Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Lost Men

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  • mpledger,

    I'm a little skeptical* about the decreased survival rates of white men in the USA. All other ethnic groups in the US are showing increased survival rates, as well as white people in all other places in the Western World. My suspicion is that when people die without relatives to inform the authorities about the person's ethnicity then it defaults to white unless there is clear evidence otherwise.

    There is also a huge benefit in the USA in passing as white - even more so now with Trump ramping up the rhetoric against Central/South Americans and other foreigners - so people living away from family may tell others they are white who in turn report that when the person dies.

    *although I don't doubt that there is an opioid epidemic.

    Since Oct 2012 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • SHG, in reply to Emma Hart,

    If I recall correctly, a biologically female person receiving testosterone will begin navigating his way through the world differently. That’s not a metaphor, I mean literally relying less on points of reference and more on “dead reckoning”. Insert joke about men asking for directions here.

    nup • Since Oct 2010 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to SHG,

    If I recall correctly, a biologically female person receiving testosterone will begin navigating his way through the world differently. That’s not a metaphor, I mean literally relying less on points of reference and more on “dead reckoning”.

    I once sailed an old trimaran from Waiheke island to the top of the south island, with only one chart of the Tasman sea. We had one chart of the Tasman sea, a hand bearing compass and a transistor radio. We used the radio along with the compass to know where New Plymouth was ruffly, and eventually spotted a Maui platform. from there light house - to light house.

    That’s not a joke. *Dead reckoning is an acceptable nautical practice, among proper blue water sailers. I don't think testosterone is all that important out there. The last thing you want to be doing is acting macho.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Attachment

    Mappist Trunks
    Boxing on … speaking of map reading and men taking orders…

    and then there’s sticks and stones that will take you home!

    also see: the art of Polynesian wayfinding.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Neil,

    Imagine my surprise reading down the thread on these otherwise safe boards only to encounter first one blatantly transphobic dogwhistle: "One current argument for treating men who have transitioned to women as women is that “ unmoderated, transphobia unchallenged, and then look there’s another “ a biologically female person receiving testosterone”. Must be 2018.

    Perhaps if the Labour led Government stopped ignoring UN recommendations and proactively increased awareness in these areas of sex and gender then we mightent end up with these ignorance led and potentially harmful conversations. It's unusual in that in some areas of discussion this site is highly progressive.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Walter Nicholls, in reply to mark taslov,

    treating ... as women

    Given this is entirely the point, it doesn't seem to need arguing.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Walter Nicholls,

    I'm sorry Walter I missed the inference there.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Walter Nicholls,

    Yes, but more accurately it shouldn’t be subject to argument. Also note the recurring language issue in that the individuals get primarily labelled by their externally-assigned sex at birth (e.g. "a man we should treat as a woman"), rather than by their self-identified gender (e.g. "a woman") – thus relegating the latter to some secondary or optional status.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to linger,

    Absolutely – tolerance and normalisation of casual misgendering is the issue. That second example had me pondering whether it was in regard to cis-women undergoing testosterone therapy until the pronoun – then wondering why – in either example – are they not using “trans woman” and “trans man” respectively? Why would you choose to make statements about gender that may be construed as congruent with fascist positions ?

    This month, Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary banned university-level gender studies programs, declaring that “people are born either male or female” and that it is unacceptable “to talk about socially constructed genders, rather than biological sexes.” Now the Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services wants to follow suit by legally defining sex as “a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth.”

    so it’s always cool when bits and pieces of these discussions accommodate science.

    There has been a lot of new scientific research on this topic since the 1950s. But those looking to biology for an easy-to-administer definition of sex and gender can derive little comfort from the most important of these findings. For example, we now know that rather than developing under the direction of a single gene, the fetal embryonic testes or ovaries develop under the direction of opposing gene networks, one of which represses male development while stimulating female differentiation and the other of which does the opposite. What matters, then, is not the presence or absence of a particular gene but the balance of power among gene networks acting together or in a particular sequence. This undermines the possibility of using a simple genetic test to determine “true” sex.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to mark taslov,

    so it’s always cool when bits and pieces of these discussions accommodate science.

    Somewhere around the same number of people who are born with ginger coloured hair, are born with male and female biology. And it’s up to each individual to decide how they would like to be addressed. Even people who can only think in common sense logic should be able to understand that. It’s a bigger step up from thinking like a four legged animal, to then empathise comprehensively.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to steven crawford,

    I hear you.

    And it’s up to each individual to decide how they would like to be addressed

    That is assuming they know, if they’re even told or figure it out:

    For Sterling, the pieces didn’t fall into place until the late 30s.

    • Bearing in mind how deep our complicity (inadvertent or otherwise) in perpetuating this binary system runs

    • Acknowledging that there are those on both sides of the ledger for whom maintaining these binary “sex=gender” narratives at the expense of erasing trans and intersex lived realities is their bread and butter;

    proposed that men should be required to get permission from certifying consultants before getting prostate checks, as women seeking an abortion have to

    • Accounting for these erasive narratives and this dissemination of ignorance as not only helping some folk pay their bills, but as part of an incredibly lucrative industry and method of social control– then absolutely this, as very much a best case scenario:

    And it’s up to each individual to decide how they would like to be addressed

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to mark taslov,

    Not saying it's easy.

    I'm a bog standard guy, with a standard name. I drive a Toyota ute and own a small excavator. Putting myself in your shoes isn't easy, but its well worth making the effort.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Rahr,

    Mpledger - Dunno about the US, but in many parts of the UK death rates have stopped improving and in a few parts they’re actually getting worse. Over there it’s being blamed on austerity (in social services, health, and the bits that fall between) by academics. Maybe there are some equivalent effects in the US?

    Since Nov 2018 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to steven crawford,

    Putting myself in your shoes isn’t easy,
    but its well worth making the effort.

    Shod by both sides?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • mpledger, in reply to Alex Rahr,

    Yea, I'm a little out of date because I first came across this stuff a couple of years ago.

    Since Oct 2012 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Your link, which was most appropriate, also told the Youtube algorithm to offer me this:

    <iframe width="560” height="315” src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NjadS07KnTU” frameborder="0” allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>

    It’s why America was once Great. California, I mean.

    Keep an open mind.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Previous attempt at embedding failed.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    And that! the internet is killing us.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank,

    Russell wrote: "while suicide rates in most western countries have decreased over the past two decades, in America, the rate is up by a third. And one group is driving the increase: white, middle-aged men... Men, who have lost jobs, status, security and identity are killing themselves... it's impossible not to feel that the American problems forced into everyone's face this past week run very, very deep."

    I first complained about the lack of theoretical basis for identity politics on my website in 2011, then on various blogs since, pointing out the tacit concession of psychologists that they can't figure it out. I'm currently reading Fukuyama's "Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment", published last month. He's filling that vacuum left by the incompetence of psychologists!

    In his preface he reviews his exploration of the nexus where history, culture, politics, mass psychology and personal identity intersect that first made him famous in the aftermath of the Cold War. "I noted that neither nationalism nor religion were about to disappear because, I argued back then, contemporary liberal democracies had not fully solved the problem of thymos"

    "Thymos is the part of the soul that craves recognition of dignity; isothymia is the demand to be respected on an equal basis with other people". So this is the very deep factor Russell intuited. Non-christian readers can replace soul with psyche, and we can acknowledge our right as citizens to function in society on an equity basis. When social conditions prevent us thus functioning, the result is identity crisis and psychological dysfunction. White male american suicide syndrome being the latest newsworthy manifestation.

    "Demand for recognition of one's identity is a master concept that unifies much of what is going on in world politics today." This is so obviously true, and has been for so long, that we can only wonder what, in their collective ethos, is preventing psychologists from waking up to it!

    "It is not confined to the identity politics practised on university campuses, or to the white nationalism it has provoked, but extends to broader phenomena such as the upsurge of old-fashioned nationalism and politicised Islam. Much of what passes for economic motivation is, I will argue, actually rooted in the demand for recognition and therefore cannot simply be satisfied by economic means."

    He's right. Neoliberalism, now exiting stage right, shared the same conceptual flaw that saw socialism exit stage left more than 30 years ago. Equity requires a sufficient share in the economy, but that does not suffice for democratic participation. We need that right of parity that recognition of dignity provides.

    “Individuals throughout human history have found themselves at odds with their societies. But only in modern times has the view taken hold that the authentic inner self is intrinsically valuable, and the outer society systematically wrong and unfair in its valuation of the former. It is not the inner self that has to be made to conform to society's rules, but society itself that needs to change.”

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank,

    Well, I tried the instructions for italicising text that this site provides under the `post your response' window - but as you can see it didn't work! Why not?

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    you need the double _ as in __.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Thymos is the part of the soul that craves recognition of dignity

    Cf. the concept of “face” in politeness theory (Brown & Levinson 1987), which distinguishes two aspects of identity:
    positive face = need to be valued, liked, accepted as belonging to a group
    negative face = need for personal freedom
    These are sometimes presented as being in tension (e.g. giving rise to a formality scale from the language of official information to personal expression of feelings), but probably need to be combined to yield “I need to be accepted as I am”.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    it didn’t work! Why not?

    What Steven said, and sometimes those keyboard code commands don’t activate if hard up against another punctuation mark before – always have a character space before starting any invisible commands.
    .__test__.
    ’__test__.
    .**bold**
    test.
    test.
    bold

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Walter Nicholls, in reply to mark taslov,

    I'm sorry Walter I missed the inference there.

    Sorry for coming back a day later .. this is the problem with keeping comments too short.
    What I meant was that you don't need "an argument for treating men who have transitioned to women as women". They literally are women at that point. It's not recognising this that needs justifying, and good luck finding a way of expressing that argument without sounding bigoted.
    I would hope the majority of the people reading this already understand this, and the thread has moved on anyway.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    And another possible misunderstanding for Mark Taslov. When I said some where around the number of people born with ginger hair, are born male and female, I was meaning Intersex people. What I was doing was trying to disrupt those weird ideas that some people argue about biological this and that and God.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

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