if the ensuing seems unduly harsh to male and female feminists (which it will since everything besides complete and abject surrender to feminism strikes male and female feminists as unduly harsh) there is, perhaps, some small feminist consolation to be had from the fact that, with the completion of "Tangent," I intend to "have done" with the subject of gender and gender "issues" entirely: in much the same way that The Cerebus Guide to Self-Publishing constituted my "hail and farewell" to the subject of self-publishing. As with the Guide, "Tangent" represents a summing up of my conclusions about a subject which has occupied my attentions for a period of time and which I have resolved for myself in my own way and to my own satisfaction (and which I am now pleased to put behind me so that I can pursue other areas of interest to me).
Carol West resigned her position as Aardvark-Vanaheim's Administrative Assistant (a very fancy feminist name for a very plain secretarial position: mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, and I don't intend that ironically) after "inputting" a first draught of "Tangent" parts one and two. Her resignation, far from being either a surprise or a disheartening event, to me, seemed just the latest example of feminism undermining its own 30-year long campaign to be taken seriously as a societal movement by (literally) getting offended and leaving in a huff whenever it encounters any viewpoint which does not represent absolute capitulation to its own. At some point - whether the intervening period is measured in days, weeks, months, years, decades or centuries - At Some Point, feminism will, I am sure, at long last be forced to face a number of hard questions about its total lack of intellectual foundation. Carol West can get offended and leave, but the hard questions remain. My feminist readers can roll their eyes theatrically, but the hard questions remain. They can exhale noisily, but the hard questions remain. They can snort derisively, but the hard questions remain. They can, collectively, turn their backs, but the hard questions remain.
In the arena of intellectual opinion, when it comes to these hard questions, asking Dave Sim, "Why do you hate women so much?" is irrelevant when my subject is feminism's lack of sound intellectual footing. It is irrelevant whether I hate women. It is irrelevant whether I love women. It is irrelevant whether I consider women in any emotional context whatsoever, just as - when my question is directed toward feminism's lack of sound intellectual footing - it is irrelevant whether I hate ice cream, whether I love ice cream or whether I consider ice cream in any emotional context whatsoever. All That Is Relevant, when the issue at hand is my contention that feminism lacks a sound intellectual foundation, All That Is Relevant, Germane and/or Pertinent is the intellectual foundation - or lack of same - upon which feminism rests.
Walking away is not relevant. Rolling one's eyes theatrically is not relevant. Snorting derisively is not relevant.
It seems to me that after thirty years, all thinking people must be coming to realize that these reactions - far from constituting a defence of feminism - lead, inescapably, in the contrary direction: lead, inescapably, to the fact that feminism has no sound intellectual foundation: that, in fact, feminism has only its own rapidly dwindling momentum and the sheer gall, chutzpah, nerve and inherent unreasoning contrariness of its perpetrators as its foundation, as its sole line of defence, as its single raison d'etre and as its solitary rationale.
Anyway, this is how I began:
Having dispensed with the Hemingways (hew many of you still think that Mary Hemingway - despite having murdered her husband - is a "strong, independent woman and a good role model for wives everywhere"? Show of hands. Almost all of you. Big surprise.) I now prepare for the next complete waste of my own time and energy: my promised "last word on gender" entitled "Tangent".
All males (as opposed to men) sound like social workers and/or voodoo profession wannabe's, so it came as no surprise - when the fellow turned to me and asked "Where do you think your ideas about women come fiom?" - at the saccharine undertone was there ("When we share our experiences with others, it helps us to get in touch with our innermost feelings and emotions").
"Where do you think your ideas about women come from?"
Foremost, they originate from the research that I did for Mothers & Daughters. Not the voluminous reading of everything from nurse novels to voodoo pop (My Mother, My Self; Our Bodies, Our Selves; Our House-pets, Our, Selves, et al) to Women's Studies ["...and after all correlatives of the societal norm have been maximized through the intuitive, the nurturing and spiritually nutritive, through the hard-won maturation of our collective emotive a priori dispensation-construct: regarded (herein) not as the mere imitative imposition of the aforementioned "will to power" (the now universally discredited patriarchal model) but a new model founded upon, to reiterate, the intuitive, the nurturing and spiritually nutritive, pursuant to, but not inextricably bound within the ad hoc antecedent culture and/or cultural imperative blah blah blah"]. All I got out of that research, I already knew: a) women want to be raped by rich, muscular, handsome doctors b) women are completely self-absorbed and, thus, see themselves in everything around them and c) feminism is no different from communism in that all of its literature is founded upon convoluted syntax, bafflegab and academic jargon which paints a false (albeit attractive) picture of an unattainable utopia which can be achieved - easily! - by everyone in the world simply and simultaneously (in both feminist and communist literature the "crux point" is invariable) changing their basic nature overaight. Acknowledging - (grudgingly) the small likelihood of so sweeping a societal change coming about on its own, "a rigorous and thorough program of (communist and feminist literature share an admiration for the euphemism) re-education may be called for." That is, all "non-comrades, non-fellow travellers" must be subjected to unrelenting political indoctrination, sloganeering and brainwashing ("A woman's right to choose! A woman's right to choose!").
(I sense that my situation with feminism is comparable to that of pre-1989 writers faced with the task of "debunking" communism: how extensive, lengthy and intricate an explanation can one pursue in explaining that two-plus-two do not equal five, but in fact, equal four without - even in one's own view - treading well within the lunatic borders of the excruciatingly self-evident? I suspect that feminism, like communism, must be allowed to "strut and fret its hour upon the stage," "playing out" its manifold absurdities until even the most ardent and most willfully ignorant "true believer" comes to realize - as has happened with communism - that "there is no there, there.")
No. The research which most contributed to my "ideas about women" was the series of informal interviews I conducted with mothers and daughters - with mothers about their daughters, with daughters about their mothers, with daughters about their daughters, with mothers about their mothers. It was really the first time in my adult life that I spoke to women who I found physically unattractive and the first time I spoke to women with any motive besides getting them into bed. In the case of the attractive women that I interviewed, it was a guarantee that I was not going to get them into bed - "mothers and daughters," as subject, existing at the opposite end of the conversational spectrum from those topics which lead to sex - and (knowing that) for the first time in my adult life the intellectual, reasoning, "writerly" part of my mind was engaged when talking to women.
For the first while, I couldn't figure out what was wrong.
I'm usually a "quick study" when it comes to a given subject -- the "high altitude mapping" as Alan Moore called it in our "Dialogue: From Hell" a few years back. It's really what writing is made up of. Ask the hard questions, narrow the list of possibilities and work with the resulting template. As it turns out, nothing in the feminist psyche conforms to this model. All women are feminists and all feminist evidence is anecdotal. Ask them a question and they will tell you a little story. Ask them a question to clarify what you infer is the point of the story and they will tell you another story. When they do attempt to draw a conclusion or a larger inference from an anecdote they will often ask, "Does that make any sense?" And the answer, of course is (almost invariably) no, it doesn't make any sense. And since I wasn't trying to get any of them into bed, I would say so (if you're trying to get them into bed, you always say "yes, that makes perfect sense" or manufacture some sensible interpretation that has nothing to do with what they said). Telling them that they don't make sense, I found, is like telling them that not only do they not win the trip to Hawaii, they don't even get the Samsonite luggage. They become forlorn and uncommunicative. That was when I realized that it was impossible to engage them on an intellectual, reasoning, "writerly" level - that is in a purely matter-of-fact fashion. I had to act, had to portray myself as being happy, sympathetic, interested and cheerful in order to maintain a level of...
...I don't know what you would call it. It wasn't oommunicarion in any meaningful sense of the term as I understand it. It was a kind of "emotional badminton." I acted happy, sympathetic, interested and cheerful and then it was her turn to act happy, sympathetic, interested and cheerful and then it was my turn, etc. She might accidentally say something interesting where I could, with sincerity, say that I found what she had just said interesting. This temporarily escalated the level of her cheerfulness but, alas, that is all that it did: whatever was being said ranking a very distant second to maintaining and escalating the level of cheerfulness. A very, very distant second. I realized that this is where the "henhouse cacophony" originates. If "communication" within a group of women is working properly (as women see "working properly") everyone should be talking faster and faster and faster and in a higher and higher musical range - either portraying themselves or being (the two states being deemed interchangeable in the female world) cheerful, more cheerful, "cheerfulest" -- until, maximum cheerfulness having been achieved, a glass breaks or something.
That was when I realized that women are emotion-based beings. "Once a thing is seen, it can't be unseen." I gave a oouple of more tries at relationships after that (a year-and-a-half and three-and-a-half years respectively) but it was really like solving a "brain teaser" after someone has given you the answer. You know - one of those puzzles where you are supposed to "make three triangles by oonnecting the dots using only seven lines" (or whatever). It can drive you insane for a month, but if you look in the back of the book, or if someone shows you how it's solved or you figure it out on your own, there is little entertainment value to be had in endlessly drawing those same seven lines to make those same three triangles. Likewise, there is little in the way of intellectual value to be derived from revisiting - either mentally or "in person" the simple fact (once discovered), that women are emotion-based beings and that (consequently) any female-centred or female-originated political movement - more precisely, "political" "movement" - will lack sound intellectual footing. Hence, my billing of "Tangent" as "my last word on gender."
Women are emotion-based beings.
One of the spillovers from Mothers & Daughters into Rick's Story was Viktor Davis telling Rick, "Just be happy every waking minute of your life and you've got her for as long as you want her." Which was really a perverse way for Viktor Davis to put it. It's valid advice, but the "every minute of your life" was unnecessarily arduous (which Viktor knew but, in his willfully cruel way, thought he would add as a little "going away" present for Rick). It could be more appropriately phrased as: "If things aren't going right, just act cheerful and say things in a musical tone of voice and everything will be fine." Which they will but, in my own experience, I found that that was no way to live. But even as I found that that was no way to live, I recognized there was no other way to live in the context. With an emotion-based being, your only choices are to narcotize her with a steady stream of cheerful, musical expression or manufacture a chaotic mixture of emotional portrayals to "wake her up" ("awake" being a purely relative teem, of course, in referring to emotion-based beings). You can try being sensible and reasonable but all you're going to get back is an emotion-based portrayal of sense and reason having nothing to do with sense and reason. An emotion-based being just attempts to reflect and/or portray what little emotion she can discern in sense and reason ("sombre," "serious," "earnest," "non-musical") and attaches the portrayal to an arbitrary stream of musical vocalizations having nothing to do with the subject at hand. This invariably provokes extreme impatience in the non-emotion-based being, to whose impatient expressions the emotion-based being will invariably respond: "Why are you getting so angry?" Impatience is not a happy emotion, but an identifiable one for an emotion-based being: "I was singing your sombre, serious, earnest, non-musical song with you and now you're angry. Why don't you just sing a cheerful song instead so we can both be happy?" To the emotion-based being, this makes perfect sense.
(All lengthy and thorough explanations being digressional, at this point the fellow asked, "Is this like that book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus?" To his credit, he hadn't actually read the book. Neither have I. "There's always a danger with those things," I said. "I was in a bookstore and I saw the cover of the sequel, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, Children Are From Heaven." The fellow nodded readily. However, as there were a number of women eavesdropping in the vicinity, I thought it worth adding for their benefit, "If a man lowers himself to a woman's level of fairy-tale metaphor - I mean, self-evidendy men are not from Mars and women are not from Venus - women will invariably drag the discussion over into something comparable to Children are From Heaven smiling and chuckling and feeling really good about themselves. 'Children are From Heaven. Now we're really getting somewhere.'" The fellow nodded impatiently.)
Anyway, I just found that I couldn't live that way. A woman is going to do whatever makes her cheerful at the moment and that, in my experience, is the extent of her perception of ethics. In order to maintain a relationship with an emotion-based being it is necessary to be cheerful about anything that makes her cheerful. Coupled with a "woman's right to choose" as central ethic - or, rather, "ethic" - this involves a wide and variegated spectrum of feminist actions and behaviours and opinions. At one time, I rated sex as being very, very, very high on my list of life's pleasures. Ultimately, for myself, the spiritual toll which was exacted by maintaining a rictus grin in the face of all feminist actions, behaviours and opinions across the full range of that spectrum made the price of sex too high - which, considering how highly I once rated sex as a pleasure is really saying something, I think.
[I discovered, through celibacy and the avoidance of masturbation that sexual desire is a lot like a rash. If you keep "scratching it" you make it worse and, thus, "scratching it" comes to seem like an urgent, toppermost of the poppermost, central necessity in your life. If you learn to leave your penis alone, I discovered, your penis will learn to leave you alone.]
This dovetailed with the "second source" in answering "Where do you think your ideas about women come from?": my own decision to alternate periods of intentional celibacy (as opposed to "not getting laid") with periods of monogamous sexual activity and semi-monogamous sexual activity. Having gone back and forth between the two states over the course of a decade, I can state unequivocally that celibate Dave Sim sees reality more clearly than sexually-active Dave Sim (who wilfully hypnotized himself into seeing the world in a manifestly untrue way and persuaded himself that feminist lies were true, that many feminist lies contained elements of truth, that feminist lies were not wholly untruthful). Surrendering an accurate perception of reality for a world of fairy-tale falsehoods was part of the high price of sex, a price I was no longer prepared to pay.
I got tired of Believing Five Impossible Things Before Breakfast.
(Odd to say that one out loud for the first time.)
"For instance?" the fellow asked.
"Well, take Government-Funded Daycare," I said, "a central plank in the platform of the fairy-tale world emotion-based beings inhabit - Their belief/feeling that it is the responsibility of government to raise children. Feminists and their hollowed-out ventriloquist puppet husbands...
(...please bear with my use of that..admittedly... prejudicial phrase until I've had the chance to elaborate...)
...have universally adopted Government-Funded Daycare in principle. Not only is it fiscally irresponsible and an inherently unfair use of public funds (benefiting only those mothers who choose to work), it is diametrically opposed to a central tenet of any civilized society: that children are the responsibility of their parents to rear. When was the last time you even heard it described as 'rearing children'? 'You rear children. You raise hogs.' What the feminists and their ventriloquist puppet husbands are talking about doing with Government-Funded Daycare is raising children as if they were a herd of interchangeable swine. No surprise coming from a gender which has no ethics, no scruples, no sense of right and wrong. Just hand the kids over to the voodoo profession, social workers, government bean counters and go along with whatever happens to be the Ethical Consensus du Jour. 'Raise' boys to be girls, 'raise' girls to be boys.'"
"Well, I'm sure I don't know. I'm just Porky/Petunia's mother. They have experts who know how to 'raise' boys to be girls and 'raise' girls to be boys. I'll let them decide. Listen, I'd love to chat about this, but I have a meeting with a client at 9:00 and I'm going to be late as it is."
This connected quite neatly with an article I had read in that morning's Globe & Mail which said that some astronomical percentage of parents thought it was the responsibility of public schools to teach sexual morality.
I mean, that one just stinks of feminism.
"Homosexuality is just another lifestyle choice, completely normal." "Homosexuality isn't a choice, it's a genetic reality" Oh. Okay. So (leaving aside the obvious fact that those two realities contradict each other) [my own view is that all sexuality is a matter of choice since it is not a life-sustaining necessity: what or whom you have sex with - or whether you have sex at all - is optional. I would not be here if it weren't for sex, true, but if I choose never to have sex, I am still "here"], when do you want to start teaching this lifestyle choice/genetic reality in the classroom? What age? Six? Seven? Ten? Twelve? And how do you want to teach it? Bring in a couple of dykes and a couple of interior decorators to talk to a bunch of third graders?
"Well, I'm sure I don't know. I'm just Porky/Petunia's mother. They have experts on cultural diversity and alternative lifestyles now, don't they? I'll let them decide. Listen, I'd love to chat about this, but I have a meeting with a client at l0:30 and I'm going to be late as it is."
[This is actually "jumping the gun" a little on Tangent II's examination of the feminist-homosexualist axis, but suffice to say that their feminist-homosexualist consensus view of teaching homosexuality in the schools seems to be a) it's a very good idea and b) men are wrong. It's difficult - actually impossible - to discern any agreement beyond that point].
But, this is way too many words for our CNN "Get To The Point News" Information Age, isn't it? So, let's distil Daycare and Government-Funded Daycare into short and concise Impossible Things to Believe Before Breakfast form:
- A mother who works a full-time job and delegates to strangers the naising of her children eight hours a day, five days a week does just as good a job as a mother who hand-rears her children full time.
- It makes graat sense for the government to pay 10 to 15,000 dollars a year to fund a daycare space for a child so its mother - who pays perhaps 2,000 dollars in taxes - can be a contributing member of society.
All you husbands and daycare daddies are just nodding like crazy. "Makes sense to me, Dave." "Gotta have it. Government-Funded Daycare. No way around that. Gotta have it." "A woman's right to choose! A woman's right to choose!"
For the benefit of the rest of my readership, I decided to compose a partial list of Impossible Things To Believe Before Breakfast (jotted down over the course of an hour while working on a Cerebus page - I figured a dozen or so would get my point across).
I'll just continue the numbering from our Daycare entries.
- A woman's doctor has more of a valid claim to participate in the decision to abort a fetus than does the father of that fetus.
- So long as a woman makes a decision after consulting with her doctor, she is incapable of making an unethical choice.
The far larger question, to me, is one of "what God therefore hath joyned together let not man put asunder" (Matthew 19:6, Mark 10:9). (This, so far as I know, being the only genuinely Biblical quotation - the Synoptic Jesus again, caveat emptor - in the otherwise wholly and completely secular Christian wedding ceremony is a major reason that I have no objection to gay marriages. I'm reasonably certain that marriage is a completely pagan, completely female invention no more sacred as an institution than are feminism or communism. It is, after all, called Matrimony and not Patrimony, isn't it? I mean, duh.) It seems to me utterly foolish to ascribe vitually any of our society's haphazard - literally "catch as catch can" - marriage unions to our Creator. In my view, an omnipotent and omniscient being simply wouldn't have that lousy a track record.
Pregnancy, it seems to me, is an altogether different matter.
Inexplicable as it is that some acts of coitus produce offspring while others do not (despite the best efforts of medical science to establish irrefutable "laws" of cause-and~effect) it seems to me that here, God's hand is very much in evidence and "what God hath joyned together let not man put asunder" - sperm and egg, fertilized egg and uterine wall - very much applicable. If abortion is, as the feminists insist, a matter of a woman having control over her own body, then I think a public demonstration of a woman willing herself to become un-pregnant or willing her fertilized egg to detach itself from her uterine wall would settle the issue once and for all. At which point I would happily go along with the secular-humanist consensus view.
But, of course, a woman no more has control over her reproductive functions - apart from abstinence - then she has over the number of hairs growing on her head or the colour of her eyes.
Thus, to me, "a woman's right to choose" constitutes little more than an imbecilic paraphrase of "free will". That is, we are all, by the grace of God, free to choose. That is what free will is. We can choose to commit murder, we can choose to steal, we can choose to commit adultery. The underpinning of the life of the God-fearing individual is that there is a price to be paid - sometimes in this world, sometimes in the world to come, sometimes in both - for choosing incorrectly. The ritual sacifice of babies is well-documented among the pagan peoples named in the Torah and is, irrefutably, an abomination in the eyes of God.
Is abortion in the same category?
As a global civilization, here in the first nanoseconds of the 21st century the present consensus would appear to be "yes, no and/or maybe". Half of us believe that abortion is in no way comparable. Half of us believe that it is. To me, all that is relevant is God's opinion and - since medical abortion evolved well after the death of God's Last Messenger and Seal of Ptopbets, Muhammad (peace be upon him) in 632 CE - that is unknown to us. It is unknown to me and it is unknown to you and it is unknown to Pope John Paul II, his predecessors and his successors. Likewise with God's opinion on condoms (ribbed, coloured or plain) and birth control pills.
On the Last Day when all is made plain to us, I would not be terribly surprised - from my present vantage point of self-admitted absolute ignorance - to find that abortions and birth control will be indictable offences for some and non-indictable offences for others, based on God's superior and perfect knowledge of each individual... just as I would not be terribly surprised to find that abortion and birth control will be deemed murder, High Crimes against one's own soul and (far worse) the soul of another...or to find that abortion and birth control are considered lesser transgressions against one's own soul: more comparable to, say, smoking than to, say, murder. Genuine faith in God, it seems to me, brings one face-to-face with the profound level of one's own ignorance about what is right and what is wrong, post-632 CE. The fact that the various church hierarchies refuse to acknowledge their own ignorance in no way alters my own belief that we are all ignorant in these areas. But, the bottom line, to me is a) we won't know until the Last Day and b) "a woman's right to choose" contributes nothing to the debate.
In my own sexually-active days, I found the idea of "a woman's right to choose" to be more than a little "ethically convenient". Had any of the women I had had sex with gotten pregnant (none did, so far as I know), I could just take the secular-humanist "high road" of saying that I believed in "a woman's right to choose" thus (theoretically anyway) allowing her to assurne whatever "karmic debt" or "spiritual burden" results from having an abortion while, on my own part, "escaping" with just the financial burden of a few hundred dollars for the cost of the operation. Even in my secular-humanist days it seemed just a little too, as I say, "ethically convenient" considering what was actually involved: the irresponsible initiation of a human life followed by the equally irresponsible (to me) eradicating of that human life. Two wrongs don't make a right, at the point of greatest reduction. It seemed to me a double ethical piffall and, no, I don't blame women for that. Women have as natural an affinity for medical science as they had for its progenitor, magic. If there is something that women can make use of that, in their view, will provide them with immediate tactical gratification or relief from anxiety, they will make use of it and then welcome any voodoo-professional feminist ideology band-aid assistance in rationalizing away their (I think, natural) feelings of guilt - so long as the assistance/rationalizing comes "after the fact". It is, in my view, part of a man's ethical obligation to his own soul and to his Creator to endeavour to be (or become) sufficiently wary of this female trait and for men to not allow their penises to lead them down specific unethical paths where a man's own fate in this world and possibly the next becomes "bound up" with those disposed (predisposed?) to believe in these sorts of "ethical conveniences". In saying that, I no more believe that women are to blame in any way for those occasions when I allowed my own penis to lead me down specific unethical paths than, as an example, cigarettes are to blame for the fact that, a year and a half after quitting smoking, I still want to smoke a cigarette. "It was my choice to smoke my first cigarette at the age of eleven and it was my choice to smoke every cigarette I smoked thereafter.
We now return you to your regularly-scheduled list of Impossible Things to Believe Before Breakfast, already in progress:]
- car with two steering wheels, two gas pedals and two brakes drives more efficiently than a car with one steering wheel, one gas pedal and one brake which is why marriage should always be an equal partnership.
- It is absolutely necessary for women to be allowed to join or participate fully in any gathering place for men, just as it is absolutely necessary that there be "women only" environments from which men are excluded.
- Because it involves taking jobs away from men and giving them to women, affirmative action makes for a fairer and more just society.
- It is important to have lower physical standards for women firepersons and women policepersons so that, one day, half of all firepersons and policepersons will be women, thus more effectively protecting the safety of the public.
- Affirmative action at colleges and universities needs to be maintained now that more women than men are being enrolled, in order to keep from giving men an unfair advantage academically.
- Having ensured that there is no environment for men where women don't belong (see no.6) it is important to have zero tolerance of any expression or action which any woman might regard as sexist to ensure greater freedom for everyone.
- Only in a society which maintains a level of 95% of alimony and child support being paid by men to women can men and women be considered as equals.
- An airline stewardess who earned $20,000 a year at the tirne that she married a baseball player eaming $6 million a year is entitled, in the event of a divorce, to $3 mlllion for each year of the marriage and probably more.
- A man's opinions on how to rear and/or raise a child are invalid because he is not the child's mother. However, his financial obligation is greater because no woman gets pregnant by herself.
- Disagreeing with any of these statements makes you anti-woman and/or a misogynist.
So, how did you do, fellas? Don't worry if there were a few statements there that you disagreed with. Just use a few of these handy feminist obfuscations, like: "Well, of course, these issues are very, very complicated," Or "While I see what Dave is saying, I have to say that I agree more than I disagree," Or "Of course, these issues are all 'works-in-progress'. I'd like to hear a few more opinions before I make up my mind," Or "There might be some inequality but compared to the centuries of women being oppressed it seems a small price to pay temporarily until it all gets worked out." If you notice that none of these obfuscations has anything to do with any of the statements just keep repeating "A woman's right to choose! A woman's right to choose! A woman's right to choose!" until you stop thinking and/or start to feel better.
Although I have given the husbands a hard time here, I am not without sympathy, having been one myself once. Husbands, it seems to me, are caught between the Rock of Feminism and the Hard Place of their own marriages: that is, capitulate or leave. "Deadbeat Dads," to me, is a skewed feminist perception. It is not that men are deserting their families in many cases, so much as it is that they are being driven fom their families by the pressure to Believe Five Impossible Things Before Breakfast, to capitulate, that is, to Feminist Ideology, to admit to the Orwellian imperative to believe that Feminist Lies are the Truth and that Masculine Truths are Lies. Reason can't win in an argument with Emotion. Reason can capitulate to Emotion or Reason can leave. In either case Emotion, being without any sound intellectual foundation, will always find itself fully justified in its every action.
For feminists, for wives, for women, for Emotion-based beings, it is a win/win/win/win situation. Either her husband a) capitulates to her views and, thus, places himself and his assets under her jurisdiction or b) portrays himself to her as having capitulated to her views and, thus, places himself and his assets under her jurisdiction or c) removes himself from her jurisdiction and surrenders half of his assets to her voluntarily or d) removes himself from her jurisdiction and is forced to surrender half of his assets to her by the courts (Did you hear about the new Divorced Barbie? She comes with half of Ken's stuff).
It is ridiculous to discuss equality between the genders as anything but a feminist hallucination until women agree to surrender their "right" to alimony. Of course women will never surrender alimony because they are not, contrary to their very vocal protestations, equal to men. A percentage of the female population is capable of providing, for themselves, the basic necessities of life. But it is a small percentage, indeed, when compared with the female population which relies on the largesse of boyfriends, husbands, ex-husbands, fathers and/or the government...
[These hidden, obfuscated transactions - the husband who finances the start-up of the wife's boutique business, the fat alimony settlement which serves the same purpose, the father who co-signs his daughter's car loan or mortgage, who pays all or part of the down-payment - compel self-deluding women to believe that they are self-reliant feminists]
...and of that small percentage a still smaller percentage of the female population is capable of generating surplus wealth - that is, creating employment, creating excess capital which provides not only for themselves but for others. That still smaller percentage exists in numbers sufficient only to make possible banner headlines and full colour photo-spreads of anecdotal success stories in Cosmo and People magazines: anecdotal success stories which are evasive of a central reality: that for every much-celebrated, much-heralded female success story in a given profession, discipline, art or business, there are hundreds - if not thousands - of male success stories in that same profession, discipline, art or business which are unheralded and uncelebrated: which are "merely" the fiscal foundation of our society and the source of our society's - and most feminists' - material wealth.
If this is false, then women are self-sustaining. If women are self-sustaining, then alimony is unnecessary and must be eliminated.
If this is true, then equality between the genders is an hallucination, a cul de sac of delusional societal "thinking".
Women are the chauvinists, not men. Nicholas Chauyin was a devoted soldier and overzealous supporter of Napoleon Bonaparte and all things French. Chauvinism is defined as "Unreasoning (italics mine) attachment to one's race, group, etc." To celebrate, herald and champion one woman publicly for doing what hundreds and thousands of men are doing in obscurity is chauvinism: unreasoning attachment to female achievement out of proportion to its contribution to society, just as Chauvin's devotion to Napoleon and all things French was drastically out of proportion to the limited importance of Napoleon, the limited importance of the French.