Friday, May 12, 2017

The Y-Chromosome Stigmata, Continued

     I’ve already received a raft of inquiries about yesterday’s piece on this subject. The majority of them ask the same question: Why? More specifically, why did I write it?

     I’ll tell you why, but I’ll tell you up front: You aren’t going to like it.

     Certain characteristics of my books routinely draw disproportionate attention. The one that was on my mind yesterday arises from the immense popularity of my most popular protagonist with women. Hundreds of female readers have written to plead / implore / demand that I write more about that character. Here’s the best illustration why:

     "How old would you say I am, Louis?"
     He grimaced. "When we met, I'd have taken you for my age, or a few years more. But that can't be. You're many times as old as the oldest man I know. Possibly as old as recorded history."
     He was wrong. I'm much older than that. But for all his penetration, I didn't expect him to have seen so deeply into me. I'd grown too used to being inscrutable.
     "On what do you base this...estimate?"
     He smiled and tilted his chair back.
     "Would you say I have a specialty, Malcolm?"
     I thought about it.
     "If by a specialty you mean something you do appreciably better than anything else you do, then the answer is no, because you do everything well. If you mean something you do appreciably better than anyone else around you, then the answer is still no, because you do everything better than anyone I've ever known."

     [From Chosen One.]

     I invented a character of enormous physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual power: a supergenius who could best any athlete on Earth at anything, who possessed a deep and abiding Catholic faith and an unbreakable resolve never to put his own desires above another person’s needs or rights. Louis Redmond, quite frankly, is impossibly good. I had to make him short, ordinary-looking, and prone to outbursts of temper to avoid the Mary-Sue trap. The most extravagantly described male character in any “sweet savage” romance falls far short of him.

     In reality, there are no such men. That’s why my female readers all adore him. Among my male readers, the tendency is to resent him.

     The greatest embarrassments of my years as a fiction writer have been the times when I’ve been required by honesty and Christian humility to reply to a female correspondent that “No, I’m not writing about myself.”

     There are no Louis Redmonds. There are no Armand Morelons. There are no Todd Iversons or Stephen Graham Sumners ...damn it all. All we have are frail, fallible, all-too-human men, many of us weary unto death from straining to meet irrational, impossible expectations – both our own, and those of others.

     There’s an old bit of office humor that’s much to the point:

We, the Willing,
Led by the Unknowing,
Are doing the Impossible for the Ungrateful.
We have done so much,
For so long,
With so little,
We are now Qualified,
To do Anything,
With Nothing.

     That, in a nutshell, is the state of the American man in this Twenty-First Century since the birth of Our Lord. Though we labor largely in service to our wives and children – even today, with so many of us having surrendered to the gimme-itis virus, that remains the case – the female half of our nation has been granted a license to treat us like shit. Few women decline the privilege. Worse yet, they have a substantial number of enablers – “white knights” – from among our number.

     Typically, a man will bind himself to a woman who appears ready, willing, and able to:

  • Appreciate his strengths and virtues,
  • Show tolerance toward his weaknesses and vices,
  • And provide him what he needs from a wife and helpmeet.

     In recent years, ever more women have chosen to simulate those attitudes and readinesses, rather than actually embody them. The chaos in our divorce courts and the wreckage they’ve produced testify eloquently to that trend. But let a “men’s rights” group gain some visibility, and what happens next? Denunciation and attempts to shout us down from the feminist mouthpieces, especially the ones who exhort their “sisters” to embrace...lesbianism!

     Those “angry ugly girls,” barely one in a hundred of whom could even change a tire, get a respectful hearing nearly every time.

     Is it really so surprising that we’re getting sick of it? Is it really so surprising that American men are less willing to marry than ever before in history? Is it really so surprising that we're ready to rebel – to “go our own way?”

     Be aware, Gentle Reader: It’s a (generally) happily mated man who’s writing this.

     Things are difficult throughout American society. The reason is seldom discussed: Whether rightly or wrongly, many persons feel they haven’t gotten what they deserve. Frustration often makes the frustrated one angry – openly, vocally angry. When he gets angry enough, he starts to “act out.”

     Quoth Suzanne Venker:

     At the end of the day, most men just want a woman who’s nice. “Nice,” to a man, means being soft, gentle and kind. It means asking your husband how his day was and really listening. It means doing something nice for him with no expectation of getting something in return—you know, the way you did when you were dating.

     Indeed. We don’t want the ersatz version of “nice” that dissipates once the ring is on her finger. We want women who embody the feminine virtues as our grandparents’ generation – men and women both – knew and appreciated them. But they’re getting to be in very short supply, displaced by an attitude of female superiority that simultaneously maintains that women are men’s equals in every regard – which they’re not – and that women are in such danger from men and masculinity that they must have special privileges, written into law and custom, to protect them from us.

     That, Gentle Reader, will not end well. The article I cited yesterday is only the tip of the iceberg. Look beneath the waterline if you dare.

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