And they say a man’s looks don’t matter…

(Okay I thought I had actually posted this. Silly me for leaving it in the drafts for so long.)

So I was reading this post over at Renee’s about the Sexiest Man Alive list done by Star magazine and I came across this one part that kinda made by blood boil.

When we look at a man’s physical body, it is never seen as limiting his potential…

Is it me or does it seem that some women love dictating what it is like to be a man?

As I commented over there (which BTW was modded down, I guess some people can’t stand the truth) this is simply not true. Now before you start the “who has it worse” pissing match note that she did not say that a man’s physical body aren’t as limiting of his potential as a woman’s physical body can be. No she straight up said that a man’s physical body never has any bearing on his potential. I say nonsense.

Let’s take actors for instance. If you look at the actors that some up on that list (she has some of them in her post and I can’t find the list online) you’ll see that not a one of those guys is what you would call fat. But that’s not the trick to her post. Simply two paragraphs later she makes the very true point of how fat men are marginalized (and of course taking the paragraph in between to add in the obligatory “okay yeah there is something unfair that happens to men but above all else remember that they are privileged” mitigation).

So on one hand being fat doesn’t limit my potential while at the same time because I’m fat I’m often automatically dismissed as not being considered sexy. Now while writing this post it hit me that maybe, just maybe when she was talking about “limiting his potential…” she was talking about his ability to succeed and trying to separate that from whether or not he thinks he is sexy. Then I realized that those two are not so easily pulled apart. Even if you eliminate careers that link directly to one’s looks what a man (or woman for that matter) there is still the simple confidence factor. When you think you aren’t attractive you shy away from things that might put your face out there. As much as I complain about answering phones all day I’d still rather do that than be a teller at my bank (yes there was that one woman whose firing from a bank over her attractiveness that caused a lot of noise but compared to say the modeling industry something happening like that in banking is pretty rare) and have people look at me all day.

And there’s being large pretty much means you must be an athlete. Or that you’re not very intelligent. Or that you don’t practice good/regular hygiene. Or you’re not active and must be lazy. Or that you must be lousy in bed (assuming you don’t crush the poor woman right?). (And of course there’s swinging the pendulum to the other side and making assumptions about small guys.)

But hey what do I know? I’m just an actual man rather than a woman trying to tell men what their lives are like. (Either that or I’m really missing something here.)

When I read that post I was reminded of an ad for that new music game Power Gig.

Notice what happens to the guy when the narrator says, “You don’t need to be sexy, or good looking.”

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18 Responses to And they say a man’s looks don’t matter…

  1. April says:

    So I was reading this post over at Renee’s about the Sexist Man Alive list done by Star magazine and I came across this one part that kinda made by blood boil.
    When we look at a man’s physical body, it is never seen as limiting his potential…
    Is it me or does it seem that some women love dictating what it is like to be a man?

    In Renee’s defense, I think a comment of hers, found later in the same paragraph in that blog post, is important to consider in conjunction with the one you mention:

    Women are routinely viewed as fuckable objects, rather than autonomous beings.

    While men are certainly subject to scrutiny over their appearance for any number of reasons, men who do not fit certain societal expectations of attractiveness tend to still be seen as individual and autonomous beings, whereas women do not, making the comparison between the two faulty in the first place.

    Women are valued primarily for their appearance, while men are not, which means that women who do not fit the prescribed beauty norms are practically worthless to society. At least, that’s the way women like this are treated.

    • Jim says:

      That’s not much of a defense because it’s a guess instead of an observation. Renee has quite frankly no experience of a lot of things she opines on. She is quite free with her observatrions of whiteness in which she pontificates on what white experience and don’t experience. It’s the same way with men. She has no clue at all about how men view men, or even about how other women view or treat men, and she is basically closed to any contrary argument.

      She can be a good source of informationn and insight on certian things, but she has no real analytical skills, and she’s not particulary rigorous or honest.

    • Danny says:

      Thing is Jim for the most part I can get along with what she says (we’ve bumped heads in the past but for the most part its all good) and when I do disagree with her its usually on civil terms. And as for being closed to contrary argument she’s not the problem. Its the mob of commenters that formed around her and appointed themselves as her guardians (her White Knights if you will).

      Her regular commenters are the reason I don’t post over there to often (while not a regular I’m particularly reminded of the of the time Cara of The Curvature literally told me to go fuck myself and nothing came of it yet when I dare to disagree I’m the jerk.). Simply put many of them simply cannot stand to have someone disagree with them and I worry that her blog will eventually become the echo similar to Feminste and Shakesville. Which is a damn shame because she I think that for the most part she has good stuff to say.

    • Jim says:

      I gave up when you and I both commented on how boys are enculturated never to hit girls under any circumstances and one of Renee’s self-righteous radfem half-wits started foaming about how we were trying to deny the lived experience of her and millions of other woman. Talk about an out of control narcissist. Who was disapperaing who. And Renee didn’t even bat an eye.

      Talk about moderation – I hit a lingusitics blog, Paleoglot, run by a guy who does Etruscan and other Aegean languages – obscure, I know, and he is an academic. He once banned a guy not for being uncivil but for being a solipsist and therefore by definition illogical! The guy rocks. Think of how much more civil things would have been all these years at FC if the same standard had been in force.

    • Danny says:

      I gave up when you and I both commented on how boys are enculturated never to hit girls under any circumstances and one of Renee’s self-righteous radfem half-wits started foaming about how we were trying to deny the lived experience of her and millions of other woman.
      I know right? You would think that for people that go on and on about intersectionality feminists would have the sense to recognize that gender oppression isn’t as black and white as men have all the pleasure and women have all the pain.

  2. Danny says:

    I get that you are trying get into the nuances of this but when I see something like this it just really puts me off. You see I’ve grown very sick of people (let’s be honest its usually women and privileged men) just casually writing men off as privileged bodies who have nothing to worry about in life. Like I said it would be one thing if she had said that it was different or broke it down like you are trying to here but she didn’t. She just flatly said that men’s looks are never seen as limiting and that is plainly not true.

    Let me ask you April. What do you think the reaction would be if I did a post here talking about how a woman’s money making and success ability had no bearing on her potential and left it at that. No mention of how men are routinely viewed as success object. No mention of how women are often kept out of the competition to be a successful money maker. Tell me with a straight face I could do that and not get called a mansplainer or that someone would not come behind me and make a reaction post like I just did.

    I’ll just have to come back to this later because I’m losing my cool now being kept awake by anger is the last thing I need when I have to wake up in 6 hours.

    • April says:

      Let me ask you April. What do you think the reaction would be if I did a post here talking about how a woman’s money making and success ability had no bearing on her potential and left it at that.

      Well, to be honest, I don’t think that a woman’s money making and success ability does have much bearing on her potential, at least not relative to the bearing it has on men. Do I think you’d get a negative reaction if you posted something like that on this blog? Well… Probably, from at least a couple commenters. But I don’t think you’d get attacked as a mansplainer. I think that for the most part, people are a little more enlightened than that.

      I’m sorry if I pissed you off with that, but I do just think that there are some things that are way fucking easier for men than women, and vice-versa. And I never mean every.single.man or every.single.woman. I just mean, for the most part, men don’t have to worry as much as women about some things. And for the most part, women don’t have to worry as much as men do about certain things. I’m not even saying one is worse than the other. I’m just noting that the differences exist.

    • Danny says:

      Well, to be honest, I don’t think that a woman’s money making and success ability does have much bearing on her potential, at least not relative to the bearing it has on men.
      But even as a person who is not a women I know full well that the reason that happens is because being a success object is a part of the script of being a man and not being a success object is a part of the script of being a woman. To just say that women are never success objects without going into why that happens would be dishonest, at least it would be so in my opinion.

      But I don’t think you’d get attacked as a mansplainer. I think that for the most part, people are a little more enlightened than that.
      I have to disagree with you on that one. And frankly I think the only reason it would not happen is because my own blog has a rather small audience. I’ve posted comments like this before on other blog have gotten everything from being told to fuck off, to being accused of derailing, to being called a whiner, to denying privilege, to trying to “make it all about teh menz”.

      I’m sorry if I pissed you off with that, but I do just think that there are some things that are way fucking easier for men than women, and vice-versa.
      Agreed. And if she had not lead off with “When we look at a man’s physical body, it is never seen as limiting his potential…” and then gone into throwing in all that mitigation (“oh well yeah it might bad but remember above else they are privileged”) I would have never done this post. It would have been a simple case of talking about different things.

      I just mean, for the most part, men don’t have to worry as much as women about some things. And for the most part, women don’t have to worry as much as men do about certain things. I’m not even saying one is worse than the other. I’m just noting that the differences exist.
      Agreed there are differences and actually noting them would be nice rather than just saying that one side is smooth sailing while the other is constantly burdened. I do it. You do it. The folks at Feminist Critics do it. Clarisse Thorn does it. But our thoughts and views are the minority opinion in comparison to all the loud voices that love to engage in “who has it worse” pissing matches.

      The part that pissed me off is that for a moment you seemed be agreeing with Renee’s nice, pretty, shiny, and simply incorrect telling of what men’s lives are like. (And don’t you find it funny people who say they are marginalized voices and are speaking up for themselves then go and try to speak for other people in the exact same manner that they don’t want done to them?)

    • April says:

      But even as a person who is not a women I know full well that the reason that happens is because being a success object is a part of the script of being a man and not being a success object is a part of the script of being a woman. To just say that women are never success objects without going into why that happens would be dishonest, at least it would be so in my opinion.

      That’s exactly what I’m saying. I’m not saying that women never are, but that men generally are.

      The part that pissed me off is that for a moment you seemed be agreeing with Renee’s nice, pretty, shiny, and simply incorrect telling of what men’s lives are like.

      I was agreeing with her later statement, that women in general are valued primarily on their appearance, but not with her generalization that “men don’t feel that.” I think that Renee has a tendency to write with a certain audience in mind, and that kind of generalized shorthand is fine when you assume all of your readers are making the same assumptions about what you’re saying, too. For instance, I would bet that the majority of Renee’s female readers didn’t think much of the statement you’re critiquing (I am not saying that’s a good thing), but that they also don’t believe that all men have it the way Renee says they do.

      if she had not lead off with “When we look at a man’s physical body, it is never seen as limiting his potential…” and then gone into throwing in all that mitigation (“oh well yeah it might bad but remember above else they are privileged”) I would have never done this post. It would have been a simple case of talking about different things.

      I see what you’re saying now. I was just trying to bring it together without really commenting on the fact that such a generalization was made in the first place… so I misunderstood and derailed the conversation. I’ll just go drink some more wine now, that’ll surely help.

    • Danny says:

      For instance, I would bet that the majority of Renee’s female readers didn’t think much of the statement you’re critiquing (I am not saying that’s a good thing), but that they also don’t believe that all men have it the way Renee says they do.
      Oddly enough there’s a good chance you’re right about that. Now consider this. Can you imagine if I or any man had written a post making similar remarks about women and it not get written off as being “blind to my privilege” or some silly shit like that? How is it that they hold themselves to a different (make that lower) standard that they hold others to? Its like we are supposed to know where they stand even if they don’t say the exact words but if we don’t say the right words and do the right actions its okay to write us off as women hating misogynists. Its a double standard that I’ve seen in many more places than Renee’s and such hypocrisy is part of why I’ll have nothing to do them beyond conversation and sharing views (yet in their eyes since me not lining up with them means that I’m the one that wrong and fucked up).

      I see what you’re saying now.
      Thanks for seeing it. There is a big difference between simply not bringing something up and declaring it doesn’t happen (especially when as you read such a declaration you know its bullshit).

      Imagine if in terms of beauty and appearance I were to say that men have a tough time with it because our definition of beauty is to look rough and rugged and that women get the easy way out by being allowed by society to wear make and pretty themselves up when you know good and hell well women don’t get off that easily (in fact I had a similar reaction there too).

  3. catullus says:

    Isn’t it supposed to be “sexiest man alive”?

  4. Melissa says:

    You’re absolutely right, but isn’t this more of a fat acceptance issue than a gender one?

    (But yeah, I hear ya that it’s not ok to say that something never happens to men just because it happens to women more. I think that was your point, and I agree with it. lol)

    • Melissa says:

      Then again, the fatosphere does tend to be pretty heavily female…

    • Jim says:

      And that is a fair point. Fat hatred is somewhat gendered in this society. Fat men and women are both discounted, but fat is more defeminizing than it is demasculinizing – it is both, but more defeminizing.

    • Danny says:

      True. I suppose this is why when it comes to opposing the way family courts are MRAs are on the front line while you barely hear whisper out of most feminists.

    • Danny says:

      Truthfully Melissa I’d rather not get tied up in which its more of an issue of. It crosses between both just as assuming a fat woman is pregnant.

      (But yeah, I hear ya that it’s not ok to say that something never happens to men just because it happens to women more. I think that was your point, and I agree with it. lol)
      Funny thing about. Take say the way family courts treat parents. There are MRAs and FRAs that push the point that noncustodial PARENTS (not just dads but moms and dads) get treated unfairly by the courts and there have been individual cases of the group Fathers and Families calling out men (such men being the new lovers of women who used dirty tactics to push dads out of their kids lives) who thought that since the groups was called Fathers and Families they would automatically side with men.

  5. You’re absolutely right, but isn’t this more of a fat acceptance issue than a gender one? (But yeah, I hear ya that it’s not ok to say that something never happens to men just because it happens to women more. I think that was your point, and I agree with it. lol)

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