Feminists are set on making us all victims | Comment | The Times

Image result for women oppressed iran

MeToo protests on behalf of free and privileged women, ignoring those who are truly powerless.

Source: Feminists are set on making us all victims | Comment | The Times

It is refreshing and, to be honest, more than a little bit of a relief, to see a woman in the position of a relatively mainstream commentator like Melanie Phillips making the points she makes in this essay. It is not necessary to – as indeed, she does not – deny the fact that some men, sometimes, have behaved abhorrently and even criminally badly, to perceive that some of the allegations and assertions being made by the feminist Left are not only overstated, but in many cases cruelly wrong. Such vitriol does no good to either men or women, nor to society as a whole.

“Sophie Walker actually claimed that we were living in a patriarchy. [Yet] Britain has a woman prime minister, a woman home secretary, a woman director of public prosecutions, a woman head of the Supreme Court, a woman running the Metropolitan Police. Political parties have all-women shortlists. Education has been feminised through collaborative coursework and the denigration of competition.

For many women, men have been reduced to little more than sperm donors and walking wallets. They have been told that all the characteristics or roles they value so highly such as valour, leadership or breadwinning are dangerous, pathetic or demeaning.

“All this is apparently irrelevant. Declared Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws, QC — a member of the UK legislature, principal of Mansfield College, Oxford and former chairwoman of the Genetics Commission, the Power Commission and the British Council: ‘Power is coded male.’ Should one laugh or cry?”

Meanwhile, as “the great protest against their own alleged victimisation and oppression is being mounted by women in the West, the most free, most independent, most educated and most wealthy women in the world today and in the history of the human race,” Ms Phillips points out,

“There are indeed women who really are powerless and institutionally victimised by men. Yet no MeToo movement has sprung up to protest against their oppression. What is the feminist reaction to women victimised by Sharia, subjected to female genital mutilation or “honour” killings or stoned to death for adultery? Silence. What is the feminist reaction to the Iranian women ripping off their headscarves and putting their lives on the line to get rid of the clerical regime that tyrannises them? Silence. What is the feminist reaction to the poor white girls of Telford or Rotherham who have been pimped, raped and enslaved by mostly Pakistani-heritage Muslim gangs? Silence.”

It is, quite frankly, an outrage.

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Research: The Industrial Revolution Left Psychological Scars That Can Still Be Seen Today

https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-351127818a4223de67ee15ed3b79278c-c

Our research shows that a region’s historical industries leave a lasting imprint on the local psychology, which remains even when those industries are no longer dominant or have almost completely disappeared.

Source: Research: The Industrial Revolution Left Psychological Scars That Can Still Be Seen Today | Harvard Business Review

I have long believed, and occasionally commented, that industrialization (and I would include its close ally, urbanization, since the two are closely and perhaps inextricably linked) is an unnatural and therefore intrinsically harmful condition for human beings. This study tends to give credence to that belief.

I certainly concur with its conclusion, that “the effect of the Industrial Revolution seems to be more toxic and far-reaching than previously thought. While massive industrialization brought unprecedented technological and economic progress, it also left a [negative] psychological legacy that continues to shape the personality traits and well-being of people currently in these regions.”

It is true that some people seem to thrive in urban environments. But if you look at the phenomenon closer, I believe you will discover that most, if not all, of these are people who occupy a sufficiently high socio-economic bracket that urban living is a choice, not a necessity – that is, they come to the city, or even live there, for the cultural and other amenities, but are able to escape to less-congested areas on a regular basis – or whose personality is such that the more diverse and intense opportunities found in urban areas outweigh the more negative aspects.

(Or, in some cases, who are highly predatory, and find urban areas to be an amenable hunting ground!)

Also, at least in the United States, most urban areas these days are post-industrial, the U.S. having – for better or for worse – managed to “off-shore” or automate a lot of its heavy manufacturing and other industrial production; so that the worst effects of the industrial era, from extreme pollution to grinding assembly-line work, are largely things of the past.

That does not make urban living benign, however. For most people, most of the time, studies have shown repeatedly that urban environments have more negative effects – psycho-emotionally, physiologically, and even cognitively – than more natural areas. Indeed, there is a large and growing body of research conclusively demonstrating the benefits of nature on physical and mental health and overall well-being.

I am reminded of G.M. Trevelyan’s warning that,

“We are literally children of the earth, and removed from her our spirits wither or run to various forms of insanity. Unless we can refresh ourselves at least by intermittent contact with nature, we grow awry.”

Indeed.

The Catholic Lady: Desiring Beauty

Source: The Catholic Lady: Desiring Beauty

https://anglophilicanglican.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/8eade-frankwestonbenson.jpg?w=258&h=320
 Beautiful clothing encourages us to contemplate God in the beauty and order of the universe.
Painting by Frank Weston Benson.

Wow! Sometimes I run across something that is, if not exactly and completely new to me, at least allows me to look at things in a new and exciting way. This is such a post! The Catholic Lady writes,

“Beauty, as St. Thomas says, is objective and has four attributes: truth, goodness, oneness and symmetry.  Beauty, when comprised of these qualities, directs us to God.”

This I had missed – I am not a Thomistic scholar, though, so there’s probably a lot in The Angelic Doctor’s writings that I’ve missed. It makes perfect sense, though, as St. Thomas Aquinas’s thought tends to. Reminds me of the Three Transcendentals – Goodness, Truth, and Beauty – which are all attributes of the “Ultimate Transcendental,” namely, God! At any rate, she goes on to ask,

“But what is the style of Christian civilization?

And answers:

“The style at the heights of Christian civilization is undeniably beautiful and uplifting to the spirit. It directs the soul to God rather then confining it to superficial worldly indulgence.”

Yes – that is one of the chief virtues of the great cathedrals, Gregorian chant, and other exemplars of classical Christian art: they lift the thoughts, the attention, the heart, and through them, the spirit, to the contemplation of heavenly things. But I hadn’t thought of applying the same reasoning to clothing styles – yet it makes so much sense:

“Beautiful clothing encourages us to contemplate God in the beauty and order of the universe. It represent the supernatural virtues of Faith, Hope, Charity, Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance. These virtues combined with the desire in our souls to do good and avoid evil, govern Christian society and also form the basis of beautiful design. Beauty is literally graceful because it comes into our lives through the infusion of Supernatural virtue.”

“Beauty is literally grace-full” (emphasis added) – again, wow! True beauty is graceful, because it is full of God’s grace. And then she goes on to apply those Thomistic qualities to it – again, taking it to a level I had not contemplated, previously:

Truth can be seen in clothing that identifies the wearer as a man or woman, his status and occupation, even his character and family. Goodness is in the quality materials and fine workmanship, and in the modesty that respects the natural virtues. Oneness is in the completeness of the ensemble and the way it matches in an ordered way. Symmetry is the proportion, consistency and uniformity that comprise it.

“This can be applied to everything: music and architecture, furnishings in the home, work and crafts, words and manners, meals and dinner tables, beautiful prayers and good reading. Local traditions sustain cultural beauty in holidays, ceremonies and ways of being that began long ago when people turned to God and received a flow of grace to generations. This realization makes us love and keep alive tradition. Beauty is expressed in many cultures and is diverse since God’s creation is immense. However, beauty cannot go against the natural order.”

Indeed. Something which does, may (perhaps) be clever, or interesting, or thought-provoking, or challenging (or disturbing!), or something along those lines. But not beautiful.

“Beauty lifts the spirit above what is purely functional to the realm of spiritual satisfaction in our quest for the Supernatural.  How can we not constantly marvel at and reach for the heights of beauty to fill up our minds and souls with the contemplation of God?”

How can we not, indeed? Yet, like the modern taste-buds, that are so used to “hyper-palatable” foods laden with salt, sugar, MSG, etc., that they have to be re-trained to appreciate healthful foods and natural flavors, so our aesthetic sensibilities are often numbed almost to the point of becoming insensate by the images of modern media, both entertainment and advertising, with which they are constantly bombarded.

But this is encouraging. It’s worth being reminded that beauty is not, necessarily or entirely, “in the eye of the beholder”; that just as there are objective standards of truth and morality, there are also objective standards of beauty.

And once again, we see the Three Transcendentals – Truth, Goodness, and Beauty – inserting themselves into the conversation! That connection was not planned, not by me. But very apt, nonetheless! A moment of synchronicity… or, perhaps, of Divine Providence.

And with that, I shall close these musings, for the night!

The world’s most noble profession!

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QOTD:

So many women aspire to satisfying other men’s ambitions/corporations with their best talents and energy and then return home spent with little TLC left for husbands and children. I appreciate women who choose the very noble profession of stay at home mom. They truly make a difference in this world.

— Jeff Pearson

And yes, I know not every woman has that option. My heart grieves for those who would like to choose this most noble profession, but for a variety of valid reasons (often, in today’s world, economic), cannot. I have a massive amount of respect for those women who do what needs to be done – even if that means working multiple jobs – to support their children / families.

But for each of them, there is at least another one – and very likely more than one – who could stay at home and be a full-time wife, mother, and homemaker, but chooses not to… perhaps for valid reasons, but just as likely because she has bought into what Chesterton referred to as “a muddled idea that women are free when they serve their employers but slaves when they help their husbands.”

I grieve for them, too, but in a very different way.

One more quote on this subject, this one by Chelsea Brauwn:

“Being a wife & mother may be the hardest job I’ve ever had but it is definitely the most rewarding job in the world.

“Mothers have the most important role in the world. We are responsible for raising our future! We are their encouragement, supporters, nurturers and the ones they should be able to go to when everyone else fails them. Their success is our success & their failures are our failures.

“Raising our own children and being a mother shouldn’t seem like a burden, it is the greatest privilege anyone could be given. We get to watch all of our hard work grow into happy, successful people with the capability to accomplish all of their dreams, with the morals and values that we set.

“Behind every Pastor, Doctor, Lawyer and President is a mother who refused to give up on them. No one else can replace, fill or substitute the duty of a mother & I refuse to let anyone else do my job.”

What is Maundy Thursday 2018? The meaning behind Holy Thursday, the Last Supper and how the Queen marks occasion | Mirror Online

Her Majesty The Queen, and The Duke of Edinburgh, at the Royal Maundy Service at Blackburn Cathedral.

Her Majesty takes part in the ancient Royal Maundy Thursday service, where she will distribute coins

Source: What is Maundy Thursday 2018? The meaning behind Holy Thursday, the Last Supper and how the Queen marks occasion | Mirror Online

A brief synopsis, from this article:

Also called Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Sheer Thursday and Thursday of Mysteries, Maundy Thursday marks the beginning of the three day celebration of Easter, an important time in the Christian calendar.

The day comes before Good Friday, and this year it has fallen on March 29.

It commemorates the last supper of Jesus Christ, when Christians believe he shared bread and wine with his disciples.

According to the Bible, Jesus also washed the feet of his followers and commanded them to love each other.

The word Maundy comes from the Latin word ‘mandatum’, meaning command.

How is Maundy Thursday marked in the UK?

The Queen will mark Maundy Thursday by distributing alms as part of a tradition dating back to the 13th century.

She will be accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh for the service at Leicester Cathedral where the Maundy Money will be distributed to 91 men and 91 women – representing each of her 91 years.

The 182 recipients of the Maundy money are senior citizens who will be given the gifts in recognition of the service they have given to the church and their local area.

Wishing all of my Christian readers – English or not! – a holy and blessed Maundy Thursday, and remainder of this Sacred Triduum.

Largest Christian university opens ‘sophisticated’ gun range for students | Fox News

The Liberty University shooting team holds their first competition vs. James Madison University on at the new Liberty Mountain Gun Club on February 3, 2018.

Liberty University does it right: “As schools nationwide debate on how to keep firearms away from their campus, Liberty University opened a multimillion-dollar gun range Monday for student activities and hosting competitions.”

Source: Largest Christian university opens ‘sophisticated’ gun range for students | Fox News

As I have commented elsewhere, the best way to deal with gun violence is precisely to train citizens, from childhood and youth on up, in the safe, legal, and responsible handling of firearms. It might be worth considering the wisdom of the Scriptures, here:

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

The passage – found in Proverbs 22:6 (KJV) – is referring specifically to religious and moral training, of course, but it applies quite well in this case (particularly since decisions on how and when to use firearms are, in fact, moral decisions).

The lure of the forbidden, combined with the very negative and irresponsible examples of firearms use portrayed in the media (including movies and video games), makes it all the more important to provide youth and young adults with appropriate training and role models to counter the pernicious influences of a culture which has, in may respects, lost its way.

[It’s a bit of an aside to this, but I do find it interesting that many if not most of the celebrities – actors and musicians – who are most vociferous in their opposition to firearms would probably be indignant or worse at the idea that we should tone down those elements of, say, rap “music,” video games, or movies that glamorize the amoral or immoral portrayal of firearms violence by “heroes” and anti-heroes.]

Liberty U. is certainly going about this in a big way:

“The lower part of the 600-acre, state-of-the-art gun range has rifle, pistol, and three-gun ranges in a valley located on the other side of Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre, a year-round ski and snowboard slope, and at the top has shotgun venues, which include skeet, trap and sporting clay facilities…

“Liberty is now the only campus with a venue fit for all Olympic shooting sports and it hopes to be one of the most luxurious facilities in the world once the project is fully completed.”

Brad Butler, planning coordinator for the University, quotes current university president Jerry Falwell, Jr., and his father, founder Jerry Falwell, Sr., as considering it axiomatic that “if it’s Christian, it ought to be better.” In this, I am reminded of my mother’s saying that we should strive to “put our best foot forward” in all that we do.

So kudos to Liberty Christian University for its stance, and its accomplishment with this! They’re doing it right.

These teens were shooting as others were protesting guns

 

Source: These teens were shooting as others were protesting guns | Yahoo News

“This .22 Rimfire Silhouette Exhibition Match had been scheduled long before 17 people were killed at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and therefore long before the survivors of that rampage had sparked a national protest movement. But even if this daylong test of marksmanship wasn’t deliberate counter-programming, it did provide an illuminating counterpoint.

“There has been much talk since Parkland of the younger generation — the one that grew up hearing of shootings in other schools and participating in shooter drills at their own — and of how those teenagers are changing the conversation about guns. But every American generation is as multifaceted as the country itself, and the 44 high schoolers who took up their rifles in Georgia as their counterparts took up microphones in Washington also have something to say.

“No doubt a lot of this generation doesn’t think we need to have guns,” said Cole Cook, a ninth grader from Barstow County who has been shooting since his father first taught him at the age of 6. “I think they’re wrong. And I’m part of this generation too.”

This is the point that the contemporary American (and Western, generally) Left does not seem to be able to grasp – or willing to admit: that they are not the sole socio-political and moral gate-keepers of our society; that there are many people who are both intelligent and of good will who simply do not agree with their take on matters.

And despite the attention being given to protesters these days, a lot of the younger generation “gets” this!

Given this reality, along with the simple fact that there is an inherent natural right to bear arms in our own defense – as enumerated, not granted, by the Second Amendment, and confirmed by (inter alia) District of Columbia vs Heller – we should tread very gently indeed when it comes to laws and regulations that would further limit that right.

The best way to deal with gun violence is precisely this: to train citizens, from childhood on up, in the safe, legal, and responsible handling of firearms.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

– Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)