The death of gentlemen

cad:

dated, informal 

Watching Hollywood actresses denounce Harvey Weinstein, coupled with the photos and videos of many of these same actresses smiling and sharing warm embraces with Weinstein, when it benefitted their acting careers, showcases the hypocrisy of the elite Left perfectly.  To see the hypocrisy of the Right, listen to blowhards like Sean Hannity rail about Weinstein and the Hollywood cover-up of his behavior, while pretending that President Trump was a victim of the media, when the Access Hollywood tape, where Trump bragged about grabbing women by their lady parts, was released.

The truth is there is not a hairsbreadth of difference between the behavior of Weinstein, Trump, Bill Clinton, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly.  They used their power and position to prey on women.

The most entertaining explanation of Weinstein’s behavior is Emma Thompson, with her lovely English accent:

Thompson, like many feminists, is using this example of men behaving badly as a rallying cry to attack the “male patriarchy” again.  They hit the airwaves to rally women, and men, to stop this form of “extreme masculinity” and demand that women stand up against behavior like Weinstein’s.

It’s time for a historical reality check.

The so-called “male patriarchy” is not what enabled Harvey Weinstein to behave as he did.  Power and money did.  A whole lot of people around Weinstein, to include many women, knew about his behavior and helped cover it up.  However, the larger cultural reasons behind this growing list of powerful men engaging in behavior Thompson dubbed “extreme masculinity” stems from over a century of loosening of sexual  behavior, largely fueled by modern feminism.

Along with women burning their bras in the 60s, they burned down all those traditional boundaries, that guided sexual behavior.  Men who clung to gentlemanly behavior were derided by feminists in the early days of the feminist movement in 1960s. Modern feminism killed off chivalry and gentlemanly behavior, as the cultural norm for male behavior.

In the 1800s  American women had a great deal more independence and freedom than women in the rest of the world.  DeTocqueville noted this in his travels across America in 1831 and accounts of women traveling alone around America, throughout the 1800s, are not hard to find.  Women felt safe to travel alone, without fear of being accosted, because the culture defined a strict code of male behavior, which demanded gentlemanly behavior toward women.  Women did not have to fight “extreme masculinity”, because the so-called “male patriarchy” instilled in boys how to treat a lady.  Men policed other men’s behavior around women, without ladies having to march, protest or even lift a finger.   Men who broke the code were ostracized from polite society.

Feminists send off a mixed message when it comes to relations between men and women.  Let me correct that, the current push for “transgender rights” has now muddied the distinctions about gender to the point where some of the most extreme social justice warriors want the very terms male and female to become obsolete.  In this sort of jumbled, often contradictory, moral vacuum, where right and wrong exist only in doing whatever one feels like doing, feminists flounder about looking for where to point the finger of blame.

The blame goes to a modern culture that has no agreed upon social boundaries when it comes to, not only sexual conduct, but to civil conduct, in general.  Good manners is a term as antiquated as the simple English word that describes Weinstein’s behavior: cad.

We live in a society where people make excuses for every sort of bad human behavior, often categorizing the most extreme deviancies as “addictions”, absolving the perpetrators of all personal responsibility.  News that Weinstein was entering treatment for his “sex addiction” followed the typical pattern for badly behaving celebrities trying to redeem their public reputation.  Just shameless media and legal posturing for sympathy rather than any admittance of wrongdoing and hey, it’s an “addiction’, which he has no control over, right?

In the absence of boundaries on individual conduct, a code of conduct, based on values we all agree are worth living up to, there’s no common ground upon which social norms can take root and grow.

Even the simple word cad, to describe someone like Weinstein, is, as Oxford lists it, “dated”.  Oxford’s list of synonyms for cad sound equally old-fashioned: scoundrel, rascal, good-for-nothing, reprobate, unprincipled person.

So, we are left with euphemisms tossed about by angry feminists, blaming remnants of the “male patriarchy” for “extreme masculinity” to explain the problem.

The truth is the sexual revolution, which modern feminists helped fight, killed gentlemen as the social norm for acceptable male conduct and the world is much worse off without them.

We need gentlemen, and ladies, to restore civility to our culture.  That requires agreeing on boundaries on individual conduct.  It requires agreeing on some common values.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Americans to find common ground on… anything.

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Filed under American Character, Culture Wars, General Interest, Uncategorized

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