Sunday, October 2, 2011
Setting Up Christian Men (and Women) for a Fall
Or, how to teach your daughter to be an entitlement princess while preparing your son to become an alimony/child support serf. Advice like this gets young Christian guys slaughtered in the dating market and the divorce courts. It is a textbook example of the feminism that permeates most churches in America, though I have little doubt that it was written by someone who considers himself/herself a social conservative. My analysis:
The first line (We need to teach our DAUGHTERS) implies female headship, that women should get first consideration and that their desires and needs, not God's Word, must set the moral standard for relations between the sexes. Having laid a bad spiritual foundation, the author proceeds to build upon it a tottering structure of feminist demands and traditionalist humbug. The laughable thing is that the following points are meant to dissuade your daughter from getting herself "pumped and dumped" by a succession of Alpha male players, and motivate her to settle down with a compliant, nice guy, Delta provider.
1. "The difference between a man who flatters her and a man who compliments her."
The daughter is presented with a choice between flattery and compliments. Not only does this stroke her little ego, it leaves her wide open to the real sexual temptation she faces. Women are instinctively attracted to male dominance, not male supplication. She is more likely to chase the bad boy Alpha who ignores or rebuffs her than the sweet Delta who approaches with the proverbial candy and flowers.
2. "A man who spends money on her and a man who invests in her."
Here the budding princess is advised that men owe her money and presents, with the apparent proviso that these are given with what she deems to be the right intent. Again, any Alpha worth his salt can bed a woman without spending a dime on her. The idea that women have to be cunningly flattered (see above) or bribed into fornication is a Victorian myth. Nor does the foolishness stop there. We are sliding into a horrifying global depression where plenty of decent guys - good husband material - will be employed at pitiful wages, if they can find work at all. No one should expect a woman to wed a destitute pauper (women marry primarily for security, after all), but now is the time for parents to tell their daughters to scale down their material expectations, not keep them high.
3. "A man who views her as property and a man who views her properly."
This one is problematic at best. Girls definitely should be taught to avoid men who are jealous and domineering, for that way lies heartache and probably violence too. But in the eyes of feminists, any assertion of male headship is treating a woman as property. Given the feminist context, I believe the latter is the correct reading. Fairly bad advice for keeping a naive girl out of an Alpha's harem, because unless the Alpha is the possessive type, he'll have no problem letting her go. He has others to take her place.
4. "A man who lusts after her and a man who loves her."
Again, problematic at best. This is true if we define lust as the insistence on fornication, i.e., the guy wanting the girl to put out before marriage. This advice, if followed, is utterly wholesome and will definitely keep her off the Alpha carousel. Yet I've spent years in the evangelical subculture, and I've seen time and again how it tends to regard male sexual desire with an equal mixture of suspicion, ridicule, and disgust. Fact is, men marry primarily for regular sex (just as women marry primarily for financial security) and it's flat out ridiculous to present horniness and love as alternatives in that context. Don't believe me? Open your bible and read the Song of Solomon.
Pushing the lust/love false dichotomy might also suggest to women, when they do marry, a rationale for withholding sex from their husbands. After all, isn't he just supposed to "love" her? Lack of marital sex is a common complaint from husbands and ex-husbands in the Internet manosphere. It leads to bitterness, adultery, and divorce.
5. "He is God's gift to women and a man who remembers a woman was God's gift to man."
In other words, arrogant self-centeredness ("I am God's gift to the opposite sex") is impermissible for men but permissible for women. The irony of invoking Eve is so terrible that I cannot find even twisted humor in this. Eve rebelled against God, so it is beyond stupid for Christians to brag about her, as it would be for them to brag about Adam.
Probably the most painful lesson that "nice" Christian men are learning today, through rejection in the dating market and through divorce, is that women don't respect or desire men who put them on pedestals. Advising men to behave this way in dating and marriage isn't just wrong, it is cruel.
6. "And then teach our sons to be that kind of man."
If you believe points 1-5, don't bother. Your sons will get the exact same feminist indoctrination from the surrounding culture, sans the fraudulent religious trappings. On the other hand, if you can see the foolishness of these teachings and you really want help your sons, then send them here:
Alpha Game: Breaking the Chains, Winning the Games, and Saving Western Civilization