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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » What is defined as normal ?

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Author Topic: What is defined as normal ?
antonio99
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My gf actually cuddles sometimes and other times, she doesn't. I don't mind how she treats me but even though she treats me like an object every once in a while... it makes me think... from a general point of view.... that she always blame me for treating her that way even though I don't! But when you look at how the majority of men in this society treat women... then you can see that this world is not what it is. However, given that more men than women do this.... I sometimes wonder if women are just the same.

I am confused by what is defined as normal or not. I believe this society is plagued by a lot of stereotypes/labelings. We have always come to believe that women are not sexual and that men are. That is because 'outside sources' tell you what is right or wrong. But I in no way believe that these outside sources have been helpful. I only believe they have been there for control.

What do you think ?


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logic_grrl
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quote:
But when you look at how the majority of men in this society treat women... then you can see that this world is not what it is. However, given that more men than women do this.... I sometimes wonder if women are just the same.

I think the thing to bear in mind is that at the moment, our society is set up in a particular way, which puts a lot of pressure on people to conform to stereotypes about how "real men" and "real women" are supposed to act (i.e., what's "normal").

And that social set-up encourages some guys to treat women as if they were "objects" with no feelings of their own.

But that doesn't mean that all men act that way or that men are inherently "bad" or that this is somehow part of being male - it just means that society's messing people up.

And yes, that mess can sometimes make it confusing and difficult for individual men and women who are trying to relate as individuals.

It sounds as if you feel your girlfriend is blaming you for the actions of men in general. Which wouldn't be fair or logical, although sometimes people do get frustrated and stressed out by the world and react like that - if she's had bad experiences with men in the past, that may affect how she reacts to you.

But have you asked her why she's behaving in the way she does?

Almost everyone has times when they want to cuddle and times when they just don't, and it doesn't necessarily mean that they're intending to treat the other person "like an object" at all - it just means that human beings don't always feel like cuddling.

Since human beings aren't objects, they can't be expected to cuddle on demand .


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antonio99
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Logicgrl, how did you know my gf blamed men for their actions ? She never had a bad influence. Actually she has seen bad influences from her girl friends in general. So basically, she wasn't comfortable around the company of men. She feels that society controls people and that men are the evil doers.

What you just said, I also must agree. That society messes us up. It didn't mess her up... but when I showed her my way... she had the guts to really trust me and she did.

I have asked her many times why she behaves the way she does... and she always responds.... " that society is messed up. That the world we live in is a sad place." She's not talking about America in particular... she's talking about the whole world.

I have been in different worlds myself... and men seem to be the overdominate-bearing creatures on this planet. And from what I have seen, women hide themselves behind their smiles. That is why I find it difficult to understand women's emotions. Their behaivors and how they are really really feeling inside.


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logic_grrl
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quote:
Logicgrl, how did you know my gf blamed men for their actions ?

I don't. But that's what you seemed to be saying in your message.

quote:
And from what I have seen, women hide themselves behind their smiles. That is why I find it difficult to understand women's emotions. Their behaivors and how they are really really feeling inside.

Well, there's often a lot of pressure on women to be smiley and nice all the time and not offend anyone, especially men.

So I think that sometimes prevents girls and women from sending clear messages - or leads to people bottling up resentment and then lashing out unexpectedly, sometimes at the wrong targets.


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antonio99
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My gf totally agrees with that. She said, " Women often engage themselves in catfights." I wasn't actually so sure what she meant by catfight but it's difficult knowing how women often engage themselves into that.

So I had the feeling of trying to discover the catfight myself. She was so kind enough to show me. We spotted a few girls around some shopping mall.

What I discovered with her help was that women tend to overlook at each other physically ( I hope I am not generalizing ). They usually try to compare themselves over who is prettiest by giving each other negative exchanges or remarks or body reactions. Some even call each other names. Some joke or mock at one another. At first I thought that was all a part of their maturity. But then I realized that it wasn't.

So is it true that women don't get along with each other unless their jealous of how another female looks? or are prettier than them ?


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lemming
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quote:
Originally posted by antonio99:
So is it true that women don't get along with each other unless their jealous of how another female looks? or are prettier than them?

Whoa, big sweeping generalization there. Yes, some women are like that sometimes. Some women are like that most of the time (they don't have many friends ). But I'd like to think that most of us aren't like that most of the time. That's like saying that all men hate all other men because they're competition (also a silly false statement).

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Lucky1402
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quote:
Originally posted by antonio99:
They usually try to compare themselves over who is prettiest by giving each other negative exchanges or remarks or body reactions. Some even call each other names. Some joke or mock at one another.

I understand that you weren't trying to generalize, but that is certainly what it is when anyone assumes that all people in one group act the same. In all truthfulness, all women do not act that way to other women: far from it. I cannot remember any time in my life in which I have ever publicly mocked or made fun of another girl because of how she looked. I have also never intentionally caused a confrontation with someone because of something so minute as their appearance. I have to be frank: those actions, in my opinion anyway, have to do with general respect and maturity. Creating public confrontation, picking fights with people, and mocking them publicy are things that show neither respect nor maturity. Believe me, I have seen a few girls, and a few guys, at my school do that to other people and to this day I do not understand how they can justify it.

Also, all women are not obsessed with their appearance or constantly compare themselves to others. That varies from person to person, and hey: some men, in addition to some women, happen to be concerned with their looks and compare themselves to others. Really, the male gender and the female gender (and everything in between) are really not that different if you research their actions and emotions.

To me, there is no normal, as everyone acts and feels differently.

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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by antonio99:
She feels that society controls people and that men are the evil doers.

And that, my dear friend, is a cop-out. We see a lot of "society makes me do x" or "society makes me feel y," but in the end it's all just semantics. Society-with-a-capitol-"s" is just one of those monolithic things that people use to frame their own feelings, generalizations, prejudices, and fears with. It is, plain and simple, the great excuse.

Yes, we live in a world of preconceived notions. Yes, we live in a world where some traits are more publicized (or more desirable) than others. But it is we who accept the feelings of "society" who are the problem. If all of us paid less attention to what we thought the world was telling us to do, and more attention to what we felt was right and decent and moral and kind, there really wouldn't be any pressure from "society" at all.

And neither would there be excuses.

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Etch
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"The devil made me do it!" is the outdated version of "Society made me do it!" Let me tell you, women are no better or worse than men when it comes to treating people like objects. I don't think women try to hide this either. If society does have a part in how we view the behaviors of men and women then it is just falsehood and stereotypes that have absolutely no baring in reality. People say that women only want love and are scared of men and all that bullcrap, but I am willing to bet there are just as many men out there looking for the same thing.

There is no denying that in the most extreme ends of the spectrum men and women are different, the problem is that most people are not at the extreme ends of the spectrum and so things tend to be a little more homogenized.

And let me tell you, the girls at the mall who look each other up and down and make judgments are not alone. I see guys do that all the time. For some reason the mall is a haven for people with this sort of mentality so it is by no means an accurate depiction of any gender.

But that is just my 2 cents


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logic_grrl
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I think the thing is that looking at social pressures can help you understand why some people sometimes behave the way they do.

For example, the media often enourages girls and women to be very concerned and insecure about their looks. So it's not really suprising that some women may get competitive and use looks as a way of putting each other down.

Does that mean that all women behave that way? Nope - many of us don't. Does that mean that guys never get insecure or competitive about their looks? Nope.

Does that mean that society "forces" women to behave that way? Nope - people have a choice. And often, becoming aware of the social pressures is part of becoming able to choose to behave differently and not conform to stereotypes. Society can put pressure on people, but it can't "control" them.

And when people start changing how they behave, society starts changing (since "society" is just everyone added together, basically).

quote:
I have asked her many times why she behaves the way she does... and she always responds.... " that society is messed up.

Well, that's not really a helpful explanation when it comes to why an individual chooses to do a particular thing. Society can't "make" her behave in a particular way, if that's what she's saying.

On the other hand, asking someone "why they behave the way they do" is pretty vague too. How about asking her about specific things she does that puzzle or bother you?


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Heather
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Just an add-on to that: I have a little running list I keep of qualities I very much need in partners of mine, and personal accountability is in the very top three.

In other words, society isn't responsible for anyone's behaviour or actions, and being unwilling to accept personal responsibility for one's own actions is a copout and a really big problem.

Antonio from the very start of your posting here back when, you've tended to always look for explanations of female behaviour as a HUGE lump, and since the onset, I know we've all made really clear that women do not all operate the same way, and in fact, like men, we are vastly diverse. So, you say you don't understand "womens emotions," when in fact, what you're really saying, and should be, is that you don't understand what this given woman or that one is feeling. It might be helpful if you could work to stop seeing the world as such a gendered place. I mean, ultimately, the biological differences genetically between men and women are less than 1%. When it all comes down to it, we're all just people, and looking to understand people through the window of gender incessantly, looking to rationalize or explain their behaviour through only gender is folly.

Lastly, I find the entire "catfight" foray totally laughable, and yet at the same time, when I see woman presented as some sort of Helen of Troy contest, I actually find it truly offensive.

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antonio99
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Thank you all for posting your comments. They were, in my honest opinion, interesting to read. I can't describe what each and every one of you said but all of you were honest and truthful in your opinions. Even persuasive.

To answer logicgrl's question whether my gf asks specific things to bother me. No. Nothing bothers me about what she says. I'm just trying to get inside her. To understand her emotionally. That is why Miz Scarlet found out why I seem to look for explanations of female behaivor.

She is right... but I seem to look at it from a general point of view to solve issues about why my gf seem to act the way she does. But I am no closer in finding the answer on this site... However I am a step closer in understanding why I am asking you all the wrong question(s).

I find that coming here gives me a chance to get out what I can't get out of my gf. When she's feeling bad... or sad... but gives me these awkward communication skills... I just can't seem to tell her to directly tell me what's wrong. It's hard. It's just hard because she doesn't want to blurt it out. She keeps it to herself.

But the good side is... she's slowly revealing herself. It takes patience.... Wait... I think I have come up with a quote.......... " It takes patience to understand your woman. " Not well said... but it's worth the try. Yeah, now that is something I have learned.

Thank you all for the help.
Thanks.


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logic_grrl
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quote:
I'm just trying to get inside her. To understand her emotionally. That is why Miz Scarlet found out why I seem to look for explanations of female behaivor.

She is right... but I seem to look at it from a general point of view to solve issues about why my gf seem to act the way she does. But I am no closer in finding the answer on this site...


The thing is, people are individuals. Even when they're subject to the same social pressures, they react in very different ways. And much of how a person behaves has nothing at all to do with their gender.

So looking for general explanations of "female behaviour" (as if all females behaved the same way) is very unlikely to help you at all when it comes to understanding this one particular woman.

And if you don't feel able to ask her why she's doing something, then a bunch of people who've never met her are unlikely to be able to provide any more information.

quote:
Wait... I think I have come up with a quote.......... " It takes patience to understand your woman. "

Well, women are not some special mysterious species who require special patience to understand. Truthfully, to understand someone, willingness to communicate and to listen to what they say in return tend to be the key elements.


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