On Tools

So, Saturday, Dalrock commented on my post and had the exasperating gall to repeat exactly what I said I don’t want to hear:

Game is a toolbox, or if you prefer a form of applied psychology.”

“Sheesh!”, I mentally expelled. “Toolbox, toolbox, toolbox!”

I decided this was a good time to go outdoors, and do something with my hands. There was a hatchet I’d bought that had yet to be sharpened. It was an impulse buy from this past winter. Some friends and I stopped at a Home Depot on the way to our campsite and since I didn’t have one I picked it up. It was only ever used once, and that was after I warned my friend that I hadn’t sharpened it yet. He quickly came to the realization that $20 axes are not usable off the rack. Still, at the time, I’d thought it was a pretty good deal for an American-made axe. The handle said, “US Hickory”, but I should have looked closer.

While I was gathering up my file and whetstones I continued my inner dialogue. “Ok, Cane. Why do people I respect keep saying that Game is like a toolbox? Is there anything to this that you’ve missed? Alright…let’s back up: What are tools?”

I took the hatchet and sharpening implements into the backyard and finally took that closer look at the hatchet. The edge was chipped in several places from its encounter with my friend, and as I ran the file over it I prepared myself to be doing this for awhile. Chips in the edge mean I’m going to have to remove a significant amount of metal from the blade before the profile is smooth again.

“Is it reasonable to call Game an applied psychology? Probably…certainly the underlying concepts; hypergamy, koreogamy, etc. What do we mean by “applied psychology”? Back up further: What is psychology? Psychology is a science, based on one or more various philosophies about how the mind works and behaves. Actually, psychology is often a set of rehearsed tactics, semantics, and even pharmacology to bring about some preferred state within the object of its ministrations.”

Fortunately, I have a decent file made of American steel, and it chewed through the axe…too well. Twice while trying to re-profile the edge I chipped it further, but I kept at it and thirty minutes later I had a decent blade, if not yet truly sharp. I took the whetstones to it, but I just kept moving the burr back and forth across the edge and never getting it to come off, and therefore never getting the edge sharp the way I like.

“How important are these philosophies? They can be very important, right? The Christian knows that psychology is tinkering with spirituality; so any philosophy that is opposed to Christian precepts–what God has revealed to us about His nature, our natures, and the nature of sin–is extraordinarily important. Does that mean, say, the Jungian philosophy of psychology is bad? Not necessarily. Even some of Freud is very insightful. On the other hand, we need to stay away from any spirit animals, totems, and stuff. Pagan beliefs are full of psychology; even if the word didn’t exist when they invented them. So, crystal-charged transcendental meditation as a form of psychological therapy is definitely out…”

First the blade was too hard; too brittle. Now that I’d removed that troublesome section, I found the next layer of metal too soft to hold an edge. Finally, I was able to (roughly) strop the burr off with some cardboard, and though the edge wasn’t as sharp as I like, it seemed serviceable.

“If I went out to the garage and reached into my toolbox, what would I get? Based on averages: Either a screwdriver, or a socket for a socket-wrench. What is the philosophy and applied science behind a screwdriver that makes it a screwdriver? Of course there’s gravity, and the properties of steel and plastic, but those things are in hammers, too, and in a pinch I have hammered with screwdrivers. Really, the screwdriver just doesn’t exist without screws; and a screw is really just an inclined…

I have a go at a three inch diameter log from an oak that was cut down in May. It remains, I am sorry to say, one very tough piece of wood, and the US Hickory handle broke when the axe was half-buried in end of the oak.

“…plane, like an axe. Hmmm. I could say it as: An inclined plane is the philosophy behind a screw; or: A screw is a tool created by the application of the science of inclined planes. “

Man, that hatchet gave me fits! The hunk of junk is just really bad for an American-made product. Sure: Handles break, but that axehead was ridiculously bothersome, and it is a good part of the reason that the handle did break. I wondered again if it really was made in the USA. The sticker was still on the side of the axehead, and at the end, in very small print: “Made in India”. Sonuvagun. This explained a lot: The low cost; the poor presentation; the poor tempering and uneven carbon distribution that gave chips and burrs.

“So let’s move that back to Game. If Game was an applied science, then an inclined plane of Game would be, say, hypergamy. Teasing, then, is a screw-like tool of Game that operates on principles of the inclined plane/hypergamy. The Neg is just a really big teasing/screw…and sometimes a really big screw is useful.”

Also, because of hypergamy, sometimes a really big screw is useful.

So it came to pass that Saturday, in the backyard, I decided Dalrock and all the other folks saying “Game is a like a toolbox” were right; and I was wrong.

What threw me off was a combination of a few things:

1) There is a difference between a science or philosophy, and a tool. Hypergamy is not a tool. The Neg is not a science.

2) Most of the tools that are described by people who write on Game are actually complex tools. Typically, you don’t reach into a toolbox and pull out a computer. A computer is a tool, but if someone pointed to a workbench with a Macbook and a phillips-head on it and then asked me, “Hand me that tool”, I’m going to reach for the screwdriver. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t pick the wrong one, but the human mind runs on habits.

3) Too many of the tools out there are cheaply constructed, and they simply break down, or force the user to do more work than is really required; continually sharpening an edge that will never hold; never getting any actual work done. Irrational self-confidence is one of these things. It is the cheap knock-off of actual confidence (con-fide–with faith) which is a mixture of real accomplishment and social approval mixed and pounded in the right quantities, and purified and tempered with extreme heat.

Better is a dry morsel with quiet
than a house full of feasting with strife.
A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully
and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers.
The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
    and the Lord tests hearts.

Nevertheless: I was wrong. Game is like a toolbox.

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79 thoughts on “On Tools

  1. Game is like a toolbox.

    I think part of the reason why you resisted it for so long is because the majority of the arguments for Game as a toolbox were faulty. Once I developed my LAMPS theory (a few months into the Red Pill), I was able to come to this conclusion using my own logic and reasoning.

  2. I would agree that game is like a toolbox, but that doesn’t mean all the tools in it are of good quality, or that there isn’t a better tool to use.

    For example: Neg can be a tool, but I’d argue it’s about as good as a tool as using a piece of rock as a hammer to pound a nail into a board, when what you really need is a claw on the end of a real hammer to get the nail out. I don’t see any place for negging in a relationship, it’s a tool, but it’s a bad tool that is going to do more damage than good.

    Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. – Ephesians 4:29

  3. You bought a cheap ax, and so you curse your toolbox? This is no doubt proof that men have no business cutting wood! I’m just thankful you didn’t buy a cheap pipe wrench, as that would surely be proof that men have no business laying pipe.

    Joking aside, I’m very tired of arguing about metaphors. They are at times useful in conveying an idea, but refuting the metaphor doesn’t refute the idea. This is as you may recall where we started (with Cypher and the red pill). But I won’t offer further advice as to how this should be done, lest I morph into Matthew King. When I have some time I’ll take my own crack at it.

  4. Our wires are crossed somewhere. This is a pro-Game post; and a pro- “Game is a toolbox” analogy. Twice I stated that I was wrong. I’m not sure how to be more clear.

    Perhaps “Dalrock had the exasperating gall” is throwing you–or the message of my post–off. That sentence is an exaggeration of what I (stupidly) thought at the moment when I read the the linked comment.

  5. As so often happens, we are in agreement when I thought we weren’t; my mistake. Thanks for the clarification.

    Perhaps “Dalrock had the exasperating gall” is throwing you–or the message of my post–off. That sentence is an exaggeration of what I (stupidly) thought at the moment when I read the the linked comment.

    I took this part the way I think you intended, as a bit of a jab at us both (in good humor). It was the conclusion I misunderstood. I’ll have to read it again when I have more time to better glean your message.

  6. Rereading your linked comment from the opening of the OP (emphasis mine):

    I’m not mad at the label “Game”, and I don’t think it’s fair for me to come along and say to those guys who have collaborated on Game to say: “You should call it something else.” I can cut out half of Roissy’s 16 commandments, and what is left is true, and good to know. What I don’t get to say is that the rest are “bad Game”, or “not necessary to Game”. Game that does not include seducing women is not Game.

    I think this last bolded part is an important underlying assumption, and I think from reading Roissy’s frame he would be in agreement. I don’t think I’ve ever called this out specifically, but I think if you look back on my own fairly sparse writing on game you will find that it is not my own frame and that I’ve been very consistent on this.

    I see married Game primarily as a tool to help a husband lead and a wife submit. From this perspective, denial of sex is a symptom of the real underlying problem; she is in rebellion against the instruction not to deny sex, and almost certainly also rejecting his leadership. Fixing the underlying headship/submission dynamic (or at least moving closer to a husband lead marriage) is almost certainly going to help with an issue of missing attraction, but it also gets more to the core of the issue. While I don’t think I would formally rule out a husband using game specifically to generate sexual attraction from his wife, my focus on married game is more tuned toward creating harmony in the marriage. As a wise man once wrote:

    You’re all stuck together–things have to work, and it’s a lot better when it’s fun.

    We were I believe also in agreement on this approach in the comboxes of your Tacomaster post. If you look at the famous Dave from Hawaii post, you will see that sex/attraction is mostly an afterthought. 90% of HL’s focus is on ending the disharmony caused by his wife not feeling his leadership and trying to take over in his place. That post was one of the moments where the penny dropped for me, and I also very much like this post where he describes using game as a sort of general purpose social lubricant.

    For others reading I’ll reiterate my disclaimer that I don’t see Game as a substitute for husband and wife taking their vows seriously. Game can make it easier for a wife to choose to submit and not to deny sex, but it shouldn’t ever be seen as a substitute for the moral obligations of marriage.

  7. For example: Neg can be a tool, but I’d argue it’s about as good as a tool as using a piece of rock as a hammer to pound a nail into a board, when what you really need is a claw on the end of a real hammer to get the nail out. I don’t see any place for negging in a relationship, it’s a tool, but it’s a bad tool that is going to do more damage than good.
    So there’s no place for correction or rebuke in your book. okay got it, that’s very churchian. alright, maybe I took your words too far, but be careful, why remove a potential tool from a man’s toolbox without further examination?

    Because negging is at its best is a form of correction or rebuke. Think of it as another way to deliver that message to a wife or daughter who may need it. Negging at its worst of course that fulfills all the stereotypes you have for it, that make you reflexively cringe from the entire concept.

  8. Hawaiian Libertarian’s post on Game that I linked above explains the neg and ties in with the rest of the topic of the post:

    a hammer can be used for more than just pounding nails, no?

    Same thing with this tool we call “game.”

    Understanding what women find attractive has so many more applications than simply trying to seduce hotties into bed. See what happens when you “run game” on a waitress, or a bartender, or some other woman you interact with for which you have no romantic or sexual interest in. I’m talking about playful negging (cocky and funny), DHV’s, comfort and rapport building, acting confidently and assertively, etc. while dealing with ANY women…including relatives.

    Even women who are not interested in you in a sexual way will still eat it up, and you’ll find that this “tool” of Game will serve as a social lubricant that can get you a freebie dessert from an amused waitress, or perhaps some banter with a receptionist might find her able to “slide you in” an overbooked schedule…or a female bartender might give you a drink “on the house.”

  9. @ Dalrock

    Game that does not include seducing women is not Game.

    From what I understand this is not the case. It’s just one facet of what game can be used for.

    Game aimed at women is about created attraction. Women who are attracted are more likely to defer/submit/etc to a man’s desires whether in the bedroom or other decisions in life.

    The “full toolset” of Game is about becoming charasmatic — compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others — to both men and women. It can be used at home, on the job, at church, pretty much anywhere. From what I’ve talked with JoJ becoming charasmatic lends itself to preaching the Word, which I agree with strongly.

  10. As others are pointing out here there is also the morality of the given tool. Tools are not ambiguous. A knife that is well crafted is “good”. A hammer made to explode when you use it is “bad”.

  11. I should state that more clearly:

    When looking at a given tool/object we should consider two things
    1.) Is it fit for the nature of the task for which it is designed? That is, does it have an essential form required for the tools task?
    2.) Is that nature of that task morally sound?

    Game as stated by Roissy and the PUA’s fails (2) even where it clearly passes (1). The biggest problem is that some subset is generally meant. It is clear for example that Darlock is not arguing for picking up chicks in a bar and therefore his set passes (2).

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  14. @Dalrock

    I think this last bolded part (“Game that does not include seducing women is not Game.”) is an important underlying assumption, and I think from reading Roissy’s frame he would be in agreement. I don’t think I’ve ever called this out specifically, but I think if you look back on my own fairly sparse writing on game you will find that it is not my own frame and that I’ve been very consistent on this.

    Yes, you have been consistent. I’ve previously considered this facile on your part. Keoni does the same thing. Perhaps it didn’t register for you because you’re not as inclined to the same temptations I am. My initial reaction to someone like Michelle Zipp is to consider how easy and pleasurable it would be to creep into her household. That’s probably enough said about that.

    The whole discussion has changed though, since you invited me to write that guestpost. A couple months back I saw Heartiste saying:

    For a real world example of what such a policy would constitute, consider the following: There once was a time when a relentless shaming campaign to stop jaywalking was public and social policy. And it worked. Jaywalking dropped precipitously. We can do the same with single moms, thuglets, fly-by-night cads, and blubbery fatties: Mock them.

    That certainly wasn’t the standard fare of the Chateau of days gone by. Truly it is a huge departure.

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  16. Hah – we are allowed to agree on things GKC. In some ways we live in a society that has embraced formalism. “Due process” is thought, in the classical American tradition prior to Griswold vs Connecticut, to be about value-neutral procedures as opposed to being a, uh, set of tools inherently directed at certain values.

    One thing the post-moderns get right (stopped clocks and all that) is that claims to neutrality, even in “tools”, are a farrago of nonsense.

    But that is as it should be: it only degenerates into feral nonsense in the hands of folks who simply cannot bring themselves to let go of Enlightenment modernism. In a world created by God nothing is value-neutral.

  17. @Cane Caldo

    Yes, you have been consistent. I’ve previously considered this facile on your part…
    Perhaps it didn’t register for you because you’re not as inclined to the same temptations I am.

    There is some irony in being perhaps the only writer in the sphere identifying as beta, and what seems persistent disbelief in my confession.

  18. We can do the same with single moms, thuglets, fly-by-night cads, and blubbery fatties: Mock them.

    That certainly wasn’t the standard fare of the Chateau of days gone by. Truly it is a huge departure.

    I think Roissy has always made no bones about his caddishness and his immorality. If anything, he revels in it. I’ve always read his frame as seeing our culture (especially modern Christians) as profoundly foolish for not just tolerating him but cheering on the parade of young women “finding themselves” underneath him and men like him. His social commentary is like a parasite expressing concerns for the wellbeing of the host.

  19. I think Roissy has always made no bones about his caddishness and his immorality.If anything, he revels in it.

    Agreed. What I’m thinking about is back in 2009 the Chateau would have said that it is useless to mock the thuglets and especially the cads precisely because they revel in it; a thing which you’ve said yourself on a few occassions. The comment that drew me to GKC was about this very thing. He echoed my own sentiments that the approach has to be two-pronged. We can’t just shun the sluts and clap the cads on the back anymore than we can console the sluts and shun the cads.

    This seems very subtle, but it destroys the narrative of women as the gatekeepers of sex, and it’s a destruction of which I have written about and should continue unabated:

    “What can we deduce from all this? Men are the gatekeepers to commitment AND sex. Sex originates from the man. Men have so much sex-iness, that we get regularly get erections for women who aren’t even concerned with us; who aren’t doing anything particularly sexy; who are not around. They don’t even have to be real. We can circumvent natural procreation simply by masturbating into a cup; the contents of which can be scooped directly into a vagina, and “VOILA!”: A baby. Fifteen minutes later we can do it again. Women have to go through a difficult and invasive procedure to harvest their eggs. Men have so much sexiness that we can afford to literally give it away and feel no loss.

    Pick-up artists know this. They talk about women being the gatekeepers of sex, but their actual prescriptions are to assume that women want what men have. Their assumptions are right. So they should stop saying women are the gatekeepers. That they do has always baffled me, and it causes a lot of other assumptions to just be wrong.

    Said another way: Men sexualize everything about women. This is said often, but exclusively in a derogatory way. The beautiful truth is that women literally cannot be sexy without men to declare them sexy by our very thoughts and impulses. Eve wasn’t sexy until Adam popped wood at her debut. Eve liked being sexy–as all women do–and it was the dick that declared it so. Any woman who declares herself sexy is prematurely judging herself. It’s phony. It’s narcissism if she believes it. The woman who wants to know if she is truly sexy has to consult the cock.

  20. Agreed. What I’m thinking about is back in 2009 the Chateau would have said that it is useless to mock the thuglets and especially the cads precisely because they revel in it; a thing which you’ve said yourself on a few occassions.

    I don’t think Roissy is arguing that shame would work on cads at his level. Perhaps this is his meaning of “fly by night”. But there is a level of dabblers who very much could be shamed.

    The comment that drew me to GKC was about this very thing. He echoed my own sentiments that the approach has to be two-pronged. We can’t just shun the sluts and clap the cads on the back anymore than we can console the sluts and shun the cads.

    I don’t have any esteem for the exploits of cads. I do have a respect for those who can teach me things. But no true cad worth his salt would seriously object to attempts to shame him. The objections would come from the ones who could be shamed, which would of course be proof that the effort is working. The far bigger problem we have is how to avoid getting caught in the trap which lead us here. The obsession with the “double standard” is more pernicious than the backslapping. Commenter Jen on my site recently described recognizing this in her own thinking:

    Sadly, we currently have “reverse-shunning” in effect in our office. About a year ago, we (myself included) were planning a luncheon/baby shower for a single mom in our office. This was her second baby – different father. Three older women, two white and one black, expressed dismay at “rewarding” single mom for her bad decisions. They were basically shunned until they acquiesced and participated in the baby shower.

    In a follow on comment she elaborated:

    I still give the three women in our office credit for attempting to enforce a standard of morality. Unfortunately, the reverse-shunning worked. They were right, and the rest of us were wrong.

    I was worried about Single Mom having low self-esteem over the “baby daddy” not sticking around. Also, I did not think it fair for her to be shamed when he was not. In the end, I have learned that Single Mom has no low self-esteem issues – quite the opposite; “baby daddy” managed to get himself killed before the baby was even born. Single Mom decided not to waste her time attending his funeral.

    Gilligan was satirical but I was deadly serious about the problem. I very much do want to leave slut island.

  21. I don’t think Roissy is arguing that shame would work on cads at his level. Perhaps this is his meaning of “fly by night”. But there is a level of dabblers who very much could be shamed.

    Aside from the fact that I don’t think the current Heartiste is the old Roissy, I do think he is talking about cads of his level. You can’t discourage the wannabe’s without shaming the “pro’s” too. That doesn’t mean that it will work on the hardcore set. That’s not the expectation.

    More to the point: What we’re trying to discourage by shaming cads is not imitators, but accomplices. Women don’t sleep with cads because they want to be like cads; at least not at first. They sleep with cads because they think cads are cool, and they want to be associated with coolness; they want to be loved by cool guys. I’m not talking about eliminating a “double standard”, and making sure guys and girls behave the same way because of some idea that they ought to be treated equally. I’m saying girls like cool guys, so if you want girls to stay away from cads you can’t let caddishness define what is cool. Currently, we do.

    This is what Heartiste is implying too, I think.

  22. Cane:
    I’m saying girls like cool guys, so if you want girls to stay away from cads you can’t let caddishness define what is cool. Currently, we do.

    Exactly. Female libido is socially driven in a way that male libido fundamentally is not. The reason women are attracted to thugs and douchebags is because those are the people that our society holds in high esteem, at a visceral level that touches the female hind brain. If cads were understood – really understood and believed at the visceral level – to be the garbage collectors that they are, women would start to find them “creepy”. Because as Dalrock has written before, women respond – can’t help but respond – to male approval and disapproval.

  23. @Cane Caldo

    More to the point: What we’re trying to discourage by shaming cads is not imitators, but accomplices. Women don’t sleep with cads because they want to be like cads; at least not at first. They sleep with cads because they think cads are cool, and they want to be associated with coolness; they want to be loved by cool guys. I’m not talking about eliminating a “double standard”, and making sure guys and girls behave the same way because of some idea that they ought to be treated equally. I’m saying girls like cool guys, so if you want girls to stay away from cads you can’t let caddishness define what is cool. Currently, we do.

    This is the wrong solution to the wrong problem. Cads will always have an advantage in the fornication market. As the woman in the youtube video says, you sleep with the bad boy, you marry the nice guy. The problem isn’t that women aren’t fornicating with nice guys, the problem is women in their sexual prime are now in the fornication market for (on average) a decade before they switch to the marriage (nice guy) market.

  24. @Dalrock

    The problem isn’t that women aren’t fornicating with nice guys, the problem is women in their sexual prime are now in the fornication market for (on average) a decade before they switch to the marriage (nice guy) market.

    This is an excellent point, but I disagree on how we get there. There’s no question that the strategy you outlined is what they are actually doing, but my experience is that you’re crediting to forethought what is actually post-decision rationalization. If the bad boys were offering marriage, then the women would most certainly accept. The YouTube woman said what she had rationalized for the purpose of explaining to herself and others why she chose the obviously stupid choice to mate with a man who had not committed[1] himself to her. She is attempting to pass off her poor self-control as if it were planned sophistication; trying to reclaim value from sunk costs. This works for her and others because it fits with the rock ‘n’ roll spirit of our times: pragmatic, materialist, sensual, nihilistic…YOLO.

    I see your approach as that women are telling themselves one big, fundamental, lie about how sex and marriage are supposed to work: That she can dabble with the bad boys, then marry the good guy and things will work out because bad boys are fun, and good guys are stable and so as long as the two are never out of order everything will be fine.

    What I see is that they are very susceptible to chasing improvement–without any clear thinking and with resentment towards authority (because if getting better is good, then getting better than your betters has got to be the BOMB)–and then tell themselves whatever they have to make the bad feelings stop. This always ends up being many, many lies, and truths out of context, and, really just anything that seems sweet to them; often with alcohol being the medicine that makes the sugar go down. It’s a perfect storm of hypergamy, the hamster, and various states of party that make this all possible.

    I need to go back and re-read your post on counterfeiting, and then write a full response. I think this is where our thoughts diverge. Is it fair to say that you believe that way people get into the counterfeit business is by careful examination of the markets and how transactions are handled; then, when they see an opportunity to exploit it, they do so? My view is that they are first the victims, and the rest is a mix of seeking pleasure or comfort, a scrabble to recoup respect and meaning, not a little retaliation against their perpetrators, and a good dose of envy and hate for the innocent.

    [1] Marriage being the only valid form and sign of commitment.

  25. I’ll likely comment more later when time permits, but wanted to answer this specific question:

    I need to go back and re-read your post on counterfeiting, and then write a full response. I think this is where our thoughts diverge. Is it fair to say that you believe that way people get into the counterfeit business is by careful examination of the markets and how transactions are handled; then, when they see an opportunity to exploit it, they do so?

    My point with that post and several like it was to strip away the plausible deniability. I think the truth lies somewhere in between, but I disagree with your characterization that most women (young and older) women want to marry immediately, but the men they want to marry when young are cads (who don’t want to marry) and only later do their tastes change to nice guys. A small minority of young women may rationalize it as such, but most are very open about their intent while still young. What women are trying to do is torture the definition of courtship to allow a period of promiscuous freedom coincidental with their peak SMP power. This is for example why Hooking Up Smart is named as it is. Susan Walsh started the site after spending a great deal of time interviewing college age women about their desires and frustrations with the SMP. Walsh understands the appeal of promoting hooking up as a path to marriage, which as absurd as it sounds is exactly what these women are hoping to accomplish. If they weren’t buying, Susan wouldn’t be selling.

  26. Dalrock:
    As the woman in the youtube video says, you sleep with the bad boy, you marry the nice guy.

    Don’t mistake a current market aberration for an eternal Platonic truth.

    Women are attracted (in significant part) to the men that society viscerally judges to be “cool” — that is, socially high rank. If society weren’t placing the badge of “cool” onto cads, far fewer women would find cads attractive and cads would be generally thought by women to be “creepy” – as was the case until approximately five minutes ago.

  27. but my experience is that you’re crediting to forethought what is actually post-decision rationalization.

    Yes, yes, yes. This man (as usual) speaks the truth. The vast majority of women (especially under 25) are not thinking, “I’ll sleep with as many bad boys as my heart can handle and then find a nice to guy to settle down with when I turn 30.”

    There are a few that think that way, as sadly I heard one of my eldest daughter’s high school classmates say it outright.

    Is it fair to say that you believe that way people get into the counterfeit business is by careful examination of the markets and how transactions are handled; then, when they see an opportunity to exploit it, they do so? My view is that they are first the victims, and the rest is a mix of seeking pleasure or comfort, a scrabble to recoup respect and meaning, not a little retaliation against their perpetrators, and a good dose of envy and hate for the innocent.

    Excellently put. Very few people are as astute as Dalrock gives them credit for. I suspect this speaks to the fact that he is a smart man and generously projects this onto most others, but this is an error. Most people are engaged in three pursuits: survival, pleasure, or the avoidance of pain. The way this manifests itself is more about the incentives and accountability they receive (or not) from the greater culture than about any calculated decisions on their part.

  28. @Elspeth

    Yes, yes, yes. This man (as usual) speaks the truth. The vast majority of women (especially under 25) are not thinking, “I’ll sleep with as many bad boys as my heart can handle and then find a nice to guy to settle down with when I turn 30.”

    There are a few that think that way, as sadly I heard one of my eldest daughter’s high school classmates say it outright.

    No. Few are this brazen. But the intent isn’t to marry young or (generally) even to remain a virgin to marry. It is to “have fun” dating/exploring until some time in their late 20s (some even plan on early 30s) and then find Mr. Right. They aren’t thinking Alpha f**** and Beta bucks, it just sorta works out that way. What I’m doing in those posts is stripping the rationalization and plausible deniability bare. This is most important to do for the young women themselves. But either way, Cane’s characterization of women in the hookup culture earnestly seeking marriage with Cads who refuse to propose is not accurate, at least for the vast majority of young women who are waiting to marry. They are as I said looking to torture the idea of courtship to allow for a period of promiscuity (in my day spelled “boyfriends”) during their SMP peak power position before finding a husband. They are picturing their hookups as part of their path to marriage, part of the path of finding (as the kids at FotF say) “God’s perfect match”.

  29. @Dalrock

    I disagree with your characterization that most women (young and older) women want to marry immediately, but the men they want to marry when young are cads (who don’t want to marry) and only later do their tastes change to nice guys. […] Susan Walsh started the site after spending a great deal of time interviewing college age women about their desires and frustrations with the SMP.

    My characterization is that most women want to be married to the same men with whom they want to have sex; cads or not. However; since cads are currently in vogue, then it happens that they are inordinately attracted to cads because women are to susceptible to whatever is in vogue.

    They are more open to relationships with cads today than in the past because there are so few consequences for fornication. Pregnant? There’s a procedure for that. Diseased? There’s a pill for that. Lonely? There’s an app for that. Their families don’t believe in discipline, and only pay lip-service to education. And even if they did: Can one tell the difference between shunning and moving 500-plus miles away for college and “great career opportunities”?

    Later they’ll seriously consider marriage, and then they’ll switch to pursuing nice guys; not because nice guys are now attractive, but precisely because they’re conditioned to believe that fun means bad boy, and so nice guy means boring. They sabotage themselves. This madness reaches full flower when she either cheats, divorces, or starts to try being “naughty” with her boring nice guy…and wonder why she isn’t haaaappy.

    Let’s back up further: How young are you talking? I’m talking about teenagers. Susan Walsh is talking to women (and I’m including virtually all women in modern society under the age of, say, 50) who started having sex with they were around 12 years old (keeping in mind that sex isn’t just P-in-V), started having full-on genital intercourse sex at 14-16, and who are already acclimated towards the current sexual culture by the time they graduate from the concentration camps that we call public school. Sometime before this event, they become adults; adults who have already been psycho-sexually tortured and mutilated for fun and profit.

    I don’t remember the YouTube video you are referencing in this exchange, but I’m imagining she’s 25-35. A 25 year old modern woman is a fornication-hardened, STD-decorated commander of the sexual wars who is suffering from some variant of PTSD, misinformation, and outright delusion. She’s not speaking from a place of clarity, and most definitely not truth. Neither is Susan Walsh. This is the new normal.

    By the way: The cads suffered the same.

  30. @Cane Caldo

    My characterization is that most women want to be married to the same men with whom they want to have sex; cads or not. However; since cads are currently in vogue, then it happens that they are inordinately attracted to cads because women are to susceptible to whatever is in vogue.

    They are more open to relationships with cads today than in the past because there are so few consequences for fornication…

    Later they’ll seriously consider marriage, and then they’ll switch to pursuing nice guys; not because nice guys are now attractive, but precisely because they’re conditioned to believe that fun means bad boy, and so nice guy means boring.

    What you are missing is the way that delayed marriage (while not delaying pursuit of men) has altered the way that preselection works for young women. If you go back to 1980 the median age for women in the US to marry was 22. This didn’t leave the average woman time for more than a “boyfriend” or two before seriously tracking down a husband. 18 year olds tend to look at the women a few years older than them for direction, and a 20 year old woman was already looking for a husband. Even the boyfriends tended to come from the husband pool (or closer to it), because this was the mind frame of the women she was competing with. As the age of marriage for women was pushed farther and farther out, eventually there was a full disconnect between initial dating and the eventual search for a husband, and this was when boyfriend culture was fairly quickly replaced with hookup culture. Instead of seeking men who could deliver a balance between tingle and status, very large numbers of young women are now starting off solely focusing on the tingle because status from commitment isn’t (for the moment) what other women are competing with. In the past each woman very strongly preferred to “lock down” her man for a period of at least temporary exclusivity; this made cads less attractive and also automatically limited the number of cads who could remain the target of individual young women, since there were only so many to go around. But take away the need to (temporarily or permanently) lock down the man, and women can focus on the cads, not noticing (or wanting to notice) that she is effectively sharing him with several other women. Preselection then of course reinforces this preference for cads and we end up with the most attractive women in the SMP focusing on cads (until their attractiveness declines around the same time they switch to husband hunting mode).

    This is how we got where we are, and shaming cads won’t change the dynamic. So long as there persists this marked disconnect between entering the SMP and looking for a husband cads will win out in the early years. Shaming cads at best will spread the “love” around to a few more marginal greater betas, but it is still a game of fornication musical chairs.

  31. Wander away for a few days because this space is usually slow and…wow.

    @Zippy,
    I had to dig a bit given our last exchange. But we’ve agreed twice:

    Exactly. Female libido is socially driven in a way that male libido fundamentally is not. The reason women are attracted to thugs and douchebags is because those are the people that our society holds in high esteem, at a visceral level that touches the female hind brain. If cads were understood – really understood and believed at the visceral level – to be the garbage collectors that they are, women would start to find them “creepy”. Because as Dalrock has written before, women respond – can’t help but respond – to male approval and disapproval.

    Because this is spot on. More Darcy less Roissy. I commented a while back on Social Pathologist’s blog about the requirements of social status and attributing social status to _good male behavior_. Beta’s do themselves no favors by granting status to thugs and we do it all of the time.

    @Cane,

    She is attempting to pass off her poor self-control as if it were planned sophistication; trying to reclaim value from sunk costs

    I’ve seen this inversion frequently in the ‘sphere. Which is odd because we are so focused on sub-concious drives. You are absolutely correct that these women would without hesitation marry _and stick with_ strong alphas. Their moral fault comes from the fornication and lack of foresight (that is the virtue of Prudence), not their desire to be with a stud.

    Which is why young Elsbeth, for example, shouldn’t be ashamed for being interested in attractive cues about her future husband (ie her friends liked him). She followed a natural drive and combined with prudence it worked out. A young man likewise is blameless if he marries and sticks with a supermodel _as long as_ he evaluates other criteria too.

    @Dalrock,

    I think the truth lies somewhere in between, but I disagree with your characterization that most women (young and older) women want to marry immediately, but the men they want to marry when young are cads (who don’t want to marry) and only later do their tastes change to nice guys. A small minority of young women may rationalize it as such, but most are very open about their intent while still young.

    I think you really underestimate peer pressure here. That is, you are making the classic mistake of listening to what a woman says about attraction. There’s a young girl at my office, UC Berkeley grad, who is dating another young guy at the office. They’ve been together for about two years. She’s still late 20’s. She would likely jump off a cliff if they guy said so. Both are great kids.

    And yet she would tell you that now is her time to experiment with men and romance. The speech would be long, impassioned, filled with feminist Berkelesque jargon, and not “lived in” at all. Especially if the fellow in the relationship said, “that’s stupid.” I’ll stop there since he knows my nom de’ plume and I’m trying to get him to read Darlock and some of the other blogs, but suffice it to say how she describes what she must do and what she does are two wildly different things. She conforms to the herd as much as possible while still maintaining “her man”.

    But either way, Cane’s characterization of women in the hookup culture earnestly seeking marriage with Cads who refuse to propose is not accurate, at least for the vast majority of young women who are waiting to marry

    I don’t think Cane is saying that. I think you’re restating the same error but backwards. Most people are below our intellectual level of achievement. I’m >2% of the population. Having read Zippy, you, and Cane I seriously doubt any of you are below the 4% mark and there is a strong possibility you all are higher up the scale. As Elsbeth correctly points out we can project abilities that most folks just don’t have.

    So yes, your hypothetical gal _isn’t_ looking for marriage but she also _isn’t_ looking for a pump and dump. She just sees “hot/awesome” and runs to it like a moth to flame. Now, even those of limited intellectual capacity can be held to moral account since they know sleeping around is wrong. However, I agree with Cane that _given the option_ most would stay with the first attracted alpha. I mean that is the corollary to theory of Alpha Widow right? This also _does not_ grant them a moral pass. The morality of the thing is how they handled the attraction and not whether they were attracted. They _can_ say “no” to an alphas request for sex. They just aren’t likely to.

  32. @GKC

    So yes, your hypothetical gal _isn’t_ looking for marriage but she also _isn’t_ looking for a pump and dump. She just sees “hot/awesome” and runs to it like a moth to flame.

    Agreed. We cross posted above and I explained why this model is destined to lead to chasing cads. What I think you are understating though is the strong bias against early marriage amongst young women. You mention the culture, and this is something their peers are telling them with a megaphone. Even twenty years ago when my wife and I married she got all sorts of challenges from her peers for being 19 when we were engaged and 20 on our wedding day. I’d wager that Cane’s wife got the same static, and Elsbeth did to.

    Why are you marrying so young? Don’t you want to learn about your self and see the world and…

    And again, that was 20 years ago. The volume of that message has only gone up. There is a massive game of denial here that these girls really want a nice guy to marry, but the reality is the last thing they want is a wedding date. This gets airbrushed into them just being nice girls who are too naive to understand the SMP and end up getting pumped and dumped. Many very well are naive, but their intentions in the SMP are anything but innocent and we do them a huge disservice by encouraging them to keep this rationalization up. We all but drop them off on Roissy’s doorstep on a Saturday night when we do this.

  33. GKC:
    Beta’s do themselves no favors by granting status to thugs and we do it all of the time.

    No, they don’t. Who are women attracted to? The men that betas fear, envy, and worship. And our society cringes before, envies, and worships at the feet of tatted, disease-ridden douchebags. Because cool.

    If you want to know what the women of a society are attracted to, figure out who the betas of that society love/hate/wish-they-were. Does anyone seriously think that a faggoty man-boy in a funny hat telling gay (not content; just a characterization) jokes can trigger some objective, fixed-by-evolution attraction triggers in a woman’s hind brain? How can anyone with an ounce of sense look at today’s douchebag loser surrounded by hotties and even think “yo, evolution must have selected him for his superior survival traits”.

    Women worship and fear tatted-up douchebags because betas worship and fear tatted-up douchebags. If we want to modify female attraction vectors – which are socially conditioned, far moreso than men’s – we might want to start by modifying the man-crushes of the betas.

  34. @Zippy

    Who are women attracted to? The men that betas fear, envy, and worship. And our society cringes before, envies, and worships at the feet of tatted, disease-ridden douchebags. Because cool.

    If you want to know what the women of a society are attracted to, figure out who the betas of that society love/hate/wish-they-were.

    You have this backwards. The betas envy the douchebags because the douchebags are succeeding with the hottest/youngest women. In the past the way for a beta to become successful with women (one woman) was to succeed in life and marry. Now that we have eviscerated marriage as an institution more and more the way to succeed with women is to become a douchebag. This is the catastrophe of our age, but it is important to get the cause and effect right. We can’t fix this by making betas the men women want to fornicate with. It won’t work, and even if it did it would only turn the betas into cads.

  35. @Zippy,

    I don’t think we’re using the same definition of “beta” here. I think you’re describing what some call “gammas” or even “omegas”. I’m using “beta” in the sense of “normal steady but not super attractive guy”. While you seem to be using for “mangina” or something similar such that I don’t disagree with what you state using that definition. I’m not even sure you disagree with me even where we use different definitions because of your comment, “because betas worship and fear tatted-up douchebags”.

    I also ascribe to Athol’s “both are better” theory for attractants. That is, that beta-provider and alpha-strong traits are both useful in different doses and at different times. I honestly don’t know what your position on attractants is.

  36. Word, D!

    No, they don’t. Who are women attracted to? The men that betas fear, envy, and worship.

    They fear them, because beta’s are afraid of direct confrontation and especially physical violence. They envy them, because they don’t have the self-confidence to directly approach women, and they worship because they wish they could be as fearless and attractive to women as they perceive the Alpha to be.

    Too many folks conflate Alpha/Beta with good and bad moral judgements.

    It’s a values and morals neutral taxonomy of a male’s attractiveness vectors to women.

    Women don’t like the bad boys per se (though bad girls certainly like bad boys in part due to the badness, i.e. tattooed sluts going after violent gang bangers etc.), but in generalized cases, even the “good girls” are attracted to the “bad boys” simply because the “bad boy” is masculine, aggressive and direct, while the “good guys” in her sphere are passive, fearful, indirect and too nice, supplicating and accommodating.

    But bad boys don’t have a monopoly on the attractive masculine attributes. Good guys can have just as much success by not being “nice.” Problem is, as D points out, we now live in a society where “good” is defined as passive, supplicating and “Treating women with respect and equality.” In this environment, potential strong masculine good guys suppress their masculine traits to try and be “good.”

  37. Dalrock:
    You have this backwards.

    Well, if you see it as a straightforward forwards/backwards thing that highlights the differences in our views. Natural processes with feedback (e.g. chicken/egg) don’t usually work that way, and when a natural process goes all dysfunctional the road back to health frequently involves interrupting the cycle. So I am not going to argue about whether the chicken (the present-day beta man-crush on asshats) or egg (asshats get chicks) comes first.

    As far as it being about evolutionarily objective natural reasons for physical fear, that really doesn’t explain the big physically strong oafish beta’s intimidation by and admiration for the asshat, and evo-psych doesn’t explain why a loser who can barely zip up his own fly gets chicks.

    Mind you, I am not denying that there are some aspects of female attraction which are objective and fit a nice, clean, linear model. Confidence is surely part of the more objective elements of female attraction that men can wrap their heads around easily. But some basic attraction vectors in women are fundamentally social in nature – as Cane suggested, women are attracted to ‘cool’ guys, and it isn’t women who decide what is ‘cool’ – and I’ve seen plenty of objectively overconfident men get put into the creep zone.

    If you really want to understand women, you need to stop thinking like a man. Men want a bunch of objective criteria – a bunch of “tools” – to help them attract women. And there are some of those. But “Game” more fundamentally is about imitating the alpha – about putting up a facade of “cool” in order to be attractive to women.

    Game isn’t like the steel industry; it is like the fashion industry.

  38. Dalrock:
    We can’t fix this by making betas the men women want to fornicate with.

    I agree with that. But I am making a point entirely orthogonal to it.

  39. I got a number of reactions to my marriage at 22. It was mixed. There were the questions of “Why on earth would you do this when you haven’t even been away from home a whole year? You haven’t finished school! Yada yada yada.”

    There was also a chorus that was kind of shocked that this particular man was marrying at all, and especially to the likes of me when he had been known to have hotter. And I kind of got props for that. Oh well.

    This is another one of those cultural divide things though. My college mates and those who thought I was destined for greatness (I was my family’s “great hope” thought I was crazy. But others thought I was shrewd.

    The grand consensus came when my husband said, “Oh, and my kids aren’t going to day care. That’s why they have a mother; to raise them. And while you’re at it, learn how to bake a real cake.” That’s when everyone (except my father) joined to agree that I was the most oppressed, downtrodden, shackled woman known to 21st century womankind.

    But seriously Dalrock. It’s not just the women today. I know a young woman (just turned 20), who is dating a guy training to be a youth pastor. She is chomping at the bit to marry this guy but he has a list of “things that need to be accomplished before we can get married.”

    The cultural trend has trained almost all young people regardless of gender that marriage is best delayed until you have all your ducks in a row. And the parents are the worst offenders from my experience. The mothers are the ones telling the daughters to go out there and get their credentials first. My own [step]mother, lovely as she is, had a near conniption when I got pregnant with numbers 4 and 5 because I was at least “still young enough after the older girls finished high school that I could do something with my life.”

    This is epidemic, and blaming it solely on the young women is an error. Christian young women should know better, and I understand holding them to account, but even they are trained to date and wait, without fornicating. Like that’s gonna happen.

  40. @Dalrock

    You have this backwards. The betas envy the douchebags because the douchebags are succeeding with the hottest/youngest women.

    It’s both; not one or the other, but one and the other.

    What you are missing is the way that delayed marriage (while not delaying pursuit of men) has altered the way that preselection works for young women. If you go back to 1980 the median age for women in the US to marry was 22. This didn’t leave the average woman time for more than a “boyfriend” or two before seriously tracking down a husband. 18 year olds tend to look at the women a few years older than them for direction, and a 20 year old woman was already looking for a husband. Even the boyfriends tended to come from the husband pool (or closer to it), because this was the mind frame of the women she was competing with. As the age of marriage for women was pushed farther and farther out, eventually there was a full disconnect between initial dating and the eventual search for a husband, and this was when boyfriend culture was fairly quickly replaced with hookup culture.

    I don’t think I’m missing this. We agree. You’re talking about what happened 30 years ago to women who were at or just past the age of majority. I’m talking to what happens to men and women in middle and high school; which is where these patterns start. Delayed marriage is the fruit of playing slap-n-tickle when you’re young; being encouraged to do so by your older peers; being tittilated by the media; and lacking instruction and guidance from parents who either want their child to “explore their own lives”, or who believe their child is “good”, and both who send their children away to be educated and raised by others.

    This thing right here:

    There is a massive game of denial here that these girls really want a nice guy to marry, but the reality is the last thing they want is a wedding date. This gets airbrushed into them just being nice girls who are too naive to understand the SMP and end up getting pumped and dumped.

    happens when they’re 12-16. They’re not good, but they are relatively innocent, and so are the boys.

    @KG

    Too many folks conflate Alpha/Beta with good and bad moral judgements.

    Worse than this we conflate good and evil with innocence and guilt. The latter two are more important. This is confusion is why I called the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil the Red Pill. Humans have never been the source of good, and have never been called to be so. We’re called to innocence. “Keep yourself holy/separate”; “wise as serpents and innocent as doves”; “modest spirit”.

    Adam and Eve weren’t good before they ate the fruit and bad afterwards except that they disobeyed, and did not respect what had been set apart; what had been made holy. They were the same people, but they were no longer innocent.

    Cads and sluts don’t just happen. They get confirmed in their wickedness, and this confirmation happens by personal actions over time; not simply because of the zeitgeist, or the average age of marriage (of which they are not even aware). The 13-year olds swapping spit at Kelly’s first boy-girl party, or church camp, are on this same path as the “successful” cads and sluts, but they just are not as committed–confirmed–yet.

    That’s not to say that the delay in the average age of marriage is not important (It is!), but it’s the personal experience writ large. Kelly is not going to delay marriage because she looked up the stats on the CDC website. She’s going to delay because her mom screwed around with dad before they got married, and she overhead Mom talking with Aunt about an old flame before that; her sister Sheila is enjoying her third man at college; her friend Leslie is really popular now that her boobs are bigger and her skirts are shorter; the news said Kim Kardashian is happy as Kanye’s baby-mama; and she really likes it when Tommy touches her, but maybe Brad is a good toucher, too. He sure looks like it, and he’s so cool!

  41. @Elspeth

    This is epidemic, and blaming it solely on the young women is an error.

    Agreed. Although young women in general are in the drivers seat here. They are the ones in the SMP power position. If men their own age won’t marry them, men a few years older will.

    More importantly, I was referring to the focus on getting young women to be attracted to betas instead of cads. This isn’t needed, because if we change back to a scenario where young women sought out men for marriage from the beginning young women would naturally shift back towards more beta men. But if we change who they are attracted to without changing from a “wait til 28” SMP for women, all we are doing is pushing for a better class of cads for the young women to fornicate with in the decade between them entering the SMP and when they decide to marry.

  42. @Zippy

    women are attracted to ‘cool’ guys, and it isn’t women who decide what is ‘cool’

    And this is very good news because it means we can do something about our little necks of our respective woods. Loving our neighbors as ourselves really, actually, truly can change the world.

    I’ve quoted this before, but it can bear the repetition:

    Here in [The Book of Job] the question is really asked whether God invariably punishes vice with terrestrial punishment and rewards virtue with terrestrial prosperity. If the Jews had answered that question wrongly they might have lost all their after influence in human history. They might have sunk even down to the level of modern well educated society. For when once people have begun to believe that prosperity is the reward of virtue their next calamity is obvious. If prosperity is regarded as the reward of virtue it will be regarded as the symptom of virtue. Men will leave off the heavy task of making good men successful. They will adopt the easier task of making out successful men good. This, which has happened throughout modern commerce and journalism, is the ultimate Nemesis of the wicked optimism of the comforters of Job.

    We can add the SMP to the list of commerce and journalism; as the Bible predicts in both it’s ordering of the laws, and in the choices of the Jews in Canaan. Defraud your neighbor today, tomorrow you’ll worship foreign gods, and next week your daughter will be a whore.

  43. @Dalrock:

    BTW Elspeth I see that rereading my comment I’m coming off pretty curt. The same is likely true for others here as well. My apologies.

    This blog of all places, is not one for DHMIAG types. I’m fine. No apologies necessary.

  44. Dalrock:
    I was referring to the focus on getting young women to be attracted to betas instead of cads.

    I wouldn’t characterize it that way, and I would suggest that it isn’t as if there is only one thing that everyone should always have as the focus. We should stop teaching young women (through the mechanism of “cool”) that douchebags – who, objectively, are very low value – are high value.

    It isn’t being suggested that cad shaming works on cads. I still really appreciate your Gilligan post. But it is incomplete: slut shaming has two aspects, if you will, one of which is to stop treating the human dipsticks that they sleep with as high status. All this “master key” talk is just the male equivalent of the rationalization hamster.

  45. @Elspeth

    This blog of all places, is not one for DHMIAG types.

    Thanks!

    @Zippy

    It isn’t being suggested that cad shaming works on cads. I still really appreciate your Gilligan post. But it is incomplete: slut shaming has two aspects, if you will, one of which is to stop treating the human dipsticks that they sleep with as high status. All this “master key” talk is just the male equivalent of the rationalization hamster.

    Well said.

    Man, that Gilligan post is epic. It changed my thinking straightaway, and that’s not common. Here’s a link; in case anyone else reading hasn’t read it: We are Trapped on Slut Island and Traditional Conservatives are Our Gilligan.

  46. @Zippy

    It isn’t being suggested that cad shaming works on cads. I still really appreciate your Gilligan post. But it is incomplete: slut shaming has two aspects, if you will, one of which is to stop treating the human dipsticks that they sleep with as high status. All this “master key” talk is just the male equivalent of the rationalization hamster.

    Thank you. I agree that we shouldn’t be glorifying cads and instead trying to help young women appreciate what our society considers “boring” men. I took a satirical crack at this with So you want alpha?. I also wrote If women prefer alpha, why are most men beta?, making the same point you do when you write:

    How can anyone with an ounce of sense look at today’s douchebag loser surrounded by hotties and even think “yo, evolution must have selected him for his superior survival traits”.

    I’ve written some more serious posts trying to help young women tune their own attraction triggers towards good men over cads, including this one, and this one. I think our best opportunity here though is for those of us who are fathers of daughters to be clear about the kinds of men they should value, and the folly of chasing after the cads their peers will almost certainly be eagerly chasing.

    However, as beta men making the argument in the larger culture that beta is “sexy” will nearly always backfire. This has the same problem as Steve Sailer points out in his Law of Female Journalism. The even bigger problem is cads will always win the “sexy” sprint (hookup culture), while betas will win the triathlon (marriage culture). Trying to make betas win the hookup game is a guaranteed way to lose. The strength of betas lies elsewhere, in the culture of marriage. The other problem with the cad shaming focus is as the easy way out it will tend to crowd out the more important and unpopular social changes we need to make.

    I wouldn’t characterize it that way, and I would suggest that it isn’t as if there is only one thing that everyone should always have as the focus. We should stop teaching young women (through the mechanism of “cool”) that douchebags – who, objectively, are very low value – are high value.

    Far more important than convincing women that betas are more “sexy” and “cool” than cads, is to stop tearing down the average (beta) man as worthless and especially not worthy of marriage. While the culture at large is tearing down the average man with abandon, the especially potent attack on the average husband and father is coming from those who would call themselves Christian traditionalists. Glenn Stanton argued in his book on parenting that the reason we have an exploding out of wedlock birth rate is the average man isn’t worthy of marrying. Who needs Roissy when we have Stanton? Pastor Driscoll makes the very same argument. Movies like Courageous are a Texas chainsaw massacre on the status of boring loyal family men. There is also the annual ritual in churches across the land where pastors recommit themselves to tearing down the men who choose marriage and fatherhood over the sexy cool life of being a cad (the fathers day sermon). Even the movements ostensibly to go after the irresponsible cads are much more effective at tearing down the status of husbands and fathers (the man up movement is a perfect example of this).

  47. @Cane

    Man, that Gilligan post is epic. It changed my thinking straightaway, and that’s not common. Here’s a link; in case anyone else reading hasn’t read it: We are Trapped on Slut Island and Traditional Conservatives are Our Gilligan.

    You are too kind. Thank you.

  48. The solution is not to change what women see as ‘cool’. What is ‘cool’ will almost always be at odds with what is right, friendship with the world being enmity with God and all that.

    The answer is for true Christians to abandon wholesale the very idea of the SMP. It’s marriage or nothing. Unfortunately, getting even 1/4 of professed American Christians on that bandwagon would be a Herculean feat.

  49. Dalrock:
    Far more important than convincing women that betas are more “sexy” and “cool” than cads, is to stop tearing down the average (beta) man as worthless and especially not worthy of marriage.

    No argument there. And I’m not suggesting that we try to convince women that betas are sexy.

    Elspeth:
    The solution is not to change what women see as ‘cool’.

    I am not suggesting that though. Telling sluts that the men they are sleeping with are high-value alphas as opposed to sexual garbageman losers is a form of lie. What is more, it is a form of lie that socially rewards the sluts for their behavior.

    The lock/key nonsense (“a master key opens many locks, a lock that opens for many keys is not a good lock”) isn’t a criticism of sluts, it is a neg: it compliments the slut for landing the alpha as it simultaneously attacks her self esteem.

    If we want to shame sluts we need to tell the full truth: that the men she sleeps with are not high value at all. They are dregs, parasites, creepy disease-ridden mid level bureaucrat losers wearing a mask (“Game”) that they use to pretend to genuine manhood.

  50. @Cane

    I’ve quoted this before, but it can bear the repetition:

    …If prosperity is regarded as the reward of virtue it will be regarded as the symptom of virtue. Men will leave off the heavy task of making good men successful…

    I appreciate the repetition. It has taken several exposures for it to really sink in for me.

  51. It appears I have my nested blockquotes out of order in my comment above. Hopefully it is clear which part is from Cane and which he is quoting from Chesterton.

  52. Elspeth

    The answer is for true Christians to abandon wholesale the very idea of the SMP. It’s marriage or nothing.

    This is such an important point, but currently we are headed in the opposite direction. Christian women themselves have increased their efforts to lead the charge toward older marriage after early sexual promiscuity.

    Man, that Gilligan post is epic. It changed my thinking straightaway, and that’s not common.

    The Gilligan post was the first Dalrock essay I ever read and it freaked me out so badly that I didn’t read on his site again for several months.

  53. This is such an important point, but currently we are headed in the opposite direction. Christian women themselves have increased their efforts to lead the charge toward older marriage after early sexual promiscuity.

    There actually are a few rays of hope. Sunshine. Among my daughter’s (19) Christian friends and acquaintances are young women at both ends of the specturm.There are those who have no interest in getting married anytime soon for myriad reasons.

    But then there are those who want to be married “like right now” and even a couple who are married. She has a budding friendship with a Christian girl who is engaged and wants to get on with the wedding but her parents are holding it up because they want her to get her degree first.

    This is quite common, parents making their girls finish college first before they give their blessing. It’s one of the reasons I appreciate Cane’s merciful attitude towards young women, and acknowledging that they are victims of this current system as well.

  54. Ugh. I’ve been through that. I do not understand getting the degree first. What? Marriage stops studying? Why? Finances? Let them live at your house then. At least they won’t be sinning.

    There’s a fellow with I believe six kids in our church. He’s definitely the behind the throne patriarch there. If his kids need school and marriage they live in the trailer on his property. Problem solved since it is small enough to provide what they need and encourage them to get out.

  55. Off topic
    Cane, may I ask for your input if you have a moment? This is being asserted by a gentleman on the most recent thread on my blog and I’m not really able to argue with him about it, but I sort of think it’s not quite correct:

    “Men have the authority [over women], but that is part of the Fall.”

    Did Adam not have authority over Eve prior to the fall? Is our marital hierarchy a result of sin? I’d be grateful for your thoughts on the matter, either here, in a separate post, or at my blog, though I’ll certainly understand if you haven’t the time right now.

  56. Sunshine, first the assertion that men have authority over women is generally incorrect. Fathers have authority over their daughters. Husbands have authority over their wives. Other than that, unless in a duly ordained position of leadership, men do not have authority over women simply by being in possession of a penis.

    Within marriage, if you look at Ephesians 5:22-24 you see the headship of the husband defined. We know Paul was making a statement of both fact and doctrine in that passage, but if one looks carefully, the issue of the headship of the husband over the wife must go back, all the way to Genesis 2:14, before the fall. The man has the authority to initiate marriage. The biblical elements of marriage are the permission of the father, the agreement to marry between man and woman, consummation and cohabitation.

    The authority to create the marriage gives the man the authority within the marriage. Call it the law of creation.

    Jesus cited that passage in Matthew 19, speaking about divorce. Notice that a woman didn’t have the authority to divorce her husband, it was only the man who had the authority to initiate marriage that likewise had the authority to end it. And that changed in 1st Cor. 7:10-11.

    Essentially, the authority of the husband over the wife within the covenant entity of family is there because God created it that way prior to the fall. Had it been part of the curse, I believe God would have clearly stated it as such, but He didn’t. Speaking of the curse, however, there is that one niggling word “desire” that does offer some problems, but it really brings the discussion back to game:

    As part of the curse when God said the woman’s desire would be for her husband and he would rule over her… that word desire is only used in two other places in Scripture. The first instance was God speaking to Cain saying that sin was crouching at his door and its desire was to master him. The other is in the song of songs, where the meaning of the word desire in that context is clearly and unmistakably sexual in nature.

    Many have argued long and hard for either of these two interpretations as definitive in explaining the meaning of the curse, but I ask, why not both? She will fitness test him relentlessly in her desire that he confirm himself and if he fails those tests and supplicates himself she will master him. If he passes those tests she will desire him in a different way and he will truly rule over her- not as a tyrant, but as a husband. Looking at it this way, we recognize the reality of game within the relationship both as it forms and as it matures. The “desire” of the woman for the man is for different things as she works her way through having her needs met.

  57. @AT and Sunshine

    That is an old chestnut. My first run in with it was fourth grade. I remember it distinctly because I was stunned that someone would make such a mindblowingly stupid assertion. Consider that Eve is _taught_ by Adam. At the very least then he has the authority of a teacher. Adam is “formed” in the mythic narrative first. He is given stewardship. Eve receives stewardship by proxy. Adam walks with God. Eve does not. Eve is deceived. Adam is not. Mankind is cursed through Adam, while man is blessed through the _seed_ given to Eve. There is a distinct inequality in the whole narrative.

    Second, there is a theme in theology (I can’t remember the formal name…someone help me a bit?) that God doesn’t curse as we generally think of it. He might withdraw his blessing but he never actively harms you. Any harm, any casting into Hell, is really you doing it to yourself. Reading the Bible this way Moses isn’t killed by God so much as he loses his abnormally extended life. Adam and his progeny are saved from eternal bondage to a lie by suffering through the reality of the lie. Eve likewise is _called_ to obedience by an extra longing for her husband. Eve’s daughters can fight it (see extreme hypergamy) but they will only make themselves miserable.

    AT continues with the theme a bit more in his discussion of authority. I agree _in part_. There is something to be said about relative social position and subsidiarity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subsidiarity). That is, I should bow before a queen. Mary Queen of Heaven trumps me every time. But even Mary has her limits, she must respect my authority over my wife as any good royalty would.

    That being said I’m not willing to follow AT all of the way. All other things being equal I like Cane’s metaphor of the dick being a scepter. If I’m stuck on a desert island with five women that are not my wife absent some amazing personal knowledge of survival I’m running things. I won’t be engaging in any democratic excess. This appears to be the normative form in the OT. It is also how I was raised. In fact it does a boy good to know that:
    1.) The sixty year old matron will listen to him even if he is twelve
    2.) The sixty year old matron has a husband that she _can_ complain too if you are being a bit too scepter like

  58. For the record: I gave an answer to SSM’s query here. It’s not particularly erudite or fresh. Just the same-ol’ same-ol’ that’s been explained by AT and GKC here.

    @GKC

    Adam is “formed” in the mythic narrative first.

    Ha. I’ll have you over to my podunk unedumacated side yet.

  59. @GKC
    I think we’re more or less saying the same thing, I just have a problem with the ‘scepter’ metaphor being entrenched as a doctrinal issue. Paul was frequently specific that wives were to obey their own husbands, that wives were to be taught by their own husbands. Subsidiarity is correct, in that we have three covenant entities: Family, Church and State. Each has its own authority, it’s own mission and its own structure. I know we will disagree a bit on the details, but I’m willing to let that go. We arrived on this battlefield from different directions but we’re almost in the same place.

    The problem I see, especially in this area of the internet, is the pendulum effect. Feminism has pushed the social pendulum so far out of balance that it now requires a great deal of force to keep this state of disequilibrium in place. As men “swallow the red pill” they internally allow that pendulum to swing free and it never comes to rest at a point of harmony because the momentum carries it far past that point. Witness all the discussions of women’s moral agency. It will be interesting to see what happens when the feminist force holding the pendulum of social consciousness in place fails and that pendulum begins to swing free again. Realistically it would probably take a civil war (which I fully expect in the not-to-distant future) but I don’t think it would be unreasonable to speculate that women could have their status reduced to that of chattel property in the wake of widespread anarchy, lawlessness and government failure. Forget about desert islands, read “Reinventing Collapse” by Dimitri Orlov.

  60. @Cane,

    I’m using mythic in the Lewsian sense. That is it isn’t untrue, but its poetic nature may elude us. Not it the “fake” way. I’ll have to take a look at your answer tomorrow (sleep and Church).

    [CC: I knew you were, but I took the shot anyways. :)]

    @AT,

    I do think we’re pretty close. I _believe_ you are “full moral agency” from your comment but I’m in the “reduced but not gone ’cause Imago Dei” camp, yes? As to chattel…yes unfortunately that’s a possibility which would be a tragic loss. But that’s humans, we invent some new horror once a generation at the very least.

  61. @GKC
    “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

    Lack of moral agency would, in my mind, preclude accountability for sin. Just as Scripture speaks of a time of accountability with children, which implies that there is a period in which the child is not a moral agent followed by a turning point after which the child is a moral agent, I believe accountability for sin is the defining point of moral agency. To me, that means women have full moral agency.

    As Rollo quipped, however, “Rational agency, that’s a different story.” That is an excellent point and I believe the Lord covered that with His hierarchal structure of family in which a woman is either under her father’s authority or under her husband’s authority for the majority of her life. The older widows, it is hoped, have had time to mature and learn to understand accountability and responsibility by the time they’re widows. The young widows should remarry.

  62. “Just as Scripture speaks of a time of accountability with children, which implies that there is a period in which the child is not a moral agent followed by a turning point after which the child is a moral agent.” Not everyone buys into this. I don’t. See Psalm 51:5 and many other places.

    http://reformedanswers.org/answer.asp/file/40330

    I honestly haven’t read much about this moral agency stuff. I think there’s a pretty good analogue with the Trinity and marriage, though. Ontologically, we’re equal in being and nature. Economically, we have different roles, and this includes the husband’s headship.

    http://parablemania.ektopos.com/archives/2006/05/subordinationis_1.html

    After reading _The Altar_ recently, I’ve come to realize there’s some awful theology in the manosphere, That’s one reason I generally avoid theological interactions on the more popular blogs.

  63. Which is why you should interact more then John.

    To your comments on the Trinity and marriage I’ve heard that one frequently and I don’t think it is right. I’ll note that St. Paul avoids that metaphor and instead likens marriage to what exists between Christ and the Church (or more appropriately the other way around…marriage is an icon/image of Christ and Church). Both are wonderful. Both are beautiful. They are however distinctly unequal in everything.

    I’ll try to read the articles later.

  64. Pingback: To game or not to game | Reflections on Christianity and the manosphere

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