Here is a good example, from the Huffington Post, of a modern Eloi woman: a psychotherapist who responds to her young son’s naturally boyish play by wondering where she “went wrong”. (As one commenter remarks, it’s as if she sees her normal boy as a “defective girl”.) In particular, she is horrified that he might be interested in guns. I’d have thought that, as a psychologist, she might have engaged in sufficient introspection to examine her own hoplophobia, but I suppose that’s hardly realistic.
The safety and security that make possible this young mother’s pacifism and loathing of weapons are luxuries she enjoys only because, to paraphrase Orwell, “rough men stand ready to do violence on her behalf”. She acknowledges this in passing, but clearly it is not the sort of thing she would want her own boy to have anything to do with; presumably her defenders are of another species altogether, and are no mother’s sons. The “very thought” of guns evokes in her no recognition of the essential role they play as a means of safeguarding her family from the predatory evil that is always at large in the world. It evokes only emotion: “a wave of sadness and despondence.”
It is as if she thinks that weapons create the violence within us. Rather than confront and understand the stubborn and comfortless truth of our nature, she prefers instead to fetishize the artifacts it has created, and imagines that by rejecting these potent objects, she can transform human nature itself.
I’m glad, of course, that she and her child are able to feel so secure in their home. It would be nice, though, if she had some appreciation of what makes this so — and some measure of respect for the sort of people who will fight and die to preserve and protect her blithe existence, and for the tools they must use to do so.
What is gratifying, however, about this article is the near-unanimous criticism, in the comment thread, of the author’s ideological enthrallment. Perhaps the wind is changing.