The gynocentric mindset

The concept of gynocentrism, first written about among men’s rights advocates on, but also discussed on blogs such as Under the Goddess and Gynocentrism and its Cultural Origins (whose premise I profoundly disagree with), describes a state of affairs in which the needs, expectations, requests and demands of women are placed ahead of those of men; in which, if a woman’s needs were ever to come into conflict with those of a man, he was expected to abolish his needs in favour of hers. While social phenomena may be called gynocentric, I mainly use this term to describe people’s mindsets, since social phenomena are merely the product of these mindsets.

As an example of a gynocentric mindset, someone (a man or a woman) may think that men ought to protect women, and that women ought to protect themselves (and possibly each other, but never men); that men ought to provide for women, and that women ought to provide for themselves (and, again, possibly each other, but never men). That they ought to receive support from men, and should care for themselves (and each other, but never men). Notice that gynocentrism can be either individualistic and solipsistic (men should do things for women, women should only do things for themselves), or collectivist and feminist (men should do things for women, women should do things for each other), but always parasitic, since its adherents demand that women extract benefits from men that they never think of reciprocating.

Under gynocentrism, men should make efforts to help women, women should make efforts to help themselves or to get themselves helped. Under gynocentrism, when women cry helplessly, men jump to their rescue; when men cry helplessly, women look upon them with contempt, for helpless men cannot fulfil their gynocentric role of jumping to women’s rescue. Under gynocentrism, men should never deprive women of anything, whereas women should never let themselves be deprived of anything.

In a gynocentric marriage, the man must ensure that the woman is happy; the woman must ensure that she herself is happy. If she is not happy, she may freely divorce the man, for he is clearly not fulfilling his marital obligations, whereas she is clearly doing her best to fulfil hers (by divorcing to ensure that she is happy). In a gynocentric marriage, the man’s property is there for the woman to use as she sees fit, while her own property is there for herself to use as she sees fit. If, after divorce, she needs the property, she should clearly have it. Likewise, in a gynocentric marriage, the couple’s children are hers alone, and she should keep them after divorce for her own emotional satisfaction. Just as well, since the man should provide for the woman whereas the woman should either provide for herself or be provided for by the man (depending on her choice), the man should, in the end, pay her part of his income after the gyoncentric divorce, simply because she needs it.

In gynocentric courtship, the man must live up to a woman’s expectations, and the woman must be liberated from the man’s own expectations. The man must jump through whatever hoops the woman brings forth, and the woman must bring forth whatever hoops she wishes, for her own entertainment and convenience. If it turns out that some of these hoops (e.g. male dominance, fame, aggression etc) are invisible, and only jumping through the invisible hoops counts as a success, then everything is perfectly all right, for it is up to the woman to decide which hoops are to be jumped through, and she need not inform the man of her preferences at any time. She is free to let her hypergamous desires run wild in her body language, while verbally demanding that the man lavish her with acquiescence, and so creates the mix of invisible and visible hoops that form the basis of modern courtship. The fact that no man can jump through both types of hoops is simply evidence of men’s inferior nature, for the woman is doing everything required of her within gynocentric courtship (i.e. demanding both male dominance and male acquiescence), while the man always fails to do the things required of him within this courtship (i.e. providing both male dominance and male acquiescence). This forces the “poor” woman to settle for either being sexually dominated by the man (“oh, but he never lets me win!”), or lavished with special treatment that sexually turns her off (“I only see him as a friend.”).

Read that again, and you will understand why women’s double sexual strategy seems perfectly logical to them. If a woman instinctively believes in the false premise of gynocentrism, she will demand both dominance and acquiescence, and will resent men for being incapable of doing both at once rather than resent herself for being gynocentric. Gynocentrism explains the entirety of women’s sexual hypocrisy in one word.

I’ve briefly touched on gynocentric courtship and marriage. What about a gynocentric country, inhabited by a whole glut of gynocentric people? Well, let’s look at India, a den of gynocentism if there ever was one. In India, according to section 354 of the Indian Penal Code, only men suffer penalties for sexual assault. Likewise, section 498a allows women to lock up their husbands and the husbands’ families without due investigation over charges of “dowry harassment”, charges that only target husbands, never wives, as perpetrators. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, released in 2013, disregards male victims, as its very name indicates. That these and other laws have been written explicitly to address men as perpetrators and women as victims – never the reverse – is a manifestation of gynocentrism at the level of the state. I don’t want to single out India here – the US, Britain, France, Spain, Sweden, Canada and other Western countries have had their share of gynocentric laws – but it makes for a good example of how the unilateral concern for women’s well-being translates into laws.

I could not finish this brief introduction of gynocentrism without mentioning Feminism, for Feminism and gynocentrism are like Nationalism and tribalism: one is an aspect of human nature, the other is its ideological outgrowth. “Don’t tell me what to wear, tell men not to rape!” means “men should do what I want, I should do what I want!”. “Stop violence against women!” means “men should never hurt women, women should tell men not to hurt them!”. “My body, my choice!” means “men should let women decide what happens to the baby, women should let themselves decide what happens to the baby!”. “Fringe fathers’ rights groups threaten mothers’ sole custody!” means “Men should ensure that women are catered to after divorce, women should ensure that they are catered to after divorce. Not the reverse.”

To sum it up, gynocentrism means that men should do good things to women, and women should ensure that good things are done to them; men should take care not do bad things to women, women should ensure bad things are not done to them. There is no reciprocation, no compensation, no gratitude, just gynocentrism, gynocentrism and more gynocentrism.

The good news is that rampant gynocentrism will stop if men decide to stop it.

Some men, notably conservatives, believe in complementarianism – the idea that women should be the helpers of men, and men should be the leaders of women. A good helper will let the leader lead, thereby holding patriarchal attitudes, while a good leader would compensate the helper for her lack of autonomy by providing her with greater support, thereby holding gynocentric attitudes. In any society in which women instinctively want to follow, and men instinctively want to lead, patriarchy and gynocentrism naturally arise, and in theory (though sometimes not in practice), each of these principles keeps the other in balance. Nevertheless, in the last 50 years, feminists have campaigned tirelessly to strip men of their patriarchal benefits while ensuring that women retain, if not receive more of, their gynocentric benefits.This has created an imbalance that led to many of the problems men’s rights activists campaign against: the gynocentric family courts, the gynocentric laws on domestic abuse and rape, the gynocentric use of affirmative action laws, as well as the overall gynocentric culture in which we live.

Gynocentrism, or at least, gynocentrism without patriarchy, can give evil women the opportunity to ruthlessly exploit men, whereas patriarchy without gynocentrism can give evil men the opportunity to ruthlessly exploit women. The same goes for androcentrism without matriarchy and the reverse, although these latter two systems only exist in very rare cases. The important thing is that, from the 1960s to the current year, we have gone through a half-century of gynocentrism without patriarchy, leading to the widespread exploitation of men by women, and this imbalance can be solved in two ways: by dismantling gynocentrism or by re-establishing patriarchy. Both solutions can arise at once, in their own separate communities.

My guess is that we will see three movements progressing to overthrow the current state of gynocentrism-without-patriarchy, each going in its own direction. One is a conservative movement with ideas currently expressed by the writers at The Art of Manliness, as well as by androsphere bloggers such as Dalrock, W. F. Price of The Spearhead, Laura Grace Robins of Unmasking Feminism and The Native Canadian of the eponymous blog; this movement’s goal is to restore patriarchal attitudes as complementary to gynocentric attitudes, and to ensure a balance between the two. Another is a leftist “humanist” movement that opposes both patriarchy and gynocentrism, at times under the naive assumption that most people can be convinced to give up their natural inclination towards both. Some authors who ascribe to it include Dean Esmay, Alison Tieman,  and others at A Voice for Men, the well-known mens’ rights academic dr. Warren Farrell, the ex-feminist academic dr. Elly Tams on the Quiet Riot Girl blog, the Amazing Atheist on YouTube and the writers at Feminist Critics. The third and final movement is a secular moral one, to which I would ascribe but which does not seem to have any outspoken adherents so far. It would seek to establish communities for those men and women who, while being true in their devotion and caring for one another, as well as having strong morals, believe that, within these communities, patriarchy and gynocentrism should not extend beyond the bedroom, if they are to exist at all.

Given recent trends, I am confident that the dual push to remove gynocentrism from some circles, and to re-include patriarchy in other circles, will succeed to everyone’s benefit. People who want to live in patriarchal-and-gynocentric communities will come together and establish (or revive) them without fear of retaliation from the feminists, while people who want to live in genuinely egalitarian communities will hopefully do so as well. My only concern is that there might be far fewer non-gynocentric women than non-gynocentric men in the world, warranting a need for artificial wombs to allow these non-gynocentric men to reliably procreate, and that is a topic I look forward to tackling throughout this blog and elsewhere.

Posted in Ethics, Strategy | 3 Comments

The endgame: the male clan

Over the last several weeks, I have seen a few videos on YouTube discussing the “endgame” of the MGTOW – or Men Going Their Own Way – philosophy, which argues that men in the West should renounce their support for their state (owing to the evil divorce courts that have, amongst their many other crimes, recently extorted 83% of a university professor’s salary) and for women as a group, while providing support strictly to those who reciprocate it. The endgame they propose involves raising awareness about female nature and the criminal behavior of the state in support of female nature, allowing men to take away their own rose-tinted glasses and wisely withdraw their support of women and the state.

While I agree to a great extent with the MGTOW philosophy and definitely support many of its adherents, I don’t ascribe to it myself, precisely because I have a vastly different endgame in mind. I care very deeply about the concepts of family and community, and to go my own way, devoting my life entirely or mostly to myself, would seem horrific to me. I say this from experience, having lived without a real family for the entirety of my life, and without the hope of having a family on occasion; this lack of hope is agonizing, in the literal sense, and I can think of nothing more debilitating than a life without people to care for.

Being devoted to the idea of the family, and understanding that female nature makes most women detrimental to the family as well as to family-minded men, I want to work towards an alternative. I want to help men establish male clans -male-only families that procreate by means of artificial wombs- if they so desire, living in communities that these clans shared with standard male-and-female families.

Some MGTOWs argue for separatism from women; I argue for opposition to female scum, but support towards good women. I simply acknowledge that, because most women are born hypergamous, there are always going to be fewer good women than good men in any setting, and so, notwithstanding more complicated arrangements such as polyandry that almost never materialize in the real world, a good community would have to incorporate male clans if everyone were to pass on their heritage.

Let me explain my own vision of the male clan, bearing in mind that one could doubtlessly conceive of other types of male-only families. I see the male clan as a group of men (perhaps as many as 20, or as few as 2 or 3) who maintain an artificial womb as their sole means of procreation. Reproduction would occur in vitro, without needing any kind of fertilization; indeed, the genetic material need not come from sperm at all, and the chromosomes could simply be inserted into an artificial cell. The origin of these chromosomes could be quite varied in theory – in some cases, they could come from one parent, from two parents (involving genetic recombination, and again, without anything even remotely related to their sexual organs or sperm cells) or in the same manner from the whole clan; they could even be partly synthetic, i.e. created from scratch. The child would grow up being raised by either the father (if there was no second genetic parent), or both genetic parents, with support from the clan overall. Sexuality would be completely out of the picture in the sort of male clan I envision, although I am sure that traditionalists would take issue with it as much as they do with homosexuals.

From an economic standpoint, there are many arguments in favor of the male clan. In the world today, we have a tremendous surplus of womb space, which persists entirely because of human psychology: thanks to modern contraception as well as the more disastrous effects of female nature, the women of Europe, if current trends continue, are estimated to produce an average of 1.54 children in their lifetimes, essentially depopulating the continent. As a woman could potentially conceive a child for each of 12 different men during her 20s, she is simply not producing children at her capacity. Artificial wombs would have no such limitation, and men would be perfectly happy to share them with other men.

Whereas in a standard marriage, each man must take on a woman and support her after she drops out of her career to play with the children (see this mention as an example), gaining two of his own children in the process, in a clan of men, each man would only contribute a small fraction to the cost of maintaining a single artificial womb, likewise gaining two of his own children in the process. A clan of 10 men, supported by one artificial womb, would easily outmatch five male-and-female families in productivity because men are more driven to work. From the men’s own perspective, it will undoubtedly be much cheaper (not to mention less stressful) to maintain a technological device than a woman.

Another obvious economic advantage would be the boost in nativity: currently, in the US, there are only 70 million fathers compared to 85 million mothers, which shows that women are a bottleneck to male reproduction. If we were able to reproduce independently, there might well be at least an extra 15 million fathers, and implicitly at least an extra 15 million children, in the US.

From a moral standpoint, male clans represent a means to overcome the social breakdown that has affected Europe and the Western world in general throughout the last half-century. Stable traditional families will certainly persist, but I would argue that without an alpha-male god to constantly tell women to submit to their husbands, women will tend to fly off into whatever “relationship” offers them the greatest personal advantage, unbridled by the objective morality that the wiser among men uphold. A very important source of social capital, therefore, would arise if male clans were to take hold, as none of their men would ever have the leverage to pull off the divorce fraud so many women pull today.

In the ideal case, a clan’s lineage, as well as to a lesser degree the lineages of individual members, would be of great importance to the members of the clan. Clans that did not emphasize their lineage, and instead were mere economic arrangements to ensure that everyone’s children were properly raised, would likely crumble or fare poorly due to the individualistic natures of their members. Clans that did, however, take on the honor, love and dedication of their members would likely persevere well beyond individual members’ lifetimes. In my own view, morality should overlie people’s adherence to their own clan (and more generally to their own family), and so the clans themselves, as well as their members, should ideally be embodiments of genuine moral principles, but this is, unfortunately, not necessary for the survival of a given clan in perpetuity.

It’s true that the male clan would not be for most men, as there are many who wish to pursue sexuality with women out of hedonism. It is these very same men who are not interested in establishing families to begin with, however; I personally only see sexuality as a means to strengthen bonds and produce children, and since I can establish the very same bonds with men through non-sexual means (such as through affectionate hugs, honourable deeds etc), I would be happy to renounce sexuality altogether for the sake of taking part in a clan.

There are also traditionalists who believe that families should only be formed between one man and one woman, perhaps with the woman being humble before the man. All I can say to these people is that without my competition, they will have more women per traditionalist man to choose between, and thus an easier time keeping their societies from disintegrating under the acid rain of modernity.

Hedonists and (biological) traditionalists would not wish to live in a male clan. I am nevertheless one of the people who do, and I look forward to hearing from others who take the same attitude. The more such people begin to discuss ideas along the lines of the male clan, the easier it will be for us (or for men of later generations) to establish our loving families and communities once artificial wombs become available. I do invite you to share your ideas, to write comments here or perhaps even your own blogs and other forms of media; if the male clan, or anything similar, is what you want to go towards, let’s work together to that end.

Just thinking about the lives of the eventual clansmen themselves, I start to imagine how wonderful it would be for the older members of the clan to celebrate a coming-of-age, or the birth of a new member; to share in the simple joys of a meal and the tasks of a decade-long project. I can conceive of the love they would shower upon the newborn as well as the reverence they would give the deceased. How could a good man not welcome and pursue these things, walking away from the self-absorbed princesses of today to join the loving clans of tomorrow?

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Women’s desire to influence

If there is any fundamental difference between men and women that I could vouch for, it is that men generally value actions, whereas women value influence; men believe that success involves performing actions properly so as to get the desired result, whereas women believe success involves influencing people so as to get the desired emotional attitude in them.

It’s easy to demonstrate this by looking at where women actually choose to work. According to the figures in France (released for 2011 by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies; see table PSAL01), we find that 87.4% of technicians, 86.7% of foremen and 84.6% of laborers (including 90.4% of all qualified craftsmen), 78.4% of engineers and 90.8% of drivers, while 69.2% of teachers, 79.6% of health and social workers, 82.7% of admin workers (secretaries, people who work in the finance office etc), 87.5% of hotel and household staff and 87.5% of commercial sector workers (e.g. salespeople). Another blogger, JudgyBitch, has written about the figures in the US (source here). While acknowledging that substantial exceptions do exist in most of these fields, I can safely say that men tend to go into technical fields, in which they mainly interact with machinery, while women tend to go into teaching, sales and nursing, in which they mainly interact with people as part of their service to these people. Men certainly do interact with other people as part of their work, but more often to discuss plans of action than to alter these other people’s emotional states.

 The problem with women’s desire to influence others rather than do things directly is that it inevitably leads them to throw men under the bus. If a man needs a woman’s permission to start a family, he will have to accept that he will handle most of the action, while the woman will have most of the influence. He may well have his own goals, but he will need to pursue these independently of the woman, as the woman will not act on his behalf, and all his attempts to influence her to do so will bring about her resentment. Women want to influence men, not do the hard work for them.

 This is not something I would want to sign up for; indeed, I would not even want to be in the woman’s shoes. It would shame me tremendously to not take on my fair share of obligations. Would I want other people to do all the work and take all the risks for me? To let them put their lives at stake fighting off cave lions so I could have the luxury of hiding in a nice, safe treehouse somewhere? To ask them to climb to the top of a 1700-foot-tall relay tower every day, so I could enjoy living on benefits and partying every evening, doing no commensurate work? This sort of lifestyle would be out of the question.

 It’s not surprising, however, that many women want to live like this; free of all responsibilities, which they can instead place on the shoulders of their husbands, their ex-husbands, or their government.

 As such, women place expectations on men that the women themselves would never consider living up to. Women do not want to spend their lives fighting off cave lions or climbing up to the top of 1700-foot-tall relay towers; they will instead want to spend their lives influencing people, caring for babies, convincing others to buy products, doing nice and pleasant things. Someone, however, needs to do all the strenuous, risky work. So, women will do what they are naturally prone to do, which is influence men to do these things for them: to risk their lives against the beasts of the wild (or against their fellow men), to go into deep mine shafts and inhale factory soot, to run the ships and trains that bring women the things they like, to build great skyscrapers that women can then decorate as they please, and generally work hard, risking life and limb, so that women can have it all.

 “Good” women will, of course, want to make sure that men keep some of the goodies for themselves; but if a man ever asks a woman to join him on the 1700-foot-tall climb, or to risk her life with him in some military enterprise, or even to pay for her own meal when they date, she will pout, sulk and tantrum, avoid him altogether, or ask him to “just be friends” rather than grant him the privilege of taking care of her. Heaven forbid that they had already been married and he suddenly decided to look after the children, leaving her to fend off the cave lions herself, because if he does that, she will not only pout as expected, but also divorce him.

 Most women will not feel proud of being a hero, but will certainly feel proud of snagging, and therefore having influence over, an influential man. A man sees heroism in the courageous and dutiful deeds of another man; a woman sees it in the admiration he receives from others. The average woman will not respect a man who is less successful than she is (in terms of his prestige); if he succeeds to develop his physical, intellectual and moral qualities, in a society in which this is seen not as edgy, but contemptible, she will not want him as her partner, as he is most likely not her equal in terms of social status (well though he is most likely her indomitable superior in both strength and intellect, and his adherence to morality, unlike her own, is genuine).

 It’s not surprising, then, that over the last 50 years of feminism, there have been so many sitcoms and commercials that disrespect men and give unfounded praise to women. In the world of women, prestige is “valuable” in and of itself, and when men have less of it, our value in the eyes of women “drops”, while their own value rises. When the second-wave feminists promised to usher a new world for women in the workplace, they did not mean to offer them an opportunity to labor for the benefit of men, but rather, a way to get the influence they crave without having to depend on (i.e. hijack) their husbands’ own influence. By making men look like bumbling fools on television, the feminists were really encouraging women to seek their prestige elsewhere – not as wives to these caricatures of men, but as the stunningly successful leaders of law firms, media companies and just about every other non-productive human enterprise imaginable. Heaven forbid, however, that they dirty their delicate hands by actually working for us, at our own request, for our own needs, as we have done for them since the dawn of mankind; if they are not getting any extra prestige from it, they are not going to do it.

 Nevertheless, just as a woman evaluates men on her own terms, we can (and indeed should) judge women on our own terms; and if we were indeed to begin to judge women tomorrow, in the same way that we judge men, we would find that they fail to live up to masculine standards. One could certainly find a “good” woman that sought to inspire and support him, but what is good for women is merely average for men; after all, I can receive emotional support and inspiration from my male friends, but I can also count on them to not bail out on me if they happen to earning more than I am, or if I am starting to show emotional vulnerability; the vast majority of women, no matter how “good” they are, will still turn on me if I do not live up to or accept their double standard. I know that, if artificial wombs were to become available tomorrow, I could convince a few men to start a male clan with me, for whose sake we all labored diligently, without any of the problems that arise in an imbalanced relationship between someone who wants to do things and someone who wants to influence people.  Neither of us would ever feel that we ought to betray the clan for the sake of a better deal, or that we should make demands on the rest of the clan that we were unwilling to reciprocate. It seems to me, then, that a woman’s willingness to influence and her unwillingness to act make her a liability for any family, and that to render her obsolete through new technology would be a boon to the family overall.

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Why we need the artificial womb

The artificial womb, potentially to be invented sometime in the next 40 years, could dramatically benefit men – providing us with reproductive independence from women – and the world as a whole. This blog is here to encourage popular support for the use of the technology by well-intentioned individuals and groups of people, critically examine its potential misuse by governments and other institutions, give legislative support for it once it becomes available and explore its implications in any society that were to incorporate it. Although it may seem early as of now (October 2013) to build up support for this technology, we need to do so if we want to overcome the hostility of special interest groups such as feminists, who will try to make artificial wombs illegal for heterosexual men to use, and traditionalists, who will want to ban their use altogether.

A strong, if not perhaps the strongest, argument for the artificial womb is that it will allow all good men to be fathers without subjecting ourselves to exploitation on the part of women. If you ask “what exploitation?”, I refer you to this article:

 “For Chinese Women, marriage demands the right ‘bride price.’”

Now, a bride price would seem superfluous to the experienced reader, given that marriage is already very advantageous to women. We know through both observation and published findings that women of all ages are more sexually receptive to men whom they regard as status boosters, i.e. who can increase their own social status by proxy (see this OkCupid chart, for example). We also know that most women, though some might pretend otherwise, would become resentful of their husbands if said husbands would settle for household chores and leave the women to do the real work (for instance, see this article and this commentary on another article ). We know that men in relationships normally want to make their women happy and to reach consensus with her, but also that women prefer to enter disagreements with their men and lose interest in their men when said men look happy, all of which inevitably leads to a profound imbalance in regards to who actually benefits from the marriage. Why women would charge for something they already benefit from so much baffles the mind.

What’s more, we are bombarded in the media with articles about how marriage is a thing of convenience for women, to be cut off when the woman no longer deems it necessary (regardless of the suffering and the financial loss brought on the husband), and books such as Eat, Pray, Love that encourage women to take on this attitude. Some of us also know that in some countries, particularly in the US, the rest of the Anglosphere and in Europe, the feminist-run divorce courts enslave men to women through alimony and child support when women divorce them for personal convenience. If men fail to pay their betrayers because the divorce courts charged them more money per month than they earned, men go to jail, potentially losing their jobs in the process ; even if they do pay their betrayers, they sometimes find themselves at the mercy of petty tyrants who should not, but nevertheless do, work in the local Child Protection Services. It may not be like that in China, but it certainly leaves me to wonder why any man would pay a bride price at all.

 Nevertheless, let’s take a closer look at what this bride price actually consists of. Quoting from the article:

It’s Derek Wei’s big day: his wedding day. He arrives at his bride’s house early in the morning, knocking on the door accompanied by his groomsmen. It’s locked, as tradition demands.

This wedding ritual, called chuangmen has resurfaced recently, along with other traditional practices like demands for a betrothal gift, sometimes known as “bride price.”

“Red packets! Red packets!” shouts the niece of Lucy Wang, the bride, demanding the men stuff red packets full of money through the door.

So, caving in to a girl’s demands, the men stuff red packets full of money through the locked door. At first glance, that’s what the bride price seems to be.

 “Not enough!” shouts the head bridesmaid, who wants more money before she’ll open up. The women play along, complaining noisily about Wei’s stinginess. This is the last in a series of financial transactions that accompanies this — and every Chinese — wedding.

It seems that the bride price is not only financial, but psychological; the man must put up with women’s arrogant demands for more and more undeserved wealth.

“It’s like a negotiation,” Wei says. “What do you need to get married? What can I provide? When we reach a deal, we discuss: What does your family want? What does my family have to bargain with?”

Wei, unfortuntately, is a willing victim to this extortion: if he simply became angry with the injustice being flung at him and valued his dignity more than his chances of producing children with the greedy woman beyond the door, he would not allow himself to be subjected to this ordeal.

 Minutes tick slowly, and Wei is getting nervous they’ll be late.

“I love you, wife!” he shouts, thumping the door. “Let me in!”

From the other side of the door, his future wife, Lucy Wang, demands a song. He complies, singing a soppy old-time love song to the closed wooden door, along with a groomsman who takes pity on him. The women giggle. But Wang’s demands have been for more than just music.

If the arrogance of the two giggling members of the “fairer sex” surprises you, you do not understand women. A man’s love is irrelevant to the average woman, as she cannot comprehend the abstract value of love; what matters to her, instead, is the mundane value of what this love can provide: red packets and a social status boost.

Wang has an office job in Beijing, she’s from Shanxi province. Wedding customs there demand the groom to give his future in-laws a big betrothal gift, traditionally known as the bride price. Wei handed over 68,888 yuan — an auspicious number — which is more than $11,000.

Wang, however, is not so impressed. “There are lots of coal mine owners where I come from, so they push the prices up,” she explains. “In an ordinary family, the betrothal gift is about $10,000. To be honest, where I’m from, that’s hardly anything.”

As the woman herself states, she is not looking to love someone; she is looking for a large, auspicious number of yuan; men had better toil for long hours and boss other men around in order to get her these yuan, because she is fully prepared to leave them childless otherwise.

Finally, the men lose patience and brace their shoulders against the door, noisily forcing their way into the room with battle cries.

You would think that they have now wisened up and decided to seek justice against the women who had been mocking them moments before. You would think wrong:

Wei is on his knees. It’s the first time he’s seen his wife on their big day: He has a massive grin on his face and a bouquet of pink roses for Wang.

His first thought on hearing of the betrothal gift was pure fear. But his situation is very common. Most young men getting married in China today are expected to fork out, often providing an apartment, sometimes a car and a betrothal gift, too.

The story you have just read is a tragedy and a failure of humanity. To fall on your knees for the beast that has extorted money from you, made spurious demands on you so she could feel “in charge” and laughed at your efforts to please her; this is to supplicate to an abuser. Lucy Wang did not deserve a bouquet of roses in the end. She did not deserve marriage and she did not deserve a man to cater to her selfish whims. What she deserved, I will not discuss here in order to keep this blog family-friendly.

A lot of men are going through the same ordeals, jumping through the same hoops at the behest of women – of petty aristocrats that demand as much as they can while contributing as little as they can get away with. Some of the men, faced with bride prices both explicit and implicit, bow their heads wretchedly and pay the bribe, or try to rationalize their own exploitation and perceive themselves as the “heads of the household” who must provide for their wives. Some, like myself, refuse to be part of this atrocity but nevertheless wish to produce and to love children of our own. All of us would stand to benefit from artificial wombs.

 If you want a good argument for why men should have reproductive freedom, remember Lucy Wang, the woman with the red packets. Remember all the women like her, because they make the case for the artificial womb far better than I ever can. After all, I can tell you all about the benefits of artificial wombs to help establish thriving communities (and I will.); I can tell you all about how they stand to protect against frivolous marriage breakdown (and I will.); of how they sort out the problems of paternity fraud, alimony and “child support” (really just more alimony), how they will help people who may not otherwise have children (and I will). But the most important benefit of artificial wombs is that no man will have to go through the ordeal of putting up with the Lucy Wangs of this world.

 Inevitably, the number of good women in any city or town is limited. When most of them have been taken, the chances are that you will have to sift through many Lucy Wangs before you find a good woman (if you can find one at all), and by the time you do, you may well become too old to start a family. In China, in particular, there are around 11 men of ages 15 to 24 for every 10 women in this age range, and if you, as a young man, do find a good woman, you essentially leave other marriage-minded men in the position of having to sift through the Lucy Wangs themselves.

 The worst possible scenario for such men would not be that they remained childless, lacking a family of their own in their later years, but that they entered a marriage with a woman who, having gone past the age of 30, has found that fewer and fewer men were willing to provide her the red packets she “deserves”; a woman who has decided to “settle” for a far less glamorous kind of marital prostitution than she originally envisioned. For her, this is a compromise; for him, it is most likely a belief that he has found someone who loves him.

 No man should be forced to live in this sort of false marriage in order to have children, and in general, no man should be forced to live with an abusive, entitled or adulterous woman of any kind; the artificial womb could well be a way to ensure that such things do not happen. Certainly, we can campaign to defeat the unjust divorce laws and corrupt judges that have tainted the concept of marriage, thus preventing exploitative women from harming us. But there are those of us who would never accept to share their lives with such exploitative women, irrespective of whether the legal system actually gave her the means to exploit us.

 Presently, our reproductive choices are as follows. We can sift through the haystack for the limited number of decent unmarried women with whom to start our families, and inevitably deprive other men of such women’s partnership; we can take part in the auctions for the entitlement princesses of the world, trying to compete for social status and thus out-bid all the other men; or we can work towards reproductive freedom for men as a whole, striving for the day when artificial wombs will become legally available to all good men who wish to have a family. Personally, I am keen on the latter choice, as it will allow us all to thrive, irrespective of the kinds of women we are likely to run into. Until we come to that point, however, women such as Lucy Wang will continue to demand their red packets, and men will continue to either finance them or die childless, albeit with their dignity intact.

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