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Cross-cutting gender agendas

More news from the Sex Front that for some reason I’ve been covering a lot lately:

  • Hip-hop film sparks debate on masculinity. A black former college football star has made a documentary questioning hip-hop glorification of sexual abuse and mindless violence. It’s a worthy topic, but I have my doubts. So far as I can tell, the big problem young black men have is that they grow up without older black men around. The result is that their idea of “man” loses all specific content and becomes something like “opposed to woman.” I’m not sure that anything more substantive and therefore useful is going to be proposed by a self-described anti-sexist activist with accolades from PBS and major foundations who makes money providing “workshop facilitation in the field of sexual and gender violence prevention and education.” But then I haven’t seen the documentary and would be glad to be proven wrong.
  • The reason I’d like to be proven wrong is that nothing is pre-ordained and when things get odd or flatten out and lose their character they can still return to type and bounce back. One of the fun things about being an essentialist is that you can believe that sort of thing. Here’s an example: parish decides altar-serving is for the boys. Even on the Connecticut shore you can get out of the lobster-pot of compulsory inclusiveness if you think it through and explain yourself, and if something else really does work better. I’ve read it was Ilya Ehrenberg of all people, Soviet propagandist though he was, who said that if the whole world were paved over green shoots would still break through.
  • Until essentialism triumphantly returns, the experts in the MSM will continue to explain things to us in their own way. An example: Flirting in the office can mean trouble if it offends colleagues. Flirting can harrass other people, so if they say “stop” you should stop. There are limitations on the concept of harrassment though:

    “Of course, if at least one of the two has a spouse at home, the situation may be more complex … in such a case, if you confront your colleagues directly, it is important not to meddle or to judge them. The relationship between these people and their husbands or wives is none of your business … All you should worry about is the flirting and how that makes you feel.”

    So it’s OK to be offended by romance, as long as you have no objection to adultery. Just thought you should know.

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