The Manosphere

February 11, 2014

in None of the Above

I have ignored the “Manosphere” here, but with a steady trickle of comments that sound like they come from the manosphere I think it is time to address it.

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First let me try to define the manosphere for those who have not run across it. The manosphere is a subset of the blogosphere where men discuss how feminism has ruined Western society. There are various streams of the manosphere, but all of them agree feminism is the cause of all sorts of problems in our society.

  • One slice of the manosphere is the Men’s Rights Movement (MRM’s). They are clearly, openly, and even proudly misogynist. These men would say they are anti-feminist, but they seem more anti-women, or at least anti-Western-women.
  • Then you have the “Men’s Rights Activists” (MRA’s) who are openly misogynistic. This group says some of the ugliest and most offensive stuff, and are the kind of men who say there is no such thing as rape.
  • Another segment is the “Men Going Their Own Way” (MGTOW’s) who seem to be against women, marriage, and Western culture. Some only date non-western women, some do not date. These are the atheists and anarchists of the manosphere.
  • Another part of the manosphere, the pick-up artists (PUA’s), are all about bedding as many women as possible, and they discuss ways to accomplish this. These men are a subgroup of MRA’s or MGTOW’s
  • Finally, there is the Christian segment, the group most likely to show up here. They would call themselves traditionalists or the traditional marriage camp. They want to return to what they think life was like in the past. This group is often violently angry at “feminised churches” and “castrated pastors” who they think have sold out to the feminist regime. They will tell you what the Bible really says about marriage and women is not being preached in churches. They trumpet the manosphere as a place where they can discuss a truth too radial to be discussed in church. This group says churches teach things that cause divorces and refuse to get involved when women with no right to divorce do just that.

I have long said feminism was a wrong response to a very real problem. I am old enough to have seen first hand the horrible and completely unbiblical ways women were treated. There was a problem, and most men, and most churches (which were ruled almost always by men) chose to ignore, deny or justify the problems. The situation was horrible, and it was only a matter of time before something happened. What happened did offer some help for many, but it also created a good many new problems.

In the same light, the manosphere seems to me to be a wrong response to the very real problems caused by feminism. The difference is while feminists took action, the manosphere seems to be mostly about whining to the choir. (Please note it is no accident this post follows yesterday’s Choose to be Empowered post.

I have several problems with the traditional part of the manosphere.

  1. I don’t think they have a good understanding of the past. They see an idealised version of the past free from all the problems and failures that were an integral part of that life. Feminism was possible because many women felt neglected or abused by the male-centric society in which they lived. This was not a few rabble rousing college women, the problems were many, they ran deep, and most women were unhappy with some aspect of their lives. The situation was like that of any repressed group, and the “revolution” was inevitable.
  2. I do not think they have biblically valid concepts of marriage or headship. I do think headship in marriage is God ordained, but because I do not hold to the same radical version I have been accused of throwing headship under the bus. Headship is not about being a do-as-I-say-no-mater-what ruler; it is about being a servant leader. It is more about love than getting your way, and more about sacrifice than control.
  3. I do not think what women want, need, or respond to is a “firm but fair” man who expects to be asked “how high” when he says “jump”. Neither do I think saying “you will have sex with me tonight, now get naked and in bed” is the solution to sexual problems. God did not design women to want to be bossed around, He made them co-heirs who are supposed to be a vital and active part of the expansion of His Kingdom on earth. Our failure to understand and live this truth it is part of why the church has become so irrelevant in our world.

All that said, why am I crazy enough to strap a lighting rod on my back and go out into this storm? First because I want those of you who have not run across the manosphere to be warned about it. Some of them sound rational on the surface, so beware. Secondly since we keep having men who ascribe to this making comments I figured I should address it.

The comments might get heated on this, depending who shows up. If this post gets circulated in the manosphere it could get pretty wild. I reserve the right to ignore things when I feel I have already addressed them or suspect my words will not be heard, but I will allow pretty much any comment which is neither profane nor abusive.

And just for fun:

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70 comments
Joshua Belyeu
Joshua Belyeu

I'd only recently heard the term "manosphere", and to be honest, it sounded like something from one of Jeff Foxworthy's redneck jokes.

I've said for a while now that a very real difference seems to exist between what I'd call "tempered" or traditional feminism, and the "radical" variety that produces ideas like completely legalized abortion, government-sanctioned lesbian "marriages", public school classes being geared more toward the typical "obedient and quiet" female stereotype, etc. I don't hate women, but I do find myself embarrassed and sometimes scared by the more "forward" or "aggressive" ones. I was raised around many warped concepts like "hellfire preaching" and such, but one thing that made some level of sense was "a woman should never get in a man's face". Now, I'm not talking about letting abuse occur or anything foolish like that, but some women these days will try their hardest to "stare down" any man they come across, like we're somehow inferior to them. It was wrong for the men of the past to treat women that way then, and its just as wrong for the reverse to happen now.


I once heard it explained this way: "Women were not made to stand behind a man, but they also weren't made to be in front of him, either. God covers the front and the back; women belong at a man's side, equally deserving of respect and love." I agree completely.

LynnProulx
LynnProulx

I hope it is okay to post a short comment on this as a young wife.  My husband shared this post and the comments with me yesterday.  He's been troubled by some of the same things the poster called High Country points out.  He agrees with a lot of what he says but the thing that struck me most about this post on the next one is that you believe women are happier now than in times past.  I remembered as a young girl my grandma saying to me as my grandpa walked out the door to go to work, "Emmy, it's tough being a woman but thank God you weren't born a man."  So I drove over this morning to visit my 81 year old grandma to see what she thought and see if she remembered that.  She did remember it and she explained that men worked far harder, went off to war, carried far more responsiblity and that she would not have wanted to trade places for anything.  Her roommate, who is past ninety agreed.  My grandma said young women now look miserable to her, but she admitted she doesn't get out much anymore.  Just what she notices when they take field trips and what she sees when guests come in, but she thought the same thing 10 years ago when she lived independently on her own.


My husband asked me not to speak towards the other issues brought up in this post but I thought the idea that women worked harder and were unhappy and mistreated goes against everything I have heard from the older ladies I know (I worked as a home nursing aid until I had a baby recently).

Trying But Not Convinced
Trying But Not Convinced

Few facts:

1) Prior to 1838, women could not own property.  Property passed to the oldest son (primogeniture, sp?).  A widow then became the tenant to her oldest son, if she had one, or was rendered homeless, if she had no children.  Widowed women then had no means of support and often became impoverished.  This also meant a woman could not inherit property, even if she was an only heir.

2) Prior to the advent of birth control, women could not hold steady jobs because they had no certainty they wouldn't get pregnant.  If a husband became disabled, the family often became impoverished.

3) My mother married in the 1960s after having been out of college a few years.  Even though she'd had a steady job (teacher) and was financially independent, the moment she married, the gas company terminated her gas credit card (this was Eastern USA).

4) After my mother married, certain stores would not let her write a check without my father there.  She was actually denied the ability to buy a pair of shoes one time because she did not have cash on her and the store would not accept her check without my father there. 

5) The moment the school board learned my mother was pregnant with her first child, she was forced to quit her job.  Makes you wonder, what if she'd had a miscarriage or the baby was stillborn?  Lose your baby AND your job, nice.  Or, what if my father had died?  Baby and no income.

6) I have a friend from the Southeast whose father killed her and her sister because the mother was finally divorcing him after decades and decades of physical abuse.  The community was shocked.  Nobody knew he was a wife beater.  (Please do not be naïve and assume "everyone knows" who the abusers are.)

Ant123
Ant123

  I guess the two of you came from a lot different place than I do here in my area of the Southeast. First when I was young if there were husbands beating their wives the other men (especially the wives family) would have reacted very badly. Spousal abuse is multiple times higher here today than in the early sixty's and beyond. In fact domestic problems are the number one instance of law enforcement dispatches in this area. It sure was not that way before. 

    From my understanding of Scripture God created things to be in order and to accomplish that order

He gave Authority to first, Christ, then to Man, then to Government, then to the Church. While women are included as mankind they do not have the same authority. God would be unjust to hold a man responsible for his household but not give him the Authority to see that it is run in a God ordained fashion. Which it could not be if there were two heads and the unit could not move until there was/is agreement. 

     As for prior abuses mentioned, in every area of measure I could find of Strong Families and the Virtue of them, this day in time is far more destructive in every way than 50 years ago plus. While segregation was atrocious even slavery and segregation could not destroy the Black families. It took modern day liberalism of which feminism is a large part to do that. 

     Concerning the no fault divorce laws what is stated is not the way it happened here. One of my close friends was in the legislature when it was passed in this state. They had people beating them selves up and then claiming spousal abuse. The real impetus behind it though were the trial lawyers that knew they could make a bundle without the societal pressures to stay and work at your marriage instead of taking the easy way out. That coupled with the fact for the first time many women were leaving their homes and entering the work place. As Satan always does he made the grass look greener on the other side. So men became attracted to women they were not married to and women to men they were not married to. Before you knew their marriages were the problem. Paul I have seen you write often about how men (and presumably you would say women also) should stay out of situations in which they are tempted. But we walked right into it. Predictably it destroyed families in record numbers. But to say most of those women were unhappy I don't believe is accurate. If that were true then you would expect second to last at a much higher percentage than first. However it is just the opposite. Like every thing else Satan sells feminism, in all its forms is a lie.

      This does not excuse men and husbands for abdicating their roles and responsibilities in any way. In fact it means we should fight harder to protect our families and get back to the days when men that don't fulfill those duties will not repent. They will be shunned by the church. 

        As for women being no more than Chattel, if the men in their life treat them as such those men are clearly in gross sin. However, I also suspect a good bit of it is some women not happy with God's design.    

        

        

ForgivenWife
ForgivenWife

Paul, you're a brave man to take this on. As a woman who benefited from feminism in many ways, it took me a long time to come to an understanding of headship.


Years ago, I had a college student who announced to our class that he was a Satanist. As he described his beliefs and practices to the class, I realized that everything he described was a response to the Catholic church: the rituals, the vocabulary, and the roles of worshipers were defined in the context of Catholicism. In this student’s description, Satanism existed only in relation to the thing it was opposing; it was nothing on its own.


Extreme radical feminism (“radfem”) writings are similar (and note that radfem is NOT representative of most feminism). Everything is defined in terms of being anti-male. Vocabulary has been developed and adopted solely because of how it de-masculinizes terms and practices associated with oppressive patriarchal systems.


With both Satanism and radfem, what I see isn’t a belief system unto itself but something that is defined only within the context of something that is perceived as oppressive. The existence and validity of each is grounded in something else. If the beliefs and views are worthy in their own right, they should be able to be defined without reference to the views they say they’re against.


Honestly, as I’ve read through manosphere blogs (and I’ve seen all the types you describe above), I have been struck by the same thing. When the manosphere defines itself in relation to feminism, it emasculates itself by validating its existence as a response to the thing it says is oppressive.


By focusing so much on feminism and the feminization of the church and other institutions, the manosphere keeps itself within the grip of feminism.

mrcheevus
mrcheevus

I have been keeping an eye on the manosphere and find there are certain voices who have a grip on a reality that hasn't been discussed.  I find many of them misogynistic and sexist, and even whiny like Paul says, but I will present to you two which seem to recognize something real that people have missed and are about making people aware.  


The first is Captain Capitalism (captaincapitalism.blogspot.com).  He started out as an economics blog and his analysis in that field is spot on.  However, over time he has shifted his focus as his views on economics have also informed other areas of life.  I personally don't agree with his conclusion, "Enjoy the decline!" which basically says check out of the system, you can't fix it, just take advantage and live for yourself.  However, he does have a lot of valid points.


The second is a little more in line with the interests of the Generous Husband.  That blog is Married Man Sex Life (www.marriedmansexlife.com/blog)  The author, Athol Kay, is actually an ex-Christian.  His spiritual journey is lamentable, but I find his starting points are quite in line with the way God has created man and woman.  He has pinpointed a reality to how attraction works between men and women, that seems to me to be very widespread, if not close to universal.  The only exceptions I have noted seem to be with men and women who have some level of brokenness.  When functioning in health, his theories seem to hold water.  It doesn't seem to matter what religion you are, women and men seem to function in the way he describes.  Be warned, he has no compunctions about coarse language, but he genuinely loves his wife and he genuinely wants to help people have amazing married sex lives.  I am not saying everything he says is gold, and his positions are evolving - for example he used to be fairly pro-porn, but now he views it as something problematic.


I'd love to hear your thoughts, Paul, on their viewpoints.

Basement Tapes
Basement Tapes

This post is a direct challenge to a lot of what I'm seeing in evangelicalism (the false idea that there is a war against men), and for that I applaud you. But despite that, it still manages to take weird swipes at feminism by pretending that the extreme fringe of the movement represents the whole thing. When Paul said there was neither "Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free," he was asserting the equality of each individual. At heart, that is feminism. The fact that feminism is the favorite whipping boy of so many church folk reveals a deep fear (of change, of modern living, of the autonomy of individuals to make decisions) that I find alarming.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@LynnProulx  Life was much harder for both men and women in the past. 

Some women were certainly better off in the past than many are today, but others were far worse off. Those who were worse off had no real options for change, they were stuck in a horrible situation with no out. Today women have far more options. They do have more options to make bad choices and do stupid things, but they also have options when they find themselves with abusive men.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@High Country  I agree they had it right 2000 years ago, but what you are saying is NOT what they were saying or living in the first century. You are correct the church of most of history would have seen me as liberal, but they would also have seen Jesus and Paul the same way. If you understand the culture of the time, they would have been seen as rabid feminists! Jesus let Mary sit and listen to Him teach His disciples - a violation of extreme magnitude by Jewish custom. Paul treated Priscilla and Aquila as if both were missionaries and of similar importance. Paul called Junia, a woman, one of the apostles. Revisionists have tried to make her a man, or explain why Paul did not mean apostle, but the Greek is clear on both counts.

The problem is the church moved from what Jesus did. The church made women second-class citizens (if they were lucky). This is just one of many places where the church left the truth of Jesus a few centuries in. Religion replaces the teachings of Jesus and His truths were twisted to fit into the religion shaped spiritually that became the only accepted way.

Women were happier?! Next you will tell me slavers were happier and better off. Any man who worked twelve hours in his own field had his wife right next to him for a good part of that. The saying "Man works from sun to sun but a woman's work is never done" was not an exaggeration.

Jesus and Paul both set radical new standards of treatment for women. You not seeing that says a great deal about those who have taught you the Bible.

You say women are more abused now, but I know you cannot back that with data. It was hidden, so we do not have good data. Those who have done a good deal of talking with older folks find it was far more common than anyone thought, and it was often far worse because there was no way to stop it. I can tell you domestic violence rates have dropped sharply over the last 20 years (stats for 1994 to 2010 from http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=4536). Deaths are down some, and non-fatal incidents are down 64%. This despite the fact that reporting is up. If what you say were correct, the numbers would be up, not down.

As for divorce, the rate has been dropping since 1980, and is almost down to what it was before no-fault divorces started. There was a huge increase when women who desperately want to get divorced were able, and then it started back down.

You say I am more influenced by the world than scripture. I don't see how you could read much of what I say and get that. I assure you no liberal college professor would see me as a kindred spirit, and we would disagree on far, far, far more than we agree on.

I would say you are more influenced by religion than by scripture. Do you know the "church" as most of us understand it in America is a non-biblical entity that Paul would not recognise and would probably condemn? The church according to him was something radically different. I am not saying our modern church is evil, but it is nothing like what the Bible describes. For most modern Christians religion has taken the place of the Bible, and that guarantees not getting the truth.

GenerousWife
GenerousWife

@Trying But Not Convinced  I remember going to get my driver's license and it was refused with my mother's signature. I had to get my dad's signature before they would talk to me. That was California in the early 70's.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Trying But Not Convinced  Thanks for injecting some sobering reality.

It did vary greatly from state to state, with the South-east being particullly bad and very slow to change. 

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Ant123I would say we have just dug deeper.

No, you did not see domestic abuse very much in the past, but that does not mean it did not exist. It was rarely reported, and well might be covered up if it were reported. Yes, some family members would put an end to it, but others would ask the women what she did to deserve it. If a man beats his wife, he is not likely to go after his son-in-law for doing the same.

I never said anything about two heads. I think mutual submission is an oxymoron and not something that can be backed up biblically. As to authority and responsibility, I do not see that I am responsible for my wife's choices if I have done and said the right things. Is God responsible for those who do not accept Him? I have the authority to lead my wife, but nowhere am I given the right to enforce my leading. Just as I choose to follow God or not, she is free to follow me or not.

Your analogy on black families is flawed because slavery did a huge amount of damage, and that is the roots of what we see today. I will agree some aspects of "the nanny state" have added to the problem, but that follows on the deep damage done by slavery, Jim Crow laws, segregation, and a long history of racism.

I do not know how to respond to your suggestion that women beat themselves up to claim spousal abuse. Did it ever happen? Possibly. Was it common or the reality of most women who claimed to be abused NO IT WAS NOT. Did men in power claim it to get some other man off the hook? Probably. 

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@ForgivenWife  Brave or rushing in where angels fear to tread - we shall see.


Feminism certainly has various forms, and some are far more radical and clearly not in touch with reality. Much of what I see being said by the manosphere exists in radfem (as you call it) but only there. The problem is the manosphere treats that extreme as if is the norm. Of course, many feminists do the same thing - it is human nature no matter where your gonads reside.


The manosphere is not just a reaction; it is a reaction to a reaction. As with much of modern Christianity, it defines itself not by what it believes, but by what it is against.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@mrcheevus  Captain Capitalism is new to me. He is not as radical as many, but his references to game and Roosh, and the pin-up images, suggest he is not very concerned with following Jesus. I'm also not thrilled with his stating that sex and marriage are "are TWO SEPARATE AND DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT MARKETS."


I have followed Athol off and on for a year or more. I do see the evolution of his thinking you mention, and, he is funny without calling all women stupid ^%$%$#. He is course, but not too ugly. Your suggestion that what he says does not work for men or women with some level of brokenness is interesting because it is rare to see a marriage where neither spouse has any significant brokenness. What might work okay in a marriage with two mostly healthy people can be a disaster in marriages where one or both are broken.


BTW, a one-size-fits-all approach to women is one of the common faults of the manosphere (and a lot of marriage blogs). I get that, as I have fallen into it myself and fight to avoid it.


TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@RickMiddleton  I just discussed the variations in feminism above with ForgivenWife. I should have said something on that in my original post.


Lori and I were discussing this issue today with a couple of friends at lunch, and the general consensus was that a lot of men, including Christian men, are afraid of women. Personally, I think a lot of it is the fact that women's bodies can tie our minds up in knots, and we do not like that. Seeing them as evil means we can ignore our own lust and lack of self-control.


I agree with you on the equality of all. I also see the Bible showing that we all have gifts and callings, and that we should follow those. I do not draw nearly as tight circles in the gifts and callings of men and women as many, but I do see some things that rarely if ever fall on one gender or the other. 

ABP
ABP

@RickMiddleton I also see a war on women who want traditional things, like staying home with their children. Those women are looked down upon by extreme feminists.  The entire point of the feminist movement was choice.

ABP
ABP

@RickMiddleton While I have no love for the angry man-o-sphere movement and think that they are as bad as the extreme feminists, I do have to respectfully disagree with your idea that the war on men is false. No, it might not be as bad as a lot of men make it out to be, but, yes, I do think that our society is failing to place the appropriate amount of respect on the male species. Women today have the "I can do anything I want, I don't need a man" attitude. And, yes, that's great and no, women don't *need* men to make them happy and so forth. I do, however, want my husband to feel needed by me because that's a valid male need, the need to be needed by their woman. But you can see a lot of anger from the extreme feminists in things like articles on studies that show marked differences between male and female brains.  There are women out there who don't want to be feminine, who don't want to be told that they are different from men, and that, yes, generally, there are some things men can do that women can't, and vice versa.  Differences are good, and are God-given.  Having a different strength or talent in no way makes a person less valued by God.  I also see a war on men in the way our society treats men as perpetual teenagers. I don't think men are encouraged to ever "grow up" because a lot women want to "do it all" and they want to be "sexually free" aka promiscuous like society thinks is acceptable for men(it's not right for either, by the way).  Women want to do more and more and leave men out of the equation a lot of the time. Sperm banks come to my mind at this moment. Those are my thoughts, as a female.  Again, I don't think it's nearly as bad as a lot of men make it out to be, but I do think it's worse than a lot of feminists say it is. I do not think women were better off 100 years ago, or 50 years ago. Feminism was a needed movement, went about wrong way by a good number of women. And now I see the very same thing happening in this movement. 

LynnProulx
LynnProulx

@TheGenerousHusband @LynnProulx  

We spoke about abuse also and my grandma said that most men treated woman far better than now and if a woman was abused most folks would not only help her, but hurt him.  Hurting women was something one did not do if they wanted to keep their health intact.


Sure there are exceptions to everything.  But I bet there are exceptions now also. 


I don't believe options are always or maybe even usually a good thing in a lot of cases. I guess because I am a woman I can say especially with women.  I notice that the more options a woman has usually the unhappier or maybe I should say the less content she is.  This is probably is some way the way God made us and maybe why he put us under our father's and husband's leadership.  

Ant123
Ant123

@TheGenerousHusband @Ant123Sorry this took so long. It was erased the fist time and I just had a chance to redo it.


       I just know in this area it was very rare. Almost all men believed it was their responsibility to protect women and children. If someone got out
of line not only would the victims family be opposed but so would the men in the church (most all went then) and other members of the community.
       My point on the two heads thing is that when you boil down everything that the feminist movement in all its forms stands for its basically equality of
authority. That is not what all of them say it is but it is. That is not what the bible says. Many so called and maybe genuine christian feminist want to say things like "that stuff about women being submissive"...and whatever other passages in the New Testament someone would want to quote were just there because of the culture of that day. As if God did not have the for-site to realize that cultures change and somehow He just missed that. No His word endures the test of all time and cultures.
       My point with the slavery and segregation analogy was simply that even though the black families had to endure those things they most all survived them intact. It was the weight of liberalism coupled then with feminism when that begin to change. Incidentally, that is when it begin to change for those families not affected by "the deep damage done by slavery, Jim Crow laws, segregation, and a long history of racism". Is this a coincidence? It is not.                  Finally I was not suggesting that women in general beat them selves up to claim spousal abuse. Sorry if that is the way it came across. But that those very few that did were what the trial lawyers used to push for no-fault divorce. As I said I have a friend that was on the committee in the legislature that had the hearings on that issue. Most of the lawyers just saw dollars to earn.
    As for the rest of the cases, I stated earlier that while I know it happened it was very rare. At least it was here. As for many not being reported I'm sure some were not. But most of the time that is hard to hide from everybody for long. Someone close to them would find out just like people close to people find out other intimate details. Once one person finds out, at least it was that way back then, soon several others would and before long it is confronted and dealt with. I wish most people here, where I live, today had that same character, that same sense of responsibility. Sadly, they do not.

SexWithinMarriage.com
SexWithinMarriage.com

@TheGenerousHusband @mrcheevus  I've followed Athol for a bit, and I've noticed one issue that I would consider the fatal flaw in his philosphy:  there is no room for trust it seems.  

Everything seems to be a maneuver, a play, a gambit.  There is no room for self-sacrificing love, and so, I think that undermines the very fabric of Christian marriage, where you a reach a point, that you trust each other in everything and have a complete transparent life with someone.  That is a precious thing that I fear he will never experience.  

No doubt, he'll have a lot of fun, and get a lot of satisfaction out of life, but from the things I've read that he's written, he will always miss that potential stage of openness, because his worldview does not allow for it: it cannot exist in his paradigm. His methodology teaches that he would loose all control of his relationship, and that can never happen in his mind, because it means he would never have sex again, which is what he's chasing above all else.

That's seems to be his goal: sex.  His wife merely seems to be a means to an end.


Christian marriages is the other way around.  The relationship is the goal.  Sex is merely an expression that pales in comparison to the true underlying reality, and would be meaningless without it.

mrcheevus
mrcheevus

@TheGenerousHusband Well, I am not as studied as many around here, so I may not be scaling my evaluations as well as I could.  There do seem to be exceptions to Athol's rule, in my opinion, but the vast majority of women I speak to seem to communicate that he is right, though they might not think in his terms.  


Neither of these blogs would I recommend as templates for Christ followers to emulate, but I do find that some who don't follow Christ, because they are freed from "official Christian views", can communicate insights that might well be real reflections of God's ordering of men and women.

Basement Tapes
Basement Tapes

@ABP @RickMiddleton When someone "looks down" on you, that's hardly a war. My neighbors probably "look down" on my used cars. That's not a war, that's the basic human tendency to compare ourselves to others. Single people complain that we married people "look down" on them; is there a "war" on single people? No. Live your life confidently and don't expect that you can ever please everyone or be immune to criticism.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@ABP @RickMiddleton  It only became a war when the women shot back!

I do agree with you on those who want to erase very real and biologically based gender differences. Just recently one branch of the military said it was re-examining its combat ready test because the vast majority of women could not pass it. If you need a different test for men and women, you are saying men and women are not able to do the job equally. Lowering the bar to allow men or women into a job is a bad plan in my mind.

Another example is several recent studies that found (surprise) women are less likely to orgasm during hook-ups and one-night stands than when they are in a committed relationship. You and I see that as being about how God made women, but many feminists are yelling about how it proves women are still not free of male sexual bondage.

Basement Tapes
Basement Tapes

@ABP @RickMiddleton The "I don't need men" stereotype might exist among some tiny group on a college campus, but I never encounter people in normal life who act like that. Frankly, I think you're describing a cartoonish caricature. If women hate men and marriage so much, why are there so many TV shows about finding 1. a man, and 2. a gorgeous, uber-feminine wedding dress? Sorry, but this horrible nightmare world where men are ostracized sounds more like a sci-fi film than my normal life.

GenerousWife
GenerousWife

@LynnProulx My concern here is that women ACTUALLY HAVE the option of living in safety. Options for safety are GOOD.

I would argue your perspectives about how safe women have been in the past and because of that I am grateful that women have a voice, that we have options for safety and that the laws protect us to some degree.

And, honestly, this talk about restricting women for our own good feels a bit creepy. Having fewer options may make a person "happier," but who gets to choose which "few options" we have? Surely we are adult enough to think, pray, discuss, etc..

SexWithinMarriage.com
SexWithinMarriage.com

@High Country Ahh, I thought this sounded familiar.

Different year, different username, same argument.  Why try to hide your identify?  This would have been a lot easier if we just picked up where we left off.  Would have saved us all a lot of time.


I believe I shall quit this discussion as well, as the last time we talked, you were quite clear in stating that you were not interested in considering other points of view, and I don't need to spend time rehashing the same discussion again for no purpose.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@High Country A moderating note - the LiveFyre system "Bozo'ed" this comment. I cleared it when I saw it. The auto-moderation is built in, I don't control it. A couple of your posts have been caught, I think because of name-calling, but it is a complex algorithm so I do not know for sure. I've also have several of your posts flagged by other users (I do not know who).

I am big on a free exchange of ideas, so  allow things I do not agree with - even when they get a bit nasty. If anything, I allow too much, and have been told that more than once.

While I am happy to allow comments, I do not feel obligated to reply to someone who calls me a liar and tells people I believe things I have never said (How do you know I believe something, if I have never said it – mind reading?) Given what you think about me I see no reason to think anything I say would make a difference, so why waste my time?

Blessings

SexWithinMarriage.com
SexWithinMarriage.com

@High Country Well, see, Paul "attacked" with logical arguments and reasoning, and addressed the issues, and I think it was more of a warning really.  You haven't actually told us what your issue is, just that we're wrong.  It reminds me of trying to have a conversation with my children who just keep repeating "It's not fair", while I try logic to reason with them.  Not that I'm calling you a child, mind you, but I feel the same sense of frustration in a way, not that I'm angry, but there is nothing to grasp in your argument.  No point or logic to hang on to to make a rational rebuttal to.


Now, you may have seen a "high noon" battle between Sheila and I...but I must have missed it, I don't recall any such event.  What you call a fight, I think I might just call a discussion like I have on any given day.  So, I can't really comment on that without a specific instance, though "ran like a dog with it's tail between it's legs" doesn't sound like an apt description of any discussion I've had that I can recall.  My discussions typically end in one of three ways:

1) I decide they aren't interested and I walk away

2) I decide I have something to learn and continue asking questions until I think I've learned it

3) They decide they have something to learn, and I continue answering questions until they are satisfied


But, sometimes people aren't ready for the truth, and so you have to be satisfied with them merely taking the next step, so that you can have a relationship in which to launch from when they are ready for the next step.


Now, you finally gave something of your reasoning here:

No submission isn't let's both give our ideas, pray about, discuss it, turn it over and toss it around and pray about it some more and on and on and only when you have exhausted every other avenue the wife submits or "gives in" and she puts it.  No, it's about a husband who seeks God's way for his family, seeks and honors his wife's input and makes a decision and she submits.


Now, I would argue a couple of your points, because they are directly against scripture:

1) You say it's not about getting both ideas, but if you don't seek her advice, you are unwise (12:15)

2) I don't know what you have against praying about it. (Phil 4:6)

3) I don't know what you have against discussing it, turning it over, tossing it around (Prov 27:17)


Unless your point is the purpose of that who scenario.  Yes, this should not be done to "prove your point", it should be done to seek wise counsel, from God and your wife, whom God has appointed as your helper.  Careful, they can look similar to the outsider of the situation.  Only the husband and wife know the truth.


The scenario above (me trying to convince my wife so we can make a decision) does not happen in my marriage.  I ask for advice, because I chose a wise wife who often sees things I do not.  We pray, because i believe in prayer.  I'm not praying that God will convince my wife.  I'm praying for both of us to have wisdom so that we (with me as the leader) may follow God's will.


But, you are mistaken, I believe, if you think your wife is a dog to be led by the collar because you are it's master and that you are created as a higher being.  The Bible is clear that we are of equal value (though not equal role), and I believe you are mismanaging the resources you are to steward if you are not leveraging your wife in your decision making process.


Oh, and I've never lamented about people not coming to my blog it's not in my nature to worry about such things.  I don't recall Paul ever doing so either, but, I don't have an eidetic memory, so don't quote me on that.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@SexWithinMarriage.com @High Country  Yes, ad hominem is a prized skill in the manosphere. 

You and I do differ on a number of things, but I have always felt you heard and respected me, even if you thought I was dead wrong. I feel the same about you.

SexWithinMarriage.com
SexWithinMarriage.com

@High Country It's hard to take you seriously when you attack the person instead of his arguments.  This is a big problem that I see shared with much of the man-o-sphere and feminist writing: they fail to stand up to a logical argument.  They always must resort to hyperbole, attacks on persons, vulgar language, or just run around screaming "they're all brainwashed!"


Paul and I have had many disagreements on theology, sexuality, marriage and probably a few other topics, but we've always done so with respect, and calm and logical discussions (so far as I can tell). And so, I respect him as someone who is willing to discuss his point of view rather than jump into a conversation with "You are simply delusional!" 

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@High Country @TheGenerousHusband  It is clear that you have made up your mind about who you think I am, and that you are not listening to what I actually say. Based on that, further comments from me are a waste of time.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Ant123 @TheGenerousHusband  You know? How could you know? You know what was public knowledge, but wife beating was kept hidden by pretty much everyone. After you talk to enough women who remained silent, and adults who knew their dad beat their mom for years with no one talking about it, you realise the lack of talking about it does not mean it was not happening. Trust me; people were very good at hiding abuse, and more than you want to think saw it as “don’t ask, don’t tell, and look the other way if you find out.” Sure, some did not play by these rules, but many did.

Again, I believe in headship and submission.

Black families were routinely broken up during slavery, with one spouse or children being sold and never seen again. What's more, they could not marry without permission, so most slave marriages were never recorded. Beyond that I choose not to argue the history of this with you - the facts are out there if you want to find them.

I do think divorce is far too fast and easy today, but I also see some benefits to no-fault. Being able to get away from abuse, of you and/or you children is a huge plus. How many women today would get married if they thought they might not be able to get out if their husband turned out to be abusive? I think many would just live together to keep the ability to leave if they felt they must. Given some choose that even with no-fault divorce for those reasons I do not think it is a stretch. That would mean less divorce and more shacking up. Beyond that, it is nice to know my wife is with my by choice.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@mrdaver911 @SexWithinMarriage.com @TheGenerousHusband  I hear you on the church doing something similar. I see it in places, but we have a long way to go. (The Marriage Bed Boards - http://bit.ly/143dDBi does this fairly well at times.)


Trying to extract the good from something of the world is sometimes a good idea. It is also risky if we do not have a good solid walk with the Lord. It sounds like you have done well with that - hopefully you can share what you have learned with others.

SexWithinMarriage.com
SexWithinMarriage.com

@mrdaver911 After reading the first book and perusing the boards, I would argue that while they say their central thesis is "become the best version of you", it seemed that the real central thesis was "get more sex at any cost".  A lot of the things they suggest/prescribe, I would argue, severely impinges on your ethics and values, and by doing so, devaluing yourself: not quite "becoming the best version of you".

mrdaver911
mrdaver911

@SexWithinMarriage.com @TheGenerousHusband @mrdaver911  


I think you are totally right; and to be honest as I read Athol's books and blogs I had some hard praying to do and maybe didn't progress as quickly as some people who were 'All in' with the MMSL program. I ran into many things that were for me simply never going to be an option (divorce). And I did what many there would consider the ultimate evil; I told my wife that I didn't like the passive guy I had become and that I needed to change to love her well. I talked to her about things I read and things I started changing about myself. I also prayed about it, A LOT. 


See, I got saved at 36; I had 36 years of The World telling me what it meant to 'love', the same World that questions how can God be a 'loving' God. I had a lot to relearn. So I found MMSL and started reading the forum posts. I learned a lot, and had to bypass a lot. But I started dieting, losing weight, working out, did better at work, got a raise, bought a house and started addressing my wife's medical problems. 


And one thing I do appreciate the central thesis of MMSL is to "become the best version of you". I think this is an earthly parallel to 2Cor3:18, except in the MMSL version the 'work' is on you, not the Spirit of God.


Galatians 5 talks about the fruit of the Spirit, One fruit, singular. So when I want to talk about how I wasn't very good at 'self control' that also means I wasn't having 'joy, peace, patience, kindness,goodness, faithfulness or gentleness'. They are inextricably linked, because they are one fruit. And one of the big takeaways for me from this blog/forum was how to learn self control practically, not being told 'control yourself' but really how to learn and grow into it.


Honestly, I wish that there was a culture within the church that was a bit more like MMSL. Where people poured into one another, where you could ask a brother or sister how they would handle a given situation. And where their answer would always be pointing back to God the father,  Christ and him crucified, and the Holy Spirit and his work in our lives and hearts fellowshiping with us daily.


In the end, it has been good for me. But I have had to separate the wheat from the chaff as I went along. I like where I am headed, and that my wife and I have a better marriage by the grace of God alone.

SexWithinMarriage.com
SexWithinMarriage.com

@TheGenerousHusband @mrdaver911  I was going to answer similar to Paul: Follow Biblical principles and the same thing occurs.


Here's the issue, while a lot of things Athol Kay teaches are Biblical (Objective Independence = Being content in all things, Good Alpha = Being a Leader, Being Confident in who you are, Beta = Being Sacrificial, Loving your wife, etc., these aren't new concepts), there are a lot of things he teaches that go against scripture (like intentionally seeking the attention of other women (IOIs), divorce if you aren't happy, the whole "war" between the genders).


I think you can attain all the things he promises by using the Bible as your guide, without sacrificing what his system requires you to.


I think the problem is that Christians are too lazy to read their Bible and actually study it, so we look for shortcuts in the world to find our answers, being content to find something that is 50% of the truth and 50% damaging, just so we don't have to spend time with God.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@mrdaver911  I get the whole "nice guy" thing, and I have seen plenty of proof women do not want a man who is a wimp. 

However, I think we are working with a false dichotomy. A mix of alpha and beta is no doubt better than all of either, but is it totally missing a third option? I find it difficult to describe Jesus as alpha or beta, or really a mix of the two. Sure, you can find things that look like one or the other, but I think He was something else completely - and we are to follow His example.

It is kind of like our two political parties in the USofA - each embraces some part of what Jesus taught, while both ignore other parts. 

Being like Jesus does not mean picking some from column A and some from column B. Some of what is in A is right, as is some of what is in B, but some of what we should be is missing from both A and B, so we will never get to what we should be by picking between the two.

mrdaver911
mrdaver911

@SexWithinMarriage.com @TheGenerousHusband  Hey Gent's I feel like I need to chime in on this one. I started reading Athol's blog about a year and a half ago. And honestly it saved my marriage from a continuing down a very bad road. 

You see I grew up very much the 'nice guy', which led me growing up into an Average Frustrated Chump. Even after I got saved in 2006 and started to really look into what God wanted for marriage, it still didn't make any sense to me. "Love you wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her..." "Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way..." 


I was being the 'good guy' and I was being 'nice'. From all appearances I was a great husband. But I was in a sexual desert...and I couldn't understand why. I prayed to God for help, I prayed that he would grow and mature me into a Godly husband.


He led me to MMSL. Really it was the forums and the almost 2000 members there who pour into one another with frank honesty that I realy wish we had in our churches today. I learned a lot about attraction and marriage through interacting wiht these people. And I learned that I had to take responsibility for my own marriage, that God gave me a wife as a great gift; but that it is my job as husband to steward that gift well. There is a saying in MMSL that "if you're MAPping (following the MMSL book plan) for sex then you're doing it wrong and you won't get anywhere with it." 


And honestly I have realized that one of the biggest problems in teaching about sex and marriage and mature biblical husbandry is that you can teach the same thing to two different people and have, potentially, a positive and a negative result. 


I believe that Christ is sufficient. I believe that the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is sufficient. I believe that once you accept and desire to 'Love you wife as Christ loved the church...you are forced to ask the question "How do I do that practically? What attitudes do I need to shed or transform?" 

And I find that Athol is generally correct in his thesis that men are either to much bad Alpha (domineering/brutish/a-hole) or to much bad Beta (subservient/weak/sniveling/fearful). And that they need a balance of Good Alpha (Leading well/Succeeding at work/dressing attractively/pursuing physical fitness) and Good Beta (Providing a House/Conversation/Love/Support) to make a successful marriage.


But here is where my frustration with the church and marriage blogs comes in; teaching is usually directed at the guy who is too much bad Alpha; the guy who tends toward being domineering and controlling. And maybe it's a matter of numbers, maybe there are more of them out there than guys like me...who grew up being the nice guy. (And yeah, Paul...I know you made a crack about being a 'Beta Dupe', but I'm guessing by seeing how driven and passionate you are about God, your Wife and your Marriage...and that you write many blogs. I'm guessing that this is not the case.)


I think that most churches to a fair to poor job in teaching men what it looks like practically, and I mean in an everyday rubber meets the road kind of way what it looks like to love your wife bionically. I fear that the 'nice guys' in the congregation are hearing that they need to be even nicer to their wives...instead of being told that in order to shoulder the weight of marriage they need to grow a spine and stop being a doormat.


I know that this is a very difficult and serious conversation we are all involved with, but I would urge you and your fellow bloggers to consider both types of men as you dispense advice. Athol and the MMSL form do just that, they approach each situation from both sides, and the results can be tremendous.

SexWithinMarriage.com
SexWithinMarriage.com

@TheGenerousHusband I think "scoring" a marriage based on sex is not quite right, but I think we agree that sexual frequency is generally a fairly decent proxy of the health of the marriage.

As for "winning", I think Athol might beat us in the "sex score" department, he claims an "every night" score.  That said, I wouldn't trade him.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@SexWithinMarriage.com @TheGenerousHusband @mrcheevus  He, and others, do treat love and marriage a lot like a chess match.

Oneness is vital to me, so I have no use for anything that does not bring that about. I suppose that makes me a beta dupe ;-) 

I have not read him enough to know for sure sex is his only goal, but I see this as very common in the manosphere, so it would not surprise me. Of course, if we score marriage success by how much sex is happening, you and I are clearly winning!

ABP
ABP

@RickMiddleton @ABPIt's not just "looking down" on, it's a full-on blogging world war. I myself don't get involved because I have better things to do, but I do see it quite often. Truth be told, it does get a little disappointing to see women constantly slam other women for the choice of "throwing away their lives" and staying home. I see your point about not pleasing everyone, and I agree.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@RickMiddleton @ABP  I would agree it is not a war, but it can be more than what is communicated by "looked down on".

That said, I agree with living your life confidently. It seems to me the criticism of stay at home moms shows the lack of confidence from the feminist!

ABP
ABP

@TheGenerousHusband @ABP@RickMiddletonWhat only became a war when the women shot back - the war on men?  Are there many women shooting back against the "war on men?"  I'm not sure on your intent of that, I apologize.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@RickMiddleton @TheGenerousHusband @ABP  I don't know if the suffrage movement was the mother of feminism or not - I'd need to do a good deal of reading. 

I saw how vulnerable women were in the 70s, and heard first hand of even worse earlier. It was, as I said in my article, horrible and unbiblical.

I did not mean to make feminism about sex only, it was just one easy example of their folly.

ABP
ABP

@RickMiddleton
I don't believe he was blaming solely the women for the sexual revolution. Your facts on feminism are not wrong, nor are they being disputed. We're talking about the fringe of feminism, and you keep bringing up facts that are not relevant to this conversation. He was talking about one aspect of feminism, not reducing it to one thing. 

ABP
ABP

@TheGenerousHusband @RickMiddleton@ABPWar might not be the right word to use here....war on men, or war on women, or whatever.  However, I still stand by my view that men are not held in high esteem in this day and age. Neither is marriage, for that matter. Just watch any sitcom on TV that deals with marriage. It's sad.

Basement Tapes
Basement Tapes

@TheGenerousHusband @RickMiddleton @ABP  The earliest feminists had one very reasonable goal: to be able to vote. Let's not forget that it took until the 20th century for that to happen, which in hindsight is absurdly late. Later feminists had goals like not being harassed at work (watch Mad Men sometime to get a glimpse of how vulnerable women were 50 years ago), not being stuck in secretarial jobs forever, not being paid less for the same job, and not being excluded from going to college. Your description reduces feminism to sex only, which misses the larger picture along with being judgmental. And if the feminists were on the wrong side of the sexual revolution, so were the males who slept with them. Let's not blame fornication on one gender, when it takes two to tango. 


My mother came of age before feminism, and had few career choices. My sister came of age after feminism, and is an engineer. The anti-feminist backlash seems like misplaced anger, and sometimes I think it is motivated by anger that females actually were given the chance to become engineers. Again, this is fear-based and combative. I find it disturbing.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@RickMiddleton @ABP  It does exist, but it is a small fringe group.

Feminist wanted sexual equality and they went about it by trying to engage in all the sins and stupid thing men were doing. Bad plan, with predictably horrible results. If the only way to be equal is to sink to the level of someone else, I vote for not being equal in that area.

Frankly, I think both men and women are being messed over by the current sexual norm for teens and 20's. The men may be enjoying it more (but not nearly as much as we are lead to believe), and it leaves many women unable to want or enjoy sex in marriage, which is bad for both women and men.

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