Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Universal Villian

Here is an article on a blog that Liz likes called Jezebel about this ad from Dockers.

I thought the article was rather funny, especially the sarcastic remark to Dockers. I mean seriously, do you really think that wearing a pair of Dockers will make you manly? Thinking that manliness is somehow a function of what you look like on the outside is a serious misrepresentation of all that is man. But, I may ask what is manly?

From what I can tell from Jezebel and other female writers, it is something dark and evil. Manliness seems to wreak of patriarchy and misogyny according to these writers. Personally, I really don't see how opening a door for a person (note not woman) is somehow degrading. You don't open the door because you think the person is weak, you do it to be polite. A little bit of social grace in an otherwise rude world.

The bigger question I have right now, at this instant in time, what is equal? I mean that's what we are all striving for with the whole gender/minority inequity thing right? We are trying to make things equal and fair. Well what does that look like?
Is it that women need to be in overarching power, the kind of power that men have had for eons? Control of all systems of society from the economy, education, and government for a long period of time to balance out the past wrongdoers?
Or is equity when we have it 50/50? Equal numbers of female CEOs and judges and senators and a female president from time to time? Split nicely down the middle across the board, everywhere? In this case men have to lose some pay, and women need to gain some. Men need to give up many many seats in the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government. BUT, we would need some quotas for men's admission to universities and some balancing of the workforce for men as well. Sounds kinda wacky right?
Or could it be that maybe men are ahead in certain regions, and women are ahead in certain regions? How large of inequities in a given region are acceptable? To me this seems to be the inevitability. There is no way that we will ever have a statistically perfect 50/50 split of power between men, women, minorities, you name it. It will always ebb and flow.

Now I'm NOT suggesting that things are anywhere near equal right now. Women need to be paid the same as men, and need to have a hell of a lot more positions of power in business, education, and the government. Period. The thing that I am questioning, is when is enough enough?

Furthermore, when can men stop being punished for being men?

When can we be released from the role of Universal Villian?

Update: After I wrote this, I went to lunch and read this section of my favorite graphic novel, Preacher. Just too fitting to not add it to the end.


brian harrington said...

found this today, relevant to your discussion, from a list of counter intuitive thoughts from new york magazine:

which says...

"Girls are doing better in school than boys, but because feminists insist that girls are still an at-risk group, boys are now ignored and left to fail. Furthermore, teaching boys to be sensitive and empathetic is a mistake; what they really need is a father’s masculine presence, to instill a sense of honor and make them into “gentlemen.”

follow the link at the bottom to a big portion available on google books.

Big Sway said...

Equality looks like post-apocalyptic Earth to me.