Came across this. In a nutshell it suggests that without ladies, you will never have gentlemen, which also happens to be the blog post title.
There is a lot to be said for the opinion, and a lot to be said against as well. Thoughts?
(I'll add mine in a bit. Got kids to taxi across the nation! Just wanted to get the ball rolling)
Glad to see that you read Fr. Z as well. Good blog.
I read his post and I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. The author makes a good point, but at the same time I think he loses legitimacy for going too far back into the past. Without a more analytical reading, the article appears to say that men are pigs who have to be broken and tamed by women who emanate virtue. I don't think that's true. But upon closer reading I suppose the author makes a good point. Men are men and can be refined- but not in the same way women are. Society should perhaps call women to a higher standard than men. And where ladies exist, gentlemen are soon to follow.
So perhaps the core of the author's argument- that ladies mold gentleman- is correct. But there is something about the article that makes me uneasy, and I can't exactly put my finger on it. This is one of the few issues I'm truly in the middle on, not leaning one way or the other. It'll be interesting to see what other people have to say.
By the way, why is this thread in introductions?
He seems like an inane cheerleader for traditionalist pet-peeves and causes. He has no intellectual credibility.
This particular article has no argumentative substance at all. It's the kind of garbage that traditionalists will gush over but will have no persuasive power with moderates and liberals. I am, by the way, speaking in purely Church politics terms.
A "knight in shining armor pledge" is so laughable I wonder if he's joking. If he is, it's a really bad joke. So he's either totally disconnected or a really sucky comedian. Neither deserve my respect as regards his 'argument' (of which there is none but let's pretend for the sake of ... well, for the sake of argument).
Fr. Z quotes an article that laments the loss of the "former benign influence of ladies". It appears for all intents and purposes that Fr. Z throws most of his support behind the article and certainly this particular sentiment. But was there really a "former benign influence" from the fairer sex? Even a casual look at history will demonstrate that for the vast majority of the centuries that followed Christ's birth, and for many of the centuries that preceded it, women were demonized as the corruption of youth, who instilled lust, jealousy, and violent anger in men.
This of course is a transparent attempt by men to blame their own problems on the opposite sex. But there you have it: for the majority of history no one would have considered women the source of good morals. Until the modern era. Which just goes to show that it is a fabricated, constructed idea.
"The world does not more women who act like men. [Do I hear an "Amen!"? ]" Why not? What does 'acting like a man' mean? What does Fr. Z think it means? Are stereotypical images of manish lesbians dancing in his head? Who knows because he can't be bothered to explain. I think he is relying on stereotypes and tropes familiar to his audience to fill out the picture. I know plenty of women that a traditionalist catholic might think are 'acting like men'--they wear trousers or they're homosexual, they have boyish haircuts or otherwise defy 1950s-style dichotomies of gender--and they are on the whole hard-working and loving people. And any defects they have are rarely related to the wearing of pants or short hair or lack of makeup.
"When you see 'gender', alarm bells must sound." How laughably antiquated. Absolute refusal to deal with this accepted distinction between gender & sex further degrades his intellectual viability.
Overall this article is trite and vapid. I completely agree that people as a whole should have manners and shouldn't use foul language as students or employees or really anywhere where professional behavior is demanded. But it is not gender-specific. Better behavior is infectious across the board. Targeting girls for this is sexist, chauvinistic, and stupid.
Hm. I'm not sure women *can* civilize boys -- at least, not as well as men. Because boys will be thinking at some level, "I'm not like you, I'm not going to be like you, so I'd better be uncivilized and thereby male."
Anyway, we know venues in which men do civilize boys. Military, especially.
I think it's backwards. Women inspire men, but men make men. Another way of saying it: a woman can't tell you how to be a man, because she's never been there, and you know it.
There is a lot of truth to what is said buried in a heaping bowl of tripe. I agree totally that a good woman will bring out the best in a man. A society filled with good women will do the same on a larger scale. I'd love to see women be far more selective and have higher standards for the men they associate with. I'd love it even more if they were very vocal about it! But that is about where it ends for me.
The article on the whole seems to make men out to be fairly stupid, out of control, and left to their own devices self destructive. Like I said above a good woman can bring out the best in a man, but if that best is coming from a pig you've still got a pig, just a prize winning one. Good seed must fall on fertile soil. Good men are either raised to be such or on rare occasions have to overcome their own lack of decent upbringing. The best equipped to do that raising is a good man, ideally a father but role model at the very least. Let's be honest, while many boys will respond well to strong women, there will always be a fair few who are gong to need an Alpha Male.
So this article is a fail. It totally absolves accountability for an entire gender to reign in and manage its own behavior. It puts that responsibility external to the male individual and places it squarely on women. Isn't that the twisted logic behind the Burka?
"There is a lot of truth to what is said buried in a heaping bowl of tripe."
Don't know how i initially get this into Introductions, but it should now be moved to General Discussion. Sorry about the screw up.
He is exactly incorrect. We've let Women do the "civilizing" of our young Men in Western society since more or less WW2 (arguably, there are other pivotal points in time one could use). It's been a slow steady decline ever since. When Women are the civilizing factor, you get feminized boys with no social filter. I would say that psychologically, it is not unrelated to the recent article on the importance of rough housing with your children that Brett (site owner) posted. Part of becoming mature and civilized comes from self confidence in your own personal power, which a Woman is incapable of providing a young Man. She, later in life can appeal to his self confidence and thereby bolster his self confidence, but she can not help him create it.
With this paragraph, " My theory is that each year a new wave of young barbarians will be unleashed on the world unless they are civilized first. I mean, young men. Women civilize men. If women start acting like men, the men don’t get formed in the proper way. The end result is going to be bad for everyone and women are going to be hurt more than men in the disaster that results." I believe he is confusing causality with coexistence. One is not begetting the other, they are both begotten by poor male role models.
Women do not civilize Men. Civilized Men, civilize Men.
Of course women civilize men. Without women there would be no need for civilization; or it wouldn't be possible. The harshness & ugliness of the human male comes out early & would become impossible to deal with without women. Men can rule themselves--like barbarians or the '49ers. No women, no religion, not much law except for punishment. Well, yeah, there were whores or slaves...
First, civilized men civilizing men--that's circular, ain't it? How do you suppose it starts? Secondly, women rule men by pleasure & shame; men rule men by strength--hell, in war wisdom is mostly strength as well--& that means they rule by fear: because people fear you when you want them to fear, which makes them reliable, predictable, useful--but they love you at their whim. Rule by fear makes civilization impossible, though, because there is no trust.
That's why it's women & not men. It's not manly virtues, but the family. Men love women, but women love children as well. Think of it this way; the more pain is involved, the manlier the art; but there are things which are simply destroyed by harshness--they tend to have to do with women.
From the article:
"One of the trends in the entertainment industry – which probably dovetails with big-business abortion – is that female characters are turning into more efficient and extravagant killers than many of the male characters."
I wonder if he'd include Ellen Ripley, Sarah Connor and the Fifth Element's Leeloo in that statement. A couple of those were my role models growing up.
I don't think I've ever thought of myself as a "lady". I'm not sure how that relates to the article, though.
Boudicea, Tomoe Gozen, Joan of Arc, Grace O'malley, Anne Bonny, Belle Starr, Mata Hari, Pavlichenko...
Tomoe Gozen,, sheez. Reachin' into the ol' memory banks for that one.