Sunday, February 26, 2023

Empowered to be alone?

Chrissie Swan is a 49-year-old Australian TV and radio presenter. Last year she confirmed that she had separated from her partner of 15 years, with whom she has three children. They still live amicably under the same roof.

She recently discussed the reason for the separation. It piqued my interest because it resembles what other middle-aged women have told me about why they left their husbands/partners. saying goodbye to this chapter, she regained herself. When Chrissie was 45-year-old, she noticed – like many other women – she took care of everyone's needs before her own. Four years later, she is happier than ever and is embracing her best single life.

"I was 45 and I thought, I'm not having much fun. To be honest, I was doing exactly what most women do and I was putting everyone first," she told 7News.

Despite the pressure for women to find 'the one' in their 20s and 30s, Chrissie feels that she has rather gained a better appreciation for life and everything on offer. "I think society tells us that we don't need to be by ourselves as women," she said. "We are the mothers, the friends and the wives... we're supposed to get our life blood from being of service to people, and that wasn't true for me at all."
What Chrissie Swan is describing, in talking about service to others, is the altruistic love that was once thought to characterise the feminine personality. For instance, in 1958 Marie Robinson wrote that,
Related to this feeling in her, to her sense of security, seeming almost to spring from it, indeed, is a profound delight in giving to those she loves. Psychiatrists, who consider this characteristic the hallmark, the sine qua non, of the truly feminine character, have a name for it: they call it “essential feminine altruism.” The finest flower of this altruism blossoms in her joy in giving the very best of herself to her husband and to her children. She never resents this need in herself to give; she never interprets its manifestations as a burden to her, an imposition on her.
So here is the unusual thing. Chrissie Swan is rejecting altruistic love, even though it is how past generations of women expressed a core aspect of themselves, and even though she was not making that many sacrifices in terms of her own individual ambitions and lifestyle. After all, she was pursuing a busy, high status, successful and well paid career during this time, and she had the wealth to outsource much of the domestic work. 

In other words, her service to her family did not prevent her from pursuing other aims in life; nor need it have been burdensome in terms of workload. So why then choose to go solo?

A possible reason is that the world picture that women like Chrissie Swan receive from the culture includes the idea that the aim of life for women is empowerment. This is defined as having the power to freely do whatever you have a mind to do without negative consequence or judgement. As evidence that this mindset has influenced Chrissie Swan there is the following social media post:

She is justifying her decision to leave her partner on the basis that "I am the Captain of my own life. And I can do whatever I like". She is asserting here her "empowerment" as an individual and her commitment to solo development.

What this is leading to is a phenomenon in which some middle-class Western women are now seeing the family stage of life as a temporary aberration. They have a single girl period in their teens and twenties, then find a decent family-oriented guy to have children with in their 30s to mid-40s, before reasserting a full commitment to the empowerment model in later middle-age.

Chrissie Swan

The empowerment model is incompatible with marriage and family life. It is sold to women as representing the good of their sex, but this is highly questionable. Here is how Chrissie Swan describes her new lifestyle:
I have been spending a fair bit of time utterly alone...It’s a weird kind of exhilaration and joy from knowing all I need is myself....Last Friday I even went apple picking alone - and I highly recommend it. I’ve spent some time in my vege patch (I have no idea what I’m doing). I’ve also been buying myself flowers and taking myself out on walking dates, coffee dates, lunch dates and to the movies. Best company ever!
Yes, having quiet time to decompress is important for people with high pressure working lives. I cannot believe, though, that she could not have negotiated this with her partner. And I simply do not accept the idea that a woman buying herself flowers and taking herself out on dates is the higher good for the female sex. It is, rather, a deprivation of one of the higher goods in life, namely spousal union.

There is a conflict in our culture between the goods of empowerment and spousal union. The good of empowerment I think is not only a lower good, but mostly a false one. To date yourself and then later to spend old age alone does not fit the design for human life, at least not for the ordinary person. It takes a great deal of energy for someone to convince themselves otherwise and to make their peace with it.

The good of spousal union, like all higher goods, is not easily achieved. It does not just happen naturally, but requires an uncommon level of commitment for a couple to work their way through difficult times. It also has a logic of its own. For instance, it makes sense for those oriented to spousal union to try to maintain a sexual polarity, so that we bring something to the union that we cannot provide ourselves - hence, no pride in being entirely self-sufficient. In the past, marital unions were conceived in terms of spouses gifting something to each other, which is difficult to do if there is a complete flattening of distinctions between men and women. 

It is also the case that a spousal union asks of us that we be worthy of being joined together with our spouse. We are challenged to show a better aspect of who we are. The emphasis is not just on feeling, or for that matter, on receiving. There is instead a challenge of being - of what we are called to be in relationship with our spouse.


  1. I think this is one of your most insightful comments: "marital unions were conceived in terms of spouses gifting something to each other, which is difficult to do if there is a complete flattening of distinctions between men and women.”

    People have observed many different ways in which the equalitarian project is, to put it briefly, bad, but I think or realize based on that observation that its depriving aspects have been underappreciated. The complementarity that, while not necessarily essential to interdependence is at least highly beneficial to it, cannot be achieved in an equalitarian vision. To achieve interdependence without that conjures up images of ants and other eusocial insects, which is, I would suspect, not how human life is meant to be. At any rate dependence is anathema to liberalism and empowerment.

  2. women follow the tribe, as they cannot survive outside of it, and this is what the tribe demands today. No need to complicate things as internally within women it’s not complicated whatsoever. You may not realize the connection, but this is just another form of how it’s always women harranguing people about masks and other liberal dogmas.

    1. Anon, I do partly agree with this. There is a stronger tendency amongst women to follow the tribe, and it does seem likely that this reflects what women once needed to do as a survival strategy. However, I think you overstate the case when you say it is always women who harangue others - there are liberal men who act this way as well. There were also some women who stood up to the mandates and who thought more independently. It's not entirely black and white. Nor is the solution simply to escape what is (rather strangely) being called the "longhouse". It was, after all, men who led the way in promoting the various liberal ideologies that have brought us to where we are today. We men need to sort all this out - to clarify the errors of liberal modernity and to return to the better philosophy embedded within our tradition.

    2. I will split this up into parts because it is long. Part 1:
      I would say those liberal men have taken or want to take a female place in the tribe. Usually this is predatory behavior to signal to the weak women he is “one of them” so when he rapes/abuses her she can go “well he’s one of ‘the good guys!”

      For example, I can’t tell you how many liberal women on social media desperately claim Christians, Faithful Husbands, and Pro-Lifers as “rapists.” No particular reason, just calling them that. The contradiction that the “abortion”-loving, “polyamorous,” liberal guy at her nonspecific tech job is the guy who is actually going to rape her and use “abortion” to cover it up, does not compute with them; they almost short circuit when you point that out.

      Therefore these women have no “friends” by which they can choose over enemies, as everyone they ally with either hurts them or wants them dead, but seeing them as little more than tribal creatures makes everything clear!

    3. Part 2:
      As for “longhouse,” I cannot trust any term invented by bronze age pervert: the same guy who spends years blaspheming and admitting he groomed teen boys he meets at his romanian gym for sodomy. Of course the guy goes online, attacks Marriage and women in general, then demands young boys go to the gym and be “conquerors” all while posting suggestive, naked pictures of muscle-men. It’s not hard to see what’s going on there. “dissident right” guys like auron macintyre get absolutely furious when I point out support of bronze age pervert and andrew tate means they are perfectly fine with both grooming children and pedophilia, just as long as it is clothed in the proper greco-roman “aesthetic.”

      And in the final point, it really is just tribal dynamics, because that does not require thought and therefore it is compatible with liberalism. Anything that requires thought is not allowed in liberalism.

      To bring up mr macintyre again, he is responsible for making Carl Schmidt popular again; especially with the quote about politics as “friend/enemy.”

      All one has to do to disprove that is look at how liberals attack each other more than anyone else, and like all evils will hurt themselves ten times before they even think of striking a Good man. Therefore liberals do not have friends, plus “friend” and “enemy” both are spiritual concepts that requires an immense amount of thought to realize. they also would not be so easily to trick into hurting their own side of their actions were not a boolean determination by convenience.

      Everything does make sense when you just see everything in terms of “are they in the tribe, or outside?” You think above your subject of study to outsmart them, but to understand them you must think at exactly their level.

  3. She is an ugly woman. Fat and doesn't look like she has any self control or standards in most things outside of covering herself with makeup and overly expensive garments. The fact this person has a "following" or had a temporary partner is beyond me. That's the other thing. This person and many like her have partners. No permanence behind it. More like the same thing as in the 20s, just kinda dating until something "better" comes up. Nothing lasting but whatever makes her feel good at that moment and she is popular no matter what she does. Says something wrong about her and anglo austrailian society in general especially given the new teal party.

  4. Very good essay. I found this especially insightful: " it makes sense for those oriented to spousal union to try to maintain a sexual polarity, so that we bring something to the union that we cannot provide ourselves ".

  5. She talks about being empowered and going on her own, but she sure tells a lot of people about it. This is definitely a pattern with women who do this.

    And it sure isn't that way with men. With men, if they're going it alone you don't know unless you try to find out. The whole point of 'going alone' to a man would be to keep the knowledge of it pretty damn low key.

    Which tells me there's more to this activity than meets the eye.

    If a man wrote a book in the Eat, Love, Pray style, no one would give a damn. Yet its celebrated and lauded with women. We have a words for a 'deadbeat dad'. Do we have terms for a 'deadbeat' mother? We used to.

    Alot of this female empowerment looks like a negation of something, a moving away from something, rather than a positive affirmation. Are the women just getting away from their husbands because they resent them, or use them as a scapegoat, or something else??

    1. As I said above, it’s a tribal thing for women.

      As to who controls the tribe: demons.

      You can put two and two together.

    2. “If a man wrote a book in the Eat, Love, Pray style, no one would give a damn.”

      On the contrary, he would be quite properly reviled as a selfish pig who abandoned his wife and kids.

      I never understood why the protagonist of Dr Zhivago got a pass for adultery and abandoning his family just because he was a poet.

  6. There is an unspoken aspect to the story of these over forty females regressing to the “radical autonomy” of their younger years and it is the loss of sexual attraction that their husbands once had for them. This largely-hidden regression to a younger manifestation of the female “self” is a defensive mechanism to a large degree imho.

    My bet is that she really desires to feel sexy again and her husband just can’t muster up the enthusiasm in convincing fashion anymore.

    1. Maybe, interesting thought. The other possibility in this particular case is that now that she is so famous and wealthy that her blue collar husband doesn't satisfy her hypergamous instincts. In support of either position, she has made a big effort to lose weight - she clearly wants to present more attractively. However, I do think it important to focus as well on the mental framework she has in place when discussing these things. She justifies what she is doing in reference to the importance of solo development and being the captain of her own life etc. She sees these things as liberating, whereas doing things on behalf of family was "losing herself". The "values framework" is the familiar liberal modernist one, even if there are other unexpressed motivations.

    2. I don’t think it has anything to do with being attractive, as that isn’t a problem for other women. Also apparently this woman was never particularly attractive to begin with.

      As I keep pointing out, it’s her just following orders from her masters. While I phrase this as a tribal thing (because that’s how the women themselves see it and process the direct orders from the media) it is (like everything) really a matter of religion.

      this is what her satanic religion requires of her as an act of devotion, which was not required years earlier; was it required years earlier she would have followed it then instead of now. All satanic covens operate on a tiered system, and they follow these orders not all at once but only when their tier/caste’s turn comes up. Which is why women are so particularly affected by this, because the way this satanic religion operates dovetails so perfectly with the innate tribalism of women (this is by design as women are the intended victims to stop Childbirth and Childrearing).

  7. In that black gown she looks exactly like what she has become: A witch. A witch massively empowered not by her own merit, but by her society and culture.

    1. the “power” is not real though. do you think she is “powerful” having destroyed herself?

  8. Many modern women have convinced themselves that marriage is a bad deal for women because they do everything and the man does nothing. This is partly the product of the tendency to exaggerate the importance and difficulty of everything the woman does, and to minimize the importance and difficulty of everything the man does (or more often, not even notice what he does). The natural end result of this view is to abandon the marriage after she has kids as having no further benefit to her. Any damage to the kids is rationalized away.