We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Kay Hymowitz reviews Mansfield's much talked-about new book in Commentary. A few paragraphs from the review:
Harvey Mansfield sets off into America’s treacherous sexual wilderness with a clear destination in mind: to rescue manliness from the bear-like clutches of its enemies, in particular feminists and advocates of a gender-neutral society. As he notes, the opponents of manliness have tried to depose the term altogether, in favor of “masculinity.” They want to expose manliness as a mere social invention, a rationale for male power.
But this, Mansfield observes, begs the question of why men have always had the power in the first place. He finds the answer in manliness, which he defines as “confidence in the face of risk,” an “easy assumption of authority” that leads to an abundance of corollary qualities stereotypically associated with the male of the species. If the womanly tendency is to seek intimacy and personal warmth, the manly tendency is to dominate.
Mansfield concedes that the manly man is not always appealing. He can be willful and boastful, and patronizing toward women. But these annoyances are part of a package that makes the average Joe capable of greater heroism and command than the average Josephine. More open to facing risk, he is more likely to gain and wield power and to make his mark in the world. There can be manly women—Elizabeth I and Margaret Thatcher come to mind—but they are rare.
Male power is not a social artifact, Mansfield argues, but a reflection of our nature, as much a part of biological reality as testosterone itself. This explains the failure of the androgynous utopia promised by the 1960’s. Even after decades of re-educating the young, the line between male and female activities has been “blurred” but not erased. Men, he points out, still drive trucks, fly planes, fix cars, and mow lawns. Women still teach kindergarten, empty hospital bedpans, and clean the kitchen.
Truth is, I do none of those particular male or female things, except sometimes clean the kitchen when it gets really bad. But if Mansfield were President of Harvard, instead of a Yale Prof, he'd be fired for writing this book. Entire review here.
Glad to hear you clean the kitchen, Chairman! We submissive babes surely find helpful husbands sexier than the probably gay, tho breathtaking, David...
I respected Mansfieldas a professor and did fine in his courses but think he doesn't really understand the complexity of male female roles and interrelationships. Context is everything. We should all, male or female, strive to develop the manly virtues. However, being submissive is at times not only Scriptural (see Paul on how husbands and wives shd submit their wills one to another, and he isn't talking about. S and M)
My husband and I make Punch and Judy look like 2 turtle doves. 2 stubborn Ivy grads. The phrases that prevent murder and promote peace are the cliched "you're right about that", "you decide", "you were right, I was wrong"
Most of us aren't such agreat catch that we ought to do anything but laugh at sex and gender roles. The Lumberjack Song from Monty Python is good...Also mel Brooks "Men in Tights", "Johnny English","Fawlty Towers".
And in real life we all know men whose diminishing "manly" prowess is compensated for by belated development of gourmet cooking skills. And bitchy middleaged Cliffies who take on the "manly" breadwinner role to rescue the family. (Would being a cuvacious submissive babe feed the children? When men fail in their roles, their women can usually pinch hit. Ditto the reverse)
The only kind of men I hate are PC ones. Otherwise, most of us are created a hodgepodge of both genders' vices and virtues.