Romance is civilized, civility is romantic -or- Why I am not a feminist

I notice something I think is creepy in the current generation. The guys either seem too girlish or too masculine. They lack that proper blend of courtesy and willing-to-fight-duels sort of behavior we see in Victorian and Renaissance gentlemen, or other times in history when the men were both highly civilized and kicked ass like nobody’s business. It is a curious blend: a man polite enough to wait while you picked up your dropped epee, honest enough to show up at the dueling field at dawn as promised, and warlike enough to wound or kill you when you needed it. The guys these days are either over-macho, like Ahnold the Terminator, or over-effete, like Orlando Bloom or the girlish Johnny Depp. Neither one of them are a John Wayne or Sir Lancelot, men deadly and hard-handed on the battlefield, but courteous and gentle in court. Something very precious and romantic in the masculine character is missing. Chivalry is dead.

There is a parallel to the loss of the modern feminine mystique: women tend to be either occupying male roles as fighting-men (Xena, Keira Knightly the Pirate Queen), or they are absurdly sexualized (Madonna, Britney)– but the glamor and romance of someone like Katharine Hepburn is gone. Women are less mysterious these days, because they are supposed to be blunt and crude like men, but the loss of mystery means a loss of mystique, and romance without the romance is just raw sex. Like anything raw, it is somewhat unappealing.

The reason for the paradox is that the feminist mindset pursues the goal via the wrong means. Simple justice demands that women be treated with the same respect men get: but feminists seem to think this means being treated as men are treated. The feminist interprets this to demand is that ladies no longer be ladylike, and men no longer be gentlemen. But when men are not gentlemen, they act according to young-bachelor-male standards of values, which, frankly, are pagan and barbaric. So, in order to be equal with men, the feminist wrongly concludes the woman should act and be treated! the rough way these primitive barbaric males act: not the gentlemen of the court, but the guys in the locker room.

But the guys in the locker room establish a male pecking order based on strength and aggression, and that reputation for aggression called honor. Honor is something women don’t understand, don’t like, and don’t do very well. Honor involves fighting when you don’t need to fight, so that friend and foe alike has no reason to doubt your quality when you do need to fight. The women thrown into that system falls short in the pecking order: she is not as manly as they young barbarians. If she is not treated like a lady, an object of respect, if she is just one of the guys, she is treated as a small, frail, guy. A guy without a dick. A girlish girl is a girl, and object of gentle love and adoration. But if she is one of the guys, a girlish guy is a sissy, an object of contempt.

The mystical Christian attitude which makes weak things into holy things is lost when we return to the pagan barbarian days. The pagans were a reasonable, straightforward peoples: they looked quite reasonably at the weakness of womanhood, and quite reasonably decided to exploit and oppress the weaker sex, and so all of human history has done. China and India and the bloody civilizations of pre-Columbian South America had many great accomplishments: but nowhere on Earth is there any hint of the concept of the equality of women, outside of Christendom.

Well, the feminists are not about to admit weakness, so they have to deny femininity. When, for the reasons given above, the boys in the locker room treat the women like sissies, the feminist demand is that the locker room now be policed by the thought-police, and that men be touch to be soft and emotional and sensitive to the feelings of others, so that we will all be sissies together. This has an effect beyond the locker room, of course: male friendships become rare and tenuous, and the conduct of the nation in wartime becomes increasingly neurotic and dishonorableneed I actually give examples of this, or have you read the papers lately?

( I mean both the antiwar movement on the Left and the pro-torture talk on the Right. Resorting to torture is is a womanish way to fight a war. The Sioux braves were not the one that tortured missionaries that fell into their handsthat task was left to the squaws. )

The reasonable and straightforward feminist demand that women be equal to men has somehow corroded into the unreasonable demand that women be masculine (something to which they are not suited by nature or upbringing) and that men be effete, and so no one, male or female, ends up being very good at or very comfortable in his role.

The place it strikes me as particularly odd is in movies. We live in a day and age when the equality of the sexes is as complete as possible, and yet, by and large, women in movies are cast in roles as sex objects and sexy action heroes, and there is no work for actresses above 30, or in roles as wives, mothers, businesswomen, newspaperwomen, politicians, leaders, what-not. They never play a role model worthy of respect. The paradox is that this age of female equality has led to less respect for women, not more, at least insofar as our popular entertainments are concerned: women are nowadays routinely portrayed in degrading situations, or used and abused as sex objects, which is the mere opposite of what any (sane) feminist would wish upon her sisters.

The strongest and best portrayal of a woman character I’ve seen recently was the schoolteacher on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, who, due to the death of the President and all his secretaries, finds herself in the role of President, and must live up to the responsibilities as the civilian leader of a beaten and broken population.

Oddly enough, the worst portrayal of a woman character, and one for whom I could not suspend my disbelief, was the portrayal of a blonde hottie as the cigar-smoking, whiskey-drinking, hotshot pilot Starbuck. The scene where she takes a swing at her C.O., and he punches her, epitomized what is wrong with the whole character concept of taking a sweet young bombshell and making her play one of Sergeant Fury’s Fighting Roughnecks. No one likes seeing a dewy-lipped doe-eyed lady getting socked in the gob. You show it on TV enough, little boys soon enough come to think it is normal to punch little girls. If men and women are equal, then men should be as rude and rough with women as they are with each other, right, guys?

Meanwhile the unspoken language of the sexes falls mute. The system of understood signs and symbolic gestures by which her femininity was represented is vanished; the unspoken rules that respected femininity are gone; the feminine mystique is gone. The subtlety is gone. The only way she can now show off her femininity, her only outlet of female pride, is to be blatantly sexual: wear skank clothing and act the whore.

Movies reflect this, and we have harlots instead of Harlowe. Instead of  Greta Garbo playing Queen Christina of Sweden, we have Keira Knightly playing the King of the Pirates.     


I am not alone in this opinion about modern movies being anti-woman. This is from Libertas 

Nothing annoys me more than when people — usually leftist feminist types — proclaim Katharine Hepburn a woman ahead of her time. What a load of garbage.

[…] at no time in the history of film did women have it better than during the reign of the studios in the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. Women made more films, had better roles, had more starring roles, and actually made money equal to their male counterparts.

Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, Judy Garland, Joan Crawford, and Garbo were HUGE stars in their day — above the title stars — who starred in their own pictures two to three times a year. And they always played strong women. They were all Meryl Streeps. Now we only have Meryl Streep and she usually shares top billing and makes only a single picture a year.

Most other women stars today are relegated to romantic comedies, sex-pot roles, women in jeopardy thrillers, and horror films. Yes, there are exceptions, but they are exceptions, whereas in the big studio days huge “A” prestige pictures with strong female starring roles came out on a monthly basis.

Katharine Hepburn wasn’t ahead of her time, she was a perfect product of her time. And thankfully she — and her counterparts — are forever captured on miles of celluloid for those of us not impressed with the classless roles too many of today’s so-called feminist stars denigrate themselves in under the guise of liberation.