Today’s essay was inspired by the lead image you see here and the subsequent exchange I had on Twitter about it. What you see here is a rather nebbish looking husband, I presume post-surgery, recovering from his vasectomy in bed. He is surrounded by cutesy post-it note jokes his wife left him (kind of like the notes your mom might put in your school lunch when you were a child) on a plethora of sugary snacks from the pantry.
The number of kids we’ll be having in the future – Zero
Forgive me if I Snicker
Sorry your dong got dinged
Good-bye to your swimmers
Your berries got crunched
These are just a few of the ‘jokes’ his wife spent an awful lot of time creating.
Beta men and their wives joking about their vasectomies has become the meme du jour on all the usual social media sites where women congregate to appease their egos, gloss their girlfriends’ and commiserate about their fates of being wives and mothers. Before I dig in here I think I need to point out the utility that social media has evolved to serve in most women’s lives now. There was a time when a woman’s indignation needs could be met by daytime television, talkshows and romance novels when living vicariously through their girlfriends’ lives wasn’t sufficient. Today, women’s innate need for indignation is provided on-tap courtesy of the internet, social media and cutesy-but-insulting images of a husband are almost passé. I know, I’ve discussed this topic on a few podcasts, but it’s becoming increasingly more important for a man to understand what social media is providing to women’s nature and how their relationships are indirectly influenced by the exchanges their wives and girlfriends are having online.
I’ve seen a few of these “I got a vasectomy and my wife thinks it’s funny” social media posts before this one. Creating little post-it note jokes to apply to the snacks in the pantry might seem cute, but why is this even a thing? Why is it women/wives think it’s cute to publicly ridicule their partner about the impotence he elected to have? Amongst the Facebook and Instagram shots of her life, amongst the motivational quote memes, and among the complaints about kids, marriage and domestic life a moment of ridiculing their husband seems par for the course. And it’s all acceptable so long as the context is one of being ‘all in fun’.
Marriage today is a dicey proposition for men. I talk and write a lot about the overwhelmingly high risks of life and livelihood men should consider when it comes to how we do legal marriage in this era. MGTOW or not most men understand that marriage is basically for women now – at least with respect to the legal protections and the win-win incentives that are advertised for women. If all a woman ever did was read about marriage from social media and popular culture one would have to wonder why she would ever want to sign up for a lifetime of dealing with a husband, or the caricatures of average men, at all. The contempt for men, even in the most good natured, humorous, ways is palpable on most social media. It’s entirely acceptable, even expected, to deprecate the foibles of men in marriage. We literally can’t do anything right in a ‘female correct’ online world.
And like the “child-in-a-man’s-body” that women complain about, most of these average husbands are okay with being the butt of the joke. In fact, most are enthusiastic about their self-deprecation because they’ve been conditioned to think that doing so endears them to the women who married them and proves they’re “secure in their masculinity”.
Can’t you take a joke?
The first thing any woman, and any Beta male, will say is, “C’mon Rollo, it’s all in fun. Imagine being so humorless as not to get this? Who hurt you?” I think there’s an underlying acknowledgement of the passive aggressiveness that inspires this ‘humor’. When a comedian like Dave Chappell throws caution to the wind and does a 90 minute comedy routine that is funny as hell, but attacks the unassailable ‘correctness’ of our present social narrative we laugh along knowing the latent message of the humor. So, what is the latent message of making a man’s (elective) impotency a joke?
Imagine what the outrage would be on social media were you to make ‘cute’ jokes in the same way about your wife’s uterine ablation or tubal ligation. At the very least women wouldn’t think it was funny. No one tells women, “Lighten up. What, are you so insecure in your femininity that you can’t take a joke?” When a woman is rendered infertile it doesn’t occur to anyone to make light of it, but for a man to be neutered – and at the mutual agreement with his wife – we find the hit to his masculinity hilarious. Why is this?
I realize I’m focusing on one incident here in this image posted on r/funny, but this is an example of a larger dynamic. It’s socially acceptable to ridicule the impotency of Beta men. As I detailed in Selective Breeding, women will openly attack men’s genitals as a reflexive response to the possibility that a lesser man might try to fool her Hypergamous filters. A guy getting kicked in the nuts by a woman is always funny.
If women’s existential fear is being tricked into reproducing with a Beta male, then forcing herself to settle on a suboptimal man must inspire an inner conflict in her. There are lots of controversial self-help books published by women on both sides of this conflict. Some argue for women to accept a Beta guy and just make the best of it, others (especially religious books) argue that a woman should never compromise herself and wait for the best man (the ‘soulmate’ husband God has preordained for her) to present himself to her.
In Selective Breeding I made the argument that women’s existential fear is the possibility of having her Hypergamous filter (feminine intuition) fooled by a Beta male and becoming saddled with his shitty genetics for the rest of her life. This is a primal, evolved, fear for women that manifest itself, often unconsciously, in many of women’s behaviors that we either take for granted or we have social conventions that accommodate them. Decidedly gynocentric societies will legally mandate against this existential fear.
But what about women who are already married or pair-bonded with men that their evolved subconscious knows is a suboptimal choice for her? What about women who are trapped in a marriage with a guy that her hindbrain confirms is not the ‘best she can do’? How does that primal fear of being saddled with a faithful Beta manifest itself?
He that has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore.Sigmund Freud
I would argue that women today have never been more comfortable in expressing their contempt of the men they married. My recent essays on Polyamory and the deconstruction of men’s Paternity imperatives have been an exploration of how a feminine-primary social order is reimagining itself with respect to how men and women will come together and form families in the future. People will claim that women’s lack of respect for the masculine is the result of generations of men not living up to some old-school ideal. That might be so, but women have no respect for the masculine, the male experience, simply because they have no need to.
Why do women feel comfortable – to the point of taking it for granted – in expressing contempt for their husbands? We can argue the basis of where this passive-aggressiveness comes from, but why is it okay to veil this contempt in humor?
Before I get run up the flagpole for being a humorless boor let me reiterate that I’m not saying men ought to read more into things like this. My point is the bigger picture here; why do we find this funny at all? I believe it’s a form of anxiety release for women who’ve committed to a lifetime of parental investment with a man that her hindbrain knows is less than what she believes is best for her.
These images were pulled from an Instagram account called Motherhood Through Letterboards. What’s interesting about this is the contempt for fathers and husbands that bleeds through what we should probably have a sense of humor about. You can have a look at some of these to get the context, but the latent purpose of this exercise is a release of the anxiety created by women’s pairing and reproducing with men that their hindbrains cannot accept as Alpha.
Again, we talk a lot in the Manosphere about how social media contributes to the gross overinflation of women’s sense of self. It’s easy to see how women overestimate their sexual market value, and then conflate it with their personal value, but there’s more to this than just the woman on OKCupid who thinks she’s a 9 when she’s really a 6. There comes a time when that woman with the overblown sense of self must “settle” on a man who her hindbrain believes isn’t the best she could do. The metric by which she judges what is the best she can do is also subject to this ego-overinflation.
The main reason most women agonize over the question of whether she should “settle” for Mr. Good Enough is rooted in this Hypergamous conflict that usually comes at a time in her life where her SMV and her options with men are decaying. Today, the reason we see the age of first marriage being pushed later and later in life for women is due to women prolonging this indecision. She knows she can do better than the less-exciting Beta who seems like her best option in her Epiphany Phase because she’s had better in her Party Years. She also knows she can do better because social media and a constant steeping in the new Global Sexual Marketplace has convinced her she’s actually a 9, not a 6, and anything less than perfect is a waste of her potential. All of this plays on women’s primal, Existential Fear of pairing with a suboptimal mate choice – for life.
But now she’s committed. She married the only guy who would date her in that phase of her life given her circumstances. She married the Beta in Waiting, who’s overjoyed that he’s finally found his Quality Woman who appreciates his type. He’s thanking God for bringing him a woman who tells him “I’m done with the Jerks” and wants to do the ‘right’ thing now – while her hindbrain is contending with her existential fear becoming reality due to her own necessity. Now add 1-2 children into this mix (his or not) and you get this passive-aggressive manifestation of her existential angst.
Fortunately for her there’s an unending number of women experiencing exactly the same unconscious contempt for the men they married online in dozens of popular social media groups. The desire to “punch him in the face” is always tempered with “love”, humor and platitudes about relationships always being “hard work”.
End Note: Vasectomies
I feel it’s incumbent upon me to address what will be the predictable binary responses of literalist critics here:
• No, I’m not saying don’t get a vasectomy.
• No, I’m also not saying that if you did get a vasectomy you’re a pathetic loser Beta.
I will however point out that when I see stories about how a Beta husband did come to the decision to get a vasectomy there are always a lot of subconscious reasonings that go along with it. For all the notions of egalitarian marriages and self-praise for being rationally evolved above the hindbrain interpretations, on some level of consciousness a man electing to sterilize himself is a confirmation of the value he puts in his masculinity. This is why women think it’s funny to ridicule your impotency. Her hindbrain has 100% confirmation that you know your reproductive viability has no value.
A man’s reasons for getting a vasectomy may be valid and in some ways empowering for him. I imagine there’s at least some confidence to be derived from knowing you wont be held responsible for any “accidental” pregnancies. I get why men would opt for it, but the way a woman’s feral brain interprets a man sterilizing himself is what I’m getting at here. You may think, “Well, I don’t give a damn what women think about it.” Fine. Totally valid, but I’m outlining a woman’s instinctual response to a man permanently preventing his own reproduction. There is a subcommunication underneath this decision that denotes emasculation, and this is what women resent.
In some ways I see wives celebrating their husband’s vasectomy for reasons that have nothing to do with improving their sex lives. In the original Twitter thread I had men tell me that they got a vasectomy at the suggestion of their wives, believing it would lead to greater sexual frequency (or any sex in a sexless marriage) only to admit that it never improved anything for them. So, why the goading to get a vasectomy? The dots I keep connecting are a subconscious desire on the part of women to geld a husband to ensure he never reproduces with other women. It’s almost like a service she’s doing for the Sisterhood. She’s making sure that her mistake never becomes any other woman’s mistake.