In defence of normalcy
What is This "Feminism" You Speak Of?
It would probably surprise no foreigner who has ever visited Russia that a 2004 Kinsey study described Russian society as existing in a “sexless sexism” in which, “on one side, gender/sex differences have been theoretically disregarded and politically underestimated,” but “on the other side, both public opinion and social practices have been extremely sexist, all empirical sex differences being taken as given by nature.”
What this means, in practice, is that Russians by and large adhere to relatively strict gender roles: women are expected to dress well and take care of themselves, want many babies, act as the center of the household, and be very ladylike while men are expected to carry all the financial responsibility, protect the honor of their women, carry heavy loads and drive the car.
What does often surprise foreigners, however, is that women in Russia tend to uphold these gender roles as vociferously, if not more so, than their male counterparts. In a recent study by the Levada Center, only 38 percent of both men and women supported “abstract egalitarianism” in domestic life; cooking, cleaning, raising children, etc. were overwhelmingly labeled as exclusively female; the only duty that was deemed exclusively male was going to war.
According to another opinion poll, 78 percent of both men and women believe a woman’s place is in the home. It’s worth noting here, however, that in a traditional Russian household, it is the woman who makes all decisions regarding finances and domestic issues (“The man is the head, but the woman is the neck” as the popular Russian saying goes).
More importantly, Russian women often visibly grimace at the word “feminism,” which is filled with negative connotations, such as sloppiness, laziness, aggression, and vulgarity. “These feminists, they act like men,” my friend Sveta always says with derision, echoing the thoughts of many other Russian women, “Why would I want to act like a man? I’m proud of being a woman.”
But with this woman, and with other foreign women of my acquaintance (not necessarily Eastern European either), once the expectation was met, a gentle smile and a simple touch of gratitude on the lady's part always followed.
Looking Past the Hype
Even so, the general lesson holds. What Westerners consider novel and radical is simply considered traditional and normal in most other parts of the world that have not been infected with this very Western madness that we call "feminism".
Consider what Fred Reed, a curmudgeon par excellence, had to say about marrying a Mexicana:
To my eye, they are almost quirky in their distinctiveness, strong, content with being themselves, and psychically stable. They are also women, delightfully so, vibrantly feminine. They are wonderfully amorous without being loose, uninhibited, frequently beautiful, and they are…ladies. They do not drink themselves silly in bars and shriek obscenities.
They can also be savagely jealous, to the point of removing body parts. But for this I respect them. Any woman worth having has every right to expect her man to keep his pants up except in her presence. He owes to her what she owes to him. Fair is fair.
It is not easy to explain to an American readership under forty what is meant by being a woman. We are accustomed to androgynous, litigious, Prozac-sucking shrews who would inspire erectile dysfunction in an iron bar. Yes, there are exceptions and degrees, but here is the main current. (If there is anyone with less respect for women than the average squalling dyke feminist, I haven’t met it.)
Feminists of course say that femininity cannot be distinguished from subservience. But it ain’t so. The Mexicanas I know are not subservient. They work harder and bitch less than we do. They are not weak. They do not need support groups, Depacote, Paxil, Welbutrin, or classes in self-esteem (which idea they find puzzling or ridiculous). They are self-sufficient adults.
There is for the Mexicana a difference of centrality. Her focus is on her home, her man, and her children. She sees her job as a way to support her family instead of, as happens northward, the other way around. Her home is more important to her than her office. Making partner at Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe is not her reason for living. Should the man share these sentiments, as gringos with Mexican wives seem to, there flows a warmth and steadfastness that changes the tenor of life. The time at home, talking, doing yard work, dancing to the boom box, or screwing their brains out, counts more than whatever else might be out there.The normality that used to be a fact of life to our parents and grandparents is still out there. The problem isn't that women are not capable of acting like women. The evidence shows that they plainly are. The problem is with a degenerate and tawdry culture that encourages them to act like men.
In return for... what, exactly? Women who do not take care of their appearance, possess no significant domestic skills, have limited (if any) intellectual pursuits worthy of mention, and who waste the best years of their lives engaged in hedonistic pursuits instead of building up the very skills and attributes that would secure them lasting partnerships with strong men who would love and protect them.
Its validity weakens if you move away from the cities and toward more rural areas, where faith and family hold much greater meaning to women than they do in the big city centres, but every indicator we have available to us tells us that relations between the sexes have gone from normal, to inverted, and on straight through to perverse and degenerate, in the span of just two or three generations.
Even so, it is still possible to return to the old ways. And doing so has to start with the firm recognition that we, and we alone, are responsible for our present predicament.