Masculine cultures are not about ‘guys’ – they are about force
Yesterday, I heard two female politicians bickering on BBC Radio 4 – talking over each other as the male moderator said amiably. A tedious, wearisome listen.
This ‘spectacle’ (what is the auditory equivalent?) neatly illustrates the point that masculine cultures are not to do with ‘guys’. Masculine cultures are to do with the currency of force.
Britain’s masculine culture
Britain has long had a masculine culture. Though smooth and very often, very witty, British culture is not so much controlled as controlling. When it is relaxed and funny, as it often is on BBC Radio 4, it is also complacent. The funny people live in the certain knowledge that their status in the world is not being challenged, let alone threatened.
Watch how they react if they have to account for themselves! That is the test of a culture. How do we respond to the huge variety of visions in the world – and our need to fit our visions into the visions of others? What do we do when people long-ignored want room to pursue their visions?
Sadly, we often move to defend “our right” to live as a law unto ourselves. We often demand that the newly-enfranchised make room for us, even though we have never made room for them, and certainly don’t intend to start now.
Britain’s masculine culture in the literature and film
The masculine culture of Britain is an old story and is often told in literature and film. For utter complacency, read P.G. Woodehouse and the relationship between Bertie and his butler Jeeves. For the ongoing struggle, read Rumpole stories and his manouvering around institutionalized class in the legal system.
And for an alternative to a ‘masculine culture’, find yourself a copy of Goodbye Mr Chips -the old musical or the modern version with Martin Clues – both are great. Settle down for a charming 1.5 hours and the better possibilities a feminine culture.
I am so glad to be living in the 21st century!
What a relief! Not least for guys who must be heartily sick of the pushing-and-shoving they have been required to endure.
In the 21st century, our currency will be less of force and more of visions.