Yesterday, we looked at all the men in uniforms who were on hand to react to the bombings at the Boston Marathon. Today I want to talk about all the men who reacted, not because it was their JOB to, but because they were there, and they cared.
Let’s start with this man:
His name is Dick Hoyt, and he is standing behind his son, Rick, beside a bronze statue unveiled to commemorate this amazing father’s love for his son.
Rick was born with cerebral palsy and is quadriplegic, the result of oxygen deprivation at birth.
At his birth, doctors were blunt. ‘They said, ‘Forget Rick, put him away, put him in an institution, he’s going to be a vegetable for the rest of his life,’ said Dick told the Today Show earlier this month.
‘Today he’s 51-years old and we still haven’t figured out what kind of vegetable he is – and guess what? That vegetable has been turned into a bronze statue.’
We don’t see many representations of these kinds of Dads in the media. Popular culture loves the “fat oaf with no good advice to give his kids”, while his beautiful wife manages everything with grace, skill and aplomb. Dads are at best stupid, and at worst irrelevant.
Here is Rick, pulling his beloved son on a raft as they compete in an Ironman race.
The book the two of them wrote, chronicling the +1000 races they have taken part in is, unsurprisingly, called Devoted.
The Hoyts were less than a mile from the finish line when the bombs went off, and true to form, Dick got his son to safety, with the help of a Good Samaritan.
Here is another father who was on hand when the pressure cookers detonated:
His name is Carlos Arrendondo. Once upon a time, Carlos had two sons, Brian and Alexander. A sniper took Alexander from him in Iraq, and he lost his other son to suicide. Brian couldn’t face life without his brother. Carlos was at the finish line to cheer on soldiers running to honor their fallen comrades, and when the initial blast tore through the spectators, most people ran.
Carlos ran to.
Without regard for his own safety, he ran to the injured and came across a young man named Jeff Bauman Jr, who suffered horrific injuries to his lower legs.
That’s Jeff’s femoral artery that Carlos is holding, pinching it shut to staunch the flow of blood. The above picture is cropped. If you want to see the full extent of what Carlos was dealing with, click the link below. Be warned, it’s graphic and horrifying.
Carlos is being hailed a hero, and rightly so. His boys may be dead, but he is still a father, and when a young man needed him, he was there.
That’s what fathers do.
Here’s another young man who is a different kind of hero.
His name is Matt. He didn’t know Sydney, the girl he is comforting. He came across her and dropped to his knees and put his arms around her and offered her comfort.
That immediately sparked a Twitter rumor that he was, in fact, proposing to his girlfriend, and while that seems like an innocent and sweet thing to assume, there is darker undercurrent to that story.
Is it really so impossible to believe that Matt simply wanted to help? That he saw a beautiful young girl, horribly injured and all he wanted to do was aid her? Comfort her? That doesn’t fit with how we view young men who come across vulnerable young women, does it?
Here’s another man, who found an injured girl and carried her to an ambulance. His name is Tyler, and he is double Purple Heart recipient.
And once again, the media is spinning the story as a blossoming romance.
And who knows? Maybe it is. That would be a wonderful ending to a sad story, but there is something unpalatable about needing to cast men as having a motivation OTHER than just basic goodness and kindness.
Why can’t Tyler and Matt just be good men, full stop?
I’m not saying that women didn’t react with similar selflessness and bravery. Nonsense. Here is a woman at the scene of the blast, not knowing if there were more to come, helping to save an injured man.
But we don’t need a story to explain her actions. We assume that women are kind and good and will do whatever they can to help.
Not long ago, we made the exact same assumptions about men. There was even a word to describe the actions of men who behaved heroically and selflessly towards women: chivalry.
In a world where bad things usually happen in faraway countries that we really don’t have to confront in any meaningful way, it’s easy for feminism to decry chivalry as nothing more than benevolent sexism. And they do.
And quite understandably, the response from men has been “well, fuck you then”. There are lots of good reasons why men no longer feel any obligation or desire to behave chivalrously towards women.
When the discussion revolves around opening doors, or buying dinner, or hailing cabs, it looks all very benign and reasonable. But when you add a threat, a real threat, it becomes astonishingly clear what feminism is costing us, as a society.
Hero. The word is used to unironically describe men who act with courage and selflessness, but you hardly ever see the inversion of the word: men who are heroes are offering their own lives in exchange for others. When you race into danger, you agree to risk your own life to save others. Many men do that instinctively. Without thought. It’s a part of themselves they do not actively control.
A man walks into a movie theater with a loaded gun, and the men instinctively throw themselves across women.
To protect them.
To save them.
Instinct or innate behavior is the inherent inclination of a living organism toward a particular complex behavior
When feminists call for the end of chivalry, they are calling, explicitly, for the end of men being men. They are declaring the natural and innate behaviors of men unacceptable and undesirable. I suppose that’s a step up from just abusing those instincts, but not much of one.
And I would like to see just how loud the average feminist would scream for the death of chivalry when she is the one standing in a crowd and a bomb goes off.
Women in the developed, Western world live pampered lives of globally unprecedented luxury. We have those lives because men, countless millions of men, have been heroes.
They died to provide us with this life. It takes a bomb to show us how they continue to provide and protect and serve us. And in exchange for that, they ask for gratitude. For acknowledgement. To be given credit for their sacrifice.
Is that so much to ask? Show some fucking gratitude.
I’ll end with a quote from great lady who understood that she could be great without destroying men.
“The feminists hate me, don’t they? And I don’t blame them. For I hate feminism. It is poison.”
Indeed, Margaret. Feminism has poisoned the well of our society for long enough.
It’s time for a detox.
Lots of love,