Men Behaving Badly-The Progressive-9/1/11

News of the disintegrating case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn broke on Fourth of July weekend and made for awkward fireworks at barbeques. I haven’t seen that many near-fistfights since intermission at a Neil LaBute play. Or dinner parties when I would defend Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.

At a holiday clambake, a friend witnessed one old salt doing air-pumped quotation marks with his gnarly fingers: “The ‘victim’s’ bank account did not balance.” She gave him a steely look, wagged her finger and said, “You do not want to go down that road.”

It has been a bumpy ride.

Newt Gingrich said that the strength of his political passion sometimes made him step outside his marriage. Which is how he met his third wife, Callista, an Opus Dei cheerleader. Seems Newt is quite the catch.

California’s ex-governor, cigar-chomping Arnold Schwarzenegger revealed a relationship and lovechild with a long-time household staffer. This brazen infidelity does offer a chance to study the long-range effects of steroid use.

New York Representative Anthony Weiner finally admitted to online ickiness. Everyone has a right to be icky, but it made for an odd gay-straight reversal in New York. There were the junk shots, greased ab shots, accusations, and tearful denials from a straight guy while the gay people were fully clothed in Albany, lobbying for the right to get married.

Clearly with married men acting out so extracurricularly, straight marriage is in disrepair. Despite their absurdly Twinkie-ish defenses—consensual nonsense, misplaced political passion, gubernatorial stress, lack of social network savvy—men somehow manage to attain a frisson of victimhood. Perhaps they are using the same Rupert Murdoch has retained.

Murdoch’s newspaper (for now, anyway) The Wall Street Journal recently previewed a fall TV season that the paper’s critic dubbed “The Season of the Wuss.” After citing high unemployment among men and high numbers of stay-at-home dads, but without even a quick gloss of underlying economic causes, the author highlighted some new fall shows:

Up All Night—a reformed partier turns stay-at-home dad; Work It—unemployed car salesmen dress in drag to get pharmaceutical sales jobs; Man Up!—three video-playing friends try to get in touch with their macho side; Last Man Standing—a father of three girls trapped in a woman’s world; and How to Be a Gentleman—a mild-mannered man recruits an old high-school bully to teach him to be a “real man.”

I never thought I’d miss Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

This fall season, men are comic victims of some huge shift in women’s power, though you couldn’t prove that to many of us.

After each political perp walk down that road, I think surely this will be the tipping point. This will be the moment good women and good men will not collude in men’s false victimhood and will instead speak out against men’s bad behavior.

Well, not just yet, Shirley. We may be doomed to another season of To Catch a Political Predator.

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