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Mon May 26, 2014, 08:21 AM

"What shall we do now?" (re. the UCSB shootings)

Michael Moore responded to the UCSB shootings in a Facebook post (quoted here) with his usual argument about the need for better gun control. Accidentally, perhaps, he hit upon what I see as the underlying issue that demands our attention when he said this:

Nearly all of our mass shootings are by angry or disturbed white males. None of them are committed by the majority gender, women. Hmmm, why is that?


Moore asks the right question, but then drops it like a hot potato, preferring, instead, to focus on the guns. I see this whole mess as a gender issue--as a backlash against the enormous gains in power that women have made over the past century. I see our obsession with guns as a lame and futile attempt to re-assert some kind of "masculine" power. I see the success of right-wing parties in Europe as a product of the same backlash. In fact, I see the political success of the modern Republican Party as a result of the same, underlying issue. How else can we explain why so many people vote against their best interests?

Strangely enough, this topic is hardly ever addressed on DU (as I noted here). Perhaps it is too frightening for us to rationally grasp and consider. Many years ago, I taught an upper-level, college rhetoric course in which we focused on Pink Floyd's 1982 film, The Wall, for a few weeks. It was a transformative experience for me. The following short clip from that movie is illustrative. If you haven't seen the movie, I'd recommend you do so if you have any interest in gender studies. Just take a look at this short segment from the movie (and try to pay attention to the lyrics):



As hideous and shocking as that imagery may be, I think it explains a great deal about the world as we know it today. What to do about this is another question altogether, but I strongly feel that we should talk and think about the dramatic changes in our gender roles and sexual dynamics over the course of the past century.

-Laelth

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Reply "What shall we do now?" (re. the UCSB shootings) (Original post)
Laelth May 2014 OP
octoberlib May 2014 #1
Laelth May 2014 #4
rrneck May 2014 #6
Laelth May 2014 #8
rrneck May 2014 #12
Laelth May 2014 #50
muriel_volestrangler May 2014 #18
Laelth May 2014 #19
muriel_volestrangler May 2014 #21
redqueen May 2014 #23
Nuclear Unicorn May 2014 #32
Laelth May 2014 #33
muriel_volestrangler May 2014 #34
Laelth May 2014 #37
muriel_volestrangler May 2014 #42
Laelth May 2014 #61
DonCoquixote May 2014 #43
KittyWampus May 2014 #2
Laelth May 2014 #3
AngryAmish May 2014 #5
Tuesday Afternoon May 2014 #17
PasadenaTrudy May 2014 #7
Laelth May 2014 #69
davidn3600 May 2014 #9
Laelth May 2014 #10
davidn3600 May 2014 #11
Laelth May 2014 #13
Sheri May 2014 #14
Laelth May 2014 #48
seabeyond May 2014 #15
Laelth May 2014 #30
seabeyond May 2014 #39
Laelth May 2014 #40
seabeyond May 2014 #41
heaven05 May 2014 #16
Eleanors38 May 2014 #24
heaven05 May 2014 #31
Eleanors38 May 2014 #35
heaven05 May 2014 #44
Eleanors38 May 2014 #51
Laelth May 2014 #46
fried eggs May 2014 #20
Laelth May 2014 #29
Eleanors38 May 2014 #22
Laelth May 2014 #28
treestar May 2014 #25
Skittles May 2014 #26
Laelth May 2014 #27
Skittles May 2014 #36
Laelth May 2014 #38
ancianita May 2014 #45
Laelth May 2014 #47
LAGC May 2014 #53
Crunchy Frog May 2014 #62
hack89 May 2014 #58
Laelth May 2014 #60
Laelth May 2014 #49
seabeyond May 2014 #52
Laelth May 2014 #55
seabeyond May 2014 #56
Laelth May 2014 #57
Post removed May 2014 #54
Laelth May 2014 #59
Laelth May 2014 #63
Tikki May 2014 #64
Laelth May 2014 #65
dreamnightwind May 2014 #66
Laelth May 2014 #67
Laelth May 2014 #68

Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon May 26, 2014, 09:17 AM

1. I've never watched The Wall in it's entirety. I will have to do so.

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Response to octoberlib (Reply #1)

Mon May 26, 2014, 09:52 AM

4. I hope you do.

In essence, Waters argues that the wars of the 20th century (the bloodiest century in human history), were a direct result of dramatic changes in gender relations in Western societies. It's a poignant argument. It makes sense to me. We lived under patriarchy for a long time, and we still live under its remnants in the West, but we are currently in a period of social transition to a new "balance of power" between the genders, and our path, so far, has been very rocky.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #4)

Mon May 26, 2014, 10:17 AM

6. Actually,

we are now living in the most peaceful era in human history. And that includes the twentieth century.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #6)

Mon May 26, 2014, 10:34 AM

8. Umm ...

I don't see that. President Obama wisely and effectively kept us out of potential wars in Syria and the Ukraine, and I am thankful for that, but there can be no doubt that more people died in wars between 1910 and 2010 than in any other century in human history.

Needless to say, most of the people who died ... were men.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #8)

Mon May 26, 2014, 10:59 AM

12. It certainly seems counterintuitive but it's true.

https://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence

Most of the people who died were men because men always wind up doing the dirty work.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #12)

Mon May 26, 2014, 08:10 PM

50. Thanks for that link.

The comments following the video are interesting too. Not sure I buy Pinker's argument, however.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #4)

Mon May 26, 2014, 12:01 PM

18. That's complete bollocks. He doesn't argue anything of the sort.

The clip you posted is about the break-up of the character ('Pink')'s marriage, and his turn to mindless success as a rock star, consumerism, and sex with groupies, as a result (it's followed by 'Young Lust', and, to make it clear it's about the marriage, the phone call home when he gets his wife's lover on the phone is moved before the clip you gave, rather than appearing at the end of 'Young Lust' as on the album:

'The Wall' does have sections about war, but that's about the loss of 'Pink'/Waters' father, and the general violence of authoritarian movements. Nothing whatsoever to do with 'gender relations'.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #18)

Mon May 26, 2014, 12:51 PM

19. I disagree with your interpretation.

But, I suppose, that's what's cool about art. I think the movie is almost entirely about gender relations. Authoritarianism is the result of changing gender relations in Western societies in the 20th century (or, so Waters appears to argue).

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #19)

Mon May 26, 2014, 01:08 PM

21. No, that's just total nonsense

He says nothing about WW1; WW2 is depicted as a massacre which killed innocent people, and meant people like Pink's father (or Waters', in real life) died - and the leaders are blamed (and you can see him continuing to blame leaders in 'The Final Cut').

The 'gender relations' in 'The Wall' are personal - the break-up of a marriage, or over-dependence on a mother. The Wall's messages about society are about alienation, authority (not just war - schooling too), consumerism, bigotry and cults. You have missed huge sections of the film/album, and focused on your own hobby-horse.

Here's an interview with Waters: http://www.pink-floyd.org/artint/98.htm

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #21)

Mon May 26, 2014, 01:23 PM

23. Thank you for your posts about this.

You're absolutely correct of course.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #21)

Mon May 26, 2014, 03:12 PM

32. Interestingly

As Pink descends into his despair he turns into a copy of the fascists his father died fighting.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #21)

Mon May 26, 2014, 03:22 PM

33. Indeed, he says nothing about WW I.

But he does blame his mother for his "wall" when he says, "Mother did it need to be so high?" And regarding the social conformity theme of "Another Brick in the Wall," he sees that as a product of men reacting to the power of their wives, "But in the town it was well known when they got home at night their fat and psychopathic wives would thrash them within inches of their lives."

I know this doesn't fit your narrative, but "Young Lust" is obviously about gender relations, as is the piece I featured above, "What Shall We Do?" Take from the art what you will, but your blanket dismissal of my interpretation seems ... well ... motivated by something other than a genuine search for knowledge and understanding.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #33)

Mon May 26, 2014, 03:42 PM

34. You are trying to conflate war and the character's personal problems

From #4: "Waters argues that the wars of the 20th century (the bloodiest century in human history), were a direct result of dramatic changes in gender relations in Western societies". "The Wall" is Pink's personal wall. His mother contributes to it.

The ending lyric of "Happiest Days of Our Lives" can equally be the children's view of their teachers not being all-powerful after all. Yes, Young Lust is about sex; I said so above. But it's not about war, and it's not saying that sex causes societal problems. Again, it's about one character's problems. If you think "the movie is almost entirely about gender relations", you're blinded by your obsession.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #34)

Mon May 26, 2014, 04:24 PM

37. Another few pieces of evidence.

Last edited Mon May 26, 2014, 05:04 PM - Edit history (1)

1) Here are some of the lyrics from "What Shall We Do Now?"

What shall we use to fill the empty spaces
Where waves of hunger roar?
Shall we set out across the sea of faces
In search of more and more applause?
Shall we buy a new guitar?
Shall we drive a more powerful car?
Shall we work straight through the night?
Shall we get into fights?
Leave the lights on?
Drop bombs?

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/pinkfloyd/whatshallwedonow.html


To me, those sound like things men might be inclined to do, not women. No doubt, there's a lot of personal agony and introspection in the movie, but who are "we" in that song? Is it unreasonable to assume that Waters is talking about men (in the aggregate)?

2) In addition, I note there are two key screams in the movie. The first is vocalized by the primary male character (and it's in response to a painful exercise of female power). The second is uttered by the primary female character (and it's in response to a painful exercise of male power--war, violence, bombs, destruction). It's hard for me to divorce these primal, human utterances from what I see as the overall theme (i.e. relations between the genders).

3) How do you explain the imagery in the clip posted above--specifically, the wall destroying a Christian church that then re-assembles itself into a new church (a vaginal, brick-menstruating church). If that's not talking about power relations between genders, what is? Waters seems to argue that femininity has replaced Christianity as the dominant religion in the dystopic world he describes.

Of course, ymmv. Thanks for engaging me on this topic.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #37)

Mon May 26, 2014, 05:39 PM

42. They are things the character might do

Several are specific to a rock star:

Shall we set out across the sea of faces
In search of more and more applause?
Shall we buy a new guitar?
...
Do tours of the east?

And there's plenty that that women would do as much as men.

Yes, it is unreasonable to assume that Waters is talking about men (in the aggregate).

So the film has a man and a woman scream? I'm not going to watch it all again, but I can point out another scream - in 'Comfortably Numb', where Pink screams as he is drugged so he can perform. No women involved.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #42)

Tue May 27, 2014, 10:28 AM

61. Drop bombs? Seriously?

The next time I see a rock star dropping bombs, I'll concede the point, but I find that highly unlikely.

No, I am rather convinced that Waters is speaking about men in the aggregate.

-Laelth

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #21)

Mon May 26, 2014, 05:43 PM

43. to say nothing of the fact

that PINk is a mix of reger's own experiences, and that of Syd Barrett the founder. Syd only did one album with PF, Piper at the Gates of dawn, which sounds much more like a darker version of Beatles Pyschedelica, but his mental breakdown (now known to be a mix of acid use and Asbergers Syndrome) scarred Roger. Most of the "mother" stuff relates to the fact that Syd was so far gone that he ended up living with his Mom, despite the fact that Pink Floyd was making Milions off of albums inspired by his very sickness.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon May 26, 2014, 09:20 AM

2. If you taught rhetoric than I ask you to step back and look for a larger, overarching theme

 

It isn't as much about "angry, white men" as it is about people with suicidal tendencies who are angry and want to take others out with them.

Why does the USA and the Middle East spawn so many suicidal terrorists?

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #2)

Mon May 26, 2014, 09:47 AM

3. You nailed it when you mentioned the Middle East.

Islam is highly patriarchal. The conflict between Muslims and the West, imo, centers around our differences in gender relations. I have a Muslim Pakistani friend who told me in 1991 that he didn't like "the way we treat our women." He specifically objected to our pornography, our exploitation of women's bodies for commercial purposes, and to the "license" we give women in the West to "usurp" traditional, male roles in society. This, I think, more than anything else, is what drives the antagonistic relationship we have with primarily Muslim countries.

I nearly laughed at my friend's critique. It's not like Western men "control" women at all. Women have made all the above-listed "advances" on their own with little help from men. Many (if not most) Western women seek the end of patriarchy (and, as a Westerner, I agree with them, despite the backlash caused by these dramatic changes in gender relations). Evidently, most Islamic women currently disagree, as they continue to teach and propagate patriarchy. But you are spot on when you identify the Middle East as a hot spot for this controversy.

I can't see the UCSB shootings as a "lone gunman" situation that we can easily, lazily, and quickly dismiss with condemnation and psychoanalysis (i.e. the dude was just crazy). Of course, this murderer was crazy, but he was also reacting to widely-experienced angst among Western men, and we ignore that angst at our peril. I'd rather talk about and address these issues. Ignoring them will merely allow them to come back and haunt us in the future.

Thanks for the response.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon May 26, 2014, 10:10 AM

5. The bong is strong with this one.

 

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Response to AngryAmish (Reply #5)

Mon May 26, 2014, 11:51 AM

17. LOL

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon May 26, 2014, 10:21 AM

7. +1 Agreed n/t

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Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #7)

Thu May 29, 2014, 03:03 PM

69. Thanks. n/t



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon May 26, 2014, 10:44 AM

9. So men were never violent before women's liberation movements?

 

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #9)

Mon May 26, 2014, 10:54 AM

10. Humans are violent.

Human males, in particular, are violent (due to their higher levels of testosterone, presumably, in comparison to women), but no century in human history saw as many people die in wars as the century from 1910 to 2010.

Either way, Roger Waters' argument in The Wall is worthy of consideration. I hope you see the movie and analyze it from the perspective of power relations between the genders.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #10)

Mon May 26, 2014, 10:57 AM

11. So the invention of bigger and better guns and war machines had nothing to do with it?

 

Violence has existed all throughout human history. The Ancient Romans used to cheer in the Coliseum as gladiators fought to the death.

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #11)

Mon May 26, 2014, 11:08 AM

13. True.

But having studied this issue for a long time, I can confidently tell you that German rhetoric prior to both World Wars I and II was highly masculinist and patriarchal. I think we err when we pretend that the massive changes in gender dynamics that we have undergone in the past hundred years in the West have had no effect upon us (not that you're saying precisely that, but you seem inclined to minimize or dismiss those effects).



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon May 26, 2014, 11:18 AM

14. wow. that's pretty horrifying.

i am not sure whether to thank you or curse you.

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Response to Sheri (Reply #14)

Mon May 26, 2014, 07:37 PM

48. Either will work.



And thanks for the response.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon May 26, 2014, 11:43 AM

15. we have often talked about the backlash resulting from so much success of women over a small

 

period of just a couple decades. with freedom and independence, the very evo psych that so many hold onto tight, goes along the wayside. in a mere four decades women have evolved beyond all expectation of our weak, inept, incapable, emotional selves to the point of self reliance and freedom. and all it took were laws not allowing many to psychically and financially hold us down.

i bet in all the history of mankind we have never seen such a fast forwarding of evolution as we have seen with women in that last four decades. it might leave some to believe the evo psych is pure bullshit. just another means, a desperate measure for man to try one more, the very last chance, of holding women down in desperation.

yes. we talk about the backlash.

and still, women persevere and continue forward.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #15)

Mon May 26, 2014, 03:07 PM

30. Indeed, but do you talk about men?

In any other way than to point out how they need further education?

That might be useful.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #30)

Mon May 26, 2014, 04:32 PM

39. all. the fuckin. time. that is my life.

 

any time you want to get in the knee deep of the care, love, support, connection, need of boy/teen/young man, bring it on dude. i assure you i will kick your tush in time, effort, thought put into the lives of our young men.

yes.

right here. right now. yesterday, and i assure you.... tomorrow.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #39)

Mon May 26, 2014, 04:45 PM

40. Smile. I hear you.

A graduate professor whom I deeply admire once uttered in class, "One gets tired of phalluses." We were analyzing the plethora of phallic symbols one can so readily find in Western civilization. She liked to hunt down and categorize what she called "split-tailed mermaids" (vaginal symbols, but she wouldn't say that being the very proper lady she was). I once bought a framed lithograph of one when I was in Alaska and gave it to her. I bet she has it on her wall today. There's a certain sense in which one can't talk at all in Western societies without talking about men, and I know you have male children. I suspect you think about them a lot, and I suspect you talk about them a lot too.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #40)

Mon May 26, 2014, 04:48 PM

41. but most importantly. i listen to them. nt

 

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon May 26, 2014, 11:47 AM

16. this obssession by the gun 'enthusiasts'

 

Last edited Mon May 26, 2014, 07:17 PM - Edit history (1)

point to what you're passing along here as well as many other symbolic changes in american culture that has the white male feeling threatened. The hideous mindset of the RW is shocking the whole world. Thanks for this, I had forgotten about 'the wall' and how truly disturbing it was then and it's relevance for today's political/sexual/racial climate.

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Response to heaven05 (Reply #16)

Mon May 26, 2014, 01:46 PM

24. There are over 80,000,000 gun-owners, enthused or otherwise...

 

and within that community, women are the fastest-growing demographic. Something else is at play here.

We're giving a lot of credence to some murderous punk who used knives and a car as well as a pistol to kill both men and women. But celebrities, including mass killers, have a lot of power in this society, so we must pore over their spoor to see what made them tick. I think they know this. Some punky manifesto is calculation in service of immortality -- an immortality that in some measure we confer on them. I think they know this, too. Death and the consequential lack of "enjoying" one's new-found status and power, is a secondary concern; in fact, it may be required. What celebrity mass killer wants to survive and be debunked and de-mythologized as another sallow-faced puker in day-glow orange?

He leaves his spoor, we sift through it, gleaning what we want. He gets a little immortality and celebrity at the expense of a few years. That may be appealing to some.

"What's in Your manifesto?"

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #24)

Mon May 26, 2014, 03:08 PM

31. 3quarterbillion guns in this country alone

 

guns need to be controlled. how? too big a problem for me.

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Response to heaven05 (Reply #31)

Mon May 26, 2014, 04:05 PM

35. A lot of guns, but more like 300+ million. There is one course

 

of action which may get at some problems, esp. Childhood accidents via guns (already declining), and gun theft. A massive, widely-supported campaign to properly lock up and secure weaponry. This is already going on with Project Childsafe, and the effort has a presence in hunting, shooting, outdoors and other magazines, as well as in social media. Maybe the cast of characters is alienating to some, but if the goal is worthwhile, then maybe we should look past the players in this. Sorry, I can't link.
www.projectchildsafe.org

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #35)

Mon May 26, 2014, 07:03 PM

44. that's okay on the link

 

yeah three hundred million, still a lot of damn guns and a lot of them in the 'wrong' hands. This country is sliding to hell in a hand basket and the NRA is greasing the slide. I going to try to do my part. This election season as far as voting for people who will stand up to the NRA and their money machine. I will look into Childsafe. Thanks. It's somewhere to start in an overwhelming and huge problem affecting ALL neighborhoods

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Response to heaven05 (Reply #44)

Mon May 26, 2014, 11:34 PM

51. The country may be sliding to hell in a handbasket,

 

but it's not due to "guns." While the # of gun-owners may have gone up some in very recent years, most sales are to already established gun owners. That's why something like a campaign for safe storage can accomplish positive goals outside an intransigent political climate. Further, the violent crime rate (including that involving guns) has been at near-historic lows. But the very real problems with national stability and democratic viability are intensifying, and I don't want to hand the NRA any cheap wins with the gun-control issue, they've had enough already.

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Response to heaven05 (Reply #16)

Mon May 26, 2014, 07:12 PM

46. My pleasure. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon May 26, 2014, 12:54 PM

20. Good points.

I here that theme (about "modern" women) a lot in my conversations with young men.

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Response to fried eggs (Reply #20)

Mon May 26, 2014, 03:04 PM

29. Thanks.

I'd love to hear more about your conversations with others on this topic. I don't think we talk about it enough.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon May 26, 2014, 01:19 PM

22. Since women constitute the fastest growing gun-owning demographic

 

among the 80,000,000 gun-owning community, that should be on the table for discussion. Do you think those numbers will continue to rise? A Gallup poll two years back also recorded a big jump in gun owning Democrats, matching the significant rise in armed women. Self-described Republican gun-owners remained static.

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #22)

Mon May 26, 2014, 02:11 PM

28. No clue, but I welcome the discussion.

Please, proceed.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon May 26, 2014, 01:48 PM

25. Gender was this shooter's motive

The shootings recur and the motives differ. We need fewer guns out there, so there will be fewer of these incidents, whatever the issue behind the shooter's rage.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon May 26, 2014, 01:51 PM

26. no, nothing to do with guns

American men just cannot handle their wimminfolk

got it

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Response to Skittles (Reply #26)

Mon May 26, 2014, 02:10 PM

27. As the clip I posted demonstrates ...

... guns are a typical, male reaction to loss of power and privilege, or, as I argue above, a "lame and futile attempt to re-assert some kind of "masculine" power." Of course, guns are relevant here, and I said as much.

But guns, I think, are merely a symptom of a deeper problem.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #27)

Mon May 26, 2014, 04:08 PM

36. problem seems to be men unable to handle change

women seem to have handled change just FINE

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Response to Skittles (Reply #36)

Mon May 26, 2014, 04:29 PM

38. We have all suffered from the backlash, I think.

I argued above that the success of the modern Republican Party and the re-emergence of neo-fascism in Europe are both products of the backlash. Nobody is immune.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon May 26, 2014, 07:12 PM

45. We fight to amend the Second Amendment. The existence of guns prevents the very conversations

that you want to have. You cannot call them a symptom or a smoke screen. There is a political protection racket going on by the powerful who have much power and money to gain by maintaining it.

As long as women's mortality is more affected by males than by accidents or diseases, one of the tools of that predation -- guns -- must be removed so that the space we create for serious conversation will be made seriously safe.

No serious conversations about gender politics can be had when the public space remains unsafe for at least half of its participants.

And do most of us a favor -- don't put down Michael Moore. If it weren't for him, public awareness of our weaponed history might still be struggling to come to general public awareness.

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Response to ancianita (Reply #45)

Mon May 26, 2014, 07:20 PM

47. I would like Mr. Moore to answer his own question.

Why is it always men who go on these killing sprees?

I have great respect for Mr. Moore and for his work, but I also think it's important to discuss the issue he raised (and then ignored).

And, as I have said elsewhere:

I think gun control is a losing issue for Democrats, and I'd like to see the national party take a neutral stance on it, or, at the very least, take a federalist stance (i.e. this is an issue that should be left to the states to decide).

While I am a die-hard liberal, I do not support gun control at all in this political climate, not because I oppose gun control in principle, but because it's a losing issue. It's just another wedge, and it's a very effective one. I am willing to let go on this one so as to focus on other, more pressing, issues.

This may seem calloused and calculated, and it is, but we need to win at the polls in all 50 states. The Democratic Party's perceived stance on gun control does great damage to liberal interests.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014458098


-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #47)

Mon May 26, 2014, 11:49 PM

53. +1000

This really is a misogyny problem we have here in this country, not a gun problem.

What we are experiencing is male privilege in its death throes... lashing out against the growing reality of total equality between sexes.

To be sure, it manifests itself in different ways, but at the root of it all is jealousy, hatred, and resentment toward women.

Elliot Rodger's 140-page manifesto is Exhibit A.

Case closed.

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Response to LAGC (Reply #53)

Tue May 27, 2014, 11:21 AM

62. It really is a gun problem

with misogyny as a contributing factor, along with many other things that have been discussed as nauseum.

Elliot Rodger is one individual. Case still very much open.

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Response to ancianita (Reply #45)

Tue May 27, 2014, 09:23 AM

58. The Second Amendment is not your problem

nothing is stopping strict gun regulation - even Scalia says so in the Heller ruling. The only thing explicitly protected by the 2A is the right to own a handgun in your own home for self defense. Everything else short of an outright ban on guns can be regulated.

It is politics, not the 2A that is preventing the regulation you desire.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #58)

Tue May 27, 2014, 10:25 AM

60. Added just to keep my thoughts on the same page.

Gun control is a losing issue for Democrats.

Gun control might prevent some tragedies (but very few, I would argue). At the same time, it will drive a lot of men (and the women who love them) into the waiting arms of the NRA and the GOP.

It's just not worth it in this political climate. The Democratic Party is already perceived as "feminine" (aligned with feminists and GLBT advocates) while the Republican Party is perceived as masculine (aligned with the masculinist NRA and patriarchal fundamentalist Christianity). If we want more men (and the women who love them) to vote for Democrats, we need to abandon gun control. It's a "boys and their toys" issue. Don't separate the two unless you are prepared to experience the backlash that will result.

My goal is to get a lot of people to stop voting against their best interests. Gun control (as a party platform plank) hurts Democrats in large swaths of the country. We need to get those people to vote for Democrats, and advocating gun control pushes those same people into the waiting arms of the Republican-aligned NRA.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon May 26, 2014, 07:44 PM

49. On misogyny and misandry.

In truth, I don't think women hate men, and I don't think men hate women, either.

From my experience (and it's a male experience), men hate themselves precisely because they love and desire women. Desiring and needing women makes us weak, easily manipulated, terror-stricken (sometimes), vulnerable, and occasionally pathetic. It's not that we hate women. It's that we love and desire them, and we hate that perceived weakness in ourselves. Many of us come to the conclusion that we'd be much better off if we did not desire women, but most of us can't help it. It seems to be instinctual. Testosterone is an evil master.

Ultimately, though, this is all self-loathing, not hatred of women. In part, this explains why most of us become better people as we age. Once those testosterone levels start to drop, people become much more calm, stable, sane, and reasonable ... or, so it appears to me.

-Laelth


Cross-posted from this thread so that I can keep my key thoughts on this subject together in one thread.

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Response to Laelth (Reply #49)

Mon May 26, 2014, 11:45 PM

52. love and desire.

 

that seems to be where you bottom line it. love and desire.

doesnt seem any different than women. love and desire.

yet... you post.
Testosterone is an evil master.


what does testosterone have to do with shit? love and desire. men and women love and desire.

now, i get that you say that because men love and desire they get pissed. and that certainly makes sense. first thing that really makes sense it the stupid of this. i can get that. but... men being pissed cause they love and desire really has nothing to do with testosterone. women love and desire equally.

i think men need to fall less in love with the magical, ever awesome testosterone.

tell me. how often are we glorifying and praising, bowing down and making estrogen our... god and savior?

all the time we are going on and on and on and on about the awesome testosterone.

yet... women, society none of us seem to feel the need to do the same with womens hormones. why?

maybe if we address these issues, honestly. we may get to some real shit.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #52)

Tue May 27, 2014, 08:18 AM

55. I've been saying "testosterone is an evil master" for a long time.

It's the only way I can understand men (and myself). Why is it, I ask, that men play football? That's stupid from any rational perspective. It's violent. It's dangerous. Most football players I know suffer from life-long injuries as a result of playing that game. Why is it that so few women engage in similarly stupid and dangerous activities? If it's not testosterone, then what is it? I say the same about Evil Keneval trying to jump the Snake Canyon on a motorcycle. Why do men do such dangerous, stupid things (whereas women rarely do) if it's not testosterone? I could go on and on. The things men do (to attract mates, I think) are often outrageous, and this kind of dangerous and destructive behavior can be seen in males across the animal kingdom (rams butting heads endlessly, etc.). It's display behavior to attract females, imo, and if that's not testosterone-driven, then what is?

For now, I'll stop there, but I appreciate your desire to engage me on this topic.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #55)

Tue May 27, 2014, 08:27 AM

56. that has nothing to do with love and desire. that has nothing to do with being fearful

 

of vulnerability, being raised in a society that says men are not suppose to feel... ergo feel love and desire.

you know. claiming that because they are men. because of testosterone, they are not suppose to feel. just more of the bulllshit created definition of testosterone to glorify in a falsehood.

so, boys are lied to that they are not to feel. of course, they feel. then are self shamed and resentful that they feel.

again. nothing to do with testosterone.

so... my question remains. what is the point of you using the term testosterone with love and desire when women equally love and desire.

and why do we have such an obsession with mans testosterone and we have absolutely no equal comparison to women estrogen.

again. you want to address the actual problem? here we go.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #56)

Tue May 27, 2014, 09:04 AM

57. Hold on a second.

Sexual desire is a product of testosterone. That's instinctual and unavoidable, and I am pretty sure that science backs me up on this.

The fact that men are taught "big boys don't cry" is a social construct. That's learned behavior, passed down from mothers to their sons for centuries (if not millennia). And there's probably a good reason for that. My mother wasn't stupid, and I refuse to believe that mothers (for centuries) have been stupid. They taught their male children that "big boys don't cry" for a long time because they knew that their boys needed love and a mate, and they knew that most women would not choose a "wimp" as a sexual partner, so they taught their boys to be "strong" and to repress their emotions. That makes good, biological sense to me.

As such, it's not testosterone that "teaches" men "not to feel." Mostly, it's mothers who teach their boys not to express emotion (and they do so for very good reasons--unless you want to argue that most mothers are stupid, and I refuse to believe that).

As to your central question--what is the point of arguing what I am arguing? That's a completely fair question, but I am not sure how to respond to it. Here's what I told bostonbean in another thread:

My purpose is to understand so that I can craft a working solution. Yours seems to be to educate and condemn (i.e. create social pressure), because it appears you already have a firm opinion on the nature of the problem and the proper solution. I don't share your confidence. I am looking for answers that will be more descriptive and strategies that will be more effective.

I don't deny that education and condemnation are useful tools for shaping social norms and even government policy, but neither of those strategies will get more men to vote for Democrats. Too many men (and the women who love them) vote against their best interests, and that's what I am trying to change. That's also why I need different strategies than the ones you are comfortable with. Condemnation and education, from what I can tell, push many people into the waiting arms of organizations aligned with the Republican Party (i.e. the masculinist NRA and patriarchal fundamentalist Christianity). It's time for new strategies.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=5005385


That's my purpose. Condemnation and education work well on children, and it's not surprising to me that many women fall back on those strategies (as they do most of the childrearing), but those strategies fail to persuade adults because those strategies are condescending.

All that said (and I have laid out my premises for you in the hope of creating understanding), rather than my searching for what you describe as "the actual problem," would you be so kind as to tell me what you think "the actual problem" is? I would appreciate it if you did.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)


Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue May 27, 2014, 09:59 AM

59. My response to XemaSab (above).

Her post was hidden, so I decided to post my response to her here, as follows:

Hello XemaSab,

I can't reply to your post because it was hidden. Because I respect your opinion, and because I think you deserve a response, I decided to respond via DU-mail. Be advised that it was not I who alerted on your post.

This is what you wrote (the key part, anyway):

Yeah, those stupid whores are driven by their lady parts to rut with assholes, amirite?

That's not really fair, is it?

I never called women stupid, nor did I call them whores. Quite the contrary, I think it makes good, biological sense for women to choose mates based upon instinctual cues (pheromones, etc.). That's how instincts help women choose compatible DNA that will produce healthy, strong children. This dynamic does, however, put women in a bit of a bind, and I am sympathetic to womens' plight on this issue. Instincts say "choose a high-testosterone male," while the rational brain says, "choose a good provider, a loving partner, a stable, sane, and civilized man." These two messages are in conflict because high-testosterone males often do not make good mates (as defined by the rational brain).

So, if women are driven to "rut" (your word) with assholes, it's because of their their instinctual brains, and not their lady parts. In addition, I have said all along that most of us (as we get older and wiser) tend to make better, more rational decisions in our "partnering" choices (the choice of whom we wish to spend our time with), but there's a good argument that says we should listen to our instincts in our "mating" choices (the choice of whom we wish to create children with).

For what that's worth.


-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue May 27, 2014, 11:45 AM

63. The purpose of this thread (cross-posted).

A response to this post by Eleanors38:

I agree with the thrust of your argument, but am a little leery of the "feminine-masculist" dichotemy, as it is posed using gun issues. The precipitous increase in armed women, IMO, is breaking down that stark stereotype. Otherwise, I'm on board with your main objective.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=5005969


The whole thrust of my latest thread, here, is that the feminine/masculine dichotomy of which you are leery is the central and controlling issue that best explains politics both here in the United States, in the Middle East, and in other Western countries (where we are now seeing the re-emergence of fascism). I understand and appreciate your caution, but I think it all comes down to gender and the massive and unprecedented changes that the West has undergone over the past hundred years in terms of gender power relations.

I have no better explanation for why so many people vote against their best interests.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue May 27, 2014, 12:00 PM

64. I read something by someone who never once talked about giving of themselves….

This person had the resources and time to volunteer, donate, do something outside of themselves.
It turned out badly.

Some will say only religion teaches giving. That is not true.
Some say only parents can shape that spirit in a child. That is not true.
Some say a child is born with that tendency. Maybe, but not always.

Along with the gender discussion a need exists to talk about how we give of ourselves to each other.
The word reciprocity has a confused meaning in this World.

Don't you dare call your marriage, relationship a partnership; that is not ordained, romantic or sexy
enough for the corporate/relgionous who are partnering up pretty well btw.

Some have talked here about mandatory public service. Maybe this from a young age and coed with a goal
to improve something, not a competition.

Just my thoughts...
Tikki

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Response to Tikki (Reply #64)

Tue May 27, 2014, 12:25 PM

65. I admire and appreciate the spirit of this post.

I don't deny that we would all benefit from a better appreciation of our common humanity. I agree that we might all benefit from some mandatory public service (though that also implies a slight loss of the "freedom" we cherish). It might be nice if life were not competitive, but, from what I can tell, life is competitive, and it makes little sense to dismiss and ignore that fact.

As it relates to gender, this is a very touchy subject, but I strongly feel that the gains women have made in power over the last hundred years necessarily imply a loss of power for men, and what I describe in this OP are the disastrous results of that dramatic change in the power balance between the genders. My hope is to minimize the damage and to get people who vote for the "masculine" party (the Republican Party) to stop voting against their best interests. We need new strategies to appeal to them.

Thanks for the response.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed May 28, 2014, 08:37 AM

66. I thank you for your posts in this thread

I don't agree with everything (though I do agree with much of it) but I recognize an honest voice of inquiry when I see it, far too little of that on DU, especially on gender issues.

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Response to dreamnightwind (Reply #66)

Wed May 28, 2014, 09:12 AM

67. You are very kind. Thanks. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu May 29, 2014, 06:46 AM

68. It is not our responsibility to fix all the "broken" people of the world.

The following post is cross-posted from this thread in which two people who acknowledge that men are "fearful" argue, in turn, that it's not our responsibility to do anything about these fears. I cross-posted my response here in order to keep my thoughts on this subject on the same page.

I agree that it is not our responsibility to fix all the "broken" people of the world.

However, putting aside my dislike of the word "broken," and assuming that we're talking about "fearful" men, it may still be in our best interests to address the fears of these men, even if it's not our responsibility. That, in essence, is the argument I make here.

The idea I am exploring is this:

I see this whole mess as a gender issue--as a backlash against the enormous gains in power that women have made over the past century. I see our obsession with guns as a lame and futile attempt to re-assert some kind of "masculine" power. I see the success of right-wing parties in Europe as a product of the same backlash. In fact, I see the political success of the modern Republican Party as a result of the same, underlying issue.


If I am right, and these "fears" we are discussing are part of a culture-wide backlash, then shouldn't we address this, even if it's not our responsibility to do so? That's the strategy I am pondering, in any event. I want to find a way to get people to stop voting against their best interests, and the "fears" we are discussing, according to the theory I am toying with, are the primary cause of the counter-productive voting pattern we see among working class men (and the women who love them) who vote for the o-so-manly Republican Party.

Is it not in our best interests to try to change this voting pattern?

-Laelth

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