Feminist Bird · Traditionalist Bird

On Envy Inciters

On of my criticisms of modern women and this is especially true of the “red pill women” is they seem programmed with a need to incite envy in other women. Liberal feminists and conservative traditionalists are both guilty offenders.

In doing some research on envy, especially how its been viewed throughout history, it didn’t take long to find something that helps explain why modern women are programmed the way they are today. From the book, An Emotional History of the United States, an essay by Susan J. Matt is included and provides the following:

“In 1913, economist Simon Patten also encouraged women to get what they envied, arguing that women who dressed above their station displayed virtue, not vice. He rejected the common belief that well-dressed women of moderate means were immoral and sexually promiscuous, claiming, “It is no evidence of loose morality when a stenographer, earning eight or ten dollars a week, appears dressed in clothing that takes nearly all of her earnings to buy. It is a sign of her growing moral development.” Dressing “up” could help woman advance; it was now a canny and practical way of bettering her position.

Advertisement went further and encouraged women to make themselves enviable. “the Envied Girl—Are you one? Or are you still seeking the secret of charm? asked Palmolive. Another ad queried, “Do Other Women Envy You?” Or do you envy them? The women who gets what she wants out of life –the woman other women envy and copy–never depends on youth alone, or a preety face, or brains.” Such a woman had “charm”, “poise” and used Houbigant Perfume. There was no trace of the old fear that inciting envy might lead others to moral or financial ruin. After World War 1, if a woman was envied, she was successful.”

Essentially, the consumerism rush pushed women into competition with each other. It awakened sinful desires that were already there but had previously been kept down by strict social mores. Now, with the moral restraints gone, women are encouraged to “make themselves enviable”. The goal now is to be the woman other woman are envious of–this is the “brave new world” virtue for women. Whether or not you can make women envious determines your success and worth as a woman. Being envious is not a virtue, but being an envy inciter is a virtue.

So, women will brag and boast about their house, clothing, cars, jewelry, gifts, expensive face creams, land, husbands/boyfriends, family, amazing sex lives/skills, cooking/homemaking skills, children, careers or just being “blessed” in general. They facebook, tweet, and blog it—never satisfied until every corner of the world knows how perfect, beautiful, and bountiful their lives are. Why? Because this is how success is determined. If the world doesn’t know about their beautiful life it doesn’t really exist and didn’t really happen. Having and showing off the best of everything is evidence of “growing moral development”. Those who refrain from boasting, bragging, or even just displaying clearly must not have any joy, beauty or material value in their life and therefore are not successful. They are morally inferior and of lower rank to an envy inciter. The envy inciter thinks if the woman had all these things, surely she would want to wear her badge loud and proud and prove her success to other women.

“Until World War 1, moralists denied that women had or should have desires. In doing so, they upheld women’s exclusion from the liberal capitalist marketplace. Market activity required individuals to be competitive, ambitious, acquisitive, and indeed envious. In contrast, women were perceived to be naturally religious, self-sacrificing, without desire or envy, and therefore contented. Accordingly, they had no impetus for the restless, struggling behavior endemic to capitalism. By 1930, social commentators, merchants, advertisers, and women themselves had redefined the boundaries of acceptable female behavior. The new behavioral model affirmed women’s rights to consume, to handle money (if not to earn it), and to pursue the objects they desired.”

In hand with a woman’s right to consume is the new woman’s right to incite envy and this is now acceptable female behavior. Some probably see it as a positive thing–that by making other women envious it inspires her to be better and do better. To go out and get what you want, to “one-up” the next girl, however; this of course can have negative consequences. In the consumerist drive to have what the next women has, they do whatever they must to get what they want, morals take a back seat, and a slipperly slope can ensue. If the culture promotes a “get what you envy” spirit then its going to support women doing whatever they have to do to get what they want. If it means go into debt to get the material life Suzy homemaker down the street has, do it! If it means divorcing your beta schlub to get the alpha stud Suzy homemaker down the street has, do it! Afterall, your “moral development” depends on it!

Of course the envy inciters would defend themselves by saying, “It not my fault they are envious, I can’t control their feelings” and thereby absolve themselves of any responsibility. They play coy and shift the burden. Prior to World War 1 there was an understanding in society that we all had a more collective responsibility in moral matters and in preventing stumbling blocks. This should still hold true for Christians, but since most Christians are really churchians and consumed with consumerism it makes sense that the inciting envy drive would be second nature. A churchian with a consumerism mindset is by default going to incite envy, they most likely do this subconsciously, but they are doing it nonetheless. There is no longer the fear that we might cause someone to stumble by bragging and boasting about their beautiful, blessed life.

I will close with asking a questions with an obvious answer–should Christians incite envy? I am betting there are some segments that are going to rationalize how envy inciters can be beneficial and I am eager to hear from them.

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