|Time, June 29, 1998 - I appreciated how Ginia Bellafante's "Feminism: It's All About Me" article exposed the lack of substance in today's pop feminist icons. Many equalitarian feminist and men's organizations, such as the Women's Freedom Network and the National Coalition of Free Men have long noted this.|
However, although she missed the mark elsewhere, briefly tripping over time worn laments about such issues as pay parity (volumes of research indicate sex discrimination accounts for perhaps 2 percent of the difference between women's and men's earnings), I was surprised to discover anyone still thinks the Ally McBeal show, which Bellafante calls a product of the "Camille Paglia syndrome," is solely or even mostly about women.
Instead, much of feminism has devolved into the silly. And it has powerful support for this: a popular culture insistent on offering images of grown single women as frazzled, self-absorbed girls. Ally McBeal is the most popular female character on television. The show, for the few who may have missed it, focuses on a ditsy 28-year-old Ivy League Boston litigator who...spends much of her time fantasizing about her ex-boyfriend, who is married and in the next office, and manages to work references to her mangled love life into nearly every summation she delivers....She answers the question "Why are your problems so much bigger than everyone else's?" with the earnest response "Because they're mine."
The Ally McBeal show is primarily about men and how we experience modern life. A myriad of men's issues about women, work, sex and relationships parade like planets orbiting around the sexual furnace of a central female character.
Ally McBeal creator David Kelley uses this Trojan Horse device brilliantly to sneak many male perspectives past the knee jerk responses of the pop feminist pundits. Bravo!
Post patriarchal paradise?Outer Limits, Showtime, July 3, 1998 - Periodically, Showtime will feature an excessively androphobic episode of the Outer Limits about a group of peace loving, Goddess worshipping women who must go to great lengths to protect themselves from the barbaric brutishness of men.
Typical of this was the July 3rd episode, of Showtime's popular Outer Limits series, titled Lithia, in which a post apocalyptic world is populated entirely by women and a few men who are entombed in cryogenic suspension.
The war was perpetrated by the God worshipping male minions of patriarchal nastiness who, driven by their male nature, drove humanity to the brink of extinction with a radiation induced plague that, as it happens, affects only males. The result: a world of women living in pre industrial revolution harmony with nature and one another.
But then a (male) soldier awakens from cryogenic suspension and horrifies the little girls (the result of in vitro fertilization using frozen sperm), who have been raised on tales of male monstrosity, when he stumbles into a nearby village.
As the story unfolds, he is driven by his inherently violent male nature to disrupt the simple lives of the gentle-by-nature women. Dissension and violence ensue, and the women have no choice but to return him to cryogenic slumber, a pop-sickle, if you will, who will provide the all female society with a source of sperm for millennia.
And as the story ends, the sonorous British accented voice of the announcer intones a warning to men everywhere:
The differences between men and women have been debated among philosophers since recorded history began. If, indeed, males are by their nature the aggressor, it is this quality that may one day be their undoing.
Typically, this view ignores a number of facts:
Neither women nor men are either angels or devils; we are, all of us, human, and both aggressiveness and gentleness are characteristics of our nature.
Since recorded history began, traditional societies have recognized and recorded the aggressive tendencies of women. The myth they are otherwise began with Moslem fables which were disseminated into Christian culture by bards and minstrels during and following the ill conceived Crusades, from whence they evolved beyond all reason to dominate Victorian society. Since then, the myth of the inherently pure and gentle female has surfaced each time the cycle of sexism swings from favoring men to favoring women.
Most women sexually select for more aggressive men, and if men tend to be aggressive, it is because women's choices have made them that way.
Patriarchal and post patriarchal institutions have long provided the means for imposing social limits to both women's and men's aggressive behaviors.
The pop feminist campaign to deconstruct these institutions is releasing the demons of humanity's dark side, leading to both more male violence, which we all decry, and female violence, toward which the pop feminists and much of society turn a blind eye.
Fighting females?The Washington Post National Weekly, June 22, 1998 - When a problem harms mostly men, pop feminists will wail the number of women plagued by that problem is increasing faster than the number of men.
Of the Americans who are HIV+, most are men; and of those with AIDS, most are men. But this does not stop femigogues from demanding that most of the aid for AIDS go to women, because the number of women who are being diagnosed with AIDS is increasing faster than it is for men.
Most of the homeless in America are, by a wide margin, men, but again, new rage women demand more help for women because the number of homeless women is increasing faster.
Well, here's another case in which the number is increasing faster for women than men, but you're unlikely to hear much about it from sexist sow sources:
While girls are still less likely than boys to be arrested for violent crimes, the rate at which they are being arrested for these crimes increased faster than that for boys between 1986 and 1995.
On the other hand, the new ragers probably will publicize this and, predictably, it will be to blame it on men and demand more money for pop feminist programs to teach girls how to more proficiently blame boys and men.
Self entitlement is an ugly thing.
No victimElle, July, 1998 - a newsworthy couple breaks up, the media drips and oozes with "he done her wrong" tales: dull Bruce abandons party-hearty Demi for a younger babe; that sort of thing.
Nor, if we believe the sleazy national talk shows, are the mundane any different, as we witness a parade of tearful and enraged women on Jerry Springer, Jenny Jones and the like.
Whine and complain, whine and complain, it's all men's fault: men mean, women weak, men victors, women victims.
Enter Minnie Driver, the British actor who played the lead in Circle of Friends and earned an Academy Award nomination for her role in Good Will Hunting. Her brief affair with Matt Damon endeared her to tabloid editors, especially when Damon announced he was dumping her during an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
Does Driver stoop to the victim role so popular in our androphobic age? Hardly:
There's absolutely no point in sitting around and feeling sorry for yourself. The great power you have is to let it go, and allow it just to be their shit. You focus on what you have, not that which has been meanly, or unkindly, removed.
She doesn't stop there, but goes on to take responsibility for her actions: "The worst thing is the feeling, How could I have so misjudged?"
Minnie is more than a fine actor, she's an adult. Let's hope she proves to be a trend setter as well.
A consistent inconsistency?TIME, June 29, 1998 - Evidently, when they're not too busy celebrating their orgasms, post Beauty Myth busybody babes have their hackles up over the grooming practice of trimming pubic hair.
I'm not making this up.
But the glitziest affair in recent months was a reading of The Vagina Monologues, a performance piece about female private parts by Eve Ensler...Featured were Marisa Tomei on the subject of pubic hair (sample line: "You cannot love a vagina unless you love hair");...and, finally, the playwright delivering three solid minutes of orgasmic moaning. The Village Voice called it "the most important and outrageous feminist event" of the past 30 years.
Let me see, when members of the mythopoetic men's movement stopped scraping the hair off their faces, the mavens of misandry wrote volumes and uttered numerous epithets on television and radio denouncing the practice as a patriarchal plot by men to "cover up" their faces so women would find it harder to read their expressions, but when a lot of men express a preference for women who groom their pubic hair it's, "You cannot love a vagina unless you love hair"?
A double standard by any other name,...
Domestic Violence or Human Violence?The New York Times, July 28, 1998 - During the past several years, men's advocacy groups have repeatedly implored pop feminists to tone down their diatribes about male violence. Time after time, we have cautioned that their "big lies" would eventually come back to haunt them.
Their responses have ranged from poorly written academic tomes loaded with undocumented studies, economic retaliation through feminist dominated Human Resource departments, even physical attacks on daytime television talk shows (one involving an official of a battered women's shelter organization who stopped just short of assaulting Mel Feit, Executive Director of the National Center for Men), to "Women + Rage = Power" demonstrations such as the "Take Back the Night" marches, widespread pop feminist support for women who sexually mutilate men, and prejudicial legislation such as the Violence Against Women Acts.
"Your extremism can only make the coming backlash more extreme," we warned. Their response, more anger, more rage and hate, and more attacks.
Sorry, ladies, but your 3 minutes are just about up; it's time for the truth to talk.
In a large-scale review of dozens of studies of physical hostility in heterosexual relationships, Dr. John Archer, a psychologist at the University of Central Lancashire in Great Britain, has found that although women sustain more serious and visible injuries than men during domestic disputes, overall they are just as likely as men to resort to physical aggression during an argument with a sexual partner.
Under the hot light of truth, pop feminists squirm and snap, "yes, but women get hurt more than men." True, they do, and to an "us versus them" mentality that must be terribly important. "Our side may start most of the fights, but your side finishes most of them, so our side needs more protection, we need to handicap your side."
Excuse me, but when did this become a matter of their side versus our side?
In the liberation movement Betty Friedan started, no matter what my good friend and well known men's advocate, Robert Sides, may feel, sides didn't matter. It wasn't about men versus women, your side versus mine, either/or thinking; it was about us, our shared humanity, women and men, this/and thinking.
Women start most of the fights, men inflict most of the injuries, what does that tell us? A school child might say it tells us women are more aggressive but men are bigger. My parents would say it tells us we are all human. According to pop feminists, it tells us men are more violent than women.
What does the truth have to say?
"Whatever the base rate of physical aggression in the population, women tended to have a slightly higher rate than men," Archer said.
Undeterred by the truth, pop feminists have pounded the pulpit of their big lie with telling effect, getting millions of dollars with which to set up and administer a network of "battered" women shelters. Ironically, this may have benefited men as a population more than women:
In an ongoing study of domestic homicides in 29 cities in the United States, the availability of resources like shelters for battered women and legal advocacy for them has correlated strongly with lower rates of domestic homicide committed by women.
Maybe we should keep this quiet, else pop feminists begin tearing down the shelters; or, what is more likely, they will demand a special "testosterone tax" to support the shelters on the basis that it protects men.
You think I'm joking? June Stephenson, the pop-feminist author of a book titled "Men Are Not Cost-Effective," proposed a special Testosterone Tax - taxing men for being male - because men commit most of the violence. In the mind of a misandristic bigot, how much of a stretch would it be to propose a special Testosterone Tax because women are more violent?
Our biggest "it's about time" may be reserved, however, for the "discovery" that women commit more than just physical violence:
Until about five years ago scientists studying aggression tended to include only direct physical or verbal efforts to injure another person. Then they discovered that great damage can be done to another person so subtly that even the victim is unaware. The badmouthing, gossip and smear campaigns that can demolish an opponent as well as direct verbal or physical assaults are now formally known in psychological circles as "indirect aggression," and their patterns are tracked as carefully as punches and kicks.
With indirect aggression factored in, aggression in childhood is no longer primarily a male affair.
Boiling mad?Star Tribune, July 16, 1998 - Ceromani McMillon was mad at her husband. Yes, she was angry. "I am woman, hear me roar," or, in this case, boil a pot of water, which she poured on her sleeping husband.
A terrible thing, perhaps, but women, pop feminists assure us, never commit such acts without compelling cause. He must have done something to deserve it, they say, echoing the snide sexist harrumphs of olde when rape victims were casually dismissed.
What did husband Arne do to provoke his sugar and spice wife? Get caught doing the wild thing with some slutty neighbor? Worse, much worse:
Ceromani McMillon told police she was angry that her husband, Arne McMillon, had put a door between the bathroom and the master bedroom.
The ignominy, the gall, the stupifyingly sexist degradation of the man, what fate other than a pot of boiling water should befall such a cad?
But wait, justice, you say, is blind to sex? Gender blind to who committed the crime?
Shhh, don't let the gender police hear you say that! Hush, hush, be the frightened bystander. Say nothing as the mob casts a stout rope ready to stretch any masculine neck lest yours be next. Clutch close your cod piece else another knife wielding liberationist liberates your gonads. Quietly, silently steal away, hide yourself, hide your dismay, for tomorrow is, after all, another day.
Female rate higher, again?Canadian Press, Ottawa, July 22, 1998 - As noted above, in the face of a male majority of victims, pop feminist demand more support for women because the female rate of victimization is increasing faster. Well, here we are with the "rate for women increasing faster" in violent crime, again, this time in Canada:
The number of females charged with violent crime has been increasing twice as fast over the last decade as the number of males, the agency reports.
They'll probably say they need lots of money to provide counseling to women, but not men. Wonder what the excuse will be, this time?
Sex slaves?CNN reports an AIDS epidemic is raging through the African-American community. According to the NAACP, "AIDS is the leading killer of African-Americans between the ages of 25 and 44." Moreover, officials of the NAACP believe this problem is magnified by institutionalized white racism:
If this sort of disease was affecting any other particular community at this rate, there would be a national cry and outrage, coming from the Congress, from the White House, from statehouses, from all over. - Kweisi Mfume, NAACP president
So what should we understand the NAACP wants the mythological white racist monster to do about this? Perhaps we should take a clue from Mario Cooper, a member of the Harvard AIDS Institute who is black, gay, and HIV-positive.
In 1996, he saw public education of the non-white communities as essential to prevention, and he looked to the NAACP to lead the way. The NAACP's response?
It's difficult sometimes because it's not a sexy kind of issue and so you compete with other stories and other headlines of the day. But we're continuing quite frankly to draw attention to that sounding the alarm but also urging people to take some personal responsibility in of this....What we can do for ourselves within our own communities, within our own power and scope and then what can we do outside of that to force those petitions before the government and to force some sort of proper redress. - Kweisi Mfume, NAACP president
Redress? For what? Not educating young blacks to the dangers of promiscuous sex? I have to wonder how my parents would have felt if, when I was a youngster, a member of our tribe told them the government was solely or even primarily responsible to warn their children about promiscuous sex. I'm certain my father would have laughed and told them they were too late, that by age eight each of us already knew about the danger of sexually transmitted diseases and that abstention was the most effective means of prevention.
Yes, but, African Americans are not educated to teach their children about such things. Correction: thanks to the widespread break down of the African American family caused by, among other things, Great Society programs and global free trade policies, mothers and fathers in the sixties were less able to pass on or enforce a moral code that already contained that wisdom. With each succeeding generation less wisdom has gotten through and the generations are growing precariously short as the babies having babies syndrome continues.
The result: "57 percent of all new AIDS cases are African American women," "63 percent of all new AIDS infection is between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four African American young people," Mfume's explicit assertion European American institutionalized racism is to blame, and his implicit assertion the government ought to make "redress."
Gimme a break. For people who exercise their right to read, the magazine racks are laden with articles on prevention. For those who don't, there are television commercials encouraging responsible sexual behavior. Any American of any racial heritage who chooses to ignore the warnings does so at their own risk. It may become our problem, it may become a political issue, but responsibility and blame begin with the individual and end with those who encouraged such irresponsible behavior in the first place.
Moreover, framing problems in the context of institutionalized racism seldom solves anything but more often perpetuates racial polarization. If our goal is to actually make things better, to resolve rather than repudiate, make peace rather than war, and live in the present with enthusiasm for the future rather than bitterness about the past, we need to stop pointing fingers of blame at one another and begin pointing fingers of discovery at the real problems.
In this case, if the problem is HIV/AIDS, and if the subset of the problem we are concerned about is HIV/AIDS among young African Americans, then we ought to focus on finding solutions?
The first step is to analyze the problem. Why are young African Americans contracting HIV/AIDS? Because European Americans are sneaking into their bedrooms and secretly infecting them with it? Probably not.
What are the primary vectors of infection?
Poverty and careless sexual practices may be major factors. There are others: a much higher rate among blacks of IV needle usage than the average, less access to good medical care, and less education about AIDS and HIV. - CNN Today
Or, as Sandra McDonald, an AIDS activist featured on the same program, put it, "If you have unemployment, if you have hopelessness and homelessness, or 'I just lost my job,' or 'I have three kids,' or teenage pregnancy, and STD's, you're going to have AIDS."
Well, Sandra, I've been unemployed and plagued with a sense of hopelessness many times, but I have neither HIV nor AIDS, so maybe there's something more to it than that.
Is a poor and illiterate but celibate non drug user likely to contract HIV? No. So, although these may be factors, they not major factors. The major factors - the primary vectors of HIV infection - are unprotected sex and needle sharing, as anyone who watches American TV would know if they paid attention. Paying attention is something for which the individual must assume responsibility; the government cannot do it for you.
Oh, but young people today receive so many messages encouraging them to indulge their pleasure, nor can most parents afford to be a constant and guiding influence for their children in an economy which requires both to work...assuming they are not divorced and there is even a father present in the household.
Government policies that promote an economy in which both parents must work may be to blame for much of this, but such policies cut across race to affect all but the richest Americans, hence no particular group may lay a legitimate claim for redress on this basis.
For a provocative look at this problem, I recommend Pat Buchanan's latest book, The Great Betrayal : How American Sovereignty and Social Justice Are Being Sacrificed to the Gods of the Global Economy. I don't agree with him on every point, but he makes some biting observations and powerful arguments.
Nor should we ignore the pop feminists' role in assuring fathers have less and less of a role in raising their children. See where their androphobic ideology has gotten us.
For a very fine book on the role of African American men as fathers, I highly recommend Commitment: Fatherhood in Black America. John Hope Franklin says "the black community needs this book!" I say all Americans need this book, and others like it, for the powerfully positive statement it makes about the role of a father in his family.
Unfortunately, infection is a fact of life for many Americans already. Prevention will not help them. What will?
Once infected with HIV, when will it turn into AIDS and under what conditions will it not turn into AIDS? Are European Americans secretly assuring young African Americans who are infected with HIV will get AIDS? Probably not. Once infected with HIV, is an African American more likely to get AIDS than a comparable infected European American? If yes, why? Once infected with HIV, what does it take to prevent AIDS?
The French medical researcher who discovered HIV now says it does not cause AIDS. A fellow I know, a gay in his late sixties who used to work for TWINLAB and now owns his own nutrition store, runs a little nutritional consulting business on the side. Mostly, he works with gays who have HIV. Not one of them, he tells me, have AIDS. Some of them have had HIV for several years, all of them continue to be sexually active with HIV+ partners, and, aside from being HIV+, they are healthy and fit. None of them take any medicine for their condition, all of them exercise and take various supplements, and while their health remains good, they watch as their friends and partners wither and die from AIDS.
What causes AIDS? Is it really HIV, HIV plus something else, maybe even the drug "therapies," or something else entirely? Some of their friends and partners take medicine, some do not. So while the medical drugs may cause more problems than they solve, it's not drugs. Or, it's not just drugs. What else, then?
Why are young African Americans with HIV getting AIDS? Are they getting AIDS at a higher rate than comparable European Americans? Are they dying at a higher rate than other infected populations, or are they getting infected at a higher rate, which explains why they are dying at a higher rate?
Next, the NAACP should ask:
how do you lower the infection rate among young African Americans?
how do you lower the AIDS escalation rate among young African Americans?
how do you lower the death due to AIDS among young African Americans?
Some of the answers are politically incorrect. With the exception of those who get HIV from infected blood, people who don't have sex with infected partners and don't share needles with infected partners don't get HIV. That is, people who do not behave in ways that put them at risk for contracting HIV are not going to get HIV. Thanks to the feminazis, it's politically incorrect to suggest, as a matter of policy, that anybody other than straight white men should change their sexual behavior. The fact of life, however, is that reality does not care how we feel. If we turn a blind eye to reality, it will run right over us.
Just as it is incorrect to note African Americans age 25-34 can reduce their rate of HIV infection and death due to AIDS by changing their behaviors, it is also incorrect to challenge the medical establishment's accepted dogma on the subject. Fortunately, this is changing, but it is a slow process. My acquaintance who runs a nutrition store demonstrates the efficacy of non drug oriented approaches to the problem. I have asked him to write articles for me about this, but he has refused for a number of personal reasons, among them that several others have already written books on the subject.
Personally, being a low risk behavior type, I'm not much concerned about getting HIV myself, but if I ever did I doubt it would turn into AIDS. If it did, I am even more doubtful it would ever become a serious health problem simply because, with no government programs, with no encouragement from schools, peers, parents or any other motivation beyond simple self determination, I educated myself to take care of myself, and this more than anything else is what the NAACP ought to encourage African Americans to do - take care of themselves!
"R.E.S.P.E.C.T. I'll tell you what it means to me."
Take care of yourself, respect yourself, stop looking to Big Momma government to wipe your nose every time you sneeze.