Irradiated by LabRat
Minus a lot of extra words and tangents to specifically address certain points and arguments, and from a point of view that is not mine, that is. Perlhaqr, from the comments to the last on the onrunning exchange between Peter and I:
There is (as with most things) more than one thread involved in “masculinity”. Re-reading the first post here (the response to Peter and North), I grasp (I think) the objection feminists have to a patriarchy that considers them chattel. I would object to a matriarchy that treated me as chattel too. I think I can see “elimination of the patriarchy” as a laudable eventual goal. (But I’m a radical individualist anarchist, so, I would tend to think so. *shrug*) There is likely some question to be worked out about whether that’s something we can do now, since there will be some positive things a patriarchy might do better than a truly individualist society (war, probably), and in the world we live in we may need to continue to be able to do those things efficiently.
It’s a lot like the observation I had when reading Peter’s posts about Africa, that much like some Native tribal societies here in America, where a subsistence level existence required the full cooperation of the tribe. One person being an individualist might not lead to just the death of that person, but the death of the entire tribe. Of course this leads to taboos about individualist behaviour. Thus, in a world in which we need to wage violent war, patriarchal attitudes and structures may be of survival benefit in the short term.
I think the problem that North was trying to touch on was that the feminists who have sought to reform masculinity didn’t really understand what they were looking at, and threw the baby out with the bathwater. That there was (perhaps) a feeling of “Men smoke cigars and eat steak and swear and smell funny after they’ve been under the car for a couple hours and batter wives and rape and generally keep women in a subservient position, so if we get them to stop smoking cigars, eating steak, etc, we’ll get rid of the other things we dislike too.”
And what’s really needed is a renaissance of the medieval Knightly Virtues, only, with a uniquely 21st century bent of applying them to everyone and not indulging in the peasant girl rape and peasant slaughter that generally gets left out of the storybooks. Yes, from the historical lens we can see that those guys were generally a bunch of fucking bastards, but there are good parts of their philosophy which can be cherrypicked, basically. Defence of the innocent and the weak. Personal honor dependent on being honest, and brave, and true, and loyal. Scholarship. Stoicism. And of course, being the 21st century, we can recognize that there’s no reason not to instill some humans with these traits, simply because they have ovaries and breasts.
So, while I concur with the premise that there’s nothing inherently related to testes that calls for steak and cigars and whiskey, there’s nothing really wrong with those things either, and leaving them while excising the “ownership of women” mindset is a more valuable goal.