Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gendercide

io9: Found Footage: Y Not Two Last Men?:

Photobucket A popular theme in science fiction films is a future (or hidden or extra terrestrial or Amazonian) world in which men have been eradicated* and women have formed their own lesbianic society. Usually what happens in these films is that a man or group of men who act as our main protagonists, wander into these worlds and in the end, couple up with some woman/women and everyone learns that the sexes really do need each other.

Hahaha. I'm just joking. What really happens is that the men teach the women that yes, women need men. I've managed to find a few of these films entertaining despite their sexism, because they were just silly. I think Queen of Outer Space is the only film that left a horrendously bad taste in my mouth. Today, however, perhaps it is the fact that I am in the middle of reading Second Sex and io9 posted the above clip that has me in such a tizzy.

You see, I am not offended by the proposition that men and women need each other. No, that's fine. I'm a red-blooded heterosexual woman. I love men. I'd hate not having men around. It's just the fact that men feel the need to tell us that we need them which is slightly offensive. Men (I am now using this term to refer to the patriarchal and misogynistic variety of the male homo sapiens) have always understood that they need women:

  1. Women provide sexual pleasure (for heterosexual men, who make up the majority of the male population)
  2. Women are necessary for reproduction
  3. Women take care of children and handle other domestic chores that are unappealing to many men

If men did not need women, they would have eradicated us. But instead they have enslaved us. As our societies have changed, men's superior strength has become less and less of an evolutionary advantage. As woman began seeking equality, man got scared at the threat to his supremacy. If woman no longer needs man for protection and science and cloning can make reproduction possible without man, then woman can survive without man.

I leave you with a quote from Second Sex:

In truth women have never set up female values in opposition to male values; it is man who, desirous of maintaining masculine prerogatives, has invented that divergence. Men have presumed to create a feminine domain - the kingdom of life, of immanence - only in order to lock women therein.

Ok, I lied. One more thought before I go: Can anyone tell me of any movies in which the opposite is true? In which there is but one woman left?

Movies of Note:

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*In some cases, there are men around for breeding purposes.

5 comments:

Greg said...

"If men did not need women, they would have eradicated us."

I see women indulge in sexism, themselves. So men are so evil that they would have destroyed women were it not for their need to procreate and release sperm while doing it? Thank you, glad to know that all men, regardless of character or action, are held so highly in your opinion.

"But instead they have enslaved us."

Men and women have been held in actual slavery in every race since the beginning of time. The subservience of women in most cultures is not even close to the same thing. The amount of actual work in a vast majority of cultures was shared equally. Our roles as warrior and mother grew out of our biology, but such kowtowing to our physiology doesn't exclude respect for one another, a man's inability to carry out domestic duties, nor a woman's ability to fight. Much of history has been presented to us today through our modern lens. Simply because men were physically stronger and warriors and women had the ability, and the assigned duty, of giving birth does not mean that men raped women when they pleased and women never defended or fought for themselves. Our history is filled with diverse cultures, and while most of them were male-dominated, that does not mean that women amounted to the role of slaves.

"As our societies have changed, men's superior strength has become less and less of an evolutionary advantage. As woman began seeking equality, man got scared at the threat to his supremacy. If woman no longer needs man for protection and science and cloning can make reproduction possible without man, then woman can survive without man."

Yes, this is a fear by some stupid men. I think it is an interesting coincidence that these films that you reference are apparently awful and stupid. The story of the Amazons in classical mythology never includes any aspect of man saving them nor taught that they need men. It seems, by all available sources, to be a modern creation, as you have said. But I am pointing out that it is not exactly a widespread fear and I won't justify it by going into why it isn't.

"I leave you with a quote from Second Sex:

In truth women have never set up female values in opposition to male values; it is man who, desirous of maintaining masculine prerogatives, has invented that divergence. Men have presumed to create a feminine domain - the kingdom of life, of immanence - only in order to lock women therein."

I'll just say it here, I think any statement assigning any characteristic or action to an entire sex is simply idiotic, much like this quote.

If you don’t want me to read your blog anymore, I respect that. I’m not sure I would want someone like me making these kinds of responses to my thoughts, but I respect you too much to simply dismiss you.

Marian said...

"Men (I am now using this term to refer to the patriarchal and misogynistic variety of the male homo sapiens)."

I apologize for not putting that sentence at the beginning of this post and for not specifying that I meant that this would be the definition of this word throughout this rant.

But just a few more responses:
1. Throughout history women and men have played an equal role in the maintenance of societies, of course. But as the make-up of societies changed, so did the perspective of the amount of importance women played. I'll provide a bibliography of books on the subject upon request. Admittedly, I've not read all of any of them but only some of most of them.

2. You often assume the most simplistic and literal definitions of terms that I use. (Please see #2 in this definition. I did not say that women became slaves with no free will. Even real slaves had some freedoms. Different people throughout history who have been different types of slaves have had different levels of freedom. This is a blog post and not a book, so I can't sit and expound on every sentence and word...but what I mean by enslavement is that women are provided with a limited set of choices, with the limitations being placed upon them by our paternalistic society.

3. "Simply because men were physically stronger and warriors and women had the ability, and the assigned duty, of giving birth does not mean that men raped women when they pleased and women never defended or fought for themselves." I did not say that and nor did I intend to imply it. That is the sort of thing that people only think feminists or angry women think.

I of course want you to continue to read my blog. You force to me to reconsider the way I write because I'm obviously too easily misunderstood and misinterpreted.

And I also apologize because I'm having a shitty day and can't think well enough to respond to this more clearly.

Greg said...

I take full responsibility for not clearly absorbing your adjusted definition of the word in question and am legitimately embarrassed by my failure to recognize it as such. I do feel that the term 'men' is such a basic and simplistic term, often if not always devoid of alternative meanings, that an adjoined adjective of some kind would have helped as a reminder. I know you've already essentially said this, I simply want to clarify that my embarrassment comes with a qualification.

1. I find this true as you do, and always have, but, (as I clumsily addressed in my previous comment), your comments didn't seem to specify a time and place. I could not continue to agree or disagree or simply learn from your point because the lack of information and what is presented is entirely vague.

2. It is indeed not a book, but a blog. You cannot expound on every detail, but some details, no matter the medium are crucial. I'd argue that this is one of those details. From my perspective as a reader it 'slavery' seems a very dramatic term to use and rereading the blog I am given no reason to assume any definition than the one I know: the ownership of one person by another. There are some cultures and times when the term in its most literal form is an understatement when discussing the role of women. There are some cultures and times when even your adjusted definition of the term in your response is inappropriate and overly dramatic. Some men (in some cultures in some times) were given as little choices as the women whether because of caste, wealth, race, religion, or even appearance. An oppression not limited to men of course, but hardly a characteristic solely of women.

3. I honestly do not know of what many feminists think, nor do I know what many non-feminists think of feminists. I can quote stereotypes and groups, but any statement about either feminists or non-feminists would be wholly inadequate and unjust. Considering the very term divides, I am apparently a feminist by some people's standards, and a chauvinist pig by others, or so my Birthday cards keep telling me. I obviously read into your comment the passage you quoted because I wrote it, and I don't write lies for the sake of lies. And obviously I know (somewhat) better what you meant, and I'll respect that. But reviewing your blog I'll reiterate I don't know why I should have read "slavery" as anything but what it has meant in every other usage I've seen.

Maybe by continuing with this response I am being some how disrespectful, but I'll risk it to make one more point. You use the term 'men' before and after a qualifier, that qualifier being that the men you are referring to are the patriarchal or misogynistic kind. That those variety of men would have eradicated women out if those variety of men did not need them. What about the other kinds of men? The good men that exist and have existed? They would have stood idly by while this happened? Would they have died fighting for women? I understand you were not writing an essay, but I ask that you see it from my perspective. I doubt I am a good man, but I know that I am not an evil one. Being a man who is not evil, imagine what the sentence "If men did not need women, they would have eradicated us." or "But instead they have enslaved us." makes someone like me feel? My reaction was indeed an intellectual one no matter how flawed or reasonable those arguments might be. But even as simply a blog of your thoughts, you have to consider what you're writing and the possibility that basic thoughts inaccurately expressed with constant alternative meanings for its terms can affect a person's emotional state and blind them to those alternative meanings behind the literal ones. Does this mean the fault is mine as well? Probably, but, to be honest, right now I don't feel too bad about myself.

I love you and hope that your shitty day went down the toilet. Now, if you excuse me, I have to go kill some Englishmen.

Marian said...

All I have to say is this: white men don't have feelings. So I don't believe anything you say.

Greg said...

SHE'S FOUND US OUT, OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!......OOOO!