Tag Archives: feminism

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

By Tom Golden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

women-only

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Conclusion

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

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

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

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

It’s time to wake up.

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

 
And let’s not forget. Men Are Good!

Damseling, chivalry and courtly love (part two)

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

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FEMINISM

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

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

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

Damseling as “victim feminism”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chivalry – from husband Sam to Uncle Sam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtly love as ‘Respectful Relationships’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

References:

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

Stanford historian says falsified medieval history helped create feminism

Through research into the first historians of medieval Europe, Professor Paula Findlen discovers that an interest in women’s history began much earlier than is assumed.

Harley 4431 f.4

Detail of a miniature of medieval writer Christine de Pizan. Stanford historian Paula Findlen has studied Renaissance biographies of medieval women and says these often embellished tales represent a kind of feminism.

Today, feminism is often associated with the political protests of the 1960s or the earlier women’s suffrage movement, but Stanford historian Paula Findlen‘s latest research reveals that the impetus to champion women started in the late Middle Ages.

A scholar of the Italian Renaissance, Findlen has collected biographies of medieval women, written in Italy from the 15th to 18th centuries, several centuries after the women lived.

Through a close examination of these texts, Findlen found that these early modern writers were so passionate about medieval women that they sometimes fabricated stories about them.

As Findlen carefully tracked down the claims in these stories, she found they varied from factual to somewhat factual to entirely false.

These invented women were often mentioned in regional histories, with imaginary connections to important institutions. They were described as having law degrees or professorships, claims that turned out to be fictitious.

Findlen argues that these embellished tales represent what could possibly be described as the origins of a certain kind of feminism.

“Early modern forgers used stories of women to create precedents in support of things they wanted to see in their own time but needed to justify by invoking the past,” Findlen said. “While debating the existence of these medieval women, the writers also contributed to the science of history as we know it.”

Expanding her archival base from Bologna to other Italian cities, and observing how these stories traveled beyond Italy, Findlen found that the stories of local women gained international recognition.

Findlen described her foray into conjectural history “a project partly about how early modern medievalists invented the Middle Ages, claiming and defining this past.” She added, “Making up history is a way of ensuring that you get the past you want to have.”

In her forthcoming publication, currently titled “Inventing Medieval Women: History, Memory and Forgery in Early Modern Italy,” Findlen pays particular attention to Alessandro Macchiavelli, an 18th-century lawyer from a Bolognese family.

Macchiavelli was passionate about finding evidence to support Bologna’s reputation as a “paradise for women.” He created stories and footnotes about learned medieval women from the region, including writer Christine de Pizan.

According to Findlen, “He aggressively made up [biographies of] medieval women and supplied the evidence that was missing for them.”

Presented as facts, these fables forged the medieval origins of Bologna’s female intelligentsia. Findlen initially worked on this material because she was searching for – and failing to find – evidence of medieval precedents that kept being invoked in early modern sources. “In the end,” she said, “it intrigued me.”

While people later recognized that Macchiavelli was a forger, it was true that he brought critical attention to women’s lives.

In a sense, Macchiavelli demonstrates “a quirky early modern male version of feminism,” Findlen said. He also contributed to the beginnings of the discipline of medieval history. When he forged a document, he did so based on extensive knowledge of the archives and a fine understanding of historical method.

“Medieval history is one of the really important subjects where people develop a documentary culture during the late 17th and 18th centuries, and they begin to identify and select the documents that matter for defining the Middle Ages,” Findlen said.

Imagining the women of Bologna

Between the 15th and 18th centuries, Findlen said, representations of medieval women enhanced a city’s reputation.

For example, scholars in Bologna wanted to learn about its presumed tradition of learned women. They craved information about medieval women who could provide historical precedents for someone like Laura Bassi, the first woman who can be documented as receiving a degree and professorship from the University of Bologna in 1732. Having precedents made her seem like a reinvention of the old rather than someone threateningly new.

Findlen first turned to Christine de Pizan (c. 1364-1430), the daughter of a University of Bologna graduate and professor. She is perhaps best known for her writings praising women.

In her Book of the City of Ladies (1405), a catalog of illustrious women, Christine contemplated her Italian roots. This longing for her past inspired Christine to imagine “what the ingredients were of this world that made her, and other women like her,” Findlen said.

Although inspired by some kernels of truth, Christine’s writings invented evidence to fill out her narratives, Findlen said. In this way, Christine provides a starting point for Bologna’s interest in women’s history that will unfold over the next four centuries.

What we want from history

Findlen’s project rethinks our compulsion to write about the past. “Some of the stuff we take for granted is legend, not fact,” she said, “but I think that I’m even more interested in having people understand why we want it.”

Despite the presence of fake facts in medieval women’s biographies, Findlen emphasized that “the unreliability of the past is also part of the evidence that we have to account for.” Moreover, she added, this project requires “knowing the archives … well enough to catch the nuances.”

“The process of creating a history of women,” Findlen said, “starts with this impulse to create collective biographies in the 14th and 15th centuries onward.”

Envisioning the wider impact of her work, Findlen said: “I would like this project to offer an interesting window into the invention of history, taking Italy as a case study, to understand why [early modern] people were so passionate about the Middle Ages.”

During the Renaissance, “people are increasingly concerned with documenting the history that was,” Findlen said. “They’re interested in the history that might have been. And then they’re also interested in the history that should have been. And those are three different approaches to history.”

Article reprinted with permission.

Feminism

 

FEMINISM

Below is provided a selection of articles showing the feminist project as a continuation of the longer gynocentric tradition to which it belongs. The underlying thesis of the articles is summarized in this passage by Adam Kostakis:

Feminism is only the modern packaging of Gynocentrism, an ancient product, made possible in its present form by the extensive public welfare arrangements of the post-war period. In spite of its radical rhetoric, the content of feminism, or one could say, its essence, is remarkably traditional; so traditional, in fact, that its core ideas are simply taken for granted, as unquestioned and unquestionable dogma, enjoying uniform assent across the political spectrum. Feminism is distinguishable only because it takes a certain traditional idea – the deference of men to women – to an unsustainable extreme. Political extremism, a product of modernity, shall fittingly put an end to the traditional idea itself; that is, in the aftermath of its astounding, all-singing, all-dancing final act.

The traditional idea under discussion is male sacrifice for the benefit of women, which we term Gynocentrism. This is the historical norm, and it was the way of the world long before anything called ‘feminism’ made itself known. There is an enormous amount of continuity between the chivalric class code which arose in the Middle Ages and modern feminism, for instance. That the two are distinguishable is clear enough, but the latter is simply a progressive extension of the former over several centuries, having retained its essence over a long period of transition. One could say that they are the same entity, which now exists in a more mature form – certainly, we are not dealing with two separate creatures.

Selection of articles:
La Querelle des Femmes
Ernest B. Bax on “Chivalry feminism”
Feminism: the same old gynocentric story
Gynocentrism and its Discontents
Feminism: gynocentric or egalitarian?
Feminism, sex-differences and chivalry
Nathanson and Young on gynocentric feminism
Gynocentrism, humanism and The Patriarchy™
Gynocentrism 2.0, compassion, and choice
Damseling, chivalry and courtly love (part two)

Auguste Comte’s cult of woman

The following excerpts are from Engendering the end of European history: Auguste Comte’s Cult of Woman at the Heart of The Western Republic by Professor Mike Gane. Auguste Comte (1798 – 1857) was the founder of the doctrine of positivism, founder of sociology (actually coining the term), and a champion of the idea that women should be placed at the reverential centre of human affairs. Read below to learn more about the Father of Sociology. — PW

__________

August Comte

“After completing the founding study of the law of the three states in 1842, his life and thought were deeply shaken by two events. The first was personal. He separated from his wife, Caroline Massin, in 1842, the very day he completed his first major work. In 1844 he began an intense emotional affair with Clotilde de Vaux, at her insistence platonic, which lasted until her death in 1846 at the age of thirty-two.1 The second event was the marked change in the social composition of French society and the experience of the revolution of 1848-1851, particularly the emergence of the proletariat as a political factor.

Clotilde de Vaux

Clotilde de Vaux

In the 1840s Comte’s method and conceptions went through considerable transformations. He rationalised his emotional life as a salutory purification and spiritualisation, and after her death Clotilde was transfigured into a saintly figure whose image Comte began to worship.2 Reassessing his own project he argued that all attempts to solve the western crisis through reason and science alone only exacerbated it. All reason, for him essentially masculine, could be effective in the human context only if guided by the moral and emotional superiority of love and affection, essentially feminine. Comte took his own experience of the sublimation of physical love as a necessary process for all those trying to resolve the social and cultural transition of the three states. He installed the maxims of Clotilde within the new religion of humanity in imitation of the medieval cult of the virgin mother.3

When he came to work out the logic of the revised strategy, he based the new construction on a subjective method: the law of the three states was to be completed by adding a theory of the emotions to the theory of science and industry. The final, third, state became, in Comte’s last version, a combination of science and fetishistic worship… This fundamental order was to be ruled by a purifying cult of woman, regarded as the centre of love and affection. In order to reach this final state there would be a transition period in which the dictatorship of the proletariat would purify economic life and the commercial spirit.4

comte-208x300“Comte’s thoughts on the new society were far from communistic. Against the revolutionary and communist visions of the dictatorship of the proletariat, Comte argued that the positive doctrine would legitimate a new hierarchical social order: in the economy it would legitimate differences of wealth, and in the family it would legitimate the separation of the sexes and the spiritual ascendency of women based on the realisation of the principle of virgin motherhood. Comte aimed to appeal to all sections of political opinion, radical and conservative, since he wanted to reveal precisely how each element fitted into a broad scheme of social progression.5

“Comte is just as radical in his proposal for a reorganisation of gender relations. Here his aim is to reverse the tendency to the debasement of love in Western culture, and to deal with the new phenomenon of feminism and the demand for equality between the sexes. Comte poses this issue again historically as a problem of the debasement of the ideals of chivalry and courtly love of the medieval period. His aim is to restore some substance to the idealization and purification which the medieval practice seem to inspire.6

He commends the principle of eternal widowhood (with certain limited exceptions which would have applied to Clotilde), and reasserts the value of the segregation of the sexes. The woman should obey the husband, but the latter should adopt the cult of women and guardian angels. Comte’s radical hypothesis, however, is that all sexual relations in society should be replaced by a utopia of the virgin mother. This utopia itself will reverse the decline in the status of women. The utopia would give women complete control over human reproduction. It is not absolutely clear just what Comte had in mind. There could be an organic development which itself would lead to a new hermaphroditic condition, or artificial insemination would become the norm.

The specific details of the cult of woman were developed and practised by Comte: the nature of the image, the prayers, the language, the gestures.7 the objective is purification and hygiene. What women will do is left an open question to be developed and solved by women themselves.8 His view is, however, that the physical act of sex so far as men are concerned is not principally to be understood in terms of reproduction but rather in terms of its sublimating function. Against the demands of feminism, for instance as exemplified by the demands of his wife Caroline Massin, he claimed that they could never form the basis of a set of stable human relationships, but produce only continuous metaphysical strife.

It is through the segregated and hierarchical structures, through idealisation and duty, that a new stability can be attained. In effect therefore, the Comtean programme for the family is intended to end the metaphysical phase within the domestic sphere. Once the final stage is achieved science itself comes to an end in a system of harmonised laws which are all conscious of their place in the totality. It seems at this point that life will be made up of rituals, ceremonials, re-enactments and reproductions of the various aspects of the three-state law. In this sense the law seems to reflect Comte’s own deep longing that the pain of the modern crisis be ended, as it predicts the certainty of a positive state in which everything will find its rightful place. Comte noted in 1852 that it is feeling which is;

the sole existing preservative of Western society from a complete and irreparable dissolution. Since the close of the Middle Ages, the influence of women has been the sole though unacknowledged check on the moral evils attaching to the mental alienation toward which the West more and more tended, especially its centre – France.

He insisted that it is only when men begin to think under ‘the inspiration of women’ can they ‘bring synthesis into constant harmony with sympathy.’9

“The final system of Comte’s sociology, with the modifications introduced from his reconstructed masculinity, suggests that the medieval system already attempted to install a cult of woman in the worship of the virgin. In 1853, Comte returned to the great western transition and again treated it in terms of the contrapuntal movements of its main phases.10 But Comte’s reorganisation of his explanatory forms did not change: he simply added a note at the beginning of the story indicating the fundamental but passive influence of women. –women preserved society from complete dissolution.11 At the other end of the account of the transition he added a note on the effect of the decisive influence of Clotilde to the reconstruction of the positive philosophy.12

Nevertheless the social topography of Comte’s later vision was strikingly different from the earlier one: the western revolution is an interregnum between two social systems in which the feminine principle, the heart, rules the masculine principle, the intellect. More and more the systems at both ends of the historical sequence became structurally identical. the scientific elite would become the priesthood of the new religion of humanity, but a religion without theology. Paris would replace Rome as the sacred heart of Europe, and Clotilde would replace Mary at the heart of a new cult.

 

Notes:

[1] I have discussed Comte’s personal relations and how they related to his intellectual development in M. Gane, Harmless Lovers? Gender, Theory and Personal Relationships (London, 1993), ch 6; and in ‘Unresolved Comte’ in Economy and Society, 24 (1995), 138-49.
[2] In the crisis of the insurrection in Paris in June 1848, Comte wrote a ‘Saint Clotilde,’ an address of commemoration on the anniversary of Clotilde’s death. In the address he referred to the ‘ill-omened detonations… of bloody conflict’ going on around him. He said, ‘I am indebted to thee for finding some pure satisfaction in a dreadful crisis… Though mingled with warlike sounds, I already hear indications that the human metropolis is returning to its normal condition. The carnage on both sides may have ceased, at least until the next conflict, which will be still more terrible, unless the working men now in arms shall have discovered their real camp.’ A. Comte, Confessions and Testament: And his Correspondence with Clotilde de Vaux, edited by A. Crompton (Liverpool, 1910). pp.349-57.
[3] For a typical statement of these relations see the Preface in A. Comte, System (New York, nd) vol 1, pp.ix-xxix.
[4] See Comte, System (New York, nd).
[5] These propositions were worked out in continuous outpourings in the years of positivism after 1847.
[6] All the main details of his ideas are expounded in A. Comte, System, (New York, nd), all four volumes.
[7] Comte might well have been influenced by the revival of Catholicism which emphasised Christian love. See a discussion of this in E. Berenson, ‘A new Religion of the Left: Christianity and Social Radicalism in France, 1815-48’ in The French Revolution and the Creation of Modern Political Culture, edited by E. Furet and M. Ozouf (Oxford, 1989), vol 3, ch 29. For details of Comte’s religious practice see for example the collection of texts in The Religion of Humanity, edited by A. Crompton (Liverpool, 1907).
[8] In effect Comte leaves women little room for choice since his sociology has already allocated women their role, function, and place in the final state.
[9] In Comte, Preface to The Catechism of Positivism, (London 1891).
[10] See A. Comte System, vol 3, pp.452-531.
[11] See Ibib. p.436.
[12] See Ibid. p.530.

How to tame men – gynocentrism style

Horses, dogs and men have one thing in common; they need training in order to shed their wild ways and become civilized. They need to be taught when to walk, run, sit, shit, play, work and, of course, when to cease fighting and attempting rape.

Women will do this for them.

From the pony club to the dog obedience class, and all the way through to wedding and relationship-advice magazines teaching “How to get him to do xyz,” – women dominate the field of animal training.

Starting in childhood, girls are educated in the Pavlovian school of human interactions, learning sexual manipulation, shaming and relational aggression as powerful techniques that if properly applied will help transform men, and even the baddest of badboys, into proverbial Good Men.™ Is it any wonder then that when a woman sees a badboy she sees a creature with ‘train me’ written across his forehead, a task for which her whole life has been but a preparation….. a lady won’t tolerate a feral animal wandering through the gynosphere, especially a handsome one, when she has the wherewithal to civilize him.

Lets take a little excursion through the history of taming.

Ancient Greece

Marriage is a particularly useful method by which men are tamed, so it’s no surprise that the institution has been around for thousands of years. Hera, the Ancient Greek goddess of marriage was nicknamed ‘The Tamer.’ She tamed horses, men and heroes and in some places was recognized as the tamer of the seasons, of nature, or of the universe itself.

Hera’s goal was to limit wildness and freedom by placing all creatures in service of civilized society. Her main tools-for-taming were the entrapment of men and women in marriage, the use of her own sexuality as an enticement for conformity, shaming, and aggressive punishment of any rebellious behaviours – even for her lordly husband Zeus: “Hera’s cruel rage tamed him.”1

Hera was worshipped as ‘Goddess of the yoke,’ an enslaving device symbolizing her desire to make utilities out of beasts and men. She yoked obedient men to wives, and yoked heroes to an inevitable death through their performance of labours that bring betterment to women and society.

In the Illiad Hera is said to tame heroes through death, not marriage. Death through service to others was considered -and is still considered- something appropriate for males and for their own good. In The Myth of Male Power Warren Farrell recounts a Greek story which illustrates the problem:

The Hero As Slave:

Yoke-commons
Once upon a time, a mother who wanted to see the beautiful statue of Hera had no oxes or horses to carry her there. But she did have two sons. And the sons wanted more than anything to make their mother’s wish come true. They volunteered to yoke themselves to a cart and take her over the mountains in the scorching heat to the faraway village of Argos, the home of the statue of Hera (the wife of Zeus). Upon their arrival in Argos, the sons were cheered and statues (that can be found to this day) were built in their honor. Their mother prayed that Hera give her sons the best gift in her power. Hera did that. The boys died. The traditional interpretation? The best thing that can happen to a man is to die at the height of his glory and power. Yet had this been a myth of two daughters who had substituted themselves for oxen to carry their father somewhere, would we have interpreted the daughters’ deaths as proof that the best thing that can happen to a woman is to die at the height of her glory and power? The statues and cheers can be seen as bribes for the sons to value their lives less than their mother’s request to view a statue. The fact that the statue was of Hera, the queen of the Olympian gods and protector of married women is symbolic. The sons’ sacrifice symbolized the mandate for men to become strong enough to serve the needs of mothers and marriage, and to be willing to call it glory if they died in the process. Which is why the name Hercules means “for the glory of Hera”.2

Yes these are myths, but on this topic life had a way of imitating art. Those who wrote the stories were drawing on experience to some extent, and married couples re-enacted the selfsame rituals of Hera and Zeus. In the marriage month (Gamelion ) the mythical marriage of Hera and Zeus was reenacted and celebrated with public festivities, a time when many couples would get married in imitation of the divine couple. On these occasions prayers and offerings were given to Hera, and the bride would pledge fidelity to extending Hera’s dominion on earth.

Women of Ancient Greece were considered, along with men, to be uncivilized and in need of taming for the greater good of society. Both sexes required a reconstruction in character and a submission to social responsibilities. Such was also the case in the Near East where an emerging Christian culture claimed that men and women were made of flawed stuff; women were born in original sin with Eve, sinful to the core, and were encouraged to aspire to the status of the holy and pure Virgin Mary. Likewise men were born in original sin and invited to improve their condition with an de imitatione Christi, an imitation of Christ in order to bleach the stains from their imperfect souls.

While men and women in ancient times possessed equality in the depravity stakes, this was all to change in the Middle ages.

Middle Ages

Fast forward to medieval times and we see a continuation of the desire to civilize human behaviour, except this time women are exempt from the taming to which the classical age subjected both sexes. By dint of a peculiar intersection of social beliefs, women came to be viewed as perfected from birth – due largely to the fact that worship of the Virgin Mary became amplified in the eleventh century and, by extension, the reverence bestowed upon the Virgin was extended to the female sex in general. As Mary was perfect, so too became women.

No longer like the Biblical Eve striving to imitate the Mother of Christ, woman becomes Mary’s counterpart on earth, and thus the cult of the “lady” is born as a mirror of the cult of the Virgin. Men for their part remain in a thoroughly fallen state like Adam while striving to imitate Jesus – knowing full well they will fall short of the goal. To enjoy the company of a lady a man must now prove himself worthy of her and so advance upward, step by step, toward a culminating union at her level; because everything noble and virtuous, everything that makes life worth living, proceeds from women, who are even described as the source of goodness itself.3

Mediaeval image of a woman leading a man with a leash or halter.

Mediaeval image of a woman leading a man with a leash or halter.

With the advent of women becoming men’s moral superiors, it’s here that men become the servants of women proper. It’s here also that the reciprocal service previously entertained between the sexes begins its gradual decline in favour of gynocentrism. As the faithful owed obeisance to The Virgin, henceforth man must render his obeisance to the Virgin’s earthly counterparts. Over the subsequent 100 years women even came to be viewed through the lens of the feudal contract whereby she became his overlord (midons ), and he the vassal in dutiful service. It would be woman whose role it became to civilize the depraved, fallen creature called man by teaching him the gynocentric virtues of chivalry and courtly love.

Contemporary attitudes

Contemporary perspectives about civilizing males are divided between two superficially opposed camps – traditionalist women, and progressive feminists. I say superficially opposed because when the goals of both groups are compared they amount to exactly the same thing: the belief that morally superior women should enculture men into the arts of chivalry and gentlemanliness for the benefit of women.

Lifelong feminist and former National Organization for Women member, Tammy Bruce, has articulated what she feels is the time-honoured power of women; of being morally superior to men which includes the feminist responsibility to civilizing men’s animalistic tendencies:

Nothing new under the sun, hey?

Another feminist, Christina Hoff-Sommers agrees with this idea that men need to be civilized with chivalric manners, a belief she outlined in an interview with Emily Esfahani Smith, where she said, “Masculinity with morality and civility is a very powerful force for good. But masculinity without these virtues is dangerous—even lethal.” “Chivalry is grounded in a fundamental reality that defines the relationship between the sexes,” explained Sommers, “and given that most men are physically stronger than most women, men can overpower women at any time to get what they want.” “If women give up on chivalry, it will be gone,” continued Sommers. “If boys can get away with being boorish, they will, happily. Women will pay the price.”4

Sommers elaborates her view in a 2009 interview with Ben Domenech:

Christina Hoff-Sommers: Codes of gallantry and civility that developed over the centuries have served women very well. We badly need more of that male gallantry, but I hasten to say it’s a reciprocal system. If males are going to be gallant then women also have a role to play. So today I think both sexes are remiss in nurturing this system.

Ben Domenech: What in this era of post feminism that we live in today relationally would be the possible incentive for any man to be gallant when there doesn’t seem to be any
particular reason that he has to be in order to function within today’s relationship world?

Christina Hoff-Sommers: It’s an interesting question because one of the things you find today is that most young men are gallant, and they are respectful, at least they are struggling to be. When I interview young men I ask them if they think it’s a good thing to be a gentleman and almost all of them say yes- that word gentleman has a positive resonance with young men. Now, do they know how to be gentlemen, do they know what it entails? Many do not. And same with some young women, they are not necessarily behaving like ladies. So there’s a lot of misunderstanding and lack of, perhaps, motivation. But it’s still alive in people. I think still on a typical date a young man would pay for his date – it doesn’t always happen in which case a girl would be resentful, and I can understand that…. These are gestures, I’m talking about certain gestures of respect – they need to be there and I think most women want them and I think men do too.

Ben Domenech: So why is that important – and I don’t just mean that in the sense of continuing a relationship but in the larger sense of the term, and this is a frame that I have to ask you about: if the incentive there is a relationship that is going to lead to something, does it matter that the something is beyond the typical aspirations of today’s men and women which seems to be more along the lines of a sex based relationship as opposed to one that actually has a longer term value beyond that prognosis.

Christina Hoff-Sommers: I think human beings at some point in their lives want something beyond a sex based relation. If you are going to build a relationship with someone it has been the case that women are going to be more likely to want to stay home and take care of the children, or certainly be more focused on that than the men, and I don’t see that changing.

Ben Domenech: As a single dating male in today’s environment there’s a much lower bar that they have to clear, frankly, in order to bounce around the relationship scene with a good deal of happiness, at least in the temporary sense.

Christina Hoff-Sommers: Oh I have to agree, and I think in a way women sort of undid the social contract with men and released them from all the constraints. And we pay the price.5

For the sake of argument, and in order to demonstrate that progressive gynocentrism and traditionalist gynocentrism are both chasing male-only chivalry, here is a recent ‘tradition-advocating’ article by antifeminist Patrice Lewis that appears strikingly similar to the progressive model offered above by Bruce and Hoff-Sommers:

I admire men.

Specifically, I admire men who are controlled, confident and who fulfill their biological destiny as protectors and providers. Men are essential for training boys to tame the testosterone and channel their natural strengths and aggressiveness in appropriate ways. Trained men are, in the words of columnist Dennis Prager, the glory of civilization. (It goes without saying that untrained men are its scourge, but that’s another column.)

Couple role playing with dog leashMen – trained, manly men – are necessary for a balanced society. They take on the tough ugly hard jobs women can’t or won’t do. They mine our coal and fight our fires and protect our shores and fix our engines and rescue our butts when we’re in danger. They truck our goods and clean our pipes and wire our homes. They plow fields and grow food. They butcher livestock so we can buy meat in tidy sanitized packages in the grocery store and pretend it never came from a cow.

I’m not saying women can’t be found in those fields; but let’s be honest: The vast majority of workers in hard, dangerous, dirty and heavy fields are men. They deserve our praise and gratitude.

Which is why I get so ticked off when feminists belittle men. These kinds of women don’t admire manly men who protect and provide. Feminists don’t want warriors; they want servants who will kowtow to their emotions and feeeeeeelings. They prefer emasculated androgynous guys who wouldn’t know one end of a rifle from the other. Guys who watch chick flicks with them. Guys who know what temperature to wash the dainties. Guys who are preoccupied with “social justice” and bringing their carbon footprint down to zero.6

Lewis’s argument above that boys are juicing with testosterone and need “taming” reveals an unbroken, and mythical conception of men stemming from ancient times – and it is wrong. Men are not born as wild animals in a testosterone-fuelled psychosis waiting to tear people limb from limb. We need not buy our sons punching bags nor insert them into football training from 2 years of age to channel some androgen-fuelled chaos (doing it for fun, though, is another reason). The claim that men are unclean, bestial creatures in need of taming is not only false – it is extreme misandry and it needs to be challenged head on with each bigot who perpetuates it.

The above survey of man-taming by women spanning all the way from Ancient Greece, and through progressive feminism to regressive traditionalism, shows what we are up against. Nothing whatsoever has changed; chivalric servitude of men, trained into them by women (yes and by men), remains the order of the day. The one timeless voice echoing through all this is the monomyth of the animal-trainer – womankind and her pussy whip.

With the continuing encouragement of women to be slavemasters, and their enthusiasm to take on the role, is it any surprise that the majority of horse and dog training schools – obedience classes – are peopled by women? That so many little girls desire to possess their own pony is a no-brainer, and it’s time we woke up to what this expensive little pastime symbolizes – the racing of horses may be the sport of Kings, but training of ponies is for the delight of princesses.

In a modern ‘enlightened’ society it’s high time to ditch the idea that males, and only males, need taming. Lets instead rely on men’s natural human empathy, a thing that exists in both sexes before the training begins. If you see a baby boy begin crying after he hears another baby crying nearby, it’s a demonstration of empathy that is there from the start. Like girls, boys develop mirror neurons which predispose them to be caring as they develop – we don’t need to see them as heartless beasts in need of taming, curtailing or genitally maiming. So let’s cease with the gynocentric boot-camp for males; they are already trained from the start by their own good natures – yes, men are good.

Sources:

[1] Joan O’Brien, ‘The Tamer of Heroes and Horses,’ Chapter 6E in The Transformation of Hera, Rowman and Littlefield, (1993)
[2] Warren Farrell, The Myth of Male Power, Simon and Schuster, (1993)
[3] Irving Singer, Love: Courtly and Romatic, UCP, 1984
[4] Emily Esfahani Smith, ‘Let’s Give Chivalry Another Chance’ The Atlantic, Dec 10 2012
[5] Interview with Christina Hoff-Sommers, “The Acculturated Podcast: Ladies and Gentlemen” 2009
[6] Patrice Lewis, ‘Feminism Has Slain Our Protectors,’ WND, 09/12/2014