Why America needs gentlemen…. and ladies too

The other day I posted a link to a blunt article on feminism’s ruinous effect on boys written by Fred Reed (here), so now I’d like to take a few minutes to wax on about manners and child-rearing, which maybe, is the one topic where I have some real credentials, after spending 18 years as a homemaker.  Children come into this world completely dependent on adults to care for all of their needs and they also come devoid of all those finer virtues, upon which civilization depends.

The ancient Greeks kept their cardinal virtues to four: temperance, prudence, courage, and justice, but with the advent of Christianity, the list grew to seven: chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility.  Of course, many other cultures and religions around the world offer up some varied assortment of similar virtues, although there are some examples, if you care to be an honest observer, where the cultural norms seem to be a mishmash of extremes, allowing barbarism to return and life for the weak in these places becomes a precarious struggle, fraught with danger.

Being the mother of two sons and two daughters and spending many, many hours amongst babies and small children (my own and many others) let’s agree that despite all the feminist bullshit to the contrary, boys and girls are very different and not just in the obvious anatomical sense.  Boys and girls react differently to the world, they play differently and they think differently.

I abhor violence and I refused to buy my sons toy guns when they were very young, thinking that teaching them not to fight is a good thing.  Well, how did that work out?  My sons, even as toddlers, turned everything, even their sister’s Barbie dolls into a weapon of some sort, gun or club, it mattered not.  Boys like actively interacting with their world, often in surprising and destructive ways.

Quickly, I realized my idea had little real merit and as they began to play with other children, it dawned on me that sometimes fighting is the right course of action, especially when confronted by barbarians who lacked parenting and behaved like bullies.  So, my “no fighting” idea needed some refinement and the trickier moral lessons weren’t as simple to teach as I had originally thought.

Sometimes you should fight back.  Finding this point on the scale, between complete pacifism and barbarism, where civilized behavior holds culture’s high ground position and barbarism falls to an outcast behavior, reviled, shunned and unaccepted by the majority of citizens, isn’t etched in stone, but we must agree on a small range on this scale for civilization to advance (or survive in our own sad case).  The sociologists refer to this informal, commonly accepted range of acceptable behavior, as social norms. –>


Filed under American Character, American History, Culture Wars, Food for Thought, Politics

3 responses to “Why America needs gentlemen…. and ladies too

  1. Amen! Indeed, sometimes the diplomatic must yield to the kinetic.

  2. Pingback: “Where have all the gentlemen gone?” | libertybelle diaries

  3. Pingback: Gentlemen: America’s endangered species | libertybelle diaries

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