The War Between the Sexes
by Burton S. Blumert
by Burton S. Blumert
Give me a minute and I'll list the advantages that accrue with aging. Unhhh. Can I have another minute? If the years provide any accumulated wisdom, it is buried under layers of scar tissue. The other, overrated reward of surviving seven decades, "experience," was once defined as the residue of failure.
Strange, but it is in the war of ideas that senior citizen status brings some relief. Critics become less venomous when dealing with older folks. Which leads to Blumert's Fifth Law:
"The assault on career and reputation abates as defamers move on to younger, more vigorous targets." Or, put another way, why should the enemy expend energy and resources destroying the victim when the "grim reaper" will be doing it soon enough at lower cost?
"I've reached the age when nobody cares what I write about," I advised a friend.
"Nobody ever cares what you write about," he muttered.
"I'm free at last, and safe in my dotage. I can write on the most controversial subjects and nobody will care."
"You can write on any subject and nobody will care," the muttering continued.
"I'll blow the lid off the hottest subjects: The Differences Between the Races; Stalin, Hitler, Roosevelt, and Churchill: Who Were The Real Criminals? Homosexuality: Is It Genetics, the Environment, or Moral Decadence?"
To begin our search for truth at any cost, consider this question: "What is the single greatest threat to the economic well-being of the average man?" Illness? Corrupt government? Wrong. The correct answer is, Woman.
Our exposť: "How Women Have Manipulated Men Economically And Generally Hoodwinked Them From Time Immemorial."
There is little scholarship on the subject, no conferences, and the struggle between the sexes is so one-sided that the brainwashed victims are not even aware of their plight.
I have extensive files that conclusively reveal the insidious plot women have devised to dominate men. Unfortunately, my wife won't let me use them. She has also confiscated my autographed picture of Jessie Helms and my Wilt Chamberlain sports card.
She thinks she's in total control, but I smoke my cigars in the garage whenever I want to, whether she likes it or not.
But who needs my files? We have H.L. Mencken, America's greatest essayist and man of letters, and his brilliant 200-page book, In Defense of Women (1918 Alfred Knopf). The book continues to be controversial through its many printings. Mencken was perplexed that women viewed his classic as an attack. The point he was making was that it was the superiority of women that had led to their dominance over men in the important aspects of life.
Following, the great man makes his case and helps mine as well. All the quotes that are from Mencken's In Defense of Women.
H.L.M. on women and their understanding of men.
"A man's womenfolk, whatever their outward show of respect for his merit and authority, always regard him secretly as an ass, and with something akin to pity."
"She may envy her husband, true enough in certain details. She may envy him his masculine liberties, his invulnerable complacency, his talent for petty vices, his soothing romanticism. But she never envies him his puerile ego; she never envies him his shoddy and preposterous soul."
H.L.M. on marriage.
"The very fact that marriages occur at all is a proof, indeed, that they are more cool-headed and more adept in employing their intellectual resources, for it is plainly to a man's interest to avoid marriage as long as possible, and as plainly to a woman's interests to make a favorable marriage as soon as she can."
"He may want a cook and not a partner in his business, or a partner in his business and not a cook. But in order to get the precise thing or things that he wants, he has to take a lot of other things that he doesn't want."
"The truth is that, in a world almost divested of intelligible idealism, and hence dominated by a senseless worship of the practical, marriage offers the best career that the average woman can reasonably aspire to."
"But of all things that a woman gains by marriage the most valuable is economic security."
H.L.M. on "Good Looks" and how much more sensibly women deal with the subject than men.
"A shop girl, perhaps, may plausibly fall in love with a moving-picture actor, and a half-idiotic old widow may succumb to a college boy with shoulders like the Parthenon. Women know how little such purely superficial values are worth."
"The weight of opinion among women is decidedly against the woman who falls in love with an Apollo. She is regarded, at best, as a flighty creature, and at worst, as one pushing bad taste to the verge of indecency."
H.L.M. on sentimentality (men are and women aren't).
"One frequently hears of remarried widowers who continue to moon about their dead first wives, but for a remarried widow to show any such sentimentality would be a nine days wonder. Once replaced, a dead husband is expunged from the minutes. And so is a dead love."
"A man, speaking of his wife to other men, always praises her extravagantly. Boasting about her soothes his vanity; — but when two women talk of their husbands it is mainly atrocities that they describe."
H.L.M. on women in present American society (and how they created it).
"If the average American husband wants a sound dinner he must go to a restaurant to get it, just as if he wants to refresh himself with the society of charming and well-behaved children, he has to go to an orphan asylum."
"The result is that they swarm in the women's clubs, and waste their time listening to bad poetry, worse music, and still worse lectures on Maeterlinck, Balkan politics and the subconscious."
"It is among such women that one observes the periodic rages for Bergsonism, paper-bag cookery, the Montessori method — and other such follies, so pathetically characteristic of our culture."
"She may neglect her home, gossip and lounge about all day, put impossible food upon his table, steal his small change, pry into his private papers — accuse him falsely of preposterous adulteries, affront his friends, and lie about him to the neighbors — and he can do nothing."
"Let him undertake the slightest rebellion, over and beyond mere rhetorical protest, and the whole force of the state comes down upon him."
"Today, by the laws of most American states — laws proposed, in most cases, by maudlin and often notoriously extravagant agitators, and passed by sentimental orgy — all of the old rights of the husband have been converted into obligations."
H.L.M. on how they did it.
"I am convinced that the average American woman, whatever her deficiencies, is greatly superior to the average American man."
"There was no weakness of man that she did not penetrate and take advantage of. There was no trick that she did not put to effective use. There was no device so bold and inordinate that it daunted her."
"Women, as a class, believe in none of the preposterous rights, duties and pious obligations that men are forever gabbling about. Their habitual attitude toward men is one of aloof disdain, and their habitual attitude toward what men believe in, and get into sweats about, and bellow for, is substantially the same. It takes twice as long to convert a body of women to some new fallacy as it takes to convert a body of men."
H.L.M. on women and the law.
"Women litigants almost always win their cases, not as is commonly assumed, because the jurymen fall in love with them but simply and solely because they are clear-headed, resourceful, implacable and without qualms."
"Any man who is so unfortunate as to have a serious controversy with a woman, say in the departments of finance, theology or amour, must inevitably carry away from it a sense of having passed through a dangerous and almost gruesome experience."
Today, In Defense of Women is sort of a reverse-cult classic. Women intuit that what Mencken disseminates is dangerous and sheds light on what their sorority would just as soon see remain dormant. The small group of men who discover In Defense of Women, usually too late to help themselves, pass tattered copies on to their sons.
If you buy one, conceal it as you used to your Playboy magazine.
If you get caught, blame me, as I'm over 70 and totally exempt from being indicted.
October 2, 2000
Burt Blumert (1929—2009) was owner of Camino Coins, president of the Center for Libertarian Studies, chairman of the Mises Institute, publisher of LewRockwell.com, and the author of Bagels, Barry Bonds, & Rotten Politicians.
Copyright © 2000 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.