You’ve Come a Long Way Down, Baby!

(This is a repeat of last Friday’s post with some new paragraphs added)

A few comments, in no particular order, sparked by this article:

Guys versus Men: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704409004576146321725889448.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

Hat tip to Catholic and Enjoying It. http://markshea.blogspot.com/2011/02/fascinating-piece-on-guys-vs-men.html

The money quote:

I see [puerile shallowness] as an expression of our cultural uncertainty about the social role of men. It’s been an almost universal rule of civilization that girls became women simply by reaching physical maturity, but boys had to pass a test. They needed to demonstrate courage, physical prowess or mastery of the necessary skills. The goal was to prove their competence as protectors and providers. Today, however, with women moving ahead in our advanced economy, husbands and fathers are now optional, and the qualities of character men once needed to play their roles—fortitude, stoicism, courage, fidelity—are obsolete, even a little embarrassing.

Today’s pre-adult male is like an actor in a drama in which he only knows what he shouldn’t say. He has to compete in a fierce job market, but he can’t act too bossy or self-confident. He should be sensitive but not paternalistic, smart but not cocky. To deepen his predicament, because he is single, his advisers and confidants are generally undomesticated guys just like him.

Single men have never been civilization’s most responsible actors; they continue to be more troubled and less successful than men who deliberately choose to become husbands and fathers. So we can be disgusted if some of them continue to live in rooms decorated with “Star Wars” posters and crushed beer cans and to treat women like disposable estrogen toys, but we shouldn’t be surprised.

My comment:

The article looks mainly at economic causes for the social decay described. She underestimates the role of ubiquitous porno, ubiquitous fornication, and the influence no-fault divorce has on the institution of marriage, and therefore on the desirability of marriage.

The easy virtue of modern women means young men no longer have the steed of Eros drawing the chariot toward the marriage bower. Why buy the cow when the milk is free? And the easy virtue of the court system means young men contemplating nuptials act against their own self interest: Eight out of ten divorces are initiated by the wives, and the hubby, when he has done no wrong at all, can by a simple fiat of the court be turned from a father into a mere provider of child support not allowed to see his children.

While I cannot fault the process of looking for economic causes of social trends, I tend myself to place more weight on philosophical causes to explain changes in the default social philosophy.

I submit that people are talked into beliefs as individuals and therefore as groups, rather than brought to believe beliefs because an economic incentive makes it easier.  The greater the number of believers who are talked into the same idea, the less likely any one given person speaking the idea in the public square to encounter any question or challenge to it.

At some point a critical mass is reached and there is little need to continue to defend or question the idea: it because the default assumption, an unquestioned social norm. Anyone who does not accept the default norm can be scorned as a nonconformist, and need not be answered, merely insulted. The belief then is passed along to the young, who, being young, accept it without question, and are usually unaware of the reasons, whatever they were, that originally made the notion persuasive. When questioned in turn, the young cannot defend the idea, but flounder if a Socratic gadfly asks for the idea to produce its credentials.

Such is human nature, and this is the way we treat ideas whether those ideas are true or false, young or old. The effort of intellectuals is to test every idea, young or old, true or false, as if it is newly minted and unknown, and to ask it to produce its credentials. This in turn has a perverse incentive. Ideas easy to defend on the basis of abstraction reasoning are disproportionately favored and celebrated by intellectuals, who like philosophical “systems” or models with clear axioms and clean, unambiguous conclusions, even if wildly disconnected from the real world. Ideas difficult to defend on the basis of abstract reasoning, such as the accumulated wisdom we call the common sense, on the other hand are disproportionately disfavored and scorned by intellectuals.

To ask, “What makes you think you think?” takes only six words; “Prove free will exists!” takes only four; “What is truth?” only three. To conduct a rigorous philosophical investigation and defense of such axiomatic notions as self-awareness, self-will and the objectivity of truth would require three, four and six volumes, and even then may not exhaust the topic.

Philosophers moored to the common sense of tradition avoid this perversity; intellectuals delighted with the airy cloudscapes of fickle fads delight in it.

One person at a time, the intellectuals persuaded a sufficient critical mass of persons with a neurotic aversion to matters of common sense — would that there were a simple term for such a syndrome, something like mundophobia or ratiophobia— so that common sense fell under the social condemnations reserved, in non-neurotic societies, for the nonconformists whose ideas eroded, rather than upheld, the social order.

The main erosion of the social order in the modern day is the attack on the sacrament of marriage. It has been replaced. The unspoken and unquestioned default assumption of modern society is that unrestricted sexual license blithely unconcerned with consequences is the only behavior-pattern compatible with the dignity and equality of women, and the liberty of men.

Since the Sexual Revolution and the general philosophical Revolt Against Reality vanguarded by Nietzsche and his ilk, the default assumption of our society is that any difference between men and woman is (1) a social fiction rather than a biological or psychological reality and (2) an exploitative trick of the powerful men over the weak and innocent femvictims: and any femvictim who wants to be a homemaker and mother and raise kids is a traitress to her sex.

I often haunt website discussing comic books, particularly from the ‘Silver Age’ which was an era of unabashed silliness. The superheroines in those days acted like normal women, that is, they did not hate their sex. Lois Lane wanted to marry Superman and be Mrs. Man (or whatever. Mrs. El?). Marvel Girl used her Way Cool Mind Powers to do housework.

The websites without exception scoff, roll their electronic eyes, do the head-into-desk forehead swan dive of total disgust, and cough with the same embarrassment modern but loyal Virginians are wont to cough when Yankees visitors to our parlors find the finely painted portrait of grandpappy Jefferson Davis LeGris laying the lash on the back of cringing darkies. The unspoken and unquestioned social norm of modern society is that marriage is exploitation and that motherhood is serfdom, and that to expect girls to grow up to be mothers is an insult. (But why is it no insult to expect boys to want to grow up to be fathers?)

Similar howls either of scorn or rage issue from the mouths of such websites when superheroines do their laundry.

Although how is this different from when Peter Parker has to sew his Spidey costume? Or when Clark Kent has to sit in traffic on his way to work? Or when Green Hornet or Doctor Strange has his Oriental manservant prepare his clothing, or when Bruce Wayne has Alfred press his tuxedo … OK, nevermind, forget I mentioned those last example.

The upshot of it is, that is considered degrading, by modern standards, to show Supergirl doing household chores, but not degrading to show Superboy doing farmboy chores. Well, OK, Supergirl was raised in an orphanage, not in a home, and Wonder Woman raised in a palace on Paradise Island as a princess with servants, so neither of them did housework per se … OK, nevermind, forget I mentioned those last examples.

This hatred of womanhood, home-making and marriage is a sinful social norm from the Christian viewpoint, since it is pride, the very sin of Lucifer; from the pagan viewpoint it is hubris, and the immodesty that would offend Artemis, Athena, and Vesta, virgins and patronesses of chastity; and from the Darwinian viewpoint discouraging reproduction and childrearing for an altricial species is an inferior survival strategy for the race.

Our society cannot make the woman more masculine – all that happens when it is attempted is that women become bitchy, selfish, unfeminine, unsupportive, aggressive – so society makes men more feminine, so now men are no longer stoical or expected to bear pain stoically.

Men have stopped hazing each other, and we men (with the possible exception of the brotherhood of the military) no longer form strong male friendships based in shared danger and pain.

Since I myself am not only an intellectual, and therefore adverse to danger, pain, and physical exercise, I am also a sciffy geek, and thus I speak only on the basis of remote rumors I have heard of things other men do, like grow up. Meanwhile, I am busy reading comic books and pulp space opera.

But I can speak from personal experience that women do not particularly care for girlish or childish men, even if the cult of egalitarianism tells them they should.

Even geekish guys are accounted ‘masculine’ by geekish women if we act the part. We do not need to punch out a masher, or strangle a man-eating llama barehanded, but we may need to go online and flamewar that Kyle Rayner is not the real Green Lantern if some Troll arguing against the point made our GF weep.

I agree with St. Paul that wives should submit to their husbands.

St. Paul on Marriage

Why? I actually think it is natural and even romantic for a woman to surrender to a man. Men seek mates by pursuing, and women seek mates by alluring.

Just as a matter of cold statistics, the woman’s chance of getting deeply involved with an uncommitted and insincere lover is greater if she pursues him and he pursues her at the same time. But if she flees and plays coy, she can at least gauge something of his mettle and his persistence.

If I may be a little cold hearted about the matter, there is an underlying economic calculus involved. If women in society are the pursuers rather than the pursued, and if men are shallow, wanting only physical congress with attractive nymphs, then no woman can demand a very high price for yielding her favors to the suitor.

Traditionally, the price women and their fathers demanded was high indeed: “I will couple with you only if you love me, and agree and vow to cleave to me, forsaking all others. And if the coupling produces a child (which is the natural outcome of sex), you will devote your entire life to producing and protecting a home wherein to raise that child, and it must be a loving home.” Such a thing ordinary prudence would demand, even leaving the morality of it to one side. But the price she asks is high. In return for one moment of ejaculation, our  Lothario must vow lifelong love and fidelity?

Feminine Ideal in Your Mother’s Day

But suppose nine out of ten of the other women in society, equally as nubile, fertile, young and filled with gaiety and loveliness lower their asking price. Suppose the sweet young nymphs say to him, “I will couple with you merely on the off-chance that one day you might come to love me. And if the coupling produces a child, like Medea I will butcher him, and you do not even need to drive me to the abortion clinic. You may have all the pleasure of the sexual congress, I will bear all the costs and pain of any unpleasant outcomes entirely alone. Modern women are enlightened! We want to be alone and unloved and treated like meat sacks to service the degrading pleasure of the lowest form of masculine life. I will buy the condoms.”

Feminine Ideal in Your Day

Even a man who, at first, might like to adhere to some minimum standard of civilized prudence, if not decency, or who has at least a trifling concern that his child not be murdered and his tiny, dismembered body thrown in the incinerator without benefit of Christian burial, is now under a powerful disincentive to seek out women who ask the higher price.

I speak not in the abstract, but from experience: most of my unhappily unmarried bachelor friends cannot find a mate, because the modern woman is too eager to prostitute herself without pay, and she has no patience with chaste men, rare though they are. At least one bachelor friend of mine has complained that he cannot get to know a woman well enough to establish a steady emotional relationship with her (what the ancients called “philos”) because she is too eager for a sexual relationship (“eros”). Modesty forces philos and eros together to produce self-sacrificial love (“agape”): Modesty in women means the man must befriend his beloved before he embraces her. Immodesty, despite what moderns claim about the matter, forces eros and philos into divorce.

Romance is a combination of eros, philos and agape. Despite modernity, most girls still want romance, and most still want marriage. (Most still want babies, but it is a rare woman willing to stand up to social scorn and admit the same in public.)

Therefore romance requires that women be feminine, which means, they allure and flee like nymphs, with many a coy backward glance of sultry eyes over the shapely shoulder, while men, like so many fauns, satyrs and priapic tityroi, galumph after on our crooked shaggy legs, panting.

Title IX Mandates Co-Ed Wrestling. Satyrs Love It.

The chase of the mating dance is not possible unless the male is fleeter of foot—the woman cannot be too slow in her escapes, lest she be undervalued. And if the contest ends with the male giving up and limping away, the romance is over; whereas if the contest ends when the female giving up, and, pretending to fall, falling prettily into the surprised man’s hairy arms, the romance is consummated. If not Darwin and if not the Titan Prometheus or whatever Creator defined human nature, then cold economic calculation of finding fit mates ties the feminine desire to flee and be caught into her desire for romance. She wants to yield.

Obviously, a girl cannot yield to any man who is only as strong as a girl: he has to be strong enough to protect her, and, in adventure stories, to save her. The idea of romance as a commercial exchange between cautious equals is one I find repugnant, rather than as a knight on a white charger sweeping the fair princess off her feet, slaying her dragons for her.

Women who are normal and healthy want a man stronger and taller than she, and she wants the man to lead when they waltz.

Is this merely some odd minority of women, closet masochists, or submissive and fertile Catholic girls from Ireland and Italy? I think the number of women fascinated with romance, though lower than it was before the de-naturing and de-femininizing programs of the feminists won popular appeal, is still very high.

I have seen perhaps two zillion covers of lurid romance novels where the Red Indian Chief with no shirt on, or the rakish Pirate Chief with no shirt on or the tormented stormy-eyed Baron with no shirt on has the attractive heroine in a corseted dress either draped over his arm in a half-swoon, or clinging fearfully to his leg, or half-pinned under his rippling masculine body, or thrown over his shoulder.

These are books written by women to appeal to women filled with womanly fantasies of love and romance: without exception they show men in the masculine, proud role and the heroine in the meek, yielding, feminine role.

Now, this only speaks of what women want to read, not what they want out of their man. But it would be odd to assume there is no overlap.

Of course, I also agree with St. Paul that men should love their wives as Christ loves his bride the Church, which is to say, men should regard marriage as crucifixion. It is not fun and games, loverboy. You think joining the army demands total commitment from you? Marriage, you do not get R&R, do not get leave, and you are never off duty. You are husband and father forever and aye, till death do you part, amen.

The Bridegroom Gets to Wear the Crown!

You might come to marriage for the sake of Eros, romantic love, or for the sake of Philos, because you seek the companionship and friendship of the beloved, because you like her as well as love her. But marriage is Agape, self-emptying, self-denying, self-sacrificing love. So do not rejoice if St. Paul crowns you with the crown of marriage, husbands, and asks your wives to submit to your leadership and rule, because the crown is a crown of thorns, and the rulership is like that Christ refused of the devil when offered the kingdoms of this world. Your task, husbands, is to take second place in your wife’s affections once children arrive. You live for them, not they for you.

But if all girls want romance, and all boys want sensual delight, why do we live in the least romantic and most pornographic and sexually perverted and sexually crass and coarse and viscerally disgusting civilization ever to exist?

Because romance is not all the modern girl wants.

Girls Just Want to Have Fights

In addition to the romantic fantasies of love stories, modern women also have adolescent power fantasies (akin to the superhero comics read by boys), mostly based on BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. In the bookstore, the endless ranks of unimaginative Tolkien rip-offs have been replaced by endless ranks of unimaginative Joss Whedon rip-offs.

Note the Manly Tattoo — A sign of her equality with Pirate or Biker

The cover art always contains the same few elements to semaphore to the reader what kind of book it is: a shapely young woman, usually dressed in tight black leather, bearing an knife or gat and a hostile yet sultry expression is in some dingy urban alleyway lit by neon, perhaps leaning on her Harley.

But even this does not escape the logic of romance. For the modern women, modern men are not dangerous enough to be romantic. We modern Americans are not as tough and masculine as Red Indians, Pirate Chief, or stormy-eyed Barons. And there is no romance without some adventure, and no adventure without danger, if only the emotional danger of rejection and heartbreak.

Once you establish in the imagination of the reader that Twiggy or Yvonne Craig can wire fu into bloody pulp a roomful of hulking linebackers twice her mass and half again her height, the only way to create a sufficiently masculine character is it emotionally proper to look up to, and romantic to yield to, is to make the guy a supernatural fiend or werewolf or something.

If Jane can kick the snot out of Tarzan, the only male masculine enough to throw her over his shoulder and carry her off is the Great God Pan or the archdemon Asmodeus. Hence all the BUFFY style stories are about girls with Angel the dangerous Vampire as the stormy-eyed boyfriend, not Riley Finn the clean-cut All-American but all too human soldier boy (whom all the fangirls hate).

Lois Lane is not going to date Jimmy Olsen after the Man of Steel has rescued her from an atomic dinosaur or something. And if the only men of steel in your world are dangerous bloodsucking fiends from hell who must overcome their own dark nature to join the heroine in true love, well, that is where the romance and the romantic fantasy will come to rest.

Like it or not, the fantasy about powerful deadly women in modern black leather will come to the fore for fanboys as well. The idea that old-fashioned images of women as ‘cheesecake’ was degrading may have some truth to it: but the modern image of the cheesecake nymphette in heels wearing a bikini bottom and sporting a pistol is not in any sense less immodest, nor does the modern pop culture girly pics project a more realistic image of a woman’s body shape.

Old Fashion Horrible Reactionary Exploitative Cheesecake circa 1950– And use of Tobacco!

We might disapprove as vanity for old fashioned girlies to worry about glamor and lipstick; but the matter is not improved if the modern supergirlies worry about glamor and lipstick and their kung-fu training and use and maintenance of side arms and long arms and cleaning and polishing their serrated bowie knives.

Much More Realistic and Respectful Modern Female Image

The modern power fantasy merely add another layer of things girls have to worry about, because now they have to play the woman’s role as well as the role of a Navy SEAL.

Modern Cheesecake is A LOT more respectful of Womanhood, because the leggy, leather-clad half-naked ninja-chicks have guns

And yet again, adolescent power fantasy is not all a modern girl wants, either. She still wants a real man. Women get annoyed when their husbands act like they are not in charge, because then she ends up mothering him, and has one extra child to nurture.

What do modern men want? Do they like feminine women, or are they attracted to the modern feminist ideal of a strong woman who needs nothing from him and wants to kill his child before birth if junior is unplanned?

I can only speak for myself. As an American, my idea of the perfect feminine woman embraces the tough cowgirl frontier farmer’s wife reloading her husband’s musket while he shoots Redskins, and the demure Southern lady sipping mint juleps while her husband shoot Yankees, the spunky girl reporter from New York being rescued by Superman. And maybe Superman can also arrest those husbands of the other two girls who are shooting all those people. Seesh.

American Ideal: Spunky Cowgirl

American Ideal: Spunky Girl Reporter

American Ideal — Demure Southern Belle (who is actually Spunky)

As a Christian, my ideal of the perfect feminine woman embraces both Eve (particularly as she is portrayed by the Milton—the most feminine woman in all literature, and fairest of her daughters) as well as the Virgin Mary, who is humble enough to be a carpenter’s wife, and exalted enough to be the Queen of Angels and the Second Eve, mother of all living, not to mention the Mother of God.

Christian Ideal — Demure Virgin (who is also the Queen of Angels and Mother of God)

For those of you unfamiliar with Milton, here the description of our parents in paradise:

Of living creatures, new to sight, and strange
Two of far nobler shape, erect and tall,
Godlike erect, with native honor clad
In naked majesty seemed lords of all:
And worthy seemed; for in their looks divine
The image of their glorious Maker shone,
Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure,
(Severe, but in true filial freedom placed,)

Whence true authority in men; though both
Not equal, as their sex not equal seemed;
For contemplation he and valor formed;
For softness she and sweet attractive grace;
He for God only, she for God in him:
His fair large front and eye sublime declared
Absolute rule; and hyacinthine locks
Round from his parted forelock manly hung
Clustering, but not beneath his shoulders broad:
She, as a veil, down to the slender waist
Her unadorned golden tresses wore
Disheveled, but in wanton ringlets waved
As the vine curls her tendrils, which implied
Subjection, but required with gentle sway,
And by her yielded, by him best received,
Yielded with coy submission, modest pride,
And sweet, reluctant, amorous delay.
Nor those mysterious parts were then concealed;
Then was not guilty shame, dishonest shame
Of nature’s works, honor dishonorable,
Sin-bred, how have ye troubled all mankind
With shows instead, mere shows of seeming pure,
And banished from man’s life his happiest life,
Simplicity and spotless innocence!
So passed they naked on, nor shunned the sight
Of God or Angel; for they thought no ill:
So hand in hand they passed, the loveliest pair,
That ever since in love’s embraces met;
Adam the goodliest man of men since born
His sons, the fairest of her daughters Eve.

Only a modern thinker (by which I mean ‘only a morally retarded one-dimensional and therefore stupid thinker’) could regard both the Eve by whose proud disobedience all mankind was condemned, and the New Eve by whose humble obedience all mankind was saved as ‘weak.’

Heroines and villainesses on whose decisions turn the fates of worlds can be called a lot of things, but the Marxist and feminist interpretation of life only has two words for life in all its complexity: strong and weak. Whatever is strong is an oppressor, an exploiter, and guilty, and whatever is weak is oppressed, exploited, and innocent.

Being feminine does not mean being weak. That is a Marxist lie, produced by the morally retarded one-dimensional and therefore stupid idea that all human relationships are mutually hostile power struggles about power. Being feminine means being not masculine.

Male pride is brittle. I am sorry, fellow guys, but we have weaknesses particular to our sex, and a woman can shatter us with word, if it is the right woman and the right word. Women, at least old fashioned & old school women, seem to have more endurance and more stick-to-itive-ness and more Christian charity than men, by and large.

They go through pregnancy, and THEN look forward to doing it again. Sheesh! Who says feminine girls are weak?

It is the masculine girls who are weak, the Buffy Vampireslayers. They have the brittleness and pride of touchy male pride — feminists are as sensitive to any trifling slights against their honor as a Spanish Grandee — but they do not have the corresponding masculine virtues of chivalry, generosity, and honor for the fallen foe that Christianity introduced to ameliorate the savage pagan attitude that glorifies strength and despises the weak.

The moderns have simply reintroduced this love the strength and hatred of weakness, but, oddly, have decided to apply it in defiance of nature and reality. Consider this hateful comment uttered during a recent controversy where a boy named Northrup who would otherwise have won the state championship refused to wrestle a girl named Herkelman. In so doing, he threw the match. Northrup cited his belief that women should be elevated and respected.

An ESPN writer (whose name I will not repeat, as I wish to give no glory to vermin) responded,

“That’s where the Northrups are so wrong. Body slams and takedowns and gouges in the eye and elbows in the ribs are exactly how to respect Cassy Herkelman. This is what she lives for. She can elevate herself, thanks.”

So society is not merely post-modern and post-Christian but post-rational, if the sentence can be written equating gouging a woman in the eyes equals treating her with respect.

Cassandra Herkelman -- ESPN says Gouging her Eyes will Elevate her

No youth who gouges a schoolgirl in the eyes during a Co-Ed wrestling match is dating my teenage daughter, thank you, because such a boy has no character, no backbone, no balls. My daughter is about four foot five and weights about 50 pounds.

Does not anyone see the slight and technical difference between (1) a society where my daughter can vote and own property, and (2) a society that indoctrinates all its young men that chivalrously to refuse to slam, eye-gouge, elbow-jab, strangle, breast-grab, crotch-punch, twist, bend, break and beat my daughter is not just wrong but contemptible? I mean insane modern society indoctrinates the young men to think that chivalry is contemptible, not that bitch-slapping a girl is.

Let’s ask Anita Blake, vampire huntress, her opinion on the question of whether true equality with men means it’s OK to punch young women in the face, shall we?

Excuse me, Ms. Blake…? Speaking as a woman who is both sexy and tough, busty yet covered in blood and heavily armed, would you say, in your opinion….

Uh, well, her jaw is broken by an ESPN pundit right now in an attempt to elevate her, so maybe Ms. Blake cannot answer the question.

We will just take it as a given that she approves of Co-Ed wrestling and boxing, and regards chivalry toward the distaff sex as condescending and wrong.

But BOY OH BOY am I glad that the testosterone-overdosed teen boys, and twentysomething boy-men, who will be dating my elf-sized daughter are exposed at impressionable ages to images like this!

Aren’t we all happy as clams that the degrading and despicable and un-progressive images of Marvel Girl doing housework will never ever be found in modern graphic novels? Instead we have such uplifting images as the Comedian beating and raping Silk Specter, and Kyle Raynor finding the corpse of his beloved stuffed in his refrigerator.  Comic books are better than ever!

The suffragettes sought, and were granted by their menfolk, the vote and the right to own property. Bully and I approve, for all men are created equal. (And you know what I mean by the word ‘men’, so stop pretending rhetorically convenient illiteracy.) This was a quest for nothing more than what natural justice and common sense demands. Well done, Suffragettes!

I can understand why a Christian would agree to the proposition that all men are made in the image and likeness of God and therefore merit equality of civic and legal rights. I cannot imagine why a non-Christian would seek that, because there seems to be no non-arbitrary basis for the idea of upholding the weak in the Darwinian world where culling the weak is the sole source of racial improvement—but that is an argument for another day.

Suffragette — Who would not give her the vote?

But the feminists (at least in the most modern, Third Wave, non-suffragette version) seek something different. They are in a revolt against nature, against reality, against their own biological nature. The prime sacrament of their cult is aborticide, the slaying by a mother of her natural instinct to love and protect her child, and the slaying of the child also. The womb is the archenemy of the feminists, as are the breasts that give milk. They want the unnatural sterile womb and the unnatural plastic breasts of a playboy bunny, since, by some oddness, they are equally opposed to feminine modesty (and masculine chivalry) as they are to motherhood.

Feminists — Sudetenland is their Last Territorial Demand. Promise.

To be sure, some feminists are awake enough to their own self-interest to notice that protecting Hugh Hefner and Slick Willie Clinton degrades and exploits rather than ennobles the role of women in society; but even these half-awake femidolaters flinch away from ‘Puritanism’ and ‘Victorianism’ by which they mean the use of reason and self-control in the sexual appetite, and modesty and decency. To them, a porn star flaunting her plastic breasts is a sign of empowerment, and so is dressing like a hooker. Dressing like a man is even better.

It is merely one of the ironies of life that those who sought to increase the power and prestige of women in society adopted a strategy that makes not just their lives more difficult and miserable (when it does not kill them altogether—the majority of aborted babies are girl babies after all); the strategy also diminishes their real power in society, including their power to find a man rather than an overgrown boy.

Eliminating sexual roles and expectations does not eliminate misogyny or unfairness or bigotry. Those things, if anything, are encouraged. All that happens is that romance is eliminated.

By eliminating all sexual roles and expectations, all that has been done is to add a layer of unrealistic expectations to the young ladies, that they must do all that a man can do and more; and to remove those rather strict expectations on how young gentlemen are supposed to behave, so that they now are allowed to behave as villains, churls, louts and Neanderthals toward their womenfolk.

One cannot eliminate expectations that others have of us. Such expectations are part of the unspoken rules of the culture, the ‘traffic laws’ by which we are able efficiently to navigate our way through meetings with strangers, acquaintences and friends, and also flirt, court, merrymake and marry. The attempt by intellectuals to interpret all human interactions as mutually hostile and implacable power struggles is stupid and evil; the attempt to eliminate expectations so that all human interactions, conversations, and contact with others takes place without benefit of knowing what is polite or what will offend is inefficient and destructive of the social harmony, especially destructive of the nuclear family and the custom of romance and courtship leading up to it.

And the attempt to eliminate expectations while at the same time eliminating chivalry and self-restraint in young men, while at the same time legally protecting hence promoting the flood of pornographic and semipornographic images that form the background noise of society is simply psychotic. Society has a split personality. Young women are taught to dress and act immodestly, and hence to do those things which in our culture if not in all cultures serve as a non-verbal signal of sexual allure, but the young women are not taught which mode of approach, of flirtation, or of mating dance, when used by a man, indicate he has honorable intentions as opposed to being a cad.

Indeed, even to speak of “honorable intentions” — that is, the intent of a suitor to marry and devote his life to her, rather than use her as a one-night semen recepticle — stirs the devils who govern the modern culture to the dead-eyed mirth that devils know, if not contempt and disgust.

The devils want her to want the one-night stand, and for her to think of meaningless, impersonal, and inhuman sex as normal, and to thinik of beauty, love and romance as impossible, insulting and vile.

Before the dead-eyed devil could stand to see an honest young man court and adore a virginal young woman with the intent to marry, they would rather see Marvel Girl do housework.

156 Comments

  1. Comment by Mary:

    You get some complaining that in stories, all the good girls are passive, and all the active girls are evil. Then they define saving the hero’s life as passive, and only trying to murder him as active. Some conudruums are not, in fact, difficult to plum.

  2. Comment by Nate Winchester:

    We do not need to punch out a masher, or strangle a man-eating llama barehanded, but we may need to go online and flamewar that Kyle Rayner is not the real Green Lantern if some Troll arguing against the point made our GF weep.

    Bah! Hal Jordan himself pointed out that Kyle carried the torch when no one else could. He earned the right to wear the green uniform just as much as Guy, Hal or John.

    Why? I actually think it is natural and even romantic for a woman to surrender to a man. Men seek mates by pursuing, and women seek mates by alluring.

    Was reading some things the other day, and by the end of it, I was wondering if there was any difference in today’s world between stalking and pursuit (other than the looks of the guy). Somedays it’s starting to look like we’re not supposed to have any relationships at all.

    So do not rejoice if St. Paul crowns you with the crown of marriage, husbands, and asks your wives to submit to your leadership and rule, because the crown is a crown of thorns,

    That is one of the two best lines of ever I’ve read this week.

    We modern Americans are not as tough and masculine as Red Indians, Pirate Chief, or stormy-eyed Barons.

    Hey! Speak for yourself. ;)

    To them, a porn star flaunting her plastic breasts is a sign of empowerment, and so is dressing like a hooker. Dressing like a man is even better.

    A real quote I once heard from a self proclaimed feminist:
    “In a culture where all women are either pedastaled virgins or whores, the whore is the most honorable woman in town.”

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    • Comment by deiseach:

      Do you realise that that Milton excerpt is the exact template for the Harlequin Romance novel covers?

      Adam with his hair down to his shoulders, Eve with her curly golden locks, the both of them not over-burdened with clothing, and “sweet, reluctant, amorous delay” is a much classier description of the clinches the hero and heroine indulge in :-)

      (I just get a kick out of the notion of the author of the “Areopagitica”, particularly in light of his divorce tracts, being linked with Romance novels.)

    • Comment by ekbell:

      “I was wondering if there was any difference in today’s world between stalking and pursuit”

      The main difference between stalking and pursuit is if the woman can trust the man to stop if asked. Unfortunately between the loneliness (and thus vulnerability) of the average single woman’s life and the lack of commonly accepted standards of behaviour this trust can’t be taken for granted.

      As a general rule women tend to want milder forms of romantic pursuit then can be found between the covers of Bodice Rippers, just as most male readers of adventure tend to want a more comfortable and peaceful life then the heroes of their favorite books. A book is safe, real life isn’t.

      Entering a woman’s home without asking, watching and following without trying to keep her company, watching her sleep unbeknownest to her, groping, phoning or writing letters which indicate a belief that she is the man’s to possess, ‘protecting’ her by restricting her options without her knowledge or agreement… these are behaviours which are not conducive to trust.

      Haunting public areas where she is to be found, engaging her in conversation, asking her out (if done in moderation), respectful letters indicating a desire for her company, being willing to go out of the way for her, this is flattering as long as the woman knows that the behaviour will end if she indicates that it is unwelcome. [It is unfortunately true that an unappealing man will generally find his attentions unwelcome.]

      • Comment by Nate Winchester:

        The main difference between stalking and pursuit is if the woman can trust the man to stop if asked. Unfortunately between the loneliness (and thus vulnerability) of the average single woman’s life and the lack of commonly accepted standards of behaviour this trust can’t be taken for granted.

        Bingo! I think you have something right there, especially in the highlighted part. A loss of a common social code has hurt us all more than I think we realize. Especially introverts who do not have the automatic grasp of social skills that extroverts do. I suspect (but no proof or data as of yet) that some of the more insane laws regarding interaction between the sexes have arisen from this lack of common social order.

        Entering a woman’s home without asking, watching and following without trying to keep her company, watching her sleep unbeknownest to her, groping, phoning or writing letters which indicate a belief that she is the man’s to possess, ‘protecting’ her by restricting her options without her knowledge or agreement… these are behaviours which are not conducive to trust.

        I dare say you’ve read (or are aware of) the Twilight series. ;)

        It didn’t exactly help straighten out those missing social codes, did it?

  3. Comment by bibliophile112:

    loyal Virginians are wont to cough when Yankees visitors to our parlous find the finely painted portrait of grandpappy Jefferson Davis LeGris laying the lash on the back of cringing darkies.

    This Yankee must protest your language.

    Where are the anime nazi girls from?

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      “This Yankee must protest your language.”

      What? You don’t think we loyal Virginians should be even slightly embarrassed how our grandpappies used to talk? Or are you saying we should be so embarrassed that we can’t even refer to it?

      “Where are the anime nazi girls from?”

      I think it is from “Feminista Gender-Neutral Equalizer Neon-Macross Advancer Angel Blue.”

      OK. I have no idea.

      Seeing the genocidal Jew-gassing goose-stepping Germans made into cutey-pie anime chicks creeps the hell out of me. It makes me want to go for the serrated bayonet I keep taped to the bottom of my pillow when I don’t even have a serrated bayonet taped to the bottom of my pillow.

      But then I remember that the sneak-attacking Japs were allies of the Krauts in WWII, and we’ve already a-bombed them to perdition, and took away their army and navy, woke up Godzilla, so there is not much more we can do to express our discontent.

      One cannot expect a race as brave and sane as the Japanese not to have at least some fond memories of their own side in their own war: not everyone can be a self-loathing Leftican-American.

      Even we loyal Virginians think Our Boys were brave during the War of Unprovoked Northerners Picking On Us for No Reason, and we still have statues of men on horseback who were (not to be too delicate about it) rebels and traitors fighting to preserve human slavery, so I cannot really generate too much hatred if one or two sick Japanese animators want to pretty up their past a la GONE WITH THE WIND.

      Disgust, yes. Hate, no.

      • Comment by deiseach:

        Something in honour of Virginia and Virginians, from G.K. Chesterton’s “What I Saw in America”, 1922, chapter “Lincoln and Lost Causes”:

        “Whenever the anniversary of the Mayflower comes round, there is a chorus of Anglo-American congratulation and comradeship, as if this at least were a matter on which all can agree. But I knew enough about America, even before I went there, to know that there are a good many people there at any rate who do not agree with it. Long ago I wrote a protest in which I asked why Englishmen had forgotten the great state of Virginia, the first in foundation and long the first in leadership; and why a few crabbed Nonconformists should have the right to erase a record that begins with Raleigh and ends with Lee, and incidentally includes Washington. The great state of Virginia was the backbone of America until it was broken in the Civil War. From Virginia came the first great Presidents and most of the Fathers of the Republic. Its adherence to the Southern side in the war made it a great war, and for a long time a doubtful war. And in the leader of the Southern armies it produced what is perhaps the one modern figure that may come to shine like St. Louis in the lost battle, or Hector dying before holy Troy.

        Again, it is characteristic that while the modern English know nothing about Lee they do know something about Lincoln; and nearly all that they know is wrong.”

        • Comment by Mrmandias:

          Honoring Lee does not require revisionism on Lincoln.

          Virginia’s grand history is an addition to the greatness of the Mayflower, not a replacement for it.

          The only thing crabbed here is Chesterton’s nonconformism.

  4. Comment by lotdw:

    “I speak not in the abstract, but from experience: most of my unhappily unmarried bachelor friends cannot find a mate, because the modern woman is too eager to prostitute herself without pay, and she has no patience with chaste men, rare though they are. At least one bachelor friend of mine has complained that he cannot get to know a woman well enough to establish a steady emotional relationship with her (what the ancients called “philos”) because she is too eager for a sexual relationship (“eros”).”

    Add me to that one too. This is something the author of the article just doesn’t seem to GET – that, when it comes to a problem in male-female relationships, women are part of the problem too! They want men to be manly, but they don’t want women to be feminine? Figure out which you want, lady! Why would men change if, as she admits, she’s been sleeping with them up till now?

    The article seemed to have no understanding of the modern male experience, either. My comment in another place on the article was that the author should watch Fight Club.

    • Comment by Nate Winchester:

      Lotdw, too true, there’s plenty of blame to go around. For instance, one line from the article that I cringe over:

      “Guys talk about ‘Star Wars’ like it’s not a movie made for people half their age; a guy’s idea of a perfect night is a hang around the PlayStation with his bandmates, or a trip to Vegas with his college friends…. They are more like the kids we babysat than the dads who drove us home.”

      Who said that’s childish? Have none of these ladies heard of pool halls? Seems to me it’s the same tradition as gentlemen clubs or other hangouts, the only difference is that instead of hunting or smoking or watching a game they’re now playing a game. Though plenty of guys can be childish, this attitude strikes me as just as childish. Especially considering that Star Wars might be the only guide to being men (with Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan who are without a doubt: men) some of these ‘guys’ have had.

      Yet the complainer calls this childish.

      Hmmm… I think I see the problem…

      Then earlier:

      “We are sick of hooking up with guys,”

      Well… have you check against selection bias yet? If you’re going to look in bars and many “hook up” places, I think you reduce your odds of finding ‘men’ instead of ‘guys’. Have they been to any of the places where they might find these men? I’d even be willing to lay odds that they’ve run across or into some men but turned them down for another boy instead.

      • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

        Well, sure. They crashed the pool halls and gentlemen’s clubs, remember? Many, many lawsuits. As to being “childish’, there is some true to that, I think. There is a sort of Eloi/Morlock thing going on with Men, with most men being ignored by women during the age when they burn, with most of the attention going to the Morlocks (Clinton, Kennedy, etc) who use up women and throw them out. Well, the school of hard knocks makes one grow up pretty fast, as a rule. When they return from the “slums” they were exiled to when the Morlocks were done with them, blooded, wounded in the Soul, with lessons learned too late, to the men they left behind, who still enjoy life, are untouched by the sewer the world has become, still innocent, well they will look “childish”, won’t they? The men should have “graduated” to Adult activities, but, again, the Feminists won’t allow for that will they? No “male space” allowed. How many lawsuits to crash the Boy Scouts? Seen any to crash the Girl Scouts?

      • Comment by lotdw:

        No kidding. (Also, I appreciate the defense of Star Wars – I think, as JCW has pointed out, that superheroes are popular precisely because they aren’t allowed to be those types of men.) Here’s something I wrote elsewhere:

        “A) She should read Fight Club. B) “Good men” aren’t interested in the girl who has slept with every lousy male unworthy of the name under the sun and has finally figured out she wants a man whose aims have always been other than that. C) Not once was the word “feminism” mentioned in the article. When feminism shifted from equality to equivalence, where else did men (as a general social entity) have to go?”

        And a follow up when one of my friends asked for clarification:

        “A) Fight Club is a similar analysis of society’s new way of treating men/maleness, but unlike Hymowitz’s completely one-sided, assault-on-men article, it does it from the point of view of the men. Fight Club too is fairly one…-sided, but that’s less of a weakness as it does what it sets out to do, whereas the WSJ article is basically completely blind to what it’s like to be as a man in this situation. … B) It’s less about not noticing the so-called good men as not wanting them (or not considering them good) until the age comes for marriage or childbearing. Lately there’s been a slew of these articles about women who have dated tons of slackers and are now voicing their dissatisfaction – but they’re not noticing the fact that those guys aren’t going to change because they already get what they want out of the arrangement – attachment-free sex with an array of women. Sociological studies bear out that there are many more male virgins than female. So some men are learning that they can get away with playing video games all day and still get the girl, not true of a time when men needed, like, a job to impress a woman. And of course the social venues for meeting such slackers, like bars and frat houses, are much more popular than those for meeting marriage-ready men. My final point there was that all that time spent dating slackers also changes the women who do it, and just because they wake up to the problems with their exes doesn’t mean they themselves are now perfect companions for an utterly different type of man. These women who are complaining have also been part of the problem, and some self-reflection instead of male-bashing might be advised (and certainly is no red herring). C) I think any article which talks about an issue in male-female relationships over the past 30 years and doesn’t mention the feminist developments of that period is going to miss something. But the real problem with the whole article is the massive blind spot when it comes to how women have anything to do with the issue in the first place, except as passive receivers of male sociological trends (which seems quite anti-feminist to me).

  5. Comment by Rolf Andreassen:

    Is there any particular reason why femininity should equal doing the housework? It seems to me that one might reasonably (and femininely, if that’s a word) dream of being married, without dreaming of using one’s Way Cool telekinesis to sweep up the dust under the furniture.

    • Comment by Nate Winchester:

      Division of labor. There’s only so many hours in a day and someone has to take care of the lawn and cars while someone else takes care of the house and kids.

      As a general trend, men prefer fixing the grass and cars, women prefer cleaning the floors and kids.

    • Comment by The OFloinn:

      Have you ever been in an apartment maintained by guys?

      • Comment by Rolf Andreassen:

        Yes, I have; indeed I lived in one for several years, and I kept it neat, too. Men on average have, perhaps, a higher tolerance for slop than women do; what of it? The question was whether it was particularly feminine to enjoy housework, not its result.

        Division of labor. There’s only so many hours in a day and someone has to take care of the lawn and cars while someone else takes care of the house and kids.

        Yes, yes, gains from trade, but why this specific one? I remind you that the question was not about what is practical, but about what is feminine. Is there a fundamental reason that cleaning the floor is feminine and cleaning the car is masculine, or is this a cultural artifact that could be turned around?

        As a general trend, men prefer fixing the grass and cars, women prefer cleaning the floors and kids.

        How do you know? And is the difference, if it exists, cultural or innate?

        I want to distinguish between an opposition to femininity per se – and yes, I do understand that some feminists are opposed to having two genders, and I have no brief for them – and opposition to a particular image of femininity. In particular, it seems to me that a woman may very well object to being told that, if she had Way Cool mindpowers, she ought to use them for housework and not, say, opposing supervillains bent on taking over the world; without therefore believing that men and women must be androgynes without gender distinctions.

        • Comment by Mary:

          Every culture distinguishes between stuff that men do and stuff that women do. An effect so strong that Margaret Mead described it:

          Are we dealing not with a must that we dare not flout because it is rooted so deep in our biological mammalian nature that to flout it means individual and social disease? Or with a must that, although not so deeply rooted, still is so very socially convenient and so well tried that it would be uneconomical to flout it—a must which says, for example, that it is easier to get children born and bred if we stylize the behaviour of the sexes very differently, teaching them to walk and dress and act in contrasting ways and to specialize in different kinds of work?

          If you object to women’s doing the housework, what division, or non-division, do you propose?

        • Comment by John Hutchins:

          Hi. This is John’s wife. He asked me my opinion about this, so I hijacked his computer (mwhahaha). The real answer is that women rule the world. When they want something done right, they take over. When they just want it done, they delegate. Thus, after I’ve attempted to delegate all household chores to husband, I reclaim the ones he’s abysmal at. This way, I don’t have to wear wrinkled clothes and I still get to eat good food. Is this innate? Women ruling the world? Probably. I think nagging was invented before fire, at least. Possibly before speech. I suppose this could also be construed as cultural, streaming down from early humanity to all cultures on earth.

          Perhaps we could consider this task-division as stemming from evolution. As everyone knows, a man who does dishes is infinitly sexier than a man who does not. Dish-doing men, thus, have a better chance of passing on their genes. Smart men continue to do dishes and procreate as a result. I don’t think answering “Is this innate, or is this cultural?” is terribly important. The only real lesson here is that dishwater hands are a good thing.

          • Comment by John C Wright:

            “The real answer is that women rule the world.”

            Shhh. You will scare the bachelors.

            • Comment by John Hutchins:

              (John’s wife again) Sadly, many women don’t realize this, either. I know girls who let their boyfriends keep soft porn posters on the wall because they don’t believe they have the power to change it. This is why I’ve never resented that scripture about husbands being the head of the family — if women weren’t told to slow down and listen to their husband sometimes, men would be reduced to obedient slaves (because, y’know, women are always right). I rather like having a partner instead of a minion.

              • Comment by John C Wright:

                This cuts rather close to home. Before I converted to Christianity, I kept pornography in the house, and the wife did not think to object. Neither she nor I had ever been told or taught there was anything wrong with it. Society just lied to us. And the lie was repeated over and over.

                Because I think women are superior to men, and should be the objects of respect or even reverence, I have earned the venomous malice and hatred of more than one feminist. As best I can tell, most (but not all) feminists are to the Left of the political spectrum, and most (but not all) of the Left and have no great respect for religion in general, and a terrific, blind, satanic hatred of the Roman Catholic Church in particular.

                As best I can tell most (but not all) feminist think pornography is degrading to women and encourages the worst aspect of the male character, namely the desire to treat women like objects of sexual fetish, which is a type of hatred disguised as erotic love.

                If so, I hope at least some feminist is man enough to admit that the Christian religion did a good service at least in my life, by getting the damned porn out of my house. And I use the word damned advisedly here.

                Woman are always right. I am glad, dear lady, I have found a woman who agrees with me on that point. My Roman Catholic adoration of the Blessed Virgin is based on that solid fact of common sense. Now, excuse me, it is time for me to pray my beads.

            • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

              Ah, there’s the rub. Only if the bachelors play the game, and your post here and articles elsewhere seem to despair that they are not. It’s one thing to rig the game, but the modern age seems to glory in it. How to get them back to the table after trust is lost?

        • Comment by lotdw:

          Studies have shown for a while that many gender preferences are genetic and not socially constructed:

          http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200804/why-do-boys-and-girls-prefer-different-toys

          It’s important to keep in mind, of course, that all of this is probabilistic; some girls will like the trucks and some boys the dolls. But the problem is that right now women are being artificially forced against their nature, not the other way around.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      “Is there any particular reason why femininity should equal doing the housework?”

      If I may quote myself:

      “Ideas easy to defend on the basis of abstraction reasoning are disproportionately favored and celebrated by intellectuals, who like philosophical “systems” or models with clear axioms and clean, unambiguous conclusions, even if wildly disconnected from the real world. Ideas difficult to defend on the basis of abstract reasoning, such as the accumulated wisdom we call the common sense, on the other hand are disproportionately disfavored and scorned by intellectuals. …. Philosophers moored to the common sense of tradition avoid this perversity; intellectuals delighted with the airy cloudscapes of fickle fads delight in it.”

      This is precisely the kind of question, simple to ask in few words which would require some familiarity with real life in the real world to answer. The game of intellectualism is a game of pretending (with rich Socratic irony) that one is as unfamiliar with the real world as the famed Man from Mars.

      I admit I am a little (but only a little) surprised to see this approach being trying on an article which identifies and decries it.

      • Comment by fabulous_mrs_f:

        I think a more important question, though probably also requiring a long answer, is “Why are activies like housework, traditionally seen as women’s work, considered less or demeaning by society?” A shift in our view of how imporant the keeping of a house and raising of children are would be more effective than trying to break everyone free of the “burden”. Is there anything more important than raising children well?

      • Comment by Rolf Andreassen:

        My question was honestly meant; I am sorry if my perhaps overly-snarky phrasing annoyed you. The point I’m trying to make is that, yes, it is good for men and women to be men and women, and not, as it were, person-units, plumbing external or internal, office work, for use in. But, nonetheless, there is a legitimate debate to be had about what it means to be female, and what it means to be male; and if a woman objects to housework being classified as female, I must say I have considerable sympathy for that.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          If your question is actually honestly meant, which I doubt, you will be satisfied with a simple answer:

          Humans are altricial mammals. The female of the species, the one associated with ideas of femininity, gives birth and gives milk. This makes it naturally less difficult for the mother to nurse the baby than the father. Babies are small and delicate, and not to be toted from place to place unnecessarily. This makes nursing in the nursery less difficult than taking the baby abroad to nurse. The nursery is usually (because it is less difficult) in the same structure, be it a house or wagon or cave, where the sleeping and eating arrangements are made.

          If mother wants to put baby down in a clean as opposed to dirty spot, it is easier and less difficult to clean it herself than to call the father, who is, in humans, on average the taller, stronger, and more aggressive of the pair, back from whatever hunt, field labor, factory or office work consumes his time to feed the family to come clean it. Hence, again, it is natural, because it is easier, for fathers to be more concerned with the field work or factory work on which they concentrate than on house work, which is the concern of the mother.

          A society can chose to teach that these roles are acceptable or teach that they are not. The comic comes from a time when teaching that these roles are acceptable was also acceptable. The current society, it is not: we are enamored of the idea that no one should have any particular expectations of how boys versus girls should act, and hence no particular ability to anticipate what it is reasonable or unreasonable to expect either out of life, or out of one’s fellow man.

          As to whether cleaning house is more or less dignified than the various maintenance tasks associated with work in field or mine or factory or slaughterhouse, or aboard ship or in an office is an open question.

          If a woman objects to those around her in society trying to make society easier and less disappointing for normal as opposed to abnormal women, that is an objection for which my sympathy is limited: it seems to be based on envy, nothing else.

          The envy seems most peculiar to me, since, speaking personally, I have a bias against the male half of the race. I think women are superior to men, by and large, and mothers superior to maidens. The most down-to-earth common sense I ever hear comes from married women with children; the least, from unmarried men (I include men who live with their concubines and paramours out of wedlock as the lacking in all sense category.) Why there should be a statistically unusual lack of common sense in bachelor males and a statistically unusual abundance of common sense in fertile females, I leave as a speculation for the reader.

          I have no objection to nonconformists: I am a nonconformist myself. But I do object to nonconformists demanding of society that they receive the same moral and imponderable rewards as conformists, which is, the respect of their peers. One gains respectability by acting respectably. We now live in a topsy-turvy society where acting respectably, or expecting those around you likewise, invites scorn and even malice.

          • Comment by Rolf Andreassen:

            Hence, again, it is natural, because it is easier, for fathers to be more concerned with the field work or factory work on which they concentrate than on house work, which is the concern of the mother.

            Funny how you dismiss this sort of argument from evolutionary psychology when it happens to disagree with the way you think society should be organised. Further, you appear to be conflating ‘women’ and ‘nursing mothers’; the two are not the same.

            Once the child is no longer nursing, what prevents the woman from going out to work, leaving her husband at home? It would be nice if you answered this without appealing to evolved desires for types of work that never appeared in the ancestral environment; or failing that, link to cave-art pictures of vacuuming women and paper-shuffling men.

            As to whether cleaning house is more or less dignified than the various maintenance tasks associated with work in field or mine or factory or slaughterhouse, or aboard ship or in an office is an open question.

            There I disagree with you: Unpaid work is universally disrespected. You may certainly argue that it ought not to be so, but it is.

            The envy seems most peculiar to me, since, speaking personally, I have a bias against the male half of the race. I think women are superior to men, by and large, and mothers superior to maidens.

            And for this reason you argue that men should be the ones to do paid work, and have the independence that comes with money; while women should stay at home and rely on the honour of men for their income – that same honour which you so doubt, that you find it necessary to hedge it about with law and custom.

            • Comment by John C Wright:

              Did you just say that Motherhood is universally disrespected because it is unpaid work?

              Now I cannot tell if you actually are a Man from Mars, or are merely pretending the same in order to engage in a frivolous debate.

              “Funny how you dismiss this sort of argument from evolutionary psychology ….”

              I dozed off in the middle of this sentence, and did not bother to read to the end. Ad hominem tu quoque. If you cannot distinguish between common sense and unsupported speculative assertions from evolutionary psychology, I am not interested in discussing the matter with you. In any case, my internal consistency or lack thereof is not the topic here.

              “Once the child is no longer nursing, what prevents the woman from going out to work, leaving her husband at home?”

              Who said that anyone or anything prevented her?

              You were asking why it was normal as opposed to abnormal for Marvel Girl to do housework between her crime-fighting, and, by extension, what the link was between femininity, matrimony, maternity, and house-keeping. The existence of a link does not mean that it is universal and without exception, nor that that link is enforced by human agency or otherwise.

              Unless you propose the novel theory that if only if the young mother is prevented from departing her home and leaving her toddlers in the care of another, will it be the expected norm, your question makes no sense.

              If you do make that proposition, you are changing the topic, if not, it is a strawman argument. Either way, it is irrelevant.

              “And for this reason you argue that men should be the ones to do paid work, and have the independence that comes with money; while women should stay at home and rely on the honour of men for their income”

              No, I believe I made no such argument. Straw man again.

              If you had asked me, or read the original post, I might have made the argument is that for this reason (mystical respect for the feminine and maternal) the fathers should make the greater sacrifice and hence be the more dependent.

              You seem to be analyzing the male-female dynamic as if it is a power struggle between two mutually hostile alien parties. That is not the basis for my conclusions about what is or should be normal in sex-based roles in society.

              Your question was not honestly asked after all.

              • Comment by Mary:

                Well, you can’t serve both God and Mammon, so if you want to serve Mammon, you have to commit yourself.

              • Comment by bibliophile112:

                You should consider the possibility that he is honest, but finds your logic hard to follow.

                • Comment by John C Wright:

                  If he found the logic hard to follow, and was honestly interested in an exchange of views, he would ask a question, wait for the answer, and be willing to answer questions in return.

                  If instead he asks a rhetorical question whose answer he damn well knows, makes ad hominem and straw man arguments, and launches into some diatribe only tangentially related to the original post, I am safe in my assumption he is not playing straight and not interested in playing straight.

                  I have had reasonable conversations with him, honest conversations, about topics like materialism and determinism, but when the topic verges into something where neurosis or sin is eating his brain, he lapses into unreason, and merely plays a game of one-upsmanship with me.

                  I will answer even dishonest questions if asked politely. The combination of dishonesty and contempt is one where I think no answer is merited.

                  I am ready at any moment to return to a serious mode of conversation the moment he is straight with me. He has control over how seriously he wants to pitch the tone of the conversation. But I am not going to play straight man to his clowning.

              • Comment by Rolf Andreassen:

                Did you just say that Motherhood is universally disrespected because it is unpaid work?

                Now I cannot tell if you actually are a Man from Mars, or are merely pretending the same in order to engage in a frivolous debate.

                You equivocate. Motherhood in the abstract is respected; the concrete of changing dirty nappies and cleaning up toys is not respected. I do not claim that there is any logic to this, but it is so.

                In any case, my internal consistency or lack thereof is not the topic here.

                Just as well, too.

                “Once the child is no longer nursing, what prevents the woman from going out to work, leaving her husband at home?”

                Who said that anyone or anything prevented her?

                You were asking why it was normal as opposed to abnormal for Marvel Girl to do housework between her crime-fighting, and, by extension, what the link was between femininity, matrimony, maternity, and house-keeping. The existence of a link does not mean that it is universal and without exception, nor that that link is enforced by human agency or otherwise.

                Well then, let me turn the argument around: What prevents women from acting as you would have them act? There is no Female Labour Draft; nobody is rounding up unemployed women and marching them at gunpoint into office buildings. So if they truly preferred to stay at home and do housework, would they not do so?

                You said it yourself: A society may teach that staying at home to do housework is the normal pattern, or it may teach something else. If the former is taught, then some women, who would have been happier to go out and work (or whatever) will instead stay at home and have children; and, presumably, vice-versa. Do you dispute this? The question, then, is which of these produces the greater happiness. I suggest that the disapproval women now encounter when staying home, is far less than the disapproval they once met when going out; and that it is therefore reasonable to assume that the current pattern is closer to the true optimum, than the old one.

                I also note that children are not explicitly taught that X is the normal pattern, but they may certainly break that mold if they choose, and here are the arguments for and against. So it is not a question of rational argument, of convincing people that they would be happiest with X by explicit reasoning that they might consider and reject as not applying to them. With such a program it would be hard to quarrel. No, children are taught by assumption:

                Education is implication. It is not the things you say which children respect; when you say things, they very commonly laugh and do the opposite. It is the things you assume which really sink into them. It is the things you forget even to teach that they learn.

                Touching your normal versus abnormal: Since the dispute is precisely about what is and ought to be the norm, your insistence that your ideal woman is the normal one is rhetoric, not argument.

                “And for this reason you argue that men should be the ones to do paid work, and have the independence that comes with money; while women should stay at home and rely on the honour of men for their income”

                No, I believe I made no such argument. Straw man again.

                If you had asked me, or read the original post, I might have made the argument is that for this reason (mystical respect for the feminine and maternal) the fathers should make the greater sacrifice and hence be the more dependent.

                I do not understand what you are saying here; could you clarify? Which greater sacrifice do you have in mind?

                That aside, do you deny that, if you had your druthers, most men would work outside the home and draw a wage, while most women would work inside the home and draw an allowance from their husband’s wage? That looks like dependence to me.

                You seem to be analyzing the male-female dynamic as if it is a power struggle between two mutually hostile alien parties. That is not the basis for my conclusions about what is or should be normal in sex-based roles in society.

                Mutually hostile, no; men and women, or perhaps more accurately every particular pair of a man and a woman, have some interests in common and some that oppose each other. It is usually the case that they can come to an arrangement that leaves both better off. This is of course the easier if love is involved, by creating a desire to see the other satisfied – this increases the space of mutually improving arrangements. But they ought to keep in mind, nonetheless, that they do not – mysticism aside – become a single entity through living together, and that it is not prudent to “allow any one a power so great, as to make it impossible for you thereafter to dispute with him as an equal, concerning your manifest rights”.

                Finally, let me note that the comics you have linked to are a mild example of a form of propaganda that has existed in much worse form; here> is an example from as late as the seventies. As you do not mind slippery-slope arguments, I trust you won’t object to the observation that this poster is of the same kind as the comic books, and that there is a clear slope between them; objection to the comic books, then, is rooted in objection to the poster. I must say that if someone told me I could not become a doctor but I was welcome to be a lab technician, I would be rather annoyed, and keep a sharp lookout for even mild forms of the same attitude.

                • Comment by John C Wright:

                  You made the claim that unpaid work is universally disrespected. I replied that motherhood is unpaid work and is not disrespected. You answered back that motherhood itself is respected but that changing dirty nappies is not respected. I can think of any number of men’s jobs that have dirty or unpleasant or tedious tasks. In other words, you were equivocating about the meaning of ‘unpaid work.’ Oddly, you accused me of equivocating.

                  You replied to my criticism that your comparison of my argument to Darwinian sociological arguments was ad hominem by uttering a witticism at my expense, slyly accusing me, rather than yourself, of departing from logical consistency. Oddly, your reply when I pointed out an informal logical error is to accuse me of being illogical.

                  So far, this letter of your does not make very rewarding reading. You are playing a game with me, not having a discussion. The game is a cross between one called “beating up a strawman” and one called “poke the monkey” with me in the role of the monkey.

                  I promise you that if you can bring yourself to be serious and frank, I will answer you seriously and frankly. Otherwise, my answers will be as dismissive as your own. You may set the tone of our discussion.

                  • Comment by Rolf Andreassen:

                    This from the man who accuses me of neurosis and sin every time I disagree with him on the proper organisation of society? If you will, how about we both apologise for our more intemperate remarks, and try to have a calmly reasoned debate? I shall go first: I’m sorry I phrased my posts to annoy.

                    Unpaid work, at least some of it, can certainly get much lip service and praise; I did not intend to deny this. That is not the same thing as respect. Scientists are respected and listened to; so are engineers; so, unfortunately, are priests. Any of these qualifications will ensure that your view carries more weight in debate than your actual words merit. Motherhood? Pff. Something like a third of the population are mothers; it doesn’t impress, rhetoric aside. Lawyers are the opposite of this: Lawyers as a class are rhetorically despised, to the point that lawyer jokes are a staple, but most of our legislators have legal educations.

                    You appear to have skimmed the first two paragraphs of my previous post and skipped the rest, so I refer you back to that if you want to continue the debate.

                    • Comment by John C Wright:

                      You are a gentleman. I also apologize for my tone, which was outrageous. Please forgive me. I admit without rancor that that fact that you apologized first means you won the exchange with me. Point for you.

                      I will discuss the matter from the beginning, if you like, but have no interest in continuing down a path that took a wrong turn. You are arguing against a position I do not hold.

                      There is no reward to me to repeat that a straw man argument is an informal logical error: if you did not correct yourself the first time, you have no new reason to correct yourself the second time. If you can state your argument without logical error, rhetoric, or gas, be my guest.

            • Comment by lotdw:

              “Unpaid work is universally disrespected.”

              I respect mothers. I also respect volunteers, the very definition of unpaid work. I respect those who help me even though they don’t have to, like the friend who helps me move (it is the position of the sociopath or LaVeyan Satanist to view him as a fool who has been tricked into altruism). As I am a part of the universe, I am going to have to deny your unsupported assertion.

              Also, payment comes in forms other than monetary.

          • Comment by Mary:

            If a woman objects to those around her in society trying to make society easier and less disappointing for normal as opposed to abnormal women, that is an objection for which my sympathy is limited: it seems to be based on envy, nothing else.

            A la Simone de Beauvoir “No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.”

    • Comment by ekbell:

      According to the surveys I’ve read women tend to do most of the work inside the house regardless of the right or wrong of it or even how much work they do outside of the home.

      Whatever the reason for this tendency, it is a fact and it is reasonable to acknowledge such facts even if they are unpalatable.

      BTW it is worth remembering that the excerpt from Marvel Girl ended with “My powers become really useful when I have to deal with some of the bad guys running around our fair planet”. Your later comments fail to acknowledge that she was written as a a woman interested in keeping a clean house *as well as* (not instead of) a Superheroine doing her fair share of Supervillian fighting.

  6. Comment by John Hutchins:

    This is a similar article that I came across with recently that is answering the question but by not blaming the guys:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tracy-mcmillan/why-youre-not-married_b_822088.html

    Where I went to college no one sleeps around or lives together before marriage (doing so gets you kicked out of school (or married if both parties wish to get married)). There it is the guys that are desperate to get married, not the girls even with more girls then guys enrolled.

  7. Comment by jmoeller:

    I confess that I am quite sick of that WSJ article. I’ve had five Internet-savvy middle-aged to elderly women, concerned by my failure to mate and propagate, send it to me via email, along with commentary that I might find it helpful or edifying. I have been tempted to ask if the article will help make me as miserable as their husbands (and ex-husbands) seem to be, but so far I have not quite reached that level of annoyance. The question “why can’t the women in this article find good men to marry” is a good one, but fails to answer the logical follow-up question of “why would a man want to marry the women in this article?” What could he possibly get out of it? Marrying one of the college-educated, career-minded women the article describes seems like an excellent precursor to three to seven years of grinding unhappiness, followed by the crushing financial burdens of alimony and child support.

    Men chase women – but only if the woman is worth the effort of chasing. I am a tremendous jackass, and I do not begrudge a woman if she finds the prospect of marrying me unpalatable – but I don’t understand why I am expected to *want* to walk into the deathtrap that is marriage in modern America. It’s understandable that there are so many articles exhorting men to “man up” and get married, because modern American marriage indeed seems like grim, joyless, thankless duty, the sort of unpleasantness like war and illness and death that a man must first man up to face.

    Anecdote is not the singular of data, but I personally know more divorced men and unhappily married men then I do happily married men, and I’m not real eager to follow any of their examples.

    -JM

    • Comment by Nate Winchester:

      Ironically, I think the article half stumbles upon your point at the end:

      Relatively affluent, free of family responsibilities, and entertained by an array of media devoted to his every pleasure, the single young man can live in pig heaven—and often does. Women put up with him for a while, but then in fear and disgust either give up on any idea of a husband and kids or just go to a sperm bank and get the DNA without the troublesome man. But these rational choices on the part of women only serve to legitimize men’s attachment to the sand box. Why should they grow up? No one needs them anyway. There’s nothing they have to do.

      They might as well just have another beer.

    • Comment by John Hutchins:

      I am confused about the college educated part of your post, do you have something against college educated women?

      My wife is college educated but not particularly career minded. She is actually a stay at home mother, she does do work from home as well as writing (she just got published in “The Leading Edge” issue 60 (which is semi-pro)).

      We are generally very happy together and with our children so I don’t know how marriage is a deathtrap. It is most certainly not a grim, joyless, thankless duty, or something unpleasant. A successful marriage requires work on the part of both partners, this is true. It is certainly more fun doing something I enjoy with my wife then alone. Many of the moments that are my greatest joys have come because of my marriage. The birth of my sons for instance which is made all the sweeter as we are married instead of in some temporary arrangement, there is no doubt that I am the father, and my kids were wanted.

      Marriage was not designed to make man miserable by God but to provide us with the greatest possible happiness both in this life, and in the world to come*. In fact here is part of what I believe about marriage:

      . Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners

      It would seem that part of your problem is that you have the expectation that going into marriage you will get divorced. This of course means that when hard times come, as they always do, that you will bail out of the marriage instead of facing it together with your wife secure that you stand together against the world. Trials in life can either break us and our marriages or make us stronger, and knowing before hand which you will do, being run from your responsibilities and trials, doesn’t seem like a very loving or trusting thing. You should go into marriage with the belief that you will be together forever*, for time and all eternity not until some minor discomfort or whim of fancy doth us part.

      * – marks places where Catholic would disagree somewhat with what is said; for them just take out the world to come and together forever to be until death.

      • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

        “college-educated, career-minded women” is the phrase, and for many of us brings up a template of a woman who is more focused on her “career” then on her children or marriage. As to the rest of it, Marriage is not just a private matter. There is a reason the ceremony is a public affair, with public oaths. “The hymn of Breaking Strain”. Each broken oath wears at the foundation of Marriage, and the careful textbooks do not tell us when it is safe, so now each of us must judge for ourselves. For Mr. Moeller, and many others, it would seem that line has been crossed. And what can we do to fix it, in this age of “No-Fault” divorce? What reason, security can we give to rebuild that trust?

        • Comment by John Hutchins:

          For marriage to endure and for those in the marriage to be happy both husband and wife must put the marriage first in their lives. They must put the happiness of the wife or husband before their own happiness as otherwise things will not work out.

          For my religion marriage is more of a semi-private affair, it takes place in the temple at an alter with only those worthy to enter able to attend. For us it is a three way covenant between the husband, wife, and God. It is for us the most sacred covenant that we can make and we believe if we live up to the covenant we have made will endure even past this life.

          As faith is required for any action in life in marriage to it is essential. Without the faith of all parties to the marriage that the marriage can endure then regardless of the laws or customs of society the marriage will not endure, with such faith then again regardless of the laws or customs of society the marriage will endure. Statistics, laws, and popular culture do not have to dictate our behavior or the shape of our lives. Marriage is a contract or covenant between those in the marriage. If society chooses not to recognize that contract or to change how it recognizes the terms of the contract that should have no importance to the parties to the contract. The only important things are how they view the contract and what they choose to do about it.

          As to the careful textbook measure, there are indeed textbooks given by God that lay out how our lives should go. There are no loads that are placed on us that we can not bear, we are not steel or stone that has a set breaking point but men that learn line upon line, precept on precept so that what is too hard for us to bear in one moment may the next be our accustomed lot in life. Yes, we will fail and we will know we fail and do so almost constantly but there is One that did not fail and in His great love for us has paid the price for our failures. We do not need to live with the consequences of our failures if we trust in Him, and in Him our weak things are made strong so we may constantly improve ourselves.

          As to what reason or security I can give to rebuild that trust besides the common desire of all men and women to be loved and to love and have security in doing so I have only this, which I am posting in its entirety this time as the words given to them by God are better then anything I could say:

          The Family: A Proclamation to the World
          The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

          We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

          All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

          In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

          The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
          We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.

          Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

          The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

          We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

          We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

    • Comment by robertjwizard:

      Did you ever consider your empirical data may be a little one sided? Are all marriages unhappy? Are all husbands? For the ones that are unhappy, what are/were their expectations of getting married?

      Most people give little to no cognition to the field of love. “It is a lightning bolt,” “one knows not what the heart wants,” “opposites attract (true on a very superficial level),” etc, etc. Men, particularly, know what they want to hump – but little else. Then they are “stuck” with a personality, a soul, they barely took the time to notice or listen to. One day they loved it (or the body made them horny, funny how some can’t tell the difference) the next she grates on his nerves something terrible and he wants out. If he had been paying attention, if he had given it 1/100th the thought he did in career (assuming he’s done that much) he would have made better choices.

      You are not “expected” to walk into your so-called deathtrap. You shouldn’t expect that either. Marriage is the last thing you do. First you must be in love with one who matches your values and sense of life, your soulmate, as it is called. And to do this you must know your self very well. Then you have to define (not like a scientist or something, but by living) what kind of a woman you desire both physically and spiritually.

      The reason there are so many more unhappily married men (and I believe that to be true) is because, like any great value, it takes effort – great effort – struggle, and consideration of another against (if you are a shorter range type person) more pressing personal inclinations (e.g. it may seem terrible to miss that ball game tomorrow, but taking care of your sick wife is more important). This is assuming he got as far as even coming close to picking the right woman for himself in the first place. This takes a considerable power of will and thought, something that is ill taught in this culture of instant gratification. Nothing worthy and great is easy.

      Let’s not forget also that we live in a culture that is positively against marriage. We knew that, at the end of the day Ralph and Alice Kramden really loved each other, contrast thirty years later to the mutual contempt of the Bundys, or the mutual loathing of mother-bitch Debra Barone and forever-boy-child Ray Barone. The examples of this could take hundreds of pages. It so saturates our culture it takes a special act of concentration to even notice it.

      And I write another comment that seems to go on and on…

  8. Ping from Man and Woman | Junior Ganymede:

    [...] C. Wright has an excellent and characteristic essay on marriage and courtship and men and women and la difference,…. The gist is that women want *men,* not male persons, and vice versa. But the gist doesn’t do [...]

  9. Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

    I think that this may be the revenge of the Stoic, as it were. There seems to be more male virgins then female at this point in time, so the idea that it’s all the “free milk” out there may be lacking.

  10. Comment by Tinkerwrks:

    Sigh. You make many excellent points. I usually just lurk around here but this is an issue that I deal with every day. I’m a single female and I don’t think I’ll ever have the chance to marry and have children even though it is what I have wanted since I was a little girl.

    I live chastely and I would like to marry within my faith. Unfortunately many of our young men have run off to chase the “free milk” and fallen away.

    For the past four years I have been blessed with the opportunity to live with my sister, her husband and their four children. I may never have a family of my own but I can help my sister. I love my nieces and nephews and helping to care for them eases my heart. I’ll likely be moving out this year since I have almost earned my master’s degree and I need to carry my own weight. I’ve decided to be the best aunt and sister that I can be.

    But it is still very hard and I wished I lived in society that encouraged courtship and marriage.

  11. Comment by adrienne (@adrienneleigh):

    @AmandaMarcotte @SadyDoyle OMG PLEASE fisk this guy. He’s been moving steadily toward self-parody but this takes cake: http://bit.ly/hv2n0E

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      I have not clicked through the link and read the underlying text, but this glimpse makes me skratch my head. Someone is asking for me to be “fisked” because I write a humor article on the war between the sexes? They cannot tell that when I say my masculine manliness extends only to reading comic books and pulp magazines that there is (at least a hint) of self-parody?

      I wager twelve to seven these are Leftwingers: I have never known Conservatives to take themselves so deliriously deadpan seriously.

  12. Comment by sputnick:

    That article on why women aren’t marrying was very interesting in the sense that I meet so many of the number #1,s The angry woman, but that’s a little bit of a misnomer: they are actually angry non-grown ups. A woman is an emotionally mature person. What the ‘immature’ angry woman or man needs to hear is that being an adult really starts when you quit saying “Why Me” and get on with the show, and not the drama show! I like to leave people like this with a great book on the subject; it’s called Man’s search for meaning.( or woman as the case may be) written by a man who lived though the nazi death camp experience and lost his wife. But he didn’t lose her in spirit and didn’t end up in the ovens because he new something about life and love.I can’t believe this, but his name escapes me at this time. Its a great book and I am sorry about this but look it up! Thanks for the note on that second article on men and women.

  13. Comment by Joshua_D:

    And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

    The man said, “The woman you put here with me — she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” – Genesis 3

    We men need to accept our part in this decline rather than just blaming the women. I believe you have said as much in past posts, Mr. Wright. In my opinion, becoming and man, and a woman, is about maturing into the person God would have us be. I don’t think we can become that person when we hold onto childish things. At some point, we must look back on the comic books and Stars Wars debates with fond memory of who we were, not who we are or who we will be.

    When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. – 1 Corinthians 13

    As a whole, I really believe our society is much less mature than we were, and I think that’s a sign of our decline. As mature men, we should never spend time trying to defend meaningless tripe.

    The article is written by an immature and misguided woman complaining about immature and misguided men – people who want ignore reality and then complain about the consequences.

    God laid out His plan and how men and women should interact; how the family should be organized, who would do what, and how decisions were made. There is no reason to try to soften the message for modern women or modern men.

    Reading over those lines written by Milton should make us view most of the literature written today with a sense of … sadness.

    • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

      “We men need to accept our part in this decline rather than just blaming the women.”. I don’t think anyone is arguing that. The problem is, in some of our eyes, of women demanding things they shouldn’t, and men yielding when they shouldn’t. For example, “At some point, we must look back on the comic books and Stars Wars debates with fond memory of who we were, not who we are or who we will be.”. You see them as a point of contention, and are happy to yield to the women. It’s not an important point, right? But “comic books and Stars Wars” are not actually what they are complaining about, they are metaphors for men not “playing the game”. The women complaining about “comic books and Stars Wars” are the women who snubbed their “immature” peers to party with “exciting” men for about ten years. Once they are ready to settle down, they find the “exciting” men are having too much fun with this year’s model. They cast their eye to the “immature” men they left behind. Surely they’ve “grown up” since then, and are ready for commitment! But the fire goes out if it is not fed, so they have either figured out how to be “exciting”, or got off the boat. split from the whole f*ckin’ program. You can get rid of the comic books. You can get rid of Stars Wars. Doesn’t matter. Something else will stand up to take the blame. The actual problem is that too many women want to party with Ted Kennedy and marry Andy Griffin, but with no actual commitment, in case Ted comes back around. Thus the womens demand for No Fault Divorce and Abortion on demand, both of which happened in the wake of “Woman’s Lib”, and men like yourself, who were happy to accept their part of the blame and yield to the women.

    • Comment by John Hutchins:

      . I don’t think we can become that person when we hold onto childish things. At some point, we must look back on the comic books and Stars Wars debates with fond memory of who we were, not who we are or who we will be.

      What determines what is childish and what is grown up?

      “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” -Matthew 18:3

      Again what is childish?

      Given how the two terms are used when describing literature and other forms of entertainment I would much rather enjoy things that I am not afraid to show my children then the more “mature” topics.

      My wife enjoys science fiction and fantasy just as I do, I lean more towards science fiction and she to fantasy but we both enjoy the other. I think we are a stronger couple because of it. Neither of us changed our interests to be what we thought someone else would desire or not find childish. I think we have a stronger and more enjoyable marriage because of that.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      “As a whole, I really believe our society is much less mature than we were, and I think that’s a sign of our decline.”

      Amen. On the brighter side, a lot of the history I have read tells me that lot of previous societies were also in decline, and for very long periods after whatever decade was their golden age. Decline seems to be the default estate of man on earth.

    • Comment by robertjwizard:

      At some point, we must look back on the comic books and Stars Wars debates with fond memory of who we were, not who we are or who we will be.

      Well, if I am not going to talk to my wife about Star Wars, who is?

      The article presupposes it is a male thing. Not always.

      Who decides what is “childish”? Is it confined to Star Wars, or science fiction in general?

      Comic books and Star Wars (leaving out the prequels) are meaningless tripe? Conversations about them are immature? I think it would depend on who is having the conversation. I approach all such things philosophically, there is nothing immature about it.

      I am with John Hutchins on this. My wife and I read such things by the crateful. We just spent the past month and a half glued to the tv set watching the entire Battlestar Galactica series. We can because we are of same mind, we both knew within twenty minutes we were going to dive into this world together as one. We did the same thing with Harry Potter – the books, not the movies. It depends on the people in question. Like Mr. Hutchins said these things strengthen our bonds. Especially talking about the experiences.

      I am not denying the general thrust of the article, but an interest in SW or SF in general or comic books is not, per se, indicative of immaturity. When I read that part of the article, I looked up at the picture on my wall in front of my writing desk. It is from the cover of Fredric Brown’s Martians Go Home! Pure 50′s pulp sf if there ever was – enough to make SW seem the most deep thing in the world. I laughed at what she would think of my maturity. But, you see, it is deeper than she would think. The martian in the picture (dressed in 50′s James Dean garb) is mocking me. He doesn’t think I can write…

      • Comment by John C Wright:

        “Who decides what is “childish”? ”

        I think the current administration is appointing a committee whose rulings on what is childish and what is mature are definitive and binding. It will be a cabinet level position. Since the state is now our Nanny, who better to decide whether we are growing into adults at the correct rate?

        No, no, just kidding. The committee on childishness is actually appointed by the Science Fiction Writers of America, under its President, Damon Knight. By some odd coincidence, they decided all of Damon Knight’s works are mature and grown-up, whereas the work of AE van Vogt is trivial and childish.

        The committee also ruled that Kyle Raynor is the real Green Lantern and Hal Jordan is a has-been; that Jar Jar Binks is a better character than Luke Skywalker; the Halle Berry is the best Catwoman; that Michael Moorcock and China Mieville count as grown-up and serious writers, whereas CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien are childish and trivial.

        We are gathering at midnight in our bat costumes with torches and pitchforks to go discuss these and other decisions by the committee.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      “We men need to accept our part in this decline rather than just blaming the women. I believe you have said as much in past posts, Mr. Wright.”

      Very much so. Some day I intend to write a story where God, walking in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the evening, hears the cry of all creation as man’s first parents taste of the Tree of Woe. he says to his son (who happens to be walking along beside him), “Well, let us go over to Adam and his wife. I will explain the penalty for trespass is four weeks detention and two weekends community service. Good thing he will not fib to my face or try to shift the blame onto someone else! Because the penalty for that is more severe!”

      The Son says, “Well, no one is that stupid. Why don’t you just add one year to the term of their exile every time they complain? Once they see they are just digging themselves deeper into the pit, they’ll wise up and turn around. Tell you what! If they cannot pay the penalty, I will! I mean, I can do four weeks standing on my head!”

      God says, “Deal. Let’s go talk to them.”

      Off he goes, and there is Adam, crouching naked. God says, “Now, sonny, the penalty for this is very mild. Two weekends community service, and you have to stay late for a month….”

      “The Woman you gave me tempted me, and I ate! So it’s you’re fault, God!”

      “Hmph. Unfortunately, the penalty for trying to weasel out of things is somewhat more severe, but as long as you don’t blaspheme, or…”

      “What kind of cockamamie Creation did you make here, God? Way wasn’t there a warning label on the apple? Or a fence around the Tree of Knowledge? I have taken up matters with my attorney, the Serpent and we are suing you for maintaining an attractive nuisance! Also, you have to pay my legal fees of me suing you!”

      God turns his blazing eyes toward the woman, “And did you do this thing?”

      Eve says, “The serpent beguiled me, and I ate. But I notice YOU did not create me with the wits and integrity to withstand the seduction of the serpent, and YOU created the serpent! So this is your fault! In fact, its sexism! You create me as some sort of horrible stereotype of feminine ambition, weakness, and curiosity! You are as bad as Prometheus creating Pandora. I feel that the Garden of Eden is a hostile work environment. And the Apple is a dangerous product released onto the market with foreseeable consequences, for which you are to be held strictly liable! I am not only suing you for creating me to sin, but also for pain and suffering and lost wages!”

      God blinks. “But I don’t pay you any wage. This is paradise.”

      Eve shouts, “See! Slave labor! Sexual discrimination! Glass ceiling!”

      Jesus is starting to look nervous. “Hey, Dad. Remember I said I would pick up the slack for whatever penalty they couldn’t pay? We are not counting each and every time they open their mouths and stick their foot in as another ‘my bad’ — right? Because they are racking up a score here. Good thing when they have kids, the children will not make things worse.”

      Eve is beginning to shout. “I should be paid the same wages as Adam! Talk to my lawyer!”

      “The wages of sin are the same for man and woman,” God looks at the serpent. “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between her seed and your seed. On thou belly thou shalt go, and lick the dust of the earth.”

      The serpent shrugs. “Too late, big guy. I agreed to that when I became a member of the American Bar Association.”

      And things just went downhill from there.

      • Comment by Stephen J.:

        I always used to think the story of the Fall did seem a little unfair to women in general, though Adam hardly acquits himself honorably either.

        I sometimes explained it to myself by thinking, “Well, if the story of the Fall is the story of the actual first sin of disobedience by humans, in whatever higher state we existed in before seizing knowledge of good and evil for ourselves and being smacked down fully into Time as fleshly beings as a result, then it could very easily be any of those first People, and that it happened to be a woman was sheer bad luck of who the Devil saw first.”

        Only recently has it sometimes occurred to me that maybe the Creation story took shape as it did because the Jews, alone of all peoples, looked at the state of women in the ancient world and thought, “You know, the situation for women in this life really sucks! Used, discarded, too weak to fight, treated like possessions, first to get killed when the ruler gets turfed out, dying in childbirth every third or fourth time — Ai, Jehovah, we thought You were tough on Job? Least he got all his crap back! What the heck did women do to deserve the raw deal You handed them? Don’t You keep making a big deal out of how just a God You are? We’re all sinners, for Bathsheba’s sake; what, was a woman the very first one, or something?!”

        And I imagine Elijah or Moses remarking, “Actually….”

        I think Genesis is the only creation myth I’ve ever read which actually acknowledges the rotten deal women had in life at the time — though I’m not as up on my classical mythologies as I should be, and what I do remember is often bowdlerized from childhood, I don’t think the Greco-Roman, Norse, or Egyptian mythoi put much thought into that aspect of life. Corrections or counter-examples are welcomed.

        • Comment by John Hutchins:

          1 Timothy 2:14 – You sure it was random chance that Eve partook of the fruit and that Adam wasn’t offered it first?

          See 2 Nephi 2: 22-27 for a brief introduction of how my church views the fall polar opposite to how you view the fall. Consequentially, my view of Adam and Eve and the role and lot of woman is not the same as yours. We view the fall as a necessary step forward and honor Eve (and Adam) as righteous parents to the Human race.

          • Comment by John C Wright:

            The Gnostics also regarded the Fall in an opposite light. Their view was that the God of the Old Testament was the foe of Jesus, and had Man trapped in a garden of paradise in order to degrade and enslave his sense with pleasures. The fruit of disobedience was offered by the snake in order to partkae of divine knowledge, so that man would realized that he was god and always had been.

            There are parallels to certain New Age beliefs that we are all creator spirits trapped in matter like an author (somehow) falling inside his own book, or a Star Trek goofling being trapped on the Holodeck.

            • Comment by lotdw:

              It also reminds me of belief of some Gnostics that Judas was a saint, not a sinner, for his part in bringing about the Crucifixion. (This idea shows up in one of Borges’ stories as well.)

              The danger of all of these is to start believing that sin/evil is thus encouraged or required by God, rather than the Fall & Judas’ betrayal being actions against God’s plan (that is, evil) which God nevertheless used for the benefit of mankind. After all, forgiveness is good, so isn’t the sin which is required to attain forgiveness also good?

              The fallacy is obvious, but no less believed for its obviousness.

              • Comment by John Hutchins:

                Perhaps this goes towards my religion’s understanding of sin but how could Adam and Eve choose evil if they had no knowledge of good or evil?

                How was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world if both the Fall and the Atonement were contrary to God’s plan? How is God Omniscient or Omnipotent if He did not intend for either to happen?

                I have been trying not to have an extremely long post explaining how I view the Fall. I strongly suggest reading 2 Nephi 2, Moses 4:6, and Moses 5:6-12.

                • Comment by lotdw:

                  “Perhaps this goes towards my religion’s understanding of sin but how could Adam and Eve choose evil if they had no knowledge of good or evil?”

                  Syllogism:

                  1. All knowing disobedience of God is sin.
                  2. God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of the Tree.
                  3. Adam and Eve knowingly disobeyed God’s command not to eat of the tree.

                  Therefore, Adam and Eve sinned.

                  Also, did not God punish them for their transgression? Or is God unfairly meting out punishment?

                  “How was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world if both the Fall and the Atonement were contrary to God’s plan? How is God Omniscient or Omnipotent if He did not intend for either to happen?”

                  Answer to both: Human free will.

                  How is anything blameworthy if it is all done to be in accord with God’s plan? (Note: that God still brings all things to good, and His plan cannot actually be stopped by sin, is tangential to whether sin itself is against God’s plan or not.)

                  If God intended Adam to disobey him, and Judas to disobey him, did God then intend them to sin and risk damnation? Is this true for all other sinners?

                  • Comment by John Hutchins:

                    You clearly have not ready 2 Nephi 2 like I asked.

                    They were commanded not to eat of the fruit lest they die, they choose to eat therefore they died. They were not guilty of sin as like a toddler they were unable to tell between good and evil before eating of the fruit. The punishment that happened was a natural consequence of eating the fruit. Like a toddler that touches a hot stove after you have told them that it is hot. It couldn’t be knowing disobedience because they didn’t know good and evil but they did transgress, my church has a distinction between sin and transgression.

                    God knows the end from the beginning, Isaiah 46:10. He knew us before we were born (Jeremiah 1:5) and knows us with a perfect knowledge so while He can predict our actions with certainty He is not responsible for our actions. See 2 Nephi 2:14-16.

                    You ask a question and then answer your own question as far as I can tell. The purpose of life is to first gain a body and second to be tried and tested in all things, to learn to walk by faith and not by sight. For this test of us to be an actual test there needs to be opposition in all things. So God being all-knowing is able to use our breaking of His commands in order to further His plan. He did not cause us to break His commands other then in the completely useless sense of giving them in the first place. We choose to break the command after being placed in a situation where we have a choice, we are not forced to do so, therefore we are the guilty ones for breaking a command, not God.

                    If a teacher has a student that comes in on test day who did not study and did not attempt to learn the material and the teacher knows this is the teacher responsible for the student failing the test?

                    • Comment by lotdw:

                      “You clearly have not ready 2 Nephi 2 like I asked.”

                      I did; what was clear to me is that it is a misunderstanding of the Biblical account (remember, I do not accept your books as canonical).

                      To read the account of Genesis as anything other than the type of all transgressions or sins (I admit no such distinction) ever, indeed as the clearest type because God told Adam and Eve directly not to do it and they did and were punished for it, is to misunderstand the entire book (even for Jews, who do not believe in Original Sin, this is the case afaik). As with your practice of Baptism for the Dead, it looks like a studied misapplication of the Bible, a spinning out of one minor line into an immense doctrine. It is like the college professors who say that the key to understanding all of Hamlet is found in a throwaway line, just so the professors can publish something different from the already known, correct interpretation.

                      “They were commanded not to eat of the fruit lest they die, they choose to eat therefore they died. They were not guilty of sin as like a toddler they were unable to tell between good and evil before eating of the fruit. The punishment that happened was a natural consequence of eating the fruit. Like a toddler that touches a hot stove after you have told them that it is hot. It couldn’t be knowing disobedience because they didn’t know good and evil but they did transgress, my church has a distinction between sin and transgression.”

                      So when I tell a toddler not to do something, he knows that I told him not to do it, and does it anyway (IE disobeys) – that is somehow not knowing disobedience? That makes no sense. Hell is a natural consequence of disobeying God too. The distinction seems fictitious.

                      “You ask a question and then answer your own question as far as I can tell.”

                      I do honestly want to know your answers (though it was somewhat Socratic, I suppose). It doesn’t seem like we disagree on free will, but the cosmology is the hitch, which I’m not sure you see – there may not actually be a problem, but your earlier posts made it seem as if God required Adam to “transgress” (and my other question, which you never answered, about Judas to sin) – thus God’s plan requires, rather than works around or with, men to sin. I still see a contradiction among your conception of free will, justice and God’s plan. That’s what I haven’t seen an answer for.

                      “If a teacher has a student that comes in on test day who did not study and did not attempt to learn the material and the teacher knows this is the teacher responsible for the student failing the test?”

                      Funny, I’ve used the same analogy myself (and I’m a teacher to boot). I agree, of course.

                    • Comment by John Hutchins:

                      it looks like a studied misapplication of the Bible, a spinning out of one minor line into an immense doctrine.

                      Or additional revelation. But I understand what you are saying and from your point of view it would look like that.

                      Why is there a distinction in the law between a toddler and an adult?

                      but the cosmology is the hitch, which I’m not sure you see – there may not actually be a problem, but your earlier posts made it seem as if God required Adam to “transgress” (and my other question, which you never answered, about Judas to sin) – thus God’s plan requires, rather than works around or with, men to sin. I still see a contradiction among your conception of free will, justice and God’s plan.

                      I have a response to Mrmandias that has some quotes that further explain this hopefully.

                      “Elder Joseph Fielding Smith said: “I never speak of the part Eve took in this fall as a sin, nor do I accuse Adam of a sin. … This was a transgression of the law, but not a sin … for it was something that Adam and Eve had to do!””

                      God did require them to transgress.

                      “And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.

                      And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.”

                      Adam and Eve was a special case, which hopefully is clear. Not that I expect you to accept my view, it probably looks like nonsense if you don’t have our understanding of sin and transgression.

                      I think with the rest I am somewhat confused about what you mean and where the contradiction is. God does not require us to sin but works with the fact that we sin from a position of foreknowledge to take maximum advantage of what sins we will commit. We are the ones that choose to sin :

                      And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.

                      27Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

                      Hopefully that explains things or if not I think I need more explanation on where the issue is.

                • Comment by Mrmandias:

                  John H.,
                  I’m a coreligionist of yours. But I disagree some with what you’re saying here. You just can’t read the *Fall* as an unalloyed good. Its at very best an extremely tragic choice. A choice can be evil if what is chosen is evil even if the choice is uninformed. Because none of our choices in this life are every truly informed.

                  • Comment by John Hutchins:

                    “Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God” (Moses 5:10).

                    When Adam and Eve received the first commandment, they were in a transitional state, no longer in the spirit world but with physical bodies not yet subject to death and not yet capable of procreation. They could not fulfill the Father’s first commandment without transgressing the barrier between the bliss of the Garden of Eden and the terrible trials and wonderful opportunities of mortal life.

                    For reasons that have not been revealed, this transition, or “fall,” could not happen without a transgression—an exercise of moral agency amounting to a willful breaking of a law (see Moses 6:59). This would be a planned offense, a formality to serve an eternal purpose. The Prophet Lehi explained that “if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen” (2 Ne. 2:22), but would have remained in the same state in which he was created.

                    “And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin” (2 Ne. 2:23).

                    But the Fall was planned, Lehi concludes, because “all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things” (2 Ne. 2:24).

                    It was Eve who first transgressed the limits of Eden in order to initiate the conditions of mortality. Her act, whatever its nature, was formally a transgression but eternally a glorious necessity to open the doorway toward eternal life. Adam showed his wisdom by doing the same. And thus Eve and “Adam fell that men might be” (2 Ne. 2:25).

                    Some Christians condemn Eve for her act, concluding that she and her daughters are somehow flawed by it. Not the Latter-day Saints! Informed by revelation, we celebrate Eve’s act and honor her wisdom and courage in the great episode called the Fall (see Bruce R. McConkie, “Eve and the Fall,” Woman, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979, pp. 67–68). Joseph Smith taught that it was not a “sin,” because God had decreed it (see The Words of Joseph Smith, ed. Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1980, p. 63). Brigham Young declared, “We should never blame Mother Eve, not the least” (in Journal of Discourses, 13:145). Elder Joseph Fielding Smith said: “I never speak of the part Eve took in this fall as a sin, nor do I accuse Adam of a sin. … This was a transgression of the law, but not a sin … for it was something that Adam and Eve had to do!” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954–56, 1:114–15).

                    From http://lds.org/ensign/1993/11/the-great-plan-of-happiness?lang=eng

                    See Also http://lds.org/ensign/2002/01/the-choice-that-began-mortality?lang=eng which starts with “The Fall was a glorious necessity to open the doorway toward eternal life.”

          • Comment by Stephen J.:

            Not an exegeticist, so I couldn’t speak to how the Magisterium “officially” interprets that passage, but my references show that “wife” is a possible alternate meaning in many places in 1 Timothy 2:11-14. So Timothy *may* just be reiterating the Pauline teaching that husbands should be head of the household here. (Worth mentioning at this point that 1 Timothy is generally considered extremely unlikely to be actually written by St. Paul, and is usually dated to somewhere between 100 & 150 AD.)

            I’m afraid Nephi isn’t in my version of the Bible; can you elaborate on this book?

            I have to admit that the notion that the Fall was somehow required, and therefore respectable, smacks a little too much of predestination for me, and undermines the notion of the Fall as an explanation for our imperfect, fallen, and suffering-prone nature. I believe that had we not Fallen history and the universe would have taken a very different path and shape; but the temptation of such ponderings is to get distracted from What Is. As Aslan notes, “No one is ever allowed to know what would have happened.

    • Comment by Joshua_D:

      I’ll tell ya what, comic book readers and Star Wars fans are a defensive lot! ;)

      “Robert Mitchell Jr says:
      You see (Star Wars and comic books) them as a point of contention, and are happy to yield to the women.”

      That’s not what I’m trying to say. I’m saying that men and women should mature. I think that as we get older, some things become less important, and other things become more important. I think it would be strange indeed if we enjoyed the same things at 55 years old that we did at 15 years old.

      “John C Wright says:
      February 28, 2011 at 6:25 pm
      Amen. On the brighter side, a lot of the history I have read tells me that lot of previous societies were also in decline, and for very long periods after whatever decade was their golden age. Decline seems to be the default estate of man on earth.”

      I hear ya. There is always a brighter side, thank the Lord.

      “robertjwizard says:
      March 1, 2011 at 8:05 am
      Comic books and Star Wars (leaving out the prequels) are meaningless tripe? Conversations about them are immature? I think it would depend on who is having the conversation. I approach all such things philosophically, there is nothing immature about it.”

      Take the shield down, man. I wasn’t trying to insult. But yes, in the grand scheme of life, Star Wars and comic books are meaningless, as are most books really, and most stuff we spend our time on. I love playing music, writing songs, jamming with friends, but that’s really meaningless. It’s not bad. It’s fun. It’ enjoyable. But, it’s just not important, that’s all. I used to think it was very important. Now, I think my wife and daughter are the most important people in the world and I wouldn’t fret if I had to give up music. That’s all I’m trying to say. I think that’s part of growing up.

      • Comment by robertjwizard:

        …as are most books really, and most stuff we spend our time on.

        Ah, now I see. Here’s the rub. You can decide which things in your life have value, but to do so roundly for others is a little presumptuous since you have little knowledge of what other people pursue as values as individuals.

        Naturally if you have a family, they should be your top value. I find it intrinsic to the fact. That doesn’t mean the other stuff is meaningless. I play music too (with embarrassing incompetance, I may add) and I would sell my Gretsch in a heartbeat if some important need of my wife necessitated it. But that does not mean it is meaningless.

        In the grand scheme of things values are important as such. That we must have them on a heirarchy is merely a reflection that we don’t have an infinite amount of time on our hands.

        And of the word “meaningless”. I think we should reserve that for the truly meaningless. Someone who watches Jersey Shore, for instance, is watching something meaningless, and is making their own investment of time meaningless. Next to “entertainment” like that, comic books and SW get a major promotion!

        I am also of the opinion that art is profoundly important. I would go so far as to say we are made from it in character. It is not philosophic treatises that move mankind, it is the art that shapes us.

        Then again I doubt the lady in the original article was talking about people as populate this forum.

      • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

        Right, I got that. But the starting point was that men were immature for liking comics books and Star Wars. You agreed, and say that men should mature. And you say women should mature, but give no example of something they should leave behind, almost as if you know you need to maintain balance, but don’t actual believe in it. A problem in a post where the point is to find a way to bring men back to the altar. The problem, as I see it, is that while Marriage is a mature act, falling in love is quite immature, even, dare I say, an act of madness. Now, men don’t seem to have a problem with being married. It’s women who start 80/90% of divorces. Perhaps it’s women who have a problem growing up? Part of growing up is having to do things you don’t want to. What do women Have to do? The number of man virgins is the highest in recorded history. Perhaps we have forced men to grow up too quickly? Certainly they learn very quickly a moments weakness can ruin their family. There are twelve year old boys who have been sued to pay child support to their rapists. How much faster do you want boys to grow up?

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          Allow me to suggest that simple selfishness, regardless of sex, lies at the root of the problem of high divorce rates in a culture that not only legally allows divorce, but has also abandoned the traditional shame Christians once attached to the act of dismembering the union of sacred matrimony.

          If you look elsewhere on this thread, you will see a fine example of a postchristian, who cannot or will not analyze the marriage relationship as anything other than a mutual power struggle between mutually mistrustful allies, each jealous to guard his sacred rights from invasion and oppression by the other. Albeit love (he admits) can at times make the area of mutually beneficial areas where self interests overlap larger.

          The culture that could produce men who talk this way is a culture so selfish that it either cannot conceive, or simply does not have any vocabulary for, the type of self-emptying love, agape, that Christians take not merely as the core value of human life, but as the source and summit of all creation, the natural and supernatural order alike.

          • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

            Where do you put the betrayal of trust in that formula? Certainly no fault divorce, abortion and other crimes of the sexual revolution come from simple selfishness, but these sins were also an announcement that the “other side” could not be trusted. In response, we have seen prenups and other attempts at self defense, and many who have withdrawn from the dance completely. Is it just selfish to step carefully, now that Marriage is dead or dying? Did Marriage ever have a point? Did it provide any protection? If it did, why? Your response to the current mess seems to be Man up, Bull thru, and get on with it. But I note that when you talk about the people murdered by the fallout of the Sexual Revolution, only men are on that list. Not your fault, but it has been my experience as well. Man up may not be the correct response to the current situation. Might men have reason to be nervous?

            • Comment by John C Wright:

              “Where do you put the betrayal of trust in that formula? ”

              Selfishness and betrayal of trust are two sides of the same coin.

              The main reason why marriage partners betray each other is out of selfishness, and so this is the main reason they dare not trust each other. The culture encourages and lionizes self-centeredness, selfishness, and “choice” (but only when the choice is to kill the child – Sarah Palin’s choice to bear her child to term triggered hysterical hatred like nothing I have ever seen) and meanwhile the culture makes betrayal easier and easier. Under the rules of the Sexual Revolution, adultery is no sin, and abandoning your spouse and family is called self-expression and “finding yourself.”

          • Comment by robertjwizard:

            Might I point out that this thread is without any consideration of the concept of love itself? Why are we talking about marriage as if it were not a commitment of love? This is like talking about man without reference to the fact he is a rational anilmal. The sexual revolution (at least certain aspects of it) did not kill marriage, it killed love, romantic love, marriage is collateral damage.

            There is no piecing together this humpty-dumpty without love.

            • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

              The trick here is what are the elements that go into falling in Love? I would say that Trust comes first and continues to be part of the foundation of Love. That’s when Crimes of Passion happen, right? When Trust is lost? Now, if Marriage requires Love, and Love requires Trust, then why should anyone get married in this age of no fault divorce and abortion on (woman’s) demand? They are both very loud and public proclamations that someone is not to be trusted. Now, you can find a good woman who can be trusted, but that requires that you trust them without proof or protection. How else do you find out you can trust someone, other then being in a situation where you had to trust them and they came through? But this act of trust might beggar three generations of your family, in the current legal environment. For Love? Ok. For a 10% chance that it could turn into Love? That would seem to be a bridge too far for our current crop of young men. The women’s side seems to lack the empathy to see this, thus the complaints about Star Wars and comic books. So it goes…..

              • Comment by John Hutchins:

                Did you know that the divorce rate among arranged marriages in India is lower then the divorce rate among other marriages in India and our divorce rate? Marriage primarily for love has not always been considered the point of marriage.

                Marriage is primarily about having and raising children in a safe and stable environment. I would agree the no-fault divorces are responsible for further raising the divorce rate but they are not the primary cause. A large part of the cause of the high divorce rate is this idea that marriage is solely about love with no regard to the children and no understanding of what causes love.

                • Comment by robertjwizard:

                  Marriage is primarily about having and raising children in a safe and stable environment.

                  Legally, I get that. [the following are not my actual views, but the thoughts arise...] But why death do you part then? Why not till junior’s out of the house? You can be in and out of the baby facilitator of contractual marriage before you hit forty. What would be the argument for growing old and flabby with someone after the kids are on their own?

                  • Comment by John Hutchins:

                    Forty is too young, it would be more like in their 50′s or early 60′s.

                    From a societal stand point there are such benefits of having old couples stay together to provide stability for the younger generation. I know of situations where the children were all in college and the divorce still had large adverse reactions for the children. The sense of stability and that marriage can endure and be successful is harmed whenever a divorce takes place and most especially when it takes place in marriages that have endured through all the hardships of raising children and building a life together.

                    Further, the question only makes sense in a world where a social safety net exists and is not seen as being terribly degrading to use.

                    The phrase till death do us part plays to the dream of having a happy marriage that lasts as long as possible. It comes by way of the Catholic church and is based on the command by Jesus to not have divorce and the interpretation of one passage of scripture in such a way as to preclude the possibility that marriage does not continue past the grave.

                    My church believes differently such that part of the point of life is forming a marriage that will last forever as “what God has joined together let not men separate” and what the proper authority “binds on earth will be bound in heaven”. This creates pro-creative units that exist in the eternities making the question of when child-rearing stops have the answer of only for an infinitely short time period on earth, if the marriage is successful in living up to its covenants.

              • Comment by robertjwizard:

                For Love? Ok. For a 10% chance that it could turn into Love?

                You lost me here. Are you saying that trust happens before falling in love? It seems you are saying that one has to take a leap of faith in trusting someone, and for what, a 10% chance that that trust could turn into love?

                I may be misreading you… that is always a possibility.

                Now, you can find a good woman who can be trusted, but that requires that you trust them without proof or protection. How else do you find out you can trust someone, other then being in a situation where you had to trust them and they came through?

                And changing the legal scheme will solve the issue of trust how? You solve the issue of trust through legal and criminal repercussions? This isn’t a business contract we are discussing here. I am not arguing in favor of no-fault divorce (although I see no harm of it with childless couples), but I do not see how it addresses the issue.

                May as well take the issue of trust off the table.

                I am naturally inclined against trying to solve cultural problems legally rather than by trying to change our ideals and what we accept as proper behavior as a culture, as a society, as individuals.

                Although I am skeptical at this point, with such things as Jersey Shore as our cultural “ideal” (let alone everything else), whether any of it is salvagable, or worthy of being salvaged.

                • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

                  You seem to have it just fine. What do you think you might be misreading? That Trust is needed before Love would seem to be almost a Truism. That you will court several women before you find “The One” would seem to be normal state of affairs.

                  No Fault Divorce, Abortion on Demand, and “Not Debtors Prison” would be the legal and criminal repercussions. They are the changes to a perhaps half-million year status quo. They have destroyed trust and given us an unsupportable birth rate and what seems to be a unhealthy marriage rates. Certainly none of this changes have made people happier. And yet you take as a postulate that returning to the status quo won’t fix anything. How odd. Your car ran fine with gas, it seemed a little expensive so you tried water and now your car won’t run. You don’t know what to do, but the one thing you do know is that you can’t go back to gas. Huh?

                  As to the “Jersey Shore” thing, well, that’s why we should study History, so that we may have some perspective on these things. For example, it was much worse in England before the Victorians dealt with the liquor and other problems. I myself have met people who escaped to Spain, controlled by Franco! Barefoot, walking for miles to shark marbles off my brother and I, and they were so happy to have escaped the Soviet Block! Things aren’t perfect, but to despair that “Nothing can be Salvaged!” is just silly. Look away from the Abyss once in a while. Despair is the handmaiden of Suicide, and that’s never the right answer.

                  • Comment by robertjwizard:

                    And yet you take as a postulate that returning to the status quo won’t fix anything. How odd. Your car ran fine with gas, it seemed a little expensive so you tried water and now your car won’t run. You don’t know what to do, but the one thing you do know is that you can’t go back to gas. Huh?

                    Yes, sarcasm, another inflated ego needs a boost after one exchange of internet discussion. Was it not Jesus who said – if your brethren not understand or agree at your first utterance, mock him so that you will feel bigger in your own eyes! for that is the goal of discourse, children, the satisfaction of your ego!

                    You think changing the laws tomorrow will bring you the return of your status quo, you live in fantasyland. First, you will not get your laws changed without changing the status quo. You have to change the culture before you can get to the position of changing your laws. Maybe you should read some history.

                    Your position is basically Marxist with the laws and availability of contraception standing in for the tools of production. Change the tools, change the ideas. Change the laws, change the ideas.

                    • Comment by The OFloinn:

                      quid leges sine moribus vanae proficiunt
                      – Horace, The Odes, 3.24.36-7

                    • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

                      Or, you know, not sarcasm, but genuine confusion. I did not understand that your discussion technique was to pretend to be a Man From Mars (Look! Actual Sarcasm!).

                      Let me start fresh. Here on the Planet we call Earth, on of the tools we use to change the culture is Law and Law enforcement. If you have access to the Internet (Actual Sarcasm Alert) then you might Google the term, Lawfare, and search for many, many examples of it’s use around the world. As a Man From Mars(ASA), you have not seen the amazing success MAD had in changing the drunk driving laws, and the culture of drinking. As as Man From Mars (ASA), you have not seen the amazing success the anti smoking activists have had changing the laws about smoking, and a culture that once accepted smoking as an indoor activity(Really! Study History, it’s True (ASA)). If you are pretending to be a Leftist as well as a Man From Mars, and so cannot see any part of the world except America (ASA), then you might look at how the Divorce Laws were changed before the culture had accepted divorce, and how Abortion was forced on the country before the country had accepted abortion, and how Child Support Laws have so twisted the legal system that we now have Debtors Prison again, when the culture is so against it that legal minds such as Mr. Wright must tie themselves into knots denying it. You, Man From Mars (ASA), have missed all the lawsuits by Feminists to get rid of sports (So masculine! Ugh!) by using the law “Title nine” to force “equality” into this cultural venue, with the happy, and accidental (Yah, Right! (ASA)) of many, many sports and teams going away, because women do not play sports at the same rate as men. You, Man From Mars (ASA), have missed the many, many lawsuits by the homosexuals against people who’s culture is not comfortable with said perversion. Lawsuits against Hospitals, Photographers, Churches, Adoption offices, the list goes on. They fought successfully to change the Laws against perversion, and are now using the laws to punish anyone who does not publicly affirm and accept their perversion. As a Man From Mars, you are not aware of one of our darker public moments, that of Segregation (ASA). Those laws were passed by force and guild because the Democrats could not change the culture enough to stop people from taking money from “the wrong sorts” (ASA). Those laws were so “helpful” (ASA) in changing the culture in areas where it was the law, that when the greater culture decided to get rid of these vile laws, despite the best efforts of you and other Men From Mars (ASA), George Wallace was able to call out the State National Guard, and the Army had to be brought in by President Eisenhower to restore order.

                      Given these many, many examples of laws being used to change the culture, your position (because I don’t believe you actually are a Man From Mars!tm) seems less an attempt to help the culture (which, oddly you gave no examples, or suggestions of in your wounded dove post) and more another sad Leftist attempt to shut down the opposition in the classic Leftist “Heads I win, Tails you lose” formula. “They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.” You seem to be arguing that we should give up a weapon that has been used against us time and time again, with the idea that the Left will so respect our morals and culture that they will stop. “But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe” seems more likely. Can you give me a reason to think otherwise? Can you define the moment where we have changed the Culture enough that you will let us change the Laws? Or any means of stopping the Left from attacking the Culture with Lawfare? Or is your only complaint the fact that the American Culture is finally defending itself from the Leftist cancer (ASA)?

                    • Comment by John C Wright:

                      “Debtors Prison again, when the culture is so against it that legal minds such as Mr. Wright must tie themselves into knots denying it…”

                      Is that a misprint? You seem to be saying that I deny that there is such a thing as debtor’s prison for Dads in the country. In the original post above, I wrote these words “Eight out of ten divorces are initiated by the wives, and the hubby, when he has done no wrong at all, can by a simple fiat of the court be turned from a father into a mere provider of child support not allowed to see his children.”

                      Does that sound like I am trying myself into legal knots denying it? To me, it sounds like I am affirming it. Modern laws make marriage imprudent for males, who have all the responsibilities of fathers and none of the rights, while unmarried men enjoy the nuptial pleasures of sexual congress with women who are either artificially sterile or unnatural and monstrous infanticides.

                    • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

                      Both quotes are from “The Gods of the Copybook Headings” by Kipling, but I have no Idea how to do footnotes in this format.

                    • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

                      Yes and no, Mr. Wright. I believe it was about a year ago on a post much like this one, about the mess the sexual revolution had made of things. You did not deny the debt, but you did (in my memory) deny the idea that debtor’s prisons were back. I’m sure it was a throw away line for you, but it stuck in my memory because I have encountered the idea several times from legal type customers. It was explained to me that men were not being thrown into debtor’s prison, they were being thrown into jail for failing to obey a court order to pay a debt, and I was stupid if I couldn’t tell the difference. This did and does strike me as nuts……

                    • Comment by John C Wright:

                      “It was explained to me that men were not being thrown into debtor’s prison, they were being thrown into jail for failing to obey a court order to pay a debt, and I was stupid if I couldn’t tell the difference. This did and does strike me as nuts……”

                      But it was not me who said that.

                • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

                  Oh, gosh no! No, as I said, you acknowledged the debt. You just (in my reading) poo pooed the term, and it made more of an impression then it should have because of the mentioned context. It seemed to me that the Legal Profession was engaged in Magical Thinking (Much like your essay on Eskimo), that so long as no one called it Debtor’s Prison, that everything was fine…….

  14. Comment by lotdw:

    There’s an article at Slate that puts this is more scientific (sociology/economic) terms, and is I think more accurate:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2286240/

    • Comment by John Hutchins:

      An oversupply of women, however, tends to lead to a more sexually permissive culture. The same holds true on college campuses.

      Perhaps the exceptions that prove the rule, BYU and BYU-I both have much higher female enrollment. However, pornography is much lower at both then normal society and sex is almost always kept out of the relationship until marriage, so there is much lower supply then elsewhere. Men are the ones that are desperate to get married and 55% of the graduating class is married on average, not counting engagements.

      • Comment by lotdw:

        Are you sure about the pornography stat? I know Utah as a whole has the highest rate of online porn subscriptions in the country, and I’d be surprised to learn that the non-college-male part of the state is the one lowering the rate.

        • Comment by John Hutchins:

          The difference between the highest state per capita for online porn and the lowest is actually small. Utah also has the highest ratio of young people in the nation and the young consume more porn then older adults. Also, this is online porn, in Utah it is not possible to buy porn at a store and even magazines like SI swimsuit are blacked out at grocery stores.

          All of that aside from the fact that Utah County had lower porn watching rates when compared to the rest of the state. Also, BYU doesn’t even make up half of Utah Counties college student population because of UVU and other smaller schools in the area.

          Considering further that students attending BYU sign an honor code that prohibits porn, require ecclesiastical endorsement where they are asked if they are using porn, can be expelled for using porn, and porn is blocked on campus I most certainly do trust the statistic that porn is significantly lower then at other colleges.

  15. Comment by almitydave:

    Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t registered on the new blog until now.

    Anyway, I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but there is at least one site out there attempting to restore the lost Art Of Manliness, conveniently at http://artofmanliness.com/

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      Welcome aboard.

      I am aware of the Art of Manliness site, and have the book at home on my to-read pile.

      Unfortunately, my wife won’t let me read it, despite that I cringe and beg and whine like Gollum. When I annoy her, she sets the vicious attack poodles on me, and these chase me back to my thin and stinking sleeping mat in the pantry, where I shiver in the cold (she will not let me put coal on the grate) and vote Democrat.

      I am sure there is something wrong with my approach to the whole guy-girl thing, but I cannot tell what it is.

      But let me think back….

      The time I killed a Red Indian Ninja Pirate, Chief Screaming Blackbeard of Clan Yoma, with my bare teeth for daring to abduct her, and, after the battle, loomed over my wife with my shirt as torn as Doc Savage’s, lightning from the gathering stormclouds red-stained with sunset reflected in my stern yet domineering eyes, with both my crotch and my wallet bulging, sword in one hand and dishrag to help her clean dishes in the other, while she clutched at the thewed muscular pillar of my lithe yet hairy leg, her soft lips parted, hair mussed, bosom heaving against the antique corset of the hoopskirt all Southern Belles, cowgirls, and spunky girl reporters in America wear, my “woman” (as I called her then, since I could only speak in the grunt-language the Ape tribe who raised me taught) was more affectionate.

      So maybe I should give that book a try!

  16. Comment by i RISE (@theiriseproject):

    You’ve Come a Long Way Down, Baby! | John C. Wright’s Journal: So do not rejoice if St. Paul crowns you with the… http://bit.ly/htuKHA

  17. Comment by i RISE (@theiriseproject):

    You’ve Come a Long Way Down, Baby! | John C. Wright’s Journal: So do not rejoice if St. Paul crowns you with the… http://bit.ly/htuKHA

  18. Comment by Jacob:

    As a bachelor looking at the world of dating, things such as wives leaving their husbands and stealing their paycheck, kids, and maybe even the dog does not leave me with much incentive to pursue one. I know guys who never even see their military retirement check. I’m better off with my computer and video games as far as I’m concerned. Lonely? Yes. But that’s what pets are for.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      Would you be so bold as to join me in the nonconformist and, to the modern mind heretic and anathema, opinion that no fault divorce is to blame, combined with the erosion of self-control and common sense known as the sexual revolution?

      My theme here is that the attack on traditional marriage and the contempt for romance and femininity and motherhood over the years has made matters worse for men of high character, and for women of any character, high or low, who have sold their matrimony for a mess of pottage, and are told a poke in the eye is a sign of equality.

      The only persons who prosper are the Hugh Hefners, Lotharios, cads and serial polygamists.

      • Comment by Joshua_D:

        I’m in.

      • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

        Coming close to OZ here, sir. Who is arguing for no fault divorce, abortion on demand, or free love on this post? The question is, how do we get men to marry when we have no fault divorce, abortion on demand and the Lotharios stealing women’s virtue with no legal or social structure to stop or even slow them down? This whole discussion started with the idea that men were childish, and needed to stop with the Star Wars and Comic books. Now, they has been discussion over where or not those were, in fact, childish, but no one has argued against the base premise, that men need to “Man up” and get married, despite the no fault divorce, abortion on demand, etc. It just seems to me that not getting married is the adult thing to do with the current legal and social setup, and telling men to stop being childish is counterproductive……

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          No argument from me. No fault divorce, and the de-masculinization of the male half of the race, go hand in hand. It is the success of the Progressive program.

          I do not think the Progressives actually care about masculinity per se, or have any particular hatred of it. I think they merely want to destroy marriage, because it is a sacrament of the Church, and I think they want to abolish the distinction between men and women, because “male and female He created them.”

          I think there is a more general infantilization of both sexes going on, and almost all the images, ideals, slogans and examples being poured into the brains of our children are deliberately designed to render our instinctive emotional and moral reactions false and neurotic and evil: including (in this case) our instinctive and unspoken assumptions about how men and women should act toward each other. Because the real agenda of the Progressives is the abolition of man and the obliteration of anything resembling the image of God in man.

          And by “Progressives” I do not mean any human members of any political party or social movement: I mean Lucifer in Hell, and all his princes, dukes, and presidents, angels and archangels, thrones, potentates, powers of the inferno, who calculate day and night without rest, burning with malice, ever seeking the damnation of souls that even they have no method to destroy.

          There are some Progressives among human beings, but, as best I can tell by talking to them, they don’t even know what it is their own movement stands for, what it does, or what it means to do. One of them, for example, did not even know that Sanger, the founder of ‘Planned Parenthood’ promoted eugenics, and wanted Negroes sterilized on the grounds that they were a feeble-minded, crime-prone and lesser race.

          No fault divorce seems like such a small thing, and who could object to, for example, Ginger Rogers getting divorced from some nobody so that she can marry Fred Astaire in THE GAY DIVORCEE, and dance away in glorious black and white to a Cole Porter tune? How could anything be sinister in that?

          It seems perfectly sinister enough to me. My parents are divorced; my father married a divorcee whose husband abandon her to move in with his gay lover; by brother’s wife left him, and to this day he does not know why; my wife’s best friend was divorced in a particularly nasty and brutal court battle by a particularly worthless and cowardly young man, leaving her emotionally scarred. My roommate in college had his parents break up on him. So my younger sister, my stepsister and stepbrother, and my niece all come from broken homes. And why were these children made to endure the turmoil of their homes being betrayed by mommy and daddy?

          In not a single one of these cases was there any infidelity or cruelty or abandonment on the part of the partner being ejected. It each case the party initiating the divorce was merely dissatisfaction with homelife, and had no real cause that a for-cause divorce law would recognize as a legit cause for divorce.

          • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

            Yes, no fault divorce is a snare of the ENEMY. Bad, bad, bad. No one on this thread is arguing for it, and the only people I’ve heard arguing for it are women who are convinced that women need it to escape abusive marriages. Sad and incorrect, but there you are.

            But what started this post was an article about changing men to fit the “New! Improved! Marriage hole!”. My question was and is serious. “The question is, how do we get men to marry when we have no fault divorce, abortion on demand and the Lotharios stealing women’s virtue with no legal or social structure to stop or even slow them down?”. Again, how do we get men to marry, should we try to get men to marry? I’ve been telling my young men to avoid women until the rules change. What will you tell yours?

            • Comment by Joshua_D:

              I think getting men in general to marry in the current situation is going to be very difficult. It’s going to be determined by their beliefs and their ability to talk with their future wife. And, it’s going to be determined by their faith.

              I’m young, 34. I’ve been married three years and have a 2-year-old. When my wife started courting – that was her idea – we talked about life, what we wanted, children, etc. I wanted my wife to stay at home and raise our children. She agreed. We both said we believed marriage was for life and divorce was not an option. We talked about finances, etc.

              Then, after we realized how much we agreed (which does wonders for your relationship) we got married. Now, neither of us knows the future, but we have faith in God first (we’re both Christians) and we believe He can make our relationship work we we can’t.

              But, we’re probably the exception, not the rule. Before I accepted Christ, I had no desire to get married, at all, and I had know problems finding women.

        • Comment by Joshua_D:

          I think I’m the one who brought up Star Wars and comic books, and although I think they are both immature – what do you care? You shouldn’t care about my opinion of one particular trilogy (I don’t know the word for six books …;) or what I think of graphic novels!

          Seriously, who cares what I think. My only point, which I still stand by, is that it seems that as we mature, our interests should grown and change. Since I’m a Believer, that means I desire to become more like Christ.

          I’m not the man I was. I’m not yet the man I’m going to be. But I want grow to be more like Christ.

      • Comment by Jacob:

        I absolutely agree with your claim that the blame lies with no-fault divorce.

    • Comment by Mrmandias:

      No success is without the possibility of failure. Love is vulnerable. It is also beautiful.

      Better to try and fail than never try.

      • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

        In a vacuum, true. But how many of us live in a vacuum? No Mother, No Father, Brothers, Sisters, Friends? One of the gravest cruelties of the current system is that if you try and fail, you may be given debts you cannot pay, and thrown into “Not Debtors Prison”, where you will wait to see who loves you enough to ransom you from your kidnappers, in this case, the government. Mind, the debts are ongoing, and if your felon status makes it hard for you to get a good job, you will end up back in “Not Debtors Prison”, to once again be ransomed. But at least the system is a flat rate, and not based on circumstances, right? Why, if it was based on circumstances, the better off you and your real family were, the greater the debt, almost guaranteeing that you would bankrupt your family, no matter how well they were doing! It could be worse, the court could throw you in jail because it believed without proof that you were hiding money. http://freebeattychadwick.blogspot.com/.

        So, rather a catch 22. to be open to new love means that you are such a sociopath that you don’t care what happens to the old love. Got it. Well, that does explain the divorce rate…..

      • Comment by Jacob:

        I think you missed the point of my post. If it were only the heartbreak of a failed relationship that I was talking about, then I would agree. We could construct a fantasy about a perfect romance between perfect people all we want to. However, the reality is that people suck, and there are some who will rob you of everything you have (a lesson I have learned the hard way with a former friend of mine). I will not take it as far as others, and recommend against dating or romance (nor would I recommend against having friends because of a bad experience). I do think a degree of prudence is in order.

        Nay, I have not a word to say against real romance, love, chivalry, etc. My heroes have always been men such as Duncan Macleod of the clan Macleod, Ettiene Navarre (Ladyhawke), Vincent (Beauty and the Beast), or Mr. Darcy (Pride & Prejudice). I believe Col. Brandon (Sense and Sensibility) is the true romantic for remaining true to his love and ideals even when things did not go his own way, and because actions speak louder than words. I admire John Sheridan for staying true to his principles, even with the whole world against him. Last but not least is John Crichton, who thinks that everything begins with family, which really gets down to the point. When you think about it…that is what civilization really centers around. It is the family that produces the children to whom the civilization is passed down to. It is the family where the knowledge of the ages is preserved through the elders. No civilization can make an enemy of the family, and expect to survive. This is why I do not believe in feminism or the “war of the sexes.” Oddly, I did not come to understand this until I watched Farscape. Aeryn exchanges her gun for a baby, and realizes that three is not such a scary number (her, John, and their baby). John fights for his family’s (and Earth’s) survival out of his love for them. I think Farscape is the most ironic series on the planet. In this unfamily friendly series, comes the most unapologetic apology for the family that I have ever seen on TV.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7M6cFm5z6g

        So, please do not misunderstand me to mean that I am against romance or marriage. Whatever my fears might be, I would rather be a Col. Branden, John Sheridan or John Crichton, and uphold my ideals to my death if necessary…and yes, even if I lose everything. In a sane society, that would not be necessary.

  19. Comment by Rolf Andreassen:

    I will discuss the matter from the beginning, if you like, but have no interest in continuing down a path that took a wrong turn. You are arguing against a position I do not hold.

    Very well, let us try again. We were discussing, first, whether it is natural for women to be more attracted to housework than men are; and second, whether they should be encouraged to do so; or to put it differently, whether tending the home, as opposed to working outside it, is particularly feminine, and whether women should be encouraged to be feminine. Now, I do not think I disagree with you on the second point; it is not good for humans to be androgynes. So we are arguing over what femininity means; and we may note, perhaps, that it is not a simple thing any more than masculinity is, and that even while encouraging femininity one may emphasize some aspects over others. At least, this is what I thought we were arguing about; do you agree so far?

    Now, on housework: I submit that your argument from altriciality is invalid, because tending a modern house bears no resemblance to what our female ancestors did. In particular, a nomad hunter-gatherer band has no home, as such; only campsites, to be constructed afresh daily. Further, although men may range further afield for the hunt, women still go out of the campsite to gather plants, taking with them any children too young to walk. I therefore conclude that considering housework to be feminine, and outside work to be masculine, is a modern construct not based in the respective natures of the genders, but rather on the economic factors of earlier centuries – in particular, the need for upper-body strength in farming and early industrial work.

    • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

      “Now, on housework”. First, your postulate that tending a modern house “bears no resemblance to what our female ancestors did” is unsupported or wrong. Are you saying that our female ancestors did not stay closer to the home to nurse and care for the children? Are you saying that being able to move your shelter keeps it from being your home? Are you saying that modern women do not keep gardens, or that gardens are in no way feminine? No. I think it’s pretty clear that you concluded first, and then made “evidence” to fit. Ignoring all the actual evidence we have, in history and in Nature. We can look around us today and see mammals creating and using “homes”. the Male, as a rule, builds the lair, and the Female judges it and if it’s up to her standards, uses it to have and care for the children, until they’re mature enough to leave.

      • Comment by Rolf Andreassen:

        Are you saying that our female ancestors did not stay closer to the home to nurse and care for the children?

        No, I am saying that this does not much resemble vacuuming, washing the dishes, and polishing the silverware.

        Are you saying that being able to move your shelter keeps it from being your home?

        In the sense that is relevant here, yes. Recall Mr Wright’s formulation of “if she wants a clean place to put the baby down, it is easier to clean it herself than to call in the male to do so”; well, when you move around every two weeks, there’s no need to clean anything – it hasn’t been dirtied yet, and by the time it is, you’re ready to move. Cleaning is a habit of settled peoples.

        Are you saying that modern women do not keep gardens, or that gardens are in no way feminine?

        I would suggest, first, that gardens are not actually that common, taking the population as a whole; it seems to me that the majority of people live in urban apartments, where the most garden they have is a box on the windowsill. Second, that even in the suburbs, it is a minority that actually does gardening, beyond the minimum mowing of lawns necessary to keep the place from looking overgrown. And third, that gardens do not strike me as particularly feminine anyway. In my personal experience, at any rate, it seems that gardening is done about equally by men and women.

        We can look around us today and see mammals creating and using “homes”. The Male, as a rule, builds the lair, and the Female judges it and if it’s up to her standards, uses it to have and care for the children, until they’re mature enough to leave.

        Which specific examples of home-building did you have in mind? Birds build nests, but humans and birds diverged before the dinosaurs went extinct; and besides, in most species it is the female bird that builds the nest, or both sexes. In the case of the Emperor penguin, it is the male that cares for the eggs. Moving to mammals, it is the female wolf that digs burrows; both male and female badgers dig; in chimpanzees, each individual builds its own nest.

        All these examples are in any case irrelevant: We were discussing human behaviour, and behaviour varies so much even within a small group like the primates that drawing analogies between species is futile. The question was whether altriciality makes the female more inclined to housework; then you must look at species which exhibit not just altriciality but also housework. Which limits the sample size to one!

        • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

          I think “vacuuming, washing the dishes, and polishing the silverware.” very much resembles what our ancestors did. The historical record seems quite clear. The only real difference is in the past those jobs would have been done by servants and handmaidens, etc.

          Um, no. Speaking as a Boy Scout, and as member of the Order of the Arrow, You have to clean more if you are nomadic, the dirt gets into everything. American Indians, at least, were aware of the idea “dirty”. It features in many of their stories and traditions.

          Um, no. How parochial of you. Most of the world does not live in “urban apartments”. And yes, gardens are feminine at the very least, historically and here in the U.S. Men do the yard work, or work the farm, women tend to the garden, pretty or vegetable. It seems to have been that way for a long, long time.

          Fine, no mammals. The historical record would still seem against you. We still have thousand of years of structures built. Structures built by men for men are quite different from structures built for women. Men get army barracks, where they are warehoused, and that hasn’t changed in thousands of years. The closest female equivalent I can think of is the harem. And yet, wildly different in how they are implemented yes? Very odd when you think of it, for you would think dangerously aggressive and Armed men would get better treatment then women slaves with no power to speak of, yes? And yet harems have always been nicer places to live (once you get past the “job”)…..

  20. Ping from Sometimes Pictures Say it All, Or At Least a Great Deal « Psycosmic Emanations:

    [...] Wright has a very interesting post on his site here. I have my usual 60/40 split of agreement as [...]

  21. Comment by robertjwizard:

    Despair is the handmaiden of Suicide, and that’s never the right answer.

    Reading way too much into that. I am incapable of such an action. Besides it would give you the satisfaction and esteem to know an atheist bit his own dust.

    • Comment by John Hutchins:

      Without hope you must be in despair, that is the way things work. So he might have just been pointing out that having despair over everything in life, so no hope at all, often leads to suicide. He may have been reading too much into your statement that you are not sure if our culture is salvageable or worth saving.

      I personally think that the actual culture of the people living in the United States is not nearly as bad as the culture that is portrayed on TV and in music, or, perhaps, lived in certain influential places and by influential people in the country. The cultural ideal that is shown is one that would bring upon the nation the judgments of God. Or if you don’t believe in God bring about the corruption of our laws and society to the point that it is no longer capable of operating over multiple generations (or perhaps over one generation) causing severe economic and political unrest possibly to the point of disintegration of the nation.

      Sarcasm may not be the best response but Jesus did use it occasionally.

    • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

      A confusion of scale. Cultural, not personal Suicide.

  22. Comment by robertjwizard:

    from The OFloinn
    quid leges sine moribus vanae proficiunt

    what he said

  23. Ping from You’ve Come a Long Way Down, Baby: The Tao of Housework | John C. Wright's Journal:

    [...] is an ongoing discussing on the comments thread of this piece You’ve Come a Long Way Down Baby! which I should like, for purposes of legibility, to move to its own [...]

  24. Comment by robertjwizard:

    Or, you know, not sarcasm, but genuine confusion.

    Your over-emotional response belies your original sarcasm. By saying that I don’t know enough to resume using gas in my car, how are you not engaging in sarcasm? Or were you just taking the long route in calling me stupid? Huh?

    Let me start fresh. Here on the Planet we call Earth, on of the tools we use to change the culture is Law and Law enforcement.

    You do not have the law nor the law enforcement. Where do you think the law comes from? Ultimately it comes from the colleges. You think all the leftist victories came from high diploma carriers working in factories?

    …and the culture of drinking.

    As a bartender in a very busy, popular bar, I must heartily laugh at this. If you think people are more sober, you are wrong. If you think people are more responsible now, I have sobering news for ya…

    you have not seen the amazing success the anti smoking activists have had changing the laws about smoking,

    That’s my example, not yours. Once the dangers of smoking became more known, the more people quit, till they became the majority, and started imposing themselves on others even to the point of direct assults on property rights. Couple that with bogus science like second-hand smoking dangers and you have a changed attitude to smoking. Changed culture, changed laws.

    You, Man From Mars (ASA), have missed the many, many lawsuits by the homosexuals against people who’s culture is not comfortable with said perversion.

    Again and again you use examples that only help my argument, not yours. I don’t miss them, they fall exactly into what I am talking about. Do you honestly think some tiny, little minority is somehow foisting these things upon a recalcitrant super-majority? They have the colleges, the courts, and much of the public on their side.

    Your entire post (minus the bizarreness) is an argument in favor of my position, not yours.

    Can you define the moment where we have changed the Culture enough that you will let us change the Laws?

    Yes, when you have taken back the colleges.

    Or any means of stopping the Left from attacking the Culture with Lawfare?

    And you answer it right here. Where do you think the left comes from? Where do you think the New Left came from? Remember the 60′s? Where did they come from? THE COLLEGES.

    Or is your only complaint the fact that the American Culture is finally defending itself from the Leftist cancer (ASA)?

    Was this ASA? Is disagreement with your notions of law and culture a leftist tell? It’s defending itself? Are you talking about the Tea Party? Meh, conglomeration of people without principles – doomed to failure. This blog? FOX News? What?

    • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

      Not at all. I was confused because it seems obvious to me that we changed the laws on divorce and birth control and Marriage fell apart and Trust was destroyed between the two sexes. You responded with “And changing the legal scheme will solve the issue of trust how? You solve the issue of trust through legal and criminal repercussions? This isn’t a business contract we are discussing here. I am not arguing in favor of no-fault divorce (although I see no harm of it with childless couples), but I do not see how it addresses the issue.”. There was a functional status quo, we changed the laws, the status quo stopped being functional. Pretty black and white. Mr. Wright and I are arguing for a return to the old, functional status quo, imperfect though it was. You argued against that. Not for any given advantage the current broken status quo is giving us, but because you don’t believe it will change anything. I don’t understand that. It seems to me that the two choices are, one, it will change things, or two, it won’t. If it does change things, it would seem we have no way to go but up, and if you’re right, nothing will happen. So why do you care? Heads you win, Tails you win. What am I missing?

      Ah, no. Ultimately the Law comes, not from the Colleges, but from the People. This is a Republic. Now, a motivated minority will as a run get it’s way against a indifferent majority (Mentioned in the Federalist Papers!), which is how most Leftist victories have happened. The solution is to get a motivated minority of your own, and push back, as well as try to turn it into a motivated majority. To proclaim that the battle is lost, the colleges rule the Law, and nothing can be done seems a less then optimal strategy.

      Try to see with eyes unclouded by hate. I did not say in any way that people were more sober. I said that M.A.D.D. (Mothers against Drunk Driving) had changed the laws (as a motivated minority) and the culture followed. I’m sorry I did not “connect the dots” for you, but I thought it obvious that the change involved drunk driving, and the social acceptability of same.

      Or, you know, my example. “Once the dangers of smoking became more known”. How did that happen? Could it be the laws forced on the country, that made Anti-Smoking propaganda (accurate and truthful, but still propaganda) the order of the day? That put Anti-Smoking ads on every box of cigarettes, free of charge? They used the Laws to change the Culture.

      Right, once again, my example. “They have the colleges, the courts, and much of the public on their side.”. Yes. Right. “The courts”. That’s one of the things we want to change. The courts are part of “The Law” we are talking about. We (except for you I suppose) all understand that getting a piece of paper signed is not the end of the battle, it is the beginning. Policing judges who play silly little games with the law is part of the battle.

      You have cause and effect confused here. The Left existed outside of the Colleges, they took them over as a motivated minority. If you “take back the Colleges”, the Left will still exist, and will still be a motivated minority, and will still win, until such time as you fight back, using the weapons at hand, one which is the legal venue.

      Um, no. The “New Left” came from the Old Left, which shed it’s skin like the serpent it worships. Read some history. There have been many “New Left”s. The colleges did not cause the New Left, they were an easy target for take over. They also took over many mainstream Protestant churchs, and most newspapers. The Left has always been good at subversion.

      I would have thought the tag (ASA) would have been a big clue, but yes, sarcasm. Pointing out that you, like many Conservatives, preach defeat and doom, and seem almost happy to give ground to the Left, only rising to fight when the Right fights back, like a schoolteacher who punishes not the bully, but the child who has had enough and fights back. Your posts reflect this. You say we cannot use the Law, we have to change the Culture, because the Left has the Colleges, the Courts, the Press, and much of the public on their side. Now, of course, to change the Culture, we need some control over those institutions that transmit Culture, yes? Which would seem to my simple mind to be the Colleges, the Press, perhaps the Courts, and much of the public. So it looks to me that you are saying that we can’t change the Law, we need to change the Culture. And once we start on that, you will say that we can’t change the Culture, and it will be something else we need to do. Rather a Red Queen’s race, and that always makes me suspicious. Like the Left’s scam, attacking Bush over “Torture”. Everything was torture, everything was cruel. They would not budge, their principles were solid and true. And then they got into office……

      • Comment by robertjwizard:

        So your argument is that people learn morality through law. Make the law, make the moral. Jesus himself was merely blowing hot air with his teaching, he merely needed to get laws changed and people’s behavior would change. You would think the son of God would know better than to try to change the culture, that subsequently, centuries later, changed the laws.

        You say we changed the laws, the functional status quo stopped being functional. What influenced the change in laws? A whim of the moment? A drunken party of judges? Temporal time distortion? No. Ideas first, teaching, then action. Your schematic has no origin of action, just a murky notion of a sinister Left. But the Left was born from ideas – bad ones – that resulted (as all ideas do) in action.

        I am not saying that no action is possible. Take action where avenues are open. But why commit to an endless skirmish which is action divorced from teaching? Do you deny that our modern world is ruled by the ideas of moral relativism, scepticism, subjectivism, and a growing nihilistic impulse? You propose an endless battle of fighting the Hydra through legal wrangling while the philosophers (in name only now) and their munition makers continue to propound their theories (in name only now) and produce the endless squadrons (the modern writers, artists, musicians, “thinkers”, politicians, lawyers, teachers) that are progressively more open of their aims, methods, and intent.

        Well, maybe you just enjoy conflct for its own sake. I happen to like the smell of victory.

        I do not have cause and effect confused. It is historically traceable. Where did the Old Left come from? The colleges were an easy target for takeover because the New Left was the more consistent version of the Old Left. One made the other.

        And once we start on that, you will say that we can’t change the Culture, and it will be something else we need to do.

        Yes, my mission, diabolical and small, is to make a few people on a science fiction author’s blog squander their time by heeding my devious advice so they get nowhere and the Left wins, and I can enjoy my victorious promotion as Cultural Czar in the New People’s State that was once America.

        Try not to psychologize. Maybe I am wrong in my view of the workings of ideas in society and how they manifest in such things as culture and law. But I haven’t given you legitimate grounds for this sort of dubious speculation.

        Now, of course, to change the Culture, we need some control over those institutions that transmit Culture, yes? Which would seem to my simple mind to be the Colleges, the Press, perhaps the Courts, and much of the public.

        If you have the colleges, you will have the courts and the press, and a good share of the artists. The public will follow. Eventually.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          I agree with Robert J Wizard here — one more point of the meeting of the minds between Catholic and Objectivist! — that ideas, the spirit of the thing, come before the laws. The laws are formalized only after, sometimes long after, the society consensus has made a decision.

          As far as I can tell, all the evils we saw springing out of the Youth Movement of the 1960′s and the Socialist revolutions in the 1930′s sprang from ideas promulgated in the 1850′s through 1880′s, and some of those ideas reaching back to Voltaire and Lucretius and Epicurus and Lycurgus and then to time beyond record. Ideas come first.

          • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

            I don’t believe anyone here is arguing against that. Robert J Wizard seems to be arguing that the Law has no part in creating or maintaining the societal consensus, and in fact, changing the Law is counterproductive in dealing with the consensus. I am attempting to argue that the Law is part of creating and setting boundaries for the social consensus. While I think we have too much Law at the moment, there is a reason we have the Law. What is the Law, if not the social consensus, codified and made as coherent as we can make it? Certainly the Left seems to have had a lot of success changing the culture by changing the Law, as our prime example being the change from at fault divorce to no fault divorce. The Left did not change the Culture, they sold us a lie, that it would only be used by people to escape abusive marriages. And so we let them move that little legal fence. What harm could it do?……

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