The easiest way to sell patriarchy is to make it either the best or the only card left to play.
Reader’s Note: In this essay, upper-middle (and higher) class marriages are referred to as UMC/+ Marriages, while lower middle (and lower) class marriages are referred to as LMC/- Marriages.
Length: 2,000 words
Reading Time: 7 minutes
Is Patriarchy for Deplorables? (31 May 2021)
This post continues to explore this topic and adds a few insights that came up in the comments.
Why are UMC/+ Marriages more Egalitarian?
“Overall, it seems clear that upper-middle (and higher) class marriages (which I will refer to here as UMC/+ Marriages) are more egalitarian and more feminized yet less prone to divorce, while lower middle (and lower) class marriages (which I will refer to here as LMC/- Marriages) tend to be more patriarchal, yet more prone to divorce.”
This brought up the more basic question of why upper class marriages in the west are more egalitarian yet less prone to divorce. We saw a lot of good discussion on this topic under this post, but I doubt we could run down a single reason that could apply to every case.
However, it is clear that the basic answer is because the UMC and higher have a vested political and economic interest in staying married, while nobody else has that restraint. That political interest includes preserving their coterie in the upper ranks through the future and protecting their progeny’s ability to continue in the same.
Actually, this reflects the ancient Biblical model of the tribal family, and it underscores the primary element of staying married. Without this overriding emphasis on hedging the tribe’s equity and nurturing its social domain, and the intergenerational continuity of the same, the only other way to stay married is to get married for the right reason.
This brings us to another part of the equation. American cultural roots have drifted far away from the Biblical ideal. The failure of patriarchy among all classes has to do with how Americans handle marriage itself. No one gets married for the right reasons. No one even knows what the right reasons are! Because of the pervasive ignorance about the spiritual purpose of marriage, marital trouble is therefore highly likely across all classes.
Another piece of the puzzle is because the overall happiness of upper level income families depends more on lifestyle and economic status. Therefore, marital happiness (a secular code word for sanctification) is less of an issue in the stability of these marriages compared to other population demographics. For the majority of cases, I think, the relative popularity, the trappings of wealth, and the various conveniences of this lifestyle offer a panoply of very satisfying idols that can offer an effective distraction from the pain of a deeper spiritual poverty.
Another element is the stability that wealth provides. The financial status of the UMC/+ allows more latitude to drift away from Headship and operate outside of God’s ordained order without being crushed by the consequences thereof. Novaseeker made this clear in his post, Sticking the Landing is for the Elite (2021 May 10).
But so far, we’ve only covered why the UMC/+ marriages are less prone to divorce. We haven’t yet looked at why LMC/- marriages are more patriarchal.
Why are LMC/- Marriages more Patriarchal?
People of different SECs hold different values.
- UC values life success, education for the sake of status, financial stability, wealth preservation, the status-laden lifestyle, and making sure their children can continue in the same. They marry for the trans-generational continuation of the same.
- MC values career success, education for the sake of upward mobility and income, fashion trends that imitate UC (like having a large house and an SUV), and a focus on the family and religion. They marry because “It’s the right time.”
- LC values “fun” life experiences, resiliency, and later in life, socializing. They marry for “love”.
As you can see, the UMC/+ and the LMC/- have different sets of prerogatives in life. The priorities of the LMC/- are more closely attuned to the purpose of Marriage 1.0, which Deti described here.
“Give the man a little “empire”. Give the woman a home, safety, and security. A safe place for man and woman’s sexual expression. A safe and secure place for rearing children and preparing them for adulthood. Amassing some property to pass on to children. Overall order, peace, and tranquility.”
This reflects the traditional model of the nuclear family, which emphasizes the joys of living. This sense of joy is characterized by family gatherings, barbecues, holiday celebrations, church attendance, sports game competitions, football parties, and the like. This is the primary lifestyle that provides the contextual environment in which LMC/- marriages form, prosper, and thrive.
This social involvement provides an element of stability which wealth cannot offer. The need for social relevance in the absence of excessive wealth also goads the members of this group to stay tuned into socality and to appreciate the various rewards of their hard work. In this context, Headship can be an effective structure of authority which allows all else to operate more smoothly.
The overall happiness of mid and lower level income families rides on social connections, family, and fellowship more than lifestyle and economic status. Therefore, marital happiness (i.e. sanctification) is not such a far stretch to achieve. The worst kinds of effects come from impulsiveness, stupid decisions, the influences of churchianity, feminism, and progressivism, and trying to mimic the worst characteristics of the upper class.
The Present Difficulty of Maintaining Headship
This is a bad time in history to pursue the Biblical model of patriarchal Headship in marriage. Deti made the point that Patriarchy is a figment of Marriage 1.0, but that we are living in an age of Marriage 2.0. He gave us five conclusions that describe the implications of this discrepancy.
- You get what you incentivize. When you incentivize love, higher purpose, future time orientation, and God-worship, you get Marriage 1.0. When you incentivize wealth accumulation, self-purpose, present time orientation, and self-worship, you get Marriage 2.0.
- Marriage 1.0 does not work without mature, outward minded, God-fearing participants who care about the children and future. Marriage 2.0 works with people who can dissolve the marriage anytime, are self-centered and self absorbed, and ignore God.
- In a society that encourages Marriage 2.0 (which we have now), there is no reason to form a 1.0 Marriage, because society will actively work to undermine and destroy it. In the event it dissolves, it will be done so under Marriage 2.0 rules, which crush the participants and care only about “who’s gonna pay?”
- If you’re a bottom 80%er, you can’t amass property without it being taken away in a later divorce. If you are in this set and you marry and later divorce, you both will be REALLY bad off, probably worse off than if you had never married in the first place. There is no reason to amass property if it will just be consumed in a divorce.
- One need not marry to have sex, or bear or raise children. Current society has removed all restraints on sexual behavior, and has normalized out of wedlock childbirth. The only logical reason to marry now is if marriage will magnify and maximize property accumulation.
“The main reason we have a sexual free for all and out of wedlock birth is because for a long time, our society has been rich enough to pay for it and to absorb the social and monetary costs.”
“Patriarchy is for the Deplorables.”
Case Study – OkraHead’s Anti-Deplorable Ex
OkraHead told a story that is oddly reminiscent of some others we’ve read about before.
“Prior to divorce, my now ex-wife and I were very solidly UMC in income… Well on our way to double the base line for UMC in our state. The ex decided she wanted a divorce because I was “too controlling” (patriarchy, anyone?). She admitted under oath there was no adultery, no abuse, no addiction… She just wanted to have “more fun.” Less than a decade later she went from UMC to being on welfare and crying because she can’t get in to see a decent doctor with her Medicaid card. As far as the religious aspect goes, following the divorce she openly renounced her faith… She says she no longer believes “any of that stuff.” She gave up her faith, her marriage, etc. because she couldn’t live under “patriarchy”.”
In this case, Patriarchy really was the make-it-or-break-it turning point in the marriage and her faith. If she had accepted Patriarchy, then she could have had the whole ball of yarn. But then again, a ball of yarn is useless without cats, so it’s better (in her mind) to have cats.
Patriarchy vs. Sexual License
NovaSeeker brought out the point that the failure of marriage among all classes is not about Patriarchy at all, but simply because of wimminz desire for sexual freedom. Patriarchy is merely an archaic obstacle that stands in the way.
“Sex is the core issue. It always will be as long as the sexual revolution governs the broad society’s sexual mores. It’s also the main reason (leaving aside the people who are sexually abused or what have you) for why people leave the faith, generally, not just divorcing people — people don’t want Christianity’s rules about sex, and they don’t want to feel guilty about sex, either, so they leave and flit around from X to Y non-Christian pseudo-religion like Pop Buddhism or something similar where they can feel “spiritual” but not have any moral rules about sex. This is the entire reason people are “spiritual but not religious” — not because they are die-hard atheists (those people tend not to be spiritual, they see it all as “woo”, as a site like RationalWiki makes clear), but because they don’t want any moral rules about sex because they don’t want to follow any of those rules, and also don’t want to feel guilty about breaking them.
It’s. All. About. Sex.
It truly is. The rest is a smokescreen in the case of most people.”
OkraHead summed it up by saying,
“…for a large portion (majority?) of American womynz, mud huts and the freedom to slut around are preferable to patriarchy and the white picket fence.”
Thus, the sex epidemic ensues.
All things considered, the LMC/- are hard pressed to make Headship/Patriarchy work, because the alternatives are either to ascend to UMC/+ status or else divorce. Therefore, couples in the LMC/- have the following sets of choices.
- Economic Ascendancy — Climb up the socio-economic ladder (which is difficult).
- Divorce — Abandon the marriage (also difficult, but not as much as (1)).
- Submit — Accept Patriarchal Headship and enjoy the barbecue.
Ultimately, womyn hold the decision making power in this matter. (“A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.”) Because women will not stick with a wishy-washy man over the long haul of marriage, and because options (1) and (2) are infinitely more appetizing to fearal womynz’ preferences, then option (3) is only accepted by those particular women who either cannot avail of the first two options, or who truly love and respect their husbands. Since a divorce which benefits the woman is so easy to attain, this means that the majority of LMC/- marriages that remain intact are decidedly more patriarchal in nature.
So, to further answer the question contained in the title of NovaSeeker’s post, Is Patriarchy for Deplorables?, we see that LMC/- marriages are not LMC/- because they are patriarchal, nor are they patriarchal because they are LMC/-, but simply because only the patriarchal marriages survive!
- Σ Frame (Novaseeker): The Train Wreck – Speculative causes, influences, and alternate outcomes (2021 February 1)
- Σ Frame (Jack): The Christian Marriage Dilemma (2021 February 26)