Friday, May 28, 2010

Rape Culture 101: The Patriarchy I Grew Up With

by Connie Chastain*

Perhaps by now, regular readers of The False Rape Society may be wondering about my adamant opposition to feminism. In the interest of disclosure, here's a bit of background.

I grew up surrounded by a sea of good, honorable, gentlemanly men (and very good women, too, despite their not being feminists) -- men of principle, high-minded men who exercised self-control and who had huge hearts full of love, men who continuously did good things for others, and not for praise or honor, because most of it was unknown and unacknowledged except to and by a few others.

These were ordinary men untouched by celebrity, unacknowledged by the world -- men who lived quiet lives in small towns in the South, who worked at a variety of occupations and earned various incomes. Among the hundreds upon hundreds of wonderful, loving men in the churches where my daddy preached when I was growing up, there were a few bad apples. I can count them on my fingers.

The eight or ten bad apples I knew personally are likely the only men feminism would acknowledge. It would try to smear all men with the deeds of those few. It's the same thing with patriarchy. All they have eyes for is the bad it "caused." But when it comes to good things, feminism basically ignores the good men have done, including things that greatly benefited women, things they would have gotten no other way.

That's why I have so little respect for feminism. I'm much more willing to acknowledge the few good things it has produced for women -- far more than feminists are willing to credit men's accomplishments. But just because some good things resulted from feminist efforts doesn't mean I have to swallow every chunk of bitter falsehood they're trying to cram down my throat.

Like claims of rape culture.

While I don't engage in male hero worship, I acknowledge and respect the differences between men and women and I don't denigrate men for being the way God made them. I do love, respect and honor men who are loving, respectable and honorable, and even some who aren't, when caught up in circumstances beyond their control. And I don't try to smear all men, or maleness itself, with the bad deeds of some, as feminism does.

Yes, patriarchy has its negatives; it's an institution of flawed humans and cannot help being flawed--but it is not the total evil feminism would have us believe. I will always be grateful to those wonderful, honorable men of my youth, who showed me the positive reality of maleness and manhood, and thus inoculated me against the virulence of radical feminism.

*Connie is a regular contributor to FRS. Her principal blog is http://conniechastain.blogspot.com/