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Missive #85

This is the closing paragraph from an opinion posting by the editors of the American Mind. They explain what the latest indictments against former president Trump are all about. If the powers that are behind this effort fail to keep him from getting the 2024 presidential nomination I think they will attempt an assassination prior to November 2024.

We are deep in Lavrentiy Beria land, now, the province of Stalin’s top cop, who supposedly remarked, “Show me the man and I will show you the crime.” America is no longer governed by even the pretense of the rule of law. The assault on Trump may be designed to neutralize him as an electoral force in 2024, or in some extraordinary way it may even be designed to solidify him as the besieged leader of a fractured Republican Party and elevate him as a martyr in the eyes of his deplorable legions. Either way, it is clear that American history has been split—between republic and tyranny—and we are somewhere in time near the cleft. — Welcome To Your New Country

Yesterday morning the low temperature was below freezing (31.6°F) when we started our walk. It had warmed up to about 35°F by the time we finished. While on the walk I counted nine elk then a few minutes later caught the brief sight of a herd that I estimate was twenty or more, some of them may have been the nine that I counted before. They had been on the ATV road where I was walking not very long before I got there; I could see fresh tracks and other signs. No more elk this morning and the low had warmed up to be 35.3°F.

I have finished adding all of the Bulgaria pages from my old homegrown website to WordPress pages. The formatting changed slightly, mostly in how I have shown the pictures, but the text remained unchanged. You can see what I have wrought by going to the hamburger menu and clicking on Bulgaria.

Ask the Assassin: Thoughts on the Marriage III, or
The Marriage Strike: It’s Going to Get Worse Before It Gets Better
By John Ross

Copyright 2005 by John Ross. Electronic reproduction of this article freely permitted provided it is reproduced in its entirety with attribution given

I have recently become aware of the works of Dr. Daniel Amneus, who wrote the book Garbage Generation in 1990.  Dr. Amneus died in 2003.  Garbage Generation is available online, as is one of his essays, The War Against Patriarchywritten in 1997.   Amneus makes several major points and backs them up with plenty of documentation.

    I’ll give you the Cliff’s Notes version:

    First, the default condition in the mammalian world is matriarchy, where the female is the head of the family.  In this condition, the male has the role of sperm donor, but little else.  Matriarchy defines the animal kingdom.  Matriarchy existed for humans and our ancestors for hundreds of thousands of years during the Stone Age, and still exists in primitive cultures.  (It’s why they’re primitive.)

    Patriarchy, where the father heads the household, is only a few thousand years old, a comparative eyeblink.  Yet in this few thousand years, civilization has sprung up, accomplishing things that people in matriarchal cultures would insist were magic.

    The existence of civilization and the attendant building of wealth is the result of the enforcement of the Marriage Contract, which powerfully motivates men to achieve.  A marriage contract makes a man provide for and protect his family.  In return, he gets to have a family, and to be involved with the socialization of his children.  A requirement of the marriage contract is that the wife cannot deny sex to her husband, and cannot have sex with other men.  This sexual regulation of women is an absolute requirement, so that the man entering into the marriage contract can be assured of having children, and having them be his. 

    Dr. Amneus contends that allowing men to have families and participate in the socialization of their children has motivated them to achieve tremendous things for all of society, and nothing short of being allowed to head a family will motivate them as strongly to do this.  He points out that all existing matriarchal societies (inner-city ghettoes, Indian reservations, existing Stone Age cultures around the world) are societies in which you wouldn’t want to live.

    In 1963, Betty Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique, where she scolded women for depending on men and expecting so little of themselves, such as the trifling amount of housework wives did.  She urged them to cast off the “Sleeping Beauty waiting for Prince Charming” role model, and urged them to “stand on their own two feet” and work and compete in traditionally male occupations. 

    Dr. Amneus points out that when Friedan wrote this, she didn’t understand that husbands were not supporting their wives in exchange for housework, they were supporting their wives in exchange for having a family.  Having a family required that the wife give her body freely to her husband and only her husband, and that was the sacrifice women were making, not housework.

    By the 1970s, women who bought into Friedan’s way of thinking had discovered it wasn’t so easy to be independent, what with all those motivated men to compete with.  By then, “Sleeping Beauty” feminism had been replaced by “Slaughtered Saints” feminism.  Under Sleeping Beauty feminism, women were capable of competing on an even footing.  They didn’t need alimony, they were perfectly capable of making it on their own.

    Under Slaughtered Saints feminism, women were now victims, always repressed, downtrodden, held back, etc., and in need of reparations and artificial props in the workplace.  Slaughtered Saints feminists bristled at the term “alimony,” but they still wanted the money, and lots of it.  Just call it “maintenance.” 

    Dr. Amneus points out that patriarchy is NOT the natural order.  Neither is civilization, technology, heavy industry, central air, microwave ovens, etc.  Patriarchy is an artificial construct that makes all these other desirable artificial constructs possible.  And as an artificial construct, it is fragile.  Leave a computer outside and see how long it lasts.  Leave a building untended, and see what happens.  If you want civilization, you need to have patriarchy, because that is what motivates men to direct their energy in productive ways, rather than violence.  Patriarchy requires that men be able to enter into marriage contracts that are binding. The current no-fault divorce laws which allow a woman to eject her husband from the family yet retain his income are an ongoing disaster.  Boys raised by single mothers have a much greater tendency towards violent criminal behavior.  Girls raised by single mothers tend to become single mothers themselves, perpetuating the problem. 

    If we want a better, safer, healthier society, we need to provide incentives for having two-parent households, and provide disincentives for single mothers raising children.  Dr. Amneus explains that since the bond between mother and child is so strong, it is the one thing that doesn’t need additional help from the courts.  The link that is so important (and so fragile) is the one between father and child, particularly if that child is a boy.  The current social programs, laws, and judges’ rulings encourage families to split up, or discourage men from ever marrying in the first place.

    The chapter which most enrages current feminists is “Our Paychecks, Our Selves–Why Fathers Must Demand Custody.”  Here are some excerpts:

What men must do to salvage [the situation] is to safeguard the male paycheck–to prevent anyone, ex-wife, house-male judge or house-male lawmaker, from telling him what he may or may not do with that paycheck, and that if he enters into a contract of marriage to share that paycheck with a wife in exchange for her sharing her reproductive life with him, this contract shall not be abrogated for the purpose of depriving him of his children and his paycheck.

Betty Friedan’s 1963 book The Feminine Mystique told American housewives that the “considerable rights” they obtained through marriage were an overpayment for the trifling services they performed: “Society asks so little of women….It was not that too much was asked of them but too little.” Ms. Friedan had no understanding of the pivotal fact that the “little” asked of women was primarily not housework but acceptance of sexual regulation. The male’s reproductive marginality forced him to offer the female the extremely one-sided bargain upon which Ms. Friedan poured her scorn. The benefits of this bargain are being lost to men because women will not keep the marriage contract and the courts will not enforce it. They are being largely lost to women by their insistence on sexual autonomy and their consequent withdrawal of sexual loyalty from the nuclear family, which then ceases to provide what Ms. Friedan deemed a free ride for women. With that withdrawal women can no longer offer men what men must have if they are to participate responsibly in reproduction.

From the feminists’ point of view, subsidization by an ex- husband is as good as subsidization by a husband; but from the man’s point of view the difference is total. …. Betty Friedan has suggested that the feminist movement is a new biological breakthrough, “the next step in human evolution.” The feminist/sexual revolution is not a breakthrough but a throwback. The breakthrough was the creation of patriarchy a few thousand years ago…

Feminists protest against the double standard required by the regulation of female sexuality. The double standard is an essential part of the patriarchal system. Male sexuality requires less regulation because it is less important. Male unchastity sets a bad example and demoralizes wives who find out about it, but otherwise damages society little. Female unchastity destroys the marriage contract, the family, the legitimacy of children, their patriarchal socialization, the security of property and the motivation of work–it destroys civilized society. Men accept a double work standard, requiring them to be more dependable, more committed to their jobs, willing to accept more arduous and dangerous labor and to exercise more self-discipline– the things which account for their earning more than women in the job market.

A man who wants a woman to marry him would get nowhere by telling her, “If you will marry me, I will guarantee that you will be the mother of your children.” He is offering her nothing, since it is impossible that she should not be the mother of her own children. A woman who wants a man to marry her would be talking sense if she said to him, “If you will marry me, I will guarantee that you will be the father of my children.”  [She would be] talking sense, though her personal guarantee is insufficient, because women notoriously change their minds,…women [claim] the right to renege on their promise of sexual loyalty, and because the legal system supports this right.

In the words of Mary Ann Glendon, the duty of an exiled ex-husband “to provide for the needs of [his] minor children [in Mom’s custody]…is so important that it cannot be excluded by contract.” In other words, the woman’s promise is worthless and the law will grant the man no rights under the contract of marriage. … The only salvation is to get the legal system to understand that it must support the man’s right to have a family and deny the woman’s right to wreck it at her pleasure. In other words, it must regulate female sexuality–or rather allow the father to regulate it by allowing him control over his own paycheck, a control not subject to revocation by a divorce court.

This hated double standard places a burden on women but rewards them lavishly for accepting it. It gives them the bargaining power which makes men willing to raise their standard of living by an estimated 73 percent. Female sexual autonomy forfeits this bargaining power; legal regulation of women (enforced by a guarantee of father-custody in divorce) maintains it. Feminist books are written about the unwillingness of men to “make a commitment” to support women and about the unmarriageability of educated and economically independent women, those with the highest divorce rate. These women would be beneficiaries of sexual regulation, which would make them non-threatening to men and therefore marriageable. Their superior education and talents– often combined with superior personal attractiveness–would become assets to themselves, to their families and to society if there existed an assurance that these assets did not act, as they now commonly do, as incentives to divorce.

Would it not be fairer to regulate both male and female sexuality with equal strictness? No; male sexuality isn’t important enough. If ninety percent of male sexuality were regulated, the unregulated ten percent would create as much sexual confusion and illegitimacy as the ninety percent–if females were unregulated. The regulation of ninety percent of female sexuality would, on the contrary, prevent ninety percent of sexual confusion and illegitimacy, and that is why society must insist on the double standard, which both stabilizes society and gives women greater bargaining power because it makes them more valuable to their families and to society. The woman’s chastity gives the man assurance of a family; the man’s motivation, created by his assurance of a secure role within this family, gives the woman a higher standard of living. This is the complementariness which makes patriarchal civilization possible. The arrangement is now being destroyed by the removal of the man’s assurance of a secure role within his family.

    Before I continue, let me interject that Dr. Amneus’ idea of the proper “sexual regulation” of women may differ somewhat from my own.  In this era of easy birth control, a single woman does not have to stay a virgin to avoid having illegitimate children.  I, for one, am not nearly as concerned with a woman’s past sexual history before she met me as I am about the one she has with me.  Most men these days would agree with this, I think.  Dr. Amneus might, as well, were he still alive. 

    Dr. Amneus makes a strong case for the decline of the two-parent family as being at the root of a long list of America’s current ills.  He reserves his strongest contempt for male judges that perpetuate single-mother households:

The failure of the judges and policymakers responsible for most of these female-headed families to understand their responsibility for them and for the disruption, crime, demoralization and illegitimacy they produce derives from the disastrous but natural mistake of supposing that because the female-headed family form is biologically based, whereas the father-headed family form is merely a social creation, society ought to support the biologically based form by choosing Mom for custodian of the children in case of divorce. They cannot grasp the idea that the reproductive pattern found among lower animals is unsuitable for humans.

    From The War Against Patriarchy (1997):

The judge replaced [the] father-headed family with one headed by the mother because he supposed it was natural to do so. Also the easy thing, the thing that all judges do and have done for a century. Patriarchy, like the internal combustion engine, is artificial. But it works. The judge knows that patriarchal families, families headed by fathers, produce better behaved, higher achieving children, but he can’t see his way through to the conclusion that he ought to keep the father as family head rather than contribute to the expansion of matriarchy.

A Georgia judge named Robert Noland invariably places children of divorce in the custody of mothers and justifies what he does with this: “I ain’t never seen a calf following a bull. They always follow the cow. So I always give custody to the mamas.” The reason Judge Noland never saw a calf following a bull is that cattle don’t live in two parent households. If we want to live like cattle, Judge Noland has the right idea–it’s natural. But mother-headed households generate three-quarters of society’s crime and a disproportionate amount of illegitimacy, educational failure and demoralization and drug abuse and the rest of our social pathology.

    Anyway, the result of all this (and the thing that has a lot of sociologists clucking) is that every year, fewer men are willing to marry.  Now that more men realize that wives can take their children away from them at their whim, and the ex-husband will still be on the hook financially, more men are saying “No thanks” every year.  The marriage rate has dropped in half in the last three decades.  This article by Matt Weeks about the “Marriage Strike” gives more detail.

    Many men I know whose wives have bolted and cashed out are looking forward to the reaction when women realize what’s happened.  Here’s what one friend I was discussing this with had to say:

“Many of us (I confess, I’m one) relish the idea of women seeing the other shoe drop. Many of us want to see a panicked look on your average feminist’s face when she realizes she’s priced herself out of the marriage market. We want to see the tables turned; we get a nice jolt of schadenfreude when we think of it.”

    While it may be appealing for divorced men to imagine an America where no single woman can find a decent man willing to risk marrying her, it’s not going to happen any time soon.  Here’s why:

    People of different ages have different ideas of cultural norms, and thus different expectations, based on what they experienced during the critical years when lifelong opinions were formed. For example, people who first flew on airplanes as children are almost never afraid of flying in adulthood.

    With the advent of cheap VCRs in the late 1980s-early 1990s, anyone with even the slightest curiosity about XXX movies could easily rent or borrow one and watch it at home.

    Let’s use 1988 as the approximate year VCRs became common.

    That means if a girl was born around 1973 or later, there was a VCR in her house when she started going through adolescence and becoming curious about sexual matters, and therefore she probably viewed one or more hardcore adult films at that time. As a result, she got an impression of what men and women expected in the bedroom.

    My observation is that women born after the mid-1970s are considerably more likely to do anything you want in bed, whenever you want it. This, I think, is not due just to their being young. Women in their 20s fifteen years ago weren’t as game as twentysomethings are now. I think it’s because those women weren’t exposed to the kind of spirited, athletic sex exhibited in XXX movies when they were teenagers, as the women under 32 today were. That’s why Paris Hilton’s amateur sex video had ZERO negative effect on her TV career and overall marketability, why Jenna Jameson is on the cover of mainstream magazines, and other porn stars are regularly featured in music videos.

    Some of you will likely exclaim that this is a deplorable state of affairs. I’ll just say that I prefer to try to take what pleasures I can in life, and when a big wave is approaching, I’ll stop building sand castles and take up surfing, instead of trying to turn back the tide.

    There is a point to all this.  The Marriage Strike won’t reach critical mass any time soon because almost every person I know has a living memory of having a mother and father that were married to each other, at least for a while. I can count on the fingers of one hand the people whose mothers were never married to their fathers, or whose parents divorced before the child was old enough to remember. And all these examples are children born in the last few years–they won’t be of marrying age for two decades.

    Despite the terrible risk/reward ratio for a man to marry, for almost all people outside the ghetto, getting married is the expected norm–expected not by just other people, but by the MEN THEMSELVES.

    Bestselling novelist Michael Chrichton has been married and divorced FIVE TIMES! That has to have cost him a fortune. Nicole Kidman shook Tom Cruise down for a pile, even though she makes millions on her own, because she could. And now he’s going to do it all over again. Why? I think it’s because marriage is still the default expectation in men’s minds, despite the obvious assumption of massive risk with little chance of reward.

    The men who have sworn off marriage are growing, yes, but they are still very small in number. For all of the talk of “the chickens are coming home to roost,” and all the eagerly anticipated wholesale rejection of marriage to American women, I think it’s going to be at least one more generation (a generation being 25-ish years) before we see significant numbers.

    Of all the American men you know, how many have never been married and have vowed never to do so? Of all the American men you know, how many have a foreign wife? To both questions, I’d guess less than 1%.

    Just like our country’s reluctance to do anything to prevent the eventual Social Security crisis, I don’t think we’ll see a big difference in general male behavior towards marriage for quite a while.
    And that’s why the rules are unlikely to change–the coming problem (and obviously, not everyone will agree there even IS a coming problem) is too far off to bother with.

    I worry that my daughter will have a hard time finding a decent husband in 12-15 years.  And I worry that if she should be fortunate enough to do so, she’ll bolt and cash out, because she can.

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