The spar and parry of fencing are a classic metaphor for the Darwinian struggle between women and men. (Unidentified engraving from Iothene Experimental Archaeology, "Women as Warriors in the 19th Century")
"You're beautiful when you're angry." A compliment to a woman's feminine allure or an insult to her intelligence? It depends upon the eye -- or perhaps the ear -- of the beholder. Before the unfortunate appropriation of modern feminism by androphobic harpies of the intellectual Left following the publication of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique in 1963, the phrase was a weapon of choice among gentlemen sparring with the objects of their fancy in the age-old battle of the sexes. After 1963, you took your chances. She might be charmed, or she might punch you in the nose.
Then there are the Ladies of the Cotillion. Hold the door for one of them as a courtesy, and she'll flash you a dazzling smile. But sign her dance card, and you'd better have your wits about you. She adores a rousing debate at least as much as a fling around the dance floor and does not suffer fools gladly. The blogosphere is littered with the corpses of lesser word warriors' debating points. We're honored to co-host The Cotillion this week, together with fellow "Cotillion Babes" Christina of Feisty Repartee and Cassandra of Villainous Company. All of our posts will also be available in one superpost at The Cotillion tomorrow. En garde:
Commemorative portrait of Madame de Saint-Baslemont de Neuville, who actively defended her manor in 1634 during the 30 Years War. (Iothene Experimental Archeology, "Women as Warriors in the 14th Century")
"End World Poverty? Wake me up when we've kicked its ass," warns Cassandra of Villainous Company in an opening salvo, proceeding to slay the weak horse of the mealy-mouthed foe with her rapier wit:
What is it about tony causes like World Poverty that shuts off the critical thinking skills of grown men? That makes them regress to the mental age of small boys? Suddenly everyone thinks they're Peter Pan -- "Ooooh . . . if we all just Make A Wish, we'll suddenly sprout wings and bash off to that magical place called NeverNever land (the blue mask is optional) where we'll Never Be Hungry Again . . ."
Here we are again, at another enormous, Mega-Concert full of glittering rock stars who leap onstage full of chemically- or herbally-induced energy and earnestly promise to eradicate World Poverty the way LiveAid wiped out hunger. Er . . . yeah. Right.
We're suited up and ready to follow this woman into battle. Like Bob Geldof -- though for different reasons -- we were "withering in our scorn" last week. He was upset at criticism of his naive project to save the world, while we were up in arms over the folly of folk like him who seem more interested in feeling good about themselves than actually achieving anything. As Geldof himself said last week, "Even if it doesn't work, what do they [critics] propose?" and as we answered the rhetorical Sir Bob then, GW has a plan for Africa: No results, no more aid.
"Woman archer during a siege" (Iothene Experimental Archeology, "Women as Warriors in the 14th Century")
"They're not happy with their status in life? Their solution? Kill you," writes Jody of Steal The Bandwagon, hardened for battle not so much with the terrorists themselves as with "the stupid people who instead of blaming those who detonated the bombs in the first place are blaming everyone but them!":
No one, no matter their ideology should have to suffer at the hands of a terrorist. No one should be allowed to put your life in jeopardy because they don't agree with how you live. It is not their choice to make, and it will never be their choice as long as men like Bush and Blair stand up and defend their countries.
'Reminds us of the AP's attempt to put words in Tony Blair's mouth yesterday to the effect that the Prime Minister had named the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a contributing cause of the London terrorist bombings. He hadn't. They made it up out of whole cloth.
Tsarina Catherine the Great of Russia, 1762, looking ready to roll (Iothene Experimental Archeology, "Women as Warriors in the 18th Century")
"Capitalism is the only economic system that allows man to provide for his own sustenance in a material way and also a deeply spiritual, philosophical way," writes Right Thinking Girl in a fiery defense of the shining city upon a hill:
It speaks to man's desire to create, to build and acquire. It speaks to the better angels of our psyches, the urge to perform higher, faster, better. It is only a byproduct that Capitalism also improves the lives of all society.
Isn't that the very thing we blogged about here earlier today? No question the Ladies that Blog are on a roll.
Israeli soldier 1940's. That sweet little gal is in her dotage if she's alive today. (Iothene Experimental Archeology, "Women as Warriors in the 20th Century")
"There is a war going on, and words are as powerful as weapons. Let's show the Yemeni government just how powerful words can be," writes Denita TwoDragons of Who Tends the Fires:
Jane at Incognito Blog has been keeping tabs on her friend, a freedom-loving newspaper editor in Yemen who has come under the bloodshot eye of the despotic President Saleh, and reports that the situation is rapidly degrading.
I know there are many soldiers that are hoping you will as well. Just remember this -- their loneliness is more important than your shyness. Get over it and do it for them. The ONLY wrong move you can make is to do nothing.
If you haven't already, consider writing to a soldier and/or sending a care package to let them know you care. And now for something completely different -- or is it? Beth of Yeah, RIght, Whatever has a bright look on the dark side. Funerals, that is, and how to turn life's lemons into lemonade:
Throw a party. Play some games. Yes, there needs to be a time for grieving, but there needs to be a time to rejoice for the person they were and the better life they've gone on to.
She has a great example that makes a lot of sense. Goomp, of Scottish Yankee descent, claims he wants an Irish wake, with celebrants getting drunk as they toast the good times. We'll drink to that, but none too soon, we hope. The old salt went swimming in the pool twice today. It's not for nothing we dubbed him the family's Energizer Bunny.
"An enemy that looks only to kill the infidel or die trying is an enemy that will only be defeated if they are convinced that they will never win," writes The Anchoress, who cites Winnie and others in a mesmerizing incantation of why we fight, a battle hymn for woman soldiers marching as to war and their loved ones keeping the homefires burning. An excerpt:
Perhaps if, in the 1970’s, (when Islamofascists took and held hostages for 444 days) Churchill’s policy had become our policy, 3000 Americans would not have been killed on 9/11, Bali would not have exploded, Spain would not have capitulated and England would not today be in mourning.
On the home front, E.M. Zanotti of The American Princess says the abortion lobby is getting all upset for nothing:
In reality, overturning Roe wouldn't put the kabash on abortion anyway. Its no victory for pro-lifers. No pregnant women are going to get thrown in jail, and we aren't going to boost the coat hanger industry (Wow. That was pretty crude. Watch that one hit the crazy-lib websites. Honestly, I'm a Feminist for Life, people).
Thomas Sowell says pretty much the same thing:
Many people are too young to realize that there was never a federal ban against abortions before Roe v. Wade created a "Constitutional right" to abortion out of thin air. Before that, the federal government had nothing to say about the subject and the various states had a variety of laws regulating abortions.
Political hype has long since drowned out the truth on this subject, as on so many other subjects.
"Penthesilea leading the Amazons" by Christine de Pisan, c. 1460 (Iothene Experimental Archeology, "Women as Warriors in History")
Speaking of truth sayers, Mary Katharine Ham in her Townhall.com C-Log reminds us of the shallow "roots" of Islamicist terror:
They kill barbers who give insufficiently Islamic haircuts! These are not people who understand reason and understanding.
Their pathetic death rituals are, as we always say, "examples of a 'system of honor that is an alternative to mainstream moral orders.'" Then there are the clueless nanny-state types who missed the seminar on human nature. Zendo Deb of TFS Magnum has the scoop on the domestic version of "why do they hate us" in the face of reports that restraining orders can't stop 20% of the most violent abusers:
If anti-virus and firewall software only stopped 80% of the viruses -- and not the worst 20% at that -- would anyone use the internet? If cars only stopped 80% of the time you stepped on the brakes, how many of us would drive? Yet we are encouraged by the left to disarm, to hand our security over to the state, and believe that the police will keep us safe. This seems insane to me.
Finally -- 'hope we didn't miss anyone, but if we did, please give us a shout out -- the perfect coda from Portia Rediscovered, who finds herself downhearted that everyday folks so often get her wrong:
I was recently at another "gathering" when a slightly political topic came up among the group I was talking to. One of them made a remark that would work in a perfect world (and believe me, I wanted her suggestion to be a possibility), so I quickly spoke up saying, "Well the reason that would never happen is because their government is completely corrupt and couldn't care less about the nation's inhabitants." Cue the blank, uncomfortable stares and cricket noises. Cue my frustrated silence at once again talking outside the realm of typical feminine topics. AGH!, again.
As we wrote in her comments, not to worry. That's what the blogosphere is for. A place where kindred spirits can speak softly and carry big sticks and never hear so much as a single chirp out of a cricket.
Update: Cross-posted at The Cotillion. Check out the difference a template makes as far as layout, color, emphasis and such. A totally different feeling.
Update II: A lovely InstaLanche for The Cotillion.