Gynocentrism, Fairness, and Morality

MRAs (Men’s Rights Activists) often say that feminism and traditionalism (patriarchy) are the two gynocentrisms of our time. The implication seeming to imply that gynocentrism is a bad thing and that traditionalists are “just like feminists” because they both are “gynocentric.” I would agree that both feminism and traditionalism are gynocentric and that indeed MRAs are about the only men around who are not gynocentric. It should be understood however that for a man to not be gynocentric is a very strange thing and a very bad thing.

For there to be any kind of social movement actually opposed to gynocentrism in principle is an extreme deviation from the social norm and from cultural history. Of course feminism is gynocentric because any widespread cultural value system is going to be gynocentric. Yes, feminism is a perversion and distortion of what gynocentrism is meant to be which is the source of feminism’s bad and destructive characteristics but gynocentrism itself is perfectly healthy and perfectly natural. Traditionalism or patriarchy is most definitely gynocentric as traditionalism is “traditional” and therefore “normal” and gynocentrism in the society at large is definitely “normal.”

MRAs will often say that feminism in its modern form was only able to come about due to the underlying foundational gynocentrism that patriarchy already had within it. Again, I agree with this completely. Feminism is patriarchy with a twist; that twist being service to women under women’s control rather than service to women under men’s control. Feminists promoted the notion that “true service” to women had to be based on women’s demands and women’s preferences; that what a man offers a woman based on his own value system and his own initiative necessarily is contrary to what is best for the woman if what the woman herself demands and requests is something different. Feminism has never claimed that service to women is bad or undesirable, it has only claimed that service to women is only “true service” when the benefit to the woman is determined and controlled by the woman. Within patriarchy there is definitely the idea that men serving women is good, within feminism there is also the idea that men serving women is good; the difference between patriarchy and feminism is who decides in what way service to the woman should be provided. Under patriarchy the man decides while under feminism the woman decides.

Gynocentrism itself is not in doubt; only how gynocentrism should be expressed is in dispute. The man serving the woman based on the woman’s demands is female supremacy. This is why feminism is female supremacy. The man serving the woman based on the man’s own value system and goals, what patriarchy is based on, is not really male supremacy and is not really female supremacy either; it instead is based on a form of equality. The man is expected to give to the woman but the man is giving to the woman to further his own goals and his own purpose so that the man’s service to the woman is also service to himself.

You will notice looking around that there are many men who support feminism and shun patriarchy just like there are many women who support feminism and shun patriarchy. One might see the reason why a woman prefers the female supremacy of feminism to the more fair system of patriarchy that came before. What man in his right mind however would prefer feminism over patriarchy? This brings us to the other side of feminism. Feminism is not just women telling men how to best serve women, feminism is also “women’s liberation” or “sisters doing it for themselves” or more bluntly the end of male responsibility. This end of male responsibility is the male side of feminism, why “feminism is good for men to” as feminists often say.

No man in his right mind will place a priority on serving women based on what the woman dictates to him, this can be seen by everybody as being intrinsically unfair. Feminists’ claim to moral legitimacy is “gender equality” and “gender equality” necessarily implies an equality of both rights and responsibilities (as feminists define the concept). The men in a feminist system will definitely point out the equality of responsibilities part, you can count on that. So feminism has its own version of equality between the sexes, that being no more male power and no more male responsibility both. This is how feminism brings men on board its agenda. The power hungry woman and the irresponsible lazy man form an alliance with each other.

Looking at the MRAs, what the MRAs have against feminism is that they feel that feminists are trying to impose too much responsibility and obligation upon men; that feminists are not honoring the male side of the feminist bargain, the part where women absolve men of their responsibilities in exchange for men giving up their power. According to MRAs feminism is unfair in practice due to the continuing tendency of feminists to still seek to impose responsibilities upon men to some degree. What MRAs want is “true gender equality” where male responsibilities are reduced almost down to zero.

Both patriarchy and feminism therefore have their own versions of gender equality; have their own vision of fairness. In patriarchy men have high power and high responsibility; in feminism men have low power and low responsibility. This is the fundamental difference between the two and the way in which both systems make the claim of fairness and therefore moral legitimacy. Gynocentrism is a part of both patriarchy and feminism; in both social systems the tendency is to focus on women’s concerns first. Only under the radical vision of the MRAs where male responsibility is to be abolished completely is gynocentrism itself challenged.

So the question will come up; if both feminism and patriarchy are fair to both men and women in their own way which social system is better? Maybe both systems can work according to their own understandings of the good life?

First off; let’s go back to basics. Why do relationships between men and women exist in the first place? To create and provide a good environment for children. Men do not exist for themselves and women do not exist for themselves and the dynamic between men and women is not just for the purpose of providing entertainment and pleasure to the man and the woman. Men and women together exist to serve children and in particular the romantic relationship between men and women is most definitely for the purpose of providing to children what the child needs. So let’s look at the feminist form of gender equality and the patriarchal form of gender equality from the child’s point of view.

Feminism is low male investment, patriarchy is high male investment. From the child’s point of view are these two alternatives equal to each other or is one better than the other and if one is better than the other which one is better? Look at it this way. Does the child want their parents to put a high investment into them or a low investment into them or does the child not care one way or the other? Obviously the child is not indifferent as to whether they are given a high priority in their parents’ lives or a low priority; the child wants to be given the best, the child wants to be a high priority. So, working backwards, a high male investment in the woman means a high male investment in the child as men invest in women primarily as an indirect means of investing in the child. Men give to women so that women’s resources are freed up allowing the woman to invest in the child. High male investment in women then leads to high parental investment in children; this being what the child prefers, what is good for the child.

So male investment in women and in the family is not morally neutral; it is positive. This is why feminism is fundamentally bad and why patriarchy is fundamentally good and why the MRAs are even worse than the feminists. Feminism is a corrupt and immoral bargain where the woman is allowed to behave in an immoral way in exchange for the man being allowed to behave in an immoral way to. Yes feminism is fair between men and women in its own way but that is irrelevant regarding the moral character and nature of what feminism is. Both the man and the woman abusing each other is fair but it is not right.

Patriarchy is totally different from feminism because patriarchy is based on high male investment in women rather than low male investment in women. This makes the patriarchal form of fairness right and good because not only is it fair it is also moral. It is fairness derived from mutual generosity and virtue rather than fairness based on mutual selfishness as is the feminist way. Also under patriarchy everything is ultimately centered around the needs of the child while under feminism children are often viewed as a nuisance and an obstacle to the adult’s “freedom” and “fulfillment.”

Gynocentrism is based on male investment in women. Since male investment in women is good gynocentrism is also therefore good. Gynocentrism does not mean women above men; it means women at the center of attention. Since men are the dominant actors in shaping what society is like when men focus on women’s well being as they should the society overall will tend to focus on women’s well being.

Gynocentrism, fairness, and morality all go together under patriarchy; under patriarchy all three of these concepts are joined together to form a greater whole. First the man focuses on the well being of the woman; gynocentrism. This leads the man to be in service to the woman; what is fair considering what the natural relationship of the man to the woman is in the first place. Lastly this orientation of male service to women is moral, the man creating a moral good that is directed to the woman and in turn given to the child and to the society at large.

 
References:

This essay was written in response to the below article:
Traditionalism is not Gynocentrism (and neither is Feminism)

Why Gynocentrism is Good

Advertisements

About Jesse Powell TFA

Anti-Feminist, MRA, Pro-Traditional Women's Rights Traditional Family Activist (TFA)
This entry was posted in Patriarchy, Philosophy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

85 Responses to Gynocentrism, Fairness, and Morality

  1. bodycrimes says:

    And when there are no children involved, or the children have grown up or died, what then?

  2. My operating assumption in my essay was that a particular romantic couple would have children and then the relationship between the man and the woman would be organized around the maximum well being of the children. This is like the standard model of relationships between men and women and it is what makes sense in terms of evolution and why men and women evolved to be the way that they are. I focused on this “standard model” in my essay to simplify things though I am aware not all relationships fit this “standard model” either because the children have grown up or because no children were born to the couple in the first place.

    The real key to the heterosexual relationship is male strengths empowering female strengths as part of female dependency on the man; the woman being dependent on the man so that the woman can focus on taking care of others rather than taking care of herself. The masculine strength is providing for others; both himself and his wife and his children and even the wider society overall in terms of the taxes he pays. The feminine strength is taking care of others; taking care of children being the most obvious way this feminine strength is expressed but in the absence of children other forms of feminine strength can be directed towards service to others in the community. A married childless woman can tend to members of her extended family, can do things for the neighborhood kids, can volunteer at the school or church or take care of the old, can perform volunteer service in any number of ways in the wider community. Some women in the past wrote novels or other kinds of books usually appealing to a female audience. You can think of a married childless woman as a free labor source who can direct her energies in any number of different ways.

    Looking at the statistics for the United States around 1900 it appears that about 80% of women had children and that 90% of women married; this implies that 10% of women never married, 10% of women married but never had children, and 80% of women got married and had kids. At the same time among whites only 3% of married women were in the workforce; this includes all married women no matter how old. These numbers indicate that the standard in the past was not just that married women with children should not work but that all married women should not work. Likewise when the duty of men to support their wives is mentioned there never is the caveat “if there are children to take care of.” The husband’s duty to support the wife is always presented as a blanket obligation regardless of whether a couple has children or not. In 1890 even single women were in the workforce only 37% of the time (among whites) indicating that family members often supported even a single woman financially.

    So basically the husband’s duty to financially provide for his wife is a blanket obligation whether there are children or not. I support this principle, that a wife is always entitled to be financially supported by her husband. The feminine strengths of the woman need to be honored and supported even in the absence of dependent children in the household; if the woman’s feminine strengths are not required within her family unit full time the wider community can certainly benefit from her one way or the other in which case it is the husband’s job to support his wife in directing her energies to the wider community in one form or another.

    • bodycrimes says:

      Some questions:

      1. What’s meant to happen to all the surplus women? There are more girls than boys born and not every woman can get married. Who takes care of them? Especially if they don’t have first degree male relatives.

      2. Are you aware that marriage has never been about taking care of children, but about the protection of property? The idea that it’s about love and devotion is a modern idea.

      3. Are women allowed to work in family businesses or on the farm and, if so, are they allowed to keep any of the profits? Or even in this instance does the man control all the money, as in the past?

      4. Will women be allowed to inherit property if they have sons, or will the property automatically pass to the sons, leaving her to depend on his charity, or not, as he sees fit? (As in the past.)

      • Hello, bodycrimes 🙂 All of your questions seem to indicate that you distrust men, but why should I trust feminists more than I trust men? A vast majority of women in the military have indicated that they do not want to go into combat, and yet some of them will be forced into combat roles against their will, because that is what feminists want. Feminists have shown total disregard for most women. Why should I trust them more than I trust my husband?

      • bodycrimes says:

        I’m glad you trust your husband. But you’re making a set of general, practical issues into personal ones.

        These are very real issues. Before the Married Women’s Property Act was passed, women were being left destitute after they were widowed, because of inheritance laws. And women who didn’t marry often ended up being burdens on their brothers, who had to face raising their own families, plus looking after dependent sisters as well. That’s if they had brothers. If they didn’t have first degree male relatives, they could be in serious, serious trouble.

        So I just want to know what the plan is to solve this.

      • mamaziller says:

        Answering some questions:
        1. Their fathers or the state: a state run by men.

        2. Marriage has not historically been about exchange of property if you take marriage to be the relationship between men and women where they commit to each other and to patriarchy. The piece of paper that the state lets you sign has been about property but that is a contract that that is the result of a long history with respect to marriage: that paper is not all that marriage is and that is not what marriage is at its core.

        Are you aware that not only upper class people committed to each other historically? Are you aware that marriage is and has historically also about access to sex, access to male labor and reproduction? Are you aware that even in Bangladesh today on one of the poorest streets in Dhaka there are hundreds of families. Typically these people are not legally married yet they are committed to each other and to patriarchy. And there is no property involved. They live on the public sidewalk the women care for children in the day and the men work and provide for their families. Their relationships work and last.

        What they have is marriage and it is based on patriarchy. Not love, not only money, or only sex, not property exchange.. but patriarchy. You are defining marriage too narrowly and patriarchy, male leadership and female submission is not about your definition of marriage it is about marriage as a working, lasting relationship between men and women. It is therefore about patriarchy. Marriage in this sense is patriarchy.

        3.They are allowed to do what they want. In a patriarchy the man controls all the money and his wife submits to him and does as he wishes (within certain societal boundaries).

        4. If a mother cannot trust the child SHE raised to care for her then we can both admit that something went badly wrong. She will not be depending on his charity but rather on how well or good she raised him. In this sense she depends on herself.

  3. The Radical One says:

    Thank you for this article. I feel that this is a perfect way of explaining things. I’ve said before that the whole “equality” idea needs to be scrapped and that is because of how mainstream men’s rights and feminist viewpoints are and the fact that people are always looking for some way to justify “equality” or put feminism and “equal rights” together even when justifying a traditional lifestyle. If more people could only understand what you are saying here in this article then “equality” wouldn’t have to be an issue. It’s just gone so far that people don’t even understand what they are advocating anymore when they say “equality.” Focusing on women’s issues (in a way other than the feminist self-serving way) is a good thing because how women are treated is ultimately how children will be treated and if relationships between the sexes are wrecked then children’s lives will also be wrecked so how men treat women is of utmost importance.

  4. Pingback: On Patriarchy, Chivalry and Fear | What's Wrong With Equal Rights?

  5. @bodycrimes: What I was trying to say was, feminists have been far more abusive towards women than men in the western world have been. Which isn’t to say that western men have always been perfect, but on average, western men treat women much better than feminists do. Many women have been left destitute since feminists started promulgating the notion that children don’t need fathers; many women have been left destitute since feminists lobbied to change the alimony laws. The damage you describe occurred hundreds of years ago; the damage I describe is part of our present reality.

    • bodycrimes says:

      You could be right. But this blog has laid a new option on the table: let’s go back to the world before the Married Property Act.

      OK, I’ll take that seriously. Let’s examine the proposition. Get down to brass tacks. I’ve listed some situations above. How will these things be handled, either in custom or in law.

      Take the problem of entailment in inheritance – where property was passed directly to the male heir, to ensure it could never be broken up. This meant, in effect, that widows could be turned out of homes that they had financially contributed to through the money they brought to the marriage. The series Downton Abbey is based on this dilemma.

      What’s the solution?

      • Sanne says:

        I would not base my knowledge of history on the popular TV series. I suggest reading this article:
        http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/2010/09/29/the-wrongs-of-womens-rights-ii-coverture/

        According to it, ‘A wife was entitled to inherit a third of her husband’s property, and this guarantee restricted the husband’s right to alienate this property, unless the wife was willing to sign away her dower rights’

        The eldest son iherited the title and the lands, but the widow got her widow part, which was determined by the wedding contract signed by both parties before the marriage took place.

      • mamaziller says:

        Support for or against patriarchy is not about defining a system where no problems exists. I could equally ask what is the solution to many unfair situations that take place in the current system that we live under.

        We are looking at patriarchy for what it is and comparing it to other systems. If we were living in a patriarchy and this was an issue then people would come together like they always have and vote on a solution that fits to their time and place.

        What you ask is not really the issue at hand or the point of this blog. The point is about patriarchy as a whole compared to other systems. There are and have always been issues in any given social order.

        what about the men paying child support for children they never see? what about the women who would like to stay home with their kids but can not afford to or can not find a husband who would willing support them? what is the solution to this? To me those questions are not valid attacks on feminism because any system will create such issues.

        The question would be which system has over all better effects on the individual and society.

      • any guy says:

        A question to consider before that is why you bring up this hypothetical concern when this is exactly what happens to divorced men today, at an exponential scale. That, in a nutshell, is gynocentrism, and you ladies can rationalize it as what’s best for society all you want. Here is what we hear in this debate: “this form of our self-centeredness is better than that form (feminism). That form has robbed us of the legitimacy of our rightful form of selfishness”.

  6. mamaziller says:

    I now understand what you mean by gynocentrism. You mean women focused from a male point of view. Okay in that case yes both are gynocentric. Men focus on women and women focus on children (and men).

    And yes the traditional system is a better version of gynocentrism. It allows and asks women to focus on children and their husbands where as the feminist version is more gynocentric or too gynoicentric as it ask both men and women to focus on women.

    feminism in theory can sometimes be bearable but never as good for society as traditionalism. Traditionalism benefits society by prioritizing children.

  7. Responding to Body Crimes:

    What happens to the surplus women? You mean widows, there being more women than men overall because women live longer? Today the issue of widows is handled by Social Security; there being a minimum Social Security benefit for everyone over 65 and for most people there being a greater than minimum benefit based on their husband’s lifetime earnings. Basically after the husband dies the wife gets the husband’s Social Security benefit. This seems to me to be a reasonable way for dealing with the support of widows.

    As far as coverture, my understanding is that at least during the later part of coverture, say around 1750, that the widowed wife got one-third of the husband’s estate as an inheritance. The wife’s right to this one-third portion even meant that the wife had to consent to the disposal of property within the marriage because if she didn’t consent she could “claw back” her one-third portion regardless of who the property may have been sold to. This one-third portion that the surviving wife got (the dower) would be the widowed wife’s independent property as a woman went from a feme covert to a feme sole after her husband’s death.

    Your claim that “marriage has never been about taking care of children” and that it was instead about protection of property seems quite far fetched to me. Hundreds of years ago ordinary people didn’t have that much property to be worried about or “to protect” anyways but the importance of committed marriage to support the raising of children is obvious. Also the claim that “love and devotion” is a modern idea seems made up to me. According to the canon law tradition of the Catholic Church, the dominant force in medieval Europe, marriage had to be based on the mutual consent of the two parties with nothing other than mutual consent required (other than the two parties not be related to each other by blood or marriage). One can speculate about a couple’s “true motivations” for getting married but again ordinary people hundreds of years ago were not rich and did not have much property to “protect” anyways.

    As far as women working in family businesses or on the farm; such as activity should definitely be discouraged if the woman is married. A married woman should not be working for money in any kind of serious way regardless of how the income of her household is derived; that is the husband’s job. As far as how coverture worked, the husband did indeed control and have ownership of the wife’s earnings to whatever extent she had earnings. Also the husband had to consent to any kind of employment contract the wife entered into.

    As far as the wife inheriting property, even under coverture in the latter stages of coverture the wife was assumed to inherit one-third of the marital estate to support her in her widowhood; this being property she would independently own and control as all unmarried women owned and controlled their property as feme soles. I don’t know what you’re talking about when you talk about inheritance automatically being passed to the sons instead of the widowed wife. Maybe it was custom for the widowed wife to get one-third of the estate and for the widowed wife’s sons to get the remaining two-thirds of the estate and then the sons were expected to support their mother in her widowhood with the portion of the estate they inherited. In that case the sons would control two-thirds of the inheritance and the widowed woman would control one-third. Maybe this would create dependency for a widow on her sons that she didn’t like. Maybe this is what you are talking about?

    Just in general, I will add, I see no problems with a single woman working. If the woman is single due to unfavorable circumstances, because she was widowed, then she should be supported if she still has significant family responsibilities such as children not yet grown up. How this support is to be accomplished might be a bit tricky. She could remarry, that would probably be the best route for her to secure support again. If the woman is single by choice because she never married in the first place I would see nothing wrong with such a woman working or being career focused hopefully in a field that uses her feminine strengths as a woman well.

    Also, I see nothing particularly wrong with government support as a means of supporting women in particular circumstances such as widows being supported by Social Security as is happening today.

    • bodycrimes says:

      Hey, thanks for laying it all out. That’s a lot clearer. Glad to hear that widows will be allowed one third of the properties they contributed to! Sounds completely fair. And totally overcomes the historical problem of entailment! (No, joking, it doesn’t really.)

      I’m still confused about a few things, however:

      1. The surplus women problem. No, I don’t mean widows. I mean women who didn’t or couldn’t get married. There have always been spinsters, simply because there weren’t enough men to go around, or because the woman wasn’t very attractive, or because a war cut a swathe through the male population and left a whole generation of unmarried women behind them. So who should look after the spinsters, especially if they don’t have brothers? I mean, daddy will eventually die…

      2. Hey, completely agree that women shouldn’t work on farms or in the family business. Of course, this would put a lot of family businesses OUT of business, and would have historically left many people in poverty – do you really believe farms and small, family owned businesses are run solely by husbands? Did you realise that many famous firms today still exist because a widow was around to ensure it kept going and it thrived? e.g. Veuve Cliquot?

      3. But glad to hear that single women may be able to work in feminine occupations. Can you define female occupations? Will there be a list of approved occupations? And who determines what’s an approved occupation?

      4. What will happen to jobs that only women can do? e.g. actresses. And if single women are allowed to do these jobs, who keeps their earnings? After all, many Hollywood actresses earn a great deal of money, but they may not be married or have brothers… will they be allowed to keep their money? Or should they just work for room and board?

      5.Marriage – formal, legal marriage – began as a mechanism for conserving property. Yes, among arisotcrats, but that doesn’t change the historical reality. That impulse remains one of the drivers of marriage today, particularly in the push for gay marriage. Gay couples want the right to inherit property, pensions etc. Hey, speaking of gays, I take it they won’t be allowed under patriarchy. Will they be (a) shot (b) re-educated or (c) just shunned?

      6. Finally, if there’s a woman who has some amazing talent that she wants to use e.g. a talent for chemistry, will she be allowed to pursue it? Or is that just too bad?

      I get that your blog is just throwing these ideas out there, but I always think it’s good to iron the kinks out before presenting it as a serious proposition. Just seems to me your idea has quite a few kinks left in it.

      • mamaziller says:

        1.Society, the state, her extended family. Let us not pretend that patriarchies never existed before!

        2.That may be but historically in a patriarchy the female responsibility was not farm work or running businesses. Female responsibility was children and she did what she could economically. Again let’s not pretend patriarchies did/do not exist and that they have not been more successful than other social orders. Yes even within a patriarchal setting women have contributed economically and that is great (I have no problem with it) but it was not their focus or their burden and it should not be.

        3.Personally I think feminine occupations are things she can do without neglecting her responsibility as the primary care giver to her children. As far as a list go; writing, photography, it is an endless list. As long as what she does allows her to spend time with and raise her kids well then I think it is feminine. I own shop for example, and because it is on an artist street I can open and close when I want to…. So to me feminine jobs are more flexible. As far as single women who are not having children go, if they want to do traditionally masculine jobs I think that is okay and they should be supported but I do not see why they need affirmative action to get into these fields.

        4.This all depends on the law at the time. How it works is that people get together and vote on laws that suit the given society. I see no issue with single women keeping their own money and would most likely vote in that direction.

        5.Patriarchy and marriage-the legal marriage are not synonymous. This post was about patriarchal marriage. I do not believe in shunning gay people and I would not support laws that do that. So, on my vote they will not be shot, re-educated, or shunned. They will be accepted and they will have the same rights as other tax payers.

        6.It is not about allowing or disallowing. We are not the state, we are not the whole of society, we are a part of society and do not seek the power to allow or disallow anything. That power should remain with society. What we seek is to discuss and exchange ideas, educate people about what we think and why, if the majority of people think like us then yes the culture and laws would allow/disallow things. As far as I am concerned if she has an amazing talent for chemistry and WANTS to be a chemist she can do that, if she has this talent but wants to be a mother and not a chemists she should also be able to do that. If she wants to be both a chemists and a mother I would say that this is a lot of work and a lot of responsibility for one person but that is also okay. But can we stop pushing women/men in the directions that we (personally) want them to go through programs designed to get more women into science etc. and through shaming mothers who choose to stay at home or worse through bashing the patriarchy???

        Lastly: Your questions indicate that you completely missed the point of this post. Completely. This is not about micro-managing people’s lives or about what will be the solution to every conceivable problem that may arise. It is about analyzing society, where we are, and where we are going.

        We are unhappy with where society is going. We would rather live in a patriarchy, we are saying why. We are not saying that if we were living in a patriarchy there would be no need for a government or the process of inventing laws to create justice and balance. Even in a patriarchy there will be injustices and the law will seek to correct them. We are simply saying that overall as far as we can see patriarchies are better than the alternatives. Is there something you can tell us to show us that patriarchies are not better than the alternatives or would you rather I attacked what you seem to believe by asking you questions??

        What about women who are having kids in their 40’s and having an extremely hard time coping with the physical aspects of motherhood?
        What about mother’s who do not get to bond well with their children because they are too busy working?
        What about children born to women in their forties whose parents will never live to see their own grandchildren or who can not even remember the name of their child on the day that she graduates from uni (I know someone like this.. it sucks for her)?
        What about women who miss their biological window to have kids because they were too busy focusing on their career?
        What about children who have no parent around to give them advice about social issues at school because both parents are busy working?
        What about children who never get to know their fathers and grow up without a loving male role model around??

        Do you now see how silly this is??

      • bodycrimes says:

        OK,so if I could just be clear on what I’ve learned in this post:

        1. Single women/spinster types/widows who have no first degree male to support them should be supported by the government. (Conservatives will love that.)

        BUT!

        2. Single women who want to work can. They can even pick their occupations. And they can keep their money!

        3. Women can get married and are able to stay at home with their kids and focus on them.

        BUT!

        4. If they really must, they can combine work and kids.

        To be honest, I’m having a real hard time telling the difference between what you’re proposing and what people can do right now. The only two big differences are that in your world the government will have to be responsible for more women and any woman who marries gets turned into a legal non-person.

        I can’t see this getting up a head of steam any time soon…

        BTW, women have always been an essential economic factor in family life, particularly pre-Industrial Revolution. Take the humble farmer or fisher – it was men who grew the wheat and caught the fish, and women who took the produce to market. They still do in Europe. I dunno, are you suggesting that men have to do ALL the work and then take over the other duties as well, just because they involve money? Dyers, weavers, shop keepers… you name it. All of them had women front of house. What would a tavern or inn have been without its wench? Today, family businesses are called that because they involve – you’ll never believe it! – the family. e.g. mum, dad and often kids.

      • mamaziller says:

        1.I never said that you asked what happens to women who have no first degree male relatives, I gave you a few possible answers. I assumed you were questioning the welfare of women who could not take care of themselves financially. I said society, the state or more distant relatives. I said this repeatedly but I will say it again because it seems you keep missing this point. I am not typing this to you from the future or some preconceived alternate universe where I live in a patriarchy.

        What you are trying to discuss is not relevant to the point that I am making in any way shape or form. What I suggest is a return to patriarchy under the condition that that is what people want. That is all I am suggesting. And I give reasons why.

        The reasons are the patriarchy leads to more successful societies that benefit both the individual and the society more so than other arrangements. We can see this through the historical success of patriarchies and through the present day ills of societies that use alternative social arrangements. The country I am from for example (Jamaica) does not really conform to a patriarchal arrangement. Women all work and male female relationships DO NOT LAST because the sexes are independent of each other. This creates a poor foundation for caring for children and you end up with a society where children are not taken care of as well as they would be in a patriarchy. You end up with a society facing several ills as a result of this.

        2.Yes

        3.Yes

        4.If they really must? I said if they want to, not if you want them to.

        Yes women have always been essential to economics even when they were not working outside of the home, they contributed through daycare, housework (which was a lot more work back then and definitely had economic implications) and they raised and had children who contributed to the economy. I come from a home that lived off of a family business so I know how it works and yes my mother contributed both directly and indirectly. Things do not happen in isolation and no one is asking that they do. What I am asking you to do if you decide to reply to this is please argue with me based on the point I am making and not based on what is in your head. Please argue whether the patriarchy is better than other arrangements. If you believe that another arrangement is better say what you advocate for and why and tell me why it is superior to the patriarchy.

      • bodycrimes says:

        You are asking me to consider the idea that the Western world should overthrow its current legal and social arrangements in favour of a patriarchal society where women become legal non-persons.

        I am trying to understand the implications of that. How can I decide that’s a better or worse option if I don’t know what the fall out will be? The only way I decide is if I can know what will happen to women who are single, widowed or whatever, not just the married ones. Fair question, don’t you think?

        Then you ask me if I think that patriarchies are better than what we currently live under. OK, which patriarchies are you talking about? The patriarchies of the Muslim world? Are you asking me if I think Saudi women are better off than me? Do I think women were better off under the Taliban?

        Or maybe you didn’t mean THOSE patriarchies? So which ones do you mean?

  8. Pingback: Feminist Being Judge-MEN-tal… | The Chaotic Soul

  9. “are you suggesting that men have have to do ALL the work and then take over the other duties as well….” bodycrimes, the society you describe, in which women usually worked on farms, is very different from the society that we live in today. If most families really could not survive without a working woman, we wouldn’t be debating it. Your concern about making men do ALL the work suggests that you are more concerned with making life fair for men than you are with what is best for children.

    • bodycrimes says:

      I’m simply suggesting that pulling women away from any kind of economic activity is against not only today’s norms, but against historic norms – right back to the dawn of farming and commerce. Farm wives have never been expected to do just the housework and look after the kids. They’ve traditionally raised hens, sold eggs, often taken care of orchards, fed farm hands, milked cows and so on. In today’s industrial farms a lot of that is automated, but on family farms that’s still pretty typical. Fishwives were called fish wives for a reason – they would take the fish caught by their husbands to market.

      And what about all the ‘mom and pop’ businesses out there? Do you think it’s wrong for a husband and wife to build a business together for their family?

      I just want to be clear about what’s being advocated here. That women should do NO economic work? Even if that means the family business/farm has to employ outsiders to take over the role she used to have? Because if that’s what you’re advocating, a lot of little businesses are going to have to close down.

      • Historically, most people lived hand to mouth and struggled just to survive; in America, 100 years ago, 90% of people lived on family farms, and yes, women had to work very hard on those farms, and if the farm went down, there were not many or any other options. But then the economy changed, and life began to get easier for women. And then feminism came along, and women were driven into the workforce in most cases not out of economic necessity, but because feminists attacked housewives and accused us of being mean to men.

        You are describing a society in which if the farm or the business goes down, there probably won’t be any other options: in today’s society, there are usually other options. A family business should serve the family, not the other way around. My husband owns a small business, and I help him with it periodically, but first of all, I don’t have children, and secondly, the work I do for him is minimal and very sporadic: weeks go by when he doesn’t need me to do anything at all, which is why, in our case, hiring another person would not be practical. The most I ever work is 2 or 3 hours a day, and I pretty much operate as my own boss and make my own schedule. The reason we don’t hire another person is because there isn’t enough work involved to keep even a part time employee busy. I am happy to fill in the gaps, but I know women who work around the clock at their husband’s businesses: one of them often says that she wishes her husband did not own his own business. If a man needs his wife to do a great deal of work to keep his business going, I would advise women not to marry him; if he wants his wife to put the kids in daycare in order to keep the business going, I would implore women not to marry him. If a man’s business is more important to him than his wife’s happiness and the well being of his children, something is very wrong, and just to repeat: we are no longer living in an everybody-has-to-scrape-to-survive-society. We are fortunate enough to have options.

      • bodycrimes says:

        Judithann, I’m not so sure the options are as widely available as you believe. I would also suggest that a woman working in her husband’s business is actually working in a family business, for the benefit of everybody.

        The grocer where I get my vegetables is run by a very religious, traditional family. One of the reasons I shop there is because they’re so warm. Mama sits behind the counter, ruling the family with an iron fist, while her son is out in the street keeping the fruit and vegetables looking fresh. He gets up at 4am every day to go to market. Mama gets up to make him breakfast and then start making the salads for the shop. Various cousins and small kids are always running round helping. Papa is disabled after a lifetime of hard labour, and he sits out the front enjoying the sun. It’s all idyllic now, but I think they had a hard, hard slog getting it going. I can’t imagine a better way to bring a family together than to have them all engaged in a mutual enterprise – and one that will leave an asset behind for the next generation.

        Be that as it may. Your point is about women being coerced into work, so I’ll answer that.

        What I don’t understand is, if a woman wants to stay home and look after the house and children, and the family can economically afford it, who cares what the feminists think? Why doesn’t she just do that? It’s not like a bunch of feminists are going to jump out from behind a pole and stick a gun in her face and force her to apply for jobs. And who cares if she’s being “shamed”. That’s a really weak reason to go and do anything, much less make decisions as profound as to how to run a family.

        I suspect, in fact, that families are making choices they don’t like not because of the mythical all-powerful feminists, but because of economic forces. You can torpedo the feminists all you like, but that won’t suddenly sweeten up the economic reality for most people.

      • mamaziller says:

        Your patriarchy!!

        RE: (You are asking me to consider the idea that the Western world should overthrow its current legal and social arrangements in favor of a patriarchal society where women become legal non-persons……..etc.)

        I am asking you to consider patriarchy. I can not tell you what will happen to single or widowed women because this has not happened. It is not really a fair question because it is something that each person has to think about individually and then vote on and that is the process of how laws come into being. I am not suggesting a preconceived totalitarian society where everything is as I dream it up to be.

        I am asking you to consider patriarchy as it is defined and in a way that you can live with it. It doesn’t have to be the Saudi patriarchy or a patriarchy of the past. It can be a liberal patriarchy, a patriarchy that respects the choices of gay people or career women (who are likely minority groups), it can be a patriarchy where women take their kids to work and work outside the home. It can be however you want it to be. I am just asking for you to consider patriarchy as a society where generally speaking men and women commit to each other for the purpose of raising a family and where generally speaking men are the leaders in such a relationship. Where men in general dominate resource acquisition based activities and women in general prioritize childcare activities above resource acquisition based activities.

        Do you think any good can come from this? Do you think more bad than good will come? What is the bad? What is the good? Can you live in such a place? Would you be happy in such a system?

      • bodycrimes says:

        We already live in a system where men dominate leadership roles and resource based acquisition. We already have the institution of marriage, where men and women commit to one another. If you’re OK with career women and gay men, and think it’s OK for women to work etc, I’m not really sure what it is that you want changed (?)

  10. I totally agree with you about the shaming part: women should be making decisions based on what is best for their children, not on what other adults think. And you are correct that feminists do not have the power to actively force women into the workforce, but feminism has had a corrupting effect on men; because feminists bash housewives, lots of men feel empowered to bash housewives too-after all, if feminists do it, then it must be ok. There are lots of relatively wealthy men who simply refuse to marry a woman who doesn’t want to be a working Mom; those men are more concerned with making life fair for themselves than they are with what is best for their children. And if a man says before the marriage that his wife can stay home, and then changes his mind, his wife has no recourse; she can either work and stay married or get divorced and work, but she has no real choice in the matter. I know a woman this happened to. She married a guy who made a 6 figure income, and told him before they married that she wanted to be a stay at home mother.He said that would be fine, and he married her. Then they had a baby. Then he cheated on her, and she forgave him. Then, when the baby was not yet two years old, he informed his wife that the stress of supporting a wife and one child on a six figure income had become too much for him, and he told her that if she wanted to stay married to him, she would have to go back to work full time, which she agreed to do. Six months later, he divorced her anyway; they live in a state where joint custody is the norm, so now she only sees her child half the time. Feminism has made it possible for men like that guy to wreak havoc in women’s lives.

    • bodycrimes says:

      A man who behaves like that is a bastard and feminism didn’t make him like that. He’s using money as an excuse – it wasn’t financial stress that made him have an affair. That kind of behaviour should be laid at his door, not at feminism’s.

      • Before feminism, there were legal protections in place to protect women from that guy; feminists have systematically removed all or almost all legal protections for home makers, and they did so because they wanted to discourage women from becoming home makers. Simone de Beauvior, who is a goddess of modern feminism, stated flat out that no woman should be allowed to stay home. No prominent feminist that I am aware of ever disagreed with her about that.

      • bodycrimes says:

        Laws to protect her from the mistake of marrying someone who didn’t love her, or to stop him leaving her, so she could stay in a marriage with a man prone to cheating on her?

      • mamaziller says:

        how can you say that being shamed by a feminists is a weak reason to do anything when the entire concept behind modern day feminism lies on the idea that women are shamed out of sexual liberation, and out of leaning in in the work place, and out of choosing career over kids etc???

        Yes we are against the shaming of housewives that feminists promote. It is not a weak reason to do something. We are affected by it, our kids are affected by it and society is affected by it. We are simply voicing our opinion and asking feminists to stop bashing patriarchy, traditionalism, housewives, male leadership etc.

        If that life is not for them fine, but leave those of us who want that to pursue it without shame and without being told we are lazy or mean to men. There are very real and valid reasons why we choose to live as we do and we do deserve not to be shamed. This life choice does not harm society so why should it be shamed??

        If feminists continue to shame traditionalism and patriarchy then they would have become exactly what they were once fighting against. They would not have given women more options but rather would have taken away the option that women once had to depend upon a male as a provider and protector.

        Again you may not personally want this option but that does not mean that no women values this option or that the majority of women do not value this option. Traditionalism does not deserve to be shamed. If feminists really are interested in respecting the choices of women they need to start respecting the choices of traditional women.

      • mamaziller says:

        re- what I want changed.

        I want traditionalism and patriarchy not to be shamed so that people can get the chance to analyze patriarchy with an open mind. So that people do not have to feel like sexist, bigots when they consider the possibility that it may make sense to invest more in male education than female.

        I want a fair playing field, that feminism stops blaming the patriarchy for things that are not the fault of the patriarchy and stops painting the patriarchy in a negative light. So I am asking that feminists have respect for my lifestyle choices. I am asking that feminists have respect for patriarchy.

      • bodycrimes says:

        Look, if you want to be a full time mother, I personally think that’s great. I’ve got friends who have chosen this option and they couldn’t be happier. If you make a personal choice to invest more in boys, that’s up to you. Not something I would choose, but how you parent is up to you. If you want to give your sons home schooling, or extra tuition or extra food, your family, your choice.

        You want to go to a school where the girls I love and cherish are being educated and try and diminish their chance to nurture their talents and gifts, just because you personally value boys more? You’ll have a helluva fight on your hands.

        It’s been a pleasure. Good night.

  11. I spelled her name wrong; it’s Simone de Beauvoir. Sorry about that 🙂

  12. In the days before no fault divorce, infidelity was grounds for divorce; if she could provide proof, she could have divorced him and she probably would have gotten alimony. Or, if she preferred, she could have chosen to stay with a man prone to cheating on her-but the choice would have been hers to make; the choice would not have been for the cheating man to make. And either way, he would have been responsible for supporting her; there were ways around that. If he moved to the other side of the country and never saw his child again, he could probably avoid having to support his family. There were men who did that, and got away with it: it was better that way. That way, even in a worst case scenario, the wronged woman doesn’t lose custody of her children; I believe that most children desperately need their fathers, but there are a few cases where kids are better off without their fathers.

    There are men who would point out that no fault divorce makes it possible for selfish women to rip children away from their fathers: those men have a point. If I want to hold men accountable, then women must be held accountable too. The idea, largely driven by feminists, that marriage is about happiness for adults and that the happiness of adults is more important than the happiness of children has been a disaster for everyone, especially children. Obviously, if there is abuse going on, then divorce is necessary. I am not advocating a zero tolerance policy when it comes to divorce, but adults should be putting the welfare of children first. There is something wrong with adults who don’t.

    • bodycrimes says:

      Judithann, are you aware that it wasn’t until the late nineteenth century that women were able to get custody of their children? In the days before the legal changes that the author of this blog wants to strip away, women had NO rights to their children after divorce, regardless of whose fault. And the early nineteenth century was an improvement on what had gone before, when men had the right to contract their children out as enforced labour. It wasn’t until the 1920s that the preference for mothers as the custodial parent took almost complete effect. In the 1970s, it became recognised that children need both their parents, hence a move towards joint custody. Many of the changes in custody law have been driven by regard to children’s rights and what’s best for them.

      If you want to return to the good old days, it’s best to be specific about which good old days these were, because they often weren’t that great at all.

      It’s been a great discussion, but I have to log off and do stuff. Good night!

      • bodycrimes, are you aware that the original HIppocratic oath, which was written 2000 years before the birth of Christ, specifically forbids abortion? Are you aware of how many abortionists have given up abortion and moved over to the pro-life side? Did you know that the man who helped to found NARAL spent the last decades of his life as an outspoken opponent of legalized abortion? His name is Bernard Nathanson. Did you know that most if not all early feminists were opposed to abortion? It’s ok if you don’t know these things; we can’t all be experts on every aspect of history.

        You seem to be very hung up on something Jesse said in an earlier post about the 1820’s; you obviously paid far more attention to it than I did. I seriously, seriously doubt that Jesse wants to return to a time when men were (according to you) free to divorce their wives at will and retain custody of the children. I have a difficult time believing that was really the case in America in the 1800’s, but I will take your word for it, and I will say that I am not advocating a return to such a society, if such a society ever existed in America to begin with, which I doubt.

      • mamaziller says:

        I do not value boys more. Good night.

  13. Mamaziller: I was so engrossed in the conversation that I was having with bodycrimes that I didn’t pay much attention to the conversation that you were having with her; I am sorry about that, because while I don’t agree with you about everything, you made some excellent points. Instead of addressing the points you brought up, bodycrimes accused you of wanting to give more food to boys than to girls. Which is a indication of how reluctant she is to question a system that works for her, and also an indication of the total disregard she has for women who disagree with her. Mamaziller, on another post I told you that you were trying to be nice to people who have no intention of being nice to you: your exchange with bodycrimes is a good example of that.

    The vast majority of military women do not want to go into combat, but they will be forced into combat because that is what feminists want, and feminists have zero regard for other women or even for the majority of women. Feminists are brown shirts; many will scoff at me for saying that. When soldiers show up at your door to drag your daughter off to war against her will, then maybe you will believe me. Because feminists have never made a secret of their intention to force young women into combat against their will; feminists do not try to hide the fact that they are brown shirts,

    • Teresa says:

      Please google “Lahore 1983 feminist”. One of the first things that comes up is an image of a very young “brown shirt”, being savagely beaten by some chivalrous policemen.

      • As far as I know, no one has ever claimed that all men are good; no one that I know of claims that all men who claim to be chivalrous are good. Some men do bad things; some women do bad things too. I am not sure what your point is.

        It is interesting that you don’t deny that feminists want to draft women into the military and force them into combat.

  14. Pingback: The Rationale of Father Custody under Coverture | Secular Patriarchy

  15. Teresa says:

    There are probably a lot of things you can only guess at about me, at this point.

    What I was trying to say, is that somebody who suffers because they stood up for human rights is not really in the same category as one of Hitler’s “brown shirts”. We CAN disagree with her. Perhaps we should. But, demonizing her is not the way to do it.

    Malala is another. Somehow I cannot picture anybody on this site telling Malala Yousafzhai that her insistence on education for girls has made her coarse, masculine, and unlovely. Or- wait for it- a war monger, longing to send women into battle!

    I hope I didn’t come off as too harsh. But that very picture popped up soon after I googled the meaning of “brown shirts” and it was just too much. That young woman didn’t need “chivalry”- somebody to open the door in an antiquated game of letting-her-know-she’s-lower-on-the-totem.

    Perhaps what we saw there, was the “enforcement” of chivalry?

    I predict that I’m going to get banned here soon, which is fine. Before that happens though: I have a high respect for many of the things you’ve posted on this site.

    • I am not in charge of this site, but I very much doubt that you or anyone else will be banned. Feminists are the ones who are always trying to silence those who disagree with them; that is one of the reasons why I call them brown shirts.

      Malala Yousafzhai is a heroic young woman; I am not aware of anyone on this site or anywhere else who has criticized her. And the U.S. has been at war with the men who shot her for quite a while now. That you would put American men in the same category as the Taliban is ridiculous. That you would put American feminists in the same category as Malala Yousafzhai is even more ridiculous.

      Feminists claim to be for human rights and freedom, but they aren’t. They want to force their worldview on everyone, which is why they want to force women into combat: you keep avoiding this point. How does forcing women into combat further human rights?

      • Teresa says:

        The fact that you’ve chosen to demonize me, does not make me a monster.

        Nor will I defend the straw-man you’ve proferred. You may attack “women-in-combat-furthers-human-rights”, just as much as you please.

        I would be willing to continue this discussion but for one thing: The idea that I would compare American men to the Taliban.

        That little lie, right there.

        Goodbye Judithanne.

  16. Teresa, you suggested that the Taliban who tried to kill Malala Yousafzhai might have been just enforcing chivalry. I took that to mean that you see a link between chivalry and the Taliban; I am genuinely sorry that I misunderstood you. What, exactly, did you mean by what you said?

    Feminists want to force women into combat roles: that is not a straw man, it is a fact.

    • Teresa says:

      Yikes, can I just apologize. We are agreed that regular American guys are not the Taliban. I really just had NO idea how you thought I could say such a thing.

      I now understand- my reference to “enforcing chivalry”. That was most unkind. I doubt many (any?) people here would approve of such goings-on, and it’s not right for me to demonize the other either! (Btw if somebody on this blog *cough* Jesse *cough* would just up and define how this hierarchy-thing IS going to be “enforced”, I think that would be a good discussion.)

      As for women in combat: I don’t defend it because I can’t. I call myself a feminist on other grounds. That being said, I would never refuse to do something my country asked of me. I hope I would have the courage in that situation to help my brothers, and not let them down. That’s all.

      I am going to take a break from the internet now. I feel really bad.

      • I am also very sorry for the demonizing language that I have used: calling feminists brown shirts is a stretch too far. Please don’t feel badly, Teresa 🙂

        If there were enemy soldiers marching down my street, then I would definitely pick up a gun and try to stop them, but in most cases, women in combat are not helping men in combat. Women in general are not as physically strong as men in general, and in most battle situations, women are more of a hindrance than a help.

        If my country needed me to be a nurse, or to help in some support capacity during a war, then I would do it: many nurses and other female military personal in support positions have risked and given their lives for their countries. If I had a daughter, and our country called her to be a nurse in the military, I would tell her to do it. If our country called upon my daughter to participate in combat, I would look into getting her to Canada as quickly as possible, and the military guys I know would support that: they don’t want to deal with women holding them back. If I had a son in the military, I would not want him serving alongside a woman who was incapable of carrying him if he was injured. The men I know who have been in wars will tell you that the best way for women to help soldiers is to stay off the battlefield.

        Again, please don’t feel badly 🙂 And again, I am sorry too; we all get a little dramatic when discussing things that we feel strongly about 🙂

  17. Teresa said:

    (Btw if somebody on this blog *cough* Jesse *cough* would just up and define how this hierarchy-thing IS going to be “enforced”, I think that would be a good discussion.)

    I have written several posts on this website about gender hierarchy. I have also written about how women can assert themselves relative to men in a functional healthy way in the broader context of patriarchy. I have also written about how a patriarchal social system protects women from abuse and how indeed patriarchy protects women from abuse by men better than feminism does.

    All that being said, it is definitely legitimate to enforce women’s responsibilities upon women whether the woman in question likes it or not because men and children have the right to be protected from women’s abusive behaviors just as much as women and children have the right to be protected from men’s abusive behaviors.

    Feminism is abusive by nature. It is not about women defending themselves from men, it is about women attacking men and not caring about what happens to children as a result in the process. The feminist thinks she is the victim of male aggression and she is just defending herself while in reality she is the aggressor.

    The justification for punishing women who violate the rules of gender hierarchy is the defense of those being harmed by the woman’s aggressive abusive self-serving behavior. Such punishment should be considered and carried out in as ethical a way as possible that corrects the harm done by the woman at the least cost to the woman and family life and society in general and Chivalry also must always be kept in mind; that women are to be protected even in the context of women being punished. Still moral rules must be enforced upon women just as moral rules must be enforced upon men.

    I realize this might be a bit hard to grasp but ultimately the source of the moral rules that both men and women are to follow come from God. It is not men imposing upon women; it is God imposing upon men who then impose upon women; all legitimate authority ultimately based on obedience to God.

    • But you haven’t answered Teresa’s question. How will your rules be enforced? You have argued that the rules should be enforced, but you haven’t explained how they will be enforced.

      • Teresa says:

        I agree. I suspect I’m going to come off as basically repeating Judithann here, nevertheless:

        Let us say, for the sake of argument, that enforcing the hierarchy is The Right Thing To Do.

        That still leaves the question of how it will be enforced.

  18. Indeed, I focused on laying out a kind of general theory on the legitimacy of enforcing conservative social rules against women and everybody else for that matter; I did not get specific about hypothetical enforcement mechanisms that I would support. I can say that in general however they enforced things 100 years ago in the United States seemed to work pretty well. I am in general in favor of coverture as it was practiced in England and the early United States from about 1750 to 1850. I don’t really know what you and Teresa want me to “explain” regarding the “enforcement” of gender roles or gender hierarchy. I don’t want to play the game of responding to how I would deal with a bunch of hypothetical situations, I instead want to focus on more general broad moral principles that would guide how best to react to different challenges that might come up.

    I think what Teresa is doing is suggesting that any kind of return to patriarchy would involve some kind of extreme tyranny to deal with all the “dissenters” or “rebellious women” hell bent on getting their way and not being obedient. What should be kept in mind is that in a real return to patriarchy the culture will turn patriarchal first and then the law will change to enforce the patriarchal moral values the culture and most people already agree with.

    That being said, a woman is not entitled to be rebellious just because she wants to be rebellious. The needs of the community and the family come first, not the individual will of the woman.

    • Jesse, you have stated before that you believe that a woman is morally obligated to obey any man whose “sphere” she happens to be in, regardless of whether she is related to him, married to him, or even knows him. As far as I know, that belief has no basis in Western culture. This is why I press you for specifics; some of your beliefs have a basis in cultural history, others don’t.

      Also, I think it’s a bad idea to look at a study, notice that there was less divorce under coverture, and therefore decide that coverture was a good thing. There is far less divorce in Saudi Arabia than there is in America; that doesn’t mean that Saudi Arabia is a healthier culture.

      • Teresa says:

        @ Judithann, post 11:32 –

        This. This right here, is why I believe either (a) this site is a hoax, or (b) the author is nuts.

        I can’t think of ANY society which would’ve rewarded a woman for obeying “all men”. I can think of several, just off the top of my head, which strongly disincentivized that. As Miss Manners piquantly noted, “always saying yes leads to a life of sin”.*

        As for my two theories.. I’m not sold on either one just yet, but I am starting to incline towards (b). This is due to casual statements like, “good thing you’re bad at math, that makes you feminine”.* Or, “frankly, the TWRAs refused to obey me.”*

        If this site was meant as satire, or a huge joke, statements such as these would be a lot more prominent and hopefully a lot funnier.

        But instead this place is as humorless as a setting sun (note the theme) and the crazy only really jumps out at you in these little off-hand comments. These quiet, insane assumptions.

        Well, at least I’ve finally found that “ivory tower” everyone’s been talking about. This blog IS the ivory tower. Kids, we’re here.

      • Teresa says:

        That was a lot of punctuation. I put a ‘*’ to mean indirect quotes. If anybody wants to read these quotes in full context:

        #1: “The Right and the Wrong Way for a Woman to Plan her Large Quiverfull Family”
        #2: “The comments section of “Join the Traditional Family Activists!” (I couldn’t find this one at first and assumed it had been taken down, so as not to scare people away. But, no. It’s still up! Every once in a while I go read it again, just to make sure it’s still there. Nutty. Just NUTTY.)
        #3: Couldn’t find the Miss Manners one but I know I read it.

    • Teresa says:

      “I did not get specific about hypothetical enforcement mechanisms that I would support.”

      Great. So all this means, is that I would consign my mother or sisters, or whoever the prodigal was, to “enforcement mechanisms” which have been explained to no one.

      Jesse, “traditional” is not the same thing as “Orwellian”.

      Aaaaaand looks like it’s about time for a break.

      • Teresa says:

        Just glanced again at this.. Secular Patriarchy being “enforced”.

        Until you define that latter term, I really don’t see why anybody should trust you. What do you want to be- a leader accountable only to himself?

        Suppose there were some women, and men, who were SO misguided, that they never did submit to the patriarchy.

        Would they have to be killed?

        I am not attempting to insult you. At this point, I really don’t know how you’d answer that question. I am hoping you’ll give us a resounding “No!” And after that, a better idea of just what you’re talking about.

  19. As far as women obeying men, I think I have said that if a man and woman are working together towards a common goal the woman should obey the man unless there is something “defective” about the man or some major reason why the natural ordinary gender hierarchy should be reversed in a specific situation. Also whenever a man and woman are working together towards a common goal the woman’s interests are superior and the man’s authority is superior and the man first demonstrates that he is putting the woman’s interests first and then the woman obeys the man based on the man’s demonstrated moral character. I think that is what I have said before on this question. Basically marriage is a specific application of gender hierarchy but gender hierarchy is a general principle of relations between men and women rather than just something restricted to marriage. Also as far as I know my beliefs regarding this are totally consistent with Western culture or at least the early history of the United States and England. So I am focusing on modeling myself on Western culture here, what is already familiar in the history of the United States in particular. Traditional culture in the United States was definitely not based on simply wives obeying husbands, it was based on women obeying men in general and then men would claim “territory” over particular women in their sphere of influence to avoid jurisdictional conflicts with other men.

    Interestingly regarding Saudi Arabia, people seem to think Saudi Arabia is the most conservative strict patriarchal county in the world but in reality it is quite feminist. I think the divorce rate in Saudi Arabia is 30% or something and more women attend college in Saudi Arabia than men.

    • Could you provide evidence that in early America, women were expected to obey men other than their husbands or male relatives? How, exactly, would a man claim “jurisdiction” over a woman to whom he was not married or related?

      Of course, in early America women couldn’t vote; in that sense, women in general had to obey men in general, but I find it difficult to believe that women were obligated to obey individual men to whom they were not married or related. But maybe you know more about this than I do; please provide evidence.

    • The fact that you describe Saudi Arabia as “quite feminist” is amazing. It is very, very easy for a man in Saudi Arabia to divorce his wife, incredibly difficult for a woman to divorce her husband. Considering this, it seems fair to assume that most divorces there are initiated by the husband, not the wife, and have nothing to do with feminism.

      High divorce rates are not proof, in and of themselves, that a society is feminist. According to what I read when I googled “divorce in Saudi Arabia”, at least several Islamic countries have always had relatively high divorce rates, and it has nothing to do with feminism.

  20. Tyler Babydoll says:

    How to enforce patriachism?How?

  21. The moral rules of a patriarchal society would be enforced through the law, social shunning of people who violate moral expectations, different kinds of rewards for people who follow the rules and different kinds of punishments for people who violate or ignore their responsibilities to others. The moral rules of a patriarchal society would be enforced in exactly the same way as the current feminist social rules are enforced today in today’s feminist society, the difference would be in a patriarchal society people would be encouraged to do good and punished for doing bad while in today’s feminist society people are encouraged to do bad and punished for doing good. Obviously a society where morality is encouraged and sin is punished will work much better than a society where morality is discouraged and sin is rewarded; this is why patriarchy works better than feminism.

    My orientation is towards promoting moral philosophy at my website and advocating moral principles and a functional way of viewing the world and gender relations in particular. I am not interested in playing the game Teresa wants me to play here by getting specific about how I would deal with hypothetical challenges that do not exist in the real world but instead are simply declarations of what “might happen.”

    I will say however that there is no entitlement to harm other people and get away with it and punishing wrong doers for their wrong doing is perfectly legitimate. Feminists will claim that not being allowed to do whatever they want is tyranny but feminism itself is the real tyranny against those who are victimized by feminism’s selfishness.

    • Teresa says:

      Punishing violations of the Secular Patriarchal Code is VERY legitimate, in answer to a question that nobody has asked.

      However, nobody better be asking me HOW I’m going to enforce the rules. Quit playing games here and acknowledge my ivory tower!

      Very well Jesse. Tower acknowledged.

      • Teresa says:

        I think I should add something.

        I was a huge traditionalist for a time; actually I considered myself an anti-feminist.

        And I just want to say: I understand that worldview is held by sane, kind and intelligent people, a lot of the time.

        Lunatics crop up in every belief system. You can argue which one has the most, but there’re always gonna be some. No, Jesse, I don’t think you’re a full-fledged lunatic yet. I just think you’re stridently marching down that path. Which brings me to something else:

      • Teresa says:

        I think we need to talk about the proper way to gain adherents to one’s philosophy. People don’t up and decide to join cults. They find themselves in one, after being groomed and talked into things, often over a period of years.

        You are going about this completely the wrong way. You don’t come out and say: “All women obey me! Any takers?” That’s not how it works. Actually it’s guaranteed to fail. SO guaranteed to fail that I don’t mind giving you this advice, because I don’t, in fact, believe that anybody is in danger of following you blindly.

  22. Jesse, I asked you to provide evidence of your claim that in early America, women were expected to obey any man simply because he was a man; you have offered no evidence to back up your claim. That is either because the evidence doesn’t exist, or because you just can’t be bothered to back up your claims. You seem to be more interested in abstract ideas than you are in real life issues and historical realities.

    Even when you are dealing with conservatives who are inclined to support patriarchy, “patriarchy” is too broad and abstract. Asking people whether or not they support “patriarchy” is like asking them whether or not they like ice cream. Most people will say that it depends on what kind of ice cream you are talking about: some people love vanilla, but hate chocolate, or visa versa. Try asking people whether or not they believe in government; most will say that it depends on what kind of government you are are talking about. It is the same with patriarchy.

    • Basically, your refusal to be specific about the real life implications of your ideas means that many people who otherwise might have supported you, won’t. Teresa has a point when she brings up the issue of cults; the difference between a religious leader and a cult leader is that the religious leader is open and upfront from the beginning about what he is asking people to sign up for. The cult leader isn’t. When you refuse to be specific about exactly what kind of society you want to create, that will cause thinking people to distrust you, and rightly so.

      • Teresa says:

        This is so true. There are different flavors of patriarchy. I still adhere to the religious patriarchy I was brought up in, so obviously there’s at least one “flavor” of it I don’t hate.

        I don’t adhere to it BECAUSE it’s a patriarchy though. Anymore than I would support some country’s government, SOLELY because it’s a government and that’s how countries need to be governed.

        The truth, or falsehood, or goodness, or badness of a system must, I believe, rest on other grounds. JUST being a patriarchy, or a government, doesn’t quite cut it.

        Remember Warren Jeffs? He was a species of patriarch. And also a very bad man. He’s part of the reason I’ve come to believe that EVERY human authority figure needs human accountability.

        Therefore Jesse: a plan that says: “all women obey me- I’ll handle the details”, is not going to be implemented by sane human beings. It doesn’t matter to me whether you think this is “moral philosophy” you are talking about here. Your philosophy is bad.

      • Teresa says:

        Judithann: “You seem to be more interested in abstract ideas than you are in real life issues and historical realities.”

        I’ve got nothing to add to that. Except that there needs to be an auto-reply app, which appends this to every one of Jesse’s posts.

      • Hello, Teresa 🙂 Yes, you are exactly right. George Washington was a patriarch; Hitler was also a patriarch. Virtually every society that has ever existed has been patriarchal; some of them were good, some were bad, most were somewhere in between. Patriarchy has manifested itself in so many different ways that it is absolutely necessary to specify what kind of patriarchy you are talking about.

        And actually, I would take back my statement about “virtually” every society being patriarchal;every society that has ever existed including the one we live in right now is a patriarchy. Feminism never could have gotten anywhere without the support of a majority of men, and if a majority of men stop supporting feminism tomorrow, it will be lights out on feminism. These feminists who talk about smashing the patriarchy are just being silly: men are and always will be in charge. To the extent that feminists don’t realize this, they are totally out of touch with reality. To the extent that Jesse buys into the idea that the patriarchy has been smashed and needs to be revived, he is out of touch with reality too.

        Men rule. Some of them rule well, and some them rule badly, but make no mistake: feminists have not defeated men, and they never will.

  23. Teresa says:

    *sigh* I would reply more amply, except that I am by no means read to proselytize for this philosophy. If ever I become ready, perhaps I’ll start a blog too.

    For the present, I will simply say that I wouldn’t at all approve of somebody whose goal is to “defeat men” in an absolute sense. Perhaps I was mistaken about the definition of feminism. Or perhaps there are worse and darker strains of that ideology that get confused with the original. Or perhaps the worst and darkest parts ARE the real thing, and I’ve been taken in. That is a disquieting possibility.

    For right now, I’m not trying to sell any of these possibilities to anyone. Honestly I’m starting to wonder if I’d even qualify as a feminist, according to the understanding of that term that I seem to find here. I’m almost certain I wouldn’t.

    Who knows, maybe I’m wrong. It’s happened before. The one thing I’m 99% sure of is that I’m not here to TEACH anybody. But I do want the opportunity to hash out some things that have been rolling around in my brain for a long time. Right or wrong as a philosophy, the people here care about feminism and want to talk about it. That’s why I’m here.

    • And that is why I am here too 🙂 I actually agree with some of the things that the early feminists did, but I don’t agree with the way they did things. It just seems as though feminists have never wanted to give men credit for anything. For instance, in the U.S., a super majority of men voted to give women the right to vote. That is one of the most amazing things that has ever happened; the men who did that were so wonderful, but I never hear feminists expressing gratitude to those men. It seems as though feminists want to take credit for everything, and they don’t want to admit how much they owe to men.

      • Teresa says:

        Judithann, this conversation is addicting. I have something going on right now that I can’t put off. I do want to pick up later though.

        Still can’t help but say though- the man-hating was always repulsive to me. That’s why I was so shocked when I read Betty Friedan’s book. NO man-hating. None. Zip. Zilch.

        And the haunting discontent- other women may not feel it, that’s not for me to judge. But I did.

        Thing is, when I read that book I realized I’d been taught all my life- not in so many words- that feminists wear big boxy suits, are unpleasant and overly aggressive, hate men, and simultaneously want to be men.

        I’m not going to say I haven’t met women like that. I have.

        Gotta go right now- just want to say that I am NOT one of those, and neither is Betty. Goodnight.

      • I have enjoyed conversing with you, Teresa, hopefully we can continue this conversation some other time 🙂

  24. Ok, I realize that Teresa has left for the night, but there is just one more thing I need to say in response to Teresa’s comment about Betty Friedan. I tried to read The Feminine Mystique a long time ago, but couldn’t get through it: I found it extremely boring. I have no intention of trying to wade through it again, but I did google “Betty Friedan quotes”. Here are some of her quotes:

    “Man is not the enemy here, but the fellow victim. The real enemy is women’s denigration of themselves.”

    “Our society forces boys, insofar as it can, to grow up, to endure the pains of growth, to educate themselves to work, to move on. Why aren’t girls forced to grow up- to achieve somehow the cored of self that will end the unnecessary dilemma, the mistaken choice between femaleness and humanness that is implied in the feminine mystique?”

    “…women who ‘adjust’ as housewives, who grow up wanting to be be ‘just a housewife’ are in as much danger as the millions who walked to their own death in the concentration camps…they ate suffering a slow death of mind and spirit.”

    So, according to Betty Friedan, men are not the enemy: the real enemies are women who “denigrate” themselves by refusing to obey Betty Friedan. Betty Friedan may not hate men, but she obviously hates me.

  25. It’s beginning to look as though Teresa won’t be coming back to defend what Betty Friedan said about women who want to be housewives. Or maybe Teresa is just busy; at any rate, I would like to thank Teresa for bringing up The Feminine Mystique; I always knew that it was a feminist book, but I had never realized how noxious and hateful a book it was. Next time a feminist tries to tell me that feminists are not hostile towards housewives at all, I will just start quoting Betty Friedan. Thank you, Teresa: Thank you very much 🙂

    • Teresa says:

      Sorry about that. This is a test to see if the website eats my post again..

    • Teresa says:

      Okay. I may not be able to post here as frequently because my vacation is over, and getting online where I am now is trickier. But I did at least want to respond:

      I honestly never saw this stuff from your perspective Judithann, and I think you have a really good point. I now believe both Ms. Friedan and I had a huge blindspot. I want to address that, but first I want to explain just how this feminist, at any rate, came to be so insensitive:

      When I read these quotes, I guess I feel.. well, vindicated. I am not saying what somebody else could or should feel upon reading them. But I think the book was written for people like me- a former homeschooler, who didn’t want the role I was taught to expect (marriage and motherhood- neither one of which I actively dislike, btw.)

      I can’t help but identify with the woman who didn’t bother educating herself for a real career, because she never expected that she wouldn’t be “taken care of”. That was me, and adjusting to THIS life, and THIS career, and THIS society that expected me to support myself and rely on no man- was a LOT harder for me, precisely because of my misplaced (and, perhaps, archaic) expectations.

      So when Betty talks about “being forced to grow up”, I know exactly what she’s talking about. And, I wouldn’t wish such a difficult and humiliating struggle on anyone. If I had a daughter I would try to spare her that- if only for the selfish fear that she’d one day come to hate me, for crippling her.

      As for the bit about women who “adjust” as housewives.. this, I will admit to you, looks to be just a colossal mistake, or at LEAST a massive oversight. On both my part and Betty’s. I think what we’ve done is assumed other people would feel the same way we do. And, from what you’re telling me, that isn’t the case.

      So, just speaking for myself here:

      I thought- rightly or wrongly- that the entire point of feminism was to give women freedom and choices, and to encourage them to aspire after more courageous and more fulfilling lives.

      Therefore: if a woman, or any human being says to me, “I am already doing that”, I don’t see how I as a feminist can say more than “More power to you.”

      It isn’t for me to decide what fulfills somebody else. Questions like these, we have to ask ourselves.

      Which brings me to something else:

      • Teresa says:

        Comment eaten. Wait 1.

      • Teresa says:

        I sometimes get the feeling that Jesse has substituted morality, or “moral philosophy”, or Objective Standards, with a subjective and rambling thing known more accurately as “What Jesse Personally Finds Appealing in Women”.

        I find this troubling, for the same reason many of you would find it troubling if a feminist were to “impose” her lifestyle on others.

        But, follow J. if you will ladies. You have that freedom.

        At least, until it really turns cultish.

  26. Thank you for your thoughtful response, Teresa 🙂 Studies consistently show that most women who have small children prefer to work either part time or not at all; I don’t know what the statistics are for women who don’t have children or whose children are grown, but there is probably a reason why most women don’t want to identify as feminists. I can only speak for myself, but I speak out on these issues because if I don’t, feminists will claim to speak for me, and they don’t speak for me.

    I don’t have much time right now, but will be back in a couple of hours; I just wanted to thank you for admitting that feminism has some blind spots. You are obviously a very thoughtful and open minded person, and I appreciate that 🙂

  27. I am not a follower of Jesse’s; I agree with you, Teresa, that Jesse’s ideas about morality are very problematic. At best, he is just blindly following tradition, but a few of his beliefs, such as, women must obey whatever man they happen to be standing next to at any given moment, aren’t even traditions, at least not in Western society. Most people who want to be viewed as moral authorities study things like Church history, or philosophy, and they refer to other thinkers. Jesse never refers to anyone: he seems to think that if he deems it, it should be so. That is definitely troubling.

    But even despite all of that, there is definitely a connection between feminism and morality. You say, Teresa, that you relate to what Betty Friedan said about being forced to grow up: you and I might have different ideas about what it means to be an adult. Feminism says that being an adult means taking responsibility for yourself and being independent; feminism does not say what will happen to the children while their mothers are off being grown ups. I had a working mother, and excuse my french, but it sucked. My mother is definitely not a feminist: she worked not because she wanted to, but because she felt that she had to. Many women are in the same position, and most of them, like my mother, are wonderful mothers, but the situation that they and their children are in is far from ideal. There are unavoidable situations where mothers have to work, but I think it is immoral for feminists to celebrate the fact that small children are spending 8, 10, 12 hours a day in institutionalized daycare.

    You point out that we would find it troubling if a feminist were to impose her lifestyle on others, but feminists have been imposing their lifestyle on others for a long time now: Betty Friedan’s scathing condemnation of housewives is just one example of that. The fact that feminists want a society where women will have to sign up for the draft and be forced against their will into military combat is another example. Whenever I object to women being forced into combat, some feminists always accuse me of being a coward or being unpatriotic: in other words, they think that I am immoral. They become very upset if they perceive that anyone is trying to force morality on them, but they have no qualms about forcing their morality on other people: Betty Friedan stated that young women should be “forced to grow up”. She actually used the word “forced”; Betty Friedan didn’t like people who wanted to force her into things, but she did not hesitate to impose her will on others. Her definition of adulthood has nothing to do with looking out for those who are smaller and weaker than we are, ie children. Betty Friedan seems to think that the more a woman behaves like a man, the more of a grownup she is, as if men are somehow the ultimate adults; as if men are the ideal that women should be measured against. There is more that I could say-I could go on forever, but I will stop now 🙂

  28. Pingback: The Challenge of Raising a Traditional Feminine Daughter in a Hostile Feminist Culture | Secular Patriarchy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s