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

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Is Marriage a Marker of Adulthood?

Recently, one of my readers claimed that marriage was a marker of adulthood. This claim sounds familiar; I am sure I heard it from someone else. It sounds like something Albert Mohler would say. At any rate, the statement that my reader made may sound profound and axiomatic to many. But the more I think about the claim that marriage is a marker of adulthood, the more I realize it leaves something to be desired in terms of what it conveys. Just what do we mean when we say marriage is a marker of adulthood?

1. Is it a marker of biological adulthood?

I certainly hope so, or some people are going to have certain difficulties on their honeymoon. Indeed, some jurisdictions would not look too kindly on marriages where one or more partners had not reached the stage of biological adulthood.

2. Is it marker of maturity (emotional, financial, spiritual, etc.)?

If it is, then I want to know how whackos who beat their spouses, spendthrifts who plunge families into debt, and people who have no regard for God manage to get married. As it has been pointed out under the "Code Green" entry of the Catalog of Anti-Male Shaming Tactics, "It should be remembered that one’s sexual history, marital status, parental status, etc. are not reliable indicators of maturity and accountability. If they were, then we would not hear of white collar crime, divorce, teen sex, unplanned pregnancies, extramarital affairs, etc."

3. Is it a marker of single people's immaturity?

This assertion makes absolutely no sense at all. Logic 101, dear readers:
Invalid proposition: If (A then B) then (if ~A then ~B)

Where A=marriage and B=maturity
We are better off talking about singleness being a marker of immaturity, but then do we want to accuse the Apostle Paul of being immature? Singleness, per se, like marriage, says nothing about the character of a person.

4. Is it a marker of some notable achievement that benefits society?

Maybe we are getting close to the core of what people mean when they say, "Marriage is a marker of adulthood." However, there are two problems with this assertion. It is on this point that I will spend the bulk of my discussion.

First, just because you ate some wedding cake, gestated, and then pushed a baby out of your uterus does not make you a matron saint. Likewise, if you contributed sperm to the making of said baby, you are not the great Cincinnatus (and indeed, society constantly reminds men of this fact). Let's tie in a Bible verse on this matter:
Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son; But he that is a companion of gluttons shameth his father. (Prov. 28:7, ASV)
If the legacy you leave behind are spoiled, amoral, hedonists, then what credit is that to you? Day after day, men and women create children and yet are unprepared to raise them. We don't need anymore thugs, hoodlums, and the such like raised by single mothers and lousy parents. Some people just need to forget about the marriage and family thing and keep their pants on. Just because these people were pretty enough and tough enough to get into the bed with someone doesn't mean society is somehow in debt to the unfortunate fallout of their unions.

Why do you deserve a trophy because you got married and had children? You're taking care of you own? Good. Even the unbelievers do that (Matt. 5:47; 1 Tim. 5:8). Nobody forced you to get married. Society doesn't owe you a debt of gratitude because you raised emotionally stable children who are productive. You've only done your duty (Luke 17:10), and it is your children who owe the debt of gratitude to you (Eph. 6:2). Society will owe your children something when they actually do something valuable. Otherwise, your children are, at best, a charity case. And we don't need people producing more charity cases (Prov. 30:15a; 2 Thess. 3:10).

Anyway, the second problem with seeing marriage as a marker of some notable achievement benefiting society is that it ignores a basic question: If you are a Christian and you are called to be a pleaser of God and not necessarily a pleaser of men (Gal. 1:10), then why should you necessarily care what society wants from you? Society says that I am not a man because I am not impregnating a woman? Very well, then. Society can go talk a long walk on a Mobius strip, for all I care in that regard.

Ladies and gentlemen, is society an end to itself? Are we collectivists, now? Replace the word "society" with "state," and you'll see my concern about this matter. I fear some of us are aspiring totalitarians and authoritarians. This is one of the reasons why I get bristled when socons say, "Family is the basic unity of society." It implies that married people and children are just cogs in a machine. But society is for the benefit of the family and individual, not the other way around. I may have an obligation to God and my fellow man (Luke 10:27), but I don't necessarily have an obligation to a social structure.

There is an a fortiori principle here. If society doesn't value me, then how can it say it values my marriage and my children? Society may say that I am expendable as a man. Women mock the usefulness of men, the workplace threatens to outsource men's jobs or eliminate them through technology, and on it goes. If you declare men to be expendable, however, then you are declaring that you don't need them. If you declare that you don't need men, you release men from their obligation. That's where our logic leads us. In short, if society questions my worth as a man, then my full participation in it becomes optional.

If society wants men to feel like they have a stake in its welfare, then it needs to treat them fairly and with respect. If society wants men to go above and beyond the call of duty, then carrots will do better than a stick, otherwise it's just duty society will get. But no one is really doing any of these things I say need to be done for men, so I can only guess that marriage and family really isn't that important to society, after all. I mean, you can't have your cake and eat it, too. There is no free lunch and if you want men to do something, then you better pony up with the goods (see here and here). Someone may try the religious angle to force men and women to get married, but I've been hitting that one out of the park, too (see here and here).

Now, let me summarize everything I've said on marriage being a marker of contributing to society. Society needs to drop it's male-bashing act like um, yesterday, if it wants men to be good citizens by copulating, procreating, and siring the next generation of taxypayers and cubicle workers. Society need to support men in other ways, too. Married men, in turn, can't demand some special recognition for raising great children, much less just getting wedded. Raising your children to be godly is your default obligation, not some form of sacrificial service that gives you glory. This especially the case if society is supporting you as a father and husband; in that case, you are discharging your debt to society.

Look, people, here's an analogy: Let's suppose some employer says to me, "Man, we could really use you for a position on the executive team, so why don't you go back to school and get a degree for us?" The problem is that I can't afford the tuition for an advanced degree. So what would you advise my employer to do? Sweeten the pot for me?

But on whom does the obligation fall once I take the bait? Suppose some individuals in my faith tradition pay for my tuition so I can get a degree in theology. Do I get to march into some dean's office and demand a gold-plated plaque for the late nights I spent doing homework? As it is, the individuals that paid for my tuition would probably expect me to take a position for several years in some capacity that benefits the church community. That plaque would have to wait.

Or think about this scenario: I'm an independent contractor and a guy named Al calls me over to his nice home. Al says to me, "I'll pay you $50 to remove a pile of gravel from my back yard." I say, "Sorry, but my regular price is at least $150." About that time, a guy named Steve drives up in his pick-up truck. He strolls up gingerly to the both of us and hears a bit of the conversation. Steve says, "Hey, Al. Don't worry, man. I'll do it for free." Al says, "Wow! You don't see generosity like this anymore. Steve, you are a real man!" Steve looks at me, cracks a smile, and quips, "Well, Anakin, you heard what Al said!" I reply, "Yeah, I heard what Al said. But Steve, what you really are is a tool if you have that kind of attitude. Al could have just as easily moved this pile himself or paid me to do it. In fact, he's paid me in the past for these kind of jobs. And here's the thing, Steve. I know you are not doing this purely out of the goodness of your heart. Why? Because last week, you were telling me how you needed some gravel for your driveway. So you're shoveling this pile of gravel for free. What do you want? A biscuit, dude?"

Do you see where I am going with my analogies? Marriage is not a marker of anything except that you got lucky with a member of the opposite sex. And for some married men, they would probably question the part about "getting lucky." Marriage and family have perks and privileges, and they come with obligations. If you're married, you're not entitled to a train load of biscuits. Married people have picked their pile of gravel. Nobody forced them to take the pile. If you want me to shovel the pile, then be prepared to pay me. If a chivalrous dude wants to volunteer to shovel it for free so he can use it for his driveway, then he can't gripe afterwards if no one offers him a dollar or a round of applause. And he can't call me a lesser man than him because I didn't shovel a pile that I had no duty to shovel. After all, maybe I don't want a gravel driveway. The married man gets his driveway, and the single man gets to walk away from a sweaty job. Sounds fair to me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Separating the Men from the Boys

In response to my post about "Realmannspracht," a reader brought up a concern about how we, as a society, can mark the transition from boyhood to manhood. In the past, society had various rites by which males moved from being a child to being an adult. However, we need to realize that the transition is not really dictated by society, but by biology. Manhood is still something God, not culture, gives to men. I think we've fooled our ourselves into believing otherwise, but inasmuch as we have done so, it has been to the detriment of boys, men, and our culture as a whole.

Let's look what the Apostle Paul said:
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. (1 Corinthians 13:11, NASB)
Note the progression: (1) A child acting like a child, (2) becoming a man, and then (3) putting away childish things. Step 3 does not come before Step 2.

We like to say, "Act your age." Why do we do this? Because we have subconsciously regarded biological age as the determining factor of someone's development. You don't expect someone who indeed a boy to act like a man. Likewise, you don't expect someone who is indeed a man to act like a boy. Life is indeed a series of initiations for men. They are not initiations from boyhood to manhood, but initiations from one social set of expectations to another. Some rites are indeed optional, like marriage or having children.

The cultures of the past understood this. They may have said, "You don't become a man until you do (xyz)" but their actions pointed towards a different, far deeper reality. Think about the Bar Mitzvah. People don't have the ceremony for 26-year-old men with jobs, houses, spouses, and children. They don't say to these men, "Ok, now you're a man." No, the Bar Mitzvah happens at a very young age. While the Bar Mitzvah may not be a initiation in manhood, per se, the Talmud is clear that boys become men around the time of puberty.

So, we need to remind teenagers of a sobering reality. They are no longer boys and girls. They are men and women. They are at an age of life when their focus should be on taking on the responsibilities of adulthood. What I am saying is shocking to a culture that clings tightly to extended adolescence, the banalities of youth culture, and the choice of older people to refuse to act their age ("60 is the new 40" or whatever). And yet, what I am saying has support from other conservatives.

Teenagers need to realize that just because they are adults, they do not get the privileges of adulthood until they earn them by acting responsibly. I didn't get to use a car for myself until I learned to drive. I didn't get to come and go as I pleased from my home until I moved out, got a real job and payed my own rent at age 24. The expectation was there that I needed to move towards these things. If I stalled anywhere along the way, I got dressed down.

Teenagers are not ready for sex until they are ready for marriage. If they are ready at age 18 like their great-grandparents, more power to them. If they have to wait till their forties to get ready for marriage, so be it. Marriage and sex are the a privileges of adulthood, not the things that make you an adult.

Someone will retort that a 16-year-old "boy" [sic] is not as mature as a 26-year-old man. True, but a 26-year-old man is usually not as mature as a 46-year-old man. Just because a male teenager doesn't have all his ducks in a row doesn't mean he is not a man. In fact, having all one's ducks in a row usually takes a lifetime. The 16-year-old man just happens to be near the beginning of the journey unlike some of us. Remember, the State may say one is a man at 18, then bump the age up to 21, then to 25, etc. But what the State does is irrelevant to nature. It may prohibit me from doing things until I reach a certain age, but it can't deny that I am a man when indeed I am a man.

What have we learned? There is no real initiation into adulthood, per se. You are an adult when your body says so, but you don't get the perks and privileges that adults enjoy until you earn them. The last point goes for any age.

Now, a reader said something about people regarding me as a "boy" when they denied I was a "man." Well, if I was indeed a boy, then why the contempt? If I was indeed a boy, then I was acting according to the stage of my physiological development. However, if I was actually a man, then the people calling me a "boy" were most likely trying to insult me and trying to play upon any insecurities society attempts to inculcate into men about their masculinity.

Inasmuch as people uphold the age-old lie that manhood, unlike womanhood, is something that can be granted or denied by culture, then I must regard any charge they make against my manhood as being in earnest. After all, such people clearly think they can invalidate my manhood through opprobrium and censure. They would, however, be guilty of slandering me, an action which is regarded as sinful by the Word of God (1 Corinthians 6:10). If God and nature says I am a man, then who are you to bear false witness? If we want men, but especially young men, to be mature, then let's do it by speaking according to the truth, not by resorting to playground insults and acting like children ourselves.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Cosmo Complex Confirmed

Let me refresh your memory, dear readers. Do you recall the post that I wrote on men and the delay of marriage? Do you recall what I said about the "Cosmo Complex" and how women have overly inflated expectations about their romantic potential and what they could ask from men? Well, some readers accused me of being bitter. Also, one or more readers said that the issues I addressed were only a problem with highly attractive women. Guess what? Even the mainstream media is confirming what I am saying. Here's some relevant quotes:
"Us women are more egocentric and narcissistic than we ever used to be, according to extensive research by two leading psychologists."
"According to the American research, there has been a 67 per cent increase in it [narcissism] over the past two decades, mainly among women."
Now, ladies and gentlemen, what do you think has caused this? Could it possibly be a society stuck in a "girls are nice, sugar and spice/boys are stupid, throw rocks at them" mindset? Academics have written books about this mess. I mean, you tell me, folks. What do you think happens when young, impressionable women and girls marinate for years in a toxic cultural cesspool of gynocentrism and misandry? Nothing? They're just impervious to it all? So, the media mavens who spend fortunes on swaying public opinion on everything from presidents to pretzels have absolutely no effect on the female psyche? Uh-huh, um ... yeah. I think we know the answer to that. And you know what? I don't think I'm as worried about the so-called "bad" girls as I am the "decent" ones who unwittingly allow popular culture to shape their views on relationships between men and women. Again, countless sermons rain down down on men, castigating them for their "unrealistic" ideas about beauty. But what of the distaff gender? That's right. Keep hemming and hawing, and talking about the weather while the 300-pound gorilla takes a dump on the carpet in front of you.

(HT: MarkyMark)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Realmannspracht (The Spiritual Problem with "Real Man" Talk)

Realmannspracht. It's a word I have coined for "real man" talk. Indeed, there is a lot of it afloat. Do you know what a "real man" is? Can you know? The psychologist Roy F. Baumeister wrote:
The phrase “Be a man” is not as common as it once was, but there is still some sense that manhood must be earned. Every adult female is a woman and is entitled to respect as such, but many cultures withhold respect from the males until and unless the lads prove themselves. This is of course tremendously useful for the culture, because it can set the terms by which males earn respect as men, and in that way it can motivate the men to do things that the culture finds productive. ("Is There Anything Good About Men?" Address to the American Psychological Assocation, 2007)
I'm quite happy to uphold this traditional understanding of what makes a "man" if we uphold the traditional understanding of what makes a "woman" ... thus rolling back many of the economic, political, and social gains that women have been given. But seriously, I think that if we have made progress in how we treat women, people of color, etc., then surely we should make a little progress in how we treat the "disposable sex." What makes a man? Who gets to answer that question? How about the One who actually has made man?

What does the Word of God say in Genesis 1:27? It says, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (KJV). Here's something to note from this passage: To be a man or a woman is not to merely state one's sex, but to affirm one's humanity. Value judgments about what a man or a woman should be are ultimately subordinate to how the Creator has made us. He is made us "male and female." Webster's dictionary defines a man as an "adult male human." A man is distinct from a woman, a child, or an animal. Even a man who is a eunuch is still a man.** To be a man, in essence, is a matter of God's creation, not social conditioning.

Throughout the ages, "real man" talk has been used by people to shame men into compliance with social norms. Even feminists with all their bravado about "equality" and freeing men from "restrictive sex roles" are not above using this type of language as a bludgeon themselves. That woman do not receive similar treatment is indicative of the sickening disrespect modern society has for men. It's "lifeboat feminism" at its worst. And yet, the talk of "real men" persists, even among those who profess to be Christians.

When someone denies that I am a man, he denies that I am a male human being created in the image of God. This denial of my humanity suggests that my soul is not valuable and that my life is not higher than an animal's. Such a willful denial is an act rooted in hatred. No one who claims to follow God can hate his fellow man: "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him" (1 John 3:15, KJV). Look, you may not like what a particular man is doing. I may not like it either. But neither you or I have any right under God's throne to deny that man's humanity by declaring he is not a "real man." Religious pundits and commentators do not get to exercise some special prerogative in this matter, either.

I suppose I have may have used the phrase "real man" or "real men" in the fashion I described. We all slip up, but I think we need to change our language if we going to endeavor to be a civilized people. Self-respecting men should balk at the phrase "real man" the way women balk at the phrase "dame" or "broad."

What should we say of those who still use the phrase "real men" or "real man"? I may, at first, call into question their understanding, but if I've already warned them, then I am forced to call into question their integrity. Indeed, there a lot of "real women" and "real men" who don't have it.



**In the Greek text of Acts 8:27, the Ethiopian eunuch is a called "a man" (aner). That logically presupposes he had all the essential characteristics of a man. And yet, he was a literal eunuch [see Darrell Bock, Acts (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2007), 341].

Friday, September 11, 2009

Which MGTOW?

In response to my last post, Puma opined:
The way I see it Roissysphere is part of MGTOW. It is a form of MGTOW, but not the only one by any means.

Ghosting and Roissysphere form the opposite ends along one axis of the equation (i.e. sexual involvement with women). But there are other axi [axes] within MGTOW as well. These include one's position on financial choices, career choices, geographical choices, etc.

MGTOW is a multidimensional movement.
I get where Puma is coming from. When I read some of the comments left by my Roissysphere readers, I don't see much of a material difference between what they are saying and what some of my colleagues in the MGTOW movement have been saying (viz., the part about making "the mission," not women, the "priority"). Indeed, Novaseeker, a Roissysphere blogger, recently wrote the following:
No, for us, our exhilaration comes from the ability to simply let go. If women want our role, let them have it. It frees us up to do something else – something that we want to do, rather than paying attention to lectures from others about what we should do, what others want us to do, and so on. That is a true, real freedom for men. It means the freedom to live our lives as we wish to, and not as is dictated to us. It means expanding our role as men, our self-conception as men, beyond ideas that tie us to women (provider, protector, husband, father) and embracing a new self-definition that is really about us, and not at all about how we relate to women. That doesn’t mean ignoring women or living aloof from them, but rather refusing to define ourselves at all around our roles relating to women and children (the latter being itself ultimately tied to our relationships with women), and instead defining ourselves around ourselves, our own beliefs, needs, priorities, interests, dreams, goals, wherever they may lead us. The new world allows us this freedom, and as men we need to take this freedom and run with it. To me, this is the ultimate adaptation for men to the new world and its rules/non-rules.
Whether readers realize it or not, the above statement is the essence of MGTOW. There may be others in the Roissysphere, though, that question to what extent men can have self-determination apart from intimate relationships with women. I don't know. Others can speak to that better that I can.

I bring this up because I find the exchanges between the Roissysphere and MGTOW camps to be instructive. I consider these exchanges to be opportunities for men of the respective camps to educate one another about what they perceive to be the most pressing issues, etc. Moreover, the exchanges serve as a place for appreciating both differences and common ground.

The veterans of MGTOW have always maintained that men "going their own way" will take various paths in their lives. Like I said, even one of the guys who came up with the MGTOW concept has been happily married for many years. There have been other key players, who though originally single, have gone on to become engaged and married without renouncing their MGTOW beliefs. In short, MGTOW is not a call to hermitage, but a call to self-determination. And when I say self-determination, I don't mean an utter disregard for fellow humanity, morality, etc. (contrary to what some knuckleheaded critics in the socon camp might say about MGTOW). But there is nonetheless variety in the MGTOW. Just as there are Christian, Buddhist, or atheist people who can be Republicans, Democrats, or members of your local chapter of the Rotary Club, you will find men from all walks of life in the MGTOW movement.

In the past, men have often looked to others in order to form their identity. Their "manhood" was imposed on them by their respective cultures, usually as a package deal with "take it or leave it" terms and conditions. Our cultural institutions are still in the business of trying to force feed men scripts for manhood, with little or no option given for men to question some or all of these scripts. And yet, these same cultural institutions have betrayed men. Even our religious communities have failed to live up to their spiritual and ethical responsibilities with regard to how they treat men. What is the problem? Too much of our world privileges a female understanding of reality at the expense of the male experience. Also, too many things asked of men clearly spring from questionable motives. MGTOW is an attempt to grapple with these disturbing developments.

I say all of this because even last evening, I came across an attempt by a blogger to categorize certain spectra of thought among men's issues advocates. Using the Nolan Chart as a model, he had MGTOW on one end of an axis and PUA on the other end with the word "Women" beneath the axis. I appreciate the discussion he is generating about the issues, but I found his chart to be incorrect and thus made a recommendation to him. If there was a continuum between "avoiding women" at one point and "having relationships with women" at the other point, where would the men of MGTOW be? Answer: all over the map.

"But why do so many MGTOWers talk about marriage strikes and the such like?" one may ask. Well, MGTOW reminds men that they have options. It just so happens that a lot of men who understand this to be case take the option of getting out of "the Game" (i.e., they go "Ghosting"). Their actions are not so much a reflection of MGTOW prescribing a particular course of action as they are a conclusion that the actual market values of Marriage 2.0 and even Relationships 2.0 do not square with the price tags affixed thereunto. Let's face it: A lot of men are where they are at in their marriages and other relationships with women because they have never questioned the hand that has been dealt to them. They are still "plugged in" and drinking the Kool-Aid about gender relations. When men start to open their eyes and realize they are not in Kansas anymore, it's no big wonder that so many of them expresses little or no interest in the proverbial cow or even her proverbial milk. Are there good women out there? I have no reason to doubt it, but a lot of MGTOWers feel it's not worth their time and energy to go hunting for them.

Anyway, I hope my thoughts might clarify a few things for my Roissyphere readers.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Roissysphere: A MGTOW Perspective

What exactly is the Roissysphere? I have to admit that I did not hear about this term until this month, or maybe it was last month. I can't remember. I consider it from an outside perspective as a MGTOWer. After reading some about it, it strikes me as a network of bloggers who follow the writings of individual named "Roissy." Who is Roissy? He appears to be somewhat like a PUA (a pick-up artist - one that seduces and beds women), who just also happens to have some views on gender relations that might fall in the category of MRA thought. In short, it's MRA meets seduction theory.**

Novaseeker is supposedly in the Roissyphere. Ferdinand Bardamu is in the Roissysphere. So is Chuck Ross and Josh Xiong. And on it goes. The guys in the Roissysphere seem to be relatively new to the MRA scene on the internet. Roissy's blog only goes back as far as April 2007. These individuals have a lot of beliefs in common with MGTOW, and yet they largely seem to have only a partial knowledge of MGTOW. I say that because of statements that some readers of Roissy have made about MGTOW.

So for those of you who move about in the Roissyphere, I thought I would compare the MGTOW scene with the MRA/PUA hybrid ideas of the Roissyphere:

1. Critiques of feminized culture? Roissyphere: Check. MGTOW: Check.

2. Libertarian-leaning critiques of big government? Roissysphere: Check. MGTOW: Check.

3. Critiques of misandry? Roissysphere: Check. MGTOW: Check.

4. Critiques of conservatives being just as bad as feminists in their misandry? Roissysphere: Check. MGTOW: Check.

5. Realistic and brutal honesty about female behavior (including sexual behaviors and mating preferences)? Roissysphere: Check. MGTOW: Check.

6. Some members into learning aspects of "Game" in order understand and relate to women, especially for the purpose of intimate relationships? Roissyphere: Check. MGTOW: Check.

7. Some members of the community being happily married? Roissyphere: Check. MGTOW: Check. (One of the architects of MGTOW has been happily married for years.)

8. Championing standing up to women and not being a pushover? Roissyphere: Check. MGTOW: Check.

9. Some members of the community being happily single or even unattached? MGTOW: Check. Roissyphere: I dunno.

10. Realization that average men can live without sex or female companionship just fine? MGTOW: Check. Roissyphere: I dunno.

11. Realization that everything has it costs and trade-offs and therefore, being involved with women is not necessarily better than not being involved with them? MGTOW: Check. Roissysphere: I dunno.

12. Realization that a man's worth and happiness does not depend on women? MGTOW: Check. Roissysphere: I dunno.

13. Realization that when it comes to men's issues, "Game" isn't everything, much less the proverbial "silver bullet?" MGTOW: Check. Roissysphere: I dunno.

14. Realization that "Game" doesn't make a low-integrity woman into marriage material? MGTOW: Check. Roissysphere: I dunno.

15. Realization that "Game" doesn't necessarily protect a man from a low-integrity woman or from family law, the false allegation industry, the DV industry, etc.? MGTOW: Check. Roissysphere: I dunno.

16. Realization that our culture and the proliferation of low-integrity women makes the American Dream for men increasingly elusive, "Game" or no "Game"? MGTOW: Check. Roissysphere: I dunno.

17. Avoidance of "real man" talk, shaming tactics, and other forms of high-handed judgment against men who don't want to play by the old roles, who don't make scoring with women a high priority, or who actually want do something about the inequality in our society? MGTOW: Check. Roissysphere: I dunno.

18. Respects the right of men to buck the system and embracing their own vision of manhood? MGTOW: Check. Roissysphere: I dunno.

In years past, when many men where trying to air their grievances on the internet, trying to come to terms with the misandry and gynocentrism in our society, and trying figure out what to do about it, some PUA-leaning heckler would invariably butt into the conversation and say something like, "You guys are just whiners who are not getting any! You need to learn seduction techniques!" Such an arrogant, myopic, and hopelessly naïve attitude about men's concerns has understandably left a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of MRA and MGTOW men. I don't know enough about the Roissyphere to determine whether or not any of them indulge in the adolescent posturing and display of peacock feathers that some PUA advocates have embraced. Time will tell.

The Roissyphere has its share of talented writers who are saying some noteworthy things about what men face today. I tip my hat in respect to these gentlemen for that. On the other hand, I have a bit of "wait and see" attitude, given how some PUAs have comported themselves in past. I'll let the men of the Roissysphere speak for themselves on the questions I raise. The Roissyphere bills itself as (1) being realistic about relationships between men and women, and (2) being a voice that gives men's options. From my admittedly limited perspective, it remains to be seen whether or not the Roissysphere can live up to both of these promises the way MGTOW already does. In the end, "Roissyism" may actually be a form of MGTOW.

**Edit: The men of the Roissysphere generally follow ideas that come from the Seduction Community; however, not all of them fully accept the lifestyle that Roissy has embraced.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Manhood: It's Not About Her

One of the primary problem's men face in society is this: Their masculinity is too often tied to being accepted by women as potential mates. If women reject a man, then his manhood may be regarded by some as being less than fully realized. However, the problem is that women are not obligated to accept men as mates, even when there is nothing particularly wrong with the men in question. So we are left with two choices for men:

1) Men expressing anger towards the women that reject them.

2) Men expressing anger towards a social system that defines their masculinity in terms of the interest women have in these men.

Option #1 is the option that is often taken, but ultimately, it is counterproductive because women are free moral agents who have a right to their own preferences regarding mate selection. Option #2 is logical but draws criticism from those indifferent or hostile to men's issues (socons, liberals, and other individuals held under sway to popular ideas about manhood). I suppose many expect men to embrace a vision of masculinity that depends on the romantic interest of women and yet, at the same time, expect men to accept rejection from women as a fact of life. Such an expectation amounts to nothing more than asking men to accept humiliation and dehumanization.

To hold a man's self image and self-worth hostage to the whim and caprice of what others find to be sexually or romantically attractive is one of the worst forms of psychological slavery there is. It is unjust and inhumane, and no society built upon such a foundation deserves to survive. Indeed, given the judgment of history, such a society probably won't.