By DabiJo Avia
November 20, 2020 - Several years ago I found myself writing a romance novel. Up to that point, romance was not a genre I had ever read, preferring science fiction or fantasy when I escaped between the pages of a book.
I spent a year studying the genre, reading about 500 books that first year, taking notes on character development, storylines, plots and characters that arced between a series or multiple interconnected series. In the midst of that study I joined the Romance Writers of America and the local chapter, The Greater Seattle Romance Writers.
My first exposure to other authors and the publishing industry was at the annual conference the Chapter hosted. At the time it was the largest Chapter conference in the United States and drew international attendees.
One of the interesting statistics shared at that conference was that more than 50% of all publications fell into the romance genre; that figure also included newspapers and magazine sales. This was just a few years before the e-book explosion, and as e-books became more popular this share of the market grew, as the cover of a book was no longer in display for all to use to judge the reader.
In my study of the genre, I noticed that the hero of every story was a strong manly man. A man who, even if he was physically lacking, still had great character, treated a woman and society in general with respect, knew who he was, allowed the heroine to in some cases discover who she was, but always allowed her to be the very best expression of herself. He was a man who may have shied from love, but once he found “his” woman, would die protecting her.
He surrounded himself with like-minded men, and if manipulated into going against his character still tried to protect the innocent even as he sacrificed himself for others. He may or may not have been a military man but he was always of noble and honest character.
I'm sharing these thoughts because of how society currently views manly men, and the way that feminization of men has been shoved down our throats. The fact that romance book sales feature so high on the charts tells me that women crave that sort of man in their lives, regardless of what media and society claim. All that is food for thought; I hope it inspires.
In the stories our culture tells and uses to teach, we have been taught that the “bad guys” wear masks. Be it John Wayne chasing after the stagecoach robbers who wear bandanas and hats pulled low, or the masks that concealed their faces in the horror-inducing sagas of Jason Voorhees and the mentally unstable Michael Myers who hunted down the innocent, we have used the mediums of song, written and visual narratives and tales to teach that you can tell the bad guys because they wear masks to conceal their identities.
Yet today, the lessons we have been taught and teach have been turned upside down. The “good guys” - those who are healthy - are being mandated to wear a mask, to conceal their identities. The “good” - the healthy - are being told they are “bad”. The truths we have taught for years are suddenly being flipped and this distorted and fluid redefinition is being used to spread and enflame fear, panic and division.
Through these media and through courses presented by law enforcement we have been taught that when the “bad guys” kidnap, the first thing they do to escape detection and conceal those who have been taken against their will is to quiet them, to gag them in some way - be it a physical gag or by taking away their voice by incapacitating them. In the movie The Matrix, the main character Neo discovers this silencing tactic in his first meeting with Agent Smith and his friends.
The instinctual response when someone is being forced to do something against his or her will is to fight back, to scream as loudly as possible, and to attempt to get away. Self-defense courses teach that if you allow yourself to be shoved in a car your chances of escape go down exponentially.
Yet today, the “good guys” - those who are healthy - are being mandated to wear a mask, to muffle their voices (in an attempt) to shut them up completely as they are led away against their wills. Instead of being shoved in a car, they are confined to their homes. Reports, rumors of the Chinese government welding people into their apartments in an attempt to stop the spread of CV (coronavirus) flash across the news boards. Was it really CV they were incinerating or was it something else?
In every child-rearing manual - from Dr. Spock to Dr. Dobson - when disciplining a child, one of the most effective ways to modify behavior is to separate the child, to give him or her a “time-out” and when released, to speak with the child about why he or she was separated from the others. If this does not modify the child’s behavior then taking away an activity or a privilege that he/she values is the next step, until in some cases physical punishment is used (i.e. skipping dinner, a spanking, a longer grounding or “time out”, or taking away of privileges) is mandated and enforced.
Today, these same discipline tools are being used on the “good children” while the “bad children” are allowed to run free, and under the cover of darkness encouraged and rewarded, even praised for the destruction they cause.
An interesting comparison has been made to the behavioral mandates that are being pushed today and The Biderman Report of 1956 which reviews the Communist Coercive Methods for Eliciting Individual Compliance and compares them to current COVID mandates.
Thanksgiving - a singularly American holiday that celebrates the founding of a Nation unlike any other on earth - along with the celebration of our Independence and the statues and memorials that remind us of our hard won freedoms are being attacked, and the attempt is being made to “cancel” them. The laying of wreaths on the graves in our national cemeteries, and ceremonies and the acts that remember and honor those who have secured our freedom are all arbitrarily being canceled; but if you understand that the attack isn’t on the observance, but rather on what it honors, once again the asinine and illogical makes perfect sense.
All that we can do is continue the good fight.
May Blessings and favor be upon you and your family.
By DabiJo Avia