I’d very much like to leave religion, at least in the organized sense, as a topic for another blog, however, as it applies to Game and intergender social dynamics it’s occurred to me that this isn’t entirely possible. Since its inception the SoSuave community has had a strict policy against threads specifically exploring religious topics. For obvious reasons these tend to get rather heated in terms of discussing theology, and most simply devolve into flame wars with no real purpose. Yet, in terms of how religion and moralism apply to the intergender landscape and sexual marketplace, I think it does a disservice to a fuller understanding of how the sexes relate to one another. In my tenure as a SoSuave forum moderator it pains me to have to delete so many promising threads because the topic strayed form “Game and religion” into “My God can beat up your God.” So my disclaimer for this blog is this; any time I delve into the subject of religion, moralism, ethics or anything that might be construed as esoterically inspired, understand that I do so in an effort to address how it influences the social dynamics between genders. Never is it an attack on individual beliefs, rather consider it a critical analysis of how those beliefs interact with the reality we live in.
Today’s topic article comes to us courtesy of Pastor Mark Driscoll. I briefly touched upon Driscoll’s pollyanna, socio-religious propositions in Could a Man Have Written This? and reference him in Build a Better Beta. Driscoll’s article, while ostensibly written to advertise his latest book, is really an essay in irony. This irony is literally written into the article’s title, and I’m certain that Mark is entirely oblivious to it. You can go ahead and read his very simplistic overview of modern gender relations; it will scarcely impress all but the most green of noobs in the manosphere that Driscoll is firmly planted in the world created by the feminine imperative. Even in just asserting ‘men need marriage’ we get an appetizer of the gruel of male shaming yet to be served. Sadly, he’s not covering any new ground that Kay Hymowitz and the bleatings of Kate Bollick haven’t already beat him to the punch with.
I don’t think I need to go in to too much detail about Driscoll throwing rocks at the moon to make it go away. Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of Game can see him for what he is. My concern is that HE doesn’t see himself for what he is. I’m concerned because I think his head is in the right place, but he so lacks any real-world experience with the sexual marketplace that he’s unaware of his participation in promoting a world view he’d otherwise be adamantly opposed to. Driscoll shares in the major failing of Social Conservatives in terms of understanding Game; they are the unwitting instruments of the feminine imperative.
Driscoll’s intent is to see men returned to some semblance of traditional masculinity, with all the benefits and liabilities that antiquated romanticism implies, but he employs the chief ideologies and tools of the feminine imperative to do so. The shaming conventions, implied lethargy, shirking of male-attributable responsibilities, et. al. he uses are the same clichés the feminine imperative has established as the articles of Man-Up! 2.0. Mark is blissfully unaware of the Male Catch 22:
Man Up or Shut Up – The Male Catch 22
One of the primary way’s Honor is used against men is in the feminized perpetuation of traditionally masculine expectations when it’s convenient, while simultaneously expecting egalitarian gender parity when it’s convenient.
For the past 60 years feminization has built in the perfect Catch 22 social convention for anything masculine; The expectation to assume the responsibilities of being a man (Man Up) while at the same time denigrating asserting masculinity as a positive (Shut Up). What ever aspect of maleness that serves the feminine purpose is a man’s masculine responsibility, yet any aspect that disagrees with feminine primacy is labeled Patriarchy and Misogyny.
Essentially, this convention keeps beta males in a perpetual state of chasing their own tails. Over the course of a lifetime they’re conditioned to believe that they’re cursed with masculinity (Patriarchy) yet are still responsible to ‘Man Up’ when it suits a feminine imperative. So it’s therefore unsurprising to see that half the men in western society believe women dominate the world (male powerlessness) while at the same time women complain of a lingering Patriarchy (female powerlessness) or at least sentiments of it. This is the Catch 22 writ large. The guy who does in fact Man Up is a chauvinist, misogynist, patriarch, but he still needs to man up when it’s convenient to meet the needs of a female imperative.
Mark Driscoll’s presumptive starting point is putting men in the subservient role, while expecting them to Man-Up, take control, and be better men all with the idealized goal of becoming more appropriate, more suitable men for women. Marriage is the goal and the cure to prolonged adolescence – in other words better serving the feminine imperative qualifies men to be adults. From Could a Man have Written This?:
In girl-world, what directly benefits women necessarily is presumed to benefit men, so what we’ll see is a new wave of [female] bloggers bastardizing the world-worn ideas that the manosphere has put together and repackaging it in a female context. It’s Man Up 2.0; make a token push to “re-empower” men just enough for them to idealize the romanticism of the responsibilities required for living up to women’s expectations.
Without an afterthought Driscoll titles his diatribe “Why Men NEED marriage” with the presumption that getting married will force men to Man-Up. This is the extent of his critical thought, because he has no realistic frame of reference beyond what his self-righteous Matrix-think conditioning will permit. He’s batting for Team Woman (not unlike another infamous female blogger), but would have us believe it’s for our own good.
Recently there’s been an upswing in a social conservative push to ‘sanitize’ Game; essentially taking the drive and principles of the manosphere and converting them to fit into their doctirnal narrative:
A major illustration of this can be found in the ‘late-to-the-party’ resurgence of masculine ideals in mainstream evangelical christianity today. Like so much else in christian culture, they’re happy to use the popularity of a secular phenomenon and repackage it as kosher, the manosphere is no exception. Hacks like Mark Driscoll and more than few other “relevant” new order evangelical pastors have co-opted manosphere (MRA?) fundamentals – even ‘purified’ forms of Game – as their particular cause du jour for returning men back into their roles of accountability to the female imperative. This of course has an overwhelming appeal to White Knight prone guys, but the push is disingenuous for the same reason ‘pro-men’ female writers are – they still use the girl-world, female imperative rule book to define their outlook.
Rediscovering masculinity is the new black in ‘relevant’ church. It sells very well, and in and of itself it’s not too dissimilar from the perspectives of the manosphere about owning your gender. The similarities end in the application. While it maybe cathartic to beat your chest and pretend to fight like a UFC fighter at some ‘christian’ men’s weekend (evangelicals men have inexplicably embraced MMA fighting in the last 5 years), the takeaway message is still one of apologizing for their testosterone. They can only own their masculinity insofar as it doesn’t upset the feminine imperative.
Never take dating advice, or really any opinion of intergender relations seriously when it’s coming from moralistic guys who’ve never had the benefit of past, first hand experience with women. Evangelical understanding of gender relations is based only upon a very insular and anachronistic perspective. Consequently, what constitutes their understanding is derived from living vicariously through their unchurched friends, romantic comedies, reading statistics that agree with their perspective, all in an effort to make themselves feel better about having married the first girl they met at church camp.
Driscoll is a fantastic illustration of a guy who’s been entirely out of touch with the social changes and the sexual marketplace since he got married.
For further reading Dalrock has an excellent breakdown of this article here.