What to expect from her expectations…unpacking Rainy’s irresistable man (Part 2 of 2)

I continue with part 2 of The Irresistible Man. Folks who followed the link, I’m sure, read both parts.

Recall, the three things Rainy was talking about for relationship were security, acceptance, and emotional connection. I touched on them in Part 1 but wanted to parse Rainy’s second post more thoroughly.

Regarding acceptance, if you read the intermission piece I wrote about the Stepping Up blog and the comments I left there you will have seen that I took issue with the fact that the principle concern, with regard to outreach to women by the church and ministry, is about her self esteem. I gave them the link to this anecdotal study, which I’ve posted here before. The author writes:

In a spiritual formation class we work on how Christians can get victory over sin as a part of their spiritual growth. To start the unit I ask students to list the sins Christians face most today.  They list four sins immediately:

  • Internet Porn

  • Pride

  • Lust

  • Anger

We could argue the margins but it is beside the point. The point is that he gets the males and females to assign gender to these sins. Are they more male or female proclivities, then he asks them to list the predominant male sins and those for females. The outcome is still surprising to me, and Ive know about this for a few years.

The four sins above were men’s sins. Period. He then asked the women to write down four sins that they feel are predominantly female sins. Pasting the rest of his comments below is more illustrative than any paraphrase I could make.

Silence.  Furrowed brows. Thinking… [long pause]

 

Really!  Each time the women who (along with the men) had quickly offered the “foul four” are at a loss to quickly add “besetting sins” that women seem more inclined toward.   And now for the part that got me to write on this subject.

 

The last two times I did this activity the women unanimously agreed on what they considered the chief besetting sin of women:

 

  • Lack of self esteem

 

I’m serious.  So were they.  The last two times I did this when a women offered “Self esteem” the entire group of women audibly responded, “Yeah—that’s it!”

 

You see where I’m headed?   Lack of self esteem?   To the men in the class these co-eds were saying, “While you men struggle with pornography, lust, pride and anger we women struggle with not thinking highly enough of ourselves.”  (Several men in the class always visibly roll their eyes.)

 

It intersects with Rainy’s stated female need for acceptance. If Rainy is not enough to convince you, have a look at this article from Patheos titled (How) Do women sin?

Matt Jensen, the writer, speaks to pride being the root of male sin, and how the churches approach to that sort of sin is to press men to humble themselves (Men Stepping Up?). Then he asks ,regarding women:

What happens, though, if your problem is not one of self-exaltation but rather one of self-denigration? If a woman struggles with self-hatred, then think how easily the prescription of humility can simply further her project of self-destruction. Think, too, of how many Christian men have used this kind of logic to justify abusive, or at least manipulative, relationships with their wives, men who strangely seem to forget the application of humility in their own lives. Rather than swelling up to fill the room and dominating a relationship (the familiar pride of men), women tend to shrink to a point, to lose themselves in their relationships.

If this diagnosis of sin is true, so the argument runs, a differing remedy will be called for. Where proud men need to be humbled, to be broken on the rock of Christ, to be crucified with Christ, women who have lost themselves need to be healed, to be encouraged to speak again, to be urged to live the lives God has called them to in Christ. The danger of applying the remedy of humility to slothful women is that it will actually underwrite their own sinning.

Men are exploiting women’s low self esteem. If the church were to prescribe humility to women, they are already so humble (insecure….not accepted) that their very own efforts to humble themselves would make their sin of low self esteem grow.

He has the solution.

A proud man needs humbling. That’s [sic] pretty clear. And a slothful woman needs to be given back her voice.

[they tossed in the symbol for the Euro, revelatory?]

That short article is yet more source text for the approach Family Life and the evangelical church and her diaspora accept as curative.

Along these lines, Rainy asks:

Does she feel good about the way she looks? Her hair? Her clothes and shoes? Her weight? Her skin tone? Her body image? Her teeth? Her overall attractiveness? Chances are good that she compares herself to the airbrushed models of perfection she sees every day. From the covers of the magazines in the checkout line to the advertisements she watches on television, your wife is constantly made to feel inferior, unworthy, and unacceptable.

I hear pastors preach on the sufficiency of God. They preach on persecution from the world. They preach on healing from God. Then they tell men, tacitly and by omission, that all that makes up a wife’s self image flows from them, the husbands. Not in this piece, but these pastors and ministries generally blame men for all of the input that is so damaging to women. The magazines in the checkout line and the actresses on television.  Meanwhile, marketing to women is done BY women.

The fault is irrelevant. Leaving God out of the fix is relevant. The man living in the sexual desert is told that his need for sex can be sated by prayer. OK. How much, then, of a woman’s need for acceptance can be met similarly, and why are they not told that parallel to being told that their husband is responsible also? God does not literally meet a sexual need, but indeed He does literally meet the need for acceptance.

Finally he gets to emotional connection and I get confused. The example he chooses is about helping around the house.

Did you know that when you participate in family life by sharing in some of the daily duties, you connect with your wife on an emotional level? Men spell romance s-e-x, but women spell romance r-e-l-a-t-i-o-n-s-h-i-p. Working together around the house or in the yard (Barbara’s other domain) is a great way to communicate your love for your wife.

He goes on to write about conversation as a means to connection. This is an area where, lacking any guardrails placed on the woman by scripture (for example to take thoughts captive and how the heart is deceitful etc.), the advice Rainy gives is just more bricks on the man’s load…bricks that proper contextual teaching could have the woman volunteer to remove. Both things are spelled out; s-e-x and r-e-l-a-t-i-o-n-s-h-i-p. Sex ass a one way thing, man wants woman gives, and relationship similarly as a one way thing, woman wants man gives. Both points of view are problematic. A relationship is bi-directional, yet it is assumed that women are so good at relationship they need no pointers on how to relate to men.

See how Rainy suggests a man work on this.

Here are some more questions to help you make the connection:

  1. What is one of your earliest childhood memories?

  2. What is one thing from your past that you struggle with?

  3. What was one of your proudest achievements before we met?

  4. What was your relationship with your dad like? How about your mom?

  5. At what did you place your faith in Christ as your Savior; what were the circumstances?

  6. What would you say was our best family vacation, and why?

  7. What is your favorite book in the Bible? Hymn? Why?

  8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you like to live?

  9. What dreams do you have for our children?

  10. What do you long to experience with me in our marriage?

  11. What do you want to accomplish after the kids are grown?

If most men asked those types of questions they would eventually end up in an argument. These are doorways to her finding ways to control him, to criticize him, or to hold him as an emotional hostage. I know the Men Stepping Up blog is for men, but you will not find much emphasis on how women handle men anywhere in evangelical Christiandom. These are tickets to emotional whimsy. They help the woman wallow in her low self esteem. And, lets be honest, those questions are a little campy.

Finally,

When you come home from work, here are four of the most romantic words to say to your wife: How can I help?

I wonder if the woman took any breaks during the day. Wait. let me answer. YES. In fact the day was a litany of indecision, lack of focus, useless stress, and finally exasperation at how little was achieved.  This is widely applicable, not universally, but widely enough so as to not be off limits in these comprehensive relational ministry offerings.

The man, however, has been gone from home for 10 hours, some time commuting, some time working, lots of stress and bosses who are not spouses. For him to walk in the door and say “how can I help?” is absolutely a kind and wonderful thing to do, and he should. But failing to note that the help meet could offer the man a break is irresponsible and builds false expectations in women.

That sets up the close. Someone at another blog said that my responses to the Men Stepping Up blog did not flow from what they actually said. He was sort of correct. I was explicit in stating that teaching men biblical manhood is fine, that admonishing men for male proclivities is fine. The issue is more complicated. Women read these blogs, whether they are written for men or not. There are no similar blogs for women outside the manosphere. Therefore women develop high expectations of men based on these types of ministries, yet have no counterbalancing expectations of themselves. How could they given that its a settled evangelical position that women sin by not thinking highly enough of themselves?

There is a book for expectant moms called “What to expect when you are expecting”. I recommend one for engaged men called “What to expect from her expectations”.

 

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35 thoughts on “What to expect from her expectations…unpacking Rainy’s irresistable man (Part 2 of 2)

  1. In other words, since I am a man, my bodybuilding is a prideful sin. But if I were a woman, my bodybuilding would be a virtue because of the increase in self-esteem derived.

  2. YES! Body building is indeed a prideful sin. But, note the up trend in the number of female body builders the the language of praise that surrounds them.

  3. These people have a warped, non-Christian understanding of humility; humility is not self-abasement or self-flagellation, though humility may include these things. Humility is acknowledging and submitting to God’s will, especially because we actually know that God’s will is best for us, and in knowing this, we love God and His will. We actually love submitting to God: that is humility. Apparently women don’t need humility, because to love submitting to God would make them feel even worse about themselves.

  4. This quote from the Patheos article demonstrates a sheltered, naïve view:

    “Rather than swelling up to fill the room and dominating a relationship (the familiar pride of men), women tend to shrink to a point, to lose themselves in their relationships.”

    I have seen a number of Christian women swell to fill the room and attempt to dominate marriages, businesses, and churches. Women are constantly encouraged to do this (moxie, goddess, girl power, you go girl, superior women’s leadership, lean in, support the sisters, etc..)

  5. It’s framed as justice. Feminism has done a good job with that framing. The Victorian notion that women are good…and bear in mind women were good but not responsible…means that women are never truly bad. If they behave badly it is the individual or collective fault of men.

    This is hard to fight as an idea because it simply IS now. It’s like a basic principle. The only way to combat this is to have a strong sense of belief in the truth however uncomfortable. Feminists are fighting the notion of objective truth.

  6. No one ever went broke telling women what they want to hear.

    Women are the primary ‘customers’ of churches now, so it’s not surprising that the churches would cater to them at the expense of men.

    Follow the money — always follow the money.

  7. Empath:
    When I saw that list of ‘four most common sins’ I thought it related to Christian women. I should have guessed Rainey would apply them to men when he listed pornography, instead of infidelity, first.

    I would suggest though that porn use, anger, and lust in men might have much more to do with the kinds of females most men regularly encounter—‘pride’, of course, is just female projection of the MOST besetting female problem. Which caused an outburst of laughter when I read that females suffer most from: ‘a lack of self-esteem’.

    In reality, they mostly suffer from a lack of control over their own overbloated egos and Superiority Complexes that manifest themselves in various degrees.

  8. Vasc:
    I don’t know if body-building is a sin, but according to the book ‘How to Spot A Dangerous Man’ it is listed among the hundred or so warning signs that women should observe and avoid any man who does them. I was disqualified for watching Spaghetti Westerns and martial-arts films, (among other things LOL)

  9. Empath:
    “A relationship is bidirectional, yet it is assumed that women are so good at relationships that they need no pointers.”

    I’m going to disagree (slightly). I don’t think it’s assumed by most women that they are so good at relationships that they don’t need pointers (a lot of self-help relationship books are sold to women, most of which conclude that the woman is never at fault and that all men are pigs). I think most women assume that they don’t really have to, or even should have to, do ANYTHING to make a relationship work. IOW, I don’t really believe that most women believe a relationship is bidirectional.

  10. This one has stuck with me. It’s astonishing that Christian women struggle to come up with real sins they need to repent of. The gospel is not being preached.

  11. As Sojourner says, “This is hard to fight as an idea because it simply IS now.”
    Our culture is pathologicalized as a result of our cultures feministic way of being; it simply is…

    Amazing that bodybuilding is a red flag for women. I’ve known many bodybuilders over the years, some competitive. There is a wide diversity of men who enjoy the hobby (lifestyle). Some I know were absolute jerks, but most appeared to me to just be normal men who have bodybuilding in common. Another apex fallacy that all men who body builders are controlling jerks.
    The lifestyle does tend to be kinda consuming and lends toward the definition of sin.

  12. Men and women are different.

    The male sins on that list are sins that men have examined themselves for and discovered within themselves.

    The pastor involved was very unaware when asking women to list their sins. They are not as introspective as men, and are very uncomfortable with correction, even self correction. St. Paul said that the older women should teach the younger women. Nowadays the older women are the Boomers, who cast off the wisdom of older generations, and so, generally have nothing to teach the younger women.

    Pastors and husbands and husbands need to call out women on their sins. Free advice from a Catholic Boomer male; the pastor could have read out the list of sins that the men admitted to. Most of the women would agree that pornography is a sin for example. The next step would be to say that the temptation is increased by sexual refusal. This is a sin in itself. If the husband cannot resist temptation because of the wife’s refusal it is also a sin because she has encouraged her husband to sin.

    In Catholicism this is called the sin of scandal, causing someone else to sin by one’s own words or actions. It is also Catholic teaching the the person who causes the sin of scandal bears the guilt of the other sinner’s sin. The husband who uses pornography is not less guilty because of this.

    As to self-esteem, the lack thereof is not a sin. I had to hit rock bottom psychically, emotionally, and spiritually before I could rely only on God, and his Grace.

  13. Vasc:
    The sense I got from that book is being male is, by itself, a red flag for women. I’ve come to believe most women are simply anti-male bigots.

  14. Empath:
    I’d like to throw out an idea on bidirectionality and whether women accept it or not. Thinking over some of our recent discussions about female submission, it occurred to me that since women are naturally submissive (or the passive element of the relationship field); the sense of entitlement that you described above, and in your previous article about passive-aggressive female behavior, may not be the opposite of feminine submission, but feminist-instilled aberration of it. IOW, it only appears to be female dominance on the surface—it’s still a manifestation of female submissiveness, but in a perverted form.

    To explain a little further: women feel a sense of entitlement and a longing to control the man, which is socially conditioned; but that conflicts with their biological and psychological constitutions. So they engage in passive-aggressive behaviors to bring down their levels as a way of achieving ego equilibrium. Yet the more a man submits, as Rainey advocates, the worse the passive-aggressive behavior becomes since the woman involved is trying to reconcile two forces within herself that can’t be reconciled. IOW, it’s a downward spiral for both genders involved.

  15. Definitely most women are anti male bigots. Too bad they do not think about their sons (the ladies who have sons) when they formulate their hostile frame of mind.

    I’ve been reading Paul Elam’s site, A Voice For Men. His piece on Mormonism is very interesting. Regrettably he seems to have given up on faith, but I haven’t yet read all his posts yet.

    Today I read Deti’s post, “Good Christian Men, Think Twice”. It is a good read for men who are new to the red pill. I’m sure Emp has already read it. Here is a link:

    http://www.justfourguys.com/good-christian-men-think-twice/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=good-christian-men-think-twice

  16. Interesting blog, thanks for posting.

    I think it can be very tempting to seek a kind of Holy Grail of relationships, because that distracts from looking at the broken system. I think that blogs like this and others like the one you posted are helpful in puzzling this stuff out.

    I’ve noticed a trend towards male self improvement for its own sake that I think is good, without expectation of rewards from women. Character building, body building, improving education and skills are important for their own sake. I would like to see alongside that discussion of women’s agency and discussion of ethics among women and towards men which we see so rarely it seems like it is like seeing a Canadian lynx in the taiga.

  17. Sojourner:
    I’ve noticed those same trends for self-improvement among men. It’s a really interesting social phenomenon. The mistake that a lot of the ‘Promise Keepers’ types make is claiming that men should improve, and they will make better women in the process. Actually women hate masculinity to the point where any male self-improvement repels them.

    Here’s a related article:

    http://kshatriya-anglobitch.blogspot.com/2012/01/anglo-american-men-new-mercenaries.html

    A lot of the self-improvement trends are related to social forces the author describes. I think it’s a form of ‘Going Galt’ (as Keoni would say) and concentrating what is beneficial for us, as men individually, rather than sacrificing for a misandyrist culture that treats us with contempt. Speaking for my own situation, I feel like I’ve improved a lot and accomplished more since I took the ‘red pill’ and have had no women in my life.

  18. @ javaloco:

    Although not as amusive as a Rainy Rant, I did laugh at that article. In addition to funny, also interesting how beliefs shift over the centuries.

  19. @vascularity777…. I do take things from that site with a grain of salt
    BUT
    I have opined for a few reasons that sexually, women are not what they were created to be. I am of the (somewhat) biblically based opinion that it is some who are supposed to be the horndogs. Then…look where we are now. Seemed to shed some light on the topic.

  20. I didn’t like it. The fat feminist stereotype doesn’t work for me, especially as it is not always true and not the point. It’s something that can happen sure, but someone can also get fat later in life through bad habits, depression or whatever.

  21. Sojourner:
    I don’t read Roosh’s blogs much either and sometimes he goes overboard with the stereotyping. I read a comment on the above link that the cartoon was aimed at femihag Lindy West, who recently had a public hysterical tantrum about not being able to fit in an airplane seat; and blamed the ‘evil patriarchy’ for inadequate airplane designs.

    It’s true that the feminists have learned to put forward their more attractive (at least in the physically attractive sense) members to be spokesman. I think the overall point of the cartoon was to show how entitled feminists do nothing to improve themselves, but blame all their problems on everyone else.

    For example, I saw a blog recently that had several pictures of Jessica Valenti on it. Sure, she’s a pretty girl, but in the pictures—most of which were with other women— she came across to me as a repulsive, skanky lesbian. I’m sure if she read that comment, she’d blame me and call me an ‘intolerant male pig’ instead of looking for ways to improve and come across as a worthwhile female.

  22. The self-esteem gambit obscures the real issue, which is that under the current PC/feminazi regime you are not allowed to offend any woman’s amour propre (self love) — her first, highest, and only love — in any way.

    It is taboo because that would be, like, mean, or something, since women are like weak fragile children requiring constant coddling.

  23. Pingback: The new sexual morality: Will the bra open for you? | Dalrock

  24. “How can I help” often isn’t even enough anyway. That the man has to ask, and cannot simply intuit what needs to be done is taken as a sign of his total disconnection from the wife’s domestic reality and her general superiority in knowing what needs to be done.

    Never mind that “what needs to be done” is determined by a plan that only exists in the wife’s head and changes from day to day…

  25. My wife often has told me that she actually wants me to tell her what to do to cut through the very indecision she will get bogged down in. I think she’s getting to like the biblical model of male leadership,

    Also, if you watch anything targeted at girls and women (from My Little Pony to the vampire soaps) you will see that self esteem and self promotion is the highest order of good. The “rules” never apply to them are are basically designed to oppress them (the rules are for men). Coming to this realization is often the entirety of many of the plots. It’s no wonder that we see “Bronies” when the only ones that are being told to feel good about themselves have to watch pretty ponies to get their ego’s stroked.

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