Quodlibet

Courage, Ass!

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 senior editor.

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone


more on culture from the online archives

32.5—September/October 2019

Must Say No

on When Christians Can't Compromise by Joshua Steely

18.2—March 2005

Long Shadows of Eden

On Conservatism as Vexation, Vanity & Near Impossibility by Graeme Hunter

20.8—October 2007

Aliens in Zion

on Why I Can’t Be Just Another Earthman by Louis Markos

• Subscribers: Manage your subscription account here.


• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!


RENEW your online subscription

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

19.4—May 2006

The Relatively Good Book

on the Liberal Protestant Bible Translation by B. J. Hutto

32.4—July/August 2019

A Case of Win-Win

on Probability, Death & the Existence of God by Graeme Hunter

19.1—January/February 2006

As If We Were to Be Immortal

on Death & Seven of the Last Words of Socrates by Graeme Hunter