Saturday, August 11, 2012

Have the Olympics become toxic?

I really tried hard to enjoy the 2012 Olympics, but I have to admit defeat.

Things began badly with a highly politicised opening ceremony. Then the media here in Australia began to push the "female athlete as warrior" idea in the promotional videos. The swimming and running was tolerable, but even so it was difficult not to notice the mannish physiques of the female competitors - for the swimmers wide shoulders, flat breasts and narrow hips, for the runners flat breasts and six packs.

And then the notion was pushed that we were supposed to celebrate these body types as the new female sexy. The Daily Mail nominated one athlete called Jessica Ennis as a woman who might turn male heads:


Even so, being a stubborn person I persevered. I told myself that it was only elite athletes who would disfigure their bodies in this way and that most women who took up running and swimming would just add a bit of tone to their physiques.

And then the female boxing started. I just turned off the TV and pretended it didn't exist, but I noticed that a future queen of England had been sent to cheer on the competitors - obviously we are supposed to think the new sport worthy of support.

But last night I switched on and the first thing I saw was two women kicking each other's heads (I think it was Taekwondo).

An Egyptian woman kicking a French woman

Enough. If that's the Olympics I don't care for it any longer.

Am I reading too much into what's happening? I don't think so. Consider the thoughts of Sally Jenkins writing for the Washington Post. She sees the same things that I do, but as a feminist is overjoyed by them:
Something remarkable is going on at this Olympics: Adult human males are now waiting in line for tickets to things they used to make fun of. Female athletes such as boxer Claressa Shields and soccer striker Abby Wambach, women with biceps bigger than your brother’s, are being treated as creatures of worth and even beauty. Apparently, strong is the new pretty.

If the trend continues, American women will win twice as many medals as men in London. When you think about their performances here, they are conspicuous not just for how many podiums they are taking, but for how viscerally, hugely, physically powerfully they are doing so before roaring audiences. The London Games are clearly a point of departure...

...One of the most popular and awe-inspiring boxers here is Irishwoman Katie Taylor, the four-time lightweight world champion who was the flag bearer for her country. The only way to stop Taylor, according to one of her defeated opponents, Britishwoman Natasha Jones, is to “maybe drive a bus into her.”

Pound for pound, has there been a stronger performer than all-around gymnastics champion Gabby Douglas? Douglas is 4 feet 11 and weighs about 94 pounds. “All muscle, though,” her mother, Natalie Hawkins, said at a pre-Olympic event in May. When Douglas went to get a pre-event physical, according to her mother, the doctor couldn’t believe her abdominals. The nurse said, “Oh, my God. It’s like steel.” The doctor said, “Never in all my medical career have I seen this much muscle on a tiny person.” “She has muscles in her face,” her mother said.

There is something significant happening here. Let me give another example. One of the few sports that really showcases the feminine nature of women is rhythmic gymnastics. I don't think traditionalists would find it ideal, as the skimpy costumes combined with the body movements aren't exactly modest. But even so there is an athleticism that is combined with beauty and grace of movement in this sport.

So I was interested to read the following comment to the Washington Post story quoted above:
Recently I've been trying to get my 7 yr old daughter interested in sports, ever so gently encouraging her to play soccer. Surprisingly, she has shown great interest (if not yet ability) in basketball!

I was very disappointed when I sat down with her just now to watch the Olympics and NBC is broadcasting Rhythmic Gymnastics. That's five beautiful young ladies dressed in skimpy outfits, wearing too much makeup, each prancing around the floor tossing a ball in the air.

I quickly changed the channel. I think SpongeBob would do less damage to her self image.

It's not clear if that's a dad or mum writing about their daughter, but they were horrified by the one remnant of femininity left at the Olympics, fearing that the sight of "five beautiful young ladies" might damage their daughter.

They turned off their TV not at the sight of women kicking each other in the head, but at the sight of feminine beauty and grace (albeit in skimpy costumes).

What's going on here? I think Lawrence Auster's explanation is worth considering. The sight of five beautiful young ladies is a reminder that there is an ideal of beauty and grace that is something we might be measured by - which then is perceived by moderns as a "threat" to self.

Here is how Lawrence Auster puts it:
...the cult of self-esteem and self-worship, and the cult of messiness and ugliness that we see glorified at the Olympics, go together. How can this be? If liberal humanity worships and glorifies itself, as I’ve pointed out, how can that go together with the other aspect of liberalism that I’ve also discussed, the liberal attraction to ugliness, unpleasantness, disharmony, meaninglessness, and despair? If liberals worship themselves, wouldn’t they want to be beautiful, not ugly?

Here is the answer. Liberals believe that there is no value, no truth, which is external to or higher than the self, because if there were a truth higher than the self, the self would not be free. Also, if there were a truth higher than the self, then some selves would be closer to that truth and other selves farther, which would mean that all selves were not equal.  What this ultimately means is that any standard of beauty or good behavior, any ideal of harmony, must be rejected and overthrown, since any such standard or ideal would limit the freedom of the self. The very idea of the good must be overthrown, since it limits the freedom of the self. Which means that a world of ugliness, disharmony, and bad behavior, a world of jangling, unpleasant impressions (as in the dress and demeanor of the Olympics athletes, as in our nihilist popular movies such as The Dark Knight series), a world of despair, becomes the ideal, because such things express the freedom of the self from any notion of the good.  Thus the liberal cult of self-glorification, and the liberal cult of ugliness and despair, do not contradict each other, but are part of the same liberal rebellion against truth.

I wonder too if we can say this: that a self-worship (making our self the ultimate end) leads to a lack of humility which then makes a standard of goodness external to ourselves intolerable.

29 comments:

  1. I, and I think a lot of men, watch most of the female athletes pretty much as male stand-ins: they are taking a male role, we treat them pretty much as men. Jessica Ennis et al are thus pretty much androgynous.

    You may be right that the media wants us to see them as sexy; if so I don't think they'll get very far with most men.

    Not being a gut conservative, I don't really have a visceral negative reaction to the sight of women in 'warrior' roles like this. But nor of course do I see them as role models for women in general. They're a bit freakish, but this only really becomes a bad thing if it causes significant change in society as a whole - and in my opinion most straight women* have very little interest in female athleticism.

    I would say Danny Boyle's opening ceremony was far more directly harmful in the way it provoked Stockholm-syndrome reactions even in many putative right-wingers.

    *From what I can tell from Steve Sailer especially, much of the push on girls to be un-feminine is actually coming from fathers who want them to be more boy-like. I can't say I've seen much of this in the UK, but it seems a real phenomenon in the USA, where femininity has I think been traditionally more circumscribed than in the UK or Australia.

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  2. No wonder feminists love male homosexuality and want it promoted. They look like men and want heterosexual men to lust after mannish looking and male acting females. Yikes.

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  3. Simon,

    Thanks for the feedback. I agree that if these women were thought of as outliers and were treated as male stand-ins then it wouldn't be so bad.

    But I can't help but feel there is not only an agenda here but a playing out of a world view - and one that is biting more deeply into rank and file opinion.

    For instance, one female journalist wrote the most tentative piece on female boxing, in which she said she supported it in principle but that it didn't feel right to watch women hit each other that hard - and the Daily Mail readership overwhelmingly condemned her for being "sexist".

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  4. Recently a Turkisk man named Yuksel Aytug wrote an article titled "Womahood is dying at the Olympics" published in the newspaper Sabah and on the paper's website. He was lambasted by the PC leftist media as sexist and retrogade.

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  5. Sorry I meant Turkish.

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  6. "it was difficult not to notice the mannish physiques of the female competitors"

    But if you do notice them, like the Turk Elizabeth mentioned, you will be excoriated.

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  7. Mark:
    "But I can't help but feel there is not only an agenda here but a playing out of a world view - and one that is biting more deeply into rank and file opinion."

    I think there's a very strong, widespread belief that women/anyone should be allowed to do whatever they want to do, which comes from the Liberal belief in Autonomy, and you see that in the Daily Mail comments section.

    This is a bit different from parents actively trying to make their daughters into boxers though, the way my American wife takes our son to weekend Rubgy and Football.

    I think the most widespread view is the Liberal one - "They should be allowed to do whatever they like, you should not criticise them". But this does not mean that most women have much interest in participating in sport, or parents in getting their daughters to participate in sport.

    There is also the Feminist view, which resulted in Title IX in the US and the destruction of much men's college sport, that women in general should be playing sport and acting mannish. Society should change, women should change, to look more like the crowd of lesbians I saw watch the GB vs Brazil women's football match.
    I think this view is much less common, but those who disagree lack the vocabulary to oppose it without seeming 'sexist', at least to themselves, so you get Title IX.

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  8. The masculinised body type shown here by the female athletes (broad shoulders, narrow hips, six pack abs, flat chest) is much harder for the average woman to obtain than the feminine ideal body type displayed by various models and actresses in magazines (as estrogen throughout adulthood and pubertal development pushes the female body in the opposite direction to the masculinisation seen here).

    Strange then that feminists argue that the feminine ideal body type shouldn't be represented or celebrated in the media on the basis that most normal women would never be able to obtain it, yet are all too happy to celebrate the masculinised body type in the media which is much much harder and much much more abnormal for an average woman to obtain.

    Roissy also touches upon this issue here. But I should probably warn that he could be considered puerile, vulgar and toxic by traditionalists. Nonetheless though, he is a very popular blogger in the man/alt-right-o-sphere.

    http://heartiste.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/what-does-it-matter-to-you/

    http://heartiste.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/realtalker-of-the-month/

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  9. Chris,

    Well, on this issue Roissy says it pretty well, even if he's crass in some of his language.

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  10. Excuse me for straying a little off topic, but this thread reminded me of a conversation I had the other day about Roger Banister, the man who first ran the mile in less than four minutes. It's been many, many years since I read Banister's book about his record, but I remember that he was a medical student when he did it, and that on the weekend previous to the notable event he went rock climbing. Banister, who is still alive, went on to a successful career as a physiologist. The point is that, for Banister, competitive running was part of a multifaceted life, and that when his running days were over, there were other things for him to do.

    Today's athletes are much better than Banister because they are recruited from a larger pool and because training is much more intense and scientific. All of those rock-hard abdominals are the fruit of years of single-minded training. While the feats of the athletes are certainly impressive, one has to wonder what they cannot do. In order to develop the one extraordinary skill that they do have, modern athletes must neglect the development of many other skills. How many of them are essentially uneducated, do you suppose? How many unable to cook a meal or participate in general conversation?

    We've long understood the problem of male athletes who, in their teens and twenties, spent too much time playing sports. What are they to do for the last 45 years of their lives? Here in the U.S., many become coaches in the high schools, teaching health or social studies on the side. The washed-up athlete cum dumb coach is a stock figure of humor. He's generally regarded as a rather pathetic figure, his "glory days" in the past.

    Female sports mania is now producing legions of washed-up female athletes cum dumb coaches, although no one is supposed to notice, much less laugh at this. Among women, the pathos is exacerbated by the perils, so frequently discussed at Oz Conservative, of delayed family formation. What will happen to a thirty-year-old female boxer with mild brain damage and limited social and vocational skills? You go, girl!

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  11. "No wonder feminists love male homosexuality and want it promoted."

    Feminists don't love male homsexuality. And male homosexuals won't give women time of the day even if they are manly-looking, much as heterosexual males don't find effete men arousing.
    Feminists do like effete men who can become examples for proving grrrl power. See for example this one:

    "women with biceps bigger than your brother’s, "


    "I think there's a very strong, widespread belief that women/anyone should be allowed to do whatever they want to do, which comes from the Liberal belief in Autonomy, and you see that in the Daily Mail comments section. "

    There is much hypocrisy there, many female athletes mention having brothers and competing with them. Or their fathers introducing them to a sport at an early age. You don't hear them being excoriated for patriarchal influence or about the lack of female role-models.

    Breaking stereotypes is another already becoming a stretched-too-thin excuse. When the sterotype of girls learning cooking is already long done for compared to them playing a sports like soccer, why not break this new one?

    "Female sports mania is now producing legions of washed-up female athletes cum dumb coaches, although no one is supposed to notice, much less laugh at this."

    On a similar note, feminists would talk of doubling the talent-pool in academia/workplaces by getting more and more women in there who then don't procreate to the replacement ideal and the next generation of brilliant people is halved.
    So you nearly end up where you began from, with the added misery of finding many stellar genes out of the gene-pool and the headaches of trying to fit in women, besides the necessary delving into more mediocre pool to make up the numbers.

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  12. The Olympics have become venues for PC propaganda and silliness.

    YOu don't have to be the best to go to the Olympics, and you can be the BEST and never go to the Olympics.

    The pinnacle achievements in most sports happen apart from the Olympics--just name the sport.

    Very few people are impressed with female athletes and the rhetoric of female 'empowerment', except of course those who had that as their agenda from the beginning.

    I'm waiting for pie-eating contests and sword throwing as Olympic events. Why not---its all about being the 'best' at something---right??

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  13. Anon:
    "On a similar note, feminists would talk of doubling the talent-pool in academia/workplaces by getting more and more women in there who then don't procreate to the replacement ideal and the next generation of brilliant people is halved. "

    I'm afraid it's probably worse than that - not only do the female academics often not procreate, the male academics are often led to marry the female career-academics and then often don't procreate either!

    My academic grandfather had four children with his non-academic wives (my grandmother died young, he remarried).
    My academic father had two children with my academic mother.
    I, an academic, have one child.
    My academic sister has 0 children.

    I get the impression this is pretty typical. Hence I'll be telling my boy:

    "Promise me son
    You won't do what daddy done
    Walk away from academia if you can..." >:)

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  14. I think high-status men (e.g. rich, intelligent or famous) should stay away from hypergamous "I'm a strong, educated, modern independent feminist woman" and not attempt procreation, LTRs nor marriage with them. These "brilliant women" are going to lead to a real-live version of the film "Idiocracy" because the most intelligent people are not passing down their genes and perpetuating their bloodline. It's only spoiled, modern women who want to create an Indian caste system where "strong women" going are matched with strong men. High-status men typically in the past weren't ashamed that they married a teacher or a secretary or a nurse or a dancer or anything that wasn't on "his level". Now a male doctor has to marry a female doctor. But he doesn't pass down his bloodline nor have a family. He just lives for his female doctor sextoy or consumerism or the here and now.

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  15. I'm starting to think that feminism was created by a coalition of:

    - Single, spoiled, morally loose high-status women who couldn't find husbands nor men. Meaning they were either angry, alone or bored.

    - Women who wanted to be men and suffered from penis envy ever since children. Endorsers of the autonomy meme.

    - Lesbians who despised men and wanted families devoid of men and fathers.

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  16. Simon in London:
    If academics are a repository of intelligence and intelligence is heritable, we are doomed. I'm an academic on the other side of the fish pond and I live in an environment of proud sterility. Condoms are not distributed as liberally as they are among Olympic athletes, but the results are the same. The funny thing is, they are almost all professed Darwinians. How someone can be extremely self satisfied, Darwinian, and condom-using is a mystery to me. But that's the modern university. The modern Olympics, too, for that matter. Anyone who gave a damn about the future of athletics, would, of course, poke a pin through all those complimentary condoms distributed to the Olympians.

    Elizabeth Smith:
    I've come to think that feminism is a latent tendency in female psychology. Just as a man is apt to grow insufferably arrogant unless there is a woman to call his bluff, a woman is apt to grow insufferably self-pitying unless there is a man to laugh in her face. In my opinion the main main function of each sex is to laugh at the vanity and pretension of the other sex, and society gets seriously out of balance when one side gets negligent or diffident. Machismo is the male ego unconstrained, and it is grotesque. Feminism is the female ego unconstrained, and it it just as lovely.

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  17. J.M. Smith,

    It's a good point. The people who claim to have Darwin as a key part of their world view don't seem to care much about falling into Darwin's "unfit" category.

    Maybe that's why there is so much emphasis on environmental doomsdayism - perhaps it's a way of rationalising the situation by claiming that "survival now means not having children".

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  18. Elizabeth,

    You're spot on in your comments. Some women realise too late just what they've wasted.

    For instance, there was Sharon Parsons who dedicated her 20s to a single girl lifestyle and just assumed that a family would follow on. When it proved to be too late she wrote:

    And that - for me, at least - is a jolting part of being childless. However pretentious it may sound, there's the startling fact that my husband and I have severed the thread in our personal ancestry (unless, of course, he should decide to run off with a fertile 20-something).

    Despite our respective nephews and nieces taking up the family baton, he and I know that we are not passing anything of ourselves on to future generations.

    After an infinite genealogical timeline - impossible to imagine - we have drawn the mark in the sand. Enough. No more. Our bloodline stops here.


    And then there's Englishwoman Gabriella who wrote:

    Having children in my 20s would have spelled the end of everything I had spent my life working towards and was about to really enjoy: the ability to spend my money the way I wanted, travel where I wanted, choose my partners, live as I wished.

    But as a childless woman in her 40s she was drawn to the view that:

    If people like me don’t reproduce, civilisation may be the worse for it ... I am a typical product of my family; I can see the thread stretching back through the generations. Do I think it’s a shame that this genetic inheritance won’t continue? Yes I do ...

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  19. It's a good point. The people who claim to have Darwin as a key part of their world view don't seem to care much about falling into Darwin's "unfit" category.


    Oh they care they believe White westerners are unfit to continue existing. They believe the "other" has the Darwinian fitness to survive because they are the noble savage are more earthy and closer to nature.

    My gf who wants kids was verbally assaulted(in my opinion) by a young female green activist who told her that having kids was "selfishly evil considering the state of the world" of course this young woman did not apply this belief third worlders having lots of kids. No just white westerners with already poor birthrates should have no kids to save the world.
    I was proved 100% correct when later the young woman approved of a an immigrant family having 6 kids and more on the way.

    These people are evil.

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  20. "Simon in London:
    If academics are a repository of intelligence and intelligence is heritable, we are doomed. I'm an academic on the other side of the fish pond and I live in an environment of proud sterility. Condoms are not distributed as liberally as they are among Olympic athletes, but the results are the same. The funny thing is, they are almost all professed Darwinians. How someone can be extremely self satisfied, Darwinian, and condom-using is a mystery to me. But that's the modern university."

    The approved ideology on evolution seems to be very strange and incoherent. From what I can tell, if you analyse it, it goes as follows:

    Evolution is real, and operates at a species level, explaining the development of life on Earth. The environment affects survival rates - survival of the fittest - plus occasional useful new mutations.

    Modern humans evolved in Africa 150,000 years ago.

    OK, the above fits fairly well with the empirical evidence. But then we get:

    Modern Humans left Africa 50,000 years ago, entering into many new environments. EVOLUTION STOPPED. Or, "there has not been time for significant human evolution".

    This makes no sense at all - there's plenty of evidence that evolution can work on short time scales, and the very thing that should cause it to speed up coincides with the moment when it 'froze', leading to all human races being identical, despite differences in appearance. Also, they seem to believe all humans have identical potential intelligence, not just that all races have the same, but that individual humans have the same potential. Hence it does not matter if IQ 150 Europeans don't breed; identical genetic potential intelligence exists in all other races, and in IQ 100 Europeans, too.

    The approved ideology requires that evolution be both accepted and denied, at the same time - a sort of doublethink resembling Orwellian Crimestop. Marxists like Stephen Jay Gould have been influential in developing and propagating this contradictory belief, but they were feeding on an existing inherent contradiction in Liberalism - Rousseau-ean belief in human equality combined with Lockean belief in empirical evidence. The result is a system that needs to hedge human evolution about with extremely strong Crimestop taboos. Liberals will get physically sick even thinking about it.

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  21. Simon in basic first year evolutionary biology they will show you case studies where evolution appears in a matter of seasons.
    Yet liberals refuse to accept that any evolution has occurred inside the human skull.
    Its also verboten to discuss this.
    Any serious science minded person cannot take liberalism seriously.

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  22. Sitting here watching the closing ceremony on TV - the obviously Baby-Boomer director sure loves revelling in depravity (George Michael?) and an incredibly tawdry stuck-in-1975 version of Britain.

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  23. Oh, they're onto gangsta rap now - guess they reached the modern day!

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  24. Simon:
    When you mention 1975 Britain, I can't help but to recall my experience living in Britain (Manchester, exactly) in 1974-75. It was a weird world. I would go walking on the moors, and it was like being a member of the Inklings, and then I would go to school, and it was like being a character in "Clockwork Orange." The England I had been prepared to love by literature was dying away, and a new England, divided between Garry Glitter and David Bowie fanatics, was coming into being. The ironic thing was that the rivalry between the Glitter and Bowie fans was fought out in graffiti inscribed on surplus gas mask bags from World War II. My (American) brothers and I called them "Bowie Bags (I still have mine), and they seem to me an important artifact marking the transition from the old Britain to the new.

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  25. That last anonymous post was from me, for anyone who cares.

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  26. Try again, the las two posts are mine.

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  27. I recentely ended a relationship with a young little liberal tart. One thing I noticed about her was that her sexual pervations almost all involved the denigrating of anything proper or good. She positively got off of corrupting anything and everything so that it was as dirty and twisted as herself.

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  28. You are a moron. That is how women's body naturally are when they are athletes. Perhaps you are writing out your aggression and frustration at the fact there are so many women in the world that could kick your fat ass.

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  29. Theresa,

    That's crazy. If women believe that the only way they can measure up to men is to be able to "kick ass" then they are consigned to a life of loss and humiliation.

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