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Just dropping by ... The gender trend

Yevet Tenney for Progressive Dairyman Published on 29 June 2018

Recently, I saw a picture of the new male trend in fashion. The two men were wearing high heels, long coats and dangling earrings and jewelry. Their man buns looked liked women’s fashions 50 years ago. What is this world coming to? I was suddenly glad I grew up in a world where there was no blurring of the genders.

The men and boys I grew up around looked like they grew up on the range. They wore cowboy hats, Levi’s Wranglers and snap-down-the-front Western shirts. Of course, they looked different on Sundays where they, out of respect for the day, changed their Western attire for a white shirt, tie and three-piece suits.

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These men worked hard loading hay, cleaning stalls and playing grease monkeys under the hood of old trucks or broken-down cars. They changed tires that were bigger than they were. They built long stretches of barbed wire fence, pounding posts through solid rock. They killed and skinned meat for the winter.

They sawed down snags in the forest and chopped it up for firewood. They planted gardens and worked endlessly in the blazing sun. Their Stetsons were stained with sweat and dirt. Their faces were weathered and parched. Their hands were calloused and stained from the grease and grime of labor.

They didn’t complain when things didn’t go their way. They simply went to work and solved the problem. If the problem was unsolvable, they put on new gloves and started a new plan.

These men treated ladies and the elderly with an awesome respect. They stood up when a woman entered the room and allowed her to go through the door first. They curtailed their rough language and carried heavy things for her. They always removed their hats in the presence of a lady.

I know these men knew a woman was strong enough to do so-called men’s work. After all, she bore children and raised them through seemingly insurmountable adversity.

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They knew she was totally capable of killing her own snakes, but they did these services because they adhered to the rules of conduct fostered and passed down through the ages known as the Code of Chivalry. Of course, it was not memorized and quoted but was instilled by example of fathers and brothers and taught by mothers. The code went something like this:

  • “To fear God and maintain His Church
  • To serve the liege lord in valour and faith
  • To protect the weak and defenceless
  • To give succour to widows and orphans
  • To refrain from the wanton giving of offence
  • To live by honour and for glory
  • To despise pecuniary reward
  • To fight for the welfare of all
  • To obey those placed in authority
  • To guard the honour of fellow knights
  • To eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit
  • To keep faith
  • At all times to speak the truth
  • To persevere to the end in any enterprise begun
  • To respect the honour of women
  • Never to refuse a challenge from an equal
  • Never to turn the back upon a foe”

Knights Code of Chivalry

This code of the knights became the code of the West and lasted into modern times.

Girls, when I was growing up, were schooled to be elegant and refined. They were taught manners and etiquette and learned to walk and sit with dignity and grace. They learned how to speak and dress in a delicate, modest manner. A woman’s virtue was valued above jewels.

They mastered the art of homemaking. They could set a banquet table with china, crystal and silver and care for infants and children. Were they taught education was important? After all, women were to teach the coming generation. Children were taught exacting rules of respect. Some of these rules included:

1. When any adult, excepting your parents, entered the room, you would stand up …

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2. You would always vacate a bus or train seat for a woman or someone in senior years. You would also offer them your place in a queue when alighting a bus.

3. You would never leave the table without seeking permission first. In fact, you would usually not even bother asking; in the ’50s, most would eat as a family and leave the table together.

4. “Please” and “thank you” were compulsory and, unlike nowadays, if you didn’t say it, it wasn’t a case of the adult saying what an impolite young child you were after you’d left; they would tell you face-to-face.

5. At school, every teacher was referred to as “sir” or “madam” and, upon entry into the classroom, everyone would stand and unanimously say, “Good morning, sir.”

6. If you wore a hat … you would take it off if you met or you were talking to a lady.

7. “I want” were two ‘no-no’ words; it was always “I would like” or “may I have” (followed by the mandatory please and thank you, of course.

8. You would always open a door for someone, a woman or adult, and allow them entry or exit before you.

9. “Speak when you’re spoken to,” another expression us oldens often say. You would not normally make the first comment other than to ask how a person was; you would sit politely when you had guests and wait for the question – and that was usually based around your schooling.

10. Walking down the street, if you saw a lady struggling with her shopping, you would offer to help, even if that meant going out of your way to take them to her home.

Growing up in the 50's and 60's

Times have changed. Rules of etiquette or chivalry have been abandoned. Somewhere, someone decided women didn’t need special treatment, and the cry of women’s liberation rang from every corner. Women demanded equality in every aspect of life.

We heard it in songs; we saw it in movies and in the workplace. Oh, I know it was supposed to be about equal pay for equal work but, gradually, we saw it take over society.

Many men became paranoid women would be offended if they opened a door or extended the common courtesies they had learned in their youth. Their sons grew up having no example of chivalry to follow, and every day we see the consequences.

Disrespect and confusion is rampant in our society. Many young men have become so confused they don’t know what their role is. Perhaps some are even ashamed of their desire to protect. Others have become so mentally unstable they can walk into a school or public place and annihilate women and children.

Now women have equal rights, but that is not enough. It seems our society wants to make men into women. Gender is the buzzword. Fashion designers have jumped on the bandwagon. Movies portray women as insensitive, brutish creatures who are more brutal than men of war. They not only kill their own snakes, they kill fellow human beings, seemingly without regret.

I know Hollywood is not real life, and there are many good men and women who carry on the tradition of family and gender roles, but I worry about the trend. I am not saying we need to go through specific gender training, as we did in the ’40s and ’50s, but I worry about those children who are being schooled in transgender propaganda while they are still too young to make decisions about sexuality.

God didn’t intend for there to be one gender. He made it clear in the creation. He made male and female in His image. Are there men and women with gender issues? Certainly, and my heart goes out to them. I recognize it isn’t an easy fix, but I take exception to making it everyone’s problem by changing the mores of society to fit the needs of a small percentage of people.

If we change God’s patterns to fit our wants, we are inviting calamity and heartache for our children now and in future generations.

The blurring of the genders is a blatant attack on the future of the human race, and it will never solve the problem. It goes against nature. Am I saying women should be confined to the home and never seek a career, or men should be cowboys? Certainly not. I am saying we need to respect the laws of God in gender-specific ways, or we will be in grave danger of losing the family.  end mark

Yevet Crandell Tenney is a Christian columnist who loves American values and traditions. She writes about faith, family and freedom.

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