The Fraud of Feminism/Preface

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The Fraud of Feminism  (1913) 
E. Belfort Bax
preface
London: Grant Richards Ltd pages 1-3

The present volume aims at furnishing a succinct exposure of the pretensions of the Modern Feminist Movement. It aims at presenting the case against it with an especial view to tracking down and gibbetting the infamous falsehoods, the conventional statements, which are not merely perversions of the truth, but which are directly and categorically contrary to the truth, but which pass muster by sheer force of uncontradicted repetition. It is by this kind of bluff that the claims of Feminism are sustained. The following is a fair example of the statements of Feminist writers:—“As for accusing the world at large of fatuous indulgence for womanhood in general, the idea is too preposterous for words. The true ‘legends of the Old Bailey’ tell, not of women absurdly acquitted, but of miserable girls sent to the gallows for murders committed in half delirious dread of the ruthlessness of hypocritical Society.” Now it is this sort of legend that it is one of the chief objects of the following pages to explode. Of course the “fatuous indulgence” for “womanhood in general,” practised by the “world at large,” is precisely one of the most conspicuous features of our time, and the person who denies it, if he is not deliberately prevaricating, must be a veritable Rip van Winkle awakening out of a sleep lasting at least two generations. Similarly the story of the “miserable girls sent to the gallows,” etc., is, as far as living memory is concerned, a pure legend. It is well known that in the cases referred to of the murder of their new-born children by girls, at the very outside a year or two’s light imprisonment is the only penalty actually inflicted. The acquittal of women on the most serious charges, especially where the victims are men, in the teeth of the strongest evidence, is, on the other hand, an everyday occurrence. Now it is statements like the above on which, as already said, the Feminist Movement thrives; its most powerful argumentative weapon with the man in the street is the legend that woman is oppressed by man. It is rarely that anyone takes the trouble to refute the legend in general, or any specific case adduced as an illustration of it. When, however, the bluff is exposed, when the real facts of the case are laid bare to public notice, and woman is shown, not only as not oppressed but as privileged, up to the top of her bent, then the apostles of Feminism, male and female, being unable to make even a plausible case out in reply, with one consent resort to the boycott, and by ignoring what they cannot answer, seek to stop the spread of the unpleasant truth so dangerous to their cause. The pressure put upon publishers and editors by the influential Feminist sisterhood is well known.

For the rest, it must not be supposed that this little book makes any claim to exhaust the subject or to be a scientific treatise. It is, and is meant to be, a popular refutation of the current arguments in favour of Feminism, and a brief statement of the case against Feminism. Sir Almroth Wright's short treatise, “The Unexpurgated Case against Woman's Suffrage,” which deals with the question from a somewhat different standpoint, may be consulted with advantage by the reader.

An acknowledgment should be made to the editor of The New Age for the plucky stand made by that journal in the attempt to dam the onrush of sentimental slush set free by the self-constituted champions of womanhood. I have also to thank two eminent medical authorities for reading the proofs of my second chapter.