Warhorn interview: Does work like yours attract misogynists?

This is the final post in the series.  For context regarding this series see this post.  You can also see the whole series.

[—————————Begin my email to Nathan—————————]

@Nathan

9. Related to question 8, does work like yours attract misogynists? Why or why not? If so, is there anything that can be done to avoid it? If not, is there something an outsider like me isn’t understanding about the people that it does attract? Is it fair for me to ask the spanking question and the misogyny questions right next to each other? Are my biases making me see misogyny (for example, in the wife spanking crowd) where I should see something else? If so, what am I (and others like me) missing?

I think this primarily breaks down to two things:

1) “Normal” for conservative Christian culture is to pedastalize, really to idolize, women. This ties back to chivalry, which is why this is worse in conservative Christian culture than even feminist Christian culture. When “normal” is idolizing women, anything short of that will seem like misogyny. I’ll use two books as examples, but keep in mind the books themselves aren’t what is telling, it is the reaction by conservative Christian culture that is telling.

The authors of Every Man’s Battle wrote a follow on book on marriage titled Every Man’s Marriage. The thesis of the book is that a man’s wife is his “master”:

What I’m trying to say is that the “master” defines your rights (and remember again that though we refer to your wife as your “master,” it’s our shorthand for the fact that becoming one with her essence is actually your God-given master). Why? Because you’re called to oneness and her essence sets the terms.

The whole book is shot through with ridiculous quotes like that. See my series on the book for more examples. Outside of conservative Christian culture people would laugh at such tripe. But check out the Amazon.com reviews. Conservative Christians love this stuff.

Another book (and set of Amazon reviews) to consider is Wendy Griffith’s You Are a Prize to be Won!: Don’t Settle for Less Than God’s Best. Griffith is in her mid 50s and is so entitled/picky she has yet to meet a man who is worthy of marrying her! This should make her a cautionary tale to young Christian women not to be overly proud. But in conservative Christian culture Griffith’s massive entitlement makes her a role model. Griffith explains to young women that as entitled as she was, God wanted her to be more entitled:

…I heard the unmistakable voice of the Lord in my spirit. He whispered so clearly to me, Wendy, you are a prize to be won!

I knew the Lord’s voice, and I knew that He was speaking to me about my value. I didn’t need to be the one pursuing in a relationship or running around like a chicken with my head cut off, looking for love in all the wrong places. God has my man, and that man is going to recognize me as his prize! And the same goes for you.

Unfortunately, I have had to learn this lesson the hard way.

Pearl of Great Price

Ladies, the Lord wants you to know that you are a pearl of great price, a treasure worth pursuing and protecting. You are worth fighting for…

I don’t know if you saw the hilarious bit of trolling of feminist academia by a group that submitted the most absurd feminist papers they could dream up to academic journals. My personal favorite is their assertion that feminist interpretive dance would improve the study of Astronomy, but others prefer their paper about rape culture among dogs. The thing is, nothing is too absurd for academic feminists, and the journals couldn’t tell the hoax papers were satire because that is what real feminist submissions look like. If I were going to troll conservative Christianity, I’d write books like the two I just mentioned. I’d say headship means you are your wife’s slave and that the pearl of great price was not salvation, but women, and I’d present the advice on finding a husband as coming from a woman in her 50s who never managed to find a husband. But these folks beat me to it. How could I possibly make a parody more absurd than the real thing?

So just like anything short of the craziest things you can imagine feels like misogyny to feminists, the same is true (with a different flavor) for conservative Christians. The thing is, while lying to women makes both the liar and the women feel good, it is still cruel to women. Christian women have heard this message their whole lives, and many don’t know it isn’t true. Who really hates women, the men who offend them by telling the truth, or the men who remain silent while women are being lied to?

2) With that said, there is another aspect to this. Since pedestalization is so deeply rooted in our culture, learning that women sin too is very painful for many men. Upon learning that chivalry is a lie, many men initially react with what I call red pill bitterness. Most men either reject the truth outright or make it to the other side with an appreciation for women as they really are. But some men get stuck in the bitterness phase. It is like the “red pill” gets lodged in their throat; they neither fully swallow or spit it out. They see the truth (or at least part of it), but they hate it and therefore hate women for the fact that it is true. Christian former blogger Samson’s Jawbone described his own feelings in this regard:

Roissy is fond of saying that he’s not a “misogynist”; no, learning the unvarnished truth about female psychology has given him a *higher* appreciation for women. Not so for me. Sociosexual philosophy has disillusioned me beyond all reckoning. Peering deep into the psyche of woman has rendered me grievously scornful in feeling and mercilessly unscrupulous in behaviour towards these unholy, ungodly beings. I venture to say that… I hate them. Yes, I hate them! And how could I not?

Not surprisingly Samson eventually left the men’s sphere. In general there is a good deal of patience for men who are working their way through this stage, but if a man gets stuck here and wallows in it eventually that patience runs out. As commenter Leap of Beta put it:

Samson doesn’t seem like he ever stopped grieving for the old him. He’s still stuck on himself and seems to think that he deserves better treatment from women, and seems to forget that God made women the way they are. He simply doesn’t seem to accept that on an emotional level even if he acts upon it on a rational level. So he goes through life acting on the facts, but never seeing the beauty of how women function when they follow the path God gave them.

Then he blames the manosphere for his unhappiness instead of just owning it. We’re degenerates. We’re cynical. We’re angry. Blah. Blah. Blah. We’re individual men in various states of grieving, acceptance, learning, growing, and teaching. You’ll get from the manosphere what you go looking for as well as what you put in. Samson has found what he’s wanted.

[———————————Nathan Replied———————————]

Interesting. I’ll have some follow-up questions, but I’ll let you answer question 8 first, and then we can hit a few things in more depth as needed.

[———————————End of Exchange——————————]

Note:  Nathan reiterated at the end of our process that he may be adding further replies in the podcast.  Also, I answered this question (question 9) before question 8, which is why Nathan notes that he will wait for that answer before asking any follow up questions on this one.

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Posted in Every Man's Marriage, Nathan Alberson, Turning a blind eye, Warhorn Interview, Warhorn Media, Wendy Griffith | 123 Comments

Warhorn interview: Have you stopped beating your wife?

For context regarding this series see this post.  You can also see the whole series.  We are now down to the final two questions.  I’ve separated my final response into two parts, one (this post) for question 8, and another (already sent and coming soon in post form) for question 9.  However, for context I’m including both questions here as well as Nathan’s note about the questions:

  1. I’ve seen more than one commenter in your archives say that a woman needs a good old fashioned spanking (or words to that effect). I see in your “comments policy” you ask people to refrain from discussing marital corporal punishment. I have several questions about that. First (just to get it out of the way): do you or any of your more serious followers support marital corporal punishment? Why or why not?
  2. Related to question 8, does work like yours attract misogynists? Why or why not? If so, is there anything that can be done to avoid it?  If not, is there something an outsider like me isn’t understanding about the people that it does attract? Is it fair for me to ask the spanking question and the misogyny questions right next to each other? Are my biases making me see misogyny (for example, in the wife spanking crowd) where I should see something else? If so, what am I (and others like me) missing?

I hope those questions (particularly 8 and 9) don’t seem leading. I’d like to sincerely understand and present your point of view, even where our camp diverges.

Below is my answer to question 8.  Nathan didn’t ask any followup questions and aside from some corrections of errors in the original text I only sent the one message.

[—————————Begin my email to Nathan—————————]

@Nathan

8. I’ve seen more than one commenter in your archives say that a woman needs a good old fashioned spanking (or words to that effect). I see in your “comments policy” you ask people to refrain from discussing marital corporal punishment. I have several questions about that. First (just to get it out of the way): do you or any of your more serious followers support marital corporal punishment? Why or why not?

I don’t support marital corporal punishment. I don’t think it is needed, and I also don’t see it as consistent with the instructions to husbands in the NT. I’m not sure exactly who my “serious followers” are, but I think the vast majority of my readers would be horrified if you told them they had an obligation to practice marital corporal punishment.

I added the comment rule because while the number of commenters who brought up the topic was small, when they did so it tended to derail all other discussion. This makes it both off topic and highly disruptive. Also, if I were going to troll the Christian men’s sphere this is exactly how I would troll it. It would be a twofer, as it would fit the stereotype and also be disruptive.

I don’t recall the specific comments you are referring to, but I do recall someone posting links to scenes from old John Wayne movies where the Duke spanked women. I don’t think they meant it as a how-to video, but more of an example of how radically cultural views of a husband’s authority had changed. In this regard, I don’t think the movies were advocating spanking, but using an outrageous scene to make a humorous point.

Along the same lines, I did include a youtube clip of “Lone Ranger, Man of the house” in a post a few months back. In that video a husband draws his gun and shoots his wife’s favorite china when she gives him sass. Then when she isn’t responding to his order to make him dinner, he pulls his gun again and tells her she’s going to look mighty funny without any ears. One of my readers (MKT) brought the clip to my attention, describing it as “one of the finest moments in TV history”:

It’s one of the finest moments in TV history, and would make everyone from radical feminists to self-proclaimed conservative complimentarians hysterical if they saw it. If you can’t watch the whole thing, just watch the first minute and last 2-3 minutes.

I don’t share MKT’s enthusiasm for the clip, but I don’t think he is advocating gunplay as a form of headship. My reader in turn had come across the clip on another Christian man’s blog. The blogger described it as a fond memory from his childhood:

On this privileged occasion, I recall taking in an episode of The Lone Ranger. The theme of this particular show was about that time when there was this mousy little man, hen-pecked to the outer limits of human endurance, and through a series of circumstances, the Lone Ranger adopted this poor man and made him something of a protégé. The end result of this crash course in masculinity was that the little man headed on home, and the happy ending to the whole saga was him pulling out his revolver and shooting his wife’s dishes off her shelves. It makes me happy just thinking about it. Fade to black, and with her thinking something along the lines of finally!

I don’t think the other Christian blogger really advocates gunplay as headship, either. However, if my opinion on the matter isn’t sufficient you could ask him. His name is Pastor Doug Wilson.

Like I said, I don’t think Wilson advocates gunplay, and he has stated that he doesn’t advocate marital corporal punishment. However, one reader we have in common does seem to advocate it, and I think Wilson’s presentation of marriage as a military unit helped lead my reader to that conclusion. Commenter Warthog wrote in response to my criticism of Wilson:

@Dalrock you’ve stated the problem, but not the solution. What sanctions do husbands biblically have when their wives rebel?
When children or slaves rebel, the head of the house clearly has the biblical sanction of the rod. Non-destructive spanking/beating.
Does the patriarch’s power of the rod also apply to his wife? If not, why not?

Not defending Wilson here, but you have failed to comprehend what he meant in the military analogy. There is a difference between being at fault and being responsible. To take the example of a ship captain, the USS Stark was hit by an Iraqi missile in 1986 or so. Due to a mistake by the gunnery sergeant, the Phalanx missile defense system had not been turned back on after the last maintenance. Due to this error, the ship was defenseless against the missile, resulting as I recall in the deaths of about 17 men.

The captain was held responsible, as was the gunnery sergeant. It ended both of their careers. The captain was indeed responsible, even though it was the gunnery sergeant’s fault. Simply said, when you have command you are responsible for both the good and bad that happens under your command.
In marriage this would mean that if the wife starts misbehaving, the husband is responsible for the marriage, and should take corrective action on the wife. If the misbehavior metastasizes it is usually because it wasn’t nipped in the bud, just like cancer.

Wilson’s problem is not his recognition that the husband is responsible for the ship of the family. The problem is that Wilson does not acknowledge that the husband has sanctions over the wife for disobedience. Without sanctions you are not a covenant head. All covenants have sanctions.

A man who is held responsible, but has no power to make the people under his headship obey should walk away from that job.

I disagree with Warthog’s conclusion but there is something to his logic. If husbands are to be measured as if they were military leaders, then should they not practice military discipline? As I wrote in response to Warthog’s comment, A naval captain’s mission is different than the mission of a Christian husband and father. Likewise the husband’s role is different than the role of a military commander. Part of the problem here comes from our twisting what Scripture teaches. Scripture doesn’t tell husbands they must lead, it tells wives to submit and declares that the husband is the head. But if the husband is in charge, we reason (properly in my opinion) that the husband must have some obligation to lead. So far, so good, but then we take that and run it backwards, erroneously declaring “If the husband leads well, the wife will submit”. Therefore a wife who is in rebellion is proof that a husband didn’t do enough to make her comply. And if the husband is responsible for making his wife comply, then you can see where some would start seriously considering corporal punishment.

But like I stated, I don’t think the husband is responsible for making his wife comply. There is another bit here that gets at the insincerity of the complementarian position. The same folks who claim the husband is responsible if his wife does something wrong also are adamant that husbands must never tell their wives to submit. This is especially strange because husbands are to wash their wives with the water of the word, but here we are telling husbands they are forbidden from telling their wives what Scripture plainly says. For example, in Wilson’s 21 Theses on Submission in Marriage thesis 11 is:

The Bible does not teach husbands to enforce the requirement that was given to their wives. Since true submission is a matter of the heart, rendered by grace through faith, a husband does not have the capacity to make this happen. His first task is therefore to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He is to lead by example.

This is a complementarian article of faith, and you will get the same basic message from Mary Kassian and Kathy Keller. My personal favorite however is Pastor Camp:

I’ve never once said in my entire life that a man should tell a woman to submit- ever.

We don’t need marital corporal punishment, we need to take away the tools the church and state have put in place to weaken the position of husbands (divorce, etc). We also need to stop blaming men for women’s sins because we are too uncomfortable holding women accountable.

Note: This takes us back to the ten examples I provided in the other thread of conservative Christians blaming men for women pushing to take over men’s roles.

Posted in Domestic Violence, Headship, Nathan Alberson, Pastor Doug Wilson, Pastor Steve Camp, Submission, Warhorn Interview, Warhorn Media | 269 Comments

Why bother identifying the reason the gate was erected?

The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.

–G. K. Chesterton

Commenter seventiesjason wrote:

as for this Chivalry thing Dalrock is stuck on……..I never knew a medieval code that was for warfare somehow in 1324 or whatever ruined marriage in 2019. I still fail to see the connection

There is a famous G. K. Chesterton quote where he warns of the danger of removing laws or customs that we don’t understand the purpose of:

In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.”[1]

In the case of chivalry*, we now know why and when a host of related anti Christian concepts have been adopted as if they were Christianity.  Chivalry is the answer to:

  1. Why Christians instinctively invert the roles of husband and wife.
  2. Why Christians believe that romantic love is sanctifying, and that women’s sexual desire is both virtuous and points to male virtue.
  3. Why Christians see no fault divorce and other sins by wives as God’s plan to improve men.
  4. Why Christian men are extremely uncomfortable with the idea of calling out women’s sins.
  5. Why Christians believe that men must boldly declare their romantic intentions at the beginning of the “Christian” courtship ritual, and why once married we are told that Christian men must pursue their wives.

We only need Scripture to see that bullets 1-4 are contrary to Christianity, and bullet 5 doesn’t come from Christianity.  But without understanding the root of these false teachings it is more difficult to convince our fellow Christians to reject them.  This is especially true since these are conservative errors, and what Chesterton is describing in the gate quote above is a core aspect of the conservative thought process.

*Chivalry as commonly used refers to what academics call courtly love.  When I use the term chivalry in this post I’m referring to the common usage.

See also:  Call me unchivalrous.

Posted in Chivalry, Courtly Love, G. K. Chesterton, Romantic Love, Traditional Conservatives | 22 Comments

Revolving door chivalry.

The Daily Mail has a post up for Valentines Day titled The new rules of chivalry: From who pays the bill to paying compliments etiquette expert William Hanson reveals the dos and don’ts for the confused modern man (and woman)

The goal is to update chivalry “with women earning more or less the same as men and same sex and trans couples”.  As funny as that idea is, the chivalry it described from the past was hilarious (emphasis mine):

The classic chivalrous act was a man holding open a door for a woman so she didn’t have to break a sweat.

This was especially true in Victorian England when a couple arrived at an hotel with revolving push-doors, the man would enter first but go round twice to push the door round completely for the lady, and so she emerged into the room first.

Slightly less ridiculous was the ritual of men standing up whenever a woman arrived or left:

Traditionally, date or no date, when a woman left the dining table to freshen up, any men immediately around her would stand up or slightly rise from their chairs to acknowledge her departure – and then do the same when she returned.

But it was the comments that had the most humorous description of modern day chivalry.  Commenter Amensis described how her boyfriend opens the car door for her so she can drive him wherever they are going:

Most of this is simple courtesy. I do like that my guy still opens my car door after 2 years. I misinterpreted it the first time and laughed “What, you think you’re driving?” (I take my driving and my cars seriously, lol.) So now, he holds the door open and jokes saying he thought he was driving.

She went on to explain that her current boyfriend is so special, she lets him pay.  Before she changed lanes, she never allowed the men she was “dating” to do this beyond the initial date:

Funny thing is…I just told him this weekend…when I was “dating”, I would allow a guy to pay for the first date, but anything after that I would insist on paying or splitting. Letting a guy pay feels like he thinks there’s a “relationship”. I told my guy he should feel special that I’ve allowed him to pay my way on things (I pay for him at times). Weird, but I guess it’s a trust thing, or that I am comfortable with being “his” and he should feel special that I’ve selected him. I’m sure I’ll get blasted for that, but I’m an adult. I pay my own way through life, mortgage, cars, children, etc. I’m proud and I don’t need anyone’s money. He knows that.

I wonder if she saved any other special treats just for him?

Posted in Chivalry, Courtly Love, Daily Mail, Men's Sphere Humor, Traditional Conservatives, Ugly Feminists, Valentine’s Day | 68 Comments

Warhorn interview: What does a man need to do to live a satisfying and productive life?

For context regarding this series see this post.  You can also see the whole series.

[—————————Begin my email to Nathan—————————]

@Nathan

4. What does a man need to do to live a satisfying and productive life in today’s culture?
5. What does a woman need to do to live a satisfying and productive life in today’s culture?
6. How do these answers relate to God and the Bible?

I’ll also share some thoughts related to your previous question:

What are the problems facing men today?

Answering questions 4 and 5 would take the wisdom of Solomon, which I don’t possess. What we have in the temporal world is vanity compared to the eternal, and yet we should live our lives under the sun with wisdom. Luckily I do have access to Solomon’s wisdom on the subject along with the rest of the Bible.

With the exception of a few men with the gift the Apostle Paul describes in 1 Cor 7, God’s plan is for men to marry. Ecclesiastes tells us to rejoice in our work, our food, our drink, and our wives, as these are our portion in this world (Ecc 9:9, ESV):

Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.

God’s plan for us hasn’t changed just because we have decided that Christian marriage should only be for the elite. However, there is a common perspective of Christian married men today towards unmarried men which I reject, and it goes something like: “If I had to marry then you should have to marry too!” I think this is precisely backwards. I see marriage not as a punishment or burden, but as something truly wonderful. I understand that I’ve been profoundly fortunate, but I still see it as a gift from God, not a curse*. I want marriage for men not because I object to men remaining single, but because for a Christian man eschewing marriage means foregoing sex, romantic love, and children–for life.

When you think about it that way, what we’ve done to marriage is unconscionable. We took a gift from God, something profoundly beautiful, and mangled it to suit our own perverse tastes. In the process we’ve ground up innocent men, women, and children. Think of the magnitude of the evil that our current and recent generations have done. We inherited a flawed implementation of Christian marriage, where marriage for life was by far the norm and was the recognized family model. We rejected that model and replaced it with the child support model (keeping legal marriage around as a purely ceremonial relic). If our consciences weren’t so thoroughly seared we would be like King Josia in 2 Kings 22:11-13 (ESV):

11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes. 12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Micaiah, and Shaphan the secretary, and Asaiah the king’s servant, saying, 13 “Go, inquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found. For great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.”

We’ve weaponized marriage as a tool for women to steal from men. The goals are to both facilitate sexual liberation & single motherhood and to provide a threatpoint to dis-empower husbands (destroy headship) within marriage. Economists Stevenson and Wolfers describe the threatpoint of divorce in their paper Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: Divorce Laws and Family Distress (emphasis mine).

In the literature on the economics of the family there has been growing consensus on the need to take bargaining and distribution within marriage seriously. Such models of the family rely on a threat point to determine distribution within the household. The switch to a unilateral divorce regime redistributes power in a marriage, giving power to the person who wants out, and reducing the power previously held by the partner interested in preserving the marriage.

But while the goals are feminist goals and the intent is to merely destroy respectable men, the changes are unintentionally cruel to women as well. Offering women cash and prizes to betray their marriage vows is cruelty to them, not kindness. This isn’t just true spiritually. It is true temporally too. All of the women married to loser husbands married the best man they could attract for marriage. The idea that women can (generally) find a better husband once they are older, have a history of divorce, and another man’s children is absurd on the face of it. Real life isn’t like the movies.

The other thing that we’ve done is labor to remove a path to respectability for men. Our culture has a deep seated contempt for married fathers, and Christian culture outdoes secular culture in this regard. This is why Christian movies so regularly express contempt for married men and (especially) married fathers. It is also why Christians have taken a day secular culture set aside to honor fathers and have instead made it into a day to denigrate fathers. The feeble defense for things like the ritual of tearing into fathers in Father’s Day sermons is that the goal is to make terrible fathers better. The lie of this is proven by the lengths Christian films like Courageous go to show that faithful hard working churchgoing fathers are failing miserably. Society is telling young men that married fathers are either villains or buffoons, and modern Christians are all too eager to reinforce this message. Imagine a young man who watches the Christian movie Mom’s Night Out. What kind of man does he want to be? Does he want to be the sexy badboy biker tatoo artist, or the married Christian fathers?

Ironically, the very people we claim to be helping by making a habit of denigrating married fathers are the ones we are harming most. Wives with good husbands can most easily overcome the temptation we dangle to not respect and submit to them. Likewise for children of good fathers. It is the wives and children of marginal and failing fathers who will be most susceptible to the temptation we gleefully and consistently put in front of them.

For women specifically, just as with men I believe that marriage is the blessing God intends for nearly all. One of the cruel things we do to women in this regard is discourage them from seeking a husband when they are young and most attractive. We fear that if they marry young they might submit to their husband. So we urge them to delay marriage while pretending we aren’t sending them out for an extended ride on the cock carousel**. Not only does this make it harder for them to be satisfied later in life in Christian marriage, but it makes it harder for women to understand what their “marriage market value” (MMV) is. In the past when the bulk of women married around the same age, women could much more easily understand what their real options for marriage were. When the clear goal is marriage, women compete for signs of commitment from men who (generally speaking) have good qualities for marriage. This means the AF/BB (sex with alphas, marry a beta) strategy isn’t in play, so the marriage minded woman has access to much more information as her peers start to make their selections. Now we have delayed marriage for women so that AF/BB is the predominant strategy, and we have also greatly spread out the process. This both confuses marriage minded women and greatly dilutes the information they have available.

*I don’t think Paul is contradicting this in 1 Cor 7:6-9. I think he is saying that he views his gift as a different kind of blessing.
**The term is vulgar but it expresses a vulgar truth that no other term quite captures.

[———————————Nathan Replied———————————]

Thanks for continuing to work through my questions. You do a great job of thoroughly articulating your viewpoint. And thank you for providing links for further reading—I’ve followed more than one of them. I don’t think I have many follow-up questions on this particular email. The brunt of our response of course will come in the podcast, so right now I’m just trying to get a clear picture of what you believe.

[——————————My Reply to Nathan——————————]

Here are a couple of old posts that show the cruelty of selling women divorce:

Posted in Christian Films, Courageous, Marriage, Mom's Night Out, Nathan Alberson, Warhorn Interview, Warhorn Media | 126 Comments