Feminism and the Prison Industrial Complex

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by Welmer on February 9, 2010

I was recently looking over US prison statistics, which demonstrate that the United States imprisons more people by far in terms of both percent of population and overall number than any other country in the world. In fact, the United States may have the highest peacetime incarceration rate in recorded history — we are certainly somewhere near the USSR at the height of the GULAG system (not counting post-war POWs).

While looking at graphs detailing the steep rise in incarceration that began around 1980, it occurred to me that the implementation of feminism and women’s liberation coincided almost perfectly with the rise in the incarceration rate. As single motherhood and “innovations” in family law spread, the number of men in prison grew at a fantastic rate. In the 1990s, Clinton’s 1994 crime bill further increased the growth of the prison industrial complex just as the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) took hold.

It often takes great effort and force to prop up an unnatural social system. The reason the implementation of Communism was accompanied by mass incarceration was that the Communist system wasn’t the best fit for the societies it enslaved. Likewise, although sexual liberation and the destruction of families may come naturally to many – possibly most – women on an individual basis, it doesn’t really work in modern human societies, and probably hasn’t been adaptive since the end of the middle paleolithic.

The decimation of American families began to gain steam during the 1960s, when the illegitimacy rate of black Americans rose rapidly, foreshadowing the current explosion of white illegitimacy. This was accompanied by a record crime rate in the 1970s. As social chaos began to take hold and women marched in the streets for easy divorce and abortion, conservatives’ attention was largely focused on the poor behavior of the young male cohort. As conservatives are wont to do, they blamed men exclusively for the problem, possibly because of their cherished fantasy that all women who have children out of wedlock or who get divorced are innocent victims of rapacious men. In reality, the boys who were out in the street misbehaving were, as often as not, victims of their mothers’ choices.

In addition to the criminality brought about by illegitimacy and broken families, the economic issue of welfare came to be a major point of political contention. As single mothers went on welfare en masse, pressure built up to make fathers pay — again, often for the poor choices of women. Tougher laws were passed to rein in the social chaos in inner cities and attempt to coerce young men into behaving like Ward Cleaver even as their role as provider husband or father had been subverted by revolutionary family law and feminist policies in school and the workplace. Of course, it was impossible for many of these young men to beat the odds stacked against them, so the punitive option was brought to bear, and prisons across the country received them with open arms.

An interesting thing about the meteoric rise in incarceration is that it continued apace for over an entire generation. Starting around 1980, it continued to grow throughout the last Bush administration. If you are a young man today, your chance of being thrown in the slammer has grown tremendously from the day you were born. Even as your real wages have declined, your educational opportunities eroded by higher costs and female domination of higher education, and the likelihood you will have a stable, lasting marriage and family has largely evaporated, you now have a greater opportunity than ever to live the life of a convict.

Feminist policy created a self-reinforcing loop of male disenfranchisement, male crime, public outrage and calls for punishment, incarceration, and then more disenfranchisement as children grow up with daddy in jail or otherwise on the wrong side of the law. There is nothing more responsible for the destruction of the American family than feminism, and there is nothing that breeds crime like broken families.

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