Why I Don't Call Myself An Equalist

Feminism is a word that – to me – stands for the proposition that sexism sucks; that what’s between our legs doesn’t dictate who we are or what we can do; that women are unfairly disadvantaged in our society; and that we should be actively working to change all that. I’m not gonna back away from a word that means all that.

The reason that people object to “feminist” but not “equalist” isn’t that “equalist” is a better word. It’s that no one knows what equalism stands for.

But what would happen if all feminists decided that “feminist” was a bad word, and switched to “equalist”? Within a month, all the right-wingers who have worked so hard at making feminism a swear word would re-aim their guns at “equalist.” Whatever the word is that means “our status quo sucks, it hurts all of us but women especially, and it’s gotta change,” that word will be reviled.

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156 Responses to Why I Don't Call Myself An Equalist

  1. 101
    nobody.really says:

    There is no meaningful definition of “metrosexual” that encompasses the men on that list.

    Well, often people are defined in terms of what they are not.

    I’ve been wondering how the list of 100 sexiest men would have looked different in past eras. Specifically, where are the Sylvester Stalones? The Chuck Norrises? The Bruce Lees? The Arnold Schwarzeneggers? And mostly, the John Waynes? This seems potentially important, given that both Reagan and George W. Bush modeled themselves to some extent on cowboys. If the new generation of Americans don’t feel attracted to this persona, this might have future political consequences.

  2. 102
    Jake Squid says:

    It’s funny to watch men on this thread struggle to maintain traditional gender roles which proves my point exactly. Men want to maintain gender roles, women and feminists want to change them. Men (including men on this thread troll and non-troll alike) keep saying “Women like jerks and macho men,” women say “No, you assholes, we don’t.

    This is purely insane. I want to maintain gender roles? I think my years of commenting here and elsewhere prove otherwise.

    Please point me to where I have said, anywhere , “Women like jerks and macho men.”

    It’s not my fault that your list doesn’t prove your point nor is it my fault that you are unable to define “feminine looks,” nor is it my fault that you ascribe positions to me that I am solidly on record as being against.

    When you want to have a conversation that’s based in reality, let me know.

    Wow.

  3. 103
    donna darko says:

    Someone said Keanu Reeves is a manly man! LOL

    Daniel Craig was voted World’s Sexiest Man in 2006 because of his role in Casino Royale touted by feminists as the first feminist Bond.

    Here’s reality. How many have feminine features and/or bodies and non-dominant/wife beating personalities. Here you go:

    1. Brad Pitt
    2. Jake Gyllenhaal
    3. Orlando Bloom
    4. Johnny Depp
    5. Clive Owen
    6. Jose Mourinho
    7. Shayne Ward
    8. Daniel Craig
    9. Simon Jones
    10. Olivier Martinez
    11. George Clooney
    12. Thierry Henry
    13. Robbie Williams
    14. David Beckham
    15. Jude Law
    16. Josh Holloway
    17. Adam Brody
    18. Pete Doherty
    19. Alex Zane
    20. David Tennant
    21. Gavin Henson
    22. Heath Ledger
    23. Leonardo DiCaprio
    24. Joaquin Phoenix
    25. Prince William
    26. Preston
    27. Matthew Fox
    28. Jonny Wilkinson
    29. Jamie Foxx
    30. Vince Vaughn
    31. Hugh Grant
    32. Freddie Ljungberg
    33. Vernon Kaye
    34. Colin Farrell
    35. Dermot O`Leary
    36. Justin Timberlake
    37. Ewan McGregor
    38. Fabrizio Moretti
    39. Ashton Kutcher
    40. Usher
    41. Jason Statham
    42. Eminem
    43. Keanu Reeves
    44. Matthew McConaughey
    45. Owen Wilson
    46. Viggo Mortensen
    47. Matt LeBlanc
    48. James Cracknell
    49. Antonio Banderas
    50. Calum Best
    51. Tom Cruise
    52. Ralph Fiennes
    53. Goran Visnjic
    54. Andrew `Freddie` Flintoff
    55. Will Smith
    56. Prince Harry
    57. Naveen Andrews
    59. Brandon Flowers
    60. Colin Firth
    61. Simon Webbe
    62. Pierce Brosnan
    63. Jean Christoph Novelli
    64. Michael Owen
    65. Gael Garcia Bernal
    66. Carl Barat
    67. Mick Jagger
    68. Steve Jones
    69. Jason Lee
    70. Cillian Murphy
    71. Max Beesley
    72. Paul Bettany
    73. Matt James
    74. Nigel Harman
    75. Jonathan Ross
    76. Lee Ryan
    77. Richard Fleeshman
    78. Jamie Oliver
    79. Steven Gerrard
    80. Damian Lewis
    81. Anthony Head
    82. Jason Orange
    83. Andrew Lincoln
    84. Jody Latham
    85. James McAvoy
    86. Daniel Radcliffe
    87. Patrick Dempsey
    88. Robert Webb
    89. Adrien Brody
    90. Johnny Knoxville
    91. Paul Walker
    92. David Cameron
    93. James Blunt
    95. Ashley Cole
    96. Colin Murray
    97. Ben Shephard
    98. Will Young
    99. Gordon Ramsay
    100. Alex Turner

    1. Matthew McConaughey
    2. Jake Gyllenhaal
    3. Chris Evans
    4. Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Dancing with the Stars)
    5. Ludacris
    6. Kenny Chesney
    7. Blake Lewis (American Idol)
    8. Adrien Grenier
    9. Apolo Ohno
    10. Justin Timberlake

    Only two didn’t make the list: Russell Crowe and Sean Penn. Speaking of Daniel Craig and 2006, here’s the list from 2006. Very similar:

    World’s Sexiest Man top ten:
    1. Daniel Craig
    2. Clive Owen
    3. Jude Law
    4. Steve Jones
    5. George Clooney
    6. Johnny Depp
    7. David Beckham
    8. Robbie Williams
    9. Orlando Bloom
    10. Pierce Brosnan

  4. 104
    Joe says:

    Wait, Emminem is sexy? So is Jason Lee? In what universe? Let’s see, the one’s I think of as metro are

    2, 3, 4, 13, 15, 22, 23, 31,36, 39, 40, 43, 45, 51, 62, 67 (that’s 16)

    The ones I think aren’t (no middle ground allowed)

    1 (saw him first in fight club. that’s the image that stuck with me) , 5, 11, 29, 30!, 34!, 37, 41!, 42, 44, 46, 69, 94 (that’s 13)

    The rest I don’t really know anything about. Well I know who prince william is but I couldn’t put a face to it.

    Based on this detailed 2 minutes of thought I think this list is silly and means nothing.

  5. 105
    Joe says:

    My hunch is that donna spent about as much time thinking about it as I did before posting.

  6. 106
    Mandolin says:

    Argh. Lost comment.

    OK, gist — I don’t know much about these particular celebs. There is definitely, however, an argument for Craig being metrosexual, or at least more feminine in his gender presentation. Other feminine men who make women swoon, who occur to me, are Gyllenhall and Depp.

    Without locking ourselves into this list, I think we can all agree that there are a large number of feminine men who make ladies swoon. In particular, there are sections of overtly sexual feminine culture that are devoted to feminine men, including parts of slash fandom.

    Now — I’d appreciate it if everyone would be a bit more civil.

    Donna, I’m pretty sure that Jake Squid, along with Sailor and Joe (possibly among others), are in favor of knocking down gender constratings on masculinity.

    Joe and others, I don’t know what criteria Donna is using for defining metrosexual (partially because many of these names don’t mean anything to me), but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have any.

    Donna, would you be willing to explain a bit more about what you feel metrosexuality is?

  7. 107
    Mandolin says:

    The original argument, that feminist women are policing men’s gender roles, is … problematic, to say the least. Not only is it heterosexist, but it presumes to understand individual feminist’s sexual tastes in a way that is incredibly misogynist. I imagine that at this point, most of us are on the same point in regard to that.

  8. 108
    jan says:

    I reckon Donna Darko makes my point that feminists believe in sexist stereotypes and masculine superiority more than anybody else except pornographers, because those that I recognise at all from her list of ‘feminine’ men, I would call just as men have always been before a few sexist females came along to say that men weren’t like that at all but were all John Wayne in 1950s US Marines recruitment poster and those misogynist women who’d subverted what ‘real feminism’ once had to say in the 1960s envied like hell.

    Now it’s ‘anti-globalism’ and Greenpeace and of course pagans and Wiccans that respect women as having value as people and ‘genetrices’ of the human race than as the mere economic objects like men that every woman I’ve seen who calls herself ‘feminist’ seeks to reduce them to. Every woman I respect wants to liberate both women and men from that economic exploitation and those who call themselves ‘feminist’ are in the forefront of defining women as inferiors, and if they disagree, then even greater inferiors, puppets controlled by the men those ‘feminists’ cast as a Conspiracy Theory in total control that they can only cry helpless little girly against.

  9. 109
    Mandolin says:

    “that every woman I’ve seen who calls herself ‘feminist’ seeks to reduce them to, and every woman I respect wants to liberate both women and men from.”

    Jan, you’ve just insulted every woman on this blog and in this thread with no evidence. I’m afraid that you are no longer welcome here.

  10. 110
    Tom Nolan says:

    DD

    Daniel Craig was voted World’s Sexiest Man in 2006 because of his role in Casino Royale touted by feminists as the first feminist Bond

    Oh right, a man who casually exploits one woman (Solange) as a source of information before abandoning her to death and torture – a fact which leaves him entirely unmoved when he later sees her corpse, by the way – and who refers to his deceased love-interest (Vesper Lind) as a “bitch” at the end of the film counts as a “feminist” Bond.

    Was Le Chiffre a feminist too, I wonder?

  11. 112
    Joe says:

    Mandolin, my assumption was that donna was being somewhat silly on purpose. That’s why I responded the way I did.

    Top 100 lists are silly in general. i remember when John Stewert interviewed some musician who’d been voted best artist of the millennium. They both laughed that bach didn’t make the list.

  12. 113
    Mandolin says:

    Oh, hi Joe.

    I thought you emailed that comment to me. Turns out I’m email subscribed somehow. Ignore my private email response. :-)

  13. 114
    SarahMC says:

    Why do people keep crediting feminism with things feminism actually opposes? Like strict gender roles? Women should not have to live up to the construct of “femininity” & men should not have to live up to the construct of “masculinity.” If individuals feel that they truly are masculine/feminine, regardless of their sex, great. If not, great. Sooooo, how are feminists anti-man again?

    Z attacked a lot of strawfeminists in her posts; her comments revealed a deep misunderstanding of “feminism” and its ideals. She calls herself “anti-sexist” but admitted to holding a number of sexist attitudes. Learn what “sexist” and “feminist” actually mean before making broad proclamations about them.

  14. 115
    Tom Nolan says:

    Mandolin

    Craig may have “sold” his Bond as progressive and feminist, but the Bond he actually delivered was brutish and macho to the last degree.

  15. 116
    Thene says:

    The ‘bitch’ line came from the original Fleming novel, and in context it’s a very powerful one, and I’m glad the film preserved it. I don’t see it as an anti-woman line either, really, because it’s something of an acknowledgement that Vesper had won, that Vesper had always had more power than JB. There’s a lovely passage in the novel about how troubled JB was that Vesper had proved all this macho posturing was for naught, because she’d been more powerful than him without any such posturing. That passage does distinctly follow gender roles, but it says that a traditional ‘male’ macho-thriller role is less powerful than a traditional female one within the scope of a thriller novel (not suggesting that that was true IRL in the 1950s, but it sure as hell isn’t a misogynist way of writing a thriller). Vesper is a ‘bitch’ because she’s better than him, she’s conquered him. I like using the word ‘bitch’ that way myself, so I won’t begrudge Fleming for its use.

    I don’t want to pick apart that film for the purpose of gender point-scoring, but I do think it was glowingly feminist in terms of the way Craig’s body was presented to the camera. Seeing a male body so blatantly sexualised in a mainstream film was a joy. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen the female gaze catered to like that. (The Girl wrote a bit about that aspect of feminist film-viewing once).

  16. 117
    Tom Nolan says:

    If you want to believe that not only Craig’s Bond, but the Bond of the novels too, is “really” feminist that’s fine by me. I’ll just have to get used to the idea that a hyper- aggressive, fast-sports-car-driving, love-em-and-leave-em psychopath can make the grade these days, and that when he calls a woman a “bitch” he is paying oblique tribute to how very powerful she is.

    Isn’t the truth that a glamorous, dominant guy who is as good at bedding women as he is at killing men, and who has a well-developed body to boot, appeals to many feminist women for exactly the same reason that he appeals to many non-feminist women: just because he’s glamorous, dominant etc.? And isn’t the claim that Bond is “really “feminist just an attempt to square sexual attraction with feminist beliefs?

  17. 118
    Thene says:

    Um, I never said that I thought either Craig’s Bond or Fleming’s Bond was feminist – in fact, I explicitly said that I had no intention of picking the film apart for that. I merely said that the use of the word ‘bitch’ was not misogyny in the context of the novel. (It’s a misogynist novel, like almost all novels written by men in the 1950s, but that doesn’t particularly prevent me from enjoying it, or from enjoying its attempts to grapple with gender and with moral ambiguities – two topics that were too introspective to really get on screen, sadly).

    You’re right about his ‘bad-boy’ appeal, but I think that the cinematography of Casino Royale deliberately invites the female gaze in a very rare way. This isn’t squaring attraction with beliefs, it’s joy at seeing attraction acknowledged for once.

  18. 119
    Tom Nolan says:

    Fair enough, Thene. I think we’re basically in agreement. It’s just that Craig’s Bond was being presented as “feminist” upthread. I misinterpreted your post as supporting that view, but I now see that I was mistaken.

  19. 120
    donna darko says:

    Daniel Craig is the first Bond I liked because he was in touch with his feminine side. The film employs the female gaze instead of the male gaze which is a first for Bond movies. He’s also very respectful towards the two women. One is unhappy with her boyfriend and wants to sleep with him but he’s too busy fighting evil and she is killed by someone else. Vesper drowns because she betrays Bond. The killing and violence was to fight evil while he is very respectful towards the two women. It’s the first Bond movie feminists liked which makes it the first feminist Bond movie and Craig the first feminist Bond.

    I said metrosexuals were men with “feminine features and/or bodies and non-dominant/non-wife beating personalities.” Originally, metrosexuals were high-maintenance men like David Beckham (#14 sexiest man in the world). This week, he was named the new Armani underwear model. You can’t get more feminine than that. We should just use the words “men with feminine features and/or bodies and non-dominant aka wife beating personalities.” That’s 95% of these lists.

    I don’t think they’re silly at all. Nor is the study that says women prefer feminine men as long-term partners. Google any of these lists. Women’s tastes have changed. Imagine the impact on a global scale. Men often say attracting women is their main motivation in life. Imagine if men knew women preferred “men with feminine features and/or bodies and non-dominant aka wife beating personalities.” Imagine if men knew women preferred feminist girly men. We’d have a world of feminist, girly men. Like it or not.

    Part of it is the new globalized economy in which women are more educated and have more choices. All over Europe, Asia and North America, women are marrying later and having fewer children. Women have more choices. In the new globalized economy, it seems from these lists that women choose nicer, feminine men over macho men who support them financially.

  20. 121
    Bjartmarr says:

    Men often say attracting women is their main motivation in life.

    Amongst the dozen or so men I know well, I am quite confident that zero percent often say that attracting women is their main motivation in life.

    If I cared, I’d be insulted. But I don’t, so I’m not.

  21. 122
    donna darko says:

    They may not say it but I’ll be slightly silly:

    “In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women.” –Scarface

    Why is “women” last? Aren’t “women” the ultimate goal?

    Scarface was about the “American dream.” Money and power can now be other kinds of power but the ultimate goal is “women.”

  22. 123
    sylphhead says:

    donna, it’s not every staid blog discussion that ends up debating how girly the new Bond is, quotes Teen Beat magazine, and tackles the ever elusive and fun topic of women’s taste in men. For that, I tip my hat a tu.

    Just to roll with the interesting discussion here, though, what exactly qualifies as a “feminine” feature to you? I can understand thin face and doe-ish eyes (Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp) but protruding cheekbones and jawline with smallish eyes (Brad Pitt)? A scraggly, bearded face that never smiles once through one and a half hours of another traditionally macho role (Clive Owen)? I suspect “feminine” here is just a synonym for good-looking. Which would be all right, but ya gotta admit that that renders it a redundant, useless term.

    And yes, I’ve admitted that I’m familiar with many of the people on that list and how they look like. I realize that this will probably be used against me in the future.

    The fact that every single man on this thread has stridently disagreed with you should tell you something. Really, why do you think that is? Maybe it’s because we’re all trying to justify beating our wives and girlfriends, but I doubt it.

    I do agree that women’s tastes have changed somewhat, but I think you’re grossly oversimplifying it.

    I reckon Donna Darko makes my point that feminists believe in sexist stereotypes and masculine superiority more than anybody else except pornographers, because those that I recognise at all from her list of ‘feminine’ men, I would call just as men have always been before a few sexist females came along to say that men weren’t like that at all but were all John Wayne in 1950s US Marines recruitment poster and those misogynist women who’d subverted what ‘real feminism’ once had to say in the 1960s envied like hell.

    Now it’s ‘anti-globalism’ and Greenpeace and of course pagans and Wiccans that respect women as having value as people and ‘genetrices’ of the human race than as the mere economic objects like men that every woman I’ve seen who calls herself ‘feminist’ seeks to reduce them to. Every woman I respect wants to liberate both women and men from that economic exploitation and those who call themselves ‘feminist’ are in the forefront of defining women as inferiors, and if they disagree, then even greater inferiors, puppets controlled by the men those ‘feminists’ cast as a Conspiracy Theory in total control that they can only cry helpless little girly against.

    jan, are you aware that all of the preceding was only three sentences? Perhaps if you weren’t so quick to throw together every anti-equality one-liner you’ve heard in the past year, you’d have to time to write in a manner that conveys some sense.

    And btw, “Equalist” is a shit term. People who aren’t willing to fight for their name are the type who aren’t willing to fight for anything at all. This country needs more old-fashioned, red-blooded liberals and feminists and fewer “progressives” and “equalists”. And the largest number of “progressive centrists” allowed to exist is hereby zero.

  23. 124
    donna darko says:

    Salon.com’s “Sexist Man Living 2006″ was Stephen Colbert. Stephen Colbert! He’s very feminine.

    This week’s People magazine’s 100 Sexiest Men is 90% identical to the lists here. People magazine is mainstream unlike Salon.com. Matt Damon is decidedly feminist. Clive Owen has a masculine face but if you look at all these men’s bodies, except for Russell Crowe (I don’t think he made the People magazine list), none are hulking manly men.

    FTR, I don’t care about Gyllenhaal but he’s on all these lists.

    Men on this thread are in denial and threatened that women’s tastes have changed. Men can no longer hide behind blaming the victim. “Women like jerks.” “Women like macho men.”

    Not true. Probably never true.

    Sylphhead, you’ve now defended MRAs, PUAs and stereotypical gender roles at Alas. You’re on the wrong side.

  24. 125
    Tom Nolan says:

    Donna

    Men on this thread are in denial and threatened that women’s tastes have changed

    An Apology

    Yes, the truth is that I’m an old-style manly-man myself. I look a bit like the Incredible Hulk, only I’m not green and I’m covered in thick, tangled, greasy body hair. And my chest is so huge that I have to lean forward at a forty-five degree angle against a wall if I want to see my own feet. It would be immodest of me to mention the size of my manhood, of course – suffice it to say that it’s absolutely colossal. I spend most evenings trying to dominate girly-girls at discos with my booming, John Wayne-style voice, and until a few years ago I was the talk of the town.

    Can you imagine my enraged sense of cheated entitlement that women these days ignore my yak-scented charms to go running after mincing metrosexuals such as Daniel Craig, Jake Gyllenhaal and the rest of those eunuchs?

    Donna, you are so, so right. And I am so, so pissed off.

  25. 126
    Charles says:

    Donna,

    Please cut out the argumentation through insult.

    You have no idea of the gender presentation of any of the men that you are arguing with, nor do you seem to have the faintest idea of their positions with respect to feminism. Your argument that the various hunky men of your lists are all feminine in appearance and that this proves that women don’t care if men wear dresses (how many of the men on the lists you cite wear dresses regularly? None?) is simply an idiotic argument with no legitimacy (independent of the original claim that women do not participate in restricting the culturally acceptable range of male gender presentation, which is a contentious question that deserves intelligent discussion that it has so far seen far too little of in this thread) and that is why people are arguing against it.

    Although Mandolin may have appeared to be defending your argument, her description of the argument seems to me to only be an accurate description of the ridiculous anti-feminist arguments made by Jan, which had nothing to do with your argument or Jake or Sailorman (or Robert’s) counter-arguments. Your original claim was not that feminists as feminists do not play any part in restricting men’s gender presentation, nor do the lists of of the top 100 hottest men have much to do with the activities of feminists as feminists.

    Personally, I find the idea that a hulking brute like Daniel Craig is feminine in appearance ridiculous because I merely need to compare his appearance to my own to know that if he is feminine in appearance, there isn’t a word for what I am in appearance, and I am not all that close to the feminine end of the appearance spectrum. Likewise, the idea that soccer superstar David Beckham wearing nothing but tight underwear is as feminine as a man could possibly be is simply absurd. Admittedly, Beckham was labeled as the ultimate metrosexual in a famous (and impressively homophobic and misogynist) essay by Mark Simpson, but that demonstrates that metrosexual does not equal feminine more than it demonstrates anything about Beckham’s femininity.

    Even ignoring that most of the men on those lists are not particularly feminine, I think the idea of equating a femininity of appearance defined by relatively fixed traits like thin, high eyebrows and a delicate chin with egalitarian and non-abusive relationship attitudes (as you have repeatedly done) is idiotic, given that chins and eyebrows are not something people have much control over. Equating dress-wearing femininity of appearance with egalitarian and anti-abusive relationship attitudes would rise to the level of merely naive, but still makes little sense. It is perfectly possible for a man to wear dresses and be a misogynist or an abuser. Nor is it necessary to be feminine in appearance to be an egalitarian or a feminist. Daniel Craig may be a feminist, in which case “Yay!” but he sure as hell isn’t feminine in appearance, and his lack of femininity in appearance doesn’t say anything one way or the other about his feminism or whether he is egalitarian and non-abusive in relationships.

    The reason you are getting mockery and derision is because your arguments and your use of evidence is absurd and embarrassing, not because anyone is afraid of the idea that women find men as feminine as Daniel Craig sexy. Note that no one has disputed Mandolin’s claim that Eddie Izzard is sexy, only your claim that all of the men on your lists are clearly feminine in appearance.

  26. 127
    Mandolin says:

    Lost… extremely long comment… discussing the ways in which it’s basically impossible to discuss celebrities as feminine, masculine, metrosexual, etc. in appearance as basically all the cues we get on these things are derived from context and presentation signals. Included photos clipped from google with analyses of how they were intended to cue viewer. Growl.

  27. 128
    Charles says:

    Mandolin,

    Damn, that sucks. I would have loved to read it, because: yes.

  28. 129
    Myca says:

    Well said, Charles.

  29. 130
    Myca says:

    Also, to follow up on what Charles said here:

    Even ignoring that most of the men on those lists are not particularly feminine, I think the idea of equating a femininity of appearance defined by relatively fixed traits like thin, high eyebrows and a delicate chin with egalitarian and non-abusive relationship attitudes (as you have repeatedly done) is idiotic, given that chins and eyebrows are not something people have much control over.

    I am of a very masculine appearance. I have a barrel chest, broad shoulders, and much facial and body hair. I really resent the unspoken implication of your argument, that because of that, I am somehow more likely to be an abusive partner.

    —Myca

  30. 131
    Sailorman says:

    I used to beat my wife, but now she more often beats me.

    (at scrabble)

  31. 132
    sylphhead says:

    “Sylphhead, you’ve now defended MRAs, PUAs and stereotypical gender roles at Alas. You’re on the wrong side.”

    1. Please tell me when I have defended MRAs.

    2. What’s a ‘PUA’? I kind of have an inkling, but I want to make sure.

    3. You are now accusing everyone who doesn’t see David Beckham in his underwear the same way you do of embracing spousal abuse as a lifestyle. Please take a step back and consider what you’ve said and where this is going, because you look like you are completely losing your mind.

  32. 133
    Mandolin says:

    PUA = Pick-up Artist.

  33. 134
    sylphhead says:

    Ah, so my inkling was correct.

    On a lighter note, do you really not care about Jake Gyllenhaal, donna? I always thought your name was a takeoff on Donnie Darko, which starred Gyllenhaal.

  34. 135
    Jan says:

    [Jan, I believe Mandolin banned you back in comment #109. Please stop posting comments on this blog. Thank you for respecting this.

    --Amp]

  35. 136
    Mandolin says:

    Jan re: the comment that you’ve left in moderation,

    I’m one of the moderators and post-writers on this blog and therefore empowered to ban people. All of the correspondance you had via email with the blog moderators was with me, so I’m a bit surprised that you didn’t understand that I was a moderator here. Your original comment was made on one of my posts, and I’m the person who redirected you to this thread.

    Without evidence, you have said that all feminists you’ve had contact with are misogynist. You have failed to provide evidence to back up the assertion that even some feminists you’ve had contact with are misogynist, while simultaneously not seeming to understand that you are conversing here with feminists, who you’ve therefore had contact with — and are therefore calling misogynist, without substantiation.

    I’ll let you make a couple more comments, if you like, so you can consider yourself unbanned for now. But please try to be aware that you’re expected to provide evidence for your assertions, and to demonstrate a basic level of respect toward the other comments and knowledge about the subject on which you’re writing. If you can’t do those things, I’ll have to ask you again to leave.

  36. 137
    donna darko says:

    I love how the men don’t read women’s comments carefully here. Daniel Craig is not feminine-looking. I said he’s in touch with his feminine side in Casino Royale. He even requested to do a gay scene in Casino Royale II. A boyfriend gave me the name donna darko after I saw the movie Donnie Darko which I didn’t care for. I told him it reminded me of Twin Peaks which I was crazy about.

    ALL THE MEN’S DEFENSIVENESS about the overwhelmingly feminine features or bodies or personalities of the hottest men in the world proves my point. Women like change, men resist it.

  37. 139
    Sailorman says:

    donna darko Writes:
    November 17th, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    I love how the men don’t read women’s comments carefully here.

    As one of “the men” where are you getting that from? I looked at your comments in this very thread, and found:

    donna darko Writes:
    November 13th, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    The 100 Sexiest Men in the World [ed.: Daniel craig is listed at #8] are all metrosexuals. There’s not a single manly man among them. [ed.: with the apparent exception of Russell Crowe, as per Donna's comment in the following post: "Russell Crowe is #94. I missed that one. He’s the one manly man in a sea of metrosexual, feminine men. Did you look at the other 99?"] This is the list that comes up most when you google “100 sexiest men” or “100 hottest men.” Daniel Craig (#8) looks manly but his feminine qualities made him arguably the sexiest Bond ever.

    and also

    donna darko Writes:
    November 13th, 2007 at 2:33 pm
    To the normal people on this thread, the 100 sexiest men in the world are decidedly feminine, meaning their looks are feminine. …The 10 hottest bachelors in the US [ed.: this includes Daniel Craig, I think] are decidedly feminine. …Notice Daniel Craig replaced Sean Connery, a wifebeater. There’s probably a correlation between the desire for feminine men and men who aren’t likely beat you who are more romantic and sensitive. …
    Check mate. The game is over.

    Rather than accusing all the men in the thread of being incapable of reading your posts, you might reread your own stuff. I can READ it, but I don’t UNDERSTAND it and I also don’t AGREE with it.

    I and most men have no particular reason to be defensive about daniel craig, though I personally do wish that I had a BMW with missiles in the headlights. And I have no particular reason to be defensive about whether “women want feminine men;” I’m happily married, and what OTHER women want in their partners is irrelevant.

    But i do wish you’d stop accusing us being defensive because we’re disagreeing with you. As I pointed out above, I’m disagreeing with you because I think you are wrong.

    Feel free to backtrack from what you said before, i certainly think it’s worth doing. But don’t go accusing others of ignoring you because you post a confusing position.

  38. 140
    Myca says:

    You know, I was trying to articulate what exactly bothers me about your position, Donna, when I realized . . . it’s phrenology. If you have this kind of face you’re abusive. if you have this kind of face, you’re egalitarian. It has fuck-all to do with how you act or what you do, because after all, biology is destiny, and that’s the most feminist-est thing ever.

    Additionally, while you’re busy accusing your opponents of wanting to reinforce traditional gender roles and traditional notions of manliness, you might want to take a moment and reflect on how many men on your list are there because of fame achieved through action movies or professional sports.

    After all, it doesn’t matter all that much if you pluck your eyebrows; as long as you can still take your team to the Superbowl or kill 15 terrorists with a bazooka, you’re still the epitome of traditional manliness.

    —Myca

  39. 141
    Elkins says:

    Without locking ourselves into this list, I think we can all agree that there are a large number of feminine men who make ladies swoon.

    Agreed. I must question, however, Donna’s implication that this is in any way a new phenomenon. Rudolph Valentino was quite the heart-throb in his day. So was Ivor Novello. Paul was considered the “cute Beatle” because, of the four members of the band, his physical attributes conformed most closely to the feminine ideal: large doe-like eyes, small delicate nose. Even in the 70s, when macho came briefly into fashion (along with big breasts for the women — the ’70s were a good era for secondary sex characteristics, possibly as a kind of backlash to both the women’s movement and to the strongly androgynous aesthetic of the ’60s), the biggest heart-throb of them all was not one of those indistinguishable moustachio’d movie stars, but instead, the relatively effeminate Shaun Cassidy.

    That women are attracted to feminine men is hardly some shocking new thing. The caricature of the “pretty boy” — the feminine man who makes the wimminfolk swoon yet attracts the envy-driven hostility of the menfolk — is really a very old cliche.

    That said, I agree with other posters who have pointed out that many of the men on Donna’s list are not particularly feminine. Most of them look like they work out at a gym (for that oh-so-special inflatable rubber pecs look). There are a lot of bulging muscles populating that list, and a lot of small squinty eyes, and a whole lot of absurdly strong jaw-lines. Not what I’d call feminine. I know plenty of guys in RL — several of whom have posted in this thread, in fact — who are considerably more feminine-looking than the majority of the men on that list…and they’re still conforming well-enough to gender norms that nobody gives them a second glance when they walk down the street.

    To get back to the question of who enforces gender on men, though, I am frankly somewhat astonished at the idea that this could even be in dispute. I would have thought it obvious that both women and men play their parts in imposing gender norms on boys, just as both men and women play their parts in imposing gender norms on girls.

    I’m also quite disturbed at the way that the idea of girls or women enforcing gender on boys and men is instantly assumed to refer to sexual competition. What gives with that? Is that a reflection of the whole “women=sex” thing? Because seriously, it’s silly. Long before boys become concerned with questions of attracting the sexual attention of others, they’re internalizing gender. And who teaches gender to them? Their parents and caretakers do. Their peers at nursery school or daycare do. Boys have Mommies long before they’re worried about getting girlfriends, and I somehow think that Mommy quite often has something to do with the fact that Junior isn’t going off to school in a dress. And if Junior did go off to school in a dress? I can promise you that the kids who would make fun of him for that would include both boys and girls.

    I’d also suggest, albeit tentatively, that perhaps the people most qualified to speak on the subject of how boys learn gender are those people who actually, y’know, have been boys at some point in their lives. There are many topics on which men really need to learn to shut up and listen to women. This, however, is IMO probably not one of them.

  40. 142
    Mandolin says:

    “I know plenty of guys in RL — several of whom have posted in this thread, in fact — who are considerably more feminine-looking than the majority of the men on that list…and they’re still conforming well-enough to gender norms that nobody gives them a second glance when they walk down the street.”

    While I agree with you, I think that’s partially a context issue.

    Is Depp feminine looking? Sort of. Is he feminine looking for someone presented as a hear throb in the mainstream media? Absoutely.

    One reason that we reead certain celebrity men as feminine is because we’re comparing them to other celerity men. Standards in real life are different (thank god).

    “I’d also suggest, albeit tentatively, that perhaps the people most qualified to speak on the subject of how boys learn gender are those people who actually, y’know, have been boys at some point in their lives. ”

    Probably. Though I’d also argue that since a lot of the gender training for men is by dint of effort as invisible as the patriarchy itself, feminist women who’ve spent a great deal of time andenergy illuminating the unspoken principles of gender are also a voice that’s quite necessary to the discussion.

  41. 143
    Sailorman says:

    Can I suggest that we leave the relatively question of “is ___ celebrity man feminine, feminine looking, etc?” and move/return to the discussion of gender training of men?

  42. 144
    sylphhead says:

    “ALL THE MEN’S DEFENSIVENESS about the overwhelmingly feminine features or bodies or personalities of the hottest men in the world proves my point. Women like change, men resist it.”

    donna, name me one person, woman or man, feminist or no, who’s agreed with your embarrassingly juvenile thesis on this thread. It’s not about being for or against women,it’s about not saying inane things that have nothing to do with feminism and then all out lashing out at everyone who doesn’t agree. You’re aware that you’ve accused every man on this thread of being a wife-beater? There was a time when I thought conditional insults (“you’re a dumbass if you disagree with me, but since you don’t HAVE to disagree with me, technically I never have called you a dumbass”) were clever and non-transparent. That was also the time I thought “I can’t clean my room, I have a test tomorrow” was clever and non-transparent.

    “I’m also quite disturbed at the way that the idea of girls or women enforcing gender on boys and men is instantly assumed to refer to sexual competition.”

    Sexual competition may play some role in the gender socialization of both boys and girls, but I’d say the first, primary reason behind socialization at a young age is a desire to have a *proper* boy or girl – someone to play catch with or help me with dishes while we make fun of boys, as the case may be. I mean, no parents are grooming their children to be heartbreakers and players, or are thinking of their little boys and girls with their potential sexual selves in mind – or for the sake of their children, we should hope not – so the idea that men’s/women’s taste in women/men is the primary drive behind traditional sex roles is misguided.

  43. 145
    Silenced is foo. says:

    What people like and what people think they like are often very, very different things. Usually, this is framed in a misogynist viewpoint (women say they want a sensitive guy, but really they get weak in the knees for The Big Stud), but really it applies to everyone – we all fool ourselves, we all have different intellectual desires from actual ones… especially in the case of romance. You know the old saying “the ladies swoon when the tenor sings, but the bass takes them home”.

    A guy may think he likes a girl with beautiful eyes and a fun personality, but he’s unconsciously drawn to the one with big boobs (guilty here).

    Now, I’m not saying that either side is right or wrong, but arguing over a “top 100″ list of hypothetical hunkiness isn’t really getting anyone anywhere.

    As for Craig’s “bitch” comment, I tend to think it was far simpler: they were playing up Casino Royale as the origin of Bond. I think the “bitch” comment was there to represent how his heart has been utterly hardened by his experience with Vesper, and he’ll stick to the “use them and leave them” format from now on, as shown in other Bond films.

  44. 146
    sylphhead says:

    “What people like and what people think they like are often very, very different things. Usually, this is framed in a misogynist viewpoint (women say they want a sensitive guy, but really they get weak in the knees for The Big Stud), but really it applies to everyone – we all fool ourselves, we all have different intellectual desires from actual ones… especially in the case of romance. You know the old saying “the ladies swoon when the tenor sings, but the bass takes them home”.

    A guy may think he likes a girl with beautiful eyes and a fun personality, but he’s unconsciously drawn to the one with big boobs (guilty here).”

    Right, but there’s also the simpler explanation that people are just hedging their answers when asked certain questions in public. I know the standard answer for most guys when asked what we’re looking for in a woman is “someone who’s pretty, fun, has a sense of humour, open to new things… ” – which is true, so long as it comes stacked on top of a whole other heap of prerequisites that we’re not mentioning. It’s not lying, but it’s telling a half-truth. The same is probably true for women.

    Note that your take and mine aren’t mutually exclusive, and that both are most likely happening at the same time. I just think it’s playing it safe a bit too much to suggest that there’s never any *conscious* double take on this question. There is – it’s part of being human.

    And I’ve never heard that saying before. As a tenor, it makes me chafe. :(

  45. 147
    Thene says:

    As for Craig’s “bitch” comment, I tend to think it was far simpler: they were playing up Casino Royale as the origin of Bond. I think the “bitch” comment was there to represent how his heart has been utterly hardened by his experience with Vesper, and he’ll stick to the “use them and leave them” format from now on, as shown in other Bond films.

    Forgive me for playing at canon police again, but I think that’s kinda what Fleming was aiming for with the ‘bitch’ line…with an extra helping of bullshit and bruised masculinity on JB’s part. It mentions in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service that he visited Vesper’s grave regularly (not to spit upon it, either). Also, he has a couple of later solid relationships in the canon, including his marriage to Tracy in OHMSS. I think JB hadn’t hardened his heart so much as regretted that it was as soft an organ as it was.

  46. 148
    Mandolin says:

    “As a tenor, it makes me chafe. :(”

    Well, speaking personally, I’d rather go home with the baritones than the basses or the tenors.

    Mm. Baritones.

    Mandy Potenkin excepted. I’d hunker down with him, too.

  47. 149
    donna darko says:

    Maybe a better way to explain men’s assumption women like masculine, macho men is the number of lean and thin men on these lists as opposed to hulky, muscle-bound he-men and this assumption is similar to “women like jerks.” Both have a surprising amount of currency among men and are ways to blame the victim. Maybe I’m talking about the three diffferent body types of men: the endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph. In other words, there are a surprising number of ectomorphs versus mesomorphs (bodybuilder types, see picture). There really are masculine and feminine facial features that correlate with testosterone levels and dominant personalities but this does not mean someone with masculine features necessarily has a dominant personality.

  48. 150
    donna darko says:

    Maybe a better way to explain men’s assumption that women like masculine, macho men is the number of lean and thin men as opposed to hulky, muscle-bound men on these lists and this assumption is similar to “women like jerks.” Both have a surprising of currency among men and are ways to blame the victim. Maybe I’m talking about the three different body types of men: the endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph. In other words, there are a surprising number of ectomorphs versus mesomorphs (bodybuilder types, see picture) on these lists.

    There really are masculine and feminine facial features that correlate testosterone levels and dominant personalities but this does not necessarily mean someone with masculine features has a dominant personality.

  49. 151
    donna darko says:

    People mentioned Clive Owen, George Clooney and Russell Crowe. None of them have the V-shaped, bodybuilder, mesomorph body type. It’s out of style. They are straight up and down as are most on these lists.

    Clive Owen

    George Clooney

    Russell Crowe

    Owen and Clooney have masculine features but neither has been reported to be a wife beater or abuser. I have no idea what kind of face Crowe has.

    If I sum up what I’ve tried to say here, it’s that a surprising number of men on these lists are non-jerks with non-bodybuilder body types which is the opposite of what many men like to say, i.e., “Women like jerks” and “Women like big men.” The women’s version is “Men like dumb women” and “Men like skinny women” which is disproved by men time and time again.

    If we’re talking about gender presentation as opposed to body type and facial features, that’s a whole different story i.e. Daniel Craig in touch with his feminine side in Casino Royale. There is also a homoerotic scene at the end of the movie in which he is tortured and I suppose that’s a kind of gender presentation.

  50. 152
    Sailorman says:

    If I sum up what I’ve tried to say here, it’s that a surprising number of men on these lists are non-jerks with non-bodybuilder body types

    And if we sum up what we have tried to say in response, it’s that those two things you seem to be linking (non-bodybuilder physique and non-jerkiness, or non-wifebeating tendencies) have shit-all to do with each other.

    If you really, really, can’t see that for some reason, try the female equivalent: do you think that big hips are linked to motherly tendencies? No? Good. Now apply the same logic.

  51. 153
    donna darko says:

    Reread everything I’ve written here. Facial features are linked to testosterone levels and testosterone levels are linked to dominant personalities like the British study stated. I just found another study that says the same thing, this one from the College of William and Mary in 2002. Women do not like the masculine faces and therefore the dominant personalities correlated with them.

    Recent evidence suggests that certain features on the human face indicate hormonal levels during growth, and that women judge the attractiveness of potential partners based on the appearance of these features. One entrenched notion is male facial features that are affected by testosterone are used as direct cues in mate preference. Testosterone may be particularly revealing as it is purported to be an honest indicator of male fitness. Increased testosterone may impose an immunocompetence handicap on the bearer and only the best males can carry this handicap. We produced a continuum of faces that ranged from low to high levels of testosterone in male faces and asked women to choose the points on the continuum that appeared most attractive and most physically dominant. Our data indicate that high testosterone faces reveal dominance.

    Looking at Clive Owen scares the shit out of me. I say, run, don’t walk.

    Body types are a separate issue. From the lists, we see the V-shaped, bodybuilder, mesomorph body type is out of style.

  52. 154
    Ampersand says:

    This discussion is going in circles — and not very interesting circles, at that. I’m bringing the circle to a close.

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