We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Over the past 100 years, women have gained so much. Unlike those in 1918, we can vote, work, live independently, divorce, have sex without getting pregnant; we are free agents. Yet too much of contemporary feminism and mainstream politics seem determined to row back some of these hard-won freedoms. To mark the centenary of votes for women, prime minister Theresa May promised to make it illegal to intimidate politicians. She was largely spurred on to this by female politicians’ complaints in recent years that they face abuse online. In the name of ‘protecting women’, May is seriously threatening our right to protest against powerful people.

Ella Whelan

18 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Sam Duncan

    [I]n the last 18 months I have heard the same sentiments so often – from friends, from family, from people hailing me abusively in the street… as is their right.

    Was that a dig at the PM’s idiotic proposal from Boris in his Brexit speech today?

  • In the name of ‘protecting women’, May is seriously threatening our right to protest against powerful people.

    As restricting our free speech is already being done in the name of anti-islamophobia, anti-racism and anti-QUERTYwhatever, I guess it would be obviously sexist if it were not also being done in the name of feminism. My wonder is, will they close the circle? Will it be made a hate crime to suggest voting for conventional white males on the grounds that they are the only ones whom you will be allowed to criticise?

  • Paul Marks

    Female rate (property tax) payers could vote from the 1830s in this country – in local government and Poor Law Guardian elections. It makes no sense to me to deny female tax payers the vote for Parliament.

    In the United States female tax payers could vote in the 18th century in such States as New Jersey – their vote was taken away in the early 19th century, I think that was an outrage.

    Divorce – “no fault” divorce is understandable, as long as there is no financial “support”. If MONEY or PROPERTY is claimed – then fault should be proved. Otherwise marriage becomes a “mug’s game” for men, and sensible men will avoid it.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes Sam Duncan – “as is their right” was a hit at Theresa Censorship May and (even more) and Amber Censorship Rudd.

    Almost all anti Free Speech people in the Conservative Party were “Remainers” (and really still are Remainers) – it is part of their P.C.ism – remember that Mrs May was (and Amber Rudd is) the “Equalities Minister”, Frankfurt School of Marxism stuff by people who do not even know it is Frankfurt School of Marxism stuff.

  • William O. B'Livion

    prime minister Theresa May promised to make it illegal to intimidate politicians.

    It should be illegal to NOT intimidate politicians.

  • Mr Black

    I would note that womens sexual freedom and equal rights was the starting point for western decline. Falling birth rates, higher taxes and welfare, rampant single motherhood. We stand a good chance of disappearing while the cultures who keep their women doing womens work repopulate our empty nations.

  • I have to agree with Mr. Marks, these people seem to have forgotten any Conservative Principles, if they had them in the first place. They now support the dark side, ending free speech is just a start.

  • zeyphod45

    “I would note that womens sexual freedom and equal rights was the starting point for western decline. Falling birth rates, higher taxes and welfare, rampant single motherhood. We stand a good chance of disappearing while the cultures who keep their women doing womens work repopulate our empty nations.”

    Indeed Mr Black; but since women would never vote to have their rights taken away/curbed these trends are likely irreversible at this point. That is one reason why with depressing regularity throughout history social collapses happen; even if there are those who see the oncoming calamity they are unable to get enough people to change their embedded habits to prevent it.

  • Alisa

    What Paul said. I am fairly certain that some adjustments to the suffrage laws were very much needed at the time, but other than that I am sick and tired of hearing how much feminism supposedly has done for women (although granted, the quote in the post is not explicitly guilty of that). As far as I can tell, it has done nothing of the sort. Just about every freedom women enjoy today was brought about by capitalism, science and technology (think the pill and the washing machine as just two examples). On balance, feminism as such (all its “waves”, 1st-3rd or whatever) only caused harm to both sexes, just as “blackism” (is that a word yet?) did to both blacks and whites.

    All that said, Mr. Black completely misses the point.

  • Paul Marks

    I agree with what Alisa said – indeed I would go further.

    Even if one is interested in such matters as the vote (rather than individual property right) the “suffragettes” (although they did not call themselves that) actually HELD UP the granting of Parliamentary election votes for women – with their campaign of mad agitation (including actually planting bombs) they made easy to argue that woman were irrational and should not be granted the vote for Parliamentary elections. I often DISagree with Peter Hitchens (who can play fast-and-lose with history at times – for example on drug prohibition and on both World Wars), but he is clearly right that the militants did not speed up the grant of votes for women – they HELD IT UP (delayed it). In short what modern politicians (Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May….. and other such) are saying is exactly WRONG.

    As for the idea that equal personal rights for women are somehow a bad idea – that position is an outrage.

    No to “sexual freedom” – what is meant by “sexual freedom”? Is Mr Black saying that women should NOT have the right to refuse sexual intercourse in marriage? I hope not – as to deny such a right is to support RAPE. I hope that Mr Black is just denouncing sexual promiscuity (which I also deplore) – NOT claiming a husband has a right to the body of his wife against her will.

    Also a women must have the right to walk away – WITHOUT giving any cause. As long as the woman does not demand the money or property of the man she is, without cause, walking away from.

    A women must have total control of her own property (the Victorian Married Women’s Property Acts were RIGHT) – it is when the woman demands control of the man’s property without the man doing anything wrong (such as committing adultery, or beating his wife) that the law goes wrong, fundamentally wrong.

  • Deep Lurker

    The problem I have with “no fault” divorce is that it’s unilateral. As such it’s no better than the Islamic “I divorce thee”x3 version.

    Divorce-by-mutual-consent would have been an advance over the old system where one side had to go through a farce of pretending to be at fault. But that’s not what we have. Or rather we have too much more than that. So much so that, as Paul Marks properly points out, it has made marriage into a mugs game.

  • Paul Marks

    As Theodore Roosevelt was fond of saying – if a gentleman sees a man raise his hand (or knows he has raised his hand) against his wife (or any other woman) the gentleman breaks that hand.

    A gentleman does not wait for the state to punish such cowardly and wicked behaviour – and if you break your own hand chastising such a wife beater, this is an “honourable wound”. As for the abuser – far from going to the police complaining that he has been beaten for beating his wife, the abuser must either amend his behaviour in future or, if he can not live with his shame, have an “accident cleaning his revolver”, after which (of course) no one, including the wife (now a widow) will hear a word spoken against him. As blood, as long as it is your own blood – shed without harming other people (indeed ideally in the defence of other people), covers dishonour – restores lost honour.

    “Teddy” Roosevelt did indeed have bad political ideas (thanks to the bad influence of Richard Ely) – but this was NOT part of them. Any gentleman, for example Prime Minister Lord Salisbury, would have acted the same way.

    Lugard (later Lord Lugard) had an affair with another man’s wife – in his repentance he dedicated himself to ending slavery, human sacrifice and cannibalism in many evil places of the world (places where the modern “education system” would scream “racist” if one mentioned their true history) – but as much as he courted death (his own death) she fled (or moved) from him. As Lugard walked into so many dark places, around the world, that would have driven lesser men insane with terror.

    I believe that it was not till the 1940s that Lady Death came for Lugard – gently placing her hand in his, and leading him from this life.

  • bobby b

    “The problem I have with “no fault” divorce is that it’s unilateral.”

    I have handled several divorces in which higher-earning wives have ended up paying maintenance (alimony) to their lower-earning husbands. It only seems unilateral because, in the majority of marriages, the man earns more money than the woman.

  • Laird

    No, bobby b, what makes it “unilateral” is that either party can terminate the arrangement by him/herself. It doesn’t speak at all to the property settlement issue. “No fault” divorce laws have converted marriage into a contract terminable at will by either party. I’m not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing, but we have to recognize it for what it is.

    Nor am I arguing that the property division laws don’t need to be modernized; I think they do. And indeed they are already moving in that direction, as your own experience seems to demonstrate. But it’s too simplistic to say (as I think Paul does) that if one party decides to leave the marriage in the absence of “fault” he/she should just leave the marital property behind. The property each party brought to the marriage should, of course, revert to that party. But property acquired during coverture (especially in a “traditional” marriage where the husband is the primary breadwinner and the wife maintains the household) should properly be considered joint property and divided equally. And as to “maintenance” (alimony), if one party has been primarily relying on the other for support throughout the marriage, it is not unreasonable for that support to continue after the divorce, at least for some reasonable period of time. It’s in the nature of a “reliance interest” (to borrow a contracts concept). Of course, if that party truly is “at fault” (which can be proven) such support should be forfeited, but that’s not the case in a no-fault divorce.

  • Tedd

    Camille Paglia has some interesting things to say about this, in an interview with Jordan Peterson:


    Skip to 1:14 if you want to zoom in on the most relevant part.

  • bobby b

    “No, bobby b, what makes it “unilateral” is that either party can terminate the arrangement by him/herself.”

    My error, then. I read his statement as “we men get the shaft in divorce”. Looking back, I read too quickly.

    As to temporary maintenance, if there is a traditional long-term marriage, where the woman has given up the development of a career, of contacts, of experience in the workplace, of the benefits and higher pay that come with advancement, all so she can carry out her assigned marriage role of homemaker, while the husband has gone out and developed his career and has built up experience, contacts, seniority, and the higher pay levels associated with such things, then a pure contracts analysis should result in the woman getting the full benefit of the bargain she made – she has invested as much of her life and time and lost opportunities in her husband’s now-higher earning ability as he has (by performing her half of the marriage role) and so any time limitations on support ought to be carefully scrutinized. Certainly some women coming out of divorce have a reasonable expectation of boosting their earnings quickly to their husband’s level, but that’s rare if the husband has developed a career (instead of a series of low-paying jobs.)

    As to fault: judges have absolutely no ability to look into what happened to a marriage to make it untenable. They always end up with a surface analysis with little understanding of what really happened. We talk about how people who are involved in events that result in “news” stories constantly decry the accuracy and understanding of the newswriters – a judge trying to determine marital fault after a 4-hour-to-3-day trial is even less accurate. Whose fault is it when, after years of small-to-medium indignities and insults and disrespect and maybe abuse, the trod-upon spouse meets someone who treats them well and they become involved? There is hardly ever a simple answer, but judges are forced to find simple answers.

    Plus, determining fault is such a loaded process that the fees involved can eat up an entire marital estate plus impose debt for years. It’s simply not worth it, especially given the lack of accurate results. If you ignore fault, divorce becomes a much less bankrupting process. It becomes a worksheet.

    We shouldn’t be asking the state to cement marriages into place. That’s the responsibility of the married couple. If they can’t do it, then they have each failed in their vows. Allowing the state to order them to remain together is an overreach, which doesn’t serve to repair the damaged mutual promises.

  • Laird

    I agree, bobby. My only point in using the word “fault” was in the context of denying alimony or separate maintenance, and there I would have some pretty bright lines: proven infidelity, physical abuse, abandonment, and not much else.