Tuesday, March 16, 2004

I just got through reading Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code.” It seemed to be THE book to read. Everybody is always talking about what a work of genius it is, how intricate, and fast-paced, and unpredictable.

It’s a load of shit.

First off, I haven’t read a book so predictable since my sister talked me into reading the first three “Harry Potter” books (or did I just read the first book three times in a row? It’s hard to tell with that series). The only surprise in the whole book is that there aren’t really any surprises.

Second, it spends a lot of time trashing the Catholic Church. Now, I don’t think there are many who will pretend the Catholic Church is perfect (I’m not a member, nor will I ever be). But it’s done far more good than harm.

Third, I think author Dan Brown has had his nuts clipped, and been heavily into estrogen injections.

The whole book is preaching about the superiority of women over men. It couches it in terms such as “the sacred feminine” and “the natural harmony.” But while it talks about the balance of women and men, what it seems to long for is a world where women rule the world in wisdom, peace and tranquility, keeping us barbarous men from massacring each other.

Now, I’m not a big believer in male superiority. But neither do I believe in female superiority. Or white superiority. Or black superiority. Or Longhorn or Aggie superiority. There are superior individuals in any group, but I can’t think of any groups offhand that I just think are superior (I’m sure somebody will point out an exception to me). And I kinda find the implication offensive, that I’m superior or inferior simply because of my gender, or race, or hair color. My failings and successes are my own.

While I’m tackling this, I’ve been reading a lot of historical fiction that gives rise to the belief that in ancient societies, whether Native American or Celtic or Nordic or whatever, the women were wise, powerful, and the men naturally catered to them and gave them all the respect and devotion so sadly lacking through most of the Judeo-Christian history.

Well, it’s a good thing it’s fiction, because from every study and history book I’ve read, that’s just bullshit.

If there’s one universal truth about Human Nature, it’s that the strong oppress the weak. For most of our history, that’s been mainly based on physical strength. Well, news flash; generally speaking, men are physically stronger than women. For every Wise Woman feared and respected, there were a hundred women treated as slaves. Offensive? Yes. Disgusting? More than I could ever express. But true.

The beauty of technology (no, not just computers, but all technology) is that it has a tendency to minimize the role of physical strength. A scrawny man (such as myself) can drive a car just as easily as a body-builder. And a just society strives to equalize the opportunities of all members, regardless of size, strength, gender, race, food preference, or whatever. Due partly to its high level of technology, our present society, though far from just, is perhaps the most equal that the world has ever seen. And I hope it gets more so. But the key to this is not to elevate women above men. It’s to quit elevating one group over another.

I don’t want to hear about Chivalry; it was a way to highly prize your (female) property. I don’t want to hear about “women’s intuition” and “the mysteries of womanhood” and “Instinctive Women’s Wisdom” or even the “mystical spirituality of the sacred feminine.” That’s just superstitious bullshit created as a reflexive backlash against a cruel and unjust oppression.

I don’t want mysticism. I don’t want pedestals. I don’t want to hear about the sacred natural roles. I want to live in a world where we judge people by what they do, not what they look like, or what group they were born into.

There’s a Garth Brooks song that says (among other great things)

“...and when money talks for the very last time,
When nobody walks a step behind,
When there’s only one race, and that’s mankind -
Then we shall be free.”

Not a world ruled by women. Not a world ruled by men. Not a world better for white people. Not a world better for black people. Not a world where we are told to fit into our “natural” roles. But a world where we can be free to be judged solely on our accomplishments...

That’s the world I want to live in. How about you?

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