Lens of bias

This is somewhat of a more educational post.

Like it or not, we all have our different biases. Obviously, knowledge of sociosexual dynamics and the implications for wider society — colloquially the “red pill” as discussed in the manosphere — gives rise to biased perspectives. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does need to be taken into account when looking at things from a wider perspective.

TPC’s recent criticism of some of my posts here proves this point.

Despite the generally hilarious claims of the manosphere’s Christian rump to be interested in traditional sex roles and traditional understandings of marriage and authority, they ignore the obvious traditions when those traditions mean some woman somewhere might have actual social status and a respected position in her community beyond being a wife or a mother.  They write endless screeds on marriage readiness as a sort of role playing game where it’s just a matter of hitting some benchmarks with “the current girl” enough times and you’ll get to the final boss fight (wedding ceremony) of Marriage: The Quest for a Purest of Pure Godly Submissive But Also Hardbodied Wife.  Or they write about finding a wife as though it’s about sifting through character traits like a basket of costumes, wearing only the ones “women care about the most”.

Left out of all this, of course, is going to the conservative Christian women who are most likely to be swimming in under 25, chaste, often Christian young women who want to marry and be housewives.  That is middle aged women in their 30s and 40s.  Older such women usually have all the kids out of the house and are mostly around career types or caring for their relatives’ kids.  Younger such women are swimming in very young kids of their own or working.  But women in their 30s and 40s usually have at minimum stuff like the teachers and administrators of their childrens’ activities and school (yes, even homeschooling women) or their own teenagers/young 20somethings heading into marriageable age range.  Some also have the (usually young) women who help out around the house and/or younger female relatives who really like children enough to buck social norms and hang out with them a lot.

[…]

Now, the 3 posts criticized above are:

The main point of the post is “If the Christian manosphere wants wives, they should be nicer to middle aged married women” which discussed in the second paragraph and further elaborated in subsequent paragraphs which I did not quote.

The unfortunate irony is that my detailed timeline post has exactly what she is recommending in it on where to meet eligible Christian women:

Meeting women through my hobbies or churches worked a bit better, but it depends vastly on your particular area you are in. If you are in a small church or niche activity this simply won’t work as well unless you volunteer in places where there are a lot of young Christian women. Still, that’s very difficult to find nowadays. Note that your percentage will rise if you are involved with traditional communities so take this into account. Chad has seen some success with this but he had to make it happen.

What worked the best for me was leveraging my social networks as much as possible. My particular strategies that bore the most fruit was if I made friends with married women or women in a relationship and asked them if they knew anyone single Christian women who were along some of my selection criteria. I did ask some single men and single women. However, single men are trying to find wives themselves generally so they don’t want to give you a leg up, and if you are a man on a mission from the first phase generally they may be attracted sometimes and this backfires because they’re not what you’re looking for and they feel slighted. Asking family can work as well since they hopefully have friends who have children.

Yes, the results that bore the most fruit opportunities for me were asking married women, attached women, or single women friends (when we knew we weren’t compatible) to leverage their social networks or to tell me if they knew of anyone. I found that married women with children were often the best women to ask. Family can obviously work as well, but they tend to have some biases themselves about who they think is right for you.

This brings me to the point that there is a tendency for people — mostly women — to feel that discussions on selection criteria, setting boundaries, and goal oriented thinking is basically objectification of women when that’s clearly far from the case. It has been mentioned numerous times before but it bears repeating that typical masculine modes of communication tend to offensive to women:

Thus, we have these two axioms:

The tendency of women’s socialization is to agree with each other and validate each other.

The tendency of men’s socialization is to be critical, challenging, ribbing, teasing, and mock insulting of each other.

Additionally, another part of this is due to what the authentic manhood list of traits of masculinity compared to the traits of women which are often very rarely discussed in the Church.

  • Set “A”
  • Competence
  • Power
  • Accomplishment
  • Efficiency
  • Skills
  • Proving Oneself
  • Goal Orientation
  • Competition
  • Results
  • Self-Sufficiency
  • Success
  • Achievement

The negative characterization of masculine goal setting, accomplishment, and results that TPC criticizes is coming from a biased lens. Perhaps it has to do with the feminization of the Church, but I think based on all of the non-Christian friends and family I have that it is a lack of understanding the nature of masculinity in general.

Most women simply do not understand why men desire to be competent, to accomplish, to prove themselves, to have strong goal orientation, to compete against one another, to success and achieve. The nature of masculinity is instead negatively characterized as a “role playing game,” or ” Marriage: The Quest for a Purest of Pure Godly Submissive But Also Hardbodied Wife” or “sifting through character traits like a basket of costumes.” I’m being a bit facetious, but in reality that’s a disservice to both men and women.

You can twist my words to say anything you want, but does anyone who has read Donal’s and my blog think we have bad intentions as Christian men? If not, then why aren’t we assumed absent of malice as Hearthie says?

This is the question that both Christian men and women should be asking themselves.

Everyone is biased in some way

In regard to the previous section, the lens of bias does not solely encompass women and their perspective of my posts. Alternatively, I would say the vast majority of men have the opposite lens of bias at looking at femininity from the perspective of the masculine. Men tend to think that they have it the worst in the current culture in terms of trying to find a wife, but most non-extremely beautiful chaste Christian women do have a very difficult time as well.

Parents obviously have their own difficult time as well, but it’s different for mothers than it is for fathers. Most of what I say here tends to resonate with the fathers that comment because they see the same things in their sons growing up. Yet many of the mothers or otherwise married women tend to take a bunch of issues with some of the things that I post. I saw the same thing when I commented a couple times on some blogs for women where the advice I gave as too direct, rough, blunt, or otherwise what you would probably call masculine when the women need more support first and then gentle direction.

Bias is not necessarily a bad thing. It does allow vastly different perspectives which are not “better” or “worse” than others. It’s very easy to take one perspective and assume it is “right.” As a man I have insights on a particular situation, and my girlfriend has different insights. This allows me to see everything from a broader perspective and to make more informed decisions. I expect that to continue as we walk the path to marriage.

That brings me to my concluding remark which is keep in mind the audience of the particular blog before you criticize it for being [masculine traits] or [feminine traits].

Criticizing good goal-oriented advice for Christian men looking to get married as “Marriage: The Quest for a Purest of Pure Godly Submissive But Also Hardbodied Wife” is quite disingenuous. Especially when it already makes the same point that her post was attempting to make. It comes off as unable to understand the needs of men at best and evil Jezebel man-hating feminist at worst. I don’t doubt that most of the men and women who read this blog and discuss the topics have good intentions, but when you do stuff like that you come off as “that person.”

“Seek first to understand then to be understood”

This quote summarizes this post and is from 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

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12 Responses to Lens of bias

  1. Pingback: Lens of bias | Manosphere.com

  2. Maea says:

    Ugh.

    I enjoy reading all of your blogs. I don’t always agree with everything, but do try to put it into context and logically, many points are valid. What I dislike is when people are too busy nit-picking and talking past each other, to realize they do share the same goals.

    One of the problems with internet communication is a lot of the real communication is absent. It’s easy for male and female communication to get muddled up, and then the differences between the styles tend to be the focus of conversation, instead of the actual topics. It’s frustrating because a lot of the ‘sphere participants are quibbling over finer details, but not the bigger picture concepts.

    What this all reminds me of is the color red. There have been surveys and studies to demonstrate it’s a color of contention between men and women. Men see it as “red,” but women tend to view it fine-tuned: “scarlet, wine, etc”. I’m sure many an argument has been spurred from this mundane difference.

    Neither of you have bad intentions as Christian men, and I don’t believe TPC has bad intentions as a married Christian woman.

  3. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    I’ve noticed this too, where we as men and women communicate very differently while oftentimes trying to convey the same thing… but we try to interpret what is being said through our own lens, rather than taking into account the speaker’s lens and trying to understand what is actually being said *that* way… then misunderstandings and arguments happen, most of which are entirely unnecessary and avoidable…

    I’ve been guilty of this myself, quite a few times.

    I have a theory about this: I think, generally speaking, that a lot of people (both men and women) seem to get annoyed when the other sex communicates in their respective ways (meaning, men communicating in masculine ways, and women communicating in feminine ways) because it requires them (the one being communicated to) to need to be able to see outside of their own box in order to understand. I’ve seen women wondering aloud why men can’t just be more gentle, etc in the way they communicate to us (and have wondered the same myself whenever a man is speaking to me in a way that I think is too harsh). And I’ve seen men wondering aloud why women can’t just be more direct, etc in the way they communicate. …..(I’m not even sure where I’m going with this; it is just a thought I’ve had about this subject before, and thought I’d mention it).

  4. Pedat Ebediyah says:

    Ladies (Maea, FBNB) are were CERTAIN that regarding these matters, the objective is the same?

    Are we sure?

    Now I do agree about the talking past one another on occasion, but, again, I think that’s a result of perhaps a lack of being on one accord about these matters…fundamentally.

    The two of you might be the exception, but, for example, does TPC really understand or CARE what a the burdens of a devout Christian man and his emotional and spiritual currency in the quest for a help-meet? That’s rhetorical. Of course none of us knows.

    But “be nicer to middle aged women…”? (MAW’s) Why? And what makes anyone think that DS or DG promote anything less than charity? And if they DID have concerns about the devout man who traverses the manosphere and the lens through which he sees a middle-aged woman, who can help allay those concerns?

    I’ll be 50 in a few months…and I’ve been flat out told, by men AND women in the manosphere, in open posts, and via private email to avoid divorced women. (That would rule out a whole segment of MAW), avoid women who have children from previous marriages / relationships, (raising someone else’s children, and dealing with wayward and unconverted baby daddies just reeks of unpleasant, avoid women who wouldn’t fit into my fitness lifestyle, seeing as I am a hard-bodied middle aged man who should yoke up with someone who shares that value, and avoid MAW on online dating sites for they are only trolling for Beta Bucks or validation.

    So for the above, and possibly other reasons, MAW’s should be avoided. What comfort can or could one give to a man trying to vet for a potential wife given that caliber of people offering such advice?

    Guiding other men to the path of trying to find a woman whose steps are ordered by the Lord and aligned with the Word of Truth is a good work.

    “Criticizing good goal-oriented advice for Christian men looking to get married as “Marriage: The Quest for a Purest of Pure Godly Submissive But Also Hardbodied Wife” is quite disingenuous. ”

    Exactly. If I’m the one who is putting everything I am and have at risk as I navigate through these matters given the state of the Body of Christ; all of the sooty influences that have crept in and tainted the teachings and wisdom of old, institutionalized misandry (of which the church is also a co-conspirator), and lack of sound doctrine concerning biblical gender roles and responsibilities and the witness and glory thereof…then no…a middle aged married Christian woman is either going to be helping the men and women find another or she’s going to pipe down.

    Any insinuation of hyper-vigilance on our part is goofy stuff. You ain’t the boss-a-me. And I write that in love, of course. 🙂

  5. OKRickety says:

    I doubt that TPC “has bad intentions as a married Christian woman”, but reading her post is like wading through a morass. As far as I can tell, she is trying to say that middle-aged (30s and 40s is middle-aged?) Christian women could be tremendously helpful to young Christians seeking spouses, but the “manosphere’s Christian rump” [rump? Huh?] does not recognize this, and, in fact, they believe married women have no “real status”.

    I agree that these women could be helpful in finding spouses. Unfortunately, TPC’s post reads as one big, whining rant against the Christian manosphere, rather than expressing her desire to help young Christians find spouses. For example, she says “those women are no longer treated as valuable assets in the quest for a wife by young Christian men. The Christian manosphere is just jerky and disrespectful about it rather than oblivious.”

    By the way, is it just the men who are ignoring this treasure trove of help? I am curious if the “under 25, chaste, often Christian young women who want to marry and be housewives” are asking her to help them find a spouse. I have my doubts.

    In fact, she says “… the fact that nobody knocks on middle aged married womens’ doors offering to help them throw parties and social events to bring together young singles in a neutral but emotionally complex setting that allow for getting to know someone’s personality and attitude (they don’t) is part of why the Christian marriage situation is so dire for men and women alike.”

    So, even when she does speak of one action that these women can do, she is complaining that “nobody” (presumably that includes women) is asking them to act.

    I have no idea why this action requires initiation by other parties. I thought women used to do this on their own initiative.

    Since I think it’s a good idea, I wonder if TPC would be willing to host a party or event? On her own initiative?

    Note: I would post a comment directly to TPC’s blog, but I do not see a means to do so.

  6. OKRickety says:

    On looking further at TPC’s blog, I don’t know why anyone would bother reading it, much less responding. Certainly not any part of the manosphere or, as she puts it, “silly old manosphere”. Per The manosphere wants to live the thug life, she even states

    I’ve finally figured it out with the manosphere and to a lesser extent the rest of the dissident right. They obsess over black people in the ghetto and their problems because they really do want that life.

    If I read her blog in the future, it will be either accidental, by mistake, or purely for entertainment.

  7. Pedat Ebediyah says:

    I completely misread a lot of TPC’s sentiments apparently. And I’m okay with that.

  8. Maea says:

    It appears there’s a disagreement in the broader sense toward the observed attitudes of people toward MAW on the manosphere. What happens on the manosphere isn’t always a reflection of what people’s experiences have been and vice versa. NO, I’m not saying none of it’s valid or it didn’t happen. But it’s very easy to peruse a few blogs, read the comment disagreements, see people squabbling over minutiae, but agree on the fundamentals. The fundamentals are simple. There’s a tendency to overthink and overcomplicate what I daresay, many of our great-grandparents took as common sense.

    There’s no reason to assume TPC does not share the same objectives. What reason is there? At present, most disagreements fall into the finer details of the means, rather than the end goals. Disagreements aren’t the same as throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

  9. jack says:

    Here is wisdom – women who talk most about status, and are willing to harp on it so openly…

    Probably don’t have much status.

    Also, when women like this claim that something is “hilarious”, what they actually are doing is trying to conceal their hand-quaking rage behind the veil of supposed amusement.

    Note to chicky – in order to play the “amused” role, you can’t let your naked hostility ooze out of every pore. The man-shaming is so evident in her writing that I won’t even pretend to respond to it. Suffice to say that if I were her husband, I would probably being trying to soothe her with chocolate or ice cream, and make it all better.

    “It’s okay, honey, the nasty rump-men can’t hurt your feelings anymore…”

  10. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    @ Pedat Ebediyah

    Ladies (Maea, FBNB) are were CERTAIN that regarding these matters, the objective is the same?

    Are we sure?

    Now I do agree about the talking past one another on occasion, but, again, I think that’s a result of perhaps a lack of being on one accord about these matters…fundamentally.

    The two of you might be the exception, but, for example, does TPC really understand or CARE what a the burdens of a devout Christian man and his emotional and spiritual currency in the quest for a help-meet? That’s rhetorical. Of course none of us knows.

    I don’t know for sure about this case regarding TPC specifically, since I chose not to read her post (I figured it might lower my mood if I did read it, and I’m not in the mood for having my mood be lowered today, if that makes any sense). I was just commenting on the general idea of men and women sometimes trying to say the same thing, but saying it very differently, then not “getting it” because of viewing what’s been said through one’s own lens instead of considering it through their lens. Sorry, I should’ve made that more clear in my first comment.

  11. Pingback: Bisschoppensynode omtrent het gezin | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  12. Pingback: The most eligible Christian bachelor | Christianity and the manosphere

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