A Quick Note: Fox News and the Nostalgia for ‘When Men Were Men’

There is a video circulating my newsfeed (which, if you haven’t figured out by now, is where I find most of my material…) Here. Enjoy.

Here is, in my opinion, the most dangerous quote: “…it emerges from this mindset that a lot of women have unfortunately bought into, this destructive idea that men prevent them from being able to achieve their goals.”

Now, this idea is super ridiculous. However, the distinction between men and the patriarchy is one that a lot of people do not grasp, and I get how this guy came to that conclusion. Let’s break it down: When women make 77 cents on the dollar of men, that is patriarchy working. When women are overwhelmingly the victims of spousal abuse and sexual violence, that is patriarchy working. When magazine covers feature glossy airbrushed photos of women that make women feel bad and keep us focused on our beauty as our most important asset, that is patriarchy. When women are still hitting a glass ceiling, absent in the top echelons and board rooms and decision making roles in virtually all industries and in politics, that is patriarchy working. When masculinity is linked with dominance and violence and not compassion or empathy, that is patriarchy working. It is not ‘men’ as a group that keep the oppressive status quo in place, it is in fact all of us that live our lives without challenging the patriarchal values and systems we see working around us. Women need not defeat men to live full lives and be seen as humans; we all need to defeat patriarchy.

Now, I’m not sure that the guy, Nick, gets that. He might and simply not care. Because pitting men and women against each other is a much better way to sell books and distract us from the real work of dismantling the very system he longs for. Nick isn’t anti-patriarchy at all, he is just pro-‘men being men.’ Because real men are dominant and run the world and real women are submissive and play a support role and damnit, that’s just how it’s supposed to be! This nostalgia for a by-gone (not totally by gone, but at least by-gone enough that we can use Mad Men as a reference point for then) era of male dominance is actually pretty disgusting. They aren’t even really arguing that it was better for women then, which is something they’ll sometimes throw out there, just that masculinity being complicated and evolving as a result of the work of feminists is hard for them and confusing and they just don’t wanna deal. Whine, whine, whine. ‘Wimps and wussies deliver mediocrity’ is a telling quote, because wimps and wussies are really code for ‘girly men.’ Men who display feminine characteristics, which are of course ‘feminine’ by cultural standards only. So it’s all about downgrading women and anything traditionally feminine, about keeping the lines clear and keeping the traditional and completely arbitrary rules of behavior in place. If you want the freedom to live your life the way you see fit, without worrying about fitting in to the rigid boxes we’ve created for ‘real men’ and ‘real women’, then you should rally with the feminists that are working to undo the world that this guy wishes we could return to.

Ok. End of rant. I could go on for days but, let’s just agree to not watch Fox news and not buy this guys book. Also I didn’t mention anything about the fact that he’s Australian because the patriarchy is everywhere and his ideas are gross so it doesn’t really matter where he hails from. Ew.

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