Hot on the heels of discussing feminism with Rank Sophist, I notice - courtesy of Vox Day - Camille Paglia writing that it's a man's world and always will be. While her article is interesting in and of itself, more interesting to me is the context of where those words originally showed up: at a debate asking if men are obsolete.
It's easy to marvel at the gall of even asking the question to begin with, and it's just as easy to imagine alternative questions that would drive people bonkers merely by bringing up at all. "Are women obsolete?" "Do we really need (insert non-white race or, specifically, white women) in the modern world?" "Are homosexuals obsolete?" Fun questions to think about asking, if only for the likely reactions - can you imagine Andrew Sullivan up on stage, tasked with explaining what unique utility homosexual men bring to the table?
But that's low-hanging fruit.
What I really find interesting here is how the panelists can at once talk about how men are obsolete - 'We can impregnate ourselves without men!' crows Maureen Dowd, as the cobwebs accumulate in her womb - while at the same time whining about the patriarchy, about how powerful men still run the world. They have to walk a tightrope where they can build their egos about womens' collective abilities and accomplishments and power - overlooking, of course, any inconvenient details that cause trouble for the heroic narrative - while at the same time holding onto their collective victim status (Patriarchy! Gender Roles! Rape Culture!)
In a word, it's pathetic. Like watching some fat, out of shape man talk about how he'd be a better heavyweight boxer than Mike Tyson in his prime - he's taller than Mike, you know - while excusing the fact that he's a pudgeball and his accomplishments unimpressive by complaining about what amounts to a shadow culture that, consciously or not, was out to sabotage him all along. Exactly how long could anyone listen to a man like that simultaneously preening over his various traits that make him better than Tyson, while at the same time excusing all of his faults, before telling him off?
If a feminist believes men are obsolete - if women can get along just fine without men, thank you very much - then all I can say is, wonderful... then kindly stop begging men for help. Fight against 'patriarchy' on your own. Leave us out of your many and varied cultural and intellectual wars, from the business world to the intellectual world to everywhere else. We - the men who do not believe women are 'obsolete', and the women who do not believe that men are 'obsolete' - will tend to our own, and we'll see how things pan out ten, twenty years down the road. I'm sure you'll all build some bitchin' grass huts.