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.