October 8, 2007

Anti-Male Sexism With a Halo

Boundless writer Candice Waters has recently penned an article on women undergoing cosmetic surgery. One comment she made has caught my eye:
Don't just blame opportunistic surgeons or idealized cultural standards. Much of the problem lies with men, and the women who try to please them. It's all about expectations.
Time out. I am getting sick and tired of hearing about how shallow men supposedly are. I doubt Candice has really thought about the ramifications of what she has said. Who, after all, fits into that category of people whom she has singled out (i.e., men)? What is she saying? That her father, her husband, any brothers she has, etc. are all shallow cads that only think of one thing? Oh no, of course not. Not those men. She was thinking of other men. Which men? She doesn't say. She just attacks men as a group and no one bats an eye. If a man did the same against women, he would be labeled a misogynist.

But perhaps there is a trend among men to be unrealistic about how women should look. So I ask: Does Candice have some sort of research that shows that men, for the most part, expect their wives to look like porn queens, or does she like to take unproven, feministic assertions about men as gospel truth? As Cristina Nehrig noted not too long ago in The Atlantic Magazine:
That women's interest in their appearance lies largely in wanting to please men is a myth, and one that should be retired without further ceremony. In the same way that women decorate a dorm or a dining room, they decorate themselves.
The context of the quote, by the way, was in reference to a young woman getting breast implants. And let us not forget a survey that was done a little while back in the UK, which reported that when it comes to looking good, women feel more pressure from other women than men.

Anyway, where are the articles on how shallow women can be in their choice of men? I've seen plenty of articles at Boundless excoriating men for their standards of female beauty, but nothing on how women objectify men as success objects. This glaring lack of even-handedness is not just a problem with Boundless, but is also a problem with other "Christian" media outlets dealing with gender issues. Bottom line? Religious men most certainly face an uphill battle dealing with anti-male sexism in their faith communities.

92 Comments:

Anonymous singlechristianman said...

Bulls-eye, rather than b.s. Great post.

10/8/07, 5:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May be the problem is not men's standards of female beauty, but women's vanity?

10/8/07, 7:03 AM  
Anonymous youngbeliever said...

Yes, I've found it rather dangerous to try and be honest with a women and tell her, "no, I don't think you are as physically as skinny/attractive/beautiful as that supermodel/celebrity-diva, but you don't have to be, I still love you and desire you more than them".

Why isn't that good enough for most women? It's almost as if they want me to lie and act as if it is the truth. Do they think will always be as physically attractive as they are when 20-something and that we will never notice the change?

Peace,
yb

10/8/07, 8:36 AM  
Anonymous knightwatch said...

It's definitely female vanity, for the most part. Christine Rosen has an objective article on this subject, too (which I believe I've posted here under comments before) titled,
The Democratization of Beauty


She says:

Mention plastic surgery and the more judgmental among us immediately rattle off a list of traits its devotees probably share: vanity, frivolousness, narcissism, low self-esteem. We imagine shallow socialites or vain movie stars desperately trying to forestall the ravages of time. But in fact, cosmetic surgery is not an industry built on vanity alone, but also on two much more powerful emotions: denial and envy. Cosmetic surgery thrives on our collective denial of aging and on our refusal to accept physiological limits. It feeds our envy of those who embody nature’s most powerful but fleeting charms—youth, strength, beauty, and fertility. Its supporters praise its ability to change lives and its critics denounce it as the expression of our society’s worst impulses.

It especially doesn't make sense that "Christian women (or men)" would search for "secular immortality" when eternal life is forthcoming in our salvation. This is another idol in our path to material happiness. I would ask, are Christian women not happy with who they are? Have they, too, bought into the secular "What women want ... "
[1]
[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9[10][11] mindset?

Furthermore, happiness is a choice and not something easily and conveniently blamed on men:

She doesn’t realize that happiness is a choice, that happiness is self-made—a byproduct of achievement, not a goal itself, not a present somebody else can give her, not a new item she can buy on sale at Victoria’s Secret.

Will a woman in constant search of happiness ever find a man who can please her? No. Will she ever experience true intimacy? No. Will she ever find enough clothes to make her happy? No. Will she ever be able to have enough plastic surgeries to quell her insecurities? No. In fact, she’ll never be happy.


In addition to that, I have to ask, if money is harder to come by for women, why is it that “Women are paying as much as $12,000 to redesign their genitalia”?

10/8/07, 8:57 AM  
Blogger Hermes said...

Anakin, good job on finding that Atlantic article. It's nice to know that mainstream sources are starting to catch on. The idea that when it comes to looks women are more concerned with pleasing themselves and impressing other women than they are with appealing to men is one I've been thinking about for a long time, but doesn't seem to get discussed much.

For some reason, when we men say that we don't want our women to look like porn queens, that we don't like fake breasts, lots of makeup, fancy jewelry, high heels, dyed hair, women don't believe us. Why would we lie about that? I remember one exchange I had on a message board; I believe it was Crosswalk.com. I said that every woman I've ever been genuinely attracted to, I've found more attractive in jeans & a t-shirt with her hair in a ponytail and no makeup on, than all dolled up. The women there replied that that couldn't be true and basically said that I don't understand my own tastes. One even stated that men can't tell when women have makeup on, and that when I see a woman who I think is not wearing makeup, she really is wearing makeup and I just don't know it!

It's bizarre that so many of us conservative Christians seem to have latched onto this combination of feminism and mythical chivalric beliefs about what women want. The idea that women are these pure, innocent, noble creatures being forced to do all kinds of things they don't want to do in order to please men is accepted as axiomatic. Whether it's Boundless (whose contributors say that women don't want to doll themselves up and get plastic surgery but are doing it because of pressure from men) or Debbie Maken (who says that Christian women really just want to get married young and be housewives but are forced to pursue independent careers instead because Christian men won't marry them), the idea that modern liberated women are doing exactly what they want and liking it is one they're not willing to consider.

I have stopped commenting at Boundless because even though they publish comments telling them they're wrong, they just keep on ignoring our points and posting things like this without responding to our arguments at all. Remember the article stating that men had a moral obligation to force themselves to become attracted to and marry physically unattractive women? I don't anticipate a similar article chiding women, telling them they have a moral obligation to become attracted to and marry non-alpha males.

10/8/07, 10:49 AM  
Anonymous singlechristianman said...

>>...when we men say that we don't want our women to look like porn queens, that we don't like fake breasts, lots of makeup, fancy jewelry, high heels, dyed hair, women don't believe us. <<

I have contemplated lately that one problem christian men, married or single, face is that the "sinful" aspects of the "Cosmo" way of thinking will be taught against in church, but not against the philosophical underpinnings of that thinking. My reaction to the article, then, is appropos of that musing. That "cosmo" thinking may be why some christian woman have these ideas about appearance.

The opposite extreme would be churches that teach women that their beauty is something to be ashamed of (though they would not come out and say this, it is "between the lines" with their talk about makeup, dress, etc. Stasi Eldridge deals a bit with this in Captivating, part of the "Wild at Heart" series.

It is possible that ministries like boundless are not fully wired in to what is happening "on the ground" in little fellowships here and there .. there may be a phenomena happening like that which happens in the militaryor other large beaurocracies wherein only favorable information gets passed up the chain. Or, I may be wrong. If I am correct, then internet activiity like this is a very good thing.

Remember Rathergate at CBS and how some amateurs acted as a check against entrenched pomposity.

I find a woman in heels to be attractive, because that means I can dance with her; heels being necessary in tango so she can be led into pivots. And the ladies seem to like their heels, too. I agree with hermes, though, that the jeans and natural look is the way to go.

10/8/07, 11:21 AM  
Anonymous KNIGHTWATCH said...

Gentlemen, read the comments from this post about a self-serving female columnist who writes: What Women Want: A Beta Male

10/8/07, 11:29 AM  
Anonymous NeedACatchyName said...

singlechristianman said:

"It is possible that ministries like boundless are not fully wired in to what is happening "on the ground" in little fellowships here and there .. there may be a phenomena happening like that which happens in the military or other large beaurocracies wherein only favorable information gets passed up the chain. Or, I may be wrong. If I am correct, then internet activiity like this is a very good thing."

If there's one thing that Fox News has taught us, it's that people don't like to think about the complexities of trends, news, and information, nor do most people really even have the attention span to do that anyway. Rather, they want everything compressed into overly-generalized "talking points" that don't tell the full story. That appears to be what Boundless is doing as of late. I am willing to acknowledge that there are some circumstances like the ones that Boundless describes in their article, where single women have been let down by single men. But there are also other circumstances where the women are letting down the men, and (likely the largest group) circumstances where both are letting down each other. It's a complex issue that deserves to be viewed from all sides. But Boundless would rather focus on a subset of circumstances, the ones where the men are letting down the women. So they post all these stories about how awesome single women are and how terrible the men are (think about it--when was the last time you read a story on Boundless that showed single men in a positive light) because that's the "talking point" they've chosen to focus on. And unfortunately, given many of the comments on their blog, they've been pretty effective at convincing some people of the validity of their idea.

10/9/07, 7:13 AM  
Anonymous curiepoint said...

I am quite certain that the only way men will be written of favorably is if they do the following:

Tow the line.

Keep their mouths shut.

Realize that their place is to please and delight women.

That any consideration from women should be considered nothing but the greatest gift, no matter how well or how poorly it meets his needs or increases his satisfaction with the marriage.

In short: Become a cringing, servile dog in the guise of what they call "manhood" or "masculinity". Accept whatever bones thrown to you with gratitude, because that is all you may expect.

10/9/07, 8:43 AM  
Blogger wombatty said...

Anakin wrote:
And let us not forget a survey that was done a little while back in the UK, which reported that when it comes to looking good, women feel more pressure from other women than men.


I came to a similar conclusion some time ago and every woman I have asked about it confirms it. I like to ask

If there were no men in the world, do you think women would be any less concerned with or competetive about beauty?

The answer, sometimes after a bit of reflection, has always been 'No'.

Along these same lines, one of my little sisters once told me about what one of her friends once said. The girls were in the habit of, once a week or so, getting a prettied up and going out. One evening the girls started discussing looking good for guys and such and one of them said 'We don't just get all decked-out for the guys, though. We do it just as much for each other.'

I believe the same extends to all aspects of 'beauty', plastic surgery included.

Next thing you know, us guys are gonna get blamed for the fact that the popular women's magazines are obsessed with sex. I've never did a count, but I have no doubt that women's mags (Cosmo, Elle, etc.) have far more salacious cover-articles about sex than do
men's mags (Men's Health, GQ, etc.)
I'm so ashamed of myself ;-)


(Of course, I'm comparing Cosmo et al. with the above-mentioned men's mags, not with Playboy or Penthouse.)

10/9/07, 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you read the comments on the article? One commenter wrote that men who buy sports magazines featuring swimwear make women feel bad about themselves and how guys should appreciate women no matter how they look. It's not the first article there which encourages male bashing. I remember one on keeping toilet seat down so that your wife won't be upset. I cannot imagine what hell the family life is for some men if their wives keep quarelling with them about such trivial thing.

10/9/07, 9:41 AM  
Blogger Hermes said...

Well, anon, in all fairness, men shouldn't be buying the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Jesus criticized even looking at a woman with lust, comparing it to adultery.

You're right, though, that their male-bashing is wrong and counterproductive to the goal of encouraging people to marry. I mean, marriage isn't going to do much to help me avoid burning with passion if my wife is going to deny me sex because I left the toilet seat up.

10/9/07, 7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, when I go to the beach in summer women which I see there aren't looking much different from those models. I live in Europe and here it is allowed for women to be topless on the beach, though not many are doing it. If women are seriously objecting against this magazine, may be we should return to Victorian swimming suits models? But how many women themselves would agree to it?

It is easy to accuse men of lust, but how about women? Where is their responsibility? Nobody is accusing those models of being shameless and provoking lust in men. Women are just as much responsible. While men should not lust after them, women are commanded in the Bible to dress and behave modesty, so probably instead of castigating men for buying those magazines, we could say something about models which pose in them?

10/10/07, 1:43 AM  
Anonymous knightwatch said...

It is easy to accuse men of lust, but how about women? Where is their responsibility? Nobody is accusing those models of being shameless and provoking lust in men. Women are just as much responsible. While men should not lust after them, women are commanded in the Bible to dress and behave modesty, so probably instead of castigating men for buying those magazines, we could say something about models which pose in them?

A caveat you may not have considered, Anon, is that a great majority of these female models you speak of are "worldly" to begin with.

Unfortunately, "soft porn" is everywhere -- the beaches, billboards, magazines, malls, every major media outlet. Because of this, it would appear "soft porn" has become an acceptable gray area in modern society, what with its easy access and the availability to desensitize and seduce both the secular and Christian worlds with its enticing appeal. It becomes a tougher struggle, I think, when the average Christian begins to justify or accept the "gray" in the world. And it's easy to do. There's a lot of landmines out there for both Christian men and women who stuggle with the "eye candy". I think we should be mindful/ cautious to never underestimate our weakness to the flesh.

10/10/07, 6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Knightwatch, I agree with you. My point was that both men and women are responsible. However, think of this: while the models who pose for those magazines are probably wordly, does an average Christian woman think twice before she puts on a bikini? If it's wrong for a Christian man to stare at bikini-clad woman, it must be just as wrong for a Christian woman to wear a bikini. Society did not change overnight. Much of the immodesty and soft porn are the results of sexual revolution, and both men and women are responsible for it.I just disagree with an approach which some religious conservatives take, when they portray all men as predators and women as their innocent helpless victims.

10/10/07, 7:34 AM  
Anonymous singlechristianman said...

I agree that the culture has sort of "mainstreamed" soft porn, for lack of a better way to describe it, but I'm not certain what the role of the church is in speaking to society; thinking that it's role is to speak to itself. I honestly don't know how to draw a sharp line here -- if a two piece bathing suit is not ok, and a one piece bathing suit is, then why not call for a Victorian - era suit that includes stockings? Or for full hejab, with women wearing sleepings bags? Obviously I'm being satirical here... Yes; women should be modest; we should also bend over backwards to avoid causing them to feel any more shame about themselves (the root, I think, of some of this obsessing over beauty)

I know "modesty" when I see it, like the Supreme Court Judge who knew "porn" when he saw it; but I don't know how to quanitify modesty, or if it can be. Or should be beyond pointing ladies (and men, I suppose) to the idea .

10/10/07, 7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this obsessing over shameless models provoking lust in men! The average Christian women does dress modestly, such that they can hardly compete with the "eye candy" in the secular world. If you disapprove of that small fraction of women who appear in those magazines, then just don't buy those magazines.

10/11/07, 6:08 PM  
Blogger singlechristianman said...

Anon, the thread here is about institutionalized soft-core gender feminism in the church. Thanks for your pastoral input (which, btw, I didn't need (though I occasionally buy "Stuff" magazine* - which typically features cover models) but I wasn't in need of that. What I'm in need of are evangelical ministries that don't think, and speak, as if men are generically a class that is predisposed to be sinful.

*I've twice purchased things after reading reviews of them in "Stuff" -- yes, a "lad mag" But New Man and Charismadon't do reviews of adventuring gear.

But your point of christian women dressing modestly is taken, but only party so. I know some evangelical women who are serious about their faith who make a point of modesty in their behavour and appearance, and that's super. But really, you shouldn't assume what you assumed -- that we are obsessing here about the behavour of the world. Why did you do that? I mean, really -- why did you do that? I'm not talking about my feelings here .. I'm trying to wake you up to the reality of the evangelicalized gender feminism that makes assumptions about Christian men. No one here has even gone to the place where you have gone with your comment. Stop and parse out why you went there -- was it because of an assumption that is not assumable?

10/11/07, 6:25 PM  
Anonymous Ame said...

Yes. Women dress for other women. Yes. Mom's dress their daughters in competition with other girls of the same ages. Yes. It's sick. Yes. If you go to a pool or beach in the summer and try to pick out the "godly" women from the "ungodly" by way of their choice of bathing suits, you're probably not gonna be able to do so. Yes. I absolutely believe that women will find that God holds us a LOT more responsible for how we dress and present ourselves than we care to accept or believe.

Also, women in general do not believe their husbands or boyfriends when they compliment their physical appearance. I have actually come down hard on a few friends who are married to wonderful men who truly adore their bodies ... and their bodies aren't perfect ... but who chose to not believe them. They now believe them. (I think men need to believe women, too.)

Yet, for what it's worth, a man's words ... or a woman's for that matter ... need to be backed up with the rest of their lives. My now ex-husband complimented my then beautiful body and appearance but was addicted to porn, and he eventually preferred prostitutes to me. That's kinda hard to digest. My dad sexually abused me and used my body for his pleasures. His words go no where with me.

I hope you men aren't just saying these things ... that you truly believe and live them to be true. I want to believe men like you truly exist in this world.

10/13/07, 3:35 PM  
Blogger singlechristianman said...

I hope you men aren't just saying these things ... that you truly believe and live them to be true. I want to believe men like you truly exist in this world.<<

Ame: Grace on you in your troubles. We are all broken here (I hope) as well. The focus of a lot of single men in the church is that the place should be a place of healing (as I hope it is for you) instead of a place where even more wounding is handed out. Have Hope in Him.

10/14/07, 3:12 AM  
Anonymous Ame said...

singlechristianman ... The church has, overall, not been a place of healing ... I've written a lot about that; others have, too. Not gonna go into it here. Thank you, though, for showing concern. Yes, it is all the grace of God ... who loves the broken-hearted.

(I'm not sure I keyed in my address last time, and it is not my intent to comment anonymously:
www.amexpression.com
www.amesheart.blogspot.com)

10/14/07, 3:51 PM  
Blogger PuritanCalvinist said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/16/07, 9:19 AM  
Blogger PuritanCalvinist said...

Hey Everyone!

Did anyone catch Debbie Maken commending the Open Theist on her blog today? I wrote about it on my blog. It seems like Maken commended a guy who came on her blog, and said that we need to get rid of the idea of providence. Maken commended him, and I can't figure out why. The only reason I can think of is that Maken's viewpoints and attitude logically end at open theism. She wants to say that whether or not you are married has little or nothing to do with God's providence, and that is what open theists say about all actions. I recognized the name of the author to whom anonymous commenter was referring people [Bob Enyart] who, in a debate with Gene Cook, said that it was possible that the father could have hated the son from all eternity.

Of course, Enyart knows that his views are contrary to all of the Christian Creeds, and thus has to try to argue that the church was hyjacked by Augustine, and that they are trying to restore the "truth" about this issue to the church by challanging "common conceptions" of God, such as the idea that God has exhaustive foreknowledge of future events. Sound familiar? Isn't Debbie Maken trying to say that she is challanging views of singleness that are common conceptions in the church today?

Hence, it is very easy to see Maken buying into this stuff, and using it to support her own positions on marriage. She is walking down a very dangerious road, because, not only is this stuff the logical conclusion of her position, but someone like Bob Enyart and his followers have the exact same attitude as Debbie Maken. Will she buy into this totally? I don't know. However, we need to be in prayer that God would bring her to her senses before she goes off the deep end, not only for her sake, but also for the sake of all of the people who blindly follow what she has to say without question.

10/16/07, 10:01 AM  
Anonymous impurebastard said...

hyjacked??????????

10/18/07, 12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Anakin - for exposing the madness wherever it comes from. I went to a singles event (all Christians of course) just last night. The conversation from the women has turned very Maken-esque.

Sad, but the disease is spreading.

"Oh, Gee, we slept around in college and now we are religious again and want very wealthy husbands!"

OR

"I'm only 350 pounds! That's average on a five-foot-two girl. Guys should look at you on the inside!"

OR

"I know I can't have children and I have lupus and fibromyalgia; and I smoke, but men are commanded to marry us!"

OR

"A man isn't serving the Lord unless he earns three times the amount of the women he wants to date."

It's really just an elitist Christian girls club. It reminds me so much of those groups of wealthy couples in the 1980s who followed Pastor Tilton of Dallas, TX and then were so surprised when he got arrested for tax fraud and misusing tithes.

10/18/07, 3:57 PM  
Anonymous curiepoint said...

That's the problem with elitist, I-know-what-is-mine attitudes. They usually are part and parcel to some fairly dishonest practices. As I have always believed, caveat emptor...let the buyer beware.

10/18/07, 4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn’t resist this….

“Time out. I am getting sick and tired of hearing about how shallow men supposedly are.”

From an article titled “Why Should Christian Men Marry?” on the “Men Going Their Own Way” website: (http://menforjustice.net/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=32)
“You want to excoriate us for our physical preferences in women, even thought it's pretty much proven that men are visually attracted to the opposite sex. Well God made us this way.”

Wait, O Writer of the Essay “Why Should Christian Men Marry” do you mean to say Christian men judge Christian women based on the way they look??? No, that cannot be! Why, that would be shallow! And Anakin assures me that any shallowness that may be attributed to those with a Y chromosome is only “supposed” in nature.

Seriously though, it is true that some women obsess about their looks in ways that go beyond what many men would ever even notice much less care about and so in that sense women can be harder on themselves than many men would be. However, one would not have to look too hard at all to find plenty of evidence that there are some men who are extremely critical of women’s appearance, particularly elements related to age or weight. Prejudice against women based on appearance exists, just as prejudice against men based on appearance (and income) exists. Making the point that men don’t judge based on looks is not only untrue in many cases, it is silly and cheapens the discussion by setting the stage for a useless debate (Her: “you don’t like me ‘cause my butt is big and that’s shallow and wrong!”; Him: “You don’t like me ‘cause I make $10 an hour and that’s materialistic and wrong!”) which doesn’t help men or women grow in their faith or have godly relationships (which may or may not include marriage)….and shouldn’t that be the goal?

10/19/07, 10:44 PM  
Blogger Anakin Niceguy said...

Hmm. I sense a presence I've not felt since ...

Let's read the rest of that section of the piece that you quoted:


Who is the Real Shallow One?

Speaking of romance novels--ladies, do you believe us men are the shallower sex? Yes, we are the ones that supposedly don’t accept you because you are morbidly obese. Cry me a river. You want to excoriate us for our physical preferences in women, even thought it's pretty much proven that men are visually attracted to the opposite sex. Well God made us this way. A lot of young women used to die in childbirth before modern medicine. Did you think God thought it expedient for us to seek out women who don't physically take care of themselves? Well, at least the answer to this question never got in the way of you seeking out someone taller or “physically stronger” (How many times have I read that your dream man “must be athletic”?). These attributes, while acceptable, have nothing to do with the character of a man. So, why aren’t you accused of being shallow and “hung up on looks”?

And what about judging us by the amount of money we make? I haven’t heard a sermon on how women need to stop objectifying men in this way, lately. Have you? Again, you compete with us for our jobs, but you refuse to marry us when we make less money than you (because your concept of "Biblical manhood" rests on the size of our paycheck, of all things). Then you wonder where all the men are at the end of day. Surprise, surprise. You priced yourselves out of the market, sweeties.

Source: Why Should Christian Men Marry? www.mgtow.net

I have said what that piece said on this blog. Read here, here and here.

So, pray tell, how did you take a piece explaining how men are visually attracted to women and twist it into an assertion that men are shallow? You are ignoring the main problem. The problem is that people are acting as if the following are true:

(1) The body issues women face are mostly, if not solely, the fault of men.

(2) Enough men have unrealistic expectations about how women look (expecting their girlfriends to look like porn stars or whatever)--so that we should continue to lecture and shame them on how shallow they are.

(3) Women are not as near as shallow as men are.

(4) Women do not judge men on their looks to any substantial degree.

(5) If women judge men on their income, it is an understandable concern about how well the men in question can "provide"--so we shouldn't be too concerned about how many women are materialistic or how they have sexist double-standards.

Read my lips: These five assertions are total B-U-N-K, Anonymous. Anonymous, I'm beginning to feel like I know from somewhere.

10/20/07, 7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anakin,

You have to be "nice".

Remember, our new social contract requires that you only say things that win approval from the most hyper-sensitive and emotionally volatile women in the room at any given time.

Not one single woman in this debate is being realistic about the reasons they are facing life without a husband. They cannot, because that would mean they have to take some responsibility and what's worse, they may have to grudgingly accept that men aren't completely responsible for their problems.

The question comes back to: Are the churches and the current leadership working to resolve this problem?

10/20/07, 8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm confused Anakin. I didn't make any of the 5 assertions you are calling bunk. In fact I agreed with some of them in my comment. I haven't read much of this blog (though I plan to)because I just recently found it. I did a quick look at the links to previous entries to see that you are addressing the issues there as well so I will read those when I get a chance and perhaps when I read what you have said there I will understand your response to me better.

I'm pretty sure I have never met you, though obviously I have read stuff you have written before. But, I don't think that I am whoever you may think I am.

Anonymous Again

10/20/07, 9:03 AM  
Blogger The Learner said...

I should begin by apologizing for goading you in my previous annonymous comment(you seem to be an intelligent man so I think that you can figure out what I mean by that). It was wrong of me to react to my frustration that way and I am sorry. I am also not up on etiquette regarding commenting on others’ blogs because I have only done so a very few times…I am more of a lurker. But it seems to me that it would be better for me to briefly outline what I am trying to say and leave more details for my own blog today (I just recently started one) for people to read if they so choose. So I will flesh out my thoughts more in my own blog and try to be brief here.

I didn’t start my first comment by pointing out all the statements you made that were excellent points so I can see how you may have thought that I missed the point Anakin. I pretty much agree with most of what you said. What I did attempt to challenge was your statement that you were “sick and tired of hearing about how shallow men supposedly are” because it is not just “supposed”. Sometimes men are shallow, though not all men and not all the time…but sometimes men are shallow. Women are shallow at times too, perhaps even more shallow than men. So, I think that inferring that men are not shallow weakens your otherwise very valid arguments. I read the links regarding your previous thoughts on beauty standards (thank you for providing them) and they reinforced the reason that I made the comment to begin with. I think so many of the issues you are discussing are so very important and I don’t want women who need to understand this stuff to get hung up on other assertions you make based on weaker assumptions.

I do agree that we know from research that men tend to be stimulated more than women by what they see. It isn’t the fact that men are visually stimulated and that God made them that way that I would disagree with. It is the idea that what a man finds visually stimulating is God ordained rather than culturally defined that I disagree with. My contention is that standards of beauty differ from culture to culture and over the course of time. Your assertions that current beauty standards are scientifically and scripturally proven to be valid constitute a weak argument (see my blog).

To be clear, I am not saying you should or should not be attracted to anyone. I am just pointing out that it would be more intellectually honest for men to stand behind their preferences as simply their preferences (or the current cultural paradigm of beauty) and not as some divine mandate, especially since it is not a Biblical mandate or scientific certainty. That is really the point I was trying to make. Don’t water down your very valid points about unfair divorce and custody laws, the negative effects of feminism and feminization of the culture and the church (including the resultant excessive focus on the purported “failings” of men), and the unbiblical contentions of people like your muse Debbie Maken with stuff like that. I think more women may understand what you are trying to say here if you were able to do so. I admit that I am assuming that your goal is to help people understand this stuff…am I right about that?

10/22/07, 8:11 PM  
Blogger Anakin Niceguy said...

Hi, the Learner,

Perhaps I am confusing you with the "Anonymous" who posted profusely on my "Et Tu, Josh Harris" post. If that is the case, then I apologize. In my defense, I do not think the statement "I am sick and tired of hearing how shallow men are" translates into "I don't ever think men are shallow." I DO think that some men need to respect women more and not objectify them. My beef is with constant harping on the shallowness of men as if it was a pandemic horror or that all men wore black hats and moustaches while all women are helplessly tied to the railroad tracks. I think most sensible men are flexible in the looks category and realize that none of us will look sexy past a certain age. Yes, a lot of beauty is subjective, but as Triton pointed out on your blog post--there is still a biological component that transcends cultures. I believe Young believer said it best:


Yes, I've found it rather dangerous to try and be honest with a women and tell her, "no, I don't think you are as physically as skinny/attractive/beautiful as that supermodel/celebrity-diva, but you don't have to be, I still love you and desire you more than them".

Why isn't that good enough for most women? It's almost as if they want me to lie and act as if it is the truth. Do they think will always be as physically attractive as they are when 20-something and that we will never notice the change?


You see, even if someone retorts, "If you guys weren't so hung up on beauty then women would feel comfortable about themselves and not get bent out of shape about this ..." but that ignores the possibility that many women don't dress for men as much as they dress for themselves and other women anyway.

10/22/07, 11:15 PM  
Blogger The Learner said...

Hi Anakin,
I didn’t comment on your Josh Harris post (actually I haven’t even read that post yet!) and I thank you for and accept your apology though it wasn’t necessary.

Dude, I get your beef about harping on men about their preferences, especially when women are not harped upon regarding their preferences. (BTW, excellent word picture about mustachioed men with black hats and women tied to railroad tracks…cue evil laugh and moustache twirling) To be clear, the words in your post that led me to comment were “hearing about how shallow men supposedly are”. I (and the dictionary) generally take supposed to mean hypothetical or imaginary so I read that statement to mean that you were saying that men being shallow was imaginary or hypothetical, thus my response. I appreciate that may not have been what you meant to say that. After reading the posts you linked I wanted to challenge (iron sharpening iron and all that) the suppositions you made about beauty standards being innate (though I think some aspects may be as I mentioned in my posts on the subject though not to the degree you proposed) because that supposition seemed to go hand in hand with how I read your statement about the “supposed” (I read imaginary) shallowness of men. I hope you understand that my purpose was not to speak ill of men or their preferences in general or you and your preferences in specifics, but rather to point out (and do with this as you will) that your posts on this subject may be alienating to some women who need to understand your message. Unless, of course, you are only interested in men and beautiful women understanding your message ;) Just kiddin’ on that last sentence!
I liked young believer’s comment very much as well.

One last bit of food for thought: I agree women often apply makeup, style their hair, and dress for themselves and other women as much as, if not more than, they do for men. But don’t confuse comments about clothing, hairstyles or makeup with a woman’s comfort with and feelings about her body. As a woman I can tell you that when I feel insecure about my body (and most women do sometimes) it most likely isn’t because I am concerned about what some woman thinks about it. It is far more likely that it is because I am concerned with what a man (and most often a man whose opinion I value) thinks about it and I doubt that I am among the minority of women regarding my feelings on the subject.

10/23/07, 9:04 PM  
Blogger singlechristianman said...

Learner: I work as a nurse, though I am male (about 4-6% of nurses are), so I work in a work environment heavily dominated by females. I am absolutely certain that the reason women go at least a certain distance is for other women. They will go an "extra mile" so to speak for a particular encounter with a man, but generally will not make a particular effort to always look good for a particular man other than what seems to be their "base" effort.

Or so I suppose that I see.

10/24/07, 6:03 AM  
Blogger The Learner said...

Single Christian Guy,

Wow, I didn't realize the percentage of male nurses was that low. My guess of 10-20% would have been way off. To be honest, I am not sure if you were agreeing with me or disagreeing with me (or neither) because I'm tired and my brain is kind of mushy at the moment!

10/24/07, 5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GOOD NEWS: Most men find most women attractive enough to have sex with.

BAD NEWS: Most women don't find most men attractive enough to have sex with, at least not immediately.


GOOD NEWS: Once a woman is genuinely attracted to a man that she respects (esp. re: provider potential, character), she's likely to stay committed to him, as long as there are no "deal breakers".

BAD NEWS: Once a man has gratified his sexual ambition with a woman (continuum: from finding out that she's interested in him to actually having sex with him), he's likely to want to move on to the next conquest, UNLESS, he's really, really in love with her.


GOOD NEWS: What mostly determines how much a man loves a woman? DEGREE OF SEXUAL ATTRACTION. It's what perpetuates the species.

BAD NEWS: The modern church cannot accept this fact.


For more on this, see laddertheory.com


Discuss amongst yourselves.

10/24/07, 9:50 PM  
Anonymous patrick kelly said...

"What mostly determines how much a man loves a woman? DEGREE OF SEXUAL ATTRACTION."

Only with a very un-christian definition of love which defines it primarily as desire to have sex with someone. Circular definitions and reasoning.

IMAO, christian love is a choice. Read I Cor 13.

"BAD NEWS: The modern church cannot accept this fact.
",


If you care to investigate you will likely find the ancient church fathers would not accept it either.

patrick

10/25/07, 7:27 AM  
Anonymous knightwatch said...

If you care to investigate you will likely find the ancient church fathers would not accept it either.

Yes, and it would appear that if anon wasn't such a strict, devout adherent and secular follower to the social sciences, evolutionary psychology, biology is destiny, soft science rules etc., ect. all of which places the individual in fixed "categories", she'd know better. *Yawn*

10/25/07, 9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What difference does it make as to what initially attracts an individual to their spouse, as long as they stay committed to them?

Physical attraction being the main determinant of love is only a problem when:

1) People of both sexes marry attractive people who have serious character flaws that they choose to overlook.

2) Single men kid themselves about who they can and cannot have, keeping them forever "in the chase".

3) Married men continue to stay in the chase (ie. cheat).

4) Single women "settle" for marrying men they have little attraction to, and fail to sustain their commitment to the union.

10/25/07, 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

None of these issues held much significance when men and women had clearly defined roles. Now, both men and women are leading (and competing) breadwinners. Now, men and women are managers, community and social leaders, etc. Men and women don't complement each other, they compete.

Competition is the last thing men want from women, so men withdraw, marry less and have fewer children.

It's very telling that Debbie Maken tells us that competition between the sexes is good: "A little competition never hurt anyone."

If that is true, then it is a good thing that some men have been displaced in the workforce. It is a good thing that women control 60% of US assets and earn up to 65% of all university degrees.

If the cost of this competition is men finding less value in marriage and commitment, then I suppose Debbie is right in supporting competition between the sexes instead of cooperative yet distinctly different roles.

In a competition, there are winners and losers. Many more women are upset because they are winning the workforce and social/religious leadership contests, but losing out completely on love, family and happiness.

But of course as Debbie Maken says, a little competition never hurt anyone.

10/27/07, 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Competition is the last thing men want from women, so men withdraw, marry less and have fewer children....In a competition, there are winners and losers. Many more women are upset because they are winning the workforce and social/religious leadership contests, but losing out completely on love, family and happiness."

For a man to claim that women are winning the leadership contests is to admit out-and-out that he is, in fact, a loser.

If men are so entitled to those leadership positions (and for women to submit, in kind), then they should have no problem competing for them and winning.

So go ahead.

There's no crying in baseball.

10/28/07, 5:53 PM  
Blogger Anakin Niceguy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/28/07, 9:36 PM  
Blogger Anakin Niceguy said...

... unless the game is rigged. How can the competition be fair when certain initiatives in government, academia, commerce, and culture at large are meant to benefit women while men do not have such entitlements (affirmative action programs come to mind here)?

10/28/07, 9:38 PM  
Anonymous knightwatch said...

Gentlemen,

In reality, we do have male figureheads [sarcasm] mostly of liberal persuasion who, with their guilt-laden burdens, continue to make up for all those centuries of female oppression and victimhood due to the evils of the patriarchy. [/end of sarcasm] to blame for this universal unlevel playing field. If the men had stood up and said "no" to entitlements, then the entitlemen game would be over. But nooOOooo

Unfortunately, since the entitlement game began approximately forty years ago (examples include the world of academia, military, fire dept., athletics -- in college, title ix comes to mind. In professional sports, the NBA financially babysits the WNBA, which has yet to make a profit -- etc., etc.,]) standards have gone down, not up, as well as, our culture.

The curtain has yet to fall on the last remnants of civilization. But give it time. It will happen. As long as we have leaders passing out ritalin to boys and suckers to the [sarcasm] weak, feeble, and victimized [/end of sarcasm] we'll continue to see this drip on society.

10/29/07, 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"For a man to claim that women are winning the leadership contests is to admit out-and-out that he is, in fact, a loser.

If men are so entitled to those leadership positions (and for women to submit, in kind), then they should have no problem competing for them and winning."

I heard this perspective all through college. Women are horribly oppressed; men just have to show up and breathe and they are instantly successful and powerful.

If men win every leadership contest, why are most civics organizations about 95% female? Why is Christianity choking on estrogen? Why are so many women upset over a "lack of good men"?

Simply because women are running things these days. It's a woman's world. There are more independent and successful women than ever.

Vast governmental departments are stocked with women, entire school districts are 90% women, hospitals are staffed with about 65% women, university enrollment is about 60-70% women.

Women wanted equality with huge legal advantages, the upper hand in marriages and divorce, and government preferences in hiring.

So, you have a lot more women with jobs, yet no men in their lives. The men who observe the social changes that led to this imbalance are branded "losers" even if they are personally single and successful.

I say empower women even more! The Swedes are now insisting women control 55% of most corporations. British women want a "Man Tax" to pay for bitter spinsters' council taxes.

Things are so much better now with all these wonderful and un-Christian social changes. Men are such losers, and anyone who disagrees with Debbie Maken is destined for the fires of Hell.

/sarcasm

//think I summed up Captain Sensible pretty well...

10/29/07, 9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How can the competition be fair when certain initiatives in government, academia, commerce, and culture at large are meant to benefit women while men do not have such entitlements (affirmative action programs come to mind here)?"

Nice try.

You guys talk as if any gains made by women are attributable only to "initiatives" and "programs". When mployers value women over men, it's for two reasons: they usually have stronger interpersonal skills and are more likely to stay out of trouble.

So go ahead, I say.

Figure out an edge and COMPETE.

10/29/07, 6:53 PM  
Blogger Triton said...

You guys talk as if any gains made by women are attributable only to "initiatives" and "programs". When mployers value women over men, it's for two reasons: they usually have stronger interpersonal skills and are more likely to stay out of trouble.

Ok, I nominate this as the most absurd comment on this blog post.

10/29/07, 8:22 PM  
Blogger wombatty said...

I have to second your nomination Triton.

Anon, if you are right, why did it take women so freaking long to get to where they are today? Did you ladies only recently aquire these virtues? Perhaps you were blinded to said virtues and the scales have only recently fallen?

10/30/07, 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wombatty asks:

"Anon, if you are right, why did it take women so freaking long to get to where they are today?"

I think the question is: why did it take employers so long to figure out that the best man for the job just might be a woman? As soon as they met Rosie the Riveter, it was a match made in heaven! She showed up on time and did what she was told. Today's information based economy means indoor workplaces that involve "seat work", personal creativity and co-operation with a team (rather than rugged individualism), so you're likely to get slightly more women who excel there than men-- with or without affirmative action programs. Because those are the skills necessary to create what is demanded by the marketplace.

It is the marketplace that creates the bulk of the demand for female employees-- not affirmative action, which has not been proven to displace men to any significant degree, as if they are some new "discriminated" group.

10/30/07, 12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is an obvious fact that 'affirmative action' displaces men, especially white men. Just look at the 'education' system.

10/30/07, 12:12 PM  
Blogger wombatty said...

Anon wrote:
I think the question is: why did it take employers so long to figure out that the best man for the job just might be a woman?


LOL...just can't help but blame it on 'the man'. I think what's going through an employers mind is more like 'If I don't hire her, am I going to get sued for discrimination?"

Anon wrote:
As soon as they met Rosie the Riveter, it was a match made in heaven! She showed up on time and did what she was told.


Of course, we know that men just cannot be depended on to 'do what they're told'. Interesting that you apparently date this 'revolution' as starting from WWII. If it was then that employers fell in love with Rosie the Riveter, why the need for affirmative action programs later on? Why were men hired back upon returning from the war if women were so much better?

Anon wrote:
Today's information based economy means indoor workplaces that involve "seat work", personal creativity and co-operation with a team (rather than rugged individualism), so you're likely to get slightly more women who excel there than men-- with or without affirmative action programs.


That must be why the AA programs are still deemed to be necessary...

Some years ago, my older brother applied for a job at the railroad. He's about 6'3", 250 lbs. Among the many requirements was that you had to be capable of lifting 150 lb 'knuckle' (a link between railroad cars, I think). Among that applicants was a woman who, according to my brother, probably weighed 100 lbs soaking wet.

Guess who got the job?

10/30/07, 5:49 PM  
Anonymous knightwatch said...

From what I've seen of the marketplace, increased medical costs, higher insurance rates, added maintenance expenses and child care leave, petty false charges of harrassment and discrimination, lower productivity, and higher rates of absenteeism is more like Rosie's legacy.

10/30/07, 8:10 PM  
Blogger Triton said...

Today's information based economy means indoor workplaces that involve "seat work", personal creativity and co-operation with a team (rather than rugged individualism), so you're likely to get slightly more women who excel there than men-- with or without affirmative action programs. Because those are the skills necessary to create what is demanded by the marketplace.

There's actually an interesting point in there for those with the wherewithal to dig it out. That point concerns the bureaucratization of corporate America.

As laws, regulations, and other forms of bureaucracy are continually heaped upon American businesses, it is only natural that those businesses would hire more people who excel in a bureaucratic environment. In a bureaucracy, the objectives are not creativity, excellence, or merit-based rewards, but are rather mediocrity, preservation of the status quo, inefficiency, and waste. Women are better suited to these bureaucratic objectives than men, so they naturally gravitate towards these types of jobs.

It is predominantly men who exhibit the most creativity, exhibit the most independence (from which new inventions, processes, etc. spring), and prefer a system that rewards and punishes based on merit. These qualities are unsuitable for a socialist-style bureaucratic corporate environment, which is why one is far more likely to find women employed in such an environment than, say, in engineering, or architecture, or culinary arts, or music composition, or video game design, or any other merit-based system.

It is the marketplace that creates the bulk of the demand for female employees-- not affirmative action, which has not been proven to displace men to any significant degree, as if they are some new "discriminated" group.

To assign blame for current hiring practices on the marketplace is absurd. We don't have a free market by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, our situation is very similar to Italian Fascism, as one can see by reading the Fascist Manifesto.

The most important effect of women moving en masse into the workplace, though, has been a reduction in real wages since the early 1970's.

10/30/07, 11:01 PM  
Anonymous knightwatch said...

You are spot on, Triton. The socialist-style and multi-culturalists policies and regulations of Corporate America intend to mirror our own government. In both of these, we have no name, just a number. It's amazing how women (and many men, too) so easily concede to the peer pressure and massive societal conditioning, instead of critically assessing all the propaganda being spoon fed to them.

Also, it's rather oxymoronic, I think, that women would claim "independence" or "liberation" because they have a "job". A female who boasts of liberation because she has escaped "dependency" on another individual is, in my view, merely trading one form of "dependency" for another. The "boss", the job itself, along with the office politics has become a more important relation than any other in Her life. Instead of liberation, she has become a wage slave in a bureaucratic environment. This has become Her new husband.

10/31/07, 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anon wrote:
I think the question is: why did it take employers so long to figure out that the best man for the job just might be a woman? So Wombatty says: "LOL...just can't help but blame it on 'the man'. I think what's going through an employers mind is more like 'If I don't hire her, am I going to get sued for discrimination?"

Why are you so quick to think it's all about "blaming the men"? You're so quick to take the victim position.

Nowhere did I say that women are better employees, just that more of them excel in certain areas than men. Just as men tend to excel more in certain areas than women.

For the record, I think that affirmative action programs aren't necessary and probably never were. Women were advancing in the workplace long before "women's lib" appeared on the horizon and would have continued to do so, in the wake of post-war properity-- with or without AA.

I agree that it's ridiculous to pick the weaker applicant for a physically demanding job, for the sake of affirmative action. But even more ridiculous to think that "socialist-style and multi-culturalists policies and regulations of Corporate America" dictate hiring practices more than market demands.

The cream shall rise to the top.

10/31/07, 6:00 PM  
Blogger The Learner said...

When y’all refer to entitlements/initiatives/affirmative action in academia/education what sorts of things are you referring to?

10/31/07, 6:43 PM  
Blogger Triton said...

When y’all refer to entitlements/initiatives/affirmative action in academia/education what sorts of things are you referring to?

In universities, admission policies often have different standards for applicants based on gender. There was a case at UGA a few years ago where a girl sued the school because of its bias in favour of male applicants. (UGA has since altered its admissions process.) It is not unusual for mostly-female schools like UGA to favour male applicants while mostly-male schools favour female applicants. Sometimes, new majors will be created and offered for the sole purpose of attracting more of a certain kind of student. The goal seems to be a 50/50 student body, and qualified candidates from both genders end up getting the shaft because of this silly social experiment.

Race comes into play, too, and colleges have multiple standards of admission based on skin colour.

There is a wide degree of variation among colleges' biases, so there isn't a generalization that fits other than to say they are all biased in some fashion whe it comes to race and gender.

In college sports, though, the biases are completely against men. Title IX forces schools to offer athletic scholarships based on gender ratios rather than on actual interest in playing sports. This has resulted in men's sports programs being reduced or eliminated at a number of schools in order to comply. Highly skilled male athletes are being denied scholarships while females who might never have played the sport in question end up getting athletic scholarships. Men simply have a greater interest in playing sports than women, but the law does not reflect this.

Also, if a school accepts any sort of federal funding, then the entirety of the civil rights code comes crashing down on that school, including preferences in the hiring of faculty, the awarding of government grant monies, etc.

10/31/07, 10:52 PM  
Anonymous knightwatch said...

In addition, title ix is not merit-based. Revenue from male sports is distributed to female sports regardless if the school's women's athletics programs garner little interest and hardly any revenue. Even booster money earmarked toward one's favorite football and male basketball programs are scrutinized if it creates an imbalance.

11/1/07, 8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry guys, but gender quotas (that work both ways) at post-secondary institutions and highly skilled male athletes being denied scholarships hardly make for a compelling case of horrible treatment and discrimination of men.

We need not lose sleep on behalf of elite athletes of any sex. Again, the cream will rise to the top.

11/1/07, 5:14 PM  
Blogger The Learner said...

When y’all refer to entitlements/initiatives/affirmative action in academia/education what sorts of things are you referring to? (I hope I did the HTML thing correctly)

Where I have seen this at my university is related to title IX. We have had successful male athletic programs close to add some ridiculous female sport (like rowing) just to keep the numbers even. They can’t even get girls to fill the spots. They are begging girls to play these sports and awarding scholarships to young women to play a sport they have never even played before. It is patently ridiculous.

I was curious about this because I have not seen much of this regarding admissions or faculty recruitment in action (that I am aware of) at the university where I am. From what you say I am thinking that is because we have pretty close to a 50/50 gender mix in the student population as a whole as is. Also probably since I teach in a traditionally female program we don’t have quotas for gender though we love to see male students applying for admission. In my program we have a higher percentage of males as faculty members (~50%) than are found in the profession (~10%) and that is pretty common across the U.S. from what I understand. I don’t know what the admissions and faculty recruitment policies are in more traditionally male programs like engineering though.

I was wondering if you guys perceive that what happens in the classrooms at universities in terms of teaching and learning methods are biased against men.

11/1/07, 7:40 PM  
Blogger Triton said...

Sorry guys, but gender quotas (that work both ways) at post-secondary institutions and highly skilled male athletes being denied scholarships hardly make for a compelling case of horrible treatment and discrimination of men.

Your reading skills are atrocious. I was answering Learner's question which was limited to affirmative action in academia. She was not asking about discrimination in any other sphere of life, for which there are abundant examples.

11/1/07, 11:56 PM  
Blogger Triton said...

I was wondering if you guys perceive that what happens in the classrooms at universities in terms of teaching and learning methods are biased against men.

This varies widely by subject. I certainly didn't experience any gender bias in Reactor Engineering I, or Fluid Mechanics, or any other class of the sort.

For Women's Studies majors, though, I think one can safely say the entire course of study is biased against men, regardless of any particular teaching methods.

11/2/07, 12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Your reading skills are atrocious. I was answering Learner's question which was limited to affirmative action in academia. She was not asking about discrimination in any other sphere of life, for which"

It's not all about you, Triton.

11/2/07, 10:56 AM  
Blogger Triton said...

If you didn't mean to include me in your response, you should have been more specific, instead of addressing us all with "Sorry guys".

11/2/07, 12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think more men are coming to the conclusion that this is a debate that men cannot win. Still, I have to come back to the fundamentals.

Is there a reason why more men are happily (or unhappily) electing to stay single?

Is there a reason why more and more Christian women cannot find husbands?

Most of the Christian single women I see in church are either 300 pounds or unapproachable. The majority will never marry. Never.

And this is the fault of men?

11/4/07, 12:29 PM  
Blogger The Learner said...

Anonymous,

Could you be a little more specific about what you mean when you say "unapproachable"? An example or two would be helpful. Thanks.

11/4/07, 4:47 PM  
Anonymous singlechristianman said...

Learner, I'm not anonymous, and I'm not saying that all the single women in church are fitting the description of "unapproachable" -- but I have something to say in response to your question.

Unapproachable: The one who sniffs the air before turning you down because you aren't active enough in church (the false metric girl)

The one who turns you down because you are divorced but biblically free (even if biblically free, this does not matter to her, and pragmatically is not an indication of where one's walk with God is, unless you buy the feminist assumption (and estrogelical assumption, too) that it is always the man's fault.

The injured one who wants you, basically, to eat bitter bread. She might be approachable, but she's like someone drowning who will take you down with her because she hasn't found a place of healing that she needs to do on her own before you can lean on each other safely. She wants affirmation more than she wants a stable life partner.

The one who thinks you're too old (her choice, of course, but maybe they are turning down some solid quality, there)

The one who wants you to be acceptable to her family or her church elder and can't -- or won't -- make the decision for herself.

The evangelical cosmo girl who wants you for a boyfriend with the option of marriage rather than a friend with the option of courtship.

The one who thinks you are the wrong race.

The one who makes more than you and insists that the world should be fair enough to produce on demand a man who makes her six figure salary.

The one who thinks its her job to pastor you or something, since naturally she's more spiritual - she's a woman, right?

I've met every one of those types.

-scm

11/4/07, 6:31 PM  
Anonymous singlechristianman said...

ah, correction: The six-figure girl I only interacted with on-line; a physician. But the concept, I think, holds true.

Women may be getting conditioned by the all the "singleness" messages they get in churches to be looking for someone who is very hard to find -- someone who can pass a very high bar; a bar that is not set high for women. A bass-awkwards way of reducing divorces in the church, I suppose.

11/5/07, 4:32 AM  
Anonymous Ame said...

SCM - Thank you for your examples ... clear ... and real.

"Active enough in church:" This seams to have become more a social status within the church than a reflection of one's intimacy with God. My ex looks so perfect in church ... a wolf in sheep's clothing.

"Divorce," I am finding, has SO many false connotations associated with it ... and people are rarely open to knowing the truth and/or accepting that they absolutely do not know the truth, and what's been fed them all these years is intricately woven with lies.

"like someone drowning who will take you down with her [him]" Well written. It seems so few really, actually, do what it takes to heal and are still spitting nails.

"Too old," :) Age differences are funny, aren't they ... they seem to matter till couples prove it is SO not a big deal when it's right.

"Acceptable to others" ... I think accountability is good ... inability to think for oneself is sad ... knowing your abilities and limitations of discernment and adapting as necessary are good.

"wants you for a boyfriend with the option of marriage rather than a friend with the option of courtship." EXCELLENT.

"the wrong race" ... sad.

"money," ... materialism ... values.

"her job to pastor you or something" ... better to be there for another when needed; and to let another be there for you, when needed. Humility; respect.

Ame
www.amexpression.com

11/5/07, 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's good for the goose is good for the gander, so SCM has inspired me to come up with some roughly corresponding stereotypes-- of single men at church who avoid approaching women, under the pretense of wanting to avoid the aforementioned female stereotypes:

The male version of the "false metric girl" who turns their nose up at guys for "not being active enough is church" is Mr. Insecure-about-my-leadership-role", who interprets any small talk intiated by a woman as a veiled attempt at seduction, getting all nervous and flustered, looking for the nearest out. He'll explain it as "how can I be leader in my own household if she starts out as the intiator?" More likely he's been sucked into the same "courtship only" self-help lit as his female counterpart (and that's how we get Mr. and Miss "Waiting on the Lord"-- so unrealistic spiritual standards happen on both fronts-- 'kay?

...and then there's his more honest first cousin Mr. I-only-talk-to-the-prettiest, and his twin "Mr. Looking-for-someone-young-enough-to-match-my-immaturity". Again, unrealistic standards knows no gender barriers.

...and then there's the real network sabotager: Mr. I-only-talk-when-I-have-an-agenda-in-mind.

...who's the godfather of "Mr. I-have-no-social-skills-because-I-never-practice-them"

...And then there's the garden variety of walking wounded: Mr. Bitter-divorced-guy and Mr. Be-my-kid's-step-mommy, who can't achieve parity with the women they pursue in terms of time or finances because they have "prior commitments". And let's not forget Mr. Can't-make/keep-commitments", often carrying the baggage of addiction along with him, also known as "Mr. Be-my-mommy".

I'm not saying all single men in the church fit into these categories. And most do marry, so isn't a problem of men choosing not to marry. Whether they fall into these categories or not, they are aided immensely by the lack of competition afforded by the surplus of women, which also answers the question of anon-11/04/07 about why "more and more Christian women cannot find husbands".

11/5/07, 11:54 AM  
Anonymous singlechristianman said...

Anon, that's a good comment. The church is as full of broken people of both genders as the world is, since that is where we all come from.

I notice you speak about single men who don't approach women in church .. anything particularly meaningful behind your constrution of that phrase the way you did?

11/5/07, 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't construct the phrase "DON'T approach women in church", I was talking about those who AVOID approaching them.

11/5/07, 1:15 PM  
Blogger The Learner said...

SCM,

Thanks for the examples. I have heard Christian men describe women as being “unapproachable” lots of times and have always wondered what, exactly, that meant. I assumed it meant some kind of odd “vibe” that the woman must give off, but am I understanding you correctly that it is more about the requirements of the woman?



Annonymous,
Regarding your comment that begins “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander”.
I hope you will “hear” the following in the spirit of understanding with which it is intended. It may serve you well to turn the snark down just a notch.

11/5/07, 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

learner,

SCM, in his reply to my comment, didn't seem to have a problem with my snark, so I don't know why you are singling me out. There have been plenty of snarky comments coming from the men on this blog, which have escaped your admonishment.

Are you here to suck up to them?

11/5/07, 4:26 PM  
Blogger The Learner said...

Anonymous,
It may serve you well to turn the snark down just a notch.

…or not. It is certainly your right to reject my suggestion.

I was not aware that being reasonable constituted sucking up. I gave Anakin a way harder time than I gave you in the comments to this post.

11/5/07, 5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I was not aware that being reasonable constituted sucking up. I gave Anakin a way harder time than I gave you in the comments to this post."

For someone who calls herself "the learner", you sure seem determined to teach everyone a lesson.

Who made you hall monitor?

11/5/07, 6:16 PM  
Anonymous dd said...

yeah, who made you the hall monitor?

Please. Spare us the false modesty.

11/5/07, 6:19 PM  
Anonymous ame said...

Learner said:

"I have heard Christian men describe women as being “unapproachable” lots of times and have always wondered what, exactly, that meant. I assumed it meant some kind of odd “vibe” that the woman must give off, but am I understanding you correctly that it is more about the requirements of the woman?"

I, too, am curious ... what makes a woman "unapproachable?"

I'll go waaay back to HS since I met my ex when I was 19 ... but I was often told then that I intimidated guys ... I never understood what that meant, especially since I was very insecure in HS. Many years later, I heard that the guys in HS respected me, so that caused them to choose to keep a safe distance ... guess cause I wasn't gonna end up in a hotel room with them on the beach at the end of a date.

Ame

11/5/07, 7:31 PM  
Anonymous singlechristianman said...

Anon did say, though...

"....under the pretense..of wanting to avoid."

Which I knowingly gave you a snark-pass on to extend a little grace to you. The context was men avoiding asking women out (again, in church, so I'd like to know why it's a church thing for you, and why the woman doing the asking is such a thing for you as well.)

It is not pretense to avoid pursuing a woman if she fits into one of those categories, for it is a rational decision. I don't want to admit trouble into my relational life, or frankly waste time if there is a deal-breaker. I'd rather take a chance with leading a secular woman to the Lord and pursuing her than put up with case-hardened, Teflon-coated Pharasaical religiosity that's been duct taped to a few biblical notions to make it look like a real biblical teaching.

Especially if high visibility ministries have helped her gain this understanding (with posts such as the one this comment thread is about), in which case she has the social support of the church world to help her avoid facing her true self, that true self being the one I would have to be married to.

As it is you are close to engaging in the pretense of dialog here.

Be nice to the lady learner and show some class.

11/6/07, 2:11 AM  
Anonymous Dee said...

Good luck to Debbie Maken and her small group of harpies. They've made a difficult situation hopeless for many women. Let's hope their influence is short lived. We know they'll never marry - and thank the Lord for that!

11/6/07, 8:37 AM  
Anonymous ame said...

"than put up with case-hardened, Teflon-coated Pharasaical religiosity that's been duct taped to a few biblical notions to make it look like a real biblical teaching.

Especially if high visibility ministries have helped her gain this understanding (with posts such as the one this comment thread is about), in which case she has the social support of the church world to help her avoid facing her true self, that true self being the one I would have to be married to."

VERY well articulated ... and I would not want a man who fit into the same description ... already had one ... perfectly describes my ex ... he's awesome at that church game. I can't ... and will NOT ... play the church game.

Someone with a deep, intimate, personal relationship with Jesus Christ; someone who is teachable and pliable in the hands of God, not in the hands of the church or any person ... that is a person worth investing life in.

Ame

11/6/07, 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Which I knowingly gave you a snark-pass on to extend a little grace to you." lol! You expect anyone to buy that?! Your prior exercise of snark ("naturally she's more spiritual - she's a woman, right?") hardly puts you in a position to issue any pass, or admonishment about "class" or anything else for that matter. Sorry, but that's the blogosphere for ya.

You ask "The context was men avoiding asking women out (again, in church, so I'd like to know why it's a church thing for you", then tell me I'm "close to engaging in the pretense of dialog here", so why should I bother indulging your curiosity now?

11/6/07, 11:25 AM  
Blogger singlechristianman said...

so why should I bother indulging your curiosity now<<

So don't; I can rest well at night knowing that I am leaving you be in peace.

A final snark: I'm sure you have met men who think they are more spiritual by virtue of the fact that they are male .. perhaps you might use your pattern recognition skills, which you seem to think are well developed, and examine certain phenomena in the church in the light of that insight. As Heroclitus said, παντα πει. Go in peace.

11/7/07, 4:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is an interesting new trend in the Marriage Mandate and Contentment movements.

Both Carolyn McCulley and "Captain Singleness" are both advocates of what they lovingly call "non-practicing homosexuality" which involves women living together in groups and holding hands and giving hugs. In this way, they aren't lonely and get to have some degree of human physical contact without becoming homosexual and of course avoiding men at all costs.

I'd love to see Debbie "many luxury vacations" Maken respond to this new bizarre twist in the debate. Still, it must be difficult for the women. They want husbands, but are completely turned off by effeminate preacher boys. Real men strongly attract them, but these modern women are taught to dislike masculinity. They are trapped by religion on one side and pop culture on the other.

It's such a good thing that Debbie Maken was sent to earth by God "in such a time as this" to fix everything overnight. Us single men need to start buying timeshares at nice resorts so we can provide many luxury vacations for future wives.

Unless of course, they are living in communal church housing and holding hands with other lonely spinsters.

This debate has gone from odd to completely bizarre.

11/12/07, 7:36 AM  
Blogger singlechristianman said...

anon, I cannot authenticate your claims. Any evidence or links to support them?

11/12/07, 2:16 PM  
Blogger Triton said...

I think Anonymous is referring to Captain Sensible, not Captain Singleness.

And the Cap'n mentioned "non-practicing homosexuality" in his/her latest blog post, but the blog post seemed to be a criticism of it rather than an endorsement of it.

Captain Senseless may be a nut, but I don't think this particular accusation is deserved.

11/12/07, 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Non-practicing homosexuality refers to people of the same sex simply living together.

I have to say it shouldn't be called this, but it is a good thing. If so few men are acceptable to the vast legions of unmarried Christian spinsters, it may be a very good thing for them to live in communal housing and at least have some social interaction. If these women don't want the men who are available, they can at least be supportive of each other as they share a home.

11/13/07, 8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps the problem is that men aren't stepping up to do what is right. In that case, it makes sense for women to live together in groups.

It is very odd that secular women and women in other faiths don't have a problem finding love, marrying and having children, but there are many Christian women who are angry, bitter and alone.

I bet an opportunistic writer could exploit their pain by blaming men and possibly getting a best-selling book out of giving these women more bad advice...

Oh, right...that already happened.

11/17/07, 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Curiepoint said...

"If so few men are acceptable to the vast legions of unmarried Christian spinsters, it may be a very good thing for them to live in communal housing and at least have some social interaction. "


And, if they're all in one place, they are easier to identify and avoid.

11/17/07, 6:42 PM  
Blogger Triton said...

You still alive, Anakin?

11/26/07, 9:00 PM  
Anonymous EW said...

This is slightly off topic, but out of interest, if you're looking for women to date and eventually marry and start a family with, why not date overseas outside the Matriarchal, feminist west?

Everyone knows in the 'west' child custody goes 90% of the time to the women (and of the remaining 10% often to relatives and the state), 70+% of divorces are initiated by women (regardless of religious beliefs) and the divorce rate (backward looking) is likely 60+% once high divorce states are factored in.

For instance, the Philippines is mostly a Christian nation, women there are still traditional for the most part, churches ARE important and divorce is illegal.

Secondly, as the US (and other western nations) are poised for a hyper-inflationary episode (though some would argue deflationary) is it even wise to get married at this time?

Likewise, as the financial implosion gains speed over the next 24 - 48 months, imagine how many women in the west will suddenly become 'traditional', 'non-feminist' and 'religious' as the job loses mount.

Perhaps men should be focusing on being prepared as nations like the US are heading to MAJOR financial issues shorlty, and likely food, water and fuel shortages.

EW

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