The title for this article is a quote from , A RETURN TO MODESTY: discovering the lost virtue By Wendy Shalit. , which I mentioned in my last post. I have not read the book, but if it contains what I suspect, it is a welcome parallel to my own thinking on the topic, which I will be happy to summarize here below:
I have long been of the opinion that the feminist movement seeks to raise the standard of womanhood by erasing differences between the sexes. How and where this has been beneficial, I leave to the reader to determine. The cost and detriment involve a loss of femininity, modesty, respect for virginity, respect and self-respect for women.
The basic flaw is that feminists start by seeking equality, but finish by seeking androgyny. Girls are not taught to be feminine and modest; boys are not taught self-command and decency. When mixed, narcissistic cruelly selfish males will then simply exploit, as far as they can, the narcissistic but defenseless females. Equality starts as a perfectly reasonable demand for women's suffrage and the right to own property, but ends with the oddly unnatural equality of a naked jello wrestling cage match between a rapist and a nymph. Unless she is Xena Warrior Princess, Wonder Woman, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, her chances of emerging from the cage unscathed are dim.
Most schoolboy friendships begin with a schoolyard fight. The way boys make friends with boys is that you roll around in the sweaty dirt, punching the candidate for friendship in the face or the stomach over and over again, and if he is man enough afterward not to cry, or even man enough to shake hands, you know he has character.
Most schoolboy crushes begin with euphoria, tenderness, shyness, and awe akin to idolatry directed toward “the little redhaired girl” (or whoever) combined with a powerful werewolflike hunger to seize her and carry her off to your cave and have your way with her. The way boys make friends with girls is to put on a tie, comb your hair, give her a bouquet of posies and shyly ask her out to a movie.
Now, I strongly suspect that not a single one of my readers of the fairer sex met her beau in this fashion. This fashion is out of fashion.
But I also strongly suspect that only one or two of my readers of the fairer sex met her beau after the fashion of schoolboy friendships, with your young man sitting on you in the sweaty dust punching you in the stomach over and over again until you cry uncle, and then waiting to see if you were ballsy enough not to weep or snitch.
However, I do suspect that modern boyish attitudes toward girls is much closer to the schoolyard fight than to the shy proffer of posies.
Here is my theory: There are only two possible attitudes for a society, or an individual man, to have toward women: the mystical and the practical. There may be endless variations on the theme within these two broad categories, but those do not concern us here.
The practical attitude is that women are dickless men, easy to beat up, fun to ravish, emotionally vulnerable and easy to manipulate. This is the attitude of the cads, including everyone from Bill Clinton to Hugh Hefner to Solomon the Wise, and every man who gave in to the werewolflike hunger.
The mystical attitude is that women, because they are weak, and precious, and fair, the mother of your children and the hearth and heart of your soul, must be served with the devotion of supine priests in ancient rites their pagan goddesses, or knights who pray and fast before an icon of the Virgin. When the Titanic is sinking, you give up your seat on the lifeboat for a women, and die. This may not be the logical or the egalitarian method of approaching the whole man-woman question, but is it a far mile more practical than the practical attitude.
The mystic attitude is the way the father of your bride wants you to treat her.
Now the modern feminist, complaining of very real and systematic injustices done to women both now and through the ages, have unfortunately fallen into the lazy intellectual habit of subjecting the mystery of man-woman relationships to the Marxist method of analysis.
The Marxist method of analysis is to assume, despite any evidence contrariwise, that all human interactions are a zero-sum game. My gain is your loss; your loss is my gain.
Hence, Marxism is the stupidest and shallowest imaginable method of analysis, since it is concerned with nothing but strength. Whichever party is the stronger is the exploiter and ergo evil; whichever party is weaker is the victim and ergo good.
Hence again, the Marxist proscription is always the same and always stupid and shallow. The only thing to do is to weaken the stronger party and strengthen the weaker party.
Applied to the male-female question, the Marxist solution is to help the victims (females) by making them STRONGER, and to punish the oppressors (males) by making them weaker.
In order to strengthen women, you strip away all the rules and customs of modesty, all the mysticism and allure of virginity and chastity. You dress them as boys and throw the girls into the schoolyard fight, so they can enter the pissing contests with the boys, and be thrown into the dirt and punched over and over again. The werewolflike hunger of the boys is unchained, ironically, in the name of equality for women: hence real exploiters of women, creatures like Hugh Hefner, regard themselves as pro-feminist.
In economic terms, if the consensus of opinion among women enforces a standard of chastity—good girls do not copulate before marriage—then the werewolflike hunger, starved by the monopoly, is forced into the path of posies, proposals, combing your hair and proving yourself to be a good provider before your base animal urges can be satisfied.
In sum, in the sane society, your young men do not get to engage in sexual reproduction until and unless they vow eternal fidelity to their mates, and provide support for the offspring resulting from sexual reproduction. This encourages a romantic attitude toward marriage rather than a merely pragmatic one. If you are going to be chained for life to your mate, it were better far for you if you love her, and if your love is not merely fair-weather infatuation.
If female promiscuity is the norm, however, natural marketplace forces (the desire of young men to gratify themselves with minimal cost for maximal gain) prevents the monopoly. A woman cannot demand a man come virgin to her marriage bower, and cannot demand a vow of eternal fidelity before she bestows upon him that most precious jewel in her possession. If her Magdalene sisters are willing to give it up on the first date, in return for a dinner and a show, then her potential candidates for lifelong mate shrink dramatically.
There is a feedback loop to this: once female promiscuity is the norm, a non-promiscuous male (if such a chimerical creature can be imagined) who actually wants to stay virginal until marriage will find his pool of potential mates also shrinking dramatically. I have more than one Christian friend who cannot find a date, because the women willing to enter a romance without consummating the premarital relationship in copulation is small. The chaste lover is in competition with a flotilla of gigolos, willing to pleasure her without making any commitment.
Another implication is the hatred of misogynists is enflamed against any women unwilling to fornicate with him. If Lola Flipskirt is willing to tuck her knees behind her ears for every boy in the dorm except you, then you have been scorned by a whore. She is violating the norm; she is singling you out for disrespect. Contrast that to the rejection suffered if you are merely a cad and no young lady is willing to heed your untoward proposals: the young lady could confide to you her deep longings are as carnal as your own, but she fears her father and the scorn of society, and so even if she would, she cannot. There is no personal rejection! By proposing the lurid fling in a chaste society, then it is you violating the norm, and you had no rational reason to expect any other result. The other rejected suitors sulking in their beers will commiserate: they are all in the same boat. Paradoxically, misogyny is encouraged by promiscuity, not deterred.
The equalization of men and women in the sexual sphere leads to more male hatred for women. I am confident that being slapped by a Playboy bunny or Hooters Gal is more humiliating than being slapped by a Vestal Virgina, Nun, or Schoolmarm. Your droogs, who have all sodded the molodoy ptitsa, of course hoot and sneer if she disses you, but they will merely nod and praise the justice of Bog if a respectable young dama answers your mashing with a swat. (Droogs can find a polezny Nadsat dictionary here).
With the abolition of the feminine mystique, a woman can attract a mate only using crude and obvious markers or identifiers indicating her willingness to mate. The proverbial dropping a hankie to give the swain an opportunity to be gallant would be ridiculous in the modern context: the easiest way to attract the attention of the porn-deluged and jaded young men is to dress like a streetwalker.
We hear these days accounts of bulimic woman starving themselves to death: literally dying for a body image. When there are no cultural markers or identifiers of sexuality that attract the thoughts and fancies of the male, all that is left is natural markers, or, in the case of silicon implants, unnatural. Imagine a science fictional society where every teen boy keeps a perfectly pliant and perfectly formed Marilyn Munrobot under the bed for lonely nights: the women of that day and age, in order to lure the males away from their robots would have to dress, act, and be shaped as provocatively and lusciously as the artificial beings with whom they are in competition. Our society is oddly close to this, with the images from the Internet providing the ersatz feminine eye-candy of the Munrobot.
The main thing that a Munrobot, or those who teach a young man to treat young women as if they were boys like him, but merely curvaceous, pleasantly scented boys with long shining locks, soft and well-formed hands, glittering eyes, ruby lips and pearly teeth that let escape words and laughter at a higher pitch than his, fails to teach the young man is a double standard. With other men, be respectful and rough, and punch them when they need punching but not before; with women be respectful and gentle, and kiss them when they need kissing but not before. Without this double standard, there is no civility or civilization, and women are merely prey.
Modern science had hinted that chemical changes in the brain addict a women to the man who seduces her. Even if she, a loyal follower of the Church of Hugh Hefner promises herself to hook up with a beefbag for a one night fling, and then fling him away when weary of him, she may not be neuro-chemically able to live up to (or live down to) her low standard. Acting like a whore is unnatural from a scientific point of view: it messes up your brain.
Now, this bit of scientific learning is politically incorrect. Once again, reality has the gall not to live up to the Progressive’s whim-based “narrative”, and therefore the usual pathetic psychological defense mechanism is trotted out (change the subject, attack the messenger, call everyone a racist, wallow in self-glorifying self-pity, make an accusation, clutch ears, shriek). Nonetheless, if the scientific study on which this claim is based does turn out to be accurate (I have no opinion, for myself, on that point), then science will have laboriously and tediously expended tremendous time and effort to prove what common sense has known for thousands of years.
My grandmother was married at 16 to an 18 year old man who built his own house with his own hands, worked like a dog without rest, kept his family fed throughout the Great Depression, and never even rolled an eye toward another woman. He was the paterfamilias, the absolute master of his house, but she was something greater and more terrible than him, because she was his soul and the power behind his throne, and she ruled with an iron rolling pin. I never heard their voices raised in anger one against the other. A woman less a victim I cannot picture. And yet it is women like my grandmother, marriages like theirs, that the modern age has by and large abolished.
The contrast between this and the next generation is too painful for me to repeat. Rather than embarrassing my friends and family by telling you of their affairs and sins and broken homes, let me merely say that divorce is the norm and fidelity is as rare as unicorns. Of my school friends and roommates, I know of not a single one who came a virgin to the marriage bed, and of married couples, I know only two who did not live in sin together test-drive-style before solemnizing their alliance with wedlock. To hear pornography denounced is rare; to hear unnatural acts denounced is to invite an Orwellian Two Minute Hate. The modern age is proud of what is shameful, and ashamed of what merits pride.
One of the most disturbing indicia of the modern return to barbarism is the phenomenon called ‘Date Rape.’ While some of my fellow conservatives dismiss this phenomena as a rhetorical pose of the feminist, I submit that the conservative who supports that dismissal brings shame on our noble mutual cause. If anything, we conservatives should be trumpeting the horrid statistics about Date Rape from the rooftops, and harnessing the outrage of brothers and fathers whose sisters and daughters have been flung defenseless into the bloody shark-filled waters of modern sexual predation to stage an ongoing riot. An impromptu militia with torches and pitchforks should seize Hefner and Kinsey and all those in the camp of the sexual libertarians frogmarch them to the nearest lamp-post for a quick drumhead trial and a slow hanging. Or, if that is too dramatic for these soft and modern times, let us at least hang them in effigy and damn their ideas to hell.
We fools—I count myself as one—who believed in the Equality, Fraternity, and Free Love of the Sexual Liberation movement, who shed our hang-ups in search of hook-ups to march with Phrygian caps on head and condoms on crotch (heads held high and condoms proudly erect!) waving the bloody abortionist scalpel as if it were the very sword of freedom (Aux Armes Citoyens!) we have been promised freedom, and instead we received the Terror.
The police now do the work that a sense of decency used to do. Instead of the workable if hierarchic system of the old regime, we now have a Napoleon called Political Correctness—and we cannot even talk honestly any more about sex and chastity, decency, modesty, romance, and love. The only thing we talk about these days is how bad homosexual Catholic priest are, and how good homosexual everyone else is.
The Revolution has betrayed us, Comrades. It’s promises were lies. Utopia is not an option.
We were promised promiscuous harems, and all we got instead is a new and oddly puritanical form of anti-Puritanism. What we got was a society that either approves or turns a blind eye when men treat women like dirt. What we got is a society where sexual abuse of women is normal, and complaints about sexual abuse are dismissed as hysterical.
The indoctrination of political correctness is so deeply ingrained that the last four times, either in print or in person, I spoke about rape and abuse of women, the idiot servants of Napoleon rushed in the breathless indignation to lecture me that men can get raped just as easily as women. I suppose when you live on the cubicular Bizzaro World, words there am meaning the opposite of what words am mean here. Or perhaps if you come from the world of Tlön, ideas are real and facts are pliant.
In any case, the vocalization of the proper politically correct verbal formula of rubbish-words was more significant to my interlocutors than any real problems afflicting real women. Reality is just some sort of dim and hazy half-forgotten thing the members of the reality based community will no doubt someday confront and conquer, once all their verbal formula are worked out to everyone’s satisfaction.