为什么消费社会出现“男人女性化”特质

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一九九0年,台湾作家朱天文有短篇小说《世纪末的华丽》,预言的是新世代的奇景和旧世代的衰老荒颓。小说中那个拜物拜金、青春绮貌的物质女郎“米亚”,是新的消费社会的物质基础养育出来的新人类,在她的世界里,任何东西,包括她的情事,都可以被转换成一种精美的姿态,一个迷魅的商标或品牌。米亚的生活特征在于她把存在和记忆彻底美学符号学化,借由各种符码与感觉拼贴出一种《九歌》似的多花多草多祭的华丽世界。



朱天文借此推衍女人的物质世界,以视觉、嗅觉等无可捉摸的感官确立一个比理论和规条还要确切的世界:“年老色衰,米亚有好手艺足以养活。湖泊幽邃无底洞之蓝告诉她,有一天男人用理论与制度建立起来的世界会倒塌,她将以嗅觉和颜色的记忆存活,从这里并予之重建。”这也是胡兰成所谓“女人始创文明,男人将之理论学问化”的说法,再加上张爱玲对于文明荒败之后的预言:“将来的荒原下,断瓦颓垣里,只有蹦蹦戏花旦那样的女人,她能够夷然地活下去,在任何时代,任何社会里,到处是她的家。”以此为出发点,朱天文提供了一个整体的观照,包含了文明/文化起源观、历史观、美学观等等—在它的核心处,可以称之为“阴性本体”。

二十世纪末以来,消费社会中出现了一种不可忽略的文化现象,即社会对男人女人的传统定义正在陷入困境,“女性们就像涨满的帆准备迎接历史的顺风,男性却像站在逆风口的一群傻瓜”。男性公司主义开始瓦解,有越来越多的男人呈现出他们较为“阴柔”的一面,消费文化领域的“阴性化”特质,已然形成一股风潮。

朱天文在长篇小说《荒人手记》中这样描述阴性气质:“爱实感,爱体格,爱色相。物质即存在,此外别无存在。不冥想,不形而上,直观眼界里所看见的即所存在的。”胡兰成曾在《女人论》里强调阴性气质的特性就是“感”,“感”就是开放主体的各种官觉以直接对应客体世界,而摒除了理性的知识体系的中介。因此,感性、物质、被动、矫饰等特质均可被归为阴性气质的类属。

此阳性气质与阴性气质的涵义亦超越性别领域而渗透至社会与文化的各个层面,比如人们把政治、商业、电脑等职业类别称为“阳性事业”,把艺术、文学、表演等则称为“阴性事业”。城市也会有“阳性城市”和“阴性城市”之分:北京—外向,阳性城市,中国政治权力集中之地,大气磅礴,充满国际视野和张力;上海—内向,阴性城市,多水缺山,文化艺术事业发达,细致阴柔,消费文化最为发达。所谓“阴性化”,即相对于“阳性的”功能和批量导向的、现代的、重视物质财富的“生产性文化”,阴性文化更加重视非物质文化的生产,体现为一种交往式的、情境式的、后现代的“消费性文化”。

消费主义典型的样式是时尚,而在时尚潮流中,女性无疑占据着优势地位。一方面,女性群体是时尚的最热烈的追随者;另一方面,时尚的代言人常常以女性的面目出现。在消费主义占据主导地位的都市,男性文化固有的那种冷酷、专制似乎都悄然隐去,取而代之的是对女性表现出最大限度的友好和亲近。柯林·坎贝尔说,这可能意味着男性面临选择:要么变得越来越“女人气”(或许加入“新型男性”的行列),要么在后现代的消费社会里越来越被边缘化。鲍德里亚在《消费社会》中也指出一个非常普遍的情况就是“女性范例”在整个消费领域中的扩张。

坎贝尔在研究现代消费的发展进程时,借用韦伯《新教伦理与资本主义精神》书名的格式出版了《浪漫伦理与现代消费主义精神》,他发现文学、绘画、音乐和大众文化中的浪漫主义运动与现代消费革命之间存在着的“亲和性”关系:浪漫主义使想象、白日梦成为世人精神生活的时代特点,人们努力体验由事物激发的自我想象而获得享受,胜于对物质满足的追求,因此,消费行为的核心是想象性的对愉快的追求(而广告塑造的商品意象正好为此提供了前提),“真正”的消费主要是这种精神上的享乐主义的产物。

事实上,为了欢乐而欢乐,为了艺术而艺术,为了主义而主义的沉溺,是女性“非理性特质”的重要部分。因此,男性与女性对消费展现出完全不同的态度—男性将消费看作工作,女性则将其等同于娱乐和消遣。在想象或白日梦之中感受的愉快在实际消费之中总是不可企及,结果导致一种幻灭感;而幻想总是优于现实,希望总是比实际更有意思。于是,“欲望—获得—使用—幻灭—新的欲望”的消费周期永恒运转。从生物性驱动的或经济主义的消费观念到更加富于社会性的、象征的和心理的现代消费是一种重要转变,因此被称为“消费革命”。

在此种消费革命的范畴中,“女性的细节之处”变得格外突出。朱天文在《女人与衣服》一文中指出,时代若有变动,一定是“女人先变,衣服先变,举麦当娜为证”。我们可以借用周蕾所称的“琐细政治”来界定这种社会变革和女性消费的关系,在此,“社会本身即是种种细节”,细节的历史不只是与日常、俗世和装饰本身相关联,而且也与传统上这些领域所意味的“阴性特质”(femininity)相关联。

关于细节的考量无可避免地牵涉“性别化”,无论就超验层次或是实质层面来说皆是如此。在消费社会中,基本的美学信条是将细节铭刻于物品之上,这也是人们身份构建与重构的领地。身为现代社会成员,女性当然也想通过消费主义的规则来证明自己的价值,更何况在从制造型经济向服务性经济转型的过程中,受到高等教育的女性,技能的比较优势在多个产业里都远胜过男性。二十世纪六十年代以来,在女权主义背景下,男性的定义被掩盖在女性话语之下。阴盛阳衰、男性的女性化倾向已然成为一个社会问题而引人注目,“坎普趣味”的流行与这种阴性化特质的文化有着某种必然的联系。

在埃里克·帕蒂兹主编的《俚语词典》中对“坎普”一词做了两种解释:“Camp”做形容词使用时,有娇气的、柔弱的、女人气的意思,尤指语言和行为举止方面的同性恋倾向;做名词时,“Camp”有同性恋之意,分别指男女同性恋者。《牛津法语词典》把它解释为“大胆的造型”。在《关于“坎普”的札记》中,苏珊·桑塔格使用“坎普”这个词语集中概括了先锋文艺的美学特征,专指在风格和技巧方面的审美体验。“坎普”所欣赏的正是结构、感性外观,而不是内容和主体。“坎普”为两性同体所吸引,迷恋于强烈的夸饰与粗野—它们直接把生活戏剧化和观念化。这种矫饰特质同样体现在对人的审美趣味方面,坎普倾向于那些十分纤弱以及极度夸张的人物,女性化的男子或男性化的女子肯定是坎普感受力的最伟大的意象之一。桑塔格指出,“坎普趣味”显示了一种大体上未被认可的趣味的真相:“一个人的性吸引力的最精致的形式(以及性快感的最精致的形式)在于与他的性别相反的东西;在那些颇有男子气概的男子身上,最美的东西是某种具有女性色彩的东西;在那些颇有女人味的女子身上,最美的东西是某种具有男性色彩的东西……与坎普对男性化的女子和女性化的男子的趣味相类似的,是一种对夸张性特征和个性风格的爱好。”

这已预言或预设了一个新的“阴性时代”的到来。


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