Monday, September 22, 2014

Response To A Comment On Anti-Feminism

I got this comment on my "Feminism: This Is What's Wrong With You" post, and my response was too long for the comments, so I decided to post it here.

Here's the comment:

I know I'm late to the party here, but having just been shown this post I want to make one thing absolutely clear: the fact that many of us are now *against* what mainstream feminism has become absolutely does not mean we're *with* the likes of you. 
We're not against feminism because we disagree with its purported goal of true equality of opportunity among the sexes, or our absolute right to self-determination and bodily autonomy, or with dismantling gender roles and the expectations and assumptions they impose on individuals. 
We're never going to stand with anyone who believes anything, ever, gives a person the "native right" to use another's body sexually without their ongoing enthusiastic consent. Or dehumanises men by insinuating that they are such slaves to impulse that if they can't rape their wives they'll inevitably cheat on them. Or generalises the nature of individuals' sexuality based on their sex alone. Or does not support an individual's right to end a relationship on their own terms. Or espouses the sexist view that marriage is somehow a pillar of femininity more than one of masculinity. Or implies women (but not men) must choose *either* a career or a family. Or believes that when partners each choose to keep their own names in an equal relationship this is somehow emasculating.
We're "against feminism" because yes, the mainstream feminist movement ignores and derides male issues, because it adopts stances that are fundamentally sexist, because it fails to address intersectionality with issues of race and gender identity, and because it manufactures victimhood and fear, among other things.
But we're still for true equality. Not for tired old sexist bullshit like using women who don't wear what you think they should wear as a simile for being clueless and out of touch. 
A woman with three advanced science degrees. 

And my response:

I think you characterize our position.  Please allow me to rebut.

Let's look at what "the likes of us" have actually been saying here, not what feminism has portrayed us as saying.  At no point have I (or most in the Manosphere - I understand that there are some exceptions) endorsed or espoused any denial of equal opportunity or equal treatment under the law.  Nor has their been any serious suggestion of impairing any of the rights women currently enjoy under our liberal democratic system of government.  I myself am politically a Progressive, meaning my political philosophy stems from Humanism.  Most folks in the Manosphere are adherents to this philosophy, which advocates the legal, moral, and ethical equality of all people.

With me so far?

Let me be blunt: the Red Pill does not advocate anyone ever doing anything non-consensual, sexually or otherwise.  It never has, and to say so is a gross mis-characterization of the praxeology.  What you portray as a "native right" is actually a biologically determined pattern of mating behavior that belies the feminist perspective on sex and sexuality.  When idealism collides with the realities of science, idealism usually suffers.  Just ask the Marxists in Eastern Europe.

Far from "dehumanizing" men, the Red Pill approach to positive masculinity acknowledges the deep importance of sexuality to the average man's life and attempts to help him realize his goals in that regard. It is the feminist perspective, that all men are aggressive sexual predators, that dehumanizes men.  The Red Pill uplifts them to a more profound understanding of their own masculinity.  And yes, sex is a valued part of that equation.

But some of your other issues demonstrate a lack of regard for masculine culture and masculine behavior - as men determine to define it, not women.  For example, the refusal of a wife to take a husband's name IS emasculating, and indicative of her eventual desire to end the marriage.  It's a legitimate warning sign men who fear divorce (and what man doesn't?) need to be aware of before marriage.  That's a pragmatic, not idealistic perspective.  Nor does the Red Pill demand that women choose between career and family or ask that men do; Mrs. Ironwood, and most other RP women, do have careers of their own. The difference is that they have demonstrably put their family life ahead of their career goals in a way that makes feminists cringe.  Most RP men would also say they share that perspective: their careers are a means to support their families, not the other way around.

The fact that marriage does advantage women more than men - and that divorce punishes men more than women - makes it a far more desirable goal for women than men, nor is the burning desire for wedding cake a common discussion in male circles. Men control commitment in our species, however, so marriage and commitment are important issues for us . . . just as they are highly important to a large number of women.

If we generalize sexuality, that's because we look at science, for which generalities - that is, aggregate data - show patterns at work from which useful data can be used.  Knowing such "generalizations" can steer men away from dangerous and unproductive relationships.  If that means a few innocent girls get dumped along the way, I think greater femininity can take the hit.

But refusing to acknowledge the scientifically-studied biological truths that underlie the patterns of human mating in our society, namely the prevalence of Hypergamy and Polygamy as the primary mating strategies of humans in nearly every human culture, is seeking to place the rosy ideal of equality above the brutally pragmatic reality that most people face every day. Men do cheat.  Women do cheat. We explain why, and what to do to avoid it.  Post-feminism, marriage is bad for men.  We explain why and how to deal with it.  Divorce is very bad for men.  We explain why and what to do to avoid it.

Marriage used to be the negotiated exchange (yes, by any scientific definition) of sex and security; without the security of consensual sex and real authentic commitment, men are simply better off avoiding commitment altogether.  It's not a matter of ideals or ideology, it's a simple, pragmatic fact.  Women are more aroused by more dominant men, therefore teaching men how to be dominant gets them more of what they want, sex.  There is no oppressive ideology here.  There is only a praxeology of how to fulfill a man's vision of his own masculinity.

You see, while you celebrate the ending of gender roles, you fail to appreciate all of what that entails.  Not only did it liberate women from the expectations of pursuing family instead of a career, it also liberated men from the social obligation of verbally pandering to an ideology in the hopes of social acceptance. Once you add the sexual element into the equation - and you cannot NOT add it in - and men start pursuing their issues and interests as THEY define them, then all ideology falls by the wayside.  One thing we know about the Red Pill is that desire cannot be negotiated.  Ignoring what men and women find arousing and/or attracting in favor of pursuing an abstract ideal and allowing that to determine your personal course is the road to folly, misery, and divorce.

We may deride the flood of bitterly-unhappy women who are discovering that their ideology, which promised that there would be a long line of decent dudes waiting around for them when they were done "exploring themselves", but that's because they are a product of their own self-inflicted ideology.  We snicker at those women who discover, to their horror, that the intended future involving a good caring man and children (sometime after 35 and, say, 3 degrees) utterly fails to materialize, because she was more inclined to believe feminism's promise  than the "patriarchal" system of assortative mating that insists you lock down a dude before you're 25 or get what's left over.

We snicker when we hear feminists and other women talk about "true equality", and then dismiss the fact that Selective Service registration is mandatory for one sex but not the other as "men's fault".  We laugh when we hear about our "male privilege" and then read how yet-another friend blew his head off, or ended up on the street, or got assaulted by his girlfriend again but no one will take him seriously because he's a dude.  Or a pal who hasn't seen his kids in 8 years because his wife thinks he's a danger to his children - and he's a Quaker.  These men will never have "equality".  They live in a system that lauds their "privilege" while demanding yet-more sacrifices of them, then subjects them to the emasculating humiliations and shame that feminism dumps on them for the crime of having a penis.

I understand your anger against feminism, and I share it.  But you're right, we aren't approaching the matter from the same place.  You are determined to fight for a world of equality.  I understand, because of the nature of my gender, that we will never truly achieve it.  I don't think that women will allow us to achieve it.  If you truly understood what social and cultural responsibilities and expectations men are subjected to that women are not, you would not be so eager to press for "equality", for that is a dreadful burden that most women would reluctant to "share".

Feminism has denigrated and derided masculinity and male-ness for so long, no number of perky pop princesses lecturing us about it at the UN are going to change the fact that when our culture and civilization are in peril, it is men, not women, who are expected to give their lives, liberty, and property up for the common good.  Men are expendable, and we know it.  We're told that from the time we are boys.  While feminists fret about "male privilidge", that priviledge includes baggage that most women just choose not to see.  Yet it is a burden that must be borne, if by an ever-decreasing number of us.

You can thank feminism for that.


A man with plenty of useless degrees, twenty-five books, three kids, and a wife who understands and supports him because he's a great man, not because of the ideology of "equality".

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Breaking Beta: Removing The Tree

As I deconstruct the process of De-Betacization, it occurs to me that, after dealing with and conquering your fear, one of the hardest elements of breaking Beta is understanding your own power to affect change in your own life.  This one is subtle, fellas, so you might want to read with both hands for a minute.

One of the lessons I teach my religious students (disclaimer: no demons were consulted in the composition of this lesson - it's pure Earthly Wisdom, usable without risk of damnation by all denominations) is that one of the fundamental ways in which we can exercise personal power is by recognizing our role in the context of the universe, and then recognizing that the absolutely easiest way for them to change the universe at large is by changing themselves and/or their context.

I illustrate this point with the exercise of having my students try to sink a basketball in the hoop with a tree in the way.  (Thankfully, just about every home in the South, especially around Tobacco Road, comes equipped with a portable basketball goal of adjustable height, along with a couch for display on the porch of your choice)

Of course they try mightily to do so, at first, using bank shots off the trunk or hurling the ball into the canopy and hoping a Plinko-like descent manages to get it in the basket.  I tell them to "move the tree with their minds" and they try their very hardest to literally do this for a while.  It sinks in pretty quickly that magic doesn't work like on Harry Potter.  It's a lot of fun to watch, and after a while they focus so much on the difficulty of the exercise they forget why they're doing it.  Think about that.

At that point, I come back and demonstrate that simply by taking two steps to the left or right, the seemingly insurmountable obstacle of the tree no longer obstructs at all.  They have "removed" the tree, for all practical purposes, by literally changing their perspective. Sinking a basket at that point is as easy as making a free-throw.  Then I smugly tell them "the power was within you, all along!" in my best Glenda The Good Witch voice.  It's highly annoying.  One of the perqs of being a spiritual teacher.

The lesson, of course, is that by changing your own perspective you have, by definition, changed the nature and expression of the equation.  Schrodinger's Cat and it's various kittens have demonstrated the observable truth that the observer by the act of observing affects the destiny of the observed -- how much more does an agent in the equation affect the course of events?  

Too often, we forget that we have that power: the power to change our own perspective.  Especially if we have suffered Betacization, we come to feel trapped by our circumstance or our nature, doomed to our fate with no hope of escape.  And often that captivity must become unbearable before a Beta decides to cast aside his cherished rationalizations for his lackluster behavior and even consider making a change.  Otherwise it's just too easy to play it safe, keep your mouth shut, and do what she tells you to do.

But you don't have to hit "rock bottom" to make this realization.  Often you can do so just by changing your perspective.  That could entail something as simple as an unexpected flirtation, a road trip, a meaningful artistic or literary experience, a chance meeting, an unlikely opportunity, a birth, a wedding, a death, a crisis situation, or any other sudden departure from the normal, expected, mundane course of your daily life.  At some point, in order to start Breaking your Beta, you have to gain the perspective that you have, indeed, the innate power to Break your Beta.

From the Betacized perspective, the fear of losing what you have outweighs the fear of losing what you might win.  You make a cost-benefit analysis and decide that it's just easier to maintain the status quo, and not take the risk.  Plus, your fear has often convinced you that you are, indeed, incapable of being successful . . . often because you've been criticized and condemned for your perceived failures in life so much and so often that you've accepted the opinions of others over your own honest self-assessment.

Maybe it was your mother who started it, comparing you to a weak or absent father.  Maybe it was a shrewish girlfriend who started it, and you never quite recovered.  But we rarely self-betacize.

In my religious tradition, one of the spiritual technologies we use is ritual.  I'm not talking about the wand-waving-candle-burning-dancing-around-a-bonfire kind of ritual (although, honestly, as religious services go it beats the heck out of Sunday School), I'm speaking here of ritual in the psychological sense.  From a technical perspective, when properly performed, a rite or ritual will affect a psychological change on the subject by creating an artificial psychological crisis in a safe and controlled environment.

While such a crisis is ideally guided and led by someone experienced with such things, i.e. their priest/shaman/psychologist/druid/pastor/preacher/guru/celebrity, the fundamental element is giving the subject the opportunity to voluntarily change their perspective when faced with such a crisis as a means of coping with that crisis.  Sure, it's the "throw 'em in and see if they swim" method of psychological care, but it has the twin virtues of being highly effective and cheaper than extended psychotherapy.

Now, I'm not suggesting you ladies burn down your house to see how hubby Alpha's Up - that's not
the sort of "crisis" we're talking about.  While tornadoes and tragedy can certainly provide the needed kick in the ass for the change of perspective in a man, more often than not Fate will kick a few helpful crises in his direction to provide the impetus.

For example, a friend of mine -- a howling Progressive, hyper-liberal scholarly hippy -- was biking home from his low-paying job at a book store one day when he got mugged.  It was a simple exchange: gun, wallet, and gone.  While unusual, such things are not unheard of in my gritty burg.  But the effect this brush with mortality had on my friend was profound.

Understanding for the first time that another human being had the power of life or death over him, regardless of the Law or Rights or Community Spirit, and he was utterly helpless in the face of that, was enough change in perspective to institute a massive personal lifestyle shift, with accompanying shift in attitude and direction.  He's a lawyer, now.  And while I wish that story could have ended more happily, it points out that one little existential or moral crisis can be enough, if a man is ripe, to begin the process.

And a process it is.  You cannot merely flip a switch (in most cases) and see the Alpha emerge, fully-formed.  Betas are broken, remember; the crisis experience begins the healing process, but it's a long and difficult journey.  Painful.  Unpleasant.  Permanent.  If you don't keep your eyes on the prize - becoming a Better Man - then it's all too easy to backslide into comfortable mediocrity, once-a-month IV drip sex, and never making plans for yourself because they might conflict with your wife's calendar.  Changing your perspective can remove the tree from the process . . . but you still gotta sink that free throw.

Being faced with death can do it.  Being faced with birth can do it.  Even something as simple as looking at old photos can trigger it.  A man has to see himself, and then see himself differently, and then be able to compare the two to be able to challenge his thick Beta coating.  He has to be able to envision a better life, a better man to be, a future in which happiness is possible and regret isn't a daily indulgence, or he can never get out of the dungeon he's put himself in.

Some people think the essence of Breaking Beta is challenging the role of your wife . . . and it's not.  If you're in a Blue Pill marriage, then your wife's power over you is not actually a result of her natural domineering nature . . . it's a result of your failure to assert yourself properly, because of your fear.  Challenging your wife's role becomes a by-product of the transformative experience of changing your perspective, because once you get that damn tree (your own tepid rationalizations for your crappy masculinity) out of the way, it might take you a couple of shots - but eventually that's a basket you can make.

Some things to consider, Gentlemen, that might help you find the courage to do this:

1. Yeah, it really is your fault . . . because if it isn't your fault, then you can't change it.  You CAN change it, so suck it up and own it.  That's a sign of mature masculinity, not a capitulation to guilt.

2. As bad as you think your relationship with your wife/woman might be right now (if you have one), the fear that they will somehow become worse if you challenge her dominance in the relationship is wrong.  They might get real interesting for a while, but usually you'll see a change in HER perspective in reaction to your change in perspective pretty darn quick.  Don't believe me? Check out the Field Reports at the r/theredpill and r/RedPillWomen subreddits for testimonials.  It's like they're . . . responsive or something.  Remember, you can realistically challenge her position if you are in a place of strength.

3. What she says doesn't matter one tenth as much as what she does.  Basic Red Pill truth.  Engrave it on your XY chromosome where you won't forget it.  Let her say whatever she wants.  Just do what you have to do to make yourself right, and she'll either deal with it, or she won't.  That's known as Holding Frame.  Also known as Not Being A Pussy.  This takes practice, but it's an essential part of your recovery.  She will respond by her actions.  And if she doesn't . . . you can find one that will.

4. Lose the baggage.  If you don't currently have a woman and are the "victim" of a past actually ahead of the curve.  You don't have a real woman to contend with, which means that all of your issues are the Ghosts of Relationships Past.  You aren't the same person you were then, you're the person you choose to be now.  If this describes you, then a) forget every past girlfriend and her expectations and shrewish criticisms you ever had because, like, she was a real bitch anyway and b) realize that you won't put up with that shit from your next girlfriend.
Betacization, then you are

5. Evaluate your relationship with your mother.  Often if a betacized male has been beaten into submission by a girlfriend or wife, his mom spent years making him vulnerable to that . . . and his dad wasn't able to instruct him how to avoid it.  If your mother still has more of a presence in your life than she should -- even psychologically -- then challenging that relationship is going to be essential to progress.  I've seen men who appear to be solid Alphas collapse like little girls when their Mama starts yelling.  If you can't respectfully stand up to your mother and keep her from exercise undue influence over your life, then it's going to be orders of magnitude harder to stand up to your girlfriend or wife.

(Note that you don't actually have to get into a fight with Mom, you just have to realize that you're a grown man and while you might appreciate her advice, she is not the infallible Mother Goddess she was to you when you were six.  She might have been an expert on potty training and table manners, but when it comes to being a man, expressing your masculinity, and living as a mature adult male, she knows jack shit about how to cultivate that.  Love her for her unconditional love and flawless Tollhouse cookies, but ignore her bitching, complaints, and criticisms.  Hell, if you don't have a girlfriend at the moment, you can even Game your mom, in a non-sexual way.  It's great practice.)

6. Come to terms with your own mortality.  Yes, you're going to die.  That's inevitable.  Life is funny that way -- no one gets out alive.  One of the most fundamental signs of a mature masculinity is the ability to accept your mortality, and live your life anyway.  If you haven't really thought about death because it's creepy and scary and you're not that old yet . . . then you have some catching up to do.  If you have kids, this will take you down one psychological road.  If you don't, and don't want to, then that takes you down another.  And if you don't, but do want to, then that in and of itself may give you the perspective you need to change your perspective and therefore your life.

7. Quit worrying what other people think.  Seriously.  If you only value the opinions of the people who value your opinion, that simplifies your perspective dramatically.  The fear of mis-perception (or worse, accurate perception) is almost always far, far more potent an agent in your life than the actual condemnation you might  ever get.  My brother, Andy Ironwood, came to terms with this by being scrupulously honest.  By being utterly truthful, he never fears other's perceptions of his behavior, because he feels capable of defending his actions before the throne of any convenient divinity . . . because he doesn't try to lie or rationalize his way through life. (BTW, he's decided he's going to put himself back on the SMP.  Fair warning).

We worry about what other people think because we are fearful of their judgement, and worried that they will reject us.  Often the people we fear this from the most are the people least entitled to render judgement on our lives, or be in a position to meaningfully reject us.  By understanding that the power of their judgement and rejection is limited to that which we, ourselves, choose to grant them, we can take that power back from them by ignoring even the possibility that their judgement or rejection is important to us.  That can be a hard perspective to change, but it's one of the most profound you can make.

8. Change Who You Present As.  This is a biggie, and a hard, hard thing for most Betas to contend with.  Betas have been trained to play it safe.  The thought of going all ALPHA all of a sudden is just too shocking, and they fret that other people will judge them (see: 7, above).  But one of the basic ways in which we can affect our own perspective is by making a visible or nominal change and demanding it be accepted by the rest of the universe.

I've got two examples of this.  In college, one of my bosses at my work-study assignment had signature muttonchop sideburns which he'd had since he was in college . . . back in the 70s when they were cool.  Now, this dude had always been a "Super Nice Guy", everyone loved him at work, but he was constantly having problems at home, it was rumored.

Then one day he showed up to work for the first time in 20 years with his cheeks shaved.  The signature muttonchops were gone.  I passed him in the hallway without recognizing him, at first, and when I asked we talked about personal transformation and human fulfillment and such (Religious Studies major, so I was professionally intrigued) but the upshot was, he'd realized that his sideburns had become a symbol of the preconceptions and history he had bound himself with from his youth.  By getting rid of them, he was symbolically walking away from all of those years of folly.

(After that, interestingly enough, all the ladies who worked with him and thought he was such a "Nice Guy" started talking about the disturbing change, and how he just wasn't the same "Nice Guy" anymore.  The dudes he worked with thought he got a LOT cooler, once he shut up about the Human Potential Movement.  Yeah.  It was like that.)

The second example is a kind of Uber-BETA I knew at one of my many, many temp jobs.  Also in middle-management, this guy, Bob, was the typical White Knight Gamma who spent most of his time doing other people's work . . . and he just could not say no to a woman to save his life.  But he was a "super nice guy" that none of the office women were willing to date.  "Get Bob to do it" was office shorthand.  He had the Gamma Curse bad.

Then (and I honestly don't know what inspired it) Bob came to work and started to stiffly correct anyone who called him "Bob" anymore, asking instead to be addressed as "Robert."  He started signing himself that way on his correspondence, had his nameplate on his cube changed, and sharply corrected anyone who slipped.  If they slipped more than once in a conversation, Robert would have a brief, intense conversation about how he preferred to be addressed that left most of the recipients uncomfortable.

That freaked out several of the women in the office, including his supervisor, but after a consultation with HR she was forced to concede that Bob could, indeed, choose the name by which he was addressed and they had to go along with it.  Some women actually complained that they didn't feel right calling Good Ol' Bob "Robert" because (and I quote) "it's like treating him like a grown-up or something".  

It was a very, very small change.  But it led to others.  Over the next eight weeks or so, Robert lost weight, started working out, grew a beard (which further freaked out the office ladies - one almost demanded he shave it because it "made him look sinister") and quit being asked to do other people's work . . . and when he was, he politely declined.

What I was witnessing, had I known it, was Bob de-betacizing, or at least beginning the process.  I was only at the job for about eight weeks, so I don't know how it turned out, but five weeks into his journey the visible change in Bob - Robert - was startling.  The social change was just as pronounced.  The many, many women in the office started complaining that they missed "the old Bob", and how Robert just wasn't nearly as nice.  Some even had the nerve to ask him why he had "stopped being nice".  He held frame and didn't give them any answers.  There were even murmurings about talking to HR about Robert again, since some women in the office felt that his changes were bad for morale.

Nothing came of it, to my knowledge, but there was something intermingled with that sudden distrust, suspicion, and anxiety about Beta Bob's transformation toward Alpha Robert: respect.  Once Robert quit agreeing to take on extra work and responsibilities out of a misplaced desire to be "a nice guy", they may have missed Bob's utility but they respected Robert's new boundaries, after he established them.

And it all started because he told a room full of Chatty Cathys "My name is Robert, not Bob.  Please refer to me that way in the future" one rainy Tuesday morning.  Not quite "Get your hands off of me, you damn dirty ape!" but as far as betacized Gammas go, it was about as close as you can get.

Changing your perspective is one of the first invaluable steps on the road from betacization to realizing your full masculine potential.  Figuring out which tree is in the way of your goal is the first step.  Figuring out which way to step around it is the second.  And sinking the shot is the third.  But you have to start by making a gentleman's agreement with yourself about rationalizing in favor of your Beta and taking that first, significant step . . . around the goddamn tree.

Red Pill men, what was your "Alpha Moment"? What did you do that changed your perspective and began your journey?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Girl Game: Encouraging Your Captain To Lead

I love visiting the Red Pill Women reddit (and the venerable Red Pill reddit) to wallow in the trenches, so to speak, and see what the biggest concerns various folks have might be.  In RPW there were so many posts concerning how a wife could coax a husband to break his Beta and be more Captainy that they declared a moratorium on that type of question.  Fair enough - that's not the venue for that.

This is.

I’ve been asked the question “what can I do to encourage my man to be more dominant/Alpha/Red Pill?” repeatedly over the years. That’s a serious question, because (thanks to Solomon’s Dilemma) coming out and demanding dominance from their dudes just isn't going to work for either party.

But ladies, you aren't without influence over the man in your life.  Just going utterly passive is NOT the answer – it communicates your helplessness, not his ability to lead.  So I turned to my resident expert this morning (Mrs. Ironwood) and asked her to lay out what she did, back in my Blue Pill days, when a rousing chorus of “I dunno – whatever you wanna do” was far too frequently heard around our digs.

If you want your man to lead you, says Mrs. Ironwood, you have to encourage him thusly:

1. Establish expectations: “I want to know what you want for dinner tonight.” 

Not “what shall we have?” Not “what do you feel like?” Tell him you want him to decide.  By establishing your reasonable expectations for his leadership by directly or tacitly communicating an expectation of leadership, you give him the permission he needs to be decisive without worrying about encountering an argument about his decision.

If you make being decisive unequivocally HIS responsibility, he will eventually do it right. But if he doesn't know that you expect him to lead, he will be more likely to defer honest leadership in the interests of "equality" or respect for your autonomy.

2. Communicate by GIVING HIM CONTROL of the situation in no uncertain terms.

Men act tentatively when they are uncertain of themselves.  Once you’ve established the expectation of his leadership, make certain that he understands that there are no wrong answers.  You have abdicated any responsibility for the decision-making process and you will be content and supportive of his leadership regardless of the results.  If he asks what you want to do, volley back.  Anything from “I have every confidence in your ability to decide” to "I trust your judgment" to “You got this, babe.” 


Once you have ceded control of an issue, do not be tempted to revisit it to check his “progress”. Do not offer “helpful suggestions”.  Do not inform him that he’s “doing it wrong”.  Once you have told a man that he’s responsible for making a decision, doing a task, planning a policy, or what have you . . . don’t try to take the wheel out of his hands.  If you were smart, you included a deadline in your original establishment of expectations.  If his performance is lacking, you can observe that without interfering and perhaps even offer support to the process without making yourself involved in it.  This is sometime known as the "make sammiches" phase. Sometimes the most effective thing a woman can do with her man is to back off and let him figure it out on his own.

And sammiches are always a boost to morale.

4. Avoid criticism after the fact.

This can be very hard for some women, so be mindful of your own tendencies to second-guess or criticize a man’s performance after he’s made a good-faith effort, and keep your criticisms to yourself.  He is not your employee or your child, remember, he is your husband.  Give him an adult level of understanding about his performance.  And if it needs improvement, which it undoubtedly will, provide the assistance he needs to improve without being tempted to direct the course of that improvement.

Keep in mind that the process of encouraging him to take initiative is a slow one.  He has, in all likelihood, been steeped in a culture in which his initiative and decisiveness have been penalized, and it takes a while for a man to re-learn that confidence.  If he fucks up any particular thing, don’t harp on it; he knows he fucked up.  If you can gently encourage him to do a post mortem of his fuck-up, you might be able to suggest some ideas for doing things differently, but DO NOT re-assume control.  Failure is part of the process.  It is from our failures that we learn.  When men fear failure more than they desire success, they stop trying.  Your job, as his First Officer, is to ensure that his failures are not so painful, so distracting that he fails to learn and withdraws from his own ambitions.  You encourage him to always be trying, because the sweet reward of success is far greater than than the thoughtful balm of comfort in defeat.

It’s a hard job, I’ll be the first to admit.  Particularly as women have been encouraged to “speak their mind” and “communicate” exhaustively for the last forty years.  It defies your training to withhold criticism and offer suggestions – that’s what you would do for a good girlfriend if she failed at something, correct?  But not with your husband.  He doesn’t need your advice.

He needs your Caritas.  Desperately.

5. Reward and Support

Victories should be celebrated and generously rewarded.  Defeats and failures should not be rehashed and examined to the point of humiliation.  If you have a job as his First Officer in relation to your husband’s happiness, it is to bolster his emotional support at such a time.  If he wants your specific advice (and he may) he will solicit it.  If he has had success in leading and accomplishing, then rewarding that achievement improves his perspective tremendously.  If he fails, knowing that you still have his back, uncritically, is more important than the fact that you know EXACTLY where he went wrong.

Encouraging your husband to lead without taking the wheel yourself can be frustrating, but ultimately highly rewarding.  Sometimes the most frustrating moments end up being the most instructive.  Sometimes the worst fuck-ups end up being turning points toward a better man.  But you can’t FORCE him to lead, and you can’t DEMAND he lead.  Quiet, thoughtful encouragement, strong loving support, creating the space and giving the permission, and enthusiastic follow-through give him the ingredients he need from you to be the kind of Captain he’d like to be.  Hopefully one that you want to follow.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Class of 2018 Challenge: Building The Frame

While some of you are, indeed, taking the AFC Spreadsheet Challenge, one of my readers pointed out that we're missing an opportunity to instruct the rising class of freshmen college men in a prophylactic dose of the Red Pill.  These poor bastards are about to walk into a tempest of dangerous collegiate pussy, dark times and potentially disastrous choices.  My own nephew, Cal, is headed off to a party school for his freshman year this fall, and I've done my best to inoculate him to the dangers of college-level pussy.  If you want to see a run-down of what I covered, most of it is in the Red Pill for Boys section at the top of the page.  Basic stuff.

Of particular mention should be the issues of Hypergamy, the Fungability of Women, Maintaining Frame, Male Dominance in Sexuality, Alpha Fux/Beta Bux, Don't Stick It Into The Crazy, Female Sexual Psychology, the Rationalization Hamster, and Covering Your Ass.  

Recommended reading would include everything from Rollo Tomassi's The Rational Male, to Roosh V's library, to Athol Kay's Married Man Sex Life Primer (best intro to Red Pill and Game I've run across) to Bachelor Pad Economics by Captain Capitalism to . . . well, if you're at all familiar with the Red Pill and the Manosphere, you'll know where to point them.  

But guiding our young men through the minefield that is campus sexual politics is vital, particularly now.  Campus feminism is a driving force in our cultural debate, and the young men at its mercy are particularly vulnerable to its savage nature.  Giving them the armor to defend against it is our duty.  Giving them the weapons to counter it is in our best interest.  

Imagine, for a moment, what would happen if the men of the Class of 2018 made an unofficial pact not to have sex with feminists?  That is, at the first whiff of feminist rhetoric, these young gentlemen make a point to "next" the confused young lady?  And then spread the word about her?  What happens when all of those young, horny college women who are so indignant about the terrors of male sexuality can't get laid on campus?  When the first mention of "rape culture" or "misogyny" or "The Patriarchy" ends in an amused smirk and the dude walking away?  What happens when men on campuses across the country start maintaining the frame that feminism is an unacceptable risk in a sexual relationship for a young man?
If it becomes understood that feminism is a severe negative factor in a young woman's social life, that it is damaging to both her SMV and her MMV, then regardless of the screeching rhetoric, the female imperative will override the ideology of feminism.  If you examine the social lives of young feminist women in college, once they get through their flirtation with lesbianism they stalk frat parties and off-campus keggers on the prowl for cute soccer players and tall Alpha upperclassmen with cool stories about Amsterdam before they go back to their dorms to call their orbitors and girlfriends.  What if that stopped? Women make their sexual decisions opportunistically, and by denying young feminist women access to the carousel they've come to college to enjoy, or at least encouraging our young men to make mating decisions which do not reward a feminist mindset, the enthusiasm for such excesses will die down dramatically.  

Sure, there will always be the progressive fringe element, strong, independent feminist women and their dickless Beta boy lackies.  Hell, the Red Pill young men would be doing those chumps a favor by choosing not to favor their feminist overlords with the back room drunken Alpha Fucks they crave.  They might actually have a shot in those desperate late hours when their female peers in equality come back from a cattle call rejected, dejected, and increasingly desperate.  Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

We need to teach these young men to maintain the Frame of Masculinity and hold to it steadfastly.  The seductive nature of the campus environment allures them into tempest of hormones.  Putting them on the path to manage their reproductive and mating strategies effectively, with the help of the Red Pill, could be a turning point.

So I challenge each of you who reads this blog to look out for the young men in their life.  Queitly - ever so quietly - take them aside and explain that there's some . . . hidden knowledge that it is time they learned.  

And that's a key point as well: the first rule of the Red Pill is that you don't talk about the Red Pill.  Except in certain key situations. This is one.  Make certain that they understand that rule.  The goal here is not to start a bunch of derpy campus organizations for men to counter the feminist inclination to do so, get their names in the news, and start a nasty op-ed war in the campus newspaper.  The goal is not to organize our demands and insist that they be met.  

The goal is much more insidious.  Far more important than establishing equal access to tampons or whatever the gender war du joure may be, the goal of the Class of 2018 Challenge is to quietly inoculate as many young college-bound men from the allure of Blue Pill thinking, and transform them into an army of horny, Game-aware, self-confident young men who understand and appreciate the actual life choices they have in front of them.  An army of Red Knights, secretly seducing their way into the student body until it's writhing in tingly ecstasy.  

That's the Masculine Frame we can build.  Knowledge is power, and we have a shit-ton of it here.  Impressing on them the need to cultivate strong male bonds, investing in their bodies and their educations, seeing themselves as strong, independent men in their own right, unbeholden to feminism, women or the feminine imperative. 

So what Red Pill advice would you give an 18 year old college freshman today?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Wife Test: Loyalty

Today marks a special day for the Ironwoods.  Twenty-three years ago today, the future Mrs. Ironwood and I were introduced to each other by a mutual friend.  It wasn’t a carefully-designed attempt to get two like-minded people together.  We were both on the rebound from less-than-stellar long term relationships, and our mutual friend was a bartender. She thought it was an exercise in simple rebound expediency.

The result was the present Ironwood family.  The result of a one-night-stand gone horribly awry.

The reason why our twenty-third anniversary is so important (to me) is because it also marks the point in my life in which Mrs. Ironwood has been in it more than she has been out of it.  As of this point, we have both spent the numerical majority of our lives enjoying each others’ company.  That’s a massive accomplishment in this day and age, one that we are both appreciative of.

I rarely counsel a man to marry, in our present circumstances.  The odds are not in his favor, and barring exceptional circumstances he risks far more than he gains out of the transaction.  The differences between divorce, marital misery, and domestic contentment represent the difference between failure and success, and most men marrying most women are throwing all their chips on black and hoping for the best.  In most cases, the payout is a mediocre marriage to an ambivalent woman undermined by the knowledge that she has clearly settled for her husband.

Every relationship is different.  But the success or failure of a good one is dependent not just on the level of commitment each party demonstrates, but on whether or not they possess the skills needed to negotiate the minefield that is marriage.  “Husband” and “wife” are not just commodities on the MMP, they’re learnable skills and cultivated abilities.  One fault of feminism is its antipathy toward marriage as an institution and its disparaging of the cultivation of those skills that inform a woman’s contribution to the functioning of the marriage. 

In pursuit of corporate achievement or “changing the world”, the women of the last two generations have been woefully unprepared, practically, for the realities of participating in a long-term, committed heterosexual union.  Indeed, any such suggestion – that a woman spend her time and energy preparing for domestic life – has been met with scorn and derision by the feminist community at large.  “Wife” is a title of shame and capitulation to feminism, regardless of what individual feminists may declare.  Cultivating a skillset contributing to a successful marriage is therefore ridiculed by the feminist establishment.

Meanwhile, husbands have gotten a hell of a lot better in developing their skillsets.  The man entering marriage in 2014 (if you can find such a rare and special creature) does so with a much greater depth of experience than his grandfather had.  More than likely he’s mastered (or at least been exposed to) the
domestic chores and childcare responsibilities that the Second Wave feminists complained so bitterly about.

Modern husbands are more hands-on fathers than their sires, more involved in the housekeeping duties and household purchasing decisions, and more socially aware and better-informed than their ancestors.  Men who feel inclined toward marriage and family early have little trouble learning the things they need to, in order to be an effective husband and father.  While that desire is limited to a few, compared to generations past, the men who wish to be good husbands go out of their way to ensure that they can handle whatever might get thrown at their families.  That dedication comes across early on, if you know where to spot it.  There’s a reason that the “good ones” get snatched up early.

My continuing series on discerning the potential of a high-quality wife, Wife Tests, wouldn’t be complete without exploring one of the fundamental factors in the success or failure of a marriage: loyalty.

I do not mean mere fidelity.  Simply not cheating on you is not the best metric for determining a woman’s loyalty to you.  Loyalty, in the marital sense, means unwavering support for your spouse.  That can be difficult, in the face of tough times, and the weak-willed, poor-quality women will quickly start looking around for a more-immediate better deal.  Thanks to feminism, marriage is no longer sufficient insulation from the SMP, which makes it easy for a woman to entertain such ideas at the first hint of trouble.

But you’re going to have trouble in a marriage.  It’s inevitable.  In the process of knitting together two families and two family cultures, establishing proper boundaries and protocols, there will be problems that will challenge the fortitude of any couple.  Until you do, there’s no real way to assess the strength of your union, sadly, and for some whose emotional constitutions are brittle, it doesn’t take much to hit the “this isn’t working” button.  More than one man has been shocked and surprised to hear these words after even a moderate challenge to the marriage.  Another failure of feminism to modern women: the inflated and often unreasonable expectation of marriage.   Marriage is hard work.  If you care about it, you don’t take it pass/fail.

So how does one determine a woman’s loyalty to you before you encounter that Big Event that’s going to give you problems?  It’s difficult.  I’d say a telling factor, however, is just how loyal a woman appears to be to you in a casual circumstance.  It’s hard to construct a situation that tests that, you must rely on observation and pay attention to subtleties.  With Mrs. Ironwood, I can pinpoint the exact moment when she passed the Loyalty Test.

We had been going out for a little over a year when we had the opportunity to go out with another couple, friends of mine from college.  Nothing fancy, just a sit-down dinner in a chain restaurant with a bar.  Bob and Karen had been friends and neighbors of mine for a couple of years during my undergraduate career.  He was a Religious Studies major at Duke, and she was studying Medieval and Renaissance studies.  At that point they were engaged, with Bob having aspirations of a career in law.  At that point, I saw them as the Perfect Couple. 

But when the subject of parenting and fatherhood came up, Karen – who I’d been crushing heavily on since I’d known her, and who knew me as a fairly hapless Beta – was surprised at the future Mrs. Ironwood’s
willingness to “let” me take charge of our future children, if any.  At the time it appeared that she would be the primary breadwinner – my writing career had taken off, but paying gigs were still few and far between.  Therefore our plan was that I would be primary childcare, should we have kids.  That early in our relationship we had already begun seriously evaluating each other for suitability, and had discussed the possibilities even if we hadn’t committed to them.

“What?  You’re actually going to trust Ian with your babies?” Karen asked, aghast at the suggestion.  That was more than a little insulting, on a personal level, but my attraction for her and my respect for Bob had kept me firmly in Beta position.  I was about to joke my way out of it when the future Mrs. I leapt to my defense.

“Are you kidding?  Ian will make an outstanding father!  I’ve never met a man better-prepared emotionally or practically for taking care of his children.  He’s responsible, intelligent, and caring.  Whether or not we’ll stay together or have kids together remains to be seen, but I know for a fact that I would not have any reservations about Ian raising our children!”

Bob quickly changed the subject away from the awkward subject, and dinner continued.  Afterwards, as we were walking back to the car the future Mrs. I reiterated just how upset she was at the suggestion that I was unfit to raise babies with.  It wasn’t just Karen challenging her choice of boyfriend, a catty standard of the Female Social Network, that she was responding to, I realized.  She was genuinely offended that anyone who claimed to be a close friend of mine would make such a horrible (and to her mind unearned)

It wasn’t a big deal to either Karen or Mrs. Ironwood, but it was to me.  It was at that point that I checked the “loyalty” box on the Wife Test.  When your wife defends your character to your closest friends, that’s a pretty profound statement of her belief in you.  I watched more carefully after that, and I was gratified to see her stick up for me in similar situations.  She knew enough not to get entangled with the rough teasing between my brothers and I, but when she told my mother that she was wrong about my inability to handle household finances, for instance, I knew I had a potential keeper. 

While loyalty gets tested in the strangest of ways, but they all revolve around a woman’s unprompted reaction to a perceived attack or injustice on you.  Ideally her response should be independent of her interests, perhaps even against them, in some circumstances. 

If you had to engineer a situation artificially to test her loyalty, consider having one of your (good) friends speak poorly about you behind your back but in her presence, and report what she says.   If she plays along with his downgraded assessment of you, you might have a problem.  If she sticks up for you, you’ve got a loyal one.  

But even that isn’t the ideal test of her loyalty.  Even better if you can hear one of HER good friends launch a catty attack on you.  If she can tell her BFF to shut the hell up because she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, you’ve got a winner.  The woman who will endure someone speaking badly about her mate is one whose loyalty is questionable from the beginning.

The true test, of course, will be when the world is falling down around your ears; your very self-identity is challenged as your life is wracked with the inevitability of misfortune.  A loyal wife will remember that she bet on the horse, not the race, and support you.  If she’s skilled enough she might even know how to do that.  During a true loyalty test, she has a clear choice of a life in support of you and a life not in support of you, and she freely chooses the former not out of obligation or a sense of duty but because she has genuine respect for you in sufficient quantities to invoke her loyalty.

Twenty three years after she saw me reading a book in a bar one night (The Two Towers – I’m a hobbit-head) Mrs. Ironwood is still fiercely loyal of me, and I have taken great pains to vindicate her on the subject of fatherhood and husbandry.  But understand that such loyalty is not monolithic.  It’s a laminate of countless small acts and quiet statements made in support and appreciation over the years, an aggregate of pride and love stronger than the petty forces of fate that conspire to tear it down.  The end-result is a cultivated Oneitis, wherein your mutual loyalty and support give you the personal security and belief in your marriage you need to go out and slay dragons on a daily basis. 

Twenty-three years.  It’s not impossible to marry a Western woman and still have a fulfilling life as a husband and father.  But you have to start with the right woman, carefully nurture the relationship, and avoid the sinkholes that Marriae 2.0 inevitably throws at you, and disloyalty is certainly a big one.  But . . . twenty three years.  

And from now on, she’ll be in my life more than she’s been out of it.  That, gentlemen, is what happens when you’ve properly constructed Happily Ever After. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dear Feminists: This Is Why You Are In Trouble

The ongoing kerfluffle over the site #WomenAgainstFeminism, displaying selfies of a number of attractive young women who are all holding placards declaring why they don’t need feminism, has gone beyond the usual shame-and destroy tactics that the feminist establishment usually employ.  Instead what has happened as these women quietly but publicly disagreed with the status quo ideology and dis-identified themselves as feminists is remarkable.  Some have likened it to the feminist Berlin Wall crumbling, or an anti-feminist Arab Spring. 

It is telling that it took young women rebelling against feminist ideology in a public sphere to get prominent (and obscure) feminists all over the world to listen – if only for a moment – to the same things that most folks in the Red Pill/MHRA/MGTOW/PUA/OMG community have been saying, some of us for decades.  But when opinions that issue from the mouths of men are ignored or discounted simply because of our gender, when feminism refuses to engage in any meaningful dialog with those it purports to change, then its own unwillingness to participate in a debate it claims to want demonstrates the disingenuous nature of your ideology.

The shock and disgust displayed toward these young women by feminists is appalling.  They are treated as vapid and ignorant, young, dumb, and desperately seeking male attention by those who would dismiss their well-articulated positions.  The irony of this escapes not even thefeminists, themselves.  Some are even leaving their association with feminism.

But ladies, this is what the problem is.  Let me mansplain something to you, because you clearly missed something.  I’ll go ahead and do it in patronizing and patriarchal tones, so that you have an opportunity to scoff derisively as you read it, desperate for a hint of misogyny – us white male dissidents understand our role in your ideological drama, and I would hate to disappoint. 

Over and over in these face-palming critiques I keep reading of your utter horror as you saw one young woman after another (apparently) mis-understand what feminism “is about”, I hear you complain bitterly that these women are getting it wrong.  Feminism isn’t about (insert tragic misdiagnosis here) it’s about equality.  You quote the dictionary, chapter and verse, you quote great feminist minds of the past, inspirational voices who led you to realize what feminism “is about”.

Only, not everyone agrees with you.  And that’s making you batshit crazy.

There’s an understandable amount of schadenfreude in the Manosphere over this, but believe it or not, I’m not gloating.  I’m just vindicated.  Many of us predicted this sort of thing would happen, and gosh darn if it didn’t.

You see, the thing that is driving you crazy is that feminism is an ideology, but it also functions, in many social ways, like a cult or religion.  And while your intellectual inner circle has been preaching equality for years, regardless of the strides or gains you may have made, the fact is that your ideology’s public image has been tarnished badly in the meantime.  Not to put too fine a point on it, but you made the same mistake Republican candidates traditionally make.  In an effort to appease the loudest voices, and maintain the appearance of unity, you have allowed those voices to dictate the direction of the entire group – or at least its perception by the public.

There’s a reason that only a small minority of women identify as feminists these days.  The ideology has become so loaded with baggage from the culture wars of the past that adherence to it involves picking up that baggage . . . and that’s something that most women just don’t want to do.

Worse, two decades of systematic targeting of masculinity, in all of its guises, has managed to alienate nearly all men from your banner.  There was a time, in my fuzzy youth, when I may have identified myself as a “male feminist”, because I believed in equality too . . . but I believed in full equality: draft cards, equitable sentencing, and equal custody and all, and those were issues that feminism, alas, did not see as germane.
They sure as hell were germane to me.  And to a lot of other guys. 

Over the years, individual feminists and feminist-oriented groups made it quite clear that men were not welcome – we were part of the problem, and the more we tried not to be, the more you lashed out at us as individuals and as a class.  Whether you intended to or not, feminism as a movement became associated with the callous disregard of masculine values and the blanket disrespect for male issues.  You couldn't even let a bunch of guys get together and talk about male homelessness, suicide, and social issues without protesting and making death threats.  Classy, feminism.

We were supportive, once upon a time.  But what did we earn from that support?  You called us part of the Patriarchy, taunted us for our perceived privileges, and never spared the opportunity for shame and guilt about our gender.  We supported your reproductive freedoms and your right to own your own bodies, and you called us participants in “rape culture”.  When we threw up our hands and realized that there was no way for you to be happy with us, you called us “misogynists”. 

So we left.  There’s a reason that “male feminists” of any note are as scarce as hen’s teeth any more.  No one wants to be a male feminist.  You savage them with particular delight, when they persist in being male, and no man wants to be seen publicly working against the best interest of his gender.  Congratulations, ladies.  You’ve made “male feminists” an endangered species.

Like the Republicans, you’ve played to your base and alienated the mainstream.  People don’t associate feminism with positive values, anymore, and it’s not just Red State hicks and Southern politicians who feel that way.  Feminism was the ideology that spurred millions of women to divorce and break up their families, and many of us carry the scars of that decision.  Feminism made men fearful to even speak to women, much less relate to them in a professional manner.  While you may see the resulting domination of women in corporate positions of power as gratifying, understand that it was done at a price. 

You may see feminism as responsible for great strides in American and World history, and I can’t deny that.  So was Marxism, the ideological model feminism chose to co-opt – the one that equated men with the oppressing class and validated some feminists’ need to hate men as a class.  A lot of us take that personally.  Feminism’s unequal treatment of gender issues across the board has grown so egregious that protecting the virtue of 200 little African girls results in a global awareness campaign, while the brutal deaths of hundreds of boys in the same conflict earned no attention by feminism.

You can claim that feminism isn’t about hating men and punishing boys, Ladies, but the fact of the matter is that this is precisely how feminism is viewed by a broad plurality – if not a majority – of the men in America.  Not the progressive pals you keep around you to remind yourself you don’t technically hate all men, but the dude who changed your oil, mowed your lawn, stocked your groceries and passed you on the freeway, all of them have a disdain for feminism, as an ideology, that they would likely never speak to you about.  

You've attacked male sexuality with bloodthirsty abandon, belittling the "male gaze" and objecting to "objectification" - without understanding that objectification is as important to male sexuality as emotional context is to female sexuality.  Your relentless fight against "rape culture" has put you at odds with every heterosexual man in the country, as you rampage for the right to only be approached by attractive men, and demonize unattractive men by their "misogyny".  Feminism has been responsible for more male sexual guilt that the Catholic Church.  But you don't know that, because we stopped talking to you a long time ago.

Because speaking to feminists about feminism when you disagree with the culture that has sprung from the ideology is akin to speaking to a cult member.  Every stay-at-home mom who decided to spend her best reproductive years making a home and building a family with a loving husband has been called to task for her choice – “you could be so much more”, “why are you letting him keep you isolated?”, “don’t you want to prove you can make something of yourself?”, these are all the catty, snide little ways feminists have promoted your ideology. 

In seeking equal opportunities for women, feminism has denigrated the role of wife and mother that so many women desire.  Voicing a preference for Blue’s Clues over Black’s Legal Dictionary gets a woman pilloried in our post-feminist society, as you well know.  By placing careerism over the desire for a family, feminism has inadvertently doomed hundreds of thousands of successful career women to childlessness, as the “good” men they plan on settling for after they’ve established themselves in careers seek less-driven mates to be the mothers of their children.  The frustration among the professional class of feminist is palpable.  Yet feminism teaches them that it is men’s fault, or the fault of the Patriarchy, or ageism, or whatever rationalization is in vogue at the moment.

Those rationalizations, as thousands of women are discovering, don’t keep you warm at night. 
But not only has feminism alienated men of good will and mothers, feminism has consistently besieged one of the most hallowed areas of femininity: marriage.  In its efforts to protect women in abusive relationships, feminism has waged an unrelenting war against one of the pillars of femininity.  No, not all women want to get married – but for those who do, and there are a lot of them, feminism has successfully weakened the institution to the point where feminism has become the antithesis of a happy marriage.

Just watch how apologetically a feminist announces her engagement.  I had that pleasure, recently, and watching this woman squirm while she had to admit to her equally-feminist friends that she wanted a husband – not that she needed a husband, but (like a handbag or a new car) she wanted one – was an awkward moment.  Of course, she could not bring herself to actually say the word, “husband” – she said “partner” – and she instantly declared that she would not take his name.  Go girl.  I felt humiliated and emasculated on her bridegroom's behalf.  

But while I quietly congratulated her on her marriage, the fact is that feminism, regardless of its vaunted goal of equality, has consistently tarnished and weakened an institution that a majority of women hold sacred . . . and they have muddied the waters of non-feminist women considerably by their approach. That hasn't garnered feminism any positive public relations.

Men are reluctant and fearful to marry now, thanks in part to feminist-inspired pro-divorce culture, ala Eat, Pray, Love.  Feminism’s successful war on the patriarchal expectation of sex in marriage has removed the insulation married women once had from the Sexual Marketplace, making their husbands prey to predatory women and devaluing their own sexual contributions.  When feminism made it clear that a husband had no native right to his wife’s body, it also undermined the marital exchange to the point where she can no longer be certain of his fidelity.  Feminism is synonymous with divorce, not happy wives, in the real world beyond the ivory tower. 

(It might be helpful if feminism stopped treating the term "wife" like a death sentence.  Requiring a woman to apologize for her marriage and her husband, and then imposing a lot of humiliating restrictions that are going to be harmful to the marriage, doesn't win you many allies.  Feminism has made it possible where a little girl can grow up and be a great feminist anything . . . except a good wife.)

Feminism did itself no favors by encouraging the sassy self-esteem of two generations of girls.  While claiming white men had unearned privilege, feminism pushed the unearned privilege of white girls to the breaking point.  Many folks are anti-feminists not because they object to the ideals of feminism, but because they object to the conduct of feminists.  Young women who feel that they are entitled to pretty much anything they want, who trade on their feminism with threats of legal action or scandal to get their way, these women aren’t ‘empowered’ – they’re ‘bossy’.  That would be one thing if they were also highly competent and productive, but those are not qualities feminism has emphasized in its application. 

The writings of the Women Against Feminism are telling: to them (and to the rest of us) feminism is a bunch of angry women screaming shrilly about how the rest of the world needs to pay attention to them and give them what they want, in a judgmental, demanding way.  The rest of us don’t dislike feminism because we hate equality, we dislike feminism because for many of us some of the most unpleasant and difficult-to-work-with people we know are feminists. 

We see them not just as unhappy people, but people who have invested in their unhappiness to the point where they will only be happy when the rest of the world is just as unhappy as they are.  You want to see feminism perceived in a positive light again?  Create a way for a woman to be a happy feminist.  That’s going to be difficult with an ideology that, practically speaking, sees half of the human race as an enemy, but give it a shot.  Y’all are creative. 

Start by trying not to insult and demean anyone whose opinion you don’t like.  Feminism loves to call people names, from ignorant to backwards to stupid – and feminists excel at invective.  Tearing someone down verbally is a high feminist art, and most of us have been the object of that scorn at one time or another, deserved or not.  When you cannot have a discussion with a feminist without her snorting about your perceived privilege, or having her try to shame you into working against your best interest, then engaging in any kind of productive dialog is challenging. And demanding.  And usually self-defeating.  

So mostly we just . . . don't.  We ignore you.  We turn our backs on you and mostly we just don't entertain a feminist perspective in any sort of positive way anymore.  

As a man I have been called a plethora of vile names and had my character attacked by feminists, even what were supposed to be reasonable, academic discussions.  Feminists have a kind of argument cycle that they go through, I’ve observed, in which my intelligence, education, upbringing, and decency are first brought into question before they launch into outright misandry and emasculation.  At least half of such discussions end with them questioning my manhood – when I know for a fact how they would have reacted had I questioned their womanhood.  

I’m a big boy.  I’m not intimidated by shrill women who think their ability to “be strong” and “compete” lies in their willingness to insult another human being.  They have said things to me that, had we truly lived in world of equality, would have required them to settle the matter through seconds and over pistols.  But because feminists tend to hide behind "don't hit me, I'm a girl!" when they decide to engage in such verbal bloodsports, most wise men just . . . walk away.  We're men.  We know feminism hates us.

But the things that you’ve called these Women Against Feminism have been nothing short of vile.  This is what you have to say about these beautiful, intelligent women who disagree with your political ideology.  Women with three advanced science degrees are called “stupid and uneducated” because they dare to disagree with feminist ideology.  Women who have made conscientious choices about their lives are being castigated and threatened.  Women who have made up their own damned minds are being called idiots by other women in a fit of misogyny the Manosphere could never muster.

It is in your reaction to #WomenAgainstFeminism that you reveal yourselves, collectively: Feminism has hit the Wall.  No one is responding to your "nice" voice anymore, because you've burned all your bridges.  Now your very daughters are rejecting your ideology and recoiling in horror from the idea of a "feminist" life.  Yes, feminism is associated with misandry and reactionary man-hating, female entitlement and anti-male ideology in the minds of most people. 

EDIT: A few choice comments:

Emily Shire of The Daily Beast, stating that the movement’s criticism of feminism is “inane, unintelligent, and useless.”

Feminist writer Rebecca Brink published a satire of the campaign on her blog, calling Women Against Feminism “a crock of bullshit based on a misunderstanding of feminism and an ignorance of data and history.”

But like the 35 year old woman who is still trying to rock a miniskirt, you still think feminism is about equality.  No, it is not about equality, and hasn't been for a long time.  What you think feminism is and what it does in the real world are two entirely separate things, and your association with an ideology that is, in effect, anti-male, anti-marriage, and anti-freedom of thought is not doing yourselves any good.

There's some hope that feminism will redeem itself - plenty of women are offended at the things being done in the name of their gender, and want to re-claim the now-poisoned title of feminist.  But until feminists collectively take a good, long, hard look into the mirror and hold themselves accountable for the sins of their sisters in the name of their ideology, don't count on a hell of a lot of support from the victims of feminism.  We're not inclined to be charitable about that sort of thing.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The AFC Spreadsheet Challenge: Run Your Numbers

I'm not piling on the criticism of the Spreadsheet Man, considering the amount of public abuse his passive-aggressive behavior earned him.  The issue isn't the spreadsheet - the spreadsheet was a good idea - the issue was one of how to use this tool.  Unfortunately, the Game-ignorant, Blue Pill Average Fucking Chump (AFC) husband has no idea how to take this very valuable data and leverage it into a more fulfilling sex life.

There comes a point in every married man's life when his unofficial numbers drop below the threshold he can comfortably stand.  Sex is an incentive reward system, and when his rewards drop so do his incentives.  Spreadsheet Man was batting a dismal 11%.  That is, for every hundred dedicated attempts at initiating sex with his wife, he successfully had sex just 11% of the time.  That's just shy of the Numbers Game ploy that novices at Game employ, before they have any social skills or practical knowledge of approach.  A man in 11% territory has every right to be alarmed at the state and direction of his marriage.

Most of the ire directed at Spreadsheet Man from the Manosphere has focused on the poor Gamesmanship he displayed, or - in the case of a few hopeless romantics - the temerity to consign something as sacred as marital relations to the cold, hard medium of Excel.  But if a man is to complain about something as serious as his sex life to his wife, he had better have objective data to give him some context.  Not that he could or should use the spreadsheet to try to bargain his way back into her panties - as Rollo has brilliantly demonstrated in his analysis of this case study in AFC sexual management, "you cannot negotiate attraction."  That's a mistake a lot of poor AFC Beta husbands make: thinking that he can use logic and reason to break the dismal numbers he's getting.

Let's set aside for a moment the issue of his use of this tool, this spreadsheet, and investigate instead just what would compel a man to create one.  That's the question I keep hearing women ask about the subject: "Why on earth would a man do something like that?"

Accountability. The short answer is that he created one because there was a stunning enough lack in his marital sex life that he felt compelled to measure the subject.  When his wife responds to his complaints with the inevitable "But we have plenty of sex - I don't reject you!" in order to salvage her bruised ego, Spreadsheet Man wanted to know if that was a factual statement or not.  You don't go shopping when there are plenty of groceries in the cupboard.  When the cupboard is bare enough, you suddenly need to take stock to see just how dire things actually are.

Let me break it down for you.

Most women use a variety of subjective measurements to determine their level of satisfaction with a relationship, a position that can wax and wane with the lunar tides sometimes.  Men, on the other hand, use the frequency and variety of sexual relations in their relationship as a rough metric for their satisfaction with it.  Simple of us, I know, but that's just how we are.  For most of us, if we're getting it good and regular, and with sufficient enthusiasm and imagination, then we can put up with anything form mothers-in-law to zombie apocalypse.  But if the nookie dries up, it doesn't matter how well everything else is going in the marriage, there's a problem.

A Note To the Wives

How much of a problem is the real question.  If your husband has ever produced a document or kept track of your sex life, yes, you have a problem, but the problem isn't with your dude.  When a dude starts running the numbers, yes, he's already invested some energy into the idea, so dismissing it angrily is not going to help your marriage.  It might seem unromantic, ladies, but that's our practical masculine approach to the problem.  Indeed, "running the numbers" is a Game fundamental.  The fact that you get uncomfortable when your man starts looking that carefully at your sex life should tell you something.

Look, ladies, try not to take this personally, although I know that's difficult.  No one likes to think that their intimate life is under a microscope.  But the fact that there is a problem in your husband's mind is the important thing, here.  It doesn't matter how often your girlfriends and sisters have sex, your married friends or your divorced friends, it doesn't matter what Cosmo says the national average for married couples is . . . if your husband thinks that there's a problem, then regardless of all other factors, there's a problem.

The feminine imperative and feminist dogma both encourage you to ignore this problem or - better yet - blame it on him.  But the sexually "Thirsty Husband" has a far higher chance of committing infidelity than the sexually-satisfied husband.  I know dudes who blew up their whole marriage and family over their wife's inability or unwillingness to give blowjobs.  It might sound petty and immature, but that's just how seriously we take our physical sex lives.

At the very least, consider it an exercise in practical mate guarding.  No matter how boring and ordinary you may think the dude you married might be to you, to a woman five to ten years younger he's a mature, sophisticated man who has his shit together - and there is no end of the women who are willing to poach him out from under you.  If your man is making spreadsheets and complaining about the nookie, that's an early warning sign that he's at risk.

The remedy is NOT to chew him out, castigate his morals or demean his sexuality, make excuses or blame him for the problem - on the contrary, the remedy is to take his complaint seriously, without taking it personally.  He's not saying he doesn't love you - he's saying he wants to love you more, and the frustration in that matter is becoming intolerable.  But he doesn't understand how (thanks to Blue Pill thinking) to articulate that in a helpful and meaningful way.

The Spreadsheet As Tool For Transformation

The Average Fucking Chump (AFC) married man who feels sexually rejected by his wife under the Blue Pill method approaches the beginning of Red Pill wisdom.  If he gets so far as to start charting the results of his encounters and rejections, he's starting to appreciate the magnitude of the problem.  Most wives hate to admit how many times they gently reject their husband's advances, preferring to see such tactics not as rejection but as "anticipatory teasing", as one female colleague called it.  The problem arises when that anticipation goes unfulfilled, and the affection the husband harbored starts to spoil.

Most Blue Pill husbands will reluctantly accept their wives' sexual excuses, as long as they hit often enough to make playing the game worthwhile (anywhere from 25-33%).  That is, as long as they have some sort of sex every 3-4 times they initiate, they'll generally accept that as reasonable, rather than imperil even those meager rations.  It's when you start getting rejected four times out of five or more that the AFC starts to get the feeling the game is rigged.

Charting out your rejections is unromantic, but then so are rejections.  Before you can understand the need for good Married Game, you must first understand the scope of the problem, and a spreadsheet over a given period of time (say, 90 days) is a good, rational, reliable, utterly pragmatic way to take stock of your status quo.  If you're a husband who is looking for a way to get your wife to have more sex with you, then this kind of data gathering before you take action is essential.

The AFC Spreadsheet Challenge

So I'm proposing any man who is toying with the Red Pill, but remains unconvinced of its potential effectiveness in his own marriage, take the AFC Spreadsheet Challenge.  Starting August 1st, start charting the number of times you initiate sex with your wife and her response.  Do this for 90 days, ending on Halloween, October 31st.

A few ground rules:

1. You may not inform your wife of what you are doing, lest you spoil the objective nature of the observations.

2. Only legitimate, sincere efforts of initiation, clearly and unequivocally stated, are counted as "real" initiations.  Mumbling "babe, can we tonight?" as she's running out the door to work doesn't count.  Neither does proposing a lunch-time blowjob when you know there is no possible way to make it happen.  There has to be adequate opportunity and reasonable conditions, as well as unmistakable communication of intent, to count an initiation.

3. You may display no negative recriminations, whining, or complaint with her rejections.  You merely note them in the log and detail the context and circumstances.  As a corollary, do not attempt a serious initiation more than once per day, unless the original rejection was redeemed later as a "raincheck".

4. You should also note the state of her menstrual cycle in your notes in order to make this exercise the most helpful.  Most AFCs don't believe or really understand the importance of the menstrual cycle on their success ratios.  See if a higher success rate corresponds to her most fertile period, when the data is analyzed.

5. Also to give this exercise the most benefit, note any scheduling issues, interruptions in normal routine, or other factors that might impact the normal flow of marital bliss.

6. Note time of day and location.  Likewise note exceptional response, including increased enthusiasm, novelty, and general interest in sexual relations.  You might be batting low numbers, but if you're hitting home runs frequently enough it can make up for it. Or your regular at-bat means a walk to first, perhaps with a lonely walk back to the bench afterward.

The point of this exercise is no more and no less than to collect empirical data on your ACTUAL sex life.  It isn't to instantly start improving it.  Indeed, what you are doing here is establishing your control data as a benchmark for improvement.  Being able to look at a representation of your personal sexual history can be rudely informative.  Knowing what your real numbers are, instead of the vague and subjective arguments your wife may propose about your sex life (do these sound familiar?  "We do it all the time!  We did it just the other day!  I don't reject you, you just want it all the time!  Is that all you think about?  Is that all I am to you?") is the first painful step on the road toward improving your sex life.

What you do with that data is key.  DON'T email it to your wife in a passive-aggressive snit, else you, too, may end up on Facebook or Reddit.  The point isn't to shame your wife, as Spreadsheet Man apparently tried.

But after 90 days of careful record-keeping, if you run your numbers and discover you're batting worse than you did picking up skanks in college bars, then you have a good reason to go to your wife with the reasonable complaint about your sex life.  NOT the spreadsheet.  Try it. (We'll go over this again in November, but this is where we're shooting - and I'll put it in nice Blue Pill Non-Offensive language, to help you get started).

"Honey, we need to talk.  I'm concerned about our sex life.  I don't feel that you're taking my sexual needs seriously, and I thought it would be best if we discussed it."

(Start in a non-accusing, reasonable, rational way.  See if she agrees if there is a problem.  See if she reacts emotionally.  See if she reacts violently.  How she reacts will give you at least some insight into the nature of the problem you face.  Let's assume for the moment she's going to be only slightly offended at your temerity, but curious enough to continue the conversation without an immediate appeal to emotion):

"Don't be silly, dear.  We have sex plenty - all the time.  How can you think I don't take your needs seriously?  I love you!"

Continue: "I've been paying close attention to how often we have sex lately.  That is, I've been looking at how often I bring it up and how often you turn it down.  I didn't want to come and talk to you if I was just blowing things out of proportion, after all - that wouldn't be fair.  But I kept track of just how often we've done it, lately, and just how often I tried to talk you into it."

(Using terms like fairness, equity, and equal are all helpful terms to hold frame and keep the discussion focused and in-context.  Let's assume she doubles-down on her position in the face of the realization that her husband is serious - and she's in danger of being held accountable.  Common female tactics in this case are to a) Blame the Male, b) Cause a Scene c) Appeal For Support d) Deny.  Let's assume she goes with Option D.).

"That's just not true!  Not only do I say yes most of the time, I even initiate sometimes!  You know that!"

Continue: "I'm sorry, but that's not what I see.  I've tried to initiate ___ times in the last three months - serious, real attempts to get your attention and try to be intimate.  During that time you actually initiated only twice, and most of the time you turned me down."

(This is where things get hairy, because the fact that you are checking so sincerely belies her stated position: that you have plenty of sex and that she doesn't reject you very often.  Worse, you've kept track and that makes her accountable for her actions.  While she likely believes that you are correct, her feminine pride and her horror at being held accountable risks seeing the situation blow up before it can be effectively dealt with.  This is where she might go to a) Blame the Male)

"I can't believe you took our sex life and made a spreadsheet out of it!"

"This isn't about the spreadsheet (maintain frame), this is about the health of our marriage.  I'm not trying to lecture you.  This is an item of concern for me, and I wanted to call it to your attention.  But if I'm getting results like this, I must be doing something wrong, don't you think?"

(No, this is not at all ALPHA - but your Blue Pill wife isn't expecting ALPHA demands.  Nor are you going to be able to make any - you don't have any Game yet.  Just bear with me)

"Honestly, I don't know where you get this stuff.  Of course you're not doing anything wrong!  It's just that we've been married for a while now - you can't expect us to act like newlyweds anymore."

"No, I expect us to act like a happily married husband and wife.  I could get rejected most of the time when I was single.  Why do you think you turn me down as often as you do?"  (This also holds frame, and puts the ball back in her court.  If she has a problem with your approach, this is where it will come out.  Likely possible responses include:

"I just don't feel like it sometimes."
"When you just pop up out of the blue and initiate, it takes me by surprise.  I'm not always ready."
"I don't like the way my body feels anymore."
"I don't know, I'm just not that into sex anymore."
"I'm just too tired - you know how much I work."

Etc. Etc.  This is the Excuse Wagon, pulled by the Rationalization Hamster.  No doubt you've recorded all of her given excuses already, but go ahead and take the time to write down her issues.  The goal isn't to negotiate desire, but to call to her attention the fact that this is a problem that you are now devoting your time and energy to.  Do it gently.  She's not going to tell you the real reason she's not responding sexually to you.

She's bored.

She's uninspired.

She's complacent.

She feels that married women aren't supposed to have as much sex.

She feels unattractive.

And all of those things, you poor AFC Beta Boy, are the REAL reason why your numbers are low.  There's only one way to raise them, and that's not doing dishes and a spiffy job on the lawn.  The only way to get your wife to have more sex with you is to Game her.  That is, study her sexual responses and understand them well enough to invoke them.  And then make yourself into an instrument to do just that.  The Spreadsheet is a tool toward that goal, nothing more.  But after 90 days, you should have an adequate baseline to tell you just how much work you have to do before you reach your goal.