Monday, May 11, 2015

Further Thoughts on Property

All metaphors have useful limits.  For instance, I was struck by this element of the “Man Box” from the last lesson:

  • Views women as property/Objects

To the extent of my knowledge of the history of Western Christendom, women as a class have been literally “property”, in the same way as slaves were property, exactly never.  But metaphorically speaking, it is true that men were seen, and to a limited extent seen today, as having something akin to an ownership interest in the women in their care:  their wives, primarily, but also blood relatives.  And by having such an interest, they were expected to defend it from predatory males.  As Steve Sailer has pointed out, failing to defend your women from forcible rape is deeply shameful.  Historically, it means that your menfolk lost the war.

But the essence of property is this:

If it’s not yours, don’t touch it.

The Bible does not to by knowledge ever instruct, “Thou shalt have property.”  Instead, it has the Eighth Commandment.   if logical inference isn’t your strong suit, it spells it out in the Sixth: 

If it’s not yours, don’t sleep with it. 

And to keep you well out of trouble, it tacks on the Tenth: 

If it’s not yours, don’t even look at it too fondly. 

These kind of boundaries are understood by married women, religious or not:  they speak of “my husband”, and the property implication isn’t merely accidental; on the contrary, with respect to other women, it isn’t even merely metaphorical.  The armed services, for all their sponsorship of this feminist carping, give the property understanding the force of law:  adultery is still punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, as Kelly Flynn and David Petraeus learned the hard way.

Framed that way, it becomes obvious that to the extent that our culture has a problem with sexual assault, it is not property in women, but rather the absence of property in women, that has brought us to it.  It is yet another experiment in communism / utopian anarchism, where nobody owns anything, therefore anything is up for grabs.  And like all such experiments, it founders on the “Tragedy of the Commons”:  there is little thought given to care and protection.  If nobody owns anything, why give a sh!t.

Now, confronted with this framing, the feminists will of course assert that this is not what they meant.  What they actually meant was that women should have property in themselves, that they “own themselves” and their sexuality.  But in practice, this amounts to nothing more than sexual free-agency, an assertion that women should be unconstrained, not just by law, but by religion, by community standards, by anything save their own passing fancy.  Women are made free to sell themselves to the highest bidder, be the currency charm, physicality, or more typically, sufficient quantities of alcohol.

Which brings us to our present pass.  What were once bright and immutable lines separating lawful access from unlawful access have been made fuzzy and every-shifting.  And men, wanting sexual access, will do what they can to shift that line in the direction favorable to their interests, and be sufficiently successful at it to make the game worthwhile.  But it’s in the nature of that game for someone to wind up on the wrong side of it, not very often perhaps as a percentage of couplings, but regularly enough in the absolute sense to generate the statistics that feminists like to complain about.


Elusive Wapiti said...
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Elusive Wapiti said...

Some time ago I posited at a feminist blog that women are greatly disserved by the shift from the "property rights" to the "consent" model of sex and judging the propriety of sexual conduct.

Having stopped listening at "property", the fur, predictably, flew.

The denizens of that particular blog couldn't quite seem to grasp that one is far more easier to adjudicate than the other words, relying on he-said-she-said consent is a much tougher question than "did you go there".

Also, relying on consent, by its very nature, results in far more sexual assaults and rapes. This is because it follows the same mechanism that increased contraceptive use leads to more sport sex leads to more that relocating ownership of a man's or woman's sexuality from another to the self removes any prior external restraints on sexual activity, with accusations of sexual assaults/rapes being the predictable result.