My challenge

In 1970, Germaine Greer said this,

Women’s liberation, if it abolishes the patriarchal family, will abolish a necessary substructure of the authoritarian state, and once that withers away Marx will have come true, willy nilly, so let’s get on with it.’ (The Female Eunuch ‘Revolution’ 1970)

Influenced by academics such as Greer, who have colonised our campuses, turning them into madrassas of radical feminist theory, a small but influential cadre of politically motivated feminists has succeeded to a remarkable degree in implementing what she was expressing.

For more than forty years, through politics, the media, and other key social institutions, this band of highly politicised radical women (and, it has to be said, men of the same persuasion) have progressively gained control of many of the levers of power in our society, changing social policy, the law, and ordinary people’s lives to conform to feminism’s Marxist dogma.

The principal target of the feminists was, and remains,  the institution of marriage, that fundamental building block of  society regarded as ‘bourgeois’ by Marxism, and the principal obstruction to communist-style social organisation.

As Marx predicted in the 1848 Communist Manifesto, if you destroy marriage, you destroy the fabric of capitalist society. And what better way to do this than perform a coup d’etat on the traditional head of the family? The father? This is the true meaning of feminism’s attack on patriarchy, which literally means the rule of the father.

As the direct result of all this, we now live in a society in social turmoil and I suggest the evidence is before us:

  • Today, a father as head of a family – a leader, provider, and protector is an anachronism. In fact, fatherhood is being removed from society by the family courts in their decisions about child access after divorce, and through the massive outbreak of single parenting, which really means the mother. All this is just as Greer predicted.
  • The role of the mother has been changed. Once the bearer and nurturer of young children until their emerging viability as teens, women now combine child-bearing, career and child upbringing, often unable to give their best to either.
  • Far from being liberated, women have been co-opted into the means of economic production, becoming as much wage-slaves as men have traditionally been, even though they only contribute about 28% of all income tax to men’s 72%.1Source: Table 3.3: Distribution of total income before and after tax by gender, 2011-12 – Taxpayers only Survey of Personal Incomes 2011-12 Updated January 2014. United Kingdom Office for National Statistics. They have become co-workers in the means of economic output, just as in socialist-communist states.
  • Marriage, once the committed union for life of a man and a woman ‘as one flesh’, now has a median expectation of only eleven years. 2The Office for National Statistics reported in 2011 Statistical Bulletin ONS: Divorces in England and Wales. 2011  – 2011 is the latest year for which we currently have data. This is the median measure of central tendency, as used by the ONS, is not to be confused with the mean or average, which is likely to be higher due to the small number of marriages that last for life. Formerly the key institution that guaranteed social stability, in just four decades, it has been de-constructed and re-defined according to feminist-socialist dogma, such as Harriet Harman’s statement, ‘It cannot be assumed that men are bound to be an asset to family life or that the presence of fathers in families is necessarily a means to social cohesion.’ This is a pure Marxist principle.
  • Most couple arrangements, in which technically illegitimate children are being born wholesale today, amount to an uncommitted union of two ‘equal partners’, with an even worse prognosis than marriage of lasting until the children grow to adulthood. This is another aspect of Marxist social dogma.
  • Children have effectively been removed from the nurturing bosom of the family and placed under common social care and control, in what amounts to state-sponsored institutional child care, their social values shaped by politically correct broader society rather than their biological parents by equally politically correct child-minders. All of this has unmistakable echoes of Marxist socialist collectivism.
  • A third of UK children are currently caught up in the family justice system in Britain,3Sir Paul Coleridge, retired senior judge of the Family Courts Division, speaking at the launch of UK Marriage Week at the House of Commons on 6th February 2012, refers to 3.8M children caught up in the family justice system, out of a total of around 12M children under 17 in Britain at that time. their care and upbringing often parcelled out between warring ex-spouses. Large numbers of them live with single parents; invariably their mothers in de-facto matriarchies, another socialist-communist concept.
  • Even greater numbers live in ‘blended families’: thrust unwillingly into a jumble of step-parents, half-brothers and sisters and assorted non-blood relatives and permanently deprived of their natural kin, and of their right to the patriarchal protection of their biological fathers. Again, this is a socialist-communist-Marxist aim.

Under the pretence of fairness and equality, and operating to its socialist-communist agenda behind the scenes, feminism and feminists, many of them, such as Harriet Harman and Yvette Cooper, principal players in a feminist-Marxist entryist group operating within the Labour Party in Britain, but also many from the political right, and all holding serious power in the land, are challenging the very basis of our western civilisation. This is the biggest threat to our stability and social cohesion since the Second World War.

Feminism is not egalitarianism. It is not born of Liberal Enlightenment ideas, but of the ideas of the far left whose agenda is social re-engineering based on communal living. Feminism cannot be egalitarian because it seeks a one-sided form of equality based on a struggle for power between women and men.

I challenge anyone who espouses, embraces or even sympathises with this dividing, damaging and most pernicious of rebellious ideologies to wake up to what is happening around them, and within their communities: to see what feminism is doing to their sons, fathers, brothers and, yes, to women and girls too.

I call for the rejection of all that feminism stands for, and for the restoration of relationships between men and women, based on mutual respect and understanding, and free of the stridency and competitiveness in the pursuit of false equality for women that feminism endlessly propagates.

I call for a return of our society to true balance and fairness. A society that is not divided along the fault-line of gender: one in which the care for women and children by men is restored to its rightful place in our social values; a society where the real family, based on a man and a woman living in stable marriage, at least with the intention of it being for life, are able to bring up children in a stable environment, and equip them to be fully competent, socially engaged and fully contributing citizens of the future.

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1. Source: Table 3.3: Distribution of total income before and after tax by gender, 2011-12 – Taxpayers only Survey of Personal Incomes 2011-12 Updated January 2014. United Kingdom Office for National Statistics.
2. The Office for National Statistics reported in 2011 Statistical Bulletin ONS: Divorces in England and Wales. 2011  – 2011 is the latest year for which we currently have data. This is the median measure of central tendency, as used by the ONS, is not to be confused with the mean or average, which is likely to be higher due to the small number of marriages that last for life.
3. Sir Paul Coleridge, retired senior judge of the Family Courts Division, speaking at the launch of UK Marriage Week at the House of Commons on 6th February 2012, refers to 3.8M children caught up in the family justice system, out of a total of around 12M children under 17 in Britain at that time.
  • Distance Left

    I didn’t think I’d see an argument that made the case for cultural marxism, without it sounding all David Icke, but you’ve managed it. It should be the case that marriage or civil partnerships for straight people should be a more open institution but not over and above the needs of families in society.

    • Mike Buchanan

      Hi DL. I must confess I don’t understand your comments. The case FOR cultural Marxism? And no matter how many times I read your second sentence I can’t make sense of it. Could you possibly expand on it? Thanks.
      Mike Buchanan
      (and the women who love them)

      • Distance Left

        Sorry about the late reply. I didn’t think I’d ever see a rational argument for cultural marxism actually existing, as it’s a weird term. I know the Fabian society exist. I find the whole thing odd as I’m broadly for things like the NHS, national transport, but see no need for communism which a huge failure.
        My second point was too hastily made; civil partnerships should be open to all, this could also leave traditional marriage for those who prefer it, a compromise of sorts. Where both civil partnerships and marriage have the same legal standing.

  • Sean44SS

    Herbert, this is yet another excellent article from you. I second your challenge and calls.

  • Herbert, I agree with your analysis of what’s happened/happening, and I’m no Marxist, but this whole essay made me come away thinking the admittedly communistic social fabric you’ve described is hugely preferably, both in principle and in practice, than the traditional family structure it has replaced. It confers more responsibility on everyone – mothers, fathers, teachers, child-minders, social workers – for the upbringing of children and allows for individual freedom and variation in life choices; and to be sure, many families will make messed up choices in this free society, but (I maintain) no more than they did and do under the more repressive, prescriptive lifestyle formulae of tradition and religion – it’s just that the more open society is, well, more out in the open; there’s a public language for talking about family problems.
    Regarding your last paragraph, I don’t see how returning to the traditional state of affairs (presumably you mean the patriarchy) would achieve ‘a society that is not divided along the fault-line of gender’. Surely that’s precisely what it is at its very core?
    Lastly, I’d like to know how you envision a return to patriarchy would be put into motion. As you wrote in one of your other essays, feminists ‘have demanded freedoms that would have accrued to them anyway’, due to advances in technology and infrastructure. Are you proposing reversing the effect that these advances have had in widening people’s (both sexes’) range of lifestyle choices, and if so, how?

    • Herbert Purdy

      Rebecca. Thank you for your constructive comment. You do, however, seem to make some remarkable assumptions in what you say which, if unassumed change the picture entirely. Let me explain:

      1. You refer to ‘the more repressive, prescriptive lifestyle formulae of tradition and religion’ Where is the evidence this? Are you not basing your argument on your own belief system here? Could tradition for example, have evolved as part of the development of society because it gave structure and framework to people’s lives, and a context in which progress could be measured? And that this was deliberate, welcome and encouraged? I suspect you are also falling into the trap of believing that anything that is ‘old fashioned’ is inferior, which is a particularly prevalent form of human arrogance it seems to me. Surely we learn from the past, do we not?

      2. You refer to my wanting to return to ‘the patriarchy’. This is a classic begged question: that most basic of errors of logic. Your entire argument falls over if there is no ‘patriarchy’, a la the feminists’ definition. You obviously take The Patriarchy as a given, I do not. In fact I deal with this in considerable length in my upcoming book, which I am in the final stages of editing as I write.
      3. You talk about feminism widening both sexes range of lifestyle choices. I couldn’t disagree with you more on this. Women’s lifestyle choices have been widened (largely I might add at the expense of children, not so much men), but men’s haven’t. Feminists like to say this is the case, but this is only a false attempt to justify the things they have unilaterally (I would go so far as to say selfishly) taken without negotiation of the social contract with men. Do men not have a say in the radical changes women have wrought? Do men have no say in the wellbeing of children in society, I ask?
      4. Finally, you talk about a public language for talking about family problems. First of all, I would say that family problems are better dealt with in families – behind closed doors. They are not IMHO public property (unless you live in a communist society, of course.) Second, has it occurred to you that the undoubted family problems that exists today might be due to the destruction of patriarchy, which really means ‘the authority of the father’ – better known as fatherhood – responsible male input into families, like being a dad? It seems to me axiomatic that if you take the fatherhood and trash it, you create a power vacuum into which not only trouble, but the State will pour.

      I could say much more, but won’t. Space and the medium prevent that.

      Once again, however, thank you for engaging with my ideas. I welcome it any time.

      • Hi Herbert. Thanks for replying.

        1. I was basing my description on personal experience and general knowledge. Yes, I do think tradition evolved as part of the development of society. I do think it was deliberate, welcome and encouraged. I don’t think that it’s inferior because it’s old fashioned, but I do think it (the traditional family structure/structures) doesn’t work for everyone (for some it doesn’t even apply, i.e. gay couples), and society has made sufficient economic, technological, political etc progress that it’s now viable for it to be optional. The progress I’m thinking of includes things like higher standards of living, contraception, military conscription abolished or on its way out, jobs becoming less about physical strength and more cerebral.

        2. By ‘patriarchy’ I was using the word in the way you defined it in your article, having taken it to mean ‘man as the head of the family’.

        3. I said that advances in society have widened both sexes’ range of lifestyle choices. I agree with you that feminism has only widened women’s choices, and has probably only narrowed men’s choices at least regarding marriage and family.

        4. Family problems are better dealt with behind closed doors if the family has the capacity to deal with their problems. Many families don’t for various reasons, but the ‘public language’ I spoke of does as much to help families recognise their problems and face them at home as it does outside this sphere. I don’t think families are public property either – social care should be an altruistic service, but somebody needs to do it, to rescue abused children and suchlike. I guess in an ideal (to me) world the local community would take care of each other and/or social work could all be done by charities and philanthropic organizations.
        I don’t think that today’s family problems have occurred directly from the dissolving of the authority of the father [over the rest of the family inc. the mother], but rather from the vacuum which you mentioned, which has resulted indirectly, from us not dealing with the shift in structure in the right way. The vacuum comes from, as you said, the trashing of the role of responsible fatherhood – which, I’m inclined to agree, is a result of ongoing negative influences from, at least modern day, feminism. The emancipation of women from a subordinate role to men is a separate matter and in my opinion a positive piece of progress.

        • Herbert Purdy

          Once again, thank you Rebecca for such positive engagement. I am struck by the overlaps in our thinking rather more than the differences. That is why all of us: men and women alike, need to dialogue about this, and exchange of views. it is far more healthy than the gender class-war that is currently raging. I think there are places where we are not going to agree with one another, but again, that is healthy too. The only point I would say in response what you say about somebody needs to rescue abused children and suchlike. Well maybe their fathers? Have you read my piece on Rotherham maybe? You’ll find it in the August archive. You know, restoring fathers to their proper rôle in society might be the entire answer, but we can never know how much not having destroyed fathers and fatherhood might have reduced and contained any family functioning issues? It seems to me that feminism (and the ranks of social services are rife with them) are feeding off fixes for the very problems they are causing. That is parasitical IMHO. Once again thanks for your engagement. I appreciate it. I wish you well.

  • Victoro Odmanos

    Thanks Herbert. I’ve just found your site (amazed that I missed it all the years) and agree fully with your article.
    What the feminists don’t realise is that if the west gives up their patriarchal system, there is a real threat of other similar cultures moving in and claiming the leadership role. I am thinking in terms of muslim immigration to western countries.

  • RDF

    Can you not see the vast gulf of difference between women’s equal rights and feminism (or men’s equal rights and masculinism for that matter)?

    Part of egalitarianism is indeed the giving-up of the patriarchal family — but not for a matriarchal one! Equality means exactly that, where neither the man nor the woman is the ‘head’ of the family, because neither have any right to rule the other adult — neither the right nor the fitness (as I would think would be obvious to any intelligent adult); but one in which they are equals, working in concert with each other, in their respective roles, however they define them, to achieve their common goals.

    A patriarchal family has no more right to exist than a matriarchal one, and if you don’t understand that then you’re no different to the feminists and don’t understand what equality is.

    But you are right about one thing — it will never go back, and nor should it. Women will never again allow themselves to be subjugated by men … but nor should men to women! Absolutely not. We’re supposed to be equals, partners, and balanced with each other, with neither ruled by the other; and human society is only good for all when that is the case. I could use the Eastern symbol yin-yang; or I could employ the biblical metaphor: when men rule we have a Wasteland; when women rule, a Flood … but when there is balance, with neither ruling, or both ruling depending on how you look at it, we have a Garden of Eden, with just enough sunshine and just enough rain to create Paradise — that is in fact what the whole allegory means.

    By going your own way you won’t create that paradise any more than the feminists did by going theirs; and just like under feminism, everyone loses. But just as women’s rights activists needed normal men to stand with them and fight for their equality, men’s rights activists now need normal women to do the same ~ because only TOGETHER can we fix it and make things like they’re supposed to be.

    I think that’s a fight worth fighting. You can give up if you want to, but I’m not going to any time soon. I’ve been fighting toxic feminism for 20-something years, longer in some ways – and I mean fighting it ~ in the courts, in parliament, in local council, and in clinical practise – and I am a little tired … but the moment we give up, they win. This is a fight we must all fight, and if you don’t you’re complicit in their victory.

    Do you remember what Edmund Burke said about evil and how it prospers?