The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘The Weaker Goes to the Wall’

Posted on | January 21, 2016 | 95 Comments

Just ordered from Amazon another $98 worth of feminist books, including Rape: The Power of Consciousness by Susan Griffin (1979) and Undoing Gender by Judith Butler (2004). As I continued my research for the second edition of Sex Trouble: Radical Feminism and the War Against Human Nature this morning, I was reminded of something an early critic of feminism said:

“The fantastical project of yesterday, which was mentioned only to be ridiculed, is today the audacious reform, and will be tomorrow the accomplished fact.”

That was Robert Lewis Dabney, in an 1871 essay called “Women’s Rights Women.” Dabney was a Presbyterian theologian who, during the Civil War, served as chief of staff to Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. His theology and politics were firmly conservative and will strike most modern readers as shockingly “right-wing,” as Dabney condemned what he called “ultra democracy” and “infidel Radicalism.” Yet I think at this late date, after some 140 years of continued militance by the advocates of Progress and Equality, we may read what Dabney wrote and ask whether he was indeed a prophet:

God’s ordinance, the only effective human ordinance for checking and curbing the first tendencies to evil, is domestic, parental government. When the family shall no longer have a head, and the great foundation for the subordination of children in the mother’s example is gone; when the mother shall have found another sphere than her home for her energies; when she shall have exchanged the sweet charities of domestic love and sympathy for the fierce passions of the hustings; when families shall be disrupted at the caprice of either party, and the children scattered as foundlings from their hearthstone requires no wisdom to see that a race of sons will be reared nearer akin to devils than to men. In the hands ,of such a bastard progeny, without discipline, without homes, without a God, the last remains of social order will speedily perish, and society will be overwhelmed in savage anarchy.
Last: it would not be hard to show, did space permit, that this movement on the part of these women is as suicidal as it is mischievous. Its certain result will be the re-enslavement of women, not under the Scriptural bonds of marriage, but under the yoke of literal corporeal force. The woman who will calmly review the condition of her sex in other ages and countries will feel that her wisdom is to “let well enough alone.” Physically, the female is the “weaker vessel.” This world is a hard and selfish scene where the weaker goes to the wall. Under all other civilizations and all other religions than ours woman has experienced this fate to the full; her condition has been that of a slave to the male — sometimes a petted slave, but yet a slave. In Christian and European society alone has she ever attained the place of man’s social equal, and received the homage and honor due from magnanimity to her sex and her feebleness. And her enviable lot among us has resulted from two causes: the Christian religion and the legislation founded upon it by feudal chivalry. How insane then is it for her to spurn these two bulwarks of defense, to defy and repudiate the divine authority of that Bible which has been her redemption, and to revolutionize the whole spirit of the English common law touching woman’s sphere and rights. She is thus spurning the only protectors her sex has ever found, and provoking a contest in which she must inevitably be overwhelmed. Casting away that dependence and femininity which are her true strength, the “strong-minded woman” persists in thrusting herself into competition with man as his equal. But for contest she is not his equal; the male is the stronger animal. As man’s rival, she is a pitiful inferior, a sorry she-mannikin. It is when she brings her wealth of affection, her self-devotion, her sympathy, her tact, her grace, her subtle intuition, her attractions, her appealing weakness, and places them in the scale with man’s rugged strength and plodding endurance, with his steady logic, his hardihood and muscle. and his exemption from the disabling infirmities of her sex, that he delights to admit her full equality and to do glad homage to her as the crown of his kind. All this vantage-ground the “Women’s Rights women” madly throw away, and provoke that collision for which nature itself has disqualified them. They insist upon taking precisely a man’s chances: well, they will meet precisely the fate of a weak man among strong ones.

Some will surely find Dabney’s attitude toward women insulting, and will argue that he underestimated women’s fitness for “competition with man as his equal.” This may be so, but it is irrelevant to the more important point, namely that the subversion of parental authority and the destruction of the family — divorce “at the caprice of either party” — have produced exactly what Dabney predicted: A generation of young men “without discipline, without homes, without a God,” with the result that many communities are “overwhelmed in savage anarchy.”

Baltimore, St. Louis, Chicago — this kind of savagery is now so common in America’s cities that we take it for granted, just as we take for granted that there are more than 2 million inmates in our nation’s prisons, and that local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have a combined total of more than 1 million full-time employees on their payrolls. America is over-policed because American families are falling apart, and our society’s descent into “savage anarchy” is being hastened by the sort of Equality and Progress that have produced “a bastard progeny” of young men “nearer akin to devils than to men.”

When we hear feminists today lamenting “street harassment” and “rape culture” — a world in which all women “live in a state of continual vigilance about sexual safety,” according to Lindsay Beyerstein — we must not forget that the society in which we live today has been created in large part by the measures of “audacious reform” that earlier generations of “Women’s Rights women” demanded. Like an Old Testament prophet, Dabney tried to warn them, but they would not listen, and “the weaker goes to the wall.”




 

Comments

  • Fail Burton

    Activists aren’t happy with opportunity; they want outcomes. But only where they don’t already have it, such as sports, nursing, teaching, etc. Any men or whites showing such demographic spikes are reviled as sexist racists.

  • Ilion

    FWF only planted the seeds in the sense that they pointed out the inherent narcissism in men having the (unequal) privilege of voting, …

    Men *also* had the “unequal privilege” of being called upon to sacrifice their lives, or merely their limbs, to protect their societies from conquest, with all the suffering that entail for the women.
    .
    So, do you want women to have the same obligations of citizenship that men have always had? Probably not. And if you did, that would just demonstrate that you’re insane. So, rather than being insane, I expect that like most modern women, you want it both ways — whatever benefits you *at the moment* … no matter what it does to men … and no matter the inherent conflict with what else you want, is what you want. ‘Cause, after all, men are supposed to just take it; and men are supposed to make it all work out, even if it’s self-contradictory.

  • http://www.journal14.com/ Dana

    I see that I’m not the only one who realizes that our esteemed host can’t spell his own name!

  • http://www.journal14.com/ Dana

    And doctors and lawyers and accountants and virtually every other profession.

    As our host has pointed out, many times, the majority of college students are now female, and the majority of degrees awarded these days, at every level, are earned by women.

  • http://www.journal14.com/ Dana

    That they may be unhappy with outcomes does not mean that we should not provide equal opportunity.

    True story: back in the 90s, I was working at a concrete plant, when a female concrete mixer driver came in and said that she’d like to get off of the truck and into plants. I gave her her ‘job interview’ on the spot:

    Me: “Can you run a (front-end) loader?”

    Her: “Yes.”

    Me, pointing out the door: “There it is; show me.”

    And she did. Equal opportunity, a chance to prove what she could do, which she did. No special treatment given, and none required.

  • http://www.paganvigil.com NeoWayland

    Which ideas? The idea that a woman shouldn’t have the household as her sole focus? The idea that a woman’s choice is as important as a man’s choice?

    Tread carefully there unless you wish to make the RadFem’s arguments for them.

  • http://www.paganvigil.com NeoWayland

    This really isn’t about rights.

    Would you tell Evi L. Bloggerlady that she isn’t allowed to speak or write without permission? Would you tell Valerie Stewart that she may not carry a gun to defend herself? Would you tell DeadMessenger that she’s not allowed to vote?

    No, the real fight is not about rights. It’s about a certain viewpoint and belief system supported by government above all others and put beyond criticism. The RadFems say what they want, it’s never tested practically in the real world, and no one is allowed to dissent.

    That’s the fight. The rest is distraction.

  • http://www.paganvigil.com NeoWayland

    You can keep your Scripture. I won’t say one thing against it until someone tells me it’s the only thing people are allowed to use.

    There are other sources of wisdom. Over time, people tend to choose the ones that work best for them.

    As long as everything has to prove itself and nothing is being suppressed “for our own good.”

    You know, like the RadFems are trying to do.

  • Ilion

    And what are the majority of those pretend degrees in? They certainly are not in STEM fields; hell, they’re not even in accounting.

  • http://www.paganvigil.com NeoWayland

    Without acknowledging that Dabney was talking mainly about women’s suffrage, his statement is worthless.

  • Jason Lee

    https://archive.org/stream/feminismingreekl00wriguoft/feminismingreekl00wriguoft_djvu.txt

    Oh, and the idea of treading lightly to avoid triggering a torrent of politically correct criticism is almost LOL funny.

  • robertstacymccain

    The use of the phrase “child brides” particularly disturbs me here. In the past, when life was much more hazardous, most men and women alike married at much younger ages than they do today. This was especially true in rural communities and, until the media panic over “teen pregnancy” in the 1980s, nobody thought it unusual that a 16-year-old girl in North Georgia should marry her 18-year-old boyfriend, especially if the girl was pregnant. The boy would get a job in the carpet mill, the grandparents would help them take care of the baby so the girl could finish high school — this was not a “crisis,” just the normal way of life for the Redneck Romeo and Juliet.

    The United Nations has begun crusading against “child brides” in the Third World, which is a very different sort of phenomenon, but in doing so, the UN is fostering the idea that any time a girl marries before she is 18, she is a “child bride” and therefore a victim. This is bullshit, and we need to call it what it is. The founder of the Tudor dynasty — Henry VII, grandfather of Elizabeth I — was the son of Margaret Beaufort, who was 12 when she married 25-year-old Edmund Tudor, and 13 when she gave birth to Henry. It is absurd to pretend that Margaret Beaufort was a victim of society, and we ought to stop letting liberals tell us what to think.

  • robertstacymccain

    The immutability of human nature is little understood by a generation that has not read enough history to know what human nature actually is.

  • http://www.paganvigil.com NeoWayland

    I didn’t say tread lightly, I said tread carefully.

    Personally I think it’s a woman’s right to choose.

    I’m not about to limit any woman, any more than I would limit any man. I’m with Dana up there, let people show what they can do.

    The problem with the RadFems is that they think any choice other than theirs should be suppressed.

  • Ilion

    Several of the comments in this thread perfectly illustrate why and how it is that feminism is so effectively able to destroy our culture and civilization — the very people who imagine they are opposing feminism (*) *always* turn out, like ants from a kicked anthill, to defend it when someone criticizes it radically (**). People who imagine they are conservative are OK with criticizing feminism around the edges, but criticize its core assumptions, and, as they share those assumptions, they will turn on you.

    (*) and in this category I ultimately include our generous host; for, he still subscribes to the silly Victiorian pedistalization of woman which is the undergirding support of feminism’s critical doctrine that no man can do any good nor have any opinion worth anyone’s time.

    (**) ‘radically’ means at the root.

  • Ilion

    The lack of understanding about human nature isn’t due merely to general or historical ignorance. This ignorance is also a metaphysical requirement — for, if I have a nature by virtue of being a human being, them I can’t invent myself.

    To put it another way: if there is such a thing as human nature, then I am not God.

  • Ilion

    … Margaret Beaufort, who was 12 when she married 25-year-old Edmund Tudor, and 13 when she gave birth to Henry [VII Tudor].

    So, probably, she, and her mother before her, got ample nutrition. And, likely, she wasn’t raised in the household of her (biological) father; or, if she was technically raised in her father’s household, she had limited contact with him.

  • Ilion

    On a level playing field average men and women seem equal, but the level playing field was designed, engineered, built, maintained and defended with the strength and intelligence of men.

    In other words, this “level playing field” is very much *not* a level playing field; it’s intentionally designed — by us men — to smooth the way for women, and to shield them from what they would experience on a truly level “level playing field”.

  • Prime Director

    Yeah, “crazy” is medicine

    or poison

    When u go to the well, be careful wutchu bring back bruh-man

  • Quartermaster

    Much of what you post is irrelevant. You’ve outdone yourself here. That you have little wisdom to call on is, however, self evident.

  • Prime Director

    A man living in his time would naturally think that the world would always be a series of small hamlets and townships where the “strong” could forever dominate the “weak,” and could not have comprehended our modern society.

    Off. Way off. Wrongwrongwrong:

    when families shall be disrupted at the caprice of either party, and the children scattered as foundlings from their hearthstone requires no wisdom to see that a race of sons will be reared nearer akin to devils than to men. In the hands ,of such a bastard progeny, without discipline, without homes, without a God, the last remains of social order will speedily perish, and society will be overwhelmed in savage anarchy./blockquote>

    He saw the contours of the modern age clearly enough. Those aren’t the denizens of small hamlets and townships he’s describing, its the feral progeny of sundered families in the modern metropolis.

  • Prime Director

    I suggest using a bristle blaster and MEK

  • http://www.paganvigil.com NeoWayland

    You won’t dispute what I say so you try to declare I’m “irrelevant.”

    But you have successfully demonstrated certain tactics that RadFems use.

  • Quartermaster

    While true of some things, those that require upper body strength are a different kettle of fish. I was never able to hire a woman, other than a time keeper, in my highway department because of the lifting requirements. Drivers and operators had to be able to come down on the ground to do the manual labor often required in a highway maintenance organization.

    Some other counties did hire women in such roles, and they paid a price in resentment from the rest when the women were unable to carry their share of the load.

  • Quartermaster

    Women dominate in the useless degree area. In STEM, they are a distinct minority. To reliably succeed in STEM requires an IQ of 120+. The best Engineers are 130+. Men dominate in those ranges.

    Women do dominate in things like Sociology, Economics, Psychology, and Women’s Studies. Three of those areas are questionable, and Economics “practitioners” are all over the park. For every Friedman, Williams or Sowell, there are countless idiots like Krugman. Most women go into Psychology to try and figure what’s wrong with themselves, and Sociology is as useless as screen door on a submarine.

    There are a lot more women in the School of Business, but if you look at who actually makes it to the board rooms, those numbers are overwhelmingly male. There is a good reason for this, and you see it demonstrated with Fiorina at HP and and the current CEO babe at Yahoo!

    We may not like the outcome, but genetics combined with human nature is a nasty thing, just as reality always is to the social crusader. Denying it will not allow you to conquer that mountain. It will simply allow you to fail spectacularly.

    As an aside: Genetics will determine your limits. Nurture will determine where you fall inside those limits. Your sex is part of those genetics.

  • Quartermaster

    Back then newspapers were a dime a dozen. There was a lot of competition in the news business and you might be a partisan scum running a paper, but you could stray far from the facts because the facts were out there from other sources.

    Having said that, Dabney was not just dealing with suffrage, but with human nature itself. No theologian will get far from the fact of sinful human nature, and what will happen if your give it free rein.

    Our society is an exemplification of what happens when you give sinful human nature free rein, and Dabney was precisely correct in his predictions of what would happen. Anyone with a solid working knowledge of scripture could have made those predictions and gotten them right.

  • Quartermaster

    I think that’s something of a Hobson’s Choice. Either way is probably studied cruelty.

  • Quartermaster

    I’m not going to waste RSM’s bandwidth to refute things that have already been refuted time and again elsewhere. You aren’t wanting refutation as you will not accept anything that does not match your self constructed narrative. As I’ve pointed out in earlier threads, you are an SJW. You may be something of a unique case among them, but an SJW is precisely what you are.

    You’ve also shown that you are willing to lie in an attempt to advance your narrative.

    If you wish to engage in idiocy, that’s your choice. It’s my choice to engage you in what amounts to mud wrestling a pig. I do not so choose.

  • Quartermaster

    Trolls like Neo willfully ignore human nature because if they deal with it, it places their entire worldview in jeopardy.

  • Valerie Stewart

    It seems you are implying that because women stayed home to take care of the children that they couldn’t or that it was impossible for them to make informed decisions on politicians or government. If you do mean this, then you’ve insulted every rational and conservative woman out there.

    Women have just as much incentive and reason to vote as much as men, albeit for slightly different reasons. Stay-at-home mothers should know better than anyone that legalizing gay “marriage” and such would weaken the family unit. Same goes for governmentalized education (or a corrupt government’ incentive to indoctrinate).

    Many nurses and doctors have been women, especially when it comes to the army. Does that mean they can’t possibly be informed on what’s happening in society?

    There are more women now entering jobs and the army, but proglibs, instead of being rational about it, they want affirmative action and force everything no matter how stupid or dangerous it is, instead of women going in their via their own merits.

    The corrupt government started to break apart the family via welfare and incentivizing “ATM” babies. The selfish men who wanted freebies did just as much collateral damage as the selfish women. I guess we shouldn’t have allowed black people to vote by that logic, considering the permanent voting blocs in the cities, correct?

    You underestimate how much the corrupt liberal media played in the third wave feminist movement, and society’s problems in general. Were it not for them playing propaganda tactics for this long, the proglibs wouldn’t have this much power. Just imagine how different things would be if the media had been honest the entire time.

  • Ilion

    .. as useless as screen door on a submarine.
    Is that a Rich Mullins reference?

  • Daniel Freeman

    to say that one sex is intellectually superior based on one tiny facet of the whole complicated matter is frankly wrong

    Straw man. As you know, men also dominate our prison population. Do you think that the disparate impact there is evidence of female privilege, and we need to look at cracking down harder on women? How can there be both male privilege and female privilege in the same society? Perhaps we’re just different.

  • Valerie Stewart

    Not a strawman at all when it’s entirely relevant to the implication or outright statement that “men are smarter”. I pointed out the inherent flaws to that claim when intelligence is broadly studied (basic memory is even counted for intelligence!) and defined and that IQ measurement is still controversial.

    As an side to the prison population: a large chunk of the population is due to the broken black culture (no thanks to the proglibs) and the bias in convictions that can favor females, specifically the notion that females “can’t rape or abuse men.”

  • Jason Lee

    Nowadays we go apoplectic when a girl in her late teens gets married or chooses not to abort but we teach anal sex to 6 year olds. LOL.

  • Valerie Stewart

    If Dabney meant that letting women vote was inherently immoral, he was incorrect.

    It’s common that people, intentional or not, take a premise or universal truth and misinterpret or twist it to suit their biases or desires, which is exactly as the third wave feminists have done. The third waves premises are “inequality is inherently bad no matter what” and “the patriarchy is wholly evil and bad no matter what”, which were not the premises of the first wave.

  • JT

    Great Dabney essay. I read about half of it and I plan to finish it.

    The key thing Dabney is railing against is not feminism. It’s the “mechanical equality” which if it is held up as the prime value of society, does not allow for any kind of hierarchy to exist and thus can’t logically limit one group of people from having anything different from another group, women just being the group de jour.

    This is still an issue in Presbyterianism today as the Westminster Catechism speaks about duties that superiors, inferiors, and equals have to each other, and plainly considers the husband superior to the wife (not in every sense but in family rule), and both parents superior to the children. And I think that has firm Biblical support. However I have talked to a pastor about this, and he would be very reluctant to state that to a modern audience. The charitable explanation is that the audience would misunderstand. The less charitable explanation is that they would understand and complain.

    I wonder if it is only in recent times that inferior has the negative connotation of “poorer quality”, when it is really only the opposite of superior. I also wonder if the advertising field is responsible for this claiming X product is the “superior” brand; changing superior from a position of rank to a gradation of value. However nobody would consider an inferior officer a poorer quality human being than a superior officer.

  • Quartermaster

    If we recognize that all feminism is about escaping the “oppression” of men, and that includes first wave feminism, then yes, suffrage is immoral. Feminism is all about over turning the order God created. Suffrage was merely the first step.

  • Quartermaster

    No, although he did use it. That expression has been around for a long time.

  • Valerie Stewart

    To clarify your position, does women being able to patent and own property, including and especially the unmarried; hold down jobs including and especially doctorates, law, or any military position due to merit; or have the legal ability to execute wills “turn over the order that God created?”

    What are your positions on women initiating divorce? Should they have this ability at all?

  • Quartermaster

    If you had a theological background then there would be no need for clarification. Any regime that places a woman in authority over a man overturns God’s order.

    Scripture does not forbid a woman from initiating a divorce. The same strictures exist against a woman doing it as a man doing it.

  • Valerie Stewart

    Yes, I actually know quite a bit about Christian theology, having been raised by one Catholic, one Lutheran, and being around “hardcore” Christian fundamentalists.

    “Any regime that places a woman in authority over man overturns God’s order.”

    Because you think women being in authority over man, probably regardless of position or context, is bad, we will probably not get anywhere. A few of my male relatives and other males that I know thought that women in authority was (inherently) bad, and that man being in authority was (inherently) good, and most of them held that position stubbornly… Because they thought that everything in the Bible was correct and impervious to mistranslations, stealth edits from corrupt people trying to appeal via (the ultimate) authority, or just being flawed. Does the Bible contain good things? Yes, and I’m not trying to argue that because something may be flawed, doesn’t mean it’s entirely correct.

    I’ll leave it at this: the superficial demographics of a leader or authority doesn’t automatically make one incorrect or bad. It’s the authority’s words versus the actions and the merits/quality of the propositions that make said authority good or bad. However, you shouldn’t take it at face value and truly study said authority, and try not to have preconceptions get in the way.

    If you feel like debating me some more, go ahead; I do enjoy debate. But as I stated before, there’s a good chance we won’t get anywhere due to a fundamental disagreement.

    Good day to you, Quartermaster

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  • Quartermaster

    It really isn’t open for debate. God has His ways, we have ours. By definition it is bad for a woman to be in authority over a man. So, if you are looking for debate, this isn’t the subject.

  • Ilion

    It seems you are implying that because women stayed home to take care of the children that they couldn’t or that it was impossible for them to make informed decisions on politicians or government. If you do mean this, then you’ve insulted every rational and conservative woman out there.

    That you would even imagine that I have implied any such thing just goes to show that you’re not one of the women I have allegedly insulted.

  • Valerie Stewart

    Then why have you argued/implied that women shouldn’t be able to vote because they don’t get drafted … Which no one has been drafted for decades and that SS has almost never been enforced?

    It’s silly to argue that women shouldn’t be able to vote based on the non-existent drafting process, especially in light of recent decades. Furthermore, it would be incredibly silly to argue that women shouldn’t vote based on some possibility that there could be a draft due to dire circumstances. Because if/when those dire circumstances came to pass, women would not magically be excluded, even if they would mostly be in non-combat jobs, many of which would be just as high-pressure and dangerous as front line combat.