Manspreading is about envy, not space.

The BBC has an article up about an ugly feminist receiving “backlash” for her pettiness. Laila Laurel won a “major award” for creating a pair of seats designed to force men’s legs together while forcing women’s legs apart.

According to the BBC, Laurel designed the chairs to solve the problem of men taking up too much space:

She said the “concept” chair was inspired by her experiences of men “infringing on my space in public”.

But if you look at the picture in the BBC article, by design the seats quite obviously take up extra space in order to assuage feminist envy of men.  It isn’t about saving space at all.

She also made a second chair intended for women which encourages sitters to push their legs apart.

According to the Independent, the Belmond hotel company was so pleased with her feminist furniture that they want her to design something for their guests!

As part of her prize, Laurel will be commissioned to create a product for the hotel and leisure company and receive a £1,000 bursary.


Posted in Envy, Feminist Territory Marking, Ugly Feminists | 81 Comments

Marriage and children were always her priority.

I recently came across a heartbreaking article at National Catholic Register that underlines why all of the books aimed at young Christian women telling them to focus on having fabulous lives in their “season of singleness”, they are a prize to be won, etc. are so cruel.  The article is by Emily Stimpson Chapman, and is The Cross of Infertility: Finding Companionship With the Saints:

For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of having a large family. Five, six, seven, eight children — it didn’t matter; I was prepared to take as many children as God sent me. There was just one problem: My 20s came and went without God sending me a husband.

Another decade passed, and with my single status unchanged, reality set in. There would be no eight babies. Nor would there be five babies.

By the time I finally did meet a wonderful man and get engaged at age 40, I hoped for just two. The doctors assured me that was realistic.  I was healthy, my hormones all checked out at optimum levels, and there was no reason I shouldn’t conceive. I believed them. After all, my friends my age or older were having babies. Why wouldn’t I?

Eighteen months later, I’m still asking that question, and the NaProTECHNOLGY doctor I’ve worked with has no answer. Even at age 42, he thinks I should be able to conceive.

When I read articles like this, I think “Why didn’t someone warn her?”  From her bio at it is clear that despite her claim to have always wanted marriage and many children, she focused her youth on career and education:

Emily holds a BA from Miami University of Ohio (Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude), where she studied political science, history, and English literature. She also did graduate work in political science at John Hopkins University and theology at Franciscan University. Before moving to Steubenville, Emily worked in Washington, DC, first as a Legislative Assistant to then Congressman Jim Talent (R-MO), then later at the Heritage Foundation, where she served as Special Assistant to former Attorney General Edwin Meese III.

This is of course the feminist life script, and is not coincidentally the path men traditionally follow to attract a wife.  It also has become the standard UMC life script, as Novaseeker describes.  Most UMC women are able to pull this off, because as the clock is ticking down they get intensely pragmatic in their search for a man.  Sheryl Sandberg’s famous quote on the subject captures part of this pragmatism.  There is also a ramped up sense of urgency for nearly all UMC women around age 30.  Lori Gottlieb’s famous Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough article and book are reminders to UMC women not to wait around for Mr. Perfect.

But while large numbers of modern Christian women have adopted the UMC life script, they aren’t getting the warnings not to overdo it that their secular sisters are receiving.  This is why you see Christian women like Emily Stimpson Chapman thinking that getting engaged at age 40 meant she could expect to have two children, and why she is shocked that at 42 she can’t conceive.  Her secular sisters got the message, but she did not.  Marriage delaying Christian women are being reassured that everything is fine.  They consume social media posts and read books written by other marriage delaying Christian women, and they are urged not to act with urgency like their secular sisters are doing.  I’ve written a fair amount about this army of aging never married Christian women writing on the season of singleness, including Wendy Griffith and Mandy Hale.  Griffith finally married in her mid 50s.  Hale is still unmarried, and blogged back in November of 2018 about her creeping doubts about the “You are enough!” message she has been selling to unmarried Christian women:

I’ve dressed it up in pretty pink girl power with a silver lining instead of gotten really, really REAL with you and with myself about my fears about being single and 39. And in doing that, my friends, I feel I have done you a disservice. I have done myself a disservice. It’s recently been called to my attention that I use positivity as a defense mechanism. Oh, I was angry when I heard that. Fearful. Indignant. Convinced the person telling me that HAD to be mistaken. I’m just a positive person! I argued. If I don’t look for the silver lining…what is the purpose to the bad things that happen?! If I choose to let in the darkness and the sadness and the REALNESS…won’t I sink in it? Won’t it drown me? Won’t it make me a…SHUDDER…negative person?!??!

The truth is…I don’t know exactly why I’m still single. I think I’m starting to come to a better understanding of why…but for the moment, it’s still just shadowed and blurry truth that I’m struggling to make sense of. But the reasons I often convince myself that I’m still single aren’t pretty.

I never meet guys. Like…literally NEVER. A few years ago I felt like I could simply walk into a room and command the attention of the men in the room. I had no trouble meeting men. I got hit on regularly. But something changed along the way and that’s not my experience anymore. I suspect it was more an internal change than an external one, as I honestly think I physically look better now than I did ten years ago.

The tragic thing is that when Hale should have been learning how to recover from her already failing plan, she was busy writing books encouraging other Christian women in the same situation.  In 2012 she wrote The Single Woman’s Sassy Survival Guide: Letting Go and Moving On, and she wrote several others in the meantime.  Now she writes articles on how to be a fabulous single retired woman for the AARP.

Coincidentally Emily Stimpson Chapman also wrote a book in 2012 with a similar title:  The Catholic Girl’s Survival Guide for the Single Years: The Nuts and Bolts of Staying Sane and Happy While Waiting for Mr. Right. I haven’t flipped through her book, but my sense is that Stimpson-Chapman’s book isn’t as bad as Wendy Griffith’s and Mandy Hale’s books are. Still, she clearly didn’t have even a tenuous grasp of the biological reality involved with “waiting for Mr. Right” while focusing on education and career. If she did, she wouldn’t have been shocked to find out at age 42 that she had waited too long to conceive.

Again, the difference between secular women and modern Christian women in this regard is astounding. Griffith, Hale, and Stimpson-Chapman all wrote their books after The Atlantic loudly warned marriage delaying women of the risk of waiting too long.  Gottlieb’s Marry Him! article made a huge splash in 2008.  Kate Bolick’s All the Single Ladies reinforced the warning in 2011:

We took for granted that we’d spend our 20s finding ourselves, whatever that meant, and save marriage for after we’d finished graduate school and launched our careers, which of course would happen at the magical age of 30. That we would marry, and that there would always be men we wanted to marry, we took on faith. How could we not?

But what transpired next lay well beyond the powers of everybody’s imagination: as women have climbed ever higher, men have been falling behind. We’ve arrived at the top of the staircase, finally ready to start our lives, only to discover a cavernous room at the tail end of a party, most of the men gone already, some having never shown up—and those who remain are leering by the cheese table, or are, you know, the ones you don’t want to go out with.

But Griffith, Hale, and Stimpson-Chapman were too busy teaching younger women to learn from the warnings of older women.  Even worse, aside from Hale’s glancing admission quoted above, none of them have come out to warn younger women that they were wrong, and not to make the same mistakes they made.

And so the cycle continues, with Anna Hitchings as the face of a new generation of never married 30 something Christian women attempting to teach what they should instead be seeking to learn.  Hitchings’ career as a writer finally took off earlier this year when Catholic Weekly published her piece For want of a lot of good men.  Hitchings capitalized on her new found celebrity by starting a blog teaching other Christian women (and men) who likewise have failed to marry.  Recently she wrote a post titled Making the most of your single years where she acknowledges the debt she owes to the never married writers who proceeded her:

While the tried and true guide to helping Catholic women ‘survive’ the single years has been written by American author Emily Stimpson, I thought it would be helpful to share some of my own advice on getting the best out of your singlehood.

Just for the record, I don’t think being single is something that should be ‘survived’; I think we should be able to thrive in whatever state of life we are in, because that’s what God has willed for us now.

Posted in Anna Hitchings, Emily Stimpson Chapman, Finding a Spouse, Having it all, Kate Bolick, Lori Gottlieb, Mandy Hale, Wendy Griffith | 295 Comments

Out: Servant Leader. In: Servant King!

Ken Harrison, CEO and chairman of Promise Keepers, has a new book out:  The Rise of the Servant Kings: What the Bible Says About Being a Man.

This is a tough space for a modern Christian leader to break into.  The field is already quite crowded, and I suspect there is more than a little “man up fatigue” as we are now fully in late stage complementarianism.  With this in mind, promoting “servant leaders” to “servant kings” is a nice way to rebrand the idea that headship means husbands must nebulously “lead” but have no authority.

I did a quick search of the book on the amazon “look inside” feature.  “Headship” comes back with no results, but submission comes up with a segment titled Our Role as Leader (emphasis mine):

As the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of the water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. (Ephesians 5:24-27)

God gave man the role of leader of his family, but what does that look like? The world often tells us that leadership and authority are the same thing, but this is not so. Authority is that influence that the law gives to a police officer or a military commander. Authority says, “Sir, please exit the vehicle,” or “Grab your backpack and sit down.” Authority offers no reward for obedience, only punishment for disobedience.

We are not called to be in authority over our wives; rather, we are called to lead them. Leadership creates a space for a person to choose whether or not to follow. Notice that a woman is commanded to submit to her husband, not to obey him. I obey the commands of a police officer out of fear of punishment, but do not submit to him. This is because submission involves equality and choice. Obedience involves a hierarchy and offers no choice.

Note that by implication Harrison is asserting that Christ has no authority over the church!   This would explain why he left off verses 22 and 23 and started with verse 24.  He appears to be quoting the HCSB translation, so the full quote of Eph 5:22-27 would be:

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, 23 for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[g] her with the washing of water by the word. 27 He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless.

Lastly, notice that he offers a perfect example of what I call the Headship sleight of hand. Scripture says the husband is the head of the wife. We can then deduce from this that if he is the head, then he has an obligation to lead. The Bible doesn’t state that husbands have this obligation, the husband’s stated obligation is to love his wife, and the wife’s stated obligation is to submit to her husband. But leaders clearly have an obligation to lead. The specific nature of this obligation is another question, but the basic deduction is solid.

Harrison follows this implicit logic, but ends by denying that a husband has authority.  He pretends that the Bible tells us a husband must lead (which it does not), and that modern readers infer that since the Bible says the husband must lead that he must have authority.  But what is happening is the precise opposite.  He infers that a husband must have the obligation to lead since the husband has authority.  Then he tells us the husband has no authority, only an obligation to lead.

Posted in Attacking headship, Chivalry, Complementarian, Headship, Ken Harrison, Promise Keepers, Servant Leader, Traditional Conservatives | 70 Comments

A promise not to disrupt the status quo

Ken Harrison, CEO and chairman of Promise Keepers, explains that the collapse of marriage in our feminist age is due to the failings of men in When Men Mess Up, Women and Children Suffer

What I saw in my days as a Los Angeles Police Department street cop in South Central is that almost all the problems in this world come from the pride and the greed of men.

Calling men to be men isn’t chauvinistic or somehow against women, although it is countercultural and controversial. But it is a fact that when men check out of their families, women suffer the most.

And so do their children.

Harrison has a difficult task.  He has to pose as fighting against the destruction of marriage while assuring everyone involved that Promise Keepers won’t threaten the status quo.  Promising to not upset the apple cart is in fact the fundamental (albeit unstated) promise of Promise Keepers.  To understand why this is the case, consider the two main groups in his target audience.

The first group is modern Christian (feminist) women.  They have been freed by both the church and the state from the requirement to marry or remain married to the father(s) of their children.  They can (from a practical perspective) reject not only making and honoring marriage vows, but their husband’s headship over them.  This is of course the egalitarian position, so conservative Christians are careful to deny that they have for all practical purposes adopted the feminist status quo.  This denial is essential, as it is all that separates conservative Christians from egalitarians.  Without the denial, conservative Christians would lose their identity.  However, the duplicity here is obvious to outside observers, as Dr. Russell More explains in After Patriarchy, What? Why Egalitarians Are Winning the Evangelical Gender Debate  (emphasis mine):

Several other recent works have challenged, convincingly, the notion that grassroots evangelicals hold to male headship at all, at least in practice. University of North Carolina sociologist Christian Smith, for instance, in his Christian America, contends that American evangelicals speak complementarian rhetoric and live egalitarian lives. Smith cites the Southern Baptist Convention’s 1998 confessional wording on male headship and wifely submission as expressive of a vast consensus within evangelicalism. But, he notes, the Baptist confession could just as easily have affirmed “mutual submission” within an equal marital partnership and have fit the views of the evangelical majority.5 This is because, Smith argues, evangelicals have integrated biblical language of headship with the prevailing cultural notions of feminism—notions which fewer and fewer evangelicals challenge…

Modern Christian leaders have to carefully signal to modern Christian women that by telling men to man up and “lead” that they don’t actually mean for husbands (and churches) to return the family to biblical roles.  Promise Keepers was from the very beginning recognized by modern Christian women as an organization that tacitly supports the wife’s headship.  The implicit message to wives is send us your defective husband and we’ll fix him for you.  Once wives were confident that Promise Keepers didn’t threaten their dominance in the home, they ordered their husbands to attend.  From the same article by Dr. Russell Moore (emphasis mine):

Likewise, in her Evangelical Identity and Gendered Family Life Oregon State University sociologist Sally Gallagher interviews evangelical men and women across the country and across the denominational spectrum and concludes that most evangelicals are “pragmatically egalitarian.”6 Evangelicals maintain headship in the sphere of ideas, but practical decisions are made in
most evangelical homes through a process of negotiation, mutual submission, and consensus. That’s what our forefathers would have called “feminism”— and our foremothers, too.

And yet Gallagher shows specifically how this dynamic plays itself out in millions of homes, often by citing interviews that almost read like self-parodies. One 35-year-old homeschooling evangelical mother in Minnesota says of the Promise Keepers movement: “I had Mike go this year. I kind of sent him. . . . I said, ‘I’m not sending you to get fixed in any area. I just want you to be encouraged because there are other Christian men out there who are your age, who want to be good dads and good husbands.’ ”7 This “complementarian” woman does not seem to recognize that she is “sending” her husband off to be with those his own age, as though she were a mother “sending” her grade-school son off to summer youth camp. Not surprisingly, this evangelical woman says she does not remember when—or whether—her pastor has ever preached on the subject of male headship.

The second group Promise Keepers has to convince that they won’t disrupt the feminist status quo is chivalrous Christian men.  Like feminist Christian women, these men reject feminism in theory but in practice submit to their wives and call them lord.


Posted in Attacking headship, Chivalry, Complementarian, Denial, Dr. Russell Moore, Fatherhood, Feminists, Headship, Ken Harrison, Promise Keepers, Southern Baptist Convention, Traditional Conservatives, Turning a blind eye | 84 Comments

Stripmining can be dangerous.

From She thought she had a date. Then he suggested going to a spa

As it turned out, Alan was a sales agent, employed by a company to beguile unsuspecting women into purchasing goods and services they do not need.

The potential financial loss is not the only impact of the scams.

Victims are often psychologically harmed by the encounters, which can take a toll on their self-esteem.

The truly surprising aspect of this is not that consuming mass quantities of men turns out to sometimes pose a risk, but how remarkably risk free the practice is, or at least has been.  However, the story is from Hong Kong, so it could simply be that Hong Kong culture doesn’t have our western chivalrous obsession equating women seeking sex partners with a most noble moral quest.

H/T Fabius Maximus



Posted in Chivalry, Courtly Love, Death of courtship, Fabius Maximus, New Morality | 75 Comments