After your haircut, and after having the
hair shaken out of the "dropcloth", instead of then having
the remaining hair whisk-brushed off your shoulders and neck,
the shop had a row of small cannister-type electric
vacuums, with the cannisters attached underneath the shelf
running behind the chairs, and a hose attachment
which the barber would use to suck up loose hair
off the client at the end.  These made a lot of
noise, as vacuum cleaners always do, and I was
more afraid of having one of them used on me than
I was of anything else about the process of getting
a haircut.  When I was first taken to that shop to
get a haircut, my father had to **promise** me that
the barber would be instructed not to use that
thing on me.  On other occasions, I'd accompany my
father to the local Sears automotive service center,
where there would often be lots of loud bangs
and buzzes from pneumatic wrenches or tires being
inflated on rims.  I was always alarmed (to the
point of real fear) by that, too, and I tried to keep
my ears plugged the whole time I was anywhere near
the garage.  There were other things -- silly things,
some of them.  I didn't know how to blow my nose
as a really little kid, and I hated having it
wiped or having one of my parents
hold a kleenex across my face while shouting at me to
**blow**!  It felt like I was being suffocated.  On
such occasions, my father would always lose his temper,
and I remember him once threatening to use the
"snuffer" on me (a rubber aspirator that you use
to suck mucus out of babies' noses).  My early visits
to the dentist were nightmarish, despite the dentist
ostensibly specializing in childrens' dentistry (I
remember him as a short-tempered, sadistic SOB, but
then again I may well have been his worst patient).
After losing control of the drill and nearly severing the
ligament under my tongue during one visit because of my trying
to pull away, the dentist prescribed tranquilizers that I had to
take before coming to the office.  But these came in
capsule form, and I always ended up biting them through
and then spitting the bitter contents into the kitchen sink.
So instead of being tranquilized in preparation for my visit
to the dentist, those Saturday mornings would begin with my father
raging at me, and threatening me with his belt, to try to get me
to swallow the capsule properly.  The characteristic smell
of the lobby of the downtown medical building where that
dentist had his office -- a blend of interior construction,
floor cleaner, and the disinfectants wafting from the
doctors' offices -- is an odor I would undoubtedly recognize,
likely even with a familiar pang of fear,
to this day.  The curious thing is, I eventually
outgrew all of that stuff.  I have no problem going to the
dentist today, or the barbershop, or the Sears automotive
center.  I can drive a car, even through crowded
metropolitan traffic, and I have no problem with vacuum
cleaners.  ;->  But I've certainly been told, even as an
adult, that I come across as a "wary" person.  (And one
personal "tic" that's lingered is that I **hate** to
have to use the telephone.  And I know that my being "on
edge" with strangers very often comes across as hostility.)

I had an interesting experience around swimming, which
in a way goes to show that "slow to warm up" kids can
master something as long as they're not expected to do it
at the lock-step pace required of average kids (which means
that, yes, they're "more expensive" to deal with in
that they take more time and attention -- something that
your average Republican might well think they don't deserve. ;-> ).
When I was 10-ish, give or take, my father got me a
summer membership at the local public swimming pool.
And that pool also offered swimming lessons, so I ended
up being signed up for those.  And I was my usual scaredy-cat
self in the water (just like that poor kid in the video)
and basically ended up flunking the course.  But somehow
(I can't remember how -- maybe it was the instructor's
idea), I had the opportunity to take the class a second time.
(Or maybe, come to think, the deal was that if I couldn't
pass the course, I wouldn't be allowed to use the pool.)
And the second time around, I did OK.  I never learned
how to do the Australian Crawl (a competition stroke,
where you have to learn to keep your head underwater
and gulp air by turning it sideways in coordination
with your arm movements), but I could tread water and do
anything else as long as I could keep my head above
the water.  But here's an interesting wrinkle.  The
second course ended with each member of the class having
to climb up the pool's high-dive, at the deep end,
and jump in.  Not **dive** in head-first or anything fancy, just
**jump** in, feet-first.  Now, this would have been my
chance to humiliate myself all over again, because I
would have been too scared to do it if it had been
sprung on me unexpectedly.  But for some reason that
I can't remember, I had some time earlier taken it
upon myself, during one of my regular summer afternoons
at the pool, to see if I could work up the courage to jump off the
high dive on my own.  And I had actually done it.  So when
I was asked to do it at the end of the course, since I'd done it
a few times before, I managed to do it again.  A minor,
but memorable, triumph.

Apropos of things sexual (or pre-homosexual), there was
a slightly off-color incident that happened during one
of those swimming classes.  The instructor, a grown man
who might have been anywhere from his 20s to his 40s,
came to the classes in a pair of swimming trunks, like
the rest of us.  They weren't speedos (and they certainly
weren't the long "board shorts" popular today), they
were just regular boxer-style swimming trunks.  But
one day, he was sitting in his bathing suit
on the grass in front of the row of kids (it was a
co-ed class, as far as I can recall), and I happened
to notice that his trunks had no liner.  And there it
was, plainly visible through the wide-open leg of
his trunks.  It was only the second adult male penis
I'd ever seen (apart from my own father's).
Interestingly, it had no erotic charge whatsoever for
me; I just thought it was funny, and I was dying to
poke the kid sitting next to me with my elbow and
mutter something like "Do you see what I see?", but
the instructor's eyes were right on us, so I kept
still.  The guy's name, I kid you not, was Bob Bone.
But there was no bone(r), just a big fat sausage.  ;->
I have no particular reason to believe that Mr. Bone
was deliberately exhibiting himself to the kids, but
you never know (and it would certainly behoove somebody
in his position to be a hell of a lot more careful
about that sort of thing these days).

JimF

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Re: 0013: Response to Reclaiming Natural Manhood
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2013, 07:02:56 PM »
> . . ."slow to warm up" kids can [eventually]
> master something as long as they're not expected to do it
> at the lock-step pace required of average kids. . .

This reminds me of yet another story.  ;->

I got a bicycle at the age of 3, before I was anywhere
big enough to be able to ride it.  But eventually, with
the help of the usual set of training wheels, I was able
to propel myself up and down the street and around the
block on that bicycle (I skipped the tricycle stage of
infant transportation ;-> ).

So far so good, but what wasn't so good is that I was the
absolutely **last** kid in my age group to shed the training
wheels.  I might have blundered right into trying to ride a bike
with training wheels to junior high school, with no doubt
unfortunate consequences, if something hadn't intervened.

My father had tried a few times to teach me how to ride the bicycle
properly, but predictably (it was the standard pattern between
us for anything by then -- from his earliest failed attempts to interest
me in throwing and catching a ball right on down the line)
I dug in my heels and resisted (like the kid in
that "family swimming pool time" YouTube video),
and he inevitably lost his temper, and no doubt finally
threw up his hands, thought "to hell with it", and turned
his back on the problem.  But one summer afternoon (I remember
it as being summer, anyway), Harry G. (the father of the
Gerry G. who lived across the street from us and who
shepherded me to school in early years), took pity on me
(or something) and offered to teach me to ride without the
training wheels.  And I accepted his offer.  Either the
time was just right, or I realized that this might be my
last chance, but in any case he took the trouble, and within an hour
I was riding without training wheels.  I don't know what
his "knack" was, but I suspect that, not having any ego on
the line (**he** wasn't the guy with the pussy son -- well,
he was, but in the "normal" way ;-> ) he just had the
patience not to scare me off the way my own father always
did.  So I was elated that I could finally ride a bicycle,
and I'm sure Harry G. was tickled that he'd done a good
deed.  So I came home later that night, and my father was
in the kitchen, and I (not realizing I was walking into
a mine field) told my parents that Harry G. had taught
me how to ride my bike without the training wheels!
And my father was **furious**!  "Right.  You could do
it for Harry G. but you wouldn't do it for me.  How do
you think that makes me look, that I couldn't teach my
own damn son how to ride a bike without the damned
training wheels?"  Oops.  So I slunk away.  But at least
I learned how to ride the bike.

My Boy Scout experience must also have been rather a
disappointment to my father.  The town we lived near had
gotten a charter for a brand-new troop, and I think
I found out about it from somebody at school (this would
have been 7th grade) -- in fact, I think it was the
same guy who asked me one day, while we were sitting
in his bedroom, if my dick ever got stiff if
I happened to be thinking about certain things.
So I joined Troop 603, and got the uniform, and the manual,
and started going to the meetings.  It lasted not quite
a year, I think.  The new troop was short on members, and
I actually somehow got **appointed** as patrol leader
of the Wolf Patrol (or Rat Patrol, or whatever the hell it was;
I can't remember), even though I was only a Tenderfoot
Scout, but I was soon replaced by a properly-elected
leader.  And I never advanced in rank beyond Tenderfoot,
which is probably something of an accomplishment in itself.  ;->
I stuck around long enough to go on a camping trip (accompanied
by my father) and slept in a sleeping bag in a tent
in the freezing cold of winter.  And I spent a few weeks
at a nearby Scout camp in the summer.  And then I quit.
I don't remember the actual quitting as being particularly
traumatic, or being resisted by anybody.  Maybe I used
the pressures of school as a good excuse to stop spending
the time.  But there are a couple of vivid memories.
I remember that, in order to go swimming at the camp,
you had to wear a tag that indicated your swimming ability.
The tags were white and circular, with a wavy black line
splitting the circle in two, and if the tag was completely
white that meant you couldn't swim **at all**, and if
the bottom was colored-in red that meant you were a
beginner-level swimmer, and if the bottom was colored-in
red and the top colored-in blue that meant you were a
really good swimmer.  I seem to recall there was a test you
had to take to get the colors.  Well, in spite of the
swimming lessons I'd taken at the local public pool, I
was one of only two kids whose swimming badges were all white.
(And the other kid was despised even more than I was.
I still remember his name, but I won't write it here.)
Maybe because of this, or maybe because of other petty
humiliations, I remember one evening at that camp going
to my Scoutmaster, Mr. Stuart, in tears.  "What's the matter?"
he asked.  "I can't do anything."  "What do you mean?"
"I'm just no good at anything."  "Well," he replied,
making a grab for mitigating possibilities, "I've heard
you're a whiz at math!"  "No, not really."  I remember
wanting **something** very badly from Mr. Stuart.  It wasn't
sexual (though I can believe it might have **become**
sexual if he'd been inclined that way; though, on second
thought, I would have been far too naive and terrified
to go there), but I wanted a real daddy at that moment,
and he was willing to treat me kindly, but he was at a
loss to know what to say beyond that "whiz at math" guess,
and I really didn't know what I expected him to say or do.
Maybe I needed to be held, or something.  But it was perfectly
true -- I was "no good at anything" by the prevailing
standards of the guys in the camp, and I really had no business
being there.  So I quit, and that was that.  But before I
did, during that summer at camp, I did catch an eyeful of
one of the other scoutmasters -- a well-built man's man
much admired by my father, who lived a few streets away
from us and was the father of a boy's boy and a girl's girl --
taking a shower in the nude.  I think that was the second
adult male penis I ever saw, apart from my father's.

andkon

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Re: 0013: Response to Reclaiming Natural Manhood
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2013, 04:07:01 PM »
I found myself getting both angry and sad to the point of tears
when I first read Gilmartin's book.  But, you know, it's not really
anybody's **fault**.  Calling people "bad parents" can miss the point
just as much as calling the children "bad kids".  It's the
**mismatch** between the parenting styles (itself partly a function
of the parents' inborn temperaments, and partly a function of
the cultural milieu), and the child's temperament, that can lead
to grief.

The child has infinitely less power and was created by the parents though. It's not a voluntary relationship or roommates, so I think the burden should be a lot more on the parents than anything else.

And of course all such analyses are terrifically politically-
charged.  I can't imagine public-school phys-ed classes being
segregated not just by gender but by "temperament" -- the
Republicans would scream that it's "coddling" (Or worse.
"It's the homosexual agenda!  They want to turn our boys into
fags!").  There's a high school in New York specifically
intended to be a safe haven for LGBTQ kids:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Milk_High_School
And of course it garnered the expected reactions from the
expected quarters:

"State Conservative Party chairman Michael Long
criticized the creation of the school as social engineering,
asking, 'Is there a different way to teach homosexuals?
Is there gay math? This is wrong... There’s no
reason these children should be treated separately.

I've heard of the school and not surprised at the commentary. Bullies bully then bully again their victims by denying the whole thing. "Why is there a need for gay schools, gee whiz. Those gays don't like equality!" The double standards are sickening as usual.

to force the kid to "participate".  Anyway, one afternoon I was trying to fade into
the grass, but there was this kid who decided to teach me a lesson --
he decided he'd had enough of my shirking my "responsibility"
to put myself at risk of being mowed down.  He was a **big**
kid, and he went way out of his way to come after me and
**tackle** me.  I landed on my arm.  I didn't break it,
as it turned out, but I had to go to the doctor and have it
X-rayed.  Of course there were no consequences for the other
kid.  He wasn't all bad, though.  I remember one day
walking home from school he gave me a piece of advice for
dealing with women.  "If you don't have any muscles," he
said, "just wear bulky sweaters."  I can't say I've ever
actually made any use of that, but it's stuck with me.  ;->

HAHA, yeah it's almost 100 degrees here in Houston. That advice works for three months of the year.

Speaking of football, though -- do you know the story of this
poor soul?  Ed Gallagher:
http://www.bentvoices.org/pix/gallagher.jpg
College football hero -- big, macho dude.
Succumbed to his homosexual urges, then panicked,
and in a fit of self-hatred tried to commit suicide by
pitching himself down the face of a dam, and **survived**,
but spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
http://www.outsports.com/2011/7/29/4051618/moment-69-ed-gallagher-survives-suicide-attempt

Haven't heard of him, thanks for the link.