Sunday, August 01, 2004

Forced to evolve?

I still haven't seen the film Stepford Wives. My expectation is that it will make traditionally feminine woman seem like zombies under the control of their husbands. It is likely to be, in other words, a liberal attack on the traditional family.

My suspicions were strengthened when I read an interview with the screewriter of the film, Paul Rudnick. According to the interview (with Maureen Dowd) Rudnick claimed that the plot of the film had only increased in resonance since the original was made in 1975 because,

men have grown even more anxious about gender issues and begrudge having their hegemony shattered by women, gays and minorities. "Straight white males act like the angry new endangered minority," he said. "Men only evolve with a gun at their head."'

A charming view of things, isn't it? Unfortunately for us, left liberals like Paul Rudnick view society as a collection of competing wills, each seeking to enact its own desires. If some social groupings have more power, it is, in the left liberal view, because they are acting as a social class to dominate other groups as part of a will to power. Hence, the task of politics for an egalitarian left liberal is to bring down such "privileged" groups in order to once again achieve equality of will between different people.

That's why left liberals "translate" what they see in such negative terms. Left liberals don't see the existence of a white majority as a positive thing, in terms of a continuing tradition within a country. They see it only in terms of an imbalance of wills in relation to minorities. Nor can they see the political leadership of men within a community in terms of men discharging a sense of duty or responsibility toward their own societies. For left liberals it is viewed negatively as a will to power at the expense of some other "oppressed" social class, such as women or homosexuals.

It's the same when it comes to family life. Take, for instance, the fact that men end up earning more than women. For conservatives, this is at least partly due to something good: the fact that married men want to provide for their families and therefore put in a big effort at work. For liberals, though, it isn't seen as something that men do for women, but as part of a will to power by a dominant, privileged group over an oppressed group.

The fact that men still stubbornly work hard to support their families, and that many women still choose to put much of their effort into caring for their family is something which clearly rankles both Paul Rudnick and Maureen Dowd.

Rudnick complains that men still "want a babe and don't care about her earning power. Women want a rugged poet or musician with a private jet."

Dowd for her part complains about the popularity in modern culture of the "wifely arts of cooking, gardening, decorating and flower arranging" and that instead of the "squat and blunt Betty Friedan" of the 1970s, we now have the "sensual Nigella Lawson".

Given these cultural trends, it's perhaps little wonder that Paul Rudnick believes that men will have to be forced to "evolve with a gun at their head". It would be better, of course, if liberals themselves evolved away from a philosophy which makes the existence of majorities illegitimate and which views natural and healthy forms of social life in terms of an oppressive will to power.

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