How our culture portrays relations between the sexes

Late last night I turned on the TV (which I do for five minutes once every month or so—literally), and this is what I saw. I saw 60 seconds of some show, in which a young man in a hospital room is embarrassedly complaining that he doesn’t want to shave a male patient’s “curly,” his pubic hair (one imagines in preparation for surgery), and a very young, very pretty blond woman standing on the other side of the patient’s bed tells the young man in a bossy, down-putting, drill-sergeant tone that he’d better do it or he will get a bad report from her, and that he should count his lucky stars that she’s only telling him to shave the man’s groin. He is abashed by this lecture, and in a defeated manner accepts the razor from her as she walks out of the room.

Some readers will feel that my proposal to limit the franchise is extreme, pointless, and a distraction from more pressing issues. But the TV scene I’ve just recounted demonstrates the ultimate end of a thoroughgoing sexual equality—not equality between the sexes, but a perverted female supremacism over the male.

—end of initial entry—

Maureen C. writes:

Regarding the ugliness that has been unleashed on TV under the “free speech” protections of cable TV:

The media madness is not about true feminism, which is about treating women as human beings. The vulgarity in our society can be traced to the freefall in standards of decency that started in the ’70s. Women have not been the “primary” force in leading this media march into the toilet—women are primarily the dupes. Women, despite all the rhetoric out there, are not the prime movers in society. Which sex (primarily) writes the TV shows? Which sex finances the shows? Which sex produces the shows? Which sex creates the technology to support the whole cast and characters flowing into living rooms? Which sex markets the shows? Which sex in the ACLU keeps defending the right to garbage mouth redefined as free speech? It’s men, men, men, and more men, who are the generals and the majority of foot soldiers in this Cultural Debasement.

In the U.S. Hugh Hefner started this relentless emphasis on debauchery in the 1950s. He was the Norman Mailer of the subculture. Under the cover of sexual “equality” (the female’s right to unclothe herself to be photographed by male photographers), Hefner made pornography commercially mainstream. Heffner was a primary force in legitimizing lust, one of the two main male biological drives (the other being violence) and thereby unleashing it for profit on U.S. society. Hollywood of course is the Granddaddy of the business of glamorizing, legitimizing and spinning both drives into gold.

LA replies:

There is some truth in what Maureen is saying, but I feel she is missing the larger picture. We are living under an increasing rule of women. Look at young women and young men today. The women are full of themselves, glorying in themselves. The young men are shapeless sacks. And that is a product of an entire female-centric culture, promoted by the schools, by the school book publishers (which are largely run by women, by the way), by the popular culture and entertainment industry, which is deliberately shaping young people to be that way. Maureen has a leftist style analysis whereby, even when there is a TV show in which women are shown as arrogantly empowered and men are shown as helpless wimps, she says that this is “really” the result of male chauvinists controlling the culture! Maureen needs to see that there are more sides to contemporary feminism than she has acknowledged.

James M. writes:

“But the TV scene I’ve just recounted demonstrates the ultimate end of a thoroughgoing sexual equality—not equality between the sexes, but a perverted female supremacism over the male.”

That’s the intention of crypto-Marxist liberalism all along: not to make the sexes or races equal but to reverse the relation between them. When men or whites do better, this is proof positive of discrimination and urgent action is needed for “equality”; when women or non-whites do better, there’s no problem at all:

In a paper to be presented to the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference in Warwick this week, Monojit Chatterji and Karen Mumford find that by choosing the civil service, ethnic minorities win because they not only avoid the 7.5 per cent pay gap in the private sector but also pocket a 9.3 per cent premium over white public sector staff. “Ethnic minorities earn more than others in the public sector and substantially less than others in the private sector,” the authors say.

A spokesperson for the Commission for Racial Equality welcomed the finding that ethnic minority workers are well rewarded in the public sector, but warned that many non-white workers are still stuck at the bottom of the pile.

So the spokesperson for an organization campaigning against racial inequality welcomed a racial inequality when it favoured non-whites! Equality is not the aim of feminists, anti-racists and “gay rights activists” and never has been.

Sean McLaughlin writes:

Predictably, Maureen takes the feminist tack that all that matters in this discussion is who holds what strings. It’s men, men, men, so obviously men are to blame for it all. What she never mentions is just what is being promoted and advanced by these men, men, men. Answer: feminism, feminism, feminism. Assuming her characterization is true (she never asks herself who is watching and enjoying the shows, which is what really keeps them going in the first place), it’s totally beside the point. Now, she does do the usual feminist tap dance that says feminism can’t ever be to blame because anything that is bad isn’t “true” feminism. We can know this because feminists get to define just what feminism really is in any given context, and it can be taken to mean whatever the feminist says it means—just as we often hear that the USSR wasn’t really Communist, because after all, since we know Communism to be benevolent, nothing evil can find its source in Communism.

This is an extremely frustrating line of argument to have to deal with, but having spent years debating feminists I can take solace in this—when one of them retreats to “that’s not really feminism,” she knows she’s beaten. If you’re going to defend feminism, defend it. (And I love the suggestion that all this over-the-top shame-the-male/empower-the-female propaganda has NOTHING to do with feminism—does Maureen think we’re idiots?) Blaming its destructive power on the fact that men happen to be complicit in it, or even refusing to defend it at all by claiming that the thing in question isn’t “real” feminism, is an implicit admission that at least in the case in point, it can’t really be defended at all.

Jacob M. writes:

I did some Googling and found that the television show you saw was episode 17 of season one of the program “Scrubs.” According to the Internet Movie Database, contra Maureen C.’s point, the teleplay for this episode was written by two women. I would love to know how these women were “duped.”

One encounters arguments like Maureen C.’s frequently among mainstream conservatives, particularly evangelical Christians and conservative Catholics, and, frankly, it grows wearying. Has Maureen never observed the reaction of liberal women when conservatives attempt to make these quasi-feminist points? They practically fly into a rage. When you say that men are bad because they want to shirk the responsibility of fatherhood by foisting abortion upon naturally anti-abortion, baby-loving women, they shout that they don’t want children and will never let anyone “force” them to have one. When you say that men are bad because they force women to “put out” for them in order to gain their affections while women don’t like sexual liberation and would prefer lifelong monogamy, they accuse you of thinking women aren’t capable or deserving of sexual pleasure and of viewing sex as something that a woman merely allows a man to do to her instead of wanting it for herself. When you say that men are bad because we try to avoid the responsibility of supporting a family by demanding that our women work while women would really prefer to be housewives, they launch into a rant about the horribly oppressive, unfulfilling “barefoot and pregnant” lives of their grandmothers, how you obviously believe women aren’t capable or intelligent enough to have careers, and how much they treasure their jobs and will never let anyone take them away. They’re not impressed by the refrain that men are bad. As you’ve pointed out in the context of other issues, trying to “out-liberal” liberals just doesn’t work.

I think it’s obvious that women are enjoying the consequences of the sexual revolution as much as men are, and view themselves as benefitting from it.

Sage M. continues:
What I meant to express, and now see that I didn’t do a very good job of expressing, is this:

When faced with the reality of what feminism is, feminists always retreat to a minimalist position: that real feminism, for example, is about treating women as human beings (recalling the ridiculous slogan that “feminism is the radical proposition that women are people”). This is an absurd redefinition of what feminism amounts to, suggesting that anyone who is not a feminist doesn’t believe women are human beings, and further than no woman was ever treated like a human being before there was feminism. [LA comments: That’s the Mary Jackson position!] Claiming that feminism has had nothing to do with the sexual revolution and the degradation of sexual decency and moral standards, and claiming further that feminism has had nothing to do with the sudden chaos in relations between the sexes, is a bit like claiming that the Enlightenment had nothing to do with the industrial revolution.

Retreating to the position that “You can’t criticize feminism unless you think women aren’t human beings” is a desperate tactic indeed, something more akin to emotional blackmail than actual argument. For goodness sake defend feminism on the merits, or accept that it isn’t an unqualified good—but don’t try to redefine it to mean something no sane person disagrees with, as though everything Simone de Beauvoir ever wrote could be deduced from the rather obvious and pedestrian statement that women are people.

Gintas writes:

I agree with Maureen. What we see is the playing out of The Fall, over and over again. The key failing of men is the avoidance of responsibilities. That is why so many men are shapeless sacks. They are not doing what they are supposed to be doing, but are amusing themselves, collecting and playing with their toys, and thus become degenerate and unworthy of respect. Watching football isn’t enough to make you manly, and Amercian football watchers are truly a dismal sight.

The key failing of women is that, in the presence of men’s general failure, they take over. In the absence of male leadership, women do what they are doing. It’s not a drop-in replacement of male leadership. It’s female leadership, and this is what it looks like. However, if the men don’t fail, the women’s failure is naturally suppressed. Women don’t get put in their place, they fall in place.

Of course it’s the goal of crypto-Marxist liberalism and all other enemies of civilization to promote all the weaknesses of men and women. That’s how you destroy a civilization! Our enemy isn’t flesh and blood, he knows what he is doing, he’s had a lot of practice.

It’s just downright unmanly to sit around and blame the women for our problems. When I look around and see feminism running rampant and women acting sluttish and domineering, I ask myself, what is wrong with all the men?

LA replies:

Gintas should look at Diane Ravitch’s latest book (I forget the title) on what’s happening with school text books. She quotes at length McGraw Hill’s detailed set of rules governing what kind of illustrations can be in books. It is all about portraying men in feminine roles and women in masculine roles.

People are shaped by their society, their schools, to be a certain way. Young men today are shaped to be shapeless, demoralized sacks, and young women today are shaped to be self-assured, self-esteeming goddesses. The women are proud, the men are recessive. This is a deliberate product of the ideology that rules our society.

LA asked Jacob M.:

How were you able to find the program online on the basis of the brief scene description I gave?

Jacob M. writes:

I looked at online TV listings and saw that there were three medical shows airing on network TV last night: ER, Scrubs, and Grey’s Anatomy. I actually suspected the latter first, since it is notorious for exchanges like the one you described. So I went to Google and searched for “‘grey’s anatomy’ shave curly”, which turned up nothing. I then tried “scrubs script shave curly”—the first hit revealed the show and episode number. I happened to know from looking up movies on the Internet Movie Database that that site usually tracks full credits for all movies and TV shows, so I was able to find those credited with writing the episode there.

LA replies:

Amazing. But are you saying that the entire script of each episode is online?

JM replies:

Yes, that is odd, isn’t it? The site I found appears to contain unofficial transcripts created by fans. I guess I subconsciously assumed before searching that in a world of six billion people, there would be someone out there with nothing better to do than transcribe every episode of their favorite TV show and post the transcripts on the internet. Lo and behold, there is.

LA replies:

Here is the script page that Jacob found if anyone’s interested. It includes the scene I described. On the printed page, it does not have the impact it had on screen, the embarrassment of the young man, the way the young woman humiliated and emasculated him.

Robin K. writes:

Gintas writes:

“It’s just downright unmanly to sit around and blame the women for our problems. When I look around and see feminism running rampant and women acting sluttish and domineering, I ask myself, what is wrong with all the men?”

To a large extent they’ve been brainwashed from their youth in the state schools, as LA has already mentioned:

“People are shaped by their society, their schools, to be a certain way. Young men today are shaped to be shapeless, demoralized sacks, and young women today are shaped to be self-assured, self-esteeming goddesses. The women are proud, the men are recessive. This is a deliberate product of the ideology that rules our society.”

My supervisor’s son and daughter are products of the state school system, now in their early twenties. The son is physically imposing but passive, furtive and dull eyed. His sister is loud, brash and boastful.

You should also realize that American men are justifiably afraid of being sued, robbed to the point of destitution, jailed, maimed, or even murdered by feminism’s monstrous enforcer, the state (with its anti-man divorce courts, its police, its tasers, and its hellish prisons). Conservative Christian men who think America is still a free country learn an excruciating lesson when their wives turn on them, or they run afoul of the anti-business laws, or the anti-“terrorism” laws. Almost everywhere the churches pretend that the state has not become a tyranny, and therefore refuse to encourage biblical resistance to modern political evil. Do you suppose this intellectual pacifism has contributed to the passivity of Christian men? I think it has contributed mightily to that feebleness.

In spiritual and moral terms, yes, men (and Christian men in particular) must stand up for God and their own God-ordained authority in family and society. But it’s no longer cheap or safe to do so. Under these conditions you don’t find many volunteers. A man really has to “count the cost,” and part of that is facing potential immolation with the prospect that nobody but God will help him or even care what happens to him.

John B. writes:

You should stop watching television so much.

LA replies:

Five minutes a month is too much, huh?

Lisa writes:

I agree that television shows and advertising routinely make men out to be bozos, in need of being “rescued” by their wives/girlfriends.

A blogger named Kim Du Toit (a man) wrote about this a while back in his excellent essay “The Pussification of the Western Male.”

Maureen C writes:

Gintas gets my point exactly—and I agree with his larger point about the evil forces that are preying on both sexes’ weaknesses.

Despite all the hootin’ and hollerin’ and huffin’ and heavybreathin’ that men do about the bogeyman of feminism, men still are firmly financially and technologically in charge of the power bases of civilization. Do the math: How many males versus females are Business CEOs, Hollywood studio heads, Media magnates, Brokerage House directors, Law Firm heads, members of Congress, university presidents, presidents of just about anything you want to name?

Men are leading the charge in the downward spiral of Western culture (and I’m not saying that women like the two who wrote the obscene TV episode aren’t helping them). Women wouldn’t be soldiers in the front lines, if the Joint Chiefs hadn’t rolled over and played dead. Hillary wouldn’t have a prayer of being considered for the presidency without Bill’s support.

Mark A. writes:

It seems like this really kicked off in the 1970s on TV. I recall that in “All in the Family” Archie is the stupid, bumbling, ignorant conservative white male. The wife is sane and sensible. The liberal daughter and the overweight feminine son-in-law are both the voice of progressive reason.

M. Mason writes:

This matter of gender issues is, to say the least, a very complex problem. Viewed from the political angle today, it’s become just a contemporary version of the Marxist-struggle drama with a new cast of characters, the oppressor now being the heterosexual, patriarchal white male, with the new proletariat consisting of women (along with racial minorities, homosexuals and lesbians) and the battle is for control of the terms of discourse.

But to Christians, this is essentially a spiritual problem, with roots in society going back at least all the way to the 19th century, which one could characterize as the beginning of feminism, the “reign of the Victorian woman”—a reversal-of-role gender inversion in which women were, in effect, handed—and foolishly seized— the burden of being the collective moral conscience of America.

Men thus having relinquished, beginning with the spiritual, their primary role and responsibility in the home (and then afterward in society), eventually created not only a moral, but a “leadership vacuum” into which women were drawn. In doing so they became feminized and shamefully irresponsible. So, in that respect, I certainly agree with Gintas’ essential point that: “It’s just downright unmanly to sit around and blame the women for our problems … what is wrong with all the men?” But as a corrective balance we also need to ask: is it true that men are almost solely to blame? Are women really all that innocent of contributing to and even seeking to engineer with all the wiles at their disposal the transfer of that power, in both individual families and society? That paints a picture of largely passive females—always a doubtful assumption—especially among the sort of women one typically sees today.

LA replies:

With respect for Gintas and Maureen, I’m not aware of myself or anyone in this discussion “blaming the women for our problems.” My comment on the scene in the TV show is not specifically a criticism of women. It’s a criticism of the modern sex ideology that has been forced on society—by men and women—and accepted by society—by men and women. Therefore it’s also besides the point to get into a discussion about whether men or women or more at fault or can do more to turn things around. This is a problem affecting the whole of society and can only be addressed and solved by the whole of society.

Randy writes:

Gintas writes: “It’s just downright unmanly to sit around and blame the women for our problems. When I look around and see feminism running rampant and women acting sluttish and domineering, I ask myself, what is wrong with all the men?”

I agree with his comments and would add one word, to the last comment “what is wrong with all the WHITE men?”

Do you think you would ever see such a scene where the male was black or Hispanic? No, it is only the white male that is feminized and degraded. To some degree this portrayal is accurate. Who were the first to accept pacifism and disdain military service. Consider that a high percentage of blacks and Hispanics serve in fighting units in the Army and Marines. How often do you see in real life the kind of feminized behavior and attitudes expressed by males from minority groups that you commonly see among white males? George Bush is the perfect example. White males are behind all the feminized, liberal idiocy.

We need more white males who project like George Patton, Michael Savage, and Ann Coulter. Couldn’t they be considered the modern Thomas Paine’s in this desperate time? The true leaders, like the founding fathers, will do the real work in the background-and they will have to be white males.

LA replies:

I would like to suggest that if we want to see a return of strength and confidence among white men, we resist current usage and refer to them as white men, not white males. “White male” is a merely biological description that may be appropriate to a hospital form or a police arrest sheet but not ordinary speech. In ordinary speech the expression “white male” strips white men of their dignity, which is it purpose.

LA writes:

James Wolcott at Vanity Fair comments on this blog entry, and I’m sure he’s scathing. I haven’t read his piece yet, though, as I need to be in the mood for that. After I have another cup of coffee.

LA continues:

The Wolcott column is not so bad, compared to his previous attacks on me last spring at the time of David Mills’s hit job. Wolcott mainly quotes this thread and has little to say, except this:

I can only assume that Auster and most of his fellow future survivalists have never seen what we sophisticates call a “sitcom” before, nor grasped the conventions of the form (the need for conflict, the role of sassy repartee, etc). Perhaps if Auster spent more than “five minutes once every month or so—literally” peering at the old Philco set with the bent rabbit ears, he might be better acquainted with the rudiments of broadcast entertainment and less prone to old-maid fits of pretentious fuss and bother.
What Wolcott is saying is that TV shows have no content and no message: they exert no influence over people’s attitudes and values: and they are not intended to exert such influence. They are merely entertainment, the formal requirements of which include conflict and sassy repartee. And anyone who thinks that the conflict and sassy repartee have a message that matters—a message concerning, say, the way people should think and feel, the way men and women should behave and interact with each other—is an old maid or a backwoods idiot.

It’s a typical liberal ploy by which liberalism precludes any criticism of itself. Just as liberal society conceals its substantive agenda by presenting itself as a neutral and value-free space, Wolcott conceals the substantive agenda of TV fare by claiming that it’s nothing but entertainment. Such thought control is unique to modern liberalism—the only form of society that denies its own power, so as to render even critical thoughts about its power impossible.

Mark A. writes:

It is useful to remember that the modern police force is a creature of the gigantic Liberal state. Women no longer need men to protect them, neither from violence nor from poverty. The loud, brash, arrogant woman of modern times is nothing more than a petulant child. When she cries, she gets something. If she screams for the police, they come. If she cries in poverty, the state rushes forward with rent money and food for her and her illegitimate child. The family has been replaced by the state. Men really are not needed. They are sperm donors. That is the function they serve in 2007. Some posters portray men as being weak. Well, there is some truth to that. But have those posters been smashed in the head with a PR-24 batton from a cop? Have they stared down a 9mm? When the state comes down on you, it comes down hard. The only hope for a brighter future is through smaller government. If the government remains as large as it is, forget about it. This is what idiotic big-government “conservatives” (i.e. Bush supporters) never understand.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 16, 2007 08:41 AM | Send

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