Friday, March 29, 2019

How Men Benefited From Feminism

I do enjoy audio books occasionally. They are great to listen to before going to bed:) So recently I stumbled across a book out of my childhood, which my Mom used to read to me: the story of Mary Poppins; and listened to Chapter 1.

For those who don't know or remember, the book describes late Victorian or probably early Edwardian England and the adventures of the Banks family and their magical nanny, Mary Poppins. The Bankses are quite well off by our standards. They employ a nanny, a cook, a maid and a gardener. In fact, the book begins after their latest nanny left them which creates a bit of drama for Mrs Banks because the two other female servants resent taking care of the kids (and there are 4 of them) and Heavens forbid she would do it herself. In fact, she doesn't even eat dinner with the children or puts them to bed or anything. Really, any modern stay-at-home mother with several kids works much harder than Mrs Banks ever did in her whole life, unless you count knitting and tea visits as work.

And what about Mr Banks? He has an office job, 6 days a week. It's interesting that when I tried to find information online about Edwardian working hours I came across stories of suffragettes instead. We are always supposed to think about how tough the lives of women used to be, but never a peep about men. I have a general idea that their workweeks were about 60 hours, that they enjoyed little to none vacation and that there was no official retirement age. Mr Banks could look forward to dying at his job.

And he came from a well-off family. Lower class men worked in coal mines,  built railways, did all sorts of hard labour and were cannon fodder in any war. Just think of all these guys executed by their own for being shell-shocked in WWI. Not that junior officers fared much better anyway. Lower class women typically had it harder than a Mrs Banks but only because they would bear more children without domestic help. Yet, from what I've heard, they mostly used their own kids as help and many hardly did anything much at all once children grew older.

It's an amazing propaganda achievement that women were persuaded to exchange their lives for that of a Mr Banks or any other man. And while modern men spend countless hours complaining about feminism and the loss of the patriarchal authority they forget that they have also lost a lot of responsibility.  Millennial men will have a 25 hours working week and spend the rest of the day with their kids while the wifey shares the breadwinning responsibility at some dusty office or worse.

So yes, guys have benefited from feminism much more that they want us women to think, but strangely enough, they are still not content with the result. Just like women can't have it both ways, neither can men...

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Pet Strollers

Pet Gear No-Zip Double Pet Stroller |

There is a lot of negative reactions on the right-wing sites to the latest trend of pets in strollers. You hear a usual thing about how modern liberal women choose having pets instead of raising children. I understand the frustration as I find the phrase dog (in my case cat) mom quite irritating. I used to have an acquaintance who would ask me how my "cat children" were doing and it drove me nuts as I wanted to say: "come on, I haven't given birth to a freaking cat!"

Yet, in the case of pet strollers, what I see is mostly older folks using them and also mostly with small dogs who can't walk a long distance. I presume they have done their duty to the society by raising their kids already but these said kids often neglect them so that the elderly have to seek the company of their pets, and yes, I have witnessed it in real life.

There is another thing: most older folks don't drive. A pet stroller is very convenient if you need to take your sick animal to the vet. Try to transport a 6kg cat in a basket and you'll understand the convenience. Heck, I'm thinking of taking one myself. Since I don't have the car during the day, we have to schedule all our appointments in the evenings when it's very busy.

So I think we should cut pet stroller users some slack:)

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Should Women Be Attacked?

There is a plethora of blogs nowadays which claim they are against feminism and spend their whole time attacking women. Some are run by men who each day, every day find a new woman to *itch about. When I look at my husband, he isn't much interested in women, outside myself or some bikini models:) When he's online he'll talk with other men about cars, guns or politics, not about what some stupid gal wrote on her Facebook page. He also finds men constantly discussing women unmanly.

Now I'm not at all saying that women are such snowflakes that they should never be criticised, attacked or even shamed for anything, especially if we are talking about some loud-mouthed internet personality. Anyone who is a public figure should be prepared to deal with criticism. And if one is critical of modernity, one can't avoid talking about feminism and that means making remarks about female behaviour, yet, there is some thing to consider, notably, to which extent is an average woman responsible for feminism?

Because even though MSM push this romantic idea about a couple of women burning their bras and starting a revolution, the cold hard truth is that the governments in ALL (formerly) Christian countries support feminism in one or other form and push it onto the 3d World. While the USA is the champion at promoting this liberal egalitarianism, other Western countries aren't really any better in this respect. Much though has been made lately of Victor Orban and his defence of Christian values, his initiatives to raise fertility included free daycare and childcare benefits for grandparents.

I have news for Mr Orban: few women dream of having several children only to leave them at day care or with Granny the whole day. These initiatives were touted as ground-breaking but the truth is that countries like Germany (and I think, Finland, too) offer so much money per child per month that if you had 6 or 7 kids both parents could nicely live from it. Yet, the same governments promote the narcissistic, hedonistic bugman lifestyle which most of their citizens (outside of immigrants) happily choose.

Of course, there is still such a thing as personal responsibility and I don't deny that we as Westerners are uniquely susceptible to this cult of materialistic individualism, but the propaganda starts when the kids are still young and follows them into the grave, so to say. Yet, many internet antifeminist warriors tend to totally disregard it and place all the blame squarely on the shoulders of individual women. They also expect women as a group to rise up and smash liberalism. Of course, it won't work since women aren't really those who start the revolutions.

Women just follow the society trends, if the society changes, so will the women. That's all.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Science And Working Mothers

Here is an interesting article:

Scientists blame working mums for child obesity epidemic

Here is a quote:

SCIENTISTS have laid the blame for Britain's childhood obesity epidemic at the door of working mothers, in a new study.
The shocking findings also claim the kids of mums who work are negatively affected - whereas the father's employment appears to have no "significant effect".

Hmmm, I wonder why ? It's almost like there is a difference between men and women?

Professor Emla Fitzsimons told The Sunday Times: "We find that children whose mothers work are more likely to have increased sedentary behaviour and poorer dietary habits."
Researchers said the bizarre findings were more obvious for single mums who work full-time, but also revealed a pattern with mums who work and have a partner.

 It's only bizarre if you lack common sense:) Obviously, the mother who works the whole day will have less time to get involved in and supervise daily activities and eating habits of her children.

However, part-timers aren't off the hook, either:

 But the study added it doesn't matter if mums work full-time or part-time, their child is still more likely to be fatter than that of a non working mum.

So much for: "well, it's only 2 days a week, surely it won't do any harm?"
It describes obesity as "the most common chronic disease of childhood and likely to persist into adulthood with far-reaching effects".
And found teens and children have gained weight over the past four decades along with a rise in working mums - with kids of single working mothers 25 per cent more likely to be overweight.

The conclusion of the researchers: is, naturally, to blame fathers and demand more feminism:

With the burden remaining on the mum to provide childcare, the study found, it suggested fathers become more "active players" in promoting their kids wellbeing.

(That is, if she knows who the father might be....)

My conclusion is  the society which sees raising the next generation as a burden, has no future.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Laundry Detergent Substitute

Have you ever thought about natural substitutes for the modern laundry detergents? You could try baking soda. Not only is baking soda a universal cleaner, but it works just fine for your laundry as well. Plus, it's inexpensive and environment-friendly. I hardly ever use regular washing powder any more, and I'm satisfied with the results, more or less. I still think it's somewhat weaker than a regular detergent, but at least, it has no toxic ingredients as it's actually something you can eat:) If you have any experiences with baking soda, feel free to share!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Lack Of Charity

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."

We live in a liberal age and liberalism basically means freedom from consequences,  When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins.

This approach found its way into our families and even our churches bringing with itself the general lack of standards and "anything goes" attitude. It can be terribly frustrating for those men and women who have traditional attitudes about s*x and marriage, for parents trying to raise their children properly, for the relatives dealing with those in extended family who disagree with their principles.

When you look specifically at feminism, it claimed to abolish double standards, and yet it ushered back a sort of new Victorianism when women are generally viewed as innocent victims of evil men never fully responsible for their own actions. It's especially popular with some Christian denominations, I'm afraid, and I can fully understand why it would cause irritation.

Personally I disagree with this idea. The problem with many Christians is that they often don't look at the Bible as a whole, both OT and NT. My church doesn't teach that marriage is a sacrament. Marriage traditionally, in all cultures, including Anglo-Saxons or the ancient Hebrews of the Bible, was viewed as a contract in which the man's basic obligation was to provide the family living, while the wife had to be open to children, take care of the housekeeping and provide her husband with s*x.

The contract could be dissolved when one of the parties didn't fulfill their obligations, so-called "fault divorce". Fault included adultery, abandonment, abuse, extreme poverty (husband not able to provide). Roman Catholic Church started prohibiting divorce for any reason about one thousand years ago (Eastern Ortho churches, on the other hand, always allowed it for some cases) and it was one of the reasons behind the Protestant Reformation, which restored the contractual view of marriage and so until the 1970s we used to have fault based divorce for the breach of contract.

Now, if everything which goes wrong in the family is always the husband's fault and the wife is childlike and never really responsible, how can she even enter into a valid contract with a man? Women having a different role than men doesn't mean they are total dolts and neither are they children.

I also don't believe in the indiscriminate chivalry. I'm getting sick of these mentions about Titanic. The society then was very different than it is now. Chivalry was based on a set of reciprocal obligations between men and women. Since women as a group are now emancipated, men as a group owe them no special treatment, and should evaluate their interactions with strange women on case-by-case basis. Also, the man's first duty is to his family, and then to everyone else.

This said, I also disagree with the bitterness often exhibited by the other side of the debate. You don't persuade women to abandon feminism by routinely calling all of them sluts and damaged goods (remember, ALL WOMEN ARE LIKE THAT!) or constantly attacking them. You won't have much success promoting Biblical womanhood by portraying it as a punishment for female sins or servitude or something similar. Honestly, when I read some of the discussions on the topic I wonder whether these guys or gals even live in a real world.

Like when they suggest that we all should shame divorced women/single mothers. Just imagine you are at family gathering and a single mother comes in. Should you stand up, point your finger at her and shout, shame on you! Come on, nobody can be that autistic.  I'm not saying that anything goes, but really, one should be subtle and know when to open one's mouth or when to hold one's peace.

We all live in a fallen world. We are none of us pure and sinless, apart from Christ. Our society is becoming progressively corrupt and it's getting more difficult to live like the Scriptures teach us. Anyone speaking publicly on these topics (it includes internet) should do well to consider it. You don't have to water down your message, jut remember about charity. In Christ, there is redemption and his yoke is easy and his burden is light. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Women Are The Worst Misogynists

A book review of sorts. Yesterday I finished Brother Cadfael's Penance by Ellis Peters, which is the last of Brother Cadfael's Chronicles. I still have to read a book containing 3 short stories with the same character, but as far as I know they are a prequel to the events described in Chronicles since in them Cadfael hasn't joined the monastery yet, so that Penance is really the end of the cycle. I'm planning to write a post about this whole series when I'm through.

Brother Cadfael's Penance is different from the other books in the series in a number of ways. It doesn't contain any romance though it does hint on the possibility in the beginning; and while there is a crime committed, there is little if any investigation on Cadfael's part, and the whole mystery and its solution play a very insignificant role in the book. On the other hand, the author keeps the tradition by inserting a nice amount of situational ethics into this story as well.

For those not familiar with Cadfael and his adventures, he is a Welsh crusader turned a Benedictine monk who lives in England during the war between King Stephen and Empress Maud for the throne and whose hobby is investigating crimes. Somewhere half way through the series, he learns that his Palestinian mistress bore him a son who later converted to Christianity, came to England and joined the fighting. Cadfael meets and recognises him, but decides to keep his peace.

In this last novel, he learns that his son Olivier is missing in action and leaves the monastery to search for him. Cadfael soon finds out that  Olivier is kept prisoner by Philip FitzRobert, the younger son of Maud's illegitimate half-brother Robert of Gloucester. The two used to be friends and fought on the same side, until, by some reason, Philip decided to switch  his loyalties and to betray the Empress's cause. The conflict between Philip and Maud, and to some extent, his own father forms the central theme of the book.

In the first couple of Cadfael stories, it appeared to me that Miss Peters was more or less sympathetic to the Empress, but as the story line progressed, Maud was shown less positively. In Penance, she's described as a venomous, murderous *itch with vile temper, who is neither particularly intelligent, nor thankful towards those who help her cause and who manipulates naive young men with her sexual charms to get what she wishes. The one worthy of the throne is Robert, but unfortunately, he's a bastard. In Wales, where the daughters don't inherit, he'd get his rights, thinks Cadfael.

I was intrigued enough to do some research online and that is what I found out. While Stephen was the late king's nephew through his mother, Maud was his only legitimate daughter, and before he died, he made all his court swear loyalty to her. She was married off quite young to the Emperor (of the Holy Roman Empire, I think), who died soon afterwards, and then  she was married off again to the Count of Anjou who was several years her junior. She nearly died in childbirth, but went on to have several more children with her husband after this.

When Stephen took the crown, she was in France together with her husband and made no attempts to restore her rights. The rebellion was started by Robert who had sworn loyalty to Stephen before. Robert was but one of many illegitimate children of the late king, but he was his eldest son and thus the most prominent. He probably could have taken the crown for himself, but refused to do so, citing English customs of the time, even though his grandfather William the Conqueror was illegitimate, too. If his father had wanted it, Robert could have probably become the next king.

Anyway, this and the civil war that followed, were hardly the fault of his half-sister. And, while some sources described her as aloof and even arrogant, there is little evidence that she was such a nasty piece of work as she comes across in Penance, neither was the real King Stephen this nice chivalrous guy the author portrays. Also, though illegitimate, Robert was still very well provided for.

Unlike in the novel, he had many sons and not just two by his legal wife, and, in fine family tradition, several more illegitimate kids. It's also noteworthy that the Welsh, like the Irish were Celtic and tolerated de-facto polygamy and easy divorce much later than their Anglo-Saxon neighbours. I'm not quite sure whether I agree with Miss Peters that their system was better, though. This is a topic open for discussion. However, I should say all these invented details make for some fine drama. If you like escapist fiction, this book (and the series) are definitely for you!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Attention Women: MSM Isn't Your Friend

It's not been 3 months yet since the world was shocked by the double murder of two Scandinavian female hikers in Morocco.

Yet, here it is, a British newspaper promoting vacations in Morocco for females:

10 of the best female-only trips for solo travellers

Hiking in Morocco is actually in the first place! You really can't make this stuff up...

Because getting beheaded with a blunt knife is sooo empowering...

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Let's Talk Honour Killings

That's like one topic we haven't discussed yet:)
And no, I don't mean "extremism" of any kind, as I will be discussing a movie. It just appeared to me that I haven't done any movie or book reviews for a considerable time, so here comes:

Divorce Italian Style is a 1961 film starring Marcello Mastroianni, and its genre is listed as comedy. Wikipedia says it's based on a novel literally called Honour Killing. To me, it came across as a satire on the Italian society of that period and a subtle way to push the legalisation of divorce as a civilised way out of an unhappy marriage.

The main character Ferdinando Cefalu is a caddish Sicilian nobleman in his late thirties/early forties whose family lost most of their fortune (some of it to an unscrupulous man who married his aunt) and who is married without children to a woman he detests. Her main fault is that she's getting older, just as himself, and less attractive. He's lusting after his young cousin Angela (the daughter of the aunt mentioned above) who is home on vacation from a Catholic college. He discovers that Angela cares for him, too, and decides to get rid of his wife Rosalia, but the only way to do it is to kill her.

He gets inspiration from a  criminal trial happening at the same time, where a woman is being prosecuted for murdering her boyfriend (Wikipedia says "husband", but I'm not so sure) who ditched her.  Ferdinando discovers that according to the laws of his time, honour killings tend to carry rather light sentences (3 to 7 years, and every 3 years there is an amnesty) and decides to set up his wife with another man.

He finds an ideal candidate in the person of her former sweetheart, the godson of a local priest, who was thought missing in action but later came back and became a painter, by the name of Carmelo. He invites Carmelo to work on a restoration of the ceiling paintings of his palace and encourages him and Rosalia to spend as much time together as possible, with predictable consequences. The happy couple finally elope, leaving Ferdinando and his relatives open to the derision and insults of their neighbours as the whole family is now dishonoured.

During a funeral, Carmelo's wife arrives and spits into Ferdinando's face for presumably being such an unmanly coward and not confronting his adulterous wife. After this, the local mafia boss procurers the lovers' address and Ferdinando goes after them. He arrives just in time to meet with Carmelo's wife who has just murdered her husband, and as you may have guessed, his wife in next in line.  Ferdinando gets 3 years in prison, comes home a hero, marries Angela and gets a huge dowry. He's very proud of his achievement, not noticing that the wife who is 22 years his junior, is unfaithful behind his back...

I'm not sure whether Ferdinando was meant as a sympathetic character or not, as to me he came across as a total egoist whose callous actions ruined the life of several people around him; and I'm not going to comment on the morality of the concept of honour killings, but there were some things which I found interesting and would like to talk about.

First, the movie shows that European (or at least, Southern European) society was extremely conservative as far as the 1950s. Men and women were pretty much separated socially, as in the beginning men are shown dancing with each other. Women chiefly stayed home. Sexual misconduct of any kind was viewed as dishonourable and the whole family partook of the shame it brought. Ferdinando' s sister is engaged and her fiance dumps her after the scandal, but marries her in the end, after her brother "restores his honour."

Young girls, especially those of "good families" were carefully guarded, and such things as "virginity tests" were by no way uncommon. Higher education was still segregated and girls weren't allowed to even talk to men in the streets. When Ferdinando and his family take a trip to the beach, they are all (including men) fully closed, though later when he is already married to Angela, they are both shown in swimming clothes on his yacht, which either suggests that the times are changing, or simply that there they have more privacy.

Another thing is that this understanding of honour was by no means class or sex restricted as both men and women, rich and poor agreed to it. There is a rather funny scene when a communist speaker comes to town and tries to use Rosalia's elopement as a way to preach emancipation of women. He asks the townsfolk what they think of her and they all shout: "Whore!" Women, too, don't take the abandonment lightly. The woman who murdered her boyfriend gets wide support and all women shout that they would do the same to the cheating bastard. In short, the movie portrays a world totally alien to us moderns and perhaps, all the more fascinating because of it.

I would recommend it to anyone interested in various European traditions, if you can find it.The one version currently on YouTube is in Italian, unfortunately. It was on TCM,  here is a clip with English subs.

Monday, March 4, 2019

A Review Of My Book

Housewife Outdoors has written a review of my first book, The Long Way Home. She appears to really have enjoyed it:

The book is a space opera, filled with adventures and drama. Add a haunting past for the main character, camraderie, treason and rather surprising romance and some political allegory (if I didn't imagine that one), and you have a recipe for a very entertaining book.

Read the whole review over here.

P.S. I'm honoured to be compared  to Alistair MacLean. I will admit that he inspired me.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

It's Carnival Again

We went to watch the parade today. The weather could have been better, but it wasn't really cold. I'm not sure how and if they celebrate it outside of Europe, but here's a general idea of the way we usually do it in my country:

I couldn't find a short enough video featuring a big city so you'll have to do with this one from some village, but it still gives a general idea:)