February 12, 2018

"People still love sex, sizzle and controversy — but the entertainment industry is too afraid to serve it up right now."

"It’s hard to believe, but 60 years ago entertainers had more guts. If you want proof, tune into 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' on Amazon, an excellent new show about a fictional woman named Midge — clearly based on Joan Rivers — who starts a risky career as a stand-up comedienne in Greenwich Village in 1958. On stage, Midge makes jokes about her sex life, her Jewish upbringing and even rips off her top, exposing her breasts. As the crowd laps up the routine, the police arrest Midge for breaking obscenity laws. That kind of courage, that willingness to shock and offend, is what made Rivers so exciting to watch. It’s what makes great comedy. But today’s comics are afraid to go too far, out of fear of the woke police....  Here’s another: How is show business going to survive if it suddenly censors itself?"

From "The woke police have ruined entertainment" by Johnny Oleksinski in The New York Post.

Random reactions:

1. I don't remember Joan Rivers ever whipping off her shirt and exposing her breasts, nor can I even imagine such a move, given that there would have to be a layer of undergarment, not susceptible to whipping off, and I've seen "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," which is, indeed, an excellent show.

2. Some people were modestly entertained over the weekend when a South Korean ice skater's costume got unclasped and threatened to fall off. "I was like, ‘Oh no!’ If that comes undone, the whole thing could just pop off. I was terrified the entire program.... I didn’t stop because you get a deduction if you stop in the middle of a program. In my head, I was thinking, 'Is it better to stop and fix it and get the deduction or keep going?'" She kept going and we kept thinking: Is that thing going to fall off? And some of us, I'm sure, will continue to watch ice skating, now thinking, will the lady's costume — the whole thing — just pop off?

3. I don't think you need to be obscene to entertain. In fact, it was much easier to be shocking with sexual things in the old days, when you could get arrested for obscenity. But half a century later, sexual frankness isn't shocking, and the "woke police" are out to ruin you not because of sex, but because they're vigilant about the subordination of women. It's not easy to figure out how to avoid committing the kind of offenses that will get the "woke police" after you, but you men who complain about it are like the Ken counterpart to the talking Barbie who said "math class is tough"Women's Studies class is tough.

4. Hollywood entertain — and the culture of Hollywood celebrities — has been awful for a lot of reasons for a long, long time. Can't you please just continue to entertain us? is a pathetic whine.



Are you not entertained? You shouldn't be! Man, "Gladiator" is putrid. I knew it at the time and stayed away, but can anyone justify the adulation that movie received? The answer to Russell Crowe's famous question is: no!

5. Meanwhile, speaking of bared breasts and slabs of man meat, over at the New York Times, Ross Douthat says "Let’s Ban Porn."
[W]e are supposed to be in the midst of a great sexual reassessment, a clearing-out of assumptions that serve misogyny and impose bad sex on semi-willing women.... It was only a generation ago that the unlikely (or was it?) alliance of feminists and religious conservatives made the regulation of pornography a live political debate. But between the individualistic drift of society, the invention of the internet, and the failure of the Dworkin-Falwell alliance’s predictions that porn would lead to rising rates of rape, the anti-porn case was marginalized — with religious conservatism’s surrender to Donald Trump’s playboy candidacy a seeming coup de grace.

Except it doesn’t have to be. Trump’s grotesqueries have stirred up a feminist reaction that’s more moralistic and less gamely sex-positive than the Clinton-justifying variety, and there’s no necessary reason why its moralistic gaze can’t extend to our porn addiction....

In many of them, you see a kind of female revulsion, not against Harvey Weinstein-style apex predators, but against the very different sort of male personality that a pornographic education seems to produce: a breed at once entitled and resentful, angry and undermotivated, “woke” and caddish, shaped by unprecedented possibilities for sexual gratification and frustrated that real women are less available and more complicated than the version on their screen....
Just when the prestige movies of Hollywood retreat from whatever entertainment they might have been providing, the social cons want to team up with the progressives — one more time, like it's the 80s — and scare you with proposals about banning pornography.

6. You don't have to actually ban pornography. Just have angry, righteous women go public about the  pornography habits various famous men and demand that they be fired from their jobs. I'm sure there are some members of Congress who can be Al-Frankened over porn. I'm sure a porn hysteria could be set in motion around various Trump men to generate an endless chain of headlines in the NYT like "Porn Claims Against Aide Further Roil White House." Could the White House be even more roiled that it already is? Yes!

292 comments:

1 – 200 of 292   Newer›   Newest»
rhhardin said...

Women's Studies class is tough.

That's way wrong on the guys' reaction. It's women's studies class is laughable.

rhhardin said...

Friendlier women would cut down a lot of the porn audience.

Unfriendlier women increase it.

Mark said...

"People still love sex, sizzle and controversy . . ."

This (false) attitude is why invariably in every brand new TV series I watch, within five minutes of the start, there is a sex scene, complete with naked bodies and hip thrusts, all of which of course has absolutely NOTHING to do with the story.

It is not "people" who "still love sex, sizzle and controversy," -- it is the "entertainment" industry. And whatever one may feel about "banning" porn, at the very least it would be a very good thing if we were to rid ourselves of the pornification of the media which has spread to a pornification of the general culture.

This guy is why some people engage in abhorrent sex abusive practices, thinking that it is a natural thing -- certainly it is natural in movies, TV, and music.

rhhardin said...

Klavan says you're supposed to take cinema sex not as realistic but as a convention for sexual attraction.

Take it as a figure of speech.

whitney said...

Russell Crowe was hot in Gladiator

Bad Lieutenant said...

Are you OK? No coffee yet, but this post is so schizy that someone should check either you or maybe this Douthat for signs of stroke.



Ken counterpart to the talking Barbie who said "math class is tough" — Women's Studies class is tough.

Let's accept that as reality. We will do the math and you can do the Women's Studies, if you see fit.

In a better world, of course, everyone would do the math and nobody would do the Women's Studies.

David Begley said...

The Red Sparrow movie (with Jennifer Lawrence) comes out in March. The book was a great RUSSIAN spy novel. Lots of sex. JL plays a KGB prostitute.

rhhardin said...

The opening of Atomic Blonde was unexplained tits. No guy so no figure of speech. Maybe it's a figure of speech for she's risking good looks.

Rusty said...

"Let's ban porn!"
Uh oh. Ritmo and his inflatable Brazilians hardest hit.

Professional lady said...

I saw the documentary on Joan Rivers that was made a few years before she died. To me, she came off as kind of pathetic. She was so hungry for attention. Look at me, look at me! I'll do anything just so long as you look at me! Kind of an addiction.

dreams said...

Sluts are us, since the sixties.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

the "woke police" are out to ruin you not because of sex, but because they're vigilant about the subordination of women.

Is there really a difference between the old and new Puritans? One worried about subordination of everyone's soul and one the subordination of women. Isn't the true desire the desire to control.

Bunk said...

"Trumps grotesqueries versus the Clinton justifying variety"....What?? A cigar in the Vag of an intern (note - not his wife) in the Oval Office isn't grotesque ?

Tank said...

Saw some of the skating last night. The women were awful, or is it just my cranky old man memory that tells me Hamill, Witt and Lipinsky were much better? Also, their makeup and costumes are atrocious. Then I saw some of the ice dancers. They were great. Smooth and athletic with better outfits. Why did the girls seem so pathetic? Is it the new scoring with more emphasis on jumps; even so, why can't they be better in between jumps, with better makeup and outfits?

Sally327 said...

I don't think it's just the fear/anger/concern (take your pick) over the subordination of women that is causing problems. There are very few topics that are safe these days, can't do anything that might be construed as culturally insensitive to somebody somewhere, or be seen as cultural appropriation, can't do anything that might seem like racism or offensive to LBGTQ or the physically/mentally challenged (is that even a safe word? I mean what used to be known as handicapped). You can't make fun of people. Except

you can do comedy about straight white men as long as it isn't positive. And Donald Trump. But I repeat myself.

I predict there will be an underground comedy circuit, if there isn't one already, where you have to know someone to get in, where people will say and do what they can't say and do for public consumption. A fight club for comedians.

EDH said...

"This isn't art. This is sex!"

Henry said...

the "woke police" are out to ruin you not because of sex, but because they're vigilant about the subordination of women.

and who doesn't love a vigilante!

* * *

How is show business going to survive if it suddenly censors itself?"

Blowing things up still seems to work.

Sally327 said...

P.S. Gladiator is a good movie!!

Fernandistein said...

woke police" are out to ruin you not because of sex, but because they're vigilant about the subordination of women

No, it's all about sex. That's why the incidents are about sex.

Man, "Gladiator" is putrid

Good movie, but not a chick flic like "Maisel".

"math class is tough"

Women actually are worse at math than men - are you implying men are worse at Bullshit Studies? Because that would be a complement.

NY scribbler: to our porn addiction

The NYT scribbler has a "porn addiction" and wants feministas and puritanical religious nuts to prevent him from indulging. That's pitiful even for the NYT. Maybe the poor guy is "woke".

You don't have to actually ban pornography.

Really? If you're going to meddle in people's private lives you should go all out with the force of the state to show you're serious.

But having stereotypically angry, stereotylcally self-righteous feministas sneaking around meddling in other peoples' private business and then publishing anonymous and mostly false lists of unverified charges is good feminist virtual signalling.

Henry said...

BTW, does Mr. Oleksinski actually read his own writing? He complains that the entertainment industry is ruined and as an example of how good entertainment used to be, he cites a contemporary show. Dude, just because the show is set in a historical time period, doesn't mean the show is historical.

Henry said...

Gladiator is a mess.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Control of the male gaze is very important to women.
Men will start behaving the way women want them to behave when women begin behaving the way that men want them to behave.
Meaning it will never happen.

Ann Althouse said...

"Russell Crowe was hot in Gladiator."

In that clip, he doesn't look the slightest big as though he could be a real person in the situation he's in.

And the guys he fights... they step up one by one to be easily killed by him. It's a bad cartoon, shot like a perfume commercial.

Ann Althouse said...

"In a better world, of course, everyone would do the math and nobody would do the Women's Studies."

Right. Transport us into a utopia where there's no subordination of women and then we won't need to understand it and can concentrate on math and science. But that magical thinking — poof: Utopia! — is ironically not scientific.

Peter B. said...

I understand using fictional characters to make a point, but using a new fictional character to claim that comedy in the Lenny Bruce area was a certain way is just weird. Why not use Lenny himself as the example, rather than Mrs. Maisel? It's like analyzing current tornado safety measures by saying "In the olden days, there was a girl in Kansas who was caught in a tornado and..."

Patrick Henry was right! said...

Hey, I can take a lot of crazy statements from our hostess, but there will be no disrespecting of Gladiator!!!!!!!

It is epic in every way.

That is all.

Ron said...

Gladiator is no worse than Bob Dylan....about whom we've way too much about here.... Pick your poison!

Ann Althouse said...

"That's way wrong on the guys' reaction. It's women's studies class is laughable."

You're like the kids who say they don't want to study algebra because there's nothing in algebra that they're going to need in their lives. And the kid's argument is closer to the truth... even if you are following the advice you were given: Don't talk to the women.

Lewis Wetzel said...

The reason men don't attend women's study class is the same reason Black folks don't attend KKK meetings.
We are talking about a class overloaded with young women that most young guys choose not to attend. It ain't because the young guys are stupid.

John Lynch said...

Do you like movies about gladiators?

Ann Althouse said...

"Hey, I can take a lot of crazy statements from our hostess, but there will be no disrespecting of Gladiator!!!!!!!"

I've only seen that 2-minute clip. Can you explain to me how that isn't bad?

Fernandistein said...

Bad Lieutenant said...
Are you OK? No coffee yet, but this post is so schizy that someone should check either you or maybe this Douthat for signs of stroke.


"If the product is free, you are the product."

I know she has some sexual issues which are aliased ("false signal") as feminism, but I hope she was trolling in this post - as in others - because it was pretty creepy. Maybe it's just over-exposure to NYT crap.

Sebastian said...

"the "woke police" are out to ruin you not because of sex," Actually, they are, some of them.

"but because they're vigilant about the subordination of women." The new construal of such: witness the Aziz Ansari fiasco. Man wants to have sex, woman takes off clothes and gives BJ, he stops when she asks, then she wokely accuses him of harassing her.

"It's not easy to figure out how to avoid committing the kind of offenses that will get the "woke police" after you" Actually, it is: anything that blocks the pursuit of prog power or makes any woman feel bad.

"Women's Studies class is tough" Good one. Nicely illustrates why the era of that's not funny will supply plenty of laughs.

Ann Althouse said...

Are you lunkheads all just going to say "Gladiator is great"? Isn't that proving my point?!

Meade said...

"That's way wrong on the guys' reaction. It's women's studies class is laughable."

In other words, THAT'S NOT FUNNY.

Hagar said...

Joan Rivers was gross.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"Ooh! I can't bench press fifty pounds even though my little brother can bench press 100 pounds! He is oppressing me! I hate men!"

Tank said...

Joan Rivers was funny. She did have guts. Remember when she used to make fun of how fat Elizabeth Taylor was? That took guts, and was funny.

Terry Vance said...

Thank you, Ann. Saw the insert from Gladiator and was thinking What an awful movie, and then read your comment.
Please please please ban pornography — the years of “defining” it would be tremendously entertaining.

Lewis Wetzel said...

In college, I took physical geography. Physical geography is maps & charts. Twenty-eight students, all male.
Before we physical geography students took over the classroom, it was used to teach women's studies. Over twenty students, all female (we watched them walk out).
Why aren't women forced to take physical geography?
It would help them understand how men see the world.
Literally.

Ron said...

No, Saying "Gladiator is great" is not proving your point. It's an indicator that as lunkheads they're not going to be arm twisted into nodding in agreement with you, but they're willing to be polite about it.

Tank said...

Ann Althouse said...

Are you lunkheads all just going to say "Gladiator is great"? Isn't that proving my point?!


We be Gladiator Bros.

(Actually, don't remember that movie, it was a long time ago; it was pretty good, wasn't it?).

Bob R said...

What I found remarkable about Douthat's column is that he made almost no argument that porn caused any harm (and he acknowledged that the predictions of harm from the 1980's were wrong.) While he doesn't explicitly say this, he's arguing against porn from Haidt's sanctity/degradation moral category. Of course, a ban would fall into the liberty/oppression category.

Brian said...

Althouse's comparison between mathematics and Women's Studies is dumb.

Mathematics is an actual discipline. Women's Studies (or any of the "Studies") is not, it is idiotic indoctrination. Math is hard, but Woman's Studies is an easy A for those students who repeat the instructor's prejudices.

It can sometimes be hard to predict with precision the emotional tantrums of the Woke, but that's neither here nor there.

tcrosse said...

I'm sort of interested in Russ Douthat boning up on pornography.
BTW no gladiator movie is complete without Victor Mature.

AJ Lynch said...

Music from Gladiator was worth it alone and I'd watch that movie 100 times before I'd listen watch a dopey Woody Allen movie.

Richard Belaire said...

Althouse: "You're like the kids who say they don't want to study algebra because there's nothing in algebra that they're going to need in their lives."

But, by studying algebra more options are open to you and you might just need it later in life. By not studying the subject, you may be limiting your choices without knowing so at the time. Why take the chance? You may even grow to like the subject!

Oso Negro said...

"It's not easy to figure out how to avoid committing the kind of offenses that will get the "woke police" after you, but you men who complain about it are like the Ken counterpart to the talking Barbie who said "math class is tough" — Women's Studies class is tough."

Success at math class requires paying attention in class, doing the homework, and practicing the problems until you have facility with them. Avoiding the woke police requires suppressing, millions of years of biology, keeping up with the very latest in what offends progressive women, and medication that suppresses testosterone. This is probably the most bigoted sentence I have read from our hostess in all my years on this blog.

Kate said...

The NYP article raises Dave Chappelle as an example of an edgy comic. And his routine is really funny and un-PC until the last 20 min when it's all Trump bashing. Too much of any topic becomes banal.

Roy Lofquist said...

Through the looking glass into upside down land. Douthat cites "Trump’s grotesqueries" while his compadres are feigning high dudgeon to give them license to splash "shithole" and stories about golden showers throughout the land.

Hey, Douthat, fuck off.

Curious George said...

"Can you explain to me how that isn't bad?"

Well, women apparently hate it.

rhhardin said...

Right. Transport us into a utopia where there's no subordination of women and then we won't need to understand it and can concentrate on math and science. But that magical thinking — poof: Utopia! — is ironically not scientific.

There's no feminist curiosity about what subordination might be.

Annie C said...

"And the guys he fights... they step up one by one to be easily killed by him. It's a bad cartoon, shot like a perfume commercial."

The latest perfume commercial which came out for Christmas and again now for Valentines day has some impossibly beautiful woman alternately pushing a man away, treating him like crap and fawning over him and "love." Driving a car on the beach to leave a heart in the tire tracks and other ridiculousness. The tag line is 'what would you do for love' if I remember right.

It's stupid, embarrassing and I have no clue what perfume it is advertising. I have to look away.

Roughcoat said...

The opening battle scene was well done. The depiction of those superbly disciplined Roman cohorts marching into battle against the tribal Germans, with their mobile artillery hurling flame pots into the enemy mass, was really quite electrifying. I also appreciate the depiction, on the part of Maximus, of traditional Roman pagan religiosity.

Lem said...

Judge Judy: ‘I think women who watch me like to see women in control’

Jersey Fled said...

Comedy today consists of talking dirty and hating Trump.

MayBee said...

6. You don't have to actually ban pornography. Just have angry, righteous women go public about the pornography habits various famous men and demand that they be fired from their jobs. I'm sure there are some members of Congress who can be Al-Frankened over porn. I'm sure a porn hysteria could be set in motion around various Trump men to generate an endless chain of headlines in the NYT like "Porn Claims Against Aide Further Roil White House." Could the White House be even more roiled that it already is? Yes!

hahahahaha!
Some days, I just love Althouse.

Ann Althouse said...

"Mathematics is an actual discipline. Women's Studies (or any of the "Studies") is not, it is idiotic indoctrination. Math is hard, but Woman's Studies is an easy A for those students who repeat the instructor's prejudices."

You are comparing math to a badly done women's studies course (which you're imagining as unsympathetically as possible).

What if the math class were done badly? I've seen some awful math lessons given to school children. That would be a fair comparison. Maybe you need a critical thinking class to get your analogies in order.

The study of women is obviously important. The subject is central to human life in the present and throughout history (and it has a big, mystifying biological dimension). It's not as easy to make it intellectually honest and truly substantial, but that's not a reason to reject it as a subject. Do you reject the study of history? Do you reject psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, jurisprudence?

That's why the line "Women's studies is tough" is worthy of contemplation!

John Lynch said...

Gladiator was a lot better when it was called "Spartacus" and was directed by Kubrick.

Lem said...

Are you lunkheads all just going to say "Gladiator is great"?

Gladiator is great in a way feminist intersectionality will never be.

Henry said...

Aliens reading this thread would get the mistaken impression that lots of men actually take math.

Most college-age men and women are not taking STEM classes.

Ann Althouse said...

"You don't have to actually ban pornography. Just have angry, righteous women go public about the pornography habits various famous men and demand that they be fired from their jobs."

This move was practiced on Clarence Thomas a quarter century ago. It could happen again. I recommend starting by targeting progressive men. You can Al-Franken them.

Ann Althouse said...

@Roughcoat

Thanks for giving an actual answer.

rhhardin said...

Women's studies, see Derrida Choreographies.

https://www.philosophie.uni-wuppertal.de/fileadmin/philosophie/PDFs_allg/Seminarmaterialien/Klass/DERRIDA__Interview_Choreographies.pdf

Hang in through several pages at least.

Women-as-men isn't a good goal if you're a woman. It's just amusing to men, I'd add. In fact it's what makes women's studies risible.

rhhardin said...

Women not having a history is an early point, I notice.

Robt C said...

"I've only seen that 2-minute clip. Can you explain to me how that isn't bad?"

I had a friend once who said "I hate Dallas." Her daughter looked at her incredulously and said, "Mom, you've never been to Dallas!" My friend said, "I've been to the airport."

That makes about as much sense as judging a movie by a two-minute clip.

Lewis Wetzel said...

A math class can be taught by anyone. But biology dictates that a course in women's studies can only be taught by a woman?
I seem to remeber that a few years ago Althouse wrote in an offhand comment that she assumed the reason all the "studies" courses began in the 60s was because it was a way to move women and minorities to top teaching positions in a field that typically had been dominated by white men.

Ann Althouse said...

"Gladiator was a lot better when it was called "Spartacus" and was directed by Kubrick."

I've had that DVD on my shelf for a couple decades and have never been motivated even to begin to watch it.

I don't know if I've ever put up with a "sword and sandals" movie other than — when I was a child — watching "Demetrius and the Gladiators" on black-and-white television.

Browndog said...

Gladiator was a great movie. Original by today's Hollywood standards. The story line kept you engaged throughout the movie, cinematography was outstanding. The movie was entertaining. No nudity, and the violence was necessary to the story telling, not gratuitous. Similar to another great Crowe movie, Master and Commander.

Sebastian said...

The study of women and Women's Studies are different things.

John Lynch said...

Not even Ben Hur?

John Lynch said...

Master and Commander is great.

Lewis Wetzel said...

I would take a course in women's studies if they taught you how to make poisoned apples. You know, like witches do.

rhhardin said...

I rate sword movies with the same distaste that I do for women-in-bonnets movies.

Ann Althouse said...

Oh, that "Demetrius and the Gladiators" trailer was funny. "There is no past, no future, only now." Only Victor Mature can deliver a line like that and make it hilarious more than 50 years later.

mccullough said...

Gladiator was better than Titanic.

sparrow said...

I enjoyed Gladiator, but I had two minor quibbles. One was that it suffered from the small scale feel of few extras (it was one of the movies to use CGI on crowd scenes). The was especially notable in the Emperor's attendees being too few and insufficiently grand IMO. Secondly the persecution of Christians was ignored, although I believe there was scene shot that didn't make the film. Overall I really enjoyed it. It was rare example of tragedy in modern film.

Unknown said...

Has Douthat called Tipper Gore out of retirement?

Personally I enjoyed, i.e.; was entertained, by "Gladiator", and by very few movies since.

-sw

Assrat said...

I didn't like the film much, and its Best Picture nod was a "Let's give one to Scott" move.

Still, math requires understanding, "X Studies" mere scholarship, to paraphrase Heinlein.

John Lynch said...

What sparrow said. Christians are strangely absent, given the time period.

rhhardin said...

MCDONALD: You put into question the characteristic form of women's protest, namely the subordination of woman to man.

p.70

Lexington Green said...

Gladiator was awesome.

Mike said...

If studying women is so important why isn’t their a comparable Men’s Studies course? Seems like that would be fair and equitable.

MountainMan said...

I thought "Gladiator" was very entertaining. Not the greatest movie ever, it was originally made for the summer blockbuster audience. It was not at all "Oscar bait". It was surprising when it won "Best Picture" but it was at least one winner that was very popular, had a big box office, and was fun to watch, unlike much of the supposedly "important" films that seem to be the Academy favorites every year. The opening, much like the opening of "Saving Private Ryan", is a great battle scene, not using a lot of CGI (although the rest of the movie does, especially for the scenes in the Coliseum). They actually burned down an old growth forest, seems I read the Irish government was going to take it down due to disease or some other reason, so they built a full-scale battlefield, recreated Roman catapults and fighting equipment, and staged a really exciting battle. Perhaps you should actually watch the movie before passing judgement?

Also, "Master and Commander" was a great film, too. Probably the most accurate portrayal on screen ever of early 19th century naval battles. From the ending it appeared it was set up for a sequel that never got made. That was a shame, I wanted to see the conclusion of the pursuit of the French warship.

gilbar said...

the Prof says: "The study of women is obviously important"

more true than anything, Ever!

'what's the thing you look for in a woman?'
'Well, that depends on if she's walking towards me or away'

rhhardin said...

There would, of course be a certain secondariness of woman, Ischa. The man, Isch, would come first; he would be number one; he would be at the beginning. Secondariness, however, would not be that of woman or femininity, but the division between masculine and feminine. It is not feminine sexuality that would be second but only the relationship to sexual difference.

p.73

Luke Lea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

"If studying women is so important why isn’t their a comparable Men’s Studies course? Seems like that would be fair and equitable."

There are men's studies courses.

Mike said...

Their/there ack.

Rick said...

Women's Studies class is tough.

Actually it's not. The answer is whatever would best serve far left political interests completely without regard to evidence or principle.

John Lynch said...

In defense of the scene Althouse saw, the point is that Maximus is revolting against being enslaved and is refusing to entertain the crowd. His casual slaughter of his opponents isn't entertaining at all. The next scene makes that clear.

Ann Althouse said...

Wikipedia: "Men's studies, often called men and masculinities in academic settings, is an interdisciplinary academic field devoted to topics concerning men, masculinity, feminism, gender, and politics. It draws upon feminist theory in order to analyze different ideologies having to do with masculinity, and through such analysis to examine the multiple masculinities contained in the idea of masculinity itself. Men's studies also academically examine what it means to be a man in contemporary society... When pursuing masculinity studies, many scholars began explaining how masculinity is a social construction. Michael Kimmel, a prominent scholar in the field of masculinity studies, writes extensively on manhood and its definition. He does this starting with the 19th century in America, when masculinity began to be defined through proving oneself as a man. As a result, the political arena, workplace, family, and whole world was changed. This change constructed "hegemonic masculinity", or the "practice that allowed men's dominance over women to continue", or the stereotypical definition of masculinity that many think of initially. In unpacking masculinity, the construction is understood intersectionally, looking at the historical, cultural, temporal, political, and psychological ways in which the definition of masculinity is created. Because of the intersectional lens used to study masculinity, it becomes clear that there are multiple masculinities because of the various experiences that different histories, cultures, and times produce...."

John Lynch said...

So it's just like Women's studies.

Luke Lea said...

So Ann is defending Women's Studies as a standard academic discipline in our colleges and universities, right up there with history, literature, and philosophy? It would be fun to see a dialog between her and Jordan Peterson Bloggingheads.tv style on the topic: https://youtu.be/PfH8IG7Awk0?t=17s

Personally I would much rather see Women's Studies integrated into the regular history curriculum along with all the other "Studies" programs. But then I would say the same thing about geography, anthropology, and even literature and philosophy, at the introductory level. The liberal arts curriculum in our colleges and universities today looks to me to be a mess.

John Lynch said...

It's fine to have "Studies" classes. It's not fine for them to take over academia as the governing philosophy.

Annie C said...

It draws upon feminist theory in order to analyze different ideologies having to do with masculinity,..

Um, yeah.

Ann Althouse said...

"unpacking masculinity"

I love that phrase.

It's like something from "Topics with Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter."

rhhardin said...

I proposed, long ago, as a joke, a women's history month, well before it existed.

Women have the same history as men, was the idea making it a joke.

Rick said...

There are men's studies courses.

Yes, much like there are White Studies courses. But while all other gender and race studies courses are hagiographies of their subjects the men and whiteness courses are attacks.

This is academia's version of balance: you can take a Women's Studies course to learn how every problem is caused by men or you can take a Men's Studies course to learn how every problem is caused by men.

Ann Althouse said...

I recommend episode 7: "Gender."

sparrow said...

The proper study is anthropology or history: ie humans beings in total. Any narrow "studies" program of people that splits men from women is artificial and myopic. Men and women jointly create society. So looking at one without the other, or more likely blaming one sex for the worlds ills, is like looking at engines while ignoring transmissions in the study of automobiles.

rhhardin said...

A woman's femininity is among the items in her purse, if you're unpacking it.

Andy Krause said...

All this worrying about subordinating women? Sounds like Althouse has a secret yearning.

Ann Althouse said...

"Yes, much like there are White Studies courses. But while all other gender and race studies courses are hagiographies of their subjects the men and whiteness courses are attacks. This is academia's version of balance: you can take a Women's Studies course to learn how every problem is caused by men or you can take a Men's Studies course to learn how every problem is caused by men."

Again, you are assuming a bad course in a particular area of study and, based on that, assuming the subject matter could only produce a bad course and must be not even a real subject of academic inquiry. You're taking an intellectual shortcut that I will not tolerate in my class or my class will be a bad class. You must apply yourself to researching and thinking deeply about what can be understood about masculinity, the role of men in history and society, and the biological aspect of maleness. It's a great subject. That no one is great enough in the subject doesn't make it a bad subject!

rhhardin said...

There's the subordination of crazy people to worry about too, to the extent it differs from the subordination of women.

Kristian Holvoet said...

Just have angry, righteous women go public about the pornography habits various famous men and demand that they be fired from their jobs. I'm sure there are some members of Congress who can be Al-Frankened over porn.

Thank goodness there isn't a huge company with leftist SJW bias that has 90% of internet search history to data mine to blackmail conservatives... err ...

Hmm, GOPe, SCOTUS Roberts, half-assed GOP candidates last election start to make more sense, don't they?

John Lynch said...

But all the courses are bad! That's the problem. I've taken them. It's not what Althouse seems to think. I'd happily take a course in Women's, or Men's, or Gender Studies taught by Althouse or someone like her. That's not what happens.

It's like saying "TRUE Communism isn't like that."

bagoh20 said...

Women's studies / men's studies - It's all cisgender fascism on campus.

rhhardin said...

Women analyze the social construction of gender differently from men.

A circle forms, to be resolved by crying and slamming of doors.

Ann Althouse said...

I do understand the fear that a men's studies course — like a whiteness studies course — faces terrible risk of being viewed as male supremacy or white supremacy (if it does not take a predetermined negative attitude). But that only explains why there are usually only women's studies courses, because people feel that women have been subordinated (and no one dares say anything that risk being understood as a statement that women are subordinate). There's no danger of being accused of supremacy... except to the extent that women's studies people get accused of racial privilege.

sparrow said...

Men and women have strong influences on each other: you cannot reasonably expect to study one in isolation from the other. The sexes have co-evolved and are deeply linked. Without comparison and contrast you can not approach the subject in it's real world context.

chickelit said...

I watched Olympic snowboarding the past 2 nights. All I can say is that the “ladies” snowboarding looks no where near as challenging as the mens’. Lack of risk taking in my armchair opinion.

rhhardin said...

What you're after is a good reading of sexual difference, which is a literary exercise.

Read people who have noticed things that you hadn't noticed.

Michael K said...

"Gladiator" was a terrific movie. Too bad you didn't get it it but different strokes, and all that.

The new Clint Eastwood movie is very good too.

MikeR said...

"You don't have to actually ban pornography." Actually, you do. All us men (men are the ones who use porn) know that if we are caught by our wives, we will suffer greatly as a result. Men do it anyhow, because it is a whole lot safer and a whole lot less immoral than cheating on our wives, and our sexual drives are powerful enough for us to swallow the risk and hope it doesn't happen today. The whole _point_ of the internet was that it made it easy to get porn.

Robert said...

The first ten minutes of Gladiator in which a legion takes on a band of Germans are superb

rhhardin said...

Wm. Kerrigan:

We are men and women. It almost always matters which we are. Men and women are aggressive. Their regard for each other is clouded by grudges, suspicions, fears, needs, desires, and narcississtic postures. There's no scrubbing them out. The best you can hope for is domestication, as in football, rock, humor, happy marriage, and a good prose style. Jokes trade on offensiveness; PC is not a funny dialect. The unconscious is a joker, a sexist and aggressive creature. Our sexuality has always been scandalous.

Michael K said...

"Perhaps you should actually watch the movie before passing judgement?"

Nah. That would not be "Woke."

Bob Boyd said...

"I've only seen that 2-minute clip. Can you explain to me how that isn't bad?"

There is some context. If I remember right, the reason the other gladiators just stand there and don't work together is because they are terrified. They're dressed in scary looking armor for the show, but underneath they are just captives, forced into the arena with minimal training and no fighting experience to die for audience. The Russell Crowe character has, at that point in the story, built up a fearsome reputation in the arena. On top of that, he is the veteran of many battles, a former Roman soldier, a general, and has killed in battle and the arena many times at that point. That's why they they pitted him against numerous opponents, to make it look like a challenge, but it's a show.
And that is why Crowe's character is so contemptuous of the whole thing. He knows there is no honor in it, but he has no choice. He knows the other guys are going to be easy for him to kill.
Like the glamour of Hollywood, it is all just a show, one in which actual human lives have no value to the people making money from it beyond their ability to draw an audience.

chickelit said...

My wife was curious about why almost every lady snowboarder had two symmetric strands of hair visible and hanging out. Is it a some woke symbol?

Michael K said...

"All us men (men are the ones who use porn)"

Men watch porn while women read it. Hence "50 Shades of Gray."

sparrow said...

The danger (and reality I'd argue) in a Women's studies courses is that it becomes insular as well as a hostile environment to men in the classroom. Also on College Campuses women are the clear majority and hold tremendous power over men: witness how easily men are accused of sexual misconduct. These courses become studies in power acquisition and the weaponization of victim status.

I can't imagine any sane manager hiring someone with that degree.

Sally327 said...

"I watched Olympic snowboarding the past 2 nights. All I can say is that the “ladies” snowboarding looks no where near as challenging as the mens’. Lack of risk taking in my armchair opinion."

The women were competing in a dangerous, high wind situation which caused them to reduce their more involved routines although most of them ended up falling anyway. The men didn't have the same issue, just coincidental not because anyone was scheming to make the women subordinated to the male competitors (although some probably think otherwise!)

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

“Blogger rhhardin said...
Women's Studies class is tough.

That's way wrong on the guys' reaction. It's women's studies class is laughable.”

Yes. And even the wokest dudes tell each other that when there’s no chicks around. The rocks upon which feminism will forever batter itself.

And Gladiator did suck. I lost interest the minute he goes out in the arena and not a single fucking person says, “Holy shit, is that Maximus? What’s he doing here?”.

Big Mike said...

Right. Transport us into a utopia where there's no subordination of women and then we won't need to understand it and can concentrate on math and science. But that magical thinking — poof: Utopia! — is ironically not scientific.

You’re already there, dummy. Well, 90% - 95% because there are pockets of religious cults here and there where women are expected to know their place and stay in it. Muslims who seek to adhere to Sharia, Hasidic Jews, the late, lamented (and lamentable) Branch Davidsons, some strange offshoots of the Mormon Church that still practice polygamy. I know that in my old corporation if you were good at engineering or could write good code there was no job barred to you. None. But the expectations are pretty much the same for women as for men: be good at your job.

Was it different 20 years ago? Yes. But that was then, this is now. If you want to keep fighting battles your side won decades ago then you are voluntarily making yourself irrelevant.

Welcome to the United States in the 21st century. Do try to live in it.

Rick said...

You're taking an intellectual shortcut that I will not tolerate in my class or my class will be a bad class.

Did you teach what the law could be or what it is? I'm describing reality.

It's a great subject. That no one is great enough in the subject doesn't make it a bad subject!

Your theoretical subject may be great, but that isn't what is taught. Your idea that we shouldn't focus on what exists because the "correct" focus is something else is not useful to someone primarily interested in how people come to hold their beliefs.

rightguy2 said...

It's ironic that Harvey Weinstein made some good movies. Much better than standard Hollywood fare.

Lewis Wetzel said...

My masculinity isn't unpacked, it is unzipped.
" Michael Kimmel, a prominent scholar in the field of masculinity studies, writes extensively on manhood and its definition. He does this starting with the 19th century in America, when masculinity began to be defined through proving oneself as a man."
This is Bunkum. Homer composed the Odyssey and the Iliad in the 8 century BC. All Homer's dudes cared about is proving their manliness.
How can any serious scholar believe that masculine attributes are a social construct? Achilles and Patroclus may have been lovers, but they still went to war so they could kill other men and rape their women.

Michael K said...

The Manchester aArt Gallery is now "Woke."

Patrick Henry was right! said...


"The words "Ridley" and "Scott" on the back of the director's chair are no guarantee of quality. There are a handful of unalloyed masterpieces, among them Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982), but then look at GI Jane (1997) and Hannibal (2001), films best described as risible and execrable.

Amazingly, sandwiched between these last two is a work that sits easily among Scott's best. The magnificent Gladiator is a sprawling, enthralling Roman orgy of blood, passion, betrayal and revenge. It is monumental movie-making: visually thrilling, technically astonishing, and emotionally engaging.

The cinematography, whether depicting the bone-crunching, flesh-tearing horrors of battle or the imperial decadence of second-century Rome, is outstanding (anachronistic, computer-generated "helicopter" shot of the Colosseum included). But the key to Gladiator's greatness is Russell Crowe's career-best performance in the lead role.

AS Maximus Decimus Meridius, he is required to combine the courage of the empire's finest soldier with political astuteness and the heart-warming sensitivity of a devoted family man; and he does so brilliantly, often with little more than a fixed, laser stare or a barely intelligible growl. He is simply mesmerizing.

Maximus's troubles begin after he has conquered the rebellious tribes of Germania and learns that Caesar (Richard Harris) has chosen him as his successor. When Caesar's son, the whingeing wimp Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), finds out, he grabs power for himself with breathtaking brutality. Maximus flees but is sold into slavery, ending up as a gladiator in Rome, where eventually he confronts the snivelling architect of his misfortunes in the arena.

It's an epic tale - most of it pure fiction - eloquently told. But, though the film bagged five Oscars, including best picture and best actor, its endlessly quotable script ("At my signal, unleash hell"; "What we do in life echoes in eternity") was mystifyingly overlooked."

Marc Lee The Telegraph review

Also, Russell Crowe, Richard Harris, Connie Neilson, Oliver Reed and Joaquin Phoenix - all directed by Ridley Scott.

Five Oscars, including best picture.

Of course, you could instead judge it by a 10 minute clip or a NY Times review.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Blogger sparrow said...
I can't imagine any sane manager hiring someone with that degree.

Please welcome your new head of Human Resources . . .

Big Mike said...

Oh, and I liked “Gladiator,” but the notion that a former Roman general would submit to being a slave seems far-fetched, as well as the notion that you’d kill off your generals and their families when the battles were over — who would then accept the job of leading your armies next time you needed someone to fight off a barbarian invasion?

Lewis Wetzel said...

Blogger Michael K said...
The Manchester Art Gallery is now "Woke."

More obsession with the male gaze.

Not Sure said...

"I do understand the fear that a men's studies course — like a whiteness studies course — faces terrible risk of being viewed as male supremacy or white supremacy (if it does not take a predetermined negative attitude)."

You can have your choice of flavors. Woke Men's Studies for an official-looking diploma, or
Bro Studies, for the pure satisfaction of learning.

Professional lady said...

Those of you that liked "Gladiator" should go to Rome and see the Coliseum if you can. It's impossible to be there and not imagine yourself standing in the middle of the arena with the crowd roaring and waiting for them to release the lions.

Roughcoat said...

I was an English Lit major in a time before women's studies and, for that matter, before postmodern critical theory had poisoned the study of literature. So I can't speak to the issue of women's studies -- I really have no direct knowledge of it. But I can tell you that the study of literature in my day was almost terribly debased, even before deconstruction made its hideous advent in the humanities. All my English Lit professors seemed to hate literature, hate the Western canon, hate Western Civilization. Several were admitted Marxists; all were leftists. My college education was a bad joke. Everything of value I learned in school, I learned in my very excellent high school, which was really quite rigorous and classically oriented in terms of what was taught and how it was taught. I would have done better doing to a trade school instead of a liberal arts university.

Ann Althouse said...

"Not even Ben Hur?"

No.

William said...

I've been watching Babylon Berlin. It's a German tv series about Berlin, just before Hitler. There's a fair amount of nudity but I think they try to be fair by distributing it equally among the male and female characters. One of the male characters is overweight, and you don't particularly want to see him naked, but it happens. Another milestone for women's liberation.

chickelit said...

Mens’ and ladies figure skating are actually quite different as well. Take pair skating, for example. Men seem to do all the heavy lifting. Imagine what we’d see if same sex pair skating were allowed.

Patrick Henry was right! said...

Big Mike said - Oh, and I liked “Gladiator,” but the notion that a former Roman general would submit to being a slave seems far-fetched, as well as the notion that you’d kill off your generals and their families when the battles were over — who would then accept the job of leading your armies next time you needed someone to fight off a barbarian invasion?

But that's what all coup's are like. There are always new Generals and Commanders. Commodus ordered Maximus killed as the main act of his coup against his father, whom he murdered.

Big Mike said...

OTOH, if you want to go back to the 1950s by banning (trying to ban) porn, you could also re-institute Jim Crow laws and make homosexuality illegal. And poodle skirts! Gotta have poodle skirts!

Just sayin'

narciso said...

The portrait of commodis is perhaps overdrawn, he was in power for 15 uears


http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/73*.html

Rusty said...



Blogger Ann Althouse said...
"If studying women is so important why isn’t their a comparable Men’s Studies course? Seems like that would be fair and equitable."

"There are men's studies courses."

You have got to be shitting me.

"Gladiator" was ok but it was no "Troy"

pdug said...

a Philadelphia DA lost his job and is in jail now because a porn controversy led to scrutiny and discoveries of misuse of funds and bribery.

chickelit said...

Not even “ I, Claudius”?

Caligula said...

"Mathematics is an actual discipline. Women's Studies (or any of the "Studies") is not."

A basic difference between the two is, the starting point in Women's Studies is the set of answers, whereas with math the starting point is the problem set.

It's just hard to get the answers wrong when one starts with the answers.

Big Mike said...

@Patrick Henry, I had forgotten that Maximus had -- in the movie -- been designated as the heir to the throne. Still, once he survived the assassination attempt, Maximus would have gathered up his legions and marched south, along the lines of Vespasian.

Ann Althouse said...

""You don't have to actually ban pornography." Actually, you do. All us men (men are the ones who use porn) know that if we are caught by our wives, we will suffer greatly as a result. Men do it anyhow, because it is a whole lot safer and a whole lot less immoral than cheating on our wives, and our sexual drives are powerful enough for us to swallow the risk and hope it doesn't happen today. The whole _point_ of the internet was that it made it easy to get porn."

All??

First, there are plenty of men whose wives accept their enjoyment of porn. Some wives even like it themselves.

Second, if you are lying to your wife and hiding things from her, you are wronging her, and the fact that you could wrong her even more by actually cheating on her with another human being isn't a very good answer. You seem to be suggesting that you'd argue to your wife, if she caught you with porn when you assured her you weren't that kind of guy, that your alternative was to go out and have sex outside of the marriage. What a ludicrous scene! But that's your plan? Good luck!

Third, I question whether viewing porn is really an alternative to having sex with somebody other than your spouse. What you seek in another person is emotional: it could be admiration and love or a feeling of conquest or domination, but it's something emotional that has to do with a living, real human being. You never get that from looking at videos!

SF said...

@MountainMan, "Master and Commander" is based on stuff taken from a fantastic 20 book series. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aubrey%E2%80%93Maturin_series

rhhardin said...

Third, I question whether viewing porn is really an alternative to having sex with somebody other than your spouse. What you seek in another person is emotional: it could be admiration and love or a feeling of conquest or domination, but it's something emotional that has to do with a living, real human being. You never get that from looking at videos!

Male sexual interest is simpler than that.

You can look at your pussy and not see what's attractive about it, but men are wired to be interested. You don't have to understand it, just believe it.

Since any pussy will do, you want other stuff in a relatinship too, but that's not from porn.

narciso said...

From the Cassius link you can see commodis was eventually replaced,

Fabi said...

Gladiator is a pitiful movie, but I'd still like to be considered a "lunkhead".

Ann Althouse said...

"But all the courses are bad! That's the problem. I've taken them. It's not what Althouse seems to think. I'd happily take a course in Women's, or Men's, or Gender Studies taught by Althouse or someone like her. That's not what happens. It's like saying "TRUE Communism isn't like that."

But communism is a system that's imposed on people and there's a lot of evidence that it's so unlikely to work out well that we should quit hoping for a better result. Yet it's still a subject that we study and teach at a scholarly level.

Gender roles and relationships are something that exist and are part of history and culture. It's not something that people devised and had to impose on whole societies. It's an unavoidable part of the world we live in. Why would you avoid studying it??

Again, you're saying that you think the people who study and teach it have always done a bad job and there's little hope anyone will start to do worthwhile intellectual work in the future. I think that's overstated but I'm not writing these comments to disagree with that proposition. I'll assume for the sake of argument that you are right.

I am simply saying that it is a worth area of study. The Ken doll truthfully says: Women's Studies class is tough. It may be so tough that no one can do it at all well — not the students or the teachers. I support your decision not to take the courses that exist today, and I oppose making it a required course. But I stick by everything I've been saying.

Please notice where you disagree with what I'm actually saying and don't argue with a straw man (or as we say in Canada, a straw person).

Sydney said...

I watched Saturday Night Fever last night and there is a lot of dialogue that would not make it in today's movies. I have a feeling the way women were treated in that movie wouldn't make it, either, but if you look hard enough you can see a moral to the story about that. At least two of the characters understand that what goes on in the backseat of their car is wrong.

narciso said...

You could chop off a good half hour, but unlike troy you can watch it more often.

So maximus is a Spaniard to say a celt so it wasn't terribly likely he would succeed to the throne

rhhardin said...

Gender roles and relationships are something that exist and are part of history and culture. It's not something that people devised and had to impose on whole societies. It's an unavoidable part of the world we live in. Why would you avoid studying it??

It's studied all over the place. Just badly in the form of a science, well in the form of literature.

rhhardin said...

What is the truth about women can't be discovered. Truth is a woman.

Leland said...

Gladiator has a listed run time of 2 hours 35 min; and it seems, Ann, you are judging the entire movie on a 2 min 15 second clip.

Can we judge a semester of Women Studies on a single hour of classwork?

I'm not saying Gladiator or Women Studies is good or not, but it seems rich to call people names for saying one is good; and then call others name for saying the other is bad.

If you just want to call people names, just do so. Don't wrap it in a secondary topic.

As for what I thought of the overall topic; I think its a puritanical discussion. But if you want to talk about Hollywood fear of serving up sex, compare the first NC-17 movie "Showgirls" with what we get today. I've never seen "Showgirls", but I just watched a Screen Junkies Honest Trailer of it. It looks like crap from that video, but for the actress; she thought it would help show her depth of acting, which it did but not the positive way she hoped.

rhhardin said...

Start with that in Women's Studies and you'd have something.

narciso said...

Because the theory behind it, is no scientific and ahistorical.

Ann Althouse said...

"I watched Olympic snowboarding the past 2 nights. All I can say is that the “ladies” snowboarding looks no where near as challenging as the mens’. Lack of risk taking in my armchair opinion."

And notice that the boy who is best at it is precisely the boy who would be least successful getting a girlfriend by just going up to her and engaging her in conversation.

rhhardin said...

(Almost like the girl who has just said yes to the lover who begged her, so many weeks, and she brings him astonished to the garden gate and, reluctant, he walks away, giddy with joy; and then, amid this new parting, a step disturbs her; she waits; and her glance in its fullness sinks totally into a stranger's: her virgin glance that endlessly comprehends him, the outsider, who was meant for her; the wandering other, who eternally was meant for her. Echoing, he walks by.) That is how, always, you lost: never as one who possesses, but like someone dying who, bending into the moist breeze of an evening in March, loses the springtime, alas, in the throats of the birds.

Rilke

Read it as truth is a woman.

Ann Althouse said...

The women were competing in a dangerous, high wind situation which caused them to reduce their more involved routines although most of them ended up falling anyway. The men didn't have the same issue, just coincidental not because anyone was scheming to make the women subordinated to the male competitors (although some probably think otherwise!)"

It was Nature scheming against us as usual.

pdug said...

Obscenity is eminently bannable and almost all porn these days is obscene.

The Clinton administration under Reno stopped prosecuting porn producers for obscenity even though they wont their cases almost all the time

Frontline had a whole documentary on this.

Lewis Wetzel said...

(or as we say in Canada, a straw person).
I think that there would be a lot of overlap between a class in women's studies and a class in Canadian studies (if you leave out the hockey part).

Rick Turley said...

If you face a long daily commute and listen to podcasts, you could do worse than spend it listening to "The History of Rome" podcast by Mike Duncan. Just in depth enough not to make it a slog and each episode about 25 minutes. Up to episode 90 out of 179, right after Hadrian and just before Marcus Aurelius.

Dave said...

I would not let my son take a women's studies class nor any other class at a university. The problem is that the worst bullies are college professors and administrators. They are horrible people who routinely mistreat students.

rhhardin said...

Truth has too many left-brain right-brain connections to be stable.

chickelit said...

"the boy who would be least successful getting a girlfriend by just going up to her and engaging her in conversation."

Presumptuous at best. Plus women -- even older and experienced ones -- will throw themselves at him now. Every boy's fantasy.

Paul Zrimsek said...

It was also possible to figure out how not to get arrested by the OGPU. It would be odd to conclude that those who were had no reason to complain.

rhhardin said...

Math cuts left-brain right-brain connections. Abstraction from everything.

Unknown said...

I love me some Gladiator, and I don't care who knows it. Also, a big thumbs-up for Mike Duncan's "History of Rome" podcast. His "Revolutions" cast is great too.

rhhardin said...

Loose hair gives them a wind direction indicator.

A glider I flew had a string tied to a pitot tube mounted ahead of the cockpit.

One of the instructors held the string straight up and asked (in German) what it means when it stands like this.

MadisonMan said...

"Not even Ben Hur?"


That was my exact reaction too!

No.

Wow! How about The Ten Commandments?

I didn't see Gladiator. The clip doesn't make me want to watch it either.

Ann Althouse said...

"Mens’ and ladies figure skating are actually quite different as well. Take pair skating, for example. Men seem to do all the heavy lifting. Imagine what we’d see if same sex pair skating were allowed."

I know. I was saying as we watched pairs skating last night, "This is so heavily gendered. What's a non-binary skater supposed to do?"

But I loathe when the pairs have a huge man with a very small woman. I think there should be a requirement that they 2 be more equal in size (or only as different as a brother and sister). They don't look like plausible couples — though I know there are small women who want very tall men (as if sex is better when she's looking at his chest and he's looking at a pillow). There's all this emphasis on symmetry, so it will look more symmetrical if they are closer in size. I'd also like to see them dressed alike, preferably in black leotards.

I would love to see 2 men doing pairs skating together. 2 women, however... how could it be done? Just a lot of side-by-side stuff. Or, actually, I guess all same-sex pairs skating would involve that big size difference that I hate.

Lewis Wetzel said...

It would be cool to have a course in women's studies that painted nature, and not men, as the oppressor.
"It sucks. Every month I start bleeding. Don't even have to cut myself! At least it will stop when my womb becomes a lifeless husk."

Ann Althouse said...

"It would be fun to see a dialog between her and Jordan Peterson Bloggingheads.tv style on the topic...."

I can't picture that. Not sure what I'd want to fight with him about, but I'm sure my style would pair badly with his.

Bob Boyd said...

"Imagine what we’d see if same sex pair skating were allowed."

Somebody already did. Have you seen Blades of Glory? It's hilarious.

rhhardin said...

I don't care for Peterson, but he's a psychologist and could probably find something to talk about with Althouse pretty easily, no matter what topic Althouse chooses.

MountainMan said...

"I didn't see Gladiator. The clip doesn't make me want to watch it either."

That's because it is out of context. If you had seen all that had transpired in the movie up to that point, it makes sense. Someone up above gave a nice summary of that. A nice review from the Guardian as well.

rhhardin said...

$ Hello, I am Eliza.
* Not sure what I'd want to fight with him about, but I'm sure my style would pair badly with his.
$ Do you believe it is normal to be sure your style would pair badly with his?

Birkel said...

Women's Studies is great. It takes the concept of comparative advantage, strips out all the mathematics and economic theory, and decides that women have been subjugated.

Marxism is fun for Xim and Xer.

Ann Althouse said...

"Wow! How about The Ten Commandments?"

I may have seen part of that. (What part? The parting part.) I consider the Bible stories different from the "sword and sandal" genre. I've seen a few of the movies about Jesus.

mockturtle said...

Tank exclaims: Saw some of the skating last night. The women were awful, or is it just my cranky old man memory that tells me Hamill, Witt and Lipinsky were much better?

No way! Alina Zagotiva is absolutely the best skater I've ever seen and she is only 15!
And Medvedveda is nearly as good. The men were second-rate by comparison although the Chinese and Japanese men didn't skate last night and they are the best.

autothreads said...

Right. Transport us into a utopia where there's no subordination of women

94%

What's that?

The percentage of on-the-job fatalities in the U.S. that are men.

Just which group is treated as subordinate and disposable?

tcrosse said...

I can't picture that. Not sure what I'd want to fight with him about, but I'm sure my style would pair badly with his.


OTOH Peterson and Paglia pair very well indeed.

SeanF said...

The Cracker Emcee Activist: And Gladiator did suck. I lost interest the minute he goes out in the arena and not a single fucking person says, “Holy shit, is that Maximus? What’s he doing here?”.

They didn't have cameras and social media, you know. Why would you expect the common people of some shithole province to recognize a particular Roman general?

mockturtle said...

Right. Transport us into a utopia where there's no subordination of women and then we won't need to understand it and can concentrate on math and science. But that magical thinking — poof: Utopia! — is ironically not scientific.

You can't be serious. No, you must be pulling our collective leg. Are you implying that women haven't been able to concentrate on math and science because they are being subordinated? This may be the silliest thing you've ever written here.

Francisco D said...

Re: Gladiator

Good fiction (written or cinematic) involves the willing suspension of disbelief.

Revenge movies such as Gladiator make it easier to suspend disbelief and enjoy the movie.

Do people who hate Gladiator also hate Forrest Gump? That took a lot more suspension of disbelief.

Darkisland said...

"Women's studies is tough"

Compared to what?

The problem with most people who talk about how hard they had to work in college is that they have nothing to compare it against.

I hear teachers complain about how they had to work hard in Ed school either as an undergrad or in a graduate program.

Bullshit.

I have a Masters of Science from Southern New Hampshire University. I also, later taught in the same program.

I also have an MBA (Industrial Management and HR Management) from another school. I taught in SNHU's MBA program for 30 years as well as a few undergrad courses.

The Ed program was pretty much work free. Also pretty much content free. (But my clients do seem to like the credential!)

I would challenge any teachers who want to complain about how hard they had to work to get an ed degree to try a real program.

Math IS hard. Women's studies doesn't seem to be.

John Henry

Jay Elink said...

Ann, go over to the UK's Sun newspaper website and look at the sidebar.

It's all T & A, and squibs about Starlet so-and-so and her new boyfriend.

Seems to me the main audience for all that fluff is...women. After all, who else follows the Kardashians??

Face it: Women subordinate....themselves.

rhhardin said...

Comparative advantage puts some people in jobs they're not best at. Competitive advantage puts people in jobs they're best at.

The economics department secretary delivers papers to the dean even though the head of the economics department walks faster than the secretary. Comparative advantage.

Ann Althouse said...

"Gladiator has a listed run time of 2 hours 35 min; and it seems, Ann, you are judging the entire movie on a 2 min 15 second clip."

You can't possibly see every movie. You have to look at parts to decide if you want to spend your time with it. Once you've watched it, you've given them what they wanted out of you. You could say just decide not to see it but shut up, no opinions allowed until you've seen the whole thing. This is a subject I've talked about a number of times on this blog, including a big fight with some prominent blogger -- I forget who -- when I disrespected the "King Kong" movie that came out in '05.

Yeah, here.

buwaya said...

Gladiator is a sort of visual opera, with spectacle and violence taking the place of a grand aria. A lot of movies are like this, Spartacus is one, Seven Samurai another, the Wild Bunch (and most of Peckinpah), Jaws, etc.
The stage-theatrical dialogue bits are inserted between the spectacles.
Much like the ancient Roman games in fact. A bit of theater, a bit of comic relief, and then back to the spectacle of blood.
Like opera this sort of movie does not need to be impeccably tied together by logic nor does it have to be historically plausible. Though Gladiator isn't that bad historically. Everything in it did happen, in broad strokes or to the best of our knowledge. Even the most bizarre bits of the goings-on in the Colosseum actually don't do justice to many reliable accounts.
The Roman games also, usually, ran to historical themes, about ancient or contemporary wars, or legends. About as accurately as Hollywood.

Ann Althouse said...

"Presumptuous at best. Plus women -- even older and experienced ones -- will throw themselves at him now."

Yeah, that's my point... now...

He had to take big risks -- feats of strength -- because he's a 5'5", 117 pound, gnomish-looking guy.

By contrast, take someone who looks like Rob Porter, and he's treated in such a way that he assumes all the women are his.

It's distorting, either way. Some good and some bad may come of it.

buwaya said...

Btw, the new "Dunkirk" is also such a visual opera.

rhhardin said...

Both Peterson and Paglia are enemies of postmodernism, so they're going to agree.

They also are unable to read postmodernism. To take Derrida is a trickster is a complete inability to comprehend.

There's academic postmodernism, where the analysis is always of a system that's hated.

Derrida analyzes systems he likes. Therefrom thousands of insights.

Ann Althouse said...

"What is the truth about women can't be discovered. Truth is a woman."

A line only Victor Mature could deliver.

Birkel said...

Non binary?

You mean people with different chromosomes? People who are neither XX nor XY?

I'm willing to have separate events for those people but they will have to prove they are XXY.

Darkisland said...

In 1967 I was a lonely boot on 12 hour Liberty from Great Lakes. I walked around Chicago. Saw the Picasso horse, had a steak dinner at Tads (not bad for $1.29) then wound up at the USO.

Joan Rivers was about 6 month's pregnant with Melissa and put on a full show for a bunch of lonely sailors. After she came down and talked to us. It was probably what Susie in Mrs Maisel would call a "shit gig" but you would not have known it from Ms Rivers. I expect she didn't get paid anything for the gig either.

As a comedian I could always take her or leave her. But for what she did that night I've had a warm spot for her ever since.

John Henry

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