Thursday, August 16, 2012

Women Are the Battlefield (Interesting Article + Post-Scriptease)






Homie sent me this article and it is well-worth the read, or "short enough, and in equal measure personal / academic enough, that you can pass along to the interested in the midst of some easier fare to swallow", which I agree with, plus the huge list of comments below it are interesting as well. The loss of masculinity is directly related to the loss of femininity and vice versa, so check it out as you'd like to inform your decisions.

I have also included my world-weary response as an option to review below. 

Yours, 

Vij

.

Women Are the Battlefield

Thursday, August 02, 2012 6:00 AM Comments (117)

Reader Elisa Choffel Low writes,
I'd love to see a post on how to get beyond the two sides of finger pointing to address sexual woundedness in our culture. On one side [people say that] it's all the fault of feminism and women dressing immodestly, and on the other side it's that the patriarchy has oppressed women and objectified them.

The closest thing I have seen to anyone getting beyond this back and forth was when a guy in a combox commented that women need to understand that men are visually stimulated and out of compassion should dress more modestly, and a woman responded that the best thing he could do was to recognize that women have a deep need to feel valued and admired and so next time he interacted with a woman he should compliment or affirm her in some way.
What an insightful suggestion.  There is nothing so effective for cutting through sexual tension as a little bit of grace and extra courtesy.  There are several generations of women who grew up with no father in the house (or with a series of mom's predatory boyfriends).  Girls who grow up never hearing a man say, "You look pretty" or "I like how you do X, Y or Z" often become women who will settle for hearing any male say, "You're so hot" or "I'd like to do you."

But  . . . what about the men?  What about the boys growing up with no father?  Don't they matter?  Why is it always the men who have to change their behavior first?  Why is it always about what women need?
Every so often, I hear from a man who has had it up to here with essays that exhort men to do more, be more, try harder.  They've given it all, and they've had enough.  They're extremely and understandably bitter, because all the women they know expect to be treated like princesses, but give nothing in return.  These women expect men follow the age-old modes of Catholic manhood, but they never  make any of the sacrifices that traditional Catholic womanhood imposes on women -- and the family court system is often blindly favors moms.

I know that some of these stories must be true.  I've seen it myself:  I once had a neighbor who demanded incredible chivalry from her husband, expecting him to do all the things a man has always done, plus three-quarters of her job, too -- and then she would mock him in front of her friends for being tired, for folding the laundry wrong, for being old.  There was literally no pleasing her; she was perpetually angry and dissatisfied.  Eventually she took the children and left, keeping contact only to complain about how difficult single motherhood turned out to be.  So yes, these women exist!

And yes, it's tiresome to always hear about women, women, women and their problems.

But if the stories the bitter men tell are true, there is also another story -- a much, much older one.  The story is the battle between good and evil.  And, as a commenter in my last post said, "Women are the battlefield."  We see this daily in the news:  the battle for religious freedom centers on "women's issues" like contraception and abortion; the battle for bodily integrity is fought in the womb of an illegally pregnant Chinese woman.  When abortions are elective or infanticide is tolerated, it's baby girls who die.  Name some social ill, large or small, and you will find women at the center.  War criminals know this:  this is why systematic rape is such an effective weapon against the entire community.

It's even in Revelations:

The woman, the queen clothed with the sun, is in childbirth, crying out and in pain -- and there is a dragon, waiting to swallow her child when it is born.  In terrible pain and anxiety, she struggles to push the child, the savior, out of herself, only to meet the horror of having her child taken away, devoured.  The woman herself is not the savior; but without her, there is no savior.  Her body is the battlefield.

Most of the Catholic women I know don't need to hear more exhortations to work hard, sacrifice ourselves, put our families first, be generous.  We already do these things, and we drive each other crazy making impossible demands on ourselves and each other.  This is how it feels to be the center of a culture war:  it feels -- exhausting.

Women are noisy, demanding.  We are always calling out to be saved, or at least to be heard.  Sometimes, as a woman, I feel abashed at my own nature:  I feel greedy, or weak, or imperious when I need help or attention-- when I take my own problems seriously -- when I have to stamp my foot and insist on being treated well, even if it's a clear and basic need.  Even when I'm only thinking of the good of the family.

Sometimes it would be easier just to be quiet.  But what can I do?  I am a battlefield.

So, to the men I know who have been wounded, scorned, castigated and ruined by women:  I am sorry.  I am sorry.  I apologize to you on behalf of my sex.  You must feel like a solider who steps off the plane at home, only to be spit on and screamed at by foolish, pampered protestors who have no idea that these troops are the ones who are defending their very freedom to protest.

But please remember:  those protestors, they are a small minority.  There is a grateful nation at home, an entire race of women you'll never meet, who reap the benefits of your struggle every day.  We know that you keep society going by working hard, by being good to children, by defending the weak, by using your strength and your courage to promote peace and justice in society -- in short, by acting like men.

In short, by being good to women.

Women are the battlefield.  Just remember that, when you're at war, not everyone you meet is the enemy.  If you want to win the war between good and evil, it is to women that you will have to come.

.

(See the comments at the original link for more, my response to my buddy is below - BlogEd.)

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danke doodie, this is a great lil' article and i agree, worth passing on for the reasons you suggest, plus due to the lack of an over-arching framework, or da man wanting to turn us into hermaphrodite slaves. icky. i read the "too fat + more sex" comment among the staggering amount there and it reminds me of work environments i've been in where the chicks can talk shit about doods but doods can't reciprocate and the resulting erosion of male self self-esteem is an astute observation.

i can see what's been happening when i see how doods are acting, or how they are powerless to respond in normal and natural ways which include teasing chicks and not having them freak out and have a politcally correct craptasm. that's why i'm hoping the physical ways men can chill chicks out will lead to more of a verbal detente, it's plausible and we'll see if it's manfestable on a wide scale. i know people are down and everybody looks at me like we have a secret, so everybody does and is in on it.

more on the article later i'm sure, this topic keeps going and going and even marketers know if you get the chicks you get everyone else who can't stand to hear them complain, especially when men aren't allowed to explain. yet.

fortunately, i'm still clearing a lane here and hopefully elsewhere by poppin' off about these issues. i may sound like a broken record, but i'm a working man and not a broken one and these programmable people (man-girlin'? girl-manin'?) just need to be re-programmed. i was mixing polite-speak dropping off flyers at businesses on bloor and yonge with barkin', especially at the eaton centre where over the last nine months we've seen a massive drop-off in socially acceptable bullshit.

i also realize if i don't get that "need to keep it real and talky loud and proud" stuff out of my system i'm a wreck. i need outlets to transcend the banality and think others are the same to varying degrees. music is good for that; hearing or making it. hopefully we can figure out how to make it easier for people to find their own outlets.

or, to quoth the great everlast: "runnin' for the ride, i can't go inside, i'd rather that i die, i got too much pride, i guess it's just somethin' that you can't understand, my gun's in my hand, tell me who's the man..."

this braggadocius brahmin bum ain't never in the clear yet and it always comes down to the same shit: people putting their money where my mouth is. unless i get the finances to ball instead of just balls i'm going to have to give it up and i'm working on working on it, but after re-writing, thickening up and watering down my website a bunch of times and figuring out whether or not to go mainstream, i realize that i'm in this to win this as a performance artist who can cut through the bullshit to make it easier for others too as well. that means i'm settling in for perma-different and hoping for rich and "eccentric" instead of poor and "crazy".

bah.

who knows?

scratch that. everybody knows.

who cares?

after explaining this to people i hope they get it. more later i'm sure. this topic energizes and exhausts me and everyone else.

the good news is we're all the same. we just need to act different than we're acting now, so it shouldn't be hard to figure out how.

dudes are toughening up too, or instead of killing me, they're chilling out and staying too busy to bother people. there's hope yet.

.


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