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Of course pretty girls are entitled to rich men! Duh! Also, stop celebrating marriages that have lasted. It’s not fair to all the fuck-ups. In other news, I must stop reading Dear Prudence.

30 May


Prepare to be gobsmacked! I certainly was. Two letters from Dear Prudence have left me feeling like a coked-up Dr. Freud: what the hell do women want, anyways?




Here’s the first one:


I’m recently engaged to the most honest, thoughtful, and loving man I’ve ever met. He has supported me through many hard times, including losing my job and being assaulted. Here’s the but about him: He makes no money. He has ambitions, and he’s smart, but will likely only bring a middle-class income at best. I have an OK job and I’m self-sufficient. Now here’s the but about me: I’m really, really pretty. My whole life people have told me I could get any man I want, meaning a rich man, and are shocked that I’m engaged to my fiancé, nice though he is. I’ve never dated a rich man, but it does make me curious. So part of me thinks I’m squandering my good looks on this poor man, and the other part of me thinks that I’m so shallow that I don’t even deserve him or anyone else. Am I a fool for thinking that a poor man can make me happy, or an idiot for believing a sexist fantasy?




Run, Forest, run! That is seriously the very first thought that popped into my mind.


Let’s see: honest, thoughtful, loving, supportive, kind, intelligent, ambitious and nice. When you have a man like this, and he has expressed the desire to be honest, thoughtful and loving to you for the rest of your life, a girl responds by heaving a giant sigh of relief and thanks the gods for watching out for her, right?


Not this bitch. No way. Honest, thoughtful, loving, supportive, kind, intelligent, ambitious and nice are not nearly enough.


He’s not rich.


The offended girl with pouting lips


Or handsome.




And chicky is pretty! She’s pretty, damn it! P-R-E-T-T-Y! Super cute, and HER LOOKS WILL NEVER FADE. Ever. Why she’s squandering them! SQAUNDERING, I tell you. A girl as pretty as she is deserves a rich man. Any man she likes! Everybody says so, so it must be true, right?


Granted, she’s never actually dated a rich man. Hmmm. That’s kind of curious, isn’t it? I mean, everybody knows rich men are the biggest bunch of superficial assholes to ever walk the earth, and they only care about PRETTY and nothing else, and why the hell aren’t rich men lining up for this paragon of beauty?


Because she’s an A-One cunt, maybe?


the other part of me thinks that I’m so shallow that I don’t even deserve him or anyone else.




Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner, folks! Well, sort of. She gets the shallow part right, but fails to understand that it is not HER that is the undeserving one. No man alive deserves to be inflicted with this kind of narcissistic, self-absorbed, totally clueless little bitch.


I am seriously doubting Mr. Fiancée is as intelligent as she claims. Either that, or she is a liar of the most impressive skill. Entirely plausible.


So what does Prudie say to her?


It’s a delicate thing to sing “I Feel Pretty” and keep the audience charmed. Many people will be repelled by your acknowledged superficiality and wish that a string of rich men use you, then dump you when you start to lose your looks. But surely your fiancé delights in the fact—and surely his friends have noted—that he’s nabbed one the prettiest girls in the room. When considering possible life partners, people should bluntly assess each other’s intangible and tangible qualities. Of course character is central, but if the person you’re dating is a wholly admirable person who doesn’t attract you physically, that’s a serious problem. So, too, is being with someone who gives you pleasure in and out of bed, but who’s hiding from creditors. You have asked an unattractive question about monetizing your beauty. But I think there’s a more accurate way to look at what’s troubling you.

You’re really wondering whether you can be happy in the long run with a guy who treats you great, but who’ll never satisfy you financially. “Middle class” is a very elastic term, but I assume you mean that while you and your fiancé will be able to meet your basic needs, you’ll mostly be living paycheck to paycheck. You say he’s smart and ambitious, and I’m assuming you both are young, so you haven’t made it clear why these two qualities can’t propel him further professionally. Maybe he’s prone to pipe dreams the marketplace rewards with minimum wage. It’s fair to want a fully contributing partner in life, but if you think the bulk of a couple’s earning should come from the man, you either need to re-examine your assumptions, or clue in your fiancé. You and he need to discuss what kind of life you’d both like to lead and how each of you can map out career choices that will make this possible. Of course there are no guarantees of financial success, just as there are no guarantees that good looks will lure a guy with a bulging wallet (or that he’ll stick with you into middle-age). But if you’re filled with dread over the certainty that marrying your boyfriend will consign you to forever dreading when the bills come, this will tarnish your perception of his sterling qualities. You’re not a shallow fool for thinking that a life of scraping by won’t be so pretty.


Money, money, money. It’s all about money, as far as Prudie is concerned and she lets MissPrettyBitch know that she is … not a shallow fool for thinking that a life of scraping by won’t be so pretty.




Way to miss the boat, Prudie. This isn’t about money, except as a corollary. It’s about power. PrettyBitch wants to have power, absolute power, especially over her man. Let’s flip the story around. Here is a man who appears to have little intention of wasting his life scrabbling for nothing but cash, only to see it waltz out the door with his shallow little wife when she grows tired of pretending to love him.


You’ll note that PrettyBitch never once says she loves him.


He gets all the benefits of a hot wife without having to pay the usual fee of a bulging wallet. Who has the power here, again?




Could it be that PrettyBitch is nervous about her man’s unwillingness to dedicate himself to paying for her beauty? He refuses to acknowledge the fact that her beauty entitles her to all the fruits of his labor. A middle class salary at best. Average, in other words. In which case, doesn’t he deserve an average wife?


I’m thinking Mr. Fiancée is actually a very smart guy. He’s on the verge of landing a woman he can enjoy fucking, all the while getting her to foot her own bills. The power of beauty has no power over him.


Clever man.


There’s a bit of equality I’ll bet a lot of women won’t be all that happy about.


Let’s move on the second letter.


At our upcoming wedding, my fiancé and I would like to have a display with wedding pictures of our parents, grandparents, and others who are dearest to us. The snag is that my parents divorced when I was 5 years old, and my father has been with his current wife for over 20 years and they have two preteens. (All parties are on amicable terms.) I adore my mom and dad’s wedding picture, but displaying it might be strange, given that they haven’t been together since 1985. I also don’t want to include a picture of my father with his current wife, because A) it’s awkward to have a picture of the same man marrying two different women, and B) while we get along, I’m not terribly fond of his wife. I’m not intending this as a snub—she’s just not in that circle of intimates for my fiancé and me. Should we give up on the display and eliminate the awkwardness? It would be a shame not to admire photographs of the beautiful marriages that have lasted.




First of all, I think this woman is incredibly lucky to be surrounded by people who are in lasting marriages. That in itself is unusual, and absolutely worth celebrating. It’s a shame her own family was broken by divorce, but the fact that she has enduring marriages to turn to for inspiration and confirmation bodes very well for her own future. On the day she unites herself in matrimony to her husband, she would like to be surrounded by images of couples who have honored their vows and created long-lasting happiness for themselves and their families.


A beautiful sentiment.


One that her own parents will be left out of, by their own choice. Too bad, so sad.


But, oh no! That might be bizarre and awkward. Here is Prudie’s response.


I’ve never seen this done before, but what a wonderful tradition it could be as long as the photos get an exegesis with sticky notes. On your parents’ you could post, “Came asunder in 1985.” On others you could write, “Still crazy about each other despite the bickering you’ll hear when Harry has a couple of drinks.” Or you could forget this whole idea since the point of it seems to be to rewrite history and pretend your parents are still together when in fact they’ve been divorced forever and you have two half siblings (who you’d apparently like to write out of existence). No one is stopping you from admiring beautiful marriages that have lasted, just do so without making a bizarre and awkward display.


Again, way to get the whole thing wrong, wrong, wrong. The bride to be does not want to pretend that her parents are still together. I think she understands perfectly well that they tried, and failed, and that’s life.


What she wants to do is begin her own journey by celebrating those who have succeeded. She isn’t spending her wedding day thinking about divorce. Not her divorce, and not her parent’s. That is exactly the right mindset, too. Celebrating the long-term success of other couples is a pretty strong indicator that she sees her own marriage as long-term, and I think that’s a beautiful sentiment.




Put the two letters together and Prudie’s view of marriage becomes pretty clear. It’s a set-up, whereby men are responsible for earning all the money (especially if the bride brings beauty), and it’s a scenario designed for upgrading. Couples who have celebrated their 60th anniversaries are bizarre and awkward.


Oh, but aren’t they just. Why it almost seems like they took the words they spoke seriously!


…to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.


Women have long used marriage to create their own financial security. Indeed, it’s the BEST way for women to be financially secure.


Divorce culture allows women to break their marriage vows and still walk away with their husband’s wealth and usually his children, too.


Women’s entitlement to men’s labor is the foundation of our civil society, and when it came with an set of obligations for women (fidelity, commitment, kindness, gratitude), it worked brilliantly. For those who understand that men’s work to support their families comes with duties and responsibilities, it still works brilliantly.




But for women like PrettyBitch, who can’t quite grasp that they aren’t OWED a man’s money, a nervous tic is entering the cultural dialogue.


Men are catching on, ladies. They aren’t going to foot the bills all by themselves anymore, only to have their lives ripped out from under them. The lads are sick of this shit. You wanted equality? Looks like you got it. Men are not willing to be women’s ATM cash dispensers any more.


No matter how pretty you are.


Lots of love,






Two little dickwads threaten to gang rape my daughter and have the worst weekend of their lives.

22 Apr

Talk about the rubber hitting the road!  You may have noticed a curious silence from me this weekend – allow me to tell you the reason why. walking So, Friday afternoon, PinkyPinkyPie, who is 11, was walking home from school with her little brother LittleDude and a few other kids from the neighborhood, as per usual.  The school is on the dividing line between two neighborhoods, one to the East and one to the West and kids generally set off in one direction or the other.  On Friday, two boys from the East neighborhood decided to follow the kids going West. Pinky and her group didn’t think much of it, but when Pinky left her other friends at the street corner, the two boys Dickwad1 and Dickwad2 started talking to LittleDude, who is seven years old!!  He’s in Grade One! They offered him crack. crack What the fuck? These boys are in the fifth grade, although not in the same class as Pinky.  She knows their names, but not where they live. “What’s crack?”, asked LittleDude.  How would he know? Pinky intervened immediately and told LittleDude that crack was a kind of drug and that he should not talk to or trust either of the Dickwads. She held LittleDude’s hand and they started towards our house. That’s when Dickwad1 yelled “we’re gonna break into your house and rape you in your sleep!”, with Dickwad2 chortling his agreement. angry Well, those boys picked the wrong kid to fuck with.  They clearly have no idea who Pinky’s mother is. I’m telling you this story because I want to discuss MY reaction, and not Pinky’s.  It’s a fine line between exploiting your children (oh hello, Shona Sibary), and referring to them as a useful illustration of an important issue.  Suffice to say, Pinky and LittleDude burst through the front door and told me what had happened immediately. principal My first call was to the school principal. My second call was to the police.  My third call was to Eddie the Barber.  I’ll go through each of these calls separately. The School principal is a nice enough man, and I’m sure his job is neither easy nor pleasant all the time.  Who’s is?  One of the more difficult things he has to do is integrate children from different social backgrounds into the regular milieu of the school.  As I’ve mentioned before, children from troubled or very poor families are integrated into regular neighborhoods in our town, rather than housed in some sort of council or ghetto. Often, but not always, these children are part of distinct racial minority that gets rather a lot of bad press, some of it deserved, and some not so much.  This group is plagued with problems of substance abuse, lots of single motherhood,  physical abuse and neglect of children and sadly, a lot of sexual violence against children. And yes, the two little dickwads were part of this racial minority.  In my conversation with the Principal, I suggested that he immediately investigate the school’s liability in a situation like this one.  And I assured him that I would pursue that liability to the ends of the fucking earth if it came to that, which didn’t surprise him all that much.  He kind of knows me. I let him know that he needed to have the boys names, addresses, dates of birth, all relevant information at hand as the police would be in touch with him soon.  Our conversation was curt, to say the least. He wanted me to just let the school handle the situation. Not fucking likely. police My second call was to the police, who took the threats very seriously, and once I identified the kids as being part of a particularly troubled social group, they moved my case to top priority and dispatched officers to take statements from the kids.  I also asked them to obtain social services records to see if the boys had ever been in foster care, had ever had contact with the police before, had ever been the victims of physical or sexual violence themselves.  I also wanted to know if any close family members had been convicted or charged with drug offences.  How do we understand offering LittleDude crack?  Is that for real? The police assured me those were the first things they would do. Okay, so police and school principal are on it.  I should just leave it at that, no? NO! barber Not a chance.  My third call was to Eddie the Barber.  Eddie has been cutting hair in this town for 52 years, and in all those years, he’s met a few people.  If Eddie doesn’t know you, he knows your cousin.  And Eddie has long railed against the town’s housing policy of integrating poor and troubled families for precisely the reason I was describing.  He doesn’t think it’s fair to expose children from more affluent, stable families to children who come from wildly different experiences, because children have no way to process that information or defend themselves against other children who have had a much rougher go of things. I can see both sides of the argument, but my principle concern was to do a threat evaluation.  Are these boys talking out their asses, or is there a real reason to be concerned? Within 30 minutes, Eddie knew the Detective assigned to my case, he had the boys records from Social Services, he had alerted the town council and called a few lawyers to check on the school’s liability:  it’s pretty high. The lawyers also had some suggestions as to what I could ask for in terms of containing any future threats or situations against my daughter. Cost of legal advice:  zero.  Unless you count all the haircuts Mr. JB has gotten from Eddie over the past seven years.  God, I love small towns. It turns out that the boys have no previous contact with either social services or law enforcement and have never even been in trouble at school.  There is no history of drugs or any criminal behavior in the immediate family. The boy’s parents were completely appalled at their son’s behavior and were totally co-operative with the police.  Two uniformed officers went to the boy’s homes and scared the shit out of them. Good. They have received suspensions from school, and they have to write letters of apology to my daughter (which she does not want and said she refuses to read, and I’m fine with that.  I’ll read them.). Their parents have told them they are not to be in the West neighborhood period, and the school crossing guards have been alerted and will watch for the boys trying to cross the street. crossing But to me, this is still not over.  No way.  I want a meeting with the parents and the boys and the school principal, but it will have to wait until Mr.JB calms down a bit.  He didn’t think any of my phone calls were necessary.  Mr. JB, JudgyAsshole and BigMike all responded the exact same way:  little boys who talk like men need to run into a few men and learn a thing or two about owning your words.  They seriously wanted to find the boys and beat the shit out of them. They still do. I’m pretty sure they won’t, but god help those kids if they show up in this neighborhood and any one of the guys see them.  Of course, once the police cars were in our driveway, the whole neighborhood wanted to know what was up, and I’d say those boys better steer far clear of this street.  It’s not just Mr.JB they have to worry about. Now here is where the whole situation gets a bit tricky.  I’m angry beyond belief that two boys from seemingly normal families would dare to say such a thing to anyone, not just my daughter. It turns out they HAVE made similar threats before, but none of the other girls told their parents.  They just shrugged it off. That’s unbelievably sad. I want to meet with the parents and the boys and the school to have one conversation in particular:  WHY WOULD YOU SAY SUCH A THING? 

“We’re going to break into your house and rape you in your sleep?”

I think it has to do with bravado, with seeming cool and strong and powerful, and while I want to put the fear of god into those boys about ever saying such a thing again, I do NOT want to shame them for wanting to feel powerful and strong.  What those boys need is a strategy for how to achieve those feelings without needing to resort to violence and fear and threats. I think they’re negotiating what it means to be a man, and they have received some incredibly powerful, brutally negative portrayals of masculinity from the media.  I would like to meet their fathers and have a frank discussion about how these boys are interpreting what manliness means.  And you want to talk about rape culture?  It seems that the ubiquitous depiction of men as rapists has sunk deep into our culture indeed. rapist Twelve year old boys are already imagining themselves rapists. Feminism blames patriarchy for that, but it isn’t patriarchy that claims all men are potential rapists and should be treated that way, is it?  Zerlina Maxwell says we should teach men not to rape, which presupposes they just might accidentally rape someone without this important training.  I suppose we should train them all not to rob convenience stores while we’re at it? How much of this is a self-fulfilling prophesy.  Treat all men as rapists, and make sure boys internalize that image, and guess what you get? Twelve year old boys threatening to rape their classmates. How fucking lovely. And now that I have some personal experience with the matter, it absolutely boggles my mind that feminists rail against teaching girls to protect themselves.  Under no circumstances did Pinky do ANYTHING to deserve those boys threatening her in a very frightening way.  But those boys exist.  They live in our city.  They go to HER school.  They are out there, and while these ones appear to be harmless, some of them won’t be. Between the school and our house, Pinky has many, many people who know what happened, and to whom she can turn.  She knows now that she should never walk home alone.  She needs to be with friends.  Mr. JB and I have installed a private texting app on all our phones and she is learning to keep us up to date on her whereabouts.  We’re not going to severely restrict her movements to keep her safe, but we are training her to recognize that bad people are out there, as well as many more good, and that there are things she can do to enhance her own security and safety. The boys are under a school suspension and they have been ordered to never speak to Pinky for any reason.  They are not to go near her, and if they do, THEY will be the ones to have their movements restricted.  If they violate the school’s mini-restraining order, they will be forced to remain in the office after school until an adult comes to escort them home.  I’ll bet that will make mom and dad really happy. This is still very raw for Pinky, but ultimately I want her to see that the boys were acting like assholes, based on images about men and manhood that they see depicted in the media and culture all around them.  I expect her to gain some compassion for them over time, but never risk her safety by deciding they might be harmless to be around. They might not be, and she has some responsibility to ensure her own well-being by never trusting those two boys in particular, and by always letting us know where she is.  Pinky is a rather cautious person by nature, so I don’t think that will be a problem. It makes me absolutely sick to think that twelve year old boys have internalized such awful images of masculinity.  What kind of media are they being exposed to? How are they being parented? I want to meet the parents and take my own evaluation, do my own threat assessment.  When I spoke to the police officers after they had visited the boys at home with their parents, they felt the boys had little comprehension of what they were saying, were remorseful and embarrassed and that the parents were humiliated and angry.  Okay, fair enough.  They should be.  But until I have made my own assessment, I will be walking the kids to and from school. Ultimately, Pinky is OUR responsibility.  As her parents, Mr. JB and I are ultimately accountable for her safety and well-being. We can teach her that she did not, and never will, deserve to be threatened with rape or any other kind of assault, while still teaching her some street smarts. That’s not victim-blaming.  It’s victim-preventing. We won’t be having that meeting with the parents just yet, as it will take very little to provoke Mr. JB into actions he will regret.  At the end of the day, he doesn’t care how those boys have been socialized or what kind of damaging stereotypes they have ingested from popular culture.  They threatened his baby.  And he would rather kill them than allow any harm to come to his daughter. daddy I don’t actually think it would hurt those boys to see a little righteous wrath from Pinky’s father. You can be strong.  You can be powerful.  You can be angry. You can even be violent.  But only when you are doing those things to protect the people you love.  You can be all those things in service to others. Those boys couldn’t find a better man to emulate than Mr. JB.  At the moment, they will have to observe him from the distance.  Up close, they might find that threatening to hurt a man’s daughter can have some painful consequences. Lots of love, JB

There never was a patriarchy, and there isn’t one now. In related news, Mr. JB can’t do shit without running it by me first.

14 Apr

Following on the heels of the absolutely terrible article by Lindy West that all the injustice faced by men (past and present) is the result of the “patriarchy” and that only feminism can address these issues, I thought I would spend some time today looking at the idea of “patriarchy” a little more closely.

A reader named Sherlock sent me a link to an article, written by a woman named Susan Carol Rogers, called Female Forms of Power and the Myth of Male Dominance: A Model of Female/Male Interaction in Peasant Society. Here is the link:


It’s a fairly long slog, at 29 pages, but I’m going to give you the quick and dirty summary.

Susan starts by noting that anthropology as a discipline makes a couple of sweeping generalizations and assumptions that directly affects how they understand and investigate power and authority. Anthropologists typically assume that the only forms of power that matter are those that are codified and formalized: things like rules and laws and positions in political institutions. There is no room in their observations for informal power. The mayor has power. The mayor’s wife has none.


This focus on only formal aspects of power and authority makes it seem as if male dominance is virtually universal across human societies. To make matters even more complicated, both men and women behave as if men are dominant, when in reality, the situation is much more nuanced.

Susan writes, “although peasant males monopolize positions of authority and are shown public deference by women, thus superficially appearing to be dominant, they wield relatively little real power” (p.728).

In the peasant societies Susan explores, women control a major portion of the resources and make most of the decisions regarding how those resources are used, in effect, wielding the greater power.


Why would they do that? Why act like men have all the power, when in reality, it’s women who have most of it?

This is the absolute kicker in Susan’s article. She gets this 100% right, if you ask me. She starts by defining a myth as a belief that one can see is factually untrue. Take the idea that black men have bigger penis sizes than any other racial group. It’s a myth that’s been repeated so often, even black MEN, who are most likely to have seen a black penis (their own, for starters) tend to believe it. But it’s not true. It’s part of a racist narrative to define black men as animals, and it has its roots in the history of American slavery.

We’re going to come back to that idea, and talk about how myths can be productive, but also incredibly destructive when society no longer perceives the myth as a myth.

In the groups that Susan is looking at, neither men nor women believe the myth that men are dominant, but both men and women behave as if that is, in fact, true.


Both groups want to think of themselves as having distinct advantages, values and prestige relative to one another, and they want those attributes to be distributed fairly, and in such a way that neither group feels like they’re getting the shaft. They want to seem like “winners” to one another. Furthermore, both men and women see themselves as mutually dependent upon one another, which, when you come right down to the very basic reality of reproduction is absolutely, unequivocally true.


Technology, driven by the dominant ideology of female supremacy, is working furiously to eliminate men from the reproductive process, creating embryos that are genetically identical to the mother, by triggering a process called parthenogenesis. I’ve had fun with that one before.

The end of genetic diversity. How clever. And how sad is it that most of the specialists working in human fertility are actually male? Working to eradicate themselves.

Dr. Soules

Let’s get back to Susan. She observes that men and women in peasant societies understand perfectly that they are dependent upon one another, and seek to create a social structure that makes both men and women feel valued and that they are being treated respectfully and fairly.

What resources do women control?

In peasant societies, the key unit of economic and social production is the nuclear family. Husband, wife, children, and perhaps extended members of the family in the form of grandparents. Jill Dubisch, also trying to evaluate the power that women hold in peasant societies, came up with four criteria to evaluate how evenly power is distributed between husbands and wives:

  1. How respectfully did the spouses treat one another, both privately and publicly?
  2. How often or much did the spouses interfere with one another’s domains?
  3. How were family resources allocated?
  4. How were decisions regarding plans for children made?

Here is an example of how that works: in Greek villages, women control all the family finances, because they take principal responsibility for producing the food/goods that will be sold at the local market. The women make the bread, churn the butter, weave the cloth, collect the eggs, raise the goats, make the cheese, etc. They attend the markets, set the prices, and collect the payment.


So far, they are the primary drivers of the family’s prosperity and comfort. A man without a hard-working wife like this is well and truly fucked. This kind of scenario has been in effect since the beginning of written culture.

One of the my favorite passages from the Bible is Proverbs 31, commonly called, the Virtuous Woman. And because I am an atheist, I absolutely want scripture read at my funeral! I also want to be buried in my Star Trek uniform, but that’s another story.


Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

The heart of her husband safely trusts in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

She seeks wool, and flax, and works willingly with her hands.

She is like the merchants’ ships; she brings her food from afar.

She rises also while it is yet night, and gives meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

She considers a field, and buys it: with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

She girds her loins with strength, and strengthens her arms.

She perceives that her merchandise is good: her candle goes not out by night.

She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

She stretches out her hand to the poor; yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.

She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

She makes herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.

She makes fine linen, and sells it; and delivers girdles unto the merchant.

Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

She looks well to the ways of her household, and eats not the bread of idleness.

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.

Many daughters have done virtuously, but you excel beyond them all.

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Proverbs 31: 10-31


Let her own works praise her in the gates. So lovely.

Look carefully at what our virtuous woman’s husband is doing. He praises her, basks in how her hard work improves his reputation and he sits with the elders.

Now, the typical feminist response to this is wahhhhhh… look at how hard that poor woman works…wahhhhh… her husband just sits on his ass doing nothing…. wahhhhh… she’s so abused and exploited….


Which ignore two realities completely: first of all, this woman and her family are clearly very affluent. Not everyone is. That’s life. The only thing that matters is that any family that works hard has a CHANCE to be affluent. She may consider a field and decide to plant an olive grove, but you can be damn sure she ain’t out in the fields doing the work herself.

men working

Who does the backbreaking labor in peasant society, or any society for that matter?

Yeah, that would be men. Generally poor men, struggling to get a foot on the ladder and pull their whole family up.


Secondly, the affluent men are not sitting on their asses doing nothing: they are creating the political and social structures that make it possible for their economies to work. They set the terms of economic exchange, they mediate disputes, they enact laws and enforce them.

In other words, they formalize power and authority and create the political context that governs how the whole society works. And when ONLY the formal structures of power are examined, they appear to be completely and utterly dominant.

But they’re not. So Virtuous spends the day managing her male workforce out toiling in the olive grove, she gets the new linen ready for market, she makes sure her maidens and children are taken care of, she packs up a basket for the local poor folks, she does all the work her day requires.


Then Mr. Virtuous comes home, cracks her in the face for backtalk, takes her money, decides he doesn’t like what the kids are up to, complains about her new tapestry and then demands dinner?

angry god

My fucking ass he does.

But that’s what the myth of patriarchy wants us to believe, isn’t it? That men are exploitive and abusive and violent and controlling and they hold all the reins of power and won’t hesitate to use them to harm and confine and limit the lives of women. Their wives, their sisters, their daughters, their mothers.

And in doing so, destroy the whole society.

The only solution to this terrible problem of male abusiveness and exploitation is to take all the public, formal power away from them while still retaining all the control over family resources. That’s feminism in a nutshell. Remove men from power, while still maintaining all of women’s traditional power.

Abortion laws, reproductive rights (for women only), the rise of single motherhood, divorce, custody and division of property laws are all ways to enshrine women’s absolute control over family resources. And all the while, women are exhorted to “lean in”, fight for more power and influence and control of formal power structures.

woman power

More women in corporate board rooms.

More women in government.

More women in the judiciary.

More women at the top of every formal power structure we have.

Traditional peasant societies could see that women produced and controlled most of the actual, finite resources in society, including the labor of less affluent men. And they could see how that might make men feel a bit vulnerable and defensive. Who wants to be treated like a utility? Like oxen, good for labor and then the soup pot?


So both men and women agreed to allow men to control most of the formal power structures, none of which can exist without the labor of women and poor men. And to make certain that both men and women felt equally valued and appreciated, they created a myth of male dominance, all the while knowing that the true balance of power swayed heavily in favor of women.

Everybody understood that the idea of male dominance was a MYTH. A story designed to engender respect and mutual prosperity. And for thousands of years, it worked perfectly.

In traditional families like my own, that myth is alive and well. Technically, Mr. JB has all the power. The formal power. He earns all the money, and he handles all the bills. He makes all the financial decisions, without input or interference from me. I am completely dependent upon him for survival. And when his Boss calls up and asks if Mr.JB can take on an extra project, the first thing he says is, “I’ll have to check with the boss”.

That would be me.

Because at the end of the day, if I’m not happy, and I don’t feel respected or valued or appreciated, his life is going to be very unpleasant. And it works both ways. Can he take on the extra project? Does he want to? How important is this to him? Will it make him happy? That’s how I make my decision.


That’s how we make decisions together.

Remember the whole myth of the black male penis thing? I’m going to link to a post at The Good Men Project, although I generally don’t like that site. It’s worth a read because the writer talks about the origins of that particular myth and how it has come to harm black men in particular.


It harms them because the myth is no longer seen as a myth, but as an incontrovertible truth.

And that’s what happened with the myth of male dominance. At some point our culture has forgotten that this is a STORY, with a very commendable purpose: it’s a story that assures mutual respect and admiration. A group of angry women decided that shutting women out of formal power structures was a problem that needed to be fixed.


And you know, fair enough. Okay. Let’s get more women into formal power structures, even though they show little inclination or desire to be there.

BUT, in exchange for that access, women will have to give up access to traditional female power structures.

And that isn’t happening. Women want both male and female powers. Preferably ALL the power. The right to control men by controlling the most precious resource any culture has: children, and the right to hold the reins of formal, institutionalized power that governs all our lives.


That reduces men, and poor men in particular, to mere social utilities, with little value and correspondingly little respect. And that is just what is happening. Men are belittled in the media and their concerns scoffed.

The rates at which they take their own lives are ignored, or worse, they get blamed for the very real despair of knowing you are nothing but a tool, easily discarded when your usefulness has run its course.

Feminists continually point to the fact that men continue to dominate formal power structures as evidence for patriarchy. Their suggested redress is to wrest formal power from men and give it to women, while still holding on to their own traditional advantages and informal powers.

We have a word to describe the society that will eventually evolve if such an effort is successful. It’s not patriarchy.


It’s matriarchy.

It’s quite an impressive inversion, isn’t it? When feminists use the word “patriarchy” what they are opposing is respect and the equal attribution of power and control between the sexes. When feminists identify the “patriarchy” as a problem, they are in effect saying that valuing the contributions of men and women equally, and in a way that is designed to make both men and women feel as if they are being treated fairly is a problem.

The reality is that power skews to women. That’s easy to ignore or even outright deny, because that power is informal. The balance is restored when formal power rests in the hands of men. And despite 70 years of shrieking and protesting and gnashing of teeth, formal power DOES reside mostly in the hands of men.

Patriarchy has never existed in the form that feminism insists. And it has never been the problem.

On the contrary. It’s the solution.

Let’s bring back patriarchy. And let our own works praise us in the gates.


Lots of love,


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