Different Room, Same Building

[Or otherwise called “Different Faith Tradition, But Same Culture”]

Reader and Commenter Patrick recently left a link to a Catholic blog which goes by the name Traditional Catholic Femininity. The link was for a post titled “Shortage of Marriageable Prospects Among Traditional Catholics.”

To warn everyone, it is a long post. Too long even to even just cut quote from. So I will make an effort to summarize it, if only poorly. All the same, it would be best to read the whole thing. Here is my attempt at a TLDR version:

First off, we have the quotes from another post that are the foundation-

  • Too many Catholic women cannot marry, or at least marry well, because there is a real shortage of good, marriageable Catholic men.
  • This shortage is because Catholic men think they are ready but are not, and need to seriously up their game.

At this point the proprietress of the blog chimes in, and offers the following:

  1. The solution to the problem is for Catholic women to marry older men, preferably 10-15 years older and at least 35.
  2. Because women mature faster than men women will find men their age to be immature, so to find mature men they need to look at older men.
  3.  All of this means that men are just not ready to be married before their 30s in any way.
  4. If you marry an older men he will love you more for it, and be less likely to cheat/abandon you, etc.
  5. Men choose mates based on youth and beauty, and women chose mates based on the physical and material security he can provide.
  6. This dynamic is proven to work! Look at Joseph and Mary! And see what happened with Adam and Eve!
  7. Don’t marry a man just because he is hot, marry because he is able to provide, otherwise don’t marry at all
  8. Younger men need to work hard, build themselves up, become leaders, etc.
  9.  If you are a younger man and you think you are ready for marriage, you are fooling yourself. You just want a housekeeper you can have sex with.
  10.  Only a handful of men who are young are there. Most of the rest of you are losers. Fix yourselves up.
  11.  If you are concerned about sexual sin, that just means you are weak and lack self discipline. Learn to control yourself. If you can’t then you are just basically a sexual predator.
  12. Oh, and women are attracted to a disciplined and self-controlled man.

That is gist of it.

So what do I think of the post? Well, I think that Elspeth, in her comment to that post, said it well: “This whole screed is filled with bad logic and inconsistencies.”

It is bad. Really, really bad. I mean, where to begin?

You have the standard men bad, women good trope. It disguises itself somewhat by saying it is merely about younger men being immature, but really, it is

You have a misunderstanding about the maturation rates of women and men. The author seems to think it simply means men are slow- rather than understanding it means that men can continue to mature past where women do.

You have a misunderstanding about what women find attractive in men, in a bad way. All of the focus on “Beta traits”, while completely ignoring or down-playing the “Alpha” or Attractive traits.

You have a misunderstanding of both Mary and Joseph’s marriage, as well as Adam and Eve’s.

The author takes time to repeatedly trash younger men. I don’t know about my readers, but I sensed real disdain here. Like visceral disdain.

Oh, and of course a complete misunderstanding of, and a downplaying of, male sexuality.

And did I mention that none of this is founded in Scripture or the writings of the Fathers of the Church or Saints?

So yeah, bad.

Mind you, the advice for women to marry older men is well-intentioned, so there is that. Unfortunately, few will actually listen to this advice, so it doesn’t accomplish much. Instead this post, rather than coming across as advice to women, seems much more like an exercise in bashing men.

And that is where the post’s title comes from. Not that there was ever any doubt, but Catholics, even Big T “Traditional” ones, still swim in the same culture as other Christian faith traditions. And that culture carries with it some of the things I mentioned above. The particular expression might vary, but the ingredients are the same, if you will.

Of course, my readers might have their own thoughts on the subject. I encourage them to off their ideas in the comments below.


Filed under APE, Attraction, Christianity, Courtship, LAMPS, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Men, Red Pill, Sexual Strategies, The Church, Tradition, Women

11 responses to “Different Room, Same Building

  1. At 32, you’d think I’d be all for an age gap. And sure, I am now. But that’s a safety valve, a failsafe. It would have been better for all had I married young.

    I think a useful model to use is risk. The 420-egg (as opposed to million-dollar) question is: will this dude succeed?

    Hard to tell. Really hard to tell. So hard that women often don’t even try and come up with an answer, but cheat off their neighbor with preselection.

    So I get the “demand a fully-formed dude” ethos. Rather than bet on a guy, go for the one who’s already won.

    There are two problems with this.

    From a holistic perspective, it’s extractive rather than cooperative. A woman’s encouragement, trust, and respect can do wonders for a young man. Instead, that light gets put under a bushel.

    “But screw men, right? I mean, who cares? Only the best for my princess!” But from a purely self-interested view, impoverishing the market and trying to skim the best of it is not a good idea. It works in the short term, but when the music stops, as Dalrock has detailed with his “Weakened Signal,” then things will get ugly.

    But back to risk. The solution to the “which dude do I bet on?” problem is:

    1. Invest, rather than speculate. Marry young.
    2. Fathers are much better-equipped to judge a young man’s trajectory than the young woman.
    3. Accord males automatic status to satisfy hypergamy for young wives.

    That’s the freebee for any young women or fathers of young women reading. For single men, all I can say is: they that wait upon the Lord shall not be ashamed.

  2. they that wait upon the Lord shall not be ashamed.

    Yeah, we who wait upon the Lord will ultimately be rewarded. But dont kid yourself that God is going to play matchmaker for us all eventually.

  3. Maybe I’m biased because as an old millennial I like the age gap idea so I glossed over the other stuff. But I went back and reread it, and I still find I don’t mind the other stuff much. I can see how the it does sleight younger men, but I dont really see why a younger man would be bothered by it. It would certianly be dumb to think as a matter of principle that a man in his early 20s can’t be a man. I don’t think it focuses only on beta traits though. Overall I still like it because a man in his early 20s wouldn’t be bothered by it unless he felt convicted and no woman in her early 20s or late teens would probably follow that advice if she met a good-looking Don Juan of Austria. So it does theoretically open more options for a girl looking to marry. In big families it’s not that weird either because people still have newborns in their late 30s so they are in their late 50s and may have a son in law in his 30s married to theor daughter in her 20s. I can see how it might be weird to have a son in law who is basically your same age married to your daughter.

  4. Pingback: Time in the Age of Boomers | I Heard The Old Man Say

  5. I don’t have time to read thr original AND comment here, so I’ll just comment here.

    The best natutal law philosophers, Aristotle and Plato, would agree on her age gap. It maximizes the husbands ability yo provide and lead because at that time he should have a career and operate a good, healthy household. However, their idea of a household involved slaves (employees aren’t far off from what was originally meant), would own land, have the most honor and prestige they were likely to get while still having energy to have children. They’d have experience teaching others skills and with discipline.

    However, our society is no where near that ideal. We’re in a religious warzone where prevailing culture has been weaponized against us. While yes, an older man knows how to keep his family better than a younger one, the wolves are devouring the young men left out in the cold right now. Right now the main, nearly only way, for them to get respect and exert themselves in a masculine way is in family life. The armed forces don’t work like they used to for the expression of pent up masculine energy. As a tradesman, even we are getting more under the thumb of government, culture, and society while also less able to earn enough of a living to provide for a large family. The only way I will be able to do so is starting my own company.

    Anyways, that’s my overall response – stop shooting our own and get back to the trenched!

  6. *back to the trenches

  7. Yes, the post was full of bad logic, and I say this as someone who is not at all opposed to a reasonable age gap between man and wife. My 45-year-old husband isn’t particularly interested in a 40=year-old son in law, but he would be fine with a 35-year-old son in law. that would make a 12-year-age gap.

    That said, I have known and loved plenty of men who had wives 10 years or more younger and it didn’t stop them from straying. Repeatedly. I’ve known men -including mine- married to women of roughly the same age who have not strayed. And whose wives have not been resigned to a sexless marriage because he suddenly bored of her. The Bible -and a bit of common sense attention to details- gives us plenty of insight on how to keep the love of our husbands alive and well.

    To move from “young men who burn [God made them that way] have no sexual control and need to cool off and wait” to “a 44-year-old man with a 40-year-old wife is suddenly going to be so overcome with desire for 20-year-olds that he won’t be able to control himself” is blatantly contradictory. We’re not going blame or shame that unfaithful 44-year-old man but we ARE going to blame and shame the 24-year-old man for the way God made him.

    If Catholicism teaches that Mary and Joseph’s marriage was never consummated, then what bearing does THAT have on the arguments presented? And since God made Eve expressly for Adam, is God then to blame for whatever mysterious inside knowledge someone has that their marriage was a horrid one? It’s not as if either one of them chose their mate.

    Those are just a couple of the obvious logical inconsistencies, and Chad is right. I have seen young men mature quickly and impressively when presented the challenge of leading and building a family. My husband was one of those. In this cultural climate, men who don’t have families are less likely to be laying the kind of foundation that will prepare them to suddenly be ready for a family at age 35. We don’t live in that world anymore, as he noted.

    Without the family as motivation, most men are doing the same things at 35 that they were doing at 20. The exact same thing goes for most women, by the way. The women are more likely to have a degree, but most aren’t really exercising the emotional, spiritual, and financial discipline required to be ready to nurture a family either.

  8. @Elspeth

    Yes, those are all direct hits.

    I did think the Adam and Eve thing seemed off, but interesting, beccause I’ve heard many people discuss Adam’s sin as a man’s failure to protect his family.

    Working for myself has been one of the best things I’ve ever done for several reasons, despite making less money for the past 3 years than I would have earned as an employee.

  9. Novaseeker

    In this cultural climate, men who don’t have families are less likely to be laying the kind of foundation that will prepare them to suddenly be ready for a family at age 35. We don’t live in that world anymore, as he noted.

    Without the family as motivation, most men are doing the same things at 35 that they were doing at 20. The exact same thing goes for most women, by the way.

    Yes, exactly.

    One issue is that the “signaling” for young men to develop themselves in their 20s has gone away by the delay in marriage. It was more reasonable to expect men to do that in the period from 18-25 when people were marrying around then and pairing off 1-2 years before then. It’s much less reasonable to expect men to do so when people are marrying around 30-33 and not pairing off for marriage until 28+. You’re asking for a much longer period of “doing without” and focusing on an eventual payoff that may not come, and is not attractive when it does come (marrying a 32 year old with baggage vs marrying a 23-24 year old). At some stage the incentives for young men shift away from building themselves up financially and professionally (leadership, responsibility etc) to be attractive long term mates (because the payoff there is so far way, if ever) and towards making themselves more attractive as nearer term companions so that they can be with women when they are in their 20s (i.e., focusing on appearance, lifting, social skills, etc.). When marriage gets delayed as much as it is getting delayed in our large metros today, the benefits for young men of spending their 20s investing in themselves get further and further away, and therefore less enticing, whereas other alternative ways of focusing their energy become simultaneously more attractive. The delay in marriage has changed the “signaling” to young men as to how to best exert their energies, I think, in ways that are going to lead to less family formation overall.

  10. smkoseki

    Wow, harsh post! I found the article off-putting and kind of autistic yet not as offensive as you. It made me chuckle to watch the author come to grip with the new reality of male disinvestment. Short version: Feminism and the legal risk for men having children has real consequences. Men are dropping out. Deal.

    The truth is we now have a serious lack of human marriage capital in both men and women at exactly the same time the culture and most family offers no support (and active hindrance).

    How I read this article: lamenting the lack of quality men that is entirely predictable. So I kinda liked it. Justice. So I looked for things I liked in the article (the parts not too off-putting or autistic). I agreed in part with this, for example: Women looking to get married, be sure to look for signs of leadership skills in a man. If he is not an executive, manager or even team leader of some sort at work, look to see if he is in some leadership role outside of work, ie in his hobbies or volunteer work. If this is absent, DO NOT DATE HIM. He would seriously lack the discipline, responsibility, self-control, maturity and ability to build anything serious with you, let alone to lead, protect and provide.

    Now, I don’t agree a man must be in some “leadership role” in the world before dating, but I can definitely see how a young woman lacks the wisdom to spot a natural leader for a relationship so she just looks for what she can’t mistake (show me the money kind of thing). And this works somewhat for women who lack brains. But I think she should be able to spot the aggressive/confident male that is so needed for today’s marriage, since male leadership and living “outside the box” is so needed today for family to thrive.

    Good to see you back DG.

  11. God doesn’t appear to be indifferent to appearance. He remarks on the attractiveness of men and women throughout the Bible. In the Song of Solomon in particular the Bride wasn’t thinking about her beloved’s bank account.

    Also, we can’t all be leaders lady, and just because a man is a leader doesn’t mean he should be. And the other way around as well, just because a man isn’t a leader doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be.

    Broadly speaking there are no easy answers, or even guidelines past a certain point. God is the only one that can guide us in those decisions particular to ourselves as individuals. I know the commandments, but what should I study, where should I work, who should I marry needs a connection to God. It’s the only way that it works and I think God knows we’re easily fuddled so He’ll make it clear enough.

    Back on topic, no you shouldn’t be an animal about it, but yes marriage is there as a sexual release according to Paul. Yes it can get out of proportion, but that is one of it’s purposes, which then leads to children ideally.

    Want me to earn more money? Me too! Man some women have no idea how business works. Even if you’re doing alright, you’re one piece of bad luck away from getting laid off or the calamities of an SBO. I was once laid off because our team had actually done too well; we finished ahead of schedule and the company didn’t have immediate work for us for at least several months. They did the math on salaries and laid off the whole office.But hey, poor men don’t deserve wives so there you go. Nobody exists in a context for this lady.

    Young women should marry older men in their mid thirties? I’m a reasonably shallow older man in my mid thirties myself so…I’ll let this one slide.

    We’re not gods. We can’t control our own circumstances with absolutely impunity. One of the greatest lies we tell young men is that with HardWorkTM they’ll be successful and if anything goes wrong it’s their own fault. If you actually care about the young men in your parish or diocese, how about you help them out. Not just advice, but throw an interview or an internship a brother’s way every now and again.

    Hard work usually isn’t the problem (not never, but in my experience the whole “young men don’t want to work” thing is basically false). It’s just hard when you have to eat last behind every victim group including women (the majority of the population) and then your elders turn around and tell you to fend for yourself.

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