Unpopular Men – Representations of Men in Popular Culture

Posted: November 9, 2011 in Uncategorized


http://rachelrabbitwhite.com/guest-post-unpopular-men-representations-of-men-masculinity-in-pop-culture/men/

This is a guest post I wrote for the wonderful, perceptive and engaging blogger Rachel Rabbit White, about men in popular culture:

————————————————————–

Remember that review by Lindy West last year, of Sex In The City II? Where she inquired:

“What is the lubrication level of Samantha Jones’s 52-year-old vagina? Has the change of life dulled its sparkle? Do its aged and withered depths finally chafe from the endless pounding, pounding, pounding—cruel phallic penance demanded by the emotionally barren sexual compulsive from which it hangs?”

Apart from the fact the young Seattle journalist was able to employ misogyny in order to criticise the misogyny of a Hollywood film and get away with it, I was struck by how her article was one of so many. Not just one of so many that criticised Sex In The City II, but also one of so many articles that focus on representations of women in popular culture.

Lindy West became a symbol for me, a symbol of feminist media and cultural criticism that completely ignores men, or belittles and demonises them whilst going on and on about “sexist” portrayals of women in film and television. Lindy West and other feminists caused me to ask a question I am now known for asking: no, seriously, what about the men?

A feminist who has actually turned her attention to men and masculinity in popular culture, is Hannah Rosin. But I’m particularly unhappy with her treatment of the subject. Rosin recently wrote in The Atlantic, that the many of examples of ‘loser’ men characters on current TV shows represent her theory that we are now witnessing The End Of Men.

Rosin cites TV comedies such as: Man Up!Last Man StandingHow to Be a Gentlemanand observes:

“They all feature men who are unemployed or underemployed, love to play video games, and are desperately in need of a makeover. ‘Life is a big jerk and punches you in the face over and over again,’ complains Bert Lansing, a lughead personal trainer in ABC’s How to Be a Gentleman, played by Kevin Dillon from Entourage. Now that I have actually seen them… I worry that maybe I have helped to unleash a race of genetic mutants onto the population–diseased and dysfunctional men ranging from placid to sad to furious, fumbling around in the office, the supermarket, or the bedroom while the rest of America laughs.”

I could add to the list of programmes featuring ‘loser’ male characters, The King Of Queens, Two And A Half Men, Everybody Loves Raymond and Family Guy.

If Rosin was a feminist woman commenting on negative representations of women in TV programmes you can be sure that, like Lindy West did in her SATC review, she’d be crying ‘stereotypes’! and ‘sexism’! and ‘misogyny!’ But no, comparing these shows to some others, she writes: ‘The loser-men sitcoms, by contrast, are fairly heavy on the realism’.

So Rosin is saying programmes like Two and A Half Men, featuring an alcoholic, workshy womaniser, are ‘realistic’ depictions of how men are in general. Misandry, much?

Charlie Sheen is a good example of how feminists, and others, conflate fictional male characters with their real life creators/actors. When Sheen had his ‘breakdown’ recently, journalists rushed to make the connection between the behaviour and personality of the character and the actor who played him. They have also done this with directors such as Woody Allen, drawing parallels with his marriage to Sun Yi and his films about older men and younger women, and Roman Polanski, who has been convicted of rape, and who makes quite violent films. This does not happen to the same degree with women actors and directors, I don’t think.

Is Kathryn Bigelow’s interest in violent men in film, linked to any of her lifestyle choices? Does Kim Cattrell get accused of being a ‘prostitute’ in real life? I think the feminist blogosphere has something to answer for here, with its preoccupation with ‘smearing’ the characters of men in the public eye, or at least emphasising their bad points ad nauseum.

Feminist critics can sometimes seem to only ever judge film and television by how it deals with women and women characters. The Bechedel Test is a classic example. Devised by a lesbian comedian, it asks people to list films which ‘pass’ the test, the criteria being, the films must contain at least two women characters who talk to each other, about something other than men.

I understand the motivations for this, as many Hollywood films especially, are very male-focussed, and women are often playing ‘token’ roles as wives or mothers or ‘sex interest’. But this crude test ignores the qualities of some of my favourite films, such as Paris Texas, Taxi Driver, Hard Candy and Out Of Sight, all of which include brilliant performances by women. It also ignores films I love which are almost completely man-oriented such as Mean Streets, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? and My Own Private Idaho.

Whilst ostensibly criticising Hollywood for only considering women in relation to men, The Bechedel Test also seems to be criticising film makers for making movies which consider men not in relation to women. How very dare they? But, as the popularity of slash fiction shows, actually lots of women are fascinated by stories about men relating to men. Feminism has some catching up to do.

Someone who is interested in men in their own right, is the British author and journalist Mark Simpson. And, in addition to examining men and masculinity in popular culture, Simpson has also noted the misandry of many films and TV shows in recent years. He terms misandry ‘the acceptable prejudice’, because,  ‘unlike misogyny, misandry is not monitored because it is considered morally and legally acceptable’.

Unlike feminist critics, who seem to have got stuck in the groove of watching TV and movies simply in order to cry ‘misogyny’! Simpson takes the more positive stance, not of ignoring misandry or misogyny in popular culture, but of examining cultural products for how they deal with masculinity and men, and  coming up with original and refreshing conclusions.

In his 1994 classic, Male Impersonators, for example, Simpson takes popular culture as his main theme and exposes masculinity’s ‘performance’ within it. Male strippers and drag artists, ‘macho’ body builders, pornography, sport, The War Movie, reality television, the ‘men’s movement’, rock and roll. They all reveal, as examined by Simpson, the complexities and subtexts of modern masculinities. And, specifically, they reveal the homosexual subtexts and tensions that form a major component of men’s relationships with each other.

These homosexual subtexts are shown to be quite obvious, if you look at them through Simpson’s eyes. In the 1980s blockbuster Top Gun for example, he explains how the conflict between the two pilots – Iceman and Maverick (Tom Cruise) could be seen as a substitute for homosex:

‘In the air the struggle/courtship with the Iceman continues. Significantly the sex scenes are in fact less ‘sexy’ than the fight sequences, and the music used for these scenes – ‘Take My Breath Away’ underlines this irony. It is the flying that ‘takes your breath away’. Competition, the desire after desire, lust without consummation, is where the excitement is, and the competition in the air is real: it is between two men, Iceman and Maverick, both determined to be ‘top’ – neither wants to take the ‘feminine’ position’.


In 2011, Top Gun has been outed as a ‘gay movie’, but back in 1994 Simpson’s analysis was radical. As was his consideration of the 1986 ‘boys’ own’ film, Stand By Me:‘And just as war provides a pretext for evading women and seeking out the company of men, something to ‘do’ with other boys, so Stand By Me offers a common task for the boys: a journey to see the corpse of a young boy they have heard is lying by a railway line. The plotline is in fact the very distillation of the Buddy War Film theme, leaving home and ‘the feminine’ behind to be with your buddies and look death in the face’.

It is interesting to see how a film that would totally flunk feminists’ precious Bechedel Test, and be considered an example of ‘misogyny’, is shown by Simpson to be a tender portrayal of a very common theme in men’s psychology – the evasion of ‘the feminine’. A theme that is exaggerated by war, and by Hollywood war movies. Isn’t that something worth considering as an aspect of masculinity rather than dismissing outright?

Body building, another area of popular culture, that tends to be considered as ‘macho’ and ‘sexist’, in Simpson’s hands is shown to be a very ‘feminine’ display. Even Arnie, that archetypal macho man, demonstrates signs of caring sensitivity through his muscle-bound character in the Terminator movies:

‘By the beginning of the 1980s, the ‘out’ body builder was so acceptable as a role model that the killer/warrior disavowal was no longer necessary. Thus Schwarzenneger played a guardian angel role in Terminator II, protecting a mother and her child, in contrast to his original 1984 bad guy role.’

Male Impersonators has been released as an e-book and provides a brilliant introduction to the ‘lost’ subject of men and masculinity in culture, erased and appropriated as it has been by feminist theory and criticism. Mark Simpson has been continuing to analyse men’s portrayals in movies and TV ever since, and his blog brings us right up to date, with a discussion of the recent film Warrior:

‘Essentially Warrior is one of those movies about ‘brothers’ that isn’t really about brothers at all. It’s a movie about how ‘real’ brothers are usually no match for those that men call brothers. The way that “I love you like a brother, man” is something of a lie, because most boys and men don’t love their brothers that way. As in this movie, sibling rivalry, age differences and family stuff tends to get in the way. It’s the ‘brothers’ you choose to love that you really love’.

I would love to see more women working as directors and screenwriters and producers in Hollywood. And I am all for juicy parts being written for men and women actors (including trans men and women). But I am not prepared to join feminists in using popular culture to trash men and to claim that we live in a sexist, meaning misogynous, society. I love men, and I have found Mark Simpson’s work to be a revelation in its uniquely rigorous and joyful appreciation of them. The sisterhood can have Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Café – I’ve got Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid!


 

Comments
  1. redpesto says:

    One quick thought re. ‘The End of Men’ – didn’t we do that joke nearly three decades ago? You know… Warren Farrell, Robert Bly, ‘crisis in masculinity’, yadda yadda yadda? The same tired routine of either regarding men as a ‘given’ that we supposedly already know about, or ‘outing’ them as men solely to give them a kicking for ‘doing masculinity’ in the ‘wrong’ way? The re-emergence of essentialist feminism as being somehow ‘better suited’ to the (capitalist) economy?

    You say Mark Simpson, I say Ros Coward’s decade-old Sacred Cows both seem to have seen this coming, and both seem to have been ignored for doing so.

    Oh, and you missed out Homer Simpson, the patron saint of ‘loser males’ – like I said, we’ve been doing the ‘stupid men’ routine for ages.

    • I don’t think Ros Coward was saying the same thing as Mark Simpson to be honest. From what I remember of Sacred Cows she was in some ways celebrating the idea of ‘lad culture’ and ‘ladettes’ and ‘new men’. I thought she was kind of saying women now have a piece of the action in terms of being ‘aggressive’ and ‘selfish’ etc.

      Whereas I think Mr S is challenging the whole concept of gender as promoted by feminists and their critics alike – of a time when ‘men were men’ that has now gone.

      • redpesto says:

        Maybe not counterparts, more that Coward offered an analysis re. gender (especially masculinity) that was more complex, and more challenging than the narratives in circulation at the time, especially regarding the successes of feminism (which feminists too readily overlooked) and the vulnerability of boys and men (ditto). Maybe I’ll try and dig out a couple of quotes if I’ve time.

  2. here’s a review of Sacred cows I can’t quite face reading it now (feminism aversion) But will do soon:

    http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/socialistwomen/sw7.htm

    • redpesto says:

      Well, you might be interested in this bit from the review:

      For Coward, feminism is incapable of even recognising the changes that have taken place in gender relations, let alone offering a solution. In fact, she argues, a simplistic analysis which sees men as always being advantaged and women as disadvantaged can make things worse.

  3. Not so sure about this 1993 book by Ros Coward – Our Treacherous Hearts – why women let men get their own way!

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Our-Treacherous-Hearts-Women-Their/dp/0571168108/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1320879095&sr=1-1

    • redpesto says:

      Don’t know the book, I’m afraid – and besides, Sacred Cows came later.

      Incidentally, when I look again at the bit I quoted above, the more I think that most of the current gender rows are precisely because of that kind of analysis, along with the sexist fuckwits who get in the way of proper criticism and debate.

  4. Your blog saddens me. I feel like it’s a dialogue between two different groups who have both been stereotyped out of all recognition by the other and are thus incapable of having a reasonable conversation, when probably if they did they would find out they had the same basic views and values. Feminism is not about hating men. Feminism is about equality for the sexes. I’m a feminist and I love men. I agree, and I think most feminists would, that we should be critically examining the way that men are portrayed in the media as well as the way that women are portrayed. However, I do also feel that we should be able to discuss the way that women are portrayed without facing criticism just for doing so, because I am disturbed by just how bad it is, and by the effects of sending out the message to women ‘looks are all that matter’, when the same message is not being sent out to men at quite the same degree (yet). I don’t know if I can explain it better than this video does: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9fFOelpE_8

    You might also be interested in this link — Sarah Haskins is a comedian that focuses on the way advertising companies try to target women, but also points out the way that that men are treated in adverts: http://current.com/shows/infomania/90569059_sarah-haskins-in-target-women-doofy-husbands.htm

    (I know that your post was about films and not adverts, but I thought that these videos were best for communicating what I meant.)

    • typhonblue says:

      @ hamandpeaches

      “Feminism is not about hating men.”

      Can you be a feminist without blaming men, assuming men have more responsibility for the state of the world then women, or thinking that men have more privilege then women?

      Because while *feminist theory* doesn’t tell women to hate men, it’s framing of reality certainly inspires it.

      • Jonathan says:

        “Can you be a feminist without blaming men, assuming men have more responsibility for the state of the world then women, or thinking that men have more privilege then women?”

        Yes.

        To start with, regarding “more responsibility” and “more privilege”, clearly “men” (as a subset of the group “human”) do have more of both. But equally clearly, responsibility (i.e. power) and privilege depend on many factors, not just gender. To consider any individual man as inherently culpable by reason of gender would be stupid. Feminism is not stupid.

        “Because while *feminist theory* doesn’t tell women to hate men, it’s framing of reality certainly inspires it.”

        No, it doesn’t. Some feminist theory does; some feminist theorists do. This is a strand of feminism; it’s not feminism as such. I’m currently rereading Pat Califia’s book “Sex Changes” and the following passage (from a critique of Janice Raymond) seems quite pertinent:

        “This approbation and Raymond’s own rhetoric situate her firmly within the ranks of the feminist fundamentalism that has given us, among other travesties, the “feminist” antiporn movement. Raymond is part of a school of feminist thought that rests on the assumption that men and women are radically different creatures. Sometimes this difference is talked about in ways that make it sound as if it is biologically based; sometimes it is attributed to social learning or conditioning that is so intense as to be ineradicable. Either way, men are assumed to be, by their very nature, opporessors, prone to violence, objectification, insensitivity, sexual perversion, and domination. Thus, the interests of men are seen as always being inimical to women. Women are assumed to be, by their very nature, egalitarian, nurturing, creative, spiritually advanced, nonviolent, and motivated more by love and tenderness than by lust or sexual desire. This brand of feminism sees women’s struggle for freedom as a desperate battle to separate ourselves from the sphere of male influence and control, and rid ourselves of the toxic aspects of maleness and masculinity.”

        The point is that, while gender essentialist feminists are quite vocal, they don’t speak for feminism or feminists as a whole, or probably even to any significant degree. Feminism remains, as hamandpeaches has said, “not about hating men. Feminism is about equality for the sexes.”

        As for QRG’s blog: I think she is quite justified in pointing out feminist inconsistency and sexism against men (misandry) when and where she sees it. Why this necessitates dumping on contemporary feminism en bloc, I’m less sure, but I think it only weakens her arguments. “What about the men?” is indeed a valid question, but it doesn’t mean that “What about the women?” questions are therefore invalid. As hamandpeaches put it: “I agree, and I think most feminists would, that we should be critically examining the way that men are portrayed in the media as well as the way that women are portrayed. However, I do also feel that we should be able to discuss the way that women are portrayed without facing criticism just for doing so”. Yes.

        • redpesto says:

          Jonathan: The point is that, while gender essentialist feminists are quite vocal, they don’t speak for feminism or feminists as a whole, or probably even to any significant degree.

          …but they do try to be the loudest voices in the choir and try to make everyone else sing from their hymn sheet. The problem is the ‘disclaimer’ argument won’t wash, as it overlooks which ‘group’ get to either set the agenda or influence policy. Also, the tendency towards what could be called ‘vulgar feminism’ – the over-simplistic analysis that assumes that being female means (a) you’re therefore a feminist or (b) you have a coherent world view simply for being female – also gets to inform debate and policy as well. The ‘joke’ version is the gag about how ‘Lehman Sisters’ would never have gone bust; the ‘serious’ version starts informing policy and legislation, or indeed debates on how to police the internet.

          But then I don’t think there’s a tent big enough to accommodate both Califia and, say, Dworkin – and the latter is driving a lot of mainstream feminism at present.

          • Jonathan says:

            @ redpesto: Yes, they’re loud; and yes they’re given a fair amount of exposure in mainstream media (such as the Guardian); and as entrenched career feminists they’re often quite complacent; and sometimes they have some influence on policy.

            The US antiporn feminists in the 1980s were loud as well, and occasionally got a few statutes passed – in conjunction with their dubious allies on the (more powerful) Christian Right. But their “pro-sex” feminist opponents challenged them on the issues. They didn’t throw up their hands and denounce all feminism as rubbish. Even when they were denounced as not being “real feminists”.

            In this country Dworkinite feminists are, for example, at least partly responsible for Section 63 – which I oppose (along with numerous of their other positions on sex-related matters). But again it doesn’t mean that feminism is therefore rubbish.

            As for the feminist “tent”. Of course it’s big enough. Feminism isn’t a monoculture. And just because, for instance, I agree with Califia on most things, doesn’t mean I therefore think that Dworkin was always wrong. Nor that they thought each other always wrong either.

        • typhonblue says:

          “To start with, regarding “more responsibility” and “more privilege”, clearly “men” (as a subset of the group “human”) do have more of both. ”

          I disagree that this is proven across the board.

          For example, women have a far greater in-group preference then men do. Therefore the average man does not take his positive identity from his relationship to other men, he takes it from his relationship to the abstraction ‘man’.

          The abstraction ‘man’ in our culture is tied culturally and spiritually to benefit to women. ‘Save the princess’; ‘provide for your woman’; ‘woman and children first’.

          This means that although men are in visible power that does not mean they use their power or influence to benefit other men. In fact, they use it to benefit women.

          This means women’s benefit is in power.

          Now we can discuss how this is an unpleasant situation for women, but the black and white, nuance-less statement that ‘men have more privilege’ is silly.

          • Jay Generally says:

            Very, very well put.

          • Jonathan says:

            @ typhonblue: “This means that although men are in visible power that does not mean they use their power or influence to benefit other men. In fact, they use it to benefit women. This means women’s benefit is in power.”

            That’s a rather ambitious claim to make to be sure, but never mind: you concede men’s greater power and privilege at the macro (political/cultural) level – subject of course to the numerous other factors that affect and delineate power and privilege at this level (wealth, class, race, age, health, etc).

            Moving on:

            “For example, women have a far greater in-group preference then men do. Therefore the average man does not take his positive identity from his relationship to other men, he takes it from his relationship to the abstraction ‘man’. The abstraction ‘man’ in our culture is tied culturally and spiritually to benefit to women. ‘Save the princess’; ‘provide for your woman’; ‘woman and children first’.”

            I don’t know about the “culturally and spiritually” bit – but otherwise, sure: at the micro (inter-personal/social) level, power and privilege are inter-related and mutual and depend on individuals, their individual set-ups, their group environments, the changing nature of society, etc. Neither women nor men are without power and privilege at this level, even within the most traditionally conservative of environments and marriages. For example, regarding marriages: yes, people can feel as trapped and powerless outside the home as other people feel within in it, and/or both in different places and at different times.

            No one here is promoting the idea of woman = good, man = bad. Or suggesting that we don’t have important gender issues as men.

            Feel free to have the last word now btw. I’ve spent too much time in internet arguments over the past couple of days and there’s work I should be getting on with.

      • Paul says:

        That is an excellent point TB

    • Hi hamandpeaches I am sorry my blog saddens you. I will try and be more fun in future! I find my blog is made most fulfilling by the commenters/readers so I appreciate your input.

  5. Jonathan says:

    “The Bechedel Test is a classic example. Devised by a lesbian comedian”

    A couple of points on accuracy here: it’s Alison Bechdel (not Bechedel) and she’s a cartoonist (not a comedian).

    Also, her “test” was never meant to be taken all that seriously – as shown by the dialogue from the original strip: “Pretty strict, but a good idea.” “No kidding. Last movie I was able to see was Alien. The two women in it talk to each other about the monster.” … (pause) … “Wanna go to my house and make popcorn?” “Now you’re talkin’.”

    But of course you’re right:

    “I understand the motivations for this, as many Hollywood films especially, are very male-focussed, and women are often playing ‘token’ roles as wives or mothers or ‘sex interest’. But this crude test ignores the qualities of some of my favourite films, such as Paris Texas, Taxi Driver, Hard Candy and Out Of Sight, all of which include brilliant performances by women. It also ignores films I love which are almost completely man-oriented such as Mean Streets, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? and My Own Private Idaho.”

    Obviously, applying this test strictly (and unhumourously) as a criterion in assessing the worth (or otherwise) of any particular film is just silly.

    • redpesto says:

      Obviously, applying this test strictly (and unhumourously) as a criterion in assessing the worth (or otherwise) of any particular film is just silly. – which is exactly why some activists do apply it in exactly that fashion (there’s an entire blog devoted to measuring movies in this way apparently). Mind you, it would make for a fun screenwriting exercise.

      PS: Isn’t the alien in Alien male (unlike the alien in Aliens)?

      • yes I think the Bechdel test has been taken very seriously by some feminists. and it is designed in such a way that means it can be. she is a *lesbian* after all

        • Jonathan says:

          @ redpesto: “which is exactly why some activists do apply it in exactly that fashion (there’s an entire blog devoted to measuring movies in this way apparently). Mind you, it would make for a fun screenwriting exercise.”

          Well, yes. But that doesn’t mean they’re taking it completely seriously either. Maybe they just find it a fun thing to do. Or an interesting thing. Or then again maybe they do take it very very seriously indeed. Maybe some people really do think that a film that fails the Bechdel test has no worth at all. So what? No one else has to take them seriously. People aren’t picketing films or shutting them down.

          “PS: Isn’t the alien in Alien male (unlike the alien in Aliens)?”

          Touché – lol.

          @ QRG: “yes I think the Bechdel test has been taken very seriously by some feminists. and it is designed in such a way that means it can be. she is a *lesbian* after all”

          I’m not sure whether you’re being serious or just on a wind-up. But okay, assuming the former: Yes, Bechdel’s test is serious in a way, but the slant of the cartoon undermines any notion of taking it too seriously. This is standard Bechdel. One of the main elements of her cartooning is gentle satire, teasing at and challenging rigid attitudes within the “lesbian nation”. As an example: she later made one of the main characters (in “Dykes to Watch Out For”) bisexual and inserted a guy into the primary lesbian household – a deliberately, almost ridiculously, right-on guy – just to mess with separatist heads.

          • redpesto says:

            Jonathan – the blog is at 2732 movies and counting.

          • yes but I had never heard of her cartoons and many feminists who use the test haven’t either it has been removed from its original context.

          • Jonathan says:

            @ redpesto: “the blog is at 2732 movies and counting.”

            Thanks for the link. Yes, so it is. But I notice that the blog also says:

            “* Please keep in mind that a movie scoring a🙂 does not mean it is at all “good” or feminist friendly, just that it passes all tests.”

            And there’s a further link (http://squarise.com/2011/09/bechdel-test-is-matters/) which has:

            “the further two points should be noted:
            1. Passing or failing the test has no bearing at all on whether a film is good.
            2. Passing the test does not necessarily make it more feminist, or otherwise, positive-for-women”.

            And lower down:

            “It won’t tell you if any given film is bad or good, but it is an interesting tool to look at just some of the messages mainstream culture is feeding us. Despite the interesting initial data, it’s not scientific or comprehensive – but it is a great tool for questioning what you see, and why you are seeing it.”

            Ultimately, then, it seems these bloggers regard the Bechdel test as useful for the very reason QRG states in her initial piece – “I understand the motivations for this, as many Hollywood films especially, are very male-focussed, and women are often playing ‘token’ roles as wives or mothers or ‘sex interest’.” – and are not saying at all that the test provides a definitive judgment as to the worth of films in general (which, as I’m sure we’re agreed, would just be stupid).

      • Jay Generally says:

        I. Can’t. Not. Nerd.

        One of the theories floated is that there are no male aliens. The face huggers do not plant embryos, but eggs. The host of the embryo provides part of the DNA the egg requires, impregnating it. In effect, every host, male or female, is the father. It plays into the rape metaphor the original movie was supposed to be. It’s why the aliens come out mimicking the host that birthed them (like the dog alien in 3,) they are the host’s offspring. The queens are the dominant females that keep the other females infertile (similar to bees and dinosaur ants.) Some embryos are born as queens (like bees and normal ants), but with no queen present the drones eventually woman up and become queens themselves. Ripley’s clone and its embryo accidently accelerated this processed by swapping too much DNA, hence the alien queen able to live-birth weird looking muppets. I believe the later movies shrug their shoulders and refuse to care. So, the first Alien is quite likely female.

        I… I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m seeking help.

  6. elissa says:

    I believe you’re not quite getting the dynamic at play. It’s not so much that feminist language and rhetoric states that feminist and women hate men – it’s much cleverer than that. The rhetoric used in inversed to a savvy “men hate women”. This clever sleight of hand allows for enhanced victim status for the largest identifiable group of any sort within our solar system. Case in point below as linked by QRG:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/09/talk-to-online-misogynist-bullies
    “Anyone who gets on a bus or just listens to the way people speak to each other cannot help thinking that woman-hating, as I said recently, is our cultural wallpaper”
    See how easily this rhetoric rolls off the tongue of a supposedly intelligent columnist? Once your fight is against the “cultural wallpaper”, all other discussions are of a mere second place. Get in line.

    Women hating. Second class. Chattel. Cum dumpsters. Not human. Slaves. Bondage and bandaged. Patriarchy. Submission.

    It’s never been better to be a woman victim!

    • redpesto says:

      Maybe that’s why the argument is about ‘misogyny’ rather than ‘sexism’: the former has much more emotive force than the latter (especially when it comes to rallying support/organising a demo). It also hints at a radical feminism that assume that gender is the fundamental divide, and everything else is secondary.

      • yes I think you’re right redpesto. ‘misogyny’ suggests structurally supported hatred of women by men. which is indeed stronger than sexism

        • Jonathan says:

          I think it’s rather more obvious than that: “misogyny” (as opposed to “sexism”) sets the limits of the discourse before it’s even started; i.e. entirely one way. There’s no room for sexism against men in this argument because the terms already preclude it.

    • yes elissa ‘cultural wallpaper’ is an emotive and quite clever phrase!

  7. re: Bechdel test – it has been appropriated by feminists in a crude way and that’s all I am saying on the matter!

  8. paul says:

    “The Coming of the White Man.” … Sorry, completely unrelated to the discussion at hand. Just appreciating Mr. Van Sant’s framing of the still from MOPI above… Carry on!

    • I’m glad you saw that paul! Rachel Rabbit White pointed it out to me!😀

      I don’t think Mark S is going to re-release Male IMpersonators after all I am gutted. I might have to transcribe some of it for you/us!

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