What i learnt most growing up in an all boys school, is that pretty much all men will only care about things that affect them.

Almost entirely, it's impossible to get more than lip service from a guy to a female cause unless he has any sort of connection into it, a daughter, a wife, or he wants to fuck you.

Looking at how patriarchy affects men is the strongest argument to getting men to actually give any sort of shit.

Everyone has problems. Cis white straight men have problems too, and their survival instinct is to put all their energy into dealing with their problems. Gotta get a girlfriend, gotta earn money to support a good life and have kids, gotta get respect, gotta gotta fill this void. They're not going to divide their energy to help with problems that they dont think affect them.

You have to explain how their problems are part of the same problems that everyone else is facing.

Attacking men and not the patriarchy makes you another one of their problems, looking to strip away their chance to get a girlfriend, get sex, succeed in life.

It's frustrating as fuck i know. But straight men literally care more what other men think about them, than what women think about them. Just try to show a straight guy the logic that he should care more about women because he wants to have a relationship with them, is like.. come on dude, this shouldn't be hard.

If you want to change minds of male friends, learn how toxic masculinity hurts men, learn how brains on testosterone work differently to estrogen, how much that divide can make women bewilderingly alien to them, how they don't get positive reward from sharing emotions and will often only do it to bond with people they think they're going to have sex with, why this means they dont see therapists learn how and where straight men go to deal with their shit, learn about how isolating it can be.

Mistakes thinking Testosterone works the same as Estrogen:

The friend zone:
I shared my emotions with you, i was vulnerable with you, this is because i thought we were going to have sex. There is no reason i would do this otherwise.

The dick pic:
I get turned on just by seeing womens bodies naked. Women must also get turned on by seeing mens bodies naked. If i show her my really sexy body and penis with no context she will enjoy it as much as i would enjoy it if she sent me hers.

@mxsiege It's toxic shit, and I try to keep an eye on myself for it, but it's so hard to purge. It's so ingrained.

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@mxsiege Honestly, I think the specifics here are very much cultural and I’m not entirely comfortable seeing them ascribed to testosterone first and foremost.

@mxsiege (Yes, arousal feels different on E than in T. But other times and cultures have constructed women as cold/calculating vs men as passionate, or men as controlled and rational vs women obsessed with sex.)

@myconidiosyncracy @ghost_bird Trans people have understanding of hormone functions. This is talking of people who have never experienced their body running on a different hormone.

@mxsiege @ghost_bird i mean, hormones do change how we function emotionally, but that's on a very different level than ethical vs unethical behavior. testosterone may impede my cognitive ability to detect others emotions, but it doesn't impede my ability to care about them. and i definitely don't think trans men are more empathetic than cis men just because we used to be on estrogen

@myconidiosyncracy @ghost_bird It's not to say anyone is deficient in emotions, men are as equally able to be open and developed in their emotional awareness. Its just that studies have shown high levels of testosterone lead to anti-social behaviour and cis men mainly receive oxytocin surge (promotion of social bonding) AFTER goal reward, once the hunter makes the kill, once they get the girl. While oxytocin for cis women does not come from this response.

@mxsiege @myconidiosyncracy Don’t know if it’s you or the study making the comparison, but I’m also sceptical of anything that invokes “man the hunter”. Hunting isn’t essentially masculine or, really, important in most human cultures.

@mxsiege @myconidiosyncracy I think the problem in general with these kind of essentialist arguments is that they’re so focused on explaining whichever gender tropes are considered “natural” that they erase the very wide range of variation in real life. And of course the tropes vary across time as the culture changes.

@mxsiege @myconidiosyncracy I’m skeptical - not least because these behaviours felt quite alien to me at the time, and for the decades afterwards when my T levels were unchanged and I thought I was a straight cis guy.

@ghost_bird @myconidiosyncracy We have no way to establish what is normal for trans people in comparison to cis people in regards to hormonal impulses. there is a lot of stuff at the moment starting to be looked into in regards to trans women and potential androgen insensitivity regarding testosterone so i could be entirely possible that is an underlying mechanism why those impulses feel wrong to a trans woman.

@mxsiege @myconidiosyncracy I mean, my T level before I started hrt was at the high end of medium. If you really want to make an essentialist argument then I think you have to bring in neurology or other factors into the mix, which dilutes your original point.

@mxsiege Sorry, I should probably have said an argument from biology. Essentialist has the wrong connotations.

@ghost_bird @mxsiege

Hormones have effects. When I was put on high dose T as a teen I behaved differently and hated every minute of it, but it would be silly to pretend that it doesn't increase libido and affect emotional states. Hormones *in general*, laying aside testosterone and estrogen, produce altered emotional states, for example cortisol. And we have evidence to show that when cis people are put on the wrong kinds of hormones they experience dysphoria and distress and altered emotional states, to the point of mania or depression in cases.

@Eweish @mxsiege But equally, how (or even if) we acknowledge and respond to those feelings is cultural. Men’s feelings aren’t restricted to a narrow range by testosterone - it’s just that the standards of masculinity only allow a few ways to express them.

@ghost_bird @mxsiege

Trans guys *frequently* talk about a numbing effect and trans women talk about discovering new emotional depth, being able to finally cry, etc.
It feels like you're trying to say that hormones don't affect emotional state, and they do. Of course it's on us to learn appropriate responses to our feelings. I don't see anyone trying to make a determinist argument?

@Eweish @mxsiege We’re quite a way along from the original post, but I was responding to the suggestion that friend zoning (as a concept) and unsolicited dick pics were symptoms of a failure to understand that brains on testosterone work differently from brains on estrogen. I don’t see that as a determinist argument, exactly, but I do think it’s a mistake to emphasise biology over culture, and reductive to talk about T vs E as a simple opposition.

@Eweish @mxsiege Fair enough, then. @ me out of further discussion please.

@ghost_bird @mxsiege

Also, we're biological beings, so I disagree that it's a mistake to give weight to biological processes, which include learning and how memory is processed.

@ghost_bird @mxsiege @myconidiosyncracy and the irony is that just a year ago i started adding a tiny amount of T with my E because i'd been flatlined at zero, and that's not a good place for be for a long period of time

energy attrition is one side-effect of flatline

@mxsiege @ghost_bird @myconidiosyncracy That's exactly why I wish studies like that would be extended to studying trans men. The "male way of doing things", as a gross generality, always felt more instinctively natural to me at a deep level, even when I ran on estrogen, even before I stopped believing myself to be female.

Some of that might have been male socialization I caught. But much of it felt way deeper.

@mxsiege @ghost_bird @myconidiosyncracy Absolutely agree! I guess the main thrust of my argument is, perhaps there would be more studies done on trans men if masculinity weren't lowkey seen as problematic or undesirable by the types of researchers who do these studies.

I can tell by the language used in some of them that testosterone is basically seen as evil juice. 😏

@mxsiege @ghost_bird @myconidiosyncracy Studies often focus on trans women, then people just extrapolate the results to informally explain trans men, usually badly. Which we then have to counter, with no stats to back it up.

Studies that used multiple trans genders to check parameters would offer more lasting insight, I think. Like, if androgen insensitivity affected trans women, did *sensitivity* affect me? How would I be explained?

@erosdiscordia Definitely, i am not trying to look at androgen insensitivity here, i was actually avoiding trans people altogether in my original posts because there are too many unknown variables.

@myconidiosyncracy @ghost_bird @mxsiege Thirding. I'm gonna chalk these up to socialization. Like, how much of this *comes from* boys being schooled in isolation?

@nev @myconidiosyncracy @ghost_bird I dont believe its particularly common in the US for boys to be schooled in isolation and still the phenomenon of the friendzone and dick picks continue to be widely occuring.

@mxsiege @nev @myconidiosyncracy For these, I’d look to one of the classic double-binds of toxic masculinity: Real Men are supposed to want sex all the time, but it’s Not Manly to admit a need or show visible empathy, particularly with women.

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@ghost_bird @mxsiege @nev @myconidiosyncracy

"Socialization" is a really... interesting word to use around trans women, but never mind that for now. Hormonal effects on developing brains are different from effects on adult brains. Yeah, these examples are culturally specific, but does anyone honestly think that there's a biological basis for the friend zone? No! The point is that hormones affect behavioral learning and behavior in general. I've gotten dick pics from trans guys, are you telling me that they were socialized to be men? I think that would come as news.

@Eweish @ghost_bird @mxsiege @myconidiosyncracy no, I would say that they are acting the way they think men are supposed to act - just like cis men.

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