A quasi writer avoiding life through Zen meditation and grain alcohol

Toxic Feminism and the Genius of Kurt Sutter

katey-sagal-interview-01I’ve observed a shift within the women’s rights movement over the past few years that I can no longer ignore or endure- a shift that to the naked eye presents as female empowerment but in reality is the rampant emotional and spiritual emasculation of men.

Somewhere during their very noble and necessary journey out of the kitchen, some women have lost their way. More accurately, they’ve taken a step too far.

Much the way a group of zealots do a disservice to the rest of their religions’ genuinely faithful followers, these toxic harpies besmirch the good name of women everywhere with their attempts to pass emasculation off as a philosophical justification for their bad behavior.

For these women, the line between true empowerment and domination has been blurred and I, like all good Americans, blame television. More specifically, I blame Kurt Sutter.

Before you accuse me of skipping my Adderall, let me explain.

For those of you who live under rocks, Kurt Sutter is the creator of the television series, Sons of Anarchy- a crime drama about an outlaw Motorcycle Club who live their lives as family. Why it took me so long to watch this series I’ll never know. Bad-ass bikes, blue collar heroes and the Reaper are kind of my shtick. Reason enough to spend one glorious weekend binge-watching all seven seasons. By Monday morning I was blown away.

For me, the standout character of the series is Gemma Teller- matriarch to the club’s founding family and some might say to the club itself. In Gemma is a vicious mother tiger who commits some truly dastardly deeds on her family’s behalf. Her heart always in the right place, Gemma consistently asserts her authority or exacts her revenge by taking things one step too far. Skillfully portrayed by Sutter’s wife Katey Sagal, Gemma is a character who at her core embodies a woman’s most noble qualities, yet is corrupted by them.

This juxtaposition of reality (Gemma’s protective maternal nature) and fantasy (Gemma’s over-the-top reaction to threats) makes for brilliant fiction. The viewer is constantly questioning and asking themselves what they might do in that same situation. There in lies the genius of Kurt Sutter. An artist makes his audience part of his work, and Sutter has done just that.

SO HOW IS ANY OF THIS KURT SUTTER’S FAULT?

He’s done his job too well. He’s created a character whose core values are worthy of emulation (reality) but whose behavior is the stuff of fiction (fantasy), and too many women who cannot tell the difference are modeling themselves after her.

Unlike Breaking Bad’s ball-busting bride Skylar White or Dexter’s simpering queen of passive-aggression Rita Morgan, SoA’s Gemma Teller is a woman men actually like (for reasons other than being smoking hot). This makes her an attractive role model for women who are less dimensional than the fictional character Sutter created. These women quote her inappropriately and stand her up in real life situations that do not call for it, all in the name of Gemma worship. It’s a particularly disgusting form of blasphemy that as a writer cuts me to my core.

WHAT’S TO BE DONE?

I vote to include a warning during the intro of all primetime television shows, much the way Southpark and Jackass do, informing their viewers that what they are about to see is, you know, not real. We need to protect the mouth-breathing masses from themselves. Their ignorance renders them unable to comprehend the complexities of the characters they see and wish to emulate. The best we can hope for is a parody and the worst, well…I see the worst everyday in the world of Gemma Wannabees around me. Wannabees who have taken what was once a strongly held ideal and corrupted it to suit their perverse need to dominate men, having traded on an ideology of liberation and equality. Women who have missed the point of a woman like Gemma entirely.

Whether this new modern woman represents life imitating art or the other way around, I have no idea. The most I can hope for is that in some small way I’ve called attention to this faulty faction whose behavior diminishes the vast number of women truly worthy of emulation.

A vast number I am proud to be part of.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON KURT SUTTER VISIT:

sutterink.com

sutterink – Facebook 

@sutterink – Twitter

Sons of Anarchy – IMDb

kateysagal.net

Katey Sagal – Facebook

@KateySagal – Twitter

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38 responses

  1. I wish I could mash the like button more than once. Too much win in this post, H.E. I agree and see some of this bad behavior as self-justification by misguided people who wear victimhood so that they can in turn punish men.

    You can’t compare apples and oranges. We can’t as sexes be equal. What we can and should do is learn to operate with respect for others all of the time.

    \m/ <–'rock on' ASCII emoji, 'cause I'm old school like that.

    February 11, 2015 at 3:46 pm

  2. Great piece. And if it somehow gets more women to ride Harleys, I’m all for it.

    February 11, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    • Oh hell YES.

      February 11, 2015 at 3:59 pm

  3. It’s unfortunate that I see the emasculation of men in the world…and even Church. And we wonder where all the good men are. We curse them in comedy.

    February 11, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    • Yes we do. My heart breaks for men in every book I read and every movie I watch where they are vilified for the very qualities women claim to be proud to possess. I tell my daughter she has the right to be anything she’d like in life. Why can I not say the same to my sons?

      February 11, 2015 at 4:05 pm

  4. I had a professor tell me once, “Why would we want to get rid of masculinity altogether? We can’t survive without it.” Same goes with feminism, we need both parties involved! I don’t like the idea of punishing men for being men, just like women shouldn’t be punished for being women. You are so right that some women have lost their way, and it’s very unfortunate.

    February 11, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    • One of the funniest things that ever happened to me was when a female commentor went off for being a traitor to my gender because I am a woman who enjoys pursuits and hobbies that have always been traditionally male. She wondered why I was ashamed of my femininity. I asked her why she thought embracing who I am as a woman- specifically, one who loves “traditionally male” things, wasn’t the highest form of feminism ever?

      February 11, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      • Hah that’s pretty ridiculous. Some people take feminism way too far and then everything is sexist. I love reading comments on funny videos and articles and out of nowhere someone yells sexist. I guess they are called “trolls” but soon people follow the leader haha

        February 11, 2015 at 4:19 pm

  5. You are absolutely right! That is what is so scary about talented writers like Kurt Sutter. He creates a fictional character and places her in a setting where her actions make sense. But if her behavior is taken out of context, it has disastrous results. It’s amazing how people will see what they want to see.

    I cannot tell you how many women I know who feel the need to disrespect the men in their lives and attempt to pass their “control” off as “caring.” These same women cry foul when the men leave and then claim there are no good ones left in the world.

    February 11, 2015 at 4:26 pm

  6. Just one thing: What, the FUCK, are women doing out of the kitchen in the first place? It’s sad but true that I could make that silly comment, at work, or among friends, and people would realize that it’s just a dumb joke and maybe the nearest woman would make some appropriate joke back about men this or men that, and we’d have a great laugh, but in the often-humorless world of the internet, it’d be considered an inappropriate joke. I think you could put “political correctness gone mad” right up there with “toxic feminism” as a modern horror.

    February 11, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    • I might add Immigrants and the Military to your list as well.

      Loved the kitchen bit, by the way. 😉

      February 11, 2015 at 6:25 pm

      • “Toxic Harpies” would be a great name for an all-girl death-metal band.

        February 11, 2015 at 9:02 pm

        • Yes it would. 🙂

          In actuality, “Toxic Harpies” is a shortened version of a name someone very dear to me used to describe his ex-wife. The scientific name is “Drunken Toxic Vodka Harpy.”

          Yeah, she’s a real piece of work who embodies the spirit of this post entirely.

          February 11, 2015 at 9:06 pm

  7. Ms. Ellis… newbie to your site here, with a couple of thoughts, along with some kudos…

    Excellent insight, with an equal dose of logic; well done. If nothing else, I think you’ve done all you could so, so far as you wished to do, as per the last lines. Two thoughts occur to me, both based on this most elegantly stated passage, summing up your conclusions, with a suggested remedy…

    “I vote to include a warning during the intro of all primetime television shows, much the way Southpark and Jackass do, informing their viewers that what they are about to see is, you know, not real. We need to protect the mouth-breathing masses from themselves. Their ignorance renders them unable to comprehend the complexities of the characters they see and wish to emulate.”

    One: If we did that, it would take away one of the primary effective tools used to fasten on the slave collars most of the “mouth breathing masses” (LOVE IT) wear so proudly, thinking it is their badge of security. Think of the anxiety it would cause them to have to even try to separate the reality and fantasy with which they are presented! Poor things, they’d probably worry themselves to death over sitcom dialogue… Not to mention how it would piss off those who want the control of all those minds…

    Two: All of what you’ve said is SO true, it hurts. That’s how I can tell. Good analysis of yet another way the minds of the unwary are molded, right in front of those of us who can’t seem to make the collar stay on…. It’s too bad the math is so unshakable; the human race will only get stupider, and even if we count religion, the best we can say of that is, “Sinners can repent, and be forgiven; there’s no cure for stupid….

    SIGH…. Too bad, too. Most of them are nice folks, except for that odd need for a collar to feel secure…

    Great post!

    gigoid, the dubious

    February 11, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    • Welcome, Gigoid, The Dubious!

      I never thought of it that way before but you are absolutely right- there is a certain security inherent in ignorance and corruption in those who are aware enough to exploit it. That sends a shiver up my spine for the future.

      My Dickensian childhood thrust me into the role of provider, and consequently throughout my life I have more closely identified with men. I often feel betrayed by women who do not value the qualities I have, but instead treat me as either ignorant or as a traitor because of them.

      For example, when my husband and I divorced I did not file for alimony nor did I apply for child support. My reasoning was that even though we did not work out as a couple, my Ex never failed to provide for his children. Why make him legally bound to do what he had willingly done all along? The women in my life did not support this way of thinking at all. Some went so far as to suggest I leverage visitation with our children as a way to get more money.

      Well, you would not believe the “friends” I lost because they felt I was either too stupid to live or was giving in to the shackles of my oppression. Apparently, as a woman it is my right to take my Ex for every bit of money he’s got, but he cannot expect the same from me. I maintain that my not raping him for money was a gesture of respect, and is the reason for the amicable relationship we have to this day.

      February 11, 2015 at 6:45 pm

  8. Sadly, I would not be surprised by how many acquaintances you lost; I’m not sure they ever were ‘friends’; sadly, because it matches my own experience. Though my ex and I parted in hard times, she also didn’t ever ask for what I’d always given freely, so in that respect, I was lucky. Since she had left me, and two kids, one two months short of high school graduation, taking with her over half the income, and the only car, leaving us all homeless within six months, for a year until I got it straightened out, I thought that was big of her. I’d say we are, if not friends anymore, we still acknowledge the bond we had of our now adult children with civility.

    Where were you when I was looking for a woman with true honesty, eh? Just kidding, mostly. I think what I described to you, about how most folks don’t want to think, so badly they’ll give up their entire mind to feel like the world is not going to get them, that someone will take care of them, to explain the world they cannot keep up with, is true for our culture on both sides of the gender coin. Neither sex has any idea how to relate to someone who actually uses their own mind, or exhibits the traits we used to call ‘virtue’, like telling the truth, and duty, and loyalty, and all those things humans CAN be when they acknowledge their place in the scheme of things…

    Oops… I think I should stop now; I tend to get going, as you will find. If you ever come over to see my blog, you’ll see exactly what I mean; it’s not for amateurs… I really liked what I read today, so, I’ll be back eventually. I don’t surf a lot, because of physical issues preventing a lot of comp time for long periods (chronic pain & PTSD…), but, I get notices of your posts, so, I’ll be by more often… Now I’m retired, I find I can’t seem to keep from commenting, if I have anything to say about the post….

    Take care, & Blessed Be…

    Oh, btw, no caps in gigoid, cuz the computer don’t care…. keeps my ego in line, too…

    See ya

    gigoid, the dubious

    😎

    February 11, 2015 at 7:54 pm

  9. Don’t mind the words, gigoid. Words are why we’re here.

    I couldn’t have said it better than you’ve said it here. I’ll be by your blog soon and yes, you are welcome here anytime.

    February 11, 2015 at 8:38 pm

  10. I like this post, it’s got some good points in it. I would add to this that there are a number of ‘one step too far’ examples in popular fiction. From a completely opposite point of view an example could be 50 shades of grey, which to a degree portrays anti feminist behavior. What I find interesting is how popular it been.

    February 12, 2015 at 3:31 am

    • That is a very good point, sfarnell. My mind boggles at the phenomenon of Fifty Shades. I can only hope the taboo novelty of the subject matter was momentarily intriguing. I will have to do some research on the sales of the two novels that followed to determine if there is indeed a market for this kind of thing. If so, it will only add to my confusion over what seems to be some womens’ need to dominate their partners with their indulgence in submissive recreational reading.

      February 12, 2015 at 10:53 am

      • I’m glad you’re confused too. I think the rules have been broken with all these ideas. I don’t know if I’m meant to be submissive, dominant etc… What does seem apparent from these examples is we live in a world where you’re encouraged to have a more extreme (if that’s the word) attitude rather than a balanced attitude. If you work it out, could you let me know 😉

        February 13, 2015 at 9:42 am

        • If my gender lets me in on the secret, I’ll be sure to spread the word. 🙂

          February 13, 2015 at 4:29 pm

  11. Well, I hardly use my balls anymore anyway… so…

    February 12, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    • That is the funniest thing I’ve read all day!

      February 12, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      • just all day???

        February 12, 2015 at 5:13 pm

        • Sorry, but I’ve been hangin’ out with the Top Chef dudes over on Twitter. Yeah, that’s how I roll.

          February 12, 2015 at 6:04 pm

          • name dropper…

            February 12, 2015 at 6:36 pm

            • We can’t all be Marc Maron’s favorite. 😉

              February 12, 2015 at 6:38 pm

              • or Eric Idle’s… or William Shatner’s… or…

                February 12, 2015 at 11:22 pm

                • You’re just a likable guy. A modern day Will Rogers. I mean that. 🙂

                  February 13, 2015 at 4:30 pm

                  • well that is just sweet, thanks

                    February 13, 2015 at 5:14 pm

  12. I guess I need to watch this show!

    February 12, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    • YES! You can see all seven seasons on Netflix!

      February 12, 2015 at 6:05 pm

  13. Thanks. Now I’m only peeing on commercial breaks to some prerecorded and stored version of Top Chef. Fuck me. Bye, it’s starting again.

    February 14, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    • TOP CHEF!!!!! I KNEW I LIKED YOU!

      February 17, 2015 at 8:14 am

  14. aaaa

    If you take a closer look at the series you should realize that:
    1) Kurt Sutter is completely emasculated
    2) His depiction of masculinity is hilarious, if not stupid. Take a look at Chralie Hunnam, does he look like a badass MAN? See him using white shoes, long pants, walking like an ape, no scratches in the face from past fights, confessing how in love was with the medical doctor (season 1). Is that masculine for you?
    3) See Gemma as a woman: does she behave feminine? she is a masculine whore, running in a sportcar with a gun, having more balls than the sheriff
    4) Take a look at the FBI agent that sighs before starting each sentence (pathetic acting): is she feminine? she behaves like a man. Furthermore, in the scene where she bangs the sheriff assistance… who is giving oral sex to who? do you think that is a coincidence?

    I could go on and on, but it is not necessary. This TV series serves a feminazi agenda, watch the entire season 1 again. Make an analysis who are depicted as strong and who are as weak.

    PS: Sutter married for the first time at the age of 45 with a woman who is 10 years older and was married 2-3 times before. He is a vegan and an animal rights activist. That is the guy that wrote the show.

    April 18, 2015 at 5:01 pm