The feminist/libertarian author Camille Paglia recently penned an argument for the repeat of the drinking age in the US. Obviously as such a short piece, it raises more questions than it answers:
As I skimmed it, something popped off of the screen-
As a libertarian, I support the decriminalization of marijuana, but there are many problems with pot. From my observation, pot may be great for jazz musicians and Beat poets, but it saps energy and willpower and can produce physiological feminization in men.
I tried looking for some evidence of this, but could not find much in the way of real studies in this direction. There are some that have revealed the problems of male impotence, but unless one of our fellow readers has something on the topic, I'm not sure anyone is studying it-
Let's look at the basics here: cannabinoids are neurotransmitter suppressors, meaning that they slow down the activity between nerve cells. Hence, if faster reflexes or greater neurological capacity is what you want, cannabinoids are the perfect way to make sure you won't.
This has a natural effect on sex, which is not only a sensory experience, but also a psychological one. It stimulates the brain and thus a slow-down of neurotransmitter release means a dampening of stimulation and arousal.
Sure, plenty of marijuana-using men will smile and say that they are still able to 'perform,' but what they are talking about is having to overcome something that it working against them. It is not helping the process. As they get older, they often need to turn to impotency medications in order to be aroused.
Now, this really is the definition of 'living better through chemistry.' So much for marijuana being the 'natural high.'
But, Paglia isn't talking about that so much as the docility that comes with a pot-head. Marijuana dampens the normal 'aggression' of men, which is part of the reason so many men in this society, which values female virtues over masculine virtues, find it appealing at a deeper level: it takes away the aggression for which they have no way to otherwise vent.
Let's think about college. Men are squeezed into classrooms for hours and hours of talking. This is compounded by the fact that most modern people are not audio-learners as much as they are visual (because of internet, TV, and video games), and so the hours of sitting and focusing on listening is really against nature. Colleges developed athletics in large part to help men deal with the after-effects of the classroom.
Of course, athletics became 'professionalized,' and so the average student has to find a pick-up game of basketball or football... if he can find the space on campus, and if security will allow them to. There's the gym, where one can engage in mindless, robotic activity. But, it lacks real interaction unless you fall in with a trainer.
Alcohol and marijuana become the 'easier' alternative. Of course, with alcohol you have some of the effects that Paglia describes in her article, but many students shoot past that mark into drunkenness for an underlying reason: it dampens their anxieties and the desire to act upon them.
Paglia is talking about this 'calming' of men when she speaks of 'feminization.' Modern males are docile, compliant, and much less aggressive than their natural counterparts. The days of the great hunter and the man who builds monuments has been replaced by the Hipster who likes some formerly-obscure trend, or the vegan socially-conscious office worker, or the video-game addict.
Those men who don't fit in are pushed further and further out of the places of power within modern society. They are your sanitation workers and manual laborers, which is the only place where a dose of masculinity is still a benefit, so long as managers don't see it. If they come inside the air-conditioned spaces, they become subjected to the social climate of the feminine, where horse-play and male-bonding activities like teasing are quickly punished.
Christianity is about being a 'natural person,' which is why we see a growing disconnect between modern culture (and its gender-bending tendencies) and Christianity with its gender-affirming and -perfecting goals.
There are some clergy who are reading strange books and try to enforce a bizarre kind of rigid gender role system on their parishioners. I've heard of priests telling their community that the man 'must' earn more money than his wife, otherwise he is violating a sacred order of the world.
Aside from the poor bloke being a complete idiot in a lot of other ways (don't worry, I know I am a card-carrying member of that club), the fact that he demands complete obedience and subservience from his parishioners means that he really doesn't understand what he is talking about at all. Masculine 'aggression' is not about keeping you wife down. It is about racing ahead, and it is far more than just dollar-value. It is about achievement and making things and putting one's energy to constructive use.
The phenomenon of the cult-priest is one of attracting these feminized, non-dominant men. After all, there can be only one 'Alpha Male.' The rest must submit and surrender some part of that masculinity.
There are more constructive ways to maintain order without such repression, but that's for another day. Returning to the topic at hand, when men are forced to repress themselves, they either 'blow off steam' or try to dissolve it in some chemical bath.
The marijuana phenomenon is really about that. Marijuana makes being a man more bearable in a society that pushes against masculinity. That is Paglia's point, and it is well worth considering.