But I’m wanting to do a little bit of a contrast, looking at things people have written — some of which is new, and some of which is recycled, and some of which is a follow-up to a couple of previous posts.
Let’s start with a comment for the girls. All Ladies have a little girl inside them, and if that goes, something pretty has died.
Sometimes you have to choose when to be frilly so you can actually live your life.
Yeah, I agree, but the church is currently broken. Not necessarily in our leadership and theology, but in our lives. Far too many of us are frightened of marriage. Far too many of us do not how to court, how to desire, and how to wait (hint: careful negotiation of how you will live and work and finance life: short periods of betrothal
This is a three year old comment from a blog you will not be able to get through unless you look in the web archives. It is an example of a women coaching women, on how to find a husband. Alte wrote it: she uses rhetoric instinctively (and now by training): she sets out the principles, uses examples, and (not now, she’s wiser) probably gives too much information away, including her ability to cook Indian food.
Ladies, please note that how you look, is important, but who you are is more important. Plenty of people have ignored the memes that being fat, snarky and slumpty turn men of. But those women who observe men and act feminine have to bring more to a marriage.
And if you are not young, project “pretty wife” anyway. The Chinese say “there are no ugly women, only lazy ones”
When men see a woman, they quickly sort her into “a good time” or “potential wife” (or girlfriend, if they aren’t yet looking for a wife). The goal is to project the image of a “pretty, young wife” to all of the men around you. The ones looking for “just a good time” will be more inclined to avoid you, and the ones looking for a wife will be more inclined to approach you.
How exactly you tailor this, depends on the type of man you wish to attract.
If you’re looking for a conservative/religious man, dress more severely. Wear more delicate colors, simple but rich fabrics, cover yourself more completely, etc. Tailor your speech to be more pious and ladylike, don’t go out dancing at all, protect your virginity with your life, etc.
If you’re looking for a more liberal/secular man (like my husband), dress modestly but more fashionable. Wear brighter colors and bold prints, but don’t show any cleavage or your legs above the knees. Speak more colloquial but don’t curse, go out dancing but be careful how you dance, don’t sleep around, etc.
If I acted more modest, my husband would be turned off. My sensual nature was one of the things that attracted him to me, and he couldn’t care less if I was a virgin, or not. As it is, he sometimes complains that I dress like a nun or act like a prude. (Yes, my husband thinks that I’m a prude!) So, we’ve found a balance in that I dress less modestly at home but put on a cover-up, or add a camisole underneath, when we leave the house.
When I wrote this post, I asked him, “Why did you want to marry me?” We actually started discussing marriage on the second date! That evening, I invited him over to my house for the first time, cooked him an elaborate Indian dinner, and we spent the evening looking through my bookcases. He said, “It was when you brought the dinner in. I was sitting at the table, reading through one of your books. You had so many great books. You walked in with a steaming platter of naan, in this pretty dress. You just looked so wholesome, like something out of a painting of ‘happy home life’. And I thought, ‘Yeah, this is it. This is what I want for the rest of my life. I don’t ever want to leave here.’”
And I think a lot of women waste their time chasing men who don’t want to get married anytime soon. It’s pointless.
On the last point, there has been a series of discussions recently. The divorce rate among Christians, even those where their church bans divorce (Catholics) or functionally makes it very difficult (Orthodox) is far too high.
And we rationalize what we are doing. Firstly, we are damaging our children. We forget that love is not a feeling but a verb: an action, a series of acts of will.
This quote “The best thing for a child is for their parents to be happy…” is one of the biggest loads of bullshit ever propagated by our regularly scheduled mass media programming. At it’s root, this pervasive meme is based on myopic, narcissistic selfishness, and is steroids for both male and female rationalization hamsters everywhere.
It is one of the most pervasive and destructive memes, and is the single most influential whisper promulgated to effect the widespread destruction of families in order to shape our Brave New World Order’s primary cultural paradigm. It is a primary contributor to the manufacturing of a populace weakened, damaged and dysfunctional, making them much easier to manipulate and control. Nothing creates the damaged psyche of easily manipulated and controlled people better than a family broken apart by a bitter, acrimonious divorce while the children involved are at a young age.
The entire rotten, crumbling edifice of what was once a civilized society, can be pinpointed to the promotion of leading people to think that the key to happiness is to focus on satisfying any and all of their selfish desires. In even simpler terms, it is a message influencing people to adopt a mindset focused on taking and receiving, and not giving and sharing. This attitude is especially corrosive in interpersonal relationships, of which marriage used to be one of the closest and strongest bonds ever created between two human beings….but it also applies to friendships and extended familial bonds as well.
This focus on selfishness is the very anti-thesis of true love.
That’s because what most people think of as “LOVE” is nothing more than a feeling. Something you “experience.” An abstraction. You’ll know it when you feel it. And, oh yeah, without love, you cannot be happy.
This is a corruption of what love really is. Love is not an abstract noun…an ephemeral feeling. An experience like an intoxicating drug that is somehow sold to us as THE key to human beings achieving perpetual bliss.
Love is a verb.
The church tends to wimp out here, and Keoni is doing us a service by reminding us of things that we should have been taught from the beginning. But we are not doing this. Not even in the church. Instead of holding frame, we are acting in fear, as wimps: and then we wonder why women go seeking courage elsewhere.
You know what I find funny about Eph 5? The girls get one or two sentences. The boys get a few paragraphs. The girls are told to be submissive, and you can almost feel the daggers being drawn in the room, and the pastor is sweating profusely. Many pastors don’t even give it to the girls straight, and try to make a bunch of excuses or corrolaries. Submit; that’s it.
The boys get a laundry list of things that will likely result in their DEATH. The pastor enjoys telling them this, and the men all quietly nod in total agreement. They have to work and be proactive and counsel and lead and sacrifice and die, but hey- don’t even mention submission to your wife without some kind of qualifying statements.
We have women sitting at home, pining for love, and wanting to read some novel about shiny vampires — not considering anything about how the biology of such creatures would worked or how it is linked to lust — while damning the lad in church who confessed to sneaking a peek at porn.
One of the weirder twists in the development of a sub-genre happened some time in the early 1990s, with the advent of the paranormal romance. In retrospect it’s fairly obvious what they’re for; they allow the reader to vicariously explore emotional aspects of BDSM without the troublesome need to find a partner with a roll of duct tape and a flogger who also understands the need for safe words. (This may also be a side-effect of changing gender/power relationships in society at large causing confusion, uncertainty, or dissatisfaction with traditional power roles: don’t tell the Pope. Ahem. There’s a really complex knot of issues here, including the implications of the demographic transition for human interpersonal and familial relationships, that is probably food for several PhD theses.)
Paranormal romance turned out to be a huge growth industry, inflating rapidly until it’s a genre in its own right, and one that outsells traditional SF by a considerable margin. This is entirely reasonable if you view fiction as a play-tool we use to explore the emotional or intellectual scope of ideas that intrigue or disturb us. But that’s not where I went with “The Rhesus Chart”; I had an existing framework (yes, it’s the fifth Laundry Files novel) and wanted to explore a different issue—the existential dilemma that a non-psychopath might experience if they suddenly learned that in order to survive, they need to kill at least two people a year.
What happens then is that our self-righteousness gets a good going over. Women consider men are brutes because they get aroused by images and seek them out. They quote the neo-puritan scientists about how porn and sex can be addictive. What they forget is that they have pretty much the same reaction — I have seen a crowd of women waiting for a Twilight movie and it was not a pretty sight. And by damning the man without admitting the truth, that they get just as horny and are just as lonely, they are holding them in contempt.
Which men can smell.
The other thing we do is fight.
Will is completely correct on the need for those of us who are wanting to subvert the current situation and meme system to stick together and not fight.
Unlike at Patriactionary, where we don’t let our theological differences come between us, these hyper-partisan types have been driving Protestants away by their blaming everything on Protestantism, and their constant bashing of Protestantism. I can name three fellow Reformed reactionaries who used to participate regularly on Twitter, one of whom has fully quit, and the other two participate now only highly infrequently, because of disgust at the constant Protestant-bashing from some highly vocal folks. And, alas, while such folks aren’t representative of all reactionaries, by any means; they are loud, and draw attention – and don’t get called out.
Ah well, whatever. Thank goodness that whatever our respective theological differences, Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox both here at this blog as writers, and amongst our friends and regular commenters of both traditions, all seem to get along fine. I hope and pray that will continue – and I hope and pray that Twitter reactionaries might eventually learn a thing or two from how we do things around here.
We should not deny the differences we have, but respect them. Simple example: I do not see much wrong with buying a meal on a Sunday — others would call it sabbath breaking — but I eschew gambling (never been interested in gambling: Am interested in food). If I was staying with a person where not buying food on a Sunday mattered, I can cook.
We need to worry less about what technical words we use, and the theological models we have, but about the reality of the Spirit working in our lives. We need to support the laity and elders as they reform one or another branch of the church, ensuring all are stuck still to Christ, and have not disappeared up some ideological rabbit hole.
And we need to be far more realistic about how far we have fallen: our sins are grievous, and this makes us damning our neighbour stupid. Coaching our neighbour, confronting him or her on errors, is useful: we are still here to bear witness and do good, not fuel contempt and live in holy isolation.