The Return of Patriarchy in Mainstream Culture?

Generally I don’t get involved in Hollywood much. I can think of a million things better to do than listen to the latest noise put out by the mainstream or watch the latest TV shows. It’s all so contrary to what I believe in and most of it is extremely offensive. However, I don’t live under a rock. I see what songs top the charts and what movies are released. I just don’t pay much attention to watch them or listen to them. But this morning a song was brought to my attention that I actually did want to listen to. I’d never really thought about it at all much until Jesse Powell pointed it out. When he pointed it out I dug into the song and actually listened to it closely and watched the videos closely. The song is called “The Man” by Aloe Blacc. Now this is just my opinion but I really do think this song is promoting patriarchy, and in a big way. Of course, it’s subtle. If you weren’t really looking for it you might just dismiss it as another catchy tune but looking deeper I think there’s more to it than that. And, hey, if I’m wrong I guess you can send me a nasty e-mail telling me how it is.

At the beginning of the official video we see a woman on a cell phone. She types in

“I’m “in the streets & feel like ‘startin’ a revolution’ with ‘my fam’ to ‘brand new old school’.”

Hmm. Ok, revolution. What kind of revolution? Again you’d have to pay close attention to get that. I think it becomes more obvious to those that are paying attention what kind of revolution here. This is obviously a song about men being men and being proud of being men. Although Aloe is a black man and the men he links arms with in the end of his official video are black, this is obviously not a song about racial pride. He is clearly speaking as a man and what he must do and who he is as a man. A black man wouldn’t tell a white man that he’ll be “the quick relief to all your stressin’.” Nor is this the kind of thing that a man would generally say to his mother or sister or male friend. No, he is obviously talking as a man to a woman. But this is obviously not just a love song between a man and a woman . This song is about standing up and being a man. It is obviously very anti-feminist and very anti-MRA. He’s not advocating for “pumping and dumping” women nor objectifying women. In the official video and official lyric video he is very well dressed in a suit and very presentable. He’s not in baggy pants sagging to his knees while he smokes dope with his homeboys while a bunch of women in short shorts jiggle their butts in your face while he’s rapping about how much p**** he’s getting. He’s respectful, a gentleman even. He never apologizes for being a man and having manly urges or needs yet he does state he takes responsibility. He states:

“I believe every lie that I ever told
paid for every heart that I ever stole
I played my cards and I didn’t fold.”

This is obviously signifying his pride as a man, that he’s not backing down from what he’s done as a man. He takes responsibility for what he has done as a man. He doesn’t just give up and fold. He doesn’t throw in the towel when the going gets tough because he’s a man, a member of the male sex in a different hierarchy than a woman and he is prideful of that and accepts the responsibilities that come along with that.

I think this is just amazing. I can’t really see any other way that this song can be interpreted. It’s clear he’s talking about being a man and taking charge as a man and as well taking responsibility as a man. In his video there are riots going on and it is clear that the rule of law and social order has collapsed. He states:

“Stand up now and face the sun
Won’t hide my tail or turn and run
It’s time to do what must be done
Be a king when kingdom comes”

In other words, once everything’s collapsed it’s time to be a man and put things back in order.

As well in the song he also states over and over “this is my world.” He also states “I’m a soldier standing on my feet. No surrender and I won’t retreat” and follows it up by stating again “this is my world.” This can obviously mean nothing other than it’s a man’s world meant for men to rule and lead and he is not going to back down from his duties and responsibilities nor his pride in being a man. He is obviously also singing about leading and caring for women (and possibly others who are under his care and protection and whom it is his duty to lead and guide) when he states:

“I got all the answers to your questions
I’ll be the teacher you could be the lesson
I’ll be the preacher you be the confession
I’ll be the quick relief to all your stressin'”

This is followed again by him stating that “this is my world.” He’s obviously speaking as a man to a woman, putting himself in the dominant position by telling her he has what she needs and he’s in charge because “this is my world”. What I get out of this is that he’s telling her not to worry about anything, that’s he’s going to lead her, guide her and protect her. She doesn’t have anything to worry about because he’s in charge and giving her what she needs. In the background we see men toasting to what he is saying. Again, I can’t see how this could this could mean anything else.

Also another thing to notice, although it is subtle, is that when he is walking into what appears to be an official government building there is not a woman to be seen. Men are standing in order when he walks by and there is men (not women) in the background in suits with briefcases going about their business. Women are obviously an important part of this but they are not at the forefront of what’s going on like the men. He is walking past men in uniform, he links arms with men (not men and women) at the end and even all the photographers and reporters around him are men as well. We even see men getting ready for a fight (boxing match obviously) walk by him as he’s walking and singing down a hallway. I hardly think this to be a coincidence. This is obviously a subtle message promoting patriarchy. He stands tall and proud throughout the whole thing. He doesn’t appear to ever lose his composure or be unsure of his place in life in the song or video nor does he appear the child-man that is so common in the mainstream today.

I think this song is a subtle beginning to much larger cultural change going on, a way of brining patriarchy into the mainstream. He states over and over that he’s “the man” and not only does he know it but he wants everyone else to know it as well. He shouts it out that he is “the man” over and over and makes no apologies for it. He wants to be recognized as a man who takes responsibility, who is in charge and who does what needs to be done, to “be a king when kingdom comes.” It’s not easy but he “won’t hide my tail or turn and run” because “It’s time to do what must be done.” More than likely this is a subtle message for men to take charge and put things back in order and be responsible because everything is falling apart and it’s time for the disorder to come to an end.

Again this is my take on this but I don’t know how else this song and the messages from the official videos can be interpreted. Hopefully it is a sign, the beginning of what is to come.

More sources for traditional gender roles in mainstream culture:

The Long Way Home

Why Young Women Shouldn’t Listen to their Mother’s Generation

I sit snuggled up under a blanket watching the snows fall outside as I write this. My husband is not here now. Every day he works to take care of us, to support and protect us. I take care of our child everyday. I keep our house clean and cook. I know that I don’t have to worry about anything.

Instead of envying women who are very “successful” out there I can only really feel sorry for them. When I was younger I know my mother used to fill my head with thoughts of all the things that I could “do with my life.” I could be a superstar, a lawyer, the next president, whatever (housewife was never on the list though). And yes, yes I could have been all of those things. Maybe. I was told to get a job, be “smart,” go to college and do all the things that young women today are constantly told to do in order to secure our futures. But nobody ever told me that all of those things could actually rob me of my future or the misery that following such a life could actually cause me.

Oh I could have been a superstar for sure. I could have wasted my most precious years being a pawn to make somebody else rich until pop culture decided I was a “has been” and tossed me aside where my only hope for remaining relevant was by gracing the covers of those trashy magazines you see in the supermarket checkout lanes with my latest divorce scandal. I could have wasted my youth on some career. I could have slept with many different men and had babies by several different daddies then realized when I hit middle age that all men were pigs and younger men are just such the way to go! Maybe I could have lived with some guy about half my age who mooches off of me for my money while I trudge off to work everyday in some old clunker to my lovely job at the supermarket.

Or lets say maybe I went to college and got some fancy career. I’d probably have married a guy that expected me to keep working after we were married. If we ended up having children (probably one boy and one girl, wouldn’t want to be unfashionable now) we’d probably be in a war. I might not have been able to quit my job because of all the college debts and all the debts we’ve accumulated by buying everything new and fancy on credit. We would probably fight because of the *unfair* burden I’ve all of a sudden dropped in his lap by wanting to stay home with the kids (the mangina I married that supported my career with great enthusiasm probably wouldn’t want anything to do with being the breadwinner). That lovely career wouldn’t be so lovely after all especially since it would now have to get interrupted not only in the amount of money I would make but also I’d probably be a burden on my employer once he has to give me maternity leave and disrupt his business (or maybe my boss would be a woman which would mean I’d probably get even less sympathy).

Maybe I could have been the breadwinner. A couple years later my husband would probably be feeling quite emasculated and gone out and had an affair with some woman with much less money and career prospects than me. We’d probably split up and I’d never see my kids any (he was the caretaker after all!) and still be supporting his dead a**.

Yes, what I life I could have had. I look around at my generation and my mothers generation. Most of those around me have had babies with more than one father/mother. Most are divorced (many two or three times). A cousin of mine by marriage married a man (a distant cousin of mine) with two ex-wives and three other kids and I had to hear the entire tale of her troubles because now she’s had a child with him too. She can’t understand why children from “blended” families just can’t have quite the same opportunities as those from two-parent families that remained intact. She would tell me all about how her momma taught her to never depend on no man and how she supported her family. She got irate at me for my anti-feminist views and told me if I didn’t want rights that was my problem but she asserts her “rights.” Her entire tax return went to pay her husband’s back child-support to his 2 other ex-wives (who, of course, in her view were “deadbeats” expecting a man to support them). Unfortunately, this story is nothing new and is quite common in today’s world. These women are liberated and they generally get tangled up in bad relationships and never really have any prosperity for themselves or their children.

This is feminism’s legacy. This is the path our mothers were teaching us to follow and many young women today are still following it. If you are a young woman, please do some thinking about what the mainstream is telling you. I’m not telling you to be some goody two-shoes here but I am telling you that as a female you are mentally and physically a world apart from males. Unless you are undeniably gifted in an area and are sure that it is the path you want to follow and you never want marriage or kids, think twice about going off to college! If you get that degree you will only attract men who have no interest in financially supporting you or maybe even marrying you. You don’t have to be a virgin (although it would be best) but your body is precious and you must make sure that you do not get pregnant by anyone but your husband (or, if nothing else, at least the man you intend to be your husband). Put sex to work, make him support you via marriage. If he’s already got a child with another woman (or, heaven forbid, more than one child), do not marry him or have children with him! No matter if the divorce or break up was “his fault” or not it doesn’t matter. Getting with him will only cause you to be right in the middle of all of his problems and you will never know peace and there will be nothing but strain in your relationship and confusion in the lives of your children about their place in life. If you have children with more than one man you will face the same difficulties and lower your value in the eyes of good marriageable men out there.

Insist upon marriage to the father if you have gotten pregnant before marriage. Do not sign anything to acknowledge him as the legal father until he legally marries you. Make him support you and form a real and true relationship with him. If marriage to the father is not possible or he is not a good man, do not inform him that you are pregnant and try to find a good man who will marry you despite your situation. Just be truthful to him and faithful.

I know we’ve been told all of our lives how *wonderful* feminism has been, but it’s nothing but a lie. We as women have to throw the women’s lib mindset away. Just get rid of it. This mindset is what’s holding you back, not widespread “misogyny.” Women today are in a terrible way because of what feminism has done but we can change that. We women are powerful by virtue of being women as we hold incredible influence over men. Most men can be reformed but it’s not going to happen unless women make it clear that feminists do not speak for all women and that if our men will lead, we will follow. Most men want to take charge anyways, it’s in their nature. They’ve just had the masculinity indoctrinated out of them since childhood because of feminism.

It is actually more beneficial to society for us as young women to not have jobs. Our joblessness will cause men to be men and be productive to support us and our children. Young women would almost always do better focusing on their children while the father goes out and works to support them. Think twice before going off to college. You can educate yourself in numerous ways. Read books or watch instructional DVDs for all the things you want to learn and know about. If you go to college you will only trap yourself if you do get married and have kids in the future. Don’t live with your boyfriend until you hit middle age. If you do that then you’ve given away your youth, you’ve given away your bargaining power for marriage. I don’t care what Katie Couric, your mother and your career orientation teacher tells you, don’t listen!

Don’t let anyone put you down because you have kids young or get married young. Our ancestors had children very young and they were much happier than we are today and their marriages lasted. They weren’t concerned about “teenage pregnancy”- they were concerned about legitimacy and society and individual family units were much better off and successful. Simply insist that marriage is the way because it is the only thing that is going to ensure you and your children’s long-term happiness and prosperity (unless you really want to let mulitple men use and abandon you, live with a boyfriend who will probably only cheat on you, be constantly looking for someone to watch your kids, work at some dead-end job and have a double burden and have constant court battles with the father who probably never pays a dime of support).

Be willing to let the men in your life lead. We have been told all our lives that we should fear ever going back to a time when men were in charge of things but we have no real reason to fear such a thing. These thoughts were put in our heads by those who wanted to put antagonism between men and women and tear families apart. They were put in our heads by those who wanted to exploit women, not protect women. If we let our men be in charge then their first priority will be to represent our best interests and the community overall will be concerned about men doing right by women and children.