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Are Men the New Mexicans?
Pro-Male Feminists Are Still Feminists

feminism1,267 words

When Camille Paglia’s speech “It’s a Man’s World, and It Always Will Be” was published in Time magazine, my feeds and inboxes overflowed with approving links and comments.

“Finally, someone in the mainstream media is speaking some truth about men.” 

The Time piece was actually a transcript of Paglia’s opening statement at a debate between feminists in held in Canada. The resolution in contention was that, in the 21st Century, “men are obsolete.” Hanna Rosin, author of The End of Men, and Maureen Dowd, author of Are Men Necessary?, held that men are, in fact, obsolete. British columnist Caitlan Moran and Paglia disputed the claim. Rosin and Dowd won the debate because they gained more ground in the presumably already progressive audience — they were Canadian, after all — even though more than half still disagreed with the resolution.

I’ve long been a fan of Paglia’s bold, fiery style. Anything she writes is well worth reading. She’s a tough-talking broad who stands up to her prissy, parochial counterparts and waves away their campus-cooked hysteria. What’s more, as an art history professor, football lover and “born-again pagan,” she maintains a certain reverence for heroic narratives of masculinity.

Paglia is something of a reactionary — within feminism. She looks back to the beauty and grandeur of the past with a sense of loss and acknowledges the cyclical nature of history. She points out the different natures of the sexes instead of trying to paper over them with propaganda, so truth does shine through her work.

Paglia is like a reactionary in many ways — but she’s still a feminist. In one of her finest and most accessible essays, “No Law In the Arena,” she wrote, “It is woman’s destiny to rule men. Not to serve them, flatter them, or hang on to them for guidance. Nor to insult them, demean them, or stereotype them as oppressors.”

But, still, to rule them. This is a step farther than most mainstream feminists would venture outright. In plain words, they tend to tuck themselves under the moral umbrella of “equality.” If Paglia truly believes it is the destiny of women to rule men, she never quite explains how men will be ruled.

In “It’s a Man’s World,” Paglia gave men their due for being the architects of modernity, and reminded women that it is still mostly men who do the dirty work that makes the global economy — and presumably the air-conditioned corporate world where career gals are winning — possible. Bossy businesswomen like Sheryl Sandberg can “lean in” all they want, but you don’t see them jumping to do dirty jobs with Mike Rowe.

Paglia has expressed her appreciation for men as builders before, and Helen Smith riffed off them throughout her recent book Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream – and Why It Matters. Smith is a Tennessee psychotherapist who often writes about men’s issues on her blog at PJ Media. Like Paglia, when feminists berate men as stupid beasts, or self-congratulatory urbanites like Rosin call them obsolete, Smith steps in to say “hold on a minute, men aren’t all bad — look at what they do for us.”

Smith means well. Though Men on Strike opens with the cringingly condescending line “This book is not for wimps,” I do believe that Smith truly wants to help men level the playing field and address the injustices, inequalities, and double standards rampant in a culture where “more justice” and “more equal” usually translate into “more of whatever feminists want.” Men on Strike works as a speedy, charitable summary of the legal and cultural changes that are causing more and more young men to avoid marriage, college, careers, and civic involvement. Smith’s book is overly reliant on recycled media quotes and blog comments, and the awkwardness of a middle-aged woman approaching young men in the gym and in bars to strike up conversations about men’s issues is hard to miss. I can and do have those conversations organically all the time with men who bring up those issues on their own and who aren’t filtering their responses for female interviewers. Men on Strike could be an eye-opener for men who are older and don’t understand how much the game has changed for young men, or for men who are still plugged into the politically correct academic mindset. The book was aimed at men, but it would be more useful as a starting point for sympathetic female allies, like Smith.

However, the sympathy of well-meaning feminist women will, necessarily, have its limits

I’m not sure if Smith would call herself a feminist or not. Like Paglia or Christina Hoff Sommers, she might feel the need to qualify her feminism, but she would surely concede that she is a feminist at the most basic level. Like the majority of modern American women, she still believes that women and men should have equal political influence and economic opportunities. She’s no capital -“t” Traditional woman, that’s for sure.

In an entertaining column for New Statesman, feminist Laurie Penny recently wrote about “angry gentlemen who seem to think that there is a set amount of privilege to go around and that if they have less of it, someone else must have more.” Anarchist writer R. J. Jacobs astutely remarked to me: “replace ‘privilege’ with ‘power.’” Penny, who was once shortlisted for an Orwell Prize should know that when “equality” is the primary aim, some folks inevitably end up “more equal” than others. Because the equality of women is more important to the State today than the equality of men, women will be given more privilege and more power. The iron truth is that there is only so much power to go around. Feminism uses the state and social shaming to restrict the ability of men to exert power over women, so that women can have the opportunity to exert more power.

Feminists like Paglia and Smith have sympathy to offer men, but not change. Like good, well-educated women, they want to “raise awareness” about the struggles men face, but they have no intention of ceding any privileges or power to them. They want women to appreciate all of the hard, heroic and dirty work men do for them, but they have no intention of changing a feminist system which, by its very nature, cannot offer men the same opportunities for reward, status, and esteem in return for their sacrifices that Smith herself admits patriarchal systems offered. Paglia and Smith are right to recognize that the back-breaking work of men has made genteel corporate feminism possible, by way of globalism and industrialization, but because they can’t offer men status or glory or “privilege” in return, all they have to offer is polite appreciation and a comforting, if patronizing, smile.

“Can we get a round of applause for these poor men who do all of the jobs you can’t or don’t want to do?”

In this way, for all of their good intentions, Paglia and Smith remind me a bit of the kind of spoiled-but-penitent Californians who want to remind each other what “A Day Without A Mexican” might be like.

“Who will mow your lawns, unload your trucks, build your buildings, haul your trash, drive your ambulances . . . who will guard you while you sleep?”

Paglia believes that it is the destiny of women to rule men. Perhaps this is how she imagines they will do it — as benevolent overmoms and matriarchal middle managers who offer men a pat on the head for doing their dirty chores.

Are men the new Mexicans?

 

 

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23 Comments

  1. Posted March 30, 2014 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    Only a woman that doesn’t know what a lineman is could ask if men are obsolete in seriousness…

    Or a welder… Or a roughneck. Or a miner… etc.

    • April Gade
      Posted March 31, 2014 at 2:53 am | Permalink

      When I think of a lineman I think of that Glen Campbell song ” Witchita Lineman”
      If you have never heard the song you HAVE to listen, it is really awesome

      I am a lineman for the county.
      And I drive the mainroad.
      Lookin’ in the sun for another overload.
      I hear you singing in the wire.

      I can hear you thru the whine.
      And the Wichita Lineman,
      is still on the line.
      I know I need a small vacation.
      But it don’t look like rain.
      And if it snows that stretch down south,
      won’t ever stand the strain.
      And I need you more than want you.

      And I want you for all time.
      And the Wichita Lineman,
      is still on the line.

      • Greg Johnson
        Posted March 31, 2014 at 2:55 am | Permalink

        It is a very haunting song.

    • torgrim
      Posted March 31, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      “Only a woman that doesn’t know what a lineman is could ask if men are obsolete in seriousness”. Well said.

      How about that those temperature controlled work environments, that are taken for granted? The steel and concrete towers, the roads, bridges that are just assumed will work and always be there? How about those men that sweat in the heat, the carpenters that form the panels that hold concrete? Or keep the roads open in freezing weather?

      Enjoy it while it lasts, because if the social planners think that the Mexicans can do what we do, I have another bridge to sell on the Hudson.

      Like the hard man, Capt. Wolf Larsen, in Jack London’s “Sea Wolf” said to the effete Mr.Humphrey, “you are standing on dead mans legs, Hump”! And so, it is today.

  2. Peter Quint
    Posted March 29, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    The present condition of young white men and women is the reason I like to watch movies made before 1960. Any time a white environment is presented it is always neat and orderly. The women are chaste, demure, well behaved and well dressed (they were ladies). The men and boys were clean, well dressed, respectful and manly. A non-white is rarely seen. I seem to be on a nostalgia trip.

  3. Harry in PA
    Posted March 29, 2014 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Sometimes I marvel at how some commenters here seem to be keenly aware of the goings-on of “niche” personalities (writers…whatever) like this Paglia. Someone here identifies her as a lesbian…great, another deviant we should give a damn about what she thinks, much less what she has to say. Yeah, yeah I know there have been cogent thinkers who are such but I don’t want to hear about it when the nation is spinning apart as a result of abandoning traditional mores. I remember years ago reading the elder Podhoretz remarking on his transformation from a lefty to…ok, a neo-con. He said he came to realize that the nation couldn’t afford the viciousness of his comrade’s hatred of the America he lived in at that time (the 50’s?)

    Ya think? Well looky here. We have a feminist and lesbian that we are taking the time to take seriously. A mild objection or two about here “defense” of men but otherwise let’s listen. No, let’s NOT listen. Consider the overweening arrogance displayed in such a person – “a born-again pagan.” So let’s add “pagan” to her admirable qualities.

    I say arrogance because I have in mind that our nation’s first census had us 100% Christian (99% Prot. – 1% RC). Would our fathers and mothers have had anything but an abhorrence for such a person. Of course everything about her they would have eschewed.

    I read CC because I am racially self-aware and aware that my country is probably lost. I have a recollection from my childhood of a good and decent and Christian country. That is all gone. I regret that CC is “friendly” to the notion of paganism. I also recall as a boy that though the word was not quite understood by me I gleaned that it was invested with something dark and outlier (obviously not a word at hand then). A look at the blogger Cambria Will Not Yield will give a grand taste of soaring regard for heroes of our peoples’ (European and white) past – a fundamentally Christian past. You who blanch at the word should at least have the honesty to admit that that IS YOUR PEOPLE’S PAST. To reiterate, even to discuss this person’s (Paglia) wretched cast-of-mind sickens me.

  4. Raven Gatto
    Posted March 29, 2014 at 3:59 am | Permalink

    The full Paglia quote is:

    “”It is woman’s destiny to rule men. Not to serve them, flatter them, or hang on them for guidance. Nor to insult them, demean them, or stereotype them as oppressors. Gay men and artists create a realm marked off from woman’s power, but most men require women to center them and connect them to the underworld of emotional truth. ”

    The nature of true female power and rule has been recognized for some time and is not in any way at odds with ‘Tradition’ as discussed in these pages. Samuel Johnson, writing in the 1760s:

    “Nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little.”

    Her comment is not a revolutionary plot for women to gain new kinds of power over men; it is a prosaic observation of life as it is lived and a reminder that no ‘feminist activism’ is necessary for women to have all the power they want or need if they could but see the world rightly.

    • Jaego
      Posted March 29, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Great Johnson quote. As He says, Men must Rule. How about it Jack and James, just come out and say it. Equality is BS when Feminists say it and it’s BS when we do as well. They want power and we have to deny it to them. It belongs to us. And – it’s the only way to maintain harmony since they wont respect men who give power to them. There will be a few bitter women of course. What else is new? They will be far fewer in number than the multitude Feminism produces.

      • Jack Donovan
        Posted March 29, 2014 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        Jaego,

        I’m not going to say men must rule.

        I’ll say I want men to rule, because equality is impossible and undesirable anyway, and I would rather be ruled by men than women, and I hate the changes that women make to the world when they have political, cultural and economic power.

        Why pretend to be objective at all?

        I agree that the pose of the objective equality-seeker is tiresome. It is useful, however, to point out the hypocrisy of those who say they want equality but who really don’t. Especially if they are enemies of what you actually want.

        Paglia occasionally expresses awe of masculine men, but she is ultimately more thrilled by the sexual power of women and artistic gay males. And while she plays the reactionary within the context of feminism, but at the end of the day she is a reliable progressive, Democratic party supporter and equity feminist. I’ve been following her work since I was a teenager, and she is a liberal through and through, as appealing as her words can sometimes be.

        • Jaego
          Posted March 30, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

          Why make the distinction between must and want? Sounds like you are still holding onto the Objective stance. Why not commit to the World as you dream it? Of course I just remembered that you don’t consider yourself a White Nationalist either. Perhaps your “We” is ultimately very small? Hope I’m wrong. I’d like to have you with us. It would make an interesting article sometime. I remember you said we are committed to a number of “noble lies”. Do tell. Let us have it.

          Objectivity is a fine tool of course; useful for science or understanding people of other Tribes. I’m just saying we shouldn’t let it get in the way of the full development of our Tribe(s) – whatever that or they ultimately turn out to be.

    • Izak
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 12:13 am | Permalink

      That’s exactly what I thought her quote would be saying, thanks for the full context.

      It’s just a cute thing that traditional women like to do: they like to be subservient outwardly, but then turn around and say, “By raising the babies and functioning as the anchor for my man, I’m the one in charge!” There’s nothing remotely threatening about it, and Paglia is to be lauded for taking the position. This is all rhetoric. The quote doesn’t betray anything liberal in her whatsoever; it’s a statement of perspective regarding the most fundamental dynamic between the sexes in our species.

      In other words: what you said!

  5. rcrowley
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Corporate feminists will continue to be fine just so long as the center keeps holding, but otherwise they are in for a very rude awakening.

    • NotQuite
      Posted March 29, 2014 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      @rcrowley

      Indeed. The only thing that will prevent that is the men who will make sure that they won’t get the rude awakening they deserve. The same men who’ve spent the past few millenia killing themselves and each other in order to prevent any discomfort for them. Resist the urge guys.

  6. NotQuite
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    “Like the majority of modern American women, she still believes that women and men should have equal political influence and economic opportunities. She’s no capital -“t” Traditional woman, that’s for sure.”

    When the time comes, no men will be ‘asking’ the majority of modern American women for any input on how the future will unfold. No man will be concerned with “equality.”

  7. April Gade
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Any “woman” who claims to love football is someone that I would instinctively distrust and dislike.

    • NotQuite
      Posted March 28, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      @April

      Haha! One would think so!

    • Julian Apostate
      Posted March 28, 2014 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      Indeed! Indeed!

  8. rhondda
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    You know I wondered when someone was going to call her out. I got very confused with all the men praising her to high hilt. A lesbian raising a son with her partner, was one thing I thought would get male hackles up, but seemingly not. Using Freud as her authority didn’t seem to bother anyone either. As a prolific watcher of people, I have seen female clients of male social workers just wrap them around their finger to get what benefits they want. It is all done with flattery and fluttering eyelashes. Paglia, being the protege of the famous Jewish Harold Bloom, who wrote the English Cannon, is following in his footsteps by upping the ante against us. She lost me when she endorsed Madonna years ago. Not that I am a prude, I just thought it was an underhanded Protestant attack on Catholics. (She was brought up protestant. Oh Harold, what have you done?)
    Bravo Mr. Donovan.

    • Stronza
      Posted March 28, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Something wrong with prudery? Our “culture” could use a bit of that. Especially the tarts with their Slut Walks and just about everybody on tv.

      • rhondda
        Posted March 28, 2014 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        It is the connotation of the word now that I am referring to. It used to mean an honourable woman.
        I agree about the slut walks etc.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prude

        • Stronza
          Posted March 31, 2014 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

          “Prude” in Wikipedia! I remember some Hollywood actress describing herself as “prudish” during an interview, and being not the least ashamed.

          • rhondda
            Posted March 31, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

            Tacenda

  9. Paul Maurer MD
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    I am impressed with my first view of this site. There is an array of political-cultural forces closing in on the segment of society that has created the greatest advances in history. As a neurosurgeon , I frequently ask people to define the major medical advances that have been brought to us by the “minorities” championed today. There is usually a painful silence…as none can produce much of an answer. It is 50 years later, and the clock is ticking….

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