Margery, of Margery and The Man, left this comment earlier today:
I was just reading your ‘about’ and saw that you are very, for lack of a better term, picky about your prospective mates (no judgement! I completely understand why!). You then listed some things you wish to see in a woman. This brought to mind the idea of “training” a woman. What I am asking is- do you have to have the woman already “as is” or are you open to having a woman that wishes to be those things and would like to be trained up in it? What would the process look like do you think?
This isn’t a proposition and my question isn’t just for you but in general I have to wonder if it wouldn’t be more prudent for men to be open to “good wives” in the making and be educated in how to aid in their training as our society is not the place currently that automatically puts out these sorts of women. Certainly this could be an option?
For those who are curious, the section of my About page she was referring to was this:
At this point I am unmarried, but (despite the considerable risks inherent in what is left of the institution these days) hope that I will marry in the near future. However, I am very discriminating when it comes to whom I will consider for marriage.
[In case there are any marriage-minded young women who are curious about what I am looking for, here is an idea: devout, chaste, feminine, at least somewhat pleasing to the eye, and a combination of sweet, gentle and respectful in attitude and behavior.]
I thought that Margery’s questions were good ones, and deserving of a post so that they might be addressed in detail. As I see it, there are three questions that are being asked here:
1) Does a woman have to meet all of my criteria before I would consider her wife material?
2) Assuming that I was open to “training” a woman in the qualities that I am looking for, how would that process work?
3) Would it be more advisable to me to be open to wife candidates for whom “some assembly is required” instead of focusing only on women who already meet my criteria?
I know that Margery indicated that her questions were directed at men in general, and not specifically me. But I feel that it would be necessary, and more appropriate, for me to answer them in relation to myself first before providing any general thoughts on the matter. In fact, it might be better if others voiced their thoughts first.
1. Ready Made
Margery’s first question asks whether a woman would have to meet all of my criteria before I would consider her as wife material. This depends on the trait or quality in question. The qualities I mentioned before that I was looking for in a wife were “devout, chaste, feminine, at least somewhat pleasing to the eye, and a combination of sweet, gentle and respectful in attitude and behavior.” Looking at it again, I think that feminine and the character traits that I listed at the end probably could be collapsed together. Pleasing to the eye essentially translates as attractive (see here for an idea of what that means to me). That leaves me with: 1- Devout, 2- Chaste, 3- Feminine, 4- Attractive.
Chaste- This is not a trait that a woman can be “trained” in. Or rather, this is not a trait that I can train a woman in. She has either been chaste, or she hasn’t. Some lines can only be crossed once, and a woman who has been sexually active has crossed one of those lines. Any training here would have to come from her parents and others in authority, and well before I meet her. All of which means that this is something I can’t “compromise” on; either she is (and therefore meets my criteria), or she hasn’t been (and therefore will never be suitable).
Attractive- With only one or two exceptions, this is another trait that I can only train a woman so much in. A woman’s value on the “1-10″ scale” is pretty much set at birth. Physical appearance is nearly all genetics, with some early environmental factors also playing a role. One exception would be if a woman was overweight, but otherwise had good features such that if she lost the weight she would be pushed up to the attractive range. For an example of such a woman, see here. Which does raise the question: assuming everything else about her was ideal, would I be willing to consider a woman who was overweight?
My answer would be a tentative Yes. But with some big caveats (no pun intended). For one, I would definitely not marry her until after she had lost all the weight and kept it off for a while. I would probably not even propose until she had made significant progress already and I had every reason to expect that she would continue with her weight loss. And until I actually proposed, I would not be “exclusive” either, both because I despise the concept until engagement and because it would serve as a bit of “dread” to encourage her to keep up her efforts. Oh, and I would need to have some assurance that these efforts would pay off to begin with (such as photos of her when she was younger without the fat).
Devout- This is an interesting trait/quality. In many ways it is linked to Chastity, because I think it would be highly unlikely to find a chaste woman who isn’t also devout (although not impossible). If she isn’t devout, then what I would look for in a woman is whether she wishes she were more devout, that is, a genuine desire to deepen her faith and embrace my beliefs if hers and/or her faith tradition and background were different.
Feminine- I confess that this quality is one that has been bugging me for a while. For some time I have thought about writing a post on the subject of femininity and my association with it, because exposure to actual feminine women has left me repulsed at the unfeminine women around me. On an intellectual level I know that this is the easiest of these qualities for a woman to be trained in, and so I am inclined to be accommodating here. On the other hand, I am also very wary about a woman who has been infected by popular culture, and the risks that it poses to marriage, and unfeminine behavior is a major sign of this. But yes, if everything else were met, I would be willing to accept a woman who fails in this quality but is willing to work on it.
2. Warning: Men at Work
This leads to the second question which Margery asked, which inquired about the sort of process necessary to “train up” a woman to match my required qualifications. Again, with each of the qualifications the process will be different.
Unfortunately, there is nothing really to be done about Chastity. Women who fail this qualification will need to look elsewhere.
As for Attractiveness, any changes that need to be done here, and that can be done here, will probably involve weight loss. That means physical fitness and careful dieting. As a potential suitor, the role I would play would be a mix of gym instructor and nutritionist. I would oversee the woman’s exercise regime, setting what days would involve which workout, as well as ensure accountability and track progress. For dieting it would be somewhat similar. I would expect to set a menu for the week, including meal times. Most likely it would involve some sort of low or no carb Paleo diet. In many respects this is perhaps the easiest of the processes, but also the most time intensive and longest-term. Being a source of encouragement and support would likely be vital here, given how easy it is to slip and revert to your old ways.
[For other men I imagine the process would be quite similar.]
With regards to Devotion and faith, it would probably be a mix of personal instruction and observation by me alongside more formal teaching. As a Catholic I would insist that if she isn’t a Catholic already that she convert if we are to marry. Too many problems would result from a mixed-faith marriage. If she would need to convert, or she never advanced very far in her faith, this would include her attending RCIA (adult religious education essentially). My role in this would be to gently guide her and encourage her along. I would observe her and question her to see if this is something she is truly invested in, or if she is just playing along for some reason.
[For other men this would depend on their faith tradition, although I suspect that matters would be very similar as well.]
Lastly we come to Femininity, which is the area where I can do the least to help. Here I would be relying on outside help the most, especially other women who can hopefully guide this potential wife in her quest to become more feminine. Sadly, I don’t know a whole lot of truly feminine role models, so I will probably have to rely on those I know online. Peaceful Single Girl and Girls Being Girls come to mind when I think of older role models. Embrace Your Femininity would probably work for a younger one as well. I can’t really teach much here at all, as I know nothing about feminine hygiene, dress or anything of that sort. The biggest role that I would play would be to correct and encourage. By that I mean I would point out, and rebuke if necessary, any unfeminine behavior I see in the woman, and compliment her when she acts especially feminine.
[Other men might have it easier if they personally know women in their lives who could act as a role model, whether it be a family member or a friend. But otherwise, the male role will essentially stay the same.]
3. What Choice Do I Have?
Margery’s third, and final question, was whether men should be more open to women who could be “trained” rather than hold out for a woman who could meet all four criteria. Frankly, I don’t think that I have much choice, and I suspect most other men don’t either. I can count on one hand the number of women I know or have met in my whole life who meet all four criteria. Margery is quite right when she states that “our society is not the place currently that automatically puts out these sorts of women.” This is an understatement of epic proportions. Western Civilization has, by all appearances, adopted policies, practices and mores which are aimed to ensure that as few women as possible meet these criteria. Instead of the Godly, feminine women who were commonplace a century ago, we now have a population of creatures who strain the imagination to be called women in many instances.
What Margery calls an option, I call a necessity. Western Civ is, in my opinion, falling apart around us. I’m not sure that it can be saved at this point. And to be honest, I’m not sure it deserves to be saved. Which means that those of us who care about such things are going to have to approach courtship as a salvage operation. The odds of me ( or men like myself) finding a woman who is marriageable off the bat are diminutive, and drop every day. And even if I were to find such a woman, there is sadly no guarantee that she will be open to marrying me. All of which leaves me, and those like me, forced to make do with what is available.
As I think on it, the actual process of “training” a woman is not the real difficulty. It will be challenging, yes, but overcoming challenges is my purpose as a man, it is what I was designed to do. No, the real trouble lies in find those women who are willing and able to be trained in such a way. At this point I’m not entirely sure how to discern such women. Ever since I took the Red Pill I’ve been trying my best to hone my skills in terms of finding worthy women, and sadly have had little success. Or perhaps they really are as rare as I perceive. Either way, this is a subject that requires further examination in the future. Hopefully some others will chime in with their thoughts and advice on the matter, because I fear that I have little to offer.
62 responses to “Some Assembly Required”
Re: my reservations about manosphere introductions: As Margery has pointed out, I don’t really have a dog in this fight, so I will clam up. And DS makes a good point about the necessity of exhausting all earthly options.
So it occurred to me that all my talk of “aristocratic qualities” may have lacked grounding. I never explained why I think they are worthy in a wife (they are worthy in a husband, too, I think, but at the moment the topic is wives).
I guess all I meant by “aristocratic qualities” was: loves what is good (and since we get what we desire in the long run, is probably better than most people), and is kind about it.
And this turns out to be a good description of chivalry. It also, I think, describes modesty.
This is not just kindness: it also includes a pursuit of excellence that gives the kindness power. We are called to be not just harmless as doves, but also wise as serpents. For her own salvation, the widow needn’t worry if she can only give her mite. But when you need a whole tomb, call Joseph of Arimathea.
And just to respond to Margery: I don’t know how long it’s been since you left the Church, but we’re not unscarred from feminism. My last post was about one of its victims. Not only that, but BYU has it’s own problems; since everyone assumes everyone’s on the chastity train, people have often given little thought or commitment as to where they draw the line. “He’s a returned missionary, so it must be OK.”
Also, the fawning press pieces issued every once in a while (They speak foreign languages! And go to business schools! Run the CIA!) go to our heads. “At least we’re not like those Southern Baptist Bible-thumpers,” we think.* “We, like, speak Portuguese and stuff. And run Goldman Sachs.” And this creates a chink in our armor, because now we are enjoying the praise of the world.
And so we adopt the mating habits of the world. Oh, it’s very tame compared to your normal party school, of course, but the patterns we’re all familiar with are there. Just replace sex with making out, and alcohol with, like, hot cocoa or something, and voila, a Mormon hookup culture.
And not just “mating habits,” marriage. It is one thing to oppose divorce. It is quite another to talk about wifely submission, even though it’s right there in our ordinances.
People say Mormons are weird and out of step with the world. My response: “I wish.”
*Having just met one of said Bible-thumpers, and you all online, my opinion of mainstream Christianity has improved drastically.
Dropit, We corresponded about this once, if memory serves. I still follow the LDS Feminist movement and have people I know involved in it. I understand that it is gaining traction, flamed by what they feel are victories (as in the GA’s are listening to them) such as the changing of sister missionary age to 19.
For now you still have better pickings. For now. But feminism is definitely taking hold far more than before in the mainstream church mainly because the church has been neutered in what it can do about it (see: the September 7 fallout)
I grew up LDS (though far from Molly) and in my time I have seen a dramatic change in Mormon culture. You’re right, they no longer are the “peculiar people” they use to be.
While I understand your concern about language use and appearing “Beta”, adopting a passive stance is not an effective strategy these days. Women are generally hesitant to chase men, and such a strategy would be too limiting in terms of the women it might work on.
That is of course every man’s choice, but not one that I would ever make.
Very good point, although I sort of automatically folded that into Devotion. Which is why is has only so much room for growth. Either she is willing to accept marriage as God intended it, or she isn’t.
While I agree that it is important to keep the contacts up and get out there, I disagree that time is on my side. It most certainly isn’t. But that is a subject for a future post.
Oh, and thank you for stopping by and contributing.
t is forefront in our minds even though our eldest has 8 years yet until she reaches 18. Forefront the most in my husband’s, as you can imagine, as he watches the way the world is still going and the fact that we have 5 daughters to marry off (no pressure!).
Sorry that I can’t help there, but by the time your daughters are of age we would be looking at close to an age gape between 15 and 20 years. That large of a gap greatly concerns me, and I rather suspect it would of you as well. Plus I really kind of hope to be married by then. Sadly, I’m not sure that I would have other members of my extended family would be suitable either at that point.
@DeepStrength: I don’t know how I feel about online dating. Each person has their own methods. I do think whatever it is that a young woman decides to do, her parents (especially her father) must be involved in the courtship She needs her parents to filter through who can and cannot be a good future husband for her, and if it is anybody who can see through a man it is another man (this is where her father would come into play).
LOL Yes, we aren’t looking just yet! Right now our focus is on raising them right. But the stress is still there, of course. Every parent worries for their children’s future.
“Plus I really kind of hope to be married by then.”
I hope so, too!
“we would be looking at close to an age gape between 15 and 20 years. That large of a gap greatly concerns me, and I rather suspect it would of you as well.”
We don’t have an issue with that big of an age gap necessarily. Say our 20 year old daughter marrying a 35 year old man. It’s not a big issue for us. It’s also not up to us, of course. Now 18 and marrying a 60 year old? That’s something different. We’d definitely be voicing concern. I know age gaps are really taboo these days but I have known a few people with successful marriages with gaps. I’m not talking Anna Nicole Smith, though.
Online dating can be useful, but it’s very different in some important ways that people don’t always understand. I should do a post on it sometime, because it’s too much to go into here; but probably the biggest thing I learned was that the distance of online communications gives a girl a sense of safety and/or unreality that can lead to her getting “intimate” a lot sooner than she would in real life. I don’t necessarily mean intimate in the “wanna see my boobs?” sense, though that happens; but emotionally intimate, because when she’s gotten what she needs she can just stop responding, so she feels like there’s no risk.
Guys who try online dating need to understand that a LOT of the women on dating or chat sites have husbands or boyfriends and are just looking for someone to talk to or an ego boost. Also that they will lie like a rug about anything and everything, because you’re not really “real” to them. A guy’s approach online has to be:
1) Talk to as many girls as possible.
2) Don’t get attached to anyone online. (#1 helps with this)
3) Move it to a real-life meeting as quickly as possible. No chatting for months. If she drags her feet, she’s using you and isn’t really interested; NEXT.
3a) That means don’t search outside the area you’re willing to travel to on short notice.
Ok, 4) Don’t go online only. It’s important to approach girls in real life, even if it’s just chatting up the checkout girl at the grocery store, because you need to develop your in-person skills for when you meet the online ones.
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