Feminism Is Barbarism

Feminism is an ideology of decline. 

The so-called “liberation” of women from masculine authority means the destruction of civilized life. Feminism is the ideological and spiritual commitment to returning mankind to the primitive conditions of slavery, fear, and superstition that characterize the most common lot of human beings. 

In the West alone, the spirit of science, conquest, and philosophy propelled a portion of mankind out of the primordial ooze of mere life and bare survival. This spirit was intrinsically and decisively masculine.

Both the contemporary right and left are uncomfortable with this reality. Conservatives seeking to make peace with feminism are in error. Catholic pro-life writers such as Erika Bachiochi and Dr. Nathan Schleuter offer “sex-realist feminism” as an alternative to what they perceive as the excesses of the post-60s feminist sexual revolution and the older patriarchal tradition. This compromise, which amounts in essence to a return to an earlier form of feminism, is untenable. Both Bachiochi and Schleuter deserve a longer treatment of their specific arguments, but I will offer here a single overall critique: the sex-realist feminists are not realistic enough about either sex or feminism. 

A compromise between the forces that built civilization and those that want to tear it down is impossible.

Today, 1.5 million American women have become OnlyFans camwhores. 40% of American children are born out of wedlock. 33% of Americans under the age of 25 identify as LGBTQ+. 50% of American marriages end in divorce.

The fabric of American family and social life is imploding. Feminism, and the spirit of resentment that animates it, is to blame. 

In contemporary America, a married father has no legal right to dictate where his family lives or how his children are educated. His wife has a unilateral right to end their marriage at any time. She has a unilateral right to abort their children. If she does choose to end the marriage, she is very likely to receive primary custody of the children, especially young children. She is also very likely to receive child support and alimony. The widespread use of restraining orders removes the father’s right to live with or even see his children. These orders generally do not require a finding of guilt or even a trial. In the state of Michigan, for instance, a judge can issue a “Personal Protective Order” ex parte, without a full court hearing and without the father present.

It should be no surprise that women initiate the vast majority of divorces—upwards of 70%. That number jumps to 90% among college-educated women

Given all this, it is no surprise that men are increasingly checked out of modern marriage and family. Men gain few if any concrete legal, political, or economic benefits by becoming husbands and fathers. Not only do they receive few benefits, they also incur significant risks. Conservatives complain about men failing to “man up,” but they ignore the concrete policies that make so-called “manning up” deeply unappealing.

Men are not getting married because modern marriage, as a legal institution, is anti-father, anti-family, and anti-civilization. Men need incentives in order to become husbands and fathers. The most important incentive of all is stability. A man needs to know that his wife will be sexually loyal to him and to him alone. Otherwise, he risks losing access to his children and to the love and comfort that come with a stable home life. 

In Edith Wharton’s 1913 novel The Custom of the Country, the main character, Undine Spragg, unjustly and selfishly divorces her husband and eventually takes custody of their son—a boy she otherwise does not care for. Her husband, Ralph, kills himself in response. 

In our contemporary world, we would call this a “death of despair,” and it is becoming more common among both men and women alike. In my experience as a Marine Corps officer and an observer of human affairs, the greatest predictor of suicidal ideation and depression among young men was family instability flowing from a wife or girlfriend’s threatened or actualized betrayal and abandonment. 

Even the hardest and toughest men nurture a special love and affection for their children and family. Though many shy away from expressing such feelings publicly, private happiness is among the highest and most important goods for the vast majority of men. 

No-fault divorce, abortion on demand, and loosening sexual morality make this world of home and hearth increasingly out of reach for millions of men and women alike. For a culture to promote marriage and family, it needs to shame slutty women, protect male wages, and defend the legal right of fathers to serve as the legal and de facto heads of their households.

Without these legal and economic defenses, marriage will implode. Indeed, it already has. The incentives men once had to work for the good of civilization—to throw themselves into the work necessary to give their families a better life—are gone. The result is the mass chaos we see around us. 

In modern America, the woman is the unquestioned legal head of the household in all cases. Even if a couple chooses, at a personal level, to embrace a different model, these mutual understandings are just that—personal agreements without the sanction of political power. The only people who can enjoy that kind of agreement are those who have the willpower and discipline to maintain such fealty over decades in the absence of any other support.

This means that, increasingly, marriage is the province only of the intelligent and wealthy. Among the middle and lower classes, family disintegration is the norm, with ruinous social consequences. 

All of this is a consequence of political choices. Our regime is set up to oppose and undermine the monogamous family. It is designed to curtail fathers and to spiritually enervate men as a whole.

The most powerful teacher in every regime is the law, because the law can not only make use of propaganda and argument to defend itself but also use force. In Hillsdale, Michigan, where I live, the police accompany Child Protective Services when they seize children from their parents and guardians. Those officers have guns and a legal right to use them if need be. 

At its core, all politics rests on force. 

All morality is violence. Feminism is violence. Patriarchy is violence. Democracy is violence. Fascism is violence. 

Anarchists and utopians can dream about a world free of the need for coercion, but that is all it is: a dream. Speeches are not enough to transform the human soul. Education cannot remake human beings. This is both a source of great hope and despair. On the one hand, it means that propagandists cannot ever fully wipe out the possibility of the truth’s emergence. On the other, it means that education alone cannot turn the wicked into saints. Words cannot, at their core, change reality.

Our choice is not between a world of violence and a world of peace, but between a world in which violence is constrained and one in which it is not. We live in a world that is fundamentally tragic. Human beings are limited. Every single one of us will die. All of us have longings that will go unfulfilled. 

Some human beings are born intelligent, athletic, and beautiful. Others are born stupid, weak, and ugly. We cannot change that fact. We cannot, in the end, conquer nature. 

The differences between the sexes are natural, and they are serious. A functioning political order must take account of humankind’s fundamental sexual dimorphism. 

Women have a single overpowering virtue that dwarfs all others they possess: they can nurture life within their own bodies. Women are gateways to the future. They carry the germ and genius of the species in their wombs. Without pregnancy, mankind would die out. 

The mighty power of childbearing comes at a cost, however. The biological and psychological resources demanded by the womb and its needs tax the rest of a woman’s body. But woman, unlike man, always know the parentage of their children. She knows that the child in her womb is her own. That assurance comes with consequences, though. In nature, there are unavoidable trade-offs.

Man has greater physical, intellectual, and spiritual potential than his female counterpart, but he is not life-giving in the same way. Man is a more sterile being than woman. His connection to the future is tenuous: using DNA studies, anthropologists estimate that after the invention of agriculture, only one man reproduced for every 17 women. 

Some scholars speculate that the first human societies were matriarchal or, at the very least, centered around women and their needs. This is not only plausible but likely. The primordial world human beings first found themselves thrown into was a world of terror, violence, and death. Man, in this original state, knew neither philosophy nor science. He did not have writing or mathematics. Buffeted by indifferent natural forces—rains, forest fires, and storms—he began to worship such phenomena out of fear and superstition.

Survival—the preservation of mere life—was his first and overwhelming concern. The demands of survival and reproduction dominated these human communities. For society to endure, women’s needs had to be met. Some scholars estimate that in Greek antiquity, up to a third of women would die due to complications with childbirth. Children faced an even more uncertain world—until the 1900s, roughly half of all children died before reaching adulthood. 

It is easy to understand how such societies could become matriarchal. Women of childbearing age were a precious resource. Their needs—the needs of bare life—dominated the consciousness of such communities. In such circumstances, men were more expendable. Keeping them in line would have been relatively easy. Women and their allies—their male orbiters and drones—had plenty of incentives to curtail any rebellious or spirited behavior. Control over sexual access and reproduction is an effective way to keep a male population in line. 

In such communities, young men are a threat. Their longing for more—more resources, more power, more space—threatens the inherently conservative and feminine longing for the stability of mere life and bare survival. It is no doubt that prehistoric matriarchal societies were totalitarian and repressive in the extreme. For much of human history, the communal longhouse, where human beings huddled together in singular dwellings without privacy or property, was the norm.

Freedom from this condition was achieved only once. Only in the West did a different spirit prevail. Contrast Homer’s Iliad with what came before. The Linear B tablets at Mycenae, dating from 1400 to 1200 BC, are the ancient equivalent of Excel spreadsheets; they list goods and weapons.

The Iliad bursts forth in the aftermath of the Bronze Age collapse like a bolt of lightning out of the mist. Homer’s poetry is rich with vibrant metaphor, awe-inspiring violence, and profound psychological insight. The pirate warlord Achilles, endowed with the power of nature and the gods, sweeping his enemies before him; Hector, the patriotic defender of civilization, moved by love and family; wily Odysseus, prevailing over his enemies by cunning and force; these human types represent the expression of something new and vital. 

Out of this world, with its love of kleos aphthiton—glory everlasting—comes philosophy, science, mathematics, art, literature, and technological prowess. The ancient Greeks alone discovered the existence of nature. We, the children of the Greeks, however distantly we may be removed, owe our civilization to the vital fire and longing for individual excellence that propelled this people, and us, out of the muck of bare survival. 

That longing for individuation, for greatness, for more is the source of civilization. It is a profoundly masculine achievement. 

The Seneca Falls Declaration of 1848, the founding document of First Wave Feminism, insists: “The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her.”

This is a lie. The tyranny that has exerted power over woman is not man but nature. 

The early totalitarian matriarchal societies that dominated human life might have honored and worshipped women as a class, but at the same time denied them individuation and the goods of civilization.

Woman—as individual, mother, caretaker, artist, and thinker—flowers only in the world of technology and civilization brought into being by man. Patriarchy demands of women sexual loyalty and the subordination of the needs of bare life. But this submission is, at the same time, a vehicle for liberation.

Take ectopic pregnancy as an example. 2% of pregnancies involve the implantation of the child outside of the womb, typically in one of the fallopian tubes. Prior to the 19th century, these pregnancies were considered universally fatal for the mother. It was Lawson Tait, a British surgeon and the father of gynecology, who developed the techniques to safely remove the fallopian tube, thereby saving the life of the mother. 

In the world of raw nature, the death of a mother due to the unfortunate implantation of an embryo means nothing. Female sows sometimes roll over their piglets. Whole species come into being simply to be consumed by another. Life goes on. The universe remains. Nature does not care. 

To the young husband and father sitting in an emergency room waiting for word on his wife’s prognosis, things are very different. He is not indifferent. To him, man’s insight into nature is a great boon. The knowledge of sickness and its attendant art snatches his happiness out of the chasm of inevitability and death and returns it to him. 

Patriarchy makes civilization possible. The rule and empowerment of men elevate women and children. It creates the conditions for the private family and the joy it brings. But it comes with sacrifices, too. To have a stable marriage, men must pledge to give up their labor for their wives and children. Women must give up their sexual autonomy. 

This means that some human beings will be unfulfilled and unhappy. A legal order that promotes monogamous marriage, for instance, will disappoint those who prefer polygamy. Politically, however, the needs of the community and of the city triumph over those of the fringe minority.

There is a fundamental tension between the individual and the collective. The philosopher seeks to know things according to his unaided human reason. Therefore, he questions all received traditions. The city, by contrast, insists on the necessity of unquestioning belief in order to secure its own existence and the loyalty of its citizens. There is a tension between belief and questioning. It is not clear this tension can ever be rectified fully. 

In our contemporary world, these concerns, however, are far away. We are enmeshed in a political and social order that seeks to annihilate the conditions that made civilization possible. Feminist ideology sees in masculine virtue and hierarchy a rejection of equality. These ideologues would rather burn down civilization than accept subordination before excellence. In light of this circumstance, the difficulties that afflict the healthiest societies are to us, as the kids say, “first world problems.”

This potent resentment has seized the entire world in its grip. Whether we can escape it at all is an open question. For civilized man, however, there is no question as to the demands of conscience: he must resist, with every fiber of his being, the forces of degradation that seek to wipe out his way of life. 

Civilized man has no choice; he must reject feminism, root and branch. 

He must oppose all forms of barbarism. Our civilization and its technological achievements have caused us to forget the conditions that made those very achievements possible. To preserve our way of life, we must recover those founding virtues. Before we can do so, we must remember what those virtues even are. That is our task now—to remember and then to act. 

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About Josiah Lippincott

Josiah Lippincott is a Ph.D. student and a former U.S. Marine Corps officer. You can find him on Telegram at https://t.me/josiah_lippincott or subscribe to his Substack here.

Photo: Blurry shadows of mother walking with son hand in hand and a man standing next to them