At 04:38 PM 9/12/97 -0700, Troy McGinnis wrote:
>Paternalism and maternalism are observable and measureable in social
>interaction(s), and do indeed differ in their content and character.
>Patriarchy and matriarchy are not so easily defined, however. Arbitrarily
>labeling every failed or troubled society as "matriarchy" does not
>establish the existence of "patriarchy," but rather exposes a rather
>lackluster argument for superiority based on supposedly superior behavioral
>characteristics. It would be much more logical for the Father's Manifesto
>to advocate for the return of paternalism. It would be *far* more honest,
>considering that paternalism is a behavior, but patriarchy is a structure
>(and largely hypothetical, in my opinion). I don't see us saying to change
>much structure, but I do see us wanting to change behavior.
Well, you have me totally confused here, Troy. We have all learned a lot
from this forum, but we certainly must have much more to learn.
"Patriarchy" is well defined, even it is not so clear in our Webster's
Dictionary, so how you can even believe "patriarchy is ... largely
hypothetical, in my opinion". Countries which call themselves patriarchal
(in their own language usually) are proud of that fact, and there is
nothing hypothetical in that fact. Some of the statistical evidence of
Japan's social and economic stability has been presented. Either you
didn't see it, didn't believe it, or don't believe there is a relationship
between "patriarchy" and "family stability" if you still believe that
patriarchy in Japan is hypothetical. I don't know the Japanese word for
patriarchy, but they do consider themselves to be a patriarchy and they do
consider us to be a matriarchy (and I do agree with these 126 million
people as wholeheartedly as I disagree with you that patriarchy is
There is a huge difference between these two cultures, and in fact when the
differences are presented to some people, they say: "But these are
different *cultures*--you can't compare the two". The very point is that
they ARE different cultures, that the difference is as simple and basic as
the difference between "patriarchy vs. matriarchy", and we MUST compare
them because their construct works and ours obviously doesn't.
Are you saying that you believe our system works, in spite of what the
statistics say? Are you saying that you don't believe that Japan is a
patriarchy? Are you saying that you think we are a patriarchy? Are you
saying that you don't believe the difference between Japan and the US
represented by the statistics? Are you saying that you don't believe that
the difference in the statistics between the two countries is because of
the differences between patriarchy and matriarchy? I am not being
disrespectful or argumentative to tell you that I can't imagine what you
mean by "hypothetical".
You say we have had no "revolutionary change", but there are at least 3
crucial ones that we have discussed so far:
1) Almost a century and a half after the Constitution was written women
got the right to vote (1920).
2) Almost 2 centuries after the Constitution was written the "equal
protection" clause was applied to women (1961).
3) Shortly after that, women became the majority voter (1965).
We were by all definitions and acts a patriarchy prior to 1920. By all
definitions and statistics we became a matriarchy at least as early as
1965. Within that 45 year period a transition took place which we cannot
view as anything but "revolutionary change", and a WAG is that the American
Patriarchy formally ended in 1961. That was the time that all the social
and economic statistics hit the knee of their curves--all to the worse,
none to the better. There is nothing hypothetical here.
You say "I don't see us saying to change much structure, but I do see us
wanting to change behavior", and I disagree here. There was no change in
the behavior of the American people which led to the most revolutionary of
the above changes--the application of the term "equal protection" to women.
Rather, it was in violation of the will and religions of the American
people, as evidenced by the spirit and intent of the Fourteenth Amendment,
a century of tradition and consistent court rulings, Biblical history, and
The Supreme Court unilaterally reversed the application of "equal
protection", to the benefit only of lawyers and nobody else, particularly
women. It was as revolutionary a change as we've ever had, and it was by
that that the behavior of people was forced to change for the worse.
Equivalently, we can't change behavior unless we change the "structure"--to
get behavior back on track.
We placed our crown jewels in the supposedly capable hands of the Supreme Court, and they squashed them.