Luckily, it was a near-miss -- unluckily, a "near-miss" in tornado language is the equivalent of weathering an entire hurricane . . . in ten minutes. That means tons of clean-up, debris removal, and repair. How much? Take a look at her site for a lovely pictorial review of the fun.
Now, this wasn't intended to be an attempt to inspire sympathy and assistance for LadySadie -- she's got matters under control. As a matter of fact, she's aggressively against being a victim, even of Nature. What really inspired me to write this post was her recognition of some key elements of the importance of gender roles, especially in a time of crisis.
The disaster sparked the usual rural-Midwest community effort of neighbor helping neighbor restore and repair (the Southern version looks very similar, except with more Sweet Tea and biscuits), and LadySadie's beau had a crew of friends and neighbors descend on the damaged farm to help with the monumental task. This isn't raking leaves -- this is the safe dismantling of twisted metal and splintered wood, using power tools, saws-alls, chainsaws, axes, hammers . . . basically stuff most Vassar grads are unfamiliar with. It requires teamwork, coordination, skill, competence, and clear hierarchy to get the job done.
That means Men.
Now, LadySadie is no wisp of silk and fluff, she's no fainting flower, and if left to her own devices I have every confidence in her ability to handle her business in a crisis better than the average dude, easily. Indeed, the desire to actively assist in the work must have been overwhelming. Moms hate a dirty room, and when the whole farm is dirty, well . . .
In any case, LadySadie is in a solid Red Pill relationship, and she's very aware of such things as the importance of the division of labor in a time of crisis. So when the Menfolk showed up in trucks with implements of destruction and a determination to remove every scrap of debris in sight, she didn't grab a chainsaw and try to join them . . .
. . . she went into the kitchen with her daughters and made sandwiches.
Now, while the few feminists who happen across this blog recover from your head exploding, Lady Sadie is not a mindless little domestic drone. As she tells me herself,
I found it fascinating to watch the work take place, and the efficiency of the whole operation was just short of breathtaking. There wasn't any reason for me to by in the way, and while I can use a chainsaw and a saws-all, I am far more effective at being the care-taker. Now that the major debris is removed and [the Beau] is back at work, I can go with my girls and rake the splinters, pick up glass and nails and replant the garden where it was damaged.
She's highly competent, and highly capable. And she's so intelligent that she recognizes when female interference in a masculine endeavor is counter-productive to the goal. Sure, she wanted to help. But she's been around farms, around men, all her life, and she knows how men work.
And men work best when there are no women around. Further, Men work best when there's no women around . . . until lunchtime.
Sometimes you can "overlook" a woman, ignoring her presence to the point where you almost forget she's there - if she's quiet. But even then the feminine presence can be felt by the group, and while they might approach the male-only level of efficiency, even having a woman watch them slows men down. If a woman is talking to them, no matter how efficient they might appear they have actually slowed down their work. If a woman is attempting to help them, unless they have worked in that capacity before and she knows her shit about tools and tool safety, and how to work in a male-oriented work party, then the efficiency is broken along with the concentration on work.
There's a reason that the meme of construction workers whistling at passing women is a part of our culture . . . and has been since the Pyramids were built. When men are involved in a male-only, masculine exercise like construction, demolition, defense, or hacking code, then they revert to the base-level of masculine culture in an effort to find common language and streamline efficiency. As such, group objectification of passing women not only encourages genuine bonding among the men (sorry, ladies, we're really just that way), it also allows a brief emotional break from the intensity and focus of the work . . . and a natural point at which to resume.
That seems like a minor thing, but taking that away from men (as feminists want to do in pursuit of a "non-sexist" world) would be the functional equivalent of allowing women to work together without being able to discuss their relationships with each other. No, really.
Instead of trying to "help", LadySadie and her daughters went inside and prepared food and other refreshments for the Menfolk. And they stayed the hell out of their way. That wasn't a humiliating demotion to domesticity on her part, it was a conscious and appropriate decision to contribute to the effort in the most powerful way she could: by supporting the existing masculine organizational structure both materially (food) and emotionally (Caritas-lite, Cheerleader variety).
As LadySadie related to me in a private email,
I don't know exactly how to state this, but there seemed to be a big boost of respect for [the Beau] from the other men because I was there doing the meals and staying quiet and out of the way.The respect that LadySadie detects is genuine, and it's not because her Beau is adept at keeping his woman quiet and in the kitchen. The respect is the honest tribute due a man who has managed to build a relationship strong enough with a woman so that she respects HIS need to handle his manly business, with the implied reciprocal agreement that he respects HER need to handle her womanly business. They aren't giving him respect because he's being oppressive, they are paying him respect out of admiration for his ability to build a sturdy House.
If the issue was stuffing envelopes or making signs for an event -- social organization and promotion being usually more in the feminine realm than the masculine -- then those same men will further pay the Beau respect when he has to bow out of boy's night because "LadySadie needs my help to get ready for the parade tonight." They won't rag on him one bit: he has established his mature masculine credibility by demonstrating the strength of his relationship in public. After that, when your woman requires your aid, not providing it at need is going to get you a lot more crap from your friends than handling your relationship business.
Most women in the post-feminist era are scornful of such gestures, seeing them as an inherently demeaning assumption of traditional gender roles. The first time a young Mrs. Ironwood asked Papa Ironwood what she could do to help work on her car, she almost had a fit when he told her calmly, "Just stand there, be quiet and look pretty." But she learned quickly enough.
LadySadie, being wise and understanding of the Red Pill, knew that the visible support of women for men while they are working adds both incentive and validation of their effort. Men thrive on female gratitude for honest, hard work done on their behalf. Indeed, if it is lacking in quantity . . . then so will the man in question be.
LadySadie points out that while she and her girls were being helpful and supportive, a couple of the men who had graciously donated their time, tools, talents, and trucks to help were repeatedly harassed by text or phone by their wives. Each text or call doubtlessly slowed down the effort. When men are working, we like to WORK, without interruption or distraction.
The amusing thing about post-disaster cleanup in my town is the number of "strong, independent" women who are "perfectly capable" of doing "anything a man can do". When the feces hit the fan, these women tend to divide into two rough groups: the larger "Oh, God, why isn't anyone helping me?" victim group whose answer to the crisis is to try to call a commercial tree-removal service and then complain bitterly when they can't get out there in a timely fashion, and the "I can handle this myself!" group. In most cases, they demonstrably cannot.
(I'm not talking about lesbians here, for the most part. My town has a HUGE number of lesbians, I'm proud to say. The vast majority aren't man-hating feminazis or radfem Third Wavers, most are just women trying to live a normal life in a safe place . . . and my gods, the power tools . . . The lesbians I've worked with and had as neighbors have generally been broad exceptions to this rule, and most are knowledgeable enough of masculine modes of work that they can blend almost seamlessly in a job. I love lesbians.)
The objectionable women are the heterosexual dominants, usually divorced or married to Beta/Gamma schlubs, who feel that "if a man can do it, I can too" . . . and then they actually try, with little or no idea of what they are doing. I saw this repeatedly after Fran. I saw one woman rant, outraged, at the local Lowe's store because they hadn't stocked enough chainsaws, and actually insist on talking to a manager and filing a complaint with Corporate (which had also been hit by the storm) . . . on a store without power, without a roof, and which had graciously decided to open up in the parking lot to help with the crisis.
I watched another (sorry, Yankee) woman I knew dealt with her frustration of having a 150 year old pinoak tree neatly bisect her garage and her minivan during Fran by screaming first at the insurance adjuster, then at her husband, over why they couldn't "just call someone to deal with it!". They tried to explain that the destruction was so wide-spread that there was literally no one available to answer a phone in any shop because everyone was already out in the field, and the phone lines and power was down. She said that was ridiculous - it was business hours, wasn't it? Her entire attitude was that it was up to the rest of the world to fix her problem, and that she was inherently entitled to action on her behalf, regardless of the situation.
The adjuster fled -- the husband should have. She had steadfastly intervened in his developing any close friendships with other guys over the years, instead inflicting her own circle of divorced harpies and bitter, unmarried girlfriends on him. When she angrily demanded that he "call some friends to help", he had to admit - in front of me and a couple of other neighbors - that he didn't have any dudes he could call.
Don't look at me. I had shit to do myself, and there was no way I was getting in the way of that woman.
This is the funny part. In the end, the woman decided that she could handle the tree herself, because "none of you damn men are competent enough to do it!". After hacking her way through the branches to the minivan door, she got the car successfully started. The tree was suspended between the back of the crushed van and the garage, so she felt she didn't even need to secure it, since it was "attached naturally". Several of us tried to talk us out of it, but she dismissed us all as being both incompetent and attempting to undermine her "independence" as a woman.
So we watched with a mixture of amusement and horror as she drove the minivan forward twenty feet, pulled the pinoak canopy off of the garage . . . and caused the deadfall suspended within to take out her kitchen and about half of her dining room. Insurance didn't cover it, of course -- it happened after the adjuster she'd just pissed off had left, and she caused it. Because she was strong, independent, and didn't need a man's help.
If there is justice in the universe, that dude has gotten divorced by now.
She wasn't alone. Single moms and corporate spinsters are virtually helpless in the aftermath of disaster, dependent on menfolk for aid and assistance. All they can do, it seems, is beg, cry in frustration, and complain bitterly about the unfairness of things. The manual labor and tool-using ability they sneer at during good times suddenly becomes vital, but they have a hard time attracting it. Those who disparage men and masculinity during good times cannot expect to be subject to their masculine grace in bad times. Those who discourage masculine pursuits and solid male relationships in their husbands' lives have no right to expect their "males" to sudden become Men, just because the power is out and the roof is leaking.
Men built this civilization. Men can wreck it. And only Men can rebuild it.
Over and over again our modern world has shown how fragile it is in the face of such disaster, or terrorist attack, or random force of chaos. The sophisticated post-industrial civilization that allows women the luxury of feminism can be wiped away in moments, especially in an era of festering police wars and global climate change. How many feminists were running toward the Twin Towers on 9-11 when they were burning and collapsing, and how many were running away? How many former Boy Scouts were running toward them . . . and how many were running away?
We're all one meteor away from a paleolithic existence or worse -- and that's an inevitability, not a possibility. When the sky gods war or the earth goddess dances, when the human curse of zealotry or simple stupidity lays waste to our delicate civilization, it takes Men, doing Manly things, to bring us back from the edge of barbarism. Despite all the hoopla about the "civilizing" force of femininity, we'd all be holding our book clubs in mud huts, if women were in charge of building Civilization.
Gender roles are important at such times. When men are willing to toil and labor for the common good, they don't do it for money. Beyond their inherent altruism and civic spirit, they do it for the respect and honor they get from their male peers, and the affirmation and admiration they get from the women in their lives. If your dude has been out tearing apart the twisted remains of a barn in your yard, ladies, don't offer to "help". Instead, smile, ask if there's anything he needs, thank him and his buds for what a good job they're doing, and get the hell out of there.
And if he calls to you, "Hey, Babe, how 'bout fixin' me a sammich?", I can assure you that that's his way of saying "I love you, thank you, I aim to do you proud." He just doesn't want to say that in front of his dudes. It will break their workflow. He'll tell you later, when you're alone . . . and you can really thank him for his herculean efforts properly.
A man at work is always a hero in his own mind, and a Red Pill woman can impel him to even greater heights of heroism and dedication just by expressing gratitude, respect, and appreciation in a way he understands. You can criticize his efforts, or you can inspire him to go fight dragons on your behalf.
And hell. What woman could ask for more than that?