Hannah and Papa J

Hannah and Papa J

Monday, January 11, 2016

Well-behaved women

Dear Hannah,

My favorite feminist slogan is well-behaved women seldom make history because they've forgotten that almost nobody makes history.  Amongst women, the number of people who make history is even fewer; and amongst their poorly-behaved, the number is significantly less.

Anyone with common sense knows that the happiest times are the times we never really talk about in history books at all -- and poor behavior is a terrible reason to make it into a history book.  Not only because it's the easiest reason to make it into a history book, but because the people who remember you will hate you*.  We only celebrate man's heroics because he's built something worth celebrating, overcome something worth overcoming, and defeated somebody worth defeating.  Gibbon said it best when he said that history is little more than a register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.  Putting our feminists in positions of authority would add weight to our history books -- but only by increasing the number of villains.

The idea that women have to be poorly behaved in order to make history is an embarrassment to the feminist movement.  It admits that women believe advancement to be a result more of audacity than adoration.  The feminist wants what man has without wanting to be as good as the men we love for getting it.  She wants her opinions revered without having anything good to say.  She values loudness over eloquence; demands love without charm; leadership without charisma; respect without character; and advancement without improvement.  She wants to get ahead, but only by stepping on the people she's supposed to be helping.  

A feminist is someone who wants to lead, but doesn't really offer a better place to go.  She sees female advancement as an ideology about quotas, and never a competition with man's spiritual greatness.  She sees male opinion not as something to be won, but as something to be battled; and she's got such a horrible inferiority complex, that she views her liberation not as being a really great person in spite of men, but as being spiteful of them. She lives to prove that she isn't under someone's thumb, which is another way of proving she is.  Whether a man is acknowledged as her master or not, he essentially determines her behavior.  Whether he benefits from it or not, he is the defining factor of her lifestyle. 

It may be worth mentioning, at this point, that the author of the quote wasn't Eleanor Roosevelt or Marilyn Monroe or anyone else even famous (as is popularly asserted), but a woman who nobody could even forget, because nobody had ever known her in the first place.  Whether she took her advice seriously or only dreamed about it is irrelevant to the fact that almost nobody knows her except herself. 

The reason this is worth mentioning is because, for better or for worse, the overwhelming majority of women will never make it into the history books -- but women will be remembered by the few people they encounter.  Fame is almost indifferent to a woman's character; lovers will never be.  The people she works with, the person she marries, the children she raises will have something to say about her -- and it should be something other than she never took the opinions of men seriously.  They should say she was kinder, brighter, more reasonable and educated and industrious -- in a word, better -- than any of the men that we knew.  They should say when she died men wept because there wasn't another woman like her.  

If anyone wants to be a feminist, she should do honor to her sex and be an excellent person.  The woman who does anything differently will have plenty of friends -- amongst her cats and the few people mentioned in her will.

Your father,

*Hillary Clinton is the best example I can give, whose own bodyguards are forced to protect a woman they personally loathe.


  1. Jeremy, I just discovered you. I am a woman and I wonder if you are not the new G.K. Chesterton, a man so great no one reads him. I pray that is not your fate, dear heart; this letter to your daughter was beautiful and beautifully written. May you write and write and write. God bless.

    1. You're too kind -- thank you for letting me know you enjoy my work!

  2. I found your blog through a Milo Yiannopoulous random search and I must say your writing is incredible <3