Quick divorce, easy money – It's not about "equality"

As regular readers of A Voice for Men know already, it was in the mid-1920s that “the scam hit the fan,” so to speak, with regard to what in that was universally known as “the alimony racket.” It was the era when the first formally established anti-alimony organizations came into being, headed by such proto-MHRAs as Dr. Vernon P.  Cooley and wife Bessie Cooley in Chicago (“Alimony Club of Illinois,” founded 1927) and Robert Gilbert Ecob (Alimony Payers Protective Association,” founded 1927). The battles to eliminate alimony racketeering — the predatory exploitation of the institution on the part of petitioners and lawyers, as opposed to legitimate, justified, alimony — still rage to this very day. We might be tempted, at this moment, to coin the phrase “90 years war” to describe these unabated long-term hostilities, however, such an idea would be impractical, as that numeral would necessarily have to be continuously updated, since war’s end is nowhere in sight).
Of particular interest to many readers will be the expression of sympathy in the following texts — by women, it will be noted — towards an attitude which today can be seen in the MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) movement, and which has been recently brought to the attention of the wider public in book form with Dr. Helen’s Smith’s book, Men On Strike.
Isn’t it amazing how facts (such as those documented here) can so quickly undermine the polemics we are so used to being bombarded with — polemics that employ vague abstract notions as “equality” and “patriarchy?” A fairly small dose of plain truth can lead us close to a genuine and relevant understanding of lived reality (as opposed to abstract ideology), and lead us on further to learn to spot just how much we have been lied to by our teachers and other purveyors of distorted, censored, “politically correct” history? Spotting the lies of “herstory” is one of the fundamental prerequisites to discovering the path away from feminist governance and the aggregated authoritarian institutions that prop that grotesque creature up and keep it supported, like a lifeless limestone gargoyle, high up on its pedestal.

FULL TEXT: Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri’s lone woman legislator has offered a bill for the “relief of alimony-ridden” men, or those in danger of being classed in that state.

Mrs. Gladys B. Stewart, Republican member from Douglas-co and a former assistant district attorney, has sponsored a measure which she believes will tend to curb “alimony grabbing tendencies” of some members of her sex.

If enacted, Mrs. Stewart’s bill would prohibit the granting of alimony unless the marriage had existed more than five years, unless children of the divorced couple are living, or unless the wife has become physically disabled since her marriage.
Under the present Missouri divorce laws, trial judges may allow alimony with few restrictions.
Mrs. Stewart believes her proposal would reduce the number of divorces and make wives think twice before rushing to an attorney to file divorce proceedings.
“I feel that something should be done to discourage divorces,” she said, “and I know of nothing which would tend to slow down marriage dissolutions so much as curtailment of alimony.
Opponents of the bill, however insist her proposal would have the opposite effect on freedom-seeking husbands. Men who have been married less than five years and have no children would take ad vantage of the law to sever marital bonds, knowing they would be free from paying alimony, according to male adversaries of the measure.
Many lawyer members of the legislature are outspoken in their attempts to defeat the bill.
Legislators believe the bill may have some chance to pass the house, but doubt that it will survive the lawyer-controlled senate.
Mrs. Stewart, holding no chivalrous ideas of male deference for any of her bills, thinks, however the men at least should be grateful that a woman member sponsored a bill “definitely drawn for the relief of men.”
“At least they can’t say that a women are interested in seeking alimony,” she said, “and I thin the men should be grateful that woman saw fit to sponsor such a bill.”
Mrs. Stewart, mother of one son, served as a special circuit judge and is the only woman Missouri to sit on the bench. She is the only woman member of the State Council.
[James E. Helbert, “Bill Designed To Protect Men In Missouri Causes Furor Lone Female Legislator Payment Banned Unless Couple Had Been Married Five Years,” syndicated (UP), The Lima News (Oh.), Mar. 18, 1937, p. 10]
[Photo source: “Woman Legislator,” Jefferson City Post-Tribune (Mo.), Jan. 8, 1937, p. 4]


FULL TEXT: Those weepers who like to say, “It’s the woman who pays!” every time the subject of marriage for women, careers for women or life for women comes up, forget one little item of our present way of living – alimony.
When two people who have honestly tried to make their marriage successful find at last that it is impossible to do so, and divorce seems their only way out, it is only just and logical that the husband make some provision for the maintenance and future of the wife and children, if any.
But what there is about marriage that justifies the divorced woman in her demands for alimony is yet to be proved – although the alimony racket is made more legal by the courts every day, in their awards.
*  *  *
A Missouri woman legislator has just put this question on the public records by filing a bill for the “relief of alimony-ridden” men, and those likely to become such. The plan formulated by Mrs. Gladys B. Stewart would prohibit the granting of alimony unless the marriage had existed more than five years, unless children of the divorced couple were living, or unless the wife had become physically disabled since her marriage.
The fact that the subject is going to be aired in legislative chambers is at least encouraging, for alimony has been showing all the earmarks of a big-time racket, and has helped to develop cynicism toward marriage beyond the point at which it makes for levelheadedness.
* * *
In the recent notorious Elaine Barrie-John Barrymore case, Miss Barrie filed suit for alimony amounting to more than $2000 a month, although she had remained married to Mr. Barrymore for scarcely more than two months. Even if those two months did seem like years, or whatever the reasoning was, that’s a high interest rate to ask! (The suit was later withdrawn, but is cited here because it was so well known and so sadly typical.)
Women who marry that they may divorce for money are high-class chiselers who have so far got off scot-free. It’s an old con game with streamline trimmings, and even if the men are dumb enough to fall for it, the women are still responsible for it as they who put over the idealistic and romanticized picture of womanhood which still makes a man believe that the little woman really does want a vine-covered cottage when she says, “Yes.”
It’s all too easy these days for a woman to reason along these lines when she is momentarily bored or angry, “Why should I go on putting up with this guy? A divorce, with alimony to take care of the money problem, and I can live my own life as I please.”
* * *
Far from being confined to the already married, this easy come, easy go attitude has become the philosophy of many about-to-be-marrieds. It results in a “Why not try being married, anyhow? There’s always the divorce court” principle. A marriage must survive upsets of every kind, and it is not going to if the “Off to Reno!” slogan winds up the first quarrel.
Men can hardly be blamed for shying away from the mere mention of marriage, when it has brought many of their pals nothing but the obligation to pay off a slice of alimony every months. Young people can’t be blamed for their skepticism toward the idea of marriage and a home, when they can see by the papers that a high percentage of marriages hardly outlast the second installment on the furniture.

As long as the home remains the working basis of our society – and no satisfactory substitute has yet been found – it surely deserves some workable protection from such ills as the alimony racket.

[Maxine Garrison, “Blame The Alimony Racket For Marriage Fear In Men – Too Many Girls Enter Matrimony With An Attitude Of “Quick Divorce, Easy Money’,” The Pittsburgh Press (Pa.), Apr. 8, 1937, p. 30]

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