Misers are miserable.

Perhaps the greatest disappointment for feminists is their failure to make men miserable by getting them to do traditionally female roles.  Feminists didn’t understand that their misery came from their own miserly hearts, not from the act of caring for others.  Not only has becoming more like men made women less happy, but even more maddening is the fact that men aren’t experiencing the misery feminists hoped to transfer along with women’s roles.  Men in fact have the audacity to be downright cheerful when caring for others:

Expectations also lie behind the curious finding that performing household chores makes men statistically less likely to become depressed but contributes to depression in women. Taking on housework seems to encourage men to judge themselves as generally likeable, fair-minded dudes, kindly reducing their wives’ load. On the other hand, taking on housework seems to make women feel exploited.

See the full article in the Guardian (Gains in women’s rights haven’t made women happier. Why is that?) for much more feminist gnashing of teeth, with the final conclusion that of course feminism makes women miserable, we never promised otherwise:

Declining happiness among women may seem depressing. But who ever claimed an expanded consciousness brings satisfaction?

Posted in Envy, Miserliness, Philosophy of Feminism, The Guardian, Ugly Feminists | 155 Comments

What Prager and Wilcox are selling.

Brad Wilcox of the Marriage Project made a video for Prager University that along with a rebuttal by MGTOW Turd Flinging Monkey has been getting a good deal of attention.  Be a man. Get married.

From the title alone you should be able to guess what Prager and Wilcox are selling here.  They are selling marriage and fatherhood as a rite of passage into manhood, and specifically a vehicle for men to attain respect.

Less obvious at first glance is what they are not selling.  They are not encouraging marriage to promote sexual morality.  Wilcox is the head of a secular academic organization, and Prager argues that no fault divorce is good for society and has improved marriage:

Most Americans believe that for the past generation, America has been in a moral decline. And whenever conservatives describe this decline, they include the high divorce rate, along with crime and out-of-wedlock births, as a prime example. I believe conservatives are wrong here…

…a truly bad marriage is akin to life imprisonment, and innocent people do not deserve such a punishment. Second, it only takes one person to divorce. Assuming that all divorced people sought their divorce is as untrue as it is unfair. Third, when there are no children involved, a divorce’s social costs to society are minimal and therefore unworthy of our attention. Furthermore, as a rule, it is far better for society to have people marry and divorce than never to marry. When people marry, they begin to grow up, and society needs grownups. Fourth, regarding children and divorce, the effects of divorce usually depend on what happens after a couple divorces.

paperThis is important, because this view of marriage is really just a state certified version of boyfriend and girlfriend, where the only thing remotely resembling sexual morality is a loose ethic of one at a time.  One at a time is a strategy to avoid sexual traffic jams, not anything morally meaningful, so it is understandable why neither Wilcox nor Prager want to stress morality as a benefit of marriage.

This leaves them with potential financial benefits of marriage, along with the status of husband and father, which from a marketing perspective boils down to respect.  Wisely, Prager and Wilcox zero in on respect, and even when they are discussing financial benefits the implication is that married men, and especially married fathers, are respected.  Respect is a primary motivator for men, more powerful than money and sex.  This is why the series can sell responsibility and having to work much harder as a benefit:

step_up

This works because in a healthy society responsibility is accompanied by both authority and respect.  Men understand this in their guts.  The only problem with the implication is that as a society we are painstakingly careful not to offer either authority or respect to married men, especially married fathers.  Husbands and fathers are at times respected and honored, but this is despite the best efforts of the law and our moral and cultural leaders.  This is, incidentally, why this kind of promotional video is needed.  To the extent that men are the ones avoiding marriage (which is to say only minimally), the problem is that young men are responding to reality and are less likely to believe that marriage is a path to respect.

In his rebuttal Turd Flinging Monkey points out the cruelty of the family courts, but it is important to remember that the family courts are merely the formal governmental expression of our societal attitude towards married fathers.

But while as a society we see husbands and fathers as at best fools and buffoons, and at worst evil and dangerous, there is still the hope by many men that they will be viewed differently.  Either way, this is as I pointed out above the best benefit Wilcox and Prager have to sell, so it makes sense for them to carry on in this direction.  The video explains that a man who marries is transformed from a bar crawling single man to a respectable family man and member of the local church.  This is ironic because contempt for married fathers isn’t a purely secular phenomenon;  in fact modern Christian culture takes contempt for married fathers so far that even secular observers are taken aback. While secular culture begrudgingly accepts Father’s Day as a day to honor fathers, modern Christians can’t abide the idea of a day to honor fathers and have transformed it into a day to tear down fathers.

church

The video makes the claim marriage is the only path to this new and respected status:

settle_down

And a critical rite of passage:

manhood_rite

It gives men a new, respected status in the world:

status

Why is it that marriage can turn a boy into a man when nothing else can?  Marriage comes with a woman to teach you how to be a man:

coach

This is about as effective as a video promoting modern marriage can be, but it won’t have the kind of impact its creators are hoping for.  As Wilcox points out, the median age of marriage for men has gone from 23 to 29.  If this were due to a movement by men to delay marriage, the video would be an effective response.  However, the social change we are seeing around delayed marriage is being driven not by men, but by women.  Most of the young men who will watch this video live in a world where very few women their age are interested in marriage, and they don’t see the men a few years older than themselves getting married.  Signaling provider status is no longer an effective path to sexual success for young men, as most young women in our hookup culture far prefer exciting bad boys to boring loyal dudes.  By the time the women in their generation tire of chasing after bad boys, many of the would be steady eddies have coasted through the better part of their 20s.  The problem isn’t so much that young men don’t want to marry, but that once marriage is suddenly on the table many young men won’t have prepared for it as previous generations of men had.

This is a cultural problem that can’t be fixed by having young men watch a video, because the young men aren’t the ones driving the cultural change.  Moreover, one lesson that men are slowly learning is the very lesson that Prager has been teaching;  marriage doesn’t have any moral meaning.  If this is true, and given the deliberate assault on the status of husbands and fathers, then Turd Flinging Monkey’s response is the most rational perspective.  Of course it isn’t true, but acknowledging sexual morality would upset the feminist apple cart that conservative elites like Prager and Wilcox are so careful not to upset.

Posted in Dennis Prager, Disrespecting Respectability, Fatherhood, Marriage, National Marriage Project, Patriarchal Dividend, Serial Monogamy, Traditional Conservatives, W. Bradford Wilcox | 168 Comments

Imperceptible

There was an altercation down in Houston over the weekend that was caught on video and ended up as a story at the Daily Mail:

Note that the woman spends the first minute of the video trying to get a fight started between the men, and the three men spend that time trying to avoid taking the bait.  Eventually her persistence pays off, but much to her surprise she ends up getting punched by one of the men she worked so hard to antagonize.

Let’s you and him fight is an old game, as is don’t hit me I’m a girl, yet the Daily Mail can’t spot either game:

Suddenly the woman finds herself in the middle of three men and she gets hit in the face.

However, this could be the Mail trolling it’s readers by playing dumb.  Two of their US based readers certainly could spot what was going on in the video.  Bannie from Bakersfield commented:

Woman won’t let it go.

Carl Streator from Brooklyn captured it even better:

she turned into a woman so fast. incredible

Most striking is that the video was taken by a girl with her father, and the father didn’t see what was really going on.  You can periodically hear him warning her in the background of the danger of getting too upset over incidents in traffic.  He seems entirely oblivious to the sex dynamic that is in play.  This is too bad, because it would have been an excellent opportunity to help his daughter understand a temptation she will have to resist, a temptation our culture at large is in denial of.  Not only does the culture not warn women about this temptation, very often it rewards this kind of bad behavior by praising the woman for “having balls”.

Posted in Chivalry, Daily Mail, Moxie, Turning a blind eye | 345 Comments

Fitting

After my last post I looked up the origin of the feminist fish/bicycle slogan, and it turns out it has its roots in a rejection of God:

I was paraphrasing from a phrase I read in a philosophical text I was reading for my Honours year in English Literature and Language in 1970. It was ‘A man needs God like a fish needs a bicycle’.

Posted in Rebellion, Ugly Feminists | 166 Comments

She doesn’t need a man.


Christ does not need us. He doesn’t need us to be happy. He doesn’t need us to be fulfilled…

In the same manner, when a fulfilled, self-sufficient woman marries a man, she doesn’t need her man.

–Pastor Wade Burleson

Feminism tells us women are to be strong and independent, and that it is a sin for a woman to need a man.  After all:

A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.

But the Bible tells women to submit to and revere their husbands, and to turn to them for spiritual instruction.  What is a Christian feminist to do?

The answer of course is to craft a biblical sounding argument that submitting to husbands is sin and women need to be strong and independent. Egalitarian Pastor Wade Burleson shows how this is done in The Beauty of Loving Your Husband without Needing Him:

Any religion on this earth that refuses to assist women to find their basic needs met in Jesus Christ, any religion that refrains from pointing women to the King of Kings and encourages them to revel in the riches of being “wed to Christ,” and any religion that somehow makes a woman think she needs her husband (spiritually, emotionally, or materially) is a religion that is not based on the infallible Scriptures or the truth of God’s Kingdom. On the other hand, those Christian women who have been set free from the bondage of believing that they need their husbands to meet their basic needs, and then simply love their husbands from the overflow of experientially resting in the love and provisions of Christ, will find a slice of heaven in their homes.

If a wife is contentious, we are told this is not a sign that she is overcome by a rebellious spirit, but that she is submitting too much to, and therefore expecting too much from, her husband:

Angry quarrels, scornful fights, and other efforts to control and manipulate your spouse arise from a desire to have your basic needs met by your mate rather than by your God. God never designed your husband to take His place in your life. Christ alone is your Source of real and lasting love, personal and abiding significance, and unqualified daily security.

A wife who leans on her husband is not being faithful to God:

A woman is to get her significance, security, and love from her union with Jesus Christ, and never a union with any man.

Each of these statements can technically be true.  Wives are not to use their husbands as a substitute for God.  However, in our feminist age the highest virtue is to not submit, and moreover the spirit of this common feminist argument is not a spirit of submitting to husbands as an act of obedience to God.  It is a snare designed to make feminist rebellion seem holy, and biblical submission seem sinful.  The insinuation is that sinful wives make their husband or their marriage an idol, and therefore submit to their husbands;  godly wives don’t submit, and instead draw boundaries:

To say that a husband’s infidelity does not hurt a wife would be false. To say the wife does not need her husband to be faithful would be true. To say that a husband’s emotional and physical abuse does not hurt a wife would be false. To say that a wife does not need her husband to be kind, loving and gracious would be true. A married woman does not need to be married. She wants to remain married, but she doesn’t need to remain married.

Therefore, if your husband is unfaithful or abusive, confront your husband in love and draw a boundary. Tell your husband that you cannot control his actions, nor is it your desire to control him. Let him know that if he desires another woman, or if he feels the need to abuse you, then you will let him go. You can and will end the marriage because you do not need him.

In many marriages, wives will unintentionally enable their husbands to continue in their addictions or sin because they unintentionally substitute their husbands for Christ. When a wife cannot picture a future without her husband, she has made the picture (marriage) her idol, and lost perspective on the reality that her marriage is intended to represent (her union with Christ).

Pastor Burleson is overt in his egalitarianism, and is very open about his hostility to headship.  However, you will see all of the same arguments used with more guile by those who wish to conceal their feminism.  Back in January the Baptist Press interviewed Naghmeh Abedini, where she explained that she had to learn not to revere Saeed:

“For most of my marriage, I’d idolized Saeed, and through my fast I was made aware of that and the importance of putting God first, which seems to be Christianity 101 in action,” she said. “This last fast really had me focused on the Lord. It took his imprisonment for me to break that idol and focus on the Lord fully and to see issues that are so hidden.”

The Lord has taught her to forgive and love her husband, she said, while still establishing boundaries in the relationship.

“It was difficult because Saeed was the first person I ever dated, the love of my life, and he still is,” she told BP. “But [I’ve learned] that can’t override my relationship with God and my obedience to God. Obedience to my husband is very important, but when it’s biblical and when it’s healthy…. I’m sure many, many Christians know that, but for me, it was a new lesson to learn.”

Note that like Pastor Burleson she ties this in with the Christian feminist virtue of a wife setting boundaries for her husband, something Naghmeh followed through on with the help of the family court.  Naghmeh claims this is about trusting God, suggesting that her choice was to be obedient to and love God or to revere her husband.  This is a false dilemma, as the Bible instructs wives to fear/revere their husband as an act of obedience and love to God.

If you look closely at the stories women write about supposedly making their husband an idol, it turns out what they really had done is make themselves an idol.  They had elevated their own emotions over both God and their husbands.  To the extent that they overcome this it is of course a very good thing, but if in the process they tell themselves or (even worse) other women that the key to happiness is to no longer revere their husbands, they are replacing one sin with another.  The solution for an out of control wife is to stop pedestaling herself and her own desires, not to stop revering her husband.

Posted in Attacking headship, Baptist Press, Marriage, Pastor Abedini, Pastor Burleson, Rationalization Hamster, Rebellion, Submission, Threatpoint, Ugly Feminists, Wake-up call | 155 Comments