A Primer of Practical Application

Regular posts will resume shortly. In the meantime, I wanted to recommend this essay by James Kalb at SydneyTrads, “Dissolving the Black Hole of Modernity“. It’s good.

I’m not sure of the author’s mind on this point, but I notice that the implicit audience for the essay is men, and not people. Something to ponder.

Her Buck Stops Here

Modified slightly from a comment I made at Scott’s American Dad Web.

I am convinced that if a man wants his sons to enjoy exclusively male spaces and times, then he must set them now in a way which will seem arbitrary and even unfair to his modern and permissive self who just wants to be loved by his little girl.

And he needs to learn to be fine with his decisions as just and good; despite his feelings, or the feelings of others. He needs to accept that sometimes he must just say, “Nope, sorry honey, but that is a man’s business. It’s not because you might get hurt, or because you’re incapable, or because you’ll be frightened. It’s simply that you aren’t a man.” This will need to be done at relatively mundane times and events if he is to teach his children to respect and honor each sex, without rancor, according to their different natures.

We have tried the other way, and now females are on submarines, on the front lines, in football locker rooms, in the hunting party, and everywhere. These pressures are still out there in the world, and will sometimes effect our children, and we’ll have to respond to them. If your son grows up and complains that his hunting buddy wants to bring his girlfriend, what can you say? If your son asks to bring his own wife on your hunting trip, what will you say?

Will he reply, “Well, you took my sister hunting. What’s the big deal? It’s no different.”

Real Men Make Riots Safe for Women.

That thought is at the heart of the the conversations about Ann Coulter’s decision to bail from Berkley. The idea that Real Men make _________ safe for women is a particularly effective seduction to use against men. It infers that he–who wants to be a Real Man–has the power and authority to do something about whatever circumstance some woman or women wants to be made safe so that she or they can participate. He usually doesn’t.

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.

Why People Choose Insanity

In a comment on yesterday’s post, Greenmantlehoyos wrote:

Man, thanks for being sane.

Hey man, my pleasure. It’s no sweat to be sane on the Internet while writing under a nom de guerre to a self-selected group of like-minded people . Sanity is a more difficult trick to pull in real life. It takes guts because there are risks. People–coworkers, friends, even family–might stop talking to you.

Or the reverse: Maybe you get surrounded by people (a group of coworkers, for example) who want to know why you have such wrong thoughts. Then you have to explain yourself, and then maybe also you find out that you don’t know how to explain yourself because you haven’t really thought these things through as far as you should have.

Maybe you were just going off intuition; which is another way of saying that you once had a glimpse of a true observation before you closed your eyes and went back to work; even though that glimpse has stuck with you. But a glimpse is no foundation for an argument. You’ve got to take a good hard look at the world in front of you to make an argument. Then you have to question yourself–take a good hard look at yourself–to try to know whether what you are now seeing for the first time is real, or if you have imagined it.

The latter–imagining things–becomes a real possibility. If what you see now is real, and if it conflicts with what you’ve always thought to be real, then you must accept that all your life up until now you have been imagining what you saw rather than really seeing it. At first this seems like a complication and a pain in the ass. But if you are brave then it’s an opportunity to elevate yourself above your peers. That’s a good thing. It’s also often lonesome.

Loneliness is tough. Years ago I was at a party. We were laughing and drinking and having a good time. Then my best friend said to me, laughing, “You are a lot more fun when you drink!” I got angry, but he was right. Later, looking at it with open eyes I understood that I got angry because he was right, and I had interpreted it as wholly derogatory of me. But it wasn’t. The thing about alcohol is that it slows down the brain. After a couple drinks I am within actual talking distance of others.

Excellence, by its nature, separates.

Though, It Would Explain “Pro-Lifers”

Unwanted pregnancies do pose serious problems for expectant mothers even in the best of cases. The birth of a child is itself physically painful, and–in some ways–it gets worse from there. The mother will be materially poorer than before. If she has a husband, his attentions will be further divided. If she doesn’t, her attentions will be less diverted. And these are only a small sampling of heart-aching issues pregnant women will face of which we can be sure. In truth, there are a great many terrible, unknown, and unknowable heartaches in the life of a mother. Some children develop disease later. Some refuse to be disciplined. Some children simply die.

It has been said that these burdens are so overwhelming that, combined (and added to the mother’s presence in the midst of a society that permits abortion; and also without the benefit of a medical license so to know whether or not human offspring are actually human) a woman has lost her ability to make a choice to abort. She is but a marionette and everyone around her (and whatever is in her that she can’t determine) cruelly pull her strings.

Lydia McGrew at Something’s Wrong with that Girl went so far as to imply that the death penalty is not too harsh for abortionists (doctors) because it would teach women that abortion is wrong. Yet, she says, it would be wrong to apply any punishment to a woman who earns, begs, borrows, or steals the financing for an abortion because dead doctors are enough to teach any woman that life is precious. From the post:

A legal situation with harsh penalties for abortionists and zero penalties for the procuring woman would be just another such rough-cut distinction made by law, based on considerations like the difficulty of proving the woman’s state of knowledge or intent, information about the prevalence of mitigating pressure and even coercion on the woman, the widespread deception practiced upon pregnant women, the fact that the woman is not confronted with the humanity of the victim in the same way that the abortionist is, and so forth.

Check out what Lydia McGrew, PhD wrote next:

(Abortion is unique in that the victim is physically hidden, and can remain hidden, from one of the people who is complicit in the victim’s destruction.)

So much for the special mother-child bond and so much for the Tender Years doctrine. I sure as hell don’t want to hear a word about women’s intuition. Women can’t know what they can’t see, you see. Swelling and hunger and sickness and kicking and all those other sensations that brought her accidentally to the abortion clinic instead of accidentally to the dentist’s office, are irrelevant.

As with Doug Wilson, it must be amazing to McGrew that any of us are here at all! How did women cope before the sonogram? What is that in there? Is it a scared ostrich? Is it a weasel?

But it gets worse…

Sidestep and Snatch them Baldheaded

But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

If a woman walks onto a stage and says that God told her something, isn’t that prophesy? If, in a Bible study, she says the Holy Spirit whispered to her some direction on how to spend less money, isn’t that prophesy? If she blogs that Jesus spoke to her heart about envy, or her personal growth, isn’t that prophesy?

Where are the coverings? And if there are no coverings, why haven’t they been snatched baldheaded?

Last year I meant to write this post. It was to be long and sophisticated and insightful and so I put it off until those traits descended upon me at some future point. The trouble for me was that the topic is, despite my schemes, very clear and concise. I felt the need for specific insight and a “strength-in-numerous-arguments” because I was fighting through the utter mess of female vanity that my culture and my churches have heaped in front of Paul’s teaching; which is itself simple, flawless, and immensely valuable. Precious stones are better appreciated by sight rather than description.

Where was I…Ah, yes: Why Graft?

Here I wrote about how marriage is very like grafting when it is done right (or done at all, really) and here I wrote about some considerations surrounding that. What I didn’t write about was why one has a woman grafted onto him; why one marries in the first place. What does the cut branch bring to the rootstock?

Fruit and beauty, but mostly fruit. What a gardner wants in a fruit garden is lots of good tasty fruit. There’s something to be said for beautiful foliage, too and the shade thrown[1] by lush foliage is full bloom is wonderful for its own sake.

Fruit in marriage is children, of course. And because marriage is also a fundamentally spiritual affair, then fruits are also love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. All these things are must-haves for consideration in marriage. Any branches who do not bear these fruits are a waste to the gardener so close inspection of the woman before marriage for these traits is essential.

Beauty is important, but not always in the way we think. We think we know what beauty when we see it, but usually we’re just telling ourselves stories about what we like rather than recognizing objective beauty. Objective beauty has a physical and spiritual fullness which is absent in things we merely like in our various and subjective attractions.

[1] Not to be confused with throwing shade; which is unpleasant, but sadly more common.

Donkey Talk

King Solomon, ~300 B.C.

25 I turned my heart to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the scheme of things, and to know the wickedness of folly and the foolishness that is madness. 26 And I find something more bitter than death: the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and whose hands are fetters. He who pleases God escapes her, but the sinner is taken by her.27 Behold, this is what I found, says the Preacher, while adding one thing to another to find the scheme of things— 28 which my soul has sought repeatedly, but I have not found. One man among a thousand I found, but a woman among all these I have not found. 29 See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.

Mom, ~last month

You know, Cane: Women lie a lot; especially when they’re young. All the time. I really hate to say that, but… If they think it will get them something, or get them out of trouble, or, make them look better, yeah, just get their way…women will just lie to everyone and even themselves. Haha! Yeah…especially themselves…

This truth about women (mothers, wives, sisters, daughters…all of them) is the one thing that men dealing with women need to know. The temptation for them to lie is very powerful; in no small way because their nature is to desire more than it is to discern. I suspect this has always been true, but I also think it must be even more difficult to resist in our current culture than in some previous ones. The permeation of relativism in our culture means that their grasp of the truth (when spoken, written, heard, etc.) is more tenuous

Along with that: I cannot imagine that there have ever been more systems for a person to skip between; each more beguiling than the last in its explanation of how to cure what ails a woman. Buy this. Move here. Grow that. Eat this. Pray this. Do these… Men are susceptible to such systematic ruses also, but as women will (and do!) follow, men falling to such sorceries only adds to women’s burden.

Nor can we forget that the laws, traditions, and sentiments of our era force men into the service of women without a reciprocal service, or even gratitude.

So, if this is true, can a man trust a woman? He can, but that trust must be based on watching what she does. A submissive wife, or daughter (or son for that matter) is known by her obedience; not by her lip-service. Let me put St. Peter’s admonition to wives’ obedience under a different light: Her words, even grumblings, are meaningless if she is respectful and has pure conduct; which is submission. Therefore, husbands with obedient wives must not let their own sentimentality get in the way of work. There is plowing to be done. Enjoy (as in: “bring joy into”) it, for there is no plowing in the grave.

Not Even Sexual Abuse is Egalitarian

Generally speaking: The male form of sexual abuse is when a man abuses his power (usually some combination of money, respect, or strength), against a woman, to gratify his sexual desires. This is well-noted and agreed upon by everyone.

The female form of sexual abuse is: When a woman abuses her sexuality, against a man, to gratify her desire for power (usually some combination of money, respect, or strength). This is not usually acknowledged, and never fully.

I say it is not fully acknowledged because while it is sometimes frowned upon, the incidents are treated lightly. “Well, she shouldn’t have done so,” we tsk, “but he should have known better.” Which is a good bit different from the fiery condemnation that is heaped on male transgressors. Where is the movement to outlaw gold-digging? Who is creating a safe space from women?

Which church advocates custody of the eyes as a wardrobe selection strategy for women to employ rather than as a stick with which to beat men into being blind of their surroundings??

Every so often a female will imitate male patterns of sexual abuse. Those incidents don’t rise above the level of talking points. The occasion of a female teacher seducing a male student causes us to ask, “What is going on with that woman?”, as if she’s diseased or ensorcelled; rather than acknowledging that she chose evil because she liked it. A college op-ed about a man who surrenders to the protestations and physical manipulations of a college woman is a mere thought experiment. Crichton’s book Disclosure was a fictionalized story, but it was based on true events which failed to make the news and outraged no one. Why? Because we don’t get emotionally involved. Well why is that? Because our experience tells us that it’s not a pattern of which to be wary.

The first reason these thought experiment stories are ever reported are the novelty of “man bites dog”. But the important reason is that they give cover to the idea that we are striving for equality under the law; that our laws against males forms of sexual abuse constitute a full spectrum of justice to which men and woman can be held.

It’s a lie.