Feminism Spoiled Nature's Great Con
Abridged from Caldwell's prescient 1970 classic "Women's Lib: They're Spoiling Eve's Great Con Game." – via Henry Makow.com April 17, 2010
The left, alas, is now running yet another "Liberation Movement," this one championing females who believe that the male sex has somehow done the ladies wrong. The members of this Front say they want all the spoils the boys appear to be getting out of life. They're quite mad, of course. What these "girls" are about to do is ruin the biggest Con Game, and the most ancient, which one section of humanity has ever imposed on another, since Eve invented it. I'm just jealous, myself, having been deprived by circumstances from getting into that Big Con Game...alas, alas, alas. But I've stood on the sidelines and seethed with envy, and now I hope - I say with a grin over clenched teeth - that the Liberation "girls" will get exactly what they want. It's all they deserve.
I am convinced that the feminists, judging from their photographs at least, and on some personal observation, are so unattractive mentally, physically, and in personality, that they are envious because they can't even qualify for the Big Con Game, and so don't want other women to wallow in it with sweet and secret smiles. As for myself, I am only wistful, and plenty happy that my two beautiful daughters are in on the Game and enjoying every minute of it, and wouldn't even dream of Female Liberation. I brought them up to appreciate their blessings -- and to shut their mouths around their husbands, for fear the boys would catch on and demand liberation for themselves, which is exactly the calamity these rampant females in the "Liberation Movement" are going to precipitate. God help the contented women who will be their victims!
The Liberation Ladies would have just loved my Mama, who was very advanced and ultra-modern, perhaps even more than most women of today. Mama believed in rearing girls exactly as boys were reared, and no nonsense about the weaker sex and the softer yearnings in a girl's heart. Mama believed that what a boy could, and should, do, a girl could and should do, also; and if a girl had softer muscles and more tender feelings, well, that was tough. So, I was reared just as my brother was reared -- except that Little Brother was somewhat smarter than I was and ran his own Con Game against Mama, and succeeded to an enviable extent.
I MISSED MY CHANCE
While I worked and studied, my dream of being the Cherished Woman -- like Aunt Pollie -- grew stronger in me. But all the hard work I had had to do since I was a child, and the living I had had to earn since I was fifteen...gave me too much independence of manner, too much self-assurance, too much of an appearance of confidence. This definitely put off men who wanted a Queen for their houses, a soft and yielding gentle sweet creature like Aunt Pollie, a charming hostess pliant soothing and full of musical laughter and kind wit. For such a woman, men were ready to work their poor hearts out, considering themselves blessed. But a girl like myself, who knew hard labor, and knew how to earn a buck, and had a sharp and independent voice and manner, was not attractive to them. They did not want a "partner," and a fellow wage earner. They did not believe that "a woman can do anything a man can do." They were right, of course.
So, I did not attract the manly men I secretly adored, the masculine, strong men, the cherishers of women, the protectors of women, the admirers of women, the men who believed it was their duty to provide for wives and children, the men who built nice houses for their women, who guarded them against the evil brutalities of living. I attracted the weak sisters among the men, who subconsciously recognized that here was a girl who would earn a living for them, take care of them, protect the, and be the man of the house, while they indulged their "sickly" physiques and their "ailments" and their delicate psyches. They clung to me, the creeps, begging for instant marriage -- while the men I yearned for married helpless little creatures who knew nothing of "business" except it provided them, via men, with the luxuries and comforts of life, and the protection. But, of course, they had not had my own dolorous life, and had not had the parents I had.
At eighteen, I fell desperately in love with a true man, a man of strength and masculine vitality and courage. He was attracted to me, too. But then one night he said to me, "Janet, you aren't the gentle little woman my mother was. My father worshiped her, and no wonder. You are too strong, yourself, and too independent for me. There'd be conflict in the house. You wouldn't be satisfied just to be taken care of; you'd want to do something on your own, and be a 'partner' to me. It's just no use." I was struck dumb at this horrifying statement. I wasn't very articulate then. He gently picked up my hands and shook his head at the old callouses, and as gently put them down.
I wanted to cry out to him, " But I want to be like your mother! I want you to take care of me and deliver me from my hateful daily job! I want you to cherish me! I want only to be your wife and have your children and keep your house! I don't want a career or anything else. I just want you." But I couldn't say it. I had no words. My rearing silenced me. And so I never saw him again. But I saw the creeps, all right! They hung on me like leeches. Charity prevents me from elaborating on the matter. After all, a girl has to marry someone, doesn't she, when her yearning for love and protection overcomes her. And, believe me, unless she is a dyke or a Liberated Commie, that yearning is natural and heart-breaking.
TEACH YOUR DAUGHTERS
I told my daughters: "Marry men who will not permit you to work after marriage. Marry strong men who will take care of you and cherish you, and not tell you their business, and will refuse your 'help.'" I had told them from the very beginning that unless a woman is powerfully (and by birth) motivated to the arts and the sciences and the professions, and is deeply gifted and cannot be denied, she should refrain from going out into the market places with mediocre abilities. Once she has earned a paycheck, I told my daughters, she is practically doomed -- unless she can persuade a man that that paycheck is only a stop-gap before marriage, and she is only too happily willing to throw it over. She must then keep to her resolution: Never again to earn money outside her house. Never again to be a "partner, shoulder to shoulder with her man." Never again to be independent. In short, she should play the Big Con Game with her husband as shrewd and intelligent women have done for centuries.
I have accomplished the one success of my life: I have brought up daughters who have manly and cherishing husbands, who have never wanted to earn money outside their pleasant homes, who have concentrated on the sole and natural business of women: To be good wives and prudent mothers, soothers of the masculine brow, good cooks, pleasant companions, and truly feminine. I wish I'd had a mother just like me.
I fear that men are beginning to suspect that we women conned them through the centuries. I fear they are asking themselves -- to women's terrible hurt -- why they should support an able-bodied woman who can earn a good living too, and why should they be responsible for providing a home for women. Why can't women be architects and bricklayers and plumbers and stone-masons and lawyers and doctors and business women too, and pile up a fat bank account to be inherited by husbands? Why should a man give his ex-wife alimony and child-support checks, when she is just as capable, if not more so, of rolling up her sleeves and getting on the 8:00 bus of a morning for an arduous day in the factory or the office? After all, men whisper among themselves -- I have heard -- that women in Russia are treated exactly as men, and are farm-laborers plowing and seeding and harvesting, and they manhandle big machines in factories, empty garbage and shovel snow, learn to be bricklayers and steel-workers as well as doctors and lawyers, serve in the armies, drive trucks, wear felt pants, dig sewers and lay pipes, clean chimneys and work in the forests, and do the heaviest of manual labor.
Men, in short, are licking their lips and, for the first itme in history, are readying themselves to be exploiters in their turn -- to be the soft gentle creature in the house, the soother of exhaustion, the serene person who has nothing to worry about in his pleasant life. Mom's out there, plugging and "fulfilling" herself, and why should Pop worry? He's had it coming to him since Eve.
Pick up any woman's magazine, particularly a certain one which was once run by men who promoted good articles and fiction , and which are read by as many men as women. Read there the articles by shrewd sly gentlemen who proclaim a woman "has as much 'right' to do any of the world's work as men, as much 'right' to a job or a career, as much 'right' to be head of the household." Those boys know what they're up to: The real enslavement of women.
Tragically, such near-men and the Liberation Ladies can never crush the longing of a woman's heart to be cherished, to be protected, to be guarded, to be honored and deferred to, to be loved dearly and devotedly, to be a true helper, to be a complement, in her femininity, to the masculine nature; her longings to be the patroness of beauty and tranquility, to be the dear mother of respectful children, to be, as the Holy Bible says, "a good woman, whose price is far above rubies," the adorner of life, the civilizer, Godly, with beauty of spirit long after her youthful beauty has gone.
It is a woman's nature to make a sanctuary of love and delight in her home. That is the true "career" for women. Alas, alas, that so many multitudes of women are now forced -- or choose -- to abandon that career, and to become imitation men in society. The true men won't marry them. The creeps will throng about them. They will reap the betterness I have had to reap -- though I never wanted a career, never wanted to be "stalwart." I just wanted to be a woman.
You really can't change human nature, and the instincts of that nature, for good or evil. I know a prosperous young man in New York, in his early thirties, who has a "pad" in a penthouse, and is up-to-date on everything, including Ladies' Liberation. He highly approves of it. It is time, he told me, that women "stopped being parasites" and worked to the day they dropped dead or retired, as men do, and not expect a man "to support them." He is very enthusiastic, too, about women's "sexual liberation," and always manages to get a girl who, the dupe and dope, heartily agrees with him. "After all," says the young man, "women get as much fun out of it as men do, so why should a man feel obligated to marry them, or give them more than a drink and a dinner in exchange? I'm all for this new freedom for the girls."
He belongs to the Key Club. You know the kind I mean. When I was in New York recently he invited me to meet his "newest girl" at the Club. The "girl" happened to be a member of an advertising agency, a smart, pretty cookie with swinging hair and bright cheeks and eyes, and good manners and an engaging way with her. Only her eyes were vulnerable, and soft and tender as she gazed at my young masculine friend. The lovelight shone in those eyes, deep and passionate and devoted. I thought those two hit it off wonderfully well, and I thought, too what a wonderful marriage they would make and what handsome and intelligent children they would have. After all, the girl came of a good family, had a master's degree in publications and advertising, and money of her own. And I could palianly see that marriage was fixed in her own ardent wishes and hopes.
When she went to the "powder room" I said to my sophisticated, progressive, and with-it young pal: "Are you going to marry Sally soon?" He looked absolutely shocked! Suddenly the primitive man was there and not a "modern" man in a dinner jacket and black tie, in a Key Club with bunnies running around and the smell of winey cooking in the air. He was aghast.
He said "Excuse me, but you can't be serious, can you? Sally's all right. But, after all, she is a modern girl -- she likes a romp as well as I do. No inhibition." He paused. Then he said, "Playmates for play-time. But only maidens for marriage!" And he laughed.
When I still stared at him cynically, he got a little mad. "Let's face it," he said. "The liberated girls have made their own public bed, and they can lie in it, and we men love it. but if they think we are going to marry them, they're due for an awakening. No man wants a woman who's been out on the town with every Tom, Dick, and Harry. When we marry, we don't want a 'modern' woman." He laughed again. "Oh, we encourage the women to be 'liberated'! It's cheap for us, and we get all the free sex we want before we settle down with a decent girl."
Sally came back, glowing at the boyfriend, her heart in her eyes. No one ever told Sally that she was being used, that her womanhood had been cheapened and degraded by her sister-women in the name of "liberation." Sure, Sally had her "identity," as they wickedly call it, and her "freedom," and she was being fulfilled all right, all right! She had her good job and her independence and her nice little apartment...and she was twenty-seven years old and she would soon be middle-aged, and all she could marry then (and even now) would be some "Liberal" creep eager to live on her salary and permit her to support him. The young man now opposite her, with his urbane manner and excellent income and ambitions, would never marry Sally. He would marry some sweet, untouched creature who would not "stand shoulder to shoulder with him in the battle for life," but who would make him a pleasant little wife of whose decency he would be proud, and who had never heard the phrase, "women's liberation." Well, I suppose, it serves Sally right and all her deluded and pathetic sisters who sprint off to work every morning and take care of themselves and are as "free as men." But deep in their deprived hearts they know how tragic they are.
WHO WANTS EQUALITY WITH MEN?
Girls, the men are catching on – through your sister-women who have been "liberated – that they have been victims for ages of the Big Con Game, and the first thing you know they will be demanding Civil Rights and Equality for themselves, too! It's up to you, in behalf of future generations, to lull them back and to again become superior. Who wants Equality with men? No woman in her right mind.
Remember this: The strongest sign of the decay of a nation is the feminization of men and the masculinization of women. It is notable that in Communist nations women are exhorted, and compelled, to do what has traditionally been men's work. American women, some of them, feel triumphant that they have broken down the "barricades" between the work of the sexes. I hope they will still feel triumphant when some commissar forces a shovel or an axe into their soft hands and compels them to pound and cut forests and dig ditches. I hope they will be "happy" when a husband deserts them and they must support their children and themselves alone. (After all, if a woman must be "free" she shouldn't object to men being free too, should she?")
I hope they will feel "fulfilled" when they are given no more courtesies due to their sex, and no kindnesses, but are kicked aside on the subways and buses by men, and jostled out of the way by men on busy sidewalks and in elevators. I hope that no man will extend mercy to them because of obvious pregnancies, but will rudely tell them that that is no excuse to shirt a day's heavy labor, and they should be like Russian women. I hope they will be proud when some court demands that they support "delicate" husbands for a lifetime, and pay alimony. I hope, when they look in their mirrors, that they will be pleased to see exhausted and embittered faces, and that they will be consoled by their paychecks.
The decay and the ruin of a nation has always lain in the hands of its women. So does its life and strength, its reverence for beauty, its mercy and kindness. And, above all, its men.
Taylor Caldwell was born in England and emigrated with her parents when she was a child in 1907. She was an outspoken conservative and wrote for many publications until her death in 1985. The preceding article was reprinted from the 1970 issue of American Opinion
Last updated 19/04/2010