Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Wall Street, Wealth, and Masculinity

Salon recently ran an article on Sam Polk, a noted insider of Wall Street, who is decrying the greed as wealth addiction and laying a fair chunk of the cause at toxic masculinity. This intrigues me. I can completely see how toxic masculinity would express itself through extreme wealth, and especially on Wall Street. What if other highly competitive, high-powered positions? I'm thinking of attorneys in particular, who make a high-dollar sporting arena of people's legal issues. For a fine example of a woman playing this role, see Annalise Keating's (played masterfully by Viola Davis) character in How to Get Away With Murder, or Patty Hews (gloriously brought to the small screen by Glenn Close) character in Damages. Both attorney and stock broker are high octane power dealers, making the rules conform to them, leveraging the playing field at every turn in the pursuit of more. Portrayals of high-fuel politicians come to mind as well, especially Frank Underwood in House of Cards.

Does feminism have a role in looking at the types of carrier paths we consider as individuals and that we value as a society?