Tradwives, Modwives and Feminists

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There’s been a lot of discussion lately on a return to traditional gender roles as a way to reverse the ill effects of feminism. We see it promoted by advocates for traditional gynocentrism, and by those who promote non-gynocentric forms of traditionalism, in which men and women are called to adhere to strict ‘gender roles’ – eg. he is head of household who goes out and earns the money and protects her, while she makes babies, apple pies, and keeps the house clean. Its what many people refer to as the ‘two-spheres doctrine’ in which men and women are apportioned sovereignty over different realms – he over the political and social realm, and she over the domestic realm. This, argue the advocates of traditional gender roles, creates a delicate but eminently workable balance that has stood the test of time.

The fantasy of a return to the ‘good old days’ when men were masculine and chivalrous, and women were feminine and ladylike, has run strong through the manosphere and beyond, whether promoted by Anthony “Dream” Johnson and his traditionalism-promoting convention, or women like Suzanne Venker who specialize in promoting traditional roles for women.

I note Mike Buchanan of J4MB recently posted a link on his blog titled Tradwives – women who are bucking feminism, which leads to an article with the byline ‘Submitting to my husband like it’s 1959′: Why I became a #TradWife:

And inevitably, it has become a ‘thing’ for a woman to actually admit that she wants a role as full-time housewife and mother. It’s being called a Tradwife, short for traditional wife, though it was only ever a short-lived tradition for most people… Search the hashtag ‘#tradwife’ on social media and you’ll see images of cooked dinners and freshly-baked cakes with captions like, “A woman’s place is in the home” or “Trying to be a man is a waste of a woman”.

There is a lot to that last statement, just as it is a waste of a man trying to be a woman. As Sweden has discovered, the more you try making men and women the same, the more they will emphasise their differences.1

I have also witnessed an occasional media article showcasing a woman who has decided to quit a stressful job to live like a 1950s housewife, insisting she’s happy to spend her day cooking and cleaning because ‘men should be spoiled by their wives.’

One such story in the UK Daily Mail describes a 30 yr old Oregon woman Katrina Holte as follows;

A woman who was stressed out by her job in a busy payroll department, decided to quit the rat race and also turn back time – deciding to live like a 1950s housewife.

Transforming her suburban home in Hillsborough, Oregon, into a working shrine to the era, Katrina Holte, 30, now loves keeping house for her engineering manager husband, Lars, 28 – cleaning, cooking and making dresses using 1950s patterns.

Spinning vinyl discs by stars of the era like Doris Day, she flits about her business, making sure dinner is on the table when Lars gets in, saying: ‘I feel like I’m living how I always wanted to. It’s my dream life and my husband shares my vision.

‘It is a lot of work. I do tons of dishes, laundry and ironing, but I love it and it’s helping to take care of my husband and that makes me really happy.2

For most working men its a no-brainer that she would be more happy in a traditional roleplay of that kind. It is, as she points out, much better than working a stressful job as required of men’s traditional role.

Whatever the trend for women to become tradwives, it is not the only alternative to feminist prescriptions, and it may not be the ‘best’ of the available alternatives either.

Here I’d like to introduce the phenomenon of “modwives” – women who have embraced multi-option lives over trad roles, and who allow, nay encourage multi-option lives for their husbands. Of course I just made up the term modwife, but they exist and are possibly also growing in number.  Both tradwife and modwife eschew feminism which is geared only to female privilege, and not to partnerships based on reciprocal labor and devotion.

Over 150 years of feminism has bequeathed to women the famed multi-option lives, a sword which shattered the more narrow traditional roles with sure and mighty strokes. But the big question is this; are women today willing to renounce their multi-option lives in favour of single option traditional roles?

I would say not a snowfalke’s chance in Hell. And to invite them to do so today can be construed as coercive and even an abusive act. I submit that few women today are going to genuinely trade in multi-option lives for traditional roles, other than a limited few who like the idea of free time and cosplay, and who can rely on husbands to bring home a healthy wage.

This unlikelihood that women will embrace roles of yesteryear with any real commitment leads to another option mentioned above – the modwife. At best, today’s multi-option women can invite their men to do same. The modwife’s modus operandi is based on personal liberty within relationships, extending a true freedom of opportunity to her partner such as society has championed for her, even though it goes without saying that the loaded gun remains in her draw, same as it sits in the draw of the tradwife.

Yet few multi-option women today are willing to extend that multi-option liberty to men, preferring instead to pocket the advantages extended by women’s ‘liberation’ while expecting their boyfriends and husbands to remain in the mismatched role of protector and provider. There are women however, limited in number as they are, who lean toward the model of commensurate liberty for both men and women in relationships — some of them you will recognize among the supporters of the men’s rights movement.

That libetarian spirit is usually understood as belonging to the political sphere, but it is accepted by the modwife as a guiding principle in her relationship with men. It emphasizes individual choice, relative autonomy, voluntary association, individual judgement, free will, self-determination, and free labor-sharing arrangements and agreements. In a word; freedom.

Applying the concept of freedom to relationships may seem odd, especially when we consider the entrapment traditionally associated with marriage, not to mention the dangers and the restrictions on freedom that come with strict, prescribed gender roles of yesteryear.

Psychologist James Hillman speaks to the topic of freedom in his paper Marriage, Intimacy, Freedom:

Yet what does the soul want with that word Freedom which sets off such expectations? What sort of preposition accompanies and influences Freedom? Freedom from – from fear, want, and oppression, such as enunciated by the Charter that established that established the United Nations after World War Two?  Or is it Freedom of – choice, opportunity and movement, or access to today’s political language?

Or, is it Freedom to – to do as I like, to hire whom I want, to tell the boss to shove it, to go where I want, to marry whom I please–freedom of agency in the empowered and recovered adult of therapy?

Or, fourth, is it possibly Freedom in? This seems moronic or oxymoronic, for the fantasy of American, epitomized by Texan, freedom is “Don’t fence me in.” “In” means within limits or constraints of any place, time, situation, condition, such as the kitchen, in an hour, in a conversation, in a marriage.

This forth preposition,”in,” rather than freedom of, to and from, suggests that the joyful expectation arising from the soul when the bell of freedom rings is nothing other than living fully in the actuality of this or that situation, as it is, which gives to that situation wings, freeing it from a desire to be elsewhere, to escape from it, to want more, thereby sating the soul’s desire with the fullness of the present. How do I say it  “I love what I’m doing… I’m fully in it.” “I’m really into tex-mex cooking; my new computer; re-painting the house.”3

Freedom ‘in’ as Hillman puts it, allows for creative negotiation on how to set up relationships that bypass the narrow choice-dichotomy between traditional relationships and feminist-informed ones. For example, a man wishes to cook the food or be a stay-at-home father? So be it. She wants a career? Done. A bit of role sharing with him and her — both taking on part-time childcare, cooking and wage earning? Consider it done. This is the kind of freedom that comes with the multi-option couple, and it stands as a viable alternative to the traditional roles that we so often look back to with nostalgia.

The message of the men’s rights movement has been consistent in its commitment to more options for men and boys. That call for more options, for more rights and privileges, turns out to be a good match for the liberties most women enjoy today. Whether we use that freedom to choose life with a tradwife or a modwife – or to reject wives and relationships with women completely – the choice is ultimately ours.

References:

[1] Tradwives – women who are bucking feminism, J4MB (Jan 2019)
[2] Siofra Brennan, Woman quits her stressful job to live like a 1950s housewife, UK Daily Mail (2019)
[3] James Hillman, Marriage, Intimacy Freedom, Spring Journal of Archetype and Culture (1997)

The nature of male value and our gynocentric culture (part two)

By Peter Ryan

Please read part one of this article before continuing.

The Gynocentric Obsession With Asserting Men Are Inferior:

I understand the desperate need of gynocentric bigots to justify their own double standards of prioritising women above men, with the reductionist concept that reproduction is all that counts to propagating your genes, and that having a uterus makes women more biologically valuable and that men are more expendable. I understand the lengths and the efforts they will go to, to assert their falsehoods and silence any dissenting opinion. Gynocentrism requires rationalisation for bigots to make their bigotry more palatable and acceptable for society. Distorting science to provide a supposed empirical basis for their bigotry, is a key method that they employ. This is why I have spent so much time writing on the subject of male value to set the record straight and it really does not help when the manosphere repeats the lie that men are inherently biologically expendable. As we saw in the phrenology scene10 in the movie Django Unchained, junk science has been used to make all sorts of claims about group superiority.

The rationalisations and sophist claims that men are expendable because they lack a uterus, and that women have to be elevated above men to preserve the species, are just a different flavour of the same bigoted logic from that scene in the movie and just as ridiculous. The same claim that men are destined to be the more disposable sex because they lack a uterus, is analogous to the reasoning that African-Americans were destined to remain slaves because of supposed dimples in their skull. The key difference is that we now at least recognise one of these beliefs as bigotry.

Why Do We Believe Men Are Less Than?:

Why is the lie men are ‘less than’ so widely believed? People will look for simple ideas that justify their emotionally preferred worldview and appease their conscious. This applies to the manosphere as well. It is a comforting lie to believe that the sexism men face is an unavoidable and immutable facet of biological reality and the manosphere is no exception. However this gynocentric society is not comprised of people that are slaves to their biology. No, no, no, people do not get off that easily. People are wilfully and consciously going along with the marginalisation and exploitation of men and boys. The reason for this is not some innate biological mechanism, but the reality in our modern gynocentric culture that there is no incentive to care for men and every incentive to exploit them. Men that do not value themselves cannot expect society to care for them. Men that do not enforce boundaries with women and stand up for themselves, cannot expect women to not take advantage of them. The way men are treated by society, is a reflection of the way men treat themselves. The way men treat themselves is a reflection of how men perceive themselves.

The reason why society gives a shit about women, is because women give a shit about women. The reason why society does not give a shit about men, is because men do not give a shit about men. Ultimately society cares about women, because women give them an incentive to care and a disincentive not to. In contrast men simply place most of their sense of self-worth in what they achieve or do. Men place very little value in their physical and mental being. Society reflects that perspective right back at men in how men are treated. Men who regard themselves as human doings are treated as human doings. If men really want this to change, then they will need to change their perception of themselves from human doings to human beings.

Social stagnation is the norm for society and the social status quo prevails, because most people will not change without an incentive to change. Slavery was not abolished until sufficient numbers of people were incentivised to abolish it. The absolute rule of monarchs was not questioned until sufficient numbers of people were incentivised to challenge the established order. Every significant evolution of society has been preceded by a change in the mixture of incentives and disincentives in society. Things have to reach critical mass for major change to occur.

For centuries men have performed for society, because their own survival and the survival of society depended on it. This often meant that substantial numbers of men made sacrifices and died. What we have in the modern age, is a situation in which the fruits of what men provide are taken for granted. Technology has allowed apathy, short term thinking and decadence to dull our senses. Society has forgotten the true value of men and even men have forgotten their own true intrinsic value. Men cannot “do” for society, without caring for their being first. This is a basic reality that society and men have forgotten because of our decadent materialistic mentality, which has become divorced from reality and our long-term survival interests. Men are human beings first and the doing part comes from their being. Society has descended into a mass delusion, where we have forgotten that men are human beings and that their value emerges from that.

Why has male value been forgotten? Male biological value is more fluid in its form than female biological value. The reproductive role of women does not change much from one environment to the next. How men contribute to the survival of society, does vary to a much greater degree from one environment to the next. The result of this is that male value is not as fixed as female value and as a consequence there is more scrutiny placed on men to prove their value. It is harder to assess male value than female value and requires men to demonstrate their capacities. When you hear people say things like “man up”, “be a man” and someone define what a man is, you are hearing people call upon men to prove their biological worth. This is a social pressure women do not experience to anywhere near the same degree as men. No one dares to tell women to “woman up”.

Social scientists call this social pressure on men to perform to prove their worth as men, “precarious manhood”11. A positive side to the greater fluidity of male value, is that men have many paths they can take to express their biological value to society. For women their biological value is more fixed on motherhood. Women have greater stability and certainty in their biological value, but men have more freedom and scope in the expression of their biological value. Men rising to the top of their profession and pursuing a career or a talent or natural interest, will have a greater impact on their evolutionary success than it will for women. This biological difference does at least partly inform our societal attitudes and culture.

I do believe that this asymmetry between the sexes, is part of the reason why feminism has emerged and demanded all of these changes be made to our institutions and workplaces to empower women to pursue employment or other interests over having children. I understand, respect and support the need of women to find meaning in their lives outside of having children and to be valued for more than just their uterus.

Whilst we clearly do not have a 50:50 gender representation in all aspects of our economy and society and never will, it is a reality that there are no barriers left holding women back. Whilst evolved biological sex differences in interests and abilities do exist and do at least partly explain these differences in gender representation in society and why they will always remain, we have overturned the social and legal barriers that may have existed for women in pursuing a pathway outside of motherhood and being valued beyond motherhood.

The challenge I have for society, is that if we can clearly overcome our fixation on associating female value solely or primarily to motherhood, then we can do the same for men and their provision and protection for society. We can overcome our knee-jerk reaction to assign value to men based on what they “do” for society and how they perform. We can overcome and move beyond precarious manhood. As Dr. Warren Farrell has written about, if women are sex objects, men are success objects. If we can address one biologically informed cultural bias against women in regarding them as sex objects, then we can address the other bias against men in regarding them as success objects. If we can remove barriers for women, we can remove barriers for men.

There is another factor at play here as well. The male role in contributing to the survival of the community can obstruct our capacity to have concern for the well-being of men. When the community is dependent on men for survival, it becomes harder to see the need to support men. The nature of male value means that it essentially gets in the way of societal concern for male well-being. Men naturally want to take risks and they want to challenge themselves and take on hardships and society often benefits because of the extraordinary things that men do. Just as before, there is a positive flipside. Freedom for men is one of the most important things you can give them. Whilst there is less concern for male well-being from society, there is also less inhibition in allowing men to expose themselves to challenging and risky pursuits that can be highly rewarding both financially and otherwise. Men often find fulfillment and are naturally drawn to these pursuits. Men literally skydive from the edges of space and go to the bottom of the world’s oceans, because they have a passion to push the envelope of possibility.

Whilst there are certainly psychological and physiological sex differences that at least partly explain sex differences in the representation of risky, challenging and dangerous work that has high personal and financial reward, it is also correct to observe that men have had greater freedom to take on risky and challenging pursuits in the past. Both factors are at play. Whether it is exploring the world on sailing ships, pioneering on the frontier of new territories, undertaking expeditions to find the Northwest passage and go to the North and South Pole, mining in the gold rush, flying prototype aeroplanes, or going into space, society has historically given men more latitude to pursue these rewarding but dangerous endeavours. Women have traditionally been protected from risky and challenging work and this has come to some degree at the expense of part of their freedom.

Just as society has had less concern for male well-being, there has been less concern for women’s freedom outside of getting married and having children. Just as society has relied on men for survival, society has relied on women to produce the next generation. Just as male value has partly obstructed societal concern for male well-being, female value has partly obstructed societal concern for women’s freedom. The concern for men to provide for society got partly in the way of society caring for men’s well-being and the concern for women to produce children got partly in the way of society caring for women’s freedom.

Again this asymmetry is no doubt partly why feminism has emerged for women and I understand, accept and fully support the need for women to have the freedom to be more than just a mother. The second challenge I have for society though, is that if we can overcome our protective fixation on making sure women stay at home and raise children, then we can overcome our reservation in caring about men’s health and general well-being.

Despite what feminists claim, both men and women have faced discriminatory practices throughout our history and both sexes have had different types of “privilege”. It has not been a man’s world and an “oppressive patriarchy”, it has been a world where men and women struggled for thousands of years to subsist and continue society. When faced with the risk of death, disease and starvation on a semi-regular basis, men and women had much less choice on how to live and the roles the sexes were to play in society.

Technology which mostly men invented, has given us the opportunity to escape our traditional biological roles and opened up options that simply were not possible before. We have the capacity to go beyond our basic biological programming and ironically society has demonstrated this with feminism. If we can overcome our societal reservations on women being something other than a mother, than we can overcome our reservations on addressing male well-being and recognise the intrinsic value of men as human beings. If one sex can be freed from the confines of their biological mandate, then so can the other sex. This is because the biological mandate of each sex (the rate limiting factor of reproduction versus the rate limiting factor of survival) is interconnected and interdependent.

Some say that feminism is merely entirely an extension of biology and from a reductionist lens that position may seem tenable. Certainly there are biological factors at play driving feminism, to at least some degree. However when we consider how antithetical feminism is to female fertility and the net evolutionary impact that has on the continuation of communities and lineages within a population, the absolutist position feminism is entirely biological and driven by evolution, simply has no empirical leg to stand on. Feminism has created countless numbers of childless women that will not directly pass on their parent’s genome. If reproduction for the individual is “everything” from a skewed (and wrong) evolutionary perspective and women are the rate limiting factor of reproduction and biology is supposedly inescapable, then feminism in its present form should not have happened and yet it has. There is more to human evolutionary psychology and culture, than just reproduction and biology.

I wrote in part 2 of Gynocentrism And The Golden Uterus12, that men are not biologically disposable. I wrote that male disposability is a pathological expression of a society that has abandoned concern for male well-being and now takes them for granted and exploits them. I made the point that society has historically had to possess at least some concern for male well-being to minimise avoidable losses of men, to ensure its own existence and prosperity. Whilst there has indeed been some gut level inhibition that society has had in showing concern for male well-being, society in the past has also had an understanding at a cognitive level that we must look after and support men to at least some degree, so that men can in turn support society.

A king may not have had much concern for the individual well-being of his soldiers at a gut level, but cognitively he understood the need to adequately feed, pay and train them so they would effectively fight. We have recognised this need in our past culture to support men not a gut level, but at the cognitive level. Another example of this can be seen in how our educational institutions in the past were established to educate boys, so that they would then be equipped as men to support society and families.

What has happened, is that technology has delayed the need for society to think about the long-term consequences of neglecting male well-being (we have lost our long-term perspective on many other things in general as well, like private and government debt for instance). So we have gradually slid into a mode of perceiving men as human doings and not as human beings and on assigning value to what men do, but not to the men themselves. We have lost our cognitive connection between caring for men as human beings, so men can in turn support society. It is a cognitive connection we must restore before we are too late to realise what is happening in time to save society. Our current social and economic prosperity cannot be sustained in the long term without caring for male well-being. It is only through the massive resource surplus of our civilisation (which is gradually diminishing), that there has not yet been mass awareness of the decline of our societies and its link with the issues facing men. We are in a cycle of decadent short term thinking, where the concerns for the future of our civilisation has become an afterthought and so has concern for men and what made our society great. We must snap out of this cycle. Every civilisation reaches this decadent stage of decline in its final stages before it collapses.

This is a glimmer of hope though. People are waking up. People are starting to notice what is happening to men and boys. Is it happening slowly? Yes, very slowly. All social change happens very slowly initially with few exceptions. Even the mainstream media now though13, is starting to pay attention and show some genuine concern for men. So yes things are changing. If feminism can push back against the rigid expectations and attitudes that were directed at women, so can men when it comes to the rigid expectations and attitudes that have been directed at men.

However to accomplish this goal, men must first change their perception of themselves from human doings to human beings and men must help each other and boys achieve that. We need a new cultural narrative on masculinity. A narrative that focuses on men as human beings before paying attention to what they do. The movie Joker14 is one example of this new type of narrative. Its popularity is no doubt at least partly the result of the film’s storyline filling a void in our gynocentric culture in recognising the humanity of men and men’s pain. Into The Wild15 is another brilliant film that focuses on men as human beings and their pain, vulnerabilities and inner world. Society is in need of a change to our narratives on men and masculinity. Not a feminist inspired change that tells men they are “toxic” or “obsolete”, but a change that tells men they are human beings first and foremost and have intrinsic value.

From 1848, it took more than a century for feminism to achieve many of the goals it set out to achieve. Men face a similar wait. Social change happens slowly at first and it can slow and speed up at various stages over time. Just because change may not be immediate and may be slow, does not mean men’s place in society is biologically immutable. Our major hurdle in my view in the manosphere, is getting over the belief that men are biologically less than women and actually biologically disposable, as opposed to considering male disposability a pathological expression of a society that exploits men and has forgotten their value. Gynocentrism is built on and dependent upon maintaining the lie that men are less than women. Only when this lie is unlearnt, can gynocentrism really be challenged.

The Self-Fulfilling Cycle Of Learned Helplessness

The claim women are more valuable than men, has been put forward multiple times directly and indirectly in the culture over the last fifty years and in various ways even before then. We have all been raised in this lie from birth and have lived in a gynocentric culture saturated by it. This false claim has also unfortunately been propagated in the manosphere as well and often used to explain the origins of sexism against men. The major difference of course between female supremacists/radical feminists and the people in the manosphere that put forward this idea, is that female supremacists consider it to be vindication that their worldview is the natural order of things and treating men like shit is the way it should be.

In contrast proponents of this idea in the manosphere that women are more biologically valuable, either avoid the implications of what it means (including the implied futility of what they are doing in the manosphere to get society to pay attention to men), or alternatively adopt a black pill fatalistic view16 that there is little scope for any substantive mainstream change for society to address the discrimination, hatred, marginalisation and exploitation of men and boys. This mentality is one expression of the learned helplessness factor I described in my article on the Normalisation Of Gynocentrism17 and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy for men. Men deserve better. We should recognise biology and our limitations, but we should be cautious not to resign ourselves to a fatalistic worldview, or to fall into a reductionist line of reasoning. Things are not as simple or as set as they seem. The manosphere has to move away from this fatalistic perspective and recognise the true intrinsic biological value of men, if it is to move forward in any substantive way.

One example of propagating the idea women are more biologically valuable than men in the manosphere, comes from a video from Karen Straughan called, “Neoteny!”18. Now before people start thinking this is a hit piece on Karen Straughan, let me assure you it is nothing of the kind. Karen has done some excellent work for men and boys and continues to do so. It is also worth noting that Karen is not the only one that has propagated this idea in the manosphere either. There are plenty of other examples from other people (men and women, mgtow and mra’s, both high and low profile) I could have cited over many years.

It is because the idea that women are more biologically valuable than men (and that men are biologically expendable) is so widespread in the manosphere and never questioned, that I am addressing it so thoroughly in this two part article, in my series of articles on gynocentrism and male value and in my earlier series on gynocentrism and the golden uterus. Karen was inviting criticism of her video and so I will provide it. I can be wrong, Karen can be wrong, we all can be wrong. The danger is not in being wrong, the danger comes when people remain silent when they know people are wrong. That is when rigid ideology forms and we stagnate and divorce ourselves from reality.

In her video Karen makes an argument that the sexism men face is at least partly innate (as she says we can see from sex differences in neoteny and the social reactions that invokes) and that this innate sexism arises from the fundamental reality that women are more valuable than men. Her reasoning is essentially that women evolved neotenous features to a greater degree than men to elicit protection from the community and that we protect the more valuable and so women are more valuable than men.

Neoteny is certainly a trait that women have to a greater degree than men, although in our modern environment women exaggerate their neoteny. The innate sex difference in neoteny whilst still substantive, is considerably less pronounced once you take away female cosmetics. Prehistoric women were no doubt more weathered, hairy, dirty and adult in appearance, than many women appear today. Neoteny certainly can elicit help from the community, but as with many characteristics, there are multiple suggested causes for the sex difference in neoteny.

One explanation19 is that female neoteny was sexually selected by males, as female fertility markedly decreases with age. Men find more youthful looking women more physically attractive as younger women are more fertile and so more neotenous women pass on their genes. Sex differences in neoteny don’t necessarily reflect women having a greater biological value than men. Female neoteny can function as a biological marker to attract males to signal fertility. I do not think we should ignore the likely possibility that this dynamic could at least in part be at play in explaining the sex difference in neoteny. Of course certain people (cough feminists) and even some corners of academia (yes scientists can be biased and less than objective), rally against such explanations because it does not suit their narrative of female superiority.

Greater female neoteny is the result of differences in the manner in which each sex can maximise the propagation of their genes, rather than because women are more valuable than men. As I have discussed in the first part of this article and in part 2 on Gynocentrism and Male Value20, the male and female sex manifest their biological value differently- One sex derives value by investing more heavily in reproduction and the other sex derives value by investing more in survival. I specifically singled out in my writings the greater intrasexual competition of males, as one of the ways male value manifests itself. There is an inverse relationship between the level of reproductive investment by a sex and intrasexual competition, which is what Bateman’s principle describes21.

Whilst competition is certainly not the sole domain of men, the biological reality is that men stand to gain far more from competition than women. The male sex can produce far greater numbers of progeny per unit of time, because males do not gestate or lactate and are thus more freely available to derive benefits from the mating opportunities arising from competition. The male sex also has the capacity to invest far more in activities related to acquiring status, competing and that are high risk/high reward or high effort/high reward, because they do not have to gestate or lactate.

Now let us consider the sex difference in neoteny and the presumption that neoteny has at least in part evolved to a greater degree in women to elicit protection. Will an individual be more successful at competing with others if he or she has to rely on the support of others to compete? How will that affect their status in a socially competitive hierarchy? Will an individual be more successful in acquiring status and engaging in high risk, high effort and high reward activities, if they have to rely on the support of others? Competition, status seeking, taking risks and undertaking challenges, all require one thing- personal agency. Personal agency requires independence and self-reliance rather than eliciting protection from the community. It is true that men have not evolved to elicit protection from the community to the same degree as women. However that is not the result of men being less valuable than women. It is because the life history strategy through which men manifest their biological value and pass on their genes, is different to women and requires different sets of traits.

The greater agency shown by men, is the reason why it is inevitable modern civilisation will be led by men. In order to lead in our modern complex world at the highest levels, you must accept high levels of responsibility and with that responsibility comes a large amount of sacrifice, hardship, risk and the need to be highly self-reliant and independent. This is what feminism does not understand or want to accept and why a “matriarchy” cannot scale to modern civilisation and is bound to fail with horrible social and economic consequences if it is forced on society.

The fatal flaw in Karen’s reasoning, is the implied assumption that we always protect what is valuable and we only do not protect what is expendable. We do protect what is valuable, but not always. There are valuable things in the world that we expose to risk and hazards, because that is how their value is harnessed. Sometimes we do not protect what is valuable, when the source of value is protection itself, or the value is harnessed by exposure to challenge, hardship and risk. We spend billions of dollars on valuable military hardware, race cars and spacecraft and expose them to risks and hazards, because that is how we harness their value. Value alone does not determine whether or not something is protected. There is a duality to value that exists between the sexes that Karen has missed in her video. The duality of survival and reproduction and the interplay between the two in a complex life history strategy to perpetuate the human genome. One form of value that requires protection and another form of value that actually manifests itself as protection.

We also need to remember that both sexes died performing their biological roles. It is not as if women were so biologically valuable that nature protected them from hardship and put it all on men. Women risked their lives in their reproductive role and did die or suffered chronic health conditions from pregnancy and giving birth. Men risked their lives protecting and providing for society and died and suffered from injury as well. The deaths of men and not just women, cost their communities in terms of both reproductive capacity and survival capacity.

There is a duality between the sexes to sacrifice and the cost of their sacrifice to the community. Women have not escaped biological hardship because they are more valuable, they just have experienced a different form of hardship. We can argue over which sex has had it “worse”, but really any sex difference in the degree of hardship comes down to the differences in the environmental and cultural conditions pertaining to their different biological roles and life history strategies, rather than differences in biological value.

The problem with gynocentrism and feminism, is not that they focus on female hardships or female sacrifice or female needs, but that they focus solely on those things and ignore male needs, male sacrifice and male hardships throughout history and in the present day. The problem with female superiority, is that without fail those that purport to claim women are superior, will selectively report only those strengths women have over men and consistently ignore or dismiss any evidence of male strengths and male value.

There is never any genuine recognition of all of the facts by either feminists or female supremacists, just the facts that are convenient. Ultimately it is one-sided gynocentric reductionist thinking, that consistently leads people to perceive only one side of the biological and social equation when it comes to the sexes. They ignore the duality of biological value and the duality of sacrifice between the sexes. The manosphere must try not to repeat those same mistakes.

I have a final point to make on Karen’s video regarding her initial comments on fatherhood and the long developmental period of human offspring and her suggestion that it is has been the monogamous egalitarian model that has allowed prolonged development in humans, rather than paternal investment alone. I would suggest that monogamy and the levels of paternal investment in offspring go hand in hand. Monogamy reduces paternity uncertainty, which in turn results in greater paternal investment. The more monogamous pair bonding there is in a population, the greater the levels of paternal investment.

Yes a species can have paternal investment in offspring in a polygamous community, but it will be at a reduced level in comparison to a monogamous arrangement. Whilst some people beat a drum that humans are a polygamous species, we are actually only weakly polygamous and monogamy has been present to a substantial degree in both our prehistory and in our current societies. We don’t really have one fixed mating mode we cannot escape from and human courtship is heavily influenced by culture and has been for many tens of thousands of years. Indeed cultural practices of marriage with only low levels of polygyny22, are found to go far back into our hunter-gatherer prehistory.

Even in polygamous societies, only a small fraction of the population is actually engaging in polygamy and a substantial degree of monogamy still takes place in these societies. One only has to ask why monogamy has become so widespread, if we are supposedly so hardwired to be polygamous (as some claim). I could go into further detail on this point, but I will leave the discussion on polygamy in humans for another time and return to Karen’s discussion. The reason I expanded on this point, is because there are some people that incorrectly assume monogamy has had no impact on our evolution and that monogamy is a modern invention. This is scientifically and factually incorrect.

Karen discussed in her video, an example of the marmoset monkey in which only one pair is mating in the group and the father invests more than the mother in raising offspring. Karen suggested that the failure of the marmoset to acquire a long period of maturation and exhibit high intelligence, shows that fatherhood alone is not sufficient to lengthen the developmental period of offspring. My response to that, is that only one marmoset male in the group is invested in raising offspring and the rest of the male and female population is providing intermittent alloparental care. Whilst paternal investment within the mating marmoset pair is high relative to the maternal investment, paternal investment in the population as a whole is actually relatively low in comparison to humans (It is also worth pointing out that the paternal investment of a male marmoset is not even close to that of a human male, which I am sure Karen understands.).

In a human population there are many mating pairs (not just one) and thus much higher overall numbers of fathers investing in the raising of their offspring (rather than just one lucky marmoset male with one lucky marmoset female). Greater numbers of monogamous mating pairs, provide the opportunity to have a slower individual rate of reproduction to replace the population. The paternal investment in offspring, harnesses this opportunity to provide the conditions to support a longer developmental period for offspring.

So I would agree that both the monogamous egalitarian model and paternal investment across the population (outside of just one exclusive mating pair), are both involved in lengthening the human developmental period. However it is paternal investment that has actually directly played a role in human development and allowing it to be lengthened. The spread of monogamy just permitted paternal investment to become widespread. That clarification is important to add to what Karen said in her video. Fatherhood is particularly important in human adolescent development and particularly important in respect to raising sons whom fully mature at an older age. These realities indicate that fatherhood is indeed connected to supporting the longer development of our offspring (Particularly with teenage sons!).

 

Conclusion:

In closing I would like to draw attention to the massive fires that are currently burning across Australia. Firefighters whom are mostly men, have been battling these blazes whilst the country has been enjoying holidays and New Year’s Eve. It is funny how society on the one hand really needs men in a national emergency, but at the same time the mainstream media has no problem in telling men they are obsolete23 and telling people why it is okay to hate men24. Despite men risking their lives fighting the fires, feminists somehow think it is appropriate to make claims from highly questionable feminist “research”, that some men will come home from the fires to beat up their wives (yes you read correctly, watch this link25 and this link26). We live in a culture and a society, that is dominated by an authoritarian feminist ideology that spreads outright hatred toward men with impunity and attempts to demonise men even when they risk their lives for their community. That is how threatened feminism is by male value. Any expression and recognition of the good men do for society, even when men are risking their lives in a national emergency, is to be quashed by feminists.

Society does not want men to know their own value, because if they did this whole parasitic gynocentric system of exploitation would grind to a halt. It is the fear of men discovering their own intrinsic value as human beings that drives male disposability in society, remember that.

I will finish this article with a link27 to a speech by Charlie Chaplin. He made this speech in a movie called The Great Dictator in 1940 during World War 2. With our growing geopolitical tensions with China, Russia and now Iran, remember this speech. It is as relevant today for men, as it was back then. Make no mistake, war is a men’s issue and may become the greatest issue men face this century. The rejection of male disposability and the recognition of men as human beings with their own humanity, is the antidote to war and violence. The machine minds of our world will stop at nothing to snuff that out of men’s hearts and lead men astray with false promises of glory. Take heed of that warning.

“You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men!”- Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator, 1940

How men perceive themselves will determine the fate of their lives and also the fate of the world. Reflect on that reality and what I have written in this article.

 

References:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQM4ebFILv4
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6EF00RL88M
  3. https://avoiceformen.com/gynocentrism/gynocentrism-and-the-golden-uterus-part-two/
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0wCBFNTVhk
  5. https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/joker_2019
  6. https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/into_the_wild
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHcPQ0pJ8_M
  8. https://gynocentrism.com/2018/06/30/the-normalisation-of-gynocentrism/
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C46rSIfTum4
  10. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249179177_Sexual_Selection_Physical_Attractiveness_and_Facial_Neoteny_Cross-cultural_Evidence_and_Implications
  1. https://www.avoiceformen.com/gynocentrism/gynocentrism-and-the-value-of-men-part-two/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bateman%27s_principle
  3. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0019066
  4. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/the-end-of-men/308135/
  5. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-cant-we-hate-men/2018/06/08/f1a3a8e0-6451-11e8-a69c-b944de66d9e7_story.html
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TgON5oYZvI
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CwQcIn2Pgo
  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7GY1Xg6X20

 

The nature of male value and our gynocentric culture (part one)

shutterstock value paid

By Peter Ryan

This article is dedicated to the multiple men that I have known who have committed suicide or attempted to commit suicide. Men always have value and something to live for, even when they think they don’t, or how they are treated by society convinces them they don’t. 

Introduction:

The value of a human life is something that is not truly quantifiable. There is no one answer to the question on how much a human life is worth. It is a reality though, that each human life cannot be replaced and is in a sense priceless. The consciousness of a human being is unique to each individual human life. This article will be focusing on the biological value of men, but it is important to remember that all human life transcends biological value. We do not treat the disabled with less dignity or with no dignity because they are disabled. We understand that the value of human life that really has the ultimate meaning to us, does not come from the utility of the human body.

Every man and woman regardless of their abilities, has a unique a mind and a personality that conveys a unique contribution to the world. That is what we really miss when people die and that is what really forms the basis of human love. We acknowledge the real basis of the value of human life, when we consider brain death to be the death of a person. It is consciousness and not the utility of the body that ultimately matters to us. There will not be another person like you again. Our consciousness and the essence of who we are cannot be replaced.

We often do not realise the value of what we have until it is gone. Death can clarify the relative importance of many things for people (including me). A number of years ago, I watched two parents bury both their two sons. It was the saddest thing I have ever witnessed and understandably the parents were inconsolable. The sons died in an accident on their holiday in their mid-20s in the prime of their life. All of the hopes and dreams that their parents had for them, died that day. I can still remember the horrible wailing of the mother and the father, as two coffins proceeded to leave the church. I can still recall the upset I felt seeing someone I went to school with and knew had a promising future, being moved away in a coffin right past me and the finality of it all. You do not forget a tragic experience like that.

What do you say to parents that have just lost not one, but both of their two sons in a horrible accident? They can never be replaced. How many families have lost their sons at too early an age from suicide, from the effects of divorce, from fighting a war or fighting fires, or from an early accidental death or illness? The pain and sense of loss cannot be measured. Whilst we certainly can create abstract ways of measuring the value of both men and women in biological terms or otherwise, ultimately the value of human life is greater than the sum of its parts. The pain people feel from losing people they love, can be a powerful reminder of that reality.

Ultimately whether you are a man or a woman at the bottom of the distribution of utility and biological value, remember that your value as a human being transcends your utility and your biology. As I have said before, civilisation requires that we move beyond valuing human life based on its utility and biological characteristics. How quickly would civilisation descend into violent chaos if we began murdering the sick, the disabled and the elderly? Not long. We have seen how that turns out and the genocidal horrors that have unfolded from such thinking. Civilisation requires a basic unconditional level of respect for the sanctity of all human life, in order for it to function and be sustained.

So whilst I will be discussing the biological value of men in detail, please take the time to reflect on the reality that the value of human life is more than just what comes from biological value. Please take the time to reflect on how lucky you are to be alive and to simply exist, because we will all be dead one day. All of our problems and ideologies will mean little in our minds, when we face death in our final moments and are fighting for our last breath and we consider how tiny the length of our passage in this universe actually is. This is a large article and is divided into two parts, part one and part two. There is a great deal to discuss because of the amount of distortion of the truth and of the facts surrounding male value. I make no apologies for the length of this article, men deserve it.

The Biological Equality Of The Sexes:

In order for a phenotype of an organism to have value in biological terms, it must ensure sufficient copies of the genome that encoded it persist in future generations. A phenotype that results in greater copies of a genome existing after a thousand generations (or any other number of generations) than an alternative phenotype, is of a greater biological value to that genome and will be conserved to a greater degree. Biological value must also be defined in reference to the organisms investing in a phenotype and the payoff they receive from that investment.

Sex is a phenotype and parents invest in the male and female phenotype by producing male and female offspring. After any number of generations, each sex produces an exactly equal total number of copies of their parent’s genome. Consequently, males and females have exactly equal biological value. This is why there is an almost equal sex ratio of males and females produced at birth in the human population and many other species. It does not pay for parents to invest in one sex over the other, because neither sex has greater biological value for the parents investing in them. This reality is explained by Fishers principle1. I have described the underlying evolutionary framework behind the equal biological value of the sexes at length in part one of Gynocentrism And The Value Of Men2.

It is telling how gynocentric our society has become, when even significant numbers of people in the manosphere are convinced that women are more biologically valuable to the species because they have a uterus and think biology revolves solely or primarily around reproduction. If this truly were the case, then there would be a selective advantage from producing daughters instead of sons and female infants would outnumber male infants in the population. If reproduction was the sole or primary source of biological value, then humans and our hominid and mammalian ancestors would have eventually reverted back to asexual reproduction, or would not have evolved to sexually reproduce at all. Alternatively, our ancestors could have evolved to sexually reproduce as hermaphrodites (where all individuals of a population could gestate the fetus and fertilise each other’s eggs), or at the very least would have devolved into small mammals with high rates of reproduction. None of this has happened.

As I discussed in part one of Gynocentrism And The Value Of Men, the empirical evidence, established evolutionary theory and our evolutionary history, all point in the opposite direction to the assertion that women are the more biologically valuable sex because of their uterus and that reproduction is the overwhelming driver of evolutionary success. We have literally had hundreds of millions of years for a selective preference for the female sex to win out and yet it has not. Why? Reproduction is one event in a series of events required to propagate the genome and the uterus is just one organ required to ensure continuation of the lineage. In the complex two sex biological system our genome encodes to propagate itself, there are many other requirements that must be met to ensure continuation of the genome aside from reproduction and the uterus. Reproductive success does not ensure evolutionary success and they are not synonymous. I discussed all of this in detail particularly in part one of Gynocentrism And The Golden Uterus3 and in my further writings in part one and two on Gynocentrism And The Value Of Men.

The Sex Differences In Biological Value:

The biological value of men extends far beyond just their reproductive and genetic value in allowing sexual reproduction to occur. Males exist in our species in the form they do and contain half the human genome, precisely as a result of having equivalent biological value of their own and because reproduction is not the sole or exclusive source of biological value. The difference between males and females is not in the degree of overall biological value of each sex. The two key sexual differences in biological value, lie in the different manifestation of biological value in each sex and in the distribution of biological value among individuals of each sex. The sexes do not have to be the same to be equal in overall biological value and they do not have to be unequal in biological value to be different. This is a reality that feminists who assert that the sex differences are entirely due to socialisation and female supremacists that assert innate female biological superiority (and yes some people in the manosphere strangely hold the same belief), both fail to appreciate and understand. These principles can be illustrated with two simple analogies from modern life-

  1. Two houses can be of the same monetary value and be vastly different.
  1. The total wealth of two families can be equal, but the distribution of that wealth between individuals in each family can be different.

Whilst it would wrong to simply assert the lack of a uterus makes men less valuable than women, it would certainly be correct to identify this basic sex difference, as the ultimate source of the majority of all other biological sex differences. This would include the sex differences in the manifestation and distribution of male biological value compared to female biological value.

The greater rate of reproduction of the male as a result of lower reproductive investment, ensures the male population has a greater variance in biological value than the female population. The individuals that produce the greatest numbers of copies of their parent’s genome are male. The individuals that produce the lowest numbers of copies of their parent’s genome are male. Whilst feminists may be envious of the apex males in our society that are at the top of the social ladder that have the greatest evolutionary success, it is about time we showed some compassion for the forgotten men at the bottom of the social ladder (like the male homeless). The true value of a human life goes beyond biological value and all men regardless of their inherent biology, are deserving of being treated with dignity and respect. We afford this treatment to women and we can do the same for men.

Whilst the distribution of biological value between individuals is different for men and women, there is no difference in the total and mean biological value of each sex. Greater numbers of individual females may pass on their parent’s genome, but the males that pass on their parent’s genome do so at a greater rate per individual than the females do and consequently leave behind more genome copies per individual male than individual female. Despite this pattern, it is a mathematical reality that neither sex as a whole, can pass on more copies of their parent’s genome than the other sex.

Men and women face different sets of selective pressures to propagate their genes as a result of only one sex being capable of gestation and this consequently results in different manifestations of biological value. Men have faced sexual and natural selective pressures women have not faced and vice versa. It would be correct to say that solely in reproductive terms, females convey greater value to the species than males. It would not be correct to say that then means females are more biologically valuable than males overall. Men and their male hominid ancestors have been shaped by millions of years of evolution to convey a survival value to the species that women cannot match. If women are the rate limiting factor of reproduction, men are the rate limiting factor of survival. Survival does impact evolutionary success, not just reproduction.

Investment in both survival and reproduction together drive evolutionary success. Activities related to survival and reproduction can often conflict with each other. Activities related to survival can often involve risks and hardships and take away energy and resources, that may conflict with the requirements of pregnancy and early child rearing. In the modern world this is less of a problem of course. However this basic life history trade-off4 between investment in survival versus investment in reproduction, has existed for most of our evolutionary history and the evolutionary history of our ancestors. We evolved under conditions without birth control, mechanisation, electricity or modern medicine and it is a relative luxury that today the sexes are free to live differently to the paradigm our ancestors lived in for millions of years. The reality is that given the harsh selective pressures of our evolutionary past, there was a selective advantage to developing two sexes that were physiologically and psychologically adapted to specialise in either reproduction or survival, rather than being generalists that are far less effective at both.

There is especially a selective advantage, when the two sexes work together synergistically to combine their specialist abilities to perpetuate their lineage in a community, as two components in one biological system. Evolutionary gains that cannot be achieved alone by the individual males and females within a community, can be attained when males and females work cooperatively and synergistically with each other within a functional social system. This property of systems is called emergence5 and is something which is overlooked when we reduce all of biology down to the rate of reproduction and individual reproductive success and ignore the multitude of other factors driving evolution.

Specialisation of function and the development of systems that contain components that specialise in various functions, drives efficiency. These factors have driven the evolution of multicellular life, it is why your body has multiple systems (respiratory, circulatory system etc) specialising in particular functions. It is why our economy and the superorganism known as civilisation, is driven by specialisation to maximise economic and social efficiency. Why have only one sex gestate the fetus? Efficiency from specialisation. Why have men been specifically sexually and naturally selected to contribute to the survival of their family and community? Efficiency and specialisation. Having males that contribute to survival, allows for greater investment by females in reproduction and vice versa. Having one sex specialise in survival and another sex specialise in reproduction, maximises the survival and reproductive output of the species. When men and women pool their biological capital together cooperatively in a community, this dynamic results in an emergent evolutionary success.

What Male Value Looks Like:

Male biological value does of course have a reproductive component to it and women to at least some degree, have contributed to the survival of their family and community. Whilst there is of course overlap between the sexes, with both sexes contributing to reproduction and survival, substantial sex differences do exist in their relative contributions to survival and reproduction. Each sex has its own set of adaptations that they have acquired over evolution as a result of one sex investing more in reproduction and the other sex investing more in survival. Male biological value is focused on contributing either directly or indirectly to survival. Male biological value and the male contribution to survival, manifests itself in four main ways:

  1. Competition: Men are by nature competitive, they are driven to strive for status and compete. The result of that competition often leads to innovation and social and economic developments that further the survival of society. Of course we only hear of the negative and destructive aspects of male competition and never about the positive aspects of male competition. The reality is that we would not have a functioning economy or even civilisation without competition. It is also worth reflecting on the basic fact that the world is a harsh place and playing it safe and playing it nice, does not always led to the required outcome. Even the more destructive aspects of male competition can have a positive output when applied correctly.
  1. Collaboration: Men cooperate with other men to develop, run, maintain and protect civilisation and to make the discoveries and drive the innovation and exploration to further civilisation. It is frequently overlooked that the “patriarchy” or the social dominance hierarchy that men live and work in, functions only because men cooperate with each other. Patriarchy is not all about competition. Men compete but they do so within a system of male cooperation and within established rules and norms. Men work in teams in sport, in business, in the military, in science, in emergency services and a multitude of other domains. The combined efforts of thousands of men have built cities, civilisations, all of our modern infrastructure, won wars and driven humanity into space.
  1. Protection and Provision For Family: Men contribute to the survival of the family. Men have been sexually selected to protect and provide for their progeny and partner. For most of human history and prehistory, male provision and protection has frequently meant the difference between their progeny and their partner living or dying, or at least thriving versus struggling to survive.
  1. Paternal Investment: Men contribute to the raising of children. This is frequently overlooked in our modern culture which pretends that fatherhood conveys no benefit, despite the overwhelming empirical evidence to the contrary.

All of these four dimensions of male value produce an enormous emergent benefit when the value of individual males is pooled collectively. An emergent benefit that civilisation depends on for its continued existence. Think for a moment about the combined intergenerational consequences of all the fatherless households in Western civilisation, on the future social stability and the economy of our countries. The description of these four dimensions, is by no means exhaustive and I could go into much greater detail describing all the ways men contribute to the survival of the species and civilisation.

The reality is that males are driven by testosterone and other factors to strive for status and to engage in behaviours that enhance the survival of their families, their communities and their civilisation. Men have acquired physical and psychological traits and developed specific biological strengths from a combination of sexual and natural selective pressures, to contribute to survival. These are biological facts and no matter how hard ideologues attempt to smear men and demonise them, the good in men and the value in men will keep rising to the surface.

Of course contributing to survival is not exclusive to men and neither is contributing to reproduction exclusive to women. However the reality is that men do contribute to community survival to a much greater degree than women, just as women contribute a great deal more to reproduction. The difference in the investment each sex makes in survival and reproduction is interconnected and interdependent. The male investment in survival supports and allows the greater female investment in reproduction and vice versa. These are realities that feminists will never acknowledge: Women in general do not make up the majority of workers that are doing the bulk of the risky, hazardous and dirty work, the work done in remote locations or night work and working the 50+ hour a week jobs. Despite more than 50 years of feminist social engineering, none of the following realities have changed:

  • Men design, build, maintain, renovate and demolish the vast bulk of the thousands of physical structures (buildings, infrastructure, housing, roads, rail etc) that comprise our towns and cities.
  • Men run the vast bulk of our essential infrastructure that supplies our towns and cities with electricity, water, gas and petrol.
  • Men design, build and repair the majority of our machines, cars, planes, trains, boats, spacecraft and electrical gadgets etc.
  • Men are running and maintaining our farms, abattoirs, fishing industry and dams and making sure our towns and cities remain adequately provisioned with food and water.
  • Men are running and maintaining our oil rigs, mines, refineries, factories and warehouses.
  • Men are the majority of our plumbers, electricians, mechanics and technicians.
  • Men run the vast bulk of our waste management that ensures our towns and cities remain clean and healthy. Men make sure we have a working sewage system, recycling, hard rubbish and garbage collection.
  • Men ensure the continuous transport of goods between towns and cities. Unseen men work on our container ships, on freight trains and on planes shipping goods all over the planet. They are on the road driving our trucks and keeping our supermarkets stocked with food.
  • Men are the majority of our military, coast guard, police, firefighters and emergency service workers.
  • Men remain the spearhead of innovation. Men are the majority of our inventors, Nobel laureates and Fields medallists. The major technological innovations, scientific discoveries, the majority of patents and the majority of the political, economic and social developments of our time, are the result of men. It was men that invented the light bulb, the aeroplane, the car, the radio, the television, the modern computer, developed the internet, developed most of our machinery and electrical gadgets and discovered antibiotics etc. It is male genius that is the reason why we have a population of 7 billion people living in electrified cities and not a couple of 100 million people living in caves. The reality is that the bulk of the intellectually gifted are men (men dominate the upper ranges of the IQ distribution), just as the bulk of the strongest and fittest people are men. Male intellect is a reality that feminist infested academia has tried to ignore, whilst asserting men and boys are somehow defective. I do not know how long this video6 will remain up before it is taken down by feminist and sjw censors, but every person that has been told men and boys are stupid and bought into that lie, should watch it.
  • Men are the majority of our leaders. They are the majority of our entrepeneurs, business leaders, thought leaders, leading scientists and politicians. Men have largely been responsible for starting the majority of new industries and academic disciplines (and subdisciplines), including social media platforms on the internet now taken over by feminists. Men are prepared to take massive risks, take massive responsibilities, present new revolutionary ideas that do not conform to established peer consensus at the risk of ridicule and work long hours often at the expense of the rest of their lives. This is the reality that feminists will not accept when it comes to acknowledging the cost of leadership on the individual and the personal cost of extreme feats of creative brilliance and the relative dearth of women in such pursuits.
  • We could then look at the male contribution to music, writing, art, drama, philosophy and sport. I do not think I have to list the names of every man and their contribution. Imagine if there was no Shakespeare, no John Lennon, no Michelangelo and no Socrates. Men have shaped our culture in ways that have lasted thousands of years (like Jesus Christ and Buddha). Men have also invented new forms of art, music, drama, philosophy and sport and our society is much richer, more developed and more civilised because of their contribution. The male contribution to these areas in the last 50 years is staggering on its own.
  • Men pay the bulk of government taxes and are the bulk of our full-time employed workforce. Men work in industries essential for maintaining GDP and that support service sector industries and government sector occupations the majority of women work in. Men either directly or indirectly finance the bulk of female consumer spending, by either providing women with the household finances directly, or indirectly through government welfare, or by working in industries that make female dominated occupations economically and technologically possible.
  • Finally men are our fathers and are critical to raising physically and psychologically healthy children, with a prosperous and bright future. Fatherlessness and the breakdown of the family in the last 50 years, has done nothing but provide ample evidence for the importance of fathers.

The reality is that these differences in representation between men and women that I have just described, do at least in part reflect innate physical and psychological strengths men have over women in terms of their biology. Just as I mentioned in the previous description on the dimensions of male value, this list could be pages long and we could go through a similar list for men with our prehistory. Think for a moment about the huge impact the male contribution to survival in our history and prehistory has had on our evolutionary success and the capacity to pass on our genes.

Men have done and continue to do the work that women either cannot do or do not want to do. That is the unspoken taboo which our gynocentric society will not acknowledge until it is faced with a crisis of unimaginable proportions from placing female well-being above male well-being for decades and throwing men under the bus. Men are not superior to women and women are not superior to men, but we need to recognise that each sex has its own unique contribution to society and respect the value of both sexes and not just pedestalise women.

How many women are going to work in a sewage treatment plant? Let us be honest here. How many women are going to work on powerlines and in mines? How many women are going to work in garbage collection? How many women are going to risk their lives in actual combat or fighting fires? Men often do these things for their family and for their society, with little recognition or reward and while they are being told they are obsolete7. Many of the men keeping society running are invisible to society, but if they stepped away from their jobs for just one day, society would grind to a halt. That is the scary reality that is one of the factors that drives society out of fear, to con men into believing they have no value when it is the exact opposite.

The simple reality is that men do have strengths relative to women, just as women have strengths relative to men and men do things that women cannot or will not do, just as women do things men cannot or will not do. This man-hating culture does its very best to either ignore, downplay or attack these realities when it does not conform to the gynocentric overton window of female superiority. I could go through the list of valuable physical and psychological attributes that men possess to a greater degree than women, but that should not be necessary.

Yes in certain traits men are better equipped than women and can engage in particular activities with greater performance. We can also say the same about women in certain respects in relation to men and yet only that reality is politically correct to say in this gynocentric culture. Men are not allowed to be better than women at anything, but women are allowed to be better than men at everything. You can see this double standard play out socially on the street8 and even politically9 with President Donald Trump (the supposed “misogynist”). It is socially taboo to state men are better than women at anything of meaningful value in this gynocentric culture, which revolves around worshipping anything female and belittling men.

Whether people like it or not, there are certain biological realities we cannot deny and if we do continue to deny them, reality will eventually assert itself at our peril and threaten the economic and social future of society itself. Whatever social and legal barriers that may have held women back, have been removed and women have had at least 50 years to make use of all of the same opportunities men have had. Women and girls have also benefited from numerous affirmative action programs and policies in employment and education, that have placed women and girls above men and boys. Despite all of that and the massive preferential treatment women and girls have been given for decades, women have not overtaken men in any of the areas I described earlier and there is no sign that is going to change. We need to accept biological reality at some point. The sexes are biologically equal in overall value and equal before the law, but the sexes are also different. Neither sex is superior or inferior, just different.

If we want to understand and identify male biological value, we don’t have to go through the long list of valuable physical and psychological attributes men have in greater abundance than women (again for the insecure nit-pickers, women have their own set of strengths). Just open your eyes and look at the world and reflect on what happens if men disappeared for a day and we had a day without men. If male strengths offend some women, they may want to consider that women at the very least have played a role in sexually selecting men with such strengths and that ironically women have partly themselves to blame if they are offended by male competence. You selected such males as mates for millions of years! Male competence is attractive to women and sometimes like female beauty, it can intimidate some members of the other sex (and sometimes members of the same sex, like feminists who seem to have a problem with both male competence and female beauty).

There are those that will assert that technological automation and robotics will make men redundant. The same logic can be applied to women. Technology can make women just as redundant as men. Artificial uteri and artificially induced male eggs, can eventually replace female reproduction. Artificial intelligence, automation and robotics can also replace female dominated work. However this reasoning fails to account for a regular pattern observed throughout history. With all technological change new work has emerged. Men have shifted to new work and new economies multiple times over the decades and centuries.

Rather than technology making men redundant, men will simply contribute to the survival and prosperity of their communities in other ways as they have done before. Men have demonstrated a robust capacity to shift to new activities throughout history and often have been the ones pioneering new lines of work and new economies and industries. Women have been the ones following male ingenuity and pioneering, not the other way around. The capacity of men to adapt to a shifting environment and still contribute to their community, has been demonstrable throughout history. Even today despite all of this “end of men” female supremacist chest beating, we can see that it is men that comprise the majority of those that are at the spearhead of new lines of work. Regardless as to what the future may hold, as I mentioned at the start of this article, the value of human life for both men and women is greater than either their survival or reproductive utility.

Please continue now to part two of this article.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisher%27s_principle
  2. https://www.avoiceformen.com/gynocentrism/gynocentrism-and-the-value-of-men-part-one/
  3. https://www.avoiceformen.com/gynocentrism/gynocentrism-and-the-golden-uterus-part-one/
  4. https://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/life-history-evolution-68245673/
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSLoiFSpp0g
  7. https://www.amazon.com/End-Men-Rise-Women/dp/1594488045
  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxpX6IQ3GY4
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmY5LmaZImk

 

‘Frau Minne’ Goddess of Romantic Love

Minne sculpture

German chandelier sculpture, ca. 1430, depicting Frau Minne as queen

Frau Minne (vrowe minne) is the personification of courtly love from German Middle Ages. She is frequently addressed directly in Minnesang poetry, usually by a pining lover who is complaining about his state of suffering, but she also appears in the longer Minnerede poems, and in prose works.

She is often referred to as the “Goddess” of romantic love, which is differentiated strongly from other kinds of love such as Christian agape as embodied in the figure of Jesus. To make the distinction clear, romantic love is understood as passion, whereas Christian and Buddhist love is understood as compassion.

A rare allegorical painting of ca. 1400,  discovered in a guild house in Zurich in 2009 (see below) shows Frau Minne presiding over the suffering of male lovers who are having their hearts torn from their breasts. In this cruel scene Goddess Minne, the mistress of love, sits on a throne consisting of two men. She has just torn out the heart of a man to her left which she holds in her hand, while she is already cutting open the chest of another man to her right to rip his heart out.1

Frau Minne - Goddess of Romantic Love

Goddess Minne sits on a throne made of two men, while preceding to rip out the hearts of men in love.

The pathological pain associated with romantic love has been linked to women’s cultivation of superstimuli, i.e., sexually provocative clothing styles, cosmetics, practiced gestures, and the cultivation of titillating and often frustrating behaviors of courtship that resemble sado-masochistic practices. Such passion-inducing love contrasts with other kinds of love as mentioned above, such as friendship love; the basic parental love extended to children; or that of Christianity or Buddhism which focus on human compassion.

As mentioned elsewhere,2 romantic love started as a code of conduct among the aristocratic classes of the middle ages. However, the trend made its way by degrees eventually to the middle classes, and finally to the lower classes – or rather it broke class structure altogether in the sense that all Western peoples became inheritors of the customs of romantic love regardless of their social station. This breaking of class barriers is marvelously rendered in the painting below by Hans Koberstein, who portrays the Goddess leading a helpless throng consisting of royalty and pauper, young and old, who are equally held under her sway.

Minne leads heart sick lovers

Frau Minne smashes all class barriers, making rich and poor alike suffer from love sickness. [Painting by Hans Koberstein (German, 1864–1945)]

A 15th century depiction “The Power of Frau Minne” (see picture below) captures the pain and pathology so widely believed to be part of the romantic love experience. The pathology associated with romantic love is so disturbing, in fact, that clinical psychologist Dr. Frank Tallis has written a book detailing the sickness of it based on his extensive clinical experience:

Obsessive thoughts, erratic mood swings, insomnia, loss of appetite, recurrent and persistent images and impulses, superstitious or ritualistic compulsions, delusion, the inability to concentrate—exhibiting just five or six of these symptoms is enough to merit a diagnosis of a major depressive episode. Yet we all subconsciously welcome these symptoms when we allow ourselves to fall in love. In Love Sick, Dr. Frank Tallis, a leading authority on obsessive disorders, considers our experiences and expressions of love, and why the combinations of pleasure and pain, ecstasy and despair, rapture and grief have come to characterize what we mean when we speak of falling in love. Tallis examines why the agony associated with romantic love continues to be such a popular subject for poets, philosophers, songwriters, and scientists, and questions just how healthy our attitudes are and whether there may in fact be more sane, less tortured ways to love. A highly informative exploration of how, throughout time, principally in the West, the symptoms of mental illness have been used to describe the state of being in love, this book offers an eloquent, thought-provoking, and endlessly illuminating look at one of the most important aspects of human behavior.3

Die Macht der Frau Minne / Mstr.Caspar - The power of Frau Minne / Meister Caspar - Le pouvoir de la femme / MaÓtre Caspar.

“The Power of Frau Minne”. (Allegorical depiction of women’s power over men’s hearts). Broadsheet woodcut, coloured, 15th century by Master Caspar von Regensburg. Berlin, SMB, Kupferstichkabinett.

[1] Frau Minne hat sich gut gehalten, 2009
[2] Wright, P., The evolution of romantic love via romance writings, (2017)
[3] Love Sick: Love as a Mental Illness, by Frank Tallis – overview on Goodreads

Feature image: Frau Minne (personification of courtly love), painted wood, Southern Germany, 1320-1330 ca. The image depicts the lover presenting Frau Minne with his heart which has been pierced by three arrows. There are two German inscriptions with the image, the first of which translates as “Lady, send me solace, my heart has been wounded,” while the second reads as “Gracious Lady, I have surrendered.”

Mythologies of the men’s rights and feminist movements

 
Have you ever thought of Men’s Rights and feminism as competing mythologies? In what follows I will do just that, while paying special attention to the fact that the feminist myth has triumphed in capturing global imagination. By ‘mythology’ I mean those guiding stories that provide meaning and direction to the lives of all who follow them, including the men’s rights story, and the feminist story. While myth may or may not be scientifically true, it is true in the sense that people actively believe in myths and act them out in their daily lives.

In his 4-volume work1 surveying the history of world mythologies, Joseph Campbell gives a snapshot of the evolving history of mythology from the earliest days of ‘Master Bear god’ painted on cave walls, until the present day.

Campbell demonstrates that, over and over, dominant mythologies get replaced or absorbed by newer mythologies, and such changeability appears to be the only constant in the long sweep of history. There were periods of mythological stability in all cultures, but without exception every traditional mythology was modified or replaced as forces within the culture reached critical mass.

Catalysts for myth revisions are numerous, with examples being foreign invaders who overrun a traditional culture and implant their own mythology, or alternatively it may happen that a new mythology lurking in the back waters of a culture begins to gain grassroots appreciation, leading eventually to its ascendancy and a concomitant decline of the previous mythological setup.  By yet another route the change in mythology may be instituted by a ruler who adopts a new religious belief and then mandates it as the official belief of the masses, examples being;

  • Indian King Ashoka promoted Buddhist mythology across ancient Asia;
  • Emperor Constantine promoted the Christian story as religion of the Roman Empire;
  • Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine and her daughter crafted the mythos of romantic love and chivalry which was disseminated throughout Europe and the world.

In some situations the dominant myths did not give way to a revision for a considerable time, usually because there wasn’t a compelling mythology jostling to replace it. Even when the prevailing mythology has become somewhat stale and uninspiring, the human mind will not reject it in favor of a story vacuum: to be without some kind of guiding mythology leads the human mind into an existential paralysis, and for the most part nature refuses to tolerate such a void.

Now lets consider all of this in the light of feminism, a movement crafted from florid imaginings of the mythic imagination. To get to the heart of this myth we need to start at the medieval beginnings of those accreted layers of story that constitute the end product we know as modern feminism.

In his volume Creative Mythology,2 Campbell documents how stories of chivalry and romantic love during the Middle Ages formed a new mythology that not only competed with the Christian religion for social legitimacy, but eventually surpassed it. Today romantic love saturates popular media, song, cinema, dance and the arts, and is the number one selling genre of literature, outselling the books of traditional religion, ie., the Qu’ran, Bible, Vedas, Bhagavad Gita, Tipiṭaka, Tao Te Ching and so on. Romantic love is, as Campbell states, the world’s current leading mythos.

So what does all this have to do with men’s rights and feminism?

Well, everything.

Feminists freely admit that chivalry and romantic love form ground zero of the feminist enterprise, constituting something of a Genesis Story of women’s improved social position, pedestalization and ongoing increases in power. As told by feminist Dr. Elizabeth Reid Boyd of the School of Psychology and Social Science at Edith Cowan University, romance writings can be called the “first form of feminism”:

“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… 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.”3

Reid Boyd, like so many other feminists before her, makes clear that romantic-love mythology provides bedrock for the development of feminism. Faced with that fantastical adversary, men’s advocates can argue they have excellent data demonstrating a growing narcissism among women and a neglect of men, facts that should lead right-thinking people away from the grip of feminism. However, those facts are only in the beginning stages of being woven into a story, one that might, in time, become an epic like the Bible or Mahābhārata.

Axiom: ONLY STORY CAN DISPLACE OR ABSORB OTHER STORIES.

Facts be damned.

Until a new mythology rises to challenge the hegemony of feminist myth, non-gynocentric men are destined to wander the planet like lost souls in search of a place to call home.  For many men, the dominant mythology of our time has erased our story, and with it our existence in the world. Campbell talks to this problem when he declared “Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths,” concluding that when your personal understanding of life doesn’t align with the dominant public myth, your path in life will be painful:

“If your private myth, your dream, happens to coincide with that of the society, you are in good accord with your group. If it isn’t, you’ve got a long adventure in the dark forest ahead of you.”4

While that sums up the experience of red-pill men today, all is not lost. A growing number of voices have declared the mythology of feminism overripe for change, that it is rotting to the core as a guide to civilization, and there are in fact compelling stories poised to replace it. Before we look at alternative stories that have potential to help men and women live more harmoniously, lets first survey how the feminist mythos coincides with other mythological traditions.

As with the great civilization-building and sustaining mythologies of the past, feminism has narrated; 1. an Eden story of how ancient men and women co-existed and organized their society; 2. a fall from grace, 3. a set of laws to guide humans away from their fallen ways, and 4. liberation and future utopia.

Each of these four elements, which could be expanded to dozens more, appear in feminist mythology as follows:

  1. Once upon a time, much of European society was matriarchal, peace-loving, agrarian, and Goddess worshiping, with men serving as the labor force.
  2. Patriarchal tribes from the North invaded and suppressed this idyllic Eden, supplanting it with a hierarchical, patriarchal, and woman-oppressing culture.
  3. Proto-feminists of the Middle Ages, followed by modern feminists, rebelled and challenged the grip of ‘the patriarchy’ and its institutions to allow women out of the wilderness and into the center of society. They instituted laws, one by one, that would not only give women equal power to men, but would “compensate” women for previous losses of power.
  4. Women would once again rule, as a female aristocracy, with men learning to be obedient, loving and dutiful servants, inaugurating a golden age.

While these beliefs sound fanciful to the rational mind, they are documented and widely believed myths underpinning the feminist movement. With the enormous currency of feminist mythology in modern society, it constitutes ‘the story’ that we are all, to some extent, ‘in.’

Indeed there’s no outside of mythological perspectives — culturally we are all living inside them in one way or another. Those of us with a bent for factual accuracy prefer to align with stories that are truer to science, with narratives that are compatible with the facts without departing from them as myths often do. But whether we enjoy them, or rail against them as childish fantasies, the fact is that mythologies full of kooky flat-earth ideas have guided civilizations for millennia without being based on facts at all, and yet the societies they governed continued to flourish regardless.

Mythologies clearly don’t need to be factually correct to guide societies. They need only provide a shared operating system that glues people’s otherwise separate minds into one harmonious whole.

Those of us with a penchant for scientific fact can hope that a new mythology incorporates more factual data than the flat-earth science of the current gynocentric mythos — one eminently more suited to the scientific age in which we live, and one that many more people could believe in.

To prepare ourselves for inevitable new mythologies, it helps to first become aware of the dominant myths already governing our society. And as Gianni Vattimo once advised, the post-modern paradox of social-mythology is to wake up and realize that we have been dreaming, and yet continue dreaming anyway;5 ie. we realize we still need stories to live by but we can consciously choose the guiding narratives we wish to align with instead of going along with them unconsciously.

As men’s rights advocates, that raises questions about our own ‘mythologies.’ What are they? Have we sufficiently developed and articulated them? In light of the four elements of religious mythology listed above, lets list a rudimentary, rough sketch of the MR story to date. Before I do that, I hasten to add that this sketch is not prescriptive and may be at odds with narratives already held by devout Christian, Muslim, or XYZ-believing MRAs. However this mythological sequence focuses solely on the gender relations problem as it has been articulated by many MRAs today:

  1. A strong candidate for an MR ‘Genesis story’ is the story of human evolution, a compelling mythology about our remote past and how we clawed our way out of the jungle to build the wonders of modern science and civilization. That story comes with scientific observations and anecdotes about human biology in action – how early men and women displayed different sexual and survival strategies, and how human offspring were protected due to biological imperatives. Its a story of cooperation between men and women as they dreamed the human adventure forward.
  2. The ‘fall’ took place as that delicate equilibrium between men and women was unraveled by the arrival of the new gender relations mythology called romantic chivalry, AKA gynocentrism. This period marked the moment of enslavement to a sexual relations model designed to tilt maximum power to women, with men slaving as Moses did for the Egyptians, and it presided over the destruction of the delicate family unit.
  3. Over the centuries men (and women) of iron will and good conscience mounted a resistance to gynocentrism and a desire for Exodus – to wanting to walk away from gynocentric-feminism as free men;
  4. Finally, men and women began to live the GOOD NEWS of the MR Testament: liberty, equality of opportunity, compassion and multi-options for all – this time including men.

These four sub-narratives form a larger corpus that we might call a mythology, one that would improve on the current toxic mythos of feminism. As mentioned it is given for illustrative purposes only and is not prescriptive; any new mythology will arise organically like a nighttime dream and flourish within the culture, and like dreams we never know when it will arrive or exactly what shape it will take. But the dream, the myth, will arrive…. of that we can be sure.

If we continue to expand this collection of stories, elaborating them in greater depth, continuing to tell them, and telling them again, more compelling with each recitation, then just maybe our society will have a necessary stone to jump to.

References:

[1] Joseph Campbell, Masks of God (4 volume series) (1959 – 1968)
[2] Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, volume 4 of Masks of God series (1968)
Occidental Mythology, volume 3 of Masks of God series (1959)
Transformations of Myth Through Time, (1988)
[3] Elizabeth Reid Boyd, Romancing feminism: From women’s studies to women’s fiction (2014)
[4] Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth (1988)
[5] Richard Kearney, Poetics of Imagining: Modern to Post-modern (1998)

Book review of ‘Governance Feminism: An Introduction’

Woman-work-office-Pixabay

“The long march through the institutions is complete and
feminists now occupy pivotal positions of power and decision-making
throughout the world.”

Despite being a feminist-friendly book with some of the usual agitprop, Governance Feminism: An Introduction caught my eye because I have never seen an overt discussion of feminist institutional power by a feminist. It’s a topic classified taboo for academics and authors despite the effects of that power being experienced by peoples around the planet daily .

The book intrigued and perhaps even excited me for the prospect that a veil of denial and secrecy surrounding feminist power might be perforated for the first time.

The four authors of the work dubbed their topic Governance Feminism (GF), by which they mean “every form in which feminists and feminist ideas exert a governing will within human affairs.” This definition follows Michel Foucault’s definition of governmentality in which feminists and feminist ideas “conduct the conduct of men.” Governance Feminism is proposed as a new phrase, but it deserves mentioning that MRAs have been using the synonymous phrase ‘Feminist Governance’ for many years.

The work looks at feminist infiltration into positions of institutional and cultural power – the long march through the institutions that so many of us have been monitoring. Feminists have infiltrated the UN, World Bank, International Criminal Court, every layer of national governments, and further into universities, schools, NGO volunteer orgs, and in HR departments at most medium to large scale workplaces. Not to mention Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and other social media platforms where most of the world’s people communicate with each other. We would not be off base to say that feminist gatekeeping now regulates much of the planet, from top to bottom. They are everywhere.

But of course when questioned about holding such positions of power, feminists are quick to remind us that they still work for the “oppressed” sex and are thus justified in using positions of power to correct global imbalances. Ironically feminists consider power per se to be bad, a judgment rendering any admission of their own institutional power regulated by a strict taboo – for such an admission is akin to a Catholic nun who undertook vows of chastity, and being faced with admitting she is now in a sexual relationship. The authors tell:

The first and most persistent form of resistance we have encountered is based on an idea that governance is per se bad, often expressed as an understanding that our describing governance feminism is identical with denouncing it. We do not think it is a gotcha to say that feminism rules.”

The lead author Janet Halley admits elsewhere to being an occasional feminist – in other words a feminist if/when the need arises. Nevertheless her adoption of utopic feminist narratives is apparent throughout the pages, as for example when she characterizes feminism, and more specifically Governance Feminism as an “emancipatory project”:

Feminism is by aspiration an emancipatory project, and GF is one kind of feminists’ effort to discover pathways to human emancipation. In the process, GFeminists have been, in some cases, highly successful in changing laws, institutions, and practices, very often remarkably for the better. Just scan the canonical first-wave manifesto for change, the 1848 Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments,[4] for once-impossible, now well-established changes in the legal status of U.S. women: the right to vote; the rights of married women to form contracts, to sue and be sued, to acquire and manage separate property, to select their place of residence, to be criminally and civilly responsible for their own actions, to seek a divorce and to seek child custody on formally equal footing with husbands and fathers, and other powers formerly denied to them by coverture; to formally equal access to paid employment; to formally equal  access to “wealth and distinction”[5] and to the professions; and to access to education.

These are all basic elements of a liberal feminist agenda for women. Women have devoted entire lifetimes to achieving them. None of them came easily. They are not complete emancipation, surely. But compared with lack of all franchise, coverture, and categorical exclusion from the public sphere and all but the most grinding and ill-paid work, they are immense achievements attributable almost entirely to GFeminist efforts. One reason to describe GF is to be clear about its immense emancipatory achievements.

I can hear the reader’s objections now, that Halley’s overview of three waves of feminism as ‘emancipatory’ is a laughable gloss over the violence, censorship and tyranny perpetrated throughout that history. No doubt Halley is here giving a mandatory nod to the narratives of her more powerful “sisters” in order to avoid a backlash.

Framing feminist aspirations as emancipatory, and not as an urge-to-power by ruthless gender-ideologues, softens the tyrannical use of power, painting instead a soothing pastel picture. Said more directly, feminist use of power has to most observers been far more tyrannical and destructive than this glowing characterization reveals. With that in mind the authors might equally have characterized Governance Feminism as unadulterated power-seeking (ultimately for women) and been more on point.

To be fair the authors do go on to tackle some of the excesses of Governance Feminism after their apparently mandatory hand kissing of feminist theorists, and this deeper critique is where the true value of this book lies. The authors admit that many feminist visions of “emancipation” have been left at the station when various governance trains took off, confirming that the ‘“selective engagement” of feminist ideas into governmental power has left some diamonds in the dust.’

Further, they state;

In our view it has also done some damage: some governance feminist projects strike us as terrible mistakes; others have unintended consequences that are or should be contested within feminist political life. As some Governance Feminist projects become part of established governance, we find ourselves worrying about them more, or differently, than we did when they were unorthodox, “outsider” ideas. We are, therefore, inviting a robust discussion within feminism and between feminism and its emancipatory allies about which elements are emancipatory and which may, after all, be mistakes. [italics mine]

The authors go on to critique a number of these ‘mistakes,’ while remaining at times uncritical about assumed feminist successes. As touched on above, Governance Feminists also go to great lengths to hide their grasp on power, while taking every opportunity to exaggerate and demonize male uses of power:

Gender mainstreaming has located feminists in many organizations, from the UN to college administrations, almost always as bureaucrats. Here they wield not judicial power, not the sword of punishment, but the more fine-grained power of administration. Gender mainstreaming, which aims to universalize feminist ideas in governance and convert every governmental entity into a branch of Governance Feminism, paradoxically produces gender specialists.”

For most readers this quote encapsulates the danger of feminist power. Feminist ideologues have been inserted into every institution around the globe as gatekeepers dictating who does/doesn’t get employed, get assisted, financed, approved, credentialed, included, heard and so on. It can even descend to who gets food aid, who gets to rent a house in a scarce rental market, or who gets a job as a cleaner.

As an example, Jordan Peterson recently talked about HR departments at workplaces serving as foci for the feminist social manipulations. This development is insidious because the practice is hidden in supposedly menial bureaucratic positions, ones that just happen to wield pivotal power over the work-lives of citizens and the associated family outcomes – not to mention the outcome of amplifying gendered expectations and conventions that inevitably get instituted culture-wide through this process of rewarding or punishing via biased bureaucratic decisions. With this in mind it’s no exaggeration to call feminists social engineers who have succeeded in running the world.

beyoncé, girl, and gif image

Beyoncé ‘Who run the world: girls’

Some years ago I read a paper on the topic of “administrative discretion” which refers to the flexible exercising of decision-making allowed to public administrators. The discretionary opportunity is made available by the wiggle-room in the bureaucrat’s code of practice, and she or he uses that to deliver preferred – and often unfair – outcomes. The use of administrative discretion typifies the modus operandi of Governance Feminism, which is utilized to implement a radical feminist ideological agenda through all levels of society. Feminism-inspired women are increasingly dominating HR roles, and as revealed by teacher-preferencing biases in elementary schools they are exploiting administrative discretion to favor females over males.

Janet Halley lays much of the blame for the failures of Governance Feminism at the feet of two forms of feminism that form an operational alliance: Power Feminism (PF) and Cultural Feminism (CF). The book provides a useful overview of both, stating that they have formed an unholy alliance that came to dominate the internal battle for supremacy between different ‘feminisms.’  Power and cultural feminism meld into each other or appear side by side, writes Halley, and together they are frequently dubbed Dominance Feminism. She adds that Dominance Feminism finds male domination in two distinct forms: in the false superiority of male values and male culture, and in the domination of all things Female by all things Male:

American dominance feminism is a top-down, bottom-up model of M/F relations: there are perpetrators (men) and victims (women); people with an individualist ethic (men) and people with an ethic of care (women); people feminists advocate for (women) and people they accuse (men). This model of right and wrong is highly assimilable to criminal law and tort law frameworks. Thus the very visible elements of Governance Feminism that use the penal powers of the state to “end” sexual violence in all its forms are saturated with dominance feminist ideas. Especially where power feminism makes its influence felt, it makes sexuality the core of the problem: dominance feminist thinking places sexual wrongs front and center, and assimilates other seemingly nonsexual wrongs to sexual ones.

This is, we think, a manifestly narrow, crabbed, and even paranoid view of the gender order in the United States, and it is hospitable to quite ethnocentric, neocolonial construals of the gender order prevailing in the global South. It is remarkably indifferent to distributional consequences. Why does it play such a large role in Governance Feminism today?”

In Chapter 3.  Halley discusses Governance Feminists’ need to reflect on generating, owning, and critiquing their own governance power, which as mentioned above is hamstrung by feminism’s denouncement of power structures combined with its own denials about both possessing and wielding real power.

When the authors first encouraged the sustained study of Governance Feminism in 2006, some feminists told them that “they simply did not understand how marginal and fragile feminist gains in state and near-state power really were… If some feminist ideas and interests had managed to find their way into law, these were crumbs from the table, compromises with patriarchy on patriarchy’s terms not worthy of the name “feminist,” tiny fragments of the full feminist agenda, which was not merely to ride along on the back of power but to transform it.”

Such a response is breathtaking in its denial, and I would add predictable, leading the authors to assert that not only do feminists hold such world-changing power, they need also to ethically critique their use of it:

We think such acts of public critique are absolutely essential now that feminists and feminist ideas are so firmly embedded in legal institutions and legal power.[25] But they can be costly: insider-insiders often feel compelled to attack any feminist who does it, at the very least by depriving her of her insider credentials and her insider job and at the very most by marshaling major institutional resources to discredit her and her ideas, defund her projects, and leave her constituents out in the cold.”

In the final chapter Halley implores Governance Feminists to develop an ethic of responsibility; to both admit to the power they preside over, assess its impact both negative and positive, and own the outcome. This lofty appeal is frankly laughable when considering the ideological agendas and unethical practices that Dominance Feminists are known for. Asking them to take a more ethical approach is as likely of success as asking Mao Zedong to develop an ethic of individual liberty and a policy of free-market capitalism.

Antifeminists around the world have a very different suggestion to that of going hat in hand imploring Dominance Feminists to show more ethical and considerate behavior. Their alternative is to shine a harsh light on the moral corruption of feminist ideologues, and work to neutralize their destructive programs via effective counter-activism. The antifeminist counter-movement is in full career and I’m certain that Governance Feminists around the world are already feeling the heat. Halley’s book contributes to that insurgency move, perhaps unwittingly, by demonstrating just how much power these ideologues have been wielding. The book is therefore useful in that it speaks the unspeakable… the cat is finally out of the bag.

The authors conclude by mentioning a second volume is in process titled Governance Feminism: Notes from the Field, which will provide case studies describing and assessing national, international, and transnational Governance Feminist projects by a range of feminists engaged in building them. No longer operating in the shadows, Governance Feminists are now being scrutinized in broad daylight…. and with that move they will have a lot of explaining to do for their transgressions.