“Game” as postmodern feminism; or why women like bad boys
September 17, 2012 § 56 Comments
The usual narrative is that anti-intellectual postmodernity is radically different from the naturalistic/scientistic positivism it opposes. My own view is that the war between scientistic positivism and nominalistic postmodernism is a sibling rivalry: postmodernism is what happens when a modern naturalistically-oriented positivist realizes that positivism is false, but refuses to take the logical step and give up on atheistic naturalism. Richard Dawkins and Jacques Derrida have much more in common with each other than either one has in common with St. Thomas Aquinas.
As with many of modernity’s isms, hatred of those closest to you serves two purposes. First of all it fires us up for battle, and you can’t win without motivating the troops; but of course any hated enemy would serve that purpose. Second, though, a vicious sibling rivalry ends up sucking all of the oxygen out of the room, leaving genuinely competing world views outside the purview of respectable thought. Paradoxically, then, having a hated nemesis is what sustains towers of Babel built on lies. Liberals see Nazis as the ultimate transcendent evil (rather than, say, seeing Communism or Feminism, which have each murdered orders of magnitude more innocent victims, as the ultimate transcendent evil) because Nazism, despite being a modern ideology very similar to liberalism – built on its own conception of freedom and equality among those considered fully human, on the triumph of will over an objective deontology, etc – is the point farthest away in thought-space from liberalism which the liberal is willing to admit actually exists.
Thus the analogy of the Red Pill in the manosphere world of Game: the idea is that feminism (and feminism-influenced Christianity, a.k.a. Churchianity) aren’t in touch with reality, while by embracing “Game” the manosphere faces reality head on.
The problem though is that Game appears to be a postmodern concept. I won’t go link hunting, partly out of laziness and partly because most of the links would be NSFW. But as I understand it Game is a rather slippery thing, a bucket into which various folks pour their various preferred meanings. There is North American Game, and Eastern European Game, Day Game, Christian Game, Pickup Artist Game … if you browse around a bit you’ll find all sorts of contentions about what Game is and is not. But you will also find a general consensus that the nominalist conception of Game is the right one: it is just a bunch of tools and insights cobbled together that you can pick from, cafeteria style, in order to do what works for you.
Some try to avoid the problems associated with a nominalistic view of Game by appointing a few High Priests from the pickup artist community as a kind of Game magisterium. I don’t think appointing a nominalist-in-chief works, though, and when an ostensible field manual on how to be a man ends up celebrating having yourself castrated you can color me skeptical that it reflects an underlying world view capable of apprehending what is and is not objectively manly.
Don’t get me wrong: the feminist/misandrist legal and cultural structures we live under are a horror show, with millions of innocent victims and with more actual cold-blooded murders to its name than National Socialism. Plenty of true and important anti-feminist insights are coming from the manosphere, etc, and its criticisms of the feminist order are frequently trenchant. (I could say the same thing about Republican criticisms of Democrats). But so-called Game isn’t a genuine red pill: it is just another section of the Matrix within the Matrix, where “taking the red pill” was just another illusory act. The manosphere is to feminism what postmodernity is to positivism.
So why do modern women find themselves, often against their own will, attracted to bad boys? Simple, really. Female attraction is much more socially conditioned than male attraction: women are natural followers, men natural leaders. Women are very good at figuring out the difference between the appearance of social status and its reality. You can’t snooker them – they can’t snooker themselves – by putting a nerd in a position of power. A nerd in an artificial position of power is still a nerd, and most women are going to find powerful nerds about as attractive as most men are going to find an obese woman in a bikini. Young women are always going to find themselves unwittingly attracted to men who have actual social status as accorded by our actual society, those who are seen as independent and “cool” in context (which is not the same thing as money, position, etc); just as men are always going to find themselves attracted to women who have physical characteristics that make for good childbearing.
Of course (actual not faux) social status is just one factor in the mystery of attraction, and this post isn’t intended to explore what is right and what is wrong with everything discussed in the “manosphere”. But anyone interested in a genuine red pill, a genuine embrace of reality rather than a trip through some other section of the Matrix, is going to have to start by giving up on the social impulse to admire peacocking cads and self-inflicted castrati as the model of a real man.