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J.A.A. Purves

I'm no longer writing this book ...

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This month's issue of sojourners has a cover story relevant to this topic.

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Buckley knew how to provoke people, for the sake of shooting them down, if nothing else. In that, he was very nondiscriminatory. That made his show both maddening and, every now and then, kind of amusing.

Buckley's point in this exchange was essentially the same point made years later by the author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. At one point he responds - "I do think that there are characteristics that are traditionally associated with men and traditionally associated with women, but I don't find those that are associated with women to be inherently obnoxious. You apparently do." In other words, it shouldn't necessarily be that controversial of an idea to say that there are characteristics typically masculine and typically feminine. And yet, most advocates of that idea are met with a storm of controversy - controversy often based upon the assumption that what is said to be typically feminine is somehow pejorative to women.

I just stumbled across this and thought it might be useful for Persiflage's book.

Thanks by the way. It looks like it was an amusing activity in which to indulge - I may actually find a place in the book where it could make a fun reference. And personally, I have no objection to rating cities as more "manly" than others based on the number of blue collar jobs, sports activity, pickup trucks and motorcycles owned, retail stores selling fishing & hunting equipment, etc. I also find it interesting that I currently live in California - all of whose big cities are rated in the bottom 10 (before that I lived in Washington, D.C. - not the manliest of cities either). Not something to take too seriously, but still fun.

This month's issue of sojourners has a cover story relevant to this topic.

On the Boys Don't Cry article by Richard Rohr - it's interesting because this article is essentially preaching the message I've heard pounded into my head over and over again for years on end. "It's ok for you to cry." "You desperately need to get in touch with your inner feelings." "Look over there at how nuanced women are at being emotionally healthy, if you aren't like them, then that means you are emotionally unhealthy." "There's nothing wrong with having a feminine side - every guy has one." That's what I've been taught - in church, in school, in college, in work meetings. I'm guessing this is more the case in big cities than in the American mid-west. After reading this, my first impulse was to look and see if Rohr wrote this article in, oh say, 1955. Then it was to look him up and see if he lived in the state of Montana. Looks like he lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico - which, I'm guessing here, would probably rate high on the "manly" scale of cities. I think I'm learning from this thread that it's probably important to be aware that there are still different subcultures within American culture.

Rohr - "After 20 years of working with men on retreats and rites of passage, in spiritual direction, and even in prison, it has sadly become clear to me how trapped the typical Western male feels. He is trapped inside, with almost no inner universe of deep meaning to heal him or guide him. Historically, this is exactly what spirituality meant by “losing your soul.”

Even thinking about places like North and South Dakota, I find this hard to believe - unless my friends from there just can't be described as typical Western males.

Rohr - "Take a typical woman, educated or uneducated, of most any race or ethnicity, and give her this agenda: “You are not to have any close friends or confidants; you are to avoid any show of need, weakness, or tender human intimacy; you may not touch other women without very good reason; you may not cry; you are not encouraged to trust your inner guidance, but only outer authorities and “big” people; and you are to judge yourself by your roles, titles, car, house, money, and successes. People are either in your tribe, or they are a competitive threat—or of no interest!” Then tell her, “This is what it feels like to be a male, most of the time.” Maleness can be a very lonely and self-defeating world."

Doesn't this sound more like 1800s/earlier 1900s American culture than modern day times?

Rohr - "The church often does not really encourage an inner life. It substitutes belief systems and belonging systems and moral systems for interior journeys toward God. As a result the outer behavior is pretty weak as well. I would be willing to argue this position at the highest levels of Catholic hierarchy, Protestant scripture interpretation, or fundamentalist mental gymnastics."

You know what, I agree with Rohr here. While all the emotionally manipulative talk about having a deep, intimate, and loving relationship with Jesus should be off-putting to most men, it probably also encourages them to think they are feeling an inner life that actually isn't there. All in all, it's good for me to realize that there are still guys around who think like Rohr does. (Thank you for the reference, btw.)

As an aside re. the mentions of Prohibition a few pages back ... From what I've been reading, it seems as if a lot of social reformers of the late 19th and early 20th century had hopes that all kinds of social ills would suddenly be eradicated if sales of alcohol were banned... I can see the optimism (or is it what psych people call "magical thinking"?) and the attempted solution as being very - for lack of a better word - American, in many ways. (Both positive and negative.)

My only point on Prohibition early on was asking why, after 41 out of 50 states finally gave women the right to vote, the first Constitutional Amendment that passed was [a] Prohibition of the sales and manufacture of alcohol, which was precisely the issue almost every single suffragette was also politically advocating for (if you were a suffragette, odds were you were member of a Women's Temperance Union). When considering even the possibility of an effeminization of American culture, this seemed, somehow, relevant.

This is not to deny [a] that Prohibition was a very complex cause advocated for a wide variety of reasons, and that many women who supported the 18th Amendment in 1919 changed their minds and supported the 21st Amendment in 1933. You know, I'll have to look into whether anyone has done any modern day studies of whether any gender divide exists on the issue of drug legalization, and if so, why?

Edited by J.A.A. Purves

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So...men crying is a...problem?

Jesus was such a girl.

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I don't know who Jane Gilvary is but ...

When did men in America go from being masculine steak-eating, plaid shirt wearing, Old Spice smelling, cigar smoking cowboys who like football, hunting, and Clint Eastwood movies to skinny jean wearing, satchel carrying, pierced ear metrosexuals who like chick flicks, “The View,” and Bath & Bodyworks? The American man is an endangered species due in large part to the over-feminization of society.

... Boys learn to subdue their more spirited, intrepid behavior in elementary and middle school, their male instincts of competition and individualism quashed in the interest of what’s best for girls as they walk like lemmings over the edge of the radical feminist cliff by the time they reach high school. Because of the feminist movement, boys aren’t allowed to be boys - society has fenced them in, corralled their adventurous enthusiasm in the name of sexual equality. The end product is pantywaist pushovers who will cry during “Steel Magnolias” and urinate sitting down. This is bad news for America, who will eventually have to reap what the feminists have sown, which will be a paucity of male leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists and heroes.

Phyllis Schlafly, President of Eagle Forum, reports in “Where Are the Men?” that the ratio of males to females on college campuses has swung from 60-40 to 40-60, with 58 percent of women earning degrees from four-year colleges. In the coming years, this will severely impact the American family who have traditionally relied upon the father as the primary breadwinner ...

Hollywood is also doing its part to marginalize and diminish the role of men in this society. In the Academy Award-winning movie “Juno,” a teenage girl is faced with an unplanned pregnancy after a night of casual, meaningless sex with her friend Paulie. Juno not only ignores Paulie after they have sex but overtly excludes him from any decisions about whether or not to choose abortion over life. To the viewer, Paulie is a non-factor, a by-stander incapable of taking charge, unable to rescue Juno and stand firm in his fatherhood, albeit unplanned. Feminists just love a movie that glamourizes teenage pregnancy and deprecates the male role in conception.

In Jennifer Aniston’s new movie “The Switch,” she plays an unmarried 40 year old who decides that she doesn’t need a man to have a baby, and, instead, turns to artificial insemination of a donor’s sperm - even throwing a “Getting Pregnant” party to celebrate with her friends. The male roles in the movie are those of sperm donors, with Aniston’s character firm in her belief that a woman doesn’t need a man to conceive and rear a child. The implicit message of this movie is that men are not important in the raising and nurturing of children. Their biological contribution to conception is where their role begins and ends.

Unfortunately, this kind of thinking has become the norm rather than the exception in American culture. Feminists’ dogged efforts to have society view men and women as being the same instead of different but equal have paid off.

Edited by J.A.A. Purves

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I had much the same reaction to the marginalization of Paul in Juno; yet Gilvary isn't telling the whole story, since we see signs of Paul waking up a bit toward the end of the film. I haven't seen The Switch but it sure doesn't sound like she's telling the whole story there either.

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I do not think he is the Calvinist God (or maybe I should say the "neo-Calvinist God.")

Hey now, speaking of stereotyping... :) (From your friendly (neo) Calvinist.)

EDIT: Yow, I realize you wrote that in May. I'm just wading through this monster thread now. I'm glad I avoided all of this back then!

Edited by Jason Panella

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Because John Wayne wasn't living like that in real life, he was an actor, playing roles. The image he projected in those roles is an idealized - even stylized - one.

In real life, John Wayne smoked five packs a day and had three marriages, all to Latina women, including the infamous Esperanza "Chata" Baur, an alcoholic who attempted to shoot Wayne because she thought he was having an affair with Gail Russell. Wayne was divorced twice and did have several affairs (although Gail Russell was in point of fact not among them). If Gilvary wants a man like John Wayne, she's welcome to him wherever she can find him.

A further point about Juno: though I agree with Gilvary's concern about the way Paul is marginalized, I certainly wouldn't call it "effeminization." If Paul's problem is that he has too many feminine characteristics, we'd expect that he would be more involved with the pregnancy and childbirth, not less involved.

Edited by mrmando

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Wasn't Paulie an athlete and all around awesome student and all that jazz? Kind of alpha male (just played Michael Cera and all he brings to a role)?

When did men in America go from being masculine steak-eating, plaid shirt wearing, Old Spice smelling, cigar smoking cowboys who like football, hunting, and Clint Eastwood movies to skinny jean wearing, satchel carrying, pierced ear metrosexuals who like chick flicks, “The View,” and Bath & Bodyworks? The American man is an endangered species due in large part to the over-feminization of society.

Right from the start I know I cannot take Jane seriously...the only men I know who "watch the view" do so for their jobs-so they can make fun of it. I have never metter a man who likes the View. I am not saying they do not exist, but I find it rather laughable that she seems to think there is a huge male audience for the View that is watching it with sincerity. Also, "likes chick flicks"? I know men who like movies about relationships-that can cross into chick flick territory. But this whole "Man Crying is Unmasculine" garbage is just that...garbage. Again, apparently, Jesus was so feminized there is a verse devoted to him weeping. Tears and heartache are not signs of weakness or feminization. They are signs that you are human and not a sociopath.

Because of the feminist movement, boys aren’t allowed to be boys - society has fenced them in, corralled their adventurous enthusiasm in the name of sexual equality. The end product is pantywaist pushovers who will cry during “Steel Magnolias” and urinate sitting down. This is bad news for America, who will eventually have to reap what the feminists have sown, which will be a paucity of male leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists and heroes.

Yes. Of course. Being emotionally touched is the same thing as sitting down to take a piss. Jane is not making a very strong case...she relies on completely improbably commentary(or have I missed the slew of news stories about the massive trend in men sitting down to Pee?) tied to things that are not bad to make them appear bad.

Phyllis Schlafly, President of Eagle Forum, reports in “Where Are the Men?” that the ratio of males to females on college campuses has swung from 60-40 to 40-60, with 58 percent of women earning degrees from four-year colleges. In the coming years, this will severely impact the American family who have traditionally relied upon the father as the primary breadwinner ...

If you are going to Phyllis Schlafly as your defense, your argument is pretty much a loss.

Hollywood is also doing its part to marginalize and diminish the role of men in this society. In the Academy Award-winning movie “Juno,” a teenage girl is faced with an unplanned pregnancy after a night of casual, meaningless sex with her friend Paulie. Juno not only ignores Paulie after they have sex but overtly excludes him from any decisions about whether or not to choose abortion over life.

In Jennifer Aniston’s new movie “The Switch,” she plays an unmarried 40 year old who decides that she doesn’t need a man to have a baby, and, instead, turns to artificial insemination of a donor’s sperm - even throwing a “Getting Pregnant” party to celebrate with her friends. The male roles in the movie are those of sperm donors, with Aniston’s character firm in her belief that a woman doesn’t need a man to conceive and rear a child. The implicit message of this movie is that men are not important in the raising and nurturing of children. Their biological contribution to conception is where their role begins and ends.

Thankfully, Disney is there to pick up the slack...just how many Disney characters have absentee mothers again? Oh, sure, they have single mothers as well, but often, the missing father has a role and known impact on his child's life (See the Princess and the Frog).

Unfortunately, this kind of thinking has become the norm rather than the exception in American culture. Feminists’ dogged efforts to have society view men and women as being the same instead of different but equal have paid off.

Wow, if only she had actually proved this. She pitched out her theory, provided vague and rather over the top examples (but not real examples-just "Men who watch the view")... color me unconvinced.

Edited by Nezpop

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Because of the feminist movement, boys aren’t allowed to be boys - society has fenced them in, corralled their adventurous enthusiasm in the name of sexual equality. The end product is pantywaist pushovers who will cry during “Steel Magnolias” and urinate sitting down. This is bad news for America, who will eventually have to reap what the feminists have sown, which will be a paucity of male leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists and heroes.

Yes. Of course. Being emotionally touched is the same thing as sitting down to take a piss. Jane is not making a very strong case...she relies on completely improbably commentary(or have I missed the slew of news stories about the massive trend in men sitting down to Pee?) tied to things that are not bad to make them appear bad.

You must have missed this story:

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mrmando wrote:

: In real life, John Wayne . . .

... didn't exist. His real name was Marion Mitchell Morrison.

So, yes, of course, when people talk about "John Wayne" in these discussions, we are ALWAYS talking about the image he projected, NOT about his real life.

And so, yes, of course, when people talk about "John Wayne" in these discussions, we are talking about an "idealized" image or whatever -- that's kind of the POINT, isn't it?

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Because of the feminist movement, boys aren’t allowed to be boys - society has fenced them in, corralled their adventurous enthusiasm in the name of sexual equality. The end product is pantywaist pushovers who will cry during “Steel Magnolias” and urinate sitting down. This is bad news for America, who will eventually have to reap what the feminists have sown, which will be a paucity of male leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists and heroes.

actually, some of us need to sit down to urinate precisely because of our piercings... :blink:

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I sometimes wonder whether Zuzanna Anderson ever gets tired of her husband pissing against the wall and privately wishes he'd just aim for the toilet.

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Because John Wayne wasn't living like that in real life, he was an actor, playing roles. The image he projected in those roles is an idealized - even stylized - one.

You keep saying this, including when you responded to Greydanus' Scott Pilgrim/Expendables article, but I think you're giving some of these actors more credit for acting ability than they necessarily deserve. Throughout the history of film, there have been guys like John Wayne whose personality in real life determined which roles they would play. Some of the greatest actors can play anything and any personality whatsoever (think Charles Laughton, Ronald Colman, Alec Guinness, Richard Harris, Anthony Hopkins, Jack Nicolson, Gary Oldman, Leonardo DiCaprio, etc.) But other actors have been popular because they played iconic roles that aligned with their personality. When someone talks of the trend of the disappearing tough/badass/masculine guy in Hollywood, the point is when you look at the history of film almost every generation does admittedly have it's "manly man" character actors (Wallace Beery, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Robert Newton, John Garfield, Alan Ladd, Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston, Robert Mitchum, Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen, Sean Connery, Clint Eastwood, Kurt Russell, Robert De Niro, Harrison Ford, Samuel L. Jackson, Mel Gibson, Dennis Quaid, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Michael Madsen, Wesley Snipes, and Russell Crowe all come to mind).

It's not that some of these guys aren't better or more versatile than each other. Gary Cooper and Steve McQueen were capable of playing exceptions - more soft-spoken, passive, gentler characters. So is Mickey Rourke. Bruce Willis's mousy turn in Death Becomes Her was twice as funny because he was so out of character. The point being that some actors were given their more iconic roles because of their real life personalities. Finding other more masculine actors like this today in their 30s is more difficult - maybe Colin Farrell and Christian Bale? Finding Hollywood leading men in their 20s like this even more so. But most of the names on this list were beginning their roles while they were already in their 20s and 30s. And the fact that they were continuing a tradition of sorts is confirmed by looking at film casting (for example John Wayne and Steve McQueen were both first originally considered for Dirty Harry before Clint Eastwood).

I have never met a man who likes The View ... But this whole "Man Crying is Unmasculine" garbage is just that...garbage. Again, apparently, Jesus was so feminized there is a verse devoted to him weeping. Tears and heartache are not signs of weakness or feminization. They are signs that you are human and not a sociopath.

You know, I mostly agree with you Nezpop on Gilvary's article. She's definately exagerating. I do agree with her main point which is why I posted her article, but I would just make it differently. The View is just one example. The number of girly, soap opera shows that American men watch today has been increasing. Just look at Entourage - a show I'd argue is effeminate (and is specifically aimed at guys), along with Grey's Anatomy, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars ... have you heard how many guys watch Oprah? I'm not condemning watching a girly show, I just think this is indicative of a cultural trend.

You must have missed this story:

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=qo3o4nfiG7A

Steven Anderson wouldn't strike any guys as representative of anything masculine (more just like the kid who was always asking for it to be bullied at school - and I believe a few police officers gave into that temptation recently). But of course there are always fringe, crackpots on both sides. Not anything to pay much attention to or to take seriously either way - they're just fun diversions for the news media. So obviously a sitting instead of standing trend will not be included in my book. But I do intend on including the trend of the growing numbers of young men choosing not to go the college (as Gilvary notes was pointed out by Phyllis Schlafly).

And so, yes, of course, when people talk about "John Wayne" in these discussions, we are talking about an "idealized" image or whatever -- that's kind of the POINT, isn't it?

Along with the claim that the number of actors with personalities capable of portraying this sort of image has diminished in the last couple generations.

Edited by J.A.A. Purves

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As much as any film actor in history, and more so than just about all of them, John Wayne bought into his own idealized image and viewed the characters he played as extensions of his own personality. Peter is correct that we can't talk about John Wayne without talking about the idealized image, but that doesn't mean that we are not to a large extent also talking about the actor himself.

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mrmando wrote:

: Peter is correct that we can't talk about John Wayne without talking about the idealized image, but that doesn't mean that we are not to a large extent also talking about the actor himself.

That's fine for biographical purposes, but if the discussion is all about idealized vs. not-so-idealized models of masculinity etc., then it is the idealized image rather than the actor's personal life that takes precedence here. (Unless, I suppose, the actor's personal life was so well-known that it fed into how people perceived his big-screen persona, but while I do get that impression with e.g. Richard Burton, I don't get it with John Wayne.)

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I think it's pretty clear that John Wayne aspired to be the person we saw on the screen, and felt that his own ideals were in line with those of his characters. I guess the details of his personal life, however, suggest that ideals alone are not enough.

He certainly played characters who drank a lot and enjoyed a woman's company, but whether he ever portrayed an adulterer I don't know.

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You know, I mostly agree with you Nezpop on Gilvary's article. She's definately over-exagerating some.

She's actually based her entire defense on over exagerations.

I do agree with her main point which is why I posted her article, but I would just make it differently. The View is just one example. The number of girly, soap opera shows that American men watch today has been increasing. Just look at Entourage - a show I'd argue is effeminate (and is specifically aimed at guys), along with Grey's Anatomy, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars ... heck, have you heard how many guys watch Oprah? I'm not condemning watching a girly show, I just once again think this is indicative of a cultural trend.

I've watched random Oprah episodes...though really, only the ones interviewing people I find interesting. But on Entourage... Huh? The one word that has not popped into my mind in seven years of watching the show is feminized.

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"Enjoying a woman's company" is a lot different than the scenario I just suggested.

Maybe it's different to you, but it's not clear to me that John Wayne saw the difference.

His relationships with his female leads seemed quite chaste - almost too much so, in some cases (cf. The Quiet Man).

Really? Seems to me that these days, anybody who broke down a door, grabbed his wife and yelled at her in real life would be in danger of a domestic violence complaint. Would you be comfortable with your husband treating you that way?

As for the hard-drinking characters, there are some things about that that were more socially acceptable at the time those movies were made,

Yet directors who worked with Wayne reportedly knew to shoot his scenes in the morning because he became a mean drunk by afternoon.

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His relationships with his female leads seemed quite chaste - almost too much so, in some cases (cf. The Quiet Man).

Really? Seems to me that these days, anybody who broke down a door, grabbed his wife and yelled at her in real life would be in danger of a domestic violence complaint. Would you be comfortable with your husband treating you that way?

Ack! It's been so long since I've seen that movie that I'd completely forgotten about that scene. And yes, a domestic violence incident for sure.

Oh good grief. So why hasn't anyone else realized how horrible a role model John Wayne was in this movie yet? It came out in 1952. The number of gender stereotypes in this film would probably make a sociology professor's head explode.

Edited by J.A.A. Purves

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Except, only in our modern day culture could we get complaints like the ones on this thread against The Quiet Man.

So that's a bad thing? You're arguing for the rights of married individuals to engage in furniture-breaking violent altercations with each other? A man who doesn't slap his wife around should be ashamed of his own effeminacy?

President Theodore Roosevelt personally strove to embody the vigorous, virile stereotype ... and yet there's something he wrote in his journal about his first wife, Alice, that is the most profound expression of tenderness I've ever come across. (I believe the passage I'm thinking of was excerpted in David McCulloch's biography of TR.) It's possible for a man to be macho and still refuse to raise his hand against a woman.

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Jesus, Persiflage - what century are you living in?

I wonder what John Wayne or Maureen O'Hara would have said to anyone complaining to them that their film was condoning domestic abuse? This is so obviously not what the film was about that it is funny that anyone would think so.

I enjoyed The Quiet Man movie, and damn it all, I like John Wayne, and it's indicative of a cultural trend when these movies suddenly start offending everyone.

Edited by J.A.A. Purves

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I wonder what John Wayne or Maureen O'Hara would have said to anyone complaining to them that their film was condoning domestic abuse?

Nobody would have made that complaint to them, because at the time, what they did in the film was not understood to be domestic abuse. But as e2c observes, times have changed.

This is so obviously not what the film was about that it is funny that anyone would think so.

I don't think anyone here thinks so, but we are saying that in today's cultural context, the same behavior, actually engaged in by actual people, i.e., not film characters, might well be perceived differently.

Everyone agrees that cultural shifts have taken place, but you seem to be saying that increased cultural sensitivity toward domestic violence is a bad thing. If that indeed is what you are saying, then you need to offer some proof.

Even bothering to try and explain that I have never even hinted that a man should be able to physically harm his wife on this thread seems like a waste of time.

But you have hinted it, whether you meant to or not. As for "a waste of time," it's your time and your book.

But I like The Quiet Man movie, and damn it all I like John Wayne, and it's indicative of a cultural trend when these movies suddenly start offending everyone.

I don't see anyone professing to be offended by the movie, just noting that the behavior depicted therein may no longer be socially acceptable.

Edited by mrmando

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mm - just a quick not. I would prefer that folks not use my real name on the board.

Cool? :)

Cloaking device engaged...

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For example... Back then nobody knew that smoking caused emphysema, lung cancer, etc.

So maybe some clips of people smoking in movies would show how cool and desireable it really is, even today?

Not just "maybe", but absolutely. (Oh yeah, violence/language warning.)

And another scene with Dennis Hopper also comes to mind.

The way our modern day culture thinks about cigarettes is another major example. It's pretty obvious that smoking in significant amounts harms your health. And most modern day Americans would probably say that smoking in very small amounts harms your health. The government has and is constantly funding anti-smoking campaigns to stop people (and especially children) from smoking. It's actually ridiculous how many of the scientific studies promoted by the Surgeon General about the horrible effects of second-hand smoking rely on bad and manipulated science. Smoking can and will hurt you, but the harms of smoking are often exaggerated by the anti-smoking lobby. The science they want to use to justify all their smoking bans is already starting to be taken apart.

Take the two above film clips for example. Do they make smoking a cigarette look cool? Yes, they do. So, what would a culture that that tends to overvalue good feminine values (like comfort, security, safety, relationships, love, nurturing, harmony) to the loss of what are considered more masculine values (risk-taking, challenge, competition, strength, individual autonomy, etc.), do about scenes in movies like this? It would want to discourage them. It would want to use rules and regulations to put a stop to them. It would want to protect little children (especially boys who might want to emulate film icons like Willis or De Niro) from seeing them. That would be the more kind and caring, motherly, Nanny-State sort of thing to do. I understand the idea, but we need more balance than that. We need to balance our needs and desires for things like safety and nurturing with reasonable amounts of freedom, allowing risk taking, and letting others figure out some things for themselves.

What, as a Christian, do you do about something like smoking? Instead of thinking of how the government (or your local church) can make rules against it, you should follow more in line with principles like those in I Corinthians 6:12 which understands that there are a number of things that aren't sin (and thus not for you to condemn), but you still shouldn't allow yourself to be enslaved/addicted to anything either. Doing that is neither overly feminine or overly masculine.

Edited by J.A.A. Purves

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mrmando,

It simply isn't true that, back in, oh say, John Wayne's day, men thought it was morally acceptable to physically abuse women. The Quiet Man is a story about a spirited fiery Irish/American couple, and there's a physicality to it that most people who like the film probably thought either funny or romantic. No one but a crackpot would watch this film and think he should copy how John Wayne drags around his wife.

Everyone agrees that cultural shifts have taken place, but you seem to be saying that increased cultural sensitivity toward domestic violence is a bad thing. If that indeed is what you are saying, then you need to offer some proof ... I don't see anyone professing to be offended by the movie, just noting that the behavior depicted therein may no longer be socially acceptable.

So I guess I actually have to say it - being more culturally sensitive towards victims of abuse is a good thing. American culture has improved on different issues over time in order to align ourselves more consistently with our principles. When I suggest the apparent crazy notion that the romantic relationship in The Quiet Man was not one of physical abuse, saying "Oh, so that means you think it's ok to kick the bedroom door in or throw your wife on the bed so hard you break it" is ignoring the actual context in so many ways that it seems just like a reflex.

Edited by J.A.A. Purves

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