Superversive Blog: the Age of Nagging

My lovely and talented wife has written an eye-opening column, and one that explains much of the madness of modern moral hypocrisy, now that we live in the Age of Nagging.

Read the whole thing:

The Victorians are renowned for their hypocrisy—but you have to shoot high, to have noble standards, to have whole portions of society bother trying to pretend to live up to them. And for all those who only pretended to be virtuous, or Christian, or caring, there were those who actually did live up to these noble goals. Those who helped fight slavery or poverty or a thousand other ills.

The Victorians might have been judgmental, but they valued rationality and carried themselves with dignity.

They had the virtues of their vices.

Not so the Neo-Victorians (Neo-Vics for short), by which I mean this new brand of social do-gooder that is so popular today. Like the Victorians, they make a career out of rushing around and trying to improve things by pushing their noses into other people’s business. Unlike the Victorians, they are totally lacking in dignity.

They do not have the virtues of their vices.

But there is another way in which the Neo-Vics are like their predecessors. Victorian women are famous for their delicacy. Women of earlier eras did not faint away at the sight of a mouse or at an uncouth word. (Pioneer women, for instance, did not faint away at anything.) Nor did the ladies of, say, Queen Elizabeth’s day.

Fainting spells and hysterics came from two things: one, tight corsets—not a problem we have today. (Thank, God!) Two, hysterics were a way to show disapproval. If one fainted away at the very mention of something, men at least had to keep it out of the drawing rooms.

Sadly, we are seeing that again today.

Colleges used to be a place where people went to confront daring ideas and learn from them. Now, even 2000 year old Ovid’s Metamorphoses is so objectionable that students are demanding that they not be asked to read it unless the university provides them with atrigger warning, to prepare them ahead of time for the vile humanity reflected within.

But is it really a trigger warning they need…or smelling salts?

My comment: The tight corsets things is a myth, by the way. Victorian women fainted because they were proud of their delicacy, in order to be proud of the manliness of their menfolk.

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