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.