Six chicks talking ’bout dicks
American Enterprise Online offers us six women discussing the state on manliness featuring Mona Charen, Jessica Gavora (married to Jonah Goldberg so you can imagine what a catch she is…growr!!!), Charlotte Hays (please notice the mention that she lives with her cat…’nuff said), Kate O’Beirne, Naomi Schaefer (date rape apologist), and Erica Walter (don’t know who the hell she is). It’s a lot like Sex in the City except none of the women are attractive, witty, have any fashion sense, and you probably wouldn’t want to sleep with any of them. But other than that, it’s just like Sex in the City. Let’s listen in while they knock back a few Zimas and talk about what moistens their thongs:
ERICA WALTER: Manliness has experienced a renaissance for two reasons: The Bush/Cheney administration has set the tone for the political culture. And 9/11, of course. Why did America fall in love with soldiers and firemen and traditional male occupations? Because we realized weâ€™re at risk. The comeback of manliness is here to stay as long as national security is an issue.
CHARLOTTE HAYS: The modern-day loss of respect for manliness is an aberration. Men and their virtues have always been prized. The great epics arenâ€™t about women and their virtues. The post-9/11 love affair with police, firemen, and soldiers is a return of normal relations between men and women. Most people today never needed to be carried out of a burning building. But once they see 3,000 people that need to be rescued, they know it takes men.
Oâ€™BEIRNE: We were reminded on 9/11 and again during the military efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq that we depend on manly characteristics to keep us safe. Every single one of the dead firemen heroes on 9/11 were men. This was one group where liberals didnâ€™t ask why there wasnâ€™t a more pleasing gender balance. Because the Upper West Side is not fireproof. What happens in combat in some distant field is abstract to Upper West Side liberals, but they can understand the need to have strong, brave, reckless men in their fire department.
WALTER: When it comes to role confusion among men themselves, though, I believe the damage of the â€™60s and â€™70s has persisted.
During my first pregnancy, I rode the Washington, D.C. subway every day. I was amazed at the number of men who didnâ€™t offer me their seat, didnâ€™t lift a finger for me. A Marine friend of mine, who is a normal, manly man, got so angry that he rode the subway with me, and in full cars pointedly asked men: â€œWould you please give up your seat for this young lady?â€ The request meant: â€œWill you do what youâ€™re supposed to do?â€
Oâ€™BEIRNE: I donâ€™t think there has to be a trade off. Men will behave however women demand they behave. I donâ€™t spend time with male boors, so I donâ€™t think most American men lack manners. British men are terribly mannerly, but theyâ€™re all wimps. I think well-raised American men have the ability to be thoroughly masculine and mannerly at the same time.
Oâ€™BEIRNE: Anyone married with children appreciates why children need fathers. The typical mother of a second-grade boy is destroyed if heâ€™s not invited to a certain birthday party. Mothers would wrap sons in cotton. Itâ€™s the fathers who instill the sense of risk-taking, of the stiff upper lip.
NAOMI SCHAEFER: But what about daughters? They often need to know how to keep a stiff upper lip, too. Whatever the problems with feminism, I guess Iâ€™m sort of glad that it all happened.
CHAREN: It would be wrong not to give feminism some credit for improving womenâ€™s place in the world. But I believe many of these changes would have happened organically anywayâ€”with rising prosperity, labor-saving devices in the home, and widespread education. You didnâ€™t need a bunch of bra-burners for that.
…and a conversation among these women wouldn’t be complete with mentioning….The Clenis™:
ROLLINS: What is your definition of virility? Does it have a role in political leadership?
WALTER: Itâ€™s a nebulous quality for a political leader. Bill Clinton was virileâ€”in a very sleazy way. Thereâ€™s also the sex appeal of someone like Don Rumsfeld. President Bush possesses this intangible somethingâ€”you really saw it on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln. Testosterone and camaraderieâ€”many people responded to it. In George W. Bush, people see a contained, channeled virility. They see a man who does what he says, whose every speech and act is not calculated. Bill Clinton showed a lot of outward empathy and he was very articulate but I donâ€™t think many of us would have trusted him with our daughters.
GAVORA: If virility equates with strength, then there is no question that Bill Clinton lacked it completely. Bush has shown that he has it. His willingness to go after terrorism root and branch despite the widespread opposition among our European allies and even some at home, and to withstand that pressure, is strength. Bill Clinton made surface gestures. He refused to go against the media, popular opinion, the pinstriped boys at the State Department, because he lacked that strength.
HAYS: The most masculine man I ever knew was my grandfather, who supported seven children and never failed to stand when a woman came into the room. Bill Clinton is virile, but heâ€™s not masculine or mature. He never became a grown man.
Oâ€™BEIRNE: When I heard that he grew up jumping rope with the girls in his neighborhood, I knew everything I needed to know about Bill Clinton. Thereâ€™s no contest between Clinton and Bush on masculinity. Bill Clinton couldnâ€™t credibly wear jogging shorts, and look at George Bush in that flight suit.
ROLLINS: But why do so many American women love Bill Clinton?
SCHAEFER: You can learn a lot jumping rope with girls. It wonâ€™t make you sexually attractive, but it will make you a more effective, patient listener.
Oâ€™BEIRNE: Bill Clinton did understand, from the matriarchy he grew up in, how to appeal to women in that modern way.
HAYS: Clinton could feel your pain like one of your girlfriends. But he could never make a decision like Bush has had to make. He would still be trying to negotiate with the terrorists. The use of force, which until recently was passÃ©, has come back. Clinton couldnâ€™t use force except in a motel room.
There’s a lot more, but is there anything else you really want to know about these women?
I didn’t think so.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)
(ADDED): Yes, this is for real, it’s not a parody. No, I don’t know why Peggy Noonan wasn’t invited.