No, Tom, being male is not a birth defect or a mental illness, it is too much testosterone put to use that harms others. 

Being male, meaning being a partner, one who uses his energy to protect, save, and empower others to make difficult and necessary things happen. A powerful man can be a small, gentle, caring, compassionate person who participates with others in powerful ways. He may have an active imagination, a powerful voice, a robust build which he uses to strengthen, empower, and create a better world than he found. 

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Joan, being male to ME, means:

  • Having to come to understand that I'm seen as a threat by some people, purely because I have a penis.
  • Having expectations laid on me because of my sex, expectations which may not be mine, but are superimposed on me, regardless.
  • Trying like hell to figure out who I am, despite the testosterone and superimposed expectations.
  • Recognizing that being male is like any other label: that it's a SHORTCUT which doesn't necessarily describe who I am or who any other male is, and trying to overcome that generalization.

Fact is, Joan, I never had a surfeit of the T-entity, and maybe because of that, I have a somewhat more objective view of things.  The problem is that, perhaps because of a lack of male hormone, I also took WAY too long to be able to figure out just who the fuck I am and what the fuck I'm supposed to do with myself in the midst of this mostly undefined foolishness.

The blunt end of the stick, at least for me, is that that having a penis and two testes in a scrotum may LABEL me as male, but that's as far as that goes.  There are variables which I have some poor handle on which go way beyond my X-Y chromosome pairing that defines just who Loren Charles Miller, Jr. is, just as surely as that same definition is insufficient to fully understand ANYONE ELSE who shares that common physiological trait.

Two things need to happen here:

  1. We need to get past the superficial definitions of what comprises sex.
  2. We need to quit thinking that shortcuts and labels amount to definitions.

The problem, of course, is that that takes EFFORT, which too many don't wish to exert, because they lean so hard on the shortcuts.  Getting shut of that will be more than a little like getting shut of religion: a poorly defined and very personal process.

And you know what they say about a journey of a thousand miles, right?

Right! That first step can be so terrifying, that some can use all kinds of defense mechanisms to cope with the stress. 

Interesting you write about being a male and struggling to find yourself. From my point of view, you have a keen ear for hearing other's pain, even as you have a perceptive skill for inspiring. I know because that is what you did for me, all those years ago. I've observed you doing that with others. 

Whatever level of testosterone you have, it moves you to be a positive force for those who reveal their pain. 

[smile] Joan, you are a gem.  Thank you.

You are welcome, Loren; I don't tell you often enough that you mean a great deal to me. Thanks for all you do!

Joan, did you take seriously (as literal truth) a barb of the kind that political activists toss at each other?

It’s a barb similar to the one that goes as follows:

Q. “What is a woman’s favorite labor-saving ‘device’?”

A. “A devoted man.”

There are more and they have in common a purpose expressed metaphorically: “To puncture a stuffed shirt, use ridicule.”

Q. "What is a man's favorite labor-saving 'device'?" 

A. "A devoted woman."

Both Q. & A. are sophomoric, not funny, and used all too often to trivialize another. I don't interpret them as puncturing a stuffed shirt; I do see them as useless. 

Joan, sophomoric and trivializing?

Yes, to those who, like you, are innocent of the starker impulses of politics.

Did it It stir anger? Did you in response invent the “A devoted woman” quip?

I’ve been doing politics since 1972 and your post is the first time I’ve seen or heard it.

It required only that two words be changed to their opposites. Besides being quick, it’s less subtle than the feminist humor I’ve heard or seen.

Were I more cautious than I am, your taking literally the “birth defect and mental illness” quip would have warned me.

"Did it stir anger? Did you in response invent the “A devoted woman” quip?"

No, not at all; I am just used to looking at a sentence from another point of view. I learned how to do that during sermons and Adult Sunday school lessons. When an example of a lesson or sermon was phrased in terms of male dominance, I reframed it into female dominance. Just like typing, it was slow at first but I became good at it. 

Joan, my inner contrarian, motivated perhaps by envy of another’s fame or infamy, enjoys pranks.

One favorite is turning Edmond Burke’s words to their opposite, paraphrased here: Good will prevail when evil folk do nothing.

I like that! It reveals the absurdity of the sentences. There will most likely never be a time good and evil folks will do nothing. We are stuck with the reality that some folks intend to cause no harm and sometimes fail just as the opposite is true. 

There are those who want to cause others harm; there is no one reason why that is true, but it is. It may be because of mental or physical disorders or it may have come from environmental factors.

Why were Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Heinrich Himmler, Saddam Hussein,  Idi Amin, Ivan the Terrible, Leopold the king of Belgium, Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Nero, Genghis Khan, Mao Zedong, and Maximilien Robespierre so brutal, each in his own way? 

These men inspired a form of hatred and cruelty that boggles the imagination. Some of them caused genocides, even in their own countries. Many men deliberately put into action policies and practices that resulted in mass starvation. Most of these men did not do the slaughters and murders themselves, they motivated others to do the dirty work. 

How can one human torture or murder another simply because someone gave the order?

Why did US men and women invade these countries? Did any of them object or refuse to participate in these conquests?

"The Facebook meme we're checking was accompanied by a list of countries supposedly invaded by the United States. Though the meme itself cites 22 countries invaded, the list is misnumbered and actually includes 23.

1. Grenada (1983-1984)
2. Bolivia (1986)
3. Virgin Islands (1989)
4. Liberia (1990; 1997; 2003)
5. Saudi Arabia (1990-1991)
6. Kuwait (1991)
7. Somalia (1992-1994; 2006)
8. Bosnia (1993-)
9. Zaire/Congo (1996-1997)
10. Albania (1997)
11. Sudan (1998)
12. Afghanistan (1998; 2001-)
13. Yemen (2000; 2002-)
14. Macedonia (2001)
15. Colombia (2002-)
16 Pakistan (2005-)
17. Syria (2008; 2011-)
18. Uganda (2011)
19. Mali (2013)
20. Niger (2013)
21. Yugoslavia (1919; 1946; 1992-1994; 1999)
22. Iraq (1958; 1963; 1990-1991; 1990-2003; 1998; 2003-2011)
23. Angola (1976-1992)"

~ PolitiFact

I love ridicule as a strategy. It is powerless with intelligent people, powerful with those who believe the propaganda. 

Being male means your body produces active, mobile gametes, otherwise known as sperm.

Any attempt to generalize a person based on gender is no different than any other stereotype. Every person is different and should not be judged until you get to know him/her.




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