Thursday, December 20, 2012

Briffault's Law: A law on a fault of womanhood?

Someone* asked me to share my thoughts on the above law.

It is exactly the kind of topic Sensible Me would have steered clear of :-)
But Someone wanted to start this discussion going.

So in this season of goodwill, I thought I would oblige, leaving my sensible self somewhere far away from here :-)

It may not be quite the right time of year to discuss this issue.
 But when is it ever right to tackle such a contentious topic?

Robert Briffault (1876-1948) was a (French? - under speculation if he was actually French or British) surgeon who became more known for his anthropological observations than his career as a doctor.

His most famous observation from his literary work 'The Mothers' which became his eponymous law was this:

"The female, not the male, determines all the conditions of the animal family. Where the female can derive no benefit from association with the male, no such association takes place."

This quote of Briffault is highly familiar, in the sense that it highlights a 'fault' of womanhood that men don't like and is often discussed by Manosphere bloggers :-)

Now, bearing in mind that I am female (and therefore perhaps automatically excluded from rational or unbiased analysis of Briffault's Law), I offer my thoughts.

(NB: I have never read 'The Mothers', nor any others of Briffault's works. I do think it may have been useful to have read his works to get a 'feel' for his line of thinking and his worldview. But alas, I lack the time and the inclination. Apologies for that).

I think Briffault is both right and wrong with his law.

Why is he right?

Yes, it was always Nature's brutally unfair intent that a woman associate herself with a man who would be of most help to her in the business of offspring-raising.
That, in my opinion is what Briffault's Law is for.

So this law, in of itself is not wrong.
Au contraire, it is a useful law. For society in general, not just women.

If more women rejected men who were clearly and unequivocally unsuited to the role they were designed for, perhaps we would not be in the mess we are in today.

There would certainly be fewer feral childern about.
Because Father would be in the home, along with Mother.

A wise person I know has this rule:

'As women go, so goes society'.

I have quoted this saying ad nauseum on this blog. Whichever way I look at it, it seems to make sense to me.

Briffault's law implies both a right and a responsibility of women.
Every good father tells his daughter: Pick a responsible man to associate with. Vet his character, his values, make sure they are compatible with what you want. If not, reject him.

Briffault's law.

Every good mother tells her daughter: Keep your wits about you when meeting and dating men. Keep your ears and eyes open, but your legs crossed. If he is not to your taste, do not invest yourself in him.

Briffault's law.

A woman may not get a 'finished product' of a man, especially when he and she are young. But she needs to see some 'potential' in terms of how he sees life, his character and his values. For some women (especially those who wish to have children), earning power of a man is also very important. I make no judgment on that, except to say that as a woman, I understand this very well. Child raising is not cheap.
But alas, money is not everything. There are some women who will gladly marry the poorest man around, but whose character is golden. A character they would wish to pass on to their children.
This is still Briffault's law at play. The woman is still seeking something.

The woman who enters into an association with a man with zero expectations of something back from him is not a wise woman, especially if she wants a family. I am sure everyone would agree with this. Low expectations is reasonable in this context :-). Zero expectations is not.

Therefore, I think Briffault's law is an accurate observation and perhaps a good assessment of how a woman should be. It fits very nicely in fact with my own views on hypergamy.

But enough of the 'rights'. Note that it is also the responsibility of a woman to find a man with the best fit to what she believes is the ideal man for her.

Therefore, in the best interpretation of the perfect 'subtitle' to Briffault's law, a woman is not allowed to marry or otherwise enter into a committed relationship with a man and then rescind her initial 'promise'.
This is where things get messy.

Briffault's law contains the following 'subtexts':

1. Past benefit provided by the male does not provide for continued or future association.

2. Any agreement where the male provides a current benefit in return for a promise of future association is null and void as soon as the male has provided the benefit (see corollary 1).

3. A promise of future benefit has limited influence on current/future association, with the influence inversely proportionate to the length of time until the benefit will be given and directly proportionate to the degree to which the female trusts the male.

Certainly, in today's feminist-boosted, legally-encouraged, spiritually-bereft culture, the above scenarios are very, very common.
This is hypergamy according to Manosphere Law!
And I would agree that this is crass womanhood.
How Briffault worked this one out in 1960 I'll never know, but he seems to have had the same foreseer's glasses as George Orwell (1984) and Aldous Huxley (Brave New World).
He was absolutely right about his predictions (actuality?).

But Briffault was also wrong.

For one, wanting something in return is a human issue.
We were all born selfish.

The person who is the eternal doormat has something wrong with him or her. It is not normal.

So, a woman may wish for a provider  type. This is wired into her DNA.
A man may wish for a beautiful and young woman. This is also wired into his DNA.

Men and women want different things from each other. But each has his/her needs/wants. Therefore one might also interpret the second line of Briffault's law as applying to both men and women.

For two, it is not always true that women control everything. Clever men know how to 'lead' women, even in the domestic realm. But I won't be drawn into another long discussion about 'alpha' and 'beta' :-) It's Christmas!

Briffault's law has always existed. Kudos to Briffault for actually verbalising it for the rest of us.
In the Patriarchal society we had pre-feminism, this was 'controlled' and did not allow women to get all 'feral' with their desires.
It also incidentally enabled women to have a wider choice of 'suitable men'.

We are back to 'as women go...'.
For as women on the one hand went 'over the top' with Briffault's law, and killed the goose that was laying the golden eggs (awful pun, sorry) by being too critical of men, and then on the other hand dropping Briffault's law entirely by not vetting men they rewarded with... um... 'favours', the possibility to exercise Briffault's law at all disappeared. Almost overnight.

Women do and should control the animal family. It is the way it has always been, and was designed to be. The only difference between before and now is that, now, it is done at the expense of men rather than for the good of society as a whole.

With this important role comes some very serious responsibilties.
Ignore the responsibilities at our peril.

Umm, too late... already there....

Merry Christmas everyone!

 *Thank you, Someone.


Ceer said...

@ spacetraveller
My personal beef with your post on Briffault's law is this...

Males are just as free to dissociate with women as the reverse. If women seem to have a disproportionate power to leave marriages, it must be because men have a disproportionate desire to stay in them. Why would leaving be thought of as power or control, rather than staying? Think about it. Study after study says that intact marriages correlate with more stable offspring and wealthier lives, so shouldn't we think of control being linked to those who choose to stay?

Briffault's law states nothing about leadership, it only covers benefit for the woman, saying that for a man to continue to have a relationship with a woman, he must provide a continued benefit.

As westerners, we've inherited a system where men were to provide plenty of ongoing benefit
1) gina tingles
2) physical protection from animals and rival humans
3) raising children
4) male leadership
5) financial support

As it happens, our modern society has evolved to the point where most of these benefits are provided by the government, so there's less of a need for a man. If you count notable community organizations like: national militaries, family courts, and emergency services, we're left with a list more like:

1) gina tingles
2) late-child developement and discipline
3) male leadership

Remember, western women fear and mistrust male leadership. I've personally had plenty of women balk at the idea of submission. They're just inundated with the concept that in order to be safe, they have to control everything. Many of them are explicitly trained to take control of their own lives...leaving us with:

1) gina tingles
2) late-child development and discipline

The two remaining reasons to have a man.

Given Briffault's Law as true, men of the past had to display a mix of characteristics. Those characteristics still apply today...but only as much as they trigger our two remaining benefits.

This situation will remain true as long as women demand that they lead lives where they don't have to study the world around them in order to better decide what's really best for them.

To me, the choice is this:
1) erode community services so life is less secure
2) train young women to appreciate the world beyond themselves

To not choose, is to pick choice 1. You said women have a responsibility. This is it.

Merry Christmas

Spacetraveller said...

@ Ceer,

You wouldn't believe how much I agree with you!

"To me, the choice is this:
1) erode community services so life is less secure
2) train young women to appreciate the world beyond themselves."

Perfect challenge for young women.

Enough of the 'Women's studies' already.
A woman does not need 'Women's studies'. She already knows herself enough.

We should have 'Male studies' at school/college for women instead. Much more useful, in my opinion.

I think I have a better general relationship with men because I understand men better now.

And I notice that men who can 'handle' women are the ones who have had the chance to get to know women well.

Knowledge is power, as they say.

The reason I don't discount Briffault's law as simply an 'insult' to women by a bitter man (as has been suggested by opponents of Briffault) is that I understand that he is simply observing what is true. A woman cannot be expected to expect nothing from a man. But of course she has to give him something back too, because she cannot expect him to expect nothing of her either. Since it is the woman whose body is the conduit for new life, it is her responsibility to guarantee the survival of that new life. The most efficient way to ensue her child's survival is to ensure to the best of her ability, the continued presence of its father, no? She would be a fool to let him off that easy :-)

Now neither he nor she may be 'expert' about the other's nature, but they can spend some time (maybe a lifetime?) 'learning'.

Briffault's law is not faulty in of itself, I don't think. But yes, I agree with you that it has been twisted to suit only women, at the expense of men (aided and abetted by crook legal and governmental institutions, of course). So men are finding their own solutions to this problem. I don't accord blame to men for this. I think we women need to restore the faith ASAP.
Your suggestion is a good place to start.

Thank you!
And a Happy Christmas to you and yours too.

metak said...

@ ST

We're all born to sell-fish, you say? ;-)
We're all born selfish in the eyes of the Manosphere, just as we're all born with sin in the eyes of Christianity. ;-) LoL Wanting something in return is a merchant issue. Expecting nothing in return, but appreciating if received is more a human issue.

I would rather say that, use of knowledge is power. For someone to control you, it means only that, you gave him the power to do so. If there were no Esther V., Briffault and co. I would never knew how completely helpless and easily manipulated, we men, are. I should go and feel sorry for myself... ;-)

G. Orwell and A. Huxley knew exactly what's the agenda. That's why their novels appear so prophetic. According to some sources, they were both members of Fabian society. The agenda started long time ago. Through these secret societies is the society manipulated into certain way.

Metak's Law

"The male, not the female, determines all the conditions of the animal family. Where the male can derive no benefit from association with the female, no such association takes place."

1. Past benefit provided by the female does not provide for continued or future association.

Sex, cooking, cleaning... doesn't mean that it will lead to marriage... ;-)

2. Any agreement where the female provides a current benefit in return for a promise of future association is null and void as soon as the female has provided the benefit (see corollary 1).

If a female currently provides 'benefits' thinking that it will lead somewhere, you're doing well.. carry on. ;-)

3. A promise of future benefit has limited influence on current/future association, with the influence inversely proportionate to the length of time until the benefit will be given and directly proportionate to the degree to which the male trusts the female.

Enjoy all you can get for free, promise everything, but sign nothing! ;-)

Spacetraveller said...


"We're all born to sell-fish, you say? ;-)"

You are clearly the next £1 fish man :-)

I never heard of the Fabian Society before - thanks for that piece of information. (Why does it not surprise me that it was started by the Brits? :-)

You know what?
On reflection, I actually agree with Metak's law!
You know why?
Because it requires a woman to not allow herself to be taken advantage of, in a way that allows her to be a useful member of society one day.
Either way, whether it is by Briffault's law or by Metak's law, (and of course these are simply mirror images of each other), it is still a woman who drives the 'animal family' by her actions. It confers a great deal of responsibility on her...
But if she does it right, her (successful) navigation of Briffault's (and Metak's) law brings her tremendous blessings.

No-one is saying it is easy. But at least having the right information is a good place to start. Which is why I like Ceer's suggestion so much.

metak said...

@ ST

"Because it requires a woman to not allow herself to be taken advantage of, in a way that allows her to be a useful member of society one day."

It's a Saturnalia miracle! ;-) You can replace 'woman/her' with 'man/him' and I rest my case.

Family was and should be woman's domain. But before any woman can drive 'animal family' by her actions, man should chose very carefully and this is where it all goes to hell... ;-) When he's certain he chose well, he can then entrust her with that responsibility.

There's a whole 'ocean' of secret societies, comities, groups... etc. The connections between them and the way they introduce the agenda through the politicians, is so simple and well coordinated.

Happy Saturnalia to everyone! ;-)

Spacetraveller said...



Something else I had never heard of before...
Was my education spectacularly lacking or was yours impressively superlative?

Olya Olegovna said...

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Ceer said...

Thank you for your comment, but I'm sure none of us need a lawyer in the Toronto area, or appreciate unsolicited advertisement.

Spacetraveller said...

@ Ceer,

Gosh, this one fell through the spam filter and I failed to notice.

Jonathan Lovell said...

I must opine on this present subject matter as I've had first-hand experience with the "family courts" and such. "Briffault's Law" or no, the golden rule is superior to any "rule" or "law" that ever was, is or will be conceived by any respective body politic or body corporate, anywhere, for any reason, ever; that is: 'treat others how you wish to be treated.' In other words, 'all are equal under the law and subject to the law.' Now, there's now specificity on what the 'law' is, exactly, but only that, once conceived and properly consented to, that all must be equal under the same. As rules may only exist apart from matter in dream space and/or dream time, exclusively, or what's known as a paradox, I would posite that the 'law' is exactly that: the dream, the paradox. In any event, you all are right on the money with the whole "secret societies run the world" business. It's just the people in control of the world are delusional, criminally-insane, mentally-unstable pirates. Ask yourself, would a reasonable person ever negotiate with pirates aboard a pirate ship? Visit when you get a chance...

Oswaldo said...

Hahahaha! You must be joking!

I was (almost) with you up until the point about the poor man with good character!

You have got to be kidding me. Name one woman who did this and you can make your point.

And once again, I'm talking about hipogamy, "marrying down".
Screwing with other (maybe poor) dudes does not count, because they are not for suitable for marriage, they are for the pleasure!

Spacetraveller said...

Welcome, Jonathan Lovell,

I sympathise on hearing about your brush with the family courts...

I must confess that the rest of your comemnt was a little abstract for me (and I DO like abstract stuff, lol).

I did visit I shall need some time to digest it. Thanks for the recommendation.

Equally welcome, Oswaldo!

I think you missed the point I was trying to make.

The woman who marries the poor man with good character is actually what 'used to be'.

Gold-digging sluttery has become the order of the day nowadays, because the system is broken. It was actually normal for the likes of your grandma and mine to pick good, stable men as life-partners, even though they were not yet 'made' in the provider stakes.

I opine that THEIR priorities are different from the woman who is seeking (above all else) a man with money. To the first type of woman, the good character is more important. To the second category of woman, the money is everything, but in both cases, the woman is seeking *something* from the man, as she should.

For his part, a man who marries is expecting *something* from the woman too (something another man cannot give him).

We are all looking for *something from the other party, which is why I describe thgis law as a human experiece, rather than something that can be used to 'beat women up with', figuratively speaking.

To imply that the idea that a woman might choose 'good character' over 'money' is laughable, shows that you are perhaps not seeing the whole picture. Yes, with seemingly no scruples anymore, it is certainly common that 'money' wins. But the point of Briffault's Law is that it can be 'whatever you want it to be', which is the point of the post.

And yes, NAWALT!!!

The problem with giving you a name, as you request, is that it is all anecdotal. There is no study that I can point you to that says a certain woman got together with a certain man for his 'good character'.

This is the beauty of such a private arrangement. No media, no showy pics of fake love, no pomposity. It's quiet, unassuming, 'getting on with it'.
These couples do exist. But no-one can prove they exist. And that is exactly how they like it.
I respect that. And I take comfort in their existence, and wish their numbers were greater.

Anonymous said...

With this knowledge in mind, I will strive to be very successful and stay single.

Trust said...

@Ceer said...
Males are just as free to dissociate with women as the reverse.

I'm wayyy late to this party. I heard of Briffault's Law for the first time and did a search, and stumbled on this.

When both are single, yes men can dissociate with women easily.

Once married, no. A wife can dissociate with her husband and extract support from him while sleeping with another man, but a husband cannot easily dissociate with the wife. He will most likely pay dearly for it for years and years to come.

I think that is part of why my grandparents had such a great marriage. Call it patriarchy, call it Marriage 1.0, whatever. The fact remained that 1) my grandmother was a great wife (and gorgeous too) and my grandfather had to be a husband to have the benefits of her as a wife. and 2) my grandfather was a great husband and provider, and my grandmother had to be a wife to have the benefits he provided as a husband. She didn't have the option of ejecting him from the home and the kids' lives, and keeping the house and money while he kept the mortgage and bills.

I think the failure of marriages lately has been largely due to government meddling. I know, that's not popular to say. One gets accused of wanting to let cheating husbands/fathers off the hook if they walk out, which is not true. I think that is reprehensible for a husband/father to walk. But I also think it is reprehensible for him to get fined repeatedly for life for being kicked out.