Warning: This post discusses non-PC topics related to human biology. Do not read if you prefer to avoid controversy.
Now, it is time to examine the practices of real-life human societies. The question may arise that if they are not practicing radical feminism, then what exactly are they practicing? The answer is that they are practicing conservative feminism Conservative feminism is a social system under which humans restrict their sexuality to only those situations that are considered acceptable by society. Most societies practice some form of marriage, in which a man and a woman are allowed to have intercourse for the purpose of having children and forming a family. Other societies may even permit pre-marital relations if there is an understanding that the couple eventually will settle down. Like radical feminism, conservative feminism has very well-defined social impacts, which can be determined by using concepts from the social sciences.
Analyzing Conservative Feminist Societies
From a natural law perspective, the ideal mating strategy would be to avoid sexual relations outside of marriage to prevent unhealthy relationships from forming. Furthermore, since women benefit slightly more from the act of intercourse than men do, marital relations should be restricted to the sole purpose of having children. If implemented correctly and completely, this will allow its practitioners to achieve middle-class status. In other words, they will break even, earning just enough to support themselves and no more.
However, since conservative feminism eases the restrictions imposed by natural law slightly, anyone who practices it will get slightly more opportunities to reproduce than someone who strictly practices natural law. As established previously, social behaviors have a direct economic impact, which means that anyone who practices conservative feminism will achieve upper-middle-class prosperity, at least in the short term. In other words, they will be getting everything necessary to support themselves, and will still have a little bit left over as surplus. Furthermore, since conservative feminism works by slightly bending the rules set by natural law, another result will be a society that has a flexible interpretation of its own rules.
The Expected Outcome
Based on the description of conservative feminism outlined above, it is possible to draw a rough picture of societies that practice it:
- Broadly-shared prosperity– unlike the sharp income inequality that characterizes societies practicing radical feminism, conservative feminism can provide middle-class prosperity to a much broader segment of the society’s population. As a result, it becomes quite popular among segments of the society that are aspiring for wealth, such as young people.
- Strict developmental deadlines– in order to achieve the prosperity outlined above, children living in conservative feminist societies go through a developmental process that includes both social and economic milestones. Children are not simply going to school and then returning home to do homework; they are also learning the societal roles they will play as adults. Sociological maturation occurs at approximately the same time that the children are maturing biologically, and is typically complete by the time the children reach their late teens and early twenties.
- Egalitarianism– in order to meet the strict developmental deadlines outlined above, a conservative feminist society needs to at least create the illusion of a level playing field for all of its members. Conservative feminists like to distance themselves from explicit displays of prejudice, because that has associations with radical feminism. However, prejudice may still exist in this society, albeit in a more subtle form.
- Ethics of consequentialism– this derives from the fact that conservative feminism works by slightly bending the rules defined by natural law. Whereas the predominant ethos of radical feminist societies appears to be “might makes right”, the predominant ethos of conservative feminist societies appears to be “the ends justify the means”. Under consequential ethics, actions can only be judged as morally right if they produce a positive outcome. Naturally, this ethical system rewards those who achieve positive outcomes even if their techniques are not quite ethical, and punishes those who are otherwise well-intentioned but whose actions do not produce tangible results.
- Social conservatism– political conservatives in the United States have argued for a long time that poor and working-class people have always had sufficient opportunities for advancement, and therefore do not deserve the sympathy they receive from society. However, consequentialist ethics and the resulting social conservatism can also be found among those who self-identify as liberals. The real reason must therefore be rooted in the society’s social beliefs: they cannot consider people’s individual situations because that would threaten the existing patriarchy.
- Cultural conformity– whereas radical feminism is believed to benefit the rich, conservative feminism is geared towards the average Joe and Jane. Practices that are widespread among the 99% are believed to be the correct way of doing things, and this becomes especially true if those practices can be proven to have some functional value.
- Strict gender roles– according to natural law, sexual relations that are outside of wedlock and are not for the purpose of having children are considered harmful to society. Societies practicing conservative feminism do not prohibit these relations completely, and one of the reasons for that is to enforce traditional gender roles. Here, it is not considered sufficient to just follow the society’s rules and avoid taboo behaviors; one can be branded a deviant just for not having demonstrated a sufficient level of conformance.
Now the question may arise that if conservative feminist societies have flexible interpretations of their own rules, how do they judge the behaviors of their citizens? In order to answer this question, one must understand the the nature of conservative feminism. Conservative feminism defines itself primarily in opposition to radical feminism; in a society that practices it, being accused of radical feminism is generally considered an insult. Therefore, although the society’s members are encouraged to bend the laws for their own personal benefit, they are discouraged from going so far as to break the law. Therefore, some members of the society still have to be held accountable for their misdeeds.
Here, it helps to understand sociological concept of an out-group Most human societies differentiate between individuals who are considered members of the society and those who are considered outsiders. Often, the outsiders may live in their own separate societies, as is the case with indigenous peoples living in North America. Alternatively, they may be integrated into the society as members, as is the case with the descendants of enslaved Africans living throughout the Western Hemisphere. In either case, a pattern emerges: the flexible interpretation of the society’s rules leads in their unequal application to members of the out-group and members of the in-group.
A literacy test being administered in the post-Civil War South. Literacy tests created a double standard that prevented eligible black voters from participating in elections.
An Unexpected Outcome
Obviously, the poor and minority groups are at a comparative disadvantage under this system. However, there is one group that is often overlooked, primarily due to its small size and low levels of participation in mainstream society: children of the top 1%. In conservative feminist societies, there are still rich elites as there are in radical feminist societies. These elites are often able to get by without having to subscribe to the ethics of consequentialism that permeate society. Typically, this is because they possess some sort of inherent skill that they can rely on to support themselves, as is the case with new money elites. It is also possible that they occupy a privileged status within society, as is the case with old money elites.
In either case, they occupy a position which allows them to excuse themselves form the values espoused by society. Oft-cited examples of this phenomenon are draft evasion by rich Americans during the Civil War and alcohol consumption by the top 1% during the period of Prohibition. Under radical feminism, the children of these elites would experience downward mobility after entering the free market because they are expected to compete, both socially and economically, with other elites. The situation is not very different in societies practicing conservative feminism. However, there is one key difference: they are often suffering from their problems alone.
Members of the American Federation of Labor holding a Prohibition rally on June 14, 1919.
Whereas poverty and deprivation are widespread in socieities practicing radical feminism, they are relatively rare in societies practicing conservative feminism. Combine this with the socially conservative nature of these societies, and the result is a conformist culture that shuns anyone who appears to be disadvantaged. This results in an interesting dilemma that will be referred to on this blog as the Crown Prince(ss) Paradox: children of the elites have much more difficult problems than the rest of society, but they do not receive any sympathy from the 99% because they are believed to be doing too well to deserve any. This goes back to the concept of First-World problems mentioned earlier. Perhaps the most well-known example of this paradox in American history is US president John Fitzgerald Kennedy:
The Bay of Pigs chicken coming home to roost on the White House.
“Amer. Fed. Labor, Prohibition Demonstration, June 14, 1919.” photo, print, drawing. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2016.
crockett, gib. “Home to Roost? / Gib Crockett.” photo, print, drawing. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2016.
mauldin, bill. “By Th’ Way, What’s That Big Word?” photo, print, drawing. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2016.