Yiayia wouldn’t approve

In Repackaging feminism as Christian wisdom I pointed out that our great grandmothers understood the nature of women’s temptation to sin.  What is fascinating is we know this, even though we have forgotten what our great grandmothers knew.  There is a kind of cultural doublethink involved here, where we generally deny that women are tempted by sexual sin (and deny that we are denying it) while we also mock people in the past for having failed to deny this.  This comes out in interesting ways, and one of them is in jokes about how our unenlightened ancestors used to have such backward views.

Yet while Yiayia would be horrified, as Opus explained compared to modern Europe the women in the US seem like prudes:

In Europe, in the summer, women can be found topless and bottomless but in America the females are all auditioning – Back to the Future style – for a role in a Doris Day flick by wearing one piece bathing-costumes – at least they were when I was Stateside.

But women going nude in Europe shows the fallacy of Walsh blaming women’s desire to bare as much as society will permit on the stores at the mall.  Surely the stores at the mall are quite happy to assist them in their race to nakedness, but there isn’t any money to be made selling birthday suits.  If anything, we would expect the shops at the mall to hold the line at high priced but maximally seductive bathing suits.  Perhaps it is the stores at the mall in capitalist America which are holding women back from adopting European women’s embrace of full nudity.  Likewise as another commenter mentioned, how can the stores at the mall be to blame for the nude and partially nude selfie phenomenon?

Director Stanton tells us that:

…women left to themselves will develop into good women, more responsible women, just naturally, for various reasons and we could talk about that.

But the truth is that women and older girls left to themselves will collectively push to continuously redefine decency down in their efforts to compete for sexual attention.  This is exactly what eleventh grader Olympia Nelson describes in her Op-ed at The Age on the selfie phenomenon:

How confident can you appear at being lascivious? How credible is your air of lewdness? A girl who is just a try-hard will lose credibility and become an outcast. So a lot depends on how much support you can get from other girls.

Note that the problem isn’t that Nelson and the other girls don’t know that they are beautiful.  The girls in the selfies already have confidence that they are beautiful; what they are trying to do is leverage that beauty to climb the social ladder.  To Nelson it is the patriarchy and not the shops at the mall which is to blame, because those dirty boys make her and the other girls do it.  If the boys only had more sophisticated taste in selfies she explains, the girls could compete for the boy’s attention in a more positive way.  This is undoubtedly true but overlooks women’s temptations entirely.  While she complains throughout the piece about the horrors of unrestricted selfie warfare, she closes by forcefully arguing that it would be wrong for parents to place limits on what young girls can post.  Assuming she gets her wish, we will continue to test Stanton’s foolish theory.

All of this of course would be mortifying to Yiayia, who would be troubled enough by what today would be considered a tame red dress:

Posted in Denial, Feral Females, Glenn Stanton, Manosphere Humor, Matt Walsh, New Morality | 169 Comments

Radio Silence and Dread.

Vox weighed in on the sex denial spreadsheet that has gone viral with his post Mortification Game:

The fact is that she’s feeling incredibly humiliated and defensive. And since in women, defensive crouches are followed by instinctively sexual responses, if he maintains his frame, the chances are that she’ll return from her trip more sexually willing than before. (Personally, I doubt he will, he’ll probably contact her too soon, apologize profusely, buy her flowers, and they’ll be back to their old routine within a week.) But what he has inadvertently done is to introduce Mortification Game to a worldwide audience, Mortification Game being a subset of Dread Game.

Dread Game isn’t for healthy relationships, but it can temporarily improve unhealthy ones and buy them time to fix things. This spreadsheet isn’t indicative of immaturity, but rather desperation combined with a desire to save his marriage while honoring his wedding vows. It would be much more effective for him to have simply gone radio silent and had sex with other women while she’s gone; the sexually hypercompetitive nature of women would likely have her sensing his subsequent indifference to her deprivation upon her return. But he chose not to do that, instead he plunged once more into the gap to try to salvage what looks like a fairly hopeless cause.

Vox has clarified that just because he pointed out that having sex with other women would likely have been more effective, that doesn’t mean he would advise a married man to do so.  But even without the husband cheating, sudden radio silence could be a very effective tool.  It isn’t guaranteed to work, but it is hard to imagine it would work worse than continuing to beg for sex.  As Cane Caldo advised in Tacomaster Desires Steadfast Love:

In the meantime, TM, do not ask that woman for sex.

My wife found an example of radio silence working on the women’s confession site Scary Mommy yesterday:

I never wanted sex with DH. Always with the excuses….too tired, too sweaty, on my period, maybe coming down with a cold…now he stopped asking. So worried he found somebody who actually wants sex with him.

Like (4)   Hug (39)  Me Too! (23)

Note that a husband using radio silence game hasn’t violated the two part test I included in Headship Game.  A husband causing his wife to feel discomfort about her sin isn’t unloving, it is in fact the opposite.  He also isn’t sinning or encouraging his wife to sin by no longer begging for sex.  The moral problem with Dread Game as (generally defined) isn’t the dread, it is the mechanism typically used to create the dread.  Cheating on your wife, carrying on inappropriately with other women, or threatening to cheat on your wife isn’t consistent with the role of a Christian husband.  Ceasing to (inadvertently) provide your wife a sense of comfort in her sin isn’t sinful, and it is in fact loving.

Likewise, Dread Game is loving when practiced by a mother on her married daughters, as Mentu’s mother did:

Take good care of that man, or some other woman will!

Posted in Game, Headship | 423 Comments

Christian blank slatism.

I started this as a comment in the discussion of my previous post.  However, given the difficulty many had spotting the problem with Walsh’s framing I think this is worth pulling out as a separate post.

There is a sort of blank slatism on display here and in Stanton’s writing where the female child is perfect and the only source of sin comes from the culture.  Stanton explains how parents should address raising girls in his book on parenting (emphasis mine):

As parents guide their girls into the complex and wonderful world of healthy womanhood, what do they need to be aware of?

What are the essential qualities that transform our daughters into mature, secure women?

As you read through the qualities described below, please keep in mind that much of this is innate, but because our culture seems to fight so hard to suppress certain natural tendencies, it’s our privilege and responsibility as parents to watch out for opportunities to nurture and guide in these areas.

Fortunately Stanton doesn’t make the same mistake with boys, who he explains need continuous direction to become good men (emphasis mine):

Who will help your little boy become a man?  How will this be achieved?

These are profound parenting questions that demand great and long reflection.  Note that I wasn’t entirely correct earlier.  Each conveyor belt leads not necessarily to manhood but to male aging, because that’s what the mere passage of time produces.  But good men don’t just happen.  Good men are most often created in good families, and great intention needs to be put into the process.  Fathers and other men play a key role!

In his letter to his daughter post, Walsh writes with the same blank slatist frame Stanton does about daughters (emphasis mine):

I hope you always stay exactly as you are right now. Innocent, carefree, unencumbered, pure.

But these could only be the hopes of a foolish idealist like your Dad. I can rub the genie lamp and make a thousand stupid wishes, but you will grow. You will start to learn about the culture that surrounds you. You will form opinions about yourself. Your vivacious, bubbly happiness will give way to more complex emotions. You will develop new dimensions.

In these times, here in your very early life, you only cry because you’re hungry or tired or you want me to hold you. One day, though, your tears will come from a deeper place.

Note how she goes from pure to wretched, and the agent of change is the culture. This is really no different than Marx, etc wanting to make the New Socialist Man, or what feminists are trying to do. The idea is that people don’t have a nature (and certainly not a sin nature), and therefore you can solve humanity’s problems by fixing the culture. Just to be clear, I don’t deny the profound impact of the culture, as this is an area I focus on a great deal. But as Christians we err greatly if we ignore the true source of our fallen nature, pretending instead that it comes from the culture.

This may seem subtle, but there is a huge difference between pointing out the problem of the culture reinforcing the worst aspects of our nature, and claiming the culture is the source of the worst aspects of our nature. This is the problem with Walsh’s piece, and it isn’t found in just one segment, but throughout the piece. Closely related is his baffling obsession with making sure the young girl always knows she is beautiful. Whether this means strictly her physical appearance, knowing that she is inherently good, or is about her self esteem seems to be under debate here. My personal read is he is talking about all three, but obsessing about any of these isn’t remotely Christian, which I’m surprised isn’t more easily spotted. I pray this truly isn’t the “advanced class”, but either way we have a truckload of modern cultural baggage to unpack. We may as well start right here, right now.

Moderator’s Note:  The same rules apply to this post as the last one.  Keep the focus on general advice and protection of a Christian girl.  Any references to Walsh’s children or anyone else’s children will be removed.

Posted in Glenn Stanton, Matt Walsh, Philosophy of Feminism | 132 Comments

Repackaging feminism as Christian wisdom.

Repackaging modern thought into a Christian and counter cultural sounding message is extremely common, and something I’m convinced conservative Christian men and women do without ever being aware of what they are doing.  We’ve seen this with the CBMW inventing the (feminist) sin of servility, laying an extra (and unbiblical) burden on Christian wives trying to fight the culture in order to follow the Bible.  We can also see this with Director Stanton explaining that women are innately good, as well as pastors explaining that women are light years closer to God than men are.  As I’ve explained, much of the problem is that conservatives find themselves conserving the new social order (feminism), while feminists ironically find themselves becoming conservative to protect the new feminist order they have created.

But another part of this is the blind spot modern Christians have when it comes to women sinning.  There is a near complete inability to recognize what women sinning looks like.  The only sin modern Christians can imagine women committing is the (again feminist) sin of lacking self esteem.

Whenever modern Christians see signs of women sinning, they look for the devious man who must have forced the poor woman to go against her innately-good-but-servile nature.  This takes a good deal of rationalizing, but it is something we (collectively) have gotten quite good at.  We see a woman seeking out sexual attention in any number of sinful ways, ways the Old Testament describes in detail, and we just know they are only looking for love and lifelong commitment.  All of the young women competing to hook up with the campus alpha or dancing topless on tables at spring break?  They are really just trying to find a man who will commit to them.  This isn’t what the sinful expression of women’s sexual nature looks like;  they are only victims.  A woman blew an entire bar?  Men must have tricked her into it (H/T Oscar).  When women delay marriage until the last possible minute and shamelessly obsess about escaping commitment, we just know this is because men aren’t manning up and committing to women*.

Don’t get me wrong.  Women don’t have the market cornered on being fallen.  Men are plenty sinful too.  The problem we have however is while we have a fairly accurate understanding of the way men tend to be tempted into sin, we are in complete denial of the temptations women experience.  Some might misunderstand this as giving women an “unfair advantage” when it comes to sin, but the truth is just the opposite.  Giving women a leg up into sin isn’t kindness, it is cruelty.  It isn’t loving or protective, it is cowardly.  Yet at the same time it feels brave, kind, loving, and protective.  Ironically the way men are currently failing women is at the heart of men’s sinful nature, all the way back to our original sin.

As just one example of packaging modern/feminist thought as Christian wisdom, Matt Walsh has a post up titled Dear daughter, please believe me that you’re beautiful.  Nearly all of it could have come straight from a Women’s Studies course, but what modern Christian would recognize this?  Even the extremely sharp and highly respected John C. Wright doesn’t see it. Walsh explains that the main problem with our current culture is that it doesn’t tell women that they are beautiful enough, strong enough, and special enough.  It isn’t that our culture isn’t broken;  it certainly is.  But Walsh’s critique is the feminist critique.  He even bemoans his own male privilege:

I guess I’ve learned to take a few things for granted. As a guy, I can walk into any clothing store and find something that A) fits, and B) provides my body with basic coverage, which is the whole reason clothing exists in the first place, according to Wikipedia. As you will eventually discover, women have an entirely different experience. For them, even something as simple as clothes shopping becomes an all out assault on their values, priorities, and body image.

While this is a post Walsh has framed as a letter to his daughter, I’ll respond to this as a general post on advice to young Christian women (see moderator’s note below).  The problem with the post is its feminist frame, and its denial of the role women’s temptations to sin are playing in shaping the culture.  The shops at the mall haven’t conspired to force young women to misuse their sexuality.  Not too long ago we collectively decided that moral constraints on women’s sexuality were unfair, and tossed them aside.  What we are seeing now is where this lack of moral constraint is taking us.  Women are being tempted by the culture, but they are being tempted to do something any student of the Old Testament should understand.  They are being tempted to do things our great grandmothers understood.  We can’t even think let alone use the word harlot, yet we have sluts marching down main-street.  While it is true that it is a challenge for a modest woman to find suitable clothing, the reason for this isn’t because men or evil capitalists have colluded to keep modest clothing away from the rack, it is because the vast majority of women are choosing immodest clothing out of a desire to misuse their sexual power.

We don’t help women by denying all of this, or by repeatedly telling women they are beautiful no matter what and begging them to believe it.  We don’t help women by adopting their own blind spot regarding their temptation to sin.  We help women by manning up and helping them be honest about their own temptations to sin, and we help them by teaching them what God finds beautiful:

Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands,

1 Pet 3:3-5 (NKJV)

The problem isn’t that modern women want to be beautiful, nor is it that they aren’t told enough how beautiful they are, how special they are, or how perfect they are.  The problem is that modern women aren’t focusing their desire to be beautiful in the right ways.  They shouldn’t strive to be beautiful for the other women around them, nor for the men they meet in public.  They should strive to be beautiful to the Lord, and to be beautiful to their own husbands.

*I shared my thoughts on this other post by Walsh when asked about it in the discussion of a previous post.  My comments in response are here and here.

Moderator’s Note:  Please avoid referencing Walsh’s children (or anyone else’s) in the discussion of the post and instead focus on what is wise advice regarding young Christian women (or men) in general.  Comments which don’t follow this rule will be deleted.

See Also:  If we were as foolish about male sexuality as we are about female sexuality.

Posted in Denial, Feral Females, Matt Walsh, Philosophy of Feminism | 177 Comments

Commitment issues.

The dominant, unchallenged narrative is that men have problems with commitment, while women are naturally inclined to commit for life.  Yet the difference between the dominant narrative and reality couldn’t be more stark.  Women in the western world are obsessed with fantasies of divorce and ending relationships, for any or no reason at all.

Jennifer McDonald at Slate offers us the latest installment in this shameless obsession with her review of the chick crack book Nobody Is Ever Missing*:

There are days when you awake and want to blow up your relationship. Perhaps things are mildly bad, or perhaps they are horrible, or perhaps there’s nothing for any reasonable human to complain about, but anyhow, something has happened, something has shifted, and in that moment of waking, were you to follow your whims, they would spirit you away to another bed, another city, another life. Sometimes this fantasy swoops in only for a quick spot of tea. Other times it arrives loaded with baggage and settles in for a good long visit, long enough that your discontentedness grows, and you begin acting strangely. You cheat. You…

…inform your other half, who may or may not have seen it coming. Belongings are packed. Excuses are made. “It’s not you, it’s me.”

For those who find this too subtle, as you scroll down the review up pops:

SOMETIMES YOU JUST FEEL LIKE BLOWING UP YOUR MARRIAGE.

There are even helpful shortcuts to facilitate sharing this message of familial destruction with other women on Twitter and Facebook.

Of course it isn’t just the ladies at Slate who pass their days fantasizing about broken homes.  This is a staple in women’s entertainment because it is what the audience demands.  As just one example, a reviewer on Amazon.com praises the book’s empowering message with a four star review titled “Finding yourself”:

Elyria takes off for New Zealand, without even giving a heads up to her husband. She is seeking, searching, for her truest self, and attempting to unscramble the cognitive dissonance between her outer and inner selves. She senses what she calls the wildebeest in her, caught between two impulses of wanting to be here in love and wanting to walk away like it never happened. Her way of thinking is often circuitous and epigrammatic, such as “…and it seems the wildebeest was what was wrong with me, but I wasn’t entirely sure of what was wrong with the wildebeest.” This strain of opposites and paradox filled out Elyria’s psyche and also made her feel shriveled.

This kind of obsession in all forms of women’s entertainment is now so common that no one notices it.  Our denial is so strong that we overlook what the divorce data makes abundantly clear.  Women (in general) have serious issues with commitment, to a far greater degree than men (in general) do.  Were we to acknowledge this we could save millions of children the pain of growing up with their fathers expelled from the home.  Sooner or later we are bound to adjust the narrative to reflect reality.  The sooner we do so the better for all involved.  It isn’t just men and children who suffer because this pathology is openly encouraged in our culture, but women themselves.  Nurturing these obsessive and destructive fantasies is no more healthy or empowering for a woman than a flask of bourbon is to an alcoholic.

*Hat Tip ISA and Pirran.

Posted in Choice Addiction, Cracks in the narrative, Denial, selling divorce, Whispers | 206 Comments