Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Backsassin' a Feminist

Note to readers: Before you read this post, and the one before, go read Time to Bring Back BACKSASS, which serves as an introduction to my comments about both Raven and Christine, who posted to/about me at the Civil War Memory blog.

Following The Raven's, um, pithy and cogent post (smirk) already dealt with here, Christine M. Smith posted:

I'm sorry, but I can't help but "throw my oar" in on this one. Let's hear it for "the pernicious fallout of the sexual revolution" and "the dark underbelly of of radical feminism".
By all means! Let's hear it for hating men. Let's hear it hating them, but wanting to be like them. Let's hear it for joining with Jessica Valenti in making sluthood respectable! Let's hear it for inventing the phony "rape culture" on college campuses. Let's hear it for mindless hookups and one-night-stands. Let's hear it for women moving into every aspect of the job market and taking jobs from men -- except for the dangerous ones (men still constitute 94% of workplace deaths and 97% of military combat deaths). Let's hear it for putting our college men into "re-education" classes to teach them to hate their masculinity and define themselves as dangerous rapists. Let's hear it for "title-nining" men's collegiate sports out of existence to accomodate women who aren't interested in sports.

Let's hear it for killing a million preborn babies every year -- just in the USA. Let's hear it for the fatherless family, which results in some of the worst social pathologies in our culture:

85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes (Source: Center for Disease Control)
90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)
71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (Source: National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)
75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes (Source: Rainbows for all God's Children.)
63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)
80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes (Source: Criminal Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26, 1978)
70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept 1988)
85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home (Source: Fulton Co. Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. of Corrections 1992)

These statistics translate to mean that children from a fatherless home are:
5 times more likely to commit suicide.
32 times more likely to run away.
20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders.
14 times more likely to commit rape
9 times more likely to drop out of high school.
10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances.
9 times more likely to end up in a state-operated institution.
20 times more likely to end up in prison.

Gimme a break.

Christine continues:

Look at all they have done for Connie. They have given her life meaning and purpose AND also, might I add, helped her to be able to do write what she writes. Sure we had women writers before the SR and RF, but we have many more now that we've had it and they are writing the gamut from "literary" fiction ( always hate to use that term because I'm never quite sure that all fiction isn't literary in some way) to erotica!
This is hilarious. First, my life was given meaning and purpose by God, and the meaning and purpose was given depth and richness by family, work and interests. Some godless, leftist philosophy with the hatred of men at its core doesn't impart meaning or purpose -- at least, not any worth having.

No feminist helped me to write what I write, except, perhaps, by providing the model for the antagonist in Southern Man.

If more women can write now, it's because men have made it possible. In the 20th Century, men invented labor-saving devices that freed housewives from the drugery of housework, freeing them up to go to school or take jobs and yes, write novels. So if you write -- thank a man for inventing everything that made it possible to write in the past -- machinery to harvest trees for paper, and the labor of the harvesting; the printing press (Thanks, Mr. Gutenberg), book-binding, typewriters, offset printers, vehicles for shipping books, and more... These were the work of men. M. E. N, men. And men make it possible to write the way we do today. Men invented computers, the Internet, industrial laser printers, Look around you; nearly everything you see was invented by a man or men. Women may write, thanks to men -- but they don't invent. Sorry, they just don't.

Somewhere in there Connie falls and she has a right to write what she does.
Yes, I do. I know that distresses folks like you. It really sticks in your craw for people you don't believe deserve praise or honor (for example, Southern white men, unless they're bleeding heart liberals) to be praised or honored. You know what? Tough.
However, this quote from her web page from her book pretty much says it all:
Quotables from Southern Man
“I know it hurts you to think there are people who believe you did what you’re accused of. But they’re not our people. ... They’re the people who hate you, anyway, because you’re a Christian man, and you have a family you love and take care of. They’re the people who want me to support myself, they want the government to raise the children, and they want you to disappear. Don’t give their opinions any weight, not any, for one second longer.”
Patty Stevenson to her husband, Troy
This quote, while taken out of context, perpetuates the ideas elsewhere on her page. She is always seeking to lay blame, couching it in the less than subtle terms as "the other".
Always? Really? Always? My, my. I do believe Christine has fallen into The Raven's habit of making judgments about huge things based on a tiny sampling that may not even be representative. Take, for example, this quote. Seventy-four words out of a 120,000-word novel that she hasn't even read. Thus, she doesn't know that the protagonist's wife is the one who "blames others" -- and vocalizes it only two or three times. The protagonist, Troy Stevenson, puts most of the blame on ... himself. It's called "personal responsibility" or "taking responsibility for your own actions". What a letdown, huh, Christine? I know that disappoints you.
And because this is still America, she has every right to do so. Others have the right to disagree. She makes it terribly hard for people who want to write substantive works of fiction about the south, to do so.
This is the funniest thing in her entire post, simply because I've been here before. You gotta hear this folks.

Years ago, I was in an internet chatroom with a bunch of critics of the Confederacy and disapprovers of Southern heritage. This was back when I was publishing my original 180 Degrees True South e-zine. One day a young fellow who was a member there (who, incidently, hated my guts) -- I'll refer to him as X -- posted:

You know, I'd have a lot more respect for the neo-Confederates if they would just be honest about the Confederacy and stop with the "happy darkie" stories and the ole " the north had slavery too" argument. It's all shallow and historically dishonest.

It seems to me they could take the moral high ground and admit to the negatives while still honoring the common soldier, but that's just me. I think the League of the South and other neo-confederate groups are making it very hard for people like me to be proud of our confederate ancestors. I think there is a big difference between honoring the common solider (sic) and worshiping (sic) at the alter of the League of the South.

Well, that just begged for commentary in One-Eighty, so here's what I wrote:

... don'tcha really, really wonder how the League "makes it hard" for X to honor his Confederate ancestors? I'm trying to picture how they do that. I'm trying real hard. Do you suppose, every time he starts to feel a little Confederate pride creeping up on him, a couple of dudes from the League, wrapped in trenchcoats with the collars turned up and fedoras pulled down over their eyes, come to his house and break his thumbs? No? Then how do you suppose they do it?

If X wants to honor his Confederate ancestors, there's nothing stopping him. Nothing, zero, zilch, nada. He can do it, if he wants to, no matter what the League does -- or doesn't do. He can do it whether the League even exists or not. Pardon me for stating the obvious like this, but some folks have blinded themselves to the obvious and you sometimes have to point it out.

Any proSoutherners out there amongst my readership who "worship at the altar of the League of the South"? Well, tell me about it, will ya? I wasn't even aware that the League HAD an altar....

I find myself in the same hilarious situation with Christine. Now, would anybody out there care to venture a guess as to how I make it hard for people who want to write substantive works of fiction about the south, to do so? Does Southern Man give off some kind of vibration that causes people's hands to swell up, like Chris Pine in Star Trek, so that they can't type? Maybe she thinks *I* use a crystal ball, chicken bones or Miss Cleo, to determine who is contemplating writing "substantive works of fiction about the south" -- and then call 'em, write 'em or email 'em with the dire warning, "If youse knows what's good for youse, youse'll stop tinking about writin' that "substantive work of fiction about the sout'." Or... "You write-a substantive work-a fiction about-a the south, I break-a you face..."

No, the fact is, this claim of hers is utterly risible. I am not making it "terribly hard for people who want to write substantive works of fiction about the south, to do so," or for anyone to write anything about anything.

What this is, ladies and gentlemen, is a very transparent (and totally ineffective) attempt to put the chill on make me feel guilty about preventing the writing of "substantive fiction" about the South; to bring on pretzelizing attacks of guilt and remorse so I'll stop this glorification of Southern men, stop being so pleased with my region, its history and culture, and don the race-and-slavery hairshirt liberals think is the proper attire for generational Southerners. The answer is no.

1 comment :

  1. Southern manhood isn't necessarily an antithesis of feminism, in my opinion.

    Barring an extreme minority, feminists don't "hate" men, and no one is trying to paint them all as rapists. Quite the opposite, most of the college workshops (at least, all the one's I've been involved with) agree that most men are good man, urging to join together against the micro-minority that commits sexual violence.

    Our concern is with "bystander culture," which allows "normal nice guys" to ignore signs of abuse, or excuse sexist behavior. Rape culture reffers the the culture of masculine power, domination, competition and men acting like jerks. What feminists define as 'rape culture' is exactly what Southern mothers raised their boys NOT to be.

    Patrick Swayze played some roles (including Confederate Orry Maine in North and South), which in my opinion demonstrated correct manhood. Being strong enough to address violent/confrontational situations when it is necessary, but being courteous and genteel up to the very moment when you have no other choice. Have you seen North and South? Orry was a powerful, Southern man but did not often exhibit the rage, agression, competition and senseless brutality that defines "rape culture." He not too tough to cry or express love. Despite some flaws (he did get drunk and slap his sister once), the Orry Main character demonstrated how a man can control himself, be gentle and humble yet be a fierce warrior at the same time.

    An example of "rape culture" men would be professional wrestlers. They tend to exhibit extreme muscles, bizzare appearance and hyper-masculine attitudes that glorify violence. Sometimes they are demeaning to women (who are often paraded around as eye-candy in bikinis). It's all fun and games, with no "real" violence. But it still fosters a culture where little boys are taught to talk smack and fight it out.

    Gangsta rappers are another example, with their violent lyrics, drug refferences, glorifying "pimps" and slamming "hoes." It's a disgusting, and very much against the traditional family values. Rappers and wrestlers couldn't be any further from the old Southern ideals of manhood.

    We're not against men being strong, but simply telling them that they don't have to adhere to one narrow view of manhood, especially if it's a violent or harmful view.

    There are some good causes within feminism, and not EVERYONE involved with feminism is against men or hating fathers. Some of them (myself included) do not support abortion. There is a lot of variety.


Comments are welcome, but monitored.