The Thinking 

Browsing posts from July, 2010

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Debates of the Week

July 31, 2010


I RECOMMEND a few of the ongoing discussions here from this week. This entry includes insights from male and female commenters on how men can deal with feminists in their personal lives and how to handle women in general and remain in charge.

This discussion about the men’s movement is long, heated and interesting. Two entries, here and here, consider Christianity and the culture war.



The Strange Mortality of the Victorians

July 31, 2010



Our daughter has finally got fed up with the expensive museum plaques which claim that boys were not allowed to cook and girls were not allowed to shoot before the 20th century enlightenment. We went to one historical museum where a plaque said, and I quote, 

Women’s clothes in particular were so restrictive it limited their activities and in many cases tightly laced corsets created internal and breathing problems for them. No wonder they took to the streets to demand the right to vote and to wear more practical clothing than what the Victorian-era societal norms dictated at the time!  Read More »


Courage and Sweetness

July 31, 2010


LAURA GRACE ROBINS, at her site Full of Grace, Seasoned with Salt, writes:

To be noble the man must be manly. To be noble the woman must be womanly. Independently of the virtues required equally of both sexes, such as truth, uprightness, candor, fidelity, honor, we look in man for somewhat more of wisdom, of vigor, of courage, from natural endowment, combined with enlarged action and experience. In woman we look more especially for greater purity, modesty, patience, grace, sweetness, tenderness, refinement, as the consequences of a finer organization, in a protected and sheltered position. That state of society will always be the most rational, the soundest, the happiest, where each sex conscientiously discharges its own duties, without intruding on those of the other.”

Read More »


Christianity and the Conservative Revolution

July 30, 2010


THE MANHATTAN DECLARATION is a manifesto calling upon Christians to unite in fighting the culture war. Signed by prominent Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox Christians last November, it advocates organized action and rebellion against abortion, the erosion of marriage and the decline of religious liberty. Alan Roebuck has a provocative piece at The Intellectual Conservative in which he urges this kind of cultural activism by Christians of all denominations, whom he contends are by and large guilty of passivity.

Mr. Roebuck writes:

Is evangelism necessary for cultural renewal? Certainly. Is it sufficient? Not a chance. And the belief that it is — widespread within Protestantism — is weakening conservatism, as it discourages many protestant conservatives from challenging the Left’s control of American culture. Belief in the sufficiency of Christian evangelism must be opposed.

I will not argue here for the necessity of Christian evangelism for the cultural renewal at which conservative activism aims. Most conservatives understand that we need Christianity for America to flourish. My main point is one most leaders of conservative Protestantism don’t seem to acknowledge: In order to renew American society it is not enough that many people have saving faith in Jesus Christ. Nor does it suffice for them to have correct views of God, man and society that result from a proper Christian catechism. And it isn’t enough even that they vote for the more conservative candidates and ballot propositions. No, cultural renewal requires organization and action for the specific purpose of cultural renewal. And this won’t happen spontaneously. Read More »


Dehydration and Civilization

July 30, 2010


IN THE previous post, I wrote:

I was in a restaurant the other day and there was a little sign on the table that listed all the medical ill effects of dehydration. It said that if your water intake drops slightly, you are likely to become confused and unable to function mentally. The water industry has done a great job of convincing people that constant water consumption makes you smarter, thinner and more energetic.

 Lawrence Auster writes:

Think of it — every moment of our lives, we’re that close to a breakdown in our mental functioning! Only constant vigilance and nonstop water drinking can protect us.

But then what happened to the liberal idea that the universe is safe and nothing bad can happen to us? Oh, I’ve got it. The universe is safe when it comes to crime and predation, because man is naturally good, especially nonwhite men, and therefore every time a white woman is raped or murdered, no matter how reckless her own behavior or how crime infested the neighborhood where she went jogging alone, it comes as a “shock.” So the human universe is naturally safe. But the civilized universe is dangerous, because it doesn’t naturally provide us with a constant supply of fluids and therefore we must be attentive to that need every moment of our lives, or else suffer a mental breakdown.  Read More »


Sailors in the Water

July 29, 2010


A COMMENTER at VFR has a hilarious take on the four women awarded “Sailor of the Year”Awards by the namby-pamby U.S. Navy and on the decadent practice of grown adults carrying water bottles with them everywhere, just like babies with their ba-bas. This country is run by adults who are not yet weaned. Do these sailors carry pacifiers and blankies too?

Patrick H. writes:

Three of the women have water bottles right by their feet, ready to give them their “constant supply of fluids,” no doubt. Probably the fourth woman has a bottle next to her but not visible. Remarkable, really, whether or not the bottles were put there for them or they put them there themselves. These women appear to have had the staggering demand placed on them of sitting in some chairs and then standing up for a while. In the open air! With the sun beating down on them with staggering stunning solar power! And perhaps they were even asked to speak … and we know how utterly dehydrating that activity is. But none of this matters. It could have been a cloudy day, no speech required, no standing, no sitting, nothing. None of it matters. The bottles would have been there anyway. The supply of fluids must be constant. Constant.

It does raise odd Freudian questions about suckling at the maternal teat, doesn’t it? Read More »


Idiocy and Hatred in the Men’s Rights Movement

July 29, 2010



Paul Elam, the editor-in-chief of Men’s News Daily, the largest news-oriented site of the men’s rights movement, has proclaimed, “Should I be called to sit on a jury for a rape trial, I vow publicly to vote not guilty, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the charges are true.”

Read More »


Old-Fashioned Yearnings, Even in L.A.

July 29, 2010


HEADY G. writes:

So, I have been reading your blog like crazy lately. It’s distractingly good. I am a male in my mid-twenties and it’s amazing how much of your blog’s truth I see in my everyday life. 

I live in L.A., such a hip, liberal, and “forward thinking” city it is. I hear and see people aching for a lot of these principles and values your visitors share. I was with my actor friends one night, men and women. The men discussed how much they wanted a woman who valued her traditional femininity and the girl discussed her longing for a strong man. It sounded like grandparents in the Midwest as opposed to twenty- and thirty-somethings in Hollywood. And what I mainly noticed is that they wanted a return to tradition, family, and a sense of rightness. But they didn’t even see it. It was a longing they couldn’t put into words. It was a call of nature God gave to us all. Our call to be men and women in harmony. Read More »


A Fantasy Film

July 28, 2010


READER N. writes:

You may find this article in First Things interesting. It is a discussion of the current movie The Kids Are Alright in which children of a pair of lesbians locate the man who is their “father” via semen donation. Read More »


A New Study Offers Alarming Proof that Men Need Love!

July 28, 2010


IN THIS previous entry, Fitzgerald argues that men suffer in subtle and little-recognized ways from women who are criticial or demanding. Male fortitude is not simply self-generated. His point is similar to one I have made before: that gentleness is one of the most important forces for the good.

A recent New York Times article makes a similar argument. Men are more sensitive than is commonly believed. Gee, they even seem to need love. Could it be that men are human beings after all? Unmarried men, a major study has concluded, are more affected by unhappy romantic relationships than women:

According to the report by Robin W. Simon, a sociology professor at Wake Forest University, and Anne E. Barrett, a sociologist at Florida State University, “It appears that young men benefit more than women from support, and that they are more harmed than women by strain in ongoing romantic relationships.”

For women, whether they’re in a relationship at all — no matter how awful — is what counts.

This is startling and troubling news. It violates one of the core concepts of feminism: that men have everything, and way too much of it. This isn’t the only unsettling insight here. The authors of the study were peeved at evidence that, despite the strides of feminism, young women still want boyfriends:

“It’s a little bit pathetic,” Ms. Simon allowed. “Even though there’s been so much social change in this area, women’s self-worth is still so much tied up with having a boyfriend. It’s unfortunate.”

 Truly pathetic. Why can’t women care less about love and more about money and power?

Read More »


A Feminist Socialist Vies with Traditional Australia

July 27, 2010


KILROY M. writes:

I thought you might find this amusing cover illustration of Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard of interest. It’s pretty blunt about the ideological tendency of each candidate.


Spectator Australia (24 July 2010)


The Egalitarian Marriage Is Doomed

July 26, 2010



I highly recommend this article.  It is harsh, but the points it makes are essentially valid. The Roman Catholic Church has capitulated since Vatican II to the concept of equality in marriage. This represents a surrender to the forces out to destroy the family, a sop to the progressives and their agitators. 

Tradition teaches us that men are appointed the leaders for their families and society. Read More »


On Journalistic Objectivity

July 26, 2010


THE PREMIER purveyor of propaganda, The New York Times, has these enlightening words on the subject in an article on the Shirley Sherrod affair:

[I]t is an open question whether conservative media outlets risk damage to their credibility when obscure or misleading stories are blown out of proportion and when what amounts to political opposition research is presented as news.

Jane Hall, a communication professor at American University and a former contributor to Fox News, said partisan media outlets “look for something that will get an audience and that will whip up people in some kind of frenzy, warranted or not.”

Ms. Hall said what Ms. Sherrod had endured was “classic propaganda.” 


The Beauty of Self-Mortification

July 23, 2010


JOHN writes:

Christian men who are struggling against sexual sin should try real live old-fashioned corporal mortification. Intentionally and prayerfully do something really painful, offer the suffering to Jesus in union with His suffering on the cross and ask Him to use the pain to burn away all the self-inflicted corruption and wash the soul clean. The sin was against one’s own body (1 Cor 6:18), the atonement should be too. Sexual sin throws away self-control for physical pleasure; voluntary, self-inflicted physical pain for the purpose of penance restores self-control, purifies the body and strengthens the mind.

Daniel Mitsui

Daniel Mitsui

Read More »


Things Which Cannot Be Unseen

July 22, 2010


JAMES M. writes:

I’m ashamed of my familiarity with this subject [of pornography], and like so many others am living with damage done; I’ve seen things which can not be unseen. I was going to stay out of this but here’s a short poem I wrote about the feeling of self-loathing and hopelessness experienced by a man in thrall to a pornography addiction:

So disgustingly familiar,
I can feel it closing in.
Through open wounds which go undressed,
Here it comes again.

Welling up and seeping, spreading,
Cascading down and through me.
Cutting in, dissolving, shredding,
Fragile wisps of sanctity.

So familiarly disgusting,
In the grip of spectre hands.
Through open open eyes which drift, obsessed,
Here it comes again.

Transfixed now and transformed, dreading,
Search through blowing grains of sand.
Trudging on, my hunger wetting
Thorny gardens of the damned.

And it hasn’t been so long since last time
This wretched spell was cast without the potion.
And I’ve been weak so many times that now
It’s as if I’m simply going through the motions.


The Invisible Barriers of Porn Users

July 22, 2010


MICHAEL N. writes:

To my great regret, I have vast and intimate knowledge of pornography, and like one of your previous commenters, I wish I had never laid eyes on the stuff.

I was a habitual user of pornography from early adolescence into my 40s. I started with magazines, then videos and from there seamlessly to Internet porn, and I have no doubt that modern therapists would classify me as an addict (though I loathe the notion that addiction renders one helpless). I went cold turkey shortly before I was accepted into the Catholic Church, due mainly to Christ’s wholly unambiguous identification of lustful gazing with adultery in Matthew 5:27, and the prospect of having to confess my sins to a priest. Although I have been strongly tempted several times since, I have so far held firm through the grace of the Holy Spirit.

As an aside, exactly how do Christian men rationalize their way around Matthew 5:27 when it comes to pornography? This has to be one of the least ambiguous or open-to-interpretation passages in the Gospels.

On the matter of pornography and marital satisfaction, I have to say that I was never in any sense driven to porn by my wife–my habit predated our marriage by decades and was more or less unaffected by it (aside from the additional furtiveness required). My wife and I have had some serious ups and downs, but my desire to view porn was not in any way correlated with these; in fact, it may well be that I was less likely to use porn when things were going badly between us. I should also point out that (contrary to many womens’ impressions of why men use porn) my interest in porn had nothing whatsoever to do with any perception of my wife’s inadequacies or a desire to compare her with other women; in fact, I have always been repelled by the lurid and artificial “beauty” of models and mainstream porn actresses. I looked at porn because I craved images of many different women, and that’s it. Youngfogey’s comment captures the impulse perfectly:

Men tend to see women who are even remotely attractive as part of a large pool of beauty, emanations from a common source rather than competitors.

Read More »


Do Wives Drive Men to Pornography?

July 21, 2010



I pointed out in a recent conversation with you that men’s pornography use must be understood in the context of the misandrist culture where it takes place. I now think I can articulate more about why I think this is so important.

If we look at God’s curse on the man at the time of the expulsion from Eden we’ll see that from that point on the world would resist his efforts to draw from it sustenance and beauty. His work would be met by thorns and struggle and pain at every turn. This is really how men experience life. Every day is a battle on multiple fronts. Days are spent battling ourselves, others and the stubborn resistance of the world to bend to our wills. Such struggle is exhausting.

The one place we hope the struggle will not be so hard is at home. We hope that our wives, mothers, daughters and other women in our lives would understand this struggle and instead of being yet more thorns for us to cut ourselves upon, would want to be for us a garden of rest and delight. This is rarely the case, especially in a culture that actively teaches women to despise men, our needs and our natures. After a day of body and soul-breaking labor, most men do not come home to appreciation, respect and submission, but to criticism, manipulation and more unceasing demands. Read More »


Pornography and Totalitarianism

July 21, 2010


DARRELL writes:

One problem with pornography, and the reason it is propagated by elites, is that it tends to destroy the capacity of men for self-government.  And if men can’t govern themselves they certainly cannot govern their families, workplaces and political institutions.

The purpose of pornography is to create moral anarchism and produces men who are either governed by their passions or fundamentally controlled by guilt.  Such men must be governed by an outside entity, typically the state.

Here is relevant quote from R.J. Rushdoony’s book Noble Savages, which was originally published under the title The Politics of Pornography:

Moral anarchism is used to destroy every form of social stability and order in order to pave the way for totalitarian order. Christianity gives to man the faith and character for self-government, and morality is the essence of self-discipline and self-government. Dissolve man’s self-government, and you make a totalitarian authority over him a social necessity. It becomes apparent, therefore, that the link between pornography and revolutionary totalitarianism is a necessary one. The rise of totalitarianism has always been preceded by moral anarchism, and those seeking tyrannical powers over man have always worked to reduce man to a dependent position by undercutting his moral self-government and responsibility. The rise and triumph of pornography is a prelude to totalitarianism. Moral anarchy is the seed-bed of tyranny.

Read More »

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