October 31, 2021
In response to the post by Andrei Piriutko about masculine virtue.
My maternal grandmother was a product of the Deep South, having grown up on a plantation near Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana. Yes, there was a good bit about that culture than was awful, but there was much that should be cherished and admired.
Deeply embedded in that culture was a tradition of courtesy, which was not reserved for friends but was extended to strangers and, even more importantly, to adversaries and even enemies. For all of the racism that existed, it was all but unheard of in the true Deep South to be rude to a person of color. Only "poor white trash” did that kind of thing, and they were rude to white people as well, so…
She taught me the root words that went into the definition of "gentleman.” It is, she said, a person who is gentle and who is a man. In those days being a man had a very well defined meaning, among which was strength, courage, and the absolute dedication to protecting women from any kind of harm.
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