Last night, Bill Maher closed the show with a funny but fascinating and maybe poignant monologue. Masculinity, sports, the military, and guns, but I’m particularly interested in his take on why so many males are behaving and feeling irrelevant.
( moviemash )
While popular culture continues to tell us woman are oppressed it is males I see floundering with their roles and sexual identity. Now I’m not disregarding horrors like rape or domestic violence, nor issues like equity or fair pay but I believe that gender bias is largely a myth driven by media embedded too deep in a politically greedy white male Washington DC. In my world, the only place women are under represented is political office. From my armchair, I see a culture of men ( and boys ) quite unwell and acting out with dysfunctional behaviour and following questionable values. Bill Maher is an entertainer but his monologue raises some questions about many of my male counterparts.
And finally, New Rule: America needs to show it’s the home of the brave by acting like it. Did you know that the defense budget of the United States is bigger than the defense budgets of the next 13 countries combined? Most of whom are allies, and none of whom are enemies.
So let me ask you. If a guy on your block was so frightened of non-existent prowlers that he spent all his resources on alarm systems and guns and cameras, so much so that he didn’t even have enough money to maintain his home or send his kids to college, would you call him brave? (audience applause)
Well, tonight I’d like to take a few minutes to try and answer that question, and find out just how we became such a nation of dickless armchair warriors. Starting with the story of the football hero who last night attempted to explain himself to Katie Couric. And even after years of taking vicious hits to the head, still answered her questions better than Sarah Palin did.
But what puzzles me is not the scandal of whether he lied, but the relationship itself. Oh sure, what Manti had sounds attractive — a time-consuming virtual relationship where you get to talk endlessly with your girlfriend without those annoying breaks for sex. But doesn’t it say something about the state of our manhood, that this primal warrior never even had sex? Because his “girlfriend” only existed in fairyland.
And sadder still, why was this dumb jock such a hero to so many men in the first place? Grown ass men who were let down by him. (makes crying motion) Red-blooded American males whose mood on Saturdays is dependent on how well a 20-year-old kid tackles a 19-year-old kid. Middle-aged guys who wear replica jerseys with the name and number of their favorite boyfriend — I mean, player. Guys who get in fights with other guys in other replica jerseys over whose 20-year-old is better.
Is the relationship American men have with their sports heroes really any less weird than the one Manti had with his “girlfriend”? Guys sitting on the couch all day, watching some figures on a screen toss around a dot? You’re not a fan; you’re a cat! (audience applause)
The problem of our masculinity is apparently so acute that the pharmaceutical companies are now selling a pill to remedy a new affliction called “Low-T”, or low testosterone. The symptoms being: moodiness, a reduced sex drive, and extra hair growing around your vagina. (audience laughter)
I mean, Christ, first they invented boner pills for men who wanted to fuck but couldn’t, and now we need a pill to make you want to fuck in the first place! Yes, I think men are in trouble when you have to juice like Lance Armstrong just to get through your anniversary.
And I think it’s because a lot of men today just aren’t feeling all that… useful. They did in the days of hunter-gatherers, but in today’s society, women do the hunting and the gathering — it’s called shopping. And the men, for most of us, the most masculine thing we do all day is pee standing up.
And that’s why we wind up idolizing other men who do the masculine things we’re not doing: football players, soldiers, action stars who solve every problem with violence, tough guys who start wars for no reason, generals who conquer rag-tag armies from third world countries. These are the vessels of our outsourced masculinity.
Why do men collect guns? You know, former Georgia Senator Zell Miller once said, “I’ve got more guns than I need, but not as many as I want.” Well, the Pentagon is just Zell Miller on a larger scale with shoes on. It has more guns than it needs, but not as many as it wants.
And I know some of you out there are saying, oh, that’s some liberal bullshit right there, calling guns a replacement for testosterone. But if that’s not true, how come as a man gets older, his gun always get bigger?