VETERANS DAY 2021 is a day for remembering that peace and freedom are not free. It is also a day to be thankful our military is pledged by oath to defend our Constitution above all. The high costs of winning and maintaining peace and freedom can only be vindicated through eternal citizen vigilance and the accurate teaching of history. Those who forget are doomed to repeat.
The methods of war have changed, dulling humanity’s ability to recognize the onset of oppression and tyranny. The erosion of FREEDOM takes many forms, the most dangerous of them psychologically subtle. Losses include: (1) the power or right to act, speak or think free of despotic oppression; (2) the sly onset of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government, (3) increasing fears or acts of being imprisoned or enslaved for exercising natural and Constitutional freedoms. These points alone should register loud and clear this 2021 Veterans Day.
The fight for freedom has never been confined to distant shores where so many of our soldiers have sacrificed; it is wherever we reside, work, and in the schools we send our children to. We can best honor our veterans by courageously entering the battles closest to us. The power of one is immense. Remembering John F. Kennedy’s words: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” By this time in 2022, we will know what we have won or lost.
For related reading, see this site’s article, “The Power of One”.
Copyright 2021 Nancy Diraison/Diraison Publishing. Sharing permitted with credits.
On March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry made a stirrring speech at the Second Virginia Convention at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia. His speech addressed the burdens of foreign oppression which subsequently crystallized into the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.
Patrick Henry’s speech closed with the famous words: “...give me liberty or give me death”. The sentence preceding those words stated: “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!”
Oppression” — “chains and slavery” — incorporate many forms of abuse, some physical, and inescapably always psychological. The process is usually gradual, lulling the unwary into submission.
In 1775 Patrick Henry recognized that the colonies were already at war. It had crept upon them in myriad forms. Most turned a blind eye, others prepared to fight. The entirety of the speech is a valuable read and highly recommended at this junction in history (links below) .
In 2021 the Constitutional Republic formed 245 years ago faces renewed and parallel challenges, though more subtly cloaked in the tactics of modern warfare, less tactical, and more psychological. The weight of responsibility rests on all shoulders to do all that is possible and necessary to vindicate the sacrifices paid previously in the fight for freedom. For the sake of our children it must be done. Fate is at the door and time does not wait.
Peace can only be maintained through strength, and the strength of America was bequeathed to its people. That strength can (must) never be delegated to others without maintaining constant watchfulness. As often quoted: “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” Therein lies the nation’s Achille’s heel, and the answer to reclaiming appropriate power. The fight is for everyone. For the children.
The immortal words of Patrick Henry merit renewed scrutiny.
MEMORIAL DAY… reaching out soberly and in gratitude for all those whose lives have been and continue to be spent in protecting our freedoms — those abroad and those at home. Some will be lost today. Take nothing for granted. Silent reflection would be appropriate.
This week as we mark National Police Week, we think it appropriate to preface our annually republished account with some details of the origin of the day.
Never in the history of this nation have law officers faced the degrees of ingratitude, opposition and violence we’ve witnessed in recent years. Sincerely serving officers are menaced, faced with deliberately provocative situations. They have been rewarded with defunding, personal attacks, treachery from within and without their ranks, unsupportive courts and the loneliness that comes from feeling helpless while law and order collapse. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This has to end. This is not the way things used to be.
May 15 was first proclaimed “National Peace Officers Memorial Day” by President John F. Kennedy in 1962. The expanded week-long observance pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. Those who sacrifice in domestic law enforcement, and their families, share similar woes as those who lose their lives in fighting abroad for the preservation of our freedoms.
Peace officers. That is what they should be. That is what our republished blog is about. Friends, not foes.
President Kennedy as the 35th President of the United States was a leader who loved his country and its people. He famously stated: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” He lived up to his words; he lost his life. Regarding his honored military service, Kennedy had said: “Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, “I served in the United States Navy…” (he wrote in August, 1963). Kennedy was honorably discharged in 1945 after his service during World War II. He received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal (the highest non-combat decoration awarded for heroism) and the Purple Heart. Those who have read can never forget his courage during the PT-109 incident, among others (worth the search to read about).
Some paid the ultimate price. Some continue to serve and fight to protect and to serve.
The flame that burns for one burns for all.
We hope the following true story, which spanned several dates from 1999 to 2000, will serve to remind and encourage those who never give up, both the fighters and those who support them.
Authored October 9, 2018 / Nancy Diraison
Every time I hear of another police officer shooting, I ache. Deeply. I grieve for all those affected by these tragedies. There are no words sufficient to solace the devastated family members, no way to replace the missing husband, father, son, brother, uncle — or wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt — all the personal roles filled by those who risk their lives every single day to keep law and order in our increasingly challenged society. That is not to minimize the suffering endured by friends and co-workers, which is also intense.
Maybe I grieve more easily than others due to losses sustained in my own life, but it’s hard to imagine what those close to law enforcement and first responders go through every day of their lives knowing the bad news could come. For those who perpetrate these events on purpose, there are no suitable words at all.
We used to respect law enforcement. They were our friends. For many that recollection is still strong. We cherished and appreciated the protection and unending services rendered. Cops were heroes, like firemen and all other rescuers. Children looked up to them, aspired to the professions, even if they never paid as much as they should. Many of the small services rendered were never officially known or recognized, but at least there was gratitude expressed. We certainly did not fear the police, and hatred was unheard of.
Too often these days gratitude is supplanted by grief. Why? Perhaps the breakdown of family in general, and the absence of fathers in far too many homes encourages a transfer of blame and resentment to authority figures. Nothing sane warrants that. Staying on the right side of the law of course, helps frame our approach to law enforcement.
In my life as a parent, there came a day when I had to teach my occasionally belligerent son a vigorous lesson about respecting officers of the law. This is the story I share today, because what children learn early, and mostly from their parents, will form their values and views for the rest of their lives. Everything we do as parents matters. We can have a huge impact, but we need to be present in their lives and cannot delegate the responsibility.
On a day like all others, I and my two children left the post office where I’d just conducted some minor business. As we walked the few yards to our parked car, a Deputy exited the Sheriff’s Department half a block away. The officer was walking towards us.
Out of the blue, my angry little man said: “I’m going to go over there and kick that police officer!”
“Oh???” Hm! My five-year-old was about to learn something about his mother.
“I have a different idea,” I said. “That officer, like most officers, spends his entire day helping people, sometimes with really bad problems, and instead of kicking him you need to go over there and APOLOGIZE for having such a terrible thought about him!”
My son cringed in fear and his face contorted in protest. Since he wasn’t cooperative, I took his arm to help him walk a little faster.
When we reached the officer, I explained the minor problem I needed help with. The officer grinned and got down closer to the sidewalk so as to not intimidate this increasingly terrified kid. Later my son would tell me he thought he was going to go to jail! Maybe that was a good thing!
My boy never did get any words out, so after a few minutes the officer smiled, stated he’d see far worse problems that day, and we parted ways. I forgot to ask his name.
Well, for those who do not believe there is a God who desires to participate in our parenting, the rest of this story may seem entirely coincidental; for others it will be far more encouraging.
I was deeply regretful at my son’s behavior and prayed silently for him to be helped with his thinking.
Driving home, less than ten minutes later, the two-lane highway was slowed due to a bad roll-over accident, off our side of the southbound lane. I was about to get my first answer to the prayer for my son. In the moment I could take to study his face in the back carseat, I saw him craning his neck in disbelief as he noticed the officer on location and urgently assisting the accident victims was the very one he had just slighted back in town.
When we got home, I said nothing, letting my son think. To my surprise a short while later, he came to me sadly, saying, “Mom, I made a mistake. I should have apologized to that police officer.” I was a bit stunned. However we had a problem, how to fix the mistake? How to recover the situation? I did not know the officer’s name.
My suggestion was that we pray together for a chance to once again encounter the officer. We had no idea how or if it would happen, but my son prayed with me, visibly burdened with his mistake.
One more week passed, and it happened. At a small Independence Day outdoor concert where we had seated ourselves, the officer appeared, walking around the crowd to reach his own family. I wondered if my boy would have the courage to follow up on his intentions, but he amazed me.
It still makes me proud, when I think about it, watching my son shake hands in the distance with the officer, who he boldly approached on his own. When he came back he was beaming.
Mission accomplished, the breach healed, I was satisfied, but the story was just beginning. For the next two years, it seems we never stopped encountering the Deputy. I sensed the awe my son felt for the bond being renewed every time he met the man; he did not have a good role model in our home so each contact sunk deep. The officer would not have known that.
The last event was unforgettable, given as I heard later the Deputy was soon afterwards transferred to another part of the State.
We had been traveling back to our Rocky Mountain town from the desert southwest, making our way along the barren two-lane highway of the Southern Rockies, past the sand dunes and not much else.
That was when the car broke down. And it wasn’t going anywhere.
With no way to call for our towing service, and many miles from the nearest town on the map, the situation was worrisome. No cars passed for what seemed like a long time. And it was very, very hot.
But then came the surprise. Glancing in the rear view mirror, I saw a black and white Chevy Blazer approaching. It pulled up behind us and stopped. Was this help or trouble?
Out stepped our friend, the Deputy. Unreal. Absolutely unreal. Still hours from home. My son’s eyes lit up in total astonishment. Of course the Officer wanted to help, but since he was transporting prisoners he could not offer us a lift. Instead he used his authority to call a road crew we didn’t know was anywhere around, and instructed one of the vehicles to tow us to the next town. From there we could call our towing service.
We were saved. Saved by a friend who made helping his full-time job, his mission in life. It was dangerous then but nothing like now, when even the close communities they serve harbor dangers never encountered in the past.
We can all help. We can influence and teach. We can change opinions. I don’t need to pose the question, whether my kids ever had a wrongful thought about police officers after the Post Office incident and its sequel. I’m just happy I seized the moment when it arose. I showed my son how easy it was to turn a stranger into a friend, by becoming one himself.
Copyright 2017 Nancy Diraison/Diraison Publishing. All Rights Reserved.
[Photo credit: Dreamstime stock photo, Kelly Boreson Charland]
It has been wisely said that the best way to study history is by studying the lives of those who lived it. Of course there are those who lived through history, and those who lost their lives in the process. Both need to be remembered.
Autobiographies are great sources of information coming from the actors themselves (even if written with the help of diligent ghost-writers). Biographies also include helpful insights and quotes from historical figures. Either way the advent of digital publishing has altered the integrity of many accounts. When editing and republishing books was done by the traditional process, entailing the many hours and costs of hard-copy reprinting and distribution, it was harder to tamper with truth. Too much is taken for granted that internet sources hold all the original information! They do not! Hard-copy reading also used to provide more opportunity for contemplation, meditation and time to correlate the contents with the present. That is in contrast to the multi-tasking blitzkrieg of information most online readers are distracted with today.
Connecting history to the present takes thought!
So why bring up Dunkirk? What is/was Dunkirk?
Operation Dynamo, as it was called, still ranks as the biggest evacuation in military history. Wars are not generally won by evacuations, but despite the necessarily crushing abandonment of huge numbers of vehicles and equipment involved in the process, redeeming the priceless asset of well-trained soldiers was key to the eventual victories.
This blog is not intended to provide a detailed history. Links to informative articles will be provided at the end and many more are easily found. The purpose here is to draw a parallel between the wisdom, courage, stealth and miracles required to pull off the events which saved over 335,000 Allied troops from a certain death trap on the northern coast of France in 1940. It is to point to what natural and supernatural miracles were involved in the success of the venture.
It is important to place Dunkirk in context with the duration of World War II, which began in September, 1939 and did not officially end until September, 1945. Failure at the point of Dunkirk so early in the conflict would have changed all outcomes. In fact it would have been immediately devastating.
Quoting from Winston Churchill when contemplating the unexpected encirclement of the deployed 200,000 plus British Expeditionary Force by the Germans: “I thought — and some good judges agreed with me — that perhaps 20,000 or 30,000 men might be reimbarked [out of close to 400,000 at risk including French, Belgian and other allies]. The whole root and core and brain of the British army… seemed about to perish upon the field, or to be led into ignominious and starving captivity.”
The only plan being proposed seemed almost as risky as doing nothing… but nothing is not an option.
For purposes of geography, Dunkirk is a town and beach located on the northern coast of France, east of the port of Calais. Its beaches face the inevitably choppy, never calm waters of the English Channel. The three nautical routes from Dunkirk to Dover, England varied from 39 miles to 55 and 87, each bearing different risks.
When inland troops were instructed to drop everything and march towards that location, most had no idea where it was. But march they did.
The beach at Dunkirk is comprised of an extremely shallow shelf stretching a long distance to waters deep enough to accommodate naval destroyers, quite beyond the breakwater. The only access from deep waters to the actual shore is by very small craft, usually fishing boats, or by walking and wading. One very long boardwalk, referred to as the “mole”, was able to accommodate three to four soldiers walking abreast. It provided the only shortcut to directly boarding larger ships. All others needed to be rescued directly from the beach.
The English channel turbulence was eventually the reason for the development of hovercrafts, vessels encased and buoyed up with inflated tubes to allow a level of coasting above the waves, but in 1940 it was a flotilla of approximately 850 small volunteer citizen ships, all small craft, which courageously contributed to Operation Dynamo’s success. They were ready to venture before they had any idea what remarkable events were to render their task even possible. Of those rescued, 239,465 were able to board larger ships via the mole, but another 98,761 were rescued directly from the beaches by the small boats.
If the small armada had faced typical English Channel waters, the Operation Dynamo would have had a different story to tell.
The English Channel acting up, British side:
The usual expectation for rowers of small boats, even on a good day:
There is an enormous difference between what was possible in terms of stealth and planning in 1940 versus the challenges involved in today’s digital/social media era wherein all information is at risk and considered to be promiscuously “everyone’s business” (which it is NOT!). Similar to the Dunkirk event, the D-Day invasion itself, in June, 1944, had to be pulled off in great secrecy in order to succeed. Mistakes not allowed. Life and death scenarios at play for thousands and eventually, millions.
What changed the outcome to victory at Dunkirk
Clearly, what faced the British Empire in May of 1940 was a time of grave crisis for the entire civilized world. But several factors changed the odds “against all odds”. In fact there were FOUR such factors.
First, His Majesty King George VI, recognized as a godly Sovereign, requested that Sunday, May 26 be observed as a National Day of Prayer. In a stirring broadcast, the King called all people of the Empire to commit their cause to God. It is recorded that an extraordinary and historic response took place, in that churches, synagogues and mosques were filled beyond capacity with people praying on the designated day.
Second, what was to be considered the first miracle (but really was the second if one counts the response of the people to prayer!), was that on the same day the people of Britain were praying, Hitler mysteriously halted the advance of his armored columns within ten miles of where the allied troops needed passage to escape. Winston Churchill penned in his memoirs his speculation that Hitler’s arrogance may have led him to believe he could simply wipe out the vulnerable assembly of soldiers once it gathered with his presumed superior air power. In a way, the Dunkirk idea may have looked to him like the proverbial “sitting duck”.
However, higher powers can produce other results!
The next (or second/third) miracle, is that a storm of enormous power broke out over Flanders on Tuesday, May 28th, completely grounding the German Luftwaffe and allowing the British army formations which were at a point eight to twelve miles from the beach, to continue their progress on foot, without any threat from overhead.
The next phase of the miracles was the extraordinary stillness of the water on the English Channel spanning Dunkirk at the Strait of Dover, described as “still as a mill pond” or “like a bathtub”. Something never seen before. It was the stillness which enabled the vast armada of little ships to cross and recross with their rescues. For days the methodical exodus went on undetected. Dunkirk itself was easy to segregate from wrong landing areas by the huge cloud of black smoke rising straight up into the grim, windless sky, emanating from oil tanks which were ablaze just inside the harbor. Also in addition to the heavy cloud layer, smoke from German bombing activity elsewhere was coaxed by breezes into the Dunkirk arena, further shrouding visibility.
But that was not all. Some German squadrons did venture through the storm. Reports surfaced afterward that troops who had been lying on the beaches and targeted by the enemy aircraft were miraculously shielded. Up to 400 at one point were strafed with gunfire by as many as 60 enemy aircraft. Of all those machine-gunned, NOT ONE suffered wounds. Not. One. One of the survivors was a military chaplain who testified that the sand where he had been lying was pitted with bullet holes after the incidents.
As a sequel to the deliverance of the 335,000, a National Day of Thanksgiving was declared in England for Sunday, June 9, 1940. Churchill, not a religious man, boldly referred to the victory as a “miracle of deliverance”. 193,000 of those rescued were British and another 140,000 were predominantly French and Belgians, with mention of Canadians and others.
Not to be forgotten… There were approximately 80,000 troops who were not rescued, half British and half French. Some later escaped but many more perished under the cruelty of German captivity. Many of those had been holding the perimeter for those who did escape. There are always heroes who never get to go home.
What can we take away from Dunkirk
1. Never underestimate the power of prayer. Especially the power of the many. Churchill himself, not a religious person, asked Brittons to pray for just one minute a day during the war. Just one minute a day — prayer for the nation for God’s protection. Can be done anywhere. No excuses not to.
2. Pray for the guidance of right-minded leaders.
3. Faith, hope and courage are tested in many ways but perhaps no more aggressively than in time of war. The war could be spiritual, material or a combination of both. Action must accompany where possible. Every small boat counts.
4. Storms can be good.
5. Stealth is mandatory for success.
6. Never be deterred by choppy waters. They may be only illusions.
7. Peace is not free. Never forget the valiant ones who fight for all the others. Every day some are doing it, unseen and too often unthanked.
Copyright 2021 (March 30, 2021) Nancy Diraison/Diraison Publishing. All Rights Reserved. (Sharing permitted only with full publication credits).
Suggested reading links:
Time-Life new special edition, WORLD WAR II: DUNKIRK
Also of interest: Trilogy entitled ‘The Trumpet Sounds for Britain’ written by Rev. David E Gardner, who died just before the trilogy was republished. Whilst serving in the Royal Navy during WW2, an emergency in a submarine caused him to recognize the miraculous deliverance of God.
We are turning the page from 2020 to 2021. In contrast to a year ago, dark moods prevail. Except for where the light shines.
What is the light? This has been a year of doubts, fears, never-before-seen forced attacks on our nation’s Constitutional Republic. Citizens, cities and businesses have suffered economic attacks and setbacks unrelated to the prior vigorous health of the economy. Most of the inalienable rights enumerated in the Constitution have been jeopardized and infringed upon to shocking degrees. No one has been spared the consequences, directly or indirectly.
In the midst of storms, trials, difficulties, wars, the only coping mechanism (not an easy one), is to cling to light. Often that light is nothing more than hope. Without truthful information to encourage, hope itself loses hope. Think of what POWs endure, or populations stuck in never-ending wars, with no idea if and when freedom will ever come. Their hardships are likely physical as well as psychological. Americans have been spared most of those experiences, and also the lessons. Emotions strain to the breaking point, or must be numbed in order to endure. Many are at that point as we end 2020, without the just-described situational extremes. Coping skills are low.
The question to ask is, “Where is Light?” How do we find it? For that answer we must often look to the past. WHEN did things feel better? And WHY? What changed? How can we recapture what illuminated our path and our mood before? Feeling free to go out when we felt like it? Dining out with friends or family? Accomplishments and interactions at schools and work? The freedom to think and speak (in a civil manner) without fear of reprisal? Especially for inane reasons? The list is long.
Who or what is responsible for robbing us of positivity? Look carefully. The media has always known how to manipulate moods through the subjects they dwell on and the music they use for background. Watch a frightening movie scene without sound and the effect of fear is very much less, or even absent. Try it. Watch an uplifting movie, or a good comedy, and the aftermath is completely different. Who is dictating the narrative? Who is running (and ruining) your life?
One sure clue as to where light is not found is in the sensation of FEAR. Fear is destructive. And deceit is its bedfellow. Fear is the most powerful tool for manipulating people. It is the basis for abuse in relationships; it’s the basis for abuse in tyrannical governments. If fear is governing, something is wrong. We must look away from the fear and search for an antidote. And we must fight for it. Find someone who is not fearful to communicate with. They might know something. The light must shine in the darkness. In fact light is the only way to dispel darkness. It won’t go away by itself.
There is a reason why freedom of religion has been at the forefront of this past year’s struggles. Those who promote fear, seek to remove all forms of solace, whether spiritual or social. Given dominance they would destroy it all.
Peace and prosperity are dependent on a just society. Nothing destroys trust and joy faster than injustice and nothing creates fear faster than the destruction of a reliable Rule of Law. This is why the United States was founded on deeply thought-out legal and moral principles. When followed and adhered to faithfully, they stabilize government, the economy, and the expectations of the population to freely pursue their goals of life, liberty and happiness. The power to retain everything bequeathed to them resides with the people. Our founding fathers warned they had given us the toolbox, basically, to stay free for 200 years or more, but then we’d have tofight for it again. Because ignoble individuals arise. It is the simple lesson of history.
We must defend the Constitution and the principles it was founded on. Sadly, the minimizing of respect for the Ten Commandments has been much at the core of the disintegration of our justice system. If “Thou Shalt Not Steal” is thought to be archaic, the door closes for respect of personal property ownership and for its defense. The door opens for the destructive tenets of socialism, where individual and national sovereignty do not exist, where everyone becomes homogenized into one miserable, government-controlled utility, and freedom dies for all. Perhaps forever.
2021 is when and where the rubber meets the road.
Where will YOU be?
Copyright 2020 Nancy Diraison/Diraison Publishing. All Rights Reserved.
As 2020 draws to a close, we wish to thank our realwomenfightback.com followers for liking and sharing our posts and articles. We also apologize for our lighter than planned website activity as many factors contributed to draining our energies in other directions. Not unlike what happened to most Americans.
Who would have known? Who could have foreseen, what 2020 would be like?
Who would like a continuation of 2020, national demise, or a change for the better?
2020 has been fraught with unprecedented challenges, not unforeseen to all but a shock to most. America’s Constitution was previously under attack but what had been brewing for decades finally surfaced. And it was not good.
As per the old saying, “Those who forget history are bound to repeat it.” America which has been a defender of freedom, is now fighting to retain its own, and the reasons for its weakening are not without explanation.
Reviewing some of our past blogs and articles, we posted and recommend several subjects relevant to this past year’s ongoing difficulties. “The Power of One” addressed the power and importance of the single courageous voice and action taken in spearheading change. We encourage courage.
“Can We See Farther in the Dark?” reflected on a life-changing insight the author gleaned from a past period of personal life darkness that has enabled hope to endure through many other difficulties, including the present national challenges. The article answers the title, and the answer is “yes”.
And then we have the subject of the acorn, “Training Children to be Leaders with Vision…” — something President Truman often referred to which we know to be a prime reason traditional families are the key to stable societies and nations. Most people only see the acorn, not the tree, not the forest, not the panorama of consequences for immediate actions, either good or bad. Seeing beyond the acorn is vital for leadership. With traditional family under attack for several generations, it is no wonder we see the blind leading the blind, those without understanding eager to pull the foundations out from under our Constitutional Republic. Most have NO IDEA what they are doing or the disasters they are begging for. Hence the repudiation of our national heritage, contempt for the flag, the anthem, authority in general — all that others before us have toiled to build and defend, all of which can be torn down in no time at all.
We have much more to write and contribute, but presently await the fate of many things including the questionable future of media forums. Pending various outcomes, we hold the line. We have spoken for what we stand for. We do not believe in failure. We do not support weakness. We do believe in fighting to the finish line. May God bless all engaged in the battle.
Quoting from Winston Churchill: “Never give in. Never, never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
IF WE wish to live in freedom, we must learn the lesson of vision. And try not to forget it again. It must be passed on diligently from generation to generation. We must choose.
2021 is up to “We the People”. One nation under God, or not!
Copyright 2020 Nancy Diraison/Diraison Publishing. All Rights Reserved.
Bringing order back to the traditional family PART 1 of 3
In recent decades we have witnessed radical changes in the way the roles of men and women are viewed. Those roles, and their purposes, may be one of humanity’s greatest enigmas. They were once understood and embraced for their inherent benefits, but today confusion reigns.
In this short series we will examine the foundational pillars of family, marriage, why things got twisted and, given the breadth of the subject, limit ourselves to identifying what basic steps can be taken to restore what was first intended.
Men and women were intended to be complementary — perfect partners for special purposes, not opponents.
Given human beings are not perfect, imperfection always results, and marriages have been no exception; they do take work in order to make them work. The challenges can be the spice of life, or its undoing. The ideal family is something worth aspiring to, as it fulfills the most important purposes for life itself, leads to better health, longer life and many enjoyments.
Nothing in this series is meant to exonerate or grant license to excesses of behavior on either side. Power, gentleness, kindness and authority can reside in one man. Women can be strong, talented, yet feminine and gracious. Both should respect each other, be each other’s cheerleaders, and work in harmony, if they choose to.
There will be a lot in this series about choices.
This is not intended as a religious article, though references are inevitable. We must launch from basic understandings found in the account of the Garden of Eden. It is there only that the how and where of the foundations for traditional marriage and family were first established, and it is the only way to also reach the right conclusions.
As an aside, there is no “apple” identified in the Eden account! No one knows what that fruit was. It does not matter what it was. It symbolized a very important CHOICE, one of the first made by the first couple. In fact there were two choices involved in the account of the “fall”. The woman made one, then the man, and that is where our story begins. The continuation of the same pattern of choices accounts for much of the chaos we witness today.
Knowing the cause of a problem is the first clue to reversing it.
Analogy of the Two-Headed Snake
Before we proceed, it is interesting, pertinent and humorous to bring up two-headed snakes. For those who’ve never heard of those, yes, they do exist. I saw one at the San Diego Zoo a long time ago, bearing a simple sign explaining they are rare and usually do not survive long! In the wild they are rapidly doomed. They can never agree which way to go, when or what to eat, and sometimes attempt to consume each other. Sometimes each head has its own brain, and sometimes they share one. Either way, it’s not a good combination for survival, but it is a formula for constant strife and stress!
“Divide and conquer” is a formula for failure. Without clear leadership all the wrong things happen! [Eastern Kingsnake. See National Geographic footnote for more details.]
There’s a specific reason that man was created first, and then his very, very valuable mate, the woman. A surprising insight into the woman’s role as “helper” will be covered in Part II of this series.
Man was instructed early to separate from his parents so as to set up his own household. (Gen. 2:24) This would not have pertained to the first man, Adam, for obvious reasons. In order to ensure the man would fully develop as a leader/caretaker, he was to carry that responsibility on his own without leaning on his parents. No such instruction is given to the woman. Women usually want their own domains to manage, and they have their husbands for support. The major part of leadership training is to have someone to lead. There is no point in erecting pillars without a purpose, and a bridge will not exist without its supports.
The woman was created second as the man’s helper. She was not created to be inferior, not to be his supervisor, not to be in conflict. She was to be his closest friend and companion, to become as “one flesh”, a relationship like no other. There was an order being established for the benefit of all. Equal in many ways but different in others, the interdependency was designed to refine the best qualities of both men and women and to provide the highest level of care for future children. It’s a priceless exercise in partnership and teamwork, and the ultimate in character-refining. Not a bad thing.
The man was told it would not be good for him to be alone; he was incomplete. The woman by herself would also be incomplete, as we shall see. Their purposes are masterfully intertwined. The union is a formula for personal growth like no other.
Children were not created first and then parents to take care of them, just as eggs were not created and then chickens to hatch them. This is an important point for establishing priorities. [This site’s article, “The Four Seasons of Parenting” examines that closely.] The relationship of the man and the woman, husband and wife, must solidly come first.
Before proceeding, let’s go back to the original account and pierce through the fog.
It Was Never About the Apple, only the LABEL — and its Price Tag!
We are told a test was set up. This was after an unstated length of time following much instruction.
The test was set up in the form of food. That seems to be one of the hardest things for people to resist, maybe because it seems benign and the need for it so easy to justify. It is also tempting to bypass warnings and not read “the label”! But this was more than food; it involved a life or death decision. This decision had a very high price tag attached to it.
We know the woman was lured into eating a fruit, the only one labeled “off limits” out of hundreds or thousands of other choices available. The tempter completely twisted the “label”, lying about the consequences of consuming it. The Creator had warned that eating it would lead to the death cycle entering Creation (Gen. 2:17), and the tempter completely undid that by saying: “You will NOT surely die.” (Genesis 3:4).
Now Eve had a choice, and she made a decision to believe the lie, perhaps the first one she’d ever heard.
Eve’s first choice, if she even wavered, could have been to use her power of free will to follow the Divine instructions she’d received. That would have stopped the problem right there. With any doubt she might have consulted with her husband about what to do. He was expected to be more resistant to persuasion than his wife. In haste perhaps, not wanting to appear indecisive, Eve made her own decision, and she made the wrong one.
In the New Testament we are told Eve was “deceived” (I Timothy 2:14), but her husband was not, so Adam’s decision was a conscious one.
Something differed in the way both of them could be influenced.
Some decisions are made for instant gratification and others based on weighing long-range consequences. Immediate desire, needs and emotions, fuel the first type. They are typical of the manifold decisions women must make day by day and often minute by minute in fulfilling their typically multi-tasked jobs — all the details they are well gifted at managing. The second types of decisions require more restraint, careful thought, patience, self-discipline and a tough focus. They cannot be swayed by emotions or the appeal of the senses. We see these processes being tested in the first couple.
Do we have a single-headed unit or a two-headed snake? Who is going to make the key decision here?
The Beginnings of Conflict
Eve failed first. Whatever she had been told and taught was quickly superceded by the smooth talk of the deceiver and the visual appeal of the fruit. Appearances had an impact on her. So did auditory influences. (Gen. 3:4-6) These are strong qualities she possessed to be the wonderful woman she was created to be, loving, caring and responsive. She and her husband could in fact reach balanced viewpoints by counseling each other. Both had been warned that this particular wrong choice would alter the course of human existence. Now her eyes and ears cancelled out the warnings. She is also lured with the promise that somehow consuming that fruit would make her “wise”. Whatever that meant to her at the time, it was an appeal to power.
It’s interesting that an appeal to power would be an enticement, because the power Eve already possessed, that to control herself and humanity’s destiny, was stronger than any she was being offered.
When Eve offers the same fruit to her husband, he fails, too. Why?
Why did Adam abdicate his leadership? He was the one better endowed with the ability to resist temptation, to take the long-range view and to overrule the bad advice. He was well instructed about his role as leader in the relationship. Adam is not as easily lured; his brain is wired to better resist. He can set aside what he sees and hears. But he has a weakness.
The strongest conjecture, a logical one, is that given the warnings received, and with Eve the only woman created at the time, Adam may have feared losing her, or looking weak to her. Would she follow his lead? Or not? What would be the consequences? Perhaps he was overcome by his own feelings for Eve, or not wanting to conflict with her. His mind may have whirred for a moment with conjectures.
Adam made the decision to subjugate his higher instructions to something more subtle, but to him it was not the “sight of the eyes” or the smooth talk of the tempter. It is a persistent foible of men, affecting even many of the greatest spiritual leaders of the Bible, including Abraham, to listen to their wives at the wrong time. There has to be a reason the tempter approached the woman first and not the man, where he would likely have been soundly rebuked! Adam certainly was not created weak or unintelligent, or with a poor memory. But what he feared overcame him. He was afraid of something...
Right away, in abdicating, the first man failed to hold to his God-given focus. If it had entered his mind that the all-powerful God who created all things, including the first woman, could certainly create another, we again would have had a different outcome.
Thousands of years later Abraham, the “Father of the Faithful”, was tested on giving up his promised son Isaac. What precisely helped him hold strong was believing God could resurrect the young man. (Hebrews 11:17-19) That was faith superceding his paternal feelings. Perhaps Abraham remembered the reason for Adam’s failure. Very likely he had learned his own lesson years earlier when he caved to the very bad idea from his wife Sarah to procreate with her maid Hagar. Sarah ran out of patience waiting when God’s promised son for them was delayed. Abraham’s mistake led to a lot of grief.
Choices and Consequences, from Bliss to Strife
Marriage was created to be a wonderful gift. It required the right balance of relationship between husband and wife, leadership and compliance, cooperation with wisdom.
The Creator of all, after fully laying out and instructing about choices and consequences, left those choices and consequences up to the first man and woman. Self-governance is the only kind of governance that really lasts, and sometimes it only matures through making mistakes. Dictatorship is not the goal. Peace is the goal.
With Eden lost, the first couple had a problem, one that could not be undone. So the story begins. The two-headed snake has now appeared in the family. The order is upset. The earth under the dominion of fallen man is also affected.
Life is going to be difficult.
Wrong choices often have unintended and far-reaching consequences. There is no way the first couple had not been warned, but as all parents know, the learning method of “hard knocks” seems to appeal to most human beings. Therefore we cannot blame Adam and Eve because everyone since has continued repeating the mistakes.
When confronted with their error, the two adults now act like children and pretend not to know what happened. They aren’t fooling anyone. When asked about what they had done, and why they were hiding, Eve blames the tempter, and Adam blames her. This is off to a bad start. Neither takes the blame to themselves. There is no record of apologies, only defensiveness. Attitudes take the place of innocence.
When additional consequences are explained, one specific phrase in the text only comes clear from the original Hebrew. That is at Genesis 3:15 where Eve is told, “Your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you.” (Emphasis added).
This does not mean she is going to adore her husband and he is going to beat her down!
The word “desire” in that passage is the same word used at Genesis 4:7, when words are spoken to Cain before he killed his brother Able: “…sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” (Italicized emphasis added).
The translation is confusing to the casual reader. Sin obviously did not “desire” Cain, but to overtake him. If he did not quell his anger and envy, he was going to move on to violence, precisely as happened. In other words, sin to Eve would be her desire to rule over her husband, even to exploit him, and if she did not resist, her husband would now have to rule over her not in peace but in conflict! This is a formula engendered by Eve’s first error, and Adam’s bad decision.
Before and after.
From that time forward life now will depend on harsh conditions. Outside of the pristine garden, the man must work “by the sweat of his brow” to provide for his family. Conditions have changed. Deplorably. It is beyond the scope of this article to explain the long-range purposes for these consequences, but they are solid ones.
We can imagine Eve no longer trusting Adam’s leadership, grumbling at the hardships, even though the pressure he had caved to came from her! Instead of blaming the tempter she would end up blaming him! Suffering along with the bad consequences, she might well become contentious on other decisions, plus question and challenge excessively. Meanwhile Adam would be increasingly frustrated, doubtless feeling diminished and defeated by his failure, as a man would be, knowing what his fault was, but forced to endure consequences with the same wife who never stops reminding him!
Can the couple ever have peace?
The answer is yes, but now it will take work.
“What if” Eve had used her intelligence to stop the tempter instead of letting herself be misled?
“What if” Adam had stood his ground and refused to follow his wife’s error?
“What if” we started doing things differently now?
In Part 2 we will look at the consequences of the upset order.
In Part 3 we analyze simple and specific steps that can be taken to reverse relationship damages. The two-headed snake must be eliminated.
We cannot restore the Garden of Eden. We can only change ourselves.
Copyright 2019 Nancy Diraison/Diraison Publishing. All Rights Reserved. [Sharing is permitted only with full and appropriate credits included].
Part 2 of 3 (Strongly urge reading this series in sequence!).
In Part One of this three-part series, we examined what went wrong with the first established relationship between men and women. The model was broken due to bad decisions on both sides. Neither wanted to take the blame but both shared the consequences.
The woman, once started down the wrong path, was inclined to want to rule over her husband. When innocence was destroyed, so was trust.
Men often become discouraged when the ones they need and want respect from the most tear them down. Feeling defeated they may withdraw. Or they may lash out in inappropriate behaviors. Either way if a man is under attack from the woman it makes it difficult, if not impossible, for him to retake his position as leader, especially if his attempts are criticized, resisted, and as these days, maligned as “toxic masculinity” and other such previously non-existent and demeaning labels.
What is the point of destroying men and boys? What consequences have been reaped as a result of sidelining the irreplaceable attributes of men in favor of what some called “equal rights for women”, when in fact what they meant was “unequal rights for men”? Did it in fact start with toxic feminism?
The Great Deception
Initially the woman’s role was to be the man’s “helper”. This was a massively important job and the term deceitfully used to motivate women to believe their role was inferior. Some of the motivation came from the men themselves, no doubt, but what ensued only made things worse.
It is helpful to look at the original meaning of the word.
In a right relationship, there should be no victims, and no oppressors!
Going back again to the language of the Old Testament, where the introduction of man and helper begin, we find a surprise.
Both the Old and New Testaments are very specific in which words are chosen for what purpose. Often one word in Hebrew or Greek has many detailed forms in the original language, but ends up translated as the only one available in English. Meanings are lost!
The word “helper” in the ancient text is simple to look up. The word for “helper” used at Genesis 2:18 and 2:20 for the woman is also the same word used in Exodus 18:4 and Joshua 1:14 with some very powerful illustrations. In Exodus 18:4, “helper” is used to describe God himself as the helper of his people! And at Joshua 1:14 the same word is used to describe the task of Joshua’s “mighty men of valor” — the most powerful warriors in Israel! (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. The word for “helper”, number #5828.)
The role of helper is that of one who surrounds, protects and aids. Not someone who cowers, is disrespected or abused.
The woman in her supportive role is the perfect complement to her man. She is his safe harbor, his champion, his chief companion. She enhances his reputation. She helps him as he provides for and protects her. His children are safe with her. He has no need to worry she will damage him or do anything but good. That confidence fuels his enthusiasm for providing for and protecting his family. Without those motivations life is pretty flat.
Once feminists got their short-sighted ball rolling, making women feel inferior for being “helpers”, the true slavery began — that which led to the intractable need for two incomes where one used to suffice.
There is nothing wrong with women wanting to expand and use their many talents and skills, but as matters escalated the family structure disintegrated, children suffered in many ways, and the entire economy is twisted as a result. Everything from the day care industry to “fast” and processed foods developed from the needs related to working mothers, who gradually gave up their own food preparation. Our nation’s health has greatly suffered as a result, and stress has increased for everyone.
In the mid-1980’s it was estimated the value of all the jobs a woman performed in the average home would have cost $50,000 per year through outside sources (at 1985 costs). That was the value of her presence, an earnings equivalent that no family could afford to pay! Given her massive contribution, the family could function on her husband’s income. And the women had all the scheduling flexibility so many now crave and wish they could reclaim even while working outside jobs. Instead of being the free employers of their own time, they press for employers to make up for the problems through benefits that should never be the employer’s domain. When benefits are mandated, other payroll allocations are suppressed. There is nothing “free”.
Many men today could adequately cover their home expenses if the outsourcing costs were stopped.
Birth control of course did not always work, was easily ignored, tampered with or even sabotaged. And as financial benefits became available to unwed mothers, more chose to lean on those rather than marry. Financial independence appealed more than family and marriage. What seemed like a good and noble idea was injecting more damage into the equation. Impediments like the marriage tax penalties did not help.
Eventually, part of the misguided effort to erase the separate roles of men and women was to “equalize” the playing field in child-rearing. Absurd concepts were put forth that both parents are equally responsible for all functions of child care and other household tasks, as if each was not limited by their own 24 hour days, and as if the jobs that men do are not usually more taxing than the ones performed by the women. Not too many women enjoy laying asphalt or hanging from skyscrapers, and not too many are on the firefighting crew that shows up when the house is on fire.
Division of labor is well known in employment. One never sends two people to do the job of one. It’s inefficient. In the single-income household, the pattern allowed for maximization of time and energies for both spouses. Assuming neither was lazy and both doing their jobs, a hard day’s work meshed with a well-run household and led to valuable family time and enjoyable evenings. Not so any more…
A Hard Look at the Statistics of Failure
The subject of family break-down is so large that we can only scratch the surface.
The single most damaging effect of feminism, besides the crushing devaluation of the roles and strengths of men, and the demoralizing of boys along the way, has been the tearing down of moral restraints and the huge escalation of fatherless families.
If the two-income stranglehold is a trap, the single parent arrangement is even worse.
Over 25 million children today, in the United States, are being raised with no father in the home. 40 to 50% of children are in a single-parent household or will be at some point, usually with the mothers. Multiple millions of others have already reached adulthood without the experience of a father in their background, or the wrong idea about fathers due to negative experiences. Boys cannot be expected to understand a father’s role if they never knew one.
The worst afflicted are the African-American households. In1965, the Moynihan report stated that 25% of African-American households were led by a single parent (usually the mother); today that figure is an astronomical 66%. The 25% figure (24% to be exact) now applies to white, non-Hispanic families, and the numbers keep growing.
Children without fathers in the home are almost twice as likely to be hyperactive as kids in homes with two parents. 63% of youth suicides are kids who grew up with no father in the house. 90% of all the runaways and homeless kids out there grew up in fatherless homes. 85% of the children with behavior disorders, 71% of high-school dropouts, 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions, and 85% of youths in prison grew up in homes without a father.
Why the hyperactivity?
In the mid to late 1990’s, famous broadcaster Paul Harvey cited a serious study about what had recently been labeled as “ADD”. The study concluded that “ADD” should rather be spelled “DAD”. The profound studies signaled unequivocally that the restlessness of children was due primarily to emotional insecurities, stemming from absent fathers. The report was quickly buried.
It does not help that healthy physical activities, the kind needed for boys to vent their energies and build their self-confidence, barely exist today. Texting and playing video games do not count.
A study by criminologists Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi found “the absence of fathers” to be “the most powerful predictors of crimes” among males. 75% of school shooters are documented as coming from fatherless homes.
The most reliable predictor of crime is not poverty, it is not race, it is growing up without a dad!
Scholar Brad Wilcox adds that fathers are the key role models for their sons when they maintain proper authority and discipline. Doing so helps boys develop self-control and empathy towards others, precisely the traits lacking in violent youth and not coincidentally, in men who go on to repeat not being kind to their families. The presence of mothers, however strong and well-principled, is not enough to offset the absence.
Bringing some findings up to date. Fox News’ Tucker Carlson did an excellent series in March-April, 2018, conducting in-depth interviews and presenting reports on the tragic decline of men in America. Parts of the interviews addressed such facts as women taking over mens’ jobs, outnumbering them in higher education, and now constituting a majority in managerial positions.
Starting with the decline of male teachers at the lower educational grades, and the lack of inspiring fatherly influences in the homes, boys are depressed, and yes, many of them, instead of putting their energies to use, find themselves “diagnosed” with “DAD” (to use the right letters) and put on drugs to keep them down. How disabling.
The whole idea of “father” is wrought with cynicism to those who have never known the benefits of a good father’s leadership — the special warmth, strength and encouragement a father can provide. The missing experience is otherwise projected into disrespect of other authorities, a misunderstanding of authority in the workplace as well as in government and law enforcement. The trend is unmistakable, and so are its sources. Daughters suffer in their own way, negatively fashioning their expectations of males, and suffering great loss of self-esteem which they then seek to build from wrong sources.
Fathers who abandon their children and mothers who take their children away from their fathers have no idea of the price the kids are going to pay. If they know, they don’t care or choose to ignore the information and warnings. This is outside those cases due to abuse, of course, or other extreme conditions warranting separation. Most of the attention is paid to allegations of fathers abandoning children and not to the women who drive them away. We will not make that omission.
The bottom line is that the abdication of marriage as the secure place to bear children, for the good of all concerned, was a huge and predictable mistake.
While a full 92% of Americans still believe that our nation can only go forward if American families are made stronger, there is an avoidance of discussing what family model is the healthiest. Political correctness has vastly increased the price tag.
In the End, Breaking our Men Breaks Everyone
For as long as traditional family structure held as the norm, there was not as much negative to talk about as there is now.
Expectations for marriage, futures, children, were not questioned, and most were satisfied with the formula. It was great for the children, granted women what today they admit craving the most — flexibility in the use of their time — and it allowed men to focus more single-mindedly on their work, careers and providing for their families. This is not to downplay the need women have to develop and utilize their talents. The right family balance should allow for that and depending on other factors, permit some employment outside the home, just not to the detriment of the family’s primary needs, and certainly not to its destruction! We’ll have some interesting observations on that in Part III.
In Part III we will ask where and why we have lost our hearts.
Men and women have lost their hearts for each other, for their children, even for any children.
These are times like no other. And repair must begin in the heart.
Copyright 2019 Nancy Diraison/Diraison Publishing. All Rights Reserved. [Sharing only permitted with full credit for authorship and sources.]
Part 3 of 3 (Strongly urge these 3 articles be read in sequence. Not recommended for those who are committed to hating men!)
Launching 2020 as the “#NotMe” Year
In this series of articles we have been exploring what led to the breakdown of the intended great relationship between men and women. It began with a breach of trust and only in restoration of trust can healing be found.
The arrival of the “Me Too” movement made it clear why men cannot trust women, now less than ever. Decades after events, alleged or real, women have the ability to arm the press in their favor and destroy the lives, families, health and careers of men they may or may not have known. Lies abound and facts do not restore reputation or losses once damage has been done.
The Hindsight of Failure
In “Reversing Eden” we seek to reverse damaging trends by replacing negatives with positives. The “#NOT ME” woman is the one who can be trusted.
Turning the calendar page from 2019 to 2020, we relate the need for 20/20 vision, both past and future. Do we see clearly? Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. Those who ignore it will learn nothing. And those who pretend they are stuck in the repeat cycle are missing the point! It is possible to reverse course!
“#NOT ME” is a decision. It is a pledge to oneself and to others, to live up to standards of good character and responsibility. It means not jeopardizing others at any time present or future for simply living lives that crossed paths with ours. It means telling the truth, ALWAYS! Not supplanting truth with “hearsay”, the legal term for rumor. If it wouldn’t stand under judicial scrutiny, don’t say it, don’t repeat it with the purpose of doing injury. It’s pretty simple. Do no harm!
Feminism has left a trail of destruction in its path that cannot be undone, as countless millions of lives have been altered and shattered in the process, even while some blindly prided themselves on benefits.
A wrong course can only be helped by a strong reversal.
We only scratch the surface but I am sadly reminded of the Titanic. Like many great ideas, the supposedly unsinkable ship received many warnings and resisted several options to avoid impact, but only reversed engines after it had hit the iceberg. Too little, too late.
As with the Titanic, in the relationship crisis, in the breakdown of traditional family, it is mostly the men who went down with the ship. Even as by order of custom and priority, women and children were to be saved first, so it parallels with the damages of toxic feminism, unfairly focused on women only. The radios were turned off and warnings ignored. The men gradually fell silent, post-impact, but the consequences continued to escalate. The children themselves were voiceless and remain so.
To validate why this writer is not writing from a vacuum, I include a brief snapshot from personal experience at a time when warnings were being issued, decades ago.
In the mid-1980’s, representatives of three of the largest business advocacy organizations in the country requested I appear before an Editorial Board of the Los Angeles Times. My purpose as their spokesperson was to change the newspaper’s position on an anti-business legislative issue which the paper was promoting, involving misguided family law issues. The issues were harmful to small business and biased towards women’s interests.
As with many such legislative issues, the one I was to contest was being pushed by activist feminists and certain left-leaning organizations. It was not the first time I’d been asked to counter, just the first at the Los Angeles Times. No legislators or others would dare because as was already known at the time, any male opposition voiced to feminist ideas was instantly smeared in the press. There were negative consequences for those exercising the courage to speak the truth. Fake news reporting is nothing new. The long-range analysis of the consequences of events was spurned and despised. Things have not changed, only gotten worse, due to lack of organized opposition.
When I finished my testimony and questioning, mouths fell open, and the L.A. Times reversed its position. It had never occurred to anyone that the short-sighted sponsoring of legislation intended to harm men and male-run businesses might just come back and hit a women business owner as it had me and others. All of a sudden it “mattered” that a woman might be affected? How maddening! How utterly and blindly biased!
Hypocrisy flourishes where vision is non-existent.
Too Little, too Late?
Three decades after my task before the Los Angeles Times, a number of notable, revisionist feminists are waking up to what amounts to “too little, too late” reactions to the cumulative damages. Some are writing books and filling auditoriums to speak about the mess feminism has created. We covered that in a prior article. Alarmingly, some now want to create a new bureaucracy to fix what they and their peers created unfairly to begin with. NO! That is the wrong formula. Let the men, those closest to “ground zero” fix it and lead the way!
Those who claim they “never saw it coming,” or “Who would have thought…?” are not leaders but followers. Their eyes only open now because the previous errors are finally visibly imploding.
WHO saw it Coming?
Well, most of THE MEN saw it coming! So did some far-sighted women, those censored in the past along with their male counterparts. The process perfectly exemplifies the concept embedded in the story of Eden: Eve saw the apple, not the future. She thought she had the better vision, all while being deceived, so she yanked leadership away from her husband.
It should begin to make sense — WHY man is inherently the better leader.
Men’s and Women’s Brains are Different
Situationally, men have predominantly straight-line, focused thinking capabilities. In this they have a natural leadership when it comes to making decisions and taking action. Women are stronger in peripheral vision but may have no idea what the men are “seeing” in the distance. Their strengths are in the details and they are often more oriented to committee deliberations. When it comes time for action, when it is time for a decision, those in leadership have to know they also bear full responsibility for the consequences and have the courage to bear the consequences. They may have to act alone, without the consent of others.
Eve could have left the figurative apple alone and not used her manipulative skills to tempt her partner. Adam could have chosen not to cave to his partner, leading instead from his long-range perspective. Unfortunately both failed.
Those are not idle conjectures or personal opinions. SCIENCE has slowly been catching up with old wisdom, as stated in this excerpt from recent findings regarding the differences between male and female brains:
“Researchers have discovered structural differences in the brains of men and women including a larger total brain volume in men and higher tissue density in the left amygdala, hippocampus and insular cortex. Amber Ruigrok, Ph.D., carried out the study revealing the asymmetric effect sex has on a developing brain. She said:
“For the first time we can look across the vast literature and confirm that brain size and structure are different in males and females. We should no longer ignore sex in neuroscience research, especially when investigating psychiatric conditions that are more prevalent in either males or females.”
“As scientists gather more information about the specific differences between men and women, it’s generated numerous questions. Roger Fillingim, Ph.D.,from the University of Florida, has spent years researching differences in pain perception and what implications they may have for pain management. It is important to note researchers have consistently found women suffer from anxiety disorders twice as much as men and that this may be related to life experiences or genetic and neurobiological factors.
“Gender differences affect the ways in which men and women use logic and solve problems.Even while at rest, neurological activities in the brain are different.”
Interestingly, management decision-makers are advised to keep one pessimist around for advice. Not because much of what the pessimist has to offer is fun for the optimists, but because he/she may have just that one out-of-the-box insight or warning into a problem that could impair or improve the success of a project — that one thing that the single-track executive might not think of.
In a couples parallel, men would do well to listen to their wives, consider their input, but not abdicate leadership. Anxiety, emotions and nagging should not be the drivers in decision or policy-making. It is not bullying to take the lead; it is leadership. In a properly working situation, if there isn’t 100% consent on a decision, one needs to just let go of the reins and be supportive.
The women who launched feminism jeered at warnings, reacted defensively to criticisms and embarked on a power trip headed straight for the iceberg.
It is clear what has not been working.
As we covered previously, first-wave feminism sought initially to redress a few perceived wrongs, focused on gaining the right to vote. It sounded good, but not all good “ideas” are worth implementing, let alone legislating. Feminism went grossly overboard and even pushed criminalizing fathers in family law, and employers in the workplace, for not meeting their escalating waves of demands.
Second-wave turned to male-bashing and descended to an increasingly toxic level. Fueled by promiscuity, encouraged by the availability of contraception, marriage was no longer a goal, it’s absence no longer a restraint.
Third-wave feminism grew quickly from the second wave, eager to neutralize the entire concept of masculinity — comparing men to women, shaming them for being men and calling them “toxic”.
Men are not “broken women”, but women can break their spirits.
Diminishing men out of their roles as leaders, providers and protectors leaves them no purpose. It breaks their morale, their hearts, and their courage. Men tend to live up to what they are most appreciated for, and the role bashing also crushes the boys who witness it.
Boys are not “toxic”; they are under-challenged. They are not “ADD” — it is those without fathers who are usually mistakingly diagnosed. Boys are under-exercised and stuck in an educational system designed to maximize the needs and talents of girls, not theirs. Plus they are taught mostly by women and not men. Boys are made to feel like misfits, so they fail. And the girls fail, too, because they lose sight of the happy hopes that used to engage them just a few decades ago. Many today were raised and stuck in a broken system and have no idea what they are missing!
Now that women are described as “no longer being women”, the fun has gone out of relationships. Humor evaporates. Men are not sure how to speak to them, even worse how to consider befriending or dating. So more and more, men avoid the risks.
Even in business circles, Harvard Business Review(1) reports that 21% of men are more reluctant to hire women for jobs requiring close interaction; 19% of men are more reluctant to hire attractive women; and 27% of men avoid one-on-one interaction with female colleagues. And those figures go up every year. Why shouldn’t they?
Feminists are full of hypocrisies. Most women really do not want to bear the full load, but pretend they do. They want time off from work, flextime, benefits to allow them to live two lives at once. When they originally vied for equal pay and shunned traditional roles, they did not foresee the economic and business consequences. As statistics now bear out, forcing equal pay outside the discretion of employers’ judgements eventually led to LESS pay for men! Now many women who would like to be full-time homemakers cannot because their husbands’ incomes are insufficient to support their households! The two-income household has become a trap that few can escape.
Studies show that women, even those who uphold feminist values, still preferto date and marry men who earn more than they do.(2) The hard-working tradesman who earns less than the woman’s white-collar job is sidelined. Yet the most dangerous and under-appreciated jobs that keep our society functioning are still done by the men. With few exceptions.
These are some of the consequences of the absurd and misguided “war on men”, which is in truth a war on everyone.
The sunken ship doesn’t float; what a surprise.
Some say that heterosexuality “doesn’t work”. I’m not sure how they explain how we all got here if it doesn’t, but in theory, when you don’t practice something the right way, you reap what you sow, not what you hoped for.
Is it the fault of the men that life has been difficult and filled with drudgery, or the fault of both?
Have all forgotten the two-headed snake? The one that doesn’t live long? (Ref. Part I of this series).
In order for a man to step forward to do his job in full confidence, the woman must take a step back first. It is a significant sign of respect and support. That was the sequence that first went astray in Eden.
Men have carried on their duties and obligations for the most part without the level of complaining and blaming levied at them by their confused partners. They have done most of the heavy lifting, most of the bleeding, and their share of the suffering throughout history. Advances in technology have made women feel “equal” to men in the performance of jobs that never existed in the past. That is a distortion that quickly rights itself when the heavy lifting is needed. It’s something to think about. (See our article, “To be Cherished, Cherish HIM!” July 19, 2018).
Men and women have not fundamentally changed but many have lost the balance of traditional values that previously fostered stability in families. Those values once brought fun and joy to life. When families are strong, a nation is strong. Today mental and physical health problems are at an all-time high due to the absence of that foundation. Fathers, men as leaders, are desperately needed and so are women who will respect them. How a mother relates to her husband exerts a powerful influence on what kind of men boys grow up to be, and what kind of men girls seek for in relationships. The kids are watching. All the time.
When men feel defeated, they won’t talk about it. It’s discouraging and pointless to do so. They will not be seen marching in ridiculous parades or launching “hashtag” campaigns to draw attention to their woes. That is also held against them as some sort of deficiency, instead of a badge of honor. It is up to those who berate, disparage and mock them to quit. Show them respect and the men will heal themselves.
“#NOT ME” Means Taking Full Responsibility
Taking full responsibility for one’s personal actions, choices and decisions should be the hallmark of a “#NOT ME” approach to life. It is the opposite of the cowardly “Me too” victim mentality. It is about not tempting others, not putting oneself in tenuous situations, not blaming others for what one could have avoided, and certainly not revisiting past mistakes that one had choices in. Total personal responsibility. Not like the two in the garden, one blaming the serpent, the other the woman.
Most women silently resent men who don’t lead and lose respect for them. Yet they do everything they can to deter them from doing so. It’s one of those situations that is very confusing to men, conducted almost as a fail-fail test, where the man feels “damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t”. The answer, of course is for men to lead anyway! That is their job! They should lead with wisdom and kindness, without caving as Adam did to Eve, or Abraham to Sarah, or as in endless examples that altered the course of history.
“#NOT ME” begins with finding Our Hearts
The unrelenting nature of feminism, almost impossible to oppose, has led to some very ugly results. All sources agree that men are failing in body, mind and spirit. They are discouraged. Yet those very men are the fathers, brothers, husbands, friends, co-workers and sons of women who are penalized along with them.
What impels women to want to destroy the men they were created to be best friends to?
What happened to the woman’s heart? A high percentage of young people today do not even want to have children. Only 43% of young people view having children as a desirable life goal. Millions are aborted and millions more pregnancies are prevented to avoid the inconvenience. Why?
Immorality destroys the heart. It leads it into darkness. That is an initial place to reverse course, a decision to be taken individually. Don’t conceive children without the proven plan in place to nurture and care for them with a father present. That means commitment. Just say, “NO”. In an age of alleged assertiveness among women, it’s amazing how many lack the ability to say that simple word when it’s most needed. For a person with integrity, there should be no breaching that pledge. Once a decision is made, you own it. Period.
Those aspiring to a perpetual single lifestyle, or married and childless, are missing some of the greatest components of human happiness. Love grows with giving, and there is no more giving required than in the care and nurturing of tiny human beings.
Those values were at the heart of traditional marriage, ensuring commitment, steadfastness, trust and security, without which most of our causes of mental, emotional and even physical stresses and illnesses emanate.
Without child-rearing many of life’s greatest joys and lessons, both highs and lows, are never experienced. Without family and children there may be fewer or different complications but equally fewer challenges and rewards. The family was never just about producing new human beings, it was the primary tool for developing the best attributes of human character.
Take The Pledge!
“#NOT ME” is about leaving the allegorical apple on the tree.
It is about being the woman who rejects toxic feminism and is willing to turn over a new leaf in her relationships.
It is about being willing to let go of the reins in the long-term interest of all when that is the best service to be rendered.
It is about exercising feminine leadership in the way only women can, not by trying to be men, but by exercising to their fullest all the gifts and talents given to them, and letting the men be men.
It is not about being suppressed, but about not suppressing others.
Women hold the power to restore hope, confidence and joy in others. It is not a power to be disdained but cherished. It complements the powers given to men. Embrace it.
Copyright 2020 Nancy Diraison/Diraison Publishing. All Rights Reserved.[Sharing only permitted with full credits as to authorship and sources.]
Recommended reading: Books for mutual understanding: Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn “For Men Only” and “For Women Only”. Simple, straightforward books to help men and women understand each others’ thinking.