How Feminism destroyed the social and human infrastructure upon which the relationships between the sexes were built and wrought economy destruction upon families, communities and individuals!
Feminism is good for the establishment and for the profits of the economic elites, but it is bad for the common man - men and women alike!
In the past, before the advent of modern economy, Family-Oriented and Community-Based Economies (FCBE) have been responsible for the productive employment of more than half of the working hours of the adult population, especially women, not only in responding to many basic needs of the family and in carrying out innumerable neighborhood tasks essential to maintaining a healthy and involved society but in general also in supporting the husbands in in earning the family's livelihood within the context of paid/hired work and the monetary economy. In fact, it embodied the whole scope of human potential that offered and combined all available working skills of both men and women whether it was in the external domain of monetary economy assigned to the husbands or the domestic sphere of family and community based economy allocated to women and their participation in helping men in providing the family's livelihood. In fact, there was a time when the economy of local and at most communal and national economic units employed both men and women to perform the most productive activities. These were actions by which people responded to their most basic needs. In other words, in the past before the rise and consolidation of feminism, a family / community-based economy existed side by side with the monetary one, employing mainly women in the home or in the community, and alongside with it there existed the monetary economy that employed mainly men outside of home, thus creating the right economic balance. The decentralization of economic power in this manner, contrary to the feminist claims was not established in order to exploit women and imprison them at home, which is also false from historical point of view, but rather based on the principles of economic efficiency.
Moreover, as Warren Farrell argued, informal power, going hand in hand with the female privilege as being the mother of the off springs, created an imbalance and a disproportionate shift of power in favor of women and to the detriment of men. It is important to understand that in fact the basis of formal power is informal power and without informal power formal power is worth nothing. Although this myth was wrapped in a lot of folklore about the power of the husband, the truth was that everyone was indeed aware of this myth and the truth that the woman is the one who held power in the marital relationship and at home. In order to harmonize the shift of the existing imbalance of power between men and women in the framework of marriage and society, women gave up upon the formal power in the favor of men, thus creating the myth of male dominance, which, of course, has no corresponding reality whatsoever. With the rise of feminism, women did not demand equality, but actually the rights to formal power too while the informal power should have been still kept and remained in female hands. Women before the rise of feminism were therefore wise and aware of this thin balance, a balance which, as noted, was violated by some selfishness, hedonistic feminists and with a huge sense of entitlement tried to leave men without any actual power. In other words, they tried and still trying to create a Gynocentric feminist matriarchy.
Moreover, as we will see in the second part of our discussion, the community / family-based economy provided a more efficient and cheaper response to most of our elementary needs as human beings, such as basic food and shelter, clothing and child care needs, health care, the care for the elderly, home maintenance, and entertainment. These community and family economies were local in nature, at most national, unpaid, non-modern, and without market. They were driven more by love than by money or greed. Today, of course, productive and important tasks such as child rearing, health care, food preparation, entertainment and physical security are transferred from the women-based familial and communal economy to the monetary-based one (including hired and paid work) and appear as an addition to economic output. This is in spite of the fact that they add little, if anything, to improving the quality of the services we receive. This change also upsurges the demand for functions that increase overall spending, which are considered to be an addition to economic output, although in fact they are a major source of economic inefficiency. Well, after feminism has brought down the family's female household-oriented economy, it has been now passed on to financial and economic tycoons of the monetary economy. Thus, instead of giving us more freedom it actually imprisoned us.
So, given the fact that when families and members of the community worked directly with and for their friends, there were no tax collectors, administrators, government regulators, accountants, lawyers, stock brokers, bankers, advertising budget officers, investment professionals, or marketing consultants, who took their share of the output of those who did the actual work. The full value of the products and services produced was divided and replaced within the family and community, among those who created the actual value. The result was an unusually efficient use of resources to satisfy real needs. In the past, and even today, when the opportunities for business and industrial employment in high-wage countries have faded, economists have turned to the services sector to get out of the recession. These pseudo – economists, did not relate to the fact that much of the expansion of the services economy derived from the annexation of the family and community - based economy, of households and communities. This is at the heart of the feminist idea of the "career woman." Since such changes provided women with new opportunities in employment and hired/paid work, they are blessed and presented today as a victory for women's equality. But instead of promoting real partnership in most cases, the change simply increased the burden on women. This caused strong tensions in the family relationship and created dependence of the individuals, families and communities on paid professional teams, who now performed economic and social functions previously provided by neighbors and family members one for another and one for each other. Many children grow up today in commercial day care centers or stay at home or on streets without supervision from an adult. Instead of the son's conversations with the father or the daughter with the mother, there are psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers who are also biting this cake because no one has time for the children.
Many women, who have begun to work as an expression of the choices they can make, find themselves now connected to low-paying jobs, receive unsatisfactory hunger wages, and whose families become increasingly dependent on them while they are nothing then true slave of their bosses. Feminism begun, was sponsored and financed by such financial elites and those are the same elites and tycoons who support feminism roday including the state. Feminism is good for the establishment and for the profits of the economic elites, but it is bad for the common man - men and women alike! This, however, also caused the destruction of the family and the collapse of the woman. While the woman was not willing to give up the children and thus her feminine roles she was forced to work outside and at home. However, beyond the mental collapse, this limited the woman's earning potential and the man had to work more to supplement the woman's salary. This explains, of course, and contradicts the feminist lies that have been refuted in endless studies that the wage gap does not stem from the discrimination of the woman but from her choices. And ultimately, it was not necessarily the woman, but the man who suffered the most devastating consequences.
Now, to continue the discussion and to demonstrate how the family and community-based economy worked in reality including the equal balance of power as standing opposed to the differently assigned gender roles, I will rely on Carol S. Rogers' ground-braking research called "Forms of female power and the myth of male dominance". Rogers' research is ground-braking not only due to the fact that it refutes the notion of patriarchy and female oppression but because it rebuts much more of the feminist myths on many different realms and levels. One of the most amazing conclusion as we will see immediately as in regard to the topic of female dominated family and community based economy especially in the context of informal power and female privileges is the fact that it proves that societies were always built upon the notion of more or less equal division of (informal as well as formal) power while maintaining differently assigned gender roles. In fact, the "inequality" or differently assigned gender roles are essential in keeping a balanced division of power. On the contrary, equality in gender roles, even if possible, will inevitably create an imbalance or inequality in the division of power. This dynamic is rooted and actually an embedded part of Gynocentrism in which women yield the actual and important informal power while men hold the symbolic one, meaning only the appearance of true power. It is comparable to the difference between the prime minister holding actual power and the president holding the symbolical one in parliamentary democracies. In that there is an importance to understand the nature of human society especially in the context of its gynocentric building blocks. My last technical remark before we continue is that for the purpose of discussion I will site the relevant passages or empirical data from Carol S. Rogers' research and then will expand on the by drawing the underlying or the "above" dynamics meaning explaining how the timeless metaphysical undercurrents and occurrences function and especially in the context of modern parallels.
So, although, our modern society is largely an individual one, based on the none dual nature of reality it can’t erase the basic elements which are (some of whom were mentioned in the research and some that I added):
(1) Women are the primarily sex, both in biological as well as evolutionary terms, thus they are the sexual and natural selection (added by me)
(2) Therefore, women yield informal power and are granted privileges related to them being the one giving birth to life and taking the associated risks (added by me)
(3) Therefore, women are primarily associated with the domestic (found in the research of Rogers).
(4) Therefore, for survival of the species, the society is and always will be family and domestic-oriented (the idea already exists in the research while I added the element of survival of the species as explanation)
(5) Therefore, the domestic sphere is of central importance and has important implications for life beyond the domestic (found in the research of Rogers)
(6) Therefore, social economy is by large more important to the family's and individual's welfare, happiness and well-being than the monetary one although it is also required (added by me)
(7) Thus, being rooted in the domestic sphere and family and community-based economy, it is the female that wields the actual informal power and not the male who is restricted to symbolic appearance of power. The notion is found in the research and I added a few layers here)
As Rogers observes and correctly states in her research, "in peasant societies, the domestic unit is of primary economic, political, and social importance, so that a woman’s power in this sphere extends to the village at large. Thus, the family is the most significant unit, then the private rather than the public sector is the sphere in which relative attribution of power is the most important (female forms of power and the myth of male dominance, page 734, reference to Friedl (1967:97)". Also mentioned in Rogers' research, is Friedl's observation that "women wield considerable power in the domestic sphere because they bring land to the household as dowry. They remain in control of it, actively participating (behind a facade of male dominance) in decisions regarding its use, as well as other household economic matters and marriage arrangements for their children (1 967: 105-1 07)". This shows and proves that dowry is not a mean to buy a woman, as feminist so love to claim, but being rooted in the family and community based economy and its wider frame of informal power, dowry is a female tool of exercising women's power and holding the male's one in check (along side with many other aspects that I will discuss in the upcoming publications).
Furthermore, we read in Rogers' research that "If, as has been maintained, the domestic unit is the key social, political, and economic unit in peasant societies (and actually as extension rooted in female informal power in the modern society too), women’s power in the household may be expected to have important extensions in the community at large". This refutes other (both feminists as well as the Marxist) theories which claim that only hired/paid work is of importance hence it wields the true power and authority. In fact, we can see that the truth is almost as diametrically opposed to those claims namely that being rooted in informal power which is the source of informal power (and controls it), it is the community and family based economy that gives true power and forms real authority. We then further read that "Female solidarity, expressed in informal women’s groups held together by a well-developed interhousehold female communications network, is most often cited as the strongest power base from which women operate in the community. Margery Wolf, Aswad, and Riegelhaupt all describe how women’s groups, more heterogeneous and less brittle than those of men, act as a kind of information control, heavily influencing community public opinion and mediating between groups of men (myth of male dominance, Rogers, Page 735)". As an extension, we can conclude that in modern societies this dynamic can be observed in women's organization's and feminist lobbying groups which completely outperform male ones in every possible term: in numbers, cooperation, public and governmental support especially federal financing.
Rogers then continues and sheds light on this dynamic with an actual example from the research. She writes: "In Taiwan, men’s groups are formed along kin and religious lines, while women’s groups are defined in terms of neighborhood and friendship (M. Wolf 1972:47). The latter act as protectors of an individual woman’s rights in the household; she may appeal to her group and expect injustices to be redressed through informal group pressure (1 972:39). More important, these women’s groups take advantage of the well-developed male sense of preserving the patrilineage honor and manage to influence affairs which theoretically concern only males: This is precisely where women wield their power. When a man behaves in a way they consider wrong, they talk about him-not only among themselves, but to their sons and husbands. . . it becomes abundantly clear that he is losing face and by continuing in this manner may bring shame to the family of his ancestors and descendants. Few men will risk that (1972:40). This kind of feminine power is enhanced, I would suggest, by the fact that women, feeling little identification with the patrilineage, are not loathe to erode the institution by bringing shame to it (female forms of power and the myth of male dominance, Rogers, page 735)". This is an excellent illustration of how informal power dynamics being rooted in the domestic oriented community and family-based economy operate within the wider context of gender relationships both on the personal as well as social level also including spheres and aspect of manipulating and influencing formal power structures and authority.
Moreover, given another example we read how "Portuguese and Greek peasant communities, respectively, emphasize the (community and family constructed) economic power base of women. In both cases, women have significant input into decisions regarding allocation of family resources, which amounts to interference in spheres legally or culturally defined as the male domain (female forms of power and the myth of male dominance, page 734)". "In the Portuguese village studied by Riegelhaupt, women are virtually in control of information dissemination because of the division of labor: men work individually in the fields, while women come into frequent contact with each other in the course of their household work within the village. Men thus depend on their wives for information about village concerns, events, and personalities (female forms of power and the myth of male dominance, Rogers, page 736, referring to Riegelhaupt (1 967:116-118)". Women have far more extensive contact with the urban world than men do (as servants and later through their marketing responsibilities) which on the note side disproves another feminist myth namely that of female segregation inside the home. It also shows the diverse and interconnected web and the way how community and family based economic principles inseparably interfere with the basics of monetary economy as well as the gender relations as a whole through which men are dependent on women and they actually bear the through power and authority.
Anyway, rooted in informal power and thus mirroring the domain of social economy, alongside with women being the decision maker of any family financial activity and resources as well as the human resources in terms of children, we can see as Rogers' states that "female economic power additionally stems from the division of labor, by which women are responsible (meaning being the managers) for marketing all of the family’s farm produce which is not sold through government agencies (while husbands are doing the actual work) (female forms of power and the myth of male dominance, page 734). In richer families this upper position of women can be widened to the servant, whether they are male or female. Thus, community and family-based economy is to a degree intertwined through a much diverse web of economic activity which in actual terms put "women in the position where much of the family’s income passes in this way through the woman’s hands; the rest is handed over to her by her husband". As we see and by being in control through the handling the family based economical income of all the financial sources on behalf of the female decision-making role women are thus the primary handlers of the family’s financial resources. They make all marketing and household economic decisions and are always consulted in “male” agricultural decisions (female forms of power and the myth of male dominance, page 734)". In fact, writes Rogers, "it is village women, not men, who are the key actors in those informal structures to which peasants have access". Furthermore, she mentions Friedl's research again which reports that "Greek women may disrupt processes in a traditionally male domain, upsetting orderly relationships between men by misbehaving publicly. This potential sanction is strong enough to give women significant influence over relationships formed by men (1 967: 108)/ (female forms of power and the myth of male dominance, page 734). The bottom line is unequivocal: "because activities in the village sphere including those of family and community-based economy are closely linked to the household unit, women’s power extends beyond the domestic, although, as noted above, the village sphere is the male domain". Therefore, we can see and conclude as I said that the basis for female power and authority over men is not only informal power in general but especially a one that is rooted and relies upon the domestic sphere as well as specifically the family and community-based economy.
Taking the classical example of peasant society to understand how family and community-based economy works and overlaps with monetary economy especially in the context marital gender relations and the division of power between men and women in general and in wider context even more, we should also consider the following. "Farmers", as Rogers writes, "raise a variety of grains; about one-third of the farm land is used for wheat, all of which is sold. The rest of the land is devoted to hay and grains for animal feed and pasturage. Milk has always been the largest source of income in the village, and about 90 percent of each farm’s income comes from the sale of milk and beef. Most farms have about fifteen to twenty milk cows. Each household, farm and factory alike, raises its own garden vegetables and fruits, as well as poultry and rabbits. The domestic sphere is solid and strong, the core of village life (and, thus is also the family and community-based economy for the actual welfare and well-being of the family and the individual) / (female forms of power and the myth of male dominance, Rogers, page (738)". Feminism may have benefited the economic and financial elites but completely has ruined the life of ordinary men and women. Anyway, Rogers then continues and writes, "women are in control, both of the domestic sphere (as well as the family and community-based economic realm), and leave concerns and activities beyond that (which expands to the realm of paid work and monetary economy) to the men. As directress of the household, the woman is responsible for growing, buying, and preparing food for her family, carrying out day-to-day duties of child rearing, maintaining relationships with kin beyond the nuclear family, keeping household (and farm) records, and preparing the family budget.
Farm wives have as their major responsibility the feeding and care, including milking, of farm animals, which are housed in the barn adjoining the kitchen of each house. No married women are employed outside of the home (compare to "myth of female power and the myth of male dominance, Rogers, page 738). When mentioning in the beginning of our essay that there was a time when the economy of local and at most communal and national economic units employed both men and women to perform the most productive activities this is how it was done. Either way, the last statement is of great importance that could be crucial for understanding and drawing conclusion for a new gender contract. First of all, it affirms the dynamics of the familial and community based economy because it clearly states and make the division between married women who while staying at home are helping husband in every regard as much as it is possible (while husbands vice versa do the same for them) and the younger unmarried women who might help the family at a different scope in other domains that could include outside work but is not restricted only to it. It refutes the feminist myths at many levels. It shows first of all that women were on the one hand never segregated; it shows that women did participate in work; once married they concentrated on the family and community-based economy but as none-married women there were other choices. Indirectly, in order to perform those tasks as man it also shows that women were not denied the same education as their husbands because, otherwise they couldn't perform their tasks, responsibilities and duties. In fact, we know from the research on the middle ages that women were in fact more educated than men due to informal education because lacking the ability to go to doctors the informal healing of the family were solely in the hands of women. Additionally, this gave them huge power and advantage over men because the whole family relied upon them for purpose of welfare, happiness, personal health and the mental/emotional-well-being. What are the conclusions we can draw today? Our society is more individually oriented and economy has changed. The wheel can’t be turned back. The conclusion today should be that women should work full time as long as they are not married. When married and this is the big difference women should continue to work full time as long as there are no kids. When there are kids, they should balance work with child care (working less) and return to full time when kids are grown. There might be other possibilities but, in my opinion, this is an acceptable one that does not leave men alone in the pursuit of livelihood.
Furthermore, as we will see immediately, the complex interaction between monetary and family/community oriented economy did not only restricted itself to wives helping husbands as far as the help was necessary or women being the marketing mangers while husbands did the actual selling outside the home but also between wives and other women within the realm of family/community oriented economy itself. As Rogers writes and explains, "women form informal groups, based on kin and neighborhood ties. Because of the lines along which they are formed, these groups include several generations of individuals, belonging to both farm and factory households. The village is divided into about fifteen quartiers, invisible to an outsider, but clearly defined in the minds of the villagers. Before running water was introduced in the village, there was a public fontaine in each quartier, where women gathered to do laundry and collected water for their households. Each morning, the village baker’s wife drives a van through the village, stopping in each quartier so that neighbor women come out together to buy their bread and chat with each other. The baker’s wife acts as a gossip broker, spreading news between quartiers. In the evening, those women who do not have their own cows gather in the barn of the nearest woman who does to buy a day’s supply of milk (female forms of power and the myth of male dominance, Rogers). As I have already said it shows us a complex net of interaction where women were most crucial agents of personal and social life devoid of any notion of segregation, being the husband's chattel, lacking power and other endless feminist myths.
We also read that "in contrast to the women, whose activities and interests are centered almost exclusively on the household and quartier, men work in outlying fields or in factories outside of the village, thus spending most of their time away from home. Nevertheless. especially in the farm families, but in factory families as well, men and women perform different but absolutely essential economic functions. The farms and commercial enterprises in the village are (at the same time) family enterprises, requiring the full-time commitment of both husband and wife, as well as the children (female forms of power and the myth of male dominance, Rogers)". It shows us that de facto not only women were running the businesses but in fact men did both the paid work outside the home as well as participating in the domestic sphere of the family and community-based economy. Thus, "On the farms", as Roger writes and expands on the dynamic I have explained right now, "there is some infraction of the sexual division of labor: men help their wives in the barns during the slack seasons, and women help in the fields during the busy haying and harvest seasons. Men dislike intensely working in the barns, considering it the most demeaning of the work they do. At the same time, women complain bitterly about working in the fields. It is evident that a man in the barn is helping his wife and is under her orders, while a woman in the fields is helping her husband and is under his orders. No men help their wives with other domestic work or gardening (except occasionally with spring hoeing), and women never help with ploughing or planting field crops. Factory wives have, at most, only a vague notion of the kind of work their husbands do (female forms of power and the myth of male dominance, Rogers, page 740).
As has been noted, "women are responsible for making and keeping the family budget. This includes responsibility for allocating pocket money to their husbands Women are also responsible for child rearing". Thus, when we read that women control around 70% of the personal and national wealth, this is the underlaying dynamic that enables it. Then Rogers writes, "Farm children of both sexes work with their mothers, until boys become their fathers’ assistants at adolescence. It is mothers, however, who help children with their school lessons and are responsible for day-to-day discipline and guidance". This again gives us the insight into the gynocentric indoctrination of society where those are mothers that condition their offspring with the female and gynocentric world view. "In general, sums Rogers up, "peasant women center their activities in the domestic sphere, which usually includes gardening, animal care, and frequent interaction with relatively heterogeneous groups of female kin and/or neighbors. Men, on the other hand, tend to form groups which are relatively more homogeneous and loosely knit, to do work which is located outside of the domestic sphere, and to participate relatively more often in community, rather than domestic-based activities. The domestic unit, however, is the central one in peasant society; it is the major production, consumption, and social unit. The work men do outside of its physical bounds is their contribution to the family enterprise. His extra-household activities often both determine and result from his family’s prestige and position in the community. From their positions in the household, women have significant input into the daily life, welfare, happiness and mental well-being. It is women, because of the division of labor and men’s inability to organize themselves, who have access to the only effective channels of political power available to villagers" and it is not that much different from today where women's and feminist organizations control the narrative and the political as well as all legal institutions yielding social recognition as well as political and financial support whereas men's right organizations have almost none of it.
Female forms of power and the myth of male dominance: a model of female/male interaction in peasant society’
SUSAN CAROL ROGE RS-Northwestern University
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Date of Submission: May 15, 1975 Date of Acceptance: May 21, 1975