Recently, Pop star “Lady Gaga” gave an interview to Out Magazine, a gay publication, where she said:
I very much want to inject gay culture into the mainstream. It’s not an underground tool for me. It’s my whole life. So I always sort of joke the real motivation is to just turn the world gay.
This is not unusual. American Idol Judge Posh Spice has said she has a “gay man inside her waiting to come out” and that she has nothing in common with straight men, excluding her husband, father, and brothers. Various studies show that younger White women, who are not religious and are college-educated, have more positive attitudes towards homosexuality, gays, and gay behavior than male peers, even controlling for educational levels (i.e. compared to college-educated men). African-American women however generally hold more negative views of gays than their White female peers, even controlling for educational levels.
The cultural war between young, single women, who are politically more liberal and hold social views different from that of young single men, drives much of the debate in the culture over Gay Marriage and a host of other cultural issues. Increasingly, it seems that instead of total victory by young single women to “turn the world gay” per Lady Gaga, the global culture (not just the US) is entering a “Cold Civil War” with a stand-off likely to last for some time.
Much of the increasing acceptance and endorsement of gay culture (consider this the “Berlin of the Cold Civil War”) is being driven, essentially, by the purchasing power of young women and their spending habits. If this spending on the New Girl Order as coined by Kay Hymnowitz declines significantly, so too will the push for re-norming society along the Gay Standards that Lady Gaga and Posh Spice advocate.
By way of comparison, Hoover’s Online estimates that the combined US sales of $48 billion (2002 figures). The US Cosmetics revenues total $7 billion. The US Apparel Industry revenues (including shoes) totals $182 billion. Combined, Cosmetics and Apparel total $189 billion in the US, versus $48 billion for Arms/Weaponry. By way of comparison, the US Auto Industry (including imports) amounted to $213 billion in 2008.
These are substantial sums of money. A quick and dirty analysis can be performed at any Supermarket. Simply pace off the linear feet devoted to women’s grooming products, including body lotion, shampoos, conditioners, and the like, and those devoted to male grooming, including shaving cream, razors, deodorant, and after shave. There will be generally be an approximately 7 to 1 ratio of shelf space devoted to female-male grooming products.
However, the discretionary spending of the New Girl Order is highly discretionary. As Hymnowitz points out, the entire Order depends on the following factors:
- Delayed Marriage making consumerism possible throughout the 20’s and much of a woman’s thirties.
- Rising female education and earnings levels (women make up the majority of College students in the US, UK, France, Germany, Norway, and Australia) allow more discretionary consumer spending.
- Urbanism and the ability of women to live on their own or with room-mates makes consumer spending possible (instead of the old order of family kitty contributions.
- Employment for women has been concentrated on industries like media, fashion, design, marketing, and advertising, along with education, health-care, and social work
All of these factors in turn depend on a global party where the good times roll. A party that is coming to an end. While it’s likely that women will continue to delay marriage, and indeed as Hynmowitz notes, fulfill demographer’s prediction that 30 percent of women with college degrees will remain child-less (and thus with spare cash to spend on consumer goods), the global party that spurred global consumer spending is coming to an end. Declines in oil exploration and cheap, easily extracted oil guarantee in the long-term, more expensive energy, as has the inability of the US to develop nuclear or clean coal technology to produce significant amounts of electricity. Shocks such as unrest, coups, invasions, or other disasters in places like Nigeria, Venezeula, the Persian Gulf, and the Caucasus can produce oil price spikes due to inelastic demand (the US must keep the lights on) and supply shocks (it can take decades to create supply out of oil-tar sands and shale, for example).
Much of the rest of the global economy in the 1990’s and 2000’s was based on bubbles. The Dot-Com bubble, the Real Estate Bubble, the credit bubble, all provided inflated consumer wealth that led to over-spending from places like Iceland to Dublin. Including consumer spending on fashion, cosmetics, and the like, which unlike food and energy are discretionary.
As the Wall Street Journal article “Thick Fashion Magazines Are So Last Year” makes clear (Marketplace, P1, Aug 17, 2009), Ad spending in magazines are down from between 20 and 41%. With advertisers moving to cheaper on-line venues after years of resistance.
Young women living the Sex and the City lifestyle were able to do so on the bubble economy. Now that cheap credit is gone, and energy price shocks an inevitable outcome, it is quite likely that the world will experience the equivalent to the “Lost Decade” of Japan, where consumer spending matched income: stagnant. Much of the “fabulous” jobs that were “semi-creative” such as design, fashion, marketing, advertising, and so on will simply disappear. We are already seeing the stormy petrel of this event in the reduced advertising spending on Fashion Magazines, and indeed the reduced revenues that fashion designers are finding in the global recession.
Even with the “Mancession” (men outnumber women in joblosses as noted by Seeking Alpha and The Atlantic) women have long-term vulnerability. The few sectors showing growth: Health, Education, and Welfare are vulnerable to downturns in government spending.
Currently women have an advantage over (White) men in these fields. Women have an Affirmative Action preference in all over men, particularly in Education and Welfare. Special programs even exist targeting only girls to put them into College. Most college-outreach programs have female-preferences. In government jobs, the direct Affirmative Action preference for women guarantees more women than men, in significant amounts, will be hired, and promoted. The National Organization for Women pressured Obama to change the stimulus bill away from male-employment to female-friendly spending, and towards State Government bailouts. The few dollars that went to infrastructure spending were funneled into repaving highways. Eisenhower built the national highway system, and Obama repaved a few miles of it.
But the stimulus bill, which requires an increase in welfare spending by the States, and welfare workers (most of them female) is good for only two years. After that, the money runs out. States are in a budget crisis not just California but nearly all states have far more expenses (mostly government employees who expanded during good times) than revenues. The scope of the deficits are so large that the Federal Government, already pressed by the stimulus bill, auto bailout, financial bailout, and prospective Health and Cap and Trade spending simply won’t have the money to keep State employees at current levels. Some employee cuts will have to be made. The same is likely true at the Federal level. While the Federal government can push inflation as back-door tax increases, the ability to do so while the Chinese hold substantial amounts of US debt is in question (inflation erodes the value of their investments in our debt). At a minimum, inflation (reducing purchasing power applied to Chinese imports) would seriously impact China-US trade, the detriment of China. Producing an inevitable reaction. Already, Chinese delegates laughed at US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s assurance that the US is determined not to see inflation rise to 1970’s levels.
With added public pressure to reduce the deficit on a wary, frightened Congress spooked by the reaction of the public to incumbents, the ObamaCare debacle, and past spending, it is highly likely that the Federal Government will face tremendous pressure to reduce federal employment, particularly in the Health, Education, and Welfare spending categories. Middle class White voters feel that these areas are merely for connected people and lobbyists, not any benefit to they themselves, or at best non-Whites who collect money set-aside for those groups. Lack of broad political patronage aimed at the White Middle Class means there is little enthusiasm for mass government employment and spending, among the middle-aged middle class. And middle aged people outnumber young people by significant margins, and voting participation reliably goes up as does age. Seniors not only outnumber the Youth Vote, they vote in much higher percentages.
All of which means, the New Girl Order has at best a few more years before they too, find themselves in the unemployment line. Already fashion industry mainstays are experiencing less revenue than in prior years, and stores have ordered far fewer amounts in anticipation of reduced sales. While legal efforts to impose Gay Marriage on the US through the Supreme Court no doubt will be successful, the ability of the New Girl Order to impose gay values and make the world gay, per Lady Gaga’s wishes, seems increasingly shaky. While marriage and relationships may indeed be made “gay” much of the male world is increasingly disconnected and removed from the New Girl Order, which itself seems on very shaky financial foundations. As noted at the Belmont Club, it takes only a few Bombay style attacks on shopping malls and such during the Holiday shopping season to tank retail sales (“Black Friday” is so named because that is when stores go into the “black” i.e. profit during the day after Thanksgiving sales). Causing another crash to match the auto and financial industry and housing crisis.
It’s unlikely that a crash or series of crashes along with greatly increased female unemployment will change young single women’s behavior. Their male peers will not be any more attractive they themselves will be unemployed alongside them. If anything this prospective crash will simply increase the hypergamous competition for the few “Alpha males” with natural or applied “Game” (i.e. cocky-funny, aggressive attraction for women). Leaving most men unemployed or underemployed or feeling pressure, and with Halo and porn and sports for diversions.
What this does mean is that the ability of young single women to dominate the culture through large amounts of discretionary consumer spending is likely to end. Culminating in a “Cold Civil War” coined by April Gavaza not just in politics, but in culture, along gender lines.
Young single women will want the world turned “gay.” So that beta, “icky” men will stop expressing sexual or romantic interest in them. Leaving them free to pursue the few Alpha men without distraction, and sharing them in a gay, or harem-derived fashion. Young single men, on the other hand, will want the world turned “Halo” or WWE. Withdrawing into their own private spheres, largely off the current media world, which seems set to decline into genteel poverty, ala Miss Haversham in “Great Expectations.”
Such a Cold Civil War could last for generations, until one side simply exhausts its resources. Given the dependence on the New Girl Order on discretionary spending by young single women in urban areas (themselves excellent targets for WMD-wielding or even ordinary terrorists) with rising incomes in “fashionable” female fields or government employment, I’d bet on the WWE and Halo.