The Despotism of the Petticoat: Part 2

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by Hawaiian Libertarian on September 30, 2009

To continue where I left off  here

Now, of course, in the 18th century, the majority of property owners were most assuredly men. But there were a few women who indeed owned their own property – either from inheritance or their own efforts, and they were also extended the franchise to vote.

And there are historical records notating that in fact women did vote in State elections in the past, prior to the temperance movement and the 19th amendment.

Nevertheless, it is a common belief amongst today’s society to accept the notion that women were denied the right to vote because of the feminist movements revisionist interpretation that historically, men deliberately denied women the vote to oppress them.

That until the 19th amendment…women in America were subjugated and powerless. Beholden to the whim’s of beastly, misogynistic and abusive men.

Just as the “Wage Gap” has been deliberately distorted — where raw numbers of wage discrepancies between gender are automatically referred to as the result of sexism…rather than delving further into the topic and discovering that it is not sexism at all…but women’s own lifestyle choices and how they exercise them as the primary determinant of the so-called “wage gap.” –, so too is the past’s legal and social norms ignored and unconsidered. Nay, not even considered, but rather simply attributed to the barbaric state of misogyny of the unjust patriarchal hegemony of the male dominated culture of the past.

The most important thing to consider first, was the widely held belief system that was accepted by society at large in the bad old days of Patriarchal oppression…primarily with regards to marriage. Before the sexual revolution and cultural upheaval of the 1960’s, America was widely understood to be a Christian nation. Most Americans were church going citizens and the moral code of the Bible and it’s 10 commandments and the New Testament’s “golden rule” were the accepted ’social contract’ of moral principles.

Why is this relevant? Because the basic principle of a Christian-based society like the early America was the idea that marriage was the merging of a man and woman into a single entity. One unit. In the physical, spiritual and legal sense of the word.

Signer of the Declaration of Independence and also one of the framers of the Constitution, James Wilson, wrote about how Marriage was considered under the eyes of the law:

The most important consequence of marriage is, that the husband and the wife become, in law, only one person: the legal existence of the wife is consolidated into that of the husband. Upon this principle of union, almost all the other legal consequences of marriage depend.

This was the true essence of the reasoning why women were never specifically designated as a separate, legal entity, apart from her husband in manners concerning society. In other words, the prevailing cultural attitude of the times was that in terms of civic duties, the vote was designated as one vote per family…one vote per household…or one vote per single entity – that single entity being a married couple.

And in the past, the vast majority of women did get married. Only a few women in any given community became “old maids” and spinsters. It was simply the cultural norm for women to get married and have children. Therefore, one vote, one household (provided the man of the house owned property).

Of course we live in much different times today…we now have a society that has devalued and decimated marriage. It might even be argued that the first fault lines in the institution of marriage were indeed effected by the female driven temperance movement that sought to create the separate legal status between a husband and a wife in terms of voting.

Despite this cultural and social mores of the time of the nation at founding that regarded a husband and wife as a single, legal entity; John Adam’s wife, Abigail, implored her Husband to consider separate legal status for women while Adams was taking part in the framing of the Constitution…note the implications of Abigail’s letter here:

I long to hear that you have declared an independancy—and by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If particuiar care and attention is not paid to the Ladies, we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or representation.

That your Sex are Naturally Tyrannical is a Truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute, but such of you as wish to be happy willingly give up the harsh title of Master for the more tender and endearing one of Friend. Why then, not put it out of the power of the vicious and the Lawless to use us with cruelty and indignity with impunity. Men of Sense in all Ages abhor those customs which treat us only as the vassals of your Sex. Regard us then as Beings placed by providence under your protection and in imitation of the Supreme Being make use of that power only for our happiness.

Modern day feminists and their mangina lackeys have read Abigail’s letter to her husband and have seized upon it as some kind of proof that men were all tyrants that oppressed females, and that denying women the right to vote was the proof of this.

John essentially laughs at her contentions and points out in his response where the true tyranny resides…

As to your extraordinary Code of Laws, I cannot but laugh. We have been told that our Struggle has loosened the bands of Government every where. That Children and Apprentices were disobedient—that schools and Colleges were grown turbulent—that Indians slighted their Guardians and Negroes grew insolent to their Masters. But your Letter was the first Intimation that another Tribe more numerous and powerful than all the rest were grown discontented.—This is rather too coarse a Compliment but you are so saucy, I won’t blot it out.

Depend upon it, We know better than to repeal our Masculine systems. Although they are in Full force, you know they are little more than Theory. We dare not exert our Power in its full Latitude. We are obliged to go fair, and softly, and in Practice you know We are the subjects. We have only the Name of Masters, and rather than give up this, which would completely subject Us to the Despotism of the peticoat, I hope General Washington, and all our brave Heroes would fight….

Now what exactly do you think John meant by this?

Yup…John was alluding to the power of the wife’s pussywhip.

John’s defense of the “masculine systems” was certainly an admission that women have ALWAYS had the true power in a society, because it is the women’s influence over her husband and children that is the true exercise of power.

Just as John Adam’s predicted in his long ago love letter to his wife, should women gain influence in the sphere of politics and public life, she would than have total control over everything…the despotism of the petticoat.

And to those of us that know better…those of us that have taken the red pill and seen our socially engineered, gyno-centric matriarchal matrix for what it is, can we not now say that John Adam’s response to his wife was in fact prophetic, as we now most certainly live under the despotism of the petticoat?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul October 1, 2009 at 05:55

What a remarkable and illuminating article. I had never seen the letters you quote before. I am sure you could find evidence of this sort going back even further. Often on other MR sites I find myself at odds with others who like to invoke some long dead left wing intellectual or another as being responsible for feminism. I have never accepted this and quite frankly see it as just an expression of some sort of right wing bias. Rather I see feminism as being an expression that springs directly from femaleness. So here we are seeing letters written long before Marx was even born which completely encapsulates just about the whole picture. So you are right to call it the Despotism of the Petticoat. Feminism is not just some political ideology made possible because of some book or other. It exist as an intrinsic expression of how women are and how they see men.

The thing is I knew none of this when I was under 30. I approach 60 now. How could I have been so ignorant about such a fundamental thing? Why did I have to learn the hard way? And sadly why do young men have to learn the hard way still?

sage October 1, 2009 at 06:18

did not want to know ._.

zed October 1, 2009 at 06:23

Feminism is not just some political ideology made possible because of some book or other. It exist as an intrinsic expression of how women are and how they see men.

Feminism is quite literally FEMININE-ism. It is the ideology that wants the female viewpoint and way of dealing with the world to take precedence in all matters.

If we are talking about “books”, let’s go back to the story of Genesis. Doesn’t the absolute certainty many women have of the “moral superiority” of women look a lot like believing that they have “eaten of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil”?

Just about every woman I have ever known was absolutely certain that she knew how things “should” be – i.e. what is “good” and what is not.

Now that “the personal is political and the political is personal”, things which used to be interpersonal conflicts between one man and one woman are now battled out on a grand political scale between all men and all women.

It was the wedding between women’s arrogant belief in their own natural superiority with Marxist notions of class which allowed all women to be lumped together into one political mass and set against another political mass made up of men. From this followed the use of the pussywhip and victim power to enshrine the personal preferences of women into law and “empower” individual women to have complete control in their relationships with men.

In addition to “The Despotism of the Petticoat”, we are also living under “The Tyranny of the Weak.”

Novaseeker October 1, 2009 at 06:43

Very good piece, HL.

The Nigerian writer Chinweizu also points out, in his book “The Anatomy of Female Power”, precisely how women exercised “behind the scenes” control over men throughout history by means of “soft influence”. Of course, it bears noting that this “soft influence” had to be exercised carefully. Particularly strong-minded men would simply beat their wives if they tried to exercise too much power. But as we know, most men are “beta” (contrary to what some think, I don’t think this is really new), and are much more easily subject to manipulation and outright control by their wives. In addition, virtually *all* males are molded by women, because women have, since forever, controlled child rearing, even of boys. In aristocratic circles in the past, male children would sometimes have male tutors to teach them manly things and so on, but that was not the case for the rest of society. And while women weren’t historically raising their boys to be beta pussies like they do now, nevertheless they were raising them firmly in the traditions of chivalry and male service to women, and if nothing else the experience of being mostly raised by mother created in males a sense of female domestic authority that was pretty ingrained, together with a desire to please women.

It was, however, inevitable that women would seek to expand their power into the public and political realms once that power got devolved more broadly among men themselves. That is, as the society became more male egalitarian (as compared with the 18th century European hierarchies from whence the colonists came), it was only a matter of time until women demanded the same status as the newly “emancipated” men. The reason for that is that at the same time the fundamental unit of society was being moved from that of the family to that of the individual. That is the overarching trend of the last 200 or so years — a growing emphasis on the individual as such and not as a part of a collective, including a family. As that trend continued to build steam, it was inevitable that women would not be “satisfied” with being a part of the family collective, and would demand their own share in individual rights. That means that feminism, at least in its mildest form, was largely inevitable once the focus in society shifted to individual rights.

There was a bit of blindsiding going on, or at least unintended consequences. The philosophers who laid the foundation for the growth of individual rights in the 17th and 18th centuries did not have in mind anything like feminism — to them, it went without saying that these ideas would apply to men, and not to women, and would not upend and replace family life. But as the ideas gained momentum in the 19th Century in particular, that changed, and people like Mill realized that the logic of individual rights, unless stopped, required the liberation of women. There was no *logical* reason to exclude women from this, again once the ideas gained a certain momentum in the popular and political cultures — all that was left was tradition, and tradition was largely going by the wayside in a number of areas.

This is why I think the theorists who suggest that the liberation of women is inevitable in advanced societies are onto something. The basic idea is that once a society is economically advanced enough such that the economic (and to a lesser degree political) spoils start to become more equally distributed among the men (rather than being hogged at the top), there develops very quickly a strong pressure to also make these available to the women. In other words, in a system where only a small % of men are monopolizing economic and political power, it’s a minor thing that most women are excluded from this, because most men are as well. However, when the male side of the ledger starts to become more egalitarian looking, pressures develop for this also to include women. This happened in both Babylon and Rome, in the later phases of these civilizations. And it has happened in the contemporary West. It does not appear capable of being stopped, once a civilization reaches a certain degree of advancement and some level of egalitarianism, however imperfect.

Having said that, I do not think that the collapse of our own civilization is inevitable. There are too many wildcards in play — technological development, political change, the resiliency of a culture that is remarkably flexible, and so on. I do think, however, that there is no way back. In other words, our culture will either find some way to survive with liberated women, or it will collapse, but it won’t be “restored” to the way it was before women were liberated.

It’s true that in the short term this means women are on the verge of having nearly overwhelming power, controlling the domestic sphere as thoroughly as ever, while having made huge inroads into the “male” sphere. But we also need to be careful not to overstate the case. Women are running into roadblocks. They are finding that, given a limited life span and a limited number of hours in any given day, there is only so much they can do. Trying to exercise full power at once in both spheres is driving many women bats, quite literally (given the level of antidepressant prescriptions for women), and at the very least is leaving many of them deeply dissatisfied. There is evidence of the beginnings of a realization on the part of many women that trying to “have it all” (which in many ways means being in control in all aspects of life) is not only very difficult, if not impossible, to pull off, but is typically not a recipe for happiness or fulfillment in many people. The seductiveness of total power has proven to be, in practice, rather illusory for many women. And as that realization begins to spread, it *will* have an impact on behaviors and expectations. Perhaps not of the most boldly ambitious women, but certainly as to the rank and file. This will take time, of course, and not happen overnight. It will take a few more generations of women realizing that the system they were taught to think they wanted is not, in fact, something that is fulfilling for them. And until then it will be kind of bleak for men and women alike. But I do think that there is at least a possibility that this gets stemmed before things go over Niagara Falls.

Novaseeker October 1, 2009 at 06:52

Now that “the personal is political and the political is personal”, things which used to be interpersonal conflicts between one man and one woman are now battled out on a grand political scale between all men and all women.

It was the wedding between women’s arrogant belief in their own natural superiority with Marxist notions of class which allowed all women to be lumped together into one political mass and set against another political mass made up of men. From this followed the use of the pussywhip and victim power to enshrine the personal preferences of women into law and “empower” individual women to have complete control in their relationships with men.

In addition to “The Despotism of the Petticoat”, we are also living under “The Tyranny of the Weak.”

This is also certainly true.

The whole schtick with the “personal is political” was simply a way to exercise collective power against men. As you say, only the pushy, pussy-whipping women were the ones who exercised a dominatrix-type power in their relationships prior to second wave feminism (and yes, these relationships existed prior to 1950 despite what feminists would have us believe). What the “personal is political” was intended to achieve was, as you say, to skew the legal relationships between men and women so that even the women who did not have the personal personae to be pussy-whippers would nevertheless still have the lion’s share of power in relationships with men.

I do think that feminism was inevitable due to the development of individual rights. But I don’t think that the Marxist spin on it was inevitable. Unfortunately, second wave feminism *did* in fact have a Marxist spin to it, which made it far more damaging than it otherwise would have been. By defining men as the “class enemy” of women, tremendous damage was done to the already very delicate balance of relations between the sexes. None of that followed from the logic of individual rights, but was instead simple revolutionary doctrine based on the Marxist of ideas about how to achieve massive social change. It worked because many women even before then harbored a high degree of distaste for men, as a group, and believed in their own superiority, as a group, to men. This was egged on (or put on steroids) by the 19th Century Victorian culture of chivalry in Britain. But ultimately because the Marxist ideas were so influential in second wave feminist thought, they poisoned much of the movement and made it particularly vitriolic towards men. Much more so than it had to be if it were merely the outgrowth of individual rights.

So, again, while I do think feminism was inevitable, I don’t think Marxism-Feminism was inevitable. Unfortunately, the latter is what we got, and that’s one of the main reasons why so much ill will has been sown between the sexes. It’s hard for there not to be when the liberation ideology of one sex is based on seeing all men as a “class enemy”.

zed October 1, 2009 at 08:49

By defining men as the “class enemy” of women, tremendous damage was done to the already very delicate balance of relations between the sexes.

I take the radical view that the only thing which has happened is that the balance has gone through a major reshuffle but that things are still pretty much in balance. For every gain made by women, either in the collective or individually, there has been a corresponding loss for either women in general or some individual women.

A simplified but very relevant example is that 50 years ago any reasonably attractive woman (3-4 or above), who was not a complete harridan, could fairly well count on using her participation in the monopoly on the outlet for men’s sexual needs to get some man to sign on to the marriage contract and agree to protect and provide for her for life. In fact, many women who were not attractive in any way and were complete harridans still manged to snare husbands. The standard joke during the 1950s was that women went to college to get their MRS degrees.

Now I run across lots of women in the prime marriage years who cannot find a man to take an interest in her in a traditional courtship mode. They meet plenty of men running Game, but no men very interested in getting on the husband/marriage track with them. Few of them grasp that feminism set out to destroy marriage and has done a fine job of accomplishing that, and instead simply fall into the pattern of the past 40+ years and blame and complain about men, which is simply accelerating men’s withdrawal and use of Game.

The problem for everyone now is that only around 40% of both men and women believe in the traditional breadwinner role for men, but do not realize how integrally it was coupled with other characteristics of men that women found attractive. The famous recent screed by Sandra Tsing Loh shows very clearly the modern woman’s contempt for any man who will allow himself to be turned into her “kitchen bitch” or “house bitch”, but it offers no alternative except to set her on the track to solitude.

Solitude is men’s home field – their “briar patch” in Uncle Remus terms. Men throughout history have been used to not having the same kinds of social support systems which women have taken for granted, and are thus faring better during the time when those support systems are disintegrating.

Men are never going to be able to act unilaterally to “rescue” women from their liberation until women in general start to want to be rescued. Now that the goose which laid the golden eggs has been killed, it will take a while for women to start to miss it.

The real question is whether men will be willing to go back to their half of the old deal. Being part of the death professions was no great shakes, and as men find replacements in their identities for their old provider/breadwinner role, I doubt that they will see it as having enough value to entice them back into it.

Grim October 1, 2009 at 13:49

Great article and excellent comments.

Ganttsquarry October 1, 2009 at 15:14

Great piece. I’m a big John Adams fan, and appreciate his rhetorical smackdown of fair Abigail.

Feminism( especially 2nd wave), rests on the assumption that women have been brutally oppressed in this country. Correcting this notion is the first step in undermining it.

The vast majority of men take it as a given. Even men who see the excesses of the modern feminist movement. Many men who by instinct, feel at odds with it, are reluctant to say anything out of a sense of guilt or fear of being shamed. If any progress is to be made in rolling back the “progress” that second wave feminism made, a clear eyed and realistic understanding of our true history is important.

As Dr. Maguire said to Will Hunting, “It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault.”

Certainly, like Nova points out, much of this was inevitable. I have no interest in fighting the inevitable, or human nature for that matter.

“Unfortunately, second wave feminism *did* in fact have a Marxist spin to it, which made it far more damaging than it otherwise would have been.”

The Marxist spin was covered with a shiny veneer of nobility in righting previous wrongs and historical injustice. Especially the latter. Second wave feminism moved beyond fixing inequalities in the law. Historical injustice was used as the rationale for all sorts of social engineering schemes and legal special treatment.

Rolling back these excesses isn’t impossible. Women voting is here to stay. Affirmative action doesn’t have to be.

Thank you HW for challanging feminist assumptions. It won’t change their mind, but to the extent it can influence men, it’s a worthwhile effort.

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