ARE WESTERN MEN TOO DOMESTICATED?
(AP photo/ John Locher.)
While the MeToo movement has accomplished many good things, exposing an array of real sexual predators, it has also occasionally strayed over the lines, in this commentator’s estimation. Lost in the effort to properly domesticate Western men is context. Context! Meaning, the relationships between men and women worldwide.
Case in point is Saturday night’s UFC mixed martial arts fight between Conor McGregor and Russian Muslim Khabib Nurmagomedov, which Khabib won fairly easily.
Conor McGregor had been the Gold Standard for macho male misbehavior. Saturday night he was out-macho’d and out misbehaved. First Khabib defeated McGregor in the Octagon, then climbed out of the cage they’d fought inside and began beating on McGregor’s trainers. A domesticated male? Not hardly.
(Khabib with wife.)
Khabib Nurmagomedov comes from an ultra-macho culture, and an extremely populous (1.5 billion-and-growing) male-dominated religion in which women are manifestly subservient.
While Western Man is becoming feminized.
(Bora Zivkovic with friends.)
Think I’m joking? Poster Boy for Male Misbehavior on the literary scene might be Monica Byrne Target #1, 125-pound Bora Zivkovic, aka “The Hugger.” His modus operandi wasn’t jumping out of ring cages and punching out people, but being in effect “one of the gals.” Harmless– one would think.
Ah, but then those dastardly male hormones kicked in. Out with Mischievous Monica for a drink, married Zivkovic confided– as any “gal” might do– in Monica about his unsatisfactory sex life. That was enough. Outrage! Zivkovic career destroyed. The poor soul still doesn’t know what hit him. As befuddled as Conor McGregor after last night’s fight. As if Bora himself had been in the ring with dangerous Khabib.
What happened to Bora Zivkovic? Check out this article by Amy Alkon from 2015 and read the gory details.
(NOTE: Monica Byrne’s next hapless target was discredited for giving Monica an actual hug, at the end of a night of drinking.)
(Monica Byrne at 15.)
Never mind that Monica Byrne lifts weights, beats men at arm wrestling, and might give Khabib Nurmagomedov a tougher battle in the MMA cage than did Conor McGregor.
WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?
The solution isn’t to turn Western men into walking wimps afraid to raise their voices or offer a difference of opinion to women. (Both instances used as evidence of abuse in the Junot Diaz case.)
NEITHER is it to pretend men and women are physically and temperamentally the same. (Volatile Celt Monica Byrne notwithstanding.) On the whole, by nature women are less aggressive, and more easily triggered– as events have shown– than males of the species. A distinction which can’t be wished away, no matter how many Gender-and-Feminism 201 courses are taken stating otherwise.
NOR is the solution to divide men and women forever into opposing camps of incels versus radical feminists, each side alienated and angry, warring with the other everywhere but in the MMA ring.
(Charlton Heston as “El Cid.”)
The solution? Perhaps the solution has been with us all along, in the chivalric ideal of knights powerful and pure of heart. Mighty in battle but behaving with deference and gentleness toward the esteemed ladies who give their quests purpose.
Such ideal is considered woefully obsolete in this unhappy period of Harvey Weinstein pigs and purge-hungry Poetry Cops. In this timid time of self-censorship and safe zones. Of sexless Mao-jacket sameness in all things.
Could the chivalric ideal of gentlemen and ladies return?
Should it return?
You tell me.
-Karl Wenclas for New Pop Lit NEWS