I’m Not A Delicate Flower – Cedar Sanderson

I’m Not A Delicate Flower – Cedar Sanderson

I am not a delicate f*cking flower. I am, however, a lady. There’s no contradiction in those two statements, but to explain why may take some time. In writing about prejudice in the publishing industry recently, I once again stated my main objection to being a ‘woman writer’ which is that I don’t write with my woman parts, and feel that what’s between my legs is irrelevant to the quality of my work. I do not want to be given a boost just because of my gender, because that implies somehow that being a woman makes me not good enough.

Forget that. I am not the physical equal of an adult male in hand-to-hand combat. I know that, and I’d be stupid to try it. But I have walked grown men into the ground, and I’m smart enough to recognize that being prepared with certain tools means I don’t have to let him get any closer than bullets can be accurately fired. On the other hand, the one with the brain in it (metaphorically! My brain is safely inside my very hard head) I can be his equal.

Feminism has gone very far astray. What began as a movement to attain equality has become a movement toward supremacy, with a side of cosseting. As a female STEM student, and the mother of future STEM students, I worry about the effect this is going to have on our futures. Will the lowering of standards by well-intentioned idiots who want more women in science undermine our achievements? More than likely, it will.

Look at the results of Affirmative Action, a program that was intended to promote the minorities (sex and race), and the results of that. From the Navajo Code Talkers page: “By giving some groups of people more “rights” and protections than others, you are still promoting the separation and racism that you are trying to eradicate. The goal of everyone being equal is lost with affirmative action because the minority groups now have special privileges.” And even a (rather brave) essay published in Stanford Magazine, “Perhaps the most tragic side effect of affirmative action is that very significant achievements of minority students can become compromised. It is often not possible to tell whether a given student genuinely deserved admission to Stanford, or whether he is there by virtue of fitting into some sort of diversity matrix. When people do start to suspect the worst — that preferences have skewed the entire class — they are accused of the very racism that justifies these preferences. It is a strange cure that generates its own disease.”

I know that I, and my daughters, are strong enough to stand on our own two feet and earn our way through challenges, whether academic or in the workforce. So I object to the idea of needing special considerations that will elevate my chances above the men who I work with. This is not equality.

Last year I read an essay by Dorothy Sayers, and wrote my own sympathetic essay that intermeshed with it, because it resonated strongly with me. “A woman is just as much an ordinary human being as a man, with the same individual preferences, and with just as much right to the tastes and preferences of an individual. What is repugnant to every human being is to reckoned always as a member of a class and not as an individual person.” I had to check the publication date, because it seemed unlikely that this had been written eighty years ago. Eighty years… My grandmother’s lifetime (both of them!) since doubt was first cast on the objectives of feminism. And yet… it is still with us.

My own small rebellion against it is to seek to be a lady. I can want to be a male’s equal – and prove it – but also to be a lady. For me, this is somewhat easier by having been raised to be ladylike. Ladies don’t swear (in public), they don’t dress immodestly (look, there’s sexy, and then there’s tawdry. It’s a big difference), they don’t wrestle with pigs (I know, I know, facebook offers so MANY opportunities to do that…). For me, it’s a lot more than being an external lady. Mom taught me that if I don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I haven’t always managed that, but I try. If someone I’m close to needs something, I will do my utmost to give it. I was raised on the Proverbs 31 woman, and that’s who I wanted to be when I grew up. Not a chattel, or minion of my husband, but a businesswoman who took no nonsense, made him proud, and raised strong children who would continue as they were brought up.

I don’t want to be a man. I like being a woman. I like being his equal, but complementary in strengths rather than a clone. I’ve learned to despise the New Wave feminists and the men they lead on leashes. Which is what led to my breaking one of the ‘rules for ladies’ a while back.

You may not have heard about the silly reporter who took an AR-15 out shooting, and then claimed to have been traumatized by the recoil and possibly have been given PTSD by his short time at the range. As you can imagine, if you didn’t see the reactions, pretty much everyone pointed and laughed until their bellies ached. Larry Correia, the inimitable gun advocate and raconteur that he is, couldn’t pass it up. He asked on FB (and later in a blog post), “Noble people of Facebook, I need your help.

After the wildly successful feature where ace reporter Gersh Kuntzman gave us the straight scoop on what it is like to shoot the terrifying AR-15 “Black Mamba Star Killer Base” rifle, we here at the New York Daily News are happy to present our new feature ASK KUNTZMAN!

Join us as Gersh Kuntzman gives valuable life advice. Send us your questions, from lifestyle choices to product reviews, and together we can peer deep into his earth mother like wisdom. From his lilac scented crying pillow to you, rejoice as Gersh Kuntzman let’s you know what’s really going on in the world.

So this is your chance everybody. Do you have questions you need Gersh Kuntzman to answer? Post them below! He is like Dear Abby with a thousand times the sensitivity and twice the estrogen. Please, place your questions below in proper Dear Abby like format, and you might be lucky enough to selected for this week’s ASK KUNTZMAN!”

I was only one of many respondents, and to be honest, I cut it short, because ladies don’t boast.

Dear Kuntz, I have given birth to three children with no drugs, know how to fire and reload a black powder musket, fell a tree with a double-bit axe, set leghold traps, and rappel down a cliff to rescue a stranded climber. Do you think you could stop giving pussies a bad name? Because mine is pretty badass and doesn’t have a problem with recoil.

– Signed, Cocky in Cincinnati

 

Yeah. Ladies get to be badass too. Womyn? Not so much. Which would you rather be?

157 responses to “I’m Not A Delicate Flower – Cedar Sanderson

  1. Men and women are different. That doesn’t mean that one is better than the other. They are different and complementary. The human species is dimorphic and functions best when men and women are paired to work together and compliment each other.

    That’s not the only way that human beings can get things done, but it is the most natural and generally speaking the most efficient. Every human culture operates on the premise that one man and one woman in a partnership to raise children is the basic unit of humanity, just as the pack is is the basic unit of wolves or the pod is the basic unit of whales.

    It takes a huge expenditure of social capital to obscure this fact. Single parent households–even those that are headed by a high-earning parent–require a great deal of special accommodations to function at the same level of duel parent households, and evidence is that the long term effects on the children is not good.

  2. Chris Nelson

    I’m happy you are a STEM student and are raising STEM students. We need more hard working people in the field(s).

    As someone who has worked in technical careers his entire life I often perplexed by today’s STEM issues. I don’t care whom is in the cubicle next to me, I just want them to be competent and work well with others. I’ve seen the situation grow worse in the last 15 years with political correctness and Grrl Power advocates destroying two of the better local user groups.

    I was inspired to focus more on computers than electronics partially by some awesome female mentors in college and early jobs. First was Grace Hopper, whom gave a freakin’ awesome speech at the university. (Including the nanosecond length of wire.) Second was Joy, a grad student, whom set an example for everyone by pushing us under-classmen to really think about problem solving before hitting the keyboard. Third was my best boss ever, Barb, who kicked my ass and finally got me out the semiconductor fab and into full time programming.

    • I refuse to use the STEM acronym. It has turned into a code word for watering down the Engineering/Math/Sciences in order to have a more “diverse” workforce, as if an engineering workforce that is made up of mostly White American, Asian, and Indian males is not diverse. If one does not have a bent to this field, they have no business trying to enter it. If they happen to pass the course work and graduate, they will be miserable working in it.

      I know quite a few women who got engineering degrees that I have worked with in the nuke power business over the last 40 years. Many are still in, but most have gone in the managerial direction. Many dropped out for at least 10-15 years to be a full time Mom, because, in their words, motherhood was much more fulfilling, and when the kids reached their teen years, almost every one of them got certified as teachers and went to teaching, because they loved dealing with children/teens more than they did with inanimate objects. Many did this after going back into the engineering field, but found it very unsatisfying after so many years out.

      • STEM also serves as a provocation of embarrassment among those jealous of the reliance on empiricism in lieu of BS.

        ACADEMIC ABSURDITY OF THE WEEK: FEMINIST CHEMISTRY?
        Did you know there is an International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry? Neither did I, but of course it exists, for there really is no crazy identity politics “intersection” that doesn’t have its own journal read by dozens.

        The IJPC recently offered up a two-part article on “Gender in the Substance of Chemistry,” by Agnes Kovacs, who you will be unsurprised to learn is a professor of gender studies at Central European University in Hungary.
        [SNIP]
        My central claim is that a conceptual, rather than an empirical, analysis is needed; one should be looking for general metaphysical principles which serve as the conceptual foundation for the scientific theory, and which, in other contexts, constitute the philosophical foundations of a worldview that legitimates social inequalities.


        This must be said to nonSTEM Academic Theorists far more frequently.

        • Random thought: Let’s replace the imperial presidency with the empirical presidency!

          • You mean a presidency where the outcome of an action or initiative is compared to the intended outcome and then adjusted or withdrawn based upon that observation? Never work unless the intended outcome is “to expand executive power”.

        • I want the materials that make up the car I drive at 70 miles an hour on a regular basis to be the result of empirical chemistry rather than conceptual chemistry.

          If this makes me sexist, I’m okay with that. I’d rather be sexist and alive than a feminist grease spot.

        • Michael Brazier

          That’s almost the same thesis as Alan Sokal’s “Towards a Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity”. Except that Sokal was deliberately writing nonsense, to see how credulous an academic journal could be …

          • Is that like “The Endochronic Properties of Resublimated Thiotimoline”

            • Terry Sanders

              No, that was satire. The grad student in question never imagined a real chemist would take it seriously. It was an occasion for horror when he learned that one of his dissertation judges had read it at all…

              • Terry Sanders

                Further clarification, I hope: He was making fun of academic writing style, implying that by the time a “proper scientist” had finished his report, neither you nor he would even *notice* that he’d discovered freakin’ MOLECULAR TIME TRAVEL!!!

                He did something similar in “Pate de Fois Gras.” The people investigating a goose that was actually laying golden eggs tried a barium x-ray. A consultant they later called in was appalled when he learned that they’d shrugged and gone to something else when results were negative. “You’re like the cub reporter that got sent to a society wedding, and said there was no story because the bride didn’t show up!”

                (Negative results–as in they couldn’t find any barium. The goose had *made a radioactive isotope go away,* and they hadn’t thought they’d learned anything…)

          • Given how long it has been since Sokal’s masterpiece, I think we can safely conclude that Academic Journals in the “Soft Sciences” represent a black hole of credulity, attaining a magnitude of denseness so great that no knowledge can escape their collapsing spheres.

        • My central claim is that a conceptual, rather than an empirical, analysis is needed; one should be looking for general metaphysical principles which serve as the conceptual foundation for the scientific theory, and which, in other contexts, constitute the philosophical foundations of a worldview that legitimates social inequalities.

          My first thoughts on reading that: “Would you like some ranch dressing on your word salad?”

          • What, isn’t the philosophy of Roger Bacon, Robert Boyle, and Antoine Lavoisier not good enough for chemists anymore? Or, is it that the application has resulted in such inequality between those societies that have accepted it and those that it have not that it must be evul?

            • Nasty thought:

              The existence of science is based on philosophies, beginning with a rejection of solipsism. These philosophies are apt to be rejected outright or viewed with suspicion and given labels like “patriarchy.”

              What happens to science when the philosophies that nurtures it are rejected?

              • I believe that’s how you get Dark Ages…

                • As Joel Kotkin points out, Silicon Valley is threatening to throw us into the Dork Ages:

                  Glenn Reynolds:
                  Outside of politics, it’s not much better. Joel Kotkin writes that today’s tech oligarchs are worse than the old-timey robber barons. Jay Gould and Commodore Vanderbilt may have been robber barons, but they left us with railroads and steel mills. Today’s oligarchs give us Facebook and Twitter. And, as often as not, hire foreign workers under abusive H1B visa arrangements.

              • Nothing good. Historically, science is an outgrowth and development of natural philosophy. If empirical analysis is rejected in favor of the political theory of social justice as a foundation for scientific inquiry, we might as well go straight to witch-hunting as a foundation for technological civilization. It’s already happening in the social sciences.

              • Didn’t science used to be called natural philosophy?

                • Specifically what we call Physics.

                • Time was when every subject was philosophy. Science, yes, got the sub-subject before we started to call it by its new name.

                • Philosophy types don’t like it when you point out that once you get repeatable, verifiable answers, we stop calling it philosophy.

                  • they don’t?

                    I’ve never seen a philosopher who had the slightest problem with the notion that once you agree on what “repeatable, verifiable answers” means and hop to it, you’ve left the field of philosophy. (Nowadays)

                    • I thought that Philosophy and theology were for dealing with fuzzy subjects like morality.

                    • Morality, causality, reality, equality, mortality, finality, mentality, actuality, specificality, normality, particulality — all the best alitys.

                    • Just be careful when walking down dark alitys, you could get mugged by reality.

                    • Unlike Elwood P. Dowd, I cannot say, “Well, I’ve wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it.”


                      But I will have you know that Reality and I have an understanding: I don’t mess with Reality and Reality doesn’t mess with me.

          • And yes, I would like fries with that

          • Michael Brazier

            Would that it were just word salad. It translates to “expecting the scientific method to work in real life is the same as endorsing tyranny.”

            As George Orwell said once: “You have to be an intellectual to believe things like that; no ordinary man could be such a fool.”

        • There is philosophy of science. There might be questions specific enough to warrant calling philosophy of chemistry, though I doubt enoguh for a journal.

        • I’m reminded of a project launched in France (of course) some years ago to create a search engine that would compete with Google.
          The stated goal, as expressed by the French government official announcing the project was to have a “more feminine” search algorithm. No, I am NOT making this up.

          • Given what has been learned about some of the “tilting” of their search algorithms, Google seems pretty pussy enough.

            French Feminists might find their energies better directed at addressing the peculiarities of gender biases inherent in their language.

      • I have a feeling most of those STEM engineers are going to be “sales engineers”, some kind of management, or simply unemployed.

        It’s probably a highly-regional thing, but when I was looking at the job ads in the paper a while back, the highest offered wages for engineers was about midrange for secretaries.

        • Hmmmmm….I seem to notice that Engineers are the highest paid college graduates, with exception of lawyers, and absolutely the highest paid Bachelor’s degree holders.

        • That’s weird. Perhaps there’s little demand for engineers in your region? Or maybe the engineer salaries were for “sanitation engineers” and secretary ones included executive secretaries?

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            His region may be heavily tied to the oil sector. When it is busting, like now, engineers in such regions look hard for work.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          simply unemployed.

          _This_

          We are strangling the economy. Shoving people into engineering because it has retained value over other degrees isn’t going to make engineering jobs appear. Especially if the people being shoved aren’t the right kind of crazy, and hence are indifferent to the material.

          • No, but it will diminish the value of a STEM degree, reducing the earning disparities for those fields (although actually competent engineers, for example, will prove more valuable, if harder to identify, than gold.)

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              Harder to identify means more unemployment for potentially competent engineers. Plus, engineers take a fair amount of on the job training to fully develop. Plus, incompetent engineers kill people. The more you confuse the difference, the more incentives tilt towards running the economy on fewer engineers a) than desirable b) than the economy will support c) than can be supplied d) than are needed for the future’s R&D requirements.

      • I got an engineering degree in Computer and System Engineering and have been working in IT ever since.

        • software or hardware?

          • Software. After one course my junior year, I decided that if I could kick it, I didn’t want to know about it.

            • Not sure what creatures inhabit hardware, but they seem to demand blood. Some things seem to refuse to work until after one gets a cut that bleeds while working on the thing. It should be nonsense, but coincidences don’t keep on happening, do they?

        • Conversely, I’ve been working in I.T. for about twenty years, (with occasional simultaneous side trips into Accounting [yeech], Court Courier work, Special Effects, Pyrotechnics, and Photography.) on unfinished History and Theater degrees.

          • Whenever my parents’ college friends congregated, they would generally end up in two groups. Because all the husbands were engineers and would talk shop, and all the wives would talk about other stuff. .

            One of my cousins got a degree in Politics and Theater. He’s now working in the insurance industry. At a party, he was talking with one of aforementioned engineer/husbands — a civil engineer — now retired. But in his retirement, he’s been working as an expert witness on whether things are up to code. They were talking shop. . . .

            • Us guys tend to talk shop in almost every social setting.

              • Most folk talk shop when they talk — the key is to understand what business they are in. Most guys are unaware f what the gals are discussing when they talk shop, because if they were aware they would feel very very uncomfortable.

                Like sheep overhearing knitters.

              • BTW – the current term is “networking.” “Talking Shop” is very 20th Cent.

  3. What Cedar said goes double for me. Although I only gave birth (w/o drugs) once.

    • Cedar Sanderson

      I actually have four children, but had to have drugs on the last one due to complications 🙂

      • I was frankly terrified of having a needle in my spine, but then they were briefly worried there might be complications. I appreciated it once they stopped worrying and it took properly.

        • I really appreciated it because it allowed them to basically reach up and straighten out baby – otherwise they were prepping the OR for us.

          • Whooof. Glad they were able to fix that.

            Mine was positioned fine, but they thought her pulse was slowing down unduly. I remember my handwriting sort of… gave up the ghost of legibility around the time I signed off on being put under general anesthesia in case they had to C-section before the epidural guy could get there, and worrying about whether it was identifiable enough as my signature to be treated as valid.

            That part actually resolved without intervention, thankfully, but the epidural was in by then. Once we got past a weird period where there was this one spot that still hurt just as much and I was freezing, I figured out why everybody seemed so enthusiastic about them.

  4. Are you implying that the sexes are separate but equal? Unpossible! Badthink! Hang your head in shame and go sit in the back of the bus, you un-woman!

    And keep on succeeding just the way you are, Cedar.

  5. You talk pretty and your population’s all inverted!

    More precious than rubies indeed! If the ruby in question is shaped like a rod, carefully polished, and mirrored on both ends.

    Pro Tip: Do not re-observe beam with remaining eye.

  6. Why does Lucinda Matlock of Spoon River Anthology come to mind here…

    • I went to the dances at Chandlerville,
      And played snap-out at Winchester.
      One time we changed partners,
      Driving home in the moonlight of middle June,
      And then I found Davis.
      We were married and lived together for seventy years.
      Enjoying, working, raising twelve children,
      Eight of whom we lost
      Ere I had reached the age of sixty.
      I spun, I wove, I kept the house, I nursed the sick,
      I made the garden, and for holiday
      Rambled over the fields where sang the larks,
      And by Spoon River gathering many a shell,
      And many a flower and medicinal weed —
      Shouting the wooded hills, singing to the green valleys.
      At ninety-six I had lived enough, that is all,
      And passed to a sweet repose.
      What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness,
      Anger, discontent and drooping hopes?
      Degenerate sons and daughters,
      Life is too strong for you —
      It takes life to love Life.

      Spoon River Anthology was one of the most enjoyable pieces of required reading I met in school. Do they even teach Edgar Lee Masters in school anymore?

      • No, unfortunately, but one of my middle school English teachers kept a copy on her classroom bookshelf. Good read.

      • I don’t think I was ever taught it. I saw it in college — done as a play, and was fascinated by Lucinda Matlock then. I am not sure, but I seem to remember the play ending on her line (she isn’t at the end of the poem, which surprised me when I read it years later looking for the references I remembered).

      • I don’t think I ever read the thing through, but I did appear in a production of it in my high school. That was one play where basically everyone who auditioned got a part. Or two. I ended up playing Anne Rutledge and Lois Spears.

      • I don’t know if they still do. I think we studied some, or maybe it was just in one of our books and we didn’t go over it. That one, something in it sounds familiar… and yet… and yet I remember thinking of that name as somebody who wrote gloomy poems!

  7. I think some of what has feminists so tied up in knots is that a lady is someone to be respected. A true lady *demands* respect, not with words, but with her actions, her quiet dignity, her calm determination, and her staunch refusal to be made anything less than a lady. A feminist wants the respect, but fails to act so that she deserves it. So the feminist whines and throws tantrums like any naughty child.

    It goes to both sides, too. Gentlemen bereft of ladies and vice versa are the poorer for it. If the common complaint of women I have heard so many times still holds, that there are no “real men” left, then might it not be that they’ve driven off such with their feminist antics, that they’ve signally failed to raise their boys to be men and not eunuchs? We are a powerful civilizing force on each other, we men and women, when we are gentlemen and ladies.

    There’s good reason for the dignity and decorum of manners. For one, and perhaps the least, it makes a more powerful statement when you must act decisively regardless of decorum. But more than that it gives us the framework in which to *be* gentlemen and ladies. It gives us ways to show honor and respect, and it gives our children a standard to aspire to.

    Apologies for the disjointedness, must run, eight tons won’t grow wings on its own. I’m sure someone else will have something more coherent to say. *grin*

    • I’ll rephrase you slightly. A lady earns respect, while the modern “feminist” demands it. 🙂

      • Yep, just as a real man earns the respect of others. I like that Marine advertisement you see a lot of on trucks/billboards, of a standard US military saber with the words, “Earned, not given”.

        • Yep, just as a real man earns the respect of others.

          You value the things you earn, not the things you’re given for free.

          • That raised my eyebrows because it seems like an obvious point but really doesn’t seem to be anymore. It’s like those parents who give their kids new cars when they turn sixteen and are shocked when the teen treats it like crap and drives it into the ground. A teen might still do that were they to have earned that car (speaking only for myself but I wasn’t all that bright at sixteen) but the feeling is different. Being afraid of your parent’s reaction might motivate some (but the parents giving their kids new cars are not normally the ones wherein the kids would have to worry about their reaction), but disappointing yourself? Looking at how many hours of your life you spent earning the money to buy that car? You learn the value of both work and the value of caring for your possessions.

            Or your parents tell you to value it and, as we all know, teenagers listen to, process appropriately, and take heed of their parent’s generous and well reasoned advice. I know I did.

            After I turned thirty.

            • It’s common for us to disregard our parents as youngsters, then get older and see just how much sense they made, even back then.

              • Attributed to Mark Twain:
                When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
                http://quoteinvestigator.com/2010/10/10/twain-father/

                • When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

                  That’s so true.

            • It’s amazing how much more valuable money becomes when you translate it into “Hmm, if I run the car out of oil and have to replace the engine, it will cost half a year’s work and my saved vacation money. I think I’ll schedule that oil change now.”

              • There are (or probably more accurately – were) a ’78 Triumph Spitfire and ’79 Toyota Corolla that will attest to validity of that statement. And the Toyota might remark that experience isn’t always a good teacher.

              • [makes note to check oil level before leaving]

      • I’ve a powerful belief in respecting the things you earn, yes. And it may well be that decaffeinated me may have come up short of muster.

        But what was on my mind was something else altogether. See, there’s some folks out there that you can just tell. Someone who by their very bearing expects certain things, and gets them, too, *because* they present themselves as a certain type of person. Ask any of the ex-military that haunt this blog (or on baen’s bar)- you can usually tell who has served. More finely put, ex-officers vs. ex-NCOs, and even senior NCOs. Perhaps that’s faded in some cases due to the *insert multiple sulfurous expletives* stupid things have have come down the pipe, but it’s still there.

        There’s a dignity of bearing to it. Chin up, eyes bright, shoulders square, frank and unflinching gaze, measured response when queried, deliberate but forceful when necessary. I’m actually referring to the kind of femininity I’m familiar with here, and have been since I was knee-high to a grasshopper.

        Let me tell you a story. Say that it’s not true, really, as I wasn’t there, but there’s truth in it, for sure and for certain. Once upon a time in Appalachia…

        There was a string of murders what had the law perplexed. Men beaten, tortured, shot, and hanged from way down in Suffolk all the way up into Manassas, but no witnesses, no motive, no evidence but bodies, blood, and a few flattened bullets. Not the biggest problem on the law’s plate locally, but at the time it caused something of a stir.

        The local sheriff was from a place a ways North of Speck. Seeing as a few of the murders had occurred not a few days’ ride hence, he and his posse got to poking around the hollers and high hills where a man might go to hide… And where my kin come from.

        As he and his are asking around, he comes to a solid built log cabin built near into a hillside with seems to be no one home. He sniffs around, finding tracks going hither and yon in dizzying circles over the ridgetops, only to come back to find a woman in a homespun dress standing on the porch he thought was empty a moment ago, with her hands on her hips.

        Sheriff and all involved take off their hats immediately.

        The young lady asks, in that particular cutting polite Southern drawl, by didn’t they knock? The sheriff allows as how he thought nobody was home. And apologizes. Profusely.

        He gets around to asking if there have been any strange men wandering around lately. The young lady fixes him with a firm stare and counts. There be six strangers a-mucking around right now, says she.

        Between apologizing and trying to explain, the sheriff eventually escapes with a promise to send his wife along with a covered dish next week, as a peace offering. Not a word else was said about the whole affair.

        Between you and me and the hickory tree, however, there’s a bit more to the story.

        See, in that house, in the loft, covered by an itchin’ deep foot of hay was a man with a lot of blood on his hands. That fellow had been hunting the men that raped and killed his wife and daughter, burning them alive in their own home. A Cherokee, let’s say he was, and his wife had been a beautiful white woman (actually a mixed breed given her black grandfather, but to men with hate in their hearts it’s little difference) from down in the valley. He’d been gone, working out farther west where folks cared less that he wasn’t white and more that his skills and honesty were as dependable as the sun.

        The law would not give him justice then, when he needed it most. Rather say, the men who were supposed to represent and uphold the law failed in their duties. The only folks he trusted, the only folks who knew him well enough and knew his kin and his deeds, those were *my* kin. In the black of night he’d come a knockin’ on the kitchen door, where he’d get food and a safe place to sleep, ere he was gone again often enough the next day.

        The sheriff and his men didn’t know that young lady from Eve, not even by reputation. It was dignity, bearing, and a whole pack of deception dealt straight faced that “earned” their respect, though they never knew her. It used to be, you knew a woman for a lady when she could walk into a room where some rough men were telling an off-color joke… and they would shut up and apologize without her even speaking a word. It also used to be, such men knew what a gentleman *was* even if they were not such themselves.

        You can earn respect, sure. I’m not knocking it one little bit, in fact, it’s something we all should strive for, to earn the respect of those we ourselves respect. But it’s those hard-to-describe qualities of femininity, masculinity, that can command respect from all but the meanest and least that don’t need to be earned from every soul they meet- it’s in who they are.

        • Apropos of the next-to-last paragraph: I was at a small gym, finishing a work out. Some younger guys started talking about a certain kind of woman, certain locker-room things, and other related topics. Finally I said, “Excuse me, but I’d prefer not to hear that sort of conversation. Can you please change the topic until I leave?”
          Red faced, eyes to the floor, they apologized profusely and carried on with their workouts. I left in five minutes, and they never talked about that stuff within my hearing again. All it took was one lady-like request and their gentlemanly side appeared, at least around me.

          • While it’s a bit sad to think that the young gentlemen in question were so unused to being in the presence of a lady that they would initiate such a conversation, it gives me hope in that the cultural memory ain’t dead yet.

            Good on ya, lass. Sometimes all it takes to remind a man how he ought to act is the gentle intervention of a lady.

            • Men will generally not hold to a higher level of deportment than they perceive is expected of them.

              Oddly, the same principle often applies to women.

      • A minor rephrasing of your reaphrasal, if I might. Because respect is not earned, it is paid. You pay respect to all you meet not because they’ve earned it but because of who you are.

        It isn’t that the modern feminist demands it that is the issue, it is that she forfeits it, devalues it by diluting the coin in which it is paid.

        Considerable gnawing on that concept will be required afore it can be aphorismed, and perhaps before it can even be clearly expressed, but I hope the outline is clearly enough limned.

    • I’m going to go up a level from your apt observations:

      The concepts of “Lady” and “Gentleman” are born of a culture which had arisen over the centuries which demands certain standards of behavior in order to receive such honorifics (as opposed to titles, which would be reserved for the nobility and gentry). The Progressives, including the modern “feminists”, have made it their mission to destroy that culture, with the easily foreseeable side effect of removing the incentives for people to behave in a civilized fashion, leading to the crassness and childishness we see today.

      • The concepts of “Lady” and “Gentleman” are born of a culture which had arisen over the centuries which demands certain standards of behavior in order to receive such honorifics (as opposed to titles, which would be reserved for the nobility and gentry). The Progressives, including the modern “feminists”, have made it their mission to destroy that culture, with the easily foreseeable side effect of removing the incentives for people to behave in a civilized fashion, leading to the crassness and childishness we see today.

        C.S. Lewis said it best:

        “In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

    • Seems to me to be the height of irony that the modern feminist movement does at the same time demand that men act as gentlemen yet insist that we are all hulking, misogynistic, rape crazed brutes.

      • It shames me to admit, but I’ve derived a bit of perverse pleasure in hearing them bemoan the lack of good men after hearing such tales of horror about what they think men are really like.

  8. Sensitive New Age Guys —


    Even feminists mock them.

  9. Will the lowering of standards by well-intentioned idiots who want more women in science undermine our achievements? More than likely, it will.

    There was a time when we told the stories of our culture. We learned the lessons they had to teach. And I could expect to be understood, not just in a forum such as this, when I say that Procrustean solutions are not the path to equality…

    The dumbing down of society hurts us in so many ways.

    BTW there is a slight error on this bolg page. Since the consideration of the problem of attempting a forced equality in everything is a factor in the story — as good as A Few Good Men is (and I highly recommend it) the latest book in our esteemed hostess’ Space Opera Series is Through Fire.

  10. Pity the modern feminist. What I’ve seen is that many of them want the same power and prestige that they see men to have. They sacrifice their femininity for it and try to become just like the most selfish and least principled of men, with the delusion that that makes them “strong”.

    By trying to become imitation men, they have only succeeded in making themselves barren. Anciently, this was regarded as curse, but they have done it to themselves and boasted that it is progress.

    • “They sacrifice their femininity for it and try to become just like the most selfish and least principled of men, with the delusion that that makes them “strong”.”

      See the people who admire Cersei more than Arwen.

      • Under my battlements. Come, you spirits
        That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
        And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
        Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood;
        Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
        That no compunctious visitings of nature
        Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
        The effect and it! Come to my woman’s breasts,
        And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers,
        Wherever in your sightless substances
        You wait on nature’s mischief! Come, thick night,
        And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
        That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
        Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,
        To cry ‘Hold, hold!’

    • scott2harrison

      They forsake the feminine virtues but cannot even conceive of the masculine virtues. Thus they turn themselves into virtue less scum.

  11. High standards yield high results far more often than weak standards. Expect more, and you get more.

    I’ve been a software engineer for more than two decades, and I’ve seen over and over that “best” and “gender lines” really don’t have much to do with each other in technical fields.

    I regularly see, however, that personal preferences and self-selection are at odds with the idea that every group must somehow mimic the distribution of the population.

    It’s great to encourage better participation in a field (like STEM fields), but any discrimination to enforce a “proper” distribution promotes the demeaning idea that some are too weak to succeed without help.

  12. “Owwee! This AR-15 with a .223 round hurts! Wahhh!”
    “There, there. You just need a different rifle Try this .577.”

  13. Heard about the Kuntzman AR thing when it first hit the net.
    No question, pussy through and through and I’m sure he entered into the test with expectations that the results simply reinforced.
    But I also suspect that either someone at the shooting range forgot to explain the need for hearing protection, or Kuntzie blew them off. In an indoor range or outdoors with shooting bays separated by flat panel baffles the report of a gunshot hits your ears in a very noticeable and rather painful pressure wave.
    To someone unfamiliar with firearms in general, and sans ear plugs or muffs it could easily seem like taking a cluebat up side the head.

    • I also suspect that either someone at the shooting range forgot to explain the need for hearing protection, or Kuntzie blew them off.

      Are you suggesting that Kuntzman should pay heed to the advice of some bitter gun-clinging Bible-toter? What could an enlightened journalist possibly need to learn from some such peasant?

    • I’ve never been to a commercial shooting range where the staff didn’t make sure a noob knew how to at least operate the weapon AND wear hearing/eye protection, to cover their own liability if for no other reason.

      Can you imagine that catamite if he’d taken a hot piece of .45 brass down his collar? No, scratch that, can’t happen when you wear Danskin tops…

    • Heh. Just visualized a shotgun with muzzle brake in that situation.

    • Actually, given that some of the things that he described about the experience appear to be the opposite of the way that the AR-15 works, it seems likely to me that he just made up the whole experience.

      • Nyah, that couldn’t be the case. Gersh Kuntzman “is an American journalist.” [Wikipedia]

        They have a code of ethics, and standards and dedicated professional editors and fact checkers (layers and layers of them — I read about it in the news.) They don’t “make s–t up.” They probe deeply into the hidden truths of our society, buried beneath mounds of illusion.

        Also per Wiki: “Kuntzman is often said to be notable for his coverage of the July 4 hot dog-eating contest at Coney Island,[2] which is sponsored by Nathan’s.”

        Does that sound like the kind of person whose reporting cannot be relied upon?

        You must be thinking about some pajama-clad blogger somewhere.

        • ” Gersh Kuntzman is an American journalist. They have a code of ethics, and standards and dedicated professional editors and fact checkers.”

          Stephen Glass, Dan Rather, and Sabrina Erdely could not be reached for comment.

    • He wrote in the article that the noise was deafening despite the ear protection,or words to that effect.

      Which means he either had piss poor ear protection or he was lying.

      Or maybe he was writing to the expectations of his audience.

      I also wonder if his “temporary PTSD” was the result of the cognitive dissonance of actually enjoying on a subconscious level the act he’d engaged in.

      • I was amused by his silly description of firing the AR-15, as I have done that and found it if not mild, certainly not problematic. Had it been a short-barrel S&W 500 revolver (which I have also had occasion to try) then I would understand it being rather loud and possibly resulting in sore hands. But I doubt that with proper protections in place it would have been anything at all like what he described.

  14. Iron Magnolias. The term predates Steel Magnolias. Iron Magnolias are women, particularly Southern women, who are ladies but tough. That’s pretty much the default setting in a great portion of the US, because most don’t have the option of living as the elites.

    • It takes considerable toughness to say “Bless her heart” while suppressing the righteous tirade of expletives so often earned by so many.

    • Hit the post too early. It’s worth noting that what passes as feminism do not have the concept of Iron Magnolias. Their view is like that old Miracle Gro ™ commercial for roses with a delicate rose with a Southern accent that had to have conditions just so. They do not realize women don’t have to act like men in order to be tough, or even know what tough means.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        I think it might be how some people like the flashy aspects of Ninja, but don’t appreciate the original virtue of the enduring men.

        I grew up aware that people have admirable qualities, but often had feet of clay. I decided I would seek to emulate the virtues, and avoid the vices.

        From oral history I knew what my female ancestors had to do for me to be in as a good a place as I was. They were not weak, they were not stupid, they were not inferior.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        In Barbara Hambly’s “Anne Steelyard: The Garden of Emptiness” graphic novel series, one of the secondary characters is this upper-crust Society Matron.

        While she disagrees strongly with Anne Steelyard’s chosen lifestyle, she also shows a great deal of strength of character.

        She’s not a “nice” person in some ways but backs Anne Steelyard where it counts.

        Oh, at the end of the series, Anne’s father is about to disinherit Anne but the Society Matron stops him in his tracks.

        Basically he wants his younger daughters accepted into High Society and the Society Matron tells that if he disinherits Anne, his other daughters Will Not Be Accepted into High Society and he knows the Society Matron has the power to carry out her threat. 👿

    • A friend’s mother was one of those. She was born in Norway and spent most of her life in Texas.

      If she had been running Tara when the damnyankees came in, they would have wound up stringing fence and plowing fields without quite knowing how that had some about…

      Such women *expect* certain behavior, you see…

      • Such women *expect* certain behavior, you see…

        Margaret Dumont is today remembered for her portrayal, in a variety of guises, of “such women” in a series of Marxist movies.

        in spite of her expectations, she got quite uncertain behaviour.

      • So many feminists are unable to tell men’s virtues from their vices, and wish to preserve all their vices while demanding the accommodation granted by the virtues they have scorned.

        I found, when I had to lead people, that men and women will live either up to your expectations, or down to them – depending entirely on where the leader sets the bar. I expected my men to act like gentlemen and my ladies to act like ladies, even in a physically demanding environment. Some did not thrive under this unaccustomed challenge – but others absolutely blossomed, because they had never before been encouraged to be the gentlefolk they wanted to be, and found they liked very much being the person I expected them to become.

        I think this is truly the heart of the allure of steampunk and the SCA to many college-age kids; it allows them to actually have formal clothes, formal manners, and customs and courtesies that modern life has all but stripped out of their current culture.

        • As the headmaster said, “This is not a place where opening doors for others is encouraged, it is a place where such behavior is expected.” And the students rise to meet that expectation. You can always tell a dress-down day by the behavior. Always. Clothes really do make the man and lady among teens.

          • I am unable to find this in an isolated clip, which is a pity as it is a incisive expression of a now somewhat discarded view of what education ought achieve:


            Go to 10’20” and do please try to keep up.
            “Herries illustrates his idea of the ideal Bamfylde student with a story about a time when two of the boys found themselves on a train seated in a compartment with a mother nursing a baby. The baby was dramatically sick and one of the boys, the star pupil who later went on to become president of a famous insurance company, hid behind an upside down newspaper. The other boy, seated next to the mother, “was on the receiving end of the business” but was completely nonplussed. He whipped out a clean handkerchief, “the only clean handkerchief I’d ever seen him sport,” and thoroughly cleaned up both baby and mother. This second boy, we are told, “never won a prize or a race. Neither did he find time to do the only thing he was equipped to do—raise a family. He was killed at First Ypres, but I still remember him. Rather better than I remember Petherick [the first boy]. As a matter of fact… I thought of him as one of our outstanding successes.” Algy Herries explains in his farewell speech.” ( thewinedarksea[DOT]com/2007/06/08/book_review_to_serve_them_all_my_days_by_r-_f-_delderfield_/ )

            R. F. Delderfield’s “To Serve Them All My Days mirrors the history of Britain in the post–Great War era, casting David’s experiences against the difficulties, contradictions, and social issues of the interwar years. David’s life focuses on how Britain comes to terms with the turmoil of the Great War, the General Strike, socialism and the formation of the National Government in particular.” [Wikipedia]

            • Lessee if this edited link works to take us to the right moment:


              So handy if such editing to time works, eh?

              • Tsk — seems to come in about ten seconds late. Oh well, it would have been too nice for WP if it had worked.

            • Captain America/Steve Rogers is emblematic of the world that was and Iron Man/Tony Stark of the current world. They are both heroic but Cap is also a gentleman.

        • I’ve noticed the same, whenever I get full control of my minions (i.e. not having constant “supervision” from higher).

          For some, all it takes is the example they get *nowhere else* in life, and they’re hooked. It’s tough to maintain manners and decorum when you’re the only one. Most kidlets only think they are outcast and ostracized- active derision and tormenting is tough, even on the twenty-plus crowd. When you get structure and leadership involved, well, it’s a whole new ball game.

          It’s what makes Libertycon such a nice place to be, too. With very few exceptions, the folks there are well aware of what constitutes good behavior. *grin*

          • … the folks there are well aware of what constitutes good behavior. *grin*

            Constitutes”? Is that the inverse of Prostitutes?

            • Considering that “prostituting good behavior” is just mind boggling enough to be a plank on the Democratic Party Platform, and that the Constitution (the literal, words-mean-things Constitution, not the “living document”) is like holy water and garlic to the kind of parasitic vampirism that is called liberal progressivism (but which is really second- or is it third?- wave Marxism)…. I’d say yes. *chuckle*

  15. Cedar: two-pound sledge. Come up from behind. Improvise, adapt and overcome.

  16. To act like a lady or gentleman requires, as best I can tell, a blend of self respect and humility. Self respect enough to stand one’s ground and maintain a higher standard than is strictly necessary, no matter who is or is not watching, and the humility to know that you are NOT the center of the universe and that other people are due a certain level of respect (until proven otherwise, in which case see part the first). A large number of the people in public view seem to lack both qualities. They cut their cloth to fit the fashion of the moment, and they see others as inferior or as tools for their own indulgence, if not entirely beneath their notice.
    Or, to put it another way, they seem to live down to the expectations of the mob.