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Strong Women

823 words

Translations: FrenchPortuguese, Slovak

This essay is from Michael Polignano’s book Taking Our Own Side, available in hardcover and paperback here.

January 20, 2004

“You’re just afraid of strong women!” I can’t count the number of times I have heard this accusation hurled at men who break up with their girlfriends after tiring of their feminist posturing and antics.

I confess: I am afraid of “strong women.” There are good reasons to dislike and even to fear them.

Let’s examine today’s definition of “strong women.” “Strong women” are not those who can lift heavy objects, carry baskets on their heads, and so forth. “Strong women” are not those who can bear with dignity the sorrows of life and death. “Strong women” are not those who, in addition to the burdens of motherhood, heroically shoulder the responsibilities of dead, dysfunctional, divorced, or otherwise absent fathers.

No, what is meant by “strong women” today is: women who can do anything and everything a man can do, just as well or even better, and so do not need men. As the saying goes, a “strong woman” needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. (Surely this is one of the dumbest and ugliest analogies ever to attain the lofty status of cliché.)

But it is nice to be needed: needed emotionally, not just for physical tasks like taking out the trash, squashing spiders, and manhandling recalcitrant jar lids. What man in his right mind would prefer a woman who doesn’t need him to a woman who does? The only man who prefers a woman who doesn’t need him doesn’t really need her either. She may be useful to him for a while, for sex or shallow companionship. But why would he risk a deep emotional commitment—why would he risk needing her—when she constantly insists that she really does not need him?

Men are naturally promiscuous, and they will put up with “strong women” as long as the sex is good. But men are also naturally romantic. I am convinced that men have deeper feelings for their partners than women have for theirs. (Women reserve their deepest feelings for their children.) Men are therefore more emotionally vulnerable than women, and they will naturally be wary of emotionally committing to “strong women,” who are far more likely to put them through emotional hell just to prove how “strong” they are. This is why “strong women” are often screwed, but infrequently wed.

It is just plain false that women can do everything a man can do, even better. Yes, there are exceptionally strong women and exceptionally weak men. But on the average, the sexes differ in countless ways. Thus it is true to say that the average man can outdo the average woman in countless pursuits, just as the average woman can outperform the average man in countless others. Furthermore, in any given couple, there are always some things the man can do better than the woman, and others the woman can do better than the man.

I have never met a man who was obsessed with ferreting out all the things that his girlfriend thought she could do better so he could prove her wrong. I know one thing: I would certainly not call him a strong man. Furthermore, I imagine that his girlfriend would quickly tire of his attempts to best her in cooking and needlework. After a time, I think she would find him downright contemptible. And when she finally walks out on him, I imagine he’ll stand there in the kitchen doorway, aproned and oven-mitted, the perfect soufflé held high in triumph, and scream, “You’re just afraid of strong men!”

“Strong women” are actually the most insecure, petty, and competitive women around. And these are weaknesses, not strengths.

No man wants a woman who constantly competes with him and looks for his weaknesses. Men make life competitive and insecure enough for their fellow men. So men naturally want their relationships with women to be havens from constant one-upmanship. But “strong women” won’t allow that.

Another problem with “strong women” is that they tend to imitate mistaken conceptions of masculine behavior. They can imitate masculine competitiveness, but not the forms of masculine camaraderie, civility, and brotherhood that give competition some humanity. How could they, when all of these softer, communitarian virtues are associated with the femininity that “strong women” are so concerned to overcome?

“Strong women” make themselves annoying, because they inject competition where it is unwelcome. They make themselves ridiculous, because they inevitably fail in some of their attempts to outdo their men. They make themselves contemptible, because they emotionally blackmail their men into letting them win a few rounds, hoping, perhaps, that they will get this damned competitiveness out of their system.

What is a “strong woman”? A creature who has abandoned the best features of her own sex for the worst features of the other. Now that is something to fear.


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  1. Evan
    Posted January 21, 2011 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    What is a “strong woman”? A creature who has abandoned the best features of her own sex for the worst features of the other.

    Well phrased.

  2. Posted January 21, 2011 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    A woman should know her place in the natural order : first God, then her husband, then her, then the children.
    The man – the captain – is the head of the family, she is the neck and the heart.
    Most men refuse the responsability of being head of a family.
    Most women refuse to be simply the mistress of the house, they prefer to embrass a profesional career, for it is easier.
    Both refuse to have children, many children, for it is easier.
    The evil knows how to destroy the social order and its most potent component, the family. It targeted women, with abortion and feminism. The chaos that thus ensued is enormous and devastating.
    One is constantly confronted to situations where there is an easy solution and a difficult one – it is important to remember to choose the difficult one.

    • Stronza
      Posted January 21, 2011 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Women are under no obligation to have any more children than their bodies can healthily support. Because if they do, they will end up like Andrea Yates, who became psychotic and drowned her five young kids (she’s now in a nuthouse). Classic pregnancy-induced severe malnutrition. Combined with a doofus of a husband who wanted her to live in a tiny bus and homeschool all those kids to boot.

      I know a woman who consumed a deficient diet (vegan) both pre and post pregnancy. She tried to kill one of her kids and the other turned out defective.

      You want women who can produce a whole passel of kiddies? Then nourish them physically, materially and emotionally first. And their husbands, also, who provide one-half of the genetic material for those children.

      • Posted January 21, 2011 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        Of course the virtue of discernment should be used here as in all matter.

        Having children, looking after husband and house should not be considered as an ungrateful task, on the contrary it is a great fulfitment for a lady. One has just to enter such a house, to feel the happy soul that governs it.
        I must admit that nowdays it is very difficult to have servants, and this does not help.

        However, I don’t think that other races indulge in this sort of considerations, and they are invading us.

        • Stronza
          Posted January 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

          It should be difficult to have servants, Philippe. It is just and correct that no human should have to be a personal servant to another able-bodied person. That is even more shameful than slavery.

          I know countless large families from my childhood (6 – 20 children). They had no servants in the house, only hired men on occasion for farm labour. The older children helped the mother in the house or relatives stayed with them. None of these mothers went nuts like Andrea Yates, because they were constitutinally tough as hell.

          The only solution I can think of is for white people to live together semi-communally, maybe the way the Doukhobors did.

          • Posted January 22, 2011 at 4:18 am | Permalink

            I do not agree. Having lived in India, and living now in South America, servants are part of the social structure, it is a job like any other job. Very often, the servant has servants who themselves have servants and so on. This enables all members of the society to take part in its working – a young girl with no abilities will care for the young ones, an elderly widow will cook… Very often, these are weak members of society, they find in their job a new family.
            Of course, there are sometimes abuses, but these should not be a reason to condemn the practice.
            We, in the West, often live under the rule of the exception : one person dies tightroping, immediately all tightroping is banned – this is absurd.

            • Stronza
              Posted January 22, 2011 at 10:16 am | Permalink

              Servants-down-the-line would likely be an indicator of weak people, as you say. Weak because they can do only one thing. But look at the millions of settlers who came to America and became farmers. They could do a hundred things, all of them well. I should know because I am from a peasant background and I would tire listing all the things my grandparents and parents could do well.

              I see the proliferation of servants as an ominous sign, whether it’s very rich people with a whole platoon of them; or whether it’s a common situation among all classes, as in the two parts of the world you mention.

              In any case, I will never serve anyone but an immediate family member. As a mother & wife, that comes with the territory, but I don’t care how much you pay me, I am not cleaning up after some tart because she wants a career, or some useless man who thinks that cleanliness & cooking are something only women should concern themselves with. I know so many single men who live in squalor and will do so till the Department of Social Services puts them into a nursing home.

              “A young girl with no abilities will care for the young ones”, you say. There we have it: you men think that looking after babies and small children requires no ability. You are pulling my chain, Boy, aren’t you?

              • Posted January 22, 2011 at 11:44 am | Permalink

                I see your point.

                Two things. One, India and South America are non Whites countries, and living and working in these rapidly evacuates the idea that there no differences between races. Here, for exemple, we have important Mennonite communities, and they do, as you describe, rely onlyon themselves.
                Two, Maurras, in his “Quatre nuits de Provence”, wrote extensively well of the traditional life in the south of France when he was young, he talks with great kindness of the maid of the house, he explains how his family was hers for she had none other, and how they cared for her. This story is not unique and I have read or heard of many alike.
                Perhaps it was not perfect, I do not know.

                When I say “with no abilities” I should have said of course “with no other abilities”.

                Living far away from the Western world, I have friends among the few French “colons” here, and they do indeed know how to do almost everything. The locals are one-task minded. Even I with my intellectual background can do more than they. It is very simple, when faced with a problem you have to find a solution, or to invent it. This quest for a certain quality of life is often seen as the White man’s curse. I don’t think so.

                This begs of course the question of colonialism.

  3. Posted January 21, 2011 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    “Another problem with “strong women” is that they tend to imitate mistaken conceptions of masculine behavior. They can imitate masculine competitiveness, but not the forms of masculine camaraderie, civility, and brotherhood that give competition some humanity. How could they, when all of these softer, communitarian virtues are associated with the femininity that “strong women” are so concerned to overcome?”

    Interesting. Over at my blog, I’ve frequently pointed out that in cultures infected with judaic-inspired homophobia [as opposed to Greco-Roman or Renaissance cultures] will shun such humanizing virtues as being “gay” [along with reading, washing, etc.] while valorizing as “real men” negro thugs.

    Here we see the same dialectic on the distaff side: “tough” women taking on perceived ‘masculine’ qualities and shunning ‘womanish” ones; hence, the 80s ‘bitch’ [Joan Collins, etc.] devoted to climbing up the company or social set over the bodies of her supposed ‘sisters’.

    This is perhaps related to the ‘unworthy’ revolt of men against gynecocratic usurpation that Evola diagnoses in Titanic cultures; unlike the True Men of the Golden Age, or the Heroes of the Iron Age, who “absorbs within himself the ambiguous virtue of the female” [Serpentine Wisdom in Evola’s Intro to Magic] these men in their revolt are only crudely violent and materialistic, hence doomed to failure. And vice versa.

  4. White Republican
    Posted January 21, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    A passage from the chapter on Joseph de Maistre in Julius Evola’s Explorations: Hommes et problèmes (Puiseaux: Pardès, 1989), p. 237:

    “Dans Les soirées de Saint-Petersbourg . . . le lecteur pourra trouver bien d’autres intuitions intéressantes. Nous ne résistons pas à la tentation de citer ce qui Maistre dit sur la femme: ‘La femme ne peut être supérieure que comme femme, mais à partir du moment où elle veut égaler l’homme, elle n’est qu’une guenon.’ Pure vérité, que cela plaise ou non aux diverse ‘mouvements féministes’ contemporains.”

    “In the St Petersburg Dialogues . . . the reader can find many other interesting intuitions. We will not resist the temptation of citing what Maistre said on woman: ‘Woman can be superior only as woman, but as soon as she wants to equal man, she is nothing but a monkey.’ Pure truth, whether or not it pleases the diverse contemporary ‘feminist movements.'”

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