Category Archives: History

Taheyya Kariokka

“I love my work. I love it, really. I don’t love anything in my life but my work.”- Tahia Carioca, 1994

Sometimes in between the mundane and insignificant things in this life, such as musings over how Rachel Brice manages to move her body as though she were an actual snake, or how much of a gymnast one truly has to be in order to pull off a back-bend like Nejla Ateş, comes a truly fascinating story that, among other things, showcases how little human nature actually changes over time and across national boundaries. One such fascinating (perhaps even somewhat sad or tragic) and one-of-a-kind story can be found in one of the darlings of Cairo’s golden age, Badaweya Mohamed Kareem Al Nirani.

Badaweya Mohamed Kareem Al Nirani (1919(?)-1999), professionally known as Taheyya Kariokka (Tahia Carioca), was an Egyptian actress and dancer, primarily in the 1930s and 1940s. Though largely unknown to the Western world, she starred in somewhere around 300 classical Arabic films and is known as a pioneer of sorts to true studied students and enthusiasts of belly-dance.

Coming from a respectable family, Taheyya was the product of a marriage where her mother was forty years younger than her father. Her father apparently went through a few marriages within the family, being left swiftly widowed before settling for marrying an outsider (Taheyya’s mother). Despite her youth, it took Taheyya’s mother a full four years to conceive a child (fertility issues on the behalf of the aging husband, perhaps?), and then- much to her father’s dismay- the child was a girl.

Taheyya’s mother fled to return back to her family soon after Taheyya’s birth, leaving Taheyya to be raised primarily by her paternal grandmother. Soon after her father’s death, Taheyya’s much older brother took custody of her, imposing discipline whenever he would catch her dancing [being a dancer was- is- generally looked down upon in that part of the world, with one of the worst insults you could hurl at a man being to call him the “son of a dancer” and you’d be hard pressed to find many Arab women willing to become dancers as most dancers in the Middle East are actually Western imports] on her in a manner that would be considered extreme child abuse by today’s standards. (Taheyya’s mother reported to the authorities about this behavior, attempting to get her daughter back, though they refused to intervene). She eventually fled from her brother at a young age, leading to a series of events and interactions that would make her one of the most famous dancers of her day.

By all accounts told about her, Taheyya was a rebel and perhaps even the perfect example of the quandary of the modern-day woman. She was famous for her sharp tongue and had quite a reputation for debauchery, having an (admitted) fourteen husbands.

“No, what was clear and unalterable: men had made her life hell! And perhaps the fault was not all theirs. Even when she was young, even when she was broke, I defy anyone to find a picture of Madame Tahaya which doesn’t show her eyes alight with mockery. What love can withstand it’s glare? And as she herself told me in so many words, men did not desire her. At first I heard deserve, but no, desire was what she had said, and desire was what she meant. A soft clap of disdain followed, washing her hands of all men. No, the husbands, all thirteen of them, were in love with “Tahaya Carioca,” whoever she was! And, as if to underline the point, Tahaya treated all of them with a man’s directness, divorced them like a man, paid them off like a man. It was as if only by playing the tough little businesswoman could she underline the gulf between who she was on the screen and stage and who she was in reality.”[1]

Like many modern women, she had a career. Above all, her career always came first for her. That combined with her sharp tongue apparently drove all the men away one by one. Like many modern women, she could attract many men to her, but she could never hold onto them. (Supposedly) not believing in having sex before marriage, she instead engaged in what could be termed as serial monogamy, marrying and divorcing one man after the other in a series of relationships that never lasted very long, until her final marriage to a much younger man finally bankrupted her after an 8-year long court battle.

She was superior in her relationships, and fiercely independent. She took the initiative to divorce and always paid her own way (even with her numerous divorces). One of her marriages was to an American Air Force officer. She followed him to America for a short time before she then apparently became bored(?) with American life, divorced him, and headed back to Egypt.

Her political life was quite interesting. I guess you can’t really expect that a fiercely independent woman like Taheyya would just sit on the sidelines in times of war or political upheaval. But no! She gave asylum to political allies (some even members of her own family), did some time in jail for conspiracy against the crown and even helped in weapon smuggling and training to join the resistance in the mid-50s.

As well, you’d dare not insult a woman like Taheyya, and even royalty were not immune, as it is said she insulted King Farouk and his second-wife, refusing to dance at their wedding by exclaiming “I have already danced at the wedding of the Queen of Egypt!” In yet another instance, reports say that she also slapped the former king across the face as well (some reports say it was because he threw an ice cube down her dress).

Taheyya would grab her shoe anytime she was offended or felt threatened and wave it in the person’s face, and, again, neither royalty nor Hollywood A-listers of the day were immune. Husbands weren’t immune either, apparently. In at least one known instance, she caught one of her many (soon to be ex-) husbands, Rushdy Abaza, with another woman. Off came Taheyya’s shoe as she then began to teach the other woman a lesson before proceeding to obtain a divorce from Abaza and move on to the next man.

But despite her success, fame, and marriages to A-list celebrities and directors, her life was a hard one, and not exactly one to be recommended. She could never conceive children of her own (something that apparently saddened her greatly), but instead adopted a daughter. By all accounts she was well educated, proficient in French and English as well as her own native Arabic. She also had a kind heart, despite her fiery ways, always willing to open her doors to the poor and needy. As she began to age, however, she began to put on a lot of weight, becoming very heavy and, by some accounts, also very crude and vulgar, no longer being the suave seductress that she once was. Later pictures and films that she played in showed her to be very heavy, and the final divorce that she underwent took a huge financial and emotional toll on her, leaving her to seek out whatever menial roles she could find for herself in an attempt to rebuild her life. Towards the end of her life in an interview she was asked by members of the press, “How many husbands?” to which she then replied “Five right ones. I never was happy. My work always came first. For this, they run away. I took two months vacation every year, the rest I worked.”

At the end, in her final years, she returned fully to her Muslim faith, donning the veil before passing away at the age of 80(?) from a heart attack in a Cairo hospital.

Taheyya:

 

More about Taheyya:
http://thebestofhabibi.com/vol-13-no-3-summer-1994/tahia-carioca-and-samia-gamal/
http://thebestofhabibi.com/vol-17-no-4-dec-1999/tahia-talks/
http://thebestofhabibi.com/vol-17-no-4-dec-1999/farewell-to-tahia/
https://raseef22.com/en/culture/2016/10/04/amazing-life-legendary-taheyya-kariokka-dancer-actress-rebel/
http://www.hossamramzy.com/articles/the-stars-of-egypt/taheyya-karioka/
http://www.gildedserpent.com/art43/sausanTK.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/1999/09/22/arts/tahia-carioca-79-dies-a-renowned-belly-dancer.html

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Enough of This Home Business Business

Being a traditional woman means to be financially dependent on one’s husband. Traditionally, the working world was seen as “men’s business” and married women were shielded from the necessities of earning a living. I see women all the time who just simply cannot leave well enough alone. They simply cannot understand anything other than earning a paycheck. Even conservative Christians try to interpret the Bible to something pleasing to modern-day standards. For instance, I see all the time stay at home mothers who are Christians interpreting the Proverbs 31 woman as the ideal and saying that, if applied to the modern day, it means a woman should start a home business (as well as bear children and take care of the house!). A woman making her own money would be a financially independent woman no matter where that money is made. That would make her consistent with the feminist ideal for women. Also, a woman working everyday at her husband’s business would make her a business partner with him and not dependent upon him. Even conservatives promote the feminist ideal for gender relations and this has been going on for a while now. As George Gilder observed in his book “Men and Marriage:”

“As a critique of the feminist movement and its politics, Sexual Suicide now seems less telling. But the central themes of the book remain vitally important. Though rejecting feminist politics and lesbian posturing, American culture has absorbed the underlying ideology like a sponge. The principle tenets of sexual liberation or sexual liberalism-the obsolescence of masculinity and femininity, of sex role, and of heterosexual monogamy as the moral norm- have diffused through the system and become part of America’s conventional wisdom. Taught in most of the nation’s schools and colleges and proclaimed insistently in the media, sexual liberalism prevails even where feminism- at least in its antimale rhetoric- seems increasingly irrelevant.”

Sanne at Adventures in Keeping House, also sums it up perfectly in this post (comments section):

“As I see it, the problem often is that nowadays people see men and women as interchangeable. They are supposed to have the same interests and fulfill the same roles in society. Often, even conservatives who claim that they are pro-family will state that as long as one of the parents has to stay home, it’s O.K. and it doesn’t matter whether it is the father or the mother. On the other hand, the fathers who work long hours are criticized by the same conservatives for not contributing to raising the children. Excuse me, but the father who works hard and enables his wife to stay home is contributing enough, even though he doesn’t change the diapers!

I say men and women are different, and should be judged according to a different standard to some point. Long live sexual dimorphism!”

Before feminism men were required to financially support their wives. It was a man’s duty as well as a legal obligation. Our culture has lost this ethic entirely as the breadwinner ethic has been entirely eroded. A lot of women today are trying to gain respect for stay-at-home wives and mothers yet they are still focusing on teaching women how to make money from home. It’s still egalitarian; it’s still feminist. The point of marriage is for men to provide for and protect women; to take a woman out of the workforce so that she may be home and care for her children and others.

Also another thing that has gone out of our culture is that men, not women, are supposed to head households. When the provider ethic was the strongest (before the 20th century) it was also the oldest son, not the mother, who took over temporarily as being the head of household if the father was absent or away on business (assuming he had reached a certain age of maturity). It seems so odd and strange to us today (indeed it might even seem a little twisted and backwards) but the idea was that men had an obligation to protect and support women and that men should be in charge and take financial responsibility unless there was simply no other choice and those burdens had to fall to women. A woman’s closest male family members were also charged with her protection. This included her brothers and close cousins as well and it was not unusual for a woman to be financially supported by her adult brother if she was unmarried or widowed or for her brothers to take an avid interest in any man who might come calling on her with romantic interests.

It is clear to see that family breakdown began to be the norm at around the 1970s, when equal support obligations began to be laid upon wives and mothers and sexual promiscuity and divorce became common and accepted. Even conservatives do not promote sex roles anymore. A home business is still a business. A woman making money from home (unless it’s an occasional thing) is still being a co-provider. She is still adopting feminist ideology for her and her family. That is not traditional, it is egalitarian. We need to return to the cultural ethic of men being providers and protectors of families, not women. Being a traditional woman means depending on your husband, not finding ways to still be a co-provider while changing diapers and mopping floors.

Recommended:

Proverbs 31 Feminist Woman

No, “We” Are Not Pregnant

First off I want to give a disclaimer that I’m not a doctor so use your brain and seek your own medical advice from an actual qualified medical professional. I’m giving my opinions and beliefs based on my long hours of research and personal experiences. Second this post has some sexual talk that isn’t completely PG-rated and isn’t normally something I go into, but I feel it is important so I’m going to “go there.” Just wanted to give a quick warning about that.

I came across some comments today regarding this “we are pregnant” nonsense that men today say (which I think is ridiculous) while surfing through NYMOM’s blog (I’m a big fan of her blog and occasionally check through her postings again to lift my spirits from this broken world we live in). Anyways, I thought they were pretty good and summed up some things that were have actually been on my mind here lately and I wanted to make a blog posting to put in my own two cents on the matter.

“We Are Not Pregnant
The glory of men and women lies in their unbridgeable differences.
Mark Galli | posted 7/12/2007 08:55AM

A male friend, married to a lovely women, comes up to me beaming and says, “We’re pregnant!”

“Wow!” I reply, with inappropriate sarcasm. “When I was a young man, only women could get pregnant.”

I’ve heard this phrase—”We’re pregnant”—too much recently, but it’s time to move beyond sarcasm. The intent is as understandable as the execution is absurd. It arises out of the noble desire of men (and future fathers) to participate fully in the childrearing. And I understand that for many men, it simply means, “My wife and I are expecting a baby.”

But the first dictionary meaning of pregnant remains, “Carrying developing offspring within the body.” Whenever a word is misused, it means the speaker is unaware of the word’s meaning, or that the cultural meaning of a word is shifting, or that some ideology is demanding obeisance. Probably all three are in play, but it’s the last reality that we should pay attention to. It is not an accident that this phrase, “We’re pregnant,” has arisen in a culture that in many quarters is ponderously egalitarian and tries to deny the fundamental differences of men and women.

This phrase is most unfortunate after conception because it is an inadvertent co-opting of women by men—men using language to suggest that they share equally in the burdens and joys of pregnancy. Instead, pregnancy is one time women should flaunt their womanhood, and one time men should acknowledge the superiority of women. Men may be able to run the mile in less than four minutes and open stuck pickle jars with a twist of the wrist, but for all our physical prowess, we cannot carry new life within us and bring it into the world. To suggest that we do is a slap in the face of women.”

Anonymous #1 says:

“…My partner too has experienced many emotions since finding out I am pregnant, and although both very happy I have been very poorly due to morning sickness and nausea. To which he can never really understand how much I have been ill, and although has an idea of how depressed at times I felt through being incapacitated by the nausea, he really does not have a clue as to the extent of my suffering.

This is of course not his fault. However he has experienced symptoms of what I would call womb envy. He often says he wishes HE was the pregnant one, and that I am experiencing the baby growing, and how HE wishes he could feel it move just as I can, and how HE would rather be the one pregnant, and how he would swap places with me in a second, just to experience what I am. This actually makes me feel guilty, as he actually gets quite bitter and at times moody over the whole thing…at least that’s how he comes across. I have really tried to be sensitive to his needs, during this time, and share every aspect of how I feel and how IT feels to be the pregnant one.

It has actually brought out some strange colours in him that I never knew were there. He gets angry that most pregnancy books are female focused, and that there are only small sections dedicated to the man, which he says he finds patronising and insults his intelligence. When I suggested finding a book specific for men in pregnancy, he said, “he should not have to”, and says we are EQUAL in this process, that he is just as important as I am.”

Anonymous #2 says:

“I am a 30-year-old European married to an American. I don not have any children. Lately I have decided that I do not want to have any children from my husband because I have come to regard pregnancy as the worst Ponzi scheme out there: You go through nine months of pregnancy, through labor, etc. and suddenly someone else can claim (at least equal) legal rights over the fruit of my labour (literally)!? Over the child I gave birth to! No, thank you! I am European and moving to the (very legalistic) United States has been a huge eye-opener for me: I once told an American fellow student that I would not want my husband to be present during the birth of my child (I see it as a very private moment, and I would like to be assisted by a doula or a trusted female friend) and he became very angry, claiming that it is a father’s right to be there and see the child exit the mother’s vagina (actually, he called it “witness the child’s first moments”)!!! I am a woman, a separate free individual, and NOT a mechanical child-bearing vessel / child-birthing machine. Therefore, I will not have any children, especially from my husband (I could always go to Denmark and undergo artificial insemination). I would love to have a child from my husband, but I am too afraid to do so in this upside-down world.

Unfortunately, also many formerly feminist European countries, such as Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia, are now starting to embrace this questionable gender neutrality… When the heck did we switch from “women’s rights” to “gender equality”? Sad!”

There is so much to comment on here. The first anonymous commenter has a “partner” (she doesn’t specifically state “husband” which is a problem in itself) who is jealous of her more important role in bringing a child into this world. I personally think it really pathetic of a man to be jealous of women’s roles in any area of life- whether in childbearing or in the traditional feminine sphere of caring for the home and children. Anonymous commenter #2 has a real problem with her husband or any man claiming the same legal rights as her to a child she has suffered and worked to give birth to and also a problem with her husband insisting to be there when she gives birth.

I have to say that these ladies are right. Their feelings on these issues are not unfounded. A man should not be jealous over the role his wife has in life. Men and women are not “equal.” A father can only be made equal by the society/law and what he brings to the mother and child (as opposed to what the mother does in childbearing). I understand there is a tendency in men (that they will never admit to, of course) to be afflicted with womb envy. That is why men should have other areas in life that are unique to their sex that they can achieve in (such as providing for families and being protectors). Yes, her role is more important in childbearing. In truth, the male role in childbearing is dispensable. Only a mother is necessary during childbirth, only her role is biological. She conceives, carries, bears and nurses the child from her own body. Her maternity is certain. Paternity, however, is never completely certain. The most intense scrutiny in the world can never completely assure a man of his paternity. He must trust in a third party (whether the mother or some anonymous person in a lab coat he’s never met and who is, after all, just a human who makes mistakes, not to mention that in a bureaucracy the right hand never knows what the left hand is doing) to assure him he is the father of a child.

I also agree completely with childbirth being a private event. My husband did not in any way participate in the birth of our child. Actually, nobody really did. Nobody- friends or family- was informed at all that I was in labor and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The midwife was specifically informed that nobody at all was to be told that I was in labor and if anyone did show up to get rid of them. My midwife only checked on me midday to make sure I was ok then left me in peace until I needed her a couple of hours later. I can’t see what good spectators do in childbirth other than make labor longer and more difficult and painful for the mother by disallowing her privacy and peace of mind to let instinct take over and I’m sorry but I can’t see how it takes five people groping a woman’s privates for a child to be delivered safely. In all societies I’ve ever studied, until recently, men were barred from being present at childbirth and a mother would either give birth alone or have a woman (or women) with her (although they often did not touch her, but were only there for support and to give assistance if needed). Male doctors only started delivering babies in the 19th century for the money, whereas before if men attempted to sneak around to see a laboring women they were shooed away. There is no need to touch a woman when she is giving birth and touching or interfering or talking to a woman (when it is not an emergency of course) can actually cause her injury and make the process more difficult. After all, animals give birth alone. They know when birth is imminent and isolate themselves. I had a midwife but she was only there pretty much after birth to make sure we were doing fine and to run an herb bath for me and the baby. As a result of my husband making himself scarce and me having complete silence and privacy labor and birth was actually relatively easy and not very painful. Labor progressed quickly and naturally with no interventions. Nobody talked to me or touched me and, while listening to the horror stories of every other woman having a hospital or home birth with lots of family, friends as well as the father in attendance, I probably had one of the best births imaginable. I never took any medications at all while pregnant nor during birth- they weren’t necessary. My body was made for this. I felt instinctively that childbirth was sexual (yes, sexual) and an intimate event that was sacred. Somehow I felt connected to something greater. It’s a beautiful feeling of vulnerability and preciousness that is unique to women. Men should not seek to undermine this and it is preposterous to think men are just as good with care-taking as women when there is not a shred of evidence to suggest such a thing. Men should respect and honor women for what only we can do.

The second thing that anonymous commenter #2 talks about is giving fathers rights when they do not give birth. I certainly think our current legal system is disgusting and I feel her sentiment exactly. I would feel the same as her if I didn’t know history. Because only women can bear the babies our laws used to place the entire burden of financial support of a family on the husband/father. Women were not responsible for their husband’s support nor should a woman be. Husbands should be responsible for their wives, but wives should not be responsible for their husbands. Men today however seem to think they are entitled to support from the mother of their child and support from their wives as well as WIC benefits and a share in the mother’s maternity leave that were intended to benefit and help mothers and infants recover from the ordeal of pregnancy and childbirth. So a woman bears your child and she owes you? I don’t think so. If anything the father is indebted to the mother. In no other scenario is the one who does work for somebody supposed to pay the one who is receiving the benefits of their work. That would be a crime. And indeed it is a crime in my book for a man not to be fully financially responsible for his wife, the woman who has given him children. This works out for the best interests of the family overall anyways as the more the responsibility for support is placed on the wife/mother the worse family breakdown overall gets. A husband should have legal rights because he should be responsible for his family. He is responsible to provide for the children he fathers with his wife and he is responsible for how those children are raised and how they turn out. He should be responsible just the same for his wife. The obligation to see to their support and protection should rest on his shoulders, not hers. The day men suffer pain and the possibility for infection, sickness, injury, disfigurement , indignity and even death (and this isn’t even mentioning the emotional/psychological side effects of childbearing) to bring forth life into this world the same as women have always suffered since the beginning of time is the day they might be justified in asking the wife/mother to carry the burden of support as well. A man not married to his children’s mother shouldn’t get the same rights because his position is not the same. A man simply wanting rights to a child he’s fathered is not in any way an example of him being responsible. Him being married to the mother and providing for her and the child and being held responsible for them is him being responsible.

A husband should do what is in the best interests of his wife and children. In many cases, as heretical as this statement is today, it is in the best interests of both mother and child for him to not be present when she gives birth. He has the right to see to their safety, support and protection. It’s not about what he wants. He has no “right” to put his wants above their needs. He should be putting the needs of his wife and child above his own and if his wife is not comfortable with him being present he should wait somewhere nearby and stay out of the way. He should also protect her and make sure nobody else interferes to cause her distress or harm while she is in labor and vulnerable.

Anonymous commenter #2 also talks about artificial insemination. I am very much against this for many reasons and think it should be outlawed, along with surrogacy. I also don’t think a lot of women realize the stresses and harms these procedures often do to women. A lot of women suffer much physical pain and psychological distress and the procedures fail often. Apart from that, women should not be left on their own with children. I am very much for patriarchy, the way the West has practiced it for centuries, as it gives great status to women. I prefer to defer to my husband’s authority because it is the surest source of protection and support for a woman- because it makes me feel secure. The more divorce and out-of-wedlock births there are the less men invest in women and support and protect them.

On the other hand, we cannot exist with gender neutral laws without a complete societal collapse. It’s either matriarchy or patriarchy. I would prefer patriarchy in a heartbeat. I don’t want to have sex with any man (or multiple men) I choose without stigma and live with my extended matrilineal kin or other women and do all the work while the men lounge in hammocks all day and run around clubbing each other over the head! That is the greatest Ponzi scheme of all time if you ask me! Patriarchy is a marvelous invention that actually took that burden out of the hands of mothers and placed it on fathers and built up civilization and I don’t want to give that up! I’d much prefer to be taken care of by one man for my life. I have always liked the idea of carrying *his* (I’m talking about my husband here) child. It is a great feeling, wrapped in safety and love by one more powerful than I, for my intimate body to be filled and invaded. It’s spiritual and romantic. Our differences are what make us unique. I’m weaker and much more vulnerable while he is stronger and in charge. Egalitarianism and women being in charge takes the beauty and life out of everything. It dulls the senses. When we are in the roles we are made for it is a beautiful thing. A woman taking her husband’s last name is actually a remnant of coverture in our culture. She and her children have the husband’s name, as she was once a “covered woman” (before the so-called “advancement” of women’s rights) being under the protection of her husband.

Women are free under a true patriarchal system- under coverture. A woman is free from being ruled by men who have no responsibility for her. She is free to have her babies and care for them and keep them by her side while the father goes out and works. She is free from the drudgery of full-time work and is free from being harassed by other men and having to carry the weight of responsibilities that rightfully belong to men. No, “we” are not pregnant, and neither should “we” carry the same responsibilities because our roles are not the same. The same rules that apply to men do not apply to women and vice versa.

Recommended Articles:

Family and Medical Leave Act Seeks to Undermine Mother’s Rights

Why Men Should Never be Present at the Birth of Their Child

Undisturbed Birth is our Genetic Heritage

The Provider Role Belongs to Man

“It is sad that such a subject is even necessary to discuss, because for generations, women, whether they were single or childless, married or widowed, were protected from the pressures of earning a living, and the fathers, husbands, brothers and sons, proudly took their responsibility to be good providers and protectors of the family.” (1)

Today’s conservatives have adopted feminism although they are less liberal than what liberals are about it. Conservatives today will say women should work and go to college before marriage, stay home for a few years and then go back to work. This is a huge contrast from before when marriage was seen as a covenant lasting for a lifetime with a husband being required to financially provide for his wife for her lifetime.

The way I see it is that there is no reason for daughters to be shipped off to college or pressured to go to work before marriage. I see nothing wrong with a young women having some employment to earn some extra spending money before they are married, but young women should not be taught that they must provide for themselves. Young women should be taught to look at employment as a temporary thing, as something to do only until they are married. A young woman should learn from her mother and her father should still be required to support and protect her until she should marry and that responsibility passes to her husband. Today even preachers exclaim that they want their daughters to go off to college and secure a good job. This is considered that the young woman is doing something worthwhile and something good and holy. But I don’t see it that way. I see it as feminism being so pervasive in our culture that even the most religious and conservative and God-fearing have adopted it, even if they are still rejecting the more “radical” elements like gay marriage and abortion.

“I will not encourage my daughters to go to college or have careers. They’ll be raised as housewives. They’ll be raised to be good mothers and wives whose sole focus is their family. They can study what they want and be involved in things that interest them (other than sports), in their free time, but their main focus will be domestic activities. They’ll be taught to be kind, good, and respectful to their husbands and to men in general. They’ll live with me until they’re married. There’s no need for them to have a job. I don’t care if they can take care of themselves or not because that’s what they’ll have a husband for…There will be no “equality” in my house. My children will learn something along the lines of “mommy is supposed to cook, clean, and stay home with me. Daddy is supposed to work, pay for things, and make final decisions.” (There are other things, but this is just the basics). No shared household chores and no shared income responsibility.” (2)

I see nothing wrong with a woman’s family helping the newly married couple to get started by giving her household items or other properties. My family gave me cookware and some furniture as well as a car (albeit an old clunker that we sold within a year) when I first got married. I don’t see anything necessarily wrong with dowries either, so long as it isn’t seen as the woman providing it for herself before she gets married, as in her being expected to work to provide a large dowry so a man can instead not worry about providing and just marry a woman with a good dowry or something. Expecting a woman to work before marriage to provide for land or property or other goods to provide for the family is still pushing the burden of providing off onto women. All the necessities should be the husband’s to provide.

“In the same manner, when the law made the man the head of the family, he also had to financially support his wife… In the times of the Vikings, the government even had established the minimum bride price the man had to pay if he wished to marry, the reasoning behind it being that if a man was too poor to pay the minimum amount of money required by law he obviously wouldn’t be able to support a family and hence had no business to marry.” (3)

Even when the children are out of the home (say in school or have grown up or gotten married themselves) a woman should still have every right to be in the home. Homemaking shouldn’t be seen as some temporary thing a woman does just to take care of very young children, but a lifetime vocation. It should be the right of every woman to be financially supported by her husband. The male role as provider shouldn’t be some optional burden that he can choose to accept or not. It should be a man’s obligation to provide for his wife or daughters as well as any unmarried sisters or other closely related female family members who need his support.

Another thing that bothers me is that stay at home mothers and housewives are often pressured to take in extra money in the form of having a home business or babysitting other people’s kids for some extra money. This, in my opinion, can be just as bad and disruptive to family life as the woman simply working out side of the home. It’s one thing for a housewife to have a hobby or volunteer activity that she does in her spare time or for her to occasionally make something unique that she sells on eBay or something, but it is a different story when she has actual work-a job- that needs to be done that takes her away from the home or when she’s doing work from home because she feels she must “do her part” and help her husband provide or something. Also, babysitting other people’s kids can be a major liability for a woman’s family and also serves the purpose of enabling other mothers to go off to work and leave their kids in someone else’s care. I would say it’s OK to watch a close friend or family member’s kids on occasion for a little money unless it disrupts the home or become a normal job for the wife or, as I just said, enables another mother to leave her kids for a job. No matter if it’s in the home or not, women should not be expected to have paid employment of any kind, even if it is only part-time.

At any stage the burden of providing should not be pushed off onto women. The necessities should be the husband’s and father’s job to provide for his wife and children. It is a man’s duty to provide. Whether young, old, childless, or a mother of many, a woman’s place is in the home. A man’s responsibility is to provide. Marriage is about raising children, but it is also just as much about providing for and protecting women- about male guardianship of and responsibility for women.

“Women’s political movements have spent a century trying to be equal to men, and in doing so, men have quit regarding them as weaker vessels, creatures worth protecting and caring for. Some modern men have never seen a truly feminine woman, content with her work in the home. Growing up in institutions and schools, they saw girls and women who seemed the same as men in their purpose and activities. They have not grown up with Biblical grandmothers and mothers. They get their image of what women are supposed to be like, from what they see around them. Most men these days have female bosses and are surrounded by women in the workforce. They see nothing wrong with sending their wives to work. It looks normal to them. Men feel no shame in sending their children to daycare and their wives to work.

The women’s movement has changed the nature of men. They do not seem strong, protective, masculine and brave. Men have become weaker because they no longer have to be the sole provider for the family. They have no unique role in society; nothing to make them hold their head high or improve their dignity, when women also earn the living for the family. There are few places in the workplace where women have not invaded. Work needs to be a man’s world, and homemaking needs to be a woman’s world. Husbands and wives can be stronger in their own ways, when they do not try to be alike in their roles.

Women must return to the home and men must take on the burden of providing for their families again. Working to be a provider builds up a man, and contentedly tending to her home increases the soft femininity of a woman. These are the opposite tendencies which are the main attractions between men and women. When husbands and wives both work outside the home, the wife will suffer a greater burden. She will be suffering guilt for leaving her children, and she will suffer anxiety for not being able to manage her home. Her health will suffer, as she can not get enough rest. She will loose some of her innocent sweetness, as she tackles the job away from home.

Truly masculine men will not ask their wives to go to work. They will try harder to provide for their families, or cut down on expenses so that their wives wont have to work. Manly men will tell you that when women are not in the workplace, they get their jobs done much better. Women going to work has complicated the way things are done in the workplace, and this has not been good for the men.”(4)

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Welfare Mothers are not Solely Responsible for the Explosion of Out-of-Wedlock Births

My father came to visit a few weeks ago. I really have had nothing to do with my father or most any of my family for many years now. If my father ever comes around it is only because my husband needs help with some construction project he is working on. Usually if he ever does come around I cry for many days afterwards or am left with a bitterness and sickness for the things he has done to me and my mother and the things he says.

My dad could be considered your typical MRA (whether he actually identifies as such or not). He’s never really been a victim or anything in his life yet somehow he still has a victim mentality and complains over and over about how “victimized” men are today. The last time he was over he ran his mouth so much my husband had to ask him to leave. He kept talking of “if I had a son” how he would tell him to watch out for! and be careful! of all these women having multiple pregnancies just for the child support and welfare money and on and on. I finally had enough and challenged him head on and told him flat out that men have gained all these rights in the last 40 years to illegitimate children yet they just don’t like the price they are now paying for it. They like getting the goods of feminism but they don’t like it when they have to actually pay the price for it. They implement policies requiring the mother to identify the father (for welfare) then turn around and complain when she does it! They want to be able to have their pleasure at the woman’s expense and then be allowed to walk completely free of the consequences of the sex act.

The truth of the matter is that it takes two to tango. It takes both a mother and a father to make a baby and it is entirely nonsensical to lay the entire blame of illegitimacy and single motherhood solely upon welfare mothers. Single motherhood is bad. Single mothers depending on welfare without a father in the home is bad. This is not even something worth arguing about because all around it is a bad thing and most everyone sees it as a bad thing to a certain extent. It is conservatives and men’s groups that implemented polices forcing unwed mothers to have to identify the father and make him pay child support in order to be eligible for welfare. Yet at the same time they turn around and complain about unwed mothers collecting child support and welfare! I’ve read plenty of conservative and anti-feminist books that talk about the explosion of illegitimacy happening at the same time unwed mothers were first allowed to collect welfare. Yet none of them ever seem to mention that unwed fathers gained unconditional rights equal to the mother’s and married father’s at the exact same time. Is it really to be believed that the entire blame for illegitimacy rests on the shoulders of the welfare mother and unwed fathers having legal custodial rights has nothing at all to do with it?

“As the laws now stand, a man who has any casual sexual encounters with a woman (even a one-night stand) that results in a pregnancy, he might not even know her last name or care, yet he is now given the exact same legal rights to a child as the mother from the moment of birth. Even though he has basically contributed, invested, risked NOTHING during the entire process, other then a recreational sperm deposit. Meanwhile a woman who has carried, nurtured, and invested herself for 9 months in producing another human being, not to mention a bloody and painful delivery at the end of the period, has her status downgraded to mirror that of a recreational sperm donor. Both have suddenly become equal in the eyes of the law.”(1)

I most certainly have known quite a few women having babies with multiple fathers. It ends bad for these mothers and for the fathers as well because legitimacy is subsidized and not marriage. A “committed relationship” is not good enough. Marriage (monogamous, heterosexual marriage) must be the only acceptable way for respectable sex or raising children. I have a distant cousin who has had three different babies out of wedlock and collects welfare and child support (two of them actually have the same father, but she didn’t even know that until the time to find him for child support). She lives in the projects and a couple of her kids even have developmental problems. Nobody has probably ever even told her that she needs to make her children legitimate and find a husband to provide for her. All she knows is that she’s entitled to welfare and child support money from the father (if she can find him). (She’s tried to get sterilized but the doctors won’t perform sterilization on her despite the fact that she’s a welfare mother with three illegitimate children. I guess we can’t complain about what we enable can we?)

I don’t really think women are out having babies just for the child support money like MRAs seem to think. I’ve never seen a woman out living high on the hog on child support money. First, she has no guarantee of even collecting even half of what she’s due and second it wouldn’t be enough money to cover the basic expenses anyways so there would be no benefit. And if the father is rich enough for it to be worth it then he would be able to wield enough influence to get out of it or get whatever he wanted in court, including taking the child away from her. Mostly I think women are taught that it’s OK to have sex with or live with a boyfriend then they end up pregnant and are stuck in bad situations. Nobody forces the issue of marriage. Also I think some women are just promiscuous and pregnancy happens as an accident so they collect welfare and support as they are “entitled” to- as they have been taught to. Whatever the case, changes need to happen.

I believe the entire system needs to be redone. The real problem with unwed mothers being allowed child support is that it creates family instability and makes men more irresponsible. It also makes it near impossible for a man to be able to financially provide for a family within the context of marriage if he has to pay for a child he had with a woman who he is not married to. This makes it harder for good women who just want to be wives and mother to find men to be providers for families. These men might have wanted to be married and provide for a wife and children at one point but it becomes a near impossibility if they have to keep shelling out money to a woman who is constantly whoring around and with whom he doesn’t even have a relationship with.

Policies need to be implemented that subsidize marriage and mothers in the home and that help unwed mothers to find husbands to provide for them and get married. Also we need strong policies that reach out to men and help them become providers and give them more opportunities to move up in their careers. Simply identifying the father of a child is not good. Giving child support to unwed mothers who are living in poverty might seem like a good and compassionate thing that is helping them but in reality it actually harms them and makes it to where even more children are born illegitimate and into poverty and makes the problem worse. It brings the father into the child’s life outside of the context of marriage and sets mother and child upon a path to be hurt and abused in many cases. It sets mother and child up for endless hassle and endless misery and heartache. Men should not have to support illegitimate children nor should they be allowed to lay any claim on them (at least not the same as the mother or married father can). Conservatives will come and say single mothers need to work for welfare, which also contributes to more children in daycare and more broken families and eliminates male responsibility-true male responsibility- from the picture. Child support is not male responsibility, it is a flight from it.

The main problem with single motherhood is that men don’t have to marry anymore to have respectable sex or paternal rights. Sex is really the only bargaining power women have. Men have bargaining power in terms of their money-making power and social status. In intimate relationships and in more primitive societies they also have the bargaining power of physical strength and most men can render a woman helpless very quickly and easily if they really wanted to. Men could control women by pure force if it came down to it or they really wanted to (and many have throughout time and still do today). But sexual bargaining power is what women have, and feminism and the sexual revolution has stripped all that bargaining power away from women. In order to counteract the problem of out of wedlock births women need to be allowed to use their sexual bargaining power to get men into marriage. Women should also refuse to put the father on the birth certificate until he marries her. Society needs to grant to single mothers the means to get married and stay home to nurture their children and care for their families. So long as women are sexually free and illegitimacy is subsidized women cannot use their sexual bargaining power. The girl who holds out for sex until she finds a man who will marry and provide for her could be waiting a long time as feminism has made masculine men willing to be providers for families nearly go extinct.

“Men’s fixation on casual sex with many women, which was enabled by feminism, places many women today at an extreme disadvantage. As women appear to be still using the age-old strategy of sex as a way to build a relationship, with a pregnancy expected to close the deal via a marriage proposal. Unfortunately it’s not working that way anymore and the result is millions of women being left high and dry with a pregnancy that does not result in a marriage. Thus either an abortion or single motherhood follows.”(2)

Men may complain about affirmative action, welfare and socialism but in the end everyone benefits from it in some way or another. We no longer care for our own and men no longer wish to support families (not without the mother “pulling her own weight” anyways) so the only other option is for women and children to be supported by the welfare system in which all citizens are collectively responsible. Men don’t want women to have any advantage via affirmative action to support themselves but they don’t want to support women so what other choice is there?

I think there are several things that can be done to rectify the current situation, none of which most feminists and MRAs will be too happy about because it entails both male authority (which feminists hate) and male responsibility (which MRAs hate).

First, unwed mothers and divorced women should not be allowed welfare. I would say there should be some exceptions in the case of women who are victims of rape or abuse though. Policies should be implemented to help and encourage unwed mothers to find a husband (instead of simply identifying/finding the father). No adult males should be allowed support or assistance to raise children. Men should be the ones providing support, not receiving it (this is how it always was before the 1960s and 1970s until feminists gender neutralized welfare and child support).

Fatherhood should not be legally recognized outside of marriage (or adoption). The marriage license should be the woman’s consent to have sex with the man she is to marry and the man’s consent to support her and be a father to her children. The marriage is a public declaration that this man, her husband, will be the one to father her children. A woman’s husband should always be the legal father of her children (except in adultery cases where the father should be given a strict time period after the child is born to divorce her for adultery, with penalties laid upon him for false accusations of adultery against his wife, or forever hold his peace on the matter). If a man has sex with a woman and/or impregnates her then he should be required to marry her. Even if there is a possibility that the child might not biologically be his it shouldn’t matter. His marriage to her should be his consent to be the father to the child, with all the rights and responsibilities it entails. The biological father should not be allowed to interfere in any way. If a woman does have an affair and commit adultery yet her husband decides to stay with her and legitimate the child anyways he should not be allowed to back out years later and abandon the child.

It is absolutely insane how bad things have gotten and I believe women and children have been hurt the worst of all. Women are not solely to blame for the prevalence of illegitimacy in our society. Men’s denial of responsibility for women, marriage, and the provider role, I believe, is at the very heart of the problem. The only answer is marriage and the de-legitimizing of illegitimacy.

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The Wrongs of the Men’s Movement

The Case Against Illegitimacy