Thursday, December 1, 2011

What do Catholic men want to talk about?

Patrick Archbold says that girl Catholic bloggers get all the fun:

Girls get all the good topics. By good, I mean the kind that lead to lady cat fights in the comboxes, ya know, good. Guys just don’t have this kind of well from which to draw from. I think some examples are in order.

Breast feeding. Girls can go there, guys can’t even drive by the neighborhood. I am even uncomfortable writing the word. But female Catholic bloggers always have the breast feeding font from which to draw material. I realize in retrospect that the wording in the previous sentence was probably ill-conceived, but you get the point. Whether you are pro, con, indifferent, a BF nazi, an anti-BF nazi, or any combination thereof depending on your hormone balance, you have a ready made BF post just ready to pump out. Ok, ill-conceived again, but still. Guys just do not have anything comparable guaranteed to fire up the crowds.

Modesty. This is a great topic that is almost completely off limits for Catholic dudes. Let’s face it, if I write a 1000 word post on the proper placing of hemlines so as to look feminine yet not unduly tempt anyone, several things can happen and all of them are bad. Many involve restraining orders. But girls can simply write “I think that shorts on women are ....” and voila, instant and vicious combox mud-wrestling by women in Laura Ingalls dresses. You just can’t buy that kind of clean fun. But no. Guys can’t write about modesty because we don’t get it and if we do get it, it just proves we are insensitive or pervs, or worse, an insensitive perv or something…

Read the rest here.

I posted a reply to Pat on the website, but the Register's comment form is being a bit twitchy and wants to moderate what I wrote (probably because it's a bit lengthy, and not because of my history of being critical over there). While I'm waiting for my comment to show up, I thought I'd just share what I wrote over here--because that's another way to get a post done when it's nearly 11 pm CST and one hasn't blogged yet:
Oh, come now, Patrick. I'll grant you that as a non-girly yet female blogger I get to have the catfight topics *and* the geopolitical ones. But I've never seen a fight break out over modesty or nursing that comes even close to the fights that break out regarding these topics:

-whether or not torture is ever permitted (and whether waterboarding counts);
-whether the death penalty ought to be banned, even if the Pope says so;
-whether the GOP is still the great Catholic hope against abortion even if Romney the Perennially Uninspiring is the nominee

And in addition, here's some "manly Catholic guy" topics that will probably get some conversations going:

-whether signing your children up for organized sports is a required act of Catholic manliness or a form of insanity;
-whether or not Real Men smoke, and if so, what (so far, the voting among men seems to this way: pipes and/or cigars, Truly Catholic and Manly; cigarettes or illegal substances, just stupid)
-whether you should let your sons be altar servers if girls get to do it;
-guns in the house: yes or no?
-the exact level of housework/chores a man can do before he risks losing his masculinity;
-whether or not Real Catholic Men use NFP

Those are just for starters, of course; next time you get stuck at 11:30 and are falling back on the boring yet geopolitical, just drop me an email, and I'll be happy to help! Especially since the modesty/nursing/endearing children stuff is DONE TO DEATH, and I'd love to see a good male-combox wrestling match over any of the male-friendly topics listed above or probably about a dozen others. :)
I have no idea whether or not Pat will ever take me up on my offer--and I do have a few more topics to suggest. But right now, I'd like to hear from my male readers, especially my Catholic ones: what topics pertaining specifically to lay male Catholics and their struggles to live the faith in today's world would you like to see bloggers address? Are there any that you think have been addressed either a) never or b) so rarely that it seems like never?

Because I think the reason female Catholic bloggers bring up nursing and modesty and cute things our kids do and educational struggles and those sorts of topics are not just to generate traffic and links, but because women do seem to want to talk about these things. Since I'm not a mommy blogger, I don't tend to blog about these topics all that often (and I've learned to stay out of actual, bona fide catfights). But is it true that men don't have similar topics they'd like to discuss, or is it simply the case that men's topics get short shrift in the Catholic blogosphere? What, exactly, do Catholic men want to talk about? I'd be happy to help host some of those conversations, too, even if I am a girl and all.


Ken said...

Hmmm... Well, just offhand, I'd think any manly man would enjoy a chance to talk about, umm, uh, hmmm.

See, that's the thing. Manly men don't really want to talk about stuff. We manly men (nice how I just included myself into the category, eh?) would rather Do Something than talk about it. Give me a broadsword; you can keep your pen, mightier though it may be.

Alas, while the attraction of "Sir Knight Kenneth" was strong, in real life too often all we did was meet, greet, and eat.


1. Gregorian chant does not suck. 2. Father Frank's Bishop. 3. Holding hands during the Lord's prayer is way too touchy-feely. 4. Won't somebody, somewhere, Please Excommunicate Pelosi? 5. Why are we not behind Santorum, do you really know this guy? 6. And where is Alan Keyes when we need him?

Lindsay said...

Exactly, Ken. My gut reaction is that women just plain "talk" more than men. We discuss things, they do things. I think it is one of the reasons men are so drawn to things like drinking beer or smoking--it is something they can *do* together. You put women in a room together, and they will find something to talk about, catty or not. Men, not so much. Not suggesting drinking and smoking are necessary, just that there is something beyond the actual tobacco or alcohol that makes it appealing to men. What is the old statistic they always tell you in premarital counseling. The number of words women have to say versus men? Discussing things online is an outlet for women, it is work for men. My husband has no desire to debate things online after a stressful day of interaction at work. He'd much rather go build something, or at least read about how to build something.

Rebecca in ID said...

I don't know about that, I think it has more to do with personality type. My husband is much more of a talker than I. His happiest moments are when he can find someone with whom to sit down and argue the finer points of St. Thomas; my happiest moments are sitting down with a cup of tea, a book, and Beethoven. It does sure seem to me that there are plenty of talkative men on the internet...

Melanie B said...

Pat's article is funny; but not really true. Or true only in the narrowest sense about "cat fights". There used to be plenty of wrestling matches in Dom's comboxes back when he was blogging several posts a day about all sorts of topics.

And I totally disagree about manly men not liking to talk about stuff. That's just silly. Where the heck does that idea come from anyway? Some Hollywood stereotype based on Clint Eastwood or something? I'll grant that men don't talk about their feelings at length the way women do but not that they don't like to talk.