Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Men Stopped Snoring and Now America is Over

How did I miss Simcha Fisher until now? She is just a treasure trove of snark material!

Her latest bit of snarkalicious wonderment is entitled Masculinity Reduction Surgery, which made me think that the New York Times had managed to find two hipsters trying to start the antitrend of penis size reduction, but alas, no.

It is far more sinister than that! It is the end of men and the end of America itself!!1!!eleventy!!!

Men are- I can hardly bear to type these words- getting plastic surgery. This is the end, my friends, the very end.

Look, I'm not really comfortable plastic surgery, unless it is reconstructive. If an accident or illness has left you looking significantly different than you used to, and this bothers you, reconstructive surgery all the way, baby! Otherwise . . . I dunno. I used to be totally opposed to plastic surgery, but then I noticed that my upper eyelids are drooping with age, as in actual overlap happening, and suddenly I think plastic surgery might be just the thing. So, I'm not judgey about plastic surgery, and I don't hold different standards for men and women on the subject, I'm just not comfortable with it. Probably because the results frequently look really odd, for one thing, and I also suspect that if we'd stop airbrushing and cutting up people showing the slightest hint of age, I might not feel quite so bad about a normal part of being 35.

Anyway, Simcha doesn't have these thoughts about plastic surgery, or at least she doesn't share them if she does. What she feels is, well:

What I mean to say is, didn’t there used to be men in this country? Men have always been vain, certainly, but one of their most endearing features has always been that most men will be vain for no particular reason. Haven’t you seen one of those 60-year-old behemoths on the beach, proceeding imperially down the shoreline like a glorious Adonis, even though his rock-hard, hairy, sunburned, hassock-sized belly alone takes up more property than the typical starter home? But he doesn’t care! He is

who he is, and he’s going to strut his stuff.

I’m not even kidding: That is what I like about men. They don’t give a damn. Their neck bulges over the back of their collar? So what? Their ears are hairy, their hands are rough, they snore and make noise and take up lots of space. That is what men are supposed to be like, and if they are going to start frowning into the magnifying mirror and getting all teary when bathing suit season comes around, then we might as well just call it a day. Good night, America. Sorry, Ben Franklin. It was a pretty good country, but it’s over now.

Ah, gender stereotypes. Girls like pink and don't know how to use power tools and men think their beer bellies and ear hair are hawt! And any man or woman not fitting into those stereotypes are destroying Western civilization!

First of all, fuck off. Men aren't "supposed to be" anything but themselves and men shouldn't have to pretend to be what you think men are supposed to be just so you can feel comfortable. Sorry, Simcha, you're not god.

Secondly, it's total bullshit. My husband's weight ranges from obese to morbidly obese. I don't care, but he does and he always has. He has never been proud of the amount of space he takes up or oblivious to how other people see him. My husband has eyes, Simcha. He can see all the movie stars and models and he can see that what's in the mirror doesn't look like that. And it doesn't make him feel good.

Yes, Simcha, men have feelings. (And soft hands. I can't imagine why a musician/recording engineer would have rough hands, but I guess that makes my husband a woman.)

I'm glad you like hairy ears and farts and snoring and neck bulges, but that doesn't make any woman who doesn't not a woman, or any man who doesn't want to be hairy-eared, farty and bulgey less of a man. And it's unbelievably arrogant of you to think that you can determine what men are, and declare that all men who don't fall into your categories aren't really men. Who the hell do you think you are, Simcha?

Oh, wait, I see, it's vascetomies. Men who have had them ARE NOT MEN.

How did we get here? In my entirely unscientific opinion, something else happened in the ‘50s, when men started making appointments with their doctors for a different procedure. And once it became common, there was no particular reason for men to look like men. One word, and I’ll give you a hint: It starts with “v-a-s.”

Ooh, sorry, neutered guys, did that hurt your widdle feelings? THAT’S BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT A MAN.

Hey, done with fathering children? YOU ARE NOT A MAN! Incapable of fathering children? YOU ARE NOT A MAN! Testicular cancer require the removal of your testicles? YOU ARE NOT A MAN.


And you ruined America, you thoughtless unmale bastard. Now think about what you've done!

*Simcha only wrote that choosing sterility makes one NOT A MAN, but what's the difference? If sterility means you are not a man, it shouldn't make any difference whether one is sterile by choice or not.


  1. OMFG re: the vasectomy bit.

    Anyway, there's a lot going on in Simcha's post. But what I think is interesting to point out is that it's not so much Beauty Standards in general that she is objecting to, but rather, the application of Beauty Standards to men that she sees as hearkening the End of Times.

    When unfair, fat-hating, hair-hating, authenticity-hating beauty standards are applied to women, it's totally fine.

    It would be nice to get a little consistency on that front. Instead, she basically tells us that men getting plastic surgery is bad because it's, like, what vain, vapid, and shallow women do.

  2. Basically, yes. And experience has taught me that men feel pretty much what women do (allowing for the fact that being male in a patriarchy is a different experience from being female in a patriarchy), they just don't admit to it because they know people like Simcha will label them as being "girly"- the worst thing a man can be.

  3. Ah, gender stereotypes. Girls like pink and don't know how to use power tools and men think their beer bellies and ear hair are hawt!

    Fuck that noise. I was the fat kid. Now I'm not the fat kid, but I still have the overhang to show who I once was.

    Guess what? I also have the world's worst farmer's tan, since I haven't taken my shirt off in public since I was, like, five.

    Weirdly, it's almost a bigger problem on this end of the weight spectrum. I mean, if I were still the Fat Kid, I'd expect people to think of me as the Fat Kid. Now I've got people telling me that I'd better stop working on losing weight, because I'm obviously not fat. But I've still got that overhang, so now I'm all, "So what if I take my shirt off and now someone expecting to see a skinny dude is like, 'What the Hell?'"

    It's problematic. And it never goes away.

    Ooh, sorry, neutered guys, did that hurt your widdle feelings? THAT’S BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT A MAN.

    Wow. What a horrible person. I'm not even sexually active, but I thought about getting a vasectomy just this past weekend. Why? Because I don't want children.

    So, y'know, fuck that noise...

  4. wait - does that mean i'm now Not A Woman?
    [or rather, now HALF Not A Woman - erm... the following is TMI so i'm going put it down below everything else i said. ignore the bottom if you don't want the TMI]

    so, Friday was The Day. Der Tag. i was getting Essure and WOULD BE STERALIZED! YAY and a party!

    and it was OHMYGOD pain. then my right leg started to protest being in the position it was in because i no longer HAVE those muscles [cut out to get rid of the MRSA] to hold it there. and she got the first coil in my right fallopian tube, and then...
    my Uterus. Went. INSANE.

    she tried to get the left one in THREE TIMES. she didn't stop trying until i was ready to throw up [i was TERRIFIED i was going to throw up, and i've got a speculum in, and clamps holding my cervix out of the way, and two different tubes, a camera, and gods know WHAT all in my vagina and uterus - i think throwing up would have killed me] actually, she told me, she kept going until i stopped talking - when i stopped talking, she judged the pain was too great for me to deal with. also, she said, i was green.
    and... no, i'm not complaining. she and the nurses spend a HALF A FREAKING HOUR reassuring me that it wasn't my fault, and both the doc and one of the nurses said, at different points, that they couldn't BELIEVE i held out for so long with so much pain - the doctor stopped because she was worried i was going to *lose control* and try to move - she's had patients do that, and a good 15 minutes earlier than she stopped with me. THEN the doc told me i'd be a fascinating case study on how treating a person's pain like it didn't matter produced a person who ignored their body's warnings [pain] until their body just QUIT. cuz she went and read all my med records before she even met me, and she was positive that SHE would have to be the one to call it quits, because i'd be psychologically INCAPABLE of doing so.

    and the worst of all that is - it made me happy. REALLY happy. to have a doctor tell me "you have so much control over yourself that you kept lying there, still, while i put you thru pain even greater than LABOR, and aside from cracking jokes and extact 2 whines and 5 whimpers, made NOT A SOUND"
    that was some FUCKING VALIDATION! and that's so fucking fucked up that it fucking made me feel good to KNOW that a DOCTOR *KNEW* that i could deal with pain of that level.

    PF, am i CRAZY??? or not crazy because it's a product of needing to be "functional"? is it more crazy to stubbornly lie on a table as a woman tortures me [and it WAS, not that it was malicious] for what i want, or to have call quits earlier, when i was hoping that she COULD do it that day and i wouldn't have to go thru all the EARLIER pain again?
    or am i just crazy, period? lol.

    if you decide to get Essure - ANYONE - please, for the love of all the gods anyone ever imagined, either do it under anethesia or do it under "twilight" [i can't do twilight, i hit and kick and bit, it triggers my PTSD. and i refuse to get anethesia when i don't NEED it. but that's because i've had it too much anyway]

  5. so - the rest of my comment, as i filled the above with last Friday...

    what does she think about "body building"? it's another form of men "making themselves attractive" so it's BAD, right?
    what about men who shave/wax their backs?
    what about kilts - traditionally MALE attire?
    what about penile piercings? scrotral piercings? piercings in general?
    what about getting their hair cut? or, contrawise, acting like me and letting it grow ito a blanket?

    her thinking on vasectomies is... flawed. unlike having ones testes removed [i.e. castration] with a vasectomy, everything EXCEPT the tube that delivers sperm is intact. they still PRODUCE sperm [and could concievably father a child with some form of reproductive aid] they still get the same hormones, and the same horniness.

    and your point, PF, about sterility in general is ALSO a good point. or men who are so old that their sperm are, effectivly, DOA. "war wounds" [it's happened - the Japanese castrated some men in WWII, for example, and IIRC so did the VietCong]. medical castration, either for crimes or because you HAVE to take something that makes you sterile while you're taking it.

    marrying a WOMAN who's sterile, for whichever reason.
    are women who have HAD to have hysterectomies no longer women? what about me? [after i go thru the pain for the other Tube]. what about a man married to a woman on other BC - say, Depo or an implant or an IUD?
    are women who have had masectomies no longer women? what about a breast reductions
    [BTW - i would almost KILL for a breast reduction. but there's absolutely zero MEDICAL reason for me to get one, so... again, i'm trying to avoid surgeries that i DON'T need, because i DO need a few more. and there's only so many times one can go under before one doesn't come back up... anyway, i'm saying "hooray, PF is cool about that sort of thing!" it's nice to be reminded how cool you are :)]

    if it's NOT the case that removal of secondary sex organs makes one NOT the sex they are, then how could a vasectomy - which removes nothing and can be REVERSED [and sometimes does all on it's own] - remove one's sex?

    but really - this is a woman who has bought into the Patriarchy with every coin at her disposal - intellectually, emotionally, spirtually - she has sold her soul to the Patriarchy, in the hopes that this will get her what she thinks she wants - a "real man". as if a man who cares how he looks, or doesn't want children, or doesn't snore is any less of a man.

    i think *SHE* is less of a PERSON for thinking so. [by which i mean, not that she isn't human and doesn't deserve human consideration, but rather that she apparantly has decided that it's better to be an ANIMAL who *CAN'T* control their reproduction than it is to be a fully engaged adult human being who can and SHOULD think logically and make logical choices about their life, INCLUDING reproduction. if that makes sense]

  6. I love gender stereotypes. I wear pants, play with guns and all manner of manly things. My husband does too, I suppose. But he also cooks, does laundry, and has the soft hands of a lawyer that does paperwork...

    I must be the man in the relationship, since he's such an un-man that we don't want kids. So I suppose I am un-woman too?

    Fuck. I'm confused.

    Am I lesbian now?

  7. @Denelian: Yes, reluctance would be a much more accurate word. And you're spot on about my thought processes.

  8. Oops, the previous comment was meant for the discussion about the "unique qualities of a christian woman" thread.

    @Denelian: All I can say is you're a much stronger person that I'll ever be. That's a LOT to endure. And I think that should qualify as the understatement of the century.

    Oh, and the whole vasectomy thing reminds me of the whole "man must prove how manly he is by spreading his seed far and wide" nonsense that makes me quite uncomfortable. For multiple reasons.

  9. Jarred;

    i knew what you meant [where you meant?] good to know my precog skills are still up to par :)

    as for the other - you learn to cope. i've been in pain so long, honestly most of it wasn't any worse than my day-to-day pain.

    and i'll note, most Marines and Navy SEALs would call me a wimp for whining about it! :D

  10. and BTW - does anyone KNOW why i'm SIGNED IN but it won't freaking let me post with my gmail/blogger acct?!?! i've signed in like 12 times, i finally went the LJ route because it WOULD NOT POST MY COMMENT!!!


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