I don’t talk about Game much on this blog, as I consider this to be more of a “Red Pill” Christian blog. Game, in all of its various forms, tends to be centered on specific behaviors and actions; whereas I tend to focus on the bigger picture, primarily the general nature of men and women. In a way my blog is more “Macro” whereas Game blogs tend to be more “Micro”. I bring this up to provide some measure of understanding, because I will be talking about Game in this post, although from that “Macro” perspective that is my usual style. In particular, I will be talking about Game and how it relates to Christian marriage. Also, I will spend some time talking about how Christian marriage and the legal system interact.
[Note: Game is a multi-faceted subject. When I talk about it, I am being inclusive, ie., I mean the overall field. Some types of Game are necessarily not going to be included here. ]
While I have been meaning to write a post like this for a while, I was spurred to do so by a recent post by Great Books For Men, True Christian Women Do Not Need To Be Gamed By Men (Warning: link is NSFW, profanity and obscenity abound). GBFM takes the position that Vox Day and Dalrock are preaching falsehoods when they expound the value of Game in Christian marriages. In GBFM’s view:
A true Christian woman does not need to be gamed. A true Christian woman follows the Law of Moses which Jesus came not to abolish but to fulfill…
There is more, of course, but rather than simply quote the profane and often all but unreadable language of GBFM, I will translate some of his major arguments. They include:
-1) Women no longer follow God but rather their primal instincts.
2) Instead of trying to “resurrect the Christian Soul in the churches, schools, universities, and family court system and reform women”, men like Dalrock and Vox instead advocate that men Game women.
3) Game necessarily involves men becoming slaves to the primal instincts of women.
4) Serving the primal instincts of women above the laws of God is the heart and soul of Game.
I agree with GBFM that #1 is the case with most women these days. When it comes to #2, I’m not sure that is the position that Dalrock and Vox take, but I will let them account for themselves on that. As for #3 and #4, I disagree strongly with GBFM. I think that he misunderstands Game, and much more besides.
The first error that GBFM makes is failing to understand the true nature of women. To begin with, his argument that “A true Christian woman does not need to be gamed” gives every appearance of being a variant of the “No True Scotsman Fallacy”. He is trying to create a distinction where none exists. What GBFM does not appear to acknowledge or understand is that Christian women, “True” or not, are still women. And no amount of proper parenting, instruction or wishing really hard will ever change that. There is a certain base set of behaviors and instincts that all women possess. A woman embracing the message of Jesus who becomes a Christian will still have those base set of behaviors and instincts. The only difference between her and a secular woman is that the Christian woman is instructed to restrain those primal behaviors, and has an incentive to do so. Those instincts and behaviors do not disappear after she becomes a Christian. For as Jesus explained:
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
This weakness in women is a weakness of the flesh. Though a woman might be a “True Christian”, she is still a flesh and blood woman, and thus prone to weakness. When you consider all of the negatives influences which are pressing upon Christian women these days, it becomes very easy for them to give in to temptation. Of course, Christian women should avoid these influences, but often don’t because they fail to realize them for what they are.
GBFM’s second error lies in declaring that Game is all about men becoming slaves to the primal instincts of women. The foundation of this argument seems to be that when a man Games a woman he is in fact catering to her selfish wants and is effectively making himself subservient to the woman. The thing to understand here is that Game is all about manipulating women (through controlling their attraction to a man). While doing so involves giving women attention, which is something that they do want (and often selfishly so), it is only a byproduct of the manipulation process. And manipulation, as any Red Pill aware man should know, is merely one form of exercising control. Here the control is over the woman’s perception of the man: Game makes him more attractive in her eyes, which gives him greater power over her, and thus more control over her. Knowing this, we can see how Game is not about serving women per se, but about controlling them.
What seems to confuse a lot of people (GBFM apparently being one of them) is that controlling a woman also involves serving her. This is because women need and want to be controlled. Now, this probably seems counter-intuitive to most folks who haven’t really delved into the quixotic nature of the female mind, so bear with me for a bit.
A key thing to understand about women is that what they want and what they think they want can be, and often are, two very different things. Such is the case for women and control. Perhaps the easiest way to understand this is to separate female wants into conscious wants and unconscious/subconscious wants. Consciously a woman might want to be “strong, proud and independent.” She might think that she wants to dominate a man, and buck any form of control of her actions. But her subconscious has another idea: it wants her to be submissive to a man and for her behavior to be fiercely controlled. This split between the conscious and unconscious of a woman’s brain is why it is so essential to watch what a woman does, and not listen to what she says. It also explains the War Bride phenomenon.
To summarize, Game is a form of manipulation. Manipulation is a form of control. Women want to be controlled, although they do not consciously recognize this and may consciously reject it. So when you Game a woman, you manipulate her, and when you manipulate her, you control her, and when you control her, you give her want she wants. From just this perspective, GBFM’s argument that when you control a woman you become a slave to her primal instincts seems rather silly. After all, it amounts to an assertion that when you control a woman you become her slave. But there is more.
GBFM’s central argument is, after all, that “True Christian Women” don’t need to be Gamed. This assessment is based in large part on an implied assumption that Game is a recent invention (it isn’t) and that it wasn’t necessary to Game Christian women in the past to get them to honor their marriage vows. While his initial assumption is incorrect, GBFM is correct that Christian wives didn’t need to be Gamed in the past in order for (most of them) to honor their vows. Of course, that is not because women (Christian or otherwise) were any different back then (they weren’t), but because the environment they lived in was very, very different.
Since GBFM loves to talk about the law of Moses, lets discuss it briefly. The law of Moses set up an impressive amount of social and legal controls over women. Women were in most cases under the authority of their father or husband, they had limited legal standing outside of the men in their family. A woman who committed adultery was stoned to death, and a woman who fornicated but pretended to be a virgin, likewise. In short, women were soundly controlled by general society, and prevented from acting up their primal instincts.
Those laws were not unique. In most civilizations women faced significant legal and social restraints that controlled their behavior. As for those civilizations which failed to establish that kind of order and structure for women, they usually didn’t last very long. Or never became civilizations in the first place. America was no exception to this. For a good part of our early history women were subject to an array of controls, some social, some legal. Divorce was especially difficult to go through. The doctrine of standing consent meant that a husband couldn’t rape his wife; furthermore a wife denying a husband sex was actually one of few things which permitted divorce. Women got little to nothing out of divorce unless the husband was grievously at fault, and they still faced huge socials costs. Because the consequences to women of misbehavior were so drastic, they were compelled in most instances to behave. As such, men could live a married life without having to Game their wives into staying married.
This is all gone now. The social and legal restraints that used to exist, the various controls in place that kept women in check, have been removed. A man who is married can no longer rely upon the mechanisms of the past to protect his marriage, he must do so himself. In fact, the situation is even worse that that. You see, the social and legal climate is such that it encourages women to act destructively in marriage, a complete reversal of how things used to be. The State, which used to have a man’s back, now has the woman’s back. And she, by her very nature, is inclined to use that authority when convenient.
In case that wasn’t clear enough: True Christian Women didn’t need to be Gamed in the past and followed the Law of Moses because we actually had laws that matched up with the Law of Moses. The Law of Moses was obeyed because it was the Law of Moses. It was designed to keep women in line, and largely succeeded at that task. Remove those kinds of laws, and women will revert to their feral selves. If a wife has no checks at all on her behavior, if there are no controls in place on her, then the odds are good that she will blow things up; that is simply her nature as a woman. Women need to be controlled. Few, if any, can do this themselves. They need social, religious and legal restraints on their behavior if they are to behave.
Hence the need for Game. Game is perhaps the only method available to most married men to bring some measure of control to their marriage. The State no longer provides that control. The general culture no longer provides that control. And increasingly religion, Christianity itself, no longer provides that control. Married men (most of them anyways) need Game in order to combat an environment that encourages self-destructive behavior in women. Should they need it? No, of course not. If our civilization was sane Game wouldn’t be necessary. But it isn’t sane, and men need every tool at their disposal to make marriage work. This includes Game.
Not everything that is included under the umbrella of Game is necessarily proper in marriage, mind you. “Negs” are an example of something that might run afoul of several commands in scripture. But other ideas, like “Agree and Amplify”, would be fine.
The reason why the early Fathers of the Church never talked about this is because they lived in a culture where the notion of giving women the kind of power they enjoy now would have been considered madness. In the Roman Empire women could divorce men (hence Mark 10:12), but the encouragement of divorce we see now is unprecedented. We tread new ground now, and must find our own path now.
I should also point out at this point that Game, as we understand it, is merely a modern version of what we could call “masculine wiles.” The art of seduction and manipulating women is an old one, probably as old as humanity itself. In the past it largely wasn’t necessary to ensure that a marriage stayed together. Indeed, when it came to marriage early Game was probably mostly employed by men to get married in the first place. However, Game was still valuable because it helped make marriage more tolerable for men, even enjoyable.
I also wanted to briefly talk about Christian marriage and how it relates to legal marriage. Many folks around the sphere use the term Marriage 1.0 to describe traditional marriage, before the changes in divorce law, and Marriage 2.0 to describe what marriage is like today. I happen to like these terms, as I think they help differentiate the legal development of marriage in the West. Something I have noticed, though, is that some bloggers and commenters confuse Marriage 1.0 with Christian Marriage (or Biblical Marriage).
Marriage 1.0 is not Christian Marriage, it was a legal regime which established how the State treated and recognized marriage back in the day. Christian Marriage is an ideal, a spiritual construct, something that exists outside of any legal context. The various “versions” of Marriage, starting with Marriage 1.0, moving on to Marriage 2.0 and now with a nascent Marriage 3.o in development, provide a background and context for Christian Marriage, they do not set it. For example, the State could theoretically outlaw marriage all together. Under those circumstances, Christians could still marry, because marriage is set by God, not by earthly authorities. Yes, it would make you a criminal to go ahead and marry anyways, but isn’t that a consummately Christian thing to do? Certainly it is in keeping with the spirit of the earliest Christians in the Roman Empire, who suffered persecution and death for their beliefs.
The confusion probably arises from the fact that Marriage 1.0 was the state of affairs for so long that bloggers/commenters in the ‘sphere mistake it for having been the background for all of Christian Marriage. But it wasn’t. For example, in the time of Jesus “Christian Marriage” was not a legal reality. And Jesus makes note of this:
3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one’? 6 So they are no longer two but one. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” 7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” 8 He said to them, “For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery; and he who marries a divorced woman, commits adultery.”
Here is an example of the law of man and the law of God not matching up. However, it was still possible to live in accordance with God’s laws under the system at the time. How? Simple: a husband could refuse to make use of the legal tools at his disposal to put away his wife. When St. Paul was instructing Christian communities in the Roman empire during his evangelical missions he faced a legal regime that also didn’t match up with God’s laws. In that time period both men and women could often initiate divorce, and it was usually a fairly simple affair to manage. Just like Jesus, Paul was teaching people that their obligations to God required them to set aside the power given to them by the existing legal authorities. As Christians, we are required to live our lives in accordance with God’s will, and that often involves us living under a legal regime that doesn’t match up with our beliefs.
That doesn’t mean that we should ignore the legal environment. But it does mean that we need to learn to accept that living as Christians entails living in a world which hates God and His laws, and consequently, us as well. Because of this, the “system”, the legal and social environment in which we must live, will often be against us. And the sad truth is that when the system is as bad as our is, then marriage is a huge risk. It empowers the worst of female behaviors, and cripples the most necessary of male ones. Given all of this, it might indeed be better for many Christian men to not marry. Unless they are willing to assume the risk, or buck the system and possibly become an outlaw in order to adhere to their faith, marriage may just not be in the cards for most Christian men right now.
I mention outlaw because we still don’t know where Marriage 3.0 will end up. At this point it seems all but certain that same-sex marriage is going to happen across the country, and polygamy is probably only a decade or so away as well. I don’t imagine that laws against incest will survive either. In all of this, part of me is concerned that feminists will seek to criminalize patriarchal marriage as well. The exact mechanics of how they would do this are uncertain, but I can think of several possibilities. The first, and perhaps easiest, would be to change DV laws so that abuse includes anything resembling male headship, for example any attempt by a man to get his wife to submit to his authority. Another might be to require that those who file for a marriage license swear an oath to live an egalitarian marriage. However it turns out, I wouldn’t be shocked to see this coming in the near future.
Ultimately, I think that for Christian men the choice comes down to two things:
1) Which path is the least likely to lead to sin
2) What are the results of a cost/benefit analysis of the non-spiritual aspects of marriage
There is no universal answer, Christian men will need to decide for themselves. A man who is able to control himself and avoid sexual sins, and sees little benefit to marriage, or that the costs are too high, would do well to not marry. But a man who has trouble controlling himself, and who might see the costs of marriage as bearable, would do well to marry. Wisdom, discernment and prayer should all be relied upon.
As for myself, I know that I am constantly evaluating where I stand. Right now my position is peculiar- I am reasonably confident I can avoid most forms of sexual immorality without having to marry, reducing my “need” for marriage, but on the other hand I very much would like the various benefits that come along with a healthy/happy marriage. All of which means that I am near a tipping point of sorts, and therefore very particular when it comes to a potential wife. In fact, I may write a post in the next few days giving some insight into my thought process on how I evaluate a woman as “wife material.” [A short post.]
It cannot be denied that before the advent of Marriage 2.0, it wasn’t necessary for Christian men to have to Game their wives. Nor did they face an environment which was set up to ruin marriage as much as possible. Unfortunately, we do live in the Marriage 2.0 regime now, and Christian men must adapt to the times. For some men, that means a decision on their part not to marry. For others, that means marrying and accepting the possibility that their wives may blow up their marriages at any time, and they have no means of recourse. Those Christian men who take their chances in marriage must use whatever methods of maintaining control in their marriage are available, with Game being one of the few things still left in the toolbox. Should any of this be necessary? Of course not. But these are evil and desperate times, and desperate times call for desperate measures.
[I realize that this post could have been more comprehensive. However, the length would have been too great to provide for a practical discussion and debate if I really let myself go. As is its one of my longer posts. I suspect that I will flesh out some of the gaps in further posts in the subject down the line.]
Update: The debate continues in my next post- Godly Masculinity Versus Game