The Heroic Masculine and the Devouring Stepmother

My first encounter with feminism happened at the age of five. I was playing on what my father insisted on calling a “play apparatus”—in layman’s terms, a jungle gym—and Naomi, a blonde girl my age, was perched at the top. “I will save you,” I said, and began to climb. “I don’t need saving,” she said, followed by, “I do not want to play.” Brought up with classic tales of heroism, I was already detecting the severe disconnect between the age-that-was and the modern period within which I was encased. I had not the words, but I felt it in the way children do. Social dynamics shift as we age, it is true, but there is something eternally contemporaneous about our childhood experiences.

The second encounter I clearly remember was via my teacher, who was an otherwise wonderful woman, reading The Paper Bag Princess to the class. In this pivotal tome of the Occidental canon, the female princess must save the ungrateful prince, who carries a tennis racquet in lieu of a sword, and the ending has her predictably dancing alone into the sunset. The subversion of expectations, that our popular media seems to think is the height of clever story-telling, was already there in 1980, when this book was published. If you want to experience an updated version of the same story, go and see the new Peter Pan; even the Lost Boys are led by a strong female character. The future some had in mind was no country for young men.

This essay appears in October’s Quadrant.
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The heroic masculine, once the dominant ethos in Western civilisation, is now on life support. Yet, if you were to take one look at ABC News, you would assume we were living in a patriarchal tyranny that would make Sauron blush. Within every man is a rapist trying to get out; toxic masculinity is everywhere lurking; we talk about “consent” endlessly, as though people only do wrong thanks to a Socratic veil of ignorance (a surprisingly naive and optimistic view of the human condition, given the misanthropic Weltanschauung of the Left). Women are still held down by structural inequality, despite affirmative quotas in nearly every aspect of public life, and despite recently receiving the lion’s share of Order of Australia medals. News outlets repeatedly churn out juxtapositional gibberish: Women Now Earn More Than Men, Women’s Romantic Prospects Suffer Most. Are we supposed to laugh, or cry?

Cry, it seems; it is men who are committing suicide at grossly disproportionate rates, who are dropping out of school and university in droves, who appear to have collectively handed over the sceptre without even realising they’ve done so. They bury themselves in video games, or descend into the working man’s culture, the last outpost of masculinity, the masculinity of the mullet, the pub and NRL. Once the working man had Shakespeare and the Bible in his house; now he is addicted to pornography and marijuana. No, you will find no redemptive arc there. The departure of masculinity from any sort of aristocratic or high culture, from anything aspirational or upward-looking, should alarm those with a broad understanding of the course of civilisational history. The last time you saw that archetype, it was likely filling the boots of a badly-written villain in a badly-written television production.

Increasingly, the feminine-oriented zeitgeist we find ourselves immersed in begins to resemble the wicked stepmother of Brothers Grimm fame. Courtesy of the last century, we have a fairly clear understanding of what masculine evil resembles; the boot to the face of Orwell’s description, violent will-to-power, an unrestrained and generally poorly camouflaged desire for subjugation. At a more root-and-branch level, there is the moral panic about domestic violence that has dominated headlines for years. There is more that can be said about that, but it suffices for now that dividing the sexes into blameless angels and their opposite has not been particularly helpful, vis-à-vis the Higgins trial. I hope that, even in our age of slogan-driven muddy thinking, it is uncontroversial to note that neither gender holds a monopoly on sin or virtue. If there is one thing the modern person does not need, it is less accountability, nor on-demand unqualified victim status, even as they paradoxically claim to be the empowered arbiter of their own fate. All of us are obliged to resist the temptation to eat the cake we want to keep.

Feminine evil is a more slippery subject, because in the stunted state of the contemporary imagination, the heroic feminine is often realised along masculine lines. Forgive me for again descending a moment into the sewer that is popular culture to explore this point. Attend any Hollywood release that purports to showcase that “strong female character” and expect to see a rendering of the 1990s action hero in drag. Rules of physics be damned, these kung-fu queens could hold their own against Andre the Giant, if the plot so requires. And, unlike even the most poorly written Van Damme clone, that’s about it, in terms of character development. They are always equipped for any task, are entirely self-reliant, and most certainly do not need a man. That would be treason against the sisterhood. That these films bleed revenue, that people no longer show up to see them, and that they will turn your brain to jelly, seems not to rate; the messaging matters more than the money. This is important to keep in mind, that the other side perhaps does not view success or failure in the conventional way. They view commercial film-making the way the Soviets viewed Pravda. If things continue this way we might have to call them not-for-profit organisations, though I doubt that will dull their enthusiasm. (For the Critical Drinker’s thoughts on Hollywood’s modern legion of ‘strong women’ see the clip embedded at the foot of this essay. Warning: salty language)

None of this, I hope you will see, is a criticism of women. There are some especial women who can hold their place with any man, in the parts of life men have always managed best, when they are able to manage their best. My own life, and likely yours, is resplendent with female mentors, many of whom have been pillars of strength at various times; nobody who has experienced life as anything other than a reductionist, feebly politicised abstraction could quibble the point. These women, mind, always exist within what Jung called feminine archetypes. They are not men in different skins, and that is always apparent. What ennobles them is not an aversion to the traditional feminine but an embrace of it, even if they themselves are not cognisant of the fact, and might recoil if told as much, depending how much Kool-Aid they’ve had to drink. This is real feminine steel, and has nothing in common with Brienne of Tarth, Captain Marvel or Rey Skywalker—the sort of female action-heroes held up to girls today as models of aspiration, the way Schwarzenegger and Stallone served a prior generation of boys.

Part of this story-telling rings false because young women don’t need to be the prince, because they are the prize, and prizes don’t have to do much. Women choose suitors; men compose their ranks. This is why the female has value, despite what she does, and why women used to be evacuated first. The man who does nothing valuable has no value, and this is why the transition from boyhood to manhood is so jarring, especially in a society that has no ritual for such a thing deeper than going to the pub or a boozy eighteenth. In a strange inversion of those Germanic tribes who declared a man still a boy until he killed an enemy in battle, adolescence too often never ends for the postmodern man. And the postmodern woman, who breaks herself at the wheel for career and social prestige, belatedly discovers that nobody cares very much. It goes without saying that doing valuable things remains valuable, whatever your sex; but doing valuable things merely to be viewed as valuable is perhaps less laudable. Somebody made a category error, and assumed that what is good for one ought be just as good for the other; and all these problems are helped in no small part by the long-going attempt, that I hope needs no refuting, to convince us that differences between men and women are entirely invented.

What is delivered to us in these nicely marketed packages is not feminine strength—at least, not the way we see it play out in observable reality—which is why they fail on the silver screen. Feminine strength at its best is selfless, all-sacrificing, and lights the fire that warms the hearth. A world without it is a cold and bitter one. The natural feminine instinct, properly deployed, is chthonic, nurturing and building what is immediate to her. If you have a good mother, you know exactly what I mean. If you are a good wife, who has avoided the ideational traps of the moment, you know that this is not an easy thing; that it will make demands over and above what men will often understand. It requires courage and grace. All of this bends against the fervent modern desire to always be the protagonist, but among either sex, who of us really are? Even if we consider ourselves so, who would be interested in reading the story? Naked individualism can only take, and at least Ayn Rand was honest about that; and female strength is largely about the opposite. In this expression of feminine strength is great power, and great responsibility; the hand that rocks the cradle still rules the world.

Feminine evil, it seems to me, constitutes a propensity towards infantilising forever on the one hand, and neglect on the other. The most immediate feminine duty, and today the most neglected, is to the next generation: we might as well be honest about it. I didn’t make the rules, but I can at least be truthful in reporting them accurately, and not mistake wishful thinking for how the world really is. Why this prompts such foaming rage in the feminist probably requires more examination than scope exists here, but likely it relates to the desperate hubris of the modern to remake the world exactly according to his or her whims. As Chesterton said, the modern woman wishes to be a slave in the workplace rather than a queen in the home, though making this argument today comes the better part of a century too late, when all our economic and social conditions have shifted to make any other sort of life an impossibility for most. One must also concede that the various feminist moments played ultimately to the benefit of communists, capitalists and carnalists, who happened to provide them with the most corporeal support.

The sexual revolution has been likened to encouraging children to play in traffic. The results have been ruined families, childlessness and demographic decline, as well as all kinds of individualised distress that should make public renunciations of Freud mandatory. Until we can grow embryos en masse in machines, Third World migration will have to suffice; the very sorts least likely to embrace feminism, at least initially, when they are most fecund. One day, we might learn that we cannot depend on technology and globalisation to fix the catastrophes they helped create. In the meantime, it is evident that the various waves of feminism have essentially euthanised the conditions that enabled it to emerge in the first place. Thus, we are left with the Devouring Stepmother, because her efforts are entirely destructive, and because this state of affairs is not a natural one. The heroic masculine can never be the progeny of what passes for today’s zeitgeist.

To the ruling dispensation, the heroic masculine is not merely regarded as an antiquarian throwback, a thing we’ve harmlessly moved past, or something that had its time and ought to peacefully evolve into the next stage of evolution. Given how linearly and depressingly this dispensation imagines the nature of progress, we ought to expect this is how they will express it, in terms they suppose the majority will believe. Rather, they correctly identify the heroic masculine as a threat, perhaps the most vital threat, to the continued health of their colossal project of social engineering. This is why many commentators, some in elected positions, declare “young white men” the number one threat to the current order; not that this is to pretend that some versions of the ersatz masculinity proffered today are anything heroic. Nonetheless, as I read somewhere, if the Chinese government said the same about Han Chinese males, you’d wonder who’d conquered them.

The proof is in the pudding. No organisations are more subject to the relentless encroach of diversity initiatives than the military and the emergency services—in particular, the army, the police, and the various fire and rescue services. Watch a recruitment advertisement for Defence, then compare it to one coming out of, say, Russia or China. One aims to harness the heroic masculine, while the other seems to think it is selling a wellness product. Organisations of this sort function on the premise of the männerbund, and anybody who wants to argue about gender inclusion, unfair fitness requirements, and “doing better” has utterly missed the point, or is deliberately behaving disingenuously. That this ought to be spelled out says a great deal about how far we’ve drifted from what was once accepted as natural. There is a sense of desperation in all the efforts to neuter the modern man; if you have a teenage son in school, ask him what he’s been learning in class.

The heroic masculine is dangerous because, at its best, it is not seduced by promises of a comfortable life. We might channel some of this remnant energy into gym memberships, sporting groups, or hope to see it sterilised through the drudgery of office life, but at day’s end, it is about thumos and looking upward. The mind and body properly united behind this ideal emerge impervious to all the various slings and arrows hurled by the frothing lunatics who would rather see the unnatural win out. Unfortunately, this is not an automatic process, and requires careful philosophical nurturing; as akin to cultivating a garden or building a library as lifting weights. What we hear today called “toxic masculinity” is the extreme elements of this attitude lacking any sort of epistemic rigour, exaggerated to cartoonish levels in response to a civil square starved of genuine masculine substance, and proffered at the expense of the deeper, more difficult parts. This is also because taking shortcuts is fundamental to the modern mindset, and in the hall of mirrors our world has become, the fabricated appearance of a thing is often more desirable than the thing itself. Generally, all this “manosphere” stuff is done to get a rise out of the other side; and generally, it is successful in achieving this. But getting a rise out of the other side is low-hanging fruit, and accomplishes little in the scheme of things, even if, as Voltaire reminds us, it is always entertaining when our enemies are made to look ridiculous. Alexander the Great slept with the Iliad under his pillow. Do not sleep with Andrew Tate curled under yours.

The fundamental virtue of the heroic masculine is courage, a virtue that we have all but extirpated today. What passes for public courage now is crying on camera, or theatrically baring one’s soul to strangers, or making heartfelt apologies about things one probably hasn’t entirely renounced. This overbearing, humbuggish and sentimental deformation of proper moral courage is best encapsulated in who we declare to be our national heroes. Have a look at recent Australians of the Year. We should be further careful not to confuse physical courage for the moral sort. Professional sport, once that outpost of heroic if exhibitionist masculinity, is now subject to various humiliation rituals to remind us all who butters the bread. What else is the purpose of the “pride round”? From unformed young men in their twenties, who wish to enjoy the fruits of their sudden celebrity despite becoming sudden role-models to millions, it is difficult to expect resistance; and they make the best ambassadors for undermining the heroic masculine, if it can be done. They are a valuable trophy for the other side. Most of them, like most of us generally, tack sails to the wind. After all, who wants to be the next Israel Folau? Not that we ought to disregard caution entirely for courage; nobody is helped by your leaping into an active volcano.

Antidotes to the death of heroism are best found in old books, and if you want to radicalise against our present radicalisation, they are the best place to start. Has modern wordsmithery come close to stirring the breast, compared to what preceded it? From Macaulay’s Lays of Ancient Rome:

Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
“To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his Gods.

Courage in the face of fearful odds strikes terror into the heart of the Devouring Stepmother, of the medusa who expects you to turn to stone at a single glance. And, like Perseus, holding up a mirror-shield that demonstrates the true nature of a thing is a sound strategy. To channel St Augustine, the truth needs defending less than it needs releasing. The existentialists said we could be anybody we wanted, as individuals; the constructivists declared we could make society any way we liked. Both are built on a fundamental deceit about the nature of reality, and perhaps neither school quite meant what they said. I think of Dr Johnson’s appeal to the stone frequently. Unfortunately, the fruits of modernity brought about such hubris it was inevitable somebody would get carried away. This is why we have men wandering around in dresses demanding to be taken seriously, why we seem fine with pumping children full of hormones, and why we are close to making criticism of both illegal. All this began with a rebellion against the biological nature of reality, one encapsulated by the various waves of feminism; a rebellion that every one of us is doomed to lose, eventually.

This anti-naturalism makes feminism as much anti-woman as it is anti-man, and can only express social goods in the langue de bois of liberal rights, and measure them in salaries, university-graduation statistics and economic utility. Always, it is accompanied by a great deal of wailing, and of further exhortations against glass ceilings, patriarchies, or whatever catchphrase is in vogue. Part of the reason men’s rights groups gain no traction is that they attempt to utilise these tools, unaware that using them thrusts their own message into the uncanny valley. The idea of begging for table scraps, of giving away one’s dignity in return for political largesse, breeds contempt in everybody who views it; especially in women, who need the heroic masculine as much as men need the heroic feminine. Simply put, it is not deserving of a self-respecting man.

Perhaps the most abiding consequence of the rise of the Devouring Stepmother and the decline of the heroic masculine is the deep unhappiness that has penetrated into the marrow of contemporary life. You will rarely meet a happy feminist, thanks to that war against their own nature. Most modern men are fighting a similar battle, but in the worst possible way. Theirs has been followed by subjugation and capitulation, a war they surrendered, in many cases, right at the very beginning, and often without noticing. They are the alcoholic Russian men drinking vodka in the streets in the wake of the Bolsheviks, because all the secure points of life that once existed were swept away following conquest. Feminism has managed to rob both men and women of the conditions that make life most liveable, to deprive both sexes of even the schema to think outside an unnatural order that we have come to take as natural, and most of all, to convince each they no longer need the other. The war was never between the sexes, but rather a wrestling match between the better and worse parts of our own natures. Indolent man-children make no better husbands than eternally indignant women make wives, and it seems for a great many the need for either has been dispensed with. It is designed to bring the worst out of both sexes, and in that, it appears to have succeeded.

Christopher Jolliffe is a frequent contributor. He wrote “A Hard Night’s Day”, on the new libertinism and its consequences, in the September issue.


24 thoughts on “The Heroic Masculine and the Devouring Stepmother

  • lbloveday says:

    Although Daniel Craig played James Bond in the latest (last?) movie in the Bond series, No Time to Die, the moniker 007 was handed to Nomi, predictably a Black female homosexual.

  • pgang says:

    An excellent piece, tactfully dealing with this delicate subject. In broader terms, feminism has been a tool of Modern socialism, as has been written elsewhere.
    Personally I see some resolve in the next generation of boys, who will hopefully take the girls with them. These boys have been raised in the trenches and have established their boundaries. However, unless they embrace their Christian souls and reject humanist nihilism, they are on a hiding to nothing.

  • Paul W says:

    One of the best things about reading ancient literature is the unvarnished worship of manliness. Men work the fields, build the houses, fight the wolves, and defend the people from pirates, bandits, and invaders.
    This physical strength and aggression was also of enormous utility in colonial Australia – the ultimate in guilt-proof according to moderns.
    But such physical power and aggression is not what a stable, technologically-advanced society wants. It wants compromise, understanding, tolerance. Every virtue now belongs to women as their birth-right.
    Until the firewoman can’t quite break the door down.

    • lbloveday says:

      Or carry a 100kg person to safety, or even lift the ladder upright so as to reach the upper floor windows. Instead of rejecting such unsuitable wannabe firewomen, they lower the physical requirements, at times thus also opening the door to similarly unsuitable men.


    Sheilas trying to be blokes and blokes trying to be sheilas is what arsisiety is giving tacit permissions these days. The heroic masculine type, thankfully, still exists and they are much appreciated and blessed by heroine female counterparts.

  • colin_jory says:

    There is so much, Christopher Joliffe, in your article which demands resounding endorsement, and so much which warrants further developing by others in other articles, that even enumerating your most compelling points in brief would require more space than could be justified in a follow-on Comment such as this. However, I will reflect on one of your points.

    You state, “You will rarely meet a happy feminist, thanks to that war against their own nature.” Prettywell anyone who reflects for a moment on this remark, and has had any experience of life, will find they must agree. Yet an even more compelling truth might be the converse: modern feminism was concocted by bittter women who had long been warring against their own natures, precisely because they had been and were thus warring — and, of course, continuously losing. Moreover, the feminists don’t even pretend that they are out to make women happy: rather, they want every woman to be unhappy like themselves. Indeed, they manifestly resent happy, wholesome women far more than they resent men, because they know that the very presence of such women in the human milieu exposes themselves as life’s most pathetic losers. That is the reason for the feminists’ unending, pathological determination to engineer, in collusion with their male Marxoid groupies, a cultural climate and destructive legislation which will make happy marriages, the ideal of every healthy girl, virtually unattainable, and consequent will make vast-scale misery perpetual. Evil craves company.

  • Stephen Due says:

    Loved the picture at the top. Thanks also for “chthonic” (I had to look it up). Also for reminders of the Iliad, and Macaulay’s Lays of Ancient Rome.
    Of course, there has always been a power struggle between male and female. I recall an exchange with my eldest grand-daughter (when not yet in her teens) following the birth of yet another little brother. Me: “I guess you would have liked a sister”. Her: “Anyway, I’ll still be boss”. Which was true, though not because of modern ideology. A woman can be boss in a feminine way. However, the results may or may not be in support of the subjugated male’s agenda. Consider Samson’s wife.
    I think the M-F power struggle is fundamental to our biology and probably has an evolutionary purpose. The difficulty is that young men in modern society are led to believe they have no power vis-a-vis women/wives other than (a) brute force (b) sulking and (c) rage. As none of these are effective are against the female nuclear arsenal, the men are in big trouble. They need to get their act together. And both sexes need to grow up. Is there anything more ridiculous than young men and women, dressed as children, still going off every working day to the same school they started attending over a decade earlier?

    • Bosun says:

      Rudyard Kipling, “The Female of The Species” gets it pretty right. For my part I’m not so sure there is a war between the sexes and if there is it ebbs and flows depending on the age of people in the relationship. A feisty twenty year old female in any era is generally influenced by the zeitgeist of the day. As are young men. Feisty eighty year olds are not so much worried about what others are doing.

      As relationships mature they change to suit the harmony necessary to sustain the relationships and it makes for good comedy.

  • cbattle1 says:

    It is the “Third Wave” of technological evolution that has created this world where feminism has thrived; all you need is a smart phone in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other to boldly go forward and conquer…. but, with the development of microprocessor controlled “smart” electric driven wheel chairs, you don’t even need hands, feet, arms or legs to power yourself forward with pride and determination!
    Look at the evolution of the automobile; in the early days you needed to have mechanical skills and knowledge to keep the thing running, after you managed to start it with a strong arm on the crank handle. Nowadays, you don’t even need to push buttons, just say what you want to happen, and the voice recognition software will make it so! Masculinity has been replaced by technology.

  • Daffy says:

    I don’t mind a strong female character, but I do object to one that seeks to mimic masculinity as though femininity is repugnant. This is in fact a derogation of womanhood. Woman are quite able to be strong characters without them having to mimic the overt physicality of males, at which they would rarely be real competitors. Remember that if you are trapped in a burning building. Who do want to see coming to rescue you: a burly 6-foot-4 male firefighter, or a slight 5-foot-3 female? Which is going to carry you out at the necessary speed safely? OTOH, who do you want running your company? Why the best qualified, of course.

    • Jack Brown says:

      A few years back there was a pathetic ad by the NRMA for its helicopter rescue service depicting a burly man supposedly near drowning but he displayed a big sigh of relief as down comes beside him the lineman, the masculine term still being used as only a man has the upper body strength to get a struggling person into the harness for winching up. The lineman in the ad underneath the face mask was an attractive slight woman with plucked eyebrows and hair in a poneytail.

  • robtmann7 says:

    An oustanding essay.
    The title ‘feminism’ was always rejected by the late scholar Teddy Goldsmith who recognised it as a demonic lie-in-the-language. The ideology which he accurately named ‘WimminsLib’ is fundamentally opposed to the main feminine characteristics.
    Its mainspring has always been lesbianism, which hates the family.

  • Stephen Ireland says:

    I’m thinking that the almost ubiquitous raising of children in super-hero costumes, since merchandise became a key income stream, has become a significant contributor to the epidemic of adolescent anxiety, depression and non-engagement. One can suspend one’s belief in one’s ability to leap tall buildings, drive magic carpets, defeat the dragon and save the planet for only so long then one’s limitations become apparent.
    I support the author’s suggestion that we ‘call them [the post-modern genre of movies] not-for-profit organizations’ as then members of that industry can add superior virtue to the award citations that they give each other.

  • Jack Brown says:

    The odd headline of women earning more but having declining prospects of romance is of course due to female hypergamous nature, whereby they sexually select for dominant males, ‘marrying up’ went the phrase, i.e they sexually select the seedbed of the toxic-masculinity they decry.

    It is odd too, but not surprising, how the ABC femnazis and most other female media presenters see no value in feminine nature and exalt women who parody activities men developed to determine dominance be it in the hierarchical public sector at work or one football fields and would have us laud a lesbian woman who would be a third rate player in men’s competition.

  • PeterS says:

    I often wonder if young women will be included in the next National Service call up if ever we have one and if our potential enemies allow us the time to do so. Feminism and the heroic female are all very well but it’s the men who are remaining behind to fight in Ukraine. Ok there are exceptions and they are notable because they are exceptions. The refugees into other countries are overwhelmingly female and so it should be and always has been..

    • Rebekah Meredith says:

      Except when refugees (or whatever they really were) were flooding into Europe during the Syrian civil war. There were an awful lot of able-bodied men of fighting age among them.

  • Joseph says:

    I am acquainted with several women who in their younger days swallowed the feminist line and embraced the life of a high achieving career, no doubt believing this would establish their value to all. They tolerated their female peers who became mothers, confident that their choice would stand up against mothering. Except it didn’t work out so well especially in their own eyes, as they saw that the value of mothers does not have to be established it is accepted by all. Where as the value of their own tedious career had to be constantly justified to themselves and others. Their solution – have a baby. No time to waist on the usual baby making procedures, donor conceived will do. Too bad for the kid, born to fill a ‘gap’ in someone’s life and growing up not knowing its father, its siblings, much of its extended family.

    • David Isaac says:

      We ought to have laws and a culture which make this sort of behaviour very difficult if not completely illegal but then we ought also to have a culture which extols traditional marriage and child-rearing over careers for women. Not that a career is not an option but that it’s seen as a bit of an oddball option, much like having four or five children by the age of thirty is amongst the middle classes currently.

  • Geoff Sherrington says:

    In essence, “vive la difference” applies.
    Rewards come from the skill to recognise and to develop differences that cause fun and benefit while ignoring differences that cause tension.
    This guideline serves both the female and the male. What is so hard about it? Geoff S

  • Citizen Kane says:

    Another excellent essay by Christopher.
    I was recently watching a reality TV survival show – where contestants are left to fend for themselves in the wilds. A woman contestant was at pains to explain that women (she felt compelled to speak for all) had a different way of communing with nature than men. Of course she wanted to say ‘better’ rather than ‘different’ but restrained herself. The unspoken irony of her comment was that this superficial pluralism which was eluded to, meant of course that Men conversely have a ‘different’ way of communing with nature. Without realising it she had highlighted the binary reality of the masculine and the feminine best encapsulated in a schematic sense in the Taosist symbolism of the Yin Yang.
    The problem with contemporary feminism is that like all postmodern victim narratives it is just a wolf in sheep’s clothing for unbridled power and self-appraised exceptionalism. This can also be seen in the Voice debate, whereby the Aboriginal aristocracy, based purely on race victimisation narratives and notions of ‘firstism wanted unbridled access to the reigns of power over all civil institutions, ‘ that they would coopt from their supposed colonial oppressor – institutions of civil order and human empowerment they could never have dreamed if left to their own devises. They wanted to sit in the thrown created almost entirely by others. In nature this is typically the role of parasites. Although I would never describe Aboriginals as parasites, I would describe their contemporary separatist motivated body politic as parasitic. Similar dynamics are at play with contemporary feminism.

  • Jack Brown says:

    The sentence regarding men now relegated to life as a perpetual adolescent was on point but does draw out the fact that the teen years have now been infantalised so the group who used to be adolescents, nascent adults or adults-in-the-making are now referred to as children, no longer expected to learn to be an adult and for men denied the opportunity to learn to accept responsibility and account for it. I feel this is to do with the feminisation of the teaching profession whereby male adolescents are treated as pre-pubescents, emasculated if you will, and referred to as children. I feel the broadening of the term ‘pedophile’ which means sexual interest in pre-pubescents to cover sexual activity by an adult with pubescent and post-pubescent adolescents under the age of consent is another aspect of this expansion of childhood, pushing adolesence into one’s twenties.

  • Stuart K says:

    Brilliant article.
    I wonder how far we are from the day when a leader announces mandated days of apology, something like:
    – Monday – all straight men must apologise to all women for their toxic masculinity
    – Tuesday – all straight women and men must apologise to all gay people for their homophobia
    – Wednesday – all ‘cisgender’ people must apologise to all trans people for their transphobia.
    Sort of like an acknowledgement of how the power dynamics should really be. I am sure there are some who truly believe that such an exercise would heal society,

  • Maryse Usher says:

    Almost a surfeit of riches in this terrific article, replete with references and fierce wisdom; the marks of a true Catholic intellectual.

    As a child I never encountered divorce in my community, but knew many large, relaxed and happy families. In those days, men were men and women had their babies.

    St Josemaria Escriva, the founder of what I like to think of as the strong, young musculature of the Body of Christ on earth, stimulating new bone density in its sacerdotal skeleton, opined that for 20 centuries the devil concentrated on corrupting men, with limited success. He turned his attention to women in the 20th Century with his inspired tool of feminism, the most effective weapon to destroy the natural family (married mum and dad) the foundation stone of society.

    But now again I know of many Christian warrior mothers and wives, raising and educating many beautiful children at home, their husbands’ inspiration, support and delight. The more children they have – and how desperately our desiccated culture needs them – the younger and more beautiful they grow alongside their handsome and happy husbands. These fathers have a distinct character of strength and gentlemanliness. Just being in the same nave as these people gives one hope.

    These families are our hope and any future worth looking towards. Please God, they will grow the counter-revolution strong enough to save us from perishing altogether.

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