Patriarchal Abdication Leads to Feminist Hysteria!
Does that sound like a catchy headliner for one of those flashy tabloid magazines? Do you imagine an ancient city overtaken by tyrannical women and all the men fleeing the countryside? Or rather, do you envision women running in circles, hands on their heads, shouting, “Where did all the men go? Where did all the men go?” Or maybe you have no idea what any of those “big words” even mean! But, as I finished up the first full chapter in Domestic Tranquility, by F. Carolyn Graglia, I came away with a more clear understanding of what I believe to be the root of the feminist movement: the abdication of the biblical patriarch. Basically, men abandoned manhood.
Graglia does an excellent job laying the foundation for the social problems that precipitated the feminist movement of the mid-20th century. She explained in great detail how all aspects of womanhood were being assaulted from every aspect of society: war had been declared on the homemaker. Between the media exploiting women as sex objects, the marketplace luring women out of the homes and into corporate America, the experts declaring that women were “ruining their children” and convincing women that “trained” child care workers were better apt to raising their children, and the consumer culture convincing women that they had to “keep up with the Jones’”, women were finding little solace in what was once their domain — the home. This social warfare women were enduring in the 1950’s consequently lead to the 1970’s total revolt against normal social patterns (men as breadwinners and women as homemakers).
But what made women so vulnerable to outside pressure and external forces pushing her out of the home? They were not finding fulfillment at home. Why? The only possible answer is that men did no longer love their wives (and families), as Christ loved the church. (Ephesians 5:25) Men were no longer prioritizing their families above all things else and leading their families, and this created a situation where women were not given the opportunity to truly follow Biblical guidelines and submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22). When men lead, women will follow. But now, the burden of leadership fell upon the shoulders of the women. However, women were not created to lead families, and they did exactly what a “weaker vessel” (I Peter 3:7) would do – they broke down.
Instead of women having the appropriate response to these irresponsible men – instead of women insisting that men get their acts together and start being MEN – the women rebelled against the men, and ultimately themselves. The feminist movement, which was fueled by men abandoning manhood, require women to completely abandon womanhood. And since we all know that you can’t fight fire with fire, one has to conclude that entire feminist movement is fundamentally flawed. Instead of the feminist movement working to repair the family, it simply added fuel to the fire.
Why did the men so eagerly, it seems, give up their position in society? Where were the husbands watching over their homes? Where were the fathers guarding the hearts of their children, leading their families, and loving their wives as Christ loved the church? What happened in the men’s movement that led to such a social shift by the 1970’s? Society as a whole had, until the mid-20th century, followed basic natural (Biblical) law. Men led, women followed. Men loved their families, they protected and provided for them, they nurtured and directed them. In turn, women and children loved their patriarchs. They served, honored and reverenced them. This was, for the most part, a natural pattern that came with ease — it was what was expected of all parties involved, and it was something all parties involved WANTED. Women wanted husbands to serve and children to nurture. Men wanted wives to protect and families to provide for. Social roles of men and women were not up for debate, at least not at the same level as they were in the 50’s and 60’s.
So what happened to the men? How did they lose their vision of manhood? Why did they neglect their wives and children? These are important questions to answer because as the old saying goes, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” And women were scorned. And the feminist movement was the perfect backlash. You can argue all you want that women do not “need” men for fulfillment. But, as Graglia exampled for us in her introduction of her book, even the best feminists find some man to leach onto.
In my search to answer this all-encompassing question, I contacted several reliable, Biblically sound sources and posed the question, “WHAT made the men so eager to give up their natural roles as patriarchs?” I received the following response from Phil Lancaster of Patriarch Magazine:
“I believe there were many factors that converged to make it easy for men to abdicate: the increasing effects of industrialism with men out of the home, World War II, liberalism in the churches, and the cultural retrenchment of fundamentalism and its failure to address social issues, etc. Men, from the beginning, have tended to let go of domestic leadership when given half an excuse. The twentieth century gave them several.”
So between the men feeling that they had a “right” to abdicate, and women finding plenty of ways to rebel against their husbands, traditional home life never stood a chance.
After I sent Mr. Lancaster my question, I browsed his website (http://www.patriarch.com/) and ran across an article I had not seen before. It was titled “Male Passivity: The Root of All Evil.” This caught my attention because the previous Sunday, one of the elders in my local church assembly gave a sermon and he had tossed out the phrase “Passive Male Syndrome.” This was a new phrase to me, and so I eagerly read through the article at Patriarch.org, which proved a fruitful venture. The article explains that “Passive Male Syndrome” (which strangely has the same acronym as the female affliction “PMS”) refers to men who lack vision, attentiveness, a sense of responsibility, courage and initiative where manhood is concerned. The author provides a thorough explanation of this epidemic afflicting man today – but he starts at the beginning with the world’s first victim of “PMS” – Adam.
Here is a selection from that article that I found most helpful:
“Male passivity is the root of all evil. Is that statement stretching it a bit? Not by much. Sin would not have entered the world but for Adam’s lack of masculine leadership. And the ravages of sin would be much more contained even today if most men in most homes would seize the day by seizing the reins of family leadership. ”God made man to take dominion, first of himself, then of his family, and then of some portion of this world (Gen. 1:26ff.). This is a chief way in which men exhibit the image of God. Passivity is a denial of what it means to be a man. The original man ceded control to his wife and ultimately to Satan. By God’s grace Christian men today can reclaim godly control of their families. This in turn will prepare them for dominion in other spheres and is the ultimate strategy for wrestling control of this world away from the Evil One and returning it to the rightful heir of the world, our Lord Jesus.[i]”
(I highly recommend reading the entire article to completely understand the issue of male passivity.)
The Biblical order of the family is the only one that promises true fulfillment for both individuals and society. But what is the “Biblical Order of the Family” then? It is simple. One man married to one woman, producing many children and together raising them up for the glory of God. Through this, the seed of the man can truly take dominion over the earth and God’s kingdom will flourish. But not only must the family appear to be ordered properly, they must also “walk the walk.” Men must make and keep a covenant with God. They must then make and keep a covenant with their wives and children. And then the man must be responsible for seeing that, to the best of his human abilities, those covenants are not broken but sacred.
Furthermore, the husband cannot misuse his authority in any way, either with abusive aggression (chauvinism) or with neglectful passivity. If the man does not keep balance of his priorities, one of the two aforementioned abuses will become dominant in the home; and when he neglects his wife and children they will in turn rebel against him. The abusive cycle then continues until such a time as women are so unhappy with even the prospect of “having to marry” that she rejects marriage all together and also. With this rejection of marriage, she also turns away the opportunity to become a mother. At least, a married mother! In a nutshell: Male Passivity leads directly to Feminism.
But, ladies, this does NOT let us off the hook! It’s just not that simple, as feminism has shown us! Just because men are choosing to become party to the “Passive Male Syndrome” does not mean that you are allowed to shirk your responsibilities as a woman. It does not give you free reign to take on the world! When a man abdicates, for whatever reason, women should not allow men to “get away with it”; but rather, we should demand that men rise up to manhood!
I’ll end this with a quote I recently heard regarding the relationship between wives and their husbands. It is an anonymous piece written over 200 years ago. Can you imagine the following quote being written today by a “typical” American man? Just what have we allowed feminism to steal from us?
“A good wife is heaven’s last best gift to man: his angel, his minister of graces enumerable, his gem of many virtues. Her voice his sweetest music, her smiles his brightest day, her kiss the guardian of his innocence, her arms the pale of his safety, the balm of his health, the sure balsam of his life. Her industry his surest wealth, her economy his safest steward, her lips his faithful counselor, her bosom the softest pillow of his cares and her prayers the ablest advocate of blessings on his head.”