The Metrosexual Elephant In The Room

Posted: October 11, 2011 in Football, Male Impersonators, Mark Simpson, Masculinities, metrosexuality
Tags: , ,

This comment by arctic jay, under my last post about Strictly Come Dancing, was so good I am reposting it here. Ajay was responding to a feminist blogpost about the X factor, which suggested women are much more ‘objectified’ on TV shows and in culture in general, than men. He said:

‘How can anyone deny at this point that the male chest, especially the pumped up variety, is an eroticized body part?

How can feminist honestly argue that women are more sexualized than men when bare male chests are on display for public consumption approximately 10,000 times more often than bare females chests?

Their only option is try to uphold the canard that male nudity is by default non-sexual, which is the same lie social conservatives promote due to their own homophobia’.

I agree wholeheartedly with Ajay’s comment, and would go further and say that it is not just conservatives and feminists who deny the sexual charge of men’s bodies, and the ubiquity of men’s bodies being shown off these days, but almost everyone. Men’s metrosexual displays have become the great big pink elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. Because, as ajay suggested, it would throw the whole applecart over.

I have been talking about it. And recently I have turned my attention to how football in particular, is a flagrant example of both the promotion and selling of metrosexual masculinity, and the denial of what it means, for footballers and fans alike. With footballers as tarty as Ronaldo how can we pretend that part of football’s allure for men,  is not its presentation of fit men’s bodies, to use a phrase by Simpson, ‘literally asking to be fucked’?

This is my piece about a new young metrosexual football starlet, Tom Cleverley:


The Times Sports Section one recent Saturday had a very pretty pin up on the cover. Serena Williams? No. Sharapova? No. It was Tom Cleverley, a rising star in football, who plays for Manchester Utd and is on his way to becoming a member of the England team.

Tom’s face fills the front page. His blue eyes look directly at the camera. His full lips are parted slightly, a pose all models know how to pull off, so you can imagine yourself slipping something between them – a tongue, a finger, a ….? His hair is short, fashionably sculpted and highlighted. It is not difficult to see the influence of his ‘idol’, David Beckham.

The headline on the cover reads: HE’s GOT THE LOOK! This is taken from Sheena Easton’s song ‘SHE’s got the look’. And the byline calls Tom a ‘starlet’. It might be the introduction to an article about Keira Knightley. The words and the images are feminine.

The article inside is a two-page spread, but most of the space is taken up with another photo of Tom. This time it is a full-length body shot. He is leaning against a wall, dressed casually in jeans and a leather jacket, but he is still looking straight at the camera coquettishly. You can’t take your eyes off me, he seems to be saying.

There is a cartoon inserted into the piece. It features a tattooist in his tattoo parlour, and he is on the phone. The caption reads:

‘Is that Tom Cleverley? I hear you want to be like David Beckham…’

This innocuous little cartoon sums up what The Times are saying about Cleverley: if this rising ‘starlet’ wants to emulate his ‘idol’ Beckham, he will have to match Becks narcissistic act for narcissistic act. Because Beckham is all about ‘the look’.

So has The Times done the unthinkable and ‘outed’ not only Cleverley but also football itself, as the exhibitionist, commodified, metrosexual, spornotastic display that it is? Hold the front page!

Well no, it hasn’t. Because the text of the article itself is a traditional run of the mill ‘macho’ piece of sports journalism. I couldn’t follow it all due to my lack of interest in actual football (as opposed to the imagery and masculine complexities that surround it). But it was full of phrases such as ‘midfielder…transfer…European Championships….goal scoring…early in the season…money… Alex Ferguson…class of ’92….’

There was no mention of Cleverley’s beautiful blue eyes, or the way he parts his lips, or speculation about who his really big signing will be with: Armani? Gucci? Rolex? Because the passive exhibitionism of sports stars is still closeted, even whilst it is used to sell newspapers, and underpants, and watches. The Times use metrosexual imagery, and they even knowingly wink at it, in the form of a humorous cartoon. But they don’t talk about it. That, like if  football fans actually said ‘No Homo’, would give the game away. And we can’t have that.



  1. arctic_jay says:

    Thanks for the shout out.

    As far as metrosexuality goes, I’ve always disagreed with Mark’s premise, because it’s always seemed to me that the past twenty years have represented a nadir, rather than apogee, in the valuation of male beauty and sexual worth. But it makes more sense to me if the concept of metrosexuality, like the concept of homosexuality, was necessitated by a cultural awareness of male sexual market value, rather than a peak or arrival of that value. In the same way concerning “gay”, this naming and demarcating of a personal identity has made it both easier and more difficult for men to express their sexuality, depending on how well these neat categories fit their perceptions of identity.

    As “homosexuality” as a category has made same-sex intimacy easier for a small group of people and more difficult for a much larger group, “metrosexuality” has only benefitted a tiny group of dyed-in-the-wool narcissists.

    The larger impact of metrosexuality is represented by that LMAO video, where there is an attempt to render the male body harmless by trying to present it as a goofy joke, rather than something truly, and fully sexual.

    Fortunately, the human body cannot be fully scrubbed of it’s eroticism. All it takes is self awareness and cultural awareness to be able to demand sexual respect. I’m waiting for the next male artist to emerge out of this era of irony and apologetic sexiness and take complete charge of his erotic identity.

    • ‘I’m waiting for the next male artist to emerge out of this era of irony and apologetic sexiness and take complete charge of his erotic identity.’

      Me too!

      I can see both yours and Mark’s points of view here, and I don’t think you are actually that far apart. I just think that maybe as ‘Metrodaddy’ and the originator of the concept of metrosexuality, Mr Simpson may find it harder to cast a cold critical eye on metroboy.

  2. M Pierce says:

    “Starlet?” I think “tartlet” is more like it.

  3. Hey QRGirl! I agree with you about TRIGGER WARNINGS~!!! (((kiss kiss kiss))) you get high marks from me for that. I don’t give a shit WHAT your politics are, LOL. (((kiss again)))

    I can’t remember anyone else saying that before, so as I said, BIG POINTS from me. I have so many times wanted to break in with my working class values, fuck your triggering! BOO, gonna scare ya to death! (giggles)

    I hate that shit, but started doing it on a few of my own posts since my friends would yell at me. So, I did it to keep peace. The first time was when I did a post on that guy on the Greyhound Bus who cut off somebody’s head: “you should have warned me!” But then I was thinking, wait, nobody cut off anybody’s head who is still reading blogs, so what are you TRIGGERED ABOUT???? They just meant that it was gross and freaked them out, so why not SAY SO instead of using a loaded word like “triggered”–which sounds all touchy feely and everything.

    Anyway, just a note to tell you that.

    On to the subject:

    Yes, purty boys in sports. Etc. I would add that among older people, what you say is not true, older men still make these noises when manparts come on the TV, possibly feeling threatened, but I think some of it is an aesthetic difference due to age. We were watching the old Tarzan movies recently, and we instantly noticed that *none* of those guys were “cut” and they were TARZAN and should have been. Its a new set of appearance-values and some people do not yet subscribe to them… I still think it is weird for women to shave their lady-parts but I guess everyone is doing it now. Keep in mind, people over 50 DO EXIST.

    The regular feminist blogs don’t think we do, so I expect more from you. 😉

    • Jay Generally says:

      @ Daisy
      I’ve consumed a lot of old media, and if you’re talking about the same Tarzan movies I’m thinking of, then I’ve had this conversation before with someone else. If you’re talking about those old B&W Tarzans I *think* the whole problem with Tarzan is that those movies were sort of packaged as kid(well, boy)-friendly family oriented stuff (yeah, even with the racism and the knife-fights with animals and everything.) That’s why they had the whole Cheetah, the Comedy Relief Chimp character and then later added his adopted son to be his boy sidekick. I think they were maybe possibly going for a more fatherly Tarzan (they also reused the same actor so if you saw a later film then Father Time may have just been doing what he does.) Buuuuut, there’s also the fact that the original Tarzan, Johnny Weissmuller was an Olympic athlete.
      You see any metrosexuality here?
      Compare the sexiness of Jane to the sexiness of Tarzan on this promotional poster
      Still, Hollywood may have very well agreed with you Daisy because in 1959 they remade the movie, and by remade, I mean used the exact same footage from the original for all the ‘stunty’ scenes and for all the standing around talking bits they used this guy:
      This guy, right here.

      I think the metrosexual elephant in the room was named Tantor. 🙂

      • Hey THANKS for your input! I think you’re onto something! Mr Daisy wanted to watch the old B&W Tarzan movies, since he liked them as a kid. He said he hadn’t noticed before that Tarzan was built like his dad– LOL–and that would go with what you are saying, that Tarzan was “dad” to the kids. Excellent observation!

        Did you know Maureen O’Sullivan is Mia Farrow’s mother? She also plays Mia’s mother in “Hannah and her sisters”–great performance too.

        This would make “Jane” Woody Allen’s (ex) mother in law. Just think about THAT awhile.

        • Jay Generally says:

          I’m pullin’ a total Keanu Reeves over here. Whoa. O.o

          Just, trying not to imagine the first date interview between Woody Allen and the Lord of the Apes… Who am I kidding? I’m imagining it so hard! 😀 Thanks.

  4. HI Daisy! Thanks for calling by. I am glad you agree about trigger warnings. Your point about the Greyhound Bus incident is pertinent. eg on the Menz blog the person who asked for a trigger warning did so *after* she had read the post. So what was the point? Maybe to ‘protect’ others but I am not so sure,,, (thats not a judgement on that persona t all, just another reason I think trigger warnings are silly)

    as for the age thing I take your point. But I think metrosexuality has hit all age groups now. eg advertisers are targeting older men:

    and what about viagra?

    • typhonblue says:

      “thats not a judgement on that persona t all, just another reason I think trigger warnings are silly”

      QR, I read your blog. 😛

      It was mostly for others. But also an admittedly political message. Rendering certain victims of physical and sexual abuse invisible actually has real world consequences on survivors.

      • Hi typhon I know you do! I might have just said it was your comment, sorry.

        I agree that ‘Rendering certain victims of physical and sexual abuse invisible actually has real world consequences on survivors.’ But that is why I would never link to a Sady Doyle post saying it was good in any way. Because that rendering invisible is her stock in trade.

        • P.s. talking of talking about you, typhon I had a post recently on The Spearhead and someone said they were giving me the benefit of the doubt because you comment on my blog and they think you are great!

        • Jim says:

          Been following developments on that thread? Cheradenine came in a sorted SD out, who then responded and who then got more pushback from commenters. So then Noah sailed in once again said the commentariat was an embarrassment, chasing off an ally and all this whining about the poor men. People jumped on him then. Ias ked him if who exaclty thought the commentarit was such an embarrassment, did Cheradenine think it was an embarrassment. I also pointed out to him that some of us are familiar with facing bigotry and can smell it a mile away whatever form it takes, so when we said doubted Sady was any kind of an ally, it might be worth listening to.

          Shit’s coming to a head over there.

          • typhonblue says:

            Looks like, Jim. And it sounds like they’ve weighed in in favor of Sady over the commentators.

            And so the lines get further entrenched.

          • Jim says:

            Yeah, Ozy just closed comments on that thread and said she too was embarrassed by the readership and that we were too stupid to recognize someone who was on the same side. Too bad on the frst one, bullshity on the second one. SD is no kind of ally or somehow on the same side.

            A thought struck me about that thread and SD’s rhetorical tacitcs, so I am going to ask dr. Tara Palmatier, who writes a blog about men in relationships with High Conflict Personality, Borderline and other types of women (and a lot of women involved later with these men, and also women involved with men who have the same personality disorders, comment there) to look at it. I think a clinical psychologist will recognize a lot of what is going on in that thread.

            Oh well – that blog started out so hopefully, trying to do what others have said is impossible – be pro-male from a feminist orientation.

          • typhonblue says:

            @ Jim

            Look up ‘circling monolog’ on tvtropes.

            ‘Join me!’ ‘No!’ ‘Then DIE!’

            Gave me the fucking creeps.

    • Jim says:

      Viagra was a happy accident. The marketing wasn’t. It’s to the point now where you can’t post words like “specialist” on some sites. (Cialis)

      • why do people try to keep going back to Feminists when so many have shown their bigotry?

        It’s like me as a mixed race man approaching a white power type and asking what I can do including staying out of the sun to keep my skin lighter for his approval.

        Until THEY show that they are willing to examine their own beliefs and look at things more from a point of equality, they are not worth dealing with. Resisting, yes. But not accepting what they say on good faith…..

        I suppose what I just stated makes me a misogynist and racist 😉

  5. Titfortat says:

    Speaking of “trigger warnings”, I wish Noah would have one right before he speaks, everytime he opens his mouth it triggers shit from my past. 😉

    • Jim says:

      He is getting an enormous amount of pushback fomr a whole range of commneters. This is where we find out if he is a thinker or a believer.

  6. elissa says:

    Very cool – The same Ms. Blue and Jim, and Focault’s daughter – I’ve too been reading that thread and it’s so amazing to me how the Internuts makes vast spaces small and small places vast.

    And on topic with the elephants in the midst – there seems to be a lot of fuss about how many of these elephants really exist. Sometimes it seems there are as many elephants as stars in the sky, making it job one to spend valuable time discerning between real and imaginary elephants. I remember “male privilege” once being described as the elephant in the room. Not being able to see or acknowledge the elephant in the room, is also another elephant in the room.

    That’s an interesting point Jay – but I’m not really sure I agree. I think the overall comfort factor has increased for men, and maybe categories do slow down the rate of change, but are simultaneously required to keep momentum.

    • Jay Generally says:

      @Elissa (Well, gratefully inspired by elissa. I start rambling)

      The male comfort zone is a very complicated topic. I think I mostly agree. (That’s confidence right there!) But in some ways it still feels like there are smaller comfort zones than there have been at other times in the past. When I read up on Greek and Roman history and literature, I frequently see a complete lack of care about the whole world knowing what the speaker would roger at a glance or fall deeply in love with, and how those two things didn’t have to have very much to do with each other. (Not that there weren’t levels to villainize male sexuality even then; nobody talked about Caligula like he was good role model.) These days I feel brave saying “I love male sexuality and in a sexual way.” If I say “I enjoy very large breasts,” I feel sort of mean. And heterosexually submissive male? I feel damned, damned sleazy (creepy even). So, two steps forward, one step back, and much progress to be made. Anyway, I think the male comfort zone is growing past the ‘threat’ of homosexuality, and that’s so, so awesome for everyone.

      I think there’s still a step missing for heterosexual women somewhere tho’; I think society is (probably always has been) aware that (heterosexual) women want sex with men, enjoy sex with men, and that they make efforts to get sex with men. There’s just some weird lack of agency for women to close the deal outside of his recognition of her desirability. Mutual desirability is, of course, a requirement for intercourse that isn’t, y’know, assault or rape; but I’m having a hard time articulating this better.

      Maybe someone smarter than me can help me out here? 🙂

  7. I have a new trigger warning specifically for feminists—

    “dogma doesn’t fly here. There will be no demeaning comments like mansplaining or what about teh menz. If your critical thinking skills aren’t past the level of a 3rd grader, go back to feministe….”

    haha, that’s my trigger warning…..

  8. PM says:

    You’ve presented young men and middle-aged men, but there is still an elephant (maybe a baby elephant) in the room: teenage boys. I don’t know how the Twilight phenomenon played out in the UK, but here in the States middle-aged women have been drooling over Taylor Lauttner. His shirtless-in-the-rain picture has been plastered everywhere.

    I work out at 24-Hour Fitness, a gym that has a “meat market” reputation (I go there because it’s cheap). I’ve seen boys as young as 13 there lifting weights. Any good physician will tell you that weightlifting is contra-indicated for children this young. Warren Farrell talked about this phenomenon over 10 years ago and here we are, today, with it worse than ever.

  9. sorry to anyone not interested but some of the comments are about a discussion under a post at ‘No, seriously, what about teh menz’ blog:

    I have linked to my comment to the moderator about closing the thread where the discussion took place. Incidentally the discussion was about an article by Sady Doyle, a classic American feminist who is a cross between Melissa McEwan and Amanda Marcotte

  10. For anyone not sure what we are talking about, but who is interested, this is the discussion we are referring to, on a blog supposedly looking out for men:

    The feminist whose article is featured is Sady Doyle of Tiger beatdown.

    I left a comment here to the moderator of the Menz blog:

  11. Jim says:

    Let’s see what comes of that. It’s a test of their sincerity and of how dedicated they are to their stated goal, really.

    • I have been banned it seems. My comment has been deleted. No, seriously what *about* the men? To have a discussion go to pieces and for the moderator to support the ultra feminist avenger Ms Doyle, on a blog with the main aim of looking out for men and giving men a voice – HORRENDOUS!

      • Jim says:

        Couple of things going on…

        First off there was Ozy’s hero worship and delight when Sady DOYLE! OMG!!!!! took notice of her blog and started commenting and then the wheels came off when the commenters started treating SD like an adult.

        The problem is that SD appears ot be non-neoruotypical, specifically she threw out a lot of narcsissistic behaviors on that thread, and that crpa doesn’t fly where people are not under your heel. NSWATM is not Tiger Beatdown and that was one problem.

        The second isue was something Noah alluded to. he said they thought they could address men’s issues bah blah blah. Basically they were going to address men’s issues from a feminst perspective. Alone, unarmed and unafraid as the saying go, full of uniformed hopefulness. Well, when those beliefs were shown to be unable to stand up to actual men (and women) who had real lived experience in those issues, it provoked a crisis of faith. Sadly it looks like faith won out over analysis and respect for evidence.

        I’m sure Noah thinks he understands men’s isues because he is a man. with so puerile an approach, how far was the venture liklely to get? He has probably never ebeen married, never divorced and has no children. He has never been in a setting where he is likely to be flasely accused of rape. all this is fine; good for him. But it leaves him unprepared to address the lives of men in general, since he has not had the core experiences that are the basis of the issues.

        • well I am a woman and I think my blog is more sensitive to men on the whole than NSWATM
          But I think you make some very good points.

          • Jim says:

            “well I am a woman and I think my blog is more sensitive to men on the whole than NSWATM”

            No question in my mind.

            They are trying, but they brought a water pistol to a housefire.

  12. PM says:

    “do the 13 year olds get hit on by older guys at the gym? That must be odd to witness if so”

    No, thankfully.

    “I left a comment here to the moderator of the Menz blog”

    Would you mind posting it here, since it was banned?

    • I havent saved it, but it was to the person who runs the blog and went something like:

      ‘This is supposed to be a blog supporting men. Closing a thread and threatening to ban commenters if they carry on the conversation, which they were having in a reasonable manner even when faced with some heavy duty hostility from Sady Lady Business Doyle, is not on’.

  13. ugh, why did I go over to whatabouttehmenz?

    anyways, there’s this whole thing about trigger warnings, it seems sensationalistic….

    I remember there was this “news” show “a current affair” waaaay back in the day. They would say something like, oh, it’s sooo racey, how could actress such and such pose totaly nude for playboy, after the commercial, we’ll show you the spread, but we’re warning you it’s really baaad…. (of course the images would have those black censor boxes.)

    Well as a 9 year old boy, I stayed tuned…. hahahaha, maybe that’s why I’m such a pervert now, train ’em young. But the point is it really seems sensationalistic. It seems that’s what trigger warnings really do-they just bring the blog traffic up a bit. Too bad people have such a hard time admitting their true nature. It’s like why the fuck do people slow down at a car wreck, yeah, maybe part of it is cause they want to see if they can help or to give the emergency crews some room. But the bigger part no one talks about is they want to see some blood. They want to spend the rest of the day feeling victorious–“My life isn’t that great, but at least I’m not the schmuck who got splattered on the freeway today.” Sick, yeah…. Human nature. We are obsessed with drama and trauma…..

    • I absolutely agree stoner. It is sensationalistic and voyeuristic. But also with the added feminist agenda it is

      a) creating a kind of ‘rape porn’ if you like where women in particular get off on reading graphic descriptions of sexual violence partly to fuel their determination to ‘fight rape culture’ and partly just because it is their only acceptable way of talking about sex. Because many feminists object to actual porn

      and b) it is emphasising how ‘caring’ feminists are and how supportive they are of women as ‘victims’.

      Frankly I think it is sick.

      • well, when feminists talk about prostitution, it doesn’t seem to me that they actually care about the women making a livelyhood that way….

        seems more like they want to control men–“how dare that dirty boy pay a woman (of low class) money for no strings attached sex when there are soooo many of us feminists waiting for a man to be prince charming and sweep us off our feet–of course he has to meet our list of criteria and put up with all our bullshit, we are the superior gender after all. Except those girls who should just get jobs as seamstresses-dontcha know, they are wrecking our collective bargaining power….”

    • Have you ever heard the song “Vicarious” by Tool?

  14. OMG, did you really get banned?

    After I got the smackdown, I have been a good girl and probably won’t comment for awhile. I was banned at Feminist Critics, so I am careful.

    So it isn’t just (only) about making the place safe for feminists, but for certain feminists. Not sure if this reflects a particularly ideology or is mostly hit-or-miss, at this point.

    And take note, I didn’t say “take that Ph.D feminist and shove her up your ass” which is the first thing that popped in my head and the kinda redneck manners that gets me banned everywhere… I think I deserve credit for that, okay? 😀

    • You’d find it very hard to get banned round here Daisy!

      But I am impressed you got banned at Feminist Critics

      • I argue in bad faith, ballgame said. (What? Me?)

        But it wasn’t for name-calling or cussing or any of the usual. His official reason is “bad faith”… which is strange since I always said up-front I was a feminist. He knows I am dissenting from the get-go, so what does he even mean by that?

        Hell if I know… basically he has one standard for his friends, another for… non-friends.

    • Jim says:

      Daisy, you are the kind of feminist that gets hereticated by other feminists. You don’t play that clique and it leaves you open to being ganged up on.

      Something else that was really, really clear on the last few threads over there is the classism of the younger femisphere in what styles of discourse are allowed. Only the primmest mode of speech is allowed, and even when people get passionate and throw the f-bomb around, it is still very mannered and part of the in-group style. And the worst part of that is the denial that it is classist – oh this just how respectful, serious discussion looks; anything else is insenstive and harsh. Not bourgeois, oh never that.

      • Jay Generally says:

        Funny you should bring up classism, Jim. I basically gave a thumbs-down and a fart noise to the original post from Sady because it felt ridiculously classist; I couldn’t even get through that to care about whatever sexism might have been present. She took more opportunities than I care to count to ‘check her privilige’ as ‘not poor,’ validate her opinion with ‘still not rich, though’ and finally arrives at a criticism of the Occupy Wall Street protests that felt like it would boiled down to ‘too inclusive.’ The American Lefty in me wanted to spit. Seriously. “The first time you saw a trailer was when your paternal great aunt moved into one? Well, lemme see here, my first time woulda been when my mom brought me home from the hospital, havin’ just gave birth to me an’ all.” I’m new to internet commenting and I don’t claim to be good at it, but I wasn’t proud of my comment re: Sady’s post because it was so reactive (but I made it anyway, and there was nothing dishonest in it.) Honestly, when she showed up as the author I felt guilty because, ‘Hey you wrote a short novella that included many of your personal experiences and my response was, “Bzzzt! Wrong!”‘ Then she stays in the discussion to shout scare-stats about how women are the really realler real victims in a men’s (well… menz) blog. I never got anywhere close to the end of that comment thread.
        I did see QRG’s comment before it was deleted and she was banned. I’ve been loving NSWTM because of the commenters; I had Ampersand, Hugh Ristik, ballgame, and Typhonblue commenting in the same place as Ozymandias, an up and coming pro-sex, sexual submissive. I was pretty durn happy, let me tell you; I think the only way I could have been happier was if Glenn Sacks showed up, (Clarissa Thorn even poked her head in.) I thought I’d have an andro-centric, feminist friendly (not feminist dogmatic), agreeable, counterpoint to Feminist Critics. I was disappointed when Mindbender left. I was very happy when QRG showed up. And now… QRG is banished. That lasted a hot minute. My emotions are just a tossed salad right now.

        TL;DR 😦

        • not too long at all Jay, all fascinating stuff.

          I am glad in a way that it was an article by Sady Doyle that threw a spanner in the works at NSWABTM. Because it showed that some of the people who run the site are so aligned with feminist dogma that they can’t actually follow their own argument of ‘No, seriously, what about the men?’ It also showed that some of the commenters can and do.

          It cleared a few things up for me, anyway!

          As for Clarisse Thorn she and I have a bit of history I will post the links if you are interested.

          • Jim says:

            I posted this in response to Noah on a post about suits and how femninism has overlooked etc… (and good for him) It sounds as anodyne and conciliatory as anything can be. I hope it is recieved.

            “Amen to that. What I see as one of the primary goals of this blog is using the toolkit feminism developed to start tackling the issues old-school feminism was bad at seeing, if that makes sense.”

            It makes sense. But you have to remember the rest – that tool kit may happen to lack some tools, and some of its tools may be counter-productive. The key is to focus on the task rather than to cling sentimentally to the tools. It is a question of what is valued – methods or results.

            There’s old-school feminsm and then there’s old-old school feminism. There are a lot of OOS feminists that are very good on men’s issues, but who have been run out of the movement. someone ran them out of the movement, labelled them anti-feminist – does that really make them any less feminist or their feminism any less feminist? Maybe their analysis is worth a second look.

            Well, at leasrtt danny liked it and commneded it, in the next comment. we’ll see.

          • Jay Generally says:

            I’m usually a pretty curious cat. 🙂 Yeah, I’m interested. (I’m also glad you knew who I meant, since I got her name wrong.)

        • Jim says:

          I think SD’s behavior in that thread show her to be a narcissist. That hardly invalidates what she has to say, we area ll non-neurotypical in various and sundry ways, but it is basically a waste of time trying to have a real dialog with a narcisssist. Narcissists have a lot to contribute to society, liek we all do, but empathy and real dialog just dont ahppen to be on that menu.

          • I don’t agree w/everything James Landrith says (he knows that already), but I was amazed at how accurate I thought that one post of his was… Sady is a blog-star now, wants to hitch a ride on the Gravy Train like Marcotte and Filipovic. I think this class post was her bid to be “the working class feminist” and land herself a niche.

            I also think she probably wrote the last few paragraphs first and decided to go back and write the rest… I am also uncomfortable with boilerplate like “We are the 99%” (even though if you go to my blog today you will see a sign saying that, next to a smiling Daisy!) –but this is where class consciousness must start. Reagan beat it back, methodically, every desire to hold onto Head Start or Medicaid has been dubbed “class warfare” by the elites… we need to educate people and go back to start. And that is how we do that. THERE IS a huge disconnect with the 99% and people are GETTING IT.

            Anyway I don’t know if you are seeing narcissism or a garden variety STAR TURN (LOL)

      • Yeah… I also got pissed when Simon Broome said “low class” and the only thing anybody got upset about was the fact that he said “bitches”–see, I didn’t even NOTICE “bitches”–LOL.

        And ballgame, as stated above, is majorly classist. Low class styles of communication are in “bad faith”–but if you use the right words, you get to hang around. As I said, I still don’t know what he is talking about.

        I seem to have triggered (haha) ballgame when I said “rationality is patriarchal” (I meant the historic structure of it yada yada)… he just shut me down immediately. If I had laced that statement with the appropriate academic blabber: “Many feminists think what has historically been called ‘rationality’ is a product of white, bourgeois, male-identified standards, since these are the philosophers who defined the term in the first place, and this discussion we are having might be a good example of what they were saying.” That would likely have been okay, but (speaking of being old and arthritic) what a lot of typing that is! I figured he KNEW that is what I meant, but I guess not. Or if that was just what he needed to ban me, so he could quote me “Daisy doesn’t believe in rationality!” and that made it a popular move.

        ballgame’s rationality, no I do not believe in. As we can see, it is based on pure emotion.

        • typhonblue says:


          How do you know reason was invented by men to the exclusion of women? Just because someone uses a tool doesn’t mean they created it.

        • Jay Generally says:


          I also think she probably wrote the last few paragraphs first and decided to go back and write the rest… I am also uncomfortable with boilerplate like “We are the 99%” (even though if you go to my blog today you will see a sign saying that, next to a smiling Daisy!) –but this is where class consciousness must start. Reagan beat it back, methodically, every desire to hold onto Head Start or Medicaid has been dubbed “class warfare” by the elites… we need to educate people and go back to start. And that is how we do that. THERE IS a huge disconnect with the 99% and people are GETTING IT

          There’s no part of that paragraph I disagree with.

          I went back and skimmed that article taking your ‘last part first, first part last’ structural suggestion in mind and the whole thing made a lot more sense. That was very astute. I feel even more sympathy for her now; it’s very hard to over explain a point and not look a little foolish. (No snark; I honestly have that problem all the time.) Yet, the whole thing still reads for me like she was not only explaining why she has an opinion, but why she’s allowed to have an opinion. Which implies there are situations where one is not allowed to have an opinion.
          But hey, I can be over critical when it comes to discussions of our Corporate Oligarchy. If one thinks there’s a high correlation between rulers/oppressors and gender, one should try looking for a correlation between rulers/oppressors and wealth. I feel like I’ve found a correlation that plays to the tune of 100%.

  15. As for Daisy’s reference, hopefully this shows up-

  16. @ Daisy – I likened Ms Doyle to Amanda Marcotte too, earlier! You’re right she is what I might call a ‘career feminist’.

  17. Jim says:

    “Anyway I don’t know if you are seeing narcissism or a garden variety STAR TURN (LOL)”

    Show me the difference. I think narcissists are pre-adapted to be stars.

    I learned about narcissism the hard way. i think it is beside the point to make moral judgements about it – I generally think moral judgement of situations is childish wishful thinking and very often gets in the way doing anything that actually improves those situations – but I do think it is important to be able to recognize narcissism so that you can take appropriate action.

    If that article was abid for blog-stardom I am very glad it got shot down. It was full of smug preening self-congratulation.

    • Looks like ballgame is clamping down on you too…see, Jim, socialism *depends* on identity politics. The fact that someone is talking shit, DOES depend on their identity, as much as ballgame doesn’t like it when you say that out loud. But much MRA* discussion of feminism trashes identity politics. My first identity politics were class politics (when my stepfather went on strike w/his union), not feminism. I think class consciousness is the first example of identity politics in the Body Politic, as Black Nationalism was for the Combahee River Collective, who first quantified the idea.

      This makes me wonder if MRAs are anti-worker? Anti-union? Unions are identity politics. Does this dislike of identity politics translate into general dislike of poor people’s role in progressive politics? I think it does, and this has been one of the major things that worries me.

      Of course, I’d like to post this on your Feminist Critics thread, but not allowed. 😉

      *shorthand term, use whichever term you prefer, not meant as epithet in this context, but just don’t know what word folks like best

    • Jay Generally says:

      Charges of narcissism feel harsh but not inaccurate. How’s that for a non-statement? :/ I largely agree.

      • Jim says:

        I expected to get that one – narcissism is not a moral issue, it’s a neurological issue and it’s not “bringing charges” to say someone is acting like or even is a narcissist.

  18. Re:narcissism – NPD has been removed from the DSM it is no longer an ‘illness’ because narcissism is celebrated as normal in culture now. Which brings us back to the topic of the post- metrosexual footballers are completely narcissistic. But we ignore that issue because then we have to see how they are also a bit ‘homosexual’.

    all this I got from Mark Simpson:

  19. I just looked at the Simpson article- he talks about men having “tit’s.” I am assuming he means developed pectoral muscles, however made me think of David Futrelle and his Manboobz-wonder if there is any connection…..

    • I am not sure why D F calls his blog ‘manboobz’ – i wondered if it was in response to how people often suggest feminist men are ‘unmanly’.

      But yes ‘manboobs’ can be either ‘tits’ on men who are a bit fat, or tits from muscle development.

  20. I’m imaging the “metrosexual” manboobs would be pectoral muscles whereas Futrelle is referring to “bitch tits”-a shot at the masculinity of the men he is mocking the way they call him “mangina.”

    Anyways Futrelle is an interesting case. At one moment I think he is a huge jerk, then sometimes I think he is kind of funny, then I almost feel bad for him, like he is the class clown who just tries too hard for attention and doesn’t know when to let things go. Some of the commenters seem like they would be fun to hang out with in real life even though they have a WAY different world view…..

  21. […] him. I believe that football, by its very sweaty, physical, passionate, sexy nature is already ‘well gay’. And until the ‘beautiful game’ ‘fesses up to that fact, out gay or bi players […]

  22. […] once again, in any discussion of football and sexuality, a big pink elephant in the room raises its pretty head. Because football is not ‘straight’ or ‘gay’ […]

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