Bad Boys, Dumb Boys, Roy Moore and our “Cultural Moment”

Is there a male alive today who doesn’t cringe at every new revelation of sexual misbehavior? God we look bad. Whether blatantly criminal, like Harvey Weinstein and Roy Moore, or farcically oafish, like GOP Rep. Tony Cornish here in Minnesota, the male “brand” is taking a brutal beating in this “cultural moment.”

And for the (very) most part that’s a good thing. We’re witnessing an astonishing outing of perverts, boors and dorks. It’s a comeuppance that is generations-to-centuries overdue. As I’ve said before, since we live under the minority rule of gun fetishists, we’re not going to do anything about our weekly assault rifle slaughters, so maybe all this attention being paid to male sexual/ego dysfunction will accomplish something positive.  (Clearly, the gun slaughter thing has been reduced to: A week of news coverage, “thoughts and prayers” and “let’s move on”.)

Having become a fan of Yuval Harari’s books on human evolution, I’ve been wondering how much of this predatory sexual behavior is a modern invention? And by “modern” I mean post-agricultural revolution?

Did adult males in our hunter-gatherer days lurk malevolently around adolescent girls — like a pervy Fred Flintstone at the Bedrock Mall — and force themselves on them against their will? Was violent rape a common occurrence?  Did sexual fantasies of power and domination control male behavior? Sexual interaction between males and females of “breeding age” was common. We know that. But what about the violence part? The literature I’ve seen recently is mixed, but trending to the belief that this twisted, contorted notion of male dominance is yet another example of a large percentage of the human population — most notably the males — failing to adapt to the exponential increase in population, competition and discordant cultural messages.

Pretty much every culture war issue can be broken down to a diminishment of the archetypal male role. Our big muscle skill set began to be less important to species survival when we stopped having to spear and wrestle mastodons to the ground. Likewise the need for us males to spread our seed to as many females as possible has been making less and less sense species survival-wise since we settled down to farming and began producing more off-spring than we could feed.

A friend the other day mentioned he was called into a faculty meeting at the college where he teaches. The topic? You guessed it. Sexual harassment in the work place, (and by extension everywhere else.) He correctly saw his role at that meeting as, “Shut up and listen.” The women had plenty of venting to do, and this is their time to do it. No mansplaining required or allowed. (It’s fascinating to see the level of passion coming from media women on political chat shows. They are truly seizing the moment to clue — men — into all the crap they’ve been putting up with since junior high but until now have quarantined to lunches with their girlfriends.)

There’s a worry among the usual retrograde types — Sean Hannity, Alabama Republicans, etc. — that not only are fine Suth’n gentlemen like Roy Moore being tarred without a trial — but every male is now going to be treated like a criminal pervert.

That of course is part and parcel of the usual hysteria from the perpetually aggrieved, a description the Trumpist right wears round their necks like a medieval scapular. With male attention — sought an unsought — playing as large a role in women’s lives as it does (the reverse being at least as true for men), I’m not too concerned “the gals” will have a hard time making out the qualitative difference between getting raped (Harvey Weinsten), preyed upon and groped (Roy Moore and Donald Trump), being shocked and disgusted (Louis CK), inappropriately seduced and abandoned (Bill Clinton), aggravated and annoyed (Tony Cornish) or semi-amused and filled with pity at the average guy’s generally clueless and clumsy come ons.

Women have made a science of male behavior. Think of us as simple, one-cell/one track paramecium being observed under a microscope. The Harveys and Roys and Louis of the world are no surprise to them. All that’s going on now is that evolution has ticked up a notch to where (western) women can say out loud and with less fear of male repercussion what they’ve been saying to each other for, mm, several thousand years.

 

 

4 thoughts on “Bad Boys, Dumb Boys, Roy Moore and our “Cultural Moment”

  1. Another home run, Brian. I only thought one statement was not quite true for a lot of women: the Cornish comments make some feel very uncomfortable and more than “annoyed.”

    I”m interviewing John Choi and Terry Williams (VP of Women’s Foundation of MN) Monday about the culture shift needed and how it ties in to sex trafficking, so I’ll share this with them.

    Thanks for being one of the good guys who is speaking out!!

    Mary
    The Mary Hanson Show

  2. Yes, a moment of cultural evolution. The goal posts have been moved. What was once allowed no longer is. The world is not ending, and we will adjust, and all be better for it, ultimately.

    I just wish that O’Reilly was still somewhere to be seen, so i could hear his impassioned whine about how none of this is fair….

  3. Thank you Brian for putting into words what many of us men feel about the abhorrent behavior of some of our group. I hope we are finally at a point for men everywhere to join these brave women and firmly insist these behaviors cease.
    However I fear we still have a significant struggle ahead. There is something horrifying about the political calculus that chooses an unrepentant girl-molesting politician over a scandal-free one..

  4. Well, here’s that “calculus,” Noel: Alabama’s Gov. Ivey, (yes, she is Woman, hear her roar!) explains that it’s all about the Supreme Court nominations. Of course, that was the very same rationale just a year ago for the Republicans to all rally around the Orange Maggot after he got their nomination. Control of the courts. What is so important about this to them? They willingly sacrifice common sense, common decency, moral integrity and intellectual consistency, in order to finish their project of packing the courts of justice for their own selfish partisan purposes. What’s the reason? As near as I can figure, it is a coalescence or hybridization of selfishness and self-righteousness. The plutocrats really want to be able to use courts to gut, to judicially abrogate, all laws which impede their divine right to get even richer. These include environmental protection laws, labor rights and working condition regulation, any kind of protection or security for employee pensions, health care legislation, product safety law, and almost any other public-interest law or institution. Teaming up with the plutocrats are the theocrats and their all-too-well-denominated “flocks”—the followers whose blind attachment to their pastors (the word means “shepherd”) makes them so willing to be fleeced.
    The theocrats are within a millimeter of finally winning after 50 years of frustration. When Senator Moore is appointed to take Ruth Ginzburg’s place on the SCOTUS, it will be jubilee. Goodbye, Roe v. Wade decision. Adios, same-sex marriage. And then as the song says, “Let’s put prayer and Bible-reading back in schools,” and let’s put unlimited tax money into churches & church schools. And I’m sure they’ve got even Holier stuff up their sleeves . . . or somewhere.
    So as any pious person will attest, God works His Will in mysterious ways, and who are we to question whether He deigns to use the most unworthy of instruments for His purposes. Indeed, as any true Protestant Son of the South is sure to remind us, Judge Moore ain’t special, because we ALL are unworthy sinners (or do I mean “we-all”?) So there–judge not lest ye be judged! And then brace yourself because “Here comes de judge” and filled with the Holy Spirit, at that. Baaaaa.

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