Tuesday, February 17, 2009

[chivalry] and the hegemony of feminism [revisited]

I'm running this post again. I was reading this new blogger's comments on gender equality and after a year and a half, the whole damned issue needs looking at again. It really does.

Most people know Michael Bucci's list of chivalrous acts which men should indulge in and I'm right behind the idea. Men should observe good manners and so should women.

Linda Lichter is far more hardline about chivalry:

[Writing of the Titanic] I never had the courage before to openly admire those men or envy the women they saved. At least a decade before the siege of political correctness, I was silenced by the unconscious but relentless intimidation of female friends and colleagues who are educated, self-sufficient, and eager consumers of the latest feminist books.

I am supposed to owe the authors of those books unqualified gratitude for all the hard-won rights the Titanic women never enjoyed.

I would add another [thing here]: that emotional and physical esteem for women is central, not tangential, to manhood. The British statesman Lord Chesterfield, a favorite source of Victorian etiquette writers, believed everyday deference was due to all women because it provided their only shield against men's superior physical strength.

He added, "no provocation whatsoever can justify any man in not being civil to every woman; and the greatest man would justly be reckoned a brute if he were not civil to the meanest woman."

This hits the nail on the head as far as I'm concerned and is central to what chivalry means to me. Though men and women are the same - i.e. we're both human but in different forms - and though there are good and bad on both sides, chivalry recognizes "womanhood" as something to be revered and makes no distinction. You're a bad woman? You'll still be treated courteously by chivalry. It's a safety net, a catch-all and chances are that the person who is chivalrous will be this way with men as well.

Blogger Kelly Mac [and I admit she is vehemently anti-feminist] is reflecting on the early years of feminism:

Namely, where were all the "good" women when feminism started? Why didn't the women who knew they were not being abused do something to stop the misinformation that spread like wildfire? Aren't these women just as deserving of men's contempt as the hardcore feminists who started it all?

Ruth Malhotra gets down to specifics:

The notion of victimhood, that “women are oppressed and exploited,” evokes strong anti-male sentiment.

Many influential feminists demonstrate extreme animosity towards marriage and family life, even likening the institution of marriage to that prostitution.

In Feminism: An Agenda, radical feminist author Andrea Dworkin declared that the home was a dangerous place stating, “Like prostitution, marriage is an institution that is extremely oppressive and dangerous for women.”

The feminist agenda is offensive to women. With Eve Ensler and her contemporary cheerleaders in the feminist movement, initiatives such as the "Vagina Monologues" have become a central part of Women’s Awareness Month programming on campuses around the country.

The "Vagina Monologues," often promoted as a wonderfully inspiring event to empower women, is, in reality, nothing more than an atrociously written anti-male tirade, portraying women as pathetic sexual objects who will forever be victims. Such programs are not only blatantly offensive towards women but are vile and vulgar.

Elizabeth Fox-Genovese sees it this way:

It has not been easy to acknowledge that feminism has promoted the unraveling of the most binding and important social bonds. Not easy, but unavoidable. Like countless other women who cherish improvement in the situation of women in the United States and throughout the world, I was initially quick to embrace feminism as the best way to secure our "rights" and our dignity as persons. Like countless others, I was seriously misled.

In practice, the sexual liberation of women has realized men's most predatory sexual fantasies. As women shook themselves free from the norms and conventions of sexual conduct, men did the same.

There can be no doubt that women's situation has demanded improvement -- and continues to do so throughout much of the world. But the emphasis upon individual rights at the expense of mutual responsibility and service is not the way to secure it.

Worse, it is destroying the fabric of our society as a whole because it is severing the most fundamental social bonds. Binding ties constrain women, but they constrain men as well. A Danielle Crittenden has noted, the family "has never been about the promotion of rights but the surrender of them -- by both the man and the woman".

Kelly Mac agrees:

It's about the fact that dating today has become nothing but a series of pick-ups and one-night-stands (thank you sexual revolution).

It's the new vulgarity in young women, societally enforced, which upsets me. I don't know if they are trying to shock [and girls are emotionally maturing much later these days, babies or no babies]; it's the lack of graciousness in John Edwards two harpies, for example [here's one of their political comments, courtesy of Michelle Malkin]; it's the desire to be some sort of hard nut hoe for the boys - who knows?

Seriously - there's some sort of paranoid mania going down here where any sort of respect between men and women doesn't get a chance to breathe, where bile and spite constitute debate and the desire of the ordinary person for a normal relationship is mocked and derided.

What's wrong with revering a woman to the point you can't live without her and want to marry her, to have children with her, to do what comes naturally vis a vis protective instincts, without dominating one another, without constantly going on about "rights"? What's wrong with working in tandem and actually enjoying one another? Why does it have to be outside marriage?

What's wrong with normality?

Monday, February 16, 2009

[persistence of delusion] and the obsession with maintaining it

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VI, on Sanctifying Grace, states:

Among the adherents of the Augsburg Confession the following view was rather generally accepted: The person to be justified seizes, by means of the fiduciary faith, the exterior justice of Christ, and therewith covers his sins; this exterior justice is imputed to him as if it were his own, and he stands before God as having an outward justification, but in his inner self he remains the same sinner as of old.

This strawman of the Catholics, claiming that Protestants say faith alone justifies, justitia Christi extra nos, was negated by the consequent widespread reading of the bible by the population, as distinct from the interventionist medium of the priest who kept the bible chained to the pulpit and only accessible through the adepts, i.e. the priesthood.

Reading the New Testament yourself and reconciling it with what the Old Testament has to say, there is no disagreement between these two of the three major arms of the church, that grace can result from:

… faith to fear to hope to incipient charity to contrition, with purpose of amendment.


Without charity and the works of charity faith is dead. Faith receives life only from and through charity (James, ii, 26).

And even further:

Sine caritate quippe fides potest quidem esse, sed non et prodesse.

Interestingly, with the severe curtailment of the number of people actually reading the bible during the past two generations of social engineering, society has now reverted to the pre-Reformation state of ignorance, with the only adepts left being the druids of the New Humanistic Age, possessing the arcane knowledge and meting it out, as is their wont.

The hegemony of Science as the final justification is an aspect of this process and only now, cracks are appearing in the old justification, ‘Well, it’s been scientifically proven …’

It’s understandable that the Catholics imputed the strawman of sola fides justificat to the Protestants because, in one fell swoop, the whole corrupt mechanism of selling pardons and relics for lucre, together with the external mechanism of the rosary beads, the intermediary mechanism of the confessional and the justification for the hoarding of temporal riches oculd now be swept away.

Many Protestants would accept that, in the matter of sin and redemption, just as in any other aspect of life, there are the ignorant laymen, the learned laymen, the professionals and the adepts. Of course a Catholic priest is going to know his theology better than you or I but the levelling tendency of Protestantism merely fails to ascribe to the priest the power to redeem.

Does the doctor heal or does he put in place mechanisms, from his knowledge and experience, which facilitate and accelerate the natural healing process of the body?

Similarly, does the teacher create learning or facilitate it?

Surely we can admire and revere without ascribing divine power to all aspects of the process?

There was a lady I worked with on her presentation skills, who went on to get the job she wanted and she ascribed this to me.

No, all I did was bring some logic and knowledge to the process but it was her own ability and revamped CV which did the rest, along with her natural charm, which was now allowed to come out, in the context of her overall package, at the first interview. All I did was get her confidence going again.

There is a place for the adept to bring the ordinary mortal, you or me, up to speed on what is necessary but that’s as far as it goes.

And what is necessary, for us today, is to see the essential flaw in the illusion of the Tower of Babel. In other words, the humanist says that we have the capability of reaching an ascendant state through ourselves alone but this has been shown oh so many times to be not so.

The times we currently live in, more than any others in the past century, are characterized by an obsessive belief that there is no G-d, no maker, no spirit. The G-d of today is Consumerism and the belief that we are complete in ourself, in our ability to find our own way out of the morass.

Oh really? How are we doing on this just now? Is the society we’ve constructed in a good state? Recession, drugs, the prostituting of children, chavs, widespread unemployment, the list goes on and on.

In place of hope, faith and charity is spiritual emptiness and deep cynicism in everything from the people who govern us to things which used to be held in respect, e.g. the mystery of a woman’s charms. Where is there any mystery today, any respect, any concept that the body is the temple of the spirit?

In place of perspective is pride. An article in a folder here from my pre-blogging days says this about pride:

Overweening pride, arrogance, haughtiness: these have been the stuff of tragedy. Vanity, fussiness, delicacy: the stuff of comedy. These are all forms of self-delusion, and paper-thin masks.

Pride and vanity refuse the truth and substitute illusions for reality. While vanity is mostly concerned with appearance, pride is based on a real desire to be God in our own little circle.

The first requirement of pride is spiritual blindness. Just as a well-lit bathroom mirror shows the flaws in our complexion, so we build up myriad illusions about who we are and what we are about, to paper up the cracks.

We can busy ourselves with career and family, thinking we are being driven by a strong work ethic and moral values. In reality, we may be running away from ourselves and from the reality of our state of grace.

A second requirement of pride, indeed a symptom, is that each challenge to our pride drives us harder to prove our illusion of productivity, sanctity or compassion.

It’s been said that the definition of a zealot is "one who has lost sight of his goal, and so redoubles his efforts." We might say the zealot works twice as hard to keep up appearances.

A strong indicator of pride is competitiveness and resentment of the success of others, jealousy and envy. Our politics today are fuelled by envy, the whole sub-prime mortgage debacle was made possible for the greed of the bankers by the envy of the have-nots, which they liked to call ‘aspirations’.

Human beings do things in response to needs or desires and so, if this is happening:

In contrast to Catholicism, which has a very long historic presence in China but whose growth has been slow, charismatic Protestantism has found its natural element in an atmosphere of official suppression. Barred from churches, Chinese began worshipping in homes, and five major "house church" movements and countless smaller ones now minister to as many as 100 million Christians.

Where traditional society remains entrenched in China's most backward regions, Islam also is expanding. At the edge of the Gobi Desert and on China's western border with Central Asia, Islam claims perhaps 30 million adherents. If Christianity is the liquidator of traditional society, Islam is its defender against the encroachments of leveling imperial expansion.

… then what gap, what niche market is it catering for?

What so many in the west do not realize is that the new gods which the youth of today have had presented to them to follow are morally and spiritually bankrupt – they can’t lead anywhere but to a form of cynical hedonism where parodies of human activity like sexuality are taken well before time and the societal consequences have already started to manifest themselves in world-weary alienation and the snuffing out of hope and life goals of any import.

The Who, long ago, sang of the emptiness of man-imposed structures on the human psyche [905]:
Mother was an incubator
Father was the contents
of a test tube in the ice box
In the factory of birth

My name is 905,

And I've just become alive

I'm the newest populator

Of the planet we call Earth

In suspended animation
My childhood passed me by

If I speak without emotion
Then you know the reason why

Knowledge of the universe

Was fed into my mind

As my adolescent body

Left its puberty behind

And everything I know is what I need to know

And everything I do's been done before

Every sentence in my head

Someone else has said
At each end of my life is an open door

Automatically defrosted

When manhood came on time

I became a man

I left the "ice school" behind

Now I'm to begin

The life that I'm assigned

A life that's been used before

A thousand times

I have a feeling deep inside

That somethin' is missing

It's a feeling in my soul
And I can't help wishing

That one day I'll discover

That we're living a lie

And I'll tell the whole world

The reason why

Well, until then,
Everything I know is what I need to know

And everything I do's been done before
Every sentence in my head

Someone else has said

At each end of my life is an open door

Not only are we financially bankrupt today, we’re spiritually bankrupt and like the zealots, determined to insist that we have no need of our Maker, whose spirit can still be found down some corridor, in some room, inside some packing case within ourselves.

We prefer to see society disintegrate and our children destroyed rather than admit the remotest possibility that in our own certainty that our humanistic world view is right, lies self-delusion.

Man, in the context of his Maker and his own well-aligned spirituality, can achieve anything. Anyone who has ever had a relationship where the bonding between the two reached almost mystical proportions, knows that the sexual component of a much bigger picture needed no Viagra.

It takes no great perception to recognize that the greatest achievements of man were based on the fervour of a vision and the people who were bonded together in that vision.

Vision is what drives us forward and upwards but a vision where the spiritual aspect is recognized and accorded respect in its rightful place.

In a human machine where all cylinders are firing, including the spiritual, only then can the sky be the limit.

[valentine’s weekend] sweet message for all

On the Valentines weekend just passed, regulars might reasonably expect here a right old bashing of the rabid feminist and her misandropic [misandric?] weapon, the CSA but I’m not going to be drawn.

Rather, it would be nicer to look at a resurgence of the old values, including chivalry.

A feminist said to me a year or so ago that my values are the values of yesteryear, inappropriate [now I paraphrase, to be honest] in her brave new positive discrimination world.


On the other hand, I’m equally against woman-bashing.

A fellow male blogger took me to task, some time back, for defending women against a net-predator, stating what is undoubtedly true: ‘Women are well able to take care of themselves.’ I think he means, in this grasping age, where women are taking all they can get and to hell with the consequences.

All of the above plays to the destructive breakdown in the ties that bind men and women. Even in supposedly sane relationships, which are meant to constitute the majority, these destructive tendencies are there, simmering below the surface but hopefully never breaking out into a malignant growth.

‘Don’t you oppress me! I’ve got rights, you know.’

It takes either a very special kind of man and woman, in today’s society or else it takes that little thing called love, to overcome the accumulated stockpile of petty and not so petty grievances between the sexes and to reassert the long forgotten mantra [from the male point of view]:

Women are absolute honeys, I adore them and a certain amount of their perspective on life, there’s no substitute for a good woman beside you in bed [beats Mrs. Palm any day], thank G-d enough people out there still fall in love and want to live their life with a woman and make her happy. Can you really imagine how dire life would be without them in the vicinity?

[Editor’s note - it would be quieter, for a start.]

Ssssh, I’m on a roll here. Now, where was I?

Yes, let’s get back to the age of chivalry and to hell with all the party-pooping, wet blanket arguments against it.

I walk around [cycle around now], positively trying to look for an old lady to force across the road against her will; I look for seats to sit on so that I can stand up when a gum-chewing, chain-smoking, foul-mouthed young harpie in caked-on mascara, whom I insist on calling a lady, comes along and glares at me.

I want to soften her heart, as Ford Prefect did in praising the Vogon poetry and …

No, I’m off on the wrong track there again. It’s so easy to fall into misogynist ways these days, isn’t it? Don’t fall into the trap, gentlemen.

Instead, ignore all that and just subscribe to Michael Bucci’s simple principles of etiquette from AskMen.com:

Always be polite

Even if you don't like someone, there is no need to lower yourself to his level. Be polite and courteous; show that you're the better man.

Never swear

Swearing is a big no-no. It shows that you don't have the vocabulary to express your thoughts appropriately. Furthermore, it is always very crude and impolite to curse.

Do not speak loudly

When you speak loudly, it raises the stress level among company. It always implies that you can't reason with people and rely on "brute force" to get your point across. It also draws attention; negative attention.

Do not lose your temper

When you lose your temper, you are showing everyone that you can't control your emotions. If you can't even control yourself, then how can you possibly control anything else? Keep your cool at all times (it won't be easy but it is worth the effort) and people will take positive note of your level-headedness.

Do not stare

Ogling at someone is the equivalent of psychological aggression. You don't want to intimidate people for no reason.

Never interrupt

Let people finish what they are saying before adding in your comments. Interrupting others is a sign of poor etiquette and a lack of social skills. If you want to come across as egotistical, you can do so by constantly interrupting.

Do not spit

A lot of men do this almost subconsciously. Spitting is very crude and not too pretty to look at. Do not spit in public unless you want to look like you were raised in a sewer.

Respect your elders

In fact, you should respect others as you would like them to respect you. I am specifying elders because it seems that today, young men think they know it all. Well, we don't. Just think of yourself 5 years ago... you're much smarter and experienced today aren't you? Of course, yet you thought you knew it all 5 years ago.

Never laugh at others' mistakes

This is perhaps one of the cruellest things one can do. When you mess up, the last thing you want is for someone not only to bring it to your attention but to ridicule you on top of it all.

Remove your hat indoors

This rule seems to have gone out the window these days. You should remove your headwear upon entering a building. Furthermore, never keep your hat on while at the dinner table. It reflects very poor etiquette.

Wait for seating before eating

When sitting down for a meal, you should wait until all the guests are properly seated and ready to commence the meal before eating. Everyone should start dining at the same time. This is a subtle but very important rule.

Always open doors

This is perhaps the most basic rule of male etiquette out there. It is also one of the easiest to follow so you have no reason to forget it. Whether she is about to enter your car, restaurant, club, or anyplace with a door, you should always hold it open. If there are many doors, then hold them open one after the other.

[Editor’s note – if she still insists on opening the door by herself, give her a quick hip and shoulder rugby bump to one side and while she’s still stunned, open the door and usher her through.]

Coat please

Always help a lady put on her coat or overgarment. This is a simple but powerful thing to do.

[Editor’s note – right, if it’s good enough to undress her, in order to carry out your unspeakable practices on her, it’s good enough to dress her up again.]

Help with her seat

If an unaccompanied lady is sitting next to you, it is important that you help her be seated by pulling her chair out for her and gently pushing it back into place, with the lady seated of course.

[Editor’s note – don’t even think about what just crossed your mind. Don’t entertain the idea for even one second of playing the missing chair trick, as she plonks her curvaceous behind onto empty space.]

Take my seat

If a lady arrives at the table and there are no available seats, you should stand up and offer your seat to her.

Is this yours?

If a woman drops something, a gentleman (yourself of course) should pick it up and return the object to her.

Stand at attention

Always stand when a lady enters or exits the room. This rule has been somewhat relaxed, so you can stand upon entrance but remain seated upon exit. Nonetheless, if you can do both, you should.

[Editor’s note – why stop there? Every time she gets up to go to the toilet or to get a cup of tea, stand up for her and head her off at the door, which you can now open, replete with obsequious grin.]

Take my arm, I beg of you

When escorting a lady (that you know) to and from social events, you should offer her your arm. This is a little more intimate, but serves well when walking on uneven ground -- especially if she's wearing heels.

[Editor’s note – keeps you upright too when you’ve had one over the limit.]

Can I get you something?

This is one that most guys already do, but helps complete the gentleman in all of us nevertheless. When at social events, make sure to ask the lady if you can get her something to drink (or eat, depending on the event). Show her that you care about her comfort and needs.

[Editor’s note – I don’t go to social events so I save a lot of money that way.]

[James Higham’s disclaimer- the editor’s notes above have been written by an impostor whilst I was caught up in a bit of Valentine’s bondage. Now I’m free, I can assure you she’s been soundly spanked.]


[The real James Higham’s conclusion]

Gentle reader, even if you feel that chivalry and it’s handmaiden, etiquette, are not for you, give them a try anyway. They can grow on you and the bit of light you bring into a lady’s world compensates for any deficiencies in your sexual propensities.

No, I mean that it’s a very good thing to do and makes everyone happy.

That’s what I was trying to say.

Happy Valentine’s weekend for next year.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Originally posted at my blog Buckeye Toughts.

A friend sent me this today. Now, it is a bit dated since it was written last November, a few days before the election. Now couple it with what VA has written of late. We're heading into a dangerous area. Believe me when I say a revolution would be horrible, it would be unfathomable. I am trying to think as a I write this post what it would be like and I know I am fooling myself. It would be devastating, horrible, and many more things. Now granted I don't think Barry by himself or the Democrat-controlled Congress would be the tipping point. Their actions, like the stimulus bill, would be a starting point. I don't want to guess where it would end and/or what would touch it off. Lest you all forget, revolutions don't need to be violent. I still hope there is time for our great republic to recover four years from now. However, I've never felt so much fear as now. What scares me most about Barry is that on a true political scale from Left being Socialist/Communist and Right being Conservative, he is true Left. The Democrats, generally have been a Center party but in the last election they really moved to the Left and the Republicans have started shifting towards the Center. Remembering Spain how PP plays the Center and seeing how neither party will take the necessary steps to save Spain only resonates with me as I see we are heading down the same path as Spain. At the same time, as my friend said, I'm comforted. We aren't alone in America! Should the unthinkable, horrible hour come, I will fight for her. Will you?

PS: The looming threat of the NAU is another factor. I've kind of lulled myself into not worrying too much but reading the first linked article again woke me up again, screaming (figuratively, of course ;-) ). I just hope if there is a revolution, that it is not violent. That would be...I can't even put into words the fear or anger I'd have at such a moment.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

[when in china] do valentines

The Beijing Happy Valley theme park said it would offer a free ticket to ladies who came with their partners and arrange special activities for lovers during the Valentine's Day weekend. Even blood donation centers were offering special gifts to donors. The Changsha Blood Center in central Hunan Province said they would present roses and movie tickets to lovers who donate blood on Feb. 14, a tradition they have followed for the past four years.

Isn't that nice? What are you doing for Valentine's Day?

Me, I'm getting depressed. I had some cards from Russia and want that lady in my arms now but what can I do [sound of violins]? Where's the English rose of my life? I see her in ASDA and Morrison's but she's spoken for, methinks.

Maybe she'd like a ride on my 12 speed bike with me? Maybe her name's Daisy? Maybe I'm making it all up.

[thrilling thursday] your caption please

food poisoning] you feeling all right just now

Just had a peanut butter sandwich earlier and now I read this:

The peanut-related recall has renewed calls for increased oversight of the nation's foodmakers, and even regulators are saying they need to change procedures to better protect the public.

Uh-huh. Wonder how we're doing for food hygiene:

Around 80,000 people in the UK report food poisoning each year.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

[good news week] hope the recession continues

We have a Morrisons just down from us. There's an ASDA too so I'm going down there on my bike to check them out:

Wm Morrison Supermarkets is cutting the price on 4,000 products as grocers step up the battle to attract shoppers hit by the economic downturn.

[chutzpah] just about sums it up

You have to admire their Chutzpah:

Ex-bank chiefs say sorry for mistakes

Former bankers blamed for taking RBS and HBOS to the brink of collapse offer public apologies for their actions.

[fireball] run when it comes at you

Let's face it - I'm not getting much blogging done. What was a slowdown has almost become a hiatus but I do plan to be back. The issue is not things to blog about.

The novels I'm revamping don't mean a lot to most readers but they do to me and I've almost finished the 2nd one, which needed to be virtually rewritten. It does seem more exciting now. The 3rd is going to be tough because it involves combining all the remaining bits and pieces into a smooth narrative which you could still stand reading after the first two.

Anyway, enough on that.

I see they have their annual fires in Oz. Every country has its traditional trouble - California its tremors, Britain the wrong snow, Australia its bushfires. This particular lot of fires seem bad, even by Australian standards:

The fire that dropped from the sky on Saturday plunged us into a new reality. Environmental conditions had changed drastically before our eyes, but the advice to the community had remained the same. Even on Saturday the urgent words were streaming out of the radio: Be safe! Stay inside!

Had the fireballs come as far as our place our hoses and pumps and cotton clothes and every other piece of paraphernalia we had accumulated (such as wet mops and buckets and a bath full of water) would have counted for nothing.

If you've never been close to one of these, they are not nice. As the article points out, when that thing comes your way, all the nice little things like damping the gutters, staying inside and all that - you still get consumed in a fireball. People did.

And what did I walk home to from the shop last evening? Mist. British mist!