The last few episodes of Boston Legal have had me chuckling to myself as I watch the blond-haired, blue-eyed super-hero Brad Chase bumble around in proof (IMHO, at least) that men who have been gifted by the patriarchy are in some part disadvantaged by the patriarchy in their ability to hold their own against Bad Stuff when Bad Stuff comes knocking on the door.
I’ve known plenty of people who’ve had crappy lives and gone through crappy times and come through it, willing to face anything else the world had to throw at them because they knew they could handle it. I admired them because their crappy lives had taught them lessons in crappiness and humility, compassion and hard work, and they’d learned well..
Which was more then can be said for Brad. A self -confessed “˜good-looking lawyer, ex-marine, the whole package’, he is oddly self-assured and pathologically self-conscious of sexuality. He dates a woman who openly talks about her vagina, enough that he gets scared. He confides in a female colleague, and can only refer to it as “˜her thing‘. I was chuckling at his inability to deal with her – and ultimately his – sexuality. Here was – by his own admittance – a highly desirable guy, a man who’s position in life should have assured him of all the self-assuredness the Patriarchy had to offer, but a man who scurries away at the word “˜vagina’.
In the next episode, he’s been dumped for being a “˜lousy kisser’. Turns out he “˜inserts and swishes around’ and hates to feel a woman’s tongue in his mouth, to the point of blocking it with his teeth.
To me, Brad is a man who loves sex, but is too controlling to be able to really let loose, to get to that point where they’re having too much fun to give a crap what the rest of the world is doing. And that, ultimately, is their loss. Not just in sex, but in life. If I’d thrown in the towel everytime I looked stupid, I’d have lived a poor life indeed – about as poor as Brad’s.
Untilmately, for all his materiel worth, Brad is a poor man, because he’s been raised to (subconsciously) believe to Patriarchy will provide him with everything. And when the Patriarchy fails him, he’s a turtle on his back, because, for all its promise of Whatever, the Patriarchy has denied him the right to Fight Like Hell To Survive.
And that’s why I feel sorry for such men. And I’ve come across plenty of such men. They have plenty of bravado, and no hustle. Untilmately, I feel pity for people who don’t have money and power that they’ve hustled for themselves.