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Suffragette to Erectoral Vote – Reverse Sexism of Contemporary Feminism
Jesus is My Pimp Daddy generated some spirited dialogue on the Net. While written with underlying sardonic humor, the topic is a serious one and the narrative reflects actual events. Since publication of the think piece, more women surface weekly expressing gratitude to those two courageous subjects that provided a firsthand accounting of Claude McKnight’s wooing – and subsequent betrayal – of womankind upon which the essay is based.
Epic Irony. Man of God McKnight, holding himself out as a “reformed” sex addict, is now making the rounds as radio guest and public speaker to counsel others through their struggles. At the same time, the Take 6 frontman continues in the same aggressive pattern of predatory behavior. Just as “patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel” (Samuel Johnson 1709-1784), piety is the last refuge of the born again.
Ultimately, we are all responsible for our own actions. Inviting the deity of the day into one’s heart does not absolve that person of past wrongs. Nor does assigning blame to the folklore of devils, demons and succubi give one a pass. If a womanizer believes that his newfound personal relationship with a dashboard Jesus Christ is his salvation, god help those women in his future. Neither Mohammed, JC nor the Buddha can save a man from lustful loins. The only salvation from indiscriminate libido is a directed libido; only man can save himself from sexual folly. God has nothing to do with it. So long as it’s consensual and not duplicitous, that form of expression can be realized with the assistance of a girlfriend, wife or indulgent mistress. But I do believe one has to pick and choose and can’t lay claim to the entire box of bonbons.
So how is it we arrive at a place where rapacious, amoral womanizers like McKnight are a common fixture in society? We can turn to the nature versus nurture debate for answers. Nurture: McKnight was the product of an overly oppressive, strict religious environment where the healthy expression of human sexuality was most likely discouraged. He was scarred with abandonment issues when, at an early age, his mother and father divorced. There is a constant need for affirmation from women that was never provided by his mother. Nature: The presence of a chemical imbalance in his brain that results in sexual addiction. Some manner or form of obsessive compulsive disorder, misogyny and/or extreme narcissism.
These theories may provide clues as to part of the destructive behavior, but here is where they fall short: this is a man approaching 50 years of age.
Nature: At some point we must all make the conscious decision whether to acknowledge and overcome internal and external impediments to self-actualization. Therapy, a 12-step program, family, friends or one’s religious convictions can be drawn upon to facilitate and buttress that process, but they won’t bring about the necessary change absent honesty with self and society. 12-step programs have a 75-80% failure rate. Pharmacological and talking therapy fair somewhat better if there is continuity and long term commitment to the process. Religion, more often than not, is an enabler: it is the “quick fix” that fixes nothing, but nicely misdirects the masses while the penitent happily persists in old habits. There may be a brief suspension of the behavior attributable to the placebo effect of faith, but since the underlying disease or organic disorder has not been addressed in a medically efficacious manner, the subject behavior soon resumes.
Nurture: Most men and women would agree that McKnight’s behavior as outlined in Jesus is My Pimp Daddy is vile, deceitful, manipulative and opportunistic. While postulating and theorizing do not excuse such antics, there is some utility in striving for something greater than blanket, condemnatory statements. To dig deeper. To identify and analyze contributory factors. To disassemble and catalog Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory is a more productive undertaking than the caging of the monster. To shut down all such labs is an impossibility, but with an understanding of the elements and synthesis that yield the monster, one can identify the root source of the problem and curtail this form of ‘genetic and social engineering’.
Feminism as anachronism is one of the super conductors animating the good doctor’s monster with life force. Contemporary feminism has largely become an irrelevant and divisive academic exercise that plays favorites in malevolent fashion with differences intrinsic to each gender. In its literal connotation, “sexist” is not a pejorative word. “Homogeny”, as applied to the genders, does have a pejorative meaning. Male and female genders are not “equal” to one another. To the contrary, they are quite disparate. Rather than condemn one gender in order to elevate another, as feminism has often seemed intent on doing these past fifty years, those differences should be celebrated.
This is not to dismiss all of feminism or feminists as counterproductive. The first-wave of feminism and much of the second were essential in order to reform a patriarchal political, legal and economic structure to ensure equal economic, social and political rights for women. Unfortunately, certain factions in the second and third-waves of feminism departed from the reasoned and thoughtful platforms of Betty Friedan, in The Feminine Mystique, and Angela Davis, in Women, Race and Class.
There are the outright whack-jobs, like Andrea Dworkin, who asserts that any form of consensual sexual intercourse is akin to rape: “She is opened up, split down the center.” Dworkin argues, “A human being has a body this is inviolate; and when it is violated, it is abused . . . . Violation is a synonym for intercourse.” Dworkin concludes, “Intercourse in reality is a use and an abuse simultaneously, experienced and described as such, the act parlayed into the illuminated heights of religious duty and the dark recesses of morbid and dirty brutality.”
Intercourse, Chapter 7. Occupation/Collaboration. Dworkin, Andrea. 1987. http://www.nostatusquo.com/ACLU/dworkin/IntercourseI.html Post-feminist author, Angela McRobbie, contends that popular culture advances the notion that today’s woman enjoys equal opportunity in many respects, but is mis-portrayed in shows such as Sex and the City and Ally McBeal as longing for that one ideal man. Precisely. Most women do long for that one ideal man (or woman); albeit, the definition of “ideal” varies. While that may not be how some feminists prefer to be perceived, that is the message the majority of women in Western culture convey through their actions. Men do not always reciprocate in that sentiment, and that is often a source of contention between the sexes, but it is a legitimate, prevalent differentiation in orientation. Yes, this is a generalization and, as such, not applicable to all women, but it is a far more accurate generalization than that put forth by McRobbie.
Statistics show that, while as a society we have made great strides towards economic equality, there is not equal pay for equal work in all instances. Men should partner with women in eliminating what remains of the glass ceiling. From what I and my brethren have witnessed in the workplace, once those barriers are removed, women are fully capable of competing toe-to-toe with any man in the workplace. The tragedy is that once in a position of power, many women are far more ruthless and amoral in conducting business than their male counterparts. Ironically, this bloodlust is more often than not directed at female competitors, not males. A nihilistic and self-defeating tendency that does not bode well for furtherance of female domination in a capitalistic society.
Where third-wave and radical feminism stumbles is in the conviction that men and women should not only enjoy equal opportunity but should be “equal”. Thankfully, men and women are not, nor ever will be, equal or synonymous. One is not superior to the other, but they are distinct in how they walk, talk, think, act, react, aspire and love. All of which keeps the dynamic between the two genders a lively and productive one.
Which brings me full circle to Mr. McKnight. To reiterate, the man’s behavior has been deplorable. Let me be clear: to explain his behavior — or anyone’s behavior — is not to condone or excuse that behavior. I do not presume to know what led to his recidivist predacious exploitation of women. I do not know what makes McKnight tick or what sprung his spring. What I do know is that radical feminism’s attempts to emasculate and/or castrate men in order to remake them in its/her own image has the potential to aggravate and propagate this very sort of behavior. Men possess and regularly exercise the capacity for an appreciation of womankind’s intellectual and inner beauty. Women do not have a monopoly on trumpeting substance over form. That said, men are hard wired to be drawn to the physical — whether that is physical beauty or physical pleasure. I’m not suggesting women are exempt from this tendency. Helen Gurley Brown aside, however, more is generally required to satiate a woman than a man’s physical beauty, alone. Men make love with their eyes; women make love with their ears. It doesn’t hurt if the source of the verse assumes the corporeal form of a George Clooney, but this does tend to be the general rule of lust and often romance.
This phenomenon and distinction is neither bad nor good. It simply is. The problem is that this male trait has been stigmatized as an objectification of women, with man damned for its existence in his genetic code. That men often exhibit a passion for aesthetic beauty does not necessarily translate to objectification of a particular woman or womankind. Nor does it instill within all men a sense of entitlement to acquire or “conquest” women as one-dimensional objects or trophies.
Many feminists struggle with this notion. Some to the extent a violent manifesto is the end game. Such posturing does nothing more than undermine the intellectual integrity of otherwise valid tenets and risks making a burlesque of their overall platform. Sans pasties, I might add.
Are 21rst Century Claude McKnights — and his contemptible, destructive acts — a manifestation of the social rights pendulum swinging too far towards extreme feminism and, in the process, emasculating men, compromising their rights and aggravating a pre-disposition in some for aberrant behavior? Has the well-intentioned and necessary 1960’s feminist movement that began as an invitation and ended as denouncement with the ultimatum, “You’re either with us or you’re against us”, morphed into a form of reverse sexism? I maintain it has.
We now have a society where political correctness and sensitivity training have attained levels of the absurd, devolving to self-parody, and compromised the rights of men in the process. Men are shamed into telling women what they want to hear and not what men truly feel. Much of the progress in securing fundamental civil/economic/political/sexual rights for women that, unquestionably, should have been recognized by men at the outset, has been achieved in a mean spirited and retributive manner towards men, in general, unjustly faulting sons for the sins of their forefathers. Men can be obstinate, oppressive, cruel and territorial, so throwing some punches was necessary, but the level of virulence of that voice of late has been excessive. It has come at the cost of candor in relationships between men and women. Then we wonder why 75% of marriages end in divorce. I’m surprised the failure rate isn’t greater.
I would submit that there is a direct correlation between the reverse sexism and emasculation of the Western male by fringe elements of the feminist movement, and the logarithmic increase in the proliferation of pornography, strip clubs and prostitution within our society. All pornography is not bad. Much of it is enjoyed — and produced, authored, distributed and profited — by women, as well as men. Just as many progressive, liberated women enjoy the occasional visit to a men’s club.
Of late, though, erotica and adult entertainment have approached saturation levels. While this is largely attributable to ease of access in an Internet and wireless age, that is not the sole force behind this trend. With the growing feminization of the Western male, the natural balance of yin and yang, anima and animus, is thrown askew, resulting in an exaggerated and distorted male hyper-sexuality seeking recognition and expression in mediums both healthy and unhealthy, at times external to hearth and home. This does present a dilemma.
McKnight’s actions represent an extreme and unapologetic manifestation of this syndrome and cannot be pinned on the feminist movement, a doctrinaire theology, or absentee mother. Dr. McKnight’s monster has been effectively caged by vigilant women coming forward and reigning him in. There are gradations of this behavior, however, and some of that behavior is attributable in part to the oppression of the male identity through a self-serving, divisive, destructive and, ultimately, self-defeating post-feminist agenda that is as injurious to womankind as it is to mankind — if not more so.
Let us work together, men and women, to better understand and express our contrasting modalities. To acknowledge and accept our differences in an open, respectful and nonjudgmental manner. Embrace and celebrate human sexuality. It’s there to be enjoyed. It would be a shame to allow church, state or empty dogma from any quarter to muck that up.
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