The following is a guest post from reader and comment mdavid. As always with guest posts, they represent the beliefs of the author and not my own. I am hosting it both because I think it has some value, as well as the fact that it should hopefully generate some good discussion. [Yes, this is pretty much the same disclaimer as before.]
The blog Rational Male explores the psychological ‘why’ of male-female relations. It’s fairly taboo stuff; the author writes under the moniker Rollo Tomassi (the guy who gets away with it). The general theme: helping men understand the indifference of female hypergamy.
It’s an exceptional blog. For those detached from today’s sexual marketplace, it resembles an honest, all-guy watercooler discussion about today’s sexual landscape. It’s nearly always thought-provoking. Needless to say, I read Rollo regularly.
Rollo recently did a live interview with Goldmund. Below is a transcript of a part I found intriguing. It called to my attention how marriage has become a wholly bimodal institution. The traditionally religious now have completely different marriages than secular versions. This was not the case even 30 years ago. Rollo mused:
I think that after 19 years of marriage there is a certain degree of development between the two of you where you know what’s expected of one another. And I also understand that it could all end tomorrow; you know, that’s another thing to keep in mind. Even if you think you have the most unique woman in the world, you think you have the best marriage you ever had, you know there’s a lot of guys in divorce court right now who’ve said exactly the same thing. And I understand that. If you are looking for a woman it’s important, if you want to have a long term relationship you have to keep that in mind. I wrote in the book this chapter called The Pet and how women can go feral on you and if you really, really want to have some sort of an honest relationship with a woman it’s important to accept the fact that she can go feral on you.
What I found so intriguing about the above comment was its bland, stoical acceptance that a marriage may simply “blow up” at any time. Note that Rollo’s a smart, experienced guy and no blowhard; I accept what he says as fact for the average American male. Divorce is an ever-present risk, one that looms over a modern man’s marriage.
Nevertheless, I cannot personally agree with Rollo’s above quote. Why? It’s simply not true for people of my religious background. I have familiarity with a fair number of traditional people; exactly zero of them have been in divorce court. None seem concerned with spousal abandonment. More than a few are of low SES status and thus more statistically prone to divorce, so it’s not that I travel in elite circles and am ignorant of the proletariat. Divorce is frankly not even a minor concern for traditional religious people.
This makes sense. For a traditional religious woman to divorce she must reject her extended family and entire community. She would become alienated from her (likely numerous) children. She would be a public disappointment, an embarrassment to everyone she knows. Women, unlike many men, are sensitive to social pressure, so divorce simply doesn’t happen often in these communities.
In Rollo’s interview (which is worth listening to, by the way) he is asked: “What’s the most important trait you as a man can display to prevent [a wife] from going feral?” I was once again dumbfounded at the underlying assumption. Is there really such an outrageous expectation of male performance today? Is it now a man’s purview to prevent his wife from destroying her own marriage? Divorce is certainly not in a woman’s best genetic interest in nearly every case, since her fertility window is tight and modern culture is very K-strategy focused. Single mothers may have raised Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, but they are far more likely to visit their kid in prison than the White House. And they know it.
So why do modern women so often go feral? It can’t be traditional female nature; traditional women don’t behave this way at all. Seen many Amish feminists lately? Me neither. My hypothesis: The modern loss of female fidelity is an organic reaction to below replacement birth rates. Modern women intuit they are going extinct* and this triggers a subconscious yet frantic quest for a fruitful mate.
I’m inclined to this explanation since it handles the data while avoiding fuzzy psychological, religious, or moral guesswork. For every childless woman in a tribe, it’s a plain fact that another woman must crank out 4.2 children just to break even (only 7% of women of childbearing age are currently doing so). Natural selection would likely evolve a feral response for unfruitful women since empty wombs are a first-order death knell of any culture. Visit Southern California for pointers. Brush up on your Spanish first.
Having children is a woman’s primary raison d’être. She either breeds at replacement or vanishes into the dustbin of history. Empty wombs (especially amid the extreme wealth of today) should cause modern women to go feral. Men, however, are not encoded to so panic, having evolved to find meaning and purpose as worker bees for the tribe (e.g. soldiers). This enables their brothers, extended family, and tribe to march on to genomic victory.
The battle between the sexes has clearly heated up to epic levels. Men have responded to the challenge of women’s unilateral control of family with a brilliantly effective scorched earth tactic: boycotting the husbanding of children and family while taking sex whenever possible. Subconsciously men believe all is genetically well, since they are having sex and that’s enough for r-strategy survival. For this reason, men’s happiness versus women’s has been increasing over the last decade. What’s not for him to like? Less work, more varied sex options, and no family obligations.
Women, undeniably barren, are driven into unhappy desperation. As a final insult, they are expected to work outside the home and can’t help but subconsciously note migrants populating the gaps left by their own lack of children. For most men this culture, while worth enjoying, is certainly not worth fighting for. So they sit poolside, having accepted and even embraced the status quo.
*US Census shows 42% of women of childbearing age currently have no children. 22% have two, 17% one, 12% three, and 7% four or more. That means only 1/5 of women today have yet to dodge the ignominy of the Darwin Award. Interestingly, nearly all of the traditional women I know (who eschew divorce, natch) are in that final 7%. Having won the genetic lottery, why go feral? Domesticated animals rarely leave the warm farm if the farmer is feeding and breeding them well.