Yet again, as some of you may have heard, I’ve had to call for a duel of fists on account of a lady’s offended honor. Why, oh Lord, is it always me? Always. It’s always me who has to cause controversy and discord among otherwise harmonious groups. It’s not like I enjoy it. I wish I could be an uncontroversial man, but I’m stuck with myself. Whomever is at fault in the end, I’m stuck with myself. And while I can’t easily afford being cast out of the fellowship of like-minded, I’m also unable – I mean, it’s not within my wiring – to walk away from the sort of thing I witnessed without challenge.
What’s worse, this all happened in a Facebook group (which, for propriety’s sake, I wont name). My older readers may not understand the intricacies of online socializing, but for millennials, it’s become, for better or worse, the primary means of fellowship. Moreover, given the sparse nature of the like-minded, having an easy way to congregate has proven invaluable for beating off the depression and hopelessness plaguing the few remaining humans in modernity. So I ask you not to underrate the nature of it, however absurd it seems at first blush. A public offense in an online group is, sometimes, even worse (because it’s more public) than if it happened in a face to face encounter.
A group of southerners, formed for the purpose of discussing the prospects of southern nationalism and secession, and made up primarily of self-professing “Alternative Rightists” was plowing along with the usual lewd and low-brow humor so common in the Alt. Right. Now, I’m no prude. I understand, if not fully condone, their frustrated sentiments, and I can overlook a measure of it in the company of men. Cigars, swearing, and discussing the finer sex is for the back porch, after supper, when the ladies are inside having feminine conversations of their own (the content of which, we can only guess at). But in mixed company, especially around young ladies, gentlemanly language and courtesy ought to be our pride. Unfortunately, perhaps owing to the infamous “manosphere” movement, this wasn’t the case.
A picture of a half-naked woman was posted, along with lewd comments, causing one young lady to express outrage, and rightly so. She then unceremoniously left the group. The leader of the group – consequently, a friend of mine – posted another lewd image in the aftermath, declaring the men had done nothing wrong and implying the young lady was just another confused member of her sex, trying to break up the bonds of brotherhood by pitting us against each other.
I admit, I made a mistake at this point. I contacted the girl, whom I’d never previously spoken to, and, after apologizing on behalf of all Southerners, asked if she might not rejoin the group if I promised to fight the two men responsible for the pictures. Not thinking I was serious, she gladly approved. I say this was a mistake because after informing the group and laying down my challenge to the men, it essentially put *her* virtue on the line, as if she were the one causing all the ruckus. That wasn’t the case. The idea arose solely from my old-fashioned sense of propriety.
I was accused of being “quixotic” because, apparently, this young lady was a staunch Roman Catholic and wouldn’t be considering lowly protestants (like myself) for marriage. This response infuriated me because it assumed the only motivation I had in the matter was a desire to, well, “attain” the young lady’s favor (to put it in a far less crude way than was offered by the group). Yes, the girl is pretty, conservative, southern, and very Christian; how could I not be attracted to her? But romance, at least the amorous sort, is far from my mind at the moment (my readers know I’m struggling to establish myself financially and relationships with women, while always present in the mind of young men, are as far to the back of mine as possible).
Is there no other reason an old-fashioned southerner would be up in arms after seeing a woman dishonored? Is there no tradition among our people of fighting about that sort of thing? Had anyone else spoken up for her – a boyfriend, a father, a brother, or even a close friend – I, a stranger to her, wouldn’t have said a word. But none did. No one seemed to even recognize the nature of the offense. So, by the God I serve, I did it. I know these men know about Southern honor. They talk about it all the time. I know they’ve read books about it. I know they’re familiar with the social mores of our people, and yet, for all of that, they don’t recognize it when it’s staring them in the face. It’s outrageous!
I’m not frustrated for having to fight (if the two men ever get around to accepting the challenge). I do that gladly. Or, maybe I should say, I *am* frustrated I have to fight; I mean, I’m frustrated that a group of Southern men are so unfamiliar with their own identity the conflict had to reach that point.
But I’m a Southerner, with all the antebellum passions.
I don’t want no pardon, for what I was and am.
I wont be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.
(Note to my readers: Don’t miss the resolution of this ordeal; I’ve outlined the events briefly, here).