Monday, August 31, 2009

Overheard at the gym: MRA/MGTOW talk from med students

About two weeks ago, I was at the campus gym lifting weights, when I heard the phrase "get married" drifting over from a conversation some distance away. I looked over, and saw a group of three guys at a piece of equipment about twenty feet away from the one I was using. They were taking turns on it and chatting as they did so. I recognized one of them as a member of the class one year behind mine in medical school, though I really don't know him at all, so I assumed the others were med students as well. The part of the conversation I overheard went something like this:

"Me, getting married?"

"I'd never get married."

"I saw a thing on the news about some celebrity who just got divorced, and his wife wound up with more than half of all his money." [I thought they might have been referring to John Cleese.]

"I just don't get why you'd do that to yourself!"

"Well, I don't know, I guess some people do it if they want to have a family, you know..."

"Yeah, but you don't have to get married to have a family."

"True, but some people still feel like they should, I guess..."

I thought this was interesting just because of how my views have changed over the past year. If I had overheard this conversation one year ago, I would have felt in response a mixture of envy, jealousy, intimidation, resentment, and despair. Envy, because I would have assumed the reason the guys were talking this way is that they were selfish hedonists who happened to be blessed with the traits that make men attractive to women, and therefore they were going to take as much as they could get (of sex) while they could get it; and I wished I had the power to attract women that way. Jealousy, because I would have thought that by doing this they were monopolizing all the girls, corrupting many who would otherwise have remained innocent and naive and been attracted to a guy like me, turning them into sluts and party girls who were out of my league. Intimidation, because I would have assumed that anyone who lived their life that way was more socially dominant than I and would see me as a pathetic sniveling little wimp for clinging to traditional morality, and that they were on the side of the culture wars which was fighting to transform our society away from what I wanted it to be and toward something that was very unpleasant to me. Resentment that they would have the nerve to do this, and despair that their side in the culture wars was winning and their victory seemed inevitable.

All of this, because a few males indirectly implied that they thought it made more sense to have sex outside of marriage than within it.

Now that I have become familiar with the seduction community and the writings of F. Roger Devlin, and been clued into the real dynamics behind sexual relationships, I see things in a different light. I don't see these guys as heroes, nor innocent victims, but they are merely reacting to their environment. They see men in the news every day having their lives ruined and everything they have taken away in divorce court, all because their wives got "bored," and they understandably want to avoid that. They weren't objecting to marriage in theory, but to what it has become in practice in our society. Notably--something that would have escaped me a year ago, when I would have focused on their supposed caddishness and superiority to me in the dating market--they weren't complaining about the idea of settling down with one woman for the rest of your life. None of them explicitly said that they wanted to sleep around, and in fact they seemed to think having a family was still an acceptable goal. Fifty years ago, in a society that still held traditional sexual morality up as a public ideal, these guys would probably have gotten married without giving it much thought.

The point is that my own journey is illustrative of just how in the dark most of our society is. I can't say for certain what all the factors were which converged over the past year to change my point of view, but for most people, it is something that still hasn't happened. It must happen, particularly among social and religious conservatives, if we are to turn this ship around. Whether this will happen in time, or on a sufficient scale, remains to be seen, but the truth, at least in raw form, is out there.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lustful men force innocent, unsuspecting girls to have abortions

In the recent debate about game (aka the practice of seduction) that has engulfed a certain number of blogs I follow, the central bone of contention seems to be the question of what, exactly, has been understood about female sexuality in the past and whether or not new information about the same has been discovered recently. In a post on this topic, Thursday, who graciously quoted me, wrote the following:
The usual social conservative/traditionalist explanation was that bad males had gotten these young girls to sleep with them because these poor females wanted love and affection (but not sex) and those bad males refused to give them love and affection unless they slept with them. Those innocent females didn't really want the sex, you see, they just wanted to be loved and cherished, but they had to give these men sex outside of marriage or else these bad men would move on to some girl who would have sex with them. It was sexual extortion, aided by the fact that the young man could now say, "But you won't get pregnant. We have birth control now."
Whatever your background, I'm sure you will at least recognize this view as being a commonly held one. A prominent expositor of it is Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and in his spare time a prolific anti-male, woman-on-pedestal-placing blogger who seems to believe that all the problems in the world stem from the fact that men won't do what women want. When I read the above paragraph by Thursday, I immediately thought of Mohler, and surfed over to his blog to see whether in what way he had been attacking men lately. Sure enough, he wrote a post just last week entitled "The Hidden Reality of Abortion -- Empowering Men."

The reader is invited to peruse Mohler's blog at leisure, but I'm less interested in what Mohler himself had to say on the subject than on the piece which apparently sparked his thoughts. It's an opinion piece from the August/September issue of First Things entitled "Her Choice, Her Problem: How Abortion Empowers Men." In this essay, Richard Stith of Valparaiso University School of Law argues that abortion "has had the perverse result of freeing men and trapping women." Supposedly it has done so by allowing men to demand casual sex of women, under the threat that the men will not be responsible if the women become pregnant. I don't know what universe Stith is living in, where a man can force a woman to have an abortion. It's certainly not the one I'm living in, where an unmarried father can be sued for, and forced to pay, child support for 18 years, if the girl decides that she wants to keep the baby.

In a perfect illustration of the kind of thinking described by Thursday above, Stith writes:
I’ve also met a clever female undergraduate student living with her boyfriend, who thought she had solved this problem. When I asked whether she was for or against abortion, she answered: “I’m pro-choice, but you can bet I tell him I’m pro-life!” She reasoned that, in light of her warning, he would be careful not to fool around in ways that could lead to pregnancy.

Such a lie may not provide protection for every young woman in her situation, however. If she says she is pro-life so that he thinks abortion is not an option for her, he might decide to keep her from getting pregnant by leaving her for someone more open to abortion, a woman who doesn’t insist on his using a condom. That is, the presence in the sexual marketplace of women willing to have an abortion reduces an individual woman’s bargaining power. As a result, in order not to lose her guy, she may be pressured into doing precisely what she doesn’t want to do: have unprotected sex, then an unwanted pregnancy, then the abortion she had all along been trying to avoid.
Got that? A girl who is pro-choice, but for some reason trying to avoid an abortion, may, by lying and claiming to be pro-life, be "pressured" into the very abortion she'd been trying to avoid. Oh, the poor, clever, pro-choice, lying, angelic ingenue! Conspicuously absent from this scenario is any mention of the fact that the girl wilfully and deliberately chose to have sex with the guy. Does Stith even believe that is possible?

Jeez, if men had the power to mind-control women the way the Mohlers and Stiths of the world think we do, I'd have been married for 10 years by now.

Fortunately, a couple of the commenters display some common sense, including one Jerome, who writes:
A related myth embedded in this article is that women, somehow, don't naturally enjoy and want sex, but view it purely in procreative and responsible terms, while men are somehow wired to pursue irresponsible sex with no attention to the possibility of procreation.
It's true; this is a subtext that is present in the writings of most social conservatives on these subjects, though rarely stated explicitly. It's like the elephant in the living room, totally unnoticed when one has never questioned these myths about female sexuality, but, once one has had the veil lifted, makes reading such pieces a quite frustrating and somewhat unnerving experience. Unfortunately, in my experience, social conservative writers who espouse these views never respond to comments or any other form of feedback. No matter how many Jeromes write in to correct them, they never even bother to address the rebuttals; they simply ignore them and go on writing as though women don't like sex and are incapable of immorality.

A final thought: both Mohler and Stith's headlines place a negative connotation on the phrase "empowering men." Isn't it bizarre, that these male writers, believers in a traditional religion, one so often castigated by feminists as patriarchal, men who would undoubtedly affirm the biblical precepts that men be the head of both the church and their families, and that women submit to their husbands, apparently consider the empowerment of men to be a bad thing? They remind me of conservatives who are always arguing against affirmative action on the basis that it hurts black people; leaving the door wide open for everyone to assume that if it helped black people, it would then be OK. Hey Albert Mohler and Richard Stith: if it were proved tomorrow that abortion really empowered women and disempowered men, would it be OK after all?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Where have I been?

I apologize to whomever out there had decided to follow this blog on a semi-regular basis. I received many compliments on my posts, but I knew this day would come--or rather, the day that came a few months ago, when I began 3rd year of medical school and had to place the blog lower on my list of priorities. The problem is compounded by the fact that I did not study as hard as I could have during the first two years of medical school (as evidenced by the fact, documented on this very blog, that I was spending at least some of my time thinking about politics, when most of my classmates were spending a much greater portion of their time thinking about nothing but anatomy, physiology, pathology, and biochemistry.) So now, I feel compelled to spend some of my spare time studying to ensure that I'm prepared for my experiences on the wards.

However--and I questioned for a long time whether this blog should take a more personal turn, as many do, but I think it's inevitable--there was something else non-medical I was spending a good deal of my time over the last two years thinking about, something that, in fact, consumed me and kept me preoccupied most of the time, and that is, woman. I seldom admit this in person, but a large proportion of my motivation for pursuing medicine was my belief that, by doing something conventionally considered "prestigious", and positioning myself as a good future provider, I would become attractive to women. The slow and painful discrediting of that belief has occupied most of the time I spend thinking about non-med school-related matters over the past 8 months or so, and it commenced last fall, when I discovered the seduction community.

I had had two brief intimations of this community in years prior, which I may describe later, and it repulsed me at first. But this time, something compelled me to investigate it further, and I have now read, or viewed in one case, several seduction-related materials. I must say that my eyes have been opened to the nature of women and of male-female relations, both in traditional times and in modern society. So many of my past experiences, as well as my frustrations in finding that being a medical student got me nowhere even with conservative Christian women, suddenly make sense, now that I see them through the light of female hypergamy. It really is, as a commenter said somewhere, like finally seeing the Matrix.

Now, this is not about to become a PUA blog. Lord knows there are enough of them out there already, and I am not about to give up on Christian sexual morality in an attempt to reinvent myself as a player. However, I've decided that in our society, however unfortunate it may be, a guy has to learn some "game" just to attract a decent wife. I'm sure that now and then, when I do find time to post, the topics of dating, sexual relations, marriage, etc. will come up more often than they have.

I've also added two blogs, which discuss these matters in ways I find helpful, to my blogroll: Novaseeker and The Elusive Wapiti. There are others which I browse from time to time, which I may add when they come to mind.