Power To The People

Last week Free Northern replied to my post Unbalanced Equation with his own post: Women Have No Power. Novaseeker replied with The Varieties of Power. Free Northerner replied in turn with his follow-up post, Private and Public Spheres. I recommend that folks take the time to read all of them (and if you have extra time, the comments) to understand my own post.

With this post I’m going to try to reply to FN some, add on to what Novaseeker said in his post, and then contribute some additional thoughts. Now, its not going to be so neat and orderly as that- rather, I’m going to address certain ideas and theories in turn, which may or may not have been covered by either or both of them. Because of time restrictions this post is going to be straight-forward and less coherent than most of my others. You’ve been warned.

First off, I disagree with FN that women as a “class” have “no power.” And yes, that even includes political power, which does ultimately rest on violence, or the capacity for it. There are two things about female political/active power, however. It is much, much weaker than male political power. Female capacity and aptitude for violence and violent action is significantly less than that possessed by men. By whole orders of magnitude, in fact. Also, women cannot coordinate violent action as well as men, who are bred to that task. On the other hand, modern technology has greatly amplified female political power, far more than has been the case for male political power. Modern fire-arms and other instruments of destruction give women more violent potential than they have ever enjoyed before. Of course, physical capacity reduces the scope of weaponry that women can use, and their effectiveness with them, but the difference in violent capacity now and in the age of sword and spear is huge. All of which is to say that I might be able to best a female 5’4″ cop in hand-to-hand combat, but if we both have guns then the playing field is far and away more level than it would have been a few centuries before.

Second, I think that FN is right that White Knights are in many ways more dangerous than their feminist masters. They have all the male traits and potential for violence and coordinated action that their controllers lack. Even worse, many are convinced that they are doing the right thing, and many could even “good men” who have been duped into serving the Feminine Imperative. There are few things more dangerous than a good man who thinks he is doing the right thing. While women, even the most virulent feminists, might be cowed by a unified display of male strength, I would not expect the same from White Knights. Instead I would expect them to live up to their name and good down “fighting the good fight.”

Speaking of unified displays of male strength, I think that it should be noted that men rarely act together as a “class.” It isn’t how we are wired. There isn’t really a Team Man counterpart to Team Woman. So any argument founded on a notion that men can overcome women “as a class” fails as a foundational matter. While FN’s point might make sense from a theoretical perspective, it just down work in reality. Men don’t act or organize as a class, and never have. Much of what made patriarchy possible was an extensive system of educating young men and imprinting on them the importance of maintaining male structural power, as well as functions to punish those who transgressed. Building up this culture was necessary to overcome the FI. The relative ease with which that system fell apart shows how essential it was for men to be formed into patriarchs- it isn’t a natural thing.  Men only amassed control of political power through deliberate effort and will- I would go so far as to say it was an essential component of civilization.

Oh, and another thing: the personal is the political, at least in the sense that political power is heavily influence by personal and private spheres of power. As anyone who has worked in the political field knows, politics is largely about managing personal connections and networks of like-minded people. This has always been the case. The best warlords in history were not the ones who were the greatest warriors, but those who could manage and lead a team of other leaders of warriors. All of which is to say that you cannot divorce the personal and political spheres. It just isn’t how the world works. They constantly interact in ways that are difficult for those without experience in politics to understand.

In closing, I wanted to express my agreement with Novaseeker that purging feminism from our system will require some radical action. It isn’t a quick fix, as the conditions which will bring about its return are baked into our present ideology and core beliefs. Notions of Freedom and Equality inevitably lead us towards feminism. This is because those ideas undermine the social instruments necessary to keep the FI in check. Individualism, Modernism, Liberalism… all will need to be excised from our culture in order for matters to be set aright.

I have more ideas that are still swirling about in my head. I may add them to this post, or write a follow-up. This one has taken far longer than it should have to write, and I’m still not happy with the finished product. But if I don’t get it out now I never will. So don’t be surprised to see this post updated over time.

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39 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Churchianity, Feminism, Marriage, Men, Women

39 responses to “Power To The People

  1. DJ

    I beg to differ There is a Team men counterpart to Team women. Most people wont notice the the team affiliation of thier side of the species,cause they are too close to it. But it exists. Humans are herd animals very few are above that boys and girls just do the herd thing just diffrently from each other.

  2. DJ

    Should read Humans are herd animals very few are above that, though boys and girls behave diffrently in a herd, they remain largely social creatures reliant on peers and group thought.

  3. Power consists almost entirely in the capacity to get other people to do what you want them to do. This almost never has much to do with personal physical strength, etc, except in very primitive conditions involving very small groups of people. And even then it usually isn’t the biggest strongest guy that everyone follows.

    The “white knight” phenomenon is a manifestation of the female power to project organized violence, it isn’t a refutation of it. Helen of Troy, etc.

  4. Novaseeker

    DJ — I think that is just a shorthand of expressing the practical impact of the much higher pronounced in-group preference women have for other women as compared to what men have for other men (e.g., http://www.apa.org/monitor/dec04/women.aspx ). That difference lies at the core of what Donal was saying, I think.

  5. The “white knight” phenomenon is a manifestation of the female power to project organized violence, it isn’t a refutation of it. Helen of Troy, etc.

    Zippy brings up a good point. Queen Mother figures, throughout history, have been able to exert a huge amount of influence and “hard” power due to “soft power.” The Empress Dowager in ancient China is a perfect example of this. The last few before the fall of the Qing dynasty were extraordinarily powerful- in many ways they ruled, not their sons or grandsons.

  6. DJ, “Team Man” is nothing at all like “Team Woman.” Men and women are both competitive, but women compete within the bounds of their social groups, whereas men are much more inclined to compete outside their bounds. This makes any kind of organized “Team Man” essentially unheard of outside small social settings.

  7. deti

    “Team Woman” is monolithic; a group of ALL women. It’s the “female herd”.

    It’s not at all “Team Man”. It’s more like “Teams of Men” or tribes. What I mean is something Nova has said elsewhere at other blogs, which I think is pretty much correct, and it’s this: Men are mostly individual creatures, but will team up with other men in groups of varying sizes and configurations to achieve a specific political, economic or social goal. Examples are nations (based on familial or ethnic ties); political states (based on sociopolitical beliefs) businesses comprised of partnerships and employees (economic goals) and sports teams and Boy Scout troops (social camaraderie and teaching younger boys)

    There is almost always competition involved, too. That competition can be anything from friendly to all out war. There can also be a lot of fluidity among teams. Men can join existing teams, form new teams, quit and leave teams, and get kicked out of teams. So it’s really teams of men which unite together, to compete against and defeat other teams of men. Thus is served what I believe is the social prime directive of every man: to win.

  8. All of which is to say that I might be able to best a female 5’4″ cop in hand-to-hand combat, but if we both have guns then the playing field is far and away more level than it would have been a few centuries before.

    About a dozen years ago, a cop told me that criminals were now more likely to give up or run when faced with a female cop. A male cop is more likely to fight hand-to-hand… a female cop, being smaller, will usually just whip out the mace. Or the gun.

    It occurred to me that this is not necessarily a good thing…not only does using a gun increase the chances of a bystander getting hurt, a female is less likely to be able to control the weapon as well as a man, increasing the chance of wild shots even more.

    this post is going to be straight-forward and less coherent than most of my others. You’ve been warned.

    Oh, chaos! That’s like Merriam-Webster saying they’re going to publish dictionaries without page numbers or a big “A” or “B” before each letter, and crowing “Good luck finding a specific word now, losers!” If there was a “Well-ordered dude” award on the internet, you’d have trophies.

  9. @ NSR

    About a dozen years ago, a cop told me that criminals were now more likely to give up or run when faced with a female cop. A male cop is more likely to fight hand-to-hand… a female cop, being smaller, will usually just whip out the mace. Or the gun.

    I have heard similar reports from my friends in law enforcement. My understanding from them is that women are more likely to resort to lethal force, are quicker to do it, and under less compelling circumstances. In fact what I remember is that female cops are more likely to be involved in violence than male officers (save those male officers who abuse their authority).

  10. Elspeth

    I don’t really believe in the whole Team Woman thing because women are markedly worse to one another individually than they are to men. And that is the rule, unless it’s their husband of course.

    But this is particularly funny in light of something my daughter said when she called me after she got off work:

    “There is just too much estrogen in that office. I friggin’ hate women sometimes. That’s why I keep my head down and do my work. They think I’m extra shy but you know I’m not. I just don’t want to have anything to do with them.”

    This was in the wake of her watching a clique eat one of their own. She doesn’t really hate women. She just (like her mama) holds most at arms length. And I feel very guilty that I inflicted my handicap onto her.

    Back to topic, individual men were often led to make the decisions we are living with today on behalf of their daughters. And sometimes their wives. Very few people considered the longer term ramifications of the decisions being made.

    Of course if Hawaiian Libertarian is correct, there were many people who actually did consider them and are quite happy with the way these political shenanigans have played out.

  11. You’re right. Some women do have power, but these women are still submitting to a higher authority, which is always going to be some man.
    The problem with society isn’t women submitting, but who they submit to. They are not submitting to their husbands. Women will always submit to some higher power. It is the truth.
    Women are also the greatest influencers, but this is still limited power. Women only have as much power as men are willing to give them. We’ve seen men be lead astray by bad women, but have also seen men reach new heights by good women. We’ve also seen men do it alone.
    The point is, a woman’s influence is only as valuable as he allows it to be.

  12. lovelyblanc7:

    Women only have as much power as men are willing to give them.

    … and men only have as much power as other men are willing to give them.

  13. @Elspeth

    Team Woman in action:
    “While the State was preoccupied by serious wars, some hardly yet over and others threatening, an incident occurred which though unimportant in itself resulted in a violent party conflict. Two of the tribunes of the plebs, M. Fundanius and L. Valerius, had brought in a proposal to repeal the Oppian Law. This law had been made on the motion of M. Oppius, a tribune of the plebs, during the consulship of Q. Fabius and Tiberius Sempronius, when the strain of the Punic War was most severely felt. It forbade any woman to have in her possession more than half an ounce of gold, to wear a dress of various colours or to ride in a two-horsed vehicle within a mile of the City or of any Roman town unless she was going to take part in some religious function. The two Brutuses-M. Junius and T. Junius-both tribunes of the plebs, defended the law and declared that they would not allow it to be repealed; many of the nobility came forward to speak in favour of the repeal or against it; the Capitol was crowded with supporters and opponents of the proposal; the matrons could not be kept indoors either by the authority of the magistrates or the orders of their husbands or their own sense of propriety. They filled all the streets and blocked the approaches to the Forum; they implored the men who were on their way thither to allow the women to resume their former adornments now that the commonwealth was flourishing and private fortunes increasing every day. Their numbers were daily augmented by those who came up from the country towns. At last they ventured to approach the consuls and praetors and other magistrates with their demands.”

    And later
    “After these speeches in support of and against the law the women poured out into the streets the next day in much greater force and went in a body to the house of the two Brutuses, who were vetoing their colleagues’ proposal, and beset all the doors, nor would they desist till the tribunes had abandoned their opposition. There was no doubt now that the tribes would be unanimous in rescinding the law. It was abrogated twenty years after it had been made….”

    Read the rest at:
    http://no-maam.blogspot.com.au/2003/01/history-of-rome-by-titus-livius.html

  14. Feminine But Not Feminist

    I think that what women lack in physical power and direct influence, we make up for it in less direct ways. The biggest way is via influencing the men we love and that love us. You can see it when a little girl starts pulling on her Daddy’s heartstrings, and she has him wrapped around her little finger (why else would a man participate in a pretend tea party with a bunch of stuffed animals?). Or when a husband can be encouraged by his wife enough to conquer the world, or be henpecked by her enough to retreat into his shell, never to return. As far as I can tell, a man will go through hell and back for a woman he loves.

  15. Elspeth, “Team Woman” might be worth a post of mine somewhere down the line. If I ever find the time, that is.

    While I believe it exists, and there is such a thing, I also believe it is far less… dominant than some men around these parts argue for. In some respects it can be very powerful, and in others nearly non-existent.

    Update:

    Your daughter’s story is not unique. I’ve heard more than a few women complain about female dominated workplaces before. They are fine when you mesh with the dominant social order, but if you don’t….

  16. MediaLuddite

    “Men don’t act or organize as a class, and never have.”

    DG – I don’t agree with this statement in the historical sense even though our modern age might make it appear true. Christianity provided man with the basis for a political philosophy that led to what we generally refer to in the world as “The West.”

    When on considers the history of the formation of the United States, it was a team of men organizing together to protect one another’s interest. Although debate was heavy, these men had an organizing principle of creating a government for all men.

    This seems so simple, but most societies before this point had not been set up for all men, just a few elites. That means the United States, just to name one example, did involve men, in a specific, meaningful way, to organize as a class.

    Yes, this type of organizating is not the same as the grievance industry brought by Marxist thinkers that finds and lobbies for “oppressed” classes (women, minorities, homosexuals). However, America’s beginnings provide a good example for how men have and should continue to organize.

    This brings me back to FN and his post. I still believe that both DG and Novaseeker are missing his point. Western societies have been giving women increased political power from suffrage to abortion laws to no fault marriage to other feminist ideals. This giving of power comes from men not from women taking it for themselves.

    The men that give women this power are not all white knights as DG seems to imply. The white knights are just feminism’s “useful idiots” who believe their support of feminism might get them increased access to women.

    The men who gave feminism it’s power were men who wanted to change society away from one where all men had the same interests. They wanted to skew government to give their personal, political, or business interests more power than their fellow man.

    As LovelyLeBlanc wrote above – women will always submit to a higher power. Thanks to feminism that higher power is a male employer, a male-run government program, etc. Husbands, based on the Christian concept of family, have been replaced as a woman’s authority by these other sources of power – government/employers.

    I believe FN was pointing this out in his post. Although women certainly wield power in the personal space of family, etc, their political power comes from men, and the men that have given us feminism did so for their own benefit.

    This means men should start thinking about organizing ourselves politically once again not as MRAs but as the USA’s founders did as they attempted to build a political system for all men. Any group of men who organize as a grievance group like the MRAs do has missed the point. They are merely begging women to give back power that other men have given them. This won’t work.

    Men need to rise up as a individuals and bond over their own God-given rights. There is a difference between organizing as men merely to ask/beg something from the government teat (MRAs) vs organizing over a principles that all men should support as America’s founders did.

    In this regard, the should be a movement against the Democratic Party by all the men that aren’t part of its controlling apparatus (a small number). Many can argue about Republicans, but there is no doubt that Democrats have and continue to support every policy that is anti-man in the Christian and traditional society sense. If you don’t want to vote Republican (ie Libertarian or other independent), that’s fine, but men should never vote for Democrats – never. That is at least a start.

  17. Andrea Renee

    I not trying to troll but I would some advised . I would like me marry by 30? What did I do ?

  18. Elspeth

    @ Inforwarrior:

    I look forward to reading the rest of that later as it was very interesting, but there is a common underlying theme I find in almost every story such as this one:

    The women are of the more elite classes, be they aristocratic, as in this story, or what we would today refer to as the UMC or upper classes.

    I have been blessed through the hard work and sacrifice of my husband to live at a fairly high standard of living, but I’m the first person in my family to NOT live in the hood, and prole is in my blood. It is what I know best. And there is no team woman where there are no wealthy, pampered women. It’s usually just the opposite.

    For something to be a universal truth (like the sin nature common to us all), you need to be able to see it in the majority of people in that group. Even when the Team Woman types make every effort to *empower* women from the lower economic classes, they go largely ignored, mainly because we know better. That good men are not a plentiful resource, and that there is nothing of worth to be gained from hitching onto the feminist bandwagon.

  19. Elspeth

    @ Andrea Renee:

    Firstly, I am surmising that English is not your first language, making it hard for you to communicate well. But at the risk of saying something that is offensive to some, I’m going to spare you the trouble of looking for too much guidance here than you would find almost anywhere else:

    1. Pray, and maintain godly standards of virtue
    2. Put your best foot forward (weight, grooming, etc)
    3. Make it clear that you are interested in marrying right now.

    I believe you have intimated that you are of African descent. The truth is it’s going to be a harder row to hoe for you and a longer journey and a lot of what it said here will not apply to you. It just won’t. I have thought about this thing 1000 ways and it is what it is. Black women marry later because as a rule they marry black men. This is not absolute, as I see increasing numbers of black women inter-racially married every day so be open, but it’s still mostly true.

    Black men are usually not ready to marry (for a whole host of reasons social and economic) until much later. So those black women who are most marriageable still end up marrying later regardless of how desperately they want to marry NOW. Accepting this has brought me a lot of peace concerning my own daughters.

    Email me if you want to discuss it further with someone who has some knowledge of what you’re dealing with:

    elspeth.breathinggrace[AT]hotmail[dot]com

  20. Female capacity and aptitude for violence and violent action is significantly less than that possessed by men.

    I would agree with you on the aptitude part, but not the capacity. Women have the capacity to be just as violent as men, but the lack of aptitude forces us to be sneakier about it – e.g. by manipulating those with greater aptitude to do our violence for us, by using poison, by attacking only weaker targets, by showing no mercy to those we manage to defeat, by accepting violence against us until the one who perpetrated it is in a vulnerable condition, by preferring missile weapons to melee weapons, etc.

    Because we usually tend to not approach violence in the same straightforward manner that men do, a woman’s violence is frequently a surprise to the man who witnesses it.

  21. Andrea Renee

    I was trying to due to sadness and anger. While I usually write find when I take my time and use small words . Also Audi correct That being type thank you for your advice

  22. @Andrea Renee: I would like me marry by 30?

    This is a reasonable goal, but please remember that if you aren’t married by 30, it’s not the end of the world.

    And don’t make “being married by 30” so critical that you would take an unsuitable man rather than not achieve your goal..

  23. Andrea, you would do well to contact and listen to Elspeth. She is a wise woman, and can help you far more than I.

  24. @ Feather Blade

    Interesting perspective. Given what men have done with violence over the years (look up the siege of Baghdad if you aren’t squeamish), I am not sold on that. However, women have never been given the opportunity to unleash violence like men have been able to until very recently. And some of the results back up your assertion. [See abortion statistics.]

  25. @ Media Luddite

    Thanks for your comment. I disagree with a lot, but appreciate your commentary all the same. Always good to have different perspective, and for that perspective to be offered in a respectful manner.

  26. MediaLuddite

    @DonalGraeme

    Thank you for blogging and providing this forum for discussion

  27. Elspeth

    Another thought about the political power of women and the existence (or not) of a Team Woman.

    Whatever you think about #womenagainstfeminism, their existence proves what I said about the so-called bonds between women when it becomes readily apparent that marriageable men are not a plentiful resource, dividing lines are drawn.

    Basically liberal, feminist political shenanigans that decimated the families of the low hanging fruit (lower SES people) are making their way up the chain and as middle middle class women are taking a hit, suddenly some women are “against feminism”.

    Unlike many people, I don’t see the fact that they are motivated by positive self-interest as a bad thing. I’m not even offended that no one seemed to notice that there have been women against feminism on the Internet well before these ladies began hash tagging.

    I do however, see their emergence as something that bolsters my point. Women only band together as a Team in the face of problems that have no name. When reality bites, there is no Team Woman, and the worse things get, the more you’ll see more and more cracks in what you think is some kind of female monolith.

    Even when women seem to be defending one another, it’s usually just a woman defending herself because whatever the woman she is defending is being criticized for she has either done it or thought of doing it.

    For example, I have been more than forthcoming about some of the history between me and my husband. Name one time any of you who have followed me online for any length of time has seen a virgin bride defend me for using pseudo-wife tactics to help my husband fall for me faster. You haven’t seen it and you won’t. They are *better* than me, and I don’t begrudge them for feeling that way because they are.

    I have never seen any real evidence of a Team Woman. There is Team Single Mother, and Team Divorced Women, and Team Slut, and Team Virgin Brides, Team Submissive Wives and Team Whatever, but there is no Team Woman, and the political landscape is going to bear that out as more and more women find themselves reaching their 30’s with no husbands and no prospects in sight.

    Team Woman exists in times of plenty. And only in times of plenty.

  28. mdavid

    Elspeth, your last post was gold. Team woman only exists when women feel flush and wish to solidify their gains.

    Western men are a victim of their own success. They provided materially so well their women lost the need for them. Non-Western types are still doing well in the women department.

    Western Christians have traditionally used guilt and moral codes to control their women (other advanced civilizations use force; e.g. Japan doesn’t have a glass ceiling but concrete one; Muslims use the whip). So when the Reformation severed Christianity from the broader culture, feminism was unleashed. Players? Golden age. Desperate sluts everywhere.

  29. mdavid

    DG, @ Media Luddite, Thanks for your comment. I disagree with a lot, but appreciate your commentary

    I would be interested in what ML wrote that you disagree with, DG.

  30. @ mdavid

    One bit would be this:

    The men who gave feminism it’s power were men who wanted to change society away from one where all men had the same interests. They wanted to skew government to give their personal, political, or business interests more power than their fellow man.

    While such men do exist, they were always in a minority position. It has always been White Knight types, the ones who meant well, who have been the most influential. At best those with ill intent sped along a process that was already well underway.

    His understanding of the history of the founding of the US also glosses over a lot, and assumes that it wasn’t a bunch of elites primarily aiming to help one another. Even then there was major debate about the extent of the democratic influence that should exist.

  31. mdavid

    DG, thanks.

  32. Pingback: Random Musings and Links- #4 | Donal Graeme

  33. MediaLuddite

    @DonalGraeme

    You and I don’t agree on history. Even if America falls short, the rooting of its governmental systems in the tenants of Christian thought is significant. Of course, it has often failed, but men are fallen and can’t create perfection.

    Powerful men who seek to corrupt the essence of this and deny it value are the issue. These are the people who I believe are at the root of the problem.

    On the White Knights, perhaps you should define the term. To some, you are a White Knight because you actually try to give advice to women. Many male-centric voices believe that women are good for nothing but sexual release. Any attempts to raise them up beyond this is being a White Knight.

    I’m not being argumentative. I really want you to describe the White Knights you find so pernicious.

  34. @ ML

    A post on the subject of White Knights is a good idea. Will give it some though.

  35. MediaLuddite

    @DG

    Thanks – your voice is studied and considerate so I think you would do a good job with the subject.

    (For the record, I don’t believe you are a White Knight in case my last comment did not make that clear.)

  36. @ ML

    (For the record, I don’t believe you are a White Knight in case my last comment did not make that clear.),

    My initial reading of your comment was in haste, and lead me to that conclusion. When I read it again I saw you were playing devil’s advocate. So no harm done.

  37. Pingback: Digging Deeper on Power | Free Northerner

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