Welcome Instapundit Readers! I am thrilled to be linked by the Blog-father and delighted you stopped by to share in the discussion! Thanks so much.
Dear Readers: I have the pleasure of introducing a new contributor to the Shrine: Barry J. of Temecula. He is, like myself, a historian. Unlike myself, he can totally handle weapons; I met him while he was leading the Spartan Warriors team during the Young Prince’s “Deadliest Warriors” camp. In fact, he was the fight coordinator and demonstrator for the SpikeTV show episode featuring Spartans.
I was thrilled to chat with him for a few moments after camp, as I relish meeting someone who enjoys ancient history. While I remain an avid ancient-Egyptophile, I must admit that the Spartans would totally open a can of whup-a$$ on Pharaoh’s armies. But, during our conversation, we realized that both of us closely follow current events. Barry J. opines regularly on Yahoo Groups Political Talk and the Facebook version of the group.
One of the threads he authored was entitled: What Became of “Real Men”? A hard question asked by a man who knows the honor, valor, integrity and strength shown by men through history. I wanted to share the dialog I had with him on this subject.
To start with, I would like to offer an example of the Spartan opposite. That is, a petulant man-child who scolds one of the most dynamic women in the country because she hurt his feelings: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Obama have intense exchange on tarmac
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer came to greet President Barack Obama upon his arrival outside Phoenix Wednesday. What she got was a critique. Of her book. The two leaders could be seen engaged in an intense conversation at the base of Air Force One’s steps. Both could be seen smiling, but speaking at the same time. Asked moments later what the conversation was about, Brewer, a Republican, said: “He was a little disturbed about my book.” Brewer recently published a book, “Scorpions for Breakfast,” something of a memoir of her years growing up and defends her signing of Arizona’s controversial law cracking down on illegal immigrants, which Obama opposes.
After reading this, I can totally understand why Barry J. is concerned about the state of manhood in this country. His thoughts on this matter are below, which are then followed by my more optimistic take (as woman, a fellow historian, and a citizen activist):
Is chivalry dead?
I am going to just be honest here, and say that I am sickened by men today.
As a man raised by a WWII veteran with a strong sense of chivalry, I am disgusted with what today passes for manhood. So many are mere shadows of men just two generations ago. Our military service members excepted, most men aren’t fit to carry the water of the “Greatest Generation”, my father’s generation; much less the Knights of the Age of Chivalry.
Where are the Gary Coopers of the world?
I was reminded of this by what we saw happen on the Costa Concordia. That men on that sinking cruise ship elbowed women and children aside in their frantic scurry onto the life-rafts, is just the most obvious example of the decline in chivalry, and… Well, just plain manhood! As life boats arrived on shore, aid workers were expecting to see lifeboats filled with women and children coming off first. Instead, they saw lots of burly men and a handful of well dressed wives and gal-pals!
How things have changed in the 100 years since the Titanic catastrophe.
On Titanic, women and children boarded the life rafts first; and the crew strictly enforced that. The captain was the last to leave the ship, and that after all lifeboats had already been launched. As Rich Lowry recently observed, “Capt. Edward Smith told his crew: “Men, you have done your full duty. You can do no more. Now it’s every man for himself.” One witness recalled seeing him, probably washed overboard, clutching a child in the water as the Titanic disappeared. A member of the crew always believed it was Captain Smith’s voice he heard from the water after the Titanic was gone, urging him and others on: “Good boys! Good lads!”
How different that is from the Costa Concordia captain, who along with other young brutes, apparently launched himself and his Moldavian 25 year old girlfriend into one of the lifeboats early on, elbowing women and children aside.
Today the cry of, “women-and-children first”, has become “brutes and their bimbos” first!
Young men just don’t seem to respect women. They don’t seem to respect much of anything. I see it every day in the way men treat their women. Or any woman, or the old, the young, or the infirm. The only thing they hold in esteem seems to be what hangs between their own legs; and what they can do with it.
Men today are a bunch of pierced, tattooed, slovenly louts! Not “men”: they are “manlings”! Boys that never grow beyond their toys.
A beautiful 29 year old acquaintance of mine complains that her husband spends much of his time at work (in his parents Real Estate business) playing online poker. Then comes home and plays X-Box most of the night!
Not a man, a manling.
But women must accept at least some of the blame for modern man’s deplorable lack of character!
Its women, after all, that raise men (often without men in the home). Its mostly young female teachers that teach our boys in their most formative years. And its women who accept and give themselves to “manlings” such behavior and reward it by going out with and marrying such cretins…
Were women to demand that the men in their lives not treat them like slutty sex objects; but instead commit to them and family before mating, than more boys would have male role models in their lives.
Were mothers to raise boys to be gentleman with a sense of honor, they would grow up into men those mothers could be proud of.
Feminist politics, Political Correctness, and (most importantly) lack of male role models has left this generation of men with no clue how to behave as MEN!
When the ship is sinking, and no one is there taking charge, wouldn’t it be nice if men were made of the same stern stuff the men aboard the Titanic were; when women and children really did come first, and men went down with the ship?
That’s my rant…Here is Rich Lowry’s insightful take on it!
The Titanic went down, they say, to the strains of the hymn “Nearer, My God, to Thee,” as the band courageously played on. It lent a final grace note to the tragedy. Today, we don’t do grace notes. We’ve gone from “Women and children, first,” to “Dude, where’s my lifeboat?” As the women of the Costa Concordia can testify, that’s a long way down.
MUT: Women Still See Heroes
While several points you make are valid, I am much more optimistic than you. I would like to share why.
Firstly: Chivalry is not dead. In the Costa Concordia tragedy, the Hungarian entertainer who died actually saved several children, before going back to try and retrieve his violin(non-musicians may not appreciate how expensive and treasured a specific instrument can be). This man was a hero; the fact the Captain was not should not take away from this fact. Also, the Filipino crewmembers and staff were extremely brave.
I am currently arranging for a presentation for my son’s class from “Chivalry Today“. I can tell you that children still love the examples of the local heroes, and long to hear stories of real valor. I am sure many parents, such as myself, are encouraging these lessons.
Secondly: Gender feminism really sucks.
I agree that gender-equity feminists have really hurt women, our culture, and the quality of life for many in Western society. You can listen to me rant sometime about the coarseness of rap lyrics, the hideousness of current fashion, and the lies spread about women’s reproductive potential in later years — and that represents a small portion of the disdain I hold for gender feminism.
The conversations on this subject I have with my 1st-generation-feminist, bra-burning, spiritualist, beatnik-inspired mother can be absolutely hilarious.
However, I think much of the root cause of our travails is the fact “Big Government” has taken the place of the “Pater Familias“. In Italy (the country of Captain Coward), for example, the restrictions of big government socialist program has lead to grown men being unable to move out of their parents home and start their own family. The government-imposed employment restrictions were probably a major reason this obviously incompetent boob still had his prestigious job.
However, citizens are pushing back. Italy has its own Tea Party movement, and I was privileged to speak at event in Florence. I have good hope this trend will be thwarted.
Plus, some of my current male heroes are working hard to make individual responsibility and smaller government possible in this country! Instapundit has a link to a great interview he did with Tea Party Patriot’s national coordinator, Mark Meckler.
Thirdly: It is the human condition that the oldest generation despairs of the youngest.
I can’t imagine what the grandparents of powedered-wig/tight-pant wearing young men would have thought. However, these
powedered-wig/tight-pant wearing heroes founded our cherished Republic.
I would also like to point out that, like the women of Sparta, American women are also able to open up cans of whup-a$$. For example, as Lipstick Underground notes, about 80% of the local tea party groups were started up by women. There are tons of examples of American female moxie.
In fact, I am ordering the Kindle version of “Scorpions for Breakfast” today.