As men pursue women, however, they come to develop a more robust appreciation of what women have to offer them beyond physical beauty and sexual gratification. They become more exposed to the various feminine virtues—things like kindness, compassion, selflessness, loyalty, tenderness. And the more decent men encounter “the imperishable beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit,” as St Peter calls it, the more they come to value this inner beauty over raw sexuality.
This jumped out at me, because I am of a generation of men that would not identify women with qualities like kindness, compassion, selflessness, loyalty and tenderness - certainly not when it comes to their personal relationships with men.
But all of this raises the question of how we define masculine and feminine virtues. And it seems to me that to qualify as one of these two conditions need to be met.
The first is that the quality should be characteristic of that particular sex. So if we say that courage is a masculine virtue, then we should expect that many men will have that particular quality, particularly relative to women.
The second is that the quality should be part of how we define what it is to be a man or a woman. The quality, in other words, should make up part of what we perceive to be the essence of the masculine or the feminine. We would therefore want men or women to deliberately cultivate these qualities so that they are able to play their necessary masculine or feminine role in society; so that they can reach fruition as men and women, successfully embodying their own created nature; and so that they can stand fully inside their own spiritual nature as a man or a woman and have that completing sense of genuinely feeling "this is what I am meant to be".
To give an example of how this works, there was a scene from Australian reality TV in which a group of people were sent to live in the African jungle. The women arrived first at the isolated jungle camp and saw that the open air beds were arranged in two circles, the inner one closer to the fire and the outer one bordering the jungle itself. The women immediately expressed fear about sleeping close to the jungle with its wild animals and hoped that the men would agree to sleep protectively in the outer circle.
This did not make the women seem to be lacking in feminine virtue, because we do not instinctively believe that courage defines a woman the way it does a man. We would not respect the women less, as women, for wanting to be physically protected this way. But if a group of men had been fearful and had urged the women to sleep on the outer, then we would have taken this to diminish their manhood.
So, to get back to Pastor Fiene, we have to ask whether his list of feminine virtues meets both criteria I outlined above. The answer, in my opinion, is that some of them do, but only with conditions applied.
It's easier to begin with the qualities that don't meet the criteria. The most obvious one is loyalty. There is no doubt that men would like women to be loyal and to cultivate this quality in themselves. But it just does not seem to me to be characteristic of women - it is a quality that is far stronger in men. So it fails to meet the first criterion.
In what ways do women fail to show loyalty? If you have ever worked in a female environment, you will know that there are women who seek in-group conformity by turning on some hapless member of the group and making them persona non grata. It can be demoralising as a man to watch this play out precisely because of the breach of loyalty on display. In personal relationships, too, many women appear by nature to be serial monogamists who find it difficult to retain attraction for one man over the course of a lifetime.
To say that loyalty is a feminine virtue is likely to blind men to the difficulty of maintaining a system of monogamous pair bonding. It seems more truthful to recognise that civilisations arise when men are strong enough to keep women within a system of marriage and family. The Roman historian Tacitus, witnessing the decline of the family in his culture, praised the Germanic tribes in this regard:
Much better still are those tribes in which only virgins marry and where marriage is performed only once for a wife with a hope and a vow. Thus they take only one husband, in this way both being of one body and life, lest there be second thoughts or belated desires, so that the women love not so much their husbands as their married state.
Tacitus here recognises the difficulty of women remaining loyal to their husbands in a personal sense, but thinks that if women are not given the opportunity of "second thoughts or belated desires" that they will at least stay committed to their married state (hat tip: David Grant at Social Matter for the translation).
And what of kindness, compassion and tenderness? The problem here is that women show more of these qualities than men in some aspects of life, but less in others. For instance, the best women do show these qualities when it comes to the care of their children, of the elderly and of the sick. But they do not show them when it comes to their husbands. It has been noted at the red pill websites, correctly in my experience, that it is a considerable error on the part of husbands to seek support from their wives for troubles they are experiencing, as their wives are likely to lose attraction for them, sometimes disastrously so.
It's important to make this distinction, because men should know, realistically, that it is not in women's nature to love their husbands compassionately. However, I do agree with Pastor Fiene that kindness, compassion and tenderness for children, the elderly and the sick are feminine virtues, both because many women do have these qualities and because it is a defining aspect of the feminine (i.e. if a woman did not show these qualities we would think that she was not meeting an aspect of her own feminine essence).
So, despite my initial scepticism, I do believe that Pastor Fiene has correctly identified some of the feminine virtues.
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