Things seemed auspicious in 1966. Jupiter was aligning with Mars, auguring the “age of Aquarius.” Though few knew at the time, that meant the ascent of Hippies and, apparently, everything coming up roses. Yet there was angst in the air, too. Some of the old guard yammered about “nattering nabobs of negativity” and set about opposing the wacky-tobacky, pot-smoking happy hoi-polloi.
To wit: trouble stirred in paradise. Naifs cheered the keel being laid for the Titanic, blind to the glacier-birthed iceberg.
Sunday (February 3, 2013) hosted Super Bowl 47. What’s the connection to above-mentioned events?
Three planets aligned in 1966: I finally graduated highschool; the National Organization for Women was founded; and the Super Bowl was conceived. Our triad constellations would interact over coming decades, not necessarily happily. Plus other events ensued, proving that hope and dreams and promises are often insufficient.
The “summer of love” in 1967, during my freshman year at college, was followed 2 years later by Woodstock, where 3 died. Three months later, the Vietnam War draft began, ensuring 58,000 more dead. Five days later, a Rolling Stones concert killed four in Altamont. And just 5 months later, four died in Ohio when state troopers fired 67 bullets at peaceful Kent State students. Much promise went belly-up in the noonday sun.
Knowing all that in retrospect, I suppose it was silly to think NOW would actually embrace men. Or that the NFL would care more about males than females. In fact, it was more like Friedan and company created the Super Bowl as a feminist black op, the better to keep men in chains.
Still, feminism was everyone’s darling in those days. We lads heard lasses had been short-changed for eons and all they wanted now was equality. For everyone, including us. What wasn’t to like?
I remember cheering when a feminist (Gloria Steinem?) won an Oxford Union debate against a team that included a blind man. Perfect! Plus, like many others, I believed heaven would soon descend to Earth. Having access to the Pill, females would have safe, fun, and FREQUENT sex. Being assertive, they would take the initiative to be, well, insertive. Higher education would also make relationships more interesting. It all seemed so “titanically” terrific.
And yet, unseen icebergs drifted our way.
Decades later, feminism would make half the world its enemy. Sex would become dangerous for men: ever-expanding, ever-more-silly definitions resulting in jail and/or financial ruin. NOW morphed from freeing women to becoming an anti-sex league a la 1984. Plus women with the most freedom and power in history wore perpetual scowls.
Suddenly being queer-gay-bi-albino-cis-lesbian-bestial-NAMBLA was cheered. Being hetero-straight, on the other hand, got jeered. And far from being fierce and feisty, women remained passive. So-called liberated women still expected men to do the heavily lifting when initiating relationships.
Andrea Dworkin was the poster child of the movement: a physically and emotionally ugly person obsessed with porn, who practiced celibacy with a gay husband (John Stoltenberg, former managing editor of AARP, The Magazine). Her marriage supports my belief that feminists like gays because they consider them female.
Anyway, like the movement she led, Andrea was a delusional, penis-envying ugga-mugga who projected her own contorted thoughts onto others. Instead of seeking therapy, she let the toxic experiences of her life stew, vomiting them on men collectively.
Betty Friedan (co-founder of NOW) spoke at an open forum in the early 1980s at Harvard Law School. I asked her why a 30-something female CEO could be kickass competent at work, then turn into a coy nincompoop socially at night. She sighed and said, “Women still have it rough.”
She failed to admit that men had it rougher.
So perhaps NOW did create the Super Bowl to keep men in-check. Surely many guys do seem to vent all their feelings that one day. One guy might have prostate cancer. Another might not have seen his kids for a year. Another might be facing jail for asking a female co-worker to date. Still another might have lost a promotion to an affirmative-action hire. No matter. They won’t show or share such personal pains with each other. Instead, they’ll put on “game faces,” remaining emotional islands. Easier to direct personal pains at on-screen personas. That way, everything remains virtuously virtual.
Now I’ve certainly got nothing against sports per se. Just noting that watching teams play online and off will not stop the ever-marching feminist army.
Another suspicious event: the charge in 1993 that Super Bowl Sunday was the worst day for acts of domestic violence against women.
Who knows how much money women’s groups extracted from football teams then, blackmailing them for being loutish brutes. Ironically, such physically rough-and-tough hombres seem too afraid to support male causes, like prostate cancer research.
On the other hand, gridiron gladiators pride themselves on being “pretty in pink” each October. That’s when teams don pink garb to raise funds for breast cancer awareness. Forget that men get breast cancer, too. Forget that mastectomies aren’t fun, either. Why don’t these men’s organizations ever heed men’s diseases?
Which brings up a pet peeve I’ve had for 4 decades: where are the fund-raising committees in men’s groups? How many have applied for funds from the NFL? How many solicited the Playboy Foundation or other men’s magazines? Who reaches out to celebrity males reamed by courts (losing custody; jailed by false accusations; etc.)? Sure, donors might want anonymity. And sure, they might want to first see groups do things. But also for sure: they’re unlikely to donate if they’re never asked.
Finally, there’s been recent research on the consequences of NFL “lifestyles.” Turns out most players have short careers and long post-play suffering. Concussions often lead to depression, early Alzheimer’s, and other diseases:
Plus I bet the partying-drinking-drugging temptations take a toll, too, a la the movie, North Dallas Forty:
How manifestly manly their lives! They first “suck it up” and play when hurt. Discarded on the retirement slag heap, they continue suffering silently. Being male, no one wants to hear their plaints. Not even their former worshippers, the fanboys populating sports bars. After all, acknowledging the suffering of their former heroes might lead the bar boyos to feel their own pains. Then what? Who will help them if they swallow the red pills?
Suddenly, in the distance, a faint cheer grows ever louder:
“Give me an A!”
“Give me a V!”
“Give me an F!”
“Give me an M!”
All together now…..