Gilder: A Move Toward Barbarism

“The ancient tradition against the use of women in combat embodies the deepest wisdom of the human race. It expresses the most basic imperatives of group survival: a nation or tribe that allows the loss of large numbers of its young women runs the risk of becoming permanently depopulated. The youthful years of women, far more than of men, are precious and irreplaceable.

Beyond this general imperative is the related need of every society to assure that male physical strength and aggressiveness are not directed against women. All societies teach their men to avoid physically fighting with women, and, most often, to avoid competing face to face with them. All civilized societies train their men to protect and defend women. When these restraints break down Рas in tribes like those studied by Colin Turnbull and the Mundugumor, described by Margaret Mead Рthe group tends to disintegrate completely and even to become extinct.

The military services, however, are unanimous in asserting that the successful use of women in battlefield units depends on men overcoming their natural impulses to treat women differently and more considerately. The consequence of this latest demand for equality would be nothing more or less than a move toward barbarism.”

– George Gilder, Men and Marriage (p. 136)



    1. It’s very good. I think it should be read in concert with Doug Wilson’s Father Hunger, though. Wilson’s approach is far more biblically-minded – he provides the conclusive corner piece that Gilder’s more secular-minded jigsaw is missing.


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