Well, guess what. I lost it a bit on Jeff myself. I have asked the moderator to take down my comment, as I wrote in anger and now don't think my comment was helpful. I do think there is a link between patriotism and how you feel about the women of your country, but suggesting Jeff is disloyal to America was not the way forward.
Neither is matching his gross generalizations about Polish women with gross generalizations of what Polish men might think about American men looting Polish women particularly helpful. I mean, what do I know? I was in Poland exactly twice. Possibly 98% wouldn't care less, and I just happen to know examples of the 2% who would throw fits.
Reading Jeff on the subject of Poland, Land of Good Wives was very annoying, and made me wonder "Is Poland the new Japan?" For a long time, Japanese-American women have written about their abject annoyance in being hit on by white men with an "Asian Fixation." I am wondering what Polish women would think of American men who assume they are all beautiful homebodies with no ambitions save to make their husbands happy and successful. However, Jeff is just one American man, just as his pal's extremely attractive (in Jeff's point of view) bride is just one Polish woman. Jeff's theories seem to be based on exactly one successful romance.
I think it would be rather funny if some besotted Scot decided that Canadian women were obviously the greatest women on earth, based on the fact that I and I alone landed his fellow Scot B.A. and seem content to stay in the house, writing for peanuts and occasionally doing housework instead of working in the Royal Bank of Scotland, let alone running it.
Saint Edith Stein was a phenomenologist and therefore hoped anyone who heard or read her thoughts on men and women would compare them to his or her own experience. I think I would add that it would be best to do this in a spirit of tranquility and charity. Saint Ignatius of Loyola stressed listening to people's arguments in a spirit of charity. "Spirit of charity" and "internet" don't really go together, however. It is just so easy to sound off from the surface of one's thoughts.
At this point y'all are going to be tired of Jeff and wonder if I have a Jeff Fixation. Jeff is just one guy, and since he seethes that women at work laugh when he shows them the work of Mrs Dale Carnegie and doesn't seem to factor in how this behaviour is inappropriate in the workplace, he's not a guy many of us would think great marriage material.
However, from what I have gathered from life and readers, there are a lot of angry men out there who spin theories about what women want and who women should be. Someone should sit down with them and same something like, "Women are who we are and not who you want us to be."
Whether men like it or not, most women are conventional. We spend our lives trying to please people whom we love or who give us rewards for pleasing them. We generally believe what we are told, and we often turn out a lot like our mothers. Therefore, if we live in societies where we are told we need to study hard and dream big and get jobs and think of our careers, that is what we are going to do. If our mothers enjoyed working outside the home, we're going to work outside the home.
Things get interesting where our faith communities clash with the dominant culture of our societies. If you're a Roman Catholic woman, you notice that the values constantly hammered home by television, especially its absolute obsession with physical pleasure (sex, eating, driving fast cars), are not the same values stressed by your faith. Your priest might not be condemning birth control from the pulpit, but he's not cracking sex jokes, either. At least, I hope not.
Given that, since 1963 in particular, there has been such an astonishing moral decline in western society (albeit with a wonderful progress in civil liberties for women and people of colour living in the west), Roman Catholics who actually live according to the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic faith have become increasingly out of step with the dominant culture. To be honest, a lot of Roman Catholics have simply caved in to this and that worldly tenet. The highest profile Catholic couple in the UK, Tony and Cherie Blair, are on record as having contracepted throughout their marriage, and Cherie has pointed out how few big Catholic families there are these days.
Thus I can see how Roman Catholics who still live according to Roman Catholicism would be tempted towards a kind of separatism and a rejection of many of the cultural currents of the post-1963 era, and even use a copy of Mrs Dale Carnegie's "How to Help Your Husband Get Ahead" as a litmus test of femininity. However, I don't see how helpful it is to come across as absolutely insane.
Let's face it. To be persuasive, we are just going to have to sound more intelligent, more amusing and more pleasant than we might usually be. And making sweeping generalizations about men and women, Americans, Poles, Japanese et alia is not particularly intelligent or pleasant, although it may be amusing.
At this stage the discerning reader will say, "But what about you, Seraphic?" And I will hold up my hands and say, "Guilty as charged." Yes, I generalize about men all the time. That's the thing about blogging: the blogger paints with wide brush strokes, hoping to at least sketch out truths. And the fact that men are not women and don't think or act or communicated just like women is a pretty basic--if widely ignored--truth.
I can only say what I think and hope you compare what I say to your own experience in a spirit of tranquility and charity. And I hope I blog in a spirit of tranquility and charity. This is why I was so mad at myself yesterday for losing it at Jeff and the way he deals with his loneliness.
I see, however, that Jeff has taken it in stride. Oh well, maybe the woman of his dreams really is awaiting him in Poland. If he's lucky, she'll be great at making Polish soups. Me, I love Polish soups. And there is a certain joy in learning how to pronounce "SZCZ" all as one sound.