Many Patriarchs: Much Oppression – 1904

Robert St. Estephe–Gonzo Historian–is dedicated to uncovering the forgotten past of marginalizing men. “Gonzo journalism” is characterized as tending “to favor style over fact to achieve accuracy.” Yet history – especially “social history” – is written by ideologues who distort and bury facts in order to achieve an agenda. “Gonzo” writing is seen as unorthodox and surprising. Yet, in the 21st century subjectivity, distortion and outright lying in non-fiction writing is the norm. Fraud is the new orthodoxy. Consequently, integrity is the new “transgressive.”

Welcome to the disruptive world of facts, the world of Gonzo History.


Back in 1893 Colorado passed a law granting women full voting rights. The following year, three women were elected to the Colorado House of Representatives (Clara Cressingham, Carrie C. Holly, and Frances Klock). Did this new political development put an end to the fair sex’s unconscionable and constant suffering under the iron domination of the legendary force of patriarchy with its hordes of merciless phallus-bearing agents?

I’ll let you decide for yourself. For now, I offer but a hint: a small bit of anecdotal evidence to spur your own research on this burning social question. As you are well aware, the empowered independent women of today is to be seen constantly scratching her head, wondering out loud:  “Just what are men good for anyhow? Are they even necessary*?”

Ask any present-day career woman, be she electrician, math professor, construction worker, fighter pilot or trash collector and she’ll tell you how she stays up at night and – between the broadcasts of her favorite reality TV shows – in a state of profound pensiveness, mulls over this dark (and somewhat scary) mystery of the ages.

Sarah Prather was a resourceful woman. Despite the horrors of patriarchy she managed to learn to think for herself and figured out what, in her “way of woman’s knowing” the answer to what the ancient “gender” conundrum might be. Following is an account (partial one at least) that shed some light on this empowered woman’s still-inspiring early discoveries in the science of gender philosophy and gender practice.

Many other American women, the records indicate, conducted their lives in a manner producing similar results, yet this Colorado heroine was the one who turned instinctive art into an industrial science. Indeed, Sarah was not a woman to settle for untested theories, projections and speculations. Visionary that she was, this Colorado trail-blazer conducted her experiments repeatedly and thoroughly to make sure her science was founded on strong and verifiable principles – and that they really worked in everyday practice.


FULL TEXT: Pueblo, Col., Mar. 1. – The suit of Mrs. Sarah Prather against Frank Prather for absolute divorce was thrown out of court this morning when it was found that contrary to the laws she had married Prather only three months after obtaining a divorce from her previous husband.

Up to this time the suit had developed considerable warmth and interest. Mrs. Prather had secured her husband under false pretense. She had not told him that she had been married three times previously and that therefore he was only No. 4. the couple were made one Aug. 3, 1901. Husband no. 3, whose name was T. Crudgington had been dropped only three months earlier, unknown to Prather. What the dates of the previous marriages and divorces were he has not yet discovered.

~ Thrashed Husbands. ~

The story of the conjugal bliss previous to the filing of the suit is a sad one. Prather says that his wife was tyrannical and cruel. He is physically a small man and has never enjoyed good health. The wife is, on the other hand, big, handsome and strong. She has also two daughters of good physique. Singly and together he claims, that they would beat him. Sometimes they did it because he had no money to give them, at other times just for the mere pleasure of it. Two months ago they put him out of doors after midnight and he had to seek shelter to keep from freezing. He claims to have been always patient, to have never lost his temper, and after getting the worst possible thrashing he would only gently remonstrate. Last summer Mrs. Prather opened a restaurant. This was the beginning of the end.  She soon fell into the habit, says the husband, of bringing the male waiters home with her, right into the home he had himself bought, and to show them preference. In his own presence she made love to them.** when he remonstrated, and he always did so gently, she alleges, she would forcibly eject him.

~ Spent Night Elsewhere. ~

But one night when she returned after midnight with a man the long-suffering worm turned. Prather lost his temper and became violent. He insisted that she would have to give up the company of other men entirely. The wife, still accompanied by the waiter, thereupon left the house and spent the night elsewhere. The following morning she swore out a complaint against her husband for creating a row and had him brought before the police court, where he was fined because he would not expose his shame and defend himself.


* Review of: Maureen Dowd, Are Men Necessary?: When Sexes Collide, (2005, Berkeley Trade). EXCERPT: “Are Men Necessary? “Well, are they? A recently separated friend sniffed at the idea of a whole 600 words on the subject. ”Since the answer is ‘no,’ ” she said, ”I don’t quite see what you can do for the other 599.” In fact, if men are on earth solely to preserve the species, there is already enough DNA in sperm banks to last for ages. Advances in cryogenics and turkey basting have rendered human males largely superfluous.” [ Donald G. McNeil. Jr , “Are Men Necessary?” New York Times, Nov. 11, 2003]

** Note: The phase “make love,” at this time, referred to flirting and other verbally or physically affectionate behavior, to intercourse.

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