Broken Premisses

Several of the commenters on Don’t play hard to get argued that Robert Stacy McCain and I aren’t really in disagreement regarding the post that I responded to.  While we are in agreement on many points*, there is an important difference in our perspective.

I’ll start with our agreement.  McCain quotes the Vanity Fair article Tinder and the Dawn of the “Dating Apocalypse” where a player named Marty describes his own hookup strategy:

Marty, who prefers Hinge to Tinder (“Hinge is my thing”), is no slouch at “racking up girls.” He says he’s slept with 30 to 40 women in the last year: “I sort of play that I could be a boyfriend kind of guy,” in order to win them over, “but then they start wanting me to care more … and I just don’t.”

McCain points out that Marty is playing the promiscuity game to his own best advantage, and that women are foolish to play this man’s game:

See? Marty understands the game he’s playing. Pretend that you’re emotionally available — “a boyfriend kind of guy” — and “racking up girls” via online hook-up sites is not difficult nowadays for any reasonably attractive young man. The more a guy succeeds at that cynical game, however, the lower his estimation of women in general, because each “win” for him just proves how easily girls can be deceived. No amount of feminist “consciousness raising” can change the fundamental reality of human nature. Casual sex is a game in which guys have a decisive advantage, and therefore any girl who plays that game is a fool.

McCain is absolutely right;  men and women have different preferred strategies for promiscuity.  Marty is doing what he can to tilt the outcome in his own favor, and feminists are foolish when they teach women to be promiscuous according to men’s rules.

Women are much better suited to a different form of promiscuity, which is serial monogamy.  With serial monogamy women retain the freedom which comes from sex without commitment, but gain the status which comes from a man publicly declaring his investment in her.  This missing status is the part of the modern dating environment the women in the Vanity Fair article are complaining about the most:

“New York guys, from our experience, they’re not really looking for girlfriends,” says the blonde named Reese. “They’re just looking for hit-it-and-quit-it on Tinder.”…

“There is no dating. There’s no relationships,” says Amanda, the tall elegant one. “They’re rare. You can have a fling that could last like seven, eight months and you could never actually call someone your ‘boyfriend.’

The women complain that they feel pressured by feminists to approach promiscuity from the perspective which favors the man, instead of the perspective that favors women:

“Sex should stem from emotional intimacy, and it’s the opposite with us right now, and I think it really is kind of destroying females’ self-images,” says Fallon.
“It’s body first, personality second,” says Stephanie.
“Honestly, I feel like the body doesn’t even matter to them as long as you’re willing,” says Reese. “It’s that bad.”
“But if you say any of this out loud, it’s like you’re weak, you’re not independent, you somehow missed the whole memo about third-wave feminism,” says Amanda.

McCain points out that following feminists in this regard is foolish:

No, ma’am. You got the memo. It’s just that you seem to be smart enough to realize that the memo was completely wrong. What feminist ideology tells young women they should do — being sexually “empowered” and expecting this empowerment to lead to “equality” in their relationships — is the exact opposite of what common sense based on an actual knowledge of human nature would advise them to do.

The accumulated wisdom of centuries still holds true. If you want to be loved, be lovable, and if you want to be respected, be respectable. As I tell young women, don’t just “play hard to get,” be hard to get. A girl who acts like trash thereby forfeits the right to complain that guys treat her like trash.

But the very next sentence is where McCain gets it wrong. He frames women’s preferred form of promiscuity as more moral than men’s preferred form of promiscuity, confusing serial monogamy with commitment:

One of the worst things feminism has done is to attack the sexual “double standard” by encouraging women to lower their standards, to screw around heedlessly and to view short-term “relationships” as an acceptable substitute for actual commitment.

Serial monogamy has no moral advantage over “hit it and quit it”.  There is also no commitment involved, only public displays of investment and perhaps romantic love.  There is an inescapable logic to the idea that when playing a destructive game, one where someone is going to get hurt, playing by rules which maximize your own chances of coming out on top makes sense.  But this doesn’t confer morality, it is purely practical advice on how to behave immorally.  Yet very few in our society understand this.

Mixed in with this is the lie that women are wired to “commit”.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Our divorce revolution is driven almost exclusively by women feeling “trapped in marriage”.  Likewise, the push to delay marriage is coming from young women far more than young men.  Young women are the rock-stars of the sexual marketplace, and as such they are the ones who (collectively) determine the rules of the road.  McCain understands this, which is why he is coaching them to not listen to the feminists who want them to play the promiscuity game in a way that puts them in a disadvantage.

The problem is the lie that McCain is telling women (the same lie our society at large is telling them) is even more harmful than the one feminists are telling women. Women are extremely vulnerable to believing that promiscuity on their terms is inherently moral.  Reinforcing this delusion is cruel, and we have an obligation to speak the truth here.  Sexual morality requires true lifetime commitment.  Everything else is (pick your word) fornication or promiscuity.  Misusing sex and love is not more moral than misusing sex alone.

In McCain’s defense, this is the lie we have all been told, and very few would question it.  But this is also why it needs to be called out.

See Also: Women’s sacred path to marriage is in danger.

*Robert Stacy McCain is a thoughtful writer on the topic of feminism, and I enjoy reading his blog.  I encourage my readers to click on the link to his blog from my blogroll to see for themselves.

Posted in Choice Addiction, Feminists, New Morality, Robert Stacy McCain, Romantic Love, Serial Monogamy, Traditional Conservatives, Turning a blind eye | 112 Comments

Don’t play hard to get.

Robert Stacy McCain gets close, but misses the fact that women’s sexual impulses are no more naturally “pure” than men’s sexual impulses.

What feminist ideology tells young women they should do — being sexually “empowered” and expecting this empowerment to lead to “equality” in their relationships — is the exact opposite of what common sense based on an actual knowledge of human nature would advise them to do.

The accumulated wisdom of centuries still holds true. If you want to be loved, be lovable, and if you want to be respected, be respectable. As I tell young women, don’t just “play hard to get,” be hard to get. A girl who acts like trash thereby forfeits the right to complain that guys treat her like trash. One of the worst things feminism has done is to attack the sexual “double standard” by encouraging women to lower their standards, to screw around heedlessly and to view short-term “relationships” as an acceptable substitute for actual commitment.

The problem isn’t that feminists are tricking women into debauchery they don’t want with the lure of the double standard.  The problem is that feminists are tempting women into the debauchery the women want with the lure of the double standard.

More directly, the solution isn’t for women to “be hard to get”.  The right advice is:

If you want commitment, commit!

As astute as McCain is, he is overlooking the fact that women have driven the move away from true marriage and commitment, and instead sought out a lifetime of courtship.

Posted in Choice Addiction, Cracks in the narrative, Death of courtship, Denial, Feral Females, Finding a Spouse, Law of the Double Standard, Robert Stacy McCain | 398 Comments

Coveting sin: The Law of the Double Standard.

It has long been obvious to me that whenever the topic of the sexual double standard is raised the end result is a rush towards female sexual immorality.  The correlation here is perfect, but the mechanism had until just recently eluded me.

The reason for the perfect correlation is that when women raise the topic of the sexual double standard they are not expressing a revulsion for sexual sin, they are expressing envy for men.  Envy of men is at the core of feminist rebellion, and envy is an exceptionally powerful temptation for women.  This goes back to Genesis and Eve’s curse, and even further with Eve being tempted to envy God for His knowledge of good and evil.

Take for example the recent Ashley Madison hack, and what at least appears to be (and very likely is) an extremely large skew when it comes to memberships.  A woman who is repulsed by sexual immorality will of course be repulsed by the revelation of rampant sexual immorality.  But she won’t think that it isn’t fair that women aren’t getting their share of sexual sin via the site.  The fairness question is really a mask for envy, for coveting the sin the woman perceives men as naturally enjoying.

With this, I present Dalrock’s Law of the Double Standard:

Whenever a woman* complains about the sexual double standard, the woman is demanding a license to sin.

*Or a man acting as a proxy for a woman or women.

Posted in Ashley Madison, Envy, Law of the Double Standard, Ugly Feminists | 116 Comments

Hurting women

New commenter Rachel attempted in several comments to redirect the topic in the discussion of Why won’t he hurry up and die already? beginning with:

Hi, I know this blog is about the destructive and weak behavior of women in their relationships with men. However, I was wondering if you can think of any comparable examples of behavior exhibited by men in their relationships with women. I know that’s not the focus of this blog, though.

There are several problems with the framing of her question.  The first is that the post she was responding to was in fact an explanation of how men are failing women, and part of an extended series I’ve done on the topic.  Men are failing women terribly by refusing to speak the truth about bad behavior of women.  Calling out bad behavior of women is difficult and feels uncomfortable, and men are taking the easy feel good path.  This hurts the very women men are refusing to speak the truth about.

But there is another way that men’s failure here is hurting women.  Not all women are protective of a push to debauch the culture.  While all women (just like all men) face temptation to sin, some women are actively trying to push for better standards of behavior by women.  In a properly functioning society, much if not most of the day to day policing of female behavior is done by women, and this is a biblical role.

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

The woman in the previous post* was not only unrepentant in her adultery and terrible treatment of her cancer stricken husband, she was announcing her intent to fight against the sanctity of marriage:

When my outing happens, I suppose I might as well take a stand for those who are trapped in bad marriages. Many of us are doing the best we can, trying in our own imperfect way to cope with alienation, lovelessness, and physical deprivation.

Some women read the quote above in the original post and didn’t feel a desire to protect the woman who wanted to destroy marriage;  they felt under attack by her.  For these women, my post wasn’t an assault, but protection.  What I would ask the women reading is to go back and consider your own reaction to my last post.  Which way did my criticism of the unrepentant adulteress strike you?  Did you feel that I was attacking you or being unkind when I called the unrepentant adulteress out, or did you perceive the adulteress as the threat and my calling her out as protection?  Which side did you identify with?  Likewise, I would ask the men reading how they perceived my criticism of the unrepentant adulteress.  Did you perceive it as an attack against women, or protection of women?

*The woman may be real, or a literary device the blogger is using to try to debauch the culture.  Either way, the purpose of “her” words are the same.

Posted in Manliness, Rebellion, Turning a blind eye | 98 Comments

Why won’t he hurry up and die already?

New commenter Tab Spangler linked to a blog post by Glenn Greenwald on a woman who fears being outed for her infidelity because of the Ashley Madison hack.

I am female, hold a job with a lot of responsibility, have three kids, one with special needs, and a husband with whom I have not been intimate for several years due to his cancer treatments.

I also used to write about marriage law policy, encouraging traditional marriage for the good of children. My institution has a morality clause in all contracts.

Mine is a loveless, sexless, parenting marriage. I will care for my husband if his cancer spreads, we manage good will for the sake of the children, but we cannot talk about my emotional or sexual needs without him fixating on his death and crying.

Greenwald chose this woman’s example in order to argue for sympathy for the people who are being exposed by the hackers:

As I argued last week, even for the most simplistic, worst-case-scenario, cartoon-villain depictions of the Ashley Madison user — a spouse who selfishly seeks hedonistic pleasure with indifference toward his or her own marital vows and by deceiving the spouse — that’s nobody’s business other than those who are parties to that marriage or, perhaps, their family members and close friends. But as the fallout begins from this leak, as people’s careers and reputations begin to be ruined, as unconfirmed reports emerge that some users have committed suicide, it’s worth remembering that the reality is often far more complex than the smug moralizers suggest.

Certainly anyone with a dying spouse is in an incredibly difficult situation, and by focusing on a woman Greenwald made a sympathetic reaction much more likely by his readers.  However, the woman’s profound lack of repentance for her infidelity and empathy for her dying husband are astounding.  Her only repentance is for previously holding marriage vows as sacred:

My experiences have led me to soften my views of marriage as my own marriage is a deeply humbling, painful longterm commitment.

I expect to be ridiculed by colleagues, to lose my job, and to be publicly shamed, especially as a hypocrite…

When my outing happens, I suppose I might as well take a stand for those who are trapped in bad marriages. Many of us are doing the best we can, trying in our own imperfect way to cope with alienation, lovelessness, and physical deprivation.

She and Greenwald are on the same page here;  the only sin is calling out sin (unless you are calling out the sin of calling out sin, which is of course righteous).

She is also very open about seeing her husband as a villain for not offering her a free pass to whore around while he is sick (and she suggests dying).  For what else could she mean when she complains that she can’t “talk about my emotional or sexual needs without him fixating on his death and crying”?  If he is unable to perform sexually, no amount of discussion will change that.  What she clearly wants is his blessing to do what she did, but he is too selfish to give her this.

Greenwald frames his post as fighting for kindness for the cheating wife, but what he has done to her is anything but kindness.  This woman is so self centered she can’t see her own wickedness;  Greenwald fails her* by taking the easy path of coddling her and encouraging her to see herself as the victim.  Greenwald gets to feel good for protecting a woman, even though he is in reality only harming her.  Nothing Greenwald writes will change whether this woman is ultimately outed and loses her job (she has a morals clause in her contract), but he has encouraged her to see her wickedness as not wicked at all.  Even worse, she claims she is making a martyr of herself (by remaining married and cheating) “for the children”, but by encouraging her view of herself as the victim it is very likely the children will have the burden of not just a dying father, but of a moral message that their father was cruel for not giving their mother license to cheat while he was dying.

*Greenwald is writing from a secular perspective, but fails her in the same way Christian men are failing Christian women.

Posted in Ashley Madison, Marriage, Motherhood, New Morality, Solipsism, Turning a blind eye | 426 Comments