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  #1261  
Old 04-03-2020, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
The extinction of peerages depends not only on nature but on the application of manmade laws. Women who marry peers "naturally" give birth to both daughters and sons, as do all other women, but are frequently demanded to bear sons to protect the peerage from extinction or even passage to a different branch of the family.



The standard remainder to "heirs male of the body" does not discriminate on age. At times the first in line to a peerage is younger than the second in line (a son and a brother of the present peer), and at times the first in line is older than the second in line (a brother and a nephew of the present peer).
But surely limiting a peerage to male lines has a probable & desirable built in expiration date. Unless people want them to go on for ever. Peerages are an anachronism that have no use today. As the Duke of Devonshire says he's not important but Chatsworth is. Best to let them slowly disappear from Britain over time. They are a reminder of systemic inequality even if powerless today.

The point about age is that if females can inherit then they will only do so if they are the eldest child. So to my way of thinking you're just replacing one way of discriminating among siblings for another. Both equally unjust. Sex blind primogeniture is still primogeniture. I don't see how that's defensible.
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  #1262  
Old 04-03-2020, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Durham View Post
But surely limiting a peerage to male lines has a probable & desirable built in expiration date. Unless people want them to go on for ever. Peerages are an anachronism that have no use today. As the Duke of Devonshire says he's not important but Chatsworth is. Best to let them slowly disappear from Britain over time. They are a reminder of systemic inequality even if powerless today.
In that case, why would it be best to let them continue as a reminder of systemic inequality against women rather than abolish them? The evidence shows that male-only inheritance does not have a built-in expiration date: The peerage system has continued for hundreds of years and shows no signs of slowly disappearing.

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The point about age is that if females can inherit then they will only do so if they are the eldest child. So to my way of thinking you're just replacing one way of discriminating among siblings for another. Both equally unjust. Sex blind primogeniture is still primogeniture. I don't see how that's defensible.
"Discrimination among siblings" is part of the existing, male-only system. Only the eldest son inherits; his brothers and sisters do not.
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  #1263  
Old 04-03-2020, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
In that case, why would it be best to let them continue as a reminder of systemic inequality against women rather than abolish them? The evidence shows that male-only inheritance does not have a built-in expiration date: The peerage system has continued for hundreds of years and shows no signs of slowly disappearing.



"Discrimination among siblings" is part of the existing, male-only system. Only the eldest son inherits; his brothers and sisters do not.
An interesting debate thank you

Well I'd rather abolish them than let them exist forever. So maybe we'd agree on that?

Peerages go extinct all the time. I'm not sure what evidence you have to prove that the peerage will not go extinct eventually. No hereditary peerages are created outside of the royal family.

Since the civil war the English/British have tended to go for evolution rather than revolutionary change so abolition probably won't happen.

I don't understand why anyone would want to replace male primogeniture with sex blind primogeniture. It's still discrimination. I get that it's sexist but I think the inevitable result, which would be to perpetuate the system, is a worse alternative. The titled aristocracy needs to go. And it will do over time. It's not fundamentally about men & women it's about the class system.

Incidentally I never understood why the poor old younger sons of earls are Hons while their sisters are "Lady". The peculiarities of the British aristocracy.
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  #1264  
Old 04-03-2020, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Durham View Post
An interesting debate thank you

Well I'd rather abolish them than let them exist forever. So maybe we'd agree on that?

Peerages go extinct all the time. I'm not sure what evidence you have to prove that the peerage will not go extinct eventually. No hereditary peerages are created outside of the royal family.

Since the civil war the English/British have tended to go for evolution rather than revolutionary change so abolition probably won't happen.
I agree that abolition is improbable in the foreseeable future, but I think eliminating the seats allocated to hereditary peers from the House of Lords is realistic if difficult.

The evidence that the peerage system will not go extinct in the foreseeable future from the death of male heirs is that the hereditary peerage has perpetuated for hundreds of years using male-only inheritance, in spite of child mortality rates which were above that of modern times and the lack of the fertility treatments and sex-selection methods which some families wanting sons use today, and that most hereditary peerages currently have male heirs.


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Originally Posted by Durham View Post
I don't understand why anyone would want to replace male primogeniture with sex blind primogeniture. It's still discrimination. I get that it's sexist but I think the inevitable result, which would be to perpetuate the system, is a worse alternative. The titled aristocracy needs to go. And it will do over time. It's not fundamentally about men & women it's about the class system.
I don't understand why continuing the system is not perpetuating it, or how laws establishing that men are entitled to inherit while women are disinherited are not fundamentally about men.
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  #1265  
Old 04-03-2020, 05:27 PM
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What about a compromise step, striking "heirs male" and simply allowing girls to inherit in the absence of boys, as has been done on occasion?

That probably won't satisfy anyone. :)
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  #1266  
Old 04-03-2020, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
I agree that abolition is improbable in the foreseeable future, but I think eliminating the seats allocated to hereditary peers from the House of Lords is realistic if difficult.

The evidence that the peerage system will not go extinct in the foreseeable future from the death of male heirs is that the hereditary peerage has perpetuated for hundreds of years using male-only inheritance, in spite of child mortality rates which were above that of modern times and the lack of the fertility treatments and sex-selection methods which some families wanting sons use today, and that most hereditary peerages currently have male heirs.




I don't understand why continuing the system is not perpetuating it, or how laws establishing that men are entitled to inherit while women are disinherited are not fundamentally about men.
I'm fairly certain that there have been as many if not more peerages in existence that went extinct than exist now so who knows about their continuation. I need to check sources for that admittedly. There have certainly been numerous dukedoms go extinct.

I think what you're saying is that the peerage is not going to go away anytime soon so why not make it sex neutral. Whereas I'm saying the whole system is an anchronism that needs to go & having more female peers is a hindrance to that eventuality.

Not sure how we can reconcile this one?

I still think it's more about class than the rights of women. Aristocratic women have far more in common with aristocratic men than they do with the great majority of other women. I don't really see them as part of a disadvantaged sisterhood. Quite the reverse in fact.

I'm certain that those male peers arguing for reform do so from a desire to maintain the aristocracy as a class rather than out of any great interest in the rights of women.

I sound like a marxist. But I do think class loyalty & consciousness is the key here not modern day identity politics. It's about self preservation.
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  #1267  
Old 04-03-2020, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Durham View Post
I'm fairly certain that there have been as many if not more peerages in existence that went extinct than exist now so who knows about their continuation. I need to check sources for that admittedly. There have certainly been numerous dukedoms go extinct.

I think what you're saying is that the peerage is not going to go away anytime soon so why not make it sex neutral. Whereas I'm saying the whole system is an anchronism that needs to go & having more female peers is a hindrance to that eventuality.

Not sure how we can reconcile this one?
You understood me correctly. There will of course be some peerages which will soon become extinct, but the mathematical probability that all of the male heirs (and it is worth remembering that even fifteenth cousins may be in line to a peerage) to the hundreds of hereditary peerages which are already in existence will fail at producing sons in the foreseeable future is negligible, I would say. Perhaps the mathematicians can offer a more specific figure?


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Originally Posted by Durham View Post
I still think it's more about class than the rights of women. Aristocratic women have far more in common with aristocratic men than they do with the great majority of other women. I don't really see them as part of a disadvantaged sisterhood. Quite the reverse in fact.
Whether they be aristocratic or working-class, all women are disadvantaged, in fact barred, from inheriting the vast majority of peerages (while an impoverished man retains his succession rights so long as he can prove his male bloodline). Maintaining the current system works only for the advantage of men.


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Originally Posted by Prinsara View Post
What about a compromise step, striking "heirs male" and simply allowing girls to inherit in the absence of boys, as has been done on occasion?

That probably won't satisfy anyone. :)
Except for the peers who want to keep their peerage in their line of the family but didn't succeed at producing sons. Many of them would be pleased.
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  #1268  
Old 04-04-2020, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
You understood me correctly. There will of course be some peerages which will soon become extinct, but the mathematical probability that all of the male heirs (and it is worth remembering that even fifteenth cousins may be in line to a peerage) to the hundreds of hereditary peerages which are already in existence will fail at producing sons in the foreseeable future is negligible, I would say. Perhaps the mathematicians can offer a more specific figure?


Whether they be aristocratic or working-class, all women are disadvantaged, in fact barred, from inheriting the vast majority of peerages (while an impoverished man retains his succession rights so long as he can prove his male bloodline). Maintaining the current system works only for the advantage of men.


E
The fist Duke of Westminster had seven sons. Today there is no one in line to inherit although the present duke is admittedly a young man. The extinction of the peerage is certainly a glacial process. Families of course are much smaller today.

Fundamentally we see this though different prisms. The aristocracy is an outrage not because of the way it treats woman but because of its very existence.

There is little love lost for the aristocracy in Britain. They're not viewed in the same way as the monarchy at all by most. As a group they have a history of exploitation. They're a rentier class living off the labour of others. Aristocratic women as much as men benefited from the system. Their history in Ireland & involvement in the Highland clearances are notable examples of their ruthlessness. In England they lived off the fat of the land but underneath there was often a tradition of agrarian radicalism & resentment. I don't see them as some quaint historical relic but as an embodiment of inherited wealth & privilege & residual influence. This article is an interesting read. It's the Guardian so it has a particular perspective but it's a thought provoking read none the less.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/201...ed-their-power

If time is to be set aside for legislation on the succession rights of women then use that parliamentary time to include a proper debate on the peerage system as a whole. Allow a free vote on abolition & succession.
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  #1269  
Old 04-04-2020, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Durham View Post
The fist Duke of Westminster had seven sons. Today there is no one in line to inherit although the present duke is admittedly a young man. The extinction of the peerage is certainly a glacial process. Families of course are much smaller today.
Families are smaller, but mortality is lower and fertility treatments and the means to select the sex of one's offspring are in use by wealthy families today. Given the hundreds of hereditary peerages in existence and the long lines of succession to many of them, the extinction of all hereditary peerages would as you say require a "glacial process" and therefore will not take place within the foreseeable future - I hope we can agree on this much.


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Originally Posted by Durham View Post
Fundamentally we see this though different prisms. The aristocracy is an outrage not because of the way it treats woman but because of its very existence.

There is little love lost for the aristocracy in Britain. They're not viewed in the same way as the monarchy at all by most. As a group they have a history of exploitation. They're a rentier class living off the labour of others. Aristocratic women as much as men benefited from the system. Their history in Ireland & involvement in the Highland clearances are notable examples of their ruthlessness. In England they lived off the fat of the land but underneath there was often a tradition of agrarian radicalism & resentment. I don't see them as some quaint historical relic but as an embodiment of inherited wealth & privilege & residual influence. This article is an interesting read. It's the Guardian so it has a particular perspective but it's a thought provoking read none the less.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/201...ed-their-power
Thank you for posting the article; it is a good one. The continuing privilege and influence of the aristocracy is often glossed over and you are quite right that it is no historical relic. Precisely for that reason, aristocratic women have not benefited "as much as" aristocratic men as the powerful system has ensured that the hereditary fortunes and influence have nearly always passed to male lines. Note that each of the aristocratic landowners cited in the article are men.

Yes, we fundamentally see it differently. I do not see why the aristocracy's history of exploitation and ruthlessless should excuse its treatment of women as unequal to men. We must agree to disagree on this.


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Originally Posted by Durham View Post
If time is to be set aside for legislation on the succession rights of women then use that parliamentary time to include a proper debate on the peerage system as a whole. Allow a free vote on abolition & succession.
Both separate issues merit their own proper debate, but at least we can agree that a free vote ought to be allowed on both.
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  #1270  
Old 04-04-2020, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Durham View Post
Fundamentally we see this though different prisms. The aristocracy is an outrage not because of the way it treats woman but because of its very existence.
In my humble opinion, the questions of the aristocracy and the peerage should be viewed more positive: They are remnants of the old ages! In many other countries there were revolutions with revolutionary terror and guillotines and Lenins, Stalins and so on... Hitler (who was the result of the fast, too fast change from Empire to Republic) - not necessarily the better way.

In England the development towards a democracy was organic and started already in the Middle Ages! And it is a pretty cool system now, much better then elsewhere.

Human deeds are never perfect, anyway!
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  #1271  
Old 04-04-2020, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
Families are smaller, but mortality is lower and fertility treatments and the means to select the sex of one's offspring are in use by wealthy families today. Given the hundreds of hereditary peerages in existence and the long lines of succession to many of them, the extinction of all hereditary peerages would as you say require a "glacial process" and therefore will not take place within the foreseeable future - I hope we can agree on this much.




Thank you for posting the article; it is a good one. The continuing privilege and influence of the aristocracy is often glossed over and you are quite right that it is no historical relic. Precisely for that reason, aristocratic women have not benefited "as much as" aristocratic men as the powerful system has ensured that the hereditary fortunes and influence have nearly always passed to male lines. Note that each of the aristocratic landowners cited in the article are men.

Yes, we fundamentally see it differently. I do not see why the aristocracy's history of exploitation and ruthlessless should excuse its treatment of women as unequal to men. We must agree to disagree on this.




Both separate issues merit their own proper debate, but at least we can agree that a free vote ought to be allowed on both.
We can certainly agree to that. So long as the vote on abolition comes first.

Incidentally here is an (rather saccharine) obituary on the Countess of Sutherland. She inherited the earldom while a cousin inherited the dukedom of Sutherland.

They were both descended from the infamous first Duke and Duchess-Countess of Sutherland. Both duke & duchess-countess were equally involved in the notorious clearances. Plenty of women were as ruthless as the men. And indeed remain so in their determination to preserve their class.

https://www.heraldscotland.com/opini...ldom-scotland/
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  #1272  
Old 04-04-2020, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Durham View Post
Incidentally here is an (rather saccharine) obituary on the Countess of Sutherland. She inherited the earldom while a cousin inherited the dukedom of Sutherland.

They were both descended from the infamous first Duke and Duchess-Countess of Sutherland. Both duke & duchess-countess were equally involved in the notorious clearances. Plenty of women were as ruthless as the men. And indeed remain so in their determination to preserve their class.

https://www.heraldscotland.com/opini...ldom-scotland/
I am sure few would claim that women lack the capacity to be as ruthless as men, but due to laws and customs and systemic inequality, women have had more limited opportunities to rise to influence, whether it be as hereditary monarchs and aristocrats or as elected or appointed authorities.
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  #1273  
Old 04-04-2020, 09:29 AM
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In my humble opinion, the questions of the aristocracy and the peerage should be viewed more positive: They are remnants of the old ages! In many other countries there were revolutions with revolutionary terror and guillotines and Lenins, Stalins and so on... Hitler (who was the result of the fast, too fast change from Empire to Republic) - not necessarily the better way.

In England the development towards a democracy was organic and started already in the Middle Ages! And it is a pretty cool system now, much better then elsewhere.

Human deeds are never perfect, anyway!
Thank you, that's an interesting perspective. There's a lot of people in Britain who would view our history very differently of course but we have at least escaped violent revolution & dictatorship since the mid seventeenth century. The establishment/aristocracy were very clever!

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I am sure few would claim that women lack the capacity to be as ruthless as men, but due to laws and customs and systemic inequality, women have had more limited opportunities to rise to influence, whether it be as hereditary monarchs and aristocrats or as elected or appointed authorities.
Which is why women should be campaigning to abolish the peerage not buy into its continuation. It was designed by & for men. It's exploitative, patriarchal as well as unreformable. The ethical choice is abolition not preservation.

I will get of my soap box now
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  #1274  
Old 04-04-2020, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Durham View Post
Which is why women should be campaigning to abolish the peerage not buy into its continuation. It was designed by & for men. It's exploitative, patriarchal as well as unreformable. The ethical choice is abolition not preservation.

I will get of my soap box now
I would change that to say that men and women who view the peerage as unreformable should be campaigning to abolish the peerage rather than buying into the continuation of the patriarchal system.

Likewise.
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  #1275  
Old 04-04-2020, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
I would change that to say that men and women who view the peerage as unreformable should be campaigning to abolish the peerage rather than buying into the continuation of the patriarchal system.

Likewise.
I'd change patriarchal for class & take out "who view the peerage as unreformable" but it's as near as dammit for me.
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  #1276  
Old 04-04-2020, 10:29 AM
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I'd change patriarchal for class [...] but it's as near as dammit for me.
I'm not sure if I understand what you meant by "near as dammit", but I am aware that one can campaign against the class system and still be in support of patriarchal rules. Nonetheless, my view is as said above.
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  #1277  
Old 04-04-2020, 10:45 AM
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I'm not sure if I understand what you meant by "near as dammit", but I am aware that one can campaign against the class system and still be in support of patriarchal rules. Nonetheless, my view is as said above.
It means so close that there is little difference worth noting.

Yes I take your point. Similarly you can campaign against the patriarchy & acquiesce in, or even support & benefit from, an unequal class system.
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  #1278  
Old 04-04-2020, 10:54 AM
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It means so close that there is little difference worth noting.

Yes I take your point. Similarly you can campaign against the patriarchy & acquiesce in, or even support & benefit from, an unequal class system.
Thanks for the clarification.

Yes, of course, but my point was that acquiescing to the current system allows both to continue.
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  #1279  
Old 04-04-2020, 11:07 AM
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Thanks for the clarification.

Yes, of course, but my point was that acquiescing to the current system allows both to continue.
Understood. In agreement.
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  #1280  
Old 04-04-2020, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Durham View Post
Which is why women should be campaigning to abolish the peerage not buy into its continuation. It was designed by & for men. It's exploitative, patriarchal as well as unreformable. The ethical choice is abolition not preservation.

I will get of my soap box now
Or do it like other North-West European countries: consider it as historic patrimonium without any rights derived from their nobility.

In practice this means: turn the unelected House of Lords into an Upper House with electoral mandate, no new hereditary creations except for the spouse of the monarch and the heir. No Life creations either since the House of Lords is no more.

Existing nobility is respected. Only new nobility by recognition of older rights, for an example the Lyon King of Arms investigates an appeal of a Danish nobleman whom applied for British nationality and advises the Home Secretary to accept or reject the Letters Patent of a foreign (former) monarchy with a comparable system of nobility.
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