The fad of feminism

Anthony M. Ludovici

In Fads and Fallacies
by Joshua Brookes, with Anthony Ludovici and Ellis Barker
pp. 227–237


- p. 227 -
Modern Feminism, as it is known in Anglo-Saxon countries, is Woman's reaction to the physical and mental degeneration of Man. To have made women glad to seek their life interest elsewhere than in the expression of their deepest instincts, to have removed all the wonder and fascination from the sex relationship, so that it no longer allures and no longer tempts the sex most elaborately equipped for the reproductive life — this feat, accomplished by the Anglo-Saxon male, will ultimately be his greatest claim to an unforgettable place in the world's history. Everything seemed against such a consummation, every fibre, every tradition of the Female organism. To form an adequate idea of what has happened, we must picture modern Feminism as the ultimate stage in a laborious process, consisting of the gradual destruction of a natural appetite.
        Her relation to man and to the children he gives her, gratifies so many of woman's deepest longings, that for the human female to wish not to gratify these longings, but to prefer a life of public activity away from motherhood and man, she must have become disillusioned or even nauseated by the way in

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which the men about her enabled her to realise her womanhood. This disillusionment or nausea may have — nay, actually has, arisen from two causes: first, the inadequacy of the male, which modern civilisation offers woman as a mate; and secondly, the male's sense of guilt regarding the whole of the sex side of life, and the consequent constraints, which, even when he is physically vigorous, this sense of guilt imposes on him in the whole of the sex-relationship. For it should not be forgotten that the sex-relationship is one depending for its fulness and joyousness on fire, passion and wanton spirits, and the subnormality and Puritanical obsessions of the modern urban male therefore make him the last creature on earth with whom a passionate relationship could be tolerable.
        Ill-health, on the one hand, and Puritanism, on the other, having made her available men unable to attain to that fiery altitude of passion which alone makes all things pure, woman very naturally began to doubt the desirability of the relationship altogether. When, however, we add to this a steady increase in the horrors of child-bearing due to various causes (not the least of which is the inability of doctors to deal with both parturition and pregnancy on rational lines) so that from the beginning to the end of the relationship, the attractions seem to grow ever less and less, and its distresses ever greater and greater, we cannot wonder that the unexpected should have happened and that to thousands of women of the modern world it seems a truism to say "there is nothing in it." Beside "it," office work,

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a public life, and activities outside the home, although they may be free from passionate experiences, are at least free from causes of nausea and pain.
        To this explanation of the roots of Anglo-Saxon Feminism, people will often reply: "But where there is a great excess of women over men, and where hundreds of thousands of women cannot marry, some sort of unmarried career for women is essential, whether or not they happen to be disgusted at the thought of a sexual life." This would be true if Feminism consisted merely of a movement on the part of unmarried female workers to secure and establish their rights and privileges. But it is not, and never was that. The hordes of the Feminists, the bulk of the leaders of modern Feminism, consist of disillusioned, disgruntled and indignant married women, who, knowing the horrors of an embrace with a fish, feel they cannot rest until they have shouted from the house-tops that "there is nothing in it!" and that single blessedness is not only better, but fuller, sweeter, and altogether more desirable for women. These expostulating females who have rushed back vomiting from the connubial alcove, have become not only enemies of men, but of all passion, as the result of their appalling experiences. They know the game is not worth the candle!! They know positively that the Almighty made the most regrettable of all his errors when he devised the abomination known as human reproduction, and they are determined to leave no stone unturned to prevent every young girl from

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suffering their tragedy, their ignominy. Let curiosity go to the deuce!
        The English mind, so prone to seek purely economic causes for every social phenomenon, is apt to overlook entirely the deeper non economic causes of the Feminist movement, and by so doing fails to account for many of its most salient features. For instance, the Feminist movement is profoundly tinctured with hostility to the male. Is it supposed that this arises from economic competition? Ask the factory girls, the typists and the girl clerks! It is the working women in factories, in offices and counting houses who compete most vigorously with men and boys. But it is precisely among such women that sex hostility is least acute. Where it is acute is in the idle and professional classes, where the women do not need to work, but whose males are most degenerate, that is to say, most undermined either by ill-health, excessive sport, excessive Puritanism, excessive chivalry, or excessive washing. In fact, the Feminist movement is the creation of a class that, taken as a whole, has hardly felt the economic rivalry of the sexes. It is in the middle and richer classes that men are most bloodless, most fireless, most "gentlemanly," — in fact, most exasperating from the standpoint of the passionate and vigorous girl. It is the men of this class who have borne the whole burden of turning the Anglo-Saxon female away from Life as a life-interest. Behold them in their homes and their clubs! They are so well polished and scraped and scented, as to have lost every feature of the animal.

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They are so well drilled and dragooned, as to have lost all vital impulse and roughness, and they are so completely cowed by Puritanism as to have forgotten every trace of that innocence in passion which alone makes passion innocent. Cold or hot baths taken in excess, with far too much soap, have washed away all the rugged bloom from their bodies. The last vestige of their limited stamina has thus been sapped and diluted. Bad and injudicious feeding has made dyspeptics of them all. Hunting, golf, cricket and football, besides having undermined their health and strained their hearts, has sublimated fifty per cent of their inadequate store of animality, while smoking and drinking has extinguished the last flicker of their wanton spirits.
        Humour and chivalry they have in abundance, because humour always characterises unconcentrated, passionless people, who are capable of taking nothing seriously, not even their own desires. And they are proud of their humour. Their womenfolk, failing to understand that men who are easily ruled are, in the end, unsatisfactory and unsatisfying mates, encourage them in their pride of humour, because men with humour are easily managed. And thus it comes about that, in this feministic and degenerate Age, humour becomes a national cult in all Anglo-Saxon communities. The chivalry that accompanies it is not the chivalry of old, according to which it was considered honourable to protect and be responsible for one weaker than oneself. It is merely a total renunciation of wilful action in relation to women. If it

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were true chivalry, the protection of women and the readiness to be responsible for them, would form an essential part of it. But it is impossible to protect and to be responsible for anyone, without exercising some authority — even the Alpine guide teaches us this. Consequently this modern chivalry of the Anglo-Saxon male, with its abdication of all authority in regard to women, is only a mean travesty of genuine chivalry; and its principal result, far from being a sense of responsibility and a readiness to protect, is the complete emancipation and independence of women, with every form of social anarchy.
        The fact that women are unhappy and discontented owing to their fatal association with this type of man, is proved not only by the phenomenon of Feminism itself, with the whole of the female stampede out of the home and away from men, but also by the avidity with which the women of all Anglo-Saxon countries devour the fictional literature of their day. For, in order to satisfy their ungratified longings, this fictional literature depicts a very different type of male from that with which they are accustomed to deal in their every-day life. In it, the reader will usually find a hero who is wilful, strong, passionate and very serious about his desires. As far as her world is concerned, the "Sheikh" man, which is the ideal of the modern flapper, is utterly non existent outside the pages of the novel or novelette which she devours so greedily. Nor would she tolerate for one instant any "sheikh" behaviour on the part of the lover she is able and likely to find

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in the real world about her. And for the simple reason that mere sheikh behaviour, without its essential background of a strong character, fiery passion, health and stamina, would be simply ridiculous. It would be like having the lion without his strength, the fields without their vegetation, and the desert without the sun. And the kind of lover the modern flapper finds outside the pages of her novel, has neither the character, the passion, nor the stamina, which alone make the Sheikh appear to her acceptable.
        More evidence of the unhappiness of modern women is forthcoming from the experience of the average general practitioner, who, in his daily round, encounters among his female patients, so much morbid depression and irascibility, that there is hardly a doctor in a large Anglo-Saxon city, particularly among the Protestant section, who is not more of a father confessor or professional comforter than a healer or medical adviser. The whole of modern life, with all the excitement and gaiety it offers, is thus only an inadequate substitute for the real joys which these poor women can never experience; and, as a result, they are often starving amid all the appearances of plenty, restless when they have all the apparent requisites for a life of peace, and dissatisfied when, as far as a superficial observer can tell, they are in a position to gratify their smallest whim.
        In addition to all the misery which arises directly from the inadequacy of the modern male as a sexual mate, however, there is also the misery which

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arises indirectly from his inadequacy as a leader, a legislator, and orderer of society. Owing to man's degeneracy, this Age is one of chaos, doubt, conflict and disorder. The evils of this state of affairs are so apparent everywhere that, quite early in the 20th century, women got it into their heads that, since men were making such a muddle of things in the world, it behoved them (the women) to add their quota of effort to the task of governing, in the hope of straightening and improving things. And thus, in addition to women's activities in various spheres, there arose a women's political movement, the object of which was to secure some measure of legislative power for women. History has furnished other examples of this advent of women in the council chambers of nations, and the results, as recorded, are not encouraging. Those, who, like the writer, think that where degenerate man is failing, his sisters are hardly likely to succeed, can see little hope of improvement from this appearance of women in Parliament and among the electorate of the country; for, sex only means specialised function, and difference of sex means difference of specialised function. But the exercise of a specialised function through countless generations must mould character, desire and general disposition in a special way. Women, therefore, are different from men, and they can never be equal to or the same as men. The society in which they find themselves, however chaotic it has now become, is entirely built on male character, male intellect, and male concepts. As Mr. Briffault said, in

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his monumental work "The Mothers" (a work distinctly feministic in feeling): "Those achievements which constitute what, in the best sense, we term civilisation, have taken place in societies organised on patriarchal principles; they are for the most part the work of men." And again: "The intellectual structure of the higher forms of culture and organisation, which constitute civilisation, are masculine products and are marked by the qualities and characteristics of the masculine intellect." If women, therefore, are to take part in regulating it, they can do so only in one of two ways — either by destroying it, or else by destroying themselves. In other words, in order to impose the rule of a creature different (through function and therefore character) from the male, upon a society chiefly male in character, you must either pull down that society, or else transform the new element in its regulators — woman — until she is like the male, and cannot therefore damage his creation, his structure.
        The women, by not understanding their difference, and by not being willing to acknowledge it, have chosen the latter alternative. They wish to preserve society, and therefore since they must transform themselves in order to hope to regulate it successfully, they are doing their utmost to approximate to the male in every way. This process of approximation and assimilation to the male now begins at school, to the great disadvantage of all the young women of the country, and the deleterious sporting activities of the modern girl are but symptoms of this tendency. But seeing that, for count-

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less generations the specialised functions of the female have been slowly and steadily moulding her special character, it is hardly likely that anything more permanent or useful than a Procrustean outrage is now being perpetrated against the women of the country, and a Procrustean outrage, which unfortunately offers but little hope of bringing about the millennium.
        No! The remedy ought to have been sought elsewhere. Since the world had grown chaotic and women wretched, through the degeneracy of the male, the obvious remedy, and the only one that could do any good, was to set about regenerating man. By his regeneration, two evils would have been corrected by a single effort — (a) woman's discontent and misery would have been relieved, by restoring to her a mate with whom she could be happy, and a mate who would make her proud and not ashamed of being a woman; and (b) modern anarchy and chaos would have been ended by society's recovering her best traditional regulator. But women were too vain to understand or to see that this was the best remedy. For in order to desire the regeneration of man, they must first acknowledge his degeneracy. If, however, they acknowledged this, they placed their own alleged advancement in question. For if man had degenerated, their supposed advance might be but relative after all. While he had gone back they, with the appearance of advancing, had really been standing still. But to acknowledge this is much more wounding to woman's self-esteem than to

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suppose that man has not degenerated, and that, what has really happened is that women have made a positive advance. Hence they chose the wrong remedy, and leaving man to degenerate still further, have made their own increasing misery and society's increasing chaos complete certainties for the future.