Thoughts on gyneocracy and liberalism

An Indian living in the West writes:

Gyneocracy isn’t just about women being in some important positions of power. It is also the condition of the men—the men become soft, effeminate and decadent. So the gyneocracy is much more than just a few liberal women prancing around on foreign soil. It also has to do with the female vote in the U.S. (more than half of all voters—women live longer than men), females in American colleges (I am Charlotte Simmons) and the type of men this produces etc. The argument is that gyneocracy is of much wider import than we assume. People, for example, thought that the presence of Janet Reno in the Cabinet was an indication of gyneocracy. But that’s a limited view. Clinton was a gynaecratic president—the women loved him and they were primarily responsible for his eight years in office (even though he himself abused his position to have oral sex with an intern).
He continues with further thoughts:

In the time I have spent in Europe, I have had the occasion to understand Gyneocracy better—upon reflection.

For example, I never discuss politics or serious opinions with women any more. Their minds are usually infantile, obsessed with fashion and other trivialities, focused on appearances, celebrity gossip and the rubbish on television. I can find two or three men out of a hundred here with whom you could have a sensible discussion about politics. With women, this is not possible.

I do not now, as a matter of policy ever say anything political (or to use the modern term “judgmental”) in front of women and never express any real political opinions. Women have a fascination for “niceness” (which is not the same as “morality,” mind you)—but niceness means not saying “mean” things, and not being “mean” (the words of gyneocracy).

I don’t take women seriously (in the intellectual sense) any more—certainly not the women of my generation in Europe and also increasingly Asia.

Also, this applies to women of all races—it is not unique to white women, for example. Minority women (in which I include Indian women living here) are a little more touchy about racial things and tend to kvetch more about “racism” (especially if they are themselves not particularly attractive).

I am not a misogynist. There is a place for women in society—and they should not be oppressed in the way that they are in the East especially among the Muslims. If men become tyrants in relation to their women they produce tyrants among their rulers. It is no accident that Muslim societies are usually tyrannies and Muslim men tend to be tyrants as husbands and fathers.

What I say also applies now to large numbers of Indian women in India. India has changed a lot and urban middle class and upper class Indian women are becoming quite similar to their Western counterparts. They want the same freedoms and the same “choices.” So many are now indistinguishable in some ways from white Western women in their behaviour.

Lastly, women have their place in a different sphere from men and they should not be let anywhere near politics. The two should be kept completely separate.

I should add a little more to this—a woman like Margaret Thatcher would be inconceivable among the women of today. While she was a woman, she was a product of an English patriarchy (she was born in the 1920s). Sexually liberated women don’t become Maggie Thatcher.

- end of initial entry -

Laura W. writes:

In response to “an Indian living in the West,” I would like to restate a point I’ve made before. The main reason why women should not enter politics is that they have too much to do elsewhere, preserving culture, education, tradition, family harmony and religion. These tasks require the sort of intelligence that men—in their infantile fixations on life’s horse race and their obtuse inability to understand the human soul in its daily struggle—simply lack. Once women have entered politics in significant numbers, they have generally become so materialistic and careerist that the surrounding culture is degraded. There is no longer anything worth leading.

I reject the notion that women cannot competently fill many mid-level leadership positions. It’s better that they don’t, but the tragic fact is that they can handle the job, especially if they don’t have children. However, there are some positions—senator, president, priest, orchestral conductor, corporate president, university president, to name a few—which a woman is wholly unsuited for, physically, mentally and psychologically. These are meant to be filled by father figures. And, women cannot be fathers anymore than they can be fish or cats.

Your correspondent says he is not a misogynist, but clearly this is not so. He’s had it with the entire opposite sex! If he cannot find a woman to have a decent conversation with, a woman can never be more than a sexual partner, servant or annoying co-worker to him. He truly dislikes women. There are indeed many shallow women on this earth, as there are millions of men who cannot surpass the daily sports page in their conversation. But, I have found that many men long not just for the services of women, but their companionship, their serious opinions and their different intelligence. There are some men who despise it, but most long for it and find themselves incomplete without it. I would suggest he has not truly looked for intelligent women.

As for his comment that Indian women have become disturbingly feminist, I have noticed the same thing here in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where I have close Indian friends. There are many divorces and the women have adopted that unfortunate air of perpetual grievance. Quite surprising because they are still terrific cooks!

Finally, please do away with your use of the term “gynaecocracy.” It’s not the meaning I object to, but it is an ugly mouthful of a word. There must be a better alternative.

LA writes:

I’m changing all spellings of “gynaecocracy” to “gyneocracy.”

Laura continues:

By the way, I realized that I made the contribution of women sound awfully high-minded: preserving culture, education, the human soul, etc. It is that, but I neglected to mention the incessant household drudgery. One of the most alluring feminist fantasies is the idea that this can be shared or, better yet, ignored altogether (as if we are not physical creatures, but gods and goddesses in the clouds.) I still feel this should largely fall upon women for many reasons. And there is no question, it erodes the mind. Wouldn’t I be a better conversationalist if I spent the day in the halls of Congress or in my former office as a metropolitan journalist, instead of cooking and cleaning? You betcha! Men make their own sacrifices for the common good, women should too.

FP writes:

How large is the female component behind liberalism? I have thought that the intertwined rise of liberalism and the Gramscian left after WWII was primarily driven by the rise of mass media, the political aftereffects of WWI and WWII and the dislocating effects of modernity. But women’s suffrage also dates to the early-mid 20th century. As a indirect effect one would expect a time lag between introduction (women beginning to vote in the 1920’s) and system change (the long term effects of female voting patterns post WWII) … What an awful thought … is postmodern liberalism largely a reflection of feminine values writ large?

The perspective twisting mass media can hopefully be neutralised by the new medias, the shocks of the world wars will slowly fade into history, and society will find adjustments for new technology. However, none of that matters if Western civilization has doomed itself by the very basic step of sharing the reigns of power with women, if for the most part the political expression of their nature expedites the phenomenon we know as liberalism.

LA writes:

In reply to Laura, I would say that our Indian correspondent does not seem to appreciate the sentiment expressed by Yeats in his poem “On Woman” (though the same poem also seems to express contradictory views):

Though pedantry denies,
It’s plain the Bible means
That Solomon grew wise
While talking with his queens.

Yet never could, although
They say he counted grass,
Count all the praises due
When Sheba was his lass …

From The Wild Swans at Coole,1919.

At the same time, I must also say that there is support for our correspondent’s view. At dinners and social gatherings, it’s typically the case that the men want to talk about politics and ideas, and their wives, frankly, have zero interest in those things. The women want to talk about domestic matters. Women who are interested in ideas for their own sake are the exception. There is something to be said for the old custom of men and women separating after dinner to have their respective male and female conversations.

Which brings me to the part of the Yeats poem I left out:

MAY God be praised for woman
That gives up all her mind,
A man may find in no man
A friendship of her kind
That covers all he has brought
As with her flesh and bone,
Nor quarrels with a thought
Because it is not her own.

Laura replies:
I find at social gatherings that the men usually go off to discuss sports or career woes. At most dinner parties in America, neither the men or women are discussing ideas. As for your comment that men can focus more purely on ideas and women on domestic matters, there is truth to this. However, I sense some condescension in your use of the term “domestic matters.” Invariably, the women are discussing psychology, an inadequate term for the study of the soul in its earthly habitat. In its lowest form, this sort of conversation is simply gossip. But, often it involves something higher: pondering the imponderables of the human psyche and attempting to come to resolution of complex interpersonal problems. God help us all when women stop charting these waters! I’m all for women and men separating at social gatherings for part of the time. Let’s just hope they keep going home together.

LA replies to Laura:

You’re right, I was unfair. I was thinking of particular parties I’ve been to where the men were interested in politics and the women were completely uninterested in that, but I agree that in most of America no one is interested in ideas.

I very much like your way of explaining women’s particular focus.

LA writes:

Speaking of gyneocracy, a woman has been nominated to be the Socialist candidate for president of France, the first female candidate for president of France, and probably the first unmarried mother to run for president of any country. She is Ségolène Royal, the “civil union” partner of François Hollande, the leader of the Socialist Party, by whom she has four children. But if Hollande is the leader of the Socialist party, why isn’t he the Socialist candidate?

Tiberge discusses it at Galliawatch.

Our Indian correspondent living in the West replies:

Laura W writes: “Your correspondent says he is not a misogynist, but clearly this is not so. He’s had it with the entire opposite sex! If he cannot find a woman to have a decent conversation with, a woman can never be more than a sexual partner, servant or annoying co-worker to him. He truly dislikes women. There are indeed many shallow women on this earth, as there are millions of men who cannot surpass the daily sports page in their conversation. But, I have found that many men long not just for the services of women, but their companionship, their serious opinions and their different intelligence. There are some men who despise it, but most long for it and find themselves incomplete without it. I would suggest he has not truly looked for intelligent women.”

No that’s not right. Just because I don’t like discussing abstract ideas with women doesn’t mean I hate women. I find it difficult to discuss any serious abstract ideas with women because invariably the arguments get emotional and sentimental when women listen or argue. There’s no unemotional and thoroughly rational/logical way of arguing with women. Women, generally speaking, do not think logically, they think through feelings and sentiments. That’s the whole point. Any man who has expended energy courting women will understand that immediately. Actually men who try to employ logic with women are wasting their time. They won’t ever get anywhere and they only end up annoying the women who are around them.

I owe an apology for suggesting that women shouldn’t be allowed into politics. That is extremely foolhardy. The genie is out of the bottle—like the civil rights movement, for example, there is no turning back. One could turn the clock back but it would result in more injustice and inequity than what follows from our current state of affairs. I also don’t think that women will ever lose the vote because no one will ever argue in favour of it and no one will wish that; unless Europe becomes Islamic, then it could happen.

But I do think a way has to be found to moderate some of the effects that women have had on modern politics. Perhaps women like Laura who have more conservative leanings should organise to confront and oppose the destructive ones like Hillary Clinton or Cherie Blair. Men won’t do it because it makes them look sexist and no public figure who is a male (even in India) wants to be called that any more.

Here’s an example to illustrate my point about seeing things through sentiments and emotions:

MIT biologist Nancy Hopkins walked out of Summers’ speech, saying later that if she hadn’t left, ‘’I would’ve either blacked out or thrown up.”

Note that we aren’t talking of some ordinary woman but a scientist at MIT!

Lastly, have you ever watched Oprah Winfrey? I had the misfortune of watching an episode or two back home on cable television when I was in college. When you’ve seen Oprah Winfrey you know how women argue.

LA replies:

But Nancy Hopkins, who is an academic leftist, and Oprah and her female fans represent the deformations of women under the influence of the modern culture and modern feminism. They are not representative of how normal, intelligent women would think and behave in a more rational and traditional society. That’s like saying that Catherine McKinnon represents women.

Margaret S. writes from Britain:

I don’t often give into the temptation to post a blog owner my comments when comments are closed but this was irresistible.

In the wake of Remembrance Day I have been thinking about the men who have recently received posthumous pardons after being shot for desertion. Nurse Edith Cavell was shot too, by the Germans, for helping servicemen escape from occupied Belgium. Edith Cavell was not a stupid woman; she joined the Red Cross and did what she believed was right and paid the ultimate price. I’ve also been thinking about the large numbers of men in WWII who chose prison stripes over their country’s uniform and the girls who volunteered to man anti-aircraft batteries and died in action. Strength and honour are not the prerogative of either sex. We’ve had the god-awful late Andrea Dworkin whining incessantly about men being the enemy, can’t we move on? Do we have to shuffle to the side and start blaming women? Perhaps the time has come to concentrate on common humanity and what constitutes a good human being without chattering about gender. I am a nurse. I chose to be a nurse but I could have been a lawyer or an engineer, I had the qualifications for both, but I also had the opportunity to follow my heart. Are we going to claim that all women are largely incapable of honour and decency and need circumscribed but all men are overflowing with the virtues that entitle them to freedom of choice? A world in which an intelligent and capable girl cannot choose to become an astrophysicist (because, after all, she will never grow into a plump tweedy gent with bushy eyebrows) or a lawyer and aim for the US Senate is a world in which a woman has become a child old enough to impregnate which is not a pretty concept for a civilised society.

Perhaps sexually liberated women do not become Margaret Thatcher but, on the other hand, most wonderfully, after centuries of male promiscuity we managed to turn out Albert Schweitzer. Isn’t gross generalising fun?

I find it awfully sad to hear that women can’t lead orchestras and, presumably, by the same logic, men can’t be paediatricians. After all, caring for sick children is a mother’s work and men cannot be mothers anymore than sardines or finches. Men cannot love or nurture, men cannot give of themselves, a man cannot make an all night vigil by a dying child and a man cannot motivate himself to years in the laboratory or by the computer to track down an errant gene for the sake of future children. Is that what we have to believe? It is all social construct or biology and all human life and love is reducible to X and Y.

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn said: “The universal dividing line between good and evil runs not between countries, not between nations, not between parties, not between classes, not between good and bad men: the dividing line cuts across nations and parties, shifting constantly, yielding now to the pressure of light, now to the pressure of darkness. It divides the heart of every man.”

And my grandmother who spent four years in a Soviet prison said that there were men and women and Jews and Christians (a big issue for some and she was a convert from one to the other) on both sides of the prison doors but all the honourable people were on the same side. It is too simple to blame women or blacks or white European males and, besides, easy blame puts us in bed with Catherine McKinnon instead of having a Scotch with Margaret Thatcher which is somewhere no reasonable person would wish to be.

LA replies:

I respectfully disagree with Margaret. Her argument, as I see it, is a liberal argument. That is not labeling, I have a definite idea in mind when I call something liberal that goes to the heart of what this website is about.

Liberalism means seeing the world as a single collection of individuals, all possessing the same rights, and distinguished only by their “individual worth.” Liberalism rejects, as a fundamental principle, the idea that individuals may belong to different categories—categories not chosen by the individual himself—that may affect the individual’s rights. So, from the point of view of liberalism, there is no reason why women cannot be, say, soldiers or police officers, so long as the women in question can “do the job.” This leads to a few women, who have the requisite qualifications, becoming soldiers or police officers, which in turn leads to changes in the institution to adjust to those women (e.g., separate bathrooms and sleeping quarters, the elimination of hazing at VMI), and thence to an attack on the “culture of masculinity” in those institutions and to never-ending demands for ever more women to be admitted and to be promoted at the same rate as men. Starting with a liberal individual-rights paradigm aimed at the non-discriminatory inclusion of qualified individuals, we end up with cultural radicalism aimed at transforming or destroying the institution itself.

In the area of immigration, U.S. immigration in 1965 was opened up equally to immigrants from all countries on the basis that the only criterion for admission should be the “individual worth” of prospective immigrants, rather than their nationality, race, or religion. But since these notions of individual worth were necessarily minimalistic (since the very purpose of the law was to eliminate group discrimination, not to admit high quality immigrants, an impossible task in any case when you’re talking about mass immigration), the people we permitted as worthy individuals in fact carried cultural differences with them that inevitably have changed American culture and created demands for far more sweeping changes, in the process also leading to the prohibition of any criticism of these changes. Once again, pure liberal individualism, based on “individual worth,” leads to cultural radicalism and the loss of an institution’s or a whole society’s legitimate liberty to govern itself.

By contrast, traditionalism acknowledges that we as human beings are not just individuals possessing rights and desires, that there are things about us that matter that do not come from ourselves. Our nature as men or women is not created by ourselves; it is a given that comes from outside ourselves and that structures our existence. From the point of view of traditionalism, such larger categories as sex, religion, nationality, ethnicity, and race (not to mention species) matter. How much they matter varies. In some cases they may not matter at all, and the issue can be determined on a pure basis of individual rights; in other cases they may matter very much, and liberal rights must take a back seat to other considerations. How much they matter in any case is something to be determined by prudence. As President Kennedy once said about brains, there is no substitute for prudence.

Therefore the proper role of women and men in society is a legitimate topic of political discussion. But liberalism denies that it is a legitimate topic, because liberalism denies the existence, or at least the importance, of those larger categories or essences.

Of course I am not denying the evils that have been done in the name of putting people into determined categories of race, class, sex, and so on. Liberalism is however an extreme solution to that problem which creates horrible problems of its own. The result of denying that group categories can ever matter socially or be a legitimate topic of discussion can be seen in the paralyzing political correctness that controls Britain and other European countries at this moment, with the U.S. not far behind.

Van Wijk writes:

I just wanted to commend you on your reply to Margaret. It could be the most succinct and effective definition of liberalism I have ever read.

KE writes from Turkey:

Absolutely brilliant indictment and “profiling” job of liberalism. I’ll forward it to every male I know and more or less trust to appreciate it. (And then they’ll idiotically forward it to their wives/significant others, or sommon “discussion” forums where the intellectual level is at the Oprah level, and then my notoriety will hit the ceiling and I’ll probably be excommunicated by a few of them. At least for a few months.)

After reading the discussion I rushed to write my own reaction, but I had to stop before I scribbled a few paragraphs at the speed of sound when I started to feel a literal chest pain. I gave up. What’s the point of preaching to the converted… sorry, preaching to the preacher …

So why do I feel this constant urge to write to people like you?

Because of the intellectual and the spiritual loneliness—why else.

This is gonna kill me, Larry. I feel like I’m living in one of those “Twilight Zone” episodes. There are hours of the day when I feel I’m going nuts reading all the absolute s*** sent to me by umpteen liberal friends.

I think it’s time to accept that this really is the end of the Western Civilization. The stock that made possible the beautiful Judeo-Christian West—its immense spiritual power; its breathtaking, heartstoppingly beautiful art; its magnificent science and technology; its mind-bogglingly prosperous economic system, the stock has grown decadent. By that I mean a very simple process: the ancestors have created such an unprecedented and enormous wealth that the most FEEBLE-MINDED and UTTERLY USELESS DESCENDANTS have nothing to worry about other than the INSUFFERABLY CHILDISH ego trips. The enormous wealth that keeps the West so magnificently dominant is created by a tiny—and very bright— fraction of the Western populace—my guess is about 2-4%. There is also a 5-7% mass of underlings that support them, and the rest… about 80% of the population are, well, in civilizational terms, the useless, pampered, frivolous, conspicuous-spender, wealth destroying MORONS. Absolute MORONS.

This itself is an indication that the West as we know it may have to burn down to its ashes. In order to be reborn phoenix-style. There’s just too much wealth sustaining and subsidizing too much extravagance, decadence, and dysfunctionality. It just cannot last.

Ok, call me names if you want, but I just had to get this scream out of my chest.

Mark A. writes:

Excellent reply to Margaret with regards to her Liberal analysis.

You are correct: Liberalism denies the existence, or importance, of the larger categories in society. Just as important, in my opinion, is what fosters Liberalism: narcissism. Narcissism is running rampant in our society, and I believe it can be more prevalent in women. No intention to criticize Margaret personally here, I’m just responding to her argument, but I notice how her argument begins with what “she could have done” and what “she decided to do” and what rights are necessary for “her to have a choice.” The Narcissist, whom is almost always a Liberal, doesn’t even THINK about the effects of her decision on larger society. The thought just doesn’t enter her mind.

“Snouck Hurgronje” writes:

LA: “In the area of immigration, U.S. immigration in 1965 was opened up equally to immigrants from all countries on the basis that the only criterion for admission should be the “individual worth” of prospective immigrants, rather than their nationality, race, or religion. But since these notions of individual worth were necessarily minimalistic (since the very purpose of the law was to eliminate group discrimination, not to admit high quality immigrants, an impossible task in any case when you’re talking about mass immigration), the people we permitted as worthy individuals in fact carried cultural differences with them that inevitably have changed American culture and created demands for far more sweeping changes, in the process also leading to the prohibition of any criticism of these changes.”

Snouck: The idea of “individual worth” is indeed minimalistic and forget to mention an essential criteria for any member of a social group, whether it is a nation, a company or a church. Loyalty. How can you expect loyalty from people you admit to your social group if you do not demand anything from them. How can you expect loyalty from the existing members if they see their rights hollowed out?

Margaret S. writes back:

I didn’t mean to start a discussion on women in the military although it seems that I have a little. When I mentioned Edith Cavell and the WAC volunteers it was to illustrate the point that virtues such as bravery or a sense of duty are distributed between the sexes and not the preserve of either one.

I do not believe women should serve in front-line positions in the military. Women are physically unsuited to being commandos and—this is important—men are psychologically unsuited to seeing women blown to bits too often. However I see no reason to believe that because women cannot actually fight they cannot do anything useful in uniform. Women have longer concentration spans than men and an amazing attention to detail (no man ever embroidered the life of Christ on a cope with visible tears on faces of 1cm) so perhaps women make good air traffic controllers. Women have been in the services for decades and there was never an issue about separate facilities, etc, for nurses or ‘wrens’ but there is now because someone decided men and women were interchangeable units except, of course, when going to the bathroom.

My gripe with discussions of the differences between men and women and the role of women is that it far too quickly becomes polarised. I am looking for the via media between domestic oppression and feminist insanity but invariably the feminists accuse me of having sold out (not that I ever bought in) and the “kinder, küche, kirche” crowd accuse me of being a feminist.

It seems that we have to accept that women can do everything and so we have little 5’2 police officers on the beat and 130lb fire-fighters and all that nonsense or we say that women can’t do very much at all so they’d better stay in the kitchen inventing new ways to make a casserole. What happened to moderation, that silken string that runs through all the virtues, to paraphrase Cardinal Newman? We all have limitations, some are biological, some are psychological, some are the result of injury and some are self-imposed by religion, etc, but within those I believe we ought to cultivate our talents for our own good and the good of our families and our societies. I believe we choose good as individuals. I try to do what I believe to be good and I believe I am responsible for myself and that I can’t pass that buck to anyone or anything else.

The fact that 99 out of 100 women don’t want to become engineers doesn’t make the one who does wrong. A man with big bear paws is unlikely to become a successful goldsmith but is goldsmithing a female profession because it helps to have neat little fingers? There are some things women (and men) cannot and should not do but outside certain things that could be called vocations (I would include the military in this as well as the priesthood) I’m not sure why it’s liberal to state that if a woman can be a good engineer she should be or if a man can be a good translator he should be. (It makes better sense than stating something like professions A, B and C are for father figures so women can’t do them. I actually think of conducting an orchestra or playing an instrument as very feminine, probably because both the muse and the patron saint of music are women but I don’t think it’s a good enough argument to cite when suggesting Daniel Hope lays down his violin and goes to engineering school.) It becomes liberal (and wrong) in a flash if someone decides a university should create programmes to ensure half of all engineering undergraduates are women because that won’t be achieved without lowering of standards and the forcing of a lot of square pegs into round holes but, John Calvin said, the abuse of a thing does not alter the rightful use of it.

Large numbers of both sexes are boring and frivolous. I spend half my life dodging women who talk about characters in soap operas as if they are real and trying to find those of either sex who will talk about God, the Universe and Everything. Sometimes I get lucky and oftentimes I am bored rigid by some chap with a new car. I know better than to talk to men about Jane Austen adaptations but somehow they never know better than to talk to me about their car or, worse, someone else’s car. It’s very hard to find someone who can talk about ideas and harder yet to find someone who can do it in reasoned way justifying and producing evidence. People say things like, “This is what it means to me,” and the temptation is always to ask, “And what would it mean if you weren’t here?”, but it’s a conversation killer when you do. I think political correctness has made everything relative in people’s minds to the extent that they may not even be sure they are entitled to ideas anymore. I know it sounds a bit odd but increasingly people seem incapable of making statements or substantiating them if they do, it’s as if they suspect that having convictions makes them a bigot. I am beginning to wonder if people in general – both sexes, all classes – are reluctant to be heard to have ideas or believe in anything because they fear it will lead to confrontation. Most people, not just women in my experience, argue emotionally rather than debate and I wonder if they think that people who argue (debate) really hate each other? You can’t discuss race anymore and if you try there is a tacit understanding amongst your listeners that you want to burn crosses in people’s gardens. My hypothesis for explaining why people have apparently lost the will to think is along the lines of something comparable to the fear of being called a racist pervading every possible area of intellectual conflict. The “field work” at least will entertain me during Christmas socialising.

LA replies:

Since everyone in the discussion apparently accedes to the idea that an exceptional woman may occasionally become the leader of a country, not as a result of feminism, but as a natural development of her own character and career, I doubt that anyone here would say that a woman interested in engineering should be prevented from becoming an engineer, though some may. So I think that Margaret may be overstating the degree to which I and others in this discussion would seek to establish authoritative rules governing sex roles.

I’m more intrigued, however, by Margaret’s thoughts on the death of debate. She writes: “I know it sounds a bit odd but increasingly people seem incapable of making statements or substantiating them if they do, it’s as if they suspect that having convictions makes them a bigot.” This is true. It’s why people today preface their opinions by giving their group identity as the justification for their opinion: “As a Catholic,” “as a conservative,” “as a white male,” “as an evangelical,” I believe such and such.

Debate is the lifeblood of politics and self-government. The loss of the ability to engage in debate stems from the loss of belief in objective and transcendent truth, which is also the original cause, the originating act, of liberalism. Liberalism begins with the rejection of higher truth, the intention being to establish freedom and equality and peace among all men by removing any authority higher than human beings which can be used to oppress or exclude any human beings. But liberalism also depends on debate and discussion, and the liberal rejection of higher truth paralyzes discussion because it’s not possible to have discussion, or even language itself, if you don’t belief in a truth that exists apart from yourself. Thus the very act with which liberalism begins, the rejection of higher truth, ends by destroying liberalism.

For those who are interested, here follows an exchange with a reader in England who explains the correct spelling of the “gyn” word:

Timothy S. writes:

Actually the word should be either gynarchy or gynaecocracy; Americans might prefer to drop the diphthong to make gynecocracy. The former is from gune, a woman, the latter from gunaikeios, pertaining to women. See for both the OED, where gynaeocracy is said to be an error for gynaecocracy.

Otherwise everything you say is dead right, or nearly everything. I derive great comfort from your writings.

LA replies:

Well, I found many instances of gyneocracy on the Web, and only one of gynaecocracy. The latter is unpronouncible. I’ve just tried it several times and couldn’t do it! Yes, I can do it if I make the “co” syllable the stressed syllable: gynaeCOcracy, but that is truly an ugly word, as Laura W. said.

In fact, I had not noticed right away that my Indian correspondent’s usage had that extra “co” syllable. It was when I noticed it that I decided to change all the instances to gyneocracy.

You seem to be saying that because the Greek for “pertaining to women” is gunaikeios, the “keios” needs to be represented in the English version with that “co” syllable that I don’t like. But (sorry for my ignorance of Greek), if woman is gune, then why can’t the English be gune-cracy, thence guneocracy, rule of women?

Timothy S. replies:

There are too many vowels in the middle of the word and the O doesn’t belong there.

When you make an English compound from Greek, you keep the whole of the second half intact and drop any vowels on the end of the first half: psychiatry is a compression of psyche (spirit) and iatros (doctor). You need a connecting vowel of some kind, though, so we have helicopter from stretching out helix (spiral) and pteros (wing).

The ending for a word denoting rule is -cracy, from the Greek cratia. Accordingly the most you could do would be to have gyno-cracy; the connecting vowel turns into an O if it comes from the end of the first half, as in psychologist. Gynaeocracy would be a coupling of gynae-o-cracy, which one can imagine in the chorus of a folk song but which otherwise has no justification.

(People may be misled by familiarity with the word democracy. That has an O in the middle because the stem is demos, meaning people, which produces the intermediate vowel. It is demo-cracy, not dem-o-cracy.)

Consider as illustration the legitimate alternative of gynarchy. The second half is another and more archaic word for rule, arche. As that starts with a vowel, you automatically drop any vowel on the end of the first half: mon-archy from monos (single) and arche, Herod the tetr-arch from tetra (four) and arche, olig-archy from oligos (few) and arche.

In Greek compounds beginning gun-something (a lover of women, a womanly nature, and the like) almost invariably from the gunaik- stem. If you go to the Perseus section of the Tufts University site (a distillation of all Greek dictionaries) and search for words beginning ‘gun’ you will find 57 gunaik-stem compounds and only a single gun-stem one. The English gynaecocracy is actually faithful to the Greek, as well as making sense in its own terms.

(I’m sure you know that the Greek letter upsilon represented by what we think of as a U converted itself into a Y as modern languages developed, to do with pronunciation. Germans still say upsilon for a Y in reciting their alphabet.)

Sorry, but I can’t think that gynaecocracy is hard to pronounce. Just stress the first syllable and keep the rest short. You could stick to gynarchy, though.

Post any of this dull pedantry if your readers can stand it, as it is far from confidential, but please just give me initials if you do.

Changing the subject, I forever marvel that as an American you can so accurately anatomise the ills of my country, which is England.

Laura W. writes:

I think matriarchy is better or, as a second choice, gynarchy. Unfortunately, the root gyn, whatever its etymology, connotes female reproductive organs in today’s usage and distracts from the issue at hand. To me, it’s comparable to calling rule by men a phallocracy.

Gordon writes:

In the discussion on “gyneocracy” , , you stated, “Starting with a liberal individual-rights paradigm aimed at the non-discriminatory inclusion of qualified individuals, we end up with cultural radicalism aimed at transforming or destroying the institution itself.”

I am reminded of what one of the ‘60s radicals (I forget who) once said: “The issue is not the issue; the revolution is the issue.”

So, the destruction of the institution is the liberal/Leftist goal all along.

Asher M. writes:

King Solomon expressed your Indian correspondent’s sentiments well:

… one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found. Behold, this only have I found, that God made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.” Ecclesiastes 7:28-29.

Though the flaws of women certainly exist, though they are tendencies rather than absolutes true of every one. That said, I would agree with you and to an extent the Indian correspondent. I have found that women are more often the ideological enforcers, the ones to profess disgust at “racism” or “sexism,” rather than arguing. This may owe to a woman’s tendency to “preserve tradition,” by staunch enforcement of prevailing customs, or to her tendency to respond emotionally to reasoned discourse.

Worse is the fact that the entry of a non-intelllectual (for lack of a better term) into a conversation tends to drive discussion into banality, as the philistine guides the topic to one he finds appealing (and it would be rude to indirectly exclude someone from conversation). These reasons may explain why the men separated for a smoke after dinner amongst themselves. Personally, I find it difficult to maintain a substantive conversation with more than one person simultaneously, else dialogue decomposes into the drivel so commonplace.

Steve Sailer once commented on the seeming indifference of women to politics and such; I then checked a few of the surveys for advertisers of various public policy journals like National Review and The New Republic, in which reader demographics are published. I found about an average 3:1 Male/Female ratio (which is lower than my experience would suggest).

Richard B. writes:

How about using the term FEMOCRACY.

The participants being called FEMOCRATS.

Proponents are called FEMINICIANS.

Radicals proponents are FEMINISTAS.

LA replies:

The trouble with “femocracy” is that Latin and Greek words should not be combined together into an English word. “Fem” comes from the Latin femina, woman, and “cracy” from the Greek word for rule.

There are accepted words that violate the rule, however. In “homosexual,” for example, homo comes from the Greek word for same; and sex comes from the Latin word sexus, the state of being either male or female.

Sage McLaughlin writes:

I just want to make one point in reply to Margaret.

She says that, “The fact that 99 out of 100 women don’t want to become engineers doesn’t make the one who does wrong.” This is true enough as far as it goes, but as with all essentially liberal arguments, it does not go far enough. Liberalism (like heresy) mistakes a thin slice of the truth for the very summit of wisdom. As a result, well-meaning folks like Margaret seize on a truth and push it until it becomes false.

Obviously, one cannot be qualified to be an engineer, and still unqualified by virtue of his sex. But this is where liberalism runs off the tracks. The liberal insists that while the individual’s merit is of great importance and merits unyielding consideration, that his situation to the wider society does not. The one woman who wants to be an engineer matters. The 99 others do not, at least to the extent that they are a barrier to the one. The upshot is that the female who enters an overwhelmingly male-dominated profession is actually entitled to feel as though her situation was no different from the woman who enters an overwhelmingly female-dominated profession. In essence, she should never have to confront the reality that she is an enigma—her status as an exception must never be allowed to affect her or her work because, after all, it’s not her fault she’s exceptional.

This is what leads to the radical remaking of institutions that even Margaret says she deplores. It simply won’t do to say that institutions and the people in them must be formed in such a way that the odd man ceases to be odd. This runs counter to the very concept of an institution as such. Of course middle-aged men are not “wrong” for wanting to work in a day care staffed by young mothers. But they need to be prepared to be treated differently, because they are different. The right of the institution to remain as it is, and as it has been made by its members, simply outweighs the right of the lone maverick to demand indifference on its part.

If Margaret is not arguing for anything more than the absence of formal, legal barriers to womens’ entry into male-dominated fields, that is defensible. For the most part they never existed, because no one thought it necessary to write them into law. But that was before the totalitarian liberal notion that law precedes custom descended on us. If she argues against even informal barriers that make the life of the rare female nuclear physicist a lonely one, then it’s hard to see how she hopes to avoid the radical social engineering of the feminist left.

Mark P. writes:

Sage brings up an important point that Margaret is missing. Margaret is basically making a “classical” liberal or libertarian argument along the vein of proponents like Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman: Liberalism is supposed to create a system that emphasizes equality of treatment and neutral processes that create a sphere of individual action that allows people to plan and organize their own lives. It was this type of liberalism that was used to fight socialist central planning.

This is okay as far as it goes. But Margaret needs to explain why individual-rights based liberalism collapses into relativism, nihilism, group-rights agendas, and political correctness? Why do we see liberalism degenerating into something she does not like?

It does this because a purely process-based approach still needs to have its results examined to make sure the process is working as intended. This sets up the great libertarian debate between equality of treatment vs. equality of outcome. If a female engineer’s experience in a male-dominated field isn’t equivalent to the average male experience, then liberalism justifies tweaking the rules (changing the institution, tilting the balance, etc.) Of course, this means that equality of treatment becomes impossible and that Margaret’s individual-rights based liberalism is a pipe dream.

The pursuit of equal outcomes as the objective measure of liberal effectiveness destroys any liberal society’s pretense of fairness. What is then required is a propaganda campaign redefining such unfairness as anything but. The dishonesty inherent in such a practice must then be explained away and that is where you get relativism and nihilism and group-rights and political-correctness. This will continue until the problems pile up so high that the system collapses under its own weight.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 20, 2006 01:35 AM | Send

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