He Put Her Boots on Like Any Other Man

Oscar left a link to an article about a Wyoming homesteader named Elinor Pruitt Stewart. She is presented as an American heroine, but turns out to be more of a fantasy. Here’s the short version:

Elinor was born after the last Comanches had been sent to reservation. By her adulthood, the American West had been tamed, but not yet settled. After divorcing her first husband of three years she moved to Wyoming and took a job as a housekeeper. Then she married her boss. He built an add-on to his house so that she could live in it and pretend to be an independent homesteader. This pretension went on for years, as she hid the fact that she had married her boss, and that his family controlled “her” homestead; even after Atlantic Monthly began to publish her accounts. For years readers of her letter accounts were misled to believe she was single instead of married and supported by a husband and his family. According to those who published her letters: The greatest (conscious) threat to Stewart were coyotes; which are skittish creatures. 

She didn’t own her homestead. She didn’t build her house. She didn’t depend on herself. She didn’t fight off anyone or anything. She told lies that she homesteaded independently.

I will continue research, so please point me towards more historical books and articles.

Research Request: Fighting Frontier Women

In Texas, where I live, it is not uncommon for a man to speak of his wife as a crack shot, or even as a hot-headed gunslinger with an itchy trigger finger. Yet I have never detected a sense of obligation and responsibility which was attached to such boastings. What I mean is this: Suppose a man is away on business. While he is gone a burglar invades his home while his wife and children are there. If she hid, fired no shots, and in fact did not even make a peep: He would be fine with that as long as she was unhurt. If she ran, he’d be fine with that, too.

Afterwards, when nerves had settled, he or she might crack a joke that the burglars were “lucky” that she didn’t pump them full of lead. But in no way would the husband actually be disappointed in his wife because she fled and hid instead of fought. The reverse is not true.

Several times now someone has written in comments that frontier women were regularly expected to defend the homefront from Indians, bandits, and wild animals such as bobcats, cougars, and bears. I find the idea preposterous. It seems much more likely to me that frontier husbands either:

  1. Left their wives in trusted communities, i.e., near family, friends, or gov’t authorities.
  2. Expected their wives to flee/escape to safety.
  3. Foolishly hoped that danger never came.

So here is my request: Can anyone give me a historical account or source for the widespread notion that frontier men actually expected their wives to actually fight off dangerous marauders?

We Do Not Box the Air

Scott over at American Dad Web writes:

All of spiritual discipline is like that. I figure, if its something that you personally find hard to do–but God asks you to do it anyway, you should probably do more of it. Struggle with overeating? Restrict your calories more. Struggle with loving your wife even when she is acting unlovable? Love her more. Struggle with obeying your husband because you think you know better? Submit and get over yourself.

So good.

Our conversations in the Men’s Sphere instruct me in the mystery of communication; of how information is transferred and processed; particularly among men. It is amazing. I mean: You talk about one thing, and I disagree. I say so, and then I talk about something else…but that something else has been influenced–pulled towards agreement–by your first statement, and I don’t even know it. And vice versa, and so on back and forth.

And there is the matrix-ing of information. Months ago Oscar recommended to me Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength. Well, Oscar is a big strong guy so I listened to him. I buy Rippetoe’s book and listen to his podcast, and do you know what he says is the best recovery for injury? Lifting weights with the injured limb. He says that physical therapy is a sham which trains one to be weak. Compare that to the words I quoted of you.

Meanwhile, last year someone somewhere linked to an episode of Joe Rogan’s podcast which featured a clinical psychologist and professor named Jordan Peterson. His prescription for solving problems (say, a phobia) is athwart our mass media’s prescription. They say that we should make the problem go away, or that the problem isn’t real. Peterson says (I paraphrase), “No, the problem is real and it’s not going to go away. What you have to do is become stronger than the problem. And you can just like everybody else. Use a tool, chop up the problem into approachable pieces, and then overcome them one by one. The problem doesn’t stop being scary. You just learn to become stronger.”

In all three cases (Scott’s post, Rippetoe, and Peterson) what is brought to mind I will quote below. And it makes sense of why we have a physical body which must die; yet why we are to have hope for an eternal life after that. Here is St. Paul from Romans 5:

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

That hope is that this–life–isn’t just a game. It’s not futile to get stronger (mentally and physically) now only to get weak and die later. Nor is it just of temporal utility; the strength gained isn’t just to make our short lives easier for now. Suffering here is the opportunity to learn to have faith and so to train for eternity.

(Taken almost unmodified from my comment on Scott’s post.)

Provoked Judgment: The Pareto Principle of Manliness and Femininity

Sexual dimorphism in humans is real. There are sex differences and they cannot be overcome except that they are eliminated altogether; the result of which is less than human. But it is not as pronounced as in other mammals. One poignant example is that no other male mammal spends as much time caring for offspring as human males. Maladjusted and bitter feminists gripe about leaving women behind to care for the children, but men are the most tenderhearted males in the kingdom. A man is more womanly than a lion is lioness-ly. He’s also more godly; since women are also made in His image. The inverse is also true.

The division of male authority and female desire is not absolute. Men have desire too, and women also have authority. For the sake of ease of memory, think of it as another example of the Pareto Principle: 80% of a man’s decision-making is in reference to his authority, and 20% is influenced by his desires. The reciprocal is true for women: 80% of choices follow desire and considerations of authority make up 20% of their M.O.

I’m far from the first to recognize this: Taoism’s yin-yang concept is apt. The difference between my view and the Taoist view is, I think, that the yin-yang is egalitarian, and my view is patriarchal. The circularity of the yin-yang symbol is fundamentally egalitarian; each side chasing the other and going nowhere. I submit that there is an order: Authority–judgment–should rule desire even as desire provokes judgment, and that we should desire to go up, towards God and His authority.

Proposed: Femininity is Desire

The essence of femininity is desire. A woman’s primary mode of operation is to answer the question: “What do I want?” Her primary mode of understanding others is to ask “What does he want?” Desire is to women like physical strength is to men. Most men are much stronger than all but the strongest women, and the strongest women don’t come close to the strongest men. Likewise: Most women want everything more than most men want anything.

For women, two desires that are in conflict or whose satisfactions are divisive, do not cause problems of choice, but problems of encompassment. How to get them both? Men often misinterpret women’s non-prioritized desires is when they have been subjected to the desire encompassment schemes. One way this is expressed is that men accuse women of not capable of loving their men. Of course that’s not true. A woman focused on her desire to help or please her man will do great and terrible things for him that few men would (or even should) do for a woman.

Men who misunderstand what they see in women also routinely accuse them of being irrational, or even thoughtless. That’s wrong. Women can be–and often are–extremely rational in the pursuit of their desires. We lack knowledge of those several desires which they are trying to satisfy at the same time and at the same speed.

Pursuit of multiple wants does cause chaos in their lives and to those surrounding them–especially men. Other women understand the encompassment of desires process even as they might dislike dealing with the chaos. But it is not the result of a lack of thinking. Their brains are always working to solve the problem of how to acquire Desire A, Desire 16, and Desire *. What they have the authority or capability to do is usually irrelevant to them except as obstacles to overcome, subvert, or sidestep on the way to satisfaction. This is very unlike men [1] whose primary concern revolves around what they have the authority to do.

As a comparison example to the ones in Manliness is Authority: If a young woman wants a car she will do whatever she can to get one. And whether she works for it, is gifted it, or never knows how to do anything with it but drive: No one will ever accuse her of being unwomanly. Satisfaction of desire is the measure. She could sell her body for a car. While we would scorn such behavior we still wouldn’t say she hadn’t acted like a woman.

[1] Notice that it is not opposed to authority.

It’s Catchier than “Make It More Likely”

Deep Strength says of finding a wife:

You’re pretty much on your own. Make it happen, if you want to be married.

If I understand his own story (It’s the second half of his post, check it out.): Two women connected him with the woman to whom he is now engaged. It’s catchier than “make it more likely” but the truth is that others play key roles in making it happen. Making and keeping friends is time well-spent.

This isn’t to denigrate the specific advice he gives to “make it happen”. It’s actually pretty good. But I want to add that cultivating a group of friends–with whom you are seen by women–not only improves one’s chances and one’s choices, and it not only speeds the whole process along: Friends and their respect also help maintain a wife’s attraction even when one is not on his A game.

To Hit Attraction Class 0

There is a connection between the sportsball and RPG surveys, and the law of female attraction. I titled it as The First Law, but the respect of men[1] is so important to attracting females that a man could consider it the only factor and still improve his available pool of women in ways which he could not by focusing on his other attributes.

Sportsball–particularly team versions of sportsball–teach a man how to operate in a social performance context. That’s obvious. But it also teaches him the importance of respecting his teammates. It also confers on him some of the overall respect given to the team. That respect is not zero-sum.[2] A quarterback does not get 80% of the respect while the other 20% is divided among the other players. The distribution of respect is not equal either: Each player does not get the same amount of the team’s overall respect. I could describe the distribution of respect in a few different ways. Keep in mind this is to describe a dynamic; not to define it.

Imagine a simple 1-10 scale of respect. Let’s further imagine a football team with an overall respect (GR) of 8. The quarterback is conferred a personal respect (PR) of 4 when viewed in isolation, e.g., walking around in a crowd while no one has any idea who he is. If he is recognized as the quarterback though–because of the effect of being on a team with a respect of 8–he gets 5 additional points for a total of 9 in situations where he is known as the quarterback of the football team.

A lineman gets a similar kind of boost, but lesser, and he also starts off further down the scale. Most linemen are fat because it helps them do their job. He starts at a personal respect of 2. He’s on the team, but he’s not as integral as the quarterback so only 3 points of the team’s overall respect are conferred upon him for a total of 5 in situations where he is recognized as a member of the football team. Even so–and this is the point–the fat, known lineman’s rating of 5 is more than twice as good as 2, and is even better than the fit, unknown quarterback’s rating of 4.

RPG groups function in the same way, only with lower numbers. You can learn social dynamics in a RPG group even though the social aptitude of the people is likely to start at less. As one YouTuber put it: “D&D is the most fun you can have with your brain.” There is no end to the skills and knowledge which can be applied to a RPG; writing, drawing, tactics, strategy, acting, history, conflict resolution, math, abstract thinking… And like sportsball, RPGs are a social performance activity, and even though the activity itself is done by “dweebs“, there are residual respect effects conveyed upon members of the group if the members of the group known are known as a group; even if the group’s specific activity is hidden… a secret which I might recommend in the case of RPGs.

You aren’t in control of what is cool, but even activities which are less cool can provide benefits. Five dudes hanging out to discuss their RPG is only going to attract a few nerdy girls, but it attracts girls at all it’s because there is a group. (Yes, there are girls out there who want to invade RPG groups. If you don’t like sports: Marry one of those.) And the gamemaster is going to get a greater share of the overall respect (PR 1 + GR 2) than a player (PR 1 + GR 1). A lone guy reading a RPG book or planning a campaign isn’t going to attract even one girl; hardly ever, because he remains a 1. As dorky as RPGs might be, 2 is twice as good as 1.

My example answers to the surveys were my actual answers. I played baseball (I was good.) and basketball (I was terrible.), medaled gold and bronze on the Academic Decathlon team, and played RPGs at least once every two weeks with my friends…and we never–ever!–told anyone–especially girls!–that we played D&D.

We all played sports and went to parties and absolutely ruled the sand volleyball courts at the park. We never discussed D&D at school. We were not the trench-coat-n-fedora guy muttering over a rulebook in the cafeteria during lunch.

The main thing is we were seen as a team of friends who respected each other and that group dynamic attracted girls. At the same time: We didn’t shoot our own wheels off by telling the unprivileged about our nerdy activities. (I didn’t talk about Aca-Dec much, either.) Later, as girls became girlfriends only then would we nonchalantly let it be known in an organic situation. “Hey babe. Yeah, I can’t go tonight. Me and some guys are going to hang out, watch a movie, and maybe play some D&D.” 

[1] I prefer respect to status because the latter has a rhetorical effect in that it conjures up rankings in a way that can mislead. A commissioned officer has more status than a noncommissioned officer, but he doesn’t necessarily have more respect. A king has ultimate status in the kingdom, but a respected general can usurp him.

[2] Professional sports as practiced in the the US perverts team sports into something close to a zero-sum game because of the amount of money involved, and because of formal sports journalism.



But Mostly Cars

SFC Ton asked:

Hey Cane, have you given much thought on how immigration, the war on tribalism/ entho nationalism, integration/ desegregation etc has played a part in destroying traditional folk ways/ lead to smaller families and the like?

I have. The restriction of association does play a part in destroying cultures and subcultures. We speak of restriction of association–when we speak of it at all–as if one could only limit it within an ethnicity or other homogenous group. But when the government uses taxes and regulations to shove a business towards hiring a brown woman instead of a white man: That’s also a form of restriction of association; one that erodes the value of men’s labor.

Another way this restriction is done is by low-income housing programs which encourage poor minorities to move into white neighborhoods. Poor minorities bring their pathologies with them; blaring stereos, poor school performance, deteriorated houses, crime, etc. In turn this encourages whites to leave that neighborhood; taking with them their own pathologies of trust, neatness, and quiet. Spare me the equivocations, please. Old Man Jones’ overgrown and dilapidated property is nothing compared to the favela Senor Cardenas has piled up for his wife, kids, parents, Primo Javier, and Tia Rosa.

A similar thing happens in schools, too.

But I believe the main thing that drives social atomization is the mass production of cars.  Cars seduce a man into believing that if he moves across the country, then later he’ll drive back to visit. He won’t, or at least he won’t visit often.

Cane’s First Law of Female Attraction

This past weekend I was reminded that I still have not posted the basic concept which I am about to write, but which I have stated over and over since my first (guest) post in the Men’s Sphere. It also prompted me to come up with the category Economy of Respect . I’ll call it “Cane’s First Law of Female Attraction”.

Women are attracted to men who are respected by others; especially other men.

Some of you introverts may be skeptical so here’s a dead-common real-world example. The quarterback has a girlfriend because he’s the quarterback of the football team. Without the team he’s still talented, athletic, and so forth…but he’s not nearly as popular. It greatly matters that he is the leader of a team of men. But even better: Fat white lineman have girlfriends, too.

Everything else–looks, money, power, etc.–does its real work by gaining the respect of men. The women follow that. So:

  • If you want to find a woman: Get friends who respect you, and be seen with them by women.
  • If you want to help a man find a woman: Be a respectful friend to him, and be seen doing it.
  • Single woman: Look for groups of respectable men. You will be attracted to most of them. Give an eligible one your number.
  • Married woman: Encourage your husband to spend time with his friends. I bet you get jealous.