The late nineteenth century, Victorianism, demonstrated that emancipated women without the welfare state means a whole lot of women giving birth in a dark alley in the rain to a fatherless child.At the present, the West is facing the choice between the brothel and the burqah. It is also heading straight for collapse if men do not end this failed experiment in female emancipation. At some point, reason has to be silent in the face of literal decades of consistent failure.
Victorianism was an effort to control this problem by dialing up censorious sexual moralizing to eleven, while simultaneously denying fathers the power to control their daughters and husbands the power to control their wives. Dialing up the sexual moralizing failed, and failed spectacularly. Recall Florence Nightingale’s wealthy gentleman friends, and Queen Caroline attending a ball naked from the waist up, and going back to her hotel with a man she picked up at the ball. Both of them needed a good whipping. No amount of pious moralizing will substitute for a father or a husband equipped with a stick no thicker than a woman’s thumb. Victorianism failed, and failed hilariously badly.
If you give women freedom of choice, a great many women make such terrible choices that men have little alternative but to pay for women’s choices. If you emancipate women to make their own decisions, you have to pay for their decisions, have to have a welfare state, because their decisions are frequently so bad. This profoundly impairs the freedom of men, that they have to pay for bad choices that they have no power over and receive no benefit from. Some thug knocks up some idiot, and the man with a job has to support another man’s child and a woman who is not giving him sex and domestic service.
This is pretty much what “Les Misérables” was about. “Les Misérables” argues that we need a welfare state to take care of criminal men and immoral women. And indeed that is true, if you reject the obvious alternative of coercively, involuntarily, and forcibly subordinating criminal men and immoral women to good men, of enslaving bad men and shotgun marrying independent fertile age women.
Since we don’t want to pay for eighteen thuglets, and we don’t want women giving birth in a dark alley in the rain, we have to keep women under male authority that supervises and restrains their sexual choices.
The eighteenth century system of guardianship was in large part a system for coercively marrying off young women who would have otherwise become independent women of property. They were generally married off to their guardian, or their guardian’s son. Guardian/ward marriages were the normal outcome of guardianship, and though theoretically consensual were usually clearly involuntary or the result of rather forceful manipulation. When the ward was taken into the guardian’s family at a very early age she was usually married off to a family closely related to their guardian’s family as soon as they came of age, to avoid psychological incest. Psychologically incestuous marriages between guardian and ward, in effect adopting a child with the intent of marriage at puberty, were not illegal but were subject to social disapproval, immoral but legal. Though legal, seem to have been extremely rare. If it was necessary to raise a female ward from an early age, she was raised in a household separate from her intended husband and transferred to her intended husband’s household at puberty.
And if women are not amenable to reason, then that is simply additional justification for men taking the steps that need to be taken if the West is to survive. This is not a theoretical matter or a discussion of abstract principles, it is an existential struggle.