A virtue-based explanation for hypergamy

December 14, 2012 § 35 Comments

One of the weakest links in the ‘manosphere’ critique of feminism is its materialist basis. Materialist explanations which attempt to sweep from bouncing molecules to human behaviour are frankly ludicrous. I took some graduate courses in bioinformatics, biophysics, and molecular biology a few years ago. They are fascinating subjects; but anyone not an evolutionary kool-aid drinker who is paying the slightest bit of attention will immediately see how completely irrelevant evolution is to the nuts and bolts of the day-to-day biological sciences even at the molecular/cellular level, and how terrifically oversold it is as an explanatory view of origins.

I’m sure I won’t convince those who hold to materialist Darwinism as their religion; but try to bear with me nonetheless. My fight isn’t really with you in this post, because even the staunchest Darwinist must concede that often more than one theory can sufficiently explain a given set of data.

Having noted that data almost always underdetermines theory choice, I’ll further observe that the materialist explanation of hypergamy and its social implications as the consequences of a hard wired evolutionary imperative has significant explanatory problems. Chief among those problems is the fact that hypergamy has only manifested itself as a major social problem in approximately the past five minutes of history. The way around this – goes the materialist theory – is to propose that while hypergamy is the natural state of womankind evolved in uncivilized nature, patriarchal civilization has kept it artificially in check. Before that – which is to say, in pre-civilization barbarian tribes and what have you – there was no “reliable” birth control, so women who were too hypergamous faced terrible consequences for herself and her children. A woman’s awareness of potential consequences counterbalanced her evolutionarily derived hypergamous tendencies.

In addition to begging the question, this just-so story fails to take into account that there are still terrible material consequences for slutty women and their illegitimate children. For example, the murder of a woman and often her children by her ex lover is such a common occurrence that many times it doesn’t even make the news; and there are plenty of manifest consequences short of being murdered. To solve this dissonance in the theory some additional explanation – beyond reliable birth control and welfare programs – is required as to why women in the deep evolutionary past were putatively more rational, more in touch with the objective welfare of their offspring, and more aware of long term cause and effect than today’s women. My own well-known view is that evo-psych be crazy.

What I would like to do is take a step back from all of this and propose an alternate explanation for hypergamy based on a more traditional understanding of virtue and vice. I naturally still take it as a given that there is a basic nature to what women find attractive in men, and that there is an at least partially biological basis for it. True moral theology, as we know, does not deny the existence or imperatives of the flesh. True moral theology provides greater explanatory power, not less, than question-begging materialist gibberish.

So, without further ado:

First I must distinguish between different kinds of “attraction”. A man might find a woman’s willingness to do the dishes and laundry “attractive” in the sense that, other things equal, he finds living with such a woman more pleasant than living with a woman who does not have that quality. But that is not the sort of attraction I am talking about here. I am talking about the kind of attraction that a man must learn to control, learned control which takes time, prayer, and dedicated effort, in order to avoid the vice of lust. Any man who puts “she reliably does the dishes every day” on the list of primary characteristics that he finds attractive in that sense is probably either not being truthful or has some sort of mild psychological disorder.

As an aside, when you ask women what they find attractive in a man they are almost always going to answer the wrong question. She probably isn’t being dishonest: she may not even know herself what it is that makes her feel weak in the knees. But she knows what chores she wants done around the house. Ironically, doing the things she finds “attractive” in the one sense is often likely to kill her attraction to you in the relevant sense.

Second, I will make it clear that I am discussing tendencies and generalities. “It is cold in the winter” is the sort of statement I am making here, not “two plus two is four”. Not All Winters Are Like That.

Women’s attraction triggers are different from men’s: this is obvious, but our society is so perverse that it needs to be stated out loud. Women’s attraction triggers are socially conditioned to a greater extent than men’s. This does not mean that she is capable of being conditioned to respond with involuntary weak-in-the-knees attraction to a wimp. It does mean that her understanding of the cues of social dominance is a learned understanding. She subconsciously learns the social hierarchy over time, and – involuntarily, abstractly like (but different in concrete particulars from) a man’s involuntary attraction to the opposite sex – finds herself attracted to the men who are higher up in the de-facto (not de jure) hierarchy.

Now, given that women’s attraction triggers are fundamentally different from men’s attraction triggers in terms of substantive content – everyone knows that men are more visually oriented than women in this regard, for example – it follows that women have their own class of pornography which is different from the primarily visual/sensory pornography targeted at men. The Catechism condemns pornography in part because “it immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world”. The women of today are saturated in media – I’ll call it “femporn” – which immerses them in a fantasy world, re-calibrating their attraction triggers to a fantasy world which does not exist. This is made all the worse by the fact that most femporn is not considered pornography. Even the blatantly pornographic 50 Shades of Grey books are not treated the same way that visual pornography targeted at men is treated: 50 Shades femporn lines the shelves of Barnes and Noble and supermarkets everywhere, in clear view of girls of all ages. Girls of all ages attend the Twilight movies. Eat, Pray, Love divorce fantasy is mass marketed in a way that Larry Flynt could never get away with for Hustler magazine; yet the former is if anything more harmful than the latter. At least everyone is aware that visual porn targeted at men is pornographic unreality. I remember being disgusted at the way many ostensibly devout Catholic women talked openly about how much they enjoyed watching Desperate Housewives, as if it were just so much harmless entertainment.

I’ll ask men to imagine what it would be like if they were brought up from an early age constantly surrounded by hardcore pornography. It is a difficult thought experiment to even undertake: I have no honest answer for myself. I just don’t know what it would be like.

It is frequently claimed that men have started to lose their attraction to real women because of porn. I expect there may be some truth to that, but I propose that the male drive is more primal and “in the moment” and less likely than the female to get ‘recalibrated’ over time through porn saturation or other fantasy. Couple that to the social acceptability of porn for women as contrasted to porn for men, and it may be that today’s women are growing up in the middle of that very experiment. Seeing porn around them all the time, they are not even aware that it is porn. We as a society don’t call it porn and don’t shun it as porn. It is just the reality they expect for themselves. The hunky multimillionaire handyman Mr. Right isn’t a fantasy in her mind: it is her base expectation. The men she meets aren’t competing with other men: they are competing against the fantasy in her mind. She is literally insane, in the sense that her perceptions and ingrained subconscious expectations are grossly distorted and do not reflect an accurate perception of what actual reality is really like. As a result she is literally incapable of being attracted to most men, despite the growing unease, over time, with which she faces the bleak possibility that the hunky millionaire handyman God has set aside just for her doesn’t really exist. She ultimately has to “settle” for an actual, flesh and blood man who is actually willing to marry her; has to convince herself that she loves him, even though she does not have that primal opposite-sex attraction to him. Otherwise she will end up a spinster.

So that’s the basic hypothesis: femporn has conditioned modern women, including chaste Christian girls who are genuinely trying to do the right thing, to be sexually frigid when face to face with a real man who is a real marriage prospect as opposed to the fantasy that has been imprinted upon her from a young age. The manosphere tends to gloss over the fact that even good girls generally won’t give any but the top 10% of men the time of day. I think it is true that promiscuous women ruin themselves when they miscalculate their own value, conflating the willingness of bad boys to fornicate with the willingness of a good and yet equally exciting man to marry her, and keep that level of thrilling romance and drama throughout marriage. But that doesn’t explain the full breadth of the phenomenon of hypergamy.

§ 35 Responses to A virtue-based explanation for hypergamy

  • Our Heroine says:

    This make a lot of sense to me, Zippy! I remember once having dinner with my cousin Tammy, an otherwise sensible married lady and mother. She had just finished reading Twilight (I had not read it yet, so I was asking about it) and I remember clearly being stunned silent when she told me (in all seriousness) how pitiful and unattractive she found her real live husband when compared to Edward Cullen. I think I eventually stammered out, “But, but, isn’t Edward some sort of mythical vampire?!” And she sighed and said longingly…..”yes.”

  • Zippy says:

    I expect that your anecdote repeats itself in various forms thousands of times a day in uncountable homes, unfortunately.

    One of the things I find particularly annoying about the manosphere narrative is its tendency to treat women as if they are deterministic robots made of meat, not moral agents. (Dalrock resists this pretty well, to his credit; many of his commenters and most other ‘manosphere’ blogs not so much). It seems to be home to a lot of men who find themselves attracted to women but who don’t really like women; sometimes for perfectly understandable reasons in their personal lives, I suppose, but that is still a blind alley.

    On the surface I think the phenomena they talk about are real. But the explanations leave a lot to be desired.

    The good news is that as responsible moral agents we all have the potential to at least get on the right path in our own lives, even if we can’t save the culture, and can’t even rescue our own pasts. We can start the war from here. Overcoming old habits and entrenched weaknesses can be very difficult; but it can be done, with God’s grace, prayer, fasting, and copious quantities of hard work.

    Once women understand what is pornographic to them and why, they are as capable of practicing a form of ‘custody of the eyes’ as men are. Porn (like all vice) ultimately makes its consumer very unhappy. This is doubly difficult for today’s women because we don’t even recognize femporn as a kind of porn.

  • Proph says:

    “So that’s the basic hypothesis: femporn has conditioned modern women, including chaste Christian girls who are genuinely trying to do the right thing, to be sexually frigid when face to face with a real man who is a real marriage prospect as opposed to the fantasy that has been imprinted upon her from a young age.”

    So what’s a real man to do, if game’s a poor antidote and we really can’t compete with glitter vampires and Amerindian werewolves?

  • Mike T says:

    Once women understand what is pornographic to them and why, they are as capable of practicing a form of ‘custody of the eyes’ as men are.

    I think you will run into a lot of opposition to this because most churches actively avoid any sort of understanding of actual female sexuality. Therefore while they can see the clear link between the man masturbating to pornography and that being sexual sin, they cannot grasp that most women who are casual or avid consumers of femporn are having a female equivalent experience with Edward Cullen, Mr. Millionaire Hunky Handman, etc. Many who vaguely grasp this still tend to make a mad dash for the argument that somehow the visual nature of male-oriented pornography makes it unequivocally wrong and worse compared to femporn being “merely dangerous.” (They cannot accept that the visual nature of male-oriented pornography is morally meaningless, since it is only the lustful state sought which is the moral issue)

  • Zippy says:

    Proph:
    I don’t know, but I am still digging. I suspect that at the end of the day it is up to women to understand what is happening and act accordingly. Short of enslavement, and often even then, we can’t make people see what they refuse to see or do what they refuse to do.

    And I agree with Mike T that getting even “good girls” to recognize what is happening and act on that recognition is a very tall order. I am coming to understand myself that things like Twilight do literally greater (and longer lasting) damage to women than things like Hustler do to men: that as bad as porn targeted at men is, men are more impervious to being conditioned by it because our attraction triggers are basically simple and physical, whereas female attraction triggers are socially mediated. She has a “social learning” part of her subconscious tied directly to physical attraction that we simply don’t have; so we don’t understand it.

    But Mike is right (his whole comment is right) that even people open to the truth on the subject are going to have a difficult time grasping this. It isn’t at all obvious to me as a man, because I find things like Twilight laughably silly. Imagine a world in which Hustler images were ubiquitous and virtually all women saw Hustler as this silly mostly harmless thing that boys (for who knows what reasons: boys are silly) like, and that women themselves even find quizzically amusing sometimes.

    That is the world we live in, with the sexes reversed.

  • Zippy says:

    That said, I don’t think that there is nothing a father can do when raising girls. There are various approaches, and it isn’t obvious what is best nor whether and when one size fits all. Turning off the TV and social media is always a reasonable option. Seeing manly men ridicule Edward and the silly pathetic girls and even grown women who take him seriously, rather than as a silly story, may help. Lots of practical ideas come to mind.

    But I took the question to be what to do about adult (well, physically grown) women. In general people can’t be helped unless they want to be helped. So the first step is finding ways to convince them that they need and want help, I suppose. As Mike T says, a very tall order indeed, since nothing is impervious to help like the toxic combination of fat, dumb, and validated.

  • ala says:

    Hypergamy is, I think, the perverted ability of women to look up to and be devoted to a man. In a way, this is what belief in God entails – self-denial, trusting in Someone more powerful than you, giving of self. Hypergamy is the attempt to reconstruct this experience when the religious capacity is underdeveloped or uneducated. Those fantasy heroes are pagan idols, but they seem more “abstract”, “godlike” just because they are fictional.

  • Mike T says:

    ala,

    I don’t think that’s really true because hypergamy in its most basic form is just a desire to mate with the best male a woman can find. It is no different than the male drive to seduce the sexiest wom(a|e)n he can find. Properly morally educated, hypergamy is no more dangerous to society than that male impulse because women gain a moral framework for guiding their sexual desire and limiting it. The “you go girl” mentality is what is the problem here. Women frequently celebrate behavior in women today that would have been unconscionable to women a few generations ago. The “how” of female sexuality isn’t the moral issue anymore than the visual nature of male sexuality.

  • ala says:

    Mike T, yes, I agree that what you call hypergamy is not an evil in itself (perhaps depending on what exactly you define by it) but the question remains: why does a woman desire to mate with the “best male”? It is notorious that the best male can be the jerk. What is she looking for in the bad boy/ vampire etc? I say – she is looking to experience trust – that she is offering herself to someone whom she doesn’t know, who might hurt her and because of that make her feel vulnerable; we all want to feel vulnerable at some level, love is not possible otherwise.

    Now, what society condones is breaking the marriage vows to go seek for this ephemeral “feeling,” by telling women (and men) that religion is unreasonable and irrational, that there is no unknown, that true love and trust does not exist, that monogamy is the source of all misery, that hope does not exist. Only in this context could hypergamy turn into an evil, women moving from one man to another to recreate a “fantasy of abandon.”

    And again trust is meaningless if you have all the evidence in the world that the person you are supposed to trust is trustworthy. Trust (and faith) is supposed to happen only where there is unknown and danger. We all want to believe before we understand.

  • Mike T says:

    Ala,

    “The best male” in the hypergamic sense refers to the most dominant, highest status male in the tribe she can get. Jerks score with women a lot simply because when you put a typical bad boy jerk up next to a typical “nice guy” the “nice guy” looks like an amorphous, unmasculine blob of humanity to her by comparison. This is no different than if you take many “nice girls” and put them next to the “hot b#$%^.” Normal men will have an extraordinarily difficult time focusing on the nice, but not nearly as sexy women compared to the hot b#$%^.

    I think a lot of Christians read too much into hypergamy. It really just means a preference for the best mate they can get. There really isn’t much more to it spiritually than men preferring women with beautiful faces and hourglass figures.

    The biggest problem we have with hypergamy is that it is combined with a lot of very emasculated men and no fault divorce. The temptation and ability to cheat is amplified greatly today.

  • Zippy says:

    A lot of the androsphere terms are vague in their scope: for example “Game” refers to everything from a little box of amoral tools to a complete existential overhaul of a feminized man to the entire package of androsphere analytical and prescriptive content, depending on where and why it is being used.

    In the OP under the term “hypergamy” I link to my post on hypergamy in context, with its social and behavioral implications in our current situation. My usage has no special authority – androsphere terminology is basically all new anyway, so it isn’t like there is some established meaning I can appeal to – but it is my usage. So when I employ it in this post I am not speaking as parsimoniously as Mike T in his comment; I am referring to the whole package of things we talked about here.

  • ala says:

    Just for fun I’m quoting here a comment in Plutarch, Moralia (139b) (1st-2nd century AD !!!) on hypergamy (or whatever that is). Pasiphae is the mythical wife of the Cretan king Minos, who cheated on her husband with a bull of Poseidon, coming out of the sea:

    “Women will not believe that Pasiphae, the consort of a king, fell in love with a bull, in spite of the fact that they see some of their sex who feel bored by uncompromising and virtuous men, and take more pleasure in consorting with those who, like dogs and he-goats, are a combination of licentiousness and sensuality.”

  • Zippy says:

    Hah! That is one of the maddening things about the ‘manosphere’: it treats the fact that women often go for bad boys as if it were some lighting bolt profound new insight just discovered by polymath pickup artists.

  • Our Heroine says:

    Zippy, et. al. I’ve been thinking more about this post and my cousin’s reaction to Twilight, and cross-referencing it in my head against an old post of John C. Wright’s (at least, I think it was Mr. Wright’s). He was discussing the motivators behind the explosion of vampire fiction. He argued (and I find this persuasive) that the only socially acceptable role-models for women these days, and the only acceptable female archetype, is the warrior (i.e. Buffy, Dark Angel, that girl from Underworld, etc.). The problem in fiction arises when these women must be won by a man, as all women ultimately hope to be. Who is powerful enough that a warrior woman can submit to him (without seeming to submit)? He basically has to be supernaturally alpha, yet of the flesh. Vampires and werewolves become almost the only possible choices.

    Let me see if I can show where I’m going with this. When I was growing up, my parents only let me read classic literature. I don’t think anyone here would call Wuthering Heights, Rebecca, Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Tale of Two Cities, porn. Those novels have dark brooding heroes, and those heroes were my first crushes (Mr. Darcy! Mr. Rochester! Sydney Carton! *sigh*), but they were real men in the sense that they weren’t supernatural, and they were undeniably masculine.

    Now obviously, no real man can be Mr. Darcy. And no one had to tell me that. He’s fictional, obvs! But when the time came for me to enter the dating world, the gap between the dreamy Mr. Darcy, and the real-life guys I met, was bridgeable. The real guys were smart, self-assured, interested in the world, chivalrous, manly and kind. Ok, maybe they didn’t own the most beautiful stately home in all of England, but they did share the truly important attractive qualities of my fictional boyfriends.

    Maybe the problem isn’t that this is p0rn and women don’t realize it, but simply that the gap between Edward Cullen, the world’s sexiest vampire (LOL), and today’s emasculated man, is that the gap is just so unbridgeable. Women are trying to be warrior grrls, and men are trying to be nuturers, all with the best intentions, but no one is happy in their role and books like Twilight just exacerbate that dissatisfaction for women.

    Again, that was a thought I just built as I wrote it, so please excuse any errors in logic, and I promise what errors there are, are mine and not John C. Wright’s!

    (I’m leaving 50 Shades of Grey out of this because I haven’t read it and from what I understand, it really IS femp0rn.)

  • Zippy says:

    That’s good stuff OH. There are multiple factors contributing to how deeply “immersed in a fantasy world” (catechism) women become; and many simply aren’t making it back to surface reality. Twilight-porn is only one concrete shoe; the pervasive “you go girrrl” warrior princess archetype is another.

    I think this overall way of looking at it acknowledges that women are moral agents without downplaying the scope of the problem.

  • Mike T says:

    It’s probably also worth mentioning that Edward Cullen is a vampire man-boy. Therefore all of the women swooning over him are swooning over an immortal teenage boy.

    In modern America we call this ephebophila when a man does it; sexual liberty when a woman does it. All part of making up for centuries of oppression, donchaknow…

  • ala says:

    It seems like men ironically become more and more “fictional” to women (and women to men at the same rate) in the cultural context of co-ed and the institutionalized destruction of the natural distinctions between the sexes (deemed as mere social constructs). The closer men and women become, the further they are.

  • […] a real phenomenon with real consequences.  The standard issue androsphere explanations for it are probably wrong, steeped as they are in the materialist religion of […]

  • “The manosphere tends to gloss over the fact that even good girls generally won’t give any but the top 10% of men the time of day.”

    Since they are knowingly depriving the other 90% of love and a family in order to maximize the satisfaction of their lust, they are not good girls, are they? Quite the opposite.

  • Zippy says:

    @shrineofvirtue:
    If a good girl is a girl who behaves in a morally good manner, then yes, they are good girls.

    A person who chooses evil behaviours is not a “good person” in the pertinent sense. But “not being attracted to someone” isn’t an evil behaviour.

    (Incidentally, the entire discussion will remain more objective when we discuss it in terms of good and evil behaviours rather than good and evil persons).

    If my thesis in this post is correct, though, then objectively speaking women who view femporn are engaging in evil behaviours, and those evil behaviours are affecting their attraction to real men. So their lack of attraction to real men isn’t evil in itself, but it is an effect of objectively evil acts.

    Of course some percentage of these “good girls” in traddish eneclaves don’t consume femporn; these are likely affected by preselection and other herd effects from the girls around them.

    Beyond that there is still the basic problem that society doesn’t treat femporn as porn, so many women are simply unaware that what they are indulging in is a form of pornography. In general, even when society does understand what is pornographic, the porn viewer is part perpetrator and part victim: the ‘pure’ perpetrator is the purveyor of porn.

  • Pirran says:

    “The manosphere tends to gloss over the fact that even good girls generally won’t give any but the top 10% of men the time of day”

    That statement is flat wrong. Actually, it’s one of the central tenets of the manosphere. It’s what the whole theory of game is based on (trying to mimick the social cues of the top 10% – or Alphas – in order to get laid). Game can certainly be viewed as reductive, but when young men in particular are faced with the reality of being part of the 90%, anything that can give them an edge is gleefully accepted. This is what Roissy, Roosh et al have based their careers on. They would argue there is no such thing as a “good” girl.

    In the wider context of the non-game (particularly religious) manosphere, many would admit that there are women who would choose to be “virtuous” if possible, but that discerning one from the herd of women mimicking “good girl” behavior (a sort of distaff game) in Church or other social interactions is nearly impossible. Almost all men in the manosphere would accept that women naturally gravitate to the top 10%; indeed men in the religious manosphere would argue that traditional marriage (marriage 1.0) is all that kept that feminine impulse under control. Now that it has largely gone, chaos reigns.

  • Zippy says:

    @Pirran:
    They would argue there is no such thing as a “good” girl. … In the wider context of the non-game (particularly religious) manosphere, many would admit that there are women who would choose to be “virtuous” if possible, but that discerning one from the herd of women mimicking “good girl” behavior (a sort of distaff game) in Church or other social interactions is nearly impossible.

    Right: the attitude is (as usual with a salting of equivocation) that there are no good girls, or there are de facto no good girls. You even equivocate on it yourself: “would choose … if possible”, as if to indicate that none in fact choose to be good in reality.

    This is the glossing over to which the OP refers.

    In any case it is hard to see how the quibble could alter the thesis of the OP.

  • sad says:

    Zippy,

    I have read your blogs and comments for years and learned much from you. I respect you so much that I have assumed you must have good reasons for everything you post. Even when I initially disagree, you often persuade me. It helps that I am as anti-feminist as you, I think.

    But I don’t understand why you engage with the sort of people who put “virtuous” in scare quotes.

    Despite your efforts to moderate comments, several of your interlocutors attack the character of every female commenter. I would like to say something about the relationship between shaming and abortion, but I am not as brave as Gabriella. It should offend anyone’s modesty (to say the least) that every female commenter must profess her own chastity before posting, though her professions are futile, since she will be doubted in any case.

    Not that my views matter (I’m just a girl), but I would be more interested in your opinions about this letter:

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20040731_collaboration_en.html

  • sad says:

    FWIW (i.e., nothing), I agree entirely with your post, and with most of OH’s comments and your responses. And this comment thread has been mostly free of the sort of ad feminam attacks about which I was whining. You are entirely right, I think, that women’s desires are perverted by today’s romantic comedies, television shows, and movies. pondus meum amor meus.

  • sad says:

    Also the books! But it’s so easy to stay away from such rubbish. And if one reads the right books from an early age, the bad stuff will horrify rather than attract. One can’t avoid brief glimpses of billboards and ads on buses, but it’s not so difficult to practice custody of the eyes.

    On the other hand, women who have not done so are not “carp.” Jesus died for them, and for the woman caught in adultery. Fornication is fornication, sin is sin, and of course needs to be confessed. But there’s not much point to the gospel — and none of us has any hope — if the sin cannot be separated from the sinner. I am not sure how that fits into Zippy’s desire that the permanent consequences of sin be recognized. How would that work in a particular instance? And how could neighbors help a notorious sinner to acknowledge and confess her sin, without trapping her in desperation, and tempting her to commit worse sins?

  • Mike T says:

    I am not sure how that fits into Zippy’s desire that the permanent consequences of sin be recognized. How would that work in a particular instance?

    Sin has four main consequences:

    -Spiritual
    -Mental
    -Physical
    -Societal (family, community, etc.)

    Repentance only deals with the aftermath of the Spiritual. It gets you away from the Hell fire. It does not have a cleansing capacity insofar as it can undo the damage in the other areas. For example an ex-slut who cuckolds her husband and gets pregnant can never undo the real harm she did to him and her children by having another man’s baby while married. They can choose to forgive her, but there is no morally licit way for her to undo the harm she did–the closest thing to an “undo” is a mortal sin (abortion). Going a step further along Paul’s guidance that husbands and wives own each others’ bodies, she has also harmed her husband via the natural wear of pregnancy by another man after she affirmed commitment.

    Obviously that is just one example and with a modicum of creativity you can apply equivalent ones to men. Life abounds with examples of how people may be free in the next life, but pay the price in this one. Convicted felons are another great example, and arguably the most unjust (as whoever has done their time ought to be left alone and fully restored before the law).

  • Zippy says:

    sad:
    Despite your efforts to moderate comments, several of your interlocutors attack the character of every female commenter.

    Preface: I may have missed something in one of the threads; feel free to point it out to me.

    From my POV there are two different things going on.

    One phenomenon is that groups of commenters who know each other from other blogs brought their interpersonal baggage into discussions here. This wasn’t a one-sided affair: I had to redact TMI from the female commenter’s posts because (at least ideally) that just isn’t what we do here. Think of the Oprah show; imagine its opposite; that’s the ideal here.

    The second thing that is going on is the kind of faulty generalizing I discussed recently here, here, and here.

    As far as I am aware I haven’t permitted personal attacks (certainly not on random strangers) without moderation. But time and attention are limited, judgment calls are fallible, and it is likely I have missed something.

    I would like to say something about the relationship between shaming and abortion, but I am not as brave as Gabriella.

    Feel free to do so. I think it is an important subject, and while I share Dalrock’s 30,000-foot view that the dynamic is one of hostage-taking as a way of avoiding accountability – more, of insisting on an environment where there is affirmation of sin or the babies get it – it is also a prudential matter. When it comes to actual hostage situations we have a duty to exercise prudential care, and that certainly includes a situation where the law makes every unborn child a literal hostage.

    It should offend anyone’s modesty (to say the least) that every female commenter must profess her own chastity before posting, though her professions are futile, since she will be doubted in any case.

    Agreed.

  • Pirran says:

    @Zippy
    “You even equivocate on it yourself: “would choose … if possible”, as if to indicate that none in fact choose to be good in reality.
    This is the glossing over to which the OP refers.”

    Hardly “glossing over”. I certainly recognize that women will always try to achieve the best match they can (most men would have no problem with that reality) as I pointed out in my OP. I’m sure we all know female contemporaries who really are trying to do the right thing but repeatedly encounter jaded young men who’ve been put through the ringer and are susequently gun-shy. Peer pressure is a powerful force and those young women that resist it are, unfortunately, not rewarded as well as they should be. This is the reality of a corrupted marriage market. Bad morals drive out good, unfortunately (pace Gresham).

    @Sad
    “But I don’t understand why you engage with the sort of people who put “virtuous” in scare quotes.

    Despite your efforts to moderate comments, several of your interlocutors attack the character of every female commenter”

    Hmmm…After I’ve posted here, I really must get back to stabbing kittens.

  • Zippy says:

    Pirran:
    Hmmm…After I’ve posted here, I really must get back to stabbing kittens.

    Well played. I’ll grant you have a point, in part because the term ‘manosphere’ seems rather squirrelly as a definite referent with definite predicates.

    But give sad her due: putting “virtuous” in scare quotes does tend to imply that it isn’t really a property of real women.

  • […] proposed the idea before that modern romance novels and movies are a form of pornography for women, and that the main […]

  • R says:

    You are sitting here trying to pretend that men don’t do the same? They always have. Men will marry a good-looking prostitute, just to get the looks. They don’t care about anything else.

    Pornography makes them want ‘nothing but the best’, and then you accuse women of the same thing.

    Please look inward

  • […] Dave Barry does a book review of a popular bit of femporn. […]

  • anonymous says:

    People are generally so inattentive that it doesn’t have an effect, or the effect is small.

  • Mike T says:

    Interesting to reread this post with four years added perspective.

    It is frequently claimed that men have started to lose their attraction to real women because of porn. I expect there may be some truth to that, but I propose that the male drive is more primal and “in the moment” and less likely than the female to get ‘recalibrated’ over time through porn saturation or other fantasy.

    The people making these claims often tend to overlook the fact that concurrent with the rise of pornography, the average woman on the street blew up something like 40lb over the same period of time. So much of it may be that for any given delta, the average woman today is actually meaningfully less attractive today than a generation or two ago.

  • Terry Morris says:

    In which case “real women” is synonymous with “obese women,” right Mike T.?

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