Friday, March 7, 2008

"Feminism in an Attack Against Femininity"

The following is a very true and thought-provoking essay on the subject of feminism written by Robert Lewis Dabney(March 5, 1820-January 3, 1898). The wisdom with which he speaks in this essay is nothing short of amazing. In his day, the "Women's Rights Movement" was just beginning to arise. Nonetheless, in each of his essays on feminism, he correctly prophesied what would happen if feminism continued to grow without being quenched. His "prophecies" have sadly come true and our nation is falling apart at the seems and is being destroyed because of feminism. Our country is now anything but what our Christian Founding Fathers designed and planned for it to be due to the wide-spread belittlement of Christian principles. Here is just one of the many essays wise Mr. Dabney wrote on the subject of feminism:

"Feminism in an Attack Against Femininity"

It would not be hard to show, did space permit, that this movement on the part of these women is as suicidal as it is mischievous. Its certain result will be the re-enslavement of women, not under the Scriptural bonds of marriage, but under the yoke of literal corporeal force.

The woman who will calmly review the condition of her sex in other ages and countries will feel that her wisdom is to "let will enough alone." Physically, the female is the "weaker vessel." This world is a hard and selfish scene where the weaker goes to the wall. Under all other civilizations and all other religions than ours woman has experienced this fate to the full; her condition has been that of a slave to the male-sometimes a petted slave, but yet a slave.

In Christian and European society alone has she ever attained the place of man's social equal, and received the homage and honor due from magnanimity to her sex and her feebleness. And her enviable lot among us has resulted from two cases: the Christian religion and the legislation founded upon it by feudal chivalry.

How insane then is it for her to spurn these two bulwarks of defense, to defy and repudiate the divine authority of that Bible which has been her redemption , and to revolutionize the whole spirit of the English common law touching woman's sphere and rights? She is thus spurning the only protectors her sex has ever found, and provoking a contest in which she must inevitably be overwhelmed.

Casting away that dependence and femininity which are her true strength, the "strong-minded woman" persists in thrusting herself into competition with man as his equal. But for contest she is not his equal; the male is the stonger animal. As man's rival, she is pitiful inferior, a sorry she-mannikin. It is when she brings her wealth of affection, her self-devotion, her sympathy, her tact, her grace, her subtle intuition, her attractions, her appealing weakness, and places them in the scale with man's rugged strength and plodding endurance, with his steady logic, his hardihood and muscle, and his exemption from the disabling infirmities of her sex, that he delights to admit her full equality and to do glad homage to her as the crown of his kind. All this vantageground the "Women's Rights women" madly throw away, and provoke that collision for which nature itself has disqualified them, they insist upon taking precisely a man's chances; well, they will meet precisely the fate of a weak man among strong ones.

A recent incident on a railroad train justly illustrates the result. A solitary female entered a car where every seat was occupied, and the conductor closed the door upon her and departed. She looked in vain for a seat, and at last appealed to an elderly man near her to know if he would not "surrender his seat to a lady." He, it seems, was somewhat a humorist, and answered: "I will surrender it cheerfully, Madam, as I always do, but will beg leave first to ask a civil question. Are you an advocate of the modern theory of women's rights?" Bridling up with intense energy, she replied, "Yes, sir, emphatically; I let you know that it is my glory to be devoted to that noble cause." "Very well, Madam," said he, "then the case is altered:You may stand up like the rest of us men, until you can get a seat for yourself."

This was exact poetic justice; and it foreshadows precisely the fate of their unnatural pretensions. Men will treat them as they treat each other; it will be "every man for himself; and the devil take the hindmost." There will be of course a Semiramis or a Queen Bess here and there who will hold her own; but the general rule will be that the "weaker vessels" will succumb; and the society which will emerge from this experiment will present woman in the position which she has always held among savages, that of domestic drudge to the stronger animal. Instead of being what He makes her, one with her husband, queen of his home, reigning with gentle scepter of love over her modest, secluded domain, and in its pure and sacred retirement performing the noblest work done on this earth, that of molding infant minds to honor and piety, she will reappear from this ill-starred competition defeated and despised, tolerated only to satiate the passion, to amuse the idleness, to do the drugery, and to receive the curses and blows of her barbarized masters.

*the above essay is an excerpt from the booklet: Robert Lewis Dabney: The Prophet Speaks. In this book, this very wise man speaks out on subjects such as government schools, politics, the family, and feminism. He correctly prophesied regarding how government schools and feminism would destroy our country. This is a fascinating book that I very highly recommend! It is available through and is edited by Douglas W. Phillips, Esq., President of Vison Forum Inc.



  2. " In Christian and European society alone has she ever attained the place of man's social equal"

    In a Christian circle "Men will treat them as they treat each other." shouldn't be a bad thing, be in the world people will always be looking out for 'number 1'.

    Thanks for the article.

  3. Hi Rebekah,

    I just want to note that while Dabney may have been wise, he certainly wasn't perfect. My mom really likes reading him and she says he is generally terrific, but told me of how he really, really messed up on the issue of slavery. Not only that, but I read a quote of his once that connected the feminism issue to slavery, and it was really disturing, as if he was viewing women and slaves on the same plane.

    I know you never said he was perfect, only that he was wise, but we can always use reminders that our heroes aren't perfect. I myself fail to see how some of his ideas really stem from Scripture.

    BTW, I would never have viewed it as some great affront or punishment to have to stand on a train, especially to an old man who would probably be weaker than me.


  4. Hi, Monika! It's great to have you back on my blog; I hope you're feeling better!!

    I'm not familiar with his views on slavery. What exactly were they? It's possible that he was saying that feminism would(as he rightly says in this article) enslave women. So, if he were equating feminism with slavery(providing that his view on slavery was that it was bad) then he would be correct and not disturbing in the least, for it's God's plan of womanhood that is freeing and liberational-not the world's!

    Nobody's perfect! That's exactly right. Mr. Dabney truly is a very wise man, whose articles I really appreciate and treasure. I'm curious: what ideas of his do you find unScriptural?

    I see what you're saying regarding the train issue. What Mr. Dabney was pointing out was that feminism makes women into men, and because of feminism, women have lost the majority of the respect, honor, and protection that they enjoyed from men prior to the feminist movement. Now women are largely treated as men-men in the workforce and in other spheres treat them as they would their male bodies, instead of respecting them, opening doors for them, giving up their seat for them, etc. etc.

    As always, thank you for your input!!


  5. Hi Rebekah,

    Yes, I am feeling better, thank you, though with my awful sleeping habits I'm surprised it is so. :P

    Well, here is a quote or two by Dabney from his book A Defense Of Virginia And The South. I have not read this book, just have a general idea of it, but Mom just pointed it out to me on our shelf and I am skimming it.

    "Men ask, "Is not the slavery question dead? Why discuss it any longer?" I reply "Would to God it were dead! Would that its michievious principles were as completely a thing of the past as our rights in the Union in this particular are! But in the Church, abolitionism lives, and is more rampant and mischievious than ever, as infidelity; for this is its true nature. Therefore the faithful servants of the Lord Jesus Christ dare not cease to oppose and unmask it."

    To his credit, he does refer to slave trade as "that iniquitous traffic." I don't think he quite approved of it, in spite of some of the dreadful things he says elswhere.

    (after a summary of how blacks were treated during and after the Revolutionary War. To sum up, like garbage. My simile.)
    "The Declaration of Independence was therefore intended by its framers to assert the liberties of civilised Americans and Englishmen, and not of African barbarians in bondage."

    (After discussions of verses in the Old and New Testaments, this is said about Abolitionists.)

    "Their dogmas are not supported by the testimony of Scripture, nor the lights of practical experience, nor sound political philosophy; but by vain and Utopian theries of human rights, and philosophy falsely so called."

    "All ancient philosophers and all Bible saints, the latter at least as conscientious and clear-headed as modern fanatics, believed slavery to be lawful. The philosophers of the middles ages, surpassed by none in acumen, and guilded by the uninspired lights of a Plato, Aristotle and Cicero, thought and wrote without suspecting the sinfulness of slavery."

    (I thought about including this quote about how the idea of equal rights is pagan, atheistic, means that people should have have the right to do anything they want, blah blah blah. Too long.)

    (Found another place where he compares marriage to slavery, says that if you call slavery irksome, you call woman's obedience to her husband irksome. Too long again. To his credit, he does think that slavery is a product of the fallen world, while marriage is from Creation. But he still compares them, and not just in this one place.)

    (Good for him, I found a place where he does say that slave traders were in sin. But I am baffled at the other places where he seems to contradict himself. Also, apparently it was ok for the whites to have kept their slaves since they paid good money for them and it was a better situation for the blacks than staying on the slave ships. What nonsense. As if that justified it.)

    Well, I must go to bed, but this is very sketchy. I hope you get the picture, or some of it.

    And let me say that if Dabney has helped you in your Christian life, then treasure that. I don't think it is right to take glee in a Christian figure's shortcomings. But I do take glee in getting more into history (which you have unintentionally helped me with. And thanks for stimulating this research of sorts!) and in examining ideas and enjoying my freedom in Christ not to be taken captive by anything I come across.

    I seriously question many things that Dabney said in this book I now have on my lap, and I really have my doubts about some other things, but I have not read much of him at all, so I will have to read more and think them. Hope that answers your question.


  6. Here's the quote from Dabney regarding feminism and slavery that so disturbs me. I do not like the connections he is drawing at all.

    "The movement towards the preaching of women does not necessarily spring from a secular "woman's rights" movement. The preaching of women marked the early Wesleyan movement to some extent, and the Quaker assemblies. But neither of these had political aspirations for their women. At the present time, however, the preaching of women and the demand of all masculine political rights are so synchronous, and are so often seen in the same persons, that their affinity cannot be disguised. They are two parts of one common impulse. If we understand the claim of rights made by these agitators, it includes in substance two things: that the legislation at least of society shall disregard all distinctions of sex and award all the same specific rights and franchises to women and men in every respect; and that women, while in the married state, shall be released from every form of conjugal subordination and retain independent control of their property. These pretensions are indeed the proper logical consequences of that radical theory of human right which is now dominant in the country. According to that doctrine, every human being is naturally independent, owes no duties to civil or ecclesiastical society save those freely conceded in the "social contract"; is the natural equal of every other human except as he or she has forfeited liberty by crime. Legislation and taxation are unjust unless based on representation, which means the privilege of each man under government to vote for his governors. If these propositions were true, then, indeed, their application to women would be indisputable. And it would be hard for the radical politician to explain why it was right to apply them in favor of ignorant negroes and deny their application to intelligent ladies. We here see the great danger attending the present misguided woman's movement." (The Public Preaching of Women, Southern Presbyterian Review October, 1879).


  7. Whoops, in comment 5 I meant "Think /about/ them." :P


  8. Granted I don't know a whole lot about Dabney, but after this, I don't care to know a lot more!

    [Dabney considered black people to be a “morally inferior race,” a “sordid, alien taint” marked by “lying, theft, drunkenness, laziness, waste.” He considered slavery to be ”the righteous, the best, yea, the only tolerable relation” between blacks and whites. He condemned the “abhorrent amalgamation of [white] children with blacks” and actually argued that it was better for blacks to be enslaved than not since it was better for their minds and their health. Dabney called the attempt to educate all Negroes “mischievous,” “tyrannical,” “useless,” “impracticable,” and “dishonest.”

    Here are some choice quotes from Dabney:

    It is well known, that, as a general rule, [Negroes] are a graceless, vagabondish set, and contribute very little to the support of the State by which they are protected. They are not citizens, never can become citizens, and wherever found in large numbers they are an expense and a source of trouble…

    The black race is an alien one on our soil; and nothing except his amalgamation with ours, or his subordination to ours, can prevent the rise of that instinctive antipathy of race, which, history shows, always arises between opposite races in proximity…

    The offspring of an amalgamation must be a hybrid race incapable of the career of civilization and glory as an independent race. And this apparently is the destiny which our conquerors have in view. If indeed they can mix the blood of the heroes of Manassas with this vile stream from the fens of Africa, then they will never again have occasion to tremble before the righteous resistance of Virginia freemen; but will have a race supple and vile enough to fill that position of political subjugation, which they desire to fix on the South.]

    Text in bracket taken from

  9. Aaaaack, that is just awful, Anon. Sounds worse than I thought it was. (Rebekah, I am not the person who did that last quote, just so you know. I always try to sign my name. I'm not sure how to huse that open identity thing. :P)


  10. "Who did that last /comment/" was what I meant to say. Of course it has quotes in it too. :P again.


  11. This was a good post Rebekah. Men are not perfect and even if you or others don't like what he has to say about another topic, if you like what he says about feminism you ought to be blessed and read it anyway.

    I just have a suggestion, please don't be upset. (It's the editor coming out in me haha). Your blog is hard for me to read since you centre align instead of left align your text. It's also hard because you start a new paragraph on the next line instead of leaving a line between them. Changing those two things would make your blog a lot easier for some of us to read. I know that in this day and age that formatting, spelling, grammar and all that is going out the window but so is readability haha.

  12. Whoops, I also spelled "use" "huse". So :P again. I ought not to reread what I write, ever. Ha!


  13. Monika,

    thanks for bringing that up; otherwise, I would have! Dabney was (and to many historians still is) a well-known opponent of the abolitionist movement. He is not known to have issued any retractions of his unapologetically racist views while he lived (I guess he has all eternity to do that, now!) so it is commonly held that he remained throughout his life a supporter of the belief that slavery was a natural and indelible part of our fallen world. He is a pretty reprehensible character in many respects, and I find myself viewing his writings accordingly.

    In fact, you might want to look at the very excerpt printed here as a subtle indicator of his personal value system; he found laudable the actions of a man who first stated yes, he would give up his seat to a lady and then, based on his own human opinion of her, reneged on his word! Personally, if my yes is my yes and my no is my no, I should think it would follow that, if I say I will do something, I will not consider my vows to do so nullified by my changed opinion of the person to whom I made the promise. Much like Dabney's views on slavery and race, I find that such behaviour places a higher value on the strength and standards of worldliness and earthly behaviour/thought, rather than the grace of God, His call on us to love our neighbours as ourselves, and the change He is continually effecting in us.

  14. I have never read anything by RLD but after reading what he said on feminism I think that I should!

  15. Thank you for your warnings against Dabney, ladies; I shall certainly avoid him. As for Phillips, I already avoid him like the plague that his beliefs are. His views of womanhood make ladies far bigger slaves than feminism ever could and I'm so tired of people acting as though feminism is the worst thing in the world! It's not: men beating their wives, enslaving them with false Scripture that commands their unconditional obedience, and even whipping them with belts to discipline them (as some "patriarchs" actually do), THAT is evil and female slavery! And yet, who do I hear railing against feminism the most often? Women who are enslaved to male obedience.

  16. Poetic justice, my foot. That old man's reaction on the bus is ridiculous. He should be grateful feminists aren't usually rude enought to ask men for their seats! Delicate ladies put themselves first by selfishly expecting men, even elderly men, to give their seats up. Feminists are more capable, and it's a feminist the old man picks on? He should have just said, "Well, since you're one of those ladies who rarely expects a man to give his seat up, I'll do it this once."


Hi!! Thank you so much for visiting my blog! Please come back often. Thank you for your comment as well; your input is always most welcome! Even if you disagree with something, I encourage you to leave a comment; I just ask that you do so in a loving and Christ-like manner.

God bless you!

~Rebekah S.