The state in which men are most prone to sentimentalize over women, especially young and attractive women, and to exalt them unduly, is one of sex-starvation or tumescence, acute or sub-acute.
The chaste young Englishman who, in the plenitude of his sexual potency, and half-mad with longing, introduces to his horrified family a fright of a girl whom he declares to be the greatest beauty on earth, is in a condition which totally unfits him to judge correctly any young woman whatsoever.
As most parents know to their cost, to remonstrate with him while he remains in this condition, is not only futile, but also dangerous; for it tends only to increase his illusion. Besides, it threatens him with the loss of what his instincts tell him is the only means of relief for his tumescent state.
Marriage in such circumstances, although unfortunately frequently allowed today, is likely to be at best a failure, more often a disaster. For it is not love, but tumescence that is blind.
The extraordinary feature of these cases is that, while the elders in the family concerned are often revolted by an infatuation which, regarded soberly, looks like lunacy, they rarely, if ever, ascribe the anomaly to its proper cause. They think the youth stupid, blind, wilful and weak; but never appreciate
Now in less extreme forms, this situation is very common in English families, and it is deplorable; for the subjective momentum, driving a tumescent and chaste male to transfigure a sexual object, is unfair both to himself and to the woman he selects. The ultimate and inevitable disillusionment is bound to be commensurate with the degree of transfiguration which his tumescence has induced.
But this kind of violent youthful tumescence has only a local influence on the world. Its worst consequence is to add to the number of disastrous marriages.
There is, however, another kind of tumescence, less acute, chronic, and almost endemic in England and countries like England, which has a much wider influence, and it is peculiar to men in early middle age and for a decade or so after.
It is the outcome of monogamic conventions in a society where the males are either too moral, too much wedded to safety, too respectable, or too cowardly, to attempt any extra-matrimonial liaison after their wives have ceased to stimulate them.
Monogamy has this fundamental flaw that it makes no provision against the inevitable decline in sexual stimulation which supervenes between the parties to a marriage. In time, therefore, a twofold process sets in, which in hundreds of thousands of
For, on the one hand, the sexual object, the wife, insensibly loses the power of stimulating him and, on the other hand, as age advances, his sexual powers demand not a diminishing but an increasing stimulus. 1
Thus, it is not a matter of the gradual vanishing of one point, as when a train leaves a station. It is the gradual vanishing of two points in opposite directions, as when trains pass one another, leaving an ever wider and wider void.
In the nineteenth century hundreds of thousands of middle class families must have felt the effects of this process the middle aged males, too respectable, or too religious, or too timid to venture outside the matrimonial alcove for their sexual satisfaction, must after twenty-five years of marriage, have lived, year in and year out, in a state of more or less chronic tumescence. 2
And since men in this state tend to sentimentalize over women and to exalt them, and, what is even more important, to find "spiritual" satisfaction in having young women about them, there grew up in the nation a powerful body of otherwise sane men who, obsessed only by their unbalanced emotions, were prepared to make every conceivable mistake in regard to the position of women.
From the men who were content with immoderately exalting women, to the men who, if they had to choose between a male or female staff, would invariably decide
1 See Appendix II.
2 Among schizothymes i.e., the type which tends to become dominant in urban communities this condition becomes all the more intolerable seeing that in them adequate sex-stimulation means something much more potent and varied than it does to cyclothymes.
As Montesquieu so wisely remarks through the mouth of the Oriental, Usbek, "la pluralité des femmes nous sauve de leur empire; elle tempère la violence de nos désirs." 1
In other words, a tumescent man, no matter what his age, must ultimately fall under the empire of women. If, after twenty-five years of marriage, when his wife has long ceased to stimulate him adequately, he is chronically tumescent, this merely places him chronically under the empire of women.
Now it is probably true to say that almost the whole of our middle-aged and respectable male population in the nineteenth century, and the majority of it today, could be described as more or less tumescent for the reasons given above, and there is no doubt that this powerful phalanx of men went, and still go, a long way towards helping Feminism and its aims to be realized.
For many of these men promoted Feminism, not only in their offices and industries, or in their private lives, by supporting the Feminist programme, but also by advocating and defending the Feminist Cause as publicists.
1 LETTRES PERSANES, LVI.
Our John Stuart Mill, Ruskin and Buckle are merely outstanding examples of this type, and we have only to note the faulty, impassioned reasoning of a book like The Subjection of Women, or the deleterious apotheosizing of women in Sesame and Lilies, or the rapture thinly disguised beneath scientific terminology of The Influence of Women on the Progress of Knowledge, in order to appreciate how unrelieved tumescence can cloud the minds even of intelligent and practical thinkers.
For Mill was a logician. The faulty reasoning in The Subjection of Women is, 1 therefore, unpardonable. As for Ruskin, anyone who can read Sesame and Lilies (Lecture II) without feeling the proximity of a ruttish, sentimental and pent up goat, must be singularly insensitive.
Other strange and suspicious characters of the same kind are Condorcet, Tolstoy, and Ibsen. All of them were unbalanced by abnormal features in their sexual life, and to examine their careers is to confirm this view. 2
Men such as these, and many more who could be
1 See my analysis of only certain parts of it in WOMAN: A VINDICATION, pp. 282290.
2 For a review of the type these six men represented, see my Man: An Indictment, Chap. V. But it should always be remembered that male impotence does not necessarily imply abnormal genital equipment. Where male secondary characteristics arc normal, as they were in these six men, it may simply mean failure to achieve a heterosexual union.
Further light on the relation of chronic tumescence to the extravagant exaltation of the female by the male is shed if we consider what happens in countries where women are scarce, and where the majority of men are consequently forced either to celibacy or else to an attitude approaching servility to woman in order to obtain a wife.
In Canada and the United States of America, where these conditions prevailed for a long time, the exaltation of the female reached such fantastic heights that, even to the present day, this attitude has left its stamp on the manners and customs of the Anglo-Saxon Canadians and Americans.
As late as Dickens' first visit to America in 1842, the tradition must still have been very strong, for in his American Notes, 1 the great novelist, describing railways in the U.S.A., wrote: "If a lady take a fancy to any male passenger's seat, the gentleman who accompanies her gives him notice of the tact, and he immediately vacates it with great politeness."
This is the sort of thing that occurs automatically under conditions in which the male, for what reason soever, is kept in a chronically tumescent or sexually
1 Chap. 4, Para. 6. See also Helen Jerome's THE SECRET OF WOMAN (London, 1923), p. 122.
(b) The influence of men who know nothing about women's nature.
The number of men in Puritanical countries who are ignorant of the physiology and general nature of woman, is fabulous. Even among the educated class they are the rule rather than the exception, and when John Stuart Mill quite rightly acknowledged that "an Englishman is ignorant respecting human nature," 1 he stated a truth which covers my own claim that, as a rule, the Englishman knows nothing of woman's nature.
He rarely gets further than to regard woman as "a sort of queer man," as an English doctor quite rightly puts it. 2 The result is that not only can women deceive him daily and even hourly about themselves, but also he is prepared to accept any kind of story, however absurd, that relates to women's sexual life.
To mention only one example of this, I once had the astonishing experience of hearing from an educated English married man of thirty that, in the sexual embrace, the uterus was always penetrated! And he happened to be a man not unversed in science and not unfamiliar with sexological literature!
Now, with men of this kind, any hoax, any cock-and-bull story about women and their sexual life, is likely to convince, and if women leaders of the Feminist Movement have harped so much on the string of men's having all the enjoyment and women
1 THE SUBJECTION OF WOMEN, Chap. III, Sect. 14.
2 G. T. Wrench, M.D, THE MASTERY OF LIFE, p. 247.
It was important, as part of the plot to gain power over the docile and ignorant English male, to give him a guilty conscience, and how could this be done more speedily than by labouring women's purely passive, non participating and painful part in venery?
Thus among hundreds of other voices, male and female, crying the same stupid and inaccurate slogan, Mrs. Bertrand Russell exclaims: "What is man's part in sex but a perpetual waving of flags and blowing of trumpets and avoidance of the fighting?" 1
I have yet to meet the middle-class Englishman who is not taken in by this nonsense, and a graphic aye, almost photographic writer like Kipling, who knew his English middle classes well, is bound to reveal this aspect of the cultured Englishman who feels a guilty conscience towards his wife owing to her "unhappy" share in this rather "degrading" side of life.
In The Story of the Gadsbys, Kipling describes Captain Gadsby, a typical Englishman, as consistently calling his fluffy little wife, "poor little woman," and when she tells him she is going to have a baby, Kipling makes him exclaim, "Oh, I'm a brute a pig, a bully, and a blackguard, my poor, poor darling!"
Like the rest of Englishmen, he believed that he had had all the pleasure and she was going to have only the pain! His exclamation is but the expression of a guilty conscience!
How easy must Englishwomen have found it to lead such a man by the nose!
1 HYPATIA, p. 42.
This exaggeration of the pains and dangers of child-bearing is acknowledged even by the more enlightened members of the medical profession themselves. For instance. Dr. Dale Logan has said: "The dangers and difficulties of general midwifery practice have been magnified out of all proportion by specialists and public health officials," and "they have put the fear of death into every child-bearing woman." 1 Whilst a member of Parliament, Mr. Janner (Stepney) was once compelled to lodge a protest against it: "It is extremely important that the impression should not be created that child-bearing is in itself dangerous." 2
With this scare in official circles, the layman could hardly be expected to take a sane and sober view of normal parturition as a natural and therefore harmless nay, beneficial function for normal women. The trouble is that, with all this scientific and popular panic about a perfectly normal process, no wise corrective is ever circulated to the effect that dangers as
1 LANCET, 171134, pp. 11411142.
2 Daily Press, 8735. When, in my TRUTH ABOUT CHILDBIRTH, I stated that English women were often terrified at the thought of child-bearing, this was stoutly denied in many quarters. It is only when one of this multitude of terrified women happens exceptionally to attract attention by appearing in the Courts that the facts about this state of mind comes to light. See the case tried by Mr. Justice Collins, at Leeds, on May 22nd, 1946, and reported in the Press of May 33rd.
But it is not in the interests of the vociferous Feminist-minded women of England to hint at the normal conditions; for, by making motherhood appear always and in all circumstances "a heroic sacrifice," they were much more likely, in these days, to exalt than to debase woman.
They could confidently stake on no layman's having the acumen to infer that, if a natural function had so far deteriorated in large numbers of modern women, it might possibly be due either to defects of conformation in those thus tortured, maimed or else killed by the process, or else to vicious habits of feeding, or to the average age at which women start child bearing having been too much. advanced.
Hundreds of instances could be quoted from modern fiction in which childbirth is described as nothing but a superhuman ordeal. I have yet to come across a novel in which a confinement is described, where the heroine does not suffer the tortures of the damned. And since our fiction is but the reflection of our everyday life, it is assumed that the picture gives a fair representation of the facts.
Never a word in these books, however, of the abnormal conditions which lead to all this torture. On the contrary! The object seems to be to make the torture itself appear a normal consequence of the end of pregnancy!
So terrible, so disillusioning is childbirth alleged to be, that a woman, having once had a child, is supposed
Thus, Mary Webb, in a novel which, psychologically speaking, is false to the roots, observes: "A woman must have had an amazing genius if she is still a poet after childbirth." 1 Why?
Now the Englishman, with his habitual ignorance of human nature and, above all, of woman's nature, could hardly be expected to see through all this fog of misrepresentation and false innuendo; and since my laborious efforts to enlighten him, especially in books like The Truth About Childbirth, are carefully kept from his notice by a Feminist-ruled Press, he falls an easy prey to the Feminist plot to exalt woman and to implant a guilty conscience in man by means of all this parade of female martyrdom in motherhood. The anger shown by Feminists at the mere suggestion that the pangs of normal childbirth are exaggerated, reveals how precious to their Movement is the legend of woman's sacrifice in motherhood. 2
The masculine accent alone over our civilisation inclines the modern man to take a pessimistic view of pregnancy and childbirth. For, seeing that he looks on woman merely as "a queer sort of man," and is usually quite incapable of an objective outlook, he contemplates a pregnant woman through the single spy-glass of monomorphism, and arguing how terrible it would be for him to be in this condition, assumes that for a totally different kind of animal, adapted to the condition, it must be terrible too!
As well argue that it must be painful for the
1 GONE TO EARTH, Chap. XXVI. But for a general summary of all the misconceptions about women in the novel, see Chap. XXXIII of the book.
2 See Appendix III for an example of this anger.
As for ever supposing that it may be good for a normal woman to function normally by bearing children his reasoning never reaches this lofty plane of common sense.
Now this gullibility of modern Anglo-Saxon males, this lack of any power of knowledgeable criticism of the Feminist hoax of "female sacrifice," has of course been an important trump card in the hand of the Feminists, and it has been played with an effrontery which was equalled only by the denseness it had to encounter.
"But surely many women die in childbirth!" I hear these same Englishmen protest in bewildered tones.
Of course they do just as many men die of heart disease, of blood-poisoning, or of pneumonia. The deaths in childbed have no more necessary relation to normal parturition, than the deaths from disease have to normal male existence.
I think I have proved satisfactorily in my Truth About Childbirth that both the risks, the difficulties and the agonies of parturition are abnormal, and are encountered only where the conditions are abnormal. And my book has not been answered. 1
Meanwhile Englishmen, as well as English women, continue to grow lyrical when they write or speak of woman's "supreme sacrifice," and among urban clerks, civil servants, and other stylite saints of our artificial civilisation, who never have the opportunity of watching even a healthy animal like the cat or a sanely-nurtured bitch, give birth to young, gulp down a lump
1 See Appendix III.
(c) The influence of fathers of daughters (especially in England).
The influence of the average father of a family in England, in aiding and abetting the aims of Feminism, is another feature of our society which, although obvious enough to anyone who has closely observed the English of the middle classes, is consistently overlooked, even by those who have had to suffer from its consequences.
Assuming, as I am afraid we must, that in all countries like England, where Puritanism, strict respectability, and the fear of unpleasant consequences, in hundreds of thousands of cases, keep a man of early middle age and beyond, after twenty-five years of marriage, in a state of chronically mild tumescence, it follows that there must inevitably arise between his adult daughters and himself a relationship in which unconsciously he cannot help wishing to play the part of lover.
It is concealed beneath a thousand conventions. It is suspected by no one, least of all, as a rule, by himself and his daughters. But that it exists is, I submit, unquestionable.
Very occasionally, a fearless writer like myself, or like Rudolf Besier, makes so bold as to call attention to it in a romance. 1 But in the private life of most English families it is noticeable in the stubborn and often unaccountable opposition such fathers will offer
1 See my own THE GODDESS THAT GREW UP (Hutchinson 1922), and Rudolf Besier's THE BARRETTS OF WIMPOLE STREET. When my novel appeared it was actually read by the man who is the father in the story, and yet he never saw that it related to him. This shows how utterly unconscious is the whole complex of emotions in such cases.
On the Continent, such fathers are saved from a sentimental attitude towards their daughters by having a mistress of their daughters' age. But in England, at least in the middle classes, it is "not the thing," with the result that, quite unconsciously, the father tends to regard as a rival any young man who crosses the threshold of his house.
In the working classes, the situation again and again leads to prosecutions for incest, 1 or it culminates in the appearance of the young couple before a magistrate with the object of forcing the obstructive father to compliance. 2
But in the respectable middle classes it more often leads to a policy dictated chiefly by the father's preference for an alternative. Seeing that it pains him less to see his beloved daughter or daughters wither in an office, at a typewriter, or in a laboratory, rather than in the arms of a desirable man junior to himself, he becomes an ardent and indefatigable promoter of the very worst aims of Feminism. He concentrates, in fact, a hundred times more energy and spends a hundred times more treasure on preparing his daughters for a career than on trying to get them married.
He will rationalise this policy to make it appear his "unselfish" effort to secure his children's best interests. He will refer to "these precarious times," and the need of making some provision for his daughters' future. "After all, they cannot all find
1 Teste THE NEWS OF THE WORLD (passim).
He may also point to financial independence as being in itself a good thing. It will never occur to him to devote some of the money otherwise spent on his daughter's expensive post-school education to supplying her with a dowry which would ease the way to marriage for her.
Meanwhile, behind all his self-deceiving wiles, the psychologist will be able to discern the unsatisfied pangs of a chronically tumescent man of middle age, unconsciously enamoured of the young women of his household, and secretly rejoicing that their best years are being consumed in some sterile and remunerative occupation.
True, the girls themselves, by leaving a home which young men are discouraged to visit, will often by so doing find the opportunity their jealous father has denied them.
But this is outside the parental scheme and, when it occurs, comes as a shock.
The other alternative, less frequently adopted, because much more difficult to achieve, will consist in the policy of deliberately attaching his daughters or daughter very closely to himself, while at the same time allowing only the most conspicuous caricatures of maleness in the form of young men to eat at his table and consort with his offspring.
I have, however, seen this policy pursued with success in one or two families. The essential conditions are, the father's exceptionally happy endowments as regards appearance, manliness, and capacity for good-fellowship; wealthy circumstances, so that the daughters have the means to ride, to pursue expensive hobbies, and to sublimate sex along religious, sporting
This policy contributes less actively to the Feminist programme. It does so only in this sense, that the daughters in such cases are usually pronounced androphobics, adoring only their sire and despising the rest of mankind. They are also usually masculine in their tastes and habits.
The part this factor the Anglo-Saxon father has played in aiding Anglo-Saxon Feminism is incalculable. And when one bears in mind that the secret and unconscious motivation of a parent of this sort is often so powerful that he will pay lip-service to Anti-Feminism in conversation and, with the most hide-bound Schopenhauerians, inveigh against women M.P.s and women in public life, it will be seen how deeply and insensibly this element, consisting of the chronically tumescent English father, must have helped, usually quite unwittingly, the most ambitious aspirations of the Feminists in all Puritanical countries.
(d) The influence of the degeneracy of the male on the progress of Feminism.
(1) Since each sex has components of the other in its constitution, it is important, if happy adaptation is to be achieved, that each sex's elements of the other should be made and kept recessive the male's female components should be kept recessive and the female's male components.
Environment tends to pick out or leave dormant the potentialities of organic beings. For instance, a rat in a steel cage is never stimulated by its environment to act as a rodent at all, and if it were, it would be
Environment, therefore, does not create anything in us, nor does it put anything into us that was not there already. What it does do is either to stimulate or leave dormant what is already in us.
An environment for the male, therefore, which stimulates his dormant female components, would be bad, because it would tend to make him the less fit to act as a male when the occasion demanded. Conversely, and in spite of all Feminist educationalists may say, an environment which stimulated the dormant male components in the female would be bad, because by bringing out her potential masculinity it would make her less fit to act perfectly as a female when life necessitated her seeking the female adaptation.
A sound society, therefore, concerned about the happiness of its members, would devise such environments for the male and female respectively as would maintain in a recessive state the components which each had of the other sex.
Part of the normal adult's environment, however, is a member of the opposite sex. This is so the moment normal sexual intercourse, no matter how it may be regulated, begins.
Supposing each party to a sexual relationship of this sort (whether you call it marriage, or "collage," or boredom à deux, no matter!) has been properly educated, that is, in an environment where all the dormant components of the other sex have been made and kept recessive, the best environment for each, in
In other words, the male components of the female, kept recessive by her education, if it has been sane, find their most effective check in adulthood, and their , most effective further cause of recession, when confronted by similar components of a higher potency, all well developed (if his education has been sane), in her sexual partner.
Given, however, any uncertainty, any feebleness or any wavering in his male components, and an environment will at once be created in which her male components will find a chance of assertion. This will be all the more readily seized, the less they have been kept in a recessive state, and gradually the whole of the proper balance between the sexes will be disturbed and made what it is in effect in hundreds of thousands of modern English homes one in which the male is constantly finding his empire invaded by his female companion.
Conversely, the male's recessive femaleness is best kept in check by the female components which he should find in a far higher degree of potency and in a far higher state of development in his female companion if she has been sanely educated. If, however, she is already an unbalanced female herself and, owing to the modern insane education of girls, her male components are constantly trying to assert themselves at the expense of her female components, her male companion will find he is really made three-eighths, or almost half, homosexual by having any relationship with her. His female components will
But it is when people of this sort happen to get a divorce that the real fun begins; for, under the impression that incompatibilities of the kind they imagine they have suffered do not necessarily recur with another and "better" partner, they marry again and the whole routine process of mutual "jumpings" starts afresh in due course.
The man who marries hoping to have secured enduring happiness is romantic enough. But the greater romantics of all are the divorced, male and female, who with fresh hope, and not knowing that the trouble is in themselves, eagerly select a new partner when the Law has freed them from the first.
Thus, it may be taken as a general rule that, when either partner finds in the other an imperfect sexual environment, the components of the other sex in each will tend to emerge and become assertive if not aggressive.
But success in assertion always means greater assertion. Thus, when the female finds her male components able to measure themselves against the similar components in her partner, they develop and flourish.
In all societies, therefore, where either through loss of stamina, or of health, or of sexual potency, or of character, the male becomes what is popularly called "effeminate" and in highly urbanised communities this is the great danger there is an automatic tendency for the male components in the female to cease
(ii) A further important point is this that happiness in a society, especially in its domestic relations, depends to a great extent on the reconciliation of the vast majority of women with the facts of their sex. That is to say, they must find their adaptation as females so gratifying to their psycho physical equipment that they would not wish to exchange their condition for any other.
Now the principal factor in thus reconciling them and in making them glad to be females, is their male partner, and only secondarily is it the children they get from him.
Why is this?
Because and that is a fact wholly overlooked by every sexologist except myself the female's relationship to the male is a much older biological phenomenon than her relationship to the child. 1
Thus when her adaptation to the male is wrong or unsatisfying, the dissonance goes far deeper, and touches far older chords in her nature, than when the adaptation to the child is wrong. And where the adaptation to the male is wrong or unsatisfying, there will be an automatic tendency to alienate the female from her sex, and to confirm all those other tendencies which promote the assertion of her dormant male components.
The disconcerting haste of most English women, when circumstances offer the slightest excuse, to rush to male callings, to behave as males, and to dress as
1 For the full scientific explanation of this, see my MAN: AN INDICTMENT, pp. 34.
An intelligent woman. Dr. Helene Deutsch, who was a pupil of Freud's, discussing the important fact of the repression in early childhood by little girls of their disappointment and indignation at finding themselves deprived of the male generative organ (castration complex), points out that there are three types of women:
(a) Those who have become reconciled to this lack by regarding it as a punishment, and seeking compensation in feminine joys. These are the normal women.
(b) Those who have never become reconciled and who wish to avenge themselves on the world, and particularly on men, for their grievance. These are the viragoes, the militant and bitterly androphobic Feminists, of whom women like Lady Mary Wortley-Montagu, Mlle. Scudéry, Honoré d'Urfé and any number of Anglo-Saxon Feminists, ancient and modern, are examples.
(c) Those who remain until the end stubbornly unconvinced that they are completely deprived of the male generative organ, and who therefore shun all circumstances and experiences which may disabuse them of this idea.
These are the so-called "frigid" women, and the women who refuse all sexual experiences for fear of being disillusioned. 1
1 See PSYCHOANALYSE DER WEIBLICHEN SEXUAL FUNKTIONEN (Vienna, 1925, Chap. III).
I should, however, modify Dr. Deutsch's analysis to the extent of pointing out that, whether or not their reconciliation to their sex is due to their regarding their deprivation as a punishment, a very potent impediment to their reconciliation must, in any case, be the inadequate maleness of the men forming their male environment.
It must be clear that when such normal women happen to light, as in degenerate times they most frequently do, on sexual mates who, either through the lack of that fire which purifies, or through any lack of mastery over life (especially the sexual side of life), or through a general feebleness which fails to bring out the woman in woman, do not succeed in making them glad to be women, there is a grave danger that there may be a revulsion of feeling and that the reconciliation to their sex, achieved much earlier in life, may be, as It were, unwound, or wound back, so that they return to the status quo ante their state before the reconciliation took place.
Now owing to the Puritanical tradition in Anglo-Saxon countries, there is always an abundance of men who lack the fire which alone purifies, who are devoid of that mastery over life and over sex which satisfies, and who are otherwise incapable of making women feel grateful for being women.
When, added to these failings, a tradition of urbanism spreads ill-health and reduced stamina among their males, there supervenes, in the normal woman who marries, a sense of frustration and of revolt against the sexual aspects of life, especially of her part in sex, which is incompatible with content-
To meet Continental women, whether in Italy, France or Spain, whose men have succeeded in making them glad to be women, is at once to appreciate this point, a point not easy to convey through the printed page to anyone who has had no experience of foreign women. There is no doubt that many more normal women, in Helene Deutsch's sense, remain reconciled to their sex in the countries I have mentioned than in those climes where Puritanism has long held sway. Although even in France and Italy, in those areas where urbanism has done its worst, I have noticed that an irreconciled type of female tends to become sporadic.
When, however, to these normal women who revolt after marriage, are added the body of females belonging to Dr. Deutsch's second and third categories, a considerable contribution is made to the forces of the Feminists and their arguments. And this contribution may justly be ascribed wholly to the existence in large numbers of degenerate men.
(iii) Another important source of strength to Feminist claims, to be found in the existence of degenerate males, is that consisting in the muddle and disorder such males tend to create in the communities over which they preside.
The consequences of their lack of mastery are often so appalling, and matters reach such a pass, that women lose their respect and confidence and imagine that their help, their co-operation, is needed to extricate society from its mess.
Thus, difficult as it would be to imagine women's thinking their assistance or co-operation necessary
Concurrently with the belief among the leading viragoes, however, that in times of confusion, the hour has struck for women to intervene in public life in order to help straighten things out, there is, in urbanised societies, also presented to the women as a whole the spectacle of their menfolk performing a multitude of tasks which can, by no form of reasoning, be made to appear essentially male.
Such occupations as clerking, salesmanship, secretarial work, typing, packing, machine-minding, and machine-feeding, waiting, cleaning, painting, filing, accountancy, all medical services, dentistry, surgery, legal work, cooking, driving cars, etc., are really epicene jobs. When once you have conceded the principle of work for women outside the home, there is not one of these tasks that can reasonably be regarded as essentially masculine.
At most one might claim and I speak from experience here that the female voice, whether in argument or in mere comment, sounds less convincing and less persuasive than the male in a court of law, and that this may account for the conspicuous lack of success among women barristers both in England and France. But as regards the other occupations
1 This may explain why it is that Anglo-Saxon women in general display spontaneous hatred of any man of the Caesar type, and are always foremost in the clamour to suppress him. Disorder gives them their chance of self-assertion.
To the bulk of modern women, therefore, in highly urbanised and industrial communities, there seemed no reason why such work should not be done by them. Indeed, when they tried their hand at them, they found how childishly simple they were. Nor, apart from the fact that these occupations withdrew them from domesticity, delayed marriage, or made it impossible, was there anything irregular about women being employed in epicene labour!
And even as regards their withdrawal from domesticity, this too is not unrelated to the question of male degeneracy. For, in domestic work there is much drudgery, much unglamorous toil, much which is not conspicuous and therefore little appreciated, and when such work is performed daily without the inspiration given by some one who makes it seem wholly worth while without, that is to say, the male partner whose value as a human being, as a male, as a friend, as a guide, as a consultant and as a stimulus, is daily appreciated, it leads only to revolt and resentment.
Thus, although after admitting the principle of withdrawing women from the home, there can be little objection to their performing the epicene labours which they now perform in their millions, what was a mistake, and a bad mistake, was the interpretation everywhere given to this employment of women in epicene jobs. Instead of being regarded as one of the counts in the charge against modern society, and as a proof of the degeneracy of the male, and a decline in his status and function, it was all too hastily assumed that it denoted sex-rivalry, that is, an invasion by women of essentially male spheres and, therefore.
The Feminists, male and female, whose judgments are almost invariably mistaken, were the first to give it that interpretation, and annual figures were given in their various publications throughout the first four decades of the 20th century, showing with triumph the steady increase of women workers in all these epicene tasks and in all the epicene professions!
Framed as a parable, the mistake was. equivalent to a woman's interpreting her ability to keep abreast of a lame man as the acquisition on her own part of new powers of fleetness, instead of his loss of this quality.
Thus, what was really a circumstance to be deplored from the standpoint of humanity's future, was regarded solely as a feminine victory, and the degeneracy of man through Puritanism, Industrialism, Urbanism and ill health, gave not only the opportunity but also the very grounds for the insensate and reckless exultation of the Feminists over what they imagined was an advance, a step forward in human evolution!
The fact that the very changes which allowed women a share in epicene employment and in public .life did nothing to straighten out the muddle the Englishman had made of his society; the fact that the large-scale employment of women merely aggravated some of the worst aspects of our industrial civilisation, is perhaps already beginning to dawn on a few unenlightened thinkers. But generations of greater and more hopeless muddle will be needed before the Feminist viragoes, at least, will be induced to regard their Movement in all its manifestations as a lame, superficial, morbid and, therefore, deleterious innova-
(iv) A further important contribution to the cause of Anglo Saxon Feminism has been made by degenerate Anglo-Saxon manhood, through their lack of mental alertness and of psychological insight. This, prevented them from seeing through the fog and dust of Feminist agitation and noisy propaganda, and from appreciating the specious and trumpery nature of the claims often made by the leaders of the Woman's Movement.
Always easily caught by slogans, decoy phrases and catchwords, the Anglo-Saxon at the best of times is never logical. When, however, generations of epicene labours had effeminised him and made him more the slave of his emotions than of his intellect, there was; added to his native illogicality a sensitiveness to emotional appeal which ill-equipped him to examine the Feminist case with coolness and sound judgment.
Always ready to believe any story, however fantastic, about women's alleged "sacrifice" in motherhood; always prone to feel a sense of guilt over men's alleged monopoly of the pleasure in sexual relations, and never clear or well-informed concerning women's sexual life and its needs, the Anglo-Saxon male is, as a rule, quite incapable of seeing through the deceptive facade of the Feminist position. A man who easily
When told, therefore, that woman was unrepresented in Parliament because she did not vote, or that public affairs were going to the devil because they were deprived of woman's contribution in brains, "intuition" and practical sense; or that women's battlefield was the childbed and that they were thus entitled to as much say in the administration of the country as the men who supplied its defenders, the average Anglo-Saxon was prepared to regard these appeals as the most cogent arguments in support of Feminist claims.
Ignorant of his legal and Parliamentary history, unaware of the fact that long before there was even a possibility of woman's suffrage, not to mention female M.P.s, any number of Acts favourable to women, and protecting married and single women's rights and safety, had been passed by an all male House of Lords. together with an all male House of Commons, elected by an all male electorate, the average Englishman of the late 19th and early 20th century was easily persuaded that women kept outside public life and not allowed to vote were in an abandoned and derelict position in which all their feelings, their privileges and rights as human beings were trampled underfoot.
He was encouraged to imagine women in the position of an alien and slave element in the population, quite unrelated by filial, fraternal, or conjugal ties to the ruling male population, and to argue that unless they were allowed to have a hand in the administration and a voice in the electorate they would be wholly and utterly excluded from any chance of consideration and protection.
Least of all was the average Anglo-Saxon male capable of detecting and refuting its conspicuous flaws. Such a man did not even get so far as to appreciate that the whole of the much hackneyed list of female grievances was largely .the invention of a few, a mere handful, of mutinous middle-class wives and daughters, many of them masculinoid, and that the mass of women were quite content to leave their welfare and protection to their brothers, fathers and husbands, knowing full well from past experience that they could safely do so.
To the brain of the average latter-day Anglo-Saxon, moreover, there seemed to be very sound sense in the argument, popular among the militant suffragettes, which compared the magnificently privileged position of Marie Corelli's gardener, who had the Vote, with the downtrodden, feeble and hopelessly vulnerable position of Marie Corelli herself who did not possess the Vote.
Despite his own habitually downtrodden position with the Vote, and the fact that everywhere his mite of political power, through the Vote, is hopelessly defeated by economic power, the average benighted Anglo-Saxon could not see that the injustice in this picture of Marie Corelli and her gardener was really all the other way round.
What was unjust and despicable was the apparently powerless and extremely subordinate position of the man with political power as compared with the woman
Thus, what with his ignorance of history, his lack of acumen and his sentimentality, the degenerate Anglo-Saxon male readily became a helper in the Feminist Cause, and with such men to appeal to and to help them, the Victory of the Feminists was assured.
It should be remembered, moreover, that the triumph of Feminism in its manifestations outside the home, was really only a reverberation, or logical fulfilment, of what had already taken place in almost every home in England long before the turn of the century. For there, round the domestic hearth, the will-lessness, feebleness and general inferiority of the male had long since placed women in the ascendant.
Through close and daily contact with the Anglo-Saxon male, his womenfolk had ceased to believe in him and had begun to trust only themselves. The men who could swallow the specious arguments of the Feminist leaders had, for two generations at least, already lost the real respect of their sisters, wives and daughters. They could be cowed into doing anything or accepting anything, merely by their womenfolk's none too skilful use of such meaningless and transparently silly reproaches as are implied by the words "selfish," or "no sense of humour."
But if such obtuseness in psychology made them
Miss Irene Clephane is one of the Feminists candid enough to acknowledge the Anglo-Saxon male's contribution to the Cause. For although she could not, without damaging her own side, ascribe his co-operation to his stupidity and degeneracy, she is frank enough to admit its importance.
"It is the way with some Feminists," she says, "to imagine that all the credit for the change in woman's status is due to the efforts of their own sex. So far is this from the truth that woman would probably still be in the abyss of ignorance in which she lay a hundred years ago if it were not for the stimulus the pioneers received from their menfolk. Beings with untrained and undisciplined minds could never have accomplished what they did, however ardent their desires, however steadfast their will, unless they had been braced and encouraged by men with trained and disciplined minds." 1
The most astonishing feature of male co-operation in the ultimate triumph of Feminist ideals in Anglo-Saxon countries, however, really lies in its negative aspects the total lack of any forcible and unanswerable male reply, even from the ranks of qualified medical men, to the Feminist advocacy of:
Delayed Marriage, Celibacy, The Substitution of
1 TOWARDS SEX FREEDOM (London, 1935, p. 59). What Miss Clephane forgets is that trained and disciplined minds, working on wrong first principles, or otherwise hampered, are no better than untrained or undisciplined minds.
Men by the score came forward to resist Feminism by emotional and aesthetic appeals. But these were easily disposed of. Women were not moved when such men told them with a lump in their throats, that they would lose their charm, their beauty and their poetry by descending into the arena of public life and politics.
There were also plenty of men who, with doubtful scientific equipment, questioned the validity of the claim of sex equality, or challenged the women to show how the public and political life of the nation could be saved from ruin if they entered it.
But, until I came on the scene in 1923, no Anglo-Saxon male, layman or medical expert, ever grasped that the most cogent reasons for opposing the Feminist programme, were all biological in their nature. Not one saw or pointed out that the Feminist programme was hostile to the majority of women themselves, and, if realized, must mean disease for hundreds of thousands of our best women and premature death for a high percentage of them. 1
This argument was unanswerable. It was supported by the soaring figures for deaths from lethal, or disabling, or merely harassing diseases of the female genital organs (breasts, ovaries. Fallopian tubes, uterus, vagina) returned each year by the Registrar General. It was also supported by the soaring, or else
1 Arabella Kenealy, in FEMINISM AND SEX EXTINCTION, certainly aimed at attacking Feminism along these lines, but those who know her work will appreciate how far it fails to concentrate on the main and statistically defensible attack on the Feminist programme.
Nor are the effects of the Feminist programme curtailment of offspring, late marriages for women, absence of breast feeding felt by women alone. Among the children whose births have had to be assisted by instruments, for instance, owing to difficulties of childbirth in women too senior at their first labour, or too stiff and masculinoid owing to athleticism, to enjoy normal parturition, there is much insanity and paralysis caused by birth trauma due to forceps; whilst among infants reared on artificial foods there is more invalidism and death than among the breastfed. 2
In eight major works and a number of articles published between 1923 and 1937, I elaborated this biological reply to Feminist claims, with an ever increasing documentation from scientific sources. And perhaps the best comment on the power of my unique attack on the Feminist position is that, in the first place, it has never been answered, and secondly, that everything has been done to bury it in silence. 3
But the fact that, although I have consistently taken the stand that I represent the cause of the nor-
1 See the evidence I have collected in my TRUTH ABOUT CHILDBIRTH (Chap. IV, pp. 109120), to show the deterioration in the normal functioning of girls after puberty the longer their generative apparatus is allowed to remain idle.
2 See data on this subject given in THE FUTURE OF WOMAN and THE TRUTH ABOUT CHILDBIRTH.
3 See, however, Appendix III.
But in all my struggle, I have not merely received no support from Englishmen, but have, on the contrary, had to suffer every kind of mean misrepresentation, attack and hostility at their hands. Even, therefore, in the work of trying to withhold my message from the nation at large and from women in particular, the Anglo-Saxon male, both in this country and America, has again made a further substantial contribution to the Feminist Cause.
(e) Finally, very few sociologists and sexologists have noticed the powerful but quite unintentional support given by modern men, especially of the middle classes, to the Feminist ideals of drastic family limitation and artificial instead of breast-feeding owing, not purely to economic reasons, but chiefly to the peculiar tastes reared in men by the life of modern cities.
It is obvious that to the average man, who sees little fun in multiplying the demands on his income inevitably made by every child he has, and whose children, in any case, are a liability rather than an asset, a drastic limitation of his family seems to be indicated, not only by common sense, but also by every argument that can be drawn from his own and his wife's desire for what is known as having "a good time."
He knows nothing about the female's need of pregnancies, childbearing and breast-feeding to complete her normal sex-cycle at optimal intervals during the reproductive period of her life. Certainly nobody en-
There appears to be no need to pile up the evidence. One child suffices for this. Two children may, at most, dispose of any tendency to regard the one as possibly an accident.
Thus, from the very start, the average man enters matrimony with a bias in favour of at least one of the most cherished Feminist ideals the drastic limitation of the family.
But other motives actuate him in playing still further the Feminist game.
His income, not too severely strained by his family responsibilities, usually leaves him a margin for some weekly entertainment. A dinner out with a show becomes a habit. This habit is all the more insisted upon by his wife, because it gives her, as she never tires of explaining, one day's respite from domestic duties.
There may also be bridge parties and dances. If the couple live in a respectable London suburb, or one of the dormitory towns of Essex, Hertfordshire, or Buckinghamshire, there will be tennis, supper, dinner, or cocktail parties, either at home or at the houses of friends.
At all these entertainments the husband will insist on his wife's playing the part, not of wife, but of mistress. She must be agile, well-dressed (even bony if she is to be always smart) and able to leave none or his friends and acquaintances in any doubt concerning his pecuniary prosperity.
For the summer vacation they must be able to go for weeks at a time to some fashionable watering-place where, once more, the wife will be enrolled as mistress.
But a mistress, as Laura Marholm points out, is not expected to have children. 1 Even if by accident she should have more than the limited number required to establish the fact of her own and her husband's normal sexual potency, she must not dream of giving any of them the breast not even those that arrive first and are wanted.
Thus, to the average man, even the breast-feeding of the one or two children he needs for vanity purposes, is a practice to be avoided if possible.
His wife could not function as a mistress and breast-feed! Indeed, of all the cases of either drastically curtailed or wholly suppressed lactation I have known and one was too near home to be flattering to my self esteem! at least 75 per cent. have been due to the husband's impatience over the process.
A third party can always give a bottle. Only his wife can breast-feed his infant. Therefore, the course is set for artificial feeding.
But this is precisely what Feminists demand!
The "serfdom" of woman's normal functions must be abolished! As if Man and not Nature had imposed it. As if it could be abolished with impunity!
1 Op. cit. Vol. I p. 106.
But the degree of stupidity requisite for overlooking all this is unfortunately abundantly present in all classes of our population, and probably the so-called "best educated" are not the least richly endowed with it.
This is likely to be so because, as a rule, their negativeness towards all manifestations of sex and the female physique and, therefore, their reluctance to dwell on these matters, is usually proportionate to their culture.
To give but one example of the lengths to which ignorance of the "facts of life" may go in certain groups of the educated in England, let me tell the following absolutely true story:
A few years before the outbreak of the Second World War, in a certain village in East Suffolk, there dwelt in the best house of the neighbourhood a family of middle-class town-bred people, consisting of father, mother and three spinster daughters. The latter were all over thirty.
Now it happened that the three daughters decided to go in for poultry farming on a rather ambitious scale and, to this end purchased a fine stock of
They had heard that hens laid just as conscientiously and regularly without as with a cock; so, as they had no wish to inflict on their birds an experience which, so far, they themselves had contrived to escape, they decided unanimously that their poultry-yard would be for ladies only.
And, indeed, all they had heard about the capacity of celibate hens to lay turned out to be wholly and surprisingly accurate. Their hens laid with singular regularity and thus, to their great relief, they were able, without any dire results, to dispense with the strutting monster of sinfulness which defiled most of the poultry-yards they had seen theretofore.
On the arrival of the season when most rural folk are thinking about hatching, our three spinsters naturally wished to follow suit. The first of their hens that went broody was therefore put to sit on thirteen of the largest and freshest eggs they could find.
This done, in a state of wild excitement, they settled down to wait anxiously for the twenty-one days to elapse, and never in their lives before had days seemed to drag as they did then.
The sitting hens were lifted from their boxes every evening, fed, watered and exercised, and returned to duty.
It was wonderful! The eagerness of these animals to be restored to their boring drudgery seemed to the three women a miracle of self deception in the Cause of Life. To witness Nature at her normal work of multiplication in birds was a most edifying experience.
This, coming on top of all they had witnessed in the form of assiduous sitting on the part of their hens,. made them exclaim "Nonsense!"
What old-fashioned superstition lingered here? But they had no wish to hurt the man's feelings. He meant well. They, therefore, beamed as kindly as. they could upon him and after thanking him, assured him that they knew it would be all right. They might even have said it would be "quite all right." In fact, we may assume that this is what they did say.
He was, however, indelicate enough to insist!
They exchanged knowing smiles. He was becoming tiresome. Nevertheless, he had so often been useful in the past, that they must overlook this one lapse. After all, the man was only voicing what was probably a pretty widespread superstition!
Once more they tried to reassure him and, without offensively exposing his ignorance, conveyed to him that they knew what they were about and that it was "quite all right."
In the circumstances, any normal farm-hand would have inferred that they were politely informing him to mind his own business and would have held his, peace.
Not our Suffolk yokel however! He took off his cap, scratched his head, looked painfully embarrassed, and repeated his original criticism, but with some added anecdotes to illustrate its point. It was his way
They listened courteously and patiently but were not shaken. However, to make sure they were right, they decided to ask father.
Mr. X., without any wish to spare his daughters' feelings, but speaking from his own personal conviction, unhesitatingly supported their point of view and said the man was talking rubbish. Mrs. X. was more emphatic. She said she did not think the fellow could be altogether nice and advised her daughters not to have too much to say to him.
Meanwhile, however, the news of the sittings had spread through the district. Four or five villages were already discussing the matter, and one of the older village women, who came to the X.'s house to work, and who could not be suspected of wishing to indulge in salacious conversation, volunteered a homily on the futility of setting hens to hatch eggs if the latter hailed from a yard wholly deprived of male society.
This did not shake Mrs. X., but, as other opinions pointing in the same direction, poured in from all sides, her daughters began to feel faintly uneasy.
They, therefore, decided to write up to London to the editor of some trade journal and to implore him kindly to shatter once and for all the myth that had apparently seized upon their countryside.
In due course a reply came back; but it confirmed every word the villagers, pure and impure, had said!
There could be no doubt about it, and all the bewildered staring on the part of Papa and Mamma and their daughters could not help.
Here then, without any possible loophole of escape was the death-knell not only to the myth of
It was a cruel blow and, not long afterwards, the family packed up and returned to London, where fowls and eggs appeared, from heaven knows where, in shops and stores, without any need for concern with the details of their production.
I can vouch for this amazing story and know the name of the family concerned.
It is difficult to believe, and yet it reveals a degree of stupidity and ignorance less uncommon than many people might suppose. Bad enough indeed were the spinsters! But what about Papa and Mamma X., who had had a family of three without the aid of parthenogenesis? Only one factor mitigates the charge of superlative stupidity which they seem to deserve, and that is the profound reluctance middle-class English people always have felt, and continue to feel, when called upon to dwell on sexual questions. This reluctance not only makes them ignorant where Continentals are well-informed, but also makes them stupid and obtuse where Continentals are intelligent and alert; because it makes them feel virtuous in being unreasonable, illogical and blind about matters concerning which clarity seems inseparable from indecency.
Can we wonder now that the average middle-class married man of our cities is as ignorant and careless as he is of the realities relating to his wife, her sex, and its peculiar functions? How could he be aware of the normal needs of her constitution, seeing that he is able, year in and year out, to imagine that she
His like is now recruited also from the so-called lower middle class, composed of bank and insurance clerks, shopkeepers, higher mechanics, chain-store managers, heads of departments in general stores, etc. Together with the middle-classes, they now constitute a substantial body in the nation. For two or three generations now these men have undoubtedly been influential in abetting two Feminist errors the advocacy of family limitation and that of artificial instead of breast-feeding.
Their womenfolk, usually as ignorant as themselves of all the realities of the female's normal sex-life, far from offering any resistance to the growing custom of treating the wife merely as a hetaira, have been only too ready to promote it. They never discovered for themselves, nor learned from anyone else, how hostile to their true interests this custom was.
Corruptly indoctrinated both by the Feminists, male and female, and by all the shallow opinions on this question which have filled the air in England for a century, and, moreover, too ill-informed to know the truth about themselves, and too squeamish to be enlightened, they succumbed all too readily to the lure of pleasure and the so-called "freedom" which their husbands held out to them.
If anybody like myself attempted to enlighten them, they were so conditioned as to regard him as their mortal enemy.
The result is that all of them, men and women alike, became active though unconscious promoters of Feminism even when, as often happened, they could not have told you what Feminism stood for.
A little thought on the nature of the female, on her differences from the male, on the obvious incompleteness for her of a life of merely repeated sexual orgasms, would immediately have revealed to the men of this section of the nation the error of their attitude. A little thought even on the nature of the human infant might also have brought enlightenment.
But no thinking along these lines is ever indulged in by the average man I have been describing, and for this reason alone the plea of ignorance, of lack of adequate information, is not a complete exculpation. True, they are ill-informed, but there are other roads to knowledge besides information from outside.
That is why I submit that a certain modicum of stupidity in the male is a prerequisite of his active participation in the promotion of Feminist ideals, and it is pretty obvious that this stupidity exists in abundance among the men whose way of life I have been examining.
But even among the male Anglo-Saxon publicists and advocates of Feminism there is this same lack of information without any correction or compensation from the quarter of mere thought on the whole problem. Nowhere in their writings do we find a hint of the damage necessarily inflicted on the female organism if it is treated like that of a male. Nowhere in their writings are the biological consequences of the Feminist position squarely faced and understood.