American Refractions
American’s Misguided Gender Missionaries

America’s eternal secular messianic temptation has now alighted on gender equality.

Appeared in: Volume 9, Number 4 | Published on: March 3, 2014
Martha Bayles teaches humanities at Boston College. This essay is drawn from her new book, Through a Screen Darkly: Popular Culture, Public Diplomacy, and America’s Image Abroad (2014), with permission of Yale University Press.
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  • Corlyss

    I’ll have to print this out for the substance, but the graphic is simply one of the best I’ve ever seen to represent the cacophonous “Blah blah blah blah . . .” Kudos to the artist!

  • Abdel Boughazi

    Every word that come out of these people’s mouths is a hoax, end of story.

  • Hard truths

    “…women in the United States are selfish, materialistic, hedonistic, disrespectful of family and community, and above all, sexually voracious.”

    Sounds about right, actually.

    • Jim__L

      Well, those are certainly normative forces in our culture these days.

      How much they affect each individual varies, of course. As for the future? Well, cultures that develop along those lines die. Look at birthrates. Cultures that don’t value reproduction are selected against. Second, there are a whole lot more people unwilling to follow those normative forces than the media would like to have us believe.

      Within 50 years, cultures that pursue vigorous feminism will sterilize themselves into irrelevance, and others will fill in where they vanish.

  • El Gringo

    John Shindler over at The XX Committee hits this issue on the head with his “Putinism and the Anti-Weird Coalition article” –

    “America has become the global revolutionary power, seeking to foist its post-modern views on the whole planet, by force if necessary…”

    It’s worth a read.

    http://20committee.com/2014/04/07/putinism-and-the-anti-weird-coalition/

  • Anthony

    The author handles a tough subject admirably (“as citizens of a nation shaped by prophetic religion and Enlightenment faith in reason…global gender agenda….”). She in her essay exemplifies “American ethos of sustaining hope while coping prudently with harsh reality.” The human context resonates in essay (though only an excerpt) more than gender distinction though author’s emphasis is definitely women and their respective cultural roles, customs, social arrangements/expectations, etc.

  • Joseph Blieu

    I think that our great Universities like say Brandeis should highlight this issue by having speakers present discussions of personal experience in gender domination by groups in the non-western world.

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