Tag Archives: misandry

Uni-Sexual Criminal Law (1910)

Dr. Oldfield’s piteous whine for exempting women from the extreme penalty of the law while retaining it for men is hardly calculated to attract to his society those in whom the modern Feminist propaganda has left a rudimentary sense of justice. He has simply let the cat out of the bag. It now appears that the so-called “Society for the Abolition of Capital Punishment” is no more than a blind; it really amounts to a Feminist “fake” for securing immunity for women from crimes for which the law exacts the extreme penalty for men. “What argument can any reasoning man have for perpetuating upon our statute book the crime of woman-hanging?” Answer: Precisely the same argument (if any) that the aforesaid “reasoning man” has for “perpetuating on our statute-book the crime of” man-hanging – neither more nor less.

Dr. Oldfield presumably believes in Female Suffrage. He believes, that is, that women are intellectually capable of full political rights with men, and yet, on the other hand, he denies them to be morally capable with men of distinguishing right from wrong. “The passions that sway women to murder,” he says, “are such as to make them wholly irresponsible for their actions.” If so it is quite clear that the inferiority of woman to man is of such a stupendous character that any talk of sex-equality is not merely unsound, but is on the face of it absurd. Most unprejudiced persons would probably consider that the statement above quoted, while applying to some female criminals also applied to some male criminals. But Dr. Oldfield wants to make sex the dividing line. If Dr. Oldfield refers to the crime passionel, and wishes to exempt this particular form of crime from the death penalty, why should he limit the exemption to one sex only? For my own part, I can see no reason whatever for special leaning towards the crime passionel in either sex. But be I right or wrong in this, there is no gainsaying that this type of crime is to be met with in both sexes alike. Of course, we have the usual snivelling appeal for chivalry towards the gentle murderess – the baby-farmer, the wholesale poisoner, the “female bluebeard”! My own feeling is that male chivalry ought really, if it is worth anything, to proclaim Divine Woman to be above the law, once for all – this would simplify matters, and be something like an adequate recognition of the “dignity of Womanhood.”

Dr. Oldfield does not disdain the demagogic art of working up an effect by harrowing his readers —only unfortunately rather stale drugs have had to be used for the process – a case alleged to have occurred some 150 years ago at Oxford, and something which probably never actually happened at all (at least in this country), viz., the scalding to death of female prisoners. The only instance in which this punishment is recorded as having been inflicted, I believe I am right in saying, was on a mere man, named Rose, in the reign of Henry VIII. Dr. Oldfield, however, thinks, I suppose, that mere men (other than himself) don’t mind the procedure so much as women.

I have described Dr. Oldfield’s society as a blind for something other than what it professes. I go further, and say that its policy of sex-favouritism constitutes it the worst enemy of its avowed aim. If there is anything likely to retard that complete abolition of capital punishment which so many of us desire, in the present state of public feeling, it is the abolition of the death-penalty for women. As Mr. Collinson, of the Humanitarian League, has more than once pointed out, these uni-sexual penal laws are the greatest foes of progress in humanity. The abominable enactment of 1820, which abolished flogging for women while retaining it for men, has left our prison system saddled with the lash (‘for men only,’, of course) ever since. “Should we hang women”? Yes, emphatically, precisely so long as we hang men, and no longer!

E. BELFORT BAX.

P. S. Dr. Oldfield tries to score a point by maintaining that the non-enfranchisement of women justifies a difference between the penal sauce for goose and gander. But many men also do not possess the franchise. So his argument, stripped of feminist sentiment, resolves itself into the following proposition: ” No non-elector ought to be hanged ”

 
Source: New Age, 16 May 1910, p. 59

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Anti-Feminism (1908)

The “Note” on the Female Suffrage question in your issue of the 7th inst. I venture to regard as a striking illustration of how the most cultured minds may be warped by feminist prejudice. I am not a habitual reader, still less an admirer, of the “leading” English journal, but if the Times suggests that – all law resting ultimately on a basis of physical force – laws passed by means of female suffrage which are disapproved of by the majority of men might stand the chance of remaining a dead letter, it is surely doing nothing worse than propounding an obvious proposition.

Your reference to the “physical efficiency of legislators” or to Mr. Balfour’s height are surely beside the point, and are based on one of the common fallacies of feminist argument, to wit, the failure to distinguish between (1) the individual of a class as against the class itself as class, and (2) one class as against another class, as such. Now women form a sex-class over against men as a sex-class, and the sex-class men admittedly have the physical strength necessary to give effect to law, on their side. The question of strength is, it may here be remarked, obviously concerned with the mass of the electorate behind the legislator, and in no way, as you would seem to imply, with the legislator personally considered.

You further pour scorn on the idea that women are ever likely to promote anti-man legislation, or to endeavour to extend the overwhelming privileges of their sex at present obtaining, alike in the civil and criminal law, and still more in the administration of the law. The probability of this happening is, however, by no means very remote. As a prominent member of the present Ministry said to me some years ago, “all that these women want in clamouring for the suffrage is to pass rascally laws against men”! The fact that this gentleman recently voted for the second reading of the Suffrage Bill does not alter the truth of his one-time remark.

You appear to entirely ignore the sense of sex-solidarity’ present in women and absent in men. Who is it that clamours loudest for the exemption from punishment of the murderers of lovers and husbands but the female crew, whose motto is “Our sisters, right or wrong”?

Reckoning on the absence of sex-solidarity in men you may be right in thinking that as long as this continues men may consent to be made the lackey-administrators of anti-man women-made laws. But will the present state of things necessarily last? Is it quite impossible that on the female vote swamping the register for a sufficient length of time the existing wave of feminist sentiment may die down, and men may acquire a sense of sex-solidarity even sufficiently strong to lead them (for example) to refuse to be the instruments in punishing their “brothers” for offences committed against women? How about the question of physical strength then?

“A la guerre, comme à la guerre.”

E. BELFORT BAX.

[In his terror Mr. Bax has missed one point, which was that it is inconceivable that “if women had the vote they would all belong to one great anti-man party and would seek to form a government composed of their own sex alone.” The sense of sex-solidarity may be more present in women than in men, but does Mr. Bax seriously suggest that it is great enough to set every wife in political opposition to her husband? And yet unless this happens almost universally, his fears amount to nothing more than a nightmare. But, even if Mr. Bax were right in his forecast, his would hardly be a very worthy reason for refusing women the vote. What sort of a democracy is it in which half the people are disfranchised because the other half are afraid of them? – The WRITER Of THE NOTES.]

 
Source: New Age, 21 March 1908, p. 418-419