Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Are Women The Big Problem?

Dear old Ben Stein is upset that a long-time liberal friend, Mrs. B., has cut off their friendship after the 2016 election. Apparently her "daughter had apparently undergone an incident in Carmel in which she felt threatened by a Trump supporter because she was wearing a Hillary T-shirt."

As for why Ben should choose the initial "B" for his onetime friend, I couldn't possibly comment.

Then there is the CBS lawyer, Hayley Geftman-Gold, who on Facebook inadvertently advertised after the Las Vegas shooting her contempt for country-music fans. Frankly, I don't think she should have been fired. All she was doing was expressing the conventional wisdom that all Good Little Girls share in the liberal bubble. Like Mrs. "B."

It's interesting that one concert goer said she likes country music concerts because everyone there acts like family.

Is this the new woman, roughed up by the sexual revolution and radicalized by the feminist movement?

Not at all. I'm happily re-reading Anthony Trollope's Dr. Thorne right now (available on DVD, etc.) and the two notable adult woman are both "Bs." There's Lady de Courcy of Courcy Castle. What a piece of work she is. And then there is Lady Arabella Gresham of Greshambury. So I suppose we should talk  about "Lady Bs." The big thing about these two women is the rules about the young marriageable women they allow in their august houses. The rich Miss Dunstable, heir to the Oil of Lebanon cosmetic fortune, is invited to Courcy Castle, because son-of-the-house Frank Gresham must marry money. But the sweet innocent Mary Thorne, our beloved heroine, the girl next door that Frank really loves, must be banished from Lady Arabella's house, because she has no money and, worse, she is a bastard with no breeding, no bloodlines, darling, for all that she is Dr. Thorne's niece.

Yep. Women may not commit horrendous mass shootings, but they sure know how to stick in the knife, and they always have.

Now, if you ask me, this is a Big Problem in our global society going forward. The whole point of the Great Enrichment is that people consort with all kinds, anyone that can be trusted. Playing high school or aristocratic Mean Girls is not what it's all about. Any more than lifetime employment. Any more than affirmative action and quotas and diversity and inclusion and all the other reactionary government policies that liberal force on us.

You can see the problem in the basic difference between male honor and women's honor, as explicated by James Bowman in Honor: a History. Honor among men is the reputation for physical courage, standing in line with his brothers and not acting like a coward and breaking and running. But honor among women is different. Honor among women is the reputation for chastity, and I mean that in the broadest sense of being pure and undefiled. Two cultures, and ne'er the twain shall meet.

The thing is that our modern societies need the kind of person willing to do stuff and make mistakes, and then get up, sadder and wiser, and do it all over again. It does not really want the reckless courage of the soldier; neither does it want the person that will not act because she does not want to make a mistake.

Sociologist Georg Simmel wrote over a century ago that the entrance of women into the public square would transform it to "suit a more feminine sensibility."

Obviously, there are advantages and disadvantages to that. My view is that some things are better left to men, such as software startups, which require a certain recklessness and standing with the brothers in the chaos of startup battle. But other things are better left to women. Caring for grandma, for instance. Men do a pretty sketchy job of that, if they can be persuaded to do anything at all.

I suspect that men and women have starkly different ideas about mass shootings. Men are perhaps too cavalier about the inevitability of mass carnage, as in battle. Women are perhaps naive in imagining that presidents can "make us safe."

Meanwhile I must get back to Dr. Thorne. We are approaching the denouement, when...

Well, I can't possible give the ending away. Let us say, following Trollope, who is always breaking the fourth wall, that Mary Thorne will either die of a broken heart or life happily ever after.

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