by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog
Iran is a rigid patriarchy, and that is something which is immediately accepted as true by everyone, except for many Iranian women and men.
While the sociopolitical role of father-led ideas is of especial interest when it comes to Iran, the sociopolitical role of mother-led ideas in US culture is something which is far less discussed. This disinterest is surprising, because the US is seemingly the most extensive example of Western matriarchy in the 21st century.
Their elevation of the sociopolitical role of the mother is easily proven: among households with children the proportion of single-parent households (80% of which are female-headed) was 32%, up from 13% in 1967 – a jump of 250%. The US is routinely at the top of Western nations in this category. When so many households are governed by single mothers, this must affect the sociopolitical ideas of these moms, these children, their politicians, and many others as well.
Fifty-five percent of such children have no siblings, and thus are the primary focus of Ms. Single Mom. An American single Mom’s focus on her child is especially intense because we must consider how modern US culture is notable for emphasizing the small nuclear family at the expense of the larger extended family/clan.
There are other historical-cultural inclinations towards matriarchy in the US: Western Anglo-Celtic culture was often a seafaring culture, and such cultures – where the father/husband would be regularly absent for years at a time – necessarily gives much more emphasis to matriarchy. Anglo-Celtic culture, in opposition to Latin and Greek culture, is also incredibly tolerant of alcoholism historically, something else which creates a cultural need for matriarchy. France’s northwestern regions of Brittany and Normandy exemplify the convergence of these trends: it is routinely said by the French that those two areas “are not France”, in large part because these proudly Celtic regions drink to excess and are well-known “anti-Latin macho” matriarchies. This is all relevant because we are talking about the US, whose culture is an offshoot of Anglo-Celtic, and nearby Saxon, cultures.
There is no shortage of Western articles criticizing the political shortcomings of Islamic & Asian patriarchy, but what about the political weaknesses of these West European matriarchies?
However, we must add one further step, as we are discussing the US: What are the political blind spots resulting from a nation with such a high population of single mothers?
If patriarchy produces an excess of masculine belligerence – i.e., physical intimidation, the unwillingness to incorporate new viewpoints, and over-competitive risk-taking – then matriarchy must produce too much female belligerence – i.e., emotional intimidation, hysterical acceptance of new and untested ideas, and stagnation-creating risk aversion.
We see these flaws of matriarchy reflected quite clearly in the West’s hysterical overreaction to coronavirus – the Great Lockdown – an era which should be considered the apex of matriarchal power in the United States.
This idea is more easily proven when we first examine an example of matriarchy gone wrong.
Trump taking hydroxychloroquine inflames America’s single-Mom media
When I heard that President Donald Trump was taking hydroxychloroquine I immediately laughed, knowing that Mommies across the US were going to disapprove of such open disobedience of “the experts”.
After all, a matriarchy does not rely on intimidation or competition – patriarchal forms of creating respect and obedience – it relies on emotional veneration and respect for status. This explains how US culture so easily renounced sensible skepticism towards so-called “experts” who, to achieve their status, surely have worked very hard and under very trying circumstances – just as single Moms must do as lone parents.
However, being based for so long in France, where the hydroxychloroquine debate began about six weeks earlier than in the US, I was already aware that the experts on this drug are not very expert at all. If somebody wants to take it – I hope it works and I’m sure a doctor is prescribing it. If somebody is buying hydroxychloroquine on the street and not consulting a doctor first- I am not an expert but… such people are likely buying other drugs for themselves on the street as well. So, all in all, I saw no reason for Trump’s medical choice to be of interest – it’s his personal choice to make, and the science is unclear.
That said, I immediately tuned into fake-leftist MSNBC and was very amused at the hysteria and self-righteous rage caused by Trump’s usage of hydroxychloroquine. It’s fair to consider MSNBC as the preferred political mouthpiece of American single mothers; the single mother-class does need and do deserve a mouthpiece to voice their sociopolitical concerns.
NBC and Joe Biden, who needs to appeal to the single-mother vote if he wants to win, hilariously expressed the single Mom-esque outrage I expected with their article, ‘What in God’s name is he doing?’ Biden rips Trump’s use of hydroxychloroquine. I note that my mother repeatedly yelled “What in God’s name is he doing” when I was a child, both in reference to myself and to my brother. I should note that my father yelled this as well, but usually at a much, much closer distance to his sons’ faces.
Unsurprisingly, given that they have a lot of capitalism-imperialism to distract from, MSNBC gave a lot of coverage to this story: With Trump pushing hydroxychloroquine, will it become next political fight? The answer is “no”: This is only a story worth fighting for if the goal is to distract from Obamagate, and also the way the Great Lockdown is marching the lower classes towards economic suicide as well as a disproportionate number of corona infections. One has to wonder at the single Mom-psychology at play in this article, given that responsible journalists are aware that hydroxychloroquine is neither a solution nor a real threat?
I perceive two single Mom-esque fears being both inflamed in this article: Firstly, it is a reflection of the fear that children of single mothers will constantly want to emulate the behaviour of the national patriarch, given that they have no patriarch at home to emulate. A second fear is that many single mothers may need Trump to stand in as a projection of their romantic failures: Their anger towards their “Baby’s Daddy” must responsibly be checked in front of little Junior, but Trump provides a socially-acceptable anger outlet. However, what are the effects on little Junior’s sociopolitical development, one wonders?
The bitter misandry (the opposite of misogyny) of a single Mom with an irresponsible ex-partner is rather subliminally reflected in yet another MSNBC article: Kayleigh McEnany believe news organizations should listen to Trump and “take him at his word.” Here’s a follow-up question: “Why?” Surely the single mother has been rather deceived or disappointed by her ex-partner, I think it is safe to generalise. Again, the personal lives of so many single mothers appears to be reflected in their desire to control, infantilise and even “bad romance” Trump.
These are not useless speculations: the role of single Mom-matriarchs in the demonisation of Trump (a self-admitted sexual predator and an adulterous romantic predator as well) is rarely commented upon, but how can the single-mother class not play a significant role here?
MSNBC continued (as we should for just a bit longer) with Trump’s rhetoric on hydroxychloroquine may very well represent a public-health hazard. The demand for censorship regarding hydroxychloroquine, and MSNBC’s implicit suggestion that even discussing it is perhaps worthy of criminalisation, reflects a single Mother’s obsessive worry for the safety of her child, as she must provide twice the normal amount of protection, of course. That article concludes:
“But again, Trump’s most loyal followers won’t know any of this. All they’ll hear is their president encouraging Americans to take a dangerous medication, arguing that it’s harmless, and questioning the value of legitimate research.
The risk to the public seems quite real.”
Single-mothers must necessarily view themselves somewhat as being “cultural pioneers”, who have decided to confront the moral/parenting norms of society’s rather sheep-like “loyal followers”. Single-motherhood is – and I make no judgment here one way or the other on it – indeed quite normal, but no doubt they subconsciously often view two-parent households not with resentment but with contempt and “I’m a pioneer, you are sheep” superiority. That article’s hysterical, fearmongering conclusion reveals a quite unfair blanket contempt for Trump’s usually “two-parent supporting” supporters, a contempt which is just as unfair as contempt for single-mothers.
The final sentence indicates another common single Mother feeling – that of being a self-appointed societal guardian and ever-vigilant supreme leader. We perhaps did not know this in January, but in late May it is now clear that the corona risks were not as real as people like The New York Times had warned, with their disproven trumpeting of 1.1 million US deaths in a best-case scenario.
Moving beyond Trump’s inability to stand-in for Dad, Husband or Doctor: US matriarchy’s mistakes during the Great Lockdown
Given the rates of single motherhood we should ask: what sort of government would a single-mother society create and perhaps prefer?
Single-mothers, who are statistically more subject to poverty and over-work, are uniquely compelled to promote the dominance of “the experts” because single mothers are forced to rely on them so much more than the average: after all, they have no co-parent, and thus less time for vetting experts. Whether said “expert” is really just a mediocre teacher, a semi-shady cop or a non-omnipotent epidemiologist, single Mom simply does not have as much time to question their alleged expertise. Thus, unquestioning allegiance to technocrats is something which a single-mother society would likely produce.
Single Mom also does not want her own expertise questioned by her child nor society at large even though a single Mom is doing something which all human history has tried to avoid – raising a child in relative isolation. Thus, questioning any authority at all is often subconsciously disagreeable and threatening in the unstable Single Mother Queendom. We saw how the treatment of Michigander protesters was so hysterical, truly false (the vast majority of protesters stayed in their car), and how it rejected any honest debate. It is not an exaggeration but a reality that single Moms in America must be especially comfortable with investing dictatorial powers in one person – that’s how they must raise their kids in a Western, anti-extended family culture.
While nobody knew this for certain at the outset of the novel coronavirus, it now seems abundantly clear that the need for mass quarantine was overblown and is no longer necessary. Yet there is massive resistance from US matriarchs and their supporters to restart normal human society, despite the psychological, cultural, medical and economic harm continued lockdowns would induce. Sweden and others have shown that a modicum of social responsibility should logically reduce the fear and panic-based notions which initially drove the Great Lockdowns.
A short-sighted insistence on remaining at home indefinitely regardless of the negative ramifications of such overprotection; a demand for total obedience to authorities which never merited nor could even handle such powers (because they are not socialist-inspired)l the decidedly anti-intellectual acceptance of the decisions of mediocre technocrats even after they have been proven wrong – we see all three of the problems I listed with matriarchies: stagnation-creating risk aversion, emotional intimidation, hysterical embracing of new and untested ideas.
I would be wrong to imply that Western/American/Single-Mom matriarchy is always wrong, or that it could not provide even better results than other options in other situations – however, it seems clearly ill-suited to continue leading the West’s Great Lockdown.
I don’t think they ever want to give up their power, and I don’t think they accept fair criticism of their leadership, and I don’t think they have any endgame: these are Moms after all, LOL!
Jokes aside, the problem for the West and their clients is that they all follow the lead of the US, but the patriarchal, “Big Brother”, socialist-inspired states of China, Iran, Vietnam and others have clearly outperformed the matriarchal West during the corona crisis.
Almighty Moms unite to helicopter-parent the West into worry and poverty
I support single mothers, and I share their often silent hope that they do not have to lead dictatorially and all alone much longer: I hope you soon find that special partner to bring into your single-parent home!
(May I note that you cannot find a suitable co-parent under Great Lockdown conditions, which is yet another class-based reason (the needs of the single class) to end the Great Lockdown: a healthy desire to re-embrace to vicissitudes of romance.)
As a leftist of course I proudly call myself a feminist. I never recall a time in my life being unaware of what “feminism” meant (in broad terms), just like for “communism/socialism”. I am not bragging here – I’m just trying to forestall certain criticisms which are given credence by racists and misandrists due to my ethnic and religious background.
In the end, the problem with Western patriarchy is simple to diagnose:
(Of course, Western pro-matriarchs likely patronisingly assume that all patriarchies are alike, just as many arrogantly believe that “Western values” are synonymous with “human values”.)
They confuse “masculine” with power and “feminine” with weakness. This is absurd and wrong, even to the most rigid Asian and Muslim patriarchs: the concept of male-female “equality despite inherent differences” is reflected in the East Asian concept of yin and yang, and in Islam’s concept of men and women having different rights and duties. But in the West – and especially in the Anglo-Saxon world – women are told they must renounce their feminine power and be more like over-aggressive men in order to survive and thrive in their capitalist-imperialist culture, which leads to failure for their women, children, men and society.
What is needed now in the West are more typically-masculine virtues such as risk acceptance: the West fooled themselves into thinking they had the same strengths and capabilities as socialist-inspired nations like China, Iran, Vietnam and others – they employed quarantining, control methods and collective-over-individualist concepts used by Asian nations, but without having similar cultures of government economic intervention nor widespread trust in their governments, and amid the West’s economic Great Recession on top of it all. For socioeconomic survival some risks must now be embraced by the lower classes and their supporters – above all daring a revolution away from Western liberal aristocratic democracy & neoliberalism/neo-imperialism.
However, it is vital to acknowledge that many grandparents are still alive probably thanks to the initial use of more typically-feminine virtues such as safety-seeking and prudence. What is needed, of course, is not capitalist-like domination of one over the other, but balance and the application of the appropriate virtue at the appropriate time.
What’s certain is that nowhere in this article was a condemnation of single mothers: Islam codified divorce 1,300 years before the West – and in a manner which was spectacularly feminist and revolutionary – so such condemnations cannot be found in my heart nor mind. Marriages, sadly, don’t work out some times, and it’s unfortunate that Western culture was so culturally backwards on this issue for so long.
As I wrote earlier, single motherhood is “indeed quite normal”, but single motherhood in Muslim/Asian societies is experienced in a far different manner than in the West – what works for one would not necessarily work for the other. Similarly, the Great Lockdown has been experienced in a far different manner in the West than in socialist-inspired countries, and what has worked for one is creating a socioeconomic disaster in the other.
Where do I stand as regards matriarchy? Oh I certainly don’t mind some now and then; I certainly can’t get away from it no matter what country I am in; even if I could avoid matriarchy it would lead to an unpleasant imbalance.
However, even if it will displease Mom, the West needs to end their Great Lockdown and get started addressing the needs of their lower classes.
Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis.
A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020
If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30, 2020
Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism – April 14, 2020
Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer – April 22, 2020
The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2) – April 27, 2020
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the NEW ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.