Monday, October 6, 2014


Is this stupid fad over yet?

If this reaches anyone lucky enough to be have heretofore been spared this tripe, I'm talking about the mostly U.S.-based fanbase for a children's toy marketing device, a cartoon.
I don't care about the cartoon. Never seen it. I'm not particularly opposed to seeing it. I've never stopped consuming material supposedly intended for children. I read comics, watch cartoons, play cartoonish video games, whatever I feel like. I just don't feel obligated to watch this particular show, and there's the respect which makes calamity.

I'm reminded of businesswomen in the 80s. Watch some TV shows from back then. This was the time when pop culture became fascinated with the image of the woman entering the higher ranks of business... but you had to look pretty hard to discern any chick out of a crowd of suits. The women who tried to make it in the old boys' club did so by abandoning femininity and adopting the facade of the dominant culture: short hair, pinstripe suits and padded shoulders all around!

Well, it's thirty-odd years later and the old 1950s phalocentric, patriarchal culture which seemed so entrenched back then has retreated to the boondocks, leaving the would-be trendy and modern city-dwelling male in the hopelessly inferior social position of playing scapegoat for the sins of his fathers before him. It is wrong to be male. From cradle to early grave, the modern world screams our moral inferiority at us. Masculine stoicism and direct confrontation are decried as barbarian relics at every step while moral relativism, white lies and emotional manipulation are lauded as evolved. At the same time women are finally managing to break the control over sexuality which society had imposed on them, they are giving no ground in their sexual control over males, and reinforcing this with institutionalized guilt and shame over male sexuality. We have accepted the original sin of our ongoing thought-crime: is not the "male gaze" a vicious assault on women? You're as good as a rapist. And you know who else had a male gaze? Hitler.

In the face of such derogation, modern man is reduced to merely modern, bending to the whims of a feminized mass-media, anxious at every step of stepping over the invisible line which the women around him keep shifting arbitrarily to create more social capital, a higher high horse for themselves. Then modern man must finds a horsie of his own, neh? I should have seen it coming, but I didn't.

I was quite happy to spot the first few outbursts of My Little Pony fandom a few years ago. It was healthy. It allowed many girls to break the image of the modern woman as domineering, sneering ice queen and incorporate girlishness into their persona. I was then perplexed at the first few "bronies" who popped up here and there (male fans of the show) but eventually got to admire them for being willing to fly in the face of the male backlash against feminism, against the rampant machismo undercurrent still threatening "faggots" and "pussies" with ostracism and outright violence. Yes, damnit, if men decide of their own accord they like something which happens to be girly, then they damn well better be able to say so openly. I will howl in a pink font if the mood so strikes me.

However, this whole brony thing has jumped the shark. Over the past couple of years it has become a trend, a fad, a bandwagon. It has become a sort of Stockholm syndrome for insecure men who seek the approval of the women dictating the moral imbalance of contemporary pop culture by hopping the girliest trend they can find, a sick, servile debasement. There are ponies in spaceship games, pony fanfics, pony-launchers in FPS games, pony avatars for every forum, a male character in every webcomic taking up pony fanaticism, pony spin-offs and pony this-and-that, pony up because you apparently owe it to women to make yourself as girly as possible.

It's no healthier than those ridiculous 80s businesswoman shoulderpads, but at least those women were making money hand-over-fist for subordinating their psyche. Are you suckers glittering yourselves up now at least getting laid for your trouble? Probably not. Regardless of what they say, women will still always fawn over the cut-throat, domineering alpha-types.

Friendship is magic, but it can come in the form of male camaraderie. Revive something like Gargoyles if you're just looking for an old children's cartoon about lasting friendship. Otherwise, at least admit that trading patriarchy for matriarchy, condemning masculinity instead of femininity, yang instead of yin, does not constitute progress.

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