Some day I will be old

Women, birds and a star, 1949, oil on canvasHere’s Bert, peering through thick glasses, two hearing aids, a wee bit breathless, complaining how Quakers have changed in the last sixty years. “You’re a Christian, aren’t you?” He asks. Yes. So that is me safely boxed, one of the less threatening ones.

I had a lovely time with Tia, walking in the garden. She does not like English literature, it is boring to be told what a book or a poem is about. She likes writing. She writes poetry, liking rules which restrict what words she can choose, which can make the poem better. Like haiku, with seventeen syllables. So I tell her one of mine:

Blossom like snowfall
Sunshine like a [“lover’s”- oops, internal censor comes out- “loving”] touch
The Supermarket

She laughed at that. It’s about nature- as we understand haiku- then something boringly everyday. It is called “bathos”. High-flown, then crash to Earth. Though- why should we distinguish “lovely places” and “boring places”? I walked in the sunshine from the High Street past some trees  and grass to Morrisons. You respond to the verse, and you can put your response into words. In Creative Writing she wrote a poem about me wanting an apple so we went to the trees, but found only cookers.

Circus Horse, tempera on canvas, 1927We walked between the hedge and the wall, up to the other wall.
-Oh, we’ve come to a stop.
-I was wondering when you’d notice.
-OK, we could climb that wall, go back, or go through that hedge.
So she went through the hole in the hedge, and I followed.

She is just starting GCSEs, but I am old enough that my children, had I had any, might have graduated and got jobs. People that age think differently, see the World differently. Now, the World is mine, but soon it will be theirs, so I should learn how they think. When Bert peers at me he sees someone two generations younger, nearly. I would not like to be so puzzled by the World, that people two generations younger owned it, but I wanted it to be as I had made it and had not thought to learn their ways.

Though please realise this is not Bert himself. I have no idea that such a desperate plight might be his, merely that it might be possible, and I should strive to avoid it. It was an inkling I got when I happened to be looking at him, which is not the same as a true understanding.

Bert told a story where I would admire him. He was in logistics, though that was not the word he used. A driver thought he had planned the journey badly, and was so angry he raised his fist to hit him. Bert, believing his pacifism should start with personal relations, did not defend himself, and the other’s fist stopped just short of his chin.

When I retreated to the monastery in the 90s, the Guestmaster told how men remained, to an extent, as they had been in the World- there were 70s men there, 50s men, even one or two with 1930s manners and mannerisms.

Controlling the plebs

VIII hate the word “hysterical”, derived from the word for “womb”, but it has no precise synonym. Irascible and neurotic together fit the circs. I had a letter from the landlord’s agent, about the safety inspection for my gas boiler. “It is imperative that the appointment is kept.” In Bold at the bottom, it says,

If you have a card/key operated gas or electricity meter, please ensure that gas and electricity is in credit, as the plumber requires both to carry out his tests. If there is no gas or electricity and the plumber has to call back you will be responsible for the call out charge of ÂŁ25. It would be far better to arrange another appointment, than incur a bill for an abortive call out.

XVIII wonder how often that happens, that people have no money for gas or electric, the paltry Emergency Credit of ÂŁ5 runs out, most of the money they have paid in has gone to past arrears, so they are cut off at the exact time of the annual safety inspection. Possibly only once, or possibly the agent has thought- oh help, what if that happens? A hectoring WE WILL BLAME YOU AND YOU WILL SUFFER!!!! paragraph is necessary.

What about this, from the friendly DWP, requesting information? If I have not received this information within 14 days from the date at the top of this letter then I may need to suspend your claim to benefit [stop paying your income] until this info has been received.XIII

Stop paying my income! Plunge me into crisis! Crises come regularly. I was in the surgery when a woman wanted a prescription the following day. “We need 48 hours’ notice,” said the receptionist, and the woman had a melt down. The receptionist relented.

I can still pass for middle class, my underclass status comes out later, and Phil told me how unpleasant it was to work in the jobcentre. When she joined a few years ago it was about supporting people to find work, but now it is about bullying and threatening them. Pete said that people were bullied into any sort of job- zero hours contracts, minimum wage- rather than found jobs fit for their skills.

When the DSS stopped paying giros on the sick weekly, making them fortnightly, I had people complaining that they could not budget for a fortnight, the money would run out two or three days early. The DSS would send a special giro book paying weekly in only exceptional circumstances. Now, they are starting to pay benefits monthly, in arrears.

Though now I read that if it is more likely than not that one’s health will be adversely affected by having ESA stopped, it should not be stopped. Brilliant! I record this, for my next struggle with ATrOciouS and the Department for Withdrawing Payment.

Comfortable words

Nasturtiums with the Painting Dance, 1 MatisseTibago has been reading “How to defend the faith without raising your voice“. I challenged him in a comment to state Catholic doctrine on homosexuality, and he did so, rather well, I thought, putting it positively. His church is against discrimination, though when I googled “Catholic school dismiss lesbian teacher” I found Barbara Webb, Lisa Reimer, and this case from Italy, then gave up in dismay. Gay people can have “rich, deep, intense and fulfilling” same sex friendships without sex, and it is a shame that people seeing such friendships think the people are gay says Tibago- so JH Newman Wasn’t Gay!!

These are comfortable words. A straight Catholic could mouth them and feel good about himself, believing them reasonable and loving. I unpacked them a bit in the comments, saying what we hear is a demand that we never have a partner, and a statement that our expression of love is worth less than that of straights. To feel good, that straight Catholic has to lack empathy. And not everyone uses such apparently loving words: another site is happy to use words like “abomination”, “sodomite” and “hell”.

I had a look at what the Catholic Bishops had to say to parents finding their children were gay. They refer to prejudiced language offensive to gays as “humor”. They say that on finding out, parents might feel anger, mourning, fear, guilt, shame and loneliness. They tell parents to seek out therapy, and perhaps fake conversion “therapy”, though the Bishops do not require this in all cases. Parents should challenge their Matisse Lilacschildren if they have a partner, urge them to return to the Church through the sacrament of penance, and join up with other anti-gay parents. Such children could not have any sort of leadership or service role in the church if anyone thought they were having sex. But again there is lots of blah about Love, Respect, Compassion and Nature to make them feel better about themselves. Gods Grace is available to and sufficient for anyone open to receiving it, so if the gays are having sex it is entirely their fault.

I wondered for whose benefit this was. Celibacy freely chosen might be a spiritual discipline doing good for a person; celibacy enforced by others with backsliding and fear is not. God is love, and God’s commands are for our good- so how does enforced celibacy benefit us, when it is not good for the man to be alone, and better to marry than burn? God’s commands are for our individual good, not merely the good of the Community- though it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed, every hair on my head is numbered, which appears to show individual care. How would celibacy benefit me? Googling found me Celibrate, which says that sexual abstinence is healthier and more fulfilling than acting on homosexual urges, but does not say why.

Why Matisse? I did not want my post to be entirely depressing.

Whoosh! BANG!!

Syrian refugeesRussia Today publicized the anti-war demonstrations– well, Russia is against British military action- but what does the British Right have to say? Shashank Joshi of the Royal United Services Institute writes supporting “action” but indicating the arguments against in the Telegraph. In their poll, 65% of 1800 people had voted for bombing.

Joshi says that bombing Islamic State, which he calls ISIL, will help Iran-backed Shia militias in Iraq, who are not our friends. IS cannot be destroyed, only weakened: US airstrikes in Pakistan and the Yemen for over a decade have resulted in the “jihadists” controlling territory in those states.

He wants local troops doing the ground fighting. Well, if Scots troops funded by America were peacekeeping in England, I would be nervous, and if English troops were peacekeeping in Scotland I would seek to resist them. I don’t like people with guns. Anyway, he says the local troops are weak, mistrusted, small in number and divided. Iraqi troops ran from IS, leaving their new American equipment behind. If they were better trained, why would they never turn on us?

Given that Sykes-Picot and a century of Western meddling resulted in a Shia minority ruling a Sunni majority in Syria, and a Sunni minority ruling a Shia majority in Iraq, perhaps we should return to that policy if we really believe they might attack us: they would be too concerned to repress their own population.

The Daily Mail had some striking military porn: close-ups Syrian refugeesof fighter planes, that sort of thing. Its factual reporting was all of calls for war, alleged danger to Britain and the British, and vague descriptions of “evil” and “fanaticism”. The Defence Secretary has warned strikes could take 2-3 years before we gave up having only made things worse (that last bit was me, obviously). They say Mr Miliband supports airstrikes, revealing that Labour has ceased to be a left-wing party. Nick Clegg said Britain must “play its part” against what Mr Cameron calls “evil”. Well, no. The question for military action is not whether we dislike the military forces we would be bombing, but whether any military action could achieve any useful result. Past experience shows that it will not.

We are facing an evil against which the whole World must unite, said Mr Cameron. Asked what he would like to happen to Jihadi John, he said, ‘I’m not sure I can describe in words what I’d like to happen to him. He should see justice one way or another. Well, I can. He should be tried, and if found guilty, punished according to law. If the PM wants more, I do not want him in that job, letting emotion call for bombing and killing where rationality would call for restraint.

God have mercy. They have voted for bombing.

Feminine me

Maria Naeff-Dalp by Felix Maria DioggI divorce “feminine” from “womanly”, because arguably I am male. But these are my nature, not nurture- my nurture was to make me masculine. You might argue that I grew up learning that these qualities were feminine, but that would be too weak to inculcate them in me. My femininity is innate. Because of it, I express myself female. What of these “feminine” characteristics do I claim?

Sensitive, empathetic, compassionate. Doing something to serve another is one of my greatest pleasures. After I was sacked as a solicitor, the third partner had left her keys behind. Working my notice, I was given little to do, and was sent to drive after her with them. When I handed them over, I felt a rush of delight. In the CAB, I gave people the space to open up and express their distress, not because I am an emotional vampire, but because I felt it made them feel better, and because I could earth their pain rather than take it into myself. So I am communal, unselfish, supportive, motherly, nurturing, gentle, forgiving. Caring. I care.

“Fragile” is thought of as a feminine characteristic. Well, if I am open and undefended, vulnerable because my feelings are close to the surface, I will be hurt sometimes. Healthily, I will process that hurt immediately, rather than suppressing it up and getting more stressed. This may make me appear “fragile” sometimes. I cry, rather than preserving a stiff upper lip. So “Fragile” is an irremovable part of a good feminine characteristic. Duchess Maria Elizabeth in Bavaria

“Uncompetitive”- I see that decisiveness and ambition are good qualities, and I don’t have them. The world would be uncomfortable if everyone had. I am communal and nurturing, to heal some of the hurts from that ambition. This leads to being modest, demure, seeking to be charming and attractive to win that ambitious, go-getting female. It can seem passive. I would be tactful- asking the feminine question “Would you like a break?” rather than making the masculine statement, “We need a break now”.

Artistic and expressive? I like colourful, eye-catching clothes and I love to perform- I did “The Story of my Breast” again at Charney Manor. I love children, and seek to enter their imaginative world. I like to play. I would find it fulfilling to be possessed by a masculine woman.

Ours is a social species, and these characteristics need to be in someone, or we would kill each other- just as the masculine characteristics are needed, or we would never achieve anything. Feeling like this has terrified me. Slowly I come to value it. “Feminine” is beautiful and valuable. Why should I not be Feminine?

 

Feminine

File:Helleu Paul Cesar - Portrait Of A Woman.jpgWhat does the word “Feminine” mean? If I can divorce it from “womanly”, has it any other meaning? Have any women an opinion on this?

Kat Powell writes on the Romantic concept of Sensibility, where virtue and emotion together produced the appropriate response. Appropriate feminine sensibility resulted in good behaviour: there are controlling aspects to this, which can be rendered powerless if we divorce the concept from “pertaining to women”. Or go with Mary Wollstonecraft, who proposed one standard of virtue and equal education.

Claire Zammit and Katherine Woodward Thomas say that to fit in a man’s world, women have followed masculine power. This is the power to create things that can be controlled, [while] feminine power is the power to manifest that which is beyond our control, including those things that our heart most yearns for–intimacy, relatedness, creative expression, authentic community and meaningful contribution. Women care about love, intimacy, connection, belonging, creativity, self-expression, aliveness, meaning, purpose, contribution and a brighter future for generations to come.

Vanessa Halloum writes of “five feminine power virtues”- Presence, Authenticity, Sensuality, Spirituality and Gratitude.

Confucius said that a woman should obey her father, then her husband, and when a widow she should obey her sons. Her virtues were morality, proper speech, modest appearance and diligent work. Modest appearance: it is her job to avoid men being turned on, and she must not use File:Wilhelm TrĂĽbner Dame mit schwarzem Halsband.jpgsexuality for power. That is why I am reading women. Myisha Cherry says the concept of feminine virtue is a tool of patriarchy- so we need to do better than her dismissive list, “chastity, modesty and obedience” as opposed to masculine “toughness, strength and ambition”.

John Gerzema asked people whether they thought certain attributes were masculine or feminine, and found eight feminine ones were in the top ten required for leaders: Expressive, plans for future, reasonable, loyal, flexible, patient, intuitive and collaborative. For my own personal femininity I choose to include resilient as well: others call it masculine, and well OK. Inc magazine says leaders need feminine traits: empathy, vulnerability, inclusiveness, humility, generosity, balance and patience.

Krystal Baugher celebrates feminine traits: thoughtfulness/nurturing; delicate beauty; empathy, emotional vulnerability, intuition, patience, sensuality and radiance.

The Buddhist Library says Having masculine traits primarily means that a person is independent and assertive. This related to high self-esteem and to success in many situations.

Having feminine traits primarily means that a person is nurturant and interpersonally oriented. Such people therefore, tend to experience greater social closeness with others.

Here is James Park’s Gender-pattern chart. He argues that all femininity or masculinity is cultural, and that both sexes may show traits from both patterns. Creative, expressive, tolerant, nurturing, gentle, spiritual, compassionate, warm- here I have a cultural concept of femininity which I love, and which fits me. More on this tomorrow. I am pleased with my dialogue yesterday, which has an original Churchill anecdote.

Ben

strassenszeneBen came out of Steph’s flat, went to the washing line, and said “I’ll just get in my Alan Whickers. I think I may have used one of your pegs. I’ll leave Steph’s stuff out, she can get it in herself.”

Well, it isn’t going to rain.
-How d’you know that?
-The weather forecast, and the way it looks.

I was out in the sun, on my lounger, he sat on the bench. “D’you mind me using your pegs?” I told him mine were wooden ones, and he went to put the plastic one back on the line. He seemed a bit camp to start with. We started on rhyming slang. His mother- she always made me laugh, she did- saying “Up them apples and pears”, and Coronation Street had just finished and I went Oh Mu-um-

I said my granddad had told me to go up the apples and pears and into Uncle Ned. He told me names for amounts of money.
-How much is a pony?
-25. 25, it is.
-Oh, I thought it was more than that.
-Are you taking the piss?
-No, no disrespect intended, I assure you.
-You’re highly intelligent, I can see that. I like talking to highly intelligent people.

He was in rehab, for alcohol and cocaine, from January to May this year. He is off the cocaine, because his children need him, but he needs a couple of beers in the morning. You wouldn’t like to see him in the morning.
der gefangene-Well, you know how much Winston Churchill drank.
-Would you like a Winston Churchill story?
-I would like to hear a Winston Churchill story. [What is it, I wondered, with the word “Yes”? Why do I repeat the sentence to agree? Probably because others do.]

Winston Churchill was at this party, and this woman said to him-
[Is it “Winston, you’re drunk”? I am half bored, half fascinated.] And he said to her, “You know, love, if you were my wife, yeah, I would eat it.” I laugh, glad he did not try to do the voice.

More words. He was in the Crown Court, yeah, don’t judge me, the Barrister got me a Not Guilty verdict
-Congratulations
-Thank you, and he said the case was “Gilding the lily”. You know what that means?
-Well, gilding the lily is taking something which is beautiful already, like a lily, and doing something which does not really make it more beautiful; just as people exaggerate evidence, to make it sound better, and thereby make it worthless. [I am being patronising, though I insist I am not. Why are we fencing like this?]
-You are highly intelligent, you know that, he says for the fourth time.
-Yes, I know.
-You are.

emigrantenlokalHe likes reading. He doesn’t read enough.
-What would be enough?
-Very good, you’re highly intelligent, you are. He likes talking to intelligent people. His father got him reading history. If you read more than one account, you can make your own decision.

His father abandoned him when he was eighteen months old, and his step-father beat his mother up until he was ten and she went to a battered wives’ home. Then another man provoked her and she stabbed him, stab stab stab stab stab, and got done for Attempted Murder. And he saved the man’s life. “I will always remember the smell of blood, you know, the iron.”

-I’ve told you my story, you tell me yours.
-Well, I found my last two jobs too stressful, and so I am on the sick. I see a psychiatrist occasionally.
-Do you find that helpful?
-I do actually. He doubts that, I think.

Come on, I’ve told you my story, you tell me yours.
-Well, what do you want? I could start at the age of five, and go on for two hours. Ask me a question.

in der strasse, Grosz-You’ve had a traumatic life, haven’cher?
-You know what a closed question is? That is a closed question, you can answer it yes or no. Yes.

I don’t know what he was driving at. I’m TS, I wear a wig, something completely off beam.

He would never hit a woman.
-Good on you, I say. I hate that line, it seems a threat to hit a man, and I don’t know if he thinks me a man.

His 18 year old and 15 year old he had with an Italian woman, and his 20 month old son, whom he loves and misses, with this beautiful black woman. She broke four of his ribs, he was leaving the house, she was pregnant, she pulled him back and they fell over and her knee broke four of his ribs.

We hear a light engine overhead, and look up to see a parascending sail. We look up together in wonder and delight. He has borrowed my bicycle pump, I hope I get it back.

Revolting Jews

Arch of TitusIf the Jews obeyed the Torah completely even for one day, the Kingdom of Heaven would come. What would that mean? For me, it means everyone obeying the laws of God- love God, and love everyone else. Do to them as they would have done to them. For a strain of Christianity, it means Rapture, end of the laws of physics and resurrection of the dead. For the Jews of the first century CE, it meant all humanity would worship on the Holy Mountain, that is Jerusalem. Many of them thought this would be by conquest.

There are 235 uses of the phrase “Lord of Hosts” in the Old Testament, and only two in the New Testament, one of which is a quote. Malachi, prophesying during the reign of the Persians, complained that the worship in the Jerusalem temple was inadequate. He wrote And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts. God would conquer the other nations, who would submit.

Then Alexander conquered the Persians, and his successors in Egypt then Syria took control of Judah and Galilee. Just as Antiochus IV Epiphanes (Revelation) of Syria decided finally to Hellenise the Jews, setting up his altar in the Temple and provoking the Maccabean revolt, Roman power was rising. Mattathias killed a Jew sacrificing on a pagan altar, and the Greek official enforcing it, and his sons led the revolt and became rulers and high priests in Jerusalem. Jews interpreted this as God acting to defend his people. Arch of TitusThey celebrated the festival of Hanukkah yearly to remember, and read of it in the books of the Maccabees.

The Israelite covenant with God had been that the people would obey the Torah, and God would look after them. In 63BCE, Rome conquered Jerusalem and made the Jewish kingdom a client state; and in 6CE Augustus placed it under direct Roman administration. God would set the Jews free if the Jews kept their part of the Covenant; but the Messiah, a military leader, had not come. So, the temple worship was untrue, the Essenes said. The Pharisees devoted themselves to keeping Torah. Jesus prophesied that the Jews would revolt, and the Romans crush them: his new concept of the Kingdom of Heaven was the law of Love and non-violence.

In 66-73 the Jews rose. They fought among themselves as much as against the Romans, because of differing interpretations of how Jewish behaviour would please God enough that he would rise up and defend them. In 70AD Titus destroyed the Jerusalem temple. In 132, Simon Bar Kochba led a second revolt, put down in 135 with the expulsion of the Jews from Jerusalem. The Jews preserved their identity as a people through obedience to Torah, despite dispersal and persecution.

Religion may be abused, but at its best inculcates disciplines, practices and a sense of community which is good for humanity. Beware magical thinking, that God will look after me if I perform acts pleasing to God, unrelated to practically achieving my goals. The pictures are of the Arch of Titus, commemorating the removal of temple treasures to Rome.

Historical Jesus

Tom Wright, photo by Gareth SaundersN.T. Wright, former bishop of Durham and now at the University of St Andrews, says we may find a rounded portrait of Jesus, a full personality, from the historical documents. To Wright, Jesus considered himself Messiah in a new way, unlike that expected by the Jews at the time though a development from Old Testament thought; Messiah, rather than “second person of the Trinity”.

Between the Jewish concept of Messiah in 1AD, and the Christian concept in 100AD (he finds “CE” patronising) he finds Jesus, doubly similar and different to both. The Gospels seem a credible step between. In the Gospels, Jesus says cryptically what later Christians may say clearly. His clearing the Temple of the sellers is a claim to Messiah status, as are his conversations afterwards, if we may puzzle them out: when the Lord comes, says Zechariah (14:21) there shall no longer be traders in the house of the Lord of Hosts on that day.

What is the purpose of the apocalyptic language? “You shall see the Son of Man descending on the Clouds”- is this a prophecy of the Second Coming, the Rapture of Christians into Heaven, or the end of the laws of physics? No, says Wright. Rather it is, among other things, an elaborate metaphor-system for investing historical events with theological significance. Jesus predicted war with the Romans, which happened in 66-70 with the destruction of the Temple, and 135 with the expulsion of the Jews from Judah. Daniel’s apocalyptic similarly referred to incidents in the Maccabean period.

What is the Messiah? The strongest current in Jewish thought at the time was that he would lead the Jews to military victory. All would worship on the Holy Mountain because the Jews told them to. This remains current- I read once that if the Messiah came he would be a fighter pilot. Other currents led towards Jesus’ intent, to lead the Jews into a Kingdom of Heaven by escaping the cycle of violence. “I desire mercy not sacrifice”. This confusion is found in Zechariah, where Wright claims Jesus found much about his role: The Lord of Armies will devour Tyre by fire (9:3-4); yet there are hints that Heaven does not come by military victory. In 13:8-9, two thirds of the people will die, yet the remainder will be the People of God. Here, Heaven comes through defeat. As in the Gospel of Thomas, the Kingdom of Heaven is here, now, as Jesus speaks. It is a new way for people to be, one with another. It remains our job to create it, here.

I thought the Bible shows the history of our learning about God, and Rowan Williams gives this example. In 2 Kings 9-10, the prophet Elisha anoints Jehu King over Israel, and Jehu murders the household of Ahab and Jezebel, the king and queen. This is seen as God’s Will. Yet in Hosea 1:4, the Lord condemns Jehu for that bloodshed. As people see more of God, Love and Mercy come into sharper focus.

Feminine men

Renoir- femme assise au bord de la merRenoir, jeune femme assiseAfter writing my own post, I googled “Feminine men”, and found this post on Thought Catalog. The comments from women are encouraging in that they all agree, but discouraging in that they say things like People often think I’m really weird when I tell them all this and I know no one who is like me too.

Then I found Love Red Nails, first “Women marrying feminine men“. The writer talks of wanting her partner in a dress for the wedding. They often share clothes. Out came my internalised femme-phobia: it is alright for a man to be feminine, but cross-dressing is going too far, I thought. I resented her mentioning this, thinking it made a lovely idea tawdry and fetishistic, even though I express myself female all the time. Trans women are encouraged to distance ourselves from transvestites- it sometimes seems we are more acceptable if we have a “medical condition”.

It is about sex. Of course it is. How could finding a partner not be? But it is also about relating to the world as a whole, in all of life. That I should still think of dressing feminine as a dirty little fantasy shows how pervasive femme-phobia is. I read what the male commenters have to say on both these posts, and feel they shouldn’t be saying these things, they should keep quiet about it, even as I begin to say the same myself. All my fear comes out. I clicked Submissive men and read Sensitive or submissive men are very different from normal (sic) guys in their behavior. What’s normal? People are like this! What is the feeling about camp v “straight acting” gay men atm?

Then Lucy writes about women who like feminine men, whether  they are cross-dressers or are “on the passive side and not afraid to be vulnerable”. Um. Passive. Vulnerable. Not well regarded, and not comfortable even for me. That physically delicate and vulnerable type of man gives me a sort of protective instinct. I just want to hold him tight and keep him safe from the big bad world. I never decided to be that way, it’s just what comes up in response to what I see around me. That is what I want in a woman, though it makes me ashamed. I still feel I should be stronger than that.

I don’t read much contemporary fiction, but am unaware of a novel in which a couple where the woman “wears the trousers” (not an attractive phrase; better than “pussy-whipped”) have a happy lasting relationship. Or on the telly- Stuart on LA Law, perhaps.

The Wall St Journal, no less, says “Women don’t want macho men” when their countries have good health-care systems, because the masculine man is more likely to get divorced, and less good with children. In passing, the female writer suggests the feminine men are more likely to get cuckolded- which is part of the femdom fantasy.

Also, there was Youtube, a series of pictures of men in “women’s” clothes, some of them growing or mimicking breasts, some not.

I want to say, How fantastic! Liberation! But I am still ashamed and frightened, and want to keep quiet about it. Is that “feminine”?