I’ve been watching Outlaw King on Netflix recently. There’s a part where the wife of Robert the Bruce says ‘Power is making decisions, and whatever course you are charting, I choose you, my husband’ It struck me that my own wife had said almost these same words to me in 2005. When I’d decided to take a job in Orlando that would uproot us from family and friends. There was no “,…but what about my friends, career, etc.?” from her and I had no hesitation to consider anything but taking the position. She said, “You are my husband, I go where you go.”
How many men hold a default Frame in their marriage? Many women are reluctant to even accept their husband’s last name today. There’s a lot of bullshit reasons for this, but the core truth is that women have no confidence in their man in the long term. They don’t trust his ‘course’. There’s holding Frame, and then there’s establishing a long term Frame, a paradigm, a reality of his own, that defines a man’s authority in his marriage and family relationships. Women today still want marriage, but few want to defer to their husband’s ‘course’. They don’t trust him with her life.
And why would they? For the past four or five generations men have been portrayed in popular culture as untrustworthy. Either they are Beta buffoons in need of women’s uniquely female ‘reasoning’ (which is really male reasoning with breasts) to save them from themselves, or they’re malicious Alpha malcontents (or perverts) also in need of female correction to bring them to female approved justice. It’s the retribution fantasy of feminism played out in popular media, but the societal result is generations of women who have no inherent respect of men and even less trust in any beneficial course they might plot out for them as future wives.
There’s also the male perspective to consider in this. Most men approach their marriage and long term relationships from what is ostensibly an egalitarian perspective. “Equality”, playing fair, being an “equal partner” a pretense of egalitarianism, is all a cover story for a power dynamic that is truly based on resource dynamics. In a ‘modern marriage’, male authority, even just the idea of it, is ceded by default to the woman. I’ll explain why in a moment.
Today’s marriage stats and the socioeconomic variables within marriage point to a very cold truth; if you make less money than your wife, statistically, your marriage is far more likely to dissolve. In couples where a woman outearns her husband divorce rates increase. Virtually every article written about this power dynamic attempts to paint the men involved as ‘feeling threatened‘ by their wives’ success, but the visceral truth can be distilled through the process of women’s Hypergamy. As you might guess, our feminine-centric social order can never allow for an unflattering picture of women, thus men must look like ridiculous, insecure, man-babies – this is another piece of the puzzle – but the stats don’t lie, only the reasoning for them misleads us culturally.
In an “egalitarian” marriage it is actually financial considerations that imbalance that idealistic fantasy of a “coequal partnership”. Men and masculinity are made to look ridiculous, insecure, potentially violent and incompetent on a social scale. This effort to delegitimize anything male has been going on since the late 1960s. The social impact of this has resulted in several generations whose default impression of men in general is one of distrust. Either distrust based in men’s potential for abusiveness, or largely more a distrust based in a default presumption of incompetence. Women cannot trust a man with her life because a majority of men are ridiculous buffoons, no better than big children and now we add that almost 40% of them are outearned by their wives.
Is it any wonder women have no default respect for a man’s course for their lives? In fact, given these modern circumstances, fantasies of an egalitarian marriage being the ideal notion are really the only way to justify marriage at all for women. Thus, we’ve crafted a new ideal of marriage that furnishes women with legal and social failsafes to make what looks like a really horrible, life-long attachment to a buffoon or an abuser just palatable enough to have women believe things might work out for them. Don’t worry ladies, the egalitarian ideal, that any potential husband worth your consideration will subscribe to wholesale, provides you not only with options that will absolve you of all responsibility for his (and your own) failures, but you’ll never have to really do anything he says. The law is on your side, and the very premise of an egalitarian marriage frees you from ever having to go along with one of his half-baked life plans for the both of you. In fact, as long as you make more money than him, you’ll almost surely be doing the ‘course’ setting for the both of you.
Needless to say this is not conducive to women entertaining a default deference to men’s authority. If women’s baseline impression of men is one of incompetence, ridiculousness and distrust, and then you combine it with the fact that over a third of them wont be earning the same financially we begin to see the reasons for the decline in marriage today. If the default perception of men is one of expected incompetence, why would a woman ever want to get married?
This is kind of a quandary. In marriage, a man’s authority today only extends to this monetary wealth – there is no inherent authority associated with being male despite what feminist bleat about ‘male privilege’. Wealth enforces will, but women still seek to find ways around accepting that authority by assuming control of that wealth. This is one reason why “financial abuse” has been fashioned into a form of spousal abuse, but there are many other means of emotional control that mitigates male authority-by-wealth.
Even when a man is the primary breadwinner his means to authority in his marriage is still mitigated. A man’s provisioning for his wife and family has always been considered a ‘manly duty’. Even the most masculinity-confused, Vichy Males are still conditioned to assume providership as a masculine trait that is ‘non-toxic’ and approved by their teachers. In most Trad-Con thought a man isn’t even to be considered a “man” unless he can prove his competence in generating more resources than he needs for himself. The direction of every aspiration he has must be applied to providing for a future wife, their children, likely their (her) extended family and then extended to society. By the old set of books a man can’t even be given the title of “man” (or “a real man”) unless he can prove he’s prepared himself to be a good husband, father and community leader.
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with a strong desire to fulfill this provisioning agenda, the men who do accept this as their “manly duty” are conditioned to only see their sacrifices as their expected responsibility. They are actively discouraged from ever assuming any authority might be forthcoming in exchange for their sacrifices. Not even a man’s wealth is a guarantee of authority; certainly not if he’s been conditioned to believe that an egalitarian marriage is an ideal, much less a possibility.
And now we come full circle – the promulgation of an egalitarian ideal in marriage, in gender equity, in the retribution and restitution that feminism is based on, all of this and more has the latent purpose of stripping men of any concept of authority, while enforcing the ideal of male responsibility. In The Second Set of Books I made the case that most (Beta) men today live by, or would like to live by, an old social contract that on the surface seems noble. They believe in an anachronism that promises them that honor, duty, chivalry and a default respect of women will, sooner or later, be appreciated by a woman with the “quality” enough to appreciate it and show that appreciation by accepting him for her intimate attentions. Only later do they come to realize that their dedication to that anachronism is misplaced and the exchange of duty for authority is not only erased, but he’s perceived as a “toxic” monster or a ridiculous “macho” fool for ever expecting that exchange. The world is actually playing by a second set of books that expects all of his ‘honor-bound’ beliefs are his responsibility, but nothing he sacrifices grants him any authority.
Last week I hosted a Special Edition of the Red Man Group in which we discussed whether a married man today is by default Blue Pill or Beta.
It’s almost impossible to broach this topic without accusations of bias or personal circumstance coloring a man’s perspective of marriage – and that’s from either side of the topic. I wasn’t endorsing marriage in this; if anything I made a case against marriage based on the same questioning of men’s authority I’ve explored in this essay. By today’s standards, marriage is far too dicey a prospect for me to ever advocate for. But how far are we willing to take this abandoning of dominance hierarchies in intersexual relationships? I recently got into a debate as to whether monogamous relationships – outside formal marriage – were even beneficial for men today. In that discussion we dissected the history of monogamy and in human relations it’s at least somewhat accepted that monogamy and two-parent investment in offspring was a dynamic that’s been beneficial to our own and some other species. I think that in the past, when social circumstance was different, the concept of monogamy and the institution of marriage were instrumental in our advancement and largely beneficial. All that’s changed now and much of the second set of books I referred to in this essay is predicated on an egalitarianism that has erased male authority and placed it on the shoulders of women who are ill-equipped (and honestly not wanting) to use that authority.
This last sentence here is going to seem like heresy to those invested in blank-slate, egalitarian equalism and fempowerment, but the truth is evident and unignorable that an evolved patriarchal authority has progressed us to an age where we’ve become prosperous enough to entertain thoughts of abandoning it. Stripping men of authority while still expecting a default, and total, responsibility is a really good summation of the two sets of books – the conflict between the old and the new social contract. And yes, I’m aware of the all the arguments that this state of disempowering men is by some political design. Destabilizing the family starts with delegitimizing male authority and confusing generations of men about the aspects of masculinity. Doubt and self-loathing are key in men policing other men for presumptions of authority. It’s crabs in the bucket – when one man presumes authority there need to be ten more to pull him back down into confusion and doubt.
So where do we go with this from here? Even the most ‘Con’ of Trad-Con women will still default to their fempowerment conditioning when presented with a default male authority they are supposed to follow. Can a man be a leader in his own home anymore? MGTOWs will tell you no, and they’d be right. You can’t out-Alpha the state. But the state is still comprised of men and women with their own preconceptions and belief-sets. Our evolved firmware still predisposes us to conventional gender roles, and that predisposition is also one of women expecting male competence, decisiveness and dominance. Women still want a man to follow in spite of their conditioning to distrust men’s competence. Maybe a new form of monogamy is in order. Egalitarianism is a dead end, it only defaults to 100% female authority and 100% male responsibility. But perhaps at some point, when things get so bad that women are forced to take a chance on the men they think are potential buffoons and abusers, a new kind of “marriage” can come out of the morass that egalitarianism has made of marriage.
How do we get back to a state of male authority based on a woman’s trust of her husband? I would like to believe I have this with my wife today, but I know that this is tenuous from the perspective of true, actionable authority. I once came down hard on a pastor who was advising the women of his congregation to “allow” their husbands to lead them. He was basically asking the women to stand down and trust God that their husbands we’re actually worthy of their trust. He didn’t know it, but his entire premise stemmed from women already acknowledging that they had ultimate authority over their husband as a given. Most pastors are pussy-whipped, so this default authority is usually presumed as a sexual threat-point women will exercise over their husbands. What he didn’t understand was that women’s authority is his default for a much deeper, more socially expansive reason. So even to ask women to allow their husbands to exercise ‘headship’ is ludicrous – it’s something even those women have no power to do because the presumption of authority is always in their favor. They can’t allow their men authority over them because the social paradigm they live in wont allow them to allow it.