Don’t judge a book by its cover

The most common complaint in the comboxes of Matt Walsh’s criticism of Fifty Shades of Grey is that Walsh has not actually read the book.  50SOG is according to its defenders a work which must be experienced to be understood.  It is, they claim, a work of fine literature, not smut. Fortunately ballista74 has located a dramatic reading of 50SOG which I am confident will help bridge our gap in understanding this modern literary work.  Audio is not safe for work.

Posted in Manosphere Humor | 95 Comments

Five years of keeping her happy proves David Swindle is a better man than you.

Dr Helen has been exchanging posts with PJ Media Associate Editor David Swindle about the famous sex excuse spreadsheet.  Swindle expresses contempt for the frustrated husband whose wife made their private life public:

I have absolutely ZERO SYMPATHY WHATSOEVER for this loser. Why?

Because it’s not a wife’s responsibility to be her husband’s happy whore, eagerly providing him with his orgasms on demand.

Note how Swindle takes the modern day moral elevation of desire/romantic love to its natural extreme, declaring that biblical/traditional wives are the new whores.  As I’ve previously explained, we have inverted the roles of marriage and romantic love.  Now instead of seeing marriage as the moral place to pursue sex and romantic love, we see romantic love as the moral place for sex and marriage.  While most don’t take this idea to the extreme that Swindle does, the basic premise is so common that virtually no one notices that we have adopted a new code of sexual morality.

Rollo expressed a similar moral sentiment in the discussion of the Radio Silence post:

…one truth becomes glaringly apparent: under our current social mores, premarital sex and its inspired urgency is a more honest, motivated and passionate proposition than married sex will ever be. 

However, there is a fundamental difference between Swindle and Rollo’s positions.  Swindle declares that a sense of duty is immoral while arguing for marriage, while Rollo is not only less strident but logically consistent by arguing that it is better for a man to keep a rotation of women in order to maximize the authenticity of the act.  If you believe that really liking something is the fundamental test of morality, obligation is anti-morality.  Under that point of view, marriage and duty are at best foolish, and are at worst (under Swindle’s view) evil.

Swindle’s profound internal contradiction about marriage becomes more understandable when you read further, as he trots out conventional wisdom which would make Oprah proud:

Dissatisfied husbands, want to know the secret to having sex with your wife whenever you want? It is not your wife’s responsibility to be ready to go on command, it’s YOUR responsibility to know your wife so well that you are capable of seducing her anytime. When you want to have sex with her you don’t ask her, you put her in the mood yourself. It’s really that simple: know you wife well enough so you can push the right buttons, say the right things, and create an environment where sex just naturally happens.

Unfortunately, that’s more work than most men are used to for getting orgasms. Twenty or thirty minutes of close attention, massage, and foreplay first? Taking the effort to really get to know your wife’s unique preferences and turn-ons? Learning how to read her moods? That’s effort — and energy.

I’m a bit disappointed in Swindle.  He forgot to mention foot rubs.  And what about learning her love language?  Giving her a footrub while speaking her love language is guaranteed to get her hot.  If it doesn’t, you probably aren’t doing enough choreplay.

Dr. Helen accurately identifies Swindle as a white knight, but I would argue his windmill tilting comes from him assuming the position of hostage negotiator.  Swindle has convinced himself that his ability to keep his wife happy in the face of laws and a culture which encourage her to divorce him is proof of his superiority to other men.  Swindle actually has a long track record of espousing this view.  Well, it is long when compared to the length of his marriage.

Back in May of 2011 Swindle wrote a post explaining why columnist John Hawkins shouldn’t be concerned about modern marriage.

John, let me tell you something directly: people with hearts as big as yours shouldn’t worry so much about divorce. I don’t foresee you having a hard time making a woman feel loved, cherished, and appreciated — as long as you put your mind to it. The failure rate of divorces says more about our broken human nature than a problem with the institution of marriage itself. Marriage is a job like any other. (I sometimes feel like when I’m clocking out at NRB that I’m just clocking in with the Swindle-Bey household.)

If you are good enough John, she will be happy.  If she is happy, she won’t push the detonator.  Those men who are divorced by their wives deserve it.  Swindle continues:

Marriages don’t have to fail when both people in them take them seriously and don’t allow them to crumble under the pressures of life and our own selfish, broken nature. Read a few books on marriages — The Five Love Languages is very useful — spend enough quality time together, and pay attention to their needs and things will work out.

As I mentioned above, Swindle is an old hand at explaining that husbands just have to be good enough and marriage 2.0 will work just fine.  He gave the advice to Hawkins just before his second wedding anniversary.

This Monday will be my wife April and my second wedding anniversary. It hasn’t always been easy. We’ve had big changes, angry fights, and plenty of surprises. But we’ve both grown and are starting to evolve slowly into better people than we were before we came into each other’s life.

Now that he is three years wiser and his family has grown (they now have a dog), Swindle has of course moved on to newer books explaining the secret to a great relationship.  He now knows that the secret to a good marriage is to follow the Bible, at least the Bible as reinterpreted through Jewish mysticism.

You can’t make this stuff up.

I should note that not elevating sexual desire and romantic love to a position of moral barometer doesn’t mean diminishing or eschewing either one.  Recognizing that liking something doesn’t make it moral doesn’t mean you don’t like it.  The irony is that by elevating romantic love and desire out of their rightful place both become much harder to sustain.  The (real) biblical model of marriage does work.  It isn’t guaranteed to produce passion and romantic love, but there is immense wisdom in the design.  I’m always amused when people mistake my wife and me for newlyweds (only when we are out without our kids).  When my wife explains that we have been married for twenty years the look of surprise is comical.

Moreover, I strongly disagree with Swindle that a good marriage is all about work.  Swindle describes being married as a second full time job, but my wife has frequently expressed puzzlement at the claim that a marriage is about work.  She is right.  Marriage is far more about commitment than work.  While we have the same kinds of disagreements that every couple has, most of the time our marriage is downright fun.  It is far more like a lifelong slumber party than work.  Much of this is due to the closeness which comes when the path to the marriage bed isn’t strewn with obstacles, and much of it comes from being blessed beyond what we deserve.  Our marriage isn’t proof that I’m a better man than others, but our marriage and countless others like it are proof that the biblical model which so offends Swindle is infinitely wiser than those who would try to improve upon God’s design.

Posted in Foolishness, New Morality | 425 Comments

It didn’t originate with the marketers, but that doesn’t make them blameless.

I thought I was done with this, but I see that Matt Walsh is continuing with his insistence that marketers are the reason women behave badly.

Imagine the message that would send. Imagine the Hollywood elites as they look at one another, stunned and shell shocked. “Dear Lord, the plebeians have become self-aware. They have… standards. They won’t sit obediently and devour whatever load of vapid, lifeless excrement we try to shovel into their anonymous faces. The jig is up, boys, we’re doomed.”

Elsewhere in the post he refers to the movie as a “cynical, boring, corporate marketing ploy”.  The great irony is that 50 Shades of Grey is a case where the marketers weren’t providing the type of depravity women demanded, so women went around the marketers.  50 SOG is a work of fan fiction which went viral.  By all accounts the mass enthusiasm for the book isn’t due to it being masterfully written.  Pretty much everyone agrees that it is horribly written, but that women are willing to overlook that because it scratches a powerful itch.  Even when women go around the marketers to get what they want, Walsh still can only blame the marketers.  He assumes women are being forced to consume this against their will.

The reality is that women will reward marketers who give them what they want and punish those who don’t.  Walsh really needs to get his head around this because marketing to women is the very business he is in.  At some level he has to know this, because he receives mountains of praise when he does things like undermine headship, provide excuses for women to divorce their husbands, and tell women they are beautiful.  He has to have also noticed that when he criticizes frivolous divorce, his otherwise delighted readers get hysterical and accuse him of being unChristian.  Matt even touches on the fact that many of the same Christian women who loved his posts against men using pornography are equally enthusiastic about 50 SOG.

I’ve noticed that some of the women who give me a hearty ‘AMEN’ every time I write a post condemning pornography, are the same ones gushing frantically about this film. They don’t want their husbands watching porn, but they’ll not only watch and read porn themselves — they’ll advertise that fact to the entire world.  As if the hypocrisy isn’t bad enough, they had to add in a touch of public emasculation.

Classy move.

This had me curious what Jenny Erikson has written on the 50 SOG movie, since she was so comforted in her sinful divorce by Walsh’s writing.  Not surprisingly, she is awaiting its release with bated breath.

But even Walsh’s creeping recognition overlooks the fact that when he called men out for using pornography he declared it as adultery (full stop).  Yet while he quotes plenty of Scripture in his 50 SOG post, he doesn’t manage to get around to making the same claim for women’s much more shameless consumption of porn.

If Walsh still requires proof that women (in general) are in the driver’s seat, he should look no further than the hysterical feedback he received for writing negatively about 50 SOG. Once he understands this, he will realize that while plenty of marketers are knowingly encouraging women to sin in the ways women most want to sin, most of the time they are just going with what brings the results they want.  Telling the truth and standing up for the parts of biblical morality which offend women isn’t good for business when your business is pleasing women, especially in our time of unprecedented feminist rebellion.  Once Walsh accepts this all too obvious fact, his next question should be what business does he want to be in?

Posted in Jenny Erikson, Matt Walsh | 186 Comments

Slow your roll

A little over 400 comments into the discussion of Radio Silence and Dread, a blogger by the handle Prov Erbs asked:

Please help Dalrock or anyone else! What does Christian dread look like in detail for a married couple of 15+ years? I feel like what I need is dread in my marriage now. It’s not healthy, though it has improved significantly with much prayer and this site. I want to honor Christ. I want to have lots of sex with just my wife and the mother of my two children. I’ve never been with another woman. I have temptations b/c I’m like the guy in the spreadsheet. Heck, I’d take his ratio now compared to whatI I’m getting. Please help! Thank you.

Gin Martini suspects we are being wound up here, and that is always possible.  However, either way the question is an excellent opening for a much needed follow on post.

In the Radio Silence post I carefully carved out a sliver of Dread, and many are taking that as an invitation to take the whole cheese wheel.  Writing about Game from a Christian perspective is extremely difficult because this is in many ways new territory and there are very important moral considerations to get right.  At the same time, we have two distinct groups desperate to pull us to either the right hand or the left.

On the one side we have the prevailing view of modern Christianity, which is an unknowing but enthusiastic adoption of a cross dressing view of biblical roles.  Under this theological gender bending view husbands aren’t to lead their wives in biblical headship, but are to submit to their wives as the Apostle Peter instructed wives to do with their husbands in 1 Pet 3.  Actually it is worse than this, because this cross dressing view wouldn’t even permit husbands to win their wives over without a word.  Under the cross dressing view of marital roles, husbands can’t even remain silent if it means allowing their wives to feel discomfort with their sin.

On the other side we have those who want to toss out biblical instruction on marriage or at least rationalize it away, when being faithful gets in the way of effective Game.  No, you can’t cheat or put yourself in compromising positions.  No you can’t threaten to cheat.  No you can’t divorce or threaten to divorce if she doesn’t have sex with you, or if she isn’t as excited about it as we all would wish.  If your primary goal is to have sex, you aren’t at the right place.  Why expend all of this effort on Biblical Rationalization Game when $50 and a trip across town would almost surely accomplish the goal?  I’m not minimizing the importance of sex in biblical marriage, as the Apostle Paul explains in 1 Cor 7 that you would be better off not marrying unless you feel passionate desire, and that denying sex is a sin and creates temptation for sexual sin.  But never forget that when he says to marry if you burn with passion he isn’t talking about how to get sex, he is talking about how to be obedient to Christ.

Getting to the question from Prov Erbs, I took only a quick scan of his latest post and one other page.  I certainly can’t have the whole picture, but from what little I’ve read my advice would be to stop thinking about sex and focus on being a Christian husband and father.  His focus needs to be on being head of a Christian home where the wife is in profound rebellion while the children are taking everything in.  If he brings his house back into order he very likely will make real gains on the sex front, but focusing on sex is killing him.  From his male action plan page:

I don’t want to have sex with anyone else. I only want to have sex with her. Even in my dreams, and I’ve been dreaming a lot about sex, I only want to have sex with her. Sex is not boring with her b/c I love her and she’s the mother of my children. It was never boring for me at least, which is why I’ve gotten even more oneitis. God is my one and only, she is not my one and only. Yet, I’m struggling here….

This script is killing him.  She has the cookie and he keeps eying it in his mind, wishing she would give it to him.  What he needs to focus on is being head of the family.  Unfortunately the cross dressing fetishists have been extremely creative in subverting him legally, and most fellow Christians won’t be of much help as they are enraptured with the cross dressing model.  He needs to keep a clear head and remember his role of biblical headship.  I would start by reading Headship Game, but I’m sure my readers will have suggestions as well.  But either way his goal needs to be to lead his wife as a loving Christian husband.  She is mired in sin and rebellion, and he needs to do everything he can to help her reject the path she is on.

In his latest post Ice Melting, he gives a summary of their situation and describes what he sees as signs of improvement.  I think he’s taking some big red flags way too lightly, as his wife is repeatedly and deliberately putting herself in a position to have sex with other men:

1. She still has been going out to CrossFit across town. She’s been going 4-5x/week.
2. She still has been going out to lunches, no more dinners, with her gym mates. I’ve seen pictures online on Facebook, and it’s almost always – at least on 5 different occasions – her and 5-7 men. There are almost never any women in these pictures.
3. She has been communicating with her old CrossFit friends in our new area, and she’s been itching to go again.

He explains in closing that he isn’t taking action on this because:

I still don’t like that she goes out with men so much, but I see no evidence of flirting or adultery so I can’t say much. She continues to say she’s an older sister to them. (Christian women often say this.) She looks really young for a 40 year old, but she’s still a 40 year old hanging out with 20 and early 30’s men, so I can’t say I’m too worried. Plus mate guarding isn’t going to help me at all, so I’m just pulling back.

There is no biblical role where married women go out to lunch with men.  Also, at 40 her targeting younger men, often much younger men, fits with their relative SMVs.  This is what the cougar phenomenon is all about.  Women who are declining in attractiveness are pursuing younger men who haven’t yet come into their own.  Such men aren’t yet attractive enough to attract a suitable wife or girlfriend, but they are very often willing to accept some no strings sex from an aging woman who is still hot enough.

He needs to make it clear that this is wildly, horribly inappropriate.  They aren’t living in the same house and she is carrying on like a whore.  She may not be cheating on him, but she is acting like a whore.  Forget mate guarding, what would a loving father say to his daughter if she were acting like a whore?  What would Yiayia say?   I would make it painfully clear what she is acting like, from the frame of the man who is charged with washing her in the water of the word, not from a frame of “you won’t have sex with me but you are going out with these other men!”  I would make addressing this and what I’m sure is a whole host of related behavior a priority.  There is nothing innocent or appropriate about it.  She needs to acknowledge what she is doing and repent.  I would treat it like an alcoholic, not just stopping the specific set of inappropriate behavior but stopping the pattern she is engaged in here.

I would focus on this issue with his pastor.  Hopefully the pastor understands how wildly inappropriate this is for a Christian wife.  If this doesn’t get some fire in his belly, nothing will.  If possible, members of the church should reinforce the husband’s message that this is unacceptable.  Ideally he should find an older woman who has strong Christian sexual values to counsel his wife in line with Titus 2:

the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

His wife will of course go nuts when called out on her whorish behavior.  Be ready for emotional outbursts in a fevered attempt to rebuild the mound.  Don’t take the bait and let her change the frame.  Moreover, she will absolutely hate the idea of an older Christian woman teaching her about how to be a proper Christian wife.  She will hate it because it gives the good faithful woman status over her while it calls out her need for repentance.  It is essential not to give in to her excuses not to do this, no matter how convincing, hysterical and emotional they get (and they will).  He can’t force her to do it, but she can’t force him to back down from what he knows is right.  Part of the beauty of this is it will help the pastor and others see the wife’s wild rebellion.  Why won’t she talk to this nice lady from the church?  This is straight out of the Bible.  Don’t waver on this or help her make excuses for it to the pastor or the older woman or anyone else.  Let her rebellion speak for itself.

His other immediate focus should be on reestablishing his overall frame of leader of the home.  His prior decision to leave the marital home could make this more difficult, because basically moving out is like an ultimatum.  Straighten up or I won’t come back.  Do as I say, or else.  The problem with ultimatums is if the other person chooses or else.  Moving back in will almost certainly be seen as him caving, but it probably is still the right thing to do if he wants to try to establish himself as head of the house.  One opportunity here is that they are already apparently planning a joint move to a new home. However, she is leading the process and picking out the home:

5. We will have a 4BR home waiting for us when we move. She said she got a 4BR instead of a 3BR so that we could live together/separate bedrooms. When I told her that husbands and wives should sleep together, she said this is the first step. I did not agree to move in yet.

He needs to at least lead the process to pick the house, and better yet flat out pick it out and start everything in motion.  He needs to hold firm on the smaller home, and she can sleep on the couch if she refuses to sleep with her husband.  If he needs to budge here, he could go so far as to sleep on the couch himself.  I know this is heresy from a Game perspective, but he may need to make this compromise to get the rest in motion.

One thing to keep in mind in all of this is the kids are watching.  He also has a sacred leadership role to his own children.  He needs to make it clear what Christian marriage really is, and not feed the confusion his wife is trying to create.  She wants to create a situation where divorce or separation is his fault or nobody’s fault.  He needs to conduct himself in such a way that they can clearly see and understand what should be happening even if his wife ultimately blows up the family (and there is in my opinion a very high risk this is what will happen).  This isn’t just about here and now or the next five years, it is about their understanding of marriage when they become adults.   Having one of them sleep on the couch fits with this aim, as it will counteract her efforts to normalize what she is doing (turning her husband into a beta orbiter).  Along the same lines:

  1. Don’t threaten to divorce or divorce without clear and unambiguous cause.  I won’t go into the differences between Protestants and Catholics and Orthodox here, but whatever your denomination follow it and don’t try to get creative in justifying divorce.
  2. Don’t pretend their mother isn’t in rebellion and doing wildly inappropriate things.  He doesn’t need to bring them into it, but he shouldn’t pretend this is no big deal.  They already know this is a big deal, and not only is it better not to lie but it will be less troubling for them as well.
  3. Unfortunately he is going to have to model the fact that Christians will at times have to suffer for their obedience to God.  His example should be one of strength of conviction, not showing self pity or calling attention to his suffering.

This isn’t going to be easy, and as I already said I think there is unfortunately a good chance his wife will blow up the family.  However, this only reinforces the importance of focusing on faithful headship and setting an example for his children.

If he can manage the immediate problems eventually he should be able to get to a place where he can benefit from Cane’s advice to Tacomaster.  Somewhere along the way his wife is likely to stop denying sex, if only temporarily.  This could be an attempt by her to manipulate him, it could be due to returning attraction as he takes on the role of leader, or it could be due to a desire on her part to fulfill the biblical role of wife.  Most likely it will be some combination of the three.  Her motivation doesn’t matter, he should simply take her as is his right.  One of the other things I noticed in his male action plan page is a concern about his performance:

I can’t seem to bring her to orgasm through intercourse. I have to use my hands, mouth, etc. She doesn’t really want to orgasm too much, she says that it’s too intense. She’s repeatedly saying she wants a gentle lover. We we’re virgins when we got married, so we have only had sex with one another. It was really great the first 7 years or so just learning, exploring, and being playful with one another. I just wanted it more than her after we had kids, but even then she complied and I remember it being happy. She’s never complained strongly unless I really pushed her to have sex when she’s not into it.

A loving husband will want to satisfy his wife, but his frame is of a performer being judged.  This is a hook for his wife to manipulate him with and he needs to banish it.  Especially until things change dramatically his fundamental frame should be that wives who aren’t frigid have sex with their husbands, and a husband should feel no shame in taking his own wife.  Stop the rest of the script, and get back to basics.  Ironically, this change in mind frame is more likely to bring her to orgasm than the modern “she comes first” script.  Women don’t fantasize about a careful attentive lover.  They fantasize about being bent over the nearest piece of furniture and screwed silly.

Posted in Fatherhood, Frame, Game, Headship, Rebellion | 142 Comments

Yiayia wouldn’t approve

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

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

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

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

Director Stanton tells us that:

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Denial, Feral Females, Glenn Stanton, Manosphere Humor, Matt Walsh, New Morality | 209 Comments