the masculine nature of justice

June 12, 2015 § Leave a comment

I was thinking the other day about how law and the justice it makes possible might actually be a reflection of an intrinsically masculine orientation to the world. Men prefer overt communication over the covert, linearity over vacillation, certainty over uncertainty and so on.

Men are expected to say what they mean and the degree to which the bonds of trust can be fostered between men really depends on this expectation probably above almost all others. How can a soldier follow the orders of an officer who can’t be expected to say what he means? How do officers and soldiers alike trust the authority of a general who refuses to accept responsibility for the consequences of his own leadership?

All of this makes law possible. Clarity of thought and speech, saying what we mean, and accepting the responsibility for what we say and do is the necessary foundation of any possible legal system. The value of this overtness is that it removes the possibility of the mystified, the arbitrary, and the uncertain. It confronts us directly with expectations of lawful behavior which are spelled out in no uncertain terms and it confers direct and unambiguous responsibility on those who act to uphold it. Its power and utility is in its overt clarity, its rigorous adherence to what is explicitly stated. Arbitrary justice is not by definition justice.

Do women routinely display any of these characteristics? They are guilty of their opposites. The feminine itself seems to be defined by their opposites. Women are notorious for the opaque quality of their intentions, the covert nature of their communication where they can never be expected to mean what they say and nobody can tell if they even realize that they don’t mean what they’re saying. It’s forever your job to know what she wants and expects when she doesn’t even seem to know.

With women, every possible answer can easily be the wrong answer if she decides it on a whim, if her almighty feelings dictate it, and she will always have plausible deniability because, as the passive party in virtually every social transaction she will expect you to be the one who acts and thus it’s you who bear any and all responsibility.

Every common attribute of women’s behavior and apparent orientation to the world is the opposite of what is required for justice and the rule of law and neatly in line with everything that can be said of tyranny, of the arbitrary and irrational use of coercive power. It’s the dictatorship of women’s incoherent, irrational, and vacillating feelings.

Law doesn’t seek to mystify, obscure, and create drama and problems; it attempts to demystify and solve the problem of an unordered social and moral landscape and the degree to which it can successfully do this is the degree to which a civil society is possible. I’m seriously starting to wonder if women who behave and think this way are even capable of the responsibility of moral agency in a civil society. What becomes of us if we try to structure our legal system on this bullshit?  What kind of society results?  It certainly couldn’t be expected to be a civil one.

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