Western society is bent on turning men into neuters. All mysticism has been stripped from gender, which is now reduced to simple anatomical differences, and even these are no longer definitive. No roles are more suited to men than to women, as no roles are more suited to women than to men — at least that’s the party line. Anciently (i.e. before the late 1960s), all gender had a mystical aspect. Men had a life and secrets of their own that they would not share with the women, and women had lives and secrets not for sharing with the men. Certain mystical (and therefore culturally arbitrary) rituals ruled interactions between the genders: a man, for example, would hold a door open for a woman, and would remove his hat in her presence, or stand up when she approached (as he would remove his hat and rise for his sovereign). Any man worth his masculine salt would instantly come to the aid of any woman in distress, even at the possible cost of his own life. It was not a matter of bravery, but of simple masculinity. That’s what it meant to be a man.
Such mystical behaviour can become very practical, as it did one day in 1912. At 11.40 p.m. on April 14 that year, the good ship Titanic struck an iceberg in the north Atlantic, and was fully submerged just over two and a half hours later, with tremendous loss of life. The facts are too well known to need repeating. What is perhaps less known was the insistence of those on board ship upon filling the insufficient number of lifeboats with women and their children and of not giving a seat in any lifeboat to any man where a woman could be found to take the seat instead. In one of the later inquiries, one survivor related, “The men all refrained from asserting their strength and from crowding back the women and children. They could not have stood quieter if they had been in church”. Before each boat was cut away into the water, the cry went up, “Any more women?” These men were not especially heroic. They were simply acting as their society had told them men must act. Real mysticism has always been practical. (1)
It may sound racist or conservative, but not everyone is born equal. We are all unequal in every possible way. And only when we embrace that, can we really live up to what we truly are. I am not clever like Einstein, I do not live like Jesus, I do not dance like… whoever dances well. And yet I am who I am and many people would prefer me against Einstein, Jesus or… well, the guy who dances well.
We used to be proud of who we were. Now we are just too afraid to show it.
Now men are all in the boats.
Now women are all drowning.
Now men are gone.
Women are gone too.
Everyone is shouting.
And yet the world has never been quieter…