Established Churches

Tuesday, April 7, AD 2015

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Instapundit gives an example of the type of established churches we have on many campuses in this land:

DISRESPECT WAS EXACTLY THE RIGHT ATTITUDE WHEN FORCED TO ATTEND A POINTLESS, MAN-HATING POLITICAL EVENT: VT players accused of disrespect at sexual assault support event.

Members of the Virginia Tech football team have been accused of acting disrespectfully at a campus sexual assault awareness event.

Players were required to attend a Take Back the Night event on March 26. The event was organized by a campus female activism group and featured sexual assault survivors speaking about their experiences as victims. Multiple attendees accused the players of infringing upon the “safe space” the event is intended to foster, according to The Roanoke Times.

Take Back the Night is a national organization that seeks “to end sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual abuse and all other forms of sexual violence.”

Several attendees wrote letters to the student newspaper, the Collegiate Times, complaining about the players’ behavior. The players arrived late, said they did not know why they were attending the event and spent much of the time looking at their phones, the letters said.

“[T]heir judgmental remarks made it very hard to feel safe,” one wrote. “When survivors took the stage, there was nothing respectful in the way the football team took it, especially in reference to transgender survivors. I am deeply offended and horrified by the disrespectful nature that the players displayed.”

Honey, you’re a caricature. Your pointless, politicized event got all the respect it deserved, and then some. Generally speaking, captive audiences aren’t especially appreciative. More here: “Womanspace at Virginia Tech, a campus organization for feminist activism, has coordinated the event at Tech for 26 years, with this year’s version featuring speakers from the transgender community as well as survivors of sexual assault.”

UPDATE: From the comments: “I was born and raised in Cuba. I have certain memories of staged rallies.”

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12 Responses to Established Churches

  • I am convinced that this is but yet another weapon of the “crush masculinity/ fatherhood etc” machine–all done by diabolically using a good (rape is bad) as deceitful camouflage for their intent to destroy normal societal functioning.
    Our moral atrophy has been but a case of decades of Christianity hiding in the social justice closet while all the perverted passions are coming out with their demons as cheerleaders.

  • They complain about rape yet want to be libertine sexual hedonists. Really! Liberal. Progressive. Democrat.

  • “Our moral atrophy has been but a case of decades of Christianity hiding in the social justice closet…”

    Actually, now the social justice crowd has a new cause in “transgender survivors”

  • Our culture is the way it is today in large measure because Christian Churches especially the Catholic Church lost it’s courage to stand-up for Christian morality and decided that ‘opening it’s windows to the world’ was the way to become relevant and influential. Now, in the most ironic turn of events, some in Vatican leadership wish accept and support our cultural corruption. It will take an Act of God to help turn this around.–many many.

  • Don Lond: “I am convinced that this is but yet another weapon of the “crush masculinity/ fatherhood etc” machine–all done by diabolically using a good (rape is bad) as deceitful camouflage for their intent to destroy normal societal functioning.”
    .
    This is another weapon as the deceitful camouflage for their intent to destroy the image of God in man, the sovereignty of God over man and the sovereign person. Rape is especially heinous because it violates the sovereignty of the victim to give informed consent, a free will act, to the (act) crime. Any and every crime is a violation of God’s law and the image of God in the human being, the proof of a man’s soul, the metaphysical part of man, the human being. It was the burden of proof on Sarah Weddington of Roe v. Wade that was not forthcoming. It was Roe’s burden to prove that there was no human soul with sovereign personhood in the newly begotten human person in the womb. A miscarriage of Justice is a crime.

  • The New Millenials understand that they are sovereign persons made in the image of God, probably visited by the souls of 60 million innocents murdered in the womb. Anyone under the age of 41 is a survivor of genocide in America.

  • Every rapist today who has not be struck dead by God is a walking miracle.

  • “Requiring people to go to an event encroaches on that safe space,” Sahai [Womanspace co-President Malavika Sahai] said. “If you don’t want to be there, you really shouldn’t be there.”

    Compulsory attendance would appear to have been imposed by “Athletic Director Whit Babcock and coach Frank Beamer,” as part of their own programme.

  • The Inquisition of the Middle Ages is a more apt metaphor than “church” or “religion.”

  • My favorite line: “honey, you’re a caricature”
    also Love that photo graphic
    .
    petulant (adj.)
    1590s, “immodest, wanton, saucy,” from Middle French petulant (mid-14c.), from Latin petulant …”wanton, froward, saucy, insolent,” present participle of petere “to attack, assail; strive after; ask for, beg, beseech”… Meaning “peevish, irritable”
    first recorded 1775, probably by influence of pet (n.2).
    Related: Petulantly.

  • No. The inquisition had set rules and procedures about things like “evidence.” The inquisition also kept better records.

  • Ernst: Point well-taken. The only things these people accomplish are massive, unnecessary hells here and in the hereafter.

Slob and Feminazis

Saturday, November 15, AD 2014

 

I rather enjoy it when the Left demonstrates that when it comes to tolerance, the Puritans of yore were free thinking hedonists compared to most of them.  Case in point:

Seemingly everyone on Earth watched in astonishment as humanity landed a research probe on a small comet speeding 84,000 miles per hour towards the sun. Well, everyone on Earth except Ms. Rose Eveleth of Brooklyn, N.Y.

The acting technology editor for The Atlantic couldn’t pay attention to the history being made right in front of her eyes. She was too busy screen-capping and zooming-in on a scientist’s shirt to see if it offended her. And, boy, did it ever.

 

“The dude” is Rosetta Project astrophysicist Matt Taylor, who wore an intentionally kitschy bowling shirt covered with cartoons of ’80s-era pin-up girls holding sci-fi guns. It’s basically a parody of the tacky artwork that adorned everything from Duran Duran cassette covers to Trans Am hoods. Taylor is also covered shoulder-to-ankle in garish tattoos, has the requisite ironic hipster beard and holds international press conferences in surf shorts, purple socks and skater shoes.

Granted, I prefer my rocket scientists with crewcuts, skinny black ties and thick-rimmed glasses, but culture has devolved in the decades since the Mercury missions. That being said, what kind of a buzzkill would deny a brilliant physicist a silly, celebratory wardrobe on the greatest day of his professional life?

 

Several miserable harpies joined Ms. Eveleth on the public shaming, turning a staggering scientific achievement into a colloquy on restoring Victorian dress codes. For the record, the shirt was made by a woman named Elly Prizeman as a fun gift for her physicist friend. No doubt, she shall be placed in the village stockade for her grievous sin of consorting with a male and having her cartoon ladies show too much ankle. Her repentance will only be accepted when she covers them up in burkas.

Mr. Taylor then made the bad situation worse. Instead of telling these progressive puritans to go pound silicon dioxide, he issued a sobbing public confession straight out of a Maoist show trial. This guy just dropped a dishwasher on an ice cube 300 million miles from home and he’s groveling to a coven of D-list bloggers?

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One Response to Slob and Feminazis

Have We Always Been This Crazy?

Monday, May 26, AD 2014

You’re on the Internet, reading a politically-themed religious blog. You’ve heard about the shooting in Santa Barbara. I almost feel as if I’d be wasting my time and insulting your intelligence by providing a link. Long story short: a rich kid went nuts because no girls would sleep with him and killed a whole bunch of people. Then everyone immediately projected their ideological loves, fears, and hatreds onto the situation and into the Interwebs in a massive deluge. Only three things get people this worked up in the Twitterverse: race, gender, and sexual preferences. This time the wheel stopped at gender.

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14 Responses to Have We Always Been This Crazy?

  • “People are dead.”

    Agreed. Death of conscience. Death of soul.

    The families that lost loved ones due to this senseless act need our prayers. At this point it’s the only help we can offer.
    The only act that makes sense.

  • Abraham Lincoln said that one person cannot own another person. Susan B. Anthony was handcuffed to the bars in her jail cell, starved and beaten for days because she had the temerity to believe that man and woman were equal in personhood. Some men beat their wives because Eve ate an apple. (not that Adam, who had the power, stopped her.)
    Why would Elliot Rodger believe that any woman would want to share friendship with a selfish monster? Women can think, too. Somebody never told Rodger to never underestimate his opponent.
    Somebody never told Rodger that there are Ten Commandments. “Thou shalt not kill.” is one of them. There is the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where there is always a person with whom to speak and share and befriend. Someone never told Rodger about God, the Supreme Sovereign Being who created man in Justice and love. That someone, the atheist, is responsible for Rodger not knowing and hoping and loving. Atheism is unconstitutional, while the atheist must be tolerated. Murder is beyond toleration. Whoever removed God and the knowing, loving and serving of God from the public domain is responsible, nay guilty. Will the real murderer of body and soul please stand up.

  • Regarding the accusations of overreacting, do you deny….

    -That we (as in the world, whether in the West or elsewhere) don’t simply preach that one (whether male or female) wait for sex till marriage, but in many cases turn virginity for women into an idol, where if something violent happens to a woman, or she makes a mistake, or simply doesn’t believe as we do, she is treated like her virginity was the only/most important part of her and now she is damaged?

    -We may theologically preach waiting till marriage for all, but in all our history as a church, we failed to stamp out the cultural norms that tie manhood to sexual prowess, so that a man must “conquer” lots of women with sex to be a real man?

    -That in addition to basic, call it “jock type disregard and mistreatment of women”, there is the phenomenon of “nice guy-ism”, where nerds think that they deserve women just for not being like there oppressors, and can themselves turn into jerks or creeps (like Steve Urkel) in how they treat women?

    -That while teaching people survival skills is important, we don’t put enough effort into things like trying to make our streets so safe so that a woman wouldn’t have to fear walking alone at night (as much as that is possible)?

    -That we can get so wrapped up in telling women what they should have done differently, we let men off the hook in various ways, rather than justly saying “YOU HURT HER? WE ARE THROWING THE BOOK AT YOU!!!!!!”?

    -That if in many cases, when a woman exercises the kind of kind but firm assertiveness we consider a good quality in men, she is considered “pushy”?

    -That we may theologically not find it problematic if a woman works as a CEO while the man takes care of the kids, we STILL kinda look down on people like the ones I described?

    -That in our efforts to defend the notion of differences between men and women (I’ll grant that, aside from physical differences, my understanding is that studies have shown that on average tendencies are a real thing), we forget the importance of equality of opportunity, and letting each man or woman succeed on their own merits, regardless of whether they are like the group or not?

    -That the things we consider good qualities in men….being kind, hard-working, assertive, able to discern whether a given situation is the best time to express ones feelings, or whether said situations requires stoic resolve….are ALSO good qualities in women? And that what we are in fact describing….are simply the qualities of a good person?

    -That in our rush to condemn single moms, we forget that a MASSIVE amount of the time, the reason they single is because the men either left or that the women HAD to remove themselves from said men because they were a danger to the women and/or children?

    -That when it comes to things like “provocative clothing”, men should stop using it as an excuse and turn their eyes away?

    -And finally, that as YesAllWomen has pointed out, they know not all men or bad, BUT all women have had to learn to fear men?

  • I should point out I DONT mean all nerds….I myself consider myself a nerd. BUT as a cultural problem…I don’t deny that among my fellow nerds there can be a strong element of self-entitlement…..

  • A couple of observations.

    (obligatory) Re: the Second Amendment and concealed carry laws. The man could not have done that in Clarksville, TN where everybody (including my soldier son) is carrying a weapon. The places in KY he could have done it are Fort Campbell and Fort Knox where only the mass murderer is allowed to go about armed.

    Re: ideology and mass shootings. Why is it always that the foul felons are either Democrats or their constituents/dependents?

    Finally, “Why do we live like this, the violence and the hatred, Bernardo?” From “West Side Story.”

  • Do I deny….
    .
    “That we (as in the world, whether in the West or elsewhere)”…
    .
    I deny that you can, as you tried to do here, lump the West in with “elsewhere.” Yes, I deny that women are treated the same in the United States as they are in Saudi Arabia. I deny that Western cultures still perpetuate a cult of virginity as many Eastern cultures still do, even there are some residuals.
    .
    “We may theologically preach waiting till marriage for all, but in all our history as a church, we failed to stamp out the cultural norms that tie manhood to sexual prowess, so that a man must “conquer” lots of women with sex to be a real man?”
    .
    What you call a “cultural norm” is something I see as an expression of biology. Cultures don’t just float down from the sky into blank slates (I love Locke but I hate the tabla rasa). They emerge at least in part from our natures. You cannot stamp out human nature without stamping out humanity. The Church, and for that matter, the ancient pagans, did the best they could; they cultivated a moral and ethical ideal of self-restraint, an intellectual ideal of objectivity and reason, and sought to inculcate as many people with it as they could. To go beyond this would be totalitarian and a violation of human dignity far worse than whatever evils would supposedly be stopped (and they wouldn’t be stopped even then).
    .
    “That in addition to basic, call it “jock type disregard and mistreatment of women”, there is the phenomenon of “nice guy-ism”, where nerds think that they deserve women just for not being like there oppressors, and can themselves turn into jerks or creeps (like Steve Urkel) in how they treat women?”
    .
    I don’t deny it, but Elliot Rodger wasn’t a Steve Urkel (and to be fair, poor old Urkel only wanted to be with ONE woman and always went home when she ordered him to). Elliot Rodger was mentally ill. He didn’t even speak to women. Everything he believed about himself and women was a psychotic mental fabrication. There’s no political cure for this. A lifetime of indoctrination at a feminist reeducation camp couldn’t cure this. He would have just ended up mass murdering for a different reason. But that’s generally ok. I mean, the left worships Che Guevara because he waged a war against people the left doesn’t like.
    .
    “That while teaching people survival skills is important, we don’t put enough effort into things like trying to make our streets so safe so that a woman wouldn’t have to fear walking alone at night”
    .
    How much effort is enough? North Korean levels of control? Soviet levels? Until I know what you think is the minimum, I can’t say what I think of your idea.
    .
    “That we can get so wrapped up in telling women what they should have done differently, we let men off the hook in various ways”
    .
    There are thousands of men in jail for rape and assault. Some people let men off the hook for bad behavior, sure. And feminism is a collective enterprise devoted to letting women off the hook for theirs. Both sides of the debate are very childish. MRAs think men can do no wrong; feminists think women can do no wrong. The reality is that violence against women – or anyone – should be punished and that women – and everyone – ought to be prepared to defend themselves. To argue anything else is to deny basic elements of reality and to place yourself in the camp of ideological fanatics.
    .
    “That if in many cases, when a woman exercises the kind of kind but firm assertiveness we consider a good quality in men, she is considered “pushy”?”
    .
    That might be true, but again, I don’t know what the hell it has to do with Rodgers, whose problem wasn’t even remotely related to women being “pushy.”
    .
    “That we may theologically not find it problematic if a woman works as a CEO while the man takes care of the kids, we STILL kinda look down on people like the ones I described?”
    .
    I don’t deny that. I do think it is another expression of human nature, and not the result of a patriarchal conspiracy to brainwash everyone.
    .
    “we forget the importance of equality of opportunity, and letting each man or woman succeed on their own merits, regardless of whether they are like the group or not?”
    .
    Yes, this happens, and it sucks, and it can’t be changed. We are not infinitely malleable creatures. The society of individual liberty that we’ve tried to build, very imperfectly, is as close as we can get to a just one. A collectivist society that tries to force hiring quotas upon every business and government institution in existence is not the answer.
    .
    “That the things we consider good qualities in men….being kind, hard-working, assertive, able to discern whether a given situation is the best time to express ones feelings, or whether said situations requires stoic resolve….are ALSO good qualities in women? And that what we are in fact describing….are simply the qualities of a good person?”
    .
    I don’t deny that, but I don’t think many people think of women, as a group, as unkind or lazy.
    .
    “That in our rush to condemn single moms, we forget that a MASSIVE amount of the time, the reason they single is because the men either left or that the women HAD to remove themselves from said men because they were a danger to the women and/or children?”
    .
    I can’t fathom what this would have to do with the delusions of a psychopath. He didn’t have a problem with single moms that I could tell. In any case, I don’t condemn people for things they can’t control. But I do condemn the idea that single motherhood is “just as good” as having a mother and a father. That is simply a lie, and a damaging lie at that.
    .
    “That when it comes to things like “provocative clothing”, men should stop using it as an excuse and turn their eyes away?”
    .
    Thanks for summing up the #1 problem with feminism. No moral standards for women, impossible moral standards for men. It’s childish, spiteful, irrational and utopian. It is almost as insane as the thoughts in Rodger’s head to expect that women ought to be able to sexualize themselves without being thought of as sex objects by men. It is really the most insane thing believed by human beings in modern Western societies today. Elliot Rodgers was not driven to madness by scantly clad women, though; he was driven to madness by envy of other men.
    .
    “And finally, that as YesAllWomen has pointed out, they know not all men or bad, BUT all women have had to learn to fear men?”
    .
    Yes, I deny this. These people do not speak for all women. A woman who is confident, intellectually honest, and well-armed is not afraid of men. There were Soviet female snipers and soldiers who I am fairly certain never feared any man. All of this fear is a product of a culture of dependence and narcissism. The dependence teaches them to fear life, and the narcissism teaches them to hate anyone or anything perceived to stand in their way. The psychosis affecting radical feminists and their man-boobed allies isn’t that different than the psychosis Elliot Rodger suffered. The pathological narcissism and crippling dependence are present in both cases.
    .
    “I should point out I DONT mean all nerds….I myself consider myself a nerd. BUT as a cultural problem…I don’t deny that among my fellow nerds there can be a strong element of self-entitlement…”
    .
    I don’t deny it either. A lot of weak men do feel entitled. And it is a problem. But it isn’t the product of a patriarchal conspiracy against women. It isn’t a result of “rape culture.” And it rarely culminates in anything harmful. For every Rodger there are a thousand weak nerds who never commit any violence and whose worst offense is to occasionally make a woman feel uncomfortable. This is not some massive, evil, horrible tyranny that needs to be smashed out. It’s something that our spoiled, whiny, cry-baby culture needs to get over.

  • -That we can get so wrapped up in telling women what they should have done differently, we let men off the hook in various ways, rather than justly saying “YOU HURT HER? WE ARE THROWING THE BOOK AT YOU!!!!!!”?

    Don’t know where you came by this fancy. See Glenn Sacks on the operations of the modern DV industry and the role of the police in making the machine go.

  • MRAs think men can do no wrong;

    When did Helen Smith or Stephen Baskerville or Glenn Sacks ever state or imply this?

  • Bonchamps:

    Regarding your various points, I say:

    1. In the United States, I have seen and experienced those residuals of the cult of virginity….well, not being a lady, I suppose experienced is not the right word. But I have witnessed in various forms the leftovers of the idea that unmarried women without virginity are regarded as dirty. Is it as bad as in other parts of the world? Of course not! But it is still there. Will we literally eradicate it completely? No. But addressing it consciously and verbally can be used to reduce it. We do that with racism, and American attitudes about that have changed at lot in the past 60 years, even if racism does remain.

    2. Take “its biology/human nature and there is nothing you can do” to the extreme, and all forms of trying to educate people to be good are pointless. Perfection may be impossible, but you have to try and do as best as you can. And given while our Church did many wonderful things for women back in the day, one cannot deny the MASSIVE amount of sexism displayed by many of our great Church Fathers and others….We could have done better, could have been more forceful in our homilies, and should do better now.

    3. The other points I brought up were not all related to Rodger per se, but were also a response to what you and others have said about feminism overreacting in general.

    4. Even so, Steve was still an unbelievable jerk. He should have taken no as a no and respected it. The idea that “no means yes” or can be turned into a yes…that is a justification used by rapists. Plus, his harassment was repeated….If he and Laura worked for me, and I found out Steve kept going after Laura even when she said no, I would fire him and call the cops.

    5. Yes, Rodger was a lunatic. But there is a continuum of lunacy. One can still be deluded, and/or need medication, and know the difference between right and wrong.

    6. Obviously no thought police. But each year in the US, over 237,000 women are victims of various forms of sexual assault. Whatever we can to keep getting that number lowered, we should do. If that requires me to pay more money in taxes to have more cops on the street, so be it. Doing our best is never-ending.

    7. Patriarchal conspiracy? No one believes there literally are a group of old men sitting in a back room plotting to keep men down. BUT the idea that women who are not in the kitchen, or nurses, or teachers, are “pushy” IS a widespread one, in various forms. Again, we may not be able to eliminate it, but what a society generally considerers acceptable does change with time. In terms of general cultural attitudes, the US is very different today from 1787.

    8. A man can choose NOT to rape. If he is in a club and sees a group of women dancing together in provocative clothes, he does not have to slip up behind her and start dancing. He can ask her and respect her no if she says no. Its not an impossible standard to say that even if men get aroused, they can control their actions.

    9. The point is not that LITERALLY every single woman fears every single man in her life. But various forms of sexual harassment and condescension are so widespread, just as racist depictions of African Americans were so widespread back in the day, that they have to be on guard in our society in a way that men do not. We many not be as bad as other places, but that is no excuse to not try and do better.

    10. Finally, man-bobbed allies? You accuse the left of demonizing and dismissing Catholic points out of hand, and yet you brazenly dismiss those men who have the audacity to not dismiss feminism? I am a man. I consider myself a feminist. Do you think that gives you license to make assumptions about my character without knowing me, or those other men who dare to call out men who say “get back in the kitchen”? How do you like it when people on the left do that to Catholics?

  • I see I made a typo in point 7. I meant women.

  • “But I have witnessed in various forms the leftovers of the idea that unmarried women without virginity are regarded as dirty.”
    .
    They are, in a sense, but so are unmarried men who have lost theirs. Really it is the women who advertise themselves as sexually available who are considered dirty, and why wouldn’t they be? Is it not an appropriate way to describe someone who makes herself into a receptacle for the sexual fluids of dozens of men? It’s not without some rationality, deeply embedded in humanity’s sexual animal nature, that these considerations are made. But we also have a culture of individualism and merit, and a person does not have to be judged by his or her past choices.
    .
    “Take “its biology/human nature and there is nothing you can do” to the extreme, and all forms of trying to educate people to be good are pointless.”
    .
    Ok, and taken as it was intended, it simply means that education can only do so much. As for the idea of the Church Fathers being sexist, well, of course they were. And Catholicism as it is now is also “sexist” according to the feminist left. I don’t bemoan the toning down of the rhetoric from the days of the early Church, which was pretty outrageous at times, but the basic idea is still there; men and women are fundamentally different, they have different roles in the relationship, the family, the Church and society – and ultimately, the women are subordinate. That said, we can’t deny that modern society changes the dynamics between men and women and makes equality between them a more rational arrangement in many contexts. So I’m a supporter of first-wave feminism and the equality of men and women before the law. But that is ALL I support; second and third-wave feminism are about forcing people to think differently, they are totalitarian movements.
    .
    “Steve was still an unbelievable jerk. He should have taken no as a no and respected it. The idea that “no means yes” or can be turned into a yes…that is a justification used by rapists. Plus, his harassment was repeated….If he and Laura worked for me, and I found out Steve kept going after Laura even when she said no, I would fire him and call the cops.”
    .
    Oh please. In the real world, if a woman is continually harassed by a man she doesn’t want around, she can file a restraining order. In the show her father is a police officer. It would have been easy to bar him from their lives, but they didn’t, because they knew Urkel was harmless and sincere. And it just speaks to your own totalitarian mindset that you would take action without even SPEAKING to the parties involved, to see if the alleged victim even felt that such measures were necessary. This again is what feminism always does – strips the moral and intellectual agency away from actual women in the name of ideological enforcement and purity.
    .
    “Whatever we can to keep getting that number lowered, we should do.”
    .
    Really? Because you said “no thought police”, but that might lower the number too. We could have a 100% tax rate and have every street corner reinforced with a squadron of heavily armed soldiers and drones flying overhead at all times.
    .
    We should take whatever measures are reasonable to preserve public safety and order, without explicitly declaring that women’s safety in particular is more important than safety in general. But ultimately the price of freedom is risk, and even totalitarianism cannot eliminate risk altogether. In a free society, moreover, its not “what can “we” do”, but rather “what can I do.” I can learn to defend myself and learn basic situational awareness.
    .
    “A man can choose NOT to rape. If he is in a club and sees a group of women dancing together in provocative clothes, he does not have to slip up behind her and start dancing. He can ask her and respect her no if she says no. Its not an impossible standard to say that even if men get aroused, they can control their actions.”
    .
    This cuts both ways. A woman can choose NOT to dress like a whore and dance provocatively in front of groups of drunken strangers. Again, its men you want to make all the choices, and women whom you want to absolve of all personal responsibility. Men are expected to and demanded to become angels, while women have no expectations placed on them whatsoever. And this infantile treatment of women is what passes for “feminism”, while men who try to help women learn self-defense and situational awareness are accused of reinforcing patriarchy. It’s intellectual and moral vomit.
    .
    “We many not be as bad as other places, but that is no excuse to not try and do better.”
    .
    Fine. When its a personal choice to behave differently, I’m all for it. But I am against any political attempt to control people’s thoughts and behavior and bring them into alignment with this ideology. I’m against public smear and shame campaigns against anyone who dares deviate from the party line on these issues. According to the radical left, moreover, if you oppose abortion, you are a sexist. If you challenge the massive lie about the “wage gap”, you are a sexist. If you oppose hiring quotas for women, you are a sexist. If you think being a homemaker is a perfectly acceptable life choice, you are a sexist. It is all about accepting a narrow political agenda and shaming everyone else who doesn’t, exactly what they accuse the omnipresent and omnipotent patriarchy of doing to them.
    .
    “I am a man. I consider myself a feminist. Do you think that gives you license to make assumptions about my character without knowing me”
    .
    I didn’t say anything about you. It was a general comment, and a joke.

  • 1. In my experience, from everything to tv shows, to conversation, etc….men aren’t punished for losing their virginity before marriage nearly as much as women. I am not talking about Church doctrine, nor do I imagine you have a lot of priests giving high fives to guys who tell them that in the confessional. But in our culture…the Casanova is still kinda regarded as something of a lovable rouge.

    2. Is it wrong if, in a particular relationship, the woman makes more money than the guy? No. Is it wrong for her to be a CEO in a typically male dominated business? No. And in terms of how a couple arrives at a decision in a relationship, I have no views on who should do what….who makes the calls on what, how those calls are made, how much compromise etc….that is all up to the couple. I agree with you on equality in dignity, equality before the law, and equality of individual opportunity as individuals….while adding supremacy of each couple to decide how the dynamics of their relationship will work.

    3. Obviously I would follow typical sexual harassment investigation procedures, which include the kind of talking you described. Also, lets not be glib in saying “well she should just filing a restraining order”, as if dealing with sexual harassment was easy.

    4. Like I said above, no article of clothing (or lack thereof) is an excuse to rape. I have nothing against a man asking a woman at a club to dance.

    5. I have never seen a man who ran a marital arts/defense class that included/was for women accused of sexism. I am all for self defense and awareness. But that is not an excuse to not be proactive about making our streets safer. Its not as simple as saying “if all our women were enrolled in self-defense classes/armed the rape figures would collapse”. Help? Maybe. But we shouldn’t overstate the good it might do.

  • To follow up with point 4, Im not in favor of including discussing clothing in the context of protecting oneself from rape. Women who are not scantily clad suffer from that nightmare as well. Even if unintended, I worry it implies “you wear x, you deserve y”. Tie that discussion into a general appropriate clothing talk, one that includes what men should wear (NO PANTS ROUND THE KNEES FOR INSTANCE! :)). BUT….rape is rape and best not to imply a woman advertised for it.

  • Finally, regarding what you say about modern feminism…I have heard people trash-talking it a lot. When I look on the Third Wave feminism Wikipedia page, and see the issues they fight for (its not my first time learning about it, I am trying to make a point)….they all make sense to me. Granted I think one could be a third wave feminist who also agrees with the Church on sexual reproduction issues….but none of the other issues on that page seem illogical to me.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-wave_feminism

Sexual Authenticity: An Intimate Reflection on Homosexuality and Catholicism

Wednesday, October 5, AD 2011

An Article by Melinda Selmys, author of the book Sexual Authenticity: An Intimate Reflection on Homosexuality and Catholicism.

Twelve years ago, I converted to Catholicism and began a long dialogue with my own sexuality. At the time, I was involved in a lesbian relationship that had been going on for a little over six years. I had, in the course of researching the Catholic position  with  a  view  to  refuting  it,  encountered  the  Church’s  teachings  on homosexual relationships before, so when I decided to embrace the Church as my mother, I knew that meant giving up my lesbian partner. I called her that night and explained my decision.

At the time, I thought that I was signing up for a life of celibacy. I was okay with that:  before I became a Catholic I was a hard rationalist, and it wasn’t a long stretch to port my idealistic devotion to rational self-possession into an iron-clad commitment to  Catholic sexual teaching. I would simply apply my will to the problem, subsume my passions to the rule of Reason, and everything would be fine. Right?

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25 Responses to Sexual Authenticity: An Intimate Reflection on Homosexuality and Catholicism

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  • Interesting.

    Is there a meaningful distinction between “gay identity” and “queer personality”? Should there be? A gay identity seems no more contrary to Church teaching than a female identity. If that’s the case, it would make sense to encourage a gay identity within the Church rather than making Catholics choose between the two.

  • Honest self-examination and self- knowledge are essential if we’re going to make any headway in achieving chastity, in or out of marriage

    Amen to that. She seems to be doing a marvelous job at it, and it is wonderful that she is willing to share so much. Her advice is not only helpful for the LBGTQ community, but for “straights” as well. We all face temptations, and self-mastery is difficult for the best of us (just ask St. Paul). It is particularly difficult in a society that constantly encourages us to give in to our passions rather than rule them.

  • I don’t have anything to add, but thanks for posting this.

  • This is one of the most honest, intelligent pieces on the subject I have ever read. This will better help me relate to some of my friends who are gay and lesbian and has enlightened my understanding and insight. Thank you for writing this and for your transparency.
    God bless!

  • Paul, kind of the opposite. From their website: “By developing an interior life of chastity, which is the universal call to all Christians, one can move beyond the confines of the homosexual identity to a more complete one in Christ.”

    What’s wrong with a homosexual identity? I remember reading something critical of the organization you linked to. I can’t remember where I read it. I think it was a blog by a chaste gay orthodox Catholic. The criticism was related to the issue I pointed out. Instead of creating a welcoming environment for the “gay and Catholic,” they seem to be saying “don’t be gay, be Catholic.”

  • RR,

    I wouldn’t consider “gay” identity to be equivalent to “male” identity or “female” identity as you suggested. Rather, “gay” identity would be more like “alcoholic” identity or “addict” identity.

    “Male” and “female” identities are normal. A “gay” identity, while real, is no more normal than an “alcoholic” identity or an “addict” identity. The Church needs a creation of a “gay” identity no more than it needs a creation of an “alcoholic” or “addict” identity. But the sympathizers of the gay community and the gay community itself insist on normalizing a “gay” identity as something natural like a “male” or “female” identity, and that simply isn’t the case. Being gay, like being alcoholic may have a genetic pre-disposition factor to it, but it still isn’t natural. It’s abberant (did I spell that correctly?)

    Now that doesn’t mean that we persecute and harrass gay people any more than we persecute and harrass alcoholic people. We all have our own special demons to taunt us. But let’s not normalize the abnormal; let’s not legitimatize the illegimate.

  • I thought again about RR’s idea of a separate identity for gays in the Church. Galatians 3:27-28 bears upon this:

    27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

  • As Paul W Primavera says, or alludes to, our primary personality should be that of Christ. In that context, we do not develop an alcoholic personality, nor a wrathful personality, nor a lecherous personality, nor a “much afraid” personality. Those are disorders, and we don’t embrace them as fundamental to our nature or our being. Someone who is prone to these things is called to work on letting Christ heal them. That does not happen by socializing oneself into them. An alcoholic who is letting Christ heal him acknowledges that he is an alcoholic, but I don’t think that is the same as saying he has an alcoholic personality.

    As the Canadian bishops said in their guideline to ministry with young people with same-sex attractions, Catholic theology does not use the word ‘gay’. Any adjective on the word ‘personality’ is too limiting – the important factor is the human person, created in the image and likeness of God, and beloved of Him.

  • Thank you very much for your witnessing.

  • Good on her.

    The description of attraction that she mentions jives with my personal experience– attraction to someone’s appearance often boils down to reading character traits into their appearance. (For example, I can’t remember a time I thought that Tom Cruise was attractive, but I also can’t remember a time I didn’t know he was a jerk.)
    Possibly an aspect of SSA is the way that all sexual attraction gets flanderized? I’m quite straight (TYVM) but I’m far from attracted to men in general, and I can see how admiration based attraction or friendship-attraction could very easily be interpreted as sexual, with the right base assumptions. It would just be another influence, but if the deck is stacked enough….

    (Side note: quickly scanning things can be bad for your mental health. I saw this was a post by Tito in my reader, scanned quick and saw the phrase “I was in a lesbian relationship;” serious confusion.)

  • Amazing article and an amazing personality….a sort of Catholic existentialist in her stress on choice over inclination.

  • Paul, the Galatians passage isn’t entirely relevant since there’s no problem with a female identity or American identity within the Church.

    I’ve thought about the “homosexuality as a disease” perspective and I’m not sure it matters. There are no sober alcoholics who feel that they need to be recognized as a distinct group. If they exist in some bizzaro world, then I don’t see any problem with it. It seems like some are confusing the fact that separate identities don’t exist in other analogous situations with the idea that they shouldn’t exist.

  • We are called to respect the inherent dignity of all persons as we live in relationship as husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, not to view one another as objects of sexual desire, but as persons who have been created equal in dignity while being complementary as male and female, made in the Image of God to live in a communion of authentic Love.

  • RR said,

    “There are no sober alcoholics who feel that they need to be recognized as a distinct group.”

    So why do gays (or at least some gays and their straight liberal supporters) feel they rate special recognition? There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, straight or gay – to paraphase a verse of Scripture.

    I think that some people want gays to have special recognition because that would serve to legitimatize the deviancy of their sexual actions. People need to stop being gay just as people need to stop being drunken addicts. Having a homo-erotic impulse is no different than having a compulsion to drink.

    We’re powerless and our lives are unmanageable (1st step)
    Only a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity (2nd Step)
    We have to make a decision to turn our will and lives over to His care (3rd Step).

    And that’s exactly how this whole thing ought to be treated (not forgetting of course steps 4 through 12). One can recover – as this post on which we are commenting so elegantly demonstrates.

    But one other thing is important: we are NEVER recover-ED. Alcoholics who say that usually go out drinking again – it’s called arrogance and pride, the first to come in a slip (Sobriety Loses Its Priority). Rather, we are recover-ING (steps 10, 11 and 12). Whether it’s sobriety from a drinking complusion or sobriety from homo-erotic impulses, it’s still a DAILY reprieve contingent on one’s spiritual well-being. Giving special recognition to a gay identity or an alcoholic identity only serves to inflame the ego which inevitably leads to a slip (whether from homo-eroticism or drinking).

    But some people – even straights out of some perverse sense of tolerance – WANT homosexual filth to be declared as normal and would rather gays go to hell than gays find happiness in Jesus Christ. Sad.

  • Paul, sure we’re all God’s children but there are Jews and Greeks, slave and free, straight and gay.

    “So why do gays (or at least some gays and their straight liberal supporters) feel they rate special recognition?”

    Read the blog post!

    “Sexual identity is not just about sexual desire. A lot of the time people embrace a gay or lesbian identity because of real, genuinely foundational elements of personality that seem “queer” to other people. The LGBTQ community becomes a safety zone, and a gay identity becomes a security blanket, that protects the elements of personality that are under attack from mainstream culture. Anyone who is leaving a gay identity behind needs to find other ways of protecting those elements of personality, otherwise we just end up retreating back into the village when we come under fire.”

    “I think that some people want gays to have special recognition because that would serve to legitimatize the deviancy of their sexual actions.”

    It’s worth repeating:

    “Sexual identity is not just about sexual desire. A lot of the time people embrace a gay or lesbian identity because of real, genuinely foundational elements of personality that seem “queer” to other people. The LGBTQ community becomes a safety zone, and a gay identity becomes a security blanket, that protects the elements of personality that are under attack from mainstream culture. Anyone who is leaving a gay identity behind needs to find other ways of protecting those elements of personality, otherwise we just end up retreating back into the village when we come under fire.”

  • RR, I still don’t think gays rate special identity any more than alcoholics do. You disagree.

  • Foxfier, I made the same mistake about Tito. I thought maybe Tito was a woman until it registered. Anyway, Jesus and St. Paul are abundantly clear that the single life is a calling. Categories such as straight and queer are not biblical ones. These emerge from a culture of sexual politics. Sexuality is here seen to be defining in a way that Scripture never suggested.

  • I’m glad my kids were all napping when I had time to read this entire article, because it reduced me to tears. The author and I share a common experience of homosexual behavior. When I was a young woman, who had survived some childhood trauma within the family, I had an incredible amount of difficulty forming stable relationships with men. A well-meaning counselor (because counseling can solve any problem, right?) suggested that my difficulties were caused by suppressed homosexuality. I was twenty, it was 1991, and this seemed perfectly reasonable to me. Seven years later, I began to realize that her advice had been incredibly destructive. With the prayers, love, and support of my closest friends and a priest who is the finest example of his vocation I have ever known, I ended the relationship. It took me five years and exacted a physical, emotional, and financial toll that I’d rather not describe in detail.

    The difference between Mrs. Selmys’s story and my own is that I was never “gay.” I’m not terribly attracted to men aside from my husband (and father of our four children) and Jim Cantore (okay, you can laugh), but I think that’s more a function of love than anything else. I can see a good-looking man and think that he’s good-looking, and the same with a lovely woman, but there’s no sexual component to it.

    I am terribly, terribly grateful to Mrs. Selmys for sharing her tale and her experience. I know several other people who share the experience of living in a homosexual relationship and then choosing to live a chaste life, and the temporal conseuences have been terrible for most, if not all, of us. That said, the freedom I (and my friends) have found in following His will is a greater joy than any roll in the hay could ever provide.

    Thanks for listening.

  • Thank you so much for this. I struggle with SSA every single day and have been experimenting with other men recently. It’s been very emotionally draining and it just sucks the life out of my faith. This article was very encouraging for me as I struggle daily to be a half-way decent Catholic.

  • I have just said a prayer for you Freddy. Keep the Faith! God is stronger than any sin.

  • I hope it is an encouragement, Freddy. And I like-wise just said a prayer for you.

    God give you strength.

  • Freddy, may God bless you and keep you. You’ll be in my prayers always, and you have my love and respect.

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On Not Having Sex At Harvard

Sunday, July 25, AD 2010

From the New York Times:

There was a time when not having sex consumed a very small part of Janie Fredell’s life, but that, of course, was back in Colorado Springs. It seemed to Fredell that almost no one had sex in Colorado Springs. Her hometown was extremely conservative, and as a good Catholic girl, she was annoyed by all the fundamentalist Christians who would get in her face and demand, as she put it to me recently, “You have to think all of these things that we think.” They seemed not to know that she thought many of those things already. At her public high school, everyone, “literally everyone,” wore chastity rings, Fredell recalled, but she thought the practice ridiculous. Why was it necessary, she wondered, to signify you’re not doing something that nobody is doing?

And then Fredell arrived at Harvard.

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  • We need more Janie Fredells and Mary Anne Marks

  • We need to pray for them and the many others that have to live in a sex-saturated society such as ours.

  • Unforetunately one night about a year ago, I stopped at a serious tv documentary which was about a Catholic author who found extensive non marital sexual activity at Catholic colleges which went on to note then the gradual regrets of the females but with this caveat…that the females doing this outnumbered the males doing so but not by much.

  • Something which seems to be downplayed in the article is the belated realization that the annoying evangelicals of the first paragraph had a point.

    I think that both young evangelicals and young Catholics are young; they have things to learn about life. The evangelicals in this case seem to have not learned how to read Janie Fredell so as to speak with a potential ally in a winsome way.

    But Janie herself seems to have misunderstood her circumstances; it took immersion in Harvard to wake her up. Little or no sex amongst unmarried teens in Colorado Springs? I doubt that. The evangelical chastity ring culture may have seemed odd to her, but it grew up as a response to something. It was a rallying cry for Jesus, but also against a threat.

    The whole secular world is engaged in undermining the sexual virtue of the young so as to preemptively undermine their relationship with God before it can grow into something world-changing. From the WWJD shirts to the multicolored bead-bracelets to the chastity rings, evangelical expressions of counter-cultural fervor are like the redness and puffiness of a histamine reaction. They may border on kitch, but they are the signs of an immune system rising up to fight an invader.

    Miss Fredell is a Catholic; I hope however that now that she’s seen the infection up close, she’ll give her evangelical brothers and sisters their due props.

  • Catholics who insist that evangelicals have had a baneful effect on us (as evidenced in the recent sparring with Vox Nova) tend to deny the importance of chastity as a criterion of Christian fidelity. In so doing, they deny the importance of what the Church teaches is the very groundwork of a just society: strong family life. It may take people like Miss Fredell, educated in an elitist environment but respectful of the position of the evangelicals, to help our co-religionists to see the light here.

  • I’m not sure delaying sex until one is 30 is “pro-family.” I take that back, 30 is when they want folks to get married. Abstinance programs tend to delay sex only until 18-21. Certainly that is better than 14 or 16, but that is more a public health issue. If stop gazing at evangelicals long enough, we’ll see that they aren’t retaining their youth either.

    The time between when one is capable of producing a child and when one gets married has traditionally been called adolescence. Our model has now stretched that well past the early twenties. Having a large adolescent culture is not pro-family.

  • MZ, I do have to agree with you – adolescence has been unnaturally extended well beyond its due course. Largely due to materialism I would wager.

  • I take that back, 30 is when they want folks to get married.

    Who?

  • I’m unclear what relation, if any, MZ’s comment is meant to have with the article quoted.

When Masculine Virtues Go Out of Fashion

Monday, May 31, AD 2010

The following is a column written by Tom Hoffman of the American Thinker.

The culture war begun in the sixties has, in large part, been won by the left. Nowhere is this clearer than in the feminization of men. The virtues of manhood which had been extolled and celebrated throughout the middle ages right up to the 1950s have been completely expunged from academia and pop culture. The baby boom generation was the last to be taught the values of rugged individualism, risk-taking, courage, bravery, loyalty, and reverence for tradition. John Wayne epitomized the rugged individual who was committed to fighting “the bad guy,” but he was only one of a whole host of competing figures cut out of the same cloth. What happened?

Today, the Boy Scouts are fighting the last battle in a lost cause. Any man who stands up to the “women’s movement” is completely marginalized as a sexist and homophobe. These names have become just as stigmatizing as “racist” used to be. It is no wonder that women now are the majority of college graduates and are increasing their role in every institution from private enterprise to public service, including the military. Is this a healthy trend? The answer is clearly “no.”

Edward Gibbon chronicles the increasing femininity of the Roman Empire in his six-volume work, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. He catalogues the progressive decadence that rendered the once-proud republic into spoils for barbarian hordes. The consuls in the early republic, who were warrior-generals adhering to a strict code of honor, gradually gave way to the backroom emperors who were no more than brazen criminals and thugs. It is the same script in all noble human enterprise: The fabric which bred success is torn apart by the complacency of the successful. When warfare is demonized as violence and negotiation is raised to an art, the end is near. Today, we are there.

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96 Responses to When Masculine Virtues Go Out of Fashion

  • Today, the Boy Scouts are fighting the last battle in a lost cause.

    I wish that fellow would leave this sort of talk to the likes of Rod Dreher.

    The irony is that an antidote was offered by (of all people) Eleanor Roosevelt when she said, “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. Masculine virtues retreat when people refuse to defend them.

  • Mr, Hoffman hasn’t met my three sons; or any of our MEN serving (multiple battlefield deployments) in the armed forces.

    But, point taken. We must actively promote manhood.

  • Maybe Mr. Hoffman hasn’t discovered the Catholic faith. Understanding the excellent example of Jesus and the Communion of Saints!

    That and he probably watches too much t.v.

  • I think that “rugged individualism” is the opposite of traditional manly virtue. Traditional manly virtue had a sense of corporate mission.

  • Why is there a photo of someone next to my post?

  • Daniel,

    I don’t know.

    My best guess is that you filled out a gravatar-type profile in the past and WordPress recognized your cookie and attached said picture from that previous gravatar-type profile.

  • “When warfare is demonized as violence and negotiation is raised to an art, the end is near. Today, we are there.”

    I don’t mean to be rude, but you’d have to be a bit of an idiot to believe that. Not just because the U.S. is currently fighting two wars, but because warfare is always very popular in the U.S.

  • Patrick you beat me to it.

  • War, even when it is legitimate, is always a defeat for humanity.

  • I’d extent Patrick’s comment to the entire Hoffman article. Dumb.

    Eric Brown, JP2 wasn’t a real man. We must remember the examples of Jesus and the early martyrs who drew their swords against their oppressors instead of cowering defenselessly like women.

  • I’d extent Patrick’s comment to the entire Hoffman article. Dumb.

    It is not, and don’t tempt me to say what is. For in excess of forty years, we have all been choked by a kultursmog which has had some consistent messages: in favor of exhibitionism, dependency, and manipulation over reticence, stoicism, self-reliance, competition, and rules with consequences.

  • First of all, I like the picture from Big Jake.
    War is not always a defeat. It is unfortunate and sad (I have personally experienced it), but it is on occasion necessary. As we try to establish justice in our fallen world among imperfect people, we must sometimes resort to imperfect means (i.e. war). Unjust wars are a defeat, but just wars can bring about justice (freeing slaves, ending genocide, etc.) As MLK once said “All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.” War should not just be written off as “a defeat to humanity.”
    That is not to say that war is the core of masculinity, but struggle definitely is. Whether that struggle is against Communism like JPII or against yourself or in battle.
    A great book on Christian masculinity is “Wild at Heart”.

  • You should rename your website Catholic Chest Thumpers and Gun Barrel Strokers Anonymous dot com.

    You all are an embarrassment to the church.

  • Pace Gibbon, Augustine was far more accurate in his depiction of the decline of Rome. His description of the Parade honoring the “god” Priapus in which an honorable Roman matron crowned you can imagine what, sounds much like the “Gay Pride” parades of today. Satan and his cohorts are just so repetitious and unimaginative.

    Many women [feminists] do not give up their girlish unfairness. They do not openly express what most concerns them – their appearance. If you do not believe me, try telling one woman that another woman is good looking. Then duck.

  • R.F.W.,

    Why does testosterone make you feel insecure?

  • Oddly enough, at exactly the same time this feminization of men has been taking place, popular culture has become increasingly loud, violent and aggressive. You can see it clearly if you compare an old John Wayne or Humphrey Bogart movie to one of Sly Stallone’s or Arnold Schwarzenegger’s action flix. The latter have bigger and louder guns and a much higher body count than The Duke or Bogie ever imagined. In addition, street crime and violence have risen exponentially.

    Why is this happening if boys are being removed from all those awful patriarchal influences and being discouraged from any kind of aggressive play? For the same reason wild elephants who are raised without older males around become violent and aggressive — they not only never learn “how” to fight, they never learn WHEN to fight, or why to fight. So they either become completely passive and never fight at all, or they fight all the time over every little thing. Learning to be a man means learning to control and channel aggression appropriately, and boys are not learning this.

  • Hoffman’s virtue theory is strange–disordered, even. He seems to be saying that what he calls the womanly virtues (negotiation, caring, compassion, sensitivity, and understanding) are bad for society when extolled and practiced by men. Virtues, however, are habitual dispositions to do the good. Practing one doesn’t prohibit practicing another. One can be both magnanimous and humble, courageous and prudent, etc. We’re all in our own way meant to practice and develop all the virtues as best we can. The more virtuous we are, the more human we are, the closer we are to being what we ought to be.

  • Also, when men are discouraged from displaying masculine virtues, women are forced to fill the void, which can be pretty difficult.

  • Ouais. See Rebel without a Cause.

  • “Also, when men are discouraged from displaying masculine virtues, women are forced to fill the void, which can be pretty difficult.”

    From the mini-series I Claudius:

    Tiberius to his mother Livia: “Why can’t you act like a normal woman!”

    Livia: “In order to act like a normal woman you need normal men around you!”

    How very, very true.

  • “Why is this happening if boys are being removed from all those awful patriarchal influences and being discouraged from any kind of aggressive play? For the same reason wild elephants who are raised without older males around become violent and aggressive — they not only never learn “how” to fight, they never learn WHEN to fight, or why to fight. So they either become completely passive and never fight at all, or they fight all the time over every little thing. Learning to be a man means learning to control and channel aggression appropriately, and boys are not learning this.”

    Bravo Elaine! A boy growing up without a father will have a difficult time escaping the fate of being a wimp or a savage unless some worthy male steps into the breach. The sexes are not fungible, and you have placed your finger on one of the prime functions of good fathers throughout the ages: teaching a boy that being a man doesn’t simply mean being a large boy.

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  • Wow. Until I read this article I never realized how contemptible women are.

  • “Wow. Until I read this article I never realized how contemptible women are.”

    Still trying to sharpen up those reading comprehension skills phosphorious? The point of the post is that men and women have different sets of virtues that play important roles in society. This of course is merely stating the obvious, and it is a tribute to the force of political ideology that so many people attempt to deny it.

  • “The point of the post is that men and women have different sets of virtues that play important roles in society.”

    I didn’t realize that so much of the scriptures were written only to women. Good to know that the stuff Jesus said about the peacemakers being blessed, turning the other cheek, loving your enemies, forgiving 77 times, and all that stuff Paul wrote about love being patient, kind, not storing up grievances and being the greatest of virtues are primarily things women need to cultivate. Makes them much easier for me as a man to ignore.

  • “I didn’t realize that so much of the scriptures were written only to women.”

    Glad to enlighten you Ryan that there is more to the scriptures than Christ giving a peace sign. If you get to heaven you and Pope Urban II should have some interesting conversations. G.K. Chesterton, who celebrated the martial virtues, can give the color commentary.

  • “The point of the post is that men and women have different sets of virtues that play important roles in society.”

    Not so. Hoffman is very clear that the “womanly” virtues are bad for society: “Caring, compassion, sensitivity, and understanding are virtues meant to blur the distinction between good and evil and drown out the call of manly conscience to ‘do the right thing.'”

  • Not so Kyle. The whole passage makes clear that Hoffman was talking about the distortion of these values in contemporary culture:

    “Academia, with the help of the media, has labeled all reference to manly virtue as patriarchal, sexist, and homophobic. Womanly virtue, on the other hand, is extolled. Caring, compassion, sensitivity, and understanding are virtues meant to blur the distinction between good and evil and drown out the call of manly conscience to “do the right thing.” Like a mother who refuses to see the evil in her son, the feminist professors cast all moral standards as relative and subjective.”

    Hoffman is right on target. Every society needs balance and our society has become extremely unbalanced in this area.

  • Thank you Donald. I do enjoy engaging with different perspectives and am always willing to be instructed. I’m sure your conversations with Pope John Paul II and Dorothy Day will be equally enlightening.

  • “I’m sure your conversations with Pope John Paul II and Dorothy Day will be equally enlightening.”

    No doubt Ryan, although I would insist on Don Juan of Austria giving the color commentary!

  • Where does Hoffman say the “womanly” virtues have been distorted? He characterizes the extolling of “womanly” virtue itself as a bad thing!

  • It sounds like he is criticizing extolling the feminine at the expense of the masculine. That’s my read.

  • That is exactly how it is read.

    Kyle is deploying the usual liberal strategy of confusion in order to muddy the message.

  • I don’t think that Hoffman expresses himself with precision here, and I’m not sure that I’m in full agreement with him, but what he’s driving at seems to be a basically Aristotelian concept that true virtue is found in moderation. Thus, to take a single polarity, mercy with no justice, and justice with no mercy would both be disordered, non-virtuous states.

    He’s not saying that mercy is bad while justice is good, but rather that if one makes mercy a virtue but justice a vice, excluding justice from society, we end up with an unbalanced society which in fact reflects neither.

    Now, I think that it’s rather broad brush to take it that certain virtues are strictly masculine, while others are strictly feminine, but I don’t think it’s particularly off base to insist that remove one side of the balance scale results in disorder.

  • I think you would be hard pressed finding any writings in the New Testament, or in the first 300 years of the Church that extol war in any way. Since St. Aquinas put forth the just war theory, there has not been a war that lived up to it. This is because the world would not accept the teaching of the early church that we should not commit violence to each other, so St. Aquinas came up with a theory he knew no war could meet.

    You may be able to argue that “manly” values are what made America great, or that war and violence have their place. But you can not argue that doing violence to others has any place in Christian teaching. Pope Urban may have thought he was doing the right thing in freeing the Holy Lands through the Crusades, but even the Pope can make an error. O do you feel that Pope John the XII who the Catholic Encyclopedia describes as a coarse, immoral man, also made no errors. Or the many other Popes of the middle ages who sought more to enrich themselves and their families. We believe the magisterium, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, accurately passed on the teachings of Jesus and the apostles, not that they were right and justified in all they did.

  • It is no wonder that women now are the majority of college graduates and are increasing their role in every institution from private enterprise to public service, including the military. Is this a healthy trend? The answer is clearly “no.”

    Men being the only ones who were educated = The earthly paradise

    Women outnumbering men in colleges = sissified socialist hell.

    Wow. Until I read this essay, I never realized how contemptible women were.

  • Although this theory does explain a lot about recent history.

    After 9/11, Bush let Osama Bin Laden get away, and focussed his attention on Iraq. . . thus backing down from the bully who actually hurt us, and fighting a country that did nothing to us. Exactly the behavior predicted by this exciting new theory of He-Manliness. . . or lack thereof.

    I always suspected that Bush was a little. . . (and here I’m making that gesture where you hold your hand palm down, fingers spread and then twist it back an forth)

    You know what I mean. . .

  • Wow, the Vox Nova pansies are out in full splendor today.

  • He’s not saying that mercy is bad while justice is good, but rather that if one makes mercy a virtue but justice a vice, excluding justice from society, we end up with an unbalanced society which in fact reflects neither.

    I’m sorry. . . isn’t he saying exactly that:

    All reference to the service of a higher calling — to God and country — has been replaced by the call to community service with the emphasis on care and compassion for the downtrodden.

    A society dedicated to care and compassion of the downtrodden? The horror. . . the horror. . .

  • j. christian,

    Are you saying the apostles who went to their death not allowing their followers to fight were panzies? Maybe St. Ignatius was a panzy when he was marched across Europe to Rome and asked those who came out to great him to not fight for his relief.

    If you wish to discuss Catholic teaching on virtue and the “manly” virtues, please do. If you wish to call those who are willing to suffer non violently in the name of Christ (or who believe christians are called to be non violent in all causes) panzies, then please count me with the martyrs who did just that.

  • The Apostles were contributors to Vox Nova? Who knew?

  • I doubt if Saint Augustine would make the cut for Vox Nova however:

    “Do not think that it is impossible for any one to please God while engaged in active military service. Among such persons was the holy David, to whom God gave so great a testimony; among them also were many righteous men of that time; among them was also that centurion who said to the Lord: I am not worthy that You should come under my roof, but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed: for I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come, and he comes; and to my servant, Do this, and he does it; and concerning whom the Lord said: Verily, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. Matthew 8:8-10 Among them was that Cornelius to whom an angel said: Cornelius, your alms are accepted, and your prayers are heard, Acts 10:4 when he directed him to send to the blessed Apostle Peter, and to hear from him what he ought to do, to which apostle he sent a devout soldier, requesting him to come to him. Among them were also the soldiers who, when they had come to be baptized by John,— the sacred forerunner of the Lord, and the friend of the Bridegroom, of whom the Lord says: Among them that are born of women there has not arisen a greater than John the Baptist, Matthew 11:11 — and had inquired of him what they should do, received the answer, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. Luke 3:14 Certainly he did not prohibit them to serve as soldiers when he commanded them to be content with their pay for the service.

    5. They occupy indeed a higher place before God who, abandoning all these secular employments, serve Him with the strictest chastity; but every one, as the apostle says, has his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. 1 Corinthians 7:7 Some, then, in praying for you, fight against your invisible enemies; you, in fighting for them, contend against the barbarians, their visible enemies. Would that one faith existed in all, for then there would be less weary struggling, and the devil with his angels would be more easily conquered; but since it is necessary in this life that the citizens of the kingdom of heaven should be subjected to temptations among erring and impious men, that they may be exercised, and tried as gold in the furnace, Wisdom 3:6 we ought not before the appointed time to desire to live with those alone who are holy and righteous, so that, by patience, we may deserve to receive this blessedness in its proper time.

    6. Think, then, of this first of all, when you are arming for the battle, that even your bodily strength is a gift of God; for, considering this, you will not employ the gift of God against God. For, when faith is pledged, it is to be kept even with the enemy against whom the war is waged, how much more with the friend for whom the battle is fought! Peace should be the object of your desire; war should be waged only as a necessity, and waged only that God may by it deliver men from the necessity and preserve them in peace. For peace is not sought in order to the kindling of war, but war is waged in order that peace may be obtained. Therefore, even in waging war, cherish the spirit of a peacemaker, that, by conquering those whom you attack, you may lead them back to the advantages of peace; for our Lord says: Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9 If, however, peace among men be so sweet as procuring temporal safety, how much sweeter is that peace with God which procures for men the eternal felicity of the angels! Let necessity, therefore, and not your will, slay the enemy who fights against you. As violence is used towards him who rebels and resists, so mercy is due to the vanquished or the captive, especially in the case in which future troubling of the peace is not to be feared.”

  • I think Kyle’s reading (and that of some others here) of Hoffman’s post is flawed, and I have taken issue with it in his blog

    Click Here to seek Kyle’s post

    I will re-post my comment here, and add one point at the end:

    Kyle, with due repect to your philosophical acumen, which I respect not a whit less than my own, I must take issue with your reading of Hoffman’s piece. To me, it seemed unlikely that you would read a blog piece like that in an unfair way and interpret it wrongly, but it seemed no more likely that someone would take the very odd position you described. In order to relieve the dissonance of two equally absurd possibilities, I read it for myself. I speculated that the quote you lifted might possibly be redeemed by its context, and my suspicion seems to be confirmed by the actual blog post. I did not think it very plausible that someone would argue that caring, compassion, sensitivity and understanding are in and of themselves, deficient and incorrigibly prone to blur the moral conscience. I did not find it very likely that Hoffman was advocating manly virtues to the exclusion of the ones that he deems unmanly. The way I read the piece, he is pointing out a problem with the way academia and the media promote one set of virtues to the exclusion of another set which they reject, but he is not necessarily doing the same from the opposite direction (promoting what they reject, rejecting what they promote).

    Here is the quote you gave in its context (disregarding the further quote, which only serves to emphasize whatever point he is actually making):

    ” … Academia, with the help of the media, has labeled all reference to manly virtue as patriarchal, sexist, and homophobic. Womanly virtue, on the other hand, is extolled. Caring, compassion, sensitivity, and understanding are virtues meant to blur the distinction between good and evil and drown out the call of manly conscience to ?do the right thing.? Like a mother who refuses to see the evil in her son, the feminist professors cast all moral standards as relative and subjective.”

    I think the key to understanding what Hoffman is saying is the verb “meant”, which I have italicized above for emphasis, along with what I take to be the subjects of that verb, the doers of the action: “Academia…the feminist professors…with the help of the media”. It is a critique of what they are trying to do with those virtues, not of the virtues themselves.

    I doubt he would disagree with your point, that all the virtues must be practiced. He is simply correctigng an unbalanced excess in one direction by promoting an emphasis on those virtues which he judges to be marginalized. There is no good reason to insist on a reading of Hoffman as denying a legitimate place for compassion, sensitivity and understanding. I will seek his opinion on our different interpretations of his piece. He, of course, would know what intended.

    My final point is simply this – the root of the word virtue, vir is an accurate rendering of the classical Greek ????? (aret?), which is literally about manliness, and referrs to general excellence of character. It encompasses morality, but is not limited to it, but signifies excellence on all attributes.

  • What I suspect J Christian is pointing out, Paul, is that some people seem to be working themselves up into a tizzy of worry over misinterpreting a piece which really isn’t saying anything all that shocking (or exciting).

    Kyle says that he’s worried by the philosophy of virtue expressed in Hoffman’s piece — that hardly strikes me as surprising as Hoffman is writing a (not terribly deep) piece of social criticism, not laying out a philosophy of virtue. That the result is not a coherent philosophy is not surprising. (Kyle doesn’t even seem to totally disagree with the piece, as in his facebook posting publicizing his post he notes that he does see a problem with “manly virtues” being given short change in our society — pointing to the reworking of Aragorn’s character in the film version of LotR versus his character in the book.)

    Then, within the first four comments over there, we have one commenter saying Jesus would have wept, one saying this is a prime example of American fascist tendencies, and a third claiming that the TAC author “fetishizes violence” and wants to “give the government unchecked power to exterminate the threatening Other”.

    All about a fairly fluffy piece asking why it is that we don’t have better male role models in media and society.

    Much ado about nothing? Methinks so.

  • Though I think it fair to say that men and women express different aspects of human nature. That this different expression of human nature results in different expressions of the virtues I think can only be contradicted by those that live in a 70’s era understanding of human psychology.

    This is not to say that men do not express compassion nor women defense. However, frequently one can see distinctions in expression. Thus the reason why the good Lord made men and women to marry and raise children.

  • Uh oh. . . hold on to your codpieces, gentlemen:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2253645

    Is the Tea Party a women’s movement? More women than men belong—55 percent, according to the latest Quinnipiac poll.

    Women. . . in public life!

  • According to phosphorious and those that drink his kool-ade, all us “masculine men”, ie, conservatives, are misogynists.

    We are so misogynistic that we hated Sarah Palin to the national stage where liberals have rallied around her in droves.

    Yeah, the logic fits…

    …if you’re a kool-ade drinking liberal.

  • I think it was Lewis or Chesterton who described the modern age as virtues run amok. (Probably Chesterton, because that sounds a lot like Orthodoxy.) I agree with DC and Elaine that, without the idea of virtue as the golden mean, we get a society with crazy excesses. The modern “urban” culture, which dominates the suburban middle schools, distorts masculine virtues into violence and promiscuity. On the other side of the coin you have the emasculation that Hoffman writes about.

    I don’t agree with everything Hoffman says – I don’t think he understands the idea of moderation – but he is accurately describing part of the problem.

  • I don’t agree with everything Hoffman says – I don’t think he understands the idea of moderation – but he is accurately describing part of the problem.

    Bingo.

  • Yeah, the logic fits…

    …if you’re a kool-ade drinking liberal.

    Or Tom Hoffman.

    Pinky hit the nail on the head.

  • Yeah Phosphorious, you got me. I obviously have a great problem with women in roles of political leadership.

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2008/10/06/reagan-in-a-skirt/

  • I don’t agree with everything Hoffman says – I don’t think he understands the idea of moderation – but he is accurately describing part of the problem.</i."

    But that’s the problem. . . that he only deals with part of it.

    He has convinced himself that we live in a “feminized gae” (shudder!) and that the only cure is to “take back our masculinity” or something.

    While sneering at thew idea of “compassion for the downtrodden.”

    Lewis warned, in The Screwtape Letters i think, that one of the devil’s favorite tricks is to put us on guard against a vice that we don’t have, so that we avoid a virtue we desperately need.

    Looking around America today, I don’t see a country that is too reluctant to go to war, or use violence to further its goals. And Hoffman blames the sissified “libs.”

  • Yeah Phosphorious, you got me. I obviously have a great problem with women in roles of political leadership.

    Still it must worry you on some level that the Tea Party is being feminized, right? Otherwise why all the fuss.

    No one. . . except the evil feminists. . . complained when academia were exclusively male dominions. THAT was the natural order apparently.

    Once women have a slight majority in academia, and the world falls apart.

  • Sarah Palin is of course an interesting case. The claim is that Hoffman doesn;t despise women. . . e just wants women to act like women and men to act like men.

    And yet Sarah Palin displays all the manly virtues, doesn’t she? She shoots wolves from helicopters, for Pete’s sake.

    A woman who acts like a man is praised and lionized by the modern conservative. A man who acts like a woman is despised and ridiculed.

    This is properly called misogyny, no matter how much you don’t like the label.

  • This is properly called rubbish phosphorious no matter how much you may dislike the label. Palin is the mother of four kids and happily married. You don’t get much more feminine than that.

    I have never had a problem with conservative women in positions of political power. I of course oppose liberal women holding positions of political power just as I oppose liberal men holding those positions.

    Your problem phosphorious is that you find it much easier to debate the conservative strawmen you construct in your mind than actual conservatives.

  • Phospho,

    A woman who acts like a man is praised and lionized by the modern conservative. A man who acts like a woman is despised and ridiculed.

    So according to your theory, there must be some women who act like women whom these conservatives despise. Could you please provide some examples of those women?

    Frankly, I think all we’re learning from this conversation is that some people hate conservatives a lot more than they love reading comprehension…

  • phosphorious,

    Besides physical differences, do you think there are any distinctions between men and women?

  • It is no wonder that women now are the majority of college graduates and are increasing their role in every institution from private enterprise to public service, including the military. Is this a healthy trend? The answer is clearly “no.”

    I have been accused of having poor reading comprehension several times now. And conservatives have lined up to say how HAPPY they are that women are taking a larger role in GOP politics. . . because of course you have nothing against women.

    Then you all must flatly disagree with the passage quoted above, right?

  • So according to your theory, there must be some women who act like women whom these conservatives despise. Could you please provide some examples of those women?

    How does this follow? Here’s the argument as I understand it so far:

    Hoffman decries the lack of manly virtues and the overabundance of womanly virtues. he doesn’t explicitly say,as far as I can tell, that men should act like men and women like women, althought hat is how he’s being interpreted by everyone here. It seems to me that he simply dislikes “compassion for the down trodden” and the womanly emotions that nurture it. It seems to me that he simply doesn’t like women. But perhaps I’m wrong.

    But we can test this! It’s simple: Are the conservatives who defend Hoffman equally disgusted by men who act like women (those compassionate pansies!) and women who act like men?

    I claim that the answer is no, with Sarah Palin as exhibit A. A man who cries is beneath contempt, a woman who hunts is a presidential prospect.

    Conservatives don;t mind women who act like women. . . they can;t help it, and they provide much needed child rearing services (although they could stop mollycoddling the boys, couldn’t they!). . . but they respect women who act like men. They DO NOT respect men who act like women

    What have I failed to grasp about conservatism?

  • phosphorious,

    Besides physical differences, do you think there are any distinctions between men and women?

    Good question! There’s a lot of half baked ev-psych and hokum surrounding this issue.

    If pressed for an answer, I would say that the difference does not lie in the two sexes having different virtues, but in the expression of those virtues. Does anybody really think that women aren;t brave or that men aren’t compassionate? Or that both sexes shouldn’t be both? Did women not face Nero’s lions bravely, did Jesus not weep for Lazarus.

    Men and women may express the virtues differently, but to suggest that there are different virtues is damn nonsense.

  • Does anybody really think that women aren’t brave?

    I do not think physical courage is common among women.

  • It may be that Hoffman meant to correct an imbalance and not to disparage what he calls the “womanly” virtues, but he doesn’t make that intention clear in the text. He doesn’t praise “womanly” virtues when practiced rightly or distinguish between those virtues when they are meant to blur the distinction between right and wrong and when they are not. The way he tells it, the “womanly” virtues are meant to blur the distinction between right and wrong. He doesn’t clarify that the virtues themselves don’t have this effect. I suppose one might ask him if the “feminist professors” promote these virtues because they blur and lead to relativism or if it’s merely the particular use of said professors that makes these virtues do this. How he answers would help us understand what he meant, but for now I’m just going on what he said.

    Darwin is correct that I share a concern that certain virtues are not celebrated as they once were. If I were to put my complaint with Peter Jackson’s LOTR films in a nutshell, it would be that Jackson and his writers stripped several characters of their defining virtues. Aragorn loses his magnanimity, for example. Hoffman’s post doesn’t worry me such much as it leaves me shaking my head. If his point was to ask why we don’t have better male role models in media and society, then he could have made that point in a number of effective ways without seeming to say that it’s bad when “womanly” virtues are extolled.

  • Aragorn was the most poorly portrayed character in the trilogy of films. Other than his speech before the final battle, I thought Viggo Mortensen completely failed to convey why anyone would follow Aragorn to dinner, let alone a battle. This failed portrayal stood out to me, since I believed the other portrayals were dead on accurate.

  • …equally disgusted by men who act like women (those compassionate pansies!)…

    Hey, you’re the one reading “pansy” pejoratively. I threw that out there as an experiment. Why should one care about being called a “pansy” unless there’s something unique about his masculinity that he wishes to defend?

    Gotcha. 🙂

  • When Hoffman writes the following, what does he mean? Is he correct?

    It is no wonder that women now are the majority of college graduates and are increasing their role in every institution from private enterprise to public service, including the military. Is this a healthy trend? The answer is clearly “no.”

    What for Hoffman would be a healthy tread?

  • Most women and men have different types of physical courage. My wife will always look to me to take the lead in any sort of confrontational situation with third parties, and I am happy to oblige. On the other hand she is the veteran of two difficult pregnancies, one involving twins, which she faced with stoicism and grace, and which I suspect would have eluded me.

  • Donald,

    I don’t blame Viggo as much as others. Having seen him in other films, I think he could have portrayed Aragorn well, but the writers and producers felt the character needed to be more pusillanimous, I guess. Sure the character in the book had moments of self-doubt, but the filmmakers took those brief moments and constructed the whole character out of them. Arwen has to tell him to toughen-up, Elrond has to do the same. Even when he gets the crown, he looks unsure of himself. As Aragorn is my favorite literary character [really, how liberal can I be? ;-)], I left the theaters very disappointed.

  • I rather suspect that he would view a healthy trend as one in which men were earning college degrees in at least the same percentage as their proportion of the population. I rather suspect that most college educated women, as they search for a prospective husband, would wish for the same.

    In regard to the military, I share his concern that the combat arms should remain a male preserve, since I think that is an area where sex differences clearly matter. I say that as the father of a daughter, who, with my encouragement, is considering a career as an officer in the Air Force.

  • It seems that Hoffman’s (not very deep) essay is something of a palimpsest that everyone is trying to write over. One side merely sees it as “we’ve devalued some of the manly virtues too much,” and the other reads it as “a woman’s place is in the kitchen.”

  • You might be right in regard to Viggo Kyle, I am not familiar enough with his other work to make a judgment. What surprised me was that the other characters seemed to me to be accurately portrayed. “Strider’s” protrayal just left me very cold. On the other hand I liked Boromir portrayed by Sean Bean, a character I had no use for in reading the books.

  • It is no wonder that women now are the majority of college graduates and are increasing their role in every institution from private enterprise to public service, including the military. Is this a healthy trend? The answer is clearly “no.”

    What for Hoffman would be a healthy tread?

    He seems to be saying that the college-education/professional world is being shaped in such a way that it is much more amenable to women than to men, and thus that same portion of men are being in some sense excluded.

    I can’t speak for Hoffman, nor would I count on he and I agreeing on everything, but I would personally tend to think that a balanced academic culture would result in equal numbers of men and women thriving in college — given that men and women make up equal percentages of the population.

    In professional life, I tend to think that natural human thriving would result in men predominating somewhat, since I think it is greatly to the benefit of children to receive the full time care of a parent, and I think that in the vast majority of cases women are better suited to this than men.

    This failed portrayal stood out to me, since I believed the other portrayals were dead on accurate.

    Just to extend the digression: I’d have to add Legolas, Gimli, Faramir, Denethore, Arwen and Galadrial to that list.

  • As Aragorn is my favorite literary character [really, how liberal can I be? 😉 ], I left the theaters very disappointed.

    Indeed, you’re going to have to watch out Kyle. When word gets out that you idolize an admitted torturer, you’re going to be voted off the island and find yourself out in the water with us sharks…

  • Jump on in Kyle. Its fun being a Calvinist, Enlightenment individualist who seeks to oppress the poor and overturn Catholic Social Teaching and impale all who seek its pure realization in the political domain.

  • Hey, you’re the one reading “pansy” pejoratively. I threw that out there as an experiment. Why should one care about being called a “pansy” unless there’s something unique about his masculinity that he wishes to defend?

    Gotcha. 🙂

    Very good! Hoist by my own petard!

    But of course you’re quite wrong, overlooking the difference between connotation and denotation.

    For example, the phrase “mackeral snapper” denotes a certain set of individuals, namely Catholics. Might I not object to being called such, without being at all ashamed of being catholic?

    Or shall the name of this blog be changed to “The American Mackeral Snapper”?

    🙂

  • Donald,

    I agree: Sean Bean did wonders for Boromir. I liked Ian McKellan’s Gandalf as well.

    Darwin,

    I remember our having that debate over Aragorn, Gandalf and torture. Good debate. Anyhow, just because Aragorn’s my favorite character doesn’t mean I agree with everything he did. Some of my favorite characters are villains, after all.

  • j. christian,

    It seems that Hoffman’s (not very deep) essay is something of a palimpsest that everyone is trying to write over. One side merely sees it as “we’ve devalued some of the manly virtues too much,” and the other reads it as “a woman’s place is in the kitchen.”

    I think you’ve nailed it.

    Kyle,

    I remember our having that debate over Aragorn, Gandalf and torture. Good debate. Anyhow, just because Aragorn’s my favorite character doesn’t mean I agree with everything he did. Some of my favorite characters are villains, after all.

    No, no, you can’t get out of it that easily. Reason and distinction are simply not allowed in these debates. You’re just going to have to be a “textbook fascist” with the rest of us. 🙂

  • The LOTR movies are among my favorites, but what Peter Jackson did to Faramir’s character is unforgiveable. The Faramir of the movies bore absolutely no resemblance to, arguably, the noblest character in Tolkien’s books.

  • I hope that Hoffman will follow up and clear up any misinterpretion of his piece whether I am guilty of it or Kyle et al are. The piece is vague and open to either interpretion, and on that score I can agree that those criticizing this post have a point, for even if they are not reading hm right, that need notbe entirely their fault. The author can own up to some blame for that.

    I offer only one more argument for my intepretation of Hoffman’s intent in writing this piece, which I omitted because my last comment was already too long: At the end of his pot, Hoffman offers Jesus Christ as a model of what he takes to be the ultimate in manly virtue (he also offers a link to a fairly inoccuous web site). Our Lord is not generally believed to have displayed, during His earthly life and ministry, a notable lack in compassion, sensitivity or understanding.

  • “At the end of his pot”! 🙂 LOL

    There should be an “s” in there somewhere!

  • I would charitably interpret Hoffman’s article as simply a plea for more balance between “masculine” and “feminine” virtues, rather than as a misogynistic rant. He emphasizes the good side of the masculine virtues and the downside of the feminine ones, true, but he does so precisely in order to BALANCE the way society denigrates masculine virtues.

    As for the notion that conservatives love women who display masculine virtue… well, I think that’s true but only under certain conditions.

    Ask yourself this question: if Sarah Palin or Ann Coulter were 20 years older, had gray hair and wrinkles, and/or weighed at least 50 pounds more than they do now, but had exactly the same ideas, character, and experience they currently have, would they still be regarded as conservative icons… or would they be written off as a couple of old, loudmouthed, emasculating broads (or worse)? If that were the case, I rather suspect that they would be criticized rather than praised for displaying “masculine” virtues.

  • I think that’s a really good point, Elaine. For both men and women, a certain element of sex appeal is the familiar. Thus, the appeal to women of the “sensitive guy”, and the appeal to men of the woman who actually enjoys sports, hunting, etc. At the root of attraction is often a bit of the image in the mirror.

  • Okay, I reread Hoffman’s post in the most charitable light possible. Nobody here disagrees with the idea that manly virtues are good and should be taught and that many areas of our society neglect it. But Hoffman exaggerates to the point of absurdity. Nobody here should agree with his post in its entirety. I cannot believe that even Hoffman himself believes everything he wrote. He probably thought that writing to a conservative audience he could get away with some cheap shots against libs without actually being fair or accurate. Those who criticize the post are absolutely justified and those who defend it are really glossing over it because they agree with the central message.

  • I’m not sure how highly correlated effeminacy and loss of manly virtue are. Today’s manly men use facial products and get body waxes even though the cowardly men of yesterday would’ve thought that too effeminate. I remember an episode of All in the Family where Archie is disgusted by the fact that his male neighbor cooks. Today, cooking is fast becoming a man’s activity.

  • “Today’s manly men use facial products and get body waxes”

    Speak for yourself on that score restrained radical! No body waxes for me, and only shaving cream and alcohol, for external use, touch my face!

    Cooking has always been a partially male activity. My late father-in-law was a Navy cook, and you would not have wanted to have seen him come lumbering towards you in a dark alley! My late father would sometimes cook, in addition to operating the steel shears at the truck body plant where he worked. Of course summer barbecues have usually involved male cooking, although I have been teaching my steak secrets to my daughter.

  • Of course any thread on the masculine virtues is not complete without this film clip:

    The three surviving flag raisers from the battle, Ira Hayes, John Bradley and Rene Gagnon, raised the actual flag from the battle in this final scene.

  • Ask yourself this question: if Sarah Palin or Ann Coulter were 20 years older, had gray hair and wrinkles, and/or weighed at least 50 pounds more than they do now, but had exactly the same ideas, character, and experience they currently have, would they still be regarded as conservative icons… or would they be written off as a couple of old, loudmouthed, emasculating broads (or worse)?

    Two words: Margaret Thatcher. Not hot, yet a conservative icon on both sides of the Atlantic.

  • I still relish her “handbagging” “wet” male ministers!

  • “Older, with gray hair and wrinkles” – you mean Phyllis Schlafly?

  • Speak for yourself on that score restrained radical! No body waxes for me, and only shaving cream and alcohol, for external use, touch my face!

    I think we can also allow Old Spice or Clubman — after shaves are okay so long as the formula goes back at least 100 years.

    On cooking, I’m reminded of the scene in Donnie Brasco where the gangster explains that while women may cook, men are chefs.

  • Don, now that I think about it, you’re right about the cooking. But I stand by my other example. Many of today’s new veterans probably use facial products. The meathead firefighters down at the gym go to tanning salons and wear lip gloss.

  • O tempora, O mores. A note to all our female readers. Do not even think of marrying a man who takes more time primping than you do. You will regret it! 🙂

  • Restrained – The American Thinker site is not a place of subtle distinctions. Hoffman’s article is good by their standards. I read their articles sometimes. Then again, I also eat at Wendy’s sometimes, and I don’t brag about it or expect much from it.

  • I usually just despise the AC/VN rivalry, but I had to compare their thread with this one. We’ve definitely got better commenters here. AC covered more topics, better, and more civilly, with some really interesting writing. I think we got closer to the right answer, as well. Nice going.

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