Monday, August 2, 2010

They were expendable

Guest Commentary by Elusive Wapiti:

By 'they', I mean the men and males of yesterday. They were expendable because they themselves thought their lives worth less than the women in their midst. For the better, I see this attitude changing, despite attempts from old-school men--who, after having been so conditioned, can't think any differently--and lifeboat feminist women--who reap unearned benefit from male sacrifice and worse, consider themselves worth more than men and therefore entitled to it--to resuscitate, through shaming and manipulation, this dying tradition best left to wither and expire. To lead this post off, I'll quote the usually excellent Robert Heinlein, but in this case, he shows his stripes as a hopelessly self-hating romantic, devaluing the male while elevating the female to the acme of society:
Men are expendable; women and children are not. A tribe or a nation can lose a high percentage of its men and still pick up the pieces and go on… as long as the women and children are saved. But if you fail to save the women and children, you've had it, you're done, you're through! You join Tyrannosaurus Rex, one more breed that bilged its final test
This quote was not a one-off, for here's another from Heinlein clearly showing that he considers male sacrifice for the benefit of females, even unrelated, random females, to be the patriotic duty of right-thinking men:
I said that "Patriotism" is a way of saying "Women and children first." And that no one can force a man to feel this way. Instead he must embrace it freely. I want to tell about one such man. He wore no uniform and no one knows his name, or where he came from; all we know is what he did. In my home town sixty years ago when I was a child, my mother and father used to take me and my brothers and sisters out to Swope Park on Sunday afternoons. It was a wonderful place for kids, with picnic grounds and lakes and a zoo. But a railroad line cut straight through it. One Sunday afternoon a young married couple were crossing these tracks. She apparently did not watch her step, for she managed to catch her foot in the frog of a switch to a siding and could not pull it free. Her husband stopped to help her. But try as they might they could not get her foot loose. While they were working at it, a tramp showed up, walking the ties. He joined the husband in trying to pull the young woman's foot loose. No luck — Out of sight around the curve a train whistled. Perhaps there would have been time to run and flag it down, perhaps not. In any case both men went right ahead trying to pull her free... and the train hit them. The wife was killed, the husband was mortally injured and died later, the tramp was killed — and testimony showed that neither man made the slightest effort to save himself. The husband's behavior was heroic... but what we expect of a husband toward his wife: his right, and his proud privilege, to die for his woman. But what of this nameless stranger? Up to the very last second he could have jumped clear. He did not. He was still trying to save this woman.
Lest anyone claim that said attitudes are indicative of the old ways of thinking, I give you columnist Jeannie DeAngelis at the American Thinker. She breaks out the shaming language in spades in a column from just last month, casting as barbarians men who dare do harm women and children. The implication of course being that those of us men in other cultures who witness it and let it pass are equally as uncivilized. Of course, such name calling is merely white-feather neo-con exhortations to make war on other cultures because they don't do like we do--the usual left-wing whinging about how cultures are equal curiously absent:
When the Titanic sank in 1912, women on board had a 75% higher chance of survival than men, and children a 52% higher survival rate, because women and children were placed on lifeboats first. In a humane society, "women and children first" is a testimony to the bravery and chivalry of civilized men. Emphasis on the word "civilized." For barbarians, the standard is much different. In the past few months, the world has witnessed how cultures rooted in brutal, millennia-old practices treat vulnerable women and, more tragically, innocent children. Last month, Del Awar, aged seven, was taken at dusk from the yard where he was playing. Del was found "hanging in an orchard the following day." According to those who "saw his slight body after it was cut down ... the bruises and scratches around the young boy's neck suggested his murder had been neither quick, nor easy." As punishment for the absurd crime of supposedly being a spy for Hamid Karzai's government, the Taliban, made up of men, carried out the execution. In Iran, cowards of a similar breed prepare to mercilessly stone a "caring mother" to death. [The woman], Sakineh, was convicted of adultery while married in 2006, after which she received the punishment of 99 lashes...Sakineh's skin was sadistically and systematically peeled away from bone and muscle during a brutal, male-inflicted flogging that even strong men can't endure...a kangaroo court, similar to the one that hung a seven-year-old boy for spying, reopened the case because the woman was then suspected of murdering her husband. Sakineh was acquitted of spousal murder. Acquittal aside, "the adultery charge was reviewed and a death penalty handed down on the basis of 'judge's knowledge' -- a loophole that allows for subjective judicial rulings where no conclusive evidence is present." A subjective ruling without evidence is one of many shining examples of Sharia Law. How about if America's Muslim-friendly president instead denounces Islam's barbaric practice of stoning women and hanging children?
But it doesn't stop there. Another man, witnessing the growing popularity of lesbian chic, declares that men are apparently useless to women sexually these days:
I was recently reading about yet another bevy of young women who are opting for pelvic refreshment with other women, and it struck me that the abandonment of men as sexual partners might not just be a fashion of our times, but an entirely natural process. Indeed, it might well be that women are naturally drawn to one another's beds like bees to blossoms, and that only the need to get someone to make babies, or do the Neolithic equivalent of unblocking the loo, is what caused cavewomen to agree to have sex with cavemen in the first place. Otherwise, sexually speaking, the girls get on very nicely without us.
I suspect that the taboo on lesbian sex was created by dominant males and their female allies because, deep down, so many women preferred female bodies, companionship and sexual skills. But men need women in ways that women simply don't need men. There's no general equivalent for women of the female prostitute, the call girl, the courtesan or the mistress -- for different classes of men have always resorted to paid female sexual companionship. Sexually frustrated women have either abstained or, long before Anne Summers, looked after themselves.

Lessee...with the Heinlein quotes, we have an appeal to ancient, maybe even hardwired tribal traditions to protect the womenfolk, traditions invented and reinforced through the millennia when one's civilization was constantly on the knife's edge between survival and oblivion. There are two problems with this conceptualization, however. First, it is hard to make the case that, in a society that numbers over 300 million, as the modern American country does, individual womenfolk require such protection. We have far far more breeding pairs than we require. Second, the flip side to such gentlemanly self-sacrificial behavior is the implication that said women are worth saving because of their potential as breeders. Of course this assumes that women wish to be viewed as breeders, which a great many do not. But more importantly, a great majority of native American women fail to actually become breeders, and if they should deign themselves to actually whelp a child, a great great many fail to do so in sufficient quantities to replace the population. Except for the right Mormon women in Utah that is, who have the highest fertility rate in the country. This then begs the question: if so many native American women refuse to have children outright or, having had a child, have failed to execute their full duty by having more than 2.1 children, do they still merit automatic male sacrifice? What is the patriotic fellow's role since native American women have failed to uphold their (reproductive) end of the grand bargain?

DeAngelis' quote hardly needs any more amplification. Men are 'inhumane' and 'uncivilized' if they do not voluntarily surrender their lives for the benefit of women and children (why is it that 'women' and 'children' are always paired together? Isn't it just as valid to say 'men and children', particularly when automatic father custody used to be rule in Western Civilization?), even if those women and children are unrelated to him. Men are 'barbaric' for protecting the sanctity of the marriage bond, for enforcing female chastity, and for seeing to the security of the State, all three of which are goods in which women benefit greatly and suffer equally greatly when they are absent.

DeAngelis makes quite a bit of hay about Sakineh Mohammedi Ashtiani, a woman sentenced to death in Iran for adultery. Yet I note that Sakineh was also convicted of sleeping with two men out of wedlock in 2006, one of whom was also accused--along with her--of killing Sakineh's husband. I could not find any mention in media anywhere of the fate of either man she fornicated/adulterated with. Were they put to death? We do not know, partially because, as we see in this case, our culture only cares about gruesome death when it happens to women and/or children.

Yet while Angelis' quote needs little amplification, given the usual audience of this blog, it does merit a bit of commentary, for it represents a very strong undercurrent in the culture that perpetuates the principle of the 'disposable male'. As we have seen, men are lambasted from both left and right, from both males and females, heck, ABC even has an entire series dedicated to instill a sense of shame in others--usually men, for men are apparently expected to intervene to help vulnerable women--for failing to risk their lives, even die, so that unrelated women may live on in comfort and security. A good example of this would be a recent Time magazine cover, which featured the mutilated face of an Afghan girl:
Such obvious agitprop seems to have but one purpose: to beat the war drum and rally flagging American support for the effort to install mercantilist feminism at the point of a gun in Iraq and Afghanistan. And provide fodder with which to motivate/shame American men into risking their lives for the benefit of women on the other side of the planet.

From whence does this supposed duty come from? The best bottom-line source I can think of is the Bible, where Christian men were exhorted as husbands to lead and sacrifice for their wives and families, and as members of a Christian community to take up arms in its defense. Clearly there was an expectation that men had the responsibility to use their resources and strength for the good of their wives and children and for their tribe. The responsibility was theirs, as a duty uniquely inherent to being a man.

Thus was established the precedent for men to sacrifice themselves for women and for children, even women and children not related to him. Armchair heroes and heroines from then on graded a man's worth by how willing they were to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of women. Yet women, for their part, never quite satisfied with a good thing, have thrown off the old restrictions in a vain search for something better. This tectonic shift that relieves women of their social roles yet retains those for men leaves men in somewhat of a quandary: how does one act toward a woman who is a ruthless peer competitor--a competitor that enjoys social and legal advantage in nearly every way over men--in the workplace, yet demands deference in the social/familial sphere? How does a man respond when traditional patriarchal marriage has been stood on its head and, rather than being an institution where men and women team economically, physically, and spiritually to raise the next generation, has instead been converted into a vehicle to transfer wealth from male(s) to female? How does a man adjust when the traditional ways of finding a mate--male initiation and female choice--become a minefield of sexual-harassment charges and rape accusations to be successfully navigated? How should a man react when supposedly more virtuous women relentlessly pursue serially polyandrous couplings with successively higher-status men, to include thugs and criminals, shunning perfectly good men like him until they are thread-bare, shop-worn, used-up empty husks unable to sustain a long-term relationship? How should a man react when his freedom has been traded for temporary security by recently-suffraged women, when the machinery of government had been perverted to conscript him to be a government sharecropper for the benefit of high-ranking men and women nationwide? Indeed, how should a man respond to women's and other men's lecturing of him for failing to rise to--or die in, as the case may be--the defense of such women whom are not his wife or his mother, sister, aunt, or niece?

The same way they have been responding, I am afraid: with indifference. It is someone else's problem. The male willingness to act has been driven underground; in its place, a sense of self-preservation has taken root. The armchair heroes and heroines may bang on about where all the good men have gone and how cowardly the current crop of men are, but they are apparently ignorant of the fact that these good men have been driven away by women themselves lacking in virtue. Having heard, loud and clear, Dowd's declaration that men are not really all that necessary, men, being the gentlemen that they are, have stepped aside and are permitting the feminine to drive for a while.

The third quote, citing the growing feminine fascination with lesbianism, strikes me as true insofar as women's flexible sexual appetites are concerned. But what Myers does not address is that, while women may very well have rejected the notion that they need men, in their mad dash to make love to themselves, they also seem to have conveniently forgotten that they are still quite dependent on men for security, prosperity, and safety. A society where the male half is not enfranchised is not one that survives for very long, for the distance between moon shots and skyscrapers to mud huts and foraging parties is quite short.

Indeed, as the below video quite well explicates (and occasionally overstates), women would do well to remembers that it is the men they devalue who provide the very scaffolding that holds society up and permits women to labor comfortably in air-conditioned buildings:

To those armchair heroes and heroines who tsk-tsk at men who deign to risk their lives for women who are not their wives, mothers, sisters, aunts, or nieces, I ask: what purpose are you serving in your exhortations? Is his risk analysis really that selfish? Does he have that little to live for? Is your reactionary urging serving to pull society back from the abyss? Or are you merely propping up a corrupt system that holds men to their traditional roles as providers and protectors while releasing women from theirs as chaste, faithful mothers and nurturers? Are you pursuing justice, freedom, and equality under the law? Or are you enabling the continued trafficking of men into slavery on the government plantation, stripped of their rights under the law and their children at the same time?

And to those--particularly men--who think that men are expendable and that a society can well withstand the loss, either through death, warfare, or social ostracism/incarceration of a large proportion of its men, I suggest that the data speaks otherwise. The example of the urban ghetto should demonstrate to all that a society that loses large proportions of its men is a society with its future very much in jeopardy. For it is men and men alone who bequeath the gift of civilization to women and children--women, for their part, gestate and help rear it--such a society that loses its men faces many of the same challenges that a society that loses a large segment of its women--the inability to propagate and socialize the next generation of society.

The lives of men are more important than to be just thrown away in furtive efforts to protect those who may not deserve protecting. Women and men both would do well to value men for the invaluable contributions they make to society.