Call Me “The Spoiler”

My ceremonious entrance was duly noted by my very own tribe since I had not heretofore deigned to follow the events of this game firsthand. I was completely satisfied over the recent weeks with snippets of conversation between husband and children, the details of which scattered about my feet like so many scraps and were more than enough exposure to a fragment of mankind which had 42 days to blow on outwitting, outplaying, and outlasting each other for the million dollar kitty.

As I sat back to soak in my first impressions of the game, I first laid eyes on a man and a woman who had run the gauntlet — who had, as it were, survived. Colby and Tina were the finalists waiting to be judged by their teammates who had fallen previously to the complicated machinations of The Game.

“Tina will win,” I intoned after sipping my drink. “It’s a done deal.”

My children reacted in horror. How could Mother know the ins and outs, who was for whom, and who had the chutzpah to win? How could a Johnnycomelately have a clue about the weeks of intrigue to date? No one could come it at this late hour and understand the complexities of tribal warfare and vice run amok.

“Simple,” I answered. “Richard won the first game. He’s a guy. Now a woman has to win to even things out.”

(Mrs. Kineke is the mother of five and editor of Canticle Magazine for Catholic women.)

That all of their careful tabulations could be dismissed with this theory was implausible so we continued in reverent silence, hanging onto the words, the shifting eyes, and the body language, looking for clues to help guide the suspense. In the end (cleverly postponed) Tina won. Teary-eyed, she and Colby embraced, revealing his good sportsmanship and Mother had the last laugh.

Why the cynicism? Why the dull acknowledgment of The Way Things Are? Why spoil this moment for those who take what they see at face value? Mother, it would seem, has had long exposure to gender feminism, quotas, and a forceful restructuring of society at the expense of family, free will, and authentic choice. Mother is a little fatigued by arguing against ferocious women who rail against many of the realities of life — admittedly, perhaps, Mother is becoming jaded in her old age.

Gender feminists — an insidious branch of radical feminists — believe that men and women only act as they do because of early constant coercion by social constructs. Change the constructs, they insist, and we’ll change men and women. The way that men and women choose work, family arrangements, spouses, entertainment, and all the rest can be reprogrammed by refitting society with gender-blind models and androgynous people.

Since refitting society “naturally” will take time, quotas will help to speed along the process. In Beijing at the Fourth World Conference on Women, serious women proposed (with serious faces) the establishment of 50-50 quotas in all sectors of society so that the next generation would grow up with no concept of masculine or feminine trends. Parliaments were to be half male and half female, and so too were university faculties and the boardrooms of private industry. Textbooks' photographs were to be revamped to make sure of equal numbers of men and women and images of mothers (i.e., women with babies or children obviously their own) were to be excised since motherhood was too tricky — or too feminine (though effort is being expended on how to make pregnancy and nursing more available to men). Society at all levels was to be given a facelift courtesy of gender sensitive operatives so that no child would be confused by stereotypes which are manipulative tools primarily established to repress women.

Ridiculous to most but before one dismisses this as complete nonsense, follow the UN dollars on gender studies. Count the number of times gender is used in international legal documents despite the refusal to define it. Flip through a recent history or literature textbook and consider the visual imagery. Watch the most popular game shows to see how male-female trends fare in coming years.

Has gender feminism anything at all to do with the outcome of Survivor II? I haven’t the slightest clue, but I do know that quotas breed ill will everywhere they are used. Manipulative, simplistic, and ultimately unfair, they cause everyone to question outcomes and to suggest that we are not judged “by the content of our character” but by how we fit into the schemes of others.

In our family, every episode of Survivor II was discussed in detail to determine how virtue and vice were practiced by the contestants. My husband let no opportunity pass to drive home certain points, especially about the need to imitate Christ and live charity. This teaching moment has now also become a wide open door for all to consider the merits of quotas and the satisfaction of any victory with the specter of social engineering hovering on the horizon. In all honesty, Tina may have won fair and square; or …

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