actually on this topic
manpain is a META concept that exists to discuss FICTIONAL SEXISM. in real life, if you laughed about “someone’s manpain”, you would be a disgusting piece of shit for a human being no matter what your gender was. if you were laughing that someone’s life was destroyed by the death of their mom or their fiancee you would be a fucking shitheel not worth my time, and i would not watch a fucking tv series about you.
Oh god yes. Are there people who don’t realize this?
The significant difference between fiction and real life is that in real life things just happen, whereas in fiction things only happen because of choices made by the writer/s.
When fancritics talk about manpain, we’re not mocking Bruce Wayne or Dean Winchester for their suffering; we’re mocking the writers for thinking that hurting them is the best way to tell the story, and that killing (usually female) characters they love is the best way to hurt them.
And perhaps more importantly: Killing off female characters is a good way to “hurt” them that won’t actually hurt them or slow them down, it’ll just make them mad.
“Manpain” is not the same thing as “pain felt by men”.
Also, male characters get to wallow in their pain and it’s used to justify any amount of bad decisions or antisocial behavior, whereas female characters are supposed to dust themselves off and stop whining, or they’re not “likable.”
Manpain is the prioritization metric that says the lose of one person by a male character in a story must be tended and treated as more significant than any lose faced by a female character.
Manpain is the Pain-but-also-not-emotional response of Stoic McGrimFace who expresses his loss through extremely unhealthy coping behaviours like serial killing, mass murder sprees, combat cosplay, and alcoholism.
Like, the hardboiled detective novel – a woman walks into the detective’s office to get an investigation into the recent death of her husband last week, and she is supposed to be immediately sexually available to the detective, with no emotional resonance from her husband’s death, whilst Unshaved Broodman of the Clan BroodingManPain is still drinking himself off the force because he lost his buddy back in ‘67 and it’s 1980
That shit is manpain. Like ManPain™: ask for it by double on the rocks!
Lot of good commentary’s been added to this post since I last saw it.
Mr. Detective drinks because he lost his buddy. Mrs. Detective was attacked herself. Batman loses his parents, Harley Quinn gets attacked and broken by a madman. Drax loses his family, Gamora gets tortured by a supervillain. Fictional men are hurt by taking their property, fictional women are damaged as property.
I just watched something last night where a cop’s (tough, ex-CIA agent) wife was kidnapped and put in an air-tight room to make the good guys let a bad guy go. And they raced to find her as he beat more people up than usual, and they did find her. Three minutes too late.
I’m sitting there, making comments like “They fridged her. They did not need to fridge her to add to his man-pain. Now, the next episode will be all about him going completely off the rails, because he’s in pain and must Hunt Them Down and Kill Them All. And anything he does will be “understandable” and waved off, no matter how illegal or morally reprehensible – because Man Pain.” And I was right. That’s exactly what the previews showed.