‘Progressivism’ and Reverse Bigotries

There’s an awful lot of shadow-projecting by the P.C. left.

14 Comments for “‘Progressivism’ and Reverse Bigotries”

  1. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    For anyone interested in reading Niall Ferguson’s opinion piece without having to subscribe to the Boston Globe, the piece is available on his website.

    Yup, being a white male is tough. An almost unbearable hardship.

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    • posted by David Bauler on

      Yup. Bitter Men telling us that mansplaining dont exist……

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  2. posted by Jorge on

    “The masculine libido and its accompanying forces and pathologies drive so much of culture and politics and the economy,” wrote Marche, adding that “the point of Freud was not that boys will be boys. Rather the opposite . . . If you let boys be boys, they will murder their fathers and sleep with their mothers.” Right.

    Love that quote on Freud.

    If it drives so much of culture and the economy, then by definition it’s not a pathology.

    (Huh?)

    Exploitation is not a mental illness. Just make sure you’re exploiting the right people. That’s why we teach men the concepts of honor and justice.

    You know we don’t often talk about the pathologies we promote in women because of what we don’t teach them.

    But it is worth pondering why, for most of history, men were encouraged to show physical courage. As the Harvard political theorist Harvey Mansfield has pointed out, the ideal of manliness is perhaps best described as “confidence in a situation of risk”.

    Well excuse me for being a MAN! I dislike the caricature and pathology of masculinity and I am far from being an alpha male, but this describes me exceptionally well nonetheless. I find that it flusters my (all-female) bosses, often.

    I get along passably well with some of the most abrasive men my agency works with (and just about every man my agency works with is more alpha than I am).

    The whole totem pole hierarchy men establish among themselves is an extension of this so-called risk management. Any man can challenge another for power. That is a threat to all but the most invulnerable of alphas–even victory can be fatal in the long run. Signaling one’s ability to challenge allows one to negotiate for that which is a priority.

    Women I find all too often fall into the trap of actually challenging men for dominance instead of merely signaling a threat to. A lot of success involves walking back an interaction that the other person interprets as a challenge to make it clear that it is a mere threat rather than a challenge. This actually takes a lot of work. But no, I find women are perfectly capable of escalating all by themselves.

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    • posted by JohnInCA on

      And I dislike the caricature and pathology of masculinity that you spent your last four paragraphs making. Totem pole hierarchy? Challenges and threats for power? That’s a caricature if I ever saw one.

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  3. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Yet manliness has its uses. Just over a week ago, a 44-year-old French policeman named Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame confronted an Islamist who burst into a supermarket in southern France, where he killed two people and took a 40-year-old checkout woman hostage. Beltrame offered to take her place. He gave up his weapon and put himself in the murderer’s power. After a standoff, the terrorist shot him several times, whereupon police stormed the store. Although Beltrame was flown to hospital, he died a few hours later, his wife at his side.

    A graduate of the elite military school St Cyr and a special forces gendarme who served with distinction in Iraq, Beltrame was a product of just the kind of education we are supposed now to disdain. But as his wife said after his death: “He was motivated by very high moral values, the values of service, generosity, giving oneself, abnegation.”

    Beltrame died that another might live. His sacrifice was not at the level of Christ’s — who “died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves” (2 Corinthians 5:15) — but it was and is the essence of heroism. This Easter, let us turn away from all discrimination — the new kind as well as the old — and remember that true courage is remarkable not for its colour, or its sex, but for its rarity.

    I wonder what would have happened if Beltrame had exchanged himself for a male hostage? Would Ferguson have held up Beltrame as a paragon of manliness in that case?

    Would it have made a difference to Ferguson’s narrative if the male hostage was perceived as “defenseless” (e.g. elderly or infirm) or “vulnerable” (e.g. simple-minded) as opposed to “strong” (e.g an athlete, a construction worker)?

    Or what if a female officer had exchanged herself for a hostage, male or female? Would she have been similarly held up by Ferguson as an example of heroism? Or would her actions have been briefly noted and quickly dismissed, as was the case with Crystal Griner’s?

    I don’t know, but I suspect that Ferguson is holding Beltrame up (not quite to the level of Christ, but close enough so that he feels it necessary to point out that he is not suggesting that Beltrame’s sacrifice was equivalent to Christ’s) because it serves his “manliness” narrative.

    Maybe I’m too cynical.

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    • posted by JohnInCA on

      That struck me as odd too. That kind of courage isn’t gendered, and pretending it is says more about the writer then about “manliness”.

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  4. posted by MR Bill on

    My experience (yes this is anecdotal) has lead me to avoid folks too concerned with manliness, and critical of others performance of being men..I mean, rigid gender roles and hierarchy won’t police themselves.
    One of the most depressing things I’ve dealt with was Gay Bears tying themselves into knots and treating others shittily over who is/is not a Bear..
    My own particular High School bully, who abused me because I was unathletic and disinterested in sports, would go on to not get into the Navy SEALS, and have a sex change.

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  5. posted by Lori Heine on

    The main problem, as I see it, with the conservative obsession over manliness and masculinity is that for them, it tends to be self-servingly selective.

    They pine for the benefits of masculinity, but most show little willingness to pay the price. It was never easy to be a man. Historically, it has been difficult, dangerous and very often unpleasant. I played with little boys a lot when I was a kid, and I recall that I would never have wanted to trade places with them. The process of male socialization seemed to involve constant humiliation and pressure to perform. They had to be “winners,” because “losers” were considered hardly fit to live.

    Do contemporary men really want to go back to that? My great-grandmothers would not even have considered most Twenty-first Century American men to be any sort of real men at all. Historically, the status women conferred on men (and yes, women really were the ones who conferred it), they continually made men earn.

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    • posted by JohnInCA on

      Historically, the status women conferred on men (and yes, women really were the ones who conferred it), they continually made men earn.

      I’ve heard it said that this is why conservative women really don’t like gay men. Because in a society/culture that plays by “traditional” gender roles, women do have this power over men. Women have this kind of weird back-door access to the male hierarchy.

      But gay men (as a group) are less likely to be concerned about women and their manipulations, and are more likely to opt-out of the dynamic, and thus deprive women of that power over them. Beyond just losing power over some men, the concern is that when non-gay men see that the deviants that don’t play the gender-role game, they too will “choose” to be gay and opt-out, depriving women of what little power they have.

      In short: if men can sleep with men without punishment, what do they need women for? And so it behooves women in such cultures to join the shunning of gay men to preserve their own place.

      That said, while I find such gender dynamic studies interesting, I’m a social psychology dabbler at best, and can’t attest to whether any of that is true. But it sure sounds plausible.

      That said, regardless whether the importance of gender roles in traditional cultures explains non-religious homophobia, it’s still true that such rigid adherence to gender roles harms everyone involved, and coerces all players to perform their roles regardless of their own preferences.

      To be clear: I’m not saying that masculinity, femininity, or whatever lies between is inherently bad (or good for that matter). I’m saying that folks are healthier when they can express their masculinity/femininity, rather then being expected to perform the masculinity/femininity that’s expected of them.

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      • posted by Lori Heine on

        Yes. In every way, it’s best if we can simply be us.

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    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      I’ve heard it said that this is why conservative women really don’t like gay men. Because in a society/culture that plays by “traditional” gender roles, women do have this power over men. Women have this kind of weird back-door access to the male hierarchy.

      But gay men (as a group) are less likely to be concerned about women and their manipulations, and are more likely to opt-out of the dynamic, and thus deprive women of that power over them. Beyond just losing power over some men, the concern is that when non-gay men see that the deviants that don’t play the gender-role game, they too will “choose” to be gay and opt-out, depriving women of what little power they have.

      A long-time friend thinks that a corollary exists among straight men enmeshed in the traditional gender game.

      He argues that such men invest a lot of time, money and energy into being successful in the gender game (pretty wife, perfect family, nice house, etc.) and derive their self-worth from that success. Gay men opt out on all of that, saying, essentially, that none of it counts for them, setting up a situation in which the straight man enmeshed in gender game finds himself devalued (as in, “What the hell? I spend my whole life putting up with this when I’d rather be buzzing around in a Jeep shooting wolves, and this jerk thinks none of it is important?”) As my friend sees things, that devaluation goes a long way to explaining straight male resentment/hostility to gay men.

      I don’t know if he’s right or wrong, but I’ve thought about it on and off over the last fifteen-odd years since he made the observation.

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    • posted by Jorge on

      They pine for the benefits of masculinity, but most show little willingness to pay the price.

      Humph! >:(

      If they ever have paid the price, there are certain people who pretend they haven’t. But there is a way to moderate it.

      …we seem to have skipped that phase in our drive to over-feminize childhood.

      I’ve heard it said that this is why conservative women really don’t like gay men.

      But gay men (as a group) are less likely to be concerned about women and their manipulations, and are more likely to opt-out of the dynamic, and thus deprive women of that power over them.

      Oops!

      A long-time friend thinks that a corollary exists among straight men enmeshed in the traditional gender game…

      Oops, again.

      To be clear: I’m not saying that masculinity, femininity, or whatever lies between is inherently bad (or good for that matter). I’m saying that folks are healthier when they can express their masculinity/femininity, rather then being expected to perform the masculinity/femininity that’s expected of them.

      I still think a mix of individual expression and respect for social conformity is best.

      Reply
  6. posted by David Bauler on

    Manhood In America. Is an worthwhile read.

    Reply

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