So the box office is going insane with the release of the new Wonder Woman movie! And apparently there are a number of men who are going insane for a different reason – that the movie’s premier screening was for women-only. My guess is that women wanted the opportunity to watch an empowering feel good movie depicting a strong woman character free from any snide comments from stereotypical alpha male attendees in the theater. I can’t help but to find a little humor in the fact that there is so much anger around the woman-only screening. Of course that seething anger is coming from men who have the ludicrous notion that such an event is an attack on males. I have to find humor in this because there’s no sense in getting angry over something that is not likely to go away in my lifetime. And that something is the whole paranoia that the promotion of equality for women is somehow anti-male.
Readers may question as to why this topic is relevant on my blog about the liberating feeling of secular living. Or as my fellow secular humanists say, how we’re “good without a God.” The reason is very clear. Quite honestly, I feel that at the root of this superiority complex that men have towards women is the result of patriarchal overtones in conservative religious extremism. I still remember sitting in church and hearing all of the god references being prefaced with male pronouns and wondering how girls and women must have felt knowing that their most supreme being of all beings was male. And if god is male then males are mini-gods placed here to guide, to make the rules, and to make women feel protected, right? Wrong! Because of such instances as these, I’m no longer surprised that men are put on a pedestal by some women of faith who’ve been conditioned by beliefs and practices which originated in a different time period. This form of governance was also the result of referencing the Pauline letters in the bible, obviously written in a different period and different culture, suggesting that women remain subservient, dress modestly, and basically let the men do all the talking and decision making. One glaring indication that there are patriarchal overtones in the religious world is the fact that there are still denominations to this day which forbid women to serve as ministers. And that is only one of many reasons.
I feel that the religious based belief that men are the superior gender seeps into other areas of life as well. For instance, the disrespectful treatment of race car driver Danica Patrick, the snide comments about female sports broadcasters and the anger at the very mention of a female coach in the NFL continue to perpetuate the superiority seeds planted by the patriarchy of religion. It’s so ridiculous that it’s both comical and sad at the same time. When I heard about the stereotypical alpha male population getting all worked up over the all-woman screening of the Wonder Woman movie, I wasn’t the least bit surprised. After all, we’re living in an age where this superiority complex is unfortunately being perpetuated by obnoxious acts such as the adult male who displayed his disdain for strong females by humping on a statue of a little girl on Wall Street. What I don’t understand, and probably never will, is how can someone’s masculinity be threatened by positive, empowering depictions of women? How is advocating for female actors being paid as much as their male counterparts considered to be anti-male? And as mentioned earlier in this blog, I attribute it to the conditioning of the patriarchy of religious teachings.
Years ago I saw a segment of a Chicago news program where the broadcast journalist was interviewing a famous comedian, whom I will not name.. In the interview I had cringe worthy moment when the comedian asserted that “there ain’t no more real men.” Initially I thought that being a comedian, this was a part of a punch line that he was setting up. But then I realized that he was seriously suggesting that men had lost their dominance and had been reduced to a softened shell of what men were originally created to be. This same sentiment is shared by other people, both men and women alike who believe that men who advocate for equal rights for women and the LGBT community are somehow watered down versions of the men of yesteryear. Men who would have otherwise upheld their biblical obligations to exert dominance and superiority, not standing for any of this organized male bashing going on today where women have forgotten their place in the pecking order.
So my coping mechanism at present is to find humor in situations such as the backlash behind the women-only premiering of the Wonder Woman movie. I can’t help but to admit that I’m still saddened by the unfortunate fact that in 2017 women and LGBT people are still being discriminated against and ridiculed as a result of conservative religious teachings. But I will continue to do whatever I can to contribute to the cause with the hopes that someday they will finally experience equal treatment free from hatred and condescension. Until then, I’d love to see the Wonder Woman movie, however I don’t have a problem waiting until after the all-women screening. It will not make me feel any less masculine or any less appreciated.
Til next time, Carpe Diem