July 21, 2013

Women And Children First

Women and Children First was a doctrine first recorded in a novel from 1860 by William Douglas O'Connor entitled Harrington: A Story of True Love. In that simple phrase I see the roots of chivalry, and a basic tenant that defines the culture I was brought up in, and the way I was brought up. But I'll get to all that momentarily.

Different things come to mind when the theater shooting in Aurora is discussed. At the forefront is the depravity of the murderous little punk that chose to embrace evil and ruin lives in the process. There were a few people there that acted bravely despite being unprepared for what they were about to experience. This tale is about something else, which should be remembered as a warning about the effects of bad choices as well as bad culture.

A male was in the theater when the shooting began. He hauled ass out of there and when he got to his car and was about to drive off his girlfriend called to see if he was okay.

Understandable you might think? Reasonable? After all, what could an unarmed man do against an armed miscreant? Wouldn’t fleeing be a sound option? But perhaps you’re wondering how his girlfriend called him so quickly after the shooting started?

A male was in the theater when the shooting began. That male was not there alone. He brought his girlfriend and their two kids – one of whom was an infant – to the theater. When the shooting started he had the infant in his arms. He ran a bit, then he put the infant down and ran some more. Meanwhile his girlfriend had pushed their daughter to the ground and took a bullet for her (or pieces of a bullet anyway). A stranger, a 19 year old man helped his girlfriend gather up her daughter and infant son and escape the theater. That stranger took a bullet doing so. The male was in his car with the engine running, about to drive off, when his girlfriend called wanting to make sure he was alright. At that point he presumably stopped his flight and reunited with his family.

But it gets even more messed up.

While at the hospital, where his girlfriend was being treated for the bullet fragments in her leg that she received whilst trying to protect her kid, the male proposed to her. Marriage. As in “for better or worse, ‘til death do us part”, etc. And she said yes.

The male’s name is Jamie Rohrs. He is a coward. He is not a man. And most definitely, despite any sensitive actions he may engage in, despite any attentiveness or affection he may show toward his kids, he is not a good parent. Being loving, kind, interested towards your children is a very good thing. But it does not make up for, even once, leaving them to die to save your own sorry ass.

That the lady – who did act like a good parent should in those circumstances – agreed to marry him shouldn’t baffle me. I can only surmise that her view of eligible males is such that she can somehow excuse his behavior and still see him as a viable partner. That is an indictment of the culture in which they’re steeped, one which is waging war against my culture.

In that nest of vipers known as democratic underground, there was a thread discussing this male’s actions. I looked at it last year, then briefly a few moments ago. A good many people got it right – they said his actions were cowardly. But a disturbing number of people tried to defend his actions. Usually they claimed it was wrong to judge people, and that no one knew what his total life experiences were, and that until you’re in such a situation you just don’t know what you’ll do.

I ain’t Vin Diesel, nor did I do a stint with the Rhodesian Light Infantry, and I’m not even a parent (I’m told that step-cats don’t count). But I can guaran-damn-teeya that leaving my infant son on the floor in a building where a mass shooting is happening while I ran away is not something I could ever do. It has nothing to do with bravery, it has to do with humanity. My upbringing, my culture, my reason would preclude that.

After the shooting in that Aurora theater I had two friends call to make sure I was alright. Both were from out of town and both knew me only partially. I simply didn’t discuss firearms or politics with them much. After a few weeks I started to wonder why only two people, out of a disproportionate number of contacts on my phone, called to make sure I was okay and not in the theater that night. So I was speaking with a third friend and asked her. She said that she didn’t hear about anyone shooting back or rushing the murderer, so she safely assumed I wasn’t in the building. I received similar replies when I queried other friends and family.

I can’t say with certainty what I would do in such a scenario, but I’m pretty certain that abandoning a girlfriend and our children wouldn’t be on my list of options. I think most people who read this would act in a similar way. I’m certain most of my friends would attempt to protect their families as best they could, even if unarmed. In fact if I was reasonably sure that someone wouldn’t protect their families in such a situation I’d not associate with them if it could be helped.

Not the Eloi culture though. For them cowardice is a reasonable option. And apparently the dating pool in that world is so sparse that someone who would leave their own kids to die is still an acceptable mate.

I’ll note that it is a Saturday night and instead of being out on a date (or in on a date) I’m sitting here typing this. It is difficult to think that whatever flaws I have as a lover or boyfriend are apparently worse than abandoning my kids to an evil murderous punk, so I’m trying to chalk it up to something else. Anything else. I admit I can be hard to get along with, but I simply can’t be that bad in comparison to this guy. However, this cowardly punk has a fiancé (unless she came to her senses). That leads me to ponder that perhaps, for myriad reasons, a male can be an abject coward and still be socially and romantically acceptable.

A word or two thousand about Men and Women:

I was raised by old people. They were adults during The Great Depression. I was raised in the South. So I got a double dose of what you might call an old fashioned upbringing. Some things were drilled into me from an early age, and one of those was that Men and women had different, specific roles in society.

I’ll wait a moment for any stray feminists who wandered in here to finish throwing objects at their monitors.

Now this isn’t going to be an “a woman’s place is in the kitchen” type thing. Hell, my grandfather cooked almost as often as my grandmother. No the roles are more generalized and to a degree situational. See a woman’s duty is to run away from danger if at all possible. Not because they’re weak or helpless. It’s because they’re too valuable.

To get all Heinlein on y’all, Women are more valuable than men when it comes to survival of the whole. To illustrate, I could go out tonight and sleep with 5 different women, impregnating them all. I could do the same the next night with 5 different women, and the next, and the next (until I collapsed from exhaustion). Each woman that I impregnated would have to wait 10 months before she could get pregnant again. See where this is going? In terms of propagation of any species, a large percentage of the male population can be eliminated and that species will still be stable population wise. But lose a much smaller fraction of the females and the evolutionary game is over.

That is the root of chivalry, as cold and scientific as it may sound. Women are more valuable, and their station in life should reflect such. It’s because they can gestate life, and that such activity takes far longer than the male’s role in the propagation cycle.

So women should run away from danger when they can. If there are children involved, then women should flee with the children when they can. But if leaving the situation is impossible or risky, then they should fight. If they choose to fight first, instead of running, it’s not a bad thing, but getting away from danger is not only okey dokey; it’s preferable. In other words, fighting isn’t their primary duty.

Men? Their job is quite different. A man’s job is not to flee from evil, but to confront it. Especially to get between that evil and any women or children present. If keeping the women and children safe necessitates fleeing with them, then that’s the job description. If it means putting down your infant son to rush a mass murderer, then so be it. Confronting evil to protect women and kids is a man’s primary duty.

Putting down your infant son to haul ass, however, is unacceptable and gets you demoted. It makes you less than a man.

Getting back to Heinlein, he told a story once that touches on some of this. I’ll repeat it here:

Patriotism is the most practical of all human characteristics.
But in the present decadent atmosphere patriots are often too shy to talk about it as if it were something shameful or an irrational weakness.
But patriotism is NOT sentimental nonsense. Nor something dreamed up by demagogues. Patriotism is as necessary a part of man’s evolutionary equipment as are his eyes, as useful to the race as eyes are to the individual.
A man who is NOT patriotic is an evolutionary dead end. This is not sentiment but the hardest of logic.
I said that “Patriotism” is a way of saying “Women and children first.” And that no one can force a man to feel this way. Instead he must embrace it freely. I want to tell about one such man. He wore no uniform and no one knows his name, or where he came from; all we know is what he did.
In my home town sixty years ago when I was a child, my mother and father used to take me and my brothers and sisters out to Swope Park on Sunday afternoons. It was a wonderful place for kids, with picnic grounds and lakes and a zoo. But a railroad line cut straight through it.
One Sunday afternoon a young married couple were crossing these tracks. She apparently did not watch her step, for she managed to catch her foot in the frog of a switch to a siding and could not pull it free. Her husband stopped to help her.
But try as they might they could not get her foot loose. While they were working at it, a tramp showed up, walking the ties. He joined the husband in trying to pull the young woman’s foot loose. No luck.
Out of sight around the curve a train whistled. Perhaps there would have been time to run and flag it down, perhaps not. In any case both men went right ahead trying to pull her free…and the train hit them.
The wife was killed, the husband was mortally injured and died later, the tramp was killed ? and testimony showed that neither man made the slightest effort to save himself.
The husband’s behavior was heroic ? but what we expect of a husband toward his wife: his right, and his proud privilege, to die for his woman. But what of this nameless stranger? Up to the very last second he could have jumped clear. He did not. He was still trying to save this woman he had never seen before in his life, right up to the very instant the train killed him. And that’s all we’ll ever know about him.
THIS is how a man dies.
This is how a MAN…lives!

Call me archaic. Refer to me as antiquated. Label me as too old school for anyone to take seriously. But that is how I was raised. That protecting women, at times even women you don’t know, was not just a laudable goal, but a duty. A responsibility. An obligation. It should go without saying, but given the story that this post is based upon maybe it needs saying anyway – That duty is no less when it comes to children, especially your own children!

Women can do almost anything a man can do. And men can do almost anything a woman can do. But in my culture when evil presented itself the genders were instantly segregated into their specific roles. I know a whole lot of women who are better shots than I am, but unless we’re talking about a 300+ yard shot from concealment, then it’s my job to grab a gat and charge the cannons. Because I am not as valuable as any woman. That’s not something I say with bitterness – it’s simply a fact. An evolutionary fact. That makes my station in life clear, and it allows me to understand what my duty is.

Children however are generally defenseless. I am not aware of any “children’s lib” movement that would even suggest that children should not be treated like, well, children when it comes to certain things – like being in mortal peril. To abandon your lady in the face of certain danger is cowardly enough, but to leave your lady to protect your offspring while you scamper away like a rodent makes you a coward. A despicable kind of coward.

In my day, when I was a kid (and the operatingest operators were sporting the brand new tacticool obsidian hand axes) if anyone showed too much cowardice in a schoolyard fight, there was no way in Tarturus that he’d find a date to the dance that fall. I’m not talking about MMA cage matches – I mean one or two punches, maybe a bloody nose and that’s it. Now, a male can forsake his infant while he runs away to mortal peril and he gets a “yes” when proposing?

There are plenty of other tales of males most readers of this post would find reprehensible. Serial killers, mass murderers, even politicians have women who will stick with them (sometimes after they did their sleazy deeds). But this male has no celebrity to speak of. He certainly didn’t that night when he proposed, as his lady lay recovering from wounds incurred while she did her duty as a parent. So this leads me to conclude that in the Eloi culture, which is prominent in the bigger cities and surrounding areas, has deviated greatly from the culture in which I was raised with regards to what constitutes a man, let alone an acceptable one.

The gun culture. If I had time I’d write volumes on what exactly that meant. If you read James Webb’s Born Fighting: How The Scots-Irish Shaped America you might conclude, as I have, that the gun culture is simply a continuance of the Scots-Irish culture. A lot of the essential elements are there: self reliance, individualism, a certain amount of military tradition, etc… Among the things that the Scots-Irish culture perpetuated was a propensity for protective violence, especially on behalf of women and children. I do not think that trait was lost as it evolved (or branched off) into what we know as the gun culture. The Eloi culture, however, left that in the dust.

It is not that my culture is perfect. I just find it preferable to any culture on the planet. Other cultures have very cool elements, and many cultures share some things in common with the gun culture, but still I view the gun culture as superior in total. The Eloi culture is inferior in almost every way I can think of. And the tale that started off this post is a prime example.

Jarell Brooks is the then-19 year old stranger that helped Patricia Legarreta and her kids to safety, being shot in the leg during the process. He is, by his actions, a member of the gun culture, whether he realizes it yet or not. Once he does, he’ll likely be accepted warmly, as our culture tends to be inclusive; if you can respect a few basic tenants then you’re in. You can even disagree about a lot of things, but as long as you get some or most of the most basic things understood, then you, too, can be one of us. (The Eloi culture? Not so much. You have to emote [not think, but emote] a certain way or you just don’t get to play any of those reindeer games.) It’s probable that miss Legarreta could be a part of the gun culture, if she just becomes exposed to certain ideas. Her actions certainly imply she has a basic grasp of that duty we have as humans to protect children.

Jamie Kohrs is the name of the coward. From my perspective he epitomizes the Eloi culture. Not that leaving your youngins to the whims of a spree killer is a written tenant of said culture, but it is the inevitable result. Just as the name I attached to them does not reflect their intent, but the only ends to which their culture can lead.

If I had time, I’d expand upon a few ideas touched upon, or at least embed links in meaningful places. But instead I’ll leave a bunch of links at the bottom. Some reference what I wrote about, others expand upon things I’ve mentioned.

I will point out that 3 men died shielding their respective girlfriends with their own bodies. (Girlfriends. They had no children with these ladies. No betrothals. They were girlfriends, not wives or babies' mamma's.) At least one woman died as she tended to the wounds of another. An unknown number of others were injured as they tried to help those they cared for, and in some cases even strangers, get to safety.

That makes the actions of this particular cowardly male not just repugnant, but contemptible. As is the culture which leads to such behavior, that defends such behavior, that emulates such behavior. Which is why the gun culture should not be allowed to perish easily, given what would likely replace it.

I'll leave y'all with a few things - something that Chesty Puller once said, an old Van Halen tune (just cause the chorus seemed apt) and the links I mentioned above:

"Our country won't go on forever, if we stay soft as we are now. There won't be any America—because some foreign soldiery will invade us and take our women and breed a hardier race."

(I'll clarify that in context, Chesty wasn't talking about race per se', but our culture. The Scots-Irish /gun culture, which he viewed simply as American culture.)



http://news.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474981486647 (wade through the comments on this one if you can stomach it, but a few folks try to defend his actions)








Posted by Publicola at July 21, 2013 02:42 AM | TrackBack

Well, I didn't call (write, telegraph, send flowers ...) because the notion of you flocking with the masses to attend the premier showing of a comic-book movie is simply not part of my world-view. I certainly wouldn't. Too much projection? (Oh gawd, what an awful pun.)

Nobody called me at all. Well, maybe everyone knows that I'd have to be dragged kicking into a packed movie theater.

My Saturday night was spent watching Judge Dredd (the Stallone one) and banging on CSS for a wiki I keep on my home machine. Hey, if you ever do find some of those non-Eloi women who value chivalric values, let me know, okay?

Posted by: jed at July 21, 2013 09:04 AM

One big problem with dating is so many women are like the one who agreed to marry Rohrs. Their standards and expectations are so low they're a waste of time.

Posted by: Alien at July 22, 2013 05:38 AM

Massage McHenry

Posted by: Massage Woodstock at March 27, 2014 04:58 PM
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