- Shin Suzuki
- From BBC News Brazil in Sao Paulo
“Most women still love men despite the propaganda that we have to be mad at them all the time.”
The phrase, said by Nina Power between laughs, sums up what the English philosopher advocates in her book What Men Want: Masculinity and Its Discontents (“What do men want? Masculinity and its discontents”, free translation, without edition in Portuguese).
Published in the United Kingdom by Penguin Books, the work advocates a reduction in the climate of hostility between women and men and a “more constructive” way to heal gender resentment.
In an interview with BBC News Brasil, Bauer states that a generalized rhetoric that identifies all men as toxic or potentially violent is counterproductive, denies the experience of most people and creates an atmosphere of dead end in gender relations (which are the focus of the constructions).
with a Ph.D.
As for the second wave, it was associated with the idea of women’s liberation and combating discrimination against women of all classes and races. She urged women to rehabilitate, return to the labor market, and take control of their reproductive rights (such as using birth control pills). I questioned, through thinkers like Angela Davis, ideas based on the viewpoint of white and wealthier women.
she says, who is also an author One-dimensional woman (“One-Dimensional Woman”, in a free translation), centered around feminism.
“Part of the point was to tell men and boys that they don’t have to live up to stereotypes, that these kinds of expectations about gender are bad for everyone, including them. It was a women’s liberation movement, not a women’s demonization of men.”
This does not mean that there are no problems. [hoje]. Of course, there are historical issues, and current issues, and obviously most acts of violence are committed by men—mostly against other men or themselves. [em casos de suicídio], but also against women. But I think it’s in everyone’s interest to try to understand what kind of social dynamics have happened over the last 10 or 15 years.”
Thus, she suggests, men and women should be “less hard on each other.” “Just accepting that we’ve kind of been thrown into this world and none of us have a ready solution.”
Power argues that it is reasonable to think that most men in the world are “good” people and that there is an imbalance in the way they are perceived, especially on the Internet.
For her, hashtags such as #KillAllMen (#MatemTodosOsHomens), which are circulating on social networks and defended solely as a form of feminine rage that should not be taken literally, contribute to reinforcing the idea that masculinity is evil in itself.
between conservatives and progressives
What do men want He makes atypical coherence in ideas arising from opposing ideological camps.
Rejecting current feminism for its attacks on masculine values and advocating a certain return to tradition is a position that can be associated with the conservative right, while critique of the impact of capitalism today is a view always present on the left. .
An example of the first case is his defense that masculine elements that have positively shaped human history—such as the protective father figure and the “man in charge”—tend to disappear and give way only to a competitive, homogeneous society among men. Races that “serve consumer capitalism well”.
“In modern industrial societies, sexual difference is completely flattened,” he says. “We have become this kind of homogeneous being.”
Even dating apps encourage this rivalry, he says. “All the mystery and beauty is somehow eliminated in this homogeneous, technocratic world, where we have to compete with each other economically, socially, politically, etc. It takes the poetry out of things.”
Power also attacks what he calls hypersexuality in today’s world after the sexual revolution of the 1960s and argues that repression plays a role.
“And I think that the culture in which sexuality permeates is not really a free culture. It is a culture that is subject to its own instincts. The freedom of the consumer, the freedom of the individual to choose, is actually a very lonely freedom.”
“Since the 1960s we have lived in an atmosphere where desire is supposed to be good. But apparently not all desires are created equal. Some desires are very dangerous,” he says.
“Of course it sounds provocative to say that repression is a good thing. But it is just a practical description of what people need to do to live in a way that does not harm ourselves and others.”
Not everyone welcomed the proposal to do so. Britain’s Guardian newspaper claimed that its “call for compassion” was “retro” while the US New Yorker said the book declares too quickly that it is the male’s job to reform the structures of oppression and end gender inequality.
There is also criticism, mainly on social networks, that it will advocate “neutrality” (the concept that if a person is born with a vagina, it is a woman, and with a penis, a man) and will appropriate the term TERF (an acronym in English meaning Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism, which rejects the idea that Trans women are women).
It has nothing to do with criticizing individuals [transsexuais]. No one is suggesting that a person can be deprived of the rights that all human beings possess.”
In Bauer’s view, there is an insult to sexual transitions, especially in the case of adolescents.
“There are people who just urge caution and say, look, wait a minute, slow down.”
Bauer says he doesn’t believe in the idea of abolishing gender, but that “we might be in a world that is more accepting of different personality traits and behaviors.”
beyond the romantic ideal
In order to restore bridges between women and men, Bauer—inspired by his greatest authority, the Austrian theologian and social critic Ivan Ilich, as well as in ancient Greece—suggests a lighthearted, relaxed atmosphere, of playfulness (“playfulness”, originally) that has been lost in modern society from paucity Time and the privilege of online interaction.
“One of the problems is that people don’t talk enough with each other face to face, and there’s a human desire for scapegoats, which is something that’s easy to vent online. It’s a very deep anthropological need.”
The philosopher believes that these contacts can go beyond the search for the ideal romantic partner and the idea that all encounters between women and men always have a sexual goal.
“I’m not advocating getting rid of the idea of romance completely. What I’m trying to say is that there is a whole range of interactions that are possible, and our culture promotes very narrow models that are centered around the romantic partner or include some sort of relationship-based situation. It doesn’t encourage a more relaxed atmosphere between the heterosexuals , “as you say.
Type force What do men want: “Relationships between men and women can be seductive, they can be pleasant, friendly, made up of caring, compassion, understanding, mutually confusing, etc. I think we should try to make room for a kind of endless play that is also serious— Who takes gaming seriously.”
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