Friday, May 31, 2019

A woman asks: how did we go wrong?

You might have seen an article by Anna Hitchings, a 32-year-old Sydney Catholic woman, bemoaning the lack of her marital prospects.

Her article was limited in scope, being mostly a "where are all the good men?" treatment of the issue. However, there was a comment at Anna's website from a woman called Cynthia which was unusual in that it focused on women's contribution to modern day dating problems. Here it is in full:
Anna, as a fellow Catholic woman who’s been watching the social decay for decades now, I thought I would offer my thoughts on what you’ve written.

One of the reasons you’ve elicited such a strong negative response from a certain segment of the Internet (specifically, the manosphere), is that there appears to be a hole in your analysis of the current situation. 

The current state of things is not a mystery. It is the inevitable conclusion of feminism. It is, in reality, a state that women have brought on themselves. The failure of women to confront this is something that even the Christian end of the manosphere doesn’t typically like. They call our inability to see our own failings, mistakes, sins, and hubris the “rationalization hamster”. I see less of that in your post than a man might, but I do understand how hard it is to face.

Now that is not to say that you, not I, or any other individual woman, is solely responsible for the dire state of the sexual marketplace in the West. I do believe that we have all, as individuals, made decisions that have contributed to our own problems. Honest mistakes, perhaps, uninformed mistakes, sometime, but mistakes are still the result of decisions.

This isn’t intended to be a lecture. I’m 33 and only got married this year, so I know what you’re going through. I consider myself extremely lucky to have found a fellow Catholic man who was single, who wants children and who attends church regularly. It is extremely hard to find these guys. But you have to have some awareness of why the dating waters have gotten so choppy if you want to have a hope of navigating them.

Again, this is a female problem. Putting careers and bosses ahead of finding a husband and starting a family. Rampant porn consumption (by this I mean literary erotica) in the female sphere that leads to warped expectations and unrealistic ideas about relationships. Widespread contraceptive use and promiscuity. Continual degradation of men, male spaces, masculinity, and so on. Not every woman has done/participated in all of these things, of course, but no one woman has to do all. It’s bigger than any one of us. It is something women as a group have done collectively.

The effect of the culture on most men in our generation has been profound. They’ve dropped out of dating, out of church, out of civic society. They’re demoralized, and many have concluded it no longer matters. What reason have we given them to stay interested in us?

It’s on us to call out what other women are doing. It’s time to start shaming unacceptable behavior. It’s time to set higher standards for ourselves. It’s time to teach girls that not being serious about marriage and family at 22 will leave you alone in your 30s.

But that’s the culture, and this is deeply personal. Reality hurts. You’re living it. I’ve lived it. It took me eight years to find my husband, and that wasn’t for lack of trying. I don’t know your story, but I do know mine and I know I made choices that contributed to where I am. I suspect you’re the same. But let me just say, nothing gets better until you take an honest accounting of yourself and make the changes that need to be made.

For me, that was getting out of the military and working hard on finding, developing, and keeping a relationship. I sacrificed a lot. It came at the cost of better paying jobs, of using my degree, of having all those cute things that the magazines want to sell us. I might not be able to have kids at my age. But I have the chance now, and that’s worth everything.

It might not be your fault, nor mine, but we’ve been saddled with the consequences nonetheless. We can’t control the culture, but we can stop being shocked by it. Other women have ruined the system that sustained our sex for thousands of years. Any one of us who wants a traditional life has to work extra hard. But how can you do it if you don’t realize you need to?

That’s the criticism you’re getting.

I thought a later comment from Cynthia was also of interest:
I don’t think most women would care much for what I have to say. The problem we seem to have is that we lack imagination in failure – we can’t conceive of it when we have a chance of correcting course, and then we can’t admit it later on when it’s too late. It hurts too much. The manosphere is successful because it offers men a path to fixing their problems. Does it help everyone? Lord no. But there is possibility there. There is no equivalent for women because it’s much harder for us to fix things for ourselves. Facing it can often bring nothing but the realization that you can’t undo your mistakes.


  1. "What we mean by this is there is a frightening scarcity of men aged 25-35 who are church-going, single and worldly-wise....

    "Most men I meet have two out of three of these qualities, with the latter often lacking. If they’re single church-goers, they’re usually awkward and in want of basic social awareness (a big turn-off for most women)."

    Because Christianity has absolutely nothing to offer to men who are not awkward and in want of basic social awareness. Christianity has absolutely nothing to offer to normal healthy heterosexual men. In fact most churches seem not to want normal healthy heterosexual men. And to a large extent it is Christian women who have driven normal healthy heterosexual men away from Christianity.

    Christianity today is a religion for women, male homosexuals and hopelessly dysfunctional and useless soy-boys (the sorts of men that women are repulsed by).

    The lack of awareness in her article is staggering. It does not even occur to her that women may be a big part of the problem.

    1. dfordoom, I disagree that it does not occur to her that women may be part of the problem. I believe that's exactly what she's saying even if she doesn't specifically reference the challenge in her religion.

      As for Christianity having nothing to offer to the men you describe, again, I disagree. You may be confusing different sects and their modern practices with the traditional concept of Christianity which challenges men to be better and, indeed, provides a blueprint to do so. I belong to a church that strives to maintain traditional roles for men and women and, to a greater or lesser extent, succeeds in so doing.

    2. I disagree 100% that Christianity has nothing to offer to men?! This shows a lack of basic understanding of Christianity as a faith through which you'll walk with again again one day vis-a-vis the cult of cultural Christianity.

  2. Those "men" dfordoom speaks of, are imbecilic sybarites who must be spoonfed everything because they refuse to make the slightest effort to learn anything on their own. If the ivory-skulled buffoons were to take the time to read a few books instead of watching porno & playing video games they'd learn that the Catholic Faith is that which inspired Cortez to burn his ships and conquer murderous idolatrous savages that outnumbered his men by thousands to one. It was the Religion which animated Jean Vallette to fight Turks hand to hand at the age of 72 telling his fellow soldier-monks "I cannot think of a more beautiful and glorious way to die than to fall fighting the infidels in the service of God." On and on I could go, but I'll leave it at that. They are not Christians because they hate the light and wish not to have their wicked deeds exposed and reproved.

    1. notice how far back you have to reach for examples?

  3. To Anonymous on 9 June at 12.50; Indeed, but the Founder of the Faith Jesus Christ shed His Blood for the redemption of many 15 centuries before the heroes of whom I wrote. If that which is not current, or to put it another way, that which does not pertain to the current year is to be disregarded, then one ought to live like a beast and die miserably without hope and be done with it. It is a question of will. If I tell 100 people that a bridge is out and 98 of them choose to ignore me and plunge to their doom that does not mean that what I told them was false. They willed to disbelieve me and suffered for their foolishness. It is the same with religion. Truth is not something to be decided by consensus. As Chesterton said, the Christian religion has not been tried and found wanting, but rather found difficult and therefore left untried.