This posts will be a collection of different thoughts and ideas that have been bouncing around in my head for a while. Most are the product of some self-reflection, hence the title. I should warn folks that this post is more stream of consciousness than anything else. Apologies for any typos.
During the many months that I have been blogging I’ve corresponded with a number of people via e-mail. Some men, some women. Some comment on this blog and others, and some don’t. A fairly constant refrain that I have heard from a number of women who comment here or have reached me via e-mail is that the manosphere is a cruel, harsh place. Often times in that exact language. They complain that they don’t feel welcome here, or that they feel targeted , or that they feel depressed reading things here.
Women who find their way here need to understand that the manosphere is a male space. Yes, women are welcome, but this part of the web was created by men, for men. Men talk in blunt terms. We don’t generally sugarcoat things. We talk in broad abstractions. If we feel like saying something, we say it, without worrying about hurting someone’s feelings. Most importantly, we say what we think is true, and if that hurts someone, well, too bad. The manosphere is a harsh place. As a general rule punches aren’t pulled around here. We are men. This is the way we are. And we are not going to change it to make women feel better. Women have already corrupted nearly all of the male spaces out there in the West, we have no intention of letting them do the same here.
[DG: To understand this idea of male spaces and language better, I suggest the following two posts by Deep Strength:
If a woman finds that this place is too cruel or heartless or unsympathetic for her, then she should leave. That’s the best advice that I can give. Now, that is a problem because there really isn’t a place that helps women out like this part of the web can. Frankly, a female oriented Red Pill site is overdue. TempestTcup helps with the Red Pill Woman Subreddit, and that is close, but its not quite the same thing. There is especially a dearth of sites for Christian women looking for real, honest Titus 2 type advice. April over at Peaceful Single Girl is the closest approximate. But as much as I like the Peaceful Wife, she doesn’t quite have that perspective. Yet however much that might be needed, that manosphere is not here for that. If you as a woman cannot stomach it, then I’m sorry but that’s life.
This is a male space, and it is going to stay a male space. And that means it will be uncomfortable for most women for the foreseeable future.
A Lack of Love?
A similar accusation that has also been thrown around, often accompanying the argument about the manosphere in general, is that the Christian manosphere is not a loving place. This accusation has some merit in my view. A number of of commenters, and some bloggers, who identify as Christians have engaged in what I think is best described as cruelty. Some revel in unnecessary suffering, or look forward to it or call for it. This is not the kind of attitude that Christian’s should adopt:
7 Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.
(1 John 4:7-8)
We should pity those who have fallen off the path, not despise them. Nor should we gloat at their suffering. It doesn’t matter if they curse us, wish us ill, or otherwise harm us. We are not to be cruel, even towards our enemies:
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
This extends even to feminists and their ilk. Yes, this is a hard calling. But its not like we weren’t warned or anything by Jesus.
On a related note certain words with negative connotations are another source of complaints about the manosphere. Some of these charges are well founded, and some are not. What matters are the words used and the context in which they are used.
Lets take Sunshine Mary’s post titled “Delusional teen-aged whores and useless kitchen gadgetry.” That post generated some complaints about the language used. My response is this: there is nothing objectively wrong with the title of that post. Or even the commentary within the post. The word delusional is a descriptive word applied to the young woman who is the subject of the post. If it sounds harsh, that is only because the state of being delusional is one that a sane person wouldn’t want to be described as. She was of course a teenager, so that part is accurate. And lets face it, pornography and prostitution are so similar as to be essentially interchangeable. What is wrong with calling her a whore? That is exactly what that woman was. There is nothing wrong, or even unloving, about pointing out the truth like that. A whore is a prostitute is a hooker. All are words describing the same thing. If you object to one over the other, then why? Because it sounds more harsh? That is only because you, the reader, treat it differently. The concept is still the same.
The key, in my view, is how we use words. If we use words to describe, then that is acceptable. But if we use words to demean, then we are in potentially troublesome territory. I will use the word harlot to create an example. If I were to tell a woman “You are a harlot” then I am being descriptive- I am describing her as a harlot. On the other hand, if I were to tell a woman “You are nothing but a harlot”, then I am being demeaning, and not merely descriptive- I am assigning a place, a value to her as a human being. There is nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade, so long as that is what we are actually doing.
I was going to talk about this subject, but then Sunshine Mary beat me to the punch. I agree with most of what she has to say, so I will leave her response to substitute for my thoughts on the subject for the time being. There are, however, several good comments worth singling out.
This passage from 1 Corinthians is important to keep in mind here:
9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
(1 Cor 5: 9-13)
As I pointed out earlier, there is nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade. But judgment we should reserve for those who call themselves Christians but don’t act like it. That means Churchians and Christo-Feminists, to name a few. In fact, the language Paul uses makes it nearly a duty for us to do so, so long as we aren’t hypocrites about it.
What a Shame
There seems to be some real confusion about what is known as “slut shaming”, so I will try and clear that up a little. Slut shaming is not about punishing women who engage in sexual immorality. Yes, there is social ostracism for such women unless and until they repent. But that is not the goal or purpose. Instead, slut shaming is really about creating a social environment which discourages women from engaging in sexual immorality. The truth is, shaming those women who fall astray isn’t really the way to bring them back. In his ministry Jesus would call out sinners (for example the Samaritan woman at the well), but not shame them. The singular exception was those who publically pretended to be virtuous but were not (the Sadducees and the Pharisees). So shaming is appropriate for those who make their sins public, but not so much for private sins, or those who don’t flaunt them, anyways.
I think that people get mixed up because they look at slut shaming and think of it from the individual perspective of how we should act. This isn’t right. Slut shaming is a community measure, done for the good of the community. It is about preserving social order. St. Paul’s words in the first letter to Timothy shed some light here:
8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sounddoctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.
(1 Tim 1:8-11)
Slut shaming isn’t direct towards the just but the disobedient. It is designed to keep them in line, because women who engage in social immorality harm not merely themselves but the whole community (the spread of STDs is but one example). It isn’t about making women act morally, but convincing them not to act immorally. Since women are highly social creatures, this is best done through social pressures. For men, and their behaviors destructive to the community, more direct methods are required.
Something that bothers a lot is when Christians make excuses for sinners. The most common refrain is that “so and so had a hard life, how can you judge them for what they did?” Whatever the specific language used, however, it all comes down to the same thing: finding a way to excuse someone for their sins. My response to those who engage in this is to point out that Jesus never excused sinners from their sin. In fact, only once does he really make any mention of how someone’s life history might affect how they will be judged on the Day of the Lord:
43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.
Those who were not raised right, those who were ignorant of God’s laws will be shown leniency only so far as punishment is concerned. But they still sinned, no matter their life story, and so will still be held to account. Jesus didn’t care for excuses. What he cared about was that sinners repented of their sins. That is what matters to Him.