Women, specifically because they are women, have lately been in the news a lot. There’s the panel of three female judges that will decide whether Silvio Berlusconi is as much a cad as his reputation would make him seem for having allegedly hired an underage prostitute (Bloomberg). There’s the snide little comment by Joseph Ackerman, CEO of Deutsche Bank in Germany that the board room will certainly be “more colorful and prettier” if a quota for female directors is adopted by the German parliament (also Bloomberg). And then there’s a lawsuit by a group of ex-military females (and two males) against the Pentagon, the Secretary of Defense, God, etc., that seeks to effect a change in the manner with which the Department of Defense handles allegations of rape in the ranks (Associated Press).
What, aside from the recent holiday in celebration of everything pink and red and female, might these three stories have in common?
Berlusconi claims that the allegations against him are politically-motivated. He’s accused of abuse of power and of paying for the favors of an underage prostitute. “Ruby Heart Stealer”, aka, Karima El Marhoug, was a seventeen year-old dancer at a Moroccan nightclub. Berlusconi allegedly paid her to come to his home for sex. He denies everything, saying that his political opponents have it in for him. Berlusconi is something of a caricature of the virile Italian male, even at age seventy-four. Bloomberg made it their headline that it would be three female judges that would decide his fate. Presumably none are seventeen and dancing at Moroccan clubs in their spare time. With admittedly great ignorance of the internal dynamics of Italian politics, I’d nonetheless say that if Berlusconi goes down, it will be out of jealousy more than any real or contrived harm he’s inflicted. I mean really, even if the allegations are true, isn’t what he did exactly what Ruby Heart Stealer was hoping? Don’t dancers hope, sort of like Julia Roberts’ character in Pretty Woman, that a powerful prince will one day be so enticed by their charms that he’ll show enough interest to rescue them from having to sell their wares on the wholesale market? Ruby Heart Stealer is not pressing charges. The three female judges apparently won’t be denied. Morality is often claimed by the weak as a protection against the powerful. The weak seek morally-grounded behavior while the strong claim privilege. Mr. Berlusconi might just find that three middle-aged female judges find his morals abhorrently lacking, and if they do it won’t have a thing–not a thing at all–with the general lack of power middle-aged women have for controlling the urges that men, especially old powerful men, have for young, nubile females. Repeat after me–whatever ruling they fulminate–it will not be about jealousy. Happy VD day to you, Silvio.
Mr. Ackerman’s observation that female board members would make the board room more colorful and prettier is both stupid and wrong. Who, exactly, does he think will be appointed to the boards of German banks and other corporations? I’m thinking of droll Helga’s that made up for a life of loneliness with strict fealty to their German corporate careers–Nietzscheian Superwomen that have as their only aim the accumulation of power. When I think of German women, particularly of German women occupying the upper echelons of business, colorful and pretty aren’t the first things that come to mind. But really, how could he be so stupid to say such a thing? He was apparently attempting a bit of flattering levity, but he should have known it would sink like a U-boat. You never, never, never acknowledge that women are the fairer sex, nor that you find them attractive in any particular way, when in a business setting. Never mind that businesswomen spend hours dolling themselves up before work so that they might elicit those very feelings Mr. Ackerman so unwisely acknowledged. Unless they are secretaries (or dancers), you better pretend not to notice. If they are secretaries, and you are a rich, powerful man, then you can show a little interest in that glimpse of stocking top revealed when the skirt rides a little too high in the swivel chair or at the filing cabinet. The whole point of the swivel chair, stocking top, skirt and filing cabinet is to snare the eye of a rich and powerful man. If you happen to be the mailroom attendant, keep your eyes to yourself. If you happen to be the CEO, and happen to be male, it’d be better to pretend publicly that so far as you are concerned, the world is androgynous; that humans have advanced so far until asexual reproduction is now preferred. Privately, you can do exactly what that glimpse of stocking top provided by the secretary is motivating you to do. But don’t let Berlusconi’s judges find out about it.
If, however, you happen to be a senior commander in the military, i.e., if you happen to be what is the military equivalent of a rich, powerful male in the civilian world, you must go further than pretending androgyny. You must pretend that human beings have evolved to asexuality, and you must believe it so forcefully until the lie becomes real for you. When you see a uniform, you must immediately go limp in the only place that your body has actually evolved to care about rigidity, only to gain useless turgidity elsewhere. You have less leeway in acknowledging a fellow service member’s sexual attractiveness than does a civilian mailroom attendant walking by the boss’s secretarial pool. Sparta had nothing on America so far as soldierly asceticism goes. As I recall, things ultimately didn’t work out so well for Sparta, but that’s a different matter.
By the lights of the suit filed against the military, it appears that lawyers wish to do to the military what they’ve already done for college campuses (for a small class-action settlement fee, of course), and make the prevention of sexual assault a military prerogative like it is among the campus PC police, where the first lecture on campus is always to the boys that “No” really means “No”. Never mind that the military’s purpose is not, or at least wasn’t until recently, to enhance social welfare. Its job is to defend the country from enemies that wish her harm. The fact it so magnificently and efficiently does so will ultimately yield its demise, as it is allowed to gradually drift further from its purposes along the way of becoming an experimental playground for social progressives.
Several women (and two men) are suing because they claim to have been raped while sevicemembers. Curiously, none filed any charges or claims at the time of the alleged rapes. Now they bring their horror stories. This is really getting tiresome. The time to complain is when the incident occurs. In fact, in my ethical estimation of rape accusations, none should ever occur more than about three days after the event, excepting incest and abuse of children that wouldn’t know better, or perhaps be able to do so, until they’re older. If much more than three days goes by, all evidence of rape, i.e., of sexual intercourse or assault, is gone. The time limitation still wouldn’t prove the mens rea–that it was without consent. But it would prevent unsubstantiated allegations like the ones these present and former service members are making, which incidentally, are not against their alleged rapists, but against the military in general.
Suing the military makes it seem as if it condoned these actions. Whatever might have been the response of the people close to the situation, the military does not condone sexual assault or coerced intercourse among its service members. If the local commanders are unwilling to do the right thing and bring the perpetrators to justice, that’s what a chain of command is for. Go over their heads. Go to the local police. But don’t expect it to be easy. Rape or sexual assault is an easy allegation to make but a difficult one to prove. There are two elements of proof necessary: first, that some sort of sexual assault took place; and second that it was without consent. Which is why victims should always immediately report sexual assault/rape to the authorities–to preserve evidence of the first element of proof.
But how are these three incidents related? Each is a waypoint in the long march elevating women’s power and influence relative to men. It has been a slow-burning revolution that made its first significant strides with the passage in 1920 of the 19th Amendment granting women, inter alia, the right to vote (it’s hard to imagine now that it was less than a hundred years ago that women did not even have the right to vote).
It’s not an accident that wholesale industrialization and the First World War immediately preceded women’s suffrage. Industrialization meant that physical strength and stamina–attributes in which males generally have an advantage over females–no longer were decisive in determining economic success. The war brought the point conclusively home, as women were forced into the factories while the men went off to war. Although women didn’t serve in combat during the war, the efficiencies industrialization brought to killing and destroying meant that they could have. It takes little strength to pull the trigger and sweep the barrel of a machine gun side to side at marauding attackers committing collective suicide as they go “over the top”. What a terrific carnage industrialization wrought. The First World War was perhaps the most inhumane expression of man’s darker side that history has ever known. Yet it opened the world to the reality that the innate advantages men had over women in terms of physical strength and stamina were becoming less and less important.
World War Two–really just the last phase of the European conflict begun in the latter half of the nineteenth century that blazed hot from 1914 to 1918–magnified and further clarified the reality that a woman could do just as well as a man at most of the tasks required of an industrialized economy. It’s not for nothing that Rosie the Riveter became a wartime icon. The equality of women was conclusively proved on that fateful August morning in 1945 when a two- thousand pound bomb annihilated Hiroshima. Intelligence, not brawn, blew up Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and women have always had every bit as much in the realm of intellectual capability as men. While nature provided men with more athletic ability (on average), it parceled out the intellect roughly the same, and intellect became the animating determinant of success the moment Hiroshima was vaporized. Pulling the trigger on a machine gun or a bomb bay requires a minimum of strength and physical stamina. Designing a device that can efficiently kill and destroy at such a scale is all done between the ears. It was in fact a woman, Marie Curie, that pioneered the field of radiation, laying the groundwork for what would later become the nuclear age.
As women gained equality, men lost relevance. Men, once considered necessary for protection and for acquiring the necessaries of life for the family, had their elevated status cut from under them. A woman with a pistol that knew how to use it was every bit as safe from danger as if her mate was lying by her side. A nation with nukes needn’t have legions under arms to protect itself. A woman could provide for herself and her children every bit as capably as could a man, and even more so as the industrial age gave way to the information economy. Women are perhaps even better suited than men at jobs that required patiently sitting and processing bits of information. While men are equal to such tasks mentally, their urge to engage the world physically as evolution has designed them, makes office work, for them, more of a chore than a delight.
Perhaps the crowning achievement, but profound evidence that the revolutionary pendulum swung too far (as always happens in revolutions, whether of the smoldering or the conflagrant variety), was the Supreme Court’s finding in Roe v. Wade that within the penumbra of rights contained in the US Constitution was a women’s right to do with her body as she pleased so far her reproductive imperatives were concerned. Women became more than men’s equals. Now they could dispense at their whim the residue of their couplings with what was rapidly becoming the weaker sex. They could still use the power of dispensing sexual favors to manipulate and control men as they’d done since time began, but now without concern for long-term consequences that might otherwise arise.
And that brings us back around to the apparently newsworthy stories about gender relations with which we began. Each story provides perspective on the status of the revolution. To summarize, women are still winning. At minimum, Berlusconi will be excoriated by three middle-aged women for having encouraged one of their own to betray the sisterhood by seeking wealth and status through sexual attractiveness. Ackerman has already been pummelled in the court of public opinion for his comment, which is probably as far as things will go, unless he makes another impolitic comment. And the military–a one- time bastion of male supremacy–will likely be subject to another experiment in progressive socialism, only this time with the specter that their always-male rapists might now target males as well as females, considering the experiment in acceptance of varying sexual orientations that was recently instituted. It is a function of women’s power, not their impotence, that lawyers agreed to bring this suit. Lawyers know the political zeitgeist heavily favors women, particularly women (and men) that have been victimized by male sexual predation.
Thus, though not a minority group, nor overtly subject to discrimination in any realm nowadays, women continue their long march to social ascendancy on the language of liberation. Yet women have always had an advantage over men. Nature provided it when it gave them a womb, and now that the Supreme Court has removed all vestiges of responsibility that comes with the power of possessing it, and technology has removed any advantages brawn may have once had over brains, women have conclusively won. Men should just acknowledge defeat and quit fighting. Unless and until civilization is finally destroyed with the same nuclear technology that propelled women’s liberation, men will be second class citizens.
My advice to young, virile, heterosexual males (presumably not all are metro- or homosexual yet)? Do not try to compete with women in the marketplace for jobs that they can do as well as men. They have the advantage of possessing a womb that still provides them great leverage and power over males, particularly over male superiors; they have the economic advantage of having a brain equal to yours; and, they have the physiological advantage of being amenable to white-collar work. Go do something that women don’t like. Get a job where you have to get dirty. There’s still a few of them out there. Don’t marry until your late thirties, earliest. Your reproductive compulsions don’t have a clock. Open a business of your own. Let women rule whatever portion of the world they wish to rule, and find a niche where you won’t be subject to the oppression of fighting a losing battle. It might not be ideal, but the century of the woman is upon us. Deal with it the best you can.