The “evil” that men did
The evil that men did to women in the old days. Was there
discrimination against women?
A take-off on Theodor Fontane's thoughts about discrimination.
We wonder about discrimination against the sexes and often discuss the issue. The
feminists claim that it always existed, that women were oppressed for
millenniaalthough they virtually always forget to consider (deliberately, it
seems) that it is not fair to judge the past by todays standards. But even by
contemporary standards, was there discrimination in the past? Scientific evidence
standing up to todays standards is not that easy to come by, but todays
feminists who like to decide such things by different means, based on womens
way of knowing, prefer to go by feeling, rather than by absolute and true knowledge,
and claim without blushing that discrimination against women was and is rampant all
a sinister plot by The Patriarchy.
Judging the past on the basis of feelings, we can ask some pertinent questions.
If indeed discrimination against women existed in the past, were people who lived then
aware of it? (Which, if it truly existed, would have been nothing sinister, but
rather nothing more than a manifestation of constraints imposed on the sexes by biological
necessity). Lets consider one instant of such a discussion that took place
toward the end of the 19th Century. You decide whether in that case the
hard evidence of how society felt about women was in fact discriminatory toward them.
The discussion described in the following is part of a fictitious situation, describing
events surrounding a group of vacationing people, members of the lower-upper class who are
taking the airs, seeking to recuperate in the Harz Mountains in Germany, an
area then reputed to be conducive to the recovery of ones health, due to the
quality of its air.
From the short story Cécile (1886), by Theodor Fontane (1819-1898), a German
author and poet:
[A translation is appended]
. . . Die Hexen sind hier nämlich Landes produkt und wachsen wie der rote
Fingerhut überall auf den Bergen umher. Auf Schritt und Tritt begegnet man ihnen,
und wenn man fertig zu sein glaubt, fängt es erst recht eigentlich an. Zuletzt
kommt nämlich der Brocken, der in seinem Namen zwar alle hexlichen Beziehungen
verschweigt, aber doch immer der eigentliche Hexentanzplatz bleibt. Da sind sie zu
Haus, das ist ihr Ur-und Quellgebiet. Allen Ernstes, die Landschaft ist hier so
gesättigt mit derlei Stoff, daß die Sache schließlich eine reelle Gewalt über uns
gewinnt, und was mich persönlich angeht, nun so darf ich nicht verschweigen: als ich
neulich, die Mondsichel am Himmel, das im Schatten liegende Bodetal passierte, war mir's,
als ob hinter jedem Erlen-stamm eine Hexe hervorsähe.
Hübsch oder häßlich? fragte Rosa. Nehmen Sie sich in
acht, Herr von Gordon. In Ihrem Hexenspuk spukt etwas vor. Das sind die
O, Sie wollen mir bange machen. Aber Sie vergessen, meine
Gnädigste, wo das Übel liegt, liegt in der Regel auch die Heilung, und ich kenne, Gott
sei Dank, kein Stück Land, wo bei drohendsten Gefahren zugleich so viel Rettungen
vorkamen wie gerade hier. Und immer siegt die Tugend, und der Böse hat das
Nachsehen. Sie werden vielleicht vom Mägdesprung gehört haben? Aber wozu so
weit in die Ferne schweifen! Eben hier, in unserer nachsten Nähe, haben wir ein
solches Rettungsterrain, eine solche beglaubigte Zufluchtsstätte. Sehen Sie dort
(und er wandte sich nach rückwärts) den Roßtrapp-Felsen? Die Geschichte seines
Namens wird Ihnen kein Geheimnis sein. Eine tugendhafte Prinzessin zu Pferde, von
einem dito berittenen, aber untugendhaften Ritter verfolgt, setzt voll Todesangst über
das Bodetal fort, und siehe da, wo sie glücklich landete, wo der Pferdehuf aufschlug,
haben wir die Roßtrappe. Sie sehen an diesem einen Beispiele, wie recht ich mit
meinem einen Satze hatte: wo die Gefahr liegt, liegt auch die Rettung.
Ich kann lhr Beispiel nicht gelten lassen, lachte Rosa. Zum
mindesten beweist es ein gut Teil weniger, als Sie glauben. Es macht eben einen
Unterschied, ob ein gefährlicher Ritter eine schöne Prinzessin, oder ob umgekehrt eine
gefährlich schöne Prinzessin . . .
Was dem einen recht ist, ist dem andern billig.
O, nicht doch, Herr von Gordon, nicht doch. Einem armen Mädchen,
Prinzessin oder nicht, wird immer geholfen, da tut der Himmel seine Wunder,
interveniert in Gnaden und trägt das Roß, als ob es ein Flügelroß wäre, glücklich
über das Bodetal hin. Aber wenn ein Ritter oder ein Kavalier von einer
gefährlich-schönen Prinzessin oder auch nur von einer gefährlich-schönen Hexe, was
mitunter zusammenfällt, verfolgt wird, da tut der Himmel gar nichts und ruft nur sein
aide toi même berunter. Und hat auch recht. Denn die Kavaliere gehören zum
starken Geschlecht und haben die Pflicht, sich selber zu helfen.
St. Arnaud applaudierte der Malerin, und selbst Cécile, die beim Beginn des
Wortgefechtes ein leises Unbehagen nicht unterdriicken konnte, hatte sich, als ihr das
harmlos Unbeabsichtigte dieser kleinen Pikanterien zur Gewißheit geworden war, ihrer
allerbesten Laune rückhaltslos hingegeben.
. . . Witches are truly a famous product of the area [renowned in German
folklore for that fact] and grow like red foxglove all-over the
mountains. You meet them at every step, and when one believes to be done with them,
thats when things are just starting. Lastly comes the Brocken [the main
mountain in the Harz mountains], although it doesnt reveal any correlation to
witches in its name, in reality it still properly remains the dancing ground of the
witches [folklore has it that all witches frequently convened there to hold their
dances]. Thats where they are at home, thats their place of origin and
source. In earnest, the country-side here is so saturated with such stuff, that the
matter in the end gains a real power over us, and as far as Im concerned, Im
not at liberty to remain silent: as I recently, the crescent of the Moon in the sky,
passed through the Bode Valley that lay in its shadow, it seemed to me as if from behind
the trunk of each alder a witch peeked at me.
Good-looking or ugly? asked Rosa. Take care, Sir
Gordon. In your witch haunt, something peeks out hauntingly. Those are the
Oh, you want to scare me, but you forget, My-Lady, where there is evil,
there lies as a rule also the cure, and I know, the Lord be thanked, not one piece of
country where with the most threatening dangers so many rescues happened as did
here. And virtue is always victorious, and the evil-one always at the
disadvantage. You may have heard of the Maiden-Leap? But why go so far into
the distance! Exactly here, in the closest vicinity, we have such a terrain of
salvation, such a certified refuge. Can you see over there (and he turned around)
the Rosstrappe Felsen [Hoof-Track Rock, the name of a local attraction, a rock outcrop at
the edge of the valley]? The history of its name shouldnt be a secret to
you. A virtuous princess on a horse, pursued by an also-mounted, but not virtuous
knight, sets forth full of deadly fear over the Bode Valley, and lo and behold, where she
landed fortuitously, where the horseshoe hit, we have the Roßtrappe. In this one
example you can see how right I am with my one statement: where there is danger, there too
I cant allow the validity of your example, Rosa
laughed. At the very least, it is evidence of a good deal less than you
believe. It plainly makes a difference whether a dangerous knight [pursues] a
beautiful princess, or in the reverse a dangerously beautiful princess . . .
Whats good for the goose is good for the gander.
Not so, Sir Gordon, not so. One always helps a poor maiden,
princess or not, then Heaven weaves its miracles, intervenes graciously, and carries the
steed as if it were Pegasus, happily across the Bode Valley. But if a knight is
pursued by a dangerously beautiful princess or even a dangerously beautiful witch, which
sometimes coincides, Heaven does nothing and only calls down its aide toi même.
And rightly so. Because the knights are members of the stronger sex and have the
duty to help themselves.
St. Arnaud applauded the painter [Rosaa woman], and even Cécile, who
couldnt suppress a slight feeling of discomfort at the beginning of the verbal
skirmish, gave way without any reservations, after she became certain of the harmless
inadvertence of these small piquancies, to her best demeanor. . . ."
That example from the literature of the time is only one of many giving us impressions of
the feelings of the time. Clearly, judging by it and many others that
document the gender politics over time, if we want to find
fault with men for not preserving and protecting women, the evidence that would call for a
verdict of guilty isnt there. After all, the intent to do harm to
women quite plainly didnt exist and societys attitudes were, if anything,
quite benevolent toward them. However, there is a plethora of evidence that all
along women, either inadvertently or deliberately, cleverly manipulated men to put their
lives and fortunes on the line for them.
There is absolutely nothing new about that sort of recent development.
The trend is nothing but a continuation of the chivalry by "men" of the
Victorian age (politicians, judges, lawyers, writers and journalists) who
did their best to give women — in the name of liberating them from male
oppression — more and more privileges at the expense of common men. In
The Fraud of
Feminism (1913, by Belfort Bax) has been at work already for
hundreds of years to bring about
Legal Subjection of Men (1908, by Belfort Bax).
Note: The Internet Archive does not always produce results for those two
preceding links. However, the two pieces by Belfort Bax can be found and accessed
in other locations on the Net. You can use, for example,
MEN ARE THE WAY THEY ARE, Warren Farrell explains that men and women
are equally powerless but that men and boys are being indoctrinated to
admire women and to follow career paths that enable men to give women what
women want. For example:
What Are Boys Good For?
What does a teenage girl learn to give to a
boy? Let's look at a thirteen-page spread in Teen-the Christmas 1984
issue. Approximately seventy presents are mentioned, with an average price
of about thirty dollars (over two thousand dollars' [close to US$5,000 in
2007 dollars — F4L] worth of presents). Only one is for a male-pajamas
for a baby boy. As with Ms., no presents for boyfriends.
There are several teenage boys shown in the
pictures. One admires a girl while she admires herself in the mirror;
another is towing a girl's brand-new car. The same use of men as in
Is the girl in the Teen spread helping
the boy who has attached her car to a tow truck? No. She drapes herself over
the tow truck. And how does she learn to handle a stressful situation? The
caption explains: "If a stressful situation causes complexion concerns, keep
skin under control with Noxzema Acne 12. And pass the time in an
All twelve days of Christmas run the same
pattern: "Keep tabs on your weight," "File your nails ... ," "Massage your
hands," "Massage your feet," "Turn heads in your direction by keeping lips
lusciously lubricated .... " What does he get? Nothing is mentioned but her
beauty. What lessons does he learn? Admire and rescue. [Emphasis
by F4L] In Teen. In Ms.
Do teenage boys' magazines show a girl towing
his brand-new car, while he drapes himself over her tow truck and
worries about his acne? Hardly.
In men's magazines there are only a few gifts
for men to buy women. Remember the principle of the De Beers transfer. She
chooses the diamond and chooses among the men her beauty power can attract
to buy it. Which is why his ads are for how to become successful enough to
buy whatever she chooses; hers are to become beautiful enough to be able to
make the choice of both the gift and the man to buy the gift. Men's
magazines do not feature many gifts for women because men are expected to do
the buying after consulting the women, not the magazine, and to concentrate
their energies on making the money.
ARE THE WAY THEY ARE, By Warren Farrell, p 34-35
Once they become men (or perhaps even sooner), men
(or boys) begin to catch on. For example:
Why is changing a light bulb always a guy's job? Because women have more
important things to do - like making men feel useful and important by giving
them things to do, like changing light bulbs.
How many divorced men does it take to change a light bulb? None. They never
get the house anyway.
— Edmonton Journal,
2007 08 28, p. B2, Venting
edmontonjournal.com Online Extras - Venting)
It will take quite some time yet, however, before a majority of
society gets Warren Farrell's message expressed in the following.
One of the fascinating
parts about men is our tendency to subject ourselves to war, physical abuse,
and psychological abuse and call it "power." The ability to be totally out
of control while continuing to view ourselves as the ones with the power can
have certain advantages to a woman. As expressed in this poem:
He bought me
drinks all evening
in response to just a wink
Then accepted my invitation to
repair my kitchen sink
Then I brought him into beddy-bye
to get a little sex
Then couldn't help but smile
when he called it conquest!
ARE THE WAY THEY ARE, By Warren Farrell, p.
That story, translated into a joke that is far more ironic than
it is funny, goes like this:
An Irishman an Englishman and a Scotsman were sitting in a
bar in Sydney. The view was fantastic, the beer excellent, and the food
exceptional. "But" said the Scotsman, "I still prefer the pubs back home. Why,
in Glasgow there's a little bar called McTavish's. Now the landlord there
goes out of his way for the locals so much that when you buy 4 drinks he
will buy the 5th drink for you."
"Well," said the Englishman "at my local, the Red Lion, the barman there will
buy you your 3rd drink after you buy the first 2."
"Ahhh that's nothin'," said the Irishman, "Back home in Dublin there's Ryan's
Bar. Now the moment you set foot in the place they'll buy you a drink, then
another, all the drinks you like. Then when you've had enough drink they'll
take you upstairs and see that you get laid. All on the house."
The Englishman and Scotsman immediately pour scorn on the Irishman's claims.
He swears every word is true.
"Well," said the Englishman, "Did this actually happen to you?"
"Not myself personally, no" said the Irishman, "but it did happen to my
found at angryharry.com
Men's problem is that
women's "powerlessness" has been amply addressed throughout the history of
evolution, intensively so since the advent of radical feminism
[*], but that men's
powerlessness received little or no attention. Instead, men curry women's favors
by giving women gifts, even the gift of men's lives.
While in the past men were enticed to live up to the social duties
imposed upon them with promises that they would be paid back for that through
society paying them appreciation, honour and respect, today
— thanks to decades of feminist slandering of men, intended to "increase"
the social value of women — men are being vilified for being men, and not much else matters.
* If the term "radical feminism" (a.k.a.
Marxist- or socialist-feminism) is somewhat new to you, you need to expand
your knowledge. After all, radical feminism, the currently controlling
faction of feminism, governs just about everything that is happening in your
Carey Roberts column
Carey Roberts is an analyst and commentator on political correctness.
His best-known work was an exposé on Marxism and radical feminism.
Carey Roberts' best-known work, his exposé on Marxism and
radical feminism, is not necessarily easy to find, but
this link will help with that. (Some of the URLs for the article
series appear to keep changing. For that reason the identified link
leads to an Internet search for the series. The first or second link in
the return list will most likely lead you to the series.)
I fail to see the need for todays feminists obsession with the fabricated
and falsely perceived past wrongs done by men to women. It appears that women were
quite aware of the existence of discrimination, but that they also knew quite well that it
was in their favour, and that they felt they deserved it, due to their sex and their
status in society, just as they do now.
Then, as now, it seems, women were more equal than men. Men pampered
them and didnt oppress them. It appears that the patriarchy was good to
women. Why would any woman ever want to exchange the reverence that men had for them
for a seat behind the steering wheel of a tractor or for a place in the trenches of a
But then, as the wife of one of my friends told me just a few days ago, men have
the right to choose less dangerous jobs. Its mens choice and desire to
pick dangerous jobs. Why should women be obligated to choose dangerous jobs?
Thats a men-thing! Men like doing that and why should women do the same?
The question now is: What is it that men did that gave them such a bad reputation
Maybe men should never have pampered women and instead of providing them with servants
in the past and appliances today, they should have let them fight for themselves all
along. Without any doubt, the privileged positions that women historically had in
society provided the feminists with the power base from which they launched their assault
on the reputation of men, apparently and evidently in a successful attempt to establish
more power for women. In the process of doing that, the feminists attacked and
destroyed the one institution that without fail throughout history provided protection to
women who realistically believed themselves to be the weaker sex. The women who feel
that they have the obligation to perpetuate the human race have to suffer now the
consequences by either having to do so without the comforts of the protection that a
family provides, or, even if they live within the confines of functioning families,
without the honour, respect and support that society once gave to them when they did
so. Worse yet, some factions of feminism consider them to be traitors to the
race (of women).
--Walter H. Schneider
Bruderheim, Alberta, Canada (1998 02 21)
For related views by Aristotle, see the essay
"Politics" (350 B.C.) at aristotle.htm
And a free translation of a poem by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (the
poem was part of a letter he wrote in Vienna, August 18, 1784, to congratulate his sister
on her impending marriage):
You'll experience much in matrimony
that was half a riddle to you;
soon you'll know from experience,
how Eve once had to deal with
giving birth to Cain.
However, sister, those matrimonial duties
you'll do gladly with all your heart,
because, believe me, they aren't hard.
But every matter has two sides:
although matrimony brings much joy,
it'll bring you grief as well.
Therefore, when your husband offers,
what you feel you don't deserve,
dark demeanor in his bad mood,
then think, that is male whim,
and say: Lord, Thy will be done
by day and mine at night!
A little later, in the beginning of the 19th century, Alexander Pushkin told us about
the travails of Eugene Onegin and his views about the power
that women exercised over their husbands.
Little information survives from the turn of the first
millennium. However, in the country in which modern feminism became born, England,
the situation was like this:
|". . . Slaves were numerous but not actually "property." They
were "tied" to a protector, the local lord, and English law severely restricted
his demands. A surviving text, the Rectitudines Singularum Personarum of
Archbishop Wulfstan of York, sets out the lords' rights and obligations [toward their
slaves], and lords in Engla-Lond never did claim the notorious droit de seigneur.
Our forebears cannot be dismissed as out-and-out misogynists either.
One of the favorite riddles began, "I am a strange creature, for I satisfy
women," and many women wielded surprising power. Queen Aetheflaed, daughter of
Alfred the Great, after his death led the war against the Danes. In combined
religious houses abbesses outranked abbots. Of 30 extant wills (another Anglo-Saxon
word), 10 were made by women who owned significant property. The term
"man" really did include both men and women; the latter were often referred to
as "the second mann." King Alfred even promulgated laws against unwanted
sexual touching, and the fines went to the offended woman. . . ."
[Excerpt from a book review by Nathan Greenfield in Alberta Report, 1999 05 17, p. 40,
of THE YEAR 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First
Millennium, Robert Lacey and Danny Danziger, Little Brown and Company, 230 pages,
hardcover, $31 (Can)]
That women yielded power then would surprise only someone whose history courses were
taught under the feminist curriculum. That creative view of society didn't exist yet
when I went to school. I'm therefore not surprised that there were women such as
Cleopatra, Helen of Troy,
of Bingen , those that surprised the
reviewer of THE YEAR 1000 and many others like them throughout history.
had been taught that all throughout history women were powerful, and experienced it
first-hand in the positions of power that our mothers held in our own families. It
is fascinating, though, to see that the authors discovered a few more things that weren't
quite like the circumstances taught in today's made-over politically correct version of
Women did have the right to own property and to pass it on.
What the review doesn't mention is that throughout history dowries were the property of
women in marriage which they had the right to dispose of and to bestow on their
descendants as they saw fit, and that they had dowager rights all along that have today
been expanded enormously to make men virtual wage slaves for life married or not.
It is enlightening to see the feminists' obsession with the term
"man" is shown to be for what it is, irrational.
Lastly, the item about King Alfred's laws relating to
unwanted sexual touching: already then we had one-sided sexual harassment
laws, with women then too being considered to be the only possible victims
and only men being capable of, and
culpable for, being the perpetrators, although the truth is that for many men who
experienced it, sexual harassment and unwanted sexual touching by women is far more
prevalent than the feminists would have us believe. For anyone who doubts that,
simply take a look at women's night in the local bar when male strippers are on, or,
perhaps just as effective an eye opener with respect to women's violence toward others of
either sex, just watch Jerry Springer. Even there, Jerry Springer admonishes the
rare man who dares to defend himself against the physical abuse that he's subjected to:
"Oh no! We don't do that on this show. A man never touches a
woman!" Nevertheless, the audience on the Jerry Springer Show
delights in seeing men being beaten up by the outraged and outrageous
females on exhibit on that show. On the Jerry Springer Show and in
real life, there is no constraint against women beating up men.
Sure, there are plenty of women who ruthlessly take all of the
advantages they can get from the status that society gives them, but very few of those
would be considered by anyone to be ladies!
Note 1.) The link to the URL for information on Hildegard of Bingen is
to a web site of the University of Mainz. Other URLs that I found lead you to texts
that, although they are largely based on information that was collected by the University
of Mainz (Bingen is practically a suburb of Mainz), add the usual feminist slant to the
considerably more objective views of the authors of the documents shown at the U of
Mainz's web site. For example:
| "At a time when few women wrote, Hildegard, known as "Sybil of
the Rhine", produced major works of theology and visionary writings.[*] When few women
were accorded respect, she was consulted by and advised bishops, popes, and kings. . .
That view is seriously in conflict with the emerging trend in the arts of the time,
which increasingly devoted themselves to venerating women in all possible ways, shapes and
forms. Men and women, being under the control of their mothers from birth, directly
or indirectly through internalizing, could harldly help themselves from doing
The same source gives also a somewhat tainted view of the circumstances of Hildegard's
upbringing, starting at age 8, in the Benedictine Monastery of Disibodenberg, near Mainz,
in the women's accommodations for reclusees that were, as was customary at the time,
associated with the monastery.
"The girl started to have visions of luminous objects at the age of
tree, but soon realized she was unique in this ability and hid this gift for many
This "unique ability" was hardly unique, nor a gift, most definitely far more
likely to be considered a scourge by anyone who has ever been "blessed" with
severe migraine. Hildegard herself regarded it as a serious sickness, especially as
it severely disabled her whenever it manifested itself.
* See also:
Hildegard von Bingen -
Where her visions actually atmospheric halos? by Mark Vornhusen
In Germany too, at the time, just as in England at the turn of the millennium, it was
quite common for women to own property, especially women who were living in the community
of a convent.
| "It is notable that the record of assets (Fundationsbuch) of the
convent of Rupertsberg that was founded by Hildegard in 1150, shows at the top of the
entries, throughout nine consecutive pages, records of gifts that stemmed from the
Bermesheim area [which was Hildegard's place of birth]. In addition, the deed of a
gift dated 1158 certifies the transfer of the landed estate at Bermesheim and of other
estates to the "Ladies" ["Herrinnen", original emphasis] of the
convent of Rupertsberg. Verifiably, the originators of that donation were the three
brothers clearly without offspring of Hildegard, because Hildegard, as the
youngest sibling, was at this time already 60 years old." [Translation of an excerpt
Is it not reasonable to ask anyone who claims that women weren't permitted to own
property in the old days, to explain why it was necessary to officially record the
transfer of property to women just as it was done for men?
1999 05 19
2001 01 29 (format changes)
2002 03 12 (slightly changed the translation of Mozart's poem to
2004 06 15 (added reference to the connection between Hildegard von
Bingen's "visions" and atmospheric halos)
2007 07 29 (added entry for WHY MEN ARE THE
WAY THEY ARE)
2007 12 14 (reformated)