June Cleaver might be unmarriagable right now.

Scott asked me to add some thoughts to his working hypothesis that devout young women are facing as many daunting obstacles to early marriage as devout young men are. His post is the result.

American Dad

Manosphere conventional wisdom: Any half-way decent looking woman, in her late teens/early twenties who is marriage minded can easily snag a good, hard-working provider to have babies with if she would distinguish herself by being sweet, and signaling a willingness to a be quiet, deferent, submissive, peaceful help-meet.

Alternative Hypothesis: When accounting for variables such as race, geography, church size, etc., the marriage market for such a woman is more complex and difficult to navigate than this.

A cross-post by Scott and Elspeth.

The authors have both had experiences that appear to challenge the conventional wisdom on the matter of whether or not it is a “buyers’ market” for a devout Christian woman looking for a husband.

For example, this conversation appeared on a Facebook post where an American Dad post was shared. It was between Scott and a traditionalist Orthodox woman who was softly but adamantly challenging this assertion:

View original post 1,736 more words

You get farther in life without a boulder on your shoulder.

I ran across two videos recently that I thought worth sharing given the trajectory of some of the conversations here. The first is a woman I have never seen nor heard of before this morning. She is discussing the fallacy of “white privilege” in the current era:

The second is a talk given by Larry Elder, which resonated with me on numerous levels:

  • I can identify with not really connecting with my late father on an intimate level until my mid-20s. Elder discusses some of the ways men of our father’s generation coped and compensated for the disadvantages they encountered because of their race, and how their stoicism in the face of the difficulties transferred over into much of their parenting. My dad wasn’t nearly as angry as his, but there were many things we couldn’t appreciate until adulthood, and which he didn’t bother explaining. Like Elder’s father, mine also worked hard, owned property, and ran successful businesses at a time when the only thing they had going for them was a strong work ethic and upright character.
  • My husband was a young man who despite engaging in a fair amount of reckless behavior, also made good on his innate mechanical and hands-on ability.  Before partying all night on Saturday for instance, he would spend Saturday mornings accompanying the older electrician who lived down the street from him whose own sons weren’t interested in his trade. In other words, he maximized his potential and in so doing affirmed Booker T. Washington’s assertion that a man who proves himself an asset can make it regardless of race.
  • I generally offer a pretty wide caveat of exception for young men of today because they have a harder economic climate to navigate than my husband did 20+ years ago. Likewise, my husband had a less difficult social climate than my father did 60 years ago. However, I have encountered a couple of young husbands over the past 2 years who have given me pause with regard to that. Neither of them went to college but both (one white, one black) have defied all of the odds when faced with a family started at a less than ideal time. They have worked hard and provided good lives for their wives and children. In other words, even in this economic and educational climate, they have proven that necessity can pull out of a person what society claims is not possible. On to the Larry Elder video (worth the 30 minutes of your life):

Discover the beauty where you are.

One of the things I have determined to do since last year is to learn to appreciate the bounty of beauty and enjoyment surrounding me. For several years I entertained the fantasy of living somewhere else. I’m not even sure where I wanted to go, but ironically losing one of the things that kept us tethered here served to strengthen my resolve to embrace where we are, and bloom where we’re planted.

The Benevolent Dictator and I have both lived here our entire lives, and every family vacation (including the few I went on as a child), had us heading either north or west. It just never occurred to…anyone I suppose, to go south. I imagine that’s because the whole point of the vacation is to leave the state.

The blooming of a friendship with a woman who is not a Florida native started me to thinking last year about how much there is to see and do right here. She loves it here, waxes on about the natural beauty, rich history, historic sites, and piqued my interest in this place where I have always lived, yet know little about. Teaching a Florida history class this year was also instrumental in my new appreciation for our not so “southern” southernmost state.

Recently, we decided to head south rather than wait until summer to head to the mountains, and we are very glad that we did. If there is any place in the United States even remotely as beautiful as the Florida Keys, or with as rich an environment as the Everglades, I would be surprised.

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Passed through Florida cattle country on the scenic route back home:

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The goal for 2017 is to see a host of places from the panhandle on down that we have pretty much ignored in the desire to see the world outside of our own backyard. I didn’t even realize how beautiful our backyard is. Not to mention it’s a much cheaper way to vacation.

Discover the beauty right where you are.

Strong feelings don’t make you right.

Most people have accepted that it is possible to be sincerely wrong. Or at least, we tend to accept this truism about everyone but ourselves. Unfortunately, and despite our delusions of moral grandeur, we are just as likely to be sincerely wrong about things as anyone else. It doesn’t really help the cause of truth that we live in an era where any of us can literally find facts, studies, and research to back up whatever position we have decided to take.

I recently began reading a book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided over Politics and Religion. I was only a few pages in when I ran across this quote (also found online in the book’s introductory chapter):

If you think that moral reasoning is something we do to figure out the truth, you’ll be constantly frustrated by how foolish, biased, and illogical people become when they disagree with you. But if you think about moral reasoning as a skill we humans evolved to further our social agendas—to justify our own actions and to defend the teams we belong to—then things will make a lot more sense. Keep your eye on the intuitions, and don’t take people’s moral arguments at face value. They’re mostly post-hoc constructions made up on the fly, crafted to advance one or more strategic objectives.

It resonated with me immediately, and it also gave me a little bit of comfort. With exceptions for faith, family, or blatant dishonesty (liberalism fit here), I find it hard to get particularly animated by the things that many people today get all worked up about. We are offered thousands of issues on which we are expected to take a stand or a moral position, and with those stands, an adversarial posture towards anyone who dares to disagree with us.

If these things were matters of human life and death, I would understand. Most often, however, they are not.  I strongly dislike feminism, but it doesn’t mean that a woman who takes a softer stand on the issue is evil. I am not referring to extreme cases such as this one, by the way. I am referring to normal, run of the mill women like you or I who wake up every morning and do the best they can to live as honorably as we know how, and who would be just as disgusted by the display those women offered as I am.

I had lunch/play date with a lovely Christian friend last week, and we discussed the controversial film Beauty and the Beast. I mentioned to her that although I was initially anticipating the film, I wouldn’t be seeing it. She had decided that she would see it and explained her position. She never considered it a kid’s film so exposure to her children was not a concern*. We both expressed our points with tact and grace and parted friends just as we had when we arrived for lunch. We did, however, note that had this discussion been attempted over social media, it might have gone as well.

I beat this drum quite a lot, but because it bears beating for those of us who do a lot of online communicating and information gathering. It was driven home again to me recently when I read this article sent to me from a friend.

Two formerly home-schooled women, who went on to become successful lawyers, are lobbying in Washington for stricter oversight of home-schooling families. Apparently, there are circumstances where home-schooled children being raised by religious parents are experiencing sub-par educations and instances of abuse. And of course, there are the obligatory concerns that young women are being mistreated in these families.

The irony that these two women, home-schooled graduates of religious parents went on to become successful lawyers, was not lost on me.

Kids in public schools -on the main- are not getting a better education than most home-schooled kids are, and kids who attend public schools are no less likely to be abused or neglected than kids who are homeschooled. In fact, I wold argue that it’s likely just the opposite. It’s a red herring to assert that because some kid who was homeschooled was abused then it means all homeschool parents are potential abusers. And it ignores that the vast majority of abused kids are kids who attend school.

This concern about giving girls the freedom to be as educated as they can is also an over exaggeration. I have spent the last 5 years involved with Christian homeschoolers. They are nice people, who for the most part, are not living in any way markedly different than the surrounding culture on this issue. Most all of them educate with the express goal of trying to produce kids (sons and daughters alike) who can be admitted to college.

That’s just an example, but it’s amazing how people seem to get pigeonholed. They believe that because they are associated with or read a lot of information disseminated by a certain group pro or against a thing, that these views represent a significant number of people.

This is why it’s imperative to get out and around normal people; of the Christian and non-Christian variety. It reminds us that people are not all adversaries, or even just adversaries. They have souls of great worth to God.

You’ll also learn that no, most homeschoolers are not religiously fanatical nuts who keep their daughters chained to the stove or give them an inferior education. You learn that no, most women are not exercising some version of Sheryl Sandberg’s strategy to screw around with bad boys, then duping some beta when she turns 28.We chicks do a lot of dumb things but rarely are they strategized beforehand.

A lot of your worst assumptions about people get confirmed as well,  but that only really ever bothers you when you are laboring under the delusion that you are somehow better than other people.

*My SIL, who never follows news and current events at all, went blissfully and obliviously to the film. While there was a brief flash of a moment -two- that she picked up on, her grandkids didn’t notice it or have a frame of reference for ii.

Don’t start a strict diet just as you’re going on vacation.

Yes. I realize that this is common sense. However, in my defense, the man sprung the weekend jaunt on me out of the blue. Had I known sooner than three days before departure that I would be departing, I wouldn’t have embarked on a new cycle of Whole 30 on March 1st, as I mentioned before.

Our older daughters, however, had planned their opposite direction trip weeks in advance, and one of them still decided to join me on my Whole 30 for solidarity’s sake. Like her momma, she had a hard time sticking to the rules.Of course, after two meals of noncompliance, you simply toss the whole thing and enjoy your vacation. It’s too hard to stick to the rules, especially when you have no idea what’s in the food you eat at restaurants.

The rules are very strict by design. The idea is that you feel so good as you go through the program you have no desire to return to your regular way of eating. It works because I generally avoid a large portion of the “bad”, restricted foods in my daily life. Still haven’t quite worked out how to stay the course when besieged by stress or sadness.

So the lesson, which is more of a reminder than anything I didn’t know (although I didn;t really need to know it until later in life), is this:

Don’t start a strict diet while you’re on vacation.

When you get home, however, jump back on the bandwagon. If you need motivation to get back on track, just take a look at the vacation pictures. And thank heavens if you have a guy whose wife goggles are so thick he loves taking pictures of you even while you look like this.

It’s generally a bad idea to be led around by your gonads.

This is going to be short and sweet. Heading on a few days of vacation made me want to have something less inflammatory at the top of the page for the next week. I hope this qualifies.

A healthy sexuality and desire to mate and procreate are normal things. However, to make major life decisions solely on the strength of one’s sexual desire is a recipe for disaster.  Couple it with a woman’s natural desire to be desired*, and you have a recipe for all kinds of mischief.  In other words, a healthy sex drive is normal and good, but it’s dangerous when you don’t know what to do -or not do- with it.

A young woman I know and love thinks she might love a guy who is pretty clearly dishonest about any number of things. He is handsome, and he is the first man this young woman has seen real interest from. At 23, she’s long overdue for some attention, so I get how this confusion can gain a foothold. Under normal circumstances, most people would readily and unequivocally state that certain traits in an individual automatically render them impossible to inspire any love other than Christian kindness. Somehow, however, women (and a great many men) overlook these red flags when in proximity to someone who cranks their proverbial engine.

It is common to conflate strong attraction with love. People do it all the time, but if they’d stop and think for just a moment, it becomes very clear that despite all cultural memes to the contrary, sexual chemistry and love are not one and the same. I recently used this example when speaking with my daughter.

There’s an actor who is well known, but far from universally famous. Several years ago I saw an interview he did on a national television show and it was the only other time -besides when I met my husband- that I can recall sensing an almost palpable level of testosterone in the way a man comported himself. When I told my daughter the name of the actor (she recognized him from a couple of recent Marvel films), she saw my point. He isn’t classically handsome she said but gives off a very masculine vibe and she knows how I feel about that. I explained:

“It is impossible for me to love Benicio Del Toro. I don’t know him, and I’ve never met him. He could be an ax murderer, thief, and liar all rolled into one. You can’t love someone you don’t know, and you can’t love someone who won’t allow you to know them. Love, without the ability to know and judge with as much information as you can ascertain, is not real love. Feeling that someone is attractive, even extremely so, doesn’t mean you love them. Close proximity makes it easy for hormones and desire to cloud this truth. This is why it’s important to have appropriate boundaries so you can see people clearly and not get things confused.”

In other words, it is generally a bad idea to be led around by your gonads.

I saw this funny video recently on a cartoon. It is tangentially related to the subject here, but mostly I just liked it because it was funny and a pretty good encapsulation of what passes for “love”:

Have a great weekend.

*The HuffPo piece goes places I generally didn’t want to go after the first two or three paragraphs. The rabbi gets a few things wrong there, but the crux of his argument is sound, which is why I linked to it.

How we got here, the finale.

Black people in America aren’t the only people in the history of the world whose ancestors were enslaved and oppressed. However, I am not familiar with many other nations that have gone to the lengths that the US has to right its past wrongs. This country has even gone to such lengths that have damaged not only those they intended to offer redress but the country at large.

My children have opportunities that my parents could only dream of. Despite the rhetoric being spouted by the professional race baiters, the American dream (yeah, I know, but allow me some leeway here), is alive and well for everyone of any race who chooses to pursue happiness rather than sit back and wait for someone to legislate it into reality. America has put forth a valiant effort to grant all men access to the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Whether these things are “rights” in reality is a subject for another time and place.

As for this time, 2017, and this place, the United States of America, most of us are equally screwed. If equality is the goal, we’re screwed from birth. If equity is the goal, we’re screwed by both birth, human nature, and political reality. The quest to agitate for something which has never been, and can never be, serves to reveal how much common sense we shed even as our intellect expanded over the past few generations. To the extent that any of it is attainable however, with whom does the blame lie when it isn’t attained?

We have media pundits, political hucksters and professional “civil rights” activists constantly confronting us with a barrage of statistics about how much worse black people are faring compared to our white counterparts. Every election is peppered with wall to wall coverage of which candidate is poised to win “the black vote.”

We know what percentage of little black fourth graders can read in relation to their white counterparts, incarceration stats, and even what percentage of professional sports teams have black head coaches. And all these examples of “injustice” are held up to us as evidence that the dream is still afar off and that we need the government to pass more laws and spend more money to create opportunities for advancements in the black community. Wasn’t the point of the dream to get to a point where we don’t need to do this type of thing? And if we haven’t arrived there even now, will we ever?

I argue, and I highly doubt that my position on this will ever change, that equality of  results is not something that can or should be used as a measure of progress. To the extent that any group of people embraces dysfunction and or lawlessness, there will be hindrances to forward advancements. There are millions of minorities (of the non-Asian variety for those who demand the distinction) who are not criminals, who work hard, and try to do right by their fellow man, but it doesn’t help those people to ignore the disproportionate percentage of criminality and dysfunctional families in black communities. And it doesn’t help those people to tell them that there is nothing to be done to improve their lot apart from massive amounts of government intervention.

Now, to bring this back around to where we started, with the hoteps. They get a few things right, and I think I outlined them here. There are some major problems regarding what is considered acceptable behavior for a significant portion of black America. Socially conservative black Americans, including devout Christians, complain with their mouths about the hucksters and criminals who are promoted by the media as their “leaders” (what other minority group has nationally recognized leaders by the way?), then faithfully march into voting booths and vote in line with the interests of these shysters to the tune of 90+ percent. When people watch what they do rather than what they say, those people are branded “racists”.

What the hoteps get wrong is their assertion that anywhere other than America is our home, and that utopia awaits black Americans on the other side of the Atlantic. Since we are here as a people who have been in this country even prior to day one, we should enjoy all of the rights and privileges of any other citizens. As for the Richard Spencers of the world, I have a new mantra, and it’s this: Unless everyone but the Native Americans is going back to their ancestral land, all talk of anyone but illegal immigrants going “home” (wherever that is) is hypocritical and pointless.

The only thing I have left to add are a few links from people who have thought about these issues more deeply than I, have expressed their thoughts more articulately than I, and are men whose opinions I agree with. I shall let their thoughts be my final say on the matter.

Black and White, Left and Right, by Dr. Thomas Sowell

A Tangled Web, by Dr. Thomas Sowell

Dependency, not Poverty, By Walter E. Williams. A caveat to this article: Near the end of his mostly well-expressed piece, he makes the assertion that if a person stays poor, it’s his fault. While I understand the thought process behind the assertion, it is also revelatory of a generational blind spot not uncommon to men his age.

Last quotes are from Booker T. Washington. The first is on the race hucksters, which are sadly nothing new:

There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs-partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.

On the dangers of intellectual fetishism, so prominent in our world today:

No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.

On the possibilities available, even during his time, to the man who proves himself worthy:

No man, who continues to add something to the material, intellectual and moral well-being of the place in which he lives, is left long without proper reward.

There really isn’t much more to be said on this topic that hasn’t already been said, so have a great day. To those of you facing the blizzard, be well. Happy Monday!