Pedestalization of women

Roissy, in one of his many excellent political posts, asks Why Do Conservatives Sanctify Women?

The correct answer, which he misses, is that they hanker for a world in which women stayed on pedestals instead of sneaking off to bang strange males. Women are very susceptible to authority and social pressure, and will be good if a strong hand keeps them good. If we read western history as written by people who lived it, a thousand years or so ago, it is clear that in one sense women were sacred and had extremely high status – higher wereguild for women, unthinkable for a nobleman to harm a noblewoman, and the politics of the time makes no sense unless the historian and his contemporaries assumed that wives and mothers had a lot of say in who their husbands and sons supported in battle. But in another sense extremely low status: Marriages were decided by the patriarch of the family, women had little say in who they married, they had no legal rights, being largely the property of their fathers, then their husbands. Theoretically a woman had to formally consent to a marriage, but we often read of marriage arrangements being made with no apparent concern for the opinion of the woman. A woman could not represent herself in court, being legally just a part of her father’s household, then her husbands household, and if she survived her husband, then her sons household.

I interpret this as putting women on pedestals, and chaining them to the pedestal – a system dear to the hearts of conservatives, and which seems to have worked very well – to claim that women are superior within the proper sphere of women, implies that women and men are very different, in some ways better, in other ways worse, in some ways superior, in others inferior.

4 Responses to “Pedestalization of women”

  1. Occupant says:

    Couldn’t get your PDF of Unwin’s “Sex and Culture” to download using Microsoft Internet Explorer or Google Chrome.


    Downloads fine using Firefox, however.


    • jim says:

      Worked for me on IE. I suspect the problem is that it is just too huge. I should create an html version. I made a start on doing that, need to finish it

  2. Occupant says:

    Conservatives are not the only ones who do this. Throw a shoe in any women’s studies department, and you would be hard pressed to avoid hitting a female tending to her pedestal.

    It is important to recognize that a basic dynamic between men and women is a persistent female desire to be victims complemented by a persistent male desire to be heros. The two impulses reinforce each other. This dynamic is on display in all quadrants of the socio-political landscape, across time and space, in one way or an other.

    • jim says:

      JD Unwin claims that every civilization has had a woman’s liberation movement shortly before it collapses.

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