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Post-Modern Patriarchy Deconstructed

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Just how self-referential does an item have to be to be newsworthy, much less warrant a comment from anyone of serious mind? I was traipsing through my Facebook page today, and I ran across this piece of bitter and biting commentary.

It was entitled "Patriarchy Proverb," without authorship. This passage, this little internet meme, is like Lear's Fool, a caricature full of wisdom about the Catch-22s of modern behavioral modification, if one can look past the bitterness and conflict it both illustrates within the anonymous writer and intends to engender within the female reader.

"Don't be slutty, don't have sex. But be sexy. If you're too sexy though and you get raped, then that's your own fault because you're not actually supposed to listen to us about being sexy, even though we tell you your value is derived from how sexy you are. If you get into a position of power, we will assume that you used your sex appeal to get there and not your brains, and we will mock you even though we told you the only thing that mattered was your sex appeal. Make yourself accessible to us but holy expletive, stop being so desperate and needy. Don't be a tease. If we want to have sex with you, don't friendzone (sic) us, even though we just (expletive) told you not to have sex."

This, uh, proverb passage refers to various things in the ideology of patriarchy:

Don't have sex. That's the Judeo-Christian religious part that says sex is only for making babies. The ideal of patriarchal religion is that sex should occur only when being used for procreation.

Otherwise, it might be FUN, and one thing the Bible God didn't say is that everlasting life was going to be FUN, you are going to be singing Holy Holy Holy Lord God of Hosts, etc. for eternity, IF you make the cut, which most people will not, under scriptural restrictions for occupancy in heaven.



Against that, there is the patriarchy of economics saying, "Be sexy. If you (the Woman, to whom The Man is speaking) don't, we will sell a lot less of the messages and items we are trying to sell you to allay your insecurity in this world we patriarchals have designed and thrown you into."

Sex, and sexiness, sell. Sex is the oldest profession in the heterosexual world.

The Glass Ceiling has gotten quite porous for women. I don't know whether it truly still exists, in the face of an Angela Merkel or a Hillary Clinton. It likely is more of a problem for middle-level executive women. I do know one thing-- those two didn't get to be where they were by their sex appeal!

In fact, the woman with the most heterosexual sex appeal of all the pols, Sarah Palin, will surely experience the Glass Ceiling again if she makes a run at the presidency against the inevitable Hillary Clinton.

The last part refers to when the worst kind of men regress to being the worst kind of boys. Until then, the "proverb" sparsely encapsulated the institution of modern American patriarchy, with the "church" and a myriad of religious "authorities" pushing Puritanism, while advertising/entertainment are pushing hedonism and dissipation (along with male domination) in a modern world to which traditional religion has become in many ways irrelevant.

Then the voice talking to the Woman became a potential predator, not just one who would laugh about the fait accompli of his domination.

I don't think most men are like this, but I suppose the author had to complete the extended metaphor.

WPH from MS

 

My name is William Perkins Homans the third, but probably more people know me as the bluesman (and artist) Watermelon Slim.

I've been in the fight against war, fascism, injustice and inhumanity for 40 years. I was at MayDay, and at the moratorium March the week before. I was one of the leaders of the Great New Jersey Turnpike Stall on my birthday, April 25, 1971.

I bear the scar on my left shin from a neoNazi jackboot, when I was one of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War who bounced the NSWPP from Flamingo Park at the Republican National Convention of 1972. My father fought the Nazis in the North Atlantic and Anzio, and I met their spawn in Miami.

My formal education has been first-rate. I wouldn't trade my degrees for Harvard ones. I was raised in the finest private Catholic and Episcopal high schools.

Elementary School: Gibbons Hall, Asheville, North Carolina

High Schools: Asheville School for Boys, Asheville Country Day, Lenox School for Boys. Graduated with honors 1968.

College: Middlebury College, 1968-DNG

1984-86: University of Oregon, B.A., Journalism and History, Departmental Honors in History, 1986.

I was also captain of the U of O bowling team, 1984-1986. High game 299.

1997-2000: Oklahoma State University. M.A., History, 2000, plus the school-teaching curriculum. Mentor: Dr. Ronald Petrin.

This was my second great self-reinvention attempt. In both, I got the degrees, but neither worked. After both, I went back to truckdriving and the blues. and now the latter makes my living. I just am not a button-down enough fellow ever to be a schoolteacher or general-purpose news reporter. But I think and analyze, and so I write...




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I was born in 1959. I have always believed in fai... by Sandra Parson on Sunday, Jun 29, 2014 at 6:11:37 PM

 
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