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Archive for January, 2009

Busy

My god, I can’t believe I’ve only posted once so far in January. It’s just not good enough. I do apologise. Things have been a tad busy, but I hope to get back to it in February.

And I don’t have time to post now, even, so really I’m just popping in to apologise for not popping in, which is a bit rubbish, I know. Here, go and have a look at someone who does this shit much better than me – Ms Jones has a particularly fine rant up today. And pop over and vote for her on the Bloggies, too.

Of course, I realise you’ve probably all already done both of those things, but just in case.

Man cryingStill feeling gypped? Here, here’s a beautiful man crying. Not very convincingly, I realise, but what can you do, this shit is hard to find.

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So, I was idly thinking about the unexpected hotness of my friend kneeling in church, and thus about men kneeling in general, and then I suddenly remembered Tenchu.

Tenchu is a game where you play a ninja and sneak around killing people. I looooved it. I’m not a shoot-em-up fan, so creeping round and trying not to get caught was much more up my alley.

Anyway, in the first mission you have to make your way through a town to meet your master, Lord Gohda. Only of course the town is crawling with bad guys, and you have to have to carefully make your way through, picking them off one at a time. If you play the guy ninja, Rikumaru, you get a cut scene at the end of the level where he arrives at the meeting place, falls straight to his knees before his lord, and begs his forgiveness for being late.

He fights his way through crowds of enemies, risking his life every step of the way, then falls to his knees and apologies for being late.

And I was like, ‘Yeah! That’s how it’s done!’

The Japanese feudal paradigm involves total submission – but it’s the least wimpy thing ever. Every samurai owes total loyalty and obedience to his lord, and expects complete perfection of himself. Not only is he prepared to die in battle for his lord at any point, he is also prepared to offer his own sepukku for failing to complete a task satisfactorily, or just to save his lord embarrassment. And we’re not just talking about the big tough killing machines, here – theoretically women and children are also prepared to commit seppuku if their lord requires it.

Total submission. The opposite of wimpy.

The European feudal paradigm isn’t exactly wimpy either, even though it’s not quite as hardcore. Sure, we don’t have seppuku. But the point about knights is that they owe total allegiance to their lord, and every man in the system owes allegiance to someone, right up to the dukes. Like a kind of d/s pyramid scheme. And we really, really don’t think of medieval warriors as wimpy.

So, historical models of submission = practically the definition of brave and admirable.

So why does the world think mansubs are wimpy?

The answer is pretty obvious. Samurai and knights submit to other men. Mansubs submit to women.

Which is levels of sexism that make me want to hand in my humanity membership card.

But it’s true. Any suggestion that a man is governed by a woman is considered emasculating. And yet a man’s submission to another man is the pinnacle of courage and virtue.

You know, there were samurai who wouldn’t even have sex with women because they considered even that contact emasculating – they shagged men instead.

And how about the knights? Well, let’s look at our model for knights serving women – the concept of courtly love. Eleanor of Aquitaine invented the game of courtly love as a means of stopping all those hormone-ridden young knights from harrassing her ladies. She modelled it on the relationship between a knight and his lord, in that the knight was supposed to make himself a servant of the lady, she was supposed to be in total control. But he was supposed to worship her from a distance. There was no sex involved, oh no – in fact that’s practically the point. Instead, he adores her from afar, puts her on a pedestal, sees her not as a human being, but as an icon, a goddess, and his dearest wish is to endeavour to deserve the smallest glance from her.

See, this ‘kiss my boots but don’t fuck me’ bullshit started a really long time ago.

(As I’m sure you’ll have noticed, I’ve used ‘mansub’ throughout to mean ‘straight mansub’ – for which, apologies, but it was snappier. Of course, it would prove my theory quite neatly if we found that gay mansubs suffer less prejudice than straight ones. Anyone know whether this is the case?)

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