Skip to main content

Women cannot serve two masters at once who are urgently beaming antithetical orders.... Either we believe in patriarchy the rule of men over women -- or we believe in equality. Sonia Johnson

Elaine Charkowski talked with me about how conservative values have failed. She says, Conservative Family Values is  about  patriarchy and fear of authority. It’s about not using your own mind and woman are to be subservient to the man. The type of power used is random punishment and reward, which studies show is the best way to drive animals crazy.

Failed Conservative Values: Elaine Charkowski on Patriarchy Family Values

My name is Elaine Charkowski.  I’m a feminist and an environmentalist, because I believe that both go hand-in-hand.

An issue that goes beneath politics are universal human rights.  Sure, family values, but they don’t go deeper.  

When you say family values, you picture a Walt Disney nice little family.  Everybody is happy with the kids and the dog.  But they are talking patriarchal family values, with the male leader of the household who gets to set the tone, and the wife and the kids just have to play along and listen.

So those are the kind of family values they’re talking about, and that’s why they just hate feminists, because feminists say women have a right to live their own life as they see fit – which is opposed to their definition of family values.

Like, for instance, women are coerced by society to bear children, like, to give honor to the guy, which is an old-fashioned macho value.  Like the man who depends on how many children you have.  And you see where this has gotten us today.  When I was born there were two billion people.  Now there is more than 6-1/2 billion people.

I was raised as a Roman Catholic, and since then I have rejected it, because it is all about fear of authority, God’s punishment.  I found a book by Erich Fromm called To Be Or To Have, and he says that there never was any separation of church and state – it’s all about fear or punishment from the state or from God.  Either you go to jail or you go to hell.  

It’s about guilt.  It’s about not using your own mind.  It’s blind faith.  You have a blind faith in God.  We have blind faith in the fearless and the all perfect leader.  And you’re supposed to just shut up and obey.

And also, the God that most conservatives believe in is a punishing God and a rewarding God.  See, we have random punishment and reward, which is the worst way to drive animals crazy when they experiment on the animals, because it is a random punishment.  And so God is either a god or a demon, whatever he chooses to be.

I was in an abusive marriage the first time, and there wasn’t enough of money, and this guy tried to push me around and run my whole life and was jealous.  And so I was basically a non-autonomous human being, because he was stronger than me.  And we had a lot of physical fights.  And so I left him, and I realized how I was under control.

"In our patriarchal world, we are all taught -- whether we like to think we are or not -- that God, being male, values maleness much more than he values femaleness . . . that in order to propitiate God, women must propitiate men."  Sonia Johnson

Definition of Patriarchy - A social system in which the father is the head of the family and men have authority over women and children. - A family, community, or society based on this system or governed by men.

Patriarchy at Wikipedia
Patriarchy is the structuring of society on the basis of family units, where fathers have primary responsibility for the welfare of, hence authority over, their families. The concept of patriarchy is often used, by extension (in anthropology and feminism, for example), to refer to the expectation that men take primary responsibility for the welfare of the community as a whole, acting as representatives via public office.

Some Questions for Discussion:
What is the Progressive alternative to Conservative Family Values?
What is the Progressive alternative to Patriarchy?

Failed Conservative Values
Assist us  in systematically building the arguments and telling the stories that reveal how Conservative Values have Failed. Join in our effort to create a documentary and book on the subject by contributing  articles, posts, chapters for the book and video clips. Check our website for more information and a growing outline of tasks that need to be done on this project.  

More Progressive Values Stories:

Edwin Rutsch
What Are Progressive Values? Documentary Project  
and Study Group

Cross Posted To:

Originally posted to WhatAre Progressive Values on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:53 AM PDT.


What is the Progressive alternative to Conservative Family values?

2%1 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
5%2 votes
2%1 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
5%2 votes
75%27 votes
8%3 votes
0%0 votes

| 36 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  What is the Progressive alternative (4+ / 0-)

    to Conservative Family Values?

    For that matter, what are Conservative Family Values all about? The term is never defined as a set of values, (caring, love, openness, etc) but as a set of issues and policies, (anti abortion, anti gay, etc.). What are the other values that comprise Conservative Family Values? Elaine says, authoritarianism, fear, and patriarchy. What other  values comprise this term?  

    Edwin Rutsch What Are Progressive Values? Documentary Project and Study Group

    by WhatAre Progressive Values on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:00:25 AM PDT

    •  The root of Progressive Values (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is, imo, empathy.  The open attempt to understand the position and emotions of another human being is what drives the rest of our values as well as our policy positions.

      Conservative values, on the other hand, appear to be rooted in the idea of self-centeredness and isolation.

      "There is nothing that is wrong with America that cannot be fixed by what is right with America" -- vintage Bill Clinton (ca. 1992)

      by Schopenhauer Telescope on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:09:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I see the empathy as well. (0+ / 0-)

        but am not sure what the conservatives are rooted in.

        The guy in the other post (high bitrate)  seems to be rooted in name calling, demeaning, - all part of a valuing of a hierarchical view of life. Maybe it starts with fear? That's what the self-centeredness and isolation you mention grow out of.

        His 'academics' critique seems to point to the anti science and reason part of it.

        Those all seem to be Failed Conservative Values: fear, self-centeredness, isolation, demeaning, hierarchy, anti-reason (irrationality)

        Edwin Rutsch What Are Progressive Values? Documentary Project and Study Group

        by WhatAre Progressive Values on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:28:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I might add (0+ / 0-)

          conservatives talk about how they are 'values voters' all the time, but now we are talking about values and suddenly it's 'academics'.

          There seems to be a core of hypocrisy in conservativism as well. Like all the conservative politicians talking about family values and chasing after pages or in the men's bathrooms looking for sex.  I think we can add hypocrisy to the list of Failed Conservative Values.

          Edwin Rutsch What Are Progressive Values? Documentary Project and Study Group

          by WhatAre Progressive Values on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:33:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, my stance is rooted in not caring.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Belvedere Come Here Boy

          ...about the whimpery lives of the bitter who genuinely have nothing to say.

          My daughters are going to be able to live any way they want, unconstrained by the vague disquiet of incompetent academics rooted in 60s feminist nonsense.

          If they want husbands, great.  If they don't want husbands, great.  If they want girlfriends, great.  If they want wives, great.

          They're more than free to choose whether they're going to have kids or not as well.

          The world is theirs - I make no expectation on how they choose to order their lives.

          As a consequence, they're not conflicted, angry or in some pathetic state calling for permanent war (or whatever it is that you people do).

  •  More incomprehensible whining (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Belvedere Come Here Boy

    Do we really care what these old "deep feeling" academics have to say?  

    They really need to retire with their cats.

    •  and your gender might be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Titusville I right?

      Peace thru hemp / hemp for life!

      by Boudicia Dark on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:53:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  and let's add unbalanced assertion too (0+ / 0-)

      I was raised as a Roman Catholic, and since then I have rejected it, because it is all about fear of authority, God’s punishment.  

      Um, no, in your reading it is. The Catholic Workers such as Dorothy Day and Father Michael Pfleger would have something different to say.

      Oh, but you're right because it's all about you.  Why do I feel like Catholic charities have fed and cared for more people than Women Studies profs?

      Atheism: the religion devoted to the worship of one's own smug sense of superiority. --Stephen Colbert

      by Belvedere Come Here Boy on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:20:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Humand beings, not divided groups (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Schopenhauer Telescope

    "People who think with their epidermis or their genitalia or their clan are the problem to begin with. One does not banish this specter by invoking it."

    Christopher Hitchens

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site