My answer is of course “certainly not”, but my comments to this effect in response to a post on The Thinking Housewife website produced a quick response there, as was pointed out to me in the comments to my post.
In a new post, Jesse Powell writes about the kind of society that he would like to see.
Speaking as an atheist myself, feminism and the secondary and related issue of the acceptance of homosexuality are terrible things that do indeed make it seem sometimes that the world is “closing in on us” or that the world is falling apart, that the social order is collapsing; however you want to put it.
[P]atriarchy combined with chivalry is the natural order of how a society should be organized. Rebellion against this natural order can only lead to disaster as is manifestly obvious when looking at the results of the current experiment against the natural order that is currently under way in America and in the Western World in general.
The site host Laura Wood adds, “Some people are unable to cope with reality. They insist the world is not closing in on them when it is.”
Actually the title of that post (An Atheist Unable to Cope with Reality) is a little misleading. Powell, Wood, and I all seem to agree on the reality, which is that the drive towards full acceptance of equal rights for women and the LGBTQ community is irreversible. Where we differ is in our reactions to those developments. I see these developments as unequivocally positive so it is I who can cope with this reality and even welcome it, while they see it as unequivocally negative and something to be feared. What I think Wood means by ‘reality’ is really her judgment about whether this emerging reality is good or bad. The ‘world closing in’ is, after all, a metaphor, not reality.
The statement by Powell that “patriarchy combined with chivalry is the natural order of how a society should be organized” is quite remarkable. How does one know what is a ‘natural order’ of society? When people use such a phrase, it is usually an expression of desire rather than an empirically determined result, obtained by picking out one particular time in history as emblematic. The wish for the restoration of a ‘patriarchy combined with chivalry’ is a throwback to views of not just a century or two ago but possibly even to medieval times, evoking images of knights in shining armor rescuing damsels in distress. Of course, those times were ones of extreme drudgery for most people.
But such sentiments capture what I have said many times before, that what we are seeing, especially in the context of the science-religion debate, is the struggle by some people to halt and even reverse the tide of modernity. It is a strategy that has never worked in the past and will not work now.