Sunday, September 16, 2012

Now and Then: Feminism in 1970

If There Had Been Teh Interwebz 1970...Murray Rothbard would have been THE red pill dealer of his era.

I've read many Rothbard articles regarding Austrian economics, and he was one of the best sources of insight on topics such as how modern banking works, and how the central banks play a key role in the boom-bust business cycle. However, Rothbard was a prolific writer, and I've not even come close to reading the entire catalog of his work over at Thanks to, for the first time, I came across this Rothbard article: The Great Women's Liberation Issue: Setting It Straight

Written in 1970, it's interesting to note that much of what Rothbard wrote about in that era, applies perfectly to the feminist influenced society of the present day.

Some excerpts from Against Women's Lib

It has become impossible to avoid being assaulted, day in and day out, by the noisy blather of the Women’s Movement. Special issues of magazines, TV news programs, and newspapers have been devoted to this new-found "problem"; and nearly two dozen books on women’s lib are being scheduled for publication this year by major publishers.
In all this welter of verbiage, not one article, not one book, not one program has dared to present the opposition case.

Well, there's our first difference between now and we have the manosphere.

Throughout the whole gamut of "liberation", the major target has been the harmless, hard-working, adult WASP American male, William Graham Sumner’s Forgotten Man; and now this hapless Dagwood Bumstead figure is being battered yet once more. How long will it be before the put-upon, long-suffering Average American at last loses his patience, and rises up in his wrath to do some effective noisemaking on his own behalf?

42 years after Rothbard wrote this, the answer to his question remains elusive. We now have teh interwebz where we have begun the process of fighting back. But while we are quickly growing, we are still fringe, and nowhere close to being widely recognized. The blue pill is still prolific amongst the masses.

Decades before guys like Warren Farrell debunked the female wage gap, Rothbard had already done so in a single paragraph.

The lower average income for women can be explained on several grounds, none of which involve irrational "sexist" discrimination. One is the fact that the overwhelming majority of women work a few years, and then take a large chunk of their productive years to raise children, after which they may or may not decide to return to the labor force. As a result, they tend to enter, or to find, jobs largely in those industries and in that type of work that does not require a long-term commitment to a career. Furthermore, they tend to find jobs in those occupations where the cost of training new people, or of losing old ones, is relatively low.
These tend to be lower-paying occupations than those that require a long-term commitment or where costs of training or turnover are high. This general tendency to take out years for child-raising also accounts for a good deal of the failure to promote women to higher-ranking, and therefore higher-paying jobs, and hence for the low female "quotas" in these areas. It is easy to hire secretaries who do not intend to make the job their continuing life work; it is not so easy to promote people up the academic or the corporate ladder who do not do so. How does a dropout for motherhood get to be a corporate president or a full professor?

The next paragraph finally shows us a major difference between now and then:

While these considerations account for a good chunk of lower pay and lower ranked jobs for women, they do not fully explain the problem. In the capitalist market economy, women have full freedom of opportunity; irrational discrimination in employment tends to be minimal in the free market, for the simple reason that the employer also suffers from such discriminatory practice. In the free market, every worker tends to earn the value of his product, his "marginal productivity."

1970 was a good decade before affirmative action laws kicked in and an entire generation of children had yet to endure 18 years of feminist social engineering via the public schools and pervasive mass media indoctrination.

In 2012, there is no "free market." Discriminatory practice is encouraged and enforced by the Government, and employers who dares to "irrationally" discriminate quickly find themselves facing regulatory sanctions and persecution from the Government.

Most folks in the manosphere understand the role of Cultural Marxism in the ascent to primacy the feminist movement has achieved in our society today.

It should be emphasized that, in contrast to the Women’s Lib forces who tend to blame capitalism as well as male tyrants for centuries-old discrimination, it was precisely capitalism and the "capitalist revolution" of the 18th and 19th centuries that freed women from male oppression, and set each woman free to find her best level. It was the feudal and pre-capitalist, pre-market society that was marked by male oppression; it was that society where women were chattels of their fathers and husbands, where they could own no property of their own, etc.1 Capitalism set women free to find their own level, and the result is what we have today.

42 years later, we don't really have capitalism and women are no more free than anyone else in our Brave New World Order. 99% of We the Sheeple are plugged into the matrix in one way or another. Very few are truly off the grid and free. Most of us have to pay our pound of flesh to our feedlot masters, one way or another.

But let's get back to how "the more things change, the more they stay the same" theme of this post:

I believe that modern American marriages are, by and large, conducted on a basis of equality, but I also believe that the opposite contention is far closer to the truth than that of the New Feminists: namely, that it is men, not women, who are more likely to be the oppressed class, or gender, in our society, and that it is far more the men who are the "blacks," the slaves, and women their masters. In the first place, the female militants claim that marriage is a diabolical institution by which husbands enslave their wives and force them to rear children and do housework. But let us consider: in the great majority of the cases, who is it that insists on marriage, the man or the woman? Everyone knows the answer. And if this great desire for marriage is the result of male brainwashing, as the Women’s Libs contend, then how is it that so many men resist marriage, resist this prospect of their lifelong seat upon the throne of domestic "tyranny"?
Indeed, as capitalism has immensely lightened the burden of housework through improved technology, many wives have increasingly constituted a kept leisure class. In the middle class neighborhood in which I live, I see them, these "oppressed" and hard-faced viragos, strutting down the street in their mink stoles to the next bridge or mah-jongg game, while their husbands are working themselves into an early coronary down in the garment district to support their helpmeets.

Every manosphere blog at some point or another has made these same basic premises.

Alas, Dalrock has also been noticing a present day emerging trend that shows us another difference between 2012 and 1970 - we now have a large segment of young, unmarried women, who no longer insist on least not until they've had their fun, earned their credentials and established their careers and paid off their student loans and signed up for mortgages and auto-loans and started their retirement plans, only find themselves thinking about marriage when they suddenly understand what the term "biological clock" and "babies rabies" means.

Rothbard's next point is another good one:

In these cases, then, who are the "niggers": the wives? Or the husbands? The women’s libs claim that men are the masters because they are doing most of the world’s work. But if we look back at the society of the slave South, who indeed did the work? It is always the slaves who do the work, while the masters live in relative idleness off the fruits of their labor. To the extent that husbands work and support the family, while wives enjoy a kept status, who then are the masters?

lozlzolzol. Here was Rothbard in 1970 pointing this truth out. Most did not listen. Many women heeded the call of the pied pipers of cultural marxism, and gave up their master role to go to school and enter the workforce and become competitors with men. We are all human resources now.

There is nothing new in this argument, but it is a point that has been forgotten amidst the current furor. It has been noted for years-and especially by Europeans and Asians – that too many American men live in a matriarchy, dominated first by Momism, then by female teachers, and then by their wives. Blondie and Dagwood have long symbolized for sociologists an all-too prevalent American matriarchy, a matriarchy that contrasts to the European scene where the women, though more idle than in the U.S., do not run the home. The henpecked American male has long been the butt of perceptive humor. And, finally, when the male dies, as he usually does, earlier than his spouse, she inherits the entire family assets, with the result that far more than 50% of the wealth of America is owned by women. Income – the index of hard and productive work – is less significant here than ownership of ultimate wealth.

Here is another inconvenient fact which the female militants brusquely dismiss as of no consequence. And, finally, if the husband should seek a divorce, he is socked with the laws of alimony, which he is forced to pay and pay to support a female whom he no longer sees, and, if he fails to pay, faces the barbaric penalty of imprisonment – the only instance remaining in our legal structure of imprisonment for nonpayment of "debt." Except, of course, that this is a "debt" which the man had never voluntarily incurred. Who, then, are the slaves?

 Rothbard also brings up the phenomena we in this sector of teh interwebz refer to as The Kitchen Bitch.

If our analysis is correct, and we are already living in a matriarchy, then the true significance of the new feminism is not, as they would so stridently have it, the "liberation" of women from their oppression. May we not say that, not content with kept idleness and subtle domination, these women are reaching eagerly for total power? Not content with being supported and secure, they are now attempting to force their passive and long-suffering husbands to do most of the housework and childrearing as well. I know personally several couples where the wife is a militant liberationist and the husband has been brainwashed by his spouse to be an Uncle Tom and a traitor to his gender.
In all these cases, after a long hard day at the office or at teaching to support the family, the husband sits at home tending the kids while the wife is out at Women’s Lib meetings, there to plot their accession to total power and to denounce their husbands as sexist oppressors. Not content with the traditional mah-jongg set, the New Woman is reaching for the final castrating blow-to be accepted, I suppose, with meek gratitude by their male-liberal spouses.

While I've already pasted a lot of excerpts here, I'll close out with this one, which decades later, Rush Limbaugh later paraphrased to good effect:

Jealousy of pretty and attractive girls does, in fact, lie close to the heart of this ugly movement. One point that should be noted, for example, in the alleged economic discrimination against women: the fantastic upward mobility, as well as high incomes, available to the strikingly pretty girl. The Women’s Libs may claim that models are exploited, but if we consider the enormous pay that the models enjoy-as well as their access to the glamorous life-and compare it with their opportunity cost foregone in other occupations such as waitress or typist-the charge of exploitation is laughable indeed. Male models, whose income and opportunities are far lower than that of females, might well envy the privileged female position! Furthermore, the potential for upward mobility for pretty, lowerclass girls is enormous, infinitely more so than for lower-class men...

1970 or 2012, nothing's really changed. Rothbard was writing an article clearly pointing out the logical fallacies of the feminists arguments...but they only reached a very small segment of readers. So here we are 42 years later, still writing much the same, a truly organic and authentic grass roots movement here on teh interwebz. Remember one of the primary strategies employed by propagandists seeking to control our behavior and thoughts: repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. They've been repeating their lies for close to half a century. For a time, just prior to the internet going public and global, it had become accepted as truth.


Eric said...

The Internet has also made it possible for men to look outside America and see the realities of non-feminist women and what life is really like behind the new 'Iron Curtain' that's become the US.

"As we all know, Anglo-American culture has a compulsive urge to pedestalize women---a function of its underlying puritanism. And this obsession extends to the Anglo-American media. In TV sitcoms, American women are invariably presented as nubile, friendly angels brimming over with sexual charm---a far cry from the obese, frigid, deranged harpies actually prowling the streets of America. However, as has already been pointed out, the emergence of social media circumvents the mainstream media's concerted 'reality blackout.'
---Rookh Kshatriya

Bob Wallace said...

"Indeed, as capitalism has immensely lightened the burden of housework through improved technology, many wives have increasingly constituted a kept leisure class."

I believe that a lot of feminism was in response not to oppression but to boredom caused by life being made so easy by the creations and discoveries of men.

That was the Problem with No Name that Betty Friedan was writing about in "The Feminine Mystique," only she was too dumb to figure it out.

A lot of Friedan's problem was that she was as ugly as Medusa, so a lot of envy of more attractive women was involved.

Feminism was never about equality. It was bringing men down because of envy. A pretty good job has been down.

And what has happened after 40+ years? Kate Bolick, who since she can't find a man now thinks women should form communities of their own and raise babies together. That's a recipe for complete catastrophe.

Men created civilization, not women. If women think the have it so bad they should live in a world without men.

As Camile Paglia wrote, without men, women would still be living in grass huts. Trying, of course, to raises their children in common...and living a life that would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.

Dalrock said...

Great find and outstanding post!

Eric said...

Bob Wallace,
Feminism defines all as aspects of what we think of as civilization as an artificial construct imposed by an evil 'patriarchy'. Returning to those grass hut communities is exactly where feminists want to take the world. Their hatred for men blinds them to any consequence of a world without men.

Dave said...

Cleaning out the house of my recently deceased aunt, I found documents from the public school that hired her in 1956. One sheet was a neatly typed pay scale. It counted men and women at each level, but their pay was based entirely on degrees held and years of experience. In that and other documents, there was rampant credentialism, but no sexism whatsoever.

D-Squared said...

One quibble for Bob Wallace. Medusa was not ugly, in fact her beauty is what got her in trouble. An apt metaphor for today's girl's filled with "moxie". Nemesis is the result of hubris.

krauser said...

For me Mises is the more original thinker and fully maps out the issues, whereas Rothbard is the great populariser who knows how to get ideas across to the layman