Even as a Salon writer publishes thinly-veiled chick porn about the unreconstructed Slavic men that animate her fantasies (she’s exaggerating — trust me), American women are cheerfully thinking up ways to exterminate their “ineffectual” husbands.
Last summer, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl – which sold more than two million copies and is being made into a Hollywood film – brought out unsettling streaks in some of my married girlfriends. With Flynn’s husband-hating heroine, Amy, as their role model, these women sat around planning the imaginary stitching-up and neutralisation of their spouses over last orders and a dwindling bowl of edamame beans. They hypothesised about their partners’ possible infidelities with a perverse enjoyment, and came out with oblique generalities (“nobody really knows the man they married”) in tones I’d never heard them use before. A year on, they’re actively planning their husbands’ murders.
I’d like to know where all this female rage is coming from. When was it that the Bridget Jones generation stopped day-dreaming about marrying Mr Darcy and started imagining how good it would feel, 20 years on, to bludgeon the now balding, paunch-prone, crossword-addicted man they married to death? When did we move from chick-lit, sorcery, Gothic horror and 50 shades of heavy breathing to mariticide fantasy?
“It’s about men’s consistent failure to live up to our expectations,” insists Amanda later that afternoon, as we watch the subjugated LA husbands playing with the kids in the shallow end of the pool. Fictional husbands, she goes on, don’t get murdered for decrepitude or infidelity any more – even if those things are factors. “They get murdered because they’ve become so ineffectual. And that’s something we can all relate to.”
If the above doesn’t wake Western men up to the fact that their efforts to placate feminists have all been in vain, I don’t know what will.
As evidenced by the article on Russian men and the relentless whining about the lack of “real men” in the West, feminism really is, as far as most women are concerned, a giant shit test. “Come on, men, demonstrate your value to us!” American women may as well be saying in unison: “Show us that you’re real men!”
I leave it up to the reader whether or not he wants to bother. I certainly wouldn’t advocate either way, as each man should do what he pleases in this regard. But I’ll offer a little hint, even though I generally leave Game and the like up to experts such as Heartiste.
For Western man to be “a real man,” he need only ignore the complaints and demands of the noisy crowd, quieting everything except his own inner voice. Then, he can listen to that inner voice and act on it according to his own sense of what’s right and proper. That’s all we have to do to be men: let us be our own masters again.