Bachelor Life With Freedom Looks Easier (1931)

The following article entitled ‘Bachelor Life With Freedom Looks Easier,’ penned by Dorothy Dix appeared in 1931, foreshadowing many of the key issues raised by Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) today. PW

mgtow

According to the census report, there has been a very decided slump in marriage, and this is blamed on men by those who have investigated the subject. They say that women are as eager as ever to enter the holy estate, but that men fight shy of it. Doubtless that this is true. Probably women have always been more anxious to marry than men because they have always looked upon matrimony as a career and getting a husband their chief business in life. The favorite game of every girl-child is playing bride, and by the time she gets in her teens she has her wedding all planned out, even to the last detail about the flower girls and the ring-bearers.

Boys Think Of Other Things

But no little boy looks forward as joyously to being a bridegroom as he does to being a quarter-back on a football team. Marriage is never the climax of his ambitions as it is of girl’s. He knows that, like death, marriage will get him sooner or later, but, at least until he falls in love, he cherishes a vague, secret hope that somehow he may escape it.

That men are becoming more bridal-shy and harder to catch every year women will all testify from their personal experience. More and more de women have to do the chasing of husbands if they want one. More arid more alluring baits do they have to use to toll men into the matrimonial fold, and this despite the fact that never were women more desirable, never better-looking, never better fitted to be real helpmates.

Cost Too Great

The reluctance of the modern man to marry can be explained in many ways. First, perhaps, by the high cost of living. Marriage appeals more to the young and reckless, who have not learned how to figure out the cost of things, than it does to the mature and cautious, who look at the price tag first and then at the article. But boys cannot marry because it costs too much to support a family, and by the time a man can afford a wedding-ring only too often he has lost his taste for it.

Then men don’t marry because they are too selfish. They love themselves better than they do any woman and they consider that swapping off their freedom and latchkeys for the privilege of listening to curtain lectures when they come home at 3 A. M. is a poor trade. They prefer sports cars to perambulators and playing golf to doing chores around the house on Saturday half-holidays, and so they stick to single blessedness instead of taking a chance on double wretchedness.

Afraid of Alimony

Still another reason why men do not marry is because of their fear of alimony. Certainly the gold-digging ladles, who make a man pay and pay and pay as long as he lives for the mistake he made in marrying one of them, are doing a lot to kill the goose that lays the golden egg. For they have made marriage a hazardous adventure that causes men to get cold feet even to think about and that causes the prudent to avoid the altar.

For under the present laws it makes no difference whether the man was the one to blame or not; If a marriage goes blooey he has to settle the bill for the wreck. The man may have done his part nobly. The woman may have reneged entirely on her part. She may have been a shrew, a lazy loafer woman impossible to live with, but the poor, unfortunate who has married her as to support her, anyway, and often to contribute to the support a second husband. When you think of the alimony laws the marvel is not that so many men are afraid to marry, but that any man is plunger enough to risk it.

Need Is Less

However, prudence does not always keep men from marriage. The lack of an incentive is likewise a deterrent and two of the principal motives which formerly caused men to marry are now lacking. One of these was the man’s need of someone to take care of him and provide for his physical comfort. Men used to marry for a home and somebody to sew on their buttons and send out their laundry. There came a lime in the life of a young man when he was sick of boarding-house prunes and hash, and when in dressing in a hurry he couldn’t find a clean collar or a pair of socks without holes in them, a home and a wife suddenly seemed the most desirable things on earth and he rushed out and proposed lo the first girl he met.

But now the land is strewn with clubs and bachelor apartments where single men are valeted and cosseted better than any wife could do it, an that makes marrying for a home a superfluity. Also, alas, women have throw away, when they went into business, the rabbit’s-foot with which they conjured men into matrimony. For they are no more domestic, and many man refrains from popping the question to the girl he works at the next desk to because he is well aware that she is a better sales manager than she is a cook and that she would make a more satisfactory business partner than she would a life partner.

Girls’ Company Free

But perhaps the chief reason that men don’t marry is because they don’t have to in order to get feminine companionship. In the olden days a man led a girl to the altar because that was the only way in which he could enjoy her society without mother and father listening in. Then love-making had to lead somewhere and he paid for his petting parties with a marriage certificate.

Now that is all gratis. The society of women is as free to him is that of men. He spends his days in offices with girls. He plays golf with them. He goes off with them on long automobile rides, with never a chaperon in sight. Girls smile upon him. They break their necks trying to please him and keep him amused and entertained, and he doesn’t have to pay their bills or put up with their tempers or abridge his own freedom. He has a cinch. And he knows it. And he means to keep it, and so he doesn’t marry.

— DOROTHY DIX.

Source:

“High Cost of Keeping a Family and Fear of Alimony Keep Men from Altar – Bachelor Life looks Easier – Boys Too Poor, Men Too Wise To Take A Chance,” syndicated, Spokane Daily Chronicle (Wa.), Jul. 10, 1931, p. 5

A MGTOW Yardstick: Determination Of Self By Other (DOSBO)

In this piece I’ll be looking at the opposite of MGTOW, at what MGTOW isn’t, in order to throw MGTOW into relief against impostors. Naturally, this is my own take, one of numerous that abound on the Internet and one that comes with no special authority and no assumption that I speak for others.

By now many are familiar with the concept of male self-determination as a basic working definition for MGTOW. Self-determination is the practice whereby a man makes choices and decisions based on his own preferences and interests, monitors and regulates his own actions, and is generally self-directing.

Simple enough.

That leads to a consideration of the opposite of male self-determination, i.e., determination of self by other (DOSBO). Determination of self by other limits the definition of MGTOW and in one stroke negates the claim that MGTOW can mean anything a person wants it to mean. By applying the DOSBO rule, no person can qualify as a MGHOW if he hands over a significant amount of his sovereignty to another entity. Here are some examples illustrating DOSBO in action.

Example 1: Pro-feminist men
On the face of it, we might assume pro-feminist men are self-determined for having made a choice to be led by the spirit and letter of feminism. It hardly needs saying that this amounts to a false assumption.

The only self-determined decision such men make is an initial one to give up self-determination altogether in favor of determination of self by other—which is, of course, the antithesis of self-determination and thereby disqualifies MGTOW status according to DOSBO.

Example 2: Married men
This example is a bit trickier because it raises the question of whether the DOSBO factor is actual or merely potential for a particular married man. Marriage as an institution carries many cultural and legal values, from the symbolizing of a couple’s love in ritualized form through to the cultural and legal implementation of a gynocentric contract.

So the question to ask about any man entering into marriage is this: Is he entering the marriage to willfully participate in a gynocentric charade? Sadly, the vast majority of men are doing precisely that, which indicates that the DOSBO factor is actual—such a man cannot qualify as a MGHOW under this definition.

Alternatively, if a couple undertakes to symbolize their love through the ritual of marriage while at the same time imagining they are rejecting the gynocentric aspect imposed by the state, can that man call himself a MGHOW while the DOSBO factor looms in potential due to his wife’s latent legal power? Is this man, rare as he may be, a MGHOW?

This is where I stop short of saying he absolutely cannot be—although I would certainly call him foolhardy if he entered a marriage while knowing the enormous risks involved. He is actually a MGHOW in behavior because he presently “does his own thing,” but he is potentially a man whose life can be determined by his wife and the government if she so chooses. While I look at what is actual instead of what is potential, I’m forced to conclude that he retains some semblance of a MGHOW.

Example 3: Traditionalists
Like marriage, traditionalism needs defining because not all traditionalism is the same—it is not all gynocentric. Traditionalism is a big basket of historical practices that may or may not be limiting of male self-determination. To simply say “All tradition is bad for men” is a blunt instrument that begs debunking. A better approach might be to ask, Which aspects of traditionalism are limiting to male freedoms?

“Traditional gender roles” is a more precise name for the problem, although it too suffers from lack of discrimination. Is it some traditional gender roles, most traditional gender roles, or all traditional gender roles that are bad? Was it bad for married men and non to have the freedom to enjoy male-only fraternal organizations such as the Elks, Masons, Golden Fleece, and others,1 or was it oppressive for bachelor and married men alike to have male-only drinking saloons, pool halls, or sporting clubs? These too were the result of traditional gender divisions.

To use a more controversial example, was it limiting of male self-determination for a woman to stay home during the first two years after giving birth (not beyond!) to breast-feed while the husband worked, or is it limiting for the neotraditionalist couple of today to employ the same traditional role division whereby the father stays at home and bottle-feeds a baby while the woman works full-time?

Are not some aspects of traditionalism benign?

While I leave the answer to these questions open, I’m going to suggest that a much more precise term than either “traditionalism” or “traditional gender roles” would be traditional gynocentrism. Gynocentrism is the main perpetrator in limiting male freedom, and for that reason it is more precise to finger the gynocentric thread of traditionalism.

Moving beyond subjectivism
As a limiting principle, DOSBO delivers MGTOW from the meaninglessness of subjectivism, delivers it from the claim that MGTOW has no inherent meaning, or that it can mean whatever the hell a person wants it to mean. It gives a precise meaning with real meta ideological commitments. Whether or not DOSBO proves of wider value is not important, but it will hopefully stimulate discussion about what precisely are the things that all MGTOW hold in common.

Notes
[1] Edward Ward, The Secret History of Clubs, published 1709. [This is one of hundreds of titles detailing traditional male clubs, guilds, and fraternities. The examples given show that the clubs were riotous places of laughter, male bonding, drinking, inventing and collaborating on various projects, and above all were places to enjoy a little self-chosen freedom. Married and bachelor men alike participated, and in the majority of clubs no women were allowed to set foot].

Feature image by James Cridland

Early references to “Men going their own way”

Despite false claims that the phrase was invented during the last decade, “Men Going Their Own Way,” or variants such as “going his own way,” or “go his own sweet way,” is now hundreds of years old.

Here are a few examples (out of thousands) showing that the phrase, as used in reference to men’s freedoms, is an old one:

1996
MGTOW 1996

1939
MGTOW 1939

1936
MGTOW 1936

1922
MGTOW 1922

1917
MGTOW 1917

1913
MGTOW 1913

1902
1902 MGTOW

1899
MGTOW 1899 Morning Post - Friday 22 September 1899

1897
Let men go their own way -  MGTOW 1897 The Copper country evening news., October 09, 1897, Image 2

1889
MGTOW 1889 - letter written by Walt Whitman

1886
MGROW 1886 Aberdeen Journal - Monday 06 December 1886

1880
MGTOW 1880 Hull Packet - Friday 03 September 1880

1856
MGTOW 1856 Bucks Herald - Saturday 07 June 1856

1853
MGTOW 1853 Dictionary of English and French Idioms Illustrating, by Phrases and Examples, the Peculiarities of Both Languages, and Designed as a Supplement to the Ordinary Dictionaries Now in Use

MGTOW & bachelorhood

MGTOW philosophy

Perspectives on MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) – a significant post-gynocentrism subculture based on the principle of male self-determination.

MGTOW: on the origin of gynocentrism
How to tame men – gynocentrism style
Gynocentrism – why so hard to kill?
MGTOW – facts and fallacies
What are MGTOW against?
Early references to “Men going their own way”
Definition of MGTOW
Self-determination: phrase origins
A MGTOW Yardstick: Determination Of Self By Other (DOSBO)
On the nature of MGTOW self-determination
MGTOW: 12th century style
MGTOW movement of 1898
Authoring your own life
Don’t just do something, SIT THERE
The historical role of gynocentrism in societal collapse

Marriage shunning

The following collection of articles describe the post-gynocentrism phenomenon of marriage shunning by males, and the rationale behind it.
No marriage

Marriage is a gynocentric custom
Slavery 101 – dating as taught to girls
Valentine’s Day: gynocentrism’s most holy event
Women complaining about lack of available slavemasters
Men not marrying
Men shouldn’t marry
Marriage is obsolete. Are women?
Men on strike: why men are boycotting marriage
Don’t give up on marriage? Request denied
Down the aisle again on the marriage question

Post-gynocentrism relationships

Post-gynocentrism relationships between men and women are possible and even desirable for many people. The following articles explore how relationships can be revisioned.

friends

Hail to the V
The other Beauty Myth
Sex and Attachment
Love and Friendship
Pleasure-seeking vs. relationships
On the marriage question

Post-gynocentrism culture

Articles (mostly from AVfM) exploring post-gynocentrism culture. Each article presents a post-gynocentrism paradigm for individual or collective existence.

How to end gynocentrism
Gynocentrism – why so hard to kill?
Freedom from gynocentrism in 12 Steps
Breaking the pendulum: Tradcons vs. Feminists
Why anyone who values freedom should be fighting against feminism
A Voice for Choice
Gynocentrism and the hierarchy of entitlement
The Counterculture
MHRM: counterculture or subculture?
On creating a counter-culture
A little blood in the mix never hurt a revolution

MGTOW and male ‘mother love’

Male mother love:
MOMMYThis idea suggests that men’s relationship aspirations are driven by an unconscious yearning for “mother” love, from which all MGTOW men should attempt to liberate themselves. Oedipus complex, anyone? Whatever the real influence of “mother” love this presents a historically tired argument for male motivation. It is one that no longer appears in the practice of psychology and for good reason; over 100 years of analysis have proven the theory of less value than first suspected, and the man who first theorized it as a “universal complex” is thought to have suffered the complex himself. Behaviorism, psychoanalysis and the long reign of the Oedipus complex have been superseded by contemporary attachment theory which has deepened our understanding and shown that male need for attachment and affection need not be linked to that word “mother”.

None of this is to dismiss the pivotal importance of attachment desire in males, and there are portions of the so-called “mother love” theory that warrant close and ongoing discussion. In fact the science of attachment is potentially one of the most fruitful paths of investigation for MGTOW there is. The issue here is that whilst promising, the discussion about adult attachment theory in relation to MGTOW is currently underdeveloped and is therefore of limited use as a theoretical base.

Montana Man Refuses to Pay Bachelor Tax

This photo comes from the 23 May 1921 Batavia Daily News.

William Atzinger, of Fort Benton, Mont., refuses to pay the $3 state bachelor tax. Neither will he be married to escape the tax. But he’ll pay, he says, if spinsters are taxed also.

William Atzinger, of Fort Benton, Mont., refuses to pay the $3 state bachelor tax. Neither will he be married to escape the tax. But he’ll pay, he says, if spinsters are taxed also.

Volume 8 of The Social Hygiene Bulletin has this note:

The Tax on Bachelors

William Atzinger, aged 35, notified the assessor of Chouteau County, Montana, that he will refuse to pay the poll tax of $3 levied on bachelors by the last state legislature. In his declaration he says, “Spinsters are responsible for my not being married in their refusals of my wooing in the past.”

The report from Great Falls, Montana, further quotes the defiant bachelor as follows: “Tax the spinsters of the same age and I will gladly pay, but otherwise it is class legislation and I stand upon my rights. Furthermore I refuse to get married to escape jail and I refuse to pay a bachelor tax to escape jail.”

Early the following year, the Montana state supreme court ruled that the bachelor tax was unconstitutional (at the same time it also threw out a 21-year-old poll tax that was also imposed only on men).

See also:

1896: Mrs. Charlotte Smith proposes a “Bachelor Tax”
The danger of celibacy (1707)
Penalties for not marrying (1903)

Penalties for not marrying (1903)

The following article provides evidence that bachelor movements have existed throughout history, and that societies usually end up pressuring bachelor men to marry. The following piece first appeared in the Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser on Saturday 21 November 1903. – PW


No marriage

PENALTIES FOR MARRYING

Matrimony is considered a punishable offence in some communities. These circles of society are small, but their edicts are strong. The larger community, if it takes cognisance of a man’s single state, usually imposes a fine for not getting married, as in Argentina where bachelorhood requires the payment of an increasing tax to the government.

But in certain circles marriage is regarded as an offence. At Oxford University, for instance, a fellow of All Souls’ College forfeits his fellowship if he takes to himself a wife while he is supposed to be studying the classics.

He not only must pay a penalty, but he must present his college with a memorial in the shape of a silver cup, on which is inscribed the words, “Descendit in matrimonium” – “He backslid into matrimony.”

The aristocratic Bachelors’ Club of Piccadilly, London, ostracises members who forget themselves so far as to marry. Instant expulsion is the punishment for this offence. The backsliders must leave the company of the bachelors for ever. As an act of grace they pay a fine of 100 dollars and become honorary members of the club, but that is their own salvation.

Not only England has these anti-matrimony clubs. Their formation in Chicago has been treated as a joke, as it has in other American cities. Bachelors in other countries have lent an air of seriousness to their endeavours.

It is serious for a member of a certain Junggesellen Club [Bachelor club] in Germany to lapse into matrimony. As soon as his intention becomes known he is tried in the club court, with the president as judge, where he is allowed to plead in extenuation of his offence. On the skill of his pleading and his excuses depends his fine, from 100 to 250 dollars.

This fine is devoted to a dinner, at which all members appear in mourning garb. At its conclusion the president reads the sentence of expulsion, and the delinquent is led from the premises to an accompaniment of groans and lamentations.

Only last winter a recreant was condemned to swim twice across the Seine at midnight, with the result that a severe attack of rheumatic fever nearly robbed him of the bride he had paid the heavy price to wed.

While the bachelor sometimes has to pay dearly for a wife, in at least one country it scarcely pays to remain celibate. In Argentina the man who prefers single to married bliss has to pay a substantial and progressive tax. If he has not taken a wife by the time he has reached his 25th birthday he must pay a fine of 5 dollars a month to the Exchequer.

Source: Lancashire General Advertiser on Saturday 21 November 1903

 

See also: Bachelor movement of 1898

Book synopsis: The Age of the Bachelor

The following book synopsis, The Age of the Bachelor, by Howard Chudacoff details a historical scenario like that presently gaining traction under the heading MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way).

k6561Howard Chudacoff describes a special and fascinating world: the urban bachelor life that took shape in the late nineteenth century, when a significant population of single men migrated to American cities. Rejecting the restraints and dependence of the nineteenth-century family, bachelors found sustenance and camaraderie in the boarding houses, saloons, pool halls, cafes, clubs, and other institutions that arose in response to their increasing numbers. Chudacoff recalls a lifestyle that had a profound impact on society, evoking fear, disdain, repugnance, and at the same time a sense of romance, excitement, and freedom.

http://press.princeton.edu/titles/6561.html

1896: Mrs. Charlotte Smith proposes a “Bachelor Tax”

In the 1890’s a proposed ‘tax on bachelors’ caused the very first MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) and Men’s Rights group to form.1 At that time a group of bachelors banded together in response to the tax and to fight for their freedom from gynocentric slavery. They can also be considered the first Men’s Rights group to fight against patently misandric laws.

Background
01-Charlotte-Smith-1896In 1896 a Mrs. Charlotte Smith, feminist activist and President of the Women’s Rescue League, spearheaded an anti-bachelor campaign based on her concerns about the increasing numbers of women who could not find husbands — a surprising development considering men outnumbered women in the United States then by 1.5 million.2 Her solution to the “problem” was to denigrate, malign, and ultimately punish bachelors in order to pressure them into marrying any women unlucky enough to remain unwed.

Mr’s Smith’s malignment of bachelors began with attacks on public servants and officials, saying that bachelors have always been failures, and that bachelor politicians, especially, were “narrow minded, selfish, egotistical, and cowardly.” She further claimed that, “It’s about time to organize antibachelor clubs in this state. It should be the purpose of every young woman to look up the record of each and every man who is looking for votes and, should his moral character be such would make him unfit for office, then his shortcoming should be the point of attack by the antibachelor women of Massachusetts. There are 47,000 girls between the ages of 20 and 29 years in this state who cannot find husbands… [and] the bachelor politicians, they do not dare discuss the social evil question.”3 She states:

“No man can be a good, honorable and upright citizen
who has not entered into the holy bonds of wedlock” [Charlotte Smith]4

 

the-chipley-banner-chipley-washington-county-fla-25-sept-1897

Part of her remedy was to have bachelors excluded from employment in prominent public sector positions. Her second punishment proposed a universal bachelor tax of $10 per year be applied,5 amounting to between 1-4 weeks of the average wage, with the proceeds to provide living standards for ‘unmarried maidens’ orphans and the poor. In 1911, Mrs. Smith was still spruiking the tax on bachelors, claiming statistics showed that 60% of eligible men in Massachusetts never married, especially men of “small means” because “in order to be popular at the club now it is necessary for a man to have one or two automobiles a yacht, and two or three mistresses, but no marriage.”6

Many proponents of the tax believed that it would encourage marriage and thereby reduce the state’s burden to care for those who did not financially support themselves. Perhaps most importantly Mrs. Smith felt that the tax would lower the number of men “who go around making love to young girls.”6

The bachelor band of 1898

The bachelor tax proposed by Smith was by no means the first. For example, in 1827 a “highly numerous and respectable” group of men met in a New York City hotel to organize a protest against a bill before the New York legislature that replaced a current tax on dogs with one on bachelors. The bill, they claimed, was “onerous and in direct violation of the great charter of their liberties.”7

In 1854, in Connecticut a legislator argued in the House of Representatives against a proposed bill to tax bachelors: such a bill was unnecessary, he claimed, because “There was a tax laid already upon a goose, and any man who had lived 25 years without being married could be taxed under that section.”8 These two bills were not unique, as bachelor taxes have existed around the globe and throughout the millennia, dating back at least to ancient Greece and Rome.9

The culmination of attacks on both the finances and character of bachelors resulted (in 1898) in the formation of a small resistance group in Atlanta Georgia, known variously as the Bachelor Band, The Bachelor League, or famously the ‘Anti-Bardell Bachelor Band.’

The latter takes its name from the case of Bardell vs Pickwick in Charles Dickins 1836 classic novel The Pickwick Papers in which the character Mr. Pickwick is forced to defend himself against a corrupt lawsuit brought by his landlady, Mrs. Bardell, who is suing him for breach of promise, and which ultimately results in his incarceration at Fleet Prison for his stubborn refusal to pay the compensation to her. Thus ‘Anti-Bardell’ in the title refers to men’s struggle against corruption, greed and bigotry, with the bachelor band publicly claiming that “One of its main objects is the suppression of Mrs. Bardell’s large army of female followers today.”10

The Bachelor Band undertook political activism on behalf of men’s rights, including articles in numerous mainstream newspapers, letters to politicians, and public petitions to raise both awareness and support for men against misandric laws and practices. In response to Mrs. Smith’s campaign for what she termed “compulsory marriage,” the Bachelor Band held an emergency meeting chaired by Al Mather, a prominent real-estate dealer.

At the meeting a member cried out, “We are pledged to celibacy, and we must remain true to our resolve!” Another member, Henry Miller stated “It is an outrage to attempt a tax on bachelors. The next thing, I suppose, will be to put tags on us or make us get out licenses as is now requires for dogs.”11 The meeting then moved into a secret session where the proposed bachelor tax was discussed, with attendees concluding that is was not the tax per-se that was the problem, but the spirit of the thing. The members, one and all, declared the tax was an attempt to place bachelors under a ban, and by doing so force them into matrimony. With all members of the same opinion a resolution was passed as follows:

“We hereby ask and request that the Senator and the Assemblymen from this district, namely Mr. Daly, Allen, and marshal exert themselves to the best of their ability and means to defeat the bill now before the Legislature to tax bachelors; and it is further resolved that the Secretary be authorized to forward a copy of the above resolution to each of the gentlemen mentioned, and further to notify the proposer of the bill, Assemblyman Weller, and the governor of our action.”11

Another group, the Hoboken Bachelor Club, discussed the merits of drafting a petition protesting against the bill and circulating it for signatures. As can be seen from the political action taken, the assault on men was not going to be taken lying down, with the bachelors forming a resistance movement headed by Lawyer John A. Hynds who not only resisted pressure to marry but challenged the bachelor tax and the cultural misandry that accompanied it. According to one media account the bachelor group was still active four years after the date of the above controversy, making it a successful long-term organisation.12

One of the more humorous, but effective examples of the group’s media activism was this piece in the New York World:

BACHELOR’S LEAGUE AGAINST THE FAIR

John A. Hynds - (Chief Officer of Bachelor Band)

John A. Hynds –
(Chief Officer of Bachelor Band)

Twelve bachelors have formed a league against marriage under the name of the “Anti-Bardell Bachelor Band,” a name which recalls the woes of Mr. Pickwick, of immortal fame. The motto of the club is Solomon’s proverb: “It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than with a brawling woman in a wide house.” The objects of the club are to oppose matrimony, to fight for the liberty of man, to encourage the manufacture of all such devices as bachelor buttons and to check the movement inaugurated by Mrs. Charlotte Smith “and other disgruntled females” to require bachelors to wed.

Any member who marries will be fined $1000. The club will attend the “funeral” in a body dressed in black, wearing long, mournful faces, with an abundant supply of crepe. In addition to this they will emit groans during the whole ceremony. When the fine is paid the member shall be declared legally dead.

Another offense is “getting the mitten.” If a member is “mittened” by a widow or old maid the fine is doubled. Among other offenses are calling a woman “sweetheart,” “dearest,” “sugar lump,” “dovie,” “tootsie-wootsie,” “honey,” “lamb” or any such kindred nonsensical, absurd and disgraceful terms, and “walking with the female in the moonlight, speaking of the stars or the weather, quoting poetry –original or otherwise- riding through a tunnel in a car when any female occupies a contiguous seat, getting down on his knees before or at the side of a woman, carrying a girl’s picture in his watch, hat or pocketbook, staying later than 12 o’clock at night, sending cologne, cinnamon drops or other kinds of perfumed liquids or shopping in a dry-goods store with any one of the fair sex.”

The chief officers of the club are: John A. Hynds, chief marble heart; E. C. Brown, junior marble heart; Mark J. McCord, freezer; J. D. Allen, iceberg.

Mr. E. C. Brown, the junior marble heart, was tried recently on the charge of deserting the Atlanta charmers and visiting a Marietta widow and sending the widow flowers and candles. He was forbidden to visit Marietta for two months and fined twenty-four theatre tickets.13

* * *

Penalties against bachelors as enticements to marry are seen as far back as classical Roman times and, as with Eliza and Mariana who in 1707 AD proposed harsh penalties for unwed men, women are the most passionate advocates of bachelor punishments.

The Anti-Bardell Bachelor Band represents possibly the earliest MGTOW and MHRA group we know of, with men fighting for the basic right to determine their own lives and liberty, including the right to not marry. The stacked deck against men is not new, nor is an organized reaction to it. The only thing these poor chaps needed was the internet, and a mind for rebellion. With this in mind let’s make sure we milk the internet for all we can squeeze out of it… it’s our best chance yet.

Notes

[1] Specifically, the earliest MGTOW and Men’s Rights groups currently known by this author. If an earlier MGTOW or MR group is brought to my attention this page will be updated accordingly.
[2] The Crusade Against Bachelors, The Norfolk Virginian. (Norfolk, Va.), 02 Sept. 1897.
[3] Antibachelor Clubs: Mr’s Charlotte Smith Starts New Political Crusade, Rock Island Argus. (Rock Island, Ill.), 28 Aug. 1897
[4] No offices for Bachelors, Kansas City StarThursday, August 19, 1897, Kansas City, Kansas
[5] Massachusetts Bachelors Taxed $10 a Year, The Salt Lake herald. (Salt Lake City [Utah), 01 March 1898
[6] Tax on Bachelors, Boston Globe, Feb.15, 1911, 1. (Smith was also campaigning against women riding bicycles, which she considered immoral).
[7] Editorial, Connecticut Courant, February 5, 1827
[8] Connecticut Legislature, Senate, House of Representatives, Hartford Courant, June 26, 1854
[9] Taxing Bachelors in America: 1895-1939, by Marjorie E. Kornhauser
[10] Evening star, February 15, 1898, Page 13, Image 13
[11] Bachelor Tax Feb 12 1898 New York World
[12] The Times 19 January 1902 › Page 4, “Allison Mather, former president of the Hoboken Bachelors’ Club, and who for many years was proud of the distinction or being a confirmed woman hater, is suing for divorce. When he married last year the members of the club went into mourning.”
[13] New York World, 1898 [Note: “mittened” or “getting the mitten” is an old-time New England expression, meaning to have your offer of marriage rejected by your “best girl,” and has an origin in the customs of the earlier days. Two hundred years ago, gloves were unknown in the country towns, and mittens were knitted and worn in all families. If a young man, going home from singing school with the girl of his choice, was holding her mittened hand to keep it from getting cold, and took that opportunity to urge his suit, if the offer proved acceptable, the hand would remain; if taken by surprise, an effort to withdraw the hand would leave the mitten. So the suitor would “get the mitten, but would not get the hand.”

Forget the ring

Grooms_Wedding_Ring-02

Modern marriage evolved from a historical ritual designed to indenture slaves to masters, though most people have forgotten this history. However, many of the behaviors and rituals central to this history can still be discerned in modern marriage.

It’s thought that the practice of exchanging wedding rings extends far back into ancient history, with evidence of the ritual being found in Ancient Egypt, Rome, and within several religious cultures. However our modern-day practice of giving wedding rings has a very different origin and meaning, one which may make you, well, cringe a little. As suggested on the Society of Phineas blog, the ring functions as a feudalistic contract between the man and his wife:

“The ring functions as a proof of ability in the supplicant vassal’s pledge to the wife. This is true given the traditional expectation of the amount of resources to be expended in purchasing the ring along with providing for the wedding day. In this gynocentric environment, it’s total sacrilege to not present a woman with her One Ring or to present one that is substandard to her or her friends. She uses her One Ring as a social proof of her status around Team Woman (it’s a competition much like Valentine’s Day gifts), as she will not hesitate to show it off as much as possible when she first gets it if it meets with her approval.” 1

This contention finds support from medievalist scholars who show the origin of our ring-exchanging ritual is found in early literary sources and in artistic depictions of the Middle Ages. H.J. Chaytor, for instance wrote “The lover was formally installed as such by the lady, took an oath of fidelity to her and received a kiss to seal it, a ring or some other personal possession.” Professor Joan Kelly gives us a tidy summary of the practice:

“A kiss (like the kiss of homage) sealed the pledge, rings were exchanged, and the knight entered the love service of his lady. Representing love along the lines of vassalage had several liberating implications for aristocratic women. Most fundamental, ideas of homage and mutuality entered the notion of heterosexual relations along with the idea of freedom. As symbolized on shields and other illustrations that place the knight in the ritual attitude of commendation, kneeling before his lady with his hands folded between hers, homage signified male service, not domination or subordination of the lady, and it signified fidelity, constancy in that service.” 2

155190-425x282-iStock_000018156233XSmallLike the description given by Kelly, men continue to go down on one knee and are quick to demonstrate humility by claiming the wedding is “her day”, betraying the origin and conception of marriage as more feudalistic in its structure than Christian. With gestures like these it’s clear that modern marriage is based on the earlier feudalistic ritual known as a ‘commendation ceremony’ whereby a bond between a lord and his fighting man (ie. his vassal) was created. The commendation ceremony is composed of two elements, one to perform the act of homage and the other an oath of fealty. For the Oath of fealty ceremony the vassal would place his hands on a Bible (as is still practiced) and swear he would never injure his overlord in any way and would remain faithful. Once the vassal had sworn the oath of fealty, the lord and vassal had a feudal relationship.

Because this archaic contract remains current in contemporary marriages, we might also question our typical concepts of obeyance between a husband and wife. In older Christian ceremonies the women sometimes vowed to love, cherish and “obey” her husband. However, because framed within a feudalistic-style relationship the woman’s obeyance was strongly offset and perhaps overturned whereby in practice she tended to be the dominant power-holder in relation to the man. In the latter case the wife as more powerful figure is merely obeying -if she is obeying anything at all- her responsibilities as a kindly overlord to her husband. Notice here that we have switched from the notion of a benevolent patriarchy to a kindly gynocentrism which feminists like to promote as loving, nurturing, peace-loving and egalitarian.

Love service

The Medieval model of service to a feudal lord was transferred wholesale into relationships as “love service” of men toward ladies. Such service is the hallmark of romantic love and is characterized by men’s deference to a woman who is viewed as a moral superior. During this period women were often referred to by men as domnia (dominant rank), midons (my lord), and later dame (honored authority) which terms each draw their root from the Latin dominus meaning “master,” or “owner,” particularly of slaves. Medieval language expert Peter Makin confirms that the men who used these terms must have been aware of what they were saying:

“William IX calls his lady midons, which I have translated as ‘my Lord’… These men knew their Latin and must have been aware of its origins and peculiarity; in fact it was clearly their collective emotions and expectations that drew what amounts to a metaphor from the area of lordship, just as it is the collective metaphor-making process that establishes ‘baby’ as a term for a girlfriend and that creates and transforms language constantly. In the same way, knowing that Dominus was the standard term for God, and that don, ‘lord’, was also used for God, they must also have felt some connection with religious adoration. 3

Recapitulation

Let’s recapitulate the practices associated with the ring-giving ritual of marriage:

1. Genuflection: man goes down on one knee to propose
2. Commendation token: rings exchanged
3. Vassal’s kiss: reenacted during the ceremony
4. Homage and fealty: implicit in marriage vows
5. Subservience: “It’s her special day”
6. Service: man prepares to work for wife for his whole life
7. Disposability: “I would die for you”.

Is it any wonder that women are so eager to get married and that men are rejecting marriage in droves? The feudalistic model reveals exactly what men are buying into via that little golden band – a life commitment to a woman culturally primed to act as our overlord. As more men become aware of this travesty they will choose to reject it, and for those still considering marriage I encourage you to read this article a second time; your ability to keep or lose your freedom depends upon it.

[1] Website: Society of Phineas
[2] Joan Kelly, Women, History, and Theory, University of Chicago Press, 1986
[3] Peter Makin, Provence and Pound, University of California Press, 1978