He Put Her Boots on Like Any Other Man

Oscar left a link to an article about a Wyoming homesteader named Elinor Pruitt Stewart. She is presented as an American heroine, but turns out to be more of a fantasy. Here’s the short version:

Elinor was born after the last Comanches had been sent to reservation. By her adulthood, the American West had been tamed, but not yet settled. After divorcing her first husband of three years she moved to Wyoming and took a job as a housekeeper. Then she married her boss. He built an add-on to his house so that she could live in it and pretend to be an independent homesteader. This pretension went on for years, as she hid the fact that she had married her boss, and that his family controlled “her” homestead; even after Atlantic Monthly began to publish her accounts. For years readers of her letter accounts were misled to believe she was single instead of married and supported by a husband and his family. According to those who published her letters: The greatest (conscious) threat to Stewart were coyotes; which are skittish creatures. 

She didn’t own her homestead. She didn’t build her house. She didn’t depend on herself. She didn’t fight off anyone or anything. She told lies that she homesteaded independently.

I will continue research, so please point me towards more historical books and articles.

Research Request: Fighting Frontier Women

In Texas, where I live, it is not uncommon for a man to speak of his wife as a crack shot, or even as a hot-headed gunslinger with an itchy trigger finger. Yet I have never detected a sense of obligation and responsibility which was attached to such boastings. What I mean is this: Suppose a man is away on business. While he is gone a burglar invades his home while his wife and children are there. If she hid, fired no shots, and in fact did not even make a peep: He would be fine with that as long as she was unhurt. If she ran, he’d be fine with that, too.

Afterwards, when nerves had settled, he or she might crack a joke that the burglars were “lucky” that she didn’t pump them full of lead. But in no way would the husband actually be disappointed in his wife because she fled and hid instead of fought. The reverse is not true.

Several times now someone has written in comments that frontier women were regularly expected to defend the homefront from Indians, bandits, and wild animals such as bobcats, cougars, and bears. I find the idea preposterous. It seems much more likely to me that frontier husbands either:

  1. Left their wives in trusted communities, i.e., near family, friends, or gov’t authorities.
  2. Expected their wives to flee/escape to safety.
  3. Foolishly hoped that danger never came.

So here is my request: Can anyone give me a historical account or source for the widespread notion that frontier men actually expected their wives to actually fight off dangerous marauders?

Real Men Make Riots Safe for Women.

That thought is at the heart of the the conversations about Ann Coulter’s decision to bail from Berkley. The idea that Real Men make _________ safe for women is a particularly effective seduction to use against men. It infers that he–who wants to be a Real Man–has the power and authority to do something about whatever circumstance some woman or women wants to be made safe so that she or they can participate. He usually doesn’t.

Enjoy the Reprieve, Fish

A week ago today I bought a house built in the Craftsman style. Previous owners kept it from structural ruin, but, over time, handyman repairs eroded the character. Broken drawers were nailed; wood floors covered in linoleum, then plywood, then more linoleum; two 3×5 light doors lost; a French doorway and wall haphazardly removed; built-ins demolished. The dining room was converted into a den, and the huge butler’s pantry into a small dining room; a breakfast nook into a closet for laundry and the water heater; the laundry room into a tiny back porch.

It all goes back…except the French doors and the wall between living and dining. That will be raised to match the window casings. Pillared knee walls with built-in shelves will bookend the new opening.

The back porch will be closed-in to go back to a laundry room, with ironing/folding table and cupboards. 

The butler’s pantry is large enough to serve its original purpose, and as a work area for homeschool and artwork. 

Some of the original flooring must be repaired, as well as several of the original double-hung windows. The wooden screens are missing, too. Everything needs four layers of paint removed and then repainted, doors re-hung, and drawers fitted. The bathrooms and closets are pitiful, and there is a room’s worth of space unused in the attic. The original shed probably needs to come down; though I do like the big rolling doors.

It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.

I will continue to write. Some time is free now which was not. Buying a house is a part-time job, and that’s done. Homeschool ends this week, thank goodness. Work always falls off in the summer. 

Fishing will suffer most.

Copping Out

A violent mob of Black Lives Matter activists attacked another speaker at another college, Claremont McKenna. This time it was Heather MacDonald; a writer for City Journal. She is also a colleague of a friend of this blog. No one was arrested, and it appears no on is going to be arrested.

CMC president Hamir Chodosh writes:

Based on the judgment of the Claremont Police Department, we jointly concluded that any forced interventions or arrests would have created unsafe conditions for students, faculty, staff, and guests. I take full responsibility for the decision to err on the side of these overriding safety considerations.

[…]

Blocking access to buildings violates College policy. CMC students who are found to have violated policies will be held accountable. We will also give a full report to the other Claremont Colleges, who have responsibility for their own students.

College policy? It violates the law! Why not say so? Because it’s code. It tells us there will be no legal action against the troglodytes who formed a mob and attacked a white  female academic. It is hard to think of a softer target.

Oh yeah, one more thing: Her talk was a defense of the police; the kind who refused to arrest anyone at CMC, and who consistently refuse to arrest Leftist terrorists all across the US.

We’re gonna need more Based Stickman.

Possible Projects

Recent discussion has prompted a couple ideas.

  1. People have wrote some things that I thought were flat-out silly and worthy of heckling. The problem with heckling in the comments is that it’s easy to read as harsh and snarky instead of good-humored ribbing. Much of that problem evaporates in audio. What if I recorded comment responses that were like mini bits; would that be interesting to anyone?
  2. RPGs are lousy with SJW crap. Just like a converged company, the games suffer from a series of problems which cause them to be bland, unbelievable, and uninspiring. To combat these problems game publishers have adopted coping strategies which are even worse: Some are full of un-fun nonsense that they hope no one will find offensive. Some have the idea of rules suppressed (rules actually provoke creative responses). Some just inflate character progression as if it didn’t rob from the future fun. I think I could do better, but I’m not a position to write out a whole setting or rulebook right now. And honestly I’m here for the feedback. I’m not writing to hear myself as some others do. Would anyone be interested in reading Cane’s RPG blog?

Let me know what you think in the comments.

But Mostly Cars

SFC Ton asked:

Hey Cane, have you given much thought on how immigration, the war on tribalism/ entho nationalism, integration/ desegregation etc has played a part in destroying traditional folk ways/ lead to smaller families and the like?

I have. The restriction of association does play a part in destroying cultures and subcultures. We speak of restriction of association–when we speak of it at all–as if one could only limit it within an ethnicity or other homogenous group. But when the government uses taxes and regulations to shove a business towards hiring a brown woman instead of a white man: That’s also a form of restriction of association; one that erodes the value of men’s labor.

Another way this restriction is done is by low-income housing programs which encourage poor minorities to move into white neighborhoods. Poor minorities bring their pathologies with them; blaring stereos, poor school performance, deteriorated houses, crime, etc. In turn this encourages whites to leave that neighborhood; taking with them their own pathologies of trust, neatness, and quiet. Spare me the equivocations, please. Old Man Jones’ overgrown and dilapidated property is nothing compared to the favela Senor Cardenas has piled up for his wife, kids, parents, Primo Javier, and Tia Rosa.

A similar thing happens in schools, too.

But I believe the main thing that drives social atomization is the mass production of cars.  Cars seduce a man into believing that if he moves across the country, then later he’ll drive back to visit. He won’t, or at least he won’t visit often.

A Question I Can’t Answer

If tradition is so great at inculcation, why don’t I know any actual traditionalists? Was there a rapture of all the traditionalists and no one heard? Where is the success? Where are the children of traditionalists?

C’mon: Anyone can call themselves a traditionalist. The most fervent apologists for tradition have been “traditional” for about five minutes. Is that a trustworthy source? Would a traditionalist find a tradition of five minutes trustworthy?