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Mr. Bowman is quite correct. The quickest way to start a fight with a man is to impugn his manhood. And the quickest way to impugn a man’s masculinity is to call him a coward (or its various permutations: wimp, cuckold, etc.). On the other hand, questioning a man’s masculinity can be a very effective method to motivate men to greater efforts, as any coach or drill sergeant knows. It is in the nature of masculine honor that it needs to be demonstrated repeatedly. Once a man reaches maturity and his masculine status is established, the need diminishes but does not disappear. Most men would prefer to die with their boots on than not. This is not, as the feminists would argue, “merely” a cultural artifact that can be discarded as humanity “evolves.” (In any case, culture is never “merely;” there are usually very deep reasons for a human culture to be what it is.)
Masculine honor is “pre-cultural”; it is primordial. I believe it is in the Creator’s original blueprint for men. Honor is the cultural expression of the very essence of manhood. The Greeks called it thumos; we could call it passion. (It was also a Greek saying to “die young, live gloriously.”) This masculine passion evinces itself in the focus, intensity and energy which men typically devote to what occupies them, whether it be model railroading or warfare. Honor or thumos stands at the heart of the masculine paradox, for it is this very quality that goads us to do both great and glorious deeds as well as commit acts of utter depravity. Yet without it, and its offspring courage, virtue and ultimately life, would be impossible. Wise cultures respected thumos and understood that it needed to harness this masculine energy for the good of is members.p>Perhaps the modern war on honor, and in consequence, manhood, lies at the bottom of the demographic catastrophe now enveloping the West. Perhaps if we kill honor, we kill the life force as well. I recall reading many years ago of how the native men on one of the Caribbean islands were forced into farming by the Spanish colonizers. This was considered women’s work and as a result, the men literally died of shame and dishonor. As for Mary Ann Sieghart’s line that “Walking away from insults isn’t wussy, it’s mature,” only a feminist would be obtuse enough say that. A woman rooted in reality (tradition) would understand that sometimes walking away from an insult is folly and a man who cannot defend himself or his women and children is not worth bothering about. Feminism will be the death of us. br> — Stephen Cianca br> Dublin, Ohio /p>
Zidane’s sudden head-butting in response to an insult hardly seems a matter of honor, at least in any sense that’s ever been held in Western societies. There, honor was to be recovered by a duel, formally demanded and formally accepted. Honor wasn’t recovered by shooting the insulter in the back without warning. You can hardly correct an accusation of cowardice with a cowardly murder.
There’s little need to seek a rationale for this behavior. It’s a product of a sick and twisted culture. It’s madness born in a world where raped women are killed by their relatives, and where legitimate military actions are met by sending one’s teenage son to blow up children at a Bar Mitzva. It’s the behavior of thugs devoid of honor and obsessed with a terribly perverted sense of vanity or vengeance.p>There’s no need to excuse the inexcusable and little reason to even try to explain it. Insults are the best response. This nasty little twit should be laughed off the world stage. br> — Michael W. Perry , Seattle