Thursday, December 29, 2005

King Kong and Feminism

Men are not from Mars, after all. They are King Kongs! And women have the job of civilizing these monsters. A movie review of King King with the title I gave this post tells us so:

In a way, all men are King Kongs: powerful, brooding, potentially destructive creatures waiting for a woman to touch their hearts and tame them.

And all women are Ann Darrow, simultaneously fragile and compelling, possessor of the magic to transform primitive males (monsters-in-waiting) into protectors and the builders of families and civilizations.

This is a very old myth Don Feder, the writer, brings us, and a very appealing one, because it tells the men that nothing they do is really their fault; it's the women who failed in transforming them into something useful. And it tells the women that they really do have power, an enormous, humongous power, to rule over the men. Too bad that the myth is rubbish.

But the wingnuts love this myth. It makes their worldview into a coherent and logical whole and also explains very clearly why women must act a certain way. For if women leave their civilizing tasks undone the society will collapse. Men will be monsters and they will eat up or rape the women. Only if women agree to be these tiny willowy creatures who can do nothing but sigh on their own will the Western civilization stand. This is Feder's message to us feminists. We have destroyed the world by trying to empower women. But if women are empowered men will be monsters. You take your pick.

Luckily, you don't have to, because this myth is just a myth. Men are not monsters, Don. It's a movie, for Chrissake.