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

Thursday, December 31, 2009



Monday, December 28, 2009

The Semantics of Realmannspracht

About a year ago, I came across a lengthy paragraph in a book that I thought was quite illuminating. I am glad to have rediscovered it just recently. Consider what it has to say and how it might pertain to our ideas about manhood ...
The word gentleman originally meant something recognizable; one who had a coat of arms and some landed property. When you called someone "a gentleman" you were not paying him a compliment, but merely stating a fact. If you said he was not "a gentleman" you were not insulting him, but giving information. There was no contradiction in saying that John was a liar and a gentleman; any more than there is in saying that James is a fool and an M.A. But then came people who said--so rightly, charitably, spiritually, sensitively, so anything but usefully--"Ah, but surely the important thing about a gentleman is not the coat of arms and the land, but the behavior? Surely he is the true gentleman who behaves as a gentleman should? Surely in that sense Edward is far more truly a gentleman than John?" They meant well. To be honourable and courteous and brave is of course a far better thing than to have a coat of arms. But it is not the same thing. Worse still, it is not a thing everyone will agree about. To call a man "a gentleman" in this new, refined sense, becomes, in fact, not a way of giving information about him, but a way of praising him: to deny that he is a "gentleman" becomes simply a way of insulting him. When a word ceases to be a term of description and becomes merely a term of praise, it no longer tells you facts about the object: it only tells you about the speaker's attitude to that object. (A "nice" meal only means a meal the speaker likes.) A gentleman, once it has been spiritualized and refined out of its old coarse, objective sense, means hardly more than a man whom the speaker likes. As a result, gentleman is now a useless word. We had lots of terms of approval already, so it was not needed for that use; on the other hand if anyone (say, in a historical work) wants to use it in its old sense, he cannot do so without explanations. It has been spoiled for that purpose. [C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (Macmillan, 1973), pp. 10-11] [emphasis mine]
Yes, C. S. Lewis said that. It's not much of a leap to take a page from the good professor and level a similar charge against realmannspracht (that term I have coined for any talk or discussion about "real men" and the such like). I submit that the words "man," "manhood," etc. have suffered pretty much the same fate as the word "gentleman." These terms are often employed in an imprecise, highly subjective manner. They have become essentially meaningless. While the term "woman" remains sacrosanct in what it conveys to the modern ear, the term "man" has been reduced to a fashion statement, covering everything from Axe body spray to Browning Buckmark decals on pickup trucks. Bastardization of our language is the price we pay to further the stupidity of gynocentrism and misandry.

Let me close by saying this: People are in the habit of asking, "What makes a man?" That's the wrong question to ask. The better question is, "Who makes a man?" The answer to that question has already been determined. God makes a man, and we have no choice but to accept the fact of the matter (Gen. 1:27; Gen. 2:7; 1 Cor. 11:12). In sum, realmannspracht is not only anti-male, it's linguistic rubbish.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Three Wise Folks

In the spirit of the holidays, I present three people bearing nuggets of wisdom on men's issues:

1. The conservative blogger "Playful Walrus" has a good summary of what's bothering a lot of us men. [Of course, it's also nice that he has given me some kudos. ;-) ]

2. Here's a 25-point reality check for how modern women treat men. Written by a bitter bachelor living in his parent's basement? Nope. It's written by a female clinical psychologist. We men are all too familiar with the nagging laundry list of "to-do's" written by relationship experts. It refreshing to see the shoe on the other foot for a change.

3. Here's an article by Paul Coughlin on abusive religious leaders (HT: Singlextianman). Churchgoing men might want to check this out. I am somewhat tempted to see much of the dynamics between male congregants and their church leaders through the lens of "Game" theory. In other words, some "pastors" act like insecure Alpha-wannabees given to religious "AMOGing," browbeating men into obsequious "betatude" (quite contrary to Ephesians 5:21; Mark 10:35-45; Matthew 23:1-11).

Happy holidays.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Psalm 127:1 and the Sexes

Over at MarkyMark's blog, there is a post about a show called Jersey Shore that is of particular interest to me. MM writes:
In far too many modern relationships, the only glue holding them together is the physical. There is little or no mental connection made between the man and the woman. There is little or no emotional connection made. Finally, there is little or no spiritual connection made. In order for a relationship to last-REALLY LAST-it has to have all four elements present; there have to be mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical bindings holding it together. Only then will a relationship have what it takes to last. When there's only one binding (especially when it's the physical, as is usually the case in modern relationships) holding it together, the relationship simply doesn't have the strength to withstand any serious stress.
A show like Jersey Shore confirms what MM is saying. The show is sickening and sad, and yet it points to the existence of God. How so? Well, when I read MM's reaction, I notice that he mentions the "spiritual" component. Human beings can't get away from this. Jersey Shore illustrates what happens when God is not present in people's lives. The young people of that show are following verses 20 to 32 of Romans, chapter 1 to the script; and they most likely don't even know it.

God creates human beings. We create things. It's no surprise, then, that in a godless culture, we reduce people to the status of things--from the impersonal, dehumanizing environment of the workplace to the pornification of our sexual relationships. Even "love" becomes a product to be sold, negotiated for, and consumed.

Around Thanksgiving, I said the following at MM's blog in response to a post about "Game" ...
There has been a lot of talk about LTR Game but frankly I think it is overrated. The bottom line is that people are more materialistic, self-centered, into instant gratification, etc. than ever before. Young men may learn about seduction the way young women learn about dressing to the nines. But, today, the youth of either sex have extremely poor relationship skills that doom any chance of monogamy. That's why cohabitation is on the rise and marriage is in decline.

Relationships are just another form of recreation, a hobby, a drug, an appliance, what have you. When people get bored or dissatisfied, they just trade in their partner for a new one. The values of integrity, loyalty, industriousness, sacrifice, compromise, humility, patience, longsuffering, and selflessness that are needed for marriage are nonexistent among a huge swath of young people. That's why LTR Game is a nice theory, but in practice, it has no remedial effect in stemming the mass decay.

When people mention LTR Game, I sometimes think what they are really saying is: "I hope to get a hottie to love me forever" or "I hope to get married one day after I have all my fun." They don't realize that sleeping around is a strong predictor for relationship failures down the road.

The people of today are wanting the quick fix. And I'm afraid they see "Game" as the solution. But secret to relationship success is not "Game" per se. It's a nice component. I certainly am not against men and women making themselves sexier in the eyes of each other (within the bounds of reason, morality, and good taste). But, like I said, "Game" is not the fix.

This is the 300-pound gorilla in the room. This is what some "Game" advocates are failing to address. Relationship success in the past depended not so much on "Game" as it did on character. Today, a lot of people have an insufficient amount of character. They break their promises and think only of themselves.

In terms of male-female relationships, society especially encourages women to be completely devoid of any sense of responsibility for how their relationships turn out. The whole woman=good, man=bad paradigm has resulted in a whole generation of self-absorbed harridans that have no business getting within 100 feet of a bridal shop. So the question needs to be asked by men interested in LTRs and marriage: Why practice "Game" to attract the attention of a female demographic that is pretty sorry in the first place? And if you are a man from one of the more recent Media Saturated Generations, then you may need to consider if you are all that mature and selfless yourself. [quote edited for typos and layout]
Why do I bring up what I wrote? Not to criticize "Game." That's not my point. If a man wants to practice "consergame," there nothing is wrong with that, per se. I suppose it works for some people. Moreover, I am not pinning the blame entirely on women, although I believe society is arguably more lenient about their peccadilloes than those of their male counterparts. What I'm saying is that a lot of people are missing the big picture--the spiritual aspect of relationships, as God intended. When it comes to heterosexual relationships, hookups represent the bottom of the food chain. It's diving for rotting leftovers in a dixie dumpster. A God-honoring marriage is what men and women must pursue if they are thinking about intimate relationships. I do not apologize for saying that.

"Love" is an abused word in this society. I'll tell you what love entails. It entails forgiving the faults and failures of a person because you made a vow "for better or for worse." You see, when you recognize the personhood of another human being, you have to recognize the whole package. You embrace that person, not just what that person can do for you. Love will demand you to sacrifice for that human being even when you are not thanked for it. Love can be a painful, thankless task, and it makes no apologies for that. This kind of love is pretty much impossible without a meaningful relationship with God, who helps us to love others (Galatians 5:22-53). It's no surprise to me. God loves those who have been constantly thankless towards him--that includes you and me (Romans 5:6-8). At some point or another, we have acted or are acting in a thankless manner towards him. So now you know what the scoop is. Read 1 Corinthians, chapter 13 and it will tell you what love is all about. Does that describe your relationships?

When someone belittles a single man as a loser, etc., the charge is usually hollow and effete. Why? Because the ones who sleep around, get into shallow relationships primarily based on status or infatuation, etc. can be just as relationship-starved and deprived of love as the man sitting at home alone on a Saturday night eating cold pizza. Don't tell me how well-fed you are if your idea of nourishment is eating Skittles all day long. Day after day, socially unattractive people fall in love and have deeper relationships than the Hollywood celebs that hop from one bed to another. Why do we envy the latter group's sad existence, then?

I daresay the kind of love I've been talking about is the kind most of my readers want, regardless of their background or whether or not they agree with my posts. But it costs something--your selfishness and your ego. When I hear the talk of some people who fancy themselves as winners in the relationship game, I can tell they are not ready for love and that they are doomed to failure if they don't clean up their act. The men and women who have been consistent, who have stuck with it for the long haul, who have gone through the peaks and valleys with their spouses, etc. do not talk so loud about their conquests. They do not gloat so much in front of others who have been unlucky in love. They usually don't yammer on about "losers who can't get laid." These men and women who have stuck it out understand the price. Love has humbled them. It makes them thankful, not arrogant. As for the ones who continue to be arrogant about their social value in eyes of the opposite sex, poetic justice will find them out and kick them in the posterior (Proverbs 16:18).

Is the heterosexual love I'm talking about worth it? Sure it is (Proverbs 18:22). Furthermore, if you are trying to live up to the vows you have taken before the Lord even when it gives no paybacks, it is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). But having said that, you should think before you leap in the first place. That's my take, folks. This culture has all sorts of ideas about love and how to get it, but like Psalm 127:1 says, "Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it" (NASB).

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Blaming the Barometers

I am linking back to a post by Single Christian Man and plugging him while I'm at it. From time to time, he offers his comments here. Though he doesn't agree with everything I say, I find him to be a straight shooter on a lot of points. Anyone who is concerned about the issues men face in churches (especially religious misandry) needs to be reading SCM's blog regularly.

SCM's post in question is a good take on how the churches are driving single men away even as they vilify them. I think these churches are blaming the barometers. With respect to the church atmosphere, the needle is clearly pointing to FEMINIZED.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christian Women Are Easy?

Christian women are easy ... or, uh, at least this guy thinks so. Needless to say, his message is disturbing to me as a Christian man. And yet I see his point. Take his post like you would take one of the Screwtape Letters. He might be correct in a lot of cases. The Church in the West ain't what it used to be.

It takes two to tango, ladies. So I won't be blaming the PUAs who bed you as much as I will be blaming you, who claim to follow Christ and claim to know better than those "worldy women" that I can't date. Although I believe in second chances, you'll might end up being one of these (especially the one that says "Project"). Don't say you haven't been warned.
"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." (1 Cor. 10:12-13, NIV)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Prom King and Prom Queen Syndrome

We live in a status-obsessed society, especially here in America. The infamous question that gets asked all the time is, "So what do you do?" I wonder if some people actually believe questions like this have been asked since the dawn of time. As it is, the dynamics between men and women today is often not so much about love as it is about status--who wants it and who confers it. The obsession with status figures largely in what I call Prom Queen Syndrome and Prom King Syndrome. Remember when everyone wanted to be the king or queen at the high school prom? What did such status confer? Simple ...

  1. You were paired off with the most desirable member of the opposite sex.
  2. Other members of the opposite sex regarded you as the most desirable person of your sex.
  3. You were the envy of those of your own sex--your competition.
The coronation, of course, requires an audience--the chaperoning adults, the kids who didn't make the cut, etc. Not only do the others need to be deprived of status, they need to desire what they don't have. They need to play the part of the Envious Onlookers. If enough people didn't care to go to the prom, or it was sparsely attended, the coronation would be a bit anticlimactic, wouldn't it? It's all a massive ego boost wrapped up in adolescent hormones and sexuality, if you ask me. Quite intoxicating if you think about it.

We have left high school behind, haven't we? Well, not really. I think for older adults, the yearning or desire typified by the antics of high school only gets subdued to a degree. Hence, we have the pandemic of Prom Queen Syndrome and Prom King Syndrome in our society.

How does Prom Queen Syndrome play out? Women only look at men who have status in the eyes of other women. It also explains why women get upset if an undesirable man finds a desirable woman elsewhere. You think it would be logical that if a woman is not attracted to a certain man, she would not viciously attack him when he is successful in another venue. But it happens nonetheless. Just witness the vitriol launched against men with foreign wives or girlfriends. Why does this happen even though a given woman doesn't want a man in such a circumstance? Simple, the man is undermining her status as an attractive woman.

A woman wants attention from men even though she will never reward them. That's how she amps her up "game." You undermine the "game" when you find a woman of comparable social status who makes less demands, or when you don't bother with the dating scene or whatever. This is why I think men who stay home on weekends to play video games are viewed in the same light as men who take candy from toddlers or kick puppies.

Then there's the Prom King Syndrome. If you opt out of the game or find a woman abroad, you can tick off some other men, as well. Men may thrive on your envy of their situation. That's why they say, "Living well is the best revenge." Men can't have that revenge if you are not really intimidated by their success. A lot of men want you to notice how important they are, where they live, what woman is beside them. They want you to notice them when they walk into the room. If you are indifferent to their self-importance, then you become a threat to them.

I think that explains why some guys get so vicious and hot-headed about MGTOWers and MRAs. "You guys are losers! There's something wrong with you! You're cowards and you need to face up to your faults! You need to fix what's wrong with you. You need to be a man and risk rejection!" Why do the MRAs and MGTOWers need to do this? Because it validates what other men are doing?

A lot of men were the ones who lost out in high school. They didn't get picked. Some of them are probably licking their wounds about that and trying to drop their emotional baggage on you and me. While society goes down the toilet and treats men like feces, these guys are still worried about trying to be the Prom King with the Anglosphere girl of their dreams. If you are a man, would your ego be a little stung if not too many other men found your wife or girlfriend attractive? You wouldn't be sitting next to the Prom Queen, then, would you? If my words are hitting you right now, then you are probably suffering from Prom King Syndrome.

I thinks this may partially explain why religious leaders and Christian women are ticked off at bachelors. They want to come up with all sorts of religious psychobable and accuse single men of being selfish and unspiritual. I don't think it has to do with finding good women for these men as much as it has to do with validation of the status quo. If anything, a man needs to try to find a wife, fail, and be miserable so he can play the part of the Envious Onlooker for the Church Mafia. Even though he may not have any of the qualities that confer status and which others value, he can't be the Envious Onlooker if he doesn't really care about said qualities, can't he?

You can accuse men of having psychological defenses for loserdom, but your harping on it may betray a little of your own insecurity. If a group of men are so weak, pathetic, and unenviable in your eyes, why does it concern you so much that they've latched on to a narrative that makes them feel better about themselves? The question needs to be answered. Why do they need to change themselves to be what you want them to be? Are they involved in something immoral? No? Are they unhappy? No? Then what on earth is your problem? Why are you personally threatened by their choices? Why have you suddenly decided to become an informant for the Bureau of Fashion, Taste, and Social Custom (BFTSC)? I'll tell you why. Your brain is still in high school and you're just a tool for peer pressure. You're like the twelve-year-old girl that liked a boy until her friends told her she "deserved better" and that being seen with "that wierdo" wouldn't look too good. You get initiated into the gang when you knock off some innocent soul.

Here's a revelation: Unless you have some control over my physical welfare, I don't need you to like or respect me (Galatians 1:10). Usually, exercising this independence of social approval is the prerogative of people with status. However, when someone with no status exercises this power, people get upset. The apple cart is turned over. "How dare you go your own way! You selfish, immature, creepy bastard!" I ask, "Why?"

Why should I care what anyone thinks about my romantic potential if they are not genuinely concerned about me as a person? Can you tell me that? Oh, I know. So I can be the water boy at the prom and serve you cake and punch while you chat up with the cheerleaders. Or if you are the cheerleader, maybe you want me to hand you some punch and notice the curves of your body in your sequined halter gown. "Look, but don't touch, dweeb." It all would be rather amusing if it weren't so sad and didn't have serious spiritual repercussions (1 John 2:15-17).

If nothing I said has penetrated your thick skull then I want you to riddle me this: What is it going to matter to you when they pull the feeding tubs from your shriveled body and you go to meet your Maker? Hmm? Your promming me doesn't work anymore. Life is too short for me to be the Envious Onlooker or even to stay home and be miserable about not going to the Prom. If you are blessed with the good things of this life, be humbled that you have been favored by God who gives to both the "just" and the "unjust" (Matthew 5:45). But don't expect me to grovel. Have fun at the dance.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Sleeping Beauty Fallacy

There is a dangerous myth permeating our society, a myth which I suspect has been around for a long time. It has to do with what men can reasonably expect from women in terms of romance, marriage, and sex. Men are led to believe that if they overcome all sorts of difficulties and trials set up for them by an implacable woman, her heart will melt and she will be become fully theirs. We see this theme played out over and over again in our arts, literature, popular media, and culture as a whole: "Oh, what she needs is a good man who knows how to unlock her heart!"

Baloney. Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for people to get a clue. A man can battle the dragon, struggle through the thorns, kiss the unresponsive girl, and still not have her wake up to his love. What people don't understand is the brutal reality of human nature. Let me point out some things to my male readers:

1. If the woman you are attracted to is spiteful and disagreeable (to others, if not you) before she is committed to you, she will likely be so afterwards.

2. If you have to jump through endless hoops to prove yourself before she marries you, be certain you will have to jump through endless hoops after you are married.

3. If a woman has a low conception of who men are, don't think that your being attractive and appealing to her will change the fundamental problem she has with men. At first sign of hardship or your being vulnerable, don't be surprised if she turns on you. Remember, a snake charmer can only play his pungi for so long.

Like my grandfather said, "You breed hound, you get a hound." If a woman is self-centered and emotionally immature, it's not your job to fix her, nor should you be under the illusion that you can. That's her responsibility. She needs to get her life right with the Lord. And heaven forbid if her emotional problems are severe. Don't get the idea that your folk theories on how to manipulate women can do something for your sweetheart what professional psychotherapy cannot do.**

Happily Ever After?

Another aspect of the Sleeping Beauty Fallacy is the idea that obtaining a beautiful woman = happily ever after. I am concerned about people who just assume that getting in bed with the best-looking ladies is the goal of every sensible man. Oh, yes it is!! Just like it's the goal of little kids to eat ice cream all day long. Come on, folks. This is not high school. This is adulthood and there are serious life-changing ramifications to the messages we embrace about relationships.

Some must live in a parallel universe, because they apparently have never heard of the adage that beauty is only skin deep. I have something to say to those who are skeptical of my message: Um, beauty really is only skin deep. Why even the Word of God echoes this sentiment: "Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised" (Prov. 31:30, NASB). Imagine that! Given this very elementary observation, don't you think it is utterly stupid and ridiculous to approach men's problems on the basis of who and who isn't getting laid with beautiful women?

Men shouldn't be afraid of rejection from beautiful women. They should be afraid of being committed to the wrong person. Do you a think good waist-hip ratio and facial symmetry automatically translates into a woman being a good mother to your children or a good wife to you? Yes? Then take your pick of the bat-crazy, crack-smoking narcissists that fit that description. No? Then why are you wasting your time focusing on attracting these women? And why is your self-image wrapped up in such a pursuit?

The Two Fishing Ponds

Let me leave behind Sleeping Beauty for a little bit and take you on a fishing trip. There are two ponds you can fish. One is stocked entirely with prize fish you like, but the pond has unacceptable levels of mercury in it. Not all of the fish have mercury, if that makes you feel better. The other pond has edible fish, too, and there are various kinds in it. There are reputedly some you like in the second pond, but mostly it's others you like a little less and some that you can't acquire a taste for.

Now, there are men like you with their boats in the second pond and a handful are snapping up the rare kind you like the most (and the fish you like are indeed rare in the second pond). The rest of the men in the second pond are taking home other kinds of fish, but are generally content with what their going to have for dinner. What about that first pond? Yes, there are guys in it, hauling in the prize fish. But they are playing catch-and-release. So let's review your choices: you can play catch-and-release, hazard eating a prize fish full of mercury, spend all day trying to catch a prize fish in the second pond and probably not come home with anything, settle for something less than your favorite but which is still palatable just the same, or just refuse to fish in either pond.

You say, "I'll use my special lure and catch an edible prize fish in the second pond." But you're missing the point. Your fishing strategy doesn't begin with the tackle, but with the pond that you're going to put your boat in. That's my question to you. Don't tell me about your tackle gear and your custom fishing pole. Where is your boat at, dude? Because if you are focused entirely on prize fish without any concern about the safety of taking such home, then I know what pond you are in.

But if indeed you are in the second pond, then I gotta' say your special tackle gear will only take you so far. You may have a special lure to throw in the pond that attracts the prize fish like a magnet, but if there is only so many of those fish around, then you may be waiting a long time. That is especially the case if the other fisherman have lures as good as yours. And don't forget this: Some fisherman may not have a top-dollar lure, but they show up early when there are more prize fish. Since they are in the second pond, they don't play catch-and-release. Don't expect them to share their catch with you. The day is getting on and the sun is setting. What are you going to do?

Yes, Sleeping Beauty is like the prize fish. But you need to ask yourself is she worth it. Let's put things into perspective. A woman's physical attractiveness only lasts for a minor portion of her lifespan. It's maybe thirty years out of eighty plus years of living, if we are being generous. If you are going to be monogamous and honor God's law on marriage (as opposed to playing the catch-and-release game of bed-hopping), then think about what life will be like with your hypothetical beauty queen after she goes through menopause. Could you stand to be around her with her looks gone and your sex drive barely functioning? Maybe you could; maybe you couldn't. You need to be honest with yourself and look down the road, beyond the short-term perspective of our ADHD culture.


I come to the close of my discussion by revisiting my first concern: men thinking women will magically change for the better. I fear some people assume the problems men face boil down to the type of tackle and gear they have, as if the right tackle can turn a Pond 1 fish into a Pond 2 fish. Such an attitude shows no concern for the environment the fish was swimming in. It's total. Utter. Nonsense. It ties in with the Sleeping Beauty Fallacy. A leopard can't change it spots and you can't turn a slattern into a church girl by pulling a Svengali on her. Your are not Pygmalion.

We laugh at women who think they can change their men. But I guess some men are now drinking the same Kool-Aid and are thinking, "If I act a certain way, she'll respond in certain way." It ain't necessarily so, compadres. Women are not robots. They have a mind of their own and a lot depends on their personality, their life's experiences, their internalized values, their goals, what they want from you, and what they don't want from you. Men who confuse what it takes to attract women with what it takes to change a woman's fundamental character do so at their own peril. You've been warned. Don't be a dead guinea pig for a shaky theory. A lot of times, the sleeping beauties are like sleeping dogs--it's best to let them lie (and not with you).

**Note: Since the time of completing the draft of this piece, I have come across an informative website (shrink4men.wordpress.com). It's the blog of a trained psychotherapist and offers a male-friendly perspective on dealing with difficult women in relationships. A lot of the content reinforces what I am saying here. The key to change for an abusive person of either sex lies with that person, not you. There's something else to consider: the pathological views about men that are prevalent in our society. It's a pathology that feeds itself and escalates into the breakdown of relationships between men and women. I daresay it results in the proliferation of the kind of women mentioned in the following links. For my male readers, carefully consider these links:

1. Why Men Are Attracted to Crazy, Emotionally Abusive Women

2. 10 Reasons You Can’t Communicate with a Narcissistic or Borderline Woman

3. Why Couples Counseling Rarely Works with Narcissistic and Borderline Women

4. Will My Emotionally Abusive Girlfriend or Wife Be Different With the New Guy?