I came across this today, a discussion about patriarchy by a feminist (named Clarissa). She’s discussing a post from another feminist (named Soraya) at Alternet.
Soraya believes that nasty, old, religious men hate and fear young women for some unspecified reason and instill patriarchy because of this fear.
She’s wrong in that the patriarchy is designed to oppress women; any control occurring over women in patriarchy is only incidental to patriarchy’s primary purpose of controlling men.
Clarissa notes the obvious, that the non-religious and women are just as interested in maintaining patriarchy as the religious. She notes that the patriarchy “oppresses people who can’t or won’t conform to traditional gender roles.”
She’s more right. In a later post she clarifies what she means by patriarchy.
The patriarchy is a system of social relations where… people accept and enforce strict gender roles in order to perpetuate the system where men castrate themselves emotionally and psychologically in order to be able to purchase women and women castrate themselves sexually and professionally in order to be able to sell themselves.
She believes this to be a bad thing.
She’s right, in that patriarchy is designed to psychologically and emotionally castrate men, she’s wrong in that this is necessarily a bad thing.
Let’s start at the beginning.
The male human is the single most ruthless, deadly, and dangerous predator ever brought forth by nature. A single male human is capable of wreaking terrifying damage. A group of male humans can execute almost unfathomable levels of destruction.
In addition to being capable of mass destruction, the male human is naturally inclined towards violence.
The male human is the apex predator.
In addition to being a predator, the human male is also a creator, capable of building wonders beyond imagination.
The human male is also capable of extreme laziness and hedonism.
The average male, is generally neutral in his inclination to his choice between hedonism, destruction, and creation.
Hedonism is easiest and is enjoyable, but scarcity makes it impossible but for those living in abundance and safety. Hedonism also does nothing to benefits society; rather it simply consumes resources.
Creation requires the most effort and is the least enjoyable (at least in the short-term), but it creates value for society and meaning for the male human.
Destruction is enjoyable and is easier than creation, but it does not create value, it either value and/or takes value from someone else.
Society requires males humans to engage in creation to advance, but out of the three creation requires the most effort out of the male and is (often) the least enjoyable.
So, how does society encourage a male human to create?
There are really only three ways: force, access to resources, and sex/family.
Force is problematic. It requires other male humans to threaten this, so you have to encourage them to do so (so it doesn’t really solve the problem, only transfers it). It is also only moderately effective: a human male will usually counter with his own force when threatened and will often die before submitting, especially if the male has nothing to lose. Even if force works, an enslaved man will generally only work the bare minimum necessary to keep the threat at bay. The incentive structure for slaves is not set to maximize their creative potential.
Access to resources works, but only to a point and can be unreliable. Human males don’t require much to be happy: food, shelter, some entertainment (ie. destruction), and sex. He will create to get these basics, but attempting to bribe more creation out of him will likely be fruitless, he will often prefer his leisure to more resources. Also, if resources are withheld, he may simply respond with destruction to gain the resources.
The third option is sex/family. A male human will willingly create and undergo hardships he wouldn’t otherwise for the benefit of his mate and his children, and their futures. He will try to create (or destroy) to attain more resources than he would normally need or want simply to give to his family.
The third option is the only stable and reliable option where the majority of males will willingly create rather than engage in leisure or destruction. It is also the only option for society where the male doesn’t have a decent chance of responding with destruction.
The problem with the third option is a male human can not know if a child is his or not. The human female knows exactly which children are hers and can invest in them secure in that knowledge, the male does not and can not.
The male will rarely create for the sake of children not his own and will often attempt to destroy those children not his own.
For the male to create, he needs reassurance that his children are his own.
Also, if sex is freely available to a male, there is no need for him to create to access sex.
Under patriarchy sexual access is highly controlled by social mores and/or force.
Because sex occurs only in marriage, the married male human knows that the children of his wife are his and his alone. He will then be induced to create as much as he can to provide for them and ensure their future.
Because sex is restricted solely to marriage, the male can not go outside marriage for sexual access, so he needs to create to win and provide for a wife.
These restrictions on males force the male into creation to gain sexual access.
The patriarchy castrates his destructive impulses. His desire to rape, his desire to murder, his desire to burn, his desire to loot, his desire to laze about in leisure, they are all controlled, because if the male engages in this behaviour he loses his ability to engage in sex and reproduce. He loses his future.
Monogamous patriarchy goes further: by restricting sexual access for each male to a single female and ensuring that all but the greatest losers have sexual access, it decreases the likelihood of violent competition for sexual access by lowering the stakes and ensures that each male will have a family and children, ensuring he is invested in the future.
The patriarchy is essential to controlling male humans’ destructive impulses.
Isn’t castrating a male’s natural impulses under patriarchy wrong?
No, it is a necessary element of civilization. Marriage is the basis of civilization.
Civilization can not come into being without it.
Without this castration, society will either be chaos (as male humans fight for sexual access) or very primitive (think lost tribe in the jungle).
Any controlling of female humans in a patriarchal society is incidental. The controlling of women’s sexuality, by having social mores limiting her from having sex outside marriage, is a necessity for controlling males, but it is not the purpose of patriarchy. It is a by-product of controlling the males.
People who condemn the patriarchy are missing the bigger picture.
They live in a culture where the patriarchal castration of humans males is the norm and has been for millenia. They do not think outside it, so they see only the bad (the control) not the good.
They see only the castrated males, those males who have been inculcated for generations to create, not to destroy.
They assume all males are naturally like this. They do not realize that the mass castration of males through patriarchal mores has throughout history been what has suppressed their natural predatory instincts.
They react in horror when males engage in the violence that is natural to them. They seem to believe that this is somehow abnormal.
They do not realize that rape, murder, burning, looting, war, and violence are the norm.
The breakdown of the patriarchy can have will lead the male to either hedonism or destruction:
1) Male disengagement: As males’ desire for sex can be accessed outside of patriarchal marriage, they will contribute less to society. They will let laziness take over.
As our current patriarchy is breaking down, we can see this occurring in our society in two inter-related movements: the child-man and MGTOW. The child-man and MGTOW realizes that sex can be gotten outside the patriarchy (or forgoes sex altogether) and has no family to create for, so he creates only enough to sustain himself. He no longer creates what society needs to advance. If these movements become big enough, they could significantly impact the society’s production and continued health.
2) Violence: As males’ become less engaged they may engage in violence either in rage, to obtain resources, or for entertainment.
This is unlikely to occur on mass scale anytime soon, although it might. The destruction of the patriarchy in the black community has resulted in high criminal rates. The rest of society could follow.
The prevalence of porn and video games will leave most males too sated in relation to both sex and destruction, for a number of males to have enough inclination to engage in socially and legally proscribed violence, which should prevent a mass movement towards male violence.
Incidences of violence from individual males can be expected. Notice how among the examples of violence I posted, the perpetrators were single. Anytime you see a mass murder, a terrorist act, etc., check the relationship status of the male perpetrator; he will almost always be single. Patriarchal marriage reduces a male’s inclinations to violence.
Neither outcome is good for females.
Male disengagement means less resources for women, less resources for their children, less resources and progress for society as a whole, and a lack of fatherly involvement in their children with the attendant social problems.
Being less inclined to violence and less physically capable women are at the mercy of males should males decide to engage in violence.
The patriarchy exists to control males; control of females is incidental.
The patriarchy is good for both females and males and for society as a whole.