Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A new world?

I thought that this Huffington Post blog might spark your interests in application to our gender discussion today....what if in fact we don't have so much a "new man", but a "new world" as the author contends?




  1. I'm holding off for now, because I want to see all of you lay into (or support) Buckingham. I will ask this question, though: What does it mean to frame all of this in terms of a war--a battle?

  2. I think this article is pretty awful. It relies to heavily on these grand, sweeping statements, and I think its generalizations fail to take in the big picture.

    Let's start it off with his use of statistical information to enforce how men are behaving like women--in all of the data he offered, the statistics for women have been leaning toward the more traditionally male roles as well--so why is it that he is only citing a change in the male toward female, but not the female toward male? It seems as if he could be implying that, by a woman taking on more masculine roles, she wins, and a man taking on more feminine roles loses. That doesn't really sound like a complement to females to me, and definitely not a win.

    In regards to Professor Fisher's question about how the article is framed in terms of war, I take issue with Buckingham's use of that idea as well. Again, it shouldn't seem like any side should be labeled winner or loser just because their roles may seem less defined or limited than they were in the past--why should it be a failure to act in a more universal "queer" gender that was suggested in Butler's text?

  3. Well I never have entirely liked the Huffington Post but the article is definitely interesting.

    In terms of a war, though, I disagree with the article. I would call it more of an armistice. The new man has allowed women to take more of a role in the work place and men to allow this change by taking more of a role in domestic tasks, but in my opinion all this shows is a balancing of the role of the two sexes. The middle class 60s idea that was in representation where a man spends all his time at work as the primary breadwinner and the woman spends all her time at home is two extremes. Eventually, it had to balance out. As this article shows it has. I don't think that means that women are winning the war because its not like men hate spending time at home, instead we are just naturally moving to a more equitable distribution of responsibilities.

  4. I did not like this article for a variety of reasons! But a fun issues to take to task is the section about modern celebrity heroes. I find it an incredibly weak argument to say that women have won the war because teenage-bobbers (like Pattison and Efron) have dominant the pre-teen world (shocking!). To imply that since society no longer looks to the over-built muscular heroes is proof of a feminized society is just nonsense in my opinion. What is fashionable or desirable in a man is incredibly fluid and socially constructed....in other words....While the 70s and 80s were filled with over the top men, the 30s, 40s, and 50s were dominated by the Gene Kelly's and Fred Astaires' of the world. Does this mean women were wining the war then because the celebrities were dancing and musical folk?

    Also, when talking about a "gender war" I naturally start to think about Marxism. Arguably, Buckingham believes that we are living in a post-revolutionary society -- the female's have one. Yet, has there really been such a revolution? I totally agree with Marielle in that to judge the success of women in terms of acquiring more male characteristics just proves that no such revolution has occurred. Communism (or queerism...) has not arrived.

  5. I can understand why the author would frame this in terms of a war - a battle. In order for women to gain the rights that they have today, they literally had to fight for them. And to say the war is over, I can see why, since women have overtly stopped fighting for equal rights. However, to say the battle is over is a misstatement. The fight started by women got the men involved. They have now had to fight to get the rights women had. Men, being the primary bread winners, were not allowed to take time away from work for their children. They've had to fight for those rights.

    It's just been a transference of rights and roles and, as said before, it's more an equally of the roles rather than a battle being won by one gender over another. Male and female are being less distinguishable, and as time goes on, Butlers argument about the queer will become ever more relevant.

    And just a brief mention of the article - a misunderstanding of American society today. And a misunderstanding of how culture changes and culture is made to change.

  6. In some aspect or another, I agree with what everyone who has already posted said. The article is gibberish in that it does not make a logical argument against men. Saying that women have "won" in the battle of the sexes is wrong. Women have come a long way from where they were pre-Feminist reform, but I don't see this as being a war. If anything, both men and women have gained from this redistribution of power and responsibilities, both in the domestic sphere and in the work place. The initial few sentences were a good hook into the article, and it kept me reading it (I wanted to know where he was getting at with this whole "war" analogy), but in the end I realized he didn't really have a valid point. All he did, for me in any case, was describe how far our society has come and progressed over time. It might be that for previous generations, the fight for womens equality was seen as a battle, and he could be appealing to that generation, but for ours I think it's relatively unapplcable.

  7. Even though this article has its flaws I would argue that the ordinary American would fall for what it is trying to say. In terms of the article framed in terms of a battle...I believe that those feminists who are "fighting" for equality do actually see women's rights as a war against the stereotypes of our past culture and societal norms. Everyone in response to the article seems so outraged that the author would do such a thing but I really don't think it's that unusual to compare such an issue with a battle- maybe I'm wrong...? I mean personally, I would never link feminism to war, but I can totally see how some people would.

    As for my opinion, I don't think it is fair to say that women have won "the war" based on some crummy statistics...Although I would say that women's rights have come a long was as have human rights in general. It is only a matter of time, as this article has tried to convey, that the lines between gay/straight, black/white, male/female will no longer be seen as binary oppositions but rather harmonious equals (?)