Monday, 25 February 2008

Minutes from 24/2/08

>>Women acting dumb<<

We discussed our experience of women tending to “act dumb” in conversations with us as men, when we know that they are more intelligent. We thought that this was a learnt behaviour which, among other things, played the role of bolstering men’s ego’s by making them seem like the clever one in the conversation. One gay man present said that he’d never experienced women “dumbing down” in conversations with him which made us think that about it might have to do with more than just boosting male egos.

One thing we didn’t discuss (but should have!) was how we could react positively if we’re ever aware of a woman pandering to our ego by pretending to be stupider than they are.

>>Men and emotions<<

We thought about the questions, what do we do with our feelings, both positive and negative? What is our first reaction? Is it to share them with people around us? Keep them to ourselves? We agreed that often when we don’t talk about our feelings but kind of want to it’s as if we’re waiting for someone to ask us how we’re feeling. For most of us it’s normally a woman we’re waiting for to ask us that question. We’re not used to men using emotional language, asking us how we’re doing etc. Most of us are also not good at asking those emotional questions ourselves.

We talked about the phenomenon of men hiding themselves away from the world, deliberately isolating themselves. This is something that some of us had experienced to different levels of intensity. This isolation can become a kind of comfort zone that it’s hard to escape from, and can also be very lonely. Is this about mental health, or being male? Probably both, we thought.

We mentioned how sometimes we just don’t know how we’re feeling or don’t even realise when we’re having a feeling. We’ve all been taught in different ways to become boys and then men and a key element of this is learning not to show any of our emotions. We all recognised how this happened at school and was probably mot intense in single sex schools. We also talked about how we can unlearn this behaviour and start to reveal more of ourselves to the world, be more open about our feelings and learn to feel more.

We talked about doing a radio interview for Dissident Island Radio.

Two future topics for discussion were also suggested.

1) Are all people raised as men sexist?

2) Our friendships with women.

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