Men Have Become “Chattels” Of Women – The Men’s Review (1948 Article)

We continue the series of Men’s Review excerpts below, with the author discussing how men have become a servant class or mere “chattels” of women. – PW

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by Avertir


In 1935 the Bishop of Salisbury was reported as saying 16,000 women obtain Separation Orders a year. In the same year, 50,000 Orders were in operation. In that same year 6,000 Committal Orders were made for non-payment in respect of wives and illegitimate children. In one year alone 4,000 husbands were imprisoned for disobedience of the Order of the Court.

With time and the war condition, the number of men ordered to make payments for the whole length of their lives to women (many able-bodied), has increased to the proportions of a large army. Particularly bad and unjust is the case where the man has children to rear, and is compelled to make payments for life to a stepmother who had not an elementary knowledge of hygiene.

The abolition of these life pensions is long overdue. It is both degrading to the woman and the man. It is an anti-incentive to work for the man, and an anti-incentive to work for the woman. It is gross immorality that a being should be subject to a weekly charge for the duration of life, and further it is immoral that a woman can make this demand upon a fellow creature for the absolute length of life, a condition of parasitism.

The matrimonial position to-day is that the man is now the chattel of the woman. Either he obeys her or she is able to bring ruin upon him. The wage economics of to-day are not founded on the keeping of two homes. Wage equality with men, plus a real or potential “maintenance” payment, is the equality of a perverse mind.

By what process of logic is it right for a widow to receive child allowance and not the widower (man)? Is not his need as great, or even greater than hers? Even a widower’s children need care. While the national Press has given much of its space over the last six years to the hard lot of the mothers who have to work, shop, and do housework, I have not yet read of men that have done all these duties, AND paid a Court Order.  That is one burden no woman has borne.


It cannot be emphasised sufficiently that men have to awaken from their totally false notions of social strength, and realise that their liberties have gradually and surreptitiously leaked away, and that they stand to-day in an alarmingly handicapped and bonded position.

It is pointed out that their social and economic power has passed in a great measure to women; their voting and numerical strength is greater and could be decisive where interests are opposed. They are a force of cheap labour jeopardising the standards of the male. By sometimes virtue, sometimes by vice, private wealth is passing to their control by Wills. Their power ranges from the cradle to the shadow behand the personal decisions of public leaders, and last but not least women have captured practically intact the secretarial sphere — the communicating gateway through which all letters must pass to reach those that control, whose actions can make or mar their fellow creatures’ lives. The possibilities with which this situation is pregnant requires but little imagination.

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