He Conquered Through His Tears

In an article on The Myth of the Macho Christ for Patheos (here), Simcha Fisher writes quotes a correspondent who complained about her definition of masculinity. They wrote,

If an affinity for babies and not having sex is manliness or courage or masculinity then some anemic nerd virgin gamer who babysits his cousins on the weekend is literally more manly and masculine than Achilles or Alexander the Great or Gengis Khan, since they fornicated.

To which Fisher replies,

In charity, we’ll overlook the facts that Alexander the Great almost certainly had sex with men, and is best known for sitting down and crying,

Before proceeding to prove her correspondent wrong in his, or her, definition of what masculinity really is.

I agree with Fisher that Alexander ‘almost certainly had sex with men’ although I would limit their number to either one (Bagoas) or two (Bagoas and Hephaestion)*.

She is, however, is quite wrong when she says that Alexander is ‘best known for sitting down and crying’. Not even the village idiot would say such a thing. I suspect she is thinking of Achilles here, although I don’t know The Iliad well known to say how much time he spends sitting and sobbing. Having said that, I don’t think anyone in their right mind would say Achilles’ greatest claim to fame is the amount of tears he shed. Fisher has created a parody in order to make a point. In charity let’s say that on this occasion her memory of Alexander and Achilles both fooled her. It’s a great shame as the rest of the article is, in my opinion, a good one.

* On that point, see this comment

Categories: Of The Moment, On Alexander | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “He Conquered Through His Tears

  1. Most idiotic article and don’t know how Fisher is such an expert on manliness or any other topic. Please stick to facts as this will be relevant not theories or ideologies.

    Like

  2. Achilles refuses to participate in battle after Agamemnon threatens the one thing most important to him – his honor. Although by modern standards, someone may see this as sulking or hypersensitivity, his behavior was rooted in a deep devotion to the Homeric code. Achilles did literally “cry” profusely after the death of Patroclus, who was considered his closest companion. However, his despair was intertwined with a profound rage that led him later to slaughter many Trojans, including Hector. Achilles was characterized by his extreme emotions, both in sadness and anger.

    Nice article. Always look forward to your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for that, Patrick; so, Achilles is not afraid to cry but it has a particular context. This makes me think that Fisher’s characterisation of him as a kind of ‘cry-baby’ is absurdly simplistic.

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  3. Achilles refuses to participate in battle after Agamemnon threatens the one thing most important to him – his honor. Although by modern standards, someone may see this as sulking or hypersensitivity, his behavior was rooted in a deep devotion to the Homeric code. Achilles did literally “cry” profusely after the death of Patroclus, who was considered his closest companion. However, his despair was intertwined with a profound rage that led him later to slaughter many Trojans, including Hector. Achilles was characterized by his extreme emotions, both in sadness and anger.

    Nice article. Always look forward to your posts.

    Like

  4. I wonder if the author of this article realized that by giving crying Achilles & Alexander as an example, she actually proved the point opposite to one she espoused. Achilles & Alexander had no doubt whatsoever about their manliness so they wasn’t afraid to cry.

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  5. blazeaglory

    Alexander hid his tears with the blood of the conquered!

    hows that for manliness? haha

    Like

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