The Unmanly Bitterness of the Manosphere

[cross posted from the DarwinCatholic blog]

Sin has the tendency to inspire sin. The abused becomes the abuser, the person who believes himself oppressed begins to take on all the least likeable characteristics of his oppressor.

This has always been struck me with particular force when I’ve stumbled across the writings of the “manosphere”, a region of the internets in which men wail about how in the post-feminist age women are all money hungry cheaters with inflated senses of entitlement.  The solution to this is, allegedly, to use to the rules of “game” to dominate women by proving the practitioners to be “alpha males”. A highly technical process with all rigor of a pseudoscience behind it (perhaps some enterprising gamester can introduce the taking women’s head measurements into the process) practitioners council each other on how to deliver “negs” (negative compliments) which will cut women down to size by informing them of their SMV (sexual market value).  Then once the women feels like she needs to pursue since she isn’t being pursued, she melts when given “kino escalation” (he touches her).

You get the idea. I always get the sense of a couple rather mangy looking lions hanging around outside the pride talking about how they’re really more alpha than the lion who actually has all the mates and cubs. For all the acronyms and specialized terminology, you can tell that these boys’ manes are more than half weave.

As with most wrongheaded worldviews, there are some insights buried in there. The Sex-in-the-City feminist manifesto “from now on, we’re going to have sex like men” (which in feminist speak apparently means without thought or commitment) is most certainly something which has managed to make a lot of women (and men) unhappy — potentially for life. Once having correctly diagnosed this as seriously messed up, however, the manosphere solution appears to be that men should retaliate by turning into a bunch of whiny Carrie Bradshaws themselves. A group of guys supposedly outraged by the fact that many modern women demand special treatment and aren’t interested in marriage spend their time whining about how mean girls are and generally advocating an approach to dealing with women that seems guaranteed to make them singularly unattractive marriage material.

Betty Duffy wrote a moderately good piece on this whole mess over at Patheos, cutting through all this sex war silliness with the eminently Christian point that the sexes are created to be complimentary, not in competition. The answer to the war between the sexes proposed by secular feminism is not, “No, we will dominate you,” but rather Christ’s description of marriage which looks all the way back to the Genesis account of the creation of man:

“Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”

They said to him, “Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss [her]?”

He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.” (Matthew 19: 4-9)

Interestingly, this got quite a backlash even in highly traditional 1st century Israel:

[His] disciples said to him, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”

He answered, “Not all can accept [this] word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.” (Matthew 19: 10-12)

The internet being what it is, Betty’s post soon attracted the ire of manosphere inhabitants, including one “Dalrock”, who wrote an airily dismissive counterblast:

New commenter thule222 shared a link the other day to a blog post on the “balanced”* “religion and spirituality” site Patheos by Elizabeth Duffy titled Complementarity, Not Competition. I’m alarmed at the emotionalism of Ms. Duffy’s post along with the lack of intellectual rigor it displays. It contains a number of vague statements, a quote from the Pope about how some men are bad and others are good, and a picture of a man who appears to be taking the risk of launching a new business venture. After reading the post several times, my best take on what she is trying to get across is Shame on you if you read (or write) blogs in the manosphere. She could of course have had another point in mind entirely. Instead of my take on her blog post, she may have actually meant I like pizza. Her lack of specific assertions backed up by facts and logical argument makes this impossible to know. This is tricky business, and I’ve learned recently that you can’t take a woman’s own written claims as indicating her own opinion. It could even be the case that I need to tell her what she meant before she can decide if she will or will not back up her own assertions.

Now, with an opening like that, you might think that you’re going to get a thorough evisceration of Betty’s post. You might think that you’ll see clearly reasoned arguments, citations of evidence, etc. After the huffing and puffing, however, the post turns out to be a rather glancing blow. Mostly, the post wanders off into Dalrock’s musings about how he thinks women are not capable of behaving like adults (adult men, one presumes) but want to be taken seriously anyway.

Aside from being about a general sense of unhappiness, feminism at its core is a rejection of the patriarchal view that women at times behave like children, and a deep desire of women to be taken seriously. With this in mind, I can only assume that Ms. Duffy very much wants us to take her seriously when she tells men not to take women too seriously.

Women have demanded and been granted the right to have their finger on the nuclear button and the unchecked power to destroy the nuclear family. How can we not be alarmed at the thought that they might not have the capacity to keep their emotions in check?

I don’t know if it’s his emotions that are out of check or merely his prose writing ability, but Dalrock never seems to be able to come around to any kind of a point, though he has a lot to say. Much of it, curiously, seems to have virtually nothing to do with Betty’s post:

The first feminists felt (and many women still do feel) that they needed to keep their emotions in check and perform up to high male standards in order to blaze the trail for other women. However, they either never figured out how to transfer this ethos to the larger population of women or never really intended to deliver on this promise. What has made this much worse is newer generations of feminists don’t consider themselves feminists, they consider themselves traditional conservatives. This gives us women who have post grad degrees in women’s studies who also expect men to at times afford adult women the understanding and protection granted to an eight year old.

From this, we can learn that Dalrock thinks feminists are devilishly clever, and that he really likes to link to his own posts, but what objection he has to Betty’s description of how relations between men and women (and marriage in particular) should be complementary rather than competitive is unclear. We get a rant about how feminists have ruined everything, but the connection of those paragraphs to his (never clearly stated) objection to Betty’s post is tenuous at best. Near the end, he tries to tie it all together:

For her part Ms. Duffy appears to absolve herself of any responsibility for the great harms of feminism while both defending it and enjoying the benefits of it. At one point she uses standard feminist language to shame men who raise concerns about it (emphasis mine):

There is a corner of the internet known as the “manosphere.” In a backlash to perceived cultural bias against men due to the mainstreaming of feminist principles, some men, feeling oppressed and trampled into submission by strong women…

Elsewhere in the post she writes:

The married portion of the manosphere has gained traction among some Christian and Catholic men, who—perhaps raised in broken homes—are looking for male role models as they strive to build a marriage and a family that will last.

Not only does she ridicule and belittle those who voice concerns with the immense damage caused by feminism without seriously addressing the actual issues, in the subtitle of her post she washes her hands of any responsibility for the harms of feminism. In truly childish form, if there are any negative outcomes to the changes women have demanded she decides that it must be men who are to blame:

For feminism to have gained a foothold, men had to collude with it, and it has been in their interest to do so; this leaves the message of the manosphere ringing hollow.

Yes, that’s the end of the post (except for a footnote). It goes out with more a whimper than a bang, and one never really is clear what the author’s substantive critique of Betty’s post is. Perhaps the key issue here is that Dalrock is so busy defending the honor of the manosphere and describing the evils of feminism that he doesn’t really seem to ever grasp what Betty is saying with the quote that he chooses to end his response with. She is not saying, as he claims she is, that “if there are any negative outcomes to the changes women have demanded she decides that it must be men who are to blame”. Far from it. Rather, Betty points out that the blame for the moral and societal breakdown is shared. Feminist thinkers latched onto divorce, sex outside of marriage, abortion and contraception as means to allow women to enjoy “equality” with men in society and the workplace, and to free themselves from “oppressive” moral and social structures. Sex takes two, however, and it clearly was not the case that men were all saying, “Whoa there! Let’s not break up this great social order we’ve got. If you sleep around for fifteen years before you feel like getting married, things aren’t going to work out so well!” (And, come to that, the idea that marriage was oppressive and people should all go try the Sex In The City life arguably wouldn’t have been so salable if a certain portion of men and women hadn’t labored to make their marriages convincingly oppressive.) Our society got messed up (in the particular way our society is — in a fallen world all societies are messed up in one way or another) through the sins of both men and women, and it’s certainly not going to get healed if all the members of one sex sit around saying, “No, you shape up first!”

If there’s a dark amusement in all this, it’s that there’s a symmetry between the feminist and “manosphere” views of the world: In the first, men are at fault for everything and they need to be cut down to size and tamed so that women can lead full and fulfilling lives. In the latter, feminists are at fault for everything, and they need to be similarly tamed so that men can be happier. In both views, dominance is the necessary prerequisite for happiness and fulfillment.

In point of fact, gender struggle is no more likely to lead to a happy society (or a happy marriage) than is class struggle to lead to a happy society. Even if the “manosphere” has been right in identifying a few of society’s problems, its one-sided solutions and antagonistic attitude provides no answers to them.

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  1. There is a neligent Catholic Magisterium piece to this mess that gets absolutely no coverage whatsoever from the Catholic press: the disappearance of the topic, wives obeying husbands. Try to find the topic even, in either Vatican II or in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. If you do, I need those new focus lenses…ala Lenin…because I find it in neither document despite a lot of Vatican II being about obeying clergy with Lumen Gentium 22 saying that whoever hears a Bishop, hears Christ (who knew Christ would stop talking about wifely obedience after Casti Connubii in 1930 and start calling the death penalty “cruel” in the 90’s despite His own Rom.13:4.)
    Yes you laugh but the Holy Spirit inspired a New Testament mandate about wifely obedience 6 times in the New Testament: I Cor. 11:3/ Eph.5:22/ Col.3:18/ I Tim 2:11-12/ Titus 2:5/ I Peter 3:1. Fr. Mitch Pacwa in a recent essay at NCRegister began the anti contraception tradition with the
    Didache. Heck….wifely obedience and the death penalty actually get explicit Holy Spirit coverage in the New Testament and no priest is writing about them at all.
    Dropping the dp issue though and appropo this thread, here is Casti Connubii supporting the 6 wifely obedience passages of the Holy Spirit which fortunately are in the Mass readings now and
    then and apparently no where else:
    Casti C. 1930
    section 74:
    ” The same false teachers who try to dim the luster of conjugal faith and purity do not scruple to do away with the honorable and trusting obedience which the woman owes to the man. Many of them even go further and assert that such a subjection of one party to the other is unworthy of human dignity, that the rights of husband and wife are equal; wherefore, they boldly proclaim the emancipation of women has been or ought to be effected…”

    Judging by the Catholic press, contraception alone caused the divorce rate and the Magisterium ignoring promoting something the Holy Spirit explicitly said 6 times did not. Are there abusive bossy men that give headship a bad name? Yes. Are they 100% of Catholic men? No.

  2. Clowns.

    The feminism that says “Women who do work equal to men should be paid equal to men,” is not feminism. That’s simple common dignity. Rephrased, “A job is worth its pay and a job well done is worth more.” That idea can be observed without regard to sex or sexuality. There’s nothing in there that hinges on genetic or biological construct.

    The feminism that says “We’re going to act like the worst and most irresponsible men out there do, to show we’re equal,” is feminism because it casts a distinctly sexual pallor over the actions.

    Simply put, men can’t get pregnant. The consequences of libertine and rakish behavior have always been less inescapable, outside of STDs, for men. Where there are no social consequences, a man who behaves in a sexually irresponsible manner has little to risk compared to women. All but two major STDs are curable and (although it might sound a little oxymoronic) a little discretion mixed in with the license can go far in avoiding even that.

    On the other hand, women, being the crucibles of life, have much to risk in behaving irresponsibly. They not only can become pregnant, but the string of subsequent events that follows is a lifetime of changes. Somewhere between abortion and decades of motherhood, the effects of pregnancy due to irresponsible sexual behavior impact women in ways that are orders of magnitude greater than men. This doesn’t even touch on the comparitive emotional damage suffered, or not, by each sex.

    Thus, the feminism that, by the sweep of a political hand, seeks to wipe those consequences away does infinitely greater damage to women that it does to men. The effects will still happen. Pretending they won’t, or worse, killing them off, does not make them go away, and destroying the cooperative, mutually assisting self-perpetuating bonds of Christian and moral marriage only exacerbate the effects.

    If you’ve ever read David Horowitz’ “Destructive Generation,” you know that the Progressive Left does not seek simple sexual equality, but the destruction of a moral, self-governing and God-fearing society in favor of a godless, social-fascist State ruled by an elite bureaucratic nobility, namely them. They know that in order to facilitate this, generations of moral and ethical erosion must occur, so that children raised in more “open-minded” times will have a more and more shallow foundation against which to gauge their moral depth, until such self-restraint and ability to act righteously disappear.

    The fact that such a thing as a “manospere” even exists represents the end product of years of such destruction. It is the recursive of the first corruption, completing the circle of shame and bringing those men down to the levels of those women who first abdicated their places of dignity and substance. As a Catholic man still striving to act Scripturally and with both humility and grace, I can heartily and risibly condemn The Manosphere to the garbage heap where it belongs.

  3. to clarify: Women become wives with informed consent, full knowledge. Men become husbands with full consent. Spiritual maturity is required for full consent. Love, sacrifce and forbearance are required for the offices of husband and wife and these graces are readily available from our Creator. The mob mentality, the fury of the Harpees, the stampeding herd comes about when women and wives are conflated, when men and husbands are confused. When the gender of women and the office to wife is not understood and appreciated, literally, there is hell to pay. When being made a man and giving consent to becoming a husband is lost, so is the rational, immortal soul of the man lost. Becoming a mother and a father and a family is predicated on accepting the office, the duty, the vocation. Medical science has determined that the cells of a baby inutero seep into the mother’s body and with the baby’s cells come the father ‘s genes. Two literally become one. And when a parent passes into eternity, people mourn because a part of us dies, literally. Fascinating

  4. There is a neligent Catholic Magisterium piece to this mess that gets absolutely no coverage whatsoever from the Catholic press: the disappearance of the topic, wives obeying husbands.

    Disappear? That comes up every couple of years, almost as often as the wearing-pants topic. Lucky you to have avoided it thus far.

    Generally goes with someone quoting bits of Ephesians 5 as saying women must do everything men want (either in support of the notion, or as a strawman to attack), someone responds by pointing out that husbands are called to be Christ-like, someone else points out that it’s the same theme of Christ and the Church as his Bride, and usually the first person throws a fit, calls them names, doesn’t change their mind and leaves. Here’s a pretty standard exchange.


    Yeah, they are just angry, bitter, full of spite– it’s sad. I know there’s other ways to respond, as Mr. Wright mused. It’s possible to feel pain and not seek to destroy in response.

    Of course, it’s a lot less “sad” when it’s my little sister who’s being “played”– then we go into psycho zone for a bit, and it’s sad when she’s not being abused. (Word chosen specifically; the tactics sound rather similar. Psychological damage until you get what you want. Yeah, real manly….)

  5. The only real man I know is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty.

    Desire the love of humility. Think of the humility of the Blessed Virgin Mary when the Angel Gabriel greeted her with these words, “Hail, full of grace.”

  6. Foxfier,
    Yes, it comes up on the internet. I was speaking of the magisterium preaching it….not the internet debating it. Hell….though also largely unpreached (another source of the divorce rate truth be known)… hell at least get’s into documents even if rarely into homilies.

  7. Bill-
    So… basically, you don’t hear about it much? Heaven knows that it’s a common complaint– always salad, never meat and potatoes, but local priests not talking much about something is (redundancy alert!) a very localized issue. I do know that higher levels have said something on the matter, even if it does often seem like they’re more worried about being political….
    Here’s some of the higher-level stuff, just search for Ephesians 5 in the following links/documents:
    http://www.ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/jp2tbind.htm (includes a bunch from JPII)
    http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/seriessearchprog.asp?seriesID=6630 (episode 11)

    It is generally rolled into teachings on the theology of the body.

  8. Foxfier,
    I read your first five links. They prove my point. Wifely submission is not in the first five links in the sense that the pastorals mean it with their abscence of Ephesian’s mutual submission. Normally in marriage a couple mutually submits in what might be called everyday matters. Ephesians which you pointed me towards as the link word so to speak was the only passage that contained that everyday tyoe of mutual submission and the only passage John Paul II would cite verbatim in discussing the issue while he alluded to the other epistle sources only, both in TOB and in “Dignity of Women”. He hinted that they were of the old way of the OT but the OT didn’t spell out “wives obey your husbands” as explicitly as the passages in the NT which John Paul would not cite verbatim.
    I can assume by now your final three links tell a similar story. Men in general like Ephesians’ “mutual subjection” clause because it does not require them to endure the loneliness of sometimes leading with a grimace on their wife’s face or worse in matters wherein a stalemate has been reached and someone must make a decision.
    John Paul believed rightly that Catholics would not know verbatim passages he was leaving out from the Bible. So when he talked about the death penalty in Evangelium Vitae with a view to de facto overturning it…he leaves out of the reader’s view Gen.9:6 and Rom.13:4 which suport it and talks rather about God excusing Cain from execution as the only really deep thing to worry
    about on the topic. Likewise on wifely obedience, he liked it about as much as he liked the Biblical death penalties, so he did the same hide from view routine on those epistle passages
    which simply say “wives obey your husbands”. This is not as shocking as it sounds when you realize that John Paul was no Aquinas. For Aquinas, every mandate in the Bible is from God as the Bible recounts that it is. Read section 40 of Evangelium Vitae where John Paul ascribes the biblical death penalties as really coming from an unrefined Jewish culture and where he sees the sermon on the mount as perfect refinement. It’s a catchy idea unless you know your Bible and know that the refined God of the mount actually proceeds thru an angel of death to kill Herod Antippas in Acts 12 and leave his body to be eaten by worms…and places Romans 13:4 in the Bible after the sermon on the mount. Likewise after Cain,the same God sends a death penalty to Gentiles and Jews for murder when that God knows He is about to establish the first government through Nimrod. The Cain exemption taught against private executions at least until governments could make rules for the a engers of blood.

    Your links then are very John Paul II…..only Ephesians counts….not the other NT passages on wifely obedience. Only Cain counts on execution….not Rom.13:4 or Gen.9:6. Follow that selective hermeneutic….and you’ll be at odds with Dei Verbum, Vat.II which said “both testaments with all their parts have God as their author.”

  9. Bill Bannon-
    I can’t do anything about your dislike of how John Paul II taught on the subject; your complaint was that they didn’t mention it, not that you didn’t like how they mentioned it.

  10. Foxfier
    You are doing this topic on the fly with google. Mentioning mutual submission is not mentioning wifely submission. Men love mutual submission. It saves them from lonely moments.
    Wifely obedience especially in serious stalemates gives them lonely moments.

  11. No, Bill, I am not “doing this topic” at all; I was responding to your claim that the Catholic Magisterium had not touched on it. You claimed that they were silent, I showed they were not, you objected that it didn’t say what you wanted.

    I have no intent on “doing this topic” about your dislike of how the topic is covered because I don’t find it all that relevant to Darwin’s point on how bitter the “Manosphere” is; were the Magisterium actually silent on the topic, it would be a rather eye-opening point. As they are not, I don’t feel like arguing the merits of focusing on a single phrase vs the larger context, dragging the comments even further off topic, especially not with someone who went through several articles saying how the husband is to take the role of CHRIST means they never have to be a lonely leader.

  12. I once checked out Roissy’s blog and fled after a couple of minutes. I was ensnared by a a “Roissy” when I was young and the memories can still sting. And I am sure he would be delighted to know that – that is, if he is the same man he was 25 years ago. If he is, he is to be pitied.

  13. No, I’ve said mutual submission as the exclusive comment on couple interpersonal jurisdiction saves a husband from the lonliness. “Wives be subject to your husbands” are the epistle passages that can lead to the loneliness of Christ.

  14. Bill,

    I Tim 2:11-12 doesn’t even address the question of wives obeying husbands, it deals with how women should behave at church.

    Titus 2:5 is more about public comportment and family order and does not specifically talk about obedience.

    I Peter 3:1 is dealing with how women whose husbands aren’t Christian or aren’t obedient Christians should serve as examples to their husbands through their actions rather than nagging.

    So three of your quotes don’t even say what you’re looking for.

    Now, of the other three: I don’t see what the conflict is that you’re trying to set up between the one that says “submit yourselves to one another”, the one that says “wives obey your husbands, husbands love your wives” and the one that just says “wives, obey your husbands”. The fact that one says just “wives, obey” doesn’t means that husband and wife shouldn’t mutually submit to one another. I think you’re setting up an opposition here that needn’t exist. If any couple is doing a good job of fulfilling two of these, the third is going to follow naturally.

    I’m also a bit unclear how the whole thing relates to divorce. I’m not exactly picturing a situation in which a wife is all set to walk out on her husband, but the husband says, “I order you not to leave, and 1 Cor 11:3 says you have to obey me like you obey God,” and suddenly the wife decides not to leave. If the wife is already following the description of marriage that we get from the bible, she won’t be leaving in the first place. And if she is ready to ignore the direct command of Christ that once God has made husband and wife one, they shall never be separated by man’s law, I don’t see how priests preaching on the “obey” passages more often will stop her. These things are all tied together. If anything, emphasizing obedience alone separately from the full Catholic understanding of marriage is probably going to be more a turn of than an encouragement in our modern culture, because too few people have a good understanding of Christian leadership and Christian obedience, and most people have a very good understanding of bossiness and selfishness.

  15. Darwin,
    You write: ” I Tim 2:11-12 doesn’t even address the question of wives obeying husbands, it deals with how women should behave at church.”

    Could you give me your version of that passage….even include what you think is context if a footnote led you to see verse 11 as still in a physical Church.

  16. Darwin,
    You write also: “Titus 2:5 is more about public comportment and family order and does not specifically talk about obedience.”

    There also what are your actual words in your version?

  17. Spoken like a man of experience and wisdom, Don. 🙂


    1 Tim 2: 8-12

    It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument. Similarly, [too,] women should adorn themselves with proper conduct, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hairstyles and gold ornaments, or pearls, or expensive clothes, but rather, as befits women who profess reverence for God, with good deeds. A woman must receive instruction silently and under complete control. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet.

    That sounds to me like it’s all continuing with the discussion of how things should be conducted in church.

    Titus 2: 1-5

    As for yourself, you must say what is consistent with sound doctrine, namely,a that older men should be temperate, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, love, and endurance.

    Similarly, older women should be reverent in their behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to drink, teaching what is good, so that they may train younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good homemakers, under the control of their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited

    I don’t think you’d want to hang any claims about how marriage must be structured on these two, they’re pretty clearly about comportment (in church in the first and generally in the second) rather than about the command structure of a marriage. The first three quotes are the ones you want to hang your hat on, not the last three. (After all, take stuff like these as defining how marriage must be lived out and you’d also end up having to take Philemon as endorsing slavery.)

  18. Darwin,
    I’m going to let readers judge the passages between you and I as to their not being about wives obeying their husbands….. “under complete control” and “under the control of their husbands” are, within all that context, still about wifely submission which is what I said in the first post…true of I Peter also in the word “subordinate”.
    Both exist….mutual submission and wifely submission. The former feels the nicest. Under especially duress, the latter can become the most apposite one, given human nature. It…the latter… is not preached in either Vat.II nor the C.C.C. Adios. I’m done. Let the readers each decide.

  19. No wonder you didn’t care for my thumbnail sketch of the usual course of discussion….

    You may enjoy Wintery Knight’s place; he’s generally willing to play with most anyone and digress infinitely. Seem to remember he’s had similar discussions several times, as well.

  20. I am not sure why you elected to write about this topic without discussing the characteristics of family law as it is administered in this country and without discussing the assumptions encoded in the commentary of a certain breed of social conservative. Figures such as Helen Smith or Glenn Sacks are most certainly not promoters of Roissy’s bilge.

  21. Art,

    I elected to write the post because the Dalrock post I linked to massively teed me off, indeed, everything I saw on his site teed me off. And because I happen to know and like Betty Duffy and I pretty much saw red watching manosphere-bots call her a c**t in the Patheos comboxes for a couple days.

    I’m not familiar with Helen Smith or Glenn Sacks writing. If they don’t have to do with this “game” idiocy and the whole war between the sexes ideology that I’m addressing here, then they’re not what I’m talking about.

  22. Art-
    I’m not exactly into that scene, but “manosphere” seems to be roughly equivalent to “radical feminist”, in the opposite direction; heck, I wouldn’t even count Whiskey’s Place as part of it, although some of the commenters come from that area.

    There’s a world of difference between identifying a problem and hammering away at it, and deciding that the solution is to copy those you see as the source of the problem.

  23. I think that BOTH sexes often forget these days that “leadership” or “authority” means a lot more than just being able to order other people around and make them do what YOU want. It means proving yourself trustworthy, and being willing to sacrifice for their good and for their protection as well. My favorite saying on this whole issue is from C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves, in which he states that “the sternest feminist need not grudge (men) the crown offered to them in either the Pagan or Christian mystery; for the one is of paper and the other of thorns.”

  24. Remembering my AF officer training of many years ago, leadership is like love. The love is not only for the troops you lead. It’s also for accomplishing the mission.

    There are two components of leadership: authority and responsibility. Authority may be delegated. Responsibility cannot be delegated. It stays with the leader.

    Finally, for the Christian family the mission is to know God, love God and serve God so we, all together, may be happy with Him in Heaven.

  25. Don: Another word: When Eve brought the forbidden fruit to Adam, had Adam said: “NO EVE, this is forbidden fruit, you and I will do the will of God”, even if Eve had eaten the fruit, Adam, as head of the family in his love for Eve would have saved the whole human race. I know of a man who used to beat and batter his wife because his wife was the daughter of Eve, and as such, his wife had caused all of mankind’s fallen nature. When neighbor’s tried to stop the beatings, the man threatened to beat up the neighbors, too. Notice, that Eve brought the forbidden fruit to her husband, Adam. Adam had the final say in his family. The word husband means good shepherd. And when you take the trash out, bless it.

  26. The unmanly bitterness of the manosphere: When the Pharisees tried to stone Mary Magdalene, where was the man? both were to be put to death. The rest is censored but if you really want to hear it, ask.

  27. Mary –

    I get weary of the use of the Pharisees and the woman caught in adultery to show how we are too hard on women and not hard enough on men. Where was the man? Who knows? Maybe he had already been stoned to death, or maybe not.

    There is more than one way to guess concerning details about which the Scripture is silent. Is it not just as likely that the Pharisees neglected the man also caught in the act because they surmised that the woman caught in adultery, being a woman, would tug at Jesus’ heartstrings, thus more definitely cornering him, when they also surmised that bringing the man into the matter might evoke less natural sympathy, i.e.-let him take his stoning like a man!

  28. It’s true that the Pharisees were not in the least concerned with actual justice in the matter, only in trapping Our Lord. It seems very reasonable to me that they used the woman, and not the man, not because they were particularly hateful to women, but because they saw that the possibility of stoning a woman would likely be more effective in trapping Jesus than stoning a man. If they thought asking of Jesus whether the man also caught in adultery should be stoned would be more effective in trapping him, it seems likely they would have used the man instead of the woman.

  29. All that to say that it is not necessary to read misogyny into the Pharisees treatment of the woman caught in adultery. Though I haven’t gotten into it here, I also think it is shortsighted to read misogyny into the writings of Dalrock.

  30. Crucify Him, Crucify Him. The bloodlust of the Pharisees was not slaked by the bloody Jesus. If the man, Mary Magdalene’s consort, had been killed, the Pharisees wanted more, and more. The bloodbeast of the Pharisees, of Planned Parenthood is never slaked. uncensored

  31. Art,

    I wrote about Hymowitz myself a while back:


    My wife critiqued her more recently:


    Basically: I think she’s wrong in portraying most men as slackers — though I find the apologists for slackerdom also unimpressive. I don’t think that disagreeing with the sort of bitter, 30-something, why-doesn’t-the-world-work-the-way-I-want-it-to female writers who sometimes writes cover article for The Atlantic makes you a creature of the manosphere, however. It just makes you a member of the reality based community.

  32. I don’t think that disagreeing with the sort of bitter, 30-something, why-doesn’t-the-world-work-the-way-I-want-it-to female writers who sometimes writes cover article for The Atlantic makes you a creature of the manosphere

    Kay Hymowitz is 63, and has been married for quite some time. I think ‘bitter’ is a strange adjective for her writing. ‘Insulting’ and ‘condescending’ would be more properly descriptive.

    There is an element of context that you are neglecting. The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, an agency of the right, is employing a lapsed English teacher to produce this sort of literature. Critics of her preliminary publications remarked that her research seemed bereft of interviews with any living and breathing young men, contenting itself with perusing laddie magazines.

    though I find the apologists for slackerdom also unimpressive.

    Whatever they aspire to not, the marketplace in which these young men live and work is what it is, and is populated with the women whose varied dispositions have the distribution of their own time, not the distribution which was common among my mother’s contemporaries. They also face the legal and formal institutions of today, not those my parents faced when they married in 1952.

  33. They also face the legal and formal institutions of today, not those my parents faced when they married in 1952.

    They also tend to have been taught (by males and females) that if a girl doesn’t jump into bed with them inside the first week or two, she doesn’t like him or she’s using him. Even if their dates are dutch. Small wonder that there’s bitterness, frustration and confusion… still doesn’t excuse the “manosphere” manipulators.

  34. … still doesn’t excuse the “manosphere” manipulators.

    I do not seek to excuse lounge lizards &c. I am defending ordinary young men against the likes of Hymowitz, et al.

  35. buckyinky,
    For myself I have always thought that Mary Magdalene was lusting for Jesus Christ. The Pharisees knew Jesus’ teaching about lust in the heart being adultery. The Pharisees followed Jesus to entrap Him in His own teaching and you are right about Magdalene only being a convenient tool. Mary Magdalene was a soul whom Jesus had come to rescue. Perhaps Jesus was the Man in the passage of the woman taken in adultery. But does it really matter? The Pharisees were so blinded by their hatred for Jesus also, when God called Adam to account, Adam blamed God and Eve, ‘THE WOMAN YOU PUT HERE WITH ME. SHE GAVE ME THE APPLE”. Adam started the unmanly bitterness of the manosphere.

  36. Mary (and buckyinky),

    Okay, the biblical speculation is getting not only way far away from the topic of the post, but way far away from the bible itself. Let’s let that one rest, okay?

  37. Adam comes across as a whiner.

    He knew it was forbidden. He could have said, “No.” to Eve. Perhaps Adam ate of the apple in order to be with Eve and to share her life in exile from the Garden.

    Jesus is True God and true man. He is like us in all things except sin. He was not the other man in that passage.

  38. Art,

    Kay Hymowitz is 63, and has been married for quite some time. I think ‘bitter’ is a strange adjective for her writing. ‘Insulting’ and ‘condescending’ would be more properly descriptive.

    You’re way ahead of me — I didn’t know her age or occupation, and I guess I was pigeonholing her writing with this sort of thing which I read much more recently:


    There is an element of context that you are neglecting. The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, an agency of the right, is employing a lapsed English teacher to produce this sort of literature.

    There does seem to be a market on the right for overwrought accounts of how badly men are doing in this day and age, whether through laziness or having been “effeminized” by the educational establishment and culture — usually so that people can then demand that men be men like they used to be.

    Being moderately old fashioned, I can sort of see the appeal, but it seems like what’s normally churned out to support this desire is really badly researched pop sociology and psychology which really has no value other than making those who like it feel good.

  39. I’m sympathetic to Bill Bannon’s complaint:

    There is a negligent Catholic Magisterium piece to this mess that gets absolutely no coverage whatsoever from the Catholic press: the disappearance of the topic, wives obeying husbands. Try to find the topic…

    The problem is more general than Mr. Bannon describes here and it has not just trickled down, it has drenched and soaked the episcopacy, ministerial priesthood, and lay apostolates and apologists. EWTN is a near-constant source of examples from homilists at mass to apologists taking phone calls. One of their more common offenses against men and marriage is their habit of, when introducing the topic of failing marriages, only drawing from three possibilities: accusing the husband of having an adulterous affair, accusing the husband of wife-beating, or accusing the husband of a pornography addiction.

    Addressing Mr. Bannon’s more specific complaint, I’ll quote from Msgr. James Murphy who as associate publisher of the Catholic Herald magazine, editorialized in the November/December 2011 issue:

    Marriages fail becasue too many people entering them are more concerned about their own selfish ends than the good of the children. … We might not use the language of demographer (Andrew) Cherin on the facts of sociology, but we do use the language of the Apostle Paul on the facts of self-sacrifice: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her.”

    Msgr. Murphy quotes nothing else of St. Paul’s but he does quote President Barack Obama (!) in one of that feminist president’s characteristic man- and father-bashing moments.

    Let your ears and eyes be opened, folks, and you’ll begin to notice the frequency of occurrences of man-scolding and condescending ‘advice’ in the Catholic sphere. Notice also whether the bad behavior of women is given equal time for disparagement in equally strong terms – I for one am not encountering that.

  40. Being moderately old fashioned, I can sort of see the appeal, but it seems like what’s normally churned out to support this desire is really badly researched pop sociology and psychology which really has no value other than making those who like it feel good.

    Some people are only happy when they’re upset?
    *shrug* Folks try to make stories so stuff makes sense, and they tend to be superficial; if they’re not the same generation, the tend to choose obvious markers that don’t actually connect with their targets (video game playing adults, for an example near and dear to my heart).

    What we know is that:
    men say they can’t find decent women, (“they’re all users”)
    women say they can’t find decent men, (“they’re all feckless”)
    unusually, the marriage stats back up this issue.

    Additionally, there are women who enjoy using their sex and sexuality as a weapon to feel powerful or get vengeance, (“It’s our turn now!)
    and there are men (the original topic up top) who are doing the same. (“We’re just doing what they do!”)

    It’s a cliche, but I think the current round of problems goes to about the 60s– bear with my inexperienced point of view, here, please, even if you’ve heard the song so often you’re sure you could sing along.
    About that time, the pop culture changed the sexual “shopping” market; girls were told they could be just like the guys. Turns out, guys don’t especially want to be tied to a copy, they want a complement.
    At the same time, guys were told that they were supposed to be “sensitive” and “enlightened”– which somehow always ended up meaning more like a really wimpy city girl, from what I can see. Turns out, girls don’t especially want to be tied to a copy, either.
    Also about the same time, the popular sport becomes attacking “hypocrites”– that is, folks who don’t come out and announce every urge or unpleasantry they feel, rather than trying to keep up appearances. Doesn’t do so much for marriages. Doesn’t do much for dating, for that matter.
    I’m not sure how it works in, but I suspect a sort of coarsening of public discourse, too– just not quite the same way that most folks mean when they say that. I mean that the whole counter-culture get-in-their-face picking fights thing seems to have become more popular then, although I only know for sure that it’s really popular since about the early 90s in colleges and such. A large part of its efficaciousness depends on those you oppose either being polite or not wanting to fight, and passion is so important it must be faked if it’s not really felt. Unrestrained passion is kinda famously not a great thing.

    Couple of generations of people being people but not having a whole lot of good examples to follow, and guys have a sort of idea of what they want from a woman they marry, but it’s idealized and pretty kabuki-ish. Women have a sort of idea of what they want to marry, but it’s either self-contradictory, incredibly short sighted or, again, kabuki-ish. When they do get in a relationship, it sucks compared to the ideal both because real life isn’t perfect and they haven’t been taught how to deal with smaller conflicts; later on, they get in relationships and can’t recognize that the big conflicts are different.
    There’s also the tear-your-hair-out problem of all the nice folks one knows always dating the same sort of person and having the exact same problems. And they never get it.
    Someone comes up with a solution, tell me.

    You can’t expect men and women to be like the “use to” be– assuming that anybody could agree on what that means– because we don’t have the same starting point. You can’t build the same house on totally different ground, it’ll go to bits; you can take stuff from the old house and adapt it for the new ground, though, if you can make a firm foundation.
    Pretty clearly, eye-for-an-eye (or responses that predate that restraint) against an entire sex is a bad idea if your goal is to fix anything, rather than a sort of anarchist style “I’ll get mine” type thing.

    About the biggest thing I’d suggest is that folks try to date the person they’re actually dating, instead of “all women” this and “all men” that.

    This song sums up the “good guy” lament pretty well:

  41. Exit: Virtues leading to trust, self-knowledge, and love for God and family.
    Enter: Values, self-satisfaction, and the game of mating (not for life).

  42. The “manosphere”must be populated by a bunch with the mentality of a three year old. I wanna, I wanna, I wanna. Instead of getting a toy, which is usually what a three year old wants, the “manosphere” types want sex. Their views on the personhood of a woman are formed by the rot of popular culture and they view women as objects. If there is one big difference, a child is much more likely to care about his toy than a manosphere type is to care about his potential “conquest”.

  43. The “manosphere”must be populated by a bunch with the mentality of a three year old.

    How do you derive that judgment from ‘dalrock’s’ critique of family courts?

  44. Was that in H. G. Wells’ book The Time Machine?

    God’s first commandment in Genesis is “Be fruitful and multiply.”

    The invention of artificial BC runs against this first commandment, as does sodomy.

    God commands it a number of times. Procreation is the reason God created males’ strong sex drives, which He did not intend as solely recreational.

    Bottom line: in 2012 real men are nearing extinction.

  45. How do you derive that judgment from ‘dalrock’s’ critique of family courts?

    I think one could pretty easily derive Penguin Fan’s impression from some of the characters who seem to inhabit dalrock’s site. For instance, the forth comment down on the post I liked to closes:

    Don’t commit, don’t cohabitate, and stay independent. That is what men need to do today. Use them for sex when required, and that’s all.


    I wouldn’t surprise me at all to know that family courts do all sorts of unfair things (indeed, it would kind of surprise me if they didn’t, as they have assigned themselves the task of negotiating settlements to problems there may well not be any “fair” solution to) but the crew over there look about as capable of giving a balanced picture of the real situation as Hamas does of providing an even-handed analysis of who wronged who most in Gaza.

  46. I think one could pretty easily derive Penguin Fan’s impression

    Stop it the both of you. The term ‘manosphere’ is amorphous enough that it is rather ill-advised to offer a general evaluation, much less one as intemperate as that of ‘penguin fan’.

  47. Manosphere:
    Search Results
    Web definitions
    The loose collection of blogs, message boards, and other sites run by and/or read by MRAs, MGTOW, and assorted friendly Pick-up Artists. The primary source of material for this blog.

    Google definition.

    Google search…doesn’t really have much that I can copy and paste, when you get past the stuff that’s about the manosphere, because I’m not going to get us that kind of traffic. Fantasies about illegal means of getting the goal of “game,” talking about “game,” lots and lots of focus on sex.

    Just because SOME of those who self-identify as the “manosphere” SOMETIMES have good stuff doesn’t mean that we should leap to defend them in general, any more than pro-life atheists means that suddenly all the rest of the atheist stuff is to be defended. The point seems to be getting laid, with some general hedonism thrown in to support that lifestyle.

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