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Sunday, May 20, 2018

What Jordan Peterson means by Enforced Monogamy

On Friday, the New York Times did a hit job on Jordan Peterson (Jordan Peterson, Custodian of the Patriarchy - The New York Times).

In particular, there was one bit referencing Alek Minassian (the Toronto van killer):

Recently, a young man named Alek Minassian drove through Toronto trying to kill people with his van. Ten were killed, and he has been charged with first-degree murder for their deaths, and with attempted murder for 16 people who were injured. Mr. Minassian declared himself to be part of a misogynist group whose members call themselves incels. The term is short for “involuntary celibates,” though the group has evolved into a male supremacist movement made up of people — some celibate, some not — who believe that women should be treated as sexual objects with few rights. Some believe in forced “sexual redistribution,” in which a governing body would intervene in women’s lives to force them into sexual relationships.

Violent attacks are what happens when men do not have partners, Mr. Peterson says, and society needs to work to make sure those men are married.

“He was angry at God because women were rejecting him,” Mr. Peterson says of the Toronto killer. “The cure for that is enforced monogamy. That’s actually why monogamy emerges.”

Mr. Peterson does not pause when he says this. Enforced monogamy is, to him, simply a rational solution. Otherwise women will all only go for the most high-status men, he explains, and that couldn’t make either gender happy in the end.

“Half the men fail,” he says, meaning that they don’t procreate. “And no one cares about the men who fail.”

I laugh, because it is absurd.

“You’re laughing about them,” he says, giving me a disappointed look. “That’s because you’re female.”

But aside from interventions that would redistribute sex, Mr. Peterson is staunchly against what he calls “equality of outcomes,” or efforts to equalize society. He usually calls them pathological or evil.

He agrees that this is inconsistent. But preventing hordes of single men from violence, he believes, is necessary for the stability of society. Enforced monogamy helps neutralize that.

In situations where there is too much mate choice, “a small percentage of the guys have hyper-access to women, and so they don’t form relationships with women,” he said. “And the women hate that.”


For some reason, someone who was on my Facebook understood "enforced monogamy" to mean women and their bodies being the property of men (sadly from a cursory look at the New York Times comments, many readers have this or a similar misunderstanding too).

With a bit of reading, one can see that Peterson supports marriage and monogamy, is against casual sex and articulates the benefits of a mutually supportive relationship, which suggests that he doesn't believe women exist to be male property (unless one views marriage as an inherently oppressive and exploitative institution, but that's on a whole new level altogether).

Even if one is not convinced by what he has said on other occasions about sex and relationships, if one is not a feminist, one would look to see how the term "enforced monogamy" is used by others to ascertain what the common understanding of this term is.

3 examples of how the term is used, then, in context:

"Enforced monogamy has been common in Western society for a few thousand years... many people practice monogamy today... The further back you trace mating and marriage practices, the less common enforced monogamy appears to be" --- The Sex Effect: Baring Our Complicated Relationship with Sex / Ross Benes

"If one considers the social function of legally enforced monogamy, one can see that the animus toward polygamy that continues to dominate contemporary life performs a useful function. Actually, it performs three functions, as a team of cultural anthropologists headed by Joseph Henrich has persuasively argued. First, Henrich et al. contend that “by suppressing intrasexual competition and reducing the pool of unmarried men, normative monogamy reduces crime rates, including rape, murder, assault, robbery and fraud, as well as decreasing personal abuses.” Second, “[b]y decreasing the competition for younger brides, normative monogamy decreases the spousal age gap, fertility, and gender inequality.” And third, “[b]y increasing relatedness within households, normative monogamy reduces intra-household conflict, leading to lower rates of child neglect, abuse, accident, and homicide." --- Privacy and the American Constitution: New Rights Through Interpretation of an Old Text / William C. Heffernan

"In some societies where there is legally enforced monogamy a woman brings with her a dowry when she marries" --- Sex, Sin and Science: What Evolution Says about Religion and Desire / C. Roland Cook

It is crystal clear that in none of these cases where "enforced monogamy" is used in a human context does it mean that women and/or their bodies are the property of men.

(curiously, I got blocked on Facebook for articulating the above, but that's how things go with liberals)


For more on the disgraceful article:

'The New York Times' Runs A Comprehensive Hit Piece On Jordan Peterson. It's Dishonest, Malicious Crap.

"The piece is a disaster area. But it’s likely to become the point-to-it-see-I-told-you-so profile for people on the Left seeking to dismiss Peterson out of hand. Which, of course, was the point, no matter how much dishonesty it took to achieve it."

Addendum:

Peterson's response:

Jordan Peterson | On the New York Times and “Enforced Monogamy”

"My critics’ abject ignorance of the relevant literature does not equate to evidence of my totalitarian or misogynist leanings. I might also add: anyone serious about decreasing violence against women (or violence in general) might think twice about dismissing the utility of monogamy (and social support for the monogamous tendency) as a means to attain that end.

Simply put: monogamous pair bonding makes men less violent. Here are some examples of the well-developed body of basic evolutionary-biological/psychological/anthropological evidence (and theory) supporting that claim.

The Competition–Violence Hypothesis: Sex, Marriage, and Male Aggression: Justice Quarterly: Vol 34, No 4

“men who transition to a monogamous, or less competitive, mode of sexual behavior (fewer partners since last wave), reduce their risk for violence. The same results were not replicated for females. Further, results were not accounted for by marital status or other more readily accepted explanations of violence. Findings suggest that competition for sex be further examined as a potential cause of male violence.”...

Men get frustrated when they are not competitive in the sexual marketplace (note: the fact that they DO get frustrated does not mean that they SHOULD get frustrated. Pointing out the existence of something is not the same as justifying its existence). Frustrated men tend to become dangerous, particularly if they are young. The dangerousness of frustrated young men (even if that frustration stems from their own incompetence) has to be regulated socially. The manifold social conventions tilting most societies toward monogamy constitute such regulation.

That’s all.

No recommendation of police-state assignation of woman to man (or, for that matter, man to woman).

No arbitrary dealing out of damsels to incels.

Nothing scandalous (all innuendo and suggestive editing to the contrary)

Just the plain, bare, common-sense facts: socially-enforced monogamous conventions decrease male violence. In addition (and not trivially) they also help provide mothers with comparatively reliable male partners, and increase the probability that stable, father-intact homes will exist for children."
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