Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Getting game

I've been attempting to develop the idea that a culture of relationships is formed from three inputs: marriage, romantic love and sex.

It strikes me that you can understand the rise of game a little better using this framework.

For much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries romantic love was the predominant input into the culture of relationships. When men are most influenced by romantic love they tend to idealise women: they fall in love with an image of women as being beautiful and good.

But then second and third wave feminists fought for a sexual liberation, in which women were to pursue relationships without regard to either marriage or romantic love. Marriage was condemned as a patriarchal institution, a "cage," and romantic love was condemned for placing women on a pedestal. Feminist women in their speech, dress and behaviour sought to destroy the romantic ideal of women.

The men who came to maturity in this situation faced a difficult situation. There was still the influence of an older culture of relationships in which women were idealised and even treated as morally superior to men. But what many men observed didn't fit this view of women. They observed women acting against the romantic ideal, by drinking heavily, getting tattooed, dressing mannishly, speaking coarsely and pursuing sex with men who didn't treat them so well.

What's more, it was expected that men would simply fit into whatever modern women wanted. Men existed to prop up the chosen life course of women.

So what happened? Some men (gamists) adapted to the new situation. They accepted that relationships were to be pursued primarily for sex, rather than for marriage or romantic love. They attempted to develop techniques by which they could more successfully pursue sex with the most sexually desirable women.

And who have gamists set themselves against? They do not like those men they refer to as pedestalizers - those who place women on a pedestal. I get this, as it's difficult for those of us who are familiar with the behaviour of "sexually liberated" women to see them as morally superior to men.

But I'd also make two points here. The idea of women being superior to men took off in the Victorian period - at the same time that romantic love was becoming the predominant input into relationships. This isn't a coincidence. The more that men romantically idealise women, the more likely it is that women will be seen as purer and morally finer than men.

When marriage had more of an influence in relationships (i.e. at most times prior to the later Victorian period), moral leadership was not handed over to women. If anything, the opposite was true - it was husbands and fathers who were expected to exercise moral guardianship within families and within society as a whole.

Second, it may not be the best thing to totally erase the influence of romantic love and the idealisation of women. Prior to the 1970s, when the romantic ideal was predominant, women did make an effort to live up to an image of feminine goodness and beauty. There were even finishing schools for women to encourage an ideal of feminine behaviour.

In the early 1980s in Melbourne, there were still women in my middle-class Catholic social milieu who were genuinely lovely in the way they dressed and acted. At the time, I simply thought that this was normal, and I would probably even have accepted the idea that women were better behaved than men (boy was I in for a shock).

One small anecdote to illustrate this. On a group date when I was still in high school we boys, acting up a bit, brought along a case of beer. The girls seemed remarkably unfussed by it and took it away to put it in the fridge. But they hid it and brought out instead some non-alcoholic wine (if you're male and outraged by this, you have to remember that the beer would have been drunk to considerable excess - there would have been no pleasant dinner party that the girls had planned). So the girls here were acting to constrain the larrikin behaviour of the boys.

We need to get the inputs right. If romantic love is too predominant, then men are likely to falsely attribute moral superiority to women and to foolishly hand over the moral guardianship of society to women alone - a mistake made by the later Victorians. But if romantic love is too weak an input, then women will not adapt to men selecting for a feminine ideal of beauty and goodness.

What else do gamists frequently talk about at their sites? Gender realism. They see themselves as pioneering a more realistic understanding of female behaviour. Again, I do get this. When romantic love was more of an influence, not only were men more likely to naively assume goodness in women, they could more often get away with doing so.

When people think mostly about marriage and family, they are likely to carefully select their partners. After all, they are selecting someone to spend a lifetime with and to raise children with. There might also be concern for the reputation and the status of the family. So young people are likely to get advice from family members and from the culture about how to choose wisely.

But when it's mostly about romantic love, then what matters is spontaneous impulse and feeling. There's nothing here to be taught, so there's little point in making a conscious effort to guide people. This is one reason for people being naive in a culture based on romantic love. Another reason is that there is no brake to the romantic idealisation of women by men.

There was also back in the 1970s and 80s the remnants of a chivalrous attitude to women, which made it more difficult to criticise women - the emphasis was on male respect for women, something that second wave feminists took advantage of even when they themselves no longer aimed to behave like ladies.

So, yes, I think it's true to say that there was a lack of gender realism. I'll confess that I went into relationships entirely naively as a young man. I hadn't received a skerrick of advice from any quarter.

So it's interesting for me, too, to read open discussions about the nature of women at gamist websites. And quite a bit of it accords well with my own experience. The one qualification here is that gamists sometimes take the current situation, in which sex is the predominant input, to represent the unchanging reality of what young, desirable women prefer to select for in men.

When sex really is the predominant input, then women will often respond to the crudest of sexual markers; they might ignore matters of intelligence and emotional stability and instead respond to muscle, to height, to aggression, to risk-taking - to raw displays of testosterone in men.

But I remember when romantic love was more predominant. Young people then were more oriented to relationships than to hook ups. Which then meant that people dated within lifestyle groups. If you were an arty, intellectual type of guy you could do very well with arty women - who, before the onset of radical feminism in the arts faculties, were often amongst the most attractive of girls.

Similarly, when upper middle-class women are marriage oriented, they are just as likely to look for status markers as for crude displays of testosterone. They might pay attention to the private school you attended, or where your family takes its summer holidays, or the profession you work in or the suburb you live in.

In a more settled society, in which marriage is predominant, the chaos of hook ups will be replaced with a more formalised culture of courtship. Parents will play more of a role in guiding this process, and given that they will want the best outcome for the family and for their daughter, they are likely to favour young men of good character and background. In these conditions, it might even pay to be a "good man" - as late as the early 1900s, it was still being said that "beauty in a woman is a reward for goodness in a man" - something which seems entirely misleading today, but which once was taken seriously.

There's one final point to be made. Gamists often write about emulating alpha male behaviour. The idea is to show signs of being socially dominant in a masculine way to be sexually successful with women.

The good thing here is that men are being encouraged to be masculine in their dealings with women. And there are other aspects of game which are admirably masculine. The gamist websites are intellectually curious, open and broadminded. The gamists refuse the secondary role assigned to men by feminists - of propping up whatever women happen to choose for themselves. Gamists also refuse to take what women, and feminist critics, say at face value. Finally, gamists have not fallen in unthinkingly with the liberal orthodoxy - they are not meekly politically correct, but do recognise what is destructive within liberal societies.

I like all of this. But I think too that there are aspects of game that are yet to be resolved. For instance, gamists are focused on adapting to the current situation of sexual liberation - which is why the emphasis is on the pursuit of women for casual sex.

Why passively adapt to sexual liberation? Wouldn't it be more alpha to seek to shape the environment you live in?

Many gamists are Darwinians. I sometimes wonder if they are following a model in which the successful organism is the one which best adapts to its environment. That would explain why the focus is on successful adaptation, rather than on political change.

The problem is, though, that the adaptation means giving up on marriage and reproduction. So adaptation to sexual liberation doesn't mean success in Darwinian terms via the passing on of genes. It means Darwinian failure.

And many gamists do seem to recognise that the adaptation they argue for is a downward one. I've read gamists who see the situation as lost, with Western man having no future, and with game being a way of going out on your own terms. The adaptation that game offers does not involve us bequeathing anything of ourselves to the future.

And even on the personal level, there are some unresolved questions. What happens as you get older? Is a man aged 40 or 50 still going to hang around nightclubs trying to pick up the sexiest 20-year-old women for casual sex? There has been a discussion of this at game sites lately, with some men hopefully answering yes to the idea of older men hanging out with much younger women. It seems to me though that the older a man gets the more strained this kind of lifestyle is likely to be.

Anyway, I'll continue to read the game websites with interest. The rapid growth of these sites shows how possible it is for new kinds of thinking to emerge - something which should encourage those who wish to challenge liberal orthodoxy.

44 comments:

  1. I continually see the assertion that sexual liberation was all a project of feminism, at many conservative websites. Can we credibly claim that male efforts to change censorship laws, to publish Playboy magazine and spread "The Playboy Philosophy" and other tripe, were insignificant? I don't think that blaming it all on feminism is the least bit historically accurate.

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  2. There were several discussions about "game" on Lawrence Auster's blog a while ago that may be worth reading.

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  3. "But if romantic love is too weak an input, then women will not adapt to men selecting for a feminine ideal of beauty and goodness."

    This is not true. In Asian societies romantic love is not a major consideration in marriage at all and yet women are in general better groomed, dressed and behaved than Western women.


    How can the selection of a marriage partner be based upon an ideal? No-one is wholly good and the negotiation of a socially constructed and lifelong relationship like marriage requires the ability to assess the potential partner in a realistic way and not an idealised one based upon fantasies and projections.

    The major considerations have to be the traditional ones - ancestry, education, ethnicity, religion and net worth.

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  4. Clarke Coleman I agree. I have elsewhere acknowledged the contribution of the Hefners & Flemings.

    If I emphasise the role of feminism it's probably because middle-class Catholic culture here in Melbourne survived it all until third-wave feminism arrived and delivered the final blow.

    Anonymous, again I agree. I think marriage and family have to be the major inputs.

    Nonetheless, the romantic ideal is not wholly a lie. When a young man perceives in women a feminine essence that is beautiful and good and that inspires love is he really being wholly deceived?

    I don't think so, and such a perception can even be an aspect of the spiritual life of men. It has, at any rate, inspired much of the best Western art.

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  5. "They do not like those men they refer to as pedestalizers"

    Ah ha! So you've been reading up.

    "Why passively adapt to sexual liberation? Wouldn't it be more alpha to seek to shape the environment you live in?"

    How much power do we have as individuals to shape our world? Not much. Movements focused on reforming the conditions of the sexual marketplace are doomed to failure both because men are incapable of cooperating when it comes to women and because the men who join such movements will be be tagged as losers (which is why the men's rights movement has made little ground). Individual solutions are the only ones that are viable.

    "The problem is, though, that the adaptation means giving up on marriage and reproduction. So adaptation to sexual liberation doesn't mean success in Darwinian terms via the passing on of genes. It means Darwinian failure."

    Not necessarily. It's entirely possible to marry and reproduce provided you either join a relatively strict church or expat. I plan on doing the latter when I'm financially and mentally ready.

    "What happens as you get older? Is a man aged 40 or 50 still going to hang around nightclubs trying to pick up the sexiest 20-year-old women for casual sex?"

    Not every man can do that, but for those who can pull it off, I say they should. Me, I'd rather not play the odds.

    Also, there's no reason why a man has to either marry or keep playing the game into old age. Presumably, when you get to that stage of life, it's much easier to live without sex. I see a large number of men taking the "stay single, but don't bother with women" route.

    Thanks for this post, Mr. Richardson. I appreciate that you have an open mind on this subject.

    clarkcoleman:

    "Can we credibly claim that male efforts to change censorship laws, to publish Playboy magazine and spread "The Playboy Philosophy" and other tripe, were insignificant? I don't think that blaming it all on feminism is the least bit historically accurate."

    Feminism != women. The rise of feminism was aided and abetted by a coterie of men who sought to gain from it. John Dolan describes one group of them:

    "Because -- and this was another wrinkle I, like Dworkin, was far too naive to grasp -- most meanstream men were in on the joke too. They were, in fact, more aware of what a joke it was than the young women students who in many cases, truly thought they believed their own clenched-fist chantings. The male response to 70s feminism was horror from old fools like Mailer, but a tolerant smile from the cool dudes whose job it was to disarm and **** the feisty ladies. Their stance was a slightly more subtle, coy version of 'you're so cute when you're mad, honey.'"

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  6. Speaking of modern Catholic culture's(not just in Melbourne) defeat...

    " The question of human procreation, like every other question which touches human life, involves more than the limited aspects specific to such disciplines as biology, psychology, demography or sociology. It is the whole man and the whole mission to which he is called that must be considered: both its natural, earthly aspects and its supernatural, eternal aspects"
    .
    .
    .
    " As a consequence, husband and wife, through that mutual gift of themselves, which is specific and exclusive to them alone, develop that union of two persons in which they perfect one another, cooperating with God in the generation and rearing of new lives. "


    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html

    Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI, July 1968

    I would argue the ideal conception of Western marriage has little to do with Romance, inheritance or sexual conquest. Rather, it is the metaphor of Christ and his church. One in which the role of God is more central than the individuals.

    Game, while a natural reaction to the excesses and debasement of feminism, in this sense is also a rejection of Western culture.

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  7. How much power do we have as individuals to shape our world? Not much.

    Some would disagree. According to Colin Wilson in "The Outsider," eccentric individuals turn the wheels of cultural change.

    Not every man can do that, but for those who can pull it off, I say they should. Me, I'd rather not play the odds.

    This is the philosophy of liberalism except that here is it applied to men instead of women and minorities, masculism if you will, but radical autonomy non the less.

    An understandable development, to be sure, but this does not represent a path for society to follow that is different than the modernist one.

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  8. Take an innocent boy, place him in a confined environment for over a decade with no liberties other than those given at the whim of a surly matriarch. Expose him to constant psychological degradation, humiliation and discrimination.

    That's modern institutionalized education for boys. Girls observing this phenomena loose respect for males and become independently minded.

    http://www.henrymakow.com/feminism_is_key_to_making_of_a.html

    Game is simply reasserting ingrained masculinity.

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  9. Game-ist critiques of “The Pedestal” tend to forget that lofty status was mainly reserved for virgins and honest married women. Feminists won’t shut up about that fact.

    The loose or “fallen” woman was openly condemned and doomed to low status, with some leeway for the penitent. She was certainly unworthy of marriage, and perhaps also unworthy of romantic love. (The man who fell in love with a prostitute was once roundly mocked, but since the 19th century he has been increasingly romanticized.)

    Has the theme of men’s “moral guardianship” been expanded upon at this blog? Social dominance among men once played out in guarding the chastity and reputation of one’s female relatives. While the “alpha” male could indulge his desires with fallen women, moralism was also a form of dominance.

    I don’t know that this moralism was ever left in women’s hands alone. The father who cleans his shotgun when he meets his daughter’s date is still a common image, at least here in the U.S.

    I suspect that when women and men aspired to sexual liberation, the egalitarian ethos was channeled so that all women were to be treated with the honor due to the virginal maid and the honest wife. Am I alone in thinking that men have been trained to react to accusations of female sluttishness as if every woman so accused were a blushing innocent?

    Perhaps non-judgmentalism sapped male authority even more than feminism.

    Have any game-ists addressed the problem of what to do with one’s teenage daughter in today’s world? Their philosophy is a young man’s, not a father’s.

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  10. The male response to 70s feminism was horror from old fools like Mailer, but a tolerant smile from the cool dudes whose job it was to disarm and **** the feisty ladies. Their stance was a slightly more subtle, coy version of 'you're so cute when you're mad, honey.'"

    And that's about when the last stage of nihilism kicks in: the world is full of creeps in which there is nothing good, right or noble, and it's better just to destroy it.

    Before we march gloomily down to the grave, maybe we can try cooperating anyway and risk the "loser" label. You say that your "game theory" posits that men won't cooperate when it comes to women. But didn't the original Game Theorist, John Nash, posit just the opposite, i.e. that some games work in favor of all players winning?

    Haven't we played successfully the "game" in which most men and women succeeded at mating before?

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  11. Kevin Jones writes,

    Have any game-ists addressed the problem of what to do with one’s teenage daughter in today’s world? Their philosophy is a young man’s, not a father’s.

    Maybe the No Future Clause isn't just for feminists.

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  12. I have been a lurker at Roissy's site. From a point of academic interest, game does propose some interesting theories regarding the female psychology.

    I fail to understand the importance given to romantic love by western civilization. This form of love is temporary and peripheral, unlike other interpersonal bonds(father-son,mother-son). Marriages built on these fleeting emotions are as stable as my equity investment.

    A marriage must be purely viewed as tool for building a family, and hence it must be based on much more long term interests.

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  13. "But didn't the original Game Theorist, John Nash, posit just the opposite, i.e. that some games work in favor of all players winning?"

    That was the liberal utopian Hollywood version of Nash, in "A Beautiful Mind", that angered the hell out of legitimate game theorists by completely misrepresenting the science. Thank you for validating all of the complaints about the portrayal of game theory on that film.

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  14. Anon:

    Not quite. The Nash Equilibrium is the idea that there is a set of strategies by which the players cannot be better off by making another worse.

    In the context of marriage, this means that there is a set of strategies by which men are not better off by making another worse (and the same for women). That set of strategies is called monogamy, and it worked very well for millenia of human existence.

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  15. Liesel:

    "Some would disagree. According to Colin Wilson in "The Outsider," eccentric individuals turn the wheels of cultural change."

    Eccentric individuals are by nature few and far between.

    "An understandable development, to be sure, but this does not represent a path for society to follow that is different than the modernist one."

    It's not a path for society, it's a path for the individual only. Society is far gone - it's every man for himself.

    Kevin Jones:

    "Have any game-ists addressed the problem of what to do with one’s teenage daughter in today’s world? Their philosophy is a young man’s, not a father’s."

    1) Tell her firmly that if she has sex out of wedlock, you will disown her without a second thought.
    2) Arrange her marriage for her.
    3) Join a strict religious sect.

    Other than those options, it's a free-for-all in the stygian abyss of the modern West.

    Bartholomew:

    "Before we march gloomily down to the grave, maybe we can try cooperating anyway and risk the "loser" label."

    It's been tried. See the men's rights movement. In the two decades or so since it was established, it hasn't accomplished squat.

    "You say that your "game theory" posits that men won't cooperate when it comes to women."

    Yes. Women are masters at manipulating the members of the male species. To quote Roissy on the impossibility of a monogamous revolution: "...the first cute girl to bat her eyelashes at one of these revolutionary Che Betas will have him betraying the brotherhood faster than you can say 'just the tip'."

    "Haven't we played successfully the 'game' in which most men and women succeeded at mating before?"

    Most women, throughout history, have succeeded at mating irregardless of the circumstances. Throughout the entire history of mankind, 80% of women have reproduced while only 40% of men have done the same. It's helping the men to mate that's the problem.

    "In the context of marriage, this means that there is a set of strategies by which men are not better off by making another worse (and the same for women). That set of strategies is called monogamy, and it worked very well for millenia of human existence."

    Monogamy has been invalidated as a workable strategy by what Roissy has termed the "Four Sirens of the Sexual Apocalypse" (see the previous link) - cheap and available contraceptives, no-fault divorce, women's economic emancipation, and laws that discourage men from getting married. F. Roger Devlin has also done an excellent job of explaining the underlying female psychology that, in conjunction with the Sirens, has caused the current crisis. Getting rid of the Sirens is the only way to make monogamy viable again, but I don't see that happening.

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  16. I read Roissy a lot, but not for the gaming advice. It's more to work through unresolved omega-not-being-able-to-approach-women issues.

    A question I've asked there more than once -- and never gotten a response to -- is what do young women who go to bars and allow themselves to be picked up want from the experience?

    I thought (most) women didn't want NSA sex. Is that incorrect, or are the women who regularly go out to bars those for whom that isn't true? Or do these women expect the sex will lead to a LTR?

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  17. "The Nash Equilibrium is the idea that there is a set of strategies by which the players cannot be better off by making another worse."

    Ugh. No. Nash Equilibrium has nothing to do with that.

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  18. Back when I was young and single, I found the "pedestalizers" and "gamists" equally obnoxious.

    The pedestalizers actually manage to be patronizing, even as they are idealizing us. To me, it always felt incredibly demeaning to be mistaken for a sexless innocent, too morally and sexually pure to be human. The equally bad flip side, of course, is that pedestalizers often cannot handle the fact that women indeed have normal human appetites (for sex, for food, for drink, for money, for power). The line between "pedestalizing" and misogyny strikes me as awfully thin.

    The gamists are insulting too. It is insulting to be the subject of obvious "technique" (especially when the technique actually involves an overt insult). But the gamists are preferable to the pedestalizers because at least they are more honest and transparent in their contempt for us, and also they indulge in less drama when they are sent packing.

    To the extent "the game" is successful, I suspect it has to do with helping men feel more confident. It helps men feel confident because it provides concrete steps, very specific behaviors, that men can adopt. Confidence helps a man to approach more women (thus increasing his odds) and confidence is also in itself more attractive than lack of confidence.

    It reminds me of my own experience growing up. In my teens, I became fascinated with etiquette because it provided rules for social interaction. Knowing the rules made me more confident. Because I was more confident, I became more outgoing with boys. Spending more time with boys made me more comfortable with them, which made even more confident. My success with the opposite sex snowballed, not because boys are turned on when you know which fork to use, but because having a system, any system, is helpful.

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  19. To me, it always felt incredibly demeaning to be mistaken for a sexless innocent, too morally and sexually pure to be human. The equally bad flip side, of course, is that pedestalizers often cannot handle the fact that women indeed have normal human appetites (for sex, for food, for drink, for money, for power). The line between "pedestalizing" and misogyny strikes me as awfully thin.

    Margaret, I wonder if this is more about you being an anit-essentialist.

    There are also ideals of manhood and masculinity. We follow these because we think they represent a higher spiritual quality of who we are as men. We don't reach the perfection of the ideal, we are flawed individuals, but the essence of masculinity is nonetheless present as a quality with specific virtues attached.

    As much as I think relationships need to be predominantly influenced by marriage (by long-term considerations as Bhanu Prasad put it), I think it's a distinctive quality of Western men that they are more moved by an appreciation of the "essential feminine" than men of other races and cultures. Many of us perceive, perhaps better than women themselves do, what is to be loved within womanhood.

    The subsequent romantic ideal does not mean that women are expected to perfectly embody this ideal in order to be loved and accepted by men. Nor does it mean that men want women to be asexual.

    It does mean, though, that there is a distinctive good for women to self-cultivate; one which brings a woman to a more spiritually developed experience of her own self.

    I'm not sure that you are oriented toward this as you describe the normal human appetites as being for "sex, for food, for drink, for money, for power".

    These are physical/material appetites (though sex involves more than physical appetite alone).

    Don't we seek higher things than these? They seem to me to be relatively coarse and limited markers of human ambition.

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  20. "My success with the opposite sex snowballed, not because boys are turned on when you know which fork to use, but because having a system, any system, is helpful."

    I think its pretty embarrasing that people are so berifit of ideas on relating to the opposite sex that we turn to the game.

    Could it be that maybe we need things like the game because old rules are so endlessly devalued. I think the value of ettiquite is that it reminds us that we can't do "whatever we want". We gain confidence from knowing there are restrictions on behaviour as well as the existence of guideposts to follow.

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  21. Mark,

    Yes, I am anti-essentialist. Are there some inherent differences across the sexes (in addition to the obvious physical differences)? Most likely, yes. But I think such differences are much fewer than commonly believed, and that there are such great variations among individuals that a person's sex is not a great predictor of character or personality or ability. I also believe men and women are far more alike than we are different.

    As to your other question, of course, we all should strive to be greater than our basest appetites. But I think most human beings have both a spirtual, idealistic side and an animal side. The problem with the pedestalizers is that they see things like drinking heavily or telling a dirty joke as a conflict with their idea of "female" virtue, whereas I see my love of drunken revelry and dirty-joke telling as something I do in addition to my higher functions of civic engagement, love of ideas, generosity, hard work, loyalty, etc.

    Men probably have more leeway within the framework of the masculine ideal to indulge their appetites. Women in contrast have more leeway within the framework of the feminine ideal to indulge their emotions.

    While ideals are important, binary gender standards do an injustice to both sexes. They prevent us from seeing and accepting each other as three-dimensional human beings.

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  22. Jesse,

    Etiquette is a wonderful thing. I am so glad we agree on something.

    Unfortunately, I think etiquette was sometimes mis-used to keep the lower orders in their place. As such, the concept of etiquette has been viewed with suspicion in societies that purport to value an end to class distinctions. But at its best, good etiquette ensures that everyone is treated with fairness and consideration in a given social situation.

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  23. Margaret, is your success with men still snowballing? Or did it reach a stasis?

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  24. But I think such differences are much fewer than commonly believed

    Who do I believe? You or my lying eyes?

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  25. Mark.

    Game needs to be understood as being two separate entities.

    1) The knowledge of what women find attractive.

    2) The application of that knowledge.

    As a pretty conservative Catholic, (1) is totally compatible with Christian or Traditionalist views.
    I think that the traditional romatic idealisation of women, had a huge blindspot with regard to female sexuality. I think its why "chivalrous" males have failed so miserably on the dating scene.

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  26. Margaret said: 'The gamists are insulting too. It is insulting to be the subject of obvious "technique"'

    I don't have a problem with their use of "technique" per se. Women have used various blatant and socially-mandated techniques throughout the centuries in order to end up with a husband that met their approval. Why shouldn't men employ a strategy too? As you say, any system helps, and gamists may be onto something.

    Morals aside, I do think it needs to be acknowledged that the gamists are responding to a situation. Given the promiscuity and feminist mindset of the majority of Western women, I can see how there seems to be little alternative. It's very sad for the minority of women out there who do want a traditional role, though.

    The Social Pathologist said: 'I think that the traditional romantic idealisation of women, had a huge blindspot with regard to female sexuality. I think its why "chivalrous" males have failed so miserably on the dating scene.'

    From a personal point of view, the failure of chivalrous males has only slightly been affected by this "blindspot" (though it certainly does exist). I think this failure has more to do with the inability to discriminate between traditional women and feminists, as well as taking chivalry to a point that it is no longer manly and too deferential. Firstly, it is insulting when a man puts all women on a pedestal and doesn't make the distinction between feminists and traditional women. That's not chivalrous, that's stupid and weak. Traditional women expect their men to be equally polite and courteous to all women, but they also need to see their men revile feminists and affirm traditional women unstintingly. Secondly, traditional women want a real man, not some snag, so chivalry can be taken too far. If a man is so chivalrous that he is constantly aiming to please a woman (or women), then he's surrendering the authority that makes him so attractive in the first place. In effect, he is becoming a feminist. Men need to remember that chivalry is only possible from a position of power. You cannot assist a damsel in distress if she's riding your horse or controlling everyone around her. (I should add that the majority of traditional men I come across fail miserably at home. Their wives work and often the careers of these wives takes precedence. Even the wives who don't work outside a traditional role can be very dominating.)

    Margaret also said: 'Men probably have more leeway within the framework of the masculine ideal to indulge their appetites. Women in contrast have more leeway within the framework of the feminine ideal to indulge their emotions.'

    While there are risks that both will over-indulge in their respective frameworks, I do think it is better this way. Women with uncontrollable appetites are so ugly and unnatural that they become unfit to be wives and mothers (which, after all, is the biological purpose of most women). Men with uncontrollable emotions are equally unattractive and equally unfit to be husbands and fathers. It erodes their ability to provide materially and sustain a family in stable and secure circumstances, as well as forcing their wives to take on authoritative roles that undermine the family structure. These 'binary gender standards' are the crux of the natural world and any desirable society.

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  27. "I think it's a distinctive quality of Western men that they are more moved by an appreciation of the "essential feminine" than men of other races and cultures. Many of us perceive, perhaps better than women themselves do, what is to be loved within womanhood."


    It is not a distinct quality of Western men. All men appreciate the feminine qualities of women. The Muslims built the Taj Mahal, the Indians wrote the Kama Sutra and most societies have a stronger feminine culture than Western society. In Anglo Saxon culture feminine culture has always been weak. There are few Western women who boast the fabulous jewellery collections of women in other cultures.

    Western men are naive and generally get manipulated by women. Men of other cultures are more wise to this.

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  28. Anonymous,

    Your points don't seem to follow. You state that feminine culture has been weak in Western societies, but then argue that Western men are naive and manipulated by women. How could it be that Western society was masculine if Western men were manipulated by women?

    Let me make clear, I don't believe that an appreciation of the feminine is distinctive to the West. What seems to be the case is that a certain type of Western man is more romantically inclined than the male average.

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  29. Most cultures have distinct modes of dress, standards of grooming and behaviour for men and women and traditions by which relationships are ordered. Western society does not have that. Let’s take India as an example. A woman has to wear the sari which requires good deportment and an upright posture. She should wear jewellery, have manicured hands and feet and well applied make up. Her hair must be dressed daily. She must not smoke, drink alcohol, swear or become obese. Her behaviour and manners must be feminine regardless of whether she is a tea picker or Prime Minister. Women must therefore aspire to a standard of appearance and behaviour. The West has never had this. In the past women from wealthy families aspired to dress elegantly with variable results and aspired to “lady like” behaviour but took up smoking and drinking and often swore. Thus there were beautiful and elegant women in the West but there was no absolute standard to which they had to adhere. There is no strong feminine culture in the West.

    At the same time, Western women are predatory and manipulative of men in a way that is not tolerated in other cultures which have more formal relationships between the sexes. The West is simply a free for all in which men are generally naive in their approach to relationships and women, aware of that naivete are manipulative.

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  30. "What seems to be the case is that a certain type of Western man is more romantically inclined than the male average"

    That might be best defined as naivety and is why the divorce rates are so high. In most cultures, men are orientated to build families and societies rather than lapse into a fantasy world.

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  31. Anonymous, almost.

    I agree that the marriage and family input is the one that is not based on momentary impulse and feeling. It is the forward looking one, that is likely to involve guidance from the culture. So, yes, it is the one that counters a naive approach to relationships.

    But I repeat what I wrote earlier. There is also a certain truth to the romantic ideal. There is a feminine essence that we can perceive in women which is lovely - which inspires love. Men experience this as one of those significant moments of transcendence in life - hence the way it features so much in Western art.

    The romantic ideal is destructive only when it starts to predominate as an input into relationships. The marriage and family input has to be the one that structures the culture of relationships and then *within this* there can be an expression of romantic love and sex appeal.

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  32. I've been attempting to develop the idea that a culture of relationships is formed from three inputs: marriage, romantic love and sex




    Money was always a big factor, at least for women.

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  33. How much power do we have as individuals to shape our world? Not much.





    The Roissian movement, if it can be called a movement, is intensely individualistic. It's goal, after all, is to maximise each individual mans sexual pleasure. It's not a movement which ever CAN consider group action. It's very libertarian in this respect.

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  34. Let’s take India as an example. A woman has to wear the sari which requires good deportment and an upright posture. She should wear jewellery, have manicured hands and feet and well applied make up. Her hair must be dressed daily. She must not smoke, drink alcohol, swear or become obese. Her behaviour and manners must be feminine regardless of whether she is a tea picker or Prime Minister. Women must therefore aspire to a standard of appearance and behaviour. The West has never had this.





    You're not very familiar with Western culture if you can say this, though I appreciate your input on Indian culture.

    Up until very recently, say the 1960's, the West had distinct masculine and feminine cultures just as India does today.

    Don't think that what happened to us can't happen to you.

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  35. Up until very recently, say the 1960's, the West had distinct masculine and feminine cultures just as India does today.

    Good point. Let me repeat here, that the middle-class Catholic culture in Melbourne was still intact in the 1970s and early 80s. There were large families (even amongst the professional classes), very low divorce rates and the young women I went out with as a young man were amongst the most attractively feminine you could hope to find.

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  36. "If a man is so chivalrous that he is constantly aiming to please a woman (or women), then he's surrendering the authority that makes him so attractive in the first place. In effect, he is becoming a feminist. Men need to remember that chivalry is only possible from a position of power."

    That argument seems to support 'the treat them mean keep them keen approach'. Whether that is effective or even attractive to women, isn't it immoral? Guys should certainly strive to be powerful, I would argue, but you're saying that in order for them to maintain their position they have to be ungracious to women? I would agree that “constantly” trying to do anything is tiresome and could be embarrassing but I would hope that being pleasant to the opposite sex is something to support rather than discourage.

    The point was made that we want greater realism in relationships, women should not be endlessly idealised and neither should men. Ideals are great and are a standard of behavior and something to aspire to, but if we get the idea that a man has to be a large guy with a beard and a pipe who can fix the roof and is all knowing, and if he isn't he isn't a real man, how can that be helpful? Surely not all men will fit into that category.

    I guess I'd find very attractive the idea of having, if you’ll excuse me, a "husband" (an all knowing all capable guy) or a "wife", (a beautiful and refined, smart and practical women) but are these not to a degree the stuff of television shows? We all have to get on in the real world and surely, in the real world we’ll only approximate these ideals to a certain degree. I'm not saying we shouldn't try or try hard to fit these standards but are we not setting ourselves up for frustration if we say the opposite sex should or must do this or that? I too would probably find it nice to be told what to do and have someone to look up to but if you'll excuse me isn’t that also infantile?

    I'm not against the old standards of masculinity or femininity but they could also be limiting for both men and women in the sense of leading to unhappy relationships. Having said that I’m not in favor of anarchy and it would seem that today we are fairly uncertain of how to act.

    Personally, I get on well with the modern girls (when they’re not getting stuck into me) and I wish them the best. I’d just like to remind them, and this is not aimed at anyone, that they have a few social responsibilities as well. The point was made that men must support traditional women over feminist women. Well yes in a sense, if that means men shouldn’t be irresponsible. However, many men really admire the idea of a “strong” if not dominating woman and although this can lead to difficulties in relationships, I would hope that it is an acceptable stance.

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  37. Hmmm . . . good point that having a strategy in itself isn't a bad thing. I think everyone has social strategies to some extent. I don't even mind treating dating like a game. It is, after all, a fun activity (though in my opinion the gamists seem to be a joyless bunch).

    The problem is that the gamists' strategy seems to involve an assumption that all women are alike and, not only are we alike, but we are all contemptible masochists who like being insulted and pushed around.

    (Jaz asks whether my success with men has continued to snowball. It hasn't because I voluntarily took myself out of the game when I got married. However, I didn't mean to imply that the men of my choice were ever just dropping at my feet. The point is that my success with men improved dramatically when I learned confidence, and I learned confidence by adopting a system of behavioral rules.)

    I am struck by the notion of predatory women raised in the thread. It makes sense to me that women would become predatory under a system by which women's main route to affluence or power is through a man. Predation and manipulation are, under such a system, one of the only ways to exercise power. Now, certainly our society has changed such that there are other routes to success for women, but we are still in flux and many women are still brought up to believe that their best hope is through a man. This is a product of traditionalist thinking, not feminist thinking.

    For those who are concerned about predatory women, it seems odd to promote an ethic of female dependence that would in fact breed predatory behavior.

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  38. Jesse said: "That argument seems to support 'the treat them mean keep them keen approach'. Whether that is effective or even attractive to women, isn't it immoral? Guys should certainly strive to be powerful, I would argue, but you're saying that in order for them to maintain their position they have to be ungracious to women?"

    Not at all, Jesse. What I'm referring to is the kow-towing and servile courtship I have seen in some more traditional men. I agree that men (and women) need to be gracious, but chivalry can be taken too far, to a point where, for example, flowers are expected and stop being a romantic gesture and just become an empty ritual, and a man becomes weak instead of gentle or spineless instead of considerate. I also agree that we can't expect anyone to live up to ideals and have to be realistic... which is why it is all the more important that chivalry isn't taken too far.

    As regards the 'strong' woman, there have always been strong women (thank God). The difference is that more and more strong women are using that strength for less than moral ends. Strong women in the old days usually employed that strength a little more selflessly - fighting injustice, protecting their family, etc. - and a little more privately - running a household, leading in the community, etc. - whereas nowadays strong women increasingly use their strength to pursue their own ambition. I suppose what I am saying is that just as men need to heed their civic duty, so do women.

    I also think that while a little display of strength and even domination can be attractive - it can certainly be fun for both men and women - it would become rather troublesome in a family setting. I firmly believe that the husband needs to be the head of the family and he needs to be the one with the final say. Children need to know that while mum and dad may debate an issue and there is an avenue of 'appeal' there is always a peaceful resolution to any deadlock in the form of a final decision from the higher authority. It's also important that the man take the role of provider, for example, so his career must come first. This is the sort of thing I'm talking about when I say that traditional roles need to be upheld, not day-to-day interaction which depends so much on individual personalities.

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  39. Margaret said: "It makes sense to me that women would become predatory under a system by which women's main route to affluence or power is through a man... For those who are concerned about predatory women, it seems odd to promote an ethic of female dependence that would in fact breed predatory behavior."

    Sorry, Margaret, but that doesn't make sense. Either women are the vulnerable dependent ones and therefore the ones who are being preyed upon, or they are the predators which makes the men the weak and dependent ones. They can't be both.

    In a traditional role, women are not seeking power. They support their husbands and desire success for them; they raise their children in the best environment possible. They do not seek power as they are already vital to the most important people in their lives. They know that their husbands and children need them and rely upon them.

    Predatory women use the men in their lives and wilt in a traditional environment because they seek something that is inherently opposed to the natural order. If they marry and have children, it is for selfish reasons, and they will not be the support and lifeblood of the family which they ought to be. That is the problem with predatory women!

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  40. Mark Richardson: "These are physical/material appetites (though sex involves more than physical appetite alone)."

    Indeed.

    If a person, male or female, were seeking in sexual activity only to sate a purely physical appetite, he or she would not be seeking out another with whom to engage in that activity. We all know how to sate that purely physical appetite by ourselves ... and, frankly, at much less hassle than with a partner. And yet, we do not ever find real satisfaction that route; it's not merely a physical spasm we're after.

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  41. Up until very recently, say the 1960's, the West had distinct masculine and feminine cultures just as India does today.

    The point I make is that the West had a feminine culture but no absolute standards of appearance and behaviour for women. Middle class Catholic women may have aspired to some standards but working class ones did not. There has always been drug and alcohol abuse, smoking and sexual promiscuity in Western women.

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  42. "The romantic ideal is destructive only when it starts to predominate as an input into relationships. The marriage and family input has to be the one that structures the culture of relationships and then *within this* there can be an expression of romantic love and sex appeal."

    In the West the romantic ideal is the predominant input to marriage and the reason for the high rates of divorce and marital dysharmony. There are 2 models of marriage - the arranged where romanance can be a consideration but never a basis for marriage and the romantic where romance and sexual attraction are the basis. The first preserves ethinc, religious and social stability and the second destroys it. All the long surviving races- Jews, Indians and Chinese- follow the first pattern. Peoples who base their society on emotion don't survive.

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  43. The good thing here is that men are being encouraged to be masculine in their dealings with women. And there are other aspects of game which are admirably masculine.
    Game teaches faux masculinity that's all show and no substance. In fact, it's not even real masculinity, but an immature teenage boy's version of masculinity. Values like honor, courage, strength, discipline, loyalty and responsibility are laughed at by gamists, who live in a moral vacuum so great that roissy even recently said that you shouldn't care if women get raped.

    The gamist websites are intellectually curious, open and broadminded.
    Oh, please. Have you seriously read these sites? Gamists are as dogmatic, intellectually dishonest and foolish as liberals and feminists, harboring the exact same mentalities and using the exact same tactics (such as banning people they disagree with).

    The gamists refuse the secondary role assigned to men by feminists - of propping up whatever women happen to choose for themselves.
    Gamist will do whatever it takes to attract women, and no matter how much they curse at women they will still madly chase after them and jump through any number of hoops required to get them. They do not have the fortitude to say "fuck this, I'm not having any dealings with women until they change their behavior" because they will shrivel up and die if they miss their scheduled booty call. So weak, so pathetic.

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  44. Hear hear Jesus. I was out on the weekend and I was suprised at how well I did just being nice, friendly and a little bit fun.

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