This post is a response of sorts to Libby Anne’s piece “Why I’m a Feminist First” at Love, Joy, Feminism.
I am a patriarch, a supporter of patriarchy, first and an atheist second. I do very much identify with being an atheist and atheism is certainly part of my core identity as a person, atheism is the foundation stone of how I view and understand the world, but patriarchy is what I care about passionately and deeply as a cause worth fighting for. Atheism is how my mind works but patriarchy is my heart and my purpose.
For me atheism and patriarchy are joined together, atheism being the vehicle by which I can best promote patriarchy. Atheism is a kind of tool available to me, a tool I can use in service of patriarchy. Atheism by itself just is, atheism itself doesn’t have any kind of moral meaning or purpose attached to it. Patriarchy however has great moral meaning and purpose attached to it. Patriarchy is love and family. As a man patriarchy is specifically love for women first and foremost. Patriarchy is love for women and putting children’s needs first. Patriarchy is what has value and then my atheism is a tool by which I can promote patriarchy so that my atheism then has value derivative of the fundamental source of value being patriarchy.
Though I am an atheist I do see that the world overall operates according to a kind of plan. Things are not just random in life, there is definitely an order underlying the chaos, there is a bias in favor of that which is good and a bias against that which is evil. Evolution is a perfectly good mechanism to explain the underlying order of life. That which is functional and good survives and passes on its genes while that which is bad and dysfunctional dies off. The natural order of things which is the byproduct of evolution actually functions very much like the God of religion. Because of this I find it very useful and emotionally satisfying to view myself as being in service to and obedient to the Superior Power or God.
Understanding “God” in this sense, as that which has created the order and nature of life, I view myself as first and foremost serving God and patriarchy is God’s intention of how mankind is to live so that trying to reestablish patriarchy in this world benighted by the plague of feminism is service to God and is my duty to God. Furthermore God created me as an atheist so that means I am to promote patriarchy specifically through the vehicle of my atheism. I am to use the specific attributes and strengths God has given to me to best fulfill and serve God’s purpose.
Another key part of my identity is that I am a man. My sense of being a man is stronger I would say than my sense of being an atheist. My being a man places me in a particular situation relative to others, relative to women in particular. Being a man means I am to stand above others, see the big picture, remove my self-interest from my considerations and my goals, do what is right “overall,” and in particular be in authority over women and in service to women.
So as far as my self-identity is concerned I am in service to God as a man who is an atheist; service to God for me being primarily expressed through my promotion of patriarchy and my commitment to live according to patriarchal moral principles in my family life.
I do see myself as part of the atheist community overall though my feeling of the importance of this varies. The atheist community as a whole is in terrible shape as far as its morals and ethics is concerned. Atheism in general seems to be clueless about how the world works and in particular what responsibilities people owe each other. The largest contingent of atheism seems to be feminist, then you have the “anti-feminists” who are really libertarians and tend to be a mild version of the MRAs (Men’s Rights Activists). The smallest group of all are traditionalists or people who support traditional gender roles such as myself. Atheists seem to have this idea that because there is no literal supernatural God out there that means they can do whatever they want and that truth is whatever they want it to be or whatever they assert it to be. This is very wrong thinking as there is an external order to life that evolution itself imposes upon mankind whether there be in reality any kind of supernatural God out there or not.
In atheism overall there is a big problem on the issue of how women are to be treated. The feminists have this idea that men are to treat women according to what women themselves tell them to do. Women are supposed to “speak up” on behalf of women and “demand” to not be abused or be respected in different ways; the feminists themselves determining what exactly counts as “being abused” or what kind of “respect” they as women deserve. The feminists then spin this narrative about how they are being done wrong by men in various ways to justify the legitimacy of the demands they are then placing on men. The “anti-feminists” then respond to this feminist carping and whining and “playing the victim card” by retorting that the women have nothing to complain about and are not being mistreated by men and that the feminist women are just looking for “special treatment” and that “true gender equality” should be the goal, not preferences for women like the feminists want.
There is a big problem in this dichotomy, namely that the choice presented is that either women’s interests must be defended by women themselves or that women’s interests should not count at all; the idea that it is men who have to defend women’s interests is missing. The ultimate truth, that God is the ultimate source of the protection of women’s interests, is even further from the atheists’ awareness.
In traditional gender roles, under patriarchy, it is men who defend and support women’s interests. This is what I stand for; I stand for women’s interests under male authority. This is how the “battle of the sexes” can be solved.
My job is to help atheists see their roles as men and women more clearly, to be able to see that a man does have a special role and purpose as a man and that a woman does have a special role and purpose as a woman and that men and women can work together for the common good and for the good of their children and future generations. That there is an escape from the never ending gender wars and family deterioration that feminism brings.
In truth, I think the rise in atheism that has been seen in the past decade is a mistake. I think it is an outgrowth of people losing connection to a sense of right and wrong, of external moral standards of behavior that one is to live by. Atheism often seems to be a rebellion against God rather than being simply a feeling or belief that God in a literal sense does not exist. Many atheists seem to see atheism as freedom or liberation from the “oppression” of religion and all the “irrational” moral standards that religion supports and upholds. The absence of a literal supernatural God however by no means means an absence of external reality or objective truth or objective moral duties one is bound to obey. No God does not mean no rules and that you can do whatever you want without consequence. Life still has an order and a purpose whether God is real or not.
Patriarchy is the fundamental foundation of human family life, of relations between men and women. Advocating patriarchy means advocating for family, for good relations between men and women, for the care and well being of children, for the maintenance of the functioning of society for future generations. Patriarchy is the will of God, patriarchy is obedience to God, patriarchy is service to God.
I am an atheist for patriarchy but I am a patriarch first and an atheist second, my atheism being the means by which I teach patriarchy to others. This is how best I can serve God, service to God being the ultimate purpose and the ultimate reward in life.