Anthony Dream Johnson tweeted this out on December 20, 2020:
“We must abolish divorce rape in America.
Women are entitled to NOTHING”
It is quite the declaration, that women are entitled to “NOTHING”; NOTHING being in all caps in Anthony Johnson’s original tweet; his emphasis, not mine. Also “women are entitled to NOTHING” is presented as a stand alone line, a complete sentence in its own right, the logic seems to be, women are entitled to nothing, therefore divorce rape must be abolished, divorce rape being the result of people wrongly thinking that women have some kind of entitlement to support and provisioning or a share of the assets from the man after a divorce.
The basic traditional gender relationship is that the man takes care of the woman and the woman obeys the man, the woman obeys the man to better facilitate and promote the man taking care of the woman; in other words the woman obeys the man to enable the man to serve her better. The traditional gender relationship is all about men directing their abilities and energy and resources towards the support of women, the woman then being supported by men in this way is able to direct her efforts and energies towards the well being of children.
In this traditional way of viewing things women are entitled to plenty, entitled to as much as a man can reasonably give to them. Women are entitled to these things because they are women, because the gender role of the woman is dependent upon this support from the man. What women are entitled to is derivative of the role women play in the world and it is derivative of the role the woman has in relation to the man.
If you love a woman you owe a woman, you love her in order to motivate you to serve her, your feeling of love for her is the signal to you that you are to direct yourself towards her benefit. This orientation towards service then makes you dominant over her; you serve her in order to achieve your goals as a man, in order to fulfill your duty as a man on her behalf.
Now, what about divorce? What Anthony Johnson is referring to in the quote from him is the “divorce rape” of men, women receiving assets and financial support from their former husbands after a divorce, support the man is forced to provide to his ex-wife against his will by the family court system and divorce law. Are women entitled to “NOTHING” in the special context of divorce? I don’t see why, I don’t see why divorce is a special case where the general rule of women being provided for and protected doesn’t apply.
You might say that giving women money after a divorce provides a perverse incentive to divorce in order to steal the man’s money from him; but on the other hand within the marriage itself the woman should at least be receiving a large financial benefit from the continuation of the marriage so that divorce will still leave the woman significantly worse off financially compared to her remaining married. At the same time the man thinking to himself that he keeps all the money for himself if his wife leaves him might give the sense to the man that he can be lazy and treat his wife poorly and nothing bad will happen to him because even if his wife leaves he will still at least keep all his money for himself. Men can take advantage of perverse incentives to.
It should be remembered that marriage in principle is a lifetime commitment; a lifetime commitment of full financial support from the man to the woman and a lifetime commitment of obedience to the man from the woman. There is no reason why marriage should be easy to escape from for either the man or the woman; the first principle is the duty to maintain your commitment to your spouse.
The idea of women getting support from their ex-husbands after a divorce is not a recent feminist invention, it is an ancient traditional idea. From the Wikipedia entry on alimony:
“The modern concept of alimony is derived from English ecclesiastical courts that awarded alimony in cases of separation and divorce. Alimony pendente lite was given until the divorce decree, based on the husband’s duty to support the wife during a marriage that still continued. Post-divorce or permanent alimony was also based on the notion that the marriage continued, as ecclesiastical courts could only award a divorce a mensa et thoro, similar to a legal separation today. As divorce did not end the marriage, the husband’s duty to support his wife remained intact.”
Another idea one could use regarding divorce is that the at-fault party should be punished for their bad behavior that then caused the divorce; that an innocent woman should continue to receive support, even lifetime support, if the husband is the one who was at-fault in the divorce, if the divorce was due to the husband’s bad actions, and that a guilty woman should be denied on-going support from her ex-husband because the divorce was her fault in the first place. In this set-up the divorce settlement serves as a form of justice against the guilty party. However in his statement Anthony Johnson did not say that a wife who broke her vows to the man deserves nothing or that a wife who committed some grave harm against the man deserves nothing, he simply proclaimed that “Women are entitled to NOTHING” as if women as a group or women as a class are entitled to nothing. The sense from his statement is not that a bad woman should be punished for her bad acts against the man by denying her the financial support she would ordinarily receive, it is instead that women deserve nothing as a general rule from a man, that the ordinary starting presumption should be that women in general are not entitled to assets or ongoing support from their ex-husband after a divorce.
Of course, if the idea is that the guilty party in a divorce should be punished for their wrongful acts that led to the divorce that means that if the man is the one who is at fault then the man will have extra-harsh financial obligations imposed upon him to support his ex-wife after the divorce.
I wonder where this mentality of men owe women nothing comes from? It is certainly not a traditionalist mentality, it strikes me more as a gender equality idea, that if men and women are equal to each other then neither sex owes the other sex anything, or at least has no obligations to the other sex that are not self-chosen or part of some mutually agreed upon arrangement. Maybe it is a libertarian idea, that one only has the obligations they choose to take on of their own free will.
Patriarchy is about men’s responsibilities towards women, responsibilities imposed upon men by God, responsibilities that men owe to women as a result of who a man is, the role men play as men, and what the relationship of the woman to the man is, the man being dominant and the woman being dependent. A woman is still a woman whether she is married or divorced. Sometimes a divorced woman is the innocent victim of the man’s abuse or deception, sometimes a divorced woman got what she deserved due to her mistreatment and manipulation of the man, but regardless she is still a woman and still has a protected status in relation to men. This relationship between the man and the woman is not something that the man chooses and it is not something that the woman chooses either, instead it is simply the manifestation of who men and women are.
The Traditionalist Case for Marriage
Why Chivalry is an Unconditional Male Duty