Stanley Crouch writes a brief but thoughtful op-ed that makes a firm and unflinching point to young people caught up in the thug/slut fashions of the day: you are slaves and you don’t even know it. He further suggests--a la George Gilder--that women have much greater power than they imagine to turn these things around by refusing to acknowledge the advances of such men and refusing to take part in the accompanying "slut" culture of the hip-hop scene. Crouch posits that most young men who are taken with this hip-hop rap culture are just playing a part in order to attract the attention of females. Well . . . perhaps.
On some basic level I suppose there is a bit of truth in what Crouch says. There is, at any rate, probably enough truth in it to make his prescription pretty effective in treating the symptoms of this disease eating away at our culture. But how do you get these women to swallow that bitter pill? That question Crouch leaves unanswered. Beyond that, however, I do not think the pleas of women for manly men will be enough, in the end, to ratchet up production. There are many reasons to be less than optimistic but one especially big one is that a true manly man (as well as a true thug) will not act out of concern for what causes a woman to fawn over him. And here’s the rub: women will still fawn over them--indeed they will fawn all the more. As a result less manly and less thuggish men will attempt to emulate their examples. So no, what thuggish men truly need is the example of real men defeating thugs and putting them in their place and receiving the sweet rewards of real women for their efforts. Similarly, what slutty women need is the example of real women who know the difference between a man and a thug.
Still, on the whole, there is nothing unsound about Crouch’s advice. I just don’t think it is a prescription that can ever kill the virus--only manage its more manageable symptoms (i.e., lesser thugs).