The Thinking 

Browsing posts from May, 2012

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A Child at the Breast

May 31, 2012


Virgin and Child, Hans Memling (1475) Metropolitan Museum

HERE’S a forthright fifteenth-century painting by Hans Memling of Jesus Christ at the breast. Why is this so radically different from the recent photos of nursing women that have gained international attention, leaving aside the obvious fact that this painting represents the imaginary vision of an artist?

There is one overwhelming difference, and that is the gravity of Mary’s expression, a mixture of serenity, love and sorrow. Also, the tender way she clasps the Holy Child, as if he is a priceless treasure, is entirely different from the manner of the mother on Time magazine who stared self-assertively at the camera while her older son stood on a stool, or the soldier who appeared in a military uniform while feeding her daughters, or Crystal Scott, below, who feeds her daughter in public on a street and gazes with heavily blackened eyes at the camera with what appears to be an explicit come-on. Mary is all-encompassing maternity. The others are flagrant show-offs.


California Senate Bans Therapy for Homosexuals

May 31, 2012


CONVERSION THERAPY, which helps homosexuals battle same-sex desires, was banned yesterday by California State Senate in another blatant political endorsement of a lifestyle that causes suicide, disease and depression. A lengthy response by Christopher H. Rosik, Ph.D. of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality can be found here.

Randy Thomasson of SaveCalifornia.comsaid the bill would keep effective treatment from adolescents who have been sexually abused.

         Read More »


More Crass Breastfeeding

May 31, 2012


ONCE AGAIN, we have a mother in a shameless pose breastfeeding for the public. In this case, Terran Echegoyen-McCabe, a soldier in the National Guard, is pictured in uniform breastfeeding her twins, supposedly to raise awareness for breastfeeding. (Another military woman is pictured with her in a more modest pose.)

What does the world think of America? Echegoyen-McCabe (who but a feminist would adopt such a ridiculous name?) is a symbol of a military in steep decline.

And breastfeeding is transformed, from maternal selflessness to one more nauseating display of self-assertion.

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Female Athletes Who Play to Please

May 30, 2012


MR. TALL writes:

There’s an interesting book by New York Times reporter Michael Sokolove called Warrior Girls that documents the staggering rates at which girls playing seemingly ‘safe’ sports such as soccer and basketball suffer both ACL tears and concussions. Sokolove intersperses his research data with the sad stories of girls who have undergone repeated surgeries and painful, tedious rehabilitation, only to be reinjured and left essentially crippled for life. One theme he explores is the way in which girls, consumed by team spirit, loyalty and eagerness to please parents and coaches, push themselves through pain harder than many boys would ever do.

As you might expect of a Times employee, however, Sokolove quickly dons his PC Safety Blinders when it comes time to draw conclusions from his findings. He also wastes many pages of the book extolling the Monument to Justice that is Title IX.

 I’ve reviewed it briefly here, if anyone’s interested.

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The Conceits of Scientism

May 30, 2012


THOMAS BERTONNEAU, in an excellent essay at The Orthosphere, defines scientism for his university students. Scientism, he explains, is a captivating narrative, viewed as absolute, unquestionable truth by its adherents. Though it sees itself as an enemy of superstition, scientism is beset with superstitions of its own. Bertonneau writes:

Like any ideology, scientism always perceives itself as threatened by its enemy, “superstition.” It can never rest on its laurels but always sees devils popping up in the garden of its utopia. Read More »


Conflating Loyalty and Hatred

May 30, 2012


AT The Orthosphere, Bonald briefly considers the liberal belief that to identify with one’s own ethnic group or race is to hate others. He writes: Read More »


Sports Fans Guilty of Sex Discrimination

May 29, 2012


ENACTED 40 years ago, Title IX has institutionalized sex discrimination in college sports, requiring colleges to kill male athletic teams in the pursuit of equality. The federal government has done everything possible to make women into gladiators and men into couch potatoes. But there is one thing Title IX can’t do. It can’t force fans to like women’s sports.

Megan Greenwell, a character in an Evelyn Waugh novel, oops, I mean, a blogger at Good News, says fans are not doing their share:

Supporting Title IX’s ideals requires supporting women’s sports at all levels. Too many soccer fans were content to celebrate Brandi Chastain’s and Hope Solo’s accomplishments on the international stage but not at home. Too many basketball fans condemn the women’s game as “boring” without ever having attended a game. [emphasis added]

People who have never been to a women’s soccer game should be sent to labor camps.

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A Continuing Discussion on Immodesty

May 29, 2012


IN THE latest post on immodesty, a college professor agrees with my position that feminism and a hypersexualized environment have robbed many well-intentioned women of basic common sense.

J.N. writes:

I don’t doubt that some women dress immodestly out of aggressiveness, but I agree that most women probably do so out of lack of awareness.  This happens because feminist social opprobrium and sexual harassment law have prevented the natural male response to immodest dress from occurring. Young women think they are merely being “pretty” because they are no longer exposed to what really goes on in a man’s mind. Read More »


Has the Percentage of Employed Women Peaked for Good?

May 29, 2012



What has been the most enduring hallmark of the rise of women in the public sphere and the attendant deterioration of the private sphere? It is the greater propensity of women to work for monetary compensation. Ever since 1870, when data collection on this subject began, women have worked for money more and more with each passing decade.

Things changed, however, in the year 2000, more precisely in April 2000; that month marked the high water mark of women’s workforce participation. Among all women, 25 to 54 years old, 77.3 percent were in the Labor Force in April 2000; the equivalent ratio for men for that month was 91.7 percent. (These data come from the Current Population Survey; Current Population Survey data on labor force participation tends to be a bit higher than data given by the Census.)

The first available data on women’s labor force participation comes from the 1870 Census. In 1870, 13.1 percent of all females over the age of 10 worked; that proportion rose to 14.7 percent in 1880 and 17.0 percent in 1890. Looking at females aged 16 and over 16.0 percent worked in 1880, 18.6 percent (estimated) worked in 1890, and 20.6 percent worked in 1900. Read More »


A Great War Movie

May 28, 2012


Bernard Montgomery, left, and Meyrick Clifton James Source: The Australian

I WAS MONTY’S DOUBLE, a British movie made in 1958 and directed by John Guillermin, is the story of a mostly unsuccessful military actor commissioned to impersonate General Bernard Montgomery during World War II. Meyrick Clifton James, the actor, plays himself in the movie and he is outstanding. It’s a truly remarkable performance. From a 2010 piece in The Australian:

IN 1944 a washed-up Australian actor named Meyrick Clifton James experienced one of the oddest career revivals in history.

James was not a great actor. He could neither sing nor dance, and he had lost a finger in the trenches during World War I. When war broke out again he volunteered to entertain the troops, winding up in Leicester, in the Army Pay Corps Variety Troupe. With his thin face and grey moustache he could do a remarkable impersonation of the top British soldier, Bernard Montgomery.

On the eve of D-Day the failed actor was plucked from obscurity to play the starring role in one of the war’s most melodramatic deception: as Monty’s double.

Here is a clip at Turner Classic Movies. The movie also stars one of the most hardworking British movie actors of all time, John Mills.

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Liberalism’s Rootless, Neighbor-less Man

May 27, 2012


JAMES H. writes:

My father grew up in south St. Louis. He’s 91. These old south St. Louis neighborhoods are exactly as Alan writes. They nurtured the soul and gave sustenance to the individual as part of a community and a people. There was a connectedness that has long since been lost. But then this was by design. For when men realize that they are part of a family, a community, a people and a nation of shared ethnicity, historical experience, values, religion and culture they grow more completely human. They are energized and strengthened by the whole rather than alienated and disconnected. Read More »


A Movie Brief

May 27, 2012


DIANA writes:

Would that I had read James Bowman’s perceptive review of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I would have saved myself and a friend $6 a piece, and spent the morning in the beauties of nature rather than the tedium of a witless British “comedy.”

Mr. Bowman nails the movie’s disrespect towards both its British and Indian characters. I will write more to you about this film when my temper has cooled. For now, I feel cheated. A waste of a stellar cast.

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More on Immodest Dress

May 27, 2012


APRIL writes:

I’ve been following the conversations on your site about women dressing immodestly, (here, here, here, and here) and something you’ve repeated throughout these posts gives me pause every time I come across it. In regards to the power women have over men in the way they dress, you insist that women “are ignorant of their own aggressive instincts” and that “most women are clueless about this. They are not consciously aggressive.” Read More »


Ruined by a Relative

May 25, 2012


PAUL writes:

I love your fight against pizza. You might even be right. I love it because it shows you are a normal person. What I’m about to say will be like one of those awful slasher movies to you, but you know I respect your views. Read More »


The Normal Rosies of World War II

May 25, 2012


[October 1942. Inglewood, California. North American Aviation drill operator. Photo by Alfred Palmer]

MUCH HAS been made in history books of the contributions of “Rosie the Riveter,” the female armaments worker who kept the factories going during World War II. Feminists often suggest that women so loved working in factories that they never wanted to return home. Rosie the Riveter is a symbol of female liberation. Anything, even welding sheets of metal, is of course preferable to running a home.

However, look at this charming picture of a female drill operator in 1942. There is nothing masculine about her. She feels no need to dress like a man or — even to hold a drill like a man. (Good grief, I hope she survived the war with two hands.) She looks serious and dedicated — and utterly out of place. Most of all, she is not puffed up with some imaginary inflation of her job. When the war was over, I bet she never picked up a drill again.

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Vanishing Americans (St. Louis Chapter)

May 25, 2012


ALAN writes:

On a recent Sunday afternoon, I had the most incredible experience: I sat in a roomful of 50 men and women who had lunch, talked, reminisced, and enjoyed themselves for four hours. The incredible part was that they did all that without cell phones, without liquor, without vulgar language, without loud “music,” without blaring TV screens, and without wrecking the place. All of them are white. All of them are decent and disciplined. They are, therefore, atypical 21st-century Americans. They grew up in the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s. They are Old School. They are not “cool” or trendy; if they were, I would have known I had walked into the wrong room.

The occasion was a reunion of people who attended schools in the neighborhood in south St. Louis where my father lived as a boy. He organized the first such reunion in 1988. One man was so grateful for the reunions that he sent my father a four-page handwritten letter describing his memories of schoolmates in the 1920s. Read More »


How Women Unknowingly Emasculate Men

May 25, 2012


HERE’S a previous thread at VFR on the subject, discussed here many times, of the near-nakedness of women’s fashions. Lawrence Auster wrote in 2008:

The way many women dress today, with half their breasts exposed, is an expression of total disrespect for men. Men are left with three possible responses. To grab the woman, which is illegal; to ogle the woman, which is socially unacceptable; or to affect not to notice the woman at all, which is emasculating. A culture that normalizes such female behavior—i.e. not only not noticing or objecting to it, but prohibiting any objection to it—is extremely sick. Read More »


A Question on Comments

May 24, 2012


A READER from Northern Ireland writes:

How much time do you give your readers who wish to comment on your articles, as the comment line seems to close very quickly? Read More »

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