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

__________

Auguste 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

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

9780753704134

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

url

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!