I warned her as graphically as I could that she was already well down the slippery slope leading to poverty and misery—that, as I knew from the experience of untold patients, she would soon have a succession of possessive, exploitative, and violent boyfriends, unless she changed her life. I told her that in the past few days, I had seen two women patients who had had their heads rammed down the lavatory, one who had had her head smashed through a window and her throat cut on the shards of glass, one who had had her arm, jaw, and skull broken, and one who had been suspended by her ankles from a tenth-floor window to the tune of, "Die, you bitch!"As a general rule, "I can look after myself" is a reliable signal that the individual uttering the phrase is not only incapable of looking after himself, but also lacks the judgment to realize that he cannot.
"I can look after myself," said my 17-year-old.
"But men are stronger than women," I said. "When it comes to violence, they are at an advantage."
"That's a sexist thing to say," she replied.
A girl who had absorbed nothing at school had nevertheless absorbed the shibboleths of political correctness in general and of feminism in particular.
"But it's a plain, straightforward, and inescapable fact," I said.
"It's sexist," she reiterated firmly.
A stubborn refusal to face inconvenient facts, no matter how obvious, now pervades our attitude toward relations between the sexes. An ideological filter of wishful thinking strains out anything we'd prefer not to acknowledge about these eternally difficult and contested relations, with predictably disastrous results.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
She can take care of herself
Let reason and experience be silent when a young woman's feelings gainsay their conclusions: