November 23, 2019-
The practice of chivalry has long taken a bad rap. For this, I blame the degeneration of the once noble art into infantilization, then misogyny. What was a system for honouring all that women did for the good of the world, became a means to dominance.
As the old saw goes, “When the worm turns, we all turn.” It’s been masculinity’s time to take some hits, in the name of a level playing field. The point of overkill appears to have been reached, about ten years ago.
Both genders can claim a plethora of contributions to the well-being and advancement of society, and of civilization. There are men and women of distinction, in just about every field of endeavour that comes to mind. Due to a long-standing system of such things as the disparity in salary between men and women, for the same work and the false equivalence, “whataboutism”, that gets raised, every time lingering issues of misogyny are raised, the temptation to take even more away from men is understandable.
Gender, itself, owing to both the frequent imbalance of gender-determining hormones, in all too many people, has been under a degree of attack. This is not the fault of anyone who has a greater degree of testosterone compared to estrogen, or vice versa. There are likely a good many causes of the imbalance, from genetic modification of food and drink to pollutants in the air and water.
However, I digress. The fact that I was born male, am very happy to remain male and am physically attracted only to women does not need to be renegotiated. I can be, and am, friends with a fair number of gay men and transgender people. That, and the fact that I once cried easily, has never had anything to do with my gender identity.
Jordan Peterson’s eleventh rule for life is, essentially, “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” The legitimate achievements of men, those on which a man did NOT piggy-back on the work of a woman, need not be minimized. (There are certainly plenty of the piggy-backed cases.)
Indeed, there is often a tendency for people to not know where to stop, when correcting a past wrong. The misunderstood term, microaggression,, has been offered as a reason for excess revisionism in history and for an overage of caution in determining a proper course of action. Microaggression is essentially between individuals, and is best sorted out, at that level.
Dr. Peterson carries this to the achievements of Western European/North American society. Certainly, there is much about the “Western civilization” to admire, which is a large part of why it has been so universally emulated. There is also much that needs correction, and some of the answers to our issues may be found in examining other societies.
In essence, then, no community can long exist, successfully, without equal contributions by BOTH women and men. In addition, no society can thrive on one set of social practices alone.