Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Every man for himself

People are talking about the Concordia disaster. I noted it at first because it happened about 20 minutes train ride from where I sit.

The other thing I noted almost immediately is the news about the behaviour of the captain, Francesco Schettino, and the other men on board.

Rich Lowry comments in the National Review:

"“Every man for himself” is a phrase associated with the deadly Costa Concordia disaster, but not as a last-minute expedient. It appears to have been the natural order of things. In the words of one newspaper account, “An Australian mother and her young daughter have described being pushed aside by hysterical men as they tried to board lifeboats.” If the men of the Titanic had lived to read such a thing, they would have recoiled in shame. The Titanic’s crew surely would have thought the hysterics deserved to be shot on sight — and would have volunteered to perform the service.
Another woman passenger agreed, “There were big men, crew members, pushing their way past us to get into the lifeboats.” Yet another, a grandmother, complained, “I was standing by the lifeboats and men, big men, were banging into me and knocking the girls.”

I note that Michael is doing a series this week on the emasculation of men and the effects of feminism on the Church. Today he mentioned the type of men who are feminist-approved in today's media. Men are routinely depicted as weak, stupid and ineffectual and lorded over by strong, hip intelligent women. After watching today's offering, I sent him a note asking that he not forget to talk about feminism's vilification and demonisation of strong men. The flip side of feminism's hatred of men is to denounce them as violent, evil and terrifying. Monsters.

I think it is also worth commenting on the effects on men in the real world of feminism, and her strumpet child, the Sexual Revolution. Feminism has killed the cultural priority of men protecting and being responsible for women. A male who has overcome adversity and grown from a child protected by women into a man, an adult who protects women and children. Our feminist-inspired anti-culture, coupled with a soul-deadening consumerist materialism, has tossed these concepts out and by telling women they don't need men, by demonising the strength of masculinity, it has at the same time told men that they never need to grow up.

If feminism has taught women they can sleep around "like men," it is to be remembered that this means it has also given men permission to do the same. Instead of insisting that men behave responsibly, marry a woman and protect and care for her and his children, it has offered men women as toys and offered women the Pill and abortion as the back-up plan.

I read an interesting, though deeply frightening, website that claimed to be in support of men against the feminist world. One of the points that the clearly angry men made was that they were often held to a grossly unjust double standard. The legal system, now held firmly in the feminist claw, holds them financially responsible for the children they father. The article on the site pointed out however, logically enough, that since effective contraception was available for free, and women are now allowed to use men sexually as easily as men use them, no man should ever be held responsible for fatherhood. The argument was even more chilling as it addressed abortion. Why should any man ever be financially ruined by family courts when abortion is legal, a lot cheaper and easy to get?

Why indeed? Feminism, because it is essentially dishonest, childish and self-serving, will never own up to the logical conclusions of its premises.

The culture-wreckers made divorce easy to get in the 1970s but it took a few decades for feminism, having now gained monstrous political strength, to catch up. It was not until about ten or twenty years ago that they realised that easy divorce and "free sex" left women and children without protection. When my parents divorced in 1971 or so, there were no laws protecting women from total abandonment. It is true that at that time, many, if not most post-divorce women were left in desperate poverty, often relying on welfare handouts, when the man ignored court orders for child support.

But in the last 20 years, feminism has caught up and now a man who divorces or leaves his family is often completely wiped out. Feminist family lawyers are known actively to discourage reconciliations in favour of totally ruining the man. In Canada, with the stereotype of the despicable "deadbeat dad" conveniently kept alive by the media, family court judges think nothing of ordering a man to turn over nearly his entire income. One man I know of, who had lost his job and was facing eviction from his apartment, was told by a judge, "I don't care if you don't have the money. If you don't pay, you go to jail." Canadian family law has revived the Victorian institution of debtor's prison.

Recently, the popes have written against the kind of feminism that promotes abortion and contraception, for hammering a wedge of hostility between men and women. Universal promiscuity, contraception, legal abortion, easy divorce, together with a youth-worshipping, madly consumerist culture, they have said, has created the perfect storm. A cultural disaster that tells women they don't need men, and men they can remain happy, care-free adolescents their whole lives.

This message seems to have come through especially loud and clear in Italy where it is only too easy to find men who are the embodiment of the self-indulgent man-child stereotype. Feminised men are a plague in Italy: vain, self-important, shallow and self-seeking mamma's boys who think nothing is wrong with living in their parents' house in their thirties and forties. One of the things I have written about recently is the drop in marriage rates in Italy. I think one of the best reasons for it is the terrible dearth of grown-up men. (Not forgetting that their skinny, shrieking, tarted-up, painted-claw, artificially endowed females are not anyone's warm ideal of wife and motherhood either.)

I'm happy to say that I am not the only one to have noticed this. It is a common cultural self-criticism of Italians.

Rosaria Sgueglia writes in the Huffington Post (somewhat ironically) that the master of the Concordia is one of those Italian men who match the stereotype point for point.
The average Italian man is said to be narcissist, egomaniac, coward, selfish, unable to follow basic procedures and unable to follow the rules. True or not, it's a stereotype, a stereotype which is strongly proved by the latest, tragic events in Italy.

But I'm also happy to say that I've liked and admired most of the Italian men I've met. The cultural stereotype is easy to observe in Rome, but it is not universal. I've certainly been the recipient of a great deal of careful assistance from a lot of good Italian men lately. (I've also observed that the grown-up Italian men I've met are also almost always Catholics who take their faith seriously.)

These would be men like the Coast Guard Captain Gregorio De Falco who repeatedly, and unsuccessfully, ordered Schetino back on board after the creep had fled the ship and abandoned his charges.

Sgueglia voices the frustration of Italians at the common shortcomings of their own post-Catholic culture, "Today Captain De Falco is the voice of Italian People; an angry voice, angry as every single Italian is."
Yes, today we are furious and we are because a human accident, a stupid accident, caused the death of people who didn't deserve to end their life in such a horrible way. We are because a five-year-old girl was left on board and is still missing; as are more than 20 people. We are because it took Mr. Schettino an hour to call the Mayday. We are because pregnant women, elderly and people who needed assistance were left without any coordination from their captain.

And we are because someone who was clearly incapable of doing his job was made responsible of more than 4,000 people. And, yes, we also are because people like Mr. Schettino do nothing but compromise the already damaged image the rest of the world has of Italian people.


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