Because men are petty

red blinds

One of the advantages of telling everyone you’re not emotional or obsessed with silly little details is that when you are emotional and obsessed with silly little details, you can tell everyone you’re not. And they believe it.

Because it’s so important for a man to believe the mythology they’ve created around masculinity but also impossible to live up to the mythology they’ve created around masculinity, they become obsessed with petty details that become deeply important. The best way to recognise this is in his perpetual reinforcing of the stereotypes.

If you hop out of the car and help a man change the tyre, he will be forced to make a comment about his physical superiority. If you answer a question correctly ahead of him in a trivia contest, he will be forced to ‘teach’ you something on the way home (if he is kind) or publicly humiliate you (if he is not kind). If you earn more money than him, he will find a way to tell you (in public of course) that he refused a promotion, or a job that would have paid him better. There is no win too small, no superior moment too unobtrusive and no fear of not being superior too ridiculous for a man. He will find a way to challenge you, out of his panic, if he has the slightest feeling you are superior (or even on par) over him in some way.

Asserting masculinity is a full time job (as is asserting femininity) because it is so unnatural. It needs to be verbally reinforced because it is not obvious from behaviours.

In romance novels sexual stereotypes are not vehemently preserved. Men sleep with men and are still thought of as alpha males. Women sleep with several men at one time and are not thought of as easy. Because it’s a fantasy it is allowed to transcend the social barriers that define masculine and feminine.

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2 Responses to “Because men are petty”


  1. 1 sauer kraut May 28, 2009 at 3:50 am

    because of my masculinity, I am not “emotional or obsessed with silly little details.”

    All my details are neither silly nor little.


  1. 1 Because men think they can buy women « Why intelligent women read romance novels. Trackback on March 31, 2010 at 9:55 am

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