Thursday, December 20, 2012
Briffault's Law: A law on a fault of womanhood?
Someone* asked me to share my thoughts on the above law.
It is exactly the kind of topic Sensible Me would have steered clear of :-)
But Someone wanted to start this discussion going.
So in this season of goodwill, I thought I would oblige, leaving my sensible self somewhere far away from here :-)
It may not be quite the right time of year to discuss this issue.
But when is it ever right to tackle such a contentious topic?
Robert Briffault (1876-1948) was a (French? - under speculation if he was actually French or British) surgeon who became more known for his anthropological observations than his career as a doctor.
His most famous observation from his literary work 'The Mothers' which became his eponymous law was this:
"The female, not the male, determines all the conditions of the animal family. Where the female can derive no benefit from association with the male, no such association takes place."
This quote of Briffault is highly familiar, in the sense that it highlights a 'fault' of womanhood that men don't like and is often discussed by Manosphere bloggers :-)
Now, bearing in mind that I am female (and therefore perhaps automatically excluded from rational or unbiased analysis of Briffault's Law), I offer my thoughts.
(NB: I have never read 'The Mothers', nor any others of Briffault's works. I do think it may have been useful to have read his works to get a 'feel' for his line of thinking and his worldview. But alas, I lack the time and the inclination. Apologies for that).
I think Briffault is both right and wrong with his law.
Why is he right?
Yes, it was always Nature's brutally unfair intent that a woman associate herself with a man who would be of most help to her in the business of offspring-raising.
That, in my opinion is what Briffault's Law is for.
So this law, in of itself is not wrong.
Au contraire, it is a useful law. For society in general, not just women.
If more women rejected men who were clearly and unequivocally unsuited to the role they were designed for, perhaps we would not be in the mess we are in today.
There would certainly be fewer feral childern about.
Because Father would be in the home, along with Mother.
A wise person I know has this rule:
'As women go, so goes society'.
I have quoted this saying ad nauseum on this blog. Whichever way I look at it, it seems to make sense to me.
Briffault's law implies both a right and a responsibility of women.
Every good father tells his daughter: Pick a responsible man to associate with. Vet his character, his values, make sure they are compatible with what you want. If not, reject him.
Every good mother tells her daughter: Keep your wits about you when meeting and dating men. Keep your ears and eyes open, but your legs crossed. If he is not to your taste, do not invest yourself in him.
A woman may not get a 'finished product' of a man, especially when he and she are young. But she needs to see some 'potential' in terms of how he sees life, his character and his values. For some women (especially those who wish to have children), earning power of a man is also very important. I make no judgment on that, except to say that as a woman, I understand this very well. Child raising is not cheap.
But alas, money is not everything. There are some women who will gladly marry the poorest man around, but whose character is golden. A character they would wish to pass on to their children.
This is still Briffault's law at play. The woman is still seeking something.
The woman who enters into an association with a man with zero expectations of something back from him is not a wise woman, especially if she wants a family. I am sure everyone would agree with this. Low expectations is reasonable in this context :-). Zero expectations is not.
Therefore, I think Briffault's law is an accurate observation and perhaps a good assessment of how a woman should be. It fits very nicely in fact with my own views on hypergamy.
But enough of the 'rights'. Note that it is also the responsibility of a woman to find a man with the best fit to what she believes is the ideal man for her.
Therefore, in the best interpretation of the perfect 'subtitle' to Briffault's law, a woman is not allowed to marry or otherwise enter into a committed relationship with a man and then rescind her initial 'promise'.
This is where things get messy.
Briffault's law contains the following 'subtexts':
1. Past benefit provided by the male does not provide for continued or future association.
2. Any agreement where the male provides a current benefit in return for a promise of future association is null and void as soon as the male has provided the benefit (see corollary 1).
3. A promise of future benefit has limited influence on current/future association, with the influence inversely proportionate to the length of time until the benefit will be given and directly proportionate to the degree to which the female trusts the male.
Certainly, in today's feminist-boosted, legally-encouraged, spiritually-bereft culture, the above scenarios are very, very common.
This is hypergamy according to Manosphere Law!
And I would agree that this is crass womanhood.
How Briffault worked this one out in 1960 I'll never know, but he seems to have had the same foreseer's glasses as George Orwell (1984) and Aldous Huxley (Brave New World).
He was absolutely right about his predictions (actuality?).
But Briffault was also wrong.
For one, wanting something in return is a human issue.
We were all born selfish.
The person who is the eternal doormat has something wrong with him or her. It is not normal.
So, a woman may wish for a provider type. This is wired into her DNA.
A man may wish for a beautiful and young woman. This is also wired into his DNA.
Men and women want different things from each other. But each has his/her needs/wants. Therefore one might also interpret the second line of Briffault's law as applying to both men and women.
For two, it is not always true that women control everything. Clever men know how to 'lead' women, even in the domestic realm. But I won't be drawn into another long discussion about 'alpha' and 'beta' :-) It's Christmas!
Briffault's law has always existed. Kudos to Briffault for actually verbalising it for the rest of us.
In the Patriarchal society we had pre-feminism, this was 'controlled' and did not allow women to get all 'feral' with their desires.
It also incidentally enabled women to have a wider choice of 'suitable men'.
We are back to 'as women go...'.
For as women on the one hand went 'over the top' with Briffault's law, and killed the goose that was laying the golden eggs (awful pun, sorry) by being too critical of men, and then on the other hand dropping Briffault's law entirely by not vetting men they rewarded with... um... 'favours', the possibility to exercise Briffault's law at all disappeared. Almost overnight.
Women do and should control the animal family. It is the way it has always been, and was designed to be. The only difference between before and now is that, now, it is done at the expense of men rather than for the good of society as a whole.
With this important role comes some very serious responsibilties.
Ignore the responsibilities at our peril.
Umm, too late... already there....
Merry Christmas everyone!
*Thank you, Someone.