When Is Masculinity, Toxic

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When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby edy420 on October 20th, 2020, 12:38 am 

I have my own opinion of what a man should be, and I strive to fill that role. A man is the pillar of his household. He puts his life on the line when his household is under threat. He is the authority on discipline and important decisions. He is the King of his household.

Like a King, a man must make decisions that best benefit his family, overall. And create peace (particularly with his Queen). Without these important fundamentals, the King is more of a careless dictator, and would be considered toxic.

When I think of a mans man, I think of Khabib Nurmagomendov the UFC Lightweight Champion. Humble, but stands his ground on all his beliefs. And I think of his rival Conor Mcgreggor as a toxic masculine figure.

Two questions...

1. When does masculinity become toxic
2. Is non-toxic masculinity, necessary in a household/society.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby charon on October 20th, 2020, 6:20 am 

When is anything toxic? Never mind masculinity or femininity, when do relationships become toxic? You know the answer to that as well as I do!

And if you don't, you should.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby TheVat on October 20th, 2020, 10:15 am 

I see the term applied to what used to be often called macho behavior. Both TM and macho seem to be umbrella terms that cover a range of behaviors that harm relationships and seek forms of unwarranted dominance and/or exploitation.

As a man, I prefer Stoicism, where one doesn't "sweat the small stuff" or let adverse circumstances cloud one's mind.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby Serpent on October 20th, 2020, 11:31 am 

Any concept becomes toxic when it is imposed by an external agency - more so, when it is imposed by clandestine means: emotional manipulation, social shaming, religious indoctrination, systemic bias, etc.

An idea like 'masculinity' is mildly toxic from its very inception: only the coiner/user of the word knows what he means by it, and others, who can only guess at what it means, are defined by it.
It's more potently toxic when it comes with requirements of behaviour, and a social or familial role that the bearer is expected to fulfill.
I'm masculine? Uh, okay....
Gotta be manly, yeah? I'll just watch the other guys are doing and do the same, shall I? Even if it feels uncomfortable and false? Suck it up - right, hide it, sweat it off, man up... got it.
Put life on the line for family, tribe, chief, god, comerades?
I guess, well, who wouldn't? My mom walked three miles every morning to get food for us, faced down a Russian tank rather than lose her place in the bread line... I can do as much. I can do more. Not sure I could take the insults she endured, or take the risk of getting raped, or smile and not complain when she was pushed aside... but then I don't have to....
Oh, now I see the point of masculinity: I get respect.
I'm a King? I don't know how to be a King! This doesn't feel right. I'd rather design ball gowns or collect native grass seeds from remote islands... but the guys jeer and taunt and torment me for it. Got to fight back. Got to fight harder. Got to prove I can be a king.
I have to protect my family and create peace in the household... But how can I keep an eye on all of them all the time? I can't protect them if they don't stay put, stop arguing and do as I say. I can't ensure their safety unless I control them. I can't control them without using force, punish disobedience.
For their own good.
I have to persuade them to obey, even if i have to invent enemies and dangers to frighten them into submission. It's my job to teach them right behaviour, right thinking, right beliefs; save them from the struggles I had to endure before I was a proper man. I'm the King, the only one who knows what's right. I'm the Leader, the Authority, the Judge and Arbiter, the Executor, Your Favorite President and Emperor in brand new invisible garments.
Ah, so that's how masculinity becomes lethally toxic.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby charon on October 20th, 2020, 1:01 pm 

TheVat » October 20th, 2020, 3:15 pm wrote:I see the term applied to what used to be often called macho behavior. Both TM and macho seem to be umbrella terms that cover a range of behaviors that harm relationships and seek forms of unwarranted dominance and/or exploitation.

As a man, I prefer Stoicism, where one doesn't "sweat the small stuff" or let adverse circumstances cloud one's mind.


Let us not forget that toxicity is caused by females also. It's a human dilemma, not just a male problem.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby Serpent on October 20th, 2020, 1:36 pm 

charon » October 20th, 2020, 12:01 pm wrote:Let us not forget that toxicity is caused by females also. It's a human dilemma, not just a male problem.

It's a societal problem, but I think an artificial one that doesn't need to be a dilemma.
Agree that females contribute to and promote toxic masculinity. I wish you'd provide examples.
(Set aside, at least for the moment, any considerations of 'femininity'.)
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby charon on October 20th, 2020, 3:34 pm 

I wish you'd provide examples.


Of female toxicity as opposed to male? Why? To be lurid?

It's not a male/female thing, it's about how human beings have such trouble getting on with each other, whether domestically or globally.

No psychological trait is applicable to only males or females. The absence of love and relationship isn't male or female, it's wherever that trait exists.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby Serpent on October 20th, 2020, 5:48 pm 

charon » October 20th, 2020, 2:34 pm wrote:[I wish you'd provide examples.]

Of female toxicity as opposed to male?

No. As stated above, I thought you meant that women contribute to toxic masculinity - or the culture of machismo.
For example, I remember all those pictures of girls and young women cheering, throwing kisses and roses, at soldiers marching off to war. Young ladies sending a white feather to any young gentleman who did not enlist.
For example, high school girls admiring athletes and despising scholars.
For example: the greater dating success of narcissists, playboys, showoffs and rakes, compared to reliable, competent, serious men.
For example: mothers who encourage their young sons boys to be aggressive and demanding, by treating them like little princes, at the same time they train their young daughter to be self-effacing and accommodating.
I thought you meant that sort of thing. I wasn't considering specific relationships.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby charon on October 20th, 2020, 6:09 pm 

I thought you meant that women contribute to toxic masculinity - or the culture of machismo.


I meant, as the previous posts had been mostly male-oriented, that it can, and certainly does, apply to both sides.

I wasn't considering specific relationships.


All your examples are specific relationships.

Only a few grown men do the macho thing and most women regard it as immature, which it is. It's really more an adolescent phase.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby Serpent on October 20th, 2020, 9:30 pm 

charon » October 20th, 2020, 5:09 pm wrote:I meant, as the previous posts had been mostly male-oriented,

Seeing as the thread subject is "toxic masculinity", that's hardly surprising. Since very few people who identify, or are superficially identified, as female exhibit toxic masculinity.
that it can, and certainly does, apply to both sides.

But you have not explained or shown how that works.

All your examples are specific relationships.

They were examples, yes.

Only a few grown men do the macho thing and most women regard it as immature, which it is.

What is "few" as a proportion of the population? What percentage is "most"? How do the few do the "macho thing"? And how do the most women react to it? How do the respective roles of these few and most people affect the dynamic of societal norms and perceptions?

It's really more an adolescent phase.

What? Civilized culture c 6000 BC to 2020 AD?
Could be....
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby charon on October 21st, 2020, 3:51 am 

Seeing as the thread subject is "toxic masculinity", that's hardly surprising


That's what's wrong with the thread, it's biased and therefore ignorant.

But you have not explained or shown how that works.


I have, very clearly.

I said that human character traits aren't particular to any one gender. Dominance, subservience, possessiveness, envy, jealousy, violence, bullying, fear, hate, loneliness, etc, aren't 'male' or 'female', they can apply to anyone.

Toxic is toxic, it's not gender specific. It's not even age specific.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby edy420 on October 21st, 2020, 5:11 am 

IMO, toxic femininity (ninimininimity) is just as bad, but in a different way.

I respect real feminists, who just want the same recognition and equal rights as men. Toxic feminists, are those who either want woman to be held higher, or men to be put down.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby BadgerJelly on October 21st, 2020, 5:13 am 

For the sake of psychological clarity ‘masculine’ doesn’t mean male and ‘feminine’ doesn’t mean female. They are separate things entirely.

It is an unfortunate circumstance of technical jargon being taken to mean something that it doesn’t.

So, technically speaking ‘toxic masculinity’ isn’t (in psychological jargon) specific to males. The same can be sad of ‘red’ in Spanish not actually possessing a penis - it’s just classed as a ‘masculine’ word.

The actual terms is very vague/broad in its use (hence the confusion and continual diatribe of nonsense from people wishing to denounce someone and/or push a particular agenda). It means, roughly speaking, something about ‘masculine traits’ that are more in line with ‘social expectations of men’ and there negative effects upon society at large (for EVERYONE). So, there is nothing particularly wrong with this as it is simply making an assessment of what is best for everyone - the problem lies in people stating that they have a hard-cast solution.

There has quite clearly been a shift in western attitudes towards sex and sex roles in society in recent decades. It shouldn’t be particularly shocking that this has led to questions regarding who falls into what role and what is deemed ‘fair’ for each person to expect from the other in an ever shifting landscape.

Generally speaking it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me personally. Some people are dicks and others aren’t. Men and women are different to varying degrees, more so in some areas than others, but psychologically speaking the differences are not particularly large (as far as I can tell) except at the extremes.

Note: none of this is deny the existence of an element of ‘social construction’ being at play - but again, the issue there is in the terms vague/broad application and no hard and fast rules to differentiate between what is ‘socially conditioned’ and what is more or less a general attribute of one particular group of people within a group, within group, within group ... ad infinitum. It seems there is a lot on the plate of social scientists today as other areas of interest slowly pick away at their claim on the intellectual ground they had rule over.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby edy420 on October 21st, 2020, 5:36 am 

The social construct idiom, is dogmatic only outside of a nuclear family. ie in any LGBTQ relationship or polygamy etc. These types of relationships can be thought of as democracies or socialism, etc. But in a nuclear family, IMO its very important to set up a Kingdom.

Masculinity is important for the male King. And femininity is important for the female Queen, to balance and complement each other. Perhaps the sex isnt as important as I think it is, Im not sure. But I am certain that a feminine role needs to support a hurting child, and a masculine figure needs to lead the way. Mostly because a key element to raising children is consistency. Its hard to play all the roles at once, or take turns.

For example, sometimes my Queen will make demands and not expect them to be done, and thats ok. If gives the child room to debate, and grow mentally. But when I say something, it will be done, and quickly. It teaches authority and sometimes you don't have a few hours to explain everything. Life is just a lot easier that way. If we took turns at playing these roles, then we wouldn't instill any of those values.

A Youtuber named Destiny, said he wouldn't go check out a threat, if his wife was Rhonda Rousey, he would send her. Me personally, I would rather check it out, sacrifice myself if needed, and she can flee with the children. Then if needed she could defend herself and the children. I want to believe that this reasoning is misogynistic or maybe even selfish in some way, but I just can't see how. Id need to figure it out before I comment further.

When I talk about toxic masculinity, Im mostly referring to a father figure in a nuclear family... Including masculinity in other types of families, makes this discussion incredibly diverse. Feminine and masculine are really just social constructs in these relationships. In a nuclear family, they are fundamental roles.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby charon on October 21st, 2020, 6:04 am 

I have a question which I doubt if you'll answer. Where is love in all this? Where there's love none of the stuff you're talking about exists.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby BadgerJelly on October 21st, 2020, 6:19 am 

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is a purely ‘social construct’. In simplistic terms there is never a pure black landscape without a dot of white and vice versa. Some things are most certainly ‘more’ of a social construct than others (but the term itself is vague/broad).

Overall men are physically stronger than women (not a social construct) and because of this it makes logical sense that men take on the role of ‘protector’. Of course, some women are stronger than some men, and brute strength alone is merely deterrent if the person doesn’t know how to properly use their body.

Then we have to take courtship into account - those traditions are more ‘social constructs’ imo, but we can never completely negate the individual attributes people bring to the table.

Basically the talk about ‘social constructs’ and such amounts to little more than the dated use of the nature or nurture lens of viewing the world. The truth is there is no clear line between them and over time our scientific understanding of this has led to some bogus doubts in some areas and some reimagining in others).

I don’t believe anyone sane is suggesting men putting themselves in harms way to protect women is ‘misogynistic’ anymore than women putting themselves in harms way to protect their children is viewed as somehow ‘toxic’. It’s a simple matter of protecting loved ones and/or protecting those that appear to need assistance.

The concern that is often overlooked is the expectations people perceive to exist. ‘Men don’t cry’ and such. I think those kinds of comments are inherently ‘toxic’ - meaning they’re potentially crippling if strongly indoctrinated into some children.

My general perception is that people are far more accepting today than they were a couple of decades ago. I think it’s great that there is so much open discussion about these topics as in the past they didn’t tend to get too much publicity. Also, the event of the internet has allowed so many new voices to be heard. When I see extreme views being flouted, and many being sucked in, I smile. This is because I view conflict as indicative of a healthy sense of ethics. I’d be extraordinarily worried if everyone just went all mushy on each other (that would mean either ‘suppression’ in some form another, or the beginning of the end of humanity).
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby edy420 on October 21st, 2020, 7:01 am 

charon » 21 Oct 2020, 23:04 wrote:I have a question which I doubt if you'll answer. Where is love in all this? Where there's love none of the stuff you're talking about exists.


Depends, how do you define love.

The simplest description for me, is giving. I'd give my life. I give my wealth, my health, my time and effort. I give everything.

I really do think of my wife as my Queen, and treat her as such. I introduce her to people as my Queen, which makes her blush every time. It was a gimmick I picked up from a mens group, but after a couple years, she finally realized that I was serious, and she started to call me her King.

I wake her with a cup of tea every morning, and we talk about our plans for the day. At night, I rub her feet, which is really just a nifty trick I use to make me tired. (sometimes I only get 1 and 1/2 feet, but she doesnt mind). On days off, I make her cups of tea nearly every hour. I give her a full body rub at least twice a week. If she asks for something, I get it. Ill often help cook or hang out washing, as its a good opportunity to catch up. and the list goes on. (and on)

Im not boasting about having a Queen, but I need to paint a picture, before I go into my expectations as a King. My sexual needs are taken care of. I let her make nearly all the decisions(like a Queen). If I disagree, then we discuss it. Usually I won't care, and she gets the last say, however. If an important decision needs to be made, I make it. (The latest example, she was against me taking our kids out of public school, even after discussing it. But next year, it will be done)... and well, thats about all I expect from her. Sexual needs satisfied, and the important decisions are mine. Thats all I ask, although she gives me much much more.

Before I made her feel like a Queen, we would often clash, and no one would get what they wanted. We have been through hell and back, and for the last 3 years, we have found what works... Masculinity and love saved our relationship.

I return the question. How do you define love, and where is love in a relationship?
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby charon on October 21st, 2020, 7:29 am 

Depends how you define love.


No, it doesn't. Love is love. When there's no love all the problems start, simple as that.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby edy420 on October 21st, 2020, 12:45 pm 

Science defines love as a chemical hit to the brain.

Some argue its being passionate and intimate.

Others think of it as receiving from each other.

The definition is important. If we accept the scientific explanation, then we only need to be druggies in a relationship. I disagree
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby Serpent on October 21st, 2020, 3:25 pm 

charon » October 21st, 2020, 5:04 am wrote:I have a question which I doubt if you'll answer. Where is love in all this? Where there's love none of the stuff you're talking about exists.

Are you saying that "love" - however one defines it - cancels all the concepts of masculinity, femininity, feminism, machismo, gender politics and the social power structure that assigns prescribed roles to people classed by their sex?
In that case, the existence of love is so scattered and localized that it's wholly insignificant on the societal scale.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby charon on October 21st, 2020, 6:33 pm 

Are you saying that "love" - however one defines it - cancels all the concepts of masculinity, femininity, feminism, machismo, gender politics and the social power structure that assigns prescribed roles to people classed by their sex?
In that case, the existence of love is so scattered and localized that it's wholly insignificant on the societal scale.


I like the way you've already decided what I meant!

But, in answer to your question, it's not as simple as that. Masculinity and femininity exist. Most of it is biological in any case. None of that excludes love; why should it?

It's not so much that it excludes gender politics and the social power structure that assigns prescribed roles to people classed by their sex as it transcends them.

Does that answer it?
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby davidm on October 21st, 2020, 6:34 pm 

I’m afraid I can’t resist, though I should, LOL.



I really do think of my wife as my Queen, and treat her as such. I introduce her to people as my Queen, which makes her blush every time.


No wonder it makes her blush. Have you ever tried introducing her by her actual name? Do you remember what it is?

It was a gimmick I picked up from a mens [sic] group ...



Here is my surprised smile.


At night, I rub her feet, which is really just a nifty trick I use to make me tired.


Of course. Because it’s really all about you.

On days off, I make her cups of tea nearly every hour.


That must make her awfully hyper!

I give her a full body rub at least twice a week.


I wonder who gets off on that.

If she asks for something, I get it.


How thoughtful.

I’ll often help cook or hang out washing, as its a good opportunity to catch up. and the list goes on. (and on)


You help around the house??? Whoever heard of a King doing such a thing???

Im not boasting about having a Queen ...


No, of course not, lol.

but I need to paint a picture, before I go into my expectations as a King. My sexual needs are taken care of. I let her make nearly all the decisions(like a Queen). If I disagree, then we discuss it. Usually I won't care, and she gets the last say, however. If an important decision needs to be made, I make it. (The latest example, she was against me taking our kids out of public school, even after discussing it. But next year, it will be done)... and well, thats about all I expect from her. Sexual needs satisfied, and the important decisions are mine. Thats all I ask, although she gives me much much more.



Ok, she gets your rocks off while letting you be the king of your castle. How cool. I can’t even imagine a better definition of toxic masculinity than your discussion of your relationship with your wife. This is your brain on the Bible (insert image of egg frying here).


Masculinity and love saved our relationship.


Bwa-ha-ha!

From my perspective, your relationship is classically dysfunctional.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby TheVat on October 21st, 2020, 7:04 pm 

I clearly underestimated how entertaining this thread would become.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby TheVat on October 21st, 2020, 7:10 pm 

If an important decision needs to be made, I make it. (The latest example, she was against me taking our kids out of public school, even after discussing it. But next year, it will be done)... and well, thats about all I expect from her.


Unilateral decisions, the finest flower of a healthy relationship!

Good luck with that. You may want to request a refund of the membership dues for your men's group.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby Serpent on October 21st, 2020, 9:59 pm 

charon » October 21st, 2020, 5:33 pm wrote:[Are you saying that "love" - however one defines it - cancels all the concepts of masculinity, femininity, feminism, machismo, gender politics and the social power structure that assigns prescribed roles to people classed by their sex??
In that case, the existence of love is so scattered and localized that it's wholly insignificant on the societal scale.]

I like the way you've already decided what I meant!

I hardly ever know what you mean. You post these brief, absolute declarations, like
Love is love. When there's no love all the problems start, simple as that.

without elaborating.

But, in answer to your question, it's not as simple as that. Masculinity and femininity exist. Most of it is biological in any case. None of that excludes love; why should it?

Nobody suggested that it does. You suggested, or seemed to suggest, that love somehow excludes or expels the other concepts.

It's not so much that it excludes gender politics and the social power structure that assigns prescribed roles to people classed by their sex as it transcends them.

Where two people love each other enough, and communicate their needs well enough, and have both the ability and willingness to meet the other's needs, and don't have so many psychological and environmental impediments that they can't act on their good intentions - there, yes, love might transcend the politics of gender.
Which, of course, is what I meant by the effect being local and scattered. Such love does not exist on a societal scale.

Does that answer it?

That reiterates it in slightly different terms.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby charon on October 22nd, 2020, 5:09 am 

Vat -

That post by davidm should be moderated, not supported. I don't approve, sorry.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby charon on October 22nd, 2020, 5:43 am 

Serpent -

You post these brief, absolute declarations, like

'Love is love. When there's no love all the problems start, simple as that.'

without elaborating.


I don't see any need to elaborate. Perhaps I'm overestimating my audience, so to speak, but I'd have thought this was pretty simple. Where there's love there's no problem. It's the lack of love, and all that that implies, that creates all the problems in life. This isn't a new thought, this is well-worn. Do you really need it explained?

Nobody suggested that it does. You suggested, or seemed to suggest, that love somehow excludes or expels the other concepts.


I said that where there was love there was no problem. Take any problem and examine it and you'll see it. The roots of it will be egocentricity, selfishness, fear, ignorance, and other associated traits. Love is not something 'romantic' or any of that sort of thing, it's completely practical, real.

Such love does not exist on a societal scale.


Exactly! But can you separate society from those who compose it? Society is what we've made it. So if there's no love in society it's because there's no love in us.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby Serpent on October 22nd, 2020, 10:00 am 

Three cheers for love - wherever it may be.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby charon on October 22nd, 2020, 10:39 am 

That sounds rather cynical and bitter to me, which isn't love. Therefore it'll have it's roots in... etc.
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Re: When Is Masculinity, Toxic

Postby TheVat on October 22nd, 2020, 11:17 am 

charon » October 22nd, 2020, 2:09 am wrote:Vat -

That post by davidm should be moderated, not supported. I don't approve, sorry.


When the chat ranges as widely, and opines as freely, as this one, it's going to be rather selective if I just "moderate" DaveM without also doing so with Edy's post. My use of the word "entertaining" was not meant as support of either Dave's or Edy's post. If it degenerates to where Dave mocks everything Edy posts, and it starts looping, then I will step in.

My comment on "unilateral decisions" was a direct criticism of that theory, and I make it as member, not moderator. As a moderator, I'd probably ask myself to expand on my comment, but no, I just am not going to waste my time.
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