Selfie-Itis and the Trouble with Gender Equality in the Age of Lies

Men and women have unique strengths and weaknesses related to survival. Gender differences are baked into the success of our species. Look at our track record. We’ve been dominating the animal kingdom for a long time now. Ask a scientist to confirm. Neil Degrasse Tyson always seems to be around.

Post-modern feminists would have you believe that men and women are indistinguishable equals. Period. End of discussion. It’s an odd obsession with sameness that minimizes the inherent upsides of their own native gender in pursuit of a dubious distinction of being as horrible as the men they dislike the most — their fathers. Being in control of your own orgasm has unleashed a number of unintended consequences. Like pretending Women Studies is a science.

This 1950 photo from Elliot Erwitt shows that under “separate but equal” doctrine in the South, both white and black had access to water fountains, simply not the same water fountains.

These obvious science deniers will allow for one point of distinction between men and women — women are inherently the victims in all sexual relationships with men, regardless of consent. That’s a rather convenient exception to the rule. Rape culture hysteria provides for all kinds of fascinating flat earth level dogma. Replacing research data with political beliefs has begotten the inevitable gender policy of separate but equal. Look that up if you’re not familiar with how things went the last time this nation chose that oldie from the jukebox. A unique kind of equality where everybody receives different treatment based on some immutable characteristic. So, bigotry framed as gender enlightenment.

The Harvey Weinstein penis tyrant revelations, hollered aloud by the same people who helped cover them up for decades, were meant to be an indisputable eye-open to the naturally exploitative relationship between powerful men and the women crushed beneath their casual loafers. The #MeToo hashtag held so much promise. As would any broadly defined civil rights movement kickstarted by a late 80’s sitcom child star on Twitter.

Under the expansive umbrella of #MeToo, the body sculpted Madame Defarges of Brentwood knitted fair trade mohair into booties for their adopted African babies as piggish men in the entertainment and media sectors were taken to the career guillotine. But this was no Scooby-Doo unmasking to reveal that the kindly schoolteacher was behind the paranormal frights in town. These powerful brutes were men with long and well-known track records of boorish and even criminal behavior toward underling females (and young males in many cases).  The exploits of these corpulent men were well known, often long documented, but nobody cared to overturn the apple cart, including the women closely related or involved. Get Camille Cosby a couple of her husband’s cocktails one evening and see what stories she has to tell.

In Scooby Doo, the villain was always a surprise; in the real world, the villain is well known by a number of people who choose to keep quiet.

Guys like Harvey Weinstein didn’t merely frighten assault victims in the shadows or clam up ingénues with ironclad NDAs, there were scores of women who knew of his abuse of power, his need for creepy and extorted sexual encounters and his predilection for ejaculating into potted plants. These cunning and remorseless men known to surround themselves with women they know won’t tell. Often that’s through intimidation, sometimes its money, opportunity, and a toying of their own ambitions. Until you’ve lived or worked in Hollywood, it may be hard to fathom how desperate newcomers are to the entertainment industry, in all career pursuits. That goes for both young women and young men who are reamed, perhaps not in precisely even gender numbers, but both all the same. It’s a buyer’s market, but all markets require willing sellers. Therein lies a complicity factor that everybody screamed at Morrissey for saying aloud. He’s an insufferable douche, but he’s got the nerve to speak Terrible Words as needed. Respect.

What the #MeToo movement taught us that we didn’t already know was the extent of buy-in of women in this crooked power game. This is not an assignation of blame or malicious intent. But it is important to mention that sex and dignity are tradable commodities in this world, and once you declare it’s okay to sell such things, it’s harder for your moral compass to ever again find True North. We make fun of the used car dealer for being exaggeratedly shady; we rarely mock the gullible buyer for being a dupe in the face of such obvious chicanery.  Every con begins with a mark that believes they’re getting a sweet deal, in this case, a sweet movie deal.

The #MeToo movement has exposed the great feminist conundrum: how can women be equal to men yet still be the default victim in every transaction between man and woman? This isn’t merely about sexually harassing movie moguls, it might apply to women paying more for dry cleaning, being ripped off at Jiffy Lube, or having to pretend the WNBA is a legitimate professional sports league. In a previous article I discussed how college educated white women rewrote the Affirmative Action laws in the late 1960s to include themselves as minorities in need of a hand up. How is that equality? The trumped up term “patriarchy” was popularized merely so women could answer that equality question without really answering it. “Patriarchy” is the feminist version of “San Dimas High School football rules!”

Feminists would have you believe that men have secret meetings to discuss the oppression of women. When we all know men hate meetings. (credit: Suzy Exposito, cartoonist)

Author and marketer, John Gray, noted that in 1992 that Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. His literary premise was acceptable gender disparity fodder because social justice warriors call truce in the self-help section of bookstores. It’s where the self-assigned victims go to porn out. Gray helped modern women understand why their relationships weren’t working and provided numerous lazy options for fixes. A coupon for a dildo and two cats would’ve provided more substantial benefit.

College student, Lake Ingle, was kicked out of class for insisting there are only two genders. (credit: Facebook)

In Contrast to Gray, highly regarded anthropologists and esteemed biologists can no longer assert gender differences as a matter of science without being put on notice, or fired. That seems odd, if not Orwellian. Is it possible that this reflexive denial of differences between the genders actually leads to more harm than good, most especially for women? The history of unfounded and entirely faith-based belief systems would indicate so. Nobody’s lot is improved with a lie. That’s not a moral axiom; it’s a long term practical consequence of basing real world decisions off of wishful thinking.

Free yourself from the bonds of political correctness (it’s the best gift you’ll ever give yourself) and you can see that while men and women of the species both desire to feel respected and wanted, the road to such lofty desires is unique for the two genders. Yes, Virginia, there are only two. In the main, men are ambitious, competitive, and goal oriented. In some manner, all three of these traits leads back to being the sperm king of your primordial neighborhood. That doesn’t mean men are fueled entirely by sex, though they often are; it does mean they seek out that same feedback loop that sex provides them — conquest and ego stroking. In contrast, women seek to be wanted, feelings of security, and a functioning collective. Is this notion derogatory toward women, or men for that matter? It’s how we’ve survived as a human race, so your answer is irrelevant. Or would you prefer the okapis take over? Better to be offended than living under okapi rule.

Those who tortuously refer to gender differences as a pure social construct, tend to work in midtown Manhattan as 25-year old senior reporters for a women’s magazine outlet. They are exasperatedly sure of their convictions based on nothing they can explain with words, more so with vilifying grunts. Perhaps they are prisoners of their own demographic, reciting the orthodoxy lest they face freeze out at Soul Cycle. None of what they spout makes any sense to a thinking person, nor do they apply across the animal kingdom. Lower level primates don’t have gender sexist Fisher-Price toddler play-sets or rap music or remnants of male-dominated organized religion and they still manage to line up to their gender norms. Explain that, NYU Womyn’s [sic] Studies major.

Large blogging outlets like Buzzfeed and their hip, young, opinionated editorial staff reach a ton of readers with their opinions packaged as news and information.

We could write off the burdensome things young women do to themselves in the name of superficial attention as another consequence of the patriarchy, but then we’d be denying that female led industries and outlets contribute most mightily to these feelings of inadequacy. We’d also be denying the vibrant role of nature in such seemingly self-destructive ventures and the long list of equally self-harming qualities of males. We’d also be denying that maybe these superficial beauty and allure ventures aren’t so self-destructive after all. That’s a lot of denial.

Intellectually honest women will admit that women can use their predilection for being sexually desirable to their advantage even in the most male dominated of pursuits. Ten thousand years of upright human history reveal a pattern of tremendous successes in such regard. These eons of evidence are re-confirmed by every guy you know who did something completely against his better interest on the prompting of his girlfriend. And naturally there’s a vice-versa in terms of manipulative boyfriends and gullible girlfriends, though it’s less likely that men are slipping into something more comfortable and complimenting the size of their girlfriend’s genitals in furtherance of their self-interest.

Heidi Klum is a very successful business woman and media talent, but prefers to make news splashes with semi-naked selfies and banal slogans. (credit: Instagram)

Social media provides an excellent proving ground for the basest baselines of human behavior, including those that diverge across gender lines. For men this low bar is aggressive, trolling, fist-pumping, feather-pluming, and self-aggrandizing bullshit. For women, the dominant form of plumage display on social media has become the selfie, more often than not, sexually imbued.

Last December, the American Psychiatric Association rolled out the term “selfitis” to describe people with a compulsive need for taking and sharing selfies. Take APA assertions with a grain of salt because they’re all psychiatrists, and thus, inherently unstable and weird. But their concern is telling and real. The APA frames the selfitis condition as one of a compulsion or addiction, rather than a mere consequence of narcissism. This provides the connection to the human trait most notable among women —  the need to feel wanted. If you truly loved yourself, you wouldn’t need constant affirmation. Hallmark that.

There have been multiple cases of women dying recently while taking selfies. This represents the extreme consequence of desiring to be seen on camera and published to the world at large. Lesser examples include eating disorders, inability to stay off phones at work or school, and feelings of depression when selfies aren’t “liked”. These negatives, including and up to gruesome decapitating deaths, are worth noting for their tip of the iceberg representation of the broader phenomenon, the complete ignorance of the downsides of acting in the name of a truly superficial kind of fulfillment. Is it the same kind of ignorance of consequences that might lead you to agree to meet a jowly womanizing producer in his hotel room at 11pm for a career mentoring session? How can you have read this far and not know that answer?

Just how many genders are there? Here’s a typical explanatory chart popular in colleges these days. 60?

There are vain men; confront the guy jogging topless in your neighborhood and ask him why nobody loved him as a child. There’s no known athletic benefit to exercising topless; six packs don’t need air. Though the numbers at any gym clearly favor the women in terms of tight, short, and revealing wardrobe. This is the local 24-hour fitness, not the semi-finals at the Olympics qualifiers; I’m not buying that that Spandex halter top shaves a hundredth of a second off your gym treadmill splits.

The gross consumer numbers in fashion, beauty, makeup, and other purely cosmetic industries tilt noticeably toward female consumers. Are the patriarchy forcing young women to purchase a billion dollars worth of Kylie Jenner lip balms and eye shadows? Have you ever heard a father tell his daughter she needed more mascara? Or a boyfriend tell his girlfriend her foundation could use smoothing? Women’s magazines do this dozens of times per edition, most through the guise of desirable female celebrities pushing the largely needless wares. These same celebrities and models, women such as Lisa Rinna and Cindy Crawford, chose sexy modeling as career paths for their own girls at startling young ages. What happened to STEM? It is really men blocking that pathway? Have you seen Harry Hamlin and Rande Gerber, these guys couldn’t block a girl scout from pushing past.

Naturally, men respond to half-naked female selfies with sheer adulation. Free and universally accessible pictures of women competing to be desirable are a concept that was foreign to men for the first 99.99% of the human timeline. What men used to have to work for, literally to show some prospects or accomplishments for, suddenly becomes gratis. You have to wonder if that’s to the betterment of women, even when utilizing the most convoluted of feminist arguments about choice and empowerment.

Lisa Rinna felt it was a good idea to let her daughter, Amelia, start posting bikini selfies at 13. By 14 she had anorexia. (credit: Instagram)

Women, especially white women, have made tremendous socio-economic advances in the past several decades in relation to men. The train has left the station. Women of color are being left behind, men are in the second class, and white women are riding up front. You’d think this new era of truly revolutionary opportunity, advancement, and power would lead to greater levels of confidence and a general armistice in gender battle. Not so. The generals inherently understand when the troops are not with them. The queens in the leadership tent are plotting ceaseless revolution while the pawns are taking selfies of their new summer bikinis. No reason you can’t look fab while upending the patriarchy.

The nuns at Catholic school knew it deep down. Even with the threat of eternal hellfire, you couldn’t make the boys stop “male gazing” the girls. Conversely, you couldn’t make the girls stop reveling in the attention. It’s how we all got to be here. Yet according to modern gender studies doctrine, your dad raped your mom by offering her dinner and a movie before sex. But the old man once showed you how to ride a bike so all is forgiven. Dishonesty about the human condition, labeling natural feelings as predatory or perverse, and reaching for equality by burning every bridge behind you is never going to achieve victory. Not because Scorched Earth policies aren’t reasonably effective means of conquest, but because it tests the will of your rank and file, and your rank and file are inevitably going to fall to the tides of nature.


About the author: Lex Jurgen is a truth telling bastard who supports at least 63% of his opinions with facts. You can hear Lex and his non-sexual partner, comedian Matt Ralston, on their award-winning Last Men on Earth Podcast. Or, if you need a cleanse after binge-watching Girls on HBO, take a gander at Lex’s satirical new book,Man Rules: 99 Rules for Re-Masculating the Millennial Male. Tom Brokaw recently called it an “amazing read” and 65 aging news fangirls signed on in agreement.