Here's Mark Steyn on "manliness"
MARK STEYN ON THE MALENESS WE NO LONGER HAVE
(Headings are mine)
NO MAN'S LAND
SPERM DROP LOW
"It is easier," said Frederick Douglass, "to build strong
children than to repair broken men." But what if, as a matter of
policy, we're building our children to be broken men? And broken
not just psychologically but biologically. Headline from the
Daily Mail, 2004: "Concern as Sperm Count Falls by a Third in UK
Don't ask me why: I'd blame Tony Blair's cozying up to Bush were
it not for "Sperm count drops 25 percent in younger men" (The
Independent, 1996), so maybe it was John Major pulling out of the
European Exchange Rate Mechanism.
Do we still need sperm? Oh, a soupcon here and there still has
its uses. In 2009, a shortage of the stuff was reported in
Sweden. There had been an unexpected surge in demand, from
lesbian couples anxious to conceive. So they headed off to the
sperm clinic, whereupon the Sapphic demand ran into the problem
of male inability to satisfy it. The problem seems to be higher
than usual levels of non-functioning sperm. Even for a
demographic doom-monger such as myself, you could hardly ask for
a more poignant fin de civilisation image than a stampede of
broody lesbians stymied only by defective semen, like some
strange dystopian collaboration between Robert Heinlein and Russ
H. G. Wells' Time-Traveler writes of the softened Eloi:
It happened that, as I was watching some of the little people
bathing in a shallow, one of them was seized with cramp and began
drifting downstream. The main current ran rather swiftly, but not
too strongly for even a moderate swimmer. It will give you an
idea, therefore, of the strange deficiency in these creatures,
when I tell you that none made the slightest attempt to rescue
the weakly crying little thing which was drowning before their
BRITISH CRAZY POLICE GEEKS
Instead, it is Wells' Victorian gentleman who leaps in the river,
rescues the poor girl, and brings her back to land. He did what
any man would have done, didn't he?
Are you sure about that? As I say, the author's dystopian vision
is off only insofar as the world he predicted showed up 800,000
years ahead of schedule. In Wells' Britain in the early
twenty-first century, men routinely stand around watching girls
In May 2010, a 37-year-old woman was drowning in the River Clyde
while police officers called to the scene stood on the bank and
watched. 121 "As a matter of procedure it's not the
responsibility of the police to go in the water," explained a
spokesperson, sniffily, "it's the Fire and Rescue Service." And,
as they weren't there yet, tough. The woman would have died had
not three Glasgow University students jumped in to save her.
Needless to say, the students were in complete breach of "matters
In February 2010, a 5-year-old girl was trapped in a car
submerged in the icy River Avon for two hours while West Mercia
Police stood around on the bank watching. They were "prevented"
from diving in to rescue her by"safety regulations." In 2007, two
police officers watched as a 10-year-old boy, Jordon Lyon,
drowned in a swimming pool in Wigan. The same year, fireman Tam
Brown dived into the River Tay to rescue a drowning girl and got
her back to shore, only to find he was now subject to a
disciplinary investigation by Tayside Fire Service.
In 2008, Alison Hume fell sixty feet down an abandoned mine
shaft. An 18-strong rescue crew arrived, but the senior officer
said that a recent memo had banned the use of rope equipment for
rescuing members of the public. It could only be used to rescue
fellow firefighters. So Alison Hume died, in compliance with the
IN THE USA?
Could this sort of thing happen in America? Oh, it already does.
In 2010, KING-TV in Seattle broadcast footage of three "security
guards" at a downtown bus station standing around watching while
a 15-year-old girl was brutally beaten for her purse, phone, and
iPod. But it's okay, the "guards" were "just following orders not
to interfere." The victim later told police that she had
deliberately stood next to the "guards" while waiting for her bus
thinking it would be the safest place. As the video shows, she
was punched and slammed against the wall while standing adjacent
to socalled "security"--and still they did nothing. And King's
County Sheriff's Department congratulated the "men" on their
forbearance: "The guards were right to follow their training."
You have to be "trained" to stand around doing nothing?
Recall Harvey Mansfield's definition of manliness-"confidence in
the face of risk" - and then look at the helmets grown men wear
to take a Sunday bicycle ride 'round a suburban park. As for
Plato's concept of "thumos" - an animal instinct to bristle at
the sense of danger-the instinct seems all but lost.
THE CANADIAN MANHOOD SHAME
To return to Gloria Steinem, when might a fish need a bicycle?
The women of Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique could have used one
when Marc Lepine walked in with a gun and told all the men to
leave the room. They meekly did as ordered. He then shot all the
To those who succeeded in imposing the official narrative, Marc
Lepine embodies the murderous misogynist rage that is inherent in
all men, and which all must acknowledge.
For a smaller number of us, the story has quite the opposite
meaning: Marc Lepine was born Gamil Gharbi, the son of an
Algerian Muslim wifebeater. And no, I'm not suggesting he's
typical of Muslim men or North African men: my point is that he's
not typical of anything, least of all what we might call (if
you'll forgive the expression) Canadian manhood. The defining
image of contemporary maleness is not Monsieur Lepine/Gharbi but
the professors and the men in that classroom, who, ordered to
leave by the lone gunman, obeyed, and abandoned their female
classmates to their fate-an act of abdication that would have
been unthinkable in almost any other culture throughout human
history. The "men" stood outside in the corridor and, even as
they heard the first shots, they did nothing. And, when it was
over and Gharbi walked out of the room and past them, they still
did nothing. Whatever its other defects, Canadian manhood does
not suffer from an excess of testosterone.
In 2009, the director Denis Villeneuve made a film of the story
Polytechnique. "I wanted to absolve the men," he said. "People
were really tough on them. But they were 20 years old.... It was
as if an alien had landed."
But it's always as if an alien had landed. When another Canadian
director, James Cameron, filmed Titanic, what most titillated him
were the alleged betrayals of convention. It's supposed to be
"women and children first," but he was obsessed with toffs
cutting in line, cowardly men elbowing the womenfolk out of the
way and scrambling for the lifeboats, etc. In fact, all the
historical evidence is that the evacuation was very orderly. In
real life, First Officer William Murdoch threw deckchairs to
passengers drowning in the water to give them something to cling
to, and then he went down with the ship-the dull, decent thing,
all very British, with no fuss. In Cameron's movie, Murdoch takes
a bribe and murders a third-class passenger. (The director
subsequently apologized to the First Officer's home town in
Scotland and offered 5,000 POUND toward a memorial. Gee, thanks.)
Mr. Cameron notwithstanding, the male passengers gave their lives
for the women, and would never have considered doing otherwise.
"An alien landed" on the deck of a luxury liner-and men had
barely an hour to kiss their wives goodbye, watch them clamber
into the lifeboats, and sail off without them. The social norm of
"women and children first" held up under pressure.
Today, in what Harvey Mansfield calls our "gender-neutral
society," there are no social norms. Eight decades after the
Titanic, a German-built ferry en route from Estonia to Sweden
sank in the Baltic Sea. Of the 1,051 passengers, only 139 lived
to tell the tale."' But the distribution of the survivors was
very different from that of the Titanic. Women and children
first? No female under fifteen or over sixty-five made it. Only 5
percent of all women passengers lived. The bulk of the survivors
were young men. Fortythree percent of men aged 20 to 24 made it.
MIXED UP MALENESS
No two ship disasters are the same, but the testimony from the MV
Estonia provides a snapshot of our new world: according to the
Finnish Accident Investigation Board's official report, several
survivors reported that "everyone was only looking out for
himself." According to a Swedish passenger, Kent Harstedt, "A
woman had broken her legs and begged others to give her a life
jacket, but it was the law of the jungle. "Some old people had
already given up hope and were just sitting there crying," said
Andrus Maidre, a 19-year-old Estonian. "I stepped over children
who were wailing and holding onto the railing."
You "stepped over" children en route to making your own escape?
There wasn't a lot of that on the Titanic. "There is no law that
says women and children first," Roger Kohen of the International
Maritime Organization told Time magazine. "That is something from
the age of chivalry."
If, by "the age of chivalry," you mean the early twentieth
As I said, no two maritime disasters are the same. But it's not
unfair to conclude that had the men of the Titanic been on the
Estonia, the age and sex distribution of the survivors would have
been very different. Nor was there a social norm at the Ecole
Polytechnique. So the men walked away, and the women died.
Whenever I've written about these issues, I get a lot of emails
from guys scoffing, "Oh, right, Steyn. Like you'd be taking a
bullet. You'd be pissing your little girlie panties," etc. Well,
maybe I would. But as the Toronto blogger Kathy Shaidle put it:
"When we say 'we don't know what we'd do under the same
circumstances,' we make cowardice the default position."
I prefer the word passivity - a terrible, corrosive passivity.
Even if I'm wetting my panties, it's better to have the social
norm of the Titanic and fail to live up to it than to have the
social norm of the Polytechnique and sink with it.
WHEN MEN WERE MEN
These are Finnish men, Estonian men, Canadian men. Are you so
confident after the blitzkrieg on manhood waged by the
educational establishment that the same pathologies aren't taking
hold in the U.S.? Consider the ease with which an extraordinary
designation has been conferred upon the men who won America's
last great military victory - long ago now, before Afghanistan,
before Mogadishu, before the helicopters in the Iranian desert,
before Vietnam, before Korea. When Tom Brokaw venerates the young
men who went off to fight in Europe and the Pacific seven decades
ago as "the Greatest Generation," by implication he absolves the
rest of us. For, if they are so great and so exceptional, it
would be unreasonable to expect us to do likewise.
"Under the new conditions of perfect comfort and security, that
restless energy, that with us is strength, would become
weakness," wrote Wells. "Physical courage and the love of battle,
for instance, are no great help may even be hindrances - to a
civilized man." As the Time-Traveler observed of the Eloi: "Very
pleasant was their day, as pleasant as the day of the cattle in
the field. Like the cattle, they knew of no enemies and provided
against no needs. And their end was the same."
Wells describes the Eloi drifting into "feeble prettiness." Here
is the writer Oscar van den Boogaard from an interview with the
Belgian paper De Standaard. Mr. van den Boogaard is a Dutch gay
"humanist," which is pretty much the trifecta of Eurocool. He was
reflecting on the accelerating Islamization of the Continent and
concluded that the jig was up for the Europe he loved. "I am not
a warrior, but who is?" he shrugged. "I have never learned to
fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it." In the
famous Kiibler-Ross stages of grief, Mr. van den Boogard is past
denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, and has arrived at a
kind of acceptance.
I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at
Sorry, doesn't work - not for long. Cuties in a death cab
eventually have to pay the fare.
For the Christian under the New Covenant, it is just not possible
or correct to be a part of a nations's war machine. BUT that does
not mean you will not give up your life for others. Jesus said no
greater love has a man towards man that he should give his life
The Canadian example Mark Steyn gave on those men at the
PAOLYTECHNIQUE, who willfully left the room, leaving the ladies
behind, stood in the hall way as they heard the gun shots, did
nothing, to try and save those ladies, is SHAMEFUL and DISGUSSING
to say the least. We here in Canada never heard it from that
point of view. Probably because we have a society where maleness
is no longer - just a generic kind of people today, neither male
not female, so too bad for you if you are left behind to be shot
to death, while the rest of us go free.
What should they have done. I'll tell you what they should have
done. When those men were told to leave, they should have used
logical sense that this man was going to do something harmful to
those ladies. One or more of those males should have pick up a
desk, and if that was not possible, rushed the guy, throwing
things at him that they could, but rushed the guy, even if it
meant getting killed or injured. If all those men had rushed him
someone would have gotten at him and pulled him to the ground.
Some lives may have still be lost, some men may have died, but
the incedent would have gone down in Canadian history (and world
history) as an EXAMPLE of what true MANLINESS is all about. Those
men that may have been killed would be immortalized as true
heroic men, and lived on forever in history as having so much
love that they would give their lives for another, and in this
case for women, just as real men should do.
It is indeed SAD that MANLINESS has and is fast disappearing from
the world of the MALE!