There has always been a Marriage Marketplace (“MMP”). In days past it looked a lot different from what it is today. But it has always existed in some form or fashion. Why is this so? Perhaps it is because humans tend to be transactional and economic in their behaviors. After all, marriage is a contract of sorts (for a Christian that contract takes the form of a covenant), with an exchange of promises between the man and woman in what they will and won’t do during the marriage. Given the base transactional nature of marriage, it is hardly surprising that a marketplace would form around it. Whether it was families or the individuals themselves, bargaining of some sort went on and clearly some individuals were higher value than others. In the past titles, dowries and inheritance were the primary currency, while today things like youth, beauty, fertility, earning power and status can make someone high or low value.
However the Marriage Marketplace worked in the past, one thing is abundantly clear about how it works today: it doesn’t. The current Marriage Marketplace is broken, and is almost completely subsumed into the greater Sexual Marketplace (“SMP”) which has largely taken its place. This process has been a complete and utter disaster, whose consequences will be felt for generations. It manifests itself in many different ways, some of which I will explore in this post.
Free Northerner has recently taken upon himself the task of examining how well Churchians are marketing marriage these days. As you might guess, it is not a pretty sight. His post is in response to one of Dalrock’s latest, Brilliant Advertising. Here is how Free Northerner expressed his initial thoughts on seeing the video that Dalrock brought to our attention:
Instead of making marriage look like something men would want to pursue and would be willing to sacrifice for, they make it look horrible.
In the little skit in the middle, the man is the thoroughly henpecked, seemingly unhappy husband of a fat, dumpy, controlling wife. He’s so thoroughly beaten down that he’s afraid to have a little masculine bonding time with his son and the video implies that there’s something wrong with him wanting to do so.
Watching this, my main thought was ”is this really how they want to advertise marriage to men?”
My personal philosophy is that if you aren’t sure if someone is acting the way they are out of malice or stupidity, stupidity is the safer bet. More than a few in the manosphere have argued that Churchian leaders like Driscoll are actively malicious in their efforts to get men to “Man-Up and Marry those Sluts!” Others insist that they are just misguided fools, so blinded to feminist indoctrination that they don’t realize what they are doing. Myself, looking at this video, I have to agree with those who label Driscoll and his ilk fools. If their goal is to sell marriage, that video isn’t the way to do it. In fact, it is one of the best testimonies against marriage that I have seen lately.
So what is an effective marriage marketing ad? Here is how Free Northerner would go about selling marriage:
It starts with an average-looking man in a suit, someone most guys could identify with, coming home from a day at the office. He looks kind of worn-out and stressed. He parks his car, sighs a bit, then walks up to his house. He opens the door.
The first thing seen when the door opens is his non-offensively pretty wife dressed femininely. She looks up from working in the kitchen and sees he’s stressed, so she comes up to him with a smile on her face and gives him a hug and quick kiss on the lips. She takes his bag and says, “Dinner is almost ready, why don’t you sit down?” He gets into his recliner and leans back, his stress visibly fading away. She joyfully brings him a small plate of freshly made cookies and some milk. He thanks her with an expression of mingled gratitude and relief and takes the cookie. While he snacks she says, “How about later…” and bends over and whispers something in his ear while brushing her hand up his leg. The man responds with a large, expectant smile.
Cut to her calling out that dinner is ready. The man goes to the table to find a delicious home-cooked meal of steak and potatoes, his cute, happy children run up to the table. His wife wipes the dirt smudges off of one of the rascals as they sit down. The man looks on proudly as he sits at the head of the table. His wife sits to his right. She looks at him with an expectant smile, her hand on his arm, and he proudly says grace for the family.
During the prayer fade to black and end with the tagline: Worth being a man for.
The picture that Free Northerner presents is a far cry from the marriage conveyed in Driscoll’s video. As Free Northerner points out, a lot of men, Christian men especially, would sign up for this. So why don’t we see an ad like this? Martel explains it succinctly:
However, they’ll never accept it because it shows the woman being submissive, feminine, and supportive. This defeats the entire point of marriage as they see it.
That just about covers it. Driscoll’s ad showcases Marriage 2.0, which any man worth his salt can see is completely unappealing. It offers nothing to the man, and demands more than ever. What Free Northerner is selling is Marriage 1.0. A marriage where the man is the head of the household. Where he has a lot of responsibility, but the authority to back it up. And where he is respected and admired for his efforts. Driscoll and his ilk could never make an ad in the manner of what Free Northerner suggests. From them it would be false advertising. Because what they believe in is Mutual Submission, Female Spiritual Superiority and a non-covenantal marriage.
Of course, just like any marketplace, there are predators to be found. Those who prey on the naive and the vulnerable, hoping to fleece them of their worth and leave them penniless. In our current MMP, they can take on several forms. Two that I wish to briefly cover are the Former Carousel Rider (“FCR”) and the False Christian Player (“FCP”).
The FCR is a woman who rode the carousel while she was younger (aka a slut) and then upon hitting “The Wall” (or getting close to it) decides to “settle” and marry. So she seeks out a hapless “Beta” and gets him to marry her, despite the fact that she feels no attraction or respect for him. She plays upon his desperation and likely inexperience, and uses it to her advantage. Then, after several years and probably several kids, she divorces him and tries her hand at the SMP once again.
The FCP is a cad, a player who specializes in “robbing” young Christian women of their virtue. He hangs around in Churches and among Christian circles and preys on the pure and innocent. His goal is simple: to deflower Christian women (and probably make them Alpha Widows in the process). He knows the right catchwords and phrases to put them at ease and to convince them that they can trust him. The FCP relies on their innocence and inexperience to trick them into giving up their most valuable asset, after which he fades away to play the field elsewhere.
To understand why they are marketplace predators, it is important to understand what gives men and women value in the MMP. For men, besides their attractiveness or SMV value (as determined by their LAMPS attributes), they also bring something very important to the table: commitment. For women, they bring their attractiveness/SMV value as determined by their youth and beauty, but also their character and virtue is a component as well. Both women and men are looking for as much attractiveness from a spouse as possible, but they are also looking for something completely different from the opposite sex. Women look for commitment from men, both in how much a man has to offer now and how much he will be able to offer in the future. Men look for sexual access and sexual fidelity from women; these are both heavily impacted by the N count of the individual woman. In many respects a woman’s virginity is the most valuable asset she can possess, because nothing else adds as much to her Marriage Market Value (“MMV”).
With this understanding, we can see why the FCR and the FCP are both predators: they both seek to steal what is most valuable from men and women in the MMP. The FCR, in marrying and then divorcing a “Beta” male, destroys his financial standing and thereby reduces his ability to offer commitment in the future. Essentially this cripples the man’s MMV. The FCP, on the other hand, by sleeping with a Christian woman takes her virginity and with it a huge and irreplaceable part of her MMV.
In the past these kinds of predatory practices were not accepted in respectable society. Divorce theft was nigh-well impossible, and cads were not only kept far away from most good women, but faced the prospect of a “shotgun wedding” for their actions. Sadly, neither is punished anymore. Men and women both can get away with behavior that would have been considered reprehensible a century ago. Yet another sign of a market failure.
Supply and Demand
For a while, after I had taken the Red Pill and into the first few months of this blog, I was convinced that the current MMP heavily favored chaste women. I based this opinion on what I believed to be a simple supply and demand situation. They were a limited supply, and the demand for them was much greater than the supply. Surely chaste women would have no trouble finding a husband. But now I appreciate the difficulties that such women, especially chaste Christian women, face in the current MMP.
For one they have to contend with the dangers of market predators like the FCP. There are Pick-Up Artists (“PUAs”) who specialize in going after virgins, and some of them are very, very good at it. So chaste women have to take steps to protect themselves. And those steps often restrict when and where they go, which reduces their chances of meeting a good, marriage-minded man.
There is also the fact that most women these days aren’t taught how to find a good man. Like men, they are given awful advice, usually along the lines of how men want strongandindependentgirrrrrrlpower women. All of which will send a good man running far away in the opposite direction. The fine ladies at Girls Being Girls have been trying to offer advice on how to go about finding a young marriage-minded man, and I salute them for their efforts. Of course, my admiration is not entirely selfless, as I could potentially be the beneficiary of their advice to a marriage-minded young woman out there.
Abandoning the Market
But one problem that has become more apparent to me of late, and that represents a significant obstacle to chaste young women, is that many formerly marriage minded men are checking out. The cumulative effect of the divorce culture, unjust laws against men, the inequitable nature of the SMP, Nuclear Rejections and the generally unfeminine nature of most women these days has convinced a lot of men that marriage is not worth pursuing. They are disappearing from the dating/courtship scene, and probably won’t ever return. Twenty years ago my assumption about the supply/demand situation was probably correct. Men back then hadn’t quite wised up to what was going on. But things have changed; thanks to both the internet as well as everyday experiences, more and more men are giving up on marriage. Unfortunately for my Christian sisters out there, many of those men are Christians. Some have become players and PUAs themselves, while others simply go their own way in an effort to avoid as much female contact as possible.
Ultimately their motivations don’t matter. What matters is that the MMP is massively distorted when a large chunk of the remaining male population there just up and leaves. And worryingly enough, this distortion seems to be getting worse and worse. This is yet another example of a massive market failure.
End of Part 1
This post was getting long, so I decided to break it up. I should post part 2 in the next day or so.