As I’ve mentioned in the past the convergence of feminists and conservatives, especially on the issue of marriage, is quite striking. Since conservatives lack an immovable reference point to anchor their views, they inadvertently find themselves conserving the radical changes feminists have wrought on our culture. Feminism is the new social order, and conservatives conserve the social order. Likewise since feminism is the new social order, feminists find themselves less and less pushing for radical change and more and more working to conserve the social order they have created.
Feminist and manosphere tag-along Bodycrimes has a post up which is the latest in a long line of examples of this. In Misogyny makes men poorer, she voices her fear that today’s young men are losing sight of the value of (modern) marriage:
What’s so interesting about the hard-core misogynists is that they believe women divorce men for no other reason than to get “cash and prizes” – an unfair share of the wealth that men have built up. Here’s the thing, though – without their wives, these men wouldn’t have the assets. They would have remained like MajorStyles, pissing their money away in having a good time, and thereby wrecking their financial future.
She of course starts by misrepresenting the problem with frivolous divorce. I don’t know anyone who claims that women only divorce for cash and prizes. With perhaps a few exceptions, women divorce for the same reason men like Roissy avoid marriage and instead maintain a harem; they feel that it is to their benefit to do so, and they aren’t about to be constrained by what they see as outdated rules of sexual morality. For women the most sexually profitable time to eschew marriage is when they are young and beautiful, and as a result we see women not just delaying marriage but showing a marked preference for young divorce. The cash and prizes are merely a reward women receive for not honoring their marriage vows when they feel that not honoring their vows would be to their advantage.
Note that ignoring or denying the problem with paying women cash and prizes as a reward for divorcing is the mainstream conservative view. If men find themselves on the business end of a frivolous divorce, they must have had it coming. Much of this view on the conservative side is due to the contempt for biblical headship modern Christians share with feminists. Without thinking the issue through, modern Christians have thoroughly embraced the idea that women deserve cash and prizes when they break their vows. This is why everyone from FotF to a Catholic priest makes it a point to remind women not to forget their 30 pieces of silver when betraying their marriage vows.
All of this is of course done while denying the shameless obsession modern women have with divorce. Nothing to see here folks, move along…
But dismissing frivolous divorce rewarded by cash and prizes is something Bodycrimes does on the way to making her larger point, that marriage is a wealth generating engine. While this is true, she is ignoring the fact that marriage as currently designed is an engine whereby women can and very often do trick men into creating wealth which (along with his children) they can then take from him. Those who would object to the observation that this is how modern marriage is designed to work are of course welcome to point out what meaningful checks are included in our family court structure to prevent women from abusing this new (sexual morality free) form of marriage. Of course there are no checks against using modern marriage this way, because this truly is how it is designed.
The other part of the denial here is the unspoken premise that men magically “enjoy” a productivity increase when they marry. In this as well she is not alone, in that conservatives have wholeheartedly adopted the same view. This overlooks the obvious, that under a marriage based system men have powerful incentives to work hard to first attract a wife and then to support his wife and children. Academics are dumbfounded as to why men become more productive after marrying, while women become less productive. The answer of course is right there in plain sight but it doesn’t fit the feminist worldview, which of course is the new conservative worldview as well. Certainly every family court judge knows that when you strip a man of his role as husband and take away his children a new mechanism must be employed to keep this man working as hard as he has previously worked.
Bodycrimes herself is at least casually acquainted with the mechanism which makes married men more productive, as she explained in her previous post Did men think up civilization all by themselves?
…this made me realise the truth of the old saying – behind every great man is a woman. Some bloke may well have built the first toilet. But it probably wasn’t his idea. Behind that first design was a woman telling him exactly where the shit should go, and how to redirect the smells, and how comfy the seat needed to be. She probably even sketched it out for him. She certainly nagged him and nagged him until he got up and built the thing. And then once he’d done that she started in on the need for toilet paper.
This is as you might have already recognized the stock argument conservatives have regarding marriage. Having a wife nagging you will make you better, or as Pastor Driscoll likes to say:
Men are like trucks: they drive straighter with a weighted load.
It is important to remember that while it is true that biblical marriage is profoundly beneficial for men, women, children, and our society, this isn’t what bodycrimes and Pastor Driscoll are selling. Moreover, it isn’t women who civilize men, but marriage which civilizes men and men who civilize women.
That Bodycrimes and Pastor Driscoll both are brooding over the fact that weak men are screwing feminism up should no longer be a surprise to my readers. Both are after all deeply troubled that fewer and fewer men are signing up to marry women once they have attained their feminist merit badge. If we don’t change this course soon, large numbers of women could become trapped working like a man. However, Bodycrimes herself expresses astonishment that she is now a champion of (modern) marriage:
I want to add that I’m kind of amazed to find myself writing this. In my uni days, I was very against marriage, because the traditional institution can be very cruel to women. I’ve revised my thinking for a number of reasons, some of which I want to explore further in this blog. But for the moment, just remember one thing when it comes to marriage: the numbers don’t lie. Marriage is a vehicle for wealth creation.
It really shouldn’t amaze her, since the “marriage” she is championing is a wholly feminist creation. The ones who should be shocked are the conservatives conserving feminism, but so far very few seem to be willing to acknowledge this.
Regardless, feminists like Bodycrimes and her conservative allies are barking up the wrong tree. The decline in marriage rates isn’t due to a marriage strike, at least not in the traditional sense of the word strike. Articles telling men to man up won’t solve this problem, because what we are seeing is the logical cultural response to moving from a rewards based structure to a quota based structure. We are in this sense re-fighting the cold war, but this time on the losing side.