Family Issues

Romantic Boys Are Not An Oxymoron

Don't believe the hype about young American men

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Editor's Note: Steve Chapman is on vacation. The following column was originally published in October 2006.

In the movie Love Actually, a widowed father, played by Liam Neeson, asks his morose grade-school son what's bothering him. Is it his mother's death? Problems at school? Bullies?

"You really want to know?" answers the boy. "Well, truth is—actually—I'm in love." His father is surprised but expresses relief that it's not "something worse." The son fixes him with a look of disbelief: "Worse than the total agony of being in love?"

Prepubescent boys aren't supposed to be tormented by romance, and neither are their adolescent brothers. Popular culture fosters an image of teenage males as shallower than a plasma TV, with little interest in the opposite sex beyond meaningless hookups. We often see them as goatish slaves to their hormones, or as predators eager to exploit the emotional vulnerability of girls.

Some of them no doubt aspire to be cold-hearted players, but not as many as you might think. At least that's the conclusion of Bowling Green State University sociologists Peggy Giordano, Monica Longmore, and Wendy Manning, who took the trouble to ask high school boys to reveal their feelings about romance and got some surprising answers.

This is a mission whose difficulty cannot be overstated. As the father of two college men (as well as a high school girl), I can attest that trying to find out what is going on in the minds, much less hearts, of young males can be like trying to liberate gold from Fort Knox. A casual observer might surmise that the only times their emotions are stirred are when the highlights start on SportsCenter.

But through a combination of computer questionnaires and personal interviews, the three sociologists managed to elicit a good deal of truth-telling about intimate matters. The key finding is that boys place as much importance on romance as girls, though they feel less confident navigating it. They apparently are also just as likely to get all soft and gooey on the subject.

"Boys and girls report similar feelings of love" in a relationship, the authors note in an American Sociological Review article, and those feelings don't hinge on having sex. Beneath the bulletproof manner they affect, a lot of young males have hearts made of cotton candy.

In interviews, guys said things like, "Every time I was around her I couldn't talk, I was getting butterflies in my stomach," and "I wouldn't want to live without Jenny," and "I ain't never, like, felt that way about somebody." One boy recounting a breakup confessed, "I wrote her a letter, front and back, crying the whole time, and then I handed the letter to her the next morning." Another filled up 74 pages recounting his romantic history.

What do these boys value most about their girlfriends? Not their toned midriffs. The interviewers got such responses as, "It was like I could talk to her and she could talk to me," and "She always comforted me when I needed a hug."

These are not the sort of lines you hear in movies aimed at this particular demographic segment, which tend to be heavy on explosions, grossout humor and airborne serpents. But having once been an adolescent male, I can attest that high school boys can fall prey to romantic impulses that would make Anna Karenina look about as passionate as Alan Greenspan. And my experiences as a father don't make me doubt the findings, either.

But wait a minute—aren't these hearty young males, raised in our overly sexualized culture, supposed to be perpetually on the prowl for fleeting conquests in the back seat of a car? In fact, fewer than half of male high school students have lost their virginity. The number of womanizers, Giordano told Time magazine, is "smaller than everybody believes."

Some guys take pride in resisting the pressure to behave that way. "I'd rather focus on one girl than a whole bunch because I don't think that I'm some player or something," one said. Few boys, however, are inclined to share the hearts-and-flowers stuff with their buddies, fearing they are the only ones cursed with tender feelings.

They may be wise to guard their inner lives. But they, and we, should take heart knowing that even in an age of sexual liberation, what makes the world go around, still, is love.

COPYRIGHT 2009 CREATORS.COM

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  1. Thank you, I’ve seen a number of these teen sex comedies and don’t recognize myself or my own old high school friends in them. The truth is I was probably more romantic in high school than I am now!

    1. Embarrassingly, an ex girlfriend who is now (10 years later) a really good friend got me to pull out a journal I kept from when we were dating in high school… Good god.

      There was some apocalyptic, end of the world shit in there about the love of my life, and being separated from her, and parents being bullies… It’s pretty sad. There’s some good drawings in the book, but outside of that I am tempted to burn it to hide the record of my 17 year old stupid.

    2. 20 years ago, at 17, I was certainly more of a true believer in romantic love than I am now. Although I’m generally too lazy and cynical to put faith in love per se, I flatter myself to think I’m still capable of a certain sort of tenderness when I consider erotic representations of women such as in Playboy.

      1. Further disclosure: My main reason for eschewing romance nowadays is my endless war against my parents. Dear God, how can I escape from psychological warfare to love?

        1. “If I run out of money before I can make therapy work” The solution is to have someone give you a good bitch-slap while yelling “GET THE FUCK OVER IT!”. I pioneered this therapy and successfully used it for years.

          1. If emotional abuse were the cure, dear Mary, my parents and the public school system would have made me a paragon of mental health.

            1. Ye of little faith, dear Brian, it works. Btw, the only abuse that is evidential in your post is that you were forced to go to go through the “public school system”.

              1. Isn’t that enough? For God’s sake, why don’t people notice what bully-breeding, authoritarian mindfucks those places are? Would it take an extraterrestrial to see them with fresh eyes? Or am I just a wimp for resenting them so?

                1. Listen, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Btw, what is the deal about being “paragon of mental health”? Crazy is more conducive to writing.

                  1. Crazy may have its advantages, but it hurts. In any case, I have to admit that you may have given me something to think about at the bottom of this page of my blog, where you’ve written under the name SINVILLE. (The individual comment hyperlinks don’t seem to work, so you’ll have to scroll down.)

                    1. “but it hurts” Don’t you realize most of if not all the people you feel tortured you (I always like to hear both sides) don’t remember a thing about it or you. Don’t waste your time with hurting but if I makes you feel better you can light a bag full of shit and ring all their doors. Come to think of it, that would make a great series of pictures.

                    2. I’m glad somebody is giving me moral support for revenge, even if only ironically. My mother will eventually feel compelled to have me served with a restraining order, since I’ve been harassing her with angry phone calls every night to insist on that very thing. When it finally happens, I’ll consider the restraining order a political badge of honor. Mrs. “Families Aren’t Democracies” will thus be officially shamed for her endorsement of the dark, satanic mills of the government school system.

  2. Me too, and the same for the majority of my friends. There were guys who fit the stereotype though, and we hated them and we hated the fact that women seemed to like them better.

    1. …and they still do.

      1. There’s a reason for that, and I’m not going to clue you into it.

        1. Ok genius. Let us here your wisdom.

            1. Please die, you cruel bitch.

              1. I hope you meant “Please die, you cruel thin bitch”. Btw, the last person who said that about me called me her best friend within 2 weeks. Ps. Can you wait to do so after christmas. I already have too many parties to go to.

    2. Yes, most women are stupid. Try to avoid those, and look for the non-retarded ones.

    3. Women don’t like them more….the difference is they try more often. think about it. If you are romantic you go after one girl which already diminishes your “out there” moments. Then if you succeed in getting the “one” you are completely out of the game.

      The “fuck em” and forget them types are always in the game.

      It is a math game not proof of girls like bad boys.

      Girls fall for em cause for the most part they are the only ones out there.

    4. There were guys who fit the stereotype though, and we hatedwished we were like them and we hated the fact that women seemed to like them better.

      Fixed.

  3. Find ’em
    Fuck ’em
    Forget ’em

  4. Jesus Christ, all this really says is that high school boys are becoming gigantic vaginas. Did they only interview Goth kids or something?

    1. It’s the perrvasive estrogen-mimicking compounds, I tell you.

    2. because you have any other deeper emotions beyond a throbbing nerve you must be a Gothic Vagina (hey, new rock band name).

      1. Feelings

        woahhh oh oh, feelings

        Yeah, man what a stereotype, sensitive Goths.

        Lounge Lizards have feelings too.

        1. Strangely enough, I was listening to Sinatra singing Send in the Clowns when I read your comment.

          -jcr

  5. Yup, sonds pretty reasonable to me dude. I mean really.

    Kes
    http://www.complete-privacy.se.tc

  6. How do the researchers know that they got truthful answers? If they were good looking you can count on the fact that the boys told them whatever they wanted to hear during the personal interview.

    Let’s be honest. Women would be stunned if they really knew how shallow us men were. I have often stated that if a woman were able to invent mind reading technology she wouldn’t believe the results.

    “Wait, this machine is saying that you are thinking of doing me right here and now. That can’t be right.”
    “Huh? Oh, yeah, that machine must be broken. I was totally thinking of my wife and how much I love her.”

    This (nsfw)is a much more accurate view of adolescent males.

    1. Ooops, I hit the submit button before I was ready.

      I meant that the octopus in the linked picture is representative of most adolescent males (but more highly evolved.)

    2. a reductio ad cyni..cum. Yep, if you are so shallow as to only have one interest, that must mean that every else is just as narrow as you are! Good luck with that narcissistic projection thing.

    3. Keep in mind Pope Jimbo, women would also be quite stunned if they knew how shallow they themselves were. It’s a people thing, not just gender. I suspect one of the reasons this study came to the conclusion they did was because there were enough shallow girls to bring the numbers on their side down.

      Having said that, I think everyone has both a shallow sexuality AND a romantic side, and knowing the difference is important.

      It’s more acceptable for girls to show the romantic side and boys to show the shallow, but each gender has both.

      1. Think of all the women who say stuff like ‘I will only date men 6 foot or taller’.

        Much more superficial than men.

        1. This appears to have a genetic/evolutionary basis. I read that women emit pheromones from the tops of their heads, which waft up toward the noses of taller men during embraces and other close-quarters situations. So, not only do women like taller men, but taller men get a chemical reward (more often, anyway) if they hang out with shorter women.

          Remember, we meatsacks are just vehicles for selfish genes to propagate their kind.

          1. Wasn’t there a shampoo brand in the 1970’s called “gee, your hair smells like chemical signals of reproductive suitability”?

            -jcr

            1. Good one, JCR. 🙂

            2. I’m in awe of you.

          2. So, not only do women like taller men, but taller men get a chemical reward (more often, anyway) if they hang out with shorter women.

            My standards seem to be lowering. I get a chemical reward when I’m in the same room as any women. In fact, I get a chemical reward when I see jpegs of them on teh innernets.

          3. Did the research say that the pheromones were specific to the top of the head?

            Or did the pheromones come from women’s hair?

            If it is a function of hair, then you would see tall men AND midgets getting the big payouts.

            The other payoff combo would be slightly shorter men and very tall large breasted women. The men would get any snorts of pheromones, but would get great slow dances.

        2. I’d never date a man who wears white socks with black pants.

          1. It’s gotta be more complicated than that.

    4. “How do the researchers know that they got truthful answers? …the boys told them whatever they wanted to hear” Boys learn to couch conversations with their mothers very early. I am sure the female researchers heard the same bs.

      1. But you could just as easily rationalize the opposite set of answers as “locker room talk” and insist that the boys really weren’t that shallow.

        My own observations from about 20-30 years ago were that the girls seemed much more “clinical” about relationships — commodifying them and thinking of “boyfriend” as a position to be filled by an applicant with the right qualifications — while the guys seemed to have a narrower and more personal perspective on such things, investing them with more emotional weight.

        I certainly would have fit into that observational model — If I’d actually *had* a girlfriend.

        1. “My own observations from about 20-30 years ago” Do you mean when you were a teenager? I am speaking of now (observing my 21/12 and 10 year old girls)and my experience as a teenager.

          1. Teenager through mid-20s. My own child won’t be old enough to provide a window on the current state of things for another 5-7 years or so.

            1. Ask a boy what they did at school today: “nothing”. Ask a girl what happened: wait you don’t have to ask because you will hear about everything in detail during the car ride home. I can’t tell you how many times a mother of a son will ask me about something going on because they know girls are very open to expressing feelings/opinions. Interesting that you feel girls are more “clinical” & boys have more “emotional weight”.
              My thinking is that girls are encouraged to verbalized their feelings early (thus may be comfortable saying things about the type of relationship they desire) and are emotionally more mature than boys from the get go.

              1. That men do not emote like women is not evidence they are less mature.

                1. Men and women eventually mature but I was speaking of boys & girls. I think that biological influences cause women to mature more efficiently than men.

                  1. Men and women eventually mature but I was speaking of boys & girls. I think that biological influences cause women to mature more efficiently than men.

                    It’s because maturity is defined differently than it was ages ago.

                    Society doesn’t send its men out at a young age in a loin-cloth to hunt anymore. They’re expected to stay at home and raise the children, too.

                    1. A woman who has given birth is more likely to mature. It matters little if we are talking a bout 200 years ago or today.

              2. I think that one might very well argue that girls are more socially dexterous by their teen years, based on the more complex social relationships among girls from earlier ages. Boys, in contrast, move at adolescence from a more simplistic social structure to interacting with a much more complex one, which clearly is a recipe for frustration.

                My point was simply that I agreed with the assessment that many teenage boys aren’t as simplistically motivated and monomaniacally sex-seeking as popular culture assumes, and that the findings weren’t just being skewed by the uncommunicativeness of teen boys. Not every boy, and likely not even most boys, deal with the more complicated environment by viewing it as a game, and becoming a “player”, or even trying to.

                1. “I agreed with the assessment that many teenage boys aren’t as simplistically motivated and monomaniacally sex-seeking as popular culture assumes” So that would explain why male centered entertainment does not exist. Wait it does. Try again!

                  1. So the fact that many men enjoy porn and fratboy comedies means that they conduct themselves in real life the way the characters in the entertainment do? I guess that further explains why the most popular male careers are Cop, Commando, and Ninja.

                    1. The fact that porn and fratboy comedies exists means that men are “monomaniacally sex-seeking as popular culture assumes”. This billion dollar industry was not invented for women.

                    2. Fantasy is one aspect of being human. But reducing us down to one of our fantasies is a gross oversimplification. My fantasies are diverse!

                    3. The fact that porn and fratboy comedies exists means that men are “monomaniacally sex-seeking as popular culture assumes”. This billion dollar industry was not invented for women.

                      That’s totally sexist, Mary. But it’s true.

    5. How do the researchers know that they got truthful answers?

      They were teenage boys talking about sex. So they took their answers, then recorded the opposite answer into the journal. It’s not that hard.

  7. add *if* to first post, *everyone* to second post. Damn.

  8. add *if* to first post, *everyone* to second post. Damn.

  9. The number of womanizers, Giordano told Time magazine, is “smaller than everybody believes.”

    The ones who rack up the big numbers are fully aware that they have no competitors. Other guys are wasting their time trying to nice-guy sociology interviewers and shit.

    1. Most guys are idiots who have no idea how chicks operate. That’s their problem.

      1. Most guys are idiots who have no idea how chicks operate. That’s their problem.

        How does humanity manage to continue as a species?

        1. The dejected devote their time to making money. Al Bundy gets stuck with the hot girl from his glorious high school days. Nerd uses money to make her hotter twenty year old daughter to do freaky things.

        2. There are 1600 guys in Kentucky with pickup trucks, guns and a bad attitude that are getting all the action. Seriously.

        3. Most guys are idiots who have no idea how chicks operate. That’s their problem.

          How does humanity manage to continue as a species?

          Because guys are idiots and have no idea how ‘chicks’ operate. Get it?

          If we weren’t idiots, we’d have never gotten her pregnant in the first place.

          1. *pffff*pffff*

            Is this thing on?

            1. I LOLed.

      2. Most guys are idiots who have no idea how they operate. That’s their problem.

        1. Hmm, you are a shit disturber and a self-admitted “ruthless shitball”. Notice the theme?

          1. Well aware of it. I embrace the inner asshole.

            The ruthless shitball is long gone. Been married for 14 years.

            1. The ruthless shitball is long gone. Been married for 14 years.

              So you have no idea how “chicks” work, either.

              1. Paul, when Hmm says he is married, I just assumed he meant a blow up doll. Give him credit,after 14 years of “marriage” he knows how his chick operates.

                1. I think Mary is still mad I called her/him/it out his/her/its mildly retarded and attention whoring habit of typing in all caps. I could spend time poking holes in the retarded logic of OMG FRAT BOY MOVIES AND PORN (see all caps!!!), but what’s the point.

                  1. Hmm, don’t you have maintenance to do on your “wife”? http://www.qualityinflatables.com
                    http://www.vinylpro.com

                  2. Hmm, don’t you have maintenance/vinyl patching to do on your “wife”?

                    1. Na, she’s at work. How’s the crusade in all caps and the study of male centered entertainment? I know some awesome strip clubs around the country if you want to do some field work. If you need any tips let me know.

                    2. “she’s at work” That means you are the little man at home. Don’t you have some dusting to do?

                    3. Do you really think I would take that as an insult? I’m more OCD than she is and constantly cleaning. I also cook. Surprised? You’ll love this one. She makes more money than I do! (at least recently she does) You know what’s even worse? When she gets home she’s going to want me to put out.

                      Pssst. Your stupidity and bigotry are showing. (ad homs ftw)

                      For the record. You can dust with an Echo leaf blower and it is quite effective. But don’t use duct tape to tape down the brick a brack. It takes off the varnish on the nice furniture, packing tape is best.

                    4. HELL, I know who you are! You already told me about the leaf blower story. We play tennis together at the club and you are always bitching about putting out.

                    5. The only reason I would play tennis is the trap machine is down and I feel like shooting shit as it flies through the air. Even then I would have to go buy a racket and pry the tennis ball out of the dogs mouth. (the line is from Tim Allen, you know that evil male-centric comedian)

                      The chances of me being a part of a “club” that doesn’t start with gun or Mickey Mouse are pretty slim to none.

                    6. Wow, cleans ocd style, cooks like a little woman should, bitches about performing, shoots shit in the air and a wannabee mouseketeer! I have to tell you, I will be using you as a character in my novel.

          2. Well aware of it. I embrace the inner asshole.

            The ruthless shitball is long gone. Been married for 14 years.

            1. I can say that again.

                1. hmm is a swell fucking guy you dumbass.

                  1. Hmm,I offer a rare and not commonly known service.
                    It’s called SDIARS. I surf the internet to warn people when the shit disturber/inner asshole/ruthless shitball is making another dumbass comment.

                    1. That’s an awesome service. I bet you get a ton of work. Do you have to cut yourself a check after your comments?

                      Oh ya, the mom jokes are next. =)

                    2. You are hilariously dull.

                      Ever hear of soap operas, Grey’s Anatomy, romance novels? All that shit is porn for women and it’s a much bigger industry than male porn.

                    3. Hmm,I offer a rare and not commonly known service.
                      It’s called SDIARS. I surf the internet to warn people when the shit disturber/inner asshole/ruthless shitball is making another dumbass comment.

                      Who watches the watchers?

      3. You seem to be one of them, considering all women and all men don’t operate at the same capacity.

  10. “Some of them no doubt aspire to be cold-hearted players, but not as many as you might think.”

    Have you heart broken a few times and you are bound to become one.

  11. “…the term romantic boys is not an oxymoron.” I noticed this in my son at a very early age. He was no different in that respect from me when I was that age. I’ve been teaching college since 1976 and have never seen any evidence of the supposed ubiquity of the “hookup culture.” It is probably just another myth.

    1. “never seen any evidence of the supposed ubiquity of the “hookup culture.” = “I’m guilty of extraordinary naivete, I suppose. But it’s a naivete that I really don’t want to abandon, not even now.”

      1. Why is it “naive” to believe your own eyes and ears? And whatever the opposite of naive is, it aint’t “Tsk, tsk. This younger generation!”

        1. Lester, I guess sex is not discussed in philosophy class but I love your rose-colored glasses.

  12. Yeah, the same for me. I was a Herman Hesse, Jim Morrison worshiping freakazoid swooning the ladies like a 50’s greaser in my early to mid teens.

    I’m definitely less romantic, now. A month or so back, a female friend (not involved) was complaining about her sex life and orgasms, and I in a fit of disgust told her, ‘figure it out yourself. You are an adult, aren’t you? If you can’t control your muscular flexations and rhythm how do you expect someone else to do it for you?’

    Teen alan would have imagined himself face down in the hoochie, crying tears of joy if she spurted in his face. What a fucking jerk that guy was.

    1. It’s amazing how many Penthouse Letters start with that same conversation.

      1. Heh heh heh, true.

  13. A month or so back, a female friend (not involved) was complaining about her sex life and orgasms, and I in a fit of disgust told her, ‘figure it out yourself. You are an adult, aren’t you? If you can’t control your muscular flexations and rhythm how do you expect someone else to do it for you?’

    How’d that go over?

    1. She thought what I told her was hilarious. Being very pretty, she is use to guys kissing her ass, and rarely gets anything that sounds like candor.

    2. Well, got to put on some pants, and drive cross county to Moma’s for Thanksgiving.

      1. I find pants to be a completely unnecessary luxury when on the open road.

  14. ‘Some of them no doubt aspire to be cold-hearted players, but not as many as you might think. At least that’s the conclusion of Bowling Green State University sociologists Peggy Giordano, Monica Longmore, and Wendy Manning, who took the trouble to ask high school boys to reveal their feelings about romance and got some surprising answers.’

    This is a good way to identify progressives and left- libertarians: They use words like ‘surprising’ or ‘unexpected’ whenever a social science study confirms some common-sense view held by benighted, tradition-minded people.

    See also The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study. This ‘Landmark Study’ reached the ‘Unexpected’ conclusion that divorce is . . . generally bad for kids!

    Perhaps this is why so many people support the likes of Sarah Palin. Maybe she’s a moron (I don’t know), but at least she doesn’t have to wait for a ‘Landmark Study,’ or a survey by two sociologists, before they feel they have permission to acknowledge the obvious.

  15. Surprising? As a guy, you’re pretty much told from an early age that you’re a lying, cheating scumbag so you have to work extra hard to convince the girl you’re with you’re not. You’ll never actually convince her of anything though. When she gets tired, she moves on and sluts around for a while. I’m seen it happen tons of times both to me and my friends (I was in high school when this article was written).

    Its a role reversal thing. Girls are brought up being told they can do anything and they don’t need a man and they don’t need to rely on anyone, while boys (especially white middle class ones) are brought up being told they’re bad, oppressive, and exploitative. Boys grow up and try and prove they aren’t, while girls grow up being selfish cunts, telling themselves the whole time that they deserve to behave that way or they’ll end up being 1950s housewives.

    Thankfully, though after she gets tired of you, you can play on the selfish cunt-ness and put together a rotation of solid hook-ups.

    /bitterness

    1. Been burned a few hundred times, Matt? Cause wow, does it ever show.

    2. while boys (especially white middle class ones) are brought up being told they’re bad, oppressive, and exploitative.

      yeah you are a pussy.

      When she gets tired, she moves on and sluts around for a while

      Give me a break. Just as there are “fuck em and forget em” boys there are “Slut around” girls. To generalize them as the majority is ignoring a pretty simple fact that women who are not sluts tend to be taken and are unavailable. Plus the sluts are sluts….so it is pretty likely if you are swimming a pool filled with none slut women and one slut in all likelihood you are going to fall into with the slut.

      The same shit is happening with women who look for single men. they are going to fuck the “fuck em and forget em” guys disproportionally.

      1. Plus the sluts are sluts….so it is pretty likely if you are swimming a pool filled with none slut women and one slut in all likelihood you are going to fall into with the slut.

        I’m still trying to see the downside, here…

        Help me out.

  16. I am continually astonished by the amount of guys–intelligent guys–who seem to be terrible judges of character. I don’t know about others, but I can see a horrible personality a mile away and avoid women like that like the plague.

    I mean, what about guys who get involved with a girl who cheats on her current boyfriend to be with them? Do you really think she won’t do it to you next? Really?

    1. I am a much better judge of character now, though I’ve certainly made my “mistakes” on that front… But on the down side, this keeps me single most of the time as I live in Los Angeles.

      1. I am a much better judge of character now

        You hang out here, dude. I’m not really seein’ it.

    2. Very true Epi, I will tell my friends when they first hook up with a hot looking skank to watch out. Don’t fall for this girl, because you can’t trust her. They usually get pissed off & say she’s not like that. Then they have to find out the hard way, that she is that way & I get to say I told you so.

    3. I mean, what about guys who get involved with a girl who cheats on her current boyfriend to be with them?

      To get a piece of vagina, of course.

    4. .I am continually astonished by the amount of guys–intelligent guys–who seem to be terrible judges of character.

      There are pretty good evolutionary reason why the human mind would segregate the character judgment of women they want to sleep with vs the character judgment of a business partner.

      You have to remember we evolved without birth control. Sluts tended to have their careers cut short by pregnancy.

    5. But those relationships last all the time…

  17. 20 years ago, at 17, I was certainly more of a true believer in romantic love than I am now. Although I’m generally too lazy and cynical to put faith in love per se, I flatter myself to think I’m still capable of a certain sort of tenderness when I consider erotic representations of women such as in Playboy.

    [What’s the most opportunistic way to use the threaded comment system? Submit your comment twice, once close to the top and once at the bottom. Ha!]

    1. No wonder you linked that. You totally kicked Omar’s ass there!

      1. Omar made himself an easy target.

    2. Further disclosure: My main reason for eschewing romance nowadays is my endless war against my parents. Dear God, how can I escape from psychological warfare to love?

  18. and other times Liam Neesom plays the part of a father who uses a large sword to try and chop up another father’s son who just happen be in love with “buggering young boys” according to the boys father. Which somehow makes that movie seem relevant to this one that I haven’t seen.

  19. Luckily for men, most women are cruel and shallow, or we would all have been married shortly after high school. I’m pretty sure all boys start out romantic, the players just had their hearts broken earlier than everyone else. 14 year old Susie cheating on you with a marine does quite a number on the psyche.

  20. They may be wise to guard their inner lives

    This should be qualified. I have rarely ever seen any chastising by fellow boys or men of other men who express “romantic feelings”. Even the “fuck em and forget em types” tend to frame their position as a way to avoid getting into entanglements.

    “Don’t be a pussy” tends to have the meaning in guy speak of “You will get your heart broke”

    1. This should be qualified. I have rarely ever seen any chastising by fellow boys or men of other men who express “romantic feelings”.

      That’s because the chastising is done by girls/women. Ever heard a woman tell a man “grow up”, “be a man”, “stop whining”? These are all shaming words women use to control men. It is frequently used to shut down men who open up. I daresay most women will use such shaming tactics, and men will do well to guard themselves against it.

      1. man, the mra shit is like scientology for people with no money.

  21. I was pretty ruthless shitball when it came to the opposite sex when I was younger. Oddly I got along with everyone, even after screwing them over. Maybe I should make a run at politics.

  22. I have a friend who teaches middle school and has stated that male social development ends around the 7th grade. What can I say, she pretty much nailed it!

    … Hobbit

    1. By that logic, female social development stops around the 3rd grade.

  23. Good thing females do not use logic.

  24. You guys all sound either bitter or female. You need to attend Bender’s School of Romance and learn to say “Bite my shiny metal ass.”

  25. I WANT SOME FUCKIN POON RIGHT NOW

  26. I can identify with this.

  27. Wow, this thread turned out surprisingly awesome. I’ll just say that I was a painfully shy teenager who could and still can relate a bit too much to Bryan Ferry lyrics about heartache, unrequited love and wistful limerence.

    1. And that’s why Mick Jagger got Jerry Hall.

      1. Ouch, true story. But “Prairie Rose” was such a great song.

  28. I got together with my old high school buddies for drinking and reminiscence last night. The thing I’ve noticed, is that around the “pack”, especially acquaintances, the talk is about sexual conquests. The closer the friends, though, you might hear about the more emotional stuff. I’ve seen the two biggest womanizers I know get emotional about girls even in high school. I guess its cathartic every once in a while for guys, but its mostly just uncomfortable like watching a chick flick. Its like the movies aren’t boring, they just literally make us uncomfortable.

  29. And Mary, why do you shout on your blog?

    1. Paul, I will write about it later (on my blog)

  30. Anyone notice the ad? “Want to DRILL for AMERICAN oil?”

    Just sayin’

  31. I mean, what about guys who get involved with a girl who cheats on her current boyfriend to be with them? Do you really think she won’t do it to you next? Really?

    Yeah, we do. And yeah, some of us never learn.

  32. Paul, just think about going to prostitutes instead. They can’t divorce you and take half your shit.

  33. H&R is simply dripping with romance . . .

    1. Yeah…H&R might want to get rodded…or at least get some penicillin.

  34. Researchers Peggy, Monica, and Wendy are an interesting team to be researching teenage boys. These authors seem to be looking for soft, fuzzy responses from their young male subjects, perhaps to fit their model of a boy as being the ideal girlfriend. It sounds to me as if these sociologists have the prevalent, modern-day aversion to boys being boys. Immaculate boys while they are young, but don’t nag the men they become for being soft when you want them mighty.

    1. Whoa there. Are you saying that three female scientists academic sociologists, one of which I know focuses on delinquency, might be trying to force some model of men?

      Racist.

      1. Or maybe it’s that some boys they didn’t interview are like you guys, and others they did, are actually more complex. Oh, that’s right, if they have romantic feelings, they must be lying…or wusses….something like that?

        1. You mean like what I said? Forcing a model of men.

  35. Uh… Mary Stack is making me uncomfortable.

  36. Love that. Do I get a an award/ certificate?

  37. Wow, Mary STACK’s already making people uncomfortable? She’ll fit in perfectly on Hit & Run!

      1. PhD isn’t the acronym for participation ribbon. I’m also pretty sure “How Not to Get Trolled” is covered in graduate level shit disturbing degrees.

        1. Trolled? I have been called a cruel bitch, sexist, mildly retarded, attention whoring, stupid & bigoted, dumbass, and “Uh… Mary Stack is making me uncomfortable.” but the best was “Wow, Mary STACK’s already making people uncomfortable? She’ll fit in perfectly on Hit & Run!” all in this post. Trolling? No,this reminds me more of thanksgiving dinner chit-chat. Btw,don’t you have dishes to do?

          1. Being old and busted myself I feel the need to inform you of your serious lack of the understanding of the word “trolled.” Wiki, the old and busted crutch, probably isn’t the best source. Maybe hit up the urban dictionary, one of your kids while contemplating the meaning of the universe on the ride home from school, or ask some 13 year old boy. (who will probably troll your ass for an entire thread)

            That was the other service I offer. Helping the old and busted into today’s age. I’m hoping for some government funding as soon as health care goes through.

            1. Sarcasm baby. You can find it in any dictionary including the paper one that you have along with your rotary phone, boombox, and commodore 64.

              1. Nice fall back. Little off, but that’s okay.

                I’m not too sure how to respond to the rotary phone, boombox, 64 comment. Did you forget your meds this morning or is that supposed to mean something? I’ll just assume it’s sarcasm until otherwise informed. Right?

                1. I guess the dishes are done. Don’t you have pillows to fluff?

                  1. Witty, oh so witty

                    La la la lalala.

                    Since your so fixated on my day to day life we ate out with friends today. I do have a scotch class to wash, but not until I’m done.

                    (You’re one of those boil the bunny chicks aren’t you? You seem easily fixated.)

          2. UPDATE:”I have been called a cruel bitch, sexist, mildly retarded, attention whoring, stupid & bigoted, dumbass, and “Uh… Mary Stack is making me uncomfortable.” but the best was “Wow, Mary STACK’s already making people uncomfortable? She’ll fit in perfectly on Hit & Run!” all in this post.” ADD “old and busted” Thanks Hmm. Does anyone else think this would make a great back of the book blurb?

              1. 2 comments in 6 minutes. You are worse than Alex Forrest.

                1. are you two married?

  38. Amazing how women/girls (speaking in general terms of course) seemingly want emasculated guys who act like their (the women’s) gay friends — but then they are in practice strongly drawn to the the he-man/player/jerks.

    I have long wondered why the goal of the ‘Cosmopolitan’ mag brand of sexually liberated feminism seems virtually indistinguishable from a ruse designed to set up young women to be exploited by men who don;t respect them.

  39. Re male/female differences
    In PC quarters you can’t say men and women have any general differences UNLESS it is to say the female way is better. There is no concept of the male-female yin & yang. It is great to say that women in general are better verbally, but to suggest the near-corollary that men tend to be better at math/spatial reasoning is hate speech.

    I’m convinced that women’s vaunted ability to be ‘more in touch with their’ feelings has as its flip side the viciousness and grudgeholding that so often rears its head in organizations (or units) that are mostly female (assuming the many women who say they’d rather work with men aren’t all lieing)

    1. And I thought I was the shit-disturber.

      1. You like? 🙂

        There’s more where that came from.

        I’m a libertarian-conservative (classical liberal?) who outgrew my purist libertarian phase over the last 20 years.

        1. “I’m a libertarian-conservative (classical liberal?) who outgrew my purist libertarian phase” Interesting but I have no idea what this means. I am still looking for a book to explain Libertarian philosophy. Having lived in more than one country, I have come to the conclusion that all politicians are cut from identical cloth and their respective parties belong to that same club.

    2. I’ve been pissed off her hours since I heard this remark.

      How about pettiness as in “I don’t like so-and-so because of the way she flips her hair.”

      Btw, what’s the shape of feminism/gender studies today? (I might be out of touch). When I first encountered feminism, the ideology was that women and men were completely equal: my father’s wife’s interpretation of this was that “any woman” could do anything that a man could do; so even talking about men in general being stronger or better at most sports requiring strength and speed was a kind of wicked sexism/hate speech. By the time I got in college though, it seems like the tone and view shifted to “women are special in certain ways, and these special ways actually make them superior to a men.” That was the Women’s Studies perspective – not sure to what extent it was accepted by women in general but it seemed like there was definitely a shift over to at least, “women and men actually do have some different qualities from each other.”

      1. Yep, but again its only allowable to mention m/f differences when they are trivial to the point at hand, or when the more feminine way is better.

        Actually its worse than that — they schizophrenically hold both views simultaneously, that men and women are virtually identical (gender is socially constructed) AND that women are better-different.

        In a more specific case, a year ago I finished 6 years as a university Computer Science instructor. To this day, flagship journal of the Association for Computing Machinery is full of articles on the importance of bossting female enrollment — even as enrollment and graduation rates for men plummets university-wide. Of course its good to eliminate overt sexism (as is still found in some of the older faculty) and eliminate other aspects which may be needlesly offputting to women students, but the efforts head into la-la land:
        its forbidden to acknowledge decades of experience (no to mention studies) that show some underlying greater interest by men in the problem domains addressed by computer science, as well as (god forbid) some (on a statistical basis!) greater aptitude for the kinds of problem solving it requires.

        No general differences there can be acknowledged (men and women are NO different if you sexists just get out of the way), even as the literature is full of ways to change how CS is taught to better accommodate the *different* ‘learning styles’ of women: more ‘collaborative’ learning (recipe for cheatng and coattail riding when done too soon/too much) and framing topics in terms of PC projects, ‘service learning’ too >spit< (hey — I thought you said no differences!).
        That is being steadily pushed without any regard for the very real erosion of the mathematical rigor of the discipline, or the fact that some of these changes make the tradeoff of being offputting to *male* students (many of the best who seem to be moving from CS to engineering instead).

        [Aside — funny how masculine/feminine are purely cultural, but all homosexualtiy is 100% deep-seated biology (from the people whoe deny the existence of an evolved basic human nature)]

  40. “pissed off” in reference to “grudgeholding” above in newscapers post.

  41. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets.

  42. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight.

  43. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight.

  44. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight.

  45. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books.

  46. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane

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