My husband bought me The Complete C. S. Lewis Signature Classic for Christmas and I just began reading Mere Christianity. The first 2 paragraphs of the first chapter caught me immediately (heck, the preface had me wanting to write a post).
Every one has heard people quarrelling. Sometimes it sounds funny and sometimes it sounds merely unpleasant; but however it sounds, I believe we can learn something very important from listening to the kind of things they say. They say things like this: “How’d you like it if anyone did the same to you?”-“That’s my seat, I was there first”-“Leave him alone, he isn’t doing you any harm”- “Why should you shove in first?”-“Give me a bit of your orange, I gave you a bit of mine”-“Come on, you promised.” People say things like that every day, educated people as well as uneducated, and children as well as grown-ups.
Now what interests me about all these remarks is that the man who makes them is not merely saying that the other man’s behaviour does not happen to please him. He is appealing to some kind of standard of behaviour which he expects the other man to know about. And the other man very seldom replies: “To hell with your standard.” Nearly always he tries to make out that what he has been doing does not really go against the standard, or that if it does there is some special excuse. He pretends there is some special reason in this particular case why the person who took the seat first should not keep it, or that things were quite different when he was given the bit of orange, or that something has turned up which lets him off keeping his promise. It looks, in fact, very much as if both parties had in mind some kind of Law or Rule of fair play or decent behaviour or morality or whatever you like to call it, about which they really agreed. And they have. If they had not, they might, of course, fight like animals, but they could not quarrel in the human sense of the word. Quarrelling means trying to show that the other man is in the wrong. And there would be no sense in trying to do that unless you and he had some sort of agreement as to what Right and Wrong are; just as there would be no sense in saying that a footballer had committed a foul unless there was some agreement about the rules of football.
Now, Mere Chrisitanity was written in 1952. I imagine if it was written today it would look far different. But this is reasonable and right. Having said that, doesn’t this sound awfully familiar? Especially the first paragraph? Here Lewis talks about The Natural Law or Human Nature, but using these same and similar words today, in an effort to sound completely reasonable, women and not a few men use these same tactics to defy human nature. To redefine what it means to be Man, Woman, Married, Mother, Father, etc. This redefinition coupled with these arguments listed here (to maintain that sense of normalcy) is what Rollo Tomassi refers to as the Feminine Imperative.
Today, this is the new normal, this redefinition of what is “Human Nature” (or rather what people think human nature should be). Only it’s no longer Human Nature, it’s Social Conditioning. We now have people saying women are the same as men minus biology (forgetting that hormones and so much more also constitute biology), that men have finally found their feminine side but are now lacking in chivalry, that marriage is a partnership, with the woman leading of course, and so, so much more. Only since it is the new normal, and it is discussed in the same way Lewis laid out here, people can’t see it for what it is. Anything but “normal”.
Here’s the interesting thing about this new “normal”. Most people, even if they can’t put voice to it, know that something is inherently wrong with it. And since they can’t put voice to it, we see arguments just like Lewis outlined in the latter part of the second paragraph. We see excuses made or appeals to why the situation is different.
We rarely see anyone say, “To Hell with your standard“.
The standard today is false. Any appeal to circumstances or special situations will be used and manipulated against you. The only way to argue is to reject all their premises to begin with, because they are false. Do not argue to their standards. It is a waste of time and less than useless. And. ironically (or not), when you do this with women (done well, of course) they become enamored of you. Who are you to tell me I am wrong?! It’s like a magnet.
If you’ve spent any amount of time around the alt-right or the manosphere, you know this is changing. And since the Truth will always win out, instead of arguing that their standards are, in fact, the truth, these people are attempting to shut up anyone who rejects their standards. It strikes me that only people who know they are standing on shifting sand will do this.