Manners, American Style
Back in February I wrote on the single most important chart in all of the social sciences (to date), which illustrates the relationship between chastity and the stability of marriage: Those men and women who had no sexual partner other than their spouse had, by far, the most intact marriages. When I first saw that data graphed in an Excel chart the thought that jumped immediately to mind was: “Those Mediterranean cultures (that insisted on chaperoning) knew what they were doing.” This week I read an article on good manners, American style, which illustrated one of the ways we Americans did the same in our culture: “How to Treat a Lady: Reclaiming Manners between Men and Women” by philosophy professor John Cuddeback of Christendom College. I recommend it highly for reading and dissemination.
“Women are to be reverenced, always and just because they are women.…The nature and dignity of woman may remain something of a mystery to most men.”
Women are always a mystery to men mainly because we are so alike in so many ways, as feminists rightly remind us. But we are also different, deeply so in body, in our ways of relating, and especially in the ways our brains work, which means we process all our sensory data somewhat differently.
Radical feminists don’t like any attention given to “differences between men and women” and thus don’t like a culture of manners between men and women. I remember the first time I was rebuffed for opening the door for such a woman. However men can disregard these instances except when a radical feminist needs her dignity acknowledged a different way. In voicing her issue she is still saying loud and clear she wants her dignity acknowledged.
But radical feminists have made it a bit more difficult to do that when they insist on the right to abort their babies. It is more difficult to see the dignity of killing 50 million American children. But real gentlemen can look beyond even that to the potential mother still within. It is that potential which confers so much of the mystery and beauty on woman. Men, by treating women with the manners our grandfathers had, can take leadership in wooing women back to a culture of love and awe. Enjoy Cuddeback’s article and maybe you know some young men who would read it. It is a building block for the culture we are rebuilding.