Yes, modern men really do love bad boys

April 26, 2014 § 118 Comments

Though he initially seems more aloof and emotionally troubled than his twin brother Aron, Cal is soon seen to be more worldly, business savvy, and even sagacious than their pious and constantly disapproving father … Cal is bothered by the mystery of their supposedly dead mother, and discovers she is still alive and a brothel-keeping ‘madam’  — from the Wikipedia entry on James Dean, captured 4-26-2014.

I know this may be a difficult “red pill” for some to swallow, but modern men really do love their bad boys.  Our society has loved and promoted the status of bad boys for generations: East of Eden came out in 1955.  Rebel Without Cause came out the same year.

The other side of the coin is just what Dalrock says it is: our society also tears down and disdains good men. They are really the same phenomenon, not different phenomena: contrast the description of James Dean’s character Cal to the description of how his father is portrayed in the very same sentence.

The roots go deeper, of course.  The heroes of the American Revolution are the scrappy bad boy rebels who stood up to authority.  The symbology used fits well on the tattoo of a modern biker gang member.

Personally I don’t think it is freakishly nutty to suspect that many women are attracted to the high status of bad boys precisely because liberal society makes bad boys high status.

UPDATE:

The objection that things are the other way around — that men love bad boys because women love bad boys (and women love bad boys because women are just intrinsically sociopathic, perhaps as some vestigial psychological organ left over from evolution) — was previously discussed in this post.  The balance of argument suggests that men love bad boys rebels because of liberalism, and women love bad boy rebels because men love them.  This also has the merit (or detriment, depending on your point of view) of not positing that either sex is intrinsically sociopathic.

This program note brought to you by the deliciously ironic spectacle of self-proclaimed “beta men” who, themselves, admire cads for their foundational wisdom, claiming that “beta men” don’t admire bad boys.  HT Malcolm.

§ 118 Responses to Yes, modern men really do love bad boys

  • Gavrila says:

    Interestingly, the father in Rebel Without a Cause is effeminate and unmasculine. He wears an apron and allows his wife to boss him around. This is a source of grief to the James Dean character in the film.

    In East of Eden, the James Dean character’s source of grief is that the father refuses to take money the former earned through opportunist war profiteering.

    So you have two dichotomies:

    Bad boy rebel vs. the just upright man (who is laughed to scorn, see Book of Job).

    Bad boy rebel vs. the ineffective, unmasculine man.

    Not only does liberal society display a marked preference for the bad boy rebel in all instances but liberal society refuses to recognise distinctions between non-bad-boy-rebels or attempts to collapse these distinctions in popular understanding.

    Both the good man and the weak man have failed to exercise radical personal autonomy. (The good father in East of Eden refuses to get rich on moral grounds, so not a liberal capitalist.)

  • Heck, if the choice is between the effeminate wimp or the rebel bad boy, I’ll follow and emulate the latter every time. That is another of liberalisms strengths: convincing men that those are their only options.

  • Zippy says:

    Beefy Levinson:
    You can have all the masculinity and femininity you want, as long as you’ll take the sociopathic kind that emerges under liberalism.

  • Chad says:

    Men admire strength.

    I often agree with you, but this time you’re painting the picture incorrectly. You’re discussing bad boys and good boys, but they’re both still boys. The bad boys have a rebel strength, yes. They’re tools to their base natures, while good boys are tools to society and the whims of those around them.

    Good men are still valued. The problem is that good men are shaped from the good boys we disdain, or from bad boys who are broken on the rock of God’s truth.

    Until we value and build up the journey of boys to men in a natural, healthy way society will continue to value bad boys as the good boys respond to their strength by raising them up, exactly as you’ve described here and in previous posts

  • Zippy says:

    Chad:
    But the Prophet Townsend spake, and his words broke forth like thunder upon the multitude: “I hope I die before I get old.”

  • Chad says:

    I dont recognize the reference, if it is one…

    If there’s anything that scares me about age, ‘old’ to me is the loss of hope to the point where faith and charity don’t inspire you to act any more.

    The old man who has faith, hope, and charity will never be old to me, for he has a piece of eternal life in his soul

  • Zippy says:

    Chad:
    The Who, “My Generation”, 1965

  • Zippy says:

    To be less oblique, the post isn’t about what we individually admire in men or who we think the men of our age should love.

    It is about who the men of our age in general actually do love, and have loved for generations: bad boys.

  • Chad says:

    On that I whole heartedly agree. I’d say we’ve loved them since the fall, but certainly since the Roman Empire. Simply look at some of the old plays and theatre and you can see glimmers of it, even if they decry the whole thing as madness

    We simply had a more concerted effort to fight such things before.

  • Zippy says:

    Chad:
    I don’t think that men in general can be said to have pervasively loved bad boys since the Fall. Sure, every flaw in Creation is in some sense traceable to the Fall; but elevating loser scumbags to high social status is peculiarly modern, and probably has explanatory value beyond “thus have things ever been.” We could say that divorce has always been with us too, for example: but that is to ignore the qualitative difference in the modern condition.

    Our particular, pervasive love affair with bad boys is a product of liberalism.

  • Chad says:

    Hmmm….

    Maybe. Perhaps what I was seeing was not a pervasive love, but an open acknowledgement of the temptation towards those behaviors while showing what downfalls they led to. I could see that. It is, after all, quiet difficult to see the truths of ancient wisdoms without prescribing either modern thinking or a reaction against modern thinking.

    Ugh. Such traps are why my reading of such texts is set up chronologically, so I can do my best to grow in wisdom as thought grew, and not project onto older texts

  • Of course modern men love bad boys….

    2 Timothy 3:1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, [a]haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of [b]godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

    That which you love you will become like.

  • You can have all the masculinity and femininity you want, as long as you’ll take the sociopathic kind that emerges under liberalism.

    What is a good man or a good woman under liberalism? The images that spring to my mind are the milquetoast doormat who parrots liberal shibboleths about freedom and equal rights, and the ball busting strongindependent career gal.

    As a young(ish) man myself, I tell my heathen friends that Christianity will not only make them good men, but the added cachet of being considered rebels by our liberal overlords, heh.

  • sunshinemary says:

    Zippy, as you probably know, I agree with you that women find bad boys attractive in part because of bad boys elevated status due to the admiration of other men (I don’t think this is the sole reason women are attracted to bad boys, but I think it is *part* of what makes bad boys attractive).

    However, this is not quite accurate, I think:

    This program note brought to you by the deliciously ironic spectacle of self-proclaimed “beta men” who, themselves, admire cads for their foundational wisdom, claiming that “beta men” don’t admire bad boys.

    I don’t believe that his argument is that men don’t admire bad boys. Here is what he writes:

    So which is it? I’m more inclined to go with Cail and Dalrock on this – women like douchebags, therefore the proliferation of douchebags. It’s not the ridiculous “betas like douchebags, therefore women like douchebags.”

    Since when has any woman ever listened to betas about anything?

    What I think he is saying is that even if men do admire bad boys, this admiration does not make bad boys more attractive to women and that women would still be attracted to bad boys even if “beta” men hated bad boys.

    Now, I happen to disagree with him, but I do think we should be clear that this is his argument.

  • sunshinemary says:

    The missing apostrophe in my first sentence above is going to haunt me.

  • Chris says:

    Is it better (if you don’t mind me going a bit Moldbug) to say that the Cathedral likes bad boys?

    Because their motto is “ Epater les bourgouise“: the productive and responsible must be hurt and penalized. Hence their support for those who break and destroy, be they socialists, the feministz, or teh gheyz.

  • Heh, thanks for the hat tip Zippy. That post was mostly written to address jf12’s comments, which seemed to me so obviously self-contradictory that I just couldn’t resist the bait.

  • Zippy says:

    Sunshine:
    Some commenters do seem to outright deny that modern men love, admire, respect, defer to, and envy bad boys. The OP addresses this directly.

    But lets suppose that others do not deny this: that they agree that modern men do love, admire, respect, defer to, and envy bad boys; but they do not believe that this increased social status actually increases (as one cause among some number of causes) the general attractiveness of bad boys to women.

    One approach they might take is to deny that the love, admiration, respect, deferral, and envy of other men increases social status. This is really an ‘analytic’ error, in the sense that it involves basically refusing to understand what social status is.

    Another approach might be to suggest that women don’t (generally speaking) find increased social status attractive. In addition to being opposed to axiomatic manosphere doctrine, this is also just plain false. Women generally speaking do find increased social status attractive (as one reasonably significant factor) in men.

    So I think your proposed interpretation amounts to suggesting that some commenters are simply making incoherent assertions, and tend to make equivocal and mutually incompatible assertions in order to avoid the conclusion that women love bad boys in part because men love bad boys. I am certainly willing to believe that that is the case.

  • Chris says:

    ZIppy: perceived admiration and love by men, yes, drives women. Because they are told men admire and want to be the bad boys.

    Most of us call them something else involving onanism. And kick them out — the “no bastards” rule because psychopaths ruin any team.

    But that, of course, remains under the post modern cone of silence, in the commonwealth.

    If the USA has lost a “no bastards” rule, then you are not circling the plughole, you are already in the sewer.

  • Zippy says:

    Chris:
    Those of us who understand where bad boys really belong in the social hierarchy are few and far between, because liberalism doesn’t allow social hierarchies and liberalism is the context which dominates the thought of most modern people. So the pervasive social hierarchy is still there: it is just sociopathic, as becomes the case, under liberalism, for all unavoidably hierarchical and discriminatory aspects of the human experience.

    Our understanding is irrelevant to the experience of most women, who have never met/read us and instead are formed by their lying eyes. This includes the ‘red pill’ women who read the manosphere and see all the men fawning over Heartiste, Tomassi, et al.

  • Chris says:

    Zippy:

    Agreed. Cannot read Heartiste and Tomassi (and it is not because I am that prudish, to my shame, I find Roosh funny, and Bronan the Barbarian used to make me laugh).

    Was watching a movie called “Lawless” last night — about a family of bootleggers during the Prohibition. They were all played by movie stars and one of them is courting (using bad boy game) the son of the local anabaptist group. But… and this man was a gangster.. he was terrified by those older, forbidding men, as was she. In the depression criminals knew they were on the margins.

    Now they make up the bulk of the Entertainment Channel and women’s magazines. And many women believe what is written in those gossip mags, and want to emulate the famously debauched women within.

  • Mike T says:

    Most of the founding fathers were sober, self-made men unlike “bad boy rebels.” They were men with much to lose and didn’t lightly agree to independence because the cost would be high. Biker gang members by comparison have no responsibility, nothing to lose and rebel because “non serviam” is their general approach to authority.

  • Mike T says:

    What is a good man or a good woman under liberalism? The images that spring to my mind are the milquetoast doormat who parrots liberal shibboleths about freedom and equal rights, and the ball busting strongindependent career gal.

    And milquetoast men are simply not attractive to neurotypical women. Most Christian men today are milquetoast, but imagine themselves to be strong, reliable men who pious women would recognize as Real Men. The only problem of course is that milquetoast men are not strong, reliable or many other positive masculine traits that are incompatible with a bland, timid personality. No small part of the reason why women love bad boys is that bad boys have at least a simulacrum of strength that most men lack today. As Zippy has mentioned, sluts often have a simulacrum of female vulnerability (a trait often deeply lacking in normal women today). In a society where most men are milquetoast and most women are lacking any female vulnerability, there is a perverse rationality in choose in the rebel or slut who has a broken form of desirable traits over the “good person” who is essentially outright lacking the desirable traits.

  • Kathy says:

    I grew up in a tradition Patriarchal Catholic household. Mother and Father attended Mass daily. Still do. Father the head of the household and the breadwinner. Mom, home and looking after husband and kids.

    What a joy to come home after school and have my mom waiting with a nourishing snack and eager to hear about my day at school.

    I had wonderful role models in my parents.

    Don’t read Heartiste, or Tomassi.. What they have to say does not resonate with me. Both on a one way ticket to hell and taking other souls with them.

    ” For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

    Upbringing matters!

  • Ita Scripta Est says:

    I recommend everyone read Christopher Lasch’s Culture of Narcissism” in it Lasch offers a compelling argument that capitalism breeds narcissistic personality disorders by undermining the family.In other words it offers a meticulously documented account of Zippy’s thesis.

  • sunshinemary says:

    So I think your proposed interpretation amounts to suggesting that some commenters are simply making incoherent assertions, and tend to make equivocal and mutually incompatible assertions in order to avoid the conclusion that women love bad boys in part because men love bad boys. I am certainly willing to believe that that is the case.

    You are correct. They are making incoherent assertions (this is not unusual; there are more than a few parts of Unchallengeable Manosphere Doctrine that contradict each other). But the assertion that particular person is making, inconsistent as its implications are with the rest of Unchallengeable Manosphere Doctrine, is not that men don’t love bad boys but rather that women love bad boys irrespective of what men love.

    @ ISE
    That book sounds interesting. I’m going to see if I can get a copy of it via inter-library loan.

  • […] Those of us who understand where bad boys really belong in the social hierarchy are few and far between, because liberalism doesn’t allow social hierarchies and liberalism is the context which dominates the thought of most modern people. So the pervasive social hierarchy is still there: it is just sociopathic, as becomes the case, under liberalism, for all unavoidably hierarchical and discriminatory aspects of the human experience. […]

  • Cane Caldo says:

    Our society has loved and promoted the status of bad boys for generations: East of Eden came out in 1955. Rebel Without Cause came out the same year. […]

    The roots go deeper, of course. The heroes of the American Revolution are the scrappy bad boy rebels who stood up to authority.

    This is what I was talking about here. Are we in agreement now?

    One could make a distinction between cads, from bad boy rebels. I think those distinctions are unnecessary as there is more overlap than distinction.

    One of the things that the codification of Game and its vocabulary has made difficult is the ability to convey that the definition of Beta is “ineffectual cad”. In the same way you speak of everyone being steeped in liberalism generally, specifically in the sexual realm, everyone is a player.

    My impression of the average Men’s Sphere commenter is (when he’s not lying to “prove” that he’s an Alpha) a 35-45yo man–who has been trying to fornicate into a pleasant sexual lifestyle; whether marriage, long-term fornication, or a revolving door of sluts–but has been largely ineffective.

    So a distinction is made that the guy who never had a steady girlfriend in high school, fumbled around twice in college, and then had a decade long dry spell until he married a less-than-desirable woman who turned into a frigid shrew is a Beta, therefore not a cad.

    But he was a cad. He was simply unattractive and twice foolish (both to the spirit of God, and to the spirit of this world) to boot.

    More broadly: I have learned a lot from this series. While I disagree with some important parts of your core assumptions, your case is very clear and has helped me to better understand my own thinking and my own assumptions. Seriously, I am in your debt, and would take it as a kindness it you would not see this as a backhanded compliment, but rather as whole-hearted.

  • …the definition of Beta is “ineffectual cad”

    That is actually a really, really astute observation.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:
    I forgot what precisely I was supposed to be disagreeing with you about. But thanks for the kind words.

  • jf12 says:

    I’m not buying this in the slightest. Women treat bad boys much better than women treat nice guys, not because those nice guys wish they were treated by women as well as women treat bad boys.

  • Marissa says:

    I think Cane hit the nail on the head. What an interesting insight. From a biblical standpoint, would it be wrong to see ” weak betas” as Adam and “bad-boy rebels” as the serpent?

  • jf12 says:

    Betas become more effectual when they finally decide to become more cad-like.

  • King Richard says:

    Beefy,
    “What is a good man or a good woman under liberalism? ”
    Short answer: I don’t care
    Medium answer: since Liberalism rejects the idea of good and evil as absolutes, I doubt they have any coherent idea.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @jf12

    Betas become more effectual when they finally decide to become more cad-like.

    Jesus talks about this phenomenon several times; about how if you’re wicked enough to betray your master, you ought at least be smart enough to let others profit on your skulduggery. Then they, at least, will share your company. Adopting such a strategy, though, is to remove yourself from the company of those who you owe allegiance.

    So if a man is going to be a more effective cad, he better off to sell-out and do it right; that way every cad and every slut can profit from his labor. (The more fornication a person engages in, the more likely they are to do so again.) Just don’t call yourself a Christian, or that behavior righteous.

  • King Richard says:

    Liberalism is about ‘individual liberty’.
    Who is more ‘individual’ than the narcissist? Who has more ‘liberty’ than the libertine? Who is ‘more free’ than the man who has severed all ties of morals, duty, and obligation?
    Who *can* a Liberal admire more than the vicious man?
    ‘Betas are failed cads’. Not a bad analogy – they just aren’t immoral enough, yet.
    So why do women seem to admire “bad boys”. Well, I don’t think nearly all do (I am very cautious about universalizing the experience of middle- to upper-middle class anglospherians speaking of their interactions primarily from the viewpoint of maladroitness) but if they do it is because Liberalism is valued as an ideology and this is just one of the natural consequences of that.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @KR

    ‘Betas are failed cads’. Not a bad analogy – they just aren’t immoral enough, yet.

    Sure they are. They’re like the Middle-Eastern villagers we see in news clips who take up arms; blindly firing shots over the a wall at an enemy they cannot see and therefore almost never hit.

  • King Richard says:

    Cane,
    I did, indeed, laugh out loud

  • jf12 says:

    @Cane, re: “Jesus talks about this phenomenon several times … So if a man is going to be a more effective cad, he better off to sell-out and do it right” yes, for example Luke 16:8, and Rev 3:15. The point is that being nice doesn’t work in this world.

  • King Richard says:

    jf12,
    As someone with training in the field I recommend you give up your current attempts at hermeneutics

  • jf12 says:

    jf12: I agree with you Cane.
    KR: I agree with you Cane, and disagree with jf2. But I think I’m right anyway.

  • Mike T says:

    Most betas are ineffectual cads, but there are plenty of betas who are just decent men who’d like to get a decent looking, feminine girlfriend or wife. I’ve known quite a few Christian betas who in fact were not looking to behave like cads and faced the same level or worse of rejection. Irrespective of the truth of most game claims, there is a socio-sexual hierarchy and the one we have in the modern world is skewed heavily in favor of the men who, for whatever reason, are at the top of their respective pyramid. This plays out even in churches among “chaste people” as you see the girls often drooling over the young men in the worship team or the missionary, but reject the men most suited to them as equals in a marriage.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Mike T

    there are plenty of betas who are just decent men

    No there aren’t. There are very few; perhaps one in a thousand.

    I’ve known quite a few Christian betas who in fact were not looking to behave like cads and faced the same level or worse of rejection.

    No you haven’t; or at least I don’t believe you. I don’t think you’re lying, but I think you don’t know at what it is you are looking.

    Irrespective of the truth of most game claims, there is a socio-sexual hierarchy and the one we have in the modern world is skewed heavily in favor of the men who, for whatever reason, are at the top of their respective pyramid.

    Some men are more attractive than others; for a variety of reasons. I think your beginning statement (“Irrespective of the truth of most game claims”) is meant to suppress an anti-Game response, but there is a strong likelihood that Game is exactly what you have in mind if we were ever to investigate those women, attractive men, and the variety of reasons.

    This plays out even in churches among “chaste people” as you see the girls often drooling over the young men in the worship team or the missionary, but reject the men most suited to them as equals in a marriage.

    I’m having a hard time finding a problem with that. Girls liking those who perform and serve…How is that bad? It seems like you just don’t care much for what women find attractive; which is basically the same thing as saying that you don’t care much for women. No one has a right or a need to marry; not those women and not the men “most suited” to them.

    The fact is that–outside of insular religious communities like Amish, Mennonites, etc.–probably no one has been raised to be chaste for at least one hundred years in the US; and what they’ve been taught is chaste, is actually not.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:

    I’m having a hard time finding a problem with that. Girls liking those who perform and serve…How is that bad?

    Perhaps “beta acceptance” is parallel to “fat acceptance”?

    Reducing sexuality to a marketplace might have a “rich get richer, poor get poorer” effect as Mike T suggests, with the pervasive Great Gatsby banality for everyone that that implies. Upton Sinclair could write “The Jungle” today and replace all the economic experiences with sexual experiences. We may not have the libertarian’s anarchotyrannical dream in regular economics, but perhaps we do in ‘sexual economics.’ We have MGTOW’s going Galt; the date rapes of wrath; etc. etc.

    Traditional monogamy after all is a kind of feudalism in the sexual domain, once we’ve decided to look at things reductively and transactionally. Communism rejects capitalism because it isn’t free and equal enough: because it promises equality but doesn’t deliver. That’s why modern liberals like votes as the currency of power so much more than money; and “one man, one vote” is in a sense parallel to “one man one wife”.

    So a chunk of the manosphere is effectively angling for sexual communism, as a reaction against laissez-faire sexual capitalism. “Game” is supposed to do what universal public education is supposed to do: level the playing field.

    I dunno. Food for thought though.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Zippy

    Perhaps “beta acceptance” is parallel to “fat acceptance”?

    Yes I think so, and it’s not just parallel, but actually co-morbid. There are a lot of fleshy and pasty Betas.

    Not that I’m one to talk. I have the physique of a low-tier pro wrassler from the early 80s; back before steroids but after the advent of all-you-can-eat buffets.

    So a chunk of the manosphere is effectively angling for sexual communism, as a reaction against laissez-faire sexual capitalism.

    Exactly right.

    “Game” is supposed to do what universal public education is supposed to do: level the playing field.

    In the hands of the bitter beta/mediocre acceptance/sexual communists? Yes, exactly. They are the MRA of fornication who believe that good marriages can come from legislating proper sexuality.

    There is no good alternative, though; no good feudalism; no good kingdom; certainly no good democracy. There’s just loving your neighbor. I do not believe there is a system or tradition or thinking to go back to, revive, or whathaveyou that can conquer the cravings for more money, sex, or power, or even restrain some’s cravings for the sake of all’s benefit. I think repentance from liberalism probably only really starts at death.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:

    There is no good alternative, though; no good feudalism; no good kingdom; certainly no good democracy.

    Agreed: the past isn’t a foreign country, because I can visit foreign countries and maybe even go live there.

    But what’s the rallying point? Anywhere but here.

  • Svar says:

    Zippy, what would you consider the archetypal anti-hero? Are they bad boys and is my generation’s love of anti-heroes in our media indicative of how boys and men love bad boys? Because using the example of say Bruce Wayne vs Clark Kent, my friends and I prefer Wayne because of how we consider him to be more realistic both in the fact he has no superpowers but more so with his personality and backstory, in which a young boy who went through a traumatic event of witnessing his orphanage occur before his eyes to grow up to a troubled but highly idealistic and morally-driven man determined to protect the weak from the wicked.

    I partially feel that the Batman stories unintentionally promote traditional values from criticizing the ineffective nature of the modern state, promoting Disraeli-style One Nation Conservatism, and upholding aristocratic values(Bruce Wayne is definitely an aristocrat in the truest sense).

    I suppose my generation likes this particular character because he’s a man against time, a man using modern methods and living in a corrupt modern world but with an attitude and moral sensibility of men from better times. I am however curious to know what your take is though.

  • King Richard says:

    One of the key problems I see is that too many people are beginning their analysis from the inherently Liberal crypto-Feminist framework of ‘alpha/beta’ etc. conjured out of thin air by socially maladjusted Modernists to excuse their lust. Reading someone who states they are trying to be realistic and then say ‘that is beta/alpha/whatever’ is like reading neoreactionaries utter ‘can game theory be used to update the idea of sacred honor?’ – both are evidence that the writer is missing the point.

  • Mike T says:

    No you haven’t; or at least I don’t believe you. I don’t think you’re lying, but I think you don’t know at what it is you are looking.

    You have no idea where I’ve been and who I’ve met, let alone the men I’ve talked to. The best you can offer is to sputter some nonsense about what you think I know.

    I’m having a hard time finding a problem with that. Girls liking those who perform and serve…How is that bad? It seems like you just don’t care much for what women find attractive; which is basically the same thing as saying that you don’t care much for women. No one has a right or a need to marry; not those women and not the men “most suited” to them.

    I take it you’ve never been to an urban or suburban church with a professional worship team that enjoys a rock band-like relationship with the rest of the body. I have. The girls’ attraction is very nearly identical to that which women often display toward secular musicians. It has nothing to do with desiring them for their servant mentality. This is a common experience in many churches with a few hundred or more people in attendance these days.

    The fact is that–outside of insular religious communities like Amish, Mennonites, etc.–probably no one has been raised to be chaste for at least one hundred years in the US; and what they’ve been taught is chaste, is actually not.

    Ever heard of Rumspringa? Seriously, you hold up the Amish when they (and to a lesser extent most Mennonite factions) have a practice that would be shocking to most conservative Christians who are “less chaste?” But since we’ve fallen into a No True Scotsman fallacy regarding chastity, what is the point of even discussing it since “we’re all sluts now?”

    Reading someone who states they are trying to be realistic and then say ‘that is beta/alpha/whatever’ is like reading neoreactionaries utter ‘can game theory be used to update the idea of sacred honor?’ – both are evidence that the writer is missing the point.

    I would agree that an obsession with identifying which class in the hierarchy a certain behavior belongs is ridiculous. However, it is equally ridiculous if not more so to speak of natural male hierarchies and then say “alpha/beta/delta/etc.” simply doesn’t exist and is absurd which is what most of the “anti-gamers” here do. Sure, they’ll say there’s a natural hierarchy but for some reason they froth at the mouth like egalitarian radicals when you use commonly accepted pack hierarchy terms to describe how men tend to organize in groups.

  • Zippy says:

    Svar:

    Zippy, what would you consider the archetypal anti-hero? Are they bad boys and is my generation’s love of anti-heroes in our media indicative of how boys and men love bad boys?

    For the most part yes, though when looking at particulars they have to be particular.

    Keep in mind that ‘art crit’ isn’t a strong suit of mine.

    I think there probably is an archetype ‘antihero’ who isn’t a bad boy rebel (much like there is an archetype ‘shield maiden’ who isn’t a feminist). But it is hard to separate them in the context of modernity.

    Another thing that makes it difficult is that the Good Man is nearly impossible to portray believably in a modern context. Modernity doesn’t allow or respect good men, so any real masculinity has to be portrayed as sociopathic. An exception might be ‘period pieces’ – perhaps some of the old Westerns, for example. But when thinking about that my first thought led to John Wayne, then to the character Rooster Cogburn — an antihero. The best we seem to have in the age of moving pictures are ‘ambivalent’ male characters like Howard Cunningham, Ward Cleaver, Pa Wilder: a kind of assumed background adulthood that provides context, but fades into the bokeh and never quite comes into focus.

    Faramir from The Lord of the Rings is a good masculine character in the book; but the Wingnuts turned him into a whiny my-daddy-doesn’t-love-me ball of pathetic betatude in the movies.

  • jf12 says:

    “It seems like you just don’t care much for what women find attractive” rofl

  • Gavrila says:

    Another thing that makes it difficult is that the Good Man is nearly impossible to portray believably in a modern context. Modernity doesn’t allow or respect good men, so any real masculinity has to be portrayed as sociopathic. An exception might be ‘period pieces’ – perhaps some of the old Westerns, for example. But when thinking about that my first thought led to John Wayne, then to the character Rooster Cogburn — an antihero.

    Shane, Zorro and various early Wayne heroes, yes. They are like updated medieval knights.

    Rooster Cogburn is morally ambiguous. Did he commit atrocities with Quantrill in the Confederate war? It’s hinted that he may have done. Though how about the Texas ranger LaBeouf in the Coen Brothers’ version? He does his duty and even criticises Cogburn’s bad behaviour.

    Raymond Chandler’s detective Philip Marlowe fits the bill. He is tough and smart and good. He is not a sap. Self-employed, he carves out his own niche.

    Here is Chandler:

    “Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid… He is the hero, he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world. ”

    Dashiell Hammett’s detective Sam Spade shades over into sociopathic. Though Chandler wrote after Hammett.

  • Scott W. says:

    Two articles from film critic James Bowman’s article “Making it Official” http://www.jamesbowman.net/articleDetail.asp?pubID=1849

    and “The Hero Vanishes”: http://www.jamesbowman.net/articleDetail.asp?pubID=1861

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Mike

    You have no idea where I’ve been and who I’ve met, let alone the men I’ve talked to. The best you can offer is to sputter some nonsense about what you think I know.

    But I don’t have to know who you’ve met. You’re not the subject under discussion. Who I need to know is Americans, and I interact with a lot of them; from all over the country, and in all parts of the country, many (too many, really) times a year.

    I suppose it is possible you are hanging around a bunch of outliers, but as that phrase is itself an oxymoron–and since you go on to describe urban and suburban churches–it seems to me that my educated guess was true to the mark.

    I take it you’ve never been to an urban or suburban church with a professional worship team that enjoys a rock band-like relationship with the rest of the body.

    Yes, I have. There is zero reason to think there are “decent” men in those churches…

    The girls’ attraction is very nearly identical to that which women often display toward secular musicians. It has nothing to do with desiring them for their servant mentality. This is a common experience in many churches with a few hundred or more people in attendance these days.

    … Case in point: Those women and men are going to church to rock out and get an emotional high. How decent and earnest can any of them be? The search for emotional highs is core to unchastity; so if you find a seeker of the first, the behavior is right behind.

    Second and more importantly: If we are not talking about those folks in the sheerest of veils of “church” to whom you have moved the goalpost, then what criticism are you leveling at women? “Those hoes just like him because he’s charismatic, confident, can sing, and has been given authority and position.” Where is the crime of those women? Might some of them be in lust? Sure. Might most of them struggle to separate admiration from lust? I’m very sure…and good for them. We are all sluts now.

    Ever heard of Rumspringa? Seriously, you hold up the Amish when they (and to a lesser extent most Mennonite factions) have a practice that would be shocking to most conservative Christians who are “less chaste?”

    The tradition of Rumspringa–the practice of setting outside the church body those who are adult but yet not in communion with the church body because they have not made the commitment–is more in accord than with my position; though I do not agree with it because I think it is extreme.

    I have no doubt that what occurs during Rumspringas now is worse than in the recent past. We should expect that in a much less Christian country. The countryside contains more feral animals.

    But since we’ve fallen into a No True Scotsman fallacy regarding chastity, what is the point of even discussing it since “we’re all sluts now?”

    While I understand that the tactic of naming broken debate rules is expedient, it can also be lazy and flippant. There really is no one sinless, and anyone who transgresses one part of the law transgresses the whole of the Law. Sometimes there are No True Scots at all; such as in this case. Yes, we are all sluts now.

    @jf12

    “It seems like you just don’t care much for what women find attractive” rofl

    The Men’s Sphere is brimming with men bitter about the fact that women like men who exceed the other men around them. It’s as foolish as feminists being angry with men for preferring women with better figures; or a fat girl’s moaning that no one appreciates her for her personality like a “real man” would.

  • Elspeth says:

    I liked Rooster Cogburn, as portrayed by both John Wayne and Jeff Bridges.

    Anti-heroes are nothing new, and usually are not morally ambiguous unless you consider perfection the only standard. Being a sociopath and exhibiting less than perfect behavior given the information and options available to you at the time are not synonymous.

    The Bible is full of men who did not behave perfectly all the time. But they were honest it taking responsibility for their shortcomings and striving to be used of God while doing better moving forward.

    When David was on the run from King Saul, he put together an army of a bunch of outlaws, and God used them. Moses thought he was helping his people when he murdered the Egyptian, but God used him anyway. Saul of Tarsus was a rabid persecutor of the early church.

    Perhaps it’s just more exemplification of *women liking bad boys*, but I like antiheroes. Coming back ’round to Svar’s original question: I’ll take Bruce Wayne over Clark Kent.

    Most people do because we identify with frailty and the possibility to do good in spite of it.

  • Zippy says:

    Elspeth:
    I like antiheroes too, FWIW. And shield maidens, for that matter.

    But somewhere in the landscape of James Dean, John Wayne, and Clint Eastwood we started celebrating the leading man’s moral decadence: we started admiring bad boys qua bad.

  • @Svar: in his own way, Batman is portrayed to be as nigh invincible as Superman these days, heh. To switch universes for a moment, the only Marvel character I can think of who is a good man with none of the classic anti-hero traits is Captain America. Even in universe, the other heroes often acknowledge that Cap is the best man they have. I don’t know if that’s how he’s been portrayed in the recent movies though.

  • Zippy says:

    Beefy Levinson:
    Yes, Captian America is a great example (as is LeBeouf from the very well done Rooster reboot).

    But most men would rather be Tony Stark.

  • King Richard says:

    The Dark Knight Rises. Interesting film.
    Through the series of films Batman was consistent in being moral, refusing to kill, taking the blame for others for the greater good, being willing to sacrifice himself for others, etc. After all, he is a superhero from comics – being truly heroic is what that is about.
    We see others who think they are good fail to measure up – a man who wishes to destroy Batman because he disagrees with a decision or two he has made; self-satisfied extremists that think any price is worth paying for their personal vision.
    Bane was also an interesting character. He spoke to those who saw themselves as second-class and told them it wasn’t their fault; that they deserved to be great and people they saw as great deserved to be second-class. He went to the hopeless and gave them hope and, having given it to them, held power over them.
    Of course, bane was using them. His promises of teaching them to be like those they envied was a lie; his followers misunderstood they very thing they envied so when they aped were a mockery. Rather than elevating those who followed him, he coarsened them; rather than improving them he lowered them; once they had what they wanted they were crude and violent, not skillful leaders; they could not build, they could only destroy.
    Of course that was the case! He explanations of why things are the way the ware were lies meant to play to the envy, jealousy, and insecurity of his followers! Of course, he didn’t need to tell the truth, all he needed was to manipulate the emotions of the broken, the weak, and the ignorant. His reasons and explanations only had to reflect their inner fears and appeal to their sinful dreams and truth was secondary. With this skewed, twisted view of why things are and how things work the mob could never be satisfied – they were always looking in the wrong places for the wrong things.
    But it was all blamed on those the mob envied; no matter how many times it was shown to them that Bane’s promises led only to violence and pain they just kept following him, loving his lawlessness, cheering on his crudity, admiring his evil, and taking his vapid utterances as a new gospel.Reason? Logic? They conflicted with what the mob *knew* in its tortured, twisted, envious heart felt.Opposing Bane and his lie was shouted down and mocked, dismissed as someone either too foolish to understand or part of the problem.
    In the end, of course, Bane was only using these poor people to get what he wanted. He cared nothing for them other than what they could provide him. He sacrificed them as needed and was obviously planning to kill the majority of them. All to get what he wanted, to meet his own personal needs.
    Sound familiar?

  • Zippy says:

    Wasn’t Bane also, ultimately, the tool of an amoral woman?

  • King Richard says:

    Zippy,
    How much of an influence has been the erosion of belief in ourselves being capable of virtue? If young men think they can’t be perfect is the anti-hero or the flawed hero the best they feel they can aim for? Once Galahad was said to be impossible did too many settle of Lancelot?
    The princes discovered comics a few years ago and I was surprised at the decline in the quality of writing in many of them. Taking some princes to a convention I asked a writer why he wrote what he did and his reply was [paraphrased],
    ‘I can’t imagine me being as good as Superman. I see being actually good as unrealistic. So I write the best I can imagine myself being because that is more realistic.’
    I would argue this is Liberalism; the inability to not only imagine someone or something greater or better than yourself but also being unable to imagine yourself becoming better than you already are. The end result of ‘personal liberty’ as the touchstone of moral outlook, probably.
    You see similar things here in this thread. Ridiculous outlooks such as ‘since I am not aware of personally meeting anyone as you describe they cannot exist, regardless of the experiential claims of you or others’.

  • Svar says:

    King Richard, I have actually discussed the Nolan films with friends and other correspondents and I have come around to the idea that Batman is like a sort of Christian knight-like figure, Ras Al Ghul and Bane represent the Traditionalist School(Evola, Guenon, Cooraswamy and the like as well as Spengler), and the Joker represents Friedrich Nietszche.

    In all honesty, Gotham, just like it’s real-life counterpart the Modern World was a corrupt and decadent society and that was one thing that the League of Shadows, the Joker, and Bruce Wayne all agreed one. Where they differed was what to do about it. Wayne, believed Gotham could be saved whereas the Joker thought that it’s corruption must be exposed and revealed whereas the League of Shadows thought it must be destroyed in order to create a new civilization upon the ashes of the broken, decadent one.

  • Dalrock says:

    Excellent post Zippy. I think we are getting fairly close in our respective views here. When feminists set out to tear down men (to raise women up), they went after the “patriarchal” forms of status they have complained so much about. The status of the (good) community/business leader, the status of priest/pastor, the status of husband, father, etc. Even if they hadn’t targeted good men, their effectiveness would have been focused here anyway. When launching a campaign in the culture the impact of the campaign will be limited to that which received more formal recognition from the culture. The bad boy escapes this precisely because his caché comes from being outside the more formal approval of the culture. Hollywood is strange because it positions itself as outside the culture, and has focused a great deal of its energy tearing down the formal culture, but yet it is itself an extremely powerful cultural institution.

    Either way, we (collectively) have adopted a habit of tearing down good men whenever the opportunity arises, especially men who hold the position of husband or father. These are pervasive themes through “Christian” movies including Fireproof and Courageous, and they are quite common here in the manosphere. There is a palatable, dripping contempt for married men as a class. There is a constant drip of how worthless/spineless/weak the vast majority of husbands are, and how it is no wonder their wives don’t respect them or submit. Part if not most of this strikes me as a clumsy or not so clumsy form of AMOGing, or preening for the favor of the women reading (real or imagined). I see this from married men themselves (it would be easier for you to submit if you were married to a superior man like me) as well as unmarried men. The reality is nearly all men have to achieve a degree of excellence in order to marry, and very large numbers of men are tough and masters in other aspects of their lives but have followed the evil teaching of the church and culture that the way a good man shows love to his wife is to grovel and submit (do house rules prohibit my referencing Fireproof a second time in the same comment?).

    As I often repeat, calling women to account is hard, and makes you feel like a jerk/bully. Calling men to account is easy, and makes you feel like a hero. The left announced open season on good men, but it is all of us who have collectively joined in the sport of running down husbands everywhere.

    @Mike T
    Most Christian men today are milquetoast, but imagine themselves to be strong, reliable men who pious women would recognize as Real Men. The only problem of course is that milquetoast men are not strong, reliable or many other positive masculine traits that are incompatible with a bland, timid personality. No small part of the reason why women love bad boys is that bad boys have at least a simulacrum of strength that most men lack today. As Zippy has mentioned, sluts often have a simulacrum of female vulnerability (a trait often deeply lacking in normal women today). In a society where most men are milquetoast and most women are lacking any female vulnerability, there is a perverse rationality in choose in the rebel or slut who has a broken form of desirable traits over the “good person” who is essentially outright lacking the desirable traits.

    Tally-ho

    There is truth that husbands are failing, but this dripping contempt for the men who are following the rules is something which grates on me. We live in different parts of the country, but where I live (Texas) and also in the Rocky Mountain West my observation is the problem is far more often not that the man lacks all hardness, but that he has been misled by everyone he trusts into acting differently toward/around his wife than he handles the rest of his life. I’ve been in a congregation of ranchers who were fit, tough men. These men work difficult jobs in demanding climates, and very often hunt, fish, and rodeo (do it, not watch) for entertainment. You can’t fool a horse, and if these men didn’t have solid resolve and a will and knack for leadership they wouldn’t make it through a day on the range. But their wives run the show, and the men are revoltingly obsequious to them. What I see happening with great frequency is the (proper) revulsion to the obsequiousness of the husband is transferred to the man as a whole, and then to husbands as a class.

    @Cane
    They’re like the Middle-Eastern villagers we see in news clips who take up arms; blindly firing shots over the a wall at an enemy they cannot see and therefore almost never hit.

    Well put. I would argue that the key to understanding this is the beta-as-cad adopting the premise that love is what makes sex moral, and therefore he is different than those alpha cads.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    Batman is not an anti-hero. I don’t think there is an anti-hero in this whole discussion…perhaps Rooster Cogburn.

    An anti-hero is not a hero who has foibles, or sometimes does wrong, or did a lot of wrong in the past. Achilles is not an anti-hero. An anti-hero is a character who lacks heroic qualities in general, but is still central to the solution of the plot. Most of the time, if the character does the right thing, or has the right reasons, he’s not an anti-hero. Often times anti-heroes are funny, pitiable, or blundering; either socially or actively. Here’s a short list off the top of my head.

    Jack Burton in “Big Trouble in Little China”
    Captain Ron in “Captain Ron” (great movie)
    Martin Harvey in “Captain Ron” (ibid)
    Laurel and Hardy (and their imitators: Ralph and Norton, Fred and Barney, etc.)
    Gregor Samsa in “The Metamorphosis”
    Riddick in “Pitch Black” (turned into a hero in later films)
    Almost every main character in a Wes Anderson film
    Dobbs, Curtin, and Howard in “Treasure of the Sierra Madre”

  • Svar says:

    “Perhaps it’s just more exemplification of *women liking bad boys*, but I like antiheroes. Coming back ’round to Svar’s original question: I’ll take Bruce Wayne over Clark Kent.”

    I do not think you can honesty say Batman is a “bad boy”. Anti-hero, definitely, bad boy, no. He, like all the other characters that Gavrila mentioned, is an update on the medieval knight. I personally think that Batman provides a decent role model for men in this sick age: Acknowledge the realities but hold to the Ideals.

    One part of about Batman’s personality that can be said to be unrealistic is his ability to still want to fight and give his life for the Ideals even though he can clearly see the realities. Many men in these days are disillusioned and are willing to give into a defeated apathy.

  • Svar says:

    “An anti-hero is not a hero who has foibles, or sometimes does wrong, or did a lot of wrong in the past. Achilles is not an anti-hero. An anti-hero is a character who lacks heroic qualities in general, but is still central to the solution of the plot.”

    Actually, I think Cane is right. That is the literal definition of what an anti-hero is, not and “edgy hero”.

  • Svar says:

    “I like antiheroes too, FWIW. And shield maidens, for that matter.”

    St. Joan of Arc was a shield maiden. I like her.

  • Elspeth says:

    Thanks for the clarification on what an anti-hero is, Cane. I stand corrected.

    That said, I liked Rooster Cogburn (and Riddick for that matter).

    Acknowledge the realities but hold to the Ideals.

    Increasingly hard to do without a firm faith, but yes.

  • jf12 says:

    @Dalrock, “he has been misled by everyone he trusts into acting differently toward/around his wife than he handles the rest of his life.”

    “Curley says he’s keepin’ that hand soft for his wife.”

  • More modern, Artemis Fowl in the first Artemis Fowl novel is an almost classic example of an antihero.

    I may or may not be the only one here amongst you older folks who knows what I’m talking about.

    (I’m 19, you’re all older folks!)

  • Elspeth says:

    @ Malcolm:

    I am older, but as the mother of 18-year-old twins, I am slightly familiar with Artemis Fowl.

  • King Richard says:

    Cane,
    Minor point – for me the most fun of Big Trouble in Little China is that Jack Burton is the sidekick – Wang is the hero.

  • jf12 says:

    According to the oracle
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antihero
    there were antiheroes “in classical Greek drama, as well as in Roman satire and Renaissance literature” and “The collective protests of Sixties counterculture saw the solitary antihero gradually eclipsed from fictional prominence”.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @KR

    Minor point – for me the most fun of Big Trouble in Little China is that Jack Burton is the sidekick – Wang is the hero.

    John Carpenter really did a fun thing with the roles in that movie. It’s all mixed up who is hero and sidekick. You’re right that Wang is the Hero hero, yet it’s Jack who kills Lopan; and that reflexively. If Jack had time to think about it, he’d have stabbed himself. His super-power can only be controlled by someone else.

    It’s like I told my ex-wife: Honey, I never drive faster than I can see; besides that it’s all in the reflexes.

  • Mike T says:

    Cane,

    I can’t argue with a man who knows the hearts of men such that he can say with great authority that none of them are decent men.

    Dalrock,

    The men you described are not milquetoast. They have blinders. Milquetoast men generally do deserve scorn because they are barely fit to be followers.

  • Mike T says:

    Ridiculous outlooks such as ‘since I am not aware of personally meeting anyone as you describe they cannot exist, regardless of the experiential claims of you or others’.

    Cane does his own cause a severe disservice by just saying there are obviously no decent men there. That’s about as idiotic as saying that a woman works in corporate America, thus she must obviously be a liberal slut, possibly even known to advance on her back from time to time.

  • Zippy says:

    Dalrock:
    Thanks. Yes I think we are very close in our views here and are talking about the same basic phenomena, with some variations in emphasis.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Mike

    I can’t argue with a man who knows the hearts of men such that he can say with great authority that none of them are decent men.

    Don’t take my word for it…I’m not.

    Ecclesiastes 7:25 I turned my heart to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the scheme of things, and to know the wickedness of folly and the foolishness that is madness. 26 And I find something more bitter than death: the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and whose hands are fetters. He who pleases God escapes her, but the sinner is taken by her. 27 Behold, this is what I found, says the Preacher, while adding one thing to another to find the scheme of things— 28 which my soul has sought repeatedly, but I have not found. One man among a thousand I found, but a woman among all these I have not found. 29 See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.

    Things have not changed.

    Cane does his own cause a severe disservice by just saying there are obviously no decent men there.

    You speak about “decent” men and “decent” women as if we are all not indecent and that this is the reason we should cover ourselves with clothes, works, and silence. Above all that we should cover each other with forgiveness instead of ranting about a sort of people who do not exist, and if they did we would murder.

    This is a double-minded Christianity that you have where, you know, we’re talking about flouncy spiritual mumbo-jumbo then ok we’re not really decent, but in the real world I’ve seen some decent people. No. That’s not the Christian truth. At all. For real, Mike: There are no decent people out there. That doesn’t mean no one has been wronged, but it does mean that whatever they’re getting short of death is a blessing in some way even if it is a discipline in other ways.

    I don’t think you actually understand my cause; my point of view. My view is that we not owed anything–not even marriage–except death. That we have earned. My view is that marriage is more than a contract of commitment, more than a gift of pleasure, and more than a discipline of pain.

    In this context of indecent people, it is silly to talk of some men or women not finding spouses as if it is a tragedy. In many ways it is a blessing to be so obstructed; whether they realize it or not.

    Men could change society over night. That’s what so frustrating, isn’t it? If men wanted better-behaved women, then if nothing else they could put them over their knees in a flash. They don’t, and they won’t tolerate other men doing so either. Women do not have the opposite power. Yet, which will the “decent” men support in such a scenario? The women, because they want the goods, and darn it we’re such nice guys aren’t we?

    No…there are No True Scots here.

  • Mike T says:

    Cane,

    I am quite familiar with your line of thought. It’s particularly common among Calvinists. If you truly believe that, then can I assume you are intellectually honest and accep the doctrine of the Bondage of the Will?

  • jf12 says:

    “Men could change society over night.” Apex fallacy.

  • Dalrock says:

    Cane, if we can’t distinguish between decent men and bad boys as Christians, then aren’t we furthering the very thing Zippy and I are describing? The young woman filled with desire learns from good men (right here) that there are no good men; boring Steady Eddy is really just a poor copy of exciting Harly McBadboy. If Steady Eddy isn’t even good, or decent, why not go for the exciting one instead? If good men don’t exist, why bother seeking them out?

    I’m with you on the basic question of sin, and even in calling out the betas who are trying (badly) to play in the fornication market under the wicked rationalization that love makes sex moral. But I’m not with you on telling women there are no good, or decent, men.

  • Zippy says:

    Dalrock:
    Well said. All men are sinners, but it is ridiculous to collapse that thought into the notion that all men are equally bad. There are better men and worse men, and we need to stop tearing down the former and building up the latter in the name of some perverse egalitarianism.

  • King Richard says:

    Does the republican hate virtue because acknowledging virtue is denying egalitarianism?

  • Well said. All men are sinners, but it is ridiculous to collapse that thought into the notion that all men are equally bad.

    This sounds suspiciously like a very Catholic/Protestant divide going on here.

  • Elspeth says:

    Having spent my formative and teenaged years in the evangelical church, I understand in an experiential way what Cane is getting at. From a spiritual standpoint, he’s right in ways that most Christians are loathe to admit.

    But practically speaking, there is a real problem with the idea that there are churches full of indecent, unchaste women but decent, chaste men. How can such an environment even realistically exist?

    My experience was that even the most decent and seemingly devout young men were willing and open to make a move when the opportunity presented. And that was 20 years ago since I was single.

    I can’t imagine that it’s any better in this current cultural and church environment. More than a few women committed to chastity have shared with me their shock when dating Christian men to find themselves being pushed up on for sex. Yes, the men claimed they loved them and wanted to marry them, but still.

    One of the women, a long time family friend, has given up rather than compromise and decided that marriage just isn’t in God’s plan for her.

    You guys are missing the point, I think. The reality is that women have more opportunity to indulge their unchaste tendencies, so they do. Many men don’t simply because there isn’t equal level of opportunity.

    Are those men in same category as the cad or the player who beds tens of women or more? No…but yes. Willingness to indulge immorality even once, even with a woman or man you think you’re going to marry, is in God’s economy, sin. Therefore, indecent.

    The mistake we often make, to soothe our consciences I suppose, is that we tell ourselves that because we’re not as bad as all that (all that being those who do worse), we’re decent. I know I’ve been guilty of it on more than one occasion.

    Certainly the man who is overtly caddish does more damage on an external scale and by that measure, he is less decent than the man who was a serial monogamist looking for *the one*. But from a spiritual standpoint, there isn’t a whole lot of difference.

  • Zippy says:

    Elspeth:
    The chaste married man who is taking care of his family is, objectively, a more virtuous and better man than Harley McBadboy. That’s just an observable fact of reality; and if someone’s theology can’t account for the facts then the theology has to change, because reality won’t.

  • Elspeth says:

    Of course that’s true, Zippy. But the chaste married man wasn’t the main character in the dialog between Cane and Mike T (and into which I beg their indulgence for inserting my two cents).

    Mike was making the case that hypergamous, superficial women in churches are overlooking the “decent men”
    in favor of the more outstanding men (using whatever metric to measure “extraordinary”).

    I wasn’t taking married men into account when I commented, frankly. On that issue, I agree with you and Dalrock.

  • King Richard says:

    When I dip my toe into the portion of the internet where earnest, young, Christian women speak to one another it is common for them to complain that men are after sex, all men; that men who appear religious are more focused on a woman’s looks than her piety; that men are manipulative, unwilling to commit, and shallow; that men go out with bimbos and trash because they ‘put out leaving good, chaste women to languish’.
    When I dip my toe into the part where earnest, young, Christian men are they speak of shallow, flighty women who are attracted to ‘bad boys’; that they are more focused on looks than piety; that women who appear religious are really just interested in a good time until they can settle down with a good provider; that women are manipulative and shallow.
    I will speak of theology in a parish and in the social hall will meet young men who are Very Serious as they speak of not being able to find a good wife, that they are chaste and devoted but the women are shallow and unreasonable. I get coffee in the same social hall and the young women come to me, Very Seriously, and complain that the men are shallow and unreasonable and not interested is a chaste, devoted woman.

    I am often asked,
    ‘Who would be better for [X country], Labour or Conservative/Liberal or Labour/Democrat of Republican/Christian Democrat or Social Democrat?’
    And I usually reply,
    ‘You are asking the wrong question. The real question is ‘why is it that no matter who I vote for things never truly get better?”
    The idea that no man is moral is ludicrous on its face. So is the idea that all women are shallow, grasping creatures.
    ‘Why do men aspire to be bad boys and why do women find them attractive?’ is the wrong question, really. The real question is
    ‘Since the modern method of finding a mate is obviously broken why are we participating in it?’

  • Zippy says:

    Elspeth:
    Got it.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Dalrock and Zippy

    Cane, if we can’t distinguish between decent men and bad boys as Christians, then aren’t we furthering the very thing Zippy and I are describing?

    The meat of the argument between Mike T and I–to me–is not whether we can distinguish between decent men and bad boys, but the idea that decent men are being in some way oppressed, or maligned because the sluts (we “know” they are sluts because they like bad boys) won’t marry them. That’s absurd. They ought to be thanking God they have been spared.

    As Zippy pointed out, that argument is like the confused argument of the college communist who says money corrupts everything and should be abolished, and then complains that what is needed is for everyone to share their money; by force if necessary. Why?

    If Mike or anyone else wants to talk about unfairness, then we need to talk about real unfairness, and real fairness. That means sin, death, forgiveness, life, etc.

    It’s not unfair that women don’t want to marry some segment of men. It just is; even if those women are foolish. This is the flip-side of the complaint from women that there are no good men out there, and I would argue it the same way: “What are you talking about lady? Are you so good?”

    There’s a subtextual issue here: You guys prefer to speak in impersonal terms along which perhaps we can find some bright lines (taking into consideration Zippy’s caveats about bright lines), or at least some solid guidelines. I don’t think they’re very effective for most people because most people aren’t in Internet discussions (or any discussions) for impersonal reasons. Mike T (for example; not picking on him) has a real and obviously personal beef with how women in particular go about mating. Now, he might be happily married with 10 kids; I don’t know. But either way somewhere this has affected his life in a negative way, and he’s motivated about it.

    I’m with you on the basic question of sin, and even in calling out the betas who are trying (badly) to play in the fornication market under the wicked rationalization that love makes sex moral. But I’m not with you on telling women there are no good, or decent, men.

    That’s an answer to a question that never needs to be asked, though; it’s the wrong question. It’s at least so abstract that as to be nearly useless. It’s never, “Is he a good enough man for a woman to marry?” It’s never even “Is he a good enough man for me to marry?” It’s usually, “Do I desire him enough to get married?”; which has unsatisfactory answers since we hardly practice marriage. What it should be–and what we should hold women to–is, “Do I desire him enough to surrender my life to him?”

    Is anyone “good enough” for anyone else? We can’t even answer that question honestly because the answer is hidden, and I think it’s hidden for our benefit. What we’re tinkering with when we start talking about So-and-so being good enough is our judgment of God’s plan. Zippy once said that someone like Roissy does not deserve a virgin. I thank God I do not get what I deserve, and I think it’s foolish to preemptively pronounce judgment on what God is going to do with His creation. He either brings them together in marriage, or he doesn’t. The Bible says He does.

    @Mike

    I am quite familiar with your line of thought. It’s particularly common among Calvinists. If you truly believe that, then can I assume you are intellectually honest and accep the doctrine of the Bondage of the Will?

    You are always looking for trouble. Is the Bondage of the Will God-breathed Scripture that I must rectify myself to it? No. Intellectual honesty is not about following the train of thought of some man who was not a prophet of God. That train might be going anywhere.

  • Svar says:

    “‘Since the modern method of finding a mate is obviously broken why are we participating in it?’”

    This is a very good point. However, what are the alternatives, King Richard? What must a young man or woman do to find a good mate other than just finding, getting, and screening dates?

  • CJ says:

    What must a young man or woman do to find a good mate other than just finding, getting, and screening dates?

    Marriages arranged by parents/church/community. Not endorsing it, just pointing out that it’s an alternative.

  • Svar says:

    “Marriages arranged by parents/church/community. Not endorsing it, just pointing out that it’s an alternative.”

    Yes, I know that’s an alternative as is traditional courtship but that presumes that we belong to tight knit communities and churches. Personally, the hookup culture amongst my generation is deeply pathological but we must make due with what has been given to us and by that, I mean dating not hooking up. I’m simply sticking to what I know in this time and age and that is to find girls, get dates, and screen out the sluts. Arranged marriage and courtship can not work in a damaged, alienated society where there is no true sense of community.

  • jf12 says:

    Re: “Do I desire him enough to surrender my life to him?” and “What must a young man or woman do to find a good mate other than just finding, getting, and screening dates?”
    My pastor refuses to matchmake if it’s the man that comes to him saying he’s heard from God about Miss Susie and would he help him pray that Susie realizes it’s God’s will.

  • Mike T says:

    Cane,

    The meat of the argument between Mike T and I–to me–is not whether we can distinguish between decent men and bad boys, but the idea that decent men are being in some way oppressed

    You’re all over the place, and in this particular case the meat of the argument is whether or not decent men even exist. By your own words and defense of the same, you deny the existence of decent men in the overwhelming majority if not all churches. Thus this very comment of yours is nonsensical within the frame of discussion because according to your earlier argument, there are no decent men to oppress in the first place.

    One irony of this thread is that you think I regard them as oppressed while Dalrock thinks I regard most decent men with contempt. So one thinks I regard them as objects of pity while another scorn.

    Is the Bondage of the Will God-breathed Scripture that I must rectify myself to it? No. Intellectual honesty is not about following the train of thought of some man who was not a prophet of God. That train might be going anywhere.

    If there are no decent men, then there are no gradations of men with respect to sin and separation from God. If there are no gradations, then all men are of a kind with the depraved. If all men are of a kind with the depraved, then total depravity is a true doctrine. If total depravity is a true doctrine, then it must necessarily follow that the only mechanism by which man comes to God is by irresistible grace.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Mike

    You said:

    Most betas are ineffectual cads, but there are plenty of betas who are just decent men who’d like to get a decent looking, feminine girlfriend or wife. I’ve known quite a few Christian betas who in fact were not looking to behave like cads and faced the same level or worse of rejection. Irrespective of the truth of most game claims, there is a socio-sexual hierarchy and the one we have in the modern world is skewed heavily in favor of the men who, for whatever reason, are at the top of their respective pyramid. This plays out even in churches among “chaste people” as you see the girls often drooling over the young men in the worship team or the missionary, but reject the men most suited to them as equals in a marriage.

    Are you, or are you not, talking about the same men in those bolded parts?

  • Mike T says:

    Yes, but it doesn’t logically follow that I see oppression in that last statement. A more accurate conclusion, in light of other comments of mine, is that I merely find it stupid.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Mike

    Yes, I know it doesn’t logically follow, but that’s ok because logic doesn’t have much to do with the discussion.

    I can’t say what it is you have meant to say in the aggregate of your comments, but it has seemed to me that your negativity about the situation goes well beyond finding what those women do as merely stupid, and into the realm that those men are being wronged.

    Haven’t you made a number of comments to the effect that others and even Zippy have no sympathy for the plight of what you are here calling “decent men” in their plight to find a wife? Doesn’t a call for sympathy carry with it the strong implication that they are being wronged? And since it is women’s choices that are causing this sympathy-calling situation, doesn’t that mean that it is these women who have wronged those decent men? Is that fair to say?

  • Svar says:

    “My pastor refuses to matchmake if it’s the man that comes to him saying he’s heard from God about Miss Susie and would he help him pray that Susie realizes it’s God’s will.”

    I’m sorry, but I do not understand what you mean by this. Could you please clarify?

  • Here’s another, llittle talked about answer to the problem. Okay, it’s somewhat talked about, but almost always in a negative way (with few exceptions).

    Ready?

    Don’t get married.

    Problem solved.

    It’s not the most important thing in the world. If you find somebody worth marrying who is also interested, and you don’t think you’re called to a life of celibacy, marry them.

    If you don’t or can’t find such a person? Don’t get married.

    Believe it or not, it’s a live option.

  • jf12 says:

    @Svar, clarifying as requested. Uniformly throughout the United States, and much elsewhere, Christian women are even pickier than nonChristian women, and often MUCH pickier. Literally none of athe hundred seemingly fine young men in a woman’s own church are appealing enough for her.

    Roughly speaking, any given pastor of any given denomination is going to field at least a hundred requests from various young men, each about helping him to discern God’s will for him and Susie, for every one time Susie lyingly comes to pastor and says “None of the men in our church are interested in me. But there’s this one guy who doesn’t go to our church and …” The pastor is duty bound not to disclose what ought not to be disclosed, unfortunately, so his hands are tied. He can’t tell so many young men “Susie’s not any more interested in you than she is in your mangy dog.” without those men completely giving up sooner than ever. Similarly, he can’t up and publically call out Susie for being such a picky liar without losing her trust and the rest of the women’s ire.

    The ONLY time I’ve ever heard about pastoral matchmaking being a success is if the woman comes to him first. “I’ve been thinking a lot about Johnny lately. I mean a lot. I wonder if you might have heard if he’s thought about me.”

  • King Richard says:

    Svar,
    Cane touched on this, too. The issue is about
    -asking the right questions
    -being virtuous in how you address them
    There are some crazy ideas out there that make no sense yet we cling to them because everyone else is doing them.
    One thing I like to point out in my lectures is a simple fact that was almost universally known until the last few generations –
    Love is an act of the will.
    You know that guy. We all know a guy like this,
    That Guy: ‘I am so in love with her! What should I do? I mean, I love her SO MUCH!’
    You: ‘Well, what does she like?’
    That Guy: ‘How would I know? I have never spoken to her’
    That isn’t love. That is infatuation. Love (agape) is the decision to care for another in a selfless manner
    Seem simple?
    It isn’t. Think about it – infatuation and lust (eros) are feelings and outside of one’s conscious control. Caritas is the general love/care for people and storge (love between blood relatives) are also acts of will strongly prompted by emotion. But what we would call romantic love, agape, is a choice that is made.
    Yes, eros is nice and can lead you to seek someone out. So can caritas. But marriage, relationships, require agape; a decision.
    Dating (and Game) is about eros, openly and explicitly. “Hook up culture” is ‘I like eros. A lot.’ Game is ‘read my book to maximize your eros!’.
    The discussion of ‘is dressing like a slut slutty enough to make you a slut?’ is missing the real question – ‘can maximizing eros lead to agape?’
    The well-known answer is ‘maybe, if you are lucky, but probably not’.
    Can agape lead to eros? The well-known answer is ‘almost always, barring clinical paraphilia’.
    Christianity is about agape. Marriage is about agape. This is why ‘Christianizing Game’ is almost meaningless. As a theologian it sounds like ‘Baseballizing Football’. Sure, they both have rules, defined fields, and use balls but you can only use your hands and arms in baseball and can’t use your hands and arms in football’.

    Before it starts let me remind you; being well-groomed, well-spoken, socially competent, a good conversationalist, courteous, etc. are part of being virtuous. This statement is not ‘well, just get it’ or ‘nothing else matters except x’ or anything like that. This is about telos – ultimate goals. For a Christian (or a marriage-minded person) the telos is agape.
    Are you evaluating potential spouses on their character?
    Let’s back up a step.
    Are you evaluating potential partners as potential spouses?
    Let’s back up further.
    Are you evaluating potential dates as potential spouses?
    Nope, two more steps
    Is your self-development about being a good potential SPOUSE or on maximizing your self-perceived eros towards others?
    THEN look at the opposite sex as potential spouses, then etc.

  • Svar says:

    @jf12

    Thank you, I understand now.

    @ King Richard

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying “game” is the answer. People got married without Roissy to teach them how and young people who’ve never heard of him still get married. I’m just saying that dating(without sex) different girls and screening out the slutty ones as well as the incompatible ones to find the one that is the best for you and whom your the best for.

    “Before it starts let me remind you; being well-groomed, well-spoken, socially competent, a good conversationalist, courteous, etc. are part of being virtuous. This statement is not ‘well, just get it’ or ‘nothing else matters except x’ or anything like that. This is about telos – ultimate goals. For a Christian (or a marriage-minded person) the telos is agape.
    Are you evaluating potential spouses on their character?
    Let’s back up a step.
    Are you evaluating potential partners as potential spouses?
    Let’s back up further.
    Are you evaluating potential dates as potential spouses?
    Nope, two more steps
    Is your self-development about being a good potential SPOUSE or on maximizing your self-perceived eros towards others?
    THEN look at the opposite sex as potential spouses, then etc.”

    Of course. Like seeks like and if you’re virtuous, you’ll attract a virtuous woman.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Mike

    I do hope you answer my question.

  • Mike T says:

    And since it is women’s choices that are causing this sympathy-calling situation, doesn’t that mean that it is these women who have wronged those decent men? Is that fair to say?

    My sympathy toward them doesn’t cause me to actually regard the women as harming them. No man has a right to a woman’s affections except when one has married him. I also have some concern because I see a dangerous social phenomena at work, and generally see conservatives ignoring it or twisting it into something it isn’t. One rockstar scumbag can impregnate 50 beautiful women and cripple or destroy their MMV for 49 men who might have married them. Conservative generally ignore the fact that gender differences mean a minority of men can effectively destroy the “marriage market” if they really want.

    Probably my biggest theological and moral difference with most of you is that I believe there is no point to virtue apart from a relationship with God. So to me, game may not be morally neutral, but due to the fact that the secular man who refuses to take the positive step of embracing Christ is going to Hell anyway, I’m not going to jump around telling him to be virtuous except in the context of finding Christ.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Mike

    Thanks for responding. However; your language (dangerous, cripple, scumbag, destroys [twice], etc.) suggests that you do in fact regard harm being done. As it is the women making these choices, then I don’t understand why you don’t just own it.

    Probably my biggest theological and moral difference with most of you is that I believe there is no point to virtue apart from a relationship with God.

    I agree with you, actually. Paul says, “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” If the Christian life is virtuous, and virtue is inherently worthwhile–virtue has merit apart from God–then why should we be most pitied?

  • Marissa says:

    I also have some concern because I see a dangerous social phenomena at work, and generally see conservatives ignoring it or twisting it into something it isn’t. One rockstar scumbag can impregnate 50 beautiful women and cripple or destroy their MMV for 49 men who might have married them.

    Looks like Mike T is saying the women’s choices are harming themselves (and clearly their bastard children), not necessarily the potential suitors. What’s dangerous in his scenario is that women and the unmarried man are violating God’s law against fornication, which has long-term ramifications in this world. Clearly a man willing to father bastard children is a scumbag, as he is not only in violation of God’s law, but is condemning his children to a life more likely to include criminality and abuse. A woman who fornicates and bears illegitimate children cripples and destroys her marriage value because that value should be predicated on her chastity, according to, you guessed it, God’s law.

    I think some people do make Western civilization, a virtuous society or Christendom their god, as opposed to Christ. There is certainly a lot of focus on it in the “manosphere’s” appraisal of modern society. That doesn’t mean the virtuous life should be thrown out the window, or that laws against fornication and adultery should be thrown out. A good society would punish the cads and sluts in Mike T’s scenario, not only because their behavior is morally wrong (in that sense that it offends God) but because temporal consequences of that behavior disrupt everything.

    How well can the Church perform her duties when her members disrespect her teachings? How well does society perform with a very large number of unmarried young men? Dalrock’s recent “douchebag” post seems to echo that issue. I wonder sometimes, should we not encourage virtue and punish vice, because it reminds people of God’s law and helps to keep the Church well-ordered? Or should we just say “you’re not owed anything” and that’s it? Of course no one’s owed a spouse, but a society that encourages marriage and punishes fornication can help with that “marry or burn” maxim.

    I apologize for the long post, but I do wonder what laws are appropriate and how to think about this issue. The men and women of this world are not atoms, and the choices women make affect men, potential spouses or not, and vice versa. The “you’re not owed anything” argument echoes “am I my brother’s keeper?”. You owe God and your neighbor love–the greatest example of that is a virtuous life.

  • Mike T says:

    Thanks for responding. However; your language (dangerous, cripple, scumbag, destroys [twice], etc.) suggests that you do in fact regard harm being done. As it is the women making these choices, then I don’t understand why you don’t just own it

    I think it’s harm only in two senses: limiting their mating choices and increasing the public welfare obligations. The former is a harm in the abstract, but in reality they have no right to demand the women not do it anymore than the women have a right to tell the men to not become MGTOW, celibate priests, etc.

    That said, I think welfare should be eliminated after about 1-2 years for such women. It is simply immoral to make men support other men’s bastards, especially in the climate we have today where we all but celebrate the creation of bastards (and many do in fact celebrate it).

  • Retrenched says:

    I dunno, it’s kind of a chicken and egg thing. You’re arguing that women are drawn to bad boys because other men hold them in high regard, but you could just as easily argue that men hold bad boys in high regard because so many women are drawn to them.

  • Retrenched says:

    Further, if your premise were true then the phenomenon of Christian women falling for worldly bad boy cads — who are certainly not respected by the men these women grow up around and are taught to respect — would be almost unheard of, and not nearly as common as it is in reality.

  • Retrenched says:

    But another factor to consider here is how masculinity and maleness is effectively being criminalized in the west. There are few socially acceptable ways for young men in the modern feminist west to advertise their masculinity to the world, so many ultimately decide that the only way to be a ‘real’ man nowadays is to be a rebel, an outcast, etc.

  • Zippy says:

    Retrenched:
    Those two issues – the proposal that men love bad boys because women love them and that the only expressions of masculinity allowed under liberalism are sociopathic expressions of masculinity – are addressed in earlier posts linked in the OP.

  • sunshinemary says:

    Time to play Manosphere Jeopardy.

    I’ll take “Stuff Bad-Boy Alphas Lionized by Other Men Say” for 200 points.

    Here’s the answer:

    …be a man strong enough that other men look up to him. Then he can get pussy.

    So, what was the question?

    🙂

    Zippy:

    So I think your proposed interpretation amounts to suggesting that some commenters are simply making incoherent assertions, and tend to make equivocal and mutually incompatible assertions in order to avoid the conclusion that women love bad boys in part because men love bad boys. I am certainly willing to believe that that is the case.

    Oh, so am I, sir, so am I.

  • Zippy says:

    Sunshine:
    To the beta orbiters of the bad boys, it is true when the bad boy says it but false when a grownup says it.

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