the bottling and selling of "masculinity-obsession" and "gender-insecurity"

We all have obsessions. I'm as guilty as the next person of having mine. But I try not to become too obsessed politically, lest I develop that disease of hyper-obsession known as "activism." I had my fill of activism and activists when I was in Berkeley, and I know the creature well. Not only can I spot em, I can smell 'em. Activists are the kind of people who are so obsessed that ordinary people avoid them. This might be the best approach, because activists are like trolls in the sense that there's no winning with them. They'll lie, evade, obfuscate, or if they lose on a point, immediately switch topics. And of course, because they're so much more obsessed than everyone else, they'll keep you up all night at a city council meeting forcing their opponents to hear them pontificate, moralize, and sermonize. Of course, any disagreement with them leads to a charge that the opponent is obsessed, moralizing, and sermonizing. For non-activists, this gets very tedious, and the process tends to weed out all except the activists.

Sigh.

This post is already tedious, and I've barely started it. One of my admitted weaknesses as a blogger is that I have a serious aversion to repeating myself, and I don't enjoy arguments. I like to think that when I have made a point, I shouldn't have to ever make it again.

Well, good luck dealing with activists if you feel that way. And for that matter, good luck dealing with Glenn Greenwald, a blogger I think it is fair to call an anti-masculinity activist (if not an angry eunuch).

A recent Greenwaldian pronouncement takes the form of yet another tedious judgment on Glenn Reynolds, who Greenwald of all people calls

the single most masculinity-obsessed and gender-insecure commentator in America, Glenn Reynolds (followed closely by his wife)
(Wow. Do all the radio shriekers like Michael Savage know they've been beaten by a mild mannered man whose strongest word is usually "Heh"?)

Masculinity-obsessed and gender-insecure?

OK, let me make a stab at that. I think most regular readers know I am anything but masculinity obsessed or into the "manly man" crap. (Well, I have my lesbian tendencies, and I might be a pre-pre-op, transcended transsexual, but never mind that right now.) I tend to question all premises, and I have condemned what I see as a tendency to create canine and human eunuchs -- both male and female. But in general, I am a strong proponent of leaving people alone, and maximum sexual freedom, and I do not like activists who try to tell people how to live their lives. I don't like lectures on why (or how) to "be a man," nor do I appreciate lectures on the undesireability of manhood, or masculinity. To the extent I am obsessed, I'm obsessed with being left alone. People who won't leave others alone irritate me.

Thus, I think I'm pretty good at spotting obsessions. I've been reading Instapundit for well over five years, and to call Glenn Reynolds "obsessed" with the subject of masculinity is laughable. Sure, there have been posts dealing with masculinity, and yes, Glenn promoted the Dangerous Book for Boys. (I think he also promoted a dangerous book for girls, as well as the Dangerous Book for Dogs. Maybe that was the Instawife; I don't know. I'm not keeping score like Madame Greenie La Fargewald. But I know the "manly man" variety of obsession when I see it, and I find it tedious. If Glenn Reynolds was about that, I'd have long ago stopped reading Instapundit.)

But anyway, in classic activist fashion, Greenwald has pronounced Glenn "obsessed" with upholding manly manhood, and as evidence he cites a link to a post by Norman Podhoretz, and the previous links to the Dangerous Book for Boys.

Why, I'm wondering, is there not a word about the "happily married gay couples with closets full of assault weapons"? I can't think of a better way to pee on the manly manhood brigade, but never mind that.

This is activism!

As I say, I hate repeating myself and I don't want to bore readers, and I know that with this post I risk getting into a peeing contest with a skunk (of the sort I've been repeatedly cautioned against since childhood) and end up looking as obsessed as Glenn Greenwald.

(Or God forbid, obsessed with Glenn Greenwald!)

My flesh crawls at the thought, and not in an especially good way. But still, I must elaborate. I think that to call Greenwald obsessed is an understatement, as he postively reeks of obsession as only a true activist can. To return to the "peeing contest with a skunk" analogy, Greenwald is like a skunk so saturated by the discharges of his anal glands that he reeks through and through.

On the subject of "masculinity" he is so obsessed that if his obsession could be extracted, the stench could be bottled and sold in small quantities, like a fragrance.

But alas! Unfortunately, the name has already been taken by Calvin Klein.

And seriously, I don't have time for this shit. I really don't.

But certain inner sock puppets do, and I am unable to control their obsessive urges as expressed here, nor their obsessive Calvinistic destiny as manifested here:

wuzObsessed4.jpg

Yes, Obsession is destiny! Nothing cums between me and my obsessions!

But I think it's fair to ask who is really "the single most masculinity-obsessed and gender-insecure commentator in America"?

Who is the busiest commissar where it comes to policing the masculinity of others?

Is it transhumanist, pro-sodomy, gay-marriage-supporting Glenn Reynolds, who had the unmitigated effrontery to link a futuristic transmasculinst post like this long and sensitive discussion of the pros and cons of masculinity?

Who is really obsessed? Who is calling who who?

(Or who is calling who what?)

Perhaps this is not worth getting worked up about. Or as Greenwald would call it, "hand-wringing" and "breathless moralizing." Ace also says Greenwald has "forgotten more about 'hand-wringing' and 'breathless moralizing' than most of us will ever know."

He's also forgotten more about masculinity obsessions and gender insecurity than most of us will ever know.

The obsessions have become tedium.

Tedium?

Hey, that might be a good name for a new fragrance.....

posted by Eric on 03.11.08 at 10:37 AM










Comments

We all have obsessions. I'm as guilty as the next person of having mine. But I try not to become too obsessed politically, lest I develop that disease of hyper-obsession known as "activism." I had my fill of activism and activists when I was in Berkeley, and I know the creature well. Not only can I spot em, I can smell 'em. Activists are the kind of people who are so obsessed that ordinary people avoid them. This might be the best approach, because activists are like trolls in the sense that there's no winning with them. They'll lie, evade, obfuscate, or if they lose on a point, immediately switch topics...

I would consider myself a pretty strong second amendment activist, as I'm very involved in the issue. But I've experienced what you speak of here from my own side as well as the others. I do think you can (and should) take an approach to activism that's not off putting to other people. Activists have a difficult time accepting a few key things:


  • Most people don't care about their issue.

  • Their views are minority views. A majority might have sympathies to the cause, but your views as an activist are minority views.
  • You can't win if the only people on your side are other activists, because you'll never convince everyone to be like you.
  • Sometimes these delusions become so blinding that activists can't see that people who are 80% with them on the issue ought to be considered allies. Accept the activist dogma, 100%, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem, and only we have the solution.

    I actually think sensible people who care about issues need to think about being more activists oriented, and more involved, because if you rely on the crazy ones to do the heavy lifting, they'll further marginalize that which you care about. You can't let the inmates run the asylum.

    Sebastian   ·  March 11, 2008 11:31 AM

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