A blog for Christian men "going their own way."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Marriage Essential for Whom, Vox?

By way of Vox Day, I found this article about the joys of being militantly single -- from a man's point of view. Indeed, a rare find, considering that the MSM is so slanted toward the perspective of women. I think it is telling that the conversation about men shunning marriage has moved beyond the chatter of blogs and forums run by anonymous, cranky, internet bachelors. It's an eye opening development and it makes me wonder how the Establishment will continue to respond to this emerging social trend.

Vox Day's response to the article is interesting. He maintains, like me, that if you are not a religious man, there is no point in getting married. But he goes on to say the following:
If, however, one possesses moral restrictions on one's behavior due to one's religious faith or philosophical principles, or believes in the importance of continuing human society, then marriage is essential ... Marital faithfulness is not equivalent to female dominance of the marital relationship; if that's the case, it's a diseased marriage of the very sort that the writer is rightly determined to avoid. A happy marriage is one that caters to the needs of both parties, which usually means adhering more or less to the traditional model.
A few observations about Vox's statement ...

1. Why is marriage essential because I have "moral restrictions" due to my "religious faith"? What are we talking about here? (1) Don't have sex until you're married, or (2) If you have a sex drive, you must get married. The Bible affirms the first statement, not the second. There is nothing in the Scriptures that says a Christian man has to get married, not even if he is a typical, red-blooded male (as this author considers himself to be).

2. What about continuing human society? Which society do we have in mind? I daresay any society that makes being happily married a goal that is largely unattainable for men or engages in other forms of misandry is a society that has decided that it doesn't want to be continued. It has committed suicide. Asking men to continue something that exploits them is like asking African Americans to continue using public transportation in a Southern city that practices segregation (think Montgomery Bus Boycott).

3. Vox talks about a happy marriage that is not about "female dominance" but "caters to the needs of both parties." So which kind of marriages does our society promote more often that not? I don't condone gambling, but I'll ask by way of analogy: Should a man play in a casino that has a bad reputation of being heavily titled in favor of the house? That's the million dollar question.

18 comments:

Christina said...

x -> y.
x.
:. y.

You turned that entire argument into the following:

x -> y.

You take the stand that Vox is saying Marriage is Essential *period*.

y.

Therefore, you think he MUST mean that x inherently exists.

:. x.

You are not good at this logic thing, are you...

IF a man has this belief that his sexual acts must be confined to a certain philosophical principle OR he believes that it is necessary for human society, THEN it is essential.

He's right.

You don't get it, do you? Healthy marriage is essential for a strong and healthy society. its the backbone. That doesn't mean EVERYONE HAS TO GET MARRIED. Don't you DARE read that into what I just said.

But society is going to continue in the direction its going at a much more rapid pace if men continue to adopt as the norm and the only acceptable moral way that marriage is dead - and don't attempt in any way, shape, or form to pursue a healthy, strong, biblical marriage.

That's Men as a whole. Not referring to EVERY man individually pursuing marriage like that - there's that whole "gift of singleness" thing, too.

Though, I have to say that if PC is right about his interpretation on that, that men can be called to singleness for just a season and later get married, then they should still be striving to make themselves "marriagable"...even if it will be several hundered years before they marry.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that it's women who should be endeavoring to make themsleves "marriagable" rather than spending their most fertle years pursuing a "career" as a bank teller or performing data entry at some insurance company while chasing after every edgy punk who drifts along. If young men are less marriagable today, it's largely because they've seen that the majority of young women no longer cultivate the homemaking arts, and who think that to cook and take care of a man is to be at the start of a long slippery slope to June Cleaver-dom...And we men are very quick in learning and adapting.

If you read this blog or MLV at all, you'll see that the situation is hardly much better in the church, and until young women and their childish passions and emotions are once again restrained by the culture in the form of submission to the authority of their fathers and husbands (loving authority, to head off your kneejerk objection)...or at least by a sense of shame...they will continue to dissipate much of whatever they ever had or value to bring to the table.

emarel

Christina said...

Emarel, your right.

But you can't use women's issues to justify your own.

Just like we can't use men's issues to justify our own.

Its not a two way street - its one way for both, and we both should be goin in the same direction.

You do your responsibility independently of the other.

If you don't find a woman who does her responsibility independently of any man, than that's too bad - be single (and I realize that is the likelihood).

But you see, I'm not naive enough to think y'all are any more "right" than we are - men are just as likely to shirk responsibility at the behest of "she started it".

Just an FYI, Emarel, I practice what I preach to the best of my ability. Yeah, I screw up on occassion, but the general direction I take is to prepare myself to be "marriagable" by biblical standards... including wrestling and grappling with the whole "submissive" wife thing to a point that I can actually accept it regardless of understanding.

This was independent of the idea that any man would EVER want to marry me or ever work in that direction himself. Even when I was convinced I would never marry, I never changed my tune.

Elusive Wapiti said...

#1:

Christina beat me to it. While I didn't bother to look at the logic like she did, I'm a longtime reader of Vox's blog and he has always maintained that if Believing men want to canoodle women, they need to be married (before God, not the State) to them.

He has long advocated, even before my entry into the blogosphere, that unBelievers avoid marriage on grounds that it will likely ruin them. And that Believing men must tread carefully because putative Believing women are nearly as trigger happy as their secular sisters.

#2:

I am no marriage mandater. Yet it is clear to me that the culture that foments marriages, encourages their permanence, and invests men in their children and in society as a whole is a society that will survive. The society that fails to do so will die out, just like Western civilization is today.

Marriage without these things (marriage, hard-to-get divorce, and patriarchal investment) is a trap best avoided, and I think that is what VD was getting at.

#3:

I also disagree with your take on VD's 'marriage catering to both parties' comment. A biblical marriage in which a man has the leadership position will, in the long run, serve the needs of the husband, the wife, the children, and the society at large in the long run.

"So which kind of marriages does our society promote more often that not? "

The woman-on-top variety of marriage, which I think VD and the author of the original TimesUK article advises men avoid.

"there's that whole "gift of singleness" thing, too."

Something that I think is invoked far too often. It's a salve for people who are single but don't want to be. I think a fair reading of scripture indicates that the 'gift of singleness' is a rare thing. For the rest of us, it is better to marry than burn as a result of our passions.

Elusive Wapiti said...

"It seems to me that it's women who should be endeavoring to make themsleves "marriagable" rather than spending their most fertle years pursuing a "career" as a bank teller or performing data entry at some insurance company while chasing after every edgy punk who drifts along."

Absolutely. Women must discard feminism to make themselves marriageable again. They don't deserve a second's consideration until that happens.

But because the female house is in such disarray doesn't mean that we men should let ours become filthy as well. Men have followed women around in this country for far too long. We have allowed Jezebel to lead us astray, rather than sticking to what was right.

Instead, we should do what is right by ourselves, our brothers, and our God, and have the sac to stick with it to the end. If that means that the hot little flat-belly living next door scorns us, who cares? If that means that we eschew marriage because Caesar has perverted God's institution, well then so be it.

jerrican said...

"If young men are less marriagable today, it's largely because they've seen that the majority of young women no longer cultivate the homemaking arts..."

Oh yeah, we all know how 22 year old guys appreciate hand knit socks and crocheted sofa doilies.

Excuse me, but I think the availability of NSA sex in the modern secular world just might have something to do with that. And don't bother complaining to the straight-laced church ladies here about this one.


As for the "woman-on-top variety of marriage", whose on top all depends on who loves who more. Because men are usually the pursuers, pursuing the ones they love the most even if it means not being loved as much in return, they are more likely to be the ones who end up with the people who aren't as interested in them. Same thing happens when it's women who pursue.

Want to avoid this predicament? Avoid "topping out the ladder (see laddertheory.com).

SellCivilizationShort said...

Christina:
You're probably a software engineer.
Teaching logic is harder than you might think.
When you start off with
"Christina said...
x -> y.
x.
:. y.
"
Most students will need you to define your terms before you give a proof. Also it helps to name or number your proofs.

Also -- mathematical logic is nice and neat because it's exercised over well-defined sets of well-formed formulas.

Informal logic, applied over the domain of the real world, with imprecise languages such as English, is considerably harder.

It's strictly up to you, but you might consider cutting a bit of slack.

Mordecai Lament said...

Christina,

So here's my question...

How does a man prepare for marriage?

Anakin Niceguy said...

Christina writes:


"You take the stand that Vox is saying Marriage is Essential *period*."

Uh, no, I didn't say that. I acknowledge that he makes no application to non-believers.

"You are not good at this logic thing, are you..."

Christina,

My admonishment to you is the same to everyone else here. Please take the time to read what Vox Day actually said and what I actually said before jumping to conclusions and emoting about my adroitness (or lack thereof) at logic.

This is what Vox Day actually said ...

"If, however, one possesses moral restrictions on one's behavior due to one's religious faith or philosophical principles, or believes in the importance of continuing human society, then marriage is essential ... Marital faithfulness is not equivalent to female dominance of the marital relationship; if that's the case, it's a diseased marriage of the very sort that the writer is rightly determined to avoid. A happy marriage is one that caters to the needs of both parties, which usually means adhering more or less to the traditional model."

If you have taken the time to read his original article, then you probably noticed that the above statement is juxtaposed against this statement:

"If a man's goals in life are fundamentally hedonistic or if his character is narcissistic, there's simply no reason to get married anymore. The limitations on one's life, the financial risks of divorce and a court system that is structurally biased in favor of women, and simply having to put up with female idiosyncracies on a regular basis just aren't worth the benefits of marriage. As David Spade's character once told his married friends: "Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go do whatever I feel like doing, all the time."


Vox Day's usage of the word "one" reduces the question to an individual consideration and thus leaves the impression that the application of marriage's essentialness is also individual (contra your talk about "men as a whole").

Vox Day has said something similar before. He may not be a marriage mandator, but his words can most certainly be construed that way.

EW writes:

"I also disagree with your take on VD's 'marriage catering to both parties' comment."

That's not my take. Those are his actual words.

Elusive Wapiti said...

Anakin,

I re-read what Vox and you both wrote.

I can see how you can interpret his words how you have.

But I've been reading his blog a long time...going on five-plus years now...and I'd be one surprised fellow if he suddenly became a marriage egalitarian.

Now he didn't write this, but my interpretation of his writings in the past few years suggests that he thinks a male-headed marriage serves the interests of both men and women and others much better than the female-headed variety.

And he's been very vocal about non-Believing men avoiding marriage.

The Learner said...

If I am understanding correctly it seems that there is a "step" missing in Vox's logic. It seems that he is assuming that it would not be possible for a religous man to abstain from sex outside of marriage and so marriage is essential for him to meet his sexual needs. Anakin, I take it this is what you object to...am I correct?

Anakin Niceguy said...

Yes Learner,

That's what I am objecting to.

EW ...

I think there is a misunderstanding here. I never charged Vox with believing in egalitarian marriages. I take his statement to mean that marriage can be good for both parties when done in a "traditional" manner. I simply asked how often society really encourages this type of marriage.

Triton said...

How does a man prepare for marriage?

He finds a woman he doesn't like, then buys her a house.

Ha! Thank you, Lewis Grizzard.

As far as Vox is concerned, I'm pretty sure he is assuming men engaging in sexual intercourse. For such men, the only choices are etc., etc.

So long as a man's not fornicating, I'm sure he doesn't have a problem with Christian men remaining single for whatever reason.

Amir Larijani said...

Anakin: My impression--also as a longtime Vox reader--is that Vox was speaking to the general case.

Fact is, men--in many cases even the married ones--have trouble keeping hormonal urges in check.

(That is hardly an indictment of the men, and--in fairness--one could also make the case that women have similar difficulties.)

Paul said it himself: it's better to marry than to burn.

Does that equate to a "mandate"? Hardly, and for reasons we have all--you, me, Triton, PC--articulated.

Vox has never been in that camp and--as a libertarian--has always seemed to come down on the side of more freedom rather than less.

Ergo, I say easy with the trigger finger. I'd rather give Vox the benefit of a doubt on this one. He's earned it on the basis of past performance.

Christina said...

ML,

I'm not a man, so I really have little idea...

However, I've attempted to keep my brother "marriage minded" in his decisions...primarily how he treats women (respectfully), how he guards his emotions (not handing out his "love" like candy to babies), and keeping his body for his wife - much in the same way a woman would.

There's some discipline to it (more for some than others). Just like there is for a woman to reconcile her desires and gifts with the command to submit (which would be just one way a woman would prepare for marriage).

I don't think women are the only ones (if indeed they want to be married) that need to prepare for the long haul. Both sides need to learn how to communicate with others, resolve conflict constructively, and learn how to compromise in a shared living space (how picky are you about sharing a toothbrush?). Both sides need to understand how their personalities conflict and mesh with other people's personalities. All of this can be done WITHOUT being married...with friends, family, roommates, coworkers...

To be succinct, few people even bother with developing such skills these days.

I'm sure that for men, two things that would need to be part of the preparation is learning a skill that can support a pregnant wife and children (do not read "breadwinner" or make lots of $$ - just needs to be enough) AND learning how to be assertive without being over-bearing so as to maintain his leadership role in the household. If he wants a SAHM, he should pursue skills that can get him a job that will support a family without an added income (it doesn't already need to be established, just some direction in that regard).

Two things specific to women would be learning how to care for an infant and a household when she is out of work for child-bearing and how to be submissive without rolling over and playing dead - so as to maintain her husband's leadership role in the household. If she wants to be a SAHM, learning how to care for a household should be another skill she learns.

If you simply don't plan on getting married "any time soon" but MAYBE marriage is a possibility, I still think a man and woman should be working on those skills...as long as marriage is an option in the future. Some of the things I listed really require an attitude change and habitual practice for them to come even slightly easily to those that have to practice them.

Christina said...

Oh Anakin...

read it twice...once here and once on EW's blog before I wrote my response to you.

Then I read it on Vox's blog.

SellCiv,

Yeah, I'm a software Engineer with a double major in math and cs... you got me pegged so well!

Well vox's argument was the following (adding a letter):

a = Man believes moral actions are restricted by a religious or phisophical code.

b = Man believes there is importance in the continuation of human society

y = marriage is essential

(a v b) -> y
a v b
:. y

I think Amir and EW stated what I was attempting to say WAY WAY WAY WAY better than I did...

To the point where they actually said it and I didn't...

Elusive Wapiti said...

"I simply asked how often society really encourages this type of marriage."

Okay, I think I grok now.

MarkyMark said...

Marriage is only essential for those who want to surrender their freedom, along with everything else! I'll pass on that, thank you very much. Thanks to my declining sex drive, passing on the balls & chains of marriage is no problem... :)