Respect and responsibility

In Dr Pat Allen's view of a covenant relationship, the masculine-energy person (usually the man) gives to, protects, and cherishes the feelings of the feminine-energy person (usually the woman); and the woman respects the man, accepts his leadership and gracefully receives what the man gives her.

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Some readers might question whether the men considering this relationship would find Pat Allen's idea of the masculine-energy position appealing, and some might say that, compared to the alternative of reducing one's woman to the maternal servitude and solicitousness to which one has become comfortably accustomed by being raised by women up to and past one's majority, it is indeed not an attractive or particularly agreeable position to adopt.

It is, however, the obligation of the maintenance of a man's integrity, a man's self-concept – if that concept involves the realization that masculine authority (male supremacy) is premised and legitimized upon male responsibility toward his woman.

Of course, the universal human ambition is to enjoy authority without responsibility and to impose that responsibility upon those not given the corresponding authority. Many women have been raised to accept this arrangement with respect to their husbands, whatever the responsibilities imposed upon the wife. But many another woman has now come to hate and reject this inequitable and inappropriate state of affairs – hence the feminist variety of the revolution which contributes to the further declension of societal order and survival.

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If, as a masculine man believes, the good order of society depends, inescapably, upon the judicious, intelligent, forthrightly truthful use of power (historically and properly a masculine prerogative, burden, and authority), then the reactionary dis-empowerment of women toward eliminating the societally destructive effects of radical egalitarian feminism involves the general resumption of masculine responsibility and equity (in appropriate form) toward women and wives.

This means that the complementarity of which Pat Allen writes and speaks is realized, in terms of responsibility and authority, in the relief of wives from responsibility – for anything – if men are to equitably claim authority and thus to be truly worthy of respect. No cooking, no cleaning, no having to earn money, other than that which the wife merely feels like doing of these routine familial activities, so that she might genuinely feel cherished rather than enserfed.

In classical terms – men, who are men and worthy of respect, are warriors who go out and take slaves brought back for their women to put to work at domestic activities. In more modern times, of course, servants are paid to perform these activities to which women, wives, and lesser males are otherwise put.

But few men are materially capable of sustaining this arrangement, so wives must work and/or act as the missing servants – and are correspondingly resentful and at least casually contemptuous of husbands who rightfully lose their wives' respect and grant of authority. The natural complementarity of an aristocratic existence dissolves under the pressures of the common man's penury.

And so Pat Allen's complementary covenant relationships for heterosexuals, fully realized in fact or in spirit, have little appeal or practicability for any but a few unusual men. My own circumstance is one where my wife and I do not want the presence or expense of servants in our home, so there is much servants' work to be done by ourselves, inside and outside. In assuming authority in our family, I am responsible for the doing of all such work, and I personally do at least two-thirds of it as a matter of obligation toward the doing of the whole, my wife doing the remainder merely as she pleases.

It's a job for a real man

Wow, this is one of the most original and thought-provoking ideas on male dominance that I've read in a long time.

Mike wrote:

Masculine authority (male supremacy) is premised and legitimized upon male responsibility toward his woman.

Yes, absolutely. I have always had nothing but contempt for what I call the "Lazy-Boy Doms" -- guys who think being "dominant" means that he has the privilege of lounging around passively on the sofa like a limp wet noodle while his woman must scurry around "serving" him. That seems the very opposite of masculine behavior to me. For me to feel the desire to submit to a man, I need to respect his masculinity, and that implies that he has the energy and strength of character to do things for himself -- and for me, and for us as a couple. It means that he is capable of getting things handled, without relying on me as a "servant."

This means...the relief of wives from responsibility – for anything – if men are to equitably claim authority and thus to be truly worthy of respect. No cooking, no cleaning, no having to earn money, other than that which the wife merely feels like doing of these routine familial activities, so that she might genuinely feel cherished rather than enserfed. ...In assuming authority in our family, I am responsible for the doing of all such work, and I personally do at least two-thirds of it as a matter of obligation toward the doing of the whole, my wife doing the remainder merely as she pleases.

Well, this is a very appealing idea to me, and probably most women. But I have to wonder how realistic it is, to expect that a man can handle both a career and having the main responsibilities around the house. For those of us who don't want children, it might work out fine; but I think having kids might make it hard. Then again, there are plenty of single women who manage to juggle careers, child care, and all the domestic duties of the household; so why should a man not be capable of doing that? (And I know some men who are and who have done that, when their wives became incapacitated.) And it's typically the case in two-career couples that the woman ends up doing all the housework anyway; so men should be able to handle that equally well.

But maybe the "zero responsibility for wives" idea can be carried too far. At the very minimum, I would prefer that she has the responsibility to be available for sex whenever her husband demands. But maybe that's more about the husband's authority than about the wife's responsibility. Because when you come right down to it, she doesn't actually have to do much if he decides to ravish her.

There's also the possibility that she might decide to do nothing at all to help maintain the household, which could make it near impossible for him. But I doubt it; because many or most women seem to have an almost compulsive need to see the home maintained well, and they will readily jump to doing some task as soon as they observe that a man is doing it, and somewhat less than perfectly. And if she's doing that out of her own free choice, instead of as a "wifely duty," then it becomes less like drudgery and she'll be more cheerful about it.

Anyway, this idea sounds like a wonderful corrective to the unfortunately common notion that "guys are just lazy," and left to their own inclination would just drink beer, watch sports and play with their toys. Maybe most "guys" are lazy, because they never grew up into men. But a real man recognizes that his power and authority derive from his ability to take responsibility and get things done. Thanks so much for bringing this concept to our attention!