Can Men Really Be Thinking of Nothing?

In episode 8 of the AboutyourMother.com podcasts one of the women I was interviewing, Beth Bloom related a story her friend had told about her friend’s boyfriend. In the podcast we were talking about men and women’s perceptions of how men engage in gender.

Beth said that her friend had asked her boyfriend what he was thinking and that the boyfriend responded, “Nothing”. This struck Beth as both amusing and confusing, as she commented that she had never had a moment when she had actually thought of nothing.

The other women I was interviewing, Jessica Lucent, chimed in that she didn’t think that it was constitutionally possible for a person to think of nothing and that sadly her experience of men at times is that they are more than capable of having no thoughts at all.

My response to that, after some laughter, because you have to admit the idea of it is amusing, was of course, as it is such a strongly supported culturally imposed ideas of gender. PODCAST

We have all seen the beer commercials that have men comfortably parading around as Neanderthals, capable of only grunting and leering at scantily clad women.

This is how we so often portray men in this culture
and how men and women, then take up these ideas of masculinity as true, instead of placing them in some marginalized place where they would serve us better.

So what can we do about this? How can we as men make a shift from being perceived as beings capable of thinking of “nothing” to being seen as more whole and more nuanced and more complicated as we actually are in the real world.

It is too easy to put us into the narrow and constraining box of simpletons who derive pleasure from the acquisition of lurid pursuits.

But too often because of our own cultural positioning and the support we provide to each other, we present that piece of ourselves to the world as if that is all we are and all we are capable of being.

This is game played by everyone with no winners and way too many losers.

What do you think?

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