"sensitive new age guys"

As a child, growing up to pagan, feminist, socially aware parents, I remember hearing this song by Christine Lavin, that gently poked fun at the new, 90's trend in "sensitive new age guys" in a call-and-response song- I particularly recall this bit:

Christine: "who's concerned about your orgasm?"
(music trails off)

Christine: "hey, wait a minute, wait a minute, I thought you guys said you were sensitive?"
One of the men: "Well, Christine, we're sensitive..."
Said in unison by all the guys: "..but we're not THAT sensitive!"

I still remember all the lyrics, even though I haven't heard this song for YEARS!

It was one in many ways I noticed how even the more alternative types of masculinity- the stay at home dad, the longhaired pagan, the geek- were still constrained to behave in certain ways. Talking about your feelings? Still weird. Cuddling with your platonic friends? Nope. Crying? Still awkward! And this is among a bunch of people who are already out of the socially acceptable loop. Guys who do these things are then, of course, called emo and/or fags, and dismissed as silly.

I was thinking about this and how it pertains to misandry.

Warren Farrell says:

"In the past quarter century, we exposed biases against other races and called it racism, and we exposed biases against women and called it sexism. Biases against men we call humor."

I kind of agree. I think it's possible to be a feminist without being misandrist. I like Farrell's idea of a gender transition movement, away from classic constraints of gender roles. I agree that "In the past, neither sex had power; both sexes has roles: women's role was raise children; men's role was raise money." I think that's true now, too. 

It's interesting, the idea of "power" and of "choice". I feel, generally, like I have a lot of power- social and sexual power for sure, if not always financial. The fact it's often more of a struggle to get financial power as a woman is frustrating, definitely. But when I look at guys I've dated in the past, often their social power and/or sexual power is limited by cultural constraints. And yes, I do see that often financial power overcomes these other obstacles, but it doesn't make it any less worth noting.

I see this in my work. Women who do this work are often portrayed culturally as victims, damaged, desperate- but the clients are SO MUCH WORSE. They're socially backwards, emotionally fucked, weird perverts and asshole cheats. They're seen as more desperate, often as beasts unable to contain their sexual urges. And that's lame. That's not only inexcusable because it encourages men to blame their libido instead of take responsibility, but it also seems to say to men that without financial power, and some social power, you have absolutely no sexual power. You're worth as much as your bankroll. 

Maybe I have so much empathy for guys because I've always had lots of guy friends, and most of them are feminists. Maybe it's because I see what patriarchy does to men every day I have a booking and they beg to let go of this enforced "power". Sure, patriarchy favours men, but at what cost? Can we not acknowledge the harm it does to men as well as women and genderqueers, and form a united front against it, for all our sakes?

Or is that too "sensitive"...?

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