Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Every Day is Men’s Day

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When I was a child, I used to ask my mother on Mother’s Day, “When is Children’s Day?” and she would give the tried-and-true answer, “Every day is Children’s Day.”

I was perusing through some blogs this morning, and noting all the buttons and links, and how so many of them are female-centric, like BlogHer and Blogging Chicks. I once wrote a silly post about what I thought BlogHim would be like, but today I thought about the subject in a more serious manner. Why do women feel so comfortable teaming up together, while men like to go it alone (or at least fake that they do)? For a second, I thought of starting a Blogging Guys group, but then I realized — I would be the last person to want to join it.

Is it because “Every day is Men’s Day” in this “patriarchal society” and men don’t need to join together — or are men just uncomfortable with each other and fear looking unmanly?  Is it any wonder that women can talk for hours together, complimenting each other on their shoes, hair, and bodies, while men are more comfortable talking with their penises than talking with other men?

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Neilochka’s Favorite Things 2005

39 Comments

  1. Every day is men’s day but only women can kiss it and make it better.

  2. I have a best friend from work that I hang out with and talk to all the time. No one thinks we’re gay, but then we are both over 45, overweight, unkept and dress like George Costanza.

  3. I’m going to cut out the gay line from my post, because it is misleading. I just meant to say that it can be awkward for a bunch of men to decide to do something gender-specific together. Even sports isn’t really thought of in that way.

  4. . . . i see most information blogs as Men Blogs . . . tech blogs, political blogs, spiritual freakin enlightenment blogs . . . places where men go on and on and on in great detail about Something and then it gets debated at great length until everyone’s head almost but not quite explodes. And then they move on to the next Something.

  5. Personally I don’t really talk with my penis ;), and talk with other guys rather easy, just certain subjects, which in general are different from what girls talk to eachother about.

  6. I always feel sorry for men that they worry so much about looking or seeming gay that they miss out on really connecting with their friends emotionally. But they do that with women, too.

  7. I have noticed the drive for women to group themselves up together on this internets, and also a seeming lack of men writing weblogs that are more personal in nature. Do I have coherent thoughts on the matter? No. And why I am even commenting is becoming confusing.

  8. Where I come from (a small and icy country called Denmark) men go to soccer games without girlfriends, wives or children. And though some have trouble talking about emotions and such, those that don’t – like me – can use the ocasion to “unload” to male friends. Allthough most of the time we compete about who knows the most about soccer (we call it football – because only the goalkeeper can use the hands – strange isn’t it?).

  9. Kate: +1.

    Neil, look around; the majority of blogs are 80% male, chewing on given topic ad nauseum. Even the ones in ‘humanities’.

    Why do you think the clubs (in classic British sense) were man-only long before blogs? A place to sit in smelly leather chair, drink your poison of choice and nod to another sage going on for hours about stocks and “native” weapons…

  10. I now have Every Day is Like Sunday in my head.

    Thanks a lot.

  11. It always astounds me when I see articles on blogging in mainstream media because most blogs mentioned are written by men. And what astounds me even more (and makes me realize how my little blog-circle must seem like a quaint quilting bee in comparison) is that clearly there are many, many people reading those blogs that I’m unaware of. The day that women don’t make 70 cents for every male dollar (at least last I checked we were still stuck there) is the day that I’ll get all jiggy with the idea of men banding together even more than they already do. Personally, I think most men blog for very different reasons than most women do. After all, it’s just another form of communication, so why wouldn’t we?

  12. I have plenty of “hanging with the guys” things to do that don’t include blogging. Watching sports, hitting the bars prowling for hot women, and even the occasional visit to a strip club are all fun options.

    But blogging? I’ll do that on my own. I don’t need the validation of anyone else for what I write, or the need to feel that my writing is part of some larger force or consortium.

  13. Are you kidding? Men are always doing things together–sports, of course, but messing about with computers, looking at cars, talking about cars, fixing cars, hanging around Home Depot, etc, ad nauseam.

    You just don’t understand, Neil, because you’re a metrosexual.

  14. Ah, Neil, I’m a little slow this morning so I haven’t yet worked out the product, but somehow this concept reminds me of days of the week underwear, like Meg Ryan had in When Harry Met Sally. I must admit, I’m amusing myself with the idea of “hanging with the guys” boxers. On a serious note, you are right, every day is men’s day.

  15. I rather like men’s autonomy. It’s so pleasant to hear pleasantries, not men pumping men for what they know about who and how they feel. It’s like zen space.

    I’ve seen group blogs with men and women. http://www.gaymenrule.blogspot.com/ has men. If straight men group blog less, or women group blog more, what would that be reflecting? Tough question Neil.

  16. I agree with your conclusion.

  17. I don’t know, I’ve always been the kind of girl who goes to the bathroom by herself and I can’t imagine blogging with other women either – I’m just not much of a joiner.

    I’m not sure why more women are into the group blog more than men, but I think you’re idea is probably pretty close.

  18. Goodness me, Neil you should know why men don’t team up. I think you would be happier joining one of the women’s blogging circles as an honorary female. I think you’d love to be knee deep in conversations about mens’ sexual performance and whether multiple orgasms exist.

  19. It’s good to be the King.

  20. I think both are true. “Every day is men’s day” in our culture AND men are generally uncomfortable with each other. It reminds me of the fact that while no one bats an eye at groups and organizations specifically for Jews, blacks, Asians, Latinos, gays, etc., you couldn’t start a group for white people without being considered some kind of scary white supremacist. And don’t get me wrong, I have no desire for any such “white men’s” group since that’s basically what half the world is anyway. I would never join any kind of Blogging Guys group, the mere thought of it evokes all kinds of negative stereotypes of testosterone-overdosed beer-swilling Neanderthals. I’m willing to accept the generalization (knowing there are exceptions) that women like to band together and men do not. On the other hand, part of me is always longing for community. How about a coed blogging kibbutz?

  21. Emma, I did join BlogHer as a member, but so far they mostly talk about boring girly stuff.

  22. Ha Ha, unknowingly, I just figured out that my last post and this one go hand-in-hand, like a gay couple. Maybe because parents tell their sons that “boys don’t cry” plants the seeds for them not to want to join “Blogging Guys” as adults, while girls can sob all over themselves.

  23. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, in terms of difficulties (like fighting, breakups) in relationships. Women reach out to our friends for emotional support. Men bottle it in. I’m convinced that’s why we live longer.

  24. men just like to get to the meat of the issue and solve it real fast. So even if they formed a group, it would last about, oh say, 15 minutes. Women, on the other hand, like to hash and rehash everything over and over…soliciting opinions, and emotions, and ideas from everyone they can.

  25. I think that men long for connecting much more so than they even realize most of the time. I think maybe as they get older they are forced or have experieces that awaken them to this. My own dad has been in a men’s growth group in west LA for the last 6 years and its changed his life in many ways and made him wonder how he could have been without these connections for many years. I think American men are often socialized to be falsely strong and independent. I’ve lived in many other cultures where hetero men hold hands, think nothing of hugging one another and expressing themselves without the self-consciousness or fear of looking “gay” that too many American man do.

  26. if the men started forming clubs and blogging together, do you think they would create little wars and segregate themselves? would they get into name calling and fighting over made-up things like the wimmins do? because that would be sad. i kind of like thinking of the men as one, awesome, really, really large group that kind-of-sticks-together in a not-together kind of way by accepting everyone. even women.

  27. As a female, I don’t feel qualified to adequately respond … but, I do feel your pain Neilochka & have encouraged my husband to post a comment. much peace (for men & women!) JP

  28. Women, on the other hand, like to hash and rehash everything over and over…soliciting opinions, and emotions, and ideas from everyone they can.

    Don’t you mean beat the topic into a bloody pulp until it is unrecognizable. 😉

  29. And given the previous comment, there’s nothing I could say that wouldn’t sound, um, well, gee…what’s the politically correct term I’m looking for?

    Seriously, I have also noticed that there are two distinct flavors of blogging community. One grew out of the old BBS/UseNet/CompuServe/BIX tradition, where (mostly male) techies would help each other out with various technical issues.

    Oh, there might be a picnic every once in a while (if the group was active enough and if someone was willing to run the damn thing), but most of what you’d learn about others was peripheral to the shared interest.

    The other form of blogging community appears to have risen as a counterpoint. Yes, it consists primarily of voices expressing (or learning to express) their ideas. Sharing, exploring, and learning as individuals and as individual voices meeting in community. Since this is a more nurturing environment, I’m not surprised it mainly consists of women.

    But, if you think about it, this is hardly original to the blogging community.

    Wasn’t there a time when men would retire to the den to smoke cigars, talk of hunting, politics, or whatever while women would chat about other considerations? (I’m not defeinding that lifestyle, just pointing out the natural evolution from the parlour to the monitor.)

    Nevertheless, I’m personally gratified that both camps are not only *aware* of each other, but are also actively exploring eath others’ ideas (no pun intended).

    I’ve known men who are very articulate, creative, and able to connect, develop, and develop friendships with many other people. I’ve also known women who were more taciturn than the most proper Brit.

    I believe that we each find the connections that we need, as well as the ones were willing to create.

  30. I am having a hard time finding a Hallmark card for this holiday. Any suggestions? I mean, besides a blowjob.

  31. I get in to feuds on the internet with men all the time. Mostly, I think, because I like to twist the topic, but also because some people enjoy starting a fight, and it seems easier to fight on the internet than IRL. Because you can just stop reading or commenting that specific blog. You’re not forced to open a cetrain webpage. So coomunities evolve faster on the net than IRL.

    And nerds that never get layed can be quite aggressive.

  32. Okay–I didn’t take the time to read all of the comments, so I may be repeating what someone has already said… but when I get the chance to talk to my girl friends for hours, we don’t compliment each others’ shoes, hair, and bodies.

    Maybe that’s just me.

    We spend all our time talking about purses, manicures, and crushes, of course. 😉

  33. Jack, I will consider it a compliment that you quoted me 🙂

  34. Doesn’t Henry Higgen’s sing a song in “my fair lady” about how great men are to hang around with. Not sure how that’s relevant, but after being married and surrounded by stay at home moms at the park / pre-school / etcetera, I am learning the wisdom in that song.

    When you read most of the SAHM blogs, they follow this template. The blogger either complains about something or they talk/show pictures about something cute their child did. Then the mom comments come in saying “You Go Girl!”, “I hate that too” or ‘Ahh that’s sooo cute” to the cute posts. SAHM bloggers can be judged by how long they can keep those two type of posts interesting.

  35. Seems you are not alone in the talking penis category – I was just watching History channel’s History of Sex – and in the Middle Ages there were plays about talking penis’.

    Who knew?

  36. The sign of a rich man is one who can comfortably talk to another man’s penis. I don’t really know what that means. Hi Neil’s penis.

  37. As others have commented men do hang around together in the blogworld but from what I can see its mostly in technical, business or other personal interest type blogs and discussions can get pretty intense.

    Men typically keep personal stuff to themselves and probably only open up to brothers or friends they grew up with or became close friends with in school and college.

  38. okay, the guys i see are generally very jealous of their women because women, basically, lunch.

    and they don’t.

    or if they do, they don’t emote, not nearly enough, and they KNOW that’s a deficit that’s simply killing them slowly.

    starwars? have you SEEN the StarWars Joke of the Day blog?

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