Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What men want

Mark Trueblood writes at A Voice for Men regarding modern women’s dissatisfaction with the feminist model of men:

Courtship and chivalry are fundamentally incompatible with notions of gender equality. And if there is one thing that modern women say they want, it is gender equality. As well as the need to be “free” from traditional gender roles. Despite this, a couple generations of women have been able to cherry-pick from traditional and modern gender roles if they so choose. Many men, due to their desperation for female approval and traditional social conditioning, continued traditional courtship behaviors decades after the feminist movement started agitating for equality.

But it turns out that when you tell some men you are strong, independent, and equal, they will believe you. It also happens that some men may be enthused by the idea of evolving their traditional gender roles. They no longer feel the obligation to demonstrate subservient provider capacity by wooing ladies with gifts and free entertainment. They are perceptive enough to know that courtship behavior is asking to get treated like a chump. They expect women to play an equal role in the courtship, and they’re perfectly happy to say “NEXT!” if she’s unwilling to reciprocate.

There are many women who are totally cool with this, and they go on to build fulfilling relationships with like-minded folks. However, as the constant wailing of “Where have the good men gone” indicates, gender equality doesn’t sit well with many. Hear their lamentations!

Trueblood accepts feminism’s premises of gender equality. He doesn’t do so as a practical matter, feminism having won. Rather, he views traditional gender inequality as fundamentally unfair to men. He takes issue with a socio-political system that has yet to rid itself of favoritism and condescension towards women, including traditionalist views on marriage and sex as well as feminist victim mongering. He fights female entitlement to male chivalry and its male enablers.

In short, Trueblood’s problem is women’s innate expectations of men, at odds with the sexual revolution cataclysm.

Pressure to “man up,” on this theory, is a tactic used by feminists and traditionalists alike to shame men into acting against their interests and kowtowing to women. Trueblood claims “the ship has sailed” on sexual harmony and it’s high time we accept the death of the traditional gender roles of the childrearing wife and the providing husband.

That is naïve, more naïve than those who harken to the past, when women respected men and men adored them. However effective the eggheads that determine our culture are at incentivizing unnatural behavior and disincentivizing natural behavior, they cannot change human nature. We cannot be truly happy alienated from who we really are. That is the worst kind of loneliness.

The “shame” to be a man, a man in the traditional sense—to provide for your wife and family, to be a doer and a leader, to be respected—doesn’t need to be imposed by others to be felt. It’s built-in. It’s the nuclear reactor of human desire, with a half-life of forever. Men feel it all the time, and they spend their entire lives coming to grips with it. They would rather not admit it’s there, lest their vulnerability be removed from the stoic sanctuary of sexual isolation and brought into the open.

Being a man is harder now than it used to be. Because of men’s reticence, it will only get harder. Last year I wrote:

Women want men they can look up to, and not enough men qualify. Too many men see the deck stacked against them and retreat to safe quarters. That will not improve the sorry state of affairs that is modern gender relations. Men need to man up, and it wouldn’t hurt if women helped them.

Often we hear about marriage as “settling,” exchanging a fun and free lifestyle for one of calm, quiet domesticity. The opposite is true. Marriage is the great unknown. It’s like setting across an unmapped ocean in rowboats. The task is to go and to keep going, no matter what, until the end is reached.

Huddling inside oneself, going rogue in a society that discards male sexual nature, is the real “settling.” It’s what men know and are comfortable with. But it’s a lie and a prison and we all know it.

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