Rubbernecking Past the Death of Masculinity

August 11, 2012 § 151 Comments

If you are like me, you may be vaguely aware of a corner of the Internet that refers to itself as the “manosphere”.   Near as I can tell, the “manosphere” started out basically as some sort of on-line Oprah-like show geared at frustrated modern men, giving advice to post-feminist pickup artists who want to score with slutty women.  These people devised a set of techniques or rules premised on the falsity of feminism; techniques which, cobbled together in rough and ambiguous form, they term “Game.”  Apparently “Game” is a way for modern people to simulate acting somewhat like actual men, or at least partially like men, since modern people generally aren’t brought up to act like men.  Yet oddly enough women tend to find confident, dominant men attractive.

I won’t link to any of that morally despicable stuff.   If I recall correctly, I first encountered it a few years back in a link on Turnabout talking about men who hate women, with a link as an example.

What I will point out, though, is that knowing the truth while everyone around you believes lies can be powerful.   By understanding and rejecting the false ideology of feminism, these morally despicable cads (representing a fairly small percentage of men) have been able to take advantage of morally despicable promiscuous women (a much greater percentage simply because it is easier for women than for men to be promiscuous) – a match made in Hell – or so the story goes.   The great majority of modern men and women want to be promiscuous (men want harems, women want “serial monogamy” with high-value men where they get to “trade up” once they become bored).  Their various strategies for and preferences about their promiscuity are analyzed as a kind of marketplace.  Again it isn’t a part of the Web I’ve read other than in passing, like a rubbernecker passing the scene of an accident; so I’m probably mischaracterizing things.  That’s just how I see it in rough terms at the moment, it isn’t Gospel.

But a funny thing happened on the drive past the red light district.  Some of the truths about the falsity of feminism, and its infiltration into even the way many Christians view the relations between the sexes, has gotten noticed by people who at least appear to care deeply about marriage and family.

If the plan is for our kids to grow up in enclaves like the Amish, and we don’t care about what is going on in the wider culture, there probably isn’t much of interest in the “manosphere”.  It takes a little time to get to know the jargon, and the prose ranges from crude to outright vile, especially in comboxes.  Reading this stuff is, for a middle aged guy like me, like watching the carnage from some decades-long terrible natural disaster that was really just getting started when I was in college and single, and from which I managed to personally escape, for the most part.

Some of what is there does really resonate with my decades-past experience though. (Not that that is particularly relevant: personal experience is often a uniquely terrible source of information on what is happening in the wider culture).   Even those who don’t have kids ought to care about where our society is headed, and what today’s children are likely to encounter when they make life decisions about family.  That thing called the “manosphere” is no longer, if it ever was, just a big exploitation seminar for man-boys who hate women and the promiscuous girls who “love” them.  I’ll be watching to see how things develop.

§ 151 Responses to Rubbernecking Past the Death of Masculinity

  • Lydia says:

    If the blogger linked is supposed to be an example of someone who appears to care deeply about marriage and the family, you can keep him. I don’t care if he’s a Christian. I don’t care that he knows feminism is false or that lots of Christians are, unfortunately, feminists. (Whoop-de-doo.) Someone that callous and cynical, who freely thinks and talks in the terms of “Game,” who pretty obviously thinks that all women are prima facie sluts, has had his chivalry and his capacity for wonder permanently damaged if not destroyed. I wouldn’t want him or his followers in the so-called “Christian manosphere” (shudder) coming within a hundred miles of marrying one of my daughters.

  • Lydia says:

    And he needs to moderate his comments better. Language warning in the comments at that site. But what does one expect from people who want to wander around the blogosphere wallowing in talk of the sluttishness of women and the needs of poor men to protect themselves from these predatory females?

  • Scott W. says:

    The manosphere strikes me more as a “Internet tough” phenomenon than anything I’m likely to encounter in the street, not that that makes it acceptable. I remember on TV “The Man Show” with Jimmy Kimmel which gloried in beer-swizzling, fart jokes, and girls jumping on trampolines. Some argued that after years of emasculating feminism, these akward and juvenile steps to recovering masculinity were a good thing much like those who said that girls may well be dressing skimpy, but at least they were rediscovering “girlishness” as opposed to the feminist “butch” phase we had to endure.

    But “Game” among other things make this problematic. Perhaps that we are on the verge of paganism in its worst excesses.

  • There is plenty of cynicism, crassness, etc. in the posts, let alone the comments. I’m not going to play apologist for language, style, etc. But there are important social truths – critical even, especially for parents who have sons – backed by fact, on sites like that, which are not being stated anywhere else.

  • Lydia says:

    I’m afraid it isn’t just a matter of language and style. I would go so far as to say that a young man who has imbibed the manner of thought represented there has damaged himself just as surely, and in some of the same ways, as a young man who uses pornography. A degraded view of women. A habitually cynical outlook. A continual view of sexual life as a matter of full-fledged conflict between the sexes. Think of Chesterton’s statement to the effect, “Keeping to one woman is a small price to pay for seeing one woman.” I find it difficult to imagine someone who is part of the so-called “manosphere,” allegedly Christian or otherwise, who would not view Chesterton as a rube for saying that–a mere beta waiting to be exploited.

    How would a man who thinks and speaks that way view his wife as a gift? Where would be that capacity for joy and wonder and blessing? He would have to be _converted_, radically changed in his outlook on women and sex, no less than any “bad boy.” And I’m not going to suggest to young women that they be out to convert men, especially not to convert them from a degraded view of women and the relationship of the sexes itself. That goes straight to the heart of a future marriage.

    Frankly, if the only men available are either girly-men or men who think like that, I’m going to start saying, reluctantly enough, that there are worse things that could happen to my daughters than remaining unmarried all their lives.

  • Lydia says:

    All conservatives should have a vivid sense that sensibility matters. A rightly ordered aesthetic sense of the world is part of what we’re trying to convey to our young people–what C.S. Lewis in the Abolition of Man referred to as birds teaching other birds to fly. Just as the feminists cannot sit around assaulting masculinity all day long without producing men who are effeminate, miserable, and royally messed up, so here: One cannot sit around assaulting chivalry all day long and continually harping on the manipulativeness and sluttishness of women without producing men who are jaded, hardened, and unchivalrous. And men who are jaded, hardened, and unchivalrous are not happy and well-adjusted people, good candidates for a good marriage, nor what God intended them to be, any more than men who are effeminate and miserably trying to ingratiate themselves with women by being good feminists.

  • Chris says:

    Lydia.

    You are offended by Dalrock. Particularly some of the things people say there. Or perhaps CL and SevenMan. Or the fact that I’m a Prot.

    Get over it and grow up. Those of us who have sat and listened to people who have lost their family… and heard it so many times that you know what comes next in the script… are not getting good and clear messages from the pulpit.

    Now I know that the leaders of one Apostolic church (the Roman one) at present have a leader who is doing his level best to stem the tide. Which is why this Presbyterian prays for him.

    But this is not happening in many churches. Instead this behaviour is validated. For the Americans DPB is the domestic purposes benefit (benefit for solo parents).

    There are 225,000 adults not living with one or other of their children. Most are men.

    We know there are deadbeat dads. But there are plenty of good dads, too, made redundant from family life by the DPB.

    It’s not just the welfare system that has knocked fathers out of their children’s lives. The law and its operation also is upended against dads.

    The saddest cases I ever had to deal with as an MP were those in which the law was used as a weapon in a fight over custody and money. In our haste to protect women and children we have upended the law and chucked it hard against dads.

    I have had many a constituency case in which a dad had come home from work to be greeted by the police, told he’s got 10 minutes to pack his things and get out. He was not to say goodbye to his children. He was not to go near them.

    That’s the effect of a “without notice” protection order. The Family Court will grant one immediately following a complaint. There doesn’t have to be abuse. Just the risk of it. Understandably, the court errs on the side of caution and readily grants these orders.

    The first a dad knows there’s a protection order against him is when he’s told to get out. I have known a dad spend that night sleeping in his car and discovering the joint account cleaned out.

    When you have seen people fo through that meat grinder, you get angry. When you have had to rescue your kids from it, and I have, then you are furious. Righteously angry.

    And being told to be polite is pouring salt on the wounds.

    Go talk to your husband. Go talk to your priest. Do not tell him what to say, ask him to tell you what happens to these men… how they disappear from his congregation and end up in mine.

    Not my church: I’m lay. My Job: I work in mental health. I see these men after they have failed to kill themselves, and I see at least one a fortnight.

  • FYI, Lydia is Protestant, and will be treated like the lady she is.

    By the same token, I see Dalrock not as pornography but as forensics. Those who don’t want to look don’t have to, but I think fathers of young men do need to understand the world in which they are bringing up their sons.

  • [...] I was not going to go there, Until I went back and looked at Zippy Catholic, who wrote a fairly wise post and was linked back from Dalrock.  Now the Zipster stated [...]

  • Lydia says:

    I think anger can make us go to dark places. This happens in a lot of areas. It happens in crime as well (as witness another blogospheric debate Zippy and I have been involved in). Righteous anger is not a bad thing. But there are always occupational hazards in continually being immersed in certain kinds of evils. In this case, my conclusion is that the occupational hazard of being immersed (maybe perforce, because of one’s job, for example) in the situations in which women have ruined men’s lives is a particular level and type of jadedness and a damaging of that ability to see a woman as a gift. I think that _especially_ the fathers of sons should want their sons not to suffer that kind of damage, especially not when they still have the opportunity,hopefully, to go through life without suffering it.

    This seems to me the mirror image of a woman who ends up a feminist man-hater because she has worked with battered women and has come to think of all or at least most men as prima facie abusers.

    Darkness enters the soul through a lot of avenues. This isn’t primarily about bad language, though bad language can be a symptom. This is about retaining joy, gratitude, and a sense of beauty. Men need it as well as women. Utter cynicism and a pervasively negative view of women are as corrosive as utter cynicism and a pervasively negative view of men. A young man shouldn’t be starting off with women with the P.O.V. of a jaded old man who has been used and tossed aside, just as a young woman shouldn’t be starting off with men with the P.O.V. of a jaded old woman who has been used all her life.

    The alternative is not Pollyannish or stupid naivete. The alternative, however, does lie in a kind of innocence that hasn’t yet been undermined.

  • Lydia says:

    Yikes, correction: …just as a young woman shouldn’t be starting off with men with the P.O.V. (Now there’s a dumb slip.)

    [Fixed it. --Z]

  • Chris says:

    Agree, Lydia. And I see both sides — I also have also talked to far more women that I want to who have been abused, beaten, deeply hurt… so it goes both ways.

    What I think we have done is stop valuing that which most women learnt about being a Lady. I do know of some women who teach this to younger women who they know, but these women are very “crunchy” and alternative. They are being actively counter cultural.

    You see, the culture is telling young women and men to party… there will be no consequences. But there will be. If you are lucky, only your heart will be broken and your soul stained. If you are unlucky, you will ruin your health, or end up living a life of penury raising your children by yourself.

    Am I disinterested? No. That 15 year old was my son: I am raising two boys as a solo Dad, and am daily thankful that they are more interested in Dungeons and Dragons that girls. And that they cheerfully attend Kirk with me.

    There is, however, hope. Things are changing. The boys school (male only) did not have a ball this year as the young men looked at the price and voted with their dollars — not enough paid for tickets. Given the number of cases of alcohol intoxication that have occured in after parties (and worse) this cannot be a bad. thing.

  • Lydia says:

    In my own life, I’m surrounded by “alternative” young women. Quite a lot of them. Truly lovely young ladies. Nor am I referring only to the fact that I have daughters. We just had, at a rough guess, some forty people at my house all evening this evening, and every single family (except for one family that has only boys) has daughters who are beautiful inside as well as outside. These are Christian home schoolers. We normally have an even bigger group, but one family of ten, eight of whom are daughters, happened not to be here. From this perspective it is, shall we say, worrisome to imagine that _any_ of these girls, my friends’ daughters included, should encounter or consider as a serious marriage prospect a young man who had been trained in “Game” or anything remotely like it and who looked at women with that sort of perspective. Such a man would be doing such young ladies (and I use the term most deliberately) a grave wrong by approaching them with that spirit, those expectations, and that attitude. Are they perfect human beings? Heavens, no! They are real human beings with plenty of real faults. But promiscuity and that whole nightmarish sleep-around, man-using cesspool are simply not there. At all. You might think of it as a time machine–sexually innocent young women hoping for a good husband with whom they can raise a family. I don’t want young man taught to approach all young women as if they are of the world as well as in the world, as if they are “all alike.” That would be to ruin plenty of opportunities for unspoiled women to meet unspoiled men, fall in love, get married, and have godly lives and families. Am I talking about fairy tales? Heck, no. There would be sickness, sorrow, and death and pain, as there are in everyone’s lives, to some extent or another. But there would also be the joy of being truly one flesh, of loving one another, and of having come to one another not only with bodies intact but also with minds intact, not having to unlearn a lot of stuff.

    A guy who has been trained to think in Game-ish terms: That’s bad baggage. That’s baggage these kinds of young women don’t deserve to be taking on and shouldn’t have to be taking on.

  • My interest in the developing “manosphere” is more for its forensics than its prescriptions, and more for fathers of young men than young men themselves. I’m certainly not recommending “Game” for young men! The wonderful young ladies of Lydia’s acquaintance are rare as hens teeth though, and it is important for fathers to prepare their sons to encounter the world as it really is. How that works out in practice is far from settled in my mind; but fathers can’t do that at all unless they know the realities.

    On the manosphere’s prescriptive aspect, my impression of the term “Game” is that it is one of those modern multivocal terms like “evolution”: that is, taken as a vague generality there is some truth to it, but the more specific and concrete it is taken to be the more false it becomes. So when “evolution” means that organisms which survive to reproduce are the ones that pass on traits to the next generation it is true; when it means that prokaryote-world developed into the phenotypes we see today primarily through the mechanism of random genetic mutation combined with natural selection, it is flat out false. When “game” means that when a man lets a woman treat him like a doormat she will lose attraction to him, or even that the average young woman is attracted to jerks because jerkhood has been placed at the top of the perverse modern social heirarchy, it is true; when it means more specific things I won’t cite it is false. These kinds of terms manage to keep their prestige by equivocating and remaining vague.

  • Yazz Michael Michaels says:

    Reading these comments reminds me once again why it is absolutely futile and a complete waste of time to debate serious issues with 99.9% of all women.

    We have several men commenting, using logic, references, concrete facts. And then we have Lydia who just rationalizes away emotionally. She doesn’t like the message, in fact she takes umbrage at it. She doesn’t like the criticism of the sisterhood and because of this she villifies the entire manosphere. It’s a classic case of hamsterlympics.

    Lydia you claim to be a christian. How about you actually take the bible serious for a change? And by that I mean even those psalms that are *not* convenient to you as a woman.

    1 Timothy 2:11-12
    11 A woman[a] should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[b] she must be quiet.

  • I get the sense that “see the woman rationalize, see the men use logic” is a kind of canned response. But Not All Discussions Are Like That, and the canned response may ironically make Lydia’s point for her about what a one size fits all cynicism can do.

    Cue the canned response “Zippy is a white knight.”

    I’ll leave the sola scriptura thing to the Protestants to work out amongst themselves.

  • Lydia says:

    The sisterhood? Oh, dear. I can only say that Yazz, whoever he may be, does not know me at all.

  • You haven’t truly tasted irony until you’ve seen someone lecture Lydia McGrew about using facts, logic, and reason.

    That’s one of the traps of wandering into anywhere where there are “insiders” who have known each other well over a period of years. And in fairness to wandering-in commenters, we are very privileged in the sense that we haven’t personally lived the nightmare lived by the majority of our contemporaries (though it has certainly affected a number of people close to me). We really do live in our self-selected enclaves, to a greater or lesser extent, as I was trying perhaps ineptly to say by referencing the Amish in the post. Scott W’s comment above may be the most pertinent: … we are on the verge of paganism in its worst excesses.

  • Lydia says:

    Zippy, I definitely appreciate the difficulty of raising a young man in a world in which wonderful young women are as rare as hen’s teeth. Christian mothers face the same problem the other way, of course. The challenge is to raise a young person who retains innocence while having essential knowledge and shrewdness. I’m assuming that the actual producers of the “manosphere,” Christian or otherwise, _do_ consider their material suitable for young men themselves, as a way of teaching them how not to be mistreated or used or something. But of course one doesn’t want to raise one’s son to be a misogynist and a manipulator, just as one doesn’t want to raise one’s daughter to be a man-hater and a manipulator (“so she won’t get hurt”). I certainly teach my daughters, gradually and at appropriate ages, about the dangers of the world, including the existence of bad young men. The problem of pornography (for example) is an increasing one, since all too many even among Christian young men use it and even consider it no problem. This is obviously a source of great concern for parents of girls, and it is something the girls will need to be, at relevant times and in relevant ways, warned about. It’s a reason for taking plenty of time to get to know a young man before marriage, and for the family’s getting to know him as well.

    But I want them to retain freshness and joy and to be looking and hoping for a good husband whom they can truly respect.

    All of this has counterparts in the other direction–for boys.

    Taking a part of the truth and exaggerating it, then filling up all the cracks with crudity and nastiness, and implying that this is “just giving the facts”–well, it isn’t. All heresies start by taking a part of the truth and treating it as the whole truth. It is simply not a good corrective to feminism to destroy and ridicule chivalry and wonder. That’s a form of maiming, not just fact-giving.

    What we don’t want to be telling boys is, “Harrumph. You may _think_ you’ve found a good girl, but pretty little Buffy is just a destroyer in the making. Watch out for her. She’s illogical but powerful. If she isn’t a slut now, she’ll probably become one in the end. She’ll break your heart, take all your money, take your kids, if you’re rash enough to have kids with her, and ruin your life and your mind.” Well, great. How does that put him on the path to a good, well-adjusted life? What approach does that suggest that he should take to all women? How does that prepare him to be a husband and father?

    And of course, as you said regarding prescriptions, they get a good deal worse than that.

    So, I certainly do appreciate the dilemma of raising children in a bad world. Believe me, I appreciate it viscerally and existentially. I just think we need to be careful about one-sided sources and approaches.

  • Lydia says:

    For the record, I wasn’t implying, Zippy, that that little scenario was what you are suggesting fathers of sons tell them. I was suggesting that a true devotee of the manosphere says that kind of thing and, one guesses, would tell it to a son so as to forewarn him. (As a matter of fact, it’s nearly word-for-word paraphrased from an old Fred Reed column.)

  • Oh, there is no question that the manosphere has its biases, its own sort of tone-deafness, etc. Heck, I certainly don’t mean my post as some sort of blanket endorsement and I don’t think that would be a fair reading.

    But there are important truths about the modern condition – lots of them – that I just don’t see being expressed anywhere else. If I manage to get organized about it, I may post a summary of some of them.

    Furthermore, I think there is an obligation to fully inform young people what they are getting into – legally, socially, etc – when they choose to marry. Refraining to do so out of a desire to preserve innocence and wonder seems to me to be a kind of white lie writ large. I mean, we are talking about probably the most important decision they will ever make. They deserve to go in with eyes fully open, and if being fully informed risks emotionally damaging them that just tells me that they aren’t ready to get married in the current environment. That isn’t fair, but the unfairness is imposed from without: it isn’t something about which you or I have any choice.

  • Lydia says:

    I think there has to be a way to inform one’s son or daughter of the risks of marriage generally, preferably _before_ endorsing a particular future mate, without maligning one’s future son or daughter-in-law. If you don’t trust the girl enough not to give your son the “Buffy” lecture as sketched above, you shd. definitely be advising him not to marry her. And the same for the female equivalent on the other side. As far as I’m concerned, the damage that a husband or wife can in principle do, be it legally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually, is a reason for taking one’s time, not being desperate to get married, and getting to know a person well before committing. Also seeking spiritual compatibility and worldview compatibility. Also not taking on someone with a lot of baggage from the past.

    But it’s not a reason to spend a lot of time at utterly cynical sites that promote a generally degraded view of women (or men). Immersing oneself in the depravity of (some members of) the opposite sex is no better for one’s mental life and the clarity of one’s outlook than immersing oneself (to use a somewhat incendiary example) in the depravity of (some members of) other races. And all the less so if the litany of depravity is accompanied by a generally degraded atmosphere. Which is why I don’t regularly read certain “race realist” sites that glory in the use of chimpanzee analogies, whatever information they might contain.

  • Dalrock says:

    Thanks for the link Zippy Catholic.

    Lydia,

    I gather that you don’t like me. While that isn’t my preference I’m ok with that. What I’m more interested in is which of my arguments you disagree with. Do you think men shouldn’t be weary of marrying a woman who has made marriage last on her priority list? You mention young women you know who aren’t like that. Why then would you not want young men to prefer women who make marriage a priority? Why defend the ones acting badly in the name of the ones acting well?

    As for my view of marriage, I am a passionate proponent of lifetime marriage. It is because of this I take great issue with those who turn it into a farce.

  • Lydia says:

    I’m not in the slightest defending women who are acting badly.

    I’m trying to restore culture. I don’t think that can be well done by undermining chivalry, encouraging base cynicism about women generally, obsessing over wicked women, and permitting and even encouraging coarse and lewd talk about women. Much less teaching manipulation and mind games as normal means of interaction between the sexes. Those of us who are Christians and conservatives should be trying to be countercultural. This involves raising young women to be ladies and young men to be gentlemen. However quaint you may think such terms and such ideas, I think them extremely important. I think your site undermines one side of that.

    Part of what we should be trying to do is restore and revive chivalry. Proper chivalry as part of godly manliness does not entail stupidity or weakness, whatever you may think to the contrary. I think, from the admittedly brief look I had (but I’ve no real desire to see more), that your approach and your site is destructive of chivalry. That’s a Not Good thing, for anyone involved, including the men.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Lydia
    I’m not in the slightest defending women who are acting badly.

    Yes you are. You object to me pointing out bad behavior by a large group of women.

  • I guess I am having a hard time seeing cynicism in a script of how things actually, a great deal more commonly than hen’s teeth, go. And I expect a young man who knows that that is how things commonly go (and why) to be in a position to make better decisions than a young man who doesn’t know it.

  • Dalrock says:

    Zippy Catholic please delete this comment if you feel it is inappropriate for me to link to my posts below.

    I’ve been accused in the discussion above of being down on wives and a proponent of playing mind games. As I mentioned above I am a very strong proponent of lifelong marriage. I’m deeply disturbed by those who would be so crass as to use it as a means of theft, those who would profit from the suffering of their own children. But my disgust at women who are misusing the trusting nature of men and feeding their children into the divorce meat grinder doesn’t mean I don’t value the women who take their marriage vows seriously. See for example my post Rejoice in the wife of your youth.

    As for the accusation of me suggesting that husbands play mind games with their wives, this comes from a knee jerk reaction to game. I offer my post She felt unloved as clarification.

  • Lydia says:

    Zippy, you’ve spent more time than I ever will in the “manosphere.” I’m a little surprised that you have no idea what I could mean by cynicism. Again, it’s a matter of proportion. Are you seriously saying that in the whole “men’s rights” “Game,” etc., blogospheric culture you don’t see a pervasive sense that women are sluts and that one should approach them all as probable sluts? I would find it surprising if you don’t.

  • Lydia:
    I am certainly not saying that I see no cynicism, etc in the manosphere! What I am saying is that the “narrative” in the post I linked, while bluntly stated, is a true account of how things actually go a significant amount of the time; and I am further saying that most young people considering marriage, possibly excepting those living in true enclaves like the Amish, are better off knowing these things than not knowing them.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Lydia
    Are you seriously saying that in the whole “men’s rights” “Game,” etc., blogospheric culture you don’t see a pervasive sense that women are sluts and that one should approach them all as probable sluts? I would find it surprising if you don’t.

    Do you feel the term slut is a slur against all women? Or do you feel that I am calling women sluts who shouldn’t be considered such? If the latter, can you show me where I have done this?

  • Lydia says:

    Dalrock, I don’t intend to comb through your site. I have had other encounters with the approach and the ideas, and I saw the same approach and ideas in my brief encounter with your site. I think that in general the _impression_ is given that a man is justified in assuming that any woman one meets, especially any young woman, in any given situation or context is a slut. And therefore that a man should always be on guard against women generally, cannot trust them, etc.

    What I blame is _obsessing_ about the badness of bad women, making talking about it something like a raison d’etre. I don’t consider that to be healthy, any more than I would for the parallel regarding men.

    Zippy, you can say “Amish” as many times as you like. You won’t offend me. I think you are missing concerns about a sense of proportion and a general outlook on life and on women. I don’t think, if we’re to speak bluntly, that you should want any son of yours to think about women like the men in the “manosphere,” not even the Christian ones.

    If you think the young men you know and care about might as well give up now hoping to find good women to marry, because the outlook on women in the “manosphere” is just the way it is outside of Amish enclaves, perhaps you should just tell them so in order that they can start thinking now how to live celibate all their lives.

    I notice that not a single person here has uttered the word “chivalry” back to me nor addressed those concerns about the restoration of culture and of a chivalrous manhood. Nor the Chesterton quote–poor, deluded, beta Chesterton. Not one. Zippy even gave the impression that “manosphere” types tend to throw “So-and-so is a white knight” around as a form of mockery. If I misunderstood that allusion, I regret it, but if that’s true, it’s highly revealing.

  • Lydia,
    I don’t mean the reference to enclaves to be insulting. I view building Christian enclaves as a perfectly reasonable strategy given how things are.

    And I’ll agree with you that much of what one reads in the manosphere is out of proportion, etc. I thought I already had. If you can show me somewhere else that the same truths are being spoken openly though that would be helpful.

    As far as chivalry goes, it should be the default position until a particular woman shows that she is not a lady. The reason I haven’t addressed it is that I thought I already stipulated that there is plenty wrong and unhealthy in the manosphere. In fact I’m not sure how that could be ambiguous given the main post.

  • Gotta go, but I’ll try to check in this evening.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Lydia
    Dalrock, I don’t intend to comb through your site. I have had other encounters with the approach and the ideas, and I saw the same approach and ideas in my brief encounter with your site.

    So you will make accusations against me but not back them up? All the while lecturing me on manners?

  • Lydia says:

    I thought that from the main post, Zippy, until I went to the particular post linked at Dalrock, which, I somehow got the impression, was likely to be different. Could the approach and atmosphere in that one post have been worse? Sure, it could have been worse. Did the post and comments represent a generally healthy outlook that I want men to learn and to have? No way. I’d be surprised if that group would agree with you that chivalry shd. be the default until a particular woman shows that she isn’t a lady.

  • Lydia says:

    Dalrock, I read your post and the comments thereon. I’m telling you what i think it, along with the comments, functionally does, what impression it gives, and what effect I think it, and things like it, have on culture. If you’re going to call that an “accusation,” be my guest.

  • Dalrock: FYI, the “blockquote” tag doesn’t work here; please use “i”.

    Now I really gotta go.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Lydia
    Dalrock, I read your post and the comments thereon. I’m telling you what i think it, along with the comments, functionally does, what impression it gives, and what effect I think it, and things like it, have on culture. If you’re going to call that an “accusation,” be my guest.

    Zippy Catholic mentioned in his post about turning off nested threads that he dislikes it when commenters fail to quote the specific words of another when making claims about what they wrote. He prefers specific quotes because this forces a kind of intellectual rigor and honesty. I’m simply asking that you do this. If you feel I’ve referred to women as sluts who aren’t sluts, it should be quite easy to copy and past where I have done this. How else am I to respond to the claim? The other possibility is that you are generally offended by the word slut, seeing it as a slur against all women and object to my using it at all. I’m asking you to clarify your stance, and if you feel I’ve used the term unfairly to quote where I did. This is common courtesy.

  • Lydia says:

    No, Dalrock, I’m not saying that you _said_ that all women are sluts. I’m claiming that that is the impression from that post and the comments and from such sites generally.

    I’m afraid there is a kind of deliberate denseness here. Zippy has acknowledged the unhealthy attitudes in the manosphere. You, on the other hand, pretend that you don’t know what an unhealthy attitude is. Or maybe you really don’t know. Whatever. Since I don’t care much more about your opinion of me than you care about my opinion of you, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. People can keep reading your site if they want, but…myself…I’d like to call my friends to do better things with their time.

  • Lydia says:

    I really probably _ought_ to stop commenting on this thread or others like it, but I do want to add this, about “information.”

    Mothers of girls want to protect them. We’re often considered _too_ protective. I know things like

    –there are plenty of young men who seduce young women without a second thought,
    –promiscuity is pervasive among contemporary secular young men and all too common among Christian men as well,
    –lots of men think nothing of pornography use and do use pornography heavily,
    –Mark Driscoll and his wife are now telling evangelical men that it’s okay to ask their wives to commit outright sodomy with them, which increases the danger that a Christian young woman will end up with a husband who has a taste for such acts and wants her to fulfill that taste,
    –now there’s “Game” to worry about, which some man might try to “use” on a beloved and innocent daughter.

    Okay, well and good. Or not so well and good. But I don’t need to pore over further details. If I knew of a site that contained as “information” interviews with young men on how they seduce girls, candid statements by men about how they view women as sex objects and what they are up to, statistics about how many sex partners most American young men of a certain age have had, all embroidered with foul-mouthed comments making free use of the F-bomb and talking about how bad all the bad men out there are, I *wouldn’t go there*. I wouldn’t think that somehow I needed this more detailed information (which could of course be endless) about how bad men act and think in order to protect my daughters.

    Frankly, I think that’s a healthy approach on my part. I’m neither stupid nor naive. I know there’s a bad world out there. But I don’t wallow in the badness of bad men because I’m the mother of girls.

    So…

  • Chris says:

    Oh dear.

    1. Many guys and women around the tradosphere and manosphere (which intersect at times) use handles or their first name. This is because we have kids, we have jobs, and we need to protect people. In fact, this lead to one of the best group blogs closing a month or so back…

    2. Lydia gives a really good example of one of the problems with running life in an enclave. She is talking about homeschooling kids — and if where she is is anything like Manitoba (where my daughter lives) then I would be saying do the same thing if you have the skills to. (My daughter was home schooled — and it failedL she re entered school at junior high, which was about the worst possible time). The problem is that there are predators with two legs out there and somewhere along the way you have to teach street smarts. Or Twae Kon Do. Or Both :-). For the world will come in. I have known of players who deliberately go to Christian festivals to find these girls. (One of the solutions that has been used is a girls only area — with their fathers patrolling it. It is what is used a Parachute festival).

    So what to do? Do we become like the Amish — do we retreat into monastories and communities of prayer, dissassociating from the world? That is the anabaptist solution. The confessing solution is to change the world.

    Now, I warn my sons (my daugther is older and married). I warn them that if you sleep with someone, it is against clear teaching and you have to assume that you WILL be supporting her child. So only sleep with somehone you are prepared to have a child with.

    And I tend to not go to the risky places… I can scan a street (or site) and turn around. I’ve also spent many years living in those bad suburbs, those bad streets, so I have survival skills. (I was an ubergeek at high school. Head librarian — state school. Poor part of town. Of this I know too much).

    Dalrock gets the players turning up at his place and his fair share of trolls and trollettes. Anyway, to help out…. I summarized some of the arguments a while ago, quoting Dalrock at http://pukeko.net.nz/blog/2012/03/tells-for-girls/ where I said.

    So,,, summarizing down: five tells.

    He is too good to be true. He has hidden all his negative issues.
    You feel wonderful
    He pushes things towards sex really fast.
    Your girlfriends want to steal him.
    Your Dad hates him.

    Ladies, Dads are useful because they can pretty tell what is in that boy’s head./ It is what was in theirs.

    It is another reason to keep their father around. A bit of male intimidation and screening, of course, goes a long way.

  • Lydia says:

    Um, looks like a very shrewd list of warning signs, Chris.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Lydia
    No, Dalrock, I’m not saying that you _said_ that all women are sluts. I’m claiming that that is the impression from that post and the comments and from such sites generally.

    I’m afraid there is a kind of deliberate denseness here. Zippy has acknowledged the unhealthy attitudes in the manosphere. You, on the other hand, pretend that you don’t know what an unhealthy attitude is. Or maybe you really don’t know. Whatever. Since I don’t care much more about your opinion of me than you care about my opinion of you, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. People can keep reading your site if they want, but…myself…I’d like to call my friends to do better things with their time.

    I’m just trying to break through the internet triibalism and have an actual discussion. At some point can we break past claims that the other guys are “internet tough guys” who probably don’t love their wives, and have a real discussion? This is all I’m asking.

  • Lydia says:

    No, not really. I have an extremely full Internet life, probably too full. In fact, certainly too full. Plus a real, in-person life. What you call “tribalism” I call friendship. I can with an effort imagine situations in which you and I would already have been friends, either on-line or in person, and in which I would try to convince you to forsake your present company, leave the “manosphere,” “Christian” or otherwise, and take a different course. But we’re not in one of those situations, and I have no motivation to do so. I have had some motivation to present here what seem to me to be sensible and important points concerning sensibility, crudity, cynicism, chivalry, being countercultural, and the like. My first comments were probably the better ones, and the repetitions probably only tedious. These were and are there for those who have ears to hear. I’ve been about as eloquent as I can be and have shot my bolt, and people are going to go the way they are going to go. The comments were not, in any event, directed to you, Dalrock, because we don’t have an Internet friendship, and I’m finding it difficult to imagine circumstances in which we would develop one.

  • Dalrock wrote:
    At some point can we … have a real discussion?

    I think it is important. Possibly that is because I have a son. Four or five years ago he and his friends were all effectively in one of those protected enclaves I’ve been talking about. After the financial crisis hit, gradually over time a bunch of his friends drifted out of the enclave: a second parent had to go to work and thus the kids had to go to public school is the most common thread. The dads have absolutely no idea what their kids face, and the kids are often more willing to talk to me than their own dads. I’ve already seen some of the dynamic at work with some older kids who’ve since graduated high school, and it isn’t pretty.

    Now I could write all these good young men off, move to Lancaster, and hope my son wouldn’t notice that I took all of his friends away, grew a beard, and raised a barn. Or I can face the facts about what young men actually face in the real world today, the beginnings of which I saw myself as a young man – the script, divorce theft, frivolous divorce initiated overwhelmingly by women, hypergamy, the works – and try to figure out what to communicate to whom and how.

  • Lydia says:

    Zippy, as I said: I’m also facing facts about what young women actually face in the world today, and it’s very ugly indeed, as my list above shows. I do not think that any female counterpart to Dalrock’s site is the best way to assimilate such facts myself nor to think about how to communicate them to my daughters. I can do that myself pretty well just by keeping my antennae up (which is how I learned about the horrors of the Driscolls’ recent book and what that means about what some even Christian men are looking for, if I needed to know about it) in our all-too-information-soaked age, but without hanging out at a site that talks incessantly about how bad men (or “men”) are and teaches me a whole set of acronyms about “women going their own way” and such nonsense.

  • Believe it or not, I’ve learned some actual facts by reading Dalrock. If you haven’t, by all means don’t read it.

  • Lydia says:

    I’m sure you have. That doesn’t counteract the big picture I’m arguing for. One could probably also learn some actual facts about black crime by reading Chimpout. I believe there’s actually a blog called that. And I would be willing to bet there are rampaging misandrogist feminist sites out there from which one could learn some facts one hadn’t known before about wife abuse. I recommend not doing so, though.

  • Well, we just don’t agree at all that your comparisons are appropriate.

  • Chris says:

    Lydia, I’m ore worried about girls at present. My generation and the one just beneath me (I’m early 50s) have had to deal with the women of our generation, and suddenly finding ourselves divorced, the shattering of bonding due to promotion of free love etc.

    It was not nice. There were “All men are rapists” posters all over the university I went to most of the time I was there. And it got worse after I left.

    But over the last few years the internet has allowed men to talk and fight back. We have worked out that the courts are unjust. The family law has been changed in some places — including where I live. Younger men are being talked to… and when they run into problems there are networks to help. That do not work from a damaging ideology (I mean feminism). This moevement is not really about mystery and pick up artists, It is much more about ignoring the feminist ideology and rediscovering what it means to me a man.

    I’ve learnt from Dalrock… he wades through some statistics in official reports. Usefully.

    But most girls are getting the feminist narrative. Which includes encouraging women to play around, not to bond, not to form a rleationship, but to be independant… that all relationships should be destroyed if they impinge on your wishes.

    And the only people I know who teach against this are TradCaths and the most crunchy kid of protestants. When they get together you get something quite powerful… and a huge amount of flak.

    The flak is interesting. Most men just leave them alone, or come in, snark, and are kicked off. But the wimmenz…. oh derar. they seem to forget that if your argument is wrong, screaming it does not make it right. And they thend to try to destroy people by outing them. This is one reason that Alte disappeared, Terri became Elspeth… bloggers have families and lives and ther families simply said the risk was too great.

    As a result, the sites for women are far and few between. I think grerp is excellent — in fact I wish someone helped her edit it into a book — and Terri is generally good. But a number of the women who claim to be teaching biblically on these issues make things worse.

  • Chris says:

    I need a spell check. More not ore, Dear not the typo, etc.

  • Lydia says:

    Chris, it would be difficult for me to be any more of an anti-feminist. I’m a rampaging anti-feminist. Feminism has been horribly, horribly destructive. Glorifying promiscuity, both male and female, has been just one of its many horrors. My readers know to take that as background for anything I blog. I have a huge number of issues I blog and write about, however, as well as separate scholarly work and correspondence in the field of apologetics. (So, right now, I’m working on a letter to a correspondent about the interpretation of Matthew 24 and whether Jesus was a “failed prophet.”) So I don’t have a lot of articles focused _directly_ against feminism. Anti-feminism is presumed in my pro-life work, however, which is a major focus. In what I write or say against feminism, I refuse to be part of any kind of network that involves the terminology and heavy preoccupations of game-talk and/or the Men’s Rights movements. This is not to deny the injustices of which you speak. They are very real. However, I consider the mutually reinforcing resentment-mongering, the jargon, the atmosphere, and the approach of the “manosphere” to be corrosive and, essentially, bad news. Naturally, some sort of Christian leavening is going to make it somewhat better (though the Christians keep linking to unrepentantly NSFW colleagues, which doesn’t help). I just won’t have anything to do with that “community.”

    I’ll just be a known and hearty anti-feminist on my own.

    Btw, the word “crunchy” in my experience has been associated with an entirely different set of issues having to do with everything from growing one’s own tomatoes to being anti-capitalist in economics. I _think_ I know how you are using it here, but to some extent I’m guessing.

  • johnmcg says:

    Lydia, you might want to consider these men similar to how you might consider female victims of domestic abuse. I am not saying that they are morally equivalent, only that their experiences and attitudes are similar. Encouraging these men to embrace chivalry would be akin to going to a battered women’s shelter preaching about wifely submission. It’s a nice principle in the abstract, and it may represent the ideal, but these guys have been seriously burned by it, and are not currently in a position to be receptive to it.

    Now, this generalized rage and anger should just be a step, not a place to live, and perhaps a problem with these sites (as with some misandrist sites) is that they encourage these men to dwell in this anger, and cultivate it with new stories, rather than moving past it and through it to more concrete action.

    I think this is what zippy and others are trying to do. Ok, the current standard narrative has these problems? Ok, these guys have been hurt by it and are pissed off about it. Now what? How do we prevent other men from getting hurt by it?

    One answer, which zippy, I , and many of the commenters here reject, is Game-like POA tactics to manipulate women into behaving a certain way.

    So, what do we do instead? I think any solution has to honestly deal with the anger that’s out there, which might not be expressed in a somewhat ugly way, because it reflects an ugly reality.

  • Lydia says:

    Actually, John, I think your analogy is a good one. (To a site populated by battered women talking about their experiences.) I would extend the analogy further: Feminism takes battered feminity and (some of) the bad behavior of men and makes a _theory_ out of that–feminist theory. It develops a special language and jargon, an air of intellectualism, and has its own program and agenda which are, to put it mildly, not conducive to human flourishing.

    I talk about chivalry not because I think of myself as dealing with battered people needing help but because I am responding to an “-osphere” that now forms its own “community” with its own theory, its own approach to women and the world, and which is promoting this theory.

    Here’s just one example. (Though I hate to give such examples, because I really don’t want to hang out at such sites. They make me feel positively ill, as feminism does, as well.) In the comments at Dalrock’s post, which Zippy links, one commentator fulsomely congratulates Dalrock. What for? Well, apparently at some point in his past blogging, Dalrock talked about “being sure you find the right woman,” or something like that. For this, the commentator has only scorn. The commentator congratulates Dalrock on, in that person’s perception, _developing_ further so that now he is a MGTOW blogger.

    What is MGTOW? Well, a little googling glosses this bit of in-house jargon as “Men going their own way.” There is even an MGTOW manifesto out there (not, to be fair, written by Dalrock, but part of this “manosphere community”). MGTOW has now become associated with a so-called “marriage strike,” in which men simply don’t intend to get married at all. Presumably, so as not to be those dumb “betas” who are exploited by a world full of piranha-like women. Other possibilities–other than piranha-like women, such as, you know, good women–are not contemplated. Indeed, Dalrock is evidently being congratulated for having moved on from suggesting that men attempt to find good women to marry!

    Nor do I think these men are all planning to enter the priesthood. Nor should the priesthood have them, frankly. I don’t think you Catholics want a priesthood filled with men who entered in order to avoid supporting a family because they accept a misogynistic narrative that sees the vast majority of women as just out to exploit them as “betas.”

    This is, in other words, outright ridiculing the traditionalist concept of the family. This is not just people in need of healing. This is people who have developed their whole own ideological world. It is to that ideological world that I object in very strong terms and with which I will have no truck whatsoever. Just as I will not do with feminism, despite the fact that many women do indeed turn to feminism because they have been grossly mistreated by a man or men.

    And just as I would suggest to a good female friend in the blogosphere that she not hang out at feminist sites that specialize in running down men and suggesting that women not get married, because she believes they have crucial information that she can’t get elsewhere, so here.

    Oh, and by the way: The MGTOW Manifesto I ran across has “fight chivalry” as one of its cardinal rules. Explicitly.

  • johnmcg says:

    The biggest problem I have with Game is that, in short I personally hate guys who act like “alphas,” so why would I want to become more like them?

    I’m sure they would say it’s because I have been brainwashed by the feminist hegemon, but I don’t want to be the type of guy who would “neg” a woman. I don’t want to order my wife around.

    I don’t care if this is how things work in the pack animal world — I am not a pack animal, and neither are the women in my life, and I don’t think pack animals are what we should aspire to.

    Now, that doesn’t mean I couldn’t stand to learn some things about assertiveness and not ordering my life around pleasing the women in it. But I want to be helpful by default, and I don’t believe that I have to turn myself into what I see as a jerk to have a satisfying relationship.

  • John:
    One answer, which zippy, I , and many of the commenters here reject, is Game-like POA tactics to manipulate women into behaving a certain way.

    One thing I think bloggers like Dalrock are trying to do – he can chime in if he is still reading – is to coopt the vague term “game,” which started out as basically pure dishonest manipulation, and repurpose it to mean something like teaching men who have grown up in a feminist society to act like men. I don’t agree with the attempt to repurpose the terminology that way; but by the same token I’m a big proponent of understanding what someone actually means and addressing his ideas and contentions on their own terms.

    Lydia:
    Other possibilities–other than piranha-like women, such as, you know, good women–are not contemplated.

    It isn’t that they aren’t contemplated. As I understand it, the claim is fourfold: (1) that marriageable women simply do not exist in sufficient numbers to make finding and marrying one a project with much likelihood of success; (2) that even when one thinks one has found a marriageable woman and vetter her with extreme care, the legal and social system is rigged such that on a whim, she can wreck your life in a very one-sided way with little to no consequences to herself; (3) the culture is so saturated with divorce porn that it takes a very strong woman indeed, or one living in some sort of enclave, to resist it; and (4) that situation inherently places a woman “in charge” in marriage, making a true marriage with male headship literally impossible.

    I’m not ready to pronounce on the validity of all of those things (Dalrock has provided all sorts of meaningful data though). But I’m also not prepared to dismiss it all as a bunch of irrational woman-hating rage.

    Lydia herself suggested above that maybe young men ought to just prepare themselves for lives of celibacy. Perhaps she was joking, but I already know non-clerical men who have lived rather happy and drama-free lives that way. Better that than the fate that awaits half of the men who marry.

  • Lydia says:

    Zippy, I think you ought to be able to see through #2 and #3. For example, as I said, you should be able to think about this stuff without maligning a future daughter-in-law. This portrays women as somehow determined by the outside world to behave wickedly and destroy everyone’s life (including, what the manosphere doesn’t seem to realize, her own life in a very real sense) on a whim. Wow, that’s darned insulting. *Not one* of my close female friends is “resisting divorce porn.” The idea is risible. They’re just happy and busy and living their lives, love their husbands, etc. Now, maybe you’re going to define “enclave” in some way such that every single woman I’m close to is living in an “enclave,” but if so, that’s an extremely broad-brush definition, and in that case, it ain’t so hard or unusual to live in an “enclave” (quote-unquote) after all.

    Oh, by the way: I began to learn about the terrible injustices done to men in our legal system by family law so long ago that I bet some of the inhabitants of the “manosphere” weren’t even born then. I learned about it from Phyllis Schlafly and Eagle Forum. And somehow, I don’t think Phyllis is going to start talking about “beta males” and not getting married in order to avoid being an exploited “beta” any time soon.

  • Lydia says:

    And #4. You ought to be able to see through that, too. See, lots of us women out there simply *don’t care* about how easy it would be to divorce our husbands. To say that true marriage with male headship is literally impossible is belied by the fact that many such marriages exist and are known to exist by the people in them and by their friends. If you’re going to start spinning some abstract line to the effect that the surrounding legal system makes them impossible even though everyone involved thinks they are actual–well, that’s utterly silly. Like a kind of marriage behaviorism: “You think you’re in pain, but my scientific headache test says you aren’t.”

    Zippy, that _you_ could take 1-4 seriously just says to me that what I said above about ideology, in fact, everything I’ve said in this thread about an ideological world, is absolutely true. And evidently it’s an ideological world that has attractiveness and can draw people in. As is feminism, for that matter.

  • The thing is, Lydia, you and I are from a different country: the past. Even so, I suspect you are far more sheltered than I’ve ever been.

    I note that your entire view seems to proceed from your personal experience. Personal experience is an atrocious guide to the realities faced by the great mass of people. But in any case, my personal experience is vastly different from yours. I would estimate that less than 10% of the women I knew in college were marriage-worthy in any sense, and things can’t possibly have gotten better since then.

    So no, I don’t “see through” any of this. I have a sinking feeling that, once you peel away the style and the obvious falsehoods, a lot of it is just true.

  • Lydia:
    …you should be able to think about this stuff without maligning a future daughter-in-law.

    Here is where I ask you to point out exactly, precisely where I have “maligned a future daughter in law”. Please be specific.

  • Lydia says:

    Zippy, I could write just as speciously plausible an argument for all girls to be advised not to marry, on principle, as well. I’ve known two marriages among those with whom I went to college that were ruined by the man’s getting into on-line pornography. Pornography is real, all-too-readily available, and addictive. And that’s just one possibility.

    Marriage is a very serious thing. One does take a risk. That is why one gets to know the person, as a person, first. (“Vetted” is, at best, a cool and impersonal term that needs to be watched carefully.) And seeks godly counsel and prays and prays for wisdom and guidance. And I would also add that it’s unwise to marry people with baggage who say they’re reformed. And even all of this cannot entirely eliminate the element of risk.

    But I scarcely think it is the will of God for all Christians to look at the things that *could* happen and tell all their children simply not to get married because of what *could* happen, to treat all members of the opposite sex, however well one knows them, as though, at any moment, they could be demon possessed by the evil spirits of the age and ruin one’s life in the twinkling of an eye on a whim. If that is not misogyny and misandrogy, I don’t know what is. Not to mention the fact that it would mean that Christianity would biologically die out and that the calling to marriage could not be realized among the faithful.

    Of course wise people will be willing *in principle* not to get married and will recognize that singleness might be God’s will for them. Of course wise people will not marry in haste nor in desperation. Of course wise people will have a life plan, when they are young, that does not *of necessity* include their getting married. And wise people also recognize that there are worse things than not being married. All of that is true.

    But all of that is quite, quite different from your argument comprising #1-#4 above, and quite different from a female parallel that could be written regarding men.

  • Again, before we proceed any further, I want you to show me where, specifically, I have maligned a future daughter in law.

  • Lydia says:

    “precisely where I have “maligned a future daughter in law”. Please be specific.”

    #3 (in conjunction with #2) implies that all women not living in enclaves are positively tempted both to read “divorce porn” and to be strongly influenced by it to divorce on a whim. And presumably that the women living in enclaves _would_ feel this way if only they had encountered “divorce porn.” So that only a woman who is very “strong” can resist this fatal pull. This notion that all women have this internal attraction to “divorce porn” presumably includes a future daughter-in-law.

  • Lydia says:

    And, to complete the point, you are unwilling to dismiss 2-3. Hence, you seem at least to be willing to _contemplate seriously_ thinking in terms that attribute something pretty bad to all women, presumably including a future daughter-in-law.

    #4 is ridiculous on other grounds–namely, that it ascribes “literal impossibility” to a state of affairs that is manifestly actual in numerous cases, where only one counterexample would be sufficient to refute it.

  • Lydia:
    Something about this thread has destroyed your ability to read, and therefore your ability to properly attribute ideas.

    In the first place, “as I understand it, the claim is …” means that I am describing a series of claims. It doesn’t mean that I am asserting them all as true, and most certainly not in an unqualified way.

    In the second place, nobody has ever suggested that any of these claims “implies that all women” anything. Statistical claims like “90% of the women I went to college with were not suitable for marriage” inherently and obviously don’t mean “all”. That’s partly why your personal experience (and mine) is not ultimately relevant here.

    I think Dalrock had a point earlier in the thread when he said that you were accusing in vague terms while suggesting that you are immune from the requirement to prove the accusation. Now you are starting to do it to me. Just stop it.

  • Lydia says:

    I’ve never claimed high abstract statistical probability for happy marriages, by the way. That’s why people should do things that make themselves part of a different reference class from the population as a whole as far as having a later happy marriage goes. And pray, too, and not be desperate to get married.

    But the claims made and implied by the “manosphere” about women are so sweeping and result in such sweeping types of advice (such as “marriage strikes” and what-not) that they are pretty easy to refute *by* personal experience.

  • Lydia says:

    Zippy, look at #3: ” the culture is so saturated with divorce porn that it takes a very strong woman indeed, or one living in some sort of enclave, to resist it;”

    Please think about what that means. What it actually means. It means that it takes a very strong woman to resist divorce porn. As a matter of fact, that’s what it says. But this is false in plenty of specific cases. If a woman isn’t _attracted_ to divorce porn, she doesn’t have to be strong to resist it! And, yes, #3 appears to be about women _generally_.

    You expressly said, “I’m also not prepared to dismiss it all as a bunch of irrational woman-hating rage.”

    Well, I mean, you should be. Presumably you also know plenty of women who aren’t sitting around expressing their “strength” by “resisting divorce porn.” That is, they would just find it a silly waste of time.

  • Lydia:
    But the claims made and implied by the “manosphere” about women are so sweeping and result in such sweeping types of advice (such as “marriage strikes” and what-not) that they are pretty easy to refute *by* personal experience.

    No, Lydia: your personal experience is irrelevant. Are you trying to tell me that my assessment of the marriage-suitability of women in college is refuted by your personal experience?

  • Lydia:
    Yes, not all women are like that. That doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t address the claim at all, since the claim is statistical and sociological in nature.

  • Lydia says:

    No, of course I’m not telling you that it “refutes” it. What should make it largely irrelevant would be the sorts of young women you are planning to suggest that your son seek out as marriage material. Which presumably is a very different reference class from “90% of the women with whom you went to college.” And even more irrelevant by the time some particular young woman is in view.

    Again, one problem here is a pervasive suspicion (see #2 above) which is apparently relevant even to a young woman that a man has “vetted,” in other words, a young woman he *actually knows* and hopefully that his family knows, and that he should *know quite well*. #2 and #3 imply that worry and distrust are still warranted because, you never know, she might not be “strong” enough, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding even after “vetting,” to resist the miasma of “divorce porn” in the air.

    What sort of basis is that on which to marry? There should be sufficient knowledge and trust by the time one is actually contemplating marriage that all this statistical stuff is almost entirely beside the point, epistemically swamped. You don’t sit around distrusting the person you’re seriously considering marrying on the basis of statistics. Because you *know that person personally* and therefore do not have to consider that person as a mere member of a general nationwide reference class.

  • Once again I can’t figure out what I’ve actually written that you are disagreeing with. You seem to be taking all sorts of things for granted though, in addition to attributing things to me that I haven’t said.

  • Dalrock says:

    I haven’t read the entire exchange, but wanted to clarify one misstatement above and add another thought.

    1) I am not part of the MGTOW movement. It is true that a commenter attributed this position to me, but if you read a bit further down you will see where I corrected him in this.

    2) We owe it to both our future daughters in law and sons in law to teach our children to be very careful when choosing their spouse. It only helps the nice, honest, and well adjusted future son in law to teach our daughters to weed out the cads and players, etc. We are giving the good ones priority by doing so. The same goes for the worthy wife; if our sons marry foolishly we have let the worthy ones down by allowing our sons to pass them by. For some reason no one would ever be offended that we scruprulously vet our daughters potential suitors, only when we want to give worthy women the same kind of advantage. In a marketplace with both the real deal and forgeries, the holders of the real deal benefit from careful screening. Likewise if you want to help the forgers, shame those who would check carefully.

  • Lydia says:

    “Once again I can’t figure out what I’ve actually written that you are disagreeing with.”

    I’m saying that you *should* dismiss the argument from #1-#4 (apparently, as near as I can figure, as an argument for advising men to avoid marriage) as irrational misogyny. I thought I had been clear enough about that.

    Actually, Dalrock, I completely and totally agree that both men and women should be very careful in choosing a mate. So you and I are in agreement about that.

    I take it, then, that you wd. reject premises #1-#4 as sketched by Zippy, above, as a possible expression of some kind of “manosphere” argument. (Again, as near as I can figure.)

    If so, it’s rather significant that it should even have *occurred* to him as a *possible* thing that you *might* endorse.

    Again, Dalrock: If you and I were good on-line friends, I’d try to convince you to break off with your present company–that is, the “manosphere,” in any of it’s man-ifestations. If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

    No one should even be able to *think* of nonsense like #1-#4 (which, let’s be honest, seems to imply that even “vetting” may well be futile) as a plausible implication of your work or even be *talking* in your threads about your possibly being part of the “MGTOW movement.”

    I’m glad you corrected the commenter, though.

  • As I said in the main post, I’ll be reading to see where Dalrock goes with this.

  • Here is part of the problem:
    apparently, as near as I can figure, as an argument for advising men to avoid marriage

    It wasn’t supposed to be an argument for anything. It was supposed to be a statement of how (I think) the world looks, as a statistical matter, to large numbers of men. And I am not ready to pronounce them all vermin, such that merely taking their views and complaints seriously is liable to give me fleas.

  • Lydia says:

    Zippy, you posted that list, or whatever one wants to call it, in response to this, from me:

    “Other possibilities–other than piranha-like women, such as, you know, good women–are not contemplated.”

    This was immediately preceded by this, from me:

    “MGTOW has now become associated with a so-called “marriage strike,” in which men simply don’t intend to get married at all. Presumably, so as not to be those dumb “betas” who are exploited by a world full of piranha-like women.”

    Your #1-#4 were _apparently_ supposed to make sense of not taking into account he possibility of good women. That is the only way I can interpret your posting these “claims” immediately after quoting my complaint about not taking into account the possibility of good women.

    Now, aside from the _reason_ for bringing up #1-#4, they have _big problems_, such as I have pointed out pretty carefully already. Huge problems. You shouldn’t be taking that set of claims seriously, particularly #2-#4.

    (Actually, technically, I was comparing the other inhabitants of the “manosphere” to dogs, not to vermin. :-) And as I made the comment to Dalrock as a warning, you may surmise that I was taking a friendlier approach to him here, as well. Giving him the benefit of the doubt as it were.)

  • Lydia:
    Your #1-#4 were _apparently_ supposed to make sense of not taking into account he possibility of good women.

    Right. Exactly. The fact that good women exist somewhere in the universe does not magically make marriage plausible for large numbers of men. The pool many men have to draw from is not women raised in an enclave: it is a pool of women who look a lot like the pool of women I knew in college. This is not the trivial problem to solve that you seem to think it is. You are kidding yourself if you simply refuse to admit that the gauntlet I laid out offhand above, or something very like it, is the reality that stands between large numbers of men and marriage.

  • Lydia says:

    So I’m not allowed to call it an “argument” but it is a gauntlet? I’m tempted to ask in what sense it is a gauntlet, and what conclusion it is supposed to, shall we say, _suggest_, even though I’m not allowed to call it an argument for that conclusion. Nor do you seem to recognize the manifest problems with several of the, dare I call them, premises? Propositions in a gauntlet list? I have attempted to point out those problems in multiple ways. Without, hopefully, arousing anger, I would like to just point out (in case this wasn’t sufficiently clear) that one _extremely plausible_ interpretation of the implications of #2 taken together with #3 is that it is _entirely plausible and worth losing sleep over_ that even a woman who is well-known and appears in all respects to be an honorable lady after being well-known for a long time has some sort of indetectible inner lust for “divorce porn” which will suddenly seize her in later life and cause her to ruin her husband’s and children’s lives on a whim. Which makes it relevant to worry about her great power to do so even when she is already well-known to a man as a real person, aka “vetted” (see #2).

    That is not a very good gauntlet.

  • When it comes to this subject, Lydia, I can only conclude that you don’t want to understand. I’ve seen what it looks like when you do want to understand, and this isn’t what it looks like.

  • Paul J Cella says:

    We owe it to both our future daughters in law and sons in law to teach our children to be very careful when choosing their spouse.

    Here, let me fix that for you:

    We owe to all humans to teach that is it well to be very careful when choosing human companions.

    The final pulverizing fact is humans are scum, mostly.

    I mean, is it is a difficult feat to demonstrate that most men desire harems and, if offered harems, prove weak in their stated commitments contrariwise? Is it hard to show that circumstances could turn many men into rapists?

    Is the narrator handcuffed when searching for examples of treacherous women who shatter happy households? Is it hard to show that circumstances could turn many women into temptresses?

    To presume a want of motives for war between the sexes is to present a world never seen by man since Adam fell.

    So, this notion that some true revolution of opinion subsists in the revolt against feminism, is as deluded as the first feminist’s proclamation that masculinity is summarized as lawless power.

    There was never such an extreme optimist as the purveyor of Game.

    On both sides this is a fad, That’s my view. It won’t last.

    Sin will last — for a while at least. But not in the end.

  • So that’s it, eh? We aren’t going to actually, you know, engage the subject matter? To even think about the plight of the average twenty something Joe Shmoe who wants marriage and a family, and is uniquely hampered in that pursuit in a way never before seen, and subjected to phenomenal systematic risk, is to make ourselves ritually impure? Really?

  • Chris says:

    Well, you go to work, you come back…. and the argument has gone on and on.

    I want to go back a bit, and I am not going to link to this — but Captain Capitalism has a very NSFW video which consists of one of those horrible gamers reading out his description of the Average USA woman and comparing them with where he is now (somewhere in Eastern Europe). In short, he finds the women more feminine, educated, charming and downright interesting in Eastern Europe. He describes them as loyal, intelligent, multilingual (three to five languages), curious, wanting to travel, dressing nicely. And slender — most are 50 — 60 kg. He is not coming back to the USA. I reckon he’ll be married to someone and converting to Orthodoxy pretty soon.

    I guess this means Eastern Europe is in the past. Let’s face it, men find that attractive.

    I can fully understand why Lydia wants to keep her kids there. And I can understand her saying that she wants to protect the young women she knows.

    I want my boys to marry young women like that: heck I want to marry an older woman like that!

    But… the reality is that most of the women in the dating scene are not like that. Most of the women in church are not like that.

    And divorce is ripping through our churchly structures. Lydia is completely correct (Man, I wish Zippy had a blog roll — I want to see her antifeminist analysis) the feminist movement has been a disaster for women and children.

    As some of you will have gathered, I’m divorced, and I hate divorce more now that I have that certificate than before. (Will not give details, but it would be justified using the Westminster Confession criteria). I have custody of my boys, which was do-able under NZ law. In the USA, I would not. have. had. a. hope. of. this.

    The nation you are talking about matters. The USA used to be the most free and probably the most Christian country in the world. But that is the past. The laws you now have are explictly anti-Christian (your abortion law is an abomination: you need medical grounds for one everywhere else (which can be applied loosely) and those grounds were set by parliament not by a set of judges) and anti family.

    Now, my solution is — as a NZer — avoidance of the USA. I will not live there, I will not visit there. But I cannot stop their culture influencing mine — making us obese (thank you, McDonalds) unfaithful and faithless.

    What I can do is preserve my kids, and set up communities against the culture.

    On crunchy — here it used to mean like a hippy but it also means aggressively ideological. I was using the word in the second sense.

  • Lydia says:

    Zippy, your use of the phrase “average Joe twenty-something” does raise a question. I can imagine two different scenarios here (as well as variations, of course). On the one hand, the idea might be that _both_ good, marriageable women who will be faithful in marriage are “rare as hen’s teeth” and that so are men who meet the same description, and that the tragedy is that it’s so hard to get these two groups together in marriages. (Because of distance, because those who belong to small groups find it hard to find one another, because of differences of religion, and what-not.) On the other hand, the idea might be that a significantly larger percentage of men are good, marriageable, and will be faithful in marriage than women, and that these good fellows are languishing for want of women worthy of them to marry, good women being (in contrast) as “rare as hen’s teeth.”

    The former is fairly radical, but different things might be meant by “as rare as hen’s teeth,” and I suppose there are interpretations on which it might be true and simply an expression of the badness of the world.

    I would normally have hesitated to attribute anything like the latter to anyone with whom I have a friendship, on-line or otherwise, but…Zippy, is it your position that good women who deserve to have men marry them and won’t ruin their lives are “rare as hen’s teeth” but that this is _not_ the case for men, that far more twenty-something men are faithful, chaste, and worthy marriage material?

  • buckyinky says:

    I think part of the problem that Lydia has not considered in her rejection of Zippys four summarizing points as not worthy of consideration, is the message given that a significant portion of the women who reside in the unmarriageable pool are in fact in the marriageable pool. It is not simply that there were 90% of women at Zippy’s school who were unmarriageable, but that a significant portion of that 90% are deluded into thinking they are part of the 10%. Christians in our culture tend to feed this delusion by making women in particular believe that they know “innately” what Christian faithfulness in marriage is, when they are actually dangerously void of an understanding of the concept. Absent heroic wisdom, average marriageable men believe this also, entering marriages believing that their wives understand “till death do us part” means, when they don’t. This is a problem that men in particular face in finding a mate, because of the way Christians tend to address men, women, and the marriage vow.

    This is not to say that there aren’t many good women, as Lydia acknowledges, who would never consider leaving their husbands, who do actually accept and live complete faithfulness without entertaining thoughts of infidelity. This is also not to say that there isn’t also a dearth of actually marriageable men among the populace, presenting difficult challenges to good, marriage-minded women. The problem lies in the fact that, at least among Christians, there is a delusion that women are entering marriage with a greater propensity to fulfill their marriage vows than men. This is simply not the case, but the message continues to be broadcast as though it is, making the odds greater than they need be that an average, good, marriage-minded man will be burned.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Zippy Catholic
    One thing I think bloggers like Dalrock are trying to do – he can chime in if he is still reading – is to coopt the vague term “game,” which started out as basically pure dishonest manipulation, and repurpose it to mean something like teaching men who have grown up in a feminist society to act like men.

    Game is roughly speaking a set of tools to understand and influence relationships and attraction. Like any tool it can be used for good or ill. One key aspect of game is an understanding of the dynamics of social dominance. johnmcg touched on this upthread:

    The biggest problem I have with Game is that, in short I personally hate guys who act like “alphas,” so why would I want to become more like them?

    We’ve all experienced social situations (perhaps at a bar) where a man like he describes comes in and asserts social dominance over us. It typically is a naked attempt to frame themselves as the AMOG, or “Alpha Male Of the Group”, and when it is happening you may struggle to describe exactly what the man is doing wrong but it gets your hackles up. Often times in this situation women in the group see the new man as nothing but charming. To them if you object to what is going on you are being “insecure” or “overreacting”. But in your gut you and the other men present know exactly what the alpha is doing to you, even if you can’t articulate it. Understanding game doesn’t mean you need to turn into the alpha, but it will allow you to understand the tricks he is using to assert social dominance and push back in kind. Instead of the women present seeing you as weak and insecure, they will see you as naturally strong. If you happened to be on a date with one of the women present when this occured, you would generate instead of lose her attraction. Insisting that nice guys don’t learn game is insisting that nice guys don’t have a fighting chance against alpha jerks.

    These same kinds of jostling for social dominance happen outside of the obvious sphere of a bar. Even in a blog and discussion like this there is a greater or lesser struggle to determine “frame”. For example you as the host set up a frame that I would consider a cautious willingness to discuss something new. Lydia disagrees with that frame, and has signaled from the very beginning that the discussion you want to have is unacceptable. She framed me as a dangerous outsider which the good men of the group should protect her from, and made it clear that permission is not granted for men here to challenge the narrative:

    Someone that callous and cynical, who freely thinks and talks in the terms of “Game,” who pretty obviously thinks that all women are prima facie sluts, has had his chivalry and his capacity for wonder permanently damaged if not destroyed.

    Her appeal to chivalry in the thread is especially interesting, because she invokes this from a position of authority over you. The entire exchange has had a subtext of Lydia telling you and everyone else what thoughts are permitted here, what discussion can occur, etc. She is the AMOG, and she makes this clear whenever anyone steps out of line. Yet at the same time, she demands protection which would be traditionally offered to a subordinate. This is very common and is what is killing chivalry . It isn’t overt feminists complaining when a man does something nice for them who pose the greatest threat to chivalry. It is women who remove the graciousness from the act by demanding it, and even worse demanding it from the frame of a mother scolding a child. This is very similar to going to someone’s home and demanding hospitality. No matter how much the host might believe in hospitality, the houseguest has just made true hospitality impossible.

    What Lydia is doing here is annoying on a discussion forum, but it is outright disasterous in a marriage. Women are taught that they need to gain the upper hand over their husbands, and they have a very effective toolset to do this. Husbands who don’t comply with the wife’s headship are subject to wild emotional accusations and emotional blackmail. This wouldn’t be so bad if the wife could then be content being the leader, but once she is in charge she now has a husband who is submissive to her. Her attraction for him leaves and it is replaced by contempt. Conventional wisdom is that the husband needs to do more to please his wife in this case. He needs to supplicate to her, buy her gifts, defer decisions to her, etc. This of course only makes it worse.

  • Lydia:

    It depends on what you mean, and I’m generally agnostic on the question. I certainly don’t see it as a question which can be answered a priori rather than empirically. It would be a crazy coincidence, in a society in which the great majority of people are unfit for marriage, for the split of people fit for marriage to be 50-50 down the middle. Only someone indoctrinated into liberal ideas of equality would conclude a priori that the split is 50-50.

    If we use some sort of objective measures, like statistics on sexual partner count or on who initiates divorce, it looks like women are winning the race to the bottom. My own take on that is not that men are inherently better, but that it is simpy easier for women to get sex than men.

  • Also, when it comes to the nuclear option of divorce, what men face is far worse than what women face. Dismiss that by claiming that marriage is a risk, blah blah blah, you shouldn’t marry someone if you think she might ever divorce you, blah blah blah, all you want. That doesn’t do anything for the twenty-something guy’s perspective going in. It raises the bar in two ways. One, because of the significant risk on the fact that as a legal contract marriage is enforced against men not women (the law insists that he continue to support her and the kids, while not insisting that he continues to get access to his children and sex with his wife). Two, because you’ve signaled to him that you are ready to hang him out to dry if he makes a “bad choice”. Make the risks and consequences of a “bad choice” high enough, and signal that she can turn you into an impoverished social outcast on a whim, and that the churches are going to back her and not you, and it is no wonder that, even if there are some good girls in fact, many men are simply deciding that finding the solid gold needle in a stack of electroplated needles isn’t worth the risk.

    Try to close your eyes and pretend it isn’t happening all you want. It is still happening.

  • Paul J cella says:

    Not sure if Zippy’s of 11:11pm last night was directed at me, but just to be clear: I’m not at all averse to examination and critique, even to the point of castigation, of the modern innovations in male-female relations. Nor do I forebear in admitting that valuable insights may be discovered in otherwise dubious places.

    We have strong evidence, for instance, that in children divorce is a trauma comparable to the violent death of a parent. It follows that we have an appalling number of horribly traumatized folks out there, trying to manage a broken life as best they can in a culture that supplies them minimal assistance of the sort that is needed.

    Nor, I am well aware, is the church immune to these effects of this trauma. Far from it. The damage runs deep.

    So I take Zippy’s point about forensic value. Whether rubbernecking constitutes a forensic exercise is more questionable.

  • Lydia says:

    Frankly, I think that some (indeed, numerically quite a few, though I won’t pronounce dogmatically on the total percentage) cases where a woman initiates a divorce are cases where _she_ has lost _her_ “bet” in marriage and has suffered the consequences of the risk she took–where, for example, her husband ended up addicted to rape porn and refused to stop, where he was keeping a mistress or sleeping around, where he was an active homosexual, where he was genuinely, seriously abusive, or plenty of other situations. My own rather rigid idea might be that it would have been better had she legally separated but not divorced, but such cases hardly constitute situations where one should waste much sympathy on the husband or think of _him_ as having lost out in the risky marriage life game.

  • Lydia says:

    “finding the solid gold needle in a stack of electroplated needles isn’t worth the risk.” An interesting analogy. Again, the image of its being _impossible to tell_ if a girl is _really_ good or not is fairly strong here. I notice no similar images of electroplated needles and the terrible shock of a woman’s finding herself with a bad dude when she thought he was solid gold.

    This isn’t “blah blah.” The lives of women whose husbands are unfaithful, etc., who leave them, etc., are also, in earthly terms, ruined. That sort of thing is devastating. And, yes, their lives are suddenly made a good deal more financially difficult, especially if they did not already have a career.

  • Hmyer says:

    Dalrock,
    “Her appeal to chivalry in the thread is especially interesting, because she invokes this from a position of authority over you. The entire exchange has had a subtext of Lydia telling you and everyone else what thoughts are permitted here, what discussion can occur, etc. She is the AMOG, and she makes this clear whenever anyone steps out of line. Yet at the same time, she demands protection which would be traditionally offered to a subordinate. This is very common and is what is killing chivalry”

    This happens every day over at “What’s Wrong With the World” I always thought that the pretext for her behaviour there was intellectual superiority (which may well be valid) but I now see that it’s more likely “Alpha Male” behaviour

  • johnmcg says:

    On the one hand, I have some sympathy for the “marriage is a risk” position. Even in a marriage of two perfectly virtuous people, the following things could happen and devastate the dreams of one partner:

    * The death of one spouse.
    * A spouse having a crippling disease or accident.
    * Infertility
    * Financial ruin of some sort or another
    * Mental illness
    * Illness, death of a child.

    Things like this are present in any decision to love another. When we say “yes” to love, we are saying “yes” to these possibilities, saying “yes” to the Cross. One of the problems with modernism is its belief that it can shelter us from this reality.

    Of course, the difference is that these things are the exception, whereas what is being asserted is that women’s shifting attitudes toward marriage is more the rule.

    Does this demand a different response? Well, obviously one response involves trying to move the culture so this is no longer the rule. On an individual level, this may mean changing men’s behavior so that the balance of incentives changes. Liken it to women carrying pepper spray to ward of rapists. If potential rapists know that they might get sprayed, it makes rape a less attractive option.

    Which gets to my problems with Game, or if you prefer, applying the principles of Game (as I understand them) in the context of a marriage or longer term relationship. For someone like me to adapt alpha-behaviors would be, in my judgment, to be someone I’m not, someone different than the person God made me to be. Which, to me, is the road to Hell. That’s the real risk.

    I don’t know if there’s any shortcut beyond building a more virtuous culture and society,

  • the image of its being _impossible to tell_ if a girl is _really_ good or not is fairly strong here

    Not literally impossible to tell, no.

    I notice no similar images of electroplated needles and the terrible shock of a woman’s finding herself with a bad dude when she thought he was solid gold.

    Is it your position that there is something wrong with discussing the plight of young men without, at the same time and in the same conversation, discussing the plight of young women? Is it your position that the plight of young men and young women are identical, and that suggesting that there are differences is offensive?

  • Well, if Game leads one to confuse Lydia with the “Alpha Male Of the Group”, that just shows the brittleness and limited usefulness of Game. School marm, maybe, but AMOG? Really?

    (I say that as someone who sees the role of school marm as absolutely essential in some circumstances).

  • Dalrock says:

    @zippycatholic
    Well, if Game leads one to confuse Lydia with the “Alpha Male Of the Group”, that just shows the brittleness and limited usefulness of Game. School marm, maybe, but AMOG? Really?

    I meant it in a metaphorical sense. She isn’t male, so she can’t be the AMOG. But as you point out she has positioned herself as the headmistress and you and your fellow readers as her pupils.

  • buckyinky says:

    Dalrock’s point is important, and I hope it isn’t lost on the quibble about whether AMOG is a fitting analogy for Lydia’s bearing here or not. Chivalry, as it has been traditionally practiced, can only work if a woman accepts a subordinate role in public, where chivalry is expected. When a woman expects to play an indistinguishable role from a man in a public forum (whether it be the workplace, the floor of the House of Representatives, or an internet combox), the continued demand for chivalry becomes an oppressive disadvantage for the man.

  • Paul J cella says:

    This happens every day over at “What’s Wrong With the World” I always thought that the pretext for her behaviour there was intellectual superiority (which may well be valid) but I now see that it’s more likely “Alpha Male” behaviour.

    Right. If only the other writers would drop some game on Lydia, that would make up for deficiencies in, say, knowledge of the Septuagint; or paper over differences of views on political economy.

  • Lydia says:

    Dalrock, you’re actually mistaken if you think I demand chivalric protection in blog threads. I think that in general coarse or lewd talk shd. not be taking place in threads, so if it’s directed at me (which it _has not_ been in this thread, that is just an example) I would want it stopped on general principles, not because I demand chivalric protection. Men sometimes do offer that protection, but I don’t demand it. I can think of two instances recently where men have either offered or have outright said, on my behalf to some other man, “You aren’t being chivalrous,” where I would have demurred if I could have ahead of time and said, “That’s really beside the point.” But it would have been rude to do so after the fact, so I didn’t. In one case recently where I perceived myself as being _offered_ chivalry privately before the fact, I explicitly said, “This isn’t about me. This isn’t about defending me. This is about the subject at hand.” That’s, believe it or not, how I roll in the blogosphere. I think my record bears me out on this. I prefer to stick to the topic or topics.

    Now, if Zippy suspected ‘way up above that the thread might go south and therefore said that I was to be “treated as the lady that I am,” that’s his call as to what might have been about to happen, and it’s entirely appropriate for him to want his blog to follow good manners.

    But I don’t see this as being in any way an example of my demanding chivalry. I wouldn’t let women use crude language or nasty personal attacks in my threads, either. It’s a matter of atmosphere and style, and I would expect no less of Zippy than that he would keep such standards generally high. Again, I haven’t seen anyone violating those in this thread, so there really wasn’t an issue anyway.

    If someone does misbehave, I think there’s nothing inappropriate in chivalry being one motive that causes a man to put a stop to it (it’s good that chivalry still exists in the world), but a general sense of high standards will have the same effect anyway.

    What Zippy calls school-marmish-ness probably _is_ a feature of my approach. What can I say, I calls ‘em like I sees ‘em, and more often than not the kind of thing you’ve seen in this thread is a result of affection for the other person. I try to back up my “school-marmish” pronouncements with arguments and even, where I can muster it, eloquence. I’ve tried to do that here, but really, should probably stop.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Lydia
    Now, if Zippy suspected ‘way up above that the thread might go south and therefore said that I was to be “treated as the lady that I am,” that’s his call as to what might have been about to happen, and it’s entirely appropriate for him to want his blog to follow good manners.

    Zippy’s demand that you be treated like a lady followed a comment by Chris which strongly disagreed with you but was focused on the discussion (the one you are doing everything in your power to ensure doesn’t occur). It also followed you (and no one else) using the term chivalry in one form or another 4 times (with many more to follow), and as I mentioned your framing me and anyone who might agree with me as defective and dangerous. By doing so you invoked the protective instincts of the men in the group, especially the host. What is so laughable is Chris is very traditional and polite. There was no reason to warn him to treat you with courtesy.

  • Lydia says:

    “Is it your position that there is something wrong with discussing the plight of young men without, at the same time and in the same conversation, discussing the plight of young women?”

    I’ve already talked above quite a bit about balance. In general I think it’s good to avoid the war of the sexes. Part of the problem is that there are these whole “communities” that specialize in one-sidedness. That can, especially if one refers to such a community, set up a context for a given discussion. I never thought that Eagle Forum was starting or promulgating the war of the sexes when they simply informed me of some of the crazy things feminists have done with American law or the ways in which women’s shelters work and so forth.

    As far as the “plight” of people looking for a mate, I do think it’s important for the sake of truth to avoid the impression that good young men face a difficulty finding a good mate that is radically different from the difficulty good young women face. That’s because I don’t think that is _true_, and I think it shows a troubling bias to imply or seem to imply that it’s true, so I get concerned when it seems to me that it might be implied.

    “Is it your position that the plight of young men and young women are identical, and that suggesting that there are differences is offensive?”

    No, not necessarily numerically strictly identical, but it appears to be similar enough that it shows a troubling bias to suggest otherwise. Again, suppose that we consider the _average_ young Joe. Is the _average_ young Joe really looking to form a happy family? Let’s try another question: Is the _average_ young Joe chaste, both in body and in terms of avoiding pornography? Is the _average_ young Joe, selected at random, likely to be the kind of person that loving parents want a *good* daughter to marry? Since we’re not allowed to restrict things further on pain of bringing in a so-called “enclave,” we can’t say “The average young Joe who goes to Christian high school” or “The average young Joe who is home schooled.” If we’re just choosing at random from among twenty-something males in the United States–quite frankly, I have no special sympathy for randomly selected members of that reference class.

    I would revert to the analogy to repeated, focused discussions of the evils of men absent the evils of women–feminist preoccupations on feminist web sites. I think getting preoccupied with one side of that or another is unhealthy. A “war of the sexes” approach. We just really do not need that to restore culture. An isolated post on wife abuse or something is no problem, but when the isolated post is introduced by a semi-positive link to a, say, Christian feminist web site that really _focuses_ on wife abuse, then I’m going to be sorry to see that.

  • Lydia says:

    Dalrock, I brought up chivalry because I think it’s _highly_ relevant to the discussion, not because I was sending some kind of signal, “Hey, my knights, gather ’round, I might need some protection here, poor little ol’ me.” The suggestion is ludicrous. Frankly, I think it’s extremely distasteful to do this kind of silly “analysis” that you are doing in the midst of a discussion. I also think it’s an example of pseudo-intellectualism, like Freudianism or feminism, where one is trying to have a discussion and the other person starts psycho-analyzing or doing some kind of “group dynamics analysis” on the discussion itself. Since from the little I’ve seen of the “manosphere,” it looks to be heavily characterized by jargon and pseudo-intellectualism, perhaps that shouldn’t be surprising.

    I _do_ think that your web site is dangerous. Seeing more of you in this thread, Dalrock, I had been momentarily willing to give you a greater benefit of the doubt (though I could switch back on that) and to say that you, too, would be better off breaking off your associations and probably have good intentions. But I’m not really not interested in trying to “rescue” you or keep talking about exactly who you are and exactly what you think about everything. I’m interested in saying that the manosphere is not something Christian conservatives and traditionalists should be having truck with or treating as useful.

  • I think I owe Chris an apology. I was attempting to preempt any temptation to incivility, with new commenters coming into the thread; but in how I did it, I may have implied that he had been uncivil when he was not. So, my apologies.

  • johnmcg says:

    Lydia,

    Would you have any objection to the following claim, made in isolation:

    “The culture is so saturated with porn that it takes a very strong man indeed, or one living in some sort of enclave, to resist it.”

    Is the above statement at all controversial? Does it expose a hatred of men? Would such a statement need to be balanced by a statement about the temptations women face in order to be valid?

    Or does it simply acknowledge a strong temptation in our current society?

    In fact, in your above posts, you make a statement very similar with your doubts that an average Joe is chaste.

    Indeed, the statement explicitly concedes that strong people can resist these temptations.

    I suppose the set of men who are not tempted by actual pornography is non-null, as is the set of married women not tempted by our culture’s flood of stories about women ditching their loser husbands and flourishing into their better selves.

    There are people who would not be tempted by an easy opportunity for theft, but it’s still wise to lock up our valuables.

    The narrative Darlock lays out has more current appeal than the narrative of lifelong marriage. Maybe it’s men’s fault for being lousy lifelong partners. But that is the reality, just as the reality that the image of a perfectly in-shape and sexually available woman can be more appealing than one’s wife, who is human, and thus has faults.

    That doesn’t make it acceptable to give in to the temptation, but dealing honestly requires acknowledging that the temptation is there, and many succumb to it.

  • Hmyer says:

    Paul J. Cella,

    “Right. If only the other writers would drop some game on Lydia, that would make up for deficiencies in, say, knowledge of the Septuagint; or paper over differences of views on political economy.”
    I’m perfectly willing to defer on the Sepuagint or differences of views on political economy, but when she goes off on one of her anti-Muslim tirades and none of her co-bloggers object; I think it’s evidence of a strange dynamic; one which Dalrock has provided an explanation for.

  • Lydia:

    Suppose, for the sake of argument, that there really was a war between the sexes going on.

    Suppose further that there were substantial biases against young men, such that the bulk of good Christian young women in general had the option, by making the right kind of choices, to get married and stay married; yet were by and large making different choices which set them up for failure.

    Suppose further that young Christian men did not by and large have that option: that the choices the young women were making were, in a statistical sense, locking the young men out of the possibility of marriage to a good Christian woman.

    Keep in mind that marriage, biblically and as a sacrament, keeps us away from sin. It is no answer to say that the man who marries in his early thirties to a woman who has lied about her number of sexual partners and therefore cannot bond to him is not, himself, a “good Christian”. And certainly corresponding female examples are out there. He (or she, as my pinch of incense to the Gods of Equality) may not be at that point, but that is at least in part a consequence of the choices he was denied when he was young.

    Note that this doesn’t mean that the young men are inherently any more virtuous than the young women. It just happens to be the case that for the most part the women have a choice and, because of the actual choices being made by the women, the men by and large do not. Say this is the case for 70% of Christian young men and women: there are plenty of exceptions, but they just prove the rule.

    Now, I get it that you don’t think that this is actually the case. But suppose it was actually the case. That raises two questions:

    1) Is it your position that, a priori, it is impossible for this to be the case?

    2) If not, then how would we, as the older generation, even be able to say whether or not it was actually happening, if we refused to actually look at it empirically and explore the views of those taking various sides on the question?

  • Assuming this thread isn’t dead yet, lets try to keep it on topic, and not make it about Lydia or Dalrock.

  • Lydia says:

    John, I wouldn’t make that statement about pornography, though as a sheerly factual matter, I think it’s closer to the truth than the statement made in Zippy’s list (not necessarily “by” Zippy, but in his list) about women. But I wouldn’t make that statement because the set of men who are either not tempted to get involved in pornography or not strongly tempted is large enough that I wouldn’t want to be insulting to them. I would, even more to the point, consider such a statement insulting if embedded in a list that said something like, “However well you may think you’ve vetted a man you’re going to marry, he can still really screw up your life royally if he goes off the rails later” and then followed it immediately with the sentence you give about pornography. It’s nearly impossible at that point to avoid the very strong implication that pretty much no women (or even no women) can rationally trust their husbands not to get addicted to pornography and ruin their (the women’s) lives. Which I think is false and insulting.

    (In response to HMyer I feel obliged to point out that I did not write our group blog’s statement of purpose, which he would presumably consider to be “anti-Muslim.” And it was at the explicit request of my then-co-blogger Jeff Culbreath that I joined in writing a series of posts entitled–his suggestion–“Disinviting Islam.” In that set of co-writers, I was the moderate. If you really have a problem with “anti-Muslim rants,” you probably shouldn’t visit an anti-jihad site. And, as it happens, we, myself included, have been rather letting that theme languish for some time. So, as usual, this isn’t about me.)

    Zippy, I don’t consider your point about marriage keeping us from sin to be terribly relevant to the wisdom of marrying a person who has had a lot of sexual partners in the past or to the marriageability of unchaste young men. Baggage is baggage and brings problems with it. I find disturbing your statement that if a young man is not chaste, this is “at least in part a consequence of the choices he was denied when he was young.” I have myself read you holding forth at some length about how sex is not a necessity and how men even in marriage should be perfectly fine with going without sex for quite long periods of time. You are, if anything, the champion of “tough it out” when it comes to lecturing your fellow men about not making excuses for unchastity. Now, surprisingly, comes a phrase that sounds an _awful_ lot like an excuse for youthful unchastity. If we’re talking about unchaste men or women, they are not very good marriage prospects. They will have learned habits and patterns of behavior that aren’t good for a future marriage. After all, it is sites like Dalrock’s that are _warning_ men against marrying unchaste young women, as I gather you are too. Presumably we could give a similar warning to women. Why should we not?

    As for your scenario as a whole, I think that it is *so obvious* that such a one-sided scenario is not the case that it is highly disturbing to see that you evidently think it very plausibly might be the case. Or so I infer.

    As for “how we would know,” good God, man. It’s not like I don’t get information. I get so much information I’m drowning in it. This is the information age, and I’m a high-level Internet user, including about cultural issues and youthful sexuality and such things. As I already pointed out, I already knew looong ago about the legal material that has been brought up here and about the insanity of courts and social workers who forced divorce–sometimes even against the wife’s wishes, which is particularly heinous, using the children as a weapon. I also know about exaggerated definitions of “abuse” and so forth. I’ve known about the Men’s Rights movement for a long time. I also know pseudo-intellectual shallowness when I see it. I had previously thought you did as well. I also know about all sorts of issues that women face in finding a good husband. I listed some of these above. I continue to maintain that sites like Dalrock’s and, of course, even more the less “moderate” sites in the “manosphere,” are unhealthy places to be hanging out and do not conduce either to important, helpful, and balanced knowledge or to a wise and healthy outlook.

  • As for your scenario as a whole, I think that it is *so obvious* that such a one-sided scenario is not the case that it is highly disturbing to see that you evidently think it very plausibly might be the case. Or so I infer.

    So a priori, it is impossible that the choices made by young women are limiting the available choices of young men asymmetrically?

  • Lydia says:

    No, I said it is obvious that the hugely one-sided scenario isn’t true–such as, for example, the comparatively great ease with which a Christian young woman can make a happy marriage compared to the comparatively great difficulty the parallel young man has.

    I mean obvious by the knowledge one has in this information-soaked age without having to read Dalrock. Obvious in something like the sense that Holocaust denial is obviously wrong, or obvious in the sense that it is obvious that Jews do not control the world, so I don’t have to read sites arguing that they do in order to hem and haw and contemplate about the facts that _might_ be presented at such a site.

    Yet those things are contingent matters as well.

  • OK. I don’t agree that it is obviously untrue that the choices of young women are limiting the available choices of young men asymetrically. In fact I am suspecting more and more that it is true, and in any case the standard against which to judge its truth is the real world, not Lydia’s incredulity. I think it is pretty telling that you (apparently) aren’t even willing to suspend disbelief and discuss it as a stipulated hypothetical.

  • johnmcg says:

    t I wouldn’t make that statement because the set of men who are either not tempted to get involved in pornography or not strongly tempted is large enough that I wouldn’t want to be insulting to them.

    Temptation is not a sin. Jesus was tempted in the desert, and on the Cross. He was able to overcome that temptation. To say that someone is subject to temptation is not to insult them, but to acknowledge the reality of sin in the world.

    I also think we’re not being clear by it taking “a lot of strength,” and thinking it means an acute, all-encompassing effort. That’s not what I mean. A person who has not been training may be able to complete a run by expending effort. Someone who has been trained can do so with less difficulty at the time. Their strength comes from their training. In either case, completing the race requires strength; it’s the source of that strength that matters. We can train ourselves and others to make it easier to resist temptation; that doesn’t mean resisting it doesn’t require strength.

    To bring it back to the main point, I think this is the double standard that is impossible. The father who looks skeptically at his daughter’s boyfriends is wise and prudent and a well-worn staple of the culture. If a mother looks skeptically at this son’s dates, that’s a sign that they probably have “issues,” he’s a “Momma’s boy,” and it should be red flag to the woman that she will be a horrible mother in law. The man needs to cut the apron strings, be his own man, and break free from his mother’s influence.

    The assumption is that men have temptations that could lead to ruining a marriage, and women do not. Or if they do, it’s probably due to some deficiency on the man’s part. (There’s even echoes of this in the “manosphere” — if only you would “man up” and take on your role as “alpha”, your woman wouldn’t be tempted to stray.)

    I don’t think this is true, and I think the conversation that needs to happen in acknowledging this isn’t true. Both men and women will face strong temptations that, if followed, could destroy each other’s lives. We need to deal with that honestly.

  • Lydia says:

    John, I don’t want to get into Christology, but I would say that in normal parlance, for a non-theanthropic human being to suffer temptation that requires strength to resist is a sign at least of some kind of _defect_ within him such that the temptation is actually experienced as a desire and not succumbing to it is experienced as a difficulty. Once the person is fully purified, glorified, and experiencing the beatific vision, all such things will be gone. If I were a man who just was disgusted by pornography and never felt an inclination to look at it, I would consider it an insulting thing to have it implied about me that I do feel tempted by it and that my wife needs to be worrying that I will succumb and ruin the marriage or that she needed to worry before we were married, even though she knew me well.

    I don’t think that a mother who looks skeptically at her son’s dates necessarily has issues, depending on the dates, but I also believe in a way of raising children that hopefully greatly reduces tensions about such things by a much bigger rapport and similarity of outlook between young people (of both sexes) and their parents.

    I certainly do _not_ believe that only men are subject to temptations that could lead to ruining a marriage. So you and I agree on those things, John.

    On the other hand, I _strongly_ disagree with the asymmetrical narrative that Zippy sketched above in the opposite direction.

  • Lydia says:

    “in any case the standard against which to judge its truth is the real world, not Lydia’s incredulity.”

    Of course. I just would have hoped that your knowledge of the real world, including the very real difficulties faced by women in finding good husbands, would have made you incredulous as well.

    “I think it is pretty telling that you (apparently) aren’t even willing to suspend disbelief and discuss it as a stipulated hypothetical.”

    We all have lots of things about which this is true. Hopefully you have some of them as well. Presumably you wouldn’t consider it “telling” that I’m not willing to waste my time discussing a 9/11 conspiracy theory as a stipulated hypothetical. Especially not when it’s been made extremely clear that the person stipulating the hypothetical thinks the theory *might very well be true*. Life is short. So saying it’s “telling” gets a great big shrug from me. As I said, it’s not like I have no information pertinent to the subject.

  • Lydia says:

    Let it be remembered, for the record, that the scenario Zippy has sketched went like this:

    “Suppose further that there were substantial biases against young men, such that the bulk of good Christian young women in general had the option, by making the right kind of choices, to get married and stay married; yet were by and large making different choices which set them up for failure.

    Suppose further that young Christian men did not by and large have that option: that the choices the young women were making were, in a statistical sense, locking the young men out of the possibility of marriage to a good Christian woman.”

    That’s a pretty big asymmetry.

  • johnmcg says:

    It’s possible Catholicism and your religion have differing understandings of temptation and sin.

    In defense of my view, which I think is the Catholic view, I think it is is dangerous to think, “If I am a rightly ordered Christian, then I would not find sin tempting,” because it’s not too far from there to, “If I (or he or she), as a rightly ordered Christian, find this activity appealing, then it must not be sinful.” As I mentioned Jesus was tempted, and Paul wrote of praying that the thorn be removed from his side. I don’t think it’s insulting to be in their company.

    But there’s also matters of difference between how we regard others vs. how we should govern ourselves. And I don’t think we should regard each other as one come-hither look from destroying our families, either.

    And I will also agree that I have not seen much evidence of 20-something men looking to get married but having trouble finding willing partners, but that could be my ignorance and lack of contact with that demographic.

  • buckyinky says:

    Lydia wrote,

    In general I think it’s good to avoid the war of the sexes.

    Is it necessarily fomenting a war between the sexes, or could it be fostering a greater understanding and reconciliation between the two? The fact that Dalrock emphasizes the faults of women in our society has not detracted from the idea that men have their own. Is it not possible that he presents a correcting perspective, rather than simply the other side of the coin of feminism?

    I ask these questions because my reading of Dalrock has not brought me to the conclusion that he has turned a blind eye to the faults of men. Rather, it seems to me that he has kept in the forefront that men, by and large, have been weak and spineless in standing up for what is right, most especially when it involves standing in opposition to a woman, or when it means rejecting the shallowness of lust. Though this has not been a frequently explicit point of emphasis, his writing shows that he understands this, at least this is what I have taken from reading him.

  • Lydia says:

    “In defense of my view, which I think is the Catholic view, I think it is is dangerous to think, “If I am a rightly ordered Christian, then I would not find sin tempting,” ”

    John, I wouldn’t put it that way. I would say rather, “If it weren’t for the Fall, I wouldn’t feel drawn to this.” Whatever view we have of the temptation of Christ, I don’t think it _can_ be that Jesus was sitting around, as it were, feeling _pulled_ toward worshiping the Devil in order to get all the kingdoms of this world.

    Some Christians or other ordinary people are just darned lucky that they don’t feel certain temptations. So it’s not a matter of being a “rightly ordered Christian.” It’s just that the Fall affects people in different ways. Nonetheless, it’s a better situation, though not in the sense of “more virtuous,” to be one of those lucky people without those appetites.

  • Lydia says:

    “The fact that Dalrock emphasizes the faults of women in our society has not detracted from the idea that men have their own.”

    As evidence against this allegedly benign and balanced effect of Dalrock’s site I place the very fact that apparently it is reading there that has contributed non-negligibly to Zippy’s serious consideration of the extremely, shall we say, asymmetrical view he sketches above.

  • buckyinky says:

    I’m not following you on this Lydia (though I am open to the possibility that I am merely dense). In contrast, I did follow you on your challenge of Mr. Auster recently on the humanity issue, and thought your appeal to common decency and common sense in not even entertaining the issue seriously was admirable. It seems you are appealing somewhat similarly here (albeit not with the same vociferousness), that decent people simply ought not to entertain the issues Dalrock raises, and it makes no sense to me.

  • Chris says:

    120 comments in according to the counter — and there is lots of heat and not much light.

    Going back to the issue.

    The Zipster (in his precis of Dalrock) noted that “game” is about acting in a confident and masculine manner.

    Alte, before she went silent, used to talk about “girl game” which is about acting in a charming and feminie manner.

    Both are pre-feminist modes. I think we all agree that feminism has tried to make everyone epicene — from making men wimps, women shrews and everyone fat — and neither men or women find that attractive.

    I’d add (not just from here, but from looking around and getting into arguments with people as diverse as Darwin Catholic and Will S) that every church is expanding the reasons for divorce. Every one.

    If you are Catholic, of course, there is no out of a sacramental marriage. But I’m reformed, and there are but two reasons — adultery and abandonment. There is a third teaching in the Westminster Confession do not expand the criteria .

    Now, that means bad habits are not a reason for divorce. Drinking, gambling, gossiip, reading or looking at salacious material is not. (If the lattter is, then 50 shades would be as much a ground as looking at nude pictures). Abuse is not. These are seen more as problems that the elders need to confront a person about and seek repentence.

    (Yes, that is old fashioned, crunchy, Presbyterian teaching. Go look up the Westminster Confession).

    Previous generations accepted some, if not all marriages had difficulties and were unhappy — but you remained with that person. (And for that reason, God invented the pub).

    So let us consider — are we teaching what is the clear doctrine of our churches? At least where I am, this is not the case . The current “licit” reasons have expanded to include almost all the bad habits I listed above apart from gossip.

    This will require us getting our own house(s) in order. Which will mean that antifeminists (like Lydia) will have to start teaching this — and backing their pastors and priest when they teach it.

  • Lydia says:

    “Entertain the issues” is too vague. I’ve gone into a lot more detail above about existence of a “community,” the ideology, the bias, the narrow focus, etc. I’m not going to repeat that. I think that what Zippy is now seriously considering might be true is so obviously _not_ true and so…strange and bizarre as a description of the world that it’s evidence of the negative effect of the site and the ideological “community” in question that someone as normally sensible as Zippy has come to think that such a proposition might be true.

  • Lydia says:

    At this point I’ve said so much and repeated myself so frequently, no doubt to everyone’s weariness, not just my own, and risked so much in the way of annoying a friend, that I think for those and other reasons it would be a very good idea for me to bow out. Everyone here, being blog-experienced, knows how addictive threads are and how hard it is actually to do that. And everyone knows that there are always more things that one can think of to comment on, even aside from new comments that come in that one longs to respond to. But I think it would be a really wise idea for me to say no more at this time and perhaps indefinitely, so I will strongly attempt to abide by that.

  • William Luse says:

    I’m perfectly willing to defer on the Sepuagint or differences of views on political economy, but when she goes off on one of her anti-Muslim tirades and none of her co-bloggers object; I think it’s evidence of a strange dynamic; one which Dalrock has provided an explanation for.

    That’s easy. We don’t object because we agree with her.

    I don’t think it _can_ be that Jesus was sitting around, as it were, feeling _pulled_ toward worshiping the Devil in order to get all the kingdoms of this world.

    Lydia is correct. Nor was he pulled toward any other sin, as if the dignity of his divine being could be disturbed by the devil’s blandishments. He was God, and could not sin.

    I don’t have anything to add to this Zippy, because I simply don’t have time to read the linked post, and because I already know from having to deal with lots of young people on a daily basis how wounded their understanding of love and marriage is. This is a generation – going on two generations now – which sees no evil in sex before marriage, which thinks the contraceptive pill a natural adjunct to a healthy life, gay marriage as a natural consequence of the human capacity for love, and though many still dream of “the perfect marriage” (that is, one that lasts because love survives), have no hesitancy in seeking divorce should the bloom fall off the rose. In fact, it’s almost shocking how many have been married and divorced already without having reached the age of thirty. Single (and divorced) mothers and fathers are a mainstay of the modern classroom. I see our swallowing the temptation offered by the birth control pill and its dispersal into our cultural bloodstream as a main cause of it all, separating as it does sex from love; other factors have contributed no doubt, but it can hardly be denied that is at least a mighty and aggravating symptom of our sickness.

    I think Lydia appeals to chivalry (I am psychologizing here) because she is not only a philosopher but a romantic of the vanishing Christian kind, smitten by that religion’s ancient virtues whose roots reach all the way back to age of King Arthur, when the common mythology called men to give women an honor they no longer possess nor which many appear even to desire, when marriage – next only to the religious life – was the most desirable and elevated state to which either man or woman could aspire. The hard fact today is that – though we teach them to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves – we must also teach our sons not to yield to despair, but to offer women that old honor to which they are entitled, whether or not they deserve or even desire it. Some of them might even rise to the occasion, most having grown up in a world in which vows of eternal fidelity offer few exemplars.

  • Yazz Michael Michaels says:

    Heh, excellent analysis by Dalrok. He downright systematically picked her apart with cool rationality and persuasive arguments. In short Dalrok argues like a man, and a very intelligent man at that.

    Lydia, conversely, is mainly gyrating on an emotional plane. She makes a personal slur versus Dalrok even though she has limited knowledge of his blog and from that point onwards doesn’t debate so much as tries to *distort*, *reframe*, *use strawmen* and engage in other subterfudge. She does everything to deny having to admit she was in the wrong, even though it is patently obvious.

    She doesn’t have the strength to accept her blame. In short she argues just like almost all other women. She also claims to be a christian yet does not seem to believe in submission at all. Cue her attempts to control the discourse, to decide which content and ideas are appropriate and which are not.

    It gets really hilarious when she attempts to put a lid on Zippy’s 4 purported theses of the manosphere – which he has an open mind towards. Like an offended schooltecher she scolds him and once again tries to control what we all are allowed to talk about.

    Bottomline: Lydia is a good example of a.) why most modern western women are morally suspect and b.) why it is pointless to argue with most women because for them emotionas are reality. Why they “feel” is correct. Arguments are irrelevant.

    Not also her constant refereing to her own personal experiences in lieu of arguments. This is also standard for women, which – amongst other things – shows their inherent, egozentric solipsism.

    Lydia, I hope you are not married. If you are I pity your husband. If you are indeed married I would recommend you spend the next weeks reading up on the bible and, specifically, those passages that demand wifely submission to her husband. I for one believe you are sadly lacking in that area.

  • Paul J Cella says:

    Hey Yazz, lay off the fanboi fawning. It’s positively nauseating.

    You’ve crowned ignorance of Lydia’s background and work with some really amusing conjectures.

    She makes a personal slur versus Dalrok even though she has limited knowledge of his blog and from that point onwards doesn’t debate so much as tries to *distort*, *reframe*, *use strawmen* and engage in other subterfudge.

    Pot, meet kettle.

  • One thing Lydia definitely has characterized correctly is the irritating manosphere tendency to do a kind of psychologizing meta-analysis of the discussion in parallel to discussion of subject matter. That is probably (it strikes me) the pernicious influence of Game: commenters feel compelled to “Game” the discussion, with it’s obssession over social hierarchies real or imagined, rather than sticking to a topic. What matters is who is the “alpha” in the combox, not, you know, the topic.

    Mind you sticking to a topic includes pointing out fallacies, etc; and the “you won’t even read what you criticize” criticism is fair to a point (though hardly dispositive). The commenter perhaps unwittingly provides evidence for Lydia’s contentions about unhealthy “manosphere” community influences though.

  • johnmcg says:

    Lydia is correct. Nor was he pulled toward any other sin, as if the dignity of his divine being could be disturbed by the devil’s blandishments. He was God, and could not sin.

    If this were the case, it would make the story of the desert, and the Crucifixion, much less meaningful to me. I believe we have a Savior who actively chose (over and over again) to suffer and die and overcome sin for our sake. And, as followers of Christ, we must do the same thing.

    If He really was never seriously tempted to do otherwise, what’s the big deal? And if I am subject to temptation and Jesus was not, well then maybe it’s not such a big deal if I sin, either.

  • William Luse says:

    Just to be clear that we’re talking about the same things, my issue is only with this: “If He really was never seriously tempted to do otherwise, what’s the big deal?” If by this you mean that his integrity was disturbed by the desire to commit any sin, but which he ultimately resisted, then no, that’s wrong. Or, as NewAdvent puts it: “Taken in an unfavourable sense as denoting enticement to evil, temptation cannot be referred directly to God or to Christ…Like Adam, Christ (the second Adam) endured temptation only from without, inasmuch as His human nature was free from all concupiscence.”

    Or JPII: “Christ is the only one truly without sin, and who, moreover, could not sin. He is therefore the only one who absolutely did not deserve to suffer.”

    It’s the doctrine of His impeccability (as best I remember) and there are plenty of resources on the web.

    If this were the case, it would make the story of the desert, and the Crucifixion, much less meaningful to me.

    Well I’m hoping that after giving some thought to it, you’ll find it even more meaningful, in that the crucifixion was efficacious only because it was inflicted upon pure innocence, and only of the incorruptible divine innocence could we ever say that another being could take upon himself the sins of the world, to reconcile it to the Father. There are some theologians who think otherwise, like R.C. Sproul, but he’s a Calvinist and I don’t want to be one of those.

  • Mike T says:


    As far as the “plight” of people looking for a mate, I do think it’s important for the sake of truth to avoid the impression that good young men face a difficulty finding a good mate that is radically different from the difficulty good young women face. That’s because I don’t think that is _true_, and I think it shows a troubling bias to imply or seem to imply that it’s true, so I get concerned when it seems to me that it might be implied.

    Lydia, with all due respect, you’ve never once shown an ounce of objectivity on this issue. I think you have a blind spot here that is uncharacteristic of your normal approach to thinks on WWWtW.

    What you seem to miss about game and why many Christian men are flocking to it is because we have been lied to about masculinity. We watch as many of the men who lectured us on what “true men” do are just so good at keeping a happy marriage that their wives up and leave them. They’re such real men that their wives get fed up with them and leave or drive them crazy until they leave. Men who cannot keep a marriage going, and who did not marry an obviously bad woman, have little credibility on masculinity when stuff like that happens.

    There are things about game which are not accessible to Christian men, but there is much that is and is even part and parcel of how the Bible teaches men should behave toward women. Strong men who would lead their families do not treat their wife like she is a true equal partner because that is a rejection of the foundation of the Biblical dynamic. Athol Kay put it best when he described it as Captain and First Mate, not equal partners.

    With all that said, I think the Social Pathologist (a truly fine blogger), but it best when he said that the issue that many of his fellow conservative Christians (he’s a Catholic) miss about game is that it is modern men attempting to take baby steps to reject feminism. In that sense, they make many mistakes like boys learning how to function in an adult world, but game is pretty much the only thing out there in mainstream society that teaches any real aspects of masculinity that the men of a few generations ago (WWII and definitely earlier) would recognize as how men should behave. The limp-wristed, obsessively sensitive modern man would be an abomination to previous generations because he is a man too caught up in his feelings and tripping over himself to love a wife, raise children, head a family, be a useful employee and independent citizen doing his part to personally shoulder some of the civic burden.

    BTW, good to see Zippy dipping his toes into the manosphere; I rarely read it now, but his comments are at least 7 nines pure platinum compared to the dreck that dominates the comment threads.

  • Mike T says:

    When it comes to this subject, Lydia, I can only conclude that you don’t want to understand. I’ve seen what it looks like when you do want to understand, and this isn’t what it looks like.

    Having just finished reading 2/3 of what you and Lydia said back and forth with Dalrock in between (sorry, 2/3 is the closest I could get before tl;dr; not enough time set in), I concur. I don’t think I saw a single example of Lydia taking the time to apply logic in the same way I have come to expect from her posts and comments on WWwtW.

    Lydia seems to be almost deliberately conflating the good, bad and neutral behavior patterns they teach and overlaying an assumption of the worst possible motivations. I think this is why she simply cannot explain how guys like Dalrock and Athol Kay, guys who firmly believe in long term relationships and not abusing women, can be part of this “game thing.” By her reckoning, they simply should not exist because they teach “game” and yet write openly about using it to fight the worldly temptations which threaten most marriages, a goal which is decidedly conservative.

    I’m dubious that there is any validity to her argument that you can raise sons and daughters who are shrewd to the ways of the world while not engaging in it if you avoid the statistical truths about it. Divorce is overwhelmingly initiated by women, and it is overwhelmingly frivolous (contra her assertion that so many of the poor dears ended up with an abusive, unrepentant deviant).

    If nothing more, the inter-sexual dynamics and understanding of hypergamy are critical to young men and women understanding themselves and each other. Speaking only for myself here, but I actually ceased being bitter toward the girls who mistreated me in high school and college because I caught a glimpse of how “nice guys” (which I was with a vengeance) actually must look through their eyes when reading a lot of manosphere content. It is roughly equivalent to an obese woman with bad teeth and hair who has a disagreeable personality.

    As far as I know, Lydia doesn’t live in or near one of the major liberal metropolises. However, I do and my observations (again, with Zippy’s caveats on the value of personal experience) are in accordance with his observations. Outside of the conservative enclaves, Lydia would find it shocking how mainstream books like Fifty Shades of Grey are with “respectable women.” It sounds preposterous to her because of the cultural gap.

    Zippy is right about the value of exploring what truth is in here with his son. Lydia would do well to do the same with her daughter, if for no other reason than having a “know thyself” moment about what most women find instinctively attractive in men may save her daughter down the road from being “gamed.” This is no different than what fathers ought to (but often don’t!) teach their sons about being manipulated by attractive women. It may mean the difference between your kid ending up with an attractive spouse who isn’t manipulative and them ending up with the safest bet which isn’t a person they really want.

  • Mike T:
    Lydia seems to be almost deliberately conflating the good, bad and neutral behavior patterns they teach and overlaying an assumption of the worst possible motivations.

    In fairness to Lydia I do think there are some things that are very wrong with even the explicitly Christian “manosphere”, that her points about community, etc are not without merit, etc. And I know without any question that her motivation has nothing to do with “the sisterhood” and everything to do with personal concern: she’s a good friend and we’ve known each other a long time.

    But I’m not a vulnerable little cupcake: I can handle it, and when I see an area I think worth exploring I’ll keep my own counsel on whether it is a valuable endeavor worth my time.

    Personal experience, even though it is an atrocious guide to the general state of the culture, without doubt plays a significant role in how I have responded to reading Dalrock. And if I hadn’t had the kinds of experiences I’ve had, I definitely wouldn’t want to believe it.

  • johnmcg says:

    I find it interesting that you and Lydia seem to have reversed roles from the C-Fam/torture debate a few years ago, where you found C-FAM’s support of (or at least refusal to criticize) torture as disqualifying for your support, and Lydia thought you should not. (http://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2010/02/13/i-call-time-to-show-your-hand/)

  • I find it interesting that you and Lydia seem to have reversed roles from the C-Fam/torture debate a few years ago…

    The comparison may work to a point, but I did follow up and meet the guy for lunch, making a new friend in the process.

  • Mike T says:

    In fairness to Lydia I do think there are some things that are very wrong with even the explicitly Christian “manosphere”, that her points about community, etc are not without merit, etc. And I know without any question that her motivation has nothing to do with “the sisterhood” and everything to do with personal concern: she’s a good friend and we’ve known each other a long time.

    I would never have attributed to her any motivations regarding the “sisterhood.” Far from it, since she is so militantly opposed to rhetoric about the “war between the sexes.” If anything, she’s sometimes too principled there and deals poorly with the influence that the toxic influences of feminism and whatever can be called its equivalent have on people who don’t consciously embrace them. Many Christian women will fervently say they are against feminism, while unwittingly mouthing many of its core platitudes. This, I think, is one of our most pernicious problems.

    There are indeed many things wrong with the manosphere, but Lydia has a tendency to simply throw the baby out with the bath water on this issue. In all of that bilge there is some really good stuff worth saving.

    Even though I think most of her criticisms on this issue are wildly, uncharacteristically emotional, I have sympathy for her. I know other highly intelligent, conservative, traditional women who are torn between anti-feminism and the reality that feminism has roots in some real abuse that women suffered in the first half of the 20th century. It would be impossible to say that feminism has done them no good at all. It has, at the very least, ensured that women have the full basic civil liberties of men. That alone is enough to cause legitimate mixed feelings in any thinking woman who otherwise rejects feminism. Game is premised on being able to offer ordinary men the ability to overthrow the tables feminism has put in place, and that is a scary prospect for many reasons for a lot of women.


    And if I hadn’t had the kinds of experiences I’ve had, I definitely wouldn’t want to believe it.

    It was personal experience which lead me to many similar conclusions as well. You cannot help but suspect something culturally rotten when literally almost every single marriage in both sides of your families fail with the wife leaving the husband and you notice that there seems to be no discernible pattern of “bad men” or “bad women.” It was my observations in my family and others that made the 70%+ stat for women initiating divorce gain some instant credibility. I wish it weren’t true because it would not imply a pattern that implicates how we’ve raised women.

    BTW, totally off topic, but I feel I should apologize for that cheap shot directed at you over the bailouts over at WWwtW. You probably know exactly which one I’m referring to (so as to not drag others into this). While we have very different reasons for our views (I think conservatives missed their one chance to force a collective “come to Jesus moment” on this country), I can understand why some conservatives such as you and Paul might be inclined to think the risk wasn’t worth it.

    [I fixed the "blockquote" tags to "i". And believe it or not I don't recall the specific interaction; but consider this a handshake and done. - Z]

  • [...] method of obstructing any attempt at change is to set the bar for evaluating change absurdly high.  Commenter Unger [...]

  • [...] a look at the “manosphere” and “Game,” an area with which I’ve only recently become acquainted.  In the previous post I talked about the hypothesis or theory of hypergamy, the background [...]

  • Svar says:

    I agree with Paul. Yazzy boy doesn’t realize that women do not have to submit to all men just their fathers and husbands.

  • [...] in August when Zippy Catholic linked to my post Losing Control of the Narrative in his post Rubbernecking Past the Death of Masculinity.  Commenter Lydia was outraged that men were being allowed to notice very large numbers of women [...]

  • Nothing I enjoy more than sowing these seeds of doubt in the minds of men every chance I get.

    If women were not delaying marriage to have casual sex and devote their attention to nebulous career goals, then why the heck are they so darn sensitive about the topic?

    Nothing like shining the spotlight of truth on someone who has been caught in the middle of a dirty little secret. Boy, do they get mad!

    The Lydias of the world can squawk and squeak all they like, but once sown, the message spread by men like myself takes root in the minds of other men and never really lets go.

    There is nothing more beautiful to me than seeing a duplicitous woman get called out on her lies and self-deception.

  • [...] debate.  Mrs. Lydia McGrew’s increasingly angry, shrieky  comments to Dalrock on a thread at Zippy Catholic exemplify this;while he remains fairly calm and on-message, she become increasingly agitated by the [...]

  • [...] on this thread (either here or in trackback) might consider the extent to which their reactions confirm [...]

  • Zippy says:

    I hate to break it to the androsphere: but realism lies somewhere in between starry-eyed idealism and black-eyed cynicism. Cynicism is just another way of refusing to come to grips with all of reality: the starry-eyed idealism of the nihilist.

    And being a starry-eyed idealist about women is foolish.

  • Anonymous age 70 says:

    Yes, but women are to remain silent in church to all men, and not teach all men, not just husband and fathers.

    At first glance, I thought this page would be interesting. But, in the end, not relevant to most men, period.

  • [...] which mirror cultural Marxism.  I’ve griped before about the annoying tendency toward metanarrative: a quite laughable pseudo-analysis of the motives, psychology, and status of  discussion [...]

  • [...] of the commenters on this thread (either here or in trackback) might consider the extent to which their reactions confirm Lydia’s [...]

  • [...] If you look at the thread you will see that his comment closes with this explanation and the very next words in the thread are your very strong rebuke to Chris for daring to challenge Lydia. She was as you [...]

  • Amicus Curiae says:

    I haven’t read the entirety of the comments, but i am curious if i am the only one to notice the irony of Lydia’s views on traditional pornography and its inherent danges while lamenting the fact that one of Zippy’s premises was the danger of the prevelance of “divorce-porn” and the dangers inherent to immersing oneself in it?

    I also think this tempest in a tea pot was created as the “manoshpere”/”androsphere”/”MRM” etc. acts from an exclusively male viewpoint and address only that view point. it is unapologetically a resource to teach men (young and old) to be sceptical as all that glitters is not gold.

    Lydia frequently mentions that women have trouble finding suitable marriage material. And takes issue with the one-sidedness of the manosphere.

    While i can appreciate the need for an area to discuss issues relevant to both men and women, the one sided enclave, if you will, must come first. As stated by previous commentators, i implore anyone to point to a non-manosphere site, magazine, news article or anything else that attempts to inform men how to operate in either or both the sexual or marriage market place. The problem I have with comments by Lydia, and others on other blogs, is the failure to appreciate the foundational themes of many contributors to the manosphere. Specifically, it is generally understood by everyone reading, writing and commentating on the manosphere that good women exist or Not All Women Are Like That (NAWALT). The thing missed by these individuals is few articles will have that in the opening as it is understood by the readership. the Major issue being addressed is that while NAWALT numerous women are like that.

    However you want to apportion fault to men and women seperately the fact of the matter is divorce rates are approximately 50%. The manosphere is attempting to show men that you need to actively protect yourself from that unholy fate. I come from a broken home, I know the 50% rate and even then I have problems identifying that as a possibility i must guard against. The manosphere exists to help men realize that can happen to me and if i dont look for the signs i may end up with a woman like that.

    i dont understand the aversion to MGTOW. While a healthy happy marriage to a marriage minded individual who does not see divorce as an option (except in the obvious extreme cases) is a wonderful thing full of god’s love, not all people are called to be married. While some might think it’s cavalier, I dont see the problem with men looking at the women they associate or interact with and saying it is not worth the effort or risk. There are consequences of divorce that will affect both husband and wife, however, a larger portion of consequences hit the husband. Referring back to Lydia and her statment that a women also destroys her life, this ignores the prevelance and affect of “divorce porn” on women. If we accept the presmise that regular pornography has negative effects on men, it is axiomatic that books like Eat, pray, love (and its film derivative) have negative effects on women. that they tell women that nuking the family will lead to bigger better things.

  • [...] somehow I stumbled upon Dalrock.  I don’t remember how, but the blog really caught my interest: here was a guy who clearly [...]

  • [...] women deserve from men even when they aren’t acting like ladies.  This is why Lydia’s response to my pointing out that large numbers of modern women are acting like harlots was to decry my loss [...]

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