I remember, I believe it was in the latter part of 11th grade, a kind of ritual had developed for me; the wonderful excitement of watching my favorite girl enter into the classroom again. I was always happy to see her again, I felt reassured that now I was going to be with her (in the same room as her) for the next hour, and I was always very curious to see what kind of mood she would be in today. I had started to think to myself that maybe I should pursue her, to show her more directly and obviously that I “liked her,” to “let her know” and “make it clear” that I liked her. The idea of being more forward with her was quite intimidating, it was not how I was used to acting and I didn’t really know how she would respond. So I started to put together in my mind a justification for acting, a moral justification for “showing her” that I liked her.
I was intrigued. Why was it that I was so thrilled and happy to see her enter into my class everyday? Why my intense interest in her moods and facial expressions? I also noticed a lot of mood mirroring; that I would feel happy when she was happy and I would feel subdued and more sad when her mood was more down. I had been thinking to myself that I wanted to “let her know” more how I felt about her rather than just always keeping my feelings towards her under wraps and muted like I had been doing for a long time; so I had been thinking about what my feelings towards her meant, what my feelings in response to her indicated, why did I feel towards her like I did. I wanted to establish in my mind a purpose for “letting her know” that I liked her at long long last.
Then one day as my favorite girl walked into class I thought to myself while looking at her in my feeling state of happiness and excitement due to her arrival that “You have value!”. This was kind of a Eureka moment for me. That explained why I felt so strongly towards her, why I was so fascinated with her, why I cared about what kind of mood she was in and what she was feeling, it was all because SHE HAD VALUE!
When I thought to myself directed towards her that “You have value!” I knew that what I meant is that she had value as a woman. I was referring to the value that she had inside of herself that triggered my feelings of romantic attraction towards her. In other words I was referring to the “thing” about her that I “liked”; that “thing” being what had VALUE.
This then explained to me why I had these strong romantic feelings towards this woman; my romantic response to her was there for the purpose of supporting her value as a woman, it was in response to her value as a woman.
This then established the justification in my mind for being more direct and open in showing to her my feelings towards her; in my mind what I was doing was acknowledging and communicating to her that I valued her as a woman; that I saw and recognized that she had value as a woman. My being forward in my romantic feelings towards her then was meant as me affirming her; me telling her that I recognized her as having value as a woman and I wanted her to know that, that I valued her and supported her as a woman. This affirmation of her femininity and womanhood then was my moral justification for taking some romantic initiative towards her at long last.
What is so fascinating looking back on this part of my history so many years later is that this core fundamental idea that WOMEN HAVE VALUE is still with me today. It is like this revelation that WOMEN HAVE VALUE is the core fundamental foundation of everything that came after; that the starting point of my beliefs and attitudes towards women and indeed my entire philosophy of gender relations has as its starting premise and source point that WOMEN HAVE VALUE!
My starting point in the development of how I view women and gender relations today was when I looked at the woman I loved the most in high school as she was walked into my class and thought to myself “You have value!”. What I meant was that she had value as a woman; that I as a man loved her in order to motivate me to support her purpose and her importance as a woman. This much I understood immediately at that time. In 11th grade and 12th grade I had no concept and no idea what exactly her purpose was as a woman or how exactly I should support her in such purpose but I did feel inside of me that I should be benefiting her and giving to her in some way and that it was important that she was a woman; that her being a woman was an important part of who she was and that in particular I as a man should be affirming and positive towards her purpose as a woman; whatever that purpose was.
As I developed in later years I started to get more concrete and practical regarding what the purpose of a woman is and what the purpose of the man is in support of the woman’s purpose as a woman.
My conversion to patriarchy in my mid-20s was the first time I was able to put together a model of gender relations that defined in concrete terms what the feminine purpose of a woman was and what the masculine purpose of the man was in support of the woman’s feminine purpose and how the man and woman then work together to form a high functioning relationship that is beneficial to society based on the higher moral purpose of providing the best to children. Patriarchy defined the purpose of the woman, the purpose of the man, and the overall purpose of the relationship between the man and the woman. Finally based on patriarchy, based on the model of the 1950s breadwinner man who financially supported his wife as his wife looked after the children, finally I had a model of gender relations that made sense.
I already had a sense and a strong belief that women had value as women; this based on the legacy of my understanding of why I loved women like I did in high school; patriarchy and in particular the ideal of the man financially supporting his wife then made perfect sense to me because patriarchy was based on the premise that women had value as women. That was exactly why the man financially supporting his wife was a good thing. The man financially supporting his wife was valuable and worthwhile precisely because the woman should be freed to act as a woman and give of herself to others as a woman without having to spend her time in the man’s world of making money.
Me recognizing that women have value as women is the way I put my love of women into practice. Patriarchy is then the social system that is based on men valuing women as women; where duties and expectations are placed upon men to support and facilitate women’s purpose as women because women’s purpose as women is important and necessary for society to function well and sustainably.
Femininity is the basis of women’s value as women; femininity is that “thing” that gives to a woman her value as a woman and femininity is what activates men romantically to fall in love with a woman and then serve her as a woman in her purpose as a woman romantically as an expression of his love for her. The man’s masculinity then being the source of power that the man uses to both attract women to him romantically and then serve the woman he enters into a relationship with; the purpose of the man’s masculinity being to serve the woman’s femininity.
Chivalry; men’s duty to provide for and protect women; is again based on women’s value as women. The Chivalrous male duty existing to enable women to perform their vital role and purpose as women.
Male authority over women as well is based on women’s value as women; male authority being necessary to ensure that women fulfill their obligations towards others that they as women owe to others based on the particular value and importance that they have to others as women. Male authority also being necessary for the man to be able to protect himself from the woman’s potential abusive behavior against him as he dedicates his life in service to the woman. Male authority also serving the function of freeing the woman from the administrative burden of setting rules and enforcing rules and planning things out overall enabling the woman to focus her energies on what she does best as a woman.
Ever since my initial realization that women have value as women way back in high school this theme that WOMEN HAVE VALUE has been a kind of first principle for me; the starting point of how I should view women and how I should treat women. There is also then the complementary concept that men’s masculinity has importance and value just like women’s femininity has importance and value and that I should guard and assert and hold as good my masculinity just like I uphold and value women’s femininity.
Even though I didn’t understand this at the time the thought that I had directed towards the woman I loved the most in high school that “You have value!” was a very anti-feminist traditionalist thought. It also became a foundation of my love towards her and my attachment towards her. It became a foundation of my own sense of self-worth as a man in relation to women or how I thought about myself romantically; that I was good as a man because I recognized that women had value as women. This declaration that WOMEN HAVE VALUE was very anti-feminist and very traditional because a large part of feminist dogma is directed towards the assertion that men and women are really the same and “equal” and that femininity is just a social construct or a scheme invented by men to infantilize women or oppress women. Traditionalism and ultimately patriarchy on the other hand has valuing women as women as a central theme and a central moral principle.
When I finally figured out a constructive practical way to express my love for women and uphold in deeds the moral principle that WOMEN HAVE VALUE by means of the man as breadwinner woman as stay-at-home mother family model known as patriarchy I was filled with joy that finally finally I had figured out what my purpose as a man was in relation to women.
Feminism then attacked this new value system and this new sense of purpose I had discovered for myself.
The thing is I knew the woman that I loved in high school had value as a woman; I felt this and believed in this very deeply. There was no way in hell that I would betray her; that I would deny or renounce the duties that I owed to her just to please the feminists. The feminists weren’t going to destroy my value as a man; no way.
I still believe it to this day, that WOMEN HAVE VALUE! From way back in 11th grade all the way to today 25 plus years later I still remember and I still believe that WOMEN HAVE VALUE AS WOMEN!