Thursday, April 08, 2010

Questions, Questions

Provoked by my post below on the new "Menz Rule" studies. What does this really mean?

I am concerned that it's widespread in the United States that masculinity is politically incorrect," said Christina Hoff Sommers, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author of The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men.

What does she mean by masculinity? What does she mean by political incorrectness?

These are not trivial questions because the meaning of her statement crucially depends on the definitions of those terms. To give you an example, if masculinity is defined as "men wear the pants (Dockers ad)" in the sense of being the bosses of women, should we not criticize that aspect of masculinity? After all, that same statement means that women should subjugate themselves to men's leadership.

"Political correctness" is a term which is no longer much used, and the reason is that the politically incorrect (read: politically powerful) won that cultural battle. The term no longer elicits the intended emotional response: that something really IS correct but we pretend it is not, lest we insult some group we like to look down upon. Nobody has much fear of insulting feminists, for instance.