One of the unintended consequences of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, was the dashing of feminist hopes to make America a gender-neutral or androgynous society. New York City's fireMEN dared to charge up the stairs of the burning Twin Towers, and the firefighters' death tally was: men 343, women 0.
It is a testament to their courage and skill that many thousands of people were successfully evacuated despite mass confusion. The fewer than 3,000 office workers who died were mostly trapped above the explosions and could not have been evacuated under any scenario.
The feminists had made repeated attempts to sex-integrate New York's fire department through litigation, even though the women could not pass the physical tests. They even persuaded a judge to rule that upper body strength is largely irrelevant to firefighting.
Sept. 11 called for all the masculine strength that strong men could muster. Firefighting is clearly a job for real men to do the heavy-lifting, not affirmative-action women.
President George W. Bush sent our Special Forces to the rugged and remote Afghan hills and caves to get the terrorists, dead or alive. Fighting the Taliban is a job for real men.
When the national media interviewed some of our Marines, one of our guys said, "There's no place I'd rather be than here." America is fortunate that the warrior culture has survived 30 years of feminist fantasies and that some men are still macho enough to relish the opportunity to engage and kill the bad guys of the world.
Watching the war pictures on television, we almost expected to see "High Noon" sheriff Gary Cooper or John Wayne riding across the plains. I suggest the feminists go to see the new movie "Black Hawk Down" and reflect on the reality that women could not have done what our men did in Somalia.
For several decades, the feminists have been demanding that we terminate the discrimination that excludes women from "career advancement" in every section of the U.S. armed forces, assuring us that hand-to-hand combat is a relic of the past and that all our wars will now involve only pulling triggers and pushing buttons. Tell that to our troops who trudged overland mines and jagged rocks where there are not even any roads.
In the '80s and '90s, the feminist assault on the right to be a masculine man became increasingly obvious and hostile. It was not just a semantic parlor game when they insisted that the words manly, masculine and gentleman be excised from our vocabulary.
The feminists are playing for keeps. They attacked the right to be a masculine man in the U.S. armed services, the kind of man who would rush into a burning building to save a woman or search the Afghan caves for Osama bin Laden.
The feminists have intimidated our military into using a training system based on gender-norming the tests, rewarding effort rather than achievement, and trying to assure that females are not "underrepresented" in officer ranks. It's bad enough that men are forbidden to question the double standards or preferential treatment given to women; it is dishonorable to induce them to lie about it.
The feminists have used the courts to try to criminalize masculinity. Feminist lawyers first created judge-made law to expand the statutory definition of sex discrimination to include sexual harassment, and they now prosecute sexual harassment on the basis of how a woman feels rather than what a man does.
The feminists' attack on the right to be a masculine man is in full swing at colleges and universities. Feminism is a major tenet of political correctness, and the female faculty are the watchdogs of speech codes.
Subservience to feminist orthodoxy on campuses is not only mandatory, it is nondebatable. Women's studies courses and many sociology courses are tools to indoctrinate college women in feminist ideology and lay a guilt trip on all men, collectively and individually.
The feminists use Title IX, not as a vehicle to ensure equal educational opportunity for women, but as a machete to destroy the sports at which men excel. Since 1993, 43 colleges have eliminated wrestling teams, 53 have eliminated golf, 13 have eliminated football, and the number of colleges offering men's gymnastics has dropped from 128 to 23.
The feminist battalions are even on the warpath against the right to be a boy. In elementary schools across America, recess is rapidly being eliminated, shocking numbers of little boys are drugged with psychosomatic drugs to force them to behave like little girls, and zero-tolerance idiocies are punishing boys for indulging in games of normal boyhood such as cops and robbers.
Of course, when you wipe out masculine men, you also eliminate gentlemen, the kind of men who would defend and protect a lady -- like the gentlemen who stepped aside so that, of the people who survived the sinking of the Titanic, 94 percent of those in first-class and 81 percent of those in second-class were women.