Smash the Patriarchy and Put More Women in Peril

This is partly a failure of feminism. the systems that would have protected her in the past are those that patriarchy set up to save young people from the folly of following their young unruly passions.

Left to their own devices (in the US white context) both young men and young women more often than not have terrible, awful and destructive taste in prospective mates. This is why there was a whole system in place to stop them.  Eligible young women were surrounded by old dragons to keep the bounders and cads at bay and young men were subjected to whithering scrutiny. The precise mechanisms differed by class and region but the general system was the same. Marriage was the only real outlet for sexual fulfillment (or any kind of non-scandalous sex life) and both young women and men had to prove themselves worthy of entering into it.

Of course this created victims, especially among those who were able to outsmart their keepers and the most pitiable cases were women (who could find that following that dashing, exciting man led to destitution and social exile once he disappeared as he usually did).

A big problem of feminism is that it never evolved past the victim mentality and often failed to see the big picture. Feminists rightly saw the injustice of the previous systems but never saw past that to the bigger picture, including the sad fact that lots of people, especially young adults don’t necessarily have good judgement. They fought for sexual emancipation which sounds nice, but never thought about what that would mean for those without material, educational or social resources to fall back on when things go south.

Femimist sexual ethics tended to start and end with the idea that men are predators who prey on women and that women should be free to follow their hearts and baser urges. And that leads to things like a pregnant unmarried and probably unemployable 18 year old following a ‘fiance’ and finding herself utterly alone and dependent on him.

I’m not saying we necessarily want a return of the dragons but an unmarried pregnant 18 year old with no social network completely dependent on a man with no legal obligation to her is probably not what feminists had in mind when they twirtle about ‘smashing patriarchy’ but it is a real world result.

You’ll notice I write about feminism in the past tense. It’s dead. No one needs anything that modern feminism is offering. Let’s put the poor beast out of its misery and build something new which balances sexual freedom with sexual and social responsibility.

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3 Responses to Smash the Patriarchy and Put More Women in Peril

  1. el says:

    cliff, you offered to “build something new which balances sexual freedom with sexual and social responsibility.”

    Could you clarify further what you offer to do in practice, please? And what are your ideal social mores?

    So far I do not see how enforcing responsibility may be possible in today’s atomized, consumerist and secular society. There are no communities to apply outside pressure and no internal mechanisms, like religious belief, to limit one’s behavior. May be, that’s one of the reasons for failures of today’s feminism – w/o advocating for limits, concentrating on victimhood is the only thing left. (There are real victims, but feminist discussion shouldn’t be limited only to them.)

    Laws can only go so far, and they do demand from both parents to take responsibility for their children. If 18-your-old is an adult, laws cannot and should not force any young man to be responsible for her.

    I also disagree with your claim that “both young men and young women more often than not have terrible, awful and destructive taste in prospective mates.” If one sees men as people, just like women are, rather than “dashing, exciting” wolves-in-disguise, I do not understand why you suppose most young people have mental problems leading to self-destructive behavior in choosing mates.

    I haven’t seen any of this among my peers in Israel, and think that people who self-destruct do it in all areas of their lives, not only in choosing mates. And self-destructive / foolish / irresponsible tendencies most likely don’t miraculously disappear with age.

    I also wonder where lies the limit between feminist and social but not feminist issues. If somebody comes from a horrible family which raised him or her to do XYZ, why is it a feminist issue? Because she makes wrong or “wrong” reproductive choices, but if she f.e. had a drug addiction it wouldn’t be connected to feminist discussion? Why?

    • cliff arroyo says:

      “you offered to “build something new ”
      Well first, I made no such offer. If I were able formulate a coherent set of principles I would.
      Second, a lot of progressive/feminists were traditionally misfits and they tend to assume that the social norms they found so confining were equally confining to everyone. they’re not. I’m a huge misfit in many ways, but I realize that that’s me and not everybody else.
      A good system would balance the needs of the typical majority while giving opt out clauses to the misfits.

      “I also wonder where lies the limit between feminist and social but not feminist issues”
      They reinforce each other. Because feminist positions in the 1970s are mainstream orthodoxy now. A working class family used to have the schools and cultural environment backing them up and now they don’t.
      The elites still practice patriarchal family formation but they’ve privatized it so the less well off don’t have access (or the tools to realize that that’s even a viable option).

  2. goldsteinweb says:

    Do you hear what you have done? She is crying now. I hope you are proud of it, you bigot! Poor Meryl Streep.

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