What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby Avistew » 03 Sep 2014, 15:17

Might be a bit late to the party, but here is my take on the girl/woman thing.

First of all, I disagree that girls become women based on body changes, while boy don't become men based on the same things. Let me address the first part first.

Girls don't become women at 10, 11 or 12, when most females I know who have had periods had their first one. On top of that "having had your periods" isn't something as easily noticeable as having facial hair. I'm sorry, but I doubt you can walk down the streets and go "this person has had periods. This person hasn't". It's something that happens in private and might be discussed, but people can lie about it, too.
And of course, some men have periods, and some women never have and never will (whether they're trans or not).

Sure, you could say there are other, more obvious signs, such as breasts, but you did specify the passage to womanhood as "ability to have children". This of course is also problematic in its own right. Many women can't have children and they're still women.

With that I reach a point when you say no women have their womanhood questioned. To that I say, are you kidding me? Have you not seen all the women who can't have children being called "not real women"? Have you not seen how women get policed about being feminine enough or be called all sorts of things, usually "dyke", in parallel to how guys get called a "assclown" if they're not "manly" enough? I can only imagine you think that because you haven't personally experienced it.

I've been called not a woman for things ranging from not liking shoes or shopping to not being a good cook or not wanting children, or being a nerd, playing games, not wearing dresses, not liking makeup, not shaving my legs, you name it. This happens all the time.

And of course I was treated like a girl for many, many years after I had my first period, which nobody but me knew about anyways as I didn't tell my parents for over a year, and they only knew because my brother discovered used pads in the garbage and thought it was a dead animal of some sort.

Now, why would you think female have a clear passage from girl to woman while men don't? Did you just invent it? Well, no, there is probably a reason for that. You see, there used to be a clear rite of passage for women: getting married.
You switch from Miss to Mrs when you get married, and while English has a "Ms" term, many languages don't. In French, the word "fille", which means girl, is used for any female who has never been married. You'll still be a girl if you're 99 if you never married. And while there have been some calls to get it changed, namely "you used to only have sex if you got married, so really, the switch from girl to woman should be the first time they have sex, not when they get married", this is still a problem as one can be a woman without ever having sex, or a girl even after having sex.

Add to that the fact that grown women are regularly called girls pretty much constantly, while grown men are called boys much less often (and usually by other men, who are also the ones referring to women as, for instance "my girl", which really should be used only when you mean "my daughter", not "my wife") and it's hard to see why you think females become women in their pre-teens and have no effort to make, while males cannot be seen as men no matter what they do.

Going back to beards, seriously, I've heard "you're a man now" countless times for someone who could finally grow a full beard. Of course it's also used for a guy who has sex for the first time, with the same issues as with women, although they're less compounded because society treats men and women differently.
"You had sex, you're finally a woman!" does not mean "You have free agency over your sex life and decided to get sexual pleasure with another being! This empowers you and makes you a woman! Good job!", it means "a man finally deemed you worthy enough to ejaculate into, and hopefully you'll carry his or someone else's kids eventually." And yes, it erases sex between females but guess what? Not a lot of people think THAT makes you a woman. A lot would argue that means you're still a girl and "playing around" instead of finding a "good man" to "take care of you".

There are many problems with how society expects "real men" to behave. But it's not about females having it easy. In many cases, there is no way at all to be a "real woman", and even when there is, this isn't usually something that grants you advantages, just something that allows you to be boxed in some more. This is true of men too to some extent, but being a "real man" also comes with a higher status and more authority so there is some gain too. A "real woman" (usually used for someone who has children) is less likely to have a career if she wants one while a "real man" is more likely to.
And if you're female, have children and still want to pursue a career (like men who have children have done forever), chances are you'll be judged for it and pushed back into "not a real woman because a real woman would put their kids first, being that immature to worry about your career likes that makes you a selfish little girl".

In conclusion, I do think it's difficult for people of all genders to transition to adulthood and there isn't a clear sign of when and how that happens, but I completely disagree with your thesis that it's easy for women and impossible for men.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby JustAName » 03 Sep 2014, 18:27

Avistew, killing it again. <3
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby JackSlack » 03 Sep 2014, 20:55

On another part of this:

So, there's kind of two analogies going around about Anita Sarkeesian. One of them I think I can kill incredibly easily, the other one is genuinely trickier and presents a better shot.

The first one is Anita Sarkeesian = Jack Thompson.

This one is, needless to say, unbelievably simple to knock down. Jack Thompson filed multiple lawsuits against game companies, retailers, publishers, developers, and anyone else he could think of. He attempted to stop the sale of multiple video games from Take Two Interactive. He actually said, "We intend to hurt the video game industry." (In the same breath as saying he intended to hurt Hollywood and "the sex porn sites".) The list of actual efforts to silence and damage the makers of games is enormous and the idea of comparing Sarkeesian to him is laughable at even a passing glance.

But, for the sake of completeness: Can anyone find any times Anita Sarkeesian has supported, even vocally, legislation or legal action against a game company? I've looked and can't see it, but it doesn't mean I didn't miss something.

The other one is trickier. Anita Sarkeesian = Fredric Wertham.

This one's actually not a terrible comparison, at least as far as I can see. Both were/are cultural critics who are deeply skeptical of a particular medium and its effects on culture. Both even used a similar methodology, with lengthy cataloguing of examples to demonstrate the existence of tropes and ideas within the medium.

Now, to me, the key difference is that Wertham's critiques were widely derided within the comic industry and history tends to vindicate the industry rather than Wertham. But that's harder to see in the moment and we don't have history on Sarkeesian. The obvious point of difference would be his testimony before the senate, but it wouldn't be unreasonable for Sarkeesian to be asked to do the same for similar reasons.

What do people think? Is it an unfair comparison, or more or less on the money, except that she's right? ;)
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby JackSlack » 03 Sep 2014, 21:18

Also, as loathsome as it fucking is, tell this guy he's wrong. The harassment and bullying is working, and driving women out of reporting on games.

I mean, in the end it'll end up damaging gaming way, way more than their reporting ever would, but yes, I can't see it not being true: The opposition is winning this fight.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby korvys » 03 Sep 2014, 21:22

I think there is some difference. Both Thompson and Wertham seem to be making a claim that the effect of the medium on a person (children) was direct. That seeing a comic or video game character doing something would encourage a reader/viewer to do the same.

Sarkeesian seems to be make a more subtle claim. That video games are a part of culture, and both influence and reflect this culture, and that it is the culture that makes certain behaviour more or less acceptable. And I don't think it's a particularly extreme claim to make to say that a piece of art is a part of culture. Her focus, of course, is on the parts of this that deal with gender and sexuality.

It doesn't seem that surprising that Thompson or Wertham would come to the conculsion they did. I've certainly seen children imitating a character from a cartoon, etc, while behaving badly, but that imitation exist in the context of what they know is or isn't acceptable. That is, they are acting badly because they don't believe it's wrong, not because a character did it (though that might be part of what taught them it's not wrong), though the particular way they are acting badly might be imitating a character, etc.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby JackSlack » 03 Sep 2014, 21:28

Korvys: Yeah, there's definitely a fine line there, and it's important. But still, I find the analogy ... not terrible?

The other big difference is that there's evidence Wertham fudged his numbers, and that's a big deal, but I don't think it's exactly a rhetorical winner in arguing for her, since it's a big open invitation to claims she's lying, blah blah blah.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby korvys » 03 Sep 2014, 21:39

Also, as the saying goes, they may be winning the fight, but they're losing the war.

Huge numbers of devs standing against the harassment of women in gaming. Geek icons sharing and praising Anita's work. Mainstream media (non-gaming) reporting on the harassment campaigns.

We. Will. Win.

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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby phlip » 03 Sep 2014, 21:43

Re the Wertham comparison: The primary distinguishing thing that I'm aware of is one is claiming the media is promoting actions, while the other is claiming the media is promoting ideas. A piece of media that portrays, say, violence against women isn't going to directly cause consumers of that media to perform violence against women. But a piece of media that is based on the idea that violence against women is acceptible, especially if you have a lot of varied pieces of media that say it, can help that meme to spread.

The media tends to be a feedback loop in the great echochamber that is "culture"... people believe a thing, so they make media that implicitly assumes a thing to be true, so people who consume the media pick up on the fact that the thing is widely-believed to be true, and become more likely to believe it themselves. All without anyone involved necessarily needing to be consciously aware of the idea in question. Media is both caused by, and the cause of, these ideas (and, indeed, if we generalise further from "media" to "general communication", this is basically the entirety of how ideas spread, and how culture exists).

Basically... Wertham was within six degrees of separation from the right idea, but took way too shallow a view, assumed he was right, fabricated some data to support it, and then went on a legal quest to turn his theory into real censorship.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby JackSlack » 03 Sep 2014, 21:44

I'm unconvinced. I'm still thinking the end game here is the crash of the AAA game industry and the ultimate ascension of smaller budget mobile gaming as the dominant paradigm of the industry (shit, I mean, hasn't this already happened anyway?) so we'll 'win' in that gaming will be much more gender diverse (still incredibly racially non-diverse, but that's another battle) but it will be due to the lack of the segment that was incredibly sexist and misogynistic, not because it reformed.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby JackSlack » 03 Sep 2014, 22:00

phlip wrote:Basically... Wertham was within six degrees of separation from the right idea, but took way too shallow a view, assumed he was right, fabricated some data to support it, and then went on a legal quest to turn his theory into real censorship.


Phlip, that's a great way of putting it.

How far did he go along legal lines, BTW? Was it just the senate hearings, or did he make other efforts? Did he promote specific legislation, for instance?
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby korvys » 03 Sep 2014, 22:08

Sounds like a win to me, JackSlack. I have little interest in AAA gaming. Nor mobile, but there's quite a lot of indie stuff going on.
Of course, the AAA industry has other problems going on (budgets too high, etc)...
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby phlip » 03 Sep 2014, 22:19

JackSlack wrote:How far did he go along legal lines, BTW? Was it just the senate hearings, or did he make other efforts? Did he promote specific legislation, for instance?

Honestly, I have no idea. I have only a passing familiarity with the man, and typed that post while skimreading Wikipedia on the other monitor...

Most of what I said is just general "how is this different from the 'games cause violence' people?" stuff... but the specifics to this guy in particular... eh, I'm not the expert.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby JackSlack » 03 Sep 2014, 22:33

korvys wrote:Sounds like a win to me, JackSlack. I have little interest in AAA gaming. Nor mobile, but there's quite a lot of indie stuff going on.
Of course, the AAA industry has other problems going on (budgets too high, etc)...


Budgets are the biggest problem AAA has, absolutely. Diversity is probably actually #2 though, to my mind. They're bleeding money and it's compounded by a user-base that's been maxed out with no interest in finding new users.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby JackSlack » 03 Sep 2014, 23:12

There's a lot of anger from the industry folk I follow on Twitter regarding Mattie Brice and Jennatar quitting videogame writing, for whatever it's worth.

On the plus side, I'm glad to see these industry folk upset by people quitting their careers over harassment and bullying.

On the negative side, the Troll's Truth remains in effect: If you're angry, you're losing.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby korvys » 03 Sep 2014, 23:15

Well, hopefully some of those companies figure out that diversity is good for business, and the rest die.

At the Magic world building panel at PAX, someone noted that several of the prominent characters in Khans, and half of the planeswalkers in M15 were women, and asked if this was a concious nod to diversity. They said yes, it is something they want to promote going forward. Along with a recent change to the penalty policy on this sort of stuff, the new Batgirl designs, etc, I'm pretty optimistic about the way geek culture is moving.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby phlip » 04 Sep 2014, 04:43

Yeah, I can't remember when it came up, I think it was on a recent stream, but I'm not sure... but it was pointed out that of the five Khans, there's two women, two men, and one snake-thing. Plus both the women are fully-clothed... And the snake-thing also happens to be female, and without the inexplicable snake-boobs that would usually accompany such a choice...
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby Timelady » 04 Sep 2014, 05:47

phlip wrote:
JackSlack wrote:How far did he go along legal lines, BTW? Was it just the senate hearings, or did he make other efforts? Did he promote specific legislation, for instance?

Honestly, I have no idea. I have only a passing familiarity with the man, and typed that post while skimreading Wikipedia on the other monitor...

Most of what I said is just general "how is this different from the 'games cause violence' people?" stuff... but the specifics to this guy in particular... eh, I'm not the expert.


Well, IIRC, the senate hearings petered out, but the shitstorm Wertham and his book created was directly responsible for the Comics Code Authority--a self-policing industry organization that basically made sure that any comic they put their seal of approval on (you may have seen it if you've ever looked at the covers of old American comics, it looks like this) was 'clean' and 'safe' enough for families. In theory, this was supposed to create a safe harbor for children while keeping the industry safe from further legal threat. In practice, this meant that American comics from the 1950s on were all scrubbed and sanitized and censored. It was pretty much impossible to get a mainstream comic published (although that Wikipedia article I see references underground comics in the 60s I know nothing about) without the CCA's approval at all between the 50's and the 80's, when more of the indies started going forward without that stamp on their cover.

So, yeah, I don't think that's Anita Sarkeesian's eventual end goal. Although I could be wrong.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby Lord Hosk » 04 Sep 2014, 07:01

Avistew wrote:Might be a bit late to the party, but here is my take on the girl/woman thing.

First of all, I disagree that girls become women based on body changes, while boy don't become men based on the same things. Let me address the first part first.

...


Im not sure if im adding to or disagreeing with your but here goes.

Men dont typically use the term boy in a derogatory way it is used as a term of familiarity and not just by a subset, while the "dude bro" community does use it much more frequently "my boy" is typically perceived to be a close friend, someone who would let you crash at their home for a few days for whatever reason.

As for the "transition" I dont think I have heard "you are a man now" used by anyone under the age of 50. Along the same lines I dont think I have heard anyone referred to as "being a woman now"

Certainly there is a transitional but I think it is more contextual rather than any overt step. I am in college with a bunch of people ranging from 17 to 25 years of age, I refer to them as women or girls based on their outward signs of maturity. I refer to the vast majority of the population as "kids" "boys" or "girls" in a derogatory way because they are all high school graduates most of whom could not survive outside of the protective environments they live in. On the flip side I talk about women in a group with me or men I was in class with not based on if they have had sex, if they have children, or if they have facial hair, but by if they seem capable of surviving with out the direct intervention of a parent or guardian. There are 17 year olds who manage to be women and 25 year olds who are boys. But without meeting them, they are all men and women to me, it is a later context which changes things.

Further while there is a general cultural perception of what a man likes and what women like I don't see there being shock at those who don't fit that mindset. When a young woman says she likes sports guys don't gawk at her as if she were a Unicorn, when young men talk about their cloths or that they enjoy looking nice its not "feminine"

While I have heard men shamed for "not being a real man" because they don't like cars guns steaks and football I dont think I have ever heard someone put down for not being "a real woman" for not wanting to cook or have children.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby Duckay » 04 Sep 2014, 07:15

With all due respect, is it possible that you haven't heard people putting others down as "not real women" due to your personal circumstances? Because I certainly have heard "you're not a real woman" used as a put-down. (And unicorn? Maybe not, but surely you've heard the phrase "fake geek girl" thrown around.)
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby AdmiralMemo » 04 Sep 2014, 07:21

Lord Hosk wrote:While I have heard men shamed for "not being a real man" because they don't like cars guns steaks and football I don't think I have ever heard someone put down for not being "a real woman" for not wanting to cook or have children.
Part of this might be the fact that, historically, masculinity was something to aspire to, while femininity was not. If you were a man who didn't like that masculine stuff, you were "inferior" in some minds. If you were a woman who didn't like feminine stuff, then you were aspiring to be "superior" in your ways. So, even if you were aspiring to be "masculine" in your ways, being "not a real woman" wasn't something that was a put-down, so it was likely not used much.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby JustAName » 04 Sep 2014, 14:13

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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby Dubious_wolf » 04 Sep 2014, 17:43

Avistew wrote:With that I reach a point when you say no women have their womanhood questioned. To that I say, are you kidding me? Have you not seen all the women who can't have children being called "not real women"? Have you not seen how women get policed about being feminine enough or be called all sorts of things, usually "dyke", in parallel to how guys get called a "assclown" if they're not "manly" enough? I can only imagine you think that because you haven't personally experienced it.


This is a solid point. historically women who couldn't have children weren't valued in society. I think this still in some ways persists today. That being said I haven't heard women being called not real women for that fact, but you're right I don't have a woman's perspective.
This is good feedback.
I think I can modify my point and say that women are generally accepted to be women by society MUCH younger than men. After all "common knowledge says that women age emotionally much younger than men.
Do you disagree?

Avistew wrote:I've been called not a woman for things ranging from not liking shoes or shopping to not being a good cook or not wanting children, or being a nerd, playing games, not wearing dresses, not liking makeup, not shaving my legs, you name it. This happens all the time.

I believe it. I think this relates to the idea that womanhood (and maybe manhood) shouldn't be fixed to physical characteristics or interests?
Like I think the idea that all men like cars guns and sports is a very shallow and poor definition of manliness and I am positing that perhaps males in society become misogynistic and bigoted because they are clinging to the wrong definitions of manhood, and from what it sounds like we cling to the wrong definitions of womanhood.
I was over reaching myself in my definitions.

Avistew wrote:Now, why would you think female have a clear passage from girl to woman while men don't? Did you just invent it? Well, no, there is probably a reason for that. You see, there used to be a clear rite of passage for women: getting married.
You switch from Miss to Mrs when you get married, and while English has a "Ms" term, many languages don't. In French, the word "fille", which means girl, is used for any female who has never been married. You'll still be a girl if you're 99 if you never married. And while there have been some calls to get it changed, namely "you used to only have sex if you got married, so really, the switch from girl to woman should be the first time they have sex, not when they get married", this is still a problem as one can be a woman without ever having sex, or a girl even after having sex.


I would agree, again. it roots back to manhood/womanhood being inexorably linked to quantitative data, not qualitative. which I see as being incorrect for both genders.

Avistew wrote:There are many problems with how society expects "real men" to behave. But it's not about females having it easy. In many cases, there is no way at all to be a "real woman", and even when there is, this isn't usually something that grants you advantages, just something that allows you to be boxed in some more. This is true of men too to some extent, but being a "real man" also comes with a higher status and more authority so there is some gain too. A "real woman" (usually used for someone who has children) is less likely to have a career if she wants one while a "real man" is more likely to.
And if you're female, have children and still want to pursue a career (like men who have children have done forever), chances are you'll be judged for it and pushed back into "not a real woman because a real woman would put their kids first, being that immature to worry about your career likes that makes you a selfish little girl".


I think that is less the paradigm. I know plenty of mothers that are well respected and not at all put down for having highly successful careers and a family life. I've definitely never heard any woman put down for being "selfish little girls" for wanting a successful career. Indeed I don't think "girl" has the stigma attached to it like you think it does.
to my mind "boy absolutely has negative connotations.


Avistew wrote:In conclusion, I do think it's difficult for people of all genders to transition to adulthood and there isn't a clear sign of when and how that happens, but I completely disagree with your thesis that it's easy for women and impossible for men.
.


I think on this we can agree. transitioning to adulthood is tough. really tough. It's why it's filled so much of my free thinking time. I'm legitimately struggling with it.
And I know I can't be the only one. My fear is that people who are struggling and that don't have a visible route they can follow instead invent routes and ultimately end up with very flawed concepts of adulthood, (and in my example manhood)

As I said before the fact that all this vitriol is produced my a small subset of young males really has me worried. It has to be symptomatic of something?
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby Dubious_wolf » 04 Sep 2014, 18:19

Duckay wrote:With all due respect, is it possible that you haven't heard people putting others down as "not real women" due to your personal circumstances? Because I certainly have heard "you're not a real woman" used as a put-down. (And unicorn? Maybe not, but surely you've heard the phrase "fake geek girl" thrown around.)


That's a really good point, Hosk and I aren't women, so we wouldn't have that experience.
This would seem to further illustrate my point that the two are distinct and different and genders shouldn't be lumped together. Indeed I feel it's unhealthy to try and do so in both instances.

And as for "fake geek girl", that entire concept stems from the poor image of masculinity these misogynists in video games have invented. They are deriding females for being "fake gamers/geeks/nerds" in the same way some men deride women for being "dykes" It's not healthy for anyone.
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BlueChloroplast
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby BlueChloroplast » 04 Sep 2014, 20:13

Late to the conversation but I want to add to the adulthood discussion. I feel the true difference between adults and children is taking responsibility, eg doing chores because they need to be done, not because you were told to. Children emulate adults, and think that being a grown-up is being serious and doing boring things. Although some people (who I strongly disagree with) think buying figurines or dressing in costumes is childish; I find the petty and vindictive behaviour of "adults" found in place like office politics far more childish.

As for the masculine/feminine, humans of all categories are more alike than different and we should let people like what they want regardless of their sex. Gender is far more complex. I believe there is a scale of femininity/masculinity outside of cultural gender and sex roles. For example being butch does not equal being trans. This is not a field I am an expert in, but I do find it interesting.
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korvys
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby korvys » 04 Sep 2014, 20:33

Dubious_wolf wrote:This would seem to further illustrate my point that the two are distinct and different and genders shouldn't be lumped together. Indeed I feel it's unhealthy to try and do so in both instances.

The thing is, wolf, when people say "You have to man up" or "be a man" or "Not a real woman", etc, these are not comments that a person is acting childish, they are saying you are acting too much like the other gender (according to societal gender roles). That is, they are saying "Be a man [not a woman]", rather than "Be a man [not a boy]".

Ultimately, aside from a few biological differences, men and women are not "distinct and different", and, for the most part should be "lumped together". Duckay's point, if I understand it correctly, is not that men and women are very different, but that people (and society as a whole) treat men and women very differently.

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