My prince has come!
Classic television is enlightening. It reveals a little of our cultural values of the past.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E was a series my husband enjoyed as a boy. He endured the show that came before, "Please Don't Eat the Daisies", just because he knew Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin would soon appear on the screen.
We bought a portion of this series to enjoy with our own children. During one of the episodes, Napoleon asks the villain, "Is this the way you show your respect of women?". Later in the same episode the villain says of women, "They are noble creatures; they will give everything to preserve the ones they love". Later the villain asserts, "I told you never to lay a hand on a woman!"
Funny, but these lines were written before the women's movement became widely accepted, before respect was being demanded.
Flash forward to our current age, and just watch a little bit of TV on any given evening.
Women are not respected in our culture because they are not respectable. On the small screen, they are hard, capable, shameless and mean. They leave nothing to the imagination, and they sleep around like the horrid males women complained about in the 60's. They are no longer "noble", because they are all for one--"self" is more important than baby or husband or anyone else.
I grew up in a culture on the cusp of great "change". I was told that what came before didn't matter; that things were always bad, that we shouldn't hope for anything better, that it wasn't possible. Nuclear war was inevitable, old-fashioned methodologies and values were passe', there was something new coming, something better. I didn't know any different; I was a child and looked up to those at school and in the main-stream media. The generations before had somehow lost the ability to articulate, inculcate and transfer the values that made our society free and great, so my parents and grandparents did not retain the reasons for and benefits of keeping these mores and were regretfully among those who decided to scrap the whole thing and start all over.
Hemlines went up, necklines went down. P*rnography went main-stream and there was even a special variety produced exclusively for women. The pill made it possible for women to fornicate without having to worry about getting pregnant--and so it was the beginning of the end for propriety, virtue and common decency at least within the culture at large.
But what the feminist movement promised, that women would be more "respected" and have better and happier lives, has yet to manifest itself.
From where I sit, women have become more slaves to more demands than ever. Duped into believing we can "have it all", we sign up for government education loans by the millions. Then, after the sheepskin is obtained, we realize our fore-mothers traded in one ball-and-chain for another, and a much less-fulfilling one, for that matter.
And men do not care for women or defend, protect and provide for them as they did in former times. Men don't mind that women are "liberated"; it keeps them from having to grow up. Men have become "Peter-Pans". They don't have to get married in order to have their physical needs met, and even if they do marry, they can sit back and enjoy staying juveniles, with their wives as the responsible "mothers", for the rest of their lives. Therefore, children have become a noisy, messy, and costly nuisance to them.
After you, my dear.
Instead of men stepping up to the bar to take care of an expectant mother and her baby, men and women alike cry, "Why didn't she use protection?" Everyone expects that women will sleep around, in and out of marriage. This is not considered irresponsible, unless she does not use contraception, and only then does she experience social sanctioning. Marriage is no longer the holy union meant to last a lifetime where two unique people become "one-flesh" together.
But in the heart of every man there is a yearning for virtue, a yearning to find a woman "spotless and unblemished". In fact, I believe there is an unmet need for virtuous womanhood among men at large, but they have lost hope of ever finding their noble and highly regarded life-companion.
Women have become notorious for complaining there are no "heroes" left, but heroes need to have damsels in order to display their knightly characteristics. If the damsels are all out slaying their own dragons, the knights would just as soon return to the castle and down a few frothy beers. If the damsels are just as filthy, unkempt and uncaring as the local scoundrel, why do they merit saving?
My husband informs me that a lot of older men miss those days and resist the temptation to forgo these more romantic and polite ways of ministering to women.
Alas, it seems forever gone are the days when a man would open a door or relieve a woman of her burden in order to serve and cherish her.