Jordan Peterson’s Dragons, Monsters, and Men

I preface this review by pointing out that this series, like Matt Walsh’s excellent documentary on gender ideology, is only available to Daily Wire subscribers. We don’t pay streaming service companies of any kind for entertainment, but we have made the decision to support an alternative sources of news and commentary in response to the current monopoly of view dominating the culture. The Daily Wire -a secular company run by religious men- is not perfect, and neither is Jordan Peterson. This is solely a review of one the first episode of his new Daily Wire+ series entitled Dragons, Monsters, and Men. It is also not a referendum on Ben Shapiro or Jeremy Boreing.

As intimated in my preface, Dr. Jordan B. Peterson has joined the Daily Wire team to offer a series of episodes devoted to encouraging young men to be all that they can in a world and culture that is undermining them at every turn. If you saw the two-minute video posted here a couple of weeks ago, it is quite obvious that Peterson possesses a deep well of compassion for the plight of men in the postmodern west. I presume that it was with this in mind that he collaborated with DW to produce Dragons, Monsters, and Men. Below is the announcement of the collaboration which has the trailer buried in it, beginning at the 2:25 mark. I couldn’t find the trailer in isolation.

I listened to episode one while doing some housework, and was thoroughly impressed by what Peterson had to say. Anyone who is familiar with him will have heard most of this before in some form. However, the conciseness of the advice offered in this format was much more palatable than in Peterson’s books, which have sections bogged down by Jungian gobbledygook.

With common sense admonitions such as “tell the truth, always”, Peterson expounded on what it means to be honest about you really believe even when the reception will be tepid or hostile. He pointed out, and I can concur, that whatever the discomfort, the liberty and adventure that you’ll experience makes your life far more meaningful than going along to get along.

His old school encouragement to take a job, any job, and then become good at it (he used a dishwasher as his touch point), flies in the face of our postmodern obsession with comfort and the perception of glamour.

“Come to work 15 minutes early, stay 15 minutes late, and learn all you can about the other jobs in the restaurant so you can move up”? It’s not new advice. Mike Rowe has been preaching it for years, but for whatever reasons, Jordan Peterson has captivated the imaginations of thousands of floundering young men, and here, he stewards that position well.

The first episode has some typical Peterson psychological detours, but overall, it’s good , common sense reminders of what it takes to be a man of confidence, competence, and a contributor to the world in a meaningful way by mastering yourself first and foremost. Much of this is excellent advice for young women as well, with a few tweaks.

It would be quite easy to brush this off as not necessary because this has all been said before. My take is a little different. When I hear bedrock truths offered in ways that I need to be reminded of, I recall the words of the Apostle Paul:

To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.

Philippians 3:1b

If we didn’t need to be reminded to do what’s effective and right, surely the world would be a far better place. So I won’t begrudge Peterson for saying something he has said many times before. As any parent can tell you, it is not only safe, it’s necessary.

Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: The Rousseau Effect

I’m still reading through Carl Trueman’s Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self. I took a break to read How to Cook a Wolf, took a break to travel a bit, and more breaks are still to come. This is a good thing, because Rise and Triumph offers its reader so much information, that taking the occasional break to process it all is helpful as you move through it. I started out reading with a very targeted plan to read it relatively quickly since I am reading along with a friend. I wanted to keep up with her, but she is also taking breaks to properly process everything that Trueman is offering.

The first post in this series was about the ways in which emotivism has ushered the west into a third world culture. In this post, we’ll explore how the philosophy and writing of Jean-Jacque Rousseau have contributed to this development. Despite a passing knowledge of the name Jean Jacque Rousseau, and a cursory knowledge of the drivel he espoused, I was wholly unaware of how much his philosophies have influenced and shaped the modern age. Before we dive deeper into Carl Tureman’s description of Rousseau’s impact, consider this quote from The Circe Institute’s 2010 article, Rousseau’s Maddening Legacy:

Few men have exerted the far-reaching influence of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. 

In the eighteenth century, a time when the influence of writers dominated, Rousseau was most influential.  From educational and parenting theory and moral relativism to the political theories of Marx, the rise of totalitarianism, and revolutions from France to Russia, almost every ill of the modern age can trace its philosophical and spiritual roots to the writings and life of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.  How’s that for a legacy?

The article then gives a brief history of how Rousseau’s writings rose to prominence as one of the most impactful legacies of the 18th century Enlightenment:

Born in Geneva, Rousseau’s early life was characterized by abandonment, sexual perversity, exhibitionism, self-pity, and an insatiable vanity.  He was desperate for fame and believed himself set apart from other men.  He moved to Paris and associated with such Enlightenment powerhouses as Voltaire and Diderot.  After many false starts, Rousseau’s chance for notoriety finally arrived in 1749 when, at the age of 37, he learned of a contest sponsored by the Academy of Dijon.  The Academy would award a prize for the best essay on this topic: “Has the restoration of the sciences and arts contributed to corrupt or to purify the morals?” Consider the year 1749. This is the Enlightenment, the Age of Reason.  The Academy chose a topic to allow writers to glory in the great advancement in civilization since man threw off the shackles of religion and embraced unaided Reason.  This was an opportunity for self-congratulatory prose.  So Rousseau, a master self-promoter, decided to argue the opposite so as to stand out.[1]

He attempted to demonstrate “that man is by nature good, and that only our institutions have made him bad!” 

Rousseau won first prize and achieved overnight fame. In one essay, Rousseau destroyed 2,500 years of classical and Christian thought about the nature of man, and the world is still suffering.  The implications of the rejection of original sin are vast. 

It is this legacy, and the resultant rise of the individual expressive as supreme over the individual belonging (to something greater than himself), that planted the seeds of the tree which we now see bearing toxic fruit. Like Eve in the garden, we all took a bite, and most swallowed, but fewer and fewer of us seem willing to take the antidote to heal us from the poison. In Rise and Triumph, we are offered the compelling reasons why western culture so readily embraced this Rousseauan vision of humanity; one in which a person’s dignity and value is completely disconnected from anything outside himself. His psychological beliefs about himself are all that matter:

Rousseau regards individuals as having an integrity and a value that derives from their inward self-consciousness and not from the society in which they exist (such a society being, by definition, something that is liable to make the individual inauthentic), so all individuals have a value in themselves and not derived from their intrinsic position in a social hierarchy. As with expressive individualism, this egalitarian impulse we note here in Rousseau will prove a critical precondition for the rise of modern identity movements and their contemporary political manifestations…

Rise and Triumph, pages 126-127

Because most of you reading this are thoroughly western and steeped in postmodern, egalitarian philosophy, that probably doesn’t sound nearly as bad to you as it should. Take comfort. I had to deconstruct the problems with it in my own mind and heart as well. Rather than get bogged down in a political discussion of LGBTQ rights (although our current acceptance the idea of a man trapped in a woman’s body is the best example of Rousseauan “logic”), here is a less charged example:

I’m a wife with five children, two of which my husband and I are still legally and morally responsible for. This morning, I got up at 4:55 and by 5:15 was involved in morning devotions with my family. When we finished, I spent 45 minutes walking for my health. Arriving back home, I immediately began the work of helping my husband prepare to tackle his 10-hour workday (probably closer to 12 hours). I ironed his clothes, cooked his breakfast, and cleared up the kitchen. When the kids awoke for the second time, I sat and talked with them for half an hour before taking the time to sift through the morning’s headlines, read emails, and played Wordle.

When I finish this post, it’s off to buy groceries and run errands related to our household. I also have a few things to do related to work I will be embarking on in August as well as some things for my husband’s work. Then I must begin working on dinner. My weekdays usually looks like some variation of this routine.

Do any of these things make me a good person? Of course not. Do they make me a good wife and mother? I don’t feel comfortable saying that, but I would wager that if you asked my husband or kids, they would answer in the affirmative, and I find an immense amount of personal value in that assessment. Do they make me a better wife and mother than another wife and mother? Not at all, because the worth of another family’s wife and mother has to be measured by that particular family and its particular needs.

However, regardless of the family, suppose I woke up and did something else. Suppose I woke up, flipped on the television, grabbed my phone to scroll Facebook and Instagram, while leaving my kids and husband to fend for themselves all morning before rising at noon to spend all day solely engaged in the personal pursuit of pleasure. Does that make me a bad wife and mother? Again, that mostly depends on the needs and assessed value of the particular family in question. In my family, the answer is a resounding yes. The occasional slacker day is not a big deal, but it can’t be the norm.

In Rousseau’s economy however, both examples may be equally good and right so long as the woman in question feels that what she is doing is good and right. In fact, anytime I get up and run that morning gauntlet while not feeling like it, Rousseau’s philosophy would characterize me as oppressed, forced into an inauthentic life due to societal and familial pressure. The fact that I find worth in the fact that my family finds it valuable makes it even worse.

Now…does that philosophy sound familiar, and can you see the problem with it?

This is what Carl Trueman is brilliantly illustrating in chapter 3 of Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self.

The first post in this series can be read here.

History Nerd Post: Juneteenth Edition

This post, as originally posted, has an error. I mistakenly said that Kentucky was a Union state along with Delaware, when I listed the two states that kept slavery in effect until December, 1865.

As an American Descendant of Slaves (commonly referred to as ADOS Americans), let me begin by saying that I am mighty pleased to be living a happy and free life marked by liberty and prosperity for every one of my 50 years on the planet. I do not take it lightly; those who risked everything, even paying the ultimate sacrifice, for me to experience the rights and privileges I now enjoy. For the sake of clarity, I will elaborate on said privileges by borrowing the words of Glenn Loury:

The influence of black people on the culture of America is stunning and has global resonance. Some 40 million strong, black Americans are the richest and most powerful population of African descent on the planet. There are 200 million Nigerians, and the gross national product of Nigeria is just about $1 trillion per year. America’s GNP is over $20 trillion a year, and we 40 million African-Americans have claim to roughly 10 percent of it. We have access to ten times the income of a typical Nigerian. What is more, the very fact that the cultural barons and elites of America—who run the New York Times and the Washington Post, who give out Pulitzer Prizes and National Book Awards, who make the grants at the MacArthur Foundation and run the human resources departments of corporate America—have bought in to the new woke racial sensibility hook, line, and sinker gives the lie to the pessimism that the American dream doesn’t apply to blacks. It most certainly and emphatically does apply, and it is coming to fruition daily.

Glenn Loury, The Case for Black Patriotism

The aforementioned should go without saying, but seeing as nothing ever does, I thought it only right to begin there before I do what follows. I don’t like being the voice of contrarian controversy, but the reality is that what we celebrate as Juneteenth (the day in June 1865 when slavery was officially ended in America), is a historical fiction. Slavery still existed in the United States -and in one Union sate, no less!- until December 1865 when the 13th Amendment was finally ratified.

Two states held on to slavery until the bitter end: the official ratification of the 13th Amendment. Those were Delaware and Kentucky. Delaware, by the way, was a Union state.

It’s okay if you didn’t know that. Most Americans have no idea that slavery was practiced in the north as well as the south. We’ve all been captive to a historical and political binary which erases nuances and complexities in favor of white or black hats. Our education is inundated with it and always has been.

However by all means, enjoy your day off to celebrate the end of slavery. This is not intended to rain on your barbecue. The history teacher in me just couldn’t let this go uncorrected.

Maybe I’ll bake my family a freedom cake on December 6th.

Links Worth a Look/Friday Fave Mash-Up: Father’s Day Edition

Sunday is Father’s Day, a day well worth acknowledging in a world where fatherhood and its value are under siege. We’ll start with this week’s Links Worth a Look:

  • Dad an ‘unfit parent” for refusing son McDonald’s: A Manhattan father, in the middle of a divorce and custody battle with his estranged wife, has drawn the ire of a court appointed psychologist because he refused to feed his son a dinner at McDonald’s. Yes, you read that right. When the child was given the choice, he chose “no dinner” over eating healthier fare and his father, as a good father should, called his bluff. To add insult to injury, when he took the boy home to his mother, she took the child to McDonald’s.
  • Conservatives’ Missing Link on Gender Roles: I don’t fully agree with everything Aaron Renn offers here, but he does offer an excellent thesis, even if his general conclusions are a wee bit askew. Tasks that are primarily home-based are not “shadow work”, but it is quite true that before the consumerism boom that began in the 1950s, women’s roles in the family -even from home- contributed to the bottom line in a tangible way.
  • Making Boys Into Men by Delano Squires: A good treatise about the values a father is desperately trying to impart to his sons.

As a Friday Fave, I am sharing this short video from Jordan Peterson as he debunks the idea of toxic masculinity and questions whether the academics and laptop classes have ever bothered to consider what any of us would do without the labor and dedication of working class men.

As a woman whose father was a garbage man, I was deeply moved and have already shared this quite a bit. It is worth every bit of the 2:29 seconds. We really don’t think very deeply about the comfortable civilization we live in and how it came to be.

Happy Father’s Day to all you dedicated, hard working fathers.

Word Nerd Wednesday: Eunoia

We live in a time and place where eunoia is no longer a given. I’m old enough to remember when it was, even among people who disagreed. If it wasn’t, people were polite enough to pretend. I think about the first time I saw the recorded 1965 debate between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley. It was a contentious debate, with both men deeply entrenched in their position, but no one called names. If I recall correctly, very few red herrings were tossed about. I highly doubt that either man truly came to the table with a sense of eunoia, but they at least behaved themselves. Before going any further, I should probably define our word of the week.

Eunoia: a feeling of goodwill (= being friendly and wanting to help), especially one that exists between a speaker and an audience.

With that definition presented, I’m sure most readers can agree with me that basic civility, much less eunoia, is mostly absent from American political and social discourse, and it’s an unfortunate development.

I chose this word particularly because I’m hoping to engender some eunoia as I spend more time offering contributions to the joint venture Hearthie and I have embarked on over at Historical Femininity. while I have been off teaching and doing a lot of other homeschool mom things, she has been producing superb content to inspire us to be women of excellence by cultivating the skills and creating beauty in ways that have been a traditional part of womanhood up until 60 years ago. That’s basically when we suddenly decided to be reduced to the sum of our sex appeal plus expensive and useless college degrees.

One of the ways I hope to spark more conversation there is by offering weekly short audio recordings to induce thought about the ways we can be counter-cultural as Christian women, wives, mothers, and social forces in our communities.

Despite my best efforts, I tend to be controversial, so if you click over, please wrap yourselves in a healthy blanket of eunoia.

Happy Wednesday!

History Nerd on the Road: Stone Mountain State Park

I’ve been to Georgia more times than I can count, and I mean that quite literally. Because both I and my husband have extended family scattered throughout all parts of the state, we’ve spent many weekends on the roads between our state and our peachy neighbor to the north. This is true in adulthood, and it was equally true when we were kids.

Additionally, we have both traveled either to or through the metro Atlanta area on numeous occasions. Usually through rather than to, and not more times than we can count. It has been enough that a history nerd like me should have visited Stone Mountain long ago. However until quite recently, I had never seen the controversial monument up close. I’m very glad that I have now visited the park, which is so much more than the carving of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson.

photo by elspeth

The carving on the side of Stone Mountain is a stunning piece of artwork, worth seeing and worthy of preservation regardless of what anyone thinks about the men’s whose images are displayed on the mountain. I am always struck at the ignorance displayed by those who believe the way to a better future is obliterate every historical marker that someone, somewhere, might find offensive. My husband, being something of an artist, was quite taken with the level of skill and detail required to carve the images of these histrically important men into the side of the granite monolith.

Stone Mountain Park, however, is so much more than the Confederate carving on the side of the mountain. It’s a sprawling property with breathtaking natural beauty covering 3200 acres. We spent a fair amount of time simply walking around and taking in the scenery. One of my favorite things was watching the chipmunks, which we don’t have in S. Florida. Squirrels abound, but they are not as cute. Yes, I recognize that both are rodents, cousins of rats, but they are very cute rodents:

photo by elspeth

There are miles of trails and beautiful forests:

photo by elspeth

There are sparkling lakes that you could dip your feet into without the fear of alligators that perpetually threaten freshwater areas down here:

photo by elspeth

One of our favorite spots was the covered bridge built in 1891, a reminder that there was a time when people built things that were not only utilitarian, but beautiful:

photo by elspeth

We spent a fair amount of time at the retired granite quarry, which was interesting, but far more fascinating to my husband. That is why we spent a long time there:

photo by elspeth

One part of the quarry that I found very captivating was the railway that transported the granite out, to other parts of the state, and even to other areas of the U.S. There is something about train tracks that I find quaint and charming:

photo by elspeth

An interesting thought crossed my mind when a lovely young couple with many kids in tow, asked my husband and me if we wanted them to take our picture in front of Stone Mountain. For a brief second I wondered if it was weird to take a photo with Jefferson Davis, Robert E Lee, and Stonewall Jackson in the background. As is nearly always the case, my husband didn’t hesitate to take them up on their offer. It was silly to even think about it:

I cropped the man out. House rules…

If you ever find yourself on I-75 near metro Atlanta, it is worth the stop to take a gander at Stone Mountain Park. I was ill-prepared to take in all that the park had to offer, so we’re hoping to take a camping trip up there some time before the cold weather kicks in.

Happy Monday!

Reviving the Links Worth a Look

Longtime readers of this little blog know that there was a time when my Links Worth a Look page was regularly updated with new links, neatly categorized by month. It has been a very long time since I’ve updated that page, but this summer I plan to rectify that.

At least once a week, I’ll be making an effort to update the page with new links that I think are worth passing on to be read by my vast numbers of readers. Because this is a reboot of sorts, I’ll start by posting the links in this post before adding them to the Links Worth a Look page later.

Here are my newest offerings:

  • Make Sin History? by Joshua Gibbs at Circe Institute: In his now trademark hypothetical conversations, Gibbs explores the modern folly of viewing sin through the lens of Rousseau rather than Augustine.
  • The Great Replacement Switcheroo, by Ann Coulter: It’s Ann Coulter, so no further commentary is needed from me. You already know this is controversial.
  • Men Without Chests, by Pastor Andrew Isker for Gab News: Isker examines the current crisis of masculinity and how it can manifest itself in these trying times.
  • Trans Facts, by Sondjata at Garvey’s Ghost: Sondjata lets the victims of this social and psychological contagion speak for itself.
  • Two Dimensional Strangers, by Hearthrose: Hearthie examines the inherent drawbacks and adaptations we’ve had to make living in this world where we have fewer and fewer personal relationships than our grandparents and great grandparents.

Note: While it is safe to assume that most of my Links Worth a Look article includes ideas I agree with, it is not accurate to assume that I agree with 100% of what is presented. If I include the link, it is because I believe that it provides genuine food for thought.

Happy Wednesday!

Word Nerd Wednesday: Redefining terms as language rapidly evolves.

Euphemisms, the problems with them, and how our penchant for obscuring truth is damaging the culture still lingers in my thoughts. The ability to understand what things are, and call them what they are is a foundational element of education, culture, and societal cohesion.

Societal cohesion starts with a strong understanding of the importance of family, and families are built on the foundation of marriage. We’ve lost our understanding of all these concepts as we’ve abandoned the components that make up the whole: Man, woman, child, duty, love. This morning, I considered this in the context of the worsening crisis of healthy families in the West, which starts with marriage.

One of the reasons modern marriage seems such a risky proposition is that moderns have forgotten what marriage is, if we ever knew. We mistakenly categorized it as a sexual relationship with our best friend, but friendships are mostly rooted in affinity and fun.

That’s not what marriage is. Marriage is a building project with love as its foundation. Being built on love, there is affinity; and plenty of opportunity for fun. But the building part? That’s work.

We have somehow managed to divorce the work from love hence the trouble with modern marriage.

Some Problems with Euphemisms

A former editor of C. S. Lewis sat down for an interview in 2009. In the interview, he shed some light on what it was like to work with Lewis, his humor, wit, and temperament. He relayed this story about one of his very first interactions with the legendary writer:

…in my first meeting with him I was almost paralyzed with both fear of him at the beginning and admiration. Anyway, we were drinking so much tea that eventually (I’d only just arrived in England and I didn’t know that in England the bathroom and the lavatory were separate rooms) I asked like almost all Americans, “Do you mind if I use your bathroom?” And he said “Certainly not!” And he took me to his bathroom, which had nothing in it except a bathtub. And he got out several tablets of soap and several towels, a real exaggeration, and said of all of that stuff, “Now do you have enough for your bath?” Anyway, he left me in the bathroom, and I was wondering what on earth I was going to do. I was really uncomfortable. Anyway, I went back in and I said, “Actually it wasn’t a bath I wanted.” Well of course he knew that, he was laughing, and said, “That will cure you of those American euphemisms. Now let’s start over again. Where do you want to go?”

C.S. Lewis Society Interview with Walter Hooper

I often think of this story when contemplating our ubiquitous use of what Lewis called “American euphemisms”. Our zealousness for propriety -which has markedly diminished in recent years- has often caused us to euphemize problems that might be addressed if we’d simply call the proverbial spade a spade.

This occurred to me recently when I read an article which was titled, “Plus-Sized Women Admit They Aren’t Attracted to Overweight Men”.  Can you spot the deceptive use of euphemistic language?

Hat tip: Will S.

The women are described as “plus-sized”, while the men are labeled as “overweight”. It’s a common feature of American culture to soften the blows of truth to spare the emotions of women. This is not always a bad thing, but even if it was a good thing (debatable), you know what they say about too much of a good thing.

I’m not opposed to euphemisms. They do provide a service when we want to communicate to someone faced with a challenging or emotionally wrenching situations. However, as in the article referenced above, euphemisms can cloud our reality at times when we need to be most clear-headed. They often conceal truth and stop us from addressing real issues. Quentin Crisp put it this way:

Euphemisms are unpleasant truths wearing diplomatic cologne.

Take “plus-sized” for instance. Most of the women in the article seem to believe that their physical stature and condition is somehow markedly different from the men they are discussing. To be clear, I’m not insinuating that they should feign attraction to men they are not attracted to. I’m simply noting that if these women correctly categorized themselves as “overweight”, they might be less judgmental of their male counterparts.

Most euphemism we encounter are perfectly benign. “Passed away” has replaced “died”. While I have never quite grasped how the former softens the communication of the latter, I respect that it is a preferred term of many people. We all understand that the person who passed away has died, and we won’t see them anymore.

I am amused at the terms “adult entertainment” and “gentleman’s club”. While most Americans are fully acquainted with these as euphemisms for porn and strip clubs, I wonder if people from places other than the western world have been unpleasantly surprised by these particularly oxymoronic euphemisms.

Governments are the masters of manipulating language through the use of euphemisms. “Friendly fire”, “collateral damage” and relevant right now, “quantitative easing”, are terms that skillfully soften or outright obscure the reality of policies being implemented.

Returning to the article that began this line of thought, there are times when euphemisms are not helpful, and may even be harmful. “Plus-sized” and “curvy” may make us women feel better, but also create a false sense of security about something that is a serious health issue. More than that, it obscures the reality that overweight is no more attractive on the female body than it is on the male body.

I tend to pick quite a lot of nits when it comes to words and how they are used, so feel free to take this with a heaping grain of salt. However, I still think it might behoove us to consider calling things what they are a little more often than we do. It might be the first step to curing what ails us. Who knows?

If we hadn’t decided to replace fat with curvy, sex with gender, and entitlement with oppression, a lot of the craziness of today’s world might not be happening.

Documentary Review: What Is a Woman?

Matt Walsh, for those who are unfamiliar, is an unabashed far right commentator, writer, and wanna be “theocratic fascist dictator”.  Over the past year, he has been mostly making waves as an outspoken opponent of the increased attempts to indoctrinate children into the gender ideology and transgender madness that has captivated left wing politics in the seven years since Obergefell.

Last night, the Daily Wire premiered his documentary entitled, “What is a Woman?”.  This event was not without drama and mayhem, as the Daily Wire announced that they were the victims of a cyber-attack designed to hinder streaming of this highly anticipated documentary. After some difficulty logging on myself, I was able to watch the film. My thoughts follow, but first the trailer:

For the record, I did not watch this film to learn what a woman is. I respect natural law, I passed biology, and I have given birth to five children. They didn’t make this film for the likes of me.

Overall, it was interesting. Some sections were humorous and entertaining, such as the time Walsh spent with the Masai people of Africa, inquiring about their understanding of what constitutes a man or a woman. Their mass laughter at the idea of a “woman with a penis” was an obvious nod to the fact that even the least technologically advanced people understand basic biology.

When Walsh joined last year’s Women’s March, asking the women in attendance the titular question, it wasn’t long before groups of women were chanting expletives at Walsh, which I found quite humorous. The tone moved from humor to incredulity when a woman said that whatever Walsh declared was true for him was true, even if he decided that she, his interlocutor, didn’t exist.

I expected Truth to be a source of contention. However, I was struck by how offended many interviewees grew at the very mention of concrete, definable words: fact, castration, etc. The glaring lack of logical consistency is par for the course when examining gender ideology too closely, but to watch ostensibly educated people sound so terribly stupid was a bit disheartening. Whatever our thoughts about the validity of what the people running the universities have to say, the reality is that the people emerging from our university systems are the people who will one day walk the halls of Congress, staff the newsrooms, and man the classrooms of American schools. Their ability to properly delineate nature’s most basic and obvious laws matters a great deal.

The most compelling part of the documentary was Walsh’s time spent with a woman named Scott Newgent, who went the distance on her transgender journey. She even went as far as to undergo a phalloplasty and has experienced countless complication and health challenges because of her surgical attempt to change her sex. She is now an open and outspoken opponent of transgender medical procedures surgeries for all children, and many adults. Her story was one worth hearing and should be told more.

If you’ve been paying attention, you’re probably aware of the lightning speed at which the attempt to eliminate sex distinctions and mitigate all the little “inconveniences” inherent with being born a member of the weaker sex has progressed. For a fleeting moment, I wondered why Walsh decided to focus on “What is a Woman?”, as well as why Canon Press decided to zero in on “Eve in Exile”:

Then it hit me.

For the past several years, I was firmly convinced that the cultural assault destroying the familial foundations that protect children was an assault on masculinity. I totally missed how virulently femininity was being not only attacked but erased. From the moment Simone de Beauvoir declared woman “the second sex” and decreed that woman should never be given the choice to raise her own children because too many of us would make that choice, there has been a systemic attack on all things feminine. We didn’t see it because we didn’t realize that aside from the obvious reproductive hack of birth control and the choice to abort as a back stop, the erasure of femininity was carefully crouched in the language of power and progress.

Only now, when it is too late, are we beginning to see that attacking traditional femininity does double duty: The first wave gave women all the privileges that come with masculinity but none of the responsibility, effectively neutering healthy masculinity. The natural beauty that comes from the realization that there things woman need that only man can provide, and things man needs that only woman can provide has been mostly lost. That erosion began in the 1960s.

This current iteration induces women to mutilate their biological femininity to become men and asserts that men, who possess none of the biological markers of womanhood can grow long locks, smear on some lipstick, take a few pills and voila! They are magically women.

These developments illuminate why the question “What is a Woman?” is so important. We should certainly ask what a man is, but I suspect many people would more or less agree. Increasingly, we are being force fed the idea that menstruation, wombs, breasts, and the ability to give birth have nothing to do with being a woman because plenty of men are perfectly capable of being women and doing it much better than us old fashioned factory models!

Kudos to Matt Walsh for making waves with this one. His question demands an answer, and this lie needs to be laid bare, over and over again.