Tag Archives: Family

Natalism and Status

Natalism has been going around lately. TRS has linked the problem to affluence, Yuray has made the fairly obvious observation that minor tax incentives are not enough to raise the baby-making rate, while Spandrell has linked the the fertility crisis to kids costing lots and recommends making it profitable with major tax incentives.

I’m actually rather surprised by Spandrell’s answer. He’s the one who’s been pushing Status Points theory the hardest around here and has noted that any kind of insanity can be accomplished when status is on the line. As we’ve seen, people will go to almost any length for status.

It’s obvious that women want to work rather than procreate, but this is not because (most*) women particularly like working or because they prefer work to marriage and family. It’s not because housework is drudgery, most women who work do something similar to housework in their jobs.

The reason women want to work is because working is high status.** The reason women don’t have children is because having children is low status, and the more children the lower the status.

Examples of this abound: When you read about the Duggars or another large family, you will almost assuredly find criticisms along the line of ‘use a condom’ or ‘brood mare’. Women who stay home to care for their family are ‘stepford wives’. Women who spend their lives on home and family are ‘wasting their lives‘. Relationships show a lack of ambition and too much traditionalism (which is negative). Young marriage is discouraged. Etcetera, etcetera. Feminists have been working very hard to destroy any status attached to motherhood.

You’ve no doubt heard the blatant lie that motherhood is the toughest job in the world? Nobody could honestly believe taking care of a child is tougher than working in a coal mine or as an infantryman in Afghanistan, but everybody spreads that lie because it bolsters the low and declining status of women with children.

Having children is low status, but even beyond that status games pervade all of motherhood. The mommy wars aren’t about whether children are better off being raised by their parents or by daycare workers, it’s about who gets good mother status points: stay-at homes or working mothers.

Before you thinks that good mother status contradicts my thesis, know that low status is still some status, while having no children is no status. Have you ever read an article by childfree women? I can almost guarantee you it was complaining about how others expect them to have kids, think them odd that they don’t, or using the status of having kids to one-up them.  In other words, their primary complaints are about the status hits they are taking for not having children. These status hits gnaw away at them despite having an ‘exciting, meaningful’ life of travel, work, and leisure. (Notice how they will always status signal other areas in their life to make up for this lack of status).

Having children is lower status than eduction, working, travel, or having status-giving interests. Being a stay-at-home mother is low status compared to being a working mother. Having many children is lower status than having one or two children. Having children young is lower status than having them once infertility hits.

This, more than anything, is why he have such low birth rates.

So, the answer to the fertility crisis is not tax changes, natalism benefits, or motherhood welfare. The way to get women to want to reproduce is to make children the ultimate status symbol.

Read the story of Leah and Rachel in Genesis 29 and 30. Having children was high status, so they did everything they could possibly to produce more children so they could win the status competition against each other.

We need to make it so that instead of the culture lauding whorish celebrities and woman CEO’s, mothers are celebrated. We need news reports to make glowing reports on women having their 6th child, rather than shows idolizing women who adopt foreign children or slutty daring dresses. When Mrs. Duggar has more status than Hillary Clinton, that’s when we will turn this ship around.

Sadly, we don’t control the levers of the culture-industry, so there’s not much we can do for society as a whole, but there are things you can do in your own little circles.

Make a point of praising women who have kids and their mothering skills. If a family is thinking of having another kid, make a positive comment. Praise young men and women you know who are thinking of young marriage, and otherwise encourage young people aroudn you to marry early. Let some disappointment slip out if people say ‘two’s enough for us’. Register some thinly concealed disapproval or contempt if someone says, ‘we don’t want children’. If you can smoothly do backhanded compliments or negs for the self-sterilizing, that would work too. And so on.

You’re working against the combined forces of the media, academy, bureaucracy, and culture, but you might be able to have some influence. Status is mainly an abstraction of a multitude of positive and negative social interactions. If you add to the interactions around you, elevating motherhood and deriding self-sterilization, you might indirectly change a few minds in your local communities. If enough people do it, maybe the trend could be reversed.

One warning, try to keep it subtle enough. Push too hard or too blatantly and you it might backfire if they get defensive or if you look like a jerk. You want to subtly influence their general perception of status, not come off as someone pushing a low status opinion.

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* Before some idiot brings it up: yes, not all women are alike, yes, there are some women that like their jobs, and yes, some women just don’t like children. A generalization is not an absolute, spare me.

** And yes, because they need cash, but the need for cash came after the desire for status. The drive of women into the workplace was due to status, but once women entered, it drove wages down and costs up, forcing more women into the workplace for monetary reasons.

Sparing the Rod

Recently the Liberal Party of Canada have floated the idea of banning spanking, so I’m going to write a bit on spanking.

The anti-spanking crowd is superficially right in that most studies of spanking find that spanking correlates with  a number of negative traits, particularly increased aggression.

I’ve read many of these studies over time, and the primary problem with these studies is that they are always observational. Nobody sets up controlled, randomized studies of spanking (getting parental consent and cooperation would likely be prohibitively difficult). A superficial examination of the problem, ignores other more likely factors for increased aggression among those children who are spanked.

Another problem with most of these studies is that they look at physical punishment, and do not distinguish between spanking and abuse. Most “spanking” studies would lump together breaking your kids nose in a fit of rage and smacking our child’s bottom with your hand in a controlled manner after a ‘this hurts me more than this hurts you’ talk as both being corporal punishment. The studies would then find out that, very obviously, there were negative effects from “physical punishment” (ie. beating the shit out of your kid) which was then translated as spanking harms children. When the form of physical punishment is controlled for, controlled spanking ranges from harmless to beneficial.

Back to the primary problem, the correlational approach misses two related explanatory factors that I think would be more likely explanations than ‘lovingly-enacted disciplinary swats on the bottom permanently scar children’.

The first is that aggressive and impulsive kids get spanked more often and more harshly. Lots of these studies find that those children who are spanked more are more aggressive (and maybe even less cognitively able) and assume that they are aggressive because they are spanked. But wouldn’t the reverse causation be more likely. Wouldn’t you be more likely to physically discipline a more aggressive child? One study on the causation question found that it was both, aggressive kids were physically disciplined more and physically disciplined kids were more aggressive. They say early childhood spanking starts the cycle, but I can not access the study to check. (Note, the data for this study do not distinguish between forms of spanking).

The second is that those parents who engage in physical correction, particularly the more violent forms thereof, are likely those parents who are less self-controlled and more aggressive themselves. Aggression and self-control are largely heritable. It stands to reason that the kind of parents who physically discipline children are the kind of parents who would have more aggressive and more impulsive children.

I find it doubtful that moderate spanking is in itself harmful. I think it likely that aggressive children were born that way due to naturally aggressive parents who use aggressive parenting to control them. (Note: I am using aggressive as a continuum here, not a dichotomy).

Like many things though, the people controlling the discussion are liberal elites. The children of self-controlled puritans and Jews at Harvard and Yale likely don’t need physical discipline. These children are likely naturally non-aggressive, self-controlled, and intelligent, and need only minimal discipline. So banning spanking will work fine for them, it is a luxury they can indulge in.

On the other hand, when upper class sentiments meet the lower classes of naturally aggressive and impulsive Scots-Irish and blacks, a ban on spanking probably will not work out as planned. Time-outs and lectures probably won’t work as well at controlling, directing, and teaching morality to the aggressive, impulsive children of aggressive, high-time preference people.

I would hypothesize that applying cultural elite values on spanking to lower classes will be harmful to the lower classes. The parents probably know their children and their temperments better than disconnected elites and will be more apt to properly punishment their children. Forcing an unnatural ban on spanking on populations where spanking may be necessary could be counter-productive.

Of course, to say for certain some proper studies would need to be conducted and that is unlikely to happen.

Until then though, instead of assuming lower-class parents are abusive for their, to-us, violent methods of parenting, maybe we should consider that they know how to properly raise their own children. Maybe for those children with less natural self-controlled, the application of violence is necessary to teach lessons that more naturally self-controlled children would learn after a firm lecture.

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One side note: I find it somewhat amusing that the sorts of people who are strongest against spanking are also the sorts of people that are happy to put their children on mind-altering drugs. I would think that latter would be more abusive than the former, n’est-ce pas?

The Wages of Aspiration

Trawling the advice columnists again, I found this gem, which I’ll quote in full:

Dear Amy: My sister lives across the country. She has been married for 33 years. They’ve raised two daughters who are now adults, but she’s been living the most boring life ever!

I don’t know how she could be happy doing nothing but cooking and cleaning for all these years. And then she has the nerve to criticize me for not having enough time in my day, when she has no clue what it’s like to work full time.

Well, OK, she did work full time once — years ago before her daughters were born. She also had a little job when her kids were in school, but it wasn’t a “real job,” just a little part-time lunch-lady position.

I can’t understand why she doesn’t want to work more and help her poor husband with their finances. Then they could travel and see the world! They hardly ever go anywhere. I want so much more for her!

She has never had to live through things like illness, job loss or divorce, as I have. She has been supportive sometimes, but not all the time. I guess I’m a bit jealous because she has so much free time.

I’ve asked her to write me a list of what she does all day. I’ve sent her lists of what I manage to accomplish in the three hours I have in my home, but she has declined to provide her list.

It’s so sad that she has never had any aspirations!

It makes me so sad to feel like she’s wasted her life; she’s only in her 50s! I told her all this in an e-mail, but now she’s mad at me for just being honest. She expects an apology, but I’m hurt now, too. How do we get past this? Do you have any advice on getting her to see my view? — Frustrated Sister in PA

Amy rightfully smacks her down.

The ressentiment here is hidden worse than a toddler’s lies. This women is alone, hurting, and busy-working herself to death, and you can tell she hates it, however much she protests otherwise. She has so little going on in her life, she spends the”three hours I have in my home” on hectoring her contented sister who lives on the other side of the country. She’s looking for validation for her misery, but her sister refuses to provide it by buying into her lies, so instead she tries to destroy her sister’s life because she wants “so much more for her!”

She has refused to tend her own garden, she has leaned in, and now she seethes with resentment towards her sister who is “wasting her life” on creating a loving family. Instead of a family, she chose divorce and a job, and you can feel the pain and betrayal she experienced with her job loss. You can also feel it from her mention of illness; I do not think many people were there to care for her.

Notice how in her miserable ressentiment, she frames her choices as compared to her sisters. “Aspirations!” “So much more!” “Boring”

Having a quiet, happy family life is not an aspiration, but working for a job which would abandon you any time the profit margins were right is? Working your ass off, so you only have 3 hours of free time a day, so that you can go on a vacation once a year is more? Having a contented home life is less? Having a happy family is boring, but working in a cubicle for 13 hours a day is not?

What kind of mutilated soul thinks that way?

This women is in her 50’s, or thereabouts. Retirement looms in a decade. What will her life be when she doesn’t even have her job to distract her from her loneliness? How much of this rage towards her sister is because she knows that horror awaits her soon and she needs to justify the dear she feels to herself?

Dear young lady who may read this, reread that letter and decide carefully which of these sisters you want to be.

Women are Achieving

The Guardian has an article on how boys are a mess (h/t: TRP), there’s nothing all that new there other than its the Guardian acknowledging the problem and its somewhat RP’d. But it has this little bit that comes up with all these articles:

“Men are opting out and women are opting in. Women are working harder at jobs, they’re working harder in school, and they are achieving – last year women had more of every single category of degree, even engineering. This is data from around the world. Now in many colleges there’s a big gap as boys are dropping out of school and college.”

Zimbardo estimates that there are, in Britain and the US, 5-10% more women than men at many colleges and universities. “So they’re going to have to have affirmative action for guys because obviously one reason you go to college is to find a guy.”

Everytime the crisis of boys/men comes to the fore, there’s always the section on how women are achieving. The triumphalism varies, this one tones it down quite a bit compared to, for example, this but there’s always this note of woman are doing better.

Except, are they?

Women are going to school more, getting more education, and outnumber men in the workforce. So, they are achieving more, at least for the mediocre positions, men still dominate the elite positions.

But are they really better off? What exactly are they achieving?

To most men, work is/has been something they had to do so to obtain a wife, then provide for the resulting family. Most men probably took pride in a job well done or in creating, but the purpose of going in to work was to earn to provide for his family. He could have gotten the pride of creation elsewhere, not to mention in today’s white-collar, paperwork world, satisfaction from creating something tangible is rapidly disappearing. Likewise, since the growth of mass post-secondary education, getting a degree for men has primarily been about avoiding a job doing physical labour, getting a better job to hopefully attract a prettier wife, and provide a more materially rich life for his family. The main purpose of post-secondary education was to get a family and provide for it, while making provision easier.

Men did this work, not for its intrinsic own sake, but for the extrinsic good of the family.

To repeat, as an aggregate woman are achieving more, but what are they achieving?

Women are now doing the work men did to support their families, without having families to support, barring (the usually poor) single mothers, who are not the kinds of women-in-the-workplace these articles are happily pointing to as signs of success. In fact, statistically speaking, these women are less likely to have families and when they do these families are smaller.

So, what are they achieving?

The only thing they seem to be achieving is more consumption and more money to be spent on the consumptive treadmill. Is that something we should be proud of? Is that kind of achievement really something we as a society should be pursuing and pushing our boys and girls to pursue?

The other question then becomes, are men really being left behind?

If a young man has no need to support a family, because he doesn’t have a wife, he might not get a wife, and when he does his wife will work and IF they have children, there will only be one, maybe two, why does he need to work?

Is he really falling behind if his part-time McD’s gig pays for his quarter of the bachelor pad’s rent, beer, and the new XBox?

Is a man really worse off spending his hours playing video games and chilling with his bros rather than spending them working hard to get a bigger (but still empty) house and a (nominally) better car?

Why is empty, high-work, high-stress consumerism somehow assumed to be better than empty, low-work, low-stress consumerism?

Either way it’s empty, but the latter is a lot easier and more enjoyable.

Maybe this ‘high achievement‘ is not some victory for women, maybe it’s simply that men know the score: Work sucks, but is (was) necessary to get a wife, regular sex, and a family. Now that men can get sex without a wife and aren’t getting a wife or family anyway, why work?

On the other hand, women seem to have been tricked into thinking that grinding away at a white-collar job is its own reward. They’re doing the shit men were forced to do and mostly disliked, while not even having the reward of a wife having supper ready for them when they get home.

Is it just the boys that are mess? Are the women really achieving?

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.

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.

Traditional Family

In my earlier post, lolz commented:

In my humble opinion, the tradcon exchange between husband and wife that you advocate is not really all that equitable – and certainly not what one sees in ancient societies.

He also posted a link (read it all, it’s pretty good, except the conclusion which is too egalitarian and hedonistic for my taste):

In other words, people we call “tradcons” are frequently hewing to a “tradition” that is mostly a recent invention. Throughout virtually all of history, up to and including much of the world still today, “the family” or even “the nuclear family” meant something very different: what it usually was was father+mother+the kids as part of an extended family, with grandmothers and grandfathers and aunts and uncles and/or cousins frequently living under one roof, or in very close proximity to each other, in a mutually supportive environment. “The family” was all these people, usually dedicated to helping each other, often forming alliances with other families to their mutual benefit. Even in societies where it was the norm for the youngsters to move away, they usually moved in mutually supportive groups together only a day or two away from the rest of the extended family, whom they would often get back together with in times of trouble. Even in societies when young men struck out on their own, they usually did so in mutually supportive groups, not alone against the world.

The ancient idea of “the family” was not “we get together and have dinner at holidays and provide each other some emotional support.” It was much more a matter of, “we work together during the day, we make our meals together, we live in one house or adjacent houses, we fight off enemies together, when one of us is sick we all get together to help. Two of our young’uns are getting hitched? We may need to build them a house because we can’t fit them in here right now so let’s give ‘em a new place over on that hill up yonder.”

First, I’ll answer the ‘equitable’ thing. lolz is right, it’s not equitable. Having to work 40-60 hours a week away from your home and family is definitely the shorter end of the stick to raising your own family, as I’ve written before, women definitely benefited from the ‘traditional’ nuclear family. The problem is, unless you’re willing to abandon your kids as latchkey children to daycare and the public schools or you have family that’s willing to take care of them most of the week, you need someone to take care of the kids, and given biological differences between the sexes, the man staying home will result in marital problems and divorce. It makes sense to have the woman stay home.

Which brings us to the next point: both lolz and Esmay are right.

The nuclear family is not ‘traditional’ or the way things were, it was an adaptation to modern industrial society. What the article above failed to mention, is that ‘work’ as we know it today, is a recent invention. Until the industrial revolution, most people’s ‘work’ was either the family farm or or the family home business (or in tribal societies, men hunted, women gathered). There was no real separation between work and home life, they were the same. Sadly, we do not exist in that society. To not starve, most people have to work outside the home. The nuclear family is the best adaptation to that economic reality we have.

Ideally, we’d be able to get back to that tribal, extended family structure. One of my hopes, if that someday I will be able to be able to create a tribal structure among my family, and maybe with my friends as well. We’ll live on a mostly self-sustaining farm subsidized by some small income from a couple projects I’m working on. That will take a lot of work, and will be a lifelong project, but hopefully I’ll get there.

But for now, the realities of modern society constrain me, constrain us. We can try to build a traditional, tribal structure, but that is not going to happen right away. Before that, I have to get a wife, then keep my children from having their souls devoured by the progressive school system, that means the nuclear, breadwinning family is a necessity for now.

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As an aside, I would actually not mind being a stay-at home dad. A commenter at Vox’s site has described his adventures as such:

Hey man… we don’t JUST play video games all day. I mean sometimes its almost 8am before they finish with their school work for the day. And sometimes we go down to the lake and shoot turtles with the 10/22s… or fish… or have great glorious nerf wars in the tree forts. and there is a swimming pool out there for the really nice days… about 300 of them a year.

Ok well… its mostly video games…

He’s also described the risk of it:

Look the truth is if I wasn’t such a stupendous badass my wife would’ve lost interest years ago. Happens all the time. The stay at home dad thing is basically betting your family’s future on your ability to maintain your badass man credibility with practically the whole deck stacked against you. The risks are huge. Of course.. if you pull it off you get to spend all day with your kids shooting turtles, fishing, playing Black Ops II, and watching Sportcenter. so I mean… its not entirely irrational.

Honestly, that sounds like a lot of fun, and would be much better life than going to the office every day.

Even the risk of the family being destroyed, while much higher, is not as brutally punishing, as you won’t be the one paying child support and alimony, and you’ll probably have a decent chance of getting custody.

The question is, could you find a girl okay with the arrangement and could you stay badass. I figure, if you ran a little hobby farm in the country, fished, and hunted, your odds wouldn’t be too bad. You’d still get the provider rep if the meat on the table was something you slaughtered or hunted yourself.

It would take a lot of work to set up, but I’d be okay with the arrangement of staying home on the acreage with the kids while the wife worked.