Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Run Of The Mills

At some point I'd think someone in the mainstream press - which always seems ready to hype any example of "girl power" - would take on this issue:

After the Paul McCartney/Heather Mills divorce, the judge said the former Miss McCartney was "less than candid", engaged in "make believe", and was "her own worst enemy". Now, many people have told me it's unfair to generalize about "women", saying my charges should always be labeled "some women", and, to an extent, I agree. But how many times can the charge of delusion be laid at the feet of a woman, once she's in the public eye, before someone can tackle it, as a female trait, and one worth investigating and commenting on?

It was Steve Salerno, an extremely fair-minded and generous fellow, as well as the author of SHAM: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless, who I first heard posit that bogus NewAge/Self-Help ideas are spread virally, and primarily, by women. And while we can all point to men engaged in such nonsense - Tom Cruise, John Travolta, John Gray, and others come to mind - I don't think it's unfair to say they're exceptions to the way males generally behave or how they think.

On the other hand, is it possible to be surprised anymore when one hears of yet another famous woman joining the parade of "seekers" investigating occult beliefs? (Occult means "hidden" - or can we call it "less than candid"?) Who, after all these years of being told such things don't exist, think they have psychic powers? Is it sexist to wonder not only what's going on in the minds of these women but why their "sisters" aren't pulling them aside and asking them themselves? Especially since so many of these "believers" are intent on aggressively pushing for changes in the world?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.


  1. Thanks for the mention, again, Crack. It's you (and my other non-legions of fans here and there) who are generous. I could make a crude and totally inappropriate remark that plays off your notion of women spreading self-help virally, but I don't wish to alienate that segment of my readers any more than I fear I already have, now and then.

    Keep calling 'em as you see 'em. I may not always agree with with where you end up, but I applaud your outspokenness nonetheless. It often takes the polar points of view (which may occasionally include my own, or so I've been accused) to help the Great Masses of Middlings decide where they really fall in the overall debate.

  2. Eew, Steve. Glad you bit your tongue just in time. (Some fear is healthy, apparently. :)

    CMC, I adore your writing, as you should know by now, but you lose me with (what I see as) this vehement anti-feminism. Sigh.

  3. Elizabeth,

    I here you - I really do - but how do you explain the head trips of these women? Or the impulse to make celebrities out of, clearly, delusional women? (Oprah, Rosie, etc.) And when are women - other than conservatives - going to yell "Stop!"

    This is no picnic for men, either, y'know?

  4. See what I mean?


  5. I just found this too:


    A woman, undermining the trust in her marriage, for feminism. How sweet. I'm sure it'll help everybody get along better. It's one reason I'm glad I'm no longer married:

    There's no one to stab you in the back.

  6. Elizabeth,

    That last story shows exactly what pisses me off:

    Here's a guy who's up-front about what he thinks and believes to his wife - but, when it comes to her thoughts and beliefs, she goes behind his back. And then writes another dude about it.

  7. It's one reason I'm glad I'm no longer married:

    There's no one to stab you in the back.

    How very sad. And I genuinely mean it.

    I know that your experiences have been awful, no question, but, imo, you overgeneralize them, on all women in all situations -- or so it seems to an unsuspecting reader (me).

    You know, you can find awful women AND men anywhere and everywhere, especially when this is what you set out to find. But it does not mean that this is the norm (at least in my experience it isn't -- and my own life has not been a bed of roses, y'know).

    Just sayin'. :)

  8. Do you mean that (female) celebrity gossip (in Daily Mail), or was there another article (which did not load)?

    While I personally am not interested in celebrity news (it is a very American thing, btw), I'm less upset by the phenomenon than you are. Do you think this (female celebrity gossip) is any different from, say, men's obsessions with sports, cars, guns or whatever?

  9. Elizabeth,

    I'm not setting out to find anything: This is what I've found. Like the guy in his wife's letter, is he setting out to find he can't trust her, or is she just doing it? And, I'll bet you bottom dollar, there's no one willing to say she's just battered the most important relationship in her life for a bogus idea that's designed to do nothing but undermine him.

    I won't play into that. It's wrong. And it probably does lead to perspectives like mine that say "It's just not worth it."

    Better to be alone:

    I know I can trust myself.

  10. It won't succeed as a matter of fact, that's what I believe.