If the Return of Kings viral Mad Max story had taught us anything it’s that the mainstream media seems to think calling someone a “men’s rights activist” is an effective shaming technique- CNN would never put quotations around the word “feminist.”
The mainstream media and feminists alike understand that people are inherently unsympathetic to men- in particular, men who have unauthorized opinions– and to easily sway a story in the favor of good Hollywood versus bad opinionated men, all they really need to say is “men’s rights activist.” Anything further is academic- the term immediately invalidates any argument presented.
The mainstream narrative will always deny that feminism has become institutionalized. If the narrative is that men are privileged, of course men who are looking to defend themselves as men in a system they see as bias against them would be viewed unsympathetically; as hateful, greedy, misogynist losers.
The system makes it clear that women are the oppressed class and men are the privileged class, always and forever. Women need our resources and support while men only need restraint and emasculation.
Make no mistake that this mindset is pervasive and trickles down to how our Education system is structured.
I’m a teacher and the other day I was in the classroom of one of my colleagues.
The walls of this classroom are littered in Girl Power[TM]: news clippings of girls being successful in science, Rosie the Riveter, Michelle Obama… absolutely nothing that would particularly inspire a young boy. All female centered stuff with just enough plausible deniability for her to say “these are artifacts of successful people.”
But then something else caught my attention… This poster was hanging amongst the clutter.
At first glance you can arguably group the poster with your typical “girls can do it” fodder… From a post-modernist perspective the idea is that if women were able to join the NAVY, of course they would have. So, for middle school kids, the narrative is:
- Women are tough and willing to do anything men can do.
- Despite clearly being willing, women were not allowed to join the NAVY due to male oppression.
- Therefore, while having made tremendous strides only recently, women come from a place of victimization at the hands of men.
Had the poster ended there it would have been as innocuous as the rest of the female empowerment content in her room… but the bottom line stood out to me and made the historical context of the poster clear:
“Be a man and do it; United States Navy Recruiting Station”
This was the true purpose of the poster when it was created… not a rallying cry for women’s rights, nor a statement of the rough-and-tumble “can do” spirit of American women; the poster served as a manipulative shaming tactic to get men to join the Navy. Therefore, the true historical reading of the poster is:
- Hey pussy, this fucking LADY would join the NAVY if she could.
- As a man, you have the ability to join the NAVY.
- Therefore, it is your duty to join the NAVY.
In reality the poster speaks more to the dutiful and noble spirit of men than anything else. It was certainly not a rallying cry for women, nor did it speak to women wanting to be a part of the U.S. Navy. The idea behind this poster is that men can be controlled through feelings of shame.
There is absolutely no way the teacher of this class mentioned this to her students.
Seeing this poster hanging in a classroom made me feel sad for the current generation of boys facing an Educational system that is only putting forth effort in the inspiration and motivation of young girls. Boys are marginalized and excluded on the premise of male privilege following the idea that they don’t need guidance or mentoring- if boy’s want to be successful they’ll simply “be men” and “do it.”
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