Fourth-wave feminism on TV, shaping a new America

Summary: As I wrote seven years ago, America has become a nation lit only by propaganda. Our films show how the media industries are building a new America on the ruins of the America-that-once-was. It has been done before in other nations before, and seldom ends well.

Socialist Realism Inspirational Poster - Dreamstime-121371683
ID 121371683 © Rahmad Kurniawan | Dreamstime.

Maximilian Fonte, professor of anthropology, has a typically brilliant post at Zero Anthropology: “From Hollywood to Hitler: Rethinking the Cultural Politics of Propaganda.” Reading it, I wondered what future anthropologists will say about Hollywood’s products in our time. Are they more or less propagandistic than those of 1930s Germany?

One hint comes from Tyler Cowen in “Women Dominated the Decade” at Bloomberg – “The 2010s were pretty thrilling if you liked music, books, TV or movies by or about women.” The evidence is overwhelming, both looking at the product of our leftist-dominate media industry and what its executives say (they like to see themselves as provident teachable moments to the ignorant masses). Another indication: critics increasingly focusing their reviews discussing their degree of films’ conformity with leftist ideology (especially feminism).

This will become increasingly so in 2020. The upcoming films are mostly about women and minorities, with a few examples (e.g., Dolittle starring Robert Downey Jr.) – and legions of evil white male villains.

The price for producing socialist-realist products is high. The masses do not like it. Film tickets sold in the US peaking in 2003 at 1,524,299,815. They were down 19% by 2019. Sales have been maintained by boosting prices and adding new tech (e.g., 3-D) – but raising prices is a self-limiting tactic.

Two tactics have keep Hollywood flying. First, “tentpole” franchises – action films and superheroes. That is a tiny foundation for the industry.  In the immediate future, they are rebooting their key franchises. The Star Wars films begin a new era (continuing their “the future is female” theme). Marvel replaces their A-tier actors with a more gender-diverse cast (e.g., Natalie Portman as Thor).  Bond retires, with the new 007 a Black woman. Time will tell if they will succeed. If some key franchises flame out, Hollywood’s prosperity might crash.

The other fountain of money comes from international sales. That is a temporary windfall, as regional Hollywood’s grow. India and China are well underway; others will follow. Nigerian films are popular in Trinidad and other Caribbean islands (e.g., Emmanuel and Aunty Success comedies). Korean dramas are popular around the world (available on Viki). Eventually, foreign films will take a large share of the US media markets, perhaps as Japanese autos did.

Other media also show the low profits from socialist realist art. In print, Adult Fiction and Young Adult fiction have been in decline for many years (here, here, and here). But it is very PC!

How is this propaganda shaping us?

The media are powerful tools to shape a society, especially when working in concert. But will the effects be as expected? Consider fourth-wave feminism – the quest for superiority (not equality) over men. An extreme example is Hollywood’s treatment of the relations between men and women. Traditional romance is bad: men chasing women is a degradation of the feminist mystique (see yesterday’s post). Films and TV increasingly show men as inferior to women and romance as bad for them (details here). How do men and women change from these lessons?

An extreme example is Hollywood’s approval of women hitting men as righteous grrl-power. Men can just bow and take it. See these examples, with a few more below. This is domestic absuse shown with approval as commedy. When watching these, imagine them with the gender roles reversed. Would you still laugh?

Women and men in the workplace.

Deeks and Kensie are the romantic leads in “NCIS: Los Angeles.”

NCIS LA S05E10: Kensi hitting Deeks.
From NCIS: LA S05E10: “The Frozen Lake.”

Deeks just takes it, the properly subservient role for modern men. This scene is briefly discussed at TVline by Matt Webb Mitovich and Daniela Ruah (who plays Kensi).

Ruah: “Kensi kind of punches him all the time. Not that it makes it right, but that’s who they are.”

Mitovish: “One common refrain is that if the roles were reversed, such a scene wouldn’t be tolerated.”

Ruah: “That also makes sense, but I think if a guy did that to Kensi, she’d probably kill him.”

It is fine for a woman to punch her co-worker (her boyfriend-coworker). But if a guy punches her, she can kill him. Pure fourth-wave feminism: the rights of men and women are asymmetric, with women on top.

Here is another scene in their romance. See Kensie smile with pleasure as she abuses Deeks.

NCIS LA S03E05
From NCIS: LA S03E05: “Unwritten Rule.”

Another top-rated, award-winning TV show romance was “Castle” (2009-2016). Like Deeks, Castle was a bold alpha broken by his girlfriend into a pitiful beta. My post about the season six cliff-hanger finale is the most popular post ever on the FM website (spoiler: he faked his death to flee Beckett and re-start his life as a real man). Castle brought fun and career success to Beckett. She treated him like dirt, mocking and abusing him. It’s modern romance!

Castle S01E01
From Castle S01E01: “Flowers for Your Grave.”.
From Castle S03E01
From Castle S03E01: “A Deadly Affair.”

The series “Castle” shows with stunning clarity the changing gender roles in America.

  1. The TV show “Castle” challenges us to see our changing values. Most fans decline, horrified.
  2. “Castle” shows us marriage in America, a fault line between our past & future
  3. “Castle” shows us a dark vision of Romance in America
  4. “Castle” helps us adjust to a new America, with women on top
  5. Beckett shows our future. She chooses wisely & marries Castle, but dreams at night of her alpha ex-boyfriend.
  6. “Castle” shows a future of strong women & weak men. As for marriage…
  7. Lessons for us from the TV show “Castle”.

Conclusions

Our commercial media provide a broadly consistent world view to their audiences, one founded on leftist ideology. It is saturation bombing of ideological training via books, TV, and big-screen theaters. Most adults probably have sufficiently fixed beliefs to be resistant to this propaganda. I suspect that many of the young who grow up immersed in this are strongly affected. This is one of the largest experiments in social engineering, ever. Only time will tell if our media institutions are building a new America – and if so, what it looks like.

For More information

Ideas! For shopping ideas see my recommended books and films at Amazon. Also, see a story about our future: “Ultra Violence: Tales from Venus.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about women and gender issues, about propaganda, about films, and especially these…

  1. Recommendation: nine of the best American romantic films.
  2. Modern movies show the hidden truth about romance & marriage: they’re dying.
  3. Disturbing next steps in the gender revolution – films show romance is women breaking men.
  4. Second thoughts about romance in the #MeToo age.
  5. Romance is dying. Intellectuals no longer find it funny.
  6. SHAZAM! It’s fun indoctrination for kids.
  7. Women are driving America into the future.
  8. Feminists now seek supremacy. They’re winning.
  9. The death of romance in America.

Books about the rise of women

The Natural Superiority of Women by Ashley Montagu (1952).

Why Women Should Rule the World by Dee Dee Myers (2008).

The End of Men and the Rise of Women by Hanna Rosin (2012).

Women After All: Sex, Evolution, and the End of Male Supremacy (2015).

Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger by Rebecca Traister (2018).

Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger by Soraya Chemaly (2019).

Why Don′t Women Rule the World?: Understanding Women′s Civic and Political Choices by J. Cherie Strachan et al. (2019).

Why Women Should Rule the World
Why Women Should Rule the World
The End of Men: And the Rise of Women
Available at Amazon.

 

40 thoughts on “Fourth-wave feminism on TV, shaping a new America”

  1. Most TV shows are just unwatchable.Who watches this dreck? I have an indoor antenna to occasionally watch sportsball, and once in a while I try to watch a show on the main networks, and am appalled by what I see. Pure propaganda. Story? Pffft! Who needs that when the goal is to spread the narrative?

    Many are singing the praises of The Mandalorian, but the truth is that all it really does is not suck, and it has an adorable costar that’s a puppet. No baby Yoda and it would have been a dud.

    Anyway, I saw the original Star Wars when it first came out. I remember that people cheered when the Death Star was destroyed and stood and applauded when Luke and Han received their medals. When I watched The Last Jedi I kept checking my watch, hoping it would end soon so I could leave, and I came close to bailing out early. I haven’t seen The Rise of Skywalker and I won’t see it in the cinema, as The Last Jedi left a terrible taste in my mouth.

    1. Frank,

      The Rise of Skywalker so far has gross sales of $452 million in the US and $919 million global. I thought it was trash, but Hollywood only cares that people buy it.

      Almost everybody in America watches this stuff, of some kind, somewhere. It shapes us like the potter shapes the pot.

      1. I have yet to meet anyone who liked it enough to buy another ticket and watch it a second time. As mediocre as it was, I did go back to watch The Phantom Menace a second time. By comparison, I went to see The Force Awakens with my adult children, who are Star Wars fans, and we all agreed that it was pretty bad, but we held hope that The Last Jedi would be better. Instead it was worse.

        It does go to show how much franchise momentum can bring in box office dollars. though my understanding is that each film has been steadily falling behind its predecessor.

  2. “This is one of the largest experiments in social engineering, ever. Only time will tell if our media institutions are building a new America – and if so, what it looks like.”

    The re-election or not of Trump is a ‘tell’ on how the feminist war is going. Regardless long term feminism is a loser. My guess it will mostly be over in 2-3 years. Women will get back to being women and stop trying to be men.

    1. I think 2-3 years maybe too optimistic, but I hope you are right, my youngest son is 13 and eldest 20, 2 – 3 years would work out well!!

    2. Michael,

      What you predict would require Moms to stay home with the kids and Dads go off to work. Back in the day when we all got along with less. One car, five kids and closed on Sunday.

      I don’t see that happenings anytime soon.

      1. I don’t see there is any necessary relationship between working women and feminism. The insane version of Feminism (superiority over men) we see now is a corrupted from the original idea desire for equality

    3. Michael,

      “over in 2-3 years. Women will get back to being women and stop trying to be men.”

      I can’t see the future. But I’m certain that isn’t it. Feminism is still gaining strength, with almost no opposition.

  3. “We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”

    Be those men black or white, they are the soldiers, police, fire service who risk their lives for us, my elder brother was one in uniform who died in action. If this PC world ever gets rid of these rough men, who will defend them.

    Soy boys, using full fat milk is too risky for them!

    1. Warren Raymond

      Just a Guy, I honestly think Rough guys haven’t done so well since 1945. Even when talking about Homeland Security – its a combo of Brains with the Brawn that survive and advance.

      1. Warren,

        “I honestly think Rough guys haven’t done so well since 1945.”

        Wow, that’s quite delusional. It’s also a remarkable misreading of the sentiments of the Kipling and Orwell statements behind that quote. See my reply to Just a Guy for details.

    2. Jut a guy,

      I agree with your sentiment, but the facts about that quote deserve attention.

      It is a fake quote, usually attributed to Orwell but created by critic and essayist Richard Grenier in 1993 (see The Quote Investigator). The actual quote closest to it is from his essay about Kipling, referring to this from his 1890 the poem “Tommy”.

      I went into a public-‘ouse to get a pint o’beer,
      The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”
      The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die …

      O makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
      Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
      An’ hustlin’ drunken sodgers when they’re goin’ large a bit
      Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.

      This shows the usual anti-military and anti-Empire spirit of the British people. Orwell summarizes it as:

      “He sees clearly that men can only be highly civilized while other men, inevitably less civilized, are there to guard and feed them.”

      Orwell wrote much about this. In his 1945 “Notes on Nationalism” he said this about pacifists: “Those who “abjure” violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf.”

    3. Just A Guy – second follow-up, with more supporting context.

      “Soy boys, using full-fat milk is too risky for them!”

      See this test of the testosterone levels of the four men writing at “The Try Guys” (originally at Buzzfeed, now on their own). From the Daily Wire.

      “The normal T-score for an adult male ranges from 270-1,070 ng/dL, with men aged from 25-34 averaging out at 617 ng/dL. Not one BuzzFeed beta male met the 617 ng/dL average; rather, all the men testing below the level of a typical 85-year-old male (376 ng/dL). Moreover, three of the four men tested below the average range, and the male with the highest testosterone level, Eugene, still had a relatively low T-score with 363 ng/dL.”

      For more about this, see Falling sperm counts are a danger we shouldn’t ignore.

  4. Warren Raymond

    Should keep in mind that ‘Kensi’ is basically an unrealistic cartoon character, conceived and written by an Australian male. Ruah’s view albeit taken out of context, is that of the character – her own view – later in the interview and others, is that violence of any kind, in a relationship is absolutely abhorrent.

    Shane Brennan wrote both episodes referenced above and has filled the NCIS-LA scripts with nonsense for decades. The show is wildly popular as are the cast & crew. They would be the first to admit that the situations are preposterous – but also completely entertaining to audiences around the world. I have great issue with Brennan’s portrayal of women and of the Washington security agencies, however he has had a winning formula for the NCIS franchise for two decades.

    1. Warren,

      Did you read the post? You appear to missed every point made.

      “‘Kensi’ is basically an unrealistic cartoon character”

      Almost all the feminist role models in modern films and TV are cartoon characters. Omnicompetent, morally upright, with few character flaws. That’s a distinguishing characteristic of socialist-realist art – the awesome near-perfect characters, intended to be role models.

      It is the guys that make mistakes and have glaring character flaws. Many examples are given in the post; countless more can easily be listed.

      “violence of any kind, in a relationship is absolutely abhorrent.”

      As the interview clearly shows, Ruah does not even see the problem with abusing the boyfriend character. She has no problem acting in scenes in which she inflicts brutal violence on her boyfriend, casually while smiling.

      More importantly, the writers and producers don’t. I doubt you can find any single equivalent scene in modern TV and film — in which a good guy does that to his girlfriend.

      “with nonsense for decades.”

      You are big-time missing the point. Propaganda is meant to influence people, not meet some arbitrary tests of logic and realism.

      1. Warren Raymond

        I think most individuals reading any of this would realize there is no point other than nonsensical bias and possibly some feeble ad revenue. Your description of Ruah’s interview is blatant pervarication / also you really need to at least tryand distinguish who is responsible for the SHOW’S content (I know you’ll avoid that). Shane Brennan & CBS are responsible for the NCIS content/ Additionally in the last part of the interview, after the Portuguese actress realized she was being baited by a huckster with an agenda – she politely said adios

        Anyone who is so profoundly threatened by this content needs to talk with a health care professional – after dealing with their low testosterone issue.

      2. Warren,

        “also you really need to at least tryand distinguish who is responsible for the SHOW’S content”

        Try to respond to what I said, rather than making up silly stuff. What I wrote is clear on that point. The Ruah interview is given as representative of the Hollywood culture, showing that the show’s content is not considered unusual by those involved in it.

        “Anyone who is so profoundly threatened by this content needs to talk with a health care professional – after dealing with their low testosterone issue.”

        Personal insults are not an acceptable substitute for discussions here. Good-bye.

      3. “Anyone who is so profoundly threatened by this content needs to talk with a health care professional – after dealing with their low testosterone issue.”

        That’s kind of funny. if you don’t like TV shows that target the low testosterone, soy boy demographic, then you must have low testosterone.

        The thing about propaganda is that it is all too often not entertaining.It’s just boring. Having a women repeatedly beat up her boyfriend doesn’t make it entertaining, It might make feminists approve, though I wonder if even they watch those dull shows.

      4. Frank,

        “Having a women repeatedly beat up her boyfriend doesn’t make it entertaining”

        That’s a good sentiment, but I believe we’re past that time. In a world dominated by fourth-wave feminism, seeing a woman beat up her boyfriend is considered entertaining by a big share of the population – both men and (esp) women. It’s grrl-power. That’s why these scenes are so common.

    2. Warren Raymond

      Daniela Ruah (Kensi) is married to a Navy SEAL in real life. Context, research and perspective

      1. She’s just an actress. She’s given her lines and she acts them out. She is paid to do that. If she refuses or tries to change the lines, there are other actresses who are more than willing to take her place, and she knows that.

      2. Frank,

        You are missing the point. The Ruah interview is given as representative of the Hollywood culture, showing that the show’s content is not considered unusual by those involved in it.

        Imagine if those scenes shown in the post were of domestic abuse of women by men. Would the Hollywood community – including the actors and actresses involved – be so accepting? I doubt it. They would be protesting at Awards ceremonies and interviews – loudly, stridently.

    3. We have a contender for “Weirdest Comment of 2020”!

      “{NCIS LA is} completely entertaining to audiences around the world. …he has had a winning formula for the NCIS franchise for two decades.”

      Birth of Nation and Triumph of the Will also had “winning formula” for success, considered “completely entertaining to audiences around the world.” Esp Birth, which helped set the mold for Hollywood films for the next several generations.

      But Raymond is unique in considering commercial success a justification for their abhorrent messages. In Birth, racism. In Triumph, fascism. In “NCIS: LA”, domestic abuse.

  5. “As the interview clearly shows, Ruah does not even see the problem with abusing the boyfriend character.”

    Well, obviously her paycheck (and being chosen for lucrative future gigs) depends on her not seeing a problem.

    Meanwhile, from what I have read, fewer and fewer people are watching network TV. That they are producing dreck like this would indicate to me that spreading feminist propaganda is more important to them than ratings or profits.

    Even the streaming channels are onboard with spreading propaganda. However, since they need people to willingly pay subscriptions some do offer a variety of programming, some shows less cucked than others. I have cancelled subscriptions on some because the propaganda was pervasive and in your face.

    1. Frank,

      I would love to see an analysis of the numbers! I have seen indications that guys are abandoning the “old” entertainment media in favor of video games. These tend to be explicitly created for men and boys – although there they are under attack by the Social Justice Warriors for their political incorrectness (ie, showing pretty girls, male lead characters, etc).

      Many of the game publishers have gone full PC. Sad for them, their sales often collapse. Unlike the major entertainment industries, which are oligarchies, games are a highly competitive Wild West. At least, so far.

      “Even the streaming channels are onboard with spreading propaganda.”

      Netflix is a factory of PC content. Göring would be impressed if he could see it from Hell.

  6. We have Netflix mostly because my wife likes to watch the Brit “Crimey” shows. I have found the Netflix original programming to be dull and propaganda laden. Case in point: The new “Lost in Space” series. I just don’t care what will happen to the Robinson family, so I quickly gave up on it. I find Netflix mostly useful for rewatching old Star Trek episodes and old cartoon shows.

    1. If you have Netflix, I highly recommend “Midnight Diner:Tokyo Stories.” A charming show where folks get advice on everything from dealing with the ghost of a dead mother to getting a good haircut from the chef ( “the Master”) and his regular clientele. Sweet but not cloying–difficult to think of a recent American equivalent.

  7. And my point is that she HAS to say that if she wishes to remain employed in the entertainment industrial complex. She has to toe the line.

    1. Frank,

      “she HAS to say that if she wishes to remain employed in the entertainment industrial complex.”

      That’s not remotely correct. Actors and actresses often speak out about aspects of their films and shows that they don’t like. Especially those that violate liberal pieties.

  8. Yet the ratings continue to fall. And the disaster isn’t limited to the small screen. Hollywood produces so many narrative compliant flops that if it wasn’t for the Super Hero movies I think it would go out of business. How many people went to see the all female Ghostbusters or the latest Charlie’s Angels bomb?

    I sometimes wonder how the local multiplex stays in business, as their parking lot is empty when there isn’t a super hero movie playing. They have resorted to all sorts of gimmicks. The seats are now recliners. There’s a bar. They’ll bring food to your seat during the movie. What is interesting about the theaters with the recliners is that their capacity is greatly reduced, and yet on the rare occasion when I go, it’s still empty.

    What will they do once the super hero fad runs its course?

  9. I seem to recall that James Woods said that not toeing the line hurt his career. Tim Allen has mentioned this too.

    And if a woman goes against the Narrative, she takes great risk. Note how speaking against transexuals can be hazardous to a career. The cancel culture goes after women too.

    1. Frank,

      Totally absurd. Yes, there are lines that can’t be crossed. She can’t advocate for al Qaeda or pedophilia, cheer Trump, or disparage trans people.

      I doubt that she would be criticized for condemning the many shows with favorable portrayal of domestic abuse – even by women of men – because it is both wrong and encourages counter-violence by men against women. Esp if done mildly. As I said, this is a commonplace by people in Hollywood.

  10. So when are you going to talk about “Joker,” a film that broke about a million PC rules and made a huge return? I don’t think it can be dismissed as an outlier.

    One of the best American films in years, IMO.

    I still haven’t seen the new Star Wars flick. Your review was convincing.

    1. Christopher,

      “So when are you going to talk about “Joker,” ”

      You can look for Joker in the Search box on the right side menu bar. Or the “Category” box: the drop-down menu to find “Books, Film, and TV reviews.” Both will show these two posts.

      “a film that broke about a million PC rules”

      Let’s check the BIG gender rules. Warm, intelligent, sympathetic women? Check! Crazy, misogynist, violent white guy? Check! Leftists cites this as evidence of evil red pill violent incels, warning that it will incite them to even more violence? Check!

      No, I don’t think it broke PC rules. “Joker” is PC set to music in ClownWorld, like Wagner set German dreams to music in the 19th C.

      1. I saw the first post, not the second. Neither strike me as incisive as your usual take on films.

        Where did you find a warm, intelligent, sympathetic female character in that film? His mother is a narcissistic monster who mutilated his mind, his social worker is of no help whatsoever and mostly complains about her own situation bitterly, and his “girlfriend” is a completely hallucinated relationship that shows his wish-fufilling fantasies. In the scene were she catches him in her apartment, it is clear that she doesn’t know him other than passing him in the hallway every now and again.

        And how is the Joker character misogynistic? Misanthropic, yes, but he clearly wants to protect the women he sees being harassed in the train before he kills the young Wall Street-types harrassing her–and he hallucinates a fairly nice relationship for himself. (In terms of how he treats his fantasy girlfriend, at least.)

        It’s a semi-sympathetic supervillian origin story that creates an interesting mix that lets us understand why the Joker exists, and shows a mob idolizing him because they only know him from his TV appearance, with no clue what tbe real man is like–pathetic.

        It was a film that showed the insanity of making heroes out of media spectacles. And why even a villian can have some sympathetic qualities– which don’t save him from becoming a monster.

        I feel like we were watching different films.

  11. Feminism, homosexuality, veganism and communist/globalist secular humanist ideologies are working together with each other to take down the male and purposefully remake the western democracies into something really horrific and detestable. We are living in dangerous times. Riding on the back of this is Islam waiting in the wings to provide the coup de grace and nail in the coffin of freedom and liberty. If America continues and there is a revolution to depose this totalitarianism arising, a great reset will have to occur and the pendulum must swing back, swing far back in the other direction and will never be allowed to go as far it is now. I look forward to this day–but it unfortunately will not come about without tremendous amount of disruption.

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