There’s a line in the movie “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” that nails it: “When legend becomes fact, print the legend”. The “rugged individual” is pure legend.
Only men ever think of themselves as “rugged individuals” who believe down to their atoms that “they alone can fix it”. They’re absolutely wrong, of course — like a man driving around lost, too arrogant to ask for directions — even from his phone. Women know biologically that no one alone can do anything. One cannot bear and raise a child by oneself. One can try — but one won’t succeed; neither mother nor child will thrive or flourish if left to do all that completely on their own.
As Hillary Clinton wrote, “it takes a village”.
Libertarians love the idea of the rugged individual. But then, libertarians think Ayn Rand can write.
Libertarianism is nothing more than a bunch of 6 year old boys running around braying “You’re not the boss of me!”. They think that’s what freedom is — it’s all the perks of doing whatever the hell you want with none of the responsibilities. And if their freedom and yours contradict each other? Guess whose freedom is going to get the priority? Spoiler alert: it won’t be yours.
The word “freedom” is like the word “God”. Ask ten people what it is, you’ll get ten different answers. And just like the idea of “God” is limitless, so, too, is the idea of freedom. That would be awesome if everyone’s idea of “God” was the same. We’d all be talking about the same creator-of-everything using the same language. We don’t, of course.
What makes it more problematic is that some peoples’ idea of “God” contradicts other peoples’ idea of “God”. Their conflicting ideas (God’s a raging psychopath vs God is love) can’t co-exist.
Similarly, if your idea of “freedom” is having all the guns you want, of any caliber, which you can fire freely from your front door at all your neighbors’ houses, that’s probably going to bump against your neighbors’ idea of freedom if they think it means NOT getting shot by you. Someone’s going to walk away from this feeling “less free”.
Right wingers are all about celebrating the rugged individualist — the “I alone can fix it” guy whose genius deserves every penny that falls into his pocket. Too bad that guy doesn’t exist. Only a male could think “he alone” could fix anything. Horse shit. There is not a human being in the whole history of humans who did anything alone. A woman would never say that because women know — biologically — how impossible it is.
A woman can’t get pregnant alone. It takes a male to do that (although women can orgasm alone just fine without their orgasm causing pregnancy). And once a baby begins growing inside of her, she knows she will need at least one other person to help get the baby out. Yes, yes, she could birth the child solo. But if she can’t get food for herself — because exhausted — she won’t be able to feed that baby and both mother and infant could die. Death and childbirth have a long history together and that’s WITH tons of help.
Then to raise that child? To feed it, educate it, clothe it, entertain it, put up with it — it takes a village just like Hillary Clinton once wrote that it does.
No group? No individuals would be there to join it or be part of it. The group wins right there. The individuals need the group more than the group needs any particular individual.
When RW shitheads walk around Coronavirus World maskless, they’re making a political statement: no one’s the boss of them. If they have coronavirus — or even a common cold — they believe it’s their RIGHT to give it to you and you have no “right” to refuse it. Sure, maybe you could try a little harder to not breathe in the RW-ers viral particles — no one’s “making you” breathe those. But that’s just putting the onus on others to prove their rights are as good as the RW-ers rights.
The simple fact is all “freedom” has limits. It has to or it becomes destructive. Have all the freedom of speech you like but if you shout “fire” in a crowded theater, you’ll also have a legal problem. Your freedom likely caused harm and even death to others.
No American is free to drive as fast as they like down a neighborhood street. No American is free to set fire to their neighbor’s house. No American is free to stop another American from voting. See? Limits.
Ever see a sign like this — “No shoes, no shirt, no service”?
Ubiquitous in some places, right? No one really ever had a problem. They get it. No shirt or no shoes is kind of unsanitary when you walk into an eating establishment. No mask shouldn’t make any difference to you walking in.
A lot of our freedom springs as much from common decency as law. Divorce freedom from decency and you get anarchy — and not the good kind either. It would be swell if humans could live in freedom and harmony with each other. A lot of us can. But we’re not the problem here.
In personal freedom world, your freedoms end where mine begin and mine end where yours begin. If we really want to live that way then either we’re always negotiating with each other — with one of us winning and the other losing. In Group Freedom World, we all understand where our freedoms begin and end. That’s because in Group Freedom World, freedom isn’t “free”. It comes with responsibilities and obligations.
Voting, for instance, shouldn’t just be a “benefit” of freedom, it should be an obligation. Want freedom? Maintain it. Likewise it’s an obligation to make sure that every single American gets to practice the exact same freedoms. If one single American isn’t getting every bit of their group freedom then the group is failing. We can only be as free as the least free among us.
When a mass shooter finishes killing, our first question is “who’s responsible for this?” That is, who beyond the shooter himself? The irony is WE are responsible for allowing this individual to think they could do this — assert their freedom over everyone else’s. The second amendment is a gun control amendment. That’s what the words themselves say (“well regulated militia” seems to suggest a group run by rules not guns). And the amendment says that the militia gets to decide to “keeps and bears” those arms. The amendment doesn’t say “own”. That suggests that, at all times, the militia owns the guns (and then decides who keeps and bears them situationally).
Imagine if we taught young Americans what freedom was in the abstract — and that this benefit came with responsibilities? We could teach it alongside how the rest of our system of government works. It seems we’ve abandoned teaching our children what makes us special. America is special. It can be.
If we can live up to the ideals we were founded on, America will be special. Exceptional even. That’s the part where “all people are created equal” at least where the law is concerned. Where our freedoms are concerned too.
It only takes one personal freedom loving asshole to undermine everyone else’s idea of freedom.
They may come for my Male Card for writing this — screw em! The time has come to man up about how men “man up”: it’s all in our minds.
No woman would ever speak the words “I alone can fix it” because every woman knows that’s utter bullshit. No one can fix anything alone. No one can do anything alone (except wander across a wilderness). Women know this biologically. They know they can’t bear a child and raise a child by themselves. Both mother and baby will surely die. Part of the maternal instinct is knowing — you’ll need at least one other person to survive. More support equals better chances of survival. More support still and both mother and baby can thrive.
It’s a very female instinct to think it takes a village to raise a child. That instinct is borne of deep-seated knowledge. Trust it. It speaks a core Truth.
Now, here’s the thing — that needing a village thing? It’s the diametric opposite to how men think. How men think starts with our biology, too. Yes, we’re all about our dicks, we men, but we’re all about our dicks because we’re really all about our sperm. Our biologic imperative (aside from eating, shitting and dying) is to reproduce. It’s hard-wired into the genome. How we reproduce is to put our sperm in proximity to a female’s egg. Insertion helps. A big dick assumes more efficient delivery of sperm to egg. In our minds, it probably assumes more better sperm too.
We’re the Wolf in the Red Riding Hood story, already in bed, dressed up as Grandma — even though, strangely, Grandma’s got her penis in her hand… “What a big penis you have, Grandma.” “The better to impregnate you with, sweetheart.”
At the very core of male thinking is that imperative — how do I put my sperm someplace else? Once placed, of course, the male is free to move on. In essence, nothing ties him to whatever comes of him coming. If he was a sociopathic asshole — like, say, Donald Trump — he could pick & choose what of his “leavings” gets to go full term. Kinda like now.
I really, REALLY hate to say this but just like Donald Trump epitomizes Republicanism (sociopathic, hypocritical, corrupt-to-the-core, utterly lacking in principles or integrity, committed only to gaining & holding power even if it means committing treason), he also epitomizes being male. In a blown way out of proportion (well, it’s Trump, isn’t it) but not as much as you think kind of way. “I alone can fix it” is not uniquely Trumpian — as Trumpian as it is.
The cocksmanship? C’mon, boys — we all know what that’s like. We all wish, down deep, we could be that instantly attractive. No one really wants to work for their supper. Everyone wants to be indulged — especially that way.
What’s more? Donald Trump epitomizes the male “Squirt-n-Go” dynamic. Of course it applies sexually. Bottom Line Donald — he’s a rapist. The ultimate squirt-n-Go-er. His sperm isn’t just conquest, it’s brutality. It’s fully weaponized sperm. But Trump doesn’t just Squirt-n-Go with his toxic seed. He does it with bullshit, too.
Trump spews bullshit with the same ease he spews semen. He can swing his dick in your face without taking it out of his pants — though he loves to pull it out — despite its tiny size.
That Truth about men is already public knowledge: Men lie about their size.
One of the first games we play with each Democrat who jumps into the crowded pool of 2020 presidential candidates is “Gotcha!” with their past.
The current environment has finally swung toward the Progressive wing of not just the Democratic Party but of the American Electorate, too. Joe Biden, for instance, is being hoist on the petard of his support for legislation earlier
in his career that now looks toxic.
The “Gotcha!” supposes that when we throw that question down, the
candidate is going to congratulate the journalist for catching the
contradiction they hoped no one would find. And then… what? Withdraw?
Almost always, the first impulse — when being asked that silly question —
is to dodge, to change the subject. Good thing it doesn’t look guilty or anything…
Both question and response are tied to a very old — very worn out — notion
of what “Leadership” is. They suppose that a leader — being a man —
assumes the mantle of “Leader” with great gravity. He looks at the
world and “gets it”. He looks inside — at the path that brought HIM
to this place of “Leadership” and “Greatness” — and (because HE alone can “fix it”), he utters “A Great Pronouncement”. And that profound belch will be a hill he dies on some day — because the last thing any Male Leader can do is change his mind.
FFS — women do that, right? Women “change their minds” and “adapt” because, well, they’ve always had to — because some man was telling them to or forcing them to or simply “fixing it alone” while the woman looked on helplessly.
Because men have always been the leaders (a trend changing way, way, WAY too slowly), we associate male qualities with leadership — not because leadership is inherently male, but because we’re creatures of habit. We’re intellectually lazy and easily persuaded of nonsense and (as this sight is so fond of saying) bullshit.
Men — being sperm donors — can easily come and go. They can impregnate and move on without any emotional connection to their “output”. This is
hard-wired into male biology. Because men have always been the leaders, we’ve come to associate this quality with leadership. If women had (as they probably SHOULD HAVE) been our leaders, THEIR biological imperatives would have been more prominent.
Women bear children. It is the foundational fact of their biology. It impacts how they see the world. They know for a fact that you cannot bear a child or rear a child all by yourself. You can but — it won’t be good for you or the child. Women know that their survival, their child’s survival, depends on other people. As Hillary Clinton pointed out, yes — it takes a village.
Consequently — if you sit among a group of women making a decision, I think
they’ll bear me out — the process is communal. It tries far harder than any
man fixing it alone to hear and accommodate every voice in the room — because they’re all part of the village it takes to raise their child.
If we redefined “leadership” in female terms (as opposed to “feminine”) — looking at how women lead, most of the qualities would be similar to how men lead. There still needs to be strength, charisma if possible. But all those qualities would be tempered — because they have to be.
Because women have learned from millennia of having to work their magic on the sly, that you need to listen first — then act.
If Joe Biden has two brain cells, he’ll take a “female approach” next time he gets asked about the less appealing parts of his legislative record. He’ll respond: “That was the ‘old Joe Biden’. This Joe Biden has evolved and is evolving. He wants your help to be the best Joe Biden he can be — while serving your needs.”
Men need to learn how to evolve. Like women have. Imagine the leaders they
could be someday