“LOVE PATRIARCHALISM”—ITS UNDERSIDE IS HATE by Carol P. Christ

Where patriarchalism trumps love, when push comes, shove often follows. The underside of love patriarchalism is hatred of the independence of women. 

We are told that it is the duty of a loving father and husband to protect his wife and children.  In exchange, good wives support their husbands and good children obey their fathers.  The bottom line of patriarchy is control.  The fight over abortion is a fight about men’s right to control women.

I have spent much of the past few weeks wondering why so many Republican men hate women.  Why do they want to deny the right to an abortion to a 12 year-old girl raped by her father, to a 21 year-old college student gang raped at a fraternity party, to a 33 year-old woman who submitted to a violent boyfriend she did not know had poked a hole in his condom, or a to a 41 year-old woman who offered a cup of coffee to the man who came to her house to fix the electricity, but who said “no” when he assaulted her.

I have also wondered why Republican men would deny the right to an abortion to 28 year-old married woman who got pregnant while taking the pill, to a 15 year-old girl who got carried away with her boyfriend, or even to a 35 year-old woman who got drunk one night and had sex without protection. We are all human aren’t we?  Birth control sometimes fails and sometimes women make mistakes. Apparently women are to be punished for both!

In the patriarchal system rape is not acknowledged.  Powerful men have always had the right to rape female slaves, servants, and serfs.  Employers have all too often felt they have the right to sexual access to female employees.  Teachers have taken sexual advantage of female students. Fathers and other male relatives have always raped vulnerable girls.  But because patriarchy promotes the myth that powerful men protect their inferiors, rape and abuse are covered up.

It is possible that Republican men believe that patriarchal men protect women and girls, and thus really do believe that “real” rape is statistically insignificant.  Over the centuries women who cry rape have been accused of making up stories about innocent men. With the exception of white women accusing black men in the racist south, false cries of rape have been widely exaggerated. Yet women continue to be vilified for upsetting the applecart—the myth that patriarchal dominance is basically a benign system.

This myth, sometimes called “love patriarchalism” allows men to believe that their acts of domination are basically good and to demonize women who in word or deed challenge their authority. The underside of “love patriarchalism” is hatred. Hatred of those who challenge a man’s authority. Hatred of those who dare to say that the kindly patriarch leaves his kindness behind far too often.

We are witnessing hatred of women in the guise of love patriarchalism in the words of Republican men who claim that they are only interested in protecting innocent life—love patriarchalism directed to fetuses.

For many years I have believed that the “gender gap” in US politics meant that women were beginning to opt out of the patriarchal system.  However, in the past year I have understood that the “gender gap” is primarily created by women of color–who are less likely to have been protected by dominant men.  In 2008 52% of white women with college degrees favored Obama—a gender gap, but not a big one—while only about 43% of whites in other categories did.  In a recent Gallup poll 51% of white women favored Romney compared to 42% for Obama.

This suggests that there are a great many white women out there who believe that love patriarchalism is their best hope. Many white women without college degrees, along with many women who have them, know that they could find it difficult to support themselves—and even more difficult to support themselves and their children–in what is still in many ways “a man’s world.”  They know that there are growing numbers of women who “fall through the cracks” of love patriarchalism, but they choose to view those women as the exceptions.  They figure that if they “play their cards right,” they won’t be “one of them.”

Their spokeswomen are pretty, young, long-haired blonde women with girlish voices who defend the protection of life and the free market on television.  While these women remind me of factory-produced Barbie-dolls, it is important to recognize that looking like Barbie may increase their appeal to white women who are trying to live out the girlhood fantasy that if they look and act like Barbie, they too will find their Ken.  The myth of love patriarchalism will retain its appeal as long as women are sexually and financially vulnerable in a world controlled by men.  Because patriarchal dominance is clothed in the myth of love, it is a very hard nut to crack.

WARNING: THIS MAN MAY HATE WOMEN!

WARNING: THIS MAN HATES WOMEN

Update: A new poll by Lifetime discussed on Melissa Harris-Perry shows only 47% of white women supporting Romney.  I hope white women as a group are beginning to see that Republican love for us ends as soon as we express our independence.

Carol P. Christ is a founding mother in the fields of women and religion and feminist theology. Her books include She Who Changes and Rebirth of the Goddess and the widely used anthologies Womanspirit Rising and Weaving the Visions.  One of her great joys is leading Goddess Pilgrimages to Crete through Ariadne Institute.

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Categories: Abuse of Power, Body, General, Rape Culture

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27 replies

  1. You are absolutely right, Carol, but given the implications of what you say, how is it that so many women (black, white , and all the shades between and around) still cling to the patriarchal faiths in an age when they can live freely and independently if they want ?

    I have elsewhere on these pages suggested that women stay within the abusive relationships they have (and must have) with the Religions of the Book, for the same reason that they stay in any abusive relationship – that the relationship itself has undermined their belief that there is any kind of life for themselves on the ‘outside’. I had my knuckles rapped for that. Now I’ll stick my head above the parapet again: perhaps many women stay within the patriarchic system because its a meal ticket. Its cheaper to live married than unmarried, and chances are you won’t have to work so hard to achieve the same standard of living as you would on your own.

    Fear and materialism are what the Republicans trade in, and fear and materialism is what drives women (and men) to support them.

    • Yes, but let us not discount love or what passes for love, and the “respectablity” that comes from having a husband and family.

    • I agree about the issues of insecurities and the cover of “respectability” which what is sometimes a larger body may include. I also agree with June Courage. But given that living alone when you are too critical of those who bow to the present state of affairs, must have gadgets “culture” is a sure way to go deeper into solitude, I know… I also prefer to acknowledge the lives of men who value women in non-oppressive ways. The last two times I have entered Yahoo have seen a nauseating and recurring little title: “What is it that men love best about women”–weakness and insecurity to match theirs for sure—and hope more women promote What is it that Women Want or love in a man–smart ass techno zombies need not apply.

  2. I have a fascination with reading blogs by “formerly Quiverfull” women or former daughters of Christian patriarchy. One of my favorites is Love, Joy, Feminism by Libby Anne. She has amazing insights about the culture and while I haven’t heard her use the phrase “love patriarchalism” she writes a lot about the myths that patriarchy “protects” women (and that their rejection of that “protection” is then blamed for the downfall of society and is the reason for things like rape. If women would only “submit” to men’s natural authority and protection, there would be no need for rape! Rape is one of God’s judgements for women subverting the divine plan!) Anyway, she wrote about the Akin debacle here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/08/rape-thats-a-kind-of-premarital-sex-right.html

  3. Agreed, but ‘respectability’ is underwritten by materialism (the poor are never as respectable as the rich) and ‘love’, like a good old-fashioned corset, will cover a multitude of sins.

  4. Carol, you’re right.”Forcible” and “legitimate” rape have nothing to do with love. Was in Germain Greer who said that rape has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with power? I think with the Republicans it’s not so much love or hatred of women but LOVE OF POWER. Power over everything–people whose skins are a different color, people who work for a living, the planet herself. Now that’s scary!
    P.S., I keep thinking of Oscar Hammerstein’s song in South Pacific–”You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear….” That’s what these patriarchal love-haters would try to teach us all.

  5. Thanks for this wake up call, Carol. I had not heard the term Love Patriarchalism. It is true that is is often difficult for women to free themselves from abusive relationships (personal and institutional), because love and loyalty and denial get all tangled up in a Gordian knot. Your cut through the confusion with clarity and compassion.

  6. Carol,
    Yes, why does everything boil down to the control over women’s bodies? And we women seem to have very little voice about it!! Part of responsible parenting is to know when to stop having children and yes, if necessary it means having an abortion, — in or out of wedlock! Yes, we are all human, but it appears, as you have said that women really do not get to be human in a ‘Love patriarchal’ system. We must become the robot Barbie dolls for men to wield power over us either financially and if that cannot be done, then wave the Pro-choice flag under the guise of legitimate rape!!

    Where do these oxymoronic ideas come from anyway? The system of power-over the other, as Barbara has stated is reflected in the song from South Pacific which sums it up nicely. All fear of the other is a learned response and one that can be undone. Fear of the other is a power structure that suppresses.

    Would that all independent, thinking women could hole-up on some deserted island somewhere and do away with all patriarchy!! But then who would vote in the next election?

    So, we must continue to bring to light the truth about structures that exclude and silence and create gender inequality at whatever level and at whatever price because being able to direct your life as a totally independent being is the healthiest of and for all. it is especially true for us to educate those women who are not aware of the structures that dictate to them as less-than because that is a total abuse of power!

    I also ponder this question: With the rise of a male, neo-patriachal backlash of the grab for power and position in this current gen-ex generation that we see everywhere, is there a rise in rape as men feel that this is their ‘right’ as any other entitlement? This is only an observation and a sense about what I see happening around me, but one worth researching.
    Thank you for this post, beautifully said!!

    • The fear by men of women’s bodies results from two simple, biological facts: 1) Because of the long gestation period for human babies, and the dependent helplessness of the human young, pregnant women and those with nursing children are extremely vulnerable , and need some kind of protection to get through 2) Men can never really know who is the father of their child unless they keep the mother captive in some way.
      So its an exchange at a purely material level : I’ll protect you and your baby, but you stay fenced in where I can keep an eye on you and make sure all my cattle go to my own sons’, not someone else’s.
      Further, women’s genitals, like their thought and intentions, are hidden: what’s worse, they BLEED. So this is scary stuff, and anyway no man worth his moose steak is going to raise another guy’s kids. (The reason rape makes women unclean is the same reason women have to be virgins at marriage: how the hell else are you going to know who fathered the baby?)
      Now, so long as everyone more or less agreed to all this, ie were complicit in what we call marriage, everything went fairly smoothly.
      Then we began developing technologies which opened up all sorts of other possiblilities: women could choose when to have babies, and how many they would have, or not to have them at all, just as they saw fit. That meant they could study, work, earn their own living, and make their own decisions about their own bodies.
      Once upon a time, men had said to women: if you agree to live in the cage, I will protect and provide for you and your children.
      One day a good angel invented safe contraception and now women said to men: if you agree to live in an harmonious relationship of equals, I will be your friend and companion and we can enjoy sex together and maybe make babies.
      To strong, sexually confident, progressive men this sounded like a good idea.
      To grasping, materialistic control-freaks it meant the end of the world as they knew it.
      The feminists had been preaching and teaching about such a world – (‘oh, brave new world’)- for a hundred years or so, but when the technology arrived to make it possible the control freaks had no place left to go except back to the biggest control-freak of the lot – Jehovah.

      In short: the technology of contraception and safe (early) abortion is as significant in human history as the invention of the plough. And the new societies we are creating are as radically different from the civilisations of the People of the Book as settled agriculture was to hunter gathering.

      Oh, my sisters: you don’t have to love Jehovah in order to be worthy. Jehovah’s time has come: he is vanishing into the past and can no longer decide your life for you. Your worth depends not on him, but on the realisation of your own sacred, womanly power alone.

  7. Hi Carol, thanks for sharing this post. You make so many important points about power and I agree with all your statements about issues around rape. I cannot believe we are still having these conversations – how is it that we still live in a society where rape is quantified? I also agree that controlling reproductive rights is a means of controlling women.

    I think we need to be cautious when claiming that “republicans hate women.” This statement cannot be generalized and I think creates a larger rift. We need to work on meeting in the middle, bridging the gap.

    I also think it is important that we discuss reproductive justice and not just abortion. I don’t think people are focused on the individual cases that you mentioned, but rather that larger issue and while controlling reproductive health certainly is part of the patriarchal structure that seeks to control women, many see the issue as a moral one and we need to acknowledge that.

    Finally, I am uncomfortable with the idea that Mitt Romney hates women – although I understand why you would add that caption to the photo. Let me say for the record, I am liberal, I’m registered as independent but always vote democrat, I volunteer for the Obama campaign, and I am highly disturbed by the Paul Ryan budget, not to mention Romney’s overall campaign focus. But I think that photo and comment represents what is wrong in American politics. We attack people instead of issues. I’m not saying that was your intent here (I appreciate that points you are making about Ken and Barbie!) – but this is something we continuously see in the American political system that I find problematic.

    I am very thankful for your post Carol! I think you bring up so many points here that we must discuss! I hope others will join the conversation. :)

  8. If you love something only when you control it, I do not think you can be said to love it. If your sense of power is built on your ability to control something (in this case women) and you can’t control it, then you get mad as hell, and I would say you do hate it. I know this in personal and welll as institutional relationships. This IS what I was trying to say.

  9. Great article, Carol! Thank you for working on it!

    All we need to do is look at the list of 9/11 Truthtellers who had untimely deaths…this is a great metaphor for the times we live in. It seems that those of us who see with our hearts at all, are losing a secret battle that I can feel, but am unable to exactly put into words. It’s all so overwhelming. And, my ‘take’ about the Repubs, is that they merely reflect more loudly and clearly, their need for power and control over women, and their enduing disdain – fear and hatred. Democrats are nearly as messed up in their psyche’s….I just look around at all my friends and family and I see great confusion and fear underlying a world of antics – but then, I am getting old now – I feel like I’m 90!

    The only persons who resonate best with me, and who seem to make the most sense at all as regards what we women are about, and what has been lost, are the oldest men and women of the indigenous people of our country – call them Native American or American Indian. And they seem to have to become very old to finally ‘get it’ themselves, even! The old, wise ones with the presence of mind and heart to be quiet enough to *see* with their hearts and have the courage to speak or to sing – and embrace the searing pain. I listen to them a lot on youtube to stay sane these days. …And I read blogs like yours and like Barbara Ardinger’s too. Thank you, again. I feel that if the world is going to be ‘saved’ from this terrible ‘heating up’ of projection of hatred, insanity, it will be we women, and men who have the kind of knowledge and courage that some men possess. Keep up the good work, Carol!

  10. Carol,
    I echo Gina’s concerns with casting such a wide net on the GOP, especially stating the men hate women. This is an assumption that further divides our populace, feeding into a second-wave stereotype that feminism is anti-male instead, as you correctly state, anti-patriarchy–a big difference.

    Secondly, women remain in unequal marriages for a variety of reasons, some very strategic and beneficial for themselves and their children, until they have the necessary resources to do otherwise. I will say in my own former marriage, I did not lose agency as much as the slow erosion of my soul. I entered our relationship empowered and self-assured, but time and circumstances slowly changed this. Like many marriages it had its ups and downs, which gave me hope for something different. It was this place of hope and love that kept me in the marriage, not material possessions or a lifestyle. It’s too easy (and short-sided) to judge me and other women for choosing to remain. It’s complicated, messy, and never a straight trajectory. This reflex of feminism as anti-marriage can be very divisive and again, too easy of an acquisition.

    And finally, it’s not only men that demonstrate patriarchy, if this is understood as power over, women participate in this as well. The issue of power (classism and racism) among second-wave feminism is what formulated third-wave feminism. And while Mary Daly’s point is well-taken, women are coerced into participating in patriarchy, (or” phallocratic possessions”) against their daughters, this conclusion is too reductive.

    Let me close by stating I can see the holes in my arguments and am sensitive to Carol’s critique of the GOP and the construct of masculinity as power over. The answer is not to move to an island of women, but to remain in the tension of our relationships (yes, heterosexual if desired), working to change the structures of patriarchy in both the micro and maco levels of our lives without feminism replicating the very structure it stands in opposition to.

  11. If you look at white western society from a purely logical point of view, what men do is only about power and control. Why would a man want to make his life harder as a provider by having a big family today? Why would a man NOT want his spouse to make a lot of money, and thus keep the family in better circumstances?

    If you were a man, would you want your household income to be $45,000 per year, or $95,000?
    How about $160,000 a year instead of $90,000?

    So patriarchy is about the brutal or not so brutal control of women. And it is about the master men raping the servant women. It is always about that. Thomas Jefferson step forward please.

    What’s fascinating to me is the sheer numbers of hetero women I meet who seem to burn out of the corporate world, and capitulate to lower income jobs, because they are willing to let the man support in large part the family. I found this rather fascinating; the degree to which women attribute a job to everything but what a job actually is: getting paid. Everything else is volunteerism.

    And I believe the marketplace or the corporation or the male dominated world of higher level “careers” is about keeping them relentlessly hostile work places to drive women out, to make women quit, so that the patriarchs can be in control again.

    Power and control and sexual access are the aphrodesiacs of male supremacy. Keeping women dependent on men economically does name the game.

    I am under no illusion that well paid job sites are woman friendly, no illusions at all. As a lesbian, I compete with men who I know are my enemy, and I know they are at war with me. I know upfront what this is really all about. But my job is not the male job, my job is about supporting my family against all the horrifying patriarchal odds, and for my trouble as a radical feminist, I get to watch the hetero machine go on and on and on. And it makes me boiling mad, the collaboration, the lack of aweness.

    But I suppose straight women must have these illusions, and after 20 years, they often bail on jobs because they mistakenly believe that they are overwhelming sexist, and that their “good man” is different, and that they can go to a less hostile work environment for half the pay. Well of course they are.

    Nothing men do makes sense in the family unless we say that what they really want is power and control. Not equality, which would actually make men’s lives a lot nicer. Hey, if they fully supported the wife’s career, and got on board with having NO CHILDREN AT ALL, they’d have a fantastic life.
    But no, they want the control, the sexual dominance, the money, the power to rape, the power to rape children….

    So if we know this about men and about patriarchy, all their wicked actions make perfect sense.
    All those nice women I meet at the company Christmas party don’t know that their husbands are sexist idiots in the office. They know nothing about how their devoted husbands and fathers harass lesbian me, or try to fire me, or try to keep me from advancing in my career. No, they smile, they play hostess, they cling to these men, but they know nothing about them in the public sphere just as I know nothing about them in the private sphere, other than what straight women report to me about their lives.

    It’s pretty sad women. I don’t have much hope for feminist revolution when I read this blog; in fact, it often puts me in despair. But I must comment, because I believe that one day, women will wake up. Women will fight it out, women will overthrow those men. Someday, if I keep writing, and keep speaking, and keep meeting the women 25 years later…. well, I’m in this struggle for life, and I have no illusions about men. Maybe I have too many illusions about women who should know better by now.

  12. Carol is right, if you control something, that is not love. I’d say the republican men are overt in their hatred of women, or should I say, their desire to keep women objects under their control.
    But I do know that democrats pretend, but in the end, the structure remains the same. How is Michele Obama different from other first ladies? Why is it she gives up her last name? Really, how is she different structurally?

    I’d say I hate my enemies, and I do not hate men who don’t mess with me. I hate men when they are domineering and threatening. I also hate it when women collude in such obvious ways in this system. And no, women don’t oppress men as a class. Women can be mean and obnoxious or women can bash a man over the head with an empty coke bottle, but women as a class don’t do this to men. Nor do women massively rape and kill in the world.

    Why would men in capitalism undermine their own economic interests? Stand in the way of their wives making lots of money? Men love toys: box seats at the superbowl, big boats, exclusive golf club memberships…. why would they want to give up this stuff? CONTROL. It’s not really about the money at all in patriarchal capitalism, it’s about control of women, trade in women, rape of women. And if married hetero women can’t forever tell their husbands that they will not have sex that subjects them to pregnancy, then they are sexually owned. Hetero women don’t really want to think about this. I know of no lesbian couple or lesbians who are dating where a specific sex act is a relationship breaker. But I do know for a fact, that sex to men is not the same thing as it is to women, not even close.

    But women get fooled endlessly into believing in marriage or in staying in marriages with the men who want to own them.

    “I did not lose agency as much as the slow erosion of my soul. I entered our relationship empowered and self-assured, but time and circumstances slowly changed this.” This is a very apt observation about contemporary marriage. It is the slow erosion of a very confident woman’s soul.

    It’s why I freak out over “gay” marriage. Why on earth would I ever want to be a part of that system? Equality is not possible with men. You can settle for “kindness to the animals” or perhaps patriarchal protection, but love? Control is not love, power over is not love. I actually don’t know if men are capable of love ever. Really, I don’t.

  13. I’m not against relationships with men, I have many of different kinds. My best friends in the Green Party happen to be men, but those men do not deny my agency, in fact they celebrate it. I’m just advocating not having relationships with men who deny women’s agency, don’t believe in the need to sue to get equal pay for equal work, think women and their children who need foodstamps or welfare are gaming the system, who deny that rape is widespread and not only with violent force at knifepoint, etc. These men do not “hate” all women, they only “hate” women who assert any form of independence from their control. And this in my book means they hate the potential of all women to make their own decisons. Love patiarchalism is patriarchalism. Love between those who respect each others’ agency is not love patriarchalism, it is love between equals.

  14. Thank you, Carol, for this provocative and insightful post. And thank you, Cynthia and Gina, for responding respectfully in challenges I believe are very important to our discussions here.

    As a rape survivor, I’m not at all surprised that we are still discussing or quantifying rape. Rape and fear of rape are the best ways that patriarchy has to control women. It limits our freedom, our ability to travel as we will, the places we can go, the people we will hang out with, etc. I would go one step further than Carol and connect the “protection” that men supposedly provide for “their” women to the act of rape itself. The entire arrangement is a protection racket: a man provides protection for “his” woman, but then sees “the other guy’s” woman as fair game for rape. In fact, in the 1960s and early 1970s, when I first began to teach Women’s Studies, the crime of rape was viewed by the criminal justice system as a crime of one man against another, since women were seen as men’s dependents, either as men’s wives or men’s daughters. That has changed somewhat over the years, but not enough to make many women (probably 9 out of 10) hesitant to take their rapist to court. Our culture still blames the woman for many if not most rapes.

    I’ve never heard the term “love patriarchalism,” Carol, but I’ve seen it in action. As Cynthia strongly underlines (and you mention as well), the reasons women stay in unequal relationships with men have a firm basis in the economic and social inequalities between men and women in a patriarchal society. But I agree with you that “because patriarchal dominance is clothed in the myth of love, it’s a very hard nut to crack.” The last semester I taught Women’s Studies 101 in 1991, I taught a unit on “romantic love,” using _Gone with the Wind_ as my primary text . If you haven’t read it recently, it’s filled with passages that equate romance with war, a war that ultimately has to be won by the man. I was, therefore, shocked when several of my women students pushed back hard during this unit. When I asked them why, they told me essentially that they didn’t want their romantic ideals destroyed. Not that they wanted to be “conquered,” but they wanted to be swept off their feet, to feel the electric touch of a lover and be overwhelmed by love. This romantic ideal — the battle of the sexes — is alive and well in our culture today, and it disempowers women to a much greater extent than it does men.

    With regard to Cynthia and Gina’s comments, I think that you’re right that divisiveness is endemic in our political system and in our culture today. But bridging the gaps is not a straightforward proposition. I know there are some Republicans who love and respect women. But their platform certainly doesn’t reflect that sentiment. There are some Republicans who think they are trying to protect women and as a result, think they love women. But as we’ve already seen, this is a racket. And there are some Republicans who clearly hate women and only cover this up with a thin veneer of sentimentality. “Bridging the gap,” as Gina suggests, might work with the first group. But with the others (and they must be the majority, since they have proclaimed a staunchly anti-woman platform), we know this won’t work. Obama tried it in the first 2 1/2 years of his administration, and all the opposition did was stonewall. “Meeting in the middle” never works with ideologues. They know what’s right, even if all the data and statistics tell them they’re wrong. Instead we have to change “structures of patriarchy on the micro and macro level,” as Cynthia suggests. One of the best places to do this is in our churches, synagogues, and other faith communities, because in these places people at least profess values of love and equality that go way beyond a protection racket.

  15. I’d say a “faith” community is about the last place I would want to “challenge’ these structures.

    How badly do women want to be free? Not badly enough yet.

    • My faith community is both Wicca and Unitarian Universalism, and both of these groups profess women’s equality, and although they certainly aren’t utopia, they have both made strides to create such equality. I wouldn’t stick around if they didn’t, and I push them to do so.

  16. http://www.thenation.com/article/169630/women-who-love-republicans-who-hate-them

    Katha Pollit said a version of the same thing I said in her essay that came out after I had written mine. Neither of us is sayihg women should hate men, only that we should not love men who when push comes to shove do not love us.

  17. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/03/madeleine-albright-mitt-romney_n_1852789.html

    and Madeline Albright wonders why any woman would vote for Romney.

  18. Again Carol, I completely understand your position, seeing the societal bind in marriage. But I have witnessed those marriages of complete equality. In fact, the few (sadly) I am thinking about have the men carrying the same if not more of the responsibility of caregiving to the children. So for some the message of feminism did take hold and is lived out in a marital relationship.

    So the wrestling continues for me because at the end of the day, women are caught financially in the institution of marriage. If nothing else I hope to serve as a role model for my daughters–be self sufficient before entering into such a relationship. The problem & complication arises when children enter the picture, making the exodus so much harder.

    Living as a single woman can be lonely, but my most lonely years were spent in a bad marriage. I have come to question the exchange. Thank you for the links, especially Madeline Albright.

  19. I am not sure what we are talking about any more, I never spoke about egalitarian marriages in the blog, but I assume they exist. I was talking about the Republican platform apparently being based on the assumption of male control over women–in marriage and outside it.

  20. Sheesh! What runs the Republicans and/or patriarchs in general?

    Could the the Oedipal conflicts running rampant in the male psyche, as illustrated by medieval images and myths of the unicorn, be fueling the hatred so many Republicans are attempting to codify into state and federal law?

    More musings on unicorns, womb envy, and legislating misogyny at http://bellyqueen.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/unicorns-womb-envy/

  21. Yes, the republican party platform spells out in detail just what the role of women is, and dicatates what kind of birth control women can use. They write the platform on the bodies of women. I don’t divide the public and private so clearly Carol, since I think both are together. An individual woman is married to a Paul Ryan or a Mitt Romney or a Todd Akin, and then these men go and advocate for more restrictions on women.

    The democratic party doesn’t do this so obviously, but I’d say, that until women control the majority of house and senate seats and maybe all of the supreme court seats, well, we still live under male rule, literally.

    It is weird how republican men proclaim the “love” of women, and you hear this “love” of women all the time on right wing christian radio. It’s their operating strategy, and maybe hetero women really respond to this. I think a lot of women are called by the siren song of servitude. Children are a kind of hook that binds women into the servitude further.

    So the men keep lying to women, conservative men keep up this con job, and the leftist men protect Julian Assange…. and as Andrea Dworkin famously said of right wing women; they only want to have to deal sexually with one man in marriage vs. having open season among leftist men. I think right wing men promise this to right wing women, and play on all of women’s fears.

    All of it is truly weird to me, since I believe no woman should ever be economically dependent if they can help it, no woman should just give up income to serve the male and the children ever. This is just asking for trouble. If anything, have the men stay at home with the kids and learn some child rearing and home cleaning skills…. if you MUST have a man in your house, at least make him do this stuff for a few 100 years, but don’t say that any man can love women in a patriarchal society. Love to men is not the same thing that love is to women. I am convinced that men are thinking of something entirely different, but than nothing I believe and think is even remotely similar to all of this.

    Clearly, in this blog we are in the personal and the political all at once :-) Ah me oh my, the life of a radical lesbian feminist is never easy in hetero feminist land….:-)

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  1. LET’S ASK MITT IF MORMON PATRIARCHAL BELIEFS AFFECT HIS VIEWS ON WOMEN’S EQUALITY by Carol P. Christ « Feminism and Religion

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