That’s basically the message of this New York Times Magazine article. Most of it is the usual PC crap celebrating the coming demise of the oppressive white patriarchy. The interesting observation comes near the end:
Looking at those figures and their descendants in more recent times — and at the vulnerable patriarchs lumbering across the screens to die — we can see that to be an American adult has always been to be a symbolic figure in someone else’s coming-of-age story. And that’s no way to live. It is a kind of moral death in a culture that claims youthful self-invention as the greatest value. We can now avoid this fate. The elevation of every individual’s inarguable likes and dislikes over formal critical discourse, the unassailable ascendancy of the fan, has made children of us all. We have our favorite toys, books, movies, video games, songs, and we are as apt to turn to them for comfort as for challenge or enlightenment.
This captures a key difference between the feminist-liberal and the traditional imagination. The feminist doesn’t want to be just an archetype. The traditionalist doesn’t want to be just an individual. Does it constrict the soul or enlarge it to participate in a role that pre-exists and transcends the individual person? Feminists are happy to smash the ideals of man and woman even as they realize that this will leave nothing left of our identities but childish consumer choices.
Filed under: Gender roles |