Big Debate Day

Big Debate Day:

Today, we're going to join a couple of the big debates swirling through the blogosphere. The first one, which I address first only to get it out of the way quickly, is the debate on masculinity that I had thought would end ages ago now. There is a post from Firedoglake, which was aimed at Protein Wisdom, which drew fire from others, and another round from Protein Wisdom, plus Instapundit (who was earlier attacked by Glenn Greenwald), etc., etc., etc.

So, here's what I have to say about the question of who is masculine. If you're doing it right, the women will tell you. If they don't, you may not be doing it right.

Now, different women want different things, and that's fine. The point is that masculinity has its opposite in femininity. It's about sex more than it's about anything else. It is, therefore, womens' business to define what they find masculine.

You realize what the reverse of that principle is, right? It's men's business to decide what is feminine. That's going to cause some headaches. Nevertheless, it's true -- and accepting that it is true will produce some peace. My wife, before we were married, used to have all the same concerns that most women do about whether or not she was beautiful. When we first began to date, and she began to express those concerns, I told her not to worry about it -- that nature had decided that I should be the judge of feminine beauty, not her, and she could see how I felt about it.

And indeed, that's precisely the case. A woman frets over her beauty, because she can never really be sure of it. A man looks at her, and is sure.

Those who want to define womanhood with no reference to men can try; but I don't think they'll do more than chase each other in a circle for a few more decades, just like they have for the last few. That's my warning to those people arguing about "masculinity" also. Don't bother; it's a waste of your time. The women will let you know when you've got it right. When they see it, they'll be sure.

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