There’s Gonna Be Some Changes Around Here

iron fist

(Image/YouTube)

I’ve been forging my shiny new iron fist and intend to wield it mercilessly on properly informed violators.

The purpose of blog comments is to provide a tool for feedback and the exchange of ideas. As a staunch opponent of censorship, and a strong proponent of free speech, I have intentionally avoided anything resembling the policing of comments.

For most of Must Be This Tall To Ride’s existence, the posts were little more than ultra-personal, first-person stories, leaving comments that might be deemed “offensive” in the camp of being critical of my ideas or insulting me.

I’ve always been okay with that, and I’m still fair game. But other people are not.

Things are different now. Human beings—real people—most of whom are kind, conscientious and respectful of others, are having ongoing conversations in the comments that live beneath MBTTTR posts. In certain respects, it has become a living, breathing community.

Communities have guidelines. Established and agreed-upon codes of conduct designed to protect the community and cultivate an environment where its members can thrive.

By allowing community members or visitors to knowingly violate the spirit and principles of the community, the community will eventually cease to exist because all of the principled people with healthy values and boundaries will find a better way to spend their time.

MBTTTR community members have always, and will always, come and go.

But it can never again be because someone who doesn’t represent the core values, mission and purpose of this place is poisoning the well.

What that means is, moving forward, if someone knowingly poisons the well, I’m going to stick my digital iron fist directly up their ass and ask them to leave.

The Case for Being Intolerant of Intolerance

“Hey, Matt!!! What kind of comments will you delete?!”

The simplest and most generic way to explain the new comment-enforcement policy would be: A comment should not grossly violate the Kindness litmus test.

Kind DOES NOT mean the same thing as “nice.” But they’re close. This isn’t about everyone liking one another. It’s about everyone treating others with the requisite amount of dignity and respect.

KINDNESS
“Kindness is a behavior marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and concern for others. It is known as a virtue, and recognized as a value in many cultures and religions.”

If it doesn’t pass that common-sense sniff test, I’m trashing it.

“Hey, Matt!!! Isn’t it possible something might feel unkind to me and others but NOT you, which would cause more disagreements?”

Totally possible.

Because I remain staunchly anti-censorship. I am anti-censorship because I believe so strongly in personal responsibility. I believe people are in control of themselves and responsible for their choices. Choosing to share an idea publicly, which is then rejected by another person or group, is a fundamental part of the free exchange of ideas. And sometimes that will hurt people’s feelings. And that will create paradoxes and situations which flirt dangerously close to hypocrisy.

But so long as I adhere to the principles about to be shared, and so long as most of you do the same, we will often arrive at a great place.

“How?”

Moving forward, we will be a tribe.

A tribe that (when exchanging ideas in MBTTTR comments, at least) is united in its effort to lift up all tribe members. More on this in a moment.

The Magic of Defining Yourself

The best thing I’ve read recently is The Book In A Box Culture Document—something that very intentionally, deliberately, and thoroughly defines the culture of Book In A Box. (An MBTTTR reader thoughtfully shared it with me, and I can’t overstate my gratitude.)

One of the most important lessons of my first year as a partner in a startup company is the power of an organization putting clearly defined ideas to paper regarding its mission and purpose.

When you define your purpose, difficult decisions mostly go away. Because a choice tends to either serve the mission and purpose, or not.

The fantastic BIAB Culture Doc served as my model for fleshing out the principles that will guide the MBTTTR tribe moving forward.

…..

Thrive

(Image/likesuccess.com)

The MBTTTR Mission, Purpose, Values & Principles

MBTTTR’s beginning was firmly rooted in the Me, Me, Me space.

MBTTTR’s future will be firmly rooted in the Us, Us, Us space.

Our collective mission, purpose, values and principles will be clearly defined while ALSO being subject to scrutiny and change when new information demands change. Those conversations will happen with the passage of time, and we will collectively adjust course as needed. Together.

Mission (What are we doing?)

To tell honest stories about the human experience—even when it’s uncomfortable and against our natural self-preservation instincts—to connect others to good people, good questions and good ideas in ways that help humans thrive.

Purpose (Why are we doing it?)

To use judgment-free storytelling as a tool to lift people up—mending hearts, enriching minds and uplifting souls—for the betterment of human relationships.

We believe human relationships are the things which most strongly influence an individual’s quality of life. That people with healthy, high-functioning relationships have measurably better lives than those who do not.

We believe human relationships thrive when individuals are prepared to contribute positively to them.

We believe a person is best prepared to contribute positively when she or he is balanced in four key areas: Mind (mental health), Body (physical health), Spirit (spiritual health), and Emotion (emotional health).

Values (What do we care about?)

1. Things that matter.

“Hey Matt! What matters?”

Who do you want to be with if you only have one day to live? What do you want to do? What are the things you’re thinking about?

Those things matter.

Here, we mostly care about the earthly thing that matters above all others—people.

2. Learning and growth.

“Knowing things is great, but the reality is that most “facts” are either an illusion, or have a short half-life,” the BIAB Culture Doc says. “The success of our tribe will not be determined on what we know right now. It will come from our ability to learn quickly, and implement what we learn.

“This means every person in our tribe must be an active and lifelong learner. We all must be curious, willing to ask questions, and most important, willing to change our minds when new facts demand a new perspective.”

Come to discussions with a Beginner’s Mind. With humble inquiry.

If your goal isn’t to find the best answer, but to win an argument on the internet, our relationship will be short-lived.

The MBTTTR Tribe cares about finding the best idea. The closest thing to Truth we can arrive at in all of our flawed humanity.

“Let the best idea win,” says PayPal founder Peter Thiel.

And it will be a guiding principle here.

The beauty lives in the trying.

3. Results.

While we celebrate, encourage and admire those who try, we value results. Another BIAB-inspired guiding principle of MBTTTR will be just that.

You get brownie points for trying. You also get divorced.

Intentions often matter. But if you’re trying earnestly to be a good spouse, but failing as evidenced by your shitty, dysfunctional and broken relationships, we think that should be taken into account.

If you don’t TRY to hurt your wife, but you ACCIDENTALLY hurt her, the following becomes true: You hurt your wife.

If NOT hurting your wife is a guiding principle in your marriage, then your intentions mean little.

Another BIAB gem: We award medals for results. Not attempts.

“While we deeply value results, results by themselves are not enough; we must get results the right way. Of course this means being ethical and honest and doing the right thing. But it goes beyond that,” the BIAB Culture Doc says. “Getting great results means that we must be focused on the experience that people have when dealing with us.”

4. We value human connection and shared experiences.

By considering the experiences of the other people we interact with, it requires us to be empathetic and considerate. It forces us to see everyone as another human, with their own wants and needs and desires, and it compels us to consider those in our actions.

The most important life lesson I’ve learned post-divorce is:

A. Ohhhhh. THAT’s what empathy means!, and

B. Holy shit. Empathy is the most important life skill people need to succeed in relationships, but few people ever explain or define it for young people.

[Author’s Note: The remainder of this document is mostly in note form and heavily modeled after the content generated from the BIAB team. For the sake of time, I need to move onto other things. I will make this document a permenant fixture as a page on this site, and I (or WE!) will more clearly define these principles moving forward.]

Principles (How do we apply our values?)

The First Principle: We before me

 

The Second Principle: Tell the truth

“Amateurs want comforting lies. Professionals want to hear uncomfortable truths,” the BIAB Culture Doc says.

Truth is about caring. Truth can be painful, but if you deliver it right—with both candor and authentic kindness—it helps people more than anything else you can do for them.

The Third Principle: It’s not necessarily what you say or do, it’s how they feel

Again: Medals for results, not attempts.

There must be room in our hearts and minds for others’ experiences. Our experiences DO NOT and CANNOT define the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and expieriences of others.

The Fourth Principle: Our goal is to find the best idea

From BIAB:

We criticize ideas, not people.

Why? Because most people tie their identity to their ideas.

This attitude is toxic and destructive to creative and free discussions. We are the opposite. Confrontation is good, as long as it’s about the ideas and not the person.

We call this “shoot the message, never the messenger,” and the point is that all discussion is always about an idea, and never about a person. We discuss what is right, NEVER who is right.

However: You are not your ideas.

People must feel like their identity is safe–even if their ideas are not.

This is very difficult to achieve (it is in some ways against core parts of human nature), but if we can do it, we create an environment that has people intensely debating and rigorously scrutinizing ideas—that is simultaneously respectful of people.

This creates the best outcomes for everyone, because it means the best ideas will almost always win—which means the tribe will win.

CLARIFYING NOTE: This principle also means your beliefs must be based on facts, and you must be willing to change your beliefs if the facts change.

Feedback must be our North Star. It’s HOW we navigate and calibrate and make sure that we are serving the MBTTTR mission, the interests of the tribe, and the other people we affect. How else can we know we’re doing the right thing, unless we’re hearing it from the people we affect?

…..

For the love of all that is good and beautiful and worth caring about in this life…

Pretty please…

Be kind to each other.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

223 thoughts on “There’s Gonna Be Some Changes Around Here

  1. baog3 says:

    1000000000% agree

    Like

  2. Ash says:

    Good deal. I’ve seen large commenting communities without any guidelines, and it’s just awful. Keep up the good work.

    Like

  3. Travis B. says:

    Matt, it should be There’re Gonna Be Some Changes Around Here or There’s Gonna Be A Change Around Here, but There’s Gonna Be Some Changes Around Here doesn’t fly (pared down, you’re saying There Is Changes). I say this because I want the best for you, because it is the Truth, and because it is the Best Idea. Also, because I’m playfully naughty and can only handle so much serious, heavy talk before I have to have a delicious immaturity burst.

    On a serious note, though, thanks for trying to do your best at bridging the gap between an open marketplace of ideas and a community of safety and respect.

    Like

  4. gottmanfan says:

    “What that means is, moving forward, if someone knowingly poisons the well, I’m going to stick my digital iron fist directly up their ass and ask them to leave.”

    Ahh sweet poetry to my ears.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. fromscratchmom says:

    Thank-you, Matt. I am sort of a person who can say, “its all good”, but I sure do find the whole thing challenging and a little tiring when I feel like, in order to get closer to productive communication that has been thus far elusive on a particular topic or with a particular person, I’m having to employ a bit of mirroring of the communication style or level of someone who I really do not think highly of their style or level or normally choose it for myself. It gets me second guessing myself and whether or not I’m compromising my own integrity. If I have offended the members of this community lately with recent discussions that have grown into areas I normally do not discuss here, I am sincere in telling you all that I do care and I want to rectify any concerns you may need to bring to me.

    Like

  6. marilyn sims says:

    What Travis said!!!!

    Like

  7. linds01 says:

    I just love being called a tribe :) :) :)

    But, rewards? Really?

    Like

    • fromscratchmom says:

      Hey, he gets the joy of seeing your smiling face here, so he has to sometimes give medals out in return, right?

      Like

    • Matt says:

      The medals are a metaphor!!!

      It means, we don’t get trophies for trying. We get trophies for doing great things!

      The logistics of handing out medals are well beyond my skillset!

      Liked by 1 person

      • linds01 says:

        How about the results are the rewards?- cause, I think they are :)

        Like

      • Fromscratchmom says:

        Matt, it made me smile to see you got pushed to put it in explicit terms that the medals are a metaphor. I don’t know if you’ve ever read The Fault In My Stars. One of my kids loved that book and got me to read it along with a friend of hers. I was NOT appropriately endeared to this book as they were. Imo, it’s a book for a certain age group and only that group, even though there are many books for that age group that I love. Nevertheless because the two characters are pretentious teens and there’s a good bit of humor in their pretentions we have a joke around my house about “everything is a metaphor!”

        Like

        • linds01 says:

          Matt and FSM,
          I knew it was a metaphor. It just seems out of place. You cant demand or enforce results, especially in the case of having a functional marriage.
          The only thing anyone can have control over is what THEY themselves do.
          This community has been one that educates and supports people who are trying to improve themselves, usually so that they can improve their marriage or to improve their relationships.
          Sometimes the former- improving ourselves is the only thing we can guarantee.

          These thoughts have led me back to ongoing issues at hand.

          If the purpose of the blog is to communicate to men and women about what not to do in a marriage,(or relay what was learned from personal missteps), and for the community to talk about the places they are at emotionally, spiritually, mentally, relationally and practically alond with the things that help, or are helping them grow, is it right or not to exclude conversations that don’t further that effort, and in many ways malign that effort?

          I know that homogeneity and “preaching to the choir” doesn’t lead to growth.
          But, neither does deflecting any real learning and growth by being so opposed to everything that most people (including US Courts and government) have agreed on for decades, just for the sake of expressing that opinio.

          Is this just a place to voice opinions, or is this a place to talk about real issues?
          Differing opinions to gain real insight is one thing, but differing opinions just to differ doesn’t go anywhere.
          My question becomes “so, what if you believe X,Y,Z? Is that going to help me further my understanding and journey?”
          If the defenses for said beliefs are so obscure, almost irrelevant to todays society, and just plain illogical they don’t really help me along in the stated purposes of why I am here.

          Is that a reason to shut them down?
          It could be if they malign the purpose of everyone else being here.

          There has to be some ground that is agreed on. There has to be some shared purpose

          I don’t know if his purpose is the same as others here, so I really question the validity of his input.
          And, there is a strong possibility that his input here will stop what has previously been very fruitful.

          It can be unfair. Life is unfair. Sometimes you have to choose what is MOST right in a set of circumstances.
          I know you were doing more than you wanted to by deleting offensive messages.
          But, the truth is, I don’t think even that will be effective in preserving a sense of safety here.

          I am willing to ignore his comments, and hope that is effective. But, I am not going to waste my time combating arguments I believe are asinine.

          I really wish I were more able to voice my statement in a way that truly captured and clearly stated where I am coming from.
          I am lacking in that gift, unfortunately, but I hope you got the general gist. :)

          Liked by 1 person

      • Never fear, Linds; I figured you got the symbolism even though I, originally, wasn’t certain of why you questioned the concept. Sometimes I must surely seem as if I am a total nutter with my weird sense of humor. But I do enjoy the discussions in general and I enjoy a good bit of humor in them too, even though some of it is just me and how easy I am to amuse. I’m sorry I was so unclear!

        Also I think you express yourself far better than you give yourself credit for. All of this has been very complex stuff.

        I am left waffling about a bit in reaction to the waffling about of another (as he appears to me, mind you!) between his occasional better communication skills and the more common abysmal skills and style, between some ideas that could potentially be worth engaging and sadly quite a bit of stuff that leaves me with an overall impression of intellectual failing and/or intellectual dishonesty. So I’m not sure I can accurately predict it but I know it’s possible both that I’ll refrain from engaging with it at all in future or that I’ll try from time to time.

        There are parts that would be enjoyable to discuss if not for the parts that sabotage. An example might be, I’m all for (as a generality) both husband and wife not ever saying “no” to each other sexually after the modifiers of good form were much later tacked on, after all the yuck of saying men should only marry women who will basically (my impression here of the earlier picture painted) be perfect as a man’s favorite hunting dog or less than that a toy to be used and discarded…telling men to stridently avoid women who are arrogant enough to expect you to see them as human, as fellow heirs. I personally have experienced emotional and psychological abuse from a man with those sorts of extremes as well as the same plus a form of sexual abuse from a man who had a weird mix of those problematic postures plus also buying into feminism and wanting for there to either not ever be modifiers or wanting there to be sexual rejection when there were very mild issues or some such crazy. He chose to be incapable of many forms of intimacy and gave out tons of negatives towards me in his efforts to believe himself perfect in all his weaknesses and faults and stumbling blocks. He chose to make problems impossibly complex or absolutely unresolvable.

        I’d even enjoy discussing the use of the word ‘rape’ which I consider generally inappropriate to the way it’s been used but on the other hand trying to describe the abuse that I do see possible (and have experienced) where others have used it is complex and possibly beyond my abilities within the limitations of human language. So maybe I’ll just wimp out and fall back on my hope to someday meet a real man with real love and real wisdom and subject to none of the extremes of marrying a hunting hound or a cheap toy versus embracing feminism and thrusting his issues with it onto me!

        Like

      • Travis B. says:

        See, Lindsey, I think you’ve nailed my core issue. To me, and Matt referenced this in the original post, it’s a case of “what is MBTTTR’s mission objective”? To me, and I concede I am no more the arbiter of what this place should be than any of Matt’s readers, MBTTTR is a place where people can come and relate to others struggling to keep their marriages afloat, while gleaning best practice perspectives, in regards to 21st Century relationship dynamics, founded on the theory that men, overall, have greater deficiencies in this area and bear the onus to offer more dedicated labor toward it than women.

        Any philosophy, no matter how arguably valid on its own terms, that runs counter to that position is not in keeping with that mission, and can even be destructive toward it. In my opinion, comments that assert that women owe men anything, or that comments from people of certain faiths (or lack thereof) are invalid by default (to say nothing of actual personal insults), or that try to skew the discussion from “how to be a better husband” to “don’t bother–you dodged a female bullet”–again, regardless of their inherent worth in a broader form of philosophizing, are not germane or helpful to this particular site’s mission. In simpler language, they may find justification in the outside world, but not in this specific tiny little corner of it.

        Furthermore, regarding the issue of the value of debate in general at MBTTTR, it seems to me that debate is more of an occasional side-effect/out-growth of certain conversations here, rather than the site’s end goal. I certainly am of the personal opinion that MBTTTR’s conversations are at their most annoying when they start going down a bunch of debate rabbit holes sparked by increasingly inconsequential theoretical minutiae. The more the talk is about ideas for ideas’ sake instead of putting theory into practical application, the more I dial out.

        So maybe that’s the crux of the whole thing: is MBTTTR meant to be a place of construction or deconstruction? Both are laudable goals, and carry inherent value, but I don’t know that they can naturally and effectively synthesize in one environment. If MBTTTR is, at heart, a place of construction, where I can self-reflect on what I need to do better as a husband and a man, while receiving key insight into the what, how and why of common pain-points from wives, then I belong here and feel I can flourish in such an environment (that’s how MBTTTR has always presented itself to me and the benefits I have taken from it in only eight months–God, has it only been that long?–have already been copious). If, on the other hand, its chief intention is to offer a kind of arena for theoretical gladiatorial battles pitting the male experience vs. the female one, then MBTTTR is evolving into something that will be valuable to an audience into which I don’t fit. The days and weeks ahead will certainly be telling.

        My greatest frustration and concern at present is that I have made the personal, and overtly stated, decision to no longer engage directly with Jeff Strand, or any other commentators cut from similar philosophic cloth, because it feels like a zero sum game at best, and a futile “arguing insanity” proposition at worst, but how do I defend and champion the kind of MBTTTR experience I’d like to see win out without engaging those like him, with (in effect) allowing them free reign to rip it to shreds? Do I adopt a Martin Luther King, Jr. approach or a Malcolm X one? My heart says Malcolm, my head says Martin.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Valid points, Travis. I’ll have to keep in mind the head answers versus the heart answers concept. The heart is sometimes a good guide but in this scenario I also sometimes NEED my head answers to put in what I hope to get out if this community.

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Travis,

        You said:

        “but how do I defend and champion the kind of MBTTTR experience I’d like to see win out without engaging those like him, with (in effect) allowing them free reign to rip it to shreds? Do I adopt a Martin Luther King, Jr. approach or a Malcolm X one? My heart says Malcolm, my head says Martin.”

        I wholeheartedly agree with much of your comment. I might expand the mission you stated to include relationships in general because the skills sets one needs to be a good spouse is similar to being a good parent or good person in any type of relationship.

        And there are many commenters here who are single or divorced that have contributed to the general conversation about marriage and other types of relationships.

        Of course, I agree that the primary focus is on marriage. And in many ways it’s the most challenging form of relationship to get right.

        Since your comment seemed to be the one that convinced Matt to adopt a new policy, perhaps you are best suited to lobby further for more action to keep the comments more on point with the general spirit and mission of this blog.

        That seems much more likely to make sure the mission is as you stated rather than engaging with Jeff or similar commenters. (I made the same decision to no longer engage with him yesterday).

        And sometimes as a man you seem to be able to communicate with Matt in a way he can relate to because you share common experiences or maybe it’s your warrier/poet mad skills.

        It’s been so inspiring to read that what you have read here has spurred you to make such significant changes in your marriage. I too have learned a lot that I’ve been able to apply. I’d really like to see that opportunity continue for many other people.

        Like

      • Travis B. says:

        gottmanfan said,

        “I might expand the mission you stated to include relationships in general because the skills sets one needs to be a good spouse is similar to being a good parent or good person in any type of relationship.

        And there are many commenters here who are single or divorced that have contributed to the general conversation about marriage and other types of relationships.”

        Quite right and well taken. Forgive my clumsy phrasing.

        Like

  8. Tina says:

    either I totally missed the kerfluffle or I am obliviously part of the problem. Either way I agree with your absolute right to set guidelines in the space you have created. I respect the hell out of the fact that you are willing to set them as an “us” not an “I” And if I don’t follow them its because I’m clueless so please try smacking me upside the head once before putting that fist anywhere else. I’m usually teachable.

    Like

  9. J11 says:

    Like your thinking on this Matt. Peter Thiel is one of most cherished. I can appreciate all that. I remember the very first time I read Blake Masters’ class notes typed in essay form from Peter Thiel’s Stanford CS183 Startup. I was instantly hooked.

    You’re on to something.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. anitvan says:

    Can I be in your tribe???

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Alice says:

    This is great!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. nights7 says:

    I understand the need for codes of conduct and whatnot, but how do you prevent your iron fist of censorship from creating a homogeneous group of followers instead of a vibrant and diverse community?
    Often an individual stating their perception of the truth in a straightforward manner is seen as abrasive and offensive if it doesn’t mesh with what everyone else is saying. How does the best idea win without a little sparring?

    Like

    • Matt says:

      The best idea doesn’t win without sparring.

      1. People are most important.

      2. We before me.

      3. We’re a tribe. It’s more important than being right on the Internet.

      4. Kindness prevails.

      5. The best idea winning is the collective top priority from all, including me.

      It’s not foolproof. It’s just a good start.

      Liked by 1 person

      • nights7 says:

        Thank you for succinctly reiterating the contents of your post but that’s not what my apparently poorly worded question was asking. I’ll try again.

        Are you planning to only censor comments that you perceive to be purposefully unkind or does it go further than that? Is the point of this basically Don’t be a dick here, or are you looking to direct the flow of comments in a more specific direction?

        I’m curious about the balance between controlling the content of the comments here (to whatever extent you plan to do so) and allowing for visitors to feel like they can freely state their opinions and thoughts and how that’s achieved.

        Like

        • linds01 says:

          Hey Nights 7,
          I hope you don’t mind me answering for Matt. This was brought up because of commenters who would directly insult and name call. It’s not a censorship of ideas, just a way to moderate the insults.

          Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Nights said:

        “Are you planning to only censor comments that you perceive to be purposefully unkind or does it go further than that? Is the point of this basically Don’t be a dick here, or are you looking to direct the flow of comments in a more specific direction?”

        Just wanted to add one more thing. Nights, you ask a great question here. Only Matt can answer it. But keep in mind, the other thread made it abundantly clear that many commenters believe that the two options you inquire about are actually one and the same. In other words, merely by expressing a different opinion YOU ARE being a “dick”. Certainly if said opinion is a positive view of wifely submission in marriage, but no doubt many others as well.

        Why would you wait for someone to name-call before banning them, when by merely politely expressing a different opinion such a person is already “raping” and “physically assaulting” the other commenters? Such a person clearly deserves no rights! And this is how many Millenials think, and this is why more than half of them tell survey takers that the First Amendment should be effectively repealed, i.e. they respond with a “yes” when asked it the gov’t should prevent and/or punish “offensive” opinions.

        George Orwell was a prophet.

        Like

      • J11 says:

        I like BITB culture doc Principle #9: Shoot the message, never the messenger

        “HOW we discuss ideas with each other.

        A great example of how we do it is how Tucker and Zach talk to each other on a daily basis. They will both be very assertive (and sometimes even aggressive).

        In fact, they destroy ideas–their own, each other’s, or anyone else’s. But they are never attacking each other; it’s always about the idea (“Idea X is bad, because of Y reason”), and never in a way that attacks the person (“You are stupid for having Idea X”).

        When new people come into the tribe, they are often SHOCKED at this behavior. People often mistake this intense debate as anger or dislike, but that’s not the case at all.

        This can be especially alarming to people used to a conventional corporate culture, which is intensely averse to any confrontation about anything. In traditional corporate cultures, even the slightest disagreement will be prefaced with something like, “I’m going to push back on that a little,” because in our conventional culture, any confrontation is seen by people as an attack on them personally.”

        Like

      • linds01 says:

        J11,
        I honestly don’t think it’s about shooting the message or the messenger, (although the message is certainly up for dissection etc.), I think the point is more that the messenger needs to be responsible for the delivery of said message.
        If the message is important at all, it shouldn’t be covered in dog poop, or laced with anthrax.
        If it is, the whole message is just a means to offend and injure.
        I don’t think it is out of line to establish some guidelines about how to communicate.
        It really isn’t about the what.
        I’ll admit it is a down fall of mine, but it is really hard for me to read the message with it is so offensive and aggressive towards something that I am (a woman), and even more so when it is offensive and aggressive about me personally.
        However there are others here who have engaged and will likely continue to engage in conversations about ideas with him.
        I may even join, but again- there is an acceptable way and an unacceptable way to deliver the message, and I think that is what this is about.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Strand says:

      Nights,

      Actually it wasn’t about name calling. It was about expressing a different opinion. In this case, the opinion that the ideal template for marriage follows the traditional, Biblically commanded dynamic..which involves wifely submission to the husband as one important facet. (Of course, there are many responsibilities placed on the husband as well)

      Multiple commenters stated that even expressing such an opinion should be banned and deleted. Women are too delicate to be expected to be able to handle reading such an opinion, even if it’s expressed as politely as possible. Women are apparently so incredibly fragile that such opinions are overwhelmingly “triggering” for them, to an almost debilitating degree – yet, inexplicably, they are at the same time every bit as tough as men and can be military generals, CEO’s, prime ministers, etc. I asked how this can be, as this seems self-contradictory, but got no answer.

      One commenter went so far as to claim that by posting my positive thoughts regarding wifely submission in marriage, I was effectively physically assaulting and even raping the female readers of this site. Multiple female commenters agreed with him and thanked him for posting this.

      Finally, I was only posting my opinion, not name calling. However, when I asked my wife what she thought about the commenter who called me a rapist, I posted her “colorful” answer verbatim, after some hesitation. I just thought some folks would be interested in her actual reaction, given that the poor thing is married to such a caveman. So I didn’t “sanitize” her remarks (which while impolite, didn’t contain any serious profanity). Perhaps I was wrong to post her thoughts, idk. But I only did it once. And remember, I was called a rapist but there was no outrage there!

      That’s about it. I don’t know what Matt has in mind with his new policy. I hope he will just be straightforward and say outright if he intends to ban comments from people who think like I do. Because I don’t apologize for my beliefs, nor will i change them. So Matt can decide to just ban me outright (it’s his blog) if he wants. And then we know what will follow, as we’ve seen it before – MBTTTR will turn into one big circle-jerk, where no dissenting opinions are allowed. The commenters will just take turns telling each other how amazing they are, how brave they are, how rotten their ex-husbands are, how divorces happen because those horrible men are always taking advantage of their saintly wives, etc, etc, ad infinitum, ad nauseaum. No one will ever consider that they should make a change to their own behavior going forward – why would you, when it’s always the ex-husband’s fault?

      So we see how it goes from here. Heck, for all I know this comment itself will be deleted!

      Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Hi Jeff,

        How’s your weekend going? Is the weather nice where you I’ve in Texas or is it hot and humid there right now?

        I’m not sure if your kids attend a school or are homeschooled but I was wondering if the schools have started there or whether they start after Labor Day? I know it varies by state.

        Have a nice day.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Gott,

        You have a good weekend as well. All good here, wife is baking brownies, youngest is off to a birthday party, others are doing homework or practicing piano. Mass and confession for the whole family tomorrow, followed by family rosary. Hopefully, a day boating next weekend if the weather cooperates.

        Kids all in school. Don’t homeschool per se, but at home we teach them pre-Vatican II Catholic Church catechism, prayers, lives of the saints, etc. Since they won’t learn these things in the Baptist religious school that they attend (though they do learn Latin there and importantly, they’ll learn the Gospel)

        Such is my disgust for the post-Vatican II abomination/charade led by “Pope” Francis, that I’d rather send my kids to a Protestant school like the Baptists, then to have anything to do with the Novus Ordo Church, aka the Vatican II Sect. And unfortunately, the traditional and truly Catholic church we attend is too small to offer a school.

        And yes it’s hot and humid, but not to worry – it will cool off by Thanksgiving! (Come the cool weather, my girls will be taking after school tennis lessons again this year) And how about you? Cooling off in your neck of the woods? You have kids in school?

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Jeff,

        Yes, my kids are in school too. Still hot. Looking forward to the cooler weather soon. Fall is my favorite season!

        I didn’t realize Baptist school offers Latin. That’s interesting. I guess it used to be more common to teach that in high schools. Seems like it’s mostly been replaced by other languages now in the schools I’m familiar with.

        Boating sounds fun! Do you like fishing or rafting or other boating things? My husband loves to fish. I mostly like to ride around at fast speeds. But we don’t have the chance to boat very often.

        Like

      • Matt says:

        Jeff. Your comments and your beliefs are not only welcome here, but encouraged.

        For reasons I haven’t quite figured out yet, your delivery often lacks the sort of polite tact and kindness required for people to coexist harmoniously.

        I am in NO WAY bothered that you don’t agree with me, or that others don’t agree with you.

        I WANT differing opinions and other perspectives shared here.

        We’re just not going to dabble in misogyny and dick-headedness.

        Deciding what is and is not those things will be a work in progress, where hopefully many people will chime in.

        I’m not banning IPs until it’s abundantly clear that someone is here for the sole purpose of trying to torpedo what I want to be doing here.

        I like debate.

        I don’t like fighting.

        The line is a tricky one. I hope everyone will work with me on finding it.

        And in the meantime, it would be so awesome if we could just not call people names.

        It’s just not that hard, nor too much to ask.

        I hope everyone has a great weekend.

        I have a road trip to get to.

        Like

      • nights7 says:

        Jeff, Politeness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Obviously you thought you were being straightforward and respectfully stating your perspective and others maybe didn’t. I think saying “be kind” is vague.
        While I personally don’t agree with your stance on relationship dynamics, what you’re saying in this comment is exactly what I was trying to get at with my line of questioning. I don’t think creating a homogeneous base of commenters serves the apparent purpose of this blog but, like you said, it’s Matt’s corner of the internet here and he can do what he wants with it. I’m just curious as to what that will be.

        Like

      • nights7 says:

        And apparently what I was asking had already been answered. Obviously I cannot keep up with the pace of the comments here. :P

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Nights7,

        “Jeff, Politeness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Obviously you thought you were being straightforward and respectfully stating your perspective and others maybe didn’t. I think saying “be kind” is vague.
        While I personally don’t agree with your stance on relationship dynamics, what you’re saying in this comment is exactly what I was trying to get at with my line of questioning. I don’t think creating a homogeneous base of commenters serves the apparent purpose of this blog but, like you said, it’s Matt’s corner of the internet here and he can do what he wants with it. I’m just curious as to what that will be.”

        I’m not sure how much of the comments in the last few weeks you have had time to read (and you’re right it is hard to keep up sometimes).

        But as has been said by many people many times in comments, the issue with Jeffs’s connects are NOT with his belief that men should be the leaders in marriage and wives unilateralist submissive.

        There are two long time commenters here, Insanitybytes and FromScratchMom who also hold this view. There have been many times this was discussed with various Biblical passages used.

        There are other commenters here who strongly disagree with this view, myself Donkey and Marilyn as some examples.

        There have been respectful discussions of these differences and how each of these views might impact marriage and divorce. There have been NO problems in the past with these differences causing disruptions.

        Let me repeat that the issue with Jeffs’s comments do not have to do with his views on this topic as he states.

        There are people here with very dissimilar religious views. Many commenters have expressed very deep Christian faith. Others have expressed themselves as spiritual but not Christian. Others have expressed agnosticism/atheism. We have been to have respectful discussions where all parties could express their views.

        Let me repeat that differences in religious views are NOT the problem.

        Although Jeffs’s Catholic religious view of rejecting all Popes and Catholic teaching since Vatican II, is more unusual than average, that is not the problem with Jeffs’s comments. The problem is that he has declared his unwillingness to listen and learn anything from commenters like Donkey who are not Christians.

        The issue has been presenting his views with the vague “kindness” and respect. Sometimes it’s overt like the comment about his wife declaring Travis a “mangina”, “pathetic loser” and “not a man”. Or a recent comment insulting another comment as a “fat” and “bitter” that was deleted.

        Sometimes it’s more in the general description of women as or “hit it and quit it material” or “unfeminine” if they disagree with a man. Or more recently in the general description of men who express support for women as White Knights with a pathetic desire for women’s approval. Can’t quote that one exactly because it got deleted.

        There have been unfortunate exchanges between Jeff and other comments where barbs were thrown back and forth as a result of some of his comments.

        I want to reiterate that the problem is not Jeffs’s views of a man being the leader and the wife unilaterally submitting. Or his use of his religious views to support that view.

        It is in the language he is using to present his views.

        Would I love for every comment on this blog to agree wth me that men and women should be equal partners in marriage with mutual submission? Yes, yes I would. But I also respect that many people have different views than I do. And it is good to both be exposed to that and try and understand and learn from each other.

        And it adds to the discussion to understand different views and the religious and/or other reasons why they hold those views. I respect that most commenters in this blog can express their views with kindness and respect so that we can continue to be a diverse group of people here wth diverse views.

        I thank Matt for his efforts to make sure that ALL the commenters are held to a standard of kindness and respect to continue to add to the diversity of thought here.

        In my view, doing that will add to the diversity because people will be free to express uncommon or unpopular views because they know others will respond with curiosity not cruelty even if they strongly disagree.

        I keep hoping Jeff will be open to hearing that his language is a problem and he will accept influence to be willing to change his presentation. Matt is making every effort to give him a chance to change without blocking him. Right now he is simply blocking the comments with personal insults so that they don’t show up anymore.

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Nights7,

        “Jeff, Politeness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Obviously you thought you were being straightforward and respectfully stating your perspective and others maybe didn’t. I think saying “be kind” is vague.
        While I personally don’t agree with your stance on relationship dynamics, what you’re saying in this comment is exactly what I was trying to get at with my line of questioning. I don’t think creating a homogeneous base of commenters serves the apparent purpose of this blog but, like you said, it’s Matt’s corner of the internet here and he can do what he wants with it. I’m just curious as to what that will be.”

        I’m not sure how much of the comments in the last few weeks you have had time to read (and you’re right it is hard to keep up sometimes).

        But as has been said by many people many times in comments, the issue with Jeffs’s connects are NOT with his belief that men should be the leaders in marriage and wives unilateralist submissive.

        There are two long time commenters here, Insanitybytes and FromScratchMom who also hold this view. There have been many times this was discussed with various Biblical passages used.

        There are other commenters here who strongly disagree with this view, myself Donkey and Marilyn as some examples.

        There have been respectful discussions of these differences and how each of these views might impact marriage and divorce. There have been NO problems in the past with these differences causing disruptions.

        Let me repeat that the issue with Jeffs’s comments do not have to do with his views on this topic as he states.

        There are people here with very dissimilar religious views. Many commenters have expressed very deep Christian faith. Others have expressed themselves as spiritual but not Christian. Others have expressed agnosticism/atheism. We have been to have respectful discussions where all parties could express their views.

        Let me repeat that differences in religious views are NOT the problem.

        Although Jeffs’s Catholic religious view of rejecting all Popes and Catholic teaching since Vatican II, is more unusual than average, that is not the problem with Jeffs’s comments. The problem is that he has declared his unwillingness to listen and learn anything from commenters like Donkey who are not Christians.

        The issue has been presenting his views with the vague “kindness” and respect. Sometimes it’s overt like the comment about his wife declaring Travis a “mangina”, “pathetic loser” and “not a man”. Or a recent comment insulting another comment as a “fat” and “bitter” that was deleted.

        Sometimes it’s more in the general description of women as or “hit it and quit it material” or “unfeminine” if they disagree with a man. Or more recently in the general description of men who express support for women as White Knights with a pathetic desire for women’s approval. Can’t quote that one exactly because it got deleted.

        There have been unfortunate exchanges between Jeff and other comments where barbs were thrown back and forth as a result of some of his comments.

        I want to reiterate that the problem is not Jeffs’s views of a man being the leader and the wife unilaterally submitting. Or his use of his religious views to support that view.

        It is in the language he is using to present his views.

        Would I love for every comment on this blog to agree wth me that men and women should be equal partners in marriage with mutual submission? Yes, yes I would. But I also respect that many people have different views than I do. And it is good to both be exposed to that and try and understand and learn from each other.

        And it adds to the discussion to understand different views and the religious and/or other reasons why they hold those views. I respect that most commenters in this blog can express their views with kindness and respect so that we can continue to be a diverse group of people here wth diverse views.

        I thank Matt for his efforts to make sure that ALL the commenters are held to a standard of kindness and respect to continue to add to the diversity of thought here.

        In my view, doing that will add to the diversity because people will be free to express uncommon or unpopular views because they know others will respond with curiosity not cruelty even if they strongly disagree.

        I keep hoping Jeff will be open to hearing that his language is a problem and he will accept influence to be willing to change his presentation. Matt is making every effort to give him a chance to change without blocking him. Right now he is simply blocking the comments with personal insults so that they don’t show up anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gottmanfan says:

        Accidentally posted that last comment twice.

        Like

      • ruralbethany says:

        Gottmanfan, once again, you really nailed it. I decided to disengage with Jeff in a previous thread but most of his comments have been cringe-worthy, at best.

        And yes – it is because of the language and tone. Besides the personal insults and his telling me how I am as a woman based on his own viewpoint of women in general, the use of terms such as “Marriage Market Value (with it’s own acronym MMV) and “Sexual Market Value” isn’t really in line with what I believe this blog and community is about.

        It seems to me that dehumanizing a person and making them only valuable in terms of how sexually attractive they are, or what they bring to the marriage table (IE, how much money he makes or how good a cook she is, etc) is a backwards step and does not promote any kind of “my spouse is just as important as I am and I need to listen to their viewpoint and not dismiss them” mentality.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Brenda says:

    Point on, as usual. Much love.

    Like

  14. Anne says:

    When a god-bothering sexist hijacks the replies section, why doesn’t everyone just ignore him? Let him reply to air his opinion, but let him realize that he belongs to a tiny, shrinking minority with thoughts that matter very little to the people who do the heavy lifting in today’s world. I mean, really, his replies are just comedy relief. Chuckle over his childlike tunnel-vision, obtuse reasoning, and biblical distortions and then move the discussion along — he sees your logical and rational replies as validation because he’s getting attention.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Jeff. This comment from Anne will be good opportunity for you to practice exercising restraint.

      Please and thank you.

      Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Well Matt, she even added a follow-up comment where she accused me of being a complete liar and troll.

        You can see my reply to her. I thought I used admirable restraint. If you don’t agree, you can let me know. I’m trying to follow your new policy for politeness and inclusion, while at the same time still being willing to state a viewpoint that I believe in, and may be a springboard for discussion.

        At the same time, I get the feeling some of the commenters still feel that merely expressing a different opinion than theirs, even in a polite way, is a form of aggression against them, that they need to be protected from.

        It’s the whole “Generation Special Snowflake” phenomenon you see on college campuses today. I just don’t get it.

        Like

    • marilyn sims says:

      Anne,

      I agree that anyone who engages in offensive name-calling, toxic rhetoric, etc ought to be ignored — however, there are those in our tribe who would rather engage in hand-to-hand combat to wrestle the offender to the ground.

      They are skilled pugilists and would not be dragged into a muddy pit of profane offensive language to make the offender yell “UNCLE!”

      I don’t know how Matt would handle such an occurrence — if it did indeed happen.

      Like

      • Anne says:

        The “Jeff” that posted replies did not seem to want to discuss anything. He repeatedly lectured everyone on how his lifestyle was the best and would insult anyone who tried to enter in a discussion.
        But this is the Internet. “Jeff” may not even exist as the persona he presents. He mentions a few daughters but no sons, and one would think as a pre-Vatican II Catholic with a sex toy wife who can’t say no, he’d have a dozen kids. My gut feeling is this guy is a troll who is having some fun with Mark’s website because the folks here have intelligent conversations about serious, life-changing topics–nothing like baiting people in hopes that they lose their cool. “Jeff” probably trolls other sites for entertainment; funny how he continually visited this site, clearly a liberal-leaning, pro-feminist forum, to keep posting the same rhetoric, replying to posts with the same argument without advancing the reasoning at all. And attacking/baiting the people who replied by mocking their gender and/or beliefs, and then crying about how his beliefs were being attacked. It’s like a worm being dangled. He’ll never cry Uncle because the “Jeff” persona is incapable/unwilling/unable of seeing anyone’s perspective but his own.
        Mark, this is your website. You have many friends here who enjoy your essays and the conversation threads (myself included). Would you allow someone who behaves in front of your friends at your house like “Jeff” does in RL? Or would you take action to protect your friends and ask “Jeff” to leave (via blocking him)? “Jeff” ain’t leaving on his own. He’s having too much fun playing in your house.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Strand says:

        “Anne”, if you are even a real person, perhaps your reading comprehension needs some work. I have mentioned my son several times.

        And sorry, but Matt has mentioned several times he wants there to be a range of opinions in the comments of his blog, rather than have it turn into a giant circle jerk with everyone parroting the same remarks and opinions. No one is insulting anyone or engaging in ad hominem attacks. (Well, I’m not anyway. You kind of are, by questioning the reality of my life and opinions. They’re very real, btw)

        So “Anne”, if you start your own blog you are free to ban all commenters who expresses any views whatsoever that are different from your own. Just like most feminist-leaning sites do.

        Like

  15. marilyn sims says:

    Anne,

    It seems that Matt has decided, in some cases, that deleting offensive words in a text is enough. The remainder of the post will be allowed to stand.

    Like

  16. Jeff Strand says:

    I would just add this to Gott’s (long) reply to Nights7. She said a couple times that “we” don’t have a problem with Jeff’s views. She said this so much I wanted to ask if she has a mouse in her pocket! This is a common tactic people use…I think even without being aware of it. They think it sounds more persuasive to say “we think” or “we believe” than to say “I think” or “I believe”,

    So Gott, since you haven’t taken an actual survey or been deputized to speak for others, I would like to challenge you to make an effort to stop doing this. Try, from now on, saying “I think so-and-so” instead of trying to say you speak for everyone else…who, after all, may agree or disagree with you.

    In any case, Gott is just factually incorrect. There was at least one commenter who explained that by merely expressing my views concerning traditional marriage roles, I was committing the equivalent of rape and physical assault on the female readers of this blog. Several commenters then agreed with him on that point. I know that sounds absolutely crazy, but it’s true…and Gott should not attempt to re-write history by denying it. And in any case, as i mentioned above, she should speak only for herself.

    Now, can we move on?

    Like

    • linds01 says:

      Jeff,
      Gottman can assume the we from the numerous comments made by several commenters.
      An issue I have is that you don’t own your words.
      Travis, the commenter you gave as an example of voiced something that we all saw- that is why we agreed.
      And again- how you were verbalizing that your wife should always put out, and not have “no” in her vocabulary is saying rape is ok. Which it isn’t, even in married couples.
      Those words YOU wrote several times is what gave the imaging of rape.
      But you won’t own that.
      Why not? What did you mean by those words?

      Like

      • linds01 says:

        What you described is NOT traditional marriage roles, and when those who also have a view of traditional marriage agree that the “always put out and never say no” also agree that is a violation and NOT a Godly, traditional marriage – you attack them,too.
        You say that is a traditional view, they say it’s not.
        Can you point out reasons or examples in the bible or civil law where the ” always put out and never say no” requirement is demonstrated or upheld?
        Maybe that could be a good starting point for discussion.

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Lindsey,

        First, because I am persnickety. If you reread my comment I don’t believe I wrote “we” other than the sentence about we have been able to have discussions in the past that were respecful.

        Second, may I recommend you disengage with Jeffs’s comments?

        “I think” and “I believe” that may result in a better outcome. But of course you are free to decide otherwise.

        Have a great weekend!

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Linds,

        I don’t ever say “no” to her either. So are you saying my wife is a rapist? Do you have the “imaging of rape” in mind when you picture her?

        And I find it hard to believe you’re not aware that refusing one’s spouse the marriage debt without just cause is a sin. Seriously? You didn’t know that?

        Oh, and as far as what I meant by “no not being in her vocabulary”….simply this. In a decade and a half of marriage, she has never refused me my conjugal rights, unless there was a serious reason, e.g. she was quite ill or heavy with child. If she’s in the mood as well, then everybody wins. If she’s not so much in the mood but I am, she’s happy to “lay there and take it” or “lay back and think of England” (pick your idiom). She sees this as performing her wifely duties, and she takes it seriously. Just like bearing children.

        Do most wives not make it a priority to grant their husband his conjugal rights? I can’t imagine! That’s one of the most important of a wife’s duties. Do you not agree?

        And if a wife refuses her husband’s physical needs, and he resorts to having an affair, isn’t she partly to blame?

        Like

      • linds01 says:

        Jeff,
        The first several times you said ” ‘no’ shouldn’t be in her vocabulary” you never mentioned it was a mutual thing. You frequently said it was the duty to the wife, and gave it as a reason for a woman to not be marriage.
        So, the belief you presented several times was that it was your right to have sex with your wife, no matter what she felt about it.
        That is what everyone called rape.
        You only recently threw in the “me,too” part.
        And of course, I don’t agree that is biblical.
        The debt you mention is to love one another- that includes a lot more than sex.
        There are also many references about self restraint, so to answer your question as to if it would be her fault for him having an affair the answer would be no.
        It still goes back to the questions- do you see your wife as a human being? And is there any basis of relationship other than for “conjugal” purposes?
        If it’s no to either of those- that is how you see fit to lead your life, but I would have to say that it seems like you are missing something fundamental.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Linds, you say you don’t agree that it’s Biblical. But it is – it’s right there in 1 Corinthians, Ch 7 Vs 5.

        Here’s some more for you on this topic:

        Pope Pius XI: “By this same love it is necessary that all the other rights and duties of the marriage state be regulated as the words of the Apostle: ‘Let the husband render the debt to the wife, and the wife also in like manner to the husband,’ express not only a law of justice but of charity.” [Casti Connubii, n. 25.]

        The term ‘marriage debt’ refers to the mutual obligation between the husband and wife to engage in natural marital relations open to life. This obligation is mutual because it is a requirement of the moral law, that is the law of justice and charity. The reasons for the marriage debt, i.e. the obligation of the spouses to engage in sexual relations with one another, are several.

        First, the human race would not continue without sexual relations leading to the procreation of children. And children are best served by being conceived and born into a family with a father and mother. The emphasis in modern secular society on sexual relations for pleasure has led to a decline in the birth rate in many nations below what is needed to sustain the population.

        Second, marital relations offers the goods of expressing and strengthening the marriage, and of binding and keeping the couple united in mind and heart by an outward expression of the body. The marital and unitive meanings offer goods to the marriage in addition to the good of the procreation of children.

        Third, the aforementioned goods, by benefiting the husband and wife, also benefit the whole family. For when the spouses regularly express and strengthen their love, even in this bodily manner, the benefits to their souls and spirits then also benefit the whole family.

        Fourth, marital relations quiets concupiscence, thereby protecting the spouses from the danger of sexual sins, including sins in the mind and heart, as well as bodily sins, such as masturbation or adultery. This purpose to marital relations, though certainly secondary to the primary threefold end of the marital, unitive, and procreative meaning, is nevertheless so important (for us poor sinners living in a sinful world) that the Apostle Paul emphasizes it when speaking about the marriage debt in Sacred Scripture.

        Like

        • linds01 says:

          Jeff,
          I know 1st Corinthians, and your right it does talk about them fulfilling their duties to each other. However the problem is in several of your first statements you presented a picture where the wife (And the wife alone) had no say in the matter.
          THAT is not biblical, and quoting from 1st Corinthian’s : ” The wife’s body does not belong to her ALONE, and the husband’s body does not belong to him ALONE.”
          But that doesn’t mean they give up the rights to their own bodies.

          If you are now saying that both partners actually do both participate and both have a say in their relationship, there is no argument here.

          I am not Catholic, so I don’t know enough about that particular Pope or his words to assume that he was talking strictly about the sex life of a marriage.

          I will say that the Corinthian verses were written for a place and time that was heavy into worship via prostitution. So Paul had need to bring up boundaries around sex.
          Is it applicable now? – Could be.

          But we know from reality, vs. a theoretical statement, that men who are addicted to sex have multiple affairs even while the wife is giving herself to him.
          It has nothing to do with his physical need “to get enough”, it has to do with his insatiable need to be needed and wanted.
          And, no- no women is accountable for that.

          Like

    • gottmanfan says:

      Jeff,

      This is will be a shorter reply. Lol.

      I have really tried to communicate with you in a way that can foster a better line of discussion.

      It appears to me based on your recent reply that I have been unsuccessful in communicating to you in a way you that results in a different outcome.

      “I think” and “I believe” that it is a further waste of my time to interact with your comments.

      Best wishes to you and your family.

      Like

      • linds01 says:

        Lisa,
        I honestly thought that was the wisest route a week or two ago!

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Lindsey,

        I’m a big believer in extreme effort to make it easy for others to change. Especially when you have no ignore button. Lol.

        But when it becomes obvious the efforts aren’t making a real difference, it’s time to change strategies. It’s a sad thing.

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Lindsey,

        I realize my reply to you about disengaging may have come across as critical and that was not my intention.

        As this is the Internet, I don’t know if Jeff is exactly as he describes himself with a wife and three kids or as others have suggested whether he is not as presented and is just making stuff up to get a reaction.

        Either way, there is a real person typing the comments and it’s a true shame we couldn’t get to a place of exchanging ideas in a productive way. But it appears that is the case.

        Like

        • linds01 says:

          Gottman,
          No sweat. I think I know where you were coming from. I tried to warn Donkey to not engage several posts back.
          I also don’t take everything (Anything?) he says at face value.
          He obviously functions from a place of shame and a need to cover up weakness, so anything that he thinks will be perceived as weak is sure to get a few extra coats of gloss on it. (Or reconstructed entirely for internet purposes.)
          Anyway. I don’t know. I miss the good old days- when we talked about better things than Jeff Strand, or the good and evils of feminism.

          I think it should be a “rule” that we can inquire about topics that our world views color, but not directly insult or try to change the other world views.
          Saying feminism is wrong, and giving a list of reasons that are colored by an anti-feminist world view doesn’t really move the discussion anywhere. (You can plug in any “ism” to that statement). There are reasons why we come to certain view points and conclusions. Feminists likely wont agree with antifeminist reasoning.
          That kind of discussion can be had when there is genuine curiosity and not a need to bend others views to their own. Then and only then can ideas really be discussed in a way that opens up the door for both (All) parties that leads to greater understanding.

          But that isn’t taking place here, at present. I am just as guilty. Insults and flaming are made to induce an emotional reaction. That puts everyone on the defensive and makes us clamp down even tighter on protecting our beliefs, and ourselves. That is true for me, too.

          Ok, so- I don’t think we can really make a rule banning meta beliefs, but I likely wont engage in them because it isn’t safe to. And, at this point I am likely to be as closed minded as others in actually hearing what is stated.

          Matt- I know debate is fun. I used to want to debate in school, in fact I used to want to be a lawyer. I think I would have been good at it if I had applied myself 30 years ago- but, I didn’t (womp, womp).
          I still like talking about big ideas, and practical ideas ect.
          But I have come to appreciate dialogue as a means to get there.
          I think the difference is you don’t meet your opponent head on for battle, but you sit along side discussing observations. Eventually both of you start to see what the other observes, and you both walk away with a wider view of the world.

          I know no one can mandate that, or regulate that. I do hope, and by that I mean confident expectation, that there will still be plenty more opportunities to dialogue here.
          I may not participate in them all, but I am looking forward to them.

          Like

      • Fromscratchmom says:

        Sometimes that is the wisest and healthiest route. I think a lot of what I could think to offer in an effort facilitate some progress towards better understanding and better communication has played out and/or passed by. You do your best (even as in this case when I was struggling with a migraine at the same time.) You can’t own it for some other person when they decide to ignore or even perpetually mischaracterized or lie about what you’ve written.

        For the most part I think I had a reasonable take on a “true believer” concept going on to put some context to all of it. But I guess the poodle at a keyboard might be just as likely given the waffling, denial of reality, lying about others words, logical inconsistency, etc etc.

        C’est la vie. Or C’est la guerre. Take your pick! LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      • ruralbethany says:

        Agree, agree, agree with you ladies.

        There’s a verse in the Bible about pearls and swine… XD

        But really, all it comes down to is this – I love having great meaty discussions with people but if it is someone who is only in the discussion to prove how right they are, then I lose interest. There is no point in trying to argue or debate with people like that. Not until someone has an open, teachable heart.

        And unfortunately, due to Jeff’s bizarre take on the Bible, since we were not born with penii he isn’t particularly interested in what we have to say. So, eye roll and scroll has become my stance, as painful as it is.

        I do agree that it is annoying to have every single post go into the whole “Woman Submit!!” thing, but that probably won’t happen until we stop feeding the troll.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Anne says:

    Whoops, sorry Matt, for mistaking your name. My brother’s name is Mark and you guys are too alike.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. This post is quite charming in the usual Matt style. I rather like the concept of tribes, and Matt’s protective side revealing itself. He is creating safety, protecting the tribe. That’s what dads do. :)

    Just for the record, I am often outside the tribe. Total outlier. There’s a famous saying, “I wouldn’t belong to any organization that would have me.” It’s somewhat amusing, I’ve probably been kicked out a dozen or so “red pill tribes,” bloggers who always squeal so loudly about how their own views are allegedly being oppressed and silenced. So color me completely unsympathetic towards the squealers and their obvious hypocrisy.

    That said, trying to talk about traditional marriage, matters of faith, or heaven forbid submission, can really be a delicate dance, because people’s response can be very emotional, your mere existence seen as a symbol of oppression, which means you are often accused of “abusing people with your theories.”

    I don’t particularly want to empathize with Jeff Stand here, but I know what that can be like. I simply say the word “authority” and people will immediately picture “abuse.” Abuse was the farthest thing from my mind. Somewhat amusing, but “authority” is actually as charming and sweet as Matt’s efforts here to protect and provide safety for his tribe.

    Like

    • gottmanfan says:

      IB,

      Hey, I relate to your status as an outlier. I have often been an outlier too. Although in my case spending much of my life in very conservative places with vet conservative views. I’m not even that “liberal” in my views and was still subject to a lot of hostility and attempted censorship.

      I have appreciated that you present your views in a respectful way here. I actually agree with much of what you say. We agree that authority is not a bad thing. That submission is often a misunderstood concept.

      I related to a previous comment you made about feeling relief in a certain way in the concept of submission because you were the oldest child in a dysfunctional family and the person holding things together in a dysfunctional workplace. I’m a version of that person too.

      You are absolutely right that the concept is often associated with abuse. I think it is helpful, as you have in the past, to recognize the potential for abuse in a system setup with authority and submission.

      Often, I have heard those that subscribe to this system downplay or even deny the very real abuse done in the name of Complementarianism or similar marriage constructs.

      Have you ever read Aimee Bryd’s blog Housewife Theologian? She has had some very strong posts regarding this issue and Denny Burk and The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

      Not to get too deep in the woods here but some of it has to do with the way that those that claim a theolgy if Jesus as in eternal submission map that to women being submissive to men. And the way that Ruth Tucker’s book Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife has been treated by leaders in the Protestant Complementarian leaders.

      Anyway, I like to read her blog because although I don’t agree with her views on Complementarianism, I like to read thoughtful people who can explain why they believe what they do and are open to criticism from those who point out potential problems of abuse.

      I think you are able to similarly explain your views so I appreciate that even when I might disagree.

      Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Here’s a link to the blog I was talking about with the review if the book on abuse if anyone is interested.

        http://www.alliancenet.org/mos/housewife-theologian/black-and-white-reviews-black-and-blue-complementarianism#.V8JLulQ8KJI

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Have you ever checked out “Peaceful Wife” on YouTube? She does a good job explaining the surrendered wife movement and how she implements it in her own marriage. You can really see the peace and joy she has in her life when you watch her videos, that’s what makes them so enjoyable.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Reading about Ruth Tucker reminded me of St. Monica and St. Augustine. If you’ve never read it, I highly recommend St. Augustine’s “Confessions” – written 1600 years ago, it is the first modern autobiography in the West.

        Here’s a quick run down:

        St. Monica was of Berber descent. She was born in 332 at Tagaste (located in modern-day Souk Ahras, Algeria). Her parents brought her up as Christian and married her to an older, pagan man named Patricius. He was a man of great energy but also had a violent temper and sexually promiscuous.

        However, their son Augustine reports that, although domestic abuse was common at the time, because of Monica’s submission to her husband, he never beat her. Her almsgiving and habit of prayer irritated him yet led him to respect her. It was said that by her sweetness and patience, she was able to exercise a good influence among other abused wives and mothers. They knew she suffered as they did and so were moved by her example.

        St. Monica was very devout and attended church daily which helped her cultivate the virtue of patience. She would say to other women who had difficult marriages, “If you can master your tongue, not only do you run less risk of being beaten, but perhaps you may even, one day, make your husband better.” And, in fact, she won over her mother-in-law in a short time. She also converted her pagan husband to Christianity and calmed his violent tendencies.

        St. Monica and Patritius bore three children: Augustine the eldest, Navigius the second, and a daughter, Perpetua. Augustine made her happy because of his successes as a scholar and teacher but she was also ashamed of his debauched lifestyle. Augustine lived for 10 years with his mistress (who bore him a son out of wedlock) and also became an adherent of the Manichaean heresy. Although Monica asked a bishop to convince Augustine of his errors, he was not able to change the young man. He told the mother to keep praying for her son. He told her, “It is impossible that the son of so many tears should perish.”

        Of course, Augustine did later convert and became not only a saint but a Doctor of the Church. He is typically considered to be the greatest Catholic theologian of the First Millenium (as St. Thomas Aquinas is considered the greatest of the Second)

        Like

        • anitvan says:

          Jeff

          Ah, see, this is interesting stuff! I have long had a deep respect for the Catholic perspective on natural relations and how it is intrinsically connected for a sacred view of life. I freely admit, I have not always done a good job of living up to those high ideals. For that, I am thankful for forgiveness and patience both from God, and from my husband.

          Like

      • Thanks for the link, Gottmanfan. I think you’re speaking of ESS, eternal submission of the Son? Male headship and some perversions of male headship?I have been all over several of those debates, complementarians versus egalitarians. I’m familiar with Ruth Tucker’s book and I echo the sentiments about how hard it can be to get complementarians to address domestic violence issues.

        Jeff’s response below is rather typical, where he cites St. Monica. It’s a beautiful story, and yes, sometimes submission and reflecting Christ’s grace can prevent abuse. However, it can also just get you killed, so as a solution to domestic violence, submission is a very flawed technique. I’m reminded of the ME where women are in submission and yet frequently seem to find themselves losing their heads or getting stoned to death. Men, the good ones, often have a hard time seeing, acknowledging, the darker side of men. They can be even more emotional about it than women are, often alternating somewhere between “kill the bastards” and complete denial, it either doesn’t happen at all or it’s her fault because she didn’t submit.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        IB,

        There’s something else you may not be taking into account from the man’s perspective.

        I know personally multiple instances where the man was threatened by the woman with false charges of DV. I even know of several instances where the woman followed through and formally made the false accusation to the police. In some of those cases, the man was arrested (based only on her word), in the other cases he wasn’t.

        OTOH, I only know of one case where there was actual “abuse”. This was a case where the man discovered his live-in girlfriend of 2 years had been cheating on him, and in his shock, rage, and sense of betrayal, he slapped her across the face with an open hand. Did no serious damage, but she called the cops and put him in jail. (By the way, she hadn’t been working while she lived with him – he financially supported her)

        Now if I say that gal had it coming, then I’m a so-and-so. Yet every woman I asked about the Tiger Woods situation (remember, his wife attacked and terrorized him with a golf club) said Tiger had it coming to him because he had been cheating on her. Every single woman said that (and I asked a number of them), without exception! So attacking someone with a golf club, which could be considered a deadly weapon, and terrorizing them with it to the point that they crash their car into a tree is OK…but an open-handed slap across the face deserves to result in someone’s life being ruined?

        Either “there is no excuse for DV” or not. But if we really believed that, than Tiger’s ex-wife would have been arrested, mug shotted and finger printed, put in an offender program, never allowed to own a gun for the rest of her life, lost custody of her children in the divorce due to her “violent behavior” and “anger issues”, etc. And it wouldn’t matter what motivated her to commit the DV – she could have walked in on Tiger getting his freak on with a 12 hooker gang bang. Wouldn’t matter, as there is “no excuse” for DV. Now if that seems nuts to you, just remember that this is the standard we hold men to every day of the week.

        Heck, there was a case in CT where a wife walked into the kitchen while her hubby was carving a watermelon with a butcher knife. He said nothing to her, made no threats. But she called the cops, said she was in fear because the way he was carving the watermelon was “menacing”…and the cops arrested him. In his own house! (I swear I’m not making this up – Google it yourself)

        So as a result, don’t expect me or a lot of other men to get too worked up about the “abuse” or “domestic violence” that allegedly so many women suffer at the hands of their male partners. I know that for me personally, I’ve seen too much to believe it. Just not buying it.

        Like

    • linds01 says:

      IB,
      The difference is you don’t landblast people.
      But, yes- while I don’t have a strong push against the word authority, I often question one person having authority over the other, that isn’t given to the person in authority by the person under authority.
      And I know people can be super passionate about it either way.
      For the record- definitely warm fuzzies for feeling not only a tribal belonging but the protection of it as well.

      Like

      • It’s somewhat comical to me Lind, but even as women who are uncomfortable with ideas around authority or submission, biology always kicks in. So, when we encounter something uncomfortable, something unsafe, without fail, even the strong independent ones, the ones who resist all such notions of hierarchies, immediately look towards their tribal leadership and make an appeal to male authority for safety and protection.

        I’ve watched that play out so many times on the internet and in real life that I actually named my blog, “see there’s this thing called biology.” I think people tend to be healthier, we relate better to one another, when we can accept and embrace our natural tendencies.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        IB,

        Interesting point. I agree that in the majority of cases, even a woman who insists on egalitarian marriage roles will expect her husband to go check on the sounds that go bump in the middle of the night. Or expect to be offered preference over men in the lifeboat.

        I have seen this in real life. When I can tell a woman is a feminist, I will deliberately treat her as I would a fellow male (isn’t this what she wants?) For some reason, they don’t like this. Or to take another example, there was an outcry when Whoopi Goldberg said that if a woman hits a man, she better be prepared, nowadays, for him to slug her right back. Some women were horrified by this, but why? Aren’t they good little feminists who claim to be equal to men in all respects?

        Do you teach your sons to hit back if a girl hits them, just as they would hit back against a boy? If not, aren’t you being sexist?

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Hey IB,

        You may very well have a good point about biology. I certainly think the science is clear that there are biological differences between men and women.

        But in my case, I wrote a comment to Matt asking for more moderation not because of biology but because he is the person with the power to control the delete button. If I had the power to do that I would have used it without his intervention.

        I am putting a lot of effort into learning how to respond to others differently then I have in the past. It may be quite shocking to those who have long admired my sweetness and light (ha! Big joke there!) but I can be quite contemptuous and aggressive to those I find unreasonable.

        I would have had absolutely no problem responding aggressively to Jeff. My biology really wanted too believe me.

        But I’m trying to overcome my aggressive biology both to improve my marriage and to become a better person. So I decided to try and first interact with Jeff in a calm rational way to see if that helped. When it didn’t change after doing that I considered leaving but decided that I should try and directly ask Matt to use his moderating power that I don’t possess because it’s not my blog.

        Matt didn’t agree with me. And my biology didn’t like that either. Ha! ha! So I appealed to the rest of the tribe members to give their feedback and that seemed to make a difference.

        Anyway IB, my biology directed me to respond to this comment which wasn’t even about me or addressed to me. Constantly fighting my biology for sure. Mostly especially concerning Doritos.

        Liked by 2 people

        • anitvan says:

          It hasn’t gone unnoticed, dear. I have picked up on a noticeable shift in the tone and phrasing of your comments of late. I have been cheering you on silently – I too have a wicked tongue and I know how much effort is involved in keeping it under control – so I just wanted to take a moment to congratulate and encourage you.

          Liked by 2 people

          • gottmanfan says:

            Thank you Anita! You’ve been an inspiration to me in practicing on this blog to be kinder. I will never master your gift for compact speech though.

            Baby steps. Lol.

            Like

            • gottmanfan says:

              Also I am practicing applying the book we both admire David Burns book “Feeling Good Together”.

              This blog is quite challenging for me to apply those techniques because gender issues are by far the thing that trigger me the most. My kryptonite if you will.

              Because of the topic matter and some of the views of the commenters this is blog is challenging but excellent practice Like exercising a muscle I am getting better in real life the more I practice it.

              Thanks for your encouragement. You’re very kind.

              Liked by 2 people

            • anitvan says:

              Ha! See, I admire those like Matt, who can flesh it out a little more fully. I spent a lot of years doing technical writing, where precision of language is valued. I guess it kinda stuck 😏

              Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        IB,

        While we will never be able to figure out how much is nature vs nurture, in my view, women often resort to asking for laws, interventions etc because the structural systems long in place do not allow for individual action to make a difference without it.

        Much like the Civil Right last movement required intervention by the National Guard to allow black children to go to school. Or laws that needed to be changed to require non discrimination by race in housing or job application.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Gott,

        You mentioned laws against discrimination in housing, etc. That reminds me of something that happened back in my youth. When I was maybe in 10th grade, our teacher explained that it was illegal to sell your house to someone (or not to sell to them) based on race. We students couldn’t believe what we were hearing. We asked him again and again to clarify, because deep down we didn’t want to believe such laws exist.

        Why? Were we a class of raging racists? No, but we had always believed it when our elders told us we lived in a free country, and we immediately understood that if the govt could dictate who you could sell YOUR house to, then by definition this is not a free country. And we felt hurt and betrayed, that the older generation had destroyed that freedom. We kept telling the teacher, “But it’s YOUR house, of course you can sell it (or not) to anyone you want, for any reason you want.” When he answered, “But that’s illegal”, we knew the country had abandoned its commitment to freedom and started down a very dark path. It was a sad moment for all of us. Part of leaving the innocence of youth. We began to understand that it really wasn’t any longer a free country.

        This ties into my questioning of female suffrage earlier. Many females are ruled more by emotion by men, so if they are presented a sad story of some black family who wasn’t allowed to buy the house they wanted (cause the owner wouldn’t sell to them)…I’m sure most would say “there ought to be a law.” While men, who are ruled more by reason, would say “Well, it sucks for them that they didn’t get the house they wanted, but that’s the price you pay to live in a free society. The homeowner can choose to sell his house to whomever he wants.”

        So once you bring in female suffrage, women’s voting patterns will ensure bigger and bigger govt, less and less freedoms, in order to use the awesome power of govt and the law to make life more “fair” and ensure no one is “offended” or has their feelings hurt. This is a scary thought, because this leads first of all to the “nanny state” and then to a police state. This is one big reason why Ann Coulter has taken the hugely politically incorrect step of publicly coming out for the repeal of women’s suffrage. She makes some interesting points.

        I saw Ann on a talk show and she was asked, “so you’d give up your right to vote?” She answered, “In a heartbeat…as long as all the other women have to do the same!” Say what you will about Ann, she’s got guts!

        Like

    • Fromscratchmom says:

      IB, it becomes like a habit or an identity for some of us to be outliers doesn’t it? You, me, Gottmanfan, and some others we’ve befriended, we’re all on our different paths, but all able to joke about getting so far outside the box we might forget where the box is. Where did that useless irritating thing get left again?

      I have to say, much as I love the “voice” in Matt’s writings (and I absolutely do, Matt!) your writing is quite charming as well. You and your batman are a shining light. And I sincerely thank-you for your internet presence, your honesty and integrity, and your eloquence!

      Like

  19. “Do you teach your sons to hit back if a girl hits them, just as they would hit back against a boy? If not, aren’t you being sexist?”

    Yes indeed, our culture is in flux and all these questions create some interesting conundrums. My problem with feminism is that it often demands women deny the nature of our own selves, even when that nature is so prominently on display and somewhat instinctual.

    Taking that into the larger context, into politics, feminism actually can become a very authoritarian system, the same thing they often object so vehemently too, because they almost reflectively will always appeal to authority, so it always promises endless mandates, laws, and strict enforcement.

    Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      “feminism actually can become a very authoritarian system”

      Couldn’t agree more! But then again, not surprising when you consider that it’s really a form of cultural Marxism. Betty Friedan, the founder of the modern post-war feminist movement, was an atheistic Jewess who had been (literally!) a card-carrying member of the American Communist Party. But she claimed she was just a typical suburban housewife, and a lot of women who were a bit too gullible believed her!

      I mean, my mom got married in the early 1950’s and though nearing 90 years old, her mind is still sharp. So I asked her if the typical 50’s housewife in America was an atheistic Jewish Communist…she had a good laugh over that one, lol.

      Like

      • Ah yes, Betty Friedan. I remember my grandmother being completely baffled by her. Our family was poor, women always worked in some way or another, and actually dreamed of becoming a 1950’s housewife with enough free time to lament.

        She’s also a good example of the kind of domestic violence you were speaking of above. There was a lot of abuse in her marriage, and she created some controversy by speaking of how it was simply mutual combat. She would definitely attack him and he would fight back. I remember she gave an interview in which she expressed regret for ever mentioning it in her autobiography, because she was now perceived as the victim and he a perp, based solely on gender. That is the kind of protection that women have enjoyed for a long time, a form of female privilege if you will.

        Like

  20. Fromscratchmom says:

    As is common, this comments section has begun to drift into other tangents as we always enjoy conversing with each other! So for a few of my friends here, (I think some of you might enjoy it!) I’m sharing a poem with you. ;)

    Lo! ‘t is a gala night
    Within the lonesome latter years!
    An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
    In veils, and drowned in tears,
    Sit in a theatre, to see
    A play of hopes and fears,
    While the orchestra breathes fitfully
    The music of the spheres.

    Mimes, in the form of God on high,
    Mutter and mumble low,
    And hither and thither fly –
    Mere puppets they, who come and go
    At bidding of vast formless things
    That shift the scenery to and fro,
    Flapping from out their Condor wings
    Invisible Wo!

    That motley drama – oh, be sure
    It shall not be forgot!
    With its Phantom chased for evermore
    By a crowd that seize it not,
    Through a circle that ever returneth in
    To the self – same spot,
    And much of Madness, and more of Sin,
    And Horror the soul of the plot.

    But see, amid the mimic rout,
    A crawling shape intrude!
    A blood-red thing that writhes from out
    The scenic solitude!
    It writhes! – it writhes! – with mortal pangs
    The mimes become its food,
    And seraphs sob at vermin fangs
    In human gore imbued.

    Out – out are the lights – out all!
    And, over each quivering form,
    The curtain, a funeral pall,
    Comes down with the rush of a storm,
    While the angels, all pallid and wan,
    Uprising, unveiling, affirm
    That the play is the tragedy, “Man,”
    And its hero, the Conqueror Worm.

    ~Edgar Allen Poe

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Thank you, Matt. I stopped reading comments because they can be so unkind.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. marilyn sims says:

    LInds01 and fromscratchmom,

    I think you were with the “tribe” when we were discussing some aspect of marriage and I talked about “coverture”. The legally enforceable principle that removed PERSONHOOD from women once they were married.

    In any case, that particularly noxious bit of perversity was in full effect — especially as it pertained to a husband’s sexual accessibility to his wife — “until 1984 (when) the state of New York overturned an ugly legal notion called ‘the marital rape exclusion’ which had previously permitted a man to do anything he liked sexually to his wife, no matter how violent or coercive, since her body belonged to him (according to the doctrine of coverture).

    This quote about “the marital rape exclusion” I found in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book titled “Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage”

    This is a list of contents:
    Marriage and Surprises
    Marriage and Expectations
    Marriage and History
    Marriage and Infatuation
    Marriage and Women
    Marriage and Autonomy
    Marriage and Subversion
    Marriage and Ceremony
    I would recommend the chapter on Marriage and History.

    Speaking about her divorce Gilbert says,” .. I submit that it might have been useful for me, during those months of fevered moral torment, to have known a thing or two about the hostility with which Christianity actually regarded marriage for many centuries. “Give over thy stinking family duties!” instructed one English rector as late as the sixteenth century…”for under all there lies snapping, snarling, biting, horrid hypocrisy, envy, malice, evil surmising!”

    Or consider Saint Paul himself who wrote in his famous letter to the Corinthians, “It is not good for a man to touch a woman.”

    “So when modern-day religious conservatives wax nostalgic about how marriage is a sacred tradition that reaches back into history for thousands of years, they are absolutely correct, but in only one respect — only if they happen to be talking about Judaism.

    CHRISTIANITY SIMPLY DOES NOT SHARE THAT DEEP AND CONSISTENT HISTORICAL REVERENCE TOWARD MATRIMONY….For the first thousand years or so of Christian history the church regarded monogamous marriage as marginally less wicked than flat-out whoring — but only very marginally”.

    Also in this chapter,Gilbert discusses how marriage was a simple affair between two consenting adults before the Catholic church got involved and began telling the couple, among other things, what was permissible and not permissible to do in the “marriage bed”.

    Like

    • linds01 says:

      Wow, Marilyn. There is a lot of stuff here I didn’t know about. Not is such recent history.
      There is more to look into, read about here.
      Have to go for now :)
      Hope you have a great Sunday!

      Like

    • I do seem to recall, Marilyn, a discussion of coverture. :)

      I submit that some have misunderstood Paul’s meaning or context when he said it was good to not touch a woman. However there has certainly been a lot of what I would call “false teaching” in what some see as “the church” over the centuries that Christianity has been around. There have been several different gross perversions that have been bad for men and women alike, but most common examples lend themselves to more obvious sympathy for women! And it is disheartening for me to see people still struggling along with terrible notions and pushing them at others in defiance of what God really teaches. I’m so sorry for all the awful stuff that shouldn’t have ever been said much less taught.

      Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      Regarding Ellzabeth Gilbert, the saying “consider the source” comes to mind.

      FYI, she committed adultery during her first marriage, even though she admitted hubby #1 was a good guy and a good husband, who treated her well and loved her. The fling she was having fizzled, and ended on bad terms. She then bailed out of her marriage, got divorced, and spent some time traveling the world…as chronicled in the best-selling book (and later, movie) “Eat, Pray, Love.”

      In the movie, she is played by Juila Roberts and at the end she remarries to a handsome man in Indonesia where she finds true love, in the arms of her suave and handsome beau played by Javier Bardem. Cue the happy ending, as she lives happily ever after with a guy (Bardem) who is such a catch that he regularly dates some of the most beautiful women in the world (such as Penelope Cruz).

      Real life was a little different. The guy she married in Indonesia was 20 years her senior – she was in her 40’s, he was in his 60’s and not surprisingly, looked like an old man. Definitely no movie star looks – just a chubby, gray, balding old man. They married in order for him to get a Green Card and come to the States. They have since divorced, so that’s another failed marriage under her belt.

      (Gilbert’s first husband, that she bailed on, has been happily remarried for years now to a quite attractive, younger woman. They have a couple kids together now and seem to be a happy family. Gilbert herself never had kids and it’s far too late for her to have any now. I don’t know who she expects will care for her in her old age…I suppose she can just hire a caregiver, if her money doesn’t run out before then)

      So dem’s da facts. Just thought I throw that out there. I know that if I were a woman, Elizabeth Gilbert is one of the last women on Earth I’d take marriage and relationship advice from!

      Like

  23. marilyn sims says:

    Travis,

    I just read your entry about Matt’s statement/explanation of MBTTTR’s purpose and mission and I am now in a quandary.

    Should ALL of our exchanges deal EXCLUSIVELY with personally relevant stories about the challenges of marriage and what things might help, OR can we– should we deal with tangentially relevant issues like the feminism. At this point I can certainly see the wisdom of avoiding that topic altogether, and I often wonder if the subject is terribly “off-putting” to young people (i.e.thirty-ish) who might want to join the discussion..

    Also, in matters of religion, (it is an important support for millions who seek to sustain healthy marriages) how shall we proceed– shall we/can we avoid that topic altogether. I know that kindness, respect and civility in language is essential, but is it enough. This “tribe” has made a significant investment in this space . I know how much Matt’s ability to focus on his own personal failures – without resort to pettiness or defensiveness has meant to countless others. I believe his commitment to taking responsibility for those failures is what makes him and this space so special.

    I am turning to you for input because your perspectives have been consistently positive and direct and I think – at this critical point while he is busy fighting off alligators and other beasts– Matt would appreciate a supportive, manly response that will comport well with his efforts here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Travis B. says:

      marilyn sims, in terms of “tangentially relevant” topics, for my money, those rabbit holes are only useful when the discussion thereof can still be directly applied to practical use. When it’s tied more to a line of thinking of “is sexism knowingly or unknowingly contributing to friction/damage in my marital (or other important) relationship?” versus more high-level “History of Feminism” or “What Sexism looks like in Western Mongolia compared to the U.S.”-type discussions. If Matt (and I think most of us) are looking for discussions to pass the Kindness test, I’m also looking for them to pass the Can I Put This to Work in My Relationship? test. Personally speaking, I’ve come here for Help, for Advice, for Things I Can Put Into Action. The more the dialog turns to intellectual exercises for their own sake, the more I feel like MBTTTR’s best, most useful qualities aren’t being well served.

      In terms of religious discussion, that’s one where I feel I have to simply “suck it up” and plow through. Religion doesn’t factor into my life and (truly, no offense to many people I respect here who feel strongly otherwise) the Bible (and any other such theist document) holds as much credence for me as the contents of a fortune cookie, but I do recognize that that tome holds a powerful, transformative and fundamental role central many peoples’ navigation of relationships, so I have no right to squash lines of inquiry that incorporate it. Do I tend to privately roll my eyes and groan when I start seeing a bunch of posts that actually tie scripture to marital dynamics? Sure, but I would never be so egocentric as to say that MBTTTR must only proffer its wisdom in pieces I find palatable.

      Ultimately, though, when it comes to religion, I’ll continue to make use of the occasional philosophical nuggets of useful insight they might provide irrespective of any dirty’ commandments, but I will not tolerate so-called believers who use their good book to support and defend ways of treating our fellow Man (or Woman) that I personally find to be grotesque, cruel, male-aggrandizing, inhumane and grossly obsolete, while at the same time ignoring the same source’s admonishments against maligning people with words like “sword thrusts”, rather than ones that heal.

      Like

      • marilyn sims says:

        Travis,

        Thanks for such a thoughtful and thorough reply. As you know, I am an ardent feminist, and I want to be part of the solution here and not part of the problem.
        I will, from this point onward, focus on the “symptom” and whether some very exacting principle found ONLY among feminist teaching/literature would give relief

        I am 99% certain that will NOT be the case in 99% of the “symptoms” looking for a cure. I know I could find some other solution if I am disciplined enough to look for it and to choose it.

        I think if I emphasize the importance of forming loving partnerships, without using any feminist rhetoric, I might succeed in advancing discussions instead of hindering them or leading them down those intellectualized spirit-sucking rabbit holes that lead nowhere.

        I will continue to avoid religious discussions altogether. I do not find religious dogma/doctrines palatable.

        Like

      • Travis B. says:

        Sorry, auto-correct (and proof-reading) fail; that should have read: “I’ll continue to make use of the occasional philosophical nuggets of useful insight they might provide irrespective of any diety’s commandments…”

        Like

    • linds01 says:

      Marilyn,
      I think it is important to keep first things first- we are here to better ourselves and our relationships (for some, most especially their marriage). The other issues that occur within a marriage/relationship ect. should def. be open for discussion and while those may lead into larger social matters, those social matters are secondary to what is important here.
      They will happen, but they shouldn’t be the focus.

      Like

      • marilyn sims says:

        Hey linds01,

        I agree 100%. I have a tendency toward intellectualizing my problems rather than dealing with the more important emotional components.That “bleeds” over into my communication style and helps me avoid facing difficult issues. So from now on, I will focus on “what matters most” at MBTTTR. Thanks for your input.

        Like

  24. Donkey says:

    Fromscratchmom,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share about the community you admire and love. II’m not Christian, but there’s much there that I can appreciate. I think no matter what faith we adhere to, it’s critical that we become people of integrity. My oldest friend by the way (we’re been friends since we were 7!), is christan and we’ve managed pretty well to live in peace with each other. :) I love her sooo much!

    IB,

    Thank you for reaching out and responding to my thoughts. I can only repeat that it is very encouraging/comforting that not all who believe in wifely submission are red pillers. I certainly didn’t beleive that the two always went together, but red pillers do tend to be the loudest. :p

    What you say about a man being willing to sacrifize his life for his wife made me think of this: When that is true, that is indeed noble and chivalerous, but it’s just not enough (I’m not saying that you’re saying that it is) to qualify for being a good husband in my book (whether or not he is the head of the household).

    Because a common problem today is that many husbands may very will be willing to take a bullet for their wife (though I don’t know the numbers), but in everyday life they’re not willing to expend their life energy to the extent that they do and are responsible for roughly half of the total workload in the family. So the woman (not in all cases obviously, and sometimes it’s reversed) has to do not only her 50% but whatever additional amount her husband isn’t willing to do. And all that stress and work and unfairness can effectively make her sick and slowly kill her (or him when it’s reversed).

    (I do understand that getting to 50-50 on the hair is hardly possbile, and sometimes people are sick or something else is going on, and it’s up for discussion what amount of work is necessary).

    I can relate, somewhat to what you say about women finding freedom in submission. In school, somehow I almost always ended up being in charge of group assignments etc, and that was hardly always a welcome responsibility. I guess I just believe in sharing the power and the responsibility fairly equally in a relationship (and definitely in society, as in, I don’t feel one part of humanity should automatically be given power over another) But again, I do feel that people should be free to choose whatever relationship arrangement suits them.

    Marilyn,

    I too love the word partnership! :) I’m reading “The Chalice and the Blade” by Riane Eisler now, have you read it? If not I recommend you check it out! If you have any similar book recommandations for me, I’d be glad. :)

    Jeff,

    I definitely oppose female violence against men, just as I oppose male violence against women. I think Gottmanfan quoted some research once which stated that women tend to initiate violence most often in intimate relationship. though I could be remembering it wrong, so don’t take my word for it.

    But, I definitely do think the severity of the violence and the power relationship should be taken into account. Though it’s wrong, it’s less severe if someone slaps someone with an open hand than if they break their nose with a fast. And in my opinion, it’s worse if one partner is economically independent and is violent against the dependent partner. Same with physical size and ability in my book. Usually that does mean that it’s a more severe if a man is violent against a woman than the other way around, but not necessarily, say if he’s the one who’s smaller and weaker when it comes to muscle force, if he is frail because of age/illness etc.

    I would like for you to acknowledge that other people have experiences that are just as valid as yours, even when they’re different. You bring up examples of happy submissive wives, but there are also just as true stories about marriages who did not become happy until they also became egalitarian. You can’t pretend that those don’t exist. And again, the research from Gottman clearly shows that marriages where the husband accepts influence are the ones who tend to last and do well.

    Like

    • Donkey, I read an excellent article fromBusiness Insider recently that explored some relationship research that was very helpful to me.

      http://www.businessinsider.com/lasting-relationships-rely-on-traits-2015-11

      It even mentionsGottman research. Up to this most of what I’d read about relationship research focused on the negatives. That is useful too. When you’ve been subject to having a lot of tremendous negatives thrust on you and even giving in and becoming negative, you do benefit from exploring the realities of that, receiving some validation, learning to recognize where you’ve been guilty rather than hiding behind your pain as if you have a sandwich board that declares you to be totally innocent. But I’d begun to wonder (on a more serious level than previously) if there’s just no such thing as good guys or good marriages. How real is it? How rare?! How much are successful relationships about being totally differentiated rather than connected? Thick skinned and hard rather than sensitive and loving? Two people excellent at forgiveness but not ever becoming good at hurting each other less?

      Reading this and then spending some time meditating and praying and journaling was super beneficial! There’s validation in that too with some positive memories of who I’ve been at times. But I definitely have some more growth I want to engage in related to positive relationship skills!

      The scariest but also most fascinating part was trying to remember if the ex had ever used the positive constructive model. It was like trying to look into a dark room. But I don’t know what’s hidden in there. It wouldn’t be more of his negatives… At least I don’t *think* it would because I remember plenty of the times he reacted to me being happy with the other 3 models. I don’t know what it is. But I hope to find out! There would seem likely be some personal improvement on the other end of that journey!

      Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Interesting article. Was sad to read that only 3 out of 10 marriages are “successful” and that levels of satisfaction drop after the first few years of marriage. That was surprising to me – are things really that bad out there?

        My experience has been that as the years go by, you love each other more and more. As you prove your love and devotion to each other. Obviously that’s not happening in a lot of cases. Sad.

        I agree with the article that kindness is important in marriage. Also good values, a traditional outlook, a spiritual foundation, understanding, a good sense of submission on the part of the wife, a good sense of responsibility on the part of the husband, plenty of time for physical affection and intimacy, and a sense of comfort with each other.

        Well, that’s what I’d put in the book if I ever wrote a How-To guide to marriage, lol.

        P.S. Fromscratch, hope your growth in relationship skills works out well for you…you seem really excited

        Like

      • Interesting article, scratchmom. I assure you, good guys and good marriages do exist and they exist with more frequency than statistics reveal. For example, there is a false statistic that tries to claim, “half of all marriages end in divorce.” That’s actually not a statistic at all, it was a prediction made based on data collected in the 1970’s, the tale end of the free love generation. The theory was that if divorce rates continued to accelerate we would soon arrive at a place where half of all marriages end in divorce. That never happened, the trend actually began to reverse itself.

        I see they also report, “Contempt, they have found, is the number one factor that tears couples apart.” Contempt from the role of a wife, would be disrespect, an unwillingness to submit. From a husband’s perspective it would be an unwillingness to acknowledge her emotional needs, a failure to love. Women need love, men need respect, so scripture tells us “wives submit, husbands love.” If two people can pull that off, you are meeting one another’s needs. Contempt often stems from not getting your needs met.

        Like

      • ruralbethany says:

        It’s interesting, IB, you mention contempt.

        I’ve read that a few times. When my marriage was in it’s death throes, my ex mentioned to me that he’d read an article that said that very thing. And I realized that yes – I did have contempt for him. He was right. It hadn’t always been that way, and there was a very good reason for it, since he had been behaving in a contemptible way, but the truth is, when I realized that I felt that way, I also realized that there was no way I could respect him as a spouse again.

        I wonder, though, based on what you were saying, that he didn’t have a love/hate thing for me as well. Or perhaps a love/contempt thing. Loved me emotionally in his head, but behaved as if I didn’t matter. It’s kind of bizarre to think about.

        Like

    • marilyn sims says:

      HI Donkey,

      I read “The Chalice and The Blade” several years ago and loved it. I would not mind reading it again once I get through the stack of books collecting dust on the bookcase,

      Like

  25. Jeff Strand says:

    Donkey,

    We will just agree to disagree. I do not agree with egalitarian marriages, as I’ve explained before. If you want to learn more, try reading Laura Doyle’s “The Surrendered Wife” or checking out the videos made by “Peaceful Wife” on YouTube. Also pull up some of the sermons of Bishop Richard Williamson, also available on YouTube.

    I could not advise any man to marry a woman who doesn’t believe in wifely submission in marriage. Nor would I have done so myself, as I think it is a prescription for disaster. When you talk to “surrendered wives” like Laura Doyle, “Peaceful Wife” from YouTube, or even my own wife, you can hear the peace, love, and joy in their voice and in the their hearts. I believe this is what marriage was intended to be.

    You indicate that you are opposed to wifely submission in marriage. You’ve made clear you give no credence to the commands of God or the Church, which I would characterize as an act of rebellion against the Creator (following in the footsteps of Eve). And as a created being with free will, you can make your own choices and bear the consequences for them. Good luck with the path you take.

    Like

    • Donkey says:

      Hello Jeff,

      Yes, we can certainly agree to disagree about what kind of marriage we prefer, both for ourselves and as the norm in society. Though again, I definitely believe people should be free to choose together the kind of arrangement they prefer. I’m not asking you to adopt my belief, or to say that I’m right and you’re wrong.

      I’m simply asking you to please acknowledge that just as the examples you know of happy marriages with submissive wives and dominant husbands are true, the examples others know of happy egalitarian marriages are true aswell.

      Both can be true at the same time. That is not agreeing with my view about what kind of marriage is preferable. You can certainly still believe that your kind of marrige is morally superior. It’s simply being intellectually honest and extending the courtesy to others that I must assume you wish others extend to you: believe that just as you’re telling the truth about your experiences with marriage, so are they. You’ve seen joy in submissive wive’s eyes, I’ve seen joy in egalitarian wive’s eyes.

      It’s pretty much the same as saying that just as you can have a black labrador, other people can still have yellow one. The fact that your lab is black, doesn’t make it less true that some other labs aren’t.

      Like

  26. Oh, Donkey, I meant to say that I appreciated what you said about domestic violence, both the part about it going both ways and about some factors making it more egregious.

    I think there are a few factors that contribute to people talking about women being violent towards men less than they talk about the other. 1) Men themselves from extremely young ages in childhood train everyone around them to not help them in conflict with girls and to pretend to not notice or help when a girl gets the better of them. It’s starts at such young ages that I even sometimes wonder if it’s totally biology, which is rarely my position on the nature vs nurture debate.

    2) men have significantly more upper body strength and more of a likelihood of doing serious harm with a moment’s bad reaction. When you know someone made a red mark that disappeared in a minute or two you might be more likely to furrow your brows and have your own private thoughts about how wrong the action was. When you know someone broke someone else’s nose or gave them serious internal injuries you may be more likely to intervene or seek intervention.

    3) The concept we’ve discussed before about who escalates negativity in relationships versus who tends to match it or try to lower it comes into play in many cases that move from emotional abuse to physical abuse. Plenty of us know stories of people who raised the ante from a small mark to a serious injury. It doesn’t make the initial hostility any less wrong. But it still manages to overshadow it the minds of most people.

    I do know one terrible story though from an elderly friend who grew up with an abusive mother where the mom eventually shot the dad who had never once responded in kind. So there’s definitely real stories to prove that feminine nature being often more gentle doesn’t stop some women from being crazy and/or extremely evil!

    Like

    • Donkey says:

      Thanks Fromscratchmom!

      I think we’re pretty much in agreement, and good point about escalating negativity. If someone slaps me and that’s it, then obviously it’s wrong, but it hardly justifies me hitting them in the temple with a frying pan.

      Yeah, I saw an awful video about a (female) nurse or nurse assistant (I don’t remember) who was violent against an elderly man with dementia or something, and I think he was also bed ridden, at least most of the time. His family (who had hired her) had an inkling that something was off so they installed a hidden camera and caught it on tape.

      I think the power dimension is so so important, and yes, also the ability to do more physical harm.

      And the article was interesting. If 3 in 10 marriages end up happy that’s not enough obviously, but at least a significant minority.

      Like

  27. Jeff Strand says:

    I think the worst form of DV that females practice against males is to falsely accuse them of DV or sexual assault. I have seen this time and time again. This is much worse than actual violence, because bruises and even broken bones heal. But I’ve seen guys have their lives ruined, lose careers they’ve worked all their lives for, lose custody of their kids, etc…because of such accusations.

    Things have gotten so bad now that on all the red pill sites, they just flat out tell the young guys to never marry. Period. It’s too risky. Personally, I believe in marriage and hate to see that happening…but they’ve got a point. If things don’t change, more and more men will be going on a marriage strike.

    We need to raise awareness about this. Part of it is, women who call the cops and make a false accusation need themselves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Have THEIR lives ruined. When this starts happening on a regular basis, then things will change. Until then, the marriage strike will gather force.

    P.S. From personal experience, every guy I know has either been formally falsely accused of DV or rape…or at least had a gal threaten to make such a charge. I’m not exaggerating here. Every. Single. One. But very few if any women that I or my wife know are getting beaten by their husbands or even by ex-bf’s.

    This has become an epidemic. I could give many, many examples I know of personally. But I’ll just give one for now. A friend was going through a divorce. His wife accused him to the courts of being sexually inappropriate with his 9 year old daughter. In court, the judge investigated and finally the wife’s story came apart and she admitted she made it up. The judge was furious and read her the riot act in court, but that was it. A verbal tongue lashing from the judge. NO CHARGES WERE FILED AGAINST HER for the false accusation. So she had nothing to lose. Disgraceful.

    Like

    • Donkey says:

      “Part of it is, women who call the cops and make a false accusation need themselves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

      I agree with you there, false accusations are a despiccable crime and should definitely be prosecuted. But, to the best of our knowledge, it’s still far less common than sexual assault and other violence. As I believe you know, many rapes never get taken to the police, of those that do, few make it into the courts and few end in conviction.

      “P.S. From personal experience, every guy I know has either been formally falsely accused of DV or rape…or at least had a gal threaten to make such a charge. I’m not exaggerating here. Every. Single. One. But very few if any women that I or my wife know are getting beaten by their husbands or even by ex-bf’s.”

      Wow, we must move in extremely different circles. I will say that many people won’t admit to being beaten, even if you’re very close to them. Personally, I know of no one who has made false accusations. But I definitely know people who’ve been sexually assualted and/or battered by partners or fathers. But there are few people I know personally who have been battered by partners (that I know of). But I did read of someone who admitted placing false charges against her boyfriend as revenge for him cheating or something. I don’t know how it ended. And I read about someone who even sent a Facebook message to his rape victim, apologizing for what he did to her. And yet he still didn’t end up convicted.

      Lots of ugly stories of many kinds for sure.

      Like

    • “Things have gotten so bad now that on all the red pill sites, they just flat out tell the young guys to never marry.”

      Jeff’s points about women using the system to abuse men are quite valid. Indeed, even kids are being taught how to manipulate and control their parents by calling the cops on them. Young men are now getting in on the game too, so “she threw a banana peel at me, I’ll call the cops and show he,” is a real thing in the world. This learned behavior of using the system for revenge and retaliation is now epidemic within our culture. On the internet, people will actually swat you, report you for some alleged illegal behavior and hope a swat team shows up at your house.

      As to the red pills however, I have to tell you, the level of dysfunction so many of those guys exhibit, would drive just about any one to desperate measures. The degree of hatred, contempt, complete disrespect for women that they show is actually a bit scary. What’s even worse is that some men are so lost, so confused, that they believe this is the epitome of masculinity.

      So, while they endlessly claim they are being falsely accused of domestic violence, they are also saying things like “throw acid in her face, leave the bitch in a shallow grave,and I can’t wait until they’re all beheaded.” And it can get even more violent, even more graphic, this endless celebration of testosterone and fantasies of sexual violence.

      Like

      • Yikes, IB. I admire you, but I truly don’t know how you do it to follow all that evil. I simply don’t run in circles or follow Internet communities where people display such intentional evil character.

        I have a lot of experience speaking with women who have been victims of rape or molestation (not from within an ongoing romantic relationship). I have some experience helping women who are victims of extreme and ongoing DV, like hospitalization and attempted murder level serious DV. But among people I know personally or feel any personal friendship with I don’t know of a single story of marital rape nor a single story of false DV accusations. Weirdly the one story I know that would sound somewhat like that was my own story even though I didn’t actually make any accusation. The details of how it happened are too bizarre to try to explain but it was beyond unbelievable being told by the government that it wasn’t up to me, that I had no say in it. Even though the guy had shoved me physically it wasn’t a pattern and it didn’t result in injury or ongoing fear of violence from him. He had actually taught me some self-defense moves in the past. (AND although he has some serious sin in his life that he’s never corrected I’ll tell one great thing from his past. He actually along with a sparring partner of his rescued two women in our apartment complex who had been being held prisoner by a serial rapist.)
        In any case, I did not want anything to do with the police inserting themselves into the situation the day he shoved me. Luckily after the police did that the DA later made the decision to drop it rather than try to force the issue further. That was 25 or more years ago with the serial cheater who was not a physical abuser aside from the one shoving incident that he was caught in. He wasn’t a “good guy”. He had the typical 4 horsemen thing, well mostly two specific ones of the horsemen and he was certainly a philanderer but he normally had control of his temper at least in so far as physical violence against other human beings goes. But as with all things, you can never own another person’s reaction or mistakes. So he went on to other marriages, other divorces. He had a pattern in his real faults.

        Those red pill-ers …um…no, just no. I sincerely hope and pray that they all do abstain from marriage! I think maybe a pre-marriage investigation to make sure a guy doesn’t have an online persona of hating, abusing, or raping, women might be something a lot of women need done before marriage. Oh or fantasizing about same or inciting other men to the same entitled masculinist evils!

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        IB,

        I’ve never seen talk about throwing acid on a woman’s face or leaving her in a shallow grave. What I have seen is plenty of talk about how “all women are whores” and “pump ’em and dump ’em”. Which is crass, but still assumes consent on the part of the woman.

        It’s true there is a lot of bitterness at times on RP sites. Again, I understand where a lot of it is coming from. But it’s funny, if I post on those sites I get ridiculed for still recommending marriage (to the right kind of girl) and saying “not all women are like that”, yet here I’m a knuckle-dragging caveman, lol. It seems I can’t win!

        I love women in general, but not feminsts…who I see as being at war with their feminine nature. I just avoid them IRL, have nothing to do with them, I don’t need that kind of negative energy in my life. My wife is not only NOT a feminist, she is very much an anti-feminist…and that suits me just right.

        As far as them “endlessly claiming they are being falsely accused of DV”, I can tell you I have been falsely accused 3 times (where the police were called). In none of those cases did I even lay a hand on anyone, they were totally bogus claims. In addition, there was another time (with a different girl) where in her exact words she threatened to “hit myself in the face, call the cops and tell them you did it”. A different girl threatened to have me charged with rape when I told her (after a brief fling) that I wasn’t interested in continuing to date her. (No, none of these cases involve my wife)

        And that’s just me, but every guy I know has similar stories. Every single one. So believe me when I tell you, this has become an epidemic. Like I said earlier, it won’t stop until they start locking these women up and ruining THEIR lives.

        In the meantime, I have no doubt more men will go to RP sites and more men will get bitter. It’s understandable. They’ve seem too many good guys get destroyed.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        “Those red pill-ers …um…no, just no. I sincerely hope and pray that they all do abstain from marriage!”

        Lol, I’ve been saying that about feminists for years! Or maybe they should only marry each other, now that would be interesting!

        Like

      • Well you actually made we want to ask for clarification with your joke. You want the feminists and the masculinists to marry each other?! Just asking! I think it’d be a bloodbath. I guess that would get them all out of the way so that however few people who care about human souls and human connections over gender wars could find each other more easily. But I don’t think I could live through the many massively skewed stories and out and out lies they’d tell about each other or the eventual murder stories at the end of each unholy Union.

        Like

  28. linds01 says:

    Just want to give my thanks and admiration to IB, Gottman, Donkey, Anita, Marilyn, and Mom who are infinitely more intelligent, articulate and kind than myself at present.
    I am grateful for your words, your ability and your participation here.
    You guys (as well as Travis, Drew, Matt ) – Sorry if I am missing anyone obvious! Are the reasons I come back.
    I hope this place continues to be what it has been for me. If you guys are here, I think it can be.
    Love!
    Busy week coming up!
    I may post an Instagram link if anyone were interested in some pictures of me in San Francisco!!
    Again, thank you guys for being you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • *hand flies up* I’m interested. I just got Instagram so that I can follow my 18yo’s posts there while she’s away. I’m so thankful for having so much connection like that while she’s way down there at my alma mater. Today I heard, through our little family grapevine, a cute story about a boy trying to flirt with her and her using her puppy dog eyes to silently convince her other two friends that were standing there to rescue her from it. I’m cracking up because there won’t always be someone to intervene. She’s definitely going to get flirted with sometimes. Poor kid, cursed with cuteness in a world she knows is full of guys who wrongly put value on such vanity. Oh well. Her sister assured me it was the wrong kind of guy to be a good match for her and it sounded like it was. I may have mentioned before that she is quite literally the best read person I know. A guy is going to have to have a good bit going on in the IQ and reading departments to inspire any admiration and attraction in her. But even with that she’ll be fairly determined to not just go to school to get her MRS. It’s just not what she’s after at the moment. And I’ve always encouraged my kids to not toy around with giving pieces of their hearts away to a bunch of different people in dating around before they’re mature enough for marriage.

      Liked by 1 person

      • linds01 says:

        :) Young love is so fun.
        You can find me at lenz001. I forgot I had an account. Absolutely nothing has been ever posted on it!
        I hope to get some beautiful shots- I mean come on, the Pacific coast highway!! :)

        Like

    • marilyn sims says:

      Hey linds01,

      You are valued here. Please be loving, patient and kind to YOURSELF first. I truly believe such choices will lead you eventually to places of peace and rest. Be safe out there.

      Love follows you ALWAYS! We will be here when you return.

      Like

    • Donkey says:

      Aww, thanks! You’re a valued member here Lindsey.
      I would love to see your pictures, but I don’t have Instagram and don’t plan on getting it just now, as I spend way too much time online as it is. :p

      Like

  29. ruralbethany says:

    I know I’ve mentioned this before, but this may be one more reason if you aren’t already thinking about it, but to expand the blog into a forum community. The beautiful thing about most forums is the ability for one person to block another, on an individual and case by case basis.

    I know, I mentioned “eye roll and scroll” above but I will be honest, the entire tone of this comments section community has changed in the last week and I would really love to not have to eye roll and scroll :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • linds01 says:

      Beth!
      I don’t want to say anything in fear that it will jinx it, but there appears to be some changes in attitudes. Whether that lasts or not is to be seen. I still like the forum idea, but it may be up to one of us to start it (with Matt’s approval if it is associated with MBTTTR.)
      Or/Also (I don’t know if that approved English usage, but I like to be creative :) ..), if there is going to be more moderation here, either now or in the future, could that be farmed out to one of the members here? (Donkey or Lisa come to mind- not to volunteer anyone or anything…).
      That was just a thought.

      Like

      • ruralbethany says:

        Yes possibly, truth be told I’ve considered on more than one occasion starting a “Crone Island” Facebook group :) Which is relevant to the Metafilter Thread of Amazingness stuff but would kind of exclude the men here and I kind of lump the community here together with the MF stuff, generally speaking. I suspect that it would not be a problem for Matt to get someone good to help moderate (I’d volunteer except my internet times are so limited it would be kind of pointless) although logistically not sure how that would work.

        Like

  30. linds01 says:

    Matt,
    I know you’re busy, but if you can please be sure to read the post/thread I addressed to FSM and you. I think it is important.

    Like

  31. Donkey says:

    Hello Jeff. I have a few things I’d like to comment on, one thing I already posted, but I’m posting it again in case you missed it among the many comments.

    ABOUT FREEDOM AND WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE
    1. You don’t think it’s ok to have your freedom limited (in this case, as a potential or actual home owner), even though it could protect someone else from unwanted consequences (in this case people of colour from racism).

    2. But you do think it’s ok that women have their freedom limited (in this case, they potentially shouldn’t have the right to vote) because it protects you from unwanted consequences (in this case, too many laws and regulations which you fear will cause a society you don’t want)

    While I don’t agree with you on the point about home owners rights vs potential racism, I can still understand the argument about freedom for the individual. But it’s no longer coherent that you use freedom to argue your point when you’re later on willing (you at least seem sympathetic to Ann Coulter’s thoughts on this) to severely restrict someone elses freedom to protect you from something you don’t want.

    It seems like you want to have your cake and eat it too. You want all the benefits but you don’t think you should have any of the down sides, either in the form of restricting your freedom to protect others or potentially ending up in a society you don’t like because everyone is afforded the same freedom as yourself and therefore your wishes aren’t any more priviliged than those of others. But you do think it’s ok for other people to suffer the downsides (having their freedom and influence restricted by not having voting rights, experiencing things like racism).

    Don’t you find this hypocritical? If yes, why do you keep this belief? If no, what are your reasons for not finding this hypocritical?

    (I don’t wish to get into this as it’s not the main point, but I don’t see how you can conclude men are more rational than women as a general thing. To me, this is just a narrative that a priviliged group can claim as truth, that their way of thinking/operating is rational and others are not, when it’s probably a matter of difference in values/way of thinking. See Matts many posts about his aha-moments about dishes by the sink etc. There are also many facts which do not support your claim that men are more rationale. For instance, men show more reckless driving, have unhealthy eating habits, commit more violent and high risk crimes and make plenty of other choices which, on average, shorten their life spans and places themselves and other ones at risk.)

    ABOUT BELIEVING OTHER PEOPLE’S EXPERIENCES:
    Yes, we can certainly agree to disagree about what kind of marriage we prefer, both for ourselves and as the norm in society. Though again, I definitely believe people should be free to choose together the kind of arrangement they prefer. I’m not asking you to adopt my belief, or to say that I’m right and you’re wrong.

    I’m simply asking you to please acknowledge that just as the examples you know of happy marriages with submissive wives and dominant husbands are true, the examples others know of happy egalitarian marriages are true aswell.

    Both can be true at the same time. That is not agreeing with my view about what kind of marriage is preferable. You can certainly still believe that your kind of marrige is morally superior. It’s simply being intellectually honest and extending the courtesy to others that I must assume you wish others extend to you: believe that just as you’re telling the truth about your experiences with marriage, so are they. You’ve seen joy in submissive wive’s eyes, I’ve seen joy in egalitarian wive’s eyes.

    It’s pretty much the same as saying that just as you can have a black labrador, other people can still have yellow one. The fact that your lab is black, doesn’t make it less true that some other labs aren’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gottmanfan says:

      Donkey,
      I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, you ask excellent questions.

      Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Donkey and Matt,

        All kidding aside, if this blog is going to continue to allow debate about women being able to vote then are we going to have to introduce all the many reasons why men voting has resulted in a police state for balance? I’m sure and I could both make a good case for that if we wanted to waste our time.

        I am just weary, weary of this stuff. I’m holding out hope that the digital iron fist will be able to redirect the conversation in better directions.

        Please Matt! And I say this not as a delicate female whose “biology”needs your protection as my male tribal leader.

        I say this as someone who misses the good discussions/debates previously held on this blog’s comments that helped to get us all to wrestle with how to understand relationships better so we can change ourselves to do and be better.

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Matt,

        Perhaps another idea to keep things balanced would be to provide equal time for a discussion of the need for male submission for every comment that is made for the need for female submission.

        I believe in mutual submission but I would be happy to provide the comments if we want to clutter up the comment sections to keep it from being SO unbalanced with comments about wifely submission.

        If given the task I could always quote more Gottman about the critical factor in a good marriage is for the husband to accept his wife’s influence. Happy to twist that into the need for men to submit.

        Like

        • Matt says:

          Thank you for your kind offer.

          I’ve put in a formal request for all “wifely submission” messages moving forward to be banned from ongoing conversations on new posts, unless the conversation is VERY SPECIFICALLY about wifely submission.

          I’ve had just about enough of the bullshit.

          Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Matt,

        Although I don’t want to do that of course. It’s a waste of my time and your blog comment space.

        Could the digital iron fist consider another option to greatly reduce the amount of comment space devoted to the call for women to submit?

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Gott,

        If you want to post comments about the need for “male submission” in marriage, feel free. I’m sure Matt would say you don’t need his permission. Perhaps some of the commenters would find it interesting – if I’m not mistaken, there is a whole movement for male submission in marriage that’s called “Taken in Hand”. It’s sort of the mirror image of the “Surrendered Wife” movement. If any commenters here are living such a female-led marriage, I’m sure all would be interested in hearing about it, and how it is working out for them

        Regarding the possible negative consequences of female suffrage, it’s an interesting topic but not really completely on-topic for this blog, which seems to be about marriage issues and advice. That’s why I touched on it only briefly when Donkey asked me about it. Not something I would discuss in detail here.

        Hope you had a good weekend Gott. It’s Monday already!

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Matt,

        You said:

        “I’ve put in a formal request for all “wifely submission” messages moving forward to be banned from ongoing conversations on new posts, unless the conversation is VERY SPECIFICALLY about wifely submission.

        I’ve had just about enough of the bullshit.”

        Thanks to the iron fist for limiting the wifely submission comments to the past where it belongs!

        I assume you aren’t planning a future miniseries on “wifely submission” where comments might be relevant? Lol

        And I agree wholeheartedly with your last sentence.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Strand says:

      Donkey,

      I don’t see any way women’s suffrage is going to be repealed. I just find it interesting to discuss some of the ramifications, which involve moving towards a nanny state and then a police state. We are watching this happen before our very eyes.

      If granting women’s suffrage leads to a police state, then which of the two is preferable? It’s an interesting question.

      Regarding your second question, I don’t doubt that you can always find an individual case to prove something. Just like you can find some individual male “chubby chaser” who’s turned on my morbidly obese, 300 lb women. That doesn’t mean it’s then fair to say that men in general have no specific preference when it comes to female body size. Because, in the main, they def do.

      Just like, in the main, the kinds of marriages I describe are more successful. I see it myself all the time. Gee, it’s almost like God knew what He was doing when He commanded wives to submit to their husbands, huh? Who’d have thunk it, lol?

      Like

  32. Jeff Strand says:

    Here’s another thought on the topic of wifely submission and why it seems so many women are resistant to the idea.

    I asked my wife about this, to get a female opinion. She really made me think. She said there’s probably 2 factors involved: one is female rebellion, which is as old as the Garden of Eden. Which I totally agree with her on. But the other one made me stop for a minute – she said “You have to understand hon, these other women don’t have a man like you to submit to. You make it so easy and such a pleasure to submit to you as my husband. Why do you think my personal motto is ‘husband knows best?’ It’s because I know you always have the best interests of our whole family at heart. So I have no worries when it comes to submitting to you and never questioning the decisions you make.”

    This makes sense, because she had been talking to one of her girlfriends and promoting the idea of wifely submission, and the gf said “Easy for you to say, you’re married to a man like Jeff. But my husband is such a hot mess, if I gave him the reins and submitted to him, we’d end up living under a bridge”.

    So I’m curious if some of the wives who comment on here would agree with this. Is it not so much the idea of wifely submission you object to, as it is the idea that your particular man isn’t up to the task? Because as one husband told another, in the vein of stepping up so your wife is in comfortable in your headship of the family, “If you want your wife to submit to you, you have to give her something to submit TO”. I always thought that was great advice.

    And it could be a little of both. Maybe there is a problem with some of the men – they are just too selfish and immature. But as Laura Doyle points out in her book “The Surrendered Wife”, all too often the wife keeps her hubby in that immature state by mommying him. She herself had to make a conscious effort here – for example, when driving somewhere, she stopped criticizing the route her husband would take to get there. She stopped telling him how to do every little thing. Basically, she stopped being his mommy. And she was shocked at how positive the results were for her marriage! Her husband began to “man up” and assume the role of husband and man of the house, and she realized she had unintentionally been preventing this all along. So her husband went from a “man-child” she could never imagine submitting to…to a strong, responsible, capable husband that she could feel very comfortable submitting to.

    Laura Doyle has reported that since her book came out, she’s been getting feedback from lots of other wives that the same has happened to them! (Give Laura Doyle’s book a read if you haven’t seen it, what you got to lose?)

    So I would live to hear thoughts on this. Specifically:

    Is the problem with wifely submission simply that there aren’t enough good husbands to go around that wives would feel comfortable and secure in submitting to?

    And if this is indeed a problem, to what extent can the wives themselves improve this by changing the way they treat their husbands…as Laura Doyle discovered?

    P.S. I fully recognize that some men are so immature and selfish that there is no real hope for them to become the kind of husband a surrendered wife can depend on. Yes, I get that…I’m not saying all men are perfect. But in these cases, I would simply advise young women not to marry these men, just as I advise young men not to marry feminists. Problem solved. Or more accurately, let him be someone else’s problem…not yours.

    Choose wisely in your choice of mate! A wise man once said 90% of your happiness or misery in life will follow from this one decision.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Jeff,

      This is getting stupid.

      As a personal favor to me… pretty please… could you refrain from discussing women submitting to men in any new post I publish that doesn’t have themes of submission in them?

      As a compromise, I invite you to go back through all 500-plus older posts where you feel it might be appropriate to opine on wifely submission and have at it.

      But this whole thing is starting to piss me off.

      You MUST have better things to do with your life than come in here and lecture WOMEN trying to have a conversation with Red Pill messages intended for young men choosing lifelong spouses.

      I ENCOURAGE you to have those conversations with young guys who value your opinions. That would be great. People need to actually think about major life choices.

      Just because YOU don’t get upset by reverse-sexism, and just because I don’t get offended by some of your bullshit lines (example: “I fully recognize that some men are so immature and selfish that there is no real hope for them to become the kind of husband a surrendered wife can depend on. Yes, I get that…I’m not saying all men are perfect.” Which suggests you ARE mature and unselfish and, dare I utter it?, “perfect”), doesn’t mean what you’re doing is okay.

      Please stop.

      Please leave people alone to have conversations germane to whatever it is they’re discussing.

      Please feel free to dissimenate your opinions on any inactive conversations where people are ACTIVELY upset by your behavior.

      You don’t get to piss a bunch of people off over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, and then claim “But I didn’t MEAN to offend anyone!”

      Your very state of being is offensive, Jeff.

      And I’ve tried hard to be kind. I will continue to try hard. But the length of time just shriveled way the hell up to Not Much Longer.

      Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        “Your very state of being is offensive, Jeff”.

        Wow. Ok, well hyperbole aside, I shall tread lightly in future blog posts…since you asked and it’s your blog, Matt.

        Btw, if you do decide to post something on wifely submission in the future, I recommend you do a piece on Laura Doyle’s book “The Surrendered Wife.” She has turned this best selling book into a whole movement that apparently has helped many married couples improve their marriages dramatically. She has a lot of stories in this regard. So, just throwing that out there in case you get interested at some point.

        Have a good week my friend.

        Like

    • Jeff, not only is there truly a problem with men not stepping up as mature adults, there is a problem with men just flat out behaving badly. I’m sorry to say it but the truth is many many men are unkind, selfish, and/or overtly mean in their words and demeanor. Many men refuse to acknowledge much less honor the command to love their wives. Many men try but only approach loving their wives in a very “manly fashion” refusing to care how she really feels, refusing to learn what really makes her feel loved, protected and valued, refusing to see her feminine nature as different from his own feelings or from his guy friends, focusing on a man’s approach to and feeling about love, respect, sex and claiming any struggles or hurts she has are her being in rebellion or being crazy. It’s incredibly small-minded and mean-spirited. Over years it adds up to a tremendous amount of emotional abuse.

      You have over and over thrown out the fact that wives submitting is a Biblical command, but not once have you asserted 1Peter 3:7. In general when some men refer to it, many use it as a proof text to claim negatives or failings about women but totally ignore the command to themselves which is not only the main point but actually has a profound consequence attached to it. How much wiser are the men who use their intellect to get the real meaning of “weaker vessel”, valuable, but breakable like a depression glass or fine china vase, than those who look down on women as less than men and care nothing for their own prayers reaching God’s ears?! You have several times used the phrase “female rebellion” which you apparently have some kind of theological construct attached to. You’ve referenced the garden of Eden and it appears that you lay the entire concept of sin entering the world on Eve. But you’ve woefully neglected to address Romans 5:12. I’ve heard many bad teachings, some going back hundreds and hundreds of years that make this mistake, but God’s word is still God’s word no matter how many centuries go by that some groups of men deny it. If sin entering the world was Adam’s failing and God says that it was then many men have a lot of rethinking to do about the wrongness of this attitude of blaming women as rebels needing discipline or to be sexually exploited and dumped as you’ve advocated for and the rightness of how better to teach, lead, and lift up…and to help a wife get to heaven because if you don’t care about that above all else for her well-being and view it as totally aside from this abusive disciplinarian/authoritarian stance implied by the other stuff then you’re not worthy of being a husband to a godly woman.

      If men want women who see and feel the exact same way they do, then it seems they might as well have married men. Same should be said for how sex is experienced. Do men really want men? Most of the ones married to women want women and therefore they ought to step up and stretch themselves to see how to be good at loving a woman. Men are not free of an obligation to be good to and to understand women, they just act like they are. Well according to research significantly high numbers of men anyway. IB blogs quite a bit about what women need and how differently they feel and experience romance, love, sex and life. She’s very good at it and is highly recommend her over myself any day of the week.

      Here are a couple of generalities for as far as generalities can be useful:

      Men seem to like to be objectified. Women can often be very hurt by it. Men should tread carefully and be willing to give a crap if he’s hurting her or presenting her with hard struggles. (Hurt is not the opposite of respect!)

      Men feel and need to feel the connection and love they experience through having sex. Women need to feel safe and loved and then they want to express and explore that love in that way. I can promise you your wife wouldn’t be so great at the best sex moments or the tired but willing sex moments if she felt unsafe around you or constantly hurt by you. It’s a critical difference! But many women are treated abysmally by men who refuse to try to understand it and work with it as a basic reality.

      You happen to have a wife that you naturally lucked into having a good glove in hand fit with between your love languages. You don’t present yourself as a guy who worked hard at learning to love her. You present yourself as a guy who won the lottery but assumes all the guys who didn’t just got the very unlucky end of the stick because you think most women are crap and deserving of having their hearts broken. I’d venture to guess based on the bits of insight you’ve shared about your wife that her top live language is words of affirmation or if not that then that one probably doesn’t score too much lower than her top love language in how many questions lean that way. Why don’t you ask her to take the online quiz and see? What do you suppose happens in a marriage where a woman ranks that as the least of her needs and the only thing that her husband does to “love” her is to give her compliments? What do you suppose happens if that is her top love language and her husband happens to be “a man of few words” who is certain that she knows because he’s certain he shows her in a million little ways and especially by being a mr steady who goes to work everyday to provide well? I’d also venture to guess that your wife might be a highly verbal/oral person. Maybe not. These are just educated guesses. The clues you’ve put out have been few and far between. Some men struggle with their wife being that way because they don’t want all the conversation she needs out of him. But you sometimes like talking with your wife don’t you? Y’all naturally come close to matching each other in the area, yes? (And maybe she also gets good conversation from a friend or relative if she’s still generally more verbal than you.) Can you begin to see how everyone is different? Every marriage is different? And the human complexities deserve thoughtfulness and attention to detail rather than a manly insistence that if she were submitting everything would be awesome? To be honest you’ve put some terrible advice out there, stuff that men basically use as a weapon against women. You, and they, wrongly see marital conflict as proof of disrespect on a wife’s part. It’s not that a wife who’s verbal/oral is best although being a very verbal/oral woman myself I know what the benefits are to a lover, and it’s not that having some other type of personality trait makes the best wife or the best husband. It’s all the stuff that we package up to call love as described in 1Corinthians 13.

      If you read it you’ll find plenty to rebuke all the men who puff out their chest and bluster out their manliness or their innocence or how wronged they’ve been by a woman not submitting and stomping on their very important manhood and complain of their wives being awful in the face of how great they are as men.

      All sin and fall short. All require love, forgiveness, growth, and many other things to make it.

      Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Fromscratch,

        Wow, that was quite a reply. Thank you for the effort.

        The funny thing is, I am actually quite a romantic. For example, like I said earlier, if I go to a RP site I get slammed for saying men should not give up on marriage, not all women in this country are horrible marriage material, etc. I truly enjoy being married, having a wife, having kids, and so on. As far as “winning the lottery”, it’s like I always tell my wife when she goes on about how lucky she was to find and marry me – we’re not perfect, but we’re perfect for each other.

        Hey, maybe some people feel that they could never fit into a marriage with traditional gender roles. That’s their call. But I see so much denigration of such roles in today’s society that I wanted to point out the benefits to them. That’s the same thing Laura Doyle was trying to do – she said many couples were initially hesitant but reported great success once they tried out such a relationship dynamic with an open mind.

        Marriage can be such a blessing, as is family in general. It seems like there’s a lot of strife and heartbreak out there, which can be pretty depressing. My wife and I can just choose to ignore it, to stay in “our bubble” as we call it – but our kids will be out there before too long, dating and looking for a spouse. So we will have to deal with it through them. We try to raise our kids rights, and especially to raise our daughters so that they will make good wives – they take sewing classes, tennis, and so on…and their mother teaches them all the domestic skills that go into running a household, laundry, cooking, etc. My wife even wants to send them to cotillion school, which is kind of like a finishing school like debutantes would go to, to learn to act properly in society as a lady and have very good manners. So with the effort we’re making, we hope they will make excellent wives and will marry good men and have happy marriages. Our son we don’t worry much about.

        Not sure if that addresses everything in your post, you had a lot of “meat” in there. If you don’t mind me asking, what do you think of the question I posed in my prior post…about if part of the reason you don’t have more wives willing to embrace wifely submission in marriage is because they don’t feel the men they could be married to/are married to are up to the task? That they don’t trust their husbands (or potential husbands) enough to submit to them? This is a question I’d really be interested to see addressed from a female point of view.

        Like

      • I’m quite possibly the wrong person to ask since I don’t have a problem with the submission concept. But I do know some of the history, At the root of modern feminism and the woman’s suffrage movement there was initially a lot of backlash from real women trying to find answers to real problems. Among possible answers for modern feminists, based on things women who have a problem with it say, some feel that it lowers them to be in submission to anyone and some see the power it gives to someone else as a probable circumstance to corrupt that person as power does generally corrupt and many men prove day in and day out to be corrupt in their mishandling of it. So while they may or may not care to protect him from becoming corrupt they will care to protect themselves from being the person he’s oppressing as they are helping him learn to be corrupt. There’s a lot of truth to this which is why I think the responsibility is on you as a man who sees benefit in it to stop focusing on telling women to give over that power and to start teaching men (and your sons) the other side of the coin. You seem to believe they’ll naturally be fine, as if their position holds no pitfalls aside from choosing the right woman in the first place. But I’d suggest that it holds many pitfalls and a man could just as easily marry a great woman and turn her heart toward pain and bitterness as he can marry the wrong woman. He has to be the right man first and foremost.

        I’m trying to remember if it was you or if I’m confusing you with a male commenter on another blog I read who recently mentioned people missing heaven and ending up in eternal torment. If you believe in heaven and hell, and if you believe that there’s significant danger that many will miss heaven, then put women out of your head for a moment to consider that all the men who may miss it have a significant likelihood in their messed up selves (in not being who God wants them to be) of not being good for anyone in this life.

        Really God teaches men to serve women just as he teaches women to serve men, differently but to serve and to sacrifice for nevertheless. So feminists are in opposition to that in a way, but no more so than any man who engages in the same war of the sexes from his opposite position.

        Like

      • Btw, I do know about cotillion. On the one hand I would send my kids, (personal preference only) and I can’t anyway since we’re not living in the south, but I do teach them some manners and etiquette and I do regularlyexpose them to people who actually behave well rare as that is to find in this world. I think of it as a necessity. I recently had an encounter between my 16yo and myself and another person that lasted a few hours and the woman heard me daughter say, “yes ma’am” to me when asked to do a job. She about looked like someone had hit her she was so surprised. Then she commented on how long it had been since the last time she’d heard a kid say that. It’s also awesome to teach them to be prepared for their marriage roles. I’m currently enjoying watching my 25yo son being a loving husband and father the last couple of years although, to be frank, he grew up with the crap end of the stick for good male role models on being a husband and father.

        And I teach all three of my kids that you can’t necessarily plan to mutually fall for a godly person and get married by a certain age or at all; you can’t necessarily plan to go the rest of your life determined not to get married. (Most people do eventually fall for someone or crave a partner in life.) But you can plan to be godly in whatever circumstance you live in and you can pray for God’s help and his will to protect you from choosing poorly in who you marry.

        I also knew you were a romantic. I just assumed you preferred to keep that private between your wife and yourself since it’s so close to the “weakness” view you have previously ascribed when you disdained to see other romantic men write comments about truly loving their wives and seeing great value in those wives. I assume you are aware that there are plenty of men out there that totally suck at providing their wives with a feeling of being romanced? Some of them sadly suck at making them feel cherished or even moderately valued. :(

        Like

      • Right at the start that was supposed to say “wouldn’t anyway (personal preference)..”

        I don’t know why that is happening to me everyday lately!

        Like

  33. Lissy says:

    I would love to participate in an “invitation only” forum with most of the “regulars” here. Even if I didn’t comment often, I’ve been a frequent visitor here. But I have noticed that now, as Gottman said, it’s like “breathing toxic gas”. Travis said it’s been “weird and unpleasant”. Fromscratchmom said it’s been “totally unpleasant”.

    If anyone has the time or inclination, I would suggest going back and cutting/pasting every comment made by the person who was the impetus for this post, and then reading them back to back. I’m not really sure why this person began commenting in the first place. He states that he “won’t apologize for my beliefs, nor will I change them.” So he’s not here to learn or grow.

    He quickly goes from jovial to attack mode, and believes the reason the rest of the commentors have problems with him is just that he expresses a different opinion, and the rest of us don’t like his opinions. He refuses to acknowledge that other different views/experiences are just as valid as his.

    He disagrees by attacking and judging-we are all “special snowflakes”. Travis is a fool and borderline insane (and I didn’t say it-the Blessed Lord did). He tells Travis that if he hurt his feelings, “I will just tell you to grow up”. He agrees to disagree with Donkey, but ends his comments with “You’ve made clear you give no credence to the commands of God or the Church, which I would characterize as an act of rebellion against the Creator (following in the footsteps of Eve).” Gottman is a hypocrite, and even the pope (affectionately referred to as the anti-pope)is a heretic and probably an atheist. And he can be pretty sarcastic.

    But when he is on the receiving end-he’s been misrepresented. He bring up that he was likened to a rapist and defends himself in 5 different comments.

    Everything is at an extreme-there is no balance. If you are against patriarchy, then you are advocating for matriarchy. Either you have the male headship/submissive wife thing, or you have the “saintly wife and immature husband” thing going on. Letting women vote is a “scary thought” because they are emotional and vote for things to make life more fair, and repealing women’s suffrage is an appealing idea.

    He said that it was unfeminine when a female commentor “contradicted” and “argued” with a man. And he trumpets loudly his views that wives need to submit to husbands, that husbands get to make all decisions, that wives should never refuse sex, etc. (I understand the rest of us diverge on the egalitarian vs. complementarian thing, but no one seems to promote their view so aggressively and distastefully)

    For all his implied Godliness, he uses vulgar phrases like “pump ’em and dump ’em”, “circle jerk”, “hit it and quit it”, and “pu$$y generation”. His wife, who is held up as someone to emulate, calls another commentor a “pathetic, loser mangina”. And speaking of his wife, if she isn’t in the mood, she should just “lay there and take it” or “think of England”. When the doctor advised her to refrain from pregnancy because it might KILL HER, he “decided we would take the risk anyway”, not just once but several times.

    What kind of person is this? He mentions that he has problems on all the forums he visits. He himself has been “falsely accused” (with police involvement) of domestic violence three times, and was threatened with having the police called by two other girls-one from a brief fling where the girl threatened with a rape charge. And every guy he knows has been formally falsely accused!

    One of the things Matt has taught us is to enforce our boundaries. And I am so sad to say that I just can’t be around disrespectful, misogynist people-because I have been so honored to share a tribe with the rest of the people here. I used to believe that the commentors here were my informal online support group. But one bad apple has hijacked the whole barrel for me…and as long as he is detracting from the loving, healing environment, I can’t continue to participate.

    And interestingly enough, despite how loudly this guy might protest the thought of being banned due to his “different views”, he himself has enforced boundaries by “cutting different member’s of his wife’s family out of our lives completely.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • gottmanfan says:

      Lissy,

      You said: “One of the things Matt has taught us is to enforce our boundaries. And I am so sad to say that I just can’t be around disrespectful, misogynist people-because I have been so honored to share a tribe with the rest of the people here. I used to believe that the commentors here were my informal online support group. But one bad apple has hijacked the whole barrel for me…and as long as he is detracting from the loving, healing environment, I can’t continue to participate.”

      Well said.

      Like

      • Travis B. says:

        Yes, indeed. If ever there was a post that nailed not only our collective frustration as of late, but the tone, inconsistencies, grotesqueries and hypocrisies that have informed it, it is this one.

        Like

      • bsx12 says:

        Couldn’t agree more. I rarely comment but I love Matt’s posts and his writing and I used to love the comments. I’ve stayed away lately since a lot of the blog has been reflecting on topics I feel Matt has already covered masterfully. I am now just reading what has been going on here and I’m with Lissy. Until all of this rhetoric calms down, I’m out. Jeff clearly misses the point of the blog (or his fragile manhood is threatened by the message). Matt, I hope you get your blog back soon. I can’t imagine this is fun for you–especially after such widespread success in 2016.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Strand says:

      Lissy,

      I’m sorry you found my previous comments so triggering. Truth be told, I can’t recall ever replying to you or any of your comments. And I’m fairly certain I’ve never been insulting to you.

      Oh well, at any rate no offense taken on my part to your remarks about me. I’m pretty thick skinned as a rule, and only complained about Travis’ comment that “expressing believe in wifely submission in marriage” is effectively raping the female commenters because that just seemed so absurd to me.

      So you have a wonderful day Lissy. The kind of day that makes you laugh and smile.

      P.S. As far as “cutting family members out”, as I’m sure you can imagine that kind of thing is pretty private and I don’t feel it necessary to go into any great detail. Hoping you can understand that.

      Like

    • Matt says:

      I’m sorry, Lissy.

      I thought a public call for kindness would help.

      Step two is a reasonable, I think, request to limit his Red Pill spam on this blog to older posts without active ongoing conversations that have nothing to do with “wifely submission.”

      Thank you for being here. I’m sorry you feel like it’s getting shitty.

      I’m not able to monitor all the comments as they’re happening in real time. I’m always playing catch-up. It’s hard, and I’m sorry.

      Like

  34. Wifey says:

    I will continue to read all of your blog posts, Matt, because they are always interesting and get me thinking even if I don’t agree 100% (it’s usually close though!). But I’m skipping the comments from here on out. You’re doing what you can, but….yikes. There are some great people here, though. Kudos to them for trying :)

    Like

  35. marilyn sims says:

    Donkey

    I wish you would seriously consider using the “ignore” button

    You are an honorable, charitable, and intelligent contributor to this comment section. You are a valued member of the “tribe” I do not want you to be slandered or disrespected in any way. If there was some hope for change, I would say “stiff upper lip and carry on”.

    I do not think change, in this case, is probable or maybe even possible.

    .

    Like

    • ruralbethany says:

      I agree with Marilyn. It’s really the only way to keep your sanity. This guy is a textbook gaslighter and is as slippery as an eel. Trying to even engage from a rational, logical standpoint is a complete waste of time.

      Like

  36. ruralbethany says:

    I mean the truth is, it feels like an abusive relationship, played out right here in the comments section.

    Copious amounts of gaslighting and outright personal insults, but tempered with just a little bit of “I didn’t mean it that way” or “I’ll rephrase” or “I wasn’t talking about YOU” or “you take things too personally” to give some readers/commenters hope that there might actually be some progress there and then they continue to engage in these discussions instead of just moving on and ignoring.

    It’s classic, and totally textbook. Engaging in discussions with people like that serve no purpose.

    The hard part IS, indeed, the censorship aspect. I can agree that this whole “every post devolves into a Woman Must Submit” discussion is tiring and frustrating and annoying. If I personally had the ability to block other commenters I certainly would do so. But on an overall level? I guess the iron fist has to decide :(

    Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      Beth,

      I have no intention of personally insulting you. Hopefully, you understand that. Yes, I favor traditional gender roles in marriage, and believe they make for a stronger marriage, to the benefit of the entire family. You’re more than free to disagree and state why, and we can discuss. Or you can choose to simply ignore my posts. Totally up to you.

      No hard feelings in any case. You have a great day now.

      Like

    • marilyn sims says:

      Hi ruralbethany,

      When you said,” I mean the truth is, it feels like an abusive relationship, played out right here in the comments section.” I absolutely, totally agreed, and I also felt a tremendous sense of sadness and loss.

      I have spent several hours trying to decide what my response should be. I am torn because I cannot appreciate a debate that can have no positive outcome as to the STATED MISSION AND PURPOSE OF THIS SITE. Yet I cannot say that those who continue to engage are wrong. But conversations about a woman’s SMV (sexual market value) and God’s directives to women about submission to their husbands are (to me) repellent in the extreme

      I understand and appreciate the necessity for maintaining an open dialog and for not practicing censorship — but enough is enough. I ignore the commentary that I assume will be inflammatory, yet whenever I scroll the site to find positive conversations and see the name appear, I FEEL ABUSED.

      I have decided to leave the site until it becomes what it once was. I do not want to leave, I will sorely miss the tribe — my on-line community

      So, after all, I just wanted to thank you for verbalizing feelings I was experiencing and had not yet been able to define. Thanks for being here and sharing.

      Like

      • ruralbethany says:

        Marilyn – thank you for your kind words! I’m glad I’ve been able to verbalize that for you, especially considering that you and the other commentors and especially MATT have been able to verbalize things for me in the last 6 months or so that I had absolutely no idea how to even begin to express or define.

        It’s interesting – the comment above yours is a primo example of the backtracking pattern of abuse, which usually happens after the abuser is confronted about said abuse.

        I suspect that things will settle out in the next week or so – just check back often :)

        Like

  37. marilyn sims says:

    To Everyone,

    If I am misrepresenting Matt’s intentions.I apologize in advance. I know those of you who have been here since “…Divorce.because of Dishes” was posted in January– will offer immediate correction. So, here goes.

    Matt’s intention for his blog was to offer a space where “regular guys” could go to “vent” or “blow-off-steam about relationship issues. It was to be a nonjudgmental space for honest sharing about the pains, pleasure and visissitudes of married life. It was a place where MEN ESPECIALLY could feel comfortable asking difficult questions that might help them avoid divorce.

    SO WHAT HAPPENED!!!!!

    As far as I can tell, Travis and Drew are the only regular MALE contributors to the comment section. Maybe the guys contribute elsewhere but…..

    This site has become HEAVILY SKEWED toward the liberal distaff side of the population. Make no mistake, I am perfectly happy with that outcome. Yet sometimes I feel anxiety about the imbalance.

    I wonder if the appearance of “the wolf at the gate” is a gentle nudge from the cosmos that the imbalance needs to be addressed. Would it be feasible or necessary or beneficial for the distaff side to take a temporary vacation from the site and declare a “MEN’S ONLY space for a while?

    I know most men avoid such discussions like the plague. If you think this is a legitimate concern and can offer some other solutions — LET’S GET TO IT!!!

    Like

    • gottmanfan says:

      Marilyn,

      I am confused why you think this comment space has become “HEAVILY SKEWED towards the liberal distaff side of the population.”

      While there us diversity of views, inbelieve I could make the case that it is heavily skewed in the other direction. Several commenters here have strong conservative Christian beliefs that inform their views.

      Some have expressed their view that husbands should be in the leaders in marriage. I’m haven’t read any views that suggest that the wives be the leader in the family.

      As I’ve said before, the comments skew more female perhaps because a VAST majority of all relationship books and other media skew heavily female. We can discuss the nature/nurture reasons why another time perhaps.

      Just my take.

      Like

      • Gottman, sorry to hijack but I’ve been wondering how your recovery is going and I just couldn’t wait for s different opportunity to ask. How are you Doing? Feeling? And generally getting along in life?

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Fromscratchmom,

        Very kind of you to ask!

        Definitely much better than before though frustratingly not 100%. Trying to increase my steps each week. Up to around 3,000 to 5,000 steps per day which is pretty good considering where I was a couple of months ago.

        My heart rate is getting more normal (except when I read certain comments here 😜).

        Hopefully when I have a follow up echo in October I will be able to get off the remaining heart medication I am on. But it’s ok of it takes a bit longer as long as it’s moving in the right direction (at least that’s the pep talk I give myself).

        Need a followup CAT scan in about a month to figure out why the lymph nodes were engaged near my heart. Hopefully it was a result of the embolism and not some lymphoma action. The research I have done seems to indicate it’s more likely not cancer but of course have to rule it that out.

        I’d to be all better now. It’s hard that is taking so long. But then again I could have died so there’s that. Gotta keep it all in perspective.

        And, of course, they can’t figure out why it happened to me at all so that’s super comforting.

        But everything has a silver lining. I was able to get out of my hideous dance mom duties for a while. Recently, since I’ve been feeling a bit better, I had to spend a delightful evening spending 4 hours glueing rhinestones onto my daughters costume. Almost made me wish I was back in the hospital again. Lol

        Like

      • I’m so glad it’s all progress!

        Sequins…A delightful time I’m sure! I’m a mom. I can relate. :p

        Today I’m trying to flesh out some themes of The Epic Of Gilgamesh with my 16yo who as it turns out does understand them decently already. She just has an attitude problem or a major mental block one or the other about writing essays. She thinks it’s all too simple to write much down about it all! lol
        I’d rather just write the essay myself! But we’ll have to toil on discussing the symbolism of passing between the twin peaks and how an essay actually can be written about it even if we have to add in other elements from the rest of the story. I don’t suppose you have any profound thoughts for me on the scorpion King and his wife? Or the parentage of Enkidu? Or…or…or…why am I doing this homeschooling thing again? lol

        Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Fromscratchmom,

        Oh my, I have no idea what the Epic of Gilgamesh even is! You must do some high level homeschooling.

        If I homeschooled my kids it would be mostly reruns of SpongeBob. 😀

        Like

      • You crack me up, Gottmanfan!

        Like

      • marilyn sims says:

        Hi gottmanfan,

        Perhaps it was a poor choice of words about which way the site leans. I meant as you suggested that the comments skew heavily toward the female.

        If you get a moment, please read Travis’ response — he picked up my concern about the lack of male participation in the comment section and accurately described it as the “elephant” in the room.

        Like

      • We finally have a finished essay in The Epic of Gilgamesh! Hallelujah!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Travis B. says:

      marilyn, I caution against a mass exodus of the female readership here. I, like you, have lamented from early on in my time here at the visible lack of male contribution at a site where the male experience is central to it. Seeing less contribution from Drew as of late has only fattened that elephant in the room. Seeing his spot taken by someone so overtly at the opposite end of the scale of Drew’s temperament and useful insight has only made the dearth of relevant male perspective even more alarming. So, yes, I agree with you that MBTTTR is aching for more male contributions than just Matt, myself and the occasional Drew, even if they are maybe a bit more challenging and contrarian than our current mutual love-fest (provided they don’t contribute the sort of Herculean challenge we’ve all been facing as of late). But what conversation about a man’s opportunities for growth, expansion and improvement as a husband can’t be better facilitated by a more holistic and involved discourse with a broad strata of women so as to better glean and comprehend their pain points and the psychology at the heart of them? I have learned SO MUCH from the female contributors here (case in point, many female commentators here have made mention about how, after a major death in the family, their marriages were irreparably torpedoed by husbands who were emotionally absent during such a raw time; when my wife’s father died less than a month ago, I kept their words at the forefront of every action I took with my wife, her sisters and her mother. I’d like to think I would have done the same without reading these cries for connection and basic human decency, but I’m glad that I’ll never have to find out). I really don’t think the presence of women here–and most assuredly not their political, religious or philosophical inclinations–is of any negative concern at all. Boosting the active, contributing, recurring membership of males who take Matt’s mission to heart, and challenge it only in a spirit of self-learning and growth, rather than one-upsmanship or perceived moral superiority, is MBTTTR’s real conundrum.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That was very thoughtful and generous, Marilyn! I enjoyed reading it. ;)

      Like

    • gottmanfan says:

      Marilyn,

      Thanks for your reply. I didn’t understand that by liberal distaff you meant female. Understanding that point makes your comment make sense to me. Thanks. 😀

      Like

      • gottmanfan says:

        Marilyn,

        You’re helping me expand my vocabulary (I googled distaff) and Travis is helping me with grammar so my time here is furthering my education for sure. I was incorrectly focusing on the liberal part so my error.

        Like

  38. Donkey says:

    Jeff, thank you for responding to me earlier.

    You said: “She said there’s probably 2 factors involved: one is female rebellion, which is as old as the Garden of Eden. Which I totally agree with her on. But the other one made me stop for a minute – she said “You have to understand hon, these other women don’t have a man like you to submit to. You make it so easy and such a pleasure to submit to you as my husband. Why do you think my personal motto is ‘husband knows best?’ It’s because I know you always have the best interests of our whole family at heart.”

    Those are two possible options, indeed. I can’t speak for all women, so I’m sure someone else would find one or both of those options relevant to why they resist submitting to their husbands.

    There is, however, also a third option, which is my reason, and the reason of many women I know: We simply do not desire a marriage based on a domination model, no matter how great the husband is. We desire a more democratic partnership model. Like the one Gottman, Brent Atkinson and many others have found in their research and experience works best. But certainly, in a more democratic arrangement the power and responsibilities would be shared, so obviously there would be areas where the man has all or most of the influence (and vice versa).

    Gottmandan brought up believing infemale led relationships earlier, and I guess that would be a fourth option for why some women won’t submit. I want to be clear that that is not my preference for myself or society, though I do feel that people should be free to choose that arrangement if they wish, just as they should be free to choose a male led relationship if they wish.

    I know Laura Doyle and her followers have had a lot of success with her method. I know you know of happy marriages with submissive wives. I’m not doubting that.

    But the fact of the matter is, other prominent marriage therapists and researchers have contradictory findings. Again, the Gottman statistics still show that the marriages that last and are happy have husbands who accept their wives influence (women are generally good at accepting influence according to the research). Brent Atkinson explicitly states that relationships function best as a democracty – one person one vote.

    So at the end of the day, we can only conclude that there are examples of happy marriages with a submissive wife and happy egalitarian marriages. Whether or not there is a God who favours one kind over the other is another question, and not one I can know without a doubt the answer to, as I obviously don’t know the universal truth about how everything came to be, how everything should be, and what happens when we die.

    I’m not intimately familiar with the Bible, but I looked up Romans 5:12 that Fromscratchmom brought up. That passage certainly would seem to take the focus of original sin away from Eve and over to Adam, so as to at least temper much of the opinions about female sin ascribed to the story of the garden of Eden. If you’re serious about being godly, perhaps it would behoove you to ponder that passage, though again, I don’t have the authoroty on what a good christian person does.

    You once said that the persepctives of Travis and I on marriage are not relevant to you because we’re not christians. Perhaps you’ve changed your view on that, since we’ve been conversing more lately. If you have not changed your view, I wonder if you realize that Laura Doyle, to the best of my knowledge, is not christian either?

    So either you have changed your logic (assuming that I’m right about Doyle not being christian) as to include marriage advice from non christians, or if you wish to keep your logic, you must discount the work and experiences of Laura Doyle as not relevant. If you wish to combine the two, your logic will not be logic at all.

    I’m glad you and your wife are happy together, as I do want marriages to work out for the mutual benefit of both spouses (and their families, friends etc). And if nothing else, human diversity makes for a great mind puzzle I can exercise my brain with. :) Have a nice evening Jeff.

    Like

    • Donkey says:

      One more thing, I’m also wondering why you and your wife place so much importance on your daughters becoming, in your opinion, good wives, but not on your son? You said so in your reply to Fromscratchmom. Isn’t being a godly husband as important as being a godly wife (whatever those terms mean for you)? Perhaps there are reasons you have which will explain it, but that seems hypocritical to me. I can even argue that it’s even more important for your son to be a godly husband than it is for your daughters to be godly wives, since I assume you’d wish for him to be the head of the household. A leader must be extra competent, no?

      Liked by 1 person

  39. Donkey says:

    Jeff, thank you for responding to me earlier.

    You said: “She said there’s probably 2 factors involved: one is female rebellion, which is as old as the Garden of Eden. Which I totally agree with her on. But the other one made me stop for a minute – she said “You have to understand hon, these other women don’t have a man like you to submit to. You make it so easy and such a pleasure to submit to you as my husband. Why do you think my personal motto is ‘husband knows best?’ It’s because I know you always have the best interests of our whole family at heart.”

    Those are two possible options, indeed. I can’t speak for all women, so I’m sure someone else would find one or both of those options relevant to why they resist submitting to their husbands.

    There is, however, also a third option, which is my reason, and the reason of many women I know: We simply do not desire a marriage based on a domination model, no matter how great the husband is. We desire a more democratic partnership model. Like the one Gottman, Brent Atkinson and many others have found in their research and experience works best. But certainly, in a more democratic arrangement the power and responsibilities would be shared, so obviously there would be areas where the man has all or most of the influence (and vice versa).

    Gottmandan brought up believing infemale led relationships earlier, and I guess that would be a fourth option for why some women won’t submit. I want to be clear that that is not my preference for myself or society, though I do feel that people should be free to choose that arrangement if they wish, just as they should be free to choose a male led relationship if they wish.

    I know Laura Doyle and her followers have had a lot of success with her method. I know you know of happy marriages with submissive wives. I’m not doubting that.

    But the fact of the matter is, other prominent marriage therapists and researchers have contradictory findings. Again, the Gottman statistics still show that the marriages that last and are happy have husbands who accept their wives influence (women are generally good at accepting influence according to the research). Brent Atkinson explicitly states that relationships function best as a democracty – one person one vote.

    So at the end of the day, we can only conclude that there are examples of happy marriages with a submissive wife and happy egalitarian marriages. Whether or not there is a God who favours one kind over the other is another question, and not one I can know without a doubt the answer to, as I obviously don’t know the universal truth about how everything came to be, how everything should be, and what happens when we die.

    I’m not intimately familiar with the Bible, but I looked up Romans 5:12 that Fromscratchmom brought up. That passage certainly would seem to take the focus of original sin away from Eve and over to Adam, so as to at least temper much of the opinions about female sin ascribed to the story of the garden of Eden. If you’re serious about being godly, perhaps it would behoove you to ponder that passage, though again, I don’t have the authoroty on what a good christian person does.

    You once said that the persepctives of Travis and I on marriage are not relevant to you because we’re not christians. Perhaps you’ve changed your view on that, since we’ve been conversing more lately. If you have not changed your view, I wonder if you realize that Laura Doyle, to the best of my knowledge, is not christian either?

    So either you have changed your logic (assuming that I’m right about Doyle not being christian) as to include marriage advice from non christians, or if you wish to keep your logic, you must discount the work and experiences of Laura Doyle as not relevant. If you wish to combine the two, your logic will not be logic at all.

    I’m also wondering why you and your wife place so much importance on your daughters becoming, in your opinion, good wives, but not on your son? You said so in your reply to Fromscratchmom. Isn’t being a godly husband as important as being a godly wife (whatever those terms mean for you)? Perhaps there are reasons you have which will explain it, but that seems hypocritical to me. I could even argue that it’s even more important for your son to be a godly husband, since I assume you’d wish for him to be the head of the household. The leader must be extra competent, no?

    I’m glad you and your wife are happy together, as I do want marriages to work out for the mutual benefit of both spouses (and their families, friends etc). And if nothing else, human diversity makes for a great mind puzzle I can exercise my brain with. :) Have a nice evening Jeff.

    If you wish to respond, I’ll be curious to hearing your thoughts/answers.

    Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      Donkey,

      Thanks for the reply. I guess I am trying to be more inclusive of whom I engage with.

      You said: “Brent Atkinson explicitly states that relationships function best as a democracty – one person one vote.”

      Well, I would respond thusly. In every other field of human endeavor, in virtually every social arrangement, we have a hierarchy. When you to work, you “submit” to your boss. Likewise in the military. Also in the civil sphere (pretty sure I must submit to judges and the president). Social clubs usually have a chairman. Schools have teachers and administrators that the students must submit to, even if the students are adults like in college.

      So why is this so? Why not have egalitarianism across the board if it works so well? Why not tell your boss at work you’re not going to submit to him anymore? Or tell the judge that? And so on. I just don’t understand how people can admit the need for leadership in all other areas of human social interaction BUT marriage and the family. It doesn’t make sense to me.

      Can you imagine running a Navy ship on an egalitarian basis?

      As to your other point, why do we place so much emphasis on our daughters training to be good wives? I guess because marriage has gotten to be such a risky endeavor for men, and we both believe that so few young women are truly good marriage material nowadays, that we feel this way our girls will be near the top of the scale when it comes to their marriage market value. And this in turn means they can land a really good catch and marry well. Our fondest hope is that they follow in their mom’s footsteps and become housewives and mothers, so this will require marrying a husband with above average earning potential…and importantly in today’s climate, one who is WILLING to support a wife and kids.

      They are being taught all the skills and temperament to be good wives, housekeepers, and mothers. I get the feeling a lot of young ladies nowadays are NOT being raised this way by their parents – that is, with a view towards achieving a high marriage market value for them – so we feel this will make our girls look really good by comparison. Kinda like there’s not much competition from their peers, ya know?

      And if I’m wrong about this assumption regarding how most folks raise their daughters today, by all means, somebody correct me. Are you or people you know raising their daughters specifically so they’ll make good housewives and mothers? I’d be interested to hear.

      Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        When I said “Are you or people you know raising their daughters specifically so they’ll make good housewives and mothers? I’d be interested to hear”….I’d like to add:

        Our girls are also being taught that a wife submitting to her husband is the norm in a good marriage, and how God intended it. My wife is actually bigger on this point than me – she makes sure our girls see through deeds, not just words, how mom never questions dad when he makes a decision, never contradicts him, and just generally submits to him in all things. This is really important to her, so I def work with her on this.

        To give a quick specific example. I was away on a business trip. My older daughter wasn’t obeying her mother, so my wife said “You need to listen to me. When daddy’s not home, mommy is the boss, understand?” So my daughter was a bit of smart aleck (as kids will be) and said, “Oh, but when daddy’s home, then he’s the boss?”

        And my wife said she thought for a second, then said “That’s right. Daddy’s the boss, just like your husband will be when you get married.” She told me when I got home she likes to use little opportunities like this to teach them.

        So I just wanted to clarify. Our girls are taught from the get-go to be good, devoted, supportive, respectful, surrendered and submissive wives. I know this will put them in high demand in the marriage market…so their main issue will be winnowing out the list of suitors when the time comes, and picking the best match.

        Like

      • I already commented up higher, Jeff, with this same line of questioning but I’ll add to it down here that I do NOT teach my daughters anything with a view towards their having a “high market value” in the way that I’ve only recently been so saddened to be exposed to from the red pill movement. I have always taught my kids that the highest priority in life is to be devoted to God first and foremost. And now that this market value language is a trend I’ll be teaching them to avoid men who buy into it. It’s a very skewed and unprofitable way of viewing women and wives. But then again I’m also not teaching them to try to catch the highest earner they can capture. We try to keep all the vanities of this life from the fleeting beauty of youth to the dangers of the love of money in their proper perspective, far far far beneath good character, wisdom, generosity, love, kindness, meekness,… I would not give my blessing to any young man who can calling if I knew of him to have ever used that term. If he happens to be a top earner or just a good guy with a good work ethic then either of those things would be acceptable. If he honors the words in the book of James to be a father to the fatherless and to visit widows that would give him top marks! (Especially for my youngest who has a real heart for adoption.)

        Like

      • Donkey says:

        Hello again Jeff,

        I don’t have kids so I can’t reply for myself. If I did have kids, boys or girls, I would not specifically train them to be housewives or househusbands, no. But I certainly would wish for both genders to know how to do the various chores necessary in life.

        As to raising girls to be good mothers, I would say it would be equally important for me to raise my sons to be good dads, should they choose to. I would not consider it my business whether or not my kids chose to be parents (though I could of course have my personal preference). I would not consider it my business whether or not my daughters or sons chose to stay home with their kids. For me, being a good parent (mom or dad) would include amongst other things, knowing the necessities of life, chores, managing your money etc, and being a self respecting and other-respecting spouse. Also, very importantly, emotional health, maturity and integrity, full respect living, respect for yourself and for others. I believe that when you’re healthy and mature yourself, you’ll model that for your kids. (Which is one reason I’m hesitant about having kids, because I don’t consider myself sufficiently differentiated (emotionally healthy) yet)

        I’ll be honest and say that I’d prefer my kids to have an egalitarian relationship (whether or not one of them stays home, you can certainly have an egalitarian relationship and have one parent stay at home for a long or short while), but again, if they chose otherwise, it’s their life and not for me to decide.

        I understand your point about making sure your daughters will be in high demand as wives (though I disagree with most of your premises). But still, as a religious man, isn’t it important to make sure your son is a godly husband? Even if he has many choices, isn’t it important he also fulfills his duty, as you see it, as a husband?

        “Can you imagine running a Navy ship on an egalitarian basis?”

        Well, no. But I will say that two people sharing power would be a lot more feasable than having larger social structures, such as a navy ship or a workplace be egalitarian. I understand that sometimes a hierarchy is certainly called for, even in egalitarian marriage. But I believe power could and should be shared in a marriage, at least that’s what I want for myself. So, say, he’s responsible and the boss for everything that has to do with cleaning the house, she’s responsible and the boss of everything that has to do with the cooking for instance. He decides (if they can’t agree, find a compromise etc) the vacation one year, she decides the next (if they can’t agree). Of course there are things the couple would have to be more or less on the same page as and negotiate/compromise/brain storm their way to a common understanding. Say, regarding the budget, what kind of school to have for their kids etc.

        And yes, in democratic societies, there certainly are leaders. But what makes it a democracy, or more egalitarian if you wish, is that every adult gets an equal say in voting for who they wish to be the leader, and everyone can run for office. Excluding criminal offenses, everyone can become a judge, have a fair shot at rising in the ranks in the military etc. That is very different than one person automatically ebing in charge because of gender (or race, religion etc) or one group of humanity not having the right to vote based solely on their gender, race, religion etc.

        I doubt you’d have a similarly relaxed attitude about hierarchies if you were the one to chronically be in the powerless position, though correct me if I’m wrong.

        If catholics had a long history of not having voting rights, not having access to higher education, being excluded from inheriting or owning property, if catholics always married non catholics and became the non catholic’s property for much of human history, being told to always submit to their non catholic spouse, being told they’re sinful and rebellious if they express a different opinion than their non catholic spouse, being raped more often than non catholics and subjected to more serious violence by non catholics way more often than the other way around, and when pointing that out have non catholics (who have more monetary and social influence in countless ways) cry out that sometimes catholics place false charges and so not take your concerns seriously, being told that your main purpose in life is to be a good submissive spouse to your non catholic spouse, do you think you’d enjoy that and find that respecting of you as a person?

        What do you think about what I believe to be the fact that Laura Doyle is not christian and yet you still promote her marriage advice?

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Fromscratch,

        Two things. Of course our first priority for all our kids is to teach them what they need to know to go to Heaven. Just yesterday they went to Confession, Mass, and received Holy Eucharist…unfortunately we can’t do this every week, as the nearest Traditional Roman Catholic Church (unaffiliated with the apostate Francis-led Vatican II Sect Church that falsely CLAIMS to be the Catholic Church) is several hours drive away. So going usually involves getting a hotel room the night before, etc. It’s a whole project. But we try to go at least once every couple months.

        You just have to realize, I was responding to Donkey in that post, who has no interest in religion. So I didn’t go into it. But rest assured we do emphasize following the Commandments and being Godly to our kids. We also warn them that Hell is real and there is a very high chance they will end up there, just as there is such a chance for us as their parents. After all, Our Lord Himself said that the vast majority of souls are damned, and all the saints have said the same. It only takes a single mortal sin, if you die without repenting of it…and that can easily cancel out a lifetime of good works.

        As to your aversion to the term “marriage market value” (MMV), that’s just a matter of semantics. You actually do believe in MMV, as everyone does, you just want to use a different term. To prove this to you, here’s an example: take a 30 year old man who’s obese, balding, socially awkward with women, lives in his parent’s basement, has little earning power, no status in his menial job, and spends his time playing role-playing video games and watching obscure Star Trek spin-offs. Now picture the guy who’s the opposite – smooth and suave with women, projects an easy confidence, handsome and in good shape, has his own place, has a good, prestigious job, makes good income, etc.

        This second guy will have a much higher MMV than the first guy. That’s an objective fact, and remains so whether or not you want to say so, or whether or not you want to use a different term than MMV. The consequences for both men in my example of having different MMV’s will remain, regardless of what we say about it. You see?

        So MMV is a reality that must be accepted. Now, what exactly contributes to a higher MMV in the eyes of the opposite sex (speaking generally) can be debated, but not the concept of MMV itself, which is self-evident. So given that MMV is an undeniable reality, I would rather my kids have a higher MMV than lower.

        Hope this helps.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Donkey,

        You said “And yes, in democratic societies, there certainly are leaders. But what makes it a democracy, or more egalitarian if you wish, is that every adult gets an equal say in voting for who they wish to be the leader, and everyone can run for office. Excluding criminal offenses, everyone can become a judge, have a fair shot at rising in the ranks in the military etc. That is very different than one person automatically ebing in charge because of gender (or race, religion etc) or one group of humanity not having the right to vote based solely on their gender, race, religion etc.”

        I would add this to your analogy. Yes, you can vote…but then after the election you have to submit to your superiors (judges, governors, sheriffs, etc). So vote, then submit to the leaders chosen. Same thing in marriage – the vote is the person you choose to marry. And actually, this is MORE fair, because you are not at the mercy of someone else’s vote. You and you alone will choose to marry your husband.

        As far as Laura Doyle, I have not formally investigated her personal religious views, no. I suggested her book because it seems to have helped a lot of people improve their marriage. Have you read it? Do you have an opinion on it?

        Like

      • It actually does not help, to be honest, because you’re addressing something very different from what I actually said. I never said that I don’t believe market value exists among humans. I said the use of the term showed a skewed and unprofitable way of viewing women and wives. I was being diplomatic by the way, generous even about what I think that use of that term normally implies on a man’s philosophical view of women.

        I don’t take issue with the existence of the concept. I take issue with any man claiming any form of godliness focusing on it in the terms I’ve seen it discussed in in recent times. God himself called the worth of a virtuous wife far above rubies. But then again I’ve yet to see a modern discussion that didn’t heavily emphasize sex and being hot or good looking as the primary basis for women having value. There was zero implication or direct mention of either concept in God’a description of a valuable wife. God actually specifically told men in several different places that it was their responsibility to get their enjoyment and appreciation of such things in their own wives who presumably we might think they had some say in choosing as the usual way of things in many societies. He also describes that men will be attracted to women who have little value or what might be in financial terms a negative value. You have claimed that every man you know has been the victim of false allegations. I try to credit that as your real experience, wild and crazy as it sounds to me. Isn’t it possible though that they all sought after Proverbs 5:5 women rather than after women of wisdom and character, women of kindness and inner beauty?

        But you are happy for your daughters to have beauty and through it better odds of attracting all sorts of financially successful men with their beauty. If I was their close auntie, I would warn them to be wary of that in no uncertain terms. It’s the responsibility of a woman for herself and the responsibility of her husband for her benefit as well as well his own to cherish her anyway, no matter what happens to her beauty or when, to know where her true value comes from and for the husband’s part to cherish her true value as God recognizes it. My daughters, despite their beauty, have a far deeper and more important value that no carnally minded man should be able to try to steal from them. And I will attempt to protect them from men who are unworthy of it and would use them and abuse them, cheat on them, and/or discard them.

        My youngest (age 16) got interested in this discussion btw, since I kept picking my phone back up. She told me that I should “tell mr Jeff that all the boys she has been interested in are actually slightly awkward.” After she read your description of the guy you think less likely to attract a wife. She’s being honest too. She’s generous, kind and tender-hearted, intelligent and attracted to intelligence. In a way confidence is generally attractive to most people but it’s not necessarily the real deal when people are wisely looking for the best possible match for themselves. Knowing her she will end up with a kind-hearted generous, math geek, man who likes super hero shows as much as she does and has the same heart she has for adoption. But above all I’ll look for him to love God more than he loves himself and manifests wisdom and humility as a result

        Because You’ve made several references over time to your daughters’s beauty, I feel moved to make a suggestion: I’d strongly encourage you to get them to take the teen love languages quiz and let you get to know a bit about what they will most need from a spouse to feel loved and cherished.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Fromscratch,

        We probably don’t disagree as much as you think we do.

        The fact that a woman’s looks are important to men is just a fact of life. A girl who takes good care of herself physically and looks attractive will have an easier time finding a good mate. Again, this is just a fact.

        Btw, recent studies show women are even more shallow than men when it comes to looks. An experiment was tried where an average man and average woman were respectively placed as profiles on dating sites. The responses both got were noted. Then the same profiles were put up in a neighboring city, except they changed the profiles by making the woman fat and the man short. As expected, the woman’s responses fell off significantly…but she still did get at least some. The short man profile responses dropped TO ZERO. That’s right – not a single woman would even give him a chance. He was ruled out completely.

        And this is even worse, when you consider that at least people have some control over their weight..but not their height! So the folks running the experiment concluded that women are MORE superficial about looks – if a woman is 200 pounds, at least some men will still be interested…but if a man is 5′ 4″, virtually no women at all will be interested in him.

        So we encourage our girls to stay fit and pretty and attractive, yes. But it’s not all about looks. I already went on at length how we teach them skills that will make them good wives and mothers, I won’t repeat all that here. For example, they just had sewing class today – that’s an important skill for a wife to have that has nothing to do with looks.

        I firmly believe that having good wifely skills, a pleasant attitude and demeanor, and guarding her virtue can bump a girl’s MMV up a full point, as compared to her SMV (Sexual Market Value, aka Dating Market Value). For a female, her SMV is about 90% looks. So if a girl is a 6 when it comes to her SMV, with some effort on her attitude, demeanor, feminine qualities, and wifely skills, she can achieve a 7 or even 7.5 as her MMV.

        And a girl with a MMV of 7 should have no problem landing a high-quality mate, which is what we want for our daughters. (It works both ways – a 6 in SMV can drop her MMV to a 5 by having a bad attitude, being promiscuous, cursing and acting un-feminine, being self-centered and demanding, etc…you get the idea)

        As far as your daughter, I’m sure her list of what she is looking for in a husband will change in the years ahead. She’s still very young. Tell her not to grow up too fast!

        So ok, hope this one was more helpful.

        Like

      • Jeff, first let me say that there are plenty of points and implications that go by that don’t have to be addressed. We’re both rather wordy and to address every little thing would grow this into an encyclopedic length. So I’m trying to maintain a very narrow focus on empathy, value judgements, (and of course wisdom and love in so far as as they effect and are effected by value-judgements.)

        I wonder if you know that this is the point where no matter how well-mannered you have become in the wording of your comments, someone out there following our discussion and hoping to see something productive come from it is now banging their head on their keyboard or rolling their eyes again.

        I spoke to you of priorities and wisdom and you gave me mathematical formulas to prove that looks matter so much to men that even a woman who has looks anyway (doesn’t have to feel she lacks value in that way) can only increase her value with ALL her other more important qualities and ALL of her valuable skill sets by a single point over seven whole points of value she can have from beauty. You even emphasized it in a way to show the generosity of giving “a whole point!” To those other things. I don’t doubt that that is how you really see women. But I discount that you have the first clue how God sees them, even after reading the wisdom literature that tries to direct men to add to their wisdom to see the other stuff as more valuable. (Notice I didn’t say that men are evil to notice and appreciate looks or even that God tells them not to, just that he guides them to add more and to a far higher degree of importance.)
        And I doubt very seriously that you understand that there are other people who see and feel things differently than you do on a fundamental level and in their visceral reactions.
        This is the point in the conversation that I see two possibilities, either you totally knew what you were doing there and did it on purpose (this is what Matt is referring to when he says you’re a smart guy so he thinks you’re being a dickhead on purpose although I might assume he was referring to your more overtly hostile behaviors from previous days) OR you are severely lacking in that quality/character trait called empathy, one of the most important character traits a person can have according to research in relationships (which is in accord with God’s teachings to husbands to live with their wives in an understanding manner.)

        I don’t doubt that you and your wife are well suited to each other. I can easily assume that either you are better at it with her than you are with others or (far less likely but maybe possible) that it has by happenstance just not yet hurt her enough to destroy her.

        Because you are bad at empathy, you have large blind spots that prevent you from knowing the many negative implications others may see in your writing?

        I find myself in the middle of the night wanting to pray for your wife that she never gets in a disfiguring accident or faces a cancer diagnoses that destroys her endocrine system. You would both find out in a hurry whether you would show that you have far more wisdom, love, and character than you have assigned to yourself here or if she would suddenly know how much less you have of those things in comparison to how much she has assigned you in her admiration and respect for you.
        Of course it’s not that she matters more to me than mankind at large who are all subject to the same vagaries of time and chance. It’s just that you’ve brought to my attention her precarious position married to a man who according to how he has presented himself may not treat her well at all after such a tragedy occurs.

        Unfortunately I’ve known plenty of people who think and feel as you do. I’ve seen the aftermath of the unkind and unwise treatment they bestow on any woman who they see as “not keeping herself up” (or similar notions) despite the many flawed assumptions involved in their value judgements. It’s tragic. I’m mindful here of a recent discussion on this blog that discussed how many women have severe “body image issues”. Even very beautiful women have them sometimes to a far more damaging degree than women who haven’t been blessed with as much beauty. Many people have hypothesized that it is just society at large and the media and advertisers. But I maintain that all of it including Hollywood and advertisers are underpinned by people like you regularly putting out unwise and unkind value judgement statements that in a million subtle ways (and sometimes not so subtle) assign a woman her primary seven points of value and her ability to be loved in this life to her looks which she knows are imperfect and fleeting and often severely judged against he high standards of the existence other women who she sees whether because of realism or because of humility as better looking than herself.

        I’m not overly concerned with all the women who make similar mistakes. (Although I know happily married short men and happily married women who I think are not good looking).
        I gravitate towards women who are wise and kind to befriend, to worship with. I’m not overly concerned with all the men out there and their choices. God has blessed me with some outstanding examples of men in this world to admire and be thankful for. I’m only concerned with myself and my kids and for a brief moment in time, this conversation.

        Like

  40. anitvan says:

    Matt, hope you get this…I have an honest question.

    Is this a total prohibition on discussing marital submission (unless it is germane to the post at hand)? That is, does it apply to all commenters across the board, or is it specific to Jeff?

    I’m not trying to be an asshole. I’m just trying to clarify the parameters and think through the implications.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      First. It’s not a total prohibition on discussing marital submission.

      It was a request for Jeff to stop bringing it up to women he very specifically knew were off-put by his delivery and word choices in new posts (which I’ll loosely define as the previous two or three at any given time) where active conversations about other things are happening.

      Second. I can imagine a scenario where Jeff (though I’m losing faith), and people with similar mindsets could have these conversations WITHOUT causing a bunch of backlash and unrest.

      It’s pretty basic shit. You do so with polite tact and kindness. Almost every single person does it all the time.

      Do I think people offended by Jeff should ignore him rather than engage him? Of course.

      Does engaging Jeff, only to not like his answers afterward reek of a tiny bit of bullshit? Of course.

      But does Jeff intentionally come here, discuss his views in generally demeaning ways, promoting sexism and juvenile name calling along the way?

      There’s ample evidence to say yes. I didn’t write any fake Jeff comments. They’re all available for anyone to see.

      Some, perhaps many, are way out of line relative to what I consider basic human decency.

      I didn’t ask Jeff to stop commenting. I didn’t ask him to go away. I didn’t even ask him to stop preaching Red Pill philosophies on my own digital property despite considering it harmful and counter to the things I want people to talk and think about.

      In a nutshell, I asked him to stop being a dick to people simply because he disagreed with them.

      The implication is: If you’re a dick, I’m going to, as patiently as possible ask you to not be one.

      I’ve never blocked an IP, and don’t want to. I’m a free speech advocate.

      But this isn’t the town hall. I care about the people who graciously give their time to this place and contribute to the larger convo of trying to help others.

      Jeff has not been helpful.

      And it’s not even because of his beliefs. I’ll always welcome and encourage dissenting opinions.

      It’s because of his delivery.

      It’s shitty. And because I can tell he’s pretty smart? I know that he knows it. And that’s the part that’s pissing me off.

      People are free to speak their minds.

      But it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone when you come to my house and call my friends names, and I ask you to leave afterward.

      Like

      • anitvan says:

        Thanks for clarifying Matt. I appreciate that you took the time.

        FWIW, I think your actions so far have been consistent with healthy relationship skills. You are setting boundaries and enforcing them within this blog relationship. You are perfectly entitled to have standards of conduct amongst commenters that is consistent with your personal values and those of the tribe. And you are equally entitled to say, when necessary, “Hey, you may not hijack every discussion to promote a single topic from a single perspective.”

        The great majority of us here already knew what you meant by “don’t be a dick” and now you have made it explicit to Jeff what our collective boundaries are. And Jeff can choose if he wishes to continue to contribute under those boundaries.

        I really admire that through all this you have remained true to your values.

        Anyways, honestly wasn’t trying to stir the pot…it’s just that these threads can get so thoroughly convoluted I really wasn’t sure that I was understanding you correctly.

        And yes, I did misunderstand 😀 so thanks for providing clarity and context.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I should maybe ask if my current conversation is allowable fir me to pursue for now as a one-on-one or close to it. I think I know the answer and yet, as Anitvan so wisely pointed out, it’s all become terribly convoluted. ;)

        Like

  41. marilyn sims says:

    Travis,

    Once more into the fray and to the rescue….thank you. More than you know, your answer has lightened the burden of what I’ve been trying to convince myself is “unreasonable angst” about the challenges we face here as a “tribe”.

    You “nailed it” when you said, “Boosting the active contributing,recurring membership of males who take Matt’s mission to heart and challenge it only in a spirit of self-learning and growth, rather than one-up-manship or perceived moral superiority is MBTTTR’s real conundrum.”

    I really, really, truly, truly dislike (hate) not having any suggestions for reducing the size of that fat, disgusting, ugly, elephant!!

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Scratchmom and Jeff were discussing sexual market value and attractiveness above. I just want to say, of course men and women can be shallow and superficial. Men are often pretty obvious about it, while women are more often completely unaware that we do things like screen men for something like height. That is not the whole story, however. Both genders are actually buying into an illusion, a fantasy, a set of assumptions that have been hardwired into us that can be triggered physically. Height for example, reads as protection, provision, dominance. Men are often looking for good health, youth, fertility, femininity. That’s all healthy, innate, nothing to be ashamed of.

    Here’s the problem with preaching “sexual market value,” however. It teaches someone to view their potential mate as a commodity, as a trophy display of their own value and status in the world. In other words, you aren’t marrying an actual human being, you’re marrying an accessory. A designer purse or a new sports car. That kind of attitude, perception, belief system, will only work for the very wealthy, because people who marry those who can only see you as a trophy, will forever feel erased, dehumanized, devalued. That is why marriage in Hollywood is in such shambles and why the rich and famous have so many affairs and addictions.

    Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      IB,

      I think you misunderstood me. I wasn’t “preaching” SMV, I’m simply acknowledging that it’s a reality. Again, whether I like it or not and whether you like it or not. For a man viewing a woman, her SMV is almost completely her looks (about 90%). For a woman viewing a man, his SMV can typically be summed up by the acronym LAMPS – looks, athleticism, money, power, and status.

      SMV is the first component of MMV, the foundation if you will, because there typically needs to be a physical attraction and chemistry for people to interested in someone as potential mate. Other components of MMV (beyond SMV) in a woman would be things like her femininity, a sweet and pleasant demeanor, good motherly qualities, a lack of promiscuity, good moral values and religious beilefs, a good family background, etc. For men, additional components to MMV would be things like the ability to be a good provider, ambition, healthy masculinity, good fatherly qualities, good education, good family background, etc.

      There is nothing bad or immoral about SMV and MMV, it just is. And as I said earlier, I believe a woman can up her SMV one point by working on her figure and her looks and her poise and her dress, and then up her MMV an ADDITIONAL whole point over and above her SMV by working on those other components just mentioned in the last paragraph. And a smart young lady will do exactly that!

      Like

      • Ai yi yi! Oh, the alphabet soup of the red pills and their fondness for acronyms and cost effectiveness flow charts. You might as well just stamp USDA choice on people’s bar codes and call it good.

        I’d rather be a fallen woman. Seriously, I mean that. Look at the women Jesus Christ favored, the Samaritan woman, the woman with five husbands, the woman with the perfume, the adulteress about to be stoned…. Rahab. Gomer.

        Why? Because those women all had depth and beauty to them and a powerful faith that recognized where their grace truly came from. The Lord’s favor, not a score card held up by a bunch of misguided men.

        Or, I guess you can go play with the red pills who offer women a whole ADDITIONAL SMV point for “poise.”

        Liked by 1 person

    • ruralbethany says:

      That’s exactly what I had said in a comment on a previous post. Everyone has a certain level of attractiveness, and it definitely varies depending on who is viewing it (Beauty being in the eye of the beholder, etc).

      For example, if a smooth talking stockbroker asked me out, I would not be interested, because that kind of lifestyle is not appealing to me. But if a blue collar tradesman or someone who is interested in the same off grid/sustainable lifestyle as I am asked me out, I would be very interested. (All in theory, since I’m not really comfortable with the idea of dating as we all know)

      If you were to quantify the “market values” of those two men, most people would assume that the stockbroker would “rate” higher than the mechanic. But the very idea of ratings like that, take the human aspect out of it entirely, and don’t allow for people to be people.

      To quantify it in terms of “Market values” or even “She’s an 8” or that kind of thing in my opinion is disingenuous and dehumanizing. I will admit I never even heard the term until last week here on the blog.

      I will never, EVER teach my daughters based on improving their “marriageability” or some sort of arbitrary bullshit “wife score.” They are PEOPLE. NOT THINGS.

      I will teach my daughters to be themselves. Their father will also. I will encourage them to do what they want to in their life, and just be THEM. Because if they are true to themselves, they will attract men who love them for who they are, not just because they are “good robot wives” because they can cook and clean and vacuum in pearls and put out on demand with a plastic smile on their faces.

      My daughters are worth a hell of a lot more than that. So am I.

      Liked by 1 person

  43. Jeff Strand says:

    “To quantify it in terms of “Market values” or even “She’s an 8” or that kind of thing in my opinion is disingenuous and dehumanizing. I will admit I never even heard the term until last week”

    Well, again, I would just say that neither you nor your daughters can avoid the concept of SMV and MMV, anymore than you can choose to ignore gravity. It’s just reality, amd cares not whether you like it or not.

    Your daughters too, in their dating years, will evaluate their dates and potential mates based on their SMV and MMV, whether they explicitly realize that’s what they’re doing or not. For example, a guy who is short, obese, and balding and has no money to spend (lives with his parents) is going to be viewed by them as having a lower SMV – in all likelihood, low enough that’s it’s below their minimum SMV threshold for dating a guy. So they would refuse to date this guy. It’s very unlikely they will be attracted to such a man.

    But even if the guy is attractive in their eyes and has a high enough SMV for them, if the dating becomes serious then your daughter would start evaluating his MMV. This would be factors additional to his SMV, and relate to whether he would make a good husband/father. For example, having good morals, similar religious views, high potential earning power, a patient demeanor that would go well with being a father…all these things would be positive for his MMV (in your daughter’s eyes). And this would make her more likely to want to marry him.

    On the other hand, like the typical “bad boy” some girls seem to fall for, he could have a high SMV (her level of being attracted to him, aka gives her “the tingles”) but a lower MMV. Which just means he’s less ideal husband/father material. Some examples here might be he’s a bit of a womanizer, has no interest in fatherhood, has a hard time holding a steady job, might have some criminal record history, totally different religious and moral values, etc. You get the idea. Such factors might drop his MMV so far in your daughter’s eyes that she would not be willing to marry him, even though she’s quite attracted to him.

    She might phrase this as “he’s hot and I’m very attracted to him (we have a lot of chemistry), and he’s fun and I enjoy dating him…but unfortunately he’s just not husband material, so I can’t marry him”. And you would understand exactly what she means – you wouldn’t chastise her for “reducing him to a number”. Yet, though she used different words, she is saying nothing more or less than “although his SMV is more than at a high enough level to meet my minimum requirements, unfortunately there are factors at play that are causing a serious hit to his MMV…to the point that his MMV is below my minimum requirements to consider marriage.”

    So you see, everyone functions based on SMV and MMV. Whether you prefer to use other words to describe it is just a matter of semantics.

    That being said, I hope you can see that it is helpful to your daughters to have a high SMV and even higher MMV, because this gives them more options in the the dating and marriage marketplace. Again, deep down you know this. You know a fit, attractive, happy and enthusiastic girl will have much more options when it comes to dating and choosing a mate than a fat, frumpy, depressed and angry girl will.

    It’s neither good nor bad. Like gravity, it just is. But since it is a reality to be dealt with, why not teach your daughters to take advantage and achieve the best possible position for themselves? Isn’t this what you teach them in regard to their grades at school? Does this reduce them to a number?

    Hope this helped.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “You know a fit, attractive, happy and enthusiastic girl will have much more options when it comes to dating and choosing a mate than a fat, frumpy, depressed and angry girl will.”

      All in good fun here Jeff, but I wouldn’t know. I was an angry, depressed young girl who ran off with a bad boy. Best mistake I ever made. :)

      Like

  44. Something I’d like the ladies to keep in mind here, for the most part men think we’re beautiful. They are not nearly as judgmental about our looks as we are. So there’s two things going on here, men speaking of SMV and locker room scorecards while at the same time never, ever saying “I dated a two.” Men don’t date twos. Without fail, every single woman they have ever been attracted to is going to be on the high end of that scale, an 8 for example, based on nothing more than their own subjective opinion and the fact that they were attracted to her.

    The guy could be four feet tall, bald, and living in his car. I promise you, he too only dates the 8’s, those he perceives as the best women.

    If you read these guys enough, you start to get the impression that they are only attracted to supermodels. Step out into the real world however and have a look at who they are actually dating and married to and what you will see are actual, real women. They will simply project their own selves onto her, so if they are engaged and attracted, she’s suddenly a ten.

    It’s kind of funny and somewhat sweet, but the woman could be fifty pounds overweight with a nose growing out of the top of her head but if he’s attracted to her, she’s an 8 or a ten. Men are not objective about women at all, what they find attractive is totally subjective. We women will perceive one another objectively, men will always perceive us subjectively.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Strand says:

      IB: “It’s kind of funny and somewhat sweet, but the woman could be fifty pounds overweight with a nose growing out of the top of her head but if he’s attracted to her, she’s an 8 or a ten. Men are not objective about women at all, what they find attractive is totally subjective. We women will perceive one another objectively, men will always perceive us subjectively.”

      Yes and no.

      I stated upthread that women have been shown to be more superficial than men when comes to looks. This was proven by experiments that showed SOME men will still date a fat woman (not as many as if she wasn’t fat, obviously!) but basically NO women at all will date a short guy. Now you women can say, “I would consider dating a short guy”, but talk is cheap. When you actually had to put your money where your mouth is (actually respond to the person’s dating profile and set up a date), several of these experiments have shown not a single woman is willing to do so – the actor playing the short man in the profile was not able to secure a single date or even meet-up for coffee, even though he was a completely average man in every other respect. Again, by comparison, the actress portraying the fat girl in the dating profile was still able to raise some male attention and get some dates or meet-ups set up.

      This experiment has been featured and discussed on several daytime television talk shows. You can investigate it more if you’re interested.

      Further, I stated in a prior post that I am believer in the phenomenon of “wife goggles” (an obvious spin on the old concept of “beer goggles”). Meaning, if a woman marries when she is in the flower of her youth, fit, and attractive…her husband, because of his love for her and the shared memories they make together, will always see her partly in that way…even as she ages and her body starts to go to pot (as happens to us all). He will view her through the lens of love and affection and their shared life together, and this view of her will be colored by the attractive young gal he first fell in love with. In some ways, he still sees her like that.

      I’ve seen plenty of older women in their 40’s, typically divorcee’s, out on the dating market and it’s much more difficult for them. A guy she would start dating would necessarily see her first as a stranger…and her physical flaws as a middle aged woman may be hard for him to overcome (they are certainly front and center!). This is because he has no connected emotions to her (yet) to soften these impressions, and the vast majority of both men and women expect there to be a physical attraction and chemistry before they will invest in a dating relationship. Not saying a woman (or man) at that age CAN’T find love, just saying it’s harder.

      You make a good point that women don’t have to be perfect to find a mate. I agree totally – after all, the vast majority of people in this country do marry at some point. But all I am saying is the following short points: It’s better to have a high SMV than a low one, because it gives you more options in the number of those in the opposite sex who are attracted to you; and a girl (though this could apply to men as well) can make a conscious effort to raise both her SMV and her MMV, and obviously, she should choose a mate who has the highest MMV she can pull.

      This last part is redundant, since we define MMV as the totality of factors that make her mate a good choice as a husband/father. And obviously she will want to marry the best husband material she can – realizing that “best” in this understanding involves some subjective desires on her part (her quirks, her “type”), but the vast majority of the factors will be objective and agreed on by almost everyone. Factors like: he’s tall, attractive, in decent shape, has a good education, good earning prospects, not much of a criminal record, not much illegal drug use, not an alcoholic, good family background, not a hothead or violent, is patient and open to being a father, emotionally mature and capable of love, loyal and able to control his sexual desires for other women, etc. So this is why we can talk about SMV and MMV in general and be pretty accurate – so many of the factors are objective. It’s why you can look at a guy and think he’s a good catch, and look at another guy and know he’s not husband material. You don’t know every single woman’s preferences, but you are able to generalize in this way.

      I disagree when you say men don’t date less than an 8 (I assume you’re referring to SMV as opposed to MMV…so in other words, pretty much looks alone). Truth is the opposite – most men will NEVER date an 8. Because you have to remember, on the 1 to 10 scale, 5 is the middle. This means, by definition, your average woman is a 5. So 6 is more attractive than Miss Average, a 7 is MUCH more attractive, and by the time you get to 8’s you are talking stunningly beautful. (A nine is pretty much a supermodel and the most beautful a woman can be – a ten is basically a nine who fills a niche for someone, as in he’s really into redheads, or Asians, or whatever)

      You say maybe they’re not an 8 objectively, but the men with them think they are. Again, yes and no. To a limited extent, the women get a subjective boost from their man due to the “wife goggles” effect I described earlier. But also, men are just not as picky or superficial in choosing a mate as women are. Men typically dont have a 50 bullet-point checklist of “deal-breakers”, but many women do. (To lean more about this, I highly recommend Lori Gottlieb’s book “Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough”, which is part auto-biographical and is a real page turner. It’s available on Amazon in kindle format). So a man will settle for marrying a “plain Jane” or Miss Average and won’t worry too much about it. It’s little girls who get socialized to wait for Mr. Perfect, aka Prince Charming. Overcoming this is a big part of Gottlieb’s struggle that she describes in her book. And it’s why she ended up unmarried (to her great regret) in her 40’s, even though there was nothing wrong with her SMV, nor any lack of interested males back in he prime dating years (early 20’s to early 30’s)

      Lastly, you say it’s not necessary for a girl to have a high SMV or high MMV to marry well, and this is what people should teach their daughters. Well, again, you dont understand the concept of MMV or you wouldn’t say that. A high MMV just means a girl is great wife/mother material. You saying you’d discourage your daughter from developing into good wife and mother material as she grows into adulthood?

      Regarding SMV, I think you mean girls shouldn’t judge themselves only on their looks or become too vain. I agree. But it doesnt change the fact that A) SMV is a large part of MMV, since people generally expect to be physically attracted to/have chemistry with their potential mate…even apart from good qualities like kindness, devotion, etc… and B) Girls with a higher SMV will have a larger pool of male suitors to choose from, and to the extent that finding the right spouse is a numbers game, this is a win for her. She has more options.

      Remember, a large part of SMV in females is controllable. Stay in shape, don’t get fat, take good care of your skin, maintain an attractive hairstyle (usually, on the longer side…as this appeals to men), learn to use make-up to flatter your appearance, dress in a manner that’s appealing to the male gaze and even a bit sexy…but not slutty or lacking in class, and so on. Plus, while looks are 90% of SMV, that means 10% are NOT looks and are therefore almost FULLY controllable. A girl can work in this area by presenting as fun, upbeat, feminine, delicate, poised, etc.

      Wow…had no idea this reply would grow to this length. I just find this stuff fascinating. And even though I’m happily off the market for many years now, my kids (esp my daughters) will be weaving through these minefields when they are of the appropriate age. So it’s nice to know that I and my wife are here to guide them now in preparation, and then later in actual practice.

      Let me know if you found this interesting at all!

      Like

      • “This was proven by experiments that showed SOME men will still date a fat woman (not as many as if she wasn’t fat, obviously!) but basically NO women at all will date a short guy.”

        My husband is about 6’3″ so you have caught me lusting after the superficial.

        However, I do know a jockey and a tree trimmer, very short men who married very well, charming women, pretty inside and out. I always find it somewhat funny, the jockey was always high up on a horse and the tree trimmer, he shimmies himself high up into trees. So subjectively both these men are very tall, as in you always have to look up to see them.

        Women have long known how to play with subjective reality, how to fool the eye and trick the mind. That’s what make-up and heels are all about. I was kind of surprised to discover that men do it too, sometimes on purpose and sometimes without even being aware of it. Both of those guys, the jockey and the tree trimmer had no idea they were making themselves more appealing to women, but they soon discovered it was fringe a benefit of the occupations they chose. And both their wives completely deny it to this day, but I suspect that’s how it’s supposed to work. We’re supposed to just enjoy the attraction not analyze it.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        IB,

        Well, if you’re interested…it turns out the experiment proving the superficiality of women when it comes to dating preferences has been carried numerous times, and has always been proven in the affirmative. Which makes you wonder why it’s men who get tagged as being too much about looks, when apparently women are even more about looks than men are. We need to change our worldview on this, as it is based on a false narrative (that women look past the superficial – it turns out, they do so less than men do!)

        (For the record, I am slightly taller than average for a male, as I stand 5’10”. However, my wife is very tall for a female – she matches my height, at also 5’10” so this obviously makes her appear taller than me if she wears even low heels. Which doesn’t bother either one of us.)

        Here’s just another example:

        The Social Experiment

        I increased my height on OkCupid to 5’9”, just below the American adult male average (I’m actually 5’4″). I retained my profile description — a combination of goofy humor and honest responses. I also kept my profile photos — all of me alone and mostly being adventurous and smiling.

        I messaged young women based on the same parameters as before: I have a base attraction to her; she has been online within the last few months; her profile is at least partially complete; and her height is 5’6” or less (to prevent me from wasting my time and not because I have an aversion to taller women).

        Finally, my message style was the same: I remarked on and asked questions about specific aspects of her profile; used language that leads to more responses; and included humor. In other words, the only factor that varied was my height.

        I contacted 31 young women and compared the response rate to the 31 I had messaged before the height change. For those who responded, I replied that I had increased my height for this article and apologized for misrepresenting myself.

        Before the change, 16 percent, or five out of 31 women, replied. Of those five, two of the women were clearly just being polite: one response was 17 words and the other 26; neither contained a follow-up question; and neither woman replied to my next message. That leaves a real response rate of 10 percent.

        After the height change, 29 percent, or nine out of 31 women, replied, which is the average response rate given my gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity. All responses were over 30 words and contained personal questions.

        I got dates out of this experiment from two lovely young women who said they didn’t value height. And I appreciated a different one’s honest response after I disclosed the truth: “If you are actually that height [5’4”] then I probably wouldn’t be attracted to you.”

        She was attracted to me at first, at least enough to type 126 words in her first reply. And nothing changed besides the knowledge that I was shorter. Short guys can be masters at improving ourselves to counteract our vertical disadvantage, but unlike most other physical attributes, height can’t be changed.

        Our remaining survival mechanisms are moving to Asia or turning gay. As it turns out, men can be rather accepting.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Let me just add this to the experiment I posted above,

        If you think about it, what he did was post two different versions of himself on the dating site – one with a higher SMV (the 5’9″ version) and one with a lower SMV (the actual, 5’4″ version).

        As you saw, the higher SMV has more opportunities with the opposite sex, much more options. And this remains true whether you think it’s fair or whether he does. It just is. Like gravity.

        If it were your son, would you rather he had the high SMV or the low? Same question about your daughters. The answer is obvious. Now since a lot of SMV is genetic, in some cases you can’t do much about it (like this guy’s height). But as I pointed out earlier, especially in women a lot of their SMV is controllable…and their MMV even more so.

        By the way, this is not to say people with low SMV (and low MMV) cannot find a mate. You mentioned you know 2 short men who are married, apparently successfully. I have no reason to doubt this – after all, the vast majority of people will marry. We’ve all seen even hugely fat women who have husbands (though you may wonder if she was that fat when they were dating).

        But it’s about generalities and numbers. In the name way, there have been people who flunked out of school and still made a succes of their life. Yet you still want your kids to do well in school and graduate…because IN GENERAL, IN THE MAIN, this will put them on an easier path to a good job, a well-rounded personality, etc. So think of training your daughter to achieve a high SMV (and even higher MMV) in the same way – it just makes it better/makes life easier for her.

        But of course people with lower SMV can still find a mate and get married, just as a high school drop-out can still get a job. It just may not be quite as a good a job as the high school graduate would get. And in the same way, the girl with the lower SMV will probably have to “settle” for a husband with a lower SMV, because men too are looking to marry as well as they can. This effect is called “assortive mating” and as an example I would point to the old Roseanne show. You take a look at the Roseanne character and you see she has low SMV. She assortively mated with the Dan character, who also had lower SMV (not only obese, but he had little earning power or status). This make sense. Now if the Roseanne character was expecting to marry George Clooney, then she has a problem. She doesn’t have the SMV and MMV to “pull” a guy like that. Anymore than the Dan character could “pull” a Scarlett Johanson.

        And there’s nothing immoral about it. Like seeks like. But of course, people with high SMV are happy to date and eventually marry their opposite sex counter-parts. The problem comes in when lower SMV people are not realistic with themselves, and hold out for a high SMV partner, i.e. Prince Charming…as it is more often women who fall into this trap. As Lori Gottleib points out in her book, men tend to be more realistic and more willing to “settle”, without making a big deal about it. As long as she is not totally repulsive looking and 300 pounds, and she’s nice to him, cooks for him, doesn’t nag his ears off, and gives him sex regularly, the averages guy is good with that. He doesnt expect to marry a model. But we do a lot of damage to girls with the constant emphasis on Mr. Perfect (aka Prince Charming) coming along.

        Again, I highly recommend Gottlieb’s book. She does a much better job explaining this than I can. And she is painfully honest about how she fell into this trap, and it basically ruined her life.

        P.S. The Roseanne character was wise to marry the Dan character. You can see that Dan has fairly low SMV, as I already pointed out (very overweight and so lessened sex appeal, little earning potential, no real status or power), but he has some good qualities on the MMV side of the equation. And these made him a loyal husband and good father. So it was worth it for Roseanne to accept his lower SMV in exchange for these other qualities that bumped up his MMV, especially since she herself has a low SMV (not considered attractive to the average man). All in all, a successful match, because both were realistic about their respective SMV and MMV, and with that in mind they still made the best play they could, i.e. “pulled” the nicest quality mate they realistically were able to. Then, the challenge for them is to attempt to build up some sexual attraction and chemistry for each other, in spite of their respectively low SMV’s.

        I have heard it said that men and women with very low SMV’s (almost no one finds them sexually attractive) should still marry each other, even if they will never be able to be attracted to each other or have much going on in the sex/romance department. Because this way they can still enjoy and participate in the other 2 aspects of marriage – companionship, and family formation (assuming they can bite the bullet and stand having sex with each just enough to procreate). This seems like good advice to me. If you can’t have the whole loaf of bread, isn’t half better than none?

        Thoughts?

        Like

  45. “I have heard it said that men and women with very low SMV’s (almost no one finds them sexually attractive) should still marry each other, even if they will never be able to be attracted to each other or have much going on in the sex/romance department.”

    LOL! I think you may be completely missing the point. Attraction, desire, are very subjective things. Just because two people YOU perceive as unattractive get married, does not mean they are doomed to have “nothing going on in the romance dept.” Conversely, a couple of supermodels can be inept and pathetic and never get it together.

    That is the foolishness of things like SMV and MMV. They exist in the realm of very narrow and misinformed ideology that does not take the actual human experience into account.

    Quantity does not equal quality. The fact that you can make yourself superficially attractive to a larger segment of the population, does not mean you have now increased your odds of finding a high quality spouse. You may simply attract every superficial narcissist interested in collecting a trophy.

    Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      You are repeating a common fallacy here.

      A female who is of low SMV is not sexually or romantically attracted to her male counter-part merely because they are at the same level. She still gets “the tingles” for a Brad Pitt or George Clooney, or Fabio on the cover of the romance novel. Just because she is a 3 in terms of SMV, this does not automatically make her attracted to a male 3. In other word, she still gets the hots for George Clooney, not George Costanza.

      Same thing with males. The balding, obese, basement-dweller in his mom’s house who plays video games all day (we’ll call him a 3 in terms of SMV) is not suddenly attracted to and turned on by Roseanne Barr, just because his SMV is similarly low to hers. No, he still wants Scarlett Johanson or Mena Suvari.

      So people tend to think that because very attractive people (let’s say 8’s) marry each other and have lots of attraction to each other, that works at all levels of SMV. Like with like, right? Well, wrong. I think it still works FAIRLY well at the level of Mr. and Miss Average (both are 5’s), provided the female can break away from the “Prince Charming” indoctrination and take a more realistic view. Men already tend be better about “settling” for less than their ideal, as I mentioned previously and as Lori Gottlieb covers pretty well in her book “Marry Him”.

      But when the people involved are outright unattractive (say 3’s), it becomes very difficult. Just because they may come to love and care about each other doesn’t make them blind. Most guys would have a hard time getting sexually excited and aroused over Roseanne Barr, even if they have been dating for awhile and have come to enjoy her personality. You’re going to be hard-pressed to find that passion, that “i gotta rip your clothes off and take you right now” kind of chemistry.

      Similarly, I doubt many females get the hots from John Goodman’s character on Roseanne. When they look at “Dan”, they may like him, they may think he’s like a big teddy bear, they may say they feel safe and comfortable with him, but very few would say they get weak in the knees and get the “tingles” when they think of him standing shirtless on a beach…and went to jump his bones. And I don’t think that would change dramatically after spending a few dates together.

      So, this is a problem. What do conventionally/objectively unattractive people do? I suggest they cut their losses. Realize they may never inspire sexual passion and intensity in a partner…they may never get to experience that. And that not “fair” in a sense, but life is not fair. (It’s not fair short guys have a devil of a time getting a date either.). So maybe forgo passion and strong sexual chemistry, but look for a marriage partner where they can experience together the other benefits of marriage – companionship and family formation. This is basically what the Roseanne and Dan characters did on the show. And it was a wise move for them. But it takes a certain amount of maturity, realism, and self-awareness.

      What do you think?

      Like

      • “Just because they may come to love and care about each other doesn’t make them blind. ”

        Sure it does. Blind as a bat.

        I kid you not, I now weigh all men against my husband. So while I love to joke about Brad Pitt or George Clooney and call them eye candy, it isn’t genuine attraction at all.

        I think we sexually bond with one another and I believe attraction, “chemistry” can be developed, that it is all in our minds, that we create it.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        But does your husband have an SMV down around 3? Because if not, and his SMV is at 5 or higher, you are just proving my point.

        Like

  46. “But does your husband have an SMV down around 3? Because if not, and his SMV is at 5 or higher, you are just proving my point.”

    I think you’re missing my point. People are not actually commodities with numbers attached to them. Attraction is a learned behavior. My husband could weigh 300 pounds and be missing his legs and yet I would still be drawn to him.

    Jeff, attraction is totally in our minds, in our imaginations and it is far less physical than we like to believe. Take a homeless bum, put him in sports car with a pair of sunglasses and you’ve just created instant attraction. Nothing has changed but the fantasy and the storyline, how we subjectively perceive another person.

    Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      IB,

      I understand your point about how love blinds us to an extent. This is why every parent thinks their child is above average, though this is of course statistically impossible. And to your point about your hubby, I agree to a point – this is what I was referring to with the whole “wife goggles” thing (in your case, “husband goggles”)

      But there is still some objective reality. Your insistence that “people are not commodities with numbers attached to them”? Well, i never said they were commodities – people are people. But “attaching numbers” is just a way of acknowledging the reality that some people are objectively more attractive than others.

      To disagree with me, you must believe that Roseanne Barr and Scarlett Johanson have equal SMV, i.e., they are equally attractive to the opposite sex. And I’m sure you can see that such a position is ludicrous.

      No matter how much “attraction is in our minds”, a woman looking like Roseanne will have a totally different experience in the Sexual Marketplace and the Marriage Marketplace than a woman looking like Mila Kunis will. Surely this is not a controversial statement. If you ask the average person on the street WHY the two women would have very different experiences, they would answer that it’s because the woman resembling Mika Kunis is so much hotter. Which is true – I just like to be a bit more precise, and so i would say its because that woman has a higher SMV than the Roseanne-looking one. Which is neither bad nor good – it just is.

      Like

      • Well, both Roseanne and Mika are fantasies, they are a collection of make-up, hair, clothing, and attitudes they present. They can make what you call their SMV go up or down depending on how they chose to walk in the world.

        There are a whole lot of women who actually dress down, tone it down, turn it off, so as to avoid the meat market aspect. Why? Because it says nothing about your value as a person nor does it draw quality people towards you.

        Both Mika and Roseanne are performers, they are performing a role. Their SMV is not innate to who they are, it’s the costume they wear for the general public. What you are calling SMV is so fluid, so subjective, that in the context of human experience it has little meaning.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Strand says:

        That’s why I said “a woman looking like Roseanne” and “a woman looking like Mika Kunis”. I’m not referring to the actual actresses – their lifestyles are too different from us mere riff raff.

        I’m saying normal women with normal jobs and normal income (which probably means they struggle to pay the bills). They are both such normal women in every respect. Only difference between them is that one of the two women looks like Roseanne and the other looks like Mila Kunis.

        That being the case, they have very different SMV’s…and their experiences in the dating pool and the “finding a mate” process will almost certainly be dramatically different.

        You disagree?

        Like

  47. “That being the case, they have very different SMV’s…and their experiences in the dating pool and the “finding a mate” process will almost certainly be dramatically different.”

    Ironically it is often those who are perceived as having a high SMV that will suffer the most. SMV is not really something to be desired or pursued. Look at all the Hollywood starlets who die young in a flurry of suicide and addiction. Being a commodity in a meat market ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

    From a Christian perspective, it is far better to invest in your soul than to subscribe to superficial and carnal concepts like SMV. The world is a big place, the human experience is vast, attraction can be very subjective, so you just can’t cram it all into an equation, assign it a number, and call it good.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Jeff Strand says:

    IB,

    Here’s a story by a 27 year old, Christian, marriage-minded young lady who sounds very sweet and decent and lovely. But she is above average weight. I would frame this fact as a serious hit to her SMV and therefore also to her MMV, and based on this I would predict she would have problems in her dating life and in finding a mate. You have made it clear you disagree with this – people find different attributes attractive, you can’t generalize, yadda yadda yadda.

    Which one of us is right? Well, here’s a quote from her article, you can see for yourself:

    “While I cannot speak for all women, I can say that being overweight has diminished (and most often completely erased) any interest from men. I once had a close friend confide in me that a boy I liked told her he could never date me, despite being “attracted to my personality,” because of my weight, because he was embarrassed by me. It was my worst nightmare come true — that my personality does not offer enough redemption for my looks. That my body is a great concession that a man would have to make. That everything that makes me lovable cannot outweigh my weight.”

    So she is not only unable to find a mate, she can’t even find a boyfriend! No man is willing to EVEN DATE her, because of her lowered SMV. I repeat, NO MAN – as in zip, nada. What happened to your theory that you can’t generalize? Shouldn’t lots of men find her attractive?

    She goes on to say:

    “In my limited dating experience, I can testify that love isn’t given a chance to grow without attraction.”

    So she is telling you what I have already said on this thread over and over. If the chemistry and attraction and sizzle (the Sexual Market Value) isn’t there, a woman doesn’t even get the opportunity to demonstrate her Marriage Market Value. The SMV has to be there, for the MMV to even matter. (This is also true in men, but to lesser extent. A physically unattractive man has more chance to overcome that by other factors – esp. status, power, and money. A woman normally doesn’t get this opportunity)

    Whole article here:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/06/27/fat-single-christian-in-church-being-overweight-and-dating-feels-like-a-sin/?tid=a_inl

    Like

    • I know quite a few very heavy people who are happily married. I also know some women who are not very physically attractive at all and yet they have no shortage of positive attention and dates.

      So I am not saying that it does not matter “at all,” nor am I demanding that all men must now find heavier women attractive. I am saying that some 75% of attraction really comes from our inner beauty, from our own feelings about ourselves and the amount of confidence we portray. What is on the inside of the cup so to speak, has a way of working itself onto the outside and shining.

      So your gal in the article reveals some bitterness, some resentment towards men, some self loathing towards her own self, and some anger towards the church. Perfectly reasonable, perfectly understandable, but these things are not attractive! She needs to fix her own self, her own feelings about her own self. That is even more important than the weight itself. Whether we are aware of it or not, we come at people carrying a lot of spiritual baggage, and that’s the kind of “weight” that will really repel men. I don’t wish to criticize this gal, but if I can read the chip on her shoulder, men can see it coming, too.

      Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Your claim that 75% of attraction comes from inner beauty is wildly false, imho. As this gal’s story demonstrates.

        Trying to convince people you are right also has possibly dangerous consequences. Because young women might come to believe that they “can let themselves go” when it comes to their physical appearance, as long as they are fabulous on the inside (and of course, they’re going to believe that about themselves, aren’t they?) After all, only a small part of attraction comes form physical looks according to you.

        Then these poor women will get into the dating/marriage market, only to learn what this gal learned the hard way. A girl’s physical looks are EXTREMELY important to potential dates and husbands. This being the case, a smart young lady will diligently work on her looks and on keeping in shape…and doing so will pay her handsome dividends in terms of her MMV.

        So you’re not doing young ladies any favors by repeating this message of yours. If anything, you’re harming them.

        P.S. I never said a woman who’s fat or has low SMV can’t get married. Recall that 90% of people do marry at some point. But it’s going to be a much tougher time in the dating market for such a woman, and she will be passed over by many, many men who have plenty of options and are “good catches”.

        Like

        • “Because young women might come to believe that they “can let themselves go” when it comes to their physical appearance, as long as they are fabulous on the inside (and of course, they’re going to believe that about themselves, aren’t they?)”

          No, no they aren’t at all. Women seldom believe they are fabulous on the inside. They are generally trapped in shame and self loathing, thanks to our culture that puts so much emphasis on the physical.

          Scripture actually warns women about this, it explains how we are to be clothed in strength and dignity, not focused on the external adornment, the braiding of hair, wearing of jewels…the shape of our bodies. Why? Because that is a trap, a deception, that keeps us stuck on a treadmill of foolishness.

          I think what you fail to recognize is how inner beauty is always going to eventually manifest itself on the outside. So the extra weight on our bodies will gradually fall away as a direct consequence of focusing on the beauty within our souls, rather than obsessing over the false shame of our external weight.

          Ironically, extra weight is often directly related to deep seated resentment around having been treated like someone stamped USDA choice in the first place. Weight likes to layer itself about our bodies like scar tissue, like a self defense mechanism against exploitation. Women can diet and exercise all we want, but we never truly free ourselves until we get to the root cause of the problem and find healing.

          Like

        • Jeff Strand says:

          Tell it to the woman who wrote that article I linked.

          If she comes off bitter, it’s a result of being rejected by all the guys she’s ever been interested in…because of her looks. And you can’t blame the men – everyone wants to marry “up”, and they are no different.

          So maybe she should focus on the 300 pound, balding, socially awkward, unemployed guy who lives with his mom and doesn’t have real good hygiene. Because according to you, that guy might be a real catch and be super attractive and sexy because he might be a beautiful person on the inside.

          Do I have that right.?

          Like

  49. […] in the end, all I’ve ever asked for is basic decency and kindness, and that’s apparently too hard for […]

    Like

Join the Conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: