Another post in the series on the feminist men. As you have probably noticed, I have a keen interest in history, especially history of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. The more I learn, the more I understand that the roots of our modern problems go back at least to the Victorian times, and that includes feminism, too. It has become fashionable to solely blame women for feminism, while a lot of feminists have been men.
One would ask why did they choose to surrender their authority to women? The answer is simple, by doing so, they hoped to avoid the traditional male responsibilities of providing for one's family and fighting in wars, however, as the story I'm going to tell you shows, their feminism was a bad defence in the times of trouble.
While reading about the Easter Rising in Ireland, I found a very interesting story of a feminist man called Francis Sheehy- Skeffington, who suffered for the sins he hadn't committed.
Francis was a feminist, a pacifist and a writer. He was born in 1878, in the times of Queen Victoria, and though a Victorian, he was thoroughly modern in his ideas. In fact, he just as well could have been a modern Western liberal. You have probably noticed his unusual hyphenated surname. It's not because he was an aristocrat, but because when he married, he took on his wife's name. According to Wikipedia, Francis was an ardent proponent of women's rights, and organised a campaign for the female admittance to the Dublin University.
Though feminists tell us that all women before 1968 were always chained to their kitchens, the wife of Mr Sheehy-Skeffington was an exception, since she not only continued to work after her marriage, but was the primary breadwinner as well. While she taught school, her husband was busy campaigning for women's rights, not only in Britain, but also abroad, in France and USA.
Francis was against fighting in wars so in the beginning of WWI he campaigned against recruitment for which offence he spent 6 months in prison. When Easter Rising began in 1916, Francis as a pacifist stayed home, while his wife went to the barricades. Francis wasn't a bad man really, he tried to prevent looting and helped a wounded British soldier, but all this didn't save him. He was arrested as an insurgent sympathiser, and speedily executed without a trial.
His wife never suffered anything for her illegal activities and was even offered a pension by the British government for the unlawful killing of her husband, which she refused. By some reason, I found this story peculiar. Makes me think of a proverb, whistling girls and crowing hens (and male feminists) always come to some bad ends.
If you are interested, read the whole story of Francis Sheehy-Skeffington over here.