Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Gender Studies: Phallic Symbolism of 9-11

Recently came across a strange article with one of the most absurd metaphors I've seen in my life. The article is entitled The Land of the Smoldering Vagina. Ridiculous, kinda stupid, but also oddly compelling.

Within five weeks of the World Trade Center incident, five different men and women said to me, "The phallic symbol of America has been cut off. " I was surprised to learn of this undercurrent of feeling among the people, especially amidst the genuine concern for the victims and their friends and families, but upon reflection, I realized the depth of their statements.

The phallic symbol of America had been cut off, and at its base was a large smoldering vagina the true symbol of the American culture for it is the western culture that represents the feminine materialistic principle, and it is at its extreme in America.

The smoldering vagina is unsatisfied, it wants more cars, more clothes, more food, more drink, more money, more stuff. I want more, more, more are the shouts coming from the land of the smoldering vagina.

This thought-provoking article is posted on the website of a group calling itself Men's Action. This is an excerpt from their mission statement:

A natural way of life is a balance between the masculine, feminine, and life principles.

Do you know the functioning of the entire universe is based upon gender? That everything created in the universe is a result of a pregnancy?

Western culture in its ignorance is attempting to create a genderless society. Pregnancies can not occur without the interplay of gender. Standards can not exist without the interplay of gender. Family can not be without the interplay of gender.

A genderless society will disintegrate because it based on an unnatural premise. Our society is disintegrating.

Yes, thank Men's Action for uncovering the REAL significance of 9-11. ;-)

One of the things I found 'interesting' about the article is that it equates material greed with femininity. Not too sure about that one. I think you could make a reasonable argument for either side being more materialistic. Perhaps women are more 'worldly', i.e. focused on people and things in their day-to-day life, I think that's probably true. While 'Men's Action' proposes to restore balance to the world through gender realignment, I'm inclined to believe that one of the defining features of maleness is precisely a lack of balance. Almost by definition women are more 'grounded', while men are more likely to be more extreme and have their 'head in the clouds'. North American society has probably become more 'feminine' in many respects, but if there is a 'dominant gender outlook' it's still probably a male one. I agree that much of what is natural male instinct has been pathologized, but so have many female instincts. The modern ideal does seem to be some sort of gender neutrality- adopt whatever characteristics are best in terms of making you a good drone. Bah, enough of this silly gender babble.


Blogger Valerie Houle said...

I'm a female female with my head in the clouds. I'm extreme and I'm eccentric. Moreover, I'm sick and tired of everything in our society from soup to nuts being genderized. IMO you said it all and said it brilliantly in your conclusion. Good on you!

8:05 PM  

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