How to handle a woman

As the mother of a very masculine little boy, I spend a lot of time thinking about (and some time blogging about) what makes for a good manly man. In the "what not to do" category, I've been reading Kate O'Beirne's Women Who Make the World Worse : and How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military, and Sports. I expected this to be a light, amusing romp through the insanities of radical feminism, but this well-written book is, in fact, quite depressing. It spells out in careful detail the attacks radical feminists make against men. The justification for these man-hating attacks is that, in the distant past, men did not treat women well. There you have it. Because men historically didn't show women the respect these feminists demand, my sweet little boy is treated like a hostile combatant. I've been gnashing my teeth reading this book, and keep having to take breaks to read fluffy stuff. Still, anguish notwithstanding, I'm not giving up. This book has too much important content to be abandoned because it's an uncomfortable read.

That was my "what not to do" rant. What I really want to blog about is what to do, a subject that keeps coming to mind when I see a nine year old boy in my neighborhood. He is a very manly little guy — athletic and, for that reason, much admired amongst the swarms of little boys in our community. It's not only the boys who admire him, though. The little girls (my little bookworm included) adore him. Why? Because he's already learned the art of cherishing them. When groups of kids start playing, a situation that always has the potential for insult and kid-on-kid violence, he never picks on or attacks the girls. Instead, he protects them. The result is that the girls want to be around this strong boy who always makes sure they're okay. He is the perfect old-fashioned gentlemen, something that seems to be a combination of good parenting and innate people-sense.

I think this boy's relationship with his peers is very telling, and refutes strongly the whole feminist demand that boys be made over into placid, egalitarian creatures. He is a born leader amongst a whole cadre of children because he plays to traditional stereotypes: he's the warrior for the boys, the protector for the girls. Those children who hew less to these traditional behaviors are also less popular than he is.

I realize that this child is an "N" of 1, as is my neighborhood, but there's certainly food for thought in the dynamics I daily see playing out around me.

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  • Ymarsakar

    The same dynamics apply to alpha male positions such as dictatorships and monarchies. If you have a good monarch and a benevolent dictator, then it’s all good. But if you don’t, you are screwed.

    The Founding Fathers encountered this problem when they left Europe. How do you get the good guys in charge and get rid of the bad guys, anyway?

    They solved it because, well, they had the best role models around. Washington, patriotic heroes who when they promised something, stuck to it. It wasn’t an intellectual exercise nor an attempt to sabotage European monarchies with vindictiveness, no. It was a field exercise, with an after action report, and much was learned.

    I’ve always believed you could tell a person’s character by seeing how they treated their younger sisters in early life. If they were mean and vindictive, then their chances of becoming an alpha male leader was probably not very good. They could still become a good productive citizen, but if they didn’t have protective instincts back then, then they have a less chance of acquiring it later on. I only know about two instincts that make someone get stronger. Either a desire to protect others or himself, or a desire to dominate and be cruel to others. In fact, both desire probably exist up to a point, and it can be converted interchangeably.

    Aggressive people can be divided between those who can control their aggression and make use of it, and those who are controlled by it.

    The “pissed” British youths with alcohol on their breaths, when they crushed in a man’s skull for laughs, is probably a good example of the later.

    People like Tom Godwin, who wrote the Cold Equations which I read in HS lit class, always believed women were to be protected. The old school chauvinism. The new age kind is a little bit different. They still believe women are to be protected, but they’re not against a strong woman protecting them either.

    Anthony Piers edited a book written by a young man who had submitted it to him, because the young man had died at an early age. Yet Piers know him personally and recounted a story about how this young person would stand up for others weaker than himself, who was being picked on it. I always wondered, if it is because he felt a personal anger at injustice being done on the weak by the strong. I’ve felt very angry when I was young about injustices being committed, on myself or others. I would not be surprised if your son, BW, also feels a natural anger in certain situations.

  • Earl

    I’d be interested to know about that boy’s family, and about his schooling. I’m afraid I harbor stereotypes about where that kind of kid comes from. I’d be willing to bet that he is not the product of daycare from when he was 6 months old, and that either his parents both live in the home, or he has a strong male role model in a family member nearby. I doubt he was sent to the regular sort of school when he was five or six years old, either.

    I could be wrong about these things, of course….but if so, I’d have to say the kid is really beating the odds.

    There is a reason for “traditional marriage”, and “traditional child-rearing practices”. Traditions aren’t kept simply because someone decides they want to keep them — a lot of times it’s because they work well. Think of it as natural selection rather than natural law, if you wish.

  • Bookworm

    You’re absolutely right in your guesses about him, Earl.

  • Ymarsakar

    How tradition is treated in the military, bears that out. For organizations that have to face the risk of death if mistakes are made, tradition takes on a whole new meaning. Perhaps even a Living Legend.

  • Ron Larson

    I’m a hetero guy. My mother and grandmother (her mom) are/were feminists. I didn’t even know what makeup, lipstick, dresses, stockings, high heels, shaven legs, perfume, etc, were.

    It wasn’t until I discovered woman as a young man that I realized how much I loved a woman that looks like a sensual woman. It doesn’t mean that I like trashy looks. I like women that take care of themselves and use some makeup, clothes, hair, perfume.

    The woman I married was very feminine. I loved that about her. After 4 years our marriage ran into trouble. One time my mom and grandma came down to visit. They stayed at our house. My ex-wife could not stand my grandmother. Between our marriage problems, and grandma and mom, my ex was not a pleasant hostess.

    Needless to say, mom and grandma pickup up the vibe and knew something was wrong. Their way of handeling it? They pulled my wife aside and asked her if I was beating her.

    My ex laughed at them. That is not me. I couln’t believe my years when she told me. I felt betrayed that my own mother and grandmother would think for one second that I would do such a thing.

    Then it dawned on me as to why. It was because I had a penis. In their minds, my grandma’s especially, all men are presumed to be bad until proven otherwise at death.

    My grandma had terrible experiences with men. She was married 7 times, to a lot of alcholics. Plus she was a bit left of communist and seemed to have a lot of hidden issues to me. Not that I didn’t love her. But she sure had baggage.

    So there is your answer. All men, in the eyes of these women, are guilty, or will be if given a chance.