Feminism is petty, vain, and rife with internal contradictions. As an obvious example of the latter, the feminists complain about ridiculous things like how women are under-represented as fire fighters, yet when it comes to societies where women are indeed severely oppressed, as in Saudi Arabia, they utter not a word in protest. Clearly, feminism is nothing but a massive s— test directed at Western men, and one at which we have failed miserably.
It is critical for the men’s movement to understand this point and its implications. For it means that it is our failure that is culpable for the rise of feminism and its many attendant ills. And it also means that ONLY WE can fix those problems.
In perusing men’s rights blogs, one finds countless men who are practically blind with rage at women for various reasons– promiscuity, abortion, bogus rape accusations, confiscating assets in divorce. But this anger is all based on a false premise– namely, the idea of gender equality.
It is taken for granted in our society, and so ingrained in our culture as to be almost beyond question, that women are the equals of men in their sense of justice, their self-control, maturity and farsightedness, and their abilities to manage their own resources and act in their own best interests. This idea is modern, slick, simple, and completely wrong. It also runs contrary to millennia of experience and traditions, throughout all major civilizations, that do recognize qualitative differences between men and women, and assign them differing roles accordingly.
Once we see, and we certainly should by now, the many fallacies embedded in the idea of gender equality, we can begin to solve the problems caused by feminism. For if women do not, in general, have the same sense of justice and fairness that men have, then NEITHER CAN THEY BE HELD RESPONSIBLE for offenses in the same way men are. Fundamentally, it makes no more sense to be angry at a woman for being promiscuous than it does to be angry at a 2-year-old for pouring sugar in one’s gas tank. The kid wasn’t supervised properly; he didn’t know what he was doing; it’s really the parents’ fault.
So how do we atone for our failure of will, and put the feminist genie back in the bottle? The answer is to restore the patriarchy and re-adopt some of the older rules of conduct in male-female relations. A bit of study will show that the civilizations of the past– the societies that moved the human condition forward, that created progress and improved comfort for both men and women– had customs and assumptions that differ markedly from the mechanical views of gender equality that we hold today.
In making these corrections, of course, we will not revert to such extremes of repression as are seen in some savage cultures. No woman will be forced to marry, nor will cruel treatment of wives by their husbands be condoned. However, a few new, but also radical– i.e., traditional– ground rules are in order.
First of all, as in classical Greece, every unmarried woman needs a kyrios. This is a male guardian with whom she has a positive, long-term, but non-sexual relationship. Typically, this will be her father, but could also be a brother, a priest, or possibly even an ex-boyfriend or -husband. The kyrios must protect her, look out for her best interests and help her to select an appropriate mate. If a man sees a woman he is interested in romantically, his first priority should be to find out who her kyrios is, and negotiate with him for her companionship. The kyrios should also be available during the relationship to help smooth out any problems that may arise.
When it comes to selection of a mate, it is best if the woman and her kyrios agree on the choice of a suitor. If they cannot reach an agreement, then the woman can marry whomever she wishes (or remain single). Doing so, however, would jeopardize whatever other benefits she derives from her relationship with the kyrios. Furthermore, a suitor should have fair warning of the situation, and should ask himself: if she won’t obey her kyrios, what reason do I have to think that she’ll obey me?
The kyrios system is simply an expression of the idea that a woman’s sexuality is too important and valuable for her to manage on her own. We have seen the frightful results of allowing women free rein over their own choice in partners– put bluntly, there are very few long-term conjugal relationships in the absence of a surrounding patriarchical social network.
The kyrios system requires no legal changes, and in theory, is actually not much different from our current one. After all, two people cannot just get married on their own– at least one other person must be involved to officiate and legalize the arrangement. In principle, the officiating party ought to take some responsibility for becoming acquainted with the couple, and mentoring them, and should also have some share of personal accountability for the success or failure of the marriage.
The main task in implementing the kyrios system is in educating fathers about the need to take an active and protective role in their daughters’ lives at least up until their marriages, and to plan for their long term interests in ways that they cannot do on their own. While we do not propose instituting forced or arranged marriages, the current system goes to the other extreme by providing no guidance whatsoever on the choice of partners. The practice of throwing young people out into a figurative goldfish bowl, and hoping for the best, is clearly not working.
The second change is also cultural, and involves educating girls and young women on the responsibilities of marriage. Early feminists complained of the stifling strictures of marriage, which they claimed prevented women from reaching their potential as literary and artistic figures. Be that as it may, most women are going to be happier and more fulfilled in stable marriages than as spinsters, and once they have chosen marriage they need to meet the requirements of the role. These include faithfulness and obedience to their husbands, as well as consistency in doing domestic tasks such as cooking and cleaning. Important steps in this direction would be restoring the study of home economics for girls in primary and secondary schools, and reviving the institution of finishing schools for college-age women.
The third change should be an overhaul of the divorce laws, to restore ownership of property and children to the party– usually the man– who has paid for the acquisition and maintenance thereof. A society obviously cannot survive long when it allows women to divorce their husbands while also laying claim to his assets and children. And a woman certainly cannot be permitted to have an abortion against her husband’s wishes.
A question may arise as to a woman’s rights when the husband initiates a divorce. Biblical passages (see Exodus 21:10) as well as basic concepts of justice would indicate that she should not be left without support. It remains to investigate how extensive a problem this was, from a practical standpoint, prior to the introduction of modern divorce laws.
In short, we propose here changes in culture and attitudes that correspond to natural differences among the sexes– not to make women “second class citizens” or “chattel property” or any such figments of feminist hyperbole, but to restore a civilization where both men and women can be reasonably content in their relationships and productive in their lives.