In the previous post I spelled out what the rules of gender hierarchy are as a guide for deciding “who should dominate” in any particular conflict between a man and a woman. The two basic rules are; first the man must subordinate his interests to the woman’s interests and second; after the man has done this the woman must obey the man. Exceptions can be made if the man is “defective” and therefore not in a position to serve the woman’s best interests through an assertion of authority.
Why should this be the basis of gender relations? What are these rules of gender relations based on?
First off why should there be a gender hierarchy in the first place? Isn’t it better if the sexes are presumed to be equal? Isn’t that more fair? In a social model of gender egalitarianism or gender equality no resource transfer takes place between men and women. This is the big reason why gender equality is no good, because in gender equality men do not contribute to women. If the man did contribute to the woman you wouldn’t have gender equality anymore as the very act of resource transfer from the man to the woman itself constitutes gender inequality. With the man providing resources to the woman the woman would then become dependent upon the man’s resource provision making the woman not equal to the man. The man providing resources to the woman will want the resources he is providing to serve the purpose he wants his resource provision to serve; this then means the man must “control” the woman in order so that the man’s investment in the woman will serve the man’s purposes thereby rewarding the man for investing in the woman so that the man will continue to invest in the woman.
Gender equality therefore makes no sense because gender equality means no more transfer of resources from men to women which in turn means women cannot dedicate their efforts to children or others able to benefit from their feminine strengths. Gender inequality is the engine of family life, it is what brings male investment into the family and allows for resources to be directed towards children and the well being of society overall through the mechanism of supporting women. So there has to be a gender hierarchy in order for men to contribute to society and of course men must contribute to society for society to work.
Now that I have established the basis for gender hierarchy in the first place; why is gender hierarchy based on the subordination of men’s interests to women’s interests and the subordination of women to men in terms of authority?
The fundamental goal of gender hierarchy is the sustainable functional transfer of resources from men to women. That is the underlying goal gender hierarchy is meant to achieve. So let us say gender hierarchy is based on male authority by itself, that all gender hierarchy is is “male rule.” Would that work? No, without putting the woman’s interests first there is no reason to think that “male rule” by itself would lead men to serve women. Maybe the man is selfish and lazy and he just wants to steal and take and doesn’t really care much what happens to the woman one way or the other. Such a man “ruling over” women does no good because he is not going to use his authority for any positive purpose. Male authority with no obligation in place to serve women is male authority for no purpose and is highly abusive to women.
What about the other side of the equation? Let us say a strong ethic is in place that men are to serve women but there is no rule that women are to obey men. Let us say all gender hierarchy is is the man’s duty to serve the woman. Would that work? No, in this scenario men would be forced to provide resources to women but women could waste or squander these resources however they wish and furthermore the woman could place endless demands on the man to “serve me more” or “serve me better” as there is no cost to the woman in making unlimited demands upon the man as it is the man doing all the work and taking all the risks while the woman just lays back and enjoys it. The man then seeing his efforts being wasted will refuse to serve the woman anymore.
The situation where the man has no obligation to serve the interests of the woman is abusive to the woman and the situation where the woman has no obligation to obey the man is abusive to the man. This is why the rules of gender hierarchy are that the man must serve the woman and the woman must obey the man. This set of rules combined together protects the interests of both the man and the woman so that a sustainable transfer of resources can take place from the man to the woman thereby enabling society to work.
Men subordinating their interests to women is what Chivalry is. Women obeying men is what patriarchy is. Patriarchy and Chivalry always go together, they have to go together. Patriarchy is what protects the man from being abused by the woman while Chivalry is what protects the woman from being abused by the man. Chivalry is the man’s duty to the woman under patriarchy while obedience is the woman’s duty to the man under patriarchy that is based on Chivalry.
There are important differences between male Chivalry and female obedience though. What is the main point of gender hierarchy in the first place again? Sustainable transfer of resources from men to women. Can men unilaterally as an act of will provide resources to women? Yes. A man can always under all circumstances choose to serve women. This is why Chivalry is an unconditional duty for men, because the man always has the capacity to serve women and therefore be good in that way. When a person can do good they must do good, they have an obligation to do good. Since a man always has the capacity to do good through Chivalry his Chivalrous obligation is always applicable, is unconditional.
What about obedience for the woman? Can a woman always serve her own interests by obeying the man? Here the answer is no. The woman is not in control of the moral character of the man or the moral capacity of the man. Obedience for the woman means adopting the moral characteristics of the man she is obeying as her own. If the man is bad obeying the man is bad and if the man is good obeying the man is good. Since the woman cannot control the moral characteristics of the man this means she also cannot control whether obeying the man is bad or good. Sometimes obeying the man is good and sometimes it is bad; whether it is bad or good being beyond the woman’s control. Since the woman is not in control of the moral characteristics of the man she therefore cannot unilaterally make obeying the man good. This is why for the woman obedience to the man is not unconditional; the man has to be “good” first.
The woman is not in control of whether she should obey the man or not. If the man chooses to be good then the man is imposing an obligation upon the woman to obey him; if the man chooses to be bad then he is imposing an obligation upon the woman to disobey him.
The moral character of the male / female interaction is determined by the man. The man can always choose unilaterally to be good because the man is in charge of his own choices and therefore his own moral identity. For this reason the man always has the duty to choose to be affirmatively moral; the man always has the duty to be Chivalrous. However because the woman is not in charge of the moral character of the man the woman’s duty to obey is not unconditional but is instead dependent upon the man choosing to be good, choosing to be Chivalrous, first. If the man makes the choice to be good he is then imposing an obligation of obedience upon the woman; if he makes the choice to be bad he is imposing the opposite, an obligation in the woman to disobey him.
Since the overall purpose of gender hierarchy is to facilitate the transfer of resources from men to women this means the overall purpose of gender hierarchy is to serve the woman’s interests; that gender hierarchy is about the subordination of men’s interests to women’s interests. This is why the basic fundamental goal of the male / female interaction is to produce an outcome favorable to the woman.
This brings us to the issue of women’s competence. A competent woman should be dominant but a woman can only be presumed to be competent in relation to a manifestly incompetent or “defective” man. There are two bases of women’s presumed incompetence in relation to a “normal” man. The first is a woman’s generally weaker skills in relation to exercising authority and decision making and the second is the woman’s tendency to be abusive when exercising authority in relation to a man as the man is always the one providing the resources related to the dispute while the woman is the one receiving the resources related to the dispute. When a woman disobeys a man what she is doing is taking the resources a man has given her and then using those resources in a way the man did not intend for those resources to be used. This is a highly vulnerable and dangerous situation to place a man into and will have a tendency to be viewed by the man as abuse against him which will then lead to the man withdrawing from the woman lessening the flow of resources from the man to the woman.
So when a woman disobeys a man she will tend to be acting incompetently due to lower decision making skills and she will tend to be acting abusively due to her redirecting resources provided to her away from the man’s intended purpose towards her own purposes. This is why there is a strong presumption that the woman is acting incompetently when she chooses to disobey a man which is why the bias of a woman’s incompetence can only be overruled by the man showing manifest incompetence himself thereby making him identifiably a “defective” or “morally inferior” man.
So the rules are:
1. Men must subordinate their interests to women always (unconditional Chivalry). This is necessary to protect the woman from being abused by the man and to establish the flow of resources from men to women which is necessary for society to function.
2. The woman should always act to serve her own interests as the woman’s interests are primary (this being derivative of rule number 1 above). This means if the woman is competent she should be dominant. However unless the man is manifestly incompetent or “defective” himself the woman is presumed to be incompetent in relation to the man and therefore obligated to obey the man because of the strong tendency of women to be either abusive or incompetent when disobeying a man.
3. Derivative of rule number 2 a “normal” man has authority over the women he interacts with in his life. This then protects the man from being abused by the women he is providing for and protecting (being Chivalrous towards as is his fundamental duty to all women) which then enables the man to provide a steady stable flow of resources towards women thereby allowing the man to do his part in maintaining the health of society.
4. End result; both men’s interests and women’s interests are protected and there is a strong sustainable flow of resources from men to women allowing for children to be cared for and the society to work overall on a sustainable basis.
There are three basic components to patriarchy; gender hierarchy, men serving women, and women obeying men. All three of these elements are necessary for patriarchy to work. Get rid of gender hierarchy and the flow of resources from men to women stops. Get rid of men serving women and the flow of resources from men to women stops. Get rid of women obeying men and men will experience this as a waste of their investment in women and again the flow of resources from men to women will stop. In order for society to be sustained men must provide resources to women and all three of the components of patriarchy must be in place in order for a high flow of resources from men to women to be sustained. All three elements of patriarchy are necessary for a society to work.
Men must serve women and women must obey men once the man has demonstrated that he has committed himself to serving women (accepted his Chivalrous duty towards women); this is the fundamental rule of relations between the sexes.
Companion Piece: The Rules of Gender Hierarchy; When and Why Women Should Obey Men