Market Analysis: Adjustments And Imbalances

My last significant post generated quite a lot of discussion, which was a plus. I want to thank my readers for keeping it civil. That makes my job that much easier. With it out of the way, I want to make a bit of a clarification of my own stance on the matter.

I ended my post Stock Imbalance with this:

Who has it harder in the marriage market: devout and serious minded Christian men, or devout and serious minded Christian women?

Can we even tell? And does it even matter?

I offered some responses to the first two questions earlier. But today I want to tackle the third. You see, I think that the imbalances do matter, and they should be talked about, if discussing them can help lead to solutions.

Description without prescription helps no one in my opinion. At best it leads us into a time sink. At worst it creates bitterness and mistrust. I might still be wasting time, but I think that trying to look for solutions to the problems in the market is still worthwhile.

Perhaps only personal solutions can be found- those that work at an individual level. That is something, at least.

But maybe solutions on a larger scale are possible. Perhaps that is merely at the level of a family, or maybe a particular church. Yet that will still be significant for the community in question. And you never know, it might be possible to sow the seeds of a long-term solution at some point. To set something in motion which will reap significant dividends in the end.

It might be just a fool’s hope, but it is better than nothing. Certainly I find it a better alternative to quiet despair.

So I intend to continue on with this line of inquiry- an examination of the marriage market, and a delving into possible methods of correcting the many problems that exist. My readers are more than welcome to chime in and add their own thoughts if they so desire. And if anyone finds this pointless, well, he or she can always sit it out.

Update: Just so I am crystal clear- at this point I don’t really care who has it better. What I do care about is imbalances- that is, forces which favor or disfavor men or women within the market. My goal is to discuss them with the hopes of eliminating as many forces that disfavor, and spreading around or boosting those forces which favor. I look on the situation as a case where a rising tide lifts all boats.

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Selected Sunday Scriptures- #129

In light of last week’s post, and the fact that this is Lent, we start today’s post off with another passage from the Book of Sirach:

Do not desire a multitude of useless children,
    nor rejoice in ungodly sons.
If they multiply, do not rejoice in them,
    unless the fear of the Lord is in them.
Do not trust in their survival,
    and do not rely on their multitude;
for one is better than a thousand,
    and to die childless is better than to have ungodly children.
For through one man of understanding a city will be filled with people,
    but through a tribe of lawless men it will be made desolate.
Many such things my eye has seen,
    and my ear has heard things more striking than these.

In an assembly of sinners a fire will be kindled,
    and in a disobedient nation wrath was kindled.
He was not propitiated for the ancient giants
    who revolted in their might.
He did not spare the neighbors of Lot,
    whom he loathed on account of their insolence.
He showed no pity for a nation devoted to destruction,
    for those destroyed in their sins;
10 nor for the six hundred thousand men on foot,
    who rebelliously assembled in their stubbornness.
11 Even if there is only one stiff-necked person,
    it will be a wonder if he remains unpunished.
For mercy and wrath are with the Lord;
    he is mighty to forgive, and he pours out wrath.
12 As great as his mercy, so great is also his reproof;
    he judges a man according to his deeds.
13 The sinner will not escape with his plunder,
    and the patience of the godly will not be frustrated.
14 He will make room for every act of mercy;
    every one will receive in accordance with his deeds.

(Sirach 16:1-14)

Last week the topic of children as a liability was raised. It is clear that Ben Sira regarded children as something that could be either a blessing or a curse. If they turn out well, then they are a blessing of the greatest nature. But if they turn out wicked- well, you better watch out. God find no joy or happiness in wicked offspring.  In fact, he makes clear through the Prophet Malachi what he wants:

 Has not the one God made and sustained for us the spirit of life?And what does he desire? Godly offspring. So take heed to yourselves, and let none be faithless to the wife of his youth.

(Malachi 2:15)

So parents have a special responsibility that they face- raising children in righteousness. As much as I want to, and feel called to marry and have children, I can appreciate the fact that my responsibilities are that much lighter without either.

St. Paul agrees that this responsibility exists, and in his first Letter to Timothy explains that it is part of the process of sanctification for mothers:

15 Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.

(1 Timothy 2:15)

St. John Chrysostom explains in his homily concerning 1 Timothy 2 that this applies to fathers and mothers alike:

Hear this, you fathers and mothers, that your bringing up of children shall not lose its reward. This also he says, as he proceeds, Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children.1 Timothy 5:10 Among other commendations he reckons this one, for it is no light praise to devote to God those children which are given them of God. For if the basis, the foundation which they lay be good, great will be their reward; as great, if they neglect it, will be their punishment. It was on account of his children that Eli perished. For he ought to have admonished them, and indeed he did admonish them, but not as he ought; but from his unwillingness to give them pain he destroyed both himself and them. Hear this, you fathers, bring your children up with great care in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Children are indeed a blessing. But like all the blessing of God, they place a responsibility upon us to use them rightly. Failing to do so brings us not further blessing, but condemnation. Our Lord and Savior explained it thus:

14 “For it will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property; 15 to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and he made five talents more. 17 So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’

(Matthew 25:14-30)

This last parable is one that I try to keep at heart at all times. God has given me much, and expects much from me. We are called to be fruitful in our lives, not barren like the Fig tree. At least, not unless we want to end up like it.

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Market Analysis: Stock Imbalance

Today’s post comes as a follow-up to a debate between Zippy and Deti in my post Market Watch. Given the amount of talking past each other, and the fact it was derailing that post, I decided a new one was appropriate. This post will let them, myself  and others answer the questions that were raised. At least, that is my hope.

I will begin by quoting a question that Zippy was trying to address:

What I am interested in is whether women who are trying to do the right thing have an easy time of it compared to men who are trying to do the right thing.

This was, in my view, the best example of that question which he raised. He put it several different ways, but I think that version is the easiest to understand.

Deti had his own set of questions:

  • if women really aren’t satisfied with all this casual sex they’re having, why are they having it?
  • If the casual sex they have is so unsatisfying and they want something else, what are they doing to change such that they don’t have to have all this unsatisfying casual sex (but continue to have, nonstop)?
  • And if casual sex is so unsatisfying, then what would satisfy them?
  • And if something other than casual sex would satisfy them more, why don’t they go get it? Or at least, why don’t they NOT do things they claim are so unsatisfying?

Any other questions they have, which they would like people to try and answer, they can mention in the comments below. I will bring them up here and mention them in the main post if I feel it appropriate.

With all of that out of the way, let me try and answer these questions myself.

Let’s begin with Zippy’s:

What I am interested in is whether women who are trying to do the right thing have an easy time of it compared to men who are trying to do the right thing.

His is fairly simple. I think the answer is that both of them have such a terrible time of it that it is impossible to tell who, if anyone, has it worse.

Something important to note is that Zippy is looking at the market as a whole, which effectively moves the real question to moral agency and the ability/likelihood of choosing what is good over what isn’t. It isn’t about who can marry, or even marry well. Just how easy it is do to what is right- which can include marrying or not marrying. With those parameters, I think men and women are on equally awful footing.

Now, if one were to alter Zippy’s question (and it would be an alteration), towards asking whether men or women have an easier time when it comes to marrying right, then my answer would change somewhat.  In the past I have said that women had it easier. However, as time has passed I’ve reconsidered this. Originally it was a more significant advantage comparatively, although insignificant in an objective lens. it lessened over time, with teh advantage mostly owing to the lower number of marriage-worthy women as compared to men (again, comparatively- absolute numbers are something else). Nowadays I am not sure this is true. Enough men might be dropping out of the market entirely that this has changed.

Now to try and answer Deti’s questions. I will tackle them in order.

  1. A lot depends on the meaning we attach to “satisfaction”. And of course, who we are talking about. However, if we assume just temporary sexual gratification, and women as a general aggregate, then women probably are getting some satisfaction. However, it is not to the level of what they want. They want more satisfaction. Remember, they are women- only the best will do (I jest, I jest). As for why they have it- because they are fools, and to borrow a metaphor, they are throwing good money after bad. They don’t know where else to look for true satisfaction/fulfillment.
  2. They are trying to weed out as many unworthy men as possible from the SMP. Oh, and they are also trying to sabotage each other, too.
  3. Fried Ice. No, in all seriousness the answer depends on who we are talking about again. If it is women as an aggregate, it would be to have a top tier men all to herself. And to be able to toss him if bored or he loses top tier status.
  4. Many possible answers. Perhaps they are lazy. Perhaps they don’t know, or cannot think of anything other/better. Maybe I should let this one go…

And with that, I leave the floor open to others to take there stab at these questions, and related ones.

Who has it harder in the marriage market: devout and serious minded Christian men, or devout and serious minded Christian women?

Can we even tell? And does it even matter?

Go ahead and add your own.

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Deep Strength’s Advice On How To Make It Happen

DS has a new post up that I think is appropriate and worthwhile reading given the overall discussion taking place in various parts of the Christian ‘sphere at this time. He calls it Make it happen. Go on over and give it a read. I might offer some of my own thoughts later if time permits.

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Selected Sunday Scriptures- #128

Today’s first passages comes from the book of Sirach. I was inspired to use it thanks to this comment by Gunner Q about how daughters should be viewed as a potential liability. He is not the first to make this observation:

A daughter keeps her father secretly wakeful,
    and worry over her robs him of sleep;
when she is young, lest she do not marry,
    or if married, lest she be hated;
10 while a virgin, lest she be defiled
    or become pregnant in her father’s house;
or having a husband, lest she prove unfaithful,
    or, though married, lest she be barren.
11 Keep strict watch over a headstrong daughter,
    lest she make you a laughingstock to your enemies,
a byword in the city and notorious among the people,
    and put you to shame before the great multitude.

(Sirach 42:9-11)

An exchange started to develop in my most recent post. Lest it get any worse, I quote from this part of the gospel of Matthew as a refresher course:

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

(Matthew 7:1-5)

Finally, these words of hope in the Lenten season:

16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once regarded Christ from a human point of view, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

(2 Corinthians 5:16-21)

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Market Watch

In my previous post, A Poor Example,  I mentioned a post that Scott and Elspeth wrote about how June Cleaver might be unmarriageable right now. What I want to do with this post is make a series of observations based on what they mentioned in their post, as well as in the comments. I will likely expand on it over time, as I have a chance to re-read the comments. This won’t be an in-depth post, but rather more of a list with perhaps a comment or two of my own.

So here are some of my observations:

  • The Market for devout Christians, men and women alike, is awful. I wrote previously on this topic in my Market Failure series of posts. You can read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 via the links. As for who has it worse, I think that is mostly an academic exercise. My gut says men more than women, but not by a huge amount.
  •  Geography play a huge role in the difficulties of the marriage market right now. Different geographic locations are more or less favorable to men or women. My suspicion is that where I live the ratio between marriageable men and women heavily tilts to men, and that of course makes the market tougher for men.
  • Demographics also plays a significant role. As various Christian groups have splintered, and there is even more separation in belief within groups, the overall pool of eligible mates has dropped precipitously. So while absolute numbers might be up, the actual pool is perhaps smaller than it has been for perhaps even centuries.
  • Most Christian parents are not raising devout Christian children. Much less marriageable ones.
  • Young men are much less interested in marriage than they were in the past. Having a few more years under my belt since I started blogging, I have seen this more and more. Younger men are just less interested in marriage. The why of this is worthy of a whole post of its own.
  • Too many people are doing too little to make marriage happen these days. Marriage needs to be a matter for the whole community.

 

Also, the answer to this:

Is it possible that parents of the last several generations, responding to the cultural cues from blue-pill pastors and other sources have raised both sex children to be pretty useless at “traditional” marriage, and therefore a different approach to finding matches for them may be required?

…is yes and yes.

More to come as I think on it.

Update: A few more observations-

  • The market is seriously hampered by the amount of deception going on. The worst lies, from what I have seen, tend to be those that people tell themselves. Self-deception makes hit harder to diagnose problems, among other ills.
  • Introverts and shy people are especially vulnerable in the market right now. Given how few effective venues there are for meeting eligible mates, each one has to count that much more. For introverts, that is much more difficult.
  • I am among the most the most “pro-marriage” of guys in the Christian manosphere. At least as it applies to my own life. Only a couple might be at the same level as me, such as Deep Strength. I don’t know if that was the case originally, but it seems to be the case now. And even despite my subjective “gun-ho” approach I am still very cautious.

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A Poor Example

I have been reading with some interest this post over at Scott’s blog. The comments in particular have made for fascinating reading. It has been something of an encapsulation of years of discussion in the ‘sphere in just one comment thread.

I am still trying to put together my own response to the post. My suspicion is that it will result in several separate posts, as there is a lot to cover. But before I go there, I want to make an observation about myself and my own writing.

One of the problems in my writing that has plagued me since the beginning of my time in the ‘sphere has been projection. I have projected far too much of myself into assessing how others (mostly men), would act or react in different situations. That is a problem because, as the post title suggests, I am a poor example.

I am abnormal. Heck, even for the manosphere I am abnormal. I am an outlier among outliers. Which means, frankly, that any advice I give is suspect if it is based on an assumption of what a man other than myself would do.

This has held me back from a lot of writing, especially when it comes to advice. I used to do that often in the beginning. With all of that in mind, I won’t bother trying to give advice any more. I don’t think it can really help anyone.

However, I would like to think that I am good at analyzing systems. So when I get a chance I will try and apply that skill to what is discussed in Scott’s post and comments.

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