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Seriously?!

Lets Blame Feminism for the Creation of a Wimpy Nation by Michele Stopera Freyhauf It is so easy to blame feminism for the ills of the world mainly because of continued misconceptions and misunderstandings about what the definition or meaning of feminism. Feminism is responsible for poverty, bad leadership, wars, the polar vortex, and the list goes on. Feminism is still considered a derogatory term that serves to prejudice many who label themselves as one. In fact, negative connotations surrounding feminism are exacerbated in todays culture, especially in the media. Fox News seems to be the poster child of femiphobia - a term coined by Stephen Ducat and defined as a person (or persons) wanting to repress every mans feminine side and demonize the feminine and gay wherever we see them. Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Nick Adams, in a recent interview, illustrates this femiphobic viewpoint by blaming feminism for raising a culture of wimps and wussies and thus compromising the U. S.s national security and weakening Global presence. According to this group, feminists are emasculating men, creating a nation of wimps that threatens Americas national security and global reputation. In other words, feminism is to blame for the problems of the world. According to Adams, men around the world are no longer allowed to be manly and that this phenomenon is a dangerous problem: American men are of course very susceptible to it. Its really important particularly in America given the leadership role that America has in the world that American men be allowed to be men. What does in mean to be a man and how is Adams defining that stereotype? While I am aware of the discussion of gender identity and roles even gendered stereotypes, this post is not about what those roles mean. Rather, for this post, I want to address the issue of masculinity, feminism, and what it means to be a wimp as portrayed by popular media. With that caveat in mind, I ask the following questions: Is the author suggesting a move to a hypermasculinity? Is Adams defining masculinity is such a way that moves our culture defined by aggression and violence where feminists even all women are demonized?

In a society dominated by an alpha male character trait, honor and pride is paramount. Let us replace so-called passive behavior with pride, abrasiveness, authoritarianism, and arrogance where women are demonized, assaulted, and raped. The call for real men or hyper-masculinity therefore provides a real potential to move us towards a misogynistic rape culture of violence on a level that moves us in the direction of barbarianism. Inasmuch as my perception may seem radical, it is not. Our media is already moving that direction (a problem I previously addressed on this blog). Media and the culture of

enlightened sexism (the so-called new feminism or anti-feminism depending on your viewpoint) encourages our daughters to be the servants and play things of men submitting even when the lines are blurred. The exchange between Hasselbeck and Adams illustrate just how the media is demonizing feminism when Adams is asked about feminisms role in emasculating our men: Hasselbeck: Is this in direct relation to feminism on the rise...Is it a result just sort of society seeing men that are not masculine and men that are as masculine being kind of demonized? Adams: Youve hit the nail on the head. Then the author goes on to say Its a very hard time to be a man in todays society where feminists are creating angry women and feminine men. Hasselbeck asks whether feminism impacts national security and reflects how a nation is seen globally by other countries. Adams answer is not a surprise: AbsolutelyWimps and wussies deliver mediocrity, and men win. and what Americas always been about is winning. So real men win? By blaming feminism for so-called character flaws, a bigger point is being overlooked. We are raising our children in a sanitized world where we eliminate as much room for failure as humanly possibly while, at the same time, removing fun and replacing the time with academic exercises and extracurricular activities. This, my friends, is not a feminist issue of creating a world of so-called wimps this is a cultural issue. And instead of playing the blame game, I think it is important to exam the crux of the problem. It should be stated, before I continue, that being a wimp it is not a physical trait nor is it an emasculated man; rather, it is a person who lacks backbone and gumption male or female. Hara Estroff Marano states that large number of so-called wimps in our society is directly related to how parents are raising their child(ren) in a sanitized manner a world dominated by Purell. From rubber cushion surfaces to minimize skinned knees, coaching or co-playing with our children, and sanitizing everything and everyone. Minimizing bad experiences no one loses in a game, no one gets lower than a C for a grade, never make a mistake never fail error is removed from the equation. Parents are going to ludicrous lengths to take the bumps out of life for their children. making kids more fragile; that may be why theyre breaking down in record numbers, according to Marano. The operative word here is parents not feminists. In such a framework, there is a genuine loss of leadership skills from the strict structures put into place by parents teachers coaches etc. Decisions do not need made; someone else is making those decisions.

As a mother myself, I also look at the shifting pedagogical focus of our childrens primary education: academic achievement rather than child development. I remember enrolling my eldest daughter in school and with a July birthday, there was a benchmark evaluation to see if she was mature enough to attend kindergarten or not. The basis for enrollment was matured social skills. By the time my twins enrolled, seven years later, maturity was not an issue, aptitude and cognitive ability was can they write the alphabet and answer rational questions. This emphasis of teaching to the test and intellectual emphasis from an early age has compromised our childrens ability to think outside the box and robbed them of the time needed to develop their creative and sensory abilities. Between being overprotected and new pedagogical focus, any free time that remains is occupied with a slew of extracurricular activities that does not allow our children to decompress or socially interact. Oversaturation and ignoring ample time for rest and social interaction compromises the development of important cognitive skills and social engagement, which are interrelated. I am sure three problems examined is only scratching the surface of the problem the tip of the iceberg, if you will. The point of this post is make a statement: instead of exhibiting femiphobic behavior and shifting the blame for the issues or problems that exist within a society, focus on what is actually causing the problems and find a way to fix it. Using terms of masculinity, alpha male, wimps, etc. plays into misunderstandings dependent on the understanding or context of what those terms mean to an individual. If the problem is lack of leadership skills, inability to think outside the box, etc. then identify the problem, do not play the blame game in the end that solves nothing and creates more problems and bigotry.