Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Manosphere Strikes Back!

You know you've made it in the blogging world when you become "certain figures."  When the "manosphere" blog hits starting flooding in this morning I just had to go see what little gems had been written about me, and after my first impressions of this said realm of internet opinions I figured they probably wouldn't be gentlemanly (the title is tongue in cheek, however, because everyone's been much kinder, so far, than I expected!).

I'm grateful on one count.  I haven't seen the stream of profanity rip through the comments section here that was why I was initially hesitant to link to any manosphere posts in the first place.  In fact there haven't been many comments at all (I'm hoping the one commenter who did bring up some points comes back and reads the questions I left for him... none of the manosphere men who came over so far felt compelled to answer them.  Edited to add: lots of great comments and explanations now.).

To sum up the comments directed at me I've been told that I need to ponder the words:
"A man who is more concerned with being a good man than being good at being a man makes a very well-behaved slave."
Obviously the author and I would disagree in that I whole heartedly believe that a man can be morally good and masculine.  I do not believe those two realms are mutually exclusive or that being honorable means that one will be a "well-behaved slave."  Let's the look at the epoch of masculinity and virtue in history and what do we see?  The chivalrous knight who is no mans slave, but is the picture of masculinity and virtue.

Then again I'm sure the author and I have two very different systems of belief in that as a Catholic I do believe that all of us, men and women are called by our Savior to serve through our vocations.  As a wife and mother my vocation first calls me to serve my family and help them towards heaven.  Describing my husband's vocation is a bit trickier (maybe because I've given living my own vocation so much more thought) but I guess the best way to sum it up is that he is called by God to lead our family towards heaven.  And any man who believes that is a task for the weak hearted obviously hasn't taken a step along the road in that particular journey.

I headed over to the next major source of hits to find my blog had apparently been noticed by Dalrock, who I believe was the blogger who spent quite a bit of time taking issue with the Darwin Catholics last week.  In Darlock's world I apparently suffer from "Trad Con Tourette's Syndrome (TCTS)"  where I "involuntarily" blurt our "feminist slogans and/or pedestalizing women."  Apparently this means I "claim" to be a traditional conservative (actually all I claim to be is "Catholic" because I'll admit, I'm not 100% conservative although for the most part I find myself agreeing with them more than any other party) while having the "compulsive need" to write "feminist slogans."  

I would quote more but then the profanity and derogatory terms start, along with an analysis of how my "outward appearance" is one thing, and how my words contradict how I present myself to the world.  There's also a claim that I mock traditional sex roles (because I said we shouldn't be considered as mere "serving wenches"...).

Sigh.  Let's see if I can explain this  (don't worry guys, I don't expect you to agree with me, although I'd appreciate if you at drop the profanity if you comment here).

You're not going to find me placing anyone on a pedestal.  We're all human.  We all live in a fallen world.  We all fall, far, far short of perfection.  We make mistakes.  We disappoint ourselves and the people around us.  However I believe that every person, by virtue of their humanity, deserves a basic level of respect.  You don't have to go out and marry that girl with a past.  In fact, if either of you are hung up on the other's past and can't work through it, then it's probably best you both move on.  But I don't believe you should go around degrading another person, male or female.  They're human.  They've made mistakes.  So have you.  Move on.  Don't let the mistakes of other people warp your world view so that you believe that all women are base creatures good only for satisfying men's desires.  

There's not a contradiction between my words and how I present myself to the world, as Darlock proclaims, because I've always been adamant that there most certainly is a right and a wrong in this world and that I believe moral relativism is one of the great blight's of our society.  I do strive to live by what I believe is good and true and to avoid what is evil.   I also believe it's right to treat other's with respect.  I believe it's right to try to lift other's up to what they can be and to treat them as they are, made in the image of God.  

Legally I think the manosphere has some great points and I agree with many of them (no-fault divorce?.. Yeah...).

But what do I know?  My brain's probably been addled by all those "syndromes" that Darlock's pretty sure I suffer from.

If I only I could get Thomist to take a break from Law School to write a guest post on this subject.  He's had me laughing hysterically as I read a few quotes with his own list of possible blogger "syndromes."  Alas, I can't quite convince him that a guest post is more important than getting ready for an upcoming debate.


  1. The manliest men are secure enough in their masculinity not to notice if they are "good at being men" or not.

  2. Cam:

    I quite agree that there doesn't have to be a distinction between being good at being a man and being a good man, in a moral sense. But I don't think that's what the phrase was getting at. The romanticized image of the chivalrous knight isn't quite correct. Yes, knights were the high-born. But they were primarily trained killers and often quite ruthless about it to men, women, and children, as need be.

    I haven't followed all of Dalrock's and DarwinCatholic's exchange, since I'm not particularly religious and am not necessarily interested in in-fighting between "Trad-Cons". But I believe the gist of that exchange and the phrase mentioned above are more clearly seen through the lens of what most of the manosphere calls Marriage 1.0 and Marriage 2.0 and what they mean for societal expectations about marriage. Forgive me if I'm treading on well-worn ground.

    Women are the gatekeepers of sex and men are the gatekeepers of commitment. Traditionally, in Marriage 1.0, women would exchange sex for commitment and would generally look for a stable man to marry, traditionally for life and society greatly discouraged transgressions. The natural Alpha cads (who are actually quite few in number) would still find willing partners for philandering, and the mass of stable Beta providers would find women to love and marry.

    Then came the feminist revolution and Marriage 2.0. Now, women go for the Alpha bad-boys in their 20s, ignoring the mass of Beta guys until they decide it's time to settle down and have children. Then they'll find a Beta provider to marry, usually after having a relatively high-number of sex partners, potentially of higher socio-sexual value.

    Enter female hypergamy: the innate desire, often subconscious, to "move up" to someone better. Marriage 1.0 constrained this instinct and society discouraged it. Marriage 2.0 encourages it. After a number of years, a woman can tire of her perhaps boring Beta husband and remember the more Alpha relationships she's had. No-fault divorce and the overwhelming tendency of the woman to walk away with her children and her ex-husband's money are inducements. Now she can have her bad-boys (if she can find them, many women are disappointed in this) while still having access to her ex-husbands resources. He, of course, doesn't get that sexual access anymore, and often not even access to his children.

    Men are encouraged to be "good men" by going along with this, so being a good man like this is indeed being a well-behaved slave. Being a Beta "good guy" is a losing proposition.

    This is also why Game stresses being good at being a man, and discourages marriage under the current paradigm. A charismatic, masculine man can get all the sexual access he wants these days, which makes it rather foolish to risk the potential pain and loss of resources by getting married in a such an environment.

    Of course, there are other reasons to get married, and a man who is good at being a man is likely to be more successful at it. But if he's also smart to minimize the risk. The more sex partners a woman has before marriage, the vastly increased risk she'll give in to her hypergamous nature. As I understand Dalrock's argument (forgive me if I've missed it), it is that marriage-minded men should avoid women with anything but an extremely low number of prior sex partners, virgins being a rare commodity these days. In other words, don't marry "sluts." (Acknowledging that different men will place that line at a different number of past partners.)

    Redemption and repentance are great things, and everyone should be given a second chance. But hypergamy is powerful biological instinct. She may be repentant now, but can she stay repentant for the long-haul when society encourages her to give in to temptation, even if she is religious? The manosphere says simply, why take the risk in the current environment?

  3. Hi Lost Sailor,

    I think a big part of the disagreement then, would be a result of terminology. Because I definitely wouldn't define laying down and being trampled on during divorce as a "good" thing, or something necessary for a good man to do.

    Of course, for me, from a religious view, divorce doesn't exist. Once a person is married validly and if DH left me I'd be on my own, still married to him, even if we were legally divorced.

    And I did appreciate the explanation on the difference between Marriage 1.0 and 2.0. I hadn't heard anything like it. It makes sense logically and reminds me of a book I read in high school called "The Custom of the Country" about a woman who basically tries to "trade up" (I believe it was set towards the end of the 19th century).

    I do believe that the manosphere has quite a few very good points. And it's been interesting following along Dalrock's comments in which I'm labeled both a feminist and a liar (I guess it's unbelievable that I'd read anything from the manosphere before writing my first post? Actually I wonder if I just read the worst of the worst because those are the examples I found via other blogs). I don't usually get the feminist title, LOL!

    But I greatly appreciate the comments that have been more patient and understanding over here!

  4. Cam, that's one disgusting website. Gross.
    But of course the real question is this: Will you be the slave of all? Will you be His slave?
    And it doesn't matter how many sex partners one has, or whatever asinine criteria those "men" designate is what makes you manly, if anyone is unwilling to be the slave of all for His Holy Name, then they're nothing. The manliest man I ever met is my husband who wants nothing more in this life than to get us all to Heaven and to love His God. That's manhood. All that other garbage makes me want to puke. It also makes me grateful I married a good Catholic. Blech.

  5. Cam:

    Now that I've followed your links, have a better understanding. I didn't realize the first link was to In Male Fide. I don't usually read it because of the several racist bloggers there. I see know that the author Ferd was reviewing did mean "good man" in the sense of "moral" whereas I was reading "good man" in the sense of a feminist perspective.

    I also read through the post and comments on Dalrock's blog. My interpretation is that having not read widely in the manosphere blogs, you haven't appreciate the manosphere critique of feminism, which differs a bit than the traditional conservative critique.

    When you write "[good men are] kindly respectful of women, regardless of whether or not the woman is acting like a lady," I read it, based on my admittedly quick perusal of your blog, as a call for common civility instead of crude language. The manosphere reading would be that it was a feminist response, calling for respect in the face of bad behavior that is considered not worthy of respect.

    One core part of Game, especially for traditional conservatives, is calling women out on antisocial or disrespectful behavior. This doesn't have to be done crudely, and indeed is usually more effective if it's not. Of course, it depends on the behavior...

    I think the tone of Dalrock's post was caused more by the fact that you were criticizing the manosphere without having fully understood it. Not uncommon when one encounters it for the first time.

    Since it appears you are practicing a Marriage 1.0 marriage, it can be difficult to fully grasp the consequences of Marriage (and dating) 2.0. For example, while you say that being trampled in a divorce is not something necessary for a good man to do, the point is, he doesn't have a choice.

    And, if you haven't really encountered it, the full impact of feminism can be hard to see. Years ago, in my Blue Pill days, I probably would have said I agreed with most feminist goals. The Red Pill allowed me to more clearly see the true goals of feminism, which I've come to term as "rights without responsibilities." And ironically, it's lead to a lot more "empowered" yet unhappy women.

    Game is the cure...

  6. I think that really does hit the nail on the head. Because in the comments section I notice people keep saying that I think the behavior should be respected, which I absolutely don't. I absolutely think evil should be condemned. There also seemed to be some confusion that simply being respectful (not using crude language) meant that I expected them to marry someone without morals. That was surprising to me as well.

    DH has actually talked about an interest in family law (he's a law student) for the very reasons that you and others have noted, although it does seem that much of the system is so broken at this point as to need overhaul for any actual changes to take place.

    Unfortunately I have seen feminism up close and person before I converted. I actually worked for a non-profit in Berkley and before that, when I was a poli sci student in college, the modern feminist agenda was pretty blatant. I was super liberal at the time, but even then I found many of the ideas proposed to be unacceptable at the best. Even then I was too bothered by the treatment of men to accept it as a possible ideology.

    I do think my first post was too over general and should have been aimed at more specific blogs (like the few that inspired my post). I initially didn't name them directly because I was hoping to avoid the sort of all out attack I saw on Darwin Catholic!

  7. Ah, so you do have a perspective on mainstream feminism (I'll leave out the extreme of RadFems...shudder).

    These are hot topics, and much criticism of Game, usually from feminists, has failed to understand it and often willfully mischaracterizes it.Game bloggers tend to pounce first.

    Family law, if you're very, very clever, can be rewarding, but I wouldn't advocate it. It can be a soul-destroying profession for a lawyer, even one of strong faith.

    good luck

  8. Lost Sailor has expressed much of what I would say well though I am a devout Christian of the EO stripe.

    Let me point out to start that you may have a very limited perspective just because of your background. You seem to have gone more conservative fairly young and your husband, from his pictures, seems to have all of the traits that make it very easy for a woman to submit to a traditional role. He definitely has an "alpha" look and from your description of him he acts the part. However, not all men have that look or know how to act it (which is more important for women). So you seem to be living a near perfect (as much as humanly possible) Marriage 1.0.

    I've also never read In Mala Fide so I can't comment on it. Is that where you are getting the swearing? Not all parts of the Manosphere are as friendly as other parts just like with the general blogosphere.

    As to Dalrock's post I don't see any swearing or any mention of you being a liar. In fact he agrees with me that the truth of you may be somewhere between my read and his. You may be reacting to a term of art in the Manosphere which is "mangina". This refers to a man who is rhetorically gelded by feminist thought. I could use some older terms that may be familiar but I'm not sure which would offend and this is your place so your rules apply.

    I will note what you wrote above in the comments and what is attributed to you on Dalrock's page (I don't see right away where it was said) does not jive. You can not be for not being a door mat and at the same time:
    "kindly respectful of women, regardless of whether or not the woman is acting like a lady. They would never think of using the crude terms flung around the manosphere."

    Christianity has, as Lewis points out in the Narnia stories, a tendency to make God into a tame lion and stop being Christian and be the Religion of Nice. The Bible uses very rough language about loose women. The word whore has a bevy of mentions for example and the "Whore of Babylon" mentioned in Revelation is painted in excruciating detail. So then, we are taught to honor women but not _all_ women.

    Men, as natural protectors, need to learn this difference less we begin to corrupt our natural desire to defend into a general defense of evil. Dalrock is keen, as am I, in recapturing language that shames women who insist on living lives devoted to evil.

    This is what Dalrock is attacking using satire. We are so used to, me included, thinking in a feminist mold that we often forget we are saying crazy things and he is an expert at pointing this out. I've read articles he's linked to, thought nothing of them, read his analysis and given myself a sharp slap on the forehead.

    He will not be polite in the sense you are looking for. But just like this is your "house" that is his house and his rules. He's darned good at what he does and I think you would benefit from listening to him and thinking deeply about how many feminist presumptions you might carry along unconsciously. At the very least read through Grerp's posts.

    BTW if your in California still we may be near neighbors (deep south bay). Berkeley is such an odd mix of old broken down seminaries and post-60's radicalism.

  9. Cam I don't know how to reach you other than this comment section I just wanted you to know how much I LOVE the snoods that arrived today. They are wonderful and well made!!! I also wanted you to know they are awesome for African American hair. I have an adopted 12year old AF daughter and these are perfect for cover her hair at night. Thanks so much. I'll be ordering more soon:)

    Kim chrisman

  10. Oofda. People sure can complicate relationships when they are outside of God's design!

  11. Hi Lost Sailor-

    When ever he mentions family law, I wince because I think it would be kind of soul crushing, even though I know he's thinking of it as a way to help people at a very difficult time. There's several possibilities he's thinking of though so I'm hoping one really stands out in the next year or two!

    Hi GK-

    I think it may be that I do think of calling a woman a "s*#&" or "c&$#" or "b$#@%" as swearing. Those were the words I was thinking of from the first posts that I saw.

    The lie part was in the comments section where he said that: "this woman has difficulty with the truth." I believe it was because he didn't believe I really could have read manosphere posts before writing my initial post? I actually had read his post and several posts on the "married man" blog that were about infidelity and how to make sure a wife wasn't cheating (Lost Sailor, those were the one's that were used by the husband of a fellow blogger in a very cruel way).

    I did really enjoy the posts by Grerp. And I'll have to think more about the language because some of what you and Dalrock in his latest comment on his blog, do make sense. I tend to try to think in terms of the sin, while trying not to use derogatory terms associated with it (although you are right and Biblical writer's do use whore and harlot).

    We're in muggy humid Florida now, after leaving the bay in 2006. I'd lived in Concord and Marin (and a few little towns in the East Bay) and the whole Bay Area mentality was just driving me nuts so we moved up North for a while and then out to Florida for DH's law school.

    You guys have given me a bit more to think about...

  12. Kim! Yay! I'm so glad you like them!!!

  13. Hi, Cam:

    Self-described conservative Christian woman here, chiming in. I forget exactly when I first was introduced to the manosphere, but I do know that after my first couple of forays, I left, absolutely disgusted. And yet, it kept coming up, because another conservative Christian woman whose blog I read just kept linking to that Dalrock guy, with comments that raised so much curiosity that I just had to read the original post! It took a while to get acclimated to the culture and language and ideas (and the acronyms, oh how I hated those impossible-to-decipher acronyms!), but once I got the basic idea, it all fell into place. Once I understood the premise, I could see where certain terms really are appropriate, even though my instinctive reaction had been to jump on those terms as misogynist in and of themselves. I eventually started reading Dalrock and Athol Kay (Married Man Sex Life) regularly, and I've recently added another couple of blogs to the list. It has been--and continues to be--difficult sometimes. Some of the commenters are so crude and downright mean, for no reason at all. But others are very well-reasoned and make exceedingly good points. The hardest part for me has been that these ideas challenge my own unrecognized feminist tendencies. I'm a self-described conservative in almost every area of my life ... and yet, Dalrock can take statements and philosophies with which I have no problem whatsoever and show me how feminist, how damaging, and how un-Christlike they really are. He recently demolished another Christian blogger I often read, and now I find myself reading her posts with my brain turned "on," if you know what I mean, much more so than in the past (she has some good things to say, but they're mixed with some subtle feminism that I now look out for). I'm swallowing the Red Pill in small doses, and I hate it, but I find that I have to do it--I'd much rather live in truth than in error, even though I've found myself looking in horror at women who just a few short years ago would have been role models. (One of the manosphere's complaints is that good women don't stand up to the damaging women ... that is something I'm working on, although I'm still far too timid.) Anyway, I just want to encourage you to keep exploring the manosphere and see the truth that is revealed there, because as someone said above, it probably will affect your children, even if it doesn't affect you.

  14. It does have beautiful hill country and some of the worlds best wines though.

    I considered moving out to Florida briefly. The missus informed me that her children getting eaten by alligators and the bugs were a huge turn off. I didn't like the idea of the heat either so we moved on to other opportunities. But yes, the Bay is just a mass of evil that calls out for a pillar of fire.

    I think you may have also misread the "problem with the truth". Again he was commenting on the problem with naming things as they are not with lying per se.

    Have a nice weekend. I'm about to see how long I can "man-up" for our vigils leading to Easter which is this weekend so won't be posting much. I also probably won't post here much as it is a very definitely aimed at an audience to which I don't belong (a good thing for all involved).

  15. Deborah:

    Swallowing the Red Pill isn't easy, and maybe moreso for women. I've also noted that the women commenters on manosphere blogs who "get it" all seem to share the view that understanding this stuff hasn't made them lesser as women, but more. Game is good for women, too.

    As I mentioned in the other thread here, it took me a couple of months to fully understand and appreciate the manosphere and Game. And when the Red Pill finally fully took hold, I was gobsmacked. I didn't want to believe it, but I couldn't deny it. It's painful when the cultural underpinnings upon which you've built your perception of society and culture, not to mention self-perception, come splintering apart beneath you.

    The Matrix allusions are usually apt here (adapted for this situation):

    New Red Pill Person: "Why do my eyes hurt?"

    Manosphere: "You've never used them."

    Good luck in finishing the Red Pill.

  16. You should leave the manosphere alone. You can't win. Feminism messed up a lot of women and left a lot of men heavily damaged. Some of them hate us. Others are simply not going to take our crap anymore. I can't really blame them but since I don't want to be upset by the anger that's out there I never read man blogs.

  17. a lot of the blogs can be very spiteful. i only follow a few. for the record i'm: active duty military, never married, no kids.

    i've pretty much written off getting married and since i've never really had any urge to have kids.

    i also host a blog in the 'sphere (i HATE the term btw) that is pretty under the radar and has garnered an almost "cult-like" female audience (per susan walsh).
    i'm fairly good at chatting up women so on my site i tell guys how i approach relationships/women. i also field emails from women who want a man's perspective on relationships.

    i would have to agree with the poster above me. the guy blogs aren't going anywhere, so it might be best to avoid them. and since you're now familiar with the spearhead, i'm sure you can understand why a lot men are angry with the current SMP. it's a VERY big reason for my decision to not get married. i tell women on my site "if you don't like message, don't read the blog. you're venturing into the locker room...expect it to be unpleasant."

    all the best to you. stay up.


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