Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I can answer that.



I saw this posted on a friend's FB page last night and, you being all about thinking about being a man and all, I just had to answer. The picture is of Betty White with what appears to be a quote from her.
Why do people say "Grow some balls."? Balls are weak and sensitive! If you wanna really get tough grow a vagina! Those things take a pounding!
At first glance I just took this to be a volley in the seemingly never ending battle of the sexes over declaring which one is better. But then I got to really thinking, "Why do people say 'Grow some balls.'?". The answer came to me almost too fast.

The answer is simple. As a men we are expected to prove how tough we are by doing difficult things such as enduring intense pain. Okay I don't know about you other folks with balls but I know that when it comes to mine if I'm not careful the slightest shift can result in a jolt of pain more than intense enough to remind me they are down there. When you have something that is capable of generating that much pain then of course it will become the benchmark for "manliness".

So when someone comes at you with comments about having balls its usually in the context of being tough in painful situations. Yes vaginas are tough but they are also built tough (I didn't say they are immune to pain but often when I hear this line of conversation people go straight for natural experiences like childbirth). The idea behind "having balls" is to be tough in any and all situations no matter how normally or abnormally tough it might be.

Yes there are problems with that message too but let us not fool ourselves into think the problem with the "having balls" comments is simply that vaginas are tougher so we should just rewrite the commentary to reflect that instead.

It all goes back to holding men to high standards when it comes to handling tough or tense situations. More of that same ole "You're not a real man if..." bull.

8 comments:

TitforTat said...

Hey Danny

I know your post has a serious message, but damn, that Betty White quote was hilarious.

Clarissa said...

An absolutely brilliant post.

Danny said...

Thanks Clarissa.

Danny said...

I can understand you find it funny but it just worries me that people will take it a bit too seriously.

titfortat said...

@Danny

I realize some people are over the top with it but in some situations there is reason for a certain amount of toughness. Joseph Campbell talks about initiation rituals of certain indigenous tribes and the reasons behind the intense physical nature of them for men. He points out that women have a natural event in regards to their womenhood(menses) and many of these rituals are there to mimick that for boys to become men. Unfortunately the concept gets distorted in many cultures(specifically the west).

Danny said...

Yeah titfortat I agree that there is reason for toughness if for no other reason than being a capable adult. But as you say it often gets carried way too far.

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