Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Immature Men: The Fault of Feminism

There are days when I get so very tired of the long list of imaginary things which are the fault of feminism. The collapse of the Western Civilization, juvenile delinquency, alcoholism among women, anything (anything!) bad that happens to men. All the fault of feminism if you are an American right-winger of the misogynist type.

According to these wingnuts the world would be a better place if women stuck to their place (which is in subjection, pregnant and in the kitchen). That this wouldn't be a better place for women doesn't matter because women don't count as human beings to these folks.

This strident prelude is because Monica Potts went to listen to Kay Hymowitz, the misogynist, talk about her new book. The book, naturally, is about how feminism destroyed something of great value. In this case it allowed men not to grow up. It is the job of women to help men grow up by refusing to grow up themselves, ultimately. Monica writes:
At a March luncheon celebrating the release of the new book Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys, it wasn't long before things got really personal.
"Before [today], the fact is that primarily, a 20-year-old woman would have been a wife and a mother," author Kay Hymowitz told the crowd of about 100 for the Manhattan Institute in New York City. Men would have been mowing lawns and changing the oil in their family sedans instead of playing video games and watching television. In previous decades, adults in their 20s and 30s were too busy with real life for such empty entertainment, Hymowitz says. "They didn't live with roommates in Williamsburg in Brooklyn and Dupont Circle in D.C."

Interpretation: If only women let themselves be mothers and wives by the age twenty, men wouldn't be out there playing computer games but changing the oil in their cars and mowing the lawn. That men are not mowing the lawn is therefore the fault of women who forgot to get married and pregnant as teenagers.

But take a closer look at that comparison: On one side we have being a mother and a wife. On the other side we DON'T have being a father and a husband. Instead, the man is portrayed as changing the oil in the car or mowing the lawn, both jobs which happen rather infrequently and which are also coded masculine in the 1950s manner.

Why would Hymowitz juxtapose something like taking care of a child, a very time-intensive affair, with men doing chores which are at mostly an hour a week or so?

I think it's because her reference is a big fail. Under those 1950ish imaginary conditions the men would have had loads and loads of time to play computer games after work. Loads! Because almost all the work in the house was assigned to the female role the men could have played to their heart's content. That they did not was because computer games were not yet invented.

It's hard for me to understand the gals' auxiliary to the Misogynistic Brotherhood. Do they expect to be included in the Brotherhood, to be taken as honorary men, as the few who get to wear false testicles? If so, they are sorely mistaken, because the basic nature of sexism is that it applies to all individuals of a certain gender, not just those "other nasty women."

On the other hand, I completely understand why the Misogynistic Brotherhood loves to have the gals' auxiliary. If even other women think women are mostly crap, surely that has to be true?
*As an aside, I have recently been reading about medieval views on women. You might be surprised how close they come to today's wingnut views. Honest.

The medieval writers (mostly clergy who knew little of real women) saw the value of women in two things: 1. They were (lamentably) necessary for the procreation of the species and in particular for the provision of male heirs, and 2. If their weak, irrational and bestial behavior could be properly controlled they could exert a benign influence on their controllers, mostly through providing marital sex on demand and by refusing to provide extra-marital sex.