Toxic Feminism and the Genius of Kurt Sutter
I’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.
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