The whole truth is that while in the past women were expected to be chaste and submissive, men were expected to provide for their needs, not only fathers and husbands and brothers, but among the upper classes, also male cousins and uncles since it was considered shameful to let your female relatives work. Don't believe me? Read books like Miss Silver novels I have mentioned previously. In one of them, an older single, never married lady is selling her furniture since her last male cousin was killed in action and there are no men in the family to take care of her any more.
Too many men nowadays want to have their cake and eat it, too. They expect the wives to be co-providers, but also sweet submissive Suzy homemakers. The truth is, earning a paycheck gives power, economic power. While I'm not generally a big fan of the Pearls, I found a recent post by Michael where he explains it very well:
In our modern world, the one whose name is on the paycheck is the head of all finances, the one to be thanked and appreciated. That person is the fountain of the family, possessing the right of veto over all spending, and controlling the direction of the family where it involves finances.
The one who comes home tired from a day’s work is entitled to the recliner until dinner is served. It is the one who says, “Why aren’t my socks in the drawer?” and “This house is a mess; what have you been doing all day?” The breadwinner decides what kind of bread to eat and whether or not spending is foolish or necessary.
I'm not denying the evil of divorce and, in fact, have written several posts about it, yet one of the reasons modern nuclear family is so fragile is the changed family dynamics which comes with women earning their own living:
A bread-winning woman is not vulnerable and finds it difficult to come home and be a submissive, servant wife. To be forced to do so breeds resentment and a feeling of being used...when a couple reverses roles because the wife is able to make more money, or when the man is lazy and incompetent, or when she just likes to work and he just likes to hang out at home, you can be certain that neither is going to find fulfilment in their relationship, and their marriage is likely to end in the woman divorcing the man.
Of course, he's talking about complete role-reversal over here, but the same is true to a lesser degree for any family where the wife earns a considerable income.
Men who are more honest admit that they appreciate feminism because it lets them off the hook concerning support of their wives and especially daughters and other female relatives. While I necessarily disagree with them, I value their honesty. Yet, there are others who keep complaining about the state of modern Western womanhood (which is, I agree, deplorable) while fully expecting women to be self-reliable financially.
Why aren't women keeping their virginity? Why do they chase exciting bad boys? Some men will claim it's because of "natural hypergamy" that women chase total losers unable to earn the living. Hypergamy actually means selecting the best. A gold-digger is hypergamous, a woman dating an unemployed alcoholic musician isn't. The reason women are doing it is because they don't depend on the men for support any more. They earn their own living and can afford sleeping with losers.
Here naturally the question of welfare arises. I partly agree with the criticism of the current welfare model. Yet, individual men profit by it, too, since the ability of women to claim welfare frees them from financial responsibilities (and, by the way, men use it, too). The truth is, that some form of welfare for single mothers at least has always existed throughout the centuries, and the same is true for the infamous child support. Here are some extracts from a historical overview of child support laws in UK:
By an act of 1576 (18 Elizabeth C. 3), it was ordered that bastards should be supported by their putative fathers, though bastardy orders in the quarter sessions date from before this date. If the genitor could be found, then he was put under very great pressure to accept responsibility and to maintain the child"
"In 1732-3, a woman pregnant with a bastard was required to declare the fact and to name the father. In 1733, the putative father became responsible for maintaining his illegitimate child; failing to do so could result in gaol. The parish would then support the mother and child, until the father agreed to do so, whereupon he would reimburse the parish - although this rarely happened." Peter Higginbotham.
Also: "Any person after 24 June 1733 charged on oath with being the father of a bastard child shall be apprehended and committed to gaol until he gives security to indemnify the parish from expense".
In the 19th century fathers of illegitimate children were briefly let of the hook:
"The Commissioners thought that poor men were at the mercy of blackmail and perjury by unscrupulous women.... The bastardy clauses of the Act of 1834 were in line with the opinions of the Poor Law Commissioners. The laws which had enabled a mother to charge a putative father before the magistrates were repealed".
A Bastardy Clause Act made all illegitimate children the sole responsibility of their mothers until they were 16 years old. If mothers of bastard children were unable to support themselves and their offspring, they would have to enter the workhouse; the putative father became free of any legal responsibility for his illegitimate offspring. Not only did this remove the not infrequent problem of disputed fatherhood, but it was envisaged that the measure would discourage women from entering into profligate relationships.
Yet, the law was changed again after a mere 12 years:
|1844 - 1845||Poor Law Amendment Act 1844
Bastardy Act of 1845
(7&8 Vic. c.101)
|Took bastary procedings out of the poor law authorities and turned then into a civil matter between parents. Finer.|
Enabled an unmarried mother to apply to the Petty Sessions for an affiliation order against the father for maintenance of the mother and child, regardless of whether she was in receipt of poor relief. This was probably in recognition that the 1834 Act had not reduced illegitimacy (by making it harder for mothers to claim maintenance), but in fact increased it (by enabling men to avoid some of the responsibility for their actions).
If you read the whole document you'll find out that the 19th century divorce laws ensured that even guilty wives got some sort of a maintenance since women weren't supposed to have to support themselves.
For the record, in my country until the man is legally married/has a partnership contract he has to agree to fatherhood, otherwise he'll have neither rights nor obligations. The mother can then apply for welfare. Guess what, I heard men complaining that they pay taxes to support other men's bastards.
I'm also rather suspicious of the fact that so many folks who claim to be against divorce don't want easy divorce actually to be abolished but spend all their time attacking child support laws which makes me think they wouldn't mind easy divorce half as much if they had no obligations afterwards. The idea that most women marry with a nefarious plan to later divorce their husbands "for cash and prizes" is ludicrous in the extreme. You only get "cash and prizes" when you manage to marry a man with a much higher status than yourself, which isn't true for the majority of marriages.
I've witnessed many divorces and in some situations women were to blame, in others men, and sometimes both. The statistics about who files for divorce aren't helpful since filing for divorce doesn't equal being guilty of breaking the marriage contract. What if a man leaves but doesn't file? What is his wife supposed to do? The only way to actually fix the current situation is to return to fault based divorce + traditional sex roles. Any person who claims to be traditional but has no problem with no-fault divorce and female economic independence is either lying or delusional.
Because nobody can have it all.