This is going to serve as the backdrop for my thoughts on the matter, which shall hopefully be posted this weekend.
In a thread on Anakin’s blog, Davout posits the following. My responses are provided
This is an example of the ‘is-ought’ fallacy. Just because men have a higher sex drive on average than women, it does not necessarily follow that the burden of pursuit should fall upon men.
While it is hardly morally wrong for a woman to do the pursuing, and while it is hardly morally wrong for the man not to do the pursuing, one must ask the question of whether it is reasonable for a man–who wishes to marry–to wait for a woman to pursue him.
We can sit here and circle-jerk over “musts” versus “oughts” versus “good versus better”, but the fact remains: if a man wishes to get married, the percentages are MUCH GREATER in his favor if HE does the pursuing.
I know a guy in a singles group at a very large church. He’s a year my senior. He’s been at that church for at least 15 years. He’s been in the “singles ministry” the entire time.
He’s the stereotypical “nice guy”: a good guy who is at every ministry function, works hard for a living, but rarely ever gets a date let alone a serious marital prospect. He is VERY passive in the pursuit matter, and his mannerisms smack VERY MUCH of the “awww shucks” pushover. Exactly what Roissy would call a “beta”.
Now I’m not saying that God can’t drop a great Christian gal into his lap, nor am I suggesting that he is living in sin by not doing the pursuing.
On the other hand, his chances would be a heck of a lot better if he did the pursuing, and if he became more assertive and decisive.
I would call that more of an exercise in masculinity, rather than “game”.
In fact, exercising such masculinity, far from being “game”, is a man’s way of refusing to be “gamed” by the women. In their heart of hearts, most women would prefer a man who will not be “gamed”.
I think of it like wrestling. When your opponent shoots in for a takedown, you have a couple of options: (a) a reflexive countermove–which is defensive–or (b) a countermove which uses the opponent’s momentum to your advantage. Really good wrestlers will use the latter. The end-result: you maintain control and score big points in takedowns and nearfalls.
For the secularist, that control is for the purposes of sexual exploitation.
For the Christian, it’s about exercising legitimate Biblical leadership. If the husband is head of the wife, it is within the man’s best interests that he prove himself capable of leading.
Davout responded with the following:
I am not arguing with that. In non-feminist times, your arguments make sense.
However, we live in feminist times. The incentives for men to get married are much less than they were pre-feminism. Any man who gets married is putting a great deal of faith in his wife that she doesn’t whimsically abuse her privileges to use the state against him.
Given the decreased incentive for men to marry, it is logical that men should proportionately decrease their pursuit of women.
One alternative is to fix the system. Another is to leave the country and find a mate in a non-feminist country. Yet another is to find meaning in one’s life without marriage.
Encouraging men to get married in a feminist country would only perpetuate the problem because married men fund the state, through ignorance and/or cowardice.
Your approach has no Biblical precedence. Since when does God ever command the Church to wait for the State to clean up the political scene, before the Church can promote the very things that God ordained in Creation?
Women and men today are impacted by feminism, just as men and women of the First Century were impacted by the banal and lascivious culture of that day. The threat was not simply one of divorce, but rather getting betrayed into the hands of government.
And yet, while Paul wished others could be like him–celibate–he also said, “it’s better to marry than to burn”, even has he provided very harsh admonishments to husbands and wives regarding submission and headship. Ephesians 5 comes to mind…
Paul didn’t back down from promoting Biblical leadership, even in the face of government opposition to the Church on nearly every front.
What you’re suggesting is that the Church just punt on marriage altogether and wait for the State to return marriage to status quo ante circa 1950.
That’s not even close to Biblical masculinity, Davout. In fact, that failure of the Church to promote Biblical headship/submission–in favor of the Metrosexual Jesus (also known as “Gentle Jesus Meek and Mild”)–is exactly what got the Church where it is now.
You are conflating two matters: (a) the premise that the man who aspires to marry, should do the pursuing, as that is a higher-percentage move, and (b) the fact that marriage is less favorable to men.
As for men placing faith in the woman not abusing her position, that is true. There are ways to ensure that the faith is rational, but that’s not foolproof.
Then again, nothing–and I DO mean NOTHING–in life carries zero risks.
If I have a bank account, I am putting a lot of faith–some could argue too much–in the bank to redeem my deposit, or–worse–the government to keep their promise to insure my deposit if the bank goes tits up.
It is on you to decide for yourself what your own level of risk tolerance is, and make your decisions accordingly. You must also weigh that against all the risks involved, and I’m not just talking financial.
As for the matter of pursuit, by insisting that women must do more of the pursuing, then you are only ensuring the likelihood of marrying a feminist.
After all, if you let HER pursue YOU, you are, in essence, handing your balls to her.
That will do nothing to stem the spread of feminism.
It appears you are arguing that the church can function independently of the state. I don’t think this is possible today given that the state and church are adversarial, that the church has zero power to enforce its laws…
Even if the church persisted in Paul’s time, it does not necessarily follow that it will follow the same course today. There is no ‘St. Paul’ today. The church leaders promoting biblical leadership nowadays are putting the onus on men to be ‘better’ instead of reprimanding women for being entitled. This is equivalent to blaming the victim…
Biblical masculinity does not exist in a box. For the church to currently advocate marriage is tantamount to advocating husband abuse. It is quite easy for a woman to claim that biblical masculinity is ‘oppression’. Why take that risk if the state agrees with her? It is a little much to expect the husband who has to watch his financial and emotional state crumble to rest assured that he won the ‘moral victory’ by staying true to his biblical principles. The very real and large risks outweigh realising the mirage of a traditional marriage in nanny state countries. Even men who do have a happy marriage are financing feminism through their tax money…
As I mentioned earlier, the way to kill feminism IMO is to stop funding the state. Married white men are the largest demographic of useful idiots who fund the state…
How is it possible to hold a woman accountable for maintaining her faith?
For one thing, the Church always has the capacity to function independently of the state. This has been the case even in times of the most extreme persecution. In fact, the Church has been shown to flourish in spite of State efforts. The Church only endangers itself when it becomes a mouthpiece for the State.
This, by the way, is a fulfillment of Jesus’ statement: “the gates of hell shall not prevail against [the Church].
Moreover, Christians have been known to risk far more than the financial and emotional. And–like I said–the risks you mention, while real, are substantially overstated.
As for the pursuit/response dynamic: if SHE pursues you, and CATCHES you, then she OWNS you. What rational basis does she otherwise have to submit to you?
In fact, you decry feminism while suggesting that women must take on the role of feminist–be active pursuers–to land husbands. It’s a self-defeating position.
But for the CHURCH to wait for the STATE to change, before promoting marriage, is the path of cowardice. It is an approach that has NO precedence in Scripture, nor is reflective of any expression of Biblical masculinity.
God told Joshua to “be bold…be strong…be very courageous”, and Davout is suggesting the Church ought to quake in fear of the State??? FuhgeddaboutThat!
As for his question: “How is it possible to hold a woman accountable for maintaining her faith?”
First off, let’s stipulate a couple facts:
(1) I already have conceded that ensuring that your faith in her reliability, is not foolproof. Never has been. Not even prior to modern feminism. Nor is the risk exclusively on the men. Men (women) have always entered marriage with the risk that she (he) could be a complete phony.
(2) It is not my job to make sure that she maintains her faith. I cannot force her to have faith, any more than I can force her to love me. Nor can she force me to love her, or have faith.
OTOH, there are ways in which I can ensure a higher probability of success:
I can look at her life track record.
(a) How has she handled money? Does this vary from what she says her values are?
(b) What has her record been at church. Is she a mere attender? Does she do things that are important but not easily visible? Does she accept criticism from leaders in her church? Does she undermine leaders? Does she sit around and talk trash about people she does not like?
(c) What is her stated attitude about feminism? Is that consistent with the way she has carried herself?
(d) What is her attitude toward her family, if she comes from a bad one? Is it one of hatred, or one of pity? Hatred=BAD; pity=GOOD.
(e) Is she honest about her own faults, evidenced in her willingness to accept criticism from you? Does she duck responsibility when she screws up? Does she own her junk in life?
(f) How does she understand Ephesians 5?
If she thinks in terms of “mutual submission”, while denying the headship of the husband, then you might want to move on.
If she gives you a more correct answer, then you must consider whether her actions around people in authority are consistent with that. If the consistency is there, her score goes through the rood. Otherwise, she has some hard questions to answer.
(It is also fair for her to ask you what your view is on leadership, and to contrast that with the way you have carried yourself in life.)
Those things are no guarantor of a “keeper”, but they make your percentages much higher. The risks certainly decline remarkably, even as the State flexes its muscle.