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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Women aren't women anymore...?


There's a fine line between love and hate. When you have strong emotions for something, be it positive or negative, it takes up a lot of your head space - or blog space. Clearly I find the 'Return of Kings' site interesting to some degree, else this wouldn't be my third article - or fourth, if you include the post I've written on Roosh V - on it. This is going to be discussing their post 'Women aren't women anymore.'

A feminist would be outraged, an anti-feminist/conservative would probably agree with all they say. I'm in the middle, and I see the point of view of this article and don't think it's the stupidest thing I've seen on the site. The link to it is here, please have a read/skim before reading this post so it makes more sense.
http://www.returnofkings.com/134246/women-arent-women-anymore

Ok, so back in the 1950s women acted in a certain way; nowadays women don't act like that anymore. Firstly we need to address a huge thing: class. When this guy speaks of 'ladies' and uses the example of Gene Kelly, he is really referring to middle/upper class women who dressed and behaved in certain mannerisms. Britain and America are culturally similar (not the same, but there are a lot of similarities compared to other countries). I know Britain has traditionally been abundant in terms of class distinctions. Upper/middle class men and women have always dressed in certain ways, used certain language and spoken in certain dialect. This hasn't changed. I used to get described as 'posh' back in school because I articulate my words and read a lot, and don't have an 'urban' or 'inner city' sounding accent.

Men and women of a higher class have and always will behave in ways they deem 'superior.' Not cursing, dressing in a certain way, having their cutlery in certain ways, etc. Working class folk, in contrast, are poorer and less 'read' so don't have time to indulge in how they carry themselves. The best example I can give of this is Pygmalion. Pretty Woman and Kingsman are also films that have showed the distinction between how those of different classes behave. The upper class person is seen as the 'model' of behaviour and refines the lower class person. Titanic flips this a bit; Rose is a wealthy privileged first class girl who feels trapped in her life to the point of contemplating suicide. She is engaged to a man she can't stand. Jack, on the other hand, although poor, is free to do whatever he wants and go where he wants. Jack is a man, but his behaviour is frowned upon in front of Rose's upper class friends and relatives. Behavior isn't a matter of gender, it's to do with class.

Does that mean I think this post is classist? A little bit; I think he's been a bit stereotypical, the way he's talked about '1950s women being like this' rather than referring to class distinction and how that would have influenced behaviour. He even has pictures showing 'this is what a lady should look like', showing beautifully dressed women in expensive looking clothes and jewellery. Even the words 'Lord' and 'Lady' refer to men and women of royal descent. No woman is technically a lady, unless she is of royal blood.

Then to come to the nitty-gritty; he talks a lot about how modern women are 'masculine' and no longer 'warm and affectionate.' Feminine vs masculine traits are partly biological and partly sociological. I think feminism has done both good and bad, so again am trying to be as neutral as I can here. Feminism has broken down gender roles, which is good on the one hand as I don't think anyone should be 'expected' to be in a certain way. We should behave in ways that make us feel best and comfortable. Why should a man have to hold in his feelings? Why should a woman have to be passive? He even says women nowadays are told 'being shy is a weakness' which I find strange; shyness is not gender specific and there are introverted men and women. I've never been a shy person - highly sensitive and troubled, but generally outgoing and forward. This is just my personality. If that turns a guy off than fine, plenty of guys will be turned on by it. Not everyone is attracted to the same types of people. Plus, women are not perfect 'celestial beings.' We shouldn't be expected to be these perfect creatures who always look polished, and never curse, fart, burp or take a shit. Sure, we're a lot nicer to look at than men on the whole, but that doesn't mean we can't be human.

What's interesting is that this man keeps referring to modern women being 'masculine' as if masculinity is suddenly a bad thing. I ask; what does it mean to be feminine? What does it mean to be masculine? If masculinity involves confidence, extroversion and brash behaviour, then I'm clearly a guy because I exhibit all those behaviours. Why should guys have to be 'dominant' and 'loud' and women be 'passive' and 'demure'? Are these social constructions? One could say they're rooted in evolution, except if hunter gatherer men were protecting the tribe, the women would have needed to be strong and determined and aware because they needed to protect the children and be ready in case something happened to their husband or a wild animal came to attack their kids. Notice how in animals, the mothers are always fiercely protective of their children and will strike out at anyone that comes near them. On the whole women are generally more nurturing and men are more logical, but needless to say not every single man/woman is like that.

Then there's the reference to the nuclear family. I agree that feminism has contributed to the break-up of the nuclear family. However, I also wonder if perhaps the frequency of divorce nowadays has something to do with humans not being made to be monogamous and stuck in rigid nuclear families. (I'm not saying I personally do or don't like the nuclear family model; I grew up in the happy family environment with two parents and a younger brother, and things were always happy at home, though shit at school, until my parents split up in my mid-late teens.) Back in the 1950s, divorce was frowned upon, and sure it was legal but people were less likely to do it. That also meant that if people were trapped in unhappy marriages, they couldn't leave. I doubt people get divorced on a 'whim'; a lot of time and thought and years of effort goes into it before people decide to get divorced. Naturally sometimes major things like an affair can bring it on, but if a marriage has broken down why should two people be forced to stay in it?

Breaking up doesn't mean the entire relationship was a failure, it just means its time has come to an end. Nothing lasts forever after all; life ends for all of us. Even if you stay together forever, it's still till death do part. Most people get married with the hope that the marriage will last, but sometimes it doesn't. I don't think the government has any right at all to force people to stay in unhappy marriages anymore than it has the right to force women to have children they don't want to have. It's actually a very cruel thing to do. Doubtlessly conservatives would disagree with me, but we're all entitled to our opinions here (and they are just opinions, at the end of the day).
See my post on marriage for more info on this: http://www.thezarinamachablog.co.uk/2017/09/is-marriage-weird-idea.html


It seems to me like this guy has presented a very idealized way of life in the 1950s. It's always easier to think 'the grass is greener on the other side.' Back in the 50s women didn't have access to birth control, abortion, equal pay; the workplace was very male-dominated, and things like sexual harassment was swept under the rug (and now it's the other extreme). They were expected to aspire to marriage first rather than a career and see getting married and having children as their 'pinnacle' of importance; being defined through the eyes of a man rather than as their own person. Sure, the 50s wasn't terribly long ago in terms of human history, and by then things were definitely changing. I also don't mean that aspiring to marriage and motherhood is a bad thing, I just feel that nowadays women are given more broader options in terms of how to live our lives and it's less frowned upon for a woman to not want to marry and have children and prefer to focus on her career and personal development. If anything we're being pushed more towards careers, which isn't necessarily healthy as well as plenty of women DO want to marry and have kids. It's just about trying to balance that I guess, which I have written about in other posts. e.g: http://www.thezarinamachablog.co.uk/2017/05/stay-at-home-mums-vs-superwomen.html


Lastly, this guy is clearly only talking about white women. In the 50s, being a black woman living in America would have been very hard. The level of de facto racism was horrible back then; not as bad as it had been, but far worse than anything today.  I don't know about women of other racial backgrounds but presumably life would also have been harder for them as opposed to white women/men. Same goes for homosexuals; being gay was still illegal then, and it wasn't that long ago that LGBT folk were killed for their sexual orientation. And again, class plays a big part; being poorer always makes life harder because there's that struggle to get the basic things. All in all general  attitudes towards race, class, gender and sexual orientation have improved since the 1950s, but sadly now it's gone to the other extreme of straight white men being seen as 'evil' and people wanting their kids to pick their own gender.

2 comments:

  1. tbh i can kinda see why guys would like this idealized version of women from the 50s but you can't really expect women to just magically return to the 1950s and everything to be ok forever second wave feminism flourished cause women were unhappy with basically being pidgeonholed into just becoming wives and mothers people are a bit more complicated than that and i know a l;ot of tradcons will say "statistically women are happier as housewives" well statistically your safer without a gun in the house statistics can be twisted

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    1. Exactly, I mean if women want to be housewives they can be - feminism has pushed the narrative of careers being better but if a woman wants to be a stay at home mother or if she wants to have a career I would say nowadays there's deffo more choice and less negative stigma involved (as a result of the positive sides of feminism).

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