(This is part one of a five-part series taking a satirical look at the tactics used by the State (including feminism) to increase its power. The series will published over the course of this week.)
There was once a King who, despite his great wealth and power, found that he was unable to be happy. So one day, he called his twelve wise men to gather before his throne, to see if any could help.
“O Great King, may you live forever,” they said. “What aileth thee and why is thy countenance fallen?”
“I am indeed in very great distress of mind,” replied the King sadly, choking back tears. “I find that my thirst for unlimited power and the fulfilling of my every desire knows no bounds. Yet the state of the Royal Treasury is such that I am unable to do even unto the half of what I wish. Therefore, who so is wise among you, let him come before me this time on the morrow with his plan.”
So the wise men went every man his own way to devise a plan for the King to increase the size of the Royal Treasury to quench his thirst for unlimited power and the fulfilling of his every desire.
The very next day, eleven of the twelve gathered before his throne. All proposed that he raise taxes again. One said that he should tax the grass in his subject’s gardens. Another suggested a tax on sunshine. To all these schemes the King listened patiently, but with each utterance his countenance fell.
“All you propose is more tax,” he cried when they had finished speaking. “Yet I have already taxed and taxed and taxed. I have taxed windows, I have taxed doors; I have taxed sugar, I have taxed floors. And yet every time I raise a new tax, my subjects seem to find cunning ways of avoiding paying them and so the Royal Treasury does not grow beyond measure and my thirst for unlimited power and the fulfilling of my every desire remains unquenched. Oh what is to be done?”
Then the door to the throne room opened and in walked the twelfth wise man of the Kingdom.
“I beg Your Majesty’s pardon for my lateness,” he said, “but I believe I have the answer to your problem.”
“Go on,” beckoned the King.
“O King may you live forever,” he said. “Tell me, from who do you receive taxes?”
“Why all my subjects of taxable age,” replied the King.
“Not so Your Majesty,” said the twelfth wise man. “Of all those in your Kingdom of taxable age, there are many who pay no money at all into your Royal Treasury.”
Then did the King’s countenance change and he was exceeding wroth.
“Who are these miserable miscreants who refuse to fill the Royal Treasury?” he bellowed. “Bring them before me that they may answer to me.”
But the twelfth wise man calmly held up his hand to appease the King’s anger, and spoke again: “My Lord the King,” he declared. “Those of whom I speak break no laws. If you will pardon my boldness, Sire, they pay no taxes because Your Royal Majesty hath not commanded it of them.”
Then did the King’s countenance change once again, from fury to confusion.
“Are you proposing to tell me that I have subjects in my realm, of taxable age, who pay no taxes to the Royal Treasury because I hath not required it of them. Thou must explain thyself.”
Then did the twelfth wise man explain to the King and to all who were gathered together that throughout all the land, none of the womenfolk did pay taxes.
“Well of course none of the womenfolk pay no taxes into the Royal Treasury,” said the King when he had heard the matter. “How can they pay taxes when they raise their own children and do not labour in the workplace?”
“Indeed,” replied the twelfth wise man nonchalantly. “So why doth Your Majesty not get them to leave off from raising their own children and get them to labour in the workplace?”
At this the court was all in uproar and one by one the other eleven wise men stepped forward to pour scorn on the plan, each one saying that such a policy of forced female labour would be tolerated by neither the womenfolk nor the menfolk, and would lead to rebellion against the King’s rule. When they had expressed their opinions, calmly the twelfth wise man once again stepped forward.
“With humble respect, Your Majesty’s wise men doth misunderstand the matter. I said nothing about forcing the womenfolk into labour. I said that his Royal Majesty should get them to leave off raising their own children and get them to labour in the workplace.”
“And how do you propose to do that?” questioned a puzzled looking King.
“Tis simple enough,” replied the wise man. “I once heard of a King who also wanted to increase the Royal Treasury so that he could quench his thirst for unlimited power and fulfil his every desire, but that having taxed his subjects until their very pips did squeak, he turned to the womenfolk for more. Yet the way he did it was indeed curious, Sire. Indeed, he did not use one whit of force, but instead set about making them believe that they were missing out and that their chief happiness was being denied them because they were raising their own children, when they could be labouring in the workplace.”
“And did it work?” asked the King eagerly.
“Indeed Your Majesty,” said the twelfth wise man, “albeit over time. To begin with many of the womenfolk resented his attempts, and continued to look after their own children. Yet as time went by, more and more gave in, and I have heard it said that ‘tis now frowned upon for the womenfolk to raise their own children, and those that do so are considered stupid and backward. And so the Royal Treasury hath swelled beyond measure.”
Slowly but surely a broad grin spread itself across the King’s face, and the very next day a Royal Emancipation Proclamation was read out in every square throughout his realm:
“Women of the Kingdom of Grebbleton. His Royal Majesty, King Gondil III, being eager to show favour to the fairer sex, hath of late become mindful of your unfortunate condition whereby, through no fault of your own, you hath been forced to labour in the home for no recompense, being “chained to the very sink in thine kitchen”. Be it known that this day, your cry hath reached the King’s ears, and in accordance with his grace, mercy and favour, he hath answered your prayer and granteth you release from the chains by which you hath been held. From this day forward, all the womenfolk of the land should understand that true fulfilment lieth not in the raising and nurturing of thy children, which is verily the lowest form of drudgery, but in the practice of entering the workforce.”
Read chapter two tomorrow on TCW.
(Image: Hans Splinter)