[This post is a continuation of my post here. Consider this the equivalent of a Sunday Scripture post.]
For over a month I have been mulling something that I read over at 80 Proof Oinomancy:
See, one of the hardest things for “Nice Guys” to understand is this:
Healthy women like pain.
[DON’T CONFLATE PAIN WITH ABUSE.]
It’s a feature; not a bug.
If they didn’t, humanity would’ve died out, long ago.
[Birthing, being what it is, and kids being pains while breast-feeding, and all.
Chalk yet another one up for the Book of Genesis.]
The source was Ace’s post, “That’s why I cut you just to heal you.” The whole post, short as it is, is worth reading in full (as Ace’s pretty much always are).
Since I read it oh so many weeks ago, I have been trying to formulate my own thoughts on what Ace is trying to describe. I definitely feel he is on to something here. I disagree about his use of the word pain, however. A more fitting word exists, in my opinion. To borrow from myself, it is not so much pain as suffering that is at play here. All pain is suffering, certainly, but not all suffering is pain. Suffering conveys the proper breadth of what is involved.
You see, healthy women “like” suffering.
I put quotations around like because it is not a conscious desire, but an unconscious one. Something deep down inside them recognizes that a certain amount of suffering is to be expected, is natural even. As Ace alludes to, this draws from Genesis:
16 To the woman he said,
“I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children,
yet your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”
One consequence (among many) of Original Sin is that women will experience greater pain/suffering as a result of bearing and rearing children. I would argue that an expectation of this is “baked into” their genetics.
This leads us to the modern day, and the theory behind this post. The problem is that in the present age women are more coddled than they have ever been. They are, especially in the West and in families not at the bottom of the SES ladder, further removed from suffering than ever before. The level of comfort in the civilized world has never been higher. True suffering, true sacrifice, is alien to most women growing up. Most parents take care to keep their children from having to suffer, often by ensuring as much comfort as possible.
While I certainly understand this behavior on the part of parents, it is at the same time utter folly. Suffering can never really be escaped. It will always be present, and I will use a future post to go into that in further detail. What matters for this post is that this coddling approach is a disaster. Why?
Simple: Women expect suffering in their life- it is the natural thing. [Think about the vast majority of human history- filled with suffering for pretty much everyone.] When women are too comfortable, when suffering is absent from their life, then it sends a message to their unconscious mind that something is wrong, that what they are living is an unnatural life. That message of unnaturalness will only be repeated over the years as they grow up. They will know, somewhere deep down inside, that something is wrong. Unfortunately, because this is unconscious, they won’t know what it is, exactly, that is wrong.
This will, naturally enough, lead them to feel miserable. The misery is only made worse because they won’t understand it. It will gnaw on their mind incessantly, like an itch you can’t quite reach.
I suspect that part of the reason that women act so crazy in the west today is because of this. Using that itch analogy I just mentioned- women act crazy because they are trying to scratch that itch. Only they don’t quite know how- so they do so in extreme ways. Again, deep down inside they know they should be suffering, so they go out and make themselves suffer (without every truly understanding that is what they are doing).
Fixing our broken culture will take a lot (and perhaps cannot even be done at this point). But whether we fix it, or build a new one, I would argue that if we want it to be sustainable then we need that future to be far less comfortable.
[Feel free to have at me in the comments. Even with almost two months of thinking, this theory is still far rougher than I would like.]