Thoughts on Coverture, Suffrage, Chivalry, Patriarchy and the Natural Order

“There are people in Europe who, confounding together the different characteristics of the sexes, would make of man and woman beings not only equal but alike. They would give to both the same functions, impose on both the same duties, and grant to both the same rights; they would mix them in all things – their occupations, their pleasures, their business. It may readily be conceived, that by thus attempting to make one sex equal to the other, both are degraded; and from so preposterous a medley of the works of nature nothing could ever result but weak men and disorderly women.” (Alexis de Tocqueville, “Deomocracy in America,” Chapter XII)

I believe it is the obligation of men to be chivalrous to women. I believe this duty to be unconditional. That means even if the woman acts bad I still believe it is the duty of men to protect and provide for women. I believe that women have special circumstances in life and the differences between the sexes warrant special consideration and protections for women. I believe it is the duty of men to elevate the interests of women above their own and the responsibility of adults to elevate the interests of children above their own. Women are inherently more vulnerable and weaker than men and are in need of special protections and guardianship in marriage. I believe it to be the duty of the husband to provide for his wife and be responsible for her. I do not believe this duty to be reciprocal. Marriage was never meant to be an “equal partnership.” The purpose of marriage is for the provision of women and children. Love is important and I believe it is good that everyone can choose who they wish to marry and spend their lives with and be happy. But marriage is more than that. It is more than how one feels at the moment and more than just “mutual benefit.” Marriage is about masculinity, femininity and the provision and guardianship of women and children. Now that society has lost sight of what the real and true purpose of marriage is the institution of the family has been destroyed and we have such perversions like “gay marriage” and cohabitation and epidemics of single parenthood and divorce and “blended” families that do nothing more than confuse children about their family identity. Once the legal obligation upon men to be providers for a wife and children (if there are any children, even if there aren’t it shouldn’t change his role to provide for the wife) was erased it didn’t take long at all for the family unit to be destroyed.

Although I’ve never come out and straightforward said much about my beliefs, I do believe in God, although I don’t have any particular religious affiliation. I never really talk about this much because I want my site to welcome those of all religious beliefs as well as atheists to the cause of traditional sex roles and traditional marriage (I don’t believe one can have a traditional marriage without traditional sex roles and the obligation of husbands and fathers to provide). I believe men and women were made for certain roles in this life and men have a moral obligation to to care for women and children and put women and children first. Man has always tried to pervert the natural order of things and go against God, there is nothing new or unusual about that. I guarantee any crazy thing one can think up of some society somewhere has tried it, somebody has done it. But that doesn’t mean that we should. We have thousands of years of history to show us the consequences (both good and bad) of different human behaviors and different laws and policies.

The sex act itself reaffirms traditional gender roles. The man is dominant, the woman submissive. The man gives, the woman receives. The man is powerful while the woman is often helpless. The man covers the woman with his body and penetrates into her most intimate places first with his own body and after the act is completed with his seed that lives inside her in the most intimate and precious place where all life begins. The man controls and leads the act while the woman follows and submits. The sex act depends upon the man’s ability to achieve. He must give to the woman, he must work to bring fulfillment to the woman and put her needs before his own or he has failed and is incompetent, impotent and dysfunctional. This is the order that traditional gender roles take, with the man giving to the woman and being dominate over the woman, while the woman receives and accepts what the man gives and submits. The woman is precious and weaker and it is the man’s job to protect and provide for her.

Although I’ve alluded to it before, I don’t believe that women should participate in politics and I am against the vote for women. The world may hate me for what I believe but I don’t care. I will not change what I believe in to fit what modern society tells me is right. Right now I may be hated and be in the minority viewpoint but in time the tables will turn. I will state what I believe no matter who is against me. If I have to change myself for someone to follow or like me then what is the point of writing? As a traditional woman I don’t want to deal with external affairs and problems in the community and society at large. I take to writing to speak out against what I see as wrong. Women have always done this, vote or no vote. If women have the right to vote then we also have the obligation to participate in politics and other duties that traditionally fell only to men. As it stands traditional women have no choice because if we back out and don’t participate in politics there will be a huge imbalance as non-traditional women will get everything they want and traditional women will be outnumbered and our voice ignored. If women have the right to participate in politics that means they also have the obligation, and a woman cannot just mind her own business at home and remain under her husband’s authority and be at peace.

“We are sometimes told by politicians who wish to press this matter on us, ‘You women will not be forced to vote.’ But our conscience speaks otherwise. If, in spite of our remonstrances, we have political obligations forced upon us, we shall feel it to be the first duty to vote every man out of place who has abused his lawmaking power thus to oppress us, and also to counteract the votes of bad women-and here is the appalling danger. While conservative women may stay at home the infamous women of our cities, numbering thousands, will be brought to the polls as a unit, and every such vote bought by some scheming politician. What legislation will this vote ask for? Surely nothing less than a social disorganization. Women of this hitherto happy land, reflect. Are you prepared for such consequences.” (1)

Under coverture the woman’s husband spoke for her. He represented her. Men cared more about the interests and well being of women because they were responsible for women. They knew they had the moral duty to elevate the interests of women above their own. They knew they had to think of women and children first. Now men don’t care about the interests of women because many modern women and the feminist movement has insisted that women can speak for themselves, protect themselves and support themselves and they have no need of the protection or support of men. But women do have need of male protection and guardianship. It is not degrading to women. It signifies that women are precious and loved, favored even. I don’t believe America has been a true patriarchy since the mid-19th century when coverture started being repealed. Patriarchy entails male headship of families and the legal dependence of wives and children as well as male guardianship of women and men in charge of the overall social order. Many societies have adopted aspects of patriarchy but if the social system does not involve chivalrous ethic on behalf of men towards women I don’t believe it to be patriarchy. For instance, I don’t believe a tribe that acknowledges fatherhood and descent through the male line yet has the women own all the property and do all the drudgery work to be a patriarchy, patrilineal perhaps, but not truly patriarchal.

“It may not be altogether easy to determine the exact difference in function between the sexes; in minor details those functions may differ in differing civilizations. But speaking broadly, it may be said that the work of battle in all its forms, and all the work that is cognate thereto, belongs to man. Physically and psychically his is the sterner and the stronger sex. His muscles are more steel-like; his heart and his flesh are alike harder; he can give knocks without compunction and receive them without shrinking. In the family, therefore, his it is to go forth and fight the battle with Nature; to compel the reluctant ground to give her riches to his use. It is not for woman to hold the plough, or handle the hoe, or dig in the mine, or fell the forest. The war with Nature is not for her to wage.” (2)

It is important to note that although men in general hold authority over women in general, a woman is not under any obligation to obey just any man. In fact, a man attempting to assert dominance over a woman where he has no authority is often subject to punishment, sometimes by the woman’s husband (or father) himself. For instance, if the man is holding out his hands wanting the woman to feed him or he is trying to order her around or he pushes himself on her sexually then he has committed a serious offense. In patriarchal societies men were often put to death for raping a woman. It was an offense not just against her but also against her husband/father because the woman was under guardianship. Even the Bible itself gave a husband the right to punish a man who brought physical harm to his wife. Not because women were “property” but because they were under guardianship and her husband was responsible to protect her. (As a side note no in the Bible and in other ancient societies women were not “damaged goods” if they weren’t virgins. Women were only punished for adultery and her lover was punished equally. Widowed and divorced women frequently remarried and the man had to marry the woman if they were intimate and she was not already engaged. In the Bible the man would have to pay the bride price (dowry) anyways if the woman’s father wouldn’t agree to the marriage).

I have been a supporter of automatic father custody, but only under the principle of coverture. I do not support men’s or father’s rights groups because these groups are abusive. They do not elevate the interests of women and children above their own interests. Their interests are purely selfish. They are about asserting their dominance over women but in a way that harms women and gets them out of responsibility. They want men’s rights without men’s responsibility attached to it. The only time they care about fatherless children is to show that they and not the mother should have custody. Family breakdown is only really a problem when they can’t get whatever they want out of divorce or when they have to support illegitimate children that they don’t want (at least that they don’t want until the child support gets to be too burdensome, at which point they all of a sudden become dad of the year and start pulling out the custody card and claim to be victims). No, I support father custody under coverture. For the father who is married to the children’s mother and is responsible to provide for them. I support this because it brings more security to women and children in ways I can’t completely explain in one posting. Under coverture the wife and children are already under the husband’s custody. Divorce should be rare in this instance but if divorce or separation does occur it should not change the rights nor the responsibilities between husband and wife (for instance, she shouldn’t automatically be responsible for being a co-provider nor should the husband’s authority now have to be shared with the wife over the children as in her getting equal rights to them over the husband’s objections). As long as she hasn’t been adulterous he should still have to support her, so him wrestling the kids away from her won’t get him out of responsibility.

This is what I believe. I’ve always felt that it was right to let my husband support and protect me and I always felt it was right to obey him. I was just innocent and naive when I first married. I had never even known the words “women’s liberation” and I knew I felt inside that men should protect women and love them, not harm them. It is particularly damaging when a man exploits, abuses and abandons a woman much more so than if he abused another man just the same as it is particularly more damaging if an adult abused or exploited a child than if an adult did the same to another adult. It is very damaging when the natural order is perverted and women are given no special consideration as being the weaker and more vulnerable of the two sexes. Men are stronger than women and always inherently more powerful. Feminists tried to put women on an equal level to men by erasing laws that protected women but doing so didn’t make women as powerful as men, it left women desperate and vulnerable and liberated men from their responsibilities. It shouldn’t be this way. It is man’s duty to protect women, not declare war on them.

“For until she had been unsexed, until she had ceased to be woman, she could not play the part which her destiny and her ambition assigned to her. For like reason society exempts woman from police functions. She is not called to be sheriff or constable or night watchman. She bears no truncheon and wears no revolver. She answers not to the summons when peace officers call for the posse comitatus. She is not received into the National Guard when bloody riot fills the city with peril and alarms. Why not? Is she not the equal of man? Is she not as loyal? as law abiding ? as patriotic? as brave? Surely. All of these is she. But it is not her function to protect the state when foreign foes attack it; it is the function of the state to protect her. It is not her function to protect the persons and property of the community against riot; it is man’s function to protect her. Here at least the functional difference between the sexes is too plain to be denied, doubted, or ignored. Here at least no man or woman from the claims of equality of character jumps to the illogical conclusion that there is an identity of function.” (2)

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