Following on from the last post, we continue to identify the specific problems resulting in the breakdown of male-female relationships which have led to the dissatisfaction of men with women and of women with men.
It has always been the point of this blog to seek those problems out, and to allow frank discussion of said problems.
Because I recognise that this is the first (of many!) steps in finding the solution.
I don't make assertions that a solution will be found on a global scale. Of course not.
But at least in our own little corner of the world, perhaps we can change something.
Beginning with ourselves.
I think Bellita, in her guest post here has entered head first into the crux of the problem.
This is not a blame game.
Neither is it a pest fest.
It is simply presenting the facts of the case before the Grand Jury.
In this case, the opinions of one man (or a few men) count as 'facts'.
Why do we do it this way and not present the woes of one woman or a few women?
Because we are women. We already know the woes of women.
And the media tell us everyday the shortcomings of men.
We are already familiar with that concept.
We want to hear something different. Because hearing the same thing over and over again does not change anything in our lives.
So here we are.
This is the case against Woman Inc.
What say you, Woman Inc.?
(And not just American Catholic Woman Inc. either, it must be said. I think this can be extrapolated to women all over the world who subscribe to the features of personality being bemoaned here).
Thank you Bellita, for an excellent post.
Certainly made me think.
And cry (figuratively speaking!) all at the same time.
Well, at least I can still 'multi-task' ;)
Jokes aside, I think this post hits an important milestone in the life of The Sanctuary.
It marks the time we 'hit the spot' in terms of identifying a major problem.
If I had a younger sister, she would be force-read this post every night for two weeks until she regurgitated it back to me verbatim.
Not out of malice, but love, of course. And knowing my imaginary little sister, she wouldn't thank me until her wedding day :-)
From "Lucy Simmonds": I blame men. Unmanly, unfocused men . . . I am an observant Catholic, as are most of the men in my immediate social circle. Most of them have stable, high incomes, and I would say with some degree of certainty, they do not engage in pre-marital sex. It would seem that these men are not doing anything wrong. My complaint is that they aren’t doing anything right, either.
A few months ago, an old friend from my religious blogging days shocked me when he said that mine was the only religious blog written by a woman that he had regularly read. Without going into the details of that blogosphere, it's safe to say that it is highly unusual for someone very active in that community to read only one blog by a woman . . . or only one blog by a man. That's hard to do unless you make a deliberate decision. It's a little like choosing to patronize only businesses owned by people of the same sex (already an odd--and impractical--thing to do), and then making one special exception.
When I asked him why I had been the special exception, he said simply: "You don't hate men."
I rushed to argue that I could name many women religious bloggers who didn't hate men either, but he refused to engage me, saying only: "I know some of them are your friends, so I won't give you any names or examples."
But the topic came up again in a later conversation. I had just mentioned a neighbor's dog that had sent me mixed signals--padding over to where I was seated, flopping against me, putting its head in my lap, and then growling and trying to bite me when I patted him--and my friend replied, "Sounds like a lot of those women bloggers I can't read."
He seemed more chatty, so I pressed him on the matter . . . and although he still refused to name any bloggers or give examples of specific posts, he explained that he defines a "manhater" as a woman who thinks that men have to make certain choices, or perform certain actions, before she considers them to be "real men" . . . and that those choices and actions usually involve them serving women in ways that advantage women but disadvantage men.
And then I remembered a dear female friend of mine who, a couple of years ago, wrote one of those "Where are all the good men in the Catholic Church?" posts. I didn't mind it at the time it came out, and even defended my friend when the link went viral and her blog attracted many angry comments . . . but suddenly I could see the same post through my male friend's eyes. And it looked very different. Without divulging any details about my female friend's life, I can see why someone like her might make a man ask, "What right does a woman with her history have to dictate to a man about his future?"
Having seen it once, I was able to see it anywhere I looked. For a whole week, it was as if my life had turned into The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. At the end of it, when I saw my male friend online again, I lamented: "'Manhaters' are everywhere!"
"Yes, they are," he agreed.
"And they have no idea that they're 'manhaters'!"
"Most men have no idea how much they're hated either."
That was a month ago. Now I want to tell him he doesn't give other men enough credit. From the increasingly dissatisfied (and increasingly shrill) posts by women in the religious blogosphere about men who aren't "manning up," I'd say that men have figured out what is going on and are refusing to have any part in it. But I'll concede to my friend that, for many men, Going Their Own Way is more subconscious than strategic . . . more passive than active. They know something is wrong, but they're not admitting what it is even to themselves. So (to use the imagery of a famous cliche) they quietly spend their time and money on video games rather than on dates, letting the world make fun of them as arrested adolescents, but remaining too "chivalrous" to admit openly that the women they meet don't measure up to a good game at the end of a long day.
But there are some men who try to explain themselves. The post I linked above drew the following comment from "Jeff in Sacramento":
"I read a bunch of comments and none seemed to hit the nail on the head. Here it is and although this is common knowledge and talk amongst us men, I am sure it will make some women crazy with hate and a sense of injury and injustice. Sorry.
In short, the problem is most Catholic American men do not like the personality of the American woman, the personality she received growing up in the US from her feminist culture.
Don't get us guys wrong. You may be a beautiful, successful, and smart woman. But we are looking for something different, especially many of us traditional Catholic men. Guys have an almost impossible time finding an American woman that acts like a lady and who appreciates a gentleman."
"From a guys perspective, we are looking for that perfect wife. The lady that has charm. (Charm , Charm, Charm - that is so important, can an American woman just give a nice, pleasant, sincere smile when we say hi?) . . ."
I'm quoting only the first part of his comment because I don't agree with the other points he makes, which are peripheral anyway, and I want to shoot straight to what I think is the heart of the matter . . . which is that women who want to get married but can't seem to bring men "up to scratch" should probably ask themselves whether they're women worth marrying.
It's true that Jeff does not speak for all men . . . or even for all traditionalist Catholic men. But I've read the same message over and over again, from other men, for over a year, and so don't think it is one to dismiss as merely one person's opinion. It's also true that those other men are mostly Manosphere denizens, who aren't representative of the entire adult male population either. Yet even the women who tune them out cannot ignore the caterwauling from our own corner. The fact is that the men we want to marry can no longer be bothered to marry us. I happen to think it's worth asking them why. Especially when they admit, like Jeff, that they really would like to be married.
The first reaction to Jeff's comment was from a woman who said: "I think it's actually cowardly and unmanly to blame women . . ." I wonder what that makes women like Lucy Simmonds, who state very explicitly, "I blame men." Lazy and unwomanly? But it's not a good idea to play the blame game. Let's just state the problem and figure out the best possible solution.
I think it's fair to say that the problem is that men don't feel motivated to woo women who aren't "charming," while women don't care to be "charming" for men who have no motivation.
And the solution is the part that women will not like . . . In this staring contest between the sexes, it is we who will have to blink first.
Inasmuch as women are the ones who want to be married (and are facing unprecedented competition from rivals as ridiculous as video games), we will have to turn on the charm--what I have called "Fascination"--and be attractive again. Otherwise we will lose.
And the argument that we don't really want to win such booby prizes as those unmotivated men we complain about rings really hollow against the chorus of blame and hate that demands that they "man up" and be "real men."
Is that really something that a "real woman" would do?
Back to ST:
Whilst all of these following defifnitions of "real women" may have some aspect of humourous 'truth' to them, they are nonetheless all missing the point...
If she conforms to all of the above definitions of 'Real Woman', but lacks a certain 'X-factor' (or if you like, XX factor!), has she already lost the war perhaps?
Me thinks yes...
No-one is perfect. But part of that XX-factor is to seek to be as near to that as possible, and yet with the humility to recognise that perfection is only to be found in celestial circles.
If a man like 'Jeff in Sacramento' has done his bit to 'be a better man' and from his own description of how he envisages the good American Catholic male (assuming this is true), then I think it is a shame if he cannot find an equivalent American Catholic female. If each party does their bit to 'be a better version of themselves', the war is won.
For quality attracts quality.
And guess what?
Manhaters attract womanhaters.
It only stands to reason, no?