Tuesday, November 07, 2023

Auntie Jackie's war on thinking



The Guardian

But what about that generation of young men who already feel marginalised from a consumer society, who have been denied most of the markers that traditionally help boys become men: decent jobs, responsible dads, stable homes of their own and, often in consequence, meaningful adult relationships. Would opening up about doubt and vulnerability in itself allow them to achieve self-worth and purpose?

 Nina Power’s provocative and rigorous book addresses some of those questions from a traditional feminist perspective. 

The Spectator

Power’s argument is that the all-out assault on men has gone too far. The mistake, she says, is in ‘treating people as mere examples of a negative category, rather than as complex individuals in their own right’. This, she argues, can be dangerously counterproductive. If you categorise men in this way, then you open up the possibility that other types can also be categorised — gay people, trans people and so on — and you merely substitute one sort of unfairness for another.

The Critic

Like most female writers with something interesting to say, Power has been subject to persistent harassment for challenging progressive orthodoxy. In more recent writing she has drawn upon such diverse intellectual influences as the theologian Ivan Illich, theorist of transgression Georges Bataille and various pagan writings on nature and love. Her work has been labelled “reactionary” and “transphobic” by an institutionalised left, resulting in her deplatforming at arts and cultural events, and shunning from leftist publications. Likely because of this, Power doesn’t mince words in her new book.

The Irish Independent

Power’s position is one that resists neat categorisations of ‘progressive’ or ‘conservative’. It is perhaps best described as hybridised.  On the one hand, her analysis is underpinned by a deeply critical, social justice-oriented critique of late capitalism. In this hollowed out landscape, needs that were once met through meaningful connection and interdependency are now poorly fulfilled by lonely bouts of consumerism. On the other, she advocates what might be termed ‘traditional values’, whether it be virtues associated with older versions of masculinity such as courage or stoicism or people’s desire for a family life.

Daily Mail

In my new book, What Do Men Want? I look at masculinity in crisis. Modern-day realities such as capitalism, consumerism and constant interconnectedness mean that the values that once held us together — family, religion, service and honour — are in retreat. Some women have thrived, economically at least, in this brave new world, but in righting historic injustices I believe we have somehow tipped the balance toward the idea that men as a class are inherently oppressive

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Tissues for men

A similar thought was aired in April 2018, when Russell Brown asked "Why are right-wing men *so* obsessed by Lizzie Marvelly?" The answers flooded in from adoring Marvellettes: "Because she's awesome"; "You wonder if they realise how much it says about them"; "They  scared. Ain’t prawn cocktails at the mandalay no more, old men"; "I do wonder if it’s a bit like the six year old boy at school, who’s only way of showing affection towards a girl is to hurt/ denigrate her"; "I think there is something about 'seen and not heard' that bugs them"; "Aren’t most rightwingers obsessed about something?" 

It was all going swimmingly. But then, some progressive men responded:

 The men continued:

But then, David Cohen intervened:

Friday, October 13, 2023

The struggle to get laid In San Francisco

From The Struggle To Find Trans Love In San Francisco (For one trans woman, finding a date within San Francisco’s lesbian community turned out to be much harder than she anticipated) by Julia Serano

Sexual attraction is a complex phenomenon, and of course there is lots of individual variation. I certainly do not expect every cis queer woman to swoon over me. And if it were only a small percentage of cis dykes who were not interested in trans women at all, I would write it off as simply a matter of personal preference. But this not a minor problem—it is systemic; it is a predominant sentiment in queer women’s communities. And when the overwhelming majority of cis dykes date and fuck cis women, but are not open to, or are even turned off by, the idea of dating or fucking trans women, how is that not transphobic? And to those cis women who claim a dyke identity, yet consider trans men, but not trans women, to be a part of your dating pool, let me ask you this: How are you not a hypocrite?  
I did not write this piece to vent about my dating life. I go out on plenty of dates, and I’m having lots of super-fucking-awesome sex, just not with cis women at the moment. 


With regards to meeting queer women, it seems that traditionally much of this takes place in dyke bars and clubs. While I am sometimes in such spaces, I don’t feel that they are very conducive for me to meet potential romantic or sexual partners. This is partly due to the fact that I am generally read as a cis woman. While I recognize this is a privilege, as it makes my life significantly easier in many ways, it also means that any flirting, making out, or heavy petting I engage in will eventually lead to a coming-out-as-trans moment, which often leaves me with an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. While you would think that cis dykes (being more trans aware than the public at large) would take such coming outs in stride, this is not actually the case. Trans female friends of mine have had to suffer through cis dyke “freak out” moments, or even accusations of deception, that rival stereotypical reactions of straight people. For obvious reasons, I’d rather avoid this if I can.

Morton Feldman