My colleague and friend, Rian Stone, took it upon himself to breakdown the brilliant simplicity of a common Manosphere idiom:
She was never yours, it was just your turn.
This phrase has been around since the earliest days of the Pickup Artists’ (PUA) online communities. And like many of the old wisdoms of that time the reasoning for it gets distorted by the various factions of what’s become the Manosphere today. In 2020 the more extreme end of MGTOW communities – Black Pill, Doomers, and VolCels – are what most mainstream audiences conflate with Red Pill. What they, along with Success Porn niche marketers, have done is pick and pull the parts of Red Pill praxeology that resonates with their personal beliefs and circumstances and demonize what doesn’t. Both factions have an interest in misconstruing what the Red Pill has taken 20 years to develop. It doesn’t really serve the ends of either perspective to spend too much time thinking about a contentious Red Pill principle when misrepresenting it is more valuable in confirming their belief sets – especially when doing so generates views, subs and ad revenue.
To the Doomer mindset She’s not yours… is confirmation of women’s duplicitous, fickle or evil nature. That’s not to say the nihilistic perspective doesn’t approach women’s nature from an objective Red Pill understanding, it just means they focus on surrendering to it and giving up on women. This confirmation bias also gets mixed up in the Doomer understanding of Hypergamy. Hypergamy resonates with them because it confirms the idea that all women will dump a guy at the first sign of his losing an Alpha Frame veneer; an act which he must constantly maintain in a world of endless options and online attention for women. Slip up once too often and at the first opportunity she’s gone. It’s the fallacy of Hypergamy as a straight jacket, and She’s not yours… justifies the defeatism. You will never find a lasting contentment with a woman because she holds first right of refusal in any intimate relationship (i.e. Briffault’s Law). Ergo, sooner or later your turn will be over and all the effort, time and emotion you invested in her will be for nothing (i.e. Sunk Cost, Relational Equity). In fact, it may be worse than nothing when you consider the opportunity cost of having bothered with trying to make her yours in the first place. While the juice might taste really good in the short term, it’s never really worth the squeeze in the long term. This conclusion is what really upsets the Success gurus because it’s a hard logic to refute – at least from their own Man Up! perspective.
That’s the Doom Pill interpretation. It’s based on reflexive, immutable binary extremes – the default reaction of this generation – because it confirms a hopelessness that defines them. Ironically, it was the very PUAs of the 2000s they despise so much who originally coined the phrase. Back then it served as a reminder to guys to never get too attached to one particular woman while dating several women concurrently. It was almost a mantra to ward off ONEitis because they were spinning plates and “catching feelings” for one girl tended to end up destroying them. It was a maxim that worked best as a preventive medicine since most practitioners of Game saw it as a means to achieve the monogamy their Blue Pill social conditioning convinced them was possible. Average men build lives around serial monogamy; it’s always been the surest way to solve the average man’s reproductive problem. So when you open them up to an abundance of sexual/intimate potential via Game they tend to use it to get their Dream Girl and ignore what the Red Pill says about women’s nature.
In today’s ‘sphere, She was never yours, it was just your turn is a salve for guys who’ve already invested in a woman and she dumped or divorced them. The presumption is that despite all their best Blue Pill qualifications or their Game savvy, Hypergamy gets the best of all women and she’ll move on to the bigger and better deal. This perspective presupposes a stable monogamy, not spinning plates, is the goal-state for every guy. Notice the maxim here is cast in the past tense. She was never yours,…At some stage a man believes she is his (or should be) and she no longer is now. Thus, She was never yours becomes a post-facto rationalization to the guy who’s probably feeling gutted by his breakup. The real issue is the guy’s want for a permanent solution to his desire for intimacy. We see this all the time among simps who spend small fortunes (monthly) to achieve some kind of virtual intimacy with his favorite OnlyFans cam-girl. In this case, She was never yours is reconfirmed for simps over and over as they move from one cam-girl obsession to the next.
For the Success Porn guru, all this is grist for the mill. On one hand, men struggling with confidence (see social skills), achieving intimacy/sex and finding purpose are their bread and butter. On the other hand, what they’re usually selling is the Blue Pill ideal of a sustainable contentment for otherwise discontent men. That contentment includes the hope that a permanent, loving and monogamous relationship with one woman is not only possible, but is also a sign of his authentic manhood. When Dr. Phil sells this hope we write him off as a naive Pollyanna and old order thinker. However, this same Blue Pill hope is repackaged and sold online as a return to masculine virtue by today’s Life Coaches in the Hustle Economy. The permanence of your contentment amounts to your ability to qualify for it and sustain it with their (usually repackaged) concept of masculine virtue. Any discontent on the part of the client is reflective of his own lack of determination or hard work to achieve it. 80’s Televangelists and 90’s Multi-level Marketing hustlers used similar graft. It’s really a monetized version of the philosophy of personal responsibility — which has always been a darling of traditional conservatism and now a staple of personal development. Any failure of the concept is always attributable to the man’s deficient effort and investment, which can then be attached to his character. This isn’t to say that all personal development guys are unscrupulous hustlers, just that the true responsibility of education rests with the student.
She’s not yours, it was just your turn, and other unignorable truths that the Red Pill makes men aware of, defeats the self-reinforcing circular logic of the personal responsibility hustle. It forces the hustler to admit that something outside men’s control might have an effect on a their lives. Rather than accept this and work within the framework, the response is more of the same; deny the phenomenon exists, or presume that even acknowledging it is indicative of a defeatist mentality – thus, a shirking of personal responsibility which completes the circular logic.
This is the origin of the “Truthful Anger” fallacy. Around 2015 the instructors working for Real Social Dynamics (RSD) started getting a lot of questions about the material in The Rational Male from students attending RSD seminars. At some point they had to address these questions, but to do so would mean acknowledging the validity of the concepts in my book – concepts that challenged the positivity grift they were rapidly converting over to during this time. The solution was to acknowledge the truth in my work, but tacitly disqualify it by presuming it came from a place of anger. They then cautioned against internalizing it at the risk of becoming angry or bitter against women — both presumptions commonly used by mainstream gynocentric norms. It was misconstrued as “truthful anger”; poignantly true, but best not to dwell on it if a guy wants to be happy. In other words, would you rather be happy or would you rather be right? Happiness is always easier to sell than truth.
Now that we understand the opposing sides of the impermanence of women debate, we also have to consider the Lie of Individuation that usually gets thrown into the mix to dismiss the She’s not yours maxim. The Individuation Fallacy is most easily understood as:
“People are all individually special cases; each a unique product of their environments and experiences, and are far too individually complex to understand via generalizations according to sex, etc.”
The individual supersedes any commonalities attributable to biology or evolution, and usually focuses solely on social constructionism and personal circumstance as a basis for motivating behavior, developing personality and influencing others accordingly. The supremacy of the individual is the natural extension of an underlying belief in The Blank Slate. When you start from a belief that we’re all functional equals everyone is an angel or a devil according to the choices they made. But depending on the person’s circumstances they can be forgiven or damned for the consequences of those choices according to how we interpret their character as individuals. This is how we get rationales like, not all women are like that and “People are too complex to categorize” to dismiss the unignorable commonalities we see in men and women in the information age. No one likes to think they aren’t in some way unique as much as they don’t like to think determinism has influenced (in some way) what they think makes them unique. And since I’m sure you’ve made this connection already, yes, the Individuation Fallacy dovetails nicely into a doctrine of personal responsibility.
When we read some example of a woman opting out of a relationship (or sex) with one guy to take up with another, the reflexive response is to individualize her behavior according to her individualized circumstances. She’s damaged, she’s got Daddy Issues, she’s insecure because you weren’t Man Enough, etc. — any and every consideration that points away from categorizing her actions as commonalities in women’s innate nature are the reflexive thought process. She’s not yours, it was just your turn defines her actions in a concrete visceral understanding of women’s nature that conflicts with the Blank Slate‘s individualism. In this case the maxim is a description, not a prescription.
Men have an evolved need to know paternity. Unhindered by social strictures or women’s Hypergamous filtering men would opt for unlimited access to unlimited sexuality as our innate and preferred mating strategy. I’ve written a lot about this so I wont belabor it here, but a majority of men, over the course of history, will never be able to actualize this strategy. Ergo, socially enforced monogamy became the best mating strategy compromise for men as modified by the selection pressures of women’s mating strategies. The risk in this compromise is the assurance of paternity. If a man is going to compromise mating opportunities with many women to parentally invest in one woman, the deal must come with one condition: the child must be his genetic stock or the compromise invalidates his existence (evolutionarily speaking). To ensure this men evolved a mental firmware that predisposes us to jealousy, mate guarding and desire to possess a woman. This is why we develop a A Sense of Ownership with our girlfriends, wives and children. The dynamics of Kin Selection and Kin Altruism all find their root in men’s imperative to ascertain their paternity and protect their genetic legacy.
The need to control women’s sexuality is nothing less than men’s evolutionary compulsion to ensure that their compromise in parental investment is not for nothing. In a social order where masculine responsibility to wife and children was balanced with a commensurate masculine authority to enforce those responsibilities, men could nominally control the reproductive process. Part of that process included possessing a woman. This was both an evolutionary imperative and a social imperative.
In today’s gynocentric social order the thought of owning a woman is an affront to the female-primary sensibilities that stem from individuation. Feminism and gynocentrism have conditioned generations of women to believe they are autonomous ‘things‘ with no need for anything outside themselves – least of all men – to find true contentment. They are Strong Independent® women who believe their fulfillment comes from self-ownership. Eschewing a man’s surname in marriage, or even marriage at all, is a sign of independence and stiff middle finger to the idea of passive femininity or notions of ever submitting to a man’s authority. The evolved complementarity between men and women is replaced with the social contrivance of an idealized egalitarianism. Husband and wife is replaced with “Equal Partners“.
For women, the problem with this equalist fantasy is biology and evolved impulse are excused, if not encouraged, in a social order that prioritizes women’s mating strategies. Literally anything goes when the worst consequences of women’s Hypergamy can (enthusiastically) always be attributed to men’s inability to accept them as individuals.
The problem for men is that we still have an innate want to possess a woman to ensure our paternity and invest in our genetic legacies. As mentioned, this desire for permanency with one woman was both an evolutionary imperative and a social imperative in a patriarchal social order. In a gynocentric social order the evolutionary imperative to possess a woman still remains, but the social imperative says…
She was, is, will, never be yours, it was just your turn.
And that is why this maxim rubs so many men the wrong way.