Thursday, February 16, 2012

The case against Magda

Magda Szubanski came out as a lesbian on Australian TV this week. I suspect that most Australians had just assumed she was lesbian, so it wasn't much of a revelation. But she took the opportunity to make an emotional appeal in favour of homosexual marriage.

Homosexual marriage is not an issue I venture into much. Most of my readers will have made their minds up already one way or the other and it's not a good entry point into traditionalist politics. But it's been in the news a lot here in Australia, so I'll reluctantly step in and make an argument.

It seems that Magda Szubanski, best known overseas for her role in the film Babe, requested that Steve Price be on the TV panel when she made her appeal for homosexual marriage. Why? Because Steve Price is not convinced. He is worried that homosexual marriage will change our understanding of what marriage is.

And I think he's right to be concerned. At the moment Australian law defines marriage as:
the union of a man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.

That definition of marriage makes sense within heterosexual relationships. If we understand the masculine and feminine as complementary, then bringing one man and one woman together is meaningful in creating a unity out of two complementary parts. On the physical side, this uniting of male and female is what naturally produces offspring, and the care of such offspring underlies the lifetime commitment across generations within a family.

If it is possible for two men or for two women to marry then marriage can no longer be understood in this way. It can no longer be understood as a natural unity of two complementary opposites, and the sexuality within this marriage can no longer be understood, in a larger sense, as serving the purposes of creating new life within a multi-generational family.

Instead, marriage must be understood as a commitment ceremony to celebrate the love between people. But that's an open-ended definition. Why, according to this newer definition, must marriage be exclusive? Can't we love more than one person? And why must it be enduring? If the love goes, then why wouldn't the marriage?

For a little while, it's true, the force of custom might keep the Western tradition of marriage roughly as it is now. But on what principled basis, in the long-term, could, say, polygamy be argued against? If a man loves his wife, but has feelings for another woman and she for him, and his wife doesn't object, then why shouldn't he have a commitment ceremony to celebrate his love for this second woman? Is it not his right, according to the new definition of marriage, to marry this other woman? If not, why not? It's difficult to think of a principle, other than "it's not our custom", on which to deny polygamous marriage, once the new definition of marriage is brought in.

And there is one further negative consequence of redefining marriage. A traditional marriage brings together a man and a woman to undertake distinct and necessary parental roles within a family. There is a paternal role and a maternal role and a child is thought to be worse off if he or she is missing either a father or mother.

But if the state gives its blessing to same sex marriage, then the state is effectively sanctioning the deliberate formation of families in which either the father or the mother is absent. The message to society is that the paternal role and the maternal role are not necessary as they were once thought to be.

And that has considerable ramifications, particularly for men. The bond between mother and child is a fairly stable one across societies. But it's a more difficult thing to win the stable investment of men in family life. What often holds men to the paternal role is a belief, held by both the father and the mother, that if the father walks away or is pushed away, that the children will be worse off, i.e. that the paternal role is a distinct and necessary one and that the father should be resilient in pursuing it and the mother active in encouraging it.

But what if people were to start to believe something else, namely that there are no distinct parental roles and that families without fathers are no different to families with fathers? Wouldn't more men be tempted to walk when the going got rough? Wouldn't more women be tempted to sideline the fathers of their children?

For these reasons, I believe that we should hold to the current definition of marriage.

52 comments:

  1. There are so many compelling arguments against homosexual marriage. The most compelling of all is that it's being pushed by people who are essentially anti-marriage and anti-family, the same leftists who used to deride marriage as patriarchal oppression and a wicked capitalist plot.

    The purpose of homosexual marriage is to destroy marriage.

    Quite apart from that, homosexual marriage makes marriage a temporary sexual arrangement. It removes everything from marriage except sexuality.

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  2. Agreed. Marriage isn't primarily about "love" as modernity understands and it's more about reproduction than recreation. There is also the fact that sexes are different. "dfordoom" makes an excellent. Why on earth should an outdated, oppressive, regressive institution be a human and civil right? It makes no sense at all.

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  3. Apologies. I meant "dfordoom" makes an excellent point.

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  4. I also meant Marriage isn't primarily about "love" as modernity understands it

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  5. Mark --

    Nicely put, but I disagree with your idea that homosexual "marriage" is "not a good entry point into traditionalist politics." To the contrary -- what a better way to introduce people to the larger points you make so well regarding autonomy? Start with the simple question as to whether marriage ought to be defined entirely in its aspect of being chosen. If so, then what is distinguish it from, say, a business contract? How, then, to limit its range in terms of people or practices? If any limitation is bad, then why do we need it as a distinct institution at all? Simply to lavish praise on favored groups? Why not eliminate it entirely?

    But if marriage is real, then one can't get around consideration of nature: nature of the genders, nature of society, nature of children... and these things don't reduce to the rigid and useless formulae of equality and freedom.

    Of course people will drag their feet, but it's difficult to think of a topic that gets us to traditionalist ideas as quickly.... as long as one's apologetic techniques are sufficiently sharpened!

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  6. "But what if people were to start to believe something else, namely that there are no distinct parental roles and that families without fathers are no different to families with fathers? Wouldn't more men be tempted to walk when the going got rough? Wouldn't more women be tempted to sideline the fathers of their children?"

    All that happened long ago in much of western society, Mark. I think your argument is backwards. It's not that gay marriage threatens to undermine traditional marriage; rather, the concept of marriage has already been thoroughly degraded through liberalization that it offers nothing to distinguish it from gay marriage.

    I find the battle over gay marriage where I live (the U.S.) to be misguided. The efforts of the self-styled "defenders of the family" would be better spent fighting the real forces undermining marriage - narcissism, entitlement, and the apotheosis of individual autonomy.

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  7. This is a good point from wavevector. In the modern world there aren't really distinguishing features between gay and normal marriage as both center on individual choice and love.

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  8. Wavevector,

    I agree with your point about the culture of marriage already being degraded. But I don't think that means we shouldn't still put forward a principled argument regarding same sex marriage. As I mentioned, it's in the news here in Australia.

    Anon (5.02),

    Thanks - it's a good reminder of how this issue does fit usefully into a traditionalist politics. And I think you're right about the logical end point of calls for same sex marriage - there will still be limitations, still exclusions, still unequal outcomes - so the attacks on the family won't cease.

    Finally, a previous post fits to some degree within this discussion.

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  9. I agree with Anon, Mark, who wrote,

    "To the contrary -- what a better way to introduce people to the larger points you make so well regarding autonomy?"

    I've actually found the traditional/Biblical perspective on homosexuality to be the most effective argument against liberalism when talking with feminist, raceblind Christians. Liberal Christians have an uneasy relationship with the biblical injunction against homosexuality. The Bible is clearly against it; liberalism is clearly for it. By confronting the liberal Christian with the contradiction, you force them to make a choice not just for or against homosexuality, but for or against Christianity itself.

    One very liberal Christian left our church over this. Happily, it seems most others are leaving liberalism. The change in thinking at my church, at least, has been substantial, and in no small part due to liberals' forcing this issue.

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  10. wavevector said

    "The efforts of the self-styled "defenders of the family" would be better spent fighting the real forces undermining marriage - narcissism, entitlement, and the apotheosis of individual autonomy."

    I'm not so sure. Narcissism, entitlement (pride), etc. flow from an individual's sinful nature, not liberalism. It's not like people decide to become narcissistic/proud/sinful. No one is a committed Narcissist or a philosophical sinner. People become so out of weakness, not conviction. How can society fight personal/moral weakness?

    Fighting moral weakness (homosexuality, pride, narcissism, etc.) is not what fighting "homosexual marriage" is all about. No politician is saying, hey if you elect me there will be no more homosexuality, ever, just like no one would say, hey, if you elect me, arrogance will be a thing of the past (how's that for irony?). No one would say that, because everyone knows that's not in any man's or society's power to achieve. So, I don't see the point of a social crusade against narcissism.

    Homosexualism, on the other hand, is not sin. It's an idea, albeit a very bad one (the creation of a genderless world in which one's sex has no non-biological meaning). The only good thing about it is that it's so obviously false, that it becomes a liability to any theory that advances it. Fortunately for us, liberalism can't help but do exactly that. Homosexualism is such an extreme application of liberalism that it exposes the theory itself to doubt and ridicule.

    Why wouldn't we take advantage of a weakness like that?

    Now, I grant you that the pro-marriage crowd has not done a particularly good job exploiting this weakness. They're too busy playing defense (Defense of Marriage Act) to play good offense which could be political (Sexual Corruption Acts) or social (YouTube satire of "homosexual families", "feminist manhood", etc.).

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  11. "I find the battle over gay marriage where I live (the U.S.) to be misguided. The efforts of the self-styled "defenders of the family" would be better spent fighting the real forces undermining marriage - narcissism, entitlement, and the apotheosis of individual autonomy."

    Your suggestion is like trying to fix the flawed design of a dike that's got water shooting out of holes in the structure. Sure, you can fix the design, but that won't matter much when the dike collapses.

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  12. Bartholomew said,

    "I'm not so sure. Narcissism, entitlement (pride), etc. flow from an individual's sinful nature, not liberalism."

    Yet Liberalism gives this sinful activity the philosophical stamp of righteousness thereby aggravating and enflaming the issue.

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  13. Right, Jesse, which is why we should attack liberalism, which is the root, rather than narcissism which is simply one tender shoot. And how do we attack an idea? We reveal it to be obviously false. One great way to show the falsity of an idea is to demonstrate how absurd it is once carried into practice. And that's where the spectacle of "homosexual marriage" should work to our favor, provided we start pointing out the spectacle. At the moment, conservatives are more interested in appearing compassionate.

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  14. If you have no sound argument against polygamy, you have no defense against yet another aspect of Sharia.

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  15. The real danger of the left-liberal position on homosexual marriage is that it makes sexuality the be-all and end-all of human relationships. That opens a Pandora’s Box that the Left doesn’t want us to know about.

    Once the idea that homosexuality is in every way just as valid as heterosexuality is accepted and enshrined in law then there is absolutely no logical way that one can then oppose polygamy or incestuous relationships. Or incestuous marriages. If everyone is free to express his or her sexuality then that must logically include absolutely everyone. Sado-masochistic relationships must be equally valid as well.

    Things become even more disturbing when you combine all that with the growing sexualisation of children. This is something that is being pushed not by wicked capitalists, but by liberals. There have been a number of recent cases of very young children, some as young as six, who have been persuaded that they are transexual or transgender. This is being done once again in the name of liberation and equality.

    This opens the door to something that left-liberals are even more anxious to hide from us - homosexual predators. Of course the Left wants us to believe that only heterosexual men can ever be sexual predators. History tells a different story.

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  16. wavevector has a point, but when you're already on the defensive the best strategy is not abject surrender. That just reinforces the Left's perception of conservative weakness. The best defensive strategy is always to go over to the attack.

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  17. One big problem is that conservatives in general are inclined to concede too much ground on this issue right from the outset. A wishy-washy mealy-mouthed argument that homosexuality is fine and dandy but homosexual marriage is going just a little bit too far is no argument at all. If it's a perfectly valid lifestyle then there are no grounds for opposing homosexual marriage.

    But it's not a perfectly valid lifestyle, it's a self-destructive unnatural unhealthy lifestyle and a catastrophically bad environment for child-rearing. The argument against homosexual marriage is that it would encourage even more people to embrace a destructive way of life.

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  18. Feminists have effectively destroyed marriage but we're still opposing them. Just because the house is burning down does not mean that we should add more fuel to the flame.

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  19. If you go to Vanishing American Mark, second post down....there is an article about a white guy with his black "granddaughter"

    There is no biological relation between him and the black child. Yet he REFUSES to admit she is not his granddaughter---to the point where he ran into trouble with the cops because of his lack of giving truthful information.

    Isn't that creepy on some level? The fact that biological roles are no longer....Biological?

    "She's my granddaughter because I say she is." He should say "I consider her my grandchild"

    The world is crazy.

    Actually, my mother has a mexican friend who calls her 'mother' I'm not offended, I think she's crazy. But it is weird.

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  20. The real danger of the left-liberal position on homosexual marriage is that it makes sexuality the be-all and end-all of human relationships.

    I may be mistaken but a couple of sources have remarked on how "homosexuality" as an orientation didn't exist until, say, somewhere between the 18th and 19th century. Typically the nuclear family was the standard. The whole idea of homosexuality, not as a behaviour, but as an orientation was strange. People would instead identify themselves as a husband, a wife, a father, a mother, a brother, a sister, a friend, a civil servant, a politican and whatnot. Even heterosexual relationships weren't as hypersexualized and as misfocused as today.

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  21. http://www.fgfbooks.com/Turner-Craig/2012/Turner120214.html

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  22. I am oposed to homosexual marrige because I am a Darwinist, which is about propagation of thr species. Marriage is a social construct designed to reinforce the biological urge. The fact that some heterosexual marriges do not envisage children is irrelevany; What is the motive of the homosexuals? to make themselves normal, which are not. Through no fault of their own, they are unnatural in the Darwinian sense.

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  23. The fight on gay marriage can't be "won", at this point, because of the reconception of marriage that has taken place in the past 40 years, thanks to feminism for the most part. Marriage is not any longer about family, children, sex roles and the like -- it's about personal happiness, period. That's why we have no-fault divorce, by the way: marriage is supposed to make us happy, primarily, and if it doesn't, it should be easy to leave, if we want, as anything else in life that doesn't make us happy. The model in our culture of marriage is now "hedonic marriage". With this model for marriage overall, it becomes virtually impossible to argue against gay marriage, because the arguments about family and children and so on have been done and dusted years ago when it comes to "sraight" marriages, and abandoned wholesale, in terms of the law (which is what the fight is about).

    Polygamous marriage is going to come back, clearly. There are already cases winding their way through the legal system in Canada pressing the case that the legal arguments in favor of gay marriage lead to the conclusion that polygamous marriage must be allowed -- and polygamous marriage also has the "added benefit" of being able to say that it is not at all novel, unlike gay marriage.

    Nevertheless, it's entertaining to me to watch social conservatives inveigh about gay marriage on the basis of children and families and the like, fighting a battle they are destined to lose because they collaborated (or mostly sat idly by) while men were being thrown under the bus wholesale as heterosexual marriage was being dismantled and "reformed" to be around personal (mostly personal *female*, as these were the antagonists who were complaining about marriage 1.0) happiness. It's kind of sweet to see these people suffer, politically, really.

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  24. Brendan wrote...

    Nevertheless, it's entertaining to me to watch social conservatives inveigh about gay marriage on the basis of children and families and the like, fighting a battle they are destined to lose because they collaborated (or mostly sat idly by)

    I'm intrigued by the notion that social conservatives collaborated in the destruction of marriage. Do you have some specific examples?

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  25. Nevertheless, it's entertaining to me to watch social conservatives inveigh about gay marriage on the basis of children and families and the like, fighting a battle they are destined to lose because they collaborated (or mostly sat idly by) while men were being thrown under the bus wholesale as heterosexual marriage was being dismantled and "reformed" to be around personal (mostly personal *female*, as these were the antagonists who were complaining about marriage 1.0) happiness. It's kind of sweet to see these people suffer, politically, really.

    Brendan, that's a meme within the MRM. It's a weakness within the MRM that the importance of political beliefs in influencing what people choose to support isn't focused on sufficiently.

    If it were, then the MRM would be more careful to distinguish between those on the right who follow liberal principles and those on the right who do not. And, similarly, between serious Christians who follow an abstracting, dissolving theology and those who do not.

    The MRM commonly uses "social conservative" to describe everyone on the right, and all serious Christians, regardless of what they believe.

    There has to be a finer political analysis than this. Otherwise it comes across as people lobbing grenades in all directions, accepting collateral damage as they go.

    You won't have to do much to convince people at this site that the general conservative movement of the past 50 years or more was inadequate to hold back liberal social movements.

    And, yes, there were those on the right who supported those movements - mostly because they shared the underlying political principles driving on those changes or because they held to a theology in which these changes were considered acceptable.

    But there were also those on the right - those who I consider genuine social conservatives - who resisted - not effectively it's true, but who nonetheless did offer resistance.

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  26. Brendan,

    Blah, blah, blame social conservatives.

    Here's one from Neil Strauss, author of "The Game", pick up artist, and therefore a hero of the MRM's?, p93:

    "One of the tragedies of modern life is that women as a whole do not hold a lot of power in society, despite all the advances made in the last century. Sexual choice, however, is one of the only areas where women are indisputably in control. It's not until they've made a choice, and submitted to it, that the relationship is inverted - and the man is generally back in a position of power over her. Perhaps that is why women, to the frustration of men everywhere, are so cautious about saying yes"

    Groundbreaking stuff.

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  27. For the MRM to turn on social conservatives is truly bizarre. How many other potential allies do they have?

    I can certainly understand their anger towards conservatives in general. For too long most mainstream conservatives have seen economic issues as the only ones that matter when in fact the Left figured out as long ago as the 1920s that social issues are the ones that count.

    And mainstream conservatives, people like Malcolm Fraser, have been among western civilisation's most dangerous enemies.

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  28. For the MRM to turn on social conservatives is truly bizarre. How many other potential allies do they have?

    Technically the ideals of men's rights are more in tune with women's rights. Both movements believe in the concept of (civil and human) rights, of autonomy, of equality and so forth. In essence neither group rebel against modernity and the philosophy of liberalism. It's not a surprise that they have turned on the common enemy (traditional conservatives), albeit for different purposes (women's rights believe that traditional conservatives oppress women and men's rights believe that traditional conservatives pedestalize women). Sometimes both of these groups sneer on religion.

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  29. The statements made by Magda are a sad and unfortunate event for me. I have watched both "Babe" films (the first and the second one) and what she has done has ruined the magic for me about "Babe". I loved the story of the farm, the "pig sheperd" and the old couple. Now whenever I see the movies (I have them on my bookshelf), Magda and her views will be flashing before my eyes.

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  30. Of course I will try to do my best and concentrate on the wonderful story and acting inherent in "Babe". It's a small gem, and while tarnished, is still a nice movie.

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  31. For the MRM to turn on social conservatives is truly bizarre. How many other potential allies do they have?

    Because they are not allies at all. They are worse than enemies in many ways because they claim to be socialy conservative when they are, in fact, anything but.

    Mark, when I mention how the political failure of social conservatives is personally gratifying for me to observe, I'm not talking about "traditionalists", which in the USA at least are a tiny little pimple politically, but the social conservatives who are a substantial political movement that distinguishes itself from political feminist groups like NOW. The latter are totally and utterly useless for men -- worse than useless, in many ways, because of their false flag.

    And I stand fully and strongly behind my main point, which is that what in the US counts as "politically influential social conservatism" (which, for me, in the context of the legal system, is the relavant kind) has mostly collaborated with the feminists to create Marriage 2.0 for straight couples, and it is Marriage 2.0, the philosophy behind it, which leads inexorably to gay marriage. So, yes, it's quite pleasant to see these people -- hardly any allies of men -- be foisted on their own petards. Well deserved.

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  32. Brendan,

    Again, I agree that mainstream conservatism has been a failure and that it has been politically compromised. That's why some of us have tried to make a clean break and to establish a more principled and consistent traditionalist politics.

    Even so, I don't think the men's movement is getting it exactly right when it comes to the right.

    Dalrock, for instance, is very good at picking out those conservatives who have made concessions to feminism. That does serve some good purposes. It sets a higher expectation for the right and it trains MRAs to be critical of the failings of those on the right.

    But sometimes there is a lack of recognition that some people are still closer to you politically than others. Let's say that Dalrock points out some ways that Sheila Gregoire is compromised in her political views. Fine - that sets a standard in which such compromises aren't accepted.

    But it still remains the case that Sheila Gregoire is hugely better in her politics than your Jezebel feminist. And yet it is Sheila Gregoire who gets focused on as a "traditionalist conservative" enemy. That's despite the fact that she accepts sex distinctions between men and women; that she supports the role of fathers within the family; that her Christianity is not of the dissolving, abstracting type; that she promotes an active sexuality within marriage etc.

    My own approach would be something along the lines of:

    "Sheila Gregoire represents an encouraging shift away from orthodox liberalism and an abstracting theology. X, Y and Z in her views are to be highly commended, although she does still hold to A and B".

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  33. I glanced through the Sydney Morning Herald the other day and I saw a piece questioning "whether there was ever a good divorce?". Which was written from the points of view of:

    1. The barrister
    2. The academic
    3. The psychologist.

    And you guessed it,
    4. The feminist.

    If the "feminist" is going to be there the MRM's must be there too. I would have thought though that pointing the finger at social conservatives wouldn't make that happen, unless your plan is to team up with feminism to do away with all traditional social norms. Social conservatives don't want to keep you down and they want you to succeed. They just don't want you to do so for purely individualistic ends.

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  34. Sheila Gregoire is a feminist -- an evangelical Christian feminist. I do not think there are many of these in Australia, Mark, but there are hundreds of thousands of them in the US, and they are not allies in any way to men and men's issues. The few things that they seem to "get right" are mere conveniences, because they are ensconced in so much "getting it wrong" that they are useless.

    Jesse -- In the US at least, social conservatives are not interested at all in men's issues. The main interest they have in men is lambasting men for not making themselves better marriage candidates for their precious daughters (e.g., Bill Bennett, who in the US is in every way a social conservative, and one of the inner circle of influential ones (or once was)).

    Look, it is hard to have this conversation across cultures, because Australia, while similar in many ways, is still culturally distinct in important ways from the US. Our evangelical Christian culture, which is the most prominent force in political social conservatism in the US, is essentially de facto feminist while crossdressing as socially conservative. While I would expect that some such people exist in Australia as well, from what I have seen in my visits there and from what I have read, they do not have a huge political influence on the right. Well, they do in the US. And almost none of them have ever stood up for marriage legally -- they very loudly lament the decline of marriage, but this is most often formulated, as in the case of Bennett, as an attack on men, rather than as an attack on their own collusion with a revision to marriage laws which benefited their own daughters and nieces. They are not allies in any way, nor will they ever be.

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  35. It seems unfortunate that many of the churches have been taken over by female ways of thinking, because females attend in larger number than men. The church I go to isn't like that but it has many of the same echoes. I would say though that it is easier to fight the fight for conservatism and men, within the church, as these views are strongly backed by custom tradition and theology, than outside it.

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  36. evangelical Christian culture

    Brendan I don't think you reliaze how heretical evangelicalism as a whole can be. Evangelicals typically concern themselves with concepts like "healthy, wealth, prosperity gospel" and individualism (making God in their image or being little gods). You can see examples here.

    If the "feminist" is going to be there the MRM's must be there too. I would have thought though that pointing the finger at social conservatives wouldn't make that happen, unless your plan is to team up with feminism to do away with all traditional social norms. Social conservatives don't want to keep you down and they want you to succeed. They just don't want you to do so for purely individualistic ends.

    That's the crux Jess_7. Sometimes I don't know whether MRA's are criticizing liberal infiltration of Christianity or are attacking traditional conservatives and blaming them for the state of men (e.g. masculinity is an oppressive concept, we exalt autonomy; you created marriage 2.0 and did nothing to preserve marriage 1.0; you pedestalize your precious daughters; etc). There is a difference between the two criticisms yet sometimes in men's rights blogs this is mixed up.

    I would say though that it is easier to fight the fight for conservatism and men, within the church, as these views are strongly backed by custom tradition and theology, than outside it.

    Spot-on.

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  37. They are not allies in any way, nor will they ever be.

    Good riddance then.

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  38. The problem is modernity, as Oz has previosly pointed out.

    If all what matters is individual autonomy, if the right of an individual to do whatever he wants trumps anything else, there are no logical grounds to oppose gay marriage.

    And both liberals and conservatives have put personal autonomy (they call it "freedom") at the center of our culture, society, legal system, politics, family life, etc.

    The undisputed principle is "Do whatever you want". In relationships is "Do whatever you want with whoever you want as long as he agrees".

    This is an accepted fact for the whole society. Based on these grounds, there is no reason to oppose gay marriage, polygamy and incestuous relationships.

    This is why these things will eventually come and nothing can stop them. It's only a matter of time.

    The problem is that conservative are playing in a playing field designed by liberals. As long as they accept the basic tenets of liberalism, there is nothing to do.

    Imnobody

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  39. By the way, Brendan is right, as he is usually.

    Imnobody

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  40. Pathetic argument. You might want to read the blog before spouting off.

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  41. Jesse_7, what argument seems pathetic to you? And why?

    Imnobody

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  42. This blog is focused on opposing liberalism, and sees actual traditional conservatism, not necessarily how its practiced in reality by self styled conservatives, but actual traditional conservatism based on principle, as opposed to this. Therefore the idea that "conservatives" are liberals is inaccurate. If conservatives engage in liberal acts or thinking its because they have strayed from their fundamental premises.

    Mark has attempted to point out many times that self styled "conservatives" are actually "right liberals" in many aspects of their thinking. He has also delved into many of the theoretical premises of conservatism and how it differs from liberalism. His view is that the meaning of "conservativism" has taken a substantial battering by the continued rise and dominance of liberal modes of thought.

    So in short Mark already agrees with your point so the raising of criticisms against "conservatives" in such an argument is neither an insight nor does it advance this blog's debate.

    In earlier comments with Brendan I criticised his eagerness to blame mainstream social conservatives for the current situation, because although they have insufficiently fought against the modern liberal notions they still retain certain conservative elements which can provide a rallying point against modern trends. As the MRM have very strong elements of liberalism in it, ie rights for men or individual men should be the sole focus, all restrictons on male behaviour should be removed etc, which in some respects is more radically liberal than what is opppsed by the opposition, certainly more so than what is proposed by even weakly conservative movements, its hypocrital or unhelpful for them to be decrying liberalism in others.

    So we say will yet more liberalism, individual rights regardless of others, help the current situation? Or instead can we say how the prevelance of liberalism has damaged our society and start to reverse it. Part of this process is through acknowleging how much liberal thought exists on the right side of politics but this is only a part of it and shouldn't be used as an opportunity to throw out all or denigrate all aspects of conservative politics.

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  43. Jesse, this first comment will discuss your opinion about my argument. The second comment will discuss your argument.

    So in short Mark already agrees with your point

    I never said he didn't. This is why I referred to him in my post.

    so the raising of criticisms against "conservatives" in such an argument is neither an insight nor does it advance this blog's debate.

    IOW, if I have said something that has already been said or has been agreed before, it is pathetic (your words), not-an-insight and doesn't avance this blog's debate.

    Jesse, you must know that every blog is full of repetition. The same argument is written in different ways. Mark does that. Every blogger does that. Every commenter of a blog does that.

    How many times Mark has said liberalism worships "personal autonomy"? Are you going to say he is pathetic for repeating arguments everybody agrees on?

    You repeat arguments too. Your comments are full of repetition (as mine, as everyone else's). Do you want that I give you some samples? Because I have a lot of material to look for repetitions.

    Jesse, I don't know you but it seems to me that your problem is not repetition. Your problem is repetition of arguments that you don't like. You don't like arguments like Brendan's or mine so you would like us to shut up.

    But this is not how a blog works, or how a debate works.

    Imnobody

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  44. As the MRM have very strong elements of liberalism in it, [...]

    I agree with that. In fact, MRM has two different branches: those who want to go back to society before feminism (these are the conservative MRMs) and those who want men to be free from any obligation towards women (these are the liberal MRM - and yes are more liberal than the weakest conservatives).

    If MRM were mainstream, these would be two different movements and will be fighting each other because they have completely opposed goals. Since feminism's power is so overwhelming and MRM is so minoritary, both movements are united in their rejection of feminism.

    its hypocrital or unhelpful for them to be decrying liberalism in others.

    Not so easy. According to Merrian-Webster dictionary, hypocrite = a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

    Based on this definition, MRM are not hypocritical decrying liberalism in conservatives. MRM would be hypocritical if it claimed that its goal as a movement is to restore conservatism. But MRM's goal is protecting men's interest and going against feminism, not to fight for conservatism.

    By contrast, when conservatives claim to be conservatives and vote for laws that go against conservatism, they are hypocritical. Most of the political action of conservatives for the last 40 years has been completely hypocritical. It's not me who is saying this. Blame it on Webster.

    So we say will yet more liberalism, individual rights regardless of others, help the current situation? Or instead can we say how the prevelance of liberalism has damaged our society and start to reverse it.

    Of course, the second option is the way to go. But you can't do it this from scratch as if we were Adam and Eve and this was the garden of Eden. You don't start from zero.

    After forty years of throwing men under the bus "for the benefit of women and children", you can't pretend to say: "forget everything I have done and let's move on together, kumbaya, kumbaya". Human nature does not work this way.

    There's anger, there's resentment, there's mistrust. There's memory of lives broken. You want to forget everything and start from scratch. Good luck with that.

    Many men remember how conservatives have been eager to blame men for the diseases of the modern "family". They remember how conservatives have aligned themselves with feminists to vote for laws that have broken men's lives.

    There are men who have been financially broken because their wife "was not in love" with them anymore. Some men are not able to see their children. Some men have been falsely accused of rape. Men are depicted on TV as doofus and dunkerheads.

    What has the conservative movement done for these men and the nuclear family for the last forty years? Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Telling them that they are losers and deadbeat dads. Blaming them for the breakup of marriage. And telling them to marry reformed sluts and "man up".

    Compare this with what the conservative movement has done against abortion (which I think it's good).

    A realist strategy would be to hear the grievances of these men and to advance their cause. So the conservative movement is not only against abortion and gay marriage but ALSO against alimony, divorce theft or for men seeing their children.

    I will wait until the hell freezes. Conservatives don't want to address these issues. They want men to shut up and "man up". They want men's issues to be swept under the rug.

    Well, twenty years from now, tell me how well this strategy has worked out. So far, conservative strategy of despising men's issue has a crappy record. Society is more and more liberal. Stay the course and you will see.

    Imnobody

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  45. You're comments aren't right. One of my earliest political examinations led me to Warren Farrell's book "The Myth of Male Power". It was an eye opener for me at the time and I tell to all men to be aware of such issues, as does Mark. Yes there are many conservative inclined men today who still don't appreciate the situation and niavely hope for the best and I also tell them they're a danger to the rest of us and society.

    Having said that you can't view men in isolation from society. This is especially the case with men as they're the backbone, guts and brain of society. You also say there is a substantial conservative MRM group out there. Where? Its true I don't follow the arguments or sites closely but any such movement must recognise many of the basic premises of conservatism and we don't seem to see that on MRM sites.

    As bad as the situation is for men, men have ALWAYS been pushed under the bus due to the needs of society. Welcome to being a man. Is today worse than men of history slaving away in backbreaking jobs or dieing in wars? Because men have taken such roles upon themselves, due to necessity, our societies have flourished. Your MRM's, many of them would abandon all male responsibilities, "push women into the front lines", "society isn't equal so I shouldn't have to contribute anything". Quite frankly its sickening to hear. Yes much must be done but to adopt these kinds of arguments is to take on the passive and dependent role women have always taken and in many respects continue to take and this will only lead to weak men.

    Feminism is a parasite leaching off you and many men's solution is to role over and die, and this is a serious solution? It seems when anything goes in society anything really does go.

    Men face danger at the hands of women, in divorce matters, in criminal matters in "emotional support" matters, because of a social atmosphere which indulges female irresponsibility. Engagning in male irresponsibilty will not check this balance and will only lead to a heighteing of the squabbles and rapid decline. "Creative destruction" will not work when taken to extremes.

    You MRM's have to also look at your own behaviour and see how much of it is motivated by base and self serving motives lurking under the cover of victimisation. There's always an irresponisble mob on the fringe of every worthwhile cause and its your responsibility as a movement to check such impulses and not indulge them.

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  46. Anonymous said...

    Conservatives don't want to address these issues.

    The trouble with social experiments is that you don't know at the time how badly they will turn out. Back in the 60s western society (and I mean the whole of society, not just conservatives) started to embark on a whole raft of social experiments. At the time many of these (such as removing the stigma on illegitimacy) seemed fairly innocuous. No-one saw the pattern developing.

    What is inexcusable is that once it became obvious that these failed social experiments were destroying our society so-called conservative political leaders did nothing to undo the damage. Mainstream conservative political leaders have displayed shameful cowardice on social issues. This is even more disgraceful given that the majority of voters (and I am convinced of this) would have supported them had they taken action.

    I still believe that most conservatives, as distinct from party leaderships, would back actions to take back our society from the hardline leftists and feminists.

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  47. I think part of the cowardice stems from the absence of a strong intellectual stand point they could rest on. How do you say abortion is wrong on biblical grounds when its accepted that religion is an individual choice and the majority perception is secular? Again how do you fight illegitimacy when individual choice in marriage partners is enshrined, which also extends to the right to end marriages? When everything becomes matters of the individuals concerned and not a broader social issue the answer "Its none of your business" is used to counter every social moral point.

    We live now not with the consequences of social conservative cowardice but of the relentless rise and rise of individual choice. This in part explains the MRM hostility to social conservatives. Its not just another stick the boot into conservatives that everyone wants to undertake and finds easy, its the idea that a view which limits their choices is the enemy. You yourself want greater social choice in your action, so tell me again how this is helping?

    It also stems form an entitlement attitude and is the other side of modern life, raised expectations coupled with a sense of hardship if you can't get the best. So you can't get it and you whine to daddy, ie social conservatism. YOU should work to make social conservatism work and stop waiting for the goodies in the mail.

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  48. Jesse_7 said...

    How do you say abortion is wrong on biblical grounds when its accepted that religion is an individual choice and the majority perception is secular?

    Actually I don't think it's necessary to oppose abortion on religious grounds. In fact it's a dangerous argument because the inevitable left-liberal response will be that you're trying to impose Christian dogma on non-Christians.

    To me abortion is a straightforward case of murder.

    I also believe it's a mistake to bring in religious arguments against homosexuality - it's clearly an unnatural and self-destructive lifestyle so there is every reason why it should be discouraged.

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