Feminists are on the warpath… again. They are demanding a “reckoning”, to guarantee women’s safety and equality in the workplace. What they want are more “protections” that meet with the stamp of approval from feminist mouthpieces and the social engineers, many of whom were architects of the current “no sexual rules/no judgment” ethos that led to the present state.
Listening to the feminist punditry, where the total historical illiteracy about how we arrived in the current cultural cesspool, amazes me. The shrieking about “equality” completely misses the point. They are angry that so many men, even those who spout feminist dogma and support feminist political policies, treat women disrespectfully and like sex toys. Many of these feminist mouthpieces spent decades preaching against chivalrous male behavior, against sexual constraints and most especially against judging any sexual behavior as wrong. Now, they want men to behave like gentlemen and to treat them as “equals”.
Men and women aren’t “equal”, they are very different, especially when it comes to impulse control and sex. That is reality. Many social engineers on the Left have been intent on defying human nature and creating imaginary human beings that don’t exist. Their social experiments leave many hurt and confused people in their wake, but just like all utopians, they march ever onward, believing their ideology just hasn’t been tried right yet.
The reality is people are sinful – that is our nature. People function best with clear rules and guidelines. Take away all the rules, especially on sexual conduct, debauchery, and sexual deviancy, and the debasement of society is guaranteed. It isn’t enlightening or liberating to promote a “do whatever you feel like doing” culture, it’s a recipe for societal suicide.
In the late 90s, I purchased a book, Simple Social Graces: The Lost Art of Gracious Victorian Living, written by Linda S. Lichter. I expected a book about things like proper table settings and formal etiquette, but this book was a sociological study of the gradual decline of Victorian culture and a rise of our “let it all hang out” culture. In the introduction Lichter wrote:
“Our century has slammed this code as elitist and divisive. Wrong on both counts. I will show why common courtesy, like common currency, was vital to establishing a strong sense of community and preventing chaos in the ethnically diverse Victorian world. Ironically, our politically correct prescription not only fragments the nation, it is elitist — the alleged Victorian sin. PC practices and politics are the exclusive province of certain victimized groups, whereas the commonness of courtesy makes it all-inclusive. Civility was once considered everyone’s civil right.”
Page 2, Simple Social Graces: The Lost Art of Gracious Victorian Living, by Linda S. Lichter.
Lichter covered a lot of ground in this book explaining Victorian health practices, manners, romance, dating, male/female relationships, child rearing, and the pervasive belief in showing respect for others in all aspects of life. She delved into the underlying cultural beliefs that permeated Victorian society, which often is misunderstood as repressive prudery, but really in the chapter, The Benevolence of Manners, Lichter points out the shift in priorities, noting that etiquette books were widely popular in the nineteenth century and pornography was sold under the counter, while now even the children’s book section has plenty of books about sex and barely any teaching manners. Lichter suggested:
“Because good manners was the main Victorian route to self-improvement, the manners in these books had the force of law –and more. “For instance the law cannot punish a man for habitually staring at people in an insolent and annoying manner,” said one self-proclaimed Guide to True Politeness published in 1866, “but etiquette can banish such an offender from the circles of good society, and fix upon him the brand of vulgarity.” The recovery of civility depends upon reviving the stigma once attached to vulgarity and ranking it as high as “sexist” or “racist” in the scale of social and professional taboos.”
page 75, Simple Social Graces: The Lost Art of Gracious Victorian Living, by Linda S. Lichter.
The cultural shifts away from Victorian values, where building character and civic responsibility reigned supreme, evolved into the modern cult of devotion to self-indulgence in the early 1900s, long before the 1960s sexual revolution. The 60s cultural revolution supplanted all cultural restraints with an ethos of mindless self-gratification, as the highest aspiration in life.
Teaching moral values became controversial since the 1960s and judging certain behaviors, especially sexual behavior, came under attack from the new social arbiters, modern feminists. The decades since the 1960s have been fraught with clashes between conservative Christians, those retrograde clingers to more traditional moral values, and the popular liberal culture dominated by feminists, Hollywood, and leftist American academia.
Leaders on the Left have been forever organizing to protest, march, sit-in and screech about change, always focused on more legislation to propel their social engineering, so don’t expect any guidance from them on morality.
Numerous small insurgencies against the pervasive American popular society, dominated by the 60s social architects, gained sizable followings. Most of those cultural insurgencies centered on charlatans in the political Right, preaching “family values” or Tea Party champions like Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck. These movements centered on the personalities of these leaders and were geared toward these leaders shamelessly hawking merchandise, books and using endless gimmicks to make a lot of money. Even the Evangelical movement in America is dominated by a cult of personality, with their mega-churches, political groups, and television stardom being more important than preaching about moral values or leading by example.
In 2016, America elected a leader who has made vulgarity his “winning” brand. Droves of these moralizers from America’s morality movement gleefully boarded the Trump train without reservation, tossing their morals out the window in favor of politically expedient binary-thinking. The Trump Make America Great Again cult believes that supporting Trump is more important than morals or principles. They believe that Trump is America’s last best hope and are fully committed to “In Trump We Trust”, no matter what.
When you think the American cultural morass can’t get any worse, this latest “national conversation” on sexual harassment and sexual assault has moved the bar even lower. The extreme partisanship, thriving on morally corrosive binary-thinking, has pushed partisans to a point of complete abdication of ethical standards. In recent days, there are evangelical pastors willing to champion a man in his thirties accused of molesting a 14 year-old girl. Some of these pastors have not only stated they don’t believe the accusations against Moore, but have expressed the belief that even if Moore had molested a young girl, it doesn’t matter. One pastor stated that some 14 year olds look 20, so if Moore had molested her, it was her own fault. The governor of Alabama, a woman, has come out and said she believes the women’s allegations against Moore, but she will still vote for him, because of getting judges confirmed in the Senate. On the Left, there are feminists already crafting updated “one free grope” talking points, to rationalize keeping Democrats accused of sexual assault in office, because although their behavior is bad, these politicians “support” feminist issues.
So, basically, on both sides, who cares about character or morality, it’s the partisan political issues that supersede all other considerations.
Sadly, the problems of racism and sexism appear to be growing and millions of Americans, on the left and right, celebrate the most vulgar, sexually provocative behavior and gleefully react like rabid sports fans over every media sensationalized political controversy. In this media-driven reality TV political environment everything in America is now a scorched earth partisan political sideshow.
We have no common values or shared beliefs anymore. Only more scorched earth attacks trying to expose and destroy as many of the opposing partisans as possible and always more Tweet storms.
Millions of partisans on both sides believed the 2016 election was a binary choice for America. They believed that America’s very survival depended on either Hillary or Trump, because, God forbid, the one they opposed would assuredly lead America to ruin.
America is about much larger ideals and beliefs than any one person.
Here’s the truth, if America’s future ever depends on one person to save it; we are doomed!
America depends on “we the people” committed to supporting and defending The Constitution. One person can’t save America or destroy it, but all of us can work to find some common ground, some common ideals, some common aspirations.
In the end, America’s future depends on what we believe. Hopefully, we can find our way beyond cults of personality and rabid partisan politics to retrace our steps and find our way toward believing in values and principles larger than Republican or Democrat partisan politics.
Perhaps we can find our way toward believing in being good citizens again. Here again, Lichter’s book on “simple social graces” explained:
“What were the nuts and bolts of the remarkable code that sustained the lawfulness and civility we associate with the Victorian era? It had a broad and inclusive religious foundation that was a far cry from Bible-thumping moralism. It stressed hard work, frugality, sobriety, honesty, civic responsibility, sexual decency, good deeds, self-restraint and self-sacrifice.”
page 8, Simple Social Graces: The Lost Art of Gracious Victorian Living, by Linda S. Lichter.
Even a few sips of that Victorian tea would be truly refreshing…