Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On Masculinism

From today's, there's this article: Dude, Where's my Manhood? It's very interesting reading and directly related to earlier posts on feminism. The Salon column is mostly drivel, grossly misdiagnosing the root of the problem. From the article:

While a fair number of Kimmel's observations about this new demographic are depressingly familiar, he warns that the dangers posed by disgruntled guys will rise the longer we tolerate, brush off and deny their bad behavior... All in all, reading "Guyland" has the same effect on a liberal as a good horror movie; it makes you terrified of something you're so used to that you probably manage to ignore it most of the time.
Speaking of horror movies, how about the offhand way liberals jettison "tolerance" for groups they don't endorse. Two such groups are those with religion and those with penises. What about the "God made me this way" approach that is applied so frequently by liberal apologists?

More from the article:

Kimmel pinpoints the cause of young white male frustration in another typically pithy coinage: "thwarted entitlement." You might call this phenomenon the blowback of the civil rights and women's and gay liberation movements, an ever-growing sense among young white males that women and minorities have snatched away the jobs and social positions that their fathers and grandfathers implied they could take for granted. Sure, it's hard for minorities to feel sympathy for white guys who seem to believe in personal responsibility when it comes to poverty yet claim that women and people of color are taking their jobs -- but they may do so at their peril. When large swaths of young men feel disenfranchised, violence is usually in the offing. If the guys Kimmel studies suddenly lost the ability to sponge off their parents, he implies, the effects of "thwarted entitlement" could easily spread out beyond the bad apples and erupt into various forms of chaos.
Ay! One would think that there is really nothing good at all in us white men. White devils, we are!

I do believe that the phenomena that is being described is somewhat accurate. There is a feeling of disenfranchisement amongst men. It was captured very well in film Fight Club. Various factors contribute to this feeling in men, some captured by the film and some not. In the movie, men recapture a primal sense of purpose by unleashing their repressed manhood in underground boxing clubs or secret subversive activities.

It is somewhat ironic, but I believe the roots of this disenfranchisement are biological. It is ironic, as this is the standard modernist line on homosexuality. But I don't believe that it is merely biological, there is a spiritual element also. Whatever the limits of the issue, there is something in men that wants to lead, to fight, and to struggle. We are wired to be heroes, and there are so many things in modern life that suffocate this desire.

I once saw a statistic that positively correlated the occurence of erectile disfunction with education level. Alienation from masculinity, both intellectual and physical, leads to both intellectual and physical impotence.

The rise of feminism is concurrent with the rise of this disenfranchisement. I think that contemporary liberals are correct to feel threatened by this, as the two are directly opposed. But in their alarm, I think they are mis-diagnosing the problem. It would seem that many are imagining the solution as a nation of emasculated men. And they wonder why we are disenfranchised.

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