The Power of Love
According to the left, which now controls most public schooling along with media, corporate culture, and politics in America, there is no difference between men and women. Those very words, “men” and “women,” must be eliminated and replaced by something like “person” or “womyn.”
According to those on the left, men and women are interchangeable entities, equal and even identical in every respect. Any biological differences that do remain can be removed by denying again and again that they exist to the point that no one dare point out that women are biologically and psychologically intended to nurture children or that men are better suited for some physically demanding and dangerous occupations.
The inconvenient truth that most men are physically stronger than most women is suppressed so that the “rights” of transgender athletes — many of them male but simply professing to be female — can be supported. Likewise, the truth that women generally possess the grace and beauty to shine in ballet, figure skating, and dance, as well as film and beauty contests, must not be mentioned. What is lost also involves a feminine culture, the gentleness and supportive qualities that society has traditionally prized in women along with intelligence and emotional strength. Just a glance at the leftist anchors of The View affords a good idea of where liberals are taking us.
For the left, the idea of gender differences is bad enough, but imagine what leftists think of romantic love, with all of its sexist trappings and longstanding myths of male strength and devotion and female beauty. For progressives, romantic trappings, such as makeup, flouncy dresses, courtly behavior on the part of males, and ideas of male chivalry and capability, need to be eliminated and replaced with unisex clothing, common showers, and shared bathrooms. Modesty and privacy have no part in the future of gender, according to the left. The historical culture of romantic stories, films, songs, and media — and the romantic feelings and manners in the general population that accompanied it and that it supported — is an embarrassment that needs to be eliminated.
No more fantasies of female beauty, no more rapture of young love, no more promises of “till death do us part.” The entire apparatus of romantic love, and along with it courtship, marriage, parenthood, sexual fidelity, and loving anniversaries, is to be leveled like a Ukrainian apartment block. No more literature of love — no Romeo and Juliet, no Cinderella, no Jane Eyre, no Scarlet and Rhett, no more songs like “Perfect,” no Wedding Planner, no Titanic. Even the gender-specific pronouns must be repressed on pain of firing or worse: no “him” or “her,” just “person.” No “ladies and gentlemen,” no “guys and gals,” just “good morning, humanoids.”
Marriage and child-rearing, in particular, must be deconstructed and transformed, and this is exactly what the left has been doing for the past 50 years. Along with complete equality and identical roles, parents must not base marriage on the illusion of love. One enters marriage as a contractual agreement, with each parent performing identical roles. Better yet is a single-parent arrangement to which children are assigned or a transgender couple with adoptive children, with children then sent to state-controlled daycare centers from infancy. Any sort of arrangement except a marriage built on loving commitment and devotion to children.
Few on the left have a glimmering of how much is lost in this assault on gender and romantic love. For centuries, romance has functioned as a social faith, the glue that binds men and women and that makes life endurable and purposeful. Romantic love is the force that engenders (no pun intended) sacrifice and effort on the part of both men and women. It lifts them to a higher and more noble plane of selflessness and devotion. At its best, romantic love opens the door to a beautiful and rewarding existence — a lifetime of love and faith in the devotion of another. Without love of this sort, life for most is lonely, pointless, and bitter. No wonder a recent survey of emotional health among young people in America has revealed greater unhappiness than previous generations.
Human beings cannot live in a vacuum without beliefs of some kind, and what has replaced romantic love is the cool, street-wise, disillusioned denigration of feelings that is so common in rap music and popular culture generally, in which romance is replaced by crude sexuality, materialism, and cynicism. Make no mistake: our civilization is being coarsened and degraded. This is not the recipe for happiness, nor for psychological health or the health of our society. Wouldn’t it be better to live in a culture in which men revered women as beautiful, kind, and gentle, and in which women admired men as strong, loving, and faithful?
That was the romantic culture in which I grew up, and although men and women often fell short of these ideals, they at least possessed standards to which to aspire. Now, I fear, there is only a grim landscape filled with self-loathing, isolation, disrespect, and faithlessness. Well into their thirties, young Americans breathe the pollution of an anti-romantic culture in which men are depicted as cynical “players” incapable of commitment while women are portrayed as nothing more than whores.
What is lost, above all, is the bright joy of falling deeply in love, watching that love develop, forming a family, and working together to produce something noble and good. The contrast between the left’s unisex ideal and what conservatives wish to maintain could not be greater. It is the difference between day and night or, more precisely, life and death — which it often quite literally is. Isn’t there a correlation between the loss of faith in romantic love among the young and the rising number of drug overdoses and suicides?
Having poisoned romantic love, radicals now wish to eliminate the awareness of gender differences entirely. It is bad enough that the depiction of romance has been driven from our culture; now the woke police want to punish anyone who refers in any way to either natural gender differences or traditional gender roles based on long-standing assumptions about male and female preferences and inclinations. If the left is successful in imposing this gender-neutral ideology on our society, the result will be the loss of the basis of a healthy emotional life.
What’s more, the redemptive quality of courtly behavior between men and women — the small acts of selflessness, the pleasing smiles, the gestures of acceptance and encouragement — will be replaced by blank stares and lack of communication and feeling. In place of a kind word or approving look, there will be unfeeling emptiness. No man will dare to open a door for a woman; no woman will dare reciprocate a man’s smile.
The left is killing off life in every way it can. The suppression of natural gender roles and of romantic love is a crucial part of leftists’ program of genocide and enslavement to a political elite of the kind prescribed by Karl Marx. Conservatives should insist that schools reverse course on their gender-destructive curricula and that corporations and the media halt their attacks on traditional gender roles and natural gender differences. I believe we should boycott companies like Disney that have gone woke and, in our own lives, embrace the beauty of gender distinctions and recover romance. A life based on courtly behavior and recognition of gender differences is a lot more enjoyable, and meaningful, than the bleak totalitarian vision of a fully utilitarian world populated by sexless automatons.
Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture including Heartland of the Imagination (2011).
Image via Pxfuel.