General Question

Jiminez's avatar

Do you consider a soldier more masculine than a pacifist?

Asked by Jiminez (1248points) May 10th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

59 Answers

eponymoushipster's avatar

Nope, because it takes a stronger individual to be able to either walk away or find another solution. Violence is an “easy” way out.

squirbel's avatar

Personally, I believe my husband to be more masculine than any of my boyfriends I had through college. He happens to be a Marine.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I dont really follow… i dont see how those terms are mutually exclusive. Like why couldnt one be very masculine but still be a pacifist? (not that i would ever consider a soldier a pacifist by any stretch of the imagination.)

MrMeltedCrayon's avatar

@squirbel: That sounds like “Cum hoc, ergo propter hoc” to me. Though that could just be bias on my opinion, as I am neither a soldier nor exceptionally masculine.

Jiminez's avatar

@uberbatman No one is saying that. LOL.. Did you read the qustion?

squirbel's avatar

@MrMeltedCrayon: Well, I am not definitively saying that my husband is masculine because he is a Marine – that’s my way of wording personal experiences to leave the reader to decide what he believes about my situation.

I merely stated what my experience was. And you have your bias, and that is fine. The question specifically asked what we as individuals believe about masculinity, not what society as a whole should believe.

Fyrius's avatar

Well…

There’s definitely at least a strong cultural association between physical strength and the male gender identity, and soldiers do follow an intense compulsory training to make them tough as nails.
And if I may be so bold as to associate being a soldier with being proud and prepared to put up a fight and to associate being a pacifist with being a generally meek kind of person, then yes, I would say the soldier is the more “manly” guy. More dominant, more competitive, more of an alpha male.
The pacifist type doesn’t bother with such things. He cares more about more subtle and benevolent ways to solve disputes, and generally about being a nice guy.
I’m drawing shallow stereotypes here, by the way – did you notice? :P It’s disputable whether or not you could find many people – or even a single perfect specimen – that could fit into these categories.

I should add that I really could not care less about gender identity myself. Personality is too important to force to comply with an archetype, so if it doesn’t come natural, don’t bother.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

I don’t like most soldiers, the whole hoorah this is my rifle this is my gun stuff seems ogre-esque. Don’t get me wrong, I like watching football and scratching my ass in public as much as the next guy, but a lot of soldiers kind of take that shit to a whole other level.

cwilbur's avatar

I think masculinity is largely independent of job (soldier) and philosophy (pacifist).

And it’s possible to be a soldier and a pacifist—consider the doctors who sign up with the military as a way of paying for medical school. They’re still soldiers—employed by the military, part of the rank structure and chain of command, still go through boot camp—but there’s nothing preventing them from being pacifists. They’re just pragmatic pacifists.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

No but I’m thinking in terms of masculinity being more a self identity facet and soldiering or pacifism a job. They could be wrapped up together but I don’t associate them that way, personally.

TaoSan's avatar

I was a soldier, now I’m a pacifist. Still pretty “masculine” :D

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Jiminez yes, i did. Maybe i misunderstood and you can explain it. But as i see it, if your asking if something is more this than that. So the more masculine they are the less pacifistic they would be and vice versa.

@cwilbur True, i didnt think about doctors and such.

Jiminez's avatar

@cwilbur Other than being a doctor it’s really not possible to be soldier and a pacifist. The two are mutually exclusive. They’re little Eichmanns. They’re still violent, just in a more indirect way.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Jiminez wait…. you just said soldiers cant be pacifists… so why did you ask the question? And what does masculinity have anything to do with it? Does being masculine=being violent? I just dont really see where your coming from, thats all.

Jiminez's avatar

@uberbatman I don’t understand what you’re asking.

”...you just said soldiers cant be pacifists…”

That’s right.

”...so why did you ask the question?”

Because I wanted to know if people consider soldiers more masculine than pacifists.

“And what does masculinity have anything to do with it?”

This is the part I don’t understand. What does masculinity have to do with what?

“Does being masculine=being violent?”

I suppose that’s what I’m getting at. Does it? I’m asking you, the collective, if that’s what you think.

Kelly27's avatar

Did someone tell you that you weren’t masculine? J/K
Truthfully it depends on the individual, I consider FGS to be masculine, but that doesn’t mean all soldiers are.

cwilbur's avatar

@Jiminez: “little Eichmanns” is really a telling turn of phrase.

Do you really intend to shut down reasonable discussion by comparing people you disagree with to Nazis, or is that just a side effect?

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Depends on the situation. If there is a call to fight for freedom and the pacifist let’s someone else do it then yes.. the soldier is more masculine.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Jiminez If your question was does being masculine=being violent you should have worded it as such. Or said can soldiers be pacifists.

Are you also implying that some one cannot be a masculine and a pacifist?

arturodiaz's avatar

You gotta be brave to put yourself in front of a huge american tank so that he stops shutting at people for a couple oil gallons. So yes, pacifist are way more masculine.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@arturodiaz I’m just curious. What state do you think our country would be in if every citizen of it were a pacifist?

Jiminez's avatar

@Kelly27 – Of course. Are you kidding? I’m a pacifist. To “tough guys” that just means “being a pussy”. Nevermind that Albert Einstein, who was a pacifist, said:

“This topic brings me to that worst outcrop of herd life, the military system, which I abhor… This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism—how passionately I hate them!”

Tough guys don’t put too much stock in the words of people like Albert Einstein, because tough guys are… well, I’m sure you can tell where this is going.

Oh, and Albert Einstein was also, for all intents and purposes, a socialist. Just a little interesting tidbit there.

@cwilbur – Um, dude, it just so happens that the people I’m comparing to Nazis are military personnel. I don’t think that’s that big of a stretch. I’m not comparing people in this thread to Nazis. Unless, that is, people in this thread are military personnel. Stop characaturizing Nazis. “Aside from a desire for improving his career, Adolf Eichmann showed no trace of anti-Semitism.” How is that any different from a person who works in the military performing other non-combat tasks? That is, in relation to violence, not genocide.

@uberbatman – No, I shouldn’t have. I have asked many questions in one. That is more of an accomplishment. I also wanted to tap the collective and see what cultural assumptions people have.

“Are you also implying that some one cannot be a masculine and a pacifist?”

I’m not implying anything. You’re implying I’m implying that. I’m asking questions. Why can’t you understand that? With that said, what do you think the answer is? Can someone be a masculine and a pacifist? That’s another question (within the question) that I was asking.

arturodiaz's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater Well I think your country would be a less hated place for a start. If you were not shooting just because, like it turned out when your government found there were no weapons of mass desctruction and no Al Qaeda connection in Irak there would be less hate. Also, remember when you took half territory from Mexico? We have not forgotten. When the CIA killed Allende in Chile because he was a socialist. The troops you sent to Panama to control the country. How you have a comercial embargo in Cuba just because they are communist. They have never attacked you, on the other hand you sent some troops (and failed in the attack) to Cuba. How you keep a torture base in Cuban Territory. So the problem is that there is to much hate because of your wars. So less hate = less terrorist acts, less terrorist acts = no need for such a huge military, less military = more money to education, arts and stuff that makes people happy and more people happy is equal to better world.

FGS's avatar

@Jiminez That’s quite a leap and such a deep set stereotype you have there. I would think by now that you know the type of character I or my fellow service members have. I AM a Soldier. Do I seem any more masculine than the next guy? I am me, I cry when my emotions see fit to cry, I show my aggression when my emotions see fit. Pigeon holing a service member into that slot is no different than claiming all male hair dressers are gay or that women that have short hair and ride motorcycles are “butch”. My occupation has absolutely nothing to do with my masculinity. My aversion to pacifism has nothing to do with how manly I may be.

FGS's avatar

@Jiminez As for your “little Eichmanns” comment…That’s way out of line to be honest. The two do NOT equate.

Jiminez's avatar

@FGS Damn, you found this thread. Yeah, it’s particularly offensive if you’re a soldier. I was hoping no soldiers made their way here, cuz I don’t want to offend anyone. I never said soldiers were more masculine than pacifists. As a pacifist, you can be sure that’s not what I think. I was just asking the question, and you answered it.

My “little Eichmanns” comment was in relation to the violence (be it justified or unjustified) of the institution they are a part of, not the crimes of the Nazis. It’s become sort of a blanket term for anyone doing non-combat tasks in a larger system in which violence is a part of the modus operandi.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@arturodiaz I just asked the question out of curiosity so I’m not sure where the hostility comes from. Now I wonder, again out of curiosity, how far spread is your pacifism? Should we also get rid of policemen?

I understand the rudimentary point that people shouldn’t be violent. You’re right. They shouldn’t. The sad fact is that they are. Violence exists. It will always exist.

FGS's avatar

@Jiminez Do I give you an intellectual run for your money? That’s the problem with “blanket terms” they often do not equate with the topic at hand….oh there’s a word for that….Oh that’s right!!!! Stereotype.

arturodiaz's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater Sorry, no hostility intended. I just get sad when I remember all that stuff. The point of the law is to protect the individual, from himself, from others and from society. In a utopic society of course no one will damage no one so no law will be required. Unfourtunately law enforcement is necessary because of the way the human nature is: imperfect.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@arturodiaz I apologize for assuming you were from America. I tend to do that. xD

So which “police force” would respond were we to be bombed by another country? Maybe the Army?

arturodiaz's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater Americans tend to assume everyone is from America, or that America is everything, either way, dont feel alone, not the first time it happens to me :).

The purpose of an army is to protect its citizens. Or at least that is what should its purpose be. Unfourtunately there are cases where certain imperialist countries such as China, US, UK or Rusia, who feel entitled to anex territories as they like. There is where the UN forces enter, unfourtunately they are payed by the US so there is not a lot they can really do. So yes, when a country attack another country an army is required, but most of the time the country who is being bombed is the poor one. So the best thing is no army at all so no one can attack no one, but again, that is just utopia.

And I dont think America will ever be bombed, except by its own citizens or by some terrorist group, and probably what you are doing with the Talibans in Afghanistan will just bring you into more trouble. So putting the army into the equation will probably bring you more terrorist attacks, more bombs and more deaths.

cwilbur's avatar

@Jiminez: you realize that there are soldiers on active duty who post to Fluther? So yes, you are comparing people in this thread to Nazis.

And if you really don’t want to offend anyone, boy howdy, are you ever doing it wrong. The first step in not offending anyone is not saying anything stupidly offensive.

Jiminez's avatar

@cwilbur – Are there any people on active duty who are posting on this thread? If not, then I’m not comparing people in this thread to Nazis. Anyway, what does it matter? I already said that it’s just a saying. You turning Nazis into a caricature is the problem, not my making comparisons. I’m willing to call a lot more people little Eichmanns than just soldiers. I’m sorry but you’re not going to shame me or censure me into not expressing my opinions.

“The first step in not offending anyone is not saying anything stupidly offensive.”

Well then I wouldn’t be saying anything true. I can’t help if people are offended. I act in accordance with my own conscience. And my conscience is telling me I’ve done nothing wrong.

Jiminez's avatar

“Do I give you an intellectual run for your money?”

That’s not really what I was getting at.

“That’s the problem with “blanket terms” they often do not equate with the topic at hand….oh there’s a word for that….Oh that’s right!!!! Stereotype.”

It may not equate, but it applies. It’s not a stereotype.

Bagardbilla's avatar

The pacifist is a soldier! Just of a different sort.
I’ve said it here before, war is the ultimate failure of mankind.

cwilbur's avatar

@Jimenez: well, then, do you care about offending people or not?

Here you say “I don’t want to offend anyone.”

Do you care about offending people, or are you here to just spout whatever self-contradictory nonsense occurs to you at the moment?

Jiminez's avatar

@cwilbur – What a charming little crusade you’re on…

“I don’t want to offend anyone.”

“I can’t help if people are offended.”

In what way are those contradictory?

Thanks for playing.

BTW, you spelled my name wrong.

cwilbur's avatar

@Jiminez: The first suggests that you actually might care that people are offended; the second indicates that you don’t, and you just made the former statement in an effort to look like less of an ass.

Jiminez's avatar

That’s one route to take. And yet another is to actually admit when you’re wrong…

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Jiminez does saying “I don’t want to offend anyone.” or “I can’t help if people are offended.”just give you free range to say whatever the fuck you want and justifiable in your eyes?

Jiminez's avatar

@uberbatman – Well, first of all, I don’t have to answer to you, so just keep that in mind. Second, have you ever offended someone but felt like you’d done nothing wrong? It’s inevitable that people whose trade is war will be offended by militant peaceniks. That doesn’t mean that peace is wrong. Maybe the whole “being offended” stuff should be called into question.

arturodiaz's avatar

Killing people is wrong and soldiers do it all the time. Period

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Jiminez using blanket statements is always offensive to someone, period.

Jiminez's avatar

“It’s inevitable that people whose trade is war will be offended by militant peaceniks. That doesn’t mean that peace is wrong. Maybe the whole “being offended” stuff should be called into question.”

El_Cadejo's avatar

Are you saying my trade is war? If so your horribly wrong. Im very pacifistic by nature and would never consider war a good thing.

My point was if you made a blanket statement against soliders, peaceniks, blacks, whites, jews, muslims, christians, whoever, your still going to offend someone. Its not a matter of where you align yourself, its the fact that your judging individuals by the group.
“using blanket statements is always offensive to someone, period.”
hey looky, i can quote myself tooo

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@arturodiaz If someone came into your house and wanted to kill you or your family.. would you try to talk them out of it? And when that failed? Would you consider killing them to protect your family? I would. Period.

YARNLADY's avatar

So are female soldiers “masculine”? I know many of them, and I wouldn’t use that word to describe them.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@YARNLADY You make a good point that we should take females into account.. but I assumed we were talking about male soldiers since he mentioned masculinity… and to be perfectly honest.. the female soldiers I’ve had to work with could have used some more masculinity.. it would make our jobs easier.

Jiminez's avatar

@uberbatman

“Are you saying my trade is war? If so your horribly wrong. Im very pacifistic by nature and would never consider war a good thing.”

How the fuck would I know? Who are you? What is your profession? What your disposition is doesn’t matter. Adolf Eichmann was not anti-Semitic in any way. He was just a careerist, a businessman who wanted to succeed at whatever system he found himself in. It just so happens the system he found himself in was the Holocaust. You can be an outwardly nice, gregarious person but still be responsible for innocent peoples’ deaths.

“My point was if you made a blanket statement against soliders, peaceniks, blacks, whites, jews, muslims, christians, whoever, your still going to offend someone. Its not a matter of where you align yourself, its the fact that your judging individuals by the group.”

Yeah and you’re not fucking paying attention. This comment of yours is totally insignificant. What does that have to do with anything said in this conversation? You’re totally in la-la-land.

Jiminez's avatar

@YARNLADY – Are you asking me? If so, why?

MrMeltedCrayon's avatar

@Jiminez: I’m pretty sure @YARNLADY was addressing the thread as a whole, not you specifically. She’s free to correct me if I’m wrong.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Jiminez im sorry i keep getting confused, but you have a horrible way of explaining things. Like wtf is this supposed to mean in response to what i said prior?

I would also like to know how my comment is insignificant. You made a blanket statement, it was offensive. We are talking about offending people. Where is the relevance missing?

FGS's avatar

@Jiminez You are absolutely right! You can be an outwardly nice, gregarious person but still be responsible for innocent peoples’ deaths. You live in America right? You pay taxes right? You contribute to the deaths of others (not even in a militaristic fashion…taxes pay police wages)...Should I call you a little Eichmann? You make these blanket statements and lay judgment on people you have no knowledge of yet you cry foul when the same is done to you…

Jiminez's avatar

Yeah, you should call me a little Eichmann, FGS. See what I just did? It’s called acknowledging one’s complicity as a participant in an immoral institution.

I already said I don’t mind making blanket statements, and if the people who are offended are little Eichmanns whose trade is war, then if they’re offended then I’m offended that they expect me to not be offended that they’re offended. And uberbutt, that’s the answer to your question, too. There’s nothing wrong with the way I explain things. I think the problem is your power of comprehension and reading skills and maybe also attention span.

“You make these blanket statements and lay judgment on people you have no knowledge of yet you cry foul when the same is done to you…”

As a matter of fact I don’t, as you can clearly see. You’re getting a little ahead of yourself.

mammal's avatar

there are some fucked up pacifists, what is it…the pacifist is at war with himself, some beat their kids and their wife twice on Sundays, so no… If soldiering was just about masculinity, it would seem pretty dysfunctional to me, i suspect there is plenty of nurturing and tenderness. Superficially masculine perhaps.

Nullo's avatar

Generally, yes.

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