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:
- My analogy for vetting using statistics and behavior for marriage as some sort of role playing game.
- My detailed timeline and how to guide for finding a wife as some quest for the ultimate “purest of the pure godly submissive and hardbodied wife”
- And Donal’s PSALMs post on what women are attracted to as a hand basket of costumes.
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”
- Proving Oneself
- Goal Orientation
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.