We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us. Did you ever think what those sleepers are that underlie the railroad? Each one is a man…. The rails are laid on them, and they are covered with sand, and the cars run smoothly over them. They are sound sleepers, I assure you. And every few years a new lot is laid down and run over; so that, if some have the pleasure of riding on a rail, others have the misfortune to be ridden upon.
~Henry David Thoreau, 1854
It has been noted before that traditionalism is a driving force behind male slavery. It is a psychological machine that socializes men into resource dispensers and women’s compliant, disposable servants.
But that word “slavery” scares people.
How dare you?! Slavery doesn’t exist anymore! It’s a relic of the past, and we’re all happy now that it’s gone. Anyone claiming slavery is a currently accepted social institution will be shamed and ridiculed into silence!
Unless we’re talking about the actually enslaved workers assembling Apple products in China. Unless we’re referring to imported domestic servants in the homes of wealthy Saudi households. Unless we’re talking about immigrant construction workers used throughout south Asia and the middle east. Unless we’re talking about agricultural labourers in the United States.
The slavery we recognize of 300 years ago is not the same slavery we know exists today. As the industries of mining, agriculture, manufacturing, construction and forestry have undergone radical changes over multiple centuries so coerced labor has changed as well. If we pretend that, because whips and iron manacles are not used, slavery itself is extinct, we are allowing a naivety that crosses into stupidity.
A working definition of slavery for this discussion is: A human being who is required to work for the benefit of another without legal alternative.
There are a number of social institutions which require men to perform a self sacrificing role as provider, protector and utility. It is not only enforced by attaching social approval to fulfillment of this role, men are convinced to take on this disposability with pride. When the brainwashing fails, refusal to conform can result in incarceration or other life altering consequences.
Use of the word slavery to describe such social institutions does not draw reasoned rebuttal but, instead, results in emotionally charged outrage at the “absurdity” of the use of this word. It draws a sneering, superior mockery.
But slavery does exist. In fatherhood, for example, a man is committed by law to financial provision for decades based on the choice of a woman. It’s a situation in which he has no legal voice, but he is placed into economic bondage.
Women are the only individuals with reproductive self determination. A woman has the right to limit her own fertility in order to prevent pregnancy. If that should fail, she has the right to terminate her own pregnancy, or to continue it to its conclusion. A man has no such legal rights. But our common use of language is framed so that a woman’s self selected pregnancy is described in the language of a man’s exercised agency: “He got her pregnant.”
This phrase is absurd. It suggests women lack the rights, the means, the knowledge and the mental capacity to control their own fertility. It’s the guy with no legal voice that got her pregnant, even in cases where she lied to him about being on birth control or, in rare cases, stole his semen from his discarded condom. He’ll have his wages garnished, his assets seized, or his ass thrown into prison should he be unable to pay.
The correct word for this is slavery.
But you can’t say that word. The argument won’t be examined by a reasonable exploration. The idea and the speaker will be eviscerated in histrionic outrage. That outrage and sneering mockery is telling because it is the reaction of a ruling class threatened by its subjects. The idea of negotiating with your slaves is unthinkable. It’s demeaning. And women, as the the ruling class, hold the reigns of their work horses tightly.
Dating a woman is merely a ritualized job interview for the combined tasks of boot-licker, financial provider and unpaid entertainer. In the practice of dating, the woman’s company must be purchased by provision of gifts, food, drink and is justified by women with an appeal to tradition. These gifts are preferably of no intrinsic value but of high cost, such as diamonds, to show the lengths to which the man will throw his resources at her feet. In return, she offers him the chance to breed and to become her permanent slave.
A small but growing fraction of men are coming to the awareness that this is not a good exchange of value. The consequence of men opting out is quickly becoming a mainstream topic, as commentators attempt to shame self aware men back to their previous oblivious behaviour.
Instead of recognizing their growing awareness of self-worth, these men are deemed sexual failures. Instead of recognizing that men avoiding the legal trap of marriage are creating a new path for masculine expression they are ridiculed as children suffering from a “failure to launch.” The slavery they’ve rejected is repackaged and sold back to them as if their new awareness will make their compliance more tolerable. It’s not slavery if you choose it, right?
And the power of social ostracism is great.
The ongoing belittling of masculine self preservation is a necessary enterprise in flimflammery. The shame, degradation and humiliation which keeps men in their role of useful utilities and providers of labor, money and access for others is brilliantly contrived. The shame of the sham is not only that women have pulled it off but that their own slaves happily enforce it upon each other.
While feminists took up their battle with complete confidence that men would remain their slaves, and they respond to backlash with outrage, traditionalists are worse. Traditional women merely see this as a bigger challenge. They have a different confidence, they know they can get men to serve them even while they understand their own slavery. They laugh at men’s self awareness because they don’t think it will make a difference. Traditional women will even encourage men to see their own slavery because it makes their victory that much sweeter.
Men, in significant numbers, have started to take their own needs seriously, but they haven’t yet seen that their own awareness is actually just another source of entertainment to the women they willingly marry. Women control men so easily, they’re not afraid of a bigger challenge and your rebellion merely makes the sport more fun.
What is better than a loyal dog? A loyal dog who will even carry his own leash in his mouth.