Hypergamy: social-behavioral concepts
October 15, 2012 § 17 Comments
I’ve been writing a series of posts taking 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 concept underlying “Game”, in descriptive terms. Before we can come to grips with Game itself we have to layer a model of social/behavioural tendencies on top of the basic theory. Keep in mind that I’m not particularly interested in whether or not Game is useful to modernity’s sexual garbage collector, the pickup artist (PUA). I’m interested in whether, underneath the rather plastic label “Game”, there are any basic complementarity-of-the-sexes truths of interest to Christian men and women. That makes marriage integral to the analysis.
The first thing to be said here is that we are discussing social tendencies. Both the word “social” and the word “tendency” are indispensable. With respect to the former, it is important to point out that these are not implied (by me) to be universal tendencies in all women all the time; rather, they represent aggregate tendencies like “most people seem to like sweets”. In fact a substantial number of people do not like sweets. This disclaimer is represented in manosphere discourse by the acronym NAWALT, meaning Not All Women Are Like That. Despite the disclaimer many men in the jackassosphere, my nickname for manosphere comboxes, seem to think of these tendencies as iron rules; or at least to write their posts as if they were iron rules. This is exacerbated by the determinism implicit in the evolutionary psychology (hereafter evo-psych) “frame” with which many manosphere commenters seem rather taken. Any long term reader knows that I have my issues with evo-think in general; and adding “psych” into the mix turns the tommyrot meter into a fan strong enough to keep a Virginia mansion cool in August. That’s my “frame” and I’m sticking to it.
Furthermore, the tendency to say “NAWALT” with one face while invoking biological determinism with the other is just a way of denying women moral agency. If y’all want to jump off that cliff you can have a ball; but make sure you’ve got your chute packed right and count me out, ’cause I’m just gonna laugh at you as you bounce off the cliffside on the way down. Women are moral agents just as much as men, and are at least as intrinsically capable of introspection and self-control, in general, as men. I’m not going to let any man or woman off the hook for their choices by invoking evolution or implicitly assuming determinism.
But I believe in trying to extract the best from any group rather than treating the worst as representative; so NAWALT is an important limiting principle to keep in mind. At the same time, from the fact that NAWALT it cannot be deduced that the tendencies described are unreal, insignificant, etc. The key lesson from the disclaimer isn’t “don’t take manosphere claims seriously”; it is “don’t take manosphere claims personally.” In order to take manosphere claims seriously one also must take the NAWALT disclaimer seriously.
Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, one of the first things to keep in mind is that at least in modern conditions, the Beta himisphere tends to be composed of more steady, reliable men than the Alpha himisphere. This sets up a kind of paradox: the men that young women find themselves the most attracted to are men who are not likely to make good providers for the long term, and who most likely would never settle down with her anyway.
When our Pocahontas is young and free, out “dating” and getting her feminist merit badge (a degree and a career), she is using up her marriage capital in more ways than one. In the meantime, the nice guy she will eventually marry can’t get a date: he may be her “Beta Orbiter” friend, but she is not interested in him romantically. He sits on the other side of an impenetrable “LJBF” wall of her making. Meanwhile she “dates” and bonds to the alpha males that she finds attractive, who are just using her with no intention of ever marrying her. Often enough she is perfectly aware that this is what she is doing: she understands that “bad boys” are for fun, and she will “settle down” later if that’s what she decides to do. A nice prince will come and carry her away when the time comes; life is good, and her decisions are validated by just about everyone around her.
Then she crashes violently into that wall she built to keep out the nice guys. Rather suddenly even men she isn’t really attracted to, but who are good long term provider prospects, aren’t as interested in her. Still, if she plays her cards right she hopes to land a good Beta provider when the time is right. She spends her time with her nice-guy husband as an “alpha widow”, pining away in her own thoughts for the men she has been with who truly excited her at the time, but who would never have married her. As the years of being married to someone she isn’t attracted to grind on she eventually realizes that she is very unhappy, divorces him, and pursues an “Eat, Pray, Love” fantasy. Everything about the modern world supports her in this decision, including her Christian friends.
This is the basic narrative: hopefully I haven’t left anything crucial out. It is in this social context that the specific prescriptions of Game are said to be useful to Christian men.