The Wimp Factor: Gender Gaps, Holy Wars, and the Politics of Anxious Masculinity by Stephen J. Ducat
Last year we featured a book by a psychiatrist who put Bush on the couch, so to speak, but "The Wimp Factor" goes one step further: it psychoanalyzes the entire right wing extremist mind set. And after reading this book by psychoanalyst Stephen J. Ducat, all we can say is "Oy Veh!"
Ducat appears to connect so many subterranean psychological motivations that you realize, by the end, you finally have a map of the psychiatric terrain of the right wing mind. And, above all, it's driven by what Ducat labels an "anxious masculinity." Even Ann Coulter, who Ducat believes represents the "dominatrix of right wing rectitude," exemplifies the cult of the phallus, "the mythic, permanently erect archetypal monolith of masculine omnipotence that signifies untrammeled growth, invulnerability, and freedom from all dependency." Call her a female with an artificial implant of the penile variety.
Normally, approaching politics from a Freudian perspective can lead to elusive abstractions. But in the case of Ducat's book, you end up feeling just the opposite. It's as if a light bulb goes off in your head and you think, "now I get it."
Suddenly, you understand the virulent hate of the right wing toward Hillary Clinton, the attempts to slur Kerry as "French" (feminine), the sock-stuffed crotch of Bush when he "landed" aboard the aircraft carrier, and "America's Aspiring Ayatollahs."
So much about the right wing that is baffling becomes understandable after reading this book. Actions and statements made by the Republican extremists that don't make any logical sense make complete psychological sense when viewed from the perspective of "anxious masculinity" within politics, even high-powered women who urge wifely submission but spend most of their time on the road away from their husbands and families.
One of the interesting and controversial insights of the book is that the right wing effort to impeach Bill Clinton backfired, in part, because they ended up making Clinton into a masculine Bubba who was being emasculated by the wimpy Ken Starr. And nothing threatens a Republican with anxious concern about his masculinity like someone trying to attack his "maleness."
Ducat doesn't pull any punches. He has a chapter, for instance, entitled, "Vaginas with Teeth and Castrating First Ladies: Fantasies of Feminine Danger from Eve to Hillary Clinton." Hillary, to the right wing males, symbolizes the emasculating mother and uppity, independent wife.
The Bush Cartel, and Bush himself, epitomize males with a masculinity that always needs reassurance -- and there's nothing like a war to buck up one's balls.
Of course, BuzzFlash notes, an "anxious masculinity" often leads to an insecure, uncertain, and confused sense of gender, that constantly needs reconfirmation. That may explain both the hysterical homophobia of the right that lives side by side with a large number of gay Republicans who themselves espouse anti-gay political positions.
Maintaining a cult of the Phallus is like riding a bucking bronco. You fall off lots of times and might just end up in Jeff Gannon/Guckert's lap. Someone or someones in the White House, it appears, did.
Not that we care, but we'll take the nurturing maternal model over the f***** up male phallus model any day, especially as far as politics and government are concerned. These guys always seem to have some perversion popping out of their pants.
"The Wimp Factor: Gender Gaps, Holy Wars, & the Politics of Anxious Masculinity" explains it all.