FEMINISM By ERIC RUDOLPH
When the Bolsheviks
seized power in Russia, it was the first real opportunity since the French
Revolution for egalitarians to impose their theories on an entire people.
It was a heady time for dreamers. A frenzy of murder and destruction
followed that eclipsed even the Terror of 1793. The bourgeois classes
had to go first: monarchists and aristocrats were shot; Czarist officers
were bludgeoned; the doctors had to go too; so also the professors and
intellectuals; the businessmen were not overlooked; and the Kulaks (small
farmers) were purged as well. Then they went after that great fount
of inequality, the family. Collectivist nurseries were erected.
Free-love and open marriage were proclaimed. But the campaign against
the family was premature and ultimately ended in failure. The aim
was right; it always is for egalitarians, even when they leave millions
of dead victims in the wake of their social engineering schemes.
Reactionary thinking, they contended, was too deeply engrained in the Russian
mentality. Progress against the family was especially disappointing
to the Bolsheviks, for as true egalitarians they had always viewed it as
the well-spring from which every other institution of inequality flowed.
Lamenting the failure of the campaign, Trotsky said, “You cannot abolish
the family, you must replace it.” Replacing the family has always
been the dream of egalitarians. Feminism is an egalitarian movement
that shares that dream.
As the basic organic unit of society, the family is the glue that holds it together. The family maintains social order and ensures cultural continuity. In all human societies it is the primary institution for shaping the individual. Boys model their fathers, girls model their mothers. Through the family, the individual is imbued with the organic culture that he is born into. The individual’s family is paramount in teaching him to relate to the world. His moral universe, religion, and language come from the family. And yes, the family teaches him social hierarchy. Here is where egalitarians find fault, for where there is hierarchy, there is inequality.
In all cultures there is a division of labor in the family. Males and females are prepared for their respective roles from an early age. Women are prepared for motherhood, and men are prepared to become protectors and providers. Women and children are natural dependents. As dependents, they return obedience to the men who protect them. The child comes to society as a gift, a loan bestowed on him. Over his lifetime, he is expected to repay the loan through duty to his family, his society, his God. He is trained into society and is expected to conform to the rules first laid down by mother and father, his nurturer and protector. He must earn rank and privileges. Naturally, there is a definite hierarchy based upon one’s contributions to the group. As the only class capable of waging war, men have always monopolized positions of leadership in the social group, beginning with the family, then band, tribe, chiefdom, and state. Every culture that has ever existed adopts this basic division of labor and hierarchy, which is based on the natural strengths and weaknesses of the sexes. Hierarchy is the system of life. This is the way it has always been. This is organic culture.
Because it is the basis of hierarchy in the larger society, the family is the ultimate enemy of egalitarians. Ascetics, Marxists, and Feminists have always had an inveterate hatred of the organic family. Why? Because it does not make sense, it is not fair. The strong protect the weak and the weak obey the strong. Their perfect society—where all are equal, where none are strong or weak, where protection is not needed and obedience not required—cannot work if this pernicious institution is allowed to perpetuate inequality in the world. Therefore, it must be destroyed. For the last hundred years, the family has been under attack; it is the last front in the egalitarian war to destroy the Western Culture. When the family goes, the culture goes too.
What then? How do you replace the family? This question has always perplexed egalitarians. They do an excellent job of destroying things, but they never actually build anything on the ruins they create. Instead they build theories. Starting with Plato’s Republic, most egalitarians adopt either strict celibacy or come up with some theory of collectivized child care. In the latter, sexual relations would be free-love mating, with no permanent pairings. Thus a man would have no opportunity to tyrannize the women and children under his care, nor would the family be able to imbue the children with ideas contrary to the collective. Utopia requires a society with a single philosophy, with uniform laws, where all are equal and march to the beat on one rationalistic drum.
But in order to enter into this egalitarian Paradise, the traditional family must go. The family’s greatest enemy in the West for the last hundred years has gone under the name, “feminism.” Feminism slowly introduced the seeds of revolt within the family and turned hearth and home into a battle field. Where connubial affection and harmony existed for millennia, now there is perpetual conflict. Women were the oppressed proletariat of the family and feminists recruited them to overthrow their bourgeois male masters. Like most of the other movements that morphed into pure egalitarianism, feminism started as a reform movement in the classical liberal tradition. Feisty women, like Mary Wollstonecraft, started to demand the same rights that their husbands enjoyed, so they used the classical liberal theme of Emancipation. But as equality of opportunity did not address the underlying social inequalities, more radical voices began to emerge. They began to see the family itself as the enemy; they wanted a new definition of woman, a definition that left little room for wife and mother. By looking at the ideas of Margaret Sanger, Betty Friedan and Kate Millet, one can trace the evolution of the feminist movement from the point when it cut its classical liberal roots and it grew into open warfare against the family itself. From the staid suffragettes of the Nineteenth Century to the combat boot-wearing man-haters of today is a dramatic but ultimately logical transition. Feminists have followed the yellow brick road of abstract human equality to its extreme end and on the way they have destroyed the institutions that brought the sexes together in harmony and cooperation for centuries. In the average household today, a cold war exists between husband and wife. Finding a healthy relationship in the Western World these days is like going on a safari in search of a rare species that has been hunted into near extinction—it’s almost impossible to find. This was the fruit of feminism.
Most feminists date the start of their movement to
late Eighteenth Century England. Here a bored rich girl named Mary
Wollstonecraft called for equality. Mary was wife to one of the leading
figures of the so-called English Enlightenment. The Wollstonecraft’s
hob knobbed with the likes of Thomas Paine. Like many of the educated
class during that era, the Wollstonecraft’s had smoked the opium of Voltaire
and Rousseau and dreamt of reordering society from top to bottom.
They had watched with excitement as the French Revolution unfolded across
the Channel and cheered the birth of the new age. Sure, there was
the disagreeable business of regicide and the mass beheadings; and, of
course, the mobs were bludgeoning thousands of people in the streets of
Paris. But one must break a few eggs to make an omelet. All
was worth it, thought the Wollstonecraft’s, if only because it produced
that Decalogue of Democracy, the Rights of Man.
Inspired by the French Assembly’s Rights of Man, Mary decided to write what else but The Vindication of the Rights of Women, which is considered the first expression of political feminism. Thus began the first phase of feminism, which was the agitation for civil and legal equality, with suffrage as the stated goal.
During this phase, the women’s movement followed the pattern of classical liberalism. Women wanted equality of opportunity and equality before the law. Social inequalities arising out of a woman’s traditional role within the family, however, were left untouched. This was conservative change within the cultural context. England’s Reform Act of 1832, which was supported by both liberals and conservatives, was a watershed event. It initiated a whole series of reforms. The act signaled the start of the progressive era and made possible changes in the law in respect to women. The Married Woman’s Property Act (introduced in 1856 and finally consolidated in 1882) allowed married and unmarried women to dispose of their property without the consent of a husband or male guardian. Prior to this, a married women’s property was part of the husband’s trust under English Common Law: “By marriage, the husband and wife are one person in law: that is the very being of legal existence of women is suspended in marriage, or at least is incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband…” (Blackstone’s Commentary). The budding feminist movement had its constitutional wing and its militant wing. The militants, which were prevalent in England, got arrested, went on hunger strikes, and burnt a few houses down. Women’s Suffrage, it must be remembered was part of a larger reform movement, that included child welfare, child labor laws, social hygiene, collective bargaining, minimum wage laws, and general electoral reforms. Most female suffragettes worked on these other issues alongside male colleagues, but often these male progressives shied away from helping their sisters to the voting booth.
On the other side of the pond in America, constitutionalists dominated the women’s movement. The first gathering of feminists was at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848. Just as Mary Wollstonecraft mimicked the French Rights of Man with her Vindication, the Seneca Falls women issued a declaration that followed the pattern of America’s Declaration of Independence. These women were also part of a larger American reform movement that began in the 1830’s. The biggest issue was, of course, the abolition of slavery. Like their English brothers, many of the male abolitionists would not help the feminists. Only a handful of men—Frederick Douglas, William Lloyd Garrison—supported the movement. In a fiery speech at Seneca Falls, Elizabeth Cady Stanton demanded that women have the right to a fair wage, the right to divorce or marry at will, the right to possess and to dispose of property like men, and the right to vote. She was fed up and was not going to take it anymore.
For the most part, the early feminists were not the flannel-wearing man-haters we are used to seeing today. The majority of people in the Nineteenth Century, including many of the feminists, continued to believe that a woman’s “proper” place was in the home with children. Feminist leaders—Mary Wollstonecraft, Angelina Grimke, Ernestine Rose, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Julia Ward Howe—still kept husbands and the traditional marriage arrangement. At least in public they were not enemies of the family. However, one could see the man-hater on the horizon. For instance, Margaret Fuller and Victoria Woodhull believed in free love. Susan B. Anthony felt betrayed when most of her feminist comrades ended up marrying. She remained celibate until her death and was something of an Indigo Girl before her time. And Lucy Stone deliberately cropped her hair short and dressed in britches. Early on she felt that “marriage was akin to slavery.” Despite saying this, she was talked into marriage by Henry Blackwell. There were conditions though: she kept her maiden name and he was forced to read a marriage contract at the wedding ceremony acknowledging her “unequivocal equality.” Poor Henry was kept on a short leash.
No matter the changes in the Nineteenth Century, society as a whole still held a paternalistic view of women. The law continued to reflect this attitude. Feminists today still foam at the mouth when they read Supreme Court Justice Brandeis’s “Oregon Brief”:
the fact that woman has always been dependent on
man … Differentiated by these matters from the other sex she is
placed in a class by herself, and sustained even when like legislation
is not necessary for men. It is impossible to close one’s eyes to the
fact that she still looks to her brother and depends on him.
But things were changing fast. At mid-century,
classical liberal reform morphed into open warfare against society in the
writings of Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, and John Stuart Mill. Mill’s
book On Liberty expresses perfectly the new direction. His
Subjection of Women (1861) is egalitarianism applied to the family.
Political and legal equality were not enough, he argued, when most women
continued to live in subjection within the family. In order for there
to be true equality, we must first, be rid of the traditional family, where
a woman’s place, according to popular prejudice, was to be under the paternal
care of men. Mill insisted that men and women were in every important
aspect completely equal. Tyranny, as seen in the larger society,
has its origins in the home where men oppress women and children: “All
the selfish propensities, the self-worship, the self-preference which exist
among mankind, have their source and root in, and derive their principal
nourishment from the present constitution of the relation of men and women.”1
Chivalry and marriage were not protective of women. They were feudal
and Mill hated all things feudal. Marriage was “a school of despotism
in which the virtues of despotism, but also its vices, are largely nourished.”2
That sex roles were derived from nature was absurd to Mill. Master classes the world over, he wrote, justified their tyranny on natural grounds. Aristotle justified slavery. The American slaveholder pointed to scripture to rationalize his right to human property. And Natural Law was resorted to by the Church to support the monarch’s divine right to rule. What they meant by nature was just customary:
So true is this
that the unnatural generally only means the
uncustomary, and that everything that is usual appears
natural. The subjection of women to men being universal custom,
any departure from it naturally appears unnatural. Standing on the
ground of common sense and the constitution of the human mind, I
deny that anyone knows, or can know the nature of the two sexes, so
long as they have only been seen in their present relation to another.
What is now called the nature of women is evidently an artificial
thing-the result of forced repression in some directions and
unnatural stimulation in others.3
Mill was a very influential figure for modern
egalitarianism. Many radical feminists would also find a theoretical
foundation for their beliefs in the writings of Karl Marx and his partner
Frederick Engels. Engel’s work, The Origin of Family, Private
Property, and the State articulated a class warfare argument of feminism.
Like Mill, Engels traces the origins of hierarchy to the patriarchal family—rule
by the oldest male. Marriage is the model for all later institutions
of oppression. True to form, Engels invented a primordial Golden
Age that supposedly existed before recorded history and before the emergence
of patriarchy. In this socialistic Garden of Eden, women, not men,
held most positions of authority. Private property did not exist;
all things were held in common. Procreation occurred as a result
of free-love. There were no families as such. As Hillary Clinton
would later say, “It took a village to raise a child.” Engels invented
a series of stages in social history: first was “matriarchy, then promiscuity,
group marriage, the consanguineous family, and ending in patriarchy through
pairing and finally monogamous marriage.”4 Monogamous marriage was
the snake that entered Paradise: “Monogamy was the first form of the family
not founded on natural but economic conditions, vis the victory of private
property over primitive and natural collectivism.”5
The apple once bitten, caused a fall from egalitarian grace. Patriarchy was followed by all the other sins of ownership. Women and children were the first property. This progressed to slavery, then the institutions of caste, rank, class, the steady monopolization of property, and finally to the bourgeois state. The ultimate object of the revolution was to return humanity to its natural state of primordial communism, believed Engels. Needless to say, this could not take place until the monogamous family was abolished completely.
As noted at the beginning of the chapter, the Soviet Union was the first state to experiment with this brand of feminism on a large scale. Lenin and the early Bolsheviks were true believers in the Marxist gospel, and even though later under Stalin they would backslide from socialist orthodoxy, in the early days they sincerely tried to implement Marx and Engels’ vision. The family was put on the fast-track to extinction. Laws that shackled women to the family were abolished. Lenin issued two decrees on December 19, 1917 and October 17, 1918. These annulled the prerogatives of men and gave women economic, social, and sexual freedom. On November 20, 1920, abortion was legalized. Common law marriage was recognized on January 1, 1927. The new family was the collective. Nurseries were established and housekeeping was collectivized. Women were also given paid maternity leave. Equality in the workplace was also assured. Hand-in-hand with the new definition of the family was a new definition of morality. All of the old Czarist statutes criminalizing homosexuality, incest, and adultery were discarded. And “progressive” schools, such as Vera Smidt’s, were set up to educate young people without sexual guilt or inhibitions in preparation for the free-love lifestyle as envisioned by Marx and Engels.
Unfortunately for the Bolsheviks, that disagreeable condition known as reality set in after Lenin’s death. The collective nurseries never panned out. Most women preferred to stay home with their children. Free-love was something practiced by the intellectuals. And Vera Smidt’s school closed down. Marxist theories about the family never survived Stalin’s takeover. Stalin ruled in the time-honored tradition of Slavic despots and had no patience for intellectual nonsense. He eventually purged all the true believers and set up a thorough going police state with him at its center. Lackeys and yes-men were the only kind of people he would tolerate around him. Anyone that seemed in the least threatening was shot or sent to the Gulag. Most of the Marxist intellectuals and old line Bolshevik’s were disposed of by the late 1930’s. Marxist theory would hence forth serve Stalin’s ruthless will.
All this interference with the family was destabilizing Russia, thought Stalin. Replacing the family would take decades if not centuries, so he ditched the whole program. By 1936, Svetlov announced that because the state was “temporarily unable to take upon itself the functions of the family,” it was forced “to conserve the family.”6 Stalin’s second Five Year Plan, in 1936, outlawed abortions in first time pregnancies. Deep in the Second World War and needing all the cannon fodder he could muster, Stalin outlawed all abortions in 1944. Homosexuality was criminalized again in 1934. By 1935, child care was back in the hands of the parents.
Official Soviet policy now stood Marxist theory on its head. Engels had attempted to separate sex from procreation in his Origin. Now sex was again linked to procreation and such ideas about collectivizing the family were labeled “bourgeois.” Marriage was “in principle a life loving union with children.” Many more decidedly un-Marxist statements were heard coming from the Politburo: “The state cannot exist without the family.” The family was now a “Marxist” institution. Some intellectuals “dare assert that the Revolution destroys the family; this is entirely wrong: the family is an especially important phase of social relations in socialist society… One of the basic rules of communist morals is strengthening the family.”7
Although he believed in Marxist theories in the abstract, Stalin was essentially a barbarian, who ruthlessly subordinated abstract theories to the demands of the moment. He was no intellectual and had probably never read Marx thoroughly. Marxism was a creature of the Western sewers, the invention of urban intellectuals. Western socialists would forever after lament the rise of Stalin because he killed off the pure Marxist experiment that they so much wanted to see come to fruition. After Stalin purged the old guard, his rule resembled a typical tyranny. He wanted absolute power and could not have cared less about Marx’s dictatorship of the proletariat. Although Engels’ dream of replacing the family was never quite realized in Russia, his theories would find fertile ground in the West. Egalitarianism had crawled out of the sewers of the West and it was in the West where it would have the greatest impact.
By the late Nineteenth Century, egalitarians dominated intellectual circles in the West. Socialist writers, poets, artists, and activists were over represented, especially in Europe. Feminists of this era left behind the classical liberalism of Wollstonecraft and Stanton and adopted the new class warfare message of Engels and Mill. They called themselves “New Woman.” The New Woman no longer wanted just the right to vote or the right to dispose of property as she saw fit. She wanted a new definition of woman, one that would incorporate the Marxist ideal of absolute equality of condition. Anything that stood in the way of this goal needed tearing down.
Margaret Sanger is typical of the New Woman.
In 1914, she launched her assault upon the world with the publication of
Woman Rebel, a small Marxist newspaper she started in New York City’s
Greenwich Village. The paper’s mission statement—“No Gods, no masters;
to look the world in the face with a go-to-hell look in the eyes; to have
an ideal; to speak and act in defiance of convention.”8 Margaret
wanted to “stimulate working women to think for themselves and to build-up
a conscious fighting spirit.”9 Women were currently “enslaved by
the machine, by wage slavery, by bourgeois morality, by custom and superstitution.”10
This last part particularly incensed her. Traditional morality foisted
on women by the Catholic Church, forced them into a state of slavery (maternity)
and thus kept them from attaining true self-discovery: “It will be the
goal of Woman Rebel to advocate the prevention of conception and to import
such knowledge in the columns of this paper.”11 Later, as she attempted
to broaden the appeal of the birth control movement, she would become more
circumspect and tone down the rhetoric. But central to all her thinking
was the underlying hatred of the traditional role of women that she expressed
so clearly in the pages of Woman Rebel way back in 1914.
The mother of the Planned Parenthood was born Margaret Higgins in Corning, New York, in 1883. She was the sixth of eleven children born into a Catholic family. Her mother, who would die at forty-eight of tuberculosis, was the model of the patient and long-suffering wife and mother. Margaret would come to see her mother as the woman enslaved to maternity, who was cheated out of life by traditional morality. There was no love for the father, who was forced to raise Margaret and the others on a meager income. She thought of him as a “tyrant.” In her autobiography Margaret recounted with horror the time he fell asleep on her bed while nursing her during an illness:
Then I heard
heavy breathing beside me. It was my father. I was
terrified. I wanted to scream out for my mother to beg her to come
and take him away. I lived through agonies of fear… I was petrified…
I was cold; I began to shiver; blackness and light flickered in my
head; then I felt I was falling, falling-and knew no more.
(Birth Control in America: The Career of Margaret Sanger, David M.Kennedy.)
This experience supposedly colored Margaret’s
thinking for the remainder of her life. In her mind, men were threatening
sexual beasts. They needed to be kept at a distance. Was this
just her late Nineteenth Century way of saying her father had molested
her? Who knows? Many feminists point to early molestation as
having influenced their opinions of men. Despite this negative experience,
Margaret seems to have imbibed some of her father’s ideological influences.
He was something of an apostate Catholic with such egalitarian heroes as
Robert Ingersoll, Henry George, and Father McGlyn. From an early
age, Margaret learned about feminism, socialism, and the Single Tax.
Margaret would later come to view marriage as “akin to suicide”; but at the tender age of nineteen she swallowed the shotgun and married a young architect named William Sanger. Curiously, she kept his name after the divorce a few years later. Young William also seemed to have been smitten by egalitarian ideas at an early age. Like so many leftwing idealists of that era, the couple set out for the bastion of American egalitarianism: Greenwich Village.
There, the newlyweds met many of the other figures that were to have such a devastating effect on American culture. They quickly joined the Socialist Party and became intimates with its leader, Eugene Debs. The Sanger’s rubbed elbows with the who’s who of American radicalism. Margaret especially liked lesbian feminist Emma Goldman, who was another early advocate of birth control. She would adopt her brand of nonconformist anarchism. There was the red journalist John Reed, who would later chronicle the Bolshevik take over in his famous Ten Days That Shook the World. Theodore Shroeder, that inveterate enemy of Christianity, was another friend. The young Mrs. Sanger was still unsure of her calling. She was still searching. In the meantime, she decided to contribute to the revolution by publishing Woman Rebel.
Margaret received much of her political education in Greenwich Village. She joined the Liberal Club and frequented Mabel Dodge’s Salon. The Sanger’s listened to the Communist ranting of Haywood Hamilton, leader of the Industrial Workers of the World, better known as the “Wobblies.” The Ferrer School was another of Margaret’s hangouts. Ferrer was the American version of Vera Smidt’s Russian School, an example of “progressive” education, designed to turn out left wing activists. Three Marxists—Berkin, Bayeson, and Goldwin—started Ferrer. As at Vera Smidt’s, children were educated free of sexual inhibitions, free of bourgeois prejudice, and free of religion. Famed lawyer Clarence Darrow, who later humiliated the aging William Jennings Bryan at the Scopes Trial, would teach there. Muckraker Lincoln Steppens was there too. So was Walter Lippman, member of Harvard’s Fabian Socialist Club and later the most famous journalist in America. Renegade ex-priest turned historian, Will Durant met his wife Ariel while teaching at the school. Even the liberal New York Times thought Ferrer too radical: “(Ferrer) was turning out, and intended to turn out graduates filled with a settled discontent with the present social system and a determination to end it.”
These individuals who gathered in Greenwich Village during the early Twentieth Century would have an impact on American society far out of proportion to their actual small numbers. The leftism that would come to dominate America was born in this Bohemian ghetto and these were its progenitors. While the majority of Americans out in the heartland continued to read their Bibles and believe in God and country, this small minority was reading Marx and laying the foundations for an altogether different America, one at complete variance with the heartland, one without God or the reactionary ideas of nationalism and patriotism. They were laying the seeds for a socialist Utopia.
Margaret had three children by 1913. Being a good socialist, she had acquired the necessary hatred for society in general. But she needed something more specific to focus her hatred upon. She really was not sure of her place within the revolution. So she decided to go on Hagira to the Mecca of Marxism in search of her calling. In 1913 Paris was that great Mecca. Naturally, she had to leave her children behind; finally cutting the cord that she instinctively knew was holding her back. While in Paris she would divorce William. Over the years Margaret would have numerous lovers, but never again would matrimony or monogamy tie her down. This did not apply to sugar daddies though. Later in 1922, she agreed to marry H. Slee, who was the wealthy president of Three-In-One Oil Company. Slee was twenty years her senior. They would never actually live together permanently, and when they did, they took separate rooms. Sanger would rely on his wealth to fund a good portion of her work.
Paris of 1913 was a Marxist sewer. Here Margaret went in search of the cause that best suited her pathology. At that time communist leaders Anatole France and Rosa Luxembourg were calling for a “birth strike” in order to “deprive the bourgeois of future workers.” Karl Kautsky and the other orthodox Marxists, however, opposed this Malthusian scheme. They believed that an increased birth rate would increase the already miserable conditions of workers and spur them to revolution that much sooner. The Malthusians thought this cruel policy counter productive. As you may recall, Malthus theorized that populations tended to outgrow their food supplies unless they were kept in check by lowered birth rates and increased death rates through famine and war. Margaret was impressed by one of the leading Malthusians and an early advocate of birth control, Havelock Ellis.
In addition to being a Malthusian, Ellis was an adherent of Robert Owens’ Utopian style of socialism. He had recently written Studies in the Psychology of Sex, which was a study in sexual abnormalities. Ellis was himself a homosexual, and through his book he attempted to rationalize his own abnormality. Married to a lesbian, Ellis was a cross-dresser who preferred men. It was a “platonic” marriage of convenience: they philosophized during the day and had their own sexual partners at night. Alfred Kinsey was a similar sort of psychological phenomenon, and like Ellis, he sought to normalize his own bizarre lifestyle in his writings. Ellis’s arguments for a sterile, free-love lifestyle convinced Sanger that contraception was her issue. Armed with this Parisian inspiration, she returned to America to begin her assault upon maternity.
Practical politics is often doing the best with what you have been given. One’s political ideals often have to take a back seat to political realities. Political reality for Margaret Sanger in the 1920’s was that most Americans were inimical to her brand of revolutionary politics. In order to actualize her agenda, she would have to make birth control palatable to the same middle class that she personally despised so much. This meant coalition politics, interest groups, and alliances of convenience. This would be difficult because Margaret never played well with others. She invariably demanded total control over any organization she was involved with. Most birth control advocates admitted that her penchant for conflict and her autocratic tendencies set the birth control movement back a few years.
Her initial object was to change the New York statutes against contraception and to annul the Comstock Act, which prohibited the use of federal mail to distribute birth control devices and information. The Comstock Act was of particular concern because her primary focus was to “educate” the public about birth control. Emma Goldmann was first to preach the birth control gospel across the nation, but this was primarily to select leftist audiences. Margaret wanted to broaden the audience. At first she shunned the middle class birth control groups. Instead, her and fellow socialist Frederick Blossom started the New York Birth Control League. Naturally, Margaret argued with Blossom, which caused him to quit the group. In order to spite her, he took the subscription list with him. Sanger then referred Blossom to the local District Attorney. This was anathema to her fellow Reds, so Margaret was denounced before a Socialist Committee and drummed out of the league for going “to an outside Capitalist District Attorney,” who could have jailed a fellow “comrade.”12
This was the spur Sanger needed to move toward the Center in search of middle class support for birth control. Just before sponsoring the first American Birth Control Conference, she formed the American Birth Control League in 1921. In order to broaden her appeal for birth control, she had to package it as middle class reform instead of a weapon of social revolution. Consequently, she started to court eugenicists and nativists, both movements of the Center and the Right. Now, birth control was about “family planning.” Birth control would bring a higher standard of living to the working class, it would reduce the number of mouths to feed, reduce crime, and it would limit the growth of the alien non-native population, argued the eugenicists. August Weissman and Francis Galton enunciated eugenics in the Nineteenth Century. Mendel’s theories lent credence to the argument that heredity not the environment determined the quality of life. In America, Charles B. Davenport established the Eugenics Record Office in 1910. With considerable backing from the E. H. Harriman fortune, eugenics became very popular. Alexander Graham Bell, Lotthrop Stoddard, and Madison Grant were supporters. Such politicians as Teddy Roosevelt lent the movement an occasional word of encouragement.
Eugenics asserted the “leadership of the competent,” they wanted to “resist the leveling tendencies of the principles of equality.”13 This was at direct variance with Sanger’s socialism. Eugenics sought to maintain the hierarchy of the strong and the smart in society and to reinforce institutions such as the family with more efficient reproduction. They wanted to increase births among the fit and decrease them among the unfit: “Birth control is weeding out the unfit, preventing birth defects, preventing the growth of the defective.”14 Soon Sanger started to sound like a typical eugenicist. If society, she said, “would apply the principles of modern stockbreeding, there would be no need for social welfare programs that foster the good-for-nothing at the expense of the good.”15 Parents should have to “apply” for children the same way immigrants apply for visas, Sanger insisted.
Many pro-life advocates today use Sanger’s quotes from the 1920’s to cast her as a Nazi-style eugenicist. This may be politically useful in a society that now views such beliefs as highly unpopular, but it is historically inaccurate. Her alliance with the eugenicists and nativists was a means to an end. She needed their support to remove the anti-birth control statutes. Philosophically she had nothing in common with them. Her true motives were clearly expressed in the pages of Woman Rebel back in 1914. The eugenicists were seeking to increase the birth rate in one sector of the population, specifically the upper class Anglo-Saxon part; and they wanted to reduce population growth in the lower class part of the population, specifically among Negroes and new immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe. In reality, the birth control movement ended up having the opposite effect. As birth control became more available, it was the upper class educated women who started to use it regularly. Lacking education and self-discipline, lower class women never used birth control as anticipated. The result was that the upper classes stopped having children and the lower classes exploded in population growth. Many of the eugenicists, who were early supporters of birth control, noticed this trend and quickly became opponents of legalized contraception. Others like Theodore Roosevelt were never fooled by the promises of birth control to begin with: “There is the real danger that the English speaking people, diminished in number and weakened in moral force, should commit the crowning infamy of race-suicide, and so fail to fulfill that high destiny to which in the providence of God they have been called.” (Birth Control in America, David M. Kennedy)
If one examines Margaret Sanger closely, it is readily apparent that her motives in choosing contraception were very personal. Ellis and Kinsey were the same. While it was true that Margaret was a member of Deb’s Socialist Party, she was no strict ideologue. Books and dogma was not her thing. Instead, she adopted ideology to her personal agenda, as is clearly evident in her using eugenicist arguments to push her message. In actuality, birth control was her little war, born out of personal experiences and the perceived injustices she supposedly suffered. With Margaret, maternity thwarted her sexual self-expression. Pregnancy was a disability to women. She had been shackled early with children, but fortunately she never allowed them to hold her down. Her mother was not so lucky. Sanger wanted to give all women an early cure for this disability. Birth control was that cure. Pregnancy was an infection, contraception was the penicillin.
Egalitarians the world over invent scenarios and experiences that they later recount as their reasons for choosing a life of activism. Sanger’s tale is typical. In her autobiography, she told the story of Sadie Sachs, a slum woman living in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, who supposedly died while attempting a self-induced abortion. Sadie had several children already, as the story went. She felt that another mouth to feed would sink the family for good. When poor Sadie asked a doctor’s advice about birth control, the unfeeling brute told her to “sleep on the floor.” Poor Sadie was left with “no other alternative,” except the bloody coat hanger, since she was desperate with no where to turn. Tragically, Sadie died of a preventable disease, wrote Sanger. This story is the kind of visceral tear-jerking myth one often hears from left wing crusaders.
The truth is much different. Margaret Sanger could not have cared less about Sadie Sachs or anyone else for that matter. Contraception was about personal sexual liberation; it was a hand cuff key offered to free women from maternity; motherhood itself was old fashioned:
‘Marriage,’ they are all alike. How glorious
too and how impudent the present society—which dares shut up
young girls and women in their homes, because that girl defies
conventions and fills the longing of her Nature. For this she is an
outcast. The whole sickly business of society today is a sham; one
feels like leaving it entirely and going about and shocking it
Havelock Ellis, John Dewey, Montessori, and
Freud were teaching this brand of subjective sexuality. Margaret
personally liked Freud’s argument that the repression of sexual desires,
even “deviant” sexual desires, was far worse than acting out on them.
Such repression was the cause of neurosis Freud believed. The key
to mental health was shedding sexual inhibitions. Contraception was
an essential tool in the curative process. But middle class values
were holding back progress. To Sanger, “Contraception was a means
to destroy the present existing social order.”17 Contraception would
also bring about the dictatorship of the proletariat because women were
being used to “produce children who will become slaves to feed, fight,
and toil for the enemy—Capitalism.”18 Contraception was a cure-all.
The most consistent opponent of the birth control movement was the Catholic Church. Raised a Catholic, Margaret Sanger had an especial hatred of the Church. For a millennium, the Church’s position on reproduction was rooted in Natural Law. They never bought the hollow arguments of the eugenicists. A thousand years of observing human nature made them see the birth control movement for what it was. Sex was for procreation, said the Church. While there may be secondary purposes for sex—connubial affection—to interfere artificially with its primary purpose was a distortion of Natural Law. Sex was part of a natural continuum that included procreation. To separate sex from procreation was akin to separating eating from nutrition. While it may be pleasurable to eat certain foods, the purpose of eating is primarily to nourish the body. Reason must follow nature. Ecclesiastical Law could be changed, but once Natural Law was invoked, the case was closed for Catholics.
For those Catholics wanting to limit the size of their families, the Church had approved of the so called rhythm method because even though insemination occurred when fertilization was unlikely, the parents themselves did not interfere with the actual process. Sanger’s nemesis—Pope Pius XI—spoke out against “contraception, abortion, sterilization,” and “the false liberty and unnatural equality” (Quoted in Birth Control In America, David M. Kennedy) of the so called New Woman.
The hierarchical nature of the Church had always excluded the egalitarians from the top positions. The Protestants were not so lucky. Early on they divided over birth control. The Federal Council of Churches, which was the forerunner of the current National Council of Churches, endorsed contraception in 1931. This caused the Baptists to withdraw their support. Episcopalians and Anglicans initially opposed birth control, and then they split over the issue. In 1920, the Anglican Bishops at Lambeth opposed contraception. Then in 1930, they declared “that where there is a clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, the method must be decided on Christian principles.” (Quoted in Birth Control In America, David M. Kennedy) This was a watershed statement for the Protestants. The Baptists left for good and many of the more conservative Episcopalians and Anglicans went over to Catholicism.
Initially, it was a back and forth struggle. Conservatives held their own throughout the 1920’s. Then in 1933, the federal government fell to the socialists and forever afterwards conservatives would be on the defensive in America. Sanger now had powerful allies in the federal government. Samuel I. Rosenman and Eleanor Roosevelt were supporters of birth control. Organizer of FDR’s brain trust, Rosenman was an early ally of Margaret Sanger. He had helped her introduce the so called “Doctor’s Only” bill in the New York legislature in 1921. This law allowed doctors to dispense birth control upon request. The American Medical Association endorsed this approach in 1937: “Voluntary family limitation is dependent on the judgments of the individual parents.” (Quoted in Birth Control In America, David M. Kennedy) Eleanor Roosevelt also applied the necessary pressure on her husband. Eventually FDR prodded Surgeon General Dr. Parran, in 1942, to start encouraging the states to pass friendly birth control statutes and initiate a birth control “education” campaign for state officials. Finally, two Supreme Court decisions undermined the Comstock Act: One Package of Japanese Pessaries v. U.S., made it difficult to enforce the act; and Dennet v. U.S., allowed the use of mail to distribute books on contraception. By the end of the Second World War birth control was main stream.
The “family planning” movement now turned its focus on the other barrier standing in the way of female liberation, the state anti-abortion statutes. Sanger’s organization eventually merged with another birth control group and formed Planned Parenthood of America, which was to become the leading mouth piece for the pro-abortion cause. Never one to cooperate well with others, Sanger hung up her condoms and retired in Arizona. One of her biographers, David M. Kennedy, left a very appropriate epitaph for Margaret Sanger: “Birth control for her did not simply liberate; it strengthened women for their combative role in what Mrs. Sanger always regarded as the battle of the sexes.”19 Birth control was never about family planning, not about supplying poor women with the means to limit their family size. Rather, it was a weapon in a war to free women from marriage and children altogether.
In the 1930’s and 1940’s, egalitarians had
triumphed like never before in America. But by the end of the war
many Americans were tired of the liberalism of FDR and his New Deal.
Thus, a slight conservative reaction set in during the 1950’s. For
feminists, the conservatism of the 1950’s threatened to put women back
into the home permanently. They had watched with optimism as women
entered the work force during the war in order to take up the slack while
their men were off fighting. With this taste of freedom, they would
never go back to being housewives, feminists thought. Then after
the war, women abandoned the workplace in droves. Most got married
and started to have children in record numbers. Oh the horror!
The life-haters were alarmed at this trend. Conservative values were
seemingly on the ascendant and Joan Cleaver was replacing the New Woman
of the 1920’s and 1930’s.
In 1963, Betty Friedan documented this fall from feministic grace in her The Feminine Mystique. Her book called women back to the workplace, called on them to continue the struggle for equality. She wanted a return to the New Woman model. Friedan argued that after the war a conspiracy of men in advertising and education forced women back into the life of domestic drudgery by promoting an over-idealized image of the housewife—this she called the “Feminine Mystique.” Instead of being encouraged to pursue careers as their mothers were, women were being brain washed into believing that fulfillment could only be found in marriage, children, PTA meetings, Tupperware parties, and highly waxed kitchen floors. (Betty especially hated the 1950’s image of a housewife waxing her kitchen floors while dressed in pearls and pumps.) Locked in what Friedan called “comfortable concentration camp,” women were suffering from “the problem that has no name,” which Friedan defined as a longing for a life more challenging than caring for children and doing mundane housework. These low expectations produced a sort of malaise among effected women and often led them into adulterous affairs and other illicit behaviors in an attempt to fill the void of their empty lives—the Desperate Housewives Syndrome.
After acquiring a psychology degree from Smith College, Friedan settled into married life and had a few children. Bored with that, she started to write for women’s magazines in the late 1950’s. It was then that she “discovered” the “conspiracy,” so she decided to write a book about it. She drew up questionnaires for women like herself: female graduates of elite colleges that decided to become housewives soon after receiving their degrees. Curiously, none of her “interviews” were attributed to specific women. It was always a “mother of three with a Masters in Business” or “a Radcliff graduate who now spent her days ironing and cleaning diapers.” All of the disgruntled housewives used the same language to describe their situations: “There’s nothing I can specifically point to, but I’m desperate… I begin to feel I have no personality. I’m a server of food, a putter-on of pants, and a bed maker, somebody who can be called on when you want something. But who am I?” It is almost as if the same person was being interviewed. Could it be this “person” was none other than Friedan herself? Could it be she never interviewed any one? No, that is too conspiratorial.
Women were so much more in the old days, writes Friedan. The New Woman was young and vibrant, she wore pants and smoked, and she formed relationships with men only as an afterthought or footnote to her career. And children were just too pedestrian for the New Woman. Friedan wanted brassy, unattainable broads like Katherine Hepburn. A description of the New Woman from the 1930’s was typical of Friedan’s ideal: “She had earned her way; she need consider nothing but her heart.”20 The New Woman inspired hope. She “was the heroine of yesterday’s housewives; she reflected the dreams, mirrored the yearning for identity and the sense of possibility that existed for women then. And if these women could not have them, they wanted their daughters to have them.”21
The images changed after World War Two, insisted Friedan. The 1950’s woman was molded for “occupation housewife.” The images were of “the high school girl going steady, the college girl in love, the suburban housewife with up-and–coming husband, and a station wagon full of children.”22
Instead of filling their pages with substantial matters like physics and politics, women’s magazines started to sell women make-up, romance, and marriage. The fashionable woman was now “young, frivolous, childlike, fluffy, feminine, passive, gaily content in the world of bedroom and kitchen, sex and babies and home.”23 Even forty years after Friedan’s book, Oprah is still conspiring to keep women interested in diets and dating instead of Iraq and the Palestinian peace process. It is not because women demand this type of subject matter. No! It is a conspiracy, argued Friedan. “Kinder, Kuche, Kirche”—it was just like the Nazis, she insisted. The Feminine Mystique overwhelms a woman’s natural ambition to become a welder: “The Feminine Mystique is so powerful that a woman grows up no longer knowing they have the desires and capabilities the mystique forbids.”24
Friedan was convinced that women who marry young and decide to have children have denied their true identity. Identity can only come as a result of pursuing careers that are commonly associated with men. Even women who go into teaching or nursing—careers commonly associated with women—did not cut it with Betty. Until they get out there and square-off with men in the boardrooms and barracks of America, they will never find themselves, they will remain without identity, languishing in their “comfortable concentration camps.”
Basic to the feminist argument is the idea that men and women are, except for obvious biological differences, exactly the same in temperament. The traditional division of labor, the roles that men and women have assumed in history, are completely cultural and arbitrary. According to this argument, it is as likely as not that a given culture could have made warriors of its women and wet nurses of its men. Sure, it could have happened. That women are seen raising children and men waging war is purely arbitrary and has nothing to do with nature.
Freud’s psychology undermined this idea. While Freud allowed a New Woman like Sanger to shed her sexual inhibitions, Friedan believed he also provided philosophical foundation for the Feminine Mystique. “Anatomy is destiny,” Freud famously said. Freudians taught that cultural roles were indeed connected with biological sex; “The concept of ‘penis envy,’ which Freud coined to describe a condition he noticed in women… was seized in this country in the 1940’s as the literal explanation of all that was wrong with women.”25
“Penis envy,” wrote Freud, caused women to feel a sense of inferiority in relation to men. A girl wants the penis she lacks. Consequently, she envies her father and brothers. Only when she gives birth to a baby boy does she acquire a penis. Basically, a woman is a man with something missing, thought Freud. Men, on the other hand, suffer from “castration anxiety,” the fear of losing his penis and becoming a woman. He learns this when he first views the female genitalia. Castration anxiety and penis envy are the two most powerful forces influencing men and women, according to Freud.
Friedan correctly pointed out that while Freud was a good writer and drew attention to some interesting phenomenon, he was essentially a slave to his own bizarre sexuality. He attempted to interpret human psychology while looking through the twisted prism of his own condition. Freud’s biographer said he had an “insatiable sexual curiosity before the age of three, as to what went on between his mother and father in the bedroom.” And his Oedipus Complex was based on the jealousy he felt towards his father, for what he suspected was happening in there. Except for the unnatural affection he showed toward his mother, Freud was extraordinarily chaste in his private life. “Freud’s deviation from the average in this respect, as well as his pronounced bisexuality, may have influenced his rhetorical views,” his biographer thought. Freud’s theories remind one of a “puritanical old maid that sees sex everywhere.” He also believed, for instance, that the persistent idea of incest with one’s sister and mother makes a man “regard the sex act as something degrading that soils and contaminates the body.” Freud was a strange bird indeed.
In the 1940’s, some psychologists cast feminism as a form of political penis envy. Farnham and Lundberg’s Modern Women: The Lost Sex popularized this notion. Higher education, they believed, was indoctrinating women with feminism and the result was that the more education a woman had the less likely she would go on to have children:
the external validity of its political program and
most of its social programs were at its core a deep illness. … The
dominate direction of feminine training and development today
discourages just those traits necessary to the attainment of sexual
pleasure: receptivity and passiveness, the willingness to accept
dependence without fear of resentment, with a deep inwardness and
readiness to accept the final goal of sexual life-impregnation… It
was the essential error of feminists that they attempted to put women
on the essentially male road to exploit, off the female road to
Helene Deutsch’s The Psychology of Women
used the same theme. Deutsch argued that a woman’s nature inclined
her toward “passive nurturing” and a man’s nature inclined him toward “active
exploration.”27 Denying our innate natures led to neurosis, she said.
It was a distortion to educate women away from motherhood, which was a
fulfillment of their true nature.
Functionalism was another threat to feminism. Functionalism drew upon anthropology. It sought to study the basic institutions of society as if they were organs of the body, each different yet serving an essential function in society as a whole. By looking at a large number of different cultures, the functionalists separated those institutions that were basic to all cultures and those practices that were peculiar to the individual culture. What they found was that all cultures assign distinct roles for men and women and no culture practices anything like the equality between the sexes as preached by the egalitarians. Ours is the only culture that exhibits such confusions about the division of labor. In fact they insisted that a policy of absolute equality would destroy the proper functioning of society:
of opportunity is clearly incompatible with any
positive solidarity of the family…. A social order can function only
because the vast majority have somehow adjusted themselves to
their place in society and perform that function expected of them …
The differences in the upbringing of the sexes are obviously
related to their different roles in the adult life. The future homemaker
trains for her role within the home, but the boy prepares for an
independent role outside the home…. A provider will profit by
independence, dominance, aggressiveness, competiveness.28
Margaret Mead’s anthropological studies heavily influenced
functionalism. This is strange because Mead’s first book and her
own life style were so much in line with the feminist ideal of the New
Woman. Her position evolved over time. She started as a Sanger-style
New Woman studying under “Papa” Franz Boaz, a left wing professor at Columbia
University. In her early twenties, Mead set out for Samoa to study
the sexual habits of the natives. Her Coming of Age in Samoa
was really an attempt to undermine traditional Western morality by contrasting
the frigid sexual habits of the Christian West with the supposedly steamy
free-love practices of the Samoans, who were according to Mead completely
uninhibited and sexually active from an extremely young age. In line
with egalitarian orthodoxy, Mead suggested that sex roles were cultural
and arbitrary: “The sexual traits we call masculine and feminine are as
likely linked to sex, as are clothing, the manners, and the forms of head-dress
that a society at a given period assigns to either sex.”29
Then after years of studying different peoples, Mead’s position reversed:
We always find
the same patterning. We know of no culture that has
said, articulately, that there is no difference between men and women
except in the way that they contribute to the next generation; that
otherwise in all respects they are simply human beings with varying
gifts, no one of which can be exclusively assigned to either sex.30
Mead, the quintessential career woman, said
it is difficult for women to pursue both career and family. Both
required different temperaments and it was hard for women to juggle both.
And of the two, motherhood is far more rewarding: “Women are released from
the necessity of breadwinning and are free to devote themselves to the
extremely important matter of homemaking because men specialize in breadwinning….
One may say that together the breadwinner and homemaker form a complementary
Mead later became one of the leading spokespersons for the natural child birth method. Friedan was disgusted by such a betrayal. Instead of counseling women to pursue real careers like her, Mead was turning women into brood-mares. To these women “procreation became a cult, a career, to exclusion of every other kind of human endeavor, until women kept on having babies because they knew no other way to create.”32
Egalitarians continually change their positions. It is often difficult to pin them down. Like all ideologues, they force the facts to fit their current pet theory. If the facts will not fit or if they seem to contradict the theory, they are ignored or discarded. Friedan is no exception in this regard. Remember, it was Engels who said it was Communism’s goal to return to the egalitarian Paradise, were all things were held in common and where the institutions of inequality did not exist. All these institutions, he believed, were the inventions of civilization. Rousseau had beat this same primitivist drum a hundred years before Engels. But Friedan reversed this scheme. She wrote that reason and civilization were in the process of throwing off the roles of sex and all the other institutions of inequality that were bequeathed to us by our primitive ancestors:
knowledge, the increasing potency of human
intelligence, has given us awareness of purposes and goals
beyond the simple biological needs of sex, hunger, and thirst.
Even these simple needs in men and women today, are not the same
as they were in the Stone Age or in the South Sea cultures, because
they are now part of a complex pattern of life.33
To some extent, Friedan is correct. But
that begs the question—even if civilization has modified nature in significant
ways, is it safe for us to overturn the basic division of labor between
the sexes that every culture in the history of the world has found effective
in maintaining social order and cultural continuity? Should we do
this based solely on an abstract theory of sexual equality? Where
is the evidence that such a society will last in the long run—Greenwich
Village, San Francisco, or Paris?
Sanger went on a crusade to liberate women from maternity; Friedan wanted to liberate women from domesticity. Both were highly personal missions. Friedan was in fact the frustrated college graduate she wrote about in her interviews. She got married out of college, had children, and got bored with domesticated life. So, she got a job; divorced her husband; neglected her children; and started the National Organization of Women (NOW) in 1966. She wanted to encourage other women to follow her example. The sole purpose of her book was to make the housewife reader feel like a loser. Her message was: if you are a full-time mother and wife, you are an empty, brainwashed inmate in a comfortable concentration camp. Family must come second to career, kind of like a hobby. You can join the PTA, become a nurse, work as a teacher, and indulge in the occasional infidelity, but until you go out and get a career comparable to your husband’s, you are a loser:
There are aspects
to the housewife role that make it almost
impossible for a woman of adult intelligence to retain a sense
of human identity, the firm core of self or ‘I’ without which a
human being, woman or man, is not truly alive. For women of
ability, in America today, I am convinced there is something about
the housewife state itself that is dangerous… The women who
‘adjust’ as housewives, who grow up wanting to be nothing but a
housewife, are in as much danger as the millions who walked to
their deaths in the concentration camps.34
Even with her subversive attack upon the family,
Friedan still had room for the monogamous marriage, albeit a marriage between
equals, where both had comparable careers and both shared the “burden”
of childcare. Betty was still attracted to men. Curiously,
Friedan held very conservative ideas of homosexuality. She decried
“the homosexuality that is spreading like a fog over the American scene.”35
This is strange coming from the founder of an organization, (NOW), that
is now one of the leading mouthpieces for the lesbian agenda. Betty
Friedan actually believed that the feminine mystique itself was responsible
for the spreading “fog.” The mother of the homosexual male is said
Friedan, “the very paradigm of the feminine mystique, a woman who lives
through her son, whose femininity is used in virtual education of her son,
who attaches her son to herself with such dependence that he can never
mature to have a women, nor can he , often, cope as a adult with a life
of his own. The love of men masks his forbidden excessive love for
his mother; his revulsion to all women is his reaction to the one woman
who kept him from becoming a man.”36
This was Freud’s theory too. While blaming Freud for reinforcing the feminine mystique, Friedan accepted his theory of homosexuality. As a notorious mamma’s boy himself, Freud thought the mother responsible for most cases of male homosexuality:
In all the cases
examined, we have ascertained that the later inverts
go through in their childhood a phase of intense but short-lived
fixation on the woman (usually the mother) and after overcoming
it, they identify themselves with the woman and take themselves as
the sexual object; that is, proceeding on a narcissistic basis, they
look for young men resembling themselves in person whom they
wish to love as their mothers loved them.
Eventually progress eclipsed Friedan’s “reactionary” views on homosexuality. By the early 1970’s, the class-warfare New Woman feminist was back in style. The future leaders of the women’s movement would espouse the man-hating doctrine of the New Woman. At first they were open in their militancy, burning bras and what not; but as they sought mainstream liberal support for their agenda, they emulated Sanger and toned down the rhetoric. But make no mistake, the current leaders of the feminist cause privately think Betty Friedan a bit old fashioned. Andrea Dworkin, Susan Brownmiller, and Kate Millet are the new inspirations. The Feminine Mystique was shelved and Kate Millet’s Sexual Politics was declared the new feminist Bible. Friedan lamented the early attempts to take over NOW by this new breed: “Those who preached the man-hating sex/class warfare feminism threatened to take over the New York NOW and drive out the women who wanted equality, but also wanted to keep loving their husbands and children.”37 Ultimately, she could not stop them and the new direction of feminism was actually a return to the total war message of Mill, Marx, and Engels.
Most parents who send their daughters away
to college usually worry about boyfriends, pre-martial sex, and binge drinking.
But these days there is another all too frequent danger to worry about:
Little Jenny goes away to college with a boyfriend and a poster of Tom
Cruise in the trunk of her Toyota Corolla; but when she comes home for
Spring Break six months later, she has a “girlfriend” with her who wears
flannel shirts, cowboy boots, and spikes her hair like a Marine.
Jenny’s now angry at the world, and she uses the word “patriarchy” in every
other sentence. Little Jenny has been reading Sexual Politics.
Kate Millet’s Sexual Politics is egalitarian thinking carried to its logical conclusion with respect to sexual relations. It is essentially a declaration of war against the family. Of course, Kate Millet’s ideas are derived from John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, and Frederich Engels—the three poisoner’s of culture. In brief, society at the dawn of time was a socialist Utopia. People lived with all things held in common. There was no property in people because conception was still a “mystery.” With the “discovery of paternity,” women and children became a man’s property. Thus, humanity was thrown out of Paradise and into the Dark Ages of patriarchy, hierarchy, and capitalism. To perpetuate the new system of servitude, women and children were brainwashed into believing that their subordinate role and status were a reflection of nature, when in fact it was completely subjective. Objectively, there are no differences, besides anatomical, between the sexes. The categories of “masculine” and “feminine” are arbitrary and cultural and are the result of socialization.
To achieve equality and return to socialist Paradise, all the categories need to be abolished along with those institutions based upon them. The traditional family and monogamous marriage are the chief institutions that must go. Sex will then be free and the children will be raised by the collective. But first the great purge. This is Millet in a nutshell and is typical of Marxism.
Like so many American Marxists, Millet graduated from Colombia University. In many respects, her book is similar to Friedan’s, in that she focuses on how popular culture perpetuates patriarchy through negative female stereotypes. Literary figures such as Henry Miller and D. H. Lawrence, held up by many as beacons of sexual liberation, were actually vicious misogynists who reinforced the patriarchal view of women as objects, there to serve the sexual and reproductive needs of men. However, unlike Friedan, Millet will not countenance monogamous marriage under any circumstances. Men are brutal and cannot be trusted. Sex as practiced for the past thousands of years is just various forms of rape. Marriage is slavery. And children are the shackles used to bind the slave to her lode.
Millet admits that “No matriarchal societies are known to exist…”38 But like a true follower of Engels, this does not stop her from believing in a time before recorded history, a primordial Garden of Eden, where matriarchy ruled and all were equal and everything was held in common. The snake that entered Paradise was the discovery of paternity. Engels called this “the historical defeat of women.”39 The discovery once made turned women into the mere vessels of a man’s seed. It invalidated her role in the creation of life. With paternity, says Millet, male deities replaced the old female deities of fertility. A woman’s authority was reduced in society. The new institution of repression was the family:
chief institution is the family. It is both a mirror of
and a reflection of the larger society; a patriarchal unit within a
patriarchal unit. Mediating between the individual and the racial
structure, the family, effects control and conformity where political
and other authorities are insufficient…40
Millet believes patriarchy’s most potent weapons were the “lies” of gender role, status, and temperament. Here she draws on the thinking of the French transsexual Genet, as expressed in his gender-bending play, "The Balcony." His play tries to make the old point that biological sex is separate from gender role: the one is from nature and is objective; the other is from culture and is subjective. Thus, biology may have equipped one with the anatomy of a man, but it is culture that educates him to become “masculine.” The latter is relative. In Genet’s world one may defy a culture’s gender assignment and choose for himself what role he wishes to take. If so inclined, he can choose the “feminine” role or a combination of both “feminine” and “masculine.” One may be whatever one chooses regardless of biology. Traditionally, gender assignments have been coercive. Civilization, he insists, has forced the generations into the “cage” of gender. Millet shares this view:
obtains consent through ‘socialization’ of both sexes
to basic patriarchal polities with regard to role, temperament, and
status. As status, a pervasive assent to the prejudice of male
superiority guarantees superior status to the male, inferior to the
female. The first item, temperament, involves the formation of human
personality along stereo typical lines of sexual categories
(‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’) based on the needs of the dominant
group and dictated by what its members cherish in themselves and
find convenient in subordinantes: aggression, intelligence, force, and
efficiency in the male; passivity, ignorance, docility, ‘virtue,’ and
inefficiency in the female. This is complimented by a second factor,
sex role, which decrees a consonant and highly elaborate code of
conduct, gesture and attitude for each sex. In terms of activity sex
role assigns domestic service and attendance of infants to
women, the rest of human achievement, interest, and ambition to the
Millet contends that women are deliberately
groomed as a class of slaves to care for patriarchy’s men and have their
children. It is a conspiracy as old as mankind. While women
have been consigned to a role that strictly conforms to her animal biology—having
and raising babies—men have monopolized all of those endeavors that define
us as humans. Patriarchal religions—Christianity, Judaism, Islam—have
created myths of the “feminine” and “masculine” and teach that gender roles
are in keeping with nature. However, like the myths that defined
roles of race and class, the sex roles are just as arbitrary and unjust.
In fact, says Millet, these sex role definitions are contradicted by nature.
Stroller’s Sex and Gender provided more “proof” that sex and gender are separate things. According to Stroller, the “core gender identity” is established by eighteen months, but actually was something that happened after birth: “Sex is a term that has psychological significance, and therefore cultural rather than biological connotations… gender role is determined by post-natal forces, regardless of the anatomy and the physiology of the external genetalia.”42
While contending that gender is relative and not connected to nature, Millet and Stroller have a hard time explaining why virtually every known culture has chosen to assign men the role of the breadwinner and women the role of mother. They still insist that gender assignment is the biggest brainwashing scheme in history:
biological foundations appear to be so very
insecure, one has some cause to admire the strength of a
‘socialization’ which can continue a universal condition ‘on faith
alone,’ as it were, or through an acquired value system exclusively….
In matter of conformity, patriarchy is a governing ideology without
peer; it is possible that no other system has ever exercised such a
complete control over its subjects.43
Another curious example of ideologues molding
facts to fit their beliefs is the current argument used to normalize homosexuality.
They start from the opposite premise than Stroller. To Stroller,
gender was relative and the result of socialization; therefore, it was
changeable. In Stroller’s view homosexuality should be normalized.
But if Stroller’s premise was adopted by conservatives who view homosexuality
as abnormal, according to his premise homosexuals could be changed with
the proper socialization. Bad idea Stroller! Today, those who seek
to normalize homosexuality have changed their premise entirely. The
Strollers of the world now look for biological evidence of homosexuality.
Their latest theory is that male children born to mothers that have already
had several male children before are not bathed in the necessary amounts
of testosterone in the womb, so they end up playing with Barbie dolls instead
of GI Joe.
The sex drive that has paired men and women from the beginning of time is “almost entirely the product of learning… even as to the object of sexual choice, which are set up for us by our social environment.”44 The fact is, says Millet, monogamy and polygamy is incompatible with a woman’s sex drive. Women are natural wildcats and prefer not to be tied down to one man. Recent research suggests women prefer group sex:
The female possesses,
biologically and in heredity, a far greater
capacity for sexuality than the male, both as to the frequency of
coitus, and as to the frequency of orgasm in coition…. Given a
woman’s extraordinary biological potentiality for sexual arousal
and pleasure, no form of sexual association would have satisfied
it less than monogamy and polygamy; none more than group
All slave systems require institutions of control, writes Millet. Chains need to be applied and kept in place where formal authorities are absent. The family is a woman’s overseer. Millet theorizes in line with Engels and opposite to Friedan that as the state increases in power and takes over many of the functions of the family, the power of women declines: civilization is bad; primitivism is good. Still, even as the state grows, the family remains the primary institution of patriarchy. And much to Millet’s consternation, every Utopian attempt to replace the family has failed:
is no biological reason why the two central functions
of the family, (socialization and reproduction), need be inseparable
from or even take place within it, revolutionary or Utopian attempts to
remove these functions from the family have all been frustrated, so
beset by difficulties, that most experiments so far have involved a
gradual return to tradition. This is strong evidence how basic a form
patriarchy is within societies, and how persuasive its effects is upon
A good feminist should not be disturbed by reality, however. The family must still go despite its survival through the centuries. Utopia depends upon this. Every other institution of inequality is propped up by the family. Unless the family goes, all reform is futile:
And yet radical
social change cannot take place without having an
effect upon patriarchy…. Marriages are financial alliances, and each
household operates as an economic entity much like a corporation.
As one student of the family states it, ‘the family is the keystone of
stratification system, the social mechanism, by which it is
To affect revolution, all definitions of “masculine” and “feminine” must be reexamined by leaving the bad and keeping the good. None of this can occur “without drastic effect upon the patriarchal proprietary family. The abolition of sex role and the complete economic independence of women would undermine both its authority and financial structure. An important corollary would be the end of the present chattel status and denial of rights to minors.” On the ruins of the family, the collective will then institute “the professionalization (and consequent improvement) of the care of the young, also this would further undermine family structure while contributing to the freedom of women. Marriage might generally be replaced by voluntary association….”48 But before anything can be accomplished:
The sexual revolution
would require, perhaps first of all, an end to
traditional sexual inhibitions and taboos; particularly those that most
threaten patriarchal monogamous marriage: homosexuality,
‘illegitimacy,’ adolescent, pre-marital, and extra-marital sexuality…
The goal of revolution would be a permissive single standard of
Viewed from this perspective, it is easy to see why the American Left has been so persistent in promoting a sexually “permissive” lifestyle over the last four decades. It is not as much about individual freedom as it is an attempt to lay the ground work for a new definition of sex and family. It is very, very important that one read Millet’s last quote when trying to put the current debate over homosexual marriage into perspective. The current move to normalize homosexuality and make gay marriage legal has less to do with individual choice and more to do with destroying the moral foundations of the traditional monogamous family. Also, it is clear that the tenacity with which radical feminists protect abortion-on-demand has less to do with individual “choice” than it does with destroying the traditional family and replacing it with a new one. Abortion is needed as a weapon in a war for female emancipation:
through abortion, through contraception, the sexual
revolution has undermined marriage. So long as every female,
simply by virtue of her anatomy, is obliged, even forced, to be the
sole or primary caretaker of childhood, she is prevented from being
a free human being. The care of children even from the period when
their cognitive powers first emerge, is infinitely better left to the best
trained practitioners of both sexes who have chosen it as a
vocation… the family, as that term is presently understood, must go.
In view of the institution’s history, that is a kind fate.50
Victory is not far off. Millet sees women
as the oldest and largest of the “oppressed groups.” As such, women
are the “revolutionary base,” the vanguard for the larger struggle against
the Man. Fighting shoulder-to-shoulder women, minorities, youth,
and the poor can go a long way toward “realizing not only sexual revolution,
but a gathering impetus toward freedom from rank or prescriptive role,
sexual or otherwise.”51
Kate Millet is not on the fringe of the feminist movement. But when they speak to the American people in support of such issues as “abortion rights,” they use the classical liberal language of “individual rights,” “choice,” and “privacy.” Such is merely a front. A quick read of Sexual Politics reveals that Millet and her type have no respect for these classical liberal concepts. Millet is a collectivist. She does not recognize individual rights. In a world where feminists like Millet hold power, they will not only invade your privacy and remove your choice, they will outlaw the family entirely and institute a regime of oppression that begins in the cradle and ends in the grave. Imagine a world where monogamous marriage is outlawed, where people copulate like dogs, and where children are raised exclusively in community nurseries by “professionals.” Once through the looking glass of distortion applied by their leftist allies in the media, feminists are seen for what they really are—pure nihilists.
It does not matter that most women in the West instinctively reject Millet’s extremism. Because even though feminists like Millet are a small minority among women, their determination makes up for their small numbers, and consequently, they wield power and influence far out of proportion to their actual numbers. Hate is a tremendous motivator. And nothing produces hatred like the conviction that society itself is one big conspiracy. Poisoned by a rotten ideology and armed with advanced degrees from the best universities, the typical feminist will find her way to the law, to politics, to education, and to the media. She will find a place where she can reach the largest audience. Here she will also find allies—fellow leftwing travelers—who will help her advance the cause. Thus, feminists control every Women’s Studies program in this country; they dominate most of the women’s political interest groups; they are the driving force behind the so-called “pro-choice” movement. In addition, feminists dominate Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), and they are represented in the media, education policy groups, and teachers associations. New “sensitizing” curriculum for boys that seeks to socialize “aggression” out of them by having them play with Barbie Dolls, is right out of Millet’s gender-bending play book. So too is the attempt to normalize homosexuality by giving grade-schoolers such books as: Heather Has two Mommies by Leslea Newman and Diane Souza. From these positions of power, feminists have a tremendous influence on American culture.
Feminism from Wollstonecraft to Millet has followed
the same course as many of the emancipation movements. First, women
wanted equality before the law and the vote. Both of these reforms
used classical liberal arguments. Naturally, most women remained
in the home. This division of labor assigned women the traditional
role of wife and mother and thus kept women in a state of social inequality,
argued the egalitarians. Therefore, the family itself and its cultural
underpinnings had to go. An abstract theory of equality of the sexes
morphed into open warfare against life itself.
Our acquiescence to lies has caused so many of our problems today. With respect to equality between the sexes, everyone, conservatives and liberals alike, must pay lip-service to the Enlightenment ideal of abstract human equality. Even those conservatives, who attempt to point out those disagreeable facts that keep getting in the way of this ideal, are forced to start with, “Of course men and women are equal. But….” Personally, I have always felt that the Enlightenment was overrated, so let us be ruthless with the facts. Men and women are not equal. Philosophy may consider them equal in an abstract sense for the sake of argument; theologians may assert that all souls are equal before the judgment seat of God. A society may arbitrarily choose to treat men and women equally in any number of situations—before the law, in employment, and in education. But the fact remains that nature has equipped men and women with very different tools in the struggle of life. This in itself leaves men and women very unequal.
In order to survive, every culture in the history of the world has created a division of labor in society and assigned men and women different roles based on these natural inequalities. Nature has equipped women primarily for procreation, so cultures have assigned women the role that reflects that reality. Men are, on the other hand, built primarily for intensive action, and thus have traditionally been assigned as fighters, hunters, and workers. Together, the sexes have functioned as a team creating human society. Cultures develop forms that are true to their identity, that have proven successful in keeping them alive. This is called “organic culture.” That all known cultures have defined gender roles along the same general lines is proof that they are indeed founded on nature. Conversely, that no culture has made gender roles absolutely relative, and survived, is proof that feminism is a lie. Civilization and technology can modify nature, but it will never change the basic dispositions and the need for the division of labor in human society in order to ensure new generations and cultural continuity. The sexes are complimentary. That is why virtually all cultures have viewed the male-female couple as one complete being, inseparable and dependent on one another. To separate men and women into warring camps is to make war on the human species. This is feminism.
A woman’s anatomy is devoted almost exclusively to reproduction. Humans are complicated organisms. To reproduce requires an intensive biological commitment, more intensive than most mammals. Most mammals require less time in the womb and less care after birth. The males of most species leave the female soon after mating occurs. The rest of the work is up to the mother. She can support herself during pregnancy, and she can care for the young after birth with little or no social support. This is not the same with humans. They require shelter, clothing, and a complicated diet. They are more vulnerable to diseases and the rigors of the environment. And the skills humans need to survive are acquired not just from instinct, but primarily through a long twenty-year process of socialization and education. In order to accomplish all this, a woman needs social support during and after pregnancy. Without this support, human life would not be possible. This support has been provided primarily by men. The women and their offspring rely on men for security, material support, food, heavy work, and leadership. Besides providing sperm, the man plays no other biological role in reproduction. His frame is built for heavy activity. A woman’s anatomy, on the other hand, is a very complex reproductive organism. Thus, the need to procreate, survive, and socialize the young have required a division of labor. Roles are assigned based on natural dispositions.
Biology definitely affects gender roles and temperament. Millet’s assertion that such is strictly cultural and arbitrary is absurd. The sex hormones, testosterone and estrogen, and their effect upon behavior, are not mentioned anywhere in Millet’s book. The fact is sex roles are built on the biological dispositions and the temperamental differences caused by these hormones. From the time we are in the womb, we are awash in estrogen if female or testosterone if male. Throughout our lives, these hormones will have a tremendous effect on our behavior and temperament.
Most scientists that do not have an agenda agree that testosterone is the primary cause of those behaviors commonly called “masculine.” Under the influence of testosterone, boys are far more aggressive than girls. Boys play in groups with a definite pecking-order based upon physical prowess and strength. Competition and rank are the dynamics of the boy’s group. They brag endlessly about their toughness, strength, and ability. Boys are drawn to images and symbols of power—machines, weapons, and physical activity. Physical violence and risky behavior are seen at an early age. As they reach adolescence, testosterone levels increase dramatically and these behaviors become more pronounced. Young men are far more likely to engage in violence, risky behavior, even criminal behavior. They are far more likely to break the rules of society. Males take to math and science because these subjects are analytical and action-based. After puberty and when testosterone levels rise, males are equipped with a tremendous sexual drive. This causes innumerable stupidities and vices. Prostitution and pornography, for instance, are basically male phenomenon. Porn-pushers, pimps, and strip clubs would go out of business if they had to rely on an exclusively female market. Among primitive cultures, warring over women is the most common type of violence. A trip to the local honky-tonk on any given Saturday night will reveal that things have changed very little in this respect. A man’s hormones have prepared him for independent action. The very definition of a man is him having a plan, seeing it through to completion, and enjoying the sense of accomplishment that goes with his success. “A man without a plan is no man,” said a philosopher. Naturally, men have been the traditional representatives of the social group because his hormonal disposition prepares him for independent action and directs his vision outward toward nature and other social groups.
The tendency toward independent volition is more commonly seen in males. Culture has merely built on a hormonal foundation and sought to cultivate it for the good of society. Margaret Mead correctly pointed out that one of the crucial problems of culture is how best to channel this independent streak in males toward constructive ends. If this independence is cultivated correctly, it can advance society. However if this independent streak is incorrectly cultivated or left to its own devices, it can tear society apart. It is a timeless truth in all cultures that men need to be “settled down.” Women and family have always played a crucial role in this settling process.
In the school yard, you will notice two things: in the far corner are groups of boys who are plotting some manner of rebellion against school rules; and standing closer to the teacher are the girls who are absorbed with watching those “bad” boys, so they can promptly inform their teacher about their latest insurrection. Boys have a natural independent streak and are several times more likely to defy the rules of society than girls. Girls, on the other hand, are naturally social, so they follow the rules. At its worst, the rebellious nature of males leads to crime. The large numbers of male prisons are monuments to this fact. And the vast majority of male inmates are incarcerated in their late teens or early twenties, when testosterone levels are at their peak. It is a fact when men reach their thirties, their tendency toward crime and violence decrease drastically.
But if cultivated correctly, this rebel can be turned into a leader of society. To be an effective leader ultimately requires independent volition. Males take to this naturally. Often leadership requires a defiance of accepted rules and practices, rebellion from the established norms. Very few really revolutionary, creative acts have occurred without its creator having to rebel against the accepted authority and standards, or at least rearranging the rules and standards in a creative fashion. Racked by civil war for over a century, Rome could no longer function as a republic. A man on horseback was needed. It was Caesar who risked exile, execution, and failure in crossing the Rubicon to found an empire that would last for five hundred years. In the 1790’s, the Jacobins virtually destroyed all social order in France. Power descended into the streets where the demagogue of the month ruled, so long as the mob was at his back. With unwavering resolve, Napoleon crushed the mob, brought social order to France, and ushered in the modern era for all of Europe. Copernicus and Galileo risked ostracism or worse for their cosmological system. Sometimes the system is corrupt, the authorities morally bankrupt. One needs to speak-up and risk torture, prison, and death. Martin Luther pointed to corruption in the church. When he was ordered to recant, he stood before the Holy Roman Emperor and declared, “Here I stand. I shall not recant.” William Walker accepted the hangman’s noose because he refused to give up his claim to the presidency of Nicaragua. The men of 1776 signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well it could have been their death warrants that they were signing. Most of the kings and learned men of Europe thought there was no way to cross the Atlantic Ocean, but Columbus defied them all and set sail into what most believed was certain death. So it was with a thousand leaders, inventors, explorers, creators. They braved ostracism, poverty, prison, torture, death because they were convicted by an idea and were determined to see it through to the end, society be damned. They were convinced that they were right and everyone else was wrong. These brave souls cleared the way for the rest of us, they ushered in the future that the rest of us cannot see.
There is, however, a thin line between genius and insanity, heroism and criminality. At his core this creative rebel is that school boy plotting in the corner of the playground. This trait of independent volition is a very male thing. Females rarely exhibit that something that says to the world, “This is my idea, my plan. I’m right. I will not reverse my course no matter the consequences.” Women stay closer to safety; they are more inclined to cooperation, to social conformity, and to deference.
The preceding pages seem to belie this fact. After all, I just finished discussing the various feminist “rebels.” This is only on the surface. Feminism is an offshoot of the larger egalitarian ideas that were hatched in the poisonous brains of men such as Rousseau, Baboef, Mill, Marx, and Engels. Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication was an imitation of the French Rights of Man. Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s Seneca Falls Declaration mimicked the Declaration of Independence. Sanger followed in the wake of the pervert Ellis. Friedan used conventional feminist ideas for her Feminine Mystique, ideas that were around at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Millet was a typical Marxist. If there was no larger egalitarian movement, feminism, as we know it, would not exist. Feminism was a logical metastasis of egalitarianism. No other culture has allowed the disease of egalitarianism to spread into the home. Most cultures are fortunate never to experience this disease or they deal appropriately with it before it has a chance to infect the family.
The privilege of leadership has not always been a bed of roses for men, though. Men have paid a heavy price for their willful natures. If you go to Arlington, you will notice that those buried there are almost all men. And if you were to ask them if they preferred to die in the mud of Flanders or the snow of the Ardennes, most would say they would rather have died at eighty in bed. Travel around the Amazon or Papua New Guinea in areas experiencing heightened tribal warfare and you will notice a small ratio of men to women. On average, men die younger and live far more stressful lives than women. They are also more likely to live bitter, dissipated, angry, disappointing lives. Exclusively male societies—Old West mining towns, Army barracks, prisons—are cold, indifferent, unforgiving places. In contrast, women more often live longer because of family life, have deeper loving relationships, and usually die in bed with loved ones at their side. Even in areas where there is inadequate or primitive medicine, where death in childbirth is common, women live longer and less stressful lives. Every girl grows up with the knowledge that society generally looks out for her safety more than it does for boys. Though unfortunately it is not always observed, society usually makes physical assault on females a taboo. Boys go through life knowing they can loose teeth for misspoken words. When the Titanic went down, they had only enough life boats for half the passengers. And who were first in line? Women and children were saved first. Most of the men ended up as North Atlantic popsicles. Women have generally had it pretty good.
Estrogen drives women in the opposite direction, inside the social group. Girls do not like competitive groups. They prefer one-on-one friendships more. Throughout their lives girls almost always have “best friends,” with whom they share, nurture, and talk endlessly. They do not like confrontations, physical violence, for they prefer cooperation to competition. Only later after puberty will they compete for boys. Weapons, machines, and displays of power do not usually attract their interest. They prefer things of beauty, grace, and “cuteness.” They are less inclined to analytical things, but are more verbally inclined than their male counterparts. Girls learn to speak and write earlier and are better communicators than are boys. This generally is especially true when it comes to communicating emotions. Boys prefer to hide their emotions behind a thick exterior; girls are absolutely obsessed with such emotional “sharing.” At puberty their hormones drive them to attract a mate. Consequently, girls become highly self-conscious about physical beauty and they use makeup, clothes, and jewelry to compliment their physical attributes. Young women derive immense pleasure from preening their beauty feathers and helping other females preen theirs. They are naturally tactile; men, on the other hand, generally do not like touching other men in an affectionate way. The sex drives of men and women are different: a woman wants to be wanted-passive enticement; a man simply wants active pursuit. To women, sex is secondary to emotional connection; with men, sex is primary. Females are modest and do not like overt displays of sexuality. And contrary to Millet, women do not like casual encounters. What women want more than anything else are deep long lasting interpersonal relationships with children, spouses, family, and friends. A female’s vision is focused inside the social group; she is the more social half of the species. The fact is, a woman’s hormonal disposition, rouses her to care far more about other people than do men. This is why they make better mothers, caretakers, counselors, teachers, etc. They are absolute suckers for the weak, wounded, those in need of help, which is the way it should be.
The roles of sex have evolved to accommodate these hormonal dispositions and ultimately have been in the best interest of each sex. The institutions that feminists see as repressive are, in fact, the creations of women themselves, through a kind of early feminism. Even though it has always been in the power of men to take women as slaves, they generally have not. Why is this so? They had mothers who loved them, and they want the same for their children too. They want companions, not cringing slaves. Women have acted as a civilizing force on men in this respect. And it was through the efforts of women that the institutions of marriage, dowry, virginity, courtship were evolved. Marriage ensures that a man will be there to provide security and support for the woman and her offspring. Remember, men are naturally polygamous. Early societies were almost always polygamous—one man with a few wives. The advance to monogamy curtailed a man’s sex drive, limited the number of his offspring, and concentrated his energies toward the upkeep of one woman and her offspring.
Women have a far greater involvement in sex. They are liable to pregnancy and that in turn requires a tremendous commitment. Holding men responsible through courtship customs that prevented premarital sex and required marriage vows before sexual relations, ensured that a woman’s interests were protected should pregnancy take place. Women protected themselves and their future children by keeping overheated men at bay and insisting that they meet certain requirements before marriage. Their virginity and dowries increased their worth in the eyes of male suitors and therefore often elicited more financially secure mates. And that most hated of institutions, the arranged marriage, took the search for a mate out of the hands of young lovers, who were often too blinded by passions, and placed it in the hands of more experienced elders. These elders were looking to the future when youthful passions wore off and practical considerations took over. None of these arranged marriages were perfect. No human institution has ever been perfect.
All of these institutions obligated a man to look after the interests of his female relatives. A network of security was supposed to protect a woman at every stage of her life. A father looked after his daughter. Brothers protected the honor of their sisters. A husband was obligated to care for his wife. And mothers in their old age could count on the care of their faithful sons. Women depended on this circle of protection. Men were supposed to protect women, not oppress them. Women were the chief architects of these institutions. Oh, you will notice the word “dependence” here. This is where feminists find fault. All this paternalism was a pretext for oppression, they argue. Women are fully equal to men and can take care of themselves; they do not need protection.
Like all egalitarians, feminists begin their argument from the normative conditions of civilization with its established and enforced laws. They ignore the origins of society and the world outside civilization, and the base of human nature which will never recognize civilization and reason as superior to its will. Outside the cocoon of law and order provided by civilization is the reality of naked competition which is the “State of Nature,” as Hobbes called it. There is only one law out there: the strong dominate the weak in a naked clash of wills—“The war of all against all.”52
The mother of social arrangements is war, meaning all social arrangements inside civilization are ultimately relative to the survival of that civilization itself. Naked competition, war, between human groups is the foundation stone upon which all societies are built. Ultimately, a nation’s security is in its war powers or the war powers of its allies. Societies rest upon the spear points, guns, and graves of its warriors. If you want to see where the United States gets its right to exist, do not go to the Library of Congress and read the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, do not visit the Capitol or the White House; go instead to Valley Forge and Gettysburg, go to Arlington, and look at the white stones there. The sacrifices made by these brave warriors buried under these stones and who engaged in naked competition are the sources of America’s sovereignty and all the blessings that flow out of it, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Congress, and the Presidency. For without their victories, there would be a different social arrangement in this country—one based on the will of those whom the gods favored in battle.
The philosophers and Natural Lawyers refuse to admit this, but like it or not, they are at liberty and peace to engage in their debates because of the soldiers and law enforcers that have solved a previous debate with weapons not words. Political power is the ability to control a person or people. It is certainly true that within civilization, the word, the law, the use and possession of moral authority provides the basis for community cooperation and those who wield these things effectively have great power. However, society itself is ultimately secured and its laws upheld through the use of force. Without force the nation and its laws cannot exist. Don’t believe me? Then remove the armies and cops, the jails and prisons, the prosecutors and judges. Do this and you will see from whence social order comes.
The state has its origins in military organization. To be a great band leader, a great chief, or a great king, one had to first be a great warrior. Only later, for very good reasons, were civilian and military organization separated to give efficiency and perspective to government. But they function as a team. No state, however, can shake its origins: the military-law enforcement arm of the state is the indispensable portion. Without it the state cannot defend its sovereignty or enforce its laws. Governments have existed as straight military orders, but not the reverse. Civilian government without military or police support is a debating society. Sovereignty is ultimately secured by force.
As the essential work in society, military duty has traditionally come with the privilege of leadership. Those who could not fight could not lead. Women and children cannot fight; they are not equipped physically or spiritually for war. So the leadership positions in all social groups were accorded to the traditional class of fighters: men. There are exceptions; some women have a taste for combat. However, this is not about exceptions. I am aware that the Soviets and Israelis briefly experimented with women in combat and the American military is now dedicated to an integrated force. But the Soviets and Israelis, for the most part abandoned their experiments. And America’s present status as a world power was acquired at Normandy and Iwo Jima, by an all male force. Its current experiment with women in the military is a case of social engineers indulging in egalitarian fantasies at the expense of national security. The more they indulge, the weaker the military becomes, and the more vulnerable is America’s sovereignty.
There is only one area of American society that remains untouched by the sex egalitarians: professional sports. Professional sports, especially the big three—baseball, basketball, football—are ruthlessly segregated by sex. Every now and then feminists talk about introducing women into all-male professional sports. Recently prayers were offered up to egalitarian heaven when Michelle Wei tried to make the cut for the men’s PGA tour. However, all the tried and true feminist arguments fall on deaf ears when it comes to professional sports. The tripe about absolute equality, about sex roles being relative to socialization, about the relativity of upper-body strength—all hold no water with sport fans. That the Navy Seals need women is one thing, but hell will freeze over when a woman takes the court next to Steve Nash. Why is this?-Because Americans take their sports seriously. The leftists can integrate the military—that’s fine—but they dare not touch the inner-sanctum of the NFL or the NBA. That Affirmative Action is jeopardizing national security is of no concern to most Americans, but the sports gods will forever curse our nation if a woman takes the field on Super Bowl Sunday.
Like it or not, women as a class, are dependents in a way men are not. “With protection goes obedience,” said the old Roman proverb. Women fill, maintain, and control the nest. Men provide protection and material support. In return for protection, women give obedience. It is a simple quid pro quo. The essentials are seen in all cultures for good reason—it works. All things considered, it has been an effective arrangement.
That one half of humanity has been held in a state of slavery by the other half is absurd. History does not work that way. Despite the changes over the past one hundred years, women and children are still as dependent as they were ten thousand years ago. The only thing that has changed are those doing the protecting. Fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons provided protection to women for thousands of years. As formal states arose, protection was divided between the immediate male relatives and the laws of the state. The survival of the state and its laws, however, was still in the hands of male armies and male law enforcers. Then, with the advent of the modern welfare state, many of the protections formerly provided by immediate male relatives now became the responsibility of the state. The nanny-state is a woman’s new family. She is now armored with a vast array of social welfare programs and protective laws. Pervasive propaganda encourages her to proclaim her “independence” from the old family and marry into the new welfare state. But make no mistake; her “independence” is completely dependent on the survival of the nanny-state. And the nanny-state is just as dependent on male warriors today as was the clan or tribe thousands of years ago. The feminist “revolution” and the “victories” it has won are actually the concessions of a society steeped in egalitarian ideas. Little has changed in this respect. Marriage and the other institutions that protected women for thousands of years were concessions as well. The formula of protection and obedience has not changed one whit.
If women were really held in slavery against their will and contrary to their interests, and brainwashed into accepting the unwanted role of wife and mother, the pages of history would be filled with actual revolutions. We would read about enumerable female George Washington’s and their Amazonian Armies smashing down constitutions and erecting new ones. But in four thousand years of recorded history, there is not one instance of this kind of sexual revolution, nor is there one example of the fabled matriarchate of leftwing mythology. The will has never subjected itself for too long to what it sees as arbitrary injustice. It will eventually revolt and establish a new order to its liking. That is what history teaches. The Helots resisted their Spartan masters; Spartacus raised his sword to mighty Rome; virtually every empire in history has had to cope with resistance movements. But there is not one sexual revolution of the sort Millet suggests is justified. Feminist advances in Russia, Israel, England, and America are not revolutions. They are the concessions of male created male protected societies. Whether women vote, hold political office, own or dispose of property has always been relative to this existential fact. Women have lived in dependence because they require it.
Life among the inmates in a male prison is a good example of the anarchic system, the state of nature outside of civilization. The average inmate is actually a muscular tattooed child that has never learned or was never taught the basic rules of civilization. He holds very few laws sacred and acts on base human instinct. Strength and weakness is the dynamic. Force is the only thing most inmates respect. If one inmate will not fight, he is often prey for those who can and will. If he cannot form defensive alliances with other inmates, he is vulnerable. Some inmates are able through strength or “prestige” to exist without having to align with the groups (independents). Elemental forms of similarity are the basis of the cooperative groups: race, language, and origins. What little moral authority there is exists within the groups. Outside the group, there is naked competition. Society emerges out of a similar system of anarchy and defensive alliances. It maintains itself through force in the face of that system with its armies, cops, courts, and jails. The anarchic system is the base; society is relative to that base.
If one wanted to test the feminist theory of absolute equality between the sexes, he could place, as Ruth Bader Ginsburg has suggested doing, a woman in a male prison. Ginsburg’s fantasies not withstanding, if a woman were placed in the general population of San Quentin or Angola Farm, she could not survive as independent, and because she cannot fight, she would not be accepted as an equal in any of the cooperative groups. She would be forced to take her place as a dependent. And in exchange for protection, she would need to offer something in trade. It does not require much imagination to guess what that something would be. The “social contract,” between the sexes begins there: protection and obedience. Imagine the difference between courtship and marriage, both of which place considerable requirements on the male suitor or spouse, compared to the straight, naked subjection as would occur in a prison, where the male protector can choose to take what he wants and give her nothing in return. A type of feminism has indeed been going on for thousands of years. It took millennia for women to evolve their relations with men. That is the real history of feminism. It is the story of protection and obedience, importuning and concession.
To some extent all of us are dependent on social support. Women and children, however, are natural dependents, for without the security provided by men, they could not survive. Lately, dependency has been given a bad name, but actually it is the origin of the social virtues. It is hard for humans to love an abstraction. One can claim to love humanity, the planet, the animals or what have you; but for most of us, true love comes out of a long personal relationship with another human being that we can see, hear, and touch. Love is consciously placing another’s interests before your own. “Love your neighbor as your self,” as the Christian ethic expresses it. This is difficult for us because our most powerful, natural instinct is self-preservation, self-interest. Placing another’s interest before our own can only happen as a result of conscious human choice.
Love is a uniquely human thing. Because they lack self-consciousness, animals cannot love in the same way. The animal mother, for instance, will instinctively protect her young right up to the point of sacrificing her own life. She will go no further. If it comes down to her life or the lives of her young, her self-preservation will kick in and she will abandon her young. Likewise, animals do not “care” for their young in a conscious way. Instinct causes the mother to nurture her young for only a specific, predetermined period of time. When that period is up, she will kick them out of the nest, never thereafter concerning herself with whatever became of her brood. Bears do not return to visit their parents, and do not put aging relatives in rest homes, or leave an individual memorial when their “loved-ones” dies. Burial practices are strictly a human thing. Human mothers, on the other hand, quite often make the conscious choice to sacrifice themselves for their children. And it’s quite common to find forty-year-olds living at home with their parents. This holds true for all other human relations as well. Humans love their children consciously, and they recognize them as individuals, even, after death in memories that animals lack.
Dependency more often than not teaches us to love, for the common trait of love is doing for another when we do not feel like it. At first, self-preservation forces us to do a thing for another because we depend upon them, but after awhile, we do for them without our self-preservation forcing us to do so. Our powerful memories have imprinted them into our minds and we are able to make the conscious choice to put their interests ahead of our own. Dependency thus teaches us to love. The more existentially dependent, the more love. The bond of love between mother and child is by far the strongest in the human experience. Why is this so? The bond between mother and child contains the greatest amount of dependency as compared to all other human relationships. The child is completely dependent on the mother for his or her survival. Influenced by maternal instinct and culture and the habit of caring for the child over a number of years, the mother begins to consciously identify the child’s interests with her own. She cannot do without her child’s love. Her happiness is dependent on the child’s happiness. Social bonds of dependency and consequent love expand outward from the mother-child relationship. A wife depends on her husband for security and support; a husband depends on his wife for offspring, care and support; a child depends on his parents for security, support, and socialization; an elderly person depends on the young for care and support. Love comes of dependency.
I know, that is not too romantic, and it is certainly not Hollywood’s definition of love. This sounds nothing like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Tinsel town and the poets have for age’s deliberately confused sexual attraction for love. Sexual attraction is animalistic, instinctual, and lasts for just a season; love is hard work and human, but it lasts for an eternity. While sexual attraction may feel good for that brief season when it drives men and women together, romance is not love. Love usually begins when the fires of romance start to smolder slowly, when the learning to live and depend on one another begins. Love is an elderly couple that has stayed together despite many rough patches in the marriage. Love happens when a mother cleans, feeds, and stays up all night with her crying infant, even on those occasions when she no longer feels like doing so. Love is a soldier in a battle who stays to aid his comrades, even when his natural instincts urge him to run away. Love happens as a result of having to care for, cooperate with, and depend on another person, despite your oftentimes not wanting to.
Egalitarians will not tolerate all this “co-dependency” because it forces one to subordinate his or her interests to the needs of the organic group. With so many different organic groups evolving their own conditions of subordination, inequality, especially for the weaker and more dependent members, is inevitable. Women, as natural dependents, have traditionally had to subordinate themselves to their male relatives. In all hierarchal systems, there are abuses, the family being no exception. At its core, egalitarianism teaches that all persons—regardless of sex, race, age, religion—are unequivocally equal. Not only should they have equality of opportunity, as in classical liberalism, but the primary purpose of society ought to be to create equality of condition. It should smash down all barriers to equality of outcome. Thus, the primary enemies of egalitarians are those antiquated organic groups, those systems of dependency that force the subordination of the weak to the strong.
That people are dependent on social support is a given, say the egalitarians. What is needed from their perspective is to remove the old organic social groups and replace them with one collective system that will level the playing field of life, so that all will have equality in every conceivable situation. There will be no natural dependents; all will be dependent equally on one system. There will be no organic roles or expectations foisted on one because of sex, race, age, religion. One amorphous system, one “Big Brother” will provide a safety-net of dependence, especially for such dependents as women. It will replace the old dependence on husband, brothers, and sons. This, they say, will ensure that no arbitrary abuses occur. “Big Brother” will compensate for one’s weakness; and to ensure against abuses, “Big Brother will curtail one’s natural strengths. Only then will everyone be truly equal.
First, the old dependencies must go, especially the family. Women are now encouraged to break themselves free of “co-dependency,” on husband and children. The new family will support them. “Big Brother” will protect you when natural catastrophes strike, when financial ruin occurs. When you are pregnant with child, when you divorce your “slave-driver” of a husband and you take the children, “Big Brother” will be there to support you. When you are old and no longer capable of fending for your self, don’t worry because “Big Brother” will escort you to your grave in comfort. “Big Brother” will be there “from cradle to grave,” said FDR. “Big Brother” will be there to take over the role of the family with a whole host of gender neutral, racially neutral, culturally neutral laws, regulations, and agencies. This is the great dream of the egalitarians.
The problem with this scheme is when you knock the individual free from the old personal dependencies and transfer it to an anonymous system of laws, you extinguish many of the social virtues that accompanied these circles of dependency. When women no longer depend on their husbands, and husbands no longer depend on their wives, and the elderly no longer depend on their children, chances are those bonds of love will fade away as well. Just one glance at our loveless, selfish society confirms this diagnosis. The individual today is independent of personal connections; his only real connection is with the anonymous system as a whole. All other relationships are casual and utterly conditional. Most marriages end in divorce because of “incompatibility.” Siblings are mere acquaintances. Children no longer listen to their parents. Instead they model their behavior on the likes of Eminem, 50 Cent, and Christina Aguilera. Preachers, politicians, and community leaders are all phonies. We all see society becoming more callous and amoral. There is no family in America today; we are all just autonomous grains of sand because we are completely cut-off from personal relationships.
For women, who are hormonally disposed to deep interpersonal relationships, the feminist movement has been a betrayal. One look at the loveless, lined face of the long time feminist reveals deep bitterness and loneliness. Feminists told women to break free of men and children. Once free of this circle of dependency, women could actualize their true potentials, discover their true identities in careers commonly associated with men. The welfare state enabled them to do this. Friendly divorce laws, custody laws, paternalistic criminal laws, affirmative action laws and programs, and welfare programs gave women special protection. And contraception and abortion rights allowed women to avoid the “disability” of pregnancy. A woman could then have a sex life like a profligate man, if she wanted. Feminism and the welfare state fitted her out as a quasi-man.
But is the modern woman as happy now as her grandmother who was married at twenty and had six children and twenty-five grandchildren? Today, the average middle-class woman tries to live up to the basic feminist ideal: she finishes college and tries to establish a career before thinking about marriage and children. Her hormones and natural disposition, however, push her in the opposite direction. She wants children and a loving husband, but pursuing both career and family is difficult. Still, she tries to have both and more often than not, she is disappointed. Virginity is almost unheard of in young ladies in keeping with the feminist ideal. A woman is now expected to have sex before marriage. Not only that, she must learn to “butt dance”; she must school herself to swing on a stripper pool; she is expected to engage in “hook-ups,” and have “friends-with-benefits”; and to stay really hip, she must do “three-ways” and learn to enjoy “lesbian encounters.” The daughters of Friedan and Millet are now flashing their breasts for Joe Francis’ Girls Gone Wild. Her doors are no longer opened for her; she is no longer “Ms.” or “Ma’am,” now she is referred to as a “bitch” or a “ho.” A singles bar today looks no different than the slave market at Kiev a thousand years ago, where women were displayed like circus animals for prospective buyers.
All of the new expectations are a distortion of female sexuality. Such behaviors are actually those commonly associated with the worst predatory aspects of male sexuality. Women today are being treated the same way men have, unfortunately, treated women who lack class or family protection—like whores and prostitutes. Sexual relations have actually devolved back to a state of nature. This has happened because all those institutions that protected women have been removed or severely weakened.
Millet's promiscuous sexual wildcat is a lie. Among women there is the occasional nymphomania, but this condition is commonly associated with psychological problems. In keeping with the heavy investment that is required of a woman if she should become pregnant, she is naturally inclined to seek a long term relationship: marriage. Birth control and abortion did not change this deep primordial predisposition. Virginity, courtship, and marriage protected women. They were in keeping with her psychological-spiritual nature.
One can easily see the negative effects of modern sexuality on the typical woman today. Unfortunately, she usually partakes of the new promiscuity. But deep inside, she really is attempting to use the sex that is now expected of her before marriage in order to leverage a man into commitment. A woman really wants marriage, but she is afraid that if she does not have sex, the man will not date her for very long. But the whole purpose of courtship and marriage engagement was to tame a man’s natural flightiness. He had to put up the bride price before he could get into bed. Today, he can have the bed without the bride price. So why should a man commit to marriage? As a result, the modern woman oftentimes ends up at forty-five years of age, loveless, alone, and working a job that gives her no real satisfaction. She wanted marriage and children, but her biological clock tells her it is too late. This woman has had too many one-night-stands and four or five live-in boyfriends, who in the end refused to put a ring on her finger. She is bitter, collects too many cats, gobbles Prozac, and every week she attends group therapy where she blames it all on the men that loved her and left her. This woman has come a long way—all the way to spinsterhood!
The feminist argument that relegating women to the role of motherhood restricted her to a purely animal function is a misunderstanding of what is essential in child care. For one to dismiss or minimize the impact of the mother on society is obtuse. The basic function of the mother is not only to care for the child’s biological needs, but also to socialize him into the culture, to give him the basic values that will stand as the core of his personality until death. A mother is the primary cultural educator. Any psychologist will tell you that the early years of childhood are crucial in shaping the individual’s personality. Early childhood experiences greatly influence whether an individual is essentially a hateful or loving person, whether a person ends up living a stable life with a family, job, and children, or whether he ends up mutilating forty prostitutes in Seattle.
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, had over a dozen siblings. Obviously, Wesley’s father spent most of his time working to support his large family. Mrs. Wesley, however, stayed home with the children. She worked hard at her job and was determined that each child would get the best education that she could manage and that each child would be given the tools necessary to succeed at whatever each seemed suited for. Besides Mrs. Wesley instilling each of her children with good Christian values, she would spend an allotted amount of time with each child every week. During these one-on-one sessions, she would assess the progress being made in their studies as well as discussing any other matters that seemed important. Mrs. Wesley spent a great deal of what we would call “quality time” with each child, despite the large amount of children she was mother to. Being an excellent judge of character, Mother Wesley subtly guided, but did not push, each child into those areas of endeavor that seemed best suited to their natural talent. Consequently, all of her children went on to become prominent in their chosen field. Some of her children became doctors, some were lawyers, and others became businessmen, and others became mothers like Mrs. Wesley. And, of course, one, by the name of John, founded a major branch of Protestantism.
In sharp contrast, Theodore Bundy’s mother used to lock him in a closet for hours at a time, and force him to watch while she performed sex acts on strange men. As we know, Ted went on to raping and murdering over thirty women, all of them bore a striking resemblance to his dear old mother. Similarly, Charles Manson’s mother was a prostitute who once tried to sell young Charlie for a pitcher of beer. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.
None of this is to say that women should confine themselves exclusively to marriage and children. Nor is it to say that women should have their feet bound, be forced to commit suttee, or wrap themselves in burkas. On the contrary, women should be afforded the full protection of the law and most fields of endeavors should be open to them. (The military is one exception and should not be open to women.) With that said, if a society wishes to survive, it will come to terms with the reality that the sexes are not equal, were never meant to be equal, and are naturally predisposed to different roles in life. Like it or not, reproduction and child care are essential to civilization and are best performed by a woman with the help of a committed husband. I do not care how many lesbians decide to raise their children in Petri dishes; this will not change the need for the traditional family.
Instead of encouraging young women to find a career first and then squeeze in marriage and children if possible later on, a capable society will council the reverse. Granted, a woman should be allowed to pursue a career at the expense of marriage and children, if that is her choice. But the culture should view this as the exception, not the rule. And under no circumstances should women be permitted to sacrifice their unborn children through abortion in order for them to be able to pursue a career or for any other reason. Mothers and wives are not losers. And any society which permits such a view of women to become dominant is teetering on the edge of the abyss. Mothers and wives are the very foundation of civilization. Without them, there is no continuity, only slow cultural suicide. Unfortunately, that is the current state of affairs in much of the Western world today.
Drawn together by passion, the sexes complete each other in the intricate dance of life. Courtship and marriage give form to that beautiful minuet. A man is driven to a woman’s mysterious beauty, so he pursues her. The woman coyly deflects his advances while enticing him onward. The man is active; the woman is passive. Finally the parley is met and the terms are agreed upon. The woman gets what she wants and the man gets what he wants. The treaty is consummated and new life is born. The woman nurtures the new being and the man provides for and protects his family. The roles of sex give life much of its beauty. What a dead, lifeless world it would be without them.
Egalitarians hate the variegated poetry of life. Life is messy. There are problems, inequalities, complications. They will not tolerate such irrationality. In their perfect world, there would be no women or men; no fathers and mothers; no wives and husbands; no sisters and brothers; no courtship and marriage; no exclusivity and inequality. There would be only androgynous, undifferentiated, equal human beings. Humans would populate Utopia like copulating dogs, with no permanent pairings of the sexes. After the mother of the child deposits him in a collective nursery, he would then be raised by professional child care commissars as an indistinguishable citizen of the human community. One need only talk to someone who was raised in an orphanage or foster home to see what a dark and loveless world that would truly be.
Despite living as a “sexually liberated” woman for most of her life, Margaret Mead had this to say about the sex roles:
The sexes are
complimentary. It is the works of my watch that moves
the hands and enables me to tell time. Are the works, therefore, more
important then the case? Neither is superior and neither is inferior.
Each must be judged in terms of its own functions. Together they
form a functioning unit. So it is with men and women-together they
form a functioning unit…. When men and women perform the same
function, the complimentary relationship breaks down.52
I do not think I could have put it any better.
There are no victors in the battle of the sexes. Men need women; women need men; children need fathers and mothers. Society cannot function without the family. There are no other alternatives. The current state of sexual relations in the West is not progressive, rather it is symptomatic of a cultural disease. As the disease progresses, the West grows weaker, leaving it vulnerable to attack from competing cultures, cultures that are not infected by such worthless egalitarian ideas. The West has two choices: it can choose to return to a model where women find their primary places in the home with family; or the culture can continue to indulge its egalitarian fantasies all the way to the grave. Europe has already chosen the grave, America is still divided over the issue.
In short, reason is man’s greatest tool, but also his greatest liability. While instinct manages to keep the animals on the rails of organic life, reason allows us not only to modify the tracks, but it sometimes leads us to believe that we can jump the tracks altogether and lay a completely different rail system. What hubris! It is wise to modify nature only in
accordance with its limitations. Environmentalists now realize this when it comes to over-industrialization. There is little difference in dealing with sex roles. There is a reason why every known culture has evolved different roles for men and women—it is organic and in line with nature.
At first the feminism of Mary Wollstonecraft and Elizabeth Cady Stanton used classical liberal ideas to modify a woman’s role within the cultural context. Change was slow and relative to the natural differences between the sexes. Such is a reasonable use of reason. Then in keeping with the new radicalism sweeping across the West, Sanger, Friedan, and Millet declared war on the natural dispositions of men and women. The New Woman would no longer defer to nature; she would push it aside and create a new definition of woman, as if nature’s inequalities did not exist. All of history was a mistake, she declared; all human cultures from the foundation of the world were oppressive conspiracies; our fathers, mothers, and elders are all liars, and all must be swept away as one great error. Marriage is slavery. Children are shackles used to bind the mother-slave. Women must break free and go about shocking society terribly, said Margaret Sanger. Every healthy society views motherhood with reverence and awe. Feminism’s view of children indicates a complete disaffection with life in general. Nothing is more unfeminine than the feminist view of maternity. When pregnancy is seen as a disability and abortion as a great act of self-liberation, you are dealing with an ideology that at bottom hates life itself. And God, help the society where such ideas come to flourish.
In the next chapter, we shall read, in their own words, what feminists really think about abortion, how the act itself is seen as a rite of passage for “liberated” women, like battle scars are to veterans—something to be proud of as having been endured in a great and noble cause. Just last month, a prominent “pro-choice” group called upon famous women who have had abortions to give a public account of it, in order to show their battle scars so to speak. What they wanted were battle field stories of “heroism” to hold up to other women as examples to emulate in the war of the sexes. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
1. Subjection of Women, John Stuart Mill
4. The Origin of Family, Private Property and The State, Frederich Engel
6. Politburo Speech, Svetlov (1936)
8. Woman Rebel, Margaret Sanger(1914)
12. Birth Control in America: The Career of Margaret Sanger, David M. Kennedy
16. Woman Rebel, Margaret Sanger(1914)
17. Birth Control in America: The Career of Margaret Sanger, David M. Kennedy
18. Woman Rebel, Margaret Sanger(1914)
19. Birth Control in America: The Career of Margaret Sanger, David M. Kennedy
20. Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan(1963)
26. Modern Women, Lundberg and Farnham
27. The Psychology of Women, Helene Deutsch
28. Man and Woman, Margaret Mead
29. Coming of Age in Samoa, Margaret Mead
30. Man and Woman, Margaret Mead
32. Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan(1963)
38. Sexual Politics, Kate Millet
39. The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and The State, Frederich Engels
40. Sexual Politics, Kate Millet
42. Sex and Gender, Stroller
43. Sexual Politics, Kate Millet
51. Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes
52. Man and Woman, Margaret Mead
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Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed:
for in the image of God made he man.
Numbers 35:33 So ye shall not pollute
the land wherein ye are:
for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the
blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.