Older men, younger women
wwchi at SPAMenteract.com
Mon Nov 6 06:40:30 MST 2000
From: Philip Ferguson <plf13 at it.canterbury.ac.nz>
To: marxism at lists.panix.com <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Date: Monday, November 06, 2000 1:09 AM
Subject: Re: Older men, younger women
>Lou Paulsen wrote:
>>I am talking about patriarchal oppression, not rock stars and weird tales
>>from the tabloid media.
>Well, you stated in your earlier email:
>>>John, "old men chasing young women" is sexual oppression.
>And you referred to this as 'patriarchal power'.
>Presumably you think that old guy had 'patriarchal power' over young
>Nicolle Smith. I tend to think the meaningful power in that relationship
>was with her. Certainly the last laugh is.
>Old men chasing young women is more likely to be sad and pathetic than a
>sign of 'patriarchal power'. But good luck to them anyway!
If I wrote that "women washing the dishes and changing the baby's diapers
while men watch the football game" is patriarchal oppression, I suppose you
would claim that I was denigrating sports, or respond with some anecdote
about an actress making thousands of dollars from a television commercial
for dishwashing liquid.
Please refer to Yoshie's post on what "old men chasing young women" means
"The personal is the political," but the personal is not always the
political in every instance or detail. Marxist theory and concepts - and
most sociological theory and concepts in general - are designed for
understanding and engineering relationships among GROUPS (classes,
nationalities, genders, etc.), not primarily about managing the details of
individual people's lives.
However, is even the Nicolle Smith case really the pure counterexample of
"female domination" which you appear to believe it is? You apparently
believe that it is a case of a woman enticing a rich man into bequeathing
her a large amount of money for sexual services. Well, does the
exploitative nature of prostitution within the capitalist patriarchy
evaporate or reverse when the wage rate rises to a certain point? Do we
have to express our solidarity with oppressed aged male millionaires now?
Or do we declare Smith to be a "freely contracting individual" as the
libertarians are always telling us that all workers are?
Wasn't it Trotsky who said something to the effect that "because some men
are dominated by their valets, this does not mean that the valet is really
You write that "old men chasing young women" are "sad and pathetic". Does
this characterization hold when the old man is controlling the young woman's
employment, or income, or residence, or social, political, or religious
life? Your vision of the "chase" seems to be of a light-hearted romp in the
flowery fields of spring. Please remember that the word "chase" comes from
"la chasse", i.e., the hunt. If deer could write, they would use a
different word than "pathetic" to describe aged but well-armed hunters.
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