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All in how you look at it

Feminists complain that popular media's female portrayals contain stereotypical characteristics which affect the public perception of and attitude toward real women in ways that can lead to unconscious or even conscious but rationalized sexist behavior. They also complain that lack of complimentary presentation of real women, or women feminists consider realistic, contributes to that attitude and the behavior.   
   
This is, in part, due to the belief among cultural theorists that visual and auditory sensory input directly controls beliefs and attitudes. Stephen Pinker discusses this in his book, The Blank Slate, the Modern Denial of Human Nature, dismantling and debunking the notion by explaining how human perception works. However, he also describes the point of view of cultural studies and related disciplines on the topic, quoting from the Concise glossary of Cultural Theory's definition of the term "image." The definition describes "image" as a "mental or visual representation of an object or event as depicted in the mind, a painting, a photograph, or film." Pinker goes on to explain that by having "run together images in the world (pictures) with images in the mind, the entry lays out the centrality of images in postmodernism, cultural studies, and academic feminism."  
   
As Pinker points out, these areas of thought treat reality as subject to or the product of modes of representation - in other words, as the human resources representative who ran the training course on harassment at my old workplace stated during a training session, "Perception is reality."

Granted, as I've stated, Pinker completely dismantled and debunked this concept. He pointed out that perceptual impression does not control the formation of beliefs. He cemented his argument by discussing a concept he referred to as the euphemism treadmill, in which people invent new words for concepts for which existing terminology carries unpleasant connotations, only to have the new word take on the same connotations, necessitating another change of terminology. An example of this which relates directly to victim-status movements is the ever-changing series of euphemisms which have been employed to denote ethnicity. As each euphemism begins to take on a pejorative connotation at the hands of individuals with racist attitudes, society adopts a new "clean" euphemism. Pinker points out that this phenomenon shows that "concepts, not words, are primary in people's minds."

For purposes of this discussion, it doesn't matter that I personally disagree with the concept of representation-led-reality. It doesn't matter whether perception is reality, or whether the concept is nothing but highly decorated bullshit.

Feminists believe that perception is reality.

Feminists believe that representation controls perception.

Feminists therefore believe that representation creates reality.

What is the significance of understanding that? So what if feminists believe that representation creates reality? So they think portraying women a certain way in popular media is actually a form of control over women... so what? Maybe they make some changes, maybe they feel better, maybe they don't. What's the big deal, right?

How about the ways in which feminists refer to, portray, and represent men?

Think about the academic feminist terminology applied to men, from their vast, world-encompassing conspiracy-laden "Patriarchy" theory to the application of modifiers denoting dysfunction, such as "toxic" and "predatory," to descriptive words for male characteristics, in order to insinuate by association that dysfunction is a male characteristic. Feminist advocates have developed special pejoratives and other terms for the simple purpose of demonizing masculinity itself; male oppressor, male gaze, male privilege, hegemonic/toxic masculinity, phallocentrism.

Look at how hard feminist academics and researchers have worked to hide the duel nature of intimate partner and sexual violence, in order to promote a perception of violence as being mainly perpetrated by males against females.

Look how feminists have worked to maintain the very stereotypical gender roles to which they otherwise object, to the detriment of men, when it suits women.

These groups claim that treating sex as a male-sought, female-permitted action is part of a culture that perpetuates rape, citing as their basis for that claim the ideas that men rape because they're expected to seek sex, and that men rape on the belief that women's objections to unwanted advances are a performance made to meet social expectations and are therefore to be ignored. These same groups perpetuate the treatment of sex as a male-sought, female-permitted action when discussing consent in their advocacy on sexual violence, treating consent as something men seek, and women relinquish.

These groups treat the female homemaker/male provider family model as a form of oppression of women... until the family gets a divorce, and then that male provider had better pay up, or else!

Look at how hard feminists work to promote the concept of disposable men, arguing to treat imprisoning men on the basis of false allegations as "acceptable losses" in a war on... well, who, exactly, since they also treat the crime in question - rape - as a male perpetrated crime?

Feminist groups have initiated activist campaigns with the intent of fighting against recognizing the importance and value of fathers' relationships with their children, treating fathers as interlopers and abusers, and their relationships with their children as disposable.

Take an outside look at feminist-initiated "Teach Men Not to Rape" campaign, touted as the answer to the feminist-invented concept of victim-blaming under the guise of confronting the straw-society which exonerates rapists of victims who dressed wrong, went to the wrong places, or went out at the wrong times. The campaign treats rape as something only men do, and only to women. It treats "rapist" as the natural state of male humans, something which has to be trained out of all men, as if it isn't, they'll surely commit the crime. While it may be admirable and benevolent to want to prevent crime, this campaign ignores nearly half of the perpetrators by gender, most of them by behavior and attitude, and in connection, most of the victims.

Imputations of malice, demonization of male sexuality, marginalization of fathers, relegation to disposability, defamation of the character of an entire gender... all aspects of the feminist representation of men... all consistently presented, repeated, and promoted.

This, from a group which expresses the belief that representation controls perception when discussing representation of women... so it is logical to conclude that feminist representation of men is intended to limit society's perception of men to the viewpoints expressed.  
   
This, from a group which treats perception as reality when discussing perception of women... so it is logical to conclude that feminists believe they can alter reality by affecting society's perception.

This, from a group who advocates changes in how women are represented, on the basis that representation creates reality.

In light of the comparison between their behaviors and their belief, exactly what do you think is the goal of feminism's representation of men?

1 comment:

Deranged Nasat said...

You make entirely too much sense; here and in almost all your other posts. I fear very few people will listen, though they most certainly should.

For what it's worth, I thank you for your efforts.