Welcome to GenderWorld

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Welcome to GenderWorld by James Howard Kunstler

The defeat of Hillary, and the elevation of the vulgar Mr. Trump, loosed a fury of women against men in America that now verges on a kind of all-consuming chaos, like those western wildfires turning every product of human endeavor in the burn-path to smoke and ash. All the sorrows of our national life are assigned lately to the wicked white male patriarchy that must be defeated to usher in a satori of female sharing-and-caring.

A case in point is Sam Harris’s dialogue on his “Waking Up”(#141) podcast with Rebecca Traister of New York Magazine, author of the new book Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger. (Click here for the Harris-Traister chat.) There is no better interlocutor of the current right-think about men and women than Ms. Traister. She puts it across as though her brain was shot out of a cannon from a graduate seminar on “Engendering the Intellectual Space” as if there are no other points at issue in our national life than the power valences between the two sexes — and, of course, even suggesting that the human mammal comprises two sexes is a punishable offense these days.

To get a sense of the true chaos behind her argument, just have a look at the cover of Good and Mad. Notice that the blood-red title stands against a gray field of the word “F*UK” (asterisk hers) repeated 120 times on a 5 X 24 grid. Deconstruct that. Is it the generative act of copulation itself that she is inveighing against? Should it be gotten rid of? Will that solve the problems of a foundering hyper-complex industrial society?

Ms. Traister might have used the word “power” five hundred times in her conversation with the excessively gallant Sam Harris. The choo-choo train of “poststructuralist” ideology that pulled into the college scene in the 1990s, when she was a student, is based on the idea that all relations between men and women — and all human endeavor, for that matter — come down to questions of who has power over whom. The result, naturally enough, has been an escalating power struggle between men and women that has the potential to tear this society apart.

It has already damaged our understanding of what men and women are supposed to be, and the outcome so far is that men are not sufficiently female and vice-versa. Thus the consecration of “transgender, intersex, non-binary, gender-nonconforming” states of being as heroic, and the demonizing cries of “toxic masculinity” ringing through the ivory towers, the halls of congress, and the corporate C-suites.

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James Howard Kunstler

James Howard Kunstler says he wrote The Geography of Nowhere, “Because I believe a lot of people share my feelings about the tragic landscape of highway strips, parking lots, housing tracts, mega-malls, junked cities, and ravaged countryside that makes up the everyday environment where most Americans live and work.” Home From Nowhere was a continuation of that discussion with an emphasis on the remedies. A portion of it appeared as the cover story in the September 1996 Atlantic Monthly. His next book in the series, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, published by Simon & Schuster / Free Press, is a look a wide-ranging look at cities here and abroad, an inquiry into what makes them great (or miserable), and in particular what America is going to do with it’s mutilated cities.