Male Physical Decline: Masculinity Is Threatened | National Review (… with some thoughts on what to do about it)

Studies suggest that young American males are physically weaker than previous cohorts.

Source: Male Physical Decline: Masculinity Is Threatened | National Review

I see this just in shaking hands with my male driver education students: many of them – too many of them – have the limp, “cold fish” handshake we used to associate with “girly men,” even when they are not obviously effeminate. Not all, thankfully! But many, especially among (I am sorry to say) my fellow Caucasians. And as this article points out, grip strength is just one marker of physical (and perhaps cultural) decline, but it’s a significant one. It is certainly a traditional marker of masculinity.

Is it any wonder that more Caucasian women are starting to heed the blandishments of a socially-engineering media (and their fellow-travelers in the academic and political worlds), and beginning to choose potential mates from other cultures, that are doing a better job of hanging onto the markers of masculinity than we often are?

It doesn’t have to be this way. It is a choice we make, and we can make other choices. For example: David French’s childhood was a mirror of my own… although I never liked Shannara, it was too obviously a rip-off of Tolkien. 😉 And while I did not change the family cars’ oil-filters on weekends, I did mow the lawn, rake the leaves, help with the gardening and pruning, shovel snow off the driveway, clean the gutters, clean the bathrooms, and do much else that contributed directly to the smooth running of the household.

I may not always have liked it, but I did it! And in the process, I learned both practical skills and the art of self-discipline – that sometimes it’s necessary to do things we may not enjoy, if it contributes to the common or long-term good – as well as exercised my body in the process.

I also, when not building plastic models, reading WW II books (or the Tolkien and McCaffrey French mentions), or playing D&D, was outside – hiking (even if I didn’t call it that, then), sledding, building forts, clearing trails, playing war, building and launching model rockets, exploring streams and marshes, playing pick-up games of tackle football, and yes, shooting: originally slingshots, then “graduating” to Daisy BB guns, Crossman air-rifles, and eventually .22s.

I was a Boy Scout, later in a “High Adventure” Explorer Post, where I did still more hiking, backpacking, canoeing, and much else. From my reading, I developed an interest in survival, and traditional skills, that continues today. I learned to make cordage, form pots from river clay, start fires with flint and steel (and later bow-drill), build a debris shelter, use a Dutch oven, and eventually (as an adult) to tan a deer-hide and shape a working bow out of a hickory stave. I learned how to cook over an open campfire – and how to clean up, afterwards.

In short, I learned to be a boy, which is the crucial first step in learning to be a man. Continue reading “Male Physical Decline: Masculinity Is Threatened | National Review (… with some thoughts on what to do about it)”

“A gun behind the door, logs in the fireplace, and children in the cradle…”

Gun behind the door

Truth.

Alas, I am not there yet. But I long to be! And God willing, I will be, one day.

This reminds me strongly of a favorite song by Jethro Tull – “Fires at Midnight”:

“I believe in fires at midnight
When the dogs have all been fed.
A golden toddy on the mantle
A broken gun beneath the bed…”

Wendell Berry on children and Nature

More excellence from Artaman: The Hyperborean Garden… and this time, author Wendell Berry, one of my favorite writers!

“Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives.”

– Thomas Berry


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Don’t Mock Mike Pence For Protecting His Marriage, Commend Him

Liberals were horrified to learn that Mike Pence doesn’t dine alone with women who aren’t his wife and doesn’t drink if she’s not around. They shouldn’t be.

Source: Don’t Mock Mike Pence For Protecting His Marriage, Commend Him

Vice President Mike Pence sets clear boundaries, to protect the integrity of his marriage, and to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. For this, he is mocked and insulted by people on the Left. So, pussy hats and slut-walks are acceptable, but treating one’s marriage as the sacred thing it is, is not? All rightie, then… I wish I could honestly say I was surprised.

“Anyway, is Mike Pence a monster for not dining privately with women who are not his wife? What about not boozing it up at parties unless his wife is around? Not only is he not a monster, he sounds like he’s a smart man who understands that infidelity is something that threatens every marriage and must be guarded against…

“Infidelity destroys intimacy, happiness, and marriages themselves. But it happens because of the strong temptation that exists every day for most healthy people. When marriages end, the associated costs are financial, emotional, and physical. Divorce tends to be hard on men, women, and children. It harms economic and health outcomes for children, and decreases women’s standard of living over the course of their lifetimes. Guarding against it is smart…

“If divorce rates weren’t sky-high and if infidelity weren’t a problem faced by millions of couples, mocking Pence for the means by which he keeps his marriage intact might make more sense. Heck, if the human condition weren’t such that we all find it difficult to do the right thing, the mockery also might make sense.

“As it is, Pence’s smart tactics for avoiding the kind of marital failure that could destroy him, his wife, their family, and the lives of those around them is to be commended and celebrated.”

Emotional Connection: How to Get the Sex Life of Your Dreams

What is the one thing we want and need most in relationships?

If you said sex … you’re wrong.

Source: Emotional Connection: How to Get the Sex Life of Your Dreams

While the headline speaks of sex – it’s no secret that “sex sells” – this is really about more than just sexuality; it’s about the importance of emotional connection, intimacy, and commitment:

Recent studies have shown that people who have the highest sexual satisfaction and the most sex are married couples. This statistic defeats the commonly held notion that intimacy for couples must decrease with time, and that novel sexual encounters are the most satisfying.

In the context of a committed relationship, it is not novelty that determines satisfaction, but emotional connection.

The deeper you are able to connect with your partner emotionally, the more dynamic your sexual experience will be. The greater your emotional connection is with your partner, the more in tune you will be with their physical and sexual needs as well.  Emotional connection requires the most sensitivity of any of our needs, so it is the most important connection to practice.

Since it’s difficult to develop a significant emotional connection in the absence of a sustained and committed relationship, commitment is key to a healthy and satisfying sex life – as it is in pretty much every other aspect of a worthwhile relationship. So where did we get this crazy idea that promiscuity is a desirable trait?

In any case, some of us intuited this truth about the critical importance of emotional connection a long, long time ago… but it’s still kind of nice to see some additional research backing it up! Now I just need to find the right woman… nothing could be simpler, right? *wry grin*

After all, my standards aren’t high (irony alert!) – just someone with whom I can connect on all levels: physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual… One day, God willing!