Sunday, May 14, 2017

When you have to get your wife's permission

Dalrock has a tragicomic post up about an evangelical organisation in America running a programme called "Stepping up". The programme calls on men to "courageously lead at home, at church, at work, and in their communities." But here's the catch: the evangelical men leading the programme talk at length about how to get wives to "give permission" so that husbands are allowed to attend the "courageous male leader" seminars.

I laughed at the situation, even though it highlights just how far things have deteriorated. Modern marriage restricts men from carrying out the role they are supposed to play not only within the family but also within society. In this sense it is emasculating.

Men should, without fear of committing a fatal marital "infraction,"  be able to:

1. Step in when their sons are still young in order to begin the process of socialising the boy toward a successful masculine adulthood (you would be surprised by how many mothers intervene to prevent this, pushing the father away from this paternal role).

2. Dedicate some of their time and energies to their civilisational role outside the home, even if this is unpaid.

3. Socialise with other men, or else have leisure time for masculine pursuits (e.g. hiking, gym).

This should be so embedded within the culture that it becomes an expectation rather than something requiring a special dispensation from women.

Maybe one day Western men will not be nervously asking permission from their wives to "courageously lead at home, at church, at work, and in their communities."


  1. "This should be so embedded within the culture that it becomes an expectation rather than something requiring a special dispensation from women."

    People of the left seek the state to socially engineer or manage the private affairs of individuals. Traditional people manage these things within their own families. The establishment of family culture with shared values within the family members is essential for the creation and perpetuation of culture, tradition and values.

    Men who need to "nervously seek permission" from their wives to perform normal roles are not real men and they have already been emasculated and infantilised. Recovery from this position of subservience is difficult.

    1. Men who need to "nervously seek permission" from their wives to perform normal roles are not real men

      Good comment, but I understand it from the men's point of view. The wives are holding a knife to their throats. Men lose risking marriage, children, home, income. The threat point that the liberal state gives women is too great. A lot of men just keep their heads low.

      It's difficult for just one man to change an embedded culture. It really requires a different set of cultural expectations as well as a different set of laws.

      Family culture will change when Western men start to work together again for purposes larger than their own immediate families.

    2. Many men bring that situation on themselves by marrying foolishly and granting the wife that specific leverage over them. They are weak in the decision making process of what will be one of the most major life decisions and yet they do not take this decision seriously or consider its implications.

      Do the other ethnic groups, except blacks, face this issue even though they live within the same culture and under the same laws?
      They don't.

      Each man has to act sensibly and take responsibility for himself. One cannot deflect responsibility by blaming the culture or the law. Do the Hindus, Sikhs or Buddhists demand changes to the law? No. They get on with their lives pursuing their own arrangements with wisdom.

    3. But anon, the other ethnic groups do face the same issue. Both blacks and Hispanics in America have worse family outcomes than whites. Asians do only a little better.

      I'm glad the underlying political difference between us has been teased out. You seem to be a "family libertarian" type - e.g. you think that families can stand by themselves regardless of the wider culture and laws.

      I think you underestimate the role of culture. When I was at uni in the 1980s I used to see the anti-family attitudes of the women around me but think "Well, I only have to find the one exception". But I never did, and all the women I knew from that era ended up childless and unmarried, just as could have been predicted. Very few people resist cultural influences, they are caught up in it, like a fish is caught up in the seas it swims in.

      And let's say that one particular man is exceptionally good at discriminating amongst women and choosing the most marriageable amongst them and he ends up having a good family outcome. How does that help the survival of his own tradition? He cannot uphold a tradition by himself. If 50% of his fellow men fail because the only women left to them have been made unmarriageable by culture, then that will drag down the tradition he wants to defend regardless of the fact that he achieved a good outcome for himself.

      That man needs to take action so that a much larger percentage of women will be on hand to be worthwhile wives and mothers. He can only do this when he and a large number of other men break free from the current culture in which a man goes to work for his own family and has nothing to do with other men.

      No man is an island and no family is one either.

    4. At the moment I think that the only rational choice for men is to opt out of marriage. I know there are very powerful and cogent arguments against this position and I respect those arguments but honestly I don't see how any man could take the risk of marriage in our society as it is now. The only hope, perhaps, is that when women end up being lonely and miserable they might realise that the current system is unsustainable.

      The election of Trump offered some hope that in the US at least there might be a pushback against the feminist madness. Unfortunately Trump clearly has no interest at all in confronting any of the urgent social, moral and cultural issues facing modern society. He's just another liberal.

      The only institutions that might have resisted this death spiral are the churches. They failed, and they didn't even put up a fight.

  2. There are polarizing and complementary natures with masculine man and feminine woman. The corporeal male and female thrive regardless, like most animal species, with no need of higher consciousness or faith, or for submissive trade offs beyond the sexual. Marriage should and must be the battleground and the oasis. What are the alternatives?

    1. Unknown, marriage doesn't have to be the way it is now. It was once different. So it's not a case of saying it is a choice between modern marriage or no marriage at all. We can look at what is going wrong and try to fix it. We can take away the excessive female threat point in marriage that exists now. We can take away the unrealistic view of marriage that some women are raised with (the idea that with marriage a "cloud of happiness" will just descend on the woman and stay there - and that if it doesn't the marriage was a mistake in the life narrative). We can take away the idea that marriage is about women "getting what they want" via their husbands. We can return to the idea of a caritas type of love developing between husband and wife (a love that is settled in the will and that strives for the good of the other as part of the commitment of the individual not only to their spouse but to God). We could return to the idea of marriage as a sacrament, as a permanent union of man and woman as one flesh. We could portray marriage more realistically within the culture as including work and sacrifice, with marriage undertaken not just for personal gratification or for immediate "feeling states", but as part of a life work and struggle to develop masculine and feminine character, to realise oneself in a challenging way, to fulfil a duty to family lineage, to community and to nation.

  3. OT but gender-related: here is a clear and direct indication of the agenda of one of today's most powerful tech/cultural ventures:

    Not surprisingly the premise, argument and conclusion about what is to be done are all pre-decided for the reader.

  4. P.S. The Google propaganda appeared on their search page so the link will be seen by many millions.