Summary: The gender revolution is remaking American society. It’s new terrain explored on the FM website during the past two years. Now we go from reporting superficial changes to digging for the important ones. This post discusses what TV and films tell us about the evolution of romance in America. This is the second chapter in this series, with an outline of the next few chapters.
These are revolutionaries reshaping America.
The roles of men and women in America are changing bewilderingly fast. This is far more significant than the current media obsession, the transgendered (<1% of people). Many forces power it. Such as the generations-long campaign by the Left to tear down and revise Western culture. Technology is changing nature of work and even humanity — from better contraception to sex changes surgery and drugs. On a larger scale, there is the long evolution of our society to the logical extremes of Western philosophy.
We cannot see these changes while in the weeds of daily life. They can be seen in the statistics of America, such as the divorce numbers and the rise of women over men in educational credentials (foreshadowing their future dominance in the work world). They can be seen in the news about disruptive new tech (e.g., sexbots) and stories about the crusades (e.g., the fake campus rape epidemic, the California law regulating consent to sex at colleges). They can be seen by looking at the changing dynamics of marriage.
We can see the gender revolution in our entertainment, whose success comes from mirroring our hopes and fears. See the small things, such as the frequent scenes of women casually hitting men. See the rapidly mutating chick lit books and films: the bold yet sensitive alpha males of the long “bodice ripper” novels, the wild success of Fifty Shades of Grey (both the book and the film), and the increasing weirdness of romance films. They show that women’s yearnings have become a kaleidoscope of conflicting themes. Here is a brief look at one facet of our strange new world.
In the bad old days romance films featured strong men adapting to the demands of marriage and family. Such as Tony Curtis forced into marriage by the fabulous Janet Leigh in The Perfect Furlough (1958). The last lines: “I will get this marriage annulled. In about 40 years.” Today there are two common flavors of romances. Some feature either weak men becoming domesticated — sad but inspirational stories for men. Don’t be like these sheep. The second describe strong men being broken. — terrifying stories for men about choosing the wrong woman.
Romance in films show the rise of new women
“Aren’t you going to kiss me?”
— Girl to low-testosterone guy after she confesses her love to him in the romance Letters to Juliet.
Sandra Bullock abuses her low-testosterone male secretary in The Proposal — until she learns that he’s from a rich family, then she falls in love. The Prince and Me features a beautiful young woman, vivacious and popular, who must choose between marriage to the Crown Prince of Denmark and entering Stanford Medical School — to become a doctor serving poor nations. She gets both (the Prince is a beta doormat, at the end pledging to give her “whatever she wants”).
These are also common on TV, usually partnerships of a kick-ass heroine with her gentle beta partner who slowly becomes a love interest. The TV series Forever was a well-done classic of this genre. The characters are unisex (impossible to tell the gender from the script with its pronouns redacted), as is the heroine’s name and clothing.
The Hallmark Channel’s romances usually feature low-T men (handsome, rich, docile) marrying nice girls, usually at the moment of her commercial success. For example, Unleashing Mr. Darcy reimagined a modern Pride & Prejudice in which Elizabeth abuses a rich but very beta Mr. Darcy. Like a dog, he meekly takes her abuse (it’s about dog shows). Eventually she condescends to marry him.
Sometimes the writers get carried away — the hero is too low-key, implying that he’s gay seeking a wife as cover (e.g., in Letters to Juliet). That is one form of an old-fashioned marriage!
Breaking the man: alpha heroes into betas
More interesting are the TV shows about strong action-adventure heroes — bold, womanizer, alphas in every sense — pared with strong smart women, and then broken into pitiful betas. Shakespeare would see these stories as rich fodder, although we can only guess whether for tragedy or comedy. Here are two examples. Both shows are rich with positive role models for girls and bad role models for boys.
Marty Deeks in NCIS Los Angeles.
Marty Deeks is a street-wise LAPD detective working for NCIS. When we first meet him in season one he is very alpha: a surfer, ace at undercover work, cool and skilled in firefights, able to withstand severe torture without breaking, and a favorite with the beach bunnies. After eight seasons he remains a competent cop but becomes a beta in his personal life, dancing to the tune of Kensi Blye — his stronger and more skilled girlfriend.
Kensi proposes to Deeks in NCIS Los Angeles S08E24 (“Unleashed”).
Deeks bought an expensive engagement ring for Kensi, proposed (in “Crazy Train“, S08E07), and was blown off. When she is ready she gives him the ring from a grenade and proposes, putting him in the girl’s role. See the reaction shot of Deeks. He sees his future as a house-husband, caring for the kids until Kensi finds a real man and dumps him.
This is a man who knows he is making a mistake but lacks the balls to call it off.
Richard Castle in “Castle”.
“Castle” gave a vivid picture of modern uber-alpha: a rich, professionally successful, charismatic celebrity. He was great in Season One: popular with the ladies, a law-breaker, and strong willed. Over the next 8 seasons of partnership with NYC Detective Kate Beckett he decayed to a cowardly, often incompetent (but brilliant) weakling relying on guidance and instruction from his mother, daughter, and partner. Beckett constantly mocks his flaws and for being a “metrosexual”. See the posts describing this pitiful story.
Beckett catches her beta in Castle S07E07: “Once Upon A Time in the West”.
See Castle’s face! He wonders how to get out of this hole.
The unseen next chapter in these stories
Do most women like the beta boys that star in so many romances on our screens? Probably not. Sequels to these stories would describe their divorces, as these strong intelligent women grow disgusted with their beta husbands. No fault divorce with child support and community property settlements make this an attractive option while they can easily find an alpha partner. In 2005/06 less 60% of US adolescents (11, 13, and 15 years old) lived with both birth parents, per the OCED Family Database). That was the lowest level among OECD nations. That number is probably lower today.
The next phase of the gender revolution
The first stage of the revolution included three powerful concepts. First, that “workplace harassment cases should be evaluated based on the perspective of the harassment victim” (a subjective standard, requiring the man to gauge the woman’s state of mind). Second, denial that women have agency (selective use of the women as children scenario). My favorite example is the professor who took a graduate student to a restaurant and “forced her to drink liquor she didn’t want” (freeing her from responsibility for events afterwards). Third, sexual assault is conflated with rape (see this article from early in the campaign).
Now comes the next stage. Looking at girls becomes a “perversion” (this is a common line on TV) and “unwanted sexual advances” become “sexual assault” (again requiring men to gauge women’s thinking).
Future posts in this series
Our entertainment provides a mirror to our society. Future chapters will discuss how this happened and how we can escape. They will show how both men and women have brought us to this ugly situation. Fortunately the Good Book says that there is always a remnant. Today that remnant can remind men about their real nature — and inspire men to do better. They are found in many places, such in the military, among vets, American men of color, and immigrants from outside the West. The rest of us have much to learn from them.
The first post was For Father’s Day: revolutionary words that will forever change the American family.
For More Information
If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about romance, about women and gender, about feminism, about romance, and especially these…
- “Castle” shows us a dark vision of Romance in America.
- Taylor Swift shows us love in the 21st century.
- Recommendation: nine of the best American romantic films.
- Movies show the hidden truth about romance & marriage: they’re dying.
Have American men become pussycats?
For a scary answer see Martin van Creveld’s Pussycats: Why the Rest Keeps Beating the West. From the publisher…
“In the kingdom(s) of the West, something is rotten. Collectively, the countries of NATO are responsible for almost two thirds of global military spending. In terms of military technology, particularly electronics, communications and logistics, they have left the rest so far behind that it is no contest. Yet ever since the Korean War ended in 1953, almost every time they went abroad and fought non-Westerners they were defeated and had to withdraw. As happened, to cite but two recent cases, in Iraq and Afghanistan; and as may yet happen if and when Islamic terrorism spreads into Europe, as it is quite likely to do.
“What went wrong? How did the ferocious soldiers who, between 1492 and 1914, brought practically the entire world under their sway, become pussycats? The present study, unique of its kind, seeks to answer these questions.
- Chapter I, “Subduing the Young,” focuses on the way Western people raise their scanty offspring. Infantilizing them, depriving them of any kind of independence, and, in the words of a recent best-seller, turning them into “excellent sheep.”
- Chapter II, “Defanging the Troops,” shows how the same is happening in the military.
- Chapter III, “The War on Men,” examines the way in which the forces are being feminized affects, indeed infects, their fighting power.
- Chapter IV, “Constructing PTSD,” looks at the way returning soldiers are almost obliged to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
- Chapter V outlines the emergence of modern societies which, exalting rights and forgetting about duty, have come very close to delegitimizing war itself.
“The book is written in jargon-less language laymen can understand. It is also thoroughly documented. Readership should include anybody with an interest in national security, and then some.”
15 thoughts on “Disturbing next steps in the gender revolution”
So, where is this trend coming from? There certainly has not been a groundswell of desire from it from either the mainstream male or female ( This brings to mind my grandmother’s statement “When men were men and women were glad of it”.
What we are seeing is a deliberate and coordinated manipulation of social norms.
I assume that the only real motive can be a deliberate further undermining of the capacity and will of society to resist a slow and steady takeover from the group that owns these Hollywood companies.
“So, where is this trend coming from?”
The big question! My tentative answer:
“What we are seeing is a deliberate and coordinated manipulation of social norms.”
Yes. It’s been a goal of the Left since the 1950s, when they decisively turned against Western culture (broadening their critique from the Marxist focus on political economy).
“steady takeover from the group that owns these Hollywood companies.”
I doubt that. I doubt the senior executives — let alone the Directors and shareholders — care at all about this.
Try this post I wrote a while back: “Decay of Western Civilization in the 21st Century.”
People in every generation for a century has complained that the the new art was just not as good as the “classics” of the past. That’s just life.
I remember a good friend — and intelligent and cultured Brit in his 50s — in the 1990s complaining about modern church music. It just wasn’t as spiritual as the songs of Luther’s day. In fact those were repurposed beer hall ballads (Luther understood the benefit of using the people’s music to further the Reformation).
The part I agree with — and have written about — is the feminization of male heroes, part of the larger trend to unisex heterosexual characters (only the LGBt bad folks have gender differences). It’s a Gender Revolution.
love your articles, wonder if it has occurred to you that women watch television dramas much more than men, (men watch sports of course but most of us are not interested in these drama shows), notice how almost all of the ads are directed to women, and that what you are seeing is mostly fantasies projected at a target audience of average and below average females.
That is who watches mainstream TV these days, above average women don’t have time or interest in this stuff either…basically this is trashy fantasy BS targeted at women
“it has occurred to you that women watch television dramas much more than men,”
I haven’t watched TV since 1973 (the last show I watched was All in the Family, the famous “flushing the toilet” episode). Now we get 2 – 4 shows (some new, some old) via Netflix.
You raise a point I’ve wondered about: who watches these shows? I get it that the men watch sports and news. But the shows? We watched Castle, which gradually lost its male audience as he went from alpha to pitiful beta — which its women fans loved every step of the way. NCIS LA is a matriarchy, headed by a strong older woman. The girl is unequivocally the better in both of the two co-ed pairs.
“above average women don’t have time or interest in this stuff either…”
I’d like to see data on that. Slate is a women-dominated website, probably with a largely college-educated affluent audience. It overflows with reviews of TV shows and ernest articles about TV shows.
“Future chapters will discuss how this happened and how we can escape. They will show how both men and women have brought us to this ugly situation. Fortunately the Good Book says that there is always a remnant. Today that remnant can remind men about their real nature — and inspire men to do better. They are found in many places, such in the military, among vets, American men of color, and immigrants from outside the West. The rest of us have much to learn from them.”
And I look very much forward to future posts on this.
Me, too. Now if I can only come up with something good to say about this complex and delicate subject — that won’t get me lynched by the SJW’s.
Just the light posts about this in the past few months have reduced our traffic from the West coast by 3/4 (although total pageviews remain flat).
/u/Guomindang on Reddit pointed out (in the always interesting forum devoted to the Slatestarcodex blog) that there is a credible scientific hypothesis that increased ingestion of estrogenic endocrine-disrupting chemicals could be related to this cultural phenomenon. “Are EDCs Blurring Issues of Gender?” by Ernie Hood in Environmental Health Prospect, October 2005.
As I was looking up his comment to find that link, I also noticed an interesting and somewhat related comment he made in response to a graph showing trends in the percentage of never-married males and females aged 15-19 who have ever had sexual intercourse: United States, 1988-2015. /u/Guomindang posted:
Hypotheses for the decline:
* The record number of adults living with their parents suggests that adolescents, too, are increasingly dependent on their parents, and their lack of independence restricts their ability to pursue sexual opportunities.
* Rising obesity impairs sexual appetite and attraction.
* Increasing availability of Internet pornography and anime provides many with an outlet for their sexual urges and satisfies their need for companionship.
* Increasingly steep sexual hierarchy causes many to drop out of sexual competition entirely, producing resentful incel underclass
Great stuff. Here are a few details.
(1) The decline in sexual activity
The graph is from a video in this article the WaPo: “Americans are having less sex than they once did“, 6 March 2017. It discusses this powerful paper: “Declines in Sexual Frequency among American Adults, 1989–2014” by in Archives of Sexual Behavior, by Jean M. Twenge et al, 6 March 2017.
As for the cause, there is no mystery. See this graph (click to enlarge). The sexual activity rates of married vary largely because people are marrying later or not marrying at all. There are also demographic effects — and aging population plus large shifts in religion, ethnicity, and race — all with poorly understood effects.
This is a fascinating subject, one which I’ve never been able to adequately research. I consider it one of the “lead in the water” risks (Rome was hurt because of a chemical effect they were unable to clearly see or understand). We have radically altered our environment, with a thousand and one changes both chemical and physical (e.g., noise) — and have made little effect to understand the effects.
All we know is that the chemicals in birth controls pills flow little affected through our sewage system into the biosphere.
Quite an interesting post. I had noticed the trend before also. Another that I’ve become aware of is the amount of young-adult literature that is set in dystopic or post-apocalyptic worlds. The gender trends seem to hold here as well.
Thanks for pointing that out! I hadn’t noticed it. That’s quite a change from young adult lit the Boomers grew up with. For example — boy scientist-explorer Tom Swift, Tom Corbett Space Cadet, and the soaring optimism of Robert Heinlein’s young adult novels. Now they read about dark grim futures, and little else. This can’t be good for them.
As for their gender roles
They seem quite unisex. I doubt that gender could be seen in many of these scripts if names and pronouns were redacted. Here is a look at one of them: “Mockingjay” shows us a Revolution in Gender Roles. What’s the next revolution?
The Emberverse and Nantucket series (written 1998-now), by Stirling, are set in a world where electricity, gunpowder, and fossil fuels no longer work, and women routinely defeat men in combat with spears, swords, and other medieval weaponry, are chosen over men for bodyguard/VIP security roles, ninjas, etc. It was a neat idea for a story, but even for a world where electricity and fossil fuels magically stopped working, it got pretty ludicrous.
James Bowman and others have written about this phenomenon, where fiction writers insert feminism into the past. Women warriors fighting with swords and easily defeating men, for example. It’s easy to see why, as our films and TV shows have women — rail-thin actresses with stick-like arms — punching men twice their size, hurling them across the room. I wonder how many in the audience realize the absurdity of this.
This is part of a larger trend from Hollywood: women hitting men, often for trivial reasons, often their boyfriends. The men can only cower before their grrl-power. Naturally, we are seeing women do this in real life. Lots of videos on Youtube about this, mostly showing where it did not end well for the girl. The guys who back down (wisely in most cases) seldom post the videos.
We live in strange times.
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