3.30.2007

Names witheld to isolate the not-so-innocent

Every now and again I come across something that I feel compelled to blog about but wonder if I would be at cross-purposes in doing so. When this occurs I test the case against the Ann Coulter Rule (I'm considering creating a lexicon page for terms like this). Simply put, the Ann Coulter Rule states that it is unacceptable to feed any sort of publicity to the douchebags and pigfuckers who make their name and their living by getting people pissed at them.

This one clearly falls under that header. The article in question states that Feminism is responsible for the demise of the "Real Man," which he defines with every bit as much wit as some lobotomized Richard Pryor wannabee talking about the difference between black people and white people (such routines normally predicated on the idea that the main difference lies in whether or not one respects women and his fellow man, or pays his bills on time.) Apparently, real men can't cook, don't show sentiment, and don't make any effort to understand women, as it's far better to merely appreciate their mystique and beauty. He leads by saying that he's going to be pissing off women. It's his selling point, whether or not he wants to admit it. I wonder if the irony that he accuses women of emasculating men while declaring non-assholes to not be "Real Men."

However, there's something he raises that I feel the need to touch on. The solution? I'm not linking him or quoting him. In fact I forget how to find the article at this point. Do I lose a bit of integrity, in the journalistic sense, by doing so? Perhaps. But I can make my point without him. And since my audience is in general comprised of people who seem to trust me (suckers), I feel that I can be forgiven if I cut him and his swollen balls out of the action.

It's true that the evolution of the modern emasculated male began with the advent of feminism. But if you blame your lack of identity on a woman fighting for fair wage, chances are you were never a real man to begin with. What happened is that while women changed to create a more just world for themselves, men only changed to still have a chance with women. Add to that the crushing effects of the Vietnam War and you get a good picture. This is what we have to blame for Sylvester Stallone. We all lost.

A year and change ago I remember writing my blog against sexism post and mentioning Masculism, which I hadn't known a thing about until then. And I wasn't alone in my ignorance. And it's easy to overlook when the only banner men seem to be uniting under in any numbers that doesn't directly involve beer, sports, or cars, is that of misogyny. By appearences it's the only game in town. And while not everyone, or even most, are playing, its what gets noticed. Hell, the only father's rights groups that get any ink are the ones that do stupid shit like scale buildings Spider-Man style or threaten to kidnap Tony Blair's son. Nice one, guys.

Worse, even among those who have heard of Masculism a lot have serious misconceptions about what it is. Even Cooper, who is (among other things that would be beyond the scope of this writing and were I to elaborate within it I would run the risk of seeming to be brown nosing or worse, compensating) exceptionally well-informed, thought at the time that I mentioned it that it was a movement whose aim is to reverse the tide of feminism.

Imagine what that means for the rest of the country, seeing how many signatures were gathered when some kid went around asking men and women to sign a petition to "end women's suffrage." Especially since--and this is no great secret--we are addicted to adversarialism in this country. Even those striving for equality use the word "diversity," which in itself implies splitting apart. It's still black versus white; gay versus straight; devout versus secular; men versus women. So why would someone with no other information do anything else but conclude that it's Masculism versus Feminism and then change the channel?

But don't get me wrong. I don't believe any great problems are going to be solved by a more widespread recognition of terms. Would I prefer it if men took a more active role in rectifying this collective identity crisis, and in advancing egalitarian principles? Of course. But that's still part of an outmoded view of the world.

So long as those who believe they serve the cause of equality work to advance only one set of interests, regardless of what sympathy they have for other causes, it will simply be a game of leapfrog; a contest. For true equality, there must be no Masculists, no Feminists, no Pro-Gay, no racial nationalism. There must be Progressives. Or whatever the fuck name, that's not important. It just needs to be catchy so that the drones who either don't posess their own judgement or don't exercise it will see it on TV and say, "me too." Otherwise, it's all just one big pissing contest, even if recent developments mean women can piss like men.

So if you've noticed, this post became about more than just the asshole I mentioned up top. Much of it has been kicking around in my head for some time, and a lot of it was fleshed out in a conversation with my friend Erin, who showed me the original article. And with a word back to the topic that began my rant, we were in particular agreement where the collective gender identity crisis was concerned. There is perhaps a fools hope that this will make it easier for our society to discard the fallacious notion of there being only two genders, but that may be too much to ask. All the more reason for unity. That which divides is murky at best. Race is ultimately the result of our ancestor's migration patterns and can't be identified genetically. Sexual orientation is fluid and nonabsolute. And even where religion is concerned, the common ground among all is love. All that poises to get in the way of that fundamental understanding can go fuck itself.

4 comments:

  1. You're important. Your writing is important. You know that I think that, you know that you are, right? I do like leaving a blog feeling better educated. And that's all I have to say on the subject of gender politics...at this moment.

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  2. "It's true that the evolution of the modern emasculated male began with the advent of feminism."

    This gave me a start but is it not like placing blame.

    I wish we could all just become one great progressive body of humanity but until there is a baseline of equality it can't happen.

    That having been said kudos to you for this. Men have their own cross to bear in what some would call their inability to have intimate relationships with other men, they are lonelier than women in regard to a certain type of friendship.

    This was an excellent post though, and I wish you would write what is rattling around in your head more often.

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  3. well written as usual my dear friend. so many good points...so much to add to it but i've had three solid days of side stepping debauchery ( interesting the first few hours...absolutely gross after a day or so) in order to connect more to myself. long story. not worth it, i promise. anyway, i'm exhausted and nodding and toasting a glass of cold ice water to you.
    keep writing. we need your voice.
    one of your favorite dykes ( you know it's true.)
    anna

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  4. Jemima: I'm thoroughly honored to hear you say that.

    Cooper: Had a feeling it would, and that's why I was sure to add the line after it to clarify.

    The thing is, to my mind the cycle of leapfrogging and backlash has already begun. I believe that the current way of doing things has nearly if not completely exhausted its ability to effect positive change.

    Anna: I will always give out a pass for well-intentioned debauchery. Thank you and I shall

    (You know well there's simply no question of it)

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