Jordan Peterson provides a little perspective on “the patriarchy” and “male dominance”

Dr. Peterson is a controversial figure, no doubt about it; but he frequently says things that are worth listening to. This is one of those times.

Update: The original clip I linked to seems to have disappeared. Instead, I am linking to a Daily Wire article which features a link to the full-length interview. Here is a transcript (from that post) of the section I highlighted in my original post:

Peterson takes on [GQ interviewer] Lewis’ claim that western civilization is still a “male-dominated society.”

“Our culture confuses men’s desire for achievement and competence with the patriarchal desire for tyrannical power. And that’s a big mistake,” says Peterson (comments start around the 4:00 mark). Lewis uses this comment as a jumping off point for the discussion of Peterson’s arguments against the modern feminist concept of the patriarchy as a “male-dominated society.” When she asks him to define what he means by patriarchy, Peterson responds with a question: “Well, in what sense is our society male-dominated?”

“The fact that the vast majority of wealth is owned by men, the vast majority of capital is owned by men, women do more unpaid labor…” Lewis replies.

“That’s a very tiny of proportion of men,” Peterson interjects. “A huge proportion of people who are seriously disaffected are men; most people in prison are men; most people who are on the street are men; most victims of violent crime are men; most people who commit suicide are men; most people who die in wars are men; people who do worse in school are men. Where’s the dominance here, precisely? What you are doing is taking a tiny substrata of hyper-successful men and using that to represent the entire structure of Western society. There’s nothing about that that’s vaguely appropriate.”

I agree.

But Lewis isn’t ready to give up. She goes on (this transcript is lightly edited from a Red State blog-post),

[Lewis] “But I could say equally that most rape victims are women.”

[Peterson] “You could say that… but that doesn’t provide any evidence… of a male-dominated patriarchy.”

[Lewis] “But there are almost no women who rape men…”

N.B. This is not entirely true, by the way! A recent (2017) article appearing in Scientific Ameican, among others, notes that “the CDC’s nationally representative data revealed that over one year, men and women were equally likely to experience nonconsensual sex, and most male victims reported female perpetrators.” But back to Lewis and Peterson:

[Peterson] “Well, yes…but that doesn’t mean that Western culture is a male-dominated patriarchy. The fact that there are asymmetries has nothing to do with your basic argument. This is a trope that people just accept: Western society is a male-dominated patriarchy… No, it’s not. That’s not true.”

Indeed. The fact is that, while some “asymmetries” or inequalities may remain, there is not and probably never has been in history a society in which there is more equality between the sexes than in the modern West. I am sorry to put it so harshly, but anyone who fails to realize that has blinders on.

Now, one can argue, and some have, as to whether or not this often-enforced “equality” (if the modern West is dominated by anyone, it is the “liberal” Left, and its ideological presuppositions and agendas) is necessarily and always a good thing! But the idea that we are a male-dominated patriarchy simply does not bear scrutiny. That is a straw-man created to further the Left’s desire for still more and greater power.

Read the articles, watch the video, and draw your own conclusions!

“For The Ladies” (and Gentlemen) | Be A Southern Gentleman

Source: Be A Southern Gentleman – For The Ladies (and Gentlemen)

Stephen Clay McGehee, a good friend of The Anglophilic Anglican, writes on his excellent blog “Be A Southern Gentleman,”

“Over the years, I have received several emails from ladies wanting tips on how and where to find a Southern gentleman. Southern gentlemen are few and far-between in today’s society, and ladies who want what marriage should be, who want a husband who will honor and cherish her and treat her like his queen, will be looking for a way to meet them. That is exactly how it should be, and those Southern gentlemen are certainly looking for those same Southern ladies. There is no magic formula to make this happen, but perhaps we can pass along a few ideas that may help.”

I am myself seeking a Southern lady – although I would be open to one from another geographic region, if she shared the same attributes and values! – and so I found this very interesting. Perhaps others may as well.

modest-yet-alluring
English actress Hermione Corfield demonstrating how it is possible to dress tastefully and still look attractive, even alluring.

Stephen sketches out general categories such as “Networking,” “Outward Appearance,” “Activities,” “Manners, Etiquette, and Lifestyle” (the first two, in particular, seeming to be almost unknown – or at least, held in little esteem – in today’s world), and includes “A few other notes.” I particularly liked his penultimate comment in this section:

“If all of this sounds too submissive or weak or ‘Goody Two Shoes’ for you, then do yourself and Southern gentlemen a favor and realize that you are not a good match. Southern gentlemen and ladies are both quite rare. There is a reason for that.”

Of equal interest (to me, anyway, being a gentleman rather than a lady) to Stephen’s original blog post is the response from a self-described “single lady” named Nancy, who describes “some of what I look for in a man, as a potential husband/partner.”

What is especially interesting to me is that among the ten characteristics she lists as being important to her, being a “ripped hunk with abs of steel,” or being a multimillionaire, do not make the list.

So what does she look for?

She does (understandably) seek someone who leads “a basically healthy lifestyle,” and who is “neat, clean, and tidy” (“Are his cloths neat? Does he wear anything beyond t-shirts and sweat pants? Are his hair, mustache, and beard neatly trimmed? Does he have good hygiene practices?”) – but assuming she is being honest in her assessment, she’s not looking for a superman or a movie star.

Instead, she seeks characteristics like “Does he have a pleasant sense of humor? Is he comfortable in his own skin? How does he treat me? Does he seem concerned about my happiness and welfare? Does he have anger issues? Is he ‘father material’?”

These, with the rest of her list, are characteristics that a young woman might profitably consider, as she seeks a man – and which a man might profitably seek to foster, if he seeks a decent, respectable, and worthy woman to be his sweetheart and eventual wife.

This 1897 Text Gives 3 Clues Why Today’s Students Can’t Write | Intellectual Takeout

This 1897 Text Gives 3 Clues Why Today’s Students Can’t Write

Would we see American writing ability increase if these three elements were restored to the classroom?

Source: This 1897 Text Gives 3 Clues Why Today’s Students Can’t Write | Intellectual Takeout

Contemporary American society is suffering from a number of maladies, but one of the root issues is lack of literacy. I mean “literacy” in the full sense: not that people can’t read texts, “tweets,” memes, and maybe even blog posts, but that far too many do not seem to be able to in-depth, quality works of prose (and poetry), comprehending and interpreting the meaning (of which there may be several levels) and significance of them. And of course, that makes them much less capable writers, too: the other piece of the literacy puzzle. It’s one thing to understand; its another to share that understanding with others.

This is not just my perception, either; as this essay points out,

“[In late 2015] the Nation’s Report Card announced that no more than 40% of America’s 4th and 8th graders are proficient in reading and math. Those are scary numbers, but the numbers for writing are even more frightening: only 27% of American 8th and 12th graders attained proficiency.”

Now, I admit to a personal bias, here; but I would argue that it is perfectly possible to be a good, informed, and productive citizen without being particularly proficient in math (so long as one is not in a technical or scientific field which requires it).

But I would also argue that it is much more difficult, to the point of impossibility, to be a good, informed, and productive citizen – at least, of a representative, Constitutional, democratic republic such as we have – without having a pretty good grasp of literacy: that is, of reading and writing.

My late grandfather used to say, “if you can read, you can learn anything.” He was quite correct; but the corollary to that is that if you cannot read, you cannot learn much of anything – unless it’s something that can be taught entirely by video, and there are technological and practical limitations to that which do not exist with books.

And of course, if you cannot read well, you cannot write well, either; for the second flows directly from the first. And if you cannot write well, your ability to express yourself in nearly any topic – even in our technological age – will be severely curtailed. It is remarkable how text-heavy we still are, from “tweets” to blog posts like this one! It is also remarkable how poor-quality much of this writing actually is.

But perhaps there are steps we can take to improve the situation. As the essay notes, American schools, students, and even adults regularly violate three principles which Dr. Edwin Lewis deemed (1897) essential to the writing process. So what are these three principles?

1) They don’t read high-quality literature – and they don’t read it aloud. Here’s Dr. Lewis on the subject:

“One of the quickest ways of learning to know good English, is oral reading… If the student reads aloud from writers whose work was natural, unforced, original, he will gradually come to see his own ideas more clearly, feel his own feelings more keenly.”

2) They skim. “Speed-reading” was all the rage when I was in school, back in the 1970s and ’80s, but reading more is not necessarily reading better – or even, reading well at all. As Dr. Lewis pointed out,

“To get at the thoughts and really to retain the valuable expressions, the student must scrutinize and ponder as he reads. Each word must be thoroughly understood; its exact value in the given sentence must be grasped.”

3) They don’t memorize. Rote memorization has been in bad odor for decades; it certainly was in my school days. But allowing quality writing to sink into the memory is absolutely essential to giving a person the functional database that they can use to express their own thoughts in a creative, cogent, and intelligent manner. Dr. Lewis again:

“To the habit of memorizing, many a person is indebted not merely for high thoughts that cheer hours of solitude and that stimulate his own thinking, but for command of words.”

Both reading and writing may seem a touch passé in the present era; it is fashionable to push “STEM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education, these days. And in the technological world in which we live, I do not doubt the utility of these fields.

But I think we would be better off as a society if we emphasized a complete, well-rounded education that laid particular stress on the ability to explore and understand a wide range of concepts – scientific and technological, yes, but also historical, cultural, political, and philosophical – through the tools of reading and writing about them.

To put the matter in a slightly tongue-in-cheek fashion,

Image result for science vs humanities meme dinosaurs

Q.E.D.!

How powerful is the Queen? | The British Royalists

Source: How Powerful is the Queen? | The British Royalists

“The Queen is actually the most powerful woman in the world. The Crown wields power over the judiciary, the government, Parliament, the military and the civil service. It is the constitution’s balancing factor and binds the great offices of state together.

“Despite the Queen having many constitutional duties, she is also a custodian of the past, a moral and religious leader, a trustee of the future, a national unifier and a constitutional arbitrator.”

Although the British Monarchy is famously non-political – under the British system of Parliamentary monarchy, the monarch “reigns, but does not rule” – one occasionally hears talk of “the Royal Prerogative.” The precise extent and limitations of that Royal Prerogative are not widely known (perhaps only a handful know their full extent), but this article gives a pretty good idea of the power Her Majesty could wield, if she chose to do so… as well as why she generally does not. Most interesting!

God save The Queen! Health and long life to Her Majesty. Long may she reign!