A Bull in a China Closet will Ultimately Break Something
The #MeToo Movement shook us. It forced us to consider where we are in our sexual history or moreover, where we’ll land in the aftermath of the movement’s rage. I wonder if this is what they envisioned years earlier when the phrase, ‘battle of the sexes’ burst onto the social consciousness? Time has turned that earlier catchy, fight for esteem and recognition of feelings into a modern day mandate of protection.
As a man, I wonder if all of what we’re seeing is the natural evolution of things, the developmental social life of the lothario from gradual ascent (and acceptance) to meteoric downfall. We create these guys, after all, if through no other way than by our overall indifference to their behavior. Yet for me, the sheer depth of the boldness exhibited was almost farcical in its brutal, yet childish, simplicity. It cries out for an explanation and I can’t help but wonder where the f*!k they got their ideas from. My guess is cartoons.
Yeah, I know; what does that say that some could be swayed by comedy and film to such an extent that a segment would take to predating women in the fashion we’ve seen recently? I guess it’s true what they say about man being prone to visual stimulation; and that we’re pigs. But where else could you get tutored to behave so absurdly, with such total ignorance of another’s feelings? It’s the stuff of comedy, themes we’ve seen countless times.
It starts at a young age. I remember one short scene depicting an example of true love’s beginning (cue birds tweeting...not you Mr. President). Innocent and funny, it also sold the idea that rough-housing was needed in order to possess women; something men would come to historically exhibit. Remember the caveman?
Hairy, Neanderthal, socially clueless and way before GEICO, this hominid fumbled about in his existence unsurely, that is until he spotted a female he wanted. Then, with a heart laden under hormones he understood nothing about, he tackled his first love with the same primeval learning curve he used in all his dealings in his antediluvian world; he beat her with his club and took what he wanted.
From Bluto to Snidley Whiplash, men laughed at the comic strip versions of real-life scoundrels. Funny stuff, it was the golden age of animation; producing (by today’s standards) politically incorrect, yet socially significant caricatures of people we see every day. And one of the most iconic sexual harassers from that era on celluloid was Pepe Le Pew, heralded skunk of Warner Brother’s fame.
Appearing in seventeen different cartoons between 1945 and 1962, the character, created by animator Chuck Jones, was loosely based on a fellow colleague of Jones at the Termite Terrace (old Warner Bros. studios) named Ted Pierce; a writer and self-proclaimed ladies-man who couldn’t take no for an answer. Aired originally in adult movie theaters and enjoyed by grown men, is it possible they got the wrong idea over the years? Maybe it’s no coincidence that Jones drew him as a skunk.
I think some also get their ideas from film and television. Recently, Murder, My Sweet aired. Watch the film and count the examples of men behaving badly by today’s standards. In fact, how many times have we seen the hard-broiled leading man of this or that movie force his way into a woman’s apartment, or rifle her handbag uninvitedly, or even grab her up in an unwelcome embrace and kiss and then watch her squirm in his arms until she ultimately and passionately capitulates? Class dismissed.
Banned From the China Closet
It’d almost as if some have been programmed by these images. Maybe our only recourse is to go back to the low tech drawing board, before this time of free love and open sexual expression and remember what it means to “make love”, you know, beg. Seriously, back to a time when men opened doors for women, instead of using hidden buttons to lock them.
This is how bad we’ve gotten; we think a masher is a comedic figure in today’s sexually permissive society; and one who just might, under the right circumstances, get the girl. Geraldo kind of had it right with his claim that women are “criminalizing courtship”. Except the operative word in the sentence is criminalizing and not courtship.
Women aren’t criminalizing anything but rather are changing everything-rewriting the book of love-and telling us that what some consider courtship is nothing more than mashing and mashing is and has always been, illegal. So, for the women who like their bad boys, I say this: consider the china closet and the bull. Remember that a bull in the china closet is bound to break something sooner or later and metaphors aside, never forget who the china closet is.
Pepe Le Pew image - By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46312792