Wherefore Patriarchy?

A commenter this morning asked me to write an apology for “patriarchy,” and this I did, albeit with considerable misgiving. My misgiving springs from the knowledge than such requests are, as often as not, simply fishing for evidence of deplorable moral turpitude in the apologist. But I decided to accept “Emma’s” question as sincere, and so in this case “took the bait.”  After reading our exchange, T. Morris suggested that I promote it to a post.

Here is what Emma wrote in her comment.

*  *  *  *  *

Hi, this is irrelevant to the topic you were posting, but I wanted to know what you are advocating for in relation to patriarchy. I would appreciate a response.

Father custody
Women not voting
Illegal contraception
Limiting women’s access to university and employment
Illegal divorce
Legalised forced sex in marriage and moderate physical chastisement

I think that you call this marriage 1.0, I would like to ask what advantage marriage 1.0 offers women? If women are able to financially support themselves then why would they sell themselves and give up their rights to their husbands for food, shelter and clothing? Did this arrangement not only make sense in an agrarian society rather than a post industrial society where women can financially support themselves? I don’t view matriarchy favourably but I’m not inclined to view this as favourable either.

* * * * *

Here is what I wrote in answer to “Emma’s” questions.

I’m not sure why you expect me to answer admittedly irrelevant questions, or why you have singled me out to defend “marriage 1.0,” but I’ll try to be nicer to you than you are probably being to me. “Patriarchy” is a pejorative term that feminists use to conflate and vilify everything that is not feminism, very much like “capitalism” is a pejorative term that communists use to conflate and vilify everything that is not communism. Such terms are political slogans, and are therefore unsuited to calm and impartial debate.

If I were to give “patriarchy” a formal definition, it would be that the husband is the “head” of the family. It is possible to advocate this principle and yet disapprove of any number of abuses of male primacy. The best defense of male headship that I know has three parts: (1) A democracy of two has no way to break tied votes; (2) the male bond to his children is naturally weaker, but is strengthened by authority; (3) the female personality is, on average, less suited to just exercise of authority. None of this implies that the male is a tyrant or an autocrat.

I won’t answer all of your questions, but will take a stab at a few of them. Contrary to what the feminists tell you, coverture existed for the protection of women, not their subjugation. Coverture states which male has the responsibility to protect a female when another male attacks her virtue or her assets. Since coverture is not clouded with a sentimental understanding of the female, it understands that protecting a female from attack by other males requires control over the behavior of that female. If I have a legal responsibility to protect you from rape, then I must have a legal right to forbid you to go joyriding with a bunch of boys.

In my view, the aim of politics should be good policy. It should not be bad policy enacted by a system that is desirable for some other reason, such as fairness or equality. Thus I judge rules of franchise by their policy outcomes, not by the abstract principles with which they are justified. If women’s suffrage had not affected policy outcomes, it would have been superfluous. But it has affected policy outcomes, and I believe in increasingly negative ways. I don’t think female suffrage can be reversed, or that it could have been stopped. All democracies tend to universal franchise and collapse.

Contraception, university and employment can be bundled into the phenomenon of the sterile spinster. There have always been sterile spinsters, and society has always provided a place for them, but our regime of contraception, university and employment is causing an overproduction of sterile spinsters. Many of these sterile spinsters are unhappy and spiteful, and society is in many cases poorer for want of the children they did not have.

There is a great deal of territory between what you describe as “legalized forced sex” and what I daresay you might describe as “marital rape.” A decent person can say that there can be no such thing as marital rape, and yet deplore brutal “forced sex” in marriage. But this does raise important questions. The argument that there can be no such thing as marital rape rests on the principle that the marriage vow is a public attestation of permanent consent. Very few husbands take this to mean that their wives must strip down and service them on command. But what is a husband to do if his wife permanently withdraws consent, particularly if she does this early in the marriage?

My personal philosophy is to stay out of other people’s marriages, and to comment on those marriages only reluctantly and when asked. I know of apparently successful marriages in which the woman “wears the pants,” and I have no inclination to interfere with these arrangements. I know of sterile spinsters who are happy and well-adjusted. I know of women who cast their votes more wisely than I do. But my general observation is that feminism leads to unhappiness and social disfunction, and that society should therefore uphold humane “patriarchy” as the norm.

76 thoughts on “Wherefore Patriarchy?

  1. We, orthodox or conservative Christians on the net in particular, get so jacked up over the marital rape thing. Bear with me.

    If she fails to perform her duties I don’t believe you have a right to force her at all. What has happened, depending on circumstances, is a unilateral abandonment if not divorce. She has decided she is no longer your wife, which changes your duties to her regarding your duties to her as your husband. This isn’t a clear tit for tat situation, it’s also not about “sleep with me or else”. It’s just that if she decides without grave reason that she doesn’t want to sleep with you anymore ever, in what since is she still your wife? You still have a duty to charity and love, but you also have a right to your own dignity as a man.

    Now, taking off my aspie glasses, and speaking frankly but crudely, what kind of man are you if you can get and maintain an erection long enough to penetrate a crying woman trying to push you away? Does any man want this who isn’t already a psycho? I’m tempted to ask this in all caps.

    It’s like no joke wife beating. All reasonable men accept that if a wife starts striking her husband with a rolling pin and he shoves her away to escape he’s not a wife beater, even though he used “physical force”. But the man who beats his wife for serving tuna casserole one too many times is a criminal and was recognized as such under marriage 1.0. The reason “marital rape” laws worked the way they did back in the old days is because proving rape was just more difficult given the level of technology and scientific knowledge. You don’t want to open a door where any woman can accuse her husband of rape just to send him to jail or procure a divorce or her words alone. I’m confident even at the time that any man savage enough to rape his wife was considered a scum bag and a criminal.

    I’m just saying we need to be clear that a man forcing himself on a woman is always a crime and the idea alone should make any right functioning man feel sick.

    • She is still your wife in the sense that the marriage vow does not have an escape clause for sudden onset frigidity (or impotence). Indeed, “in sickness and in health” would seem to include sickness and health of the libido. But with that said, I agree with most of what you have written.

    • @Hoyos

      Now, taking off my aspie glasses, and speaking frankly but crudely, what kind of man are you if you can get and maintain an erection long enough to penetrate a crying woman trying to push you away?

      I understand your question to be rhetorical, but it is truly a mystery to me how in times of war there are I am told instances of “mass rape” where (so the phrase suggests to me), every conscripted man grabs the nearest woman not already taken and forces himself upon her. How can pretty much every man in an army be, as you put it, “what kind of man?”

      • The impulse to rape is in many cases checked only by fear of apprehension and punishment. Remove that and add the multiple manias of men in combat, and you will understand why an invaded people must hide their wives and daughters in secret cellars.

      • Couple things going on.

        I think it is cultural. There are some cultures which are just bad, they don’t care. There are several African countries where raping captured male enemies is just what you do. My explanation is that it’s demonic.

        Next, in any large body of men you will find psychopaths who will do whatever if they think they can get away with it. In the Second World War Soviet armies were legendary mass rapists, as were French African Colonial troops. Americans and British just weren’t. Not that there weren’t American and British soldiers who did, it’s just that proportionally it was far far fewer as far as I can tell.

        Which leads me to believe there is a demonic element present that can be stronger or weaker depending on the host culture. I’m no expert, so grain of salt, but that is my thinking. In world history the wholesale raping and pillaging armies were usually some variation of idolater or serious heretic. Christian nations weren’t innocent but it just wasn’t on the same scale.

      • @JMSmith

        You know God had an ingenious way to deal with rape in war:
        Deuteronomy 21:10-14

        “10When you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God delivers them into your hand and you take them captive, 11if you see a beautiful woman among them, and you desire her and want to take her as your wife, 12then you shall bring her into your house. She must shave her head, trim her nails, 13and put aside the clothing of her captivity.

        After she has lived in your house a full month and mourned her father and mother, you may have relations with her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. 14And if you are not pleased with her, you are to let her go wherever she wishes. But you must not sell her for money or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.”

        Once you remove the makeup, all jewelry and shave all her hair and trim her nails. And she is bald and her eyes are red from crying.

        Also you cannot touch the captive woman for one month.

        It is quite a turn off isn’t it? And gives food for thought to the Man who also must make that woman his wife and not as a mere concubine or slave.

      • And it does seem that in Just War taking captives of a stubborn town and city that who insists on fighting is allowed and may even be mandated outside of an offer of peace from surrender outside of those who who insist on fighting.(Deuteronomy 20:10-14) if the supply situation allows and there is enough carrying capacity.

    • Irrelevant to the OP maybe but at some level, many men know that women reward “psychopaths.” Growing up, we all knew “nice guys finish last.”

      Ponder this: Charles Manson has much more female interest in terms of sexual and marriage desire than the average nice guy beta male ever will. Yes, this example is a pathological extreme but still.
      It’s adaptive to be a bit psychopath – growing up in post 1960’s America, we all knew this by the end of High School.
      JR Ewing was much more popular with women than Major Nelson. The man who wants to penetrate a crying woman is much more successful with women than you or I and I mean successful with consenting women.

      How far does this go towards driving men’s bad behavior? Well marriage 1.0 prevented this sort of thing and made men better men.

      • I think the manosphere may exaggerate the appeal of the “dark triad,” but it does seem that women are not sexually attracted to the ideal male of feminism. I think extreme cases like Manson show that female demand for psychopaths exceeds the supply, but this cannot be scaled up to a universal attraction to psychopaths.

      • Agree about the manosphere.

        That’s an interesting way to think of it. I think of the Manson-groupie thing as a pathological extreme of a female tendency just like a male (heterosexual) pedophile is a pathological extreme of male preference for youthful female beauty. Neither is normal but they suggest what the other sex values.
        Nevertheless, it is common for women to select for less extreme “jerks” and promiscuous men (vast majority of dark triad guys aren’t murderers or rapists), incentivizing the behavior/personality that later gives them bad relationship results and leads to even more complaining.
        But as you say, feminism makes men into something that women don’t want, creating even more unhappy females.

    • If your wife intentionally fails to render you the marriage debt, this is a sin on her part. However, sinning does not make her not your wife.

      As Adam found to his peril, if your wife sins, the appropriate response is not to also indulge in sin.

      Further, recognizing this does not in any way, shape, or form imply condoning your wife’s sin.

  2. Ah, the myth that women can “support themselves”. They do so with tax money taken from men, assets stripped from men in divorce court, and protection from violence that only men can provide. When Emma is old and ugly, she will watch in horror as her house deteriorates and men who feel toward her neither love, nor lust, nor pity* charge her exhorbitant prices for every repair.

    Or she rents, and the landlord kicks her out to make room for immigrants that she voted to let into the country.

    *Why should anyone pity a spinster? By holding out for Mr. Perfect, she denied a decent man the chance to marry and raise a family.

    • I pity fools because I have so often been a fool myself. And like many of these spinsters, I was in many cases fooled into my folly. This doesn’t mean I was innocent. W. C. Fields was right when he said, “you can’t cheat an honest man,” and you can’t fool a man (or woman) who doesn’t have some predisposing weakness to the folly. The spinsters we should not pity are the hags who pass the poison on to younger women.

      • See there you go. I pity all kinds of people who made bad decisions, I’ve made plenty and I’m blessed that I’m not far worse off.

        It’s when I’ve seen older women, even ostensibly Christian ones, poison younger women that they should start sleeping with their boyfriends, get an abortion, etc., that it’s heinous. And I’m talking about first hand knowledge of these older women doing just that.

    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit_Jobs

      And a great many jobs in our “post-industrial” society are Bullshit Jobs. Useless jobs that are either government, quasi-government, government contractor, created by government regulation, ………. etc. Created by extracting resources from men who, considered as a group, pay pretty much all net tax.
      And females hold a disproportionate amount of these jobs. Most essential jobs are held by men – who collects your garbage, fixes your plumbing, builds your roads and bridges, etc.? Who fixes stuff when it breaks?

      Why should men, as a group, support women with the creation of Bullshit Jobs and with welfare?

  3. The Biblical ideal of leadership completely undermines any authoritarian lording it over others anyway, because Jesus ‘came to serve not to be served’. Also 1 Corinth 7:5 says don’t deny each other except by mutual consent for the purpose of prayer, and that with a time limit. Western patriarchy never fully embodied biblical marriage, which is really supposed to be an arrangement of mutual love, feminism overlooks it completely and just becomes an inverted form of patriarchy, ie treating marriage as power structures rather than relationships.

    • In my experience, authority is like machinery. It breaks down if it is never used, and if it is used too often. I agree that the language of patriarchy to easily becomes an inversion of feminism, and then what should be a dance becomes a wrestling match.

      • @JMSmith

        This is why testing the woman’s character is important. If she is headstrong and will never yield then she is never ever suitable as a wife for any Christian Man.

        If the Church never yields and never obeys Jesus. Is she really the Bride of Christ?

    • Mutual love and hierarchy go together, though, according to the divine plan. The human element of us rebels against that today, and tends to see “equality” or “egalitarian” as being a requirement for “mutual love”, but in the eyes of God this is manifestly not the case — the relationships that are spelled out by God (God/man, King/ruled, parents/children, husband/wife) are characterized by different forms of mutual love which are all, each and every one of them, expressed in the form of loving, dutiful hierarchies. Hierarchy and love go hand and hand in the eyes of God and Paul went to great pains to refer to this explicitly when he was describing Christian marriage by explicitly comparing it to Christ and the Church … but all humans want to see is power, and how much of it we have and can exercise vis-a-vis each other, and the idea that something can be “mutual” and be “hierarchical”, while clearly the divine plan in all areas, seems beyond the human ability to grasp or desire, in a true sense. We are far too interested in where we stand relative to each other in power, and this arises from sin.

      • The modern slogan “love is love” provides a striking example of failure to grasp this fact. As Plato says, love is always for that which I am not. I cannot love that which is identical to me because there is nothing for me to desire in such a being.

    • Yet Jesus as Shepherd of his Sheep the Church who is likewise his Wife. Is still Head. He commands and they obey.

      He serves by ruling justly and wisely and attending to their needs.

  4. It is possible to advocate this principle and yet disapprove of any number of abuses of male primacy.

    It’s worth noting, though your supple phrasing suggests you may have already had it in mind, that the female is quite capable of her own abuses of male primacy.

    • As I said in another comment, it’s like a dance in which the male leads and the female can, if she chooses, trip him up or tread on his toes.

  5. Pingback: Wherefore Patriarchy? | Reaction Times

  6. I think it’s pretty clear cut. Treat the wife as Christ treats the church. And the wife is commanded to submit to him as Church submits to Christ.
    This is an imperative for all marriages under Christ.

  7. While this isn’t “romantic”, or, from a Christian perspective, complete, marriage 1.0 was an economic exchange. The woman has an excess of sexual/reproductive capacity and the man has an excess of labor capacity (men generally “need” less material things than women). Under marriage 1.0, men & women exchanged these two things. The husbands “owned” (not literally as chattel) the woman’s sexual/reproduction capacity (including children – and yes there should be default father custody) and the woman “owned” the man (and the fruits of his labor) as a beast of burden. Feminists love to talk about the former when remembering marriage 1.0 but never talk about the latter because it would undermine their claim to being victims under marriage 1.0.

    Since this lady is asking what’s in it for women (marriage 1.0), men should ask what’s in it for them to support women through taxes, made up Bullshit Jobs, doing them favors, fixing crap, protecting/serving etc. under marriage 2.0.

    We should also ask why so many of them endlessly complain about there being “no good men” particularly after they hit the wall -it’s all over mainstream publications, women’s facebooks, etc.

    The main thing men get from women that they can’t get from other men is sex and children. Otherwise, other men make much better companions (more common interests, fewer intersex difficulties, less emotional instability, men “need” less material things, etc.

    Yes, marriage can (and should) be more than this “exchange” – you can be best friends with your wife – but this exchange is basic for men.

    Sorry to the editors for the crudeness of this comment – not up to your usual standards – but occasionally you have to talk about basic stuff and it can be, well, base.

    • A marriage should be more than this, just as a home should be more than pipes, wires and shingles. But a marriage that takes no account of this will work about as well as a home where the owner takes no account of the pipes, wires and shingles.

  8. Before feminist caterwauling made the word “patriarchy” pejorative, it was properly understood more as a code of male responsibility than as a code of male privilege. In traditional societies, men did not have the “privilege” of providing for and defending their wives and families, they had the responsibility of doing so. Through most of human history, the vast majority of men had no special privileges over women, but were only cogs in a wheel or canon fodder. One of the most common fallacies in feminist thought is the “apex fallacy”; that is, since a handful of privileged people at the top are mostly men, then ALL men are privileged. Tell that to the grunts who mined the coal, who suffered all but a small fraction of workplace fatalities, who put their lives on the line to protect home and country, etc. etc. Such privilege!

    • The apex fallacy is one that contemporary women use to justify promiscuity. The story goes that back in the day, men were encouraged to “sow their royal oats” so “it’s our turn now.” In reality, only a tiny fraction of men in the good old days had a bunch of women until they settled down. The vast majority, if they escaped being canon fodder, got to be draft horses for the girls next door.

  9. “A decent person can say that there can be no such thing as marital rape, and yet deplore brutal “forced sex” in marriage.”

    Do you condemn this legally or just morally?

    I will make a hypothetical situation if I was to run a campaign that advocated selling 90% of men in the US on those terms to a different country. The men would get food, clothing, and shelter from their masters.

    The men could legally be

    1. Forced to have sex
    2. Imprisoned in an asylum without a medical exam
    3. Moderately physically chastised
    4. Imprisoned in their house indefinitely (never see daylight)


    1. Could not contract themselves
    2. Would have their wages directly debited to their master
    3. Would lose all property and movable goods they possessed to their master
    4. Have their children taken away from them at their master’s will

    But I condemn it when the men were forced to have sex, imprisoned at home or asylum, were separated from their children, beaten, etc. I also told the men that I sold them to, to love their chattel as Christ loved the church but that the chattel should ultimately submit regardless-1 Peter 3 “win them without the word” eg (suffer in silence). Should I be considered a misandrist for suggesting this as a policy? The point I’m trying to make is there is a significant difference between morally condemning bad behavior from men and encouraging good behavior to criminally punishing men for bad behavior.

    “The impulse to rape is in many cases checked only by fear of apprehension and punishment. Remove that and add the multiple manias of men in combat, and you will understand why an invaded people must hide their wives and daughters in secret cellars.”

    If you believe that men are primarily motivated by punishment then why would condemning bad behavior and telling men to love their wife be enough?

    “Ah, the myth that women can “support themselves”…”

    Women can financially support themselves, whether they do or not. Would you show me the statistics that suggest that the majority of women are not?

    Women are worse at protecting themselves than being protected by men, but I think that any rational woman should hedge her bet on protecting herself as opposed to sighing the marriage 1.0 contract, as I think that she would be doing herself a significant disservice.

    “Tell that to the grunts who mined the coal, who suffered all but a small fraction of workplace fatalities, who put their lives on the line to protect home and country, etc. etc. Such privilege!”

    I don’t think that men were privileged. I think that perpetual breastfeeding/pregnancy does not sound fun but as opposed to:
    1. 70 hours of manual labor per week
    2. A legal obligation to fight in wars (that for the majority of human history, they would have not have been able to vote on and would have benefited them or their family little)
    3. Social obligation to fight/die for your family
    4. Only a small percentage of men owning their property and being paid in tokens or food to reduce their mobility so that they were dependent on their employers.

    While I would believe that lower classmen, the majority of men had it worse, I think that middle and upper-class men had it significantly better than women.

    • I have stated my views as clearly as I am able, largely as a courtesy to an off the wall question from you. Under marriage 1.0, men were often charged with brutality against their wives. It was not uncommon for other men to chastise a brutal husband with horsewhips and ax handles. So deploring brutality in marriage could go much further than simply wishing it were not happening. But the charge was not rape because rape had a different legal definition, and a man could no more rape his own wife than he could trespass on his own land.

      I think men (and women) are motivated by many different things, and that the primary motive varies from person to person, culture to culture, and age to age. Heck, my primary motive varies from hour to hour.

      It is often said that hard cases make bad law. We might also say that bad marriages make bad marriage laws. I mean that marriage law will be bad if it is primarily designed to save people who are in bad marriages by giving them escape hatches and defensive weapons to beat each other over the head with. Most marriages are relatively happy, and therefore do not need escape hatches and defensive weapons. The evidence of recent decades tells me that they are made less happy when escape hatches and defensive weapons are built into the institution.

      Are you a regular reader who is commenting for the first time, or did you just stumble upon this site?

      • I have been reading this site for about a week.

        „It was not uncommon for other men to chastise a brutal husband with horsewhips and ax handles.“

        They had to be very brutal to be punished and from what I have read, it was a fine. The punishments were worse in the late 1850‘s onwards when new act‘s started to be passed.

        You never responded to my question, would you consider me a misandrist for advocating selling 90% of men into slavery on these terms?

        „I think men (and women) are motivated by many different things, and that the primary motive varies from person to person, culture to culture, and age to age.“

        I take The Clockwork Orange approach, I think we are primarily motivated by external stimuli (Law and order).

      • Your question seems to be asking if God is a misogynist, which I doubt. Cultural institutions such as marriage and sex roles are, after all, means to deal with obdurate natural facts about the human species. Until very recently, one obdurate natural fact about the women is that they were physically weak, sexually attractive and partly incapacitated by long bouts of pregnancy, childbearing and motherhood. It was therefore necessary that she be protected and provided for, and the institution of marriage performed this function. The fact that something of the sort exists in all human societies suggests that it is the best answer to a question set by obdurate natural facts about the human species.

        The relation was, no doubt, akin to slavery for some women. It was also akin to slavery for some men. Half of human literature is a testament to what men and women suffer in bad marriages. Of course the other half is a testament to what they enjoy in marriages that are good.

        Just to be clear, advocates of marriage 1.0 believe that it is possible to improve marriage 1.0. They just deny that marriage 2.0 is an improvement.

  10. You should make this is a permanent FAQ sidebar (or whatever those things are called) for others who are bewildered when they first read here.

    • Thanks for this high commendation. It has particular value coming from what I believe is a member of the sex that is said to groan under the rod of patriarchy. I’m afraid Kristor has the keys to the inner workings of the site, and I would probably be baffled by those workings if he gave me those keys.

      • I have the keys? Must have mislaid them somewhere …

        Seriously, I can make this post an essay easily enough, if it isn’t that already. That will keep it near the surface of the site, pretty permanently.

  11. Your question seems to be asking if God is a misogynist, which I doubt.“

    No, I’m asking if marriage 1.0, was advocated to be done to men by women, would it be misandry? Is marriage 1.0, what you believe God is advocating for? Do you think I would be a fair/good person advocating that marriage 1.0 happened to men in the form of slavery? Though I obviouslys alway’s verbally condemed any bad behaviour on behalf of their master’s.

    „Until very recently, one obdurate natural fact about the women is that they were physically weak, sexually attractive, and partly incapacitated by long bouts of pregnancy, childbearing, and motherhood. It was, therefore, necessary that she be protected and provided for, and the institution of marriage performed this function.“

    I can understand the historical reason for the institution of marriage 1.0 to a degree. I can’t understand the modern justification for it, for women. A woman can financially support themselves, we don’t live in a society where 70 hours of manual labor is the only way you can support yourself. The average wage for women was below the living wage then so the majority of women could not support themselves. Although being protected by an individual man is preferable to be protected by the police, we have a more apt police force than we did 200 years ago and times are a lot less dangerous. Besides, I think that marriage 1.0 is significantly more dangerous than being yourself. For example:

    A man takes your children
    A man forces you to have sex
    A man takes your wages
    A man locks you in your house
    A man beats you
    A man places you in an asylum
    A man takes your property
    A man attempt’s to thwart your ability to enter contracts

    Call the police!

    Replace man with a husband and marriage 2.0 with marriage 1.0, they cannot do anything as he is completely within his legal rights. The law is on your side before you marry, on his side after you marry. You suggest that coverture should make women feel safe, would you feel safe if you had this contract with your government?

    Food/shelter/clothing and „protection“ for complete control over you, your earnings, your property, and your children.

    Would you consider yourself protected or oppressed?
    Would you fight for your freedom or “win them without the word” when they were cruel?

    „The fact that something of the sort exists in all human societies suggests that it is the best answer to a question set by obdurate natural facts about the human species.“

    Existed, the marriage 1.0 contract is agrarian/industrial(to an extent)

    „The relation was, no doubt, akin to slavery for some women. It was also akin to slavery for some men.“

    The wife was legally her husband’s property pre-1850 with little legal rights, she had no control over him beyond being kept alive financially by him. I can understand where you are coming from though, this would have meant for most men that they would have to work 70hours a week and the majority of his pay would have been spent providing his family with clothing, food, and shelter.

    Nowadays that would not be the case, selling yourself for food, clothing and shelter would be absurd.

    „Just to be clear, advocates of marriage 1.0 believe that it is possible to improve marriage 1.0.“

    How would you improve marriage 1.0?

    Historically during a divorce, if the man was at fault-he would get the house, children, and most of the money.
    If the wife was at fault, she would get nada.

    How would you handle a divorce?

    I think that if an adulterous/abusive wife by law always took the children, house, and the majority of the couple’s money your site would criticise this law, would I be right in thinking this?

    • You have already won this war, Emma. Marriage 2.0 is the law of the land throughout the West, and the U.S. Air Force now drops bombs to spread Western feminism to benighted savages on the dark continents. If you like marriage 2.0, all you have to do is find one of the many compliant fellows who agree with you, and settled down to a lifetime of egalitarian bliss. The law and elite opinion is entirely on your side, so no one will interfere or look askance if you keep your maiden name, or maintain separate bank accounts, or divorce each other, or loudly declare your intention to remain child-free. There are, however, some women who do not like marriage 2.0, either prospectively or after experience, and the Orthosphere (very occasionally) writes for those women. This is not the same as having your lifestyle celebrated in the New York Times, but we hope it is something. Woman who are attracted to what I called “humane patriarchy” are routinely shamed by elite opinion, and therefore naturally look for reassurance that they are not the gullible dupes that feminism says they are. To the extent that we write about patriarchy here, which is not very often at all, we try to provide that reassurance. None of us expect to live long enough to talk committed feminists out of their loyalty to marriage 2.0.

      • As one of those pesky women, I rather admire Emma. When I first started reading this site, I had all the questions she has but I was enraged. I often typed out and then deleted absolutely furious comments because it’s pointless to start conversations with such as that. I’m very favorably impressed by how she has asked her questions calmly and respectfully. I’m still not in favor of marriage 1.0, but marriage 2.0 has glaringly obvious problems, at least in my sight, which I think matters too, though I am not a credentialed professional feminist but lo, a mere clerical worker to those so blessed.

        I guess I’ll be pondering some of these questions until my brain won’t ponder any more, But I know that women, and especially poor and working class women, even women like me, quite literate but not in officially sanctioned ways, have merely traded slavery to husband for slavery for a J.O.B. and a B.O.S.S. and having it be a girl boss often means, as it has for me, finding that your boss despises you even more for your failures. I’m still trapped but with the added extra feature of childlessness. It’s not unreasonable at all to question if what we have today was all that great a plan to reform marriage 1.0

      • I didn’t mind answering Emma’s questions, but would not call them respectful. She appeared out of nowhere and demanded, apropos of nothing in the post, how I could possibly defend patriarchy. Patriarchy is hardly a major motif in my writing, or on the Orthosphere generally. And she does not appear to have been interested in what I wrote or why I wrote it, but only in objecting to what I wrote and why I wrote it. If I asked a Buddhist what he thought of the “afterlife,” I would consider it rude to use his answer as a springboard to launch into my objections against Buddhism and the concept of nirvana.

        I believe Emma also used the term “slavery.” I would suggest that we avoid using this term because it impairs our thinking, even about slavery. It has become a the name of that which should not be, and thus a universal yelp of complaint. We are all much less free and respected than we would like to be. We all earn less than we would like, take orders from people we consider fools, and are trapped in untold hours of degrading drudgery without the slightest hope of thanks. It is Saturday. I worked all week, with most of what I earned going to support my family. In a few minutes I will begin eight hours of household chores and maintenance, mostly at my wife’s behest. I cannot quit this job. Far from being paid for what I do, I must pay for any materials I use. Someone may say “thanks, Dad, it’s great to see the toilet no longer leaks,” but I would not count on it. My point is that I don’t call this “slavery,” or at least not most of the time. I call it life. Do I occasionally fantasize a life in which my work was cut in half and my rewards were increased tenfold? Sure. But I call this a fantasy. I do not make it into an ideology, and I do not accost random women with pointed questions about “why is it the always the man who has to fix the leaky toilet?”

        I’m sorry if this has begun to sound defensive, but contrary to what feminists appear to believe, the life of a man is not all beer and skittles. I hope I am reasonably sympathetic to the travails of womanhood, and would find this easier if there were more reciprocity.

      • I can’t answer for the authors and the questions weren’t addressed to me – nevertheless they seem to be permitting me.
        My wife has abandoned the feminist outlook she was taught and has 8 and counting children – she will die surrounded by people who love her, a husband, children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren as my grandmother did. As her husband, I love and respect her – I do not abuse my headship over her even if I could get away with it. I don’t bark orders at her – I probably do as many chores as she does (aside from infant care since I can’t lactate) as well as earning 100% of the income, most of which, she spends and I don’t mean on essentials (this doesn’t bother me btw, men don’t need much stuff and I like to see her happy – that’s what happens when you love someone) If it’s to be described as slavery (typical Marxist victim language) then men were slaves under v1.0 – well I’ll take this form of slavery as we both feel loved.
        I don’t believe the claims that marriage 1.0 was characterized by slavery and abuse. There are always exceptions and no human institution can be perfected (they wanted it perfected not reformed since they essentially demanded zero bad outcomes). I have at least 7 close examples of marriage 1.0 (parents, grandparents, great grandparents) none of which were abusive or slavery.
        What I see among my female high-school classmates (now 46 – barely too old to have babies) is loneliness and lamentations over having no children, over having no husband instead of the 60 year marriage of their grandparents (these are the literal words posted on social media by girls I grew up with). Of facing an old age of loneliness. I can’t imagine not be willing to take a chance on happiness with v1.0 instead of this sort of life – I don’t think you can have love and happiness without risk and I think that applies at the societal level as well as the individual level. I’d take the chance/risk over emptiness (I don’t agree with MGTOW either) but I’m not a woman. We like to make fun of white knights but I think a lot of us still have protective instincts over women’s hearts and I do feel pity for many of them.
        Sorry if any of this is unintentionally hurtful to female readers– I have yet to see a suggestion of what 3.0 should look like – even an outline.

      • Egalitarianism is the Satanic model. Lucifer envied God, revolted against the hierarchy of heaven, and the rest, as they say, is history. The New Testament tells the story of a revolt against a corrupt hierarchy, and sham authority, but this is not a revolt against hierarchy and authority as such. If we are to judge trees by their fruits, it must be supposed that those fruits are not equal. Therefore those trees are not equal. Jesus obviously hated pretension and pomposity, but he was by no means a leveler.

      • Treating all people justly is neither Satanic nor egalitarian. But the Satanic impulse is pride, and pride is expressed as either arrogance or envy. Arrogance is inordinate pride, envy injured pride. Satan was both arrogant and envious. Among humans, males seem to be more prone to arrogant pride, females to envious pride. Feminists will tell you that females envy males because males arrogated all the good roles. This is partly true, since males are prone to arrogance. But it is also evidence of the female vice of envy.

        My reading of the New Testament epistles is that egalitarianism was the first Christian heresy, and Paul’s principal task was to quash the idea that a Christian church was a sort of hippy commune. I presume he wrote against women speaking out in church because women were speaking out in church, and because they subverted the Faith when they took this liberty.

      • That may be your basic definition, but Plato and Aristotle disagree. It is true that the equally deserving should receive equal deserts, but that is not what most people mean by egalitarianism. Egalitarianism is the doctrine that the deserving and undeserving should receive equal deserts because the whole notion of just deserts is perverse.

      • “You know egalitarianism is the Biblical model, right?”

        Yes, Christians (the Bishop Christians AND the Bible Christians) got it wrong for nearly two thousand years. Fortunately (and coincidently!!) Christians got it right at the same time that the secular left got it right!!

      • “Treating men and women, and persons of all races, as equal in practice and not just lip service (e.g. female pastors, not expecting obedient wives, etc) is satanic?”

        Absolutely. It’s against the nature of God’s creation – which He said is good.

        We’re so lucky to have Bible-bloggers to police us.

      • cameron232: I can’t tell how serious you are, given your last comment, but you might be interested to know that ancient Christian frescoes show female pastors and clergy leading congregations.

      • We know they were talking in the churches. That’s why St. Paul told them to sit down and be quiet. The churches in which the women kept talking disappeared. The Church in which they followed the advice of St. Paul survived. Churches that repeat the experiment of the former group will have the same results (although the Church that followed St. Paul is doing all it can to disappear as well).

      • Since the natural reading of 1 Corinthians 14:34 is that he was affirming the doctrine, you’re going to have to provide an argument. If your argument requires special gnosis, then we will know what we are dealing with.

      • “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?”
        Read those last sentences. Sure sounds like a rebuke of the “women are meant to be seen and not heard” doctrine.
        Also, despite what verse 34 seems to claim, NOWHERE in the Law or ANYWHERE ELSE in Scripture is such a commandment found. He’s not referring to God’s Law.

      • As you know, Paul’s stricture is given in the context of a larger rebuke against glossolalia in the Corinthian church. This was unseemly and caused the careless innovation that always accompanies religious enthusiasm. Histrionic women were, apparently, making the Corinthian Christians look like hippies who just dropped acid. The line “What? came the word God out of you?” is obviously addressed to the babbling Corinthians generally, and concludes a series of strictures on glossolalia, not just the stricture on women.

        This is why a sensible conclusion is that women can talk in church, and can even read the Word, but that they should not prophesy. I would suggest two reasons why Paul especially feared female prophets. First, females are more emotional than men (on average), and therefore more likely to mistake a mood for an inspiration. Second, a histrionic women can lead men astray with her sex appeal. These are facts one discovers in the course of living, not in the course of reading the Bible.

      • 1 Corinthians 11 talks about women prophesying (with no hint of it being wrong), and your comment ignores the simple Biblical fact of prophetesses and that God speaks through women.
        Your closing remarks are ridiculous strawmen and stereotypes. Men are just as likely to go astray or incorrectly claim inspiration as women. And if you’re going to make absurd claims about sex appeal, that applies just as much to make preachers (with female congregants) as women.

      • Paul was rebuking a false doctrine – the idea that women should sit down and shut up being the false doctrine.

        Oh boy! I should imagine that what Paul was rebuking was the likes of Rev. Anna Howard Shaw. To wit:

        “I would like to make motherhood a governmental institution. I would pension all mothers and have them provided for first to last by the state. I believe that motherhood should be independent of any man.”


        “I believe in Woman Suffrage whether all women vote or no women vote; whether all women vote right or all women vote wrong; whether women will love their husbands after they vote or forsake them; whether they will neglect their children or never have any children.”


  12. The reason why women are so bad at choosing partners in modern society is probably related to evolutionary history; which has failed to equip women with the necessary discriminatory and attracting instincts. This is because – all through history and in all known societies – parental choice over marriage partners was very influential in marriage. In both sexes, but especially for women. Lacking parental help and influence (indeed vehemently rejecting it!), and with perverse and inverted advice from the mainstream, a lot of bad sexual choices are inevitable.


    • Thats a good way of putting it. And if our children learn one bit of literature, it’s some version of the Romeo and Juliet story in which parental objections are sheer prejudice.

    • Parental choice didn’t so much drive our evolution, it protected us from our evolutionary instincts (I think Dr. Charlton’s friends Woodley, Dutton, et. al. overemphasize recent evolution vs our very primordial instincts.

      Women are hypergamous not just in the limited dictionary definition of the word. Women are incentivized to two different things that often conflict in individual men: raw sexual attraction (handsome masculinity, dominant personality) vs. social status/resources/K-selected commitment. And women tend to desire each of these things in a degree higher than what their status merits. Not their fault as it’s a function of female biology and the high cost/risk and limitations of their reproduction.

      Patriarchy protected women and children (as well as non-predatory men) and society itself from the consequences of biology. Patriarchal societies beat non-Patriarchies – technology won’t save us from the consequences of ignoring biology.

  13. I’ve gotten the impression that Emma, like many feminists, has an unhealthy fear and distrust of men and authority. So she is not ready for marriage of any variety. But I do think it is good for her to talk about her fears.

  14. “She appeared out of nowhere and demanded, apropos of nothing in the post, how I could defend patriarchy.”

    I said “I would appreciate a response”, I did not say “I demand a response”.

    “…merely traded slavery to husband for slavery for a J.O.B. and a B.O.S.S. … “

    I don’t think that you are your employee’s slave, and if you were married, obeyed your husband, and were a homemaker you would still not be his slave.

    “ I worked all week, with most of what I earned going to support my family.”-JMSmith

    “If it’s to be described as slavery (typical Marxist victim language) then men were slaves under v1.0 – well I’ll take this form of slavery as we both feel loved.”-Bruce

    I think that I have to make a distinction between slave, functional slave, and employee.

    The definition of a slave I am using is:

    “a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them.”

    Functional slave
    I described men in the past as functional slaves because:
    They did not own property
    Fought in wars voted on, and benefiting the men that could vote.
    They were financially dependent on their employers(lack of mobility)
    They were ultimately forced by law to provide necessities for their family: food, clothing, and shelter. This would have been their entire wage and legally obliged them to work 70 hours per week.

    Although they weren’t a slave as they weren’t legally the property of anyone.

    Wife-pre 1870-1890

    Women were by law the property of their husbands and were forced to obey them, by this definition they were slaves. This doesn’t mean I believe that men were tyrants but the legal relationship between husband and wife was master and slave.


    I would not consider men functionally slaves in modern society. The majority of men own property, may vote, are not financially dependent on their employer, the average wage allows for money to be extended beyond keeping your family alive and the average workweek has halved.

    “There are always exceptions and no human institution can be perfected”

    I think that if a political candidate advocated for the slavery of 90% of men, you would not find “no institution can be perfect” a reasonable justification.

    “…What I see among my female high-school classmates (now 46 – barely too old to have babies) is loneliness and lamentations over having no children…”

    Sites like this suggest this idea that there are so many women that are childless and unmarried. I would like to be provided a statistic that suggests that there are large numbers of the mid-30s/ early 40’s women, childless and unmarried.

    I wouldn’t advocate for a career in your early/mid 20’s and family in your mid 30’s and early 40’s, contrary to this I would suggest the opposite.

    • There is very little chance you will change our minds, and even less that we will change yours. And the number of our readers who are young women of marriageable age is, alas, very small. So there is no point in staging a debate in the hope of winning the undecided vote. If I were you, I would go out and enjoy the fruits of female emancipation, and would not waste time picking old bones with antediluvian men.


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