On Patriarchy and Big Fat Male Egos
by Cliff Mazer, Ph.D.
As a comfortable Caucasian Baby Boomer (CBB) living in the burbs, I was thinking this morning about the following question: “What’s so wrong with having a big fat male ego?” Moreover, is it really all that bad to live in a patriarchal society or paternalistic culture originally established by and for land owning white males? Certainly there are privileges, or as the comedian Louis CK says in one of his stand-up bits, “Hey, I’m a white man! It really gives you a leg up in society. You cant even hurt my feelings! Wheee!” On second thought, however, there IS a big problem with white male dominant cultures and not just because the demographics are changing rapidly. It’s more like history itself is trying to show us why racist patriarchies dont work.
While I could try to paste together a colorful slide show or “collect and organize” a Pinterest wall depicting images of Adolf Hitler, atomic bombs, world wars, lynchings, slavery, rape, gang violence, the MyLai massacre, the Holocaust, Watergate, obscenely expensive military satellites and Roman Legions marching gloriously into battle never to be seen again…that would take graphic design ability and technical prowess I lack. Instead, allow me to just use words and put it this way. When you think of Rush Limbaugh what comes to mind? When you consider all the people who listen to him and nod their fatheads in agreement instead of being completely stunned and utterly horrified, how does that make you feel?
I know that some other CBBs and political pundits like Shawn Hannity will dispute the oversimplified notion that all of the aforementioned are the direct result of male ego and patriarchy. They will say its human nature, survival of the fittest, the necessary progression of science and technology, and somewhere somehow something about second amendment rights in a free democracy. Also, one might argue “manifest destiny” and how the Founding Fathers wanted us to slaughter the indigenous people and build railroads, superhighways and Cracker Barrel restaurants across this great land.
2013 seems to me to be an excellent year to reevaluate our basic assumptions about nearly everything. If Ancient Rome was populated by confident men and chauvinistic citizens who routinely exercised their alpha male dominance over women, slaves, other countries, and even foreign empires they deemed inferior, then why did they feel it necessary to “erect” (excuse the pun) clay and stone penis sculptures everywhere for divine protection and good luck? For grand orators and august elder statesmen they were a pretty superstitious lot, what with all the penis charms and phallic-shaped home protection objects. Me thinks they were hiding inferiority complexes and a subconscious fear that their “Top Gladiator” like virility and superiority was to be short-lived. In a similar vein, a psychological profile on Adolf Hitler written in 1942 predicted that he would kill himself as soon as he realized his thousand year Third Reich would last closer to twelve solar orbits. Of course he was kind enough to finally marry his ever obedient girlfriend Evan Braun earlier in the day. He should have at least spared his German Shepherd, Blondi. But he didn’t.
When Obama won the last election and I saw Carl Rove stammer, sweat and nearly soil his trousers on Fox News, I had an inspired vision. It reminded me of the scene from Total Recall when Arnold Swartzenegger realized the “company” psychiatrist was bluffing about him having a psychotic break because he saw a distinct bead of sweat run down the shrink’s forehead. Of course Arnold shot him dead because that was his second amendment right…but that’s not my main point. My point is that I think it’s finally dawning on people that this whole male ego, white man-in-charge, macho-ape approach is getting more stale than my Hulk Hogan Spicy Barbecue potato chips that i foolishly purchased from Big Lots about a year ago. I like barbecue and I love potato chips but those suckers are absolutely horrible! They tasted like a chemical factory mixed with chili flavored wolf urine. In a nutshell, this patriarchy thing has run it’s course and so has the notion that white equals right. Limbaugh and his ilk are sweating bullets.
It’s not just time for a black male President but for a female President of any color and especially for a woman who think and act like a woman (and not just like a white man in drag) to be in charge of just about everything. Human beings who were biologically built to love, nurture, empathize, protect, connect, listen, organize and instill healthy values in others are probably also better at protecting the environment, getting a conflict-ridden Congress to stop acting like squabbling children, and managing a national budget bloated on pork fat, power, privilege and Pentagon toys. The rest of us white guys should just mellow out and sit back in our Lazy-boy recliners for a little while. We can still drink beer and decorate our man caves with mastodon bones and power tools. I just really think it’s time to retire the false assumptions, the phallic symbols with clay feet and maybe all the automatic weapons that are not just squirt guns in disguise.
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