Nothing Says Woman Quite Like a Dress – Crisis Magazine

Source: Nothing Says Woman Quite Like a Dress – Crisis Magazine

If there is one thing that I think is a vibrantly encouraging sign in the process of re-traditionalization in the West – a movement which seems slowly but surely to be gathering momentum – it is the way in which more and more women seem to be finding value in traditional feminine practices, whether it is home-making, the wearing of the veil in church, or in this case, what used to be the sine qua non of femininity, wearing a dress.

I will gladly admit, I am biased: I grew up with women wearing dresses. Both my grandmothers, and my mother, wore exclusively dresses or skirts – even for housework – all through my childhood and young-adult years, and in fact until the day they died. Ma, it is true, did try out the “pantsuit,” when those were in fashion; but she was not comfortable in it and quickly abandoned it, despite the protests of my older brothers, who I suppose wanted a “hip” mother.

Well, Ma may not have been “hip,” but she was a wonderful mother, wife, and homemaker, and my absolute model and ideal of feminine beauty – inside and out! So while I confess to appreciating, in my more carnal moments, the appeal of an attractive young woman in well-fitting jeans, shorts, or a short skirt, it is a dress, or a well-chosen skirt-and-blouse ensemble, that says “womanhood” to me. Continue reading “Nothing Says Woman Quite Like a Dress – Crisis Magazine”

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Tony Esolen on sexual hedonism

“The sexual equivalent to the rejection of culture is a crass and mechanistic hedonism, seeking the pleasure of the day for its own sake… So one body preys upon another, and the last thing in the mind of either “partner” – note the business term – is that what they are doing should partake of time long past and time to come. The man is planting seed that contains within itself unnumbered generations, and the woman bears the egg, the haven for that seed, to be penetrated by it and fertilized, so that what begins from that moment is a new human life, a new instantiation of the divine image, a new dweller in time, oriented to eternity. That is in fact what is happening, but the hedonist denies it. He says that the child-making thing is not for making children.”

— Dr. Anthony Esolen, professor of English Renaissance and classical literature at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, in Nostalgia: Going Home in a Homeless World

Surgeon: More Trans People Requesting Sex Change Reversals (But No One’s Talking About It) | Intellectual Takeout

Surgeon: More People Requesting Sex Change Reversals (But No One's Talking About It)

The “world-leading genital reconstructive surgeon” is getting more and more requests to reverse sex change procedures.

Source: Surgeon: More Trans People Requesting Sex Change Reversals (But No One’s Talking About It) | Intellectual Takeout

So, any normal (!) person who reads the above headline and caption would logically conclude precisely what the author of this article, Michael Liccione, PhD, suggests:

“I have a theory. When trans people change their minds and want to detransition, that isn’t because they think they have ceased to be members of the sex they had transitioned to, and now believe they have returned to being members of the sex they had transitioned from.

“Rather, they have come to believe that they always have been members of their ‘natal sex,’ but came to mistakenly believe otherwise. In other words, they have come to believe they were suffering from ‘gender dysphoria,’ regret what they did in response to that disorder, and now want to return to a state as close to normalcy as they can achieve.”

This is probably not, to most of us, particularly radical or shocking (except for the sadness that such individuals actually underwent sex-change operations in the first place): most of us realize that most people, at some point or other (often in their preteen or teen years, but sometimes later), find themselves wondering what it would be like to be the opposite sex; and some even feel frustrations of various types at being the sex they actually are, physiologically and genetically. Continue reading “Surgeon: More Trans People Requesting Sex Change Reversals (But No One’s Talking About It) | Intellectual Takeout”

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, gender, and justice

Image result for brett kavanaugh hearing

A female friend of mine – and one who has posted some things pretty critical of Judge Kavanaugh in the past – posted this on her Facebook timeline today:

“Here is my story, and here is my opinion.

“In this day where media makes sure everyone’s business is publicly aired, where police forces use lethal force in uncalled-for situations, we have lost sight of ‘innocent until proven guilty.’

“Then we have situations where men I revered in my youth have been revealed to be less-than-perfect (Paterno, who I feel must’ve known something despite having the best interest of most players at heart, and ‘America’s dad’ Bill Cosby), and it breaks my heart to admit that no one is wholly evil or wholly saintly.

“But we have been on a bit of a ‘witch hunt,’ haven’t we?

“I mean, if a young lady is going to a man’s hotel room, there is some understanding of what could happen, even if she says no. (I am thinking back to the show-business ‘auditions’ that led to many accusations a couple of years ago.) In the case of Cosby, indeed, she did not consent to having her drink drugged, although during the ’70s quaaludes were quite the norm. All incidents must be viewed in the historical context of the times in which they occurred.

“Women should be believed.

Shame on any woman who is less than honest when revealing her story. False accusers should be prosecuted, and they open themselves to financial loss due to slander.

“When I was a freshman in high school I put myself in a compromised situation. I entered into it willingly, and it got out of hand. I did not know to stop the situation until it had progressed too far.

“Did he know he had pushed beyond my comfortable limit? No. Should he have been prosecuted? Surely not.

“Four years later, as a freshman in college, I received counseling. I had never felt myself a victim before then, and I surely could have bought into the victim persona … but I chose to recognize that my identification and labeling of the situation as an ‘assault’ afforded me the ability to address the negative emotions around the event, get the counseling I needed, and acknowledge that he had no intention of violating me. I forgave.

“Nearly every woman I know has been touched in a way that was an ‘assault,’ and they should get counseling as needed. Many of the men who have committed these assaults sincerely did not know they were violating the women. We must consider the context of the situation.

“If you have been assaulted, in any way … if you feel bad about a situation, even if you put yourself in it … get the counseling you need. And I encourage you to forgive, for carrying the anger will ultimately do you more harm than it ever will the person who assaulted you.

“I am here for you if I can help.

“And men, if you think, in light of the ‘redefinition’ of assault, that you may have violated a woman, consider reaching out to apologize. I am pretty sure she hasn’t ‘forgotten.’

“We are all in this together.”

Amen.

The only thing I would add is this:

If we get to the point – and we are heading there at warp speed – where an as-yet-unsubstantiated allegation (I am not ruling out the possibility that it may be substantiated, at some point in the future, but that has not happened yet) can not only potentially derail a nomination, but ruin a person’s personal and professional reputation and put his family through the ringer, we as a society are heading for a very bad place.

Yes, we must believe women. We must believe them no less, but also no more, than we would believe a man.

As Alan Dershowtiz – certainly no member of the alt-right! – has put it, “neither men nor women were born with a gene to lie or tell the truth.” Men and women alike lie; men and women alike misunderstand one other’s intentions; men and women alike misremember facts and events.

Image result for believe women

Believe women? Yes, but: the idea that we should believe Christine Blasey Ford simply because she’s a woman is as absurd as it would be to suggest that we should believe Brett Kavanaugh simply because he’s a man.

One of the most basic and foundational principles of American jurisprudence is that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Not until accused: until proven guilty. The burden of proof, rightly, rests on the accuser, to prove guilt; not on the accused, to prove innocence. But there are many striving, in the context of the Kavanaugh hearings, to turn this principle on its head.

If this becomes the “new normal” – if an accusation becomes seen as tantamount to proof – we are all at risk. And if not us, then our fathers, sons, husbands, nephews, friends: pick your relationship. As I say, we are well along that road already. Do we really want to go down it any further?


Actually, there is one more thing I want to say. As my friend noted, “it breaks my heart to admit that no one is wholly evil or wholly saintly.” Mine, too. But that is, sadly, the human condition.

As my dear late mother used to say, “There’s so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill-behooves any of us to talk about the rest of us.” This does not mean that there should not be consequences for one’s actions, if indeed they are proven to have occurred. It does mean that, as the Christian faith has always understood, “there is none who is without sin; no, not one.” And that is not going to change, short of the Second Coming.

Again, that is not an excuse! It is, rather, an honest and open-eyed statement of fact. We are prone to say, in the aftermath of something we don’t like, “Shouldn’t people do (or not do) this…?” or “Shouldn’t there be (or not be) that…?” Yes, in a perfect world, they probably should, and there probably should be. But we are not perfect people, and we don’t live in a perfect world. In fact, we are so imperfect that we can’t even agree on what a perfect world would look like!

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to improve ourselves to the greatest extent possible. We should! (In fact, improving ourselves is probably the biggest single step any of us can take toward improving the world.) It does mean we should be cautious and realistic about the chances of improving everyone else… and cautious, also, about attempts to impose such improvement on others, according to our own vision of perfection.

Efforts to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven, or a secular version of it, by our own efforts typically – historically – end badly, from the English Civil War to the French Revolution, from Stalin’s Russia to Hitler’s Germany, from Chairman Mao to Pol Pot, and beyond.

I say again: is this a road down which we want to go?

Cowboys, Indians, and gender dysphoria…

Living in the early 21st century is becoming more and more like watching a bad movie… unfortunately, one in which you can’t leave the theatre.

Episcopal Church considers making God gender neutral | Fox News

Episcopal Church leaders called for revisions to masculine language in the Book of Common Prayer.

The Episcopal Church formed a committee Wednesday to “provide a pathway” toward revising the Book of Common Prayer to include gender-neutral language.

Source: Episcopal Church considers making God gender neutral | Fox News

“Church leaders called for immediate revisions to correct the ‘overwhelming use of masculine language’ throughout the book, arguing that the language is now a hindrance to spiritual inclusion, according to the Episcopal Church website.

“’As long as ‘men’ and ‘God’ are in the same category, our work toward equity will not just be incomplete. I honestly think it won’t matter in some ways,’ Wil Gafney, a professor of the Hebrew Bible and strong advocate for the edit, told the Washington Post.”

This is old news for me, in some ways; they were talking in the same terms at Vanderbilt Divinity School back in the mid-90s. I stopped attending chapel there when a lesbian trio sung a “Doxology” to “the Mother, and the Daughter, and the Holy Spirit.”

The problem is, as C.S. Lewis pointed out in “Priestesses in the Church,” when you remove that “masculine language” and replace it with either feminized language or, as is the fad these days, “gender-neutral” language, you change not only the language but the content of the faith.

“Christians think that God Himself has taught us how to speak of Him. To say that it does not matter is to say either that all the masculine imagery is not inspired, is merely human in origin, or else that, though inspired, it is quite arbitrary and unessential.

Change the language with which we speak of God, and we end up with something quite different from Christianity – or at least, quite different from orthodox Christianity. Of course, for many of these neo-reformers, that’s the point…

In His ultimate essence, of course, God far-and-away transcends human gender. The problem is, by trying to make God “gender-neutral,” we also end up making Him neuter, and therefore impersonal (we are also, as Lewis points out above, challenging the inspired and therefore authoritative character of the Holy Scriptures – placing our contemporary social views and mores above the given-ness of revelation: in effect, creating God in our own image).

We can have a personal relationship – whether for good or ill – with a Father. We can’t have a personal relationship with an amorphous blob! I’m reminded of another Lewis quote, in which he commented,

“A girl I knew was brought up by ‘higher thinking’ parents to regard God as a perfect ‘substance’; in later life she realised that this had actually led her to think of Him as something like a vast tapioca pudding. (To make matters worse, she disliked tapioca).”

While that may elicit a wry smile, it also makes a very good point! It is a short step from non-gendered to “nothing in particular.”

There are other Biblical metaphors for God that can be used, of course, that don’t have specifically gender-oriented connotations – “Vine” and “Rock” are two that come immediately to mind – but there is a reason that the more traditional, masculine images of God are vastly more common: they tell us things about God, and about our relationship with Him, that the less-commonly-used ones do not.

Besides that, and perhaps even more importantly, our Lord Jesus Christ called God “Father,” and instructed us to do so as well (“When you pray, say ‘Our Father…'”). We can call God other things in addition to Father, of course, as I commented above; but we cannot fail to call Him “Father” and make any kind of claim that we are obeying our Lord’s teachings. And while God transcends human biology, of course, fathers are biologically male. It does violence to biology, language, and theology alike to pretend otherwise!

The Fatherhood of God – unavoidably masculine though it be – is an essential component of Christianity. Remove it, and you have a different faith.

 


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Boys are Growing Frustrated by Living in a Feminized Society… and That’s Showing Up in Their Friendships | Intellectual Takeout

Boys are Growing Frustrated by Living in a Feminized Society… and That’s Showing Up in Their Friendships

Rules are great and necessary, but the fact is, we’re disallowing boys to be boys.

Source: Boys are Growing Frustrated by Living in a Feminized Society… and That’s Showing Up in Their Friendships | Intellectual Takeout

“Let’s face it: Little boys are different from little girls and adults. And unless we allow them to have outlets for natural boy play and ideas, we should not be surprised when they seem frustrated and can’t succeed in modern society. Is it time to stop treating the traditional, rough-and-tumble boy like a dangerous creature who must be toned down to suit feminized society?”

My answer to this question can easily be guessed by my readers, I suspect!

This is an excellent short essay, perhaps all the more notable in that it is written by a woman, Annie Holmquist. By all means, please follow the link and read it! The voices (both male and female) pushing back against the über-feminization of Western society are growing in number and in volume, and that is all to the good. But there is still a long way to go.

The culutural Marxists who seek to destroy what is left of Western civilization and Western Christendom are powerful, well-entrenched in dominant positions among our academic / educational, political, and media elite, and have learned well how to apply psychological and social jujitsu against a West which, by its nature, is predisposed to compassion, justice, and a laudable (within bounds) tendency to root for the underdog. Convince Westerners that you are oppressed, and they will bend over backwards to do anything they can to “liberate” and assist you – even to their own detriment!

The problem is that the Left, and its favored classes – women, people of color, and anyone who is “different” from what used to be the “norm” of Western (and Christian) society – are no longer the underdogs; in fact, by many if not most measures, they are or are well on their way to being the top dogs (*), even as they continue to complain about being “oppressed.”

I don’t think any fair-minded observer can deny that the major groups which today’s Leftists portray as the bogeyman – whites, males, and Christians – made some serious missteps, and committed some serious abuses, in the past. But neither are we uniquely culpable among the world’s people; far from it! If our sins may at times seem more boldly emblazoned on the fabric of history, it is because there was a time, not so distant, historically, when we were both technologically and socio-politically dominant. Those days, however, are in the past, and falling farther astern with every turn of the screw.

Nor is it justice to continue to visit the sins of the fathers – whether real or imagined – upon the sons, literally as well as figuratively, ad infinitum. Not only is it morally vicious, it is unwise. I am sure there are those on the Left who view the angst being suffered by boys and young men, especially those of European ancestry, through the lens of retributive justice; and who would like to think – or at least, hope – that white males will either somehow disappear altogether, or else at least lapse into a sort of voluntary dhimmitude, in which they accept their new, inferior, status as somehow their due.

Something of the sort has happened in Germany, in the decades since the Second World War, due to feelings of shared national guilt (encouraged and exploited by the victorious Allies); but even there, rumblings of discontent are beginning to be heard. What goes around, comes around, and people can only be kept down for so long before they start to rebel – as Leftists, of all people, should have sense enough to realize from their own experience!

To cite Germany again, one would think we would have learned the lessons of the Versailles Treaty, the Wiemar Republic, and the rise of the Nazis: perhaps the classic example of retributive justice gone awry, coming about as it did largely in reaction to the humiliation imposed upon post-WW I Germany by France, and to the ascendancy of the cultural Marxists’ political forebears in the former. The modern Left, it seems, is taking a page out of France’s book, c. 1918 – hardly a wise model, in my opinion.

But I digress from the topic at hand, which is that boys need to be allowed to be boys. Human nature cannot be changed, on a fundamental level; those who try are doomed to disappointment. It can be educated; it can be refined; it can be channeled into productive, as opposed to unproductive, directions. But it remains human nature. And just as water boiling in a closed container will build steam-pressure until it finds the weakest point to achieve an outlet, if we do not allow boys natural-but-productive outlets for their boyhood – their maleness – they will find unproductive ones, and the situation for society will be worse than if they had simply been allowed to be boys.

Be cautious, O “liberals”! As ye sow, so shall ye reap. But the harvest may not be what you expected!

 


 

* As the article linked in my previous post indicated, the “gender gap” in higher education solidly favors women (41.5% male vs 58.5% female, across all degrees, or 141 degreed females per 100 males); people of color are out-breeding people of European ancestry by a substantial margin, both worldwide and in the Westincluding the U.S., where non-Hispanic whites are projected to become a minority of the population (47%) by 2050; and as to those who are “different,” be it in sexuality, gender, religion (or lack thereof), etc., one has only to be reminded of the dictum often attributed to Voltaire: “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” Whether Voltaire said it or not, there is considerable truth in the statement!