Thursday, September 20, 2012

On Men, Women, Feminism and the elusive "Patriarchy" hobgoblin. (Part 2)

Question for the reader: Do women ever really have anything that men haven't already given them? 

Another question: given the choice and all things being equal, who do you think men are more likely to help - men or women?

A recent study by Purdue University found out something very interesting: Women like other women more so than men like other men. In other words, women have a high propensity for in-group preference than do men.

Should we be surprised? Whens the last time you heard of men rallying behind Testicular Cancer as a "Men's Issue?" Or protesting the fact that they are the ones' forced to register for selective service?  

As Anti-Feminist Blogger Girlwriteswhat points out:

"Men lack a mechanism for automatic group preference. Simply put, they do not relate to other men automatically, just because they're men.Women have this bias, which provides them a natural ability to form cooperatives, relate to other women, and seek consensus though their strong mechanism for own-group preference based on gender alone. Men, however, lack the hardwiring to form a preference for maleness based merely on maleness. And that only makes sense when you think about men's roles for the last couple million years or so--roles that involved things like beating the guys down the valley to a pulp when they threatened his women and children, and competing against other males within his community for a shot at the mating game. Given those roles, automatically siding with one's own gender over the other is...well, it just doesn't work. 

Speaking of being willing to fight for women, ever heard of the Order Of The White Feather? It was a movement supported by British Feminists during World War I that encouraged women to go around giving a white feather to young men who hadn't joined the army. I did a short blog post about it 18 months go. Those of you who are male and reading this might want to consider that next time you hear someone proclaim that what Feminists want will liberate men also. One only needs to consider the fact that a sight-disabled man with 3 little girls was one of the men they shamed into conscription - to realize just how organized Women's Issues efforts will quickly throw a man under the bus, if that's what's needed to get ahead in society. Here's another blog post on it that I just found. 

But back to dealing with the ubiquitous presence of the Patriarchy Hobgoblin, which reads all history through the lends of Men oppressing women, Many still insist that this is a good and informative lens to read and understand history with.Well, OK then. Let's just look at one aspect of history; US Women's Suffrage - aka "the right to vote" and see what a closer examination of the facts fells us. 

Before I launch into all of that, here's a couple of cool videos by Fidlebogen & Grilwriteswhat, respectively:

  
"Women Could Not Vote And That Was Not 'Oppression'!" as Fidelbogen suggests.
 

"Me a Feminist? No way!" says Girlwritetswhat? And she explains why.

I would argue that even today, the United States does not have fully effected, 100% suffrage on all fronts. Today the homeless for example, are at a disadvantage due to not having a mailing address. Currently only 15 states do not require such an address to vote. And although one can hold a job and receive a paycheck at 16, most states do not allow voting before age 18, resulting in taxation without representation. (However 20 states do allow citizens who will be 18 on or before the general election Day to vote in Primaries & Caucuses.) Not all states allow Prisoners to vote, as well.

But I want to piggyback on two points brought up in the videos above by Fidelbogen and Girlwriteswhat, because they will get us to where I'm going with this: 1) That women were not the only ones who were initially not allowed to vote and 2) Women were not initially fully united on the question of which they should receive the right to vote.

1) Women were not the only ones who were initially not allowed to vote.

Just to briefly summarize

"When the country was founded, in most states, only white men with real property (land) or sufficient wealth for taxation were permitted to vote. Freed African Americans could vote in four states. Unpropertied white men, almost all women, and all other people of color were denied the franchise. At the time of the American Civil War, most white men were allowed to vote, whether or not they owned property. Literacy tests, poll taxes, and even religious tests were used in various places, and most white women, people of color, and Native Americans still could not vote."

Catch that? Women were not the only ones who were (largely) shut out of being able to vote. You had to be not only male, but white and a property owner. Therefore, the Right to Vote was not based on gender but on class.  And that's not all: Jews, Quakers & Catholics were not fully enfranchised everywhere all at once, until 1810. Washington DC didn't get the right to vote in Presidential elections for 164 years - until that ended in 1964. Discriminatory practices that disenfranchised African-Americans weren't finally put to rest until the Voting Rights Act of 1965

So the US has never had, nor does it currently have (as I have argued above) full Suffrage for all it's citizens even today. Viewed that way, Women are neither the most nor least neglected person group in history to have the question of their voting rights settled. The 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote was passed in 1919, and enough states had ratified it to make it law by 1920. Since then, there have been men among those groups who were disenfranchised that the law hadn't corrected yet in due time, according to what we have just seen.

And for the cherry on top of the sundae? There hasn't really been a democracy that allowed all this to ferment and rise to the surface, until the US was founded.  So really, for centuries of recorded history, nobody had a right to vote because voting per se did not exist!  

2) Women were not initially fully united on the question of whether they should receive the right to vote.  

You heard me, I didn't stutter! There was actually organized opposition among women to stop their sisters from getting the right to vote. Such a thing is hard to fathom in today's world. Once again history tells us something that public perception has long forgotten:

"The opposition to women's suffrage in the United States included organizations like the National Organization Against Women's Suffrage and women like Helen Kendrick Johnson. In New York, upper class women who thought they had a behind-the-scenes voice often opposed suffrage because it would dilute their influence. At first the anti-s let the men do the talking, but increasingly they adopted the mobilization techniques pioneered by the suffragists. The antis easily won the 1915 New York State referendum, using the argument that women voters would close the saloons. But the suffragists won the 1917 referendum, arguing that the saloons were Germanic (at a time when Germany was hated); the Tammany Hall machine in New York City deserted the antis as well." 
 
It's interesting to note that apparently some women who were married to men of influence  and power, thought they were better off manipulating their husbands out of the public eye. Once you are given the right to vote and begin to organize and speak out, you suddenly become an entity in people's minds and you are publicly accountable. As such you are in the queue to be able to receive great praise ...and great scorn as well. 

But as we have just seen, it wasn't long before the anti-suffrage women's movement would give way to the Pro Suffrage Women's Movement, and Women would be granted the right to vote. And you know what? An all male House and Senate passed it for them! Once it was clear that the antis had no more currency and the pros for the right to vote for women were all that was left, it was a matter of a few short years. Did anyone really expect that they were going to be all about passing something that not all women really wanted?


So getting back to my opening question: Do women ever really have anything that men haven't already given them? 

Lets' look at what are considered (by some, not all) to be the milstones of women's rights in history:

*Tender Years Doctrine, advocated by UK Feminists in the 1800's, standard child custody procedure ever since!
*Prohibition - Passed 6 months before Women even had the right to vote!
*Suffrage - Passed by an all male Congress.
*No Fault Divorces - 1st ever signed by Gov. Ronald Reagan, the horrible patriarch!
*Roe V. Wade - "Jane Roe" favored by an all-male Supreme Court.
*Violence Against Women's Act -  Passed by a Congress overwhelmingly dominated by men.
*Sexual Harassment Laws. AFAICS, most every major case that has gone to court has been won by Women. "Ellison v. Brady resulted in rejecting the reasonable person standard in favor of the "reasonable woman standard" which allowed for cases to be analyzed from the perspective of the complainant and not the defendant." (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_harrassment#United_States 
*Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act - Ditto. (Even though her veracity can be called into question.)
*Gender-based Affirmative Action? - Ditto.

And sure, there have been some twists and turns along the way and even after most of these, but so it is with all landmark decisions & legislation.

What do women do in return for all of this? Oh, I dunno - screw men over by taking money intent on providing jobs through President Obama's stimulus bill for construction and electric grids - you know, jobs in modernization of the infrastructure, like the Left has been calling for quite some time - and have it re-routed to health, education, and government - largely "women friendly" work.


Remember in part one of this post, where we discussed the fact that men's jobs were hardest hit in this past recession?    

And let's not even talk what goes on in Washington DC. What else have men done for women?

Build paved roads?

Invent the microwave? 

Mobile Phones?

Impliment a Social Safety Net?

Construct Wal-Marts?

Pass occupational health & safety regulations?

Continue to be n the front lines in most wars?

Continue to work in coal mines, construction, dams, grids, and a host of other physically and mentally stressful and dangerous occupations that make life more tenable for everyone, but especially for women? 
 
Remember Obama's "You didn't build that" comment? You know how the left is always chiding people to be a bit more humble & grateful to a society that enabled them to become what they are?

Think the same principle applies here? I think it most certainly does!

I know I'd be a bit sheepish about receiving a privilege that I did nothing to earn from someone who did plenty to earn it in the moral sense. But Feminists never seem to have any shame about anything. Women wouldn't even have half the shit they have now but for men.

And they can start with not treating or labeling all men as potential rapists, abusers or pedophiles. Or denying that women are just as much prone to violence with intimate partners as men. Or denying that men also have much pain and disadvantage in society, such as the fact that 90% of all work-related deaths are male. or that men are 3 - 4 times more likely to commit suicide. Or getting privilege and preference in the divorce courts. Or deny that they are privileged even though they get tons of affirmative action benefits.Or denying that women ever lie about rape. Or that many men have rotted in prison over false sexual assault accusations. Or than men can be and often are, rape victims. Or that a man can be raped by a woman. Or that women can be predators. Or that they can be abusers in a relationship that men spend time in healing and recovery for. And if I have to read one more time the words "men can stop rape" or some such similar moronic bullshit, I'm going to throw up! Word: That is on the level of a slogan that says "Muslims can stop terrorism." Try that sometime & see how far you get!

Oh, and about this "Patriarchy" thing that sparked this whole 2-part post (which may grow into more given time) let's get real: Women have accepted and benefited from it. They did so by being protected and provided for when they were supposedly "unequal" and downtrodden, and have never had a problem accepting and benefiting from anything men do since then.

This is so against the grain of what most of society believes and sees as the conventional wisdom. I expect I'm going to take heat for it, or maybe (if I'm lucky) I'll be labeled as too angry a male to be dealt with and left alone. But in any case, I suspect I'd better wrap this up for now. Conserve enough strength & energy to be able to deal with this on another day.

What I would like to ask the reader to indulge me in is this one thing: If you find anything disagreeable or questionable, make rue you have thoroughly researched everything I have offered here: All the videos, (yes, even the 45 minute one by Girlwriteswhat) all the links, all the supporting data. Otherwise, I'll merely consider you too clueless disqualified to even be able to begin discussion these things! 

Last minute entry: Here's another great blogger on these same issues with more supporting data, written from a young man's perspective. Aw what the hell, here' one from A Voice For Men worth reading, too.

 

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