“You thought it was your people. I thought it was mine. The difference is, I was right.”
– Seventy-One Hour Ahmed, Terry Pratchett, Jingo
The Christian bloggers writing about marriage are starting to intrigue me. After my initial discovery of some outstandingly written blogs, I have dived into the Christian manosphere, where I have made a fascinating discovery. I was reading through Dalrock’s archive last night when I encountered this scathing commentary on Fireproof. While not directly relevant to the ideas I have, it is interesting to see how willing Dalrock is to take apart the idea that a man should serve his wife. I don’t disagree that in Fireproof, whatshername is largely (maybe even mostly) at fault for the disintegrating marriage, but it does have a few concepts right. Loving your wife unconditionally is a Biblically sound concept. I say this as an unmarried man, of course, but ideally, you would love her even in the cases of infidelity and emotional abuse. Men, we are ORDERED to love our wives. Ephesians 5 doesn’t say “Husbands, love your wives as long as they respect you.” Sometimes I feel like men (but honestly, as far as Christian bloggers go, mostly women) are disregarding this fact. That is where the real point of this post comes in. The easiest way to predict the sex of a modern Christian author on marriage is to see who they blame for the current failure of the system. Men tend to blame men, women tend to blame women.
The current crisis of marriage does NOT fall at either sexes feet, but at both. And I mean ‘feet’ in a very Old Testament sense (not funny if you didn’t already see the implication, so don’t bother looking it up. Unless you’re curious). Women who have taken the red pill (yes, Roissy, they exist) see that feminism has defeminized women (not masculinized, actually. Later article in that topic, I think), and blame that particular phenomenon for the crisis. Men who have taken the red pill (AND who are Christians, or at least firm believers in traditional marriage. Very important addendum, that.) tend to see the generation of Halo playing, beer swilling couch potatoes as the problem. Guess what; it cuts both ways. Men behaving in an old fashioned manner is simply BETTER than the way they behave now. The same goes for women. Ephesians 5 (years of marriage counseling in a nutshell, if you ask me) makes two separate, unconditional statements. Wives, respect your husbands. Husbands, love your wives. Neither of them says ‘if’ anything. Just do it. In my experience (okay, so it isn’t first hand. That doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m looking at when I see the marriages of my friends imploding or on the rocks), the two follow out of each other, but if they aren’t habitually ingrained in you from a very young age, ONE of you (and it almost doesn’t matter which) needs to take the initiative in acting right.
It sometimes feels like there isn’t any point in fighting anymore. I specifically here refer to the ongoing gender war. The vitriol and anger spewed by both sides is getting out of hand. Before continuing, however, I wish to state that I still think that feminism is out of hand, and that men’s (more specifically, husbands’ and fathers’) rights are being trampled on in society and court. Single guys are making out okay, though.
I finally got around to reading the DV debate at A Voice for Men, despite first having heard about it almost a year ago. Give me a break; there are literally millions of relevant words to read on both sides of any issue that could potentially be a bone of contention between the sexes, much less a hot-button topic like domestic violence. I was struck by something that has been bugging me more and more, and has finally led me to throw my hands up in disgust at everyone involved. David Futrelle employed classic feminist simpering male turncoat language, trying to keep the debate moving from point to point without ever resolving anything except how one should feel about things, arguing by assertion, and always stopping just shy of the ad-hominem attack. Paul Elam wasn’t much better. Naturally, I tend to side with his logic, but his sarcastic delivery and snide insults were unnecessary (yes, yes, the Frog is a hypocrite. I don’t insult people during debates, only behind their backs). I’m not going to waste time dissecting the argument point by point; it should be obvious which side I find persuasive, and this is such a polarizing issue that you are in one of four possible positions, any of which is immune to any attempt by me to alter it: 1) you believe that domestic violence is a problem, regardless of injury, initiator, target, or reason, 2) You believe that domestic violence is a problem that is solely caused by men, usually towards women, and there is no such thing as a good reason, 3) You believe that domestic violence is only a problem when committed by men, but women do it too, or 4) You believe that the domestic violence problem doesn’t exist. I think that everyone can agree that 4 is reprehensible (mostly because I made it up; I rather doubt that anyone genuinely believes that), but the other three will have people at each others’ throats in a moment. That saddens me, because the home should be, if anywhere is, a safe haven for both people. Men hitting their wives is no less (also no more) reprehensible than women cuckolding or verbally abusing their husbands. (Switch sexes as appropriate) Why can’t we all (feminists, MRAs, etc…) agree on that?
Okay, call me a cockeyed optimist, I know. Humanity is way too centered in the self, and terrified of the other to do that. It is still a pretty picture, don’t you think?
I had the good fortune to have both my father and my brother around for this last holiday season. It was wonderful seeing my brother in particular, since he lives on the other side of the country, and we are very close emotionally. However, I had an interesting discovery, and one that saddens me somewhat. He was divorced earlier this year, but he still hasn’t even looked at the red pill. He doesn’t even acknowledge that there is a systemic societal problem, other than a lack of manliness. While he’s right about the fact that the majority of the men out there these days are little more than puling manginas, he’s wrong to place all the blame squarely on the shoulders of men. There is plenty of blame to go around.
I realized that he and I were never going to see eye to eye on this, so I ended the discussion, but I continued to think about it. The real revelation came when I brought the subject up with my dad. My dad is a gentleman of the old school, raised on a farm, but exquisitely courteous and well mannered, and always correct in his dealings with women. And he completely agreed with my brother. They both lambasted me for sympathizing with men who choose to withdraw from the divorce machine to play Call of Duty, drink beer, and wank to whatever porn strikes their fancy. That was when the really sad realization hit. They are both men who pride themselves on their masculinity, and to accept that this sea change in society happened at the behest of feminists, for the sake of the female hamster, is completely alien to them. Women are still supposed to be submissive, gentle and feminine. If women aren’t acting like women should, well, it is because men aren’t manning up and acting like men should.
I cited statistics on divorce initiation and reasons given for divorce (you all know them, and if you don’t, read some other blog. This is about introspection, not persuasion. Any MRA/PUA/etc. blog will have them somewhere.) My brother discounted them through some rather interesting mental sleight of hand. I gave examples of frivolous divorce, and challenged them to cite one legitimate well known divorce for every three hamster driven divorces I could. They invoked the shibboleth of “You never know what the marriage was actually like unless you’re in it”, even pointing out the fact that since they both had been married, and I hadn’t, they understood better than I did how bad a bad marriage could get (true, but irrelevant. See the statistics.) Nothing I said even began to scratch the surface of their serene conviction that men were to blame for the failure of marriage. And then I had the saddest realization of all. It is BECAUSE they are masculine. A masculine man accepts responsibility. It is part of masculinity; a willingness to shield others from blame. And because their masculine natures prohibited them from blaming women (especially given the admittedly glaring flaws in today’s men), all of the blame must belong to men. The flaws just make it so much easier.
If and when I marry, I intend to raise my sons as masculine men. With that, I have to accept the risk that they will take the blue pill and be complicit in the continued war on marriage, because a masculine man accepts responsibility for his own actions, and by extension (since he is masculine, and knows how to be manly), those of his sex. The feminists are winning the war on marriage not because of treacherous male collaborators and whining Jezebel posters, but because of genuinely manly, masculine men. And those manly, masculine men will either find one of those increasingly rare women who understands just what the word ‘promise’ means, or they won’t. And if they don’t, they will pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and try again until they do. Because a masculine man does not accept failure.
Just to add poignancy to the whole thing, the real losers aren’t the feminist elite or their limp-wristed male turncoats, or even the very few mensch out there. The real losers are the young women who buy into the lie, take the blue pill, and divorce those increasingly rare masculine men, because they were bored, or they fell out of love, or some other idiotic reason. Or even worse, the young women who spend their twenties acting the way their friends do, and find themselves alone in their mid thirties, desperate for a husband, but spending more and more time looking at that nice tabby at the pet store. The feminists and the sympathy belly-wearing quislings don’t actually hurt the real men; real men aren’t that vulnerable to something that petty. They hurt the women who have the potential to be real women.
I made some heartening discoveries today. Apparently I’m not the only Christian man who thinks that game is necessary for a healthy relationship. I never realized (mostly because I hadn’t spent more time on his site than it takes to read a single article) that Dalrock was writing about game from a Christian perspective. He has gone into my bookmarks, because, after all, it is 3:45 here, and I still have work that needs to be done. (Yes, I know, that means I shouldn’t be writing a blog post. Hush, you.) Anyway, going through his blogroll (where I was surprised to see In Mala Fide, while excluding Heartiste), I encountered a blog entitled Haley’s Halo. It is fascinating to see the contemporary Christian sexual market examined from the other side, which is exactly what HH is doing. Her blog is also in my ‘to-read’ list. I shall probably have more to say when I’ve actually finished reading it.
There are two methods of debate, broadly speaking. The rational, cold, logical method, and the impassioned name calling method. I will not swear but love may transform me into an oyster, but until he make an oyster of me, I shall never employ the second. I have come to a simple conclusion, and I shall continue to employ it for however long I find myself on the opposite side of the issue from anyone. If you generalize about me, or if you generalize about other positions, from one position that I hold, you have immediately invalidated your opinions. You have reduced yourself to an ad-hominem attack, not a reasoned defense of a position.
I don’t know if I’m right about many of my opinions. I’m not convinced about Anthropogenic global warming. I believe (philosophically and eschatologically, at least) in Intelligent Design. I’m both anti-abortion and pro-capital punishment. I can be convinced, in theory and given sufficient evidence, that any of these positions is incorrect. I invite you to try. Please. I’m serious. I LIKE having my mind changed. But do NOT talk about how one of my positions invalidates any other. The ONLY coupled viewpoints in that list are abortion and capital punishment. Oh, and the moment name-calling enters the picture, the debate is over. Facts, logic, and reasoned conclusions are the way to change people’s minds, not passionate denunciation of their entire existence based on their disagreement with you.
One of my dearest friends is a socialist. I am (realistically) in favor of controlled capitalism, or more idealistically a market anarchist. I call her a pinko, and she calls me a reactionary bastard. That is okay; we’ve come to the conclusion that we enjoy a little name calling, but never take it too seriously. That is just friendly banter. When we’re actually discussing politics, though, we shelve the names and talk politics like reasonable people, despite the fact that we disagree on virtually everything. We use examples of history, arguments from great philosophers and political thinkers, and draw conclusions that actually follow one after the other.
If you can’t do that, then you need to sit down, shut up, and let the grownups talk.
I love my RSS reader. It reminds me to read the people who are blogging important stuff. Heartiste had a post today which was simply brilliant, dissecting the three flavors of anti-game men. I commented at some length, and had a realization, and that is why I came back here immediately to write a post. Simply put, it is that Game is still in its infancy. Viewed alone, as a method for picking up women, it is a mature art, but it is only one piece of the puzzle of reclaiming masculinity by men. If men are masculine, which is to say assertive, informed, competent, responsible and mature, game is so thoroughly integrated into their worldview that it isn’t even inner game anymore. It is them. Game becomes a sine qua non for masculinity. If they want to collect notches, they can, but if they are genuinely responsible, their goal will be to create a better life for themselves and for others. They genuinely will leave women ‘better than they found them’. How many PUAs do you know who actually do that?
That said, I still think every man should start studying game at, oh, say 14 or 15. That gives them just enough time to know the kind of frustration that can be spawned by AFC-hood, without getting them bitter. And if they are a natural, then don’t interfere. A man who has relationships that fall into a healthy masculine-feminine dynamic before his personality has fully crystallized is MUCH more likely to be a fully integrated person as an adult, capable of intelligent, informed decisions about commitment, but also able, should it be necessary, to ensure that his partner remains committed to him. Make no mistake, as the half of the species that favors logic and deductive reasoning over emotional reaction, it is Man’s responsibility to give his partner no reasons to stray. There are exceptions. I know this. There are women who would no more cheat than they would saw off their mother’s left arm because they needed fertilizer for their garden. There are women who will even do this for logical reasons. I know two personally. But if you step back from the immediate “Oh NO! A sexual generalization! He must be a male chauvinist pig!” reaction…. wait, no. If you’re having that reaction, you are part of the problem. The sexes are different. There are outliers, as in any population, but you know what statisticians do with outliers? They ignore them.
There is currently only one world economy. No matter what people tell you about the economy of the United States, or Europe, or Japan, or China, all of them are connected intimately and deeply. Price changes in food in China affect the cost of iPads in the US, which affects Apple’s bottom line, which affects the tourism industry in France, which affects…. you get the picture. The only reason we don’t see this more obviously is because of the human factor. A human can only be awake, tops, twenty-ish hours a day if he abuses prescription drugs. That still leaves four hours in which he cannot make decisions. Of those twenty hours awake that our Provigil and Adderall abusing business mogul spends, he probably only spends sixteen or so actually making decisions. And he is far and away in the minority of the human race. As computers improve and are entrusted with more and more decisions, second by second adaptations to the market become more and more possible. Arbitrage lessens, and ever more powerful and subtle computers are required to scrape profit out of ever narrowing margins. This effect is being seen already in some markets; the Forex market is almost impossible to make a profit in, unless you are a mathematician and a skilled programmer.
The reason that the world will never decouple into separate physical markets is that we are (justly) accustomed to recompense for creating a product. HOWEVER, our assumptions about compensation are beginning to change. Many people make a full time living on the internet, for example, doing something as their full time job that actually is provided for free. Take webcomic artists for a moment; they create a free product which often amounts to a full time job for them, but they continue to do it. Their profits are provided on the side, as they take already created ideas and put them in books, on coffee mugs and tee shirts. But what about all of the people who do their online job, and work in meatspace on the side? There is an enormous amount of content that is created whether or not people read it. I’ve heard (and my source may well be wrong) that there is more information on the internet than the entire population of the United States could read before their deaths. That is a LOT of content. How much of it have you read? This blog is an excellent example, in fact. I’ll probably write for a year or two, and if I don’t get any readership in that time, I will probably stop. But there will still be hundreds of posts. Tens of thousands of words. Every single word is being put out there for free. I don’t have any expectation of ever making a penny from this blog (which is probably a good thing, since I have no intention of revealing my identity), but I still need to eat. I provide content for free, merely because I enjoy doing it. I may write for ten years, and not lose interest in all that time, even if I never get another reader.
That effect; people creating content because they like to, without expectation of compensation except recognition, is slowly causing a decoupling of the internet’s economy from that of meatspace. More and more, I suspect, meatspace will be devoted to actual production, or supporting production, and that will be one economy, where tokens of exchange will rule. The second economy will exist in small, specialized cells, where individuals will exchange recognition and reputation for entertainment. There may continue to be a market for mass movies, games, and music, but I suspect it is more likely to dissolve in favor of talented hobbyists. This may take a while; we are only now raising a generation that is accustomed to having the internet in its current “Do anything” form. Anyone born in the eighties and nineties thinks of the internet as something that is still new and amazing, even as we take our livings from it, depend on it, and use it for more and more. For entertainment to truly decouple from production, we need to take the internet for granted. I suspect that it will happen, but not immediately; the oldest of the post-millenial children are just eleven years old this year, after all.