The endless courtship fantasy.

Commenter Desiderius pointed out a very common movie theme in the comments to my post Do women want to get married:

If I’m the only one seeing this phenomenon, why does it show up in so many movies targeted at males? Moneyball, 2012, War of the Worlds, Lincoln Lawyer, that train movie with Denzel, etc..

All alphas with a heart of Light Triad rejected by hot wife/girlfriend who is often now with total herb and longing for the alpha back. Kids want mommy and daddy back together.

While I disagree with his characterization of the women in these movies as typically “hot”, this theme is so common as to be painfully cliché.  At one level I think this is just Hollywood selling divorce.  The women in the audience see the divorcée as being empowered, and can revel in the divorcée’s opportunity to prolong the choice.  Pushing the eject button has no risk for her, since her ex husband remains available in an endless waiting pattern should she find herself terribly alone.  This is no doubt reassuring to the Future Divorcées of America Club members in the audience, because the husband is almost always shown as more attractive than the ex/estranged wife.  He is also generally shown as still fulfilling the husband’s role of protector, even though she is no longer fulfilling the role of his wife.  Additionally, the divorce in these movies is almost always hinted as the “I’m not haaaaapy” variety of divorce.  Hollywood shows these frivolous divorcées as being empowered, enjoying the full security benefits associated with remaining married, as well as never being negatively judged for failing to keep their lifetime commitment.

All of this is sufficient explanation to see why Hollywood writers would want to push this message.  As with the rest of the media, they are enthusiastic marketers of divorce.  But I think there is another reason why this particular theme is so popular.  This also plays into the endless courtship fantasy.  The husband is essentially forced to reprove his worthiness to her all over again.  Typically he is required to perform a feat of daring or great cunning (or both) in order to rescue her, or at the very least prove himself to her.  He is also shown actively seeking her affection in the process.  We can see this in many examples (plot spoilers for Diehard 1 & 2, Killshot, Unstoppable, and Fireproof to follow):

Die Hard:  Bruce Willis’ character (John McClane) travels across the country in an attempt to reconcile with his estranged wife (played by a frumpy actress 7 years his senior) who is not haaapy.   Once he arrives she is taken captive by a gang of international terrorists.  McClane single handedly defeats the terrorist gang and rescues his frumpy old estranged wife.

Die Hard 2 Online summaries suggest that McClane is now back together with his wife, but as I recall it they were still shown as at least having problems.  At the very least this is an extension of the original movie’s courtship following her not being haaaapy.  Terrorists strike again while McClane is waiting for his wife’s flight to arrive, and he is forced once again to perform superhuman feats to save her.

Killshot:  Thomas Jane’s character (Wayne) has been kicked out of the house by his not haaaapy estranged wife Carmen (played by Diane Lane, 4 years his senior) after he lost his job.  Armed men (one a mafia hitman) show up at Carmen’s workplace, posing a threat to Carmen.  Wayne is coincidentally there and lures the two dangerous men out into the parking lot and defeats the men single handedly armed only with an iron rod.  The couple is forced into witness relocation together, where Wayne continues to woo his wife in an attempt to reconcile.  Carmen ultimately rejects him again and returns home without him once the FBI tells them it is safe.  The FBI had been fooled however, and Carmen is held captive by the two men and under direct threat.  Wayne travels to Carmen and yet again saves the day.

Unstoppable:  Will Colson (Chris Pine) teams up with Frank Barnes (Denzel Washington) to stop a runaway train.  Will is estranged from his wife Darcy (Jessy Schram), who took out a restraining order following Will threatening a man she provoked him into believing she was cheating with.  In this case the wife is actually hot and played by an actress who is 6 years younger than the actor.  Will and Frank have to risk their lives to prevent the train from crashing, preventing a major disaster which would have threatened Darcy as well as Will and Darcy’s young son.

Fireproof:  This is the Christian contribution to the endless courtship genre, and is celebrated as exemplifying modern Christian’s commitment to marriage.  Hero fireman Caleb Holt (Kirk Cameron) must convince his wife Catherine (Erin Bethea) not to frivolously divorce him.  To do so he undertakes a 40-day test to prove his worthiness to his unhaaaapy wife.  While he is doing this his wife is busy flirting with other men, and is no longer wearing her wedding ring.  A doctor she is flirting with unexpectedly learns that she is married when the hero arrives at the hospital with an injured arm after rescuing a young girl.  From the plot summary on Wikipedia:

As he continues his 40-day challenge, Caleb begins doing more household chores and running more errands for Catherine, and leaves her roses. Caleb even smashes his computer to pieces with a baseball bat in order to remove the temptation of viewing internet pornography. Nevertheless, Catherine, who is led by some colleagues to think that Caleb did all these things with an ulterior motive in mind, is still intent on divorce. When she later learns that the equipment needed for her mother’s medical care has been paid for in full, she arranges a lunch date with Dr. Keller, thinking he was the benefactor. Caleb discovers Dr. Keller’s relationship with Catherine and immediately informs him that he won’t let him have Catherine without a fight. Catherine’s friends misinterpret the confrontation as a threat, but they do not tell her since the Holts’ marriage doesn’t concern them. Dr. Keller (who is actually married) breaks off his relationship with Catherine.

Eventually Caleb completes the test to his whorish wife’s satisfaction, and she gladly takes him back.

All of these movies are a play on the mythological theme where the hero must accomplish some great feat to woo his would be wife.  However, in these cases the hero has already wooed her;  she just turned out to be flaky.  He finds himself having to woo her again, and again, and very often the hero still faces rejection at the end of the story or at the very least ambivalence.

More straightforward versions of the endless courtship fantasy theme are the movies 50 First Dates and Groundhod Day.  In these movies there is a plot device which causes the man to have to continuously start over, re-wooing the woman each day because she has no recollection of his past efforts at courtship.

I suspect that movies with this theme if anything will become even more popular as women slowly recognize that they have cut open the goose which laid the courtship golden egg.

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126 Responses to The endless courtship fantasy.

  1. Joe Blow says:

    I think the PUA community would refer to a lot of these themes as the “shit test” and point out that they are fanciful because they force the guy to assume a lesser beta status, but then show him somehow winning the girl against alpha competition; or he’s a Walter Mitty Herb who suddenly goes full alpha. The type of women who are on the hunt even though there’s a good husband right there tend not to date or stay married to a kiss-ass Herb when there’s an alpha even potentially available (e.g. Dr. Keller). As for Fireproof… we’re to believe that the Herb is a secret alpha who does heroic stuff to save his marriage to a straying wife? That sounds about as plausible as divorcee who dates then marries a hunky secret millionaire philanthropist handyman…

  2. Pingback: The Endless Courtship Fantasy « Maude's Tavern

  3. John Boy says:

    The dynamic of wives and or ex-wives being financially, legally, or emotionally abusive to their spouse / former spouse is a naked attempt by Hollywood to flatter women by creating an image of the level of power of attraction they have over men. It is not unlike showing a man who constantly cheats on his wife or pushes her around but she stays because he is in control due to his sexual prowess. Prior to my divorce a decade ago I would shrug these stereotypes off but now I find them insulting and revolting. This is one reason I don’t like watching chic flics with my wife. After pointing out to her how pathetic the men are in these movies she now understands why I despise them. Small progress, but progress for sure.

  4. Y says:

    Another trope that is very common, especially in TV shows.

    Single guy going out with a woman who already has a kid by another guy.

    Is this a way for society to indoctrinate men into taking on the father role for kids that aren’t theirs?

  5. Houston says:

    At my last job, a female coworker kept badgering the rest of us to see “Fireproof” for its supposed deep Christian virtues. I’m now doubly glad I didn’t waste my time on it. Misandry is so deeply entrenched in the evangelical subculture that only a general, society-wide collapse of feminism will drive it out.

  6. Phinn says:

    2012 with John Cusack
    Grosse Pointe Blank with John Cusack
    High Fidelity with … John Cusack
    The Tourist with Johnny Depp (an odd story, not well made, but specifically about an alpha female flirting with a beta herb who’s gaga for her, and he turns out to be her alpha cad in disguise all along)
    Night at the Museum with Ben Stiller
    The Men Who Stare at Goats with George Clooney
    Liar Liar with Jim Carrey

    And that doesn’t even count all the movies where the man is redeemed through the approval of a woman other than his ex-wife, like Jerry Maguire, or even Disney’s Tangled.

  7. cybro says:

    I fell into that trap once in my life and only once. Nothing I did was ever good enough so I would try a little harder the next time only to find out it still wasn’t enough. It took me a couple of years to pull my head out of my ass but I managed to do it. My story had a good ending though. The final play was to tee her selfish ass up and kick her through the goal post for the winning score in that ended the game. From now on this is one goose that’s is spending all his golden eggs on himself.

  8. nugganu says:

    I have to admit my life somewhat resembles this theme. My ex, and mother of my child, is approx. 7 years her new man’s senior. He is beta to the extreme, but a decent enough looking fella. Why I know he is beta is that he, like myself previously, is able to put up with her entitlement princess act.

    The only way this really works in a real life dynamic is if the mother is very good looking. My ex is indeed that, even at 40. Indeed we produced a beautiful child. I’m a 6′ 2″ tall, athletic guy and haven’t many problems in my life meeting the ladies.

    This dynamic of the older frumpy wife pushing out the alpha father/husband and marrying a beta provider-schlep is simply wrong, unless, as I stated, the woman is well above average in looks and retains those looks.

    The majority of older divorcees remain single.

  9. wavevector says:

    Nice analysis, Dalrock. It seems like Hollywood is trying to keep everyone happy. Violence and explosions for the guys, relationship porn for the girls.

  10. nugganu says:

    Oh, and just to add: I have never, ever attempted to pursue my ex in any way whatsoever. I harbour no feelings towards her except that she gave me a beautiful child and I want that child to be happy. Whilst I was very much in love with her at one time, her behaviour, which I can only describe as abhorrent, drove every last piece of romantic feelings for her out of me fully and completely. Indeed, I’m not sure I have romantic capacity anymore for any woman, so thorough was her job. Fully digesting the red pill didn’t help either.

  11. Anonymous Reader says:

    The endless courtship fantasy ties in well with the Bridezilla phenomenon. Both are all about the woman, placing her on a pedestal for men to bow before in supplication. Given the amount of disposable income as well as wealth that women control (and no, they are not the same thing) it should be no surprise that Hollywood caters to the demographic most likely to spend money on product. The fact that the product in turn promotes anti social norms that are destabilizing to the larger society is irrelevant, because short term cash flow trumps anything long term.

    Oh, almost forgot: endless courtship surely is entwined with hypergamy. The endless courtship not only continues to feed the woman’s ego, but by endlessly having to re-prove himself, the man continues to meet her hypergamous needs, and as a bonus she has a fig leaf of justification should she ever meet a man with higher SMV/MMV to eject from the current relationship.

    I called it emotional porn some time back, and I was righter than I realized.

  12. Locard says:

    I watched Fireproof at a church movie night. I kept thinking to myself as I looked at my wife……really???? what an entitled, demanding, tramp. Now there is “Courageous” which is my line of work and wifey mentioned maybe we should go se it and I laughed at her. I’d go if she really wanted to but she is smart enough to realize my comentary wouldn’t be worth it.

  13. Ulysses says:

    Good post, but I have one quibble. I saw Groundhog Day more as being the story of Phil Connor’s (Murray) redemption as a human than as redemption in Andie McDowel’s e eyes. I get your point, but Connor actually gets more beta as the movie progresses and time doesn’t move again till he becomes totally selfless.

  14. Eric says:

    It’s no so much an endless desire for courtship as an endless race to the bottom for most women. Our culture instills in them the idea that they MUST be superior to men; and their entire relationship dynamic is maintaining that sense of superiority. This is why they are continually degrading good men and pursuing the most worthless ones.

    Every time a relationship situation threatens the almighty female ego; her first impulse is either to put the ‘male pig’ in his place; or jettison him altogether—not for a ‘bigger, better, deal'; but for a worse and more objectionable one. These so-called ‘alphas’ couldn’t survive a month without their numerous female consorts supporting them; any more than the rubber-wristed metrosexuals could. And that’s why they are attractive to women—not for their alleged hypermasculinity, but their obvious dysfunction and weakness.

    Women are too narcissistic in our culture to regard formal ‘courtship’ with anything other than contempt. That she would ever be impressed by a male, whom she’s been educated to despise simply because of his gender, is an insult to her superiority complex. Men are no more than necessary evils; a means to a short-term end in most cases.

    The Hollywood examples are typical of all Hollywood fantasy. Just like Hollywood portrays the US dating scene as an endless bounty of beautiful women, where any half-way decent man can find his ‘soulmate’, so they promulgate the myth that women actually find male attention desirable. In fact, the majority of women have no positive feelings towards men at all, and certainly never feel love or any other deep emotional attachment to anyone else.

  15. TFH says:

    This is another example that proves that women have very little grasp of cause and effect.

    We have seen that both divorce and late childbirth are marketed to women as being far more desirable than they are. This shows that feminism actually harms women. In fact, what could harm women more than tricking them into a fantasy of divorce or delayed childbirth?

    Now, note that there is not even a SMALL group of women organized to fight both the divorce myth and the ‘you can get pregnant at 40′ myth. If there was even a SMALL group of women like this, everything would be quite different, as manginas would know what to focus on (manginas mostly exist because they are getting a consistent message from all women. If they got two conflicting messages from women, they would not know what to do, and thus not be able to push forth a misandric agenda).

    Yet, there is not even a small group of women fighting against the campaign to market divorce and delayed childbirth to women.

    That is just about the best evidence around that women cannot process cause and effect.

    [D: Good point on the lack of even a small organized group of women to fight this stuff. I thought the same thing when they had the slutwalk here in Dallas. 20 or 30 women who would counterprotest against sluthood would have sent a strong message, and you would think such a group would be easy to round up in the bible belt… (crickets)]

  16. anonymous x says:

    The short, short summary: permission to give endless shit tests.

  17. anonymous says:

    Heartbreak Ridge by Clint Eastwood is also of this genre. The movie portrays the war hero Eastwood as reading Cosmo and other women’s magazines, trying to connect more with his emotional side, hoping to his ex-wife back.

    Like the poster above said. There is war porn for the men, and relationship porn for the women. The movie was released in 1986, so this is a long running genre.

    [D: Yes, very much so on Heartbreak Ridge! I had forgotten about that one. I’m sure we could come up with an extremely long list of mainstream movies. The theme is incredibly prevalent, and as you said not new. This is part of why I included the diehard movies, since the first one was from the 1980s.]

  18. Chels says:

    Since I’ve started reading the manosphere, I’ve been pointing these issues out to the people I was watching them with. The consensus seems to be that they’re just movies, are not meant to be taken seriously, and they wouldn’t be as funny if they were PC. Even my bf said that he doesn’t pay much attention to these subliminal messages, but I should expect trouble should they be applied in real life (lol).

    I haven’t watched any of those movies (not all that into action movies), but I have seen others, chick flicks—Bridesmaids , Made of Honor, Knocked Up and other TV shows—the newest one is Whitney (the way she treats him is absolutely brutal), but the worst ones have to be Grey’s Anatomy, and its spinoff, Private Practice. Even though they’re basically feminist porn, I’m addicted to them, and I’ve watched every episode of every season.

    However, as my bf noted, these movies are fine to watch as long as one realizes what’s wrong with them, and doesn’t take them as standard. We have stopped watching certain TV shows that were simply too offensive and hard to swallow (Whitney, 2 and a half men), but then we’d have to stop watching almost everything on TV, so it’s just easier to watch and then criticize.

    As well, we watch them together and after we can’t not discuss what we’ve just watched and we’ve learned so much on how not to be. You’d also have to be pretty stupid to take the media at face value and not judge it yourself. Therefore, I don’t think Hollywood is entirely to blame; they just create a product they know will sell. If being a 40s submissive housewife would sell, they would show those movies.

    PS: I think that at the core of women’s need for emotional porn, as these movies frequently are, is insecurity about his feelings for her. A lot of women need constant declarations of his love and to some men; it should be enough that he still comes home to her. It is the quest to have this need fulfilled that leads to all this drama (or shit tests).

  19. Chels says:

    If there was even a SMALL group of women like this, everything would be quite different, as manginas would know what to focus on

    There are, only they’re too busy raising their kids and taking care of their families.

  20. TFH says:

    There are, only they’re too busy raising their kids and taking care of their families.

    No, that is not the reason. There are plenty of organizations of ‘Mothers for XXXXXX’, but none that organize against the two things that harm women more than anything else : the feminist myths of glamorous divorce and getting pregnant at 40.

    Again, the fact that manginas exist is itself proof that the female view is pretty consistent.

  21. wavevector says:

    As a happily, married man, I think that “endless courtship” is actually a good strategy to keeping a relationship healthy for both men and women.

    A man who courts his wife regularly is actively maintaining the frame for his marriage, and if he does it properly, he maintains a dominant frame. Women are attracted to the duality of a man’s character: dominant but caring, strong but sensitive, aggressive but gentle. Courting is the process of displaying and performing these attributes. The man takes the lead, asserts a benevolent dominance, and pursues his desire aggressively. But in doing so, he holds out his caring behavior to her as the reward for submitting to him. His unspoken message is: “Submit to me, and I will make you feel wanted. Submit to me, and you will feel loved. Submit to me, and I will make you safe. All this and more I will give you, but you must submit to me.”

    Now many women are submissive in their romantic and sexual responses, and are actually eager to exchange their submission for caring – but only to a worthy man. Such a woman wants to be impressed by a dominant man, but she want to be reassured that he is caring and safe. If she is presented with both together, it will melt her heart and moisten her vagina, and she will submit happily and become affectionate and amorous towards him. This works in dating, but it continues to work in a marriage. Since most the men here want an affectionate, amorous and compliant wife, the benefits of an “endless courtship” are worth the effort.

    I am not putting the entire burden of maintaining the relationship on the husband, nor excusing female flakiness in a marriage. But the wise man will deal with female nature as he finds it, rather than as he thinks it should be.

    [D: Agreed, but this isn’t the message the movies are sending. The message to women is divorce or threaten to divorce, and you will be happy with the power you gain. The message to men is to grovel and jump to her every whim to try to save your marriage.]

  22. Ulysses says:

    Wavevevtor for the win. That’s an awesome comment.

  23. TFH says:

    I would also add that there are no organizations of older women who see their sons destroyed by misandric laws. Older, matronly women have a lot of social power, AND have more free-time on their hands, AND should at least see that their grandchildren will suffer too from being separated from their fathers.

    But there is NO such organization. Not even a small one.

  24. Lavazza says:

    “Groundhog Day has been considered a tale of self-improvement which emphasizes the need to look inside oneself and realize that the only satisfaction in life comes from turning outward and concerning oneself with others rather than concentrating solely on one’s own wants and desires. The phrase also has become a shorthand illustration for the concept of spiritual transcendence.[24][25] As such, the film has become a favorite of Buddhists[26][27] because they see its themes of selflessness and rebirth as a reflection of their own spiritual messages. It has also, in the Catholic tradition, been seen as a representation of Purgatory. It has even been dubbed by some religious leaders as the “most spiritual film of our time.”[28]”

    There is a story about two yogis. One very serious, meditating for so long that an anthill has formed around him, and one very childish and happy. The messenger of gods passes and asks them if they want to send a question to the gods. Both ask how many births they must take before they are enlightened. For the serious the answer is four more births, for the childish it as many as there are leaves on the tree close by. The serious yogi becomes disappointed and gives up his practice, whereas the childish yogi is very happy to hear that it is a limited number, and is granted immediate enlightenment because of his undying resilience.

  25. TFH says:

    However, as my bf noted, these movies are fine to watch as long as one realizes what’s wrong with them, and doesn’t take them as standard.

    Women are less capable of separating television from reality, than men are.

    There are actual women who use Sex and the City as a life template (while conveniently ignoring the few messages of realism that DO exist in that show). For a supposedly ‘adult’ woman to do this is just as absurd as a man who uses James Bond as a life template.

    Yet there are women who do this. This is because they are programmed to conform to what they think is the mainstream. In pre-modern times, that meant conforming to the tribe or village. In modern times, that means television, which has no accountability (unlike a tribe or village), and thus can push out any message.

  26. Lavazza says:

    Groundhog Day reminds me of this yoga story.

    http://university4children.com/narad270611

    Worth a read.

    “Groundhog Day has been considered a tale of self-improvement which emphasizes the need to look inside oneself and realize that the only satisfaction in life comes from turning outward and concerning oneself with others rather than concentrating solely on one’s own wants and desires. The phrase also has become a shorthand illustration for the concept of spiritual transcendence.[24][25] As such, the film has become a favorite of Buddhists[26][27] because they see its themes of selflessness and rebirth as a reflection of their own spiritual messages. It has also, in the Catholic tradition, been seen as a representation of Purgatory. It has even been dubbed by some religious leaders as the “most spiritual film of our time.”[28]”

  27. Anonymous Reader says:

    Chels
    However, as my bf noted, these movies are fine to watch as long as one realizes what’s wrong with them, and doesn’t take them as standard. We have stopped watching certain TV shows that were simply too offensive and hard to swallow (Whitney, 2 and a half men), but then we’d have to stop watching almost everything on TV, so it’s just easier to watch and then criticize.

    I stopped watching almost everything on commercial TV years ago, due to job and education scheduling issues. Once in a while I dip into the mainstream sewer just to see what’s floating by, so I’ve seen bits of “Grey’s Anatomy”, some of the CSI’s, etc. but just enough to get the gist of what people are talking about. This has had interesting effects; some of my relatives became kind of strange to me, because they were drinking in ideas from shows while I was not. For example, I’ve never been able to sit through an entire episode of “Friends” – I wouldn’t want those people in my house in real life, and thus don’t much care to view them even on a flat screen.

    Sometimes I do feel like Rip van Winkle, though, when a show on commercial broadcast TV is ending, and I find that the cancellation is the first time I’ve heard of it.

  28. Lavazza says:

    TFH: Some years ago I read about a UK organiyation of women married to divorced fathers who were standing up for divorced fathers rights, but that is partly due to self interest, so maybe it does not count.

  29. JT says:

    I agree with Ulysses: Wavevector gets top marks! Not surprised he is happily married.

    @TFH: This has been a pet concern of mine for a while now. No older women to teach young women to be good wives…and no older men to teach sons to be real men. So we all lose.
    We have to fend for ourselves.
    But there are pockets of hope out there. It’s not all bad. Slow is the progress that saves the day.

  30. wavevector says:

    @ Chels:
    ” I think that at the core of women’s need for emotional porn, as these movies frequently are, is insecurity about his feelings for her. A lot of women need constant declarations of his love and to some men; it should be enough that he still comes home to her.”

    Exactly. Many women need the assurance and comfort that the “endless courtship” provides. This is not a bad thing, but it is something that a lot of guys fail at. Some, like you say, don’t think they need to continue with courtship in a marriage, or they don’t want to. Others try it, but they fail by assuming a weak supplicating posture, which usually backfires. But as I describe above, men who continue to court their wives from a dominant-but-caring frame are usually very pleased with the results.

    A successful marriage really comes down to each party knowing what their partner’s needs are, and trying to fulfill them.

  31. Chels says:

    @ wavevector

    That sounds all good in theory, but in practice, I imagine it must be exhausting; it’s exhausting have to prove yourself over and over and over again. After a while, a message should just stick, and there’s a big difference between “keeping the fire burning” (yes) and jumping through hoops (no).

    @ TFH

    I haven’t heard of any such organizations, but even without them, I suppose that such women could be influencing the women around them to make better choices without actually having to organize professionally. There are other methods of making an impact….

    @ AR

    We actually love Friends (and Fraser and Seinfield), it makes us laugh so hard that we don’t even pay attention to the other messages; we just focus on the jokes.

    @ Lavazza

    Everything we do is at least partly selfish, but that shouldn’t deter from the message.

  32. Opus says:

    I don’t watch movies (and clearly, if I did, I would not enjoy them), but this theme goes back a long way. In The Odyssey (800BC) Homer, as you will all recall, has Odyseus prevented from getting back to his home in Ithaca by the vindictiveness of Poseidon, and during that time his devoted wife Penelope, contrives to avoid remarrying any of the suitors. Once home (but in disguise) Odysseus slaughters all the suitors, and then presents himself to Penelope, who at first pretends she does not recognise him and then plays hard to get! He has to woo her all over again.

  33. AnonymousDog says:

    I dunno,

    Seems to me John Wayne had a lot of tough-guy-with-an-estranged-wife roles, and his movies were all made 30-40 years ago.

  34. Chels says:

    Exactly. Many women need the assurance and comfort that the “endless courtship” provides. This is not a bad thing, but it is something that a lot of guys fail at. Some, like you say, don’t think they need to continue with courtship in a marriage, or they don’t want to. Others try it, but they fail by assuming a weak supplicating posture, which usually backfires. But as I describe above, men who continue to court their wives from a dominant-but-caring frame are usually very pleased with the results.

    A successful marriage really comes down to each party knowing what their partner’s needs are, and trying to fulfill them.

    Yeah, I agree with this, and it’s definitely the key to a successful relationship, but your first comment rubbed me the wrong way because it just read like having to pass test after test after test (which is exhausting!).

  35. Looking Glass says:

    @ Opus: In Penelope’s defense, she was pretty pissed he took forever to get home. That, and what she went through to hold out for him, I think she deserved some Beta Trait Action. Mostly as “slaughtering all of the suitors” doesn’t come off at the most romantic of actions. (Though the NBC Odyssey’s ending fight scene did come off really well, so I recommend that bit of it!)

    As to the “romance porn” chunk of Action movies, I think that’s there due to audience testing. It’s a construction that guys won’t care much about but gals will respond to. Thus, since except for the most over-the-top action flicks, they do need to cater to that 45% of the audience that’s female. Makes sense from the studio’s point of view. Except when it comes to political points, you can expect Hollywood to be the “most likely to appeal”, lowest common denominator style for writing.

    The interesting one is Fireproof. I saw most of the movie before I ever ended up in the Manosphere (I had most of the Red Pill ideas, just a bit mixed up for cause & effect, so wasn’t really a leap for me, more of a proper ordering), but I did find the wife’s reaction/interactions odd. They just didn’t fit. For as Alpha as they made the main guy, the wife was responding like he’d become a supplicating Beta. That’s the disconnect. It’s not that her reactions didn’t feel natural, they would just be reactions if he did the “Love Dare” bit. Not the other way around.

    The movie just had the signals crossed, really. (I’ve heard it described a romance porn for Evangelical Christian women, a point I’d definitely concede) The implication is that they don’t have a physical relationship (i.e. his porn obsession) and, given his major Alpha career path & actions outside of the house, the Manosphere “backstory fill in function” is that he’d lost his Alpha at home. Where the writers take it that he lost his Beta, at home. Though, in his home life, he comes off more having sled into Omega territory, so it gets a bit murky. If you take it as he’s drifted into Omega rather than disaffected Alpha in the home life, the actions sort of work, but the wife’s character comes off as really pathetic. And, frankly, his actions wouldn’t have done all that much. Though he does get his own life back in much better order, so there is that angle. It’s mostly just way too much muddle of what would actually happen. From a technical point, it’s better acted than most of the stuff Hollywood put outs, which is probably a bad statement to current Hollywood more than anything else.

  36. Uncle Elmer says:

    Great essay Dalrock.

    A movie comment I posted last year on Spearhead in response to this essay :

    A Tale of Three Movies and Four Men

    http://www.the-spearhead.com/2010/09/30/a-tale-of-three-movies-and-four-men/

    Uncle Elmer September 30, 2010 at 07:34

    I posted a review of The Expendables here a few weeks ago. Pointed out how Jason Stadham returns from a “mission” with jewels for his sweetheart only to find her in bed with another man. He storms off, goes on a mission with Stallone (where, yeah, they risk all for some chick they barely know), then returns to apologize to his sweetheart. The cliche scene of him discovering bruises on her face. The punk! He puts her on the back of his bike, finds the guy playing basketball, then whips 12 guys asses before really putting the whupass on his girlfriend’s lover. Then he storms off again on his bike.

    The movie was entertaining but I expecting more than the same old formula : stupid evil Latino “generales”, dirty-faced Latinos in ill-fitting military garb, paper mache castles, diabolical ex-CIA masterminds. It was identical to Quantum of Solace (even fairly the same as “The Wild Bunch”, a movie worth pulling up for review , which actually had some fairly accurate historical references).

    Then my son and I watched “Bulletproof”, a ridiculous 1988 Gary Bussey film with the exact same template. Apparently, the cardboard supertank and Russian helicopter props were used in “Rambo III”, so looks like Stallone just pulled up the old formula and rehashed for Expendables. Even more damning, the captive blonde Army babe utters the line “So, we’re expendables?!”

    And this is common for men who spend a life building something so I won’t criticize. Men acquire a bag of tricks and old projects that they can dust off and offer anew. An old coot a worked for last year shoots and scores a lot of projects by cutting and pasting from his library of proposals, developed over decades.

    A few weeks ago I burned myself up writing a tech proposal that one of the customers said was “irresistable”. When finished I was utterly spent. For days felt like I had a hangover.

    Chances of a win in this competitive climate are small. But yesterday one of the clients asked me to come in to start writing for another application and will be paying me good dollars for it.

    Six months ago I didn’t know these guys. Contacted them cold about an RFP and started the discussions. Somehow I have managed to develop a business outside the imbecile HR foodchain and it’s working. I only deal with the top dogs in companies to develop proposals.

    I’m no major success story, just throwing this out to you guys who are probably fumbling around trying to identify and exploit your own niche. Look beneath the surface at what Stallone or any man has achieved and see that it takes a long time and a lot of picking yourself out of the mud to try again.

    As the femocracy has turned achievement on its head men these days really have to struggle in the face of unknown market forces to come up with a breadwinner. My advice whatever your talent : salesmanship, networking, learn from masters. Oh yeah, avoid dealing with women as much as possible.

    Final thought. Definitely the military has become quite popular with men in the last two decades as it is n antidote to the feminized civilian world. When I was in the green machine 35 years ago it was at a low point as a choice for young men, now it is about the only choice they have.

  37. Legion says:

    wavevector says:
    October 20, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    So all we have to do is work hard enough to keep our job, help take care of the kids, share the household chores, do the regular ‘man chores’ inside and outside the house and spend our remaining time wooing the thankless shrew that replaced the women we married.

    It’s all so simple.

    Couldn’t be that women should also be responsible adults.

  38. TFH says:

    TFH: Some years ago I read about a UK organiyation of women married to divorced fathers who were standing up for divorced fathers rights, but that is partly due to self interest, so maybe it does not count.

    Yeah, that does not count. It is just about two women fighting over the same income stream, and does nothing to re-humanize the man. (note the ‘re’).

    What would qualify are :
    1) Organizations to educate women in a way that Dalrock’s articles do. Again, this is for women interested in the well-being of women, but still does not happen.
    2) Organizations of older women fighting the destruction that has been wrought on their sons (and grandchildren).

    But there are no organizations. That overwhelmingly says a lot.

    Women just don’t understand cause and effect very well, even in terms of their own self-interest. They are also incapable of leadership (with only few exceptions), so all this crap about ‘Women need to be 50% of CEOs’ is exactly that : crap.

  39. TFH says:

    Couldn’t be that women should also be responsible adults.

    Of course. Women having the right to vote has only been tried in a few countries for a short time by historical measures.

    It will not be a permanent feature of any prosperous human society (even it it seems like a natural state of affairs now). Female voting leads to massive economic decline 3-4 generations later (it takes that long to unlearn all the conditioning needed to turn females into ladies, create generations of single mothers, etc.).

  40. Uncle Elmer says:

    Not to waste bandwidth but found the original review in a comment on this essay :

    There is No Sexual Double-Standard

    http://www.the-spearhead.com/2010/09/02/there-is-no-sexual-double-standard/

    Uncle Elmer September 2, 2010 at 07:14

    Definitely a double standard now against men. But you young chaps need to understand that women have a very different life trajectory than men. Hard to see it when you are 20. They peak and decline quite rapidly while a man has a slow and long curve. Marriage 1.0 protected women from this phenomena.

    The reason men get such bile for discussing it is that women want to keep the young lads in the dark so they pony up for a life of payments on a battered old car.

    Time for a movie review. My sons and I eagerly awaited the latest Stallone outrage and finally found some time to go together. The usual fare : 2D latin american general + rogue CIA agent taking over small island nation to raise cocaine. I expected something different this time for all the hype. At least Stallone casted one black mercenary, notably missing from Rambo 4, but all he did was operate an exotic large-cal machine gun. No ghetto talk (“C’mon out heah Dina! I got somethin fo yo ass!” from Carnosuar, arguably one of the best movies of this generation) .

    The general and castle demolition are identical to “Quantum of Solace” though we are spared the annoying Jewish evil-genius orchestrating everything, as in Steven Segal’s “Runaway Train”. Eric Roberts plays the role of the irritating bad guy. But where was Christopher Walken?

    Anyway same old action movie crap, right up to blowing up the paper mache’ castle. As a man you’ll enjoy it anyway.

    But some people in Hollywood just aren’t getting the message. Case in point : Jason Stadham comes back after rescuing hostages from dirty pirates and brings a jewel to his girl. Finds out she is getting rogured by a live-in boyfriend while he is off wupping ass. He storms off on his moto-bike. Later in the movie he looks her up again to apologize! Then, sees that the new boyfriend has slapped her around. The punk! He puts her on the back of the bike and finds the guy playing basketball, then of course kicks 10 guys’ asses before giving the boyfriend a stern warning. Then he takes off again on another dirty, thankless mission. WTF???

    And Stallone also risks all for some island chicita. Course Stallone doesn’t poke her or anything like that. Just a nice hug after all the fireprowess and artfully choreographed fight scenes against stacks of cocaine bricks.

    Despite these shortcomings my sons and I give it a thumbs up.

  41. TFH says:

    Let me be clear that I neither advocate, nor even expect, a reversal of female suffrage.

    Instead, I think that as men move to places that do not have misandry, women will voluntarily follow them. Ultimately, many women don’t really desire the right to vote (we don’t see women in Arab countries attempting to escape to the West).

    Female Masculinist, a female blogger who unfortunately deleted her blog, wrote a lot about exactly this. That is where I learned about women and voting.

  42. Anonymous Reader says:

    It is important to differentiate between endless courtship and loving respect. A man who loves his wife in a secure relationship will be prone to do things, ranging from small courtesies to larger actions, that demonstrate his love for her. A woman in a secure relationship who respects her husband will likewise be prone to do things for him. These will be actions, gestures, that will be a mix of spontanious and calculated; buying her flowers on the way home for no particular reason, making him his favorite breakfast on no special day, both can be spur of the moment actions that well up out of love and respect. Planning a romantic weekend getaway from work and family is a calculated gesture but again it comes from a strong center of love and respect. These things become more important, not less, when children or other stressors enter the marriage. The key word to take away is mutuality. The husband gives to the wife, the wife gives to the husband. It’s not tit-for-tat, it’s not reciprocity, it’s not “you bought $30 worth of flowers so I will give you that much worth of sex”, either.

    None of this is what I see Dalrock pointing to. Endless courtship is a one way relationship. The man endlessly supplicates the woman via a series of courtship gestures. It is, indeed, passing test after test as Chels noted, and it does get exhausting.

    It’s important not to lose sight of the “why” of these things. I had some relations who were clearly in love with each other even as old people; in their late 70’s the wife still catered to her husband in cooking, and he still catered to her in various other ways including romantic gestures such as flowers. If we could ask them why they did these things for each other, they both surely would have said “out of love for him/her”. The only thing that caused them to scale back was serious health issues. So in this case, the ‘why” is mutual love and respect.

    One way supplication, in which one person is constantly attempting to pass tests merely in order to win, once again, some fleeting approval from another person is a “why” that ultimately will be destructive. Because a man in this situation will eventually, sooner or later, decide that the game isn’t worth the effort; no matter what he does, it’s either not good enough, or it’s only good enough for today.

    Let’s turn this around. How about a movie where the wife has to constantly “prove” her sexual desireability to her husband, in order to justify his fidelity? Anyone think that would show up on “Lifetime” or “Oxygen”, “Oprah”, or any other network?

    Sometimes, why we are doing something is more important what we are doing.

    [D: Bullseye.]

  43. wavevector says:

    @ Chels:
    “That sounds all good in theory, but in practice, I imagine it must be exhausting; it’s exhausting have to prove yourself over and over and over again. ”

    That’s a good point, and it would certainly be exhausting if one were trying to be something that he really wasn’t – “trying to learn to walk like the heroes we thought we had to be”, to quote Springsteen. But it’s not so exhausting if it is simply living up to one’s potential – not trying to be something else, but just being your best, or something close to it.

    Back when I was still brainwashed by feminism I thought that all male dominant behavior was bad, and I tried hard to suppress that type of behavior in myself. Now *that* was exhausting, and wasn’t very good for my relationships either! Now that I feel free to be my “benevolently dominant and caring” self, I am much more relaxed and comfortable in the relationship, and both my wife and I are happier.

  44. Uncle Elmer says:

    I posted this on another Spearhead movie essay and it was “hidden due to low comment rating” :

    Laurel and Hardy’s Sons of the Desert is a deeply disturbing film that touches on female-instigated domestic violence and offers an unflinching portrayal of emergent feminist power diametrics in post-industrial America.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sons_of_the_Desert

    ——————-

    Maybe they downvoted me because I claimed to have masturbated to this wildly erotic scene :

  45. Anonymous says:

    Those movies you listed, Dalrock, are all action movies that women probably don’t want to see. Consider that most of them are marketed towards Beta males, whose wives have divorced them. You reassure the poor guy that the wife’s new husband is even wimpier than he is, and that he can win back his wife through doing her favors. This appeals to the natural sensibilities of betas, who see women as being a prize they have to attain. But it turns off women…

    Remember: women aren’t particularly attracted to men who do them favors or commit “heroic deeds” in their name. Women want to be the ones to prove their worth to a man of higher value – hence the potency of push-pull, negging, etc. In real romantic comedies, the man and woman usually have an adversarial relationship towards each other – the man being either a hotshot alpha-type, or arrogant and aloof, who’s cynical and doesn’t want to be tied down. Over time, he comes to feel differently, that the woman he just met is the special one. Think “Pride and Prejudice” or virtually all vampire novels.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Think of the movies which are actually popular with women, but not with men. I can think of two: “The Bridges of Madison County”, and “Legends of the Fall”.

    In “Legends of the Fall”, Brad Pitt is a wild alpha male tortured by his brother’s death in WWI – he also likes to go hunting with Indians and cut out the hearts of dead soldiers. Aidan Quinn is the beta who runs for political office and is respectable in town. Guess which one Julia Ormond has sex with first? But, being an alpha, Brad Pitt doesn’t appreciate her, has to go tour the world in order to purge his demons, becomes a hunter in Africa, in one scene is seen naked with several Asian women in an opium den. Julia Ormond marries the beta Aidan Quinn, and eventually kills herself, when Brad Pitt marries a younger woman(no, not making this up). At the end of the movie, the narrator remarks wisfully that Brad Pitt’s character was a “rock upon which we all broke ourselves”

    Now, this movie shows the way women really think. They get off on pining after the alpha male who has such overpowering masculinity that he’s emotionally unstable and violent and has to go hunt in Africa, do drugs, “nobody can heal his heart”.

    Or the even more popular “Bridges of Madison County”. IN the beginning of the movie, an old woman dies and her children find some secret letters she had left for them. The letters explain:

    “They discover their mother, an Italian war bride, had had a four-day affair with Robert Kincaid, a photographer who has come to Madison County, Iowa to shoot a photographic essay for National Geographic on the covered bridges in the area.[4] The affair took place while her husband and children were away at the Illinois State Fair. The story in the diaries also reveals the impact the affair had on Francesca and Robert’s lives, since they almost elope but she stops at the last minute in consideration of a bigger picture that includes the consequences on the lives of her children and husband while he finds meaning and his true call as an artist. The story has also deep consequences on the lives of Michael and Carolyn, who are each also facing marital issues,” but their mother’s story helps them to find a sense of direction in their lives. At the end the Johnson siblings agree to their mother’s request.”

    As it turns out, the defining event in this woman’s life was a *four-day affair* she had with a traveling photographer. This movie was *insanely* popular with women when it came out. What does Roissy say? “15 minutes of Alpha is worth a lifetime of Beta…”

  47. Grumpy Dude says:

    Jurassic Park III. Wife not “haaaappy”, divorces poor William H. Macy to take up with a more exciting guy. This new guy takes Macy’s son to an island to hang glide, only to find out it’s inhabitated by dinosaurs – gets eaten. Macy then has opportunity to reprove his worth to his ex-wife (who, of course, he still pines for) by rescuing her and the kid from carnivorous dinosaurs, including a massive spinosaurus.

  48. Buck says:

    The Wild Bunch, Sam Peckinpah’s greatest work (imo). Love this movie! The gal being fought over ends up being nothing but a drunken slut, rogering a nasty old man who has power…true love for her young stud she mocks, he is disbelieving at the betrayal.
    If you have not watched this masterpiece, it should be on your “must view” list.

  49. TFH says:

    What does Roissy say? “15 minutes of Alpha is worth a lifetime of Beta…”

    A better rephrase is that 15 minutes of Alpha is worth betraying a lifetime of a Beta’s devotion.

  50. TFH says:

    What is sad is that movie formulas have deviated from :

    a) Virgin girl of age 18-22 finds a prince charming and lives happily ever after in a Marriage 1.0.

    to

    b) Divorced woman of 40 still has it all, new boyfriend plus a husband who sends her money while still feeding her ego.

    As good of a litmus test as any of a society’s decline….

  51. Dalrock says:

    @Ulysses

    Good post, but I have one quibble. I saw Groundhog Day more as being the story of Phil Connor’s (Murray) redemption as a human than as redemption in Andie McDowel’s e eyes. I get your point, but Connor actually gets more beta as the movie progresses and time doesn’t move again till he becomes totally selfless.

    I wasn’t quite sure on that one so I looked it up on wiki when I wrote the post. Their summary really fit with the endless courtship theme. Here is how wikipedia describes the conflict being resolved:

    Eventually, Phil is able to befriend almost everyone he meets during the day, using his experiences to save lives, help townspeople, and to get closer to Rita. He crafts a report on the Groundhog Day celebration so eloquent that all the other stations turn their microphones to him. After the evening dance, Rita and Phil retire together to Phil’s room. He wakes the next morning and finds the time loop is broken; it is now February 3 and Rita is still with him. After going outside, Phil talks about living in Punxsutawney with Rita.

  52. Dalrock says:

    @Uncle Elmer

    I posted a review of The Expendables here a few weeks ago. Pointed out how Jason Stadham returns from a “mission” with jewels for his sweetheart only to find her in bed with another man. He storms off, goes on a mission with Stallone (where, yeah, they risk all for some chick they barely know), then returns to apologize to his sweetheart. The cliche scene of him discovering bruises on her face. The punk! He puts her on the back of his bike, finds the guy playing basketball, then whips 12 guys asses before really putting the whupass on his girlfriend’s lover. Then he storms off again on his bike.

    My wife and I watched that in the theaters when it first came out. She had been looking forward to it for quite a long time. Both of us were disgusted with the Stratham character. She cheats on him with another man and he goes and plays white knight… Now every time I suggest a Stratham film she reminds me of that scene, and we find something else.

  53. He-man says:

    TFH

    “b) Divorced woman of 40 still has it all, new boyfriend plus a husband who sends her money while still feeding her ego.

    As good of a litmus test as any of a society’s decline….”

    You forgot her income, she has 3 incomes, hers, husbands and some new guy or guys

  54. He-man says:

    TFH

    I read all your posts on spearhead here and various other places, you need to write a long and large comprehensive book on the subject

    [D: He did.]

  55. Desiderius says:

    Dal,

    Hmmm, have to admit I hadn’t thought of that at all. Anonymous’s theory gets closer to what I was thinking, but these aren’t beta males at all, they’re good men (note, not guys) done wrong.

    Billy Beane in Moneyball has balls of steel – he takes on the entire baseball establishment and kicks their ass, eventually being chosen by the renegade Silverback (John Henry) to be the next leader of the tribe. Like a true alpha, he tells him thanks but no thanks, he doesn’t need to qualify for anyone. His wife, on the other hand, comes off looking like a fool, and a fool who regrets leaving him for her ridiculously herbly husband. His daughter adores him.

    The fact that she rejected the (obviously alpha) Pitt character in the first place is what I’m talking about. The less a woman is in touch with the traditional script (get your alpha and beta in one guy for the good of society, instead of from separate guys like your base instincts want – cuckoldry) or, worse, if she is antagonistic to it (down with patriarchy) the more she’ll reject the alpha for any sign of weakness or commitment (including being a good father) and keep around a stepford herb beholden to her every whim.

    It shows up in the movies because men can relate. These are movies targeted at men, not women. I’d say you’d have a hard time finding women who admire the choices the women in these movies have made.

  56. Anacaona says:

    “a) Virgin girl of age 18-22 finds a prince charming and lives happily ever after in a Marriage 1.0.”

    I keep saying that guys had it better when all was asked to rescue girl once, kiss her once and that was it. The happily ever after wasn’t defined by a husband always doing what she wanted, when she wanted and how she wanted while still feel confident or divorce him if he couldn’t do any of this. The new fantasy is unlimited worse, YMMV

  57. Desiderius says:

    And yet plenty of women continue to make just those (bad) choices.

    BTW, I thought that Bonnie Bedelia was hot in Die Hard, but I’ve spent a long time trying to make it work with similar women, and they just have no earthly idea what they want. It was losing her job that finally got Kristen Wiig to come to her senses in Bridesmaids – best current movie on the SMP – and even that took awhile, and a beta who learned how to grow a spine.

    Maybe the combination of this lousy economy and the spread of the red pill to men like that cop will slowly bring things back around. Keep up the good work, Dal.

  58. Anonymous Reader says:

    You know, in many of these examples the women in question don’t really offer much to the men beyond their own, special snowflake princess selves. Perhaps they don’t have anything else to offer?

    Speculation: in addition to the pedestalization that endless courtship offers to women, it also makes life easier for them because they don’t have to actually add any value to the man’s life. They don’t have to actually do something, even something as simple as demonstrate an ability to cook. Therefore it is the perfect relationship for the special snowflake princess who, aside from sex, has nothing to offer a man.

  59. greyghost says:

    Those movies you listed, Dalrock, are all action movies that women probably don’t want to see. Consider that most of them are marketed towards Beta males, whose wives have divorced them. You reassure the poor guy that the wife’s new husband is even wimpier than he is, and that he can win back his wife through doing her favors. This appeals to the natural sensibilities of betas, who see women as being a prize they have to attain. But it turns off women… That was from Anonymous.
    It reminds of a conversation I had with some guys at work. It was a tough point to get across and something they never yhought of but they got it. This point hit me during the Obama campaign for president. It has to do with the comments from Reverend Wright. It was his black church anti white racist speach. Sean Hannity was talking about it and then it just hit me. The rev. wasn’t talking to white people at all. Infact he lives in a mansion in a white neighborhood. The revernd Wright was tlking to his church to keep them in their cages. He was herding his african americans. ( I know this because as a black man myself I always questioned a lot of the foolishness from the african american culture) It explained the why they had the stupid crap from new orleans about the levees being blown up. That kind of thing is there to keep them in there place right under the leadership. (because I’m looking out for you)
    The femminised hollywood action movie, The new guy flick action movie that chicks don’t like has to tell us just as bill bennet did what a real man is. The bad ass man is motivated to fight eveil not for principles of right and wrong. Nor honor to his country or friend nope. It is for the love and approval of a woman. Some stud sniper for the police has a wife cheat on him with some art teacher at a preschool or some crap and they will put some scene showing how much of a real man the art teacher is. Art Teacher: “While you were out saving the world I was being a real man and was there for your wife kids” Wife gets kidnap and beta hero rescues wife and saves city from nuclear explosion. Art Teacher was watching the kids and making sure they are safe. Wife gives ex beta hero hugs and says thanks. Art teacher shows up with kids ask beta hero’s wife if she is ok, she burst into tears and they kiss and slobber all over each other with the kids wrapped around their legs. Art teacher then breaks off and shake beta hero’s hand with a thank you for everything and lets out that due to the hightend emotional state of your wife i not going to pass up on this opportunity to wear that pussy out and again thank you. The kids then chime in with a yeah dad thanks. Art teacher then says lets all go home and we’ll get you a hot bath and they turn to pile into the SUV. just as the turn the dog comes up and licks beta hero’s hand and as beta hero reaches for the dog he books up to just make it into the suv as the last door closes.
    That action here is the real man hollywood wants to role model for men. If you are to masculine to be a supplicating mangina and wait your turn when she is left by the alpha then you can be a supplicating whiteknight all for her to provide a safe environment for her and the kids to enjoy her alpha.
    That action typemovie wasn’t for you red pill guys that movie was to keep the blue pillers on the blue pill including the females. As Rev. Wright doesn’t want you getting uppity and leaving the church. My wife liked The Town by the way.

  60. whiskey says:

    I could not disagree more with Wave. A guy constantly courting his wife might as well simply court younger, hotter, tighter women. He’d be happier. A man gets married to get away from constant courtship. A man constantly courting his wife cannot focus on career/financial advancement. He’s basically your tattooed bicycle messenger stuck in time.

    Really, if endless courtship is mandatory, why not court different women all the time? If fidelity is not really assured, why not simply forget marriage, spread your seed, and pursue women until you physically cannot?

    This is the future for women IMHO.

  61. greyghost says:

    Whiskey you got it. The PUA using game. Guess what happens to this bullsh*t courting game woman just seem to not get enough of now. Courting becomes a source of anxiety for women. When men become cads women will be virtuous in their own selfish interest.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Greyghost: I don’t think Hollywood is trying to do any kind of social engineering. They’re simply giving the betas what they want to believe… but in the process, encouraging their delusions. Sort of like how Eat Pray Love and Stella Got her Groove Back make money by making older, single women feel better about themselves.

    I also reiterate that women are not attracted to the idea of the divorced husband winning back his wife. I think its a wrong call to believe such storylines are targeted towards women. In romance paper backs, it is usually the woman trying to win over the male lead, who is typically a wild maniac who won’t be tied down.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Also, compare the meme of “divorced husband finds his courage” with how the divorced husband is treated in Eat Pray Love. One meme is aimed towards men; the other towards women. I think that women want to be reminded that their divorced ex has any redeeming qualities whatsoever. Movies like 2012 et. al. are aimed towards guys…

  64. uncleFred says:

    This comment thread conflates two movie themes. The first is as described, a man ends up discarded for no good reason and pulls himself through a key hole to convince his ex wife/girlfriend that he is worthy regardless of her worth. The second is about a man who tolerates his wife’s/girlfriends absurdities and keeping true to his view of his manhood and his view of adulthood walks his path until she comes to her senses and returns. He takes her back not because he has some fanciful view of her, but because he loves her and his vow/commitment to her is irrevocable. In fact turning from his vow is so foreign to his nature that it is never considered.

    When we attempt to categorize any given movie we are faced with a scale of grays, but the John Wayne movies mentioned above are uniformly the later, the movies mentioned in the original post are the former and Heartbreak RIdge, which I would place closer to the second group, is somewhere in between.

  65. greyghost says:

    They’re simply giving the betas what they want to believe… but in the process, encouraging their delusions. Sort of like how Eat Pray Love and Stella Got her Groove Back make money by making older, single women feel better about themselves.
    Absolutely right that is how it is done. Women like the action movie where the stud is performing for the woman approval. She is shown as of high value. That is the chicks bone but it does send a message to the betas to double down on the service to the she.

  66. CorkyAgain says:

    The woman needs constant courtship because ***otherwise she’s unsure of his love***?!?

    I know this has been pointed out a hundred thousand times before, but the man is expected to correctly interpret her most subtle, almost non-existent signals. He’s not going to get any sympathy from her if he guesses wrong, or if he agonizes over the uncertainty of it all. Oh no, she thinks that’s *fun*.

  67. grerp says:

    I really love Die Hard, but that’s because of the recurring theme that those in charge are idiots and just get in the way of the man on the ground (or in the tower) who knows the real situation. I always thought the wife was rather a bitch and did not understand how we were supposed to sympathize with her taking her children and moving them all the way across the country from their father.

  68. grerp says:

    Re: TV and shows like Friends – we haven’t any network or cable TV in the house for 7 years now, and when I see it at other people’s houses, I’m always shocked at what a cesspool it really is, promoting the absolute worst of human behavior: licentiousness, greed, jealousy, gluttony, selfishness, consumerism, schadenfreude – all of it. I don’t go to see movies either. We do have a television set, but only watch stuff we either own or get from the library, and that is vetted.

    TV is largely a brainwashing tool, one people happily pay for. I do not want people whose values and beliefs I strongly reject to have access to my brain or my son’s (or my husband’s either, but that would be his decision; he’s the one who decided the house should go cold turkey;; I was never much of a tv watcher).

  69. Thrasymachus says:

    “I also reiterate that women are not attracted to the idea of the divorced husband winning back his wife. I think its a wrong call to believe such storylines are targeted towards women. In romance paper backs, it is usually the woman trying to win over the male lead, who is typically a wild maniac who won’t be tied down.”

    I respectfully disagree with this. Grerp wrote a post on this subject at her blog last year, and I left a comment there. The sociology of genre fiction, including romance, is one of my main research interests. In brief, all the themes mentioned in the original post are present to an even greater extent in romance novels written primarily for women. The hero is usually an uber alpha – a handsome, wealthy, powerful man who is described as being irresistible to women (think of a six foot two duke or billionaire with six pack abs). Amazingly, however, he never seems to have any romantic or sexual options – the heroine is the one and only woman in his sights. Heroes are almost always 9’s or 10’s in terms of their SMV rankings, while heroines are often 6’s or 7’s.

    Yet it is the hero who does all the pursuing and takes all the emotional risks needed to create and sustain the relationship. He never gives up, however many times he is rejected. He is, in effect, an alpha male who behaves like a supplicating beta. And the ex-husband trying to win back his wife is a VERY common trope in romance novels.

    It seems to me that there are two main themes about male-female relationships in contemporary popular entertainment. One, the subject of this post, is the fantasy of endless courtship. A surprising number of feminists now publicly regret the decline of courtship, and both the movies discussed above and romance novels reflect these concerns. However, courtship – especially in its very traditional form – requires a culture and social institutions that support it. A man is unlikely to engage in long-term courtship if he suspects that his intended hooked up with a waiter in Cancun half an hour after meeting him. The other theme is the normalization of female promiscuity/infidelity, as in films such as What’s Your Number, Crazy Stupid Love and The Expendables. This is no more edifying or appealing than the fantasy of endless courtship.

  70. Jynxi says:

    The French have a complete different take on the topic. Please see the following:

    http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Private_Property/70056470?trkid=496624

  71. jack says:

    I figure it will take about 10 more years to realize the first-fruits harvest of truly despondent women. I can hardly wait.

    The anguish of the unjust is music to my ears.

  72. krakonos says:

    @Greyghost
    I am not sure here. If you wanted me to recall Die Hard (tetralogy?) I would not mention the line with his wife at all (almost forgotten). I watched it for action only. Anything else thoroughly ignored. And I suppose the same ouputs from most men.

  73. Jack Amok says:

    “Seems to me John Wayne had a lot of tough-guy-with-an-estranged-wife roles, and his movies were all made 30-40 years ago.”

    I sure can’t think of any off the top of my head (and it was more like 30 to 70 years ago… he had a really long career). He had lots of movies where the female lead spurned him at first, or played hard to get, but I can’t think of one where he was trying to get back together with an estranged wife. And when it comes to romance in a John Wayne movie, The Quiet Man comes to mind. He was pretty Alpha in that.

    Old movies didn’t have very many sympathetic female harpies. They certainly didn’t have female characters who had divorced because they were unhaaaaapy that the audience was supposed to admire. Women who didn’t control their hypergamy in old movies were femme fatals and bad, bad news. They got the hero in lots of trouble, and usually ended up dead or in prison themselves by the end of the flick. 90% of Film Noir is about the sort of chaos and mayhem that happens when a good looking dame lets her hamster run the show.

    Oh, and regarding What does Roissy say? “15 minutes of Alpha is worth a lifetime of Beta…”, isn’t the real problem that women these days think they can have both? I think back in the old days, part of properly raising a girl to be a civilized woman was making sure she knew she couldn’t have both, and if she took the 15 minutes of alpha she’d be alone and on her own the rest of her lonely, hard-bitten, pathetic life.

  74. greyghost says:

    My oringinal “long” comment was just some made up as you go story. One my favorite tough guy movie was The Shootist with John Wayne. Modern action or tough buy type movies seem to put in female characters as the motivation for the hero it kills the genre because it places the approval of some chick as the story and not a by product of a bad ass standing on principals. . “Saving the world” becomes is the by poduct. (she is the center of attention, remember when Hillary Clinton said how wars victimizes woman more than the men fighting) Most normal guys don’t notice that kind of thing, but PC femminised types and politicall types do. Overall it is just one more thing. Just part of a feminised pop culture. From a feminised pop culture you can come up with some delusional ideas on marriage and divorce and relationships in general. Dalrock with his blog repeatedly points out the stuff all of the time.

  75. Desiderius says:

    Jack,
    “if she took the 15 minutes of alpha she’d be alone and on her own the rest of her lonely, hard-bitten, pathetic life.”

    That’s the theme of the original Dracula (1931) with Bela Lugosi.

    We knew all this stuff and forgot it.

  76. Houston says:

    Jack Amok writes: “Old movies didn’t have very many sympathetic female harpies. They certainly didn’t have female characters who had divorced because they were unhaaaaapy that the audience was supposed to admire. Women who didn’t control their hypergamy in old movies were femme fatals and bad, bad news. They got the hero in lots of trouble, and usually ended up dead or in prison themselves by the end of the flick. 90% of Film Noir is about the sort of chaos and mayhem that happens when a good looking dame lets her hamster run the show.”

    For me the first old movie that comes to mind is “The Best Years of Our Lives.” World War II veteran Fred Derry (Dana Andrews) comes home to take up a menial job as a soda jerk while his adulterous, alpha-chasing wife, Marie (Virginia Mayo), continually sneers at him and flaunts the horses of the carousel she’s riding. Derry is pursued by Peggy Stephenson (Teresa Wright) a much younger woman, not even in her twenties yet, who wants to love him and be loyal to him. Critically, Peggy is demure and submissive whereas Marie is brash and rebellious. IIRC, Andrews beats up his wife’s latest alpha before leaving her, and gets a somewhat higher status job (thus establishing solid and then-respected Beta credentials in the eyes of the audience) before pairing up with the younger gal. Although Marie’s fate is left unspoken, you get the clear impression that she’ll wind up as an old, bitter, used up whore that nobody is going to miss.

    You might say the movie depicts constructive versus destructive expression of hypergamy. Both women are looking for the perceived higher value man, but the villainess wants short term gratification while the heroine wants long term domesticity.

  77. TigerChick says:

    Houston- your comment reminded me of my favorite damsel in distress movie in which a “good looking dame lets her hamster run the show”: The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek.
    The heroine, Trudy Cockenlocher (say that out loud) is the prettiest girl in her small upper midwest town, the favorite daughter of a single father (presumbaly widowed). The hero, Norval, has been in love with her his entire life, but he’s not even on her radar. He’s small, nervous, and 4-F; he sees spots and is prone to fainting, She uses him (there’s a sad scene when he’s waiting ALL night for her at the movies, but she’s gone on a date with one of the many handsome soldiers in town waiting to deploy. Long story short- she gets pregnant after a dance where she bumps her head (censors wouldnt allow her to be drunk, which is what Preston Sturges intended.) She’s “married”, but the guy clearly gave a fake name and is gone, and Norval steps up, tries to help her find her “husband” and finally volunteers to be the father of her babies.. A lot of hijinks ensue, and poor Norval finds himself in all sorts of comic peril. Norval begins the movie as a low end Beta (maybe even an omega) and ends as a higher end one, the sort of reliable man who a woman who has spent her life chasing Alpha men eventually ends up with if she’s lucky. The movie was made in 1942, but rings true now (except for the single mom shame part), And Betty Hutton was lovely. But it does make me wonder if the “gold ole days,” men refer to (pre-feminism) ever really existed. We women have ever been the same, and it’s funny to see it documented in an almost 60 year old movie.

  78. TigerChick says:

    “if she took the 15 minutes of alpha she’d be alone and on her own the rest of her lonely, hard-bitten, pathetic life.”
    “The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek,”and “Ball of Fire,” in which a stripper ends up falling for a nerdy college professor both contradict that. Also, check out “Dinner at Eight,” made in 1934 ( I think- its one of Jean Harlowe’s most famous movies) which features an array of slutty golddiggers of every age, and only the men sufffer.

  79. wavevector says:

    @Whiskey:

    “I could not disagree more with Wave. A guy constantly courting his wife might as well simply court younger, hotter, tighter women. He’d be happier. A man gets married to get away from constant courtship. A man constantly courting his wife cannot focus on career/financial advancement. He’s basically your tattooed bicycle messenger stuck in time.”

    Courting a succession of younger hotter women might work for some men, and I say more power to them. But it’s not my idea of a good time. I really enjoy having a family, raising my kids, having a stable home life, and having a loving and devoted wife. I’m not a super-alpha, after all – just an upper beta with enough balls to pursue what’s important to me. Enough alpha to keep my wife’s sexual attention, and enough beta to create a comfortable family life.

    Also, the “constant courting” I do isn’t very time consuming. It’s a lot of little gestures that add up over time. And my investment of emotional energy in my wife is fully reciprocated by her. It’s not a one-way relationship at all, as some other commentors have suggested.

    @ Legion:
    “So all we have to do is work hard enough to keep our job, help take care of the kids, share the household chores, do the regular ‘man chores’ inside and outside the house and spend our remaining time wooing the thankless shrew that replaced the women we married. … Couldn’t be that women should also be responsible adults.”

    I consider myself fortunate that my wife is a responsible adult, and is very grateful for all that I do for her. And she shows her appreciation in many ways that I find enjoyable and gratifying! But I think you misconstrue my intent. I’m not implying that the role of the husband is to be a supplicating slave. What I’ve found is that my willingness to invest emotionally and take the lead in my marriage has had good results. I’m discussing the emotional work of the marriage, not the practical chores.

  80. Chels says:

    I think this is what Wavevector is talking about, and it is definitely important in a successful relationship:

    http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/random-acts-of-kindness/

  81. nugganu says:

    @Jack
    “I figure it will take about 10 more years to realize the first-fruits harvest of truly despondent women. I can hardly wait.”

    I mentioned in another thread, I’m already seeing signs of it in the number of girls I grew up with who just turned 40 and are on the brink of spinsterhood. It’s a shocking amount. Of the top of my head I think I can count 15 to 20 amongst the girls I remember and still have contact with on occasion.

  82. Uncle Elmer says:

    “The Best Years of Our Lives” was a great movie Houston. A different look at veterans vs. the usual heroics. Saw it 30 years ago but still remember it clearly, like when Derry says to his wife that he wants to go to night school to learn a trade and she says “I’m not going to sit around while you go to kindergarten”, meaning, not willing to make sacrifices for long term good.

    Virgina Mayo also starred in another movie that touches on the discussion here “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, soon to be remade by Ben Stiller (which should be hilarious). What I have found in my work career is that beta guys who are terrified for their job security, and thus will never take risks, flock to action movies. Personally, I am a risk taking buffoon, and enjoy action movies with my sons just for the laughs.

    There’s another theme to explore here, “The Hero With a Thousand Faces”, whereby the man leaves comfort to face supernatural challenges, then returns to impart stability and security to his loved ones. For the movies discuss on this thread, that would be his errant wife :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hero_with_a_Thousand_Faces

    As for the common romantic movie theme mentioned by some commenters, two recent ones following this formula are :

    “Whats’ Your Number?”, worthy of a Dalrock essay. I would do it myself but can’t bear to be as mean as it deserves.

    “Friends With Benefits”, again, aloof alpha who recognizes in the end that the trashy girl is all he ever wanted. Of course I have only seen the adverts, could be wrong.

  83. Uncle Elmer says:

    “The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers is a popular screenwriting textbook by writer Christopher Vogler, focusing on the theory that most stories can be boiled down to a series of narrative structures and character archetypes, described through mythological allegory. Vogler based this work upon the writings of mythologist Joseph Campbell, particularly The Hero with a Thousand Faces, and holds that all successful films innately adhere to its principles. The book was very well received upon its release, and is often featured in recommended reading lists for student screenwriters.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Writer%27s_Journey:_Mythic_Structure_For_Writers

  84. Eumaios says:

    “I can’t think of one where [John Wayne] was trying to get back together with an estranged wife.”

    McLintock! is exactly that, but in a very good way. Wayne is a cattle baron in the territories, Maureen O’Hara is the wife of his youth who has tasted high society and left her husband for it. She comes back to harass him into granting a divorce and letting their teenage daughter go live with her. Wayne, shown as a king among men in all other ways, refuses these demands but lets her walk all over him, his friends, and his servants. Until he suddenly doesn’t, in one of my favorite chase scenes in all moviedom.

    I believe this film uses Proverbs 31 as a hidden program: both the kingship and wifehood sections are thematically evident, and there are several clever references, including an extremely purple dress.

  85. nugganu says:

    Speaking of Clint Eastwood, he had a terrible time with Sandra Locke. That woman really messed with him over the years. He seems to be alpha/beta all wrapped up in one, but she would never marry him, and remained married to some homosexual guy. Of course, when they split up, she wrote a book about Clint allegedly abusing her that was all bullshit. She tortured the poor guy for years. Of course, now without him, her career is long over.

    One thing is that women who are marriage minded are going to want the beta, but he has to be the type with no spine, willing to be a doormat, or else it’s no go.

  86. nugganu says:

    “Locke married sculptor Gordon Anderson on September 25, 1967. Anderson is homosexual and Locke says their marriage was never consummated, although they have been close friends for many years and remain legally married.[5]
    [edit] Domestic partnership

    Sondra Locke had a fourteen-year relationship with actor Clint Eastwood. They cohabited from 1975 to 1989.[6] During the early years of the relationship, Locke had two abortions and a tubal ligation, which she claims were at Eastwood’s request”

    How messed up is that? Given the sheer amount of children Clint has, I highly doubt he made her get an abortion. As for marrying the homosexual…..I just…Wow.

  87. zed says:

    “Friends With Benefits”, again, aloof alpha who recognizes in the end that the trashy girl is all he ever wanted. Of course I have only seen the adverts, could be wrong.

    Maybe he could do a two-fer with FWB and that tired old remake of Cinderella – “Pretty Woman.”

  88. uncleFred says:

    @ Houston

    That is a classic movie, which I think won a number of Oscars. The guy that Andrew’s wife had taken up with is a mobster. When Andrews returned he had a large chunk of pay from his term of service. The wife was perfectly happy to be with him until the money ran out. Andrews found that a someone who returned late from the war with limited skills veterans released before him had soaked up all the good jobs. He ends up back at the drug store that he had worked in prior to enlisting. The drug store had been sold to a chain so his prior experience there was valueless. He ends up working for the “kid” who used to work for him, who was 4f and is now the perfect caricature of the insecure snot nosed manager. While he is working there, a war protester tells a maimed veteran, who Andrews befriended on his flight back to the states, that he lost his hands for a lie. The veteran and the protester get in a struggle and Andrews steps in and decks the protester, and then quits his job before he can be fired. He returns home to find his gold digging wife has decided to once again take up with the mobster. Andrews clobbers the mobster and walks out. With no job, no wife, and no ties to the area he returns home to gather a few things and then heads to the airport to hop a military flight somewhere else to seek a job. Left behind are his medals and citations from which we find out that he was a legitimate war hero who displayed exemplary courage in combat. While waiting for his flight, wanders among rows of B-17 that have been decommissioned and finds his old ship. At that point he encounters a contractor who is scrapping the planes for building materials, He convinces the contractor to hire him on a trial basis. Andrews character was many things, conflicted, unsure about the direction he wanted to pursue following the war, but he was in NO sense a beta.

    It was made very clear in the movie that “job status” was independent of a man’s worth. Teresa’s character (Peggy) has fallen for Andrews and seeing that his wife was unsuitable decides to break up his marriage and marry Andrews for his (and her) own good. Peggy’s father, who also met and became Andrews friend on their flight home, goes to Andrews and makes it clear that he expects Andrews to prevent such a foolish act by his daughter. Andrews, does the honorable thing and ends any involvement with Peggy. At the end of the movie, Andrews has left his wife and is living with his family, they meet at the wedding of the maimed veteran, and we see that they are going to explore a future together.

    I would categorize Peggy as independent, competent, and demur. While not flashy she is quite attractive and she and Andrews establish a chemistry early in the film. The notion that Peggy exhibits hypergamy seems misplaced. She cares nothing about what kind of job or income Andrews has, she is drawn to what she perceives and his strength, goodness, and need. She views herself as someone who bonded with Andrews can build a deeply happy life. In fact the argument can be made that she makes her determination of Andrews’ status based solely on her perception of the “inner man”.

    Andrews changed by his war experience finds that, other than the obvious physical attraction, he has nothing in common with the wife he met and married foolishly on a two week leave. Though drawn to Peggy, he intends to honor his marriage vow and expects that Marie (his wife) will as well. When she does not he is done with her, immediately, almost without regret. The reason that Marie’s fate is left uncertain is because she is discarded by society to her fate. Judged by society as unworthy of future concern or consideration. Literally beneath contempt.

    This movie is about the struggles of three returning veterans to rejoin normal society after the terrible experience of world war II. One, Peggy’s father, returns to a loving wife, family, and a better job at his bank, the second Andrews returns to a whorish wife and almost no job, the last returns without his hands on a full disability pension to a devoted fiance who still wants him, but he is unsure if, handless, he is worthy of her love. To the extent that hypergamy appears in this movie, only exhibited by Marie’s gold digging and whorish ways, it is portrayed as among the worst aspects of human behavior. A subhuman indulgence that is worthy of banishment from society.

    [D: Excellent write up. Thanks for sharing that.]

  89. Dalrock says:

    @Uncle Elmer

    As for the common romantic movie theme mentioned by some commenters, two recent ones following this formula are :

    “Whats’ Your Number?”, worthy of a Dalrock essay. I would do it myself but can’t bear to be as mean as it deserves.

    “Friends With Benefits”, again, aloof alpha who recognizes in the end that the trashy girl is all he ever wanted. Of course I have only seen the adverts, could be wrong.

    Those are some telling themes, aren’t they? From what I gather both movies indulge the fantasy that by being slutty women will accidentally find the man of their dreams who will pursue them for commitment. I think Susan Walsh did a post on this theme a while back and how destructive it was to women. The equivalent for men would be a series of movies showing young men smoking pot, playing video games, and living in their mom’s basement only to find out that their group of low achiever friends are secretly the board of directors of a major company, and his ability to take righteous bong hits and burp the alphabet has convinced them that he needs to be their next CEO.

    Edit: I found Susan’s post on this.

  90. Houston says:

    TigerChick writes: “But it does make me wonder if the “gold ole days,” men refer to (pre-feminism) ever really existed. We women have ever been the same, and it’s funny to see it documented in an almost 60 year old movie.”

    The sexual temptations for women are the same as they’ve always been. It’s the financial incentives, the laws, ease and efficiency of contraceptives, and the social mores that have changed. Generally speaking, “good ole days” for a Gen-Xer like me = The days when women had much greater incentives to settle down earlier and stay married.

    Getting back to “The Best Years of Our Lives”, I should note that Fred Derry married out of his league the first time. Marie is either independently wealthy or at the very top of the middle class, thanks to a family business or an inheritance. She is a woman of means who doesn’t need a husband for financial support. The war, which tore Fred and millions of other Beta husbands away from their wives, gave her the opportunity to mount the carousel. But one gets the distinct impression that the marriage couldn’t have lasted even if Fred remained on the scene. A take-home lesson for men in assortative mating.

    There is a very poignant scene between another couple in the film, the wounded navy veteran, Homer Parrish, and his love interest, Wilma. Before the war Homer was a football quarterback. Now he is a cripple with stumps instead of hands. How does he propose to Wilma now that his “market value” has been trashed forever? He asks her to come over to see him one night (he lives with his parents), and when she arrives, he tells her not to question or object but to be attentive to what he’s about to show her. They go up to his room and Homer demonstrates how helpless he is to perform certain basic tasks, such as dressing himself. Someone else must do this for him, for the rest of his life. He asks Wilma, “Do you understand? Can you do this?” She responds with a grateful and understanding smile as she buttons up his pajama shirt, “Yes, I can do this.” The scene is too profound to be dismissed as a tear-jerker because it deals with the very nature of love.

  91. Houston says:

    uncleFred, thank you for a much more detailed and accurate analysis of the movie. I was going largely on memory.

  92. Heman says:

    Dalrock

    I know that TFH did the misandry bubble but’s that not a book, I mean a real book

  93. Jack Amok says:

    “The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek,”and “Ball of Fire,” in which a stripper ends up falling for a nerdy college professor both contradict that. Also, check out “Dinner at Eight,” made in 1934 ( I think- its one of Jean Harlowe’s most famous movies) which features an array of slutty golddiggers of every age, and only the men sufffer

    I haven’t seen “Miracle of Morgan’s Creek” or “Ball of Fire” but do the wayward women reform themselves by the end? Some movies did offer tales of redemption (Wayne’s first big movie, “Stagecoach”, is a tale of redemption for male and female characters). But redemption is different than indulgence, and I think the modern movies are more about indulgence. Speaking of which, yes, I’d forgotten about the pre-code movies, which reflected some of the Roaring 20’s loose morals. My impression of “Dinner at Eight” was that it was a vehicle for working class stiffs in the Depression to make fun of wealthy fat cats who were still miserable even with all their money. “Be glad you’re not rich buddy, look at the women those guys have to put up with! Nice to look at, but who’d want to live with ‘em?”

    McLintock! is exactly that, but in a very good way…

    I don’t remember Wayne trying very hard to get back together with his estranged wife in that movie. More like she showed up and he figured if he had to put up with her he was going to do it on his terms. I seem to recall he parades her through town in her nightgown (!) and then proceeds to publicly spank her. After which – nuclear fitness test passed – they are back together, with O’Hara presumably on her best behavior again.

    And Wayne and O’Hara have another great scene in “The Quiet Man” where he throws his rebellious bride onto the bed in exasperation, breaking it. A villiager later sees the broken bed (the day after their wedding night) and walks away muttering “Prodigious!”

    Ah, the good old days!

  94. Retrenched says:

    Reminds me of something Devlin once wrote…

    [T]he ultimate expression of modern female hypocrisy is the assertion of a right to adultery for women only. This view is clearly implied in much contemporary self-help literature aimed at women. Titles like “Get Rid of Him” and “Ditch That Jerk” are found side-by-side “Men Who Can’t Love: How to Spot a Commitmentphobic Man.” In short, I demand loyalty from you, but you have no right to expect it of me.

    These courtship fantasy movies are based on the same premise — that the man’s commitment to the woman must be absolute and permanent, whereas the woman’s commitment to the man is conditional and subject to change at any time, depending on whether or not he manages to jump through whatever hoops she chooses to set up for him on any given day.

    And yet there are still people who wonder why men are so reluctant to get married! Sheesh.

    OT: Congrats on getting to the million view mark Dalrock.

    [D: I would have missed the million view mark. It looks like it should roll today. Thanks! On the woman’s commitment being conditional, it isn’t even that good. One could make a case for a basic set of conditions (fidelity being one of them). It is capricious.]

  95. Legion says:

    wavevector says:
    October 21, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Thank you for your reply. I am divorced. I tried the constant acts of kindness which were forgotten as soon as they were done. She did have some health problems which left me working and taking care of our son, her, and the house. Whenever she felt better, it was time to catch up with friends or do her gardening.

    I ain’t gonna beta no more.

  96. TFH says:

    Retrenched,

    And yet there are still people who wonder why men are so reluctant to get married! Sheesh.

    Except that they aren’t. There is still very little of a marriage strike. Only on the margins at most.

    Most men still think they can beat the odds.

  97. TFH says:

    I know that TFH did the misandry bubble but’s that not a book, I mean a real book

    He-Man,

    Thanks, I am flattered.

    ..but that would be a lot of work (plus I would have to disclose my identity)…..

    The anti-misandry sphere does not have a shortage of content (if anything, many articles are repeats at this point). What there is a shortage of is action. I have a plan for that too that I disclosed on 1/1/11, but only a handful of men have taken the simple action of posting flyers in high-visibility locations.

  98. TB says:

    Great website, been reading for six months or so. The least angry and most incisive commentary on these subjects anywhere. Nice work.

    Just had to chime in on “Fireproof.” It is EVERYTHING I hate about evangelicalism, condensed into one two-hour shot. Take the assumptions and habits of that movie, splay them out across twenty years, and you have the reason I’m out of evangelical-land. If I had to listen to one more sermon supposedly about women’s submission in marriage suddenly transform into a 45-minute screed against men, I was going to scream.

    Also…..”Kirk Cameron, leading man.” Yeah, ok, sure.

    [D: Wow, Thanks! Welcome to the blog.]

  99. TFH says:

    He-Man,

    I should add that I did write a book manuscript in 2001-2002, but the old-fashioned method of publishing was so inefficient, and so tedious, that I in fact parsed up my book into many of the blog articles you see there. Of course, I did not learn much about misandry until 2009, despite practicing at least parts of Game since 2001.

    Read this for a bit more history of how I actually did the opposite – book first, redirecting into a blog later.

  100. Brendan says:

    I think there may be a terminology problem.

    It’s certainly true that, in order for a relationship to work, there have to be random acts of kindness and attentiveness to your partner’s needs. However, I do not view this as constant courtship. Courtship is a process of proving oneself. The concept of constantly having to prove oneself once married is a ridiculous standard for behavior, regardless of whether or not some women like it. Taking care of your partner’s needs, yes, constantly re-proving your own worthiness, no. Marriage shouldn’t be like dating in that it is a process of being vetted — you’re done with the vetting.

    I also don’t watch any television shows (other than the occasional sporting event or news event) as I find them inane and a terrible waste of brain time. I have watched some of these movies, however, and recognize the theme well.

  101. Thomas says:

    Phinn wrote: “The Tourist with Johnny Depp (an odd story, not well made, but specifically about an alpha female flirting with a beta herb who’s gaga for her, and he turns out to be her alpha cad in disguise all along)”

    well, IF that is what it’s about then, yes, it was not well made. However, if one starts with an assumption that it IS well made, one might decide it is more interesting, specifically regarding alpha/beta relationships.
    At any rate, ‘her alpha’ is not a cad

  102. He-man says:

    TFH

    Awesome I wil be sure to check it out, I love your work!

  103. He-man says:

    TFH-

    I will be sure to check it out, I don’t know if my first post went up

  104. Mr Stricter says:

    Y, yep it is pro other peoples kids propaganda.

    Pretty much all TV is usually cleverly crafted propaganda of some kind.. Heck I’ve noticed a recent trend toward “real men like cars” story lines . I suspect this is because the flat economy has killed many car sales and because Gen Y middle class and up don’t care much for cars, if people demand useful, long lasting , thrifty cars, the car companies will make less money, sell less cars and buy less ads. Therefor as car ads are big money, the producers lose revenue.

    So they encourage pro-car stories same as they encourage other forms of social engineering.

  105. Houston says:

    TB writes: “Just had to chime in on “Fireproof.” It is EVERYTHING I hate about evangelicalism, condensed into one two-hour shot. Take the assumptions and habits of that movie, splay them out across twenty years, and you have the reason I’m out of evangelical-land. If I had to listen to one more sermon supposedly about women’s submission in marriage suddenly transform into a 45-minute screed against men, I was going to scream.”

    My wife and I and are out too. She despises feminism and was as digusted by the anti-man sermons as I was. For nearly two years now we’ve been in a house church. The other members are also people who’ve spent many years in E-land and can’t stand it anymore. Evangelicalism is effeminate, anti-intellectual, and virtually blind to modern (i.e., ideological and bureaucratic) forms of organized evil. The creepiest thing is the tendency of pastors to talk to congregations as if they are made up of children. Our current pastor says he was taught to do this in seminary, but it’s was a lesson he disregarded.

  106. TB says:

    Great thoughts, Houston. Agreed as to the infantalization of the laity. Interesting choice you’ve made; I find I’ve gone the other way, seeking refuge in liturgical traditionalism. The few liturgical churches that have remained orthodox (small-o) have remained VERY orthodox.

    Might I add, along with infantalization, emotionalism; and a complete lack of the classical qualities dignitas and virtus. “Hey, it’s special music time now, brothers, time for the music minister’s kid to get up with his guitar and croon at the girls in the youth group.” If once, a thousand times.

  107. Anonymous says:

    “Those are some telling themes, aren’t they? From what I gather both movies indulge the fantasy that by being slutty women will accidentally find the man of their dreams who will pursue them for commitment. I think Susan Walsh did a post on this theme a while back and how destructive it was to women. The equivalent for men would be a series of movies showing young men smoking pot, playing video games, and living in their mom’s basement only to find out that their group of low achiever friends are secretly the board of directors of a major company, and his ability to take righteous bong hits and burp the alphabet has convinced them that he needs to be their next CEO.”

    It is destructive, but the theme of promiscuous women finding love is still rare. What’s more common is an older career woman finding bliss with an alpha male who works the same job she does. I think that theme also shows one of the flaws in women’s perceptions – that working a high-status, high-pressure job will make them more attractive to the types of men who work those jobs.

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  109. MIX says:

    Face it, women like to be wooed and courted, even in old age. Its the female equivelent of the male “endless kinky sex fantasy”.

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  122. amir_timur says:

    Guys, reading this makes me tip my hat to ol Charlie sheen for reversing the situation in the sitcom ‘Anger management.’ Shows that when a proper alpha makes something its much more in tune with real life.

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  124. JM says:

    This is funny. I have a good marriage, but it did have a low point. (Some of it probably was my fault, but hey, I’m human. Some of it wasn’t my fault, but hey, she’s human. Plus, 3 young kids, and it was at the time marriages can commonly bottom out just naturally.)

    Anyway, my wife did the whole threaten to divorce thing a couple times, and the second time I said, “I signed up for life, and so did you. I love you. I don’t want this. But if this is what you want to do, do it. Just stop threatening it. However, when you go, know that this is something you wanted and only you wanted, something you did and only you did. Any move for divorce will be entirely on you.”

    I’m laughing because this is exactly the opposite of what Fireproof recommended (yes, I am a Christian), yet the marriage was very soon better than it had been in some time, in virtually all respects….far fewer than 40 days, with no movie-style courtship required.

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