When Women Will Loom Large

Yesterday I went to watch Blade Runner 2049.

There will be no spoilers in this post, but I can’t guarantee the same for the comments.

I liked it a lot, and if you liked the original then I will guess you’ll like the new one too. It is a beautiful and legitimate science fiction film. It is not message fiction dressed up in sci-fi garb, but a long (164 minutes) visual question of, “What does it mean to be human?”

One of the themes of the film is that women are big players in this vision of the future (both figuratively and literally), but they are not at the very top. At the top is Niander Wallace, a handsome and white man of science who saves the world from starvation. But the lives of everyone under the very top are ruled, tempted, and overwhelmingly influenced by females, or their form.

I thought it quite probable.

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A Caned Response to the Nashville Statements

Such is the case with the Nashville Statement, and the Nashville Statement Fortified. Read them and then come back.

The first says, basically, that:

  • men are men
  • women are women
  • marriage is only between one man and one woman
  • sex is only to be in marriage
  • homosexuality and transgenderism are not valid expressions of sexuality

I agree.

The second say basically the same things, but with addition declarations against effeminacy. I agree with that also. It is good to be against effeminacy, but a fortified version of a statement on marital and sexual relations is incomplete if it does not speak on how half of only two sexes are to behave! I have searched the NSF and it does say this under Article 3:

Explanation of changes: The original statement affirms the ontological equality of man and woman without also confessing man’s headship. The order in which God created man and woman has ongoing application for the relationship between the sexes, as taught in 1 Corinthians 11:1–9. In an egalitarian age it is not faithful to confess the equality of Adam and Eve without also confessing Adam’s headship.

But where is the directive that wives must choose to obey their heads? Where is the article in which they deny that wives should be irreverent, rebellious, or usurpers? Where do they affirm that wives are to be sexually available to their husbands except for agreement of a limited time? What is more important to marriage than that the wife be submissive to her husband? These are serious and timely issues of marriage worthy of writing in these statements; more so than sodomy and transgenderism.  All the more so because they make us uncomfortable.

Until I see some evidence to the contrary, I am convinced that this current generation of church leaders will always refuse to allow women to be held to account in any way real. And as far as I can tell, this leadership believes that women can only really be guilty of bad feelings and regret.

Real Men Don’t Impede Her Desires

Men will set expectations for other men. They will say things like, “You’re not a real man if you don’t know how to change your own oil.”, or,  “A real man knows how to harvest game from the field.”, or, “Real men help women first.” They will hold such expectations on a regular basis, and they will invent new ones as needed to make a point about the importance of this thing or the other.

Men will also set limitations for other men. They might say, “A real men would never wear a dress.”, or, “Real men don’t play video games for hours.”, or, “A real man never hits a woman.” I trust you understand the dynamic of expectations and limitations to which I refer. They know that a man is a man. What they mean by real is good; good men will do these things and won’t do those things.

Now, once in a great while a man will set a very general expectation on women. If he is a bold Christian he might say, “The Bible says wives should submit to their husbands.” It’s hard to imagine a safer statement than that. The man himself hasn’t actually placed any expectation on women.  Yet even then he will surround it with quibbles and bromides and caveats and exceptions so that the plain and unoffensive statement has no practical meaning whatsoever; lest some man out there start to actually believe what the Bible says. But at least he made some vague attempt at something that might look like an expectation if it is seen at some distance in a dark alley on a moonless night.

What he will never, ever, do is say, “Women shouldn’t  _________.” You can fill in the blank as you like. It doesn’t matter because whatever it is that you think women shouldn’t do won’t actually be said. You can think of the manliest activity, and ultimately a modern man will reason that a woman must not be forbid to do it because she wants to, and because he refuses to stand in her way. Only jerks do that, they say; only a jerks makes a women forgo something she wants to do. He will marshal all forces of technology or rule available to ensure that she gets to try whatever she wants. Worse: He can’t explain why.

He can explain that he doesn’t allow his son to wear skirts even just once a year because it is unseemly for a man to wear women’s clothes. But he cannot explain why he lets his daughter wear a ballcap, jeans, and sneakers as routine. If his son is given a doll he will throw it out, but if his daughter is given a football then the municipal Pee-Wee league needs to give her a shot on the field. If his son picks up knitting needles his father will sneer and deride, but if his daughter picks up a gun then she will be able to defend herself. If his son puts on shorts he will be corrected to dress respectfully. If his daughter dresses like a slut she is merely expressing herself, and what man would dare to make a concrete pronouncement on modesty anyway? Who does he think he is?

They can’t draw a line anywhere around women; what women are, what women aren’t;  what women are to do, what women are not to do.Any man who can find a reason to let her have her way (any reason will do) is an enlightened hero. But any man who forgets himself and tries to put real material expectations and limitations on a woman is scorned as a misogynist and belittled as a wimp who can’t handle women. He will be told it’s not his place to say what his wife or daughter–or wives and daughters in general–are to do or not do.

This is one of the themes which I have come back to over and over. I talked about it with modest dress in sports, cowgirl crossdressing, pioneer women, women roaming malls and churches in various states of disrobe… Modern Christian men simply will not stomach the idea of actual, real, discriminating expectations and limitations on women; of telling them, “No.”

 

Go to the Mattresses, Female Edition

New commenter Joe was kind enough to drop some hilarious history here which does not speak well for the shield maiden trope.

During the late stages of the [American Civil] War, the town of LaGrange, Georgia, had an armed all-female militia unit which drilled with weapons and which mustered in the street apparently ready to fight when the Federals arrived. The Yank in command, a gentleman and a diplomat, sent a messenger under a white flag to tell them that their homes would not be burned and that (as I recall) “they could surely do more damage with their eyes than with their old squirrel-rifles”.) Reassured, they stood down. LaGrange was not burned, but in a touch suitable for the worst of novels, the Federal in command later married one of the members of the “Nancy Harts” girl militia unit.

Otherwise: They would have been slaughtered. The Union force was strong enough that the Confederate cavalry fled them; according to a link provided by Dalrock.

In mid-April 1865 Major General James H. Wilson led a Union raid on west Georgia. As the Union troops approached LaGrange from West Point, the local Confederate cavalrymen fled, and the Nancy Harts stepped in to protect the town.

…which was accomplished by entreating the Union soldiers to spare the town, and then surrendering to the strong handsome Union soldiers; even unto the mattress.

This Weekend on: What’s the Real Tradition?

I take it as axiomatic that the lives recorded in the Bible are, overall, just like ours; that we can read about their decisions, relate to their circumstances, and think about how to apply that history so that it informs our own decisions. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy, or that we always get it right. it doesn’t even mean the people in those histories got it right. It just means we can learn from them.

According to traditionalists (and others): Men are supposed to chase, and women are supposed to be caught. Or they might say: Men are to initiate, and women are to respond. Imagine a party. There are single men and women. The traditionalist wants the men to pick a woman, and then woo her. Then he (the trad) wants her to respond with a Yes, or No, or Show me more. That traditional mating ritual is wrong and foolish. Roissy/Heartiste’s maxim that “Men display, women choose” is much more true. Go to a party and see for yourself.

The traditionalist might counter, “Well, that’s not how it’s supposed to work. A real man pursues what he wants.” I say that is half-assed crossdressing. It is the man acting like a woman while the woman smirks and presides.

If you fancy yourself a traditionalist and disagree, then here is an exercise for you: Search your Bible for a story about a man who woos a woman directly. If it’s traditional it should be easy to do, right? If or when you find it put it in the comments and let’s see how that story plays out, and how it compares to the others. Let us discover what is the real tradition.

 

 

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.