The antidote that is also a vaccine

Dalrock has been on Matt Walsh’s six for several posts. Matt lacks anyone to “have his six” aside from a fickle gaggle of gigglers who get boosted up with righteous indignation when he writes things they can hammer men with. Most recently Dalrock unpacks the innate hypocrisy on 50SOG and the Christian women who rationalize their way through the pages.

As I was thinking about the whole porn-is-evil-and-adultry thing, I thought about a guy I know whose wife kicked him out and divorced him for porn on his PC. A few months later she was pregnant by some random guy. Didn’t marry him, but at least had the baby. As far as I can tell she would still maintain that she was the moral actor in that sequence. This 50SOG thing is a lighter fictional take on that real world happening.

I was also thinking about some wisdom I saw in a cell phone ad. When the dad is leaving on a trip and climbing in the cab, the kids tell him they put videos on his phone for him to watch so he wasn’t too home sick. The wife says “I put a vid on there to , but (whisper) don’t watch it on the plane dear”.

How many men can imagine that scene? Oh sure, stuff like that isn’t as rare as a skull from Olduvai gorge, but its neither present in many marriages in the pews. Not that it need be r rated vids to achieve the effect, most marriages lack even a wink in this direction. I remember seeing that ad and wondering how many women silently were offended, some even speaking out indignant about how horrible that must be that that poor woman must pander to her man’s base drives that way.

The wife’s character in that ad was in possession of a rare form of medicine. It is a compound that is both a vaccine and an antidote, capable of preventing things from happening, and equally capable of boosting the man’s immune system to set right anything that ever may have happened and kill it off.

Rather, women rant that porn is adultery, then they use that to rationalize following their heart off to EPL land. Even things like the example I mentioned above fail to illustrate reality sufficiently to get women to catch a snap, as they rally to support that poor woman wronged by porn and by a husband that perhaps was worn down by consistent frigidity and rebellion.

They talk about that sort of thing in the neighborhood ladies book clubs. And they miss the forest for the terrariums they have painstakingly constructed.

A “Present Shock”…linking follow-your-heart and divorce

The pastor in the linked file used themes from the book “Present Shock”, which, if you’ve not read and are inclined to such things, its an interesting one.

That we (humans, people, society) are not subject to an overarching narrative is indisputable. Any narrative, let alone the epic one found in the 66 books of the bible, or its ( important…for us) themes on the meaning of life, the reason we exist, so forth.

From this opener the sermon goes into some interesting points about the ministry of God the Father before sin entered the world and how He instructed human(s) to live…that we needed that instruction even before we sinned, not because of sin, but because we are humans. Then, regarding sexuality and relationships the speaker made bold proclamations. He comes as close as a diminishing asymptote to linking some things that could shed some light on divorce in the church. Close enough, for those who can hear it. Light years away for the rest.

“To follow one’s heart is an utter disaster”, he states. He repeats that in several forms and contexts. Later, he states something about 50% of Christian marriages ending in divorce. He gets there, to divorce,  through a minefield discussion of sexuality and sexual sin.

That there are minutes and topics separating the admonishment to not follow one’s heart, or feelings, and the statement that so many Christians divorce. It was a kind of mental coitus interruptus for Christian men’s issue thinkers. The coitus analogy holds to the end, because I was both a little frustrated and a lot glad he got as close as he did..

Its simply a good sermon. My favorite of those Ive posted from this pastor.

Matriarchal Utopia? Or Rodent Gommorah?

In 1968 Garret Hardin published “The Tragedy of the Commons” in the journal, “Science”. In it he explored the concept that publicly shared resources could be overrun by users who being pressed by short term self-interest could destroy a resource that they should rather preserve by cooperation through the motivation of long term self-interest. Usually this is where Malthusian discussions of overpopulation kick in, I don’t intend to go there. Instead, I am thinking about another overpopulation experiment that essentially has a tragedy of the commons worked into it: John Calhoun’s Mouse Utopia and the concept of the “behavioral sink“. The concepts that flow from Calhoun’s work naturally work with Hardin’s ideas and are frequently discussed together with current events like urban population, crime and violence (which I think has merit). However, I think that the REAL tragedy was overlooked.

The overpopulation in Calhoun’s Utopia’s served as a stressor, primarily to rodent breeding, and rearing behavior. However, unlike Calhoun or any of his Malthusian Zero Population Growth proponents I’m not looking at the overpopulation except as a generic stressor upon society (that may be replaced with many others). By divorcing the particulars of the stressor from the outcome I think that we can learn a whole lot more about what other stressors may be accomplishing. Rather than looking at the stressor we look at the results of the stress. For example, in the mice, the destructive “behavioral sink” was caused by an excess of social and spacial pressures on the territorial behavior of the sexually reproductive males. Essentially pressure built to the point where they were unable to defend their territory, their breeding opportunities based on that space and the young rearing activities of their mates. The females responded to this stress by attacking their pups, driving them out of the nests and refusing to build or maintain nests suitable for the rearing of young. This ultimately resulted in the extirpation of the colony. No breeding, no rearing, and no going back. Sound familiar?

If I were applying Calhoun to humans, I would not be focusing on population as the chief stressor. We aren’t seeing waves of “dropouts” going on violent raping and killings sprees even after they have washed out socially and suffered what Calhoun described as “the first death” (think prison as the locus of our behavioral sinks). Instead the pressures on successful child rearing in the West take on a subtler form. The anti-family predations of culture which incite child destroying behavior. The universal destruction of male space, male “privileges” and male ownership. I don’t believe it all is an accident.

Examine Calhoun’s Mouse Utopia #25. What were described in the experiment as “dropouts” broke psychologically. They started congregating in the central space and lashing out with random violence, cannibalism and what is described as hyper and/or pansexualism. A mousy little Sodom and Gomorrah. Eventually these “miscreants” began impinging upon the behaviors of sexually productive mice causing THEM to dropout. Quickly the fabric of the mouse society devolved into a death spiral, breaking into several groups with the mosh-pit mice and the socially withdrawn mice. Socially withdrawn females and even a group of males who focused on nothing but eating, drinking and grooming which Calhoun dubbed “the beautiful ones”, little mousy MGTOWS.

After reading years of Dalrock, and many others, I’m becoming convinced that Western societies have essentially been driven to this tipping point. The “commons” are the ability for men to provision and lead their families. The “space” to have positive authority in the lives of their children. The moral suasion of the priest and head of their wife and children. Even to the point of having meaningful contact. The ability to shield them from the destructive forces of the depraved “first deather’s” (feminists, family courts, secular culture, higher education and on and on). The servant husband and father is on the brink of extinction and that his sacrifices are largely unwanted and despised. The incentives to male investment and feminism outside and inside the “church” is opposed to rewarding men for anything, most of all masculinity without which there is no protected space for family. I’ve been contemplating an inventory of these stressors, anything that causes disruption to the two parent (father/mother) and extended family, it might make a good series of posts.

For some reason “thinking about the little mosh-pit mice”, Robert Plant seems strangely appropriate:

On waves of love my heart is breaking
And stranger still my self control I can’t rely on anymore
New tides surprise – my world it’s changing
Within this frame an ocean swells – behind this smile I know it well

Beneath a lover’s moon I’m waiting
I am the pilot of the storm – adrift in pleasure I may drown
I built this ship – it is my making
And furthermore my self control I can’t rely on anymore
I know why – I know why
Crazy on a ship of fools
Crazy on a ship of fools
Turn this boat around – back to my loving ground

Who claims that no man is an island
While I land up in jeopardy – more distant from you by degrees
I walk this shore in isolation
And at my feet eternity draws ever sweeter plans for me
I know why – I know why
Crazy on a ship of fools
Crazy on a ship of fools
Turn this boat around – back to my loving ground
Oh no, oh no – ship of fools –

(tip to Johnnycomelately on Dalrock for reminding me of Calhoun).

The Christian solution to healthy conflict resolution

You know what it says because you’ve read it before. It deserves to be parsed in conjunction with the topics spawned by Elspeth’s claim that men should just ignore the wife’s expressions of discontentment because she’ll get over it. That led to some back and forth about conversational dynamics in marriage, especially focused on what has aptly been termed, emotional terrorism.

Greg Smalley of FotF has something to say about turning that maelstrom of emotion into a calm spring day in a daisy field. He explains how fighting can save your marriage.

Healthy conflict can be a doorway to deeper intimacy. It can facilitate communication, understanding, trust and respect if we choose to manage our differences and disagreements in nourishing ways. I hope you’ll realize that healthy conflict is a way to discover your spouse’s most important feelings and needs. [emphasis mine]

This puts FotF at odds with Elspeth. She says ignore them [feelings], they say mine them for treasure. It wouldn’t be a Christian argument advice piece if it didn’t also include:

do what Jesus himself recommended: “First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:5). The key to moving from unhealthy conflict to healthy conflict is to first get the log out of your own eye so that instead of simply reacting, you can thoughtfully respond to your spouse in a productive, Christ-like way.

These pat formulaic solutions work perfectly in a fictionalized account where the argument is about a binary decision, where its go vs no-go, yes vs no, up vs down, spend vs don’t spend. These fictional dialogs omit the real problem though. Whether it is a binary argument, or , the more likely stealth emotional attack out of nowhere, fictional dialogs are too simplistic which is sadly congruent with most forms of Christian fiction. Remember the faux situations one ministry leader said he placed before his children to teach them how to react? Same flavor.

While still pat, the four steps he lists for having productive conflict are not terrible. In the last two he recommends that each person, while alone, name their feelings then ask for divine guidance as to their validity.

Name what you are feeling (I feel . . . unloved, disrespected, worthless, controlled, unimportant, etc.) and notice how it calms you. Do this during your timeout.

 

Pray. Ask God to reveal what is true about your feelings and what is true about your spouse.

 

I’ve never seen it suggested that anyone really self examine. Rather, advice normally runs along the lines of validating every feeling. This is so out of phase that I cannot help but think he doesn’t really mean it as stated. The emphasized part of the first quote, above, suggests Smalley doesn’t really mean filter feelings. That, or, with deeper examination or under fire from a woman questioning him, he would help her rationalize her way around having to self examine and identify the absurdity of some of her feelings. More importantly, what do you do when the argument is 100% about her feelings and not in any way clearly reconcilable ? The arguments I’ve been describing have nothing to do with any actual decision. They are about women’s innate insecurity and fear coupled with her feelings of moral superiority and the drive she has to manage and change her husband. Like my acquaintance the Dr. of Theology and Psychology said, her wedding day was when her project, fixing her man, was made legit.

Feelings aside, what about some ground rules that focus the discourse? Maybe limiting the talk to the topic, directly, and afford them the right to claim the irrelevance of remarks born of emotion rather than just scoring emotional direct hits would be good advice. Don’t forget that for the past half century when women are asked to pray for guidance, they hear from The Personal Jesus, who is largely a product of their feelings.

The majority of conflicts in marriage are not about binary things. When they are, they can be reconciled by one of three ways…his preference, her preference, or compromise. Discussing those in the context of primacy of feelings is a waste of time. Framing those issues using Matthew 7:5 is fallacious. It doesn’t apply. All that does it allow her to find a way to fault a man in a disagreement about what color to paint a room or something. There is no fault in play. Until this advice creates one.

I’ve shared how during counseling (with a man) a decade ago I refused to participate in the predictable “get you two to communicate” prattle until two binary issues were settled. I didn’t want to go down the prattle path regardless, but I would if I could, for my own sanity, have a reasoned discussion of these handful of binary issues and agreed to accept the counselors rendered solution.

At that point in my marriage we were at max escalation and those couple of things were a daily source of major conflict. So we did it. Very simply and clearly he took my side, meaning he endorsed my opinion of what should happen. He listened to my concise description of the facts. Then he listened to hers. When she finished, not only did he say that my position was the most reasonable, but that buried within her diatribe was a sense of blame, toward me, for every flawed aspect of our relation ship. He asked her, “Mrs. Empath, are you even aware that you circled every issue through all sorts of winding dialog that subtly but clearly laid the problems you two have at your husbands feet.?”

Though we did end up continuing with the guy for quite some time, at that evenings conclusion she fired off, “we will not be headed back to that guy”. Thankfully he was a man who had no tolerance for emotional terrorism. He saw it for what it is. He rebuked it.

Neither that counselor guy nor the psychologist mentioned have a platform from which to share their wisdom. Smalley, FotF, Family Life, etc. they have the platform. And it buttresses the fact that the process of working through problems is more important than the solution, more important than the issue regardless what it is, even more important than the truth. Because the process is where she gets to bring out her toys (feelings) and play.

 

 

 

She’s in control, not Major Tom

I poached this link from Elspeth’s blog because it dovetails with my previous post. It is another source text for saying that women are the more controlling sex in marriage. I say another because there was already a most unlikely source that made the same observation.

Christian women and men especially do not want to imagine this as true. So, when the women at CF would cite the Gottman studies that highlighted, famously, the predictors of divorce, and those behavioral predictors were easily foist on men. They loved them some Gottman over there. But buried in Gottman’s research was the plainly stated observation that women were more prone to being controlling than men. One must actually read the literature to find it, not the titles of the studies and the media ready snippets. Those informed the women.

The linked article starts to reveal something important.

Convention has it that women are the gentler sex.

But when it comes to relationships they are more likely than men to be controlling and aggressive, a study claims.

They’d have been ahead to stop there. But we cannot have such things simply placed under the light of day for scrutiny. So, they dilute it.

Study leader Dr Elizabeth Bates said: ‘The stereotypical popular view is still one of dominant control by men. That does occur but research over the last ten to 15 years has highlighted the fact that women are controlling and aggressive in relationships too.’

Oh, ok, men do it too. Whew, for a minute there I thought there was some news here. I thought….I actually thought that someone was releasing data that could be used as cover for holding women accountable for something. Anything. Doc Elizabeth though states it quote differently than the opener. She says, and fails to challenge, that men are the stereotypical perpetrators of domination but that the study, gasp, says that women do it too.

The reason I parsed the article is not my normal MO, though I plied that by showing the spin. The reason was to show how it buttresses the claims I make about the behavior I’ve been describing as being absolutely typical. It is statistically the majority. It is in the woman’s nature. This is more than a simple statement of the collated study results. It is revelatory of why there is so much buy in to the present male dominant narrative. That too is a form of control, just on a macro basis. It is also succor for the men who experience this behavior to an extent far beyond my examples and those of some of the men who comment here and elsewhere about same. Finally, it contradicts the notion that the problem is that of men being permissive of it, meaning that men have within us the ability to change it.

We can choose our path. We can do so despite this. We get to respond rightly, or not. We needn’t BE controlled. But we may have to tolerate her attempts to do so. We can ignore them, we can allow ourselves to be controlled, or we can wrestle and fight over it. Most men respond essentially the right way as evidenced by the fact we are not the ones divorcing in droves.

Meanwhile, imagine the injustice, she terrorizes him for a couple of decades, then jettisons him because he deigned react.

 

Honest…..to goodness, some thoughts on lying

I almost never use examples from my own life to illustrate things we discuss in the sphere. One time I did it recently I started getting advice on how to handle the situation. That’s not the point of the post. Its to use an example to illustrate something i do not believe i could explain as a concept. here goes:

 

My wife fades in and out of old habits. Yesterday was the wrong day to fade in, but she did. Some dialog occured that afforded a teaching moment. I decided to show her that she was lying. She perhaps didn’t realize it….I say that’s a “gift” women have, but I insisted that she needed to stop, listen, and know that she, a woman who will offer an hour long impromptu discourse on integrity, uses tricks to lie to herself and to others.

I knew that today, Thursday, she was to have a couple of friends over. In fact, Tuesday night I was going to run to the store and get cat food, she asked that I not bother, because she was going Wednesday,  since two of her  friends were coming to our house Thursday. I asked, “you sure?” Yes. she said she would go. ( I know she’d be more apt to go because of her friends coming, if it was just general grocering it would be procrastinated) I do not know why, but she occasionally gets very invested in things like this, where she for some reason is adamant I NOT go or do the thing I am about to do, a thing that is a chore I willingly happily would go do. Used to be I’d just not go, keeping the peace. Past 10 years I don’t even tell her where I’m going or what I’m doing, and just go do the errand. But Tuesday evening I did not go.

Yesterday (Wednesday) I came home and found my wife in the back yard working. She had gone to Lowe’s, bought a bunch of mulch and plants, and was creating two new beds in the back yard. We had just, the day before, said we needed to lighten up on spending $. I asked her, “you did that because your friends are coming Thursday (the next day) right?”. “Oh no, you know Ive wanted to do this for a long time, its been on my long term list for awhile”
I said, with a smile, “look at me…..you are lying”. “You may not consider it such, but you are lying. Now, it was about the friends right?” She grins that I’d busted her (in her mind) cute little fib. But she insisted tha,t well, if you were to assign %’s to the reason, the biggest % was NOT about her friends. She was still lying, even more cleverly, because I cannot argue objectively about %’s in that case.

I moved on.

Later I asked about the $. She says yes we discussed that yesterday, BUT, apparently months ago we’d had a conversation and I’d agreed two beds would be nice to add, so, therefore, in her mind, it “didn’t count”. Then I notice tile samples on the counter. “YES”, she said, “I want to put up back splashes in the kitchen”. Same argument, we’d once waxed dreamily about it, hence, not covered. Those old discussions were of the sort you’d have when you say things like “someday it would be nice to have a cabin in the mountains”….concepts, idle chatter, heck I didn’t even know we’d had or not had a talk about flower beds and back splashes, but I guess we did.

Meanwhile I learn from my 8 yr old that the friends cancelled, we’d have no visitors Thursday (today)

So, I asked, “by the way, did you happen to get to the store for cat food”

“No, after all the yard work I decided Id go the next day”

I say, “let me ask, and please be honest, if the friends were still coming tomorrow, you’d be headed there this evening to get groceries right?”‘

In true faded-IN fashion she said, “I’m done with this conversation, you just want to argue” She added, “besides look at how much money you spend on e books from Amazon”….a completely incongruous remark at this point in the conversation as we were discussing the grocery trip, but it served her need to get a work in about $.

Busted in a third lie. I hear this kind of lying a lot from women, even to each other. I hate it. I hate it even more when the women get very animated on the topic of honesty and say “the one thing I cannot stand it lying”

To illustrate how toxic this is, my 23 year old daughter was there and she asked if we’d please just drop the subject, she didn’t like the arguments and would have to leave if it continued because it stressed her out. She saw nothing but arguing. She saw no issue whatsoever in the incident….just two silly people disagreeing. There were no raised voices or harsh words, nevertheless, I don’t want my daughter to feel badly when she is visiting. Besides it was clear there was no outcome to be had in the discourse that would not involve just more meandering tricks that seem to arise from the female mind like instinct.

But the wife had found her weapon. The e book buying thing seemed to have been late, but better late than never, and she wanted me to acknowledge it. I didn’t say anything else on the matter.

Now, suppose this happened all the time. And suppose it led to marriage counseling. Would a counselor call out the lies? Would he or she even think they were lies? If they did, would they wink and chuckle at the innocence of them and ask me to lighten up? Or would the counselor rebuke the man for being argumentative? Heaven forbid she did this daily, cornering the man amidst a growing maelstrom of unrelated statements that the wife’s face reveals she sees as game changers. And he then raised his voice.

ABUUUUZZZERRR, the wife and a chorus of friends would conclude. Soon, like those exercises when you pass a sentence around the room as kids, the woman would be in jeopardy of her very life if she stays one more minute.

This is not about the incident described. its not about some dialog I might have chosen to handle the thing differently. It is me asserting that what I just described is default communication mode for the vast majority of women I’ve ever known. It is me asserting that “would you rather win the argument or stay married” is one of the stupidest pieces of advice ever given. Its stupid because its harmful and toxic, yes, but its also stupid because the person offering that advice up would quickly see the issue as one where the couple involved needed to:

Agree on a budget

Assign grocery shopping more structurally to the parties

Learn how to communicate without harshness

Etc.

In other words, they would see the most superficial things about the scenario, label it trivial, and offer insights that are basic and inane while delivering it as if they were describing how to diffuse a neutron bomb that’s been left in your driveway.

Oh, and they would remind the man that, after all, women are so much more verbal and better at communicating,….yuk yuk yuk….we should never engage them in disagreement because we cannot compete.

This post describes something that happens in the majority of marriages. It shows the source of the woman’s unhappiness when she files a frivorce. Maybe she is internally conflicted knowing she is being disingenuous. Or, more likely, she and whichever friends hear the stories from her lather each other up spilling this brand of hell on earth into other homes as the women feed off each others righteous anger.

After the church starts telling women, plainly, do not divorce, it would be good for them to wade into this topic. “Women, how to make yourself way less of a pain in the ass to deal with”.

 

A “couple” of clarifications; It is rare for “couples” to seek divorce

Let’s start with the end of the article.

Do you know a couple who appears to be close to giving up?

I like this question. I like it because a gut honest answer would serve a good purpose. After reading through the piece, which laments the fact that:

Research has shown that about two-thirds of all divorces today are occurring in low-conflict marriages.

more specifically

That is, they’re ending without a death blow like infidelity or physical abuse

Rainey plays the language workaround trick I described in this post.

Instead, a couple simply accumulates enough disagreement and disharmony that they begin believing that the best option for doing away with the headaches is just to do away with the marriage. [emphasis mine]

The answer to the question about whether I know a couple that appears to be close to giving up is…….no. Further, in my 51 years I can count on one hand the number of couples that fit this description. My anecdotal experience is buttressed by every study that sets out to unpack divorce dynamics. The who and the why are almost never THEM and THEY MUTUALLY GAVE UP.

The data is out there. A 30 minute casual effort to find information on divorce dynamics would yield a plethora of results that so eclipse the statements in this article as to make it read like parody on truth. The fact that Rainey mentioned 2/3 suggests he has read the rest of the statistical story, and the nature of the business he is in tells me he has repeatedly encountered the party for whom the divorce is the last thing he wants. In short, he knows that it is women filing these low conflict divorces and men being jettisoned against their will, made to become visitors to their children, and having their resources split down the middle-if they are lucky-by threat of law.

He also knows, because he has written about it recently, that children are deeply affected by the decisions of these women. Finally he knows that low conflict marriages, where the couple do not divorce, are very likely to get past the rough patch and years later these couples reflect back on a great marriage that perhaps experienced some challenges along the way.

One researcher told me that if a couple can find as little as 20 percent of their marriage that they would call satisfactory, they have a better than 90 percent chance of making their marriage better in two years–if they stick with it, if they keep fighting, if they don’t give up and throw in the towel too soon.

When he goes so far as to mention a statistic that gets almost all the way to the heart of the matter, then dilutes the impact by using a language work around to spread the concern equally across everyone involved, he becomes part of the problem. A woman in a low conflict marriage who is considering divorce finds great comfort and much rationalization when she reads this. She can convince herself, more easily, that despite her husbands incessant weeping and begging, the most personal she need envision the situation is that THEY are divorcing. Some will even avoid the shared responsibility that THEY suggests and maintain the frame of a divorce that “just happened”. The piece is high end hamster food.
I didn’t think I could get more disappointed in Family Life. I regularly read, and write about, articles that obfuscate on marriage matters. Sometimes though he will come dangerously close to revealing, even if by accident, the truth of what the numbers say in aggregate. When he does that, and kills the truth with weasel words, it represents an intentional effort to not alienate women.

Here is a quick rewrite of the fourth block quote above, including direct references that point to where his concern should reside if actually making a difference was a goal.

Instead, a person (most often the wife) simply accumulates enough disagreement and disharmony that she begins believing that the best option for doing away with the headaches is just to do away with the husband.

The call to action would ask:

Do you know a woman who is about to detonate her marriage? If so, share with her all the negative effects of divorce, the fact that the same problems she thinks she has will manifest in the next relationship, her children will be greatly harmed, and finally discuss with her what scripture says about this with her. Challenge her to not join the 2/3. Encourage her to not destroy another family.

 

Louis Vuitton is an accessory, Its owner is not

Another horror story about abortion. The provocative email subject line is : 35 bodies found in a freezer.

Recently I wrote about Virginia Cobb and her Virginia based group, The Family Foundation. The previous post was about her group praising pastors who showed up or mentioned their rally-for-marriage event. Predictably, a rally for marriage had nothing to say about divorce.

Maybe they got succored by Shaunti Feldhahn.

That they lathered up about gay marriage and didn’t mention divorce is sleep inducing, predictable. But 35 bodies in a freezer can hardly be the subject of an article likely to be called predictable or sleep inducing.

The Family Foundation has busted another house of horrors abortion clinic. This is objectively a good thing. It is a good thing regardless the extra-horrific activity that is alleged to have happened in this clinic vs. other clinics (I am not going into details). Cobb is making hay with the story. the home page of TFF site is loaded with stories about the abortion clinic. Their email blast is stuffed with links asking for donations to help produce the video mentioned in this ad:

brighamSomething that should be obvious to everyone is off.  Like the Monty Python skit said, “one of the flay rods has gone out of skew on the treadle”. I know the answer but ask anyway, why are we more outraged when we see stories like this than when we hear the number of abortions per year and related statistics? Because this appeals to a different nature within us than mere abortion. The nature(s) this appeals to in people is/are not necessarily virtuous. There is the twisted nature some have. There is the bandwagon. The grief and empathy as porn nature that creates piles of flowers and teddy bears and weeping strangers explaining that their 5th cousin once ordered an Ipod Touch on Ebay that came from a guy whose brother once drove through the area where the atrocity took place so don’t you know how this hurts MEEEEEEE? Like that. And no one seems to realize that to gnash teeth at this horror and stay silent on the other 99% of abortions is to actually take comfort, assuage guilt, using a sort of NAAALT (not all abortions are like that).

This gets worse. The email blast sets the tone early with this blindingly stupid and painfully obvious obfuscation of the genesis of the vast majority of abortions:

Already the abortionist owner, Steven Brigham, has been charged with murder because of botched abortions that have harmed women and killed innocent human babies.[emphasis in original]

Steve Brigham, charged with murder, killed

harmed women

35 babies murdered by mothers, mothers suffer harmful after effect

Near the end of the email she adds:

We know that it’s not just pro-lifers like you and me who want to stop the atrocities against women and unborn babies by the hands of this Gosnell-like monster. [emphasis mine]

To encourage donations she shares a success metric:

In the last four years, our policy work and the work of campaigns like this has resulted in 8,000 saved lives here in our Commonwealth.

How did they do that? Did they close clinics? Did that leave pregnant women seeking abortion inconvenienced? Do they speak to women, trying to convince them that what they are doing is wrong?

They list their pro-life successes on the site:

Life

  • Required Parental Consent for Abortion
  • Appropriate Health and Safety Standards for Abortion Centers
  • Require opportunity for women to view ultrasound prior to abortion
  • Wrongful death for unborn
  • Informed Consent for Abortion
  • Fetal Homicide Law (Conner’s Law)
  • Prohibited Partial Birth Infanticide
  • Passed Prenatal Protection
  • “Established Choose Life” License Plate with Proceeds to Crisis Pregnancy Centers
  • Eliminated State Taxpayer Funding of Low-Income Elective Abortion
  • Outlaw Elective Abortion in Obamacare Health Insurance Exchanges

This list of initiatives is standard fare for pro-life groups. Legal advocacy, appeals to women, publicity campaigns like license plates, so forth. Only a few of them do not focus on changing a woman’s mind, limiting her access,  or offering her other options. It is clear even TFF sees women as one focal point for pro-life advocacy.

So why, if women can decide to go to an abortion clinic or not and can decide to follow through with killing their child or not, why, when the babies murdered by the doctor that the women visited expressly for that purpose, of their own volition , why are these women victims of atrocities, harmed by the doctor, and then exploited as an empathy trigger by TFF to attract donations, and the babies tortured and killed owe only the doctor blame for their life being extinguished?

I have been amazed at ostensibly pro-family groups supporting divorce, directly or indirectly. Now one of those groups exonerates women completely for killing their children, establishing the default position for good conservative reader’s comfort…victim.

Women can’t be an accessory. Louis Vuitton IS an accessory, but he was born…a man.

 

 

 

Protect Girl’s Innocence…Expect her not to use dating agency

My old boss once told me a story. He’d raised three girls who were already grown, married, and had children of their own. One was in the middle of a divorce, and all manner of allegations were flying about the guy.

He told me he always had a stern talk with boys who came calling on his daughters. he further told me that when his daughters each had accepted a man’s marriage proposal he sat with them telling them, essentially, that if they ever raised their hand to them they’d be answering to him.

I have daughters and can’t ponder one being physically abused. As a child I witnessed my mother abused. Blood and fist and broken bones, not spoken to harshly. Real abuse. I refuse to imagine either of my two girls experiencing that. One reason I do not imagine that is, I do not follow societal and church signals that create a taint on things male. Plus, I watched my mother’s role in the escalation of hostilities that would end in significant physical abuse.

Because I am able to separate cause and effect from blame of victim (few today have this ability), I can see the role she played. She wasn’t at fault. But she could have avoided the abuse most times it occurred. So I get emotional about the issue. Angry, like I deserve my anger, and I deserve a fair hearing. That made me tersely ask my boss if he’s had any similar admonishing talk with his daughters, and hypothetically if he had a son would he similarly admonish the women marrying them.

He didn’t like the question. or maybe the way I asked it. No matter, my mouth has had my feet in it so many times it’s a veritable shoe store in there.

Today Dennis Rainey’s remarks caused similar emotions when I read his list of things he said to boys who came calling on his daughters. There is a steady debate at Dalrock’s between IBB and the rest of the men in the combox. IBB would likely borrow from this list:

  1. A woman is God’s creation, a beautiful creation, a fine creation. You’ve certainly noticed that my daughter is pretty, is attractive and has a cute figure, haven’t you?

  2. The attraction of a young man to a young lady is both normal and good. I’m glad you like her and want to be with her.

  3. I understand and remember what the sex drive of a young man is like. Believe me, I’ve been there, I know what you’re dealing with.

  4. I’m going to hold you accountable for your relationship with my daughter. Expect me to be asking to see if you’re dealing uprightly with her.

  5. I’m challenging you to purity. I want you to guard her innocence, not just her virginity.

  6. I want you to respect and uphold the dignity of my daughter by keeping your hands off of her. Keeping this one precaution in mind will help keep you from getting into further trouble.

  7. Do you understand all of what I’ve just said to you? Are we clear on what I’m expecting and what you can expect from me?

  8. When you’re a dad someday, I hope you will challenge your own children to abide by these standards and will interview your daughter’s dates. My prayer is that you will never forget this conversation.(my emphasis)

I get him. But I don’t like what this propagates. How can you read number 7, with its overly aggressive disciplinarian (of a small child) tone and not imagine potential rejoinders that you’d like to be able to express if you were in that situation?

The anti male bias is screaming off the page. This boy must guard his daughters innocence? Mendacity on a kabob. This boy could brush her hands of him, break away from embraces, physically resist any attempt she made at physical intimacy, and still not successfully guard her innocence, for it would be in her intent and resulting actions where innocence is lost. Not in his yielding or resisting her charms. The boy can strap himself to the mast. Sirens are still sirens. Even if his ship sails on and all he does is struggle against his restraints.

Worse, in the final point Rainey attempts to mask his gender focus by using the word “children”. Challenge your “children” to follow these rules. Interview your daughter’s dates. Your sons, therefore, are your “children”. And they must guard the innocence of the girls they seek to date.

Plus, some guy is going to look aggressively into their eyes in some kind of high school football coach-esque way and ask them a question that would typically elicit the response “sir yes sir!”.

For more help handling the salivating petri dishes of hormones called boys, so that the sterile clean room ready  pink bow, ribbon, and white dress worthy girls are not led into losing their innocence, see these sure fire real world ideas about how to get boys to listen respectfully.

He concludes with this:

This is just a fun way of reminding you that protecting your daughter’s moral purity is a responsibility you need to take on with purpose, intent and diligence.

This is true. It is important to make every effort to protect your daughter’s moral purity. But that is not what he describes. He describes protecting her virginity. He makes no allowance for her desire, her intent, her thoughts. Its about the physical results. and it omits her agency completely.

I wonder if, later, he explains Matthew 5:28 to his boys. And misses the irony.

Several years after my old boss told me the story of how he spoke to the men who married his daughters, he and I were traveling together and he shared some new information with me. The one who had divorced her husband, he was worried about her, because she was having lots of guys sleep over and her small kids were there. he didn’t approve, but the dirty rotten scoundrel ex was making custody waves about it.

Maybe he should have gone to the man, lectured him, then repeated number nine from the list. may not have gone well. The ex is an urban police officer in a tough city. He may have some expectations of his own where his children are concerned.