Sunday, August 24, 2008
Direct from Harvard of all places, Harvey Mansfield presents us with a full-throated defense of manliness in his new book, Manliness (no subtitle!). Mansfield recently took questions from a female fan (NRO Editor Kathryn Lopez).
Men, in Full
Harvey Mansfield, the man, on Manliness.
Lopez: What's your one sentence definition of manliness?
Mansfield: Manliness is confidence and command in a situation of risk.
Lopez: How deeply has feminism wounded manliness? I'd hate to see manliness fall, wimp-like, victim to little old aging bra burners.
Mansfield: Feminism abolished the idea of femininity but only wounded manliness.
It claimed and still claims that women can be as manly as men, but on condition that manliness is redefined in the direction of womanly sensitivity. Manly men did not fight back because they are not in the habit of fighting women, and because we all believe in democratic equality.
Lopez: Can liberals be manly?
Mansfield: Liberals are often manly, as when they take up the cause of the poor and the weak. But they have sold their souls to the feminists and do not know how to espouse manliness.