Missing A Certain Little Something

Over at Morning Sprinkles and Evening Gunfire, Allamagoosa has crafted a Response to “Teen Girls Define a Real Man.” Her post addresses one of those dreaded “lists” that show up not infrequently in Christian Churchian circles. Alla does a superb job taking down this list, exposing its myriad of flaws. Here is how the list begins:

“Lori Hainline & Rebecca Chandler co-authored this list at the respective ages of 19 and 17. Their closing comment: This list is not exhaustive and men like this do exist!”

And here is Alla’s response to that intro:

Well, that’s a great start. Having (presumably) unmarried teen girls describe what a real man is. As opposed to married women or actual men. That said, I do agree with them that men like this do exist. I’ve gone to church and school with men like this, problem is the girls aren’t dating them!

Now, some lists are better than others, and despite problems with subjectivity and doctrinal weakness, this one is better than most. But all of these lists share a common problem, which ties in directly to Alla’s point that girls don’t date “men like this.” [Set aside the fact that Christians shouldn’t be dating in the first place.] That common problem is not found in what they say, it is found in what they don’t say. You see, something is always missing from these lists. A critical- no, essential trait which a man must have to qualify himself with regards to everything that actually makes it on that list. What is that trait, that quality?

That he be attractive, of course.

Nothing else matters if the man isn’t [sexually] attractive. He can be absolutely devout. He can pray up a storm. He can be unafraid to profess his faith in public. He can do all of that and more besides, and yet it will avail him of nothing if he is not also attractive.

Women don’t consciously understand this, as has been documented here and elsewhere many times before. Most will never realize what is going on if someone doesn’t point it out to them. But what seems to be the case is that unattractive men are mostly invisible to women. While women may acknowledge they exist, they don’t exist as men. Instead, they are classified as something else entirely, and are quickly forgotten about unless otherwise required. I believe it was Sunshine Mary who explained that unattractive men are “grey”, while attractive men are “in color.” They show up on women’s radar and are the objects of attention, whereas the “grey men” merge with the scenery and are forgotten.

However it is explained, a list like this that doesn’t include the caveat that a man also be attractive can never work. At best this list will be of some use when dealing with what one commenter referred to as “Righteous Alphas”- those Christian men who are both devout and at the same time attractive to women. But they are few and far between these days.  So they might as well not exist for the purposes of lists like these. On the other hand, there are far more Christian men out there who meet the criteria set forth in lists like this but aren’t attractive to most women. At least, not attractive given the current state of female hypergamy (among other things). So ultimately these lists do nothing to screen for those men, and achieve no positive effect.

Once again, an example of something that seems good in theory but utterly fails in practice. I’m highly tempted to “flip the script” again and create my own counter-part to this list of desirable qualities in Christian women. We’ll see if time permits next week for an attempt at satire.

As a side note, I think that Alla was on to something when she stated a belief that many of these lists exist to make Christian women feel better about themselves, and to make them look better (classier in her words) than they really are. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of this was driven by a desire of women to elevate themselves among the herd.

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25 Comments

Filed under Alpha, APE, Attraction, Blue Pill, Christianity, Churchianity, Desire, God, Masculinity, Men, Red Pill, The Church, Women

25 responses to “Missing A Certain Little Something

  1. femininebutnotfeminist

    There’s one more essential thing that’s missing from their list…. a counter list that tells what THEY have to offer a man in return. A list that holds herself to a set of standards equally as high as what she expects of him.

  2. @ FBNF

    I would actually say that the “counter-list” should be separate, only because it would have to come first. Discerning who and what you should be as a Godly woman (or man for the flip scenario) should be a priority well before trying to figure out what to look for in the opposite sex.

  3. Guest

    Great post!

    I remember being encouraged in high school to create my own list for my “future wife.” After much prayer, thought, and consideration, I completed my list – with a grand-total of 36 things that I wanted my “ideal” wife to have – only 2 of which were even related to physical attraction – many others being intent on godly character. Guess how that turned out!

    I would love to read your satire! Looking forward to that!

  4. femininebutnotfeminist

    @ Donal,

    Good point. I think if a woman creates this counter list, it would hopefully put things into perspective. In fact, I suggest to any woman reading this to make such a list, then compare it to her man list (if she has one) to see how they compare. If the list of her own qualities of what she has to offer him is lacking, then she should work on that. We shouldn’t be expecting more than we’re willing and able to give.

  5. DJ

    Isnt everything predicted on being attractive to the person you want for a spouse and vis a vis at least for marriage. All virtue in the world wont help if you arent attracted to the other person. Why isnt it assumed that attraction even unstated is part of any list about future spouses? Seems illogical not to assume that; I like this person, I think they are good looking, I want to see them naked…etc. arent important even when unstated.

  6. DJ, I don’t know if you are a Christian or not, but in many Christian circles the importance of [sexual] attractiveness is often denigrated, and sometimes completely rejected. While it would be logical to assume that attraction would be there, it often isn’t the case.

    Usually this is directed towards men, who are more visual creatures. Since female attraction to men is more complicated, it usually doesn’t get the same level of attention.

  7. The_Other_Guy

    @DJ

    Because this is so commonly overlooked. Christians often like to think that they are above their “base” desires and have higher thoughts than that. In particular, Christian men are often taught that they shouldn’t be like their secular counterparts that only look a woman’s beauty and this is usually combined with scriptures that talk about quite inner beauty for women. The message is: you should be attracted to what the scripture tells you and ignore the appearance. This, in turn, is taken advantage of by women and the men who preach it because the men often don’t understand the subtext of the message.

    Christians deny Rollo’s first law as a matter of course, so it is no wonder that our relationships are often so awkward and poorly rooted.

  8. DJ

    I am a Christian. I think I run with a diffrent church crowd.
    So people ignore what they want to avoid seeming shallow?but not really they just give it a diffrent name?

  9. I run with a different crowd too DJ. Mind you, as Catholic we generally didn’t have lists like these in the first place, so attraction was never missing in the first place.

    And yeah, people ignore or don’t speak about what they want to avoid seeming shallow. Not so much giving it a different name, they just don’t mention it at all.

  10. Patrick

    “Nothing else matters if the man isn’t [sexually] attractive. He can be absolutely devout. He can pray up a storm. He can be unafraid to profess his faith in public. He can do all of that and more besides, and yet it will avail him of nothing if he is not also attractive.”
    That’s the key. I think women do understand it, though. Sometimes they explain it to themselves as “chemistry.”
    I saw this on the Catholic channel:
    “What are you looking for in a man?”
    “A solid prayer life. Someone who lives by Church teachings, who’s loyal and reliable. And just that chemistry, someone I click with.”
    The diplomatic phrasing that dodges shallowness, checks all the boxes and still contains the key element of attractiveness.

  11. @ Patrick

    Chemistry is different than attractiveness.

    But it is true that most women group these two things into one, especially because personality/power and attractiveness are blended for them.

  12. In terms of how I see chemistry and attraction, I agree with Deep Strength that they aren’t the same. But attraction is necessary for chemistry, and he’s right that women often group them together.

    And I agree that women use chemistry as an excuse to say that someone isn’t attractive to them.

  13. DJ

    I think its probably too rude to tell someone Im not intrested because I find you unattractive. Ive done it it didnt turn out to well. Telling someone I dont feel any chemistry , probably is less insulting.

  14. DJ

    They feel its too rude to tell someone Im not intrested because I find you unattractive.

  15. Exactly DJ. Although that isn’t always the case for women. Some will turn down a guy without exactly knowing why- they just aren’t as clued into to their attraction filters like men are.

  16. A Visitor

    Good post, Donal. Yes, they can have their lists but it’s verboten if we have anything we want in a wife. Please do that satire. I’d love to see it!

  17. Fish-Man

    Nice piece of prose, Donal. I was in a Catholic bookshop the other day and ran into a whole book of this persuasion. The real howler was that “men are narcissistic, so don’t go for one of those.” Paraphrased. The book, to me, seemed totally checked out from reality. There is perhaps another motivator for this genre: Women are scared. Of the culture. Of men. Of themselves, though they don’t know it or don’t want to admit it. As you yourself have outlined, it is rather morally dangerous to be a woman! I cannot blame them for their fear of the culture, though they are going to have to find a new way of dealing with it than simply intoning how beautiful one is as one of God’s little princesses. Since you are in a Catholic circle, you know how often (at least I think) some of the girls mask their terror behind a putative vocation to becoming a nun. ( I think this has several functions, actually.) You might disagree with me on this, but it is quite interesting how many don’t even come close to becoming a nun. Believe me, I love nuns. Love ‘em–especially the ones in full habit. I would like every non-Catholic to know that becoming a nun is Gospel Hardball; it is radical faith and then some. But I would say that every woman I knew who took up a vocation for real did not even have a *trace* of the princess complex. On the other hand, some of those whom I have seen bounced from their convents before final vows did in fact have such a self image. I digress. (Again, my non-Catholic friends: Monks and nuns of a traditional bent play the game of life and faith for real. Don’t doubt it. Get to know some if you haven’t already. And watch the old movie, The Trouble with Angels.)

  18. Fish-Man

    On second thought, nix my comment. I do not want any bad odor about possible vocations to being a nun. Thanks.

  19. Are you sure Fish-man? Your comment reminded me of something I’ve wanted to address for a while about that subject, and its a good leap off point. Also, I don’t really think you are giving it a bad odor, your comment makes it fairly clear that you give a lot of respect to vocations.

  20. Fish-Man

    All right. Let it stand. Many thanks.
    Fish-Man

  21. I’m a little late to this discussion, but had a couple thoughts…

    Firstly, no one should have to make excuses for what he or she finds attractive (or even desirable) – we’re all wired differently and what’s flips my switch isn’t even a blip to someone else.

    Secondly, I also assumed that all the other list items were predicated on the girls already being attracted to the man. Otherwise, why even bother?

    If I may put my “Grumpy Maeve” hat one here for a moment, nobody has any business marrying anyone he or she doesn’t want to shag until they’re half dead. Seriously. And for someone (man or woman) to enter into a marriage without that intense desire is just wrong! But even worse is for someone to marry when he or she is not sure if she even loves (or is attracted to) the other OR if there is an imbalance in the desire (i.e, he want her more than she wants him or vice versa) – in my opinion it’s one of the most evil things one person can do to another. (I now take off my Grumpy Maeve hat)

    Also, took a quick peak at Allamagoosa’s post – from the items she pulled out, it sounds more like they want a priest than a husband (which sort of makes me want to throw up a bit). Where do they come up with this stuff? Is that really what Christian girls want from husbands? Maybe men would do better off not going after Christian girls, because if those items are a window into the young ladies’ mindsets, then marriage to them sounds hideous. Just sayin.

  22. @ Maeve

    Firstly, no one should have to make excuses for what he or she finds attractive (or even desirable) – we’re all wired differently and what’s flips my switch isn’t even a blip to someone else.

    Agreed. But people do, because they are taught that its shallow and evil to consider whether someone is attractive or not when looking at them as a mate possibility.

    As for assumptions, something to keep in mind is that what the teaching from above, and other nonsense pumped into people’s heads, many, if not most young folks won’t assume that attraction is a predicate. Heck, they teach youth (men and women alike) that women are attracted to these things. So its a rare assumption to hold.

    Your “Grumpy Maeve” sounds like a wise woman indeed. It fully comports with what St. Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 7- a couple should burn for one another if they are to marry. No burning? No marriage. And you are correct that they should both burn at the same level too.

    Also, took a quick peak at Allamagoosa’s post – from the items she pulled out, it sounds more like they want a priest than a husband (which sort of makes me want to throw up a bit). Where do they come up with this stuff? Is that really what Christian girls want from husbands? Maybe men would do better off not going after Christian girls, because if those items are a window into the young ladies’ mindsets, then marriage to them sounds hideous. Just sayin.

    I was only half-joking last year when I said that I would probably have the best chance of having a proper Christian, biblical marriage with a non-Christian woman. There is so much wrong with the Church these days I sometimes want to give up my constant, unceasing battle with despair.

  23. Grumpy Maeve is, apparently, still on a tear.

    If you’re not saying “OMG!! I can’t believe I actually get to marry (insert name of beloved here)!!!” THEN YOU SHOULD NOT BE GETTING MARRIED.

    If you BOTH can barely keep from running down the aisle towards each other, THEN YOU SHOLD NOT BE GETTING MARRIED

    If at any point you feel RELUCTANCE, (being nervous is OK and pretty natural – it’s a big freakin deal after all) as your wedding day approaches, THEN YOU SHOULD NOT BE GETTING MARRIED

    STOP NOW.

    As gracefully and kindly as possible, make your apologies to the fiancé and exit the engagement. That’s it. You do not Pass GO. You do not collect $200. You save yourself and the other party a lifetime of misery.

    (In retrospect, I’m sort of channeling Jeff Foxworthy I guess)

  24. Grumpy Maeve needs to show up more often. She’s a hoot.

    This matches up with another something I said last year. Let me paraphrase:

    A man shouldn’t marry a woman unless, the moment they’ve said their vows, he wants to pick her up, carry her off to somewhere secluded, rip her dress off, and ravish her until he is utterly spent.

    And a woman shouldn’t marry a man unless she wants to beat him to the punch by ripping his clothes off first, while he is still carrying her off.

  25. Pingback: Reality Versus Reason | Donal Graeme

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