Tintoretto's Temptation of Adam
An appreciative reader took the time to write, and to correct a factual mistake I made in posting Fins des siecles, for both of which I thank him. And he also had some issue with what he called my "stealth misogyny".
A couple of thoughts in response.
One is, I don't think it's so "stealth". Since a lot of this blog functions as a place for discharging my negative reactions --so I don't bore or alienate my friends with them-- I think I am pretty consistent in directly attacking certain kinds of females and female behaviors:
Phallic females who take advantage of the current feminist and reflexively anti-male Zeitgeist to compete with males by disrespectfully trashing them but expecting no pushback because they are, after all, girls.
Women who invade male space with their anger and then want to play the victim when they do get pushback.
Labile females who want to play the Big Boys' games and then collapse into helpless little girls when it suits them, expecting that they will get respect for the former and soothing for the latter.
And characters like Olivia in The Shooting Party or Monroe in The Misfits, or Taylor in Reflections in a Golden Eye, who use male vulnerability to their sexual attraction in order to act like narcissistic irresponsible children and again, expect no consequences for whatever harm they do.
Or feminists and animus-possessed women in general.
In regard to these types of characters and behaviors, I am with Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets, who writes his female characters as men, and then "removes all reason and accountability."
And I respond to the term misogyny rather as I do to racism, homophobia, or xenophobia. Regardless of the user's conscious intention, they carry a pre-packaged PC software program which is supposed to elicit a defense against the charge. I refuse to enter a plea because I don't accept the validity of the category in the first place.
All these words assume that the only acceptable moral attitude toward women, non-Whites, gays, or foreigners --all Sacred Victim Groups in liberal parlance--must be positive and that the burden of proof lies on those who are unimpressed or unfriendly in any way. I disagree. I dish out praise and blame as I see fit.
About Elizabeth Taylor's acting all I can say is that I am not alone in my estimation of her talent. Just google "Elizabeth Taylor" and "mediocre". But that is a question of taste. De gustibus. I'd rather watch a Jacqueline Bisset, Lauren Bacall, Olympia Dukakis, Juliane Moore or Julia Roberts.
And whether or not my reader can respect a man who appears to be insensible to the charms of a beautiful woman, well, what can a Kinsey Six say to that? I remember a wise old fella who defined charm as manipulation that you like. Where I sense manipulation, it is true, female beauty leaves me not only unmoved but hostile. Women, beautiful or not, who have a natural sense of self-worth and an un-game-playing warmth and frankness about them, I quite like, both when they are exuberant and when they are vulnerable. My women friends are all like this.
And again, thanks for writing.
PS. I am a pro-patriarchy type ("It's Mother Nature's way!"), which means that I think that men and male values should predominate in a society. I think that societal sexual equality is as illusory as the classless society, and I certainly don't like the dominance of women and feminist values. I actually think that this is better for most women overall, as well as for men, but many people nowadays would consider my attitude misogynist.