Robyn E. Blumner is one of those feminist writers who specializes in reducing complex issues to lectures on Mars and Venus.
Blumner bestows her wisdom in the St. Petersburg Times.
The title of a recent offering ("U.S. could use more girlie men") caught my eye. Use them for what – objects of ridicule?
But, no, Ms. Blumner is serious. She wants to feminize national security – to take decisions of survival out of the hands of "macho" males and substitute weeping for weapons, sentimentality for strategy and negotiations for no-nonsense.
To illustrate her point, Blumner uses the HBO drama series "Deadwood," set in the lawless cattle town of the 1870s. Sadly, Deadwood was neither gender-neutral nor politically correct.
The columnist laments the fact that in a recent episode, the female owner of the town’s only bank wasn’t invited to a meeting of the community’s leaders. What, didn’t they read "The Second Sex" and "The Feminine Mystique" in the Old West?
From this (FICTIONAL) series Blumner draws lessons for the war on terrorism.
"When the law is determined by the number of gunslingers on your side, women don’t flourish. (No! Really?) But neither do men. Certainly not men of learning and ability." Especially men in touch with their feminine side, men who change diapers and aren’t afraid to cry. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that.
"I mention all of this," Blumner discloses, "because I’ve been feeling lately that the world has suddenly all gone male – Deadwood male to be exact. And this is not a good sign for civilization." Arnold Toynbee, Will and Ariel Durant -- move over! A chick named Robyn is here to analyze the malaise from which our civilization suffers.
Bet you’ll never guess who’s turning the world Deadwood male? That right, it’s that rider of the range, the lone Texan who goes by the handle G.W.
"Yet this dirty, street-fighting paradigm has fit perfectly with George Bush’s swaggering cowboy approach to geopolitics. Bush likes his enemies in black hats and hiding in the brush. For Bush, justice gets meted out when the good guys take matters into their own hands and don’t wait for lawyers with fancy words like ‘due process.’"
Fight terrorists with lawyers? What a novel idea! We can serve them with writs. Better yet, we can put them on notice that they’re violating the constitutional rights of airline passengers (like the right not to have all of their limbs simultaneously severed by explosive devices). Our terrorist-fighting ambulance chasers could demand that Hezbollah file an environmental impact statement before it fires any more rockets at Israel. Osama will be cowering in his cave.
Robyn then presents her own paradigm: "The Deadwood hero leaves bodies in the thoroughfare, while the reality hero tries to prevent bloodshed in the first place. … The Deadwood hero is impulsive, aggressive and macho, while the reality hero is a rational consensus-builder with an intelligent plan of action."
Three thousand dead Americans? Well, why didn’t you prevent the bloodshed in the first place! A Dark Ages theocracy pledged to wipe Israel off the face of the earth is acquiring weapons of mass jihad? Let’s build a consensus! All of those Islamists not in favor of wiping Israel off the face of the earth, raise your hands.
And this is the type of analysis on which major metropolitan newspapers waste scarce resources -- like ink and paper.
To give her menopausal mewling an academic air, Blumner quotes Gary Bertsch, a professor of international affairs at the University of Georgia, who observes: "The Bush administration has relied on hard power (militarism) rather than diplomacy (soft power) and it has been very costly. It is reshaping the view that the rest of the world has of the United States as a responsible power."
What does it matter if we’re all dead, as long as the French respect us.
As I recall, there were two 20th entury British politicians who epitomized Bertsch’s/Blumner’s dichotomy. One relied on hard power (militarism), the other on diplomacy (soft power). One was Winston Churchill, the other, Neville Chamberlain. Oh, Winnie, you gunslinger, you!
Fast forward a few decades.
Two American politicians had vastly different prescriptions for dealing with clear and present dangers. Jimmy Carter fretted about international opinion and obsessed over perceived human rights violations, while serving as a punching bag for ayatollahs and commissars. Ronald Reagan was castigated as a cowboy for rebuilding the U.S. military and facing down the Kremlin. Can you guess which saved the free world?
Then there was William Jefferson Clinton, surely one of Blumner’s favorite presidents – a soft power, feminine ethos kinda guy. When the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke, I recall another media feminist saying she’d gladly give Bill oral gratification for keeping abortion legal.
Unfortunately, neither keeping abortion legal nor oral sex in the Oval Office did much to protect Americans from terrorism.
In 1998, Sudan offered to give us bin Laden, in exchange for lifting sanctions. The Clinton administration refused. It couldn’t think of a precedent under international law for accepting him. On 9/11, 3,000 Americans died but "due process" was upheld. Hoorah for international law!
Summarizing her indictment, Blumner informs readers, "Deadwood societies are anti-intellectual havens of selfishness and triumphalism, where warfare and violence are extolled and the feminine ethos of cooperation, understanding and forbearance are disparaged as weak."
Leftist mythology to the contrary notwithstanding, advocates of a firm foreign policy and self-defense for survival do not revel in carnage. Since we respect life (especially the lives of the innocent), we would much prefer to avoid violence, if at all possible.
But we also understand the ineffectiveness of the "feminine ethos of cooperation, understanding and forbearance" when dealing with bloodthirsty savages – death-worshipping megalomaniacs, raving anti-Semites and those who torture and murder hostages, and then mutilate their bodies.
One would love to see Blumner exercising her "feminine ethos" on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, chancellor of the Iranian Reich. First he’d insist she don a head-to-toes chador. Then he’d have her flogged for a being an insolent woman who dared to speak in his presence. Finally, he’d have her executed as a Zionist spy. But Blumner would have the satisfaction of knowing she did not resort to violence – no macho gunslinger she.
And now, let us say a few good words for warfare and violence. Those whose mantra is violence-never-solved-anything, are dogma-blinded, historical illiterates who would lead us down the soft path to national suicide.
Without warfare and violence, we would have no country. America was born on the battlefield. (George III would never have let us go without a fight.)
The Declaration of Independence was noble words penned on paper. It was the sword that gave them a reality. In this instance, the perpetrators of revolutionary violence included John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington – men of learning and ability all.
Without warfare and violence the 11 states of the Confederacy would have successfully seceded in 1861, leaving us with two truncated nations. And the slaves would have been pickin’ cotton for ‘ole massah for at least a few decades more.
Without warfare and violence in 1939-1945, today, half the world would be singing "Deutschland uber Alles," while the other half bowed to the honorable emperor of Japan.
And without warfare and violence during the Cold War, the world would have been swallowed up by a monstrous ideology responsible for 100 million deaths in the 20th century.
Blumner is able to prattle about the superiority of soft power and the feminine ethos over testosterone-laden gunslingers because men with guns suffered and died to preserve and protect a republic where human rights are enshrined.
Today, the choice is warfare and violence or total submission to Islamofascism – the annihilation of the Jewish people, the subjugation of women, dhimmi status for those infidels still alive and a world governed by a barbaric desert ethos.
Let me put it in terms Blumner can understand: Better to dodge bullets in the streets of Deadwood than to push up daisies on Boot Hill.
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