I'm beginning to believe we live in a phallocracy, ruled by a leader who believes only his own phallacies.
I'm not big on notions of "difference." I don't believe that men and women have essential natures that make them different from one another. Rule by women doesn't strike me as being somehow better than rule by men. Condi Rice is not exactly an example of the type of leadership that I want to see coming from women. Or anyone, for that matter.
But I think that we are currently seeing a culture of masculinist politics, not dissimilar to what was seen in Nazi Germany. The social history of Germany in the 1930s is rife with images of hyper-masculinized men, women as caregivers and mothers, the destruction of gay culture, the disavowal of all that was "decadent."
We see similar things going on in our own culture. Even Jesus, that most peaceful of men, has been transformed back into the warrior-Christ, hyper-masculine, willing to lead an army against the infidel. When I was down south, I saw several bumper stickers that declared, "real men love Jesus." What does it mean to be a real man? I'm not sure how men in our culture negotiate the tensions these days. I know that for women, it's difficult, and our constant assault to be what we are not leads to everything from eating disorders to self-mutilation, etc, all symptoms of a perfectionism that keeps us enslaved and unable to function. But what kinds of messages are men getting these days?
Part of this was sparked by the fact that the New York Times referrred to Barbara Boxer's objections to the electoral college certification yesterday as "tart." What a loaded term. And I wonder if it was accidental. Because women who won't shut up are frequently perceived as sexually intimidating. There is something to the Lacanian notion that language is the substitute for the phallus, although, as usual, I think that males who argue for their dicks as the universal signifier are a little small ... minded.
I'm not sure where I'm going with this post. I think that George Bush's view of himself as a man and the ascendance within the Republican party of a hypermasculinized cult of warrior worship is a troubling sign of creeping fascism in our culture. And I intend to explore it in the days to come.