June 12, 2007

A Forum to Discuss These Matters

Some time ago, one or more of my readers suggested that I start a forum to discuss many of the things I cover on my blog. Well, I haven't started a forum, but I know of a forum where some men are discussing the impact that feminism, misguided chivalry, etc. are having on religious men and churches. It should be a great place to discuss the Marriage Mandate Movement and other things that adversely affect men.

It's called Egghead's University and the address is here:

http://egghead.adamsspace.com/forum

You will have to register (it's free) to see all of the topics discussed.

13 Comments:

Blogger Jake said...

These types of forums always look promising, but wind up being disappointing because of how sparsely populated they are. A forum is really only worthwhile if there are enough people participating that there are several active, interesting threads receiving multiple posts per day. When I go to a site and see that most of the subforums have only 3-4 threads and most threads haven't been posted to in days, it doesn't exactly encourage participation.

6/13/07, 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Egghead said...

Unfortunately Jake, you've just described a vicious circle. If you notice no posts, then you don't post yourself, thereby perpetuating the lack of posts.

However, if you post something, you break that cycle, and just may start a whole discussion that needs to take place.

6/13/07, 2:29 PM  
Blogger wombatty said...

In her newest post, Debbie Maken takes to task those of her detractors that label her and her views feminist.

Here, I agree with her. I do not think Maken is at all a feminist; she is, however, very woman-centric. She exalts the concerns of women, transforming them into divine commands binding upon men. Meanwhile, she regularly dismisses the concerns of men, primarily by questioning the motives of those who express such concerns.

At one point, she declares:

It is not in my nature to leave faulty assumptions unchallenged. Weeding out the “gift of singleness” via my book is just the beginning. So, let us now deconstruct this floating myth [of the ‘feminine church’ chasing men away].

Yet, how does Maken react when others decide not to leave Maken’s own faulty assumptions unchallenged? Near the end of her post, she repeats this old canard:

It is easy to avoid personal responsibility for our personal choices that have caused perennial bachelorhood by pointing to Feminists, soft core feminism in Christian women, labeling women as men-haters or disrespectful the moment they suggest change or dare disagree, or by casting women as lacking a submissive, quiet, gentle spirit if they logically outline the flaws in a man’s argument.

So, those who challenge Maken on her faulty assumptions and her hostility towards single men are doing so only to ‘to avoid personal responsibility for [their] personal choices’.

Maken obviously lumps all those who have actually challenged her book into this category as she (even in this long post) has responded to only one substantive disagreement with her thesis, that of Kostenberger.

Allow me to paraphrase Maken:

It is easy to avoid dealing with the substance of your detractors’ arguments by pointing to sitcoms(!), immaturity, or avoidance of personal responsibility, labeling men as lazy or enjoying extended adolescence the moment they dare disagree with your book, or by casting men as lacking a spirit of leadership and biblical manhood if they logically outline the flaws in your argument.

She goes on:

Unlike many of my detractors, I am not going to try to avoid the merits of the argument by derailing the conversation into sidebar discussions of tone, admonishing any woman who dares to think critically and expose flawed reasoning of a man’s position as suffering from the lack of a soft, gentle, submissive spirit, or fabricated charges of Feminism.

Nonsense. She does exactly that; she ‘avoid[s] the merits of the argument by derailing the conversation into sidebar discussions’ of lack of leadership, immaturity, etc. on the part of men.

Where has Maken, anywhere, with the exception of Kostenberger, actually engaged the substance of her dissenters’ arguments?

At one point, in response to those who charge her, and her recommended approach to dealing with bachelors as disrespectful:

Women are only required to submit to their fathers or husbands, not to men in general. If men desire the submissiveness of women, they first have to be men to win the hand of a woman. They have to be leaders.

I agree here, but what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, Mrs. Maken. If women aren’t required to submit to men in general (e.g. only husbands, fathers, elders), then men aren’t required to lead women who aren’t their wives.

As with her book and many of her posts, Maken makes some fair points, but she fouls it up with her usual bilge.

It's kinda like being served a dish of beef & noodles with dishsoap gravy. There's good stuff in there, it's just that the soap ruins it.

6/18/07, 9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Allow me to paraphrase Maken:


You only paraphase her cause you can't deal with her own words.

Easy to argue with someone when you put words in their mouth.

6/18/07, 9:53 AM  
Blogger wombatty said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6/18/07, 11:58 AM  
Blogger wombatty said...

Anon:
-----------------
You only paraphase her cause you can't deal with her own words.

Easy to argue with someone when you put words in their mouth.
------------------

You've got to be kidding. Look 3 paragraphs above my paraphrase and you will see that I quoted the passage in Maken's post exactly.

You're implying that I'm a rephrasing Maken so as to weaken her argument in order to more easily refute her. Why, then, would I include the real quote?

The purpose of my paraphrase was simply to hold her to her own standard, which should have been obvious if you actually read my entire post.

Did you even read my paraphrase? It should have been obvious that I wasn't trying to pass it off as Maken's words.

I guess it's easy to argue with someone when you don't even read/comprehend their words.

6/18/07, 12:08 PM  
Blogger PuritanCalvinist said...

Wombatty,

I read the dialogue between Kostenburger and Maken, and I even recycled many of his arguments when I had my dialogue with her. However, as Kostenburger observed, she was very selective, and didn't really deal with the entirity of what he posted.

Where has Maken, anywhere, with the exception of Kostenberger, actually engaged the substance of her dissenters’ arguments?

I think she did so with me. Our discussion had the same flavor as the Maken-Kostenburger discussion until the very end. However, I had to agree with Kostenburger that, when you answered her objections, it was like she forgot that you had even written anything on the topic, and was very selective. I think she got rather frustrated towards the end, and got rather accusatory.

I think that Debbie Maken is willing to deal with the substance of dissenter's arguments against people who she doesn't think can handle her. When it is shown that they have heard her arguments before, and they can deal with them [such as Andreas Kostenburger showed], she starts going after motives, and starts running away. Remember, Dr. Kostenburger was not even trying to respond to Debbie Maken in his first post. He just mentioned her book in passing. However, after her "response" to Dr. Kostenburger, she said that her next response would be her last. I honestly don't think she expected Dr. Kostenburger to write such a forceful response.

In other words, if you have heard her arguments before, she assumes that there is no honest way you could ever reject them. When you show an honest reason why you do not accept her arguments, you get accused of things.

I think you guys also have to understand that this is completely linked to Debbie Maken's culture. As I am writing my book, I am finding that she has spun what the scripture says, and what the reformers have said to reflect what is found in Indian culture. If you read the writings of the reformers, scripture, etc., you will find that they use the same language as Indian culture, but have totally different meanings.

I suppose that, as long as people have these kinds of traditions that they will not test against the text of scripture, you are going to have to deal with this kind of stuff. I think this should teach us a lesson about the power of the tradition, and that we should constantly be conforming our beliefs to the word of God.

God Bless,
PuritanCalvinist

6/18/07, 2:54 PM  
Blogger wombatty said...

PC:
It's hard for me to believe that her disciples can't see this kinda stuff. She goes on and on about those who accuse her of being a feminist to discredit her and how they skirt the substance of her thesis (as if such are her only detractors). Then, in the next breath, she turns around and behaves the exact same way when she encounters informed dissent.

Re Kostenberger, I thought it was a bit funny how, in her first post responding to him, she said something to the effect of 'See, it only took one theologian's critique to draw me into the blogosphere', as if we should have expected her to sincerely engage her critics on a regular basis.

As you said, she seemed surprised at for force of his response and it didn't take her long to crawl back into her shell. I have to wonder if she even passsed her manuscript around to any competent theologians/exegetes before she had it published.

Engaging the objections that guys like Anakin and yourself have confronted her with should have been part of the writing/revision process. If it had been, she would/should have been ready to vigorously engage the opposition with substantive responses. Instead, we get a lot of evasion and ad hominem bilge.

6/18/07, 4:13 PM  
Anonymous someone said...

"It is easy to avoid personal responsibility for our personal choices that have caused perennial bachelorhood by pointing to Feminists, soft core feminism in Christian women, labeling women as men-haters or disrespectful the moment they suggest change or dare disagree, or by casting women as lacking a submissive, quiet, gentle spirit if they logically outline the flaws in a man’s argument."

"Unlike many of my detractors, I am not going to try to avoid the merits of the argument by derailing the conversation into sidebar discussions of tone, admonishing any woman who dares to think critically and expose flawed reasoning of a man’s position . . ."

I find these comments amusing. Maken seems to think that if she just keeps repeating the fact that she is "logical" and "dares to think critically," that somehow this will make it so. As others have observed, the fact that some of us simply don't find "the merits of [her] argument" all that impressive never seems to occur to her. On this count, she is just like the those detractors of hers who accuse her of being a feminist. She just repeats the same things over and over, apparently hoping that if people hear them long enough they will believe them.

Also, pertaing to the comment about my "personal responsibility" for my "perenial bachelorhood," I don't in fact blame women or feminists or anyone else in general for my state. Of course, unlike Debbie Maken, I don't happen to feel that there's anything wrong with my state and I don't happen to feel that it needs a justification. That's something Maken and her followers put on me, not the other way around. Life is complex, as are human relationships, and many of us both male and female simply haven't succeeded in our romantic pursuits. That's just life. Yet Maken insists on turning this into something insidious and evil. She insists that if we just tried hard enoguh, if we really wanted to succeed, we could just make it happen. She seems to be in denial about the our inability to control all things.

The real question is, "Can God still work in our lives, even if things don't turn out the way we want or think they should?" I think so. In fact, I think it is the essence of the gospel that, in Jesus, we can be called blessed, even if we don't get what we think we're supposed to have. That is the point of the beautitudes, as well as the general attitude of the New Testament. As far as I'm concerned, what Maken teaches is the opposite of this, and that is why I reject her teachings and always will.

6/19/07, 4:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maken is really betraying her legal background in the manner she presents her ideas.

She has a set of positions, backed up by scripture and her personal experience. She presents her case before you as the prosecutor going after men who are immature or not living up to biblical ideals. Truth isn't the goal. Winning her case and knocking down opponents arguments is the goal. That is why she is evasive and disingenuous. She doesn't wish to argue the points Anakin and others make; especially when her critics are right! Those small skirmishes detract from the winning of the case.

The sad part is what is being done to single women. Many of Debbie's most strident fans are living in areas where marriage rates are in free fall. In addition, there are precious few men in churches. So, if they take Maken's advice, they will be even MORE selective and MORE confrontational with the few men these women are meeting. As they grow older, these women will have sky-high expectations of their "future" husband and almost nobody to choose from.

When the supply is much smaller than the demand, it isn't the best time to dramatically increase one's requirements for variety, quality and even perfection.

I do appreciate that the fans of Maken are at least admitting they want a man who earns enough to take care of a family on his income alone; and that he must be a devout Christian, etc. It clarifies that Maken's book is really ONLY for women who want a man who will pay all the bills. Perhaps the second run of Maken's book could be called...

Getting Serious About Finding a Rich Husband, Rethinking the Acceptability of a Non-Rich Man.

Now that would be honesty.

6/19/07, 7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder about the Maken girls. Perhaps there is a split going on. Captain Sensible has a story posted about a poor couple in which the wife adores her poor husband.

Yet, Debbie and her other supporters are still suggesting that only successful men (in all areas) are worthy of marriage to these aging spinsters.

I'm confused.

6/19/07, 7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So now you define success as a man being able to take care of his wife.

That is the defination of a loser.

6/19/07, 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Of course, unlike Debbie Maken, I don't happen to feel that there's anything wrong with my state and I don't happen to feel that it needs a justification. That's something Maken and her followers put on me, not the other way around."

I think that is a very healthy attitude. You should not feel compelled to justify your singleness to Debbie or anyone else.

Being male, poor, or single is not sin, despite the seeming consensus of american, neo-christianity to the contrary.

Peace,

Patrick

6/21/07, 10:05 AM  

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