Showing posts with label Men. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Men. Show all posts

April 16, 2020

The Knowledge This Sex Worker Learned From A Penis Size

My corn cob had a smaller corn cob attached to it : mildlyinteresting
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enis size varies — oh, yes, it does. And yet I had no idea that penises aranged so drastically in size before I started working in the sex industry. I thought that penises were all relatively the same size and shape. At least that had been my experience fooling around with boys in high school. These gropings commonly took place in the dark, with my hand down a guy’s pants in the back of some car. The experiences were few and far in between. I didn’t have much basis on which to make comparisons. The dicks all felt pretty much the same. They were long, hard pieces of flesh contained inside the folds of some young man’s boxer shorts, always capped off with the same weird, mushroom-shaped head. Contrary to what many people believe, before I became a sex worker, I didn’t have a lot of experience with men. It’s a stereotype that sex workers are promiscuous and that’s why they get into sex work. I became a sex worker for the money — period.
I needed a lot of money fast to deal with my mounting debts, and when I discovered sex work, it offered me a solution. I didn’t get into sex work because I knew a lot about penises, but by entering the business, I would learn a lot quickly.
I first got my feet wet in the industry as a dominatrix, and from there I moved on to full-on escorting, sugar-baby work, amateur porn, cam modeling and phone sex. In all these different lines of sex work, I would be exposed to penises big and small, and because of a man’s perceived deficits or gifts, he’d seek out different things from me.

The variation in penis size is more like the variation in breast size. Some men have very big penises and others have incredibly small ones.
efore I became a sex worker, I’d heard guys talk about penis size, but I thought it was just a sign of insecurity — meaning that men worried over whose dick was bigger the way women worried over how much cellulite they had on the backs of their legs.
In other words, a lot of worrying was done for nothing. A good deal of the women I know will pick apart their bodies when so often they look just fine. Many women are simply insecure. Besides, when they compare their bodies to the airbrushed bodies found in magazines, how can they ever feel good about themselves?
I thought men were stressing about their penis size for the same reason. It was imagined angst. Then I became a sex worker, and I discovered it was actually true. The variation in penis size is more like the variation in breast size. Some men have very big penises and others have incredibly small ones.

These men have what look like a knee sock filled with stones when limp. If they move, that stone-filled knee sock swings between their legs like a pendulum.
he real shocker came when I started working as a dominatrix, and men would undress for me at the start of our session. Their pants would come down, and I would be like, wow.
While some guys were big and others were bigger, most guys were medium, but even there, size varied. One man’s medium penis was more “medium-thin” while another man’s medium was actually “medium-thick.” There were also as many men with medium-long penises as there were men with medium-short ones.
And then there were the small dicks, and even there existed a lot of variation. When fully erect, some men’s penises were still only the size of my thumb. Flaccid, they really didn’t look like penises at all. They looked more like a huge clitoris. And yet a guy’s penis could also seem tiny when flaccid, but erect, he would gain a lot of length. Being erect really is the true measure of a man’s penis size.
Then, of course, there are those guys whose cocks are massive, regardless. These men have what look like a knee sock filled with stones when limp. If they move, that stone-filled knee sock swings between their legs like a pendulum. Though when they’re hard, their penises don’t grow in size too much, their penises are still giant.
Obviously, when I started escorting, and therefore actually having sex with these men, going to bed with a man with a small penis was much easier on my body. Having sex as an occupation took a toll on me physically. It was much easier to be penetrated by a man when he was on the smaller size than when a guy was big.
My vagina is apparently on the small side.
If a guy was too big, it hurt to be penetrated. I had one client who liked to talk about my cute, little vagina. When we had sex, his penis hit my cervix with each thrust. And so I learned that vagina size varies as well.
My vagina is apparently on the small side, which was why that client’s mega-dick nudged up against my cervix when we had sex.
As a result, I was always sore afterward. The friction of such a massive penis inside me also led to constant infections. The friction caused the lining of my vagina and the area around it to become inflamed. That would put me on antibiotics for a week and out of commission, and thereby impair my ability to earn a living.
So the smaller a man was, and obviously the faster he was able to come, meant a better experience for me.

I believe that porn is what has led men who are average in size to believe they are actually smaller than they are.
oth as a dominatrix offering real-time sessions and as a cam girl offering sessions on Skype, I capitalized on men’s obsession with the size of their penises. Often, men wanted me to humiliate them for being small. Though this might seem counter-intuitive, quite a number of my clients wanted to be demeaned for having small penises.
There’s even a fetish called “small penis humiliation,” wherein a man gets off on being ridiculed for having a small dick.
Sometimes these men aren’t even necessarily all that small in size — they just think they are. The proliferation of porn has made it so men no longer have to steal glances at each other in the locker room. They can just watch porn to see just how well-endowed some male porn stars are. They compare themselves with these stars and feel insecure about it.
Think of the way women flip through a Victoria’s Secret catalogue, view other women who are genetically predisposed to being skinny, and then go stand in front of the mirror to compare themselves with those women, and feel insecure that they’re not as thin as well.
I believe that porn is what has led men who are average in size to believe they are actually smaller than they are. Many of these men then reach out to me to pay me to ridicule them for their supposed small penises.
They want to hear that because they’re so small they don’t deserve to have sex with me. They want me to tell them how they deserve only to masturbate, or even to be denied the right to touch themselves all together.
White men often eroticize Black men.
Some of these men want to take it a step further. They also seek cuckolding. They want to be forced to watch a woman have sex with another more well-endowed man.
Men with cuckold fantasies often want to be made to “clean up” a woman after sex. This includes being forced to lick up another man’s sperm from inside a woman’s vagina.
I’ve come to believe that bisexuality and a desire to have one’s penis size demeaned go hand in hand. As if in punishment for being so small, these men seek to be forced to perform oral sex on men with large penises.
Though there are racist implications in assuming that men of African origin have larger penises, white men often eroticize Black men. White men want to be either forced to perform oral sex on Black men, or to be forced to watch a Black male pleasure a white woman in the way a white male feels he can’t.

Gleaning sexual pleasure off their small penis size is a way for a man to embrace his insecurities.
really enjoy sessions with men who desire to be humiliated for their small penis size. Those sessions are always quite easy. I don’t have to have sex with anyone and often there is no physical contact at all.
The question is instead how well I can verbally insult a man. This lends itself well to phone work or cam work. This type of client just wants to show off his dick and get my opinion on its size. Or he wants to send me photos of his penis and listen to me insult him for it. “Look at that tiny cock, you small dick loser.” And so on.
I’ve come to believe that gleaning sexual pleasure off one’s small penis size is a way for a man to embrace his insecurities. If he embraces his insecurities then he can have better control over them.
Like I said, porn is so prolific these days that men often view other men with very large penises on a daily basis. It’s as if the male porn actor is basically shoving his massive penis metaphorically in his male viewer’s face. “I get to bang all these women because my dick is so big, and yours isn’t.”
Men have to do something with all that erotic energy. They feel simultaneously aroused and insecure watching these porn actors have sex with so many women. They re-package that angst into fetishes such as cuckolding or small penis humiliation.

You’re born with a certain penis size, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
aybe it’s just that men are held to impossible standards. Men either want to be derided for their small penises or to be complimented for a medium-size penis and told it’s large. For as many men as I’ve met who want to be humiliated because of their small penises, there are plenty of men with medium-size dicks who want to be told their penises are bigger than they are.
These men, in my opinion, are just as insecure. These are the guys who want me to worship their cocks, to oooh and awww over how big their dicks are, either on cam or in a real-time session.
But don’t feel sorry for me. I feel lucky I have a vagina. Here I am, making large amounts of money very quickly with my body while men are left to worry over whether their penises are big enough. When they deem they aren’t, they seek to be humiliated for it.
You’re born with a certain penis size, and there’s nothing you can do about it. But still a man’s self-esteem is wound up in the size of his penis. He can take enhancement drugs or even get surgery, but when those methods fail to lengthen his penis, he can embrace fetishes like small penis humiliation and cuckolding. Or he can beg for the validation he so desperately needs by paying a sex worker to compliment his medium-size penis for being bigger than it is.

January 10, 2020

The Real Men Don't Rent

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By Jessica Testa and 

A little more than a decade ago, a pair of Harvard Business School students founded Rent the Runway, a platform for renting special-occasion evening wear that has since expanded to all kinds of wear: leopard-print blazers, bright red ski pants, Swarovski crystal necklaces, and leather fanny packs.

By the spring of 2019, the company was valued at $1 billion and had spawned multiple competitors.

But Rent the Runway has never carried men's wear. Despite the popularity of renting, there are no companies of its size that offer men’s apparel. Because aside from prom or wedding tuxedos, men do not rent — for now, at least.

Why don’t men rent? Are they fearful that borrowed clothing carries the unsanitary residue of other men? Do they dread the logistical planning required to return a pair of cuff links? Or is it just that their renting options are so few and little known that they didn’t know they could?

The New York Times asked a dozen stylish men across the United States (and one abroad) about their attitude toward renting clothes. Nearly all were dubious, and not because of hygiene or laziness.

Through their explanations, they provided a window into how fashion-aware men think about clothes in 2020. Their stated values — individuality, ownership, and longevity — were at odds with the ever-rotating closet pushed by the rental market.

Still, leaders and new players in that market are plotting expansions into men’s wear, each on slightly different paths. Whether men know it — or want it — the race to make the rent is about to begin.

Sometime around 2007, it became easier for men to talk about their appreciation for clothing, according to Volker Ketteniss, the director of men’s wear at the trend forecasting firm WGSN. Marketers began pushing a more “technical approach” to shopping for men, he said, placing the idea of heritage brands and craftsmanship front and center.

“This became a guy’s way of being into fashion,” Mr. Ketteniss said. “The same way you could be into cars, stereos and other gadgets.” (Before that time, men who liked clothes were more often called “metrosexuals.”)

Their interest often starts with flashy accessories, like sneakers and watches. That’s how it worked for Ty King, a shoe enthusiast in Nashville.

“Especially early on, with shoes, you didn’t want the shoe that other people were wearing,” said Mr. King, a 43-year-old music and sportswear writer known online as John Gotty.

In mid-December, when Nike released the new Air Jordan 11, Mr. King decided to skip the drop. Too many people were lining up for the $220 red-and-black retro sneakers.

“Even if I did buy them, I’m probably not going to wear them for a year or two,” he said. By then, he expects everyone else will have moved on.

Mr. King’s individualist attitude extends to renting clothes, which he said he would never do. Through years of digging and researching, he has developed his own “strong sense of style.”

“I truly know what I feel works best for me,” he said.

Mr. King fears that renting will lead to a herd mentality, and he’s not alone. 

“How much of truly being stylish or expressing oneself with clothing is going to be left?” said George Lewis Jr., the 36-year-old Angeleno who makes music as Twin Shadow.

Mr. Lewis said he was familiar with the concept of renting clothes, and he knows women who rent clothes, but that he personally thinks the concept is strange.

Mr. Ketteniss of WGSN has a theory about men’s skepticism toward renting: Women are accustomed to the idea because they have been swapping clothes with their friends since they were teenagers.

This pastime never really caught on with men. And the women’s wear market has always grown at a faster pace than men’s wear. Why would the renting phenomenon be any different?

Pride in Ownership

On Instagram, under the handle ThePacMan82, Phil Cohen has amassed 770,000 followers, with posts that show a neat collection of clothing and accessories, styled as if for an advertisement. 

Though Mr. Cohen appears on lists of prominent fashion influencers, he prefers to leave himself out of the pictures. The spotlight belongs to the clothes themselves.

In an interview, Mr. Cohen, 37, expressed pride in his clothing and the work it took to obtain it. He said that renting a nice pair of boots or a hard-to-find jacket may thwart the proper way of things, which for him is a four-step process: Man wants garment. Man saves up for garment. Man purchases garment. The man wears a garment.

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“I like the idea that you save up and buy something that then becomes part of your life, part of your wardrobe,” he said. “I think that there’s a genuine sort of appreciation for the product when you’ve put yourself into it.”

Several men agreed. A few said that being outed as a rental customer may be embarrassing. It would be as if they were pretending to have more money than they did.

Jason Ryan Lee, a 38-year-old editor at the black celebrity gossip website Bossip, said renting feels almost like cheating.

“I would hate to walk out in a rental and get all kinds of compliments and in my mind be like, ‘This is cool, but this isn’t mine,’” he said. “‘Now I feel like an impostor of some kind. I’m not as cool as people think I am. This $2,000 jacket, I just rented for $35.’”

Through clothing, people project their wealth, status and work ethic. For men, being caught in clothes they don’t own could threaten those projections and their masculinity.

Mary Blair-Loy, a sociology professor at the University of California, San Diego and the founding director of the Center for Research on Gender in the Professions, said that men often still see themselves as breadwinners. Owning their belongings helps support that image.

“Ownership is a sign and a signal of wealth and status and success in a precarious capitalist competitive world,” she said.

A Double Standard

There is also less pressure on men to own extensive wardrobes. At work, they are less likely to be scrutinized for wearing the same outfit every day. And they take pride in wearing their clothes for a long time.

Dylan Walker, a 20-year-old welding student who lives in Georgia, said that he owns about 10 pairs of cowboy boots and would never think about renting an additional pair.

“Boots last for a really long time,” he said. “One pair of boots for six years. When I buy clothes, I’m buying them for the long haul.”

Stanton Coville, a 29-year-old software developer in Ohio, said that he takes a utilitarian approach to his clothing, to the point that he calculates the cost-per-wear of individual pieces. After wearing a $300 pair of Japanese jeans for four years, its cost was justified, he said. His wife makes fun of him, but he has had to get the jeans repaired only once.

Gert Jonkers, the 53-year-old editor in chief of Fantastic Man and a publisher of The Gentlewoman, spoke of the double standard women face when they repeat outfits. For women, it’s thought to be a faux pas. For men, it’s unremarkable.

Women also have a harder time getting away with informality, he said; they are more liable to be judged for ignoring fashion trends.

“Last night I was wearing a Missoni jumper I’ve had for 10 years, and people were saying ‘Oh, wow, I love that jumper,’” Mr. Jonkers said. “Nobody notices that it’s from fall or winter 2008. It just really doesn’t matter.”

Pride in ownership and longevity combine to create sentimental value. Mr. Lewis said that he appreciated the way personal possessions become “weathered by the energy of your household, or physically weathered by you wearing it.”

Of the white jeans he was wearing during an interview for this article, he said: “I love them and hate them, because two days after wearing them I have to wash them to make them fit the right way, and every time I wash them they get a little bit worse, and my mom overbleached them so they’re looking slightly pink now.”

“But it’s important to me because these have a story to them,” he added.

Thinking About Men

Major rental companies nevertheless look at men as an untapped market, even if they’re not quite sure how to go about tapping it.

Nuuly, a Rent the Runway competitor founded in 2019, is “actively looking” at expanding into men’s apparel, said Sky Pollard, the head of product.

Owned by URBN, the parent company of Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie, Nuuly is “talking to customers and trying to figure out a program that would work for them,” Ms. Pollard said. “We really see no reason to believe that they wouldn’t respond to it and love it as much as our women customers.”

Rent the Runway said it has also been thinking about men for a long time, albeit less urgently. The company believes men want variety in their closet, but it is still determining the best way to introduce men’s wear.

For example, should it advertise to men directly or target existing female members who buy clothes for the men in their lives?

Either way, Rent the Runway could give style-conscious men what it has already given to women: the ability to cycle through trendy clothes at a reasonable cost (its cheapest plan is four pieces for $89 per month), without resorting to lower-quality, questionably sourced fast fashion destined for a landfill.

Unlike other men interviewed, Khalid El Khatib, 34, was enthusiastic about the idea of renting. Ever since Mr. El Khatib, a marketing and communications professional in New York, learned about Rent the Runway from his two sisters, he has wished he had access to something like it.

A few years ago, when he went to Cuba on vacation, he brought a brand-new Reiss floral button-down shirt.

“I never wore it again,” he said. “I bought it for Cuba, I wore it in Cuba, and then I retired it.” He appreciates fashion, but he isn’t attached to owning pieces no one else owns or owning them for a long time.

Seasons is a New York start-up that has been experimenting with renting men's wear and streetwear to a small list of customers.

Seasons is a New York start-up that has been experimenting with renting men's wear and streetwear to a small list of customers.Credit...Seasons

In November, a New York start-up began experimenting with renting men’s wear to a list of 50 family members and friends. The company, Seasons, was founded by Regy Perlera and Luc Succés, who were also behind an app that allowed users to text each other Drake lyrics.

In an interview, Mr. Perlera said that “men are very ownership oriented.” But, he said, “the concept of ownership is changing drastically and very quickly. We used to think that we needed cars, and now we have Lyft and Uber and Car2Go. We used to need homes, and now we have Airbnb.”

Mr. Perlera hopes to make fashion more available to people for whom the cost has traditionally been prohibitive. The Seasons website says it has inventory from Yeezy, Off-White and Gucci.

But at the moment, it plans for its cheapest subscription package to be $155 per month, which lets the renter get three pieces.

Mr. Perlera said he has been studying Rent the Runway’s successes and missteps. When asked if he was concerned that these lessons may not apply to men, he said that the Season's inventory is actually not particularly gendered, despite the language on its website: “A members-only rental subscription service for menswear & streetwear.”

“It’s really a category of fashion that really doesn’t have gender boundaries,” he said.
 Jonah Bromwich is a news and features reporter. He writes about cultural change — shifts in the way we date, eat, think and use language and technology — for the Style section. @jonesieman

October 22, 2019

Are We Ready For Breast Feeding Dads

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Mr. Cederstrom is an associate professor at Stockholm University.

A young man with shoulder-length dark hair leans back in a chair, his T-shirt pulled up to his chin. Two plastic tubes the size of shot glasses are attached to each of his nipples. Through the plastic, we see his skin inflate and deflate in a steady rhythm.

It’s early autumn 2009, and on a little-watched Swedish late-night television show, 25-year-old Ragnar Bengtsson has begun what the host calls a “scientific experiment.” Over the next three months, three times a day, Mr. Bengtsson will pump his breasts to see whether they will produce milk.

In retrospect, the odds were stacked against him. He was not on any hormonal treatments; his 2-year-old son was not even breastfeeding anymore. No milk, in the end, ever made its way through his nipples. “For me, it was just a fun experiment, and a platform to speak about fatherhood as something more intimate than we’re used to,” he said over lunch in Stockholm 10 years later.

Is it possible for a man to breastfeed a baby? For millenniums, this question has tickled people’s imagination. It has intrigued; it has disgusted; it has also remained largely hypothetical.
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That is, until last year, when a peer-reviewed case report confirmed that a transgender woman, assigned male at birth, was able to breastfeed her child after she was put on a regimen of hormonal drugs. Weeks before the baby’s birth, she was able to produce eight ounces of milk per day, and for the first six weeks, the baby could be sustained solely on that milk alone.

Before the treatment, the patient had been receiving feminizing hormones for six years. We don’t know how long it would take for a cis man to induce functional lactation. But “we have a pretty good idea of the types of hormone cocktails that would be needed,” said Tamar Reisman, an endocrinologist with the Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery and one of the two authors of the case report. 

We are unlikely to stumble upon dads openly suckling their babies anytime soon. The hormones are not without side effects; they inevitably entail some degree of breast growth. But as technology has made it increasingly feasible, the potential impact of male breastfeeding on gender roles — who take on what sort of parenting duties, and all of the consequences that result from those early first choices — looms larger than ever. And at least one man is excited about the possibilities.

“I just thought, ‘How cool if it would work!’” Mr. Bengtsson said. “Just imagine the extraordinary consequences it could have for our society.”

Tales of men whose breasts contained milk date back centuries. In the fourth century B.C., the philosopher Aristotle noted that some men were able to produce milk by squeezing their breasts. In the King James translation of the Bible, the breasts of the malnourished Job are described as full of milk. Later, in the Babylonian Talmud, we find a story of a widowed man whose “breasts opened and he nursed his child.”

Just what events those lines were describing has been the subject of much speculation and, for the most part, has been ignored or interpreted allegorically. One reading suggests that Job’s breasts symbolize ponds, where cattle can drink.

A few hundred years later, during the 19th century, a time of scientific discovery and adventurous expeditions, allegorical readings of men breastfeeding gave way to more detailed accounts, albeit ones tinged with an unmistakable colonial exoticism.

In the summer of 1800, during a five-year expedition through Central and South America, the Prussian naturalist Alexander von Humboldt passed through the small village of Arenas in what is today Venezuela. There, he was told the story of a local man who, after his wife had fallen ill, nursed his baby “two or three times a day for five months.” Humboldt got to meet the father later that year and examined his breasts, which were wrinkled, “like those of a woman who has suckled.”

By the end of the 19th century, the American physician George M. Gould and his colleague Walter L. Pyle listed, in their book “Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine,” a number of instances of men suckling infants, including an unverifiable report, relayed by 16th-century missionaries in Brazil, claiming “there was a whole Indian nation whose women had small and withered breasts, and whose children owed their nourishment entirely from the males.”

Only once do we get a sense of how others reacted to these events. The naturalist John Richardson, while on an expedition through northern Canada in the early 19th century, wrote of a Chipewyan father who nursed his child after his spouse died. He was viewed as “partaking of the duties of women” by other Chipewyan, who saw it as “degrading.”

What Richardson thought of the matter we don’t know. Nor do we have any additional sources to help determine that any of these events actually happened as recorded, or whether cultural misunderstandings or biases may have warped the accounts.

In the 1930s, the search for an answer to whether men could breastfeed moved from expeditions to the laboratory. Although Charles Darwin had observed that there were instances when men could yield “a copious supply of milk,” it was not until the discovery and naming of the milk-producing hormone prolactin in 1933 that scientists could really begin to examine the lactating ability of male mammals. Experiments were performed on rats, monkeys and, in some cases, humans. And they worked. In a study in 1954, three men with cancer who had been on estrogen treatment were injected with large doses of autotrophic, a form of prolactin. One of them, age 64, lactated on the sixth day of the treatment. He didn’t stop for seven years.
What is startling, when we dig into history, is just how many great minds, from Aristotle to Darwin, have earnestly, and without judgment, pondered the question of men’s breast milk. It’s useful to remind ourselves of this, as the theories of these same men are often invoked to argue that men and women are predestined for specific functions and that the mere thought of a man using his breasts to feed a child is immoral, delusional or disgusting.

It seemingly wasn’t until the 1970s that the notion of male breastfeeding became politicized. That’s when Shulamith Firestone, a 25-year-old activist, wrote her blazing manifesto, “The Dialectic of Sex.” In it, she called pregnancy barbaric (she compared it to excreting a pumpkin) and argued that the only way for women to become free was to liberate them from the tyranny of reproduction. Childbearing, Ms. Firestone argued, should be taken over by technology, and sex distinctions eliminated.

This vision was brought to life in Marge Piercy’s 1976 sci-fi novel, “Woman on the Edge of Time,” in which a woman named Connie is transported into the future — the year 2137 — where she sees a bearded man breastfeeding a child. She notes that he has breasts, “like a flat-chested woman temporarily swollen with milk.” Connie is angry at first: “How dare any man share that pleasure?” she thinks. But in the end, the world depicted in the book is ultimately intended as a gender-free utopia.

We are, from a scientific and, some would argue, a cultural point of view, growing closer to Ms. Firestone’s vision of eradicating sex differences. (Not everyone who calls himself a dad today, for instance, was assigned male at birth.) And maybe that’s also why the image of the breastfeeding father provokes such strong feelings. Male breastfeeding was once the sole province of the exotic “other,” observed on faraway expeditions; today the breastfeeding father seems to be just around the corner.

The breastfeeding dad may be a threatening image. He may never actually come to be. But it’s worth, at this moment, also remembering how alien stay-at-home fathers first seemed in the 1970s, when they were viewed as unmanly and as having abdicated their breadwinning responsibilities, said Michael Lamb, a psychology professor at Cambridge University and a pioneering fatherhood scholar.

Last year, Marie-Claire Springham, then a product design student at Central Saint Martins, in London, developed a kit for expectant fathers, including hormonal drugs and a breast pump, which she submitted for a design award.

Two weeks before it was announced that she had won, photos of the actor Daniel Craig (James Bond) carrying his child in a BabyBjorn on his chest appeared in the tabloids. Piers Morgan, the British television presenter, lamented on Twitter, “Oh 007 not you as well?!!!” Soon after, the comedian Ricky Gervais tweeted a link to an article about Ms. Springham’s breastfeeding kit, writing: “I know what I’m getting @piersmorgan for Xmas.”  

“And then, it really blew up,” Ms. Springham told me.

When she appeared on “Good Morning Britain,” she was attacked from all sides, women and men alike. “I was called a perverted fetishist,” Ms. Springham said.

And yet even as the media derided the kit, Ms. Springham says, her mailbox quietly filled up with letters from expectant dads who wanted to know more. “If these emails are to be believed, I’ve got a large enough group of dads who’d be up for a medical trial.”

Carl Cederstrom is an associate professor at Stockholm University.

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A version of this article appears in print on Oct. 20, 2019, Section SR, Page 4 of the New York edition

October 21, 2019

The Men Who Wear Make Up

Turns out men's style bible, GQ finally discovered that men wear makeup. Revolutionary, right?⁣

In the outlet's November "Masculinity Issue," dedicated to men across the masculinity spectrum, GQ attempts to highlight what they believe to be 21st-century trends surrounding masculinity.⁣

At face value, this is powerful. For GQ, a publication that has been a major voice of hypermasculinity, promoting overt machismo, sexism, and chauvinism throughout its history, it's as if in this singular issue, they're looking to right some of the cultural wrongs they've had a hand in creating via toxic masculinity.⁣

It's no surprise, as most who hold the keys to power at the pub are cisgender, straight men, viewing this movement of "new masculinity" through a very narrow lens. ⁣

In our editor's note, David Yi, Arienne Thompson-Plourde and Garrett Munce write about how disappointing this men's beauty editorial is, from the headline: "One day we'll look back on the era when makeup was only for women," to the actual celebrities in makeup.

"Their insistence on gendering makeup reductive and sexist, it fails to acknowledge the millions of men who already use," they write. "Makeup isn't just dragged, performative, it isn't solely for women, it isn't an act of 'bravery.' ⁣

What's more curious is that GQ interviewed our very own David Yi back in July for this issue. He was notified only weeks before publishing that editors wanted to omit his voice after his interview was transcribed. In any case, we hope this promotes their audience to understand that male-identifying persons can be anything they want to be. And the expression isn't gendered. Makeup has no sexuality. We can all be free to, well, be free!

Altering your face? 
Whether you're pro face alterations or not, we get real with three people on what plastic surgery meant to them. 

October 15, 2017

Work Place Sexual Harassment is Fed by the Sainthood Elevation of Powerful Men

Following the news that Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed and abused women for decades, waves of women in Hollywood are coming forward with allegations that describe a culture that permits widespread harassment and assault. This culture disproportionately affects women—but it does not affect women alone.
Actors Terry Crews, James Van Der Beck and Rob Schneider have all said that they have had executives or other powerful figures in Hollywood grope them or make sexual advances. Sexual harassment is not only about sexism. It’s the result of the patriarchy—and the way it works to give powerful men carte blanche to diminish others’ humanity.
Women are all too often singled out for sexual harassment in the workplace. A 2015 study of workplace harassment in Australia found that women filed nine out of 10 workplace harassment complaints, as just one example. Because of sexism, women are seen as sexual objects; as Andrea Dworkin wrote, women “are treated as if we are subhuman, and that is a precondition for violence against us.”
Sexual harassment is also the direct result of patriarchy—a system in which men hold the majority of the power, and in which masculinity is glorified. In patriarchy, masculinity and power are bound together. This means that power is inherently sexualized. The ultimate expression of power and authority in patriarchy is the ability to act with sexual impunity. And sexual impunity in patriarchy becomes an expected perk of power.
This is why many men in powerful positions wind up mistreating others. When Weinstein or Steven Seagal allegedly held meetings in a state of undress—or when Lyndon Johnson held meetings on the toilet— they were actively asserting their absolute power as patriarchs by showing they could violate bounds of sexual decorum. Donald Trump made this quite clear when he boasted about sexually harassing women. “When you’re a star they let you do it,” he said. Fame and power enable sexual abuse, and men act as if sexual abuse demonstrates fame and power.

Men usually signal and assert power in a patriarchy by sexually dominating and humiliating women. But they can also signal power by sexually humiliating men—particularly men of color, gay men, and young men. For patriarchs who behave this way, the goal is to show that you are the manliest of all men—and one way to demonstrate this is by treating other men the same way men treat women.
Sexual abuse, then, is not about sexual attraction or gratification; it’s an assertion of, and an abuse of, power. Understanding this is crucial to making a cultural shift. Putting in place more rules limiting contact between the sexes —following the Mike Pence rule of never being alone with women — isn’t helpful. Nor will it work to draw a strict line between work and after-hours socializing, as Josh Barro at Business Insider suggests. Harvey Weinstein wasn’t confused about the line between appropriate and inappropriate behavior. No one thinks that masturbating into a potted plant in front of a colleague is reasonable, whether you’re in the office or on a social outing.
Men can and do harass women when other people are around, in public spaces and in private ones. Men can harass and abuse other men when women aren’t present. To reign in sexual abuse, we don’t need more restrictions on women. We need more restrictions on power.
Hierarchical workplaces, in which people at the top are seen as infinitely more important than the people at the bottom, encourage abuse and mistreatment. Unions have a mixed record on combating sexual harassment, but at the very least—by putting standard procedures in place and holding employers accountable—they have the potential to identify and punish abusers.

 Trump says "I could see it on Weinstein a Dem. Donor"

Creating more gender parity in upper-management positions will also help to address the problem. Having women in power undermines the patriarchal logic that says that power is about manliness and that you show you are powerful by humiliating your subordinates.
We also need more legal scrutiny of abusive contracts. Roger Ailes and others have used confidentiality clauses in contracts to prevent victims from talking about rape and abuse. Harvey Weinstein’s contract allowed him to settle sexual harassment lawsuits with no other consequences, according to a TMZ report. A judge refused to allow pop singer Kesha to break her contract with her producer Dr. Luke on the grounds that Luke’s abusive behavior was “foreseeable.” In other words, from the standpoint of contract law, Kesha should have known better, so any abuse is her responsibility. In all of these cases, maintaining the prerogatives of those at the top is more important to the legal system than the safety and humanity of victims. That’s patriarchy—a system that protects men in power.
Of course, abusers aren’t just protected by laws. They’re also protected by the reluctance to challenge or restrain, powerful people. When victims speak out and are taken seriously, others begin to believe that power can be challenged. That’s why Weinstein’s fall has led to a deluge of revelations about others, including Seagal and Ben Affleck—and two men coming forward to say that they have been harassed as well.
Currently, our laws and our culture venerate men in power and protect them from facing consequences for their actions. The default assumption is that successful men have proven their superiority by virtue of their money and influence and that they have therefore earned the right to treat other people as beneath them. Weinstein’s fall is an opportunity to try to create a different culture, in which men in power are accountable for their actions. That would be a boon for people of every gender.
WRITTEN BY.   Quartz  

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