It's a fundamental tenet of modern feminism that men are root of evil in the world. It's an insidious polity that is being successfully inculcated in males as well as society in general, from elementary school through college, and into the workplace, where federal regulatory overreach has created an advanced framework of laws calculated to obviate any trace of testosterone. However, it moves from the merely discomfiting to the dangerous when it takes root in our military, which it clearly has.
Since masculinity has become synonymous with every modern ill from schoolyard bullies to war, we should be encouraged by a new study from the Department of Imaging Neuroscience at University College London, which may herald a return to cultural sanity. The primitive areas of the brains of males associated with reward became bright on MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans when presented with images of retributive justice. In stark contrast, women showed no such response, even though on questionnaires they reported hostility to the perpetrators, which reflects a culturally motivated reflex rather than a physiological response. In a sign that the historical stigma concerning male aggression may be attenuating, Dr. Tania Singer, the lead researcher, not only resisted using the results to further pillory men, she stated:
This type of behavior has probably been crucial in the evolution of society as the majority of people in a group are motivated to punish those who cheat on the rest.
This refreshing observation stands in stark contrast to the nearly unanimous, if unreflective consensus, that the male's only role in our 'highly evolved' society is procreation. Indeed, although men have historically played a vital role as protectors of the family and guardians of the weak and vulnerable, it's a role that has been marginalized by the feminists who ignorantly characterize all aggression as inherently evil.
Another piece of evidence that the tides are changing is Kate O'Beirne's newly published book "Women Who Make the World Worse." O'Beirne catalogs the ignoble 35 year history of feminism, beginning with quotes from Robin Morgan, a founder of Ms. Magazine, who noted that marriage is "a slavery-like practice," and that "we can't destroy the inequities between men and women until we destroy marriage." Included are such illuminating observations as those from Duke University Prof. Marilyn Morris, who advised the Secretary of the Army during the Clinton years, and who argued for the elimination of the "masculinist attitudes" of the military, such as "dominance, assertiveness, aggressiveness, independence, self-sufficiency, and willingness to take risks."
The emasculation of men and the depreciation of masculinity has been a cultural juggernaut that, until recently, has been a vexing phenomenon that no man dared challenge, whether in a school setting, the corporate world, or our military. As Lionel Tiger, professor of anthropology at Rutgers, argued in his book, "The Decline of Males," the modern antipathy towards boys and men is bolstered by the media, our educational system, and liberals who look to the government as their proxy defense to immunize society against the presumed horrors of masculinity.
This infection has, of course, made its way into such dovish bastions as our State Department, where interminable diplomacy without any recourse to the ultimate arbiter--a potent military threat--is the unquestioned approach to international affairs. To his credit, President Bush's leadership appointments at State have been more akin to that of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, who, in a speech to the AP in April of 1957, stated:
Of all the tasks of government the most basic is to protect its citizens against violence. Only the society of nations has failed to apply this rudimentary principle of civilized life. The principle deterrent to aggressive war is mobile retaliatory power. This retaliatory power must be vast in terms of its potential...A would-be aggressor should realize that he cannot make armed aggression a paying proposition.
It would be a sign that we have returned to our collective senses if Secretary of State Condolezza Rice would bring to bear this kind of powerful rhetoric, because, despite our recently acquired cultural reticence to telegraph our willingness to exercise the military option, ours is a decidedly dangerous world where tyrants and dictators have the potential to wreak regional and even global havoc.
As Perez Zoagorin, professor emeritus at the University of Rochester, argues in his lucid and instructive book, "Thucydides," there are two quite different ways to view the world, one is through quixotic and naive eyes that minimize, marginalize, or excuse evil, the other is what he terms "realism--a disposition to see human affairs, and the world as they are." His sense of realism would stipulate the recognition of "the enormous significance of superior power in shaping the course of history."
The daunting challenges our nation faces may well be facilitating a tectonic transformation of our culture from the currently fashionable (if wholly naive) feminine version to a more unapologetically masculine approach. If there is a grain of truth to this, it will have a salutary effect on everything from men who are rapidly tiring of excusing their genetic instincts to our plans for dealing with belligerents on the international stage. It's a change that should be encouraged and (excuse the indulgence) nurtured, because it's is both timely and crucial.