Politics Spirituality

Fatherhood, Perverse Masculinity, and Politics

Shadia Drury writes of

…the sort of perverse masculinity…for [which] fatherhood is a totally foreign ideal. Instead of being fathers and husbands, men are the inhabitants of ‘guy land where life is one large sports network, supplemented with fast cars, guns, and an endless parade of ‘gal pals’ – lovely women who are programmed to satisfy male sexual fantasies and then magically disappear without a trace, let alone a child.

Men are easily

seduced by the social Darwinism of the political right, with its vision of the world as a vast playing field for superstar linebackers and heroic entrepreneurs. In the absence of the Nanny State (the anathema of right-wing politics), men live out their days in fantasyland, using public funds only for bombs and spaceships, while women spend their lives caring for children and the elderly. In this way the political gender gap grows, not because women are different, but because men have turned their backs on the human race.

Well! What do you think of that?

This is taken from Shadia Drury’s book Leo Strauss and the American Right (p166). Drury is commenting on Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Whose Gap Is It, Anyway?”, Time (May 6, 1996, p43).


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  • I credit this to the repercussions from the bad points of the 1960’s-70’s feminist movement. Were I able to change one thing about those times, I would have sent all feminists to West Point to comprehend the virtues of giving one’s adversary a dignified retreat. As a woman, I have to say it’s true: men tend to fight to establish hierarchy, whereas women – who usually don’t fight – tend to fight to annihilate when they do. The feminist movement left men no dignity, on their spoken terms. Now we suffer the fulness of fundamentalism in part because men were so hurt, and retaliate in spades at the voting booth.

    Hence the legacy left over from the rhetoric of the ’70’s, which shamed white men in particular. I’m not justifying this movement of exalting masculinity (as if US men had cornered the market on that), but rather noticing where it got a good deal of its fuel.

    What sickens me is that this chest-beating has been sanctioned within churches (remember “fire in the belly,” etc?). Or that Laura Bush is taking up a campaign to make boys into a protected species (someone tell me what drugs that woman takes, so I make sure never to get that prescription).

    Dr. Drury rings true. It makes me wonder if a reexamination of the women’s movement may not be worthwhile, with a view towards lifting up women on an international basis, rather than the absurd reversals of the 70’s where women briefly did a lot of chest-thumping (“you’ve got your own cigarette now baby, you’ve come a long, long way” – remember that one?)

  • Dr. Drury has hit the nail on the head. What we (in America) call “equality of the sexes” is no more than the right wing’s attempt to seduce a few women (think: Dr. Rice) into the institutionalized oppression of women (and the repression of their aspirations).