In recent decades, Westerners adopted an androgynous social ideal. The notion was that gender segregation oppressed everyone. The only way to unlock true human potential for both men and women was to break down the barriers between the genders. The thought, which took over a century and a half to germinate, was that if men and women could be raised in the same institutions, they would behave to the male standard, and that that would be a good thing. Later on, it became a common belief that gender roles were oppressive to both sexes. The authorities encourage men to be more like women, and women to be more like men, with more roles being freely interchangeable.
What this tends to lead to are social groups conditioned down to what women feel safe and comfortable with. Male humans, like males of many other species, spar with each other in the course of their maturation. They fight with each other verbally and physically in direct competitions of strength. Toughness, ability to endure pain, and strength are more male values than female, although to some extent the androgynous regime attempts to dampen the differences.
When men aren’t permitted to compete with each other directly as is their natural inclination, they become stunted and weak. Feminine institutional values like ‘no fighting, no loud shouting, don’t be mean’ will tend to just produce soft and stunted boys who never make the full transition to manhood. They have to be tested by each other and their elders to become strong. Otherwise, they stay feeble, cringing from conflict like beaten dogs.
Mixed-sex friendship groups also exacerbate this, encouraging both groups to mute sexual polarity in the name of the equality idea.
This informal socialization has been necessary to make the formal, forced integration regime feasible. If people didn’t at least feel like it could be possible, the support for the laws would weaken. Because everyone is now socialized into mixed-sex institutions from a young age, what’s actually unnatural and unusual appears to be the opposite. This argument is only controversial now. It wasn’t controversial 60 years ago. It probably won’t be controversial in 30 years or less.
In order to reverse this, the early integration also has to be reversed. Trying to go about it from the opposite direction is only likely to result in halfway success at best. To some extent, all the people raised in a society with androgynous ideals will be somewhat androgynous, if only by force of habit.
R. Wilbur says
This is good. I’ll be able to use this in my long-running effort to explain to my fiance that “not all faggots are gay, and not all gays are faggots”.
Girls just don’t get that.
“What this tends to lead to are social groups conditioned down to what women feel safe and comfortable with.”
Very true. Also, boys are criticized for their deviations from normative female behavior. For example, in my school we were told relentlessly that girls matured more and quicker in all ways than boys. I think they must have been referring to fart jokes, though; when it came time to take the fight to playground tyrants, only boys like myself had the necessary moral courage to start a confrontation and risk our “jungle” status.
I think a lot of it has to do with women teaching boys. The fundamental disconnect about violence did not exist with the one masculine man in my school; he would always somehow be looking elsewhere when we were playing tackle football in some distant corner of the playground.
This blog is really good. That previous post about the corporate and statist incentives behind feminism is still frequently in my thoughts. Keep it up, Mr. Dampier.
Leo Grouse says
A mere glance at the statistics on the number of male to female teachers is evidence enough. People stress the need for same sex parent-child representation in a child’s upbringing (mothers for girls and fathers for boys), but fail to make the connection that early schooling and parenting require the exact same tactics. Male rites of passage evaporating from culture, the stigma of men being around children, the absence of strong male cultural figures, the list is endless
I think this is the silent, larger problem with all those teacher sex scandals. It’s less the sex, more that the larger group of boys are being turned into mutants.
The androgynous look is rather popular in the fashion industry when it comes to photo shoots — they do it particularly hard if the model is non-straight. If you find pictures of models/actresses before their willingness to succumb to the “this is art/gender pffft” mentality it’s rather heart breaking. Some were quite naturally feminine, but due to a short haircut, a semi-smirk/pout, a tie and suit jacket aided with makeup that renders their cheek bones and jaw into ‘nothing’ whatever they’re trying to accomplish becomes a confused act of attention. If you asked them what they are they’d probably give some mouth full of BS like any modernist would.
The usual statement is that it’s gay men in fashion driving the trend, but because everyone believes that, I doubt it.
I think it’s because a lot of fashion consumers, who are old hags, like the boyish look. They gravitate to those manly haircuts, and enjoy clothes that butch them up a bit. At the same time, they enjoy the photos of more feminine dresses etc. but tend to be too dumpy to pull off those kinds of looks.
Pretty rare for a head-turner to bother dressing in much else besides jeans unless it’s to dress up for the nightclub. And even then, why bother, if every Tom Dick & Harry will be approaching you even if you wear jeans? Women aren’t competing with each other all that much.
I think the belief that the fashion industry is mostly run by gay men is directed more so of the thinness & height of the models used. The androgyny fetish, I’m not where exactly it comes from, seems like a “its cool” type of things, and adopting a blurred lines approach if the model’s face allows it.
High couture seems like an industry that relies on old and very rich women (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wqkgo6fV8q8), but I’, not sure if the androgynous look is popular because of them. It would be an interesting sociological/journalistic piece to undertake.
What I find ironic is that I’d bet many of them would hate the white corporate mega-wealthy Americans, but since it’s okay that they have an interest is art (George Orwell, when he criticized art said, “Just pronounce the magic word “Art,” and everything is O.K” and Roger Kimball, “What is it about the word ‘art’? Pronounce it, and the IQ of susceptible folk is instantly halved.”)
And yes, in my reflection of dating and the dynamics between men & women and building a relationship, the men are assume to take the lead and really makeup for whatever physical negatives they might have. Not really handsome? You need money ideally from a cool/prestigious job with more confidence than someone who is considered handsome. It’s not just one aspect of a less than Calvin Klein guy needs to work on, it’s practically the entire wheelhouse. I suppose it’s a blessing in disguise.
* but since it’s okay that they have an interest is art (George Orwell, when he criticized art
Meant to say “it’s okay since they [the very old and rich women] have an interest in art” that they’re exempt from “the evil & greedy 1%.”
What about girls like me who have always been interested in sparring and arguing? In a segregated society I need to masquerade as a man or change to be more feminine.
Another woman basically asked this question to me before. It reminded me instantly of the scene in “Iron Lady” when Streep-as-Thatcher stands up to the table full of liberal fags and out-argues them. Although I didn’t bring it up at the time.
Which is fine; I can respect that sort of strength to an extent. It also causes more problems for the men than whatever talent it might uncover. Obviously, more traditional society was not all that segregated, socially: it’s just that the specialized debate societies were. It’s not as if masculine-leaning women are unknown in history.
In your contemporary situation, it’s a bit different. Society still needs strong people, but because the men around you are probably such weak characters, the women tend to feel a need to stand up and put on a stronger front. That’s at least my thought on the matter.