Reconciling assholes for nearly a decade.

Maybe 20/20 isn't so bad after all.

# JuJu Chang talks with Norah Vincent, an author who conducted a secret experiment to find out what it's like to be one of the guys.

# John Stossel meets infomercial king, Kevin Trudeau, who's made a fortune selling people natural remedies. Do they work?

# And Bob Brown takes a tour of notorious hoaxes throughout history.

Please tell me the segments are all related.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 20th, 2006
The Million Little Pieces guy will be on too.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 20th, 2006
Woman who lived as a man for two years.

My total fantasy. Cool.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 20th, 2006
It would be cool to be a guy just so I could have a buzz cut and where men's shoes. Men's shoes are a dream. I love them.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 20th, 2006
Heh. You need to talk to Denman, he's got a shoe fetish.

It's the beard that puts it over the top.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 20th, 2006
Heh, picking up girls. Awesome. Intersting insight into male sexuality.

There's a book about this?
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 20th, 2006
A google on Norah Vincent came up with this, which I thought was interesting, if off topic.
http://www.strike-the-root.com/columns/Heberlein/heberlein7.html

And this bit from Salon was good, too.

>> As "Ned," she joined a bowling league, went to strip clubs, entered a monastery, dated heterosexual women (and slept with one of them), worked a sales job and went on a men's-movement retreat, all without being discovered. Some of Ned's social contacts found him pretty strange -- justifiably, from the sound of things -- but nobody, apparently, guessed his secret before being told. <<

I'm not sure what to make of her. She's definitely liberal, from her anti-smoking, the government has to pick up the costs of smokers, and men as a secret society angles. Part of her personality, I think wants to act out, with a strong "look at me" portion. Which given her chosen career, shouldn't be a surprise.
Permalink example 
January 20th, 2006
Found the book, I'm so picking this up.

Self-Made Man : One Woman's Journey into Manhood and Back
by Norah Vincent
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 20th, 2006
she's a cutie ... in the top one :)
http://norahvincent.net/SelfMadeMan.htm
Permalink PNII 
January 20th, 2006
Gotta love it. She becomes a man and finds out she is the one with all the preconceived prejudices. She is readily accepted. But. What does she expect? She's a MAN! They don't know she's a woman.

On the other hand, I prefer the company of men when I can remove the sex thing. I know that men feel pain in the pants constantly, so it makes me uncomfortable to be the object, but otherwise, men are wonderful creatures.

Being a man would certainly make it easier to hang out with them.  I would hate to be a man though, with that whole testosterone buzzing and having to always be on the hunt for pussy thing. I am excluded from male gatherings because at times because I introduce the pain in the penis thing.

What I wonder is, do men ever wish for a drug to take away that intense constant desire to fuck whatever moves?
Permalink sharkfish 
January 20th, 2006
The thing that would have given her away is her hands. While she has a generally "mannish" appearance, her hands are those of a woman.

Oh, and I have no desire to become a chemical eunuch. Testosterone is what makes the candle burn twice as bright.
Permalink example 
January 20th, 2006
Woah. WTF was that about? It's clear to me that you don't know the first thing about men.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 20th, 2006
I'd have to go NO! on that one, but opinions may vary. I've never, ever had the though "Oh God please, please take away the intense constant desire to fuck whatever moves - please, just long enough for me to hang with the girls?" BTW it's not constant ... just when woman (specific women) are around.
Permalink PNII 
January 20th, 2006
"What I wonder is, do men ever wish for a drug to take away that intense constant desire to fuck whatever moves?"

Yep.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 20th, 2006
Philo, I call bullshit. Really .... I mean really really really (stolen from Shrek)?????
Permalink PNII 
January 20th, 2006
Yep - even looked into treatments to lower testosterone. (don't bother - there aren't any for that justification, and they tend to cause cancer)

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 20th, 2006
" It's clear to me that you don't know the first thing about men."

I only know what I've been told. More than a handful of men have told me that they are constantly driven by their sex drive. And I have had the drive explained to me as a constant and prodding.


But. The two men I grew up with (dad and bro) do not seem to be similarly afflicted. They both have remarkably different attitudes about women from the ones I have met in the world. Could be that because I am related to them, I never get to see the other side.

My own drive has been intense at times. Those are not good times. I have made poor decisions at those times :)
Permalink sharkfish 
January 20th, 2006
Oh. No wonder you two get along so well, Philo really is the stereotypical man sharkfish is always complaining about.

[gdr]
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 20th, 2006
Yep, and sharky is the stereotypical bitch with a chip on her shoulder (though she's gotten better lately). But I've come to that conclusion based on observation, not her skin color or sex. :)

"But. The two men I grew up with (dad and bro) do not seem to be similarly afflicted."

Yeah. I can't wait to discuss my feelings about women with my daughters. That's gonna happen. ;)

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 20th, 2006
You are going to have that conversation... right before her first date.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 20th, 2006
wait a minute. MarkTAW takes aim at you Philo, and I'm the one who gets the snipe?

Sheesh. Who is the stereotype, now? Men hanging together, as usual.

Anyway, no, I don't expect that my male relatives discuss this issue with me, but hanging out with them long enough would show some cues about where their heads are at.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 20th, 2006
Gawd! I've got two of them <girls> one 12 the other 9. I dread the thought of them horny little fucking 'guys' starting to sniff around here (it's already sort of started with the older one) it's gonna kill me not to just sort of 'dial the evil little pricks in' during a quite moment together - them waiting to take my daughter on a date.
Permalink PNII 
January 20th, 2006
"You are going to have that conversation... right before her first date."

Ah, but that's all other men, not me. :)

"wait a minute. MarkTAW takes aim at you Philo, and I'm the one who gets the snipe?"

Sorry. Poor attempts at humor override fairness every time. :)

Or maybe I'm dipping your pigtails in ink because I like you?

No way of telling...

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 20th, 2006
PNII, this is going up on the entryway wall when she starts dating:

http://members.aol.com/Love4JULI/dad-rules.html

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 20th, 2006
"Or maybe I'm dipping your pigtails in ink because I like you?"


<Marge Simpson voice>
Hmph!
</>
Permalink sharkfish 
January 20th, 2006
Philo, already bookmarked :)

I may have got that link from a similar conversation here that you were involved in - the oldest one has been show it already.
Permalink PNII 
January 20th, 2006
woops, gotta go This Hour Has 22 Minutes is just coming on.
Permalink PNII 
January 20th, 2006
In a weird bit of synchronicity, I'm watching the episode of House where the issue comes up that a good-looking woman has a responsibility to know the effect she has on men when she mentions sex.

What do you think? Is a good-looking woman obligated to understand what happens to guys if she wears a short skirt or mentions sex?

The broader question - is there a burden to consider the reactions of others in the way you act?

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 20th, 2006
"More than a handful of men have told me that they are constantly driven by their sex drive."

You know what always amazed me about women. Their ability to talk about you right to your face and say that they're talking about "other men, not you." I guess it's a passive/aggressive attempt at resolving some sort of conflict.

I think this is something men tell women to excuse some of their more assholish behaviour. Sex drive isn't really any more intrusive than hunger or sleep. And as Philo illustrates, just like hunger and sleep, these drives are set at different levels in different men.

Starve me and hang a piece of meat in front of my face and see how I react. Also, the women who turn you on the most aren't necessarily the most attractive, it's the ones who are sending off the right kind of signals. I suspect you're a mixed message sender.

"Sorry. Poor attempts at humor override fairness every time. :)"

It wasn't that big of a shot, I'm not sure how it's an insult to say something about someone that he's just admitted to, especially when I ironically put his own sarcasm monicker on the end of it. I'm guessing Philo didn't feel a zing at all, or if he did it was momentary.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 20th, 2006
One of my female friends told me that it's a burden being so beautiful. That it's not her fault that women start putting on makeup whenever they get on the train.

But I've always found that there's a world of difference between an attractive woman and an attractive woman who puts too much effort into her appearance. If a woman is naturally beautiful and comfortable with it, it's one thing. But if she puts a lot of effort into her appearance, that makes _me_ self concious because I don't put a lot of effort into my appearance and I assume she's the kind of person who judges people on that.

Or to quote Stanley Kowalski, "I never met a dame yet that didn't know if she was good-looking or not without being told, and there's some of them that give themselves credit for more than they've got."

(None of is meant to directly answer Philo's question.)
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 20th, 2006
"The broader question - is there a burden to consider the reactions of others in the way you act? "

I dunno. Let's see...is it too much to expect men to not act like monkeys whenever women are around?

I think we all have a responsibility. The question is, to what degree. These things have cultural indications. Some cultures require women to cover up from head to toe to avoid anyone having to make these decisions. Those of us who live in societies where women are allowed to show SOME skin without social repercussions are lucky. But in America, where skin is allowed to show, you have the fear of "feminization" of men who decide not to respond to ankles showing.

It is all so confusing. Would women want a world where they were not in control of the social thing? Would women exchange that power for institutional power? These are the questions that interest me, personally. I wonder what my life will be like once I become "invisible" to men. It is fast approaching. Will I be relieved? Will men suddenly treat me as though I have a brain? Probably not.

Sigh.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 20th, 2006
"I've always found that there's a world of difference between an attractive woman and an attractive woman who puts too much effort into her appearance."

Yeah. Insecurity is unattractive. I once dated the most beautiful woman I had ever seen (up to then). Trying to go out to a party was an ordeal. The changing of the outfits, asking me "how does this look?" It was all so irritating. But I enjoyed being with someone who was the center of attention (and tall) as well as gorgeous.

You have to wonder the effect on people who are always forced to deal with their appearance in a direct, open way, when making first impressions. How would it be to be so beautiful that that is the thing people are struck by for most of your life, then suddenly as you age, have that same beauty become something you depend on to get you through (because you always had it)?

Nobody knows the torture of beautiful people the way I do. I have always been "almost" gorgeous, never drop-dead like most of my girlfriends. It made me develop people skills otherwise I would have faded in their shadow. At the same time, I enjoyed a comfort in knowing that my appearance wasn't the most important thing to me. There is comfort in knowing you have control over how you feel about yourself, that you don't depend on others to assess your self-image for you.

I spent several years obsessed with my own physicality, brought on by emotional suffering of my grandmother's death.

My grandmother was extremely special to me, but we had grown apart for reasons unrelated to the topic at hand.

When she died, my grieving process lasted two years, and during that time, I think I consumed her health issues and became obsessed with going to the gym to prevent my own, inherited health vulnerabilities.

I would run and run on the treadmill and lift and lift weights and go to an emotional space that was like a spiritual high and at the same time emotionally purging (sometimes I would cry while working out).

Anyway, long story short, I gained the kind of physique in my 30's that I never had before.

The male attention was overwhelming. It was awful to be forcedly reminded that my body was why people stopped to talk to me, why they stopped to assist me. I didn't even have to wear provocative clothes. Health and robustness, a little muscle, turns men and women on in a way I had no clue about until then.

I can say that it made me more cynical about human motivations.

So when we have these discussions, maybe this diatribe will help you understand where I'm coming from. The way we look as women is so important to society, but for different reasons than for men. When "it" is not there, women feel it in ways that can be utterly debilitating and emotionally crippling.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 21st, 2006
"Let's see...is it too much to expect men to not act like monkeys whenever women are around?"

But doesn't it cut both ways? Consider - if you have the right to wear a skirt with an itty-bitty hemline, don't I have the right to stare mercilessly? How could you logically make one okay but not the other?

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 21st, 2006
BTW, I understand what you're saying, and I'll agree it is absolutely unfair. I don't even have a guess as to how to address the issue, though.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 21st, 2006
"I'll agree it is absolutely unfair. "

I am not completely sure about that, as much as I often protest just the opposite ;). Women do have a certain power. I'll admit that it is what makes men angry: we have something you don't and you want really badly.

Re: "men behaving like monkeys" - I was being facetious. The paragraphs after that were my real answer.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 21st, 2006
>> When "it" is not there, women feel it in ways that can be utterly debilitating and emotionally crippling.

I'm not sure it's so different for men. As you saw from the special, in those very same interactions you're talking about, it's the women that have all the power and "with a single word, a woman can crush a man." And for men it's worse, there is no arc they're either attractive or unattractive or somewhere in the middle for their entire lives. Sure they can work out like you did, but in my life I've only known one man who went from fat to muscular, and he did it in his late teens driven by, probably, a lifetime of being ridiculed for being grossly overweight.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 21st, 2006
"Women do have a certain power."

Hey! Didn't I say that a while ago? [grump]
Though I am constantly amused by the women who sincerely don't seem to realize this.

"Re: "men behaving like monkeys" - I was being facetious"

I wasn't. Remember - *I* get way more of the locker room talk than you ever will. (Yes, I'm serious - it's that bad)

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 21st, 2006
" I don't even have a guess as to how to address the issue, though. "

Sigh. I grew up with a couple of women who regularly do Pantene commercials and couple who appear on billboards for GAP and what-not all over Chicago.

I had an argument with their older sister. What are they going to do when their beauty fades? Are they saving that modeling money? Are they going to school, gonna get married, what? I asked her these questions rhetorically. We all know what happens to women who spend too much effort on appearance and nothing on substance: they end up with bad marriages to men who cheat on them with younger, more beautiful women.

..

One of the reasons I sometimes wonder how it would be to switch genders is because I would like to remove the burden of appearance.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 21st, 2006
"I wasn't. Remember - *I* get way more of the locker room talk than you ever will. (Yes, I'm serious - it's that bad)"

Wait a minute - the locker room talk - is this from women, or men?

What are these women saying to you? Are they pointing at your weinie and laughing?
Permalink sharkfish 
January 21st, 2006
"I would like to remove the burden of appearance."

Do you honestly think men don't care about their apperance?
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 21st, 2006
No, I mean from men - that I'm sure they *do* act like monkeys. :)

Yeah, nothing like hearing "Oh man, I'd do her in the pooper!" almost constantly while watching TV... (while I was in the Navy)

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 21st, 2006
>> The male attention was overwhelming. It was awful to be forcedly reminded that my body was why people stopped to talk to me, why they stopped to assist me. I didn't even have to wear provocative clothes. Health and robustness, a little muscle, turns men and women on in a way I had no clue about until then.

I can say that it made me more cynical about human motivations. <<

The biology hardwires that into us (humans). There's no getting around it. There are certain ratios of people's features (waist-to-hip measurements, on women; shoulder width to waist, on men) that the brain recognizes automatically. In addition, good health is always attractive.

Everything else is cultural norms. OMG, she showed an ankle. Dare I look? What if she saw me looking?
Permalink example 
January 21st, 2006
"Do you honestly think men don't care about their apperance?"

Look around - does it LOOK like we do?

[beatcha to the punch, sharky!]

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 21st, 2006
You mean office nerds, or where I usually see men - college campuses and night clubs?
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 21st, 2006
"I'm not sure it's so different for men. As you saw from the special, in those very same interactions you're talking about, it's the women that have all the power and "with a single word, a woman can crush a man." And for men it's worse, there is no arc they're either attractive or unattractive or somewhere in the middle for their entire lives. Sure they can work out like you did, but in my life I've only known one man who went from fat to muscular, and he did it in his late teens driven by, probably, a lifetime of being ridiculed for being grossly overweight."


Lots of people transform themselves. It really isn't that difficult. It is all a mind game. The key is, how bad do you want it...and remember, once you get it, you have to deal with it. It is no bullshit when those people who go through those reality TV makeovers have to deal with depression after becoming gorgeous. That is a real issue, whether you gain it naturally or under the knife.

Anyway, the guys at work, in reference to the power thing, complain about women being attuned to MONEY more than looks.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 21st, 2006
I mean walking down the street in NYC.

However, I do agree that men are perfectly capable of preening as much as women do.

I just thought of this - tell me what you think:
Most women think they're ugly and will never be good enough, no matter how good they look.
Most men think they're handsome and will never lose their looks, no matter how bad they look.

Hmmm...

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 21st, 2006
Wait a sec - I see a major cultural divide between MarkTAW and Philo here.

TAW - men care about their appearance -

Philo - no they don't and they do act like monkeys.

Hmmm. TAW, are you a metrosexual? ;0
Permalink sharkfish 
January 21st, 2006
"Anyway, the guys at work, in reference to the power thing, complain about women being attuned to MONEY more than looks."

Both doesn't hurt.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 21st, 2006
"I mean walking down the street in NYC."

On a typical subway ride, I'd say well groomed men and well groomed women are about evenly matched.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 21st, 2006
Not really, though I guess I could be. Most of my friends are girls, and heck, I was the only guy in an otherwise all girl rock band.

I'm talking about observation here. There has always been a group of guys who dress a cut above the rest, and usually work out, and they hang out with the girls who do the same. They go to clubs and try to meet women.

Then there's the guys who put some work into their appearance, but aren't willing to go the extra effort and break out of the patterns of how their parents dresed them. They tend to hang out with their friends mostly and date within their social circle.

And then there's the group that just doesn't put any effort into their appearance. These are the guys with no self esteem, and they usually don't associate with either girls at all, or women above their stature, they tend not to date much at all.

I fall basically into the second group, and if I had a bunch of money I'd probably slide into the first. But, since I'm in a long-term, serious relationship, I don't have to go around trying to attract a mate, but I also have no trouble talking to women either.

But then, I put about zero effort into my appearance. My hair style is "Just got out of the shower and rode my bike 10 minutes to school." I do want to start working out again, though. It's half vanity, half health. Throughout my youth, up until I was around 24 and went backpacking, I was really muscular. I had a six pack like you wouldn't believe. I gained about 10 lbs on the road that I never lost. I still look pretty good, but I wouldn't mind bigger arms and less stomach.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 21st, 2006
>I am excluded from male gatherings because at times because I introduce the pain in the penis thing.
From what you've described earlier about the kidding and stuff that guys at your office tell you, it sounds to me like you cross over into the "one of the boys" zone. Although tossing wadded up paper to see if it sticks in your cleavage, well, that's not something a guy would do to another guy.

>What I wonder is, do men ever wish for a drug to take away that intense constant desire to fuck whatever moves?
Yes.
Permalink Peter 
January 21st, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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