Wednesday, July 8, 2009

But Who Will Kill The Icky Spider?

Oh, crap. I spent half the day putting together a post about the mess that is “the death of macho,” conservative author Reihan Salam’s equal-opportunity-offender tome to the global economic crisis and how it will lead to a female-dominated world.

There’s just too much wrong with this article to know where to even start, so I’ve given up. Suffice it to say, Salam relies on a lot of outdated stereotypes about gender roles, cherry-picked statistics and some mighty selective international examples to conclude that men are on the way out and women are ascendent.

You see, the global recession has hit men harder than women, since the job losses have occurred in male-dominated fields like finance, manufacturing and construction. As a result, males worldwide have folded like lawn chairs, ill equipped to handle their newfound irrelevancy.

Men of the world now lie curled in the fetal position, sucking their thumbs, leaving only lesbian women with mustaches to fill the void. Males must adapt to this new world order run by females, he warns, or resist. And resistance means violence, ‘cuz they’re dudes and that’s how they roll.

Okie dokie.

I think I should have stopped reading after the third paragraph when I got to this:
The death throes of macho are easy to find if you know where to look.

Must. not. make. obvious. joke.

Courtney at Feministing has written a good rebuttal to this nonsense:

I don't think anyone can herald the "death of macho," or that men are an "endangered species" (Zincenko), until things actually change. Women still aren't making equal pay for equal work and still are disproportionately targeted with subprime mortgages. As Dana Goldstein reports in "Pink Collar Blues," sixty percent of impoverished children are living in female-headed households. The poverty rate is still higher among women than it is among men of any race. One out of six American women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime.

Not exactly the “women on top” view of the world Salam presents.

Just for kicks I though I'd show everyone Salam's hilarious look at the post-macho world:

Surly, lonely, and hard-drinking men, who feel as though they have been rendered historically obsolete, and who long for lost identities of macho, are already common in ravaged post-industrial landscapes across the world, from America’s Rust Belt to the post-Soviet wreckage of Vladimir Putin’s Russia to the megalopolises of the Middle East. If this recession has any staying power, and most believe it does, the massive psychic trauma will spread like an inkblot.


Seriously. I want a job where I can mix some government statistics with my personal social stereotypes, arrive at a dumbass thesis and get paid for it. I don't think macho will ever die because as long as there's testosterone, there's gonna be macho. But if I'm wrong and macho is indeed dead, it's because of the failure of this:

Think about it. It was the ultimate macho moment, and it was a spectacular FAIL.

Macho ain't dead. As Adam Kleinheider found to his horror and disbelief, men are still screwing around on their wives. Gun and ammo sales are up. "The Proposal" is only number four at the box office.

Fear not.