Ernest B. Bax responds to Lester Ward’s ‘Gynocentric Theory’

The following article titled ‘A Different Interpretation‘ was penned by Ernest Belfort Bax and published in Justice, 18th September 1909, p.10. (letter)

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DEAR COMRADE, – With reference to Professor Lester Ward’s book reviewed in last week’s “Justice,” and the statements made in it which are apparently regarded by the author as arguments in favour of the Feminist theory from the biological side, I would like to point out that even granting the accuracy of Ward’s Biology (which some might possibly be disposed to question), the results he arrives at by no means necessarily point in the direction he wishes to make out they do.

Professor Ward identifies the undivided sex of beings low in the organic scale with the female sex, itself perhaps a doubtful proceeding, but which we will let pass. He then points out that when the division takes place the male, the “fertilising” sex, was relatively unimportant, while the female represented the species. In the course of time the male grew in bodily strength and complexity of development, till, finally, in the human race the wicked male Frankenstein overthrew the domination of the female by his strength of brain and muscle, “although that strength,” pathetically remarks our Feminist advocate “had been conferred by her” (?).

Now this sounds like a pretty fairy tale with a Feminist moral does it not? But has it never struck the professor that his own biological statements (be they right or wrong) are susceptible of quite another interpretation to the one he would impress upon them? As thus: In all low organisms nutrition and reproduction are the two most important functions of life. The main working part of the processes of reproduction rested with the female sex after the primitive differentiation of sex, and has done so ever since.

The male sex, on the contrary, relieved by the course of natural development of the greater part of the labour of mere reproduction, gradually acquired functions, physical and psychical, tending to the higher evolution of the species. In the higher mammalian, but notably, of course, in the human race, this concentration in the male sex of the functions concerned in the higher life of the species has gone on apace.

Hence in human society it is man that represents humanity, as such, and not woman, who still retains as her special department those main working processes of reproduction which gave the female sex that paramount position that Lester Ward claims for it in earlier forms of life; processes which are common to the whole animal kingdom, but which in the human world, at least, have ceased to hold that supreme importance per se they possessed in those earlier forms, when higher functions and possibilities had not appeared above the horizon, and when mere reproduction was (after nutrition) the supreme end of every individual of a species, This is at least as plausible a reading of his own biological theories as the Feminist one he champions,

E. Belfort Bax

P.S. – Since writing the above I have seen D.B.M.’s contribution this week on the same subject. Therein I find the following: “Why the statement of these theories is of such immense importance to Socialists is that the gynaecocentric theory [that of Lester Ward] is a striking corroboration of the correctness of the Marxian interpretation that the economic independence of women will be one at the most important phases of the social revolution.”

Now I must most strongly protest against this dragging in of Marx “by the hair of his head” so to say, as a stalking-horse for this latest attempt to set up a biological basis for Feminism. The theory in question, I do not hesitate to affirm, is not a corroboration, whether “striking” or otherwise, of anything Marx ever taught. It has nothing whatever to do with the special doctrines of Marx, and it is only too obvious that the name of the author of “Das Kapital” is only introduced in the hope of ensuring for the theory in question a more favourable reception than might be accorded to it otherwise in the ranks of the Social-Democracy.

The economic independence of women has been preached by many writers in this country before and since Marx became known, not all of them Socialists by any means, and may be accepted or not as a consequence of the Social Revolution, quite independently of the theories of Ward as to gynaecocentricity with which it has no necessary connection at all. — E.B.B

The Future of Women (article – 1909)

The following article was published in Justice, 1909. Note the reference to Lester F. Ward’s ‘Gynocentric theory’. In a subsequent edition of Justice, Barrister E. B. Bax replies in protest to this article, which is also printed below.


Below is a reply by Ernest B. Bax in Justice – Saturday 18 September 1909:

‘Gynocentric theory’ in colleges and popular culture (pre-1920)

The following excerpt is from the 1920 volume Taboo and genetics; a study of the biological, sociological and psychological foundation of the family. It details the popularity of what it calls “gynocentric theory” entailing a belief in the superiority of women over men, and describes how the idea had caught on widely not only in popular culture and in feminist thought, but in college reference libraries too.

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Scientific discovery, especially in biology, during the past two decades has made necessary an entire restatement of the sociological problem of sex. Ward’s so-called “gynæcocentric” theory, as sketched in Chapter 14 of his Pure Sociology, has been almost a bible on the sex problem to sociologists, in spite of the fact that modern laboratory experimentation has disproved it in almost every detail.

While a comparatively small number of people read this theory from the original source, it is still being scattered far and wide in the form of quotations, paraphrases, and interpretations by more popular writers. It is therefore necessary to gather together the biological data which are available from technical experimentation and medical research, in order that its social implications may be utilized to show the obsoleteness of this older and unscientific statement of the sex problem in society.

Lester F. Ward crystallized the arguments for [female superiority] in an article entitled “Our Better Halves” in The Forum, in 1888. This philosophy of sex, which he christened the “Gynæcocentric Theory,” is best known as expanded into the fourteenth chapter of his Pure Sociology, published fifteen years later. Its publication at this late date gave it an unfortunate vitality long after its main tenets had been disproved in the biological laboratory.

Besides its faulty foundation as to facts, the old gynæcocentric theory involved a method of treatment by historical analogy which biologists have almost entirely discarded. Anyone interested in the relative value of different kinds of biological data for social problems would do well to read the opening chapter of Prof. Morgan’s “Critique of the Theory of Evolution,” for even a summary of which space is lacking here.

College reference shelves are still stocked with books on sex sociology which are totally oblivious of present-day biology. For example, Mrs. Gilman (Man-Made World), Mrs. Hartley (Truth About Woman) and the Nearings (Woman and Social Progress) adhere to Ward’s theory in substantially its primitive form, and not even sociologists like Professor Thomas (Sex and Society) have been able to entirely break away from it.

The ‘Spirit of Chivalry’ personified as female in 1845 London exhibition

The following graphic depicting the spirit of chivalry was exhibited in Westminster Hall, London, in August 1845. The author of this image describes the scene as follows:

The spirit, or “personification” of Chivalry is surrounded by men of various pursuits — religious, military, and civil — who represent, as by an Upper Court, or House, the final acquisition of her honours and rewards. Beneath, as not having obtained, though within reach of the Crown, a young Knight vows himself to chivalric services, attended by his Page, and invited by his Lady’s favour. Beside, or around him, in various grades, other figures are introduced to connect the abstract representation of Chivalry with its general recognition of intellectual influences. Among them the Painter, the Sculptor, the Man of Science; the Bard inspiring Youth by his recitals; the Troubadour and his Mistress; the Palmer from the Holy Land; and the Poet-Historian, from whom future ages must derive their knowledge of the spirit and the deeds of Chivalry.

The Spirit of Chivalry – Westminster Hall Exhibition (1845)

The following graphic depicting the spirit of chivalry was exhibited in Westminster Hall, London, in August 1845. The author of this image describes the scene as follows:
The spirit, or “personification” of Chivalry is surrounded by men of various pursuits — religious, military, and civil — who represent, as by an Upper Court, or House, the final acquisition of her honours and rewards. Beneath, as not having obtained, though within reach of the Crown, a young Knight vows himself to chivalric services, attended by his Page, and invited by his Lady’s favour. Beside, or around him, in various grades, other figures are introduced to connect the abstract representation of Chivalry with its general recognition of intellectual influences. Among them the Painter, the Sculptor, the Man of Science; the Bard inspiring Youth by his recitals; the Troubadour and his Mistress; the Palmer from the Holy Land; and the Poet-Historian, from whom future ages must derive their knowledge of the spirit and the deeds of Chivalry.

American Chivalry (Article – originally published in 1846)

The following article, describing American culture as an epicenter of exaggerated gynocentric chivalry, was published in The London Sun, Wed 11th November, 1846.

I am convinced that a lady, no matter what her age and attractions might be, could journey through the whole extent of the union, not only without experiencing a single annoyance, but aided in every possible way with unobtrusive civility. Indeed a great number of Saphonisbas and Almiras do travel about, protected only by the chivalry of their countrymen and their own undoubted propriety.

To them the best seats, the best of everything, are always allotted. A friend of mine told me of a little affair at New York Theatre, the other night, illustrative of my assertion. A stiff-necked Englishman had engaged a front place, and of course the best corner: when the curtain rose, he was duly seated, opera-glass in hand, to enjoy the performance. A lady and a gentleman came into the box shortly afterwards; the cavalier in escort, seeing that the place where our friend sat was the best, calling his attention, saying “The lady, sir,” and motioned that the corner should be vacated. The possessor, partly because he disliked the imperative mood, and partly because it bored him to be disturbed, refused. Some words ensued, which attracted the attention of the sovereign people in the pit, who magisterially enquired what was the matter?

The American came to the front of the box and said, “There is an Englishman here who will not give up his place to a lady.” Immediately their majesties swarmed up by dozens over the barriers, seized the offender, very gently though, and carried him to the entrance; he kicked, cursed, and fought all in vain: he excited neither the pity nor the anger of his stern executioners; they placed him carefully on his feet again at the steps, one man handing him his hat, another his opera glass, and a third the price he had paid for his ticket of admission, then quickly shut the door upon him, and returned to their places. The shade of the departed Judge Lynch must have rejoiced at such an angelic administration of his law! – England in the New World.

C.S. Lewis: The Feudalisation of Love

Traditional conservative sex roles, liberal-feminist concepts regarding sexual liberation, and traditional feminist views about sexual relations are all heads growing from the one Hydra. What aim do all of these ideologies have in common?

The answer is beautifully captured by C.S. Lewis’ phrase “a feudalisation of love.” That’s what these worldviews hold in common.

According to Lewis, the feudalisation of love (FOL) refers to the medieval event when the feudal contract employed between Lords & vassals was repurposed by noblewomen. These women believed the feudal contract could serve as a new model to govern sexual relations, whereby a woman would assume the role of Lord, and man her vassal symbolised in the iconic display of a man going down on one knee before her.  After a continuous process of cultural diffusion the formula appears in most countries today, such has been its remarkable power to colonize.

Lewis states that in comparison with the revolution generated by the feudalisation of love, the Renaissance amounts to a mere ripple on the surface of literature. It forms the internal rationale of post-industrial traditionalism, romantic love, and especially for the various waves of feminism which embraced this idea with greater fervor, applying its principles ever more aggressively with each iteration of the movement.

Lewis places a precise date on the rise of feudalisation of love, claiming it appeared quite suddenly at the end of the eleventh century in France. He describes it as an elitist fad spreading to all the courts of Europe while subsequently permeating down the vertical axis to capture the imagination of lower classes. The spread was so thorough that FOL is now regarded as a “timeless” and “natural” human arrangement, held up as as a sacrosanct pillar of human evolution by layperson and academic alike.

The fact that FOL is not a timeless universal of human biology has been demonstrated by Peter Ryan whose exhaustive investigations reveal the rise of gynocentrism to be a perversion, or what I have elsewhere labeled as a supernormal stimulus.  Despite these debunkings however, the belief in the “timeless” and “universal” nature of FOL continues unabated.

FOL leads to poor treatment of males, serving as root cause of the malignant outcomes tackled by men’s advocates. Among the catalogue of negative outcomes is the act of male suicide — and yet even family members, friends and academics who have lost loved ones (men) to suicide remain leery about naming this lack of social value directly: it is caused by both the gynocentrism and misandry inherent in feudalisation of love.

The only place where female suicide is higher is in rural China: ergo where women have lower social value than men. China is also the place where the feudalisation of love never took root in the culture because it was explicitly outlawed there by Mao during the cultural revolution, because it was viewed as a disintegrative culture product.

Outside certain parts of Asia most cultures are decidedly gynocentric, hyper-valuing women’s identity, needs and wants. While there are many factors that can contribute to male suicide, if we were to address men’s devalued sense of self by removing FOL, then the majority of these men would not suicide because they would be buoyed by that magic ingredient – value. This can only happen if we voice a full throated diminution of gynocentrism, running in tandem with a social revalorization of men and boys.

Those who believe in and adhere to the FOL script in their relationships, please don’t come calling when it begins to hurt or when tragedy hits. First, you must divest yourself of it and then we can talk and perhaps find a way out of the maze.

All of the above is part of the grand culture cycle we find ourselves in, dictated by peculiar customs and conventions just like every epoch that has gone before it. Fortunately, we might be saved from the status quo by a little formula proposed by Hegel that characterizes the evolving face of culture as an endless loop of three developments: 1. thesis, 2. antithesis, 3. synthesis. While its hard to guess, when applied to our current culture his formula might play out like this:

  • Thesis: feudalisation of love
  • Antithesis: men’s rights backlash
  • Synthesis: transgender movement, which obliterates sexual identity & feudalisation of love with it.

For the sake of humor I’ll refer to this hypothesis as the Other Great Reset, hopefully one that will bring us back to a saner baseline.

Gynocentrism: The Real Gender Cult

By Vernon Meigs

In light of the trend of transgender mania and woke and politically correct culture, those on the conservative traditionalist side are keen on throwing around terms like “gender cult.” This gender cult they speak of is that of gender subjectivism, denial of organic attributes of sex, and divorcing the metaphysical and behavioral aspects of sex from the biological real-world component – what progressives would like to call sex assigned at birth.

It’s not that they’re necessarily wrong here, calling this a gender cult. It is; albeit a specialized reactionary one that professes to rebel against gender norms. Ironically enough transgender identity relies on stereotyped ideas about gender to then say they are defying it.

What I want to address is the idiocy of those who claim to be fighting this gender cult, namely the hypocrisy of calling it a gender cult when they as neotraditionalists are likely to indulge and take for granted a gender cult of their own, one which is more massive and has a bigger, more longstanding history than even feminism itself.

Gynocentrism and gyneolatry contain qualities in every way attributable to an actual gender cult. The fact that it actually gave way to feminism, which in turn gave way to political transgender ideology, is evident but conveniently ignored too often by these conservatives. They don’t want to address it because, as practitioners of the gynocentric gender cult, they either are dependent on it to keep the approval of the women in their immediate lives as well as from the public, or suffer from a serious normalized case of Stockholm Syndrome.

Anyway, to the heart of the subject of this article: The gender cult that the traditional conservative promotes and refuses to denounce.

Men are expected to die in wars while the royal class of women are subject to protection by these men. That is a gender cult.

Men are expected, from the point of courtship til well after the divorce, to financially and in effect materially provide for womankind. That is a gender cult.

Men are expected at one day old to have a crucial component of their genitalia ripped off, despite the risk of infection, physical complications that follow, and death, as well as guaranteed psychological trauma manifesting itself at varying degrees later in life — apparently for the sake of anywhere from Sandra Bullock’s, Oprah’s, and Kate Beckinsale’s facial creams to the depraved whims of women sexually attracted to broken manhood. That is a gender cult. Circumcision of baby boys is a gender cult.

Women are regarded as equivalent of nature, designated as the big choosers, and the men as vassals that must commit degrading acts of altruism to earn their attention, this despite the fact that men and women are both choosers and members of nature together. This one-sided attitude is a gender cult.

Families, in particular in North America, favor supporting daughters after adulthood, whereas men are generally kicked out of the house when they reach the age of 18, expected to fend for themselves because “a man should take care of himself” else he gets shamed as a dweller in his parents’ basement with no life. Women categorically reject men at the slightest hint of them receiving assistance in any such way in the dating market, for instance. I call that a gender cult.

To engage in romance a man must first place himself in a position of self-degradation of bending his knee in front of a woman and present her with a hunk of rock, which may or may not be a blood diamond, that he has spent a ridiculous amount of his fortune on. That’s the first edge. What is either a curt rejection and no further regard by the woman for the trouble the man went through or, if she did accept, then the wedding will be even more of a fortune lost on the man’s part and it will be again when the divorce follows, which happens at this point too often to not consider it an event to expect, and practically schedule. Either way, royal woman looks down at vassal man. That is the image of the man going down on his knee and proposing. That is a gender cult.

Violence against men, especially by women, is subject to laughter. The very act of entertaining the idea of violence against women, especially by men, is grounds for ostracism at best, violent retribution at worst. Self-defense is not tolerated even if the man is faced with a rabid crazed blade wielding unhinged psycho woman on a rampage. That is a gender cult.

Happy wife, happy life. If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Placing women on status of maniacal ruler whose whims must be satisfied else the man’s existence is not justified. That is a gender cult.

To the traditional conservatives out there, and anyone who professes to ally with feminists and other misandrists just so they could own the trans gender cult — this discussion is for you. The gender cult which you profess to wage war on is but a fad compared to the grander gender cult that is gynocentrism that you take for granted and bask in.

I’ll close with something that I want you to get through to your head. Gynocentrism is a gender cult. It is the biggest such cult. Gyneolatry is woman-worshipping in this gender cult. Biogynocentrism is the means of rationalizing it with the alleged argument from biology and evolution in this gender cult. Male disposal is the end goal of this gender cult. Gynocentrism is a gender cult.