Hierarchy and Worth

One of the major problems I see in the people and especially the couples around me is that we live in a world where our worth is tied entirely to our position.

Think about it.

The people we idolize and idealize are those who are in positions of power or authority. Our heroes are athletes, politician, movie stars and musicians.
We grew up being told that we could be astronauts, or the President. There was something unique and special and we can do anything we want. Any and all of us could be CEO’s if we put our minds to it.

And since we were all told we were capable of everything, then clearly the only reason we don’t achieve that same level of success is because we either were lazy and didn’t work hard enough or we were a victim of the system/another person.

If you did achieve those goals then it was either because you worked harder than everyone else or you got lucky/stepped on toes to get to the top.
We function in a paradigm that places all value on where we sit in our social hierarchy. And so we see two opposite and direct responses to this “blank-slate” view of the world.

On the one hand you have the libertarian mindset – a man’s successes and failures are the direct result of his own effort and labor. A man born in a third-world country, if given the same opportunity and expending the same amount of effort, can accomplish the same thing as a man born in the wealthy class of a first-world nation.

And on the other hand is the attempt to completely obliterate any sense of hierarchy at all – we are all equal and the only way another person gets ahead is by exploiting those around him. There are no inherent differences between men and women, races, levels of intelligence or physical capabilities. A four-foot Irish man could be an NBA star if the NBA would just abolish all those pesky rules that prevent him from being able to score as well as the rest of the men.

Both of these world views are inherently flawed in that they place all of a person’s value on their hierarchal standing. It’s no wonder modern women are consciously discontent to have their husbands be the head of the household notwithstanding the biological and spiritual inclination to do so.

It’s no wonder that modern men sacrifice time with their families or having families at all just to climb the social and career ladder a couple of rungs higher.
But God doesn’t value us in a hierarchal manner. Even after the final judgment has happened, he will love his Terrestrial children as much as the Celestial.

Just like in the parable of the talents, God cares more about what we do with our circumstances, not how much we have initially or finally end up with. My parents used to tell me they be happy with my getting C’s on my report cards if that were the result of effort and hard work, but even A’s don’t matter if I didn’t have to work for them.

God is a god of order. He established his Church with a hierarchy, but that doesn’t mean He loves Noah more than He loves you. He established the family with a hierarchy, but that doesn’t mean He loves men more than He loves women.

The sooner we abandon the hierarchy as value paradigm, the happier we can be with the outcomes and the more we can respect ourselves even if we’re not the top of the food chain.


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Marriage and Work

There’s no way to escape the fact that marriage is work. However, it’s easy to see why we make the mistake of believing it shouldn’t be.
Both men and women see a wedding and marriage as a goal – an end. For both there is the tendency to think, “I finally have someone to love me for who I am and to commit to me. I am safe with this person. I can finally let my guard down, stop putting on the act and completely be myself.”

For the average woman this turns into gaining weight, wearing less stylish clothing, chopping her hair short and generally letting her appearance her pleasantness and the appearance of her house go.

Her husband responds by being less sexually interested, less inclined to make decisions himself and less willing to keep his own life ordered and tidy.

For the average man this means gaining weight, losing his sense of adventure and generally falling into an agreeable/deferential state of mind instead of maintaining his own identity, goals and pursuits.

His wife responds by being less sexually interested, more of a nag and less inclined to keep up in her own responsibilities.
Hence we see the fat wife and the sloppy husband.

Letting yourself go in and of itself is not work. However, what it does is create tension and contention within the relationship. This works two ways.
First is the most obvious. Husband is less satisfied with his wife because she’s let herself go or wife is less satisfied with husband for the same reason. Either or both become resentful to some extent and the bond between the two is damaged. Because the bond is damaged tension and contention increase. But, because the bond is only damaged and not entirely gone, both are still concerned with the welfare of the relationship and the happiness of their spouse. Essentially it leads to arguments.

The other way in which it creates tension is that both spouses know they are capable of better. As much as we will try to rationalize ourselves out of it, we are not happy when we are stagnant, and we are even more miserable when we’re digressing. The resentment a husband feels for a fat, sloppy wife is nothing compared to the disgust she feels herself. The disrespect a wife shows to her henpecked husband has no comparison with the shame he feels inside for allowing himself to be mothered by his spouse.

Spiritually, emotionally and relationally this creates work. The most discouraging thing is that it is not productive work. The guilty parties who have to work are putting in effort to get back to a point where they were when they first got married. It’s walking up the down escalator.

So the better alternative is to see marriage as a continuation of the dating process. It’s still a lot of work, but it’s productive work. Inertia is working for you instead of against. A wife who maintains her appearance, her pleasantness and her home will have an easier time making her husband and herself happy than the woman who’s let things go and has to climb back to square one. A husband who continues to lead, stay in shape, pursue external hobbies and goals and be a man of respect will find it easier to increase his results relative to his effort than the one who has no sense of self or respect from his family.
Marriage is work either way, what’s up to us is whether or not it will be productive, rewarding and progressive work or the alternative.


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testing, testing 1…2…3


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Review of Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011

I finished the book a long time ago but by taking a break I haven’t written a review yet.

Athol does himself a disservice by titling the book “Married Man Sex Life.” Yes I know it’s the name of the blog and the brand he’s given himself but the principles he teaches are well beyond just getting some action from your wife.

While many in the manosphere have argued that marriage is largely or entirely a sexual contract, there are those of us who have other needs that our wives can meet. We want children, respect, companionship, trust, affection, safety and familiarity.

For many men who don’t know how to improve themselves, these righteous desires can be twisted and used against them. Their children undermine them, they garner no respect from family or coworkers, the companionship of a wife becomes that of a shrew, trust turns into blame and guilt, affection is completely cut off and safety and familiarity become contempt or monotony.

The plan Athol lays out in his book will help men become someone worthy of the respect, family and sex they want. It doesn’t guarantee how others will respond to the new man; but it does give him the tools to improve and become someone deserving of those qualities.

On top of his advice, Athol writes in a manner that takes a lot of the venom and vitriol out of the mansosphere/Game/anti-feminism blogs. There is an eyes-wide-open exposure to the weaknesses and strengths of both men and women, but it is approached with the attitude of this being natural programming and not something that should be resented or cured. Men can work on themselves and women can work on themselves.

Be warned that much of the content is explicit. Although the concepts are valid for more than just marriage or sex, this is not a book I would recommend to a young LDS man about to go to college or who has started dating. However I do think it is a great read for newlyweds.

All in all, this was a great read. Athol takes concepts and ideas that have existed on both his blog and others and presents them in a palatable way to those who aren’t quite ready to swallow the red pill but want to test the water first. It will open eyes and improve relationships.


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The Ideal Western Woman

I’m taking a break from writing for a bit, but this video was too good to pass up. Notice that she’s a recent MBA grad and fat. Nice.


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Stop Whining

It undermines you. It takes you out of a frame of control and paints you as a victim; and leaders aren’t victims.

I’m extremely guilty of this one. I have an idea of how the world should be. It seems fair and objective. When people don’t live up to that – whether at work or my personal life – I vent about it and get frustrated.

A perfect example for me and most of the men in my life is road rage. I hate driving home from work and want it to take as little time as possible. So if I’m delayed because someone is too slow in one lane or isn’t paying attention when the light turns green, it really sets me off. Logically I know that it really only adds three minutes to my commute, at a maximum. But the fact that someone isn’t driving the way I expect them to instantly triggers frustration. It’s annoying.

I get why men complain. It’s pretty easy actually. By drawing attention to our circumstances we make ourselves look more masculine and tough by surmounting them or enduring them well.

When you were a boy you probably sprained your ankle. No one could see any physical damage and you probably limped around a little bit more and a little bit longer than you really had to. You made a bigger deal out of it than it really was because it drew people’s attention to you and (hopefully) made them respect you more for your massive amounts of strength and endurance in overcoming the sprained-ankle trial.

On the other hand, you probably got stitches once too. But – since this was a very visible and noticeable wound – you acted like it was no big deal. Rather than drawing attention to it, you deflected attention away from it, brushed it off, made jokes, tried to change the subject, whatever. The goal was the same, you wanted people to admire and respect your masculine ability to overcome.

It makes a pretty simple formula

Visible distress = brush it off and prove I’m tough

Invisible distress = make it visible and prove I’m tough

This is also why babies cry, stop to look around if anyone is looking, and then start crying again if someone is.

As adults we really haven’t grown out of this, we’re just more subtle about it. The irony is that most people recognize it on a subconscious level. If you’re complaining about being slammed at work, people think you can’t handle it. Even if it is a workload worth empathy, they still think less of you instead of more because you’re whining about it.

It means you’ll have to sacrifice some recognition from other people. Not everyone is going to know about the day you had to cover the noon rush on your own, or the time you stubbed your toe really, really ( I mean really) hard in the door. But the short-term sacrifice will pay off in the long run. It’s better to be known as the man who does his job without complaint than the spoiled boy who has to gripe about everything.

Obviously this doesn’t mean you bend over and take any injustice because you’re supposed to be a man about it. If things are within your control to change, or bad things happen on a periodic basis instead of a single event, then you want to draw attention to it. Speak to the person who can make the change or make the change yourself and move on.

But when it comes to those little setbacks that everyone experiences, just grit your teeth and endure it well. No one wants to be around a whiner.


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Do They Want White Knights or Not?

A few months ago I decided that I wanted to read posts from those with opposing points of view in the gender relations department and added a few feminist sites to my Reader feed. Of course – being a Mormon – one can’t avoid the car wreck in the bloggernacle that is Feminist Mormon Housewives.

In my few months of reading all the articles posted I have yet to find one that hasn’t made me laugh out loud at my desk. The predictability, the doctrinal inconsistency, the self justification, all of it can be too much to handle at times. Normally I will just read, have a chuckle and then move on with my life; but today’s article was too ironic to pass up without a response.

Nat Kelly starts off a woefully sad and depressing story about an immigrant woman being “harassed” on the bus and the inherent lack of white knights there to protect her. Every paragraph in this post is rife with either blatant contradictions or serious hypocrisy. I wonder how they don’t see it.

On the bus, I took a seat behind a man sitting by himself. During the ride, I noticed his face plastered against the window, and his stare riveted to the sidewalk outside. I paid no attention to it until I started hearing him utter phrases like, “Oh helloooo Mommy!” under his breath. He was using the bus ride as a voyeuristic opportunity to ogle every woman who happened to be on the sidewalk.

But then another man got on. He walked past me and I didn’t think anything of him, too wrapped up in being disgusted at the pervert in front of me.

Don’t you love that the liberal/feminist culture of tolerance only extends so far? They’re as fanatical in their intolerance of others’ intolerance as they accuse the rest of the world of being. What’s the difference between a systemic intolerance of intolerance or a systemic intolerance of anything else? Besides, I thought a good liberal or feminist was supposed to give people the benefit of the doubt. Kelly certainly doesn’t wax thoughtful about whether or not the “pervert” (love the shaming language) was mentally handicapped or anything like that. She immediately jumps to the conclusion that he is a vile sexual offender based solely on her limited perception of the comments he’s muttering to himself. Hello pot meet kettle.

Then I hear him muttering something, across the aisle and 2 rows back.

“Are you from another country? Which one? Are you from China? The Philippines?”

I glance back to see that he has sat down right next to the woman I spoke to at the bus stop, despite the bus being nearly empty. He was talking to her in a low tone, getting as close to her as possible. Everything about the woman’s body language was at red alert. Her entire body was turned towards the window, her eyes wide open, her mouth in an angry, nervous straight line.

“Are you from Taiwan? Thailand?”

He lowered his voice even further and spoke so I couldn’t hear. I could see her alarm visibly rising.

My stop was only 3 blocks away. I didn’t know what to do. My first impulse was to say, “Dude, leave her alone, go sit somewhere else, you jerk.” But I had no idea how he would react. I had no idea if he was mentally stable, or if he would lash out and hurt one of us.

Based on what she tells in her story it sounds like the man would have been annoying – maybe even a bit creepy – but certainly not a predator. There was nothing either implicitly or explicitly sexual or threatening in the way he was acting. In fact, I’m willing to guess the exchange wouldn’t have even registered on her radar if the man had sat down next to another white man and start asking him what state he was from. She most likely would have written him off as crazy and left it at that. The fact that it was an immigrant woman he was talking to makes for the double victimization; and there’s nothing SWPL’s love more than seeing, pitying and writing about victims – real or perceived. The woman may have been genuinely afraid but why doesn’t Kelly condemn her for that? Why not call her out for being judgmental and impatient of a man who most likely has a screw or two lose? Isn’t he also a child of God who deserves mercy and understanding? Oh wait over at FMH, God’s love is only for women and minorities.

All of her perceived thoughts of equity and you go girlness aside, Kelly decides to remedy her man problem by approaching… wait for it… yes you guessed it… another man. Steinem and the sisterhood would be so proud. Not only just a man, but a male authority figure. And why aren’t there more women bus drivers anyway. It’s the patriarchy trying to keep the womenz down.

I walked up to the driver and said, “Hey, the guy in the white hat is-”

“Yeah, I know, I’m watching him. He rides all the time, kinda kooky.”

Well would you look at that. The man of the situation – even if he is just a lowly bus driver – is aware of his domain. Not only does he see what’s going on at that immediate point in time, but he’s paid enough attention to his little corner of responsibility in the past that he recognizes the passenger for the kook he is. It’s great to see the inherent virtue in a man who owns his domain and is aware of potential problems or hazards within his sphere of influence.

I love that when the bus driver tells Kelly the passenger is a bit kooky, it doesn’t call her to a sincere repentance for being so quick to judge, rather it just escalates her own perception of him being “weird” and therefore undesirable and less worthy in the eyes of the Lord. The same thing she’s accusing him of feeling towards the immigrant woman. You can’t make crap like this up.

Meanwhile, the woman stood up to move. (Duh, Natalie! Why didn’t you address her and offer her a seat by you!) The man stayed right where he was, blocking her access to the aisle. The driver yelled at him several times to get up and let her move, and he slowly swung his legs out so she could shimmy by.

I got off the bus and turned back towards it. There she was, staring determinedly out the window, now on the other side, face full of fear and hatred. I made eye contact with her briefly, and tried to give some sort of expressive smile – expressive of support, anger, disgust, love, solidarity. Oh, if looks could heal.

In fairness to the author and the article, when the passenger refused to let the woman out of her seat, he crossed a line and should have been called down for it. Thankfully the bus driver – in all his masculine glory – was there and able to do so. Some would accuse him of white knighting for the woman, but he really was doing his job and keeping control in his domain. Good on the driver.

How great that Kelly laments her inability to express – through a mere smile – her sense of solidarity with the immigrant woman. “If looks could heal” is a load of tripe. I’m sure the immigrant woman would also appreciate Kelly’s “look of solidarity” as she’s being robbed or raped because it would show that women stand together and they hate hate hate all the evil in the world. The narcissism and laziness expressed in Kelly’s solution to the woman’s “problem” are extremely sad and extremely telling. Why get your hands dirty solving a problem when you can pat yourself on your moral back by empathizing with the victim? The latter is safer and you still get to feel self-righteous about your condemnation of evil.

She goes on to bemoan the objectification of women (without acknowledging that it is primarily perpetrated by other women), the vilification of immigrants (even though the immigrant woman also was being judgmental and closed-minded about the man who sat down next to her), and the failure to finally be in the liberal utopia wherein all people of all creeds, colors and sexes are exactly the same (when Mormon doctrine specifically outlines that the world will become increasingly more evil and dystopic until the Second Coming of Christ).

She complains about the physical differences between men and women without recognizing that they always have and always will exist. The only reason women didn’t feel as in danger in the past was because there were other men who were willing and able to defend an innocent woman from a predator. And that’s the real irony, in her attempt to create a feminist utopia, Kelly and her sisterhood have succeeded in making the world a more dangerous, more miserable place for women. One where men no longer step up to protect a strange woman out of a fear of their own propensity for violence, apathy for the plight of another human being, belief that women and men are inherently the same (no man would step in if it were another man being harassed on the bus), and an understanding of the high likelihood that the woman they saved would immediately resent them for doing so.

Feminism, multiculturalism and liberalism are what create the unironic inconsistency of Kelly’s view of the world. This is the society these ideologies have created.


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