The Thinking 
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On “Mawms”

March 17, 2010


Cindi writes:

You wrote this in a previous entry:

This is a relatively trivial point, but Paula’s reference to grown women as “moms” offends me. Children refer to their mothers as “moms;” other people should speak of them as mothers or women. To me, this cutesy, sentimental language is a way of shielding women from criticism. This pervasive Mommy-ness is not always as sweet and other-directed as it appears

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for being as offended as I am by this diminution of mothers and motherhood; this juvenilization of the very concept. No woman is any longer a mother, she – they are all – “moms,” pronounced “mawm.” I can’t stand it.

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Against a “Men’s Movement”

March 17, 2010



I should say that I find the idea of a “men’s movement” not merely quixotic but wrong. The basic premise is that there are political and social interests that are specifically male interests, which all men share in common and which must compete with women’s interests to prevent men being defrauded of their due. One of the reasons people used to argue that the universal franchise was an absurdity was that each vote rightly belonged to the entire household, and that a husband and wife could never have different, much less opposed, political interests. The post-Hobbesian (or rather post-Cartesian) view of human beings as atomistic cosmic exiles, each with his own unique interests that stand opposed to the interests of every other individual, has been very destructive. 

What is needed is a movement which places families at the heart of things, and there is something truly accommodationist about spending one’s energies establishing, say, the legal presumption of joint custody following a divorce. I’ve been watching men’s movements of various kinds with interest for quite some time, and I’ve never become active in them because I’ve always sensed that there is something basically evil about the notion that men ought to be construed as a distinct political grouping fighting over the tainted spoils of the family court system. Read More »


Our Divided Military

March 17, 2010


IMAGINE IF in addition to smallpox, inadequate supplies, and a numerically superior enemy, the American Revolutionary forces had to deal with hundreds of sexual assault cases filed by soldiers against other soldiers. Imagine Washington’s officers sifting through accounts of who touched whom. The Queen would be drinking tea in D.C. right now.

But that’s the situation our modern military finds itself in. In the past year alone, there have been more than 3,000 reported sexual assaults against service men and women, according to a newly-released Defense Department report. The majority of these reported assaults – 53 percent – are by service members against other service members. An assault by definition involves rape, sodomy, or the touching of private body parts. Read More »


Roissy and the Men’s Movement

March 17, 2010


IN A piece called “So who is on the side of men?,” Mark Richardsonan excellent Australian analyst of feminism, considers  the influence of Roissy, the blogger who offers advice on female conquest and is widely touted as an inspirational force for men. Richardson writes:

So is Roissy then someone who is better placed to lead a men’s movement? A movement of solidarity between men to overcome such adversity?

That would be no.


The Dame of Sark

March 17, 2010


THE ISLE OF SARK in the English Channel was the world’s only surviving feudal state up until two years ago. During World War II, it was occupied by the Germans. Many residents chose to stay for what would be a bitter five-year ordeal. Sybil Hathaway was then the Dame of Sark, the island’s female hereditary ruler, and she handled the occupation with courage and fortitude. She is a model for all those who see their country or personal isle invaded.

A homeschooling mother at the Pleasant Times blog relects on the Dame’s life story.



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