The below linked article that inspired this blog post is about a tweet which reads, “I’m not a party guy,” he wrote, “but I’d be down if someone threw a real roaring 20’s party for 2020. Like real tuxedos and all. Not shirtless dudes with a bow tie. Like a real Gatsby party with everyone fully dressed like the era.”
I’m sure to a lot of people this story seems quite benign but to me I find it rather hopeful. The author of the linked article doesn’t get the tweet, he runs it by all the folks he knows, they don’t get it. He runs it by some teens who get it but he doesn’t get it.
I get it. Of course I do.
It’s the entire idea behind “have a brandy and a cigar, on me” which I use to close out my YouTube videos. Even though I don’t personally drink, or smoke. It’s why I wear hats. It’s the reason I have a painting in my study of a man on a ship, causally leaning on the rails with a cigar in his hand. He’s a man, a real man. He’s comfortable in his own skin. He’s at east in his environment. He’s contemplative. He represents a romantic symbol – an ideal of the mind, but not of reality. But those symbols are vitally important to reality. All throughout history such symbols have propelled people to behave in associated manners to the symbol. This is a uniquely human characteristic. It explains the frequency with which people turn toward the worship of idols. An idol, while not real, is a symbol – never-changing – of a mode of being. That is one reason that moving away from idols of stone and wood to beings made such a shift. I know that the painting on my wall isn’t real. I know that there isn’t an ideal there I can fully replicate or even learn from. It is what I make of it.
The tweet is about this image, and the idea that it stirs up in people’s minds. That also is why it gives me hope. It’s not that the bygone era was as wonderful as we romantically make it out to be.
It’s that we desire that romantic image to be true today because we know it isn’t. That it isn’t is lamentable, that young people want to live up to that perceived standard, even if it wasn’t real, is hopeful. We live in a world of substitutes and mockeries and I think (I hope) that there are those in the rising generation who long for something they see as real and substantive. Though we must first live through the irony that their image is a symbol of something romantic and thus unreal is part of the process that leads them to come into their own. It’s the process that moves a person out of adolescence and into adulthood in a world that craves adults.
For all the efforts to make men like women and women like men I believe there has been created a longing for a return to tradition. I believe that women have decided they don’t want to live the “feminist” lifestyle as outlined by today’s feminists. They want to keep the good of feminism and toss out the bad. They want to keep the things of womanhood and femininity and they have realized that they can. They can be women and still be strong, they can women and still be independent, and they can be women who like strong men who take care of them and that taking care of doesn’t reduce them. Mature women realize that men show love and affection in this way. Maybe you don’t “need” a man to protect you, that’s all fine, I bet you don’t, but that doesn’t mean you can’t allow a man to do it anyway. Modern feminism fights against that very idea.
Masculinity, to them, is toxic. But that’s not true.
Sure, it can be taken too far. But men who take it too far aren’t liked by other men. They don’t last because they don’t have any friends. Native masculinity is inherent in the being and there’s nothing toxic about it. Some confuse their own weakness for a flaw in masculinity because masculinity can be strong, swift, powerful, and intimidating to a person who is timid. But women, as you all well know, aren’t timid. As much as being masculine is inherent in the male being, managing that masculinity is inherent in the female being. And that’s where feminism became confused. Proper feminism is a good thing and that’s hard to remember and harder to convey to people only familiar with the modern form. The form that’s whatever current “wave” we’re in. I think it’s third wave feminism we suffer from now but I think perhaps we’ve crept forward into a fourth wave feminism. One that isn’t satisfied with equality but seeks dominance or at least subjugation.
The origins of feminism are simple and just. Women didn’t have the right to vote. Women didn’t have the right to own property or to inherit. They didn’t have the right to work at the jobs they wished to work at. They didn’t’ have a right to education. In some cases they didn’t even have the right to choose to marry or not. The plight of women was dark and wrong and they needed and deserved liberty.
Then the best thing that could happen to women did, and the worst thing that could happen to the feminist movement – they got what they asked for. Since that time the “battle of the sexes” continued. At that point it was like kicking a man – or men – while he’s down. Women continued to kick and stomp clear into the second wave of feminism, into the third, and now – in my thinking, into a fourth, more virulent kind of feminism.
I think most women have never been on board for that. I think that most women enjoy what men have to offer just as most men enjoy what women have to offer.
All that from a kid’s tweet?
Yes, I realize that may seem like I’m over thinking things to say that the battle of the sexes is finally over and the only women left fighting it are like the Japanese soldier stuck on Gilligan’s Island who didn’t know the war was indeed over. But it’s not just this tweet, but my observations in various places, leads me to see that the rising generation is different in a good way.
- They are thoughtful about liberty.
- They are curious about history.
- They crave conversation that exists at an intelligent level.
- Above all of that I see that they crave direction and to make sense of the world.
It isn’t so much that the tweet is about an age where men were men and women were women but two things about it all give me hope. One is the fact that it has been circulated around and around the Internet tens of thousands of times. There is also the fact that the person tweeting it makes it clear that this party is to be, “… real tuxedos and all. Not shirtless dudes with a bow tie. Like a real Gatsby party with everyone fully dressed like the era.” It’s to be taken seriously. It’s not to be mocked with fake tux t-shirts or silly pranks wearing nothing but the bow tie. For those who followed the series Downton Abby you understand what being “fully dressed” means. It was proper, important, meaningful.
It’s also meaningful that this is a time, a way, a manner, that those on the left look upon with disdain. It’s the time they want to fully move away from. It’s not that those finding pleasure in that time want to return to the days of oppressed women, they don’t at all, but rather to a day when people at least seemed more civilized and acted as if there were more important things in the world than themselves.
Maybe it’s just a party and I’m all wrong but it would explain why the author of the linked article just can’t get it.
BETTMANN VIA GETTY IMAGES Actress Betty Field dances the Charleston during a poolside party scene from the 1949 movie “The Great Gatsby,” based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. On the evening of June 22, 21-year-old Karter Machen decided to tweet. “I’m not a party guy,” he wrote, “but I’d be down if someone threw a real roaring 20’s party for 2020. Like real tuxedos and all. Not shirtless dudes with a bow tie. Like a real Gatsby party with everyone fully dressed like the era.”