Lesbianism, feminism, masculinity, and more
(This blog entry, originally entitled �Forty-six year old English mother becomes lesbian,� was first posted a full week ago, February 7, and the interesting and multifaceted discussion it set off is still going strong. So, to make it more accessible, I�m re-posting it for today�s date which will move it back up to the top of the main page. Also, I�m changing the title to reflect the discussion. However, I notice that no one has replied to the most interesting aspect of the original story, which was not the mother�s lesbianism, but the 17-year-old daughter�s total, uncompromising rejection of the mother�s lesbianism.)
Here, from the Daily Mail, is a sad, devastating story of our times, told by a 46 year old divorced woman in Lancashire and by her 17 year old daughter, who is bitterly alienated by her mother�s new-found lesbian relationship. As I read the article, a phrase came into my mind that made me think of a line from the Iliad: �Achilleus, sacker of cities.� The phrase that came into my mind that made me think of it was: �Homosexuality�destroyer of society.�
Whoops, it was a comment very much like the one I just made that got French deputy Christian Vanneste kicked off his party list for the 2007 election, as told here. By the way, I wrote to M. Vanneste asking him for more details on the case against him, and he kindly sent me a newspaper article that tells the entire story in some detail. It is being translated for VFR now. (In fact, in another synchronistic event, literally 15 seconds after I posted this blog entry, Tiberge of Galliawatch sent me the translation, which she has been working on during the last couple of days.)
- end of initial entry -
Laura W., a true traditionalist thinker, says something that blows my mind:
Lesbianism will grow in the years ahead. And, not simply because homosexuality is celebrated. For some young women in their 20s and 30s, meaningless promiscuity is, well, meaningless. All courtship ritual and structure have vanished from their world. Some flee to other women, who at least offer the advantage of being nice.
For older women, like the one in the Daily Mail story, a lesbian relationship also offers a few moments of intimacy in a cold and soulless world. The fact that it may destroy their family connections, that they must perhaps trade a daughter for a lover, is something they are probably too distracted and too selfish to contemplate.
But, lesbianism will grow. It�s the natural outcome of a world in which all traditions�or communal meaning�has vanished. People must find comfort somewhere.
Stephen F. writes:
That is quite a comment by Laura and it reminds me of something I have long thought. Biologically, it seems to be not so difficult for �straight� women to get involved in lesbian relationships, whereas for a heterosexual man, the thought of a homosexual relationship is truly repulsive. I know of many stories of college girls having lesbian affairs. It is a mystery to me, but one friend said that �both sexes nurse at the breast,� which I think captures a difference between homosexuality in men and in women.
With the decline of civilized paradigms for romantic love, I imagine many women may indeed find comfort in another woman. Funny that gay marriage activists use the image of a loving elderly lesbian couple to promote gay marriage. They seem so harmless, so benign, so gentle.
By the way, not only the article about the lesbian mother and her daughter, but the comments section is enlightening. Virtually every commenter self-righteously supports the mother and calls the daughter selfish. One dissents, and is promptly scolded by someone else. Liberal groupthink in action.
I found Stephen F.�s comment that �both sexes nurse at the breast� fascinating. I guess I had thought of it that way�that all of us love our mothers with a great physical and emotional intensity when young�but the image is so to the point.
As far as college women having homosexual affairs, that�s always been true. The difference now is that they are being actively encouraged to settle into homosexuality. This is especially so at some of the fancier liberal arts colleges. I know one mother, an almuna of one of the vaunted �Seven Sisters� schools, who refuses to send her daughter there because lesbianism has become so rampant among the students and professors. Some of this country�s brightest young women will never be mothers, unless you call begetting a child in a lab or with a turkey baster �motherhood.� For some people, this is a subject for humor and tasteless jokes. For me, it is one of the greatest tragedies of my lifetime. There is something so defeatist about it. When I was in my 20s, I had a friend�a friend I loved as only a woman can love a friend�who met some obstacles in finding a man. I know she longed for marriage and children. Unfortunately, a very possessive woman found her. They live together to this day. The last time I saw this friend was on my wedding day. She never called or spoke to me afterward and made it clear that I was not ever to be a part of her life again.
Could you explain why your friend cut you off? Are you saying that she is so committed to homosexuality that she has nothing to do with any heterosexual, married people?
She shut me off because I represented all she had lost. It would be too painful for her to continue to have deep friendships with married heterosexuals. It would make her constantly question her choice.
Re: I am a �true traditionalist thinker.�
I�ll take that as a compliment from you, though it would be the vilest of insults from most people. Let�s say I�m very narrow-minded. There are traditional laws, traditional customs, traditional manners. But, it�s the traditions of the heart that hound me. Perhaps I hear too much the naggings of the dead and the complaints of the not-yet-born. The dead, they do always whisper in my ear. Really, sometimes they talk about the pettiest of things. �Why don�t you have the wreath on the door? Where are the candles for the table? You think we were shallow and stupid?!� But, most of all they whine on and on about the traditions of the heart and the evaporation of love, between men and women and between parents and children. Oh, and the not-yet-born�Hah! They clamor in their cradles as if I were their mother! The most grating accusations of neglect so that I want to cover up my ears and say, �It�s not fair. I am not your mother. I want to live my own life!�
Why would it be the vilest of insults? And who are these not-yet-born who are hounding you and expecting you to be their mother?
I gather you are making a distinction between a traditionalist thinker and someone who is being called by the dead to keep to certain traditions. Even if the latter is what drives you, you still express your ideas in a cogent intellectual form, so you are a traditionalist thinker, which I would define as someone who argues from the basis of the biological, cultural, and spiritual realities that form us and of which we are a part.
It would be an insult (although I�m joking about the vile part) from most people I know because they see themselves as part of a brave new project. Why would we want to go back to that? Especially women. They equate traditions with an excessive amount of manual labor (you know, babies and diapers and cooking). And they�re deathly afraid of that. It�s sort of like men who have never fought a battle constantly putting down war because what they�re really afraid of is the life of a soldier.
The not-yet-born are simply future generations, so intimately connected with me, you, everyone. It�s not possible to be a traditionalist if you think of yourself as part of a community that includes only the living. I think of myself as part of community�a living, breathing community�that extends far back in time and far into the distant future. But, I use the term �think of myself� loosely because it�s not simply an intellectual thing. I have no choice in the matter and have not arrived here simply by logic. I feel the complaints of the not-yet-born. Perhaps it�s simply maternal projection, but I sympathize, I know they will judge us, I know they will be angry that they must work so hard to resurrect what we let fall. Besides, I love them. After all, they are the children of my children and the children of these. They are the descendents of my sisters and brother, my cousins and friends. They are mine. Only someone with a shriveled heart wouldn�t care.
That�s a great statement.
However, I want to go back to Laura�s prediction that lesbianism will increase. As I think about it, does it really follow, because women may seek a kind of emotional bond from women that perhaps they can�t get from men, that this would take a sexual form? Doesn�t there have to be an actual orientation in that direction for a person to want to go beyond friendship to sexual relations?
For example, the Englishwoman in the Daily Mail story talked about discovering within herself a sexual attraction to her own sex that she had not had toward her husband. This wasn’t just about needing a more emotionally satisfying relationship which then becomes sexual. This was about something that was a homosexual attraction from the start.
To reply to your question as to whether a woman doesn�t have to be a homosexual in the first place, I say, �No!� Perhaps it gets back to what Stephen said about the connection with mothers. But, also I think women are so empathetic and affectionate by nature that a lonely or disillusioned woman can slip into an attraction to this empathetic and affectionate side and into thinking she�s homosexual by nature. Notice the woman in the Daily Mail says that in looking back on her marriage she remembers she never enjoyed kissing her husband. Is it possible he was not a good kisser? Did that ever occur to her? Is she saying that she bore two children by him, lived with him for more than 15 years and all that time was unknowingly a homosexual? This comes from that weird Freudian school of thought that says the most fundamental things about us are hidden in some creepy subterranean sexual recesses. Thus we are passive actors in our own destiny. It�s all an outrageous excuse for not taking responsibility for our actions. All homosexuals, whether they have strong or mild impulses in that direction, choose whether to live as homosexuals. They may be victim to unhealthy desires, but they are the authors of their own lives.
Regarding Laura�s prediction that lesbianism will increase and her explanation why, Jim Kalb writes:
Sounds believable. This is a tangent, but there are some female British academics who have concocted a separationist movement they call �Aristasia� that combines (i) utter disgust with the 60s (they call the post-60s world the �Pit�), (ii) Guenonian Traditionalism, (iii) pre-60s styles and fashions, and (iv) role-playing (possibly mostly Platonic) lesbianism. One of them has shown up at Turnabout a couple of times:
Dimitri K. writes:
That is a great piece of Laura! I also think that a human being is only one link in a chain of generations. That sounds trivial, but I want to say more: that the real living creature is not one person, but the chain. Like a butterfly and a catterpillar are one being, same way parents and children are one being. The life is a process in time and it is about such collective beings in time, not about individuals.
The notion of individual (with all his rights, emotions etc) does not fully reflect the reality, it is a simplified abstraction. It does not exist in nature and cannot exist, because life does not appear from nothing, as Pasteur has proven. It can only go to nothing�and that is the only real argument of individualists. By not making children and forgetting about their parents, they try to prove that they, individuals, are real.
Maureen C. writes:
Re: �I feel the complaints of the not-yet-born. Perhaps it�s simply maternal projection, but I sympathize, I know they will judge us, I know they will be angry that they must work so hard to resurrect what we let fall. Besides, I love them.�
Whoa. What emotion. What imagination. I can almost hear those crying babies and their little tiny voices wailing their little tiny complaints … . Sort of makes my tender woman�s skin crawl.
Far be it from me to be a spoiler of all the breastbeating (so to speak) fun and depart from subjectivity at this point, but:
There may be more homosexuals merely because there are more people on the planet. As the world population grows, the size of what used to be relatively tiny minorities of all kinds naturally grows to the point that these minorities have the clout of majorities. For example, there are now enough deaf people to form quite a constituency, etc.
Modern communications, like the Internet, also removes the distances that used to separate silent, isolated minority grouplets and helps them unite, giving them the potential political influence that in the past only belonged to larger groups.
The seeming increase in homosexuality may also result from better reporting on it due to fewer constraints in discussing homosexuality and fewer constraints in admitting it. This sort of increase is similar to the pseudo-statistical increase in crime caused by better modern reporting.
The ever-loathesome media also conribute to the prevalence of homosexuality by glamorizing it, as when cable TV aired Madonna kissing Britney. Youth imitates the licentious behavior of movie stars for the usual reason�youth�s perpetual urge to assert its individuality by slavishisly imitating Hollywood images and mores.
As for Maureen�s complaint that I am wallowing in emotion and flights of imagination, is she saying emotion is vulgar and in poor taste? Does she mean emotions lie? Are women above love now that they are educated and powerful? In that case, Maureen must contend with the vast, seething stream of humanity which feels and will not be told not to feel. Somehow the world must be engineered around their petty sentimentality.
Is homosexuality merely more common because the population has increased? If that were the case, why is it that a mere 20 or 30 years ago there was no publicly visible lesbianism? There should have been at least some if it were proportionate to the population.
I hereby forbid you�under the threat of a very severe penalty which I haven�t thought up yet�to post a single word of mine for a minimum of three months. Not a single word. Not even the briefest or most sensible or most innocuous word you�ve ever seen.
Your readers come to you to steel themselves against the inanities of the world. In the last few days, you�ve given them idiotic ravings about macho astronauts, imaginary lesbians, women who don�t deserve a decent day�s pay and crackpot voices. Do you realize what you�ve done? Librarians have put their heads together and nodded in agreement, �Oh, yes, we�re going to ban that website for a long time. A very long time. � (Librarians have gotta eat too, you know.)
Look, don�t get me wrong. You�re a really great guy and everything. But sometimes you could really use a public relations advisor. (Think about it. It�d be expensive, but it might pay for itself in the long run.) One doesn�t need a Phd. in Communications, however, to see you�ve gone off on the wrong tack recently and need to steady your sails.
John Hagan writes:
I agree that lesbianism is on the rise in the West, and will continue to grow until men in the West assert themselves again. The West is crumbling in great part because her men are weak, narcissistic, and easily intimidated. Women sense this weakness, this softness, and are repelled by it. Lesbianism is not some refuge woman seek out to prosper in. It�s a dysfunction, a reaction to male weakness.
The politically correct may not be comfortable with this but men are the �prime movers� in any sane society. The highest science, the highest art must by necessity, and biology, come from men. There simply is NO other way to order a society. True genius is unique to men. There will never be a female Mozart, or female Einstein. Women cue off of that power, and when that power is lacking, or degraded, then the culture fragments. And we get absurdities like female couples……which must be its own special kind of hell.
Powerful statement, John. I agree that genius is basically a male attribute, which doesn�t take away, of course, from many highly talented women.
Take the top movie stars of the Golden Era. The truly greatest stars�Clark Cable, Gary Cooper, James Stewart, Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart�are all male. The top female stars, such as Claudette Colbert, Barbara Stanwyk, Jean Harlowe, Carole Lombard, Irene Dunne, Ginger Rogers, as fine as they are, are not at the level of greatness�of genius, if you will�of the top males. Or take Claude Raines, arguably the best character actor in the movies. Is there any actress who comes within leagues of him?
John Hagan writes;
Women have many tremendous attributes, but this wayward culture that is the modern West is insistent on assigning skill-sets to females that they do not possess. If the creative force of a culture is matriarchal it will plateau, and not be able to reach beyond itself. A good, and frightening case in point is the current, systematic exclusion of men from most American veterinarian colleges.
Veterinarian schools are fast becoming exclusively female, with male graduates becoming a rarity. This is one of the quietist purges of a gender from gainful professional employment that has ever happened. It�s a bias practiced in a purposeful way that is happening all over the country.
Aside from the unethical way this has happened; on a pure scientific level it is dangerous for the profession. Without the guy with the 155 IQ who is doing pure research this profession is going to start to atrophy, and then flounder. Not because female vets are incompetent, they certainly are not, but as any psychometrican will point out these kinds of �breakthrough� IQs are almost exclusively male.
Without that level of genius, or innovation, this profession will soon stop expanding.
Mr. Hagan continues:
It�s difficult to locate any articles on the exclusion of males from veterinary schools. This article only hints at it. As you see in 2003 over 80% of all vets graduating then were women. It is now over 90%. Such a thing does not happen by accident, or this quickly. I was alerted to this by an acquaintance who is a male vet who has informed me that the atmosphere for males in American veterinary schools is poisonous. So men are just walking away, and not applying any more.
Jim Kalb writes:
Interesting about veterinary schools. I think it�s not just breakthroughs that a profession needs men for but also maintenance of standards at the highest levels of the profession. I think it�s harder for women to maintain institutional focus. It�s too abstract and impersonal a function. They seem more oriented toward keeping things working and making them pleasant on a day-to-day level.
Yes. Men are not only about designing larger stuctures, but maintaining them.
This is deeply related to men�s advantage in spatial intelligence. Men �construct� things in space�whether it�s physical space or abstract space�in a way that women do not do. Not that women cannot do that. But it is much more a male thing.
Maureen C. writes:
�Yes. Men are not only about designing larger stuctures, but maintaining them.
�This is deeply related to men�s advantage in spatial intelligence. Men �construct� things in space�whether it�s physical space or abstract space�in a way that women do not do. Not that women cannot do that. But it is much more a male thing.�
Yes, granted that men are better at spatial conceptualization and at building. And that�s a good thing, a very good thing. But men are also much more efficient than women at destroying everything, from murdering the local convenience store clerk to leveling whole cities right down to the charred and smoldering ground.
There is no male and female in Christ�no difference between men and women in their potential ability to master the most important skill of all�moral discrimination and goodness. Don�t bother citing the names of history�s numerous male moral philosophers in rebuttal. None of us knows, only God knows, the names of thousands upon thousands of anonymous female and male moral geniuses who have walked this earth and sustained us with their humble sacrifices.
Mark P. writes:
�But men are also much more efficient than women at destroying everything, from murdering the local convenience store clerk to leveling whole cities right down to the charred and smoldering ground.�
Hey, if we can build it, we can destroy it. ;-)
Think Howard Roark. :-)
It�s always a happy day for your disapproved-of, sorta-Objectivist correspondent to see you mention a Rand character, LOL.
About lesbianism and its real danger: surely they are furiously working on a way to clone women from women, fertilize eggs with eggs or otherwise reproduce the human race parthenogenetically (sp?). How much tolerance will women display for men when their last surviving purpose on earth is gone? (in the feminist mind). Since women are not as adverse to homosexuality as men are and are in fact, in the modern era, more likely to find a lesbian relationship more emotionally fulfilling, do you think the male of the species will survive that scientific advance for long? I don�t.
KPA writes from Canada:
I found your quote Men �construct� things in space�whether it�s physical space or abstract space�in a way that women do not do. Not that women cannot do that. But it is much more a male thing from the entry discussing genius especially interesting.
As a designer, I am deeply concerned about the kind of images which we produce. I think that too much internal ruminations doesn�t do the arts any good.
Architecture is the paramount discipline which creates things in space. But our most famous modern architects have forgotten about physical space, and dwell almost entirely in the abstract (internal/imaginary) space.
They have ignored geography, culture and even aesthetics for their own internal landscapes. Hence the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum , and this strange atrocity by Louis Kahn in Bangladesh. Buildings that relate neither to culture nor to location.
Perhaps this is the ultimate danger of abstracted thought.
I have written about this phenomenon in more detail (and over an extended number of blogs) at my blog Camera Lucida.
Yes, just as it is the case that only a man could have built the Brooklyn Bridge or designed the Empire State Building, probably only a man could have designed the Bilbao Guggenheim, which, by the way, the first time I saw a photo of it, I said it looked like a pile of t__ds. I said this to a liberal, who, naturally, thought the building was wonderful.
Another twist on the veterinarian issue from the New York Times. According to the article, women are flocking to the profession, but they do not want to be on-call or on the road, and they do not want to take care of large animals (food animals). They want to take care of kitties and puppies. As the article notes, why treat a cow for $50 dollars when you can treat Mister Snuggles, the family cat, for $300?
The large animal vets we took our critters to when I was a kid were pretty brusque, down-to-earth men. No $3000 course of cancer therapy for a mutt dog. No marathon $2500 orthopedic surgery for a stray cat hit by a car. No $50 teeth cleanings for cats.
What women have done for the profession is to turn small animals into members of the family deserving of the best medical care possible (shades of Evelyn Waugh�s �The Loved One�), whereas the traditional veterinarian would likely recommend putting an old dog down and getting a new one.
I can imagine what my father would have said to old Doc H. if Doc told my mother he could give Miss Kitty cancer therepy for $2000 instead of putting the old half-blind cat out of its misery for $25. I can guarantee you he would have spoken some serious words about taking advantage of weak-willed emotional women.
Laura W. writes:
There are so many fascinating comments in the thread on lesbianism�on women in veterinarian schools, an obscure lesbian sect in Britain, degraded architecture, and moral genius�I am tempted to ask to get back in.
Mr. Hagan�s interesting comments about veterinarian school reminds me that it is very possible the clergy of the liberal Protestant churches will soon be almost exclusively female. The Catholic Church should never give in. Again, there are some fields simply not meant to be co-ed.
But, the many comments lead me to another issue: the increasing malaise among young boys and male teenagers. This malaise is visible in the statistics on dramatically increased college drop-out rates, depression, and poor elementary and secondary school performance which you have probably seen touted in the news magazines. Significantly more girls graduate from college now than boys. In recent weeks alone, I have learned of four boys within my own extended family�one as young as 12 and the oldest 19�who have fallen into suicidal depression and listlessness for no apparent reason. The increase in the prescription of psychotropic medications for all children is staggering, but it appears boys are a sizeable majority of the recipients (I�ll check the figures). Most of the children who receive Ritalin are boys.
There are a number of reason for this malaise, all of which are impossible to explore here. It�s not a simple phenomenon, but is it possible that young boys see their horizons are constricted? Is it possible they have absorbed a sense of male inferiority from the world around them and unconsciously know there is no arena in which to enact their dreams?
Richard B. writes;
Your group discussions are great! There are so many ideas brought forth that allow the participants and readers to transcend their current understandings.
This is the best use of the internet.
We definitely need Laura�s female perspective. Don�t let her slip away.
Thanks. No danger of Laura�s slipping away that I can see.
Robert B. writes:
The most evil thing feminism (a purely Marxian construct) did was to pit woman against man�a state which can only exist because the Western male (according to my deceased mother) made the world safe for Western woman. Poorly educated people fail to understand that marriage was, in fact, an equal partnership with work roles delineated by biological imperatives. Does anyone really think that the frontier/pioneer family could have existed and thrived through much hardship had they not been equal partners? Farmers, for the most part, still exist in that way.
As far as Dana�s quip, �do you think the male of the species will survive that scientific advance for long? I don�t,� Dana fails, once again, to understand biology�s role in all of this. Men have already begun to abandon women, not the other way around, because women themselves broke the original, unspoken contract, or, as my mother would have said, �No reason to buy the cow if the milk is free.� If women continue on their present path, men will eventually abandon their traditional role as protector of women. When that happens, the laws will no longer protect women (as they did not before the modern era) and women will be left to protecting themselves. Under such a system, the laws of the jungle will once again come into play. Women will be pushed from �professions.� Rape will become, once again, a part of life and women, in time, will go back to seeking their traditional roles so as to be once again under the protective arm of men.
Those who doubt this need look no further then Muslim attitudes toward Western women (or indeed Third World mentality in general). In their view, all Western women are harlots who deserve no better then rape as a punishment for their behavior�which is not just limited to fashion styles. That attitude is and has begun to infiltrate Western man�s attitudes toward their own women. To know this is so, just spend a day listening to �rap music� to hear how pop culture views these women.
And please, feministas, spare me the mythological tales of Amazonian tribes. There weren�t any. Any tribe of women hanging out anywhere would have been immediately overrun by rampaging male conquerors the moment they learned of their existence. Why? Because up until the 19th century, raping and pillaging was a part of war. In the West, it did begin to die out in the 16th century, but it was still going strong elsewhere and still is. Just check out the Sudan or the rape camps the Japanese ran as well as those in Boznia.
Feminism can only exist under the benevolent eye of Western man.
[Deleted Name] writes:
In response to the other Laura�s comment about the malaise among boys: my husband teaches high school and says the boys at his school are almost obsessed with homosexuality. They are constantly mocking gay men and their �relationships,� cracking jokes, affecting lisps, etc. I graduated from high school in 1995 and although we were all being instructed in tolerance by then and we were all aware of homosexuality as an issue, and the occasional joke was made, it was not a constant theme. We think this must be a kind of defensive reaction because they are trying to grow up into men in a society which puts homosexual relationships on a pedestal and discourages them from taking the path to true manhood. They need to mock and reject it frequently in order to avoid being brainwashed.
My girlfriend who is also a teacher asks the boys in her class if they feel the school treats them like defective girls. They invariably say yes.
Maureen C. writes:
Robert B said: �If women continue on their present path, men will eventually abandon their traditional role as protector of women. When that happens, the laws will no longer protect women (as they did not before the modern era) and women will be left to protecting themselves. Under such a system, the laws of the jungle will once again come into play. Women will be pushed from �professions.��
Now let me get this straight. Robert B wants women to be confined to the 1950s era, �unprofessional� roles of wife and mother, so that Western men will kindly forego raping them and be willing to save them from aggressive Islamic males who currently are raping women and confining women to the roles of wives and mothers (but with an Islamic blanket on top). Presumably, losing the Islamic blanket makes Robert B�s deal for women much more attractive. Well, I�d write more on this topic, but I have to go now�I think I hear the wailing of Laura little unborn female babies ….
Bruce B. writes:
Just read Laura�s excellent correspondence:
�Perhaps I hear too much the naggings of the dead and the complaints of the not-yet-born. The dead, they do always whisper in my ear…. The not-yet-born are simply future generations, so intimately connected with me, you, everyone. It�s not possible to be a traditionalist if you think of yourself as part of a community that includes only the living…. Besides, I love them. After all, they are the children of my children and the children of these. They are the descendents of my sisters and brother, my cousins and friends. They are mine. Only someone with a shriveled heart wouldn�t care.�
I think Laura has described something that I suspect we all (traditionalists) have in common. �They� do call to us from beyond and it is fairly relentless. There�s a mystic connection that I guess the modern, materialist mind just doesn�t get. I suppose this is a form of transcendent truth.
I�m reminded of the last verse of Bob Dylan�s song �Caribbean Wind�, in which the singer, in the midst of a universal apocalypse, hears both his unborn descendants and his ancestors calling to him:
Atlantic City by a cold grey sea
I hear a voice crying �Daddy,� I always think it�s for me,
But it�s only the silence in the buttermilk hills that call.
Every new messenger brings evil report
�Bout armies on the march and time that is short
And famines and earthquakes and train wrecks and the tearin� down of the walls.
Did you ever have a dream that you couldn�t explain?
Did you ever meet your accusers face to face in the rain?
She had lone brown eyes that I won�t forget as long as she�s gone.
I see the screws breaking loose, see the devil pounding on tin,
I see a house in the country being torn apart from within.
I can hear my ancestors calling from the land far beyond.
And the Caribbean winds still blow from Nassau to Mexico
Fanning the flames in the furnace of desire
And the distant ships of liberty on them iron waves so bold and free,
Bringing everything that�s near to me nearer to the fire.
Robert B. replies to Maureen:
I suspect Maureen C. is in deep denial. All of those unborn babies she hears talking to her are the direct result of women negating their traditional role in society�a role which could only be abandoned because Western man allowed it. We don�t see women abandoning their traditional roles anywhere else, now do we? And just what occupations have women assumed under their own power? I will acknowledge that some women make fine doctors, some fine lawyers, but do they make good cops? No, if they did, the bar would not have to be lowered for them, would it have? The same follows with firemen, soldiers, fighter pilots, etc. [LA interjects: I believe that Maureen has acknowledged males superiority in those fields.] In fact, I would venture to say that any occupation which requires calm under fire, so to speak, is not a good occupation for women. Furthermore, there is the problem with onset of middle age, not to mention P.M.S., P.P.D., menopause, much higher rates of depression then men as a general rule of thumb, a tendency toward passivity (noted by almost all psychotherapists) and a tendency toward emotional thinking rather then rational, logic based thinking.
All of which helps them nurture children�what they were biologically designed for. They were not designed for making life and death decisions, they were not designed for doing battle (which is what business is, you know), nor were they cut out for competing against men�which they would not be able to do, if it weren�t for affirmative action. Affirmative action does not level the playing field, it gives women and minorities an unfair advantage. And even with that unfair advantage, they end up having to have help in other ways. My daughter is extremely bright, has colleges recruiting her even now, and she is only a sophomore�but that does not mean that she is emotionally equipped to deal with that which traditional man was expected to deal with on an everyday basis.
Maureen and those who agree with her have the fantastic belief that if women had been enabled by society to compete with men prior to the time when men decided (in a very Western way) to allow them to pretend to this competition, they would have assumed these roles all on their own. The idea that they were held down for millennia is absurd. Rather, it took until the last half of the 20th century for the world to be made safe enough for them to have �their cake and eat it too.� The problem has become for them, however, that having stepped into the roles and behavior of men, they are no longer valued by men in the traditional ways. Like I said, why buy the cow if the milk is free? Biology itself points that this not women�s biological role�H.P.V. is itself a direct cause of promiscuous behavior on the part of women. While men can carry it, it has no ill effect on them�it does however cause cervical cancer in women. This is a disease which did not exist before large numbers of women decided to behave like rutting male animals.
Mark P. has an original explanation as to why feminism drives down standards:
This discussion about feminism, masculinity, dreams, and the unborn is certainly interesting, especially the point about the veterinary schools. The discussion seems to be missing something critical, however, especially when comparisons are made between the capabilities of men and women. Certainly, women are underrepresented in the realm of 120 IQ�s and above. [LA notes: I think that�s an overstatement. There is a slight difference in the mean, but major differences appear only in the higher reaches of IQ.] Certainly, women get a lot of help from affirmative action to pretend that they can compete with men. What appears to be missing from the discussion is this: at the grassroots level, nobody cares if women are successful.
This is not to say that institutions from the top down don�t care about women�s success. They are, after all, obsessed with promoting women everywhere. This is to say that, at the normal level of interpersonal relationships, nobody cares how much money women make, or what kind of car they drive, or what their address is. Men are not the least bit impressed with, say, a female attorney making $150,000 a year and neither are most women. This is simply human nature, but it has a profound influence on our society.
Men are hard-wired to achieve because success makes us more competitve in the marriage market. The more money we make, the more access we have to quality mates. And we attract those mates by showing off the amount of money we make, the kind of car we drive, and the kind of homes we have. The male drive to succeed also has ancillary benefits. Success requires mastery and discipline of skills and talents, which means men become very good at their jobs while pursuing the �brass rings� necessary to find a mate. This, of course, benefits society as a whole.
Women, for their part, are hard-wired to seek men that are at least as successful as they are. Both these aspects of maleness and femaleness worked well for tens of thousands of years.
With the adrogynous pursuits of feminism, the balance is skewed. Women are encouraged to duplicate men, but they have no real incentive to do so. Since men are not impressed by women who make a lot of money, women wonder why it is so important for them to make money? And if it is not important to make money, then why work so hard at your job? Since the incentive system breaks down, the level of competence and professionalism in various careers breaks down as well.
This is already noticeable in medicine. An article in the Chicago Tribune title �The Changing Face of Medicine� noted how women were altering medicine. Women do not want to work the long hours that doctors used to work. They want 40 hour weeks and �me-time.� Consequently, these women see fewer cases and do not hone their skills as well as their male counterparts, driving the average competency of the medical profession down. And what is true in medicine is also probably true in law, dentistry, business and any other field with lots of women in it. So on top of getting into universities and fields they are not qualified for, they drive down the quality of their work simply because, to them, there is no point.
Yet, women still retain their hard-wired need to seek men who are as successful or more successful then they are. Unfortunately, the more successful women are, the less likely they are to be married. A female lawyer making $150,000 a year wants a man who makes that much or more. This pool of men is exceedingly small. Meanwhile, the men making $150,000 or more don�t care about how much women making and they have no problems marrying their secretaries if they are attractive.
To summarize, all feminism does is encourage loneliness and incompetence.
Jeff in England writes:
I don�t want to get very involved in your lesbian/homosexuality thread but again, as in so many of these type of blog commentaries there are so many simplistic statements or ones true only in part.
In the times of the Spartans and also Alexander the Great, just to name two examples, male homosexuality was considered very high in status and respected.. So women in those eras would have been looking up to the power of homosexual men. [LA asks: Therefore, what?] There are many other examples of this. While some lesbianism may be culturally induced, essentially lesbianism is still a biological thing. I know some lesbians and have questioned them thoroughly on this topic. They all felt lesbian from a young age whether they became heterosexual or not. Of course one could argue that biological lesbianism is increasing.
As for women and what they can and can�t do, well, it�s all in flux (in the West). Years ago people dismissed the idea that women could be top business people (remember that until Israel was created people thought Jews couldn�t fight). Now some of the very top moneymakers on the London Stock Exchange are women. Ditto in other business spheres. Martha Stewart is a great example.
I tend to agree that men have more �genius� so to speak. And are greater risk takers and movers. But take Doris Lessing (heterosexual) a writer I know personally. In my opinion, Doris is by far the world�s greatest living writer in English (Saul Bellow was her only rival). Even if one disagrees with that judgment she is certainly up there in the top five. Melanie Phillips is arguably Britain�s best columnist, political author and political debater. I�m not saying she is a genius but she is very high up in her field. Margaret Thatcher was one of the two best Prime Ministers of Britain last century. Only Churchill rivals her. Queen Elizabeth dwarfs any male king of the last 100+ years. [LA: I don�t see how these examples disprove anything that was said in the discussion.]
Certain spheres of various professions have seen the rise of women, others have not. Admittedly women do better in some spheres than others. While women are second to men in most sports, there a few that can beat men at their own game at the very top level. Long distance swimming is one such example. Just a few generations ago, before modern feminism helped create a �can do� atmosphere for women, women barely were on the map in almost all career spheres.
By the way, Bette Davis is a greater actor than Claude Raines by a mile. No contest. And better than Clark Gable too. Bogart was great but narrow in scope. I�d rate Davis over him even if I love his films more. [LA: Jeff is comparing apples and oranges; also, IMO, there is too much �ham� in Davis to consider her a great actress.] Stanwyck and Kate Hepburn (both gay) were also great actresses with greater skills than most equivalent males. Many male film actors are not all around great actors. Exceptions are Spencer Tracy, Marlon Brando and Al Pacino. Meryl Streep is the best modern all around actress and puts Tom Cruise or de Niro or Dustin Hoffman to shame.
In addition to my interpolated comments in Jeff�s comment, I object to casual, supposedly authoritative assertions that this or that famous individual is homosexual, in the absense of any evidence. Most of the time such assertions are pure gossip, presented as fact. Yet when one looks, the facts often aren�t there. The upshot is that there are quite a few Hollywood stars who are widely believed to have been homosexual, in the absence of any evidence supporting that belief. Cary Grant is a notable example of this phenomenon. As for Barbara Stanwyck, here is an Amazon.com reader�s response to Axel Madsen�s biography of Stanwyck:
Second, though Madsen alludes to Stanwyck�s bisexuality, he doesn�t really adduce any actual evidence of this. Much of his �evidence� seems to be based on the perception by many lesbians that she was �one of us.� There are also multiple references to a possible lesbian relationship with her publicist, but when looks closely, this appears to be more speculation than fact. Although it has long been held that Robert Taylor, Barbara�s husband, was at least bi and perhaps gay, the evidence for Barbara seems to be pretty weak, at least as presented by Madsen. And glancing through the pages of Madsen�s THE SEWING CIRCLE, which discusses love relationships among women in the thirties and forties, I didn�t find anything much more convincing that was contained in these pages.
Let�s be realistic about the fact that in our liberal culture, which requires the removal of any moral judgment against homosexuality, there will be a strong need to believe that various famous and admired people are �really� homosexual.
Mark A. writes:
�The discussion seems to be missing something critical, however, especially when comparisons are made between the capabilities of men and women. Certainly, women are underrepresented in the realm of 120 IQ�s and above. [LA notes: I think that�s an overstatement. There is a slight difference in the mean, but major differences appear only in the higher reaches of IQ.]�
Please see this. The divergence starts sooner than you think.
The article Mark A. points to is an interview with Paul Irwing of Manchester University reporting on a study he did looking at 22 surveys sampling 20,000 university students. I knew there was a sex difference in IQ distribution, as Richard Lynn and a colleague wrote recently. But I am astounded by the degree of the difference found by Irwing. He says:
All the research I�ve done points to a gender difference in general cognitive ability. There is a mean difference of about five IQ points. The further you go up the distribution the more and more skewed it becomes. There are twice as many men with an IQ of 120-plus as there are women, there are 30 times the number of men with an IQ of 170-plus as there are women.I would expect the huge male advantage at the genius level. That does not surprise me. The bombshell to me is Irwing�s finding that twice as many men as women have 120-plus IQs.
I have never before critiqued the feminist egalitarian argument from the point of view of IQ differences between the sexes, but clearly this finding is a major blow against the feminist/liberal expectation that women should be equally represented with men in the intellectual professions and in the leadership positions of society. At the same time, it is not as dramatic as the fact that only one-sixth the percentage of blacks have IQ over 115 compared to the percentage of whites with IQ over 115.
James N. writes:
Mark P. is not exactly right that �nobody cares� if women are successful, but he�s on to something.
A woman�s success is not salient to men. A man�s success is highly salient to women (see Wikipedia�s discussion of salience).
A woman who is above average, and who desires an above average man, often makes the conceptual error of believing that because SHE has sexual desire for a successful man, that by becoming successful MEN will sexually desire her.
This is of course false (read the collected works of Maureen Dowd, for example, or Barbara Dafoe Whitehead�s book �Why there are No Good Men Left�). Some women are very angry about this state of affairs, and denounce men for �hating successful women� or being �afraid of powerful women�.
It�s not hate. It�s not fear. It�s just not what we are looking for.
Women find a man�s success salient because it fits with their innermost goals, For the same reason, men find women�s appearance salient (insofar as it predicts fertility and fitness for childbearing) because it fits with THEIR innermost goals.
We are living in a time when both men and women are unaware of, or actively deny, their biologic imperatives. There is not enough Prozac on earth to resolve the problems that are generated thereby.
Jim Kalb writes in response to Mark P.�s comment:
Yay! Your readers are on a roll. I see a chain reaction starting.
People have noticed of course in various ways that no one cares that much if women are successful, even the women themselves, but they�ve never asked what that tells us about the social setting people will be happiest and most productive living with. The left believes in comprehensive inclusiveness and the �right� believes in abstract technocratic meritocracy so neither is willing to look at that kind of difference and consider it anything but an embarrassment or a vice to be done away with and in the mean time overridden.
Jeff in England takes exception to my doubts that Barbara Stanwyck was homosexual:
If ever there was a gay actress, Stanwyck was it along with Garbo. Hepburn and Crawford and Dietrich were bisexuals. Davis was holding up the heterosexual flame. Grant was a bisexual who took LSD for ten years. Brando was also bisexual. Rock Hudson was out and out gay.
You are just repeating �street knowledge� as though it were fact. To stick Hudson (who of course as a known fact was homosexual) with Grant (I�ve read two biographies of him and there is no evidence, only people�s belief that it�s true) in the same paragraph, is typical of the improper way this topic is dealt with.
Subject: SHAKESPEARE HE�S IN THE ALLEY WITH HIS POINTED SHOES AND HIS BELLS
Next you�ll be saying Shakespeare wasn�t gay!
We don�t even know who he was, and you�re sure he was homosexual!
Besides, Shakespeare in the alley was talking to a French girl.
Man, you�re in denial!! Question to Dylan in 1966: �DO YOU BELIEVE IN GOD?� Answer: �GOD IS A WOMAN, EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT.�
While I feel Mark P.�s explanation is essentially correct and opens up a new way of seeing this issue, I would qualify what he has said. Yes, men generally do not esteem a woman more if she is, say, making a lot of money or at the top of some organization, occupying some traditional male position. On an instinctive level, it doesn�t mean that much to men or women, though of course they cannot admit this in our present society. I think this much of Mark�s thesis is true. But this doesn�t mean that people don�t value the talents, achievements, and accomplishments of women. I think that Mark�s statement could be taken in a reductive sense to mean that people value women only as wives and mothers and as nothing else.
Laura W. returns to the newspaper article with which this discussion began a week ago:
It�s quite sad to look at the situation described in the Daily Mail story from the daughter�s perspective. It�s sad because most of us remember what it was like to be a child, to be a creature so dependent on others and so eager to love and trust adults. Looking at this story from the daughter�s view, the important thing is not so much that her mother is a lesbian. The central thing is that her mother is so devoid of sympathy for her daughter. If it was a man, instead of a woman, who the daughter objected to, the reaction would be the same. Why isn�t the mother protecting her daughter from chaos at home? Doesn�t the mother remember what it was like to be a child?
But, just as the bonds of trust and affection (though never by any means universal) between men and women have weakened, so have the bonds between parents and children. Many parents today seem to display a savage disregard for their children�s need for a basic sense of security and order. They are more than willing to topple this order in pursuit of their own selfish interests. (And, I�m talking about affluent, educated, high-minded parents here. If you want a few examples, just pull up a chair.) It may be that selflessness was formerly imposed from without and that without those constraints parents are now free to act in their own interests. So it may be that parents aren�t really more selfish, it just seems so. Regardless, I do believe that the experience of this daughter, though the details are unique, is quite common.
Henry A. writes:
I have been reading your interesting post about Lesbianism, feminism, masculinity, etc. To give credit where is due almost all readers come up with insightful points. Personally I have a tendency to agree with Laura W. and Stephen F. However there are some points I would like to make.
1) Every time somebody starts making points like Mark P. about men and women being �hard-wired� to do this or that in a deterministic Darwinian way my alarm goes off. This alleged pursuit of success of men to capture the best available females could just apply to the animal kingdom, but it too simplistic if not just wrong when you want to extrapolate that to human beings.
If the theory of successful IQ men getting the most attractive women were right there should be a lot of couples composed by wimpy skinny computer / engineer / accountant / lawyer Geeks and tall athletic well endowed beautiful women. However we know by experience that high IQ Geeks will remain just that. They will not capture the �best females,� not even close. They will stick to their computers, brothels, and pornography and some of them will probably remain singles for the rest of their lives.
This simplistic success leading to money leading to females approach is just not realistic, and neglects the most basic fact about male/female attraction, namely beauty. If a man is more or less handsome (more specifically if he is not too short, not too fat, etc) he will have high chances of marrying a beautiful girl. On the other hand if a woman is more or less beautiful (more specifically is she is not too fat or too skinny) she will have high chances of not only marrying but even choosing the man she marries. This applies regardless the level of success/money the man/woman may have or not. And I think it is even more important than success/money. I did not get interested in my girlfriend because of her possessions, and neither she did.
There are more dangerous consequences of extrapolating from the animal kingdom to human kingdom. You are using the language of the enemy. You are entering a framework that will impose its own rules. A labyrinth that is totally alien to you (I am assuming here that you are a traditionalist Christian, or at least not opposed to Christian values). The New York Times had an article a few months ago where an alleged homosexual behavior of penguins was being used to justify homosexuality in human beings. That was the Times intention of course and perfectly in accordance with the Darwinian myth of placing human beings a just one more species in the creation without much difference from monkeys, frogs, or bacteria. As usual it turned out that the alleged penguin homosexual behavior was a scam, the homosexual couples were just transient and not successful at all.
2) These leads to another related point. That of measuring and weighting a person capability by his/her IQ. This mechanistic method is something new in human being. It�s a hubristic way of pretending to �measure� a human being. It is very apt for an Orwellian Brave New World, but has not basis whatever in Christianity. I am not surprised that Nazis, Neocons, Objectivists, and other freaks are so fond of it. The founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, with her ideas of improving the �breeding stock� and purging America�s �bad strains� comes to mind too. In fact the IQ thing is a true son of the French Revolution, and a Frenchman, Alfred Binet, was the first that came with the idea.
The IQ test cannot encompass not explain the human being. I did an IQ test some years ago and got 140. But I am an engineer and many of the questions/problems where mathematically oriented, so I had a clear advantage over a, say, farmer or lawyer. This due to my experience and training with numbers, not because I am intrinsically more intelligent than someone who did not study math. Moreover, another weakness of the IQ test is that you can improve your score just by learning and practicing how to pass it. After my first test I am sure I had scored higher than 140 a second time because I would have had a better timing with the interval to devote to each question and the kind of questions itself. I don�t need to say that had I been not an engineer I would have scored lower than 140.
3) Regarding Lesbians I think we are missing another obvious reason that may cause Lesbianism. Lesbians, and I mean your average next-door Lesbian, does not look like Madonna, Britney, Garbo. Hepburn, and Dietrich. They look ugly. They are usually fat and/or unattractive women who cannot get a man interested in them. Moreover, some of them are not just unattractive but simply repulsive. The celebrities that have played and play with Lesbianism act like that more for propagandistic reasons and self-promotion than anything else.
When the word lesbian comes up in my mind I don�t think about say Kim Basinger kissing Monica Bellucci. I rather think about Hillary Clinton kissing Barbara Boxer.
In criticizing Mark P.�s sometimes too-deterministic-and-materialistic sounding explanation (a criticism with which I agree), Henry unfortunately goes to the other extreme of denying naturalistic causation altogether, even, astonishingly, denying the reality of IQ. This will not do. The reality of IQ and of IQ differences and of their significance in human behavior and accomplishment is too well established to deny. Further, it is evident from Henry�s remarks about IQ that he has no familiarity with the basic facts and arguments in this field. I recommend that for starters he read my article, �My views on race and intelligence,� and then read The Bell Curve, especially the key chapters where the authors discuss the National Longitudinal Study of Youth; or, if The Bell Curve (at 600 pages) seems too daunting, Daniel Seligman�s A Question of Intelligence is a very good introduction to the subject.
Henry A. replies:
Your points are well taken. I will read your suggested articles. Just let me clarify that I am not denying that some people are intrinsically more intelligent than others. Moreover I am not denying that some groups of people are, on average, more intelligent than others. I am just making a point against the limitations and dangers of the IQ tests themselves, a kind of test that I have personally taken. To sum up, I am against the idea of encompassing a human being in a number.
But people who use these findings correctly are not encompassing a human being by a number. They are saying that someone with a 90 IQ is not going to be able to perform the same intellectual tasks in life as a person with a 110 IQ. They�re saying that a society in which the average IQ is 90 is going to be very different in its functioning and level of achievement than a society with an average IQ of 100.
Interestingly, Patrick Buchanan, who at the time of The Bell Curve wrote some silly, ill-thought-out columns dismissing the importance of IQ, in his book State of Emergency talks about how bringing in lower IQ immigrants is going to lower the whole level of our society.
Bruce B. writes:
Don�t mean to pile on Henry as your reply was appropriate and probably sufficient. With all due respect to Henry, he used a single paragraph consisting of his opinions and personal experiences to dismiss an area into which an enormous amount of research has gone and which has compiled huge amounts of empirical evidence. Traditionalists cannot be taken seriously if we do this, just as we cannot be taken seriously unless we engage Darwinist-Atheists with serious and well reasoned arguments while acknowledging the known facts. His second posting seemed more reasonable. I think the (maybe overstated) point he was trying to get across in his initial letter is necessary to make at the various reductive-materialist websites. I think he�s among friends here at VFR.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 14, 2007 11:42 AM | Send
The Traditionalist position affirms both the biological and transcendent aspects of who we are. To deny either is false and leads to a deficient worldview. We�ve said this many times before, but I don�t think we can overemphasize it. I think you achieve a good balance at VFR and I think that this is the best thing we have going.
Regarding IQ, as I recall, it is best for predicting group differences in performance and life outcome, particularly when applied to very large aggregations of individuals. At this level, the other factors, such as how hard you study, tend to be a somewhat of a wash although some can be resolved in favor of a particular group (it is �nurture� as well as �nature�). It�s not nearly as useful for understanding sample sizes of 1, though it remains the most important SINGLE factor.
The �hereditarians� form their hypotheses from a more reasonable and less ideological assumption i.e. 50/50 nurture/nature, and work from there. The �environmentalists� tend to start from the assumption that it�s ALL nurture, so who�s more extreme and less reasonable here?! No hereditarian that I know of says it�s ALL nature.
He noted his academic background and IQ. The differences in IQ appear at an early age, long before exposure to rigorous mathematics and even before formal education.