Many months ago, as I was wandering about the state of Indiana, a certain woman from Wisconsin advised me that “if one had nothing nice to say, he ought say nothing at all.” Being an introspective type, I took this to heart and determined to never write another article again.
However, I have decided to write at least one more time, provoked by a conversation with my kid sister. Having recently entered a public high school, she has come to enjoy informing me about some of her more eccentric peers. Near the end of the school year, she told me fewer and fewer of her friends were merely normal boys who liked normal girls, or normal girls who liked normal boys. Rather, they identify as a slew of peculiarly novel “sexual orientations.”
Some were, of course, the usual “gay” or “lesbian,” but in addition to these were “demisexuals,” “androsexuals,” and “therians” (which, she explained, are people who are only attracted to individuals who commune with the same spirit animal). One identified as a “panromantic polyamorous asexual non-binary space god.” Upon hearing this, I knew I had something to say, although it is unlikely to be nice. Having heard, however, several episodes of “The Prairie Home Companion,” I am convinced women from Wisconsin are famously kind, so I am sure my friend will forgive me.
We Don’t Need Fantasy to Make the Cosmos Wonderful
I suspect the “space god” is nothing of the sort, but likely the kind of child who did not want to go to the caverns because she was much too busy trying to beat her high score on “Candy Crush Legend.” Meaning, she is likely longing to be “the extraordinary” because she has entirely failed to appreciate the ordinary. This, to any ordinary person of sensible wit, is extraordinary.
To the sane individual, the world is a wonderful thing. At no point in my life have I ever felt compelled to invent novel sexualities, mainly because I am so enthralled with the traditional two. Their complexity and magic never ceases to engage my imagination and bring me pleasure. Indeed, I can not imagine why anyone would critique the symmetrical beauty of “the two sexes.” Yet wherever I look, adversaries are about, seeking to destroy my source of wonderment.
On the one hand, some viciously attack any idea of masculinity, since if there is such a thing as masculinity, there must be such a thing as femininity. And if there are the two, then one must be better than the other, so an “injustice” has been done. Therefore, they seek to condemn any expression of masculinity as masked tyranny, and insist that we replace the elegance and charm of femininity with the hackneyed boredom of feminism, with all the tiresome nagging this entails (nagging that is altogether unladylike, although perhaps it is very feminist).
On the other hand, as opposed to combining the two sexes, some endeavor to cheapen them, such as in the recent “Bruce Jenner” debacle. I was told that, having undergone various implants and cosmetic adjustments, I was to believe he had become a women. I thought to myself, “What progress! To think that woman is such a trivial thing, that she is nothing more than breasts and high heels.” I was inclined to succumb to this forward-thinking gender enlightenment, but my wonder concerning women would not allow me.
The Meaning and Mystery of a Woman
In my experience, women were much more than breasts and high heels. Indeed, I know some women who have very little of either, yet still strike me with all the glory of womanhood. Women, in my experience, were dancing whirling little sisters one could kiss and cuddle with, with crushes of which one could disapprove as well as boyfriends, which one could intimidate. They were kind hearts, which one could confide in when fearing the mocking camaraderie of men, and soft hearts, which one on occasion had to comfort; an event which made one realize how hard his own heart had become.
They were mothers who yelled at you for your barbarism, and grandmothers who cooked food you actually liked eating. They were tomboys, which were almost like boy boys, but sweeter; or girly girls, which were almost like girl girls, but coyer. Sometimes, they even seemed like just people that you sat on benches with and talked politics with. And this was but from my lone experience. I reckon that if one were to delve into the minds of 10,000 other people, they would find woman is quite a frightful thing to be able to be so many things to so many people, while always remaining essentially “woman.”
On yet another hand (and yes, there is another hand, for to my mind, the modern malcontent in the mainstream must be some many-armed goddess of destruction native to the marvels of an oriental imagination), some people, like the same goddess, were not content with two sexes, but desired tens and twenties, a countless myriad of “identities,” all bearing swords and axes, intent on castrating the first two. To these I can only shake my head, for they seem to me like a sad man who plasters his house in posters of exotic locales, yet never dares to explore the cherry trees outside his cul-de-sac. They sought to be “hypersexual” or “pansexual” because they never quite understood what it meant to be “sexual.” They never quite understood what it was to be born a man or woman, and think to themselves, “Well, how about that!”
The Two Sexes Create a Great Game
If a feminist were to argue that such a way of thinking brings a tension between the sexes, a certain “superiority” men believe themselves to have over women, that is half the fun. Part of what makes the two sexes enjoyable is the playful bigotry each expresses against the other. The men sit outside, smoking cigars and talking about minutia of constitutional politics, thinking to themselves how profound they are compared to women, while the women sit inside, drinking coffee and talking about their social lives, thinking to themselves how practical they are compared to men.
It is a game which, as far as I can tell, both sides enjoy, since I have more than once heard gossiping men chided by women, who reprimand them for “not having anything more important to talk about,” and women knowingly flattered by men when they chime in on such pseudo-intellectual conversations, revealing “they really knew about this stuff all along.” At the end of the day, everyone gathers together, the men and women hug and kiss, and all go home with their husbands or wives, waiting intently for the next event. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I believe the smiles convey pleasure.
Much the same goes for the concept of race. Most of the fun of having a “racially diverse” friend group is the “racism” that ensues. That is, the friendly sparring between comrades, each defending his land of ancestry against all others. If a Greek does not defend Greece as the font of all wisdom, what use is he? If an Arab does not defend Arabia as the font of all transcendent morality, why have him? If an Italian does not defend Italy as the authority on all matters of hospitality, he is just not much fun. If an American does not believe all of history was a mistake previous to 1776, who will treat with him?
Even more than this, if an Arab cannot mock a Greek for a suspicion of pederasty or a Jew an American for suspicion of barbarity, I fear that we are all in for a boring night. As far as I can tell, the only person not welcome at such interracial gatherings is the poor white liberal who will not be just a little bit racist. The white liberal fails to understand that what is important is not the low-level nationalist chauvinism present at the table, but the bottle of wine in the middle, out of which all the friends gladly share.
This is to say that whatever tactic the modern liberal takes concerning gender, he seems to only trivialize gender; and whatever tactic he takes concerning multiculturalism, he seems to only trivialize culture. The world has many innate contours between peoples and places and men and women, and they are most interesting when they are not tampered with.
I expressed these views to a liberal friend of mine, and she insisted my viewpoint was merely a jump away from subjugating all women and instituting ethnic slavery. As far as I could tell, this was entirely unwarranted, since I merely expressed that I liked women because they are quite different, and I liked Greeks, because they are quite different. If they were the same as me, I do not believe I would like them much at all, since I do not much like myself.
Virtue would Naturally Provide Social Justice
Even ignoring this line of thought, the idea that one need invent a slew of virtues to prevent women from being subjugated and blacks from being enslaved is quite silly. From my experience, the old virtues would defend against such problems plenty fine, if anyone would hearken to them. One did not need feminism to respect women, only respectfulness to respect women. One did not need social justice to esteem minorities, but garden-variety fellow-feeling. I think race relations would be much improved in this country if we instructed our citizenry to “be civil” rather than “be racially sensitive.” Similarly, I am convinced that relations between the sexes would be much improved if our people were told “be a gentleman” instead of “check your gender-tyrannical chauvinistic male gaze.”
I say all this to express a simple conviction I have always held, that the world I was born into was quite a lovely, fanciful place, comparable to any fairy land or Middle Earth or Camelot. If only we had not grown bored so prematurely, we would been pierced through by the oddity of the sexes, that one human race takes two parts to make a third person. We would marvel that our one race has 200 peoples which, though they seem to look the same, all choose a different color for their flag, some thinking that only green will do, others nothing but red and yellow.
I looked about over the earth and felt like St. Exupery’s Little Prince, traveling so many worlds, populated with so many oddities; except that in my case, the many worlds inhabited one planet. Some of the oddities I might not like all the way, but I in no case would do away with them. Some I might much prefer, but I would by no means fill the world with them. As far as I could tell, everything was in its right place. Everything, save the soul of the human.
Herein lies my resentment towards the liberal, that he is like a foreigner, an imperialist, degrading my beloved homeland, the little planet I was lucky enough to be born on. He looks about it and believes everything to be wrong, backward, sinister, overcome by a dark conspiracy. He is not content with reality as it is, and is willing to burn down everything I hold dear to bring about his dream of reality “as it should be.” His dream is my nightmare, for as far as I can tell, his dream excludes a homemade meal by mother.