Thursday, October 18, 2012

"What Are Little Boys Made Of" by Michael Kimmel (Reflection)

     I can agree with what Kimmel has to say about the subject of male behavior and whether or not it is biologically formed or based on surroundings. Growing up I was always favored over my other siblings by my father because I played sports and was always into being hands on, doing 'manly' things. It was what my father did. He was an auto mechanic and a compressor technician. I always had an interest in doing those things, always standing by his side trying to learn the trade. He was a very aggressive man, but one of the nicest people I knew. I heard countless stories growing up about his fights with people and how he was the protective older brother who wouldn't allow guys around my aunts.
     My father and his older brother joined the navy when they were young. They gained a sort of "machoness" from it, especially my dad. When my dad passed away I received a phone call from one of my father's close friends in the military, a female actually. She began to tell me stories of the countless times my father stood up for her and fought for her at bars when men were being pigs, not because he fancied her but because he was protective and showed aggression. One of the most memorable stories was when my dad got demoted to the lowest rank because he punched a guard in the face for making fun of his mother. Typical male issue, "Don't talk about my mom like that".
     While I did gain a lot of my father's traits, I can't say I inherited his aggression. I was a small kid growing up, never had much size until recently. I used to get picked on for hanging out with girls during recess on occasion and even getting bullied for it. In second grade I remember being tackled from behind by someone because of it. I never really understood why back then, but looking back at it now I was just incapable of defending myself because of my size and couldn't get along well with those who could. I guess I was almost an outcast by choice.
     Once third or fourth grade rolled around I joined football and the youth wrestling team. That is when I began to bulk up and gained some aggression, but just for the sport. I realize now that sports is what got me out of being picked on and where I began to be accepted as a male I guess. I really can not put it into words, but yea I began hanging out with males, playing sports during recess, and I got into my first 'real' fight not to long after. It wasn't that I started the fight that made me realize I was becoming more masculine I guess you can say, but more the fact that I did not back down and coward out of it.
     Even though sports and having male friends gave me aggression, it never really changed my view of females. I was still okay with having female friends and never thought of them as unequal in the sense of physicality. I remember in middle school females trying out to join the wrestling team. My coach had to let them try out, but you can tell he did not want a female on the team. He had them wrestle-off the best wrestlers and pretty much punish them to show they 'were not' cut out for the sport. And when our wrestlers lost to females, they never heard the end of it. I remember losing to a female in my second year of the sport and got my balls busted for the rest of the year, even though she was wrestling since she was five. I just never understood why they cared.
     I was always the nice guy of my group of friends. I never show aggression unless I am severely angry. I always tended to hold my aggression in and my friends always said I was going to snap one day. But I havn't yet. I always showed more emotions than my friends. Whether it be because of pain or just being sad or depressed. I just didn't care if I showed it. They always hid it.
     But I guess what I am trying to get at is that it is not biological in the sense that testosterone is what makes a male be aggressive. I have no tendencies to shout or or be aggressive. I personally think it has to do with how you are brought up and the environment that surrounds you. I personally did not take to aggression and took my respect of females from my mother.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Audre Lorde's: "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House" (Argument)

     Author Audre Lorde argues in her article,"The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House", that the feminist movement as whole, mainly white privileged women, disregards lesbians, black women and poor women as legitimate feminists. This means they really don't care to legitimize them by taking their opinions or allowing the to be a part of the interdependent group they have going. Lorde relates this to the patriarchal society as a whole. The feminist movement has black women, lesbians and poor women under its oppressive umbrella. Lorde pretty much states that those who are being oppressed stand alone and do not have the sense to unite due to pressures and just being scared, I would assume. But Lorde also states that to deny interdependence among women as a whole is just insanity because the overall goal of the feminist movement and  the right of independence of women from men, can not be achieved without relying on one another. This is the main fear of patriarchal society, the unity of all women to fight against the oppression. But because white 'privileged' feminists deny black, poor and lesbian women as legitimate feminists, this cannot be achieved. She states "no community, no liberation" meaning just that.
     The main thing i plan to bring up in class is the title of the article and what I think it means. If feminists are using the same oppressive tools that they are fighting against, the house can never be brought down. Below is a link to a wordpress article that elegantly, but simply explains the same ideas that Lorde puts forward in her article.