Betty Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Well, not really.  I just wanted an excuse to play off of Chris Isaak.  But seriously – Friend of Korrektiv Duffy wrote a bit on the manosphere, and all hell broke loose in the comments.

Comments

  1. Quite scary over there. The locks have been changed.

  2. I do think it’s funny that they keep insisting that I am a feminist. Nothing has ever tempted me more in that direction.

  3. I couldn’t bring myself to wade in over there or even read the comments after you mentioned them on your blog, but I did speak a rather severe word into the ear of our friend E., the champion of the Manosphere in the Catholic blog world.

  4. Betty,

    Nice work and chock full of the kind of insight that just doesn’t get the airplay it deserves…

    I recall Augustine’s comment quoted in Casti Connubi, that contraception turns a wife into a harlot and a harlot into a wife… But it does seem that women, by abdicating their social role – in family and society – have done so at the price of power. A dear exchange, that is, of societal for political and economic power fueled by contraception’s ability to render a woman available whenever a man wants her (and by the way, according to Bradford Wilcox of the Marriage Project, turning the “market” for marriage into a nightmare for both the promiscuous and the non-promiscuous women – the first because their stock plummets once they’re known to be free with their virtue and the former because the men – the manosphere if you will – won’t give them a second look. Why buy the cow and all that…

    You might find some good fodder for defense of your position in Elizabeth Fox-Genovese’s posthumous essays on marriage – “Marriage: The Dream that Never Dies.” Cheesy title notwithstanding – and it makes sense once you’ve swum half way to the deep end of the book – I think her ideas hold more than water…

    Here’s a few quotations – and please excuse ahead of time the prolixity – but I think they’re worth quoting in full.

    “Marriage has come under increasingly heavy fire, attacked especially by feminists, who depict it as the cradle and gaurantor of women’s oppression. Iornicially, the form of marriage they attack is rarely traditional marriage, which they tend to relegate to outer darkness. Instead, they focus on the modern forms, which have contributed most directly to a growing respect for women as persons – and ultimately to the possiblity of their enjoying many of hte same opportunities for independence as men. In other words, their target is only peripherally the world of patriarchal power and arranged or coerced marriage. Their real target is modern domestic marriage, with its attempt to bind marriage to love and to provide domestic happiness for women.”

    And elsewhere, this:

    “It might make us thoughtful that, in broad historical perspective, marriage has not been about the gratification – much less the rights – of the individual but about the good of society. Armed with postmodern sophistication about change and the “historicity” of values and institutions, we as a culture seem to be rushing headlong towards the abolition of marriage as we transform it to conform to our personal desires. We seem to have discarded the reasons that previous generations defended it, notablty, its ability to east antagonism of sexula difference, to promote economic well-being and social stabilty, to ground legitimate secular authority, and to infuse the most important social bonds with a sacrament character. We still cherish, – and even idolize – economic well-being, which we hold to hte high standard of contemporary American prosperity, but we want no strings attached. As for authority, whether natural, secular, or divine, we want no part of it. And ultimately, the essence of marriage is the authority that derives from the acknowledgement and accomodation of the reality of difference, notably the fundamental sexual difference between women and men.”

    And lastly:

    “The transformation of women’s lives and expectations during recent decades has no historical precedent, and its consequences reach into eveyr aspect of family and societal life. Above all, the changes in women’s lives and expectations are having a radical impact on families and the very idea of the fmaily, and therfore on the lives of children, and thereforeo nthe character and prospects of future generations. Women are the bridges across which change passes between the individual and the world, and, these days, between the world and the individual. Fathers, too, transmit change in the world into the interior life of families, and we know that thieir contribution to children’s lives is indispensible.”

  5. Matthew Lickona says

    Hee hee hee! You know how the author of that Futurist article you linked to threatens to head off to India if the US doesn’t solve its misandry problem? This is perfect. The Minister for Women & Child Development!

  6. Cubeland Mystic says

    Hey Betty

    I read the words but did not think too much. I liked the bit about men’s collusion with feminism. I think this is a very important topic. I wish that you would write about it more. Either here (hint hint) or your other blogs.

    I will read more later. I don’t have time right now but I am interested in the male reactions. Also the female. What is the female reaction to this:

    “For feminism to have gained a foothold, men had to collude with it, and without doubt, it’s been in the interest of men to do so.”

    I totally agree with this statement. It is beautiful.

    • Here’s a quote from a dude who lived through it:

      “Back in the day (giving my age away, here), most Boom generation men that I encountered were actually all in favor of abortion, birth control and pre-marital sex—the more the merrier! They were also very much in favor of feminism, since it supported all these things; there was an alliance between the Playboy/feminist movement. Many men would state outright, at the beginning of relationship, that they never intended to marry, or have a family—that was just sooooo boring, and middle class, and if you didn’t agree with that, you were uptight, a religious fanatic, or possibly, a lesbian. (If you were male and didn’t go along with this, it was the same thing: you were uptight, a religious fantatic, and, possibly, gay—not that there’s anything wrong with that
      !)

      If they did marry, the wife was expected to work outside the home and bring home a sizable paycheck. And, of course, she was expected to practice birth control, so as not to get pregnant, and “burden” the husband with children. If things didn’t work out, there was always divorce. In short, the couple—even if married—lived together more as roomates, than an actual married couple.

      I don’t like 20th Century feminism. I think it was a terrible thing, for both men and women. But, in the beginning, it was supported by both men and women—and much male treatment of women at the time, created a very fertile ground for anti-male sentiment.”

      • Cubeland Mystic says

        We were not practicing the faith when we were married. Although I totally agree with your assessment because I know people like that. I know women who are freaked because that don’t have a career. I’ve known dude who like the second income.

        In our case it was simply about making money. There was no cultural or politcal motivation. We were not proving anything other than trying to make enough to keep roof and car.

        Catholicism as practiced as intended is a very radical departure from the culture.

  7. Great article, Betty! Really enjoyed it. I don’t have time to delve into the comments, maybe later. Sounds like I’m in for a treat.

    I do think there are a few positive blogs out there in the manosphere. One that I like is: The Art of Manliness.

    http://artofmanliness.com/2008/03/01/bringing-back-the-hat/

    I like it mainly because I want men to go back to wearing hats. Then I want a man to remove his hat one day when I walk into the elevator. It would just be so fun. Maybe I would curtsy. No, that would be taking it too far.

    • The art of manliness, to me, is similar to women’s blogs etc that celebrate femininity without deriding the men. They’re great. Manliness is great too.

      Don’t bother with the comments. Really. They also used the C-word but patheos deleted it.

      • I bothered. I shouldn’t have. Nobody understood what you were trying to say! What a bunch of reactionary cranks. You held your own. I applaud your ability to respond to readers’ comments so succinctly. When readers misconstrue what I write, I find it so maddening I launch into long-winded dissertations that are twice the word count of the original article. I think your approach is probably more effective. Maybe you should have been a lawyer. Maybe you would have been a lawyer if you weren’t such a typical feminist. (I know that makes absolutely no sense, but this is the comments thread: It doesn’t have to!)

        P.S. I hope you didn’t interpret my comment as a critique or like a response to some “anti-manliness” venom I picked up on in the article. I saw nothing of the sort in the article, for the record. It was just an associated thought.

        • When that many people don’t get what I’m saying, it occurs to me that I didn’t express myself very well. Ever since that went up, I’ve been thinking about clarifying statements that I could have added here and there that might have dissipated some of the confusion.

          It also occurred to me, much later, actually, that most of the commenters were not Catholic, and so really, they COUldn’t understand what I was saying without some Catholic theology, specifically on the Eucharist. I thought about reminding them that they’re in the “Catholic” portal of Patheos, but I think I’m done with it (of course I’m not done with it, because I’m hashing it all out here).

          For the record, I took out all my frustration with that combox on people I know and love. And I have sworn never again to write on any other hot-button ideology.

          I also didn’t read your comment negatively.

          • Cubeland Mystic says

            Why don’t you want to write on hot button issues? I haven’t read the comments yet. Men’s collusion in feminism is a really good topic. You could write a book on that. I thought your article was clear, and I think people bring their own baggage to this topic. A lot of folks suffer from selective comprehension. No matter what you say they will misunderstand.

            If I write a post saying that I think Capitalism is no better than Communism and here is why, I am going to be misunderstood. Folks would probably think I was a fascist since I am against the other two. Everyone has their preconceived ideas about this topic and are looking for someone to vent on. I look forward to reading the comments later.

          • Is that supposed to sound like somebody who doesn’t understand me thinking they understand me? Or it all that matters, as Arendt says, what other people think? One thing that put me off her (apart, for example, from the fact that she disapproves of democracy).

  8. You’re very clever.

  9. Cubeland Mystic says

    Hi Betty

    I read through some of the comments. As I suspected they filtered your words through their lens. Here is my suggestion, get with your editor and do a series on Complementarity which this article was sort of the definition of the problem. I had my Catholic hat on so I was able to fill in the gaps. I see what you mean now about not wanting to write about this again. Also the Protestants reading it, misread it for sure. Folks were looking for an excuse to vent, and they found it in your article.

    I read through the bottom third of the comments from about a week ago. I stopped because it was obvious to me that they missed your point.

    Having read through some of the comments, and seeing that some of those guys are really hurt, I have to say I really felt sorry for them. Also, I have seen what divorce has done to some of my co-workers. One dude (who was a real hardass pri k) started crying in my cube at work when he told me his wife filed for divorce. There were others too. (Then there was the dude who showed me the boob job before and after clothed pictures of his wife, but that is another story.) Although I have a pretty good marriage and these things don’t really pop up, I can see some of the male commenters’ points. However, I also know what real bastards men can be. There are predatory males, and I have known a few.

    At this point in my life I really don’t care about this stuff anymore other than it will impact my kids. For their sake I will still care for a little while longer. There is a conversation I want to have with women, and I had originally wrote another paragraph but deleted it because I fear that the “gender wars” has so poisoned the water that I really don’t want to risk being misunderstood. So I deleted the words I wrote. So I retract my earlier comment encouraging you to keep writing about these issues, because I can see how you don’t want to be misunderstood. It is so easy. I hope this makes sense.

    I do encourage you to write about Complementarity, I think that is more positive and less likely to be misunderstood. I liked your article, and I especially loved the collusion line. It is really so true. Well done.

    • There IS a lot to say about women. I could have just as easily written the column beginning with a negative description of certain feminists.

      It’s been done already though, again and again, especially in Christian publications, blaming feminism for everything, from the Italian cruise captain’s abandoning ship, to the elimination of eligible males from the dating pool. I deleted a paragraph from the original column linking to those Christian articles blaming feminism, because I didn’t want to attack them, and it’s easier for me to recognize Christian good intentions than, well, manospheric good intentions, which are so freighted with a “have your cake, eat it too” morality.

      I guess the impetus for the column was to say that an equal/opposite men’s movement is not the answer to the problems with feminism, because I’m seeing evidence among Christians that many think it is.

      • Also, if anything is guaranteed to unify and reinvigorate the fractured face of 21st century feminism–it’s a men’s movement.

        • Cubeland Mystic says

          BD

          I totally agree. That is why pointing out that men are actually the big winners in Feminism is very important. So what if a few nice guys get hurt along the way the vast majority of us benefit. Just walking through the mall can be a pleasing adrenaline filled experience.

          I think you’re totally correct too about reinvigorating feminism. There is so much that I want to say, but have run out of time. Again really nice job, and I am sorry that so many folks misunderstood. Perhaps a re-presentation of the material in the series is an answer. It is unfortunate that some commenters seemed to be accusing you of being an apologist for Feminism.

  10. notrelatedtoted says

    I like the bit about men and women blaming each other since Adam and Eve – I think that sums it up pretty nicely.

  11. Just checking in.

  12. My view is that if some male workers, for example (and there are others) in education, are misogynistic, and I think it is probably more common at secondary than university level, I’ve no interest in changing their minds.

  13. Sorry, I’ve probably been unfair.

    • Cubeland Mystic says

      Churchill

      Unfair?

      Just in your use of the word misogynistic. Misogyny would take malice aforethought. Most dudes don’t give it that much thought regardless of level. Then when my fellow males behave that way to me what do we call it?

      I refer to it as Ricardian Behavioral Disorder (RBD). That is my own categorization.

  14. notrelatedtoted says

    I wonder how much time Don Draper spent wondering how he could be even more Don Drapier?

    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

      How much time did Don Draper spend wondering how he could be even more Don Drapier? Yeah, probably not much.

      Dick Whitman, on the other hand….

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