Diagnosing Gynocentrism

By Peter Ryan

Doctor 1 commons

When we discuss men’s issues in the manosphere, the term “gynocentrism” is often attributed as the primary causal factor driving the marginalisation of men and boys in society. Understanding the nature of the force men are fighting, is a critically important step in developing effective strategies and possible solutions to the numerous issues men and boys are facing in society. Peter Wright at Gynocentrism.com1, defines and describes gynocentrism and discusses its cultural origins and biological underpinnings on his website.

Gynocentrism manifests itself in relationships and the culture in many ways. However, this is not always obvious. One of the powerful characteristics of gynocentrism is how subtle it is and how easily gynocentric bigotry can be disguised and hidden from our perception. Society is complex and often there are a multitude of variables involved in any activity, practice or set of behaviours etc. Gynocentrism can blend in with these other variables and the complexity of society can help push it into the background of our perception.

The biological drivers of gynocentrism2, also play a role in masking it from our perception. Gynocentrism is the product of superresponses to sexual and emotional superstimuli and these responses undoubtedly filter our perception, as well as produce the behaviours that give rise to gynocentrism. Intense cultural conditioning also plays a major role from cradle to grave, in training the brain to filter information through a gynocentric lens (the blue pill perspective). The gynocentric mobius strip is a readily observable social phenomenon.

As a result of these factors, there are examples in society where gynocentrism is obvious to many people (like radical feminism) and there are many examples where gynocentrism is not so obvious. There are also examples where an activity can be mistaken to be non-gynocentric and vice versa. It can often take years to train perception in adults to a point where gynocentrism can be readily identified (taking the red pill) and overcome the years of cultural conditioning and the acquired biological short circuits (the superresponses and positive feedback loops) that drive gynocentrism.

Gynocentrism is a slippery beast and defining it has been the subject of discussion in the manosphere (please see Paul Elam and Alison Tieman’s talk on this subject linked here3). If we are to slay the gynocentric dragon, then we must first develop a refined definition of gynocentrism and diagnostic criteria for identifying it in society and relationships. It is important to define problems as precisely as possible, so we can develop effective targeted solutions. This article will be the first in a series of articles exploring the nature of gynocentrism.

In this article I will present a refined definition of gynocentrism and provide a simple set of diagnostic criteria for identifying it in society and relationships. I will provide practical examples of the operation of this definition and criteria, then discuss whether certain aspects of the culture are gynocentric and then describe a model of measuring the intensity of gynocentrism in the culture.  It is my hope that this article and the following series of articles, will assist people in the manosphere in explaining what gynocentrism is to people unfamiliar with the concept and in relation to men’s issues. Solving a social problem requires spreading an awareness of the problem and this in turn requires properly identifying what it is.

What Is Gynocentrism?

I define gynocentrism as the following: The set of elements of society and relationships that are directed by the intent to prioritise female well-being over male well-being, based solely or partly on the sex of the intended beneficiary(ies) being female and for which there are no equivalent efforts made to provide corresponding commensurate benefits to males.

I define well-being as the quality of the overall condition of the life of an individual or group, that is based on taking their mental and physical health and life satisfaction into consideration.

The diagnostic criteria that must be met for an element of society or relationships to be considered gynocentric are the following:

  1. The element must be driven by the intent to prioritise female well-being over male well-being.
  2. This intent must be solely or partly based on the sex of the intended beneficiary(ies) being female.
  3. There must be no equivalent efforts made to provide commensurate benefits to males for instances where female well-being is prioritised over male well-being.

Evaluating an element of society or relationships against these three criteria, requires some investigation to confirm the intent driving it and whether that intent is based on the sex of the group or individual that is meant to benefit from it. Quite often this information is overtly virtue signalled (like policies advocating female hiring quotas or domestic violence campaigns). On other occasions it is not and gynocentrism has to be identified through careful observation of the element in question and through a process of elimination.

The core belief that gynocentrism is associated with is female superiority. It is also associated with female entitlement mentality4. Gynocentrism is a form of bigotry based on sex and is not a morally justifiable aspect of society or relationships. For those people that have doubts, please substitute “male” with black people and “female” with white people in the definition of gynocentrism, or simply reverse the sexes. Those individuals that appeal to nature to justify gynocentrism, should look up what a naturalistic fallacy is. We can appeal to nature to justify rape and that does not morally justify it or mean that we should accept it. Gynocentrism is not defensible and should not be normalised in the culture.

I called myself “theantigynocentrist” for this very reason and because I wanted to make it abundantly clear exactly what I am fighting against. Feminism is the political manifestation of gynocentrism and is just the tip of the iceberg of the problem I am standing up against. There are those that would prefer men just stop at feminism and not question anything beyond that. Heaven forbid men get the idea in their heads that they deserve to be treated fairly (The scene from Oliver Twist asking for more comes to mind. How dare men ask to be treated fairly! The horror.). Some so-called “antifeminists” are worried the gravy train of exploiting men might stop if men look beyond feminism and go to the root of the problem.

Armed with this refined definition of gynocentrism and the diagnostic criteria described earlier, it becomes possible to identify gynocentrism in society and relationships in a tangible way. What gynocentrism is and is not, can be illustrated with the following examples:

Example 1.

A man and a woman are both involved in a car accident. The woman is critically injured and at risk of death without immediate medical treatment and the man is walking around conscious with a few scratches and is in a stable condition. The woman is treated first.

This is not an example of gynocentrism. The paramedics prioritise the woman’s well-being over the man’s well-being, as the woman is objectively in greater need of immediate medical assistance and the man is not.

Example 2.

A man and a woman are both involved in a car accident. The man is critically injured and at risk of death without immediate medical treatment and the woman is walking around conscious with a few scratches and is in a stable condition. The woman is treated first, as the paramedics mutter women and children first.

This is gynocentrism. The paramedics prioritise the woman’s well-being over the man’s well-being, even though the man is objectively in greater need of immediate medical assistance.

Example 3.

A family celebrates Mother’s Day and then celebrates Father’s Day later in the same year.

This is not gynocentrism. There is a corresponding day for male parents.

Example 4.

An organisation celebrates International Women’s Day and does not celebrate International Men’s Day.

This is gynocentrism. There is no corresponding day of celebration for men at this organisation.

Example 5.

A company decides to implement a female hiring quota for their board that requires 50% of positions to be given to female candidates. The number of applicants is 90% male.

This is gynocentric. Female candidates are prioritised over male candidates and this is because they are female.

Example 6.

A company decides to implement a female hiring quota for their board that requires 50% of positions to be given to female candidates and 50% of positions to be given to male candidates. The number of applicants is 90% male.

This is gynocentric. Whilst men are given a corresponding benefit, this benefit is not commensurate with the benefit given to women. 90% of the applicants are male and yet only half of the positions are available to those men.

Example 7.

A company decides to implement a multifaceted policy to boost gender diversity on their board. The company develops a mentoring network for senior female managers to mentor younger women and offers them secondment opportunities in higher positions. An equivalent mentoring network is set up for men and the same secondment opportunities are offered. The company makes changes to provide equal amounts of maternity and paternity leave to male and female employees. Flexible work hours, subsidised childcare located at the workplace and the option to work remotely from home three days of the week, is provided to both male and female employees.

Whilst there might be other problems with the feasibility of this policy, it is not gynocentric. The intent driving this policy does not prioritise female well-being over male-wellbeing. The benefits given to women and men are balanced and the aim to prioritise gender diversity is not skewed in favour of either sex. However, the initiatives in this policy may increase female representation at senior managerial levels and have a flow on effect at board level.

Example 8.

A man and a woman with equal salary go out for dinner on a date. During the date the woman repeatedly makes it known they expect chivalry from the man. Despite desiring to pay half the bill, the man pays the entire bill to gain female approval and bows to the pressure to conform.

This is gynocentric. The woman’s well-being is prioritised over the man’s well-being because she is female.

Example 9.

A man and a woman with equal salary go out for dinner on a date. During the date the woman and the man chat and have a great relaxing time. The man has a generous character and enjoys giving gifts to people. Out of his own personal desire and generosity, he pays the entire bill. He feels very happy about this and suffers no detriment to his health and does not put his finances in jeopardy. The benefit to his well-being in his individual case, is commensurate with the benefit to the woman’s well-being.

This is not gynocentric. In this case the man is acting in an authentic manner that makes him happy and improves his well-being and his well-being is not given a secondary priority. Not all men will react the same way to the same situation. What may decrease one man’s well-being, may actually increase another man’s well-being. Men must be their authentic selves (provided they do not harm others, including themselves, unless in self-defence).

Example 10.

A man and a woman with equal salary go out for dinner on a date. During the date the woman and the man chat and have a great relaxing time. The man has a generous character and enjoys giving gifts to people. Out of his own personal desire and generosity he pays the entire bill. They go out on further dates to expensive restaurants and the man continues to pay the whole bill on each occasion. He also buys his date expensive jewellery every month. The man starts to fall into debt and starts to default on payments. He becomes stressed and depressed.

This is gynocentric. In this case the man may be getting some short-term satisfaction out of being so generous, but in general his life satisfaction and mental health are declining because of the growing debt he is accumulating. The net result is that his well-being (or the quality of the overall condition of his life) is in decline.

There is nuance to life and these examples demonstrate that there is nuance to gynocentrism. What may appear healthy on the surface may actually be unhealthy and what may appear an unhealthy behaviour to some people, may be actually healthy for that particular person. These examples illustrate why it becomes important to define concepts along lines that reflect what they are intended to describe. The central recurring principle driving the discussion facing men’s issues is fairness.

Is it fair that men receive far lower funding for their health than women and yet have significantly shorter lifespans and generally have a higher disease burden? Is it fair that we have engineered our entire education systems to cater to the needs of girls over the needs of boys? Is it fair that women receive considerably shorter and more lenient sentences for committing exactly the same crimes as men, even after controlling for other variables? In many respects, men are simply demanding to be treated fairly and not to be treated in a discriminatory fashion simply for being male. Men are demanding an end to gynocentrism.

Is Chivalry Gynocentric?

As has been discussed on many occasions in the manosphere, gynocentrism has been around longer than modern feminism. Romantic chivalry5 is often cited as an example of historical gynocentrism and indeed it is. But why? It is not the actions alone that pedestalise women, that make chivalry gynocentric. It is the fact that chivalry is also a series of socially enforced expectations that men are expected to live up to, whether they want to or not. Chivalry is a code of behaviour that is still part of our culture and enforced to some degree, even today.

What individual men personally desire to do is not taken into consideration and therefore their well-being is treated as secondary to female well-being. If some men desire on their own accord without social pressure, to do things like pay a bill for a dinner and if this makes them happy to a degree that their well-being benefits to the same degree as their female counterpart (provided it is not pathological like in example 10), then that is not gynocentric. What might make some men unhappy, may make other men happy and vice versa. This is a critically important distinction to make.

Chivalry is gynocentric because it puts men’s wishes and their well-being secondary to women’s. It is not the respectful and generous actions directed toward women on their own that define chivalry. It is theoretically possible for a small fraction of men to be generous toward women in relationships because they are women, with no reciprocal generosity shown by the women and yet objectively increase their own well-being to the same degree as their female counterpart. It is not likely, but it is possible (perhaps an example could be men into female domination, whatever floats their boat). One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Who am I or anyone for that matter, to tell a man what is in his best interests unless I have clear objective factual evidence to the contrary? With that said, men should certainly decide for themselves, but not lie to themselves like in example 10.

To clarify this point further, if a man decides to be generous exclusively toward women and this selective behaviour extends beyond the relationship, then that is gynocentric even if his well-being objectively benefits to the same degree as the woman. He is placing the well-being of women above the well-being of men in his social sphere, because they are women and he is making no equivalent effort to provide commensurate generosity toward men. Even if he derives happiness from being exclusively generous toward women simply because they are female, the overall effect of his behaviour in society, is that women’s well-being in his social sphere is elevated above men. He is contributing to gynocentrism, reinforcing gynocentric double standards and causing social harm.

Is Benevolent Sexism Gynocentric?

Feminists are often quick to rebut instances where supposed sexism benefits women and instead claim they actually hurt women. It is correct to point out that elements of society and relationships can bring both benefits and costs to women’s well-being. Indeed, this was an important point in the discussion Paul Elam and Alison Tieman had about the nature of gynocentrism. To determine whether something is gynocentric, we must consider the impact on well-being in a holistic sense. That is why I defined well-being in an overall context. We also have to consider the intent behind the element of society or relationships in question, rather than just considering the outcome. That is why intent forms part of the refined definition of gynocentrism.

One could make a valid argument that female hiring quota’s actually reduce female well-being6 inevitably over the long term, or that protecting women at the cost of their freedom hurts women. However, the intent of such policies and practices is clearly to prioritise female well-being over male well-being. Intent matters. To borrow a line from feminists and flip it-Gynocentrism hurts women too.

Similarly, one could make the argument that taking only women off a sinking ship against their will because they are women (there actually were some women7 that would not leave their husbands on the Titanic, even as officers tried to force them to do so), is an example of benevolent sexism. Whilst women may indeed experience great emotional distress from such practices, there is no question that the intent is to prioritise female well-being in an overall sense over male well-being and in this case save as many women as possible.

Are Traditional Relationships Gynocentric?

Like romantic chivalry, traditional relationships can be gynocentric. But are they always? If a man and a woman have a traditional division of labour and traditional roles and both the man and the woman’s well-being are given equal priority and are both enhanced by the relationship to the same degree, then that is not gynocentric. If however the woman’s well-being is prioritised over the man’s well-being, then that is a gynocentric relationship. Traditional relationships can certainly be gynocentric, but not just simply because they are traditional. It is because they can be lopsided to elevate the well-being of women above the well-being of men. Please see this classic MGTOW video8 on the subject of gynocentrism and traditional relationships and commensurate benefits by Barbarossa.

Can traditional relationships be balanced to benefit both male and female well-being? Yes. Provided men have the self-respect to demand it and women have the integrity and level of respect for men to accept nothing less. It is worth noting that a relationship does not have to be traditional to be gynocentric. Relationships where the female is the breadwinner, or where both partners work full-time, can be just as gynocentric and often even more so.

Is Male Disposability Always The Result Of Gynocentrism?

In different contexts in our society, male life and well-being is treated as disposable and in many instances gyoncentrism plays a role in diminishing the societal concern for male suffering. However, it is not the only factor that contributes to male disposability in society. Greed and the psychopathy of numerous tyrants and regimes can attest to that. Sometimes historical accounts of invading armies killing all of the men in a community and raping all of the women, is given as an example of gynocentrism.

Remember that intent matters. Are the actions of the invading armies driven by the intent to prioritise female well-being over male well-being, solely or partly on the basis of a group being female rather than male? In some instances that may indeed be the case and in other instances that may not be the case. An invading army may kill all of the men in a community because they want to remove the military threat of a counterattack, rather than simply because they are not female or because they want to prioritise female well-being. Female well-being may not be the priority they have in mind that is inspiring their actions, when they spare the women and then rape them. Human evil comes in many forms.

Gynocentrism is just one expression of evil, but it is not the only form of evil. Yes, real sexism against women and girls does exist. Female infanticide does happen in some societies on a significant scale and genocides of both men and women do occur. Some companies do carelessly produce products that leach endocrine disruptors that impair the health, development and onset of puberty, of not just boys, but girls as well.

The Gynocentrism Index

So far we have looked at gynocentrism at the micro level. The same definition of gynocentrism is also applicable at the macro level of society and entire nations. However, it is also useful at the macro level to develop metrics that quantify such concepts so we can measure and analyse them. We often hear about the so-called “gender inequality index”9. In this article I would like to propose a basic model for a gynocentrism index, that could be measured for each country or a given population just like the gender inequality index.

In our society gynocentrism manifests itself along five major dimensions between the sexes. These include the following:

The empathy gapMore concern is shown for females than for males10. Female interests, needs, wants, perspectives, happiness, safety, health, wealth and welfare etc is prioritised over the males. Entire government departments are set up to address these matters and billions of dollars spent on them. Even in education where women and girls are thriving relative to men and boys that are struggling, virtually all of the initiatives and policies in education are focused on supporting female learning and academic achievement.

The accountability gapFemales are held to a lower standard of accountability than males11. The sentencing gap between males and females12 that commit the same crimes and after controlling for other variables, is six times greater13 than the sentencing gap between black people and white people (yes you read that correctly). This lack of female accountability, is particularly pronounced when it comes to their behaviour toward males. Whilst there is a great social taboo toward males committing acts of physical and sexual violence against females, female physical and sexual violence against male victims is either dismissed or excused. A woman cutting off a man’s penis14 is even laughed about on national TV.

The reward for effort gap– Females receive more reward for their efforts. A number of businesses and government organisations are implementing, or have implemented female hiring quotas and introduced lower entry standards exclusively for female applicants. Some businesses actually now pay women more superannuation15, simply because they are women (yes you read that correctly-more super for women because they are female). Contrary to popular opinion, there is also evidence of discrimination in hiring favouring women in a number of instances16, even in STEM fields17.

The women are wonderful effect– Mainstream media, entertainment, ads, academia, schooling and politics, are constantly saturated with messages promoting female superiority and overt misandry18. Books and news articles like, “The End of Men: And The Rise of Women”19 are abundant and are a daily feature in society. Boys in school are having particularly bad experiences with this phenomenon and I would encourage people to read this article20 and watch this video21 of the accounts of two boys experiencing this in school. This has been going on a long time. The women are wonderful effect is systemic in our society, culture and relationships and has profound impacts on how we perceive men and women and boys and girls and how we treat them.

Greater female in-group biasResearch has demonstrated22 that women have an in-group bias that is 4.5 times stronger than men. Women show a bias favouring other women over men and men also show a deference to women. Men are “othered” in our gynocentric society. The female in-group bias is why millions of women will go on a “Women’s march” on the street for 2 years in a row, simply because someone with a vagina did not become US President. It is also one of the key reasons why feminism has become such a powerful force in society. You may have heard the phrase, “Because I am a woman” given as some justification for gynocentric double standards and outright bigotry. You may have heard the phrase or come across the mentality, “Believe the woman” from the female metoo# mob and their white knights, that want to dispense with due process and the rule of law. That is gynocentrism and female in-group bias talking.

In gynocentric societies women are treated with more empathy, have less accountability, receive more reward for their efforts (if they put any effort in at all), are treated and spoken about with reverence as men’s superiors or betters and women display a substantially stronger in-group bias than men do. These gaps are most likely correlated with each other. If women are treated with more empathy in a given society, then they will also be treated with less accountability, receive greater reward for their efforts and the women are wonderful effect and female in-group bias will be stronger.

These five dimensions can be measured. For example, we could measure the empathy gap by comparing the disparity in funding for men’s health versus women’s health after accounting for the death rate and disease burden. The accountability gap can be measured by looking at the sentencing gap between men and women, after controlling for relevant variables. The reward for effort gap could be measured by counting the number of affirmative action hiring programs that target female applicants to meet female hiring quotas. The women are wonderful effect could be measured by examining the number of instances in mainstream media and entertainment material that women are portrayed as or implied to be superior to men. The relative size of the female in-group bias, could be measured through existing psychological tools. These examples are by no means an exhaustive list. Numerous other sources of data could be added to this list and used in the analysis to calculate a gynocentrism index.

Once a proper and agreed upon scientific methodology, formula and model is developed to calculate a gynocentrism index from the data and a comprehensive amount of data is collected, then studies could be conducted. I have little doubt such studies would produce fascinating results if they were done. This is the sort of conceptual framework and analysis that is inevitably is going to be required to solve the huge problems facing men and boys. It would interesting to plot such a gynocentrism index against national IQ, national sex ratios (particularly the operational sex ratios), age and cultural demographics, population density, education levels, rates of fatherlessness, crime rate, GDP per capita, over time and even the gender inequality index.

As long as gynocentrism remains unanalysed and masked from society, then society will continue to rush towards the gynocentric abyss and an inevitable fempocalypse23. The first step in the process of solving a problem, is identifying that there is a problem and the second step is understanding precisely what that problem is. Gynocentrism is in many ways like a virus. The immune system of society has to be trained to identify the pathogen that is destroying it. Developing an effective vaccine requires identifying the antigens of the virus that trigger an immune response.

Developing a refined definition of gynocentrism, diagnostic criteria to screen for it and analytical methods of measuring and examining gynocentrism, are the first few steps in that process. The scientific method should form the basis of any research into this social phenomenon, if we are to develop an accurate model of the problem and design an effective solution from that model. Feminist ideology has given us numerous examples of what happens when facts, evidence and science are ignored. We should consider those examples as a warning of what not to do.

If any serious investigation and academic research is going to be made into gynocentrism, the scientific method will need to be restored in the social sciences at the universities (particularly in the psychological sciences) and the feminist ideological bloc that has taken them over will need to be removed. Substantial political, media and financial pressure will need to be applied on our universities to achieve this. So much of government policy, law, journalism, education, employment and industrial relations policies etc, is based on faulty feminist research coming from the social sciences of the universities. If the decay of academic research is not resolved, then society will need to collapse before it can return to a sustainable paradigm.

Men and boys are not an inferior group of people and are equally deserving of respect, empathy and love. Societies that do not accept that, do not deserve them.24

References

[1] https://gynocentrism.com/
[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VygKQV-hEpY
[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4MsX7Vc_kI
[4] https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/miranda-devine-women-believe-they-live-in-the-age-of-entitlement/news-story/e4a1b901c0e55baa2517887ff8bbb072
[5] https://gynocentrism.com/2013/07/14/the-birth-of-chivalric-love/
[6] https://www.forbes.com/sites/datafreaks/2014/10/16/gender-quotas-in-hiring-drive-away-both-women-and-men/#84858af12350
[7] https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/she-would-not-leave-her-husband-and-went-down-with-titanic.html
[8] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySMVtRmQl1Y
[9]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_Inequality_Index
[10] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKJ8x9ut1hU
[11] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsI7OAomhY4
[12] https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2144002
[13] https://www.law.umich.edu/newsandinfo/features/Pages/starr_gender_disparities.aspx
[14] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ApuFjkBx7I
[15] https://www.news.com.au/finance/superannuation/radical-proposal-to-force-bosses-to-fork-out-extra-super-for-women/news-story/0174c968cf2cf1901c62eaaf9c282230
[16] http://behaviouraleconomics.pmc.gov.au/projects/going-blind-see-more-clearly-unconscious-bias-australian-public-service-aps-shortlisting
[17] http://www.pnas.org/content/112/17/5360
[18] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhm_HZ9twMg
[19] https://www.amazon.com/End-Men-Rise-Women/dp/1594488045
[20] https://www.avoiceformen.com/men/boys/generation-z-boys-in-modern-britain/
[21] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eLG3FF8RQ8
[22] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15491274
[23] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w__PJ8ymliw
[24] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64nFPc93idc

A New Aristocracy

When Marxist activist Rudi Dutschke looked at ways to stage a neo-Marxist revolution he hit on the plan of “a long march through the institutions of power to create radical change from within government and society by becoming an integral part of the machinery.” His strategy was to work against the established institutions while working surreptitiously within them. Evidence of the attempt to implement his plan can be seen today through many levels of society – especially in universities.

Marxists however are not the only ones to use this strategy. In fact when we look at the numerous political forces attempting to infiltrate and influence our cultural institutions we see that another, much more influential candidate, has twisted its tendrils through every layer of society – and it existed long before Marx and Marxism was born. That force is political feminism,1 whose culture project has been in play now for several hundred years.

Protofeminists like Lucrezia Marinella, Mary Wollstoncraft, Margaret Cavendish, Modesta Pozzo, or Christine de Pizan were advocating a ‘long march’ through institutions for centuries before Marxism emerged and began its tragic experiment. Pizan’s main book for example titled A City of Ladies sketched an imaginary city whose institutions were controlled completely by women, and each of the protofeminists advanced some theory of female rule or ‘integration’ of women into governing institutions. Later feminists followed suit, such as Charlotte Perkins Gillman wrote the famed book HerLand (1915) envisioning a society run entirely by women who reproduce by parthenogenesis (asexual reproduction), resulting in an ideal (utopic) social order free from war, conflict, and male domination.

A survey of protofeminist writings reveals consistent advocacy for the superior abilities of women as functionaries: women’s greater compassion, virtue, nonviolence, intelligence, patience, superior morality and so on, combined with a concomitant descriptions of male destructiveness, insensitivity and inferiority as we see continued in the rhetoric of modern feminists.

Via that polarizing narrative feminists sought to grab not just a big slice of the governance pie; as contemporary feminists have shown they would stop at nothing but the whole pie. Nothing but complete dominance of the gendered landscape would satisfy their lust for control, and it appears they have succeeded.

We see that dominance in women’s occupation of pivotal bureaucratic positions throughout the world, from the UN and World Bank all the way down through national governments, schools and universities, and HR departments in most medium to large workplaces. Feminists not only govern the world via these roles, but as surveyed in Janet Halley’s recent book Governance Feminism: An Introduction, that governance is far from the utopia early feminist promised.

The long feminist tradition underlines the danger of viewing ‘the march through the institutions’ as a Cultural Marxism project, because it deflects us from the historically longer, more powerful, more dangerous and ultimately more successful project that is political feminism.

Moreover, the protagonists of Marxist and feminist worldviews are not one and the same; the former aims to dismantle social-class oppression, and the latter gender oppression. While there are some individuals working to amalgamate these two contrary theories into a hybrid of Frankenstein proportions, their basic theoretical aims remain distinct.

Like Marxism, feminism too can be imagined as a socio-political ideology, in this case modelling itself on a medieval feudalism which was structured with two social classes: 1. A noble class of aristocrats, priests, princes and princesses, and 2. a peasant class of serfs and slaves overseen by indentured vassals.

Stripped of its medieval context we see the purveyors of political feminism working to institute a new sex-stratified version of feudalism which serves to maximize the power of women. With this move we have seen an increased tendency to emphasize women’s “power,” “dignity,” “honor,” “esteem” and “respect” – descriptors historically reserved for dignitaries.

As in medieval times, the assets and wealth generated by the labour class – predominately men – are taxed and redistributed to the new quasi-aristocratic class via a plethora of social spending programs of governments, or alternatively via asset transfers like alimony, child support, divorce settlements and other court mandated conventions. Children themselves form part of that asset portfolio which men are often forced to relinquish to women in the event of divorce. In the face of such practices men are reminded that women’s “dignity” is very much at stake, and their acquiescence mandatory.

The push to establish a female aristocratic class has long been recognized, as mentioned by the following writer from more than a century ago (1896), who in his ‘Letter To The editor’ observed the granting of unequal social privileges to female prisoners;

“A paragraph in your issue of the week before last stated that oakum-picking as a prison task had been abolished for women and the amusement of dressing dolls substituted. This is an interesting illustration of the way we are going at present, and gives cause to some reflection as to the rate at which a sex aristocracy is being established in our midst. While the inhumanity of our English prison system, in so far as it affects men, stands out as a disgrace to the age in the eyes of all Europe, houses of correction for female convicts are being converted into agreeable boudoirs and pleasant lounges…

I am personally in favour of the abolition of corporal punishment, as I am of existing prison inhumanities, for both sexes, but the snivelling sentiment which exempts females on the ground of sex from every disagreeable consequence of their actions, only strengthens on the one side every abuse which it touches on the other. Yet we are continuously having the din of the “women’s rights” agitation in our ears. I think it is time we gave a little attention to men’s rights, and equality between the sexes from the male point of view.–YoursYours, &c.,, A MANLY PROTESTOR,”2

Another comes from a 1910 Kalgoorlie Miner which reported a push to set up a female aristocracy in America. It was entitled The New Aristocracy:

A question of deep human interest has been raised by The Independent.
 
“To be successful in the cultivation of culture a country must have a leisure class,” says the editor. “We Americans recognise this fact, but we are going about the getting of this leisure class in a new way.

“In Europe the aristocracy is largely relieved from drudgery in order that they may cultivate the graces of life. In America the attempt is being made to relieve the women of all classes from drudgery, and we are glad to see that some of them at least are making good use of the leisure thus afforded them. It is a project involving unprecedented daring and self-sacrifice on the part of American men, this making an aristocracy of half the race. That it is possible yet remains to be proved. Whether it is desirable depends upon whether this new feminine aristocracy avoids the faults of the aristocracy of the Old World, such as frivolousness and snobbishness.”3

Lastly a comment from Adam Kostakis who gives an eloquent summary of feminism’s preference for a neo-feudal society in his Gynocentrism Theory Lectures:

“It would not be inappropriate to call such a system sexual feudalism, and every time I read a feminist article, this is the impression that I get: that they aim to construct a new aristocracy, comprised only of women, while men stand at the gate, till in the fields, fight in their armies, and grovel at their feet for starvation wages. All feminist innovation and legislation creates new rights for women and new duties for men; thus it tends towards the creation of a male underclass.”4

By many accounts what we’ve achieved today under feminist modelling is the establishment of a neo-feudal society with women representing an aristocratic class and men the labour class of serfs, slaves and peasants who too often spend their lives looking up from the proverbial glass cellar. When men do rule, it is usually not with a life “free of drudgery” as mentioned above, but with hard-work as CEOs, executives and prime ministers in service of the ruling female class who are busy with little more than lifting their lattes.

This gendered enterprise is now several hundred years in the making, enjoying further consolidations with every passing year of feminist governance. That a widespread female aristocracy now exists is undeniable, at least in the Western world, although we remain reluctant to name it as such for fear of offending our moral betters. We can only hope that the recent petition to abolish the House of Lords becomes infectious and begins to tackle the unearned privileges of those new aristocrats who serve nobody but themselves.

Sources:

[1]. Ernest Belfort Bax coined the phrase ‘political feminism’ in his book The Fraud of Feminism. London: Grant Richards Ltd, 1913
[2] New Feminine Aristocracy; Narrowly Trained Men, Kalgoorlie Miner, Wednesday 5 January 1910, page 2 (3)
[3]. A Privileged and Pampered Sex, Letter to the Editor, Reynolds Newspaper, 1896
[4]. Adam Kostakis, Lecture 11: The Eventual Outcome of Feminism –II, Gynocentrism Theory Lectures, 2011

*An earlier version of the above article was published in my book Feminism And The Creation of a Female Aristocracy.

The Virgin Mary, chivalry, gynocentrism & feminism (1897)

Mary commons

In the below article penned in 1897, a Mrs. Marion Reedy held that widespread veneration of Mary encouraged the pedestalization of women, gave birth to the chivalrous gentlemen, and was responsible for the “New Woman” of feminism:

“The church it was that built up the modern ideal of woman. The church it was that cultivated, so to speak, chastity, by its insistence that the creature who had borne a God was worthy of veneration, and was not to be only an utensil in ministration to male passion. Not only was man indoctrinated with a higher idea of woman, but women became possessed of a higher, better sense of their own worthiness.

There is no love poem in the world that equals the Litany of the Virgin, composed by the celibates of the church, and all that is ethereal and spiritual in modem love’s expression is to be found in the beautiful titles whereby the Virgin Mother has been supplicated for centuries. This idealization, not to say idolization, of woman could not but have its effect upon men and women in a time when the church was supreme, and so we see, as woman is more and more recognized for her worth & her value in the scheme of things, coming down the centuries, woman’s ideas gradually changing the heart of the world. As civilization progressed, cruelty was put away. This was the influence of woman.

The gradual growth into life, out of religion, of the reverence for Mary manifested itself in the development of chivalry, and then, when chivalry, its ends accomplished, passed away, in the development of what we now know as the gentleman.
Pedestal
This Mariolatry, as some people call it, led to the modern gynolatry about which there is, now and then, much protest. Yes, the devotion to Mary is responsible for the New Woman, and the New Woman is only a distortion of the real woman as she will be when emancipated completely from the denomination of the ideas against which Mariolatry has been an age-long protest. If the church enslaved woman, it did so, in one way, only to give her greater power in another.

The nunnery up-held chastity in times when universal and continuous war ravaged the world ; for the Middle Ages were anarchy. The church maintained the indissolubility of marriage when every petty tyrant in Italy, Germany & France deemed himself a god, and thought to appropriate other men’s wives and daughters as he would their cattle. Churchmen at times were dissolute enough to convert unbelievers on the theory that an institution which could survive such infamies must be Divine, but the teachings of the church held the great body of men true to purity in woman, and to the sanctity of the marital relation.

The church has upheld Mary consistently as the type of sacred womanhood and, by its influence upon the minds of men, has brought about a general attitude toward all women as if they partake of some of her mystical attributes of worthiness and even of divinity.        Ave Maria!

Source: Mrs. Marion Reedy, published in The Philistine in 1897.

Further reading: ‘Mariolatry and Gyneolatry’

Courtship

Courtship is part of our everyday speech. We follow the rules of courtship, we enter into courtship, we follow the courtships of the rich and famous, and sometimes we end a courtship. While it may sound like a quaint antique of European language, the word still appears in our daily media headlines proving that the modern imagination remains in its thrall.

So what exactly is this thing we call courtship? To answer that we are going to have to dig into its history, and the best place to start is with the etymology itself:

etymology-of-courtship-3

The etymology starts with a reference to a courtier, whom Dictionary.com defines as “a person who seeks favor by flattery, charm, etc.” Next we read that the paying of attentions is from a man to a woman “with the intention of marriage” – there is no explicit requirement for a woman to do something for a man. The scenario given here is clearly one-sided in terms of who must make the effort, and who will be the recipient of that effort. Courtship is, in a word, gynocentric.

But just in case we have narrowed the definition of courtship to an anachronistic conception of it, let’s take a look at modern dictionaries to see whether they too paint a uni-directional picture of courting – ie. of men catering to women:

The Free Dictionary by Farlex:
Noun 1. Courting: a man’s courting of a woman; seeking the affections of a woman (usually with the hope of marriage); “It was a brief but intense courtship.”

Vocabulary.com:
Noun 1. Courting: a man’s courting of a woman; seeking the affections of a woman (usually with the hope of marriage).

There we have two popular online dictionaries verifying the gendered expectation inherent to the term. Other dictionaries however have de-gendered the definition in line with the modern practice of denying gendered customs and behaviors, but this does little to change the phenomenal reality – practices which continue to be gendered despite the refusal to acknowledge them as such.

Studies of courtship have confirmed that men’s practice of demonstrating various kinds of attentions toward women amount to a gynocentric contract. Drs. Timothy Perper1 and Monica M. Moore2 have independently discovered, contrary to popular beliefs, that courtship is normally triggered and controlled by women and driven mainly by non-verbal behaviours to which men respond. That gynocentric pattern of power is supported by other theorists who specialize in the study of body language.3

For those unsure as to whether courtship remains a gendered expectation, the following advice by columnist James Michael Sama provides a modern example.

In many of my articles I refer to “courtship” or “courting women,” when discussing chivalry and romance… and why do I think we should work to keep it alive? Here are five reasons:

1. You’ll develop a stronger relationship.

It is traditionally so that the man in a new relationship will be the one who is courting a woman. As men, we are the pursuers, both naturally and societally. I have often heard men ask “what’s in it for me?” Well, first of all if you’re performing acts of kindness for the sake of a reward (see #3 in the definition above) then it is not true kindness.

Real kindness comes from the goodness of your heart without the want for reward but it should also be noted that courting a woman will bring two things into your life:

The type of woman with the maturity and dignity to only accept advances from a man who treats her with respect. The ability to therefore grow a stronger and longer lasting relationship with the woman in question..

2. You become better in all areas of life.

Courtship is (read: should be) a selfless act. It requires you to put in effort for another person’s enjoyment, learn about them and learn about yourself in the process. When committing one’s self to efforts such as these, one cannot help but to develop internally as well. We become more aware of the world around us, what people want and need in order to be happy, and how we can help give it to them.

3. You will gain her trust.

One of the biggest factors in relationships failing these days is lack of trust. Either lack of trust during the beginning stages, or even after commitment has been established.

If a man takes the time to court a woman, it requires him to build a foundation for the relationship. Relationships do not simply appear out of thin air. They take time, energy, and commitment to build, much like a house. But a relationship without this trust and friendship is like a house built on sand. It may look good from the outside, but it will have nothing to keep it standing when the weather gets rough.

If a woman has a clear view that you’re willing to build this foundation with her, it will limit her insecurities and help build her confidence in you.

4. You will intensify your intimacy.

Through the process of courtship, men and women tend to develop a stronger emotional connection than if they had simply jumped into a relationship or a “friends with benefits” scenario. What many people don’t realize is that a stronger emotional connection, especially for a woman, translates to a stronger physical connection.

5. You will find the right person for YOU.

The right type of person will appreciate small details, the kindness you exude to those around you, and the effort you put in specifically for them. Through the courtship process we learn if a woman (or man) is going to be appreciative of what we do for them and how they will respond.

If we jump into a relationship, as many do these days, we are left complaining about how they “changed” after a few months of being with them, and then breaking up. In reality, nobody changed at all – you simply learned who they truly are.

If we take the time to practice courtship, we will eliminate these surprises down the road and truly learn who we are building a relationship with at the proper time to do so : in the beginning.

Show someone your respect for yourself as well as for them, by keeping courtship alive.4

This example indicates that men are still expected to carry the lion’s share of courting labour for the new couple. Clear too is that this is not a mere animal reflex as some would suggest, which clouds the idiosyncratic culture customs which gave it form. We tend to confuse cultural concepts of courting with biological mating impulses of animals, when they are logically distinct motivations with the one having its center of gravity biological reflexes, and the other in rituals, customs and taboos of a given society.

The blue wren never learned about chivalry and courtly love in order to know how to build a nest, does not rely on cultural customs to know nest design. Men and women on the other hand learn much of their repertoire of courtship, going down on one knee, or expecting chivalric deference from men, from the cultural mores that grew up around them. And unlike the blue wren, a serious study of cultural history can snap us out of our unconsciousness and open us up to potential new models for building relationships – like ones based on mutual effort and respect as opposed to the one-way street of courtship.

References:

[1] Perper, T. (1985) Sex Signals: The Biology Of Love, Philadelphia, ISI Press.
[2] Moore, N (1985). “Nonverbal courtship patterns in women: contact and consequences”. Ethology and Sociobiology. 6: 237–247.
[3] Pease, A. and Pease, B. (2004) The Definitive Book Of Body Language, London: Orion Books.
[4] 5 Brilliant Reasons Men Should Stop Playing Hard To Get If They Want The Woman Of Their Dreams

Further reading:

[Study] The allure of chivalry
[Study] Courtly Love Today: Romance and Socialization in Interpersonal Scripts

Gynocentrism 1:0, 2:0, and 3:0

The following text comes from a discussion in which poster Snir cites an economics-based motivator for modern gynocentric behavior of women, which is followed by my response suggesting a timeline of the historical evolution of gynocentric behavior. – PW

________________

Snir wrote:

I summarise the situation thus;

Developed economy with service industry –> women can enter labour force –> women gain financial independence from men –> (1) creates demand for more rights vis-a-vis men because there is no longer a trade-off and (2) renders women free to pursue their hypergamy

–> hence a change in social mores (feminism wants to give women the licence to engage in vagarious and capricious behaviour without consequence) and decline in marriage.

That rings true. I’d call that development gynocentrism 3:0 (just for fun).

Gynocentrism 1:0 is the bare bones instinctual behavior of our hominid ancestors, with various cultural accents appearing all the way forward to about the Middle Ages where a confluence of factors came together, for the first time, to create →

Gynocentrism 2:0, arising from an intersection of Arabic practices of female worship, European aristocratic trends, the Marian cult, and the imperial patronage of Eleanor of Aquitaine and her daughter Marie De Champagne who elaborated the military notion of chivalry into a notion of servicing ladies, a practice otherwise known as ‘courtly love.’

Courtly love was enacted by minstrels, playrights and troubadours, and especially via hired romance-writers like Chrétien de Troyes and Andreas Capellanus who laid down a mode of romantic fiction that is still the biggest grossing genre of literature today. That confluence of factors (and others I haven’t mentioned) created a cluster of supernormal stimuli, embedded as cultural conventions which drove gynocentrism to the extremes we have today, which was added to by one significant factor →

Gynocentrism 3:0, which is the economic overlay that you’ve described above Snir… the one which, in combination with the contraceptive pill, made the perfect storm even more perfect from the point of view of giving female hypergamy more motility.

(PS. I don’t really see it all in such simple 1/2/3:0 terms, but it serves for a small post like this).

Gynocentrism 2.0, compassion, and choice: The underlying root of men’s issues

By Tom Golden

I have long held that compassion and choice are two issues that play a part in nearly every men’s issue. But why? What do compassion and choice have to do with male suicide or male victims of domestic violence or just about any other men’s issue? Quite a bit actually. Let’s take a look at why compassion and choice are limited for men and then see how compassion and choice are essential ingredients to the issues.

firemanThe origins of the lack of compassion and choice for men is gynocentrism. When you start to understand gynocentrism you will start to better understand the plight of men and boys. Gynocentrism at its most basic, is the mandate that women and children be kept safe and provided for at the expense of men. In other words, men are designated to insure the safety and provisions for women and children on an individual level, the family level, community level and on a macro level. This is not a totally bad thing. It has been what has created and maintained many cultures for millennia. As Stefan Molyneux says, “Eggs are scarce and sperm is plentiful.” This means we have needed to sacrifice our sperm in order to insure the safety of our eggs. Without women the culture dies a quick death. Women must be protected. Gynocentrism protects those who carry the eggs and does this at the expense of its men. This has been a very important element to our cultural success but it does come at a price.

One consequence of protecting the women is that the men will need to at times face danger. The women need to be kept safe and the men will protect the boundary and sometimes die in that process. Our human history of gynocentrism is longer and deeper than most assume. We think of the hunter gatherers as serene and bucolic but that was sometimes far from the truth and gynocentrism predominated. Research shows that some South American hunter gatherer groups faced huge numbers of deaths of their men protecting the women and children.1 One group averaged the death of nearly 60% of its males in protecting the women from inter tribal attacks that were among other things, designed to steal the other group’s women! (the average for the groups studied was near 30% male deaths as a result of raids, ambush or larger scale conflicts) He who had the most women wins and these groups made a huge sacrifice of their males to insure they kept their women and children safe.

In its most obvious we can see how gynocentrism plays out when we note that men automatically and without question are the ones facing danger in our culture. Our war dead are nearly 100% male. Our deaths in dangerous occupations are 93% men. Our trashmen and sewage workers are nearly all male. The dirtiest and most dangerous jobs are jobs for men. No one questions this. It just seems right. This is the hidden power of gynocentrism. No one questions and no one notices. Hell, if women actually got equality to the above it would be a huge step down for them.

wheelBut gynocentrism runs much deeper than simply being about protecting the borders and doing the dangerous work. It has its tendrils into just about everything, silently and without fanfare. What happens when a woman has a flat tire? How many people have seen the help she will usually garner from men? Now think about what happens if a man has a flat tire. Does he get a similar treatment? Probably not. This is gynocentrism. When there are problems we jump to help women but expect the men to handle it themselves even in today’s atmosphere of “equality”.

What happens when a woman is upset and falls into a sea of tears? Pretty much the same thing as the flat tire. People hover to offer support and see what might be wrong and what they can do. But what happens when men fall into a similar sea? People ignore him and avoid him. It is almost as if a woman’s pain is a call to action while a man’s pain is taboo. Compassion offered to men is a fraction of the compassion offered to women.

There are a number of youtube videos that employ actors to portray men beating women in public. The women are shown to get immediate support and help from male onlookers who see the violence. They quickly jump to her aid not knowing it is an arranged scene. These same videos then reverse the roles and show the women beating men in a similar manner and no one lifts a finger, in fact, they laugh. This is gynocentrism. We expect to help the women and expect the men to help themselves. Note also that we allow women to be dependent but do not allow the same for men.

On an even simpler level think of a man and a woman at work who need to move some boxes from one location to another. Some are heavy, some are light. Who will be moving the heavy ones? It is a foregone conclusion that the man will most often move the largest boxes and will protect her from having to do hard labor. This is gynocentrism.

And then there is the question of attractiveness. When a woman is attractive she gets special perks simply due to her appearance. No man can come close to having a similar response. This is gynocentrism. The eggs are protected and the attractive eggs get very special treatment.

modelThink of that attractive woman being tied to the railroad tracks. What does that do to the hearts and minds of most people? Most of us have an inborn reaction that says DO SOMETHING to help her. But what about a man tied to the tracks? Is your reaction the same or different? Yes, you likely want to see him helped but is it the same gut wrenching sensation? The plots of many movies and novels are fueled by this gynocentric scenario. We all want the woman tied to the tracks safely released even if it means the death of numerous men in the process. A woman’s needs are a call to action while a man’s needs are often just ignored. He needs to save her!

Just think for a minute what would happen to a man in the military who started complaining that we needed to have more female war deaths in order to make things equal for everyone. How would he be received? All hell would break loose at this questioning of the gynocentric norm and disregard for the safety of women. We see something similar when the opposite happens and men voice their desires for equal opportunities for services for men in things like domestic violence. Those who stand up for the needs of men in our gynocentric culture are seen as misogynistic, that is, they are routinely accused of hating women simply for pointing out the needs of men. Can you see how the fuel for this is gynocentrism?

militaryAnother example of extreme gynocentrism is boot camp in the army. What is done? The recruit is taught that he is nothing. He is now not an individual, he is a part of a fighting group. His personal identity is deleted and he is taught to fight for the group, for a cause. He no longer exists. There is no compassion for his personal feelings and needs. Those are a distant second. He also has zero choice. He does what he is told. That is the extreme gynocentric model that plays out to one degree or another in our everyday life.

Do we care about the feelings of the woman tied to the tracks? Oh yes. Do we care about the feelings of the hero who rescues her? No. We care about his actions. His emotions are not important unless his feelings are about HER. Do we care about the emotions of the boot camp recruit? Nope. We care about his actions and what he does. His feelings need to be kept to himself. In the same way, under the gynocentric default we tend to care about the emotions of women but will be averse to the emotions of men. Our interest moves more towards his actions. Think about the last time you saw a woman cry in public. What was your reaction? Most of us want to help, want to offer support. We are drawn to her neediness. Now think about a man crying under the same circumstances you saw the woman. Are you as open to his tears as the woman? Most of us say no, we are not. We are repulsed by his neediness. The man is not expected to be needy, he is expected to have agency. If he is seen as needy he is judged harshly. This is gynocentrism.

These sorts of advantages for women have been going on for many years. In the 19th century men would strive to do the best job of keeping women safe and provided for. Just read their diaries and the diaries of their wives. These men put women on a pedestal. They thought of them as angelic and would try their best to not have them sully themselves with the grime of daily life outside the home. They worked hard to have them stay away from “dirty”things like the workplace or money. They did this because they saw women as worthy of protection (gynocentrism) and were happy to take on the extra burden in order to keep her safe. Then along comes feminism which makes the incredibly noxious and inaccurate claim that women were not held in high esteem at all, they were being oppressed. They took the protections that women had benefited from for centuries and spun them into being oppression. In my opinion this is the biggest lie of the 20th century and it has left a wake of chaos and vitriol. Women now actually believe themselves to be victims and that they have been shortchanged and oppressed. These are the same women who didn’t have to go to war, didn’t have to do the dirty work of building or maintaining the culture, were held in high esteem and basically worshiped (as American as Mom and Apple Pie) now see this as oppression. Houdini could not have done a more impressive magic trick.

So what do you think happened? It could be easily predicted that gynocentrsim would insure that when women appear to be in danger or need that men will jump and meet those needs as best they can. That’s the way both men and women are programmed. And that is just what happened. The feminists claimed to be tied to the tracks and rode, and continue to ride the gynocentric wave of men keeping women safe. Their unfounded claims that women were oppressed and held back have been taken seriously by well meaning highly gynocentric males, including male legislators. These claims of women being tied to the tracks and needing government intervention were welcomed by our gynocentric legislators who wanted to bend over backwards to help women. Over the years women have been given more and more while simultaneously continuing to enjoy the same gynocentric advantages they have been getting for hundreds of years. Our legislators have backed themselves into a corner and are now afraid to say no. They know that they have been hijacked but don’t have the courage to say no to saving a damsel in distress. Saying no would insure a loss in the next election.

This was the beginning of what I like to call Gynocentrism 2.0. The cultural imperative of caring for women continues and is now amplified by false claims of women having been oppressed. Simultaneously Gynocentrism 2.0 showed not only increased focus on the needs and desires of women, it also made a dramatic switch. Men in gynocentrism 1.0 were held in high esteem when they followed through with their role. They were both respected and admired and this was fuel for the masculine. Both sexes were held in high esteem. Now that fuel for men has run out as the admiration and respect has been gaudily replaced with disdain and blame. Incredibly, now men are seen as the problem and held accountable for social problems as if they were the cause. It is all the men’s fault. Much is said about men not doing very well these days but very few people note this important shift. When you don’t put fuel in the engine it ain’t goin too far.

In Gynocentrism 2.0 entire bureaucracies are built to serve women and cater to their difficulties but there are rarely any such bureaucracies built for men. The women are left with a choice of whether to seek help at a government funded facility (payed for with mostly male tax dollars) built for them while the men are left with no choices.

stopviolenceagainstwomen2One of the best examples of this is the issue of domestic violence where we have known for decades that men are a sizable portion (likely nearing 50%) of the victims of domestic violence but all of the laws and services are built for women. We spend nearly a billion dollars a year for the Violence Against WOMEN Act (VAWA) that marginalizes the 50% of male victims. Recent research exposed the sad fact that when men who are the victims of domestic violence go to these government funded services for help they are treated very poorly. Often when the men are victims of domestic violence and they turn to the government funded services they are told that they are not victims of domestic violence, they are accused of being the perpetrators! They then send him to treatment for perpetrators! Researchers are calling this third party abuse, when the government bureaucracy as a third party, participates in the continued abuse of a victim. This is gynocentrism 2.0 which leaves no compassion for men and far fewer choices in seeking help.

I was involved in lobbying for male victims of domestic violence during the reauthorization of the VAWA in both 2005 and 2012. Our group was well received by then Senator Biden. He and his staff listened to our data and stories about male victims in several meetings at his Senate office. He assured us we would be a part of the hearings. When the hearing came not one of our group was allowed to speak. I couldn’t believe it. Biden was totally aware of the problem of male victims and intentionally sabotaged our efforts to find support for men. It was then that I realized how deeply our system is biased and non-functional. Gynocentrism 2.0.

It’s important to point out that our government has been pushing a gynocentric agenda for some time. In the 1960’s President Johnson set in motion the War on Poverty which proceeded to demand the removal of black fathers from their families in order for mom to get welfare. Now our family courts are doing something similar as they remove fathers from the home through no fault on the fathers part. The woman’s needs come first, father’s a distant second.

My state of Maryland created a Commission for Men’s Health a number of years ago. I was fortunate to serve as the vice chair of that commission and wrote three of the four reports that were to be sent to the governor. The reports I wrote were what I call “male friendly.” That is, they voiced and considered the needs of men without bowing to the prevailing political correctness. The chairman of the commission wrote the other report which was a bit more what the Health Department, our host agency, was anticipating. All four reports were unanimously approved by the full commission. When the commission’s work was done and it came time to file the reports to the governor and a host of other Maryland politicians and get them into the Maryland State Library the Health Department only filed the report that was written by the Chairman. They were confronted with this and said, “ooops, we will file it now.” But they didn’t. It took a year to track down the files and finally get them into the Maryland system. The full story of this event will be told in a chapter in Janice Fiamengo’s upcoming book. It couldn’t be more clear that when the needs of men were given voice, the status quo balked. It seems that our mid level bureaucrcrats are filled with gynocentrism 2.0.

I think you can see now how women’s complaints and our legislators zealous rush to help them have turned things topsy turvy. Rape shield laws have been written to protect the rape victims and this is a good thing. But those same laws failed to protect the accused man. His name can be released to the media prior to any conviction. Her name is permanently protected while his name is plastered all over the media and he has his life ruined simply due to an accusation which may or may not be proven false . Gynocentrism 2.0.

blog-suicideAnother example is the issue of suicide where males are 80% of all completed suicides. Incredibly this 80% fact is rarely mentioned in the media leaving most people unaware that the biggest risk factor in suicide is being male. It is not surprising that females get the majority of attention around suicide both clinically and in research. This even though men are the vast majority of those needing help. In 2009 the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) did some research on suicide. I was shocked to see it was a study on girls! I wrote to then NASW Director Elizabeth Clark and asked why the research focused on girls when it was men and boys who were the vast majority of suicides. She wrote me back and said that the funder for the research had specified to only study girls. Just imagine for a moment someone who funded research for Sickle Cell Disease but stipulated the research had to be on whites. Can you imagine the outrage? Blacks are 60-80% of those with Sickle Cell disease and to study only whites would be seen as totally racist but somehow studying only girls and suicide is okay. That is gynocentrism.

Our gynocentric legislators have outlawed any form of genital mutilation of females but have failed to do the same for our baby boys. Boys routinely undergo a surgical removal of part of their penis without anesthesia. Of course the baby boys scream during and after this mutilation. Some nurses say they have seen baby boys scream for days after. Many are thinking today that this trauma creates PTSD for those males who have been circumcised and presently about four out of every 5 males in the United States has suffered this mutilation. boy PixabayResearch is showing that psychological impact of circumcision on boys is similar to the psychological impact for girls who have undergone genital mutilation. This procedure is damaging our boys while most people think it is simple little snip. Wrong. We care about our little girls but fail in mustering enough compassion for boys to shelter them from such barbaric treatment and we give them no choice. Gynocentrism.

In healthcare we have seen our legislators create seven national commissions for women’s health but none for men. We have official government web sites for womenshealth.gov and girlshealth.gov but just look at what happens when you go to menshealth.gov or boyshealth.gov. Nothing. You find a 404 page not found error. It does not exist. Get the picture? When anyone starts looking critically at our world it becomes clear that gynocentrism is at its core. We constantly hear criticism of men not going to the doctor etc but look at the concern for their health above by not even having a web site. Women in need get the help and men just need to take care of themselves. Just like the flat tire we talked about above. And no one is even aware this is going on.

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Warren Farrell put together a group of clinicians, academics, researchers, authors and other experts on men and boys who wrote a proposal for a White House Council on Boys and Men. I was happy to be included as one of those who put the proposal together. President Obama had created a council for women and girls as soon as he got into office. Now he was being asked to do the same for boys and men. One of our group members, a man named Willie Isles was an executive with the Boy Scouts and had a meeting scheduled with the President. The plan was for Willie to have two Boy Scouts introduce the idea of the White House Council on Boys and Men to the President. Just before that meeting was to take place the discussion of a council for boys and men was struck from the agenda. It was forbidden to even be discussed. Gynocentrism anyone?

There is an anti-male bias in mental health research. One study on teen relationship violence found that boys and girls are suffering from this problem at similar rate. But once the research is translated into news articles it only focuses on the hardships the girls face. Worse yet, once the study is translated by legislators into an action plan to help the teen violence problem the only ones offered assistance are the girls while the boys are blamed. Yes, boys are abused but they simply don’t get compassion. Gynocentrism

research-tableIn one study about childhood rape the researchers found that boys were more often the victims of actual childhood rapes than the girls. Then in writing up their research failed to specifically include this information about boys as victims of rape. Furthermore, when they went to the media they also failed to mention the fact that they have found that boys were raped more often than girls. Gynocentrism.

Title IX — Has been a great help to girls and athletics but has dismantled over 1000 men’s college teams. We focus on helping women but ignore the pain of men.

We have all heard of the racial sentencing bias where blacks tend to get stiffer sentences than whites for the same crime. But the research is telling us that there is a bias that is six times as large as the racial bias that sentences men to longer sentences than women. Yet, we hear nothing of this in the media and no one seems to care. Clearly the judges have less compassion for men and offer them far less choice.

I have seen a number of men in therapy who came to me when their wives wanted an abortion and they (the men) wanted to keep the child. The men were powerless to do anything. Can you see how these men had no choice in the matter? His wife said, “My body, my choice” and he said “My child, your choice, I have none.” He had no choice and if he had said something I feel sure he would have heard some variation of big boys don’t cry. Know what I mean? Can you see how no one really cares or offers them compassion for their plight? Compassion and Choice.

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Look at men’s clubs and men’s spaces that have been traditional places for men to gather. Gone. They have been opened to women and not replaced with anything that would give men a safe place to simply gather with other men. Men gathering became the enemy with the accusation of secret deals that would keep women out of business dealings. At the same time all women’s clubs have soared. Women only gyms, women only parking places, women only subway cars, women only everything….but no comparable opportunities for men. There are even groups that keep track of all of the groups for women. One is The National Association of Commissions for Women which keeps track of the literally hundreds of commissions for women. That is gynocentrism 2.0 on steroids.

Instead of thinking of choice for men, the majority of our gynocentric culture are thinking instead the word “should.” Men should do this, men should do that and if they don’t, they are not really men. Most men are caught in this drama that researchers are calling “precarious manhood” where men are forced to prove their worth repeatedly in order to be called men. Women do not face a similar situation.

Professions are not immune to Gynocentrism. The profession of social work is a prime example. This group is focused on women and ignores the needs and the hardships of men. Their educational system offers classes on just about every possible client to work with including women, gays, handicapped, children but fails to teach their charges even the first thing about men and boys. This even though men and boys make up a good portion of the clientele they will be working with.

meninsw2 6Our focus has been on a larger scale or macro level and it is very easy to see the imbalance in so many spheres. The point here is not that the services that have been created were not a good thing or were undeserved. Many of the services offered have been very helpful to women and girls. The point here is that it has been a very one sided ride with nearly all the services going to women and girls and the men and boys basically ignored. Men and boys have simply not gotten compassion and choice. Gynocentrism 2.0.

But let’s take a quick look at the impact of gynocentrism on a micro level. We have seen so far that the public has very little interest in men’s emotions. While that is surely true on a macro level it is also the case on the micro. What is the tired and hackneyed message that the some women offer her man? Oh, they say “You are not dealing with your feelings.” I hope you can see now that this sort of shaming is really an excuse to NOT deal with his emotions. Much has been written by gynocentric types about men’s not emoting in public, or men not emoting like women, while maintaining the underlying assumption that there must be something wrong with them. But almost nothing has been written about the brick wall men face when they do emote. When men have emotions people disappear. No one wants to hear it.

What I have seen repeatedly is that men have very different ways to process emotions. Ways that are invisible to most. They have likely developed these different ways due to the prevalence of gynocentrism and are happy with their paths to work with their own emotions and gladly take care of things on their own without fanfare and “help.” The saddest part of this is that most women simply do not see his different ways and assume he is “doing it wrong” since it isn’t like what she does.

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Conclusion

Gynocentrism creates a cultural default both on a micro and macro level where women’s distress is a call to action and a man’s distress is seen at best as a distraction and at worst a taboo. This leaves men being offered considerably less compassion and fewer choices. In the past 50 years the original gynocentric defaults have morphed into gynocentrism 2.0 which has seen a huge increase in both the lop-sided services favoring women and the disdain and blame focused on men.

Very few people are conscious of this habitual default, they simply assume it is just the way the world works.

Becoming more and more aware of gynocentrism makes it easier to see why men are 80% of the completed suicides but are basically ignored. It makes sense now that men are nearly 50% of the victims of domestic violence but are routinely disregarded. It makes sense now why boys genital mutilation is the fourth most popular surgical procedure in the U.S. even though it is unnecessary and highly damaging. The world is geared to have compassion for women’s needs but not as much for the needs of men. We could go on and on about each of the many men’s issues and see how the lack of compassion and choice plays a part in their dilemma.

The unconscious nature of gynocentrism may be its most ruinous aspect. People are simply unaware of the great differences in the way men and women are treated. It is in some ways reminiscent of the racism I remember in the mid 20th century. People were simply unaware of their treatment of blacks. There were surely outright bigots at the time but the majority of people were basically asleep to the impact of their attitudes and behaviors and went along with the status quo that treated blacks and whites in significantly different ways. The general public was duped by a media that portrayed blacks as inferior and an educational system and even academic research that did the same. With gynocentrism 2.0 we are seeing something very similar but instead of the blacks it is now our men. Today’s gynocentrism is made up primarily of people who are basically unaware of the impact of their behaviors and are simply going along with the gynocentric status quo.

It’s time to wake up.

Knowing these things and taking the red pill makes it important for us to start offering men and boys greater compassion and choice.

 
And let’s not forget. Men Are Good!

Damseling, chivalry and courtly love (part two)

The following article is the second of a two-part series. Part one looked at the roots of damseling, chivalry and courtly love in the gynocentric tradition. In part two we look at damseling, chivalry and courtly love as it appears in the feminist tradition. – PW

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FEMINISM

Before being given the name feminism, the obsession with women’s status was referred to as the Querelle des Femmes or quarrel about women. The querelle consisted of a perpetual social movement that used damseling to call for more chivalry and more courtly love, which ultimately afforded women more power.

The three elements of gynocentrism first born in medieval Europe – damseling, chivalry and courtly love – continue to act as the basis of modern feminism. Indeed feminism today is little more, and little less, than a perpetuation of this medieval triad, giving feminism its internal drive even as feminists disavow these essentials with rhetorical obfuscations.

With this charge in mind let’s revisit the holy trinity above with a focus on behaviors central to modern feminism.

Damseling as “victim feminism”

Most observers today, including feminist observers like Christina Hoff-Sommers, Camille Paglia, Rene Denfeld, Katie Roiphe and others agree that feminism comes close, if not all the way, to being a cult of victimhood.

The phenomenon has variously been referred to as grievance feminism, victim feminism, safe space feminism, and even fainting-couch feminism – with Christina Hoff-Sommers portraying its mythos as “a battle between fragile maidens and evil predators.” 1

Feminist icon Naomi Wolf tells that victim feminism evolved out of “old habits of ladylike behavior that were cloaked in the guise of radicalism,” 2 and laments that a substantial segment of modern feminism is devoted to its cause.

Denfeld writes that current feminists “promote a new status for women: that of the victim,” and adds:

“This is victim mythology. From rape redefinitions to feminist theory on the “patriarchy,” victimization has become the subtext of the movement, the moral to be found in every feminist story. Together these stories form a feminist mythology in which a singular female subject is created: woman as a helpless, violated, and oppressed victim. Victim mythology says that men will always be predators and women will always be their prey. It is a small place to live, a place that tells women that there is really no way out.

“Like other mythologies, victim mythology reduces the complexity of human interaction to grossly oversimplified mythical tales, a one-note song, where the message of the story becomes so important that fiction not only triumphs over fact but the realities of women’s experiences are dismissed and derided when they conflict with the accepted female image.3

While Denfeld does a good job of describing feminism’s victim mentality, she labors under a myth of her own by characterizing it as a “new” fetish among feminists. Anyone reading through the history of feminist literature can see it appealed to by literally every feminist writer. Even a century ago Ernest Belfort Bax was able to say that feminists “do their best to bluff their dupes by posing as the victims of a non-existent male oppression.”4

Feminists well know that the most grotesquely far-fetched cry about the injustice of man to woman will meet with a ready ear. They well know that they get here fond and foolish man on his soft side. Looking at the matter impartially, it is quite evident that man’s treatment of woman is the least vulnerable point in his moral record. Woman, as such, he has always treated with comparative generosity. But it is, of course, to the interests of the abettors of female domination to pretend the contrary. Accordingly everything has been done to excite prejudice in favour of woman as the innocent and guileless victim of man’s tyranny, and the maudlin Feminist sentiment of the “brute” man has been carefully exploited to this end.5

In all of these accounts the behavior being described is damseling, a practice feminists have been at the forefront of preserving from the medieval canon. Evoked in conjunction with claims of male brutality, rapiness, depravity and insensitivity, the ultimate purpose of damseling is to draw chivalric responses from men, a routine Wolf makes clear in her remark that “victim feminism casts women as sexually pure and mystically nurturing, and stresses the evil done to these ‘good’ women as a way to petition for their rights.” 6

A famous example of feminist damseling, both literal and figurative, is Anita Sarkeesian. Sarkeesian is known for raising concerns that video-games are misogynistic – like most everything else found in the feminist worldview. Her primary concern was that female game characters are often portrayed as damsels-in-distress saved by male heroes, which promotes, she says, sexual objectification and a range of other problems. To address that issue in video games she moved to launch a study project to raise awareness.

Sarkeesian established a fundraiser for $6,000.00 for her project, but after receiving some initial trolling by trolls on social media she damseled herself to potential donors by saying she was under grave threat, swooning with such finesse that she was showered with 158K in donations from fellow feminists and white knights. Over a thousand people donated after hearing of her “plight.”

With that financial success, Sarkeesian subsequently replayed the scenario over and again particularly in the context of further fundraising efforts and public speaking; swooning about online attacks directed against her or over female gamers enduring abject sexism, female video-game characters being cast in degrading and/or humiliating roles, and about young impressionable girls being robbed of agency after being subjected to the damsel trope in games.

Sarkeesian’s case is particularly poignant because, from the many subjects she could have highlighted to damsel herself for attention, she chose to damsel herself over the very existence of damsels. This demonstrates that even when disavowing the medieval pageant of damsels in distress, feminists continue to enact it even while obfuscating their complicity in the tradition.

Feminism would have died out long ago if it were not for the power of this ancient ruse, and while damseling continues to draw rewards from a public primed to cater to it, the planet will increasingly come to resemble a tower full of imprisoned, vulnerable Disney Princesses.

Chivalry – from husband Sam to Uncle Sam

Equity feminist Christina Hoff-Sommers states that men need to be civilized with chivalric manners, a belief outlined in an interview with Emily Esfahani Smith, where she said, “Chivalry is grounded in a fundamental reality that defines the relationship between the sexes,” and adding a warning, “If women give up on chivalry, it will be gone.” 7

While feminists like Hoff-Sommers admit their reliance on a sexist version of chivalry, others are less candid about it, going even so far as pretending they don’t need chivalry despite their demonstrable appeal to it in most of their activism. Many observers however can see through the anti-chivalry posturing.

Feminism draws its power from chivalric support, but instead of soliciting it from men in the traditional, interpersonal manner it has learned how to get it solely from the government – holding the government to ransom ever since the suffragettes damsaled the vote for women. Since that time politicians have only been too willing to furnish demands by feminists in exchange for voting the candidate into power and allowing him to retain office – and conversely politicians who fail to uphold the chivalric contract are promptly voted out.

The results of this compact are obvious to anyone who looks at political decisions with impartiality.

Instead of men giving up seats in buses, government now provides seats in legislative assemblies and boardrooms via quotas. Instead of men opening car doors for women, government opens doors into universities and workforces via affirmative action. Instead of men being the sole protectors of women from violence, government now protects them with an army of police specially trained to service women’s accusations (over and above more serious crimes). Instead of men providing living expenses, governments now provide it as social welfare and compensation for the wage-gap. Government as substitute husband.

The appeal to chivalry is not confined to government institutions alone. The appeal also goes out to sporting clubs, business owners, CEOs and private institutions who respond to the damsel’s call with women-only busses, women-only safe spaces, pink car parking spaces with extra lighting and security with male escorts and chaperones, or with feminist adverts at sports venues, sportsmen wearing pink to raise money for all manner of feminist projects, and that on top of monies already heaped at their feet by politicians eager to please.

This is not a recent development; it can be witnessed in mirror image as far back as a century ago. Back then, Bax was able to tie feminism so definitively with the act of chivalry-seeking that he actually labeled the women’s liberation movement “chivalry feminism.” Moreover, Bax saw through the superficial disavowals;

“The justification for the whole movement of Modern Feminism in one of its main practical aspects – namely, the placing of the female sex in the position of privilege, advantage and immunity – is concentrated in the current conception of “chivalry.”

It is plain then that chivalry as understood in the present day really spells sex privilege and sex favouritism pure and simple, and that any attempts to define the term on a larger basis, or to give it a colourable rationality founded on fact, are simply subterfuges, conscious or unconscious, on the part of those who put them forward…

Such is “chivalry” as understood to-day – the deprivation, the robbery from men of the most elementary personal rights in order to endow women with privileges at the expense of men.8

Chivalry feminism today, same as it ever was, relying on men’s generosity to perpetuate its creed of power.

Courtly love as ‘Respectful Relationships’

The phrase ‘Respectful Relationships’ is shorthand for a range of conventions promoted by feminists to govern interactions between men and women, particularly in the context of romantic interactions. The conventions detail acceptable speech and actions in the contexts of socializing, friendship, flirting and sex, emphasizing a man’s duty to respect women’s emotional comfort, self-esteem, and dignity.

Portrayed overtly as a method of reducing men’s abusiveness, the program maintains that even men and boys who do not display abusive behaviors should be enculturated in its protocols as a prophylactic, and concomitantly to afford dignity and self-esteem to women. This is where the respectful relationships program moves past the overt goal of reducing violence and into the covert goal of maintaining and increasing the power of women.

As we begin to look at the detail of Respectful Relationship we could almost mistake it for Andreas Capellanus’ work The Art of Courtly Love where the medieval rules of romance were codified in meticulous prescriptions for male deference, homage, and courtesy toward women. Considering this parallel, the feminist movement appears to have provided a new language for a very old set of sexual customs, essentially reiterating that which has been with us all along.

As mentioned in Part one, central to the art of courtly love was the expectation that men practice love service toward women based on a model of vassals or serfs in relation to a feudal lord. That relationship model of serf-to-Lord was adopted wholesale to regulate love relationships whereby women were literally approached as the lord (midons) in each male-female encounter. As Medievalist Sandra Alfonsi explains;

Scholars soon saw striking parallels between feudalistic practices and certain tenets of Courtly Love. The comparisons lie in certain resemblances shared by vassalage and the courtly “love service.” Fundamental to both was the concept of obedience. As a vassal, the liegeman swore obedience to his lord. As a courtly lover, the poet chose a lady to whom he was required to swear obedience. Humility and obedience were two concepts familiar to medieval man, active components of his Weltanschauung…

The entire concept of love-service was patterned after the vassal’s oath to serve his lord with loyalty, tenacity, and courage. These same virtues were demanded of the poet. Like the liegeman vis-a-vis his sovereign, the poet approached his lady with fear and respect. Submitted to her, obedient to her will, he awaited a fief or honor as did the vassal. His compensation took many forms: the pleasure of his lady’s company in her chamber or in the garden; an avowal of her love; a secret meeting; a kiss or even le surplus, complete unity. Like the lord, the woman who was venerated and served was expected to reward her faithful and humble servant.9

The idea behind love service was that men should demonstrate the quality of their commitment to women; was it merely lust or obedient and sacrificial love? If the woman decided it was “love” then she might decide to engage more intimately with him, as Joseph Campbell explains:

“The woman is looking for authenticity in a relationship, so she delays merci until she is guaranteed that this man who is proposing himself to her is one of a gentle heart… And, the women were in control, that’s all there is to it. The man is the one who is advancing, the one performing the acts of guarding bridges, or whatever bit of foolishness she puts on him, but, she’s in control. And her problem is to live in a relationship that is authentic of love, and the only way she can do it is by testing the one who offers himself. She isn’t offering herself, he’s offering himself. But, she’s in control of what happens then with step two.10

“The technical term for a woman’s granting of herself was merci; the woman grants her merci. Now, that might consist in her permission for the man to kiss her on the back of the neck once every Whitsuntide, you know, something like that – or it may be a full giving in love. That would depend upon her estimation of the character of the candidate. The essential idea was to test this man to make sure that he would suffer things for love, and that this was not just lust.

The tests that were given then by women involved, for example, sending a chap out to guard a bridge. The traffic in the Middle Ages was somewhat encumbered by these youths guarding bridges. But also the tests included going into battle. A woman who was too ruthless in asking her lover to risk a real death before she would acquiesce in anything was considered sauvage or “savage”. Also, the woman who gave herself without the testing was “savage”. There was a very nice psychological estimation game going on here.11

Today that psychological estimation game (as Campbell puts it) might involve asking consent to sit with a woman, appealing politely for a date, waiting patiently for her to call or sweep right, keeping his knees together to avoid manspreading, or asking for permission to speak in order to prove he is not talking over her or mansplaining. Such demonstrations show the feminist woman that he has a gentle heart, and that he is willing to suffer things for love.

That psychological testing also encompasses public activities which demonstrate a man’s commitment to serving womankind as a whole. Examples would be a man walking a mile in her shoes, or joining White Ribbon Campaigns that require men, as was required of the medieval knights, to pledge oaths to “Never to condone, or remain silent about violence towards women and girls” and especially to intervene when learning of any male behaving offensively toward a woman.

Today’s White Ribbon “oath” bears a striking resemblance to the 14th century enterprise of the Green Shield with the White Lady (Emprise de l’Escu vert à la Dame Blanche) in which men committed themselves for the duration of five years to serving women. Inspired by the ideal of courtly love, the stated purpose of the order was to guard and defend the honor, estate, goods, reputation, fame and praise of all ladies. It was an undertaking that earned the praise of protofeminist Christine de Pizan. The continuity of chivalry and courtly love from the medieval knightly oath to the modern feminist-inspired oath is remarkable in its consistency.

In line with most women who expect men to follow medieval rules of love concerning male courtesy, the feminist movement is geared toward enforcing the same goal. Feminism however postures itself as disavowing that goal even while they are at the forefront of institutionalizing it in our families, our schools, our political structures and laws.

Each of the psychological tests mentioned above are evidence of a love service called for by feminist activists. Or worded differently, they are sanctified methods by which men are called to demonstrate obedience and a ‘gentle heart’ in contrast to the brutality, rapiness and exploitativeness of the savage heart; the default feminist conception of men.

I will close here with the words of an academic feminist, one not so coy about identifying courtly love with the project of feminism. Elizabeth Reid Boyd of the School of Psychology and Social Science at Edith Cowan University, and Director of the Centre for Research for Women in Western Australia with more than a decade as a feminist researcher and teacher of women’s studies tells:

In this article I muse upon arguments that romance is a form of feminism. Going back to its history in the Middle Ages and its invention by noblewomen who created the notion of courtly love, examining its contemporary popular explosion and the concurrent rise of popular romance studies in the academy that has emerged in the wake of women’s studies, and positing an empowering female future for the genre, I propose that reading and writing romantic fiction is not only personal escapism, but also political activism.

Romance has a feminist past that belies its ostensible frivolity. Romance, as most true romantics know, began in medieval times. The word originally referred to the language romanz, linked to the French, Italian and Spanish languages in which love stories, songs and ballads were written. Stories, poems and songs written in this language were called romances to separate them from more serious literature – a distinction we still have today. Romances were popular and fashionable. Love songs and stories, like those of Lancelot and Guinevere, Tristan and Isolde, were soon on the lips of troubadours and minstrels all over Europe. Romance spread rapidly. It has been called the first form of feminism (Putnam 1970).12

Reid Boyd finishes her paper by waxing poetic about the many joys of romantic love, and of its increasing popularity in academe.

Same as it ever was, the project of modern feminism can be summarized as championing victimhood (damseling), soliciting favors from men and governments (chivalry), and promoting “respectful” relationships by men-toward-women (courtly love).

References:

[1] Christina Hoff-Sommers, How fainting couch feminism threatens freedom, American Enterprise Institute 2015
[2] Naomi Wolf, Fire With Fire: New Female Power, 1993
[3] Rene Denfeld, The New Victorians: A Young Woman’s Challenge to the Old Feminist Order, 1995
[4] Ernest B. Bax, Feminism and Female Suffrage, 1910
[5] Ernest B. Bax, Mr. Belfort Bax Replies to his Feminist Critics, 1908
[6] Naomi Wolf, Fire With Fire: New Female Power, 1993
[7] Emily Esfahani Smith, Let’s Give Chivalry Another Chance, The Atlantic, Dec 10 2012
[8] Ernest B. Bax, Chapter-5 ‘The Chivalry Fake’ in The Fraud of Feminism, 1913
[9] Sandra Alfonsi, Masculine Submission in Troubadour Lyric, 1986
[10] Joseph Campbell, Parzival, the Graal, and Grail Legends, talk at the Ojai Foundation, 1987
[11] Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth, interview with Bill Moyers, 1988
[12] Elizabeth Reid Boyd, Romancing Feminism: From Women’s Studies to Women’s Fiction, 2014