Masculine and Feminine Pride versus Patriarchy

On November 1, 2021 Scott Yenor gave an impressive speech at the National Conservatism Conference, the same venue Josh Hawley spoke at the prior day (October 31, 2021), titled “The Family Form That Nations Need.”

This speech was better than the one Josh Hawley gave, it spoke more directly against the harms of feminism and was more clear in the moral prescriptions and goals necessary to reverse the harms of feminism.  It actually advocated for women’s feminine purpose in the family and directly attacked the career woman ethos.  Pretty radical stuff.  It was hard for me to believe that a venue as mainstream as the National Conservatism Conference had invited him to speak at their event.

After doing further research I found that Scott Yenor is actually a pretty well known figure among conservative activist think tanks and publications; I saw him being featured at City Journal, Ricochet, First Things, and The Claremont Institute.  This is encouraging, that someone as radical as him in their anti-feminism is so broadly accepted among conservatives.

It made me wonder, how anti-feminist is Scott Yenor and why does he have such broad support among people I would ordinarily consider to be relatively mainstream Republicans?  Has anti-feminism advanced on the conservatism side more than I was aware of?

Scott Yenor in his speech at the National Conservatism Conference went out of his way to attack Conservative Inc. for giving into feminism and thinking like feminists (7:45 to 8:31):

“Conservatives have generally accepted the feminist moral high ground either out of fear of running afoul of the feminist overlords in the country or out of conviction.  Conservative Inc. has been afraid to identify the importance of promoting women’s roles within the family and the need for manly leadership so it talks in this vague sense about family values.  The usefulness however of this strategy has been greatly overrated.  Conservatives have operated within the feminist view of promoting androgyny and used the value neutral ‘family values’ lingo to symbolize their own defeat.  This can no more go on.  We need a sexual counter-revolution.”

This is all good stuff.  Certainly more than I am expecting to get from a relatively socially accepted conservative speaker.  Seeing him attacking the conservative establishment for being too feminist is a special treat.

So, is Scott Yenor pro-patriarchy?  He never actually talked about men being dominant over women, he never talked about men taking on their natural roles or natural duties on behalf of women or on behalf of the community in general, and he sort of implied that women being keepers of the home was a good thing but he wasn’t direct about saying that married women shouldn’t work or even that mothers shouldn’t work. 

In response to the large amount of criticism and backlash Scott Yenor received for his speech at the National Conservatism Conference Scott Yenor tweeted out this response on November 30, 2021:

“Feminists are outraged by a talk I recently gave for #NatCon2. Here’s my response. @NatConTalk” (the below is my transcript of what Scott Yenor said in the accompanying video):

“Feminists are outraged by a talk I recently gave and I’ve become an object of their hatred on TikTok.  Well, I’d like to respond.  As Americans in 2021, the so called independent and empowered woman has become one of our most sacred values.  But what is she independent of?  In what way is she truly empowered?  What a feminist means by that is this woman is independent of the family.  She is empowered because her identity is career based. 

After the feminist revolution in the 1960s she abandoned aspirations of a family and children mostly for the sake of a mid-level job.  Is this a good trade?  Are we even allowed to ask if it’s worked out for her?  Sure the weakening of the family has been good for some but for others it has brought addiction, suicide, misery, crime, pain, and purposelessness.  Many polls show that women get unhappier with advances of feminism.  And that comes out in our tragically high rates of medication among young girls. 

And what do the feminists do?  They deflect blame and encourage women to be angry, to be meddlesome and quarrelsome.  When feminists celebrate the revolutionary anger of modern women they are applauded.  When they celebrate their nastiness they applaud one another.  Things must change if this country is to rebuild the family.  While they medicate themselves in their loneliness we should rebuild a country where men act with responsibility and purpose.  We should build a country where young girls are encouraged to be mothers and wives as well as enjoying fulfilling jobs if they choose.  We should elevate the importance of family life for both men and women in America.”

I want to highlight this particular sentence that Scott Yenor said: “We should build a country where young girls are encouraged to be mothers and wives as well as enjoying fulfilling jobs if they choose.”  That sentence there is pure feminism, the career woman who has it all, career and family both, if she chooses, of course.  I wonder why Scott Yenor inserted that line.  Does he really think that way, that it is perfectly fine for a woman to combine career and family if she chooses to or is he just trying to make himself more palatable to feminists so that the feminists don’t attack him so much?

If I was to make an assessment of what Scott Yenor is advocating for regarding family life I would say that he is advocating for Masculine Pride and Feminine Pride combined as the solution to the relationship problem between men and women.  Josh Hawley was advocating for Masculine Pride at the National Conservatism Conference, something mainstream enough to be elected as a Republican Senator from Missouri while still holding such views, while Scott Yenor is more radical advocating for both Masculine Pride and Feminine Pride combined, this still being mainstream enough and acceptable enough to allow Scott Yenor to be a popular speaker and contributor at many conservative publications and organizations.

Is Scott Yenor advocating for patriarchy however?  Patriarchy implies male dominance over women, married women not working, and obedience to God or the natural order of things for both men and women.  Scott Yenor seems to avoid these things in what he talks about.  He emphasizes gender roles, that traditional gender roles should be promoted and encouraged for both men and women, and that men and women taking on traditional gender roles is good for society.  This is farther than most are willing to go.  However he is not willing to talk about male dominance over women, that married women shouldn’t work, or the duty to obey natural law or God, that there is something one should obey beyond social encouragement or cultural values and beliefs.

I think Scott Yenor is trying to avoid coercion or social pressure towards the man doing what the man should do or the woman doing what the woman should do, that he is trying to hold onto a personal freedom ethic and thinking that positive social messages towards men and women both encouraging men and women to take on their traditional gender roles will be good enough to return the family to health.

The patriarchy of the past did involve coercion and social pressure, it was not just about men and women doing the right thing because they felt like it or because it made them feel good.  Coercion and social pressure was applied to both the man and the woman so that the man and woman would do as they should to keep society and the family going.

Scott Yenor placed a lot of emphasis on feminists discouraging women from being homemakers and pursuing relationship goals, feminists encouraging women to place career first leading to women delaying marriage and family formation and ultimately leading to women having fewer children and displacing men from the higher purpose of fatherhood as a result.  This is all true, these are all legitimate attacks against feminism, but I find it a bit odd to place all this emphasis on cultural messages.  This is very similar to Josh Hawley’s speech “The Future of the American Man” where the emphasis was on the harms done to men by feminists’ attacks against men.  Basically Scott Yenor’s speech had the same theme as Josh Hawley’s speech but Josh Hawley focused on feminism’s attack on men’s masculinity while Scott Yenor focused on feminism’s attack against women’s femininity; it being more radical and socially unacceptable to place an emphasis on women’s duties rather than men’s duties which is why Josh Hawley’s speech was more socially acceptable and less anti-feminist than Scott Yenor’s speech but the underlying theme was still the same; the harm of feminism’s social messaging.

I see myself as advocating for patriarchy, traditional patriarchy, as a duty to God.  Definitely traditional gender roles are a part of patriarchy or it is what patriarchy leads to but patriarchy is more than the man being the breadwinner and the woman being the homemaker; patriarchy is based on the man being obedient to the male community, the woman being obedient to the man, and the male community being obedient to God, and yes coercion and social pressure are a part of what keeps people on the right moral path.

Related article: Masculine Pride versus Patriarchy

About Jesse Powell TFA

Anti-Feminist, MRA, Pro-Traditional Women's Rights Traditional Family Activist (TFA)
This entry was posted in Gender Politics Analysis and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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