Men of today’s older generation grew up in the chivalric miasma of their time, which held that women were morally superior to men, and that civilized men protected women against any available vicissitude. A corollary was that women needed protecting. So common has this understanding been throughout history that one may suspect it of being based in ancient instinct: In a less hospitable world, if men didn’t protect women, something disagreeable would eat them, and then there would be no more people. So men did. And do.
Instincts have consequences, particularly when the circumstances requiring them cease to exist.
Because women were until recently subordinate, and in large part played the role of gentility assigned to them, men didn’t recognize that they could be dangerous, selfish, or sometimes outright vipers. They were no worse than men, but neither were they better. Men believed, as did women, that women were tender creatures, caring, kind, and suited to be mothers. Males deferred to women in many things, which didn’t matter because the things women wanted were not important.
When women came into a degree of power, it turned out that they were as immoral, or amoral, as men, probably more self-centered, and out for what they could get. Not all were, of course, as neither were all men, but suddenly this became the central current. This too followed lines of instinctual plausibility: Women took care of children and themselves, and men took care of women. It made sense that they should be self-centered.
These newly empowered women knew, as women have always known, how to wield charm, and they quickly learned to enjoy power. The men of the old school didn’t notice in time. They deferred, and they were blind-sided. They gave gentlemanly agreement to one-sided laws hostile to men.
Political deference became a pattern. It remains a pattern. It probably springs in part from the male’s instinctive recognition that, by giving women what they want, he gets laid. Between individuals this worked tolerably well, but less so when applied to abstract groups.
When women said they wanted protection against dead-beat dads, the old school fell for it. They were attuned to saving maidens and the sheltering from life’s storms of white Christian motherhood. “Dead-beat dads” was of course that sure-fire political winner — an alliterative slogan of few words that embodied a conclusion but no analysis. So sure were men that women were the kinder gentler sex that they never bothered to look at the statistics on abuse of children, or the track records of the sexes in raising children.
The romantic elderly male believed — believes — that women were the natural proprietors of the young. This led to laws virtually denying a divorced father’s interest in his children, though not the requirement that he pay for their upkeep. The pattern holds today. Male judges in family law defer to women, almost any women no matter how unfit, and female judges side with their own. The demonstrable fact that women can and do abuse and neglect children, that a female executive clawing her way up the hierarchy may have the maternal instincts of a rattlesnake, that children need their fathers — all of this has been forgotten.
The reflexive deference continued. Feminists wanted congress to pass a vast program of funding for every left-wing cause that incited enthusiasm in the sterile nests of NOW. They called it the Violence Against Women Act, and men deferentially gave it to them. Of course to vote against it, no matter what it actually said — and almost no one knew — would have been to seem to favor violence against women. A law to exterminate orphans, if called the Domestic Violence Prevention Act, would pass without demur.
There followed yet more male deference to female desires. When women wanted to go into the military to have babies, or a Soldier Experience, men couldn’t bring themselves to say no.
When the women couldn’t perform as soldiers, men graciously lowered standards so they could appear to. It was the equivalent of helping a woman over a log in the park, the legal and institutional parallel of murmuring, “Don’t worry your pretty little head about a thing.”
On and on it went. The aggregate effect has been that women have gained real power, while (or by) managing in large part to continue to exact deference and, crucially, to avoid the accountability that should come with power. A minor example is women who want the preferentialtreatment that women now enjoy, and yet expect men to pay for their dates. In today’s circumstances, this is simple parasitism.
Today men are accountable for their behavior. Women are not. The lack of accountability, seldom clearly recognized, is the bedrock of much of today’s feminist misbehavior, influence, and politics. Its pervasiveness is worth pondering.
A man who sires children and leaves is called a dead-beat dad, and persecuted. A woman who has seven children out of wedlock and no capacity to raise them is not a criminal, but a victim. He is accountable for his misbehavior, but she is not for hers. It is often thus.
Consider the female Army officer who complained that morning runs were demeaning to women. A man who thus sniveled would be disciplined, ridiculed, and perhaps thumped. Yet the Army fell over itself to apologize and investigate. Again, men are held accountable for their indiscipline, but women are not. Men expect to adapt themselves to the Army, but women expect the Army to adapt to them. And it does. The male instinct is to keep women happy.
Note that a woman who brings charges of sexual harassment against a man suffers no, or minor, consequences if the charges are found to be unfounded — i.e., made up. A man who lied about a woman’s misbehavior would be sacked. He is accountable. She isn’t.
Yes, large numbers of women are responsible, competent, and agreeable. Few engage in the worst abuses, as for example the fabrication of sexual harassment. Yet they can do these things. A man cannot throw a fit and get his way. A woman can. Only a few need misbehave to poison the air and set society on edge. And the many profit by the misbehaviorof the few.
People will do what they can get away with. Men assuredly will, and so are restrained by law. Women are not. Here is the root of much evil, for society, children, men and, yes, women.
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