Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Of Men, Knighthood, and Fighting to Protect #Catholic

The reason that we became warriors in the first place was to protect the people we love.
- My husband

I was touched by a New York Times story I found through "Auntie Seraphic's" wonderful blog, Seraphic Singles. Her Sunday entry, Love in the New York Times, was a sad tale of a young woman's quest to find real men to date -- and not "guys." Her definition of "guys" were young men who wanted nothing to do with committing themselves to a relationship, instead preferring a cloudy haze of hanging out and occasional casual sex.

I was both saddened and angered by the article. Saddened that so many young women now have this to deal with, and angered by the seemingly never-ending consequences of radical feminism in our country.

I had a very long discussion with my husband regarding the topic. Basically, I wanted to know how he developed his respect for women. Did it begin when he was younger? What influenced him?

His answers were a mixture of his upbringing, his involvement with Japanese martial arts, and his desire to follow the Biblical pattern for a marriage. My husband had a father who modeled to his sons how to treat women. One time, my husband's older brother back-talked his mother and received a quick slap from his father as he said, "I don't ever want to hear you disrespect your mother like that again." The point was made. You respected your parents and especially didn't mouth off to your mother.

My husband was raised in an era when men usually helped women with heavy burdens like grocery bags and luggage. When he was 20 years old, he became involved with martial arts and was especially intrigued by the Samurai warriors. The Samurai have a code called bushido, translated as "the way of the warrior." Part of the code is treating others with respect and honor. This extended to how the warriors treated women, especially their wives.

I asked my husband if knighthood was similar to the bushido. He said yes. I found it interesting that long ago, throughout the world, there could be found a certain elite class of men who fought for justice, defended the defenseless, and showed respect and honor to women.

When he said the quote I posted above, suddenly I had a revelation of how much we have lost when we started to raise boys who were forbidden to fight.

Feminism destroyed this natural inclination in men by claiming it was wrong to fight, under the guise that "two wrongs don't make a right." Suddenly, fighting either in a battle or simply fighting to defend a woman's honor was attacked. The concept of a righteous battle faded as more and more young boys were scolded for fighting and older young men were belittled for wanting to join the military.

In essence -- the natural desire of men to want to find something worth defending; and then doing it, has been ripped away. In its place, we now have a generation of young men who not only don't know how to fight, but wouldn't know what to fight for if given the opportunity. Aside from our brave men and women in the military, fire departments, and police -- most younger men avoid confrontation of an enemy like the plague.

I grew up with the wise words, "It's always better to use your head than use your hands." However, my father and the men of my family realized that there were times when defending those you loved meant taking a stand. I won't ever forget the time when some teenagers decided to vandalize our home because my father placed a fence on our property, which covered an entrance to a wooded area. One night a big rock was thrown through my window as I was sleeping. (It landed on my bed, thankfully, not on my head.) The next week, a matic (a gardening tool) was thrown through the window again, this time narrowly missing my head.

What did my father do? For one week, he camped outside with his rifle. Of course we called the police, but my father decided he'd do what most normal men would do. He was defending his family from any further attacks.

I remember when the Virginia Tech murders happened. A deranged student nonchalantly walked through the classrooms, lined up the students, and then shot them methodically -- all this while not one man rose up to attack him. After the horrific massacre, I cried out to my husband, "Where were the men?! Could not a small group of them rushed this nutjob and tackled him to the floor where they could have disarmed him?" Obviously the answer to my question was a tragic "no." This generation of young men had the fight bred out of them long before they arrived at college. It was ironic that one of the bravest men during that long ordeal was a Holocaust survivor, who physically prevented the killer from entering his classroom until almost all of the students had escaped through the classroom window.

When men are not clear on what they should defend and why; they become disillusioned and directionless. They have no understanding of honor, let alone knowing how to responsibly conduct themselves in a relationship.

One of the things I deeply desired before I married was to find a man who would fight for me. I meant this on several levels. I wanted a man who would put forth an effort to win my affections and also, a man who would defend me if I was in danger. I will never forget my second date with my husband. We attended the huge Labor Day festival in Cincinnati at the riverfront, to watch the spectacular fireworks show in the evening. The crowd at this annual event is massive, and we finally found a small empty piece of land to stretch out a blanket. After awhile, I got up, saying I needed to find a restroom. My future husband also stood up.

I looked at him, slightly surprised. "Oh, do you need to visit the restroom also?"

He smiled. "No. But I'm going to accompany you. It's a big crowd here and I don't want you to be alone and unescorted."

Can you imagine how shocked I was at the time? I had never had a man say such a thing to me and of course, I was immediately smitten. If I had thought highly of this gentleman before, at that moment he was placed on a very high pedestal!

I know I am old-fashioned in many ways, but I really don't think I'm that different from most women. Most women yearn to be cherished by a man in a relationship and treated with respect. I'm hoping such men aren't completely gone. Our young women are still looking for them.

1 comment:

Shirley said...

Your husband is a good man. He'd be a good role model for young men.