Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What is "Realmannspracht"?

Heh...you can get a good idea from this blog posting at one of my favoritest blogger's sites: The Spearhead

I left a comment there but its an old post, so I don't think anyone will really see it. But I think it was a good one and should be read. I believe it is fair and balanced to both sides - it also is disagreeable to both sides...

Like EW, I reference God of Christianity as the moral backdrop to my life, so keep in mind that what I am saying comes from this worldview.

Pro-Male / Anti-Feminist Tech said the following:

So much realmannspracht is defined based on women’s choices (i.e. if a woman marries you for socons or if a woman has sex with you for guys on the other end). This like so many other definitions of a “real man” (TM) fail all objectivity since they’re dependent on women.

This is very similar to what I’ve seen on some feminist blogs when it comes to the definition of physical “femininity”. Why is femininity always coming from the stance of what masculinity likes?

Renee said this on modesty…

Honestly, I think this all goes back to society attempting to control female sexuality and how female sexuality used to be (and today still in some circles) feared and seen as evil. It was a form of control in a way.

She’s absolutely right that modesty for women is a form of control on sexuality. But she’s wrong in thinking its a bad thing.

I also think she’s wrong that there is no modest code for men…there is. I’ve seen it first-hand – and I’ve seen immodest men aplenty on tv without nakedness.

You can’t use victorian definitions for applying modesty to chests, so you can’t use a man without a shirt vs women and breasts as an example of victorian modesty controlling female sexuality because women’s breasts were as everyday then as a man’s bare chest was – if not more. Necklines were so low to make breastfeeding easier (pop one out via style of the ‘immodest’ extreme la leche clubs that EW loves so much – amazing the tidbits of info you garner when researching breast feeding and renaissance gowns!).

But men were also held to modesty standards. Their trousers didn’t hang loosley around their hips so you could see the abdominal muscles as they trailed to the genital area like you see today in Abercrombi & Fitch adverts (and yes, that’s immodest and does make a girl stare); they were practically around their chests. For the longest time, men would only go shirtless in the company of other men or around their wives – if a lady was present, on came the shirt. It was immodest to be caught in your skivvies around a woman and to have bare leg showing (keep those stockings and garters on, men). It was also customary to show modesty in speech and behavior – you didn’t drink strong drinks or smoke cigars around a lady (brandy was reserved to after-dinner hours in the den where women were not allowed) nor was it acceptable to be vulgar, lewd, or brawly around a woman. There were standards for male modesty that controlled their sexuality just as much as women – its just that the modern day woman is not so readily willing or able to recognize the examples that history gives us of this.

(However, we also know that whorehouses were places where men could do all these things in the presence of a female without censorship)

Now my actual point – my argument against both Pro/Anti and Renee is the same – God did not create man (or woman) in a vaccuum. First, he created us for HIM. But he created us both male and female for eachother.

Its not a popular thought in today’s society to think that the female gender was created for men (for God saw that something was missing in just creating one gender) and that the female gender also requires the male to reciprocate. He created exactly what the male needed to make the world perfect when he created women by creating a gender who needed him.

And I think that with this world-view, it is not inappropriate to define certain aspects of masculinity and femininity; manhood and womanhood; male modesty and female modesty within a framework that considers the gender whose needs they were meant to fill.

So men will continue to shave their faces if their wives (or girlfriends or the female populace they care about) find this attractive and women will continue to shave their legs and armpits for the same reason. (Sorry for the simplistic example)

I just think that defining manhood and womanhood completely without consideration for the opposite results in an incomplete picture.


Justin said...

"In the image of God... male and female he created them." We were created to be together, no doubt. But as they say, can't live with em, can't live without em.

One thing I would elaborate on from your post: men have mainly visited hookers for companionship, not primarily to do immodest things.

Elusive Wapiti said...

Thanks for the plug.

Who sez I love/hate LLL breastfeeding clubs?!

Good listing of the elements of male modesty.

To your list I add modesty in DHVs, or displays of higher value. In that it is unseemly to flaunt your higher value.

So what do you think about the following definition of modesty:

"The conscious self-restraint of cues or behaviors that may sexually stimulate the opposite sex"

Christina said...

First to Justin -
One thing I would elaborate on from your post: men have mainly visited hookers for companionship, not primarily to do immodest things.

Unrestrained companionship. For some reason, "old-fashioned" marriage upheld some odd constraints on the marital relationship in terms of modesty - I think largely in part to the puritan movement of the 16th century, husbands and wives were required to uphold modest behaviors such as how much clothing came off in eachother's presence.

EW, I know you don't have a problem with the LLL in general, just the one's that insist on immodest displays =p

I was primarily listing physical examples of modesty, seeing as that's where the conversation was focused. But I agree with you that there is such thing as modesty in attitude and I agree with your definition completely.