The Guardianship of a Woman, Part IV: There is No Good “Wave” of Feminism

[The Guardianship of a Woman FULL ARTICLE PDF here (link stays on-site)]

 

There Is No Good “Wave” of Feminism

 

There are those who contend that the first “wave” of feminism was “innocent” and perhaps even necessary and good. But the reality of the matter is that there has never been any good or justifiable “wave” of feminism. The goals of feminism have always been the same since its very inception. That is, its goals were to destroy the family, destroy marriage, and create dissension and antagonism between men and women. Indeed, not only was the wrongful guise of feminism to “liberate” women from the supposed “slavery” that was marriage, feminism’s ultimate goal has always been to liberate men from their rightful responsibilities as well, creating the modern society that we have today of unmotivated men disinterested in marriage and unchaste and vulgar women, incapable of finding that true depth of happiness and fulfillment in life that feminism was supposed to secure for the female sex.

In July of 1848, at Seneca Falls, New York, a group of racially and sexually integrated women’s rights activists made the infamous Declaration of Seneca Falls Convention. After a C-grade rehashing of the Declaration of Independence, the Seneca Falls Declaration read:

 

The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise.

He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice.

He has withheld from her rights which are given to the most ignorant and degraded men- both natives and foreigners.

Having deprived her of this first right of a citizen, the elective franchise, thereby leaving her without representation in the halls of legislation, he has oppressed her on all sides.

He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.

He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.

He has made her, morally, an irresponsible being, as she can commit many crimes with impunity, provided they be done in the presence of her husband. In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming to all intents and purposes, her master- the law giving him power to deprive her of her liberty, and to administer chastisement.

He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes, and in case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the children shall be given, as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of women- the law, in all cases, going upon a false supposition of the supremacy of man, and giving all power into his hands.

After depriving her of all rights as a married woman, if single, and the owner of property, he has taxed her to support a government which recognizes her only when her property can be made profitable to it.

He has monopolized nearly all the profitable employments, and from those she is permitted to follow, she receives but a scanty remuneration. He closes against her all the avenues to wealth and distinction which he considers most honorable to himself. As a teacher of theology, medicine, or law, she is not known…

He has endeavored, in every way that he could, to destroy her confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect, and to make her willing to lead a dependent and abject life.

Now, in view of this entire disfranchisement of one-half the people of this country, their social and religious degradation- in view of the unjust laws above mentioned, and because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of the United States.

In entering upon the great work before us, we anticipate no small amount of misconception, misrepresentation, and ridicule; but we shall use every instrumentality within our power to effect our object. We shall employ agents, circulate tracts, petition the State and National legislatures, and endeavor to enlist the pulpit and the press in our behalf. We hope this Convention will be followed by a series of Conventions embracing every part of the country.[16]

 

The ladies and their male feminist supporters got their way. And what has been the result of all of this? What have been the ultimate consequences to every life in existence in America today? Even assuming that half of their assertions (half were only religious grievances- left out of the excerpt above- for which there was no redress at law in either case) were even true in the first place regarding the alleged abuses that man had supposedly inflicted upon the female sex, was what they were campaigning and petitioning for even a good cause in the first place? Before our own modern biases accede “yes” to the proposed question simply because it falls in line with modern mainstream propaganda, perhaps a deeper reflection about this issue is warranted. It can’t be supposed that their proposal was ever meant to lead to anything other than the complete annihilation of marriage and gender both at a social and legal level such as we have today. Those such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton were also advocates for marriage-law reform and liberalized divorce “as a needed outlet for men and women trapped in failed marriages.”[17] Does this sound suspiciously modern? Consider the following case and examine just how closely it resembles 21st century mainstream relationships today:

 

The Supreme Court of Kansas staked out the boundaries of nuptial freedom in an 1887 ruling that welcomed common-law marriage into the state. The justices sustained the conviction of E.C. Walker and Lillian Harman for illicit cohabitation. During their wedding the pair had proclaimed their hostility to conventional matrimony in terms reminiscent of those expressed at the 1848 wedding of the women’s rights crusaders Lucy Stone and Henry Blackwell. Calling themselves Autonomists, the couple publicly declared their bond while repudiating all statutory controls on marriage. At the commencement of the ceremony, the bride’s father read an elaborate statement of the sect’s view of marriage as a “strictly personal matter.” The bride and groom denied “the right of society, in the form of church and state to regulate it, or interfere with the individual man and woman in this relation.” They dispensed with the traditional nuptial promise “to love and honor” each other, since this might not be possible to sustain. The groom also renounced his legal right to change his wife’s name, take her property, and retain custody of their children. Instead, he promised her complete equality. The bride then pledged that her fidelity would be guided by her conscience. After these pronouncements were published in the sect’s journal, local authorities arrested, convicted, and sentenced the pair to the county jail.

The ceremony repelled the state bench. Though the justices agreed that under the common law, nuptial regulations were merely directory, they refused to confer the status of common-law marriage on this union. Chief Justice Albert Horton thundered his opinion: “They have lived together, but had no intention of creating that relation of status known and defined by law and by customs and usages of all civilized societies as marriage. Thus living together under such circumstances did not in law constitute a valid marriage.” The court defended the state’s nuptial authority and refuted the plea that Walker and Harman’s civil rights has been violated. Instead, they assured the citizenry that the lax provisions of the law were amendable to reason.[18]

 

What was once shocking has now become mainstream under the guise of equality, civil rights and erroneous judicial interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, replete with the usurpation of all power by the Federal government, thereby wholly denying to the states the right to make their own laws to govern family life.


 

[16] Quoted in Melvin I. Urofsky & Paul Finkelman, Documents of American Constitutional and Legal History, Volume I (New York, 2002), pp. 327-28.

[17] Michael Grossberg, Governing the Hearth, Law and the Family in Nineteenth-Century America (Chapel Hill, 1985), p. 87.

[18] Ibid., pp. 97-98.

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