In light of the recent drama that has unfolded on the American political stage, I have taken a great interest in female participation in the United States’ democratic system. The rhetoric invoked over the course of the campaign season continually sought to cast women as a single, cohesive bloc of voters who held a common stake in the election; however, despite the media’s apparent determination to categorize the “female vote”as a unified platform, it is clear from the discourse on both sides of the aisle, that there is much disagreement as to what the central components of female interests truly are, and how these goals ought to be pursued politically.
As Heidi, my dear friend and fellow contributor, wrote in an earlier piece, deciding when political action on the part of women is appropriate, and what form it ought to take, can be difficult. Having seen the high risks associated with diving head-first into today’s volatile political environment, and knowing the abuse that often awaits those of us who dare to challenge the liberal gospel, many traditionally-minded women, in the interest of safeguarding their role as providers of stability and security, often feel compelled to stay as far removed from politics as possible— and for the most part, I understand, and share, this sentiment. However, as the election brought forth a new female discourse, and for the first time I can recall, a strong vocal dissent against the feminist mainstream found its way into the conversation, it occurred to me that there might be an exception to this rule, an opportunity to be politically effective with relatively low associated risk: taking advantage of the right to vote.
Traditionally (and perhaps contentiously), I’ve regarded the issue of female suffrage with a certain degree of lamentation. Given the extent to which the movement that first raised the issue has since substantially deviated, if not entirely divorced itself, from the true protection of women’s interests, I have found myself feeling, more often than not, as though the extension of voting rights to members of my own sex has done more harm than good. However, in a society that has been more or less hijacked by a new elite that now scorns us in our pursuit of traditional womanhood, we face a situation in which we must use all safe and reasonable means available to reclaim our rightful places. With that in mind, our perspective on the vote now- a weapon that’s been in our arsenal for decades, but rendered harmful and dangerous by years of misuse- should be one of cautious acceptance, in which we seek to restore the use of this legal privilege to our benefit, but temper its exercise with diligent, thoughtful consideration of the circumstances that gave rise to the problems in the first place.
WHAT WENT WRONG?
Before I start offering solutions towards claiming the vote as an instrument of societal restoration, rather than radical change, I’d like to offer a brief investigation of the circumstances and attitudes that corrupted the female vote in America. I think that, ultimately, the fallacy at play here is classic example of building a case on false premises. The unilateral extension of suffrage to women in the Nineteenth Amendment seems to presuppose the emergence of a set of policy issues that pertain directly, and only to females, which necessitated the creation of an avenue for active legal engagement with their perspective. However, in examining the trajectory that the “women’s rights” agenda has taken henceforth, one could easily make the case that too generous a presupposition was made, and the decision to extend the vote to women was too hasty. Once the suffrage movement gained sufficient momentum, the broader “women’s rights” rhetoric and focus narrowed, becoming directed towards a single pursuit- how to get the vote– at the expense of continue to work towards opening a more robust conversation about what women wanted to achieve with political involvement once they were granted suffrage, and which aspects of law and policy they ought to look to in order to accomplish their goals. This is, perhaps, a bit of an overstatement, as some women’s desire for suffrage stemmed from their involvement with other causes like the abolitionist movement (for which they hoped to use their vote as another means of activism), but even in these cases, the core of the discussion could still be reduced to the extolling of women’s entrance into the political sphere, with little to no concern about how diversion of time, attention, and resources to this cause would impact the sphere that they already occupied (and from which they’d made tangible meaningful contributions) for centuries.
Without a sufficiently productive dialogue to produce powerful dissenting perspectives, it was easy enough for the vocal women’s rights activists join forces with the movement that helped them secure their victory, and with which the bulk of the suffragettes (though, importantly, not the majority of the female population) had most closely aligned: the Progressives. Once the “female vote” was situated comfortably behind their lines, and liberal legislation in the name of “women’s rights” was being churned out at alarming rates, one thing became clear: while the suffragettes may not have offered much explicit consideration of how their traditional interests and duties would be impacted by their politics, their response to the legislation that was passed in their name, and hailed as their victory in years to come, reflected that they had, in fact, taken stock of, internalized, and, tragically, embraced, the symbolic significance that their suffrage carried: the defeminization of the “female” space. In stepping beyond, or in some cases, completely outside of the realm of the home and family, and into the realm of politics, women had taken the first major step towards eliminating the traditional distinction between the roles that the sexes played in a healthy society . Under the ideology of the Progressives, whose singular ethos was moving “forward”, using the cracks they made in the foundations of sacred traditions and institutions as their roadmap, early feminists met many an all-too-eager accomplice to aid them in their quest to obliterate these distinctions completely. Under this new agenda, the female role in society grew in size, but shrank in meaning, as the ideals of womanhood that had played a large role in sustaining American society for nearly two centuries were effectively slated for demolition in less than two decades.
The timeline reads like a row of falling dominoes. In 1921, just a year after women were granted suffrage, Margaret Sanger planted the seeds of the American Birth Control League, which would blossom into the Planned Parenthood Federation in 1942. Birth control and other forms of contraception went from being declassified as “obscene” in 1936, to being widely disseminated, and shortly after, encouraged, as we moved into the second half of the century; motherhood went from being universally regarded as a woman’s highest calling and supreme honor, to something so abhorrent that in 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court showed itself willing to offer legal sanction of the murder of innocents as a means of ensuring that women had every opportunity to avoid it, with its infamous ruling in Roe v. Wade. While legislation calling for equal educational and professional opportunities, and fair compensation in the workplace, seems, by comparison, less sinister in content, it is often invoked, and used to support, the discourse that seeks to discredit women for continuing to value their roles as mothers and homemakers, and wishing to maintain them in favor of investing themselves in careers outside the home. Even some of the nobler policies, like increased provisions for childcare in workplaces, and paid maternity leave, still presume that women in the workplace will continue to remain the predominant reality— a reality that, for many, ought not only be accepted, but also encouraged, and celebrated as a benchmark of healthy progress.
The great contradiction that inheres in this narrative is that, though its branding and messaging relies on its ability to reach all strains of the female audience by appeal to their common trait of womanhood, it eschews any and all pursuits most fundamental to the feminine nature as dated, obsolete, and, even self-hating. In short, to be an effective feminist, one must reject all things inherently feminine in their nature; to be a good supporter of “women’s rights”, one must embrace the vision of a world in which the distinction of “woman” is only incidental, because there exists so little functional difference between the roles occupied by both sexes.
AVENUES FOR CHANGE
The aforementioned paradigm is shot through with problems, and at long last, American women are showing signs of recognizing it. However ironic it may seem, 2016 proved a watershed, in this regard: in the year in which some of the most extreme goals of feminism were realized, such as the lifting of the U.S. Armed Forces’ longtime ban on female service in active combat roles, we have also seen some of the strongest pushback against the acceptance of the feminist mainline as an inclusive, representative platform for all women’s interests. Although Hillary Clinton, who in every way embodied the history, the sentiments, and the goals of the feminist movement, did manage to cling to a rather slim majority among female members of the American populace in the election, the numbers still reveal that her platform fell far, far short of capturing the interests of all American women, and her defeat has still been taken as a crushing blow to her radical feminist proponents. Although, as a national socialist, I quite obviously have my fair share of criticism to dish out to President Trump, as well, I think that his campaign, and his female supporters, in their willingness to break rank from Clinton’s feminist legion (and endure the abuse from the mainstream media that they knew would accompany their vocal dissent) have played a vital role in exposing the hypocrisy of the women’s rights movement, and in starting a conversation as to what alternatives lie ahead.
As Heidi rightly states in her latest piece, our actions, political or otherwise, are useless if done without consideration for their effect on the home, family, the wellbeing of children, and the preservation of the communities which will allow them to flourish. For American women, I have a proposition toward that end, that I think will aid in laying the groundwork for the reconstruction of a more traditional society, in which our feminine ideals can be lived out more effectively: supporting the incoming administration’s plans for a comprehensive immigration reform.
I know that since there exists a body of pernicious legislation explicitly branded with our name, the realm of immigration policy does not seem the most intuitive place to begin, but hear me out. Despite my lingering skepticism regarding some of the Trump administration’s stances, I do think, from a standpoint of broader concern for female interests, that the positions that it has taken on immigration reform offer considerable hope, and meaningful first steps towards making our community a safer place to make a home and raise children. One of the first issues that President Trump has promised to address is the simple, but significant, issue of numbers. Since his election back in November, President Trump has succeeded in securing words of good faith from numerous companies- Carrier, Ford, and General Motors, and even Wal-Mart – to keep millions of jobs, all previously slated for outsourcing, in the United States. This alone, coupled with policies that seek both to reduce the overall number (and tighten the vetting processes) of immigrants admitted to the country, and to take active measures to remove the millions of criminal aliens who have entered illegally, and taken jobs previously reserved for working-class citizens, is a step in the right direction for traditional motherhood.
Put simply, more jobs in America- which, under the new policy, Americans can now trust are actually being given to their own citizens- means greater mobility in the labor force, particularly for members of the working class. In a world in which Americans are no longer desperate for work, have more career options, and don’t have to compromise their standards in order to compete with illegal laborers (whose tenuous status essentially precludes them from holding their superiors accountable), they have better odds of finding jobs with the hours, security, and pay that will be most accommodating for those starting families. Providing better-quality employment for American men will make supporting a household on a single income more feasible, and allow more mothers the opportunity to stay home with their children. Moreover, the fact that the Trump administration affirms these jobs as valuable positions that the nation cannot afford to lose, and acknowledges the people who hold them- and the services they perform- as deserving of the efforts that it has taken to keep them here, will also have a subtle, but nevertheless important impact on preserving healthy family dynamics. The emergence of a new rhetoric, and new policies, which treat working-class careers with is already having a marked impact on the morale of workers within this sector, and the expectation of respect the public sphere, will inevitably carry over into the home. When men have greater confidence in their ability to serve in their traditional role as providers, they offer women the means, and the necessary security, to devote themselves more completely to their own duties as mothers and homemakers. When more men are capable of being better fathers, it opens the door for more women, in turn, to be better mothers. Without the risk of being forced out of their traditional roles completely, or finding themselves spread much too thin as they attempt to balance motherhood with working life, women will be free to direct their time and energy to their own work in the domestic sphere, and can do so with a more complete peace of mind in knowing their husbands are now well-equipped with both the resources and the morale to perform their own duties to the family in the workforce.
Another, perhaps even more important stance that the Trump administration has assumed on immigration is its vocal condemnation, and exclusive curtailment of, immigrants from demographics who have shown themselves to be unique threats to the safety and well-being of women. While the notorious “ban on Muslims” is intended, in part, to combat the increase in acts of terror committed in the name of Islam (which has followed policies favoring the admittance of immigrants from nations plagued with violent extremism), it also makes an important statement against the changes that their presence has wrought in Western society— changes which, thus far, have been most visible in their impact on female members of society. For Americans, the frightening realities that European women confront daily, are, still, for the most part, yet- unrealized dangers; women in America may still, for the most part, move freely about society, without having to take heed of “no-go zones” or “safe zones”, leave their homes in appropriate Western dress without fear of violent retaliation for their lack of deference to immigrants’ cultural sensibilities, and while, unfortunately, incidents of rape and sexual assault are on the rise in the United States, as well, Americans have yet to see incidents of the scale of last year’s New Year’s celebrations in Cologne happening en masse. It would seem, from the content of his intended policies, that President Trump is not blind to the correlation between these sinister social changes and the influence of Islam, and is taking active measures to nip the problem in the bud, so to speak, before America, too, finds itself an occupied nation.
Though the situation in the United States has without a doubt, deteriorated considerably to warrant such a radical turnaround in immigration policy, the current administration, at the very least, is willing to acknowledge the grave danger that avowed enemies of Western culture pose to women— because we can see from the stark contrast between the way women are treated in each of these societies, that Western ideals play an important role in safeguarding women against exploitation. A number of our feminist counterparts seek to discredit our commitments both to traditional womanhood, and to the eradication of anti-Western migrants as hypocritical, by arguing that, in practice, the role Islamic religious law prescribes to women, in many ways, resembles our own ideal. While fidelity, modesty, and motherhood are values that perhaps, we do, to an extent, hold in common, the way that these are lived out, in practice, varies greatly in different cultural contexts. Unlike Islam, which demands of its female adherent an active subjugation of herself, her will, and her place in society, the Western view ultimately understands women as leaders within their own right— leaders designed to reign over a different sphere of society than men, but one that is no less worthy or virtuous. Womanhood is considered so sacred, and so vital to the preservation of our people, that it commands honor, reverence, and respect from Western men, who recognize its importance in sustaining their civilization. To treat women as objects, as instruments, as possessions, and to impose upon the men who wed them, and the men who dwell among them, no standards regarding their treatment or behavior, is viewed, in the West, as an insult and an atrocity, not merely against women, themselves, but against one’s own people, culture, and future.
By making such a strong statement against cultures that would sanction such despicable actions, and severely restricting their adherents’ ability to enter the United States, immigration policy under the Trump administration may be viewed as an act in defense of Western women, and the cultural values that ensure that they will continue to be honored and protected. In response, I would encourage all American ladies to throw their weight behind these policies in any manner they can (without, of course, compromising the safety of themselves and their children)— by voting in representatives who support immigration reform, by writing and calling their Congressmen and Senators and urging them to support the bills that come up to enact it, and holding their officials accountable for demanding measures that offer women the strongest protection, and the best hope for saving our society from following Europe down the dark path that women there are now forced to walk every day.
EMBRACING A NEW PATH FORWARD
Though women’s journey to becoming political actors has been a rocky one, and many times, we have seen the rights intended to afford us greater democratic power, instead used to undermine our interests and security, in this struggle to reclaim our society, we must be unafraid to use all the tools we have been given to fight the battle, even the ones, that, in the past, have been associated with actions and attitudes that have brought us harm. When suffragettes first secured the right to vote, they clearly assumed that we “backward” women, who were happy in our traditional duties, would find no use for it, and take no action to stop the progression towards what Heidi has rightly deemed a “hellscape”. Thus far, perhaps, they have been correct, but as long as voting remains within our right, we always have the opportunity to prove them otherwise. Let us, then, show them, that thought our opinions do not carry the destructive force of progressivism, they are no less potent a force of social change, and that, through our love of our people, our families, and our future, we will find greater power than those whose only ethos is change for change’s sake. I can envision no better way to wield it than by using that power to back policies which echo our refusal to yield to strangers who desire our resources and our liberties, but not our Western values that keep safe our homes, our families, and our children.
In continuing to finding policy positions working toward our ends, without being forced to rely on the feminist elite, we women will find true “liberation”, not through dependence on an indefinite chain of lukewarm legal “protections” designed to safeguard us against a toxic society, but, instead, by daring to ask what has been responsible for poisoning our cultural institutions in the first place, and using our vote to support representatives, policy positions, and legislation that will identify, dismantle, and eventually, eradicate all the insidious elements that have rendered our society so corrupt. While women’s suffrage may have played a large role in the unravelling of a society that supported our traditional ideals, and because of it, we may look to our own rights to vote with an attitude of understandable wariness, we must bear in mind that a vote is only as strong as the vision held by the person behind it. If we muster our forces and use this power effectively, traditional women have no other option but to prevail, because unlike our radical feminist counterparts, whose ideals are constantly subject to the unpredictable, transient morality of progressivism, our votes carry not only the weight of the immediate policies that they support, but also the power of our age-old, yet timeless, vision in which we honor both our ancestors and our posterity in our action. Let us keep their interests close to our hearts, and pledge ourselves anew, with every trip to the ballot box, to their honor, their service, and their defense.
***All dates referenced in the history of women’s rights activism taken from “Timeline of Key Events in the American Women’s Rights Movement” by Ann-Marie Imbomoni. This piece does not claim to cast her as supporter or proponent of the opinions expressed herein, but only to make use of her information to provide a more accurate historical timeline.