(continued from previous post)
The first time I read the piece, this final section had me laughing out loud at what I took for a deliciously silly spoof. Abandoning all efforts at coherence, Mr. Rosemond theorizes that men have been brainwashed by feminist propaganda into participating in their own emasculation. Consequently, he says, men are no longer even adults, let alone fathers or husbands. For proof of this he cites the high-fives they exchange with their children. (As the great Dave Barry would say, “I’m not making this up.”) He laments the passing of “the good old days — when dads came home fully prepared, at a word from their wives, to strike terror into their children,” then concludes by quipping, “Is it too late to bring back the patriarchy?”
Once I suspected that the column I had read was not necessarily intended to be funny, I re-examined it more soberly. With a bit of luck and much hard work, the reader might be able to construct some convoluted line of reasoning that connects all the parts of the column, but it’s a dodgy undertaking at best. Everything seems to be vaguely related, but the same may be said of items in an idea cloud or cluster diagram, both of which are visual tools used to begin the process of organizing one’s thoughts. Had Mr. Rosemond ordered and articulated his thoughts more clearly, he might have delivered a scathing indictment of social mores in general and the current state of the family in particular.
I feel a peculiar sense of loss that he didn’t, although I suspect I would disagree with some of his conclusions. It is so satisfying to sharpen one’s own reasons against the sharp reasoning of another! What a disappointment it was to find Mr. Rosemond’s wit to be duller than I had first hoped.
I imagine that the enemies of the patriarchy sleep much the better for it, however.