I fell ill on Thursday night. To make a long story short, I fell asleep at the table in the middle of a dinner party, and Benedict Ambrose woke me up an hour later, rather worried. I seem to remember being led to the sitting-room and some business with my shoes, and I definitely remember the cab because the driver had been mugged some months previously and talked about it non-stop, in a Turkish-Scottish accent, addressing B.A. throughout as "pal."
That night B.A. had a dream that I had been buried under an avalanche. In the dream, there had been a landslide and tons of earth and stones had crashed through the roof of the Historical House, engulfing the couch in the living room. Finding me gone, B.A. had rushed through the sitting-room to dig through the dirt. He dug and dug, but couldn't find me. However, he was greatly relieved because this meant I had not been buried by the avalanche.
I was greatly touched to hear that B.A. had had an anxiety dream about me and also that in his dream he worked so hard to rescue me.
The comments on Ryan's post over at Ignitum resemble an avalanche themselves, and they make for depressing reading. I read blogs by men, of course, but I don't read "men's blogs", so I found the conversation simply bewildering. It made me unhappy, and I don't quite understand why some of my readers were in there swinging, lifting metaphorical chairs over your heads to crash them down on the arguments of young men who kept droning on about female submission and clothing.
Why waste time on such men when you could be reading hep-cat Andrew Cusack's blog, I ask you. Alternately, you can have a giggle at the goodhearted Young Fogeys at The Chap. For political hijinks and naughtiness, there's the lovable old millionaire-rogue Taki. I enjoyed the witty witterings of Benedict Ambrose so much that I married the man.
One antidote to being enraged by the sermons of soi-disant pious boys is to find witty boys too smart to gas on about women to women. And it is your duty to find such antidotes because this whole battle between the sexes thing is a result of the Fall and we should keep out of it as much as possible.
Saint Edith Stein--and by the way, if you have already read my book, or even if you haven't, and you can afford only one book, you must buy her Essays on Woman--loved men. Such male friends who managed to survive both the First and the Second World War--not exactly a given for German men, to say nothing of German Jewish men--testified to this. And her love for men, as well as women, is quite evident in Saint Edith's own writings and in her devotion to her great professor Edmund Husserl.
This did not mean that Saint Edith put up with any nonsense, however. When it eventually became clear that Husserl was not interested in her own work and that being at his beck and call was interfering with her work, Saint Edith stopped working for him. She loved her great professor, but she wasn't going to sacrifice her own considerable gifts to serve the Cause of Edmund Husserl. That wasn't what she was called by God to do.
I think it also significant to point out that Saint Edith, who loved the company of her fellow students--mostly men--so much and was so bereft when her great friend Adolf Reinach was killed in the First World War, came to desire above all else the life of a Carmelite nun. This was in part due to the personality of Saint Teresa of Avila, but mostly because of Saint Edith's deep spousal love for Christ Jesus.
A woman who chooses to live as a religious is not turning her back on men but is embracing a man, the Son of Man, who is both God and man, with all her heart and soul. Saint Edith meditated on the great dignity bestowed on men in the Incarnation, when the Son chose to take manhood upon Himself. Of course He took on humanity, but there is no getting around the fact that He chose to live this humanity as a man. (And Saint Edith meditated on the great dignity on bestowed upon women at the same time, when Mary said "Yes" to God's invitation to become His mother.)
And when Saint Edith considered the situation of men and women in the modern world, the modern fallen world, she acknowledged both the strengths and weaknesses in masculinity and femininity. She also acknowledged that individual men and individual women have both masculine and feminine characteristics in a greater or lesser degree (although men-in-general tend towards the masculine and women-in-general tend towards the feminine). She praised the strengths, and she warned against the weaknesses, and among the weaknesses were a general masculine desire to tyrannize and a general feminine passivity in putting up with it. (And of course some women do tyrannize in a masculine way, and some men just put up with it in a feminine way.)
To be on "men's side"--and Saint Edith would be horrified by the idea that women would not be on "men's side" or that men would not be on "women's side" or that women would club together against men and vice versa--does not mean to be on side with masculine sins. And to be on "women's side" does not mean to be on side with feminine sins, which include sloth and self-indulgence. Any man who tells a woman not to worry her pretty little head about something is encouraging sloth and self-indulgence, especially in women like me because if I don't have to worry my pretty little head about something, I am frankly relieved.
Long-time readers will have read all this before and have figured out that I think Saint Edith Stein is a wonderful model for women today. One aspect of Saint Edith that I really admire is that she could argue for women's full flourishing--and men's full flourishing--without an ounce, jot or tittle of bitterness.
Of course, she never made much of an attempt at humour. The saint was a writer, but she was not a blogger. She was serious, careful thinker.
Okay, so I have presented you with links to witty men very much worth your reading time. Why don't you girls list and share links to witty male bloggers you admire? Who's clever? Who's fun? Who convinces you through his writing that men really are the caffeine in the cappuccino of life?
Update: Ryan apologized. Should I buzz along over there and accept on your behalf?
Update 2: A very sensible post at Babes in Babylon. One of the problems with our over-sexualized, over-chatty world is that many people think they can ask each other outrageously personal questions. And, sadly, many people think they must answer them.