Michael HollowayOccupy Toronto
28 March 2012
by Michael Holloway


What Time Is It Now?  Where are we on the path to Equality?

My brain maps things.  I like to take stock periodically, measure What Time It Is, in a variety of cultural meme.

The progress of the belief in the equality of Women and Men I believe, is reaching a turning point in our culture.

Our beliefs about gender equality are foundation stones that underpin a variety of cultural norms – and Law.

I think we have made great progress in a generation.  Many boys and men are feminists by nature, rather than as something they have learned, or come to believe through their experience.  I count my self among those who have internalized gender equality.  I have found that I don’t turn to ugly women hating jokes, or make ‘mistakes’ when in the company of only men. The equality of all human beings is a core belief for me. (Unfortunately) the vast majority of men of the so called baby-boomers, the generation of the great cultural transformation, the revolution of the 1960′s – are not that – in my opinion.

I come from a very progressive family where gender roles myths were exposed in practice all through my life – a place where the equality of women and men wasn’t a theory, but a day-to-day practice – a fact.  My mother was embarking upon a professional career by the time I was born, my father was self employed and worked from home; he was a house husband.  I and my siblings were helping with household chores from an early age.  I remember having to stand on a chair to assist my sister washing dishes, the stand-up Hoover was hard to push because it was taller than me.

As with all things social, the imperative to fit in is very strong.  Many men in the first wave of gender enlightenment understood that women’s equality was a necessary pretense to social acceptance in many of their social circles.  It’s likely the root of where the 1980′s term ‘politically correct’ came from – and from where the idea that you hear even today from conservatives — that young men only join social justice causes and cultural movements (like the counter culture or the hippy lifestyle, self identifiers of the 1960′s) — in order to get ‘laid’

(For those who choose that view, I think the term ‘get laid’, is a euphemism for ‘conquer’, or ‘win’.  The fear of the ‘other’ in them is too strong for them to break the barrier – to allow a sharing, perhaps love.  These generally conservative personalities marry, then explore their sexual-selves outside of a loveless marriage – with-in the safety of a relationship which is a master/slave construct (or to put it more gently, ’free of entanglements’), with a Mistress.)

In the late 1990′s a backlash against so called ‘politically correct speak’ began (proliferated with aplomb by the mass media – still full of the boyz), which I believe represented a sexual identity crisis in a significant part of the population – but especially in a large proportion of males.

In the 1980′s – in an attempt to find a balance in the law that corrected a gender bias that favoured men in the legal system, specifically in child custody cases – the protections of Habeas Corpus was severely limited for men.  The process and law, had erred so far towards an accommodation of the traditionally oppressed, that men were, in the practice of the law, assumed guilty at the beginning of the process.  To many men that went through the process it seemed that they had to prove they were not men in order to win equal standing. (In a judicial system dominated by men, the imbalance was very quickly corrected.)

With the backlash in the late 1980′s, all of a sudden it was OK to talk about the subculture of the male experience again.  But as this was carried forth over the next years – into the next generation – a misunderstanding, a disconnect from the just learned lessons about the inexorable nature of the equality of the sexes with-in this culture was taken on board.  This distrust of the liberal world view from the 80′s and 90′s was championed by personalities in the media such as Rush Limbaugh – and has become an institution populated with reactionaries who’s intolerance is rooted in a wide variety of ignorances.  A subculture of men who were willing to talk honestly and in public about their feelings about women – using barely masked euphemisms to hide their misogyny – began to flourish.

With the events of 9/11, and the subsequent militarization of so many aspects of our culture, but especially of the proliferation a ‘boyz club’ view (an ignorant view) of the nature of soldiering aimed at young boys – through especially; the new and improving craft of video gaming; and in the ‘Gangster’ subculture in music propagated by the Black Entertainment Network (BET); and the perponderance of ‘conquer’ based porn avaiable online including, now right up front, rape fantasy videos – this subculture of slightly masked hatred of women has crept into the popular culture.  As this group of conflicted young people (some of whom will become reactionaries) continues to mature into adulthood, this conflict with-in the cultual diorama will intensify.

I think we are at a point where sensitive individuals of the gender enlightenment (in all the generations) have begun to feel the sting of this cultural shift – have begun to experience marginalization, oppression.

This is not an insignificant portion of the population that is feeling this sting.  It includes enlightened women, men who self identify as feminist, enlightened visable minorities, artists, intellectuals, professionals… . The ninty nine percent if you will.

The canary in the coal mine is the oppression of women (and of the verboten feminine-male).  Signals that intolerance has reasserted it’s dominance over tolerance in our culture abound. The more than ever successful attacks on women’s reproductive rights in Red States to the south is especially disconcerting.  The out-and-out murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida last month by the citizen patrol member (with no State sanction, apparently), is a glaring case in point.

More generally – and more hopefully – this is a time of rising intolerance, but it is happening in conjunction with a broad, newly formed internalization of acceptance.  A revolution thus beckons.  The Age of Aquarius continues…

Interesting times.


To me, That’s What Time It Is.


Related Articles at Occupyto.org:

27 March 2012 – “A New General Assembly Monday at Cloud Gardens” – http://occupyto.org/2012/03/1098/

27 March 2012 – “No country for old men? – ‘New Form’ GA to meet Mondays” – http://occupyto.org/2012/03/no-country-for-old-men/

22 March 2012 – “Race Matters” – http://occupyto.org/2012/03/race-matters/




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