Under patriarchy men protect women from other men, under feminism women protect themselves unilaterally. To be more precise under patriarchy there are multiple levels of guardianship of women; first the husband is the guardian of his wife, then the community such as friends and neighbors and relatives and the church are guardians of the wife and can intervene through advice and social pressure if the husband is failing, then the state or the law is the guardian of the wife setting responsibilities upon the husband and intervening in more extreme or clear cases of abuse. Also I will add there is a generalized sense of men’s duty to look out for women’s interests that goes beyond the marital relationship to protecting women in general. The key point about these multiple levels of guardianship of women under patriarchy is that all of the levels of guardianship are expressions of male authority and male concern on behalf of the woman but not directed by the woman herself. The woman does not unilaterally defy her husband; she defies her husband only if her husband is doing wrong in the eyes of others such that she can count on external support in her defiance.
Feminism protects women in a very different way. Feminism assigns to women “rights” of a number of different sorts and these are “rights” of unilateral action and assertion. In addition there are some financial responsibilities imposed upon men on behalf of women particularly in regards to post-divorce support for women though these obligations tend to be pretty weak compared to the level of support granted to women in earlier times. How feminist style “women’s rights” work is that the state takes the side of the woman against the man automatically when the woman is claiming one of the “rights” granted to her by the state. In addition there tends to be a strong cultural prejudice for people to “take the side of the woman” regarding whatever dispute she may be in with a man and there is strong pressure on men to not to be “controlling.” Even if people will not automatically take the side of the woman they will at least go out of their way to not be biased in favor of the man and they would certainly not “respect the man’s judgment” as a general rule regarding situations they know little about or where the man is not clearly in the wrong.
There are three key differences between the patriarchal way of protecting women and the feminist way of protecting women. First under patriarchy the protection of women is performed by men, not by the woman herself. Secondly under patriarchy moral judgments and adherence to community rules and social norms is always being placed as a priority. The issue in a dispute is always focused on who is in the right in an objective sense; it is not merely based on the individual “doing what they want” or “getting their way.” Under feminism the emphasis is placed on “personal choice” and “rights” claimed by the woman regardless of how the woman’s actions harm others. Thirdly under patriarchy there is strong community involvement in setting social expectations and enforcing moral codes of conduct and the laws of the state regarding family life tend to be much more intrusive with a focus on the responsibilities of men. Under feminism each man and woman couple tends to be an island by itself with neighbors and friends and such “minding their own business” and staying out of the way and the state will only intervene in a crisis or to divvy up property and assign financial obligations after a divorce (or to mediate child custody disputes).
It needs to be remembered in all of this that in the natural order of things men protect women; women are not just left alone in the world to fend for themselves. If women were left alone in the world to fend for themselves who would look after the children? Women are not autonomous independent beings in a natural environment; that is not how human beings are set up as a species; men exist very specifically for the purpose of “looking after” women.
The patriarchal way of protecting women is much better than the feminist way of protecting women because the patriarchal way of protecting women is consistent with men “providing for and protecting” women (Chivalry). In patriarchy men protect women according to moral principles and community standards using several layers of male authority so that the system of protecting women will not break down just because an individual man goes rogue and turns abusive. Most importantly the protection of women is integrated into the overall ethic of how men should treat women so that men supporting women and men protecting women are not in conflict with each other. In addition the male community makes sure to protect men’s interests while protecting women’s interests so that the interests of men and women are not pitted against each other in a set up of conflict and power struggle. The main mechanism for protecting men’s interests while men serve women is enforcing obedience upon women both as a cultural expectation and through giving certain legal power advantages to men.
The feminist way of protecting women is disastrous for relations between the sexes because it is premised on the idea that men and women are natural competitors and enemies of each other, if a man is more powerful than a woman in a romantic relationship it is automatically assumed that the man will naturally “take advantage” of his power advantage to victimize the woman for his own benefit as it is just assumed that the man and woman are in a state of competition in a zero sum game where the benefit of one is the loss of the other and the two sexes are supposed to compete “on an equal footing” in order for things to be “fair.” This way of framing things totally ignores the fact that it is the man’s job to serve the woman, not the other way around. That a man will use his power to benefit the woman under the ordinary patriarchal ethical rules and definitions of what the man’s role in relation to the woman is.
The more specific problem with the feminist way of protecting women is that it is based on unilateral female assertion meaning every act by the woman to protect herself is expressed as aggression and attack against the man. The woman protecting herself in this way becomes merged with the woman abusing the man so that the woman being protected necessarily becomes joined with the man being abused so that it becomes impossible to separate legitimate female protection from illegitimate selfishly oriented abuse against men.
The feminist way of protecting women drives away male involvement in women’s lives overall; it drives away men abusing women and men supporting women at the same time as it doesn’t differentiate between men’s positive behaviors and men’s negative behaviors, it just assumes that a man possessing power is always bad so that men are disempowered globally meaning men having a reduced capacity to both harm and help women. The patriarchal way of protecting women maintains male power while protecting women at the same time so that men can both support women and protect women simultaneously.
The “individual rights” orientation of feminism leads to the collapse of community standards of behavior and the idea of men having an obligation to follow a moral code imposed upon them by other men; instead you get a situation where everyone makes up their own rules as they go along so that relationships become merely a battle of wills with each sex trying to get “the upper hand” at the expense of the other.
The feminist way of protecting women is very low trust, highly competitive, based on women attacking men, produces very unstable low quality relationships, and reduces the transfer of resources from men to women to a radical degree leading in turn to very low investment in children so that the dysfunctional feminist relationship dynamic is recreated and perpetuated in the next generation except that the children of feminists usually end up worse off than their parents due to the mother shortchanging her children to make up for the loss inflicted upon her by her husband or the father of the children shortchanging her.
In 1870 the divorce rate in the United States was only 3%, by 1975 it had climbed to 50%. In 1890 (among white women) a married woman only worked 6% as often as a single woman (2.3% of married women in the labor force as compared to 36.6% of single women in the 35 to 44 year old age group). By 1940 a married woman worked 19% as often as a single woman (13.8% of married women and 73.6% of single women in the labor force). By 1990 a married woman (all races) worked 91% as often as a single woman (74.0% of married women and 81.0% of single women). This shows that from 1890 to 1990 the ethic that a husband was to protect his wife from the workforce went from being a very strong moral principle to being an ideal almost totally ignored and forgotten. Under coverture which ended a few decades before 1890 a husband had a literal legal duty to financially support his wife. This collapse in the stability of marriage and husbands financially supporting their wives is thanks to feminism and the destruction feminism has imposed on marriage and men’s sense of duty and responsibility towards women.
Patriarchy is by far the better means of protecting women because men were created to love women and serve women, not abuse women and abandon women like the feminists would have it. The only way to reestablish trust between the sexes is to reestablish patriarchy; patriarchy based on men’s service to women where the needs and interests of women come first and providing for and protecting women is the highest priority. Such a social system being organized and put together by men where men guard and maintain their authority as men very closely and make sure that women remain outside of the realm of independent self-assertion based authority so that women’s status as a protected class will remain stable and secure and so that men will see clearly that women are to be provided for and protected and kept separate from male responsibilities and male duties and male dangers so that women will be empowered and loved and honored as women.
Source of Statistics: