Enterprise of the Green Shield with the White Lady

White Lady on Green Shield
The “Enterprise of the Green Shield with the White Lady” (Emprise de l’Escu vert à la Dame Blanche) was a chivalric order founded by Jean Le Maingre and twelve knights in 1399, committing themselves for the duration of five years. 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, including widows. It was an undertaking that earned the praise of protofeminist Christine de Pizan.

Foundation

According to his Livre des faits, in 1399 Jean Le Maingre, tired of receiving complaints from ladies, maidens, and widows oppressed by powerful men bent on depriving them of the lands and honours, and finding no knight of squire willing to defend their just cause, out of compassion and charity founded an order of twelve knights sworn to carry “a shield of gold enamelled with green and a white lady inside” (une targe d’or esmaillé de verd & tout une dame blanche dedans). The twelve knights, after swearing this oath, affirmed a long letter explaining their purpose and disseminated it widely in France and beyond her borders.

The letter explained that any lady young or old finding herself the victim of injustice could petition one or more or the knights of the ‘Enterprise of the Green Shield with the White Lady’ for redress and that knight would respond promptly and leave whatever other task he was performing to fight the lady’s oppressor personally. The twelve knights promised not just this, however. They offered also to release any other knight from a vow requiring him to fight a duel before a judge. The letter was signed 11 April 1399 by Jean le Maingre, Charles d’Albret, Geffroi le Maingre, François d’Aubrecicourt, Jean de Lignères, Chambrillac, Castelbayac, Gaucourt, Chasteaumorant, Betas, Bonnebaut, Colleville, and Torsay.

Symbols

The emblem of the order was the shield of gold enamelled with green and a white lady inside. It seems reasonable to believe that the dame blanche represented the purity of women which the knights of the order were to protect; what the green background signified is not so clear. That white and green were sometimes associated together in connection with the observances of May is shown by an account, in Hall’s Chronicle, of a “maying” of Henry VIII of England, in which the company were clad in green on one occasion and in white on another. In Machyn’s Diary, too, there is mention of a white and green Maypole around which danced a company of men and women wearing “baldrykes” of white and green.

WRLogo_NO_CO.UK_The Order of the Green Shield with the White Lady bears a striking resemblance to the so-called “White Ribbon Campaigns” of today that require men, as was required of the medieval knights above, 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 badly toward a female. The continuity of chivalry in these two examples is worthy of study in itself.

Sources:

Lalande, Denis (1988). Jean II Le Meingre, dit Boucicaut (1366–1421): étude d’une biographie héroïque.
Marsh, George L. (1906) “Sources and Analogues of ‘The Flower and the Leaf’: Part I.” Modern Philology, pp. 153.
Riquer, Martín de (1967). Caballeros andantes españoles. Madrid: Editorial Espasa-Calpe.

Gynocentric etiquette for men (1929)

The following excerpts on the subject of male etiquette are from ‘Etiquette for men: A Book of Modern Manners and Customs’ published in 1929. – PW

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Everyday Etiquette

You may know that you are doing the right thing at all times when offering little courtesies to others, especially to ladies, whether you know them or not.

Raising your Hat

It is not necessary to raise your hat if you see a lady of your acquantance in a public vehicle in which you are also a passenger. A little nod or smile is sufficient. Otherwise, you should always raise your hat when meeting a lady whom you know. If the lady is a close friend, raise your hat immediately she gets near; but if you do not know her very well, you should wait until she acknowledges your presence before raising your hat.

Meeting a Lady

When you meet a lady whom you know, and you wish to speak to her, do not keep her standing still. You should walk with her in the direction in which she is going. You should not offer a lady your arm when walking with her, unless you are escorting her across a busy street. You should always take the outside of the pavement when walking with a lady. You should also take the outside when walking with two ladies, and should not walk between them.

introductions

When you are introduced to a lady, it depends upon her whether you shake hands. In all circumstances the matter rests with the lady, and you should make no movement to shake hands before the lady offers hers. Men usually shake hands at the best of times.

You should raise your hat when introduced to a lady out of doors, and your right-hand glove should be removed, in case a hand is offered you. Indoors, you should never remain seated when a lady is introduced, though you need not stand to be introduced to another man.

When introduced to a lady at a dance, party or other function, you must remember, if you see her again, that recognition must come from her. You should not raise your hat, or make any sign, until she either nods or smiles at you. At a party you need not wait for an introduction before speaking to any other man present, but you should not enter into general conversation with any of the ladies until an introduction has been given.

Should lady guests arrive during your visit, rise from your seat when they enter the room, and remain standing until introduced. If the ladies leave before you, you should stand while they are maxing their departure.

SOURCE: Etiquette for men: A Book of Modern Manners and Customs

Gynocentric etiquette for men (1897)

The following excerpts on the subject of male etiquette are from ‘Manners for Men: by Mrs Humpry the Madge of Truth’ published in 1897. – PW

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Walking with a Lady

“The rule of the road is a simple one, “Keep to the right.” Easy enough for women, it is complicated in the case of men by the necessity of always remaining on the kerb side of any lady they should be accompanying. Should the lady keep to the right in meeting or in passing other persons, her escort may either keep by her or go out into the road. He will be able to judge for himself which course will be advisable. His first duty is always to his companion, but that need not make him wanting in courtesy to other women. If remaining by the side of his companion should involve any inconvenience to the ladies of the other approaching party, then he must give up his position, and go out onto the roadway to let the latter pass. Should these be men, no consideration is necessary.

He keeps close by his lady’s side, but in crowded streets he may often have to fall behind, but he should never allow any one to interpose between her and him. Should the pressure from the crowd become extreme, his duty is to protect her from it as much as possible, but never by putting his arm around her waist. A hand on either side of the lady’s shoulders is usually sufficient.

Communicating with a Lady

“The well-mannered man never puts out his hand in greeting until a lady extends hers. This is a test of good breeding that is constantly applied. To those uninitiated in the ways of society, it would naturally appear the right thing to give as cordial a greeting as possible. Therefore the hand is held out, even on introduction to a perfect stranger. This is wrong. The first move in the direction of cordiality must come from the lady, the whole code of behaviour being based on the assumption that she is the social superior.

“It must always be borne in mind that the assumption of Woman’s social superiority lies at the root of these rules of conduct. It is bad manners to introduce people without permission. Nor must this permission be asked within the hearing of the second party. If Mr. A wishes to know Miss B., the lady’s leave must be obtained before he can be presented to her. The only exception to this rule is at a dance or ball, where introductions need not be regarded as leading to acquaintanceship. They are only for the dance, and may be ignored next day. Here, again, it is the lady’s privilege to ignore her partner, if she choose. But if she should bow to him he must raise his hat, whether he desires to follow up the acquaintanceship or not.

SOURCE: Manners for Men: by Mrs Humpry the Madge of Truth

Did men pressure women into marriage?

By Anja Eriud and Peter Wright

Brides

One of the favourite myths of feminism is that ALL women were oppressed everywhere by ALL men – and that the mechanism by which men oppressed women was marriage.

Ah yes, in secret patriarchy meetings all over the known world scheming men got together to lay their nefarious plans to trap and enslave these innocent and delicate flowers of womanhood into the bonds, the cruel and tortuous chains of matrimony.

But, of course a few brave souls resisted, they struggled against this demonic plot to entrap and enslave them, then of course they wrote books about their “struggle”

According to received “wisdom” and in the context of anything that emanates from the mouths or pens of feminists one does use the word wisdom with a large dose of irony, this nefarious plot has been going on for centuries, nay millennium.

For the purposes of this essay we shall confine ourselves to a quick but focused examination of some specific periods, because after all, if feminists are correct, then like blindly putting a pin in a map with your eyes closed, wherever we landed in the timeline of human history we would reveal examples of this ongoing and nefarious patriarchal plot to enslave poor helpless damsels in the chains of matrimony. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Let us begin with a gem of historical research that can be found at Gynocentrism and its Cultural Origins, and a campaign to impose a Bachelor Tax on those patriarchal sods who…….well were refusing to do their patriarchal duty and enslave some poor maiden into the chains of matrimony.

One Mrs Charlotte Smith in 1896, was so riled up and so aghast at the numbers of men who were refusing to get married that she started a campaign to force men to marry, and called upon public servants and officials to “do something” about this calumny against women.

“Mr’s Smith’s malignment of bachelors began with attacks on public servants and officials, saying that bachelors have always been failures, and that bachelor politicians, especially, were “narrow minded, selfish, egotistical, and cowardly.” She further claimed that, “It’s about time to organize antibachelor clubs in this state. It should be the purpose of every young woman to look up the record of each and every man who is looking for votes and, should his moral character be such would make him unfit for office, then his shortcoming should be the point of attack by the antibachelor women of Massachusetts.

There are 47,000 girls between the ages of 20 and 29 years in this state who cannot find husbands… [and] the bachelor politicians, they do not dare discuss the social evil question.”3 She states:

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

Now wait just a minute – that can’t be right – men are roaming the land in hordes, gathering together in secret patriarchy meetings, laying plans on how best to trap and enslave these fair maidens into marriage! Feminists have said so.

In her paper entitled, Sisterhood and Slavery: Transatlantic Antislavery and Women’s Rights, Karen Offen, Institute for Research on Women & Gender, Stanford University, takes a jaunt through history to justify the use of the word or analogy “slavery” as comparable to the status of women, especially married women from circa the 1650’s to 1848:

“In this paper, I extend the timeframe back some two hundred years from 1848 to the 1650s, providing evidence of the slavery-marriage analogy in published literary and political works by women and men (who deploy it in support of what can only be termed, retrospectively, a feminist politics). I will raise questions about exactly how we might interpret the feminist use of the slavery analogy as well as about how scholars and theorists have heretofore approached the separate subjects of women’s rights and slavery. “

Which is indeed what she does, now it must be said that Ms. Offen’s grasp of “history” is somewhat shaky, and she does take the long way around, via of course the usual suspects of “revisionist” and selective feminist history. Olympe De Gouges, John Stuart Mills, Elizabeth Cady Stanton – etc – with some rather unusual choices – Napoleon and Jean Jacques Rousseau, thrown in at odd moments. But, basically what this paper seeks to do, is what all feminists seek to do, is correlate the status of women historically with the status of slaves – black slaves – ergo she concludes with:

“The power of the slavery analogy, for feminists, was its insistence that women, and particularly women who married, were individuals in their own right, that they possessed “human rights” and free will and could not be legally disposed of like chattel or forced, even for family reasons, to do things against their will. The slavery analogy applied to marriage struck at the heart of institutionalized male domination in the family, and it continued to haunt the Western consciousness and to inspire subsequent generations of feminist action, both by women and by men well into the twentieth century, when in most countries the legal institution of marriage was totally (however reluctantly) restructured. It continues to characterize campaigns against sexual slavery into the twenty-first century.”

vintage_bride_03_quaddles_by_quaddles-d2aydvh

This is very odd, because you see men were presumably having secret patriarchy meetings, but not about what feminists seem to believe, and have hoodwinked millions of “womens studies” graduates about – nope, men were having meetings about fighting for the right NOT to be coerced into marriage by harridans like Charlotte Smith demanding that unmarried men be punished for NOT getting married.

In case you haven’t noticed, Ms. Offen’s paper covers the period from the 1650’s to 1848, a period during which women campaigned to have bachelors punished for refusing marriage. It is also a time in which we read of women having the legal liberty to choose for a husband any man who took her fancy, and if that man refused to marry her he was heavily fined according to the value of his possessions.

And less than 50 years later Mrs Charlotte Smith is getting her corsets in a kerfuffle over men not marrying, and how there are “47,000 girls between the ages of 20 and 29 years in this state who cannot find husbands” (the state she is referring to is Massachusetts). But, I believe I may be correct if I assert that Mrs Smith was probably not the only busybody, in the only state in 1896 America squawking about all those lonely and bereft “ladies” pining away for……………slavery – emmmmm – marriage.

Lets fast forward a bit in history and the period just after the first World War – the Great War it is called – though how one can call a war that claimed the lives of an estimated 10 million men great?

What was one of the major issues that exercised the minds of the public after this “War to end all wars”?

“Condemned to be virgins: The two million women robbed by the war:

They dreamt of love, marriage and children. But, as a new book reveals, the Great War robbed two million women of the men they would have married, leading many into relationships which could only be whispered about…”

The book referred to here is Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived Without Men After The First World War by Virginia Nicholson (Viking, £20).

You will note of course that the emphasis is on the struggle of women to survive without men after the war, rather on the estimated 10 million MEN who didn’t actually SURVIVE the war.

“World War I was an extremely bloody war that engulfed Europe from 1914 to 1919, with huge losses of life and little ground lost or won. Fought mostly by soldiers in trenches, World War I saw an estimated 10 million military deaths and another 20 million wounded. While many hoped that World War I would be “the war to end all wars,” in actuality, the concluding peace treaty set the stage for World War II”

In fact the article cites some piteous and heartbreaking examples of the ”struggles” of these sad and lonely maidens and what they are prepared to do in order to enslave themselves:

“Many placed advertisements in the Press in their hope of finding any man – like the following heartfelt plea published during the war: “Lady, fiancè killed, will gladly marry officer totally blinded or otherwise incapacitated by the War.”

By 1921 publications like the Matrimonial Times were carrying columns of advertisements placed by spinsters and widows.

They included:

MATRIMONY – Spinster, 38, loving disposition, fond of children, entertaining and country life, is anxious to correspond with a wounded officer of cultured tastes, with view to a matrimonial alliance; one with some means.

LADY, aged 49, spinster, cultured, bright temperament, small capital… would like to meet officer or civilian age 45-60… could be very happy with disabled officer needing a cheerful companion and pal.”

Couple of things to note here, while there were an estimated 10 million men killed in WWI, there were a further 20 million men injured, need I say that those 20 million injured men did not have the benefit of the kinds of medical technological marvels available to us today? So, being “injured” carried an extra dimension of horror and anguish for these men.

Now take a closer look at the extracts from the letters cited in the article, “…will gladly marry officer totally blinded or otherwise incapacitated by the War” – “….anxious to correspond with a wounded officer of cultured tastes, with view to a matrimonial alliance; one with some means” – “…..could be very happy with disabled officer needing a cheerful companion and pal”

Even when women were prepared to “settle” in a desperate attempt to “get married” there were conditions – the ladies preferred their men –injured or not, disabled or not, to be of a certain status, to be the “right class” to be “Officers” – Hypergamy anyone? Gynocentrism?

This was such a burning issue that the government stepped in, to ease and attempt to resolve the plight of these “surplus women

“In 1919, the Society for the Oversea Settlement of British Women was established and was provided with an annual grant. The Society’s panels included ones for areas – Africa, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – and for work – for nursing, for training and for agriculture. All of this effort was in spite of the evidence collected by the Dominions Royal Commission of 1912-1917 which found that the casualties of men from the dominions during the war meant that marriage prospects in the Empire had also declined. Additionally, men were emigrating as well as women, perpetuating the imbalance in Britain. So in 1920, 125,000 women emigrated but 115,000 men also did. Between 1923 and 1927, fewer women than men emigrated as a result of the Empire Settlement Act (1922), through which the government provided financial assistance to emigrants.”

As you can see, it kind of backfired – but – hurrah for the attempt, to provide a means to give women what they wanted – enslavement in marriage.

So, here we are in the 21st century and has anything changed?

Well yes, and no – according to feminists men are still patriarchal bastards roaming the land trying to trap innocent virgins into the chains of matrimony – except:

“Among pre-adults, women are the first sex. They graduate from college in greater numbers (among Americans ages 25 to 34, 34% of women now have a bachelor’s degree but just 27% of men), and they have higher GPAs. As most professors tell it, they also have more confidence and drive. These strengths carry women through their 20s, when they are more likely than men to be in grad school and making strides in the workplace. In a number of cities, they are even out-earning their brothers and boyfriends.

Still, for these women, one key question won’t go away: Where have the good men gone?”

Perhaps the attitude toward men in the following might give all those lonely and pining fair maidens, yearning to get shackled up, an insight as to where all the good men have scarpered to?

“Single men have never been civilization’s most responsible actors; they continue to be more troubled and less successful than men who deliberately choose to become husbands and fathers. So we can be disgusted if some of them continue to live in rooms decorated with “Star Wars” posters and crushed beer cans and to treat women like disposable estrogen toys, but we shouldn’t be surprised.”

Because after all, as the redoubtable Mrs Charlotte Smith also claimed so vehemently all those years ago:

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

Like Ludwig Von Beethoven, Henry David Thoreau, Isaac Newton? Those kinds of dishonorable and presumably irresponsible men who wasted their lives away without the civilising influence of women!

 

The “yonic cultus”

The following was written by E. Belfort Bax in the year 1887 under the title No Misogyny But True Equality. In this piece Bax speaks of the ‘yonic cultus’ and ‘yonic superstition,’ referring of course to the ubiquitous cult of vagina. – PW

better than nothing

No Misogyny But True Equality

Ernest B. Bax - 1913

Ernest B. Bax – 1913

And now let us come to the main point in dispute [about female privilege]. I have made no “impeachment of women in general.” What I have impeached is the ascendency of women as a privileged caste or class. What I maintained is that whatever may have been the disabilities of women in earlier stages of society, in our modern bourgeois society (Western Europe and its colonies), there is an increasing tendency to erect women into a “sacra-sacred” class, the members of which are to be exempted from all the disagreeable consequences of their own actions, to have the criminal law suspended in their favour, to win in every civil suit, to be treated as martyrs and heroines every time a slight inconvenience befalls them. This is what I term the modern 19th century form of the Yonic cultus.

Mrs. Besant will not take me seriously when I state that men have been given six months for protecting themselves against their wives’ violence. Yet this is literally true. The case I had in my mind occurred, if I remember rightly, about March last. The exact date I forget, but I noticed it in the Commonweal at the time. About a year-and-a-half ago there was a case at Highgate (as far as I recollect), in which a woman actually attacked her husband, who was an invalid and I think a cripple, with a knife, inflicting serious injury, and was let off scot free. If in the higher administration of the law there is gross and egregious favouritism shown to women as women, this is none the less so in the mere setting of the law in motion. A little more than a year ago a boy was sentenced, by Mr. Justice Day, to penal servitude for life, for attempting to extort money by threats of an indecent charge. Now women are allowed (vide Mr. Howard Vincent, Pall Mall Gazette, July 13th last) under the very eyes of the police to exercise as a regular trade, a practice which in the male, on a single offence, is deemed worthy of the penultimate penalty of the law.1

Now I ask has ever greater privilege accrued to any class than this. The mediaeval “benefit of clergy,” pales down before the modern bourgeois “benefit of Sex.” Again, an alderman ventures upon a little feeble civic banter with some flower-girls who are brought up before him for obstructing the pathway. The Yonicists are up in arms. These “poor girls,” are insulted. The newspapers gush with indignation. Mdme. Dronin is arrested on false information; by virtue of her sex the whole delinquent officialdom bows before her, from Home Secretary downward, with apologies and costly gifts. A scream goes forth that women are bullied by the police in the streets. Parliament adjourns. The welkin rings with wrath against police tyranny. Over mere male Socialists, that does’nt matter – but over prostitutes – Oh! The Pall Mall Gazette rubs its eyes and snivels “Brethren shall we harry our sisters”? The same Pall Mall Gazette, bien entendu is very anxious to have its brothers “harried” for so much as looking at a woman in the streets; for the crime of accosting two years hard labour would, we suppose, be “grossly inadequate.”

Talking about the Pall Mall Gazette, by the way, it is difficult to believe its editor was not intentionally “lying” at home “for the benefit of his country” – women, as he conceived, when he declared the other night that only a woman could be arrested on unsupported testimony. A man deserves to be condemned to travel every day for a twelvemonth with single women on the Metropolitan Railway that can make such an impudently false statement. As regards this matter, however, I, for one, am quite willing that no charge should be taken against a woman for annoyance in the street on the unsupported testimony of a man, provided no charge is taken against a man for indecent assault on the unsupported testimony of a woman. How now, what do you say to this, Mr. Stead? Completely destroy the blackmail industry – wouldn’t it? Now take this case – Barbarous cruelty to a young child, through whipping, is charged against the police – the child is a boy, a question is asked in Parliament, an investigation promised, and the matter shelved. Compare this with the case of a female arrested on an unproved charge by a policeman, and locked up for a couple of hours. She whimpers, and the respectable classes are set in a blaze.

Yonic Superstition

Vagina 2I think that the Yonic superstition is in nothing more clearly evinced than in recent criminal legislation. The tender body of a young child may be flayed by a brutal policeman, just because it happens to be of the male sex; if it be of the female, to lay a finger on it is sacrilege, and for precisely the same offence it practically receives no punishment. The British Bourgeois affects horror at Count Schouvaloff’s birching of the court maids of honour at St. Petersburg, whose bodies were presumably better able to bear a castigation than the babes he complacently reads of in his paper as being sentenced to ten strokes of the birch by a police magistrate. Then take the clause in the recent Criminal Law Amendment Act, which provides that in the case of illicit intercourse between a boy and a girl, while the boy may be sent to the penal servitude of a reformatory for five years the girl remains absolutely untouched. Now it is universally admitted that girls develop earlier than boys, so that this is a simple premium for girls with precocious criminal tendencies to entrap youths. If it is prejudicial to the interests of society that intercourse should under any circumstances take place in the case of girls under sixteen, what conceivable rational ground can there be for limiting the penal consequences to one side of the equation. A more abominable infamy it would probably be difficult to find in the whole course of modern legislation.

Such are the outward and visible signs of the worship of the female principle in the modern world. Newspaper gush, one-sided legislation, “purity” meetings.

As it is holiday season, perhaps the editor of To-Day will allow me to be frivolous, and narrate a dream I had the other night:

I had been reading the Pall Mall Gazette, and Mrs. Besant’s article after supper – and on going to sleep me thought I was in an ancient city. Temples, with griffins and other queer stone creatures abounded on all sides. Groups of quaintly robed idlers were standing about an open square (in which I suddenly found myself) talking eagerly together. Presently there issued from one side of the square a procession of white-robed figures that looked ghostly in the twilight as they advanced with measured step to the sound of the lyre and the lute. I asked of one who stood near what it was that I saw. “Knowest thou not, O son of the stranger,” replied he, “that the great goddess (the name I couldn’t quite catch) has vouchsafed to appear to men in mortal form, that she commands new rites, and will unfold to her worshippers the holy mysteries of the militant virgin.”

This was interesting, and I eagerly watched the approaching votaries. While I had been waiting it had been growing rapidly dusk. But now the moon shone forth. By its light, I thought I detected, in spite of their strange garb, foremost among the advancing throng, not as I expected, Orientals of the third century B.C., but the homely figures of Mr. Stead and Mrs. Ormiston Chant, hand in hand, singing as they danced, and dancing as they sang, a joyous hymn of ecstacy. I looked again, and behind them detected, as I fancied, the features of Mrs. Josephine Butler and Mr Waugh, in similar raptures. My historical sense suffered a shock and I essayed to withdraw a little, but ere I had done so my neighbour laid his hand on me, “See,” said he, “the goddess herself approaches.” As I turned, the sharp cut features of a man, evidently a priest, caught my eye. He was clad like the rest in a plain white robe, but on his breast a large triangular silver breastplate glistened in the moonlight, and on his head was a conical crown. Could it be, but no – yet it was very like – the good Mr. Marson! In his hand he bore a standard whence gleamed in massy silver the model of a fish.

Behind the high-priest followed a car drawn by eight milk white mares, and in a kind of palanquin a veiled figure I knew to be the goddess. “Bow, vile stranger,” said my neighbour, “adore that virginity which was, and is, and is to come, before which even the legislators veil their faces.” But I kneeled not, neither adored, but standing looked on. The procession halted before a temple, four priests came out and raised the palanquin. A thrill ran through the assembled multitude as the time arrived, when just for one moment the sacred veil should be raised. At the further end of the square a body of richly-attired old men emerged, with bowed heads, from a massive and imposing building. These, I understood, were the legislators, the fathers of the city.

Now, thought I, for a chance to see one of the great types of ancient female beauty, if not the Trojan Helen, at least a Semiramid, a “Mrs.” Caudaules, or a Cleopatra! The veil was raised, there stood forward in the pale moonshine – “Miss” Cass ! I turned and felt a little sick. I suppose I must have swooned at the sight of the shopocratic vestal, for the next thing I recollect is being aroused by a crowd rushing forth from the temple, headed by him and her, whom I had taken for Mr. Stead and Mrs. Ormiston Chant, shrieking death and destruction to the male principle. “Hail to the eternal virgin-militant womanhood!” They all raised diamond-shaped daggers on high and conjured the moon-goddess that ere her virgin rays paled that night the city should be purged for ever of maleness, and dedicated a holy priestess to her service.

I didn’t know exactly what it all meant, but thought I might as well go and look at something else, and so moved away, clutching a steel J pen and a fragment of the Pall Mall Gazette, which, in the event of the hero of Northumberland street beginning to show “venom,” I intended to use as a charm, crying In hoc signa vinces, (The allusion to the power of the new journalism; I thought would be sure to “fetch” him and make him forget his dreadful vows). However, at that instant I awoke – to reflections on the mutability of human affairs and the difference between the militant Yonicism of two thousand years ago – the group of smooth-faced white-robed fanatics, fish-sign on forehead, triangle on breast and diamond-shaped dagger in hand – and the militant Yonicism of to-day with its black frock coats, Exeter Halls, newspaper articles, London police-courts, lobby wire pulling, and vigilance societies, and I thought that on the whole in spite of certain elements of unpleasantness I preferred the former.

Let me assure Mrs. Besant I am no hater of “women in general.” What I hate is – women in the “particular” position of a privileged class as they are at present. I decline to bow down before a sexual principle, or to admit the justice of granting privileges on the basis of a sex-sentiment. What I contended and still contend is that the bulk of the advocates of woman’s rights are simply working, not for equality, but for female ascendency. It is all very well to say they repudiate chivalry. They are ready enough to invoke it politically when they want to get a law passed in their favour – while socially, to my certain knowledge, many of them claim it as a right every whit as much as ordinary women. Says Mrs. Besant, “Why use the existence of bad women as an impeachment of women in general?” Now I want to know who has done so. I certainly have not. All I say is, don’t allow the worst characteristics of bad women to come into play by giving them free leave to use the tribunals for purposes of spite, revenge or blackmail! Don’t pull out your biggest pocket handkerchief at every tale of wife-beating, before you have heard the other side! Don’t allow women to ruin men by legal process, as a punishment for not marrying them, when they want them to! Don’t allow wives to “sell up” their husbands, or to compel their husbands to maintain them in idleness, while they are allowed to keep all their own property or earnings singly to themselves.

In stating this view of the question plainly, I may say I am only giving articulation to opinions constantly expressed in private by men amongst themselves. A noisy band fills the papers with lying rhodomontades, & c., & c., on the “downtrodden woman,” and their representations are allowed to pass by default. I am styled a misogynist forsooth, because I detest the sex-class ascendency, striven for by a considerable section at least of the bourgeois Women’s Rights advocates, and desire instead a true and human equality between the sexes.
Notes:

1. This is not all. It is now proposed by the Saturday Review and Pall Mall Gazette that this promising branch of female industry should be “protected” by the curtailment of cross-examination. A Mrs. Brereton, the other day, brought what the jury by their verdict pronounced a false, or to put it mildly, “doubtful” charge against a man. It is now actually complained by the journals in question that this verdict was obtained or furthered by the too severe cross-examination of the prosecutrix. Hence it is argued that cross-examination must be in future limited to questions not embarrassing to the prosecution. Could sex privilege go much further!

Petticoat government (1933)

Historian Robert St. Estephe is dedicated to uncovering the forgotten past of marginalizing men. The following commentary and newspaper articles compiled by Mr. St. Estephe recount the story of a young immigrant man sentenced to life in debtor’s prison – being locked up for failing to meet his young wife’s demands for money for herself and the relatives she brought over from the Old Country to be supported by her bricklayer husband. Of particular interest is the use of the phrase ‘petticoat government’ and ‘petticoat justice’ in two of the newspaper articles below. – PW

___________

 

While the above poster advertises a classic movie from the 1940’s, its theme was based on a very real social malady spanning the length of the 20th century. It was the alimony racket that inspired the first organized resistance in the United States to government-sponsored misandry. The first of many anti-alimony organizations was formed in New York City on 1927. (Robert Ecob: Early MHRA). Newspapers regularly recount horror stories of men whose lives were ruined by women who demanded to be supported by ex-husbands and, research has revealed, wives enjoyed the power to demand an ex-husband’s incarceration at will when he could not afford to pay up– even when the former wife had no need for the funds (The Alimony War of 1935). To give one real-life example, in 1933 a young Italian immigrant, a humble bricklayer by the name of Umberto Politano, became the poster boy of the New York anti-alimony activists with his story of a de facto “life sentence” to jail for failing to live up to his briefly-wedded wife’s demand that he support her and the Italian relatives she imported.

Umberto was only a poor laborer who could not even speak the tongue of his new homeland when he was thrown into alimony jail, but he did possess common sense. Logic was the weapon he used to eventually defeat the law ruling and the institutionalized female privilege of the chivalric American culture to at least gain his freedom after two and a half years in jail – his punishment for not paying the alimony which his jailing prevented him from being able to pay.

The words of Justice Bonygne and the commentary on this case and the alimony racket in general as described by famous magazine writer Ruth Seinfel,* dating from 1933, have a familiar ring to them — as if they were written 80 years later by the typical men’s human rights supporter.

***

FULL TEXT (Newspaper article 1 of 4): New York, March 2, 1933 – Umberto Politano, a bricklayer, war veteran and, by right of jail seniority, president of the Brooklyn Alimony Club, was freed from confinement with the tart observation of Supreme Court Justice Bonynge, “this carries the supposed rights of women to absurd, not to say unconstitutional lengths.”

For two years and seven months. Politano has been inmate of Brooklyn Alimony Jail, failing to pay $12 a week to his wife, Mary Politano, who sued him for separation in October, 1927 – a suit that never has been tried. Repeated contempt orders have renewed his term and Justice Bonynge’s decision was rendered in the face of a recommendation by a special master which the court set aside.

~ Wife in Contempt. ~

“Even a lowly alimony prisoner has constitutional rights,” said Justice Bonynge, and he quoted the constitutional guarantee: “Cruel and unusual punishment shall not be inflicted.”

Criminal contempt, Justice Bonynge pointed out is more grave than civil contempt, and yet, even in flagrant cases punishment is limited by statute to a jail sentence of 30 days and a fine of $250.

“However, let a waspish woman pluck the sleeves of the judicial gown, or nudge the elbow concealed therein, and this temperate restraint immediately cast aside and the delinquent spouse faces the possibility of unending imprisonment through successive adjudication of contempt.”

~ Husbands Have Been Patient. ~

“Through the ages man has yielded authority in the home to the opposite sex and accepted the consequences with humility. With a bland of humor, resignation and affection, the relationship has come to be known as petticoat government.”

“While the institution has functioned reasonably well, there are those who doubt the expediency of its extension into a form of petticoat justice.”

Concluding his opinion, Justice Bonynge wrote:

“If an evil-doer invades my court room and reviles me or my ancestors or my country, with indecent or blasphemous utterances, a penalty of 30 days in the straight-jacket of my righteous wrath is incurred. Can I truthfully say that through poverty or misfortune this defendant, who shouldered arms when the need was great, who omits to pay alimony to a vindictive and relentless wife has offered my court an affront more than thirtyfold greater?”

“The answer being obvious, the defendant is ordered released from imprisonment forthwith.”

[“Even Patient Husbands Have Rights Says Court – In Jail 31 Months for Not Paying Alimony, Jurist Denounces Waspish Women,” The Reading Eagle (Pa.), Mar. 2, 1933, p. 7; spelling “thirtyfold” in original]

***

PetticoatFULL TEXT (Newspaper article 2 of 4): Umberto Politano, the long-suffering martyr to our alimony system is free at last after two years and seven months of languishing in Raymond Street jail, Supreme Court Justice Paul Boynynge set him free the other day, and I am told that the Justice’s decision will set a precedent for future common sense and mercy in dealing with men who are without funds to meet their ex-wives’ demands.

But his Honor did more than set a precedent. He wrote an opinion which not only ex-wives but women who have no thought of Reno might do well to ponder. In pointing out that “even a lowly alimony prisoner has constitutional rights,” Justice Bonygne had some crisp things to say about “petticoat government” and “waspish wives.”

“Let a waspish woman pluck the sleeve of the judicial gown or nudge the elbow concealed therein,” his Honor meditated, “and … restraint is immediately cast aside and the delinquent spouse faces the possibility of unending imprisonment through successive adjudication of contempt. This carries the supposed rights of woman to absurd, not to say unconstitutional, lengths.”

And so he set Mr. Politano, who has been called the “alimony lifer,” free. I should like to be able to say fine words about the triumph of justice, but I am too much humiliated by the outrage that has been perpetrated so long in the name of justice, and by members of my sex.

I suppose it was necessary for the unfortunate Mr. Politano to lie in jail more than two years ago and a half so that bills might at last be brought before the Legislature at Albany to curb the dreadful power of vindictive women. But what I should like to see is an administration of justice which would throttle what Justice Bonynge calls petticoat at its source.

~ A Morning in Family Court ~

I remember with the keenest delight a morning I spent sitting beside Magistrate Jonah B. Goldstein in the Family Court. Domestic disagreements of all sorts were laid before his Honor, some tragic and some that made it hard for your reporter to maintain a dignity befitting a guest of the court. When a young woman stepped up to the bar and began to tell a story of nonpayment of alimony I pricked up my ears. Now, I thought bitterly, I would see a man sent to jail.

Magistrate Goldstein has thick black brows and he can look very stern. He now looked very stern, indeed, as he leaned toward the woman before him.

“Madame,” he asked, “are you in good health?”

The woman said she was in good health, and indeed she was blooming with it.”

“I understand that you have no children?” his Honor asked further.

No, she had no children. his honor leaned back on the bench.

“Madame, you have no children and you are in good health,” he said. “Yet you ask this man to contribute so much per week to your support. Do you keep house for him? Do you cook his dinner? Do you look after his clothes, darn his socks, mend his shirts, do his washing? Do you provide him with companionship? No, you do none of these things.

The young woman opened her mouth to speak and closed it again. A few minutes later she emerged from the court to seek a living for herself. The alimony judgment had been set aside.

And that is what I mean by justice.

[Ruth Seinfel, “’Petticoat Justice’ – Some Sharp Words Emerge from the Supreme Court in the Case of Mr. Politano, Alimony Lifer,” New York Evening Post (N.Y.), Mar. 6, 1933, p. 13; The word “system” has been inserted in the place of a word that is illegible in the photographic digital source from this article has been transcribed.] Ruth Seinfel was a regular contributor to Collier’s magazine, the leading magazine of investigative journalism of its time. Wikipedia notes that “as a result of chief editor Peter Collier’s pioneering investigative journalism, Collier’s Weekly established a reputation as a proponent of social reform.”

***

bonygne-judge

FULL TEXT (Newspaper article 3 of 4): The court of appeals today granted authority to Umberto Politano, of Brooklyn, to renew his suit for $50,000 against Sheriff James A. McQuade, of Kings County, who was accused of illegally confining Politano in jail for failure to pay alimony.

Politano was sent to jail on July 29, 1930, for three months for failure to pay alimony. Subsequently he was accused of neglecting to pay during his imprisonment. His sentence was stretched to nine months. Politano contended he should have been released on April 29, 1931, but instead was held until March 1, 1933.

Sheriff McQuade argued that Politano was held because he failed to give security for future alimony payments as ordered in his complaint and that the facts were insufficient to support an action. The Applelate Division ruled that there was cause for action because no time limit had been set for Politano to comply in posting bond. Politano’s wife obtained a separation order and an allowance of $12 a week alimony in 1921 and he was $216 in arrears when he was jailed.

[“’Alimony Lifer’ Gets Right to Sue McQuade,” New York Tribune (N.Y.), Dec. 7, 1933, p. 17]

***

FULL TEXT (Newspaper article 4 of 3): New York, Feb. 4 – Umberto Politano, president of the Alimony Club of Brooklyn, who is known as the “alimony lifer” because of the time he has served, moved today to recover damages for excessive imprisonment.

Justice Mitchell May, of the Supreme Court, Brooklyn, gave Mr. Politano permission to sue the Fidelity & Deposit company of Maryland, which provided $60,000 in bonds for the two Sheriffs who held Politano in the Raymond street jail, Brooklyn, for a total of two years and seven months. The Sheriffs were Aaron L. Jacoby, whose term expired December 31, 1931, and Sheriff James A. McQuade, who died May 5, 1935. Mr. Politano originally sought to sue the Sheriffs on the ground that they kept him in jail twenty-two months illegally. Mr. Politano contended that he could be held only three months on each of the three alimony orders served on him.

Justice May told that Mr. Jacoby’s liability extended only until his term expired and that Mr. Politano should have instituted suit within a year of that expiration. He added that Mr. McQuade’s death had absolved him personally of responsibility, but that it did not absolve the bonding company. The bond issued for each Sheriff was for $30,000.

[“Alimony Lifer” Allowed To Sue Surety Firm Here – Brooklyn Man Given Right To Bring Action Against Fidelity And Deposit Company On Bonds Of Sheriffs For Excessive Imprisonment,” The Sun (Baltimore, Md.), Feb. 25, 1937, p. 26]

 

Article source: http://www.avoiceformen.com/series/unknown-history-of-misandry/an-alimony-slaves-bricks-of-logic/

What is gynarchy?

screen-shot-2012-05-08-at-6-33-50-pm

While ‘gynarchy’ is a relatively unused term, most by now would have heard of gynocentrism, a versatile term applied to literally anything we consider female dominated, from cultural institutions to gender relations – one that has proven a useful addition to the lexicon.

Gynarchy more specifically than gynocentrism refers to government by and for female interests, including any establishment of laws and bureaucracies that benefit women. As you will see below it has also been described in earlier times as “petticoat government” and is synonymous with what is commonly referred to today as “feminist governance.”

Gynarchy has a long literary application and isn’t a neologism requiring introduction into the language. To get a taste of its value let’s look at some of the historical uses of gynarchy (and its variants gunarchy, gunarchie, gynæcocracy, ginæcocratie, gynecocracy, gynocracy) starting in the 16th century:

1577: The gunarchie of Queene Cordeilla. [Holinshed Chron. I. 13/2]
1660: That in Gynarchy the wife is not subject, but superior to her husband [R. Coke Power & Subj.]
1737: Gynæcocracy is feminine rule; petticoat government [Universal English Dictionary]
1755: Gynæcocracy: petticoat government; female power [Dictionary English Language]
1758: I have always some hopes of a change under a Gunarchy; where whim and humour commonly prevail. [Chesterfield Letter. (1792) IV. cccl. 159]
1763: Denotes the government of women, or a state where women are capable of supreme command. Such are Britain and Spain. [Dictionary Of Arts & Sciences]
1816: In the fishing villages on the Firths of Forth and Tay‥the government is gynecocracy. [Scott Antiq. xxvi. Note]
1838: [Under gynocracy] women enjoy a greater influence… Mr. Hoskins says they seem to lord it over their husbands, and all mercantile transactions are confided to their hands. [Gentl. Magazine]
1886: That social gynæcocracy for which France is famous. [Temple Bar LXXVIII. 509]
1890: So will you best help to maintain‥the true gynarchy [Blackw. Mag. CXLVII. 264/2]

 

Note the hierarchy of gender alluded to in the year 1660 which claims that under gynarchy the wife is not subject to, but superior to her husband, or the 1838 mention of wives being superior to husbands, indicating that gynarchy requires servitude and inferiority of men toward women. These examples indicate that males, over the centuries, have been trained to serve the gynarchy with chivalrous servitude that reinforces the superiority of individual women. We see this chivalrous reinforcement of the gynarchy from the Middle Ages through to the time of Ernst B. Bax and continuing forward to today’s “feminist governance”. Evidence of the latter is all around us; in female-serving male politicians (the vast majority), government funding and entitlement programs, education, and in popular woman-elevating culture. It is helpful to have a word standing for the individual and collective female governance that we can unsheath at quick notice – and this word gynarchy serves us well.

Matriarchy (rule by moms) is an inaccurate term for political hegemony enjoyed by the female sex (because not all females are moms), and similarly patriarchy is an inaccurate term when applied to all males (because not all males are dads) – not that accuracy ever worried feminists who continue to refer to patriarchy when andrarchy would be far more descriptive of their imaginary construct. However unlike the mythic patriarchy that lacks evidentiary backing, historical gynarchy is supported by a mountain of empirical evidence. If we define gynarchy as government by or for women’s interests the evidence shows that most of today’s social institutions are thoroughly gynarchic.

Modern dictionaries usually define gynarchy as a political system governed by women or a woman. For a more complete understanding it’s important to recognise that “the political system” women govern may actually be staffed by male servants called prime ministers, presidents, or politicians who work on behalf of the ruling female gender.1 In her book What’s Right With Feminism Cassandra Langer gives a concise definition that accounts for the proxy role of male leaders: “Gynarchy refers to government by women, or women-centered government.”

References:

[1] Gynarchy by proxy; see also Alison Tieman’s YouTube video When Slaves Ruled which explains this dynamic incisively

See also:

Queen in red costume against dark background

Gynarchy today: an example

The dreaded patriarchy, we’ve had the story drilled into our pliable minds for decades, ad nauseam. But what about the gynarchy, is it yet time to consider the unspeakable? To give a recent account of the matter, a self-described “tall blonde psychologist” named Sharon Lawson sends out the following call to consolidate the power of the gynarchy:

Gynarchy-For-The-Masses

How refreshing to see a feminist admission that our perpetual gynarchy has come of age. We might appreciate too the way Sharon uses miniscule font for ‘men’ to emphasise how the gynarchy thinks. Sharon has written other gems of feminine wisdom on her blog including the following astute distillation called 10 Reasons why Women are Superior:

“While women have traditionally been oppressed, this does not make us weaker, in fact, as history progresses forward it makes us – and I realize this is a bit insensitive – but still, it needs to be said: the superior sex. Here’s why:

1. For a man, peeing is a messy and inconvenient affair. Urine splashing outside of the bowl? Eugh! Animals. Women never splash because we have the good sense to sit down on the seat. Uh, hello? They invented toilet seats for a reasons, guys.

2. We get to experience the awesome power of growing life within our own bodies. The beauty, the understanding and appreciation of life this gives us is unparalleled. Moreover, the experience of childbirth makes women more in tune with all of life.

3. Sexual dimorphism is becoming less and less of a thing as humans advance, and this will eventually put the performance of traditionally male tricks of brute force and superficial showmanship at a disadvantage. Evolution is about grace, intelligence, and compassion now.

4. Heteronormative males miss out on the fun and pleasure that is makeup application and dressing up in cute skirts, dresses and heels. Sure, we get to wear jeans and sneakers and cool casual clothes, but we have the option of a whole extra wardrobe section – and we get to cover up our pimples and highlight our cheekbones.

5. Our sexuality is oft considered a beautiful mystery. Everyone expects boys to begin whacking off as soon as their little curly hairs begin to sprout down south, but girls have an allure, a mystique that we can use as a special tool to our advantage pretty much forever.

6. Politicizing academia is the highest calling of education. You go spend your time doing math puzzles or reading Moby Dick, while we change the world.

7. Woman are wanted, craved, lusted after. Men drop dollars just to get a woman to take off her top in front of him. Men, listen up: I’ll pay you to keep that shirt on your bloated chest, you gross beast.

8. Men have too much testosterone and conditioned to be violent by society. That’s perhaps why they are, statistically speaking, more criminally violent than women. Oh, and boobs > balls.

9. While women have historically been opressed, this actually makes us more powerful in the long run because we have a more nuanced and reealsitc understanding of the world, power, and everything.

10. Men are keys. Women are locks. Are you kidding me? Women, at least this woman, is smart enough to know human sexuality can’t be reduced to a simple and stupid metaphor. Or even a silly article like this.”

So there you have a modern example of a woman, feminist and psychologist – smart, insightful, and ready to help men understand how to value themselves should they have any problems like, er, wanting to kill themselves due to cultural misandry. The 10 commandments of gynocracy are sure to provide a boon to the helping profession Ms. Lawson has just spent years at university preparing to enter, and clearly she has been listening closely in class. For those of you who are interested in receiving counselling from Sharon she happens to be a self-employed psychologist working out of Montana; just be sure to practice how to genuflect on arrival to her sessions.

The following piece, also from Sharon’s blog, and is called “New World Order”

9/06/2013

The new world order
_Women_of_History_Dominating_Males__1
This came from another blog, another post…. borrowed because it contains the truth as I, and others, see it.

In the decades ahead we will see our culture change in ways that will reflect a new balance of power vis a vis gender. Women will cease to fear men and will, instead, begin to rule over them. The current binary concept of gender will break into four groupings.

First, we will see the rise of strong, powerful, confident women who see it as their duty and obligation to rule over the other gender groups.

Second, men who are inadequately feminized by mothers and wives will be viewed as less desirable by most women. Men who are by choice or forced to be feminized will be desirable to most women.

Third, successfully feminized men will become economically and socially extremely valuable to women. They will be called “gendered males”.

The dominant female class will ensure the ongoing submissiveness of these males. Male beauty will be linked to slender physique, lack of body hair, small penis size and demure, sweet mannerisms.

Gendered male fashion will emphasize somewhat restrictive garments made of more delicate materials. Clothing will be designed to enhance feminine traits and movements – walking, sitting, etc. – and to be varied – sweet, casual, comfy and, of course, sexual.

The fourth group will be called super gendered males. They will be cherished by a small percentage of the female population above all feminized men. They will be husbands of wives who serve full time as the keeper of the home, children, pets, and all things domestic.

They will not work. The key trait of super gendered males: they will have had Gender Reassignment Surgery. In the farther distant future, wives will allow their super gendered males to date ONLY Alpha males – those chosen to do what men have done in the past.

dominatrixThe wives will allow this for the opportunity to meet and, if desired, have sex with these Alpha males. The “super gendered male wives” will be happy and support their wives in having sexual pleasure with Alpha males.

Gender differences in this new society will be more fluid. Submissive females and aggressive males will cease to be desirable. Each gendered male group will serve the new dominant females.

Traditional roles will survive but will become a smaller proportion of the population. Alpha males will still exist, have special roles and be a rather small percentage of the population. Most women will not want to have children with Alpha males. These males will serve at the “pleasure of women”.

It will become normal for women to lead, dominate, command and oversee the gendered males’ work. Gendered males will be considered sexy and highly desirable by a significant proportion of the female population. Clothes, style and grooming will reinforce their sexiness and desirability.

They will wear a new kind of makeup that masks non-feminine traits. Men’s sperm will be collected when they are young and stored. The sperm will be available for use when a wife marries her gendered male. It will become routine later in time to perform oriechtomy on males after their sperm has been harvested. Afterward, al gendered males will enter a permanent hormone treatment program.

Finally, society will become much more peaceful, satisfied and happier than today’s society. Less testosterone plus new genders and roles will ensure it.

So, how does the lovely Sharon feel about this “New World Order” she envisions?

Here we go!

“I think this all makes sense to so many people that society will continue to evolve to this. Things will be much nicer with less strife and conflicts.”

———————————-

Make no mistake, women all the way from Christine de Pizan and her City of Ladies to feminists like Sharon Lawson have participated to varying degrees in the construction of the current gynarchy. If we can do one thing to raise awareness of this ‘unspeakable’ tradition it will be to point a finger and call “The Gynarchy” by its proper name.

See also:
petticoat cover single

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

The bachelor band of 1898

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BACHELOR’S LEAGUE AGAINST THE FAIR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

Notes

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

Margaret Cavendish: gynocentrism in 1662

Margaret_Cavendish
Margaret Cavendish (1623 – 1673) was an English aristocrat, prolific writer, outspoken critic, and proto-feminist. In her 1662 essay titled Female Orations she claims that men willingly delivered to women’s disposal their power, persons, and lives, enslaving themselves to women’s will and pleasures, while considering women as lofty saints whom they adored and worshipped. Margaret Cavendish asks, “what can we desire more than to be men’s tyrants, destinies, and goddesses? – PW

Noble ladies, honorable gentlewomen, and worthy female-commoners… why should we desire to be masculine, since our own sex and condition is far the better? For if men have more courage, they have more danger; and if men have more strength, they have more labor than women have; if men are more eloquent in speech, women are more harmonious in voice; if men be more active, women are more graceful; if men have more liberty, women have more safety; for we never fight duels nor battles; nor do we go long travels or dangerous voyages; we labor not in building nor digging in mines, quarries, or pits, for metal, stone, or coals; neither do we waste or shorten our lives with university or scholastical studies, questions, and disputes; we burn nor our faces with smiths’ forges or chemists furnaces; and hundreds of other actions which men are employed in; for they would not only fade the fresh beauty, spoil the lovely features, and decay the youth of women, causing them to appear old, when they are young; but would break their small limbs, and destroy their tender lives.

Wherefore women have no reason to complain against Nature or the god of Nature, for although the gifts are not the same as they have given to men, yet those gifts they have given to women are much better; for we women are much more favored by Nature than men, in giving us such beauties, features, shapes, graceful demeanor, and such insinuating and enticing attractive, that men are forced to admire us, love us, and be desirous of us; insomuch that rather than not have and enjoy us, they will deliver to our disposals their power, persons, and lives, enslaving themselves to our will and pleasures; also, we are their saints, whom they adore and worship; and what can we desire more than to be men’s tyrants, destinies, and goddesses?