Miley Cyrus and the post-gender generation

Dear Hannah,

Solomon was never meant to be taken literally, but generally.  And when he says there is nothing new under the sun, we're almost led to believe him entirely -- if it hadn't been for Chevy and the internet and America.  About the rest of it he was right.  You can always expect the best and worst out of humanity, because the loves and hates of human nature have always been the same, which leads us to do the same things we've always done.  And if he was right about anything in particular, it was about the recurring existence of Miley Cyrus.

Some people think that Miley Cyrus is something new.  They think it because they've forgotten about David Bowie and Johnny Rotten.   We've already had someone who dressed like a transsexual space alien and threw his middle finger at masculinity; and we've already had a movement of people who were completely averse to good manners and taste.  Miley Cyrus isn't for our children but for our parents.  The difference is that our parents had the better music.

Glam and punk were the expressions of a 70's too intoxicated to think soberly and too tired of self-righteous hippies for morality.  Before them the Indians had their cross-dressers named berdaches, and before them the Canaanites had their gay temple prostitutes whom the Israelites called qedeshim.   Gay marriage disgusted Tacitus when it was performed by Nero, and pederasty was openly performed by the Athenians to the disgust of the Spartans, who confused everyone with their unhusbandly approach to marriage.  The point of the matter is that bucking sexual norms can only be novel to someone unfamiliar with history.  And people are always bucking, because the norms are actually eternal.  Nearly every great and ancient nation's had a generation of people who were terrible at being men and women -- or perhaps too bored with being spiritually great in general.  It usually happens after a period of safety and luxury, before they're conquered by a nation that takes manhood very seriously -- who are usually referred to as barbarians.  The major difference between the last time this happened and the present is that today's invading "barbarians" call masculinity machismo, and our deviants are considered by our intelligentsia to be moralists instead of degenerates.

And perhaps this is why Miley's so shocking.  Not because what she's doing is actually anything new, but because she's backed by an army of stupid women who say that what she's doing is right.  The New York Times has gone so far as to call her the avatar of the post-gender generation -- as if the overwhelming majority of youngsters these days had already been polled and said they were tired of seeing pretty girls.  Of course, there are some of them who are sick of seeing pretty girls -- and they're probably all ugly girls.  They're the minority of our children who've been so cursed with terrible taste and minimal talents that they want to be themselves without anyone left to criticize them.  And they're getting what they want -- almost.  They're getting it from the authorities, from their professors, and from the President.  Who they're not getting it from (if they're straight) is everyone they really want to have sex with, because the people they want to have sex with are having sex with people who are sexually attractive.

The reason that  the "post-gender generation" is temporary (and hopefully only a generation) is because the one thing they should never have bucked is the one thing they did, and it happens to be beauty.  There's nothing attractive about Miley Cyrus.  Nothing that makes you say I want this woman living in my house with me forever.  She's already ruined her good looks with androgyny and bad fashion.  She's unsuitable for a happy marriage, or for getting a real job done, and even worse for the raising of kids -- all of these, whatever people pretend, which are absolutely essential to the majority of us.  And if children aren't looking for these things consciously, they'll feel themselves drawn magically to them by their guts -- which are eternal, unlike the tastes of our fly-by-night intelligentsia.

The irony of the post-gender generation is that it claims to be getting a minority out of the closet while forcing the majority back into another.  It demands that the majority of people celebrate things they don't really feel like celebrating -- unless they have to celebrate it for the purpose of fitting in.  A person who's post-gender or transsexual has never really left his sex.  He's just terrible at being it.  He straddles the infinite chasm between two ideals, and cheapens both of them while getting neither.  And children instinctively know it, and teachers know that they know it -- and we know this because teachers are spending a lot of time telling children to say that they don't know it.

The post-gender movement is against the things all generations of healthy people have recognized as masculine and feminine, which means that in a universal sense it's profoundly anti-democratic.  It's about pretending the forces of nature never existed, and that everyone healthy in fiction and in history, from the Nephilim to Lord Byron was wrong about their feelings.  The movement isn't about the minority who wants to wear makeup and still be respected as manly.  It's about the people who know he isn't manly and are forced to celebrate him because he isn't.  It asks people whether they would rather be "individuals" or be beautiful -- and it not only asks them to pick the option they'd rather not, but chastises them when they refuse to conform to the celebrations of tasteless individuality.  Everyone is beautiful, they say -- especially when they're responsible for making themselves ugly.

Almost every valuable sermon is a calling to either fight or employ your instincts usefully, but sometimes our best sermons are about telling us our preaching's gone wrong.  It's why Jesus was hated by the Pharisees.  In our case, it's gone wrong because we tried to protect the outcasts and in the process buried our winners.  And now we know that we can only be post-gender by mass-indoctrination and thought control and persecution; and we can only avoid gender by keeping children away from romance.  And if the men and women of our day aren't good enough to rebel against our intelligentsia as they should and fight them with every ounce of our sexual vitality, we'll have to wait -- for our children to do it for us.

Their protests will be unlike any protests the left has ever imagined.  They might be made in dirty looks and angry comments at priggish individualists in ugly costumes.  But they'll more likely be silent.  They will more likely be accidental.  They'll be a returning to good art and good fashion and pictures of beautiful women posted on bedroom walls of adolescent boys.  They'll be an unspoken evasion of all the post-gender possibilities for the beautiful maidens and muscular champions we always wanted.  It's our desire for good lovers that will make us into men and women -- and there's nobody in the world who can keep us from doing it. 

Your father,


  1. "and pederasty was openly performed by the Athenians to the disgust of the Spartans, who confused everyone with their unhusbandly approach to marriage."

    I don't get what you mean by the Spartans confusing everyone.

    1. The Spartan constitution was responsible (if I remember correctly) for forcing new husbands to keep houses away from their wives, only spending time with them in secret for purposes of copulation. It gets weirder -- a lot weirder. The link I left up was for Plutarch's account of the Spartans, and it's worth a read.

  2. "The Spartan constitution was responsible (if I remember correctly) for forcing new husbands to keep houses away from their wives ..."

    That would do it. If I recall correctly, Spartan citizens were required to live communally in the barracks until age 30. So, yes, if a Spartan man were married before age 30, it would be a breach of duty/orders to live with his wife.

  3. Nicely said. Whatever we define as beauty or masculine/feminine, we all know instinctively the insanity of current fads of political correctness. The minority grasps to have what they refuse to give - entitlement to individual opinions and feelings.


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