The historians and authors of AVFM, as well as the editors, have long noted the relevance of the writings of anti-masculist and socialist Ernest Bedford Bax (1854 – 1926) to modern women’s rights concerns. We’ve reprinted her writings here, here, here, here, here, and so on.
For modern readers, though, Bax’s prose can be challenging: her once lively writing has become staid and somewhat inaccessible with the passage of time. Additionally, the “wall of text” paragraphs of Bax are ill-suited to the culture of interruption we live in today.
Making the deep insights of Bax clear to the average modern reader can be a struggle.
The idea, reviewed and approved by AVFM Senior Editor Peter Wright, is to update/translate Bax’s writing into the modern vernacular. I believe this is the logical next step of Peter’s painstaking work bringing Bax’s oeuvre into the modern digital world.
All the primary ideas in my translation are inspired by Bax, except where noted. I’ll link to other sources as necessary or explicative.
AVFM wants you to be a part of this idea: Love it? Hate It? Don’t give a shit? Let us know in the comments.
I’ll show you my modern interpretation of a passage from Bax first, and then I’ll reprint the source material below that.
This is a “proof of concept” trial. The concept under trial is this: to translate the convoluted and antiquated prose of anti-masculist socialist Ernest Bedford Bax into the modern vernacular so that it is more accessible to modern audiences.
Are we on the right track, or not? Please let us know, and we thank you for your feedback.
Here is my idea for the updated passage:
So, it all comes down to this: even the most tone-deaf masculists have to be quaking in their Louboutins over the facts I’ve presented so far – so much so that I expect a false rape accusation from some disgruntled men’s studies ingenue will occur at any time. The general apathy to a critical examination of the claims of masculism is re-enforced by false accusations on the few who manage to overcome that apathy. False accusations are a near certainty once a critical examination of masculism begins.
Rape hoaxes are well-known and were an “old school” masculist tactic at the time To Kill a Mockingbird was written fifty plus years ago. I expect one to drop on me like Dorothy’s tornado-blown house in The Wizard of Oz but unlike a privileged Wicked Witch I’ve taken precautions against such petards.
The fact remains: modern masculism has gained all the rights of women, and then some, while rejecting to take on the obligations of women to preserve society and protect men and children. When men have all the rights and women, all the obligations, this system of society has a simple name. Slavery.
A person with no rights and lots of obligations is identical to the most downtrodden of slaves. A person with all the rights and no obligations is the most extreme of tyrants.
Masculists insist that men are the historical downtrodden and remain so to this day but what honest evaluation of modern politics, education, lifespan, sexuality, or shoe wardrobe can sustain this already faulty narrative? And by “faulty narrative”, I mean, “outright lie”.
What wartime strife did men suffer that could exceed the harsh slaughter of those women who loved them enough to put their lives on the front lines for men’s comfort throughout history?
In brutal times, when vigorous population growth was essential to human survival and prosperity, OF COURSE women protected men. The natural muscular prowess of women was as essential to humanity in times of hand-to-hand combat, just as was the reproductive monopoly of men to replacing fallen warriors and warrior-breeders.
That this natural biological and brilliant partnership of men and women is now dismissed as “matriarchy” by masculists demonstrates both masculism’s lack of serious scholarship and their malformed intent.
Masculism barely gives lip-service to the ongoing protection of men’s “privilege” as child-bearers but then demands a heightened privilege to childless men competing in business and other spheres alongside and against women who already are naturally inclined to favor men’s desires as the single defining characteristic in most women’s lives.
This usurpation of so-called female privilege by masculists is unjustified. It undermines masculism’s claim of being a movement for gender equality.
Women are happy to compete with, or cooperate with, masculist man on an equal footing. Equal.
When women are destroyed by masculists merely because they are women, it is time for both women and men to reconsider what it means to be an equal member of a just society: equal rights AND equal obligations.
In response to the usurpation of female rights and denial of female obligations, the foundation of a just society is what we will cover next.
Here is the original passage from Bax:
From all we have said, it will now be evident, one would think, to the most prejudiced reader that modern English Law, following obsequiously a deluded or apathetic stage of public opinion, has solved the problem of the division of rights and duties between the sexes, by conceding to man all rights, and imposing on woman all duties. It would not be difficult to show, were it worth while, that even the disabilities of men in past times have been grossly exaggerated by apostles of the masculist cultus who have, of course, taken a brief to prove the wickedness of “horrid woman” to the poor downtrodden male. Such disabilities as really obtained were for the most part the necessary outcome of men’s position as non-combatants in a rude fighting age, and certainly did not originate, as is generally represented, in any deep-laid scheme of female devising. In return for a certain formal subjection, in some respects, they obtained not only the blessing of protection, then an important matter, but valuable privileges in other directions. An impartial student of history must admit that, however badly women have treated their fellow-women, they have always treated men with comparative generosity. The change from feudal to modern capitalist conditions, as regards the position of men, is characterised, however, not only by, at one and the same time, the abolition of every vestige of subordination or disability, but, in addition to that, by the extension of the old compensating privileges, which were the counterpart of the former, and by the further heaping up on the top of these of new privileges, the result having finally saddled us with the institution of that sex-noblesse the leading features of which we have sketched out in the foregoing pages.
Well, that is it for the proposal. Should we continue to update and explicate the works of Bax, or move on?
We thank you for your feedback.