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Women are mean to gay men in order to keep their own men from going gay, confused Men’s Rights Redditor explains

Could you run that by me again?

By David Futrelle

Try to make head or tail of this one, folks!

anyone notice how gay men are treated by making fun of by women? Is it because they know men are much better partners and are afraid?Discrimination (self.MensRights)

submitted 13 days ago by kur955

In case you can’t quite parse the syntax here, Mr kur955 is asking his Men’s Rights colleagues whether they have noticed that women make fun of gay men a lot, and if this is because women know that men are better partners than women and are afraid that if men realize this they’ll all go gay.

He spells all this out a tiny bit more coherently in a comment, arguing that women want to make the “gay experience” look bad because
 

they know … that if hetero men turn to gay suddenly theyll run out of punching bags … because sexual desire will not stand in the way of making a truthful fair and from the outside world true to the internal world judgemental opinion

So ladies, fess up! Why are you using homophobia to keep men from going gay and deserting you?

If you say, “what are you talking about, that’s absurd and also that’s not how being gay works” I’ll know you’re part of the vast conspiracy.

Send tips to dfutrelle at gmail dot com.

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Allandrel
Allandrel
6 months ago

I was very disappointed to learn that Finns don’t actually refer to their significant others as “the one that I don’t hate as much as the rest.”

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
6 months ago

Masse Mysteria:

I’m always the Finn telling people online that Finnish doesn’t have gendered pronouns.

You’re the one? You’d think there’s like six million of us doing that…

Then I feel bad because they may get overly excited (“Must be so easy being nonbinary!”),

I actually only recently realized there’s a difference between non-binary and non-gendered pronouns. Obviously, before that, I had to learn that a) gendered pronouns exist and b) non-binary genders exist.

when in real life there are Finns who wonder why we don’t have gendered pronouns when “all the other languages” have them,

I’ve scarcely ever heard of this desire, and can’t imagine having it myself. I always found it mildly inconvenient to select the correct pronoun in English – and that’s before you run into someone whose gender isn’t known.

Though it does add certain narrative smoothness (with some sexual tension) in literature, when you narrate any man-woman interaction and you can keep referring to the two people with pronouns alone.

and then you’re stuck trying to explain to them that not all languages have pronouns, let alone gendered ones.

Of course, in Finnish we have the style option of not talking at all…

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
6 months ago

I guess it what I heard was about not having personal pronouns as such, and not pronouns in general. Shows that I know very little about languages. I feel like I’ve been ready to believe almost anything ever since I heard as a kid that some languages don’t really do tenses or something and I was like, “Well, I guess anything goes, then.”

Perhaps the lesson with that was supposed to be that different languages just use different ways of expressing the same thing. I once had an English teacher teach me that Finnish doesn’t have the future tense and then later on a Finnish teacher being all sick with these foreign language teachers teaching everyone that Finnish has no future tense and no set word order and other nonsense. That’s one way to teach people that being an expert at one thing doesn’t mean you know about another.

@Allandrel
Some might? I’ve never heard that one before. Was it supposed to be one word?

@Lumipuna

I’ve scarcely ever heard of this desire, and can’t imagine having it myself.

I have to admit I haven’t been hearing much about it lately. I remember reading about it in Helsingin Sanomat opinion pieces when I still read the paper regularly, and perhaps on some writers’ online forums, and neither of those tell you much about what the general public thinks.

Of course, wanting “gendered pronouns” seems to always mean wanting a feminine pronoun, because of course hän would be the masculine. I’ve seen someone argue that translations are tricky when you don’t have gendered pronouns, but if you really were worried about that, I should think you’d need to come up with both a masculine and a feminine pronoun and keep hän as it is, otherwise you’re just swapping one problem for another.

Of course, in Finnish we have the style option of not talking at all…

I’m still trying to learn that. You tell yourself to pick your battles and then someone’s all “Yeah but slime moulds are fungi” and how are you supposed to let that slide.

Allandrel
Allandrel
6 months ago

@Masse_Mysteria

In the joke, the word is “mulkvisti,” which apparently just means “jerk/asshole.”

Naglfar
Naglfar
6 months ago

@Masse_mysteria

I heard as a kid that some languages don’t really do tenses or something and I was like, “Well, I guess anything goes, then.”

I believe I heard somewhere that Chinese doesn’t formally have tenses, although I could be mistaken because I don’t speak Chinese. I would imagine in languages without tenses people imply them somehow to distinguish.

Something that tripped me up when learning Hebrew (which I know some of but don’t speak all that well) is that the verbs “to be” and “to have” work very differently than in most languages. The verb “to be” is implied in the present tense rather than being its own verb, so to say something like “I am tired” you would say something that literally translates to “I tired.” And the verb “to have” doesn’t act the same way as other verbs, so to say “I have a book” you would say something that literally translates to “there exists to me a book.”*

*If anyone speaks Hebrew better than me they can maybe give a better explanation, it’s been a long time since I spoke it and I never spoke it all that well.

@Lumipuna

Though it does add certain narrative smoothness (with some sexual tension) in literature, when you narrate any man-woman interaction and you can keep referring to the two people with pronouns alone.

There is a passage of the Old Testament, part of the Song of Songs, that refers to the two characters, a man and a woman, as he and she without ever specifying their names. That must be hard to translate into Finnish.

Hambeast
Hambeast
6 months ago

Yutolia said

I knew a guy who used to say things like this. He told me once that women are far more homophobic than men and it’s popular and accepted for women to beat up gay men who won’t date them.

Huh. I always just filed them under “not available” along with marrieds and in-relationship-guys. Doin’ it rong once again, I guess. Wait! Are we cis ladies supposed to be beating up guys in relationships and the ones that turn us down, as well??

@Surplus and Not Edward – I’m not so hard up that I need for entertainers and crews to put themselves at risk. But then, I watch a lot of YouTubers. Plenty of no-risk, socially-distanced stuff there.

Speaking of which? John Krasinski has a new channel called SGN (Some Good News) that is, quite frankly, awesomeness. Three eps in and I haven’t not cried once from the happiness.

Hambeast
Hambeast
6 months ago

Not even out of the edit window in the last comment (I know I won’t make it) but Naglfar said about Hebrew

The verb “to be” is implied in the present tense rather than being its own verb, so to say something like “I am tired” you would say something that literally translates to “I tired.” And the verb “to have” doesn’t act the same way as other verbs, so to say “I have a book” you would say something that literally translates to “there exists to me a book.”*

This is the same in Russian. The verb “to be” is used sometimes, but it seems to be an emphasis thing.

Russian locatives are interesting, too. In Russian, you are ON the Post Office and kitchen, not in or at them!

Moggie
Moggie
6 months ago

@Naglfar:

I imagine it would be somewhat hard to use language without pronouns.

Look up “pro-drop language” in wikipedia. Various languages, while having pronouns, allow or encourage them to be omitted (dropped) when they can be inferred from context. This is one reason why machine translations of Japanese often sound stilted and impersonal: a meal was eaten, then a movie was watched. A human reader easily understands who is the subject, even though it’s not explicitly stated, but software, without very capable AI, can’t figure it out.

Naglfar
Naglfar
6 months ago

@Moggie
Spanish sort of fits that, in that the subject is often omitted and inferred based on the verb conjugation, but the object is always there. It’s not to the same degree as Japanese, though.

Dalillama
Dalillama
6 months ago

@Masse_Mysteria

I feel like I’ve been ready to believe almost anything ever since I heard as a kid that some languages don’t really do tenses or something and I was like

Indeed they don’t! Chinese, for instance, has separate words that serve as conjugations, e.g. ‘huì’ means, basically “in the future”, and can be placed in front of any verb to designate that it will happen. Meanwhile Klamath hasn’t got verbs at all, you modify nouns to indicate what actions they take/took/will take (and yes, it’s an absolute bastard to learn for people who only know Indo-European languages).

Naglfar
Naglfar
6 months ago

@Dalillama

Klamath hasn’t got verbs at all, you modify nouns to indicate what actions they take/took/will take (and yes, it’s an absolute bastard to learn for people who only know Indo-European languages).

There was also a sort of experiment done to create a language, Kēlen, with the intention that it be as different from any human language as possible. In order to seem more distant from human languages, it has no verbs. I guess the creator of it was unaware that there actually are human languages with no verbs as well.

Dalillama
Dalillama
6 months ago

@Naglfar
To be fair, there’s only about 500 people on the planet who know anything about Klamath, my dad just happens to be one of them, so I learned a couple things.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
6 months ago

Naglfar:

There is a passage of the Old Testament, part of the Song of Songs, that refers to the two characters, a man and a woman, as he and she without ever specifying their names. That must be hard to translate into Finnish.

I had to look it up. The entire SoS seems to be a dialogue where different sections are labeled (as in theatrical play) as belonging to “maid”, “man” or “others”. Maybe in original Hebrew, these are evident from the grammar of the dialogue?

English to Finnish translation typically substitutes “he/she” with “man/woman”, if it’s necessary to indicate gender.

And the verb “to have” doesn’t act the same way as other verbs, so to say “I have a book” you would say something that literally translates to “there exists to me a book.”*

And now I just realized Finnish also doesn’t have a direct equivalent to “have”, a common English verb. We say literally “on me is book”.

Here, “on me” stands in for a noun case that generally indicates location next to (noun), but when applied to personal pronouns, more often indicates possession by (pronoun). This is separate from the possessive noun case, which covers the function of English possessive and adjective pronouns (“my/mine book”)

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
6 months ago

@Allandrel
Mulkvisti is a strange one, since it combines mulkku (slang for “dick”) with kvist, which is a common ending for Swedish surnames. I guess there may be a reason for that, but it seems delightfully random. Might not be so delightful if it was originally meant as a slur for Swedish speakers or something. But yeah, it’s not an endearment.

@Lumipuna
Well, there’s the verb omata, but it’s not really recommended in most cases. It usually sounds like lazy translation work.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
6 months ago

AFAIK, people sometimes use mulkvisti as a “humoristic” and somewhat euphemistic variant for mulkku (dick), without particularly meaning to associate it with Swedish language. I can sort of see some partners using it, but it’s a quaint word.

As for omata … That’s indeed a direct, if rarely used equivalent of the verb “have”. Very formal, easily sounds pretentious even in formal language.

Naglfar
Naglfar
6 months ago

@Lumipuna

Maybe in original Hebrew, these are evident from the grammar of the dialogue?

In Hebrew and most English translations it uses gendered pronouns, so the sections are labeled “he,” “she,” and “friends.”

A while ago I was reading the Hungarian language Wikipedia through Google Translate because I needed to read an article that didn’t have an English version, and because Hungarian (which IIRC is related to Finnish) also doesn’t have gendered pronouns, the machine translator seemed to be uncertain of what pronouns to use for certain people in the article and kept alternating them.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
6 months ago

Hungarian and Finnish are indeed distantly related, in the Uralic language family, though the lack of gendering is not remotely limited to Uralic languages.

Apparently, Google Translate tries to pick gender cues from people’s names (and god knows where)?

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
6 months ago

Sometimes I feel like professional translators also don’t know how to handle pronouns not being gendered. Some years back I got really fed up reading books that had been translated into Finnish from languages that have gendered pronouns (English and I assume Polish) where there apparently were a whole bunch of people and also some women, since the translators had just forgotten to mention that the people in question were men.

Then I read a Finnish science fiction book which took the same approach of mentioning characters’ genders only when they were women, so I guess it’s not just a translation issue.

Moon Custafer
Moon Custafer
6 months ago

@ Masse_Mysteria, Lumipuna:

So, a potential English equivalent would be humorously referring to someone’s penis as “Mr. Dixon,” or something?

Dalillama
Dalillama
6 months ago

@Masse_Mysteria

Mulkvisti is a strange one, since it combines mulkku (slang for “dick”) with kvist, which is a common ending for Swedish surnames. I guess there may be a reason for that, but it seems delightfully random. Might not be so delightful if it was originally meant as a slur for Swedish speakers or something. But yeah, it’s not an endearment.

‘-kvist’ means “twig/thin branch” in Swedish, so there’s lots of names that are [tree or plant]kvist, e.g. Almkvist=Elm-branch. That leads me to guess that mulkvisti might have originated as a commentary on presumed size of someone’s dangly bits, as with English “needle-dick”.

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
5 months ago

@Dalillama
That’s certainly possible. To my ear, mulkvisti sounds a bit backwards for that. I always assumed it was just an elaboration of mulkku.