Wednesday, July 01, 2009
A Female World
Israel's new policy in Shomron and Judea makes my jaw to drop in astonishment. The Israeli Army never was very soldierly or manly like other militaries, there was little or no shouting orders and officers were always self effacing intellectuals. But now our soldiers manning the checkpoints are disciplined for talking harshly to Arab residents, for touching them when searching for weapons, for being insensitive to special cases like crying babies and fat women. They are being filmed and recorded by hidden cameras and sent to jail for committing petty aggressions so common among bored guards everywhere, like emptying "suspicious" cola cans or cutting up birthday cakes. Israeli Government Ministers are disgraced by disrespecting Arabs, like calling them "Arabushim" - not exactly an insult but also not a respectful way of talking about the Palestinian residents of this Holy Land. Suddenly our fighters are sensitivity trained and required to act like fifteen-year old blushing virgins.
In the civil world we are long used to follow this spirit and fake "sensitivity". Violence against women has become the most important preoccupation of our judicial system and the media, and each time an unemployed drunk Ethiopian beats his "wife" (African people has no poppa-momma-baby families in the Western sense) there are large didactic articles in the papers and long, lacrimose notes on TV. Yesterday, Minister Haim Ramon has resigned and retired: the famous kiss ended his distinguished political carreer. He was waiting for a meeting in the Prime Minister's office and a female soldier asked him to be photographed together and kissed him. Ramon (a tall man in his sixties) acceded but his was not to the liking of the 18 year old girl, and she sued him and sent him to jail and destroyed his life. The accussations of President Katzav's secretary against him caused him to be ousted from his position and he is fighting a legal battle now for five or six years. He says he is innocent: by now it has become clear that there was no penile insertion at all, on the contrary, the descriptionof the "rape" that is reaching the papers show that he is not a macho at all, he did not consume his "zmama" ("lust" - the Hebrew word used by female journalist to describe the horrible things that men want to do to women). He did have a meeting with the girl out of the office and I presume both had in mind something sexual, but he was unable to carry it out. For many years Katzav is our prototype of a "sexual predator". The poor old impotent goat (and his ugly wife) must be truely amazed.
Reihan Salam writes in "The Death of Macho" that recession is altering the course of history and we should be ready for the female-dominated world. Our choise is adaptation: men embracing women as equal partners and assimilating to the new cultural sensibilities, institutions, and egalitarian arrangements that entails. That’s not to say that all the men in the West will turn into metrosexuals while football ratings and beer sales plummet. But amid the death of macho, a new model of manhood may be emerging, especially among some educated men living in the affluent West. Re-education is the word that describes our future.
My male students are really adapting and faking to be sensitive fashion-aware feminized creatures, all in an attempt to score. That is what girls want, so that is how men will be. It took me a few years to recognize that the sensitive, unmanly young male students I meet in the university are not homosexuals, but perfectly normal males trying to get near the super-attractive semi-nude girls so abundant on the campus. They talk about feelings and astrology, they hate any show of violence or force. They hide their maleness, they adopt soft and sensitive forms of speech, they wear girlie pastel-colored blouses and soft-texture pantaloons, they are as unthreatening as they come. Welcome, new world.