I learned something interesting in the process of writing my last post; something I had not expected to encounter when I started writing. The key line: “… even feminism is an operation of patriarchy.”
Apart from radical intervention in the human genome, there is no getting around the plain fact that men are physically more powerful than women – that, i.e., men just are more powerful than women, simpliciter. Because they are capable of deploying more lethal violence per moral agent, men have more power – in the real world, and no matter what our public discourse or laws, or our civil cult, have to say about it. It follows that women have power at all only to the extent that men grant it to them. Women do indeed have power, but only because, in their heart of hearts, men want them to have it. When you boil it down that’s just another way of saying that men love women, want women to be part of their lives as women. They don’t want mannish women, don’t want faux men – who needs ersatz men when the supply of real men is so plentiful? Men want from women, and love in women, what they cannot provide to each other. And it is to women who can provide womanliness that men will grant power – not because they think that they ought to, but because such women move their very guts.
Conversely, it is to men who can deploy the greatest lethal force that women will (in general, and ceteris paribus) find their viscera are most inclined. Toward such men, women will most want to be womanly. Thus it is the power of the male that is the fount and foundation of social order; for it is men who grant power to all beings less naturally lethal than they, so that in the final analysis it is always men who determine and underwrite the form of social relations (even if only by their formal abdication from such determinations).
We have heard ad nauseam from well-meaning (sic) disinterested (sic) intellectuals (sic) how viciously evil is patriarchy, for the last 150 years. Yet lo, we find that patriarchal society is not wholly and straightforwardly a bloody chaotic wilderness, as it would be if ruled by moral monsters, but rather an advanced and exquisitely refined civilization – yes, even in these latter, dissolute days – of high technology, law, learning, production, and customs. And in this civilization, women thrive. Men who could all be wife-beaters or rapists if they felt like it overwhelmingly abhor such abuses of power. And these facts testify to the basic magnanimity of men.
Patriarchy, then, is just a fact of nature, like the greater gravitational force exerted by the sun than by the moon. We can pretend that the moon is more important or powerful than the sun, but that does not change their relative influence upon the concrete history of the universe outside the realm of our pretenses. Where we get into big trouble is when we begin to take our fancies about the sun and moon more seriously than the concrete sun and moon.
As a fact of nature, patriarchy always operates, and will do so until the species is genetically altered to the point where men are no longer recognizable as such (at which point, women will no longer be recognizable, either, and feminism will have become obsolete together with the patriarchy upon which it supervenes, and feeds). When it comes to the relations of the sexes, everything else is froth on the surface of the river.