I was sent this exchange by someone presumably on a forum somewhere - and I enjoyed it. A damn good writer, whoever he is, ...

'Men' were never in charge. A few men were politically and 
economically influential, as much to do the bidding of their 
mother's, wives' and daughter's as for themselves. Don't let all 
that Herstory get to you, that all men were in charge and all women 
were oppressed. Society is largely constructed for the benefit of women 
and children and always has been, otherwise it doesn't survive. 
Herstory is a complete fabrication that relies on the fallacy that 
things were then as they are now - all apart from the brave and heroic 
modern woman's assertiveness. It takes a gigantic lack of imagination 
(usually the sole province of baby feminists) to believe that women 
wanted the economic and political involvement they claim now when the 
demands and risks of these endeavours were as they were then. No way! 
Quite appropriately for their s*x they valued their bodies, their 
freedom and their family enough not to want to be away from home for 
days going to market, get an arm severed righting an overturned cart, 
kicked in the stomach by a horse, drunk to secure an exchange, thrown 
in the workhouse when a debtor failed or they got unexpectedly ill or 
pregnant, mugged on the highway, press-ganged into the navy or run 
through for looking the wrong way at the wrong person. Hereabouts they 
wouldn't even have had the physical strength to get to work before they 
had to start for home again, as farm labourers in the early 20th 
century in this area routinely had to walk for 5 hours to find work. No 
mom's SUVs then! 

> What happened was that men freed women 
> from their role (gathering firewood, keeping the fire going all day, 
> churning butter, sewing, cooking, baking bread, boiling water for 
> cleaning, etc) through technology. They have little to do compared to 
> the old days, and so were able to get a collective consciousness 
> going. That turned into the vote, and the result was that the 
> government is repressing men, who now fear to speak. 

I think there's a more direct explanation for our current condition, 
and one that doesn't rely on the rather nebulous factor of a collective 

The freedom from domesticity you mention enabled women to take up more 
economically productive roles. The societies that encouraged this were 
more successful than those that didn't. They won wars and grew their 
economies using women's labour where technological progress made it 
possible for them to substitute for men. As women became economically 
active they became taxable. As they became taxable they became 
franchised - and at much the same time as most men, as you know. 
There's no deep magic to this process. 

There are more women in the adult population, they are more 
conscientious and obedient (so more inclined to vote) and more liable 
to vote for risk-protecting welfare programs whose cost is
disproportionately borne by men. 

Feminism is helpful to this process in that it encourages women into 
the economy, so increasing taxable income and state control, and 
provides a compliant base of voters for welfare governments. Hence it 
is encouraged politically. Those parties that don't embrace it don't 
get power. Economists are just starting to understand another, very 
surprising, factor in this whole process: the economic and 
technological effects of rampant consumption. Women, with 85% of 
discretionary spending power, fuel this process disproportionately. 
What we don't know yet is how sustainable this consumptive spree is or 
what its limits are, although I think most people have a strong gut 

So the political and economic direction of democratic western society 
is pretty well defined, is it not? 

One confounding factor about this process is that women are perceived, 
correctly, as being in more need of protection than men, so societies 
do tend to act protectively towards them. Women expect and demand this 
behaviour as a matter of right, and if that's what you mean when you 
refer to a collective consciousness then I would agree. This process is 
well understood, too, as being rooted in human instinct. The people who 
protected men as much as they protected women are nobody's ancestors 
because sperm is plentiful, eggs and wombs are not. Both s*xes have a 
strong instinct to protect women at the expense of men. On the whole 
most people feel very, very uncomfortable at doing the opposite, at 
standing up for men if this might disadvantage women. Instincts are 
tricky beggars, they hide themselves from conscious awareness and make 
themselves very un-amenable to reason, they have to otherwise they 
wouldn't work. So it almost never happens that men's interests are 
promoted at the expense of women's. Women thus have a social advantage 
that is denied to men and - just as successful men with good physical 
and spatial skills passed these on to their offspring - is it not 
likely that women with particularly good social manipulative skills 
reproduced more successfully too? 

Why is this a confounding factor? From this observation about 
instincts, and the prevailing scientific view that the brain is a
collection of disparate mental tools developed mainly for survival 
purposes, it is quite reasonable to hypothesise that on the whole women 
do not possess the psychological equipment to really empathise with 
men's social condition. This is not their fault - why would they ever 
have needed it after all when their role was to protect the children? 
But this then raises the question about their majority political power
and whether their enfranchisement on equal terms is sustainable in the 
long run, e.g. how will the western social and economic model meet the 
challenge from China, with its majority of men? 

Strong stuff, this hypothesis, but it needs tackling - not hiding under 
the carpet for fear of upsetting Harvard Professors of Indignation and 
Nausea. The long list of socially controllable quality of life measures
in the west where men perform worse than women, and the absence of the 
reverse, forces any reasonable person to ask the question. 

> Harrassment, 
> stalking, abuse, dv laws have all made males retreat from speaking 
> out, and they now don't even let themselves THINK about these topics. 
> You could put them in concentration camps and let them die and they 
> wouldn't even mention it to each other. 

Probably, but for different reasons that are associated with deep 
instincts that won't be overcome by accusations of cowardice. 

The problem of men's unwillingness to stand up for themselves against 
women is a real one, I agree. But we need to be reasonably sure of the 
underlying causes for it before composing a corrective strategy. 

Expecting men to deny their deepest instincts is simply not practical. 
Better to recognise women's supremacy in the manipulation of social 
structures to their own advantage and to work from there.