Category Archives: Relationships

Beauty, Function, and Reproduction

Here’s my final piece to cap off my Aesthetics Week contributions.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

(Genesis 1:26-28 ESV)

Women are beautiful, they are the most beautiful thing in the world. Why? Because Woman’s intrinsic biological purpose is the highest aim of mankind: to reproduce. Woman brings forth and nurtures life; her intrinsic purpose is to create the Imago Dei anew, again and again.

The function of Woman is to create new life, an intrinsically transcendent task. Her form signals her reproductive capabilities. Her beauty is a product of where her form and function points to this purpose.

Man is not beautiful, he can not be beautiful except through warped physical feminization, for his intrinsic biological purpose is not transcendent. Man’s intrinsic biological aim is to subdue the earth, an intrinsically material task.

Man may be attractive, handsome even, when his form signals high capabilities for subduing the earth or quality genetic material for helping Woman make life, but beauty is not his to have.

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This is why attractiveness in women is prized by men. An attractive woman is signalling fertility, that she will be successful in this most transcendent of purposes.

This is where here becomes a difference between the beautiful and the hot. The beautiful woman signals that not only is she fertile, but she has the inner qualities which would make a good wife and mother to raise the resulting children. She signals that she would have high capabilities to the transcendent task of making a home. The hot woman signals fertility, but she does not signal motherly qualities. Hence, the the difference between hos and housewives. Men use hos, but make homes with housewives.

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This is also why to most men think their particular wife is the most beautiful woman in the world, even though she is likely not the most attractive, she is probably only average. He may even recognize, on an objective level, that she is not the most attractive. Yet, despite this, she is beautiful, the most beautiful, because she is particularly transcendent to him.

As defunct blogger Solomon II wrote (Proverb 28) of the musings of an older man:

Listen to me. A good woman ages beautifully. When I look at my wife, I see the most gorgeous woman in the universe. Her wrinkled hands got that way by keeping up with my two boys and working hard for them while I was on the road. The lines under her eyes are from years of shedding tears for me when I was at war, and those wrinkles on her brow are from decades of worry for me and my two sons. It was her legs they held on to when they were learning to walk, her lap was where they learned to read, and her breasts were their first nourishment. The first kiss those boys ever received was from her lips, and God willing, my last kiss will be from her lips.

You two don’t know what you’re missing – or maybe you do. But all I know is that she’s as beautiful, desirable, and lovely today as the day I met her, and I wouldn’t trade one second with her for a lifetime of rowdiness with one of those harlots you guys have waiting for you back home.

You two don’t know what beauty is. In a way, I feel sorry for both of you.

A man’s wife’s form might not particularly signal transcendent functionality to most men, but to him she is the one that brought forth his children, that made life not just in the image of God, but in his own image as well. She is the one that nurtured and raised his own particular instantiations of God’s image. No mere objective attraction, objective beauty, can possibly match that beauty such as that.

Cracked’s Gay “Marriage” Article

I read this article on “5 Reasons ‘Traditional Marriage’ Would Shock Your Ancestors” by one Kathy Benjamin on Cracked, considered responding and decided against it, because ‘what’s the point?’ Then somebody asked me on Ask.FM to respond, so here it goes.

The article’s main flaw (other than it being obvious left-wing evangelization with a complete dearth of humour on a supposed humour site) was that it cherry-picked every small edge case in Western history to draw a pattern for the gullible while ignoring larger realities.

Now onto something more thorough.

#5. People Didn’t Marry Young

First, yes they did, even if we accept the author’s own misrepresented data. In the US the average age of first marriage is 27 for women and 29 for men. This is actually younger than Western Europe where age of first marriage is almost invariably over 30 for both men and women. The highest age Kathy cites are: 23-24 years old and grooms 26-27 (in England, where the average age is now 32.1 & 30), a difference of 2-4 years. Her other link points to a 1890 high of 22 for women and 26 for men, a difference of 3-5 years. 2-5 years is a rather significant difference.

Other than this Kathy simply distorts what the links say:

In general, the marriage age in Western Europe has stayed constant. English records from the 1600s show that brides were usually 23-24 years old and grooms 26-27.

Click the link:

Age of First Marriage

The mode (ie. ‘usually’) for women is given as 22, the median as 22.75. The mean was 23.5. So, 22 was the usual age and half of women married at 22 or earlier; there were just some outliers who married later pulling the average above. Bu even if we use the mean, women in Britain in the 1600s still married 4 years earlier than the US today (and 6.5 years earlier than the UK today).

For men the relative situation is much the same Mode: 24, Median: 25.5, Mean: 26.5.

We can see Kathy doesn’t really understand statistics.

When colonists in early America started getting married slightly younger, it was considered odd enough that Benjamin Franklin commented on it.

Here she gives the impression that Franklin was like ‘wow man, those Yankees are like so far out there.’ If you follow the link, you see that Benjamin Franklin simply looked at the subject and found that yes, Americans had earlier marriages and that settled European cities were not naturally replacing themselves due to low wages preventing family formation. If anything, he’s commenting on the self-destruction caused by the (conditions causing) later marriages of the settled European cities. (Side note for NRx: Franklin noticed that cities are demographic shredders back in 1814).

But the marriage age in America soon settled back into the normal pattern, and by 1890, most couples were getting married in their mid-to-late-20s again.

Again read the link. Marriage age rose from 20 to 22. After which it shrunk again.

If you read the earlier .pdf (Table 2, p. 28), female marriage age peaked in 1880-1900 at 23 (after a civil war which pretty much destroyed an entire generation of young men) after which it declined steadily reaching a low of 20 in 1960. It wasn’t until 1980 that the marriage age again reached what it was in the post-bellum period. So, by “the normal pattern” she means an anomalously high few decades around the turn of the century following a civil war which destroyed the supply of single young men.

Also, notice that this high was the age of 23, which is still almost a half-decade lower than the average age is now.

Also, notice that the earliest time here is the 1600’s. So, she’s ignoring millennia of Western Civilization prior to this; not to mention she ignores anything outside of England. You can read about the uniqueness of Germanic marriage patterns here.

As can be seen, Kathy is simply incorrect across the board.

#4. Marriages Were Short

Ancient Greece and Rome both allowed divorce, and the most famous divorcee of all time is certainly Henry VIII, whose first one occurred in 1534.

Yes, the Pagans did divorce, but in Rome, it was not at-will, it was at-fault and solely the right of the husband, at least for the first few centuries (ie. before Rome declined). Once Rome began declining, calls to end easy divorce were implemented. In Greece, while divorce was allowed, monogamy was still the rule.

Are these really the models Kathy wants to hold up as an example?

King Henry was one person. Anecdotes /=data, especially when said anecdote is a historically significant king because of his divorces.

John Milton, the poet most famous for Paradise Lost, also wrote four books on how awesome divorce was in the 1640s… Inevitably, religious figures freaked out and tried to ban them.

First, she undermines her own point here; she says that Milton was the exception at the time not the rule. But beyond that, read the link:

To Milton, canon law was just another weapon used by the “Great Whore” against men, and since the English church continued to enforce such laws governing marriage and divorce, she was the whore’s accomplice. Milton wants to restore manly dignity to the practice of marriage, first by restoring the power of divorce exclusively to husbands, and second by insisting that marriage is principally a kind of friendship much like the manly friendships described by Socrates in the Symposium and Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics–a kind of enlightened heteroerotic pederasty. Milton’s zeal against canon law is the same as his zeal against bishops–the goal is to restore manliness to English Christianity. This is why he has no patience with the widespread European Protestant notion that divorce should be allowed to wives as a protection from abusive husbands. Milton wants to liberalize divorce, but for men, not for women.

Milton was closer to an extreme MRA than anything. I wonder why Kathy would hold him up as a model?

In America, the 1870 census revealed such a high number of divorces that the government ordered a report on the subject.

She’s being very disingenuous here. Read the link, flip to p. 138. This crisis of divorce was caused by a increase (157% increase over 20 years) in divorce that was still a low rate of divorce. New Hampshire had the highest average divorce rate, at 1 divorce per 10 marriages, meanwhile Maryland had 1 divorce per 62 marriages.

The divorce crisis was caused by divorce rates ranging from < 1% to 10%. A far cry from today’s 40-50%.

By the 1920s, divorce was so common that society was convinced marriage would soon be a thing of the past.

By “so common“, she means a peak rate of 16% (1/6) during 1929, which you might remember as the year of Black Friday and the start of the Great Depression. So even when the economy was being annihilated, the high divorce rate was still only 16%, as compared to 40-50% today.

And yet here we are almost 100 years later, and people are still fighting for the chance to get hitched.

Actually, marriage rates have been in free-fall since the 1970’s or so. Marriage is dying.

#3. Single-Parent And Blended Families Were Always Normal

Here she makes the argument that because people in the past experienced the tragedy of the deaths of spouses we should be fine with destroyed families. I don’t think I need to comment too much on that.

Her concluding argument is this:

And in the 1950s, those halcyon days of supposedly perfect families? Between divorce, death, and sex outside of marriage, 22 percent of kids were still being raised by a single parent. If being raised by one gender ruins children, our ancestors were screwed.

Yes, because the boomers are the models of health. That’s why the 60’s were such a peaceful time, and that’s why they have such healthy families, never use drugs, never commit suicide, and are never depressed.

#2. Procreation Wasn’t Everything

People much smarter than me have pointed out how ridiculous this is. What about couples where one partner is infertile? Or couples where the woman has gone through menopause? Are those marriages also totally invalid?

Her argument is literally that because we don’t police edge cases we should therefore overthrow our our entire understanding of and tradition of marriage.

In the Middle Ages, some couples took this to the extreme. Catholic men and women could enter “Josephite marriages” where they lived together as husband and wife, but never got it on.

Some people make deep, extraordinary spiritual commitments to dedicate their lives to God while denying themselves sex therefore sex and marriage have nothing to do with procreation.

Her next argument is literally a lot of people have murdered their children, therefore marriage has nothing to do with procreation.

Then it is that people use contraception therefore marriage has nothing to do with procreation.

These arguments aren’t even worth refuting. They aren’t even really arguments, just random, barely unconnected statements designed to elicit emotional impressions in the gullible.

#1. Gay Marriage Has Always Existed

Gay marriage was not uncommon in Ancient Rome; even the Emperor Nero publicly married at least two men.

Neither were raping slave boys and pederasty. Also, is Nero really the role model you want to look up to here?

But even among the people fine with raping young boys, gay marriage a joke and not officially recognized:

Same-sex weddings are reported by sources that mock them; the feelings of the participants are not recorded. Both Martial and Juvenal refer to marriage between men as something that occurs not infrequently, although they disapprove of it. Roman law did not recognize marriage between men, but one of the grounds for disapproval expressed in Juvenal’s satire is that celebrating the rites would lead to expectations for such marriages to be registered officially.

She goes on:

During the Ming Dynasty in China, it was not uncommon for older men to marry young men and bring them into their families as official sons-in-law.

Not Western civilization.

Both the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic church allowed “brother-making” in which two totally straight single guys had an official ceremony telling everyone what good friends they were and how they were going to live together and pray together but totally not do any guy-on-guy stuff.

Mark Yuray was right. Kathy has been so indoctrinated in homosexuality that she can’t even conceive that men may have close friendships, even formalized ones. Here’s more on why this is nonsense.

Single women living together has always been more acceptable than men cohabiting (because women don’t have sex drives, right?), but that doesn’t mean that all female “roommates” tried to hide their bean-flicking activities from their neighbors. Many of them were open about their relationships, and both the women involved and their friends considered the couples married, whether they had gone through a ceremony or not. In the late 1800s, these relationships were called Boston Marriages. In at least one case, Sylvia Drake and Charity Bryant were considered a “common household” under the law for tax purposes. In Spain in 1901, Elisa Sanchez Loriga pretended to be a man in order to marry Marcela Gracia Ibeas. Despite needing to use deception, after they were found out, the marriage was still allowed to stand.

Her argument is really: ‘because women could live with friends, everybody loved lesbianism’. She then finds 2 cases were may have been accepted. Two. Do I really even need to comment on the extreme cherry-picking being done here?

If you want to admit you don’t like the idea of same-sex marriage because it makes you think of sex that makes you feel icky, feel free to say it. I’m sure everyone would feel better knowing how much you fixate on their bedroom antic?

I am highlighting this merely to show how ignorant this woman is. Oh yes, not wanting to destroy 2 millennia of tradition and engage in a massive court-forced social engineering experiment is because ‘yuck!’. Not wanting the persecutions of Christians and Christian churches who refuse to recognize this farce (and even homosexuals know it is a farce given that half of their “marriages” are open) is because ‘icky’. Not wanting to condone the behaviour that leads to deadly plagues is all about “eww’. And that’s not even touching religious reasons as I know those won’t mean anything to leftist nihilists.

I know modern leftists don’t have deep reasons for their beliefs and mostly just base it on whatever emotions the most recent Gawker article stirred in their shallow hearts, but they should at least have the common decency not to project their emotion-driven shallowness on everybody else.

Do the right thing. Make America as progressive in civil rights as South Africa.

Yes, let us emulate this self-destructing land of rape and murder.

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To put to death this topic, gay marriage would be, at best, shocking to anybody in Western Civilization from the fall of Rome up until a couple decades ago.

For an example, let’s just take the cause de jeur: gay “marriage”, which is now, in 2015, supported by “moderate” “conservatives” and is currently illegal to oppose in any real way in some states. In 2008, just 7 years ago, “moderate” liberal Obama opposed it. In 1996, less than 20 years ago, “moderate” liberal Clinton signed a law banning gay “marriage”. In the 1980’s, only gay radicals were pressing for “marriage”, in the 1970’s not even most gay activists were for gay “marriage”. Before that, it was hardly ever even mentioned. In 1962, just 50 years ago, sodomy was itself illegal in every state. In 1953, less than seven decades ago, just mentioning gay marriage or writing about homosexuality was considered obscene. Just over two centuries ago sodomy merited a death penalty (although these laws were rarely enforced and went beyond just homosexuality). In the 1500’s, the debate was between whether the church or the king would execute homosexuals. Talking of homosexual “marriage” at this time would have been seen as insanity.

Leftists can make up whatever bullshit emotionally-driven arguments they want when they force their social engineering experiments on normal people, but the least they could do is stop lying about our ancestors. There has been no place for homosexual “marriage” in Western Civilization since the church shut down the Roman’s anal rape of slave boys.

Sharing Interests

Wintery Knight posted something from William Lane Craig along with his own advice. I’d suggest reading it, most of the advice given is good common-sense, but I do wonder about this:

I strongly urge those of you who are single to make having a shared interest in your field of study and ministry a top criterion in selecting a spouse. It doesn’t matter how beautiful she is or what a great cook she is if she has no interest in your field of study and so sees talking about things that you are passionate about as an annoyance.

Shared interests in marriage has always been one of those things that people seem to value highly that I don’t understand. I don’t see a need for a wife to share your interests, whatever they may be. I do understand that one or two shared activities, something like dancing, that you can do together on date nights is probably beneficial, but for something like philosophy: what use would there be in discussing philosophy with your wife? Why would that be even remotely necessary?

As you can probably tell by the hundreds of thousands of words I’ve written on my blog and the thousands of articles I’ve linked to in my Lightning Rounds, I have a strong interest in socio-political theory and have a moderate interest in philosophy, theology, economics, history, etc., but I would never expect my wife to have to have an interest in this or for her to become my regular politics discussion partner.

That’s what I have friends for.

Would it be nice to have a wife who liked socio-political theory? Sure. It would also be nice to have a wife who liked ultimate, board games, science fiction, video games, and anime (as for shooting, hunting, and martial arts, see here) but these can be nice little bonuses. These are not things a wife is needed for and I don’t see the point in making them requirements.

I think this shared interests thing comes from the modern phenomenon of making your wife your friend. A century ago, most men would have thought the idea of discussing politics, theology, or philosophy with your wife was absurd; those discussions were what you did with your friends at the pub. Your wife was the one who dragged you home when you were too sloshed too distinguish between monarchy and anarchy.

But the pubs are now co-ed, men’s clubs have been destroyed, and male friendship has been destroyed. Men no longer have easy ways to find someone to trade bullshit about politics and philosophy with.

At some point in the last century, male friendship began to die, so well-meaning people looking to fill the bleeding wound in their chest its absence caused confused the categories of wife and friend. A husband-wife relationship is not a friendship, it is a unique form of companionship centred around the creation and care of a home and family. Neither relationship is better, they are simply different.

A wife can not be your lover, your friend, your confidante, your parenting-partner, your home-building partner, your BS-ing partner, your debate opponent, your drinking buddy, your complaint outlet, and your dance partner all at once. That is simply too much load to put onto a single relationship. A man needs male friends to fulfill many of these needs.

I’m pretty sure that expecting too much from a single partner is one of the great contributors to the breakdown of modern marriage.

Build a home with your wife and make her your lover, save philosophical diatribes for your friends.

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Another, difference with WK I want to comment comes from this:

And it also allows you to lead a woman so that she can develop herself to be ready for marriage to you. I hope that she would already have done a lot of the work by herself, (chastity, STEM degree, debt-free, good job, apologetics, conservative politics), before she even meets you.

Earlier WK writes about the male’s role as provider, but here he he puts down a STEM degree and a good job as developing herself for marriage, but if the man is meant to be the provider of what use are the degree and the job in a potential wife? Is a career-oriented women the kind of woman at traditional Christian wants raising his children? I think there’s too much focus on what a women studies and works at in the Christian community.

That being said, a degree is a basic signalling mechanism of low time-preference, so if dating any woman without a degree, ensure it’s not because she has high time preference and verify a low time preference in another way. But other than signalling why does it particularly matter what kind of degree she has or if she has a job. I’d much prefer a woman who had spent that time developing her home-making abilities and volunteering at the church than studying and working.

I can understand not wanting a wife who wasted a decade doing nothing, but then the question becomes why would a traditional man consider marriage to a 30-year-old woman?

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We’ll look at the advice-seeker, named Wesley, who illustrates my point nicely.

I recently got married this past summer to an amazing woman I met at a one year bible college I attended a couple years ago and it has been great. But between transferring to a new (secular) school and being constantly busy with school and work I feel like my relationship with God is constantly on the backburner, as I am not getting into the word nearly as much as I used to and my prayer life is nearly nonexistent, and because of this my relationship with my wife is not where it should be either.

I love my major and I love my wife, but they don’t seem to overlap very well, as my studies are normally more time intensive than hers and also she see’s my talking about it more as an annoyance than anything. I guess why I am writing you is because I am getting so spiritually burnt out and need advice on how to ignite/maintain my relationship with God and keep a healthy relationship with my wife and if having an aspiration of being an apologist is worth it. Not only does everyone else not see why I have picked the path I have because they see philosophy as impractical and I won’t be able to support a family with such an aspiration, but the path itself is difficult as I do not have many other fellow Christians in my classes and so I am being practically scorned in all directions. I often ask myself if it is worth it and if I should find some other path that would be more conducive to married life and family life that her and I hope to start in the foreseen future.

It’s very clear here, Wesley’s problem is not his wife. His problem is he doesn’t have virtuous friendships with male friends and is trying to use his wife to fill this hole in his life. But his is his wife, not his friend and she can’t fill this hole, and he shouldn’t be expecting her to.

So, Wesley, if by happenstance you come across this, your wife is not your friend, she is your wife. Don’t discuss philosophy her, take her dancing instead and lead her in Bible readings. Instead of trying to force her into a role in which she does not belong, find a good male friend or two who share your Christian values and discuss philosophy with them over a pint at the pub.

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I should make one last note, there’s a difference between a wife not sharing your interests and a wife deriding your interests. A wife not sharing your interests is fine; a wife who disdains your interests (and not in the harmless ‘men will be men‘ way), and by extension you, is not. Do not marry a women who contempt for those things you really like and enjoy.

I get the impression that Wesley’s problem was the first, but if it was the latter, then that is a something to be concerned about.

Also, values are not interests. Sharing values is important. Don’t marry a woman who doesn’t share your core values.

Repost: Pleasures of the Flesh

Given the recent spat between NRx and the manosphere, I thought reposting this from 2013 may be of interest. (You can also check out this on reaction and PUAs).  Hopefully this is my last repost for a while and I can go back to posting regularly.

I’ve been noting in my Lightning Rounds that a few experienced players have been reaching the end of their run on the hedonic treadmill and are finding the whole experience unfulfilling. Last week, I wrote of how neither hedonism nor meaningless LTR’s will leave a man fulfilled. Now it seems Frost is suffering from player burn-out as well.

Except for a few men, playerdom will never be fulfilling in the end. Shallow pleasure does not bring contentment, only momentary happiness. Meaningless sex is simply the same effect as drugs, except one step removed (or more accurately, drugs are simply artificial inducements of effects similar to that which meaningless sex will bring). As with drugs, it will not satisfy, but it will become increasingly consuming as it becomes increasingly less pleasurable.

You will have sex, feel pleasure, then have but feel slightly less pleasure, and each time you will require more sex, more kinkiness, hotter women, and yet still feel slightly less pleasure each time. Meanwhile, you never feel the contentment you seek. The hedonic treadmill continues to roll until you either die or get off.

So, why not just ride for a while and get off at the right time?

The treadmill takes its toll even after you get off. Just as a carousel rider suffers as an alpha widow, so to does the ex-player suffer from the player’s curse.

A man who limits himself to one sexual partner has, by definition, the best sexual partner of his life with whom he is having the best sex of his life. The player, not so much. Any long-term relationship he may try will always be haunted by the ghosts of better sex and more beautiful partners of time past. The more partners he had prior, the more likely and stronger the hauntings.

There is no purpose to be found in hedonism, only emptiness.

I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the sons of man.

So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 2:7-11, ESV)

Other men go make a different, but no less mistaken, extreme. Rather than pursuing meaningless sex from multiple women, they pursue meaning in a single woman. They find their identity and purpose in loving and serving another fallen person. This is as almost as empty as the meaningless sex, and will leave a man almost as hollow in the end. How is her value more than your own?

A man’s purpose of life can not be found in women or a singular woman.

If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life’s good things, and he also has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. For it comes in vanity and goes in darkness, and in darkness its name is covered. Moreover, it has not seen the sun or known anything, yet it finds rest rather than he. Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy no good—do not all go to the one place? (Ecclesiastes 6:3-6, ESV)

So, where can purpose be in life be found?

For this, we can turn to Genesis:

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

This is the first commandment; this is for what God made man.

Man’s purpose is to be found in filling and subduing the earth. Work was what man was created and/or evolved for. Man is meant to tame the land and to build from that which he needs and desires and to fill his tamed land with his own.

Man’s purpose is in building something greater than himself and then to create future generations to enjoy it.

Yet, there is a problem:

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:17-19, ESV)

I have read this verse many times in my life, but only recently did I realize the full measure of agony contained within these words.

It is only in his work that man can find meaning, yet rather than something pleasurable, work is something difficult, bitter, and wearying.

How bitter this cup, that man’s purpose is to toil, yet his toil is naught but pain to him. To his even greater agony, when his toil is through and he surveys the work gained by through the sweat of his brow, he always knows that from dust it came and to dust it will return.

To find purpose, a man must always be working, always in bitter toil, yet know that all his work will eventually crumble in ruin.

I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun, because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 2:18-23, ESV)

What is a man to do when all is vanity? How can man continue on, when all about his is rust and decay

Here is all for man to do:

Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.

Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head.

Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going. (Ecclesiastes 9:7-10, ESV)

A man accepts that life is vanity; he accepts that life is toil, but he continues. He finds what joy he can, knowing joy is illusionary, while working to build, knowing that his works will fade and decay.

A man’s purpose is to continue to build and enjoy the fruits of his labour even when he can not find meaning in the building or its fruits.

If a Man talks to You…

The Christian RP circle is talking of how traditional young women can signal availability to RP guys in the church. I’ve written advice on this topic a couple of times before, but I’ll write on it again.

There are 3 main steps to landing a man: signal availability, reciprocate attention, and say yes. I’ll go over them.

The first step is to make it easy for men to approach you and to signal availability. I’ve already written a some tips:

Be out in the world. Men can’t approach if they don’t see you.

Get in environments where approaching is easy. A casual, social environment is best.

Smile: A kind smile lowers the expected cost and raises the perceived odds of success, increasing the chances of being approached.

Signal availability: Look pretty, have an open demeanor, put yourself in a physical space where approaching is possible (ie. stand around other people, not on the other side of the room by yourself), walk casually instead of bee-lining: make it easy for a man to approach and it will be more likely.

Don’t signal unavailability: Don’t wear earphones, don’t wear a ring on your ring finger if you aren’t married, don’t stare at the ground, don’t walk around staring at your iPhone, etc., these will all discourage most men (players aside) from approaching. Most men don’t want to intrude on you when you are doing something. By doing this you are self-selecting for the kind of guy who interrupts busy people.

Signal something unique: Signal something that makes you stand out, particularly for the kind of man you are looking for. If you are looking for an physically active man, wear something that indicates you participate in a sport. If you are looking for a bookish man, carry a book. If you are looking for a traditional man, look traditional. If you are looking for a family man, coo over your friend’s baby. If you are looking for a player, show your cleavage. If a man sees you share something in common, something particular that interests hims, or that gives him an easy in to open, he will be more likely to approach you.

Do the opposite of all this if you want to be approached less.

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For Christians in particular:

When out of a church setting, it can often be difficult for a Christian man to tell if a woman is Christian or not, and if she isn’t he likely won’t be motivated to hit on her; hitting on a non-Christian would be a waste of time and effort. By displaying something obviously Christian, a Christian woman can give him that much more of a reason to talk to her, increasing her odds of meeting someone.

For Christian women, if you want more Christian men to hit on you, bring along something with you when you go out that makes it obvious you are Christian. Carry your Bible or a CS Lewis book or something else obvious; wear a Jesus fish necklace or a Bible camp t-shirt. (This is probably what the WWJD bracelets used to be for).

I know this from experience; there have been at least two cute girls I’ve cold approached because I overheard they were Christian, where if I hadn’t overheard them I probably would not have.

Another step is to get onto a dating site. Find a Christian one if you can. That opens up a lot of potential men you might otherwise meet. Hit up your social network as well; I’m sure there’s a few middle-aged women in your family and at church who would love to meddle in your affairs and introduce you to young men they know.

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Once you have signaled availability, the next step is to reciprocate. Always give positive feedback to any interest a man* shows you. Most men hate approaching; showing interest invites them and helps them get over their dislike of approaching, not showing interest drives them away.

So how do you know a man is showing interest: he pays attention to you.

It’s that simple. If a man is looking at you (and you do not have an large obvious deformity or ketchup smeared across your face) he is interested. If a man is talking you forfor something not related to practical matters or a social obligation, he is interested. Any man who is spending attention on you when he is not socially obligated to is at some level interested. Always assume any single man talking to you is interested in you; you will be right at least 90% of the time. It may be only a vague interest or a small one, but it is interest, and reciprocation will grow that interest, a lack thereof will kill it.

If you see a man looking at you, smile back. Look inviting. If you’re too shy to hold a smile: smile quickly, quickly look down, then slowly look back up while smiling.

If a man comes up and talks engage. Talk with him back. Answer his questions and ask questions in return. If a man is talking with you but is awkward, try to help him out by asking questions or just by bearing the brunt of conversation until he becomes comfortable with talking with you.

If you’re shy, just stutter out something, anything. Don’t worry about embarrassing yourself, just try to show interest. There’s many guys who find shyness or social awkwardness, even to the point of self-embarrassment, cute or attractive and it is rare than any man finds it actively repulsive. For a woman, it is always better to come off awkward or silly than cold in the dating game.

Finally, part of reciprocating is giving a man opportunities on which to act. If you have some interest in a guy, make it easy for him to ask you out. Mention that play or movie you want to see, that new restaurant you want to go to, that place in town you want to visit, etc. Give him opportunities to invite you out and be obvious about it.

If you’re on a dating site, respond to (thoughtful) messages ASAP, write longer responses, and ask questions in return.

Personal example of what not to do:

My mother has been pressing me for a while to go after a  girl I’ve briefly mentioned here before. She recently returned to my church after a year abroad. She’s plain but not unattractive. I’ve never pursued her because she’s done nothing to attract me to her, but its possible something could develop. A few months back we happened to end up near each other at a church function. I was not pursuing her, but I was not closed to the idea either, so I decided to see if something could develop.

I turned to her and asked her a question of some sort. A one sentence answer. So I talked a bit then asked another question. Another one sentence answer. So I forced out a bit more talk, then threw out a third question. Another one sentence answer. She gave no questions in return and no unforced way to continue, so I stopped. I haven’t talked to her since and have no interest in doing so. I don’t know what she thinks of me at all, but I know I don’t feel like spending any more effort.

Now I was not interested per se, but had she reciprocated a conversation could have developed, and from that attraction may have developed, but she’s not pretty enough for attraction to develop on its own and the possibility of developing attraction was killed. I have no idea whether she has any interest in me or not, but it is possible a small bit of reciprocation could have led to something, but now its unlikely anything will happen unless she makes a large first move.

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Finally, the third thing is to say yes. Unless he is obviously scummy or degenerate, if a man asks you out, just say yes.

Now when I say ask out, I mean anything. Any time a single man invites a single woman (who have not friendzoned each other) to something, he is asking that woman out. If a man wants to “hang-out” or something that’s not specifically a “date”, it’s still an invitation, he’s interested. It doesn’t even have to be alone time. If a man asks you specifically to a group event, he’s still interested. The exception is if he invites the whole group and you just happen to be a part of the established group (but even then, if he takes a special interest in your attendance).

Personal example: A couple years ago, there was a cute blonde from out of town who was going to a local university. We talked a couple times. I was interested in getting to know her better and thought I could help her make some friends, so I invited her to a group event I was going to. She declined because she was visiting other people at the church. A couple weeks later I invited her to another event. She declined so she could study. After that I talked to her once or twice more, but my interest faded; the group event invitation was a sign of interest on my part and I took her rejection of my invitations as a sign of her rejecting me. A couple months later she stopped attending our church.

There is almost zero cost to going out with a man when he asks you out. So say yes even if you aren’t immediately attracted. At worst you’ll get a free coffee/movie/meal and waste a few hours in awkward conversation,  then decline the second date, so why not say yes? What is there to lose? (If its an online date or with someone you don’t know, stay in a public space).

On the other hand, the upside is huge. The guy is already interested in you, maybe on the date he’ll surprise you and you’ll fall for him.

So, when asked just say yes.

Exception: he is a long-term friend you know with certainty you are not interested in. In that case shut that down immediately and very clearly.

If you must decline a particular invitation because you are busy, immediately counter-offer with another time/date so he knows you are still saying yes. The “I’m busy” response is a common brush-off, so even if you’re reasons are valid and you are interested in him, he’ll probably take it as a rejection. Make sure he doesn’t misinterpret.

The same goes with if you want to decline a particular type of date where you are interested in the person but not the activity. Ex.: If he invites you to his place for a movie but you don’t know him well enough, counter-offer with coffee or a movie at the theatre.

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To summarize: signal availability, reciprocate, say yes. Do all this, and you’ll greatly increase your chances.

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*Standard boilerplate: When I say a man or any man throughout this piece, I am not referring to obvious degenerates or cads. Ignore them and drive them away. I am referring to decent men.

Utopia Doesn’t Exist

Victor Mandrake brought up a criticism on Twitter on my recent post on recourse in marriage. It seems like his Twitter is private, so what of

I answered the immediate question on Twitter:

But I want to make a larger point here.

Of course there’s a potential someone will lie and I’m sure there will be people who get hurt in any system or scheme proposed here on the blog, but pointing out that a system could not stop every possible corruption is not a good criticism. Every system will have a failure point and every system will have corruption. Humans are fallen creatures tempted to all varieties of sins and any and every political, economic, and legal system will be prone tovarying degrees and forms of corruption.

Utopia does not exist because people are people and prone to corruption. Attempts at utopia always lead to unimaginable heights of brutality because there is no way to create a perfect system for imperfect beings, and trying to force them into the system will destroy them and the system. I am not attempting to create a perfect system. No reactionary is trying to create a perfect system that is free from corruption.

One of the most basic foundations of reactionary thought is: humans are corrupt and any system with humans in it will be corrupted. Utopia is impossible. Everything is broken.

What I am trying to do is outline workable systems built for humans that will limit the excesses of natural human corruption. Systems that are stable and will provide people with a sense of place and try to lure out their better natures. Our modern system is cold, inhuman, and bureaucratic. We do not need a perfect system, we need a human system.

Traditional Recourse in Marriage

I’m going to return to my previous discussions of the marital cross. In a decent traditional Christian society, there are be no grounds for divorce except for adultery or abandonment, because divorce is degenerate and harmful to society, but this does not mean there would be no recourse for the married but suffering.

For a woman (who is physically weaker) being abused,* the best traditional recourse is family. Having her father/brothers/cousins/etc. ‘pay a visit’ to an abusive husband and ‘demonstrate the error of his ways’ to him should be the most immediate course of action. If a visit or two doesn’t work, then the ‘he needed killing’ defence should be applicable. The widow is then free to remarry.

For the man being physically abused, the traditional recourse is to be a man and not let your weaker wife beat on you. There should be no need for more recourse in cases of physical abuse. Obviously, defending yourself from physical abuse is not abuse itself and should not be punishable by law.

In cases where family is not available/impractical to the woman or the man is being abused emotionally or through sexual withdrawal or restraint is not an option, the church has a traditional process of recourse given in Matthew: Bring it to your spouse, if that fails, bring it before a few brothers, if that fails bring it before the church, if that fails, then the abusive spouse should be expelled from the church. The marriage continues and the believing spouse should continue to love their spouse, but the expelled partner is no longer a believer and no longer a part of the church. If the now-unbelieving spouse, having been through the process of church discipline decides to the leave the beliving spouse, that is marital abandonment and is allowable grounds for divorce.

If the church fails do deal with physical abuse or the abuse is particularly heinous then the law should be employed. There is nothing more evil than a someone who abuses someone under their authority and the law should punish such abuse appropriately. The punishment** for a man who physically abuses his wife and/or children (or a woman who abuses her children and the husband is unable to restrain) should be a private whipping (not public so that he is not shamed before those under him); if a man has been whipped a few times and is still abusive or if his first offence is particularly heinous, then he should be executed as the criminal he is. The grieving widow is then free to remarry.

Sadly, we do not live in a decent traditional Christian society, so instead of a civilized response to abuse, we encourage more abuse through the dissolution of the family. Obviously, this is not all practical advice given our current degenerate laws, but  this is how a traditional society should handle domestic abuse: family, masculine leadership, church discipline, and, if necessary, corporal/capital punishment.

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* When I am speaking of abuse throughout this piece, I am not speaking of such things as the bitter, even mutually violent, arguments of a dysfunctional marriage or isolated incidences (unless the incident is unusually heinous). I am talking of a sustained pattern of cruel abuse. Isolated incidences and mutual dysfunction should be dealt with privately through forgiveness and love.

** Obviously, when I say punishment, I mean after a fair trial.