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7. Define red pill, Game, and MGTOW. How do these things relate to your work? Or do they? What do people need to understand about them? What label would you give yourself?
Red pill is a metaphor from The Matrix, and represents a conscious choice to reject lies that we have accepted without even knowing we had accepted them. As you may already know I’m not really a fan of the metaphor. One of the problems with the term is it is applied across divergent perspectives. The 2017 documentary The Red Pill for example represented the Mens Rights Activist (MRA) perspective, which (probably oversimplifying) is a push to make feminists live up to the stated ideals of feminism (true equality). Another group is the MGTOWs (Men Going Their Own Way). From what I’ve seen MGTOWs argue passionately amongst themselves about what this really means, with one of the arguments being if married MGTOWs are true MGTOWs. As the argument goes, who is to tell a man if he really is going his own way? I won’t try to resolve that argument, as I’m not a stakeholder.
The label I would apply to myself is Unchivalrous Christian, and I have a post in the works on this [since published]. Nearly all conservative Christians would I believe consider this a contradiction in terms, and this is the real problem with chivalry. It is a parody of Christianity that was eventually accepted as if it were the real deal. When I first started writing I mistakenly believed that what we call chivalry started off noble and was perverted in or around the 20th century. But the more I have looked at it the more obvious it became that it was perversion from the beginning.
I would define Game as a form of applied psychology, with the primary application being seduction (specifically a man seducing a woman)*. Game is profoundly disruptive because not only are men highly motivated to be sexually successful to satisfy sexual desire, but as a society we equate the ability to attract/seduce women with virtue in men. And it isn’t just secular culture that makes this equation. If anything, Christians are worse in this regard. Women’s arousal is seen as anything from a holy sanctifying force needed to purify marital sex to the very words of God by modern Christians. This near universal belief that women’s sexual desires point to male virtue is rooted in chivalry, which explains why Christians have this bug the worst of all. It also explains why Game is such a threat to our values.
There is another group you didn’t mention that is often called red pill, and that is the pickup artists. Their focus is seduction purely for the sake of sexual success. They are by and large the ones who discovered/developed/spread Game, for obvious reasons. One way to look at it is that chivalry is both a system of moral values and a form of Game (set of tools to seduce women). In both regards it is false. Pickup artists by and large aren’t interested in the moral question and reject chivalry because it isn’t an effective way to seduce women (it is an attraction killer). If it worked as advertised, they would happily employ it. My rejection of chivalry on the other hand is focused on the fact that it is a parody of Christianity, a false religion. I would reject it even if it did work.
*The one true definition of Game is a matter of enduring passionate disagreement in the men’s sphere, along with whether it works, and if it works, whether it can be learned/taught.
I’ll stop here for now. I’ve kept this high level without quotes or links, but I’m sure you will have questions and/or challenges. I don’t want to try to anticipate them all and overwhelm you with unrequested details/evidence/clarification.
Is Game good or bad or just an observation of how things work, whether we want them to work that way or not? How is it connected to biblical ethics, if at all?
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Game is knowledge, but potentially dangerous knowledge. So it depends on who you are and how/why you are using it. As I noted above, the serious practitioners and teachers of Game are using it for “pickup”, so the moral problem there is obvious. And there is also the problem of temptation, not unlike meat sacrificed to idols.
But Game also has value within marriage, especially since we have decided that romantic love is the place for sex and marriage, instead of marriage being the place for sex and romantic love. I can cite many more examples, but consider the movie Fireproof. The scene that sets up the conflict is when Caleb makes a fist and warns the man his wife is starting an affair with that he is going to fight him for his wife’s heart. This conflict persists until Catherine finally realizes she (romantically) loves Caleb, and not the doctor. In the movie her romantic love suddenly returned because Caleb had submitted to her in all things and outspent the doctor on items she wanted for her mother (winning her over without a word). Game teaches what the Love Dare sets out to teach; how to generate romantic love from your wife. If you think that romantic love is a good thing in marriage (which I do), then a husband using Game can certainly use it for good.
I don’t write a lot about Game itself, but I have written a number of posts exploring the morality of Game within marriage. I’m probably missing some but these are at least a start:
- She felt unloved.
- Headship Game.
- Radio Silence and Dread.
- Slow your roll
- Is fear of women the beginning of wisdom?
One thing I think we need to be very careful of is not to try to create a theology of Game (intentionally or not). This would be replicating what we did with chivalry. The Bible doesn’t tell us to Game our wives, just like it doesn’t tell us to buy them flowers and propose on one knee or speak their love language. The Bible also needs to be the lens we view Game through, not the other way around. If we are clear on that, however, Game can make it easier to stop rejecting what the Bible plainly tells us. We reject the bulk of what the NT teaches us about men, women, and marriage because it offends our primary religion (chivalry). If Game helps us recognize the error of worshiping chivalry then it is beneficial, but we shouldn’t then make the same mistake and confuse Game for Christianity. Wives should submit to their husbands in fear and reverence not because it generates “tingles” (sexual attraction), but because this is what the Bible tells us. Husbands should see themselves as the head not because this makes them sexy, but because it is what the Bible tells us. And if someone outright rejects Game but chooses to follow biblical teaching on marriage anyway, they are doing the right thing for the right reason and any disagreement on Game is akin to two Christians disagreeing about the proper way to forecast the weather.
My elves and me will have to read the links for further elucidation, but I don’t think I have further questions on the topic just yet.
[——————————My Reply to Nathan——————————]
Ha! My apologies for burdening your elves with what must feel like a homework assignment. This is a very important subject, and I have tried to treat it with the care it deserves. If it helps, you can just skim the first one, skip #3 and only read the first half of #4. #2 and 5 are probably most relevant, but #1 covers my own experience so I think it will be of interest as well.
Cool, that’s helpful. 1 sounds interesting to me …
[——————————My Reply to Nathan——————————]
One thing I want to add regarding Game is that while I generally agree with Heartiste’s definition of Alpha/Beta, etc, (language warning) I disagree with the common acceptance that Alpha is good and Beta is bad. Heartiste may mock Betas (especially lesser Betas) for being sexual losers, but he understands what nearly all moderns fail to grasp; being sexy isn’t a sign of virtue in a man. Betas are careful and loyal and this makes them boring and less sexy than exciting badboys. Marriage is fundamentally Beta, it is a public and legal declaration of “oneitis”. I write this as perhaps the men’s sphere’s only self identified Beta.
I am seeing Christians outside the men’s sphere use the term Alpha to represent good husbands, and Betas to represent losers. This is an anti marriage perspective. The allure here is that for decades conservative Christians have responded to feminist rebellion by declaring that if men were good enough, women wouldn’t be tempted to rebel. The implied solution is that we can create an elite squad of crack husbands who will be so irresistible that their wives won’t rebel. This has a number of glaring problems. One is that if we say only elite men are fit for Christian marriage, we are saying the same for women. The other is that the way you create a crack squad of anything is by ruthlessly cutting out the men who can’t hack it. How do you weed out the loser husbands who somehow made it into the program of Christian marriage? You wash them out via the divorce courts. And in fact this is exactly what we have embraced, without so much as a “sorry, sucks to be you” to the children who will thereby grow up without their father in the home.