Monday, February 11, 2013

What Do Divorce Experts Say Women Want for Valentines Day?

MORE Beta!

If the social expectations of Valentine’s Day are already stinging your newly-opened eyes, with the idea of blowing your dough on flowers, candy, diamonds and other stylized, symbolic representations of your devotion undermining your efforts of an authentic emotionally-meaningful display, then hold on to your fedoras, Gentlemen: apparently this exercise in blanket gender abasement just isn’t GOOD enough for the feminists of America.  At least according to the illustrious left-wing tabloid HuffPo, where the message is loud and clear: this year feminists want their menfolk to be even MORE Beta!

The obsequious posturing, overindulgent gifting and fawning devotion of yesteryear are no longer sufficient for the gals.  Apparently, on the one day of the year in which one is supposed to celebrate one’s romantic and sexual union with your mate is just TOO DARN MUCH PRESSURE for the feminists of America.

The gifts, the flowers, the candy, they’re great and all . . . but they aren’t enough.  You see, that sets up the idea that the women in question might feel OBLIGATED to have sex with the men in their lives ("husbands"), the ones who just shelled out a car payment on an expression of their affection that can be adequately bragged about at work.  And if men are getting anything out of it, then it has to be BAD for women.

In a disgusting orgy of self-gratifying entitlement, the authors of the post (Rabbi Robert B. Barr and Dr. Jill Bley, PhD.) reveal:

As wives everywhere unwrap their gifts, they'll be thinking, "So what's in this for me?" Far from being that romantic holiday as depicted on the cards, Valentine's Day has become another time for men to place more expectations on women.

I’ll just let that lovely tidbit of cognitive dissonance settle on your frontal lobes for a moment.  “As they unwrap their gifts” . . . “what’s in this for me?” . . . irony much?

The authors of the post make a compelling argument: men already suck pretty badly.  Just ask women.  Here are the reasons why women should spitefully reject their husband’s solemn attempts at a socially-appropriate and likely heartfelt display at love and devotion:

[W]omen are working harder than men.

(Men must therefore  suck.  How dare they, the lazy bastards!  Unemployment is NOT an excuse!)

Most are still being paid less for their work outside the home.

(Most avoided lucrative technical career paths that would have led to higher salaries in favor of more “meaningful” work . . . that often means more hours and less pay.)

They are likely to be shouldering more of the burden of household and child rearing responsibilities than men.

(Unlike their unmarried contemporaries, who are doing 100% of the housework without any masculine assistance, the lucky ladies!) 

Women in the workplace continue to face sexism, spoken and unspoken.

(Men in the workplace continue to die and get maimed at a far higher rate than women)

They are often exhausted by the expenditure of energy trying to combat the sexism they face without appearing petty or bitchy.

(Men are usually just exhausted from working . . . there’s too much to do to worry about appearing petty and bitchy)

Their work day is almost never over when they arrive back in their homes.

(Whereas men utterly lack post-work activities and job-related homework)

Poor, beleaguered feminist wives!  How they suffer!  

Seriously, it’s bad enough that they actually deigned to marry a male in the first place, thereby rescuing him from a fate of cheap and easy sex, beer, and action movies.  To actually have to work IN ADDITION to running a marriage?  That’s a little too much for the poor dears, apparently.   

And of course the LAST thing they want to do is be reminded of their distasteful and embarrassing social plight by the possibility of catering to her husband’s beastly lusts. 

Adding insult to injury, Valentine's Day becomes an opportunity for men, in the guise of romance, to obligate their wives to sex when what their wives really want is time to relax, sleep, and have their houses cleaned by someone else.

Because Sex is apparently the insult to the injury of Marriage.  And understanding that men are incapable of carnal congress with even a modicum of emotional content behind it, Barr and Bley quite rightly identify the entire phenomenon with what it so clearly is: one small step away from socially-mandated justified rape.  Because the LAST thing a hard-working wife wants on Valentine’s Day is to get laid.  Sex is a chore, to feminists, and the mere fact that we have a holiday devoted to the idea of romantic love and the special bond between a man and a woman is no reason to bow to the iron will of the Patriarchy.

Thought women enjoyed Valentine’s Day, gentlemen?  You sadistic bastards.  It’s a crushing hell of obligatory sex and feigned affection.  Indeed, according to Mssrs. Barr & Bley, the very sight of a red heart can inspire a violent reaction:

For many women Valentine's Day does not bring out romantic feelings, instead, it ignites anger and frustration.  Valentine's Day seems to benefit men while requiring women to smile as they accommodate the desires of another man one more time.

Yes, all of those nasty Pandora bracelets, diamond earrings, new cars and 4 star dinners are for OUR benefit, Gentlemen.  Just one more way we can guilt our wives onto their backs, making them the unwilling slaves to our salacious for the cost of a mere dozen long-stem red roses and an uncomfortable relationship discussion!  Celebrate love?  In the feminist universe, love and marriage are polar opposites, a distasteful and necessary evil required for the support of progeny, nothing more.  If you needed further proof of the Patriarchy’s evil plan, Barr and Bley can pinpoint the villains:

Women, at home and work, continually face the challenges of men who demand much and don't give enough in return. While it is claimed that it is a holiday for women it doesn't take much to see that it's the men who get what they want, while women are wanting.

Hear that, Gents?  You demand too much.  And you don't give enough in return, you ungrateful assholes.  Your woman doesn’t want romance and love, attention and affection, validation of her femininity and of your attraction to her . . . she wants laundry and a nap.  

And anything less than that is proof – PROOF! – that you don’t really love them.

So let’s take a look at the stunning relationship advice these wise folks give in order for you to keep your wife from feeling sexually oppressed, and consider their implications.  Barr and Bley think that what your wivesREALLY want is:

  1. Something they want but you don’t know what it is because she’s not going to tell you. (hint: you can’t buy her anything you’d like to see her in, you’d think she’d like, etc.  It has to be something she picks out and you just pay for, because that’s what good feminist Beta husbands do).
  2. Forget about sex and ask for a honeydew list.
  3. Clean the house . . . like a chick.  Because the way you USUALLY do it (which is just fine for you) sucks, and is proof that you secretly despise her.  It isn’t clean until she says it’s “chick clean”.
  4. Do the laundry.  Because a box of Tide is a hell of a lot more meaningful than another stupid, expensive Pandora charm no one knows what the hell it means anyway.
  5. Make dinner or “make reservations”.  As if you didn't have enough reservations at this point . . . 
  6. Do all of her housework for her. 
  7. Don’t have sex with her unless she specifically requests it in writing.
  8. If sex is what she wants, don't really bring the penis into it.  Toss her a vibrator and then go to sleep.
It’s telling that both Barr and Bley are in various aspects of the Divorce Industry, as this advice could have been written as a public service announcement for the Divorce Lawyers Association.  Anyone with any Red Pill understanding will see that the above list of what women “really” want from the men they've sworn to spend their lives with isn’t the solid strength and passionate embrace of the love of their lives in a tempest of Alpha-laden erotic meaning, its:

  1. Beta
  2. Beta
  3. Beta
  4. Beta
  5. Beta
  6. Beta
  7. Beta
  8. and more Beta

Seriously, if that post doesn’t depress the hell out of any married woman who reads it, she has bigger issues in her marriage than Valentine’s Day.  Most of the Manosphere despises V-Day as the commercialized Hallmark holiday it is, an opportunity for women to guilt men into socially-braggable expensive displays of their devotion.  Really, sex was the only reason we guys ever indulged in the exercise anyway.

The problem with American marriages, according to Barr & Bley, is that the dudes are just too darn Alpha for their poor feminist wives.  The answer to a troubled marriage is, according to folks who make their living off of divorce, to add even MORE Beta.  Men are STILL too manly, and women are STILL too oppressed.  Imagine, all of those poor, college-educated wives out there being in miserable and oppressive marriages, instead of the liberating and fun-filled world of Dating 2.0!  The husbands of America must be totally evil bastards if the consensus of feminist opinion is that the way to celebrate marriage and love in our society is by doing laundry, not your wife, on Valentines Day.

If the feminists of the world want their fellas to go full-fledged flaccid Beta feminization, as Barr and Bley contend, then it behooves their Blue Pill husbands to indulge them.  I’m sure you know of a couple (or are part of a couple) where the hapless AFC turns in a standard-performance every V-Day, and still gets bitched out for how he got it “wrong” by his feminist-leaning wife even if he gets duty sex.  Because guys suck.  And Valentines’ day isn’t about THEM. Or their nasty penises.  True Love?  That's for suckers.  The hard-working corporate feminist wives are tired of picking up the slack for their lazy hubbies, just to be expected to put out after being showered with gifts and praise.

Of course, if you're a dude, the above-message probably feels like a hot blade being jabbed again and again into your kidney by collective femininity, further proof that women don't understand their own attraction (nor, apparently, do rabbis).  

SO . . . here’s what I propose.  The Beta Revolt.

If you are a Blue Pill dude who is in an unhappy marriage with a feminist wife (or just know one – and let’s face it, we all know at least one) – then this Feb 14 is your chance.  This is your opportunity to suggest that -- perhaps -- her approach to your marriage and relationship has failed to take into account one very important factor: her husband.

While your wife is at work, scrub the house and do laundry.  Take a six-pack and make a day of it – and clean the holy fuck out of the place.  Like you’re getting ready to show it.  Get the laundry folded and put away, everything.  If you have a Red Pill pal, ask him to help. 

Then do it just like the article says.  Order a single cheese pizza, buy a cheap vibrator, some bubble-bath and a single-serving bottle of wine.  Hell, throw in a DVD of some lame romcom.  No flowers, no candy, no jewelry – make sure youstick to the Barr-Bley Plan.

Then print out the HuffPo article, in its entirety.  In color, even.  Leave it folded up on the pizza box with the following note:

Happy Valentine’s Day, Honey! 

I know how much you admire and like to promote feminist principles, and after I saw this article I realized that I had been unintentionally oppressing you all this time, and I had no idea.  I really took it to heart, discussed it with my friends, and came to some realizations about our marriage.  So I took the advice in the article, and I think you’ll find that the house is clean enough for your mother to visit.  The laundry is done, folded, and put away.  I even got some help on the yard. 

To continue the festivities, you’ll notice I got you dinner, so you wouldn’t have to cook or clean tonight.  There’s a bottle of bubble bath, so you can indulge yourself and rest from your hard and stressful day.  I think you’ll like the movie, too, and I you combined it with the bath and the wine, you’ll be nice and relaxed.  Plus, if you’re feeling particularly relaxed and want to indulge yourself, I took the liberty of buying you a new toy.  Enjoy! 

Now, as you look over my humble offering, please note that I didn’t waste money on roses, flowers of any sort, candy, jewelry, or a fancy dinner, all of which might set up the obligation of sex in your mind – and you know that’s the last thing I want to do.  This is about you.  All the feminist articles I’ve read have said something like this, that this is what you REALLY want for Valentine’s Day, and who am I to question the wisdom of the collective femininity?  I want you to truly enjoy yourself without expectation or obligation.

So dig in, have a glass of wine, take a bubble bath, watch a movie, and tear one off, if you’d like.  And while you do, remember what a kind, thoughtful considerate husband you have.  Delight in the knowledge that you have a truly transcendent feminist marriage, one in which the needs and the responsibilities of the household are equally shared between us, without either party dominating the other.  Where issues of sex and affection are secondary to a good working-relationship.  Where erotic attention and thoughtful appreciation of our intimate selves rightfully takes a backseat to our common goal of equal dignity and mutual respect. 
And while you are thinking about this, eating your pizza, drinking your wine, and watching your movie, I’m going to be at a strip club, Hooters, or area sports bar to celebrate the wonderful independence and strength of our marriage.  At exactly 8:30 pm. I’ll be arriving at ___________, staying for half an hour for a drink, and then I’m going to check into a motel, so that you can enjoy your Valentine’s Day evening in peace without me pestering you for sex.

If you decide, however, that you are finding the ideology of feminism somehow lacking when it comes to how we conduct our marriage, and wish to discuss it further, then you know where I’ll be and when and for how long. 
But understand that if you show up, you’ll be essentially asking to get boned so hard your ancestors get sore, without apology, without regret, and without too much foreplay.  You’ll be admitting that you’d rather be a real woman loved by a real, passionate man the way a real husband loves a real wife than a co-equal partner of a semi-permanent domestic arrangement.  And you’ll be admitting that you place more faith, stock, and value in the strength of our marriage than you do in how a couple of “experts” suggest you should feel about it and the important issue of housework that apparently plagues your mind, day and night, instead of having sex with me.
 So consider carefully: Delicious, freshly-delivered pizza, a tasty glass of wine, a luxurious bubblebath, an entertaining movie and an early evening to bed with your new plastic pal, or a night of seedy, nasty lovemaking that will challenge your personal boundaries and possibly cause a UTI.  
 You’re probably wondering why I’m doing this, too.   Heck, you might even be worried that this is some kind of mid-life crisis.  That's not entirely inaccurate.  The fact is, I’m not entirely happy with how things have been going in our marriage, and I figured this would be a novel way to get your attention on the matter.  
 And while, of course, I'm always open to frank and open discussion, the fact is that the attitudes towards husbands expressed in this article are fairly common from what I understand.  I'd sincerely like to know your take on the subject, but of course I completely understand if you do not want to interrupt your rare quality time and would prefer to discuss this at another time.  
Either way, I guess I’ll see you in the morning.
Happy Valentines Day!

Your Average Beta Chump Husband

Then go to a bar.  Have a few, but don’t get drunk.  Take an hour to drop by a buddy’s house and change into something sharp-looking.  Seriously, do your damnedest to make yourself look HOT.  Do, indeed, rent a hotel room – you’re going to need it, one way or another.  Then go to the designated bar fifteen minutes before the designated time, park yourself on a stool, order a drink, and wait.  And turn off your cell phone.

If she shows up looking sweet, feminine, and ready to be your wife on Valentine’s Day, make it worth her while.  And shag her rotten.

If she shows up with tears in her eyes, wearing sweatpants and no make-up, begging for you to come home and “talk about this”, then hand her your hotel card, tell her that’s where you’ll talk – naked –  give her a kiss on the cheek, and leave.

If she doesn’t show up . . . then you have married a confirmed feminist who is probably on her way to becoming your ex-wife, no matter how thoughtful she told you she thought the pizza was.. 

Now, I understand that the danger rate is pretty high on this – but if your marriage has been suffering anyway, one more lame-ass Valentine’s Day isn’t going to help matters any.  In fact, it’s just going to pit your feeble Betatude against her imagined hyper-Alpha ideal, and your shit is going to look weak in comparison.

But this?  This is Alpha.  It might sting, but its unmistakable backbone.  She might get pissed off, but she won’t be bored.  And you’ve got about a 50-50 shot at hotel sex (more, if you aren’t choosy about who it’s with).  If your relationship has been going through one unsatisfactory “relationship discussion” after another, and you’re struggling with finding a good Red Pill moment to draw a line in the sand, this might be your day. This might be the way.  Because nothing says “your relationship is in trouble” to any woman, feminist or not, than having her co-workers ask “so what did your husband do for you on Valentine’s Day?” with a knowing smile, and having to say “he let me bathe, sleep, and masturbate by myself while he was at a strip bar and then checked into a hotel.”

I mean, “we had surprise hotel sex” sounds a lot better, or at least a lot less dysfunctional.  Even to alleged feminists.

Gentlemen, if you're considering taking the Red Pill, make this Valentines Day your day to revolt from Beta Chumpatude and start cultivating the Alpha that she might not even know she wants.  Buy yourself (and/or her) a copy of Married Man's Sex Life Primer and start standing up straight when you walk.  Study Married Game and then game the hell out of your wife . . . whether she "wants" it or not.  Start taking control of your marriage, your relationship, and your sex life . . . before you get stuck doing laundry in a vain attempt to earn her love, respect, and poon.  Do it right, and then next year you'll have to think up something crazy to do for Valentine's Day . . . because just regular great sex will be so ordinary that it just won't be as special anymore.  That doesn't mean you can get out of doing laundry, though.

Because, as Mrs. Ironwood says, a dude doing laundry is sexiest when the sheets he's washing he messed up honestly.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Male Values and Female Values

When attempting to dissect masculinity and femininity and discover the scope of their roles in how we live our lives, it doesn't take long to recognize that while the two genders do use the same language, the way that they approach things and think about things is, in aggregate, very different.

(Well, duh.  Brilliant insight, Ian.)

Most folks stop there and leave the rest up to culture and society to determine.  But when you keep delving into just HOW the genders approach things differently, even more observations are possible.  For instance, while both men and women have a plethora of common values as human beings, each gender brings a different priority set of those values to the table often influenced by whether they sit or stand when they pee.

Case in point: Over at the venerable lefty HuffPo, a recent post by Jean Oelwang, CEO of Virgin Unite, the entrepreneurial foundation of the worldwide Virgin Group, illustrates this better than I could.  In an effort to find a silver lining in the crappy economy and heated gender wars, she bravely points out several ways that business is "better" in the 21st century, thanks to female values.  (In fairness, she squirms away from labelling them as such, attempting to find a gender-neutral description that encompasses these values, so she settles on Gaian Values.  After Gaia, the ancient Greek Mother Goddess.  A swing and a miss!)

She begins thusly:

"I believe that women haven't been assuming more leadership positions in the world today because the systems we've created often do not place the right value on the strengths that women can bring to the table."

This, of course, flies in the face of the fact that women have been assuming leadership positions at an ever-increasing rate.  Indeed, she takes apparent issue at the rate, and wants it to increase even more.    Why?  Because the "systems" we've created don't place the "right value" on women's strengths.

Only they aren't really "women's" strengths, because that wouldn't be politically correct, hence the Gaia imagery to encompass all.  Bowing before the female value of Consensus, she equivocates and refuses to attempt to instill a sense of Order on the subject by calling out feminine values as feminine.   But then she goes on to point them out exclusively where she sees women displaying them:

Here are three that tend to be prominent in many of the inspiring women I've had the good fortune to work with. 
 Let's break these down and examine them as Feminine Values, instead of Gaian Values.
People matter -- capitalism started out with this premise, freeing people to make a living and pursue their dreams, but as greed fogged people's views on what really matters, the increasing lack of equity has led to unacceptable human suffering.
Fortunately, our newly connected world has now put the power back into people's hands. Leaders who put people and equity first will break through the glass ceiling hand in hand with the people they are leading.
"People Matter" is the same thing as saying "Feelings matter".  In point of fact, capitalism started out with no more sophisticated premise than maximizing profits and creating wealth -- people were merely factors in the equation.  The goal wasn't to free people to make a living and pursue dreams, it was to sell a product or service at a profit.  Romanticizing capitalism (which was invented, developed, and perfected by males, according to Male Values) is no more than a clever rationalization.  People are resources to capitalism, and while they are valuable resources capitalism doesn't owe them anything but honest pay for honest work, and possibly health-insurance where mandated.

While industrial capitalism frequently sought to diminish the role of the worker's needs in an effort to simplify and streamline the process, industrial capitalism is nearly dead in our country.  The "power" in the people's hands stems from their ability to access and use the internet, not through any real evolution in business philosophy.  So while "people matter", these days "people matter" the most when their jobs can be eliminated.  And the leaders who put people first -- over profits, over policy, over efficiency -- are going to find themselves out of the job, because shareholders don't care about people.  They care about profits and retuns-on-investment.

"People Matter" means "business should be run for the benefit of the workers, and not the other stakeholders".  "People Matter", in Female Values, actually means "all people matter equally", that the product is of less value than the process.  That's not to say it isn't, strictly speaking, true -- just not in the way Ms. Oelwang presents.

The Male Value corollary of "People Matter" is "Some People Matter More Than Others", and that irks the female valued ideal of absolute consensus and fairness.  It's not egalitarian.  It's openly elitist.  And it's a Red Pill observable truth.  It is an evolved and well-trusted male value that the Right Man for the Right Job brings smoother production, higher efficiency, and a sense of competition that fuels innovation and improvement in both process and product.  Get the right designer in your firm and your kids go to Harvard.  Get the wrong one, and they're going to end up sending them to community college.

Consider: the key position in an advertising agency, Creative Director, is the one responsible for hiring artists, copywriters, printers, and dealing with the needs of the client.  Get a bad Creative Director and your clients fell like lemmings.  Get a good one and the phone doesn't stop ringing.  As impressive or non-impressive as the title Creative Director is, in most shops it is the key job.  It usually comes with more money, more responsibility, and more prestige.

Under "People Matter", the person who has the greatest need for those additional resources (pay, responsibility, prestige) should be given the job.  If Frank and Felicia are both up for it, competitively, then the president of the company is going to have to make a decision . . . and if he makes that decision based on Felicia's seniority and the fact that everyone in the office likes her and thinks she deserves it, then he may well be skipping the fact that Felicia hasn't had an original thought in two decades and still keeps a MySpace account active.  Frank might be a son-of-a-bitch to work for, and he might already have a bulging 401k and own his own home, but when the rubber meets the road his original ideas are what propel clients and move profits, not the "people matter" selection of Felicia for the job of Creative Director.

The difference in approach is telling.  It's one reason why women tend to perform better in process-oriented work, for example.  Human resource departments attract women because the "people matter" value is ingrained at a vocational level in them, whereas sales departments, the most competitive arena in business, tend to be predominantly male in most industries.

But most men understand the value of "people matter" much differently, and often in the negative.  One idiot on the team can, for example, doom the entire team if he/she doesn't know their shit.  "People Matter" is a Feminine Value . . . but to the Masculine Value system it's more of a warning.

Openness is the best policy -- as the world becomes more interconnected, this value will become more important. Honest dialogue will become the new power, the new success, the new sexy.

Uh, no.

"Openness is the best policy" can be most easily seen as a Female Value on the principal that women have a seemingly pathological instinct to expose that which is hidden for no better reason than it shouldn't be hidden . . . according to their judgement.

Men keep secrets.  That's something that drives women crazy, even if they do a fair amount of it themselves. Worse (to women), men keep secrets and then don't even have the good grace to feel horribly guilty about it . . . so guilty they just HAVE to tell someone to spare their soul the burden.

"Openness is the best policy" is a Female Value, but it comes with many, many strings.  For one, "openness is the best policy" does not in fact celebrate accountability, as it seems to on the surface.  "Accountability is the best policy" could be construed as a Masculine Value, but accountability and "openness" are two very different things.  Women value "openness", but they often fear true accountability.  Women love to "clear the air" in an office environment, for instance, because airing grievances makes them feel better.  But once a male colleague attempts to call a female teammate to account about actual work performance, perhaps asking for specific work products or a time log of hours worked, suddenly "openness" isn't quite so important as "consensus".

And as far as "honest dialog", the Female Value of Openness is highly selective about just how honest the dialog can become before it crosses a line.  TRUE honesty and accountability are not what is being promoted here.  It is the mere appearance of transparency, with the understanding that the ability to be honest in discussions ceases being a benefit when it ceases being a boon to women.

What Ms. Oelwang seems to be trying to denigrate is the male propensity for conserving information.  Why do we do this, when "openness is the best policy"?

Because men compete, and secrets give us a competitive advantage.  "Openness" is an attempt to limit those carefully-cultivated advantages to the benefit of others, i.e. women who didn't cultivate secrets.  If Frank spends all weekend building a new ad campaign for his firm's new client in an effort to get the plum assignment, he isn't going to want to share that information with Felicia, because he and Felicia are competitors  even if they are working for the same company.  Competition is a strong Masculine Value, and it is the basis on which capitalism is predicated.  Therefore Openness, as Ms. Oelwang describes it, is antithetical to the male value of competitiveness.

Collaboration is queen -- the fight for the top rung of the ladder is becoming irrelevant in the face of the issues and opportunities we face as a global community.


Look, I work in a creative field, and there is definitely a role for collaboration.  but beware this term.  It use to mean "equal contribution by both parties to the final product", but these days it usually means "can I get my name on that paper if I type it up for you?"

Collaboration is a rationalization for Consensus, a Female Value.  Individual efforts in a competitive marketplace promotes the individual and individual achievement.  "Collaboration" allows the consensus to take credit regardless of the efforts of the collaborating parties, and allows those parties plausible deniability to the point of escaping accountability.

The problem is that women see competition merely as a "fight for the top rung of the ladder", instead of the far more nuanced approach that men take.  Yes, ascending the hierarchy is a major goal, not because it grants you more power and resources (those are just gravy), but because it is proof of your competitive value.  Consensus and collaboration bleed achievement of its glory.  Being the author of a brilliant paper is outstanding . . . being one of seven authors of a brilliant paper is six-sevenths less outstanding.

The difference in approach is reflective of how men and women view such efforts in general.  Males value competition, because it allows them a means of distinguishing themselves among men which in turns attracts mating possibilities and social capital within the Male Social Matrix.  Females dislike being singled out for achievement, because within the Female Social Matrix women who achieve beyond the limits of consensus are singled out for attack by the rest of the crab-basket.  Women enjoy "collaboration" because it conceals the scope and quality of their individual work and allows them to hide within the collective collaboration.

Since when is position, prestige, money and power "irrelevant?"  That sounds like someone who has made it trying to convince her competitors that they can quit competing now because the game is over.  What Ms. Oelwang does not mention is that while "collaboration is queen" in the post-industrial economy, "competition is STILL King", and therefore more important.  Collaborate all you like . . . but your "collaborators" will not hesitate to use your collaboration as a weakness against you.  Cooperation is great, until the effort you spend in the cooperation becomes less than the value you receive from it.  Because at that point, you are essentially working for someone else, ala Tom Sawyer.

Remember when he got every boy in the neighborhood to collaborate on painting a fence?

Ms. Oelwang finishes with this inspiring call-to-action:

Those who join forces with others for far better outcomes will topple the ladders and build solid, equitable foundations for the emergence of a new way of living and doing business.
So women (and men) armed with these Gaia values are perfectly positioned to take on powerful leadership roles in this changing world order.

The future of successful business will incorporate these values and always do well by doing good. At Virgin Unite we've been calling this "Screwing Business as Usual." There has never been a better time and more critical need for women to embrace leadership roles and for all of us to embrace their Gaia.

This is where she essentially encourages everyone to abandon business practices that have been effective and efficient for centuries . . . because we'll feel better about things when we do.  While Ms. Oelwang is quick to point out that these "new" values are going to lead to a "new way of living and doing business", she fails to specify in any meaningful way why this should be the case . . . or whether or not it manages to achieve anything other than "feeling good".   And the last time I saw an organization who judged its success on whether or not everyone was feeling good was a kids' summer camp.

Major multinational corporations?  Not so much.

Ms. Oelwang and her compatriots can attempt to trumpet Female Values as superior in this new age and new economy, but they aren't making a compelling point for them.  At most she's putting it forward as "if you don't conform to this then the women in the workplace will throw rocks at you", hardly a compelling argument.

Its telling that the division of Virgin she leads is the . . . charitable division.  The place where Sir Richard Branson  makes himself feel better about his billions.  While philanthropic and charitable organizations are noble and important elements of the free market system, one can hardly call the same values and virtues that work with non-profits and export them to the "real" business world.   Female Values work great when the goal is to give money away.  When the goal is to MAKE money, however . . .

Just imagine a small company espousing these Female Values.  Say an advertising agency.

McWomann and Tate agency, a small competitor in a large market, wants to succeed.  Its female CEO wants to promote collaboration, openness, and "People matter" as proud mission statements.  That sounds great on paper, but . . .

. . . when artists and copywriters and other creative people on the payroll are told that their individual contributions to the project they're on will not be celebrated or rewarded, merely the team's collaborative effort, then the opportunity to distinguish oneself is gone.  The opportunity for individual merit and reward is gone.  The impetus for bringing your "A" game . . . gone.  In the end, Frank stops even going to the endless collaborative meetings and waits for the team "collaboration" to come up with a concept (even though he's got a good one . . . but he won't bring it because he knows in advance that the collaboration will get credit, not the individual).

. . . when Felicia starts to suspect that Frank isn't being fully forthcoming with the creative brilliance, due to the dilution of collaboration, she starts demanding to see his notes and sketches in the name of the female value of Openness.  She accuses Frank of holding out his best work.  Frank is understandably reluctant -- he  already brought sufficient work to the collaborative effort, more than others, perhaps.  He wants to keep his best stuff under wraps until it's well-developed and can be used to greatest effect . . . for his advancement.  Mindless devotion to consensus and collaboration, he knows, doesn't get you rewarded in business.  It doesn't get you promoted.  It doesn't get you noticed.  Being open about his work and his perspective would be working counter to Frank's goal of success.

. . . when Frank decides he wants a couple of supplementary sketches done up real quick, he goes over and asks Fred if he can knock 'em out real quick . . . in the spirit of "collaboration".  But Felicia gets wind of it and doesn't approve -- not when there's a bright young (female) intern, Francine, who is just itching for a chance at the big time and a chance to show up boring old Fred.  Felicia intervenes and hands off the work to Francine without telling Frank, because "people matter", and clearly Fred is trying to deprive Francine of opportunity, which hurts her feelings.  The fact that Francine can't work at Fred's level is immaterial; the fact that Fred's experience demonstrates he knows what the hell he's doing isn't valid.  The fact that Frank knows Fred knows EXACTLY what he wants, and will produce it in a timely manner, is unimportant compared to the feminine value that says Francine's position matters...even if she's been there for less than six months.

When you see feminine values such as openness, collaboration, and "people matter" being promoted at the expense of traditional, proven business values like competition and ambition (which just happen to be a lot like Male Values, for some reason), then beware.  Reconsider doing business with that firm.  Not because they're being run for women based on female values, but because they probably aren't going to be around very long.

Would you work for McWomann and Tate, knowing that you will never get a chance to shine?  As a dude, are you willing to submit yourself to the female value of the Crab Basket, with no one individual EVER rising above the others in any meaningful way without being snapped back?  Consider carefully.

The whole "the future of business is doing Good!" (with "good" being defined exclusively by female values) is highly misleading . . . and any young man who tries to seriously incorporate them into his career strategy in any real way does so at his peril, unless he's in a barbershop quartet.

Because that's the place where men find the most value in collaboration, openness, and people mattering.  

PS: If you haven't seen it yet, check out this month's Prefeminist Artist of the Month page on Coby Whitmore!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Girl Game: Extend An Invitation

Believe it or not, I’ve spent most of this last weekend thinking about women.

Specifically, the oft-mentioned frustration among Red Pill women who have recognized what kind of marriage they want to be in with their husbands, whose timidity and lack of ambition dry up panties regardless of their good intentions. 

It’s not that these dudes are duds, understand.  In almost every case they are good, decent, kind men who have dedicated themselves to their families and their wives.  It’s not that they lack devotion, understand – most are filled with good intentions and a deep-seated desire to succeed.  What they often lack is understanding: of their wives, of sex, of the nature of relationships, of the sophisticated interplay of sex and intimacy in a marriage, of themselves, their masculinity, and their own inner nature. 

Oftentimes these men have grown up cowed, with distant or absent fathers and strong, sometimes even domineering mothers.  They have been taught by society that their masculinity is a stain they must overcome, and they approach their duties as father and husband like penance, not a prize hard won. 

Their betacization may be very comfortable to them, as they have been accustomed over and over again to diminished expectations in their lives.  The passion and fire, the Alpha spark that attracted their wives top them in the first place, is buried within them like a high school achievement award long-forgotten in your sock drawer. 

These poor men struggle with the expectations of their wives and society at large, and often they see no way out.  Even if their wives are silently begging them to stand up, take charge, be the man of the family and take the helm as Captain, it is as if they are enshrouded in a murky cloud of self-doubt and suspicion wrought by a lifetime of fear.  Whether you blame feminism, absentee fathers, or the generally dismissive attitude toward Alpha masculinity our society has put forward in the post-industrial world, these men fear both rejection from their wives and families and condemnation by society if they show the backbone they need to.

So what can a Red Pill wife do to help him along? 

Firstly, she has to accept that she can’t do the work for him.  This is his journey.  You are a part of it, but ultimately it will be up to him to rise to the challenge.  And that sentence, right there, is the essence of the second thing, and the point of my post: the rediscovery of his masculinity is a serious challenge to him, as imposing as a physical obstacle or an emotional crisis.  And often the only constructive thing a wife can do seems to be encouraging him to rise to that challenge . . . without letting your disappointment and discouragement show through.

I’ve discussed this long and hard (giggity) with Mrs. Ironwood all weekend, and gotten some superb advice from my readers as well.  Many of them are struggling with just this problem. 

How can a wife encourage her husband to be more Alpha without sabotaging her own efforts by inspiring doubt and insecurity, not confidence and authority?

Mrs. Ironwood’s response was intriguing.  She reminded me of when we first met, that first heady year of infatuation where good and regular sex was making both of our hormones do crazy things.  Without even realizing it at first, we started vetting each other almost immediately.  I quickly established she couldn't cook, she enjoyed sex, she was socially adept, she enjoyed sex, she was a genuinely warm and trustworthy person and she enjoyed sex.  Of course I was fixated on the sex, but that other stuff came up in the afterglow.

But then she reminded me of a moment that I’d forgotten, a moment that she used as the kernel for her to wrap her efforts around.  I’d gotten my very first novel sale from my very first novel submission, and I was feeling cocky as hell.  I was still in college, after all.  That in and of itself was a pretty credible DHV, considering I was still waiting tables.  I might be a struggling artist, but I was a struggling artist with some real success behind me. 

That’s not what got to her, though, she revealed.  What convinced her that I had serious potential was the stack of rejection letters I’d wracked up attempting to sell my second, original novel.  By that point I’d gotten thirteen, and I was thrilled.  I showed them to her almost eagerly as proof that I was a “real” writer . . . I wasn’t just coasting on my sale, I was already moving on to the next project, and had plans for more after that.  I wasn’t a guy who wrote a book, I was an author with a career I was managing, a career for which I had already armed myself with considerable knowledge. 

But more than that, I displayed my passion for the work with those rejection letters.  My cocky self-assuredness that I’d sell lots more books, my anticipation of more rejection letters as I worked to find another sale, those were HUGE displays of raw Alpha confidence to Mrs. I.  When a man is dedicated to his vocation, she explained, it’s easy for him to talk about all of the great achievements and accomplishments he feels he will make.  But when a man is so focused on his career that he not only anticipates the inevitability of rejection and failure, but looks forward to it as a positive sign of growth, that man is one to be reckoned with. 

It was that stack of rejection letters that convinced her that I had Serious Potential.  That came as a bit of a shock to me. At the time I was just trying to brag enough to get laid. 

But Mrs. Ironwood saw it as something more.  Since a large part of her mating strategy at the time (thanks to her utter wreck of an ex) involved looking for a guy with real potential . . . and the ambition to realize it, she saw this as evidence of both.  The sale was great, she was impressed . . . but the hustle to keep pushing for success was far more impressive.  And the cocky way I cheerfully read her each of my rejection letters made her positively moist with appreciation.

She followed that up with a very physical demonstration of her esteem, and after that she made my writing career the one thing in which she made an universal effort to support and encourage me.  And by “support and encourage”, I mean wildly praise and wildly screw me at every sign of success as a means of positive reinforcement.

Seems to have worked.

The working theory that Mrs. Ironwood developed around this was: if you strongly encourage a man’s passion, and invite him to continue to succeed in that passion through consistent positive reinforcement, then he will naturally desire to follow that path as the path of least resistance.  And while delivering humpity goodness by the bucketloads is the core of that positive reinforcement, it involves many other aspects.  Bragging to her friends about me.  Talking to strangers about her brilliant husband the writer.  Openly and sincerely expressing her respect and admiration for me. 

Now I’m imagining that kind of apparently fawning devotion sickens the stomachs of some of my feminist readers.  I’m certain that most of those ladies are appalled at my apparent need to have my "delicate male ego" encouraged and catered to by my wife like I was a child.  The fact that you reduce it to those terms indicates your lack of understanding about how married people manage to stay married.

Mrs. Ironwood would not say she was particularly “submissive” in those days.  Hell, she was positively spunky, something which I was attracted to.  But she did understand male psychology well enough, and understood the role of a well-presented femininity in that context, to know that she actually had a lot of influence over me if she was careful enough to use it wisely.  She learned early on that I didn’t respond well to criticism (see: “nagging turns me on”), but she also learned pretty early how well I responded to bribes and positive reinforcement. 

She sees it as a subtle demonstration of the Art of femininity.  Just as a well-presented Alpha can use command presence and quiet authority to direct change, a woman can use the idea of the Invitation to elicit change.  The carrot, not the stick. 

Simply put, a way to quietly encourage a man toward a more Alpha presentation is to put him in situations in which you would like him to display Alpha, and then quietly invite him to do so without judgment or rejection.  That can be difficult for younger women especially, particularly if their mothers were single corporate feminists and raised them to see such expressions as a sign of weakness.  Too often an invitation from them turns into a shit-test.  And from women who have been in a troubled relationship for a while, such a passive sort of action seems counter-intuitive when you really just want to strangle him in his sleep.

But a woman’s strength in a marriage is usually not the ordering authority at which masculinity excels, but in her ability to inspire and encourage her husband while at the same time acting as a reasonable check and balance to his enthusiasm and occasional dumb-assery.  Mrs. Ironwood does not deliver ultimatums to our children, ordinarily.  She invites them to achieve and relates to them her reasonable expectations as well as her future delight in their accomplishments.  It’s a sign of her feminine grace that she doesn’t feel compelled to use threats to encourage proper behavior from them, she demonstrates both her hope (and eventual joy at its fulfillment) without dwelling over-much at the possibility of failure and her expectations and belief in their ability to do achieve. 

In retrospect, that was her M.O. all along and I just never realized it.  When I went to meet her father for the first time (on Father’s Day, no less), she did her best to prepare me for the reality of his alcoholism and his belligerence, and then invited me along to protect her.

Now, if she had led with “My dad’s a drunk asshole and might get violent when he sees me with another boy,” I might have had second thoughts and actually considered waiting in the car.  Had she been one of her contemporaries, she might have done just that.  But she was already certain that I was the one she wanted to marry (although she was still very willing to ditch me if we hit a dealbreaker - which impressed me) and even though she hadn't let me in on that fact, that’s how she was operating.

Instead she told me she’d like us to drop by to drop off her Father’s Day gift to her dad, and introduce me.   Then she put her hand on my arm, made sure she had my full attention, and spoke very softly but very confidently, saying something like this:

“It’s quite possible my dad has been drinking, and he has been known to get unpredictable and sometimes even violent when he does.  I hate to ask you, Ian, but would you mind walking me to the door and making certain things don’t get out of hand?  I’d be grateful.”

My masculinity surged at the invitation.  It had no innate assumption that I would, that I was obligated, that she was expecting me to do it.  She asked me, quietly and politely, to do one very specific thing – make sure things didn’t get out of hand.  

Yes, she was implicitly counting on the fact that I was a Big Hairy White Boy who was capable of doing violence.  And she knew from our short acquaintance that I was the kind of guy who indulges in chivalry from time to time.

But she did not act entitled to my protection, merely because she was a woman, or even because she was a woman I was dating.  We didn’t have much of a commitment at that point, and while we were still quite infatuated with each other the specter of dealbreakers loomed large.  

What impressed me was that she did not act from a sense of entitlement.  She did not assume my protection merely because I was a guy and we were dating, she actively solicited my assistance and protection.  She invited me to be her hero . . . and I ate it up like half-priced wings at Hooter’s.

Now, that same technique could have been used by a woman of lesser character to maneuver a dude into a dangerous situation for her own nefarious ends – I get that.  Hell, I’ve seen it happen.  I was certainly taking a risk in taking her up on her invitation – I’d confronted belligerent drunks in the past, but I was rarely fucking their daughter.  That put a unique spin on things.

Still, she made it clear that it was important to her, and she was going to go up there anyway, regardless what I did.  She told me that if I didn’t want to, she would understand – and I’m sure she would, she was very understanding.  At that point I was already quite fond of her, and the testosterone was certainly coloring my perspective.  She had enough dread of her father’s unpredictability to not want to inflict him on anyone.  If I had said “drunk and angry daddy?  No, thank you!”, it would have been completely cool.  For a while.

But the other thing I didn’t realize is that once Mrs. Ironwood had made up her mind that I had Serious Potential, and the vetting had begun, among the first tests she was forced to throw at me was this one.  She had to not only introduce me to her father in a proper context (Father’s Day), but in a way that minimized the possibility of conflict WHILE ALSO clearly establishing, to him, that she was no longer either his problem or his to protect.

Okay, perhaps that is a little devious, now that I write about it.  I prefer to chalk it up to “shrewd”, in retrospect.

She was serious enough about me to take this risk, and serious enough about me to see if I’d back her up if there was an issue.  She also told me – in advance – that she would be grateful, as part of the invitation.  You just gotta love a Southern girl.  

She never made any specific “if you do this I’ll lay you righteously later”, she merely invited me to participate in this exciting opportunity to get the shit beat out of me and impress her with my willingness to take a punch, the unmistakable subtext being that her gratitude would be expressed in the sincerest fashion a nineteen-year old girl with a new boyfriend knew how.

In turn, I was impressed with both her willingness to walk in there with or without me – I respect bravery – and the humility she displayed in her invitation.  She didn’t beg.  She didn’t try to coerce.  She just spelled it out sweetly, told me the general expectations, and then hinted at the potential consequences both good and bad.  I didn’t know shit about Alpha or Beta back then, but I knew that when a pretty girl asks you to protect her, and you know in advance that she puts out, it really simplifies the decision-making process.

I can see her extending other invitations over the years.  Most I took.  Some I did not.  Some were obvious shit-tests in disguise, and some of those I did anyway, because it was part of her vetting.  She put up with enough crap from me during our vetting so I don’t resent it, but part of the vetting was seeing how she would attempt to invoke my aid and cooperation.  She extended invitations, which I was free to accept or decline.  I could live with that.

Her willingness to invite me to do stuff – not just for her, but for the relationship or even for my friends, if I was reluctant – wasn’t selfish.  She didn’t order me around like a slave, or demand I do anything.  She didn’t drop ultimatums or challenge my manhood.  She just . . . invited.  With the scope of her expectations and her gratitude invoked at the start.  And if I did not accept the invitation, she might be disappointed, but she was always courteous about it.

(One of the tragic things that the post-industrial world has given us is not just an erosion of common civility, but a scarcity of simple politeness and honorifics that allow far more nuanced communication.  Some feel that basic politeness isn’t necessary between husband and wife, as the intimacy implied in the commitment should transcend such things.  In my experience, close acquaintance makes the use of politeness and manners essential, not optional, in a marriage.  If I’ve ever failed to ask “please” or say “thank you”, it has been entirely unintentional.  Normally it’s part of the Ironwood family culture for such elements to help soothe the friction that can result from normal wear-and-tear.  Even (or especially) my kids are included: even while they are being yelled at for destroying something irreplaceable and invaluable (and sometimes something that they’ve been assured “aw, the kids can’t hurt that!”), other adults remark how absolutely polite my kids are.  It actually weirds some parents out.  That’s just how we roll.  But I digress.)

There were also times in the depths of my Blue Pill daze, particularly when I was “between assignments”, when we both doubted my ability to actually make my career work out.  But to her great credit, she never voiced those concerns to me, or to anyone else to my knowledge.  And when my discouragement not just with my writing career, but my ability to get any sort of job became too much, she was universally supportive even if she wasn’t sure if she believed it.

Things got pretty frustrated on both sides, compounded with an ankle injury that led to a long stint on crutches/in a cast/in a wheelchair for her.  But as frustrated as she was, she almost never lost it and took it out on me.  Instead, when she saw that I was having problems, she would quietly invite me to help her do something that was actually designed to help me. 

It’s complicated, but in the depths of depression she found a way to re-ignite my passions and invite me to move forward.  She managed to inject me with hustle at some critical times not by telling me how desperate things were, but by telling me that she believed in me enough that she was certain that they were temporary.  She rarely nagged, never bitched, and always – always – respected me. 

So Mrs. Ironwood suggests to those women who are struggling with men trapped in Betaland that they consider trying to invite their husbands to take steps designed to allow his inner Alpha more room to run.  By using the simple feminine power of invitation, informed by expectation and backed by sufficient gratitude, a woman can encourage a man to take a few tentative steps towards the Captain’s chair. 

Consider this example: Mrs. Apple would really prefer Mr. Apple to get her a little more juiced by presenting more Alpha – more, she’d like to see him really take charge and handle things, now that they’re both fairly secure in their marriage.  But Mr. Apple is hesitant.  He’s been told all of his life that GOOD husbands don’t assert themselves and their male privilege in a marriage, because that’s WRONG and means he’s a bad person. 

He feels that deferring to Mrs. Apple is the only way to be happy in a marriage, and he accepts this because a) he’s been made to feel guilty for and ashamed about his masculinity and b) because it allows him to escape the accountability of traditional masculinity. 

Simply put, by constantly ceding the initiative to Mrs. Apple and letting her take the lead whether he agrees with how she’s doing things or not, Mr. Apple has a convenient scapegoat upon which to blame his mediocrity: his wife won’t let him.  He feels vindicated in his passivity because taking the risks that are implicit in leadership can and does lead to bruising, and by escaping leadership he can also escape fault and responsibility. 

That might be a safe strategy.  But it's not particularly manly.  And it's not a panty-dropper by any means.  She knows it, and deep down so does he.  By taking refuge in the Beta under the cover of a "co-equal relationship" and making his wife the leader in fact, if not in name, he thinks that her respect for his feminist principals and dedication to equality will improve her attraction.  In fact, he's clinging to that idea, because the alternative -- that he needs to Alpha up and show some leadership -- is just too darn scary.  It's too much work.  It's too dangerous, considering how quickly the womenfolk in his life are likely to jump on a sudden emergence of spine.

Worst of all, it might endanger his pussy supply, which he sees as a scarce quantity manifested within well-establish boundaries.  While he might not be thrilled with either the quality or quantity, he figures meager poon is better than no poon . . . and he can supplement with porn as needed.

It's not a bad life, for a Beta.  He's got about a 50/50 shot at seeing inertia overcome any regrets his wife might have that would lead to divorce, and those are pretty good odds in Vegas.  If he can distract himself with fantasy football, work, or other hobbies, and he isn't too into sex, being a Beta drone doesn't suck.  Not exactly a man's life, but compared to the living conditions throughout history, it's not bad.  While living in fear of your wife isn't pleasant, it beats being slaughtered in the meatgrinder of industrialized warfare or starving on a streetcorner or dying of something infectious.

But the Beta's poor wife, she struggles.  Whether she deals with the passive-aggressive nature of the marriage with any amount of grace or not is immaterial: what she actually got in her marriage was not what she envisioned at her Big Party.  She slowly loses respect in her husband even as she struggles to trumpet his feeble achievements.  Her frustration may turn to chiding and nagging, exacerbating the situation (most men will merely withdraw, their attention if nothing else) or it may turn into an increasingly-tacky number of shit-tests.  Neither route transforms him into the man of her dreams.  Worse, they both confuse things.

She wants the dependable, loving, empathetic provider, a man adept with comfort-building Beta skills.  But she craves the strong, decisive, resolute and protective Alpha male she reads about, sees in the media, and may even know in real life . . . and hubby ain't him.  Some days she wonders if they're even in the same species.  She desperately wants him to be that man, but at the same time she fears losing control of both him and the relationship.  Encouraging his Alpha is dangerous, after all.  That's why she wants it.  And fears it.  And wants him to intuitively understand that and manage to do that without pissing her off -- hell, by making her like it, even when she doesn't want to.

But when it actually happens, she reacts.  When he asserts himself and she senses losing control, she responds by tightening down.  He responds by clamming up.  Frosty times result.  Eventually, he caves, because he knows sex is out of the question until this is resolved.  Obsequious and allegedly romantic ass-kissing results, she knows she has to feign approval of his clumsy efforts or risk real problems, and a few mutually miserable weeks later she gets drunk and lets him tear one off before she passes out . . . thus rewarding him for his Betatude even while she despises it.

In the end, she ends up directing while trying to pretend that it's a union of equals.  Even when she tries to defer to her husband on an issue, even if it's a token "male" issue, he's reluctant to offer an opinion for fear of upsetting her.  So even while she might get things the way she wants them, the fact that she could not rely on him for input makes her dissatisfied with the process.  That triggers his fear response, and he piles on more obsequious Beta . . . precisely what she's finding objectionable.

So she ends up acting Captain without the title or the clout, while he avoids conflict and, increasingly, his chances at poon.  Mrs. Apple ends up telling Mr. Apple what he needs to do, even if she finds a nice way to do it without overtly emasculating him.  And if she's telling him, then there's no room for him to even try to show some Alpha leadership . . . because he feels like it's a trap.

So on top of Inviting your husband to take an active hand, you must reduce his Fear by assuring him that you will accept the consequences of that, no matter what they are, in advance . . . and then sticking to that.  You must convince him that you will not second-guess, criticize, undermine, or otherwise attempt to re-take control once you have ceded it, except in the most dire situations.

And yes, you should prepare yourself for much teeth-gritting and patience as he stumbles through the idea that he is in charge the first few times.  Because no one gets bitten by a radioactive pit bull and turns into Alpha Man.  With rare exceptions, they have to learn it the hard way, like Bruce Wayne did, one painful mistake at a time.

That's the downside of encouraging Alpha, Ladies: your newly-strong and passionate man may not always do things the way you want.  And you have to not only accept that, you have to be open to it.  You have to be willing to accept the consequences of his leadership, even if they suck.

This is especially difficult if you have spent most of your adult life on your own, and have a low threshold for incompetence.  One flash of impatience and you tear the wheel out of his hand and you've ruined the entire effort.  It's also difficult if you have standards so rigid  for how things should be done that you are unwilling to entertain an alternative to something you know is just more efficient or otherwise preferable.  Just because you know how you do it, that doesn't mean that you know how he does it, and his way might be . . . different.  You have to bite your tongue and let him make mistakes without criticism and judgement, unless he solicits it.  If he does solicit it, do your best to be a diplomatic and helpful First Officer, but do not hand him the answers . . . and don't criticize him or the process.

Above all, YOU MUST NOT PANIC, JUMP IN, AND TAKE THE WHEEL BECAUSE YOU THINK HE'S SCREWING IT UP.  Unless the boat is going over a waterfall, you must not only accept the inevitability of his "screwing up", you must allow him the room to do so without condemning him.  Point out that you're sorry things didn't go as planned, if you must, and offer him some quiet encouragement to marshal his resources and rethink through the problem . . . but don't offer to solve it and don't tell him he's an idiot for not solving it.

It's a confidence thing.  And Betas have a long, hard road back to Alpha levels of confidence ahead of them.  Think of it as a sandcastle that they're building, one grain of sand at a time.  Until it's large enough to withstand it's own weight, it will be a fragile thing.  In order to improve his confidence in his own leadership, you must express your confidence in his leadership even if you have your doubts.  And you will -- you'd be stupid not too.  But an expression of confidence in his ability to -- eventually -- handle the situation helps remove some of the "crippling fear of judgement" element.

Next, you have to clearly and simply state your Expectations.  No, really.  Don't beat around the bush, don't hint, use innuendo or subtlety - the time for that is past.  Such hints only confuse him about what you actually want - remember, he isn't another woman.  He doesn't use multi-channel communication, he has a purely analog mind for these purposes.  If you don't tell him what the desired goal is, at least one aspect of it that he can hang on to, then he's going to be confused and hilarity will ensue.

Consider: When you tell your dude "I really wish you would be more romantic", in so many words, he has no freaking clue what you really mean, so you end up with flowers and chocolate and dinner . . . which is all very nice and regular and cliched and boring and not at all what you really meant.  What you really meant was "I want you to pay me some close, personal attention in a stimulating environment in a way that leads to emotional intimacy, growing affection, and sexual excitement, making me feel important and loved and lucky to be with you."

Sure, "romantic" is short-hand for that . . . to women.  But most non-Game dudes cling to the safety of chocolate/flowers/dinner/diamonds because that's all they know of romance.  So spell out your expectations without handing him the answers.  Let him know what would make you happy, but don't be so specific that it turns into a shopping list, not an opportunity for leadership.

Lastly, you have to dangle the Incentive in front of him.  It doesn't have to be sexual (that's just the simplest and most basic incentive), you can actually give him meaningful reward merely by verbally paying him some respect.  Mrs. Ironwood assures that the best results come when you leave the exact nature and means of the incentive vague and nebulous, with the understanding that it will be commiserate with the effort and the achievement.  But she also cautions that bait-and-switch tactics undermine the very confidence you are trying to inspire.  If you imply that "very grateful" is somehow sexual, then you follow through.  If you imply that the pay off will be in admiration and respect, then it has to be verbal and (if possible and appropriate) delivered publicly.

(ALPHA BUFF: Ladies, quick-and-dirty way to up your fella's Alpha instantly without him even realizing it?  Call him out for effusive but reasonable praise in front of a group of people -- friends, family, even in-laws he doesn't like.  Men get a surge of Alpha from both respect and loyalty, and your public recognition and admiration are just the kind of cheap trick that can put a little more Tarzan into Saturday nights.  Just sayin'.)

Once you have Invited him to take up the challenge, removed the fear of judgement, assured him of your approval (even if its just for the effort) and gratitude, invoked your confidence in him, and presented the lure of a grateful incentive then . . . you just have to sit back and wait. 

That's the hard part, for two reasons: firstly, because some guys are so mired in Beta that you might have to repeat this two or three times before he gets it.  Secondly, because sitting around and waiting for the Alpha to sprout can be maddeningly frustrating.

You can mitigate this by starting with small things, low-hanging fruit.  For example, if you tell him "I've got the last weekend of the month free . . . I want to go away together.  Just the two of us.  Would you please make the arrangements? Whatever you pick will be fine, I just want to go someplace.  Surprise me, but let me know what kind of clothes to pack about a week beforehand, so I'll be ready.  I'm confident you'll find somewhere intriguing to go," then that gives you everything on the list:

1. Invitation ("Would You Please Make The Arrangements?")
2. Expectation ("I Want To Go Away Together For The Weekend")
3. Removal of Fear ("Whatever You Pick Will Be Fine")
4. Assurance of Approval/Inspiration of Confidence ("Surprise Me . . . I'm Confident You'll Find Somewhere Intriguing")
5. Incentive ("Just The Two Of Us" [giggity])

And that's the proper way to extend an invitation to a dude.

One of three things will happen.

a) He ignores you completely.

b) He makes a tepid stab at it, but folds and asks you for advice and more information.

c) He stumbles a bit, but manages to find someplace that technically fulfills your expectations, even if the details are, perhaps, not what you envisioned.

d) Free of restrictions and constraints, he will pick an extraordinary getaway destination that truly surprises you.  Mad wet panties as a result.

So how do you deal with each of these situations?  That comes under Follow-Through.  It varies according to his response, and should be tailored to the situation, but in general if he ignores you, you should repeat yourself at least once, without prejudice.  If he ignores you twice, then proceed to the Direct Approach:

Grab both of his hands suddenly.  Sit him down in a chair.  Crawl into his lap until you are straddling him.  Grab his face.  Kiss him for no less than ten seconds straight.  Use tongue.  Make moany noises.  Continue until you feel the bulge rise under your booty.  Break the kiss.  Say,

"Now, do I have your complete and undivided attention?"  Wait for positive response.  Then repeat the original Invitation.

He will probably pick up on it the second time.

In the case of b), a variation of the Direct Approach is called for.  Repeat all the steps up to the dialog.  Substitute:

"If I wanted to make the arrangements, I would have made the arrangements.  I wanted you to make the arrangements.  So make the arrangements.  There are no wrong answers.  As long as I don't end up at a gun show or a NASCAR rally, and it's someplace no one can hear you scream, we're good.  Don't overthink it, just do it."  Repeat kiss.  Walk away and wiggle your ass.

Then be prepared for a lusty weekend at a Collard Greens festival or such, because yeah, he's probably going to screw it up.  It doesn't matter.  He tried.  He made an effort.  If the result sucks scissors, you must still reward the effort.  One more grain of confidence to his pile.  In case of c), your best bet is to utterly ignore the quirky-to-abysmal conditions and focus on the "Just The Two Of Us" element.  Yes, you should still hump him silly, because sexual positive reinforcement works with dudes like bells with slobbery dogs.

But afterwards, when you do comment on it, keep your criticism light and suggestive ("Maybe next time we could try the hotel without the chalk line silhouettes in the room -- it looked like they had a salad bar!") without bringing him down.  Make sure to thank him for the effort and assure him that you not only had some fun on the little adventure, that you appreciate all of his hard work and efforts to make it happen.  Then screw him again when you get home, just to emphasize the point.

If you get option d) you are a very lucky woman.

If he absolutely blows you away, and you find yourself having lunch in Paris, singing a duet with your favorite pop star, or sampling champagne while a horse-drawn carriage drives you down to the two-masted sailboat your husband has hired to whisk you away to the Bahamas overnight, then you have struck Prime Husband.  Fuck him rotten upon arrival.  Blow him like it's prom night.  Seriously consider anal.  Offer to get a tramp-stamp tattoo of his name.  Think about a threesome with a $1000 a night hooker.  Dress up in a schoolgirl outfit and put your hair in pigtails.  Compose an ode to his penis.  You do everything in your power to make him feel manly, mighty, and truly Alpha.

And before you know it . . . he'll start acting truly Alpha.  Because nothing incites the ambition for Alpha like getting righteously laid by a stone freak that you just happen to be married to.  Success breeds confidence, and to dudes nothing makes you more confident than successful breeding.  If he manages Option D, then you start thinking up shit to do to him you've only heard about on the internet.  That kind of positive reinforcement is just the feedback his masculine soul needs to give him the desire to be the kind of man you want him to be.

After a couple of slow balls, you can consider upping the ante . . . but don't push him too far or too fast.  Slowly but surely extend him invitations to act, and then persuade him that it is in his interest to accept them.  Pick things you know are well within his scope, at first, before getting too challenging.   Don't expect him to go full Picard the first time, but gradually increase the difficulty of the challenges and the richness of reward.

And if you think using sex as an incentive is somehow cheap, demeaning, or an insult to your femininity and individual independence . . . grow the fuck up.  You're married, you aren't in high school anymore.  Sex for romance, intimacy and love is for the infatuation stage the honeymoon, and vacation sex.  When you're married, sometimes you have sex because that's what married people do.  It isn't always about your personal feelings on the subject.

Believe me, your husband swallowed his personal feelings when he suffered through all of those bridal shows and your sister's piano recital.  He's bought tampons for you against his inclination.  He's done plenty of stuff he wasn't into, for the sake of the marriage.  If you suffer from the illusion that all good sex is an intimate and erotic expression of love, then you don't need to be married.  Married sex is like a huge box of chocolates: there's plenty of variety, and every now and then you'll come across something you just don't like, but it's only candy.  There will always be another piece in the box.  And you know that caramel praline you've been craving is hiding out there, somewhere . . .

One of the dramatic misconceptions that has arisen out of the feminist-influenced Sexual Revolution is that if every sexual experience in marriage is anything less than a magical intimate gestalt of emotion, spirit, and pleasure, then the wife is being cheated somehow.  The fact is, in marriages that last (that is, non-feminist-oriented ones) there's plenty of mediocre sex.  For both parties.  That's what you are signing up for.  If you can't handle that, then don't get married and stay on the carousel.

The trade-off is that when it's good, married sex is REALLY fucking good, because you can do things with your wife of 20 years that you couldn't even consider proposing to a woman half her age.  While the dude who goes out and puts 10 notches on his post in a month with his exotic harem of FBs and ONS is seen as a successful player by any reasonable standard, the fact is he only has sex 10 times in a month.  That's just barely the married average.  While he's struggling mightily to break new ground and add another notch, a married couple can go through foreplay, intercourse, and afterplay before he's found the first likely prospect of the evening.  And an hour later, they can do it again.

Married sex might be mediocre on average, but in a Red Pill marriage, it's plentiful with occasional flashes of brilliance.  If a dude has good Married Game and can juggle the Alpha/Beta skillset skillfully enough, then the opportunities for such flashes go up as his woman becomes more inspired.  If a dude is trapped in Betaland, he requires an invitation to escape before he can find his Alpha.  An invitation to lead.  An invitation to be the kind of man you know he has the potential to be, and the kind of man he wants to be.

But he has to accept the Invitation in the first place.  He might be reluctant to, so keep it simple.  Repeat the offer, if you must, but extend the Invitation to follow his masculinity and find his Alpha.  And then hump him righteously as a reward.