In the online Wall Street Journal of January 18, 2018, Peggy Noonan wrote an article titled "America Needs More Gentlemen," in which she said,
I used to think America needed a parent to help it behave. Now I think it needs a grandparent. Our culture has been so confused for so long on so many essentials, and has gotten so crosswise on the issue of men and women, that we need more than ever the wisdom of the aged.
Well, I'm old enough now to claim the distinction and spout off. I stand perpetually gobsmacked by the idiot cowardice of young Americans, particularly those of my sex, who passively line up to be castrated by feminists, and don't seem to have any ammunition to fight them—not even mild disdain. Here's an opinion on gentlemanliness they'll probably be scared enough of to run off and hide in the depths of their smartphones:
Practically speaking, despite the ravages of feminism, there is still only one safe way to deal with any woman—even those who think they're feminists and have been told they should feel insulted by the patriarchal attitudes behind this kind of behavior—and that way is "being a gentleman." This is how women want to be treated, even when they say they don't. It shows respect for both their persons and their womanhood, something that women who don't get it want very much unless they have been permanently damaged.
The courage required for a man to act this way is just that, to risk being attacked by a few nut-case feminists for his gentlemanliness, but even the most radical of that bunch will despise him as a boor and a lout if he treats her as she professes she wants to be treated. There's no way a man can win against a feminist, for that's how things are set up: if he acts like a gentleman, he's a typical male chauvinist; if he doesn't, he's a typical male swine.
She will admire him, though, if he bears up under the hysteria, even though the admiration is against her principles. And when she gets home, she will dislike herself for insulting him, because her religion is Niceness, and she hasn't been nice to a man who's been nice to her.
Coraggio, povero asino! and normal women will love you, or at least find you likable.
S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.
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