Culture Human evolution Intelligent Design

New Scientist denounces patriarchy; Salvo defends it

Spread the love

From Anil Ananthaswamy and Kate Douglas at New Scientist:

Chimpanzees are not a proxy for our ancestors – they have been evolving since our two family trees split between 7 and 10 million years ago – but their social structures can tell us something about the conditions that male dominance thrives in. Common chimpanzee groups are manifestly patriarchal. Males are vicious towards females, they take their food, forcibly copulate with females that are ovulating and even kill them merely for spending time away from the group. More. (paywall)

As part of a denunciation of patriarchy in human society, this does not sound like it holds much promise but one must pay to find out more…

From James Kushiner at Salvo, a different approach:

I would be surprised if fatherlessness were not the number one predictor of criminality. I recall hearing a veteran Texas prison chaplain say he often asked prisoners if they were raised by their biological fathers. The vast majority—well over 90 percent—said no.

This is one reason why patriarchy is important for the health of a society. Read that carefully. I did not say male chauvinism or male dominance or male privilege or misogyny, which some assume is meant by the “code word” patriarchy.

Patriarchy is based on the Latin word pater, father, and I am particularly thinking of fatherhood and not mere maleness: young men are supposed to be shaped not by a flood of male hormones or dangerous masculine bravado or the oppression or sexual use of women, but by the prospect of fatherhood.

Patriarchy is about fatherhood. It is about fathers raising boys and young men to become fathers themselves. A whole generation, or neighborhood, of boys without fathers will succumb to the chaos and violence of Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies. Wherever you find many fatherless young men not being trained for fatherhood, you will find most of today’s violent crime.More.

What do readers think?

Note: I write the Deprogram column for Salvo.

See also: Salvo: The war on falsifiability

28 Replies to “New Scientist denounces patriarchy; Salvo defends it

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    Isn’t this another manifestation of the is/ought problem? What we see happening in nature does not say anything about how we should behave. What, if any, reason is there for privileging one class/group/sex over others in society?

  2. 2
    Allan Keith says:

    Patriarchy and being fatherless are not the same thing. Patriarchy has brought us never ending wars. This is not to say that matriarchy or equality would be any better, just that we really don’t have much to compare to.

    With respect to fatherlessness and criminality, is it possible that this is just the immediate cause and that the root cause is the patriarchal society that the fatherless child grows up in?

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, ideologically loaded redefinitions and “revisions” of history, much of it driven by cultural marxist agendas. Respect for parents and the effective presence of fathers is a long known stabilising influence on society and on lives. The disdain for fatherhood and for time tested principles, systems and structures in our day (marriage and sex being the current targets of the chaos cultists) will produce yet again predictable consequences. Our civilisation is willfully blind and hell-bent on going over the cliff. With nukes and other horrors in play. Our grand children, for cause, will call this an accursed and utterly untoward generation. KF

  4. 4
    Allan Keith says:

    KF@3, how you got all of that out of my comment is beyond me.

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, look again at what you said and at what influences they point to. You used some pretty loaded, unjustifiably accusatory language that speaks volumes and made suggestions that reveal an underlying hostility that should be reconsidered and walked back. KF

  6. 6
    Allan Keith says:

    KF,

    AK, look again at what you said and at what influences they point to. You used some pretty loaded, unjustifiably accusatory language that speaks volumes and made suggestions that reveal an underlying hostility that should be reconsidered and walked back. KF

    Sorry, but if you are reading that into my comment then that is due to the biases and prejudices you bring to how you interpret any comment made by an atheist. Although, you did get one thing correct. It does speak volumes.

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    AK,

    All we have to do is scroll up, to no. 2.

    What on earth do you think the following says to any normal person with a half-decent family background?

    Patriarchy has brought us never ending wars.

    And,

    With respect to fatherlessness and criminality, is it possible that this is just the immediate cause and that the root cause is the patriarchal society that the fatherless child grows up in?

    You have gone far, far beyond the pale of reasonable discourse with that sort of commentary.

    You need to walk it back.

    But, already, you have told us a lot about the mindset we are dealing with now in our civilisation. No wonder we are patently heading over the cliff.

    KF

  8. 8
    Allan Keith says:

    KF@7, We have lived in patriarchal societies for centuries. And we have had wars for centuries. We haven’t had much in the way of experience with matriarchal or equal societies to know if they would be any more peaceful. But it would hard to imagine that they could be any worse.

    With regard to ‘patriarchy being the root cause of criminality in fatherless children’, that was presented as a question to stimulate discussion, not as a claim of truth. However, I don’t think that this can be ignored as a possible root cause. If you would like to present arguments why this can’t be possible, I would like to hear them. It could make for fruitful discussion. If you are just going to resort to predictions of dire consequences of my a/mad worldview, I have better things to do with my time.

  9. 9
    EDTA says:

    AK @ 2 and 8,

    >>With respect to fatherlessness and criminality, is it possible that this is just the immediate cause and that the root cause is the patriarchal society that the fatherless child grows up in?

    Not sure I follow any logic there. You seem to be proposing that fatherlessness could be the immediate cause, yet fatherhood-in-the-large is the root cause?

    In any case, given the nature of males, would it not make more sense to just admit that they need their instincts channeled, or things go horribly wrong?

    Not sure how a matriarchal society would work, as it would have to somehow deal with male aggression, while keeping males around (and sort of happy) for breeding (or that society dies out). Perhaps it’s just not workable, and the fact that we can’t even seem to approach it is all the evidence needed.

    We’re trying “equality” now, in the West anyway, and finding that it’s not working very well for anyone.

  10. 10

    It is silly to think that a matriarchal society would be more peaceful than a patriarchal one. The problems we face are beyond such designations. They are species-wide, including all races, sexes, and worldviews.

    By the way, for those celebrating Pinker’s “less violent” world hypothesis, just keep in mind that the countries of this world are armed to the teeth like never before with weapons and weapons systems far more destructive than anything seen in previous wars.

    It is only a matter of time until another Mao, Stalin, or Hitler rises upon the world stage to remind Pinker and his followers about human depravity.

  11. 11
    Allan Keith says:

    EDTA,

    Not sure I follow any logic there. You seem to be proposing that fatherlessness could be the immediate cause, yet fatherhood-in-the-large is the root cause?

    No. Patriarchal is not the same as fatherhood.

    I think that most of us believe that having two parents active in a child’s upbringing is usually better than just one parent. Just as an active extended family is usually better than just two parents. What I am opening for discussion is whether a male dominated society makes it more difficult on a fatherless child than an equal or matriarchal society would.

    We’re trying “equality” now, in the West anyway, and finding that it’s not working very well for anyone.

    We are only on the fringes of trying ‘equality’.

  12. 12
    Allan Keith says:

    TWSYF,

    It is silly to think that a matriarchal society would be more peaceful than a patriarchal one. The problems we face are beyond such designations. They are species-wide, including all races, sexes, and worldviews.

    Aren’t you really saying that we are incapable of rising above our ‘animal’ origins? Our innate male aggressions? Our innate male desire spread our seed? This sounds more like an a/mat excuse than a theistic explanation. If we truly believe that we are more than just animal instinct and the interaction of our chemistry, shouldn’t we be able to fix the things that are wrong with our patriarchal society and retain the good things?

  13. 13
    kairosfocus says:

    AK, your underlying assumptions and the resulting gaps continue to show. FYI, evolutionary materialism radically undermines responsible, rational freedom. This includes both the knowing mind and the morally governed person; indeed, it implies that consciousness, mindedness, knowledge as warranted credibly true belief and government by oughtness are delusional. This of course instantly self-falsifies. On the direct point, since Socrates, Plato and Aristotle it has been well understood that every rising generation of young men is a potential destructive, Barbarians-in-the-gates invasion. Therefore, young men need to be properly mentored, disciplined and frankly civilised lest civilisation wreck itself. On a societal scale, this means, the centrality of fatherhood, tied to the bond of marriage that motivates self-sacrificing commitment to wife and children; up to and literally including, duty of honour: first in the attack, last in the retreat, standing in the suicidal rearguard to buy time for the retreat to safety. (Oh, the joys of patriarchal “privilege.” The joys that are dismissed and tossed aside so fecklessly.) And yes, this means that responsible, rational freedom in sustainable decent community forever will be a challenge; as the classic parable of the prodigal son all too aptly illustrates. For, we are finite, fallible, morally struggling and too often ill-willed. This sort of stuff is sneered at and dismissed in many circles today, which you have echoed above. All that tells us is the peril we face and the betrayal that the cultural marxists are promoting through their myth of pervasive oppression and their scapegoating of fathers. It seems we are hell-bent on dooming our civilisation to a prodigal case writ large. Do you REALLY want to come to your senses in a post nuke war, wrecked pig pen of a world where you wish you could eat the carob-bean pods being served to the pigs? This time around, father and his household would have been nuked so hire me as a servant won’t be an option. Wake up and smell the coffee, mon. KF

  14. 14
    tribune7 says:

    If you have a society in which the life expectancy is 40 and most work in the market involves lifting heavy objects 10 hours a day 60 days a week, and the males come home covered in mud, filth and blood — if they come home alive — you will have a particular set of gender roles.

    If you have a society in which the life expectancy is 80 and most of the work in the market involves sitting at a desk in an office with wall to wall carpeting you will have a different set of gender roles.

    The West has not been a true patriarchy since the fall of Rome. Note the numerous female rulers.

    “Patriarchy” as it is now used is merely a term to create resentment and division.

  15. 15

    AK @ 12: Yes. I think we are incapable – on our own – of rising above our carnal nature, Also, I see males and females being equally aggressive sexually, and this has become increasingly visible in modern society where women are uninhibited by former cultural norms. Although I don’t think it has anything to do with “spreading seed” or having babies… it is all about carnal lust.

    Regarding us being able to “fix the things that are wrong with our patriarchal society and retain the good things,” I wholeheartedly agree that we should try to change things that are wrong in society. The problem arises when we try to define the word “wrong.” One person’s wrong is another person’s right, and these disagreements always lead to war in the end. Every country is, in fact, preparing for such a war as we speak.

    This is the inescapable conundrum for humanity.

  16. 16
    Allan Keith says:

    Tribune7,

    The West has not been a true patriarchy since the fall of Rome. Note the numerous female rulers.

    “Patriarchy” as it is now used is merely a term to create resentment and division.

    The way we earn a living has definitely changed over the years. And I think that we would agree that, for the most part, this has been a good thing. But to say that we no longer live in a patriarchy is a stretch. Most government leaders, government representatives (e.g., senators, MPs, etc.), military leaders, corporate leaders, etc. are still men. There has definitely been a shift over the years, but when you start from all male, it can’t shift in any other direction.

    I don’t see patriarchy as inherently good or bad, just a fact of history.

    TWSYF,

    Yes. I think we are incapable – on our own – of rising above our carnal nature,

    I would disagree. It is certainly difficult to do on our own. But possible. Religion has certainly played a role in this by applying “peer pressure”. Sometimes this peer pressure is misguided and corrupt, but, in general, it has been a good thing.

    Also, I see males and females being equally aggressive sexually, and this has become increasingly visible in modern society where women are uninhibited by former cultural norms. Although I don’t think it has anything to do with “spreading seed” or having babies… it is all about carnal lust.

    I think that it is fair to say that a woman’s attitudes towards sex have historically been the result of our patriarchal society. Dictated by men, with little input from women. Why should we be surprised that as women obtain more of an equal footing in society, they have more of a say in their sexuality.

    Regarding us being able to “fix the things that are wrong with our patriarchal society and retain the good things,” I wholeheartedly agree that we should try to change things that are wrong in society. The problem arises when we try to define the word “wrong.” One person’s wrong is another person’s right,

    On this we agree. If it were easy, it would already have been done. The definition of wrong that I use is very simple. If your actions have a negative impact on the ability of others to enjoy their lives, then it is wrong. This is a two way street. Stealing or killing may allow you to enjoy your life, but it negatively impacts the ability of others to enjoy theirs, therefore, wrong. Loving and having sex with someone of the same gender, may allow the couple to enjoy their lives and does not negatively impact others trying to enjoy their lives, therefore, not wrong.

    …and these disagreements always lead to war in the end. Every country is, in fact, preparing for such a war as we speak.

    I don’t think that disagreements over right and wrong are what causes war. It is often the excuse, but if you dig deep enough into the issues, it often boils down to quest for power, death and land.

  17. 17
    tribune7 says:

    Allan —

    But to say that we no longer live in a patriarchy is a stretch. Most government leaders, government representatives (e.g., senators, MPs, etc.), military leaders, corporate leaders, etc. are still men.

    You are equating the ability to forcefully coerce with authority and influence and that is a huge mistake.

    If the goal is to become an autocrat making others do your will at the snap of a finger, then whoever runs the political system or can decide who gets resources — the military/political/corporate leaders — becomes what is of utmost importance.

    OTOH, if the if goal is to maximize individual freedom understanding it is predicated on recognizing the needs and importance of others because if that is the social norm then your needs and importance will also be recognized, then it will be the moms (and teachers) who really run things.

    And the poets and writers and thinkers too.

    Of course, if the poets, writer and thinkers convince the teachers that moms (and families) are not important, then welcome to the autocracy which will inevitably be run by the most aggressive i.e. men (and their pet females.)

  18. 18
    Allan Keith says:

    Tribune,

    You are equating the ability to forcefully coerce with authority and influence and that is a huge mistake.

    I don’t think that I am. I am just using the classic definition of Patriarchy with regard to society:

    Patriarchy is a social system in which males hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property. In the domain of the family, fathers or father-figures hold authority over women and children. [Wiki]

    It is hard to argue that men still do not dominate society with respect to these. Whether or not the men have the “right” intentions with respect to properly and fairly representing women, the male biases will always creep in.

    As I have mentioned, I don’t know if a truly equal society would be any better, but shouldn’t that be what we should strive for?

  19. 19
    tribune7 says:

    I don’t know if a truly equal society would be any better, but shouldn’t that be what we should strive for?

    If the equality is artificial, no.

    A goal of 51 percent of CEOs and military personnel and engineers and political representatives (and trash collectors?) being female is a really dumb idea and recipe for disaster.

    OTOH, artificial barriers that keep people from pursuing dreams, should certainly be removed,

  20. 20
    Allan Keith says:

    Tribune7, there is nothing wrong with a 50:50 goal. It is how this is attained that is important. I am not in favour of quotas or affirmative action. But I am in favour of removing all barriers that prevent a 50:50 mix.

    When I went to university, there were only a handful of female engineering students in the school. And they were definitely not treated as equals. By the other students or by the faculty. Today women comprise just over 50% of engineering students in the same school.

    We have a blond female environment minister in Canada. Some of the media and some of the opposition have called her “Climate Barbie”. That speaks volumes about how little we have actually progressed.

  21. 21
    tribune7 says:

    Allan

    There is nothing wrong with a 50:50 goal.

    Sure there is, if it’s based on your aesthetics rather than the desire of those whom you wish to impose upon this aesthetic.

    Suppose it turns out that 80 percent of medical doctors end up being female. Will that be a bad thing?

    When I went to university, there were only a handful of female engineering students in the school. And they were definitely not treated as equals. By the other students or by the faculty. Today women comprise just over 50% of engineering students in the same school.

    That may be good. OTOH, if standards were dropped and males who scored higher on entrance tests were kept from enrolling, that is a bad thing.

    We have a blond female environment minister in Canada. Some of the media and some of the opposition have called her “Climate Barbie”.

    Male ministers don’t get called names by the media and opposition?

  22. 22
    EDTA says:

    AK @ 11,

    >We are only on the fringes of trying ‘equality’.

    The 60’s crowd sure gave it a try. It ended up with the alpha males getting all the sex (among males), women getting emotionally wrecked and turned into man-hating feminists (who could blame them, given how they were treated?), and the non-alpha males getting the shaft.

    In other words, it was a social disaster.

    I will grant that in politics and corporate worlds, it hasn’t been achieved, but if women aren’t aggressive enough to match males, then any artificial setup of 50:50 will immediately collapse as soon as the quotas are no longer mandated. So again, can’t happen naturally.

  23. 23
    Allan Keith says:

    Tribune7,

    Me: There is nothing wrong with a 50:50 goal.

    T7: Sure there is, if it’s based on your aesthetics rather than the desire of those whom you wish to impose upon this aesthetic.

    Who’s talking about aesthetics? Women make up just over 50% of our population but only a fraction of those in authority. We are not talking about aesthetics like their religion, or their ethnic heritage. We are talking about one half of everyone born.

    Suppose it turns out that 80 percent of medical doctors end up being female. Will that be a bad thing?

    No. My doctor is a woman. Her smaller fingers make for a much more comfortable DRE.

    That may be good. OTOH, if standards were dropped and males who scored higher on entrance tests were kept from enrolling, that is a bad thing.

    I guess my first question would be why this is the first thing that popped into your head? This change was made by not automatically steering girls away from math-science and towards home economics and typing classes in high school. In Canada, there are no entrance exams to university (with a few exceptions) and entrance is based on high school grades.

    Male ministers don’t get called names by the media and opposition?

    Can you provide me examples of male politicians being called the equivalent of “dumb blond” or “bimbo” just because of their gender and colour of their hair?

  24. 24
    Allan Keith says:

    EDTA,

    I will grant that in politics and corporate worlds, it hasn’t been achieved, but if women aren’t aggressive enough to match males, then any artificial setup of 50:50 will immediately collapse as soon as the quotas are no longer mandated. So again, can’t happen naturally.

    I have not suggested quotas. In fact, I stated that I was opposed to them. And to affirmative action.

    If you think that women are less aggressive than men, you have never dealt with many women. But the societal attitude towards aggressive men and aggressive women is completely different. An aggressive man may make enemies, but he is generally respected. An aggressive woman also makes enemies. But she is as likely to be called a bitch as she is to be respected. It is this attitude that has to change.

    I also have a female friend who has four kids under 16 and is a government director. Her job takes her out of the country at least once a month for at least a week each trip. I also have a male friend with a similar level job and travel requirements. He has three kids under 14. Of the two, who do you think is more likely to have their parenting criticized?

  25. 25
    tribune7 says:

    Who’s talking about aesthetics?

    You appear to be saying it is more important to have a balance based on sexual ratio rather than competence and ability. Are you saying that?

    Suppose it turns out that 80 percent of medical doctors end up being female. Will that be a bad thing? No.

    OK, here you are saying that a proportional sexual balance is not important. Soooo what is it?

    if standards were dropped and males who scored higher on entrance tests were kept from enrolling, that is a bad thing. . . . I guess my first question would be why this is the first thing that popped into your head?

    Because that is the sort of thing that is usually done to achieve a aesthetically desirable sexual balance in STEM matters.

    Can you provide me examples of male politicians being called the equivalent of “dumb blond” or “bimbo” just because (they are being opposed) and colour of their hair?

    Dan Quayle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXUIyz_JMhc

    George Bush https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aF1cC2dPkCk

  26. 26
    Allan Keith says:

    Tribune7,

    OK, here you are saying that a proportional sexual balance is not important. Soooo what is it?

    I think that you are misreading my comments. I said that 50:50 should be the goal. And that attempts to reach it should be directed at barriers to opportunity, not quotas or affirmative. If women happen to be better qualified and better skilled than men, then I don’t have a problem with 80% of doctors being women, or being men if the situation was reversed.

  27. 27
    tribune7 says:

    I think that you are misreading my comments. I said that 50:50 should be the goal.

    I don’t understand your point. Why should it be a goal? Shouldn’t the goal be “Hey, if you want to do it and it makes you happy and you’re not hurting anybody, go for it”? If it turns out that males disproportionately gravitate to one type of activity and females another, just let it be.

    If women happen to be better qualified and better skilled than men, then I don’t have a problem with 80% of doctors being women, or being men if the situation was reversed.

    That’s actually my point and I agree with this.

  28. 28
    EDTA says:

    AK @ 24,

    >My doctor is a woman. Her smaller fingers make for a much more comfortable DRE.

    Um, thanks for sharing that there. 😎 Is that the criteria you used in choosing her?

    >Can you provide me examples of male politicians being called the equivalent of “dumb blond” or “bimbo” just because of the their gender?

    Dominant males of all kinds are frequently referred to as worse things than that: they’re called by parts of the male anatomy, eliminatory organs in particular. That is far worse than being called a “dumb blond”.

    >If you think that women are less aggressive than men, you have never dealt with many women.

    For the dominating women I have known, I have known twice as many men who were each far more dominating. If “attitudes” were all that were keeping women down, they would have overcome that a long time ago via their supposed dominance. Men, being more dominant, ignore “criticism” and “attitudes” and just go on to do what they do. Dominance determines the hierarchies we see all around us, not mere attitudes.

    I say all of this as someone who is no fan of dominating people of any gender; dominant people have never done me any favors.

Leave a Reply