Monday, August 28, 2006

Feminization of America? No, the Neuterization of America

Warning: Long post. I'm still working on the ideas herein.

This post is an essay about how a "neuterized" America creates social chaos that eventually affects political, social and defense policy. (By the way the word "neuterizing" does not officially exist. I suggest that the definition be: eliminating both the male and female gender tendencies in an attempt to create an androgynous utopian society.)
Women and Men are Different
This weekend I read a wonderful post by The Anchoress about her protective, strong sons and big, burly men as dance partners. She talks about the joy of the sense of being protected in a man's embrace.

It is a strong desire for a woman to be protected and cared for by a man. Most women, anyway. The rest are tied up in knots trying to be everything to everyone and needing nothing from no one no how. And even still, feminist women prefer that their men make more than them and are taller than them. Why the arbitrariness of more money and height? Feminists would say socialization. I would say 'cuz we're made that way. And who cares anyway? It is what it is.

Why fight it? Viva la differance!

Last year, when we watched Hurricane Rita march up the Gulf and into Galveston, I wrote about my gratitude for all the men. Big, strong, serious, protective men doing the grocery shopping (going out and hunting food and fighting off competition to feed the brood), boarding up homes (buzz saws and bolts, sweat and muscle and mission), and loading up the guns, and procuring the water and "hunkering down" (the press's favorite phrase) for the coming storm.

Men don't get the opportunity to demonstrate manliness much anymore in everyday life. Oh, there's the softball league ("three homers hon"), or dove hunting ("I shot me fifteen birds!") and of course, the getting into a stare-down with the IRS. Bah. Modern life just doesn't showcase a man in all his manly glory like the old days. There are bright exceptions: a shirtless, muscles-rippling bearhug given to children "helping" to wash the car. Now that's manly. And rather exciting to this old wife. But I digress.

The Anchoress linked to this post by Fausta and she says this (the whole post is worth reading and pondering) about why life is hard for men:

The Church of Oprah
One of the central tenets of the Church of Oprah is that women are inherently better than men. A corollary of that is that women are more nurturing than men.

This point of view has been erroneously based on the fact that men are not women.

While the women's movement might want to believe that men are hirsute women with different plumbing, they are mistaken. No matter how they cut it, one fact remains
Men are not women, and women are not men.
That doesn't mean they have nothing in common, either. A former Oprah protege has made piles of money - has actually created an industry - out of the premise "men are from Mars and women are from Venus" (if you want to look it up, knock yourself out, I'm not linking to it). Nonsense. Women and men are made of the same clay. Just because men are not women doesn't mean they come from another planet.

Jeff Foxworthy has said "Men are simple creatures. They want a beer, and they want to see something naked" which, if you ask the average Joe, is true. Let's divide Jeff's statement in two parts and see what this means, in Oprahspeak:
a. "they want a beer": men don't like to talk about their feelings. In fact, the more you insist that a man discuss his feelings at length, the more he will resent you. Since the Church of Oprah is based on confessional feelings, this invariably leads to problems among its adherents. Rather than fill six verbal pages of conversation about his feelings, a man will rather sit down, have a beer and enjoy a moment of emotional peace and quiet. That's what Jeff means by "they want a beer".

b. "they want to see something naked": they do because it's in their wiring. As Ron White put it, "once you've seen a naked woman, you want to see them all."
Men and women have been having sex with each other without love for as long as there've been men and women. However, while I have known two severely emotionally damaged women who truly loved men and not desire them, I've never even heard of a man who did not desire the woman he loved. A man may not love a woman he desires, but a man can not not desire a woman he loves. That's just the way it works.
(see also this gentleman's comment)
I've always loved men. This statement may seem absurd. Of course, Melissa, you love men. You've been married over 15 years. True. But how many married, and single, women do you know who despise men? Bitter with disappointment because the man doesn't measure up to some feminized Oprah ideal, women try to make over their man, or any man, into something he can't be.

Now this is not to excuse borish, horrible behavior. Can we just agree that rape is out of bounds behavior? It's understood, right?

The reason I say this, is because I received this anonymous (shocking) comment in regards to the latest Duke Rape case info coming out of the New York Times. First, I took issue with the Time's writers emphasis and editorial, and second, I took issue with the portrayal of the Lacrosse Players and alleged victim. Here is what the commenter said:
Not very many Non-misandry feminist can stand you. Most recognize you as a joke.
What is a "Non-misandry feminist", first of all? I am not: "not a man-hater". This term is negative to start. The better word might be pro-andry (for men) or androphilia (man-loving--although the latter term is used to denote sexuality--which would be true in my case--but has been co-opted by the transgendered to clarify their ambiguous sexuality.) More semantic gymnastics that confuse and obfuscate understood meanings and accepted norms.

And what of the charged word "feminist"? I am definitely pro-woman. But feminist means all kinds of politics and ideologies I don't identify myself with. Pro-gyny? Wow, that's awfully close to progeny, isn't it? Any consistent reader of my blog knows that I support women's equal rights, but "egalitarianism" stops short because while it is evident to me that men and women have equal value, they are not the same.

What I object to in our modern society is painting normal male behavior and normal female behavior as bad. Women "breeders" are painted as parasitic, no-minds intent on living off of society and men, as opposed to contributing through the loving rearing of children as their first priority. Men "aggressors" are painted as unevolved Neanderthals intent on bringing women low with abuse, rape and domination.

The above view is insane. The most unique and lovely aspect of womanhood (bearing and caring for children) is vilified. The most unique and impressive aspect of men ( protecting and providing for the family) is vilified.

All this doesn't mean that women can't work. Or that women can't provide for their family. Or that men can't nurture. Or that men can't care. Fiddlesticks! The manifestation of providing, caring, nurturing just tends to look different from men to women. Big shock! They're different. There are genetic, Darwinian, and/or created, and/or intelligently designed, tendancies that ensure our species survival. Men don't have a uterus and women don't have a .... Do I have to spell this out?

Part of the problem for men today, is that their aggressive, conquering nature is minimized by women hoping men will be like them. So rather than channelling and harnessing this raw energy, it is denied and vilified.

A friend of ours who is an ex-professional sports player lamented that men in real-life can't "sort things out simply anymore". He was mystified and irritated with the back-stabbing, cruel, sabotaging behavior in his current professional life at a Tech firm that he thought could best be solved by "taking it outside and then be done with it". It worked really well in sports, he said. Clarified things.

All this leads me to a comment that MaxedOutMama brought up that she "feared the feminization of our culture". I have been pondering this notion, but I'm not sure it's quite right. I think the modern feminist movement has pushed a neuterization of our culture.

The essence of femaleness, the essence of masculinity is being pressed through an androgynous mould where we end up with wussified metrosexuals (all grooming and sexual grazing) and butch babes (all power grabs and gonads).

The emphasis both ways is self and self-gratification, either through money accumulation and/or sexual conquest. Is this the ideal those bent on gender-equity have fought for, lo, all these years? That men and women are essentially flawed and must "evolve" into one genderless, narcisstic being?

I'm not sure this "neuterization" was the goal, but that is where we are in America now. The result has been confused, used, materialistically wealthy and spiritually empty people seeking meaning everywhere but where it can be found: through faith, family and fidelity.

How did neuterization happen?
Modern feminists aren't alone in bringing about gender neuterization. Social policies put forth by "free love" men and women started a revolution with significant unintended consequences.

Men, more than women, supported (and support) abortion, because, in my view, they were (and continue to be) the chief beneficiaries. The social stigma associated with being pregnant out of wedlock (doesn't that sound quaint?), and resulting marriage crimped a man's "playuh" style and his selfish budget forever. Women forced to marry the father of their baby (the euphamism "fetus" wasn't heavily used back in the day) was stuck with an often (not always) less-than-desirable marriage candidate (demonstrating little self-control, little respect) and divorce was considered shameful. So, in a sense, they both reaped what they soed. They often struggled financially because education and advancement got short-circuited. They often were young and overwhelmed.

And still, society benefitted. Children were generally raised with their biological mom and dad. They often were surrounded by extended family, the ones who enforced the "shot gun marriage". It might not have been pleasant all the time, but at least a whole subclass of women trying to be the mother and the father didn't exist as a huge chunk of the population--25% now of white children are raised without their fathers.

Because abortion short-circuits the man's attachment to the mother of his child, men grow callous to women and view them as a means to getting a sexual need met, nothing more. They view responsibility to the woman or child with contempt, because they no longer control when and if that responsibility happens. It used to be that they could assume that they would have to "make it right". The "shot-gun marriage" enforced positive changes in unchecked male behavior. Men enjoyed the provider and protector status. This assumption helped to make men men. Predatory behavior was shamed. (I'm not saying it never happened.)

Now, they may or may not be held responsible by a woman they may or may not love. No one likes to be helpless. And no one likes to live with consequences they don't believe is their problem to accept. Thus the new men's rights movement, which is just a code-phrase for "leave all children behind". While the men and women run around feverishly protecting their "rights", guess who is the pawn in the war? It's not like some car or debt is being faught over, it's a person.

Because abortion short-circuits a woman's attachment to herself, women grow callous to children and view them as a noose rather than a blessing. They despise their own bodies and force a detachment to their own creative life-force. They view men as the perpetrator of a crime when inpregnated. They view men through the spectrum of sexual satisfaction disrupted by an unintended side-effect.

A woman can bring home the bacon, fry it, love a man and leave him, until she has enough notches in her belt to decide to accomplish a child. Or she might decided to "keep" the unintended "fetus" because "the time is right" for her. She has joined men in the love 'em and leave 'em club, except she must divorce her own body to do it.

The resulting human being (this is not a stock portfolio or hamburger being created afterall) must be cared for, but by whom? The child is then put in daycare. There may or may not be a man needed for more than the conceiving part of child accomplishment.

A woman is less than if she wants to care for the child. She is parasitic. She has bought the hype that only a dupe would want to breed and nurture. She pumps her breasts for as long as she can stand it. She finds a day care. She works, unwilling to forgo her career. Why should she?

A man is less than if he wants to work and support the family and show his love by doing this. He is less than if he wants to show his kids how to turn a wrench and wrestle roughly. He must accept that the woman may or may not have the baby. He must accept that he may or may not be involved with the raising of the baby. He must communicate like a girl and think like a woman if he is to gain entry into the family home.

This ambiguity creates a social mess. All around America today, women attempt the impossible: to be a mother and a father. All around America today, men displaying hyper-aggressive dominance and death-tempting criminality are viewed in some sections as "manly" or they simply don't exist or they are passive by-standers in their family's life.

Children today are being neither adequately feminized or masculinized.
They are being institutionalized.
The institutionalization results in Neuterizing.
Children, divided between divorced parents with no consistent role models suffer. Children, the results of selfish parents refusing to change their career paths and life choices, to, heaven forbid "sacrifice" lack present role models. Children, introduced to groups of children as infants, cannot possibly receive the one-on-one attention that a devoted mother can give. Higher-order notions such as love or belonging needs are silly notions when eating and safety needs are barely met. Kids are working in survival mode. Their parents are too.

The result is atrophy of the family and of positive feminine and masculine role models: a society ambivalent about everything. Neuterization.

Neuterization & Public Policy
We are a double-minded America. Uncomfortable with shows of force, uncomfortable with shows of sacrifice, we are dithering to destruction.

Sacrifice for others, putting another human being's needs above our own (a feminine trait) is scorned. Any woman who has given birth knows that she must surrender her body to the birth of that child. Many interventions throughout pregnancy and birth are just a metaphor for avoiding the nurturing, female, surrendering aspect of self.

Conversely, the authoritarian use of power is almost uniformly scorned as well. There is no notion of misuse or abuse of power. Power itself is to be condemned and avoided.

The politically correct view is that children don't need their moms or their dads and that women don't need men.

This translates into the modern secular worldview: no one should have to sacrifice their own desires (socialism) to nurture those in need (elders, children, family, spouses) and no one should ever use power to affect change (pacifism)--punishment, war. Some have called all this "rational egoism", but I dont' think that philosophy goes far enough.

Hatred for both the essential uniqueness of men and women have created a hostile environment for all people. The unintended consequences of neuterizing--both men and women feel betrayed by their innate gender tendencies and with their self-loathing project this hatred on society.

Maureen Dowd is a perfect neuterized example. Things like lipstick and stillettos and sex substitute for feminity. She is liberated, but still considers herself "feminine" because of superficialities. She's enslaved by destructive dogma. Unable to connect for fear of self-loss. Unable to procreate for fear of surrender to something bigger. Distrustful of both men and women, she has locked herself in a neuterized world where the only reason for sexual plumbing is sex--all other gender traits must be expunged. Need, connection, relying, perhaps, on a man's strength would diminish, rather than compliment her. Why, today's woman is essentially a man in drag, strong, costumed jeweled and wearing four-inch platforms.

Simple social acts entwined in society become gut-wrenching dilemmas: should she allow him to open the door, pay for a bill, lead the conversation, lead a dance? Should she sleep with him on the first date? Should she want a relationship or is that a set-up for disappointment. Just have fun?

For a man, does even wanting a relationship enslave a woman? Should he open the door, pay the bill, wait on sex out of respect? Will he be viewed as an old-fashioned putz? Will he be viewed as not manly? Will he be viewed as aggressive? A throw-back?

And don't get me started on the waxing Dandies, delicately brushing out their Beemer, careful to not sully their suit, while preparing to go get a massage after talking to their shrink for an hour. Far too many men wouldn't know what to do with a chain-saw or a lawn-mower or any other implement used to fix something.

And how do these trends genralize to society?

Do we put predators in prison or hang them (heavens no!) or do we "rehabilitate" them? Do we legalize sex with 12 year olds or younger? All people are sexual.

Do we wage war against someone who might dominate us? But isn't that dominating? That would be aggressive. That would be wrong. We need to use words, not swords.

Some say that our society is too feminized. But I don't think so. I don't believe the true essence of feminity is any more honored than the true essence of masculinity. No, our society is neuterized. Driftless on the gender sea, uncomfortable with who and what we are, eliminating our discomfort by eliminating fetuses and any other evidence that men and women are different.

The problem: gender differences ensure our survival not only as a species but as a society, but there is a concerted effort to create a neuterized utopian society. Sameness equals goodness. For some, clinging to supposedly "outmoded" notions of gender uniqueness is archaic and an attempt to subjugate women and elevate men.

Is it any wonder this country is at war with itself?


MaxedOutMama said...

Wonderful. Very apt. You are correct. It's not a true feminization, but a neutering of ourselves that is happening.

It's a fake femininity that's being held up as the role model. It's a sick celebration of helplessness when we're not truly helpless.

Thank you for making this effort.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Interesting and thoughtful. Not sure, though, about the neuterization. It seems to me that the personalities of radical feminists are frequently at extreme female end of a male-female scale. For instance, they rarely seem to be interested in traditionally male-oriented things like science or engineering. They are often obsessed with their reproductive systems, even if they don't plan to ever use them. And I don't think the church of Oprah is particularly neuter, more stereotypically female.

Melissa Clouthier said...

There is no question that Oprah is "stereotypically female." And many feminists are obsessed with women and women's parts, but the obsession is about how to avoid the entrapment of womanhood--making or raising babies, marriage, affinity for men. The result is that in appearance and ideal, swing toward the masculine. They hate men, but they are totally incongruent with womanhood.

They attempt to become devoid of any gender tendencies. Oprah's viewership and extreme feminists are not of the same ilk. While Oprah's viewership buys the crap and attempts to feminize their men, feminists try to masculinize women as well as feminize men.

The feminist's goals have trickled to women, too. Thus the ambivalence about motherhood by many women of this generation.

Christine said...

Great post!!

Anonymous said...

Contrast this metrosexual/neuterization with the hypermasculinity of Islam, whose male-supremacist angle not only promises protection for men, but PAYBACK.

A fight to the death between a yapping, vibrating, pee-all-over-the-floor metrosexual lapdog and a wild jackal fresh off the Arabian desert howling "ALLAHU AKBAR!" can have only one outcome.

Anonymous said...

As a long time MRA (Men's Rights Activist) I must take exception to your characterization of the Men's Rights movement as being "just a code-phrase for "leave all children behind". " Your contempt for the concept is puzzling, given the context of the essay decrying the neuterization of both sexes. The most active and visible part of the Men's Rights movement is the various Father's Rights organizations with men fighting tooth and nail for the right to remain an active part of their children's lives. Even as I write this, John Murtari lies in a hospital bed with a feeding tube to prevent him from dying as a result of a hunger strike to bring attention to the way men are marginalized from the family and from their children by the current state of family law.

Another recent but growing part of the MRM, is Men Going Their Own Way. A rapidly growing number of men, of all ages, are so digusted by the gruesome travesty which has become modern femininity that they are simply turning their backs on American (and other western) women and either seeking foreign wives, or entering a spontaneous form of a new voluntary priesthood.

My question to you, and all the female readers of your blog, is where have you been during the past 2 gruesome decades while this social breakdown you now decry was all coming about? Why have women remained so strangely silent on the topic of loving men and masculinity, while a few mentally ill women have been allowed to run rampant, driving stakes through the masculine heart?

Why did you women desert us men, leaving us to fight this cultural insanity alone, and believing that you hated us every bit as much as the deacons of the Church of Oprah?

Melissa Clouthier said...

Well, 20 years ago I was 17 years old and having fun dating manly men. Over the last 20 years I've been with/married to a manly man. I've been blogging for a year and since I've been blogging I've decried many negative social trends. Selfish divorce has been just one trend.

But here is my problem with the men's and women's movement when it comes to divorce. What I see is this: It's all about MEEEEEE! The children get left behind in "my rights".

Here are some possible conversation snippets:
"I don't care if he has a ball game, it's my weekend." How about going to him?
"This is Darla. She's going to be your new mom."
"Fred will be only staying the weekend."
"You're going to like her/his kids, you'll see."

It sounds like you view yourself as a victim. That's too bad. You would be falling into the same trap feminists fell into back in the day. They still haven't gotten out. I hope the same thing doesn't happen to men, but it looks like it already has. Wasted energy, Zed.

Not all women are emasculating bitches and not all men are abusive rapists. Not all American women have bought the neuterization line. Not all American men have either.

It is possible to retain your feminity or masculinity and enjoy a marriage of equals, but gender differences must be acknowledged otherwise marriages will breakdown under the weight of impossible expectations.

While feeling bad for the state men occupy today, please consider that you are not alone. Women who embrace motherhood, and I'm not talking about moms who view their kid as the latest accessory to a glam life, are the object of as much contempt as men these days.

Victimhood ain't pretty. And I wish both ends would give up the language and start moving toward what they want instead of bemoaning what they don't. That's a more challenging proposition. Perhaps that's why people don't do it.

Anonymous said...

No, Melissa, I don't view myself as a victim, but I have watched these social trends for a long time and a lot of people either fed into them, or were so busy entertaining themselves that they failed to notice what was happening. It sounds like you have a bit of "it's all about meeeee" going yourself.

Have a great day.

Papa Ray said...

From my POV, the problem you discuss is just one aspect of a larger problem, Divorce.

Yes, divorce is a needed escape from some marriages that have abuse present. I have seen three kinds of abuse in my personal life.

First at age 38 I was told I wasn't "the one" any more. That was in 1975. She wanted to part friends and of course she wanted full custody of our two children. I was later to find out all this came about from her association with a group of femimists which I thought were just a new group of women friends that were helping abused children. Was I at fault for not knowing what was really going on, not paying more attention, not spending more time at home, instead of working 70-80 hours a week? Yep, the divorce was my fault as I came to look back on it.

Then my daughter got married, after only six years, she decided that she didn't want to be married to her husband because he prefered the beer drinking company of his friends more than her.
Her husband did drink beer and did play with his male friends but much less than most men I knew. But there was a communication problem there somewhere and he didn't see it and act on it.

Then after 16 years in an abusive marriage, my son finally got the balls to divorce his mentally disturbed alcholic wife. It nearly killed him, and she has still abused him since by making it hard for him to see his children and by causing him problems with employers, friends and family. Restraining orders mean nothing to her.

So, in my family, things are not neutral nor are they connected to the big picture of feminity or masculinity, but to ignorance and selfishness.

So, I don't know if your worrys are valid or not, but I can say that divorce is way too easy, and something should be done about it unless there is abuse involved. What can be done, I don't know, I'm just an old man retelling a story, but marriage needs to be something other than what it has evolved into.

Papa Ray

SC&A said...

Great, great post.

See this, for your consideration:

Anonymous said...

Dr. Melissa: Excellent work. Gerard Vanderleun wrote something along similar lines on AmericanDigest about a year ago ("The Voice Of The Neuter Is Heard Throughout The Land") that I've been turning over in my head ever since.

Anonymous said...

I realize this blog is old. I certainly hope you have learned more about men in those two years. I refer to the statement that MRA's are about "leaving children behind."

I have been an MRA/FRA since 1978. Like most men in those days I became involved after being separated from my children, though I was the aggrieved party. A lawless ex-wife coupled with lawless judges who refuse to enforce valid court orders for visitation saw to it I was the one left behind. She is deceased; I have been married 33 years and have grandkids, whom I do get to see if I wish.

Starting around ten years ago, MRA's changed. They are now very often are young men who observe the treatment older men have received and are receiving. They are well aware that marriage means a 40% chance of divorce, most often due to the wife's adultery, coupled with orders for child support payments that are not linked to actual income. Need I mention that the kids are still very often gone from them? They know getting married does not mean children for them, though of course it does for women.

So, these young men realize marriage is simply not a good idea.

However, MRA message boards often incude discussions about locating surrogate mothers who will let a man have babies for a fee. And, which country to expat where one can count on not losing one's kids because some fiend decides she wants another man.

Some men may not wish to have children for a variety of valid reasons. But, I have seen nothing about MRA's which would justify such a strange statement.

Unknown said...







Anonymous said...