Monday, October 1, 2012

Genitalia, "Neutering," and Losing Male Privilege

You may have heard Rush Limbaugh's latest irrational rant about The Feminazis. On his show, he noted a study on male genitalia:
"'The study's leaders claim to have bona fide research that says the average size of a penis is roughly 10 percent smaller than it was 50 years ago. And the researchers say air pollution is why,' Limbaugh said.

Limbaugh said that he did not believe that air pollution and global warming could have such an impact. 'I don't buy this. I think it's feminism. I think if it's tied to the last 50 years, the average size of a member is 10 percent smaller ... it has to be the feminazis,' Limbaugh said."
This statement is really such a great symbolic confession for many men's fear of feminism and women's progress.

Relatedly, it is also no mistake, I believe, that the bloggers at that one bizarre, amateur, male-dominated "marriage defense" blog that rhymes with shmopine shmeditorials have coined their own obscure word "neutered marriage" to refer to same-sex marriage.

It's as though some men think that their penis is the one thing that separates them from women and, as such, represents the source of male distinction, dominance, and privilege for them. So, if women's progress in society is represented both by feminism and same-sex marriage's radical suggestion that men and women aren't "complementary" beings having an oxymoronic "equal hierarchical relationship" to one another and therefore marriage doesn't have to include both a leader (man) and a follower-admirer (woman), then feminism and same-sex marriage is of course, to some men, going to correlate with penis shrinkage or *gasp* all-out neutering. 

Language matters. Word choice can be very telling.

Some men are just very scared of losing their special, historical male-only affirmative action programs in society that is granted to them on the sole basis of their sex.

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