middle-class, altogether alien to the established schools andnchurches that for decades have purported to uphold traditionnwhile in fact selling out and flaking out before everynnew fashion of decadence and socialism. The idea thatnAmerica might find renewal from a melange of movementsnof evangelical women, wetbacks, Dartmouth Review militants.nSouth Asian engineers, Bible thumpers, boat people,nMoonies, Mormons, Cuban refugees, fundamentalist collegendeans, Amway soap pushers, science wonks, creationists,nKorean fruit peddlers, acned computer freaks, andnother unstylish folk seems incomprehensible to many observersnwho do not understand that an open capitalistnsociety always finds its salvation from the last perpetuallynbecoming first.nIn America, no one is required to go to the LibertynBaptist Church or watch The 700 Club. But the movementsnOld Adam, New Even(continued from page 9)nWhat answer can we make to those who will neither discussnnor debate their plans to drag an entire society against thengrain of human nature? Early in this century, Ortega hadnanother set of intellectual totalitarians in mind when hendeclared: “If anyone in a discussion with us is not concernednwith adjusting himself to truth, if he has no wish tonfind the truth, he is intellectually a barbarian.”nBarbarians, as C.P. Cavafy pointed out, have their uses.nThey are a constant reminder of how much a civilizationnstands to lose. Fifth-century Athens was full of depictions ofntheir hero Theseus’ struggle against the Amazons. ThenTheseum, the Stoa Poikile, and the Parthenon all portrayednthe struggle of Greek civilization against the upside-downnworld of Amazons. It was even chiseled into the shield ofnPheidias’ monumental statue of Athena.nThe Amazons played an important part in the Atheniannnational myth. The Athenians, grateful for their deliverancenfrom the Persians, expressed their struggle for civilizationnin a series of powerful metaphors: gods against giants,nlapiths against centaurs, Athenians against Amazons. Ournown Amazons have set themselves even more defiantlynagainst everything vital in our civilization—our religion,nthe remnants of a chivalrous code of honor, our literaturen(thoroughly sexist), even our language. But while Theseusnand his comrades were probably real men and the Amazonsnfictional beasts, our own Amazons are all too real. It is thenmen who have become fictional.nIf feminists in their rage against the truth were onlynintellectual barbarians, all might turn out well in the end.nOur civilization will be one with Nineveh and Tyre, butnempires have folded up before now. When the RomannEmpire collapsed in the West, it was only a matter of 1,500nyears or so before Europeans rediscovered amenities likenindoor plumbing, regular baths, and an effective postalnsystem.nBut the feminists have a grander program. Vandalizing ancivilization is not enough. The very idea of sexual equalityn(man-woman) strikes deep at the roots of human naturenitself The age of chivalry was gone long before Burkenthat these institutions represent and promote provide thenbest hope for American democracy and peace, capitalistnprosperity and progress. Ironically enough, it is the socallednreactionaries who offer the best prospects for continuednAmerican leadership in the world economy in the newnera of accelerating technological change. Just as the nuclearnfamilies of Western Europe unleashed the energies of thenindustrial revolution, so the new miracles of modernntechnology are created and sustained by the moral disciplinenand spiritual incandescence of a culture of churchesnand families. In families, men and women routinely makenlong-term commitments and sacrifices that are inexplicablenand indefensible within the compass of secular hedonistnvalues. Modern society, no less than any previous civilization,nrests on the accumulated moral and spiritual capitalnembodied in the rock of ages.npronounced his famous eulogy, but the age of husbands andnwives, mothers and children—what name do we have for itnexcept the age of man, the human age?nAll this twaddle about sensitivity and equal rights, whatndoes it come down to? A rebellion against what we are,nwhether you believe that “what” was declared by God or isnthe accumulated product of millions of years of evolution.nAnd what is the male response to the lesbians and playgirlsnwho wish to elevate the consciousness of their wives andndaughters? It is somewhere between enthusiastic assent—n”take her, she’s yours”—or polite “I beg to differ.” Mostndecent men are simply not prepared to give feminists thentreatment they deserve. They could be our sisters, daughters,nor—God help us—our wives, gone off the deep end forna season. They’ll be back.nMany of them will be. Giving birth has an odd way ofnturning brats into women. But what will they be comingnback to—the new sensitive male? I sometimes wonder whynthey should bother. The problem with women does not lienwith women but with men; with men who were so afraid ofnwomen that they wouldn’t consent to educate their daughtersnproperly until education meant job-training, withnbusinessmen who think it’s good business to have anneconomy based on two-income families, with the all-nAmerican boys who refuse to grow up and accept fullnresponsibility for a wife and children, and with the newnsensitive males that once upon a time we would have callednsissies.nIn the old days, when the ladies withdrew from the tablenand men knew the comfort of old port and strong tobacco,none of the first toasts offered was inevitably: “Gentiemen, Ingive you the ladies.” In that same spirit, I dedicate this issuento the patient women of America, and this essay, written onnthe day after her birthday, to my wife and the mother of mynfour children.nnn—Thomas FlemingnJUNE 1986115n