Her Highness Denise responded to my description of ‘way back then’ in post 1216—Respect for Women Before Feminism. She added the following.
“I was so touched by this post. I know it was not meant to be sentimental, and I didn’t take it as such; but this was the best picture of classic American society, ideals and values that I have ever read–through high school, college, and law school.
“I’m having difficulty knowing how to describe what exactly moved me–maybe it was finally reading a credible account of what exactly helped this society to become what it is…and hopefully will continue to be. Perhaps it is that the educational institutions of this country tend to be very cynical, and this post shows that cynicism to be false. They say that the more formally educated a person becomes, the more they tend to lean left. I can’t argue with that statistic, but speaking from what I have seen and experienced, it may have a lot to do with the picture of this country that is often presented: hateful, racist, sexist, oppressive, violent. And the more that picture is thrown in one’s face, the more one believes it must have been true. After all, very few of us were actually there to be able to know how it really was.
“It’s like having to make a judgment about America without knowing what actually happened. The conservatives make their arguments that it was one way, the liberals their arguments that it was another. Most on both sides come across as too ideologically driven to be trustworthy. But this concept of respect is compelling as a lens through which to view the social dynamic of yesterday’s American culture. “It’s like having to make a judgment about America without knowing what actually happened. The conservatives make their arguments that it was one way, the liberals their arguments that it was another. Most on both sides come across as too ideologically driven to be trustworthy. But this concept of respect is compelling as a lens through which to view the social dynamic of yesterday’s American culture.
“My great aunt was an African American woman who was a nanny and housekeeper for a wealthy family for years, who made her enter through the back door, cook their holiday meals without regard for her time with family, and paid her a pittance. Her story could be analyzed through either a feminist or racial lens with respect to her limited opportunities. And yet she carried herself with such class and was revered by myself and other family members as being worthy of the utmost respect. When she was alive I often wondered how it could be that those who are now considered to have been the most oppressed and victimized carried themselves with more dignity and self-respect than those who now have more liberty. That itself ought to be the indication that something has gone awry.
“I have two women friends who graduated from college in the early 1960s. They told me about how utterly different things were then and all the rules girls were subjected to (to which the young men were not). But neither complained. One said that while she appreciates the greater opportunities for women now, she felt that women were more protected then. Neither claimed that things were perfect, but something needn’t be perfect to be “better”.
“It seems that, on the whole, man, woman, black or white (child, chicken or duck…), “everyone” had a degree of self-respect and an understanding of the necessity of treating others with respect that we simply do not have today. I see that respect is key, and yet I don’t quite understand where it went. What exactly led to people disrespecting themselves and one another?
“P.S.—Sorry for the dissertation! I was very encouraged by reading [post 1216]. It provides a clear picture for me of what to pray for regarding our country. And moreover, it has revived my former political sensibilities, long wilted under the heat of politically correct liberalism.”
Having revived her question, tomorrow with post 1720 I’ll answer this: “What exactly led to people disrespecting themselves and one another?”