Is a book by E Belfort Bax written in 1913 against the feminist cause.
In it he argues that the claims of feminism are unfounded and are buttressed by fallacy upon fallacy. He argues women are physically, intellectually and morally inferior to men. I am going ahead of myself.
Bax says feminism consists of the assertion of equality in intellectual capacity, in spite of appearances to the contrary, of women with men. In his view, because of the inequalities, women shouldn’t have been allowed to vote. He was assuredly against the suffragettes. To the question of why men of decidedly inferior mental capacities could vote when women couldn’t, he deferred to an argument for averages. He says in all these matters we have to deal with averages.
Bax tells us and he would gratify those who see women only as sexual objects
[…] the truth in question consists in the fact, while man has a sex, women is a sex.
Quoting Otto’s book Sex and Character, he writes
Woman is only sexual, man is also sexual. In woman, sexuality is diffused over the whole body, every contact on whatever part excites her sexually.
But he doesn’t stop here, he goes on to write
……woman has continued to find her chief function in the direct procreation of the race.
We are told specialists are all agreed that at all ages, the size of a woman’s brain is smaller than that of a man. And this difference also differs with civilization.
He says hysteria is an affliction that affects women only and has its origins in the uterus.
A strand of argument that still seem to have currency in our day is the argument that feminism is an anti-men crusade. I should mention here, that in this treatise, Bax is mainly responding to male feminists. He says the female feminist is too biased for her opinion to be considered. In support of this thesis, he writes
we see the legislature, judges, juries, parsons all vie with one another in denouncing the villainy and baseness of the male person and ever devising ways and means to make life hard for him.
Examples he give include (remember this is 1900s England)
- the marriage laws in England are a monument to feminist sex partiality- if you promise to marry a damsel and go back on your word, jail or fine for you
- the right of maintenance accrues solely to the woman
- the law affords the woman to commit torts against third parties, the husband alone being responsible
- the wife can obtain, if not a divorce, a legal separation by going whining to the nearest police court[?], for a few shillings, which the husband has to pay!
He said the law made it a crime to receive succor from a woman who plied the sex trade (refer to White Slave Trade Act).
He argues, the feminists present the woman always as the “injured innocent“. In his view, where crimes are involved, the feminists ditch the argument for equality with men and pursue a line of innocence for the women. To them, he says divine woman is always the injured innocent not only in the graver crimes of murder but also in minor offences. He gives a number of cases where the punishment meted out to women and men for the same crimes differed with the women getting a fairer and shorter punishment.
He argues chivalry has been turned on its head.
Women, he argues, are not the weaker sex. He says women can endure more pain, live longer than the men folk, that child mortality is higher in males than females.
He goes on and on and I am tired of going on.
I have read this book, so you don’t have to read it.
And today we end in a song.