The Choice She Made

“I just feel like I’m doing three full-time jobs,” she lamented, “my job, being a mom, and managing a home.” She’s my daughter’s choir director at school, and she’s an awesome choir director. She has grown the program from almost nothing to a size she can hardly keep up with.

It’s not the first conversation she and I have had about these things, and, though I haven’t told her this, it’s not the first time I’ve wondered how she fits it all in knowing how much she does for the choirs. The reality is, she doesn’t.

I found it interesting that she didn’t mention being a wife as one of her full-time jobs. From what I can tell, she and her husband have a great relationship. So she’s a full-time wife, a full-time mom, a full-time home manager, and a full-time-and-a-half choir teacher at a middle school. And she can’t give her best to any one thing because she’s spread out too thin.

I really like this woman. She’s done a lot for both my daughters, including my Youngest, even though my Youngest isn’t the one in choir, and so I go up to the school to help her anytime she needs me that I possibly can help her.

Her husband and family pinch hit when she must work late hours up at the school. But, according to what she’s shared, she’s still the main one responsible for the management of the home and the children, along with her full-time job.

I wonder if women like this will encourage their daughters to do the same, even though she admittedly cannot “do it all.” Will she expect her daughter to be able to “do it all?” Will she raise her son to expect his wife to be a woman who can “do it all?”

She loves her job and the fulfillment and notoriety it gives her, but she laments the time she looses with her kids. I wonder if she ever realizes the choice she made.

The TSA Gets Feministed

Irrespective of what you think of feminists, this incident shows you what kind of nutjobs are working at the TSA.

What Jill wishes to do in her own private life is her own business, and–given that she was willing to air details that most would wish to keep private–I’ll give her credit where credit is due: she stuck it to the TSA.

For once, a feminist gets a thumbs up from here.

Summarizing the Anti-Tebow Movement

As I said, I’m not convinced that Tebow is going to be a great QB in the NFL. In fact, I think he COULD develop into a decent QB who puts in a couple of good years but otherwise becomes more of a role player who helps teams in other ways and even plays in other positions besides QB. I want him to succeed as a citizen, and if he succeeds in the NFL it’s a bonus.

That said, Brian Phillips concisely summarizes the anti-Tebow movement:

Somewhere within all our reptilian hearts lurks an instinct for trial-by-combat. This instinct tells us that when a person is strongly associated with an idea, we can use that person’s success or failure within the sphere of competitive athletics as a legitimate indication of the quality of the idea. Did the green knight kill the blue knight? Then the queen must be innocent!

Ultimately, I think they want him to fail personally, not just professionally. Toward that end, Tebow must be sober-minded–if he is not already–about what is really important. He’s in combat, but it’s not merely athletic in nature. In fact, the athletic end is probably going to be the easy part.

He must take some hard lessons from those before him–Erving, Payton, McNair, Barry Sanders–who were otherwise outspoken Christians who compromised themselves with sex scandals, and learn from those before him who were known for their integrity and fidelity (Roger Staubach, Lou Gehrig).

Personally, I think Tebow should do the following on the personal front:

(1) If he’s marriage-minded, establish a good network of family and friends and seek a wife. Get married sooner rather than later.

(2) To REALLY piss off the media: once he gets married, tear a page from the Lou Gehrig playbook: (a) take her with him on road trips, and (b) refuse interviews with reporters who are known for cheating on their spouses.

On the NFL front, he needs to keep working hard. There’s plenty of room in the NFL for decent players–especially those who are really good citizens–who work hard and keep their noses clean.

If he ever plays in a Pro Bowl or gets a Super Bowl ring, it’s a bonus.

Choosing NOT to “Play the Game”

If Susan Walsh is correct–and what she provides is from the front lines of the college ranks–then the dating scene ranges from bad to downright ugly.

I went to college at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University from 1985-1990, attending the Daytona Beach campus. I was in the middle of Party Central. While the boy-girl ratio was high, it’s not like there was a shortage of women in the local community. (As an engineering student, I didn’t have a social life and therefore didn’t get to meet them; they were, however, quite abundant at the frat parties, from all accounts I heard.)

Was there a “hookup culture” of sorts? Yes, but it was on the fringes. There was a fair amount of partying off campus–we were technically a “dry” campus–and there were certainly a fair number of “pickups” that went on, but the “hookup culture” in those days was nothing like what Walsh’s oldest daughter is dealing with.

And yes, the men are getting shafted here, too.

During my first year of college, I couldn’t get a date, or a girlfriend for that matter. My second year, although I was not into one-night stands, I started going for them instead of going for dates, and to my surprise, I had slept with more women than most men will in their entire lifetimes. To this day, I had not really been able to explain it. Why couldn’t I get a date, yet I could get sex almost at will?

I started having one-night stands because that was the only way I could get sex and it seemed to be my only way into a relationship. None of that make any sense? Why are women more willing to have sex than they are to go on a date or get into a relationship with a guy? Even with some of my female friends, they were reluctant to go on a date with me, but the instant that I changed my strategy and tried to get them into bed, they hopped right on in without any hard work whatsoever on my part.

Why are these women more willing to have sex than go on dates? Because getting sex from women is easier than getting a date with them. Why? Because when a woman evaluates whether or not to go on a date with a guy, there’s a lot more that she has to think about than she does when evaluating whether or not to have sex with him. And with the absurdly high standards of a lot of women, most men will never meet them anyway, so they avoid dating altogether.

This was something I noticed a bit during the late 1990s, in the Christian singles chat rooms. I was wanting a girl to date–sadly, the good ones were several time zones away–but the majority of them wanted either “cybersex”, phone sex, or an evening/weekend hookup. In one of the most notorious “offers” I received, a gal was wanting to fly out from Arizona to “show [me] a few things” over the weekend.

In a previous post, I mentioned the reason I refused those offers: I feared the consequences.

When I say “consequences”, I wasn’t talking about pregnancy or STDs. (Although those are very legitimate concerns.) Heavens no…I was referring to spiritual consequences.

In economics, the honest among us concede that “there is no free lunch.” That is economic–and scientific–reality. (It’s, in a nutshell, the Second Law of Thermodynamics.)

The same is true spiritually: it’s The Law of Sowing and Reaping. I like to articulate it this way: YOUR CHARACTER WILL ALWAYS CATCH UP WITH YOU! And I DO mean ALWAYS!

If you’re a guy–in particular a Christian–and you get offers of “free hookups”, or “no strings attached sex” or “friends with benefits”, you need to understand one thing: IT AIN’T REALLY FREE!

As a single, I was a teacher at my church the vast majority of the time. I was either teaching children or adults, or both. I didn’t spend my single days sitting on the sidelines.

Let’s say I accepted one of those “offers” from a gal. It might seem like no big deal. Right?

Wrong!

This is because, every time you do something like that, you accumulate baggage: that is a fancy term for damage due to adverse experience. Some baggage is the result of what others have done to us; a lot of it, however, is the result of our own choices. If you are a Christian, you CANNOT engage in the hookup culture and have it not impact the rest of your life.

If you are a teacher or preacher, it will impact your teaching. There’s no two ways about it. If you meet a Christian gal, it will impact your dating life. If you marry, it will impact your marriage.

Many guys will think in terms of sowing their wild oats and “settling down” later. That’s like saying, “I’ll party and live the debauched life now, and receive Christ right before He comes back.”

It won’t work, and this is because repentance is a gift from God; it’s not a light switch that you can activate yourself.

There’s ALWAYS a cost to sin. As one preacher of mine once said, “Sin will cost you more than you ever thought you were going to pay; it will take you where you never planned to travel; it will take you deeper than you ever wanted to dive. And you might just drown.”

For every King David–who experienced repentance–there are many others who lost marriages (Julius Erving, Jeff Gordon), careers (Tiger Woods), and even their lives (Steve McNair). While Woods is Buddhist, Erving and Gordon are–and McNair was–outspoken Christians. Their character caught up with them.

But back to the point: if you are a single man or woman, and if you claim to be a Christian, then it is on you to choose not to “play the game”.

That choice will carry consequences.

In my day, “hooking up” was something you could do at some parties, but–in general–it was associated with a serious dating relationship.

Today, if Walsh is correct–and I think she is because I noticed that developing in the 1990s even in Christian circles, but I was blinded to what should have been obvious around me–then it’s the other way around: choosing not to play the game means you not only won’t get sex, you might even have a harder time getting a date.

Are the women solely to blame? No. Like I said: the feminists gave women the ticket to stigma-free promiscuity and handed men the ticket to easy sex; the men chose to punch the ticket rather than fight it. So here we are. Plenty of blame to go around.

I’m not here to smack the secular arena, however. Remember: if you are a soldier, and everyone else in your unit is murdering civilians and raping the women and children, it is still on you to choose not to take part in what you know to be wrong. If your commanding officer rapes, it’s his crime. If you do the same, then claiming you did it “because everyone else was doing it” is not an acceptable defense.

If you are a Christian, reflecting God’s design for sexuality is your job. That means treating those to whom you are not married as brothers and sisters. Would you have sex with your brother or sister? I didn’t think so.

The men have a prerogative–and I would suggest a responsibility–to demand better. But you can’t do that if you aren’t living the standard that you desire of a potential mate.

If you are a “player”, then you have no room to kvetch about how loose the Christian women are, because you are part of the problem.

Sure, hookups are easier. But if you’re a Christian, it ain’t about what is “easier”.

Tebowmania

FWIW: I think Tebow is a terrible QB. Can he mature into a good QB? Yes, but it does not appear that he has been managed well in Denver.

In his favor: he’s a good citizen and has a strong work ethic.

Against him: the QB position is not merely about being a hard worker and a good citizen. It takes good instincts, quick decision-making, the ability to stay confident when you’re under extreme pressure.

In his favor: he didn’t give up, and managed an impressive comeback yesterday against the Dolphins. That was some good poise down the stretch, and he picked up his play when he needed to do it.

Against him: It was the Dolphins. However, if he does it against Pittsburgh or New England or the Jets, fans will start touting him as the Second Coming of Elway. (That would not be fair to either Tebow or Elway.)

In his favor: that was the second time he has managed a good comeback.

Against him: he’ll need to learn how to play like that for 4 quarters.

In his favor: he may develop into a good QB, and “good” QBs last a long time in the NFL.

Against him: he could turn out to be anything from another John Elway to a bust like Todd Blackledge.

Personally, I think he’ll become a good QB, but not a great QB. He will have a few good years as a starter, and spend many years holding a clipboard and even playing some downs as a running back or tight end. There’s lots of room for a Tim Tebow in the NFL.

As for the vitriol about him, it just shows how stupid and prejudicial people can be. You have a league where people are involved in murders, God knows how many domestic violence calls, the occasional drunk driving fatality, dogfighting, and even drug trafficking. You have teams that land more people in jail than in the Pro Bowl.

And people get their panties in a twist because Tebow is a Christian?

The Price We Pay

In my post about the dilemma feminism has left for women, there was some confusion over the narrative about the lawyer. Was she feminist? Was she doing anything wrong?

My answer: not necessarily. In fact, she could be an otherwise hardworking Christian gal who fell through the cracks. (Yes, men, women fall through the cracks, too.) I was merely illustrating her dilemma, providing the message she has heard from college, law school, and the professional ranks.

(I provided the student loan angle in order to illustrate the compounding financial burden that college and law school grads are facing today. For a woman who seeks to marry and have children, that kind of debt will keep her tied to the full-time work force longer than she would otherwise have wanted. My point is not for her to eschew education, but rather to pursue a path that allows for flexibility with minimal–if not zero–debt.)

What I failed to provide, however, was the message she would likely hear from those in her church circles. If she expresses the desire to marry, she’s likely to hear any of the following:

(a) “Don’t bother looking…God will drop a good man your way in His timing.” (Oh great…I’ll be waiting another 20 years…)

(b) “Don’t worry….Jesus is all you need.” (Then why did YOU get married?)

(c) “When you’re ready, you’ll find a husband.” (So now it’s my fault that I haven’t found a mate?)

(d) “If you’re not happy now, you won’t be happy when you’re married.” (Since when is ANYONE happy all the time, irrespective of their station in life?)

Now let’s be honest here: is any of this that much better than the feminist message she’s likely to hear from the secular side? I mean goodness…even Ruth had help: Naomi didn’t exactly sit back. No..she prodded Ruth along and set her up with Boaz, who was an older, established single man of otherwise honorable character.

Sadly, if the lawyer in my example goes to a very large church and joins a “singles” group, the caliber of men she’s likely to meet is not going to be high. The marriageable men–like myself in my single days–aren’t going to have the great personalities. We may be otherwise fine catches, but that will take some time getting to know us. (Being a bit on the geeky side–and vertically challenged–has its disadvantages.) The men in those groups who do appeal to her will not necessarily be there for the right reasons. (Yes, the reverse is true for the guys, but more on that on another day.)

Compounding matters, if she tries to find a mate online, she’s going into very uncharted territory. There are some good guys in that arena, but there are some very bad guys, too. (The reverse is also true for the guys, but more on that on another day.)

eHarmony, Christian Cafe, and Christian Mingle aren’t necessarily bad, but they aren’t foolproof either. She may find a really good guy, or she may find a seedy pervert. (Again, the same is true for the guys, but more on that later.)

By the time she starts meeting Christian guys in her 30s, she’s going to find that her choices aren’t very good. Most of the men she meets will be those who are (a) divorced, (b) were/are “players”, (c) socially-challenged in one form or another, or (d) profoundly irresponsible.

If she doesn’t have a network looking out for her, she may end up being single for a very long time, all without having done anything morally wrong.

And, as she gets older, if she meets a single man who is Christian, she’s likely to both have and experience a lot of contempt. She will think he was “playing the field” during his prime days. He will think she was “riding the carousel” in her prime days. They each are getting the sins of others projected onto them.

She’ll view younger men as “players”–not an invalid concern, as there are younger men who seek to bed those older “cougars”–while having a very hard time trusting older men who’ve probably been around the block a few times.

And where is the Church in all of this? My theory: they often shove singles out into a proverbial leper colony. Dealing with the baggage of these singles is not a pleasant matter, and not too many churches want to face the ugliness.

Fact is, once you get out of college, you have about a 4-year window after which finding a mate begins to get very difficult. If you’re single past age 30, you’re going to have a very rough go thereafter. Even if you do everything right.

(I have a co-worker who is 40, debt-free, and in excellent shape–seriously, she’s competitive with me in the fitness department. She’s pretty liberal politically and theologically, and would be a fine match for a decent moderate-liberal guy who’s got his butt in gear. Despite her ideology, we’re good buddies and I’d love to set her up.)

This is where the Church can get her proverbial head out of the sand and take a lesson from the Jews.

If I’m a rabbi in Philadelphia and I have a young single gal in my synagogue, I won’t be giving her the dime-store crap she’ll hear from a “pastor”.

No…I’ll be on the horn with a rabbi in New Jersey who knows an eligible bachelor, we’ll get the families talking, and–within 15 months–we’ll be doing a wedding.

But currently, singles are paying a nasty price for the fragmentation of the Church.

The feminists have foisted a disaster on society. That’s their sin.

The men went along for the ride, punching the “easy sex” ticket rather than giving feminism the badly-deserved slapdown. That sin is on the men.

The Church sat back–flat-footed–and provided a tepid, shallow, dismissive response. That’s on the Church.

Meanwhile, we have no small number of disgruntled singles of both sexes.

Feminism: What About the Men’s Role in It?

Let’s say you are a counselor at a Christian outlet. It could be a church, a crisis pregnancy center, or even a professional service of some sort. Let’s say you get a client, Jane Doe. Jane Doe has issues with both promiscuity and food abuse.

As you talk to Jane, you learn that, as a child, she was badly physically abused by her father, who also constantly badgered her about her weight. As she entered her teen years, she became promiscuous; the men around her appeared to give her the love she wasn’t getting at home. They made her feel appreciated. Unfortunately, she has now found herself in a crisis: men want to sleep with her, but not really commit to her. When she gets down on herself, she binges with food. She compensates for that by throwing up the food.

No matter how much you empathize with Jane, there comes a point where you must confront her with the facts. I paraphrase the 200-mile-per-hour version of what that confrontation may look like:

“Jane, when your father did those horrible things to you, that wasn’t your fault. That was his sin, and he must face that one day. He must also face the fact that what he did to you created a stumbling block and a snare for you.”

“That said, you also must face the fact: your promiscuity is your sin. Your food abuse is your sin. From a Christian standpoint, these are matters that demand your repentance. While you are in a battle you did not ask to be in, you are responsible for how you conduct yourself in this battle.”

That, in a nutshell, describes the predicament that men are in with respect to feminism.

Out of nowhere, and in rapid succession, men had the proverbial rug ripped out from under them by a feminist establishment, aided and abetted by our judicial and academic establishments.

1. No-fault divorce, marketed in terms of the “hard cases”, jacked up the risk for divorce that men now face.

2. Legalized abortion–and the ensuing court decisions (Planned Parenthood v. Akron Ohio)–have not only made abortion the exclusive right of women, they have stripped any say-so that husbands have in the process.

How have men responded? I can answer with a 4-letter word: GAME. On steroids.

When Gloria Steinem marketed feminism to men in the 1970s, she called them to support their movement because “you’ll screw more and enjoy it more.” No-fault divorce was already the standard, and no one had quite figured out the consequences of that and legalized abortion.

But men–en masse–put two and two together with the sexual dimension: feminism presented men the mother of all sexual opportunities: lots of no-strings-attached sex.

What feminists hadn’t quite figured out was how this would play out. Sure, they were not big fans of marriage or the traditional family. Sure, they longed for a world where women were allowed to be promiscuous without stigma.

What they didn’t figure out, though, is that men also had ways they could adjust.

That method is GAME. Remember that word.

In its purest form, game is merely a way of expressing the interaction between men and women.

In the hands of a man who seeks to marry, game is a means for him to demonstrate to his potential mate that he is a worthy suitor.

However, in the hands of a man who seeks to get laid by the woman of the week, game is what allows him to get what he wants while appealing to the base instincts of the women he seeks to bed. And it is quite effective: there is a whole group of men–called “pickup artists” or PUAs–who are devastating in their use of game. They have the notches on their belts to prove it. The best practitioners of “game” are the much-vaunted “Alpha males”.

Because feminism encourages promiscuity, and because women are naturally drawn to the Alpha males, the result is a sex-feast by the Alpha males. Does this leave out the not-so-Alpha types? Not really. Basically, any man with the audacity to ask for it, will never lack for partners.

(Heck, I’m by no means an Alpha, but–in my single days–I had plenty of offers. I didn’t even have to ask for it. The only thing that stopped me from acting on it? Fear of a literal BUTTLOAD of consequences.)

And if you have no compelling moral or religious reason–or even if you do but are willing to override everything you know is right–the sky is the limit when it comes to no-strings-attached sex. If you’re a man and have no moral inclinations, abortion is your Get Out of Jail Free card. And she gets to carry the brunt of the pain. On a secular level, why should you care?

To make a long story short, while I empathize with the reaction of men as a group, there comes a point where–just as with Jane Doe–we must assign liabilities and take ownership where responsibility demands it.

When feminists teamed up with the courts and the academics and hijacked the justice system with no-fault divorce and a bastardized “family court” system, that was their sin.

When feminists decided to slut themselves and encourage other women to become slutty in the promotion of “equality”, that was their sin.

When men chose to go for the ride rather than confront the gross injustices, that was our sin.

When men chose to allow pastors to foist “Gentle Jesus Meek and Mild” on the Church–and the men of the Church sat on their not-so-blessed ASSurance and soaked it in without a second thought–that’s on the men.

The men didn’t ask to get reamed with feminist dogma; they did, however, chose to go for the path of least resistance–easy, no-strings-attached sex–rather than fight back.

When Russ and I were at Southern Seminary, what flabbergasted me the most was the lack of pushback by the men in the classes. Russ pushed back. I pushed back. I challenged the teachers. I fought back with the feminist students. I didn’t care. And I’m not just saying that because I still got straight As and ended up tutoring a couple of those feminists who were in my OT class. Russ and I came out ok.

One must wonder where the Southern Baptists would be today, if the men at the seminary had fought back in the 1950s and 1960s, rather than accept feminist dogma at face value. Had the men chosen to fight, the feminist baby would have been–apologies to Winston Churchill–strangled in the crib.

How do we recover from that? I have no easy answer here. I do know this much: when we engage the world, we do this on our terms. If I want others to follow me, it is on me to show them that I can lead. If everyone around me is losing their head, it is still on me to keep mine.

I cannot afford to embrace a path that I know to be wrong, and then attempt to excuse it by blaming it on everyone else doing the wrong things.

(If I’m a soldier and everyone else in my unit rapes and slaughters civilians, I still have a responsibility to not take part in those things.)

Game is the easy way out. But since when are men supposed to be about the easy way out?

The honorable answer to this is not to play the game. Men would be right to demand a higher standard; doing this while playing the feminist game would be self-defeating at best and downright hypocritical at worst.

Men must demand–while living–a higher standard.

Feminism appeals–insidiously–to the lowest common denominator of human depravity: it encourages men and women to be hedonistic, murderous, and irresponsible.

It’s on the men to fight that fight. Every man doesn’t need to do this actively; choosing not to play the feminist game is all that is necessary.

Some will fight it out in the political arena; others will do this in the Church; others will do this in academia. But–as a group–men must decide that they will not play the game.

Choosing not to play the game is the first step in fighting the fight.

A Sober Set of Choices

Anyone who wants to see how feminism has worked out for the women needs to go no further than Kate Bolick’s piece in The Atlantic. (HT: Susan Walsh)

Bolick is 39, still single, has had many strings of sexual relationships that didn’t pan out, and–unless she defies the odds–her only companions will be feline. In an account that I can only describe as ominous, she describes a very fateful choice she made early in life:

In 2001, when I was 28, I broke up with my boyfriend. Allan and I had been together for three years, and there was no good reason to end things. He was (and remains) an exceptional person, intelligent, good-looking, loyal, kind. My friends, many of whom were married or in marriage-track relationships, were bewildered. I was bewildered. To account for my behavior, all I had were two intangible yet undeniable convictions: something was missing; I wasn’t ready to settle down.

The period that followed was awful. I barely ate for sobbing all the time. (A friend who suffered my company a lot that summer sent me a birthday text this past July: “A decade ago you and I were reuniting, and you were crying a lot.”) I missed Allan desperately—his calm, sure voice; the sweetly fastidious way he folded his shirts. On good days, I felt secure that I’d done the right thing. Learning to be alone would make me a better person, and eventually a better partner. On bad days, I feared I would be alone forever. Had I made the biggest mistake of my life?

Ten years later, I occasionally ask myself the same question. Today I am 39, with too many ex-boyfriends to count and, I am told, two grim-seeming options to face down: either stay single or settle for a “good enough” mate. At this point, certainly, falling in love and getting married may be less a matter of choice than a stroke of wild great luck. A decade ago, luck didn’t even cross my mind. I’d been in love before, and I’d be in love again. This wasn’t hubris so much as naïveté; I’d had serious, long-term boyfriends since my freshman year of high school, and simply couldn’t envision my life any differently.

Well, there was a lot I didn’t know 10 years ago. The decision to end a stable relationship for abstract rather than concrete reasons (“something was missing”), I see now, is in keeping with a post-Boomer ideology that values emotional fulfillment above all else. And the elevation of independence over coupling (“I wasn’t ready to settle down”) is a second-wave feminist idea I’d acquired from my mother, who had embraced it, in part, I suspect, to correct for her own choices.

Sadly, she passed on what she describes as an otherwise fine catch. Look at her reasons for ending the relationship. “Something was missing.” “I wasn’t ready to settle down.”

In other words, after having wasted away her best childbearing years riding the Alpha Carousel, and after apparently landing a good guy, SHE DECIDED SHE STILL WASN’T READY TO SETTLE DOWN!!!

Ten years later, she’s still single, her attractiveness–while impressive for her age–is on the downslope, and her marital prospects are no better today than they were ten years ago.

Bolick’s case is instructive to the younger girls that Susan Walsh had in their shindig.

I have blogged extensively on this fact: LADIES, TIME IS NOT ON YOUR SIDE!!!

Let’s say you are a high-achiever in your teen years. You aspire to a professional career. Your pastor, family, teachers, and mentors all tell you to “reach for the stars”…”the sky is the limit”…”get into the best school you can”…”you’ll go far”.

Sure you want to marry and have children, but “there will be time for that once you get established.”

Let’s count the cost, shall we?

You’re now 18 years old, and a newly-minted high school grad. You begin your undergraduate studies. You aim high: you want to be a lawyer. So you study hard, get at least a 3.5, have a little social life, but put off dating in favor of studying.

At 22, you now have a B.S. degree and about $15K in student loan debt. You aced your LSAT, and now are ready for law school.

Three years later, you are 25. You’ve studied like all get-out, as law school is quite rigorous. You spend the next 3 months cramming for your state bar exam. You have no life, you have not had much of a life in 7 years. You have put off most dating during this time, largely focusing on studies.

Oh, and did I mention that you now have about $80K in student loan debt?

Now, you’re 26. You’ve passed your bar exam. You’ve landed a “decent” starting job as an attorney. At least you’ve been TOLD it’s a decent job. You’re not so sure, though, as your pay is well under $50K, and you are working at least 60 hours a week. Your social life is hell. You have a circle of friends, but not much time for them. You go to church, but don’t have much theological grounding.

There may be some otherwise eligible single men in your church, but they don’t measure up to your high-achieving standards. Besides, they tend to run from lawyers anyway. The last thing they want is a life of perpetual cross-examination.

As the demands of work drain you, you start to let your physical health slide. You eat out more often than you ought. You don’t get to the gym much. The pounds start piling, albeit slowly.

At 30, you have managed to work hard and get well-established. Due to your great work ethic and dedication, almost all of your student loans are now paid off. You are now starting to make really good money.

Unfortunately, your best childbearing years are now behind you. And your attractiveness is very much on the decline. Everything you have done since high school has only worked AGAINST your marriageability, and your biological clock is now on the 2 minute warning.

Granted, that is a worst-case scenario. You could always meet a potential husband in college or law school–a friend of Cubbie’s and mine met her husband while in college, before she entered medical school. Or you may find your mate in high school or your church youth group or even a young adults group. Perhaps you have a friend who knows a good guy who sets you up early on. Perhaps you’ll meet a good guy while on the job.

Yes, many women can–and do–marry earlier through those venues. But an increasing number of them are not. A heck of a lot of them are riding the carousel–like Bolick. If they get pregnant, their options are a shotgun wedding, single motherhood, adoption, or the abortion clinic. None of those options bode well for your marriageability.

(Marrying the man is the honorable option, even as that would not be exactly the best way to start a marriage. Abortion makes you marketable–only as a sex partner–to the Alpha males, and your marriageability takes a HUGE hit. Single motherhood and adoption carry baggage that can be very offputting to eligible bachelors. And please don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger; I’m not making any judgments here, just telling it like it is.)

The feminist says it’s no big deal. You don’t need a man. After all, just like the men, you can always get sex; all you have to do is spread your legs and you’ll never lack for partners. Unfortunately, what the feminist won’t tell you: while lots of men will gladly give you a roll in the hay, they won’t marry you. As Susan Walsh says: you’ll be able to land the Alpha male, for one night.

The feminists, however, are bald-faced liars. Gloria Steinem told us, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” But even SHE married later in life. Even SHE sought fertility treatments. She spent large amounts of money trying to get technology to give back to her the very things she pissed away in her youth. The very things she told you that women didn’t need.

The women in Walsh’s group–mostly younger ladies—all seem to want to marry. But are they living in ways that are conducive to higher marriageability?

They may buy into part of the message of feminism, but they aren’t burning their bras. They may be sexually active, but probably are doing that because that’s what they feel they have to do. Reading Walsh’s take, I find it hard to believe that they are truly happy on that path.

That begs the question: what role, if any, are their parents playing in all of this?

I’m not saying we need to go to arranged marriages or anything like that. Still, if parents want their daughters to achieve certain outcomes–i.e. good marriage and family life–it behooves parents to raise their children intentionally as to prepare them for (a) the choice of a mate and (b) the rigors of living out that family life.

I don’t see some great legislative movement coming out of this. I do, however, see many families deciding that the current tracks for “success” aren’t as equitable as the marketing suggests. They will adjust the way they raise their children accordingly.

Walsh Schools Marcotte

If you want a close-up view of how screwed up feminism is, this piece by Neely Steinberg does that and more. In it, she solicits inputs from Amanda Marcotte–a prominent feminist blogger–and Susan Walsh, who blogs extensively regarding Game and male-female relations.

The short version: Walsh totally schooled Marcotte. It was a rout.

BLAST: What was your reaction to the Park Slope incident in which cops warned women about wearing short skirts?

MARCOTTE: First, I want to draw your attention to the fact that the NYPD responded to feminist complaints.

It was unacceptable of the NYPD officers to exploit the existence of a rapist as a cover story for an obvious power trip on women. Authoritarians all over the world love how rape gives them an excuse to indulge the misogynistic desire to tell women what to wear and how to act, but the police work for us, and because of this, they should treat women with respect. We women, after all, pay their salaries with our taxes.

WALSH: I understand why the women who were stopped by the policeman were offended. He may have been insensitive in his approach. I think it’s very important to consider his intention, though. As far as I can tell he was attempting to advise women about real risks to their safety. Though the journalist suggests that the police department disapproves of all shorts, skirts and dresses, he appears to have specifically taken issue with “short shorts” and dresses that “show a lot of skin.” Is it in fact prudent for women in that neighborhood to be careful about their appearance and behavior at night? Of course!

The WSJ article describes how many women in the neighborhood are taking concrete steps to stay safe. 80 have attended self-defense workshops. Women have stopped wearing high heels because they make it difficult to run away from an assailant. Women have been observed taking taxis to travel two blocks at night. All of these strategies are sensible and effective. Do they guarantee that a woman will not be attacked? Of course not, but they lessen her risk considerably.

Does it lessen a woman’s risk to refrain from “showing a lot of skin” at night in the very neighborhood where these attacks are occurring? Probably! It sure can’t hurt! Evidence that all of the attacks have been against women in skirts just adds to the good sense of such a strategy.

What’s going on among feminists here is that the political is getting in the way of the personal. When we stifle prudent advice to women about keeping themselves safe from assault because it doesn’t fit the agenda of sex-positive feminism, we risk the health and safety of women in a very real and measurable way.

Consider this quote from Jessica Silk of Safe Slope:

“There have been reports that the women attacked were all wearing skirts,” she said. “Unfortunately this might be a common link between the women that were attacked but the message shouldn’t be that you shouldn’t wear a skirt. The message should be that, ‘Here are ways that you can protect yourself.’”

This makes absolutely no sense, because it may protect women to refrain from wearing skirts! In fact, that seems like a reasonable assumption given the information available. If you lead with the message that women have every right to wear short skirts, you’re dodging the issue. Of course they have the right, but that doesn’t mean it’s a sensible choice. All of us have the right to make imprudent choices, but that doesn’t mean we should.

BLAST: What do you think of today’s feminist movement? Have the goals of feminism changed over the years?

MARCOTTE: It’s a shame that feminism is as necessary as it ever was. You’d think that we would have beat that sexism beast by now. All kidding aside, I do think feminist goals change in response to both our setbacks and victories. Right now, feminists are refighting the contraception war, which we thought we’d put to bed decades ago. On the positive side, we’ve made good ground against domestic violence and rape, and so we can concentrate more on fighting less invasive forms of violence against women, such as street harassment.

WALSH: I grew up as a beneficiary of the Second Wave, and have always supported gender equity. I recall the split among feminists on the porn question, and the faction that went heavily into promoting raunch culture in the form of girrrrlllll power. That faction won the intra-feminist battle. Today’s sex-positive feminists are probably the most vocal group of feminists in the U.S. They have a strong stake in promiscuity, or “sluthood” as they like to call it. I have heard feminists say that the only solution to the double standard is if all women are promiscuous, leaving men no choice in the matter.

I also believe that women have made gains at the expense of men. The effects are very clear. Women comprise 57 percent of college students in this country. That means that nearly a third of women now in college will not have the opportunity to marry a man with a college education. In an era where the marriage rate is steadily declining, and marriage is occurring later, a worsening of male prospects is going to exacerbate things considerably.

If feminists want what is best for women, they would do well to address what men are experiencing. A society in which males do not thrive cannot survive for long.

BLAST: Do you believe women have achieved equality with men in 2011?

MARCOTTE: No, and that’s not a matter of “belief”, but an objective, measurable fact.

WALSH: I do believe that the goals of the Second Wave have been met, yes. In fact, many young women have achieved what can only be described as superiority. The college education enrollment I mentioned above, greater numbers of women than men in grad school, women in their 20s outearning men in the same age bracket….I think that young women are in great shape.

Our young men are not in such great shape. Our schools reward female behaviors and punish male behaviors. Christina Hoff Sommers’ The War Against Boys describes this in detail, and I definitely saw it in my own experience raising a son and a daughter. They were treated very differently in school. The self-esteem movement of the 90s, which gave every child a “participant” trophy also had negative effects. Suppressing healthy competition hurts males and rewards more nurturing behaviors. It has also increased narcissism in young people.

BLAST: What are your thoughts on casual sex and today’s ever-growing hookup culture?

MARCOTTE: The more that moralists object to women having casual sex, the more they encourage rapists to target women who do so, knowing they’re more likely to get away with targeting “slutty” women. The number one biggest thing that would work to stop rapists is to stop holding women to a double standard, where they’re somehow bad if they have sex for pleasure. It would mean juries would stop worrying about if she’s a slut, and return to worrying if he’s a rapist.

I’m also skeptical that there’s an “ever-growing” hook-up culture. People were screwing around when I was in college. I think a lot of people have a lot of sex partners in their youth, grow up some, get married, and then “forget” what they did when younger so they can start tsking at young people acting like they did. The problem here is grown adults leering at and judging young people for being young.

WALSH: I am troubled by a number of things. People are having fewer relationships, which means they’re getting less practice developing relationship skills. I hear from so many men and women who are communicating at cross purposes. The sexes have become much more separate in the last 40 years. The thing that has surprised me most about blogging is the conversation happening in the Comments. Debates rage for days sometimes. Men are trying to explain male psychology and sexuality to women, and vice versa. It is not unusual for people to be amazed by something they’re learning from the opposite sex.

I don’t think that hookup culture is going away any time soon. In fact, my sense is that it will probably intensify before it wanes. Until those who are dissatisfied step up and speak out, there will be very little support for relationship sex, delaying sex, or monogamous sex. In my own writing, I’m working at the margins, trying to help individuals navigate this very complicated sexual marketplace.

Still, there are real signs of progress. All of the research being done on hookup culture helps shed light on how few are thriving in it. Individual writers are writing memoirs about their wild and crazy 20s, when they made “poor choices” in their dating lives. Kate Bolick’s current piece in the Atlantic addresses the role of feminism in her own behavior in relationships, and also highlights its effects on men. She is openly critical of the hookup script.

The conversation will continue, and will only get stronger. Perhaps in time like-minded people will find a way to meet up across the casual sex divide on campus. For now, though, the SMP is highly dysfunctional, and it’s not producing enough of the relationships that ultimately build a productive society.

BLAST: What do you think are the biggest challenges facing men and women in today’s dating/relationship world?

MARCOTTE: Sexism. The more we act like gender roles instead of people, the harder it is for us to truly relate to each other in a meaningful way.

WALSH: The Sexual Revolution dramatically changed the way men and women date and form relationships. The Women’s Movement and the Pill served to lift all restraints on female sexuality. It was strongly argued that the sexual double standard oppressed women, which was true. If extreme promiscuity rendered women “unfit” for marriage in the eyes of males, they had to be very selective in their choice of sexual partners if they wished to marry.

Feminism set out on a course to eradicate the sexual double standard, and women began to have a lot more no-strings sex. When colleges abandoned in loco parentis in the 90s, kids began having even more casual sex, which ultimately produced today’s hookup culture. What’s very clear, however, is that the sexual double standard has not disappeared as expected. Men continue to have strong opinions about promiscuity as a proxy for future infidelity in relationships. The “reeducation” experiment is a failure.

In addition, women are strongly influenced by social proof. They tend to be attracted to men that lots of other women find attractive as well. It’s been said that male sexuality is described by one man’s being attracted to four different women, while female sexuality shows four women all being attracted to the same man. In an era of expectations for casual sex among men, the power among a few lucky men quickly consolidates. I’ve estimated that 20 percent of the men on college campuses get 80 percent of the sex, mostly via the 20 percent of college women that engage regularly in no-strings sex.

What all this means is that the vast majority of men and women are dissatisfied with their sex and relationship experiences. The hookup script dominates, but doesn’t work for most people. Any sense of dating in the traditional sense is dead. Most college women never go on a single date in four years.

It was unacceptable of the NYPD officers to exploit the existence of a rapist as a cover story for an obvious power trip on women. Authoritarians all over the world love how rape gives them an excuse to indulge the misogynistic desire to tell women what to wear and how to act, but the police work for us, and because of this, they should treat women with respect. We women, after all, pay their salaries with our taxes.

WALSH: I understand why the women who were stopped by the policeman were offended. He may have been insensitive in his approach. I think it’s very important to consider his intention, though. As far as I can tell he was attempting to advise women about real risks to their safety. Though the journalist suggests that the police department disapproves of all shorts, skirts and dresses, he appears to have specifically taken issue with “short shorts” and dresses that “show a lot of skin.” Is it in fact prudent for women in that neighborhood to be careful about their appearance and behavior at night? Of course!

The WSJ article describes how many women in the neighborhood are taking concrete steps to stay safe. 80 have attended self-defense workshops. Women have stopped wearing high heels because they make it difficult to run away from an assailant. Women have been observed taking taxis to travel two blocks at night. All of these strategies are sensible and effective. Do they guarantee that a woman will not be attacked? Of course not, but they lessen her risk considerably.

Does it lessen a woman’s risk to refrain from “showing a lot of skin” at night in the very neighborhood where these attacks are occurring? Probably! It sure can’t hurt! Evidence that all of the attacks have been against women in skirts just adds to the good sense of such a strategy.

What’s going on among feminists here is that the political is getting in the way of the personal. When we stifle prudent advice to women about keeping themselves safe from assault because it doesn’t fit the agenda of sex-positive feminism, we risk the health and safety of women in a very real and measurable way.

Back in May, I wrote this piece, defending the advice of a Toronto cop which led to the Slutwalk backlash. My point: advising women in how to mitigate their forward risk is NOT THE SAME AS “BLAMING THE VICTIM”!

But feminists are anti-woman in this arena: they want us to treat women with less regard than we treat children.

After all, we admonish children not to take candy from strangers, or walk home alone, all while not blaming them when they fail to take such precautions and subsequently get accosted–if not killed–by a predator.

The author–Steinberg–asks this question:

Neely Steinberg here. Author of the piece in Blast. I have been reading the comments with great interest. There seems to be a growing animosity and resentment from men towards the feminist movement, and it’s certainly reflected in these threads. I am curious to know: From a male POV, what could the feminist movement do to bring men on board? I’m hoping to write about this in a future article.

Dissolve.