Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Y'all may have noticed I haven't been posting like clockwork lately.  This is due to several things: work deadlines, Papa Ironwood's amputation, building a deck/ramp for his house, and me grinding away at the Manosphere book to try to make my self-imposed deadlines.  It's not that I've not been writing, you see, just that I'm saving it up for the big Happy Ending in the form of a book.
But Hallowe'en (Samhain, pronounced "saw-win", not "sam-hane") is a big deal for My People.  Most American Neo-Pagan households (Conservative Christians may begin scowling disapprovingly now) celebrate the day as one of the high holy days of the all-important religious calendar, second only to the fertility festival, Beltaine.  It's a day devoted to honoring the spirits of our departed ancestors, all of those who went before us to contribute to our current family gene pool.  It's the time of year when the Veil between the worlds is thinnest, according to Celtic tradition.  Kind of like "Dia de los Muertos" without the accordion music.  Plus, my kids being thoroughly invested in the Great Candy Give-away, there will be trick-or-treating aplenty, as well.

This isn't a stern and disapproving lecture on how Christianity usurped our holiday, or how drunken costume parties and candy corn are ruin the real spirit of Hallowe'en, or even me railing against unfair religious stereotypes.  The fact is, Hallowe'en has been adopted by much of adult America as a time to dress up sexy and explore role-playing fantasies and/or anonymous sexual hookups.  At this point, just about everyone has a sexy Hallowe'en story, or at least a fantasy.

But this isn't entirely a recent phenomenon.  The roots of it go back at least sixty or seventy years, when the Sexy Witch was a staple of the month of October for pin-up cheesecake calendars, and crazy fun costumes are always a sexy hoot.  So to celebrate the season, here's some Pumpkin Cheesecake . . . with plenty of perky pumpkins and maybe even a patch or two.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Free To Be . . . A Man.

I can pinpoint, almost to the day, when I started chugging Blue Pills in my youth.  It was the day I saw Free To Be You And Me in elementary school, back in the 1970s.  It was the pro-feminist brainchild of Marlo Thomas, a project of the Ms. Foundation for Women, and it was designed to make everyone feel it was okay to be different things: girls could be construction workers, boys could be nurses and carry dolls, black kids and white kids could play together, etc.  The basic concept was to encourage post-60s gender neutrality, promoting values such as individuality, tolerance, and comfort with one's identity (as long as you were a girl or a gay guy). A major thematic message was that anyone—whether a boy or a girl—can achieve anything.  But mostly girls.  It was notable for catchy pop tunes and lyrics, and for having the (young and black) Michael Jackson, Mel Brooks, Alan Alda, Diana Ross, and Rosey Grier, among other stars.  Rosey told us "it's all right to cry".  I was cool with that.

I was also cool with the emphasis on boys looking forward to being fathers, and encouraging them to think of child care and interaction with their future kids as positive male things (okay, "positive things", they essentially downplayed the whole "male" idea).  But the subtext was clear: dudes will enjoy being good fathers to their kids, and it's something that you should look forward to.  And I did.  It made me use fatherhood as one of my prime motivating factors in searching for a bride, and I had and continue to have a very close relationship with all of my kids, just as my Dad did with his sons.  That's not where I take issue with the program.

I take issue with the program because it was loaded with anti-masculine imagery and took the approach that, basically, all things patriarchal were evil and oppressive, and all things feminist were inherently good.  It told me, in other words, that I was Free To Be pretty much anything in the world I wanted . . . except a masculine Man.

I can see trying to move past Agricultural Age stereotypes that no longer fit the socio-economics of the post-War period, much less the coming Post-Industrial period.  I mean, after Rosie the Riveter it was damn hard to make a case that women were incapable of working most of the same jobs as men, and the post-war need for expansion and industrialization almost required a doubling of the existing pre-war workforce, just to keep the paper moving.

But Free To Be You And Me fucked me up.  Bad.  It taught me that it WAS NOT OKAY to be a "boy", that MEN were universally overbearing and insensitive jerks whose only role was to dictate and oppress, and that my ONLY HOPE for moral and social acceptance in this brave new plastic world was to hand my testicles over to Marlo and forget I ever had them.

Because that's what FTBYAM represented to me: a clear choice between whether to become a feared and hated MAN, or a gentle and caring boy who eschewed violence and oppression in favor of fat-free yogurt and kittens.  FTBYAM probably contributed the most to my fucked-up ideas about women and men.  Because while Marlo And Friends were singing about how you could be anything you wanted when you grew up, I was looking around me at the time (mid-70s) and seeing that what most boys and girls apparently wanted to be when they grew up was DIVORCED.

FTBYAM made me ashamed of my gender, ashamed of my culture, ashamed of my history.  It made me ashamed of my father for not deferring to my mother in all things.  It gave all the credence the young feminist teachers in charge of me needed to castigate me for the slightest boyish infraction.  It gave all my young feminist peers all the ammunition they needed to not just reject me, but call me "creep" and other male-bashing tripe, and the sad fact was that if I reported them, it was I who got sent to the Principal's office.

Any attempt at asserting any kind of "traditional" masculinity was stomped on (by the younger teachers -- the older ones still remembered Segregation, they had other issues).  The younger teachers, the ones with feminist fervor in their eyes, seemed to delight in correcting a boy if he said he wanted to be a fireman or a policeman or a soldier or a race car driver, telling him instead that it was perfectly okay to be a nurse or a daycare provider instead.  Funny, she didn't mention the wonderful starting salaries of those perfectly okay positions, or how to raise a family on them.  The subtext was clear: such passively Beta, overly-feminized career choices were the only ones they were going to promote.  To boys.

The fact is, FTBYAM may have promoted "freedom", but in the process to make children who were "unencumbered by stereotypes", FTBYAM ended up merely creating new ones: the timid Beta (and soon to be divorced) dad, the overbearing Alpha (soon-to-be-step) dad, the successful marital "partnership" that was about as useful a guide to actual marriage as a bicycle manual is to a carp, the "empowered" young woman who could do anything, the "understanding" young man who was expected and obligated to let her do anything, and absolutely no room within the feminist pantheon for a dude who wanted to be free to be a dude.  You took the Blue Pill or you got kicked out as a troublemaker.  Period.

I bring this up today because I read over at HuffPo a lovely little post from Marlo about bullying.

You see, bullying is what happens when one kid is mean to another kid, and it really is a bad thing.  My son has been bullied.  My daughter has been bullied.  Both have witnessed severe bullying.  And it's clear that, for some individuals, the emotional strain of bullying is too much.  Pointless suicides or runaways have resulted from bullies and inattentive parents.  I have to agree with Marlo, this is a majorly important topic to discuss with our kids.

But the irony is killing me.

Thanks to FTBYAM and its clones, adherents, and attitudes, I and thousands of boys like me were institutionally bullied by feminists throughout our childhoods.  Our schools and our teachers were working with the intention of removing the dangerous "masculine" characteristics that might interfere in the feminist paradigm -- say, like getting married and wanting your wife to stay at home with the kids, or pursuing a "typical" and "traditional" male career path that might block some enterprising young woman from having that job.  FTBYAM epitomized feminism's subtextual message to men: YOU ARE USELESS AND EVIL AND IN OUR WAY.  

Not "equality", not "level playing field", regardless of their intentions the result was a generation of self-loathing boys who resented girls and women for their perceived privileges  even as we felt powerless and at the mercy of the whims of the adult women in our lives.  Moms who didn't give a damn what you thought about your new step-dad after a hypergamous divorce.  Teachers who -- no lie -- told my six-year-old brother Lester in kindergarten that "it doesn't matter if your mommy and daddy love each other, they're just going to end up divorced".  (That fucked Lester up for decades.) Neighborhood ladies, mostly divorced themselves, who kept trying to give my mother good reasons to leave my dad even though they admired his fathering skills (he was the only intact father in the neighborhood) and discouraged her from getting us boys involved with Scouting because it was "sexist".

And then there was school.  Female, feminist teachers who "lost" my applications for special programs, or failed to recommend me or other male students for honors in favor of girls.  If it hadn't been for my History teacher, bless her heart, I never would have won my first essay contest.  My English teacher was a feminist who told me, to my face, that despite the fact that my essay was chosen blindly (no names or other identifying characteristics) that the school didn't feel comfortable submitting so many boys and not enough girls.  So out of the five boys and two girls who were selected locally, one boy and two girls were recommended by her.  But my History teacher didn't like her, she did like me, and she recognized talent.  She submitted me on her own and I won.

And then there was the feminist guidance counselor in high school who desperately tried to use my boyish teenaged angst as leverage to get me to go to a small private liberal arts college instead of the local, internationally-known public research university nearby I favored because (as I found out later) her gender-based numbers were off: she had too many boys were going to big State and technical universities, while too many girls were going into the small liberal arts colleges and "traditionally female" schools.  She went so far as to call my folks and try to persuade them that I'd be "better off" someplace less challenging.  Of course, if that meant that another woman could take up my spot at the university, that was just gravy, but . . .

The upshot is that between my third grade year, when we had a school-wide assembly featuring FTBYAM, and my first year of college, I and my brothers were subjected to what can only be described as pervasive, gender-based institutional bullying.  And we did tell our parents.  And they did complain.  And no one cared one bit, because we were merely male.

FTBYAM was followed up with Free To Be A Family, which took the anti-masculine bias of FTBYAM and mixed it with some massive rationalizations about how much fun it was to be a kid from a divorced household.  In Marlo's own words, "I also wanted to dispel the idea that there is such a thing as a "broken" family. A family is a place that you come home to where people love you and support you and miss you and can’t wait to find out what you did today."

Well, that's great . . . except it was directly counter to the experiences we were having in the 1980s, when she was promoting the Murphy Brown, UMC Professional divorcee ideal of family and we were seeing kids our age becoming alcoholics because of the stress divorce, hypegamy, infidelity, and all the other wonderful hallmarks of feminism brought us.  Oh, what bounty!  My friend Marty shot himself at 17 because his mother had refused to let him even lay eyes on his father in three years.  My friend Chris had four step-dads in five years and eventually got into heroin.  My friends Mark and Tony were exiled to the shed in the back yard so their new stepsisters could each have their own room (in defense, it was a very nice shed).  Their sisters went to college, their mom and step-dad paying for it all.  Tony went to one semester of community college his grandmother paid for, and then joined the Army, and Mark ended up working retail for decades because their step-dad didn't want to pay for some other man's kids' college . . . and didn't think his wife should either (she felt it was more important to give the girls a head-start, since life was "against them" just because they were women).

Families in the 1980s were a post-apocalyptic disaster, and worrying about whether or not a kid felt "accepted" by his peers for his family life was laughable.  We were all just trying to survive the feminist-inspired wave of "I'm not HAAAApppy!" divorces, or the mid-life crises-inspired cheating that wrecked our families.  Kids in general, to the Baby Boomers who fueled the idealistic and unrealistic FTBYAM and FTBAF, were accessories and status symbols, mere points of contention in a divorce settlement and a useless and ungrateful waste of child-support money -- believe me, we knew that.  We got told that by our culture every day.

Especially if you were a boy, the consensus opinion of the women in your life (and in popular culture) was that you were either effeminate and ineffectual to the point of terminal Betatude (which they despised but accepted) or that you were an angry, violent male chauvinist intent on perpetuating the oppressive nature of the Patriarchy and therefore merited their disgust.  And if you tried to claim to be the former, they did everything but demand you castrate yourself before they'd admit it.

FTBYAM and FTBAF taught two generations of boys to loathe themselves and hate their own gender.  It taught us that that women were smarter than men, women were better than men, that women had better promise and better sense than men, and -- most importantly -- women were just more important than men . . . and particularly young men who weren't even cute boys anymore.  Yech.

By the time my generation hit our teenage years, crawling into a popular culture of disaffected youth and wailing androgyny was all we could do to survive this pervasive, intentional attack on masculinity.  The institutional bullying by "tough, smart, independent women" in our public and private institutions, not to mention the culture at large, taught us to fear women, not trust them in the slightest, and it didn't do a damn thing to make us less resentful.  It just showed us that, for men, feminism was about revenge and suffering, not about equality and fair play.  We could take a look around at the social carnage of divorce and hum a few bars of one of the songs with tragic irony and KNOW that it was bullshit . . . but bullshit that was Industry Standard.  The families we saw were chaotic messes who mostly just argued, drank, fought, and went to counseling until it was time for a divorce.  Few of the kids I knew ever had a place that you come home to where people love you and support you and miss you and can’t wait to find out what you did today."  That was a sick fantasy, compared to what was actually happening to "family" in America in the 1980s.  Mostly their parents yelled at them about homework, asked them pointless questions and didn't wait to hear the answer, and then went off on their own little head-trips about their own failing relationships.

Of course there's been a lot of water under the bridge since then.  We've had two generations of catastrophic hypergamic divorce to look back on, two generations of weekend-or-absent dads, two generations where men didn't feel comfortable trying to talk to their sons at all, lest they be accused of "spreading sexism".  The original children of divorce have overcome the stigma enough to rack up three or four divorces and step-families of their own, now.  The Patriarchy has well and truly fallen, and now only the Puerarcy remains.  Two generation of anti-social Betas too battered by feminist combat dating and no firm social rules has had an effect someplace other than the Glass Ceiling.  I have seen Scout troops filled with boys from single-mom homes, and gosh, they didn't look nearly as happy, secure and fulfilled as those from two-parent households.

Because almost thirty years after Free To Be, we can measure its results, and those results are mixed at best.  While it's true that you have empowered, intelligent, highly-motivated young women willing to devote a decade and a half of their best reproductive years to climbing the corporate ladder, at the end of that climb they discover that their reproductive options (what we use to call "husbands") don't want a thing to do with them.  Feminists may make decent bosses and great co-workers, but they make cruddy wives and mediocre mothers, with a few notable exceptions.

You can chalk up at least a bit of the "marriage gap" (the age at which couples get married for the first time -- it was about 19 in 1960, it's 28 and rising here and now) to women focusing more on career interests . . . but you can explain a lot more of it if you consider that the dudes out there just don't want to get married at all, anymore, and particularly not to women who are more concerned with corporate bonuses than childcare.  Dads (and potential dads) are, indeed, a lot more involved and sensitive to their reproductive issues today (thanks, feminism!), and because of that those men who do put thought and effort into their fatherhood, including good wife selection, wouldn't marry a feminist on a bet.  The likelihood of catastrophic failure is just too high, especially when there are plenty of better options out there.  Foreign brides, "traditional" girls, or women who see themselves as mothers and (gasp!) wives rather than employees or competitors are all better bets than your average feminist, for the men of America.

(Free To Be . . . A Spinster!)

As for me, I'm going to take Marlo's advice: I'm going to be Free.  To be.  Free to be . . . a Man.  A big, hairy, thoughtful, considerate Patriarch far more concerned about my children's emotional welfare than whether or not my daughter can make partner before she's 30.  A Man, unafraid of women and disdainful of feminist shaming rhetoric.  A Man who understands that violence, power, money, and ingenuity are all tools at my disposal, not reasons to loathe who I am.  A Man who feels no shame at looking and lusting at women for fear of offending their "rights" not to feel afraid of me.

I was afraid of women for thirty years.  Female fear is just not a high priority for me.

But, thanks to Marlo, I'm Free.  Free to Be.

I'm free to be a Man who takes a wife (who knows and understands that "wife" doesn't mean "equal and temporary domestic partner", but WIFE) and raises his kids without fearing Marlo's ire.  A Man who feels no pity at the struggle of young women trying to find a job in this economy because there was damn little pity demonstrated to me during the last economic recession    I'm free to be a Man who can stick his tongue out at the gigantic shit test that is feminism and ignore it, because it just isn't working for me anymore (and, I see, it never really was).  I'm free to be a Man who doesn't feel compelled to sacrifice the futures of my sons in order to elevate my daughter's.  Sure, they're free to be whatever the hell they want . . . but they also understand that that freedom is dependent, partially, on their accepting my guidance, or they'll be free to slug it out on their own. I'm free to be a Man who delights in the sight of naked boobs and the hum of precision machinery, who doesn't consider the expression of my sexuality an attack on femininity, who demands respect -- yes, demands it -- or I won't play anymore.

And that's where Marlo And Friends really went wrong for half of the audience they were shooting for.  They managed to inject the idea of gender-free economic and social empowerment, but they did so in such a way that promoted the active and willful disrespect of masculinity and male authority.  And while that would make any real feminist cream her jeans just hearing about, the sad, Red Pill fact is that when you promote disrespect for masculinity in a culture, you do not automatically increase respect for femininity.  You just get a lot of sullen, pissed-off, uninvested men who can't wait until the feminists are out of the room so that they can tell that joke.

And a lot of strong, independent, empowered women who can't get two dates in a row with the same dude, much less a commitment, a ring, or a family.  Women who traded in their reproductive future and betrayed their genetic destiny for the promise of a respect that never was fulfilled.  Those poor women, thanks to feminism, are Free To Be single for the rest of their lives and die alone, childless, and unloved by men.  They get to stamp their feet in rage as the dudes they once dated and tried for years to get to commit end up getting married to much younger women (often in a matter of months) from the Philippines or Korea or Brazil or Siberia and start popping out kids like it's double coupon day.  These strong, independent women who were told there would be PLENTY of dudes waiting for them when they were done Being Free To Be are now realizing, to their horror, that they've been sold a bill of goods.  They're Free To Be a corporate drone with a vagina that's increasingly losing the attention she craves and increasingly getting frustrated at all of the guys who are just not real damn impressed with how well they've done.

But that's okay, Ladies.  Because it's all right to cry.  We should know.  We've been doing it behind your backs since 1974.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Real "Happily Ever After"

It’s rare that I run across anything Red Pill friendly over at HuffPo, but  the other day I came across a very telling post from a blogger, Martha Lyles.  She is essentially writing a letter to herself, from her modern perspective as a wife and mother and grandmother to the 20 year old woman she was, who was so excited about her Big Party.  Ironically, this was in the “Religion” section, not the “Women”, “Weddings” or “Divorce” sections (and note there is no “Men” section...and the Democrats wonder why more men don't vote for them...) It’s entitled “Letter To A Young Bride After 43 Years Of Marriage”, and it’s a wonderful retrospective on her marriage (as opposed to her “wedding”).

 I’ll let you read the whole thing – it’s quite poignant – but there is one quote I want to hone in on:

“...The same goes for being a wife. You'll marvel at Dick's unswerving commitment. You'll learn to put him first and -- believe it or not -- you'll delight in doing so. You'll see your role as his helpmate and cheerleader. You'll pack his bags for business trips, tucking love notes under ties. You'll view all the joys in your life as gifts from above, like the six wide-eyed, rosy-cheeked grandkids who clamor for your cookies and your kisses. And you'll sense, time and again, the grace conferred in your wedding Mass sustaining you as husband and wife.”

Religious sentiment aside for a moment, consider the perspective: “You’ll learn to put him first and – believe it or not – you’ll delight in doing so.”

This is not, as you might think, a “see, I toldya so!” about male dominance in a relationship.  This is a “see, I toldya so!” about how you don’t get divorced.

It's also a glimpse into the real, Red Pill reality of Happily Ever After (HEA), the romantic nirvana that inspires romance novels, mommy porn, and soap operas.

When you want to study how to do something, the two areas you focus on are “successes” (to establish a base-line metric) and “failures” (to determine how deviations from protocol derail successes).  Athol spent a considerable time in marriage forums preparing for his book, and if you have to then you can see how learning from other people's failures can be valuable for avoiding hasty divorce.  However, if you want to know how to keep your marriage going, it's a good idea to not just focus on the failures but spend some time looking at successes to inform your marital toolkit.

After all, what is a “successful marriage”?  Certainly, one in which you aren’t getting divorced has to be held as a basic standard.  That doesn’t mean that your marriage is a success if you aren’t divorced, it just means that it’s “failing”, not “failed”.

When women in their youth begin to form their True Love inspired Happily Ever After fantasy, it rarely includes things like packing suitcases for their husband’s business trips or struggling through childbirth alone while your husband is on deployment.  Or the ugly reality that is early childhood development.  For many modern young women, the idea of “having kids” is so abstract and glamorized and sanitized for them by our culture that they don't understand the level of involvement necessary to keep them from becoming willfully ignorant drains on society.

To young women today, it's as if children were a status symbol, not a new life, merely an option like a new car with leather interior, and not a life-long personal commitment.  They are allured by the feminist ideal of “equality” and "equal opportunity", which means that they see family and children (and eventual divorce and remarriage) as part of the expected checklist -- and their dedication to "equality" means they expect that whatever poor Beta chump they marry will handle all the details.  (Or, conversely, that she will marry well enough to have servants to care for them like her favorite celebs.)  "Happily Ever After" is a gauzy  vague cloud of ill-defined bliss that follows the Honeymoon to them, the natural and inevitable conclusion to "True Love".

But True Love, Red Pill style implies a host of boring, mundane, petty little compromises that do little to empower you as a woman or see you reach “your full potential” in the feminist sense.  I recently read another screed at HuffPo (not important enough to hunt down the quote) about how Michelle Obama shouldn’t have said “Being a Mother is my most important job”, because that put too much pressure on everyone to reproduce and emphasize their children over their career elements.   She offered instead “Being a Woman is my most important job”, with motherhood and relationships and such secondary to her solipsistic “all about me” perspective.  She didn’t even mention a husband, except as an annoyance that got in her way.  Motherhood, to feminism, is a bother, a needless distraction away from the self-indulgent achievement-based Matrix climb for fame, cash and prizes. 

And the term “wife” is anathema to feminists.  When a feminist reflexively uses the term, it’s almost apologetic.  “Husband” is often used with a proud sense of ownership, like she just got a great lease on a car, but a feminist woman rarely describes herself as a “wife” unless she’s in trouble.  And a feminist has very little, if any, ideological instruction on being a wife save how to end the practice.   Feminism celebrates divorce and punishes success when it comes to marriage.

Now, if you’re a long-term carousel rider with a fat trust fund, then sure, a string of wealthy ex-husbands while you assert your feminist privilege doesn’t hurt anyone but those poor chumps.  Such childless, often sexless unions in the UMC have been a social bloodsport for decades.  But once you start getting kids involved, shit gets real.  You aren’t just splitting up the CD collection when you divorce, you’re splitting up a family with people who depend on you, and that’s got jack to do with your self-important career goals.  The feminist approach to "family" in general is little better than their approach to "marriage".  Gentlemen, you are warned.

But back to the successes.  As I was saying, it’s important, if you want to avoid divorce, to study what goes right, as well as what goes wrong.  This wonderful article is by a woman with a 43 year track record willing to impart some cosmic wisdom on you, ladies.  Listen up.  This is what Happily Ever After looks like, not three ex-husbands and a lonely condo full of cats in Miami.

Feminists can often manage to get married . . . they can rarely manage to stay married.  And very, very few can be said to be in "happy" marriages (marriages in which both parties can consistently say that they are happy with the way things are going).  And part of the reason has nothing to do with ideology -- it's because they don’t know how to be married.  In attempting to re-write the social rules of marriage, feminism's built-in escape hatch made the effort to work on a marriage a lot harder than ending it.  Feminists can become brides pretty easily, thanks to the power of pussy.  They can just as easily become ex-wives, with a stroke of a pen.  They rarely become "wives" (under the Rectification of Names).  So for all of their vaunted empowerment, it seems that feminism insists that an empowered feminist woman can do ANYTHING . . . except be a good wife.

That, of course, fuels hypergamy and divorce and other crap, but the plain fact is that feminism has rejected the Happily Ever After in favor of the EPL divorce, and now we have a nation of women bellyaching that they STILL aren't happy, despite getting everything their heart desired for 40 years.  They want their Happily Ever After, but they aren't willing to do the work required.  And Happily Ever After requires a lot of work.  Just ask Martha Lyles.

This woman was a wife.  She had a husband.  She didn’t have a co-equal partner in her relationship, she had a captain of her ship to whom she was loyal and respectful.  She did things for him that a feminist considers demeaning: packed his suitcase, quit school, ended her career aspirations for his benefit, raised his children, cooked his meals.  She deferred to him in important ways, and often in unimportant ways, not because the custom or religious rite demanded it, but because that’s how successful marriages work.

She doesn't write about the sacrifices her husband may have made -- that's his story, not hers.  She doesn't write about how hard it was and how regretful she is of her missed opportunities.  She writes of the sacrifices of a woman in her marriage, but she also writes of the rewards.  The Happily Ever After.  Grandchildren, a big happy family, and a great husband she adores and looks up to.  And she doesn’t just mention he’s a “great husband”, she describes an important attribute of his greatness in his devotion and thoroughness in helping her fight cancer.  No mere domineering chauvinist is likely to do that.  He repaid her sacrifice and devotion with his loyalty and steadfastness, not merely providing practical support during her struggle, but being her unwavering rock to which she clung as she wrestled with her own mortality.

Any of your weak-willed Beta future ex- husbands going to do that, feminists?  Good luck.

The important thing to take away from this success story is simple: the author was not merely extolling the virtues of marriage, but she was demonstrating the necessary dedication to fulfilling Happily Ever After.

You don’t ever plan to get cancer in Happily Ever After.  But you do get a strong and resilient Prince Charming willing to stand over your wounded body with a sword, keeping the monsters at bay.  You don’t imagine that you’ll get piles of diapers and bills and bad report cards and problem children in Happily Ever After.  But you do get a strong, disciplined father to keep order and enforce policy among your children until they can do it on their own.  You might conceivably envision grandchildren in your Happily Ever After, sitting around rosy-cheeked and respectful of you.  But you probably don’t understand how to get to that point – and truly appreciate it – because you have to first raise your own brood to adulthood and steer them toward their own productive relationship before you get rosy-cheeked grandbabies.

 For those feminists who feel they can have a “co-equal partnership” with a man, while secretly exerting feminine privilege as a means of manipulating and controlling your husband until you lose all respect and desire for him, you are forever denied this Happily Ever After.  Because you refuse to do the work and be a wife to your husband.  You get the EPL version, in which you marry a billionaire after spending your ex-husband’s money on eating, praying, and loving.  Oh, and good luck with that billionaire – I hear there are simply scads of them around.

(Or was that cats?)

But it's not just a bust for single feminist career gals.  It works both ways.

For those men who have eschewed the possibility of marriage in the pursuit of a permanent ticket to the Puerarchy, letting your bad experiences and fear of rejection give you a rationalization why you shouldn’t be required to invest in a 50-50 shot at success, please believe me when I tell you sincerely that I appreciate your willingness to Go Your Own Way.  But you, too, are exempt from this Happily Ever After.  In truth, you may change your mind at some point, when you are older and your perspectives change.  Our sperm is viable into our 70s, and a mid-life family has a lot of advantages.  But if you are committed to being uncommitted to a woman, then expect a long, slow decline with fewer friends alive every year, until you are alone, babbling incoherently to robots in some distant future retirement community.

Marriage is by no means for everyone.  But it is not, as some would contend, not for anyone.  It’s a trade-off, an exchange of commitments and obligations and sacrifices and dedications and courtesies and fears and delights and secrets and trusts and weaknesses and power and – yes – financial considerations and sex, and if you are not prepared to indulge in that kind of personal commitment and dedication (and few 20 year olds of this generation are) then I encourage you to avoid the issue entirely.  Believe me, it will take the pressure off to not have to worry about marriage and family.

So put “Happily Ever After” away in your mind not as "mythical" but merely as forever out of reach.  Substitute some government-subsidized retirement plan at a tropical resort where you’ll expire on the golf course or in your sleep . . . alone.  Imagine a world in which you are by yourself at age 50 and the doctor mentions cancer and you realize that since your sister died you have no one in the world to call and talk to about it.  That’s the "swinging single" alternative to Happily Ever After.  When you’re writing up your last will and testament, and you realize that everything you own and collected and cared for will go to your niece in nephew who live in another state and who might pass you in the grocery store without recognizing you, that’s what you get when you’ve lost Happily Ever After.  The real Happily Ever After.

Because Happily Ever After doesn’t mean a blissful paradise of champagne and strawberries and anniversary dinners in four-star restaurants.  It doesn’t mean kinky hotel sex and romantic walks on the beach as a matter of course.  There are few diamonds in for-real HEA.  You want the truth?  Happily Ever After can be brutal, as anyone’s life can be brutal.  But Happily Ever After softens the brutality with a thick protective layer of humanity, wherein the love you pledged at the altar has grown between the two of you and expanded and transformed until it supports a web of such love that echoes across generations. 

When you’re surrounded by your wife and your children and their spouses, all deeply concerned about your well-being and quality of life when your body betrays you, that’s Happily Ever After.

When your sons, grown men all, and your grandsons drop everything in their busy lives to rush to your bedside and then spring into action to build a wheelchair ramp you didn’t think you’d need, that’s Happily Ever After.

When your daughter-in-law enlists the aid of experts and researches the furthest reaches of medical science on your behalf, motivated by love and pure, unadulterated respect for the only father she has left, that’s Happily Ever After.

When an entire community floods your house with calls assuring their support, based on their deep respect for who you are and what you’ve done to touch their lives, that’s Happily Ever After.

When your wife holds your hand and cries so you won’t have to when you tell the doctor to go ahead and take the leg, that’s Happily Ever After.

This month, Papa Ironwood got an up close and personal look at the stark nature of Happily Ever After . . . and compared to the alternative, he considers himself a very blessed man.  I think it made the decades of sacrifice and effort and toil to keep his marriage and his family a going concern worthwhile.  Whether or not you agree with him, well, let's just say that he's got the benefit of experience to support his position.

But then, he's always been wiser than the rest of us.  He wanted Happily Ever After . . . so he built it for his wife and kids, one hug, one kiss, one drop of sweat and one tear at a time.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Is It Really A Win When The Other Team Doesn't Show?

Two other manosphere pieces converged with something I'm currently writing for the book, and at the risk of blowing some of the freshness out of it I thought I'd chime in.

Specifically, Badger's excellent Educated Women's Contempt For Men, in which he follows the feminist attempt to mainstream the war on masculinity and how it's not exactly working out the way they expected, and Dalrock's How The Destruction of Marriage Is Strangling The Feminist Welfare State, in which he examines the demographic fallout from the smoking crater feminism created at the center of the social state.

Why are these two articles particularly interesting, when taken together?  Well, part of it is the third blogger Dalrock riffs on, The Social Pathologist, when he quotes this:

The social, sexual and economic liberation of women in the latter half of the 20th Century has meant that for the first time women were able to compete with men in society without restriction. The result has been spectacular if not particularly beneficial to the happiness of women. Whilst not all degrees are created equal (men still overwhelming dominate the "hard" fields of knowledge) the fact that there are now more degree credentialed women than men is simply astonishing. As income is broadly correlated with economic well being,  its safe to assume that women have been able to achieve a economic parity with men. The manosphere may not like this result but the fact is that women have been able to effectively compete with men when the shackles of social convention have been removed.

Emphasis mine.  I reprint the quote because it underscores my point (and the point I'm currently trying to make in the book): that women cannot declare this a true "victory" of feminism over the patriarchy, or even women over men, or even realistically as "economic parity", because while the fact is that women have been strongly incentivized toward college both culturally and bureaucratically with four decades of feminist affirmative-action and aggressive anti-male policies. The "shackles of social convention" have been transformed into the "shackles of anti-male sentiment", and the "level playing field" is a sham, as Dalrock points out:

Feminism didn’t demolish a barrier between two seas and let the water levels adjust;  it is a massive pumping operation.  Turn off the pumps even for a little bit and reality will come flooding back.

That is, the economic system that allows women economic advantage (industrialism and post-industrialism -- which was, coincidentally, invented and developed by men) exists in a network of social governance and a vast government bureaucracy (also, invented and developed by men) in which the taxpayer (heretofore majority male) provides social and economic support for the impoverished, particularly single mothers and their children (mostly female, of course) while artificially fiddling with the "rules of the game" to favor one particular side while punishing the other side.

That's the "level playing field" that they are "winning" on.

So what happens when one team just fails to show up?  Is that still a "win"?

One thing that the smug little "end o' men" articles we've been seeing so many of lately love talking about is how the fact that more women having advanced degrees than men means that women have finally "out-competed" men in the workplace.  Now that they have declared where they are "the top" of the social and economic structure men created and developed, they are quick to dismiss the men who can't seem to compete successfully on the "level playing field" as losers or worse.  Badger amply demonstrates the dripping contempt that educated women feel about their male professional peers, much less their mates and males in general.  

Only, is it fair to judge the "success" of women competing in the workplace when the dis-incentives provided to their male peers are so severe as to discourage competition?

One point I'm making in my book is that the "success" of women in advancing careers has to be seen in the context in which men who would ordinarily have been competing for those positions have effectively "dropped out".  They didn't get on the bus to begin with.  The women "won" by default, because the best possible person for the job never interviewed for it in the first place.  

Feminists will bridle at the suggestion, but it's true.  MGTOW didn't precisely begin with Freedom Twenty Five; men have been walking away from societally-prescribed ambitions for almost two decades now, in the face of penalties and disincentives relating to their unfortunate ownership of a penis.  

There's a case I cite in the book, anecdotal, of course (I also make the point that you can't hang a metric on the lack of someone's ambition, which is pesky from a statistical perspective) of my neighbor, Sid.  Sid was a business-school graduate and an RN, and had spent ten years and a marriage climbing the ruthless corporate ladder of the American pharmaceutical industry.  He was good at what he did, and consistently out-performed his peers, male and female, and seemed to have a lock on a solid middle-management position with stock options and bells and whistles, every MBA's dream.  His last year was his most productive, and he logged millions of dollars worth of business for his company (now bought out by an even bigger company -- Sid would have been loaded).  

But when Sid looked at the competition he faced, he realized he was doomed.  Women were getting special seminars on leadership, mentoring opportunities, and other career-advancing perks.  Sid was getting assigned diversity training courses and being set up to fail by being assigned a "mentor" who had a pronounced dislike of men and especially manly men like Sid, who refused to kiss her ass just the way she wanted.  He was boxed in: he couldn't proceed further in the company without getting this woman's approval, and he couldn't get this woman's approval while still maintaining his Y chromosome. 

So Sid . . . dropped out.

He "Went His Own Way" long before it was called that.  Sid turned his back on his advanced degree and his education, his ex-wife and his expensive car, and Sid found a third-shift job working in a county hospital ER that paid him just enough to survive comfortably upon.  He turned his back on a decade of learning one of the most intricate businesses and regulatory systems ever invented, on the lucrative prospects that could have made him a millionaire, and he walked away.  The "level playing field" contains a fifteen-yard penalty for having a penis, so Sid walked away from it and accepted -- for now -- a far lower status job in return for personal happiness and fulfillment.  He didn't drop out because he couldn't hack it, he dropped out because the juice wasn't worth the squeeze.  

Now, someone got that next management spot Sid walked away from.  Sid could have had it, had he stayed on and fought for it.  Did the person who get it (it was, indeed, a woman) get it because she was the best qualified for the job?  Or did she get it because she was the most qualified candidate (under the adjusted rules) who was willing to show up and interview?  Did she get that office and that name plate and the parking space and the "Director" title because she was superlative?  Or did she get it because the other team just didn't get off the bus?

It's been over a decade since Sid dropped out -- close to two, actually.  But in the early 1990s, when feminism was throwing its weight around with reckless abandon, it knocked a lot of highly talented men out of the way in its quest for a "level playing field" that ensured no real competition.  Feminism's attempt at "fairness" in the corporate world became a hymn to mediocrity as the men who would have competed against them decided to resign the game rather than subject themselves to unfairness, emasculation, and professional humiliation in the name of "equality".  

Sid wasn't the only one who left back then -- as feminist-inspired corporate cultures sought to punish men and traditionally masculine endeavors, plenty of dudes dropped out and pursued other interests.  Sid enjoyed the fast pace of a late-night Emergency Room to the prison of an office, and so his vast talents and knowledge about the business end of the pharmaceutical industry never got put back on the table.  The women at Sid's company who survived their flight might gloat at their "victory", their high earning potential, their wealth and power.  But they'll never be "the best" because Sid didn't come back and give them real competition.  

Sid was smart, educated, and very astute -- you don't follow nursing school with an MBA and land a high five figure entry-level job by being cute -- and he was smart and astute enough to know that his career options in a corporate world where Personnel regulations overcome fair competition is a losing proposition.  No future in it.  Why bother?

This isn't just a few isolated losers, disheartened by competition in general and angry at their loss of "male privilege  -- this is a talented group of men who have no real social or financial incentives to pursue the societal roles that feminism desires for them.   The female insurance executive may very well be there because she worked hard, did her job, and made money for the company.  But she may also be there because the dude who would have been even better in her position decided that being an insurance executive really just didn't sound like a lot of fun, after his divorce, so why stuff his wife's alimony check with extra dough when he can take a job at half the pay that can support a lifestyle that suddenly doesn't include fancy suits and shoes designed to impress female insurance executives?

In a way, I almost feel sorry for these feminist "winners".  What they have won is what men in their positions have earned in the past, earned in earnest competition against the best their industry had to offer.  If you were the top salesman in your district, you knew that it was because all the other sharks weren't quite as hungry as you.  Now if you're the top salesman in your district, you have to wonder if it's because you really are the best . . . or if the competition just decided to forfeit because there were five-foot breakers at the beach that day?

I'm not just blowing smoke rings here.  I used to work in the personnel industry (bargain-basement headhunter and temporary placement), and I still keep in touch with some of my old colleagues.  One of whom just had a boy graduate from a decent college . . . and demonstrate not a lick of ambition, despite a lifetime of being primed for it.  Meanwhile, his younger sister (who was always a little slower academically than he was) was already lining up summer internships a year in advance.  My former colleague was despairing about his utter lack of ambition and angrily confronted her son when he revealed he hadn't even bothered to apply to graduate schools this summer.  

He gave a litany of damned good reasons why pursuing his chosen professional career path (including a graduate degree and another four years of student loans) was a losing proposition for him.  Why kill yourself to get to the top of your class when your female colleagues are just going to cut your knees out from under you with affirmative action and such?  So he can find a good ex-wife who can bleed him dry and not let him see his kids someday?  

At 22, this young man is jaded and bitter and unambitious . . . and there's not a damn thing my friend can say to him to dissuade him from a life spent working part time and playing Disc Golf professionally (slightly more lucrative than playing WoW professionally) and NOT preparing for a life as a husband and father . . . because she knows everything he is complaining about is exactly true.  She can't deny it.  She's in Personnel, where the rules that punish male performance and push female mediocrity are forged.  She's pushed underqualified female candidates in with overqualified male candidates into interviews herself -- and was fiercely proud of it . . . when her son wasn't involved.

But her son is absolutely right.  There's just no good future in it for men.  "Climbing the corporate ladder of success" only makes sense if there's a reward at the top, not a punishing ex-wife, a battleaxe of a feminist boss above you and a constantly-eroding sense of your own masculinity.  Better to throw little plastic discs around and enjoy life for a decade or so in the beer-soaked bosom of the Puerarchy, than subject yourself to that kind of punishment.

Is it a "waste" of good masculine intellectual capital?  That depends on whom you ask.  To women, of course, these men are "losers" because they have withdrawn from the competition they cannot win.  They have made the conscious effort to make themselves the men they want to be, not the men women want to be, and feminists in particular can't allow that to have positive social standing.  

But there is a silver lining to this, for dudes.  As more and more women assume the tax burden required to fund a female-oriented husband-replacing welfare state, their sensitivity to the unfairness of such things will rise.  What happens when the 40 year old spinster has to write a tax check in the thousands before trudging her way to the office, no hope for romance or reproduction in sight, while watching the 20 year old single mom down the street take her three kids to the park through the window?  What happens when men drop out to the point where it is busy, single female workers who are left holding the bulk of the welfare bag . . . while being denied the benefits of romance and motherhood that they are subsidizing in their sisters?

Had Sid stayed in his career-track, he could be senior management by now making in the high 6 or low 7 figures -- your Viagra dollar at work.  He didn't.  He makes just over fifty grand as the senior nurse on shift at his hospital, and spends the weekends he doesn't work hunting, fishing, or (if his neighbors don't shoot him first) zipping around the neighborhood at 4:00 am blasting Skynnard from the radio of his vintage 1974 VW microbus.  Instead of paying tens of thousands in taxes, he gets a refund.  Instead of working for his ex-wife, he works for himself.  Instead of spending thousands and thousands a year on new suits and shirts and ties, he spends a couple of hundred on scrubs he wears both on and off the job.  

Meanwhile, the woman who got the job he could have had, he tells me, is getting her second divorce, is being sued by a competitor for unfair practices, and is miserable with her "success".  

That's what happens when the other team just doesn't show, ladies.  You end up holding a trophy devoid of meaning.  A forfeit isn't a real win, no matter how you rationalize it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Obligatory 100th Post: Our Story So Far...

Yep.  100.  Wow. (Actually 102, but I'm not counting two of them.)  Boy, am I tired!

I've got like six or seven posts I want to get out like yesterday, but when I cranked up the machine and saw my next one was number 100, I felt I had an obligation to take a time out and talk about the blog.  Which is ironic, because I often find bloggers who blog about blogging to be insufferable jerks without any better ideas.  But this time, indulge me. After a hundred posts, I'd like to think I've earned it.

I started the Red Pill Room as part of an experiment -- the Red Pill Experiment, which will be the title of my next book after The Manosphere: A New Hope.  Longtime readers of the blog will understand why both books are appropriate.  And I promise that neither book will be a simple re-hash of my blog posts.  Only, like, maybe 40%.

In any case, the Red Pill Experiment is just what you think it is: what would happen in my life if I jettisoned the "Blue Pill" idealistic approach to life and try a pragmatic "Red Pill" alternative?  There's a lot more to it than that, of course, but that's why I started the blog.  I got into the Manosphere, read Athol Kay's brilliant Married Man Sex Life, had a half-dozen epiphanies, and plunged into the 'Sphere with revolutionary fervor and evangelical enthusiasm.

For those of you just joining us, I work in Porn.  Big Porn.  I get paid to watch porn movies and write about them.  And my wife is OK with that.  (For the record, her attitude is "I don't care where you get your appetite, as long as you eat dinner at home every night".)  I watch boobies all day, interview pornstars, talk about sex, blog about sex, and then go home, pick up the kids, make dinner, do laundry, and handle the house because, to be frank, she sucks at that part of domestic life and I don't.  But every day I have to go from Rated X to Rated G in fifteen minutes.  And then shift back again after the kids are in bed.  Which can present a problem, as it does to every middle-aged couple, a problem that can lead to troubled waters, stormy seas, and the shipwreck of divorce.  So porn helps my marriage by keeping me randy and engaged AND paying my mortgage.  Win-win.

Now, you have to be a special kind of dude to be able to handle that, but I've been a Sex Nerd since adolescence  and to be honest after seven years of slaving away in the porn mines, I've never been happier.  I have a bona fide Dream Job (my third, actually -- I'm running out of them).  On my worst day at work, I still get to look at naked boobs all day.  And the availability of thirty years of sex marketing data was just too yummy to pass up.  But my up-close-and personal exposure to the sex lives of millions of Americans led me, through a long and strange series of events, to end up blogging about how much I love my wife and love to have sex with her and why  that's . . . Okay.

If that seems strange to you, it shouldn't.  Married people can love each other AND have hot sex and not get divorced as a matter of course and -- even -- be happy.  No, really.  It can happen, even if you have only mediocre writers working on your script.  Mrs. Ironwood and I have had some good ones, and we've been fortunate and wise enough to be able to dissect the things that work for us and pass them on.  If that sounds really, really odd to you, a kind of warped Happily Ever After with light male domination and newly-minted porn and wholesale-priced sex toys, well, it's not like we're particularly unique in expressing a curiosity with such things.  (Lookin' at you 50 Shades of Grey).

Re: Porn

It also might interest you, if you are not an aficionado  to learn that all of the Big Porn companies together do not account for a tithe of the "porn dollars" spent every year.  Sure, we make decent money, but the fact of the matter is that the vast, vast majority of "degenerate pornographers" these days are mom-and-pop operations.  Sometimes literally.  In fact, one of the most successful pornstars I know has based her entire career around (wait for it) fucking her husband on camera.  Not the neighbors, not fans, not passing strangers, just her hubby.  They like to have sex on camera, and she's talented enough and good -looking enough to make it work.  They make in the low six-figures a year, their house is paid for, and when they go to work . . . well, they get to have sex.

That's not to say my industry is not without abuses and horror stories -- I know more than anyone.  Believe me, whatever you've heard about the porn industry, I've heard some crazier shit that's worse.  Nor is my industry guiltless in the proliferation of sexually-charged images in the public sphere -- but no more than Cosmo or Madonna.  My industry doesn't exploit children (every boob that crosses my desk has six pieces of paper verifying it's age at the date of production), we don't enslave women, and we don't want to push porn under the nose of every twelve year old in the country.  Far from it.  We have kids of our own, and no one knows better than we how over-sexualized our culture is.  Most parents who work with some aspect of the porn industry are even more vigilant about what their kids are exposed to in popular culture than your average suburban couple.  My daughter, for instance, will never have a Bratz doll.

(And before you ask . . . no, I've never performed on camera.  I've never even been unfaithful.  I just like watching people have sex, and have a talent for objectifying women professionally.  It's an art.)

Why I Write This Blog

My Red Pill Room blog is not about my kids, or even parenting, though.  It's not even about porn, although that comes up from time to time.  I have another blog, The Sex Nerd, where I talk about stuff like that.

This blog is how to forge a new, better-working heterosexual relationship dynamic that works for the post-industrial 21st century society.  One based on pragmatic knowledge of human evolutionary biology and (let's be daring, shall we?) human evolutionary psychology.  It's not to re-establish the old Patriarchy, or return us to the halcyon days where men were men, women were women, and cholera and syphilis killed them both with depressing regularity.  It's not to promote a total male domination lifestyle, or encourage misogyny, or teach you better ways to beat your wife.  It's not to oppress women, or encourage others to oppress women.  Hell, I love women.

What Mrs. Ironwood and I have is, simply put, a relationship that everyone who knows us seems to envy.  We're both busy professionals, we're both committed to raising high-quality children at bargain basement prices, and we're both huge nerds who enjoy each others' company and, yes, frequent sex.  Mrs. Ironwood works in relation to the Pharmaceutical Industry, where she's a well-respected industry leader and making the world a better, healthier place, one pill at a time.  (I'm just making the world a Happier place, one stroke at a time...).  She and the kids are the reason I'm "Ian Ironwood", instead of using my real name.  My first duty is to protect them.  I'm not ashamed of what I do, either in porn or here on the blog, but I'm also very aware of how judgmental people are.  Please respect my anonymity.  If you don't, I'm likely to take offense.

Mrs. Ironwood

I occasionally get questions about whether or not Mrs. I knows about my blog.  She does.  She even reads it occasionally, when she doesn't have World Saving duties.  She wants to assure you that she's not in her marriage under duress.  She's not being oppressed, abused, or otherwise hampered by the Red Pill Experiment.  Indeed, she's never been happier or more professionally satisfied.  She has a loving and supportive husband who is a devoted father and a phenomenal lover (did I mention the really big penis?  NEVER DIMINISH THE PENIS) who cooks her gourmet meals, runs her household, keeps the kids more-or-less in line (or fills out the police reports when they aren't) who treats her with phenomenal respect, devotion, and romantic love.  And all I ask her for is to treat me with respect, let me steer, and screw me rotten.  (Okay, that's a simplistic list, but it covers the basics).

To those feminists who doubt that -- you're free to ask her.  Without me in the room.  And when you do ask her if regarding her husband as her Captain is demeaning and humiliating, be prepared for the vicious snicker that will assault your ears.  Because she's had more wildly fulfilling romance, passion, sex, love and emotional fulfillment in the last 20 years as the entire 1990 graduating class at Vassar, combined.

 Her mother and her sister have both been married three times.  This is our first-and-only.  And no, she's not a brain-dead housewife -- she's at the top of one of the most intellectually challenging fields in medicine.  She's utterly brilliant, multi-talented, hyper-competent, insanely witty, and tough as nails.  She'd make a perfect textbook example of the fulfillment of the feminist dream of mother and career woman, if she wasn't so allergic to the misery involved in the ideology.  She's utterly brilliant, incredibly talented, and she had my babies.  That, alone, demonstrates her good taste.

To those in the Manosphere who don't think I'm oppressing her enough by keeping her in the kitchen . . . dudes, if you saw her in the kitchen, you'd understand.  Utterly.  Inept.  Not unteachable, but untalented and uninspired.  If my family relied on my wife for sustenance . . . well, my kids would hate me.  She also sucks at laundry.  But she has other talents.  And if you think I was trying to be sexist there . . . good eye.

Married Game Basics

As I mentioned before, this blog will produce at least two or more books.  But I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for one very important book: the Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011.  It's a life-changer.  Athol Kay is probably the most important man in the Manosphere, whether he knows it or not, for bringing the core concepts of Game into the dangerous waters of a long-term relationship and hazardous tides of marriage.  Athol isn't perfect, he isn't all-knowing, and I'm sure he and his lovely wife Jennifer have just as many issues as me and my wife, or you and your spouse. But the difference is that Athol wrapped his nerdy little brain around the subject and beat it to death until it produced MMSL, the sex education you SHOULD have gotten in high school.

No, Athol doesn't pay me to say that sort of thing.  I've never met the man in person.  At least not yet.  But Athol and I have three things in common:  1) We love our wives 2) We want to be manly men who command the respect of our families and our communities and 3) We both love sex and want more of it.  Which means that Athol and I, and Aleph and AverageMarriedDad and hundreds if not thousands of others have something in common.  Keeping our marriages not just afloat, but sailing along, is one of the most important things in our lives, but we aren't willing to sacrifice our self-respect and dignity and financial future to conform to our expected demasculinized role in American society.  In our way we've Gone Our Own Way as thoroughly as Jonathan Swift at Freedom TwentyFive or any other revalorized male, we've just chosen to get married (after carefully selecting and vetting our brides) and reproduce.

That doesn't make us traitors to our gender, it just makes us Wolf Alphas who like to get a lot of play and not argue with our wives.  It doesn't make us hopeless sniviling Beta manginas, it makes us thoughtful men with a plan and an eye for the future.  It doesn't make us idiot rubes who will find our asses in divorce court eventually, it makes us highly empowered and decisive men who are crafting a new generation of quality kids who will likely out-compete their unfortunate peers.

Single Game

That being said, I'm also a big proponent of Single Game.  Indeed, both Single Game and Married Game spring from the same font, they're just variations on the same theme.  I've even written a cheap remedial guide, a kind of proto-Game book for the socially inept: The Gentleman's Guide To Picking Up Women.  In some ways it's hopelessly dated (hence the Bargain Rack price) but if you just have no clue where to get started, that might offer some guidance.

But I appreciate Single Game and the PUA bloggers more than a little.  They're doing some serious heavy-lifting, helping thousands of dudes overcome a lifetime of squalid masculinity and rise to the challenge of pursuing a mating strategy.  Guys like Roosh and Roissy, of course, but also Vox Day, The Private Man, Badger, and dozens of others.  While I survey the embattled landscape of the sexual arena from the safety and comfort of my marriage, these guys are out there getting bloody.  I'm not sure I could do what they do, but I'm glad they're doing it.

The Manosphere

But I'm not just here to help the chronically underlaid.  I'm also here to promote a resurgent masculinity that aggressively deals with the challenges of men in the 21st century without recourse to the failed ideologies of the 20th.  Basically, Married Game works only when you decide to step up and slap your dick on the table and reclaim and re-assert your masculinity in front of the gods and everyone.  Including women.  Without concern for rejection or judgement.  Hence, I proudly support the Manosphere, even those areas of it that make me queasy and I don't proudly support.  I consider them all members of the Red Pill Society, fellow travelers on the testosterone-poisoned road of manhood, refusing to stop and ask for directions.

Like many of you, I've spent most of my life pining for some adequate model of masculinity that would be socially and culturally acceptable.  Having my father, Papa Ironwood, was great -- don't get me wrong.  But my personal family fortune in masculine role models wasn't doing anything for everyone else, and I searched for years for a way to navigate between the humanistic ideals of feminism and the practical reality of intergender relations to a place where men could find some modicum of respect again.  Failing that, I discovered the Red Pill, and decided that no one was ever going to give me permission to lead my family, enjoy my life, and be proud of my masculinity . . . particularly not feminists.  I still have lots of feminist friends, believe it or not, some who know of my alter ego and some don't.  I don't hold it against them, or even try to talk them out of it (that would ruin my specimen sample!)  But I still think feminism is one big Shit Test, and the Manosphere is the answer.

Just being able to trade ideas and advice in a pro-masculine environment is refreshing enough -- to have such keen insights and cogent observations, not to mention such humor, makes me proud of the evolving Sphere.  It fulfills a much-needed role in the lives of men, the ability to go to other men for help without a big dominance-submission dance, protected by the cloak of anonymity.  I love the Manosphere so much I'm doing a book on it, one targeted for release on Kindle on December 9th.  Hopefully it will make a lot of people ask a lot of difficult questions about men and women in our society.  And hopefully it will be somewhat entertaining.  But regardless, I wanted the first "study" of the Manosphere to be homegrown, not the result of some feminist Gender Studies grad student's inspiration for a thesis.  It won't be exhaustive and it won't be perfect, but it will be ours.

The Red Pill

So if Game and the Manosphere are covered, what about the Red Pill?  What the hell is the Red Pill?  While Athol Kay has done an admirable job of explaining it, the simple answer is that the Red Pill represents the practical and pragmatic reality of life in our society, as opposed to the largely-imagined idealologies we were taught were supposed to apply.  The Red Pill is a rejection of the shameful burden that feminists and others have tried to saddle mainstream masculinity with.  It's a celebration of gender differences without regard to political correctness.  It doesn't put fairness and equality at the top of the page as aspirational goals, it puts happiness and fulfillment there.  It doesn't place a high priority on consensus, it does on leadership.  It doesn't seek to oppress our daughters, but neither does it -- as feminism does -- seek to elevate our daughters by pushing our sons down.

The Red Pill is serious medicine.  It can be bitter, it can have some odd side-effects, it can even have serious adverse reactions for your marriage, if it isn't strong to begin with.  But it also leads to more stability and contentment, and (most importantly) it's the closest thing to a female Viagra that I've happened across in 25 years of searching.

The Art

I get at least five emails a week asking about the art on the blog.  Thank you.

I spent a lot of time thinking about the artistic presentation here.  Most of it can be traced to a videogame, specifically the post-holocaust RPG/Shooter series known as Fallout.  Think of the Fallout universe as the Atomic Age (1945 to 1965) with all of the darling retro stereotypes bathed in a warm radioactive, bloodthirsty glow.  Two things attracted me to the series, the music (all 1940s era swing) and the art.

The music is grand: if you want to know how your grandparents saw love and the primitive Sexual Marketplace, listen to the Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, Perry Como and Frank Sinatra for a couple of days.  I like it because I don't have to worry about explaining any dirty words or sexual concepts to my kids, something I've had to do with every rock and pop song they've heard.

But the art.  Gods, I loved the art.

It started with the pin-ups.  Alberto Vargas, Gil Elvgren, Earl Moran, and Joyce Ballantine, Fritz Willis, Arthur Sarnof,  Rafael DeSoto, KO Munson, and the others.  You just can't think "sexuality" and "post-war" without the image of those pin-ups coming to mind.  I find them uniquely sexual yet decently demure, considering what modern commercial art pitches at us regularly.  Besides, they enraged the early feminists for their sexism and objectification of women.  That's just gravy.

Finding 1940s and 1950s pin-ups was pretty easy on Google Images, and it led me to more commercial art, particularly the WWII era propaganda posters and post-war magazine illustrations.  Especially the hand-drawn ones.

From there I segued into romance novel covers, and from thence to the nasty underground erotic "pulp" covers: Rudy Nappi, Robert McGinnis, Coby Whitmore, Robert Meyers, John Fernie, and more.

So where did I find the best databases?  Here's where I got a lot, from Oldcarguy41's flickr account.  I also found good stuff here, at Found In Mom's Basement, Vintagegal, and especially Today's Inspiration.

If you're wondering what criteria I set, it was simple: the images had to be (more or less) in the public domain, and they had to be prefeminist.  That is, pre-1965.  If you notice a few things about these pieces, you'll see that all the people are happy, slender, slightly-goofy, smiling . . . and white.

That wasn't done by design, at least not by me.  But a survey of commercial art from the 1940s and 1059s reveals very few illustration of black folks or folks of another hue, and where they are depicted, they're often racially charged by our standards.  But it kind of reinforces the irony of what is being depicted.  And it reminds me of a conversation I had with Papa Ironwood during one of our periodic high-brow political debates.

"Son," he told me one day, "things just aren't going in the right direction.  In the 1950s, a man could vote the way he wanted, live as king of his own castle in his own home, and didn't have to worry about the government taking everything of value from him.  The whole world look up to you if you were an American, back then."

"Yeah, that's true," I agreed, reluctantly, "if you were white."

We have come a long way since the 1950s, and if things aren't as rosy for us white folks now, I'm at least partially consoled by the fact that things aren't nearly as horrific now if you are black.  Or Hispanic.  Or a woman.  Yes, I'm actually for a woman's equal right to work in our society -- but I'm also in favor of her equal right to be drafted, and until the latter is a worry I'm not going to angst overmuch about the former.  But my basic humanistic principals tell me that we're all better off if we play by the same set of rules to begin with.  And my basic masculine principals tell me that if women want to compete in the workforce, then they are going to always have a hard time of it, even in predominantly-female occupations.  Still, I support their right, and I wouldn't turn back the clock seventy years for anything.

But going forward . . . well, all bets are off.

I've had a blast picking artwork for the blog, and it's turned into a real art history course.  For the record I'm uncertain where to get any of these in framable print quality.  Most of them are in the public domain, so a trip to Kinkos or other specialty printing outfit might be in order.  But note how the men are strong and resilient and the women are undeniably feminine.  THAT'S what I was looking for in all of these.  The last era in which it was okay for a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman.

Well, the last era until the next one.  I'm looking forward to referring to this era as "the feminist epoch", in the past-tense.

The Future Of The Blog

I have no plans to stop this blog -- far from it.  But I'm also not planning on letting it become my day job.  I have a sweet day job.  I also write under three other pseudonyms, as well as my "real" name, so I have too much going on to pursue that, anyway.

But I do intend on having a lot of fun doing it.  And really, I can't ask for more than that.

Thanks for reading.  Stick around for the next 100 posts.  Things are just starting to get good . . .