Lowest Common Denominator

In today’s post I want to examine the subject of who “keeps” a nation’s morality. Given the state of moral decay in the West at the moment, and the overall mess that is the marriage market, I think it a topic worth exploring. Since it is a fairly broad subject, I will give considerable latitude to my readers in their responses. But at the same time I would ask that folks use common sense, and not abuse this privilege.

A number of figures have argued, and argue still, that women are the one’s who set the “moral tone” of a civilization. One such figure was Fulton Sheen, who said in Life is Worth Living:

“To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood.  When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.”

Others, including I think some around the ‘sphere, have argued the opposite. I do not have any quotes to provide at the moment, as I think this position is argued more by the commentariat than by most bloggers. But I know I’ve seen it.

Before I go on, I should clarify something. I am not examining the subject of which sex, male or female, is more “naturally virtuous.” Or which is more naturally civilized, or a greater fit for civilization, or some such. Rather, I am examining which sex sets the bar of morality in a civilization. In math terms, which is the lowest common denominator?

I do not think that Rev. Fulton Sheen was expressing above a belief that women are more naturally virtuous than men. Rather, he was stating that when women in a society are moral, it is likely that the men will be too. Conversely, the implication is that when men in a society are moral, women do not necessarily follow suite. [The argument that the men in a society can only be moral when the women are, and so the reverse stated before isn’t true, is a different argument altogether.]

As I see it, there are four mutually exclusive alternatives here: women set the bar, men set the bar, neither sets the bar (they are both independent of each other) or both set the bar (there is a casual link between the two in terms of moral level). I invite my readers to offer their thoughts on which they think is true.

Also, I think there can be a number of different possible factors which might be responsible for any bar setting that might occur. They are, in no particular order:

  • Inspiration- The moral character of one sex inspires the other to live a more virtuous life (perhaps in order to be “worthy” of them).
  • Reactivity- One sex might be more inclined by nature to mirror the moral character of the other sex (this is more instinctive than a deliberate choice)
  • Responsiveness to Leadership- One sex might be more inclined by nature to respond to moral leaders and their directions on the moral life. [If one sex is less responsive  than the other it is all the more essential that it be trained/raised properly when young.]

I am sure there are more, but those are the ones that I could think of in short order.

While I am one who loves intellectual discovery for no other purpose than curiosity, something else is driving me here. If one sex is naturally more influential when it comes to the moral character of a people, than it stands to reason that more care needs to be exerted raising that sex while young. After all, a misallocation of time (that most precious of resources) could have lasting effects on the virtue of a civilization. And even if time is spent, it if is spent poorly it will still have deleterious effects. Perhaps even leading to collapse, in the end.

And with those dark thoughts I invite my readers to step forward and voice their own.

 

 

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62 Comments

Filed under Blue Pill, Marriage Market Place, Men, Moral Agency, Red Pill, Sexual Market Place, Sin, Temptation, Women

62 responses to “Lowest Common Denominator

  1. MK

    DG, I am curious what you mean by “hit the marriage wall hard.”

    They found if chaste women didn’t marry before 25 yo they prob wouldn’t, while women who put out married ok.

    DG, MK is suggesting is that they see their high value and think they deserve an apex, top tier men.

    I posit they make two errors: they equate male and female virginity, and overvalue both.

    DG, the ratio of men to women does impact the MMP

    I live in a male-heavy area; that’s not it. Honestly, I’m perplexed.

    feeriker, Bennies that they are not about to give up. This is why there has been no serious opposition to feminism by western women and never will be.

    Any “serious opposition” is happening within culture, not law. Look at the M/F happiness ratio. Look at the plunging US fertility rate (1.88; for whites it’s lower). These changes are real. Women still crave babies/families when their rutting phase is over and just expect it to “happen”. Hey, it did for mom! But men worth marrying are wising up, using contraception religiously, and looking out for #1. Feminist moms have pissed in their daughter’s mating pool. It’s now extremely hard for a woman to “marry up” now: the non-divorced, 30 yo, fit, confident, well-off man stupid enough to have kids? A god to women. The tighter feminists squeeze the culture, the more men slip through their fingers.

  2. @MK @deti @elspeth

    Aside from religious moral imperatives, is there any reason for a man in the contemporary culture to marry someone who is waiting till marriage? Seems to me that chances are you’ll end up with a frigid wife that way.

  3. MK

    blockquote>Sir: Aside religious morals, any reason a man in contemporary culture to marry someone waiting till marriage? Frigid wife?

    Sure. A woman not willing to wait sets her own sexual value: very low. But in contemporary culture, sex does have low value, so I see your point. Agree on the rigid part. Women evolved psychologically to bond and imprint young. Anything else is playing with fire.

  4. Aside from religious moral imperatives, is there any reason for a man in the contemporary culture to marry someone who is waiting till marriage? Seems to me that chances are you’ll end up with a frigid wife that way.

    It would seem to me that a man who pursues a religious woman with this conviction would possess an equal conviction and feel grateful for fidning such a woman rather than viewing her conviction as a sign of things to come.

    It seems to me that women aren’t the only ones who want fried ice. How many times have I read here that women who have engaged in premarital sex are a bad bet for pair bonding and will will eventually sentence a man to a sexless marriage? Now you say a chaste single woman will also doom a man to a sexless marriage. Danged if she does, danged if she doesn’t. A girl can’t win can she?

    I would submit that how a woman views sex is in no small part “imprinted” by how her mother taught her to view sex. Fortunately for my future sons in law, wherever they may be, our daughters know that their parents have a strong connection, that their mother is into their father *like that* and that sex in marriage is a blessing, something to look forward to. It’s certainly not worth cheapening by giving in to some guy -who may or may not marry her- just to prove to him that she won’t be a frigid wife. In fact, that mindset is a surefire way to build the kind of attitude into her about him that just might lead to a sexless marriage.

  5. @elspeth

    It seems to me that women aren’t the only ones who want fried ice. How many times have I read here that women who have engaged in premarital sex are a bad bet for pair bonding and will will eventually sentence a man to a sexless marriage?

    To be clear, I’m not religious and I don’t think women who have engaged in premarital sex are a bad bet. My preference is for women who’re clearly sexually attracted to me and a strong sex drrive (as proven in a “test drive” so to speak). I don’t begrudge them having had sex with men in the past, provided they’ve been selective about it.

    I do think this issue is relevant to y’all though, as it drives to the heart of the complaints by females here that women who are waiting till marriage have a hard time. And I think a lot of that is due to the current environment. In the past, marrying such a chaste woman meant rolling the dice wrt. attraction and sex drive, but it wasn’t particularly worsening the chances of ending up with a dead bedroom. Today, though, we’re seeing two major phenomena that make things different. First, premarital sex is highly normalized in the broader society and even to a large extent in traditional society. Second, marriage is happening at later and later ages. Thus, when a man marries a woman who has (successfully) waited till marriage, he’s selecting a woman who likely was sufficiently disinterested in sex to be able to put it off this long. There will be exceptions, but the odds will be bad, which is particularly problematic if divorce is not an option. Hence why most religious men also take part in the race to the bottom by expecting premarital sex. Not sure how this pattern can be reversed.

  6. Thus, when a man marries a woman who has (successfully) waited till marriage, he’s selecting a woman who likely was sufficiently disinterested in sex to be able to put it off this long.

    This morning, I took this line of thought to a few young, unmarried chaste women who without hesitation replied (paraphrase of all three):

    “Why is it that people think that only men think about or desire sex? And doesn’t the Bible make it clear that women are owed a ‘marital debt’ of sex too? Sounds as if God knows that women desire sex as well. We see sex as something we get to do when we get married, not something we have to do And why do I have to have sex for a guy to know if I’m attracted to him? Won’t he be able to tell?”

    I also have it on good authority that a man can tell.

    I think that about sums it up, hope it answers your questions, and I will take my leave and stop pushing Donal’s post farther afield.

  7. MK

    Sir, Elsp, good comments. I learned some things. Thx.

    Sir: He’s selecting a woman who likely was sufficiently disinterested in sex to be able to put it off this long. Exceptions, but odds will be bad

    It’s worse from a religious man’s POV. It means she’s sufficiently disinterested in marriage/family to have been willing to bypass her prime fertility years without settling, or she’s got highish expectations. Thus marriage is much harder to obtain for a chaste woman than a sexually active one past 25 yo.

  8. Thus, when a man marries a woman who has (successfully) waited till marriage, he’s selecting a woman who likely was sufficiently disinterested in sex to be able to put it off this long.

    As a man who has held off thus far, and is not disinterested in sex, I call this a rather weak argument.

    I think that MK is correct in his most recent statement:

    It means she’s sufficiently disinterested in marriage/family to have been willing to bypass her prime fertility years without settling, or she’s got highish expectations.

    That was effectively the comment I was going to add. The two most likely reasons why there is a “wall” at 25 for chaste women is a lack of interest and expectations that don’t match with her MMV and the MMP itself. The latter is mostly internal. The second is both internal and external. The internal component comes from her lack of interest and lack of strong desire for marriage. The external aspect comes about when the men who might marry her either senses this and then back away (wisely so, I might add), or perceives this to be the case even when it isn’t (better safe than sorry). I have had to check that second instinct myself at times, although I think it is a valid one based on some of the conversation with women I’ve had or participated in when marriage is concerned.

  9. @ Sir Nemesis

    To briefly add one thing to Elspeth’s spot-on comments to you:

    Have you considered that by insisting on waiting until marriage to have sex, it could be because the woman in question views sex as something that is so intertwined to marriage that it can’t possibly be done outside of marriage without causing some major problems? And that by extension, that a woman who insists on waiting until marriage will therefore never even entertain the idea of having an affair during any point in the marriage, including during the rough times?

    Just because a woman isn’t going to have sex with you before marriage doesn’t mean she has no sex drive or isn’t attracted to you. It could mean that, sure. But not necessarily. You just need to look for signs that she is attracted to you, and that she does have a sex drive.

  10. It means she’s sufficiently disinterested in marriage/family to have been willing to bypass her prime fertility years without settling, or she’s got highish expectations.

    And…

    That was effectively the comment I was going to add. The two most likely reasons why there is a “wall” at 25 for chaste women is a lack of interest and expectations that don’t match with her MMV and the MMP itself. The latter is mostly internal. The second is both internal and external. The internal component comes from her lack of interest and lack of strong desire for marriage.

    Both of those arguments could be equally applied to chaste men over 25 who haven’t married. If what I just said causes any chaste man over 25 to balk, then you know how I reacted when reading those. You both should take a serious look at what it would be like for a woman in that position to try and marry in today’s environment and then rethink your comments that I quoted. Seriously.

  11. Cassie, no rethinking required. I am more than familiar with what it is like as a chaste man in this environment. And I’ve talked to a few chaste women. I know it is difficult.

    I suspect you are over-reading my comment. I was addressing the specific point of a supposed “wall” at 25 years of age that women seem to hit. I was trying to theorize possible reasons why it might be so. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is one for men. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if it was even more brutal for men.

  12. MK

    C, Just because a woman isn’t going to have sex with you before marriage doesn’t mean she has no sex drive. You just need to look for signs that she is attracted to you, and that she has a sex drive.

    Agreed. Marry a woman not hot for sex with me? Could. Not. Happen. I would absolutely know. One touch, one dance, would be enough.

    You should take a serious look at what it’s like for a woman in that position to try and marry in today’s environment & rethink

    I have zero illusions about the difficulty. I’ve often said it’s a war zone. Look, I’m not placing blame, just being realistic. It’s the world we live in. Men should seriously consider going overseas and must be prepared to lose everything, while women should marry the first man they can find and grin an bear it. I’m very sorry. There is no solution. We pay the penance for our parent’s sins, and the bill isn’t paid yet.

    DG, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is one for men. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if it was even more brutal for men.

    I would be surprised. Women have it worse; imagine being a 4-5 woman today? Men can reinvent themselves overnight from a 4 to a 6 easy. Women are slaves to their fertility so the wall looms for any woman at 25 when she isn’t yet aware of her desperation. Men peak at 30 and their wall is 45 at worst. IMO, men have it much easier because of the time lag, unless they knock some chick up and ruin their life.

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